Thursday, 30 July 2015

Where the fuck are you, Tony?

I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase, ‘it starts from the top’.

Every man and his dog has had his or her say on the Adam Goodes debate from the bar down at the local, those who sit opposite you at the dinner table, commentators, fellow athletes to downright ‘pillocks’.

And yes I am looking at you Miranda, and Alan, and Rita, and Griffin (hideous name) and Jason. Surprised Dawn Fraser hasn’t found her way onto The Today Show as well…

Everyone’s had their say. All except one. And he’s a pretty notable one.

He’s the man that views living in remote Aboriginal communities as a “lifestyle choice” that Australian taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidies.

He’s the man at the forefront of this egotistical fear that refugees are better off towed back to the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

He’s the man that presented Goodes with his Australian of the Year award just over six months ago.

Ringing any bells? Where the fuck are you, Tony?

The Closet Recluse will be the first to admit his knowledge of the political landscape is not one to be sought after for the latest university paper, however the month of May was a shocker for Abbott.

Unapologetically distancing himself from the Aboriginal community, his hubris that is his refusal to double-back over his inability to converse in unscripted conversation has provided further examination in recent times appropriating our societal argument that Australia is a racist nation.

The Closet Recluse is hesitant to join the chorus of labelling Australia a racist country, in much the same way that there were shouts of Islam as an extremist-terroris treligion almost 10 months ago.

In the growing age of digital and free media, it is the longevity and duration of the behaviour of booing Adam Goodes that is arguably uglier than the act itself. One cannot recall such divide on a sporting issue that has segregated social media forums, bar-stool banter and dinner-table conversation as we seem to have meta-morphed both sides of the coin into two tennis players hitting perfectly-executed forehands from opposing sides of different tennis courts.

As Tim Minchin said to a graduating Arts class at the University of Western Australia once: “Be hard on your opinions. After all, opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one.”

He would go on to say that opinions could somewhat significantly from arseholes in that yours should be closely and thoroughly examined.

I have spoken to, listened to, and sought the opinion of good people who adamant racism is alive and well.

I have also spoken to, listened to, and sought the opinion of good people who are hesitant to weigh in to the debate, for fear of being labelled a racist.

For want of a better word, the argument has appeared distinctively – and perhaps, rightfully – black and white.

First and foremost, people are angry.

While not in agreement, but attentive by way of understanding, there are those who are angry because they feel they are being judged by a Rene Descartes-like philosophy of “I boo, therefore I am a racist”.

Daniel Harford on SEN put it this way on Wednesday: “What I have understood very clearly over the last few weeks is that sport fans don’t like being told what to do or how to behave as sport fans, particularly when they feel like they haven’t done anything wrong.”

The systemic behaviour ‘Harf’ alludes to, can be referenced back to Genesis when Eve ate the fruit God told her not to eat. Curiosity and risk is as autonomous in human make-up as indifference. By now, it’s quite blatantly clear that hate and love are developed characteristics, requiring constant attention yet influenced by their surrounding environment.

But for people who fall on this side of the coin, please know that this is not okay. This is not right. This is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. This is certainly not sound justification.

Granted ‘booing’ has been a part of sport for a long time. But behind ‘booing’, there is always a context.

Adam Goodes has not changed clubs, chased money, fucked a teammates’ wife or murdered a member of his family.

The treatment of Adam Goodes has been high-profile and very public bullying.

I’m sure in school many of you also learned that standing by and watching the bullying take place is just as bad as the bullying itself. This can certainly be referenced to ‘booing’.

While you, the boo-er, mightn’t use words like ‘ape’ or phrases like ‘get back to the zoo’, you’re participating in an activity that has race and derogatory origins. You’re not putting him off his game; you’re putting him off THE game.

Australian Rules football is in a very real actuality that Goodes will leave the game with the sweetness of a packet of Sour War Heads confectionery.

Unfortunately, Goodes has become the pawn on a chessboard between two kings with dichotomous representations of their differing agendas, refusing to let pawn be.

No one’s perfect – even Chris Judd had his flaws, which TCR felt compelled to look past.

But this latest issue has become a pretty clear-cut case of what Sue says about Sally, says more about Sue than it does Sally.

In this case, it is about what Tony Abbot hasn’t been able to say. And the silence is deafening.

To have schooled at Riverview College – the same as Abbott – leaves me disgusted that someone who learned the equivocal values I did in their formative years has been cast to the wayside.

Where Australia has needed leadership and direction, all we have found is a patron.

Where Australia has needed education and reconciliation, all we have found is a disciple to the darker values of our country’s history.

Where Australia has needed the Prime Minister to stand up, all I’ve found is a diminutive, smug, weak little man who I wouldn’t trust to walk my dog.

All I have found, Miranda, is a fucking ‘pillock’.

And that’s the most disappointing thing of all.

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