Muse by Craig Ranapia


Rugby World Kitsch

I'm sure we've all been having a good snigger about the so-called "tupperwaka" -- God knows it would churlish not to join in when Shane Jones has found a cultural interest that doesn't require a box of tissues and a valid credit card. 

Still, I'm rather surprised that the usual suspects haven't found the time and energy to direct a little of their epic austerity concern trolling at some of the more... shall we say, marginal recipients (among plenty of entirely worthy projects) of the $9.48 million in funding from the REAL New Zealand Festival Lottery Fund Committee that was announced with little fanfare on April Fools Day.

Why, for example, is the taxpayer stumping up to help the NZSO and New Zealand Choral Federation "make a set of professional choral recordings that will help communities, schools, choirs and the public all over New Zealand learn the national anthems of the Rugby World Cup 2011 participating teams"? 

And when it comes to two dollar shop kitsch, Ngati Whatua is going to have to epically pimp out that plastic waka to out-tack this load of old balls the Auckland City Council will hold a publicly-subsidised tea-bagging with.

Giant Rugby Ball Homecoming

The Giant Rugby Ball will be in pride of place on Auckland's waterfront and will ensure that visitors and locals in Auckland have the opportunity to see and experience this New Zealand icon.

I could be entirely cynical, and suggest that there's little scope for election year "damn Maari" dog-whistling, and it's easy to give your inner redneck a call when "good taste" dictates that noble savages only use natural fibres. 

The real outrage should be -- but unsurprisingly isn't -- that we had an opportunity to treat arts and culture as an integral feature of the Rugby World Cup insead of an afterthought. It's hard to see much evidence that we didn't choke.

Still, we'll always have the Official Dick Frizell Tiki Hoodie! (Which, by the way, is teh awesome.)

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