After much hesitation, because I did not want to offend, I put off for at least a year writing a letter to the Otago Daily Times on an issue that had been offending me for some time.
Category archive: Viewpoint
Although a surprising number of media sports writers appear to be wilfully ignorant, the rest of us know that some results are predictable. In the rugby world cup there are only eight teams who have a chance of winning. It’s not hard to work out why, they are much better than the rest. That Japan beat South Africa in the last world cup was the exception that proves the rule. But it also reinforces our belief that miracles can happen.
Democracy is under assault and in retreat around the globe, a crisis that has intensified as America’s democratic standards erode at an accelerating pace, according to Freedom in the World 2018, the latest edition of the annual report on political rights and civil liberties, released today by Freedom House.
I am embarrassed to admit that I am hooked on jigsaws. I have always thought them ridiculous. A picture is cut into small pieces that are then laboriously put together, briefly admired then broken up and returned to the box. (No wonder, after all that effort, that people sometimes frame them). This seems to be the occupation of lonely, bored, unimaginative, and rather odd people.
It’s 2 o’clock on a day so sunny that it confounds Aucklanders accustomed to their city’s moodiness. There’s not a cloud to be seen and on the Waterfront Viaduct, families stroll, gorge on takeaways or just sit and, over a drink, watch the passing parade. Not far away something much darker is on show in the stunning ASB Theatre. It holds 680 – and is close to capacity.
Crass materialism leapt brazenly out of the closet in New Zealand the 80s. Money-making was elevated to high social status beyond public service. An American import, the dominance of the mighty dollar had already taken root in other countries. Business finally reached the pinnacle of prestige. Business books proliferated: business management, business leadership, how to succeed in business and, of course, business-speak.
First an editorial confession. We’ve been in Oz, but no, there’s no ball tampering copy here, just this:
Condom machine graffiti: ‘ For refund, insert baby here’.
Aussies are not so much a weird as a witty mob at times. Where some residents with dogs might put up a sign saying ‘Beware of dog’, others choose to let passers-by know with much more precision. Take this for example: ‘My dog can make it to the fence in 2.8 seconds. Can you?’
Laurel Hubbard, the transgender weightlifter who will represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, appears to be determined to compete yet thoughtful about the concerns expressed by her detractors. She asks them to ‘look at the bigger picture,’ yet seems unsure if the current laws on transgender participation will remain or evolve, perhaps more in line with the perceptions of athletes who look upon her participation as cheating.
When you ride on an Auckland bus, there’s no such thing as a typical ride – not if you’re looking.
The entertainment is not so much in the city’s sport – that never-ending version of upmarket stock cars. A U-turn perhaps – just in front of the car speeding towards them? No worries. Drivers career backwards out of driveways into busy traffic lanes, or exit out of entrance ways to shopping centres. Quite a few fancy they can beat traffic lights too, often with predictable results. It’s Auckland.