Ritchie McCaw seems pretty smart for a rugbyhead. He turned down John Key's gong. These things are supposed to be earned not won, and a bonus culture demon like King John doesn't get it. McCaw does.
Amongst the hoards of National backers getting their royal blue ribbons handed out are some very good Kiwis. Ralph Hotere is indeed a living treasure. Des Britten is steak tartare among McNuggets. Ian Taylor is a good egg.
So it is with a little nuance and diplomacy that as a proud member of the New Zealand Republican Movement, that I declare a 2012 Resolution to not use any royal title or honorific gong from now on. Hey, it's non-violent protest and as far as I can see, not illegal.
Sir Bob is gone, Mister Jones is back. Dames Susan and Kiri are now referred to by their real names, Ms. Devoy, Ms. Te Kanawa. And if I bump into Charlie and Camilla next year, it'll be Mr. and Mrs. Windsor. Or Saxe-Coburg if they prefer.
This is partly a reaction to the non-news that these bi-annual gongs are solely at the prime minister's whim, partly because these gongs are always so goddamn vanilla. A truly NZ recognition system wouldn't have this rigid glass box in the land of the long tail.
But there's a deeper reason to abandon these airs and graces. It's best said by painter, bongo player, strip club patron, cannabis and LSD taker Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize winner for his work in Quantum Electro Dynamics. We do things for the fun of it: