Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Don't let the garage door hit ya on the butt!

Middle Earth Exodus: For many, New Zealand is the new utopia
If California was where people migrate to reinvent their lives, the Bay Area was the mecca for doing it according to a wild utopian vision. Coming here offered the politics of eternal liberation, a culture of uniqueness, a nature of staggering beauty and a hell of a lot of hype. But now that the Gap and Starbucks rule the landscape and other places have embraced queer politics, environmentalism and alternative you-name-it, the Bay Area can no longer claim to corner the market on cultural idiosyncrasies. Nor can it claim to be the most beautiful metropolitan area, now that the nature has been partially ravaged by sprawl, traffic and an abundance of Superfund sites. Most of all, real estate prices have made living here so difficult, well, let's just say the hype has piped down.

For some, however, New Zealand has become the new land of milk and honey.

Recently, my niece announced her plans in response to the new world disorder: "If Bush wins, I'm moving to New Zealand."
Don't forget to tell all your chums!
Woodley adds that many factors -- political as well as economic -- have contributed to the surge in interest. "Since Sept. 11, foreigners have increasingly seen New Zealand as a safe haven," he says. And New Zealand's culture is especially appealing to left-leaning coastal Californians such as my niece: The government there opposed the war in Iraq and maintains a no-nukes policy. Home to many utopian eco-villages, the country has a powerful environmental tradition. And its gender politics have more in common with San Francisco than with Des Moines -- the Kiwis voted a transsexual into Parliament and have elected two female prime ministers in a row.
Yeehaw, break out your Birkenstocks!
On Emigratenz.org, a Web site for recent and future immigrants to New Zealand, a discussion by Californians moving to New Zealand centers on escaping the state's increasingly conservative political climate. "Now that the Terminator is in charge, I'm afraid that's what he'll do to the Golden State!" writes one Californian who plans a move this spring. "That's why NZ is soooo appealing ... reminds me of CA about 30 years ago, with even fewer people!"
Dumb and dumber. Arnold is only conservative to barking moonbats and 30 years ago a real conservative, Ronald Reagan, was Governor of California.
Last October, the Los Angeles Times Magazine reported on the phenomena that Californians are moving to New Zealand in search of a better, um, California. Seeing the affinity between the two cultures, the New Zealand government has even begun actively recruiting denizens of our West Coast. A new immigration point system that gives special weight to highly skilled professionals benefits middle-class Californians, and New Zealand's prime minister, Helen Clark, is bullish about the influx of new immigrants from the Golden State.
Hmm, I thought ole Helen was super politically correct? Why isn't she busy recruiting folks from the usual 3rd world pestholes? Maybe because they don't have the cash to drive up real estate prices as the rest of the article relates.

Frankly, this is swell! But couldn't they take some of their illegal aliens with them? I'm sure Helen Clark wouldn't mind.