Is New Zealand Sunk?

What's the difference between Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (featuring Billie Piper - with the most disproportionate lips since Mick) and Miss Congeniality 2 (starring Sandra Bullock)?

Not much. Time frame maybe.

What am I blathering about? Well, I am trying not to think about tonight's thrilling and potentially fatal installment of the America's Cup.

Last night I watched New Zealand snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I know it's just a game but I am not very optimistic about the national mood if we are knocked out tonight. It will be bleak. Actually bleak doesn't quite cover it. It will be miasmic*. I will say it again - this time with a Schviss accent. Miaaaaasmic.

The good news is this:

Win,Lose or Draw the New Zealand people will be paying a significant chunk of change to fund the next campaign.

Trevor Mallard is desperate to leave a Mitterandian legacy. But instead of La Defense Mallard wants to endow a series of populist triumphs - a stadium on the Auckland waterfront and bringing the cup 'home' (maybe during the next government's regime - wouldn't that be a genuine triumph).

Actually, speaking of good news, I have to wonder aloud (again) why we don't have any?

This evening TVOne led the news with the attack on Glasgow airport. I could tell they wanted to get the irritating matter out of the way as quickly as possible. If there wasn't footage of the burning SUV and description of the burning terrorists (why no footage?) then it would have been a footnote in the bulletin.

But no, half of the senior news team at TVNZ are in Valencia (ValeNZia, Valenthia - or if you happen to be Swiss: Wallensia), and they need airtime to justify their presence.

One of the funniest things I have ever seen on TV is the sight of Mark (the poodle) Sainsbury, Wendy Petrie and Melissa Stokes in the same shot on a balcony (media centre Valencia?). They all looking silly and terribly self conscious.

Melissa looks, as she always does, bemused -"Why am I here? I should be in Glasgow?- I'm the Europe correspondent".

I am not in a comfortable state.

I just want Grant Dalton and his team to win. I realise it is a vain hope with the stats so heavily against New Zealand.

I've joked about the Swiss, but the truth is they are simply a professional racing team - a vehicle/medium for sponsors names, with plenty of New Zealand men aboard. It's not really a nationalistic issue. It is entirely commercial.

New Zealand is the only team that is sponsored by a nation. They are professional sportsmen whose purse is filled in part by the New Zealand taxpayer.

How ironic, then, that the brand on the spinaker is Emirates and not Air New Zealand - but that is a different story - Emirates are now my airline of choice.

The kiwi boating industry has enjoyed a significant boost from the performance of sailors, builders, designers and others associated with things maritime (I hope my colleagues at Massey University's School of Design's Transport Design department are imagining strategies to leverage the situation).

I hope the best for Emirates Team New Zealand tonight. But I am philosophical. New Zealand's standing in the world is amplified by the efforts of everyone involved. Given that every New Zealander is required to pay taxes I think we have all enjoyed a return on investment already.

So, even if we cross the line second tonight, I am filled with admiration. Grant Dalton is and will continue to be an important figure in New Zealand's history. Not in a nostalgic way like Peter Blake or Ed Hillary but for the influence of his attitude.

Bring it home gentlemen. There is still hope here.

Miasma defined:

The miasmatic theory of disease held that diseases such as cholera or the Black Death were caused by a miasma (Greek language: "pollution"), a noxious form of "bad air".
A representation of the cholera epidemic of the nineteenth century depicts the spread of the disease in the form of poisonous air.

Miasma is considered to be a poisonous vapor or mist that is filled with particles from decomposed matter (miasmata) that could cause illnesses and is identifiable by its nasty, foul smell (which, of course, came from the decomposed material).

Thank you Wikipedia - read more


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