Friday, February 06, 2009

A Successful Waitangi Day

If Waitangi weekend was in Britain, Steven Poole would totally be reporting on the Unspeak appropriation of the word "successful" to describe Waitangi Day celebrations. White people don't use this word to describe concerts or festivals or even the Sevens, because white people are only terrified of the implications of an "unsuccessful" Waitangi Day.

In addition to reassuring that celebrations went off without a hitch - adequate catering, air castles not punctured, etc - a "successful" day is one in which the aims match with the results. No anomalous protesting or vocal questioning of the origins of the event here: the original ideal of Waitangi Day is one in which New Zealand is celebrated, and on a successful Waitangi, that's all that happens. To call a peaceful, controversy-free Waitangi Day "successful" neatly subliminally reaffirms the notion that nobody ought to be complaining about Treaty issues.

No comments: