We thought the former would be good for the kids: it was an early enough show and was advertised as pantomime. The opening musical number was a lengthy rant on the evils of the National Party. The Big Bad Wolf was a scary awful developer who wanted to collude with evil scary politicians to turn some park in Karori into apartment blocks. We ducked out at half-time as the show was running really long and we were past the kids' bedtime - they're normally to-bed around 7, and we'd been expecting an hour-long kids kinda show. Our fault on due diligence.
The final Act of Richard III had Richard the Third's face on a National Party 2014 election placard in place of John Key's, and Henry VII's face in place of Cunliffe's on a Labour hoarding. The play's leaflet apologised for the strong partisanship in this performance, but because they just hate National so much and because they thought it was so apt, they hoped nobody minded too much.
Both plays were fun and I enjoyed them, but it's hardly unprecedented for tax-funded arts types to go all-out on how much they hate the government (if National's in office), markets, economists, developers, and businessmen. I might be misremembering, but I thought I saw various government funding body seals on both programmes.
Anyway, today a bunch of people got mad on Twitter that Eleanor Catton, a NZ novelist, complained about NZ's neoliberal profit-loving, culture-hating politicians. Half of them were mad she'd said that; the other half were mad anybody might complain that she'd said it; and some other half entirely were mad at Sean Plunkett. My Twitter filters must be getting better as I didn't see any of it until somebody pointed me to it.
To resolve matters in everybody else is wrong except me fashion:
- Catton's complaint is self-refuting: no neoliberal, profit-loving, culture-hating government would keep giving so many grants to so many productions that spend so much time complaining about our neoliberal, profit-loving, culture-hating government.
- John Key's disappointment that she doesn't like him is entirely unobjectionable.
- Complaining that artsy types are going to be loud and lefty... would you blame the birds for singing, the fish for swimming, or the children for laughing?*
- That so many got so riled up over this whole thing... I guess the summer stupid season isn't over yet. Wasn't there a state-of-the-nation address on or something that people should have been paying attention to?
* Don't answer this last part if you live in Stonefields.