October 10th 1999
"All Australians love the great game of football", "All red blooded Americans love Baseball". The media has force fed us this rubbish for years, and it's still going on... perhaps because nobody has stood up and said otherwise, or because the media thought it was amusing when we did.
In the 80s, A Melbourne Sun journalist who hated the whole football thing, began the Anti football League... Dunstin simply hated the game as it filled every portion of the media with utter crap... every year one football would be destroyed, punctured, flattened by a steam roller, cooked by a chef and even blown up, followed by much applause from the leagues members.
But now we, who don't like sports, sit back on our arse and let these total weirdoes... those who like sports, shove more and more garbage down our throats where ever we are in the world. I think it's time at least one of us stood up and said "You bastards shit me!"
So what have I got against football, soccer, golf, tennis etc etc etc ? When i was a kid in the 70s, it was thought that if you were male and you didn't like chasing a ball around, that there was something wrong with you... or more to the point, your sexuality... now I don't particularly care which way a person leans, but having it imposed on you before you even understand that a penis does more than let you aim into a lavatory is really bad.
So this is how it worked... I went to school in the 70s, and I suppose I was somewhere between 8 and 12. I told the teacher I didn't like football and everyone assumed I was "one of those"... but in the 70s you were obviously "bent" if you came to school wearing white socks [don't ask, I still have no idea].
I'm happy that I was bought up in a sports ignorant family, my father hated football, he would on rare occasions watch the wrestling which was often shown at lunch on a sunday, so when I think about wrestling, it's normally associated with roast beef or chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas.
I'm not letting wrestling off the hook, it looks even more stupid than football, and I knew that even at that age... you know, perhaps my anti sport stance came from watching sesame street, a show where everyone was really kind to each other. Sport always struck me as a bit violent, who knows?
The television is saturated with sports and loonies who play or watch or evaluate sports, because it makes money which is the bottom line... the media must hypnotize people into a lifetimes devotion or they won't get paid... I think people are starting to figure that out too, the TV claims that as Australians... and particularly here in Victoria, that we're so sports mad that we simply cannot think of anything else... but meet anyone in the street and it's very very rare to hear a conversation about "the big game on saturday" etc. Even my perceptions of Americans has altered dramatically while online...
TV made us think that all american boys were obsessed by baseball, "all american" families like the Bradys or the Partridges, etc were always "Rooting" for this team or that, which always amused us here because in Australia, Rooting is a whole different form of intercourse altogether. :) but where were these sports mad American boys who never wore white socks and never looked twice at another guys backside? Because nobody I've ever met during my 4 years online has even made a passing comment about baseball, or any other american game.
TV treats us, we who don't like sports, with contempt. Do you remember coming home from school in the summer aching to watch your favourite 4pm show, sitting down, putting the telly on and having your jaw drop because some game was on? The announcer would be saying things like "isn't this a wonderful day for golf" and you'd be thinking "fuck off, I wanna see scooby doo!".
I have cable TV now, it's years too late... but I love it because I can actually watch what I want to watch and know that there's no way I'll see any sports except for some commercials now and then, because the sports are confined and chained up like junkyard dogs over on the sport channels which naturally I wouldn't subscribe to even if they were free.
Internet too is a great place to get away from sports, a fact that I hadn't really noticed until I bought a TV card... from that moment I began using this wonderful bit of kit, my computer spewed forth leather balls and announcers who can't seem to speak without using clichés.
The belief that people are sports crazy persists even today... the only difference is that if you tell someone that you don't like sports, it's ok... and your reputation doesn't alter, at least if the person you told isn't a freak themselves... isn't it ironic that people who are freaks themselves are so ready to call others a freak before evaluating themselves... like right wing church types, you know the ones.
I feel so sorry for kids in a right wing sport family, usually kids in these unfortunate families haven't even had the afterbirth washed from them before being ceremoniously dressed in daddies team colours, poor buggers, no wonder they cry. A kid from a family of this kind might grow up to be a brilliant pianist or a great doctor or one who can bring world peace? But does that matter? Not really... he's going to love footy or he's going to be a total failure... and that does wonders for a kids confidence. See the great con about sports is that children who play team sports are more confident... but the only reason that is true is because you will be harassed if you choose to do something else with your life, resulting in lower confidence.
Consider this... Sex is play. Force that on someone and it becomes rape.
Now I'm fairly certain that the pro-sport attitude will eventually die off completely. This is mainly due to what we choose to watch and listen to. Looking back, the electronic media consisted of three commercial channels and one government station [excluding SBS]... AM and FM radio... but now we are starting to get more choice... Cable is only about 5 years old here in Australia... already we can choose not to see any sports on our screens. With electronic media becoming even more sophisticated, it is likely that one day we will have the option of programming our devices to show us only what we want to see. Timeslots will be irrelevant, as we'll have the option to see what we want on demand. This may include "radio" or whatever we may call it, where we can listen to music we like and filter anything we don't like.
This will be a frightening time for the media as they lose more and more control over our tastes, and we gain a real sense of ourselves. The media has herded us around like cattle... tried to bundle us into neat little groups, this allows for easy management. But if we split and run in all directions, with thousands of different tastes and desires... how will that line the pockets of those in the media? It cannot... regular media as it is, is dying.
Sydney gained the 2000 Olympics, but does anyone actually care? Not that I know of, and Melbourne got the 2006 Commonwealth games... but only because nobody else wanted it... and as a result parks were messed up and stadiums were built... money that could have gone to hospitals and other essential services. We could have had the best in the world, indeed Melbourne did have the best hospitals in the world for a while... but noooo, we had to have sports, didn't we?
Over this last weekend in Sydney, 20,000 people rallied in the streets in a massive protest... not because of the violence in East Timor, not because Aboriginals die in prisons and not because a Uranium mine is to be built in Kakadu... The saddest thing is the protest was over the merger of two rugby union teams... a pathetic waste of human energy if ever there was one.
To all those guys out there who force this shit down our necks everytiime we flick a switch, to Lou Richards, Trevor Marmalade, Ron bloody Walker... To the Cricket stars, Golf stars, Footy stars, Basketball stars who drone on endlessly about the big game and flog tasteless drinks on commercials, To the AFL, VFL, NBL... To the MCG and the Wacca... To every damn golf course on any point on the whole bloody planet, to every sodding race imaginable... human, animal or machine and finally to all you Wingnuts out there who paint your faces... Fuck off, eh?