Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nah Mate

In a continuation kinda sorta of the post on Ka Mate - to add to the confusion of middle new zild - the saffers don't want the Maori rugby team to tour?

They did that once before when they stopped the AB's bringing any Maori in 1956 (and we agreed to our shame). By 1967 NZ was prepared to take a stand - we cancelled the tour when Maori were banned again. It's vaguely amusing and offensive that in 1971 Maori were allowed to tour but it took them being named as "honorary whites" for that to happen. On the other hand, some would say this tour played a small role in highlighting racial issues, especially when the black population came out in force to support the AB's.

And so out of the woodwork come the usual crazies, unable to distinguish between the apartheid selections of the former SA regime and the celebration of indigenous identity that is the Maori team.

The delicious irony, of course, is that the current Japie team IS selected using racial criteria! It used to be called positive discrimination - I think its called affirmative action these days. So, you've got at least 4 different situations in play here, each with a nuanced rationale:

  • The All Black team - open to all New Zealanders including (controversially) some Pacific Island players who qualify for our multicultural team by residency (thus denying these players to their country of birth);
  • The current South African team selected in part using affirmative action policies to advance the development of black and coloured rugby players, one imagines to the point where the policies are no longer required;
  • The former South African team selected using the apartheid principle and thus barring people from a national team;
  • The Maori team which operates as a third tier team and is selected from indigenous Maori as a celebration of ethnic identity.

When you can't play for your national team on the basis of your race that's called racial discrimination. When you have other (non national) teams selected from a community of interest that's called ethnic diversity. When you deny someone a legitimate expression of their cultural and ethnic diversity, I'm pretty sure there's a word for it...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cyber Punk Rules

"Through this evening's tide of faces unregistered, unrecognised, amid hurrying black shoes, furled umbrellas, the crowd descending like a single organism into the station's airless heart, came Shinya Yamazaki, his notebook clasped beneath his arm like the egg case of some modest but moderately successful marine species..."

All Tomorrow's Parties - William Gibson - the open sentence...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ta Mate

So with all the recent discussions on royalties for Ka Mate - the haka made world-famous by the All Blacks(!) - imagine my surprise when I discovered the ultimate in haka ambassadorship! This is no barechested kiwi dancing on the grave of some overseas sporting team, nor the slightly happy rendition commonly associated with overseas weddings. No. This was something special: a teddy bear who does the ka mate haka. Spotted in Sylvia Park.

Maybe there really is something to this royalties thing?

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Face of a Cheat

Is there any doubt watching the replays that Brad Haddin knew that it was his glove rather than the ball that removed the bails from behind Neil Broom? Certainly not in the mind of Daniel Vettori!

"I think you saw from Haddin's reaction that he knew something was wrong so he probably should have made more noise about it," Vettori said.

And he's 100% right. Haddin pulls back from the wickets with his gloves after the bails have toppled as if to demonstrate he was no where near it and then is strangely muted and late in his appeal. There's a clear moment of decision: do I appeal or not? He does. And that makes him a cheat.

So when Ponting says, "I think he'd better make sure he's 100 percent right before he comes out and makes those sort of statements. It's a bit much, he's basically claiming (Haddin's) a cheat, isn't he? That's a bit strong unless they're 100 percent certain." Yup we're 100% on this one Ricky.

He's done it before. In India he threw one of his wicket keeping gloves to stop the ball. Its also against the rules. That time he got caught and the team was fned 5 runs.

Remember the last Aussie wicket keeping great? Adam Gilchrist was his name. And he'd walk every time he got a nick. Not this guy. The only thing that will stop this becoming as notorious as the underarm incident? We won. A privilege to be the team that inflicted the 4th straight loss at home on this Aussie team. The record is 5...4 to play - can we keep the dominance going?

Q. Who is Australia's newest cheating superstar?

A. OOH, I know, I know, pick me!