The Mastercard people have a new addition to their series of advertisements featuring an overzealous, bald man-fan and a Pine-Tree-like Richie McCaw.
McCaw is ever the silent, grunting-yet-compliant representative of New Zealand maledom. He is juxtaposed with the human version of a party-bag bouncy ball, who cajoles him along into expressing even simple emotions like ‘joy’, ‘merriment’ and ‘gay abandonment’.
I feel a bit sorry for Richie. I imagine he’s a man of layers who has been positioned as the granite-jawed leader of our nation; and the expectation, there, is war-like scarcity of emotion.
The other major factor for Richie is that he hasn’t exactly been hit with the fugly spade. Women rave about him, and even I, with my major allergy to ovoid-themed sports engagements, once had a slight crush on him, just for one night. I fancied that Richie would wake the fuck up to his senses and start fancying a brainy, slightly older (like, much older) woman, who was really into talking about patronage during the Renaissance and the music of Johnny Marr. I mean, come on, what could be more tempting than that?
But I feel for Richie. I do. What if we were to find out that he actually didn’t really like Prince William? That he actually craved a friend to talk about his feelings with? That he secretly yearned, during sex, just to be held, instead of used like a Manpower member, left behind by mistake after a hen’s night? Or the opposite: the unbridled stag, with enough man-protein to father a nation?
What if the Richie we see on the television, is not the ‘real McCaw’?*
Richie, if you are reading this, take heed. One time, just the once, we’d like to see you, after a rugby game say:
“I’m sweating like a pig, it was a fucking hard-out game, and the last thing I feel like doing is standing here talking to you, Jeff Wilson. I need to go, have a shower and about 8 longnecks and swear unreservedly in the changing rooms.”
In the women’s magazines, you are free to say:
“I’ve had loads of chicks. I’m not ‘lonely’ or ‘unlucky in love’. I’m an overpaid sports hero who scores heaps of tang all the time. How d’ ya like those apples?”
Perhaps, this is the key to avoiding male depression. I mean, you can’t always say what you want, but it would be nice to think that once in a while we could allow our male heroes to be themselves.
Richie, I just know somewhere you have a secret DVD collection of Falcon Crest. I know that your favourite actor is Gwyneth Paltrow and your favourite food is not barbequed steak, or lamp chops, but Quiche Lorraine.
Or perhaps, the ‘other’ Richie has the full Blu-Ray set of the Snakeater series, and has a penchant for mean female wrestlers?
Don’t be afraid, Richie. You could come on my blog and tell us the truth. Who is the real Richie McCaw?