Yawn, its the Rugby World Cup...
I caught the Prime Minister on TV3's breakfast news show this morning. Clearly he had been thumbing through his Boy's Own Bumper Book of Sporting Cliches. He was babbling enthusiastically about the Rugby World. 'There's a real excitement growing in Auckland,' he enthused.
Yawn. Another piece of Government PR masquerading as news. And there's only so many sporting cliches I can handle at any one time so I flicked over to RT (Sky 96) just in case Johnny started talking about 'the fever rising'.
Of course little Johnny is speaking as a man who's worth over $50 million, has a mansion in Remuera and a holiday home in Hawaii. He doesn't have the everyday concerns of those struggling to pay the bills.He doesn't have the everyday concerns of beneficiaries being harassed by the attack dogs from Work and Income. Or, as is the case In Christchurch, he doesn't have the everyday concerns of quake victims who have lost homes and jobs and have been effectively abandoned to the 'free market'.
He also isn't one of the homeless people in Auckland presently being quietly 'escorted' out of sight of the television cameras. There's no poverty in New Zealand, no sir!
Key can afford to have 'a buzz of excitement'. For many of us though life in neoliberal New Zealand continues to be an excitement-free, unrelenting struggle.
And that's the main reason why I'm not interested in the World Cup; because it allows the Government, with the assistance of an infantile and banal media, to divert attention from the protracted economic and political crisis to an over-hyped exercise in testerone-fuelled nationalistic tubthumping that, furthermore, won't deliver the economic benefits that the Government claimed it would.
So its 'bread and circuses' time, via a game that long ago was corporatised and 'branded' and turned into a media vehicle for product placement.
Commodified nationalism. I just hope it all blows up in John Key's face.