The good, the bad and the ugly


This week disability, disabled toilets and morals have been significantly show cased in the NZ Media. I guess you could put this down to just another news week. But I don’t think so. You see, I’m getting irked, very irked by peoples expectations placed on those in the public eye. The Press/Media doesn’t help, reporting news for the lowest common denominator is rife. It seems to me the Press/Media have no idea, nor concern with what is really in the public interest; whipping up into a frenzy anytime there is an indiscretion or slip up by someone in the public eye.

Journalists, please go back to Journo school, go back to Journalism 101, and re-examine and explore the difference between:

  • Role Models
  • Celebrities
  • Idol’s
  • Heroes

At the moment all you Journo’s seem to lump and roll these terms into one. But they are not the same thing. In fact, they are quite different. All Blacks aren’t Role Models, they are not even heroes, they are simply celebrities.

So this week there has been plenty of news, some good, some bad and definitely some ugly.

On the good news page has been Liam Malone. And for the record, I believe Liam is a hero!

To support my point, here’s an abbreviated extract from Scott Le Barge on the nature of heroes from the Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics – Santa Clara University .

The term “hero” comes from ancient Greek. For them, a hero was a mortal who had done something so far beyond the normal scope of human experience that he left an immortal memory behind him when he died.

Many of these Greek heroes were benefactors of humankind: Hercules, the monster killer; Asclepius, the first doctor; Dionysus, the creator of Greek fraternities.

But people who had committed unthinkable crimes were also called heroes; Oedipus and Medea, for example, received divine worship after their deaths as well. Originally, heroes were not necessarily good, but they were always extraordinary; to be a hero was to expand people’s sense of what was possible for a human being.

Today, because of the media, it is much harder to detach the concept of heroism from morality; we only call heroes those whom we admire and wish to emulate. We need heroes first and foremost because our heroes help define the limits of our aspirations. We largely define our ideals by the heroes we choose, and our ideals – things like courage, honor, and justice – largely define us. Our heroes are symbols for us of all the qualities we would like to possess and all the ambitions we would like to satisfy.

A couple years ago the administrators of the Barron Prize for Young Heroes polled American teenagers and found only half could name a personal hero. Superman and Spiderman were named twice as often as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or Lincoln. It is clear that our media make it all too easy for us to confuse celebrity with excellence; of the students who gave an answer, more than half named an athlete, a movie star, or a musician. One in ten named winners on American Idol as heroes.

 So what must we do? How should we address the problem? Part of the answer is personal. It never hurts us to remind ourselves who our own heroes are and what they represent for us, and to ask ourselves whether we are doing all we can to live up to these ideals.

For those of us who are teachers – and all of us are teachers of our own children at least – have a special opportunity to introduce heroes to those we teach. And teaching about heroes really isn’t hard; heroic lives have their appeal built in, all we need to do is make an effort to tell the stories. I assure you, the reason those students didn’t choose Lincoln and King and Gandhi as heroes was not that they had heard their stories and dismissed them. It is our job to tell the stories. Tell your students what a difference people of courage and nobility and genius have made to the world.

 Heroes can help us lift our eyes a little higher. Immanuel Kant said that “from the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” That may well be true. But some have used that warped, knotted timber to build more boldly and beautifully than others, and we may all benefit by their examples. Heaven knows we need those examples now.

The Good -Liam Malone

Paralympian Liam Malone arrives back at Auckland Airport after the Rio games.

He’s just a goofy dude from Nelson who just runs in circles and reads books – well at least that’s what he say’s. Well yesterday that goofy dude was given the keys to Nelson City – but not before filling up his Dad’s truck with diesel instead of petrol.

This presentation was of course because of his exploits at the Rio Paralympics. After winning two golds and a silver medal, he is arguably be the  fastest man in the world with no legs.

Liam is a Nelsonian through and through, Kate, Maddie and I were delighted to be part of the thousands who went along to the civic celebration to show our admiration, our thanks and support to this outstanding young man. It was wonderful to listen to Liam and even better, Maddie our daughter got to briefly meet him. Humble, and grateful, Liam graciously thanked Nelson for the $20,000 it raised to enable him to purchase his first set of running blades, saying that if it were not for that, then he would never have made it to the Paralympics. He told us that the medals belonged to Nelson, as much as they belonged to him.

Don’t even dare play the disability card! This guys a champion, disabled or not. He would have been a winner legs or without legs. Resilience, tenacity, dedication, and desire combined with a great deal of self belief, makes Liam an outstanding young man. Sure, his disability may make things harder for him, but overcoming difficulties through strength and depth of character sit aside from disability. As someone who works in the disability sector, I wish many more people would see people as people, not as able bodied or disabled. But we like labels – which bring us to – the bad!

The Bad -Aaron Smith, or is it us?

All Black halfback Aaron Smith

Who hasn’t had sex in a public place; in a car, car park, garden, under a bush in someone’s garden, in the bathroom, the garage? The list could go on. I’m not afraid to say – that I have had sex in weird and quite wonderful places. Often the chance of getting caught adding excitement and thrill to the encounter.

Public outrage – astonishment – disgust!

Come on NZ, we do not live in Victorian times. People have sex, some people have sex outside of relationships and some people even have sex in public places.  Whether this is right or wrong, whether this fits within your own moral’s,personal view on sex and relationships is beside the point. Just like rugby, not everyone plays by the same rules.

Ministers of Faith have sex, GP’s have sex, postmen and women have sex, accountants, bankers, lawyers, factory workers, shop assistants all like to get their leg over and imbibe the juices of the carnal fruits.

Oh my God, you can’t be serious! Do rugby players have sex, does that mean even All Blacks have sex?

If anyone thought otherwise they need a bullet. And if anyone thinks that this is news, and Smiths activities are of interest to anyone else other than him, his girlfriend, his tryst partner, then they need two bullets.

Sure he was on Company time. Sure, it is an employment issue and needs to be dealt with as such. But please do not tell me Smith and every other All Black or famous person is public property for issues of morality. Quote me brand damage, quote me marketing and sponsorship, but do not quote me morals because I know what you do when the curtains are drawn and the lights are turned down!

This brings me to who is whipping (excuse the deliberate pun) up all this repressive moralistic role model horse poo.

 The Ugly – The NZ Press/Media

Fairfax-NZME merger

Global statements! I hate them. Hate them, hate them, hate them. Judy Bailey – mother of the nation – my arse!

She is not like my mother in anyway, nor is she like any of the 300 or so other mothers that pick up their children from Tahunanui School – not that I’ve seen anyway.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 10.25.41 am

All Black’s as role models, my hairy arse!

Surely, if I wanted a role model I would choose my own? Not select who the media tells me too.  Yes, kids love the All Blacks, and yes I loved the All Blacks as a Kid, but it is not for their personality, not for their charm, not for their morals, not for their social standing. No, it is for their rugby prowess, their ability to kick goals, to score try’s, tackle and knock people over. If people don’t get that – then I feel sorry for them.

Yes, in my opinion it’s high time for a national discussion on

Role Models

  • Celebrities
  • Idol’s
  • Heroes

And the expectations we place on them.

The should be led and conducted in the media/press. But it won’t be, because Conrad Hurrell getting a blow job is far more exciting and sells more advertising.

Do rugby league players even get blowjobs?


Kia Ora


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