Sunday, 20 January 2013

Garth McVicar and heterosexual camouflage

Funny story.  I once camped on Garth McVicar's land after a friendly chat with him.

I'd just cycled through Te Urewera, in snow, and was feeling pretty damn intrepid.  I'd then cycled to Taupo via some beautiful backroads, and was making my way down to Napier to head home.  About two thirds of the way to Napier I was hunting for somewhere to sleep and biked down a gravel road which promised a campground at the end.  An hour later, no campsite, I was standing at the edge of the road, looking down at a beautiful river framed by stony ravine, eating handfuls of chocolate raisins.  A bloke on a tractor drove up.

Giddays exchanged, I asked him if it would be alright to just camp by the river.  Of course he said, and pointed me upriver a bit, to a better spot. 

A day later, I caught the bus back to Wellington, driven by the same man who I'd taken me up ten days earlier.  He had swapped his shift because he wanted to hear if I'd actually done the trip I'd planned, so we spent several hours talking about land and weather, places he'd fished and I'd cycled through.

I told him the story of the friendly tractor driver, and where it was. 

"Oh, that will have been Garth McVicar.  That's his land, down that road."

When I got home I did a google image search.  Turned out my friendly tractor driver was Mr Hang 'Em himself.  I felt like I'd got away with something, a radical bisexual lefty anti-racist feminist.  I was pretty sure I wasn't Mr McVicar's idea of a pleasant social companion.

And just today, turns out how right I was, because if I get married to a woman lover, Mr McVicar is worried it will lead to crime.

Garth, Garth, Garth.  Such a shame I didn't realise in time.  We could have had such a chat by my portable gas cooker about what really causes domestic violence and child abuse.  I am kinda surprised you didn't immediately recognise my crime-causing potential.  Maybe the dust and grime acted like heterosexual camouflage. 


Carlist said...

You were lucky

If Garth McVicar encountered a homosexual alone at night, on his land, with no witnesses... I shudder to think what would have happenedto you.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I think Garth McVicar's submission was wrong.

But doesn't your post illustrate something else?

That when people meet each other as individuals, the experience and the impression it leaves are very different from how they would regard each other when put into some sort of ideological collective framework. That's where hate comes from.

Your exchange with Garth was simple humanity in action. That's what we all are first. Individual human beings.It's when we start labelling ourselves, finding power in groups of like-minded, seeking or seeking to protect (rightly or wrongly) rights or privileges, that we find trouble. He would do well to reflect on that too. You have as much right to 'marry' who you want as he does. Not because you are gay but because you are a human being.

ChundaMars said...

Very well said Lindsay.

@carlist - I disagree with almost everything that comes out of McVicar's head, but to suggest that he would assault (or worse) someone if there were no witnesses about is a little unfair. We can disagree with the man without painting him out to be some evil murdering bigot.

LudditeJourno said...

Lindsay - my point is that Garth McVicar cannot even identify a person from a group (queer people) he believes cause crime. Because his prejudice is ridiculous.
It's not seeking rights that causes "trouble" but prejudice and oppression. Mr McVicar's ridiculous defence of stopping some people having the ability to marry if they wish is one example.

Carlist said...

@Lindsay: Your idea that people gain 'power' by labelling themselves queer is laughable. To assume that label is to put oneself at the bottom of society.

@Chunda: Well, I hope we never find out which one of us is right, but I would not be comfortable being alone with Garth without witnesses.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

My point is that each of us has rights as individual human beings that, if observed, would preclude the need to form collectives based on race, gender or sexuality.

"...prejudice and oppression" arise from group think. As unfettered individuals neither Mr McVicar nor you felt any prejudice or desire to oppress.

Carlist said...

Lindsay, individuals are capable of being biased for perfectly personal reasons.

If somebody hates me because of my sex life, they will continue hating me regardless of whether or not I identify with the queer community. Identifying with that community gives me some tools to deal with their hatred. Refusing to identify with it doesn't stop them hating me.

LudditeJourno said...

Carlist - thank you, quite.
Lindsay, seriously, what planet are you on? Do women invent the pay gap when we notice our ovaries? Do Maori invent colonisation when they pay attention to their lower, on average, life expectancy? Do queer people invent homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when we get bashed in the streets?
Please stop being so ignorant, here at least. What you are spouting, not for the first time, is victim blaming nonsense which prettifies and ignores people's lived experiences of oppression.