Sunday, June 13, 2004

Rugby, and other things.

Well NZ's heaving a collective sigh of relief today after the All Blacks convincingly beat the world champion Poms 36 - 3 at the 'Brook last night. I'm not going to dwell on this too much as there are others far better qualified than me to comment on all matters rugby. The plus side to it all is that our national psyche has got a much needed balm after the devastation of last year's World Cup performance. For those of you who don't know much about NZ, rugby is to us what Islam is to certain fundamentalists who get their jollies out of flying aircraft into skyscrapers. It's taken very seriously. A loss sends the nation into despair, a win into rapture. Economic confidence can be affected by a test result and our politicians have been known to schedule elections to coincide with a hoped for All Black victory (the rationale being a test win will get them more votes). There's also a theory that domestic violence rates increase after a loss ... yes we are that fucked up!

Now permit me, if you will, to vent a little regarding all this unmitigated bullshit that's been spouted this week about the late Ronald Reagan. Great statesman of our age my arse! The guy was a half-witted geriatric who's administration was responsible for the largest amount of bungles, malpractices, and abuses of liberty seen in decades. (though the "Shrub" appears to be giving him a run for his money). Have we all forgotten about the US trained and sponsored death squads in Central America? The arms for hostages nonsense in Iran? (the Gipper literally lost the plot on that one ... remember his "I don't recall" line at the Senate enquiries?) The hasty exit from Beirut? The heroic invasion of Grenada? And all those wonderful informed comments he was so prone to making (eg "Where would this great country be without this great land of ours"). Yes Reagan was witty, yes he had a presence. But for God's sake that was more due to his abilities as an actor than to any gifts of statesmanship. I guess the chances of seeing a balanced critique of his achievements are about as likely as the Warriors winning this year's NRL.

I'll be talking about a few local happenings soon. I've been away from work from a bit so I've been out of the loop. Mind you there's a wonderful bit of gossip at the moment regarding a local PR hound, the bane of many a local journo', who's in trouble for making a obscene phone call. For legal reasons I can't name him yet, but rest assured once the name suppression is lifted all will be revealed.

I'm also waiting for the shit to hit the fan as the countdown to the local body elections continues. So far no strong candidates have come forward to challenge Christchurch's incumbent Garry Moore. There's still speculation as to whether former media personality George Balani will have another crack though I suspect he's more likely to run for Council as he'll prove more of a nuisance to Mayor Moore there. There's a huge amount of antipathy between the two which is being furhter exacerbated by ongoing legal action between them. Balani is suing Moore for $250,000 in a defamation action regarding comments the Mayor is supposed to have made about him after the last election. Mayor Moore has responded with a countersuit and after more than a year of toing and froing it's almost about to hit the Courts. It should prove entertaining.

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