Thursday, March 27, 2008
Meet the Whaka's
Ok, most of the time I understand the PC nature our society has taken - to a certain degree. We live in a time when now, more than ever, its important to be aware of other people and their cultures. More importantly, we need to make sure when we do or say things, we don't run rough shod over things that others may consider important. Racism, intolerance and bigotry are unnecessary societal evils that we can do well without. Then there are times, like today, when you just roll your eyes and say "Oh for fucks sake! Get over it!"
In Auckland there has been a billboard up in Parnell for Ace Rentals, that had four sections. The first 3 showed the highway road signs pointing to Whakatane, Whakamaru and Whakamoa. For those of you who dont live in New Zealand, or are unfamiliar with Maori pronunciation the first part of those place names is pronounced with the Wh making a "fa" sound and the k is hard - phonetically its "faka" or Fucka. You can see where this is going right?
The final panel had the phrase "Rent a car from only $25.00 a day so you can visit any whaka." Now, when I first saw it on a news article tonight I thought it was quite witty. But it looks like the PC Police are out in force, batons at the ready, loud hailers declaiming racial hatred blaring. The Maori Language Commission has complained that the advert "demeans Maori, it demeans New Zealanders". The Maori Party also got in on the act, using it as a chance to pimp themselves on National TV just before an election. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said the billboard was an inappropriate use of Maori language. "It is an abuse of a people, our history and our culture"
I don't get it. Its a word - its a tongue in cheek representation of a word that some people find a bit ribald. Its like the label FCUK - theres people walking round with it on their T-shirts, jeans or whatever. We all know what it says - I know it, you know it, the PC Police know it. This is just the same - what if it had said Phuket? Would the Phuketians be up in arms claiming racial abuse? I doubt it.
What about Meet the Fockers? Its a pun on a dutch family name, and do we see them up in arms about it? Nooo mish moneypenny.
And its not the funniest place names I've heard of either - Intercourse, Pennsylvania is pretty amusing. So's Beaver, Dikshit and Tittybong. Maybe we could use those? My point is, that its just a pun - its not racial insensitivity, its not the end of the world, and its not something people sould be wasting their valuable time on this earth reporting on or writing in blogs. Oh - snap.
Anyhoo - thats my 5 cents worth. I'll close out with some more examples of places with weird names just to show that no one really gives a whaka.
Arsoli (Lazio, Italy)
Beaver (Oklahoma, USA)
Beaver Head (Idaho, USA)
Brown Willy (Cornwall,UK)
Chinaman's Knob (Australia)
Climax (Colorado, USA)
Dildo (Newfoundland, Canada)
Dong Rack (Thailand-Cambodia border)
Dongo (Congo - Democratic Republic)
Effin (Limerick, Ireland)
Fuku (Shensi, China)
Fukue (Honshu, Japan)
Fukui (Honshu, Japan)
Hold With Hope (Greenland)
Intercourse (Pennsylvania, USA)
Lickey End (West Midlands, UK)
Little Dix Village (West Indies)
Lord Berkeley's Knob (Sutherland, Scotland)
Middle Intercourse Island (Australia)
Muff (Northern Ireland)
Nobber (Donegal, Ireland)
Pis Pis River (Nicaragua)
Sexmoan (Luzon, Philippines)
Shafter (California, USA)
Shag Island (Indian Ocean)
Shitlingthorpe (Yorkshire, UK)
Tong Fuk (Japan)
Twatt (Orkney, UK)
Wankendorf (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany)
Wankie Colliery (Zimbabwe)
Wanks River (Nicaragua)
Wet Beaver Creek (Australia)
Thanks to 3 News and Stuff