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The Game

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 9th, 2017 - 80 comments
Categories: election 2017, Left - Tags:

Stalemate. Draw. Seedless grapes. OMG.

Like, a grand coalition of forces who never thought they’d really deep down win, plays their hearts out against a team that barely makes a mistake.

Toe to toe and match them point for point.

National deserves the win for the whole series.

Inflation? Goal.
Unemployment? Goal.
House prices deflating after heroic market measures? Goal.
Economy surging? Goal.
Media dominance? Goal.
Bench? Total renewal.
Total Blackout coming.

And yet.

And yet there’s a nagging feeling that National needed to lose – for the good of the game. For everyone.

The Coalition.

Unlikely. Unloved. Mildly traitorous. Boring. Never had a chance to get tight. Out of time.  Policy forwards in abundance, but no wingers to finish.

And yet …

Hung in there. Equalled in set piece. Overcame the negative media. Made sure not an intake of breath was left on the field.

Can the touring Coalition do better than Old Captain Corbyn?

Can they signal to the world that The Invincables’ world domination is over, finally?

The ball is in the air.

All to play for.

So team: leave it all on the field:

August and two weeks of Sepember.
Donate. Argue. Persuade.

Repeat phase.

Catch the ball  f f s.

Then it’s hit the hot tub.


80 comments on “The Game ”

  1. Incognito 1

    Repeat phrase [sp]?

    The analogy is lost on me but I think I get the gist of it, which is:

    They can be beaten! It can be done! It’s up to us!

    Or something rather …

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    Why is it that so many kiwi guys use rugby as a metaphor for politics?

    Politics in a democracy shouldn’t be a game.

    Last night was just a bunch of athletic guys kicking, running and throwing a ball around a field. Many people cheered and chanted. Many people got pissed.

    Many people stopped focusing on the problems of those who can’t afford to go to such a game, or who don’t have access to a warm, dry place with a TV set or other device to watch the game.

  3. james 3

    If we are using the Rugby as a metaphor.

    Labour and the greens arnt the lions – they are a cobbled together from the Reds and Cheetahs.

    Technically they in the same league – but they have consistently poor results for years, and dont get to hold the winners trophy.

    In the end their fans get less and less until nobody turns up to watch them anymore.

    • The decrypter 3.1

      james. Where do you fit in?

      • Muttonbird 3.1.1

        Go easy on him. He’s not happy with the loss (home draws are losses), and is terrified the result will hurt National at the election.

        • James

          you don’t speak for me and as usual you are wrong.

          Loved the game – enjoyed it immensely. Good crowd and great vibe at the venue.

          A draw at home is not a loss – it’s not the result I wanted but happy that it was such a great series.

          If you think it’s going to hurt national you are an idiot. Great series – no major trouble – millions added to the economy.

          All round excellent!

          • Robert Guyton

            James – you are hurting; a draw – a draw!!.
            The Mighty All Blacks don’t do draw. They’re winners, like National and the Mighty National party doesn’t lower itself to draw.
            You were expecting a win, james, a Mighty Win, but you got…a draw.
            You knew the Mighty Blacks would take the series and the Mighty National party would ride to success at the election on the wave of national pride that would swell on the night of the final test; winners all! Go Blue Black!!
            A draw!
            It’s down now, to the luck of the draw. National’s sure advantage just vanished, in a draw.

            • James

              Again – you have no idea how I feel – yet you state it as fact.

              Yes – I thought we would win (3-0 in fact).

              But I enjoyed the game and the series. I’m a happy camper.

          • Crunchy

            I went to the game in Welly last week. It was wet, and we lost. Still had a fantastic time, was happy for the Lions and supporters that they won. There is something strange about Lefties in that they are normally terrible losers (but should be well accustomed by now) yet try to project this moral deficiency on to the more Right Leaning & Thinking members of the community. I enjoy seeing you expose the nastiness and dishonesty of many here James, good on you.

      • James 3.1.2

        I don’t play rugby. Never have.

        • Robert Guyton

          I did, for years and years. Got up with my dad in the early hours of the morning to listen to the All Blacks’ tour of South Africa. Watched everything since television started covering the games. Eventually became disenchanted with the whole circus and spent years game-free. Last night, at a dinner party, the television was on (???) and the Mighty All Blacks were playing.
          I was bored. A game, played on a paddock!!

          • The decrypter

            Thirty so, called grown men? All chasing a bag of wind around a paddock for ninety minutes and also banging into each other. And james loves it?

            • James

              Yep. Me and thousands of others.

              • gsays

                Hi James, will unapologetically join you there as one who enjoys rugby.
                I see it as an egalitarian pass time (boom boom!)
                Where all shapes and all backgrounds come together as one.
                Hugely influenced Aotearoa and shaped our psyche, for good and bad.

                I get the bread and circuses, there can also be cakes and ale.

              • In Vino

                Millions follow Football (Soccer). So NZ knows it has NO chance of being predominant in Football. So NZ chooses Rugby – and no other country bigger than NZ has Rugby as its main winter sport.

                Big frog in small pond bullcrap. You realise that outside of NZ and the UK + France, rugby is negligible, don’t you?

                You are a fantasist, James. In the real world of the majority, rugby does not even exist.

            • Keepcalmcarryon

              You sound homophobic decrypter

              • He sounds homophobic? How so? There are homosexual All Blacks, donchaknow.
                “Bag of wind” is great, Td; almost makes the game sound interesting; something J K Rowling might have written.
                James – “thousands of others” also like fidget spinners.

                • greywarshark

                  Robert Guyton
                  If you are out there can you advise – if I empty my compost drum of fairly sticky grass clippings etc (the worms have been liking) – can I just plant into it and get some stuff growing. Or do I have to mix some other stuff, don’t want to dig dirt from the garden. Would untreated sawdust do if I need something else? Bark would end up breaking down with a white fungus and stealing nutrients wouldn’t it?

                  • Hi Grey – sticky grass clippings are pretty rich and burny – the action in pure clippings can be anaerobic and smelly, so you need to get air and dry brown material in there, not more damp, green stuff. You’ve still got plenty of time before spring, so work in some dry autumn leaves, stalky stuff or old sawdust and you’ll be good to go.

                  • Whispering Kate

                    Add kitchen peelings, prunings off garden plants chopped up, sprinkle blood and bone into the compost bin, turn it over regularly to put some air into it, add some dry plant matter such as dry tree leaves which can be raked up, mown through with the lawn mower and then put into the bin – and if you can source a local pony club, pony poo will do the trick and be folded into the mix. Just like a good cake mix – then be patient and in a few months you will get lovely crumbly dark matter (with no smell at all) and your garden will sigh and say “gorgeous I will have some more of that”. Hope that helps.

                    • greywarshark

                      Robert and Whispering Kate
                      Thanks for good advice. W Kate for the really good stuff I should be doing and Robert for help with the mass I have at present and want to deal with quickly. I have two bins actually one has mix of garden lawn and vegs. The other is my dump for clippings and light prunings. I do what I can but haven’t much time. Might take up bokashi – can deal with more stuff.

                      Was thinking of strong cardboard boxes tied with two lots of twine and clear the compost bins. High up the plants could get a start before the naughty bindweed get there. And I could dig the garden slowly and go over it and over it and then plant through black plastic rows like strawberries are grown and then the bindweed would come in between and I could gradually rip their supply lines out from the advancing soldiers.

                      That’s the idea. You can get great ideas sitting on your bum at a computer.

                • James

                  “There are homosexual All Blacks, donchaknow.”

                  Really ? Who because I don’t recall any ever coming out.

                  Or are you telling lies again ?

                  • McFlock

                    Is it not highly likely, even without naming anyone? Why would it be a controversial statement to make? Do you think there is something discouraging homosexuals from higher levels of the sport?

                    • David Mac

                      Ballet, musicals and haute couture are so yesterday. Rugby is the ideal pursuit for the modern single gay man. 14 team mates hollering “Give it to me” and the 15 other guys yelling “Get him”. A sneaky mid-scrum kiss goes undetected and when it’s all over, shared showers…rainbow heaven.

                  • James! You’re implying that I’m lying and have lied before – what gives??
                    You are hurting, but that shouldn’t turn you nasty!
                    I’d appreciate an apology.

              • greywarshark

                Homophobic. Oh wonderful. Derision of the main meme is Not Allowed. If you think differently – well there is something wrong with you and you will be called on that! Take note. Ve have a range of designations guaranteed to besmirch the purest motivation.

                • Keepcalmcarryon

                  Imagine this was a female netball game and how your innuendo sounds.
                  If rugby is homoerotic for you good for you, implying that it has to be for anyone involved ( decrypter teasing James that he ” loves” watching 30 men bumping in to each other) is pretty dumb and yes is slightly homophobic.
                  Here at the church of identity politics I find this quite amusing.

                  • greywarshark

                    What if people are erotically affected. So what. Keep calm I think.
                    Skin is the biggest organ of the body I believe.

                    • Incognito

                      From reading a few ‘advisory’ columns over the years it appears that for women the most erogenous zone is between the ears and for men it is behind the eyes. These are stereotypes of course 😉

                    • Keepcalmcarryon []

                      Clearly this topic brings pleasure to many, good on you incognito and greyrawshark

                    • Incognito

                      Life is full of little pleasures.

    • fender 3.2

      Whereas National are a team of rule breaking cheats who never fail to bring the game into disrepute.
      They should all be in the left-right-out position!

  4. red-blooded 4

    Donate. Argue. Persuade.

    Good on you for taking the opportunity to try and do two of the three essentials in this post, Advantage. After all, we only get a chance to do somethings to alter the circumstances of the people Carolyn_nth (and the rest of us) are so concerned about if we get out there and actively contribute to the wider team effort.

    I don’t give a damn about rugby, but I do appreciate a good metaphor and I do appreciate your message.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      The only appropriate application of international rugby games these days, is as a metaphor for bread and circuses: in this case, quite a macho, corporate-branded circus.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        I’m not sure – a sport that rapidly lost its base by financial decisions (the now failing Sky) that excluded many or most of its former supporters. Sounds like the Gnats.

        • James

          Lots it’s base – gee which party is polling in the mid 20’s ?

          • Stuart Munro

            Until we have a local variant of Yougov, who knows?

            • James

              Well – if 9 years of polls and election results tells us anything – we have a fair idea and don’t need youguv

              • Stuart Munro

                Nah – thing is that they don’t tell us anything.

                If you’d believed the polls Winnie couldn’t’ve got Northland, but he basically slaughtered Hoss the Gnat.

                We need broader based polls to make meaningful predictions – Roy Morgan is basically propaganda in drag.

  5. Keepcalmcarryon 5

    Played rugby for a bit, loved it, nothing like the bonding of a provincial team against the rest. Became a bit less enamoured after professionalism and rule changes made it less fun, they should never have fucked with the advantage line.
    Became reasonably hostile to the corporate all blacks after John key photo shoots and a couple of high profile players preaching national party rhetoric.
    I loathe the faux nationalism – a team backing national party foreign land and water sales and foreign labour wants us to cheer them on as our national representatives, what the fuck is that about?
    A great game last night by two very good sides. End of story.
    Sorry no comment on your slightly odd analogy Advantage, just my musings on rugby and politics.

  6. stigie 6

    When you’re in the mid 20s, it’s hard not to feel doom and gloom after many years.

  7. And the big boys run out with a large stuffed toy before beating each other to pulp –
    rugby is surely one of the most stupid displacement activities – bread and circuses indeed.

  8. Cinny 8

    Excellent game last night, my 12yr old enjoyed it too.

    Today I said to her… I’m glad the Lions did so well and that the game was a draw.

    ‘Why, Mum?’

    ‘Because if the AB’s had won the government would be exploiting the win to gain votes.’

    ‘How would they do that Mum?’

    ‘Well darling the national government would talk up the win, and make out they loved rugby and were the biggest all blacks fan ever. Then because everyone in NZ loves the AB’s, they would think.. oh the government must be OK because they like the AB’s.
    Darling, the national parties propaganda is most effective when they tap into a reality, like how NZ loves the AB’s’

    ‘Mum, that’s why Key liked to be around Richie and have photos with him isn’t it?’

    ‘Yes darling, you’re onto it, it’s not just national that do it, and it’s not just rugby that is used, but that’s why I’m glad the game was a draw last night, because national uses rugby to manipulate peoples emotions, and sometimes those people don’t even know that’s happening’

    ‘Thanks Mum, that makes sense, I’m glad the game was a draw last night too’

    She loves watching the AB’s too, I just wanted to point out to her how someones love for something can be manipulated. Just like pointing out to her that all the ad’s during the footy last night were geared towards men 😀
    I call that parenting 😀

    • Ad 8.1

      Smart kid

      • The decrypter 8.1.1

        Smart mother also. What ya reckon james?Your kids get similar advice?

        • james

          No – I tell my kids to enjoy the game.

          Do your best.

          Be a good winner. Be a good loser.

          Have fun.

          I wonder if the ‘smart’ mother would say the same if labour were in power? No – I thought not.

          • Cinny

            “it’s not just national that do it, and it’s not just rugby that is used, ”

            Sorry James you are wrong with your assumption.

    • Carolyn_nth 8.2

      I watched the game last night. It was a good contest. But I am fully aware of the masculinist and corporate culture supporting it. I don’t follow the media commentaries. Record it on prime and FF through the intro blather and the ads. Stop watching at the end of the match and go on with life.

      And I won’t draw any election parallels from it. Elections are about policies and values – not something I look to the ABs for.

      • Carolyn_nth 8.2.1

        PS; the red team represented a standard investment; the black team represented American insurance.

        The game was a corporate draw.

        • red-blooded

          Carolyn, you’re missing the point of the post (which wasn’t really about rugby). As it happens, I agree with everything you’ve said about rugby. How about replying to the point of the post, though, which was about coalitions, working as a team, commitment to the greater good and not backing away from a fight, even if you’re seen as the underdogs?

          “Donate. Argue. Persuade.” – the three key words.

          • Carolyn_nth

            That stuff about collaboration and commitment could have been said without any reference to rugby. The rugby introduced a subtext and values which contradicts a lot of what I see the left being about.

            Working as a “team”. That’s not what the left is about as far as I’m concerned. It’s too exclusive and too much about everyone needing to be in lock step.

            We are a loose collection of interwoven communities and individuals. It ain’t a team fight. It’s about engaging with diverse communities, with a range of views.

            I’ve seen this rugby-game metaphor used too often in the past. It’s a turn off. And the focus on elections and democracy as a game, is what’s partly causing too many to be turned off politics.

            • Ad

              Rugby is one of the most powerful cultural forces in New Zealand. You don’t have to deal with it, Carolyn, but it is incredibly important for millions of New Zealanders.

              Sorry if you don’t like playing as a team. It’s what New Zealand is famous for. If you’ve worked on a film set, a building set, a collective sport, the armed forces, or any NGO in the field, you will see we have that reputation for good reason.

              If you prefer “community” to the word team, good luck. Few outside of academia will recognize that word as anything concrete.

              Game theory is perfectly respectable as form of tactical study and of decision-making.

              If you really think sport has nothing to do with politics, you need to keep polishing that purity ring of yours and hope for the supply-side genie to appear.

    • Crunchy 8.3

      Start the indoctrination young eh? My 13 year old daughter would tell me to save it until she’s a bit older.
      But then she’s probably smarter than yours.

      • Ed 8.3.1

        Your children love rugby in part because you indoctrinated them to love it.

        • Cinny

          Ah nooo that would be their father, I’m divorced. Rugby tests usually fall on his weekend.

          We were going to watch a film last night, but she asked to watch the footy so we did.

      • In Vino 8.3.2

        Well Crunchy, it is highly likely that your daughter is indeed smart and has a highly-developed bullcrap-detector. Now I wonder why that would be..

    • james 8.4

      Way to indoctrinate the young.

      Sometimes a game is just a game. Enjoy it for what it is.

  9. DoublePlusGood 9

    It’s a wonder no one has used “Keep it tight up the middle” as an election slogan yet.

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