More surreal than sarky

It would truly take a mean spirit to begrudge rugby fans their palpable satisfaction. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to a gradual reduction of sports coverage crowding out actual news, people who can’t analyze interviewing people who can’t talk for the benefit of people who never read, vast resources sidelined for the purpose of a very specific entertainment while the country is, let’s face it, not facing a particularly bright future, the transference of large amounts of wealth overseas to a smug and officious sporting organization, the ridiculous branding, the cynical electioneering, the tedious anecdotes about All Blacks’s personal lives, the moronic nationalism and exultant deification of a violent and inane sport which is held up as a Way of Life while [insert statistic about the percentage of NZ children in poverty, the condition of the economy and the average $1000 price for tickets to the final here].

Yes, I watched the last ten minutes of the final, and a few other bits. It was hard to avoid, considering most of the games were on three free-to-air channels simultaneously. That alone defies satire. I don’t want to hear ‘Why Does Love Do This to Me’, ‘April Sun in Cuba’ or ‘I Gotta Feeling’ again for a long time. I was also amused to see Hayley Westenra singing ‘Now is the Hour’ – a song originally used to herd soldiers off to slaughter – as the audio equivalent of flicking the lights on-and-off very quickly to get drunk people out of the pub at closing time.

Gallipoli and rugby – why do we define our national identity through violence? Why can’t it be wine or maple syrup or consumer electronics? Frankly, if it doesn’t involve women, I’m not interested.

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