Monday, March 29, 2010

Right Here, Right Now - Rugby World Cup song genius

Well, the announcement has been made and apparently already every twit... er sorry twitter, is denouncing the choice. Not to mention widespread disgust online.

Now, it is often hard to work out what this means. Kiwis love denouncing things and pulling down tall poppies so all this activity could mean New Zealanders are really happy with the choice. After all most so called 'grass rooters' seem to like being unhappy.

And it seems to me that people should be pleased. Picking the RWC song was extremely tricky. After all it had to meet two very stringent but almost mutually exclusive criteria. First, it had to be a relatively good song and very catchy. Second, it couldn't be anyone's (or at least many people's) favourite song.

Why couldn't it be a widespread favourite you might ask? Well, because it could well end up forever being associated with losing the Rugby World Cup... again! Having an all-time classic song, like AC/DC's "Back in Black" lumbered with this association would be more than I could bear on top of losing the World Cup.

And I'm not trying to be mean spirited to the All Blacks. The World Cup is very, very hard to win. Any team can have one bad game at any time; and lose one game from the quarter finals on and you're out! I know this! I was in Cardiff three years ago.

"Right here, right now" is a great song choice. It's fun. It's catchy. We won't mind hearing it for the duration of the tournament; and, if we do happen to lose, well then never hearing it again will be a shame. But, I can live with it, or rather without it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Greenies need more exercise

I have a theory. Admittedly it's probably not a very good theory but I like it. It struck me while undergoing my regular gym torture. I was nearing the end of a workout and starting to look forward to the best part of exercise - stopping!

I was feeling particularly sorry for myself on this occasion and I couldn't help but think that people are a strange design. All we really want is a nice comfortable, pleasant life and yet living healthy (which for most people is about living long) we have to suffer so much. And there it is. The Catholics were right - man was born to suffer. Not suffer in the context of not wanting to live (that would be extremely counter-productive) but living is a double edged sword. A wonderful experience for the most part but full of backlash; and sometimes the backlash can cut deep.

Here is the point, physiologically we are designed to be permanently fighting for our lives and for scraps of food. Before civilisation this made us naturally healthy (in a fitness sense) and therefore we are not designed to be comfortable (well not all the time at any rate). Therefore, we are left with a sense of not being quite right - not quite at one with the world - and so we translate this into guilt.

Oh, and what a guilt it is. Unconstrained guilt makes us so worried about all kinds of things. For most people this seems to translate to a reasonably healthy respect for our environment and desire to not treat it too badly. But for some the guilt is so consuming that they must spend their whole lives in state of denial and self-flagellation. The problem is, though, because this doesn't make them feel any better they then believe the problem is everyone else isn't trying to do things we actually can't control and chastising themselves for it.

Now, I don't have this problem. Somewhere along the line someone managed to convince me that I would die instantly if I didn't exercise hard, this proved to be motivation enough and so I do. The common wisdom is exercise gets easier as you get fitter. This shows the true value of common wisdom. It is b-grade ollux. I've been saving my life for four or five years now and it isn't getting any easier. It's always hard and it always hurts. It is awful; but, as a result I don't feel guilty. I've paid my price.

So here's the solution. Let's get all the Greenies exercising properly. Hard exercise I mean. The kind of exercise that makes you wonder if living longer is actually worth it; not just nipping down to the hemp shop on the bike. Just a thought.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New turbo power

It has often been joked that the hot air coming from the beehive could supply the energy needs of the country. But perhaps the reality is closer than we think. After all, there is more force available than just the hot air. There is the political spin, the about faces and the entire perpetual motion of bureaucracy.

And let's face it the beehive looks like a giant steam turbine tipped on its side. It would be a massive engineering exercise, but it could be done. Jack the beehive up, get it on some bearings and connect it to the national grid. Then get all the pollies to coordinate their efforts... damn; and it seemed like such a good idea. Of course it won't work. The politicians couldn't work together if you tied them all together and dangled a microphone in front of them.

Talk about your atmospheric warming - hot air, spin, about faces, backstabbing scrummages (I think this is called parliament in session) all expending huge amounts of energy achieving nothing of much value. It's like having a giant concrete mixer and only ever getting slurry.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Does anyone really want democracy?

It is with a heavy heart that I come to the realisation that no-one (well very few people) really want democracy. Oh, there are very many people fighting for it, in name at least. Unfortunately, most of the time I see democracy defended it is simply an emotive defence for someone who doesn't want something that is being forced on them. Fair enough, as far as it goes. Except then it seems that what is really irking such people is that there is someone else that really should have something forced upon them.

This then is modern democracy - don't tell me what to do but for goodness sake tell everyone I don't like what they must do. And, I am desperately afraid that the telling others what to do is more of a priority than the not being told what to do oneself. It seems to me that there is an opporunity for the genius despot to come in and order everyone about.

Of course such a despot can't be a nutjob, nobody (well very few people) want the kind of despotism where people go 'missing' and everyone lives in fear. However, as long as everyone is prevented from enjoying themselves and everyone must behave 'seriously' then I think that the very large majority of people would grudgingly accept the new despot.

This isn't as easy as it sounds. It can't be a set of blanket rules. Each preventative regime (and there would have to be many) would have to be very carefully tailored. If anyone thought that someone else didn't mind being told what to do then it would unravel very quickly. No, every person would need to be able to look at every other person and be able to smugly think to themselves "Hah, serves them right".

This would be stable. What's a little misery when anyone you could possibly not like is also miserable? For most people (and let's be honest, especially elderly people) this is nirvana (the state not the band). Of course very young children would find this somewhat illogical but what do they know? Young children would find parliamentary debates silly so that shows what they know. They would soon be matured to understand the societal benefits of enforced averageness.

Of course there might be one person who was still happy. The despot might actually quite enjoy telling everyone what to do, but then this is a small price to pay. One might say this is just reward for delivering so much and widespread smugisfaction.