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  Issue No 61 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 July 2000  




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Peter Moss: Baby's First Game

Unless you've locked yourself away in a monastery (and I know someone who did - for 10 years of the Latin mass, silence and self-flagellation), there aren't that many firsts left in life as you push into the deep 30s. Not the kind of firsts you look forward to anyway.


But for a newborn, life is bristling with firsts. The inaugural smile, the original word, the primal step. And, of more interest to readers of this column, the first game of footy.

As a parent, you have the onerous responsibility of deciding which game. How soon is too soon? Can an appalling performance by your team (a real danger with the Swans this year) scar the tender young sport organs? There is precious little research to guide the sporting parent.

I have been encouraged by the startling preference of my baby daughter, Matilda, for the colour red. Just weeks after she tumbled into the world, she became fixated with an apple-red cast iron teapot.

Then, as I held her following a jog around the park, she leant forward and kissed the red V of my imitation South Melbourne/Swans guernsey. (Her mother claims Matilda was simply searching for a milk-gorged nipple, but I know what I saw).

Come the morning of the big game against Essendon, Matilda was just 34 days old. As we strapped her in for the 20 minute drive to the SCG, I was astounded that her mother had managed to swaddle such a small child in so many layers of bulky clothing, blankets, junior drizabones and asbestos space blankets.

Surely an overreaction, there was just the merest nimbus puff floating benevolently by as we left home - it looked a great Sunday arvo for football.

You know, it never used to rain on the Swans, but this year we've had a few inclement sessions. I believe that, like the team's disappointing form, this may be related to the bizarre decision by Darryn Creswell to introduce blonde highlights to his formerly unremarkable mouse-brown mop. Nothing's gone right since. (I could add that Brett 'Captain' Kirk has spent a lot of time in the seconds since trimming his sideburns, or that the team had a win the week that Troy Luff ran on with an unexpectedly groovy cut.)

Blame it on Cressa or El Nino, by the time I'd manoeuvred the Magna into a space it had no right to fill in a Surry Hills back lane, the sky looked as healthy as an emphysemiac after a coughing fit. As we reached our familiar seats in the O'Reilly Stand - a 25 minute trudge from the car - the first raindrops descended. On us. And Matilda. We scuttled back into the stand and pinched a couple of undercover seats.

The Swans put up a great show to almost topple the Bombers who, as unbeaten ladder leaders, were universally tipped to wipe Sydney out with the nonchalance of a pasty-faced AFL version of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Matilda was absolutely unfazed by the madness of the fans, and indeed quite animated after her breastfeed at quarter time. It's just possible, don't tell me it's not, that her presence helped lift the hapless Swannies to a level approaching their former glory.

Peter Moss is a director of Lodestar Communications


*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 61 contents

In this issue
*  Technology: Union Rep for Global Net Body
The godfather of unions and the Internet, Eric Lee, is seeking your support to give labour a voice on the net's governing body, ICANN.
*  Interview: Downloaded and Done Over
In the wake of the TV Networks' digital TV victory, Internet industry chief Peter Coroneus rues a missed opportunity for Australia.
*  Legal: The Global Millennium Project
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) has developed a draft proposal for a comprehensive revision and modernisation of international labour standards for the new millenium.
*  Unions: Sandgropers Get Serious on Stress
The Australian Services Union in Western Australia in conjunction with the University of Western Australia, is surveying workers across the state's call centre industry.
*  Politics: New Work for a New Millennium
View in full the ALP's Draft Industrial Relations Policy to be taken to the National Conference at the end of the month.
*  Solidarity: Korean Hotel Workers Seek Global Help
Striking Korean hotel workers at the Swiss Grand Hotel and the Seoul Hilton are worried they could be the next targets of escalating riot police violence.
*  History: Vince's Parable of the Sundial
How a working man survived WWII and ASIO blacklists to save a sundial.
*  International: Room for Optimism from African Poll
The performance of pro-Deomcracy groups in the Zimbabwean elections has given supporters hope for better days.
*  Environment: Mexican Wave Goes Green
American politics has taken on a Green hue with the left leaning National Action Party and the Greens in Mexico picking up nearly 40% of the vote in the recent elections.
*  Satire: Aussies Celebrate Centenary by Leaving Country
Prime Minister John Howard has defended his government's decision not to involve Australia in the centenary federation celebrations.
*  Review: A Building Sings of Lives Lived in Music
Mysterious shadows flicker in the windows of the Parramatta Town Hall. Strains of trumpet and sarod float outside. It's all part of the urban Theatre Project's latest work, 'The Palais'.

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»  Union Stalwart Honoured

»  The Soapbox
»  Sport
»  Trades Hall
»  Tool Shed

Letters to the editor
»  Congratulations on the Email Rally in Orange
»  Dissident Site
»  Tax Workers Defended
»  A Reluctant Brown-Tongue

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