They’re just not nice to look at; thin skinned hairy parcels which wrinkle and contract at the slightest sign of cold or fright. Membranous tissue which seems to stretch a mile before snapping; no, there is not a lot going for them.
Ugly; I readily concede, but they do hold important bits.
Bits men want to keep and protect, although unfortunately scrotum’s afford scant protection as I’ve often found out playing contact sport.
I’ve played in dozens of games of rugby where I wished I had a titanium protector instead of my flimsy sack. I’ve been kicked, punched, grabbed and kneed in the knackers more times than I wish to remember.
But it’s a numbers game; it’s like surfing, hopefully the shark will bite the guy next to you, not you. Now I’m retired from rugby, I reflect that the only comfort I ever took in this, is the times I watched, guffawed and giggled at many dozens of my team mates and opposition who grabbed their balls, sunk to their knees, closed their eyes and screamed. Some have cried, some have impersonated Edvard Munch, some have even writhed on the ground for extended periods wishing to be put down..
You would think that men; knowing the agony created by a low blow below the belt would take sympathy. But, no – we find the howling, the grimacing and rolling lolling about hilarious!
However, there are exceptions to the rule.
I played in 2 games whether players have suffered serious scrotum injuries. On one occasion a testicle was ripped straight out of the scrotum and was left dangling against the upper thigh of my team mate. Thankfully a quick trip to the A&E, a gentle guiding hand, a few well placed sutures and the testicle was safely re-inserted and stitched back into place.
On the other occasion, the poor severed testicle had suffered significant damage and could not be saved. Although the player was in the opposition, there is no comfort there. The poor guy had his testicle removed.
You can rest assured that on both of these occasions there was no giggling, smirks or jokes. Gathered players simply standing in silence, hands on hips with heads down. All of us thinking, thank God it wasn’t me.
Its no laughing matter when your knackers are knackered! Pain is fair game, testicles sacrosanct.
They say New Zealand men are tough, the All Blacks especially so. Many years an All Black Captain suffered a cruel blow between his legs. physically knackered, his knackers knackered, he still managed to find a way to play on. His name was Buck Shelford.
Bring back Buck!
Here is his story:
Buck (Wayne) was a victim of the infamous “Battle of Nantes”, which was one of the most aggressive games of rugby ever played and witnessed. During the game a French boot found its way into Shelford’s groin, somehow ripping his scrotum and leaving him with one testicle hanging free.
Shelford was caught at the bottom of a ruck 20 minutes into the game, losing four teeth, and sustained a large tear to his scrotum courtesy of a stray French boot.
Incredibly, Shelford had his injury stitched on the sideline and played on until deep into the second half, when a knock to the head left him concussed and unable to continue.
The Daily Telegraph.
The aggression of the French rugby team was unprecedented, and many of the All Blacks suspected foul play. It would later transpire that many of the French players were pepped up on amphetamines, a reasonable explanation for their violent physicality.
“When I came out of the tunnel and I saw them, I looked into the eyes of many of the players as I walked past them, and their eyes did not say that they were going into a game against the All Blacks,”
“Their eyes just looked like they were on something, and I could not prove it.”
The French team doctor at the time, Jacques Mombet, much later explained that the Nantes Test was the most obvious example of French players using amphetamines.
He said New Zealand realised their opponents were “loaded” and made a complaint to the International Rugby Board, which eventually led to a clampdown and ultimately drug testing.
Now, I have played in some testy games before, but I recall this Test Match vividly and I am so pleased I was not within 1,000 miles of the sideline, such was the aggression and violence.
I have genuine respect for French Rugby, my pecking order has always been All Blacks first, then France and then any other team playing England or Australia. But on November the 15th 1986, the spirit of French rugby suffered a blow as painful as any blow to the groin, and it was no laughing matter.
In New Zealand, before 1970 men were men and women were grateful.
Pakeha New Zealand was barely 100 years old, the blood of the pioneers persisting, pumping thick and strong. The land was still being tamed; work needed sinew and muscle not fingers and pens. Apron strings were still heavily tied to the Mother Land but ultimately swiftly cast aside upon Mothers entrance into the Common Market.
It was a mans world.
Rugby, racing and beer. Sweat and toil. Men hunted, they provided, and so did women, either in the kitchen or in the bedroom.
New Zealand was and still is a land of contradictions. She was the first country in the world to give women the vote, but the first also to throw them the dish cloth and tea towel. There was genuine affection toward Maori, but this manifested itself in condescension. New Zealanders were generous, yet unthinkingly stole land they had no right to steal. At will they bastardized and and mis-pronounced the beautiful local tongue.
Within all this hubbub though, a national identity slowly started to emerge. A strong independent stand alone culture. A rugged, ‘sort it out, she’ll be right’ attitude toward life.
Peter Cape was a first generation Kiwi born to an English family and was the most unlikely minstrel of our early cultural emergence. Although through his music and cleverly crafted lyric he captured the essence of what it was like to be a kiwi man.
But what about the women you ask?
Well no need to worry about them, the sheila’s will be in the kitchen cutting the supper.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like Peter Cape’s folk music. I believe his life’s work is seriously underrated; while musically simple, lyrically it’s clever, and historically accurate – painfully so. His body of work is of significant importance to NZ – so on that count give me Peter Cape over Lorde any day.
It’s nostalgic to look back. But to appreciate it best you need to look back in with corrective lens of context not romance.
As for the man himself, Peter Cape was the perfect kiwi man. A complete and utter contradiction. Unusually for a singer he had a speech impediment which you can quite clearly hear in his vocals. He was Kiwi born to an English family. A man new to NZ but one who captured the essence of being a kiwi man perfectly. He was an ordained Anglican Priest, yet thought nothing of leaving his wife and children to follow the arts and crafts movement evolving in Nelson.
So what do I think of Peter Cape?
As a Musician I believe he was a talented man and I enjoy his music.
As a recorder of history – he was absolutely brilliant with perfect insight into the psyche of the Kiwi Male.
As a bloke, well I think he was probably a bit of a bastard.
But then again I think most men were back then.
It was all part of being a kiwi.
PS: When I hear Peter’s music – I hear the song of my father’s life.
I was saddened this week to learn of the death of NZ’s Mod Father; Ray Colombus.
Ray and his band, the Invaders were the first NZ act to have an international number one hit with the song;
‘She’s a Mod.’
I was lucky enough to meet Ray once. At the time I was part of the North East Christchurch Road Rats (NECRR). At that time he was the host and the big star of very popular Variety Showcalled That’s Country.
Ray actually approached us after hearing our scooters being parked outside a local cafe. Seeing we were ‘Mods’he strode across to our group and introduced himself (he needed no introduction of course). We were aghast, Ray was the real deal, the original!
Ray appeared genuinely interested in the second Mod Revival when he could have easily treated us as poseurs. I have subsequently learnt since his death, Ray was a great supporter of youth and mentored many young Christchurch (and NZ) acts onto bigger and better things.
Ray, to me, it was 3 minutes in person not vinyl that you proved what a outstanding guy you were. Ray you will never be forgotten, becuase how could anyone forget a song like this:
Ray was the real deal. Of course everyone only ever remembers ‘Until we kissed’ and ‘She’s a Mod’ but if you have the time please check out his back catalogue. Songs like ‘Yo Yo’ and ‘Kick Me’ are forgotten classics.
Ray’s death has stirred up memories of my time as a mod. So I have decided to reprise a post I made to this blog last year.
For me; when the feeling is gone I will no longer be breathing. For there isn’t a day on earth that I can’t imagine not being in love with Betty-Anne Monga.
I was in my late teens when Betty-Anne and Ardijah burst onto the NZ music scene.
‘Who is that ‘Atua Wahine?’ I asked myself after seeing her for the first time on Ready to Roll. Not only was she stunning, she sounded like an angel – a siren singing straight to my heart. I would have gladly drowned enveloped in her supple brown arms, be tangled and strangled within her long dark hair. God, her beauty hit me right between the eyes and the ears, and to be honest I’ve never fully recovered.
Of course Ardijah didn’t really just hit the scenes. They had been working the pub scene in Auckland for many years – but for all of those early years they were a covers band. Not a bad thing to be, because they honed their skills, they learnt their craft. So when the big time came they were ready. By god they were ready. It was only after a wag called out during one of their gigs, ‘play something original’ did they feel empowered, did they feel brave enough to unleash their brand of music upon Aotearoa, and I’m so glad they did. Time makes a wine indeed.
Now, I’m no great fan of RnB. But when it is fused with a Polynesian back beat, reggae, funk and ska roots I’m a convert. To me Ardijah is a seminal band for NZ in the way they achieved the finest quality and subtle blend of these elements. They coined the term Polyfonk – it stuck and it is now the name of their recording label.
Ask any Kiwi worth their salt who were their musicians of the eighties, the answers will invariably be:
Split Enz, The Exponents, Dave Dobbyn (and bands), Herbs, Dragon, Mi-Sex, the chills and Hello Sailor, The Clean and more. But where’s Ardijah? Where the hell is Ardijah?
To me they were the sound of the eighties and the nineties. Hot summer days at the beach, picnics, long drives with the window down, arm out the window and my ardijah cassettes on auto rewind. Balmy nights spent wondering where Betty-Anne was playing and wishing I could be there too. Wishing I could drown…yes, yes, heard it already Roly.
Time has flown by, I am now a 50 something overweight pakeha male, but Betty-Anne is still an Atua Wahine. She is still my imaginery 80’s girlfriend.
Ardijah still gig and make music; now they are master craftsmen who have dug even deeper into their polynesian roots. They have immersed themselves into music of the land, of the islands, of the people and themselves. They are also doing covers again, and their version of Prince Tui Teka’s E-Ipo is a beautifully sculptured piece of immense gravitias and mana – easily equal to Herb’s ‘Sensitive to a smile,’ to which it gives a well deserved nod. Bravo!
So Betty-Anne for me the feeling will never be gone. We have never met (damn-it) but I look back at the eighties and am very grateful that you played such a major part of those years. It was a journey I loved sharing with you. And as you sang so many years ago – time does indeed makes a very fine wine.
Do you remember the fun, the energy, the optimism and the innocence?
I bet we all do!
Every writer worth their salt has written about the transition from child to adult, the rites of passage, the coming of age, journey’s of discovery.
Very few though write about the unbridled joy and sheer loveliness of being young. Of a time in our life when the only worry we had was the Maths test on Friday. When we could have a fight with our best friend in the morning and be bestie mates again by lunchtime.
Is it the fear of being labelled a sacchariney children’s author, the fear of being a niche teen writer that stops of us? Or is it because we have become so cynical we know for most; the innocence, the generosity and the love will disappear as soon as the horrible hormones kick in? At any age, there are always a good stories, and here’s one of them.
Maddie and one of her besties, Sally, wanted to raise money for the Earthquake Victims in Kaikoura. So on Wednesday they set up a Lemonade and Cookie stand at Tahunanui Beach. They raised $53.70 to be given to the St John’s Earthquake appeal.
I asked Maddie how she felt inside afterward. She said, she felt so good, she said she felt so joyful in that she and Sally could actually do something to help. When she spoke her eyes lit up, a smile came across her face and I could actually see and hear the love from the way she spoke and moved.
I will let the photo’s do the talking.
The following song is called ‘Feel Inside’ it was written by The Flight of the Concords and used to raise money for ‘Cure Kids.’ It ’tis a sweet song but what’s best about it is that all the lyrics were taken from Children.
I’d run out of Daivobet and I needed to get it sorted.
Summer was coming and I wanted to look my best down at the beach. No scabby scales for me, just a wobbly splodgey tummy and splotchy pink skin sprouting patches of thick pig like hairs.
It took me weeks to get everything together and when I did, I drove straight down to my local Church.
‘I think I’ve got everything we need,’ I said to the Pastor.
‘I’ve had to compromise a bit. Wasn’t sure what Hyssop was so I’ve brought along some Italian Herbs, hopefully they’ll do the job?
Now,…the crimson stuff, I wasn’t sure what that was, or how much I should bring; so I’ve brought along a few crimson things. You can decide on what’s appropriate. Personally, be good though if I can get my wife’s bikini bottoms back – she doesn’t know I’ve pinched them, and she looks pretty hot in them down the beach, if you know what I mean.
Here’s the oil and cedar wood,’ I added, passing them across to the Pastor.
He looked at me strangely.
I wondered whether he was pissed because I hadn’t brought everything in.
‘Oh, I’ve got the lambs in the ute in the carpark, and I’ve brought a pig and a couple of dogs as well, just in case. You just tell me when you need them. I tell you what, that grumpy old bastard at pet shop over the road refused to sell me 2 budgies when he found out that one of them was going to be killed; so I had to catch a couple of pigeons. What a fucking performance that was, feathers and shit everywhere, oops sorry Pastor, forgot where I was. They’re in the Ute too!’
Now with the water; I’m thinking that we could use your tap in the kitchen. Hopefully that’s okay, after all I guess it’s close to being holy water coming from a Church Kitchen and all.
We ready to go then?’
The Pastor still had a funny look on his face, he scratched his head. Ever so slowly he started to smile.
‘Are you on day release from the Unit?’ He asked in a soft calming voice before stepping away.
‘Hell no, I shot back,’ I’m here to get my psoriasis fixed. I know you guys are experts about these things, do you have time to do it now?’
Ancient Jewish oral tradition dictates that I don’t deserve to be alive; that I should be dead. And the reasons I need to be outcast into the desert and left for dead is that I am poor and afflicted with Psoriasis. That’s what you get for being an unclean sexually perverted deviant. And the fact that I have patches of psoriasis on both elbows must mean I’m doubly perverted.
Now all you readers can stop sniggering about my fate right now, because if you’re poor, blind, or childless then we’re all in the same boat. A boat full of poor sexually depraved people with impaired vision and skin conditions. Bloody good trip I reckon! Who needs the Titanic?
The Roman Catholic Church has played a big part in my life. My family, my upbringing, my education, all playing their part in teaching me about Christ and the ultimate uniting force of the universe – God. However, I gave up Catholicism many moons ago, and these days I would consider myself a very reluctant Christian. However, that does not stop me from living my life trying my utmost best to adhere to Christian values. So, for all intents and purposes, I am a Christian – but just don’t do the Christian God thingy! I believe in a supreme being, but in my view, generations of pompous (not Pious) fat Italian cross dressing men with vested interests have warped the true meaning of Christianity and our view of God.
Pope Leo – Fernando Botero
When I did call myself a Christian, I was a New Testament man! A renaissance man, a man of forgiveness, of hope and faith. Faith, in that I believed there was a man called Jesus, faith in that he was a leader, a teacher and freedom fighter. Faith in the fact that was crucified, faith in that many of the events in the New Testament actually did happen and much of the teachings Jesus gave were real, deep and meaningful. For all these things I have no doubt.
Son of God? Ergh not sure about that one sorry.
When I called myself a Christian I always struggled with the Old Testament. I appreciate that the first 5 books of it form part of the Torah and I understand that the Quran regards the Old Testament as a valid and authentic spiritual record. Me, well I think its all make believe fantasy, jelly beans and bullshit.
And you see this, and what I do with my ‘willy’ are the reasons why I have psoriasis! This week Bishop Brian Tamaki of the Destiny Church reminded me of that.
Image source – Wiki
Bishop Tamaki is a prominent Christian leader and advocate of the gospel. He has appeared on all major Prime Time News and Current Affairs broadcasts and tabloids defending and upholding the faith and traditional Christian values. He is a man of Christ, a man of love, a smart man who clearly understands the will of a loving and forgiving God. He has built his Destiny Church on the following beliefs:
We believe there is one living God, the God of creation, who exists eternally in the three persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God. We believe in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, His second coming and eventual eternal kingdom.
We believe in the Divine inspiration and authority of the Bible. It is the Word of God.
We believe in the spiritually lost condition of mankind and the need for every man to repent and be born again of the spirit, which is essential to enter the Kingdom of God.
We believe in the sacraments of baptism by immersion in water, and the Lord’s Supper – communion.
We believe in the person, ministry and baptism of the Holy Spirit, with signs following.
We believe in the resurrection of the saved and the lost, one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.
We believe the church is the body of Christ and His corporate expression of Christ on the earth, and represents the manifold wisdom of God.
He is the head. The church comprises of all people who have been saved and born of the Spirit. The church is God’s only hope for the human race.
We believe it is the believer’s privilege and responsibility to bring the tithe and offerings in to the local church.
While mainstream churches would never dare to wallow in the murky waters of the Old Testament, Bishop Brian has no problem immersing himself and extolling and validating it’s teachings. He sprays it’s teaching the way a shower head does water without a curtain – all over the bloody place! Like most fire and brimstone preachers Leviticus is one of his favorites, his go to. There is certainly some profound stuff in there and I encourage every reader to give it a crack (not).
It’s from Leviticus that I learnt my sexual depravity caused my psoriasis, and that as a result, I deserved to die (Leviticus 12 thru 14). It’s just amazing and incredible that a book written by a legendary (but not historical) figure called Moses, circa 1400 BC (but collated in Persia 500 years before Christ) knows more than modern medical science about the causes of psoriasis. It certainly has nothing to do with my arthritis, or that it can be traced through the generations of my paternal lineage.
Leviticus even knows what causes the earth to spew up thereby creating earthquakes. Its amazing! Honestly why would anyone want to waste their life and time studying seismology?
Please, please please check this out – go on – its under 2 minutes long.
Subsequent to this sermon:
Brian Tamaki has defended saying that gays, sinners and murders are responsible for earthquakes, saying he actually meant anybody indulging in illicit sexual behaviour, adultery, child abuse and more.
“It’s about adultery, morality, it’s about any type of extra-sexual behaviour,” Tamaki has told Willie Jackson in an interview on RadioLive.
Tamaki has refused to apologise to anyone and said he did plenty of good in the community and should not be judged as a monster.
He blamed the media for not giving him a right of reply, despite turning down the Herald earlier when he was asked to defend the Sunday morning sermon.
Tamaki said since news of his sermon broke he and his family had received death threats and threats to burn down Destiny Church.
He said it was important for people to remember this was God’s view, not his.
Source NZ Herald
What I think
Well Brian I would like to quote some scripture at you too. And once again this comes from Leviticus.
Brian you need a haircut
Letting your hair become unkempt (Leviticus 10:6)
“You will die” and God will be angry at everyone!
Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the LORD has destroyed by fire.
2) Leviticus 35-37
If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.
Destiny Church demands more than tithe, former members say
By Heather McCracken
4:00 AM Sunday Mar 7, 2010
Former Destiny Church members claim families are pressured to give “love offerings” and other cash donations above the expected 10 per cent tithe. The claim comes as TV3 confirms it has sold broadcast time to the church – funded by Destiny’s new “Give It Heaps” campaign which asks families to give $2000 over seven months.
The church came under scrutiny last week after the walkout of Brisbane pastor Andrew Stock and a number of his members. Replacement pastors were sent across the Tasman to take over the church and church leader Brian Tamaki said that members who did not give money were “robbing” God.
Former Destiny Taranaki member Randolph Pratt said members came under pressure to contribute to the fundraising drives above their 10 per cent tithe.
“There’s a lot of people in Destiny Church in low-income families,” he said.
“How can they afford to give that sort of money?”
Pratt said he left the church after four years because it became too focused on money. He gave $1500 a month above his 10 per cent tithe.
“There are good things happening in Destiny, but just taking money from people all the time is wrong. There’s just no need for it.”
Pratt said he expected “a lot of flak” from Destiny members for speaking out: “I don’t care because it’s the truth, and it’s got to come out.”
Another former member, who did not want to be named, said members were expected to fill in tithe envelopes with their names, how much they were giving and any added donations. Offerings were used to fund church buildings, even though the buildings were owned by a separate company, which the church paid rent to.
“It’s the tithing and offerings that are paying the buildings off, and then they’re paying rent on top of that,” he said.
Another former member said they were told they would be “blessed by God” for giving their pastor extra “love offerings” – a cash donation given directly to the pastor.
In a statement, Destiny Church said Give it Heaps aimed to raise $3 million for the Destiny School in Auckland. It would also pay for producing and screening the TV programme.
“What members decide to contribute towards this goal and how they wish to contribute is purely their choice.”
In a statement, Destiny said “honorariums” received by pastors were at the discretion of the local church.
TV3 has defended its decision to allow Destiny to buy a 30-minute segment on Wednesday mornings at 6am.
Spokesman Roger Beaumont said the critical coverage of Destiny Church by current affairs show Campbell Live had no impact on the network’s commercial decisions.
Herald on Sunday
For all the people of Kaikoura and surrounds, for all the victims of Natural Disasters throughout the world (and there are millions of people suffering), I urge you to judge this clown as he has judged you!
Brian, are you a homophobic bigot exploiting people’s faith and bank accounts? Are someone who likes to hide behind obscure scripture from 3,500 years ago? Or, are you just another in a long line of pompous (not Pious) rich, well dressed men with vested interests who have warped the true meaning of Christianity and our view of God?
There, I told you I wasn’t much of a Christian!
I wrote a similar post last year. If interested please check out the following link.