28 Dec 2016

An A-Z of 2016: Bennetticiaries and Teepeepees

3:50 pm on 28 December 2016

Satire - In case you missed the meanings of some of the year's key terms, Denis Welch explains everything from 'Bennetticiary' to 'rock star economy'.

Auckland housing

Affordable housing is an ever-shifting mirage. Photo: 123rf.com

Affordable housing: Ever-shifting mirage that recedes the closer you get to it; in some eastern religions, the 19th stage of nirvana, attainable only by God knows who.

Andrewgynous: Politically indeterminate - neither one thing nor the other. Sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right, sometimes in the centre. Sometimes all three at once.

Bennetticiary: One who climbs a ladder provided by the state and then lops off every second rung to make it harder for others to climb.

Citizen: An outmoded term for consumer. See also You.

Child poverty: A unique form of deprivation whereby parents don't need help while their kids go to school with no shoes.

Diptomaniac: A compassionate conservative indistinguishable from a neoliberal ideologue; a sensible Southlander gone rogue.

Environment: Land suitable for conversion to dairying.

Free trade: Method of paying less for labour by transferring production to poorer countries. See also Teepeepee.

Green: A soothing shade of grey. Blends inoffensively with the background.

Harrepatetic: Descriptive of one who darts impulsively from place to place and ends up going round in a circle.

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Homelessness is sought by free spirits. Photo: AFP

Homelessness: A form of temporary accommodation eagerly sought by free spirits wishing to feel untrammelled by four walls and a roof.

Immigration: Type of economic addiction to which growth-hooked governments are enslaved.

Judith Iscariot: A devoted disciple indistinguishable from a raging inferno.

Kim Dotcom outside the Auckland District Court.

Kim Dotcom is an obscure historical figure. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker WIlson

Kim Dotcom: Obscure historical figure, long forgotten now, who may have been either the inventor of wheeled luggage or Queen Victoria's consort.

Kingitango: Elaborate dance choreographed by Tukuroirangi Morgan. Not to be confused with Game of Thrones.

Labour: Hard work.

Morgan donor: Dedicated supporter of the Opportunities Party.

National Standards: Method of extracting data from children's minds; not to be confused with education.

Operational matter: Anything anyone in authority is too embarrassed to talk about.

Public Joyce theory: The view that any given series of interactions by self-interested agents (eg, voters, politicians, businessmen) will end up bearing a remarkable similarity to what the government has already decided.

Pompadunne: Extravagant hairstyle; more hair than one head could reasonably be expected to have.

Question: When exactly was it that poverty and homelessness became acceptable in New Zealand? Date and time, please.

Rock star economy: A myth subscribed to by simple peoples of the South Pacific who sacrifice to the odds and believe in God the Data, God the Spin and God the Holy Growth.

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Homer Simpson, left, is a populist candidate thought to be running for the US presidency in 2020. Photo: Screenshot / Animation on FOX / YouTube

Simpson, Homer: Populist candidate rumoured to be planning a run for the US presidency in 2020.

Teepeepee: A wobbly wigwam; a collapsed tent; a makeshift structure incapable of holding together.

Tweety of Waitangi: 140-character version of nation's founding document.

Uh…what? You're not going to 'get the boys out' after all? But you said…

Vulnerable Children, Ministry of: A once-in-a-generation chance to put the mistakes of the past behind us and make a whole bunch of fresh mistakes.

The Walking Debt: Gripping series in which zombie homeowners crippled by mortgage repayments stagger from day to day seeking fresh sources of finance. Warning: contains disturbing scenes of bank profit margins.

X-ray vision: Extraordinary far-seeing power possessed only by Superman and Steven Joyce.

You: A consumer; a target market; an algorithm on legs.

Zoo: Place where animals can safely marvel at human behaviour.