Friday, October 03, 2008

Right-sizing the expectations

Just back from having lunch with DPF and Whale Oil about the Blogmobile trip.

On the way there, I got lost and ended up accidentally walking past the touring vehicle in question. I was expecting something bigger for $174,000. As it sits, the Winnebago is slightly smaller than my old man's old campervan. Mr Whippy, as it was called, was arguably New Zealand's first campervan with an overhead sleeper. A Bedford truck base with a custom slab of portable accommodation on top, the vehicle doubled as a portable electorate office and advertising vehicle during campaigns.

No time for a look-in, I'm white rabbiting to the cafe late as it is. Finally meet the prolific Whale Oil. Schedules are outlined, reality is consulted. There's been a lot of interest in the Blogmobile, and fair go. There's a lot of potential there. A few provisional gigs sorted out. I'm hoping to get up to Palmy sometime to cover what could be a very interesting race between Iain Lees-Galloway and Malcolm Plimmer.

We head on back for a look inside the blogmobile, and where the $174,000 went becomes more obvious. This is a Wanderluster's wet dream. DPF presses a button and the beast breathes out, expanding by about half a metre. While you still couldn't fit a full leaders debate inside, there's enough room for a few head-to-heads, if the egos are left outside with the gumboots.

Except the feisty Aro Valley Meet the Candidates meeting, there's sweet FA wildcards in these increasingly presidential-style elections. Away from the the confines and controls of the TV formula medicine, give me the soapbox over the idiot box any day. Away from the filtered and moderated input for the TVNZ YouTube debates, give me the stump speeches that sways an audience, not preaches to the converted.

I'm hoping the blogmobile becomes a fixture of future election circuits, sort of a neo-BLERTA of journalism. Even now, the squeaky dog toys of war are getting prepared.