Chickengate reconsidered….

I noticed, in a paper on Affect, Culture and Morality this proposition:

“A man goes to the supermarket once a week and buys a dead chicken. But before cooking the chicken, he has sexual intercourse with it. Then he cooks it and eats it. Is that wrong?”

It was used in research to do with morality….

Naturally I could not help wondering, where would North Melbourne footballers stand on this issue, or indeed, AFL footballers in general?!

Contrary Clarissa

One thing strikes me about Clarissa at the moment. I have no idea where her head’s at (so to speak). She’s just all over the place. One moment it’s fighting for Somalia, the next moment it’s crocheted bicycle covers. I’d say it was hormones if…you know….

We went to the Brunswick music festival the other week and now she’s asked me to knit her a pair of socks. I looked rather dubious but she said ‘Oh, they aren’t for me’ (that was not a great surprise since she doesn’t have any feet). ‘They’re for Greg’. She simpered. Honestly, simpered. There is no other word for it. We’d been to see Greg Champion, you see, and Clarissa has been giggling ever since.

I figured she needed a reality check. ‘Clarissa’ I said,

(a) Greg has a beautiful girlfriend, have you thought about that? You saw her that night.
(b) He is tall. You know what they say about tall men. Big feet. NOBODY knits socks for men with big feet, let along for men as a favour to somebody else.
(c) What about Fevola? You can’t be carrying a candle for Fevola one day and fancy Greg Champion the next. Get some consistency, girl.’

As usual she had an answer for everything.

(a) She may be a beautiful girlfriend, but can she write? I’m going to send Greg some songs for him to play on Sat morning. They’ll be the funniest, cleverest songs he has ever received. They will make him fall in love with me.
(b) His feet aren’t that big, really, he has quite refined feet for a man of his size. AND you are a fast knitter, are you not? She stared at me. Daring me to disagree, I suppose.

She muttered something about not liking how Fevola had played on Saturday. It’s all very well, she said, to get those goals at the end when they are desperately needed – she was talking about the game against Brisbane – but if he’d gotten them earlier on they wouldn’t have been desperately needed, would they? It was logic hard to argue with. But was it enough to make a girl turn from Fevola to Champion??? I feel like there is more going on here than I’ve been told about….I’ll let you know if I uncover what the real story is.

A retrospective slide-show. The Pash Papers launch Adelaide 1999

Pash was a Magarey Medallist in Adelaide in the late 1930s. In the 1950s life Murdoch gave him space in The News, then Adelaide’s afternoon tabloid, to talk about football. This was space for whatever took his fancy, not for the obligatory match reports. It was space in which to philosophise about the game of Australian Rules which he loved so much.

This is the sort of thing I mean:

The footballer is perhaps going up in the world. He is now protected more and more from the too-intimate intrusion of the public. There is more than a suggestion of a race apart in the tunnels of entrance now constructed for them at suburban ovals. Small boys may no longer come to gaze upon the grim three-quarter-time assembly. Spectators shivering in their draughty stands or rattling with cold on the mounds, may no longer rub shoulders with the great whom they have come to see – no longer mere quasi-amateur exponents of a popular art but highly paid entertainers. And entertainers are the new aristocracy.

That was written in 1955.

As it happened my father was taught by Pash at school and thoroughly admired his football writings. One thing led to another and finally the dream came true of collecting some of them into The Pash Papers. The launch was a splendid affair with footballers from the 1930s rubbing shoulders with more recent stars such as Graham Cornes.

Cornes, since his playing days, has taken on the roles of journalist and commentator. He is a staunch supporter of the notion that football history matters. That might seem self-evident, that history matters, but in fact the AFL administration has a disgraceful record in that regard. This is discussed here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This is a charming excerpt from 1954 on the relationship between umpires and the crowd:

At Prospect on Saturday I fancied I heard somewhere in the crowd the despairing cry : ‘Alpin, you need glasses’. ….Since the target of this ill-meant advice was Umpire Dale, the effect was mildly comic, and if one examines the observation closely enough it seems to call forth all manner of interesting interpretation.

It seems to say, for one thing, that all umpires are alike, even to the extent of looking alike, as Umpires Aplin and Dale actually do – upon a quick glance at long range, as I can testify. It suggests that Ken Aplin, who has undoubtedly made an impact upon SA football in his time, is now almost the eternal umpire, whose spirit pervades any football ground even where he is not. It expresses further the popular view of the umpire as a panting myope with the tardy whistle. It might even serve as a starting point for an essay on barrackers – that boisterous ‘crew’ of football lovers whose occasional unkindness is largely redeemed by humour.

Pash died last year, but his writings live on and isn’t the culture of Australia Rules Football the richer for it?

Slouchy Beret finished.

My father wanted a hat and after having a go at this beret, the free pattern for which can be found here:

I figured I’d ask Jan to do it for me and she came up with this, modelled by my photographer:

Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian
Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian

It looks good all sorts of ways:

Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian
Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian

A seriously French angle:

Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian
Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian

And, for we footy fans, a boy’s hat HAS to be able to do this:

Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian
Slouchy Beret by Anne Sahakian

It’s in some left over Eki Riva Natal which is a fine alpaca/silk mix. Took about a ball and a half. Really lovely to knit and to wear. Left over from the gorgeous cardigan I shrunk and felted to something a 5 year old couldn’t wear. Sob.

Clarissa and I go to the football

Of course we went to the game last weekend – the Saints versus the Pies, that is. I had my bag checked by security. He didn’t look far and then waved me on with ‘Ah, Sudoku. Good girl’. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or nervous. Is it really true? That terrorists don’t do Sudoku?

When Collingwood kicked a goal in the first quarter the bloke next to Clarissa yelled ‘Goddard, you’re hopeless’ to the St Kilda defender. ‘How interesting’, Clarissa noted, ‘That it is more important to insult the opponents than to cheer your own team’. She loves to make superior sociological observations.

But in fact she was in there with the best of them. When St Kilda’s Delsanto missed a sitter early on, Pies’ supporters’ call of ‘Ya mug, Delsanto’ went up all around us. ‘Yes’, jeered Clarissa. ‘Deary me, Nick. One suspects that you couldn’t steer a small service rocket through a black hole without checking the lag coefficient of the Lagrangian coordinates first.’ Apparently, if you move in the right circles, that is a rather amusing insult. But I can’t say there were any astronauts around at the time.

Clarissa and the Carlton boy

‘I had a dream last night’. I was having a G&T, but Clarissa was on call – expecting some astronaut to ring up – so she was having a weaker-than-usual martini. It was the extra olive that made it weaker.

Clarissa stirred and then continued ‘I was with Brendon Fevola. We were playing a game of chess -‘. I had to break in there. ‘Clarissa. You aren’t seriously telling me that. Don’t tell me that was the best you could come up with for something to do with Fevola’. For those of you who might not know, Brendon is an ace footballer and well, girls like him.

Brendon Fevola warming up for a game of chess.
Brendon Fevola warming up for a game of chess.

‘I like chess. And he’s a good player’, said Clarissa, indignantly. ‘Not that he was ever winning. Until…’ – and did I see Clarissa smirk now? – ‘…I didn’t notice that he could mate me. I don’t know how I could have missed it…’ Well, Clarissa. I think I do.

Tony Lockett highest goal-kicker? AFL falsifies its history

The AFL had a whale of a time making a huge media promotion from the idea that a (then) current player – Tony Lockett – was going to become the highest scoring goal-kicker ever, overtaking Coventry…only trouble is, as the AFL well knows, Coventry was not the highest. Ken Farmer was the highest by a large margin. Nobody will ever overtake his figures, even his total, let along his average.

It is typical of the AFL to have no respect for its history and to manipulate it as it pleases. The reason the AFL thinks it doesn’t have to acknowledge Ken Farmer is that he is South Australian, while Coventry is Victorian. But the AFL can’t have it both ways. Either the AFL is something which started in the 1980s and has no history prior to the establishment of the national body, or it is the history of all State Football Leagues prior to that time. The one thing it can’t be – well, except to the rabidly Victorian amongst us – is Australian from the 1980s and Victorian prior to that.

Ken Farmer was a contemporary of Gordon Coventry’s. When Ken Farmer overtook Coventry’s record everybody in Australia – Victorians included – now considered Farmer to be the highest scoring goal-kicker in Australia. You have only to read the newspapers of the day to know that is true.

The AFL has to decide: is it actually a national body representing a national sport, or is it a Victorian body, representing Victorian interest, despite its national pretentions. If it is a national body with a history extending before the 1980s, it has to behave appropriately and reinstate Farmer as AFL’s highest-scoring goal-kicker. Anything less is plain dishonest.