Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A few days away

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  • Tom Semmens,

    True to my word, I am refusing to watch the Berlin games of our times. Not that I am missing much by the sound of things, I have a shrewd idea the commentator who called the opening ceremony a militarised Disneyland meeting corporatised communism may have been on the money.

    And everyone I know spent all weekend online bitching about McBeth and Quinn, a constant complaining surely soon to be replaced soon with the ritual wailing as our athletes fail to win the number of medals our absurdly over-inflating media have led the vox pops to believe is our right.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Quinn was *awful* at the opening ceremony. I can't count the number of times I yelled 'shut UP, you moron! You don't have to talk! Just watch the spectacle!' at the telly.

    I have a shrewd idea the commentator who called the opening ceremony a militarised Disneyland meeting corporatised communism may have been on the money.

    Oh, bah. Synchronised does not equal militarised. And of course they're going to try to make themselves look good. What, you think London's going to do a wee montage of All the Ways We Have Fucked Up Our Colonies in *their* opening ceremony?

    It was conceptually pretty great, I thought. That lantern that was also a globe? Or the scroll painting that was continually created and recreated by each stage of the ceremony? I mean, that's neat!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Can anyone suggest the best way to pick up bits of the Olympics one wants to see. E.g. I wanted to see the end of the women's road race cycling last night instead of our useless soccer players being demolished by a bored looking Brazilian team. Is there an easy access website or two that I can quickly run off to in order to see what I want?

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    online bitching about ...... and Quinn

    You mustn't mention that word. It's bad luck!

    a wee montage of All the Ways We Have Fucked Up Our Colonies in *their* opening ceremony

    That'd be great. Unless there's a revolution in London, I won't be wathing those Olympics, either. And if they have a revolution, the new government will hopefully either cancel the games or turn it into a corporate-free, amateur event in line with the original concept. Plus it'd be nice if each country was expected to put up their top competitor in each event, whether or not they are actually any good at it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I was also hoping the Chinese opening ceremony might do the stylised opium wars/bombarding of Shanghai. Would have been a good interpretation with all that technology they had at their fingertips.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold,

    Mr Semmens really thinks that any Olympic ceremony in any city is going be carefully pointing out the warts and all of their society??

    My favourite quote from Peter Montgomery so far- "You can't see the visibility"

    But the TV1 crew at the Olympics are all appalling. Too many with too little to say, but insist on saying it anyway...

    Since Jan 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    True to my word, I am refusing to watch the Berlin games of our times.

    Yes, because China is just like Nazi Germany ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Meh, the BBC coverage was full of trite, often borderline irrelevant political commentary whenever the commentators were stuck for something sporty to say. If I wanted to listen to POLS101 level political analysis I'd have converted my old note books into talking books.

    That being said, the whole interactive thing they use here is pretty dammed sweet - you can pull up 5 screens at once (4 smalls, one large) and get all sorts of teletext like statistics as well.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That'd be great. Unless there's a revolution in London, I won't be wathing those Olympics, either.

    But I trust you'll keep letting us know how much you're not watching it.

    And if they have a revolution

    Which they won't.

    the new government will hopefully either cancel the games

    Which won't happen.

    or turn it into a corporate-free, amateur event in line with the original concept.

    Which won't happen either.

    Plus it'd be nice if each country was expected to put up their top competitor in each event, whether or not they are actually any good at it.

    Which would be pointless and impractical. How many heats would you have for every individual and team event if every single participating country was entered in everything?

    Rich, you've got every right to be a grinch about the Olympics, but it does seem to me that you've set the bar on non-grinching improbably high.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I am refusing to watch the Berlin games of our times

    So there were tanks at the opening ceremony?? Damn; if I’d known that, I’d have stayed up to watch.

    With Montgommery, you get the feeling it’s all about him. Interesting that he’s turned his back on covering the sailing for the first time. Perhaps the prospect of all that algae bloom turned him off.

    Or perhaps it’s the likelihood of being able to provide an over-dramatic voiceover for a few NZ golds at the rowing was too tempting for him to turn down.

    And what’s with Peter Williams using reference books on his desk? That’s right; reference books.

    Hasn’t he heard of the interweb?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    The Berlin Games of our time. Interesting how people project the worst possible interpretations of foreign and domestic policy on China without putting the country's development and political evolution into context and without acknowledgement that China has changed in many ways for the better over the past 30 years.

    While China is not where we in the West would like it to be, we need to contrast life today for many Chinese citizens to life under Mao (when the country could accurately be described as a dictatorship).

    Observing the relative freedoms that many Chinese now have, there's been a quantum leap. Increased freedom to get an education, to travel, to make money, low level experiments in democracy, transition to an open economy - there has been rapid change and much of it would be making Mao's body spin in his mausoleum.

    Russia has declared war on Georgia. The United States declared war on Iraq but some of us think the Chinese are the real bad guys. Strange old world.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Quinn was *awful* at the opening ceremony. I can't count the number of times I yelled 'shut UP, you moron! You don't have to talk!

    Oh yes he does... otherwise people might start asking questions about whether TVNZ has some kind of corporate urinary disorder requiring it to piss away large amounts of money.

    Yes, because China is just like Nazi Germany ...

    Well, in the respect that they weren't in any way shape or form insensible of the propaganda value of the Olympics. Or I guess it was just pure coincidence that "Jews not welcome" signs disappeared from Berlin's hotels and tourist attractions for a couple of weeks?

    And after the running scandals about the eye-watering amounts of money (and flat out bribery) involved in securing the hosting rights, perhaps we shouldn't be too naive about the motives of the people involved.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    it was time to join The Dropkicks for the recording of their podcast (Episode 30), which traditionally consists of the team drinking heavily and cracking wise.

    It's not the podcasting, it's how we're podcasting. Right, Hadyn?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Spinner,

    ...at least the Nazis had the decency to get Riefenstahl to film it....one can imagine/dream of, what sort of "final solution" to the montgomery question might have been implemented

    and as an aside.......

    Remmers • Since Jul 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Reception offered to shift me to the Quality for an extra 60 bucks. I agreed, and the room turned out to be a tasty corner suite with 90-degree views and a verandah.

    The Quality is totally P.I.M.P. I stayed there last year and got a great room rate, those lovely 90-degree views *and* intarwebs. What more could a girl or boy want?

    Oh, I know - better art in the lobby. But that's all.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Brilliant! A tour de force performance by Bruno Ganz!

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Quinn was *awful* at the opening ceremony. I can't count the number of times I yelled 'shut UP, you moron!

    Don't the media get some sort of briefing for what diverse parts of the opening ceremony represents?

    If so, Quin obviously didn't bother reading it. Thank goodness they had that knowledgable woman on hand to explain things (to some extent).

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    I don't get it. They have an extra channel on Freeview, (though not full HD), but they show the same stuff. Though you don't have to put up with ads.
    Why did they have to leave the road race to go to the soccer. It's not live. Well not after the first ad break. I was watching the women's game the night before on TV1 and started flick channels during the ad break.
    The game was also on the sport extra channel, but five minutes ahead.
    So why didn't they wait to the finish of the road race before starting the soccer coverage. I am generally more interested in soccer than cycling, but I don't see the need to piss cycling fans off.
    Besides football shouldn't be in the Olympics anyway. It's too big a sport and they don't have their best players there (well the men's football anyway.)
    The extra sport channel does have the decency to stick with an event until it ends, like the total 50 hours of the men's road race. lol

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Russell Brown wrote:

    Jen duly came home with the real star of the show, Bob the Baby. He was a little stern with me until I made farting noises with my hands. Kids love that.

    I've been trying to duplicate that farting sound for three days now. It's a lot harder than it looks.

    I can make a sound like an owl with my hands, and also a train whistle. But Bob's not interested in those any more. I guess once you hear a really good fart imitation, then you're ruined for everything else.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Russel said:

    We then picked up Emma Hart -- who I can reveal now will be joining the Public Address stable full-time

    YAY!!!!!

    Judi

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Quinn was *awful* at the opening ceremony. I can't count the number of times I yelled 'shut UP, you moron!...'

    If he'd've actually opened his (publicly paid-for) programme, rather than keeping it sealed for sports memorabilia purposes, he might not've been quite so ignorant.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Thanks 3410, I wondered if they had them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    The thing with Keith Quinn is the less you hear him, the better you remember him to be. His "Lomu! Uuuuuuuugggggh!" is still one of the best bits of commentary I've ever heard.

    But now... he's a shell of a man. Same goes for John MacBeth, although I can't get as worked up over him, he always looks SO happy to be there, in a 'just-got-back-from-me-frontal-lobotomy, what the fuck's going on?' kind of way.

    Post-Sky TV One has no real sports coverage to speak of, their commentators just roam the corridors like migrating humpbacks trying not to get in the way most of the time. That's why they've put the Sport On Sunday band back together. We just need Graham Thorne back behind the mic and we're set.

    I've written about Quinn et al before if you're interested, like.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is quite cool, in the circumstances:

    GEORGIAN, RUSSIAN SHOOTERS EMBRACE
    Georgia's team offered to quit the Games over the conflict with Russia in South Ossetia. But President Mikheil Saakashvili sent instructions to stay "in the best interests of the country".
    In a deliberate show of unity, Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze hugged Russian rival Natalia Paderina after they took bronze and silver respectively in the 10-metre air pistol.
    "If the world were to draw any lessons from what I did there would never be any wars," Salukvadze said.
    "There should be no hatred among athletes and people."

    The same link also has a brief report on the eight people who died in separatist suicide attacks during the weekend, 3000km away in Xinjiang.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    They don't serve anything for free on Pacific Blue. Except, that is, for the jokes. Clearly, part of what Richard Branson's airline is selling -- apart from the basic airline functionality of getting you from A to distant B in a safe and timely fashion -- is its hard-case cabin culture.

    I know it's about brand differentiation and is supposed to make people feel comfortable, but Pacific Blue's ha-ha-we're-so-funny schtick had just the opposite effect on me, the one time I flew with them. I'm a nervous flyer at the best of times, and having the head stewardess doing a whacked-out, E'd-up Hillary Timmins routine during the in-flight safety demonstration just terrified me. All I could think was, You're not going to be of any help at all in the impending aviation disaster, are you?

    It's not funny; it just makes the crew look like a bunch of light-weights -- a bit like Branson himself, really. And after all that, my flight was 40 minutes late. Never. Again.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

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