Looking back over the past week and to the weeks ahead – to rate the noteworthy, the cringeworthy, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly amazing.
All Blacks can set new record
How strange it is that in a few days the All Blacks will be competing against one of our more robust foes in the World Cup final in Paris. All Blacks against South Africa is a mouth watering proposition that evokes memories if the infamous loss in South Africa in 1995. As you do when you get older you can sometimes freak yourself out recalling the exact number of years since an event that still occupies full focus in your memory. That it is 28 years since that hugely disappointing game is rather bizarre.
At the time I was a student in Dunedin and some friends and I we dutifully assembled at a mate’s flat late at night to watch the final in the small hours. We were all convinced that the final was a foregone conclusion. The All Blacks had blown every other team off the park and Jonah Lomu was a force that few opposing players could bring down. We had the cup in the bag.
For some reason, as well as a healthy supply of beer, our host had two television sets – one of top of the other. His reasoning was suspect – neither worked perfectly well, so if placed together it would create a semblance of a working TV. It didn’t but it hardly mattered. We were jubilant that we would share the occasion of the All Blacks’ second World Cup win. As history notes – we were deadly wrong. South Africa prevailed and the Kiwi press dined on tales of food poisoning and an elusive waitress with nefarious intent.
This weekend we can hope to do better but it won’t be easy. I’ll be watching it old school – on one television.
5 stars – making the final after the acrimony and finger pointing of the past few years is an incredible achievement. Winning a fourth World Cup would be a great record to hold.
Tui ads will never go way – yeah right!
A recent article on Stuff made me ponder longer than I thought I would. Who knew that the ever-present Tui beer ‘yeah right’ billboards had in fact melted away into our cultural memory and had ceased in 2016? Not me. Perhaps they had been so present that I just figured they were still about. Even more surprising was that the campaign had lasted for two decades.
I’ve never been a fan of Tui beer and I can’t say all the billboards tickled my fancy but quite a few of them raised a smile and I think in that way they were as important lexicographic Kiwi icons as “nek minute” and “she’ll be right”. So why did they disappear?
As reported in Stuff, ” spokesperson [from DB’s media department] said the billboards came to an end in 2016 as their marketing approach evolved to meet the changing “taste preferences” of consumers”. (Source: “Why ‘stroke of genius’ Tui ads faded away and likely won’t come back,” by Matthew Dallas, October 23, www.stuff.co.nz).
I’m not entirely sure what that means though perhaps it points to the fact we struggle not to be offended by the smallest things these days. Either way, a few well versed “yeah right” billboards may have made the past election campaign a little more fun.
5 stars – for 20 years where we could be moved to think or laugh or smile – even if it didn’t make all of us want to drink Tui beer.
Siren battles irritate locals
I get it. It’s the prerogative of the young to test societal norms as part of the passage to forge their own way in the world. We have all been young and tested boundaries, made too much noise, done things we may regret. It’s normal. However, I would argue that fitting your cars or bikes with speakers and banging out the ‘hits’ of Celine Dion at full blast while moseying through the suburbs late at night is a bridge too far.
I live in a neighbourhood where this happens and although loud noises irritate me I am now used to it. That doesn’t mean I have accepted the logic of it however, and my ‘turf, hasn’t been subjected to “My heart will go on” at a thousand decibels.
Residents in Porirua have been subjected to this noise pollution and some have been driven to distraction, and to forge a petition to try to do something about it. Good luck with that.
As reported on RNZ, “ratepayers are tired of the inaction and dismissive attitude shown by the council and the mayor concerning this issue,” said the petition on change.org. The petition called for the council to start enforcing section 10 of the Public Places Bylaw 2019 when car meets were disturbing the peace. ‘Disturbances of the peace must be enforced and ratepayers deserve better from their council.'” (Source: “Fed-up Porirua locals fear petition to ban ‘siren battles’ ignored,” by Krystal Gibbens, 19 October, www.rnz.co.nz).
You can guess the rest. Officials pointing responsibility elsewhere, wishing they could do something, etc, etc.
2 stars – I applaud the pluck but despair at the choice of music.