Congratulations to Peter Jackson and his team for the 11-oscar sweep! New Zealanders (all 30 of us) are currently basking in the reflected glory of Jackson's achievement, like an escaped otter sunning itself on the deck of a student flat.
Full credit though belongs to Peter Jackson and the LOTR team. The rest of us kiwis can't really take any credit - we didn't do any of the work. What we can take is a huge dollap of inspiration, which we will apply liberally to our sun-starved bodies. This New Zealand summer has been the worst on record. It's been a BBQ-less, rain-soaked, wind-lashed bummer of a summer. But lo, today we cheered ourselves with the knowledge that one of our own climbed and conquered the peaks of Hollywood (c'mon, you knew there would be a Sir Edmund Hillary reference at some point!).
I like to think of Peter Jackson's triumph as a metaphor for the World Wide Web. During the time I've been blogging, I've been lucky enough to meet many interesting and intelligent people from all around the world. I may have been brought up on the same tv shows as you (Battlestar Galactica, Dukes of Hazard, Jake and the Fat Man, etc), but my culture is different than yours. Maybe not that different...while you played baseball as a kid, I played rugby. That sort of difference. But if you'd told me 10 years ago that I'd someday be conversing and swapping ideas with people from all over the world on a daily basis, I'd have laughed at you.
Peter Jackson went a step further. He not only interacted with American culture from afar, he damn well brought Hollywood to New Zealand! He made his dream film come true, on his turf and his terms, and Hollywood has now crowned him King for it. Peter Jackson has shown the rest of us kiwis how to succeed on a world stage. OK, Dirtside to Spaceside hasn't yet received the Nobel Prize for Literature, but it could happen. Or is that a fantasy, like LOTR ;-)
In any case, these days we kiwis can dream the American Dream just like you Americans. Peter Jackson made us realise that.
p.s. the photo was borrowed from The New Zealand Edge website - I hope they don't mind. Go read their site for a history of Peter Jackson's film-making activities in New Zealand pre-LOTR.