New Zealand has a lot to learn when it comes to protests.Maybe it's because we are a young country, maybe it's because of our ties to Mother England, or maybe it's because Hobbits just don't like confrontation, but we are too polite when it comes to expressing our opposition to something.Or maybe as a nation we suffer from an identity crisis. We may wear pointy ears and hold up banners saying this is Middle earth, but does the rest of the world really believe us?When looking back on the turmoil over the filming of the Hobbit movies, the disappointing thing for me is how undramatic it has all been. The Germans would have made more of a fuss. The Americans would have been yelling at each other from across the barricades. The Greeks would have been throwing stones and filling the streets with trucks, even if truck drivers weren't involved in the dispute.But if New Zealanders really want their protests to be taken seriously, they could learn a thing or two from the French. President Nicolas Sarkozy has all but pushed through pension reforms designed to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 and the age for a full pension from 65 to 67, but protesters have made sure he knows just how unpopular his plans are, causing chaos at major transport hubs, cutting the flow of fuel to service stations, even overturning and setting fire to the odd car.In New Zealand the average protester would go down to the car wrecker's, put a down payment on a rusted out heap of trash and then apply for a fire permit before thinking of doing such a thing.Now, I'm not promoting wanton acts of vandalism, but it must be said a few wanton acts of vandalism make for great TV. I'm sure even in Middle earth, as idyllic as it seems on the big screen, that they had ways of sorting out these disputes that involved overturning horse drawn carts and setting them on fire. Bilbo Baggins may look like a cute little character but I bet he'd be on the frontline of any fight for Hobbits' rights.But in New Zealand, our top actor activists, after calling for a union negotiated agreement, collapsed in a death scene that seemed to be over within minutes. When you consider Sir Peter Jackson needs nine hours to tell a story, you would have hoped industrial action relating to his movies would have dragged on a bit longer than that.Then, thousands took to the street to show just how important these movies are to our country. To the guys who held up the banners saying you will work for free, Warner Bros might not be interested but Nike and Apple may end up sending more work our way.And while supporters of the movie seemed happy to change the name of our country to Middle earth, Prime Minister John Key was only prepared to change our laws to keep Warner Bros happy. At least I suppose Key won't have to appear on the Dave Letterman Show again to remind the world where New Zealand is.It's hard to think where else in the world this might have happened. Not France, which has built its society on the motto of brotherhood that has its origins in the French Revolution: Libert, galit, crme brule.The French are brought up on the tales of strikes and protests. There were the strikes of May 1968 which brought the economy to a virtual standstill, the riots of November 2005, triggered by the deaths of two teenagers in a poor Paris suburb, and then there was the lesser known kindergarten sit in of 1998, when 3 and 4 year olds refused to lie down at naptime because they were given apple juice at morning tea and they didn't want apple juice. They wanted orange juice.The French strikes have definitely been helped by the involvement of slim, stylish female protesters who appeared to have taken time out from Paris Fashion Week. There's nothing quite like seeing a size 0 demonstrator taking on lines of battle hardened riot police.The union Actors' Equity had Robyn Malcolm as the face of its campaign, which in the end may not have been such a wise move. In a country where we seem ready to give up our identity so a couple of movies can be made here, it's quite possible some people thought Cheryl West was still in prison and therefore not an ideal person to be arguing for better working conditions. Duncan Gillies is the Herald's Foreign SubeditorThank you for sharing your views. Your comment has been received, you need to verify your registration before the comment can be moderatedPlease check your inbox and click the verification link to complete the registration. Once you login, you can post further comments and view comments made in your profile. 395709 601 Air Jordan 2 II Retro QF Candy Pack Varsity Red Black White ,646701 300 Kobe 9 EM Air Jordan 12 Low Black Patent Black Varsity Red Air Jordan 6 Rings Venom Green Air Jordan 5 3Lab5 Air Jordan 3 Black History Month Black Metallic Gold 315794 041 Air Jordan 1 Retro Stealth Royal Red 136065 101 Air Jordan 1 Retro White Silver Navy 332083 435 Air Jordan 1 23501 Levi Denim Pack 378037 117 Kids Air Jordan 11 Legend Blue White Black Legend Blue Dellstreakhacks A One Stop Shop For Info On Newly Launched Dell StreakUser Rating: / 0 PoorBest MiscellaneousWritten by Anonymous Saturday, 14 August 2010 03:17 Dellstreakhacks is a website that provides an excellent source of information for those who are desperate to know more about the newly launched Dell Streak. Dell Streak is the new android tablet, a 5 inch multi touch screen mobile phone that was popularly called as mobile internet device by Intl. 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RegisterLatest ArticlesMoncler Sito UfficialeSet Of Compact Disk Braking Mechanism CalipersImportant Facts You Need To Know About Tail LightMoncler DonnaBuy Plasti Dip Spray Online To Give A New Look To Your Vehicle 395709 601 Air Jordan 2 II Retro QF Candy Pack Varsity Red Black White,When you think of The Wizard of Oz's cast of villains, you most likely think of the flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West, and maybe the pissy apple trees and the green dudes guarding the WWotW's castle. Also known as 'Winkies.' True story. If you've seen or read 'Wicked,' you might have a more sympathetic view of the Wicked Witch of the West. But 'Wicked' doesn't go far enough, since it ignores the fact that the movie features one of the most brilliantly conniving movie villains ever. You remember the story, right? A tornado whisks Dorothy and her house from sepia Kansas to technicolor Oz, where it promptly lands on a witch and kills her. So, as soon as Dorothy walks out of her house, she walks out guilty of manslaughter. Or witchslaughter. And that's when Glinda the Good Witch floats down and merrily interrogates Dorothy to find out if she is a good witch or a bad witch. Dorothy did manage to drop a house on someone without so much as a scratch, so any reasonable person would suspect witchcraft was afoot. Dorothy, in possession of the sensitivity of a three year old child, responds that she can't be a witch because witches are 'old and ugly.' Glinda, in possession of the logic of an Alzheimer's patient points out that only evil witches are ugly. "And remember only bad people are disabled, Dorothy" You caught that, right? Beautiful = good? OK next, Glinda calls out the munchkins to celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. And not with just a little round of applause and quick moment of silence either, but a full on song and dance routine, parade and mayoral declaration of a holiday. Even the coroner gets in on the party. "It's like Saddam's execution all over again." The festivities end when the corpse's sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, shows up, understandably pissed that her sister was killed by a falling building. Here's where Glinda goes from sinister to psycho. Right off the bat, the Western Witch wants to know who killed her sister. Fair enough. Glinda smiles blandly while the witch accuses Dorothy, no doubt enjoying the double whammy of a grieving witch's rage and Dorothy's terror. While the Wicked Witch is busy threatening Dorothy, Glinda interjects, not to defend a shell shocked farm girl, but to remind WWotW of the ruby slippers on her sister's feet. Now this is important: as far as we can tell, the Wicked Witch of the West is the Wicked Witch of the East's one and only family member, meaning that the slippers rightfully belong to her as the next of kin. So, why didn't Glinda just let the lady have her shoes? Let her grab her one inheritance and go off to mourn in peace? Sure, the Wicked Witch lives, but the real world still has Carrot Top. Sometimes life isn't fair. Instead, Glinda reveals that she's only reminded the Wicked Witch about the slippers so she can involve Dorothy in a game of monkey in the middle teleporting the bereaved Witch's rightful heirloom off her dead sister's feet and onto Dorothy's. Imagine the audacity it takes to steal anything off a dead person, especially while the body is still warm. And Glinda doesn't just steal her shoes, she somehow magics the WWotE's feet so that they curl into those curly party horns you blew at birthday parties when you were a kid. Nevermind that those feet were the only means the munchkins had of dragging a witch corpse out from under the house so they wouldn't have to smell her decomposing body for forever. Glinda just doesn't give a fuck. So, Glinda steals the shoes, THEN, she straight sells Dorothy out by telling the Witch that the shoes are now superglued to the girl. Dorothy just stands there like a chump while Glinda whispers that the slippers must be super magic or the Wicked Witch wouldn't want them. What?! This is like Gandalf stealing the One Ring from Sauron's brother, giving it to Frodo, and then saying "You should hold on to that shit. He totally wouldn't want it if it wasn't powerful." And to top off everything else she's done, Glinda then mocks the Wicked Witch, laughing at the fact that she apparently has no power in Munchkinland, before telling her to get lost. By this point, the Witch is good and pissed, and Glinda has ensured that she's completely focused all of her well deserved rage on Dorothy. As the scene ends, the rivalry between the Wicked Witch and Dorothy has been set, even though they should both be pissed at Glinda's perky ass. It's like Tony Soprano's mother decided to use her powers of passive aggressive manipulation to take over the Care Bears cloud city: Nobody is even half evil enough to understand what she's doing to them. Which is why Dorothy has no ideas that she's about to be turned into a low rent hit man .
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