Monday, May 24, 2010

An announcement - and a warning

After discovering to my dismay that none of the pubs within a five kilometre radius of my digs was open after nine o'clock tonight (what is going on, folks? did parliament go into urgency last night and reintroduce six o'clock closing hours, or are we becoming a nation of teetotallers and wowsers, incapable of supplying sufficient custom to keep a decent infrastructure of bars open, or is it just that this reactionary government's budget and the global crisis of capitalism have hit the country's wallets so hard that we all have to buy six packs of Rheineck or Ranfurly at Cheep Liquor, rather than pay six or seven dolars for a pint and a seat at the local?) I have had to postpone viewing the clash between the All Whites (the name of the team has long struck me as unfortunate, and it seems particularly so now that Rory Fallon has been made into a poster boy) and the Socceroos until this time tomorrow night, when it will screen free-to-air on Prime.

Because I want to preserve the belief, which I hold in the face of all empirically-based projections, that the All Whites might hold the Aussies to a draw, or even, with a little help from the referee or (more likely) from God (might God count as a sort of distant, often-unjust second referee, according to the tenets of neo-Barthian theology?) win by a goal, I am going to abstain from all forms of the internet and the offline media for the next twenty-four hours. If a war or revolution breaks out tomorrow you will look in vain to this blog for instant, ill-informed commentary.

I ask my friends and enemies alike not to attempt to puncture my bubble of hope with phone calls, telegrams, shouted messages at the door, or well-aimed pigeons. I also ask you all not to mock my irrational faith behind my back, as you tune in to Sky Sport and see the smiles of the Aussie presenters, or read of the Socceroos winning by a cricket score in tomorrow morning's paper. Meditate instead upon the nobility of lost causes.

Go the All Whites! Avenge the underarm affair!

11 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

Soccer and cricket are games I like a lot - at one time I watched every cricket match and the FA cup and so on - but I don't like having to pay to watch so I stopped watching cricket.

I remember the days Hadley, Lance Cairns "the big hitter" and Chatfield and the day Chatfield saved the day and enabled NZ to win against Australia. He was facing fast bowlers and managed to deflect most balls without getting hurt - this great save by the man who stopped had breathing once when hit by a fast ball. Revived then with CPR. But he stood his ground - massively padded up - an clinched it for NZ!

Great courage and very exciting!

1:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sport is bourgeois.

1:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was disgusted by the brutality of the aussies. They were outplayed and the only response they were capable off was violence that should not be condoned on any sports pitch. As for the referee, he was a disgrace and should not be allowed to referee internationals in future. Football has cleaned up a lot in recent years - FIFA, for all its faults, has done a good job in demanding red cards for reckless, two-footed, off-the ground, studs-up tackles. That guy Grella could have ended Bertos' career. Fucking Aussie bastards.

2:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maps - you should be looking for an AA meeting - not a pub.

7:27 am  
Blogger maps said...

Alas, anon, I still don't even drive, let alone own a motor vehicle.

10:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, watching sports is bourgeois or a form of patriarchal domination. Playing sports is proletariat and vulgar.

4:41 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I actually wish I did play more sport when I was younger - I did play soccer for two seasons. I was in the Mt Wellington Club and we won every game. But the coach split up the team into and A and B teams and I was made Captain of the B team. Now I felt that that was a massive insult - I flew into rage in front of mother and said I would never play sports again. I didn't.

But at high school I proved to be pretty bad at sports and I have to confess that my aversion to it (when I feel or express this aversion) is really that - deep down - I resented that I was too slow at getting to the ball and so on...in various sports. I had some abilities with running the 440 yards (~ 400 meters) but I didn't train.

When I was quite young my brother (he was Captain of the Mt Wellington Soccer team for a time and a member and played for a number of years) and I loved to watched Halberg and Snell run at Newmarket Park (now gone) and also we watched soccer. My father had been good at soccer in London (before the war) and I was not big so soccer suited me, except I was a bit slow off the mark I suppose.

I don't think sport is bourgeois. It is good for those who play it.

I also wish I had played tennis.

I used to watch every World Cup (Soccer) I could live - I would get up early at about 3 am, or whatever.

I was also keen on boxing - Mohammed Ali being a great hero and I read his book and quite a lot about boxing.

Sport can have a kind of beauty - even a "poetry" about it. [I was wrong in the things I said about Ellen Portch's kick boxing. I admit I was simply wrong there. And this NOT because she and 'Titus' Cross are friends etc I was just wrong]

Sport also is a great release and a great way to exercise and get together with others.

I play chess - variously described as a sport, an art, as science, or a game...but as sport or strategy it is closer to say tennis or boxing than say soccer or rugby as it is you and really only you against one other.

It is highly individualistic and probably more "bourgeois" than say soccer [though for some years the supposedly Marxist (but Revisionist and in fact State Capitalist) USSR were world leaders in chess]...or other team sports.

9:19 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Many chess players are keen on sports. Fischer was very good at sport - he was -when young - in fact very big and strong and good at number of sports. His IQ was about 180 or so but he didn't study much at school but as his main fascination was with chess but he was also keen on skiing and other sports. World Champion M Tal who beat him several times, a and who was always making jokes and was (unlike Fischer) also great drinker (as Maps is!!) and others used to make fun of him for his lack of education - but he rather overreacted to their basically good-natured "ribbing")

The highest rated chess player in the world, Topalov of Bulgaria, is very keen on soccer.

Other chess players use sports to keep fit that was there interests -although some chess players are also often rather "bookish" many are not - one member of my chess club is a weightlifter and a keen runner.

I used to jog every day and I was very fit in the 70s through to the 80s even the 90s and now - and I now walk a lot. My youngest daughter is a very strong swimmer and has been life guard at pools and once saved a woman from drowning at Waiheke.

But no - sport is a great activity. Cricket I love but I haven't looked at many games recently, mainly as my focus has been elsewhere.

I also like rugby and soccer (and other team sports, but I don't "follow" them closely) and tennis etc - I especially love watching athletics and much else. (Gymnastics, weightlifting diving.) My son does a form a of Kung Fu. I did karate for a time. (I also love ballet (which can be compared in some ways to gymnastics) but I don't get to see it much).

But I feel the Olympics have degenerated (into a nationalistic "medal fest") since the times of the great Snell and Halberg etc though...they were my childhood heroes also.

In chess I am very competitive (I have beaten some of NZ' strongest players, and can boast two draws (in both I was close to winning) with International Master O Sarapu who was 20 times NZ Champion, and a win over and draw with IM P Garbett in the 80s,...also more recently I beat FIDE Masters B Watson, S Lukey, and M Steadman (considering I am 62 this is very good as most chess players peak at 30 or so, or even younger - the World number 3 is only 19 - and Kasparov, one of the greatest players ever (also, BTW, very keen on soccer), retired when he was 43); and I thus understand strong competition to win in other sports or games.(I realise there are dangers in excessive competition however...but that is [another] complex question...); but I see life and chess as a struggle as did the great World Champion, the German-Jewish Emmanuel Lasker -a friend of Einstein).

So in the 20s to the 80s the then largest "socialist" country was known for producing many world chess champions and fostering the very individualistic and "bourgeois" game or "sport" of chess.

Also of course they excelled in many other 'conventional' sports.

9:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chess is rugby for real men.

10:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aussies are cheats.

11:10 am  
Blogger Richard said...

The difference between rugby, soccer or other team sports & chess (chess is no way rugby "for real men"), and maybe tennis singles etc is that (in my case particularly) I have no interest in others playing except in that their result can affect my placing. It is entirely self-centred. there is nothing "socialist" about it. Nothing "improving". One is out simply to beat the other person opposite you by whatever means. You may like that person and psychology plays big part - but it doesn't matter to me (and probably most chess players) what country is playing. It is me, my result that counts. It is an almost absolutely self-centered game.

As to the soccer (I forgot to watch it) ... but I don't really care which country wins. I actually think that Australia are better than N.Z overall at most sports.

They seem to me to be simply tougher, better organized, more skilled, and more dedicated to their games and so on. Better in all ways. They win more.

But that fact doesn't worry me at all.

2:42 pm  

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