Grand Final Corporate Style

Friday 28 September 2007

Tomorrow is the big day in the Australian Football League calendar - the Grand Final. The biggie. Unfortunately, a great deal of Geelong and Port Adelaide members haven't been able to secure tickets. Only 22,000 tickets were allocated to them, out of an MCG seating capacity of 100,000. So the ones who are the most passionate don't even get half of the tickets. That is just shameful, AFL. The vast majority of the rest of the tix go to corporates and some to the other 14 clubs. So one-fifth of the ground will be filled with passionate members. The rest will maybe feel vaguely uneasy.

So Telstra boss Sol Trujillo's auntie's dentist's brother's dog has probably got tickets for tomorrow. It can sit next to some guy and his mate who don't even care all that much but his Mum got them from her work so they may as well use them (or scalp them). Meanwhile lifelong members miss out. It's not fair. If the AFL was at all fair dinkum it would grant the vast majority of tickets to team members. Imagine what a fantastic atmosphere that would be! I think that 70% of tickets should be for members. That would leave 30% for corporates. That's more than enough.

The AFL is far too corporately-focussed for its own good and for the good of the game. But hey, why would it be any different than any other large corporation that can't end up seeing past its own nose and ends up stuffing up its own nest by expansionary greed? I vote for an uprising by all 16 clubs to wrestle back control from its evil clutches. Let's rise up, friends! Rise up! Now, that'd be something fun to do over summer until the next season, wouldn't it! I am in the mood for a cause ;)

Or maybe a rally of some description. A march against oppression of some sort. Something to focus my considerable angst and frustration on. Something I can protest against so I can get capsicum sprayed and bashed by policemen totally overreacting to citizens exercising their citizenly rights to protest against stuff big people are doing against little people (like, for example, those protesting Burma in Canberra today). Maybe I'll go to Tassie and chain myself to a tree on the proposed Gunn's site (Gunn's should feature in an episode of The Simpsons. They are so caricatureishly evil).

I must have looked particularly grumpy as I walked to work on Wednesday (I was, rather) because the Australian Childhood Foundation guy backed off really quickly midway through his spiel. Then I felt bad. I felt like I was contributing to the big vast horridness that is called living in a city in the early 21st century when nobody gives a toss about anyone else. This poor guy was probably on some stupid pittance of a salary and will be quitting by next Tuesday because so many people are snarling at him trying to make money for the Australian Childhood Foundation.

But then I pondered as I walked to work how easy it is to throw some money at foundations (not to mention how frustrating to be accosted by them in the street), and then think we've done our job. Oh well, that's my contribution towards Australian childhood taken care of - phew! Now I can go about my business of not giving a shit about anyone else and if I accidentally squash some small children on my way I can do it without too much guilt.

People say that Australians are generally friendly and overseas visitors comment on how warm it is here but I personally don't see it. Perhaps I'm doing that old person's thing of living in the past, but it was so much warmer when I was a child. Daggier, sure. Everyone's hair wasn't as beautiful as it is now. But now, the iciness resembles the air this evening as I walked to the station (brrr, a burst of winter ushering the weekend in). I must be over-sensitive because sometimes the coldness makes me ache (not to mention cough). The gloomy knowingness that of all the thousands of people you have just walked past on your way home, none of them really gives a stuff about you. It's very depressing.

Sigh. I'm being melodramatic again. "Don't curse the darkness - light a candle!" my surely 3 million more-positive-than-I-at-present readers are saying. "Why!" they cry. "Instead of whingeing to the blogoverse about your frustration at living in a dying, cold as stone civilisation, go out and do something proactive! A tiny little flicker of warmth can start a bonfire. A small little gesture in a sea of apathy!"

I glared at a woman on the train earlier, and then out of the blue felt a burst of compassion for her (she seemed weighted down by life). I smiled at the woman in the carpark before. Does that count? I said prayers for a few people who looked strung out on the train. I hugged my dog. I cooked my ex-husband spaghetti bolognaise last night as a welcome-home-from-the-hostible meal. I babysat my cousin's kids the other night for her. I guess these things count.

As a bad global citizen I stopped in at The Warehouse on my way home. The Warehouse is an evil multinational chain that sells incredibly cheap stuff that were probably made by four-year-olds working for a grain of rice a day in a country I shall never have to look at or think about unless I turn my mind to it. I spent $17.75 I don't have on stuff - just stuff. Actually, what I went in there for was a candle. I decided that tonight I would sit down and carve out a haven for myself and do some writing. I was clean out of candles. I also bought 100 sheets of coloured paper to write on (I lurve stationery). And a doodle pad of different coloured butcher's paper which appealed to me because of its roughness and its colourness. Good doodling paper. And a black and white coffee mug. And some soup and a box of teabags.

As penance for shopping in The Warehouse, I have joined the Big Brother Big Sister program. They are looking for people to become buddies for people with intellectual disabilities. It's something I've been wanting to do for years. I joined the Oakleigh Centre several years ago and then promptly didn't ever volunteer there (in hindsight, I was still too ill). But I'm really looking forward to this. It will be a bit scary, I imagine - but hey, ain't all the good stuff?

Unfortunately it's far easier to write that than it is to live it :)

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