Play Up, Play Up and Play the Game … of Cricket Reflecting Our Society

OK news media, enough of the shock and horror about the cricket cheats. It turns out these fine young men took ball tampering to new heights – sandpaper for fucks sake and now we’re getting reports the same blokes had been under suspicion for the last couple of years! The word serial springs to mind.

However it’s over, I’m not sure what good was supposed to come out of the airport interviews yesterday, although a cynic would say it was a great marketing method of switching anger to sympathy – bloody clever. In effect, their actions are on a par with people doctoring resumes, or plagiarising – the fall from grace is swift and necessary.

It’s also very easy to understand other cricketing nations coming in hard, Australia has always brazenly displayed a ‘holier than thou’ arrogance to other teams, the old saying comes to the fore – ‘can dish it out, but can’t take it’. Be that as it may, it’s now time to leave these blokes alone, to get their lives back together and resurrect what is possible over time and I do think Cricket Australia does have a duty to give them support – they encouraged the culture that claimed them.

The Cameron guy looked like a decent bloke to me, everyone makes mistakes and I can see where peer pressure would be intense to a newcomer, although the reports of established behaviour are disturbing – a question mark remains. The Smith captain cove always came across as a bit of an arrogant sneering prick, I can’t quite feel terribly sad. Warner always struck me as an arrogant thug arsehole. I’d have hated to have had him in any team / sport I followed’ I don’t give a fuck what happens to him. As for Lehmann the coach – we’ve all come across them – boorish thick bogans, Dumbo will survive, too thick not to.

The good thing is, that finally, hopefully, we won’t have cricket and players, rammed down our throats as some sort of heroic endeavour with its appointed heroes saving our souls. Thankfully, the Howard era of pushing cricketers to be Australians of the Year are fading, it was such bullshit! People payed millions then put on a pedestal for doing themselves a favour? It’s time for us all to grow up – cricket, rugby league, cycling etc. are all great sports, but they’re not bastions of decency and fair play, let alone sportsmanship – whatever that may mean these days.

I do think these events point to a greater malaise in our society – all nations. We’ve grown accustomed to lies from all sources we deal with – the non- answers and bare faced lies from politicians – the absolute lie of Weapons of Mass Destruction by that trio of warmongering fuckwit dickheads – Bush, Howard and Blair, the arrogant bovver boy bullshit from the likes of Barnaby Joyce, the brutal lowest common denominator racism and hatred of Hanson as she claws onto power, the “this is all about me” bullshit  ‘anyway the wind blows of Xenophon, the brutality of far right religious Christian politicians, demonising anyone not white, especially Muslims. Jesus wept (that’s appropriate for Good Friday) – the far right are now openly canvassing to put white people in danger ahead of black people in danger!  The utter disregard for objective reporting and blunt social conditioning enforced by the Murdoch empire, the entitlement of a Dastyari, a Bishop, a union official clawing out a safe Labor seat, the lie of Turnbull, too enveloped by power to be himself, the slimy teflon of  the poll driven Shorten, the list is sadly, almost endless. These people are blatantly in it for themselves and whatever team they’re batting for. Nobody accepts responsibility and the umpire’s call is battled out in every court possible – witness the hideous Perth City Council fiasco.

Religion? Bishops, Rabbis, Mullahs and Popes sitting in their cesspits of holiness, protecting paedophile priests in some hideous religious rendition of suffer little children. Catholicism with its entrenched misogyny, worshipping Mary for being a virgin, above other women and worse, rewriting history, presenting Jesus as fair haired and blue eyed. For Christ’s sake, he was a Middle Eastern Jew; he would have looked almost exactly the same as many of the refugees trying to get to reach the sanctuary of Europe and Australia by boat.

Then there’s big business – the blatant lies from telcos, the refusal to deal with people, the hiding behind online forms, the bullshit bait advertising, the lies of Volkswagen in terms of its bullshit diesel emissions – they didn’t give a flying fuck about pollution and consider this, the German Lower Saxony government owns 25% of Volkswagen!  The shocking treatment of people needing assistance from  staff at Centrelink, the abuse of employees through non-payment of entitlements, the theft of superannuation funds by the stealth of fees and bullshit insurances that will never be paid,  again the list is endless.

We have become inured to it all, not only do we not believe anything anymore, we now accept, even laugh about it and take haven in our own tribes. Nazi fascism is on the rise – we’re at a point where the neo Nazis have so confidently crawled out of the sewers, they’re getting seats in governments, they’re confident enough to raise Nazi flags, or versions of that most shocking of emblems. They and their goon supporters call peace loving people who want to look after the Earth and her inhabitants, ‘Fascist Lefties,’ betraying their complete misunderstanding of the word.

We used to have the best, bluntest, most fearless press in the world, but sadly the media barons have retrenched them, turning most of those still in full time employment into contracted hacks working under threat of redundancy if they don’t follow the owner’s editorial guide. And follow they do. The media barons have almost succeeded in their destruction of the ABC and the BBC, with politicians only too willing to shut down fearless criticism. Do we seriously think the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, or Google, or Amazon will give us all the news, not to mention look after our best interests?

Why should we expect our cricketers to be different? The enormously tragic truth is they reflect our society – selfish, thuggish, prepared to sacrifice principles for a win or even just a point. Us.

Greg Ross


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