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October 5, 2009 | by  | in Features |
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More like Double-0-Fun

Introduction/Apology:

I begin this feature with an irrevocable need to empty my soul. I feel indebted to the 24 years of history laying in my wake; so much so that only sincere contrition will bring acquiescence with the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above and the thing called love. For you see, dear reader, you have been cheated, scoundreled, mished and mashed by an ungrateful world that, yes, does indeed owe you a favour.

Since the year 2000, this languid world we call “Earth” has made fewer than ten trips around the sun. Earth apologists, self-professed scientists, equate this to a four-billion year old tradition of lazy sauntering they call “an orbit”.

TV3 News has led us to believe that a lot can happen in 30 seconds. This is utter capitulation, and an unforgivable approach. Why 3’s faux-journos and gypsy defenders seem committed to this lie, I cannot conceive, but nothing happens in 30 seconds. Nothing has happened in the past nine years. This past decade has seen nothing, brought nothing, and offered several different shades of nothing.

There’s no option but to drag this bastard decade’s carcass out into the street and whip it until candy-coloured years explode out of it like so many acid-trip hangovers. Get comfy—there is, ironically, a lot to explain.

2000:

New Zealand was the first country on this godforsaken lazy ball of misery to see in the new decade. This went largely unnoticed due to it also double-booking the beginning of the 21st Century and the so-called new millennium—an unforgivable lack of judgement which we can never be forgiven for.

Ivy League Graduate George W. Bush, by gum, finally realised his dream to move from a mansion in Texas to one in Washington by winning the 2000 Presidential Election. His opponent, weather enthusiast Al Gore lost by a measly 2000 votes in Florida—a state subsequently destroyed by climate change-induced hurricanes in subsequent years. Giggled Gore, “On your knees, Thor, for I ride the chariot of wind this night!” This pacifist then went on to win both an Oscar and a Nobel Prize.

The All Blacks beat the Wallabies 39–34 in what many called the Greatest Rugby Match of All Time. The seldom-mentioned Wugga Wugga Under 13 vs. the Eurobodalla Under 13B’s 7–5 victory went, shamefully, unnoticed by an ungrateful media.

2001:

Everything changed on September 11. Terrorists plunged two DC Boeings into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, one into the Pentagon, and one in rural Pennsylvania, killing 3000 people. It was described by all and sundry as the day the world stood still, which for those of us interested in getting this lazy planet to quicken things along, did no favours at all.

A world away from the dusty apocalypse and war-hungry euphoria gripping Uncle Sam’s farm, Linkin Park’s magnum opus Hybrid Theory found itself sitting at the top of the charts for 42 weeks. “Oh, so it’s like we 9/11’d ourselves,” musical scholars would later say.

A sad year for New Zealand footy, as Australia’s Brumbies became the first non-New Zealand team to win the Super 12. This was followed by Australia retaining the Bledisloe Cup. This was, without doubt, the darkest moment in New Zealand rugby history.

2002:

The New Zealand Labour Party is re-elected in a landslide victory. Nothing bad ever happens to the Labour Party again.

Actor Kevin Smith falls to his death while filming in China. No, not that one, the other one. No, not… he never had a beard, and. Nevermind.

The trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic
began at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Tickets sold out in 180 seconds, and included trailers for the War in Iraq and George W Bush’s re-election. “It’s no Nuremberg, but alas, what is?” cried Roger Ebert.

New Zealand’s lil rugby league club that could, The New Zealand Warriors had quantifiably their best season, when they won the NRL Minor Premiership. Of course, they only won because real premiers the Sydney Bulldogs were hilariously dumped to the bottom…

… I’m sorry? No, you’re not listening to me. Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith. The actor—the New Zealand actor. He had a little beard…but he wasn’t… no, he wasn’t the quiet one. He made sporadic appearances in programmes like Xena and…yes, yes, it was hilarious when that woman had intercourse with a corpse in Clerks.

2003:

2003 will be forever remembered for Georgie Dubya Bush’s Spring Break road trip to Iraq. Like all good college road trips, this one coalesced into an adventure of monumentally wacky proportions. The Baghdad sun burned so hot, and the sweet times lasted so long; the 100 Airborne Division whistled in the guys from L Company to chug-a-lug some bodacious M1 Abrams Tanks and show ‘dem eye-rack-ees the name of a good time.

We called it Shock and Awe; they called it a journey…of discovery.

Back home, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Kinghad its world premier in Wellington. Finally, after years of suffering the slings and arrows of the world’s unfettered mockery, a movie about a hairy midget, a ring, and the guy from Hildago would finally bring New Zealand the respect it so richly deserved.

Comedian Donna Awatere Huata found herself expelled from the ACT Party caucus, and consequently thrown out of parliament by the newly discovered Supreme Court. A little known factoid of Kiwi constitutional law says you can invent legal avenues to dismiss anyone from anywhere at anytime. Constitutional law scholars would later call this the John Mitchell Trope.

Despite slicing all and sundry leading up to it, the All Blacks somehow got beat at the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The government took the noble step of unleashing mercury into the nation’s water supply in a bid to wipe the memory for all eternity.

2004:

Despite being quantifiably the greatest President ever to assume office, George W Bush’s position as leader of the free world was brought under threat by a long-headed waffly intellectual who got “injured” in a “war” in “Vietnam,” and felt that only the presidency of the United States could soothe his soul. The American people rallied behind this Rocky Balboa of the political scene, and sent John “Ivan Drago” Kerry back to the woolshed to contemplate things like “peace” and “prosperity.” A day of Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ rang out across America’s airwaves in response.

Facebook
was founded in Harvard University. Yes, founded, like the guiding principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, or a library book club.

2004 saw smoking banned in bars and clubs. Guys like Steve and Mike were forced to stand outside with girls like Sharon and Jen to smoke things like rollies and make friends with poorly-paid bouncers.

Then they took the roof off, and wala, loopholes never tasted so addictive.

Civil Unions were made legal, and the Foreshore and Seabed bill passed its first reading. Adam and Steve could get married, but if they wanted to do so barefoot on the beach, then—OH, YO SHUT YO MOUTH.

The world of footy came to know of a boy named Carter, as the All Blacks decimated a woeful French outfit 45–6 in Paris. The French would never trouble the All Blacks ever again.

2005:

The Labour Party is elected to its third term in power. National Leader Don Brash throws down a veil of purple liquid on the steps of parliament and is never heard from again.

Prince Charles visits the colonies, namely this one, and gets introduced to two pairs of breasts as a consequence. Girls Gone Wild: Hamilton enjoys a 4% surge in sales.

Hurricane Katrina
waltzes into dirty ol’ New Orleans and makes a lake of easy beats so blues, so sweet, they churn a sly dog into a water yuppie like a syncopated do-wop-a-do. President George W Bush plays a guitar and has cake with Noted Corpse John McCain in response.

Pope John Paul II passes away, and 4 million people arrive at the Vatican to mourn him. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger rat-zings his way to the papacy, and ushers in a new era of elderly white men leading the world’s Catholics.

The All Blacks make cub sandwiches out of the Lions, winning the series 3-0. New Zealand’s self-esteem rises just a little. A little.

2006:

Funny-looking man John Key is elected leader of the National Party. He would later appear on a late night talk show to read faux PG comedy to a largely indifferent American television audience.

Self-professed Wackiest Man on Earth Saddam Hussain is executed for war crimes in Baghdad. Video of the execution found its way onto embarrassment centre YouTube, where it came second to a cat playing the keyboard and a laughing baby as the most watched videos of the year.

In local footy, North Harbour belied the stupidity ever-present in people over the bridge by winning the Ranfurly Shield off Canterbury. In response, the east coast of the South Island broke off and drifted down towards the Auckland Islands in shame.

2007:

In one of the greatest comebacks of all time, then-convicted murderer David Bain had his convictions for murder quashed by the Privy Council. His subsequent release from prison was lauded over by members of the press, and for a moment, he was the most popular man charged with murdering five people in the entire country.

The Writers Guild of America went on strike, peeved they weren’t getting sweet, sweet ca-ching for everytime some douchebag in a college dorm downloaded the latest episode of Lost. Their absence led to some of the greatest episodes of A Daily Show With Jon Stewart (yes, “A”) ever produced.

The All Blacks went to France to fetch the Rugby World Cup. History fails to recall what happened after.

2008:

In a move that brought Australia into the mid 20th century, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised before Federal Parliament, and to Indigenous people around the country, for the Stolen Generation. Racial harmony then spread over the Commonwealth like a beautiful, white satin sheet.

Oh, and Obama beat a living corpse to restore the Presidency to some semblance of dignity
. The world never looked so happy.

In one of the most embarrassingly predictable elections in recent memory, a bored country elected a change of government for, you know, something to do.

Sir Edmund Hillary passed away, and an entire country measured how deeply it mourned the loss of its hero by how many Sir Ed DVDs it purchased.

The Kiwis somehow managed to win the Rugby League World Cup, impressing guys in pubs called the Masonic up and down the country.

2009:

An astonishingly long trial spanning three months finally concludes David Bain didn’t kill the prick.

New Zealand’s first telethon for 16 years raises $2 million for the KidsCan Stand Tall Trust. It becomes abundantly clear two minutes into said telethon why New Zealand hasn’t had a telethon in over 16 years.

Child Star-turned-child-fan Michael Jackson surprisingly shows his human side by dying like every other person in the history of civilisation.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry
suffers the love, then the indignation, then the love, and then further indignation, of New Zealand’s intelligent and well-maintained sports journalism. GOD, I HATE HIM SO MUCH… but he’s so dreamy when they win—a thousand ice cream dreams dreamy…

Conclusion:

Monty Python, bless them, one and all, reminds us that we’re standing on a planet that’s evolving and revolving at nine hundred miles an hour, that’s orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it’s reckoned, a sun that is the source of all our power.

19 miles a second—that’s a baby stroller amped to warp speed and channelled through a wormhole piercing through time and space, pulsing, pushing, slashing… my god, we’ve come a long way in ten years.

Oh lord, I’ve double-o-wned myself.

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Kia ora, biography box, kia ora.

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