George Clooney metaphor: Wellywood abomination edition

The Wellywood sign is the equivalent of a guy in his late forties who spends a whole dinner party pointing out to every single person that he’s grown a ‘stache and his wife told him it makes him look a bit like George Clooney in The Men Who Stare At Goats.  And every time the object of his deluded bragging fails to hide their scorn, disbelief or nervous giggling, he fakes a laugh and says “Well a guy can try, can’t he?”

And then five minutes later you see him cornering the hostess to let her know how his wife totally thinks his stache makes him look a little like George Clooney.

He completely lacks the awareness to recognise that by trying to convince people he looks a bit like George Clooney he merely emphasises the massive lack of resemblance and focuses everyone’s attention on how much that moustache is a withered caterpillar-shaped symbol of his desperate need to pretend he’s not going through a midlife crisis.

And when not a single person at the dinner party can convincingly agree with him (and this being New Zealand one or two of the guys are probably just openly mocking him for being a tool with an ugly mo), he starts getting super-defensive and insisting it’s just a fucking joke and why can’t you wankers just lighten the fuck up?

And he will never, ever be able to admit that he isn’t George Clooney, isn’t even close, and no nubile young women are going to fuck him based on vaguely-similar facial hair, and that stache will stubbornly remain on his face making him look like a fucking twerp  for the rest of his life.

Thing is, he’s only making himself (and possibly his spouse and any children they had pre-stache) look like a twerp.  The Wellington Airport board,* which I’m totally sure has no demographic resemblance to white male douchewads with midlife crises, are making us all look like twerps.


*Because let’s be honest, who even fucking knew it was called Wild At Fucking Heart until this week?  I thought that was the name of one of the naff souvenir shops.


  1. Scott A

    As a somewhat frequent user of the facilities I can advise that I’ve known it was called Wild At Heart for quite some time…

    …and, with that said, let me *applaud* heartily and say “you’ve hit the nail on the fucking head with this metaphor!”

    I’m getting a bit grumpy with some of the non-Wellington commetariat starting to take the “come on, it’s not that big a thing, is it?” I wonder if such comments come from not understanding how the Miramar cutting sits over that part of the city; maybe even due to thinking that, (perhaps because of the commonly used images), that it might just be facing out to some empty, windswept sea.

    No, this monstrosity will be right there, in the face of the city, facing Mt Victoria and reminding us day in, day out, of that embarrassing joke our Dads used to tell that was never funny (or, as you put it, like the un-Clooney moustache).

    • QoT

      I think the non-Wellingtonians definitely need to STFU, and I say that with all the authority of an ex-Aucklander who can remember the Sky Tower outrage. But that was about “seriously, do we want to be famous for a casino?” and “lol phallic/hypodermic-needle-drug-associations imagery”. Whereas this is just so damn NAFF.

    • Craig Ranapia


      Thanks, Scott. I’ll now STFU about a city I’ve spent more than half my life in, love dearly, visit frequently now that I live in Dorkland.

      But while I’m here, when it comes to “fucking monstrosities” I’ll reserve the gold medal for the giant shit brick now facing Wellington Railway Station. What a wasted chance to build something sympathetic to its surroundings yet still innovative. Instead the IRD is now occupying a disaterpiece of banality that could be filling a hole anywhere.

      And I’ve given up praying that Te Papa quietly slides into the sea… the battle for a national museum housed in a building that isn’t a total failure of imagination and nerve was lost long ago.

      • Scott A

        As others had said, Craig, you hate the Asteron building, others love it. Me included.

        And, yet, you think you should speak for us who live and work here on the subject of this sign?

        Tell you what, Craig, you find the public opposition to Asteron to compare with the WELLYWOOD sign, then you come talk to us, eh?

      • Scott A

        Superscript: a graceful, comfortable building in the Wellington CBD is a “disaster piece of banality” so therefore we must accept this monstrosity over the Miramar cutting?

        • Good Gravey

          The problem with saying non-Wellingtonians should shut the fuck up (let’s not fuck about with shitty little acronyms – ooh gosh I do have a potty mouth) is that it denies their right to voice their opinions.

          The issue really is about people voicing their opinions without any real basis for doing so. Some, like Craig, who are ex-Wellingtonians and as he says has a special bond with the city, have very much a basis for voicing their opinions.

          And the danger in turn with that is one can become very elitist very quickly. Disparaging other people because they aren’t sufficiently smart to form a reasonable opinion.

          For what it’s worth, I also knew it was called “Wild at Heart” but only because I had to work hard at not calling it “Wild Appetite”, which is slightly different. But only slightly.

          I don’t particularly mind the Asteron tower. It’s no Chrysler Building, or even that rather cool BNZ building on the waterfront, but it is bearable.

          In short, it really doesn’t seem to be a case of non-Wellingtonians. More a case of the “it’s not that big a deal is it?” approach when clearly, to an awful lot of people, it is. very much so. Me included.

  2. Octavia Spitifire

    I send you an Auckland grimace of solidarity, that thing is going to look shiteous. It’s very bad-parochial. Being still somewhat of a small town girl still deep in my bitter heart, I love how tiny NZ is, how naive we often are. Then someone somewhere high up will make some big decision that is all of these things, but in a really bad, backward, cringeworthy way.

    The airport is called Wild At Heart?! Really? Oh boy. Am inspired to see if the Auckland airport has a similarly terrible unused title.

  3. Bel

    I keep thinking Wild At Heart is a David Lynch movie. OH WAIT IT IS. Maybe Nicholas Cage is an appropriate metaphor also?

  4. Leigh

    I Thought Wild at Heart must be an airport florist or something… I guess at least now I know.

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