Matt Heath: I'm going to be positive till it hurts

Publish Date
Monday, 9 April 2018, 9:27AM
NZ Herald
NZ Herald

Could we get a little positivity in this country? Everywhere I look there's a New Zealander complaining about some other New Zealander. "This'll never work." "That person's stupid." "These idiots did this." "I hate that." It's relentless. Online commenters, mainstream broadcasters and crap talkers at dinner tables and bars. Everyone's having a go.

I get it. Being critical is fun. It feels good to be grumpy. But what it doesn't necessarily do is make the world a better place for our children.

As the great Anton Ego once said, "The work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up themselves to judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."

I'm the worst. I've said terrible things on the TV, on my breakfast radio show, in this column and to people's faces. I've been rude, insulting and disgusting. Mean and small minded and that's just in the past few days. Even this article is just me bitching about other people bitching.

So to make up for my behaviour and to combat all the other negative bastards in the world, for the next month I'm going to dedicate this column to being positive. Every week I plan to champion three things. Find events, people or objects that deserve a big up. As a result I fully expect this to become the least read column in the Herald. Here we go then. Week 1.

Positive thing #1
The Commonwealth Games. I'm loving them. Loving the hell out of them. Can't get enough. Are they relevant in 2018? That's the grumpy question being asked. Well of course they bloody are. Seventy-one nations coming together to compete. To share the dream. That's a lot of nations in one place for good wholesome reasons. Sure there are probably some athletes doing some less wholesome stuff in the village. But good on them, they are young and fit. Get amongst each other.

The organisers have done a fantastic job. Everything looks super flash. Good turnouts too. It's raining silver and gold and bronze on the Goldie for the New Zealand athletes and they look bloody good too. We are by far the best looking team, with the best sportsmanship and we smell great as well. Go Kiwi. Give em a taste.

How about that opening ceremony last Wednesday? I liked it so much I booked a holiday to the Sunshine Coast (nearish to the Goldie). In three short hours they went into space, to the beach, they smoked a bunch of leaves and a massive white whale called Migaloo floated into the stadium. Love Migaloo. I'm going to call my next pet Migaloo. As the song goes This is the Moment. We are together Haere Mai.

Positive thing #2
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is very good. Based on the book of the same name it's a totally unique experience. Set in a dystopian future where people hide from their harsh lives in the ultimate full immersion video game. It's super fun in the game and there's an intriguing mystery to be solved. Not easy in a confusingly busy VR world populated with every pop culture touch point of the last 30 years. It's funny, heartfelt and action packed. Like the original Willy Wonka meets Jumanji meets Harry Potter meets Stranger Things. A movie my 8-year-old son, Barry, and I enjoyed equally.

Positive thing #3
The Te Atatu Night Markets. What a market. The final one for the season is on April 27. So much delicious food. Go with an empty tummy. Aromatic, tasty, diverse and enlightening. Good times. In fact night markets in general are great.
Well that's week one of my month of positive columns done. It wasn't easy. I had to stretch my mind. I spent the first paragraph slagging people off for not being positive. So really I'm a massive hypocrite. But please email or tweet or insta me if you have something positive you want me to bang on about. Because god damn it I'm going to be positive for the next month if it kills me or I get shut down for having no readers.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.