The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Friday, April 30, 2004

Sherlock Holmes 

Here's the news story of the year. The article's heading reads: "Murphy Backs Street Race Proposal"

The intro: "Kiwi V8 driver Greg Murphy has backed plans for a street race in Auckland."

Whoever would have guessed that our top V8 racing car driver supports a new street race, what next?: "Environmentalists opposed to seal-clubbing"

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Now let this be a lesson to ya 

Now I don't tend to advise other people on what's right and what's wrong, in fact, I think people should do as they please regarded they ain't out to cause someonelse trouble. However, I believe I have some words of wisdom for my fellow man, or those working for the Man anyway.

Foresight is a wonderful thing and I'm presently endowed with some of it so here's my advice, never go partying on a Monday night; it serves only to make the week horrifically and unbareably long, and having a boss who is an arsehole doesn't help either (that's right dickhead, yeah you, the guy sitting at the desk next to me, and you're going bald)

So anyways an eccentric associate of mine held a rather excellent party on Monday night - it was going to be on Saturday night but ANZAC Day trading laws meant most bars couldn't sell liquor after midnight and a party ain't a party without liqour - there were several djs and truck-loads of gorgeous honeys.

We started on the beers about 7pm and one thing led to another and before I knew it it was a quarter to five in the morning. My alarm went off but I must have turned it off and gone back to sleep and woke out of habit with four minutes to get to work.

So anyways I rock up to work roughly on time at about 8am, my eyes still the size of small moons and bloodshot to hell, and I had managed to cultivate that unique aroma of someone whose bodily fluids are still predominantly alcohol-based.

As I'm walking in to the office through the carpark a colleague came up behind in her car and blasts the horn as a joke, and it would have been as mildly-amusing as anyone tooting their horn at you can be had its piercing noise not penetrated every inch of my tender and vulnerable brain like the shrapnel from a landmine tearing into the flesh of an unsuspecting soldier.

So anyways I makes my way to my desk and am putting 120% of my energies into staying upright and browsing the internet in an attempt to stay conscious when the system crashes so everyone retires to the office room for a chat.

And so began Tuesday morning, the beginning of another shit week of working for a shithead boss and being paid shit money. Roll on Friday.

And thats about all I've got to say about that.


Auckland traffic is truly horrible, and the Hikoi was reported in large part as something likely to worsen the gridlock, but the notion that a couple of thousand people walking across a bridge could affect its strength is ridiculous when ... there are thousands of cars (each weighing a fair bit more than your average protestor) on it every minute of the day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

End of an Error 

Oh dear, Richard Prebble has stepped down from the leadership of the ACT Party.

ACT president Catherine Judd said the party hoped Mr Prebble would stay as a MP, holding a cabinet post in the next National-led government. The majority of ACT members had supported Mr Prebble "and they will be very saddened and disappointed by his decision," she said.

Yeah, but Cathy ... the other 4,000,000 New Zealanders will be quite happy. Ahhh, shit. I just realised. Now we get Rodney 'perky bust' Hyde as his replacement. Come back Richie!

Is it worth adding that CNN just mentioned Colonel Gaddafi who Reagan called a "maddog" at the same moment that I read about Prebble who is also known as "maddog" and this is being written by somebody who was nicknamed "maddog" at high school?!

Oh yeah, and agree totally with the post beneath my bollocks.

Also just wait and see what happens to inner city traffic once they close all the roads around there for three days due to that stupid bloody car race. And this was a decision made by the Aucland City Council! They should know better. Also notice how the complaints came from North Shore City Council and from Donald 'duck' Brash rather than ACC because they knew they wouldn't have had a leg to stand on if they'd bitched. And Don, if you can get 5,000 of your farmer mate voters to protest about a huge national issue that will have tangible effects on all of our lives then perhaps they'll be allowed to cross the bridge as well. Maybe you could even get somebody from your party to drive a Tractor over the bridge with them.

Hick oii Reporting 

I'm not sure if I'm missing the bigger picture here but in New Zealand today there has been a large demonstration in Auckland city in which an estimated 5000 people marched across the city's most prominent bridge.

They are marching because they are disgruntled with pending Government legislation that will see the foreshore and seabed owned by the crown and thus prevent the indigenous folk from possibly trying to claim it as theres alone.

The traditional march - known as a hikoi - was controversial with opposition MPs and local body politicians all throwing in their 2 cents worth. It is the first time since 1975 - another hikoi - that a protest group has been permitted to cross the bridge.

Now here is where I get confused. You would think the country's biggest newspaper the NZ Herald would shed some light on the situation and explain it, help put it into context for their readers, by talking and consulting to a wide array of sources.

But no, the Herald's take on this complex and historic event was that traffic would be snarled up as far Ellerslie or Penrose.

My colleagues who traversed the bridge at the same time this morning on unrelated matters said the traffic flow was in fact OK only slowed by motorists curiosity. Further the dick head who wrote yesterday's story, Bernard Orsman, obviously has never been on the Southern motorway as it is consistently blocked up far further back than Ellerslie/Penrose.

The paper's next concern was that the bridge was structually unsound to have "up to 1000 people marching over it." Newsflash dickheads in excess of 5000 people run over it every year as part of the Auckland BMW half marathon.

And to all you local redneck politicians who condemned the march - get fucked - what its OK for corporations to stop the flow of traffic over the habour bridge - albeit at 6am in the morning - but not OK for major demonstrations of national importance?

And thats all I've got to say about that.

Something Profound 

DC_Red is back, live, reporting to you from NZ. Upon returning to your homeland after some time away you're probably supposed to have some profound insights into local matters. Well, I can't say I've developed much perspective on that front. NZ accents sound weird and often uneducated. The beaches are nice. There don't seem to be as many sheep as there used to be.

The TV news is crap ... you are dumber for having watched the 6 pm news on TV1 that's for sure. If they put half as much effort into "the news" as they do into "the weather" then this might change.

There really is nothing here to compete with the serious journalism on offer in Canada via the CBC. While the lead stories of The National are not always exciting, you can't doubt the quality of their reporting on a wide range of matters, from international affairs to Canadian politics to a local story from Dildo, Newfoundland. That Peter Mansbridge has a quiet air of authority, and can actually interview people himself ... take note Judy Bailey. If and when I move back here I'm going to pay for whatever satellite channels will deliver me some quality reporting from the Northern Hemisphere.

Power to the People 


Monday, April 26, 2004

My weekend... 

Here's where I went on Saturday. (If you are wondering why the match report is so dodgy it's cos I wrote it. I now have the experience of two hastily prepared internet match reports under my belt).

Missed Chances Leave Seoul Waiting for Win
FC Seoul 0-0 Chunnam Dragons

FC Seoul players and supporters will tonight be wondering how on earth they failed to put the ball in the back of the net during the second half of their match against Chunnam Dragons at Sangam Stadium today. With the 0-0 result, all FC Seoul have to show after their first three matches are three competition points from their third consecutive draw. But after making most of the play in the second half and hitting the post twice from golden opportunities they will be rueing a match which could have kick-started their season.

The first half was a fairly even affair with both teams trading light punches throughout with Chunnam looking a little more dangerous moving forward. Their prolific Brazilian goal scorer Itamar was showing his usual fancy touches and was receiving plenty of ball from his teammates. However the match followed the general K-League formula of each team connecting for a couple of passes before sloppy work or tight defending saw possession handed over. Both sides occasionally found their way near enough to goal to force saves from the keeper or send shots wide but generally they were closed down once inside the penalty area by tight defending.

The second half saw a big shift of momentum FC Seoul's way as Chunnam appeared to lose their spark in the midfield and Itamar and his striking partners Nam Ki-il and Mota had few opportunities to speak of. At the other end however Seoul were increasingly forcing the Chunnam defense to scramble back as Kim Eun-jung began to find space. One of Seoul's earlier chances came when the ball rebounded out to defender Park Jung-seok who unleashed a 117km/hr shot (according to the ground radar) from 30 yards out which scraped by the right post. From the resulting corner Renaldo fired a clear shot straight at the keeper and their chances were to continue.

However it wasn't until near the end of the game that the two best chances of the game occurred. Valentin was put into a one on one situation with Chunnam keeper Kim Young-kwang who had come off his line to cut down the angle. All Valentin had to do was lob a 'regulation' chip from a bouncing ball over Kim but both the Brazilian and the crowd looked on in amazement as the ball landed gently on the crossbar and bounced clear.

Then in injury time Kim Eun-jung had his own one on one with the keeper who had again come off his line to cut the angle. Kim's diving poke at the ball beat the keeper and the crowd, and probably most of the players waited for the ball to roll into the net, only to see it hit the inside half of the right post and roll out in front of the goal mouth before a desperate defender fired it over the bye-line. Seconds after the corner was taken the final whistle blew and several players lay prone on the ground as much in disbelief as in tiredness.

For FC Seoul it was two lost points they will surely be rueing for quite some time while Chunnam will probably just be glad to be heading back to Gwangyang with one point in the bag and sitting in 5th place, four points behind leaders Pohang. (24/4/04)

** I should add that I despise FC Seoul and all that they stand for. They are owned by LG and were my team last year before being relocated. May they lose all their games and collapse inside a year!

And on Sunday my footie team managed their first ever win. Yehaaa!

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Photos of Death and the Kiwis v Kangaroos 

So it's ok for CBS to broadcast pictures of Princess Diana lying on a road dying.

But it's really not ok for a woman to take a photograph of some of the coffins containing dead American soldiers bodies in Iraq (which later appears in The Seattle Times).

Not much to say about the league test across the Tasman. I didn't see the game and will have to wait until it becomes available on the NRL website but it seems as they they did well under the circumstances. There does seem to be a consistent theme going though. That's the 13th consecutive loss in Australia spanning 13 years with most of them being not all that close. A six point loss in "99", an eight point loss in "93" and a ten point loss in "95" are about as good as it's got.

We've only hit 20 points on two occasions since 1990 in tests played in Australia. We scored 24 points in that famous victory in 1991. Remember that this 24-6 victory came against an awful old age Aussie team who were all promptly dropped and the new team beat us 44-0 and 40-12 in the next two tests (and the Lonergan was also invented I might add). The other occasion where we broke 20 points away from home was in the 22-34 loss in 1997 against a weakened Super League team.

In order (our away scores): 24-0-12-8-4-8-10-10-22-12-14-0-12(neutral venue)-6-10. They look like the opening scores for somebody batting at the opposite end to Mark Richardson.

Those sorts of tallies are never going to beat the Kangaroos away from home as we've only ever kept them at 20 or less points on nine occasions in the last 24 tests.

We have to face facts of course, that Australia is better at league than we are and probably always will be aside from the odd triumph when we catch them napping for whatever reason.

At home our record is pretty good actually since 1990 and if there had been as many tests in New Zealand since 1990 as there had been in Australia our record might look a bit better.

At home we have: played nine, for four wins, four losses and a draw. Certainly pretty impressive. While away it's: played 14, for one win and 13 losses. Plus we also lost at the neutral venue of Old Trafford in the WC Final in 2000 to the tune of 12-40.

For a combined: Played 24, won five, lost 17, and one draw.

I'm not sure why we have to play so many in Australia. The corwds aren't really any bigger and with international sport it should be split 50/50. Now maybe if we could get five straight games played at North Harbour Stadium to even the ledger we could grab ourselves a couple more wins.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Baghdad Brewers Back in Business 

You'll have to click on the link and go down the page a bit for the story with the above title (it's a few stories down, although the top ones also a laugh).

Forget the killing for a moment, kick back and get lagered. (you may even have time to finish your whisky shot before a coalition bomb drops on your head, or a sniper shoots that cold brewski out of your hand as you reach for the corn chips)

Alias Lauitiiti & Jones 

I've been playing and watching rugby league since I was 6 years old. In fact I've been watching it since the day I was born, though I imagine I wasn't really aware that I was sitting in the stands at Carlaw Park (RIP) watching my father play until I was a few years of age. I may not be a great player of the sport myself, but I reckon I have a pretty good idea of a good game or a good player when I see one. I've seen so many games of it from international level right the way down that I couldn't possibly count them.

And to be honest, what I've seen of Stacy Jones and Ali Lauitiiti in the last couple of years has left me wondering what the hell is going on?... and when will people shut up about how good they are?

It appears the latter question has finally been answered (and possibly the former, as it turns out big Ali doesn't care about his footie and Stacy's legs aren't twitching as fast as they used to).

Stacy Jones was a very good footballer as a kid. I should know, I played against him on more than one occasion and he used to cut us up a fair bit. Just as well I played alongside Robbie Paul, who did his fair share of carving himself. Everybody knew at the time that the two of them would make it to the top level and probably do pretty well for themselves, and everybody has been proved correct.

BUT Stacy Jones, after gaining all these plaudits in his first few years then started to gradually (rapidly more like it) turn to shit, until he had a mediocre season last year and has followed that with more of the same this year. Why it took so long to notice that instead of moving into the peak of his career Jones was in fact wreaking less and less havoc on the paddock is beyond me.

Quite often Jones gets compared to Andrew Johns. I've been saying for years that to compare him to Andrew Johns is insulting to Johns as a player in the extreme (and I hate Newcastle!). Johns is one of the greatest players of all time while Jones is one of the better players that New Zealand has produced. There's a rather large difference in there. Johns can smack people in defence, has one of the best kicking games going, passes beautifully, runs the same way and reads the game like Wally Lewis when he has the ball in his hands. He was, or is, the complete footballer. Jones on the other hand used to run brilliantly (though now he is losing his speed) and was a good support player. He also developed his kicking game over the years so that it has got to a reasonable level. However his defence has always been suspect, his kicking game used to be appalling (though is ok now as I said), and his passing has never been a great feature of his game. He reads the game ok, but nowhere near the level of the top halves in the game and if he doesn't get a whole lot better at it and damn quickly he will be going to play out his days in England. For those who don't know there is no such thing as defence in the English game and he will get a couple of extra seconds every time he gets the ball to decide what he wants to do. Not to mention more money.

Jones has really only played about two very good seasons at the highest level, followed by a couple of poor ones where he has largely been anonymous in games. That's not to say he wasn't getting the ball as much as he used to (in the halves it's kind of hard to avoid getting your hands on it once every set of six), just that he wasn't really doing anything with it. He's been cruising in my opinion. Catch and pass, kick on the last tackle, boring type stuff in other words. Anderson in many respects wanted somebody to play that type of game in the halves, but I just don't think it has suited Jones' style. It certainly has worked for the team though.

Moving on to Lauitiiti. The big guy was one of the most physically gifted players the game has seen when he first burst on to the scene. He's tall, he's got that Mark Graham lanky ball handling style about him and can run freely (read: like a flying windmill with legs). The only difference is that Graham made the NZ sports hall of fame and Lauitiiti never will because two good seasons in a sport that players are supposed to last at for at least 5 isn't really up to scratch.

When Lauitiiti was going at full steam and giving his all he certainly was right up there with the best forward runners the game has seen. But after he developed the cyst on his arm he just wasn't the same after recovering from it. He would do good things now and then, but predominantly just cruise, living on his reputation. And if his attitude is as reported and that he's just playing for fun, and doesn't care about winning or grabbing a premiership then the Warriors are doing the right thing in getting him out as quickly as possible. They need to make a statement to the other players in the club and young guys with aspirations of making the team in the future, that if you don't want to devote 100% of your energies to winning for the team and public then you can go and find a social team to play for. Hell, even most social teams I know do their best to win.

Apparently clubs are now queuing up for him, but if he doesn't care much for the result of games then he'd better take a good hard look at the NZ$500,000 apparently on offer from Wigan because he won't do much good in the NRL.

I was a bit worried about the Warriors team in the off season. The buys they made weren't big ones. They signed a guy on the strength of what he was like before a bad injury stalled his career and they grabbed Tony Martin for his goal kicking which was a good buy on the surface. But they needed to get in another couple of aussie stars with experience I felt. Kevin Campion did wonders for the team. I know the reasons why they let him go, but they needed to get another similar player in after him. It was so obvious last season that not having a player like him was holding them back from going all the way.

This season for the four games I can retrieve stats from, Campion is averaging 25.3 tackles a game and 8.3 hitups. The Cowboys (who Campion is playing for) have conceded the least number of points this year in NRL with just 90 from 5 games against. It's easy to see what effect he is having on an otherwise weak team. After browsing the Warriors tackling stats for their first 6 games I see that only on 12 occasions have players made more than 25 tackles in a game. So it would be a reasonable assumption that Campion would be the second or third top tackler for the Warriors in each game if he'd been in the side. All this from a guy who turns 33 in September and the Warriors released TWO seasons ago because he was running out of juice. They need a guy like him in the team to shame some of the other younger players out I think. Clearly all the toughness that he was touted as having taught the team has been lost in his absence.

Who knows, maybe they can get a bit of grit in the team and start winning more than they are losing, but it looks like it may well be a long season for the guys as they struggle to even get a sniff of making the playoffs. Fortunately the 8 team playoff system with just 15 sides competing means that they will still have a chance and hopefully the motivation for a while yet.

I'm not holding my breath though.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

God boy gone 

Rugby League Weekly has broken the story that the warriors have unceremoniously dumped 2nd rower Ali (praise the lord) Lauititi. Apparently the Kiwi training camp who are preparing for the ANZAC test match are simply "stunned."

Whats worse is that the Warriors say he no longer posseses the will to play or win. Thats just what a prospective team would want to hear. Commentators on Radio Sport say that there must be serious management problems if they can't get along with Jones and Lauititi as they are possibly the two most genuine down-to-earth unassuming blokes in the game at present.

This is the Dally M award winner in 2002, we're talking about here. One source wonders if Lauititi - whose name has been pronounced differently lately going from being Laueteetee to being called Laueettee (go figure) - has been given the chop because Stacey Jones is pissed off with him and he isn't doing his fair share of the work and hence Stacey's poor performances, but I doubt it.

The poor prick who is only 24 went through an operation on an arm cyst last year and I thought has put it several reasonable performances this year although he is not in the same league as he was in 2002. Logan Swan's gone, Lauititi's gone and it looks like Stacey's future may be in doubt it could be a long road before the Warriors are again the powerhouse they were in 2002/03.

League circles are also shocked that Nth Queensland Cowboy's and nzer Paul Rauhihi has been left out of the ANZAC squad. They say he is 'da bomb' and we are seriously weakened by his absence.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Lambs to the Slaughter? 

Hope no-one followed my advice and bet their lives on the Canberra Raiders to beat the Cronulla Sharks last week although I see on the site that only 7% of all tipsters picked Brett rat-face Kimmorley and his bunch of merry men to win.

Well anyway if ya did I reckon ask the Big Guy for double or nothing on the Raiders to beat the Knights on Saturday...or if he'll let ya take it back the Bulldogs against the Rabbitohs.

Aussie Prime Minister John (loser) Howard is languishing on 23 points in the nrl tipping comp so far - the worst of all celebrity tippers.

The editor of Australia's Big League has said this is the worst Kiwi team picked in recent years and for nzers watching the game it will be like watching a car crash. Despite this I'd be surprised if the TAB were offering more than $3 for the Kiwis when really fair odds would be in the vicinity of $5.

Then again, Frank Endacott said this morning on Radio Sport he thinks on paper its about 50/50 and the only amazingly gifted played the Aussies have is Darren Lockyer.

Stacey Jones has voluntarily pulled out of the match and the rumour mill is suggesting he may be heading for the hills or England anyway. Interestingly the guy that Reuben Wiki hit high has come out in his defence writing a letter saying the initial contact was a shoulder height but then slipped up...the Kiwi's really need him.

Penrith last weekend were dreadful in their game against the Dragons - the number of dropped balls and comical mistakes were almost laughable had it not been for the fact that their loss means I'm working for free for most of this week.

I saw the most famous person I've ever seen at the end of last week: David Tua - I'm excluding Marilyn Manson and the Cranberries as they're now oh so lame - I walked into a Ponsonby cafe and there he was. To tell you the truth I would not have recognised him had it not been for the TUA MAN four wheel drive outside.

Anyways he avoided eye contact with me which was just as well since I would have felt compelled to pay for his coffee had he done so.

Green & White 

Glasgow is bathed in green and white, once again, as Celtic deservedly win their 3rd championship in 4 years. Celtic have been unbeaten in the league so far this season (there are 6 games left), and in the 4 years that Martin O'Neill has been manager they've lost only seven of 146 league matches. Not bad, eh?

American Military History 

check this out if your comp can handle nifty flash thingees.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Who do New Zealand teams represent? 

Well Ruben Wiki is almost certainly out of the test against the Kangarooters in the precise manner which my esteemed Rugby League journalist colleague said we would lose somebody. [although I note it is now being contested by the Raiders]

And he was in the form of his life by all accounts! I'd love to know how many we have had lost to suspension over the years versus the number OZ have lost for the same reason. [found it published in the NZ Herald the very next day..."Wiki will join an illustrious list if ousted - Jarrod McCracken, Stephen Kearney, John Lomax, Quentin Pongia, Ali Lauitiiti and Nathan Cayless have all been suspended out of test matches for offences committed in the NRL..."]. Either we are getting stiffed or we are a bunch of thugs. Somewhere in the middle I suspect. I'm with Selwyn Pearson on this one, I still don't think they should miss out on test matches and then be back in time to play for their club sides who they comitted the offence with in the first place.

I'll let Bennyasena sort you out on the test match goings on and get on to what I wanted to talk about...

Check out the ruddy names of the teams!

It's the Philips Kangaroos v the Lion Red Kiwis. Why in gods name do national teams have to carry corporate names? I know it's been around for a few years with the league but it FUCKING well shouldn't be (anybody under about 15 reading this should have stopped about a line ago).

They are national teams for christs sakes. Can you imagine the All Blacks trotting out onto Carisbrook with the ground announcer calling them The Warehouse All Blacks, hmmmmmm actually that's a reasonable name to call them without sponsorship. Or perhaps we could have the Burger King New Zealand Olympic Team with those very words emblazoned 'proudly' on their chests as they step up onto the podium to put a gold medal around an Australian athletes neck. Or maybe the Skycity Casino Black Caps, with the money some of them are on they've probably been there enough times (I wonder if they bet on black). Obviously these teams all have corporate connections through sponsorship, and getting some name association in this day and age is inevitable like it or not, but as far as I am concerned the connection should end completely when it comes to the print (or internet) media, and television. Let the commentators and officials chuck it in there now and then in the build up and let these companies put a few ads in the paper but just let a freakin line be drawn. And come match day they can get their dirty slobbering mitts off the team.

In full the match is billed thus:
Bundaberg Rum Rugby League Test Match between the Philips Kangaroos and the Lion Red Kiwis at Energy Australia Stadium

After reading all that I'm not totally sure what sport it is and who's playing! I think Bundaberg Rum are playing against a Dutch guy called Philip at Lion Red brewery in Newmarket at beerpolo in one of their storage tanks.

And on a more serious note. I don't know about you guys but Skippy would have to be right up there IMO. cute, NZ music is kicking some funkin arse! 

This looks interesting (if you can put up with the blatant self promotion).

New Zealand's very own Top of the Pops.

While my musical tastes and those of the average music purchaser in the world don't usually align, I do have better luck with your average kiwi music lover, cos most of our music is good now isn't it? I'm sure that out of every 10 songs on the show, 3 or 4 will be to my liking at least......if not all of them. Whether I could put up with hearing a song that had been in the top ten for 17 weeks is another thing, though we can always change the channel for a few minutes now can't we? I only hope there is no dodgy business going on with the selection of the top ten, cut price singles for example in order to boost sales and thus have your artists appear on the show.

And if I see the coke logo anywhere behind the performers I'll puke.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

How much is too much? (Ripped Off in NZ I) 

It seems 190 dollars is a reasonable price to pay for an All Black jersey according to....those selling them.

I remember buying an All Black jersey while I was at university for a friend of mine who was turning 21 and moving overseas. As I recall it was 120 dollars and the year was 1996. It was a big financial commitment for me THEN. Now I'd need a bank loan.

Now check this out...
Adidas managing director Craig Lawson said there was "a very significant difference in the quality of the (All Black jersey) garment". Adidas also had to pay royalties to the Rugby Union as the maker of the official All Black gear sold to fans. The 2003 All Black jersey is made from a special imported fabric, "similar" to the fabric used by the All Blacks in the past two years. "If you compare that to a cheap black jersey, with a white collar and fern, there is no comparison – there is a visible difference," Mr Lawson said.

What freaking material is worth nearly two hundred bucks for a couple of metres of it?! Is there gold woven into it? Angel dust sprinkled on to it? Does it make you invicible? (obviously not....2003 WC). It's probably worth noting that it's not exactly the same material either, only "similar". Of course there are the other things which bump the price up, like the 5 dollar manufacturing cost in Asia (or perhaps 30 dollar cost in NZ where the same Asians are probably making them in South Auckland factories). Then you throw in the mega bucks the NZRFU want to make from each jersey for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the manufacturing and marketing process and the price can start to rise.

Apparently they sell "thousands" of the jerseys each year, although it would be nice to know if it was 2,500 or 8,500. If it's the former and the NZRFU gets 50 dollars per shirt then they are making 125,000 dollars a year. Whoop dee doo. If it's the latter then it's 425,000 a year which they make (almost enough to pay half Jonah Lomu's wages for a while there).

It's not enough that they fleece people who could, and should (if not for the greed of Adidas and the NZRFU) be paying a lot less for the shirt though. They now want to take things further.

The Rugby Union announced this week that it was filing a trademark application for black rugby jerseys or even "black casual shirts" made in the style of a rugby jersey, with a white collar and a "fern device". All three elements were needed for a trademark infringement. The Rugby Union reckons it is missing out on merchandise royalties worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars", maybe even into the million-dollars-plus range, because of the fake jerseys on the market.

"The national game is now big business and big business is always going to protect its interests," Mr Russell said.

It was possible to buy "any number" of imitation rugby jerseys and the union was trying to collar the market for anything that looked like an All Black jersey.

This type of thing really bites my crack for two reasons. Firstly is it not possible that the reason that people are buying cheaper imitation jerseys, t-shirts or whatevers is that THEY CAN'T AFFORD THE REAL THING?!. Simply eliminating any cheaper alternatives means that people who obviously like the AB's now can't buy anything and probably get sodded off. If Adidas and the NZRFU want a piece of this market then start offering official alternatives.

The second reason is that New Zealands sporting colours are black and white. Each and every team or individual who is representing NZ wears these colours with verying designs. And the silver fern goes along with it. Would the rugby union like to strip all our olympians naked at the Athens Olympics later this year because they are 'wearing All Black jersey' imitations? Go fall down a hole.

I bought a black shirt a year or two ago because I wanted to wear a black shirt with a silver fern and New Zealand written onto it in my travels abroad (and cos I get sick of being called an American when I'm in Korea). But gee, if I want to wear black with a silver fern on it in the future I'll have to pay 190 bucks. Not freakin likely.

Also as Consumer Insitute's chief executive David Russell says...
Official All Blacks T-shirts, selling for up to $50 each, could be brought into New Zealand for just $3 to $5, Mr Russell said. T-shirts had "a buy-in value of $3 and $5 base price, delivered in New Zealand", he said. "You would get them into the shops for less than $10," he said, including printing. "People are paying far, far more for the image than the base product," Mr Russell said.

Check out those mark ups! As I said earlier, why don't they put these things on the market for cheap, affordable prices, like say 20-30 dollars. Surely they'd sell a fair chunk more, they'd have more people wearing them around thus getting the flow on marketing effect and they'd make more people happy. Oh that's right, I forgot they couldn't give a stuff about Joeline Public, they're in it for the mullah.

And the results of the poll by say it all really.

Eight hundred and fifty one say they wouldn't pay 190 dollars for the jersey and only 70 say they would. Roughly 7 percent. I wonder when those seven percent finished waxing their Jaguar in the driveway before coming in to play on the net?

We are talking about the internet community in NZ as well. Not exactly the most broke sector of society in most cases. I'd hazard a guess that roughly 2-3 percent of NZers consider that a fair price to pay and as suggested in the story, it's wealthy Asian tourists doing a fair amount of the purchasing. Aren't most other things in life considered a fair price? To get a rating of a few percent says a lot in my opinion.

I'd love to know how many NZers walk into a store when there are no test matches on (therefore no real hype around) and buy an All Black jersey. My guess is you could count the number sold on one hand in the entire country per day.

I'm glad I bought my Warriors shirt when it was only 120 dollars in their inaugural season though. Their shirt prices have been going the same way.

Give us sport lovers a break ya greedy &^%&$#'s.

Actually as an afterthought...any of you remember all the "Be the Reds" t-shirts that everybody was wearing in Korea during their World Cup campaign in 2002? I do cos I bought about ten of them for 50 dollars. No they didn't fall off the back of a lorry or get discounted. That's what they were. About 5 dollars each. And we're not talking about Bangladesh here. This is a country where the average wage is around 2,500 NZ a month.

Even the Korean national team shirt is only about 90 NZ dollars, and it's made of 'special' material as well. But then again, it is pink :(

Korean Election Results 

The Uri Party had a comfortable win in the elections which is good. Now perhaps Noh Moo hyun* can sneak back into power if he gets through the trial and then he will actually have the backing of parliament to pass some ruddy laws. Before the election he was impotent as the majority GNP party stifled his moves. it was a lot like Clinton v a Republican dominated congress of a few years back.

Noh came out and publicly said that he hoped the Uri Party won enough seats at the election so he could actually do something useful. But that was illegal and as a result the GNP party called for his impeachment and after it went to a vote he was impeachererered.

You can read all about the election here if you wish.

Korea also operates under the same system as we have in NZ. People vote for the party and also for a local representative. Although it's a 243/56 split compared to the 60/60 split in NZ.

But when you have 48 million people versus 4 million you probably need a few more regionally selected representatives now don't you?

* he often gets called Roh Moo hyun in the media because Noh sounds like no in english which has negative connotations. A bit ridiculous really when that's how his name is pronounced.

I should also add that in Korean the surname comes first so Moo hyun is his christian name....but I'm not sure if he is a christian or not :)

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Whoops I blogged again 

Apologies. My butt hasn't even left the seat since the Korean Election effort.

Russell Brown has written a very good post today in Public Address (mainly dealing with family life) which you should check out.

Here he makes reference to cohabitation and the opinion of Bruce Logan, director of the Maxim Institute.

Logan also contended that couples who cohabit before marrying have a higher divorce rate than those who do not. This is true. But the difference disappears after eight years of marriage. But does this suggest that cohabitation damages marriage - as Logan contended - or that people who cohabit don't have the same serious commitment to marriage in the first place? This would seem more plausible than the idea that cohabitation has some innate, and fatally corrupting, impact.

Brown makes a good point about the seriousness of couples living together before they get married. As we all know from seeing friends, family...or ourselves, many of them/us live together simply because they/we don't take the concept of marriage as seriously as others do (great use of the '/' there). They have no real plans or cares to get married and eventually when (or IF) they do there is a reasonable chance they will decide, or find out, that they were better off with their prior arrangement..........or as far apart as possible.

If I decide I don't want to ever get married then does that mean I can't ever have sex or live with a member of the opposite sex?! That's kind of like saying that because I don't like socks I can never wear shoes...or that because Christians don't like homosexuals they can never ask for good fashion advice, or a decent haircut from a bloke (that was the one stupid paragraph I allow myself per serious's my blog so I make the rules!)

Also there are plenty of people who live together for a few years to see how things work out with a view to getting married later, things don't go so well and then the relationship ends with no divorce needed. I know firsthand how that is. Just as well the two of us didn't get married AND THEN move in together as some social conservatives would have us do. Anecdotal or not, they would have seen a little 'divorce mark' in their side of the column. And no, the committment of marriage wouldn't have made a lick of difference to how things worked out. Living with somebody is indisputedly* going to allow you the opportunity to see things that you could never completely know about before the experience.

A successful marriage coming before or after cohabitation comes down to luck of the draw for most folks. It works for some people and it doesn't for others. To be told that one is a fantastic idea and the other is a disaster waiting to happen is such arrogant bollocks it makes the stomach churn. Sure one of the two is probably going to be throwing out better stats than the other but as I said, one works for one set of people and the other works for the other set of people. Good luck finding what works for you, but perhaps you'd at least like the chance to choose rather than be told what to do.

Personally I recommend everybody go to a bar tonight, pick up a stranger (or hooker if you don't have any luck picking up a strange person), take them back to your place, have a good time, ask them to move in with you, have three kids out of wedlock, quit your job, get married and then get divorced, have a messy custody battle and then agree that you can take the kids to the mall every second weekend.

That's living baby!

* I can't find 'indisputedly' in the dictionary either. But I did find 'indisputably'. Perhaps that's what I meant.

Korean Election 

It's voting day in Korea which blessedly is on a Thursday thus giving all us working mugs time to sleep, buy flashcards for teaching and climb mountains.

Like most countries with democracy, the difference between the main parties in Korea has become minute just before the election. Everybody has been falling over themselves to be as mediocre as possible and grab ALL the voters rather than the senile old coots and wealthy who would vote for the Grand National Party or the students and hard up who would vote for the Uri Party. The rest of the people (who we will call 'normal') vote both ways depending on levels of stupidness. The more stupid they are the more likely they are to vote for the GNP. Throw in a president who has been impeached about a month ago and rampant corruption, firings, resignations, regular prison sentences for politicians and heads of companies (who either go to prison or commit suicide) and it makes for an interesting time.

Personally I'm hoping the Uri Party win in a landslide and I think they will win (though not in a landslide) and the grumpy old men who want to run the country all crawl into corners and quietly pass away over the next 20 years. It's about time this country was run by the people who make up most of the population. Not the most power hungry, corrupt, conservative amongst them.

I'll let you know what happens and more importantly for my bank account...what happens to the exchange rate!

Punting on the Kiwis 

The Kiwi curse has fortunately struck a week early and Cronulla Sharks player Nigel Vagana has been banned only for one match meaning he'll miss his team's match this week against the Canberra Raiders but be available to help smash the Kangaroo's in the ANZAC Day test match.

Raiders at $1.50 are a certainty, I'd advise punters to bet their lives on it.

Watch the judiciary this week any tackles above the shoelaces will see Kiwi's being banned left right and centre for transtasman match.

The Kiwi's apparently are also bringing back Robbie Paul from Bradford. Thank god Daniel Anderson has taken a step back and let others select the team, I'm looking foward to Penrith powerhouses Puletua and Galuvao smashing some Aussies.

Two things I found interesting while browsing Australia's Centrebet were firstly, they're offering odds on the U.S Presidential elections with monkeyman incumbent George W Bush favourite at $1.60, while Democratic hopeful John - at least I killed a whole heap of Vietnamese while you were off smoking weed - Kerry in at $2.20. Ralph Nader is in at about $100 to one and then there are two other fullas I've never heard of at about $500.

I wonder what odds Bush would be offering if TV camera's weren't banned in the U.S from filming the flag-drapped coffins of their slaughtered servicemen and women returning to the country????

Secondly Centrebet offer a better range of odds to their punters - when one tean is paying $1.80 there the other pays $2.00 whereas here $1.80 is versus $1.95, I know, 5c difference, but still in the long can Ken - pint and pie man - Rutherford be associated with such crooks?

There's a story in the bastion of NZ journalism the NZ Herald today saying that Stacey Jones agrees he hasn't been up to par, and has been listening to talkback criticism too...maybe the callers had a point...I wonder if he'll make the Kiwi side? I hope Guttenbeil has sufficiently recovered from his rib injuries in time.

This weekend the Brisbane Bronco's travel north to Dairy Farmer Stadium to do battle with the fired-up Nth Queensland Cowboys who are billing it as the match of the century. Words are cheap and it hard to go past the Broncos really.

The Rabbitohs $4.50 are playing the Storm $1.18 who are at home however the Rabbitohs have been underestimated several times already this year and the Storm have had their fair share of problems too, they've lost their captain due to underperformance.

St George $1.95 at home against the Panthers $1.80 and they're nearly even money - but so were the Warriors when they played the Panthers and the score was 20 odd points in Penrith's favour - unload on the Panthers.

Manly $2.35 are at home to the Eels $1.55 and its about bloody time they notched up a win, ditto the Warriors against the Bulldogs in Wellington, the odds for that game are so appaling betting is not an option.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

More cricket 

Well done to Brian Lara on scoring 400 n.o. - the highest ever score in tests, for those who haven't heard. I wonder what odds the TAB would have offered to cover this eventuality? $3.50 probably. Meanwhile, Henry Olonga has something useful to say about the situation in Zimbabwe. The future doesn't look too bright:

For the 13 rebels, the future is unclear. When Henry Olonga and Andy Flower made their black-armband protests during the World Cup in 2003, they immediately feared for their lives and were forced to flee the country. "This will be a worrying time for the players," Olonga told The Times last night. "A lot of them don't know where they're going to go or what job they're going to do. But they're on a hiding to nothing now; now they have to speak up. There is no future for white cricketers in Zimbabwe, just as there is no future for white farmers."

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Dumb Luck 

A headline alluding to the close encounter between Canterbury Bulldogs versus Manly Sea Eagles on's website reads "Bulldogs get out of jail against Manly": oh it must be a sub-editors dream come true. I had another fantastic week of picks nailing 6 out of 7 games on the tipping chart only missing the Rabbitohs match when they went down to the overrated Paramatta Eels.

Betting wise things were even better, I filled out a betting form intending to place $10 on Timana Tahu from Newcastle to score the first try of the match against the warriors at $14. However I chose the wrong event no. on the slip and backed him at $2.15 to score a try - the warriors scored first so I would have lost the bet and then with 60 secs to go the warriors took a short kickoff and Tahu grabbed it ran 55 metres and I had double my money. I know, I know $2.15 are shit odds but still better than a kick in the teeth.

I backed Newcastle for purely financial reasons and wouldn't have been sad to see them lose, but when the TAB is offering $4.20 on a match that could go either way you've gotta have a punt. Ditto the Nth Queensland Cowboys who accounted for the Cronulla Sharks at $2.70.

Whats more there was an open gate at the ground so my amigo's and I - after having consumed some hastily made but extremely tasty c class muffins - took the oppurtunity and bailed into the ground for free. (Sorry Eric Watson) But it makes up for you pricks not getting us into the ground during the first match. Same thing happened with the Eels match yesterday apparently - 12,000 odd fans missing out on the action.

Talkback yesterday was rife with criticism of the part Stacey Jones played in the Warrior's loss - too old, too old - they cried. In my opinion thats bullshit. Its hard for stacey to be at his attacking best when they are playing 80% of the match within 20m of their own try line... Ali Lauititi however, should be dropped to Bartercard Cup as a wake up call. Losing Logan Swan is proving to be a major blow, the foward pack are not the force they once were.

Broncos versus Cowboys this week should be a blinder with the Cowboys raging to have a crack at them, bring it on...

Sunday, April 11, 2004

That's not cricket 

This story has barely been reported, but the future of one of the world's 10 test-playing cricket teams is in serious doubt. Apparently Zimbabwe only has about 70 serious players, and now the best of them are resigning, retiring, and/or being fired. And let's not forget that Henry Olonga and Andy Flower have already left the team because, well, they basically can't live in Zimbabwe after wearing black armbands during the last World Cup.

The current fiasco began when captain Heath Streak - a very useful player in a side that is occasionally competitive and good to watch - objected to non-cricketing political appointments in the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

The crisis threatening Zimbabwe's cricketing future took a depressing twist late last night when a senior official of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) told reporters that he had sacked up to a dozen white players.

The group understood that they had been given permission by Vince Hogg, the ZCU's chief executive, to miss this weekend's round of domestic matches so that they could try and find a solution to the dispute between players and the board which followed Heath Streak's removal as captain. But Ozias Bvute - the ZCU board member in charge of racial quotas – sent them all messages saying that that he had dismissed them for not turning up to play.

Is it just me or could the situation in Zimbabwe usefully be described as "ethnic cleansing"?

Streak himself called on the ICC to intervene, requesting it to "come here and investigate the grave situation at all levels of the game". He added that he was happy to continue as a player under Tatenda Taibu, but only if his demands regarding the selectors – which triggered this whole situation – were met. "Unless they are, " he said, "I will not play for Zimbabwe again." Given that the board is now openly hostile to the bulk of the team - and Streak in particular – there is almost no chance of it backing down over selection.

Former Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin, who quit the country a while back and now plays for Sussex, said that he had spoken with "some of the players and they are not happy with the situation." He continued: "There isn't enough depth in Zimbabwe cricket to cope with the loss of 14 players and still compete effectively at international level."

Zimbabwe's Test and one-day series against Sri Lanka is due to start in less than a fortnight. Unless there is a dramatic change of policy, there is every chance that the Zimbabwe side which takes the field will contain no white cricketers, and, more to the point, will be so weak as to be embarrassing.

As I alluded to earlier. The Warriors are going to blow like the sidekick in a Ron Jeremy flick this year.

Anderson has made some big lazy errors with his off season selections (ie. none). I guess the coffers are going to be pretty fat for the owners though.

On a positive note though, you are all a bunch of pricks.


Thursday, April 08, 2004

All (Sold Out) Blacks 

Rather than slowing down with the selling out of the All Black "brand" (as they like to call it), name and history it seems the NZRFU is hellbent on destroying all the mystique ever associated with the jersey as quickly as possible.

The All Blacks will finish their season against the Barbarians at Twickenham, a match in which they have been guaranteed a multi-million-dollar fee.

For some time the New Zealand Rugby Union has argued they deserve improved commercial benefits because of the spectator appeal of the All Blacks.

Thats all very interesting given the amount of people (experts included) who were discussing how with all these poor performances and the fact that Aussie has been beating us consistently for ten years that the All Blacks are losing/have lost that spectator appeal and image that they once had. Note that when I say "spectator appeal" I am not referring to the number of bums on seats at their games as they will always attract sell out crowds 90% of the time. Rather I am referring to the spectators reasons for going changing from "I'll cry if we lose" to "should be a good excuse to sink a few beers and watch a big game".

Twickenham is seen as a goldmine for England because the ground is generally sold out and runs lucrative hospitality packages.

As it says, Twickenham sells out for all sorts of games, including the England v Wales game a few weeks back. This is the same Wales team who loses approximately half of all their games against all sorts of mediocre teams. When you have a city of roughly eight million people sitting next to the stadium you could sellout 3 or 4 All Black tests back to back so hell why not just turn both sides into club teams and play there every bloody day?!

It seems the NZRFU has become totally obssessed with money since the sport 'went' professional and the players put up with the games because they get a fair slice of the cut as well. But does anybody actually give a sh*t about the results anymore?

All Black test matches are becoming like one day cricket internationals. What was the All Black score v Australia, England, Wales, Scotland, South Africa the second to last time the two teams met? As I eloquently put it a few lines ago and repeat once again for those who skim read these posts when they really should be absorbing every letter of every word in order to be fully brainwashed...who gives a sh*t?

The games have simply become money grabbers by the authorities and the public shell the bucks out because they believe the hype. The NZRFU obviously uses the money they have to pay players now in order to keep them in the country but that is a pretty pathetic reason for destroying the All Black image long term. If Japan wants to buy 137 of our top players then let them. We can just choose our team from their club comp instead of ours. If we have hundreds of players grabbing wads of cash in overseas clubs there and in Europe then again I say, let them. All it will serve to do is weaken those nations national teams and so long as the NZRFU ditches its ridiculous stance over the non selection of foreign based players then NZ will be creaming it on the pitch and at the bank.

Take a look at the Brazilian soccer team. If they only selected players who were based in their domestic league then they probably wouldn't even qualify for the World Cup let alone win it. In Korea alone there are about 30 Brazilian strikers earning buckets of cash and getting overseas experience and when they leave it allows a new tier of strikers to move up and take their place.

There is enormous depth in NZ rugby now, not because the NZRFU have become magnificent at running the game, but rather because Joe Bloggs plays a few games for the AB's and then sods off and because there are so many games now that players drop like flies or just plain get dropped.

anyway back to what I started rambling about...

Meanwhile, the IRB has confirmed its schedule for tours here up to 2012.

After the Lions make a 10-game trip next year, the All Blacks will host Ireland (two tests) and the Pacific Islanders in 2006, France (two) and Italy in 2007, England (two) and Ireland in 2008, Wales (two) and Argentina in 2009, France (two) and England in 2010, Scotland (two) and Italy in 2011, and England (two) and Wales in 2012.

We see here that Wales are scheduled to come to NZ twice in the eight years following 2004. Ireland, France and Italy will do the same, while England will come four times in the next nine years (I would expect NZ to play either full tests or Barbarian matches at Twickenham in nine out of the next nine years based on recent times).

That's nineteen tests against Northern Hemisphere opposition from 2005 to 2012. Given the number of times any team from the northern hemsiphere tours NZ we should go there and play TWO games per year, NOT FOUR TESTS EVERY BLOODY YEAR!

Has anybody in the Northern Hemisphere realised that planes have made massive cuts to travel times and that they don't have to spend three to four months sailing the high seas to get down under anymore? I guess so since they started coming to NZ from the 1960s onwards when they each played their first tests in NZ. Can you believe that?! The 1960s!!!!

For the record here is the number of tests (in NZ, away for the AB's and neutral) that NZ has played against each of the northern hemisphere teams.

v England 8/16/1
v France 19/19/2
v Ireland 5/11/1
v Italy 2/3/3
v Scotland 10/12/2
v Wales 5/11/4

for a combined 49 tests in NZ, 72 away and 13 at neutral venues.

Thank Allah that the Lions have played 35 tests in NZ. At least they worked out how to get here when all the wisest heads were put together.

Quite frankly I couldn't really care about the outcome of the tests anymore. Of course I still like to see them play good football but when they play that often (and still go 5 years with an awful lineout) its verging on meaningless to me.

I'm far more interested in the fortunes of Waitemata in the Auckland club comp. Finally we got a 28 year monkey off our backs last year and won the Gallaher Shield. Here's hoping for a repeat. The biggest crowds they've had in years are showing up to watch football which hasn't sold itself off to the highest bidder as the club refuses to pay any player.

Foreskin and Seabed Debate 

Debate is raging and confusion widespread in New Zealand over the new foreskin and seabed legislation that the Government is trying to introduce. Essentially a public health issue the debate has become highly politicised in recent times.

I always find it helpful to add a little history and context to any debate in order to help properly explain it to the public.

Lets start at the beginning. The native people of New Zealand - foreigner's may recognise such prominent members as Dame Kiri Ti Kanawa and Jake the Muss - are known as the Maori, and since they first arrived in the country have used the country's seabed in order to keep their foreskins clean.

Sand is very abrasive and has exfoliating properties. The tribes that located on the West Coast of New Zealand were less fortunate in terms of foreskin hygiene as the rocky terrain did not facilitate cleanliness.

The foreskin on the seabed tradition has become mainstream and now is as much a part of everyday Kiwi life as airing futons and catching the tube.

Recently some of the more politicised tribes have tried to exert what they believe to be their "customary title" over the foreskin practice, their argument is that they first cleaned their foreskins on the seabed and therefore should have exclusive rights to the practice.

Further, and quite rightly, they say they were never fairly compensated by the colonialists for their intellectual property rights over foreskin cleaning.

Faced with white-fright the Government has reacted - rather too hastily for the liking of their coalition partner the United (Praise God) Future Party - by trying to ensure that all New Zealander's, regardless of origin, will have access to clean their foreskins on the seabed.

Through legislation the Government have tried to keep foreskin cleaning in the public domain, yet opposition from Tauranga - where old white people go to die - based minority party New Zealand First, led to this phrase being removed.

Several of the Government's own MP's - Tariana Turia, Nanaia Mahuta and Gerogina Beyer - have rebelled threatning not to endorse the Government's proposal. All three are underpressure from their constituents to protect Maori customary foreskin rights.

Other concerned parties are coastal landowners who fear that the general public will be able to cross their properties in order to access the seabed for foreskin cleaning.

The Israeli Embassy in New Zealand has also protested saying the entire legislation is anti-semitic.

The legislation presently states that you have unimpeded access to an area if you have concrete evidence of a relative having cleaned their foreskin on the seabed prior to 1840.

Comical Americans 

There's a disturbing, almost farcical, headline in today's NY Times: "U.S. Vows to Crush Shiite Militia While Fighting Sunni Insurgents" which I guess is pretty equivalent to saying the whole of Iraq is rising up. To put the shoe on the other foot, if Iraq had invaded the US the equivalent headline would read: "Iraq Vows to Crush Protestant Militia While Fighting Catholic Insurgents". Yeah, good luck with that. A little ridicule would go a long way in the U.S. media right now, but instead they're still towing Dubya's line.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

It ain't about the oil 

Many television viewers chuckled when they watched US troops entering Baghdad and the Iraqi Information Minister was on tv - US forces almost in the background - assuring his audience that these "American infidels" would never threaten his nation.

It was reported that even President George W Bush was rather fond of the senile old coot, hence he didn't make the deck of 52.

I wonder then how long it will be before Fox News is ridiculing Iraq's US Administrator Paul Bremer with similar disdain. Today, following the news of the deaths of another 15-20 coalition soldiers - not to mention hundreds of Iraqi's - he reassured his bosses and international community that the United States is in control of the situation and that political progress in the country remains on track. Now that would make a great Tui billboard slogan.

US forces seem to have decided sending in fighter planes is one way to combat the insurgents, however when you start blowing up houses in densely populated areas it inevitably kills many innocent civilians, whose oppressed relatives then decide to take up the cause - had they not already.

Looks like those pre-war predictions that the US, depite its overwhelming military advantage, isn't really equipped for an urban guerilla war might be right. Although I see in the media former Australian citizen Rupert Murdoch thinks things in Iraq are going just swell and that Bush will win the upcoming election hands down.

And a chemical bomb plot - targeting the Tube - has just been foiled in Britain, can't help but thing these terrorist cells are going to start being a little more careful about who they call on the telephone.

TV Violence Part II 

It seems to be popular to discuss the level of violence on television and its relationship to violence in society these days and last week and the week before and ...well all the bloody time really.

In Korea there isn't much of a problem with violence amongst children although as I said in my earlier post, there is a link and the amount of violence certainly isn't decreasing.

All my kids want wrestling names when I offer to give them an English name but the actual demonstrations of wrestling are pretty piss poor and I'd endeavour to say that your average primary aged Kiwi kid would get a three count or a tap out against one of my kids in 20-30 seconds.

Although today there were three boys trying a few moves including an impressive figure four leg lock on each other. When I used to wrestle on the trampoline it was my move of choice. I stepped in and tried to break it up by performing a DDT but the little bugger sucker punched me with a low blow. Fortunately it wasn't at full power and I lived to wrestle another day.

Wrestling is on here on two channels at least once everyday bar none I should point out. I realised wrestling was fake when I was about 12 I suppose. It helped when your father sits there with you and points out it's all bollocks but contrary to his opinion I KNEW ALREADY YA STUPID PLONKER!!!

They also get all the violent cartoons from the US and Japan that NZ kids get. And to be honest there is a bit of copycat type stuff from the kids but it's a bit hard to do a good impersonation of a robot shooting lazer beams from your extending arm and cause too much damage.

I would say that Hollywood movies and domestic violence are the real culprits. Step back and look at the specific type of violence that we see and it's always kids whacking each other with their fists to either faces or upper bodies. I can't recall many cartoons where the characters walk around punching each other in the head. Can you? Maybe I'm a bit off the pace.

Anyway, I'm going to carry on watching the second half of the Warriors game online here. God Manly suck. I used to support them in the late 80s and early 90s before the Warriors joined the comp. Back when Lowie was coaching them and had the Iro brothers, Ridgey, Innes and Williams flying the Kiwi flag.

Manly RIP.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


The fourth round was rugby league at its finest perhaps due to the Canterbury Bulldogs having a bye. The Warriors had their first victory of the season against a hapless Manly team thanks largely to a standout, two-try, performance by Epalahami Lauaki. It was also good to see hard man Richard Villansante - villa gorilla - back providing some added backbone to the team and I'm tipping his return from injury could see a change in luck for the Warriors - provided he doesn't spark anymore armed offenders squad callouts by showing off his air rifle in public.

Another team to watch is the Canberra Raiders, they look top-8 certainties, although they have been the recipients of some tight victories like against the luckless Cowboys.

The Warriors will need to be at the top of their game to knock-off Newcastle this weekend as they will be smarting from their 48-2 drubbing from the St George Dragons last weekend. Go figure, they can beat reigning premiers Penrith in the opening round and then they lose one player, admittedly it was Andrew Johns, and then lose to the Dragons like that.

The Penrith Panthers versus Sydeny City Roosters match on Friday night was the game of the season to date, both teams consistently played the ball faster than any of the other teams in the competition. The Panthers with home advantage were offering punters good odds at $2.15 and won easily 22-6.

One young Penrtih player lost four or five (media reports vary) teeth in a high tackle, then tried to return to the field, his rational was that they had already be knocked out once and they couldn't knock 'em out a second time. In an interview in the Sydney Morning Herald he says only that the emergency dentist told him that his teeth weren't that good in the first place. Penrith reserve graders were out on the field at half time and managed to find most of them, it is that sort of muscle-head unfathomable dedication to the cause that will see the Panthers be premiers or thereabouts again this season.

The NRL tipping competition has attracted in excess of 33,000 people this year and I'm currently sitting in about 1600th place on 24 points. I even picked the Rabbitohs to get the most hit-ups last weekend. Celebrity tipper and Australian PM John Howard is on 13 points proving that like his politics his tipping skills too are minimal.

If it is one thing though that has pissed me off about the league this year - in addition to not being able to get into the ground for the Warriors first match due to a shit new electronic ticketing system - it is the TAB's lousy odds on try scorers. Most warriors players were paying between $2 and $3.50 to score a try against Manly, at that stage they were yet to have won a game - I mean, come on, offer the punters some incentive to enter your filthy establishments.

This is what happens when someone has a monopoly on the industry, they can offer a crap product and get away with it, bring on the bookies I say.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Did you know being around smokers is killing you? 

Another amazing revelation in today's papers. Next they're going to tell us that eating your best mates sh*t is bad for your health (crude bastard aren't I?).

The results of that study even made the yahoo news headlines.

Just look down the page towards the end of the story.

This all comes nicely on the back of my farting episode earlier this week on these pages.

Downtown Auckland Getting All Spruced Up 

This is pleasing news.

I'm all for reclaiming CBD space for the little man and woman. God knows cities can be an alienating kind of place at the best of times. This may also mean people stop blaming those dirty Asians for everything. Well for a while at least.

This gets my attention in particular. "Traffic would be discouraged by reducing the number of traffic lanes from two to one in each direction, banning private parking along much of the Queen St mile and moving taxi ranks to other streets."

But it makes me wonder why they don't just ban traffic altogether. Traffic will become heavier than it is now and we will still have to wait to cross the road just as long as before, if not longer since there will be cars backed up further needing to be 'released'.

Also since the improvements to the Grafton area cars can drive along Stanley Street and up the back way to Symonds Street in order to avoid Queen Street from that direction and they can go up past Victoria Park and through Ponsonby to avoid it from the other direction.

They could ban all traffic from Queen Street but keep an area wide enough for delivery vehicles to use after they have shown some id and a purpose for entering the area to some kind of 'gatekeeper' at either end of the street. Of course they would also need to keep the area available for floats during parades so we can celebrate that All Black World Cup win in 2068.

What did I do this weekend? Well thanks for asking. I went to the first round of the 2004 K-League and filed a match report for this wee site. Mine is the Incheon v Chonbuk game. And a boring arse of a game it was indeed.

It was played in a WC stadium. Used for the Korea v Portugal game if you can remember that far back where Korea won 1-0 to book a place in the second round after Portugal ended up with 9 men (and deservedly so). They built a bloody running track around the stadium (Korea has as much interest in athletics as NZers do in Sumo wrestling). This track has now been sealed over and will never ever be used. So the fans are 30 metres from the edge of the pitch and they will be lucky to fill 10,000 seats once the season starts proper in a 45,000 seater.

10 white elephants sitting in Korea serving as the respective cities penis.

You can check out a few pics from the game.

Notice the fearful Incheon supporters club "TNT", or "Terror N Trembling" in full. God if you're going to use English all the ruddy time at least check to see it doesn't sound so bloody ridiculous.

And Joseph Romanos calling a spade a spade in the Listener.
"Warne is in a race with Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan for the honour. There's an irony. Warne is one of the finest cricketers ever, a pioneering player who has introduced a generation to the art of leg-spin bowling. Fancy being away from the game for a year (because of his drugs suspension) and on his return taking four successive five-wicket test bags. That sums up Warne's class as a bowler.

Muralitharan, on the other hand, has reached 500 wickets by throwing his off-spinners and being allowed to do so by the spineless world cricket body. I hope Warne can behave himself and that his body holds together long enough for him to establish a record Muralitharan never reaches. Such a major test cricket record should belong to a great player."

Everybody that has faced the guy reckons he chucks it. It's so bloody obvious that it's absurd that millions are in denial simply because he's gaining the wickets for their country. It's a real shame that it became a race issue when it should have been all about sport and keeping it clean.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Common criminals 

I just read this:

Citizens from 27 of America's closest allies, including New Zealand, Britain and Australia, will now be fingerprinted and photographed on arrival in the United States as part of a security crackdown.

The policy, to begin at airports and seaports by Septemver 30 and at the 50 busiest US land crossing by the end of the year, extends a programme that started January 5 under which everyone who comes to the United States on a visa -- except diplomats -- is fingerprinted and photographed on arrival.

-- Further information on the "success" of the earlier version of this problem is available from the NY Times:

The State Department, which joined the homeland security agency in announcing the expanded program, said it has been notifying diplomats in the 27 countries. (There is no change in the status of visitors from Canada and Mexico, who may enter the United States without passports.)

A State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, rejected any suggestion that the 27 countries might view today's announcement as "a slap in the face," as one questioner put it at a news briefing.

"If that's the way it's seen, then it's certainly not intended in that light," Mr. Ereli said. "At the same time, there are security needs, I think everybody recognizes those security needs."

The photograph-and-fingerprint procedure "is a very, very low-hassle, unintrusive way of protecting the public and protecting the United States," Mr. Ereli said.

-- Right, and what security needs and public protection would this be?

Mr. Hutchinson said the procedures are quick and unobtrusive and have helped Homeland Security and State Department officials intercept more than 200 people suspected of criminal or immigration violations. The people have included convicted rapists, drug traffickers and individuals convicted of credit-card fraud, he said.

-- So travellers will be finger-printed like common criminals in order to catch ... common criminals. This isn't really about terrorism at all, is it? It's about expanding surveillance and state power. What ticks me off so much about this is that for so many people, they can't *help* but go through the US en route to other desitnations. e.g., New Zealand -- Canada connections almost invariably involve a stop in either Los Angeles or Hawaii, unless you want to take the interminable dogleg through Hong Kong. "What is the purpose of your visit to the United States?," their Customs officials always inquire. Just for once it would be great to hear someone say: "None. I have no desire whatsoever to visit your country. I am compelled to stop over at your airport for a few hours. I view this as an unnecessary and unwanted delay."

TV Violence 


The same thing is happening in Korea.

TV Violence No Surprise For Principal
02/04/2004 12:26 PM
A Hamilton principal says television violence is causing behavioural problems in children.

Fairfield Intermediate School principal Bill Noble says recently released statistics showing New Zealand has some of the highest levels of TV violence is not new news to him.

Mr Noble says teachers are constantly dealing with children who emulate the physical and verbal violence they watch on TV.

Courtesy of Dorking Labs

Friday, April 02, 2004


Some days your classes make you want to dance through a field planting flowers, and other days they make you want to crawl through the aforementioned field planting land mines and sending the kids out to plant the flowers.

Today was one of the latter days.

My first class was supposed to be a fifty minute effort though it lasted 40 before I gave up and told the kids it was home time so they could leave. It was either that or go buy a gun and look about for a clock tower.

I have about 15 kids aged 6 years old in the class and none of them speak a word of english. Well a couple of them know "what's your name?" and that is it. Granted it is my job to teach them more, but when they are that young I may as well try finding Osama Bin Laden playing Santa Claus in a strip mall in North Dakota. The chance of success would be roughly equal. Learning a language from a native speaker who is clueless in your own language simply does not work unless you are old enough to have gained some manners and know what the word 'respect' means. From an evil 8 year old who thinks he is the centre of the world these things are hard to come by. I should clarify at this point that all the girls in Korea are darlings and all the boys are satan. Not 100% true but so amazingly close to true that it's not worth breaking from this rule.

So as well as not understanding why a foreigner is in the room, they have no manners, and are quite possibly a wonderful selection of the biggest shits in each of their respective regular classes. You see, I've been teaching in Korea for over three years now, so I know the difference between your average, 'pay a bit of attention, easily distracted kid' and your 'couldn't give a monkeys arse, I'm here to wreak havoc in front of an eager and encouraging audience shit head of a kid'. Most classes of 45 (which is how many there are in a regular primary school in Korea) has about 5 little &^$%$^%'s. Well I have all those kids in this class.

I informed my boss that I would no longer be teaching these little wee darlings any more and after hearing how it went she concurred.

I confiscated practically every item in their possession during the class and rather than behave themselves they set about trying to make sprinting efforts to reclaim these items from my desk. I did manage to get their collective attention for 3.8 seconds at one stage but it was only because I had one of them over my head and was wondering whether to let him down or else do the 'pedigree' to him. For those unfamiliar with wrestling this is the signature move of Triple H where he brings the opponent down to the ground flat on their back from a great height, usually rendering the victim immobile for a considerable period of time. Fortunately for him he wriggled free and clambered to safety.

I should be paid 500 dollars to teach that class and all teachers should be millionaires in less than a year. It is a very rewarding job and it is hell on earth all at the same time.

Fortunately the rest of my classes went ok and I am left nursing a headache and a great sense of relief that it's friday and I can finally give my cold three days to GET THE F**K OUT OF ME (Monday is Arbor Day and a public holiday where Koreans think about planting trees but don't bother and instead watch the few people who did on the 6 o'clock news).

I've been playing enough of the kids games though for the first three weeks of the teaching year and they will meet psychopathically prepared and disciplined teacher very very shortly.

I'm having one of those 'if the world ended right now I couldn't give a shit' moments. Which ties in nicely with the fiery meteor shower reigning down on the city dream I had last night, where I was running around the building screaming, trying to find safety.

Ah there's nothing for it to go and watch k-pop on TV. Now if anything made you want to end the world with your own cold hands, that would be it.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Farters Rights 

You know, I get sick to death of hearing about "smokers rights". What the f**k do you mean "rights"? Right to do what? Kill everybody around you? Annoy the crap out of bystanders, stink their clothes out, give them a husky voice and blurry eyes?

When you smoke in a place where non-smokers cannot escape then you have no rights, so shove your cigarette up your f**king arse.

As you can see this is an issue that interests me a little.

Let's look at it this way (note, what follows is a hypothetical situation, not the truth, honest)...

I am a farter. I love going down to my local and having a social fart over a pint of beer. I fart for about 3-4 minutes solidly, and then wait a couple of minutes before farting again. I repeat this gas release for anything between 30 minutes and 6 hours depending on whether or not I'm having a big night or not.

But I'm not rude or anything. I always ask at least one other person at my table if they mind if I fart or not. Usually I catch them off guard a bit and they say something like "umm worries". I don't bother asking everybody else in the bar even though they will no doubt smell, and possibly even taste my poo particles during the course of the night because, well...f**k smokers never do so why should I?!

By about 10 or 11 my farting mates have arrived and the place is packed with about half the patrons just squeezing them out like nobody's business. It's mad. You can see the gas in the air and it just wafts about, with the air conditioning struggling to cope with it all. People are getting red eyes as the smell seeps into their corneas and the odd person hacks away quietly as it all gets a bit too much for the poor blighter.

But I don't care, because I'm about to let loose with my 17th absolute boomer of the night. Each one more satisfying than the last. Not sure what it was, maybe the celery soup before I came out, or the chicken kebabs or the fact that my arse has always stunk like a bucket of rotting eggs.

Occasionally a few of the smokers get a bit carried away and they need to wipe their arse and put it in a small bucket on the middle of the table, placed there for fellow farters convenience. You used to be able to buy special pills from vending machines in bars which made you fart more freely and with a smell of your choice. But the facist fart police got these handy vending machines removed and now you have to bring your own, or 'power up' before arriving.

Flash to the morning after, and there are people waking up everywhere absolutely wreaking of my shit. It's in their hair, their clothes, they can taste it, they've got a sore throat, their hangover feels even worse, their eyes are sore and their throat feels disgusting.

So next time you feel like you have a right to light one up in a bar...DON'T. You might just cause a massive explosion which levels the place.


Ah, that feels much better.


I'm in a mood for calling a spade a spade. This is addressed to the 39% of New Zealanders who say they'd vote for National. Do you actually know what National stands for?

1 - Sending NZ troops to Iraq. National would have sent troops - to fight alongside that all-embracing coalition (sic) of American, British, Australian and Polish troops. Yep, that's right, we would have been only the fifth country in the world to participate in that dubious enterprise.

2 - National would have sent troops to Iraq not because of intelligence reports (which we all know are manufactured crap) or because of any genuine fear of Saddam Hussein, but because it wants to buy a free trade agreement with the U.S. A free trade agreement which would be negotiated on the U.S.'s terms, and wouldn't include anything we could actually out-compete them on (e.g., agricultural commodities). Yes, that's right, National would send young New Zealanders to die to "buy" a pathetic free trade (sic) agreement. There's a word for that kind of behaviour - mercenary.

3 - National would allow nuclear-powered warships back into the country. As New Zealanders knew 20 years ago, that involves New Zealand buying into U.S. militarism, while accepting all the risks that go with nuclear power (low likelihood, high impact).

4 - National would sell Kiwi Bank, allowing further monopolization of banking services by a handful of corporate wankers.

More generally, National adopts the same view as conservatives in Canada - that being "friends" with the United States, and advancing trade with the United States, requires adopting U.S. foreign policy as your own, and never speaking a word of critism. Wake up, dumbasses, the only special relationship the United States has is with itself (thanks to The Guardian for pointing this out).

If you actually agree with all of the above policies, go ahead and vote National. If you don't, don't.

It's a bloggie blog world 

Something I like about these two pieces of work...

First from The Onion:
"Report: Caucasians Will Soon Be A Minority In Their Own Goddamn Country
PIKEVILLE, TN—According to Hormel-plant breakroom sources, if the Puerto Ricans and the Mexicans and the Orientals and the blacks don't stop having all those babies, whites will be a minority in their own goddamn country as early as 2010. "Someone looked at the census figures, and on account of how much faster they're multiplying, it's only a couple years before there's more of them than of us real Americans," foreman Ron Nelson announced Tuesday. "They're already making the kids learn Spanish at the high school." According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 80.7 percent of the current U.S. population is white".

and second from a good looking new kiwi blog site, Fighting Talk where one of the latest posts starts...

"A while ago it was pointed out to me that if you append the adjective "Pakeha" in front of every reference to a New Zealander of European descent, you can make the news item of your choice sound pathetically obsessed with race. Witness the recent slew of Pakeha scandals, such as the Pakeha WINZ employee who defrauded the taxpayer of more than a million dollars...".

You can hunt the rest of it down here

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