Saturday, 31 March 2012

Fuck You Dad

Thinking about going to a cat show today. You know, participating in what is known as “real life”. This in itself is an uninviting concept, but, CATS. Fuck yeh, CATS! And cat shows are supposed to attract extremely odd and idiosyncratic individuals. Fuck yeh, WEIRDOS!
People occasionally make obnoxious comments of the ‘crazy cat lady’ variety. I don’t mind. I don’t think I’m quite there yet but I do aspire to achieve certified, crazy cat lady status in the future. There was one time I did mind though, and it was a couple of months ago, during a conversation with my father, who I have been estranged from for more than fifteen years. Sixteen, seventeen, something like that. He’s okay, I guess, but he’s one of those men who shows no courage when it counts. At the end of 2010, when I saw him after all that time, he was just this small stranger standing on my doorstep who I was taller than. He was moving to Canberra at the exact time that I was preparing to leave Canberra. I had several dozen reasons to be leaving already but that one was a solid late entry because seeing him totally unsettled me, all he did was cry and ask me irritating questions about my mental health. Like had I ever considered suicide? We spoke on the phone a few times since then and the last time we did he asked me if I still had four cats and when I said yeh he started, like, cackling, weirdly, for a long time, like he was laying an egg, it was terrible. When he’d stopped and composed himself he said into the stony stretched silence something like” wow, you really are a crazy cat lady aren’t you”. I wish I could have said what I wanted to at the time, I wish I could have suggested that perhaps the reason I find cats preferable to people may have something to do with him turning out to be a turncoat and a terrible father who fucked with my soft bird-bone early-adolescent head and sent sadness and suspicion to settle into my hardening bones.

I didn’t say that though, and, as is the way when you don’t say what you should have said and needed to say, I taste metal in my throat when I think about it now.
Anyway, whatever the reasons, I have an ever-intensifying infatuation with cats and just imagine the fun of moving among other, more motivated enthusiasts who not only find cats to be creatures of unparalleled excellence but believe they necessitate rigorous exhibition.
“They get stretched out so they can be judged on their structure, but if they bite the judge it’s a big disgrace.”  That’s the line that attracted me in the article announcing the show. Also, the special mention that one of the judges was coming “all the way from Minneapolis, United States.”

-I’ve compiled a list of things that could have made this story better – Camaros, corsetry, hills carpeted with flowers, David Koresh, seafood extender, being sprayed by a skunk……… But, you know, then I remembered that Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac were all huge fans of the cat, Bukowski in particular made constant references in his later-in-life letters to the way his bunch of adopted strays lifted his soup-stain suicide moods just by the way they crossed a rug or sat in sunshine and slept. Nothing can get better than that.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Billy Slater's Neck&Thighs: "thick all round"

Things are looking up down here in Victoria. Maybe it really will one day be “the place to be” like the inane number plates announce. My newsagent Carl was eager and very excited to tell me recently that my specially ordered Daily Telegraph is now delivered ON THE DAY, as opposed to a day later, and that he had been working tirelessly since Christmas to achieve this. “How many do you actually sell?” I asked him. “Oh, four or five…” “Yeh well maybe the suits in charge of programming at WIN will fall into line with you and acknowledge the existence of NRL – you could be a pioneer, Carl – you’re Burke and Wills right now!” This was met with an unblinking silence, a softly furrowed brow, and, finally, a low nervous laugh. AFL dimbulbs, what can you do? Actually, on second thoughts, Victoria still has a ways to go.

When the ray of light that is the All Stars game shone upon us and signaled the thawing of the off-season frost and the passing of the soul’s winter those fuckers at WIN showed Big Momma’s House. Astonishing. I actually watched the opening scenes wondering where Josh Dugan was and if he was possibly playing off the bench…
Well. Several weeks later, and who knew my shaken disgruntled fists and muttered voodoo curses could be laid to rest (transferred elsewhere, whatever) now that WIN has started showing Friday Night Footy on its digital sister channel?? Sometimes, life, you’re only seemingly sub-par. Let’s never fight again.
NRL on free to air television sparked the interest of my best friend, hence:  
-Got it
-And I thought I was the only one person to have shorts ride up in my crotch. These boys and their big thighs
Me - Note the Storms heritage collared jerseys, fabulous neck extension. Every team should bring them back. Need all the neck help they can get.
-Thick all round

Before I move on, I should point out that it took years of evolution for the human race to get to the point where our chins reside in lofty isolation, elevated from our shoulders by a vertical expanse widely known as “the neck”. Now to be fair, not every “neck” resembles the graceful nodding stem of a daffodil (see above). Tyra Banks understands this, which is why she is forever critiquing contestant’s photos on America’s Next Top Model with words to the effect of “YOU NEED MORE NECK”. The Morris twins understand this. Billy Slater understands this. NRL jersey designers do not understand this. To my mind this is the greatest flaw in the modern game. It is also the most easily rectified. Who gives a fuck about chicken wings, rolling pins, chin straps and crusher tackles, JUST MODIFY THE FUCKING JERSEYS ALREADY.
Apparently, teams are always looking for “the edge”, and despite the unfortunate current situation whereby the Storm have said edge over every team in the competition (but only just over the Raiders – GO RAIDERS) there is no doubt in my mind that their V-necked and collared jerseys provided additional ‘edge’ last night. The Knights looked second-rate in their collarless jerseys and they played second-rate football. Do the math. Kurt Gidley did the math, worked himself into a towering lather and eventually lost his shit entirely. He claimed he was screaming abuse at himself – “I CAN SAY WHAT I LIKE TO ME’SELF” – but the ref disagreed and penalised him for dissent. Of course, Gidley is one of the players who would benefit most from a collared jersey.  

It was a night for all the senses. Aside from the Storm’s elegant appearance I got to listen to Rabs and Gus commentating. Ok, so neither of them possesses the honeyed tones of Jeremy Irons. We have Brad Fittler on the sideline for that.  What they can do is emote. Goddamn are they emotive. Rabs is excitable and astute and Gus is full of bluster and hyperbole and they bitch and bicker at each other like a cantankerous old married couple and it’s the most awesome and entertaining thing ever and may they both live on eternally.
Gus was in good form last night; he said “wow” (Billy Slater, who else..), which is one of life’s great aural pleasures, and he also suffered some mental slippage and got stuck on the idea that the Storm were more soldier crab than human. I mean, who hasn’t?? He returned to the theme continuously over the course of the game, dreamily droning sentences such as “Like little soldier crabs, aren’t they – just marching up the field, marching marching…”  He also cast his gimlet eye over a Knights player, Zeb somebody, who knocked on for no apparent reason and under no apparent pressure, and ran right over Rabs’ sympathetic murmurings with the words “I KNOW, I FEEL SORRY FOR HIM TOO – BUT HE DOES PLAY THIS GAME FOR A LIVING!” Brilliant. Leave it to Gus to bring down the cold boot of truth.
Other stuff happened, like Cameron Smith berating his players lustily and at length after the final siren, despite them winning, and there was another game, featuring the fucking Broncos, as per, and they won, also as per, and the whole thing was very rewarding. You watch Friday Night Footy and feel the world disappearing. People say they experience the same sensation when a big gun goes off in their hands. I don’t know about that but I did have vague face-ache at the end of it all. Viva Victoria.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A Bible Reading for Cooper Cronk.

The high stakes game of player signings and contract skullduggery is about to be taken to a new and questionable level. Shit, as “they” “say”, is about to get real. This is due to happen at precisely 10:30am AEST this morning, and because Cooper Cronk has scheduled this press conference personally and he is without question the most tightly wound human being outside of the Stasi you better damn well know that it’s going to be precise. I use the term ‘human being’ loosely and with certain nagging doubts here because he actually appears to my eyes as an assemblage of gears and electric circuitry. In any case, anyone, human or otherwise, who is that uptight is clearly masking a personality disorder. That frightful hum of intensity? Heavy. Not without a certain seductive severity, but heavy nonetheless. This is not my immediate concern today. It may be of renewed interest if he signs with the Titans though. I’m not an accountant, but I think the Titans have got financial problems. Just a hunch. Haha.
Anyway, as I have no job and no place to go today I’m going to be all over this press conference like a cheap suit. And lest anyone confuse the gurglings of my unconscious with the voice of God, and because I have a few hours to fill, I’m going to ramp up the tension by turning to the Good Book and issuing a thundering eleventh-hour biblical warning to Cooper Cronk. For real.
 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”
-Christ’s warning in Matthew 7:15.

Your move, Cronk.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Retro Raiders!

Round 4, Raiders vs Tigers.   

Best Bits:
1.      Terry yelling at the refs. Terry arguing with the refs. Terry entering into disputes with the refs that had nothing to do with him. Terry been scolded by a ref: “I don’t need your help Terry”. Terry in general. TERRY.
2.      Warren Smith in commentary observing Joel Thompson leaping to his feet with intent to agitate after a tackle and saying mildly “yesss…always looks to be happy to accommodate somebody if it gets a bit frisky out there is Joel…”
3.      Jack Whighton, who my brother and I have taken to referring to only as Jack Boom, giving it to Benji Marshall around the chin and leaving him reeling and drooling like Brendan Fevola at the 2009 Brownlows. Do not be fooled by his sweet nineteen year old sugar-face and baby animal eyes, people: he is an agent of aggression – less sunbathing Labrador puppy, more chained-up-overnight-at-the-wreckers-attack dog. My approval is wholehearted.
4.      Reece Robinson. He just… SEEMS SO NICE. And he hustled back from injury early – risking messing up that pretty face with his fractured cheekbone – to fill in at fullback for Dugan and had a high-octane and audacious blinder. He ran! He leaped! He contested! He caught! He did it all and he looked fine doing it! Consequently, he was the subject of pervy texts – not for the first time – from my girl J-Bo. Example: “Robinson I love his assssssssssssss!!!!!” He pleased us both greatly. This makes him a people-pleaser, and proves that he really must be very nice.
5.      Footage of the Raiders belting out the victory song in the sheds, and Blake Ferguson accompanying with his half River dance, half stroke victim choreography. It has a name, his collection of moves – ‘The Fergie Dance’.  A sublime visual representation of victory.
6.      Laurie Daly’s chickens finally coming home to roost. He is clearly burdened with a psychic blockage that prevents him from tipping against the Raiders, no matter how diabolical their form. You just don’t see loyalty and resolve like that anymore.
7.      Jarrod Croker – sweet sad eyed man-child, summing things up beautifully in his post-match interview with the stirring words “Guess we played a bit of Raiders of old.” Croker! Jesus me! That is the most deeply meaningful and poignant post-match sentiment I have ever heard.
8.      Raiders 30, Tigers 16. Ye olde Raiders REPRESENT.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Raiders are a Russian Novel

Last Sunday, my god.
That Raiders Roosters game was full of abominations too monstrous to describe or even name.

A week has passed. The immediate, astonished horror has worn off, but everyday objects still have the sharp angry edges they took on shortly after kick-off. I mean, MY GOD. I legit started thinking some kind of extraterrestrial invasion was underway. If I hadn’t been so transfixed by the suffocatingly slow unfolding of scenes on my television screen I would have been down on my hands and knees searching for hidden microphones in the kitty litter or something.   
As it happened, part way through the diabolical second half a tiny muscle under my right eye leaped and began to twitch and for the rest of the game the erratic behaviour of my face perfectly reflected the erratic behaviour of both teams. Once the rotten stinking curtain was rung down on the game my face stopped jerking but a kind of soupy, confused mist seethed into my brain and settled over things. Everything pretty much as usual for the week that followed, then, except for the grimmer than usual drive of blood in my skull and a great sense of foreboding – perversely gripping -  regarding Monday night’s Raiders Tigers game.  Football. Jesus God.
The thing about the Raiders is that they’re so unpredictable, so unknowable. And not in a good way. I believe, generally speaking, that if you can’t do it well then it’s not worth doing. Clearly not everyone agrees. As the damage to my nerves mount there are many alarming signs that the Raiders may not be entirely on top of matters. This is all very familiar.
Last week, before we both went cold on the entire organisation my brother and I decided that the Raiders need to buy someone, since every other club seems to be buying people in a frenzy of spending (whatup Titans) and signing. But who? I suggested Willie Mason, and my brother unexpectedly became very excited. Who knew?  
1.“I like him. We should go for it. ! Can’t see him moving to Canberra though, he would hate it worse than you!”  
2. “Going cheap isn’t he? I heard he might end up playing for the Toowoomba Pythons and work in the tomato factory there during the week!”
I looked into this and the offer, as reported back in December 2011, was actually to play for the Guyra (population 2500) Superspuds, who have won four of the past nine Group 19 grand finals and pay $250 per game.  Club official Terry Vidler said “We’d take him. He would cause a lot of interest in our town. We’ve got a tomato farm out here, it’s a big deal. He could work there.”  As rustic and charming and fuckoff-hilarious as this all sounds, I much prefer the idea of Willie getting an NRL start. If the skeleton of Matt Orford’s soul can be resurrected and made to dance and sing and drop balls and bungle kicks then Mason more than deserves the same opportunity. Also, he’s got mad game! He’s awesome! So what if he talks a lot of smack? It’s “refreshing”. I heard Daly Cherry Evans interviewed the other day and every line uttered was flat and robotic and entirely devoid of humanity and humour. It was horrible. I want boorish hooligans rearing up through the mist and blurting out robust and original opinions of the “everyone’s entitled to have one” variety. Decorum and decency are terribly over-rated.

Anyway. On the Raiders, I plan on rounding the corner and fully overcoming my crippling sense of resentment sometime today, in preparation for what will probably be more of the same tomorrow evening. This, people, is the way of the world.

One of the worst parts of the whole thing last week was that I got so goddamn excited after their win over the Titans. I convinced myself that some kind of seismic shift had occurred; that it was different to their first win of last season, when they annihilated the hapless Sharks in that unseemly opening match. There wasn’t much element of skill involved then and absolutely no pretense of two equally matched teams. The whole thing resembled hyenas tearing open a gazelle much more than it did a traditional game. It was terrific. God it was a good time. Really great.  What wasn’t so great was the fact that it was pretty much the only joy Raiders fans got to experience. For the season. That’s, like, months. Long, bleak months. Russian novel months.
After last week, the implications are profound and distressing:  Perhaps we are standing on that same threshold. Perhaps we have always been there.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Everybody Loves Weyman, or, The Horror of Long Haul Bus Rides

You know how when you talk a lot about football you end up talking almost as much about life, because the two so regularly intersect? Well, it was only a matter of time before the intersection between football and the visual arts demanded attention. Read on, culture vultures!

A fabulous life-sized bronze statue of Dragons behemoth Michael Weyman has been fashioned by a local artist in his hometown of Moruya and installed it in the park by the river. I can think of several hundred NRL players I would prefer to see immortalised in bronze ahead of Weyman (the visually splendid Carney astride the Big Merino, for one) but, still. From what I saw the artist appeared to have captured something of Weyman’s essential blue-collar, battle-axe spirit, as well as that look of piercing, squinting, enraged-bull stoicism he wears a while running at and/or over the top of opponents. (“Get Out of my Weyman”- humourous Red V sign)

I used to ride the Pioneer bus up and down that coast constantly from Bega to Nowra between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. Months of my life were spent on that bus, nauseously watching landscape flash past though dirty windows. Moruya was the scheduled stop for the meal break*. It was a faded, seedy town in a state of nonchalant, not altogether offensive disrepair back then. Still, that river mouth or estuary thing lent the place a certain air of raffish elegance in a Mark Twain kind of a way. Towns with a river passing through them somehow always appear more interesting than towns without, even if they are filled with poor-looking people and mean-looking dogs and signs pocked with shotgun blasts. Perhaps the Weyman statue has added a new, more sophisticated dimension to the character of the place. I hope so. I hope the artist hasn’t misread his market. The Laurie Daly statue certainly lifts the tone of Bruce Stadium, but Laurie Daly is a very charming man so it almost goes without saying that his bronze rendering exudes characteristic charisma and charm.  So. Michelangelo’s David, Laurie Daly, and MICHAEL WEYMAN.
In any case, if you haven’t experienced a long distance coach ride you really haven’t lived. To ride on a cross country coach is to engage with a sordid underside of sad and awful lives.  You only really go on a long distance bus because you can’t afford to fly, you can’t afford a car, or you are a delinquent who has been forbidden from driving, and possibly from living within three hundred meters of schools and daycare centres as well.  As a result, most of the people on long distance buses are one of the following: actively schizoid, armed and dangerous, in a drugged stupor, or just released from prison.  
In the same way that you do not buy a meat pie for the meat, you do not expect to meet the finest and best of mankind on long distance buses. I mean, you wouldn’t expect to slip into an empty seat beside the corduroy-wearing Stephen Fry, would you? Hardly. The whole experience is infected with an inexpressible melancholy, punctuated by occasional eruptions of violence as passengers lapse into psychotic episodes and are abruptly ejected from the bus. Additionally, there is the smell. It is a heady bouquet of stale, BO-steeped upholstery and grim, unspecified despair, and it increases in intensity the further back into the bowels of the bus you go. Apparently the Pioneer bus company has become the Premier bus company and has drastically cut back on trips and drastically jacked up their prices.  I wonder where this has left the dangerously disordered and the chronically down and out who genuinely need the bus service to travel up and down the coast? When is the world going to be arranged to benefit the people who need small mercies such as these?  
In other NRL art news (not a sentence I ever expected to write, but something I feel we could all do with more of in our lives), a portrait of Ryan Tandy has been entered in the Archibald competition. It’s a full frontal nude and he is depicted, just as nature intended, with a blue pig lying by his side. It took me aback when I saw it. I stared in a kind of frozen astonishment. The last I saw of Tandy he was being unceremoniously evicted from his apartment, hauling boxes and sweating profusely. He was locked into the slow, untidy spiral of decline that had seen him charged with match fixing and fired from the Bulldogs amid accusations of a gambling problem and substantial debts.

Clearly his personal decision making processes leave something to be desired, but, still, moments of mental collapse happen to the both the best and worst of us, and, if they didn’t our lives wouldn’t be enriched by wonderful moments such as Mel Gibson being caught driving with an open bottle of tequila clenched between his thighs and calling a cop “sugar-tits”. Mad respect to anyone who brings the term sugar-tits back to public prominence.
Really wakes up your interest in the visual arts, all this, doesn’t it?

*Me- “Was that takeaway in Moruya called the Red Rose CafĂ©?”
-Brother- “Yeah. Wasn’t that where we used to buy footy cards too?”

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sophie Monk Says NO NO NO To Camel Toe

People! Bad news! Sophie Monk has vowed to start dressing in a less slovenly fashion this year. More specifically, she has said NO to camel toe in 2012. Deep though my respect is for the woman, this irritates me no end. Still, remember when she signed up to be a spokesperson for PETA and was caught buying KFC – twice! -  in LA after doing an ad – a naked pin up, of course, because a. it’s PETA and b. it’s Sophie Monk – and releasing a companion video in which she specifically named and denounced KFC: “I think the message to KFC eaters [is that] you should think about what you’re eating. If you’re eating deformed animals that are being induced by hormones, you know, it cannot be good for you.” And remember how she said she was “buying it for a homeless guy”? A three-piece dinner?!! As excuses go, that one is fucking excellent. And by excellent I mean awful, obviously: crushed like a bug beneath the cold boot of truth. Sophie Monk, as I have previously pointed out, is slightly unhinged. This is good. (See: Courtney Love, Billy Bob Thornton, Britney, etc.) She’s also a raging bogan – the type who consider Summernats an example of high culture. This too is good. She is a national treasure.

Anyway. Before my mind snagged on the thought of Sophie Monk rendering her camel-toe obsolete I was intending to focus on more substantial and immediate issues…. Like the fact that my best friend has left the country. This is completely unacceptable. She asked me to go and I said no and she went anyway and now I miss her terribly. Here are the most recent top two reasons why she is my best friend.
1. She sent a card addressed and written entirely to my most treasured cat after he underwent traumatic and invasive eye surgery recently.

2. She started a conversation recently with the words “So I was watching Antiques Roadshow the other day….”

This year we both turn thirty. God.

Now I’m not saying that one thing has anything to do with the other, but it has recently occurred to me that there exists the very real possibility of slipping in the shower and breaking my skull open like a dropped watermelon and lying undiscovered and unconscious in the resulting emulsions for days. Not the most comforting of thoughts. Still, it’s pretty much the only concern I have with living alone and having a near total aversion to people so I guess it’s okay and anyway I’m half trying to bring myself to buy one of those grotesque sticky non-slippy rubber shower mats, which, along with those orthopedic beaded car-seat-cover things and Payless shoes, are just fucking tragic in the ‘I see dead people – most of them are still alive’ sense but the thought still appalls me so I guess I still have some work to do on that front. Whatever ‘that front’ is. I do know that I don’t like my feet to be exposed to strange textures and sensations within the home. I think I have mentioned my carpeted en suite which my mind cannot and will not accept and forces me to spurn it as I would a rabid dog?

Yes, it will be a dark night of the soul if I ever buy and install that fucking shower mat. 

Anyway, she turned thirty a few days ago and I am thirty in six months and while she seems fine (not surprising) a dull sense of agitation is infusing the air around me (not surprising either) but, y’know, I’m not one for wild over-reactions and hyperbole so despite this looming birthday being the occurrence that well may cause the four horsemen to saddle up just let the buzzards do what they will to my carcass before adding my old bleached bones to a collection of sacred relics and continue on with your rank and perky lives now won’t you KAY THANX. 
What? No I haven’t been watching bleak Danish films, but I did watch The Wedding Singer yesterday and that does seem to have laid bare the chilly clockwork of my life somewhat…It’s the Steve Buschemi character, he does it to me every time. “SELF TAUGHT – NO LESSONS, THANKS POP”

Anyways, this has gone way off track. Happy birthday, baby. Mazel tov. A new decade. You are the best bitch ever. Stay in my depressing disaster of a life forever. 

Russell Crowe & the Rabbitohs

Everyone knows that Australians are great sports lovers and that they’re great barrackers but does anyone ever mention how much we like being able to boo? And hiss? And hate? On a whole variety of teams, for a whole variety of really rude and entirely subjective reasons? Not enough, no. Unless of course the subject at hand is Collingwood, which is an unlikely prospect on this blog. Supporting a team to the point of just about having a stroke every time they play over the course of a season is a rich and satisfying occupation. Barracking is but part of this experience.
It was in this spirit that I engaged in an expansive conversation with my brother, via text, regarding our shared loathing of the Rabbitohs yesterday. It was great. How could it not be?

Apparently – and this is what started it - Daly Cherry Evans is being pursued by the Rabbits. By which of course I mean that the at once attractive and repellant Russell Crowe, equipped with that formidable gravelly voice, pungent charm and considerable authority, is wooing him, all whips cracking. I’m not used to saying it, but this doesn’t bother me. Cherry Evans plays well and seems friendly enough but he is obviously devoid of humour and personality and is therefore of little emotional interest to me. He’s very vanilla, isn’t he? Or white bread. He’s the human equivalent of a piece of white bread, untoasted, and spread with Flora margarine.  And Crowe, well, I love a wildly egotistical and morally muddy man, so I have no issue with him either. HOWEVER. On the morals thing: Cherry Evans needs to be prepared to watch his evaporate should he sign with the Bunnies. He will also need to ensure he is in rude good health, mentally, because goddamn if the Bunnies don’t turn most of the players they buy into burnt out husks with piss-hole eyes and poorly disciplined games within two or three seasons of being there. How do they do this??? They are astonishingly, mesmerisingly adept at it. Whatever the process, the reality is that the club does not encourage towering individual performances.  My brother said as much yesterday, texting about our hope that Coal Train Taylor goes back to the Broncos: “Yeh he was better when he was there. In fact, everyone goes crap when they go to souths. Greg who?”  Touche.

In any case, I approve of Russell Crowe’s involvement in league. It adds an element of absurdity to what is already an acutely absurd theatre sport. Matty Johns, who suddenly seems to have developed a diamond-sharp edge of anger to go with his mongrel-instinct intelligence and now sports a hairstyle reminiscent of Tony Mokbel on the worst day of his life, said the other week that league is a pantomime and you have your good guys and your bad guys. This struck me as very clever. Soon after, some deranged Warrior fan tweeted him asking if he was on drugs and he barked “No you have me mistaken for someone else”, and this struck me as very cruel, especially as he accompanied it with a steely-eyed look and I thought of Joey’s sad canine eyes and soft-shell crab demeanor and felt awful for him. I love Joey. I love Joey to such a degree that every time I see or hear him I instinctively think and usually murmur “Oh, Joey” and feel my heart wince. He has that certain haunted look that I very much admire - eyes imbued with the hollow despair of the damned that indicate he has looked into the face of something horrible. He’s lovely.  
Anyway, Crowe could, I imagine, turn a brain-numbing preamble about contracts and salary caps into the most gripping of soliloquys and effortlessly shift the mood from comedy to edge-of-seats suspense and back to comedy before the more slow-witted members of the football fraternity knew what had hit them. In saying that, I think the more intellectually lively players know what’s up. This is why, for example, Sam Burgess is a Bunny and Cooper Cronk is not. Not that there’s anything wrong with Sam Burgess. That great big head atop that great big body? Fantastic. A drooling Great Dane of a man with a peanut-sized brain rattling exuberantly around inside that big British skull? What’s not to like? I also like the fact that Crowe, clearly suffering from a chronic irony deficiency, seems to fancy himself as the Jim Jones or David Koresh of league. Well, why not? Every pantomime needs a handful of charismatic and unhinged egomaniacs; they add an unintentionally surreal and comic edge to proceedings. So, go forth Russell. Woo and charm and seduce and sign and never surrender to the soul-shrinking pointlessness of trying to buy a powerful Bunnies team. If nothing else, my brother and I appreciate the high comedy of the effort, and the ongoing opportunity to hang shit on the entire Rabbitohs organisation. It’s the Australian way, this booing and hissing and dancing on the grave of a despised team’s failings, and we are nothing if not patriotic.