Saturday, 5 October 2013

Regrettable Incidents Involving Tracksuits

Has your search for meaning in the NRL this year left you with feelings of futility, pointlessness, and the creeping realisation that this time invested would probably have been better spent searching for the colt from Old Regret?

If so, forget the grand final today. There’s nothing in that for us. What we need is relief.
This brings us, inevitably, to Blake Ferguson.

I normally take pleasure in the psychological destruction of grown men but there is really nothing pleasurable about watching someone who is too stupid to run their own affairs fall into the ruinous hands of Sam Ayoub. It’s a total depressant. 

When the Daily Telegraph isn’t classily covering the case of a well-to-do white boy who got a) a lot of ass and b) murdered, they do a little round-up of legal matters which in theory profiles vaguely notable members of the public who run afoul of the law but in reality functions as an installment-based chronicle of Lara Bingle’s failed attempts to master the art of driving, basic sign reading, and simultaneous driving and basic sign reading. Her efforts to overcome her limitations appear to be ongoing. It’s a process.

Anyway, they did a little piece about Blake Ferguson. The Telegraph is as we all know a subtle and nuanced newspaper not known for its dramatic flourishes but they seemed to be suggesting that Blake Ferguson is a culturally illiterate imbecile unsuited to performing everyday tasks - in this case, dressing himself – unsupervised.
It was all extremely cute. I mean, isn’t everything now? The cult of cute has colonised contemporary consciousness, and mine, to such an extent that I find a footballer who is abundantly unqualified to dress himself and stands accused of drinking and touching cute. What can I say. I am a product of my times. I’m not proud of it. 

 Before they got to the cute, though, the article led with a bold claim that there was a turn of phrase being used with increased frequency in Sydney conversations: “That’s so rugby league.”

Please. At best, Joe Hildebrand made it up while he was microwaving his muffin in the tea room or something. And let me ask you this, Joe. Are you able to enjoy a robust nocturnal social life in which you manage not to glass, attack, insult or urinate on anyone? Yeh. I didn’t think so.

“The expression refers to situations where a person demonstrates an extreme lack of self-awareness or understanding of potential consequences.”

“Think Todd Carney in a Canberra pub without a urinal. That said, over to you Blake Ferguson.”

The item goes on to describe the events taking place just prior to charges being laid against Ferguson, when plans were being put in place to take him from the Crowne Plaza in Coogee to Waverly police station. Ferguson’s only instructions, apparently, were “dress appropriately.” But when a group of managers and legal types arrived at the hotel to pick Ferguson up, they found him wearing a tracksuit, rather than a suit.

Further, “Law & Order understands it was not a matching tracksuit either.”

“Arrangements were made for Ferguson to swap attire with a dark-suit wearing manager.”

“Some time later Ferguson was still wearing a very white pair of socks. Law & Order contacted Ferguson’s lawyer at the time, who said ‘As a general rule white socks should never be worn with a suit unless you’re Michael Jackson.’”
Rugby league has a bad name already, so who really cares, but this article could well set back public perception of the noble mismatched tracksuit a decade or more.

In any event, I sympathise with Blake.. I too have been caught wearing a tracksuit in less than ideal circumstances. Like the time when I answered a knock on my door that turned out to be my estranged father who I hadn’t seen in 16 or so years. I was wearing a tracksuit then. Ugg boots, too. So rugby league.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Breaking: I Feel Bad & Blame the NRL

My mum called and I told her I felt very bad, like shit, and she said she also felt very bad and like shit. She asked me are you keeping up with your blog and I said no. She asked me are you going to watch the grand final or not even bother and I said yeah, I’ll watch it, and she asked who are you going for, the Roosters and I said yeah, the Roosters and it’s hard to say but upon reflection maybe my reaction wasn’t quite in line with the spectacle and scope of the occasion. I don’t know. All I know is that I am adrift from my moorings and football is no longer my psychic anchor.

Are these two factors related? Whatever, it’s too late to find out. This is probably for the best. My frame of mind is in no way right for another long and maddening year of total involvement, total immersion. I cracked under the strain in June, things still aren’t right.

I understand that there are people who have maintained an abiding interest in the machinations of the NRL and that despite it being rendered a flaccid imitation of its former self they are still invested and interested in the cheap, second-rate product that’s been passed off to them.

I had a boyfriend and his mother was constantly disguising the cheap wine and cheap milk she’d buy by decanting it into superior bottles. She was Sicilian and overly concerned with appearances. She offered him $500 to cut off his dreadlocks and when he refused, with extreme prejudice, she took me aside and offered me $1000 to do it “while he sleep”.
The NRL is watered-down liquor in a flashy bottle. It’s also sort of a simulacrum of itself. Like how McDonalds sell you the picture of the burger, the burger as symbol, not the actual burger, so that what you’re buying is effectively the imitation of the idea? What we’re watching, or increasingly not watching as the case may be, is an imitation of the idea. I find it extremely difficult to concentrate on the cheap realities of the game under these conditions.
I’ve been forced to seek my exit from a world I find hostile and complicated elsewhere. In gentle narcotics, mostly.  

It’s probably a problem. I’m suffering, WNTTAT is suffering, we are all suffering. Except those who aren’t, of course. And good for them. I wouldn’t welcome them into my home or anything, but good for them, the McDonalds eating fucks.