Is it really kosher for a New Zealand mayor to be calling for comedians to be shot? PAT PILCHER wonders why some of us have such an obvious humour bypass.
Sometimes an event or a person can’t help but take NZ’s cultural cringe to groaning new lows. This time around it’s Jenny Shattock (the South Waikato District Mayor), who has taken umbrage at the Facebook spoof page, Shit Towns Of New Zealand.
Shattock went on record by telling NZME that, “The people who write that sort of rubbish should be shot”.
Don’t hold back, Jenny. Tell us all how you really feel!
Is it just me, or does having a respected member (I use the word advisedly) of the community advocating the murder of satirists represent a new low for Niw Zilinand, and a real gain for knuckle draggers world-wide?
More worryingly, if that’s how Shatlock reacts when Putaruru gets the Shit Towns Of New Zealand treatment, I’d hate to see how she’d lose her shit when something really bad happens. All told, it’s a woeful response by someone who should simply know better.
By reacting so strongly she’s given the Shit Towns Of New Zealand page an audience, which probably isn’t what she intended.
They write: “This might come as a bit of a surprise to some people who aren’t acquainted with the finer points of satire, but these posts don’t reflect our actual, genuinely-held feelings about your towns. We don’t hate the towns we review. Our intent is to use offensive humour to highlight the various foibles and eccentricities of towns scattered around Aotearoa. If we shit on your town it’s only because we care!”
Sadly, Shattock got shitty when Putaruru was shit on by the Shit Towns Of New Zealand page. Ironically, this is perhaps the best publicity Putaruru has had in decades.
It isn’t only Putaruru. Tokoroa also got the Shit Towns Of New Zealand treatment. “Loathed by nature, economic forces and mankind alike, South Waikato’s Tokoroa is one of the turdiest turds in the toilet, a veritable checklist of shitness. Its median annual income is $17,000, nearly one in four Tokoroans is unemployed, and barely half of the population over 15 possess formal qualifications. Until the 1930s its soil made livestock sick, while its lake has long been unsafe for swimming, pending intensive de-weeding efforts (which, incidentally, are also regularly carried out by police in many of the town’s houses). The infamous Kinleith Mill blankets Tokoroa in a stench arguably more potent than Rotorua’s sulphuric fart bomb. As a direct consequence of its overwhelming shitness, Tokoroa’s population is steadily shrinking. Notable alumni include ball thrower Quade Cooper, who fled to Australia at the first opportunity, and the perennially furious Brian Tamaki, who wants to build his own town. Recently, a vacancy for a $400,000 salaried doctor’s job failed to attract a single applicant. Tokoroa: Where Dreams Go to Die.”
Now, even loyal Tokoroans could surely see the humour in that.
Not all mayors have had a humourectomy like Shattock, thank goodness. The South Island’s Waitaki District Mayor, Gary Kircher, didn’t like the page’s account of Oamaru as, “…an economically depressed shithole in fancy dress”. As unimpressed as he was, he still managed to see the humour. He said that most of Oamaru’s residents could see the funny side even though it was a bit “troll like”.
Angry or unamused mayors aside, The Shit Towns Of NZ page makes for hilarious reading.
They are dishing out their treatment even-handedly. It seems that all small NZ towns are finding themselves on the receiving end of their comedic write-ups. One visitor to the page remarked, “People are getting majorly butthurt about this. It’s just a joke man. Get over yourselves”.
The Shit Towns Of New Zealand Facebook page racked up a whopping 25,000 likes (one of which is mine), although its creators have also been on the receiving end of death threats. Once we stop laughing, we’re hopeful that some people, including Ms Shatlock, will grow a funny bone.
* Vote for the leading Shit Town Of New Zealand here.