I've had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I've come throoouuughhhh (and we're gonna go on and on and on...)" The Karaoke Party HQ clustered around the TV as Helen Clark approached the podium, our only non-negotiable policy being to provide a mainstream soundtrack to political life.
"...Weeee are the champions, my frieeends, and weeee'll keep on fighting, till the end..."
Sincere apologies to the Farrar(!) Street Lost in Translation Karaoke-Election Night party for my shameless bogarting of the mic with oddly prophetic songs from the rather limited selection. From what I remember, this was the order:
- Papa Don't Preach (I'm in trouble deep)
- Killer Queen (he keeps Brownlee and Power, in his pretty Cabinet, let them eat cake he says, just like Marie Antoinette)
- Half of Bohemian Rhapsody (caught in a landslide, no escape from reality)
- Paint it Black (I see a red door and I want to....)
- Losing my Religion
- A Hard Day's Night
- I Want Your Sex (sometimes you think you're gonna get it... but you don't and that's just the way it goes)
- Oops! I Did it Again
... all in under two hours - yeah, the coverage was probably excessive and the presentation overly dramatic. But hey, they were the one who invited Chinese girls dressed as Japanese girls to a Karaoke party. The hosts could have gone all the way and called it the JAP Party. But no-one would have got it.
Still, no-one was complaining about that finale. In a surreal catharsis to what has been, for me, an unbearably tense week, with little prompting from me the whole house began Rockstar:INXSing for Helen Clark as if powhiri-ing her onto our virtual Grey Lynn Arts-Film-TV Flat marae.
"And it's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruuuise - I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I ain't gonna loooosssseee (and we're gonna go on and on and on and onnn)...
Yep, the trend of the Auckland swing to the National Party sure hadn't reached that gender-bending, arts-dole bludging, Creative New Zealand applying, documentary-making, DJing, novel-writing, liberal-blogging, hip-hop touring, TVNZ-working, TV3-watching, second-assistant-directing corner of Babylon. Any wonder the biggest bout of booing of the evening went to Peter Dunne for being snide about Auckland actors? BOOOO!!!! Where the hell would mainstream New Zealand be without Shortland Street? Hmm?
Given that I'd started on the tequila bang-on seven (on the very fine premise that every party wins with tequila), my memory has held on to little of Clark's qualified VJ-Day speech except for:
- the rather striking tivaevae-inspired red and white backdrop
- "Thank you Mainstream New Zealand"
- "We are humbled"
- that for some reason, possibly as she gave props to Mt Albert, I shouted "Morningside for Life!"
- Jeanette Fitzsimons directly afterwards indicating between the lines that a non-National government was the Greens' priority over coalition aspirations (in light of the threatened United Future blockade on Greens in Cabinet), and me explaining this to a bunch of people who seemed dubious that I had any idea what I was talking about given the state of me
- that after Jeanette finished, the DJ put on 'There is No Depression in New Zealand'
- the profound, inutterable sense of relief.
There is going to be so much post-election bloggage, my post-tequila head spins just thinking about it. The Division thing for a start. Does it really exist? How much do we hate each other, really? How does it relate to the Vision thing, and how are either affected by too much tequila?
Take it from me and the authorities of the tragically riven and reconstructing city of Mostar: what we really need for the healing of historical wounds is to build a massive monument to Bruce Lee.