Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Learning Before Cricket

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-01-09

The bad sportsmanship of the Australian Cricket team is a good thing.  That it is cricket, long held to be a most gentlemanly game, rather than another sport, makes the Australian unsporting and ungentlemanly behaviour all the more welcome.

Rudd should use this opportunity to do something useful.

Too long has sporting skill been seen as sufficient, and almost necessary, for qualification as a role model, if not beatification.

The sooner athletic or ball-handling ability is considered merely another form of celebrity, unworthy of serious discussion in all but publications with the tenor of "Ralph" or "Who Weekly", the sooner we might become a nation that grants appropriate esteem to activities that enhance our civilization, and bring lasting benefits to our people.

As is now obvious, international sports stars have significant potential to cause friction with other countries.  The sciences and arts present no such risk.

Peter Doherty is a greater credit to Australia, and deserves much more celebration, than Shane Warne.  Of the two knights, McFarlane Burnett and Donald Bradman, it is the former that has improved the quality of life of every Australian, while the latter has only improved the bank balances of a few sports writers, and the popularity of a few demagogues.

While it can be argued that international sporting events generate incoming tourists, a completely dominant Australian team will generate less income than when visitors have the chance to see competitive games or their own victories.  Noble losses improve not only the prospects of future income, but can enhance the reputation of our national character more than even a gracious win.

Is Rudd really committed enough to his "Education Revolution", the welfare, both social and economic, that it can bring, to take this opportunity, while the population reads local newspapers calling for the resignation of the Australian captain, on character grounds, to change the perception of who should be our role models, what abilities we should value?

Might Rudd take the high ground, do something great for the country, during the honeymoon period of his term?  Howard could only wrap himself in green and gold flags to cultivate popularity, and got away with surlyness when handing a cup to victorious English rugby players.  Rudd could instead wrap himself in virtue, by promoting intellectual pursuits as more justifiable causes for national pride, decrease the risk of people viewing him negatively as a geeky smartarse.

Finally, the Ocker cricket team should realise that being called "monkey" by an Indian, even if it happened, is hardly a racist slur, instead, should be treated as if being called a "lion" by a pom.

The Ockers have demonstrated their own profound ignorance, for Hanuman the Monkey is one of the greatest heroes of Indian folklore.


  • Some scholars think that the Chinese Monkey King hero, and a cult TV series once on ABC TV ¿1970s/80s?, is derived from Hanuman stories.


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