For the football fan, summer is the soul’s winter.
For the footballers themselves, summer is the season in which to comfortingly return to character. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly: Proverbs 26, 11.
In Canberra, the Raiders are busily engaging in vivid and unrestrained off-field activities which cast an impression of quality living.
>>Quality living by Canberra standards I mean. Some other, non-geographically specific things which cast impressions of quality living: STD’s, rural road signs all shot up with bullet holes, getting bit by an animal while trying to get it stoned, ever using the word ‘repo’d’, seafood extender, painting unventilated rooms, ugly dogs hurling themselves against chain-link fences, trawling YouTube for footage of Flynn from Australian Idol’s rendition of Push Up! in morning’s earliest hours, tobacco-stained ceilings, managing to have both long hair and a sunburned scalp, throwing up in potted plants and any type of heaving be it dry or otherwise, threatening loved ones with shoes, staple guns or other unconventional weapons, having part of an eyebrow missing, petrol station pies, Lowes.
It’s grim there you know. Faded, and with a weird melancholy. So while Bernard Tomic is brawling with his friend in a spa at 5:30am on the Gold Coast, which sounds hedonistic and hot, the Raiders are making the most of things in their own ways. Recent efforts have achieved some solid results, and ACT police have netted several Raiders in their wily civic web.
- Jack Boom was thrown out of the Foreshore festival and into the drunk-tank for several hours. I read this in the Tele and then never heard a thing about it ever again but I totally buy it the boy is clearly a fiend anyone with a face as sweet as his is a certified fiend.
- Blake Ferguson was ejected from the same festival for allegedly “spitting” “on” “several patrons”.
- Joel Thompson has been interviewed about a bottle being thrown at a cyclist during a post-Foreshore party at his apartment. And there are non-existent reports that coach Furner was caught throwing a car battery through a senior player’s car windscreen.
Well, shit. We liked Brando as Stanley Kowalski didn’t we, all mute surly attitude and explosions of raw seething brutality? What’s the goddamn difference?
Just as the game itself is an acquired taste, the occasionally unwholesome extracurricular activities of the most abhorrent members of society ie. football players are seen to be unpalatable by many also. These are probably the same flat-pack people who have never slept with a second cousin more than once, never had a dark and savage night of the soul, and never sawed the roof off their car.
So, whatever. Football is an acquired taste. My best friend told me her boyfriend regards with distaste footballers and the women who love them. He takes it to mean they’re rough or whatever.
But, Canberra. It’s weird there. As anyone who has lived there for any stretch of time will appreciate, the urge to throw bottles from balconies at cyclists is a powerful one which is not easily denied. I myself had to consciously keep two hands positioned on the steering wheel at all times when driving such was my urge to run cyclists down in my car. Nothing personal, you understand, it’s just that they somehow became a very visual and ever-present reminder of my culturally bankrupt and capitalist wasteland surrounds. This created an uneasy atmosphere of foreboding and also made driving something of an ordeal.
So I understand and sympathise with any bottle-throwing, spitting, heavy drinking, drug use, destruction of property and homicidal rampaging that goes on in Canberra. I actually endorse it. Distractions and delay tactics employed by those seeking to avoid the inevitable incursion of real life are a necessary component to coping with Canberra. If I wasn’t so burnt-out and unambitious I would run for office and seek subsidisation for it from Medicare myself.
((*not talking about J-Bo, Gav or Terry Campese anytime I talk about how fucked Canberra is. They all come from Queanbeyan, anyways, and besides which they are three of the best and most well-bred things – animal mineral vegetable or other - to come out of this stinking age we live in.))