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Thread: An alternative look at NZ

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default An alternative look at NZ

    Welcome to Hellhole
    Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 27 January 2008

    We are fat and ugly and our wine is over-rated. Miriyana Alexander finds out who is stirring us up.

    If accalimed British writer Duncan Fallowell ever returns to New Zealand, it might have to be on a false passport.

    His new book, about a three-month trip to New Zealand four years ago, Going As Far As I Can, is released in March and paints a scathing picture of the country: our people are ugly and fat, our cities are architectural ruins and our wine is over-rated.

    The novel has already attracted international attention, with Spectator reviewer Roger Lewis saying New Zealand comes across as a "philistine hellhole". "There is no nonsense about scaling glaciers or being polite about Maoris here."

    Fallowell's harshest criticism is of the destruction of Edwardian buildings in the city centres. He says Christchurch's Cathedral Square is a "visual disaster zone" and Auckland is "not my idea of a town".

    But Wellington offends him most: "I'm in a state of shock. Where to begin? . . . Wellington has been even more catastrophically demolished than Auckland.

    "This is the capital city, so one was looking for style . . . who the hell is running this place?"

    Fallowell, who has published three novels and other books, also despairs our lack of sex appeal: "I'm fed up with people being fat and ugly and covered in tattoos. I'm fed up with unwashed hair and spotty complexions."

    And: "The women seem very confident. The girls can be outrageous, rushing at you while waving a chunk of fast-food, squealing inanely, and lots of them have lesbian haircuts and they don't do cleavage. But however high-spirited, it all takes place somehow in slow motion."

    Our wine and culture cops it too. Fallowell has been searching for the perfect rose and is unimpressed with one recommendation: "Nose: vague odour of running shoes and swimming pools soon fading away . . . Taste: nothing, no taste at all, with a faintly chlorine finish coming out of the blue. At twenty dollars a bottle this is incomprehensible."

    Fallowell calls Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson "artistically weak", saying he's produced nothing adult since the magnetic Heavenly Creatures. "When Hollywood gets hold of these weak sort of men - artistically weak, that is - all turns to dross."

    Fallowell also lays bare the casual gay sex scene, revealing his encounters in the basement of a central Auckland sex shop where men go for anonymous sex, and his use of escort services.

    Not every sentence is damning, however. Fallowell had the best fish and chips of his life at Invercargill's Ascot Park Hotel.

    He thought Cheltenham Rd in Devonport, Auckland, was "one of the great residential streets in the world"; that Akaroa was heavenly; and that Christchurch people have "spontaneity, madness and sexiness. They dress more smartly than other New Zealanders too".

    Booksellers here are eagerly awaiting the novel. Tilly Lloyd, co- owner of Wellington's Unity Books, expects it to be "temporarily controversial".

    "No one puts the knife into nice, green, friendly, scenic, hip, cultured, espresso-addicted NZ and gets away with it.

    "But . . . once we've all had a chance to read the book, we may find we agree with some or all of it. Fallowell is no slouch."

    Fallowell's publishers Allen & Unwin declined to comment and Fallowell is not doing promotional interviews until next month.

    - Going As Far as I Can, by Duncan Fallowell. $35, published March 7.

    THE QUOTES

    Their rugby All Blacks thing is a bit overdone. They load it with more than it can rightfully carry. Is it rugby that makes them emotionally autistic, or is it emotional autism that drives them to the escape of rugby?

    The narrow emotional ledge on which the nation squats does indeed have a grand view, but its population must suspect that it's possible not merely to squat but to launch oneself into space, to spread one's wings and fly. But that quiet, friendly, hard-working Protestant modesty holds them fast.

    There is something androgynous in the look of the Kiwis . . . and you don't see skinny people either. Hairlessness, chubbiness, androgynousness are also features of the Pacific Islanders, so maybe it has something to do with the geography, which gets to everyone eventually, regardless of genetic origins.

    Taupo is a holiday encampment extending for miles in a bleak, lunar suburbia. There is something repulsive too about the lake, which is harsh and steely. And beyond, hideous vistas of dust where they've harvested pine trees, an endless nuclear-blasted death to the limits of the horizon.

    From here .
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  2. #2
    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    "No one puts the knife into nice, green, friendly, scenic, hip, cultured, espresso-addicted NZ and gets away with it."
    Hip? Cultured?

    Hip? Cultured?


    Hip?!?


    Cultured?!?

    NZ certainly is many things, but ... Hip? Cultured?
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    lmao
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    watchu_know is offline Junior Member
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    the british hardly have any grounds to attack NZ on about style.

    and new zealand is 1000x more scenic than britain will ever be.

    and NZ woman would kick all the british woman's asses in the looks department.

    this british author needs to get his head out of the sand.


    out of all places to attack NZ like this, i hardly would have thought it would be a british person, britain sucks. FULL STOP.

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    watchu_know is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotherBear View Post
    [B]
    Their rugby All Blacks thing is a bit overdone. They load it with more than it can rightfully carry. Is it rugby that makes them emotionally autistic, or is it emotional autism that drives them to the escape of rugby?
    same can be said about their "football"... twats.

    Quote Originally Posted by MotherBear View Post
    [B]
    There is something androgynous in the look of the Kiwis . . . and you don't see skinny people either. Hairlessness, chubbiness, androgynousness are also features of the Pacific Islanders, so maybe it has something to do with the geography, which gets to everyone eventually, regardless of genetic origins.
    isnt britain the place that invented socks & jandals? and i could hardly say most british people are looking fit & healty.

    Quote Originally Posted by MotherBear View Post
    [B]
    Taupo is a holiday encampment extending for miles in a bleak, lunar suburbia. There is something repulsive too about the lake, which is harsh and steely. And beyond, hideous vistas of dust where they've harvested pine trees, an endless nuclear-blasted death to the limits of the horizon.
    name one place in britain that has a view like Lake Taupo does?
    and are you kidding? the lake is beautiful.

    this author needs his head banged in



    he can go as far as he can, then go some more get outta here mate.

  7. #7
    Welshgirl's Avatar
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    And..... welcome to the forum, watchu_know

    You've obviously got some very strong opinions of the UK (some of which I agree with ). Where are you from originally?

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    Taffy's Avatar
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    True, this author is a complete and utter idiot, and is most likely a failed restaurant critic or something. He needs to pull his head out of his behind. Also true, the football culture in the UK is far worse than the NZ love of rugby. There's also a lot of fat tattood women in the UK!

    I have to say though, that there's several stunning places akin to lake Taupo in the UK, and I also happen to find my British wife beautiful
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    watchu_know is offline Junior Member
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    i just felt the need to express my opinions because this author sounds like an absolute drop-kick.

    he needs to go to a club, have a beer and realise how many beautiful woman we have in NZ

    Welshgirl... im from Wellington haha

    Taffy, dont get me wrong, im not saying all british people are ugly & fat, i have seen alot of stunning ones.

    But for him to say that about our woman? he needs to look at a good percentage of his own first

  10. #10
    Welshgirl's Avatar
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    Aaww jeez, y'know, I came back from a holiday to the UK recently and brought back with me an article from the local newspaper where the author (a Kiwi who was over there for the Rugby World Cup) had absolutely slated Cardiff (where I'm from ), saying about how ugly and common the women were and how awful the architecture was, etc, but I can't find it. I'll have to go scout around and see if I can get it on here.

    It just serves to prove how differently people think - one Kiwi thought the UK was awful, one Brit thought NZ was awful - who's right?? The two of them I guess, in their opinions. Both countries have things to offer, good and bad.

    How much of the UK have you experienced, watchu_know? Have you been to any particular places that influenced your opinions or is it just our reputation?

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