The stories of us that the government can’t tell

The stories of us that the government can’t tell

‘It was an absolute Fyre Festival.’ Before Miami contestants were enlisted to save the world, another group signed up in Montreal. But where were the cameras? When New Zealanders took over the world last year, everyone ran to the cameras – from the police to journalists to everyone else: ‘We all ran to the cameras, they just had to be around.’

The story of how the world was saved in New Zealand in July was not a great one. At least not before and not since.

I am not trying to say that we are better or worse than New Zealand. But the idea of New Zealand and its citizens making such a momentous decision was amazing, then and now. It was a story about being better.

It was the people – and the people were, above all things, the people – who pulled off a miracle in order to send a message that not every country is doomed to fail.

Last year, everyone in newsrooms and on TV screens ran to the cameras to save the world with the story that a local family had made it to the end of this thing called life, with a little help from the government’s national disaster agency.

This year, after the global panic about a potential Fyre festival, the government sent an email to New Zealand’s chief of emergency management – the leader of all New Zealand government agencies – urging the agency to call off the festival because it was planning to crash a concert on the festival grounds. This email was promptly deleted, but after repeated attempts, the story resurfaced and made its headline in the Sunday Star Times.

We want the stories of us. The stories that we care about. But it is the stories of us that the government can’t or won’t tell. So it’s the stories of us that are kept out.

Last year, just before the national disaster, I went to Auckland to watch a performance of one of New Zealand’s most beloved bands, SONGS OF L

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