Hard News: Hug Reform
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Berinthia Binnie, in reply to
I actually liked the way the light fell on my nicely-stacked wood
Of course you did *hug* because it’s wood innit (I see the folly of my ways now on the bigger screen).
So I return my Celebratory hug for finally seeing what it wasn’t (water catching the light over schist) and ask for mercy and a hug because I obviously need glasses!
Off to ponder the simple beauty of abstraction.
I think we should we should get back to the 60s absence of emotion on the rugger field as a tactic. Imagine how freaked out the opposition would be if there were no celebrations on scoring, and everyone just jogged back to halfway, ready for more. Implication being, that's jus one of many tries we are going to score today so why get excited now.
Russell Brown, in reply to
That would actually freak people out.
BenWilson, in reply to
Imagine how freaked out the opposition would be if there were no celebrations on scoring, and everyone just jogged back to halfway, ready for more.
Emotionless can be a ploy, and not just on the field. To not go OTT with hugs and stuff on an old friend you haven't seen for a while, could be seen as presumption of what a good friend that they are that you don't even need to. One friend I have often tees off catching up with just continuing the conversation we last had, however long ago it might have been. It's kind of amusing, the implication being that you've been on their mind the entire time. Then the pressure is on me to remember the conversation and just casually pick it up, as if my own memory of things I'd been discussing years ago was still fresh.
This is an outlier, though. Mostly I tend to at least shake hands with friends that have been away for a bit. Not many hugs though. Not for old friends. There's still the stoic Kiwi understatement of all emotion. I'd like to say it's changed and evolved, but nah. What's changed is that for those who do like to hug, I'm all good with it, where in the long distant past I'd probably have felt uncomfortable. As in last millenium.
When I was part of the first 3 NZ Americas Cup challenges the sailors had a deliberate policy of not showing any emotion when we won. In San Diego especially, it was a reaction to the high fives and over the top (we thought) celebrations of the Americans. A hand shake was allowed, but anything more attracted a fine. God forbid anybody hugged!. While some of the old boys are still a bit staunch, It has mostly changed for the better now though.
Russell Brown, in reply to
Sacha, in reply to
also provides evidence you can handle an axe, unlike our PM and hammers. :)
It's definitely a culture shift, and I'm going to come out and say that I think seeing it in "manly" sport actually is the most significant impetus to the trend.
I don't think I saw pakeha heterosexual men hug until my late 20s. I think it's great they do much more now, and I think it's also great that men can be more physically demonstrative to their boys.
[See, also, feminism, where most women aren't nearly as concerned as they used to be about enforcing stoic buttoned-up emotions in their sons, or partners.]
As for me, I give great hugs, but because of ishoos, I'm selective about who I dole them out to. I don't think I hugged a family member until my 30s, so I never learned the art of the social hug. It's kind of all or nothing, even when it's non-sexual.
Anyway, more hugs across the board are great, and acknowledging they're an opt-in activity is awesome.
I like the "quiet approval" thing as well - not everyone is a demonstrative hugger - but having a full complement of ways to express positive emotions available to us is all good.
Rosemary McDonald, in reply to
and ask for mercy and a hug because I obviously need glasses!
Me too, having failed the driving licence eye test the other day.
I had to go where I should've gone before and ended up 'bonding' with the eye professional over a completely non vision related issue. A hug was asked for and I was happy to participate.
I'm not a demonstrative person (ishoos), but Like TracyMac says, sometimes "quiet approval" is required...and on some occasions words just don't cut it.
A few words are not enough. More words, way too much.
A hug. Just right.
It seems to me the primary defense of a undemonstrative demeanour is that a laconic outlook is the mark of an egalitarian society, because in an egalitarian society it is your actions that do all the speaking you need for you. It seems to me that generally speaking, the more unequal the society, the more it approves of grandiloquent display. Australians, now frequently seen as a bunch of loud mouths in a wannabe US culture, were once legendary for laconic humour and O.E. Burton entitled his history of the NZ division in World War One “The Silent Division”. And of course, we have the home of laconic silence itself – the Spartans, for which we have the following anecdote of silent egalitarianism and respect:
“…An old man wandering around the Olympic Games looking for a seat was jeered at by the crowd until he reached the seats of the Spartans, whereupon every Spartan younger than him, and some that were older, stood up and offered him their seat. The crowd applauded and the old man turned to them with a sigh, saying “All Greeks know what is right, but only the Spartans do it…”
I guess once we were happy to be a undemonstrative society that looked after it’s old people, but nowadays we are happier to join the rest of blowhards. Being undemonstrative has it’s own heavy social costs but I think prefer the old school approach to all the child like capering about you see these days on the sports field.
Ian Dalziel, in reply to
I guess once we were happy to be a undemonstrative society that looked after it’s old people…
…Bryan Bruce has an excellent piece in today’s Press about the demonstrative economy…
ahead of of the lecture he will give in the Transitional Cathedral, 234 Hereford Street, Chchch this Saturday at 7pm.
I don't do a lot of hugging, except with family and my Best Beloved, because I'm atrocious at reading the social cues. I also know a fair few women who aren't too pleased at unasked-for intimacy of this type and, as my memory is shot to hell from M.E., I can never remember which ones are okay with it and which are not. So I tend to go for a handshake and a head nod, not from any "man alone" inheritance but purely from not wanting to upset anyone.
On the man-to-man thing, there's also the fact that I'm part of the Whirlwind trust where sometimes a man is just too fragile to do the hug thing.
3 things I do take from this post, though:
1. The silky skills of David Kirk and Sid Going at halfback,
2. The god in the #7 jersey that was Kel Tremain, and
3. How much video has improved.
BenWilson, in reply to
It's an interesting idea, that out laconic nature was somehow an offshoot of our egalitarianism.But I don't think it's true. It seems more likely to be an offshoot of our British ancestry, and our highly rural population.
It seems to me that generally speaking, the more unequal the society, the more it approves of grandiloquent display.
I can't really see much evidence of the truth of that. It seems to be mostly a cultural thing. Stoic attitudes can also be excellent oppressors, as the Spartans were also.
chris, in reply to
Emma Hart, in reply to
And of course, we have the home of laconic silence itself – the Spartans, for which we have the following anecdote of silent egalitarianism and respect:
Egalitarian Sparta? Are you actually kidding?
David Hood, in reply to
It seems to me the primary defense of a undemonstrative demeanour is that a laconic outlook is the mark of an egalitarian society
I think the English are generally stereotyped as both emotionally respressed and highly class ridden.
Wait til you have a cracked rib and a friend hugs you before you've had a chance to blurt out a warning....
chris, in reply to
unlike our PM and hammers. :)
There’s your superhero/villain origin story; brought up by a single mother following the death of his alcoholic father, the boy never chanced upon the privilege of putting hammer to nail – whether it was that his family could barely afford either or that they were legally prohibited from doing any work on the state house the family occupied, whether he was short of guidance or simply lacked the manual dexterity or hand-eye coordination.
So rugged was this kingdom that a lad was nothing if unable to handle the hammer, so manly was this kingdom that any who could not hammer nail were openly ridiculed, by the liberals, the town criers – even the disabled made no bones of openly jeering at those within whom this ability was not evident.
Incensed, through a combination of good fortune and cunning the boy amassed a huge fortune, usurped the throne and wreaked vengeance on this nation of mocking hammerers – to this day many still wonder what hit them.
Olivia Manning's Harriet Pringle on the men of the NZEF she sees in a Greek cinema: 'there were New Zealanders, tall, sun-burnt, men, who seemed to retain their seriousness as a source of power.'
I'm not convinced about a link between egalitarianism and undemonstrativeness. In fact, I was brought up with a rather classist attitude to emotional displays: Americans and plebby vulgarians were visibly emotional sorts.
I always remember Frasier and Niles Crane (unemotional Americans) agreeing on the wisdom of their mother's view that 'a handshake is as good as a hug.'
I wonder which broadcaster reading PAS decided to do a long slow-mo of the group hug after Savea scored the first try against France the other day. I was almost expecting it to freeze frame and then fade to black and white for the credits roll.
Here’s the moment.
This is cool. Sonny Bill Williams comforts a shattered Jesse Kriel after the final whistle in this morning’s pulse-pounding semi-final.
BenWilson, in reply to
He seems like a good dude. I don't know what's up with all the haterz. Too talented and good looking, I think. All Blacks are meant to be ugly and gruff.
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