I was walking around Mauao with a mate yesterday morning and the top four topics on our hikoi were all strangely connected to each other.

Politics, acting and old age creeping up on us faster than a fullback called McKenzie for the Chiefs were on the conversational radar, as they have been for many Kiwis up and down the land of the lost crowd, when it comes to working out what's going on over there in the excited states of America.

Oscar Sunday, Leap Year Monday and Super Tuesday - with a side salad of Super 14 Saturday.

It's enough to make the hair on the back of your toupee stand up as it will the wild west, as the presidential campaign heads south.


One thing is for sure Sherlock, it makes for a week of chest beating, tongue wagging, victory speech making madness like no other week in a very long time, and it took me and my mate a good one-hour walk to sort it out

Is it just that today is a leap day and the Oscars and Super Tuesday have fallen in the same week or are the three connected by a silver chord of thespianism that will become ever present as the week rolls on?

We will know when the winning envelopes are opened.

Firstly, with the white-only winners at this year's awards on Oscar Sunday we can all make up our own minds as to what movie moved us or turned us off and for my two bob's worth of red carpet and red faces on the academy for the Bro no show, there are two winners.

The Big Short highlighted why the world is governed by greed and the movie Spotlight showed us how much control organised religion has over the masses.

Do yourself a flavour and lick your way through two great movies on a half price Tuesday and then cast your vote.

Secondly, Super Tuesday will sound a warning trumpet for the real face of America to stand up and step forward before the class clown with the possum potae sitting on top of his head takes the Republican party down a one-way street named Donald's desire.

Most of us sane-minded souls know the game Donald J Trump is playing with his racism, religion and wild west shoot 'em up and shut 'em up politics, and most of us know where this Trump train will lead to as we watch America forced to face their own underbelly of bigotry.

But this is no movie script, it's the real deal and it is quickly turning into a horror show.

The flag of hope for the land of the free is to be brave and back the only other game in town, and in doing so hopefully Hillary Clinton will win Bernie Sanders supporters over as he bows out, build on her biggest victory thus far in South Carolina, and then win all 12 States on Tuesday.

Now that would be a super Tuesday for the rest of the free world.

It's a big ask but the alternative is far too scary to consider.

All countries and communities have their underbelly and when I read some of the fallout from my last week's column I have to ask myself where is the voice of the silent majority who I know aren't Trump-like in their thinking and don't see a solution in scaremongering or building a Berlin-like wall - as The Donald does.

Just for those people who didn't get the point I was trying to make about having to change the illiteracy level of prisoners (60 per cent of whom are Maori), there are two choices just as there are in voting for a presidential candidate or for that matter a local mayor.

You can accept the current status, that costs $100,000 per prisoner per year to throw the book at, or you can try and teach them to read one.

Nothing changes when nothing changes and if you talk to prison guards and police who put them away time after time, then giving them life skills in preparation for when they come out so they hopefully don't reoffend is surely a sound investment and well worth a crack.

The common thread I had found in teaching our tamariki creative reading and writing, and what I have found in my recent visits to prison to put together a literacy programme, is everyone has the intellectual capacity to learn to read, but not all have the relevant resources to learn how to do it.

It's a bit like politics and movie making, if you want change you have to do something about it before the cell door or winning envelope is opened.

And the winner is? ...

- broblack@xtra.co.nz

- Tommy Wilson is a best-selling author and local writer.