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The Maoris Brought the Rat

PRedator Free NZ

I’m not asking for much. Just a cause to die for where casual observers can casually compare me to Che Guevara. Is that so much to ask?

Really, bro?

A cause! Not unlike the one that drove American Matthew Vandyke to join rebel forces in Libya to fight Gaddafi with a camera in his hand[1].


A cause! Such as the one that prompted Eduard Limonov to give up the comfort of being a Russian memoirist in Paris to carrying a Kalashnikov on behalf of a group of fascist Serbians for reasons that are still unclear to me.

Huge fan of vinyl

A cause! Like the one that catapulted Jessie Andrews from a career in pornography to one as a dj.

Yes, I’ve been on the hunt for a cause of my own. Or I was until I found it just the other day.

The place: New Zealand

The cause: To exterminate all non-native mammals (read: all mammals except for the humans doing the exterminating) from the mainland and surrounding islands.

For real?????

This is not a joke.

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has been successfully exterminating weasels, rats, and ferrets for decades but only recently has it come to the attention of Kiwilanders (no one actually calls them that but I do not fear retaliation) that if they don’t do something quickly, their prized indigenous kiwi bird, as well as several other native avian species, will no longer land on park benches and in suburban backyards. No, their numbers could be scaled back to the point where the only place Kiwis, will be able to see kiwis, is the zoo. And to New Zealanders, that’s simply revolting.


So there’s been a call to arms by an organization called Predator Free New Zealand.

They’re promising to “rid NZ of harmful carriers of disease.” The disease carrying mammals in question are possums, mustelids (no idea what that is) and rodents.

bird killers

And the threatened are chiefly the flora and fauna, as well as a bunch of “ground-dwelling birds.”

Now if the slow disappearance of non-flying birds doesn’t make your blood boil, then you’re dead inside. But I’m not dead inside[2] which is why I’m packing my bags and heading to LAX with nothing but a smile on my face and suitcase of rodenticides.

Once I’m there, I plan to get myself to the front lines. As a foreigner, I assume it’ll be important that I prove that I’m sympathetic to the cause and not a mole trying to infiltrate NZ’s extremist Eco-Conservationist Party. I’ll have to do something bold, like kill a bunch of possums and then wear their furs as a coat, or a hat. Apparently Genghis Khan’s soldiers used to wear coats of mice fur and they kicked a lot of ass, so I’ll probably go that route.

Wish me luck!

[1] Anything done with a camera in-hand is slightly less sincere and likely vainglorious, but still…

[2] This is contestable.

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Sir Richard Branson: A Call For Resignation

Richard Branson—ever met the guy? Me either, but I’ll fill you in on what I know: Richard Branson hates Spaniards.

The following was gathered via experiential research.

Richard’s stateside brand, Virgin America, tries to style itself as a hip, young airline catering to people who like jetsetting whilst mainlining internet. Part of their ploy includes offering undersized mini-bottles of booze. Yes, I noticed my bottle of vodka was small—even for a small bottle of vodka. But I can’t blame Richard. I won’t blame Richard. He’s a capitalist. He runs on dough. He needs it like your uncle Marty needs his peritoneal dialysis. Plus, it was a cheap flight. They always are with Virgin. So I can’t blame Richard for trying to squeeze out a few extra bucks—what with the necessity of a second drink, the offer of more legroom at $35 an inch or the opportunity to pay to view some Daniel Craig movie that was only released in Asia.

But the movies and the compulsory surcharges are neither here nor there. But I am. There I am in row 23, minding my own business, throwing back $7 Blue Moon in a can and breathing in the  towelly smell of my neighbors’ marital discontentedness when the pilot brings my attention to the monitor.

Now the guys at Virgin think they’re slick—very fucking slick—so they put on this video. It’s basically like a ‘we’ll level with you. No one pays attention to these for-your-safety videos, especially not patrons of Virgin who are undoubtedly intelligent, and fantastically cultured jetsetters with better things to do, but bear with us.’ In the video, the cartooned passengers are incredibly skinny; just like our peers at lower altitudes. The video features pretty girls, disgruntled dudes and douche bags. You recognize all of them and identify with none unless you’re a pretty girl. I’m not so I don’t. The requisite video finally gets to the “seatbelt bit.” Oh these Vestal Virgins, cocksure as they are, say something like, ” for the point .000009% of you who have never operated a seatbelt…”

And folks, this is when it gets ugly. This is when Virgin’s humor regresses to the U.S. Immigration Act of 1924 which was championed by Adolf Hitler. The gist of that document was America could always use some tall, blond northern Europeans, but when it comes to Asians, Southern Europeans, and anyone hailing from near or below the equator… “Sorry, Bub. We’re all full. Try Canada.”

To my great dismay, the guy, who Richard pinned as the .000009% of people who have never used a seatbelt, was a Spaniard. A torero to be exact. Matador, if you prefer the Mexican word.

Richard, who is decidedly blond and English, could’ve ordered his advertising lackeys to go about this a myriad of ways. Instead, Richard picked a Spaniard.

It just so happens I have a friend who’s Spanish and also a torero. His name is Ivan. When I last saw Ivan he gave me a parting gift. It was the horn of bull he had slain one dusty afternoon while I stood somewhere in rural Spain and slammed Mahou Clasica in the company of pals and paisanos. As Ivan handed me the cuerno he said something along the lines of, “to remember me by.” It was a beautiful moment. You should’ve been there.

Fast forward to the present day and I may have lost that bull’s horn, but I certainly haven’t forgotten Ivan. Which is why I am sure it comes as no surprise to you that on behalf of all toreros, I’d ask Richard Branson to remove his racist F.A.A. approved safety video. Then I would like a formal apology addressed to toreros, toros, and their fans. Finally, I’d ask Richard to tender his resignation and name yours truly as his successor. (Somebody’s gotta run the show.)

Do forward this along to Richard. Somewhere along the way, I lost his personal contact information.

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