Below is a tv commercial designed to promote the New Zealand Police as a force for good that is protecting the public by ‘shooting-down’ the COVID-19 virus. The advertisement shows a scene based on the spaghetti western ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’ with a New Zealand policeman depicted as a gunslinger, with the difference that, instead of a gun, he is armed with a can of hand sanitiser, in order to shoot down the bad guy, ie. the corona virus.
The commercial is imbued with symbolism.
The New Zealand Police as gunslingers
Portraying the NZ police as gunslingers fighting COVID-19 is an interesting choice, given that 2019 was the year in which the NZ government both normalised armed police and fast-tracked gun-control legislation. There have been ugly incidents of armed police intimidating families, and the police in New Zealand, as elsewhere, are seen less as servants of the people, who task is to make people feel safe, but rather as proxies of an increasingly authoritarian state.
New Zealand is being referred to more and more as a police state, with police being given draconian powers, simply on the back of this year’s seasonal flu. University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis has warned the state of emergency has given police ‘extreme and unprecedented powers’ to constrain basic freedoms of movement guaranteed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
Humanity is a virus
The presentation of humanity itself as some kind of disease is common in the environmentalist/eugenicist movement. UK Television Presenter Sir David Attenborough: has said ‘We are a plague on the Earth.’ The most famous equation of humanity with a virus comes from the film The Matrix:
‘I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with their surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to another area, and you multiply, and you multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure.’
The Importance of Being Plugged Into the Matrix
In the Matrix:
‘The world “seems” to still be normal, but in fact the bodies of humans are contained in chambers on large “farms” and their minds are linked into a worldwide virtual reality computer program called the Matrix. Nothing is real. Of course, the other major theme of The Matrix is the concept of being plugged-in.’ (Review)
Group-think is a major feature of the ‘Covix crisis’. Anyone who questions whether the year’s flu is really worse than other seasonal viruses is a conspiracy theorist and/or a psychopath. From a former senior lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington (comment now deleted), after I presented a detailed argument against the lockdown on Neighbourly:
All dissent, no matter how objective, no matter how fact-based, is heresy. Germany recently committed to a psychiatric institution a lawyer who spoke out against the lockdown, releasing her after a couple of days when there was a public outcry. After the Christchurch shooting, the New Zealand government threatened to imprison for 10 years any one who possessed the supposedly livestreamed video. Legal avenues for protest are restricted because of the lockdown (presumably even leafleting is outlawed) – it remains to be seen how far the New Zealand government is prepared to go to repress all dissent to its measures.