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Speaker: Bigger than us

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  • andin,

    Who's the biggest employer in New Zealand?
    Australia
    Who's the best healthcare provider in New Zealand?
    Australia
    Who provides the best retirement schemes in New Zealand?
    Australia
    Come on parochialism is so last week.
    Just lay off those sugar rich breakfast cereals.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Come on parochialism is so last week.

    And this week's thing is cultural cringe?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I mention this because you may well know that the Dropkicks are no fans of yachting. When the America's Cup rolls around we merely roll our eyes and look for something approximating 'real' sport on the telly, competitive eating for example.

    For me, sport has to involve a ball. Logical? No, but it's just the way I've always been. So I love rugby, football and cricket and I don't mind League. But the Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Americas Cup? Nah, not bothered. Rally and Formula 1? Do me a lemon. Tennis, yeh I can live with it.

    The funny thing is, by my own standards I should like hockey. I don't, and I don't know why, It just never appealed really.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    cultural

    Speaking of culture..may I presentThe President of Bolivia
    .http://www.onegoodmove.org/1gm/

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The funny thing is, by my own standards I should like hockey. I don't, and I don't know why, It just never appealed really.

    I think it's a silly game. You get penalised if you block the ball with your foot or leg. Surely the point of the game is to stop the ball going into your own goal?

    Try ice hockey or inline hockey. Pucks whizzing at players at 150 km, three times as fast, and travels (internationally) much better.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    or air hockey

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2079 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    And this week's thing is cultural cringe?

    So is that it one snippy comment from well known Australiaphobe and rugbyasculturetragic Russell Brown. A person unable to know conditioning when it slaps him in the face, and totally crippled when it comes to walking past it.
    You mention cringe after an article where this cringe inducing paragraph swills in and drips with more grovelling emotion than all the lousy romatic comedies in the world could ever conjure up.

    It reinforced our point that international sport, as combative as it might seem, is really all about pride. Pride that our wee country is bigger than just the islands we stand on. Bigger than our meagre 4 million people. Pride that our national effort is put into something that doesn't result in the hurt or humiliation of anyone.

    You could see it in the way the old guy put back his shoulders and lifted his head a little when he spoke about not only his son, but the team itself. It was a pride in taking part in something greater than the sum of himself and his family. A pride that we, a small place far from anywhere, could be measured in the collective greatness of a few men on some far foreign field. The childish pride of riding atop the shoulders of black giants, a view from the top of the world.

    PUKE INDUCING FFS its a game/ and its a business.
    Dropkicks such an appropriate nickname.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Unless they lose. In which case we sack the coach and belittle them for at least six months.

    I think the last couple of lines in the post shows the Dropkicks do understand the irony of their position. And I also know it's only a game and the sun will rise the next morning blah,blah, blah, but how do I fight this growing anxiety. Trust Ted I guess.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    PUKE INDUCING FFS its a game/ and its a business.
    Dropkicks such an appropriate nickname.

    Steady on - I think the point being made by the dropkicks is that love it or hate it, rugby is a big part of the NZ psyche - much like cricket and swimming and xenophobia are in Australia.. Isn't it worth examining why? I think the dropkicks are about right that NZers see themselves as achieving far more than might be expected from a small island nation - instead of rugby it might be Rutherford or Hilliary or Richard Pearse or Fat Freddy's Drop. Why such an OTT reaction? I think you conflate pride with delusion.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    andin, even hard core rugby writers
    have a sense of humour.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So is that it one snippy comment from well known Australiaphobe and rugbyasculturetragic Russell Brown. A person unable to know conditioning when it slaps him in the face, and totally crippled when it comes to walking past it.

    Sigh ... I just don't get a lot out of reflexive "but Australia is so much better" cringeing.

    This is what I feel about rugby. You can prance around and sneer about it if you choose; just don't expect me to care what you think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • The Dropkicks,

    PUKE INDUCING FFS its a game/ and its a business.
    Dropkicks such an appropriate nickname.

    Awwww... Andin, do you need a hug mate?

    C'mon big fulla. Here you go.

    We'll talk about "mateship" next time if it makes you feel better.

    But for the record, one line about Australia isn't such a big deal.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    This is what I feel about rugby.

    On old post, so I don't think I'd read it, but a good one. I can't post there, so I'll put it here (your sporting glories and ignomines - a future chapter of Stories?)

    I played football for many years as a kid, and didn't have much luck in the goal scoring department, I'd had my moments, saved some, set some up, but my solitary goal came in my final season (intermediate, I guess I'd have been 13).

    I was a defender, had the ball just inside our half - took it over the half-way and noticed their team was back, and we had some attackers in the penalty area. We were behind, so I tried to kick it to them in the hope someone would get lucky and manage to do something with it. I kicked a little too hard - it went in. We still lost, but it felt pretty good too.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2971 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Bored now
    Cognitive dissonance just hit full swing.
    Hey, never said Australia is so much better. Chip on shoulder stuff is reflexive.
    Hey nice tale about childhood exploits Rusty, but it was in you childhood. I have similar stories but different code. Won two championships in my younger days, but never really wanted you to care what I thought. Tho' rugby culture like godshite nowdays, alarmingly getting too much air time for the amount of good it does.
    I just have two words to say to you David Kirk.

    But something that give me's joy is knowing that if the AB's lose somewhere you lot could be having a bad day.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hey, never said Australia is so much better. Chip on shoulder stuff is reflexive.

    Oh, sorry. My humble apologies. I just took that impression when your opening foray was this:

    Who's the biggest employer in New Zealand?
    Australia
    Who's the best healthcare provider in New Zealand?
    Australia
    Who provides the best retirement schemes in New Zealand?
    Australia

    That's two bests and a biggest by my count, but whatever.

    But something that give me's joy is knowing that if the AB's lose somewhere you lot could be having a bad day.

    And if the All Blacks win the bugger, I hope you have a shimmering, shining day regardless ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    But something that give me's joy is knowing that if the AB's lose somewhere you lot could be having a bad day.

    Hmmm, I thought you had a fair if not over-stated point earlier but now I'm not so sure. Its one thing to thing NZers go a bit gaga about rugby and quite another to revel in others' disappointment. I barrack for Australia in every contest when NZ isn't a competitor; in my experience most Australian return the courtesy.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Actually Andin, having lived for a couple of decades on each side of the tasman, I think you are right to suggest that there is a reflexive and unfounded antipathy from many kiwis towards aussies, much as there is a reflexive antipathy from many parts of NZ towards Auckland (and parts of Brizvegas towards Sydney).

    But, ANZAC spirit aside for the moment, I would suggest that if there is an easily identifiable national characteristic in this part of the world that over-invests parochialism and pride into sporting achievement (at the expense of say academic or scientific achievement), then you probably need look no further than your own collective bathroom mirror (and your sports tragic PM).

    Is it not Patrick White who spoke so well of the Great Australian Emptiness, and an obsession with sport dulling the national consciousness?

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • The Dropkicks,

    [Sport] is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

    We weren't trying to wind anyone up. Just to try and capture a little of what it is that New Zealanders think about their national game.

    As we say, it's a better outlet than other options, like colonising the Middle East.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    We weren't trying to wind anyone up. Just to try and capture a little of what it is that New Zealanders think about their national game.

    Cough... I won't be quite as vehement as andin, but really. If you want to talk about cultural cringe, why can't we just appreciate the All Blacks as a team of remarkably talented and dedicated young men who are acheivers in their chosen field of endeavour? I don't feel the slightest investment in, or ownership of, their hard work - any more than I do of Lloyd Jones' writing or Teddy Tahu Rhodes' booming career as a singer. (And I know a few opera queen for whom Teddy is more of an advert for Kiwi manhood than Tana Umaga.)

    And I certainly feel a little creeped out seeing mindless jingoism being used to pimp running shoes, breakfast cereals,"sport drinks", and credit cards. You have a problem with that - tell someone who cares, and don't even think about questioning my patroitism.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    why can't we just appreciate the All Blacks as a team of remarkably talented and dedicated young men who are acheivers in their chosen field of endeavour?

    I thought that's what we were doing? Except all of those young men are from our country and are representing us at a world event. So surely I'm allowed to invest some national pride in them. The amount of pride that I choose to put in them is completely up to me. The same goes for you.

    I think we can all agree that it's the munters of this world who will try to tell us that exactly how much national pride is enough.

    And as for the ads, won't advertisers use anything to sell to us. What's so different using the All Blacks from those tear-filled Air New Zealand ads with people flying to loved ones? Or anything that preys on our fears?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2079 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I thought that's what we were doing?

    Ditto.

    I understand that Craig's also saying that there's more to NZ that defines/inspires us. I agree with this too - I'm actually damn proud to share some whakapapa with Teddy Tahu Rhodes (who's all over the Australian press at the moment) and have tickets to see Dead Man Walking however I have to say I suspect he'll be spuiking Lexus soon enough (or whatever else Mosman desperate housewives drive...).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hadyn:

    To paraphrase Elizabeth I, I do not seek to make windows into another man's soul but I sure wish the courtesy would be repaid.

    Ironically enough, it was an Australian who coined the phrase 'cultural cringe' back in published in 1950. But A.A. Philips was also equally pointed on what he called The Cringe Inverted, "‘the attitude of the Blatant Blatherskite, the
    Gods-Own-Country and I’m-a-better-man-than-you-are Australian Bore.’

    Yes, I guess it's a more benign expression of mindless jingoism than invading Poland (not least because they've got more than enough nationalistic loons of their own without importing any more). But whatever happened to the alleged Kiwi qualities of pragmatic individualism, distrust of pretension and excessive enthusiasm and (above all else) just keeping things in perspective?

    Sorry, but if we're going to sink into a national funk if (shock horror!) the ABs come home without the Webb Ellis Cup it's a very sad day indeed.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    But whatever happened to the alleged Kiwi qualities of pragmatic individualism, distrust of pretension and excessive enthusiasm and (above all else) just keeping things in perspective?

    30 years of wall-to-wall American media?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Sorry, but if we're going to sink into a national funk if (shock horror!) the ABs come home without the Webb Ellis Cup it's a very sad day indeed.

    No, I'll just be pissed of for a week. People who get bitter and angry and demand retribution about the results of sports games piss me off more though ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I'll be man enough to admit that I don't know what Craig meant when he paraphrased Elizabeth, but I'll give a go at my interpretation and hopefully clarify what I was trying to say.

    I was meaning both the "Blatant Blatherskite" and his opposite. Both ends of the scale expect the average person to have a certain level of investment into things. And those that don't aren't "true kiwis" or are somehow lesser for following sport (I couldn't think of a good single phase).

    A number of times when I have told people that I do a rugby podcast I have been told "Oh, I'd never pick you for a rugby-head". The implication being that if you like rugby you are a munter (or thereabouts). It becomes almost a classist argument.

    And as for:

    the alleged Kiwi qualities of pragmatic individualism, distrust of pretension and excessive enthusiasm and (above all else) just keeping things in perspective?

    Who says we are not? Just because Weetbix or Powerade or Hamish McKay claim that every New Zealander is hyped up and tense during the World Cup, doesn't mean we actually are. And we are still in the days where you will be told to "sit down mate, it's a test" if you get too excited at a game (seriously, happened to an ex-flatmate).

    The so-called funk after losing the World Cup is a slight myth (again I blame the media for telling how we should be feeling)...

    Oh crap my laptop battery is dying

    In short: supporting the All Blacks is not at all like anything political. It's just something that traditionally New Zealanders have been good at. And we can be proud that the team from New Zealand is always at (or near) the top of the world in this area. If your pride causes you to buy a silly little flag for your car, I'm cool with that. If you hate rugby and would rather go out and listen to music, I'm cool with that too. And as for the advertising...well, that'll teach you for watching TV :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2079 posts Report Reply

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