In the months preceding the deadline (an unfortunate but a deeply meaningful term to me personally) both in New Zealand in general and Christchurch in particular, my announcement to the general public and media of my plans to rise in the air and vanish did not produce enough levity. The native sardonic English wit found in great abundance in Australasia had probably already been infected by neurotic American TV humour. But alas their logic too was inadequate to make any rational criticisms. I was disappointed. Could this be the same city that in 1863 first published Samuel Butler’s “Darwin among the Machines” in the local newspaper? This is still, according to Gregory Bateson, the best critique of Darwin’s mechanistic theory? Was this the city where Karl Popper found sanctuary and wrote his critical analysis of Marxist theory and Platonic totalitarianism? However there was enough love in this rather odd city founded by Anglican gentlemen in a remote swamp on the other side of the Earth. I was affectionately tolerated, a refreshing change after being hated by Australian university student leaders for undermining their juvenile revolution by mistake.
With not enough interest in the community to provide me with a boat and with the superficial and humourless mass media distrustful of my motives, I was marooned in Christchurch. Since it was a delightful little city and was years behind the ghastly times I was satisfied with settling down and, after putting the dull-witted city council through a fun revolutionary skirmish, I began providing daily entertainments as an orator in their new Cathedral Square. This was an excellent stage on which to exhibit myself and to keep my wits sharp by performing my shamanistic ritual capers on the razor’s edge of political correctness. I became notorious but never a celeb as I was far too intelligent, honest, laid back and scruffy to be trusted by the mass media makers of shallow illusions encouraging consumerism.