Monday, November 23, 2009
The Case for Animus and Anima
For the boys
Well, apparently there is a big debate about the sporting soul of New Zealand going on.
Could it be that New Zealand will soon be a nation that recognises football as soccer, rather than as a generic name for a game with a large-ish ball on a grass field? After the recent All White success coupled on the same evening with a lacklustre All Black performance and reception, I have read some commentators who think that this is the end of the Rugby Age.
The reason for this is threefold, in that: 1) New Zealand enjoys the success of the All Whites, while not being impressed with the form of the All Blacks; 2) the recognition that Football is a global game in the way no other is; and 3) that the All Blacks have hyped themselves from everyday folk to supermodel athletes – and so, in a way, become Soccer/Footballers, as that’s where those professionals have been for a while.
It’s odd seeing the All Blacks (and people’s reactions to them) these days. On the one hand, they are sporting giants – some literally so. On the other though, they are individuals out to make a buck or prove their theories of game-winning right. An All Blacks game is still a religious experience; but the All Black priests themselves, as a whole if not certain individuals (e.g., McCaw and Carter), have somewhat fallen from grace.
It is not necessarily true that sporting heroes are interesting people with whom to talk, no matter how good they might look in only their underwear. And it is a bit naïve to think that professionalising a sport will not affect how people view and feel about the athletes. Once upon a time, I suppose the All Blacks were “ours”; now, they appear to belong to addidas instead.
The All Whites, on the other hand, don’t come with the legacy and the baggage of their Rugby brethren. They come back from training grounds overseas to represent the nation, rather than rising through the ranks in New Zealand to make money abroad. They are Kiwi battlers making a name for themselves in the world, rather than the biggest names managing to remain there. They have so little to lose for themselves and so much to gain for the country, while the All Blacks seem intent on gaining for themselves (and why not – it’s their shot to do so) while the nation’s pride and faith in them shatters with every loss.
It will be interesting to see if this trend continues. New Zealand’s sport is Rugby – it seems so natural a combination now. But in the future, could it be the other football that dominates, if the current All White success continues?
For the girls
Okay, now I know that this is SOOOO in the past now, but what is up with Rory and her choice of boyfriends in the Gilmore Girls?
[BTW: Spoiler alert if you are even further behind than me]
I am just up to the end of season 5 and so Dean is gone (for now) and off to star in Supernatural as Sam (rather than as Dean – couldn’t he have kept the same name?). Of the three love interests (that I know of), he was the nicest!!
He was nicer than super broody and tortured Jessie. Jessie may have been “misunderstood”, and Rory’s choosing him was partly a “wrong side of the tracks” attraction, mixed in with a bit of an intellectual equal thing - Dean may not have been as smart as Jessie, but he is tall, and not as mean either. And the car! Despite all the Dean pluses, those other factors do provide some mitigating circumstances, so she can be forgiven that dalliance I suppose.
But now, in season 5, with Rory at Yale, she comes across the ultra-rich and super smug Logan. I have to tip my hat to the actor because, if this guy was meant to be played as a prat, the actor is doing a great job. Really, what does Rory see in him (I am assuming she is not gold digging here – that is not a noble Gilmore endeavour!)?
Okay, so the Dean thing did turn into a bit of a disaster, with him unhappily marrying Leslie. But, on the other hand, he left Leslie for Rory! He made his name mud in the incestuous pool of busybodies that is Star’s Hollow for her! And how does she repay him? By falling for some smarmy creep! ARGH!
And so, with only 2 seasons left, I am going to throw myself behind Loralie’s love life now. Sorry Rory, you have chosen poorly and so I will not angst when you angst, as you inevitably will (or have, considering the show has been over for several years now). I assume Dean is now done and dusted and/or relegated to the limbo oblivion of guest appearances and/or off-screen implied antics. Shame!
Verdict: Changes and choices, serious and not. It’s amazing what can occupy the mind at times, and how silly a lot of it actually is. Several irrelevancies out of many more.