I am tired, so tired of the only comment worthy news being based upon the involvement of the U.S. in its occupation of Iraq.
Let me try something a bit different. A bit of trumpet blowing of my own if I may...
First from Granny Herald The change in NZ over the past ten years...
The report found a significant decrease in concern about racial problems.
The percentage of all people who believed racial problems were getting worse decreased from 65 per cent in 1994 to 60 per cent in 2004.
Auckland residents were significantly less concerned than the rest of the population, despite living in the most ethnically diverse city.
People felt better about society than they did a decade earlier.
Those who thought things were moving too fast decreased from 33 per cent of all people in 1994 to 30 per cent in 2004.
The figures showed those aged over 55 years were increasingly more comfortable with change, although they were still more uncomfortable than other groups.
People were more determined to be successful in life. Almost 70 per cent say success is very important, compared with 66 per cent in 1994.
The proportion of people who believed women got a fair go jumped from 47 per cent in 1999 to 60 per cent in 2004.
Now that is all good to know. I particularly like the idea that we are becoming a more tolerant society; tolerant of difference, tolerant of race, tolerant of religion.
As an illustration, take the following as a lead-in from the papers this morning...
The New Zealand sevens team won their third straight Wellington Sevens title and went top of the World Series standings after beating Argentina 31-7 in the final tonight.
It is not the fact that NZ won, that is almost a given. Read the article for more.
It was watching the tv last night, watching the second day of the competition, that really rang the bell for me. It does not compete in any way, shape, or form with the US Rosebowl or the NBA Finals. The crowd in the Caketin (capacity) was in the vicinity of 37,000. There was no formal entertainment, no Janet Jackson, no Boss Springsteen. The practice over the past three or four years has been to use "signature tunes" for different teams, and rather like the Proms in Britain the taped music between games and during half-time breaks are standards... "Y.M.C.A.", "Loyal", "Forget about the last one", "Let's twist again"... I think "Ten Guitars" and "76 Trombones" might have featured as well. Fancy dress is the order of the day. There is plenty of sponsor's product about - a beer that I refuse to drink until I have been introduced to the dog that drank it first.
Oh, and there were reports - well after the fact - that the day had been marked by only one streaker, female, and that that event had been studiously ignored by the tv cameras.
Yep, despite the fact that summer was two turn months late this year. Despite the fact that it has concentrated summer into just five weeks of high temps (27 plus is high for Auckland, 35 recorded in Central Otago) and humid extremes. Forget that our national average income is still outside the top ten in the world. Despite our centre-left government moving inexoribly to the right. Despite the centre-right opposition's attempts to commit hari-kiri at every conceivable (and even when theoretically impossible). Yep, despite everything that can be said to be wrong, she'll be right mate; this is STILL the best country in the world.