First Telstra Dome Rant for the Year

Sunday 6 April 2008

I went to Telstra Dome yesterday to watch my beloved football team record their third win of the season. Those of you who were reading this blog last year in its older MySpace incarnation will probably remember me banging on about how hateful and horrid I find Telstra Dome to be. Well, I'm going to do it again.

I find Telstra Dome to be hateful and horrid. But Telstra Dome is lovely and shiny, too. It's rather like a new housing estate with all the ugly power lines underground and caveats in place to ensure that all the houses are rather the same and no one paints their house bright yellow so as to offend. Everything is so gleaming and chrome and inoffensive at Telstra Dome that the corporates can take their clients to dine finely without nary a problem. Telstra Dome looks after you.

In fact, Telstra Dome mothers you so well that you don't even have to think for yourself if you can't be bothered. Isn't that nice? You get to sit down in your seats (in my case, sitting with the arch-enemy, in the Medallion Club, on the second level, the padded seats in front of the restaurants where suited men dine and drink wine and gaze out at games they're probably not even all that interested in while they schmooze people they dislike. But I'm not one to knock back free tix. Even if I feel uncomfortable sitting there (and anyway, my Mum wanted to sit there. And it's a bit quieter up there, so my snothead didn't pound too much :)

Anyways. Telstra Dome lovingly mothers all the people enfolded in its concrete womb. It very kindly warns the patrons of the dangers that can occur indulging in such utter dangerous behaviour as sitting on your arse for 2 hours watching people kick a dead leather ball to each other . Ye Gads! How do we all survive intact, living in such a horridly dangerous society as this (well into our 80s, many of us - a very high mortality rate in comparison to previous generations.) If catastrophe should strike, Telstra Dome points out in portentous grave voices where the exits are, and to run onto the ground if there is a nuclear meltdown and your face is falling off from the radiation. Because Telstra Dome really cares about you, patron.

Yes. That's why it didn't want you going outside the ground at half-time last year. It didn't want you accidentally getting hit by a flying ball by kids indulging in the age-old past-time of having a kick of their footy at half-time. Telstra Dome cares about your safety. Or, at least, that's the way Telstra spun it until they got called onto the carpet. Turns out it was just to keep the patrons inside its concrete womb because it preferred them paying over-inflated prices for its food inside, rather than going and buying the cheaper stuff outside.

The thing that irritated me the most yesterday was the motherly announcement before the game to behave yourself. The overhead voice suggested that people should be mindful of other patrons and to watch their manners, to be mindful of their swearing. Well *&$# you, Telstra Dome, but I would laugh at the irony of a giant corporation telling me how to behave if my sense of humour hadn't already dripped off the edges of my 17 foot high soapbox :)

The problem with society taking the Old Testament approach and telling us how to behave is it detracts from the reality that I sense, that God has written his law on our hearts, that, on the whole, the good little patrons know what is right and wrong and how to behave. They sense it in their hearts and their guts and their souls. If they will look there.

But the problem is that often we won't look there. That's human nature. We know instinctively, all the way back from childhood, that the right thing doesn't necessarily mean the right thing for us. Humans are selfish and we behave badly. And yes, that's where laws come in, to keep the peace. But there also needs to be a general bit of elastic streteching in social situations for the fact that social situations are made up of stuffed-up human beings like you and me and things are gonna get messy sometimes. But I don't need to be told like a large child to be a good girl at the footy. Because my behaviour is always gonna be on my own head, no matter how much Telstra Dome tries to take it off of me.

We allow a large corporation to dictate morality terms to us because we like it like that. Humans have this insatiable appetite to be told what to do, because then we don't have to hear it whispered on the wind for ourselves, or to look inside and see what our gut feelings are telling us, what are hearts are bleating. Because there's all these dark corners inside, and we don't want dark corners. We want everything a nice shade of Ikea.

But life is not Ikea. It never was. It's mess and pain as well as light and joy and that might not fit a good theory of economic rationalism or corporatism, but neither do human beings. So sod off Telstra Dome, you and your gleaming chrome. I prefer my life a bit more real and a bt more messy, thanks very much. Even if that gets in the way of the digestion of corporate diners. 'Cause life ain't about money, neither. But then, you all know that deep down anyway, don't you?

It's not all about sport either. Still. Go Hawks.


  1. Ahh.. finally some thoughts that I can agree with:)

    From the Pax Romana, to the Pax Telstra, to the Pax Americana and Australiana, its all the same. what they are interested in, is peace and comfort, sure, is protecting their own power and interests. Pax means "peace." Peace of Telstra to you Discombobulator.

    But the peace of Christ, spanning the testaments and the millenias graces the hearts of ordinary folks.

    I reckon Christ is smiling when we give the Peace of Telstra the finger:) saying... "you are not far from the kingdom of heaven." :)

  2. What, snot and chakras not doing it for you, Monk?

    Do you think the Peace of Telstra will be confused if we are preaching the kingdom of heaven while giving them the finger? Or is that the Australian version? :)

  3. I meant that Jesus is saying that to us. I dont think much of grammar

  4. Ahhhh, that makes much more sense - I thought you were about to go preaching to the corporate boxes or somethin'.

    Sorry, I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes, duh :)

  5. I have this image of two large sweaty thugs about to knock 10 shades of shite out of each other but suddenly, upon hearing the wise words of Telstra's "Big Mother" they stop, look at each other and decide to shake hands and go get a beer! Thank God, Mother Telstra reminded them to be better behaved ;)

  6. I know, it's just ridiculous, isn't it? Although I'm sure Telstra would be pleased if the end result was going off and purchasing a beverage :)

    I love the word "shite". It's so resonant :)

    See you this arvo.


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