Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are the All Whites...all right?

Yes. It's great and etc about them going to Safrica for the World (Cup) Trophy. I'm super pleased. But.

Well, there's always a but. And this is mine. Big and hairy old but it is, too. Several months ago a team called the All Whites qualified for the World (Cup) Trophy. That means they get to go, and get dicked by various other nation's teams. Cool. No problem. But the team that's actually going has only just been named.... which means it could be a completely different team to the one that qualified. I'm pretty darn certain there's a few names on the team now that weren't there when the team qualified. There are people on the team who didn't qualify!

I'd like to see that in, say, athletics. It's 1964, and Peter Snell has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, to run in the 800 and 1500 metre events. At the last minute his place is taken by Brian Thimbledrone, because Brian's... well, a little more ... something. Or Valerie Vili qualifies for the next World Champs. They don't have a trophy-shaped cup. They have medals. Anyway, our Val is the current World Everything, and she's qualified, but before she goes someone else has a chance to qualify.... and Gertrude Throgmorton-Smythe is on her way, courtesy of a shot she putted at Wanganui High School, on Saturday afternoon.

Bah, I say. And humbug.

On my way home this evening, I stopped at a set of traffic lights alongside the sports grounds at Northcote. My ears were being hammered by voices on the radio: some pommy politic pundit, pontificating on the peregrinations of the proles, when I noticed something.... odd. The car next to me: the driver had wound her window down, and she was knocking excitedly on my passenger window. I hit the magic button, and the car was filled with the sound of several thousand birds, chirping and warbling. I turned the radio off. The lady beamed at me, and said "Isn't it lovely?"

Yes, it was.

Listening to: The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, "The Doughnut in my Granny's Greenhouse". It's not available anywhere anymore, although Terry Gilliam does have a copy he'll sell for twentythree bogillion Alpha Centaurian Zingles. Track down the BDDDB's Best Of CD. It's beyond brilliant.

John Cleese says so.

Reading: "Die A Little" by Megan Abbott. 1950s-style chick-noir. I'm loving it. If Raymond Chandler had sat down to wee, this is what he would have wroten.

More Paper Heroes:

The Sweat.
Chapter One.
February 18, 2386.

The Council had met, made their decision, and then left The Defence Team work on the problem. Subsequently, because of the knowledge that violence would be done in their names, two of the Council had resigned. As always, restraint had been shown by all. The problem was now The Defence Team’s, and the Council could politely ignore it.
Or so they thought.
There are seven people on The Defence Team: the leader, Charles Windsor, a demanding man, one whose imagination found original and daring solutions to problems. Cienwyn, his sister – flamboyant, restless, a risk-taker. Paulus and Adam, orphaned twins of the last people to have escaped Canadian ‘Merika. The parents had died while protecting their year-old boys, who had been rescued by an SRA hovercraft. It was risky approaching even the most northern shores of ‘Merika; but occasionally a radio message was received, and Commonwealth law was firm: a life in danger must never be overlooked. Since picking up the boys, there had been no further messages from the ‘Merikan continent.
Tranh Vin Tan, Sven Erickson, and Wong Lee completed the Team.
A number of years ago Charles had appropriated a facility within Mount Eden, in Auckland, New Zealand. He had seen to it that the computer system was cut off from the I-See, becoming one of only two computers in the Commonwealth that operated independently of the I-See: the other was on Titan, light minutes away from Earth.
The world’s communities had been traumatised by the deaths and madnesses. Thousands were in therapy, having their nanobots and embots recalibrated, and even having additional supplies of hypnotics and old-style tranquilisers dispensed to be taken orally. The deaths were the greatest crisis to be faced by the Commonwealth’s Council since “Poe’s Raven”, a private inner-space poetry boat had sent a distress call from the far side of the moon a decade earlier. No-one had died on that occasion: thousands were dead now, and the Council were glad to have the responsibilities off their hands.
It had been easily established that the deaths were caused by a new weapon in ‘Merika, and that the facility which housed the device was in the area once known as California. It was also found that the weapon worked by turning an individual’s embots against their hosts, re-programming them brutally and instantly, sending the citizens into a killing rage.


  1. I don't suppose that one can get too fussy about the individuals that play team sports having to be the same as the ones that qualified. What if there's an injury, for instance? Now the All Purples can't play because Johnny, who was on the original team, is black and blue. Wouldn't do, really.

  2. Yeah, I think you're right. But what about the poor bugger who's been a good and faithfull Left Right Out through the qualifying, and gets dropped because Johnny suddenly became available?

  3. Hmmm. I see your point. Sport stopped being about 'fair', 'right' or 'gentlemanly' too long back. Its all about the money these days. Shame, really, but it does mean one can make a 'career' out of it.