Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is That All There Is?

There are a lot of talented New Zealanders. It seems to me that we may, in fact, be over-burdened with talent. I’m quite sure that we have more World Champions per square metre than pretty well anywhere else in the world. Minor and major sports are well-represented by New Zealanders. Anything from Synchronised Drowning to Golf has seen a Kiwi at the top of the pile. Well, golf not so much.

Academically, we do all right, as well. We’ve a few Nobel Prize-winners on our honours board, the world wouldn’t have heard Neil Armstrong saying “One small step for Mother Goose” if it hadn’t been for a Kiwi, and Stephen Hawking would be just another guy in a wheel-chair if it hadn’t been for a New Zealander doing some pretty impressive stuff with a slide rule in the 1950s.

Our farmers are better than world-class: the rest of the world wants their farmers to be New Zealand-class. Our pollution rates are right up there, and we are world-beaters when it comes to making dumb investments in dodgy finance companies. Some of our writers have been feted around the globe, and some of them have even sold a copy or two of their books. Our film-makers take $NZ15, and turn out something that Hollywood could only achieve by tossing a lot of zeroes around.

Our politicians are as good – and as venal – as anyone anywhere else can boast. Our women are better looking, our men are sensitive and caring, and all our children are above average.

So how is it we promote the likes of Paul Henry to demi-god status, and put up with his ignorant behaviour? The man is a racist, sexist, bigoted creep. And ordinary New Zealanders are applauding his filthy mouth and degraded mind.

If Paul Henry is all there is that TV has to offer then we need to take a long hard look at ourselves. A self-referential poll on Stuff shows us that there are more people who consider he’s done nothing wrong than there are people who think he should be fired. It’s not an accurate poll.. but it’s an indication of just how this tiny nation’s standards have fallen.

We can do better than Paul Henry. It’s about time we actually did do better.
READING: "the messiah Of Morris Avenue". Tony Hendra. If there has been a book published in the past ten years that might help me give a nod to Jesus Christ, this might be it. Not in an "I believe in god' way, but in a "Yeah. He had the goods." way.
LISTENING TO: Jeff Beck. "Emotion & Commotion". Holy crap! He has the goods, orright....
No "Paper Heroes". Strange things going on with baby 'pooter.

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