Making the mistake of watching Mark Sainsbury last night, in the vain hope of hearing an intelligent question asked of NZ's medal-winning Olympians, I was amused to see that after winning gold, silver and bronze medals in the toughest competition in the world, they got back to their athletes' village to celebrate and were met by a bunch of savages beating their chests -- or, more specifically, a bunch of highly tuned athletes who should know better impersonating a bunch of bloody savages beating their chests.
Aren't we over the bloody haka yet?
It gets done when visitors arrive.
It gets done when they leave.
It gets done before sports games.
It gets done after sports games.
It gets done to show respect.
It gets done to show disrespect.
It gets done to say, "Good onya."
It gets done to say, "Fuck you."
Oddly, based on the actual origins of the haka, it's only the last of these sentiments that is even close to 'appropriate.' Waving your arms around and poking your tongue out now seems to be the 'right on' thing to do on every bloody occasion, no matter how pacific, regardless that is was traditionally only performed as a portent of cannibalism.
And how ridiculous are most of the hakas anyway? The most well known, the 'Kamate Kamate' rigmarole in which boys from Kings College like Ali Williams get to roll their eyes and poke their tongue out, is about a 'warrior' whose bravery consisted of hiding in a food pit underneath an old woman's skirts while his enemies looked in vain for him up above. (Apparently it was unthinkable that a warrior would hide in a food pit, and a woman's genitals were thought to have a shielding effect -- when Ali chants "Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru," what he's actually saying is, "Who is this hairy person?")
Top stuff, huh?
Time to let the haka go.