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August 10, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

How broken tv ended my love of jesus christ, or, don’t forget decorum, don’t forget decorum.


I went down to Eastside last week, and you know what I saw? An empty television sitting in front of a Kurt Cobain poster. It looked strangely familiar, and then I noticed the NYC-style graffiti that was scrawled upon its front, spelling out my name. N.I.C. I had a shrinking feeling down there and realised that yes, this was my television.

This is the history of that television set.

Bought for a God fearing family sometime in the early nineteen eighties, the mighty analogue television bounced around Kapiti before ending in the hands of my friends Karl and Haydin, who gutted the thing at the insistence of my youth pastor so that we could place an evangelical talking head/goth inside of it to narrate an awful bible/Alice and Wonderland/suburban drug culture Christian agitprop play that I had written. I won’t lie to you, it was a dire situation that took a dive towards the even more banal when the stage show, with stirring covers of Kiwi Christian rapcore group Wash, was co-opted by a capri-wearing preacher from Australia who started laying his hands on the crowd gathered in the car park. He kept claiming that he was a cool guy as his sweaty paws caused his devoted followers to quake and tremble inside their skins. I remember thinking of the lyrics to Wash’s song ‘What is your drug’ and realising that this sort of crap was the drug of evangelical Christians, and I helped in it. I stole into the drinks cabinet that my father had left behind when he fled the domestic situation at home and poured myself a stiff Pimm’s cup. This and being kind of gay were starting spell out a reason why I needed to flee the church.

The next day I snuck into the carpark of the tavern-cum-youth-centre-slash-religious-compound, and took the television set in mothers car. It then spent a half life at my house, being used as a convenient place to store my fire-breathing equipment when I wasn’t, you know, breathing fire.

Later I started to perform on the streets and would kneel, with a mask on, inside the box and make up the news to passers-by. As I was a first year theatre student I, like many before me, believed that I was shit hot. It was completely surprising to me when I was repeatedly pelted with Burger King, kebabs, and in one horrible instance, a light bulb filled with substance. The television survived this horror—my desire to perform street theatre did not. This was a good thing as with very few exceptions street theatre at Manners Mall is just, as Uther Dean would say, “not that good, I’m glad they are trying what they think is new, and maybe they will tap into a performative vein that should be mined, but usually they squander their precious blood gold.” For this brief while the television was mounted on two skateboards, and I would trudge it around the central city, then I realised Wellington had hills and I was, as Minister of Ethnic and Women’s affairs Pansy Wong could possibly say, “showing the signs of an obesity problem.” God, she is such a potential downer.

So anyways, this television got hauled around a bit and eventually ended up at the VUW theatre department where it appeared in at least two multi media art pieces in the space of six months. Soon fearing the wrath of the incredibly tall and manly Hawaiian theatre technician, I borrowed my friend and his girlfriend’s brand new BMW and tried to sandwich it into the car. It snagged on the leather, and in the space of a two second shove, I caused multiple thousands of dollars worth of damage to the interior. Consequently I was told to shove off and struggled carrying the rather delicate television around Victoria. Fearing the worst, I went to the only place on campus that would put up with my shit. The Salient offices. My television, abandoned by me in the Salient office outstayed three editors and more boyfriends than you’d ever have sister *snap snap snap*, finding use as a television-themed waste paper basket. But only now do I realise that it lives at the Mount Street Bar and Grill.

I just went down to confront them, beg the owner to love my box like I did, but the bar was closed and I’m easily intimidated, so didn’t want to talk to the people who were obviously cleaning up inside. So, for now, my precious television set slash puppet theatre slash waste paper basket, you rest safe in the Mount Street. Don’t let that poster of that poser Cobain give you any bad ideas. Unlike me, you still believe in Jesus.


About the Author ()

Nic Sando is a god amongst men, fifteen fathoms high he be, with strange and wyrd powers at his disposal. Only a fool won't harken his ears to the east when he hears The Sando man stumping his way.

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