Happy Easter – let’s crucify consumerism

By   /   April 15, 2017  /   22 Comments

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For me Easter isn’t about the rebirth of the Christ child as human manifestation of God, it’s about the largest unbroken block of holiday time we all get. For me Easter is about family, about friends, about spending quality time with the people in your life who the busyness of working for the man robs us of.

I’ve always found Easter to be the most confused of the Christian celebrations. Stealing fertility symbolism from the Pagans and mixing them with the rebirth of Christ just seems the most awkward of amalgamations. Like Beyonce doing a duet with Rage Against the Machine.

Killing in the name of magical bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs?

I digress.

For me Easter isn’t about the rebirth of the Christ child as human manifestation of God, it’s about the largest unbroken block of holiday time we all get. For me Easter is about family, about friends, about spending quality time with the people in your life who the busyness of working for the man robs us of.

So rarely do we get the opportunity to bond emotionally, physically and compassionately with one another that when you do get public holidays, we should do all we can to nurture and actively celebrate those connections.

Easter’s message of rebirth resonates when it is seen through this perspective and that’s why I despise shops opening over Easter. It’s not for any religious reason, I just view with contempt the free market consumer culture invading the time I want to spend with whanau.

Retailers have 300 other odd days to sell us their shit, to ram it down our throats until we gag love juices for the all mighty dollar, so do we have to fucking tolerate it during one of our rare holiday breaks?

Let’s crucify consumerism for 4 days so we can spend it with the ones who make living our lives worth while.

I promise all true believes of shopping, your messiah malls will return.

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  1. countryboy says:


    I think Sundays generally should be entirely closed too. Nothing at all open. Not one single shop. While I’m no God botherer I think people need to coerce each other back into their more human selves and if they can’t get past one day where nothing can be bought then they’re the problem not the symptom.
    Especially to those whom are obsessively and compulsively compelled to spend and you can see those poor souls, panic in their eyes as they speed around the Shit-O-market because OMG ! It’s Easter or Christmas Day tomorrow! How will we survive ! ?
    The evil and Godless banks love it though.

  2. CLEANGREEN says:

    Yes Martyn,

    I hate the greed of the commerce system of todays world.

    Sport, all our public media is rife with it shouting at us to buy this and that.

    I was born in 1944 and in my awakening world of the early 1950’s never felt as pressured as I do now, so I resent the media for this now as I need my own sanity not someone shouting at me.

    It is so demeaning.

    Good subject and I love your head warmer bunny.

    Please give it back to your beautiful daughter before she misses it or you are in trouble, ha ha.

    happy Easter brother.

  3. mosa says:

    Yeah the four day holiday is nice provided you don’t have to work part or most of it to help feed yourself and the neo liberal monster who demand’s more and more.

    Work life balance “yeah right ”

    I think it’s conceivable that in time Good Friday and Christmas day will join the other 363 days a year that are open for business and will require the wage slaves to keep the money machine going.

    Religion no longer applies as an argument to keep the doors shut and i am surprised that the ” public demands it ” catch phrase has not been used to justify the retailers opening and that so far the surcharge that some choose to pass on has stopped the push to be trading every day of the year.

    As soon as employee’s can be made to work for the same pay rate on a public holiday then a major hurdle will be removed.

    In a crafty move the government rather than legislating in what could be a contentious issue have left it up to local council’s to decide if retailers can open.

    Those lucky enough to not have to work this weekend enjoy it and pay a thought for those who do.

    Good to see ya smiling comrade.

  4. Martin C says:

    Supermarkets go batshit crazy on Saturday and I know. I used to work in one [for sub minimum wages] thank you Foodstuffs.

  5. Jack Ramaka says:

    Computers and modernization of the economy was meant to give us all more leisure time?

  6. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Consumption, along with population growth, is what is ‘killing the planet’ via burgeoning CO2, and is robbing coming generations of a decent future………probably robbing them of any future at all beyond the middle of this century

    Since the banks and corporations have established unsustainable economic systems, and since banks and corporations are in control of industrial societies and tell the bought-and-paid-for politicians what legislation to enact and to constantly lie to the general populace, it naturally follows that the uninformed/misinformed ‘zombies’ that make up the bulk of the population will continue to consume their own children’s futures until they can’t. Indeed, many of the uninformed/misinformed ‘zombies’ that make up the bulk of the populace would probably go berserk with rage if they were not allowed to destroy their progeny’s futures.


  7. Patrick says:

    Why only pick on retailers as that is merely one of hundreds of different commercial activities open for business over Easter.
    To be consistent about crucifying consumerism shouldn’t all commercial activities be banned?
    No supermarkets, petrol stations, airlines, buses, taxies, ferrys, dairys, professional sports, cafes, restaurants, fast food, private hospitals, hotels, motels, TV, Commercial radio ( but how about giving State Radio employees 4 days off too) etc.
    So if you want retailers to cover 4 days of overheads with no sales be consistent and include all commercial activities as per your headline.
    Don’t think it would be a popular move.

    • Your hyperbole isn’t a rational response to the debate, Patrick.

      As I pointed out to No1Kiwi, you can’t have a public holiday if business owners call the shots as to who works. That’s the end of the traditional concept of public holidays, in favour of non-stop shopping and cafe lifestyling. If New Zealanders want what you offer then all businesses, public services, offices, government departments, etc should open. No exceptions.

      New Zealanders will then realise that the “right to shop till you drop” isn’t quite as pleasurable as having a day off from the workplace.

      If you want to do away with public holidays, then be honest and frame it that way.

      Trying to have a “choice” (a dubious concept as workers do not make that choice) to work or not is not a public holiday. It’s like being half pregnant.

  8. gsays says:

    When at Anzac dawn parade, I notice which shops/cafes are open, then vow never to spend money with them.
    Must dash, off to work in a kitchen for the day.

  9. Sally's Husband says:

    New Zealanders have generally sacrificed the right to have holidays for the right to unbridled consumerism (shopping 24/7, or near to it). the late Doug Myers even wanted shops open on Christmas Day making him our latter day Scrooge.
    It’s not much holiday if some have to work because others demand unfettered shopping rights. They are mutually opposite. So New zealanders have to work out which is more important, a REAL holiday where only essential services operate, or a pseudo-holiday where half the population works to indulge the shopping-cravings of the other half.

  10. No1kiwi says:

    This is Lunacy! You Kiwi’s are picking a religion that can tell you when you can work! Come on! “Easter” is no different to any other day for non-Chritians. What right do Christians have to tell us what we can and can’t do? What next? No driving or lawn mowing on the day the call “Easter”? And what does shopping have to do with a probably fake story in a stone age book? It’s fascism I tell you!

    • No1kiwi, this is not about ” religion that can tell you when you can work”. This is about a community determining what days are worthwhile celebrating, for whatever reason, and setting it aside as a day away from the workplace (aside from essential services).

      You suggest people should be “free” to work whenever “they choose”? That is simplistic. It is not the workers who make that decision, but the owners of the workp[lace. There is no “freedom” to “choose” by the worker.

      So your framing the narrative from that aspect is a falsity. Let’s call it what it is; the “right” of the capitalist to tell his/her workers when they will work, and public holidays are irrelevant.

      Secondly, if the right of a business trumps the right of society to determine what a holiday is and that people are collectively entitled not to work, then you are giving capitalism power over society to make the rules.

      You can’t have a public holiday if half the public is expected to work for the other half.

    • walter blackburn says:

      No 1 Kiwi. Unfortunately your statement is pure lunacy and hypocrisy. Frank has summed it up from the worker’s point of view. But life is about the three “c’s” – chance, choice and change. From reading your statement you grabbed a chance to come live here and become a new Aotearoa New Zealander, you made that choice knowing the principles and values those already residing in this desired country hold dear to them, so its up to YOU to make that change and show RESPECT. There are no rights in this. If you want to use your mower, chainsaw, play loud offensive music or trade to satisfy your personal greed I suggest you have made the wrong choice and there is a plane departing AIA Auckland International Airport every 10 minutes to whichever country you may want to apply your three “c”‘s. Free car to pass go! – Sixth generation whanau.

  11. Michal says:

    Yes I too would like ALL SHOPS CLOSED ON SUNDAY EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. No exemptions. We simply don’t need shops open all the time. We are all working more to enable us to spend more on the 7 day shopping cycle.

    • Jono says:

      So true. Shops are open to much. Its become a passtime for the haves at the expense of the have nots whose families who have to work…

  12. Pete says:

    I reckon most who want shops to be open on the statutory holidays at Easter do not want themselves or their family who they want to be spending time with at Easter, standing behind the counter on those days serving other people.

    • Jono says:

      Yep its just plain greed by the shops owner and selfishness by the wealthy shoppers… Two of the deadly sins in one comment!

  13. Bad Weather for them says:

    You may be in luck Martyn with the former directors of Bertram investments trying to sell up and leave the country as winebox 2.0 gears up to unfold.

    These people never learn. Richwhite should be arrested next time he sets foot in the country. Key should be grabbed quickly while there’s still time.

  14. Mike the Lefty says:

    Before Rogernomics turned us into an American parody of a consumer society, Sundays were a day off, be it religious or not.
    Nothing much was open except for dairies, petrol stations and the odd fish and chip shop.
    Were we deprived?
    Did we anguish about it?
    Did it harm us?
    But mention anything about closing anything and the shopaholics and the corporate chainstore moguls get very irate.
    Unfortunately they have had a series of governments who thinks their priorities for making money are more important than the priorities of NZ people and families having one day every week to chill out.
    Great progress huh?

  15. Jono says:

    Hey Martyn, are you bringing back your Fifth Estate program before the election?