Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Child's play

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    meep... God, there's part of me that want to ask Betty-Spaghetti if he's ever been to a football match -- or the opera, for that matter. (And let's not even start on the freak-a-palooza that's Italian politics.) Passion is a wonderful thing, but like many other wonderful things it can turn from a virtue to a vice (or outright hysterical psychosis) remarkably quickly.

    But I've also got to muttern under my breath, "ouch... the truth doesn't stop being true because the messenger's an obnoxious tosser". Like you, what really gets on my goat is the bullying pseudo-patriotism that kicks in -- am I really a bad Kiwi because the Americas Cup strikes me as the most effective non-prescription sedative out there? Because I don't want to rend my garments every time the ABs or Black Ferns lose a game? That I'm open to the possibility that local books, films, art, theatre and music are flat out shit as often as those created anywhere else in the world?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    I am simply amused at the idea it's treachery to sail for a bunch of Europeans and patriotism to sail for a bunch of Arabs.

    It's not a national sport, people! Go support Olympic yachters if you want your groupthink fix!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    I don't condone for a minute the behaviour of the 'fans' in Valencia (yachting hooligans??? What an incongruous notion!). I might add that I'm English and find New Zealander's emotional fixation with the ABs a tad wearing. While we're obsessed with our (laughably shit) football team, you're not harangued by the man on the street for not confessing your undying dedication to the Three Lions. I've been on the receiving end of a serious tirade of abuse for admitting complete disinterest in whatever game it was the ABs were playing, as though by merely living in this country, I was obligated to get behind the national rugby team. Well fuck that. By all means, get behind whichever national team you wish, but to harassas others for not sharing in your fervour to me begins to stray beyond patriotism towards xenophobia.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    Whether it's a real problem or just a bit of pre-match trash talking, it surely doesn't deserve the lead story on the front page of the Herald. WTF?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Thom, I guess it depends where you are and when. I've never had that experience in NZ, despite my lifelong apathy towards the ABs.

    I am feeling a little bitter to British sports at present, I got on the wrong tube today (well, sort of) and all I could find to read was the sports insert out of a newspaper. I now know a whole new dimension to the current Thai political drama.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    The thing is, the America's Cup teams aren't meant to represent the boat-racing sporting elite from that country. It's whoever they can afford to get on the payroll.

    There isn't enough room on the Emirates boat for all the excellent boat-racing New Zealanders, so surely it should be a point of pride that these guys have found positions on other boats.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    it surely doesn't deserve the lead story on the front page of the Herald. WTF?

    The editorial judgement of the O'Herald, like the peace of God, surpasses human understanding. I.F. Stone once said you never knew where in The Washington Post you' d find a front-page story. Well, nowhere on page A1 of today's Herald, that's for sure.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd very much doubt they can hear anything on the boats, at least once they're out of the harbour.

    If they're not careful, Alinghi will make a mixtape of Great Kiwi Sporting Defeats and play it on the deck speakers as they sail out.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    OK, perhaps I'm being unfair to the Herald. Considering the other two front page stories, and being a good conservative, I have to give 'em mad props for honouring the traditional war cry 'if it bleeds, it leads'.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    As Grant Dalton said on Deaker's radio show last Saturday, if he called Butterworth a "fat prick" it would be all over the place, so we should all refrain from calling Mr. Butterworth a fat prick.

    Now, I understand its all about syndicates.

    But when Simon Daubney says Allingi is "just like Team New Zealand" all I want to say to him is - no, no you are not. You are mercenaries who made a calculated decision that economically harmed your homeland. Mr. Daubney, in my book, has forfeited any right he has to say anything about what it means to be patriotic. They can do their racing for their Swiss master, but to expect their fellow countrymen to respect anything other than their abilty to sail & read a bank balance is pretty rich.

    So I think we should all heed Grant Dalton's advice, and tell all our friends repeatedly and often not to call them traitors.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You are mercenaries who made a calculated decision that economically harmed your homeland.

    In my book, you've forfeited any right to be taken seriously when you equate anyone who is messing around on a sail boat with people who kill for the highest bidder. And I don't really want to threadjack by restating my very low opinion of economic nationalism, especially when it's framed at such a mindless level.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "Anyone messing around in a boat?" What a load trivialising claptrap.
    So I suppose Michael Schumaker just messed around in cars? And the Formula One circuit is a nothing financially?

    Losing the America's Cup cost N.Z. millions. I dtill can't understand how anyone who hurts their country like that can sleep straight at night.

    And as for economic nationalism - you've clearly not tried to buy an NZ apple in Australia, or NZ lamb in Waitrose at the moment...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Crawford,

    So I suppose Michael Schumaker just messed around in cars? And the Formula One circuit is a nothing financially?

    Why yes Michael Schumacher did just mess around in cars. Of course he only ever raced for German teams...no wait it was an Italian team ... and when he lost the World Championship it cost Germany millions .. no wait they still race there as well as the rest of the world...

    Otepoti • Since Dec 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Those Irish/Welsh farmers are really putting the pressure on, and I know Sainsburys heavily pushes their British sourced food in their advertising. Economic nationalism + environmental fear + middle class itis = lack of lols for NZ sheep farmers I suspect.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Losing the America's Cup cost N.Z. millions. I dtill can't understand how anyone who hurts their country like that can sleep straight at night.

    About as easily as Peter Jackson after putting hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits in the pocket (ultimately) of TimeWarner, one of the largest media conglomerate on Earth? Do you think he had an uneasy night after stacking the lead cast with foreigners who (presumably) don't pay a lot of income tax in New Zealand?

    And I actually think words like 'mercenary' and 'traitor' have meanings - and they shouldn't be trivialised as a cheap and ugly drive-by smear. There are a lot of people, including a good proportion of PA's readership I respectfully submit, who are expats "depriving" this country of their taxable income and skills. Think about that for a moment, and can the inverted cultural cringe. If anything makes me ashamed of my own country that's it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I don't think expecting to win sporting events is a very good basis for an economy. About as sensible as sending Micael Cullen on an annual trip to Monaco with a big bag of money.

    Incidentally, do Germans consider Schumacher a "traitorous mercenary" because he drove for Ferrari rather than the German (sponsored) McLaren Mercedes team? (or the fully German, but generally crap, Sauber team).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But when Simon Daubney says Allingi is "just like Team New Zealand" all I want to say to him is - no, no you are not. You are mercenaries who made a calculated decision that economically harmed your homeland.

    I by long means not an Americas Cup fanatic.

    But I think what economically harmed the 'homeland' was more the fact that 'our' boat leaked and broke in half and basically sucked last time around. Alinghi didn't need to poach NZ's top sailors to win, any ten year old sailing an optimist off Mairangi Bay could have taken the cup off Team NZ last time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    I'm truely sick on anyone who was conceived on the night NZ won the Rugby world cup etc claiming a NZ pport.
    If you live overseas - good on you but if you're away too long say 5 yrs - bye bye NZ passport. You don't live in NZ, you don't contribute to NZ, you're therefore not a NZer - so fuck off - oh that's right you already have!
    To contrast this those who want to be here, risk arrest deportation, racist slander in our media or are in a legal limbo like Zaoui have proven a desire to be here and should be able to. 1962 & Samoans lost their NZ residency but white Ozzys can come and use our state if they want - pure racism .

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    Little Bertie still has a lesson to learn about who has to be nice to him and who doesn't.
    His disrespect with his mocking haka will be remembered by many.
    His team provoked a lot of ill-feeling with their comments here.
    His rich boy tantrums about people not being nice to him were prevalent in Auckland and four years later it appears he has still not adjusted.
    He broke some of our culture's rules and appeared unconcerned. Now he wants people to behave the way he thinks is correct?
    His double standards are probably easier to comply with if you are on his payroll.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • mark baker,

    Ooops.
    Nationality ranting and insults based on that premise are getting a bit off topic, surely?

    BTW, FI stuff...Peter Sauber's team is based where again?

    For those who dont know, most of the F1 industry is based in Great Britain.

    That wonderful Kiwi (not) German (not) team McLaren, who seem likely to sweep all before them this year are British-based. As is the former BMW Williams (now happily just Williams) team. I could go on...

    The point though is where "we" mistakenly base our team allegiances on national pride the game is the loser on the day.

    Those who shunned Buttmuncher and Snooty Couttsy after they left Team New Zealand missed the point: they wanted control and wanted an in on what they perceived as the money factory, and when it became apparent they weren't going to be allowed that step up the food chain they bailed.

    So be it. Let nobody attribute national motives to their decision to stay or go, nor to that of any other sailor at that time or after the subsequent down-trou for Team NZ at the next Cup.

    Bottom line: Team NZ is a brand, created for marketing purposes, just as McLaren is in F1 and Team Kiwi is...was!...in V8 Supercars.

    Nobody should mistake the AC for a national competition, an Olympics of Yachting. F1 is not an Olympics of Motorsport. To all those sad types who relate to sport on such a caveman level, get over yourselves!

    Papakura • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Lee Wilkinson,

    C'mon you guys what a bunch of emotional claptrap.
    Team New Zealand 2003 lost, get over it. They didnt do their homework, they didnt listen to expert advice and they had a regime of fat old school tie fools telling them what to do. Man it was fantastic to see the stats in that first race when TNZ was faster and higher, we had it in the bag.......but the boat broke.. the management structure didnt have any room for input from people that were sailing and building, why do you think Russ & co left? Get yer facts right, if TNZ2003 had have listened to the boat builders we would have whipped alinghi.
    For the record I wholeheartedly support TNZ 2007 and Im looking forward to the racing.

    Whangarei Heads • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    If you live overseas - good on you but if you're away too long say 5 yrs - bye bye NZ passport. You don't live in NZ, you don't contribute to NZ, you're therefore not a NZer - so fuck off - oh that's right you already have!

    Well in that case, I guess I'll just pack up my New Zealand based tax paying companies (which supply goods to other New Zealand based companies who employ people and also pay tax), one of which I'm doing GST for right now, and tell the IRD to get fucked too.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    If you live overseas - good on you but if you're away too long say 5 yrs - bye bye NZ passport. You don't live in NZ, you don't contribute to NZ, you're therefore not a NZer - so fuck off - oh that's right you already have!

    Oh dear - spent 10 years in Aussie, upskilling at their taxpayers cost, now back in NZ using those skills for public institution. But I guess I'd better be off again, since I'm not wanted.

    How very, very silly.

    And Craig, a mercenary is "A person who works merely for money or other material reward; a hireling.". A mercenary soldier is a killer purely for pay. So those sailors are mercenaries - all of them, I don't imagine anyone is there on a Sports Foundation grant!

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And Craig, a mercenary is "A person who works merely for money or other material reward; a hireling.". A mercenary soldier is a killer purely for pay. So those sailors are mercenaries - all of them, I don't imagine anyone is there on a Sports Foundation grant!

    Well that's one definition, but based on that one, half the working population of New Zealand are mercenaries.

    Another one is 'hired to serve in a foreign army, guerrilla organization, etc.' which might be closer to the intent that people use it in relation to the Alinghi people - taking money to go sail for another country rather than Team New Zealand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    but based on that one, half the working population of New Zealand are mercenaries.

    Yes. Like the sailors. It's a job for them - why should it be anything different?

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

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