Saturday, November 24, 2007

Age, and Why it Fucks You.

Today, in a fit of mindless optimism with no hope of success whatsoever, I played cricket.

Actually it wasn't completely my idea. I was roped in by a guy I know through work as his team was a few players short and they were desperate for a few ring-ins. The fact he called me shows how desperate they were. You see I haven't actually played the game in about 12 years.

There was a time, when I was youthful and supple, when I played regularly and was actually quite good at it. I played rep' grade at high school and then a bit of club cricket when I was at University. But then a busy lifestyle (and a few broken wrists) saw me pretty much give the game away.

Until today.

I can quite honestly say that I am not the cricketer I was 12 years ago. In fact I suck .... majorly. Warming up I thought I'd bowl a few balls. The first ball was a full toss that flew over the stumps and nearly decapitated the wicketkeeper. No worries thinks I, that's just a loosener, the next one will be better.

It wasn't. It was a half tracker that turned into a wormburner and cracked the poor keeper on the shins.

It was at this point it was decided that fielding was where I was going to spend my time. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I used to be a wicketkeeper for fear I'd bollix that up too - actually given the 7 broken wrists and the now very dodgy knee there was no way in hell I was going near the gloves. It would have been a medical misadventure in the making.

Anyway the fielding wasn't a total disaster. I only made one real flub. You know the one. It's where you go to field the ball and it scoots between your legs and off to the boundary leaving you stranded like a cast sheep. Things were actually going pretty well after that, I made a few saves and didn't have deal with any steepling outfield catches (for which I was truly thankful).

Then things turned to custard a little bit. I was jogging in to collect a gentle block. I bent down, picked up, turned, and POW went my knee, Buggeration. So there I ma hobbling like cripple, desperately trying to knock the ligament back to where it was supposed to be, and all the while my erstwhile team-mates are shaking their heads wondering which tit had landed them with the hospital case player.

The rest of the innings was spent limping manfully in areas where I fervently hoped no running or any cricket like activity might occur.

Thank God for deep mid-wicket when the pitch is low and slow!

Now I'd hoped to shine with my batting prowess. And, given my performance in the field, I could have only improved. But alas it was not to be. Being the substitute I was relegated to number 11 in the batting order and our 9th wicket partnership was broken on the last ball of the match leaving muggins here all padded up with no place to go.

For the record we lost. Comfortably.

And how do I feel after attempting to revisit my cricketing youth?

Well, kind of like this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The March

Should have posted this yesterday but the pic's got lost in the Telecom aether.

Anyway the Tuhoe Hikoi hit town yesterday so I tagged along and got a few shots on the cellphone.

Instead of piling up to Parliament and speechifying, like most protests do, the Hikoi did a quick march down Molesworth St and along Lambton Quay. It kind of took the Police by surprise as it appeared they weren't expecting it.

Now a lot of people have commented on the appearance of some of the marchers. And it is a fair point - if you're pissed off at being represented as terrorists it's probably not that clever to dress like one.

Having said that it was just 30 or 40 people tops that were in the whole Gaza strip militant mode. A fair few of them were activists and not Tuhoe which just goes to show it just takes a few wingnuts to stuff things up.

Anyway the Hikoi made sure it stopped outside the Te Puni Kokiri building so they could give the Maori Affairs Ministry the raspberry.

Then off for a quick bit of a harangue at a nearby park.

The white middle class civil servants were all left a bit bemused. Angry Maori aren't a common occurrence on Lambton Quay (it's just soooo Porirua).

If I had to assess the march I'd say there was a lot of pent up aggression. But their actions by no means came anywhere close to the rhetoric. The language was, in some cases pretty raw, if it had been translated into physicality there's have been mayhem. The fact there wasn't speaks volumes for the vast majority of the marchers.

There were a few numpties behaving like complete plonkers but I couldn't make up my mind as to whether they were doing it for the TV cameras or whether they were complete idiots.

Ballsy call of the day: goes to the white middle aged woman who rolled up with the placard that read "I Support the Police". To front up with that to that crowd took gumption. She got a bit of verbal from some but there were those that actually took the time to go over to talk to her and exchange points of view in a reasonably civil manner.

Dickhead of the day: goes to the civil libertarian that went up to the aforementioned lady and told her she shouldn't be carrying such a placard. Nice to see free-speech only applies when its speech you like eh pal?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Terror Struck

While the wingnuts and basket cases from the left and the right are collectively frothing at the mouth over today's decision by the Solicitor General, albeit in different directions, one does have to wonder about the legislative capacity of our Parliament.

Put aside for a moment for the rights of wrongs of last month's actions by police and focus for a moment on the fact it's probably the law that's up the duff in this instance.

I mean if this doesn't make the point then what does?

In examining the the relevant provisions of the Terrorism Suppression Act I have concluded the legislation is unnecessarily complex, incoherent and as a result almost impossible to apply to the domestic circumstances observed by police in this case.
David Collins - Solicitor General.

In a nut shell - and I'll use simple language for the tinfoil hat brigade out there - it means the law is an ass.

It doesn't necessarily mean the police were wrong. It means the law has been written in such a way that they simply cannot lay terror charges.

Take a close look at the Act. Have a read through and pay attention to the way it deals with domestic terrorism. I think you'll find it pays it only cursory, if not fleeting, attention and the definitions are such that .... well you get my point.

When the powers that be (ie the wallies in Parliament) wrote this law in 2002 the focus back then was ostensibly very 9/11 focussed. Threats were seen as external, not internal and the legislation was written accordingly.

And for those that are lambasting the Police for seeking lay the charges under the Act in the first place. Well you might want to consider this.

It was the only way they could get the interception warrants they needed. There was no other statute, or at least none the Solicitor General can find, that'd let them do it.

And isn't it deliciously ironic that the Government is told one of its main security Statutes is a pile of dross on the very same day MP's are amending that very legislation.

I'm betting the Attorney General isn't smiling.