Thursday, April 15, 2010

Every day is Mothers' Day

A quick note to the Herald's subs: Sir Ian McKellen is not really Gandalf; he was acting.

Elsewhere,  the Herald is displaying impatience with all the real news going on in New Zealand. Instead, the Herald has opted for importing non-stories from Australia. It works like this: you take a trivial story from across the ditch, do a few local vox pops or celebrity comments to make it seem important to ordinary kiwi battlers, then serve. So, a story that does not concern anyone here looks as if it is important. What is important, however, is that the story is targeted at the demographic groups which the newspaper's advertisers want to reach.

Take for example Aussie school eyes big-boy rugby ban, a story about a school in Brisbane having some concerns about losing boys to the Grim Reaper. It is nothing to do with us, but it is easy to put in some local colour by that time-honoured method known as Ask an All Black. Ace reporter James Ihaka did just that. Listen to what the man says:
Rugby is a contact sport so if they're scared of contact they should go and play soccer which is also a contact sport so if they're scared of that then maybe they should play netball
See, if you fear death or permanent disability, then you should be playing some sissy girls' sport. And don't worry about the "slight increase" in neck injuries due to tackles: the sport development officer doubts whether there will be any fatalities. Should you be worried? Of course, that is what the news media is all about - making you worry. 

If you are not worried, then you should be outraged. How about this, then: Working mums strike back. Strike back against what, you may ask: against education cuts, pay inequality, the victimisation of welfare recipients? No silly, working mums are striking back against an article in the Daily Telegraph, published in Sydney, which said that women had never had it so good. Apparently, "in New Zealand - where there are more than 900,000 working mothers - her comments shocked and angered many modern mothers who believe juggling a career and motherhood is harder than ever." Really? How many modern mothers were shocked and angered? How many read the Daily Telegraph? Where did ace reporter Elizabeth Binning uncover this outrage? Did she perhaps call some people to tell them about the article that they, being busy working mothers who do not read Australian newspapers, overlooked? Would the time of both these ace reporters be better spent chasing real stories? I think we should be told.

Meanwhile, the Herald's front page lead was the story of an athlete's mother being killed in a car crash, while its banner included the story of a mother getting mouldy pancakes at Wendy's.

Here's a busy working mother, neck-injury victim and widow:


Deborah said...

A quick note to the Herald's subs: Sir Ian McKellen is not really Gandalf; he was acting.

Maybe I'm just easily amused... but this made me laugh out loud.

Paul said...

Thank you; of course, you are part of my target demographic of cat-loving academic women bloggers.

Anonymous said...

He's also Number Two in the remake of The Prisoner, currently screening on TVNZ on Monday evenings...

Craig Y