#65: This Sporting Life

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Edge Message #65 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM


Our placing of sporting heroes on a pedestal above all others has traditionally been something of a national myopia. A one-eyed
view, squinting into the sharp Aotearoa sun, that has been challenged in recent times by a swelling cultural, spiritual and scientific surge, now powerfully articulated in the essence of the New Zealand Edge. As today’s edition of newzedge shows, our winners, whether they work in the laboratories, sporting fields, schools and studios, on-island or overseas, all deserve celebration – and there is a emerging maturity in the ways that we’re able to do so.

So sample the global grit, guts, glory and gravitas (and goss) from nzers making headlines the world over – see how the world is seeing us, from The Times, New York Times, LA Times, Hundistan Times, BBC, CNN, Wall St Journal, Boston Globe, NY Post, The Age, The Australian, Guardian, Independent, Toronto Star, Seattle Times, Empire, Nylon, Rugby Heaven and more:

  • Silver Ferns triumph in Jamaica; All Blacks triumph in Sydney
  • Whale Rider reaps acclaim for director, writer and cast and culture
  • Norma McCulloch named British Female Inventor of Year
  • Andrew (Shrek) Adamson looks to bring Narnia to Aotearoa
  • Peter Robinson in Art Forum; Michael Stevenson at Venice Biennale
  • McCahon in Melbourne; Fiona Clark’s Go Girl in Sydney
  • Helen Clark attend third way meet in London
  • David Fagan wins record fifth world shearing title
  • Scoop crew gets global break on US vote counting software flaws
  • NZ wines too good at San Francisco Competition
  • NZ team wins World Enterprise Olympics for 2nd year
  • Brian Boyd’s study of Nabokov’s Butterflies nets third culture praise
  • Michael Corballis fingers the leap to language with Pinker, Chomsky
  • Satoshi Kanazawa finds genius/criminality in young/hungry
  • Navman wins best in show at Sydney consumer electronics trade fair
  • Snappermail lauded in Wall St Journal as best mobile e-mail ap
  • Renowned wildlife photographer Wayne Papps remembered
  • Doco maker Merata Mita takes pride at Montreal’s Peoples’ Festival
  • Michael Campbell returns to form winning the Irish Open
  • Utah marae proposed for Maori Mormons
  • Stefan Merriman earns 3rd motorcycle enduro world title
  • Baby Blacks win U21 Rugby World Cup
  • Scott Dixon continues impressive form on indy circuit
  • David Trubridge et al exhibit edge designs in Santa Monica
  • Lord of the Rings exhibition to open at London’s Science Museum
  • Karen Walker weaves “perfect blend” in Nylon
  • NZ land of the free in international economic surveys
  • Renowned facial surgeon David Poswillo remembered
  • Kiwis (Jay Laga’aia) play lead roles in Oz Lion King
  • NZ scientists harness sheep-power, ruminate on methane emissions
  • King Kapisi, Greg Johnson, Wai and Pine in NYC’s Central Park
  • Teddy Tahu Rhodes reprises acclaimed role in Adelaide
  • Financial Times sings Jonathan Lemalu’s praises
  • Annie Goldson Georgina Beyer doco bends international audiences
  • Clean-er David Kilgour touted in grunge mecca (Seattle Weekly)
  • Magus Bill Manhire recognized for prolific success in Guardian
  • Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien talks love etc in The Times,
  • Kerry Fox on flatting with fusion chef Peter Gordon in The Observer
  • NZ-born WW2 hero, Sir William Crawford dies age 95
  • Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table in 50 greatest moments
  • Hokitika Wild Food Fest makes stomachs turn in New York Daily News
  • Salmonella Dub dubs DVD; Henwood plays Burton in Melbourne;
  • NZ ad-men bug Cannes; The many faces of Cliff Curtis; more; more.


From “Truckdriver” Hyrum, UT, USA: “I was born and raised on the West Coast of New Zealand. I am extremely homesick and if I could come home I would. My heart has never left my home of New Zealand.”There are five million New Zealanders in Aotearoa whanau whanui ki te Aonui; here are messages from just 155 of them – about connectedness, re-discovery, affirmation, intimacy, disclosure. Read, cry, cheer.

A further 15 contributions to our Re-entry/Coming Home forum. Film directors, rugby players, pilots, teachers and copywriters facing the return: the promise of  C21st Aotearoa; doubts of exile; nostalgia for childhood; yearning for the edge; desire to raise children in NZ; comparisons between cultures: high, low, and deep; working out the magic and the mundane; visions of clean and green; anxiety about whether ‘home’ is still the same place; and grace on the returning.

“New Zealand’s a cracker
and I reckon come what may
If things get appallingly bad
and we’re constantly under attack,
We want to see good clean ball and
For God’s sake feed your backs.
We don’t know how fortunate we are
to have that place
We don’t know how propitious are the
circumstances Frederick

Chorus (all together)
We don’t know how lucky we are …”
King of Comedy, John Clarke

Fred Dagg has a certain basic appeal but he only hints at the diverse variety of colour, tradition, and sheer life of a Pacific edge New Zealand. We have a nascent vision of an edge nation carefully engaging its advantage. Bring it on!

Brian Sweeney
Publisher, Producer

Thumbnail: John Clarke as his most famous character, Fred Dagg

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