Monday, 24 August 2009


Let me declare a non-interest. I seldom watch sport, and the miniscule amount that penetrates my defence mechanisms rots away very quickly. Dr P does not switch it off the way I do, and thus it has been impossible not to notice that a foreign country beat us at some supposedly important cricket match.

It is distressing to see grown men weep, especially newsreaders and commentators, as they recount their litany of woe, about how the heart of a nation has been broken.


While I know very little about this fearsomely boring game, as a child I actually read cricket books by the fabled Jack Fingleton, and thus I know all about the devilishly unsporting and brutal bodyline series by that very same foreign country. While I'd like to claim that there must have been a paucity of reading matter in the house, this is not at all true. So the books must have been good reading.

Let it be noted that my heart is not broken. Rhett Butler and I don't give a damn.

Earlier this evening, Dr P having declared that all he wanted for dinner was my fabulously delicious pea and ham soup, made to the ever-reliable recipe by Stephanie Alexander, I dashed into the kitchen. It was not only to hasten the enjoyable consumption of the soup, but more importantly to escape the braying voice of the commercial TV newsreader, who was presenting a story about how our Miss Australia was well on the way to winning the Miss Universe contest. Miss ???, he declared, is now an Australian icon. Amazing. All it takes these days, to become an icon, is being on commercial TV news 4 days running. The same shots of her waggling along a cakewalk in a skimpy bikini apparently confers iconic status. The shots were followed by some breathless speculation about whether the icon would be able to make pots of dough from her experience. Although she is already a household name, strangely enough I can't remember it.

I declare that if I hear any more references to icons, cricketing or otherwise, I will be tempted to hurl a rock through the TV screen.

What with iconic cricket games, and iconic identically hairstyled and semi-clad females, with bikinis cut below the pubic hair line, older females like me who found it outrageous to be shaved before giving birth, tend to seethe slightly. Our very own Murdoch paper, The Australian, manages regularly to bung in photographs of nubile girls revealing considerable amounts of their splendid and sexy anatomies. Columnists regularly write earnestly of the pressures on young girls and women, and how they are sexualised from a very young age, but manage to write in a way which inevitably glamorises such practices. A weekend supplement recently had a lengthy story about how much money young women spent on their appearance and clothes, including such necessities as botox, plastic surgery, breast 'enhancements', hair treatments, hair removal, fake tanning, not to mention cosmetics, clothes and shoes. The amounts were extremely large, and revealed a staggering degree of self-obsession and an evident belief that it was essential to be a sex object.

Today my own breasts were admired and declared to be in pretty good nick not only by Dr P, but by the breast cancer surgeon at my annual check up.


Anonymous said...

I know! I know! I watched the news last night in disbelief. It's like Australia's never lost at sport before. Judging by the reactions, we ought to lose more often, as a reminder that THERE'S MORE TO LIFE.

Pam said...

Yes indeed.

I'm interested that your paper's called The Australian. Ours is The Scotsman, and our son-in-law, who's English, thinks that this is very amusing. "You'd never get a paper called The Englishman", he scoffs.

Thank you, Australia.

persiflage said...

At least The Australian includes both male and female. Newspapers in Australia were/are generally based in and focused on the capital cities of the states, and made fairly scant mention of events in the remaining states, so that when The Australian was founded - I think in 1964 - it took a national focus. It is now a very right wing paper with conservative commentators who concentrate on vituperation and sneering. But in its early days it was very critical of the long-serving Liberal-Country Party coalition government (1949-72).

molly said...

I don't have to deal with cricket, a game I find even more boring and incomprehensible than baseball, but The OC regularly numbs my brain by turning on the golf channel as a sort of soundtrack to his life. Mind numbing stuff! And when it's not golf, it can be football, basketball, soccer or hockey, depending on the season. You have my sympathy!

Meggie said...

O my gosh! How I love this post!! A positive kindred spirit, you are.

Anonymous said...

I so understand - and I am a seldom watch sport person too.

These days, the 'NEWS' has more emphasis is on the winning and losing of National games than on murder, robbery and general thuggery. Let alone good news!