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March 13, 2006 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Cricket and Apathy on a Thursday afternoon

Each week, I write out a list of things I want to improve. It’s something I get from my Mum- or rather it’s something I have tried to get from my Mum. Lists give me night horrors, a list as a kid always meant chores. A list always meant work and time spent away from fun. Maybe that’s why I never quite get everything on my list done, maybe that’s why for yet another week I find myself writing an editorial at the last minute. Next week I’ll do it Monday, I swear, I put it on my list see?

There is much I could write about. I could write about the VUWSA fees protest, poorly organized and under-populated as it was. Student debt is a major problem for many students around the country, stifling our ability to move on from our tertiary educations by burdening us down with unnecessary debt. I could write about the fact that hardly anyone went on the protest, and the perils of student apathy or apathy in general.

I could. It has been a week filled with Academy Awards, road speculation and the knowledge that the Pope has an Ipod. It has been a week filled with talk of troop pull- outs, nuclear proliferation and global warming. There has been naked Scarlett Johanssons, Trade Me was sold and decisions on roading were made. Iraq neared a civil war, again.

All of these happenings threw up side issues I could very well go in to. Globalisation? The tyranny of slenderness? American foreign policy? The New Zealand business climate? I really did think that one of these would most likely take my fancy come editorial time. But I just couldn’t summon the passion to be convincing.

I could have written about something a little closer to home. My girlfriend got a big job. I had various different personal foibles and fascinations throughout the week. Nicola, my news editor threw up in the office. I met Chris Knox and we talked of teeth. I feared however that in reality none of these would make for widely fascinating editorial topics at all.

It’s been one of those weeks where everything has gone to plan. But things have happened on a national scale that have just passed me by. I haven’t been able to plug into anything. I’ve been struck with a slight does of Autumn apathy and as we say goodbye to the last of summer something in side me twinges, a little. Soon we will be cold beyond anything we have experienced since last winter and will pass each other with our coats pulled high and our hats low, giving each other that knowing glance of kinship through suffering.

But I’ve been yearning for more than that. My mourning of summer’s passing has turned into a lust for cricket, a game for me which epitomizes summer’s quintessential innocence. I realized this as I looked out across a rainy Wellington city, daydreaming profusely about the test match I was following on the internet, and listening to the voices of a 100 or so students crying out in vain for cheaper university fees. I realized how comforting it was to have another three weeks of this sport, no matter how cold it will soon get.

I love the sport. Endless hours of my life have been spent in front of the television, ignoring summer- beer in hand, friends or family by my side and usually yelling at the screen. It’s lame to say but cricket and summer, for me go hand in hand. And for the record- Marshall and Fulton can go, Papps and Vincent come back and Franklin can stick around until big Jacob Oram comes back. (I met Oram in a bar once pissed off my tree and all I could say to him was ‘my flatmate thinks you are sexy.’)

And as I sat there, feeling autumnal and cold this afternoon, procrastinating unglamorously with’s ball-by-ball test match coverage I felt life sap back into me. For if cricket was still on the horizon, (albeit for three more weeks) than all was not to waste and I could still hold on to the vaguest glimmers of summer for a few more days yet. It felt good.

But it also didn’t escape me that with so much going on in the world, I didn’t care enough to try and fake a deeply serious editorial. I just wanted to get the magazine out, talk about the cricket, and make it to the weekend. Everyone is allowed a little apathy, in a non-stop world where serious news and events come at you 24-7 through several different channels it’s fun to tune out, because often it is hard work to limb on top of a high horse and feel bad about the world. So just for this week, and this week only- you are forgiven for your apathy Victoria. Tune out, skip class, and don’t watch the news.

Cling to what you can to feel good, because the winter blues are so on the way.


About the Author ()

James Robinson is a university dropout turned journalist who likes to pretend he has an honours degree. Turn ons include soup, scarfs, a hot bath and some FM-smooth Kenny G-esque instrumental jazz. Turn offs include student politicians, the homeless, and people who pronounce it supposebly.

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