Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Saturday 20 December, 02008

Some things that are happening

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:20 am

We’re moving house this weekend. I’m looking forward to Aro Valley, but I think I’ll miss this house. It’s always warm, our room is very sunny, it has a high stud, nice bricks and an airy feeling. But our new house has a deck, a garden and a compost bin. Lots of kind people have volunteered to help us shift, and we’ve got commercial movers coming for heavy stuff too. I hope once we’ve moved in that we’ll have a chance to chillax a bit for a few weeks, because when the baby comes I imagine things will get hectic for a while. I’m waiting to find out if I’ve been successful getting a three or four month-long design contract. It will be great if I do get it, because it will be lucrative work that is unlikely to require much brain power – both very baby-friendly attributes. When baby busyness settles down I’d like to get more involved with the Aro Transition Towns group. Transition Towns being exactly the most hopeful thing I’ve come across this year.

It’s been a full year. I got married. We got pregnant. I helped make some books, booklets and book covers, magazines, flyers, and posters; delivered some sermons; went to Melbourne to see Steenhofs and Sigur Rós; helped start giveitup.org.nz; procrastinated less than last year; stayed in Central Otago for the first time; remained convinced about pacifism, environmentalism and some sort of Christian socialism; went to weekly workers’ prayers about as often as not; rode two horses and got some of my teeth repaired. I enjoyed Midlake, Gillian Welch, Sigur Rós, Bon Iver and Nina Nistasia (i.e. not much new). But enough about you.

2 Responses to “Some things that are happening”

  1. Ben Hoyt says:

    How’d you go getting the baby-friendly contract? When’s the baby due? Hope all goes well!

    Could you explain what you mean by “Christian socialism”? To me the State owning and distributing wealth doesn’t sound terribly Christian — it sounds like we’d be slaves, not just to Christ, but to the State.

    I’m not advocating “Christian capitalism” either, but it seems that with a (somewhat) capitalist government we’re still free to be generous, because we can actually own wealth. We’re also free to be greedy, of course (well, I guess there’s *always* room to be greedy). But if the State was The Generous One, are we free?

    To me, socialism also implies the government takes control of a whole scad of other stuff that should be the realm of church and family — like it did in many of the failed attempts at hard-core socialism in recent history, and like it’s (arguably) starting to do here in NZ.

  2. Matthew Bartlett says:

    Didn’t get the contract, but a bunch of better but less straightforward projects have turned up instead. Baby due last Friday, but I hear they are usually >1 week ‘late’. Fairly excited.

    Re. xn socialism: in a fight between labour and capital I’d back labour. Cooperatives. Subsidiarity. Widely distributed ownership. No more absentee landlords. This sort of thing. Not so coherent sorry, but I’m in a rush…

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