Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
The Locker Room
A Call To Arms
A Tale of Two Malls
Talk Back Tom
On The Beach
The Locker Room
Heart Of Darkness
The current shenanigans on the southern part of the dark continent certainly look like cricket, but once we scratch the surface a grisly marketing exercise emerges. The word fiasco springs to mind.
First we had the remunerative brinkmanship from the sub-continent, then the calls for a boycott from that well known supporter of sporting boycotts, John Howard. It was interesting that the systematic deprivation of basic human rights for the vast majority of a population was seen by the Earlwood Service Station operators son as not worthy of the pariah treatment, but now somehow the Mugabe regime next door is.
No one doubts that Mugabe isn't exactly the best thing that has ever happened to the good folk of the Mashonaland, or the plateau surrounding Harare, but I don't think his policies are essentially racist - after all he is screwing the entire country, black, white, yellow and green.
No doubt the cultural experience of being in a third world country will provide a great education for the Australian Cricketers, given their own deprived backgrounds.
Then there is the issue that the World Cup is hardly the best exposition of the game. Media friendly? Certainly. But the one day game remains a bit of hit and giggle; even, it seems, to the players themselves.
How a game, essentially devised to accommodate the marketing needs of a certain Packer, K., becomes the measure of the best cricketing nation in the world for the next four years is one of those great ineffable mysteries.
Yes, Virginia, there is a marketing executive in charge.
Now this may all be in the realms of "so what" if it wasn't for the fact that this marketing driven corporate sport is shooting itself in the foot. The increasingly aggressive pay television promotions indicate that the take up rate for the more than highlights packages remains as abysmal as ever. With sporting organisations increasingly dependent upon these revenue streams sport itself could be in for a big shake-out once those revenue streams dry up. Someone is cooking the goose that lays the golden egg.
The marketing people have no humour, guile or wit whatsoever. There is a constant theme in the marketing of sport that likens it to war. Eric Blair is probably on the money to surmise that sport is "war minus the shooting", at least in how it is perceived. But any fan of sport knows that sport is more than that.
It's Tommy Raudonikis sitting in the losing changerooms after the 1981 grand final. It's big Bill Hamilton smeared in blood as the Bears sink once again despite his valiant efforts. It's about competing, not winning.
If it was merely the result then the fine print in the columns would lead the sports news, not be jammed up the back behind the, err, write up on the Beach Volleyball.
Is Beach Volleyball a sport? We may never know, as Zimbabwe is a landlocked country.
Still, that didn't stop the Swiss from winning the yachting.
Then again, Yachting isn't a sport - it's a social grace.
Meanwhile, the Australian Cricket team continues up the river, desperately searching for Mistah Kurtz...
Phil Doyle, chipping in to sit nicely beside the pin on the 8th
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