After the week that was, this weekend has been about whanau.
Spent Saturday with the girls - took them to Te Papa, then played board games in the afternoon. As we prepped dinner, we listened to the Spotify playlist - “50 Great Female Vocalists”.
Letting B & Z be introduced to Aretha, Marianne, Erykah, Carly Simon and Mary J. Blige seemed appropriate at this of all times.
Over dinner I discussed the 1981 Springbok tour with Bella. We started at 1995, because she’d heard something about food poisoning, then rolled back to 1981, mentioned the Baby Blacks, and even chatted about the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She was really surprised and disappointed that New Zealand had been the reason 20 African nations had boycotted the Olympics.
After a week of dismay and an inability to really articulate that dismay to Bella; that conversation felt like winning, and part of long, ongoing process of being a parent who's fostering empathy and critical thinking.
Starting with the stories from this place.
But that Cavaliers tour of South Africa took place in 1986.
We’re no shining lights are we?
For all the story we tell ourselves that 1981 was a turning point - the Cavaliers tour took part five years later, and a decade after the Montreal Olympics.
And via the nzhistory site, I learnt this fact about the 1987 Rugby World Cup. Something that was a direct result of the Cavaliers tour, and something I was totally unaware of. It captures in such a #yeahnah way, how we as Kiwis can lead a movement and yet undermine it at the same time.
In my reading, I found from 2011 this story in the NZ Herald which captures the naive idealism of some on the tour, the bluntness of others who saw still no link between sport and politics, and ultimately the entitled pragmatism of those that could rationalise the Cavaliers tour on the basis that it gave New Zealand the core of the winning 1987 RWC side.
In that respect the whole series of events is almost Trump-esque - it's not about how you do it - it's just about the winning.
Two other pieces of writing have been in my head this weekend.
Owen Marshall's incredible piece, The Divided World via Courtney, has so many deliberate and incisive points. Moments of it reminded me of Bill Hicks monologues, and the piece captures the truth of it.
The world is divided between those who realise their own value, and those who think they may still amount to something; between those who prefer quiz shows, and those who still await their frontal lobotomy; between the old which has lost its edge, and the new which has not been tested; between indecision and hypocrisy, between feeble vacillation and energetic error; between cup and lip. The world is divided between those who understood the significance of Randolph Scott, and the new generation.
Beth, who's a friend from high school in the Philippines, writes here, and has penned what I'm calling a "Prayer for the Desolate Wasteland of our Winterous Discontent".
Any opening of a faux-liturgy that opens with and includes the phrasing "Well, fuck." deserves a sharing.
A Prayer for America Knowing She’s Hurt and Hoping She’ll Heal but Not Being Sure of Much of Anything Right Now (and Because We Believe You, Oh God, Always Hear the Cries of Our Hearts Even When We Don’t Know Exactly Which Words to Use), We Pray in Earnest Devotion: