The week in memes: Why is Donald Trump so obsessed with us?

Too much news? Welcome to the only round-up you need.

Auckland is still in level three, the rest of the country is in level two, and I am still using my last brain cell. Welcome.

New Zealand being chill about a world leader criticising us – YES

Donald Trump said that New Zealand was seeing a “big surge” in cases after being touted as a Covid success story. Honestly, chuck it on an NZ Tourism ad, that’s the influence the president has. New Zealanders were surprisingly unfazed by Trump’s comments, leaving it to the prime minister to calmly own him by simply mentioning the tens of thousands of daily new cases that America continues to experience. Well done, New Zealand. Way to be normal and chill.

New Zealand being chill about a random person on Twitter criticising us – NO

Our chillness was short-lived. Why must New Zealand Twitter be so embarrassing? I say this as someone who is part of it. I will allow half a point that a lot of people are bored these days and so spend too much time online but still. Imagine you’re some little troll with some little troll account about why being in lockdown in any country is bad. You create the account in March and by August you’ve tweeted 17,500 times (that’s 100 tweets a day, you need help). One day you troll around and find a random tweet about a second lockdown in New Zealand. You reply because you’re a global reply guy and include the word “hellhole”. Within 10 minutes you have replied to a dozen more random people, passing through the internet like a sweaty guy pushing through a crowd at a festival. Momentarily unpleasant then quickly forgotten.

Now imagine if that one tweet inspired over 12,000 sarcastic tweets from New Zealanders bragging about how New Zealand is cool, actually. Well done, random overseas person on the internet. You have once again beaten the country of New Zealand.

Ashley Bloomfield, Labour party member – NO

Over the weekend, the Labour Party shared a video-that-looked-a-lot-like-a-campaign-ad on its Facebook page showing Jacinda Ardern visiting the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and the national contact tracing centre. Standing in the background for three seconds of the video was Dr Ashley Bloomfield, holding a yellow folder. He was smiling. David Seymour complained about the video, reminding everyone that public servants (Bloomfield and ESR employees) should not feature in campaign videos for the incumbent party. The video was then removed and reuploa– you know what, it’s all actually quite boring. What’s not boring is that I walked past this hoarding the other day, which the media refuses to cover. Don’t ask me where it is.

Auckland – NO

The prime minister announced to the nation on Monday that Auckland’s level three status would be extended to 11:59pm Sunday. And I, living in Auckland, announced to my body that I would start looking after it in six days, promise.

Pasifika communities – YES

This is just an earnest shout out to my Pasifika communities who face all sorts of nonsense every day of their lives but have dealt with an extra strain of idiocy from the rest of New Zealand this month, all while voluntarily getting Covid tests more than any other community. Whether or not reporters should have revealed the ethnicity of the Auckland family first identified in the second outbreak is a debate for another time, but Emmaline Pickering-Martin’s thoughts on it (and much more) are worth reading. In short, if the understanding so generously shown the anonymous man that started vile rumours about the family was shown to all Pasifika (and other minority) families, New Zealand would be a very different country.

Dissonance – NO

Ashley Bloomfield and Chris Hipkins spent all of last week insisting that although border testing did not happen as they said it had happened, nothing actually went wrong. Bloomfield loved the word “dissonance”, parroting that rather than a failure within the Ministry of Health, there was simply a dissonance between what the prime minister thought (and said) was happening, and what was actually happening. Journalists asked a lot of questions and weren’t given a lot of answers. They were given a lot of shit by the public though.

If I learned one thing from growing up with nine siblings, it’s that when you break something, the least painful solution is to front foot it before one of your siblings narcs on you. And if I learned one thing from working in media, it’s that journalism is an industry built on the backs of narcs. Bloomfield has an older brother who works in law aka the only industry narc-ier than journalism. He should know better.

All the young politics nerds – YES

The best new show in town is Youth Wings. Each short episode follows the leader (or leaders) of the youth wings of each political party. I love all the teen politics nerds. They terrify me and I absolutely would have avoided them with a passion if I saw them when I was at uni, but I love them all the same. They have my deepest respect now and they’ll have my deepest sympathies in 2025 when they’re desperately trying to scrub their episodes from the internet before a job interview. Just look at the chairman of Young NZ First interrupting MP Nicky Wagner to take a call on his Apple watch. I cannot stress enough how much I love to see it. The final episode is out today so you’re just in time.




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