Monday, 24 June 2013

...seeing five minutes to midnight

G’day Possums,

Shane at the "G"
Shane at the G

Mrs Wombat and I went to the “footy”at the “G”.
It was the Melbourne vs. St.Kilda game and we attended because A/ these are our respective childhood teams and B/ we hadn’t been to a game in a long while .... and not because we’re closet aficionados of sado-masochism.  

Melbourne ran around in circles a lot, picking out St.Kilda defense players in the Melbourne forward line to kick to with monotonous regularity. St.Kilda on the other hand, made three or four elegantly flowing forays forward to win by six goals which really seemed more like four points given their inability to “finish off’ in their own forward line.
Die-hard Melbourne supporters around us seemed pleased that their team had not “given up” and St.Kilda fans were philosophic: “Oh, well …it’s a win”. Which actually makes me wonder a little about the sado-masochistic bit!

Last century, when a child, going to the footy was a weekly family event always appearing as if we were about to embark on an extensive expedition with blankets for all, coats, beanies, scarves, gloves and baskets of food, fruit, cake and thermos’ of soup, coffee and tea all allocated for sustenance during the quarter, half and ¾ time breaks.
We always sat in the “stand” in generally the same place at “home” matches (there was no seat allocation) so there would be a coterie of acquaintances to cheer or commiserate with, mostly in my memory, to commiserate about the teams’ fortunes; and you always brought a footy so you could dash down to the oval and have a “kick-to-kick” with six to ten of never-met-before-but-like-minded boys of the two or three hundred littering the oval, who registered assent to your upraised footy at ½ time and after the match.
The footy, by-the-way was never, ever, stolen.
You sat in your seat, conversed with your neighbours, looked at the match and depending on how early you attended, saw the frost-bitten “thirds’ then “seconds” games preceding the main event at 1:30pm, ate, screamed, moaned, laughed and cried, stood up to stretch your legs and only went “walkies” to go the lavatory or the kick-to-kick and went home at dusky, misty 5:00pm for dinner or tea.
Oi! How things have changed!
For a start, there’s a $7,000 fine for going onto the oval.
This game started at 4:30pm and although a Saturday match it could have been Friday or Sunday, sometimes Monday and occasionally Thursday and at 7:50pm, 1:45pm, 2:10pm, or 1:10pm.
Misty winter dusk and night didn’t appear because the artificial lighting was so seamless as to make you think it was still the daylight of 2:00pm in autumn.
There was noise.
Not all of it that particular footy-crowd noise but a multiplicity of noises from television sets touting some sort of competition, another showing past matches and the “Big-Screen Scoreboard” flashing ads and the advertising on the fence rotating through its promiscuous promotions repertoire…. and there’s something happening on the ground but it’s not the match and there are people moving, not to seats, but back and forward with drinks (mostly alcoholic) and chips and ‘burgers and things and then the game starts.
And the people keep moving back and forward with their drinks and things and stop momentarily in the walkway to observe the play but obstruct your vision of it and the big screen lights up with a replay and as many football staff as players run onto the ground  like spokes to the hub with drinks for the players who mostly refuse their ministrations. At ½ time the ground is a spectacle of 150 (?) little boys playing twenty homogenised and pasteurised little games of football in cheek-by-jowl miniature fields whilst the advertising rotates and the televisions spruik and the people are still moving with back and forward with drinks (mostly alcoholic) and chips and ‘burgers and things and the game resumes.
Then it is over and the “The Saints Had Gone Marching In” and we leave in the dark, somewhat shell-shocked by the sensory overload and at the synthetic distractions deliberately offered and decide that the next match might just be sitting in the car parked at the fence watching the Buninyong “Snails” slide around the mud against the Daylesford “Dodos” on the Anzac Oval at 2:30pm with a thermos of soup and “bipping” the car-horn for every goal.
We later had dinner at a local pub and observed an extended family, possibly celebrating a grandparents’ anniversary, whose 4 children spent the night after the meal, disengaged, playing on their individual phones.

And some more rehearsal shots 
Ballet Theatre Australia where engagement is the order of the day.

Everyone's a photographer....!

Wombat Droppings

Leigh Sales (ABC 7:30 report interview w/ Craig Emerson) seems to think that uncouth interruption of an interviewee is forceful investigative journalism.
Nah.  Leigh, it’s just bad manners!
If your only continuing technique in interviewing is interruption, cutting off, ignoring the answer and being “Hissy-Fit” bullying because you’re not having them play your game I reckon you should pack it in or go and join Alan (Bondi) Jones at 2GB or become a “researcher” for the IPA!
If Sales is the best journo ABC has to offer at 7:30 then it’s in a very serious talent drought.
Sales then had the temerity, no, stupidity to ask Emerson why Labor couldn’t get its message out?
But then, it has been a week like that… “the Age” calling on Prime Minister Gillard to resign because we need a serious debate about policy…. ???  
I don’t know what’s stopping them except themselves!
Paul Kelly from Murdoch’s OZ pretending that they had nothing to do with trivial bullshit they report and that they would love to do some serious journalism on policy
Perhaps they could try phone-hacking the pollies mobiles for leads?
At least that’s a practice for which the Murdoch press is renowned.

Then there were these utter gems from Nicolle (where’s–my–brain) Flint, “If Rudd and Prime Minister Julia Gillard wish to continue to fight this election playing the man not the ball, by tackling the person not the policy, then let's assess Abbott on this basis. Let's ask ourselves what sort of person we want to govern our nation”?
 and the doughty Amanda (deport-em-all) Vanstone, “Mums and dads have seen this government pour public money into programs and then grossly mismanage them. Think pink batts and covered learning areas at schools - a program that went under the risible title of an ''education revolution''.
In Flint’s case black becomes white and “Rabbott’s" history of legislative and written misogyny are to be praised as virtues and recent policy is so thin on the ground there is nought to talk about.....
In Vanstone’s case she is as accurate in her information here as she was in her migration assessment of a Mr. Madafferi some years ago “…. it is alleged that relatives and associates of Madafferi donated up to $100,000 to the Liberal Party, and that four Liberal party politicians had discussed the visa case with Madafferi's supporters or Vanstone's office. In August 2008, Madafferi was arrested and charged, along with several of Australia's other suspected crime bosses (including Australian 'Ndrangheta boss Pasquale "Pat" Barbero) after Australian Federal Police made the world's biggest ecstasy haul, seizing drugs with a street value of $440 million.
During 2005 Vanstone became involved in some major controversies, one of them involving a defecting Chinese diplomat, Chen Yonglin, whilst others involved the deportation of Australian citizens and permanent residents who her department considered undesirable – the Cornelia Rau, Vivian Alvarez Solon, Stefan Nystrom and Robert Jovicic cases. An inquiry by the former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer was severely critical of the Immigration Department's treatment of Cornelia Rau… poor Amanda… can’t take a trick and p.s…. is in my humble opinion an interviewer only slightly less talented than Leigh Sales.
abbott as voldemort

And last but not least, from the prime suspect…."But as I said our focus is not on parliamentary games, our focus isn't on Canberra insider gossip. Our focus is on providing a strong alternative government."
Did “Rabbott” run that one past Peter Slipper or Craig Thompson or by running out of "the House" or the bullying tactics employed or only having "motherhood statements" not policy?

It’s five minutes to mid-night.

Cheers Petals,

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