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Thread: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Say it ain't so, Steve.

    The reference is to the famous story of Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the greatest scandal ever to hit baseball.
    “It ain’t true, is it, Joe?”
    “Yes, kid, I’m afraid it is.”
    The boys opened a path for the ball player and stood in silence until he passed out of sight.
    The Minnesota Times reported the above exchange between Shoeless Joe and a crowd of boys on the courtroom steps after Jackson had given evidence in an investigation into claims he and his White Sox team-mates had fixed the 1919 World Series.

    In Australia, something almost as bad has just happened. And to the Australian psyche, it's far worse.

    But first, I have about 10 more seconds to hold your interest before you stop reading.

    The analogy:
    It's as if Richard Dolan had just confessed to hoaxing a UFO report.
    Now I might (possibly!) have your attention, this is all pretty interesting. The drama has been Shakespearean.

    The ins and outs are far too complicated to explain to North Americans (or anyone who knows nothing about cricket).

    But what's happened is that the AUSTRALIAN CRICKET CAPTAIN, Steve Smith — a golden boy national hero, and the best batter in the world today, holding a revered post that's been seriously stated to be the second most important in Australia (the most important being that of the Prime Minister) — has confessed to cheating.

    And not only confessed to cheating, but rather than cheat himself, he persuaded (or at best condoned) the youngest rookie in the team to go out and cheat for him.


    Steve Smith (right) looks to the cricketing gods for guidance. Cameron Bancroft, the unfortunate rookie, is in the foreground looking (and probably feeling) very blurred.


    And in a hasty press conference, after the poor rookie was caught red-handed on TV cameras like a clumsy kid stealing cookies, Smith, though embarrassed and apologetic, appeared to brush it all off as if it wasn't really anything all that much.


    TV cameras caught Bancroft hiding a piece of what many insist is sandpaper in his trousers. He was using it to roughen up one side of the cricket ball, to make it move more aerodynamically and unpredictably in the air. This is absolutely against cricket's rules. Their opponents, South Africa, were ahead of them in the important international game, and Smith was desperate to create some advantage. (South Africa later won convincingly.)

    The result has been 99% of Australia, in shock and outrage, calling for his head almost literally. It's been the headline there above most other world news for several days now.

    One veteran cricket commentator broke down in tears on air. Distraught parents had no idea what to tell their hero-worshipping children. The Prime Minister made a strong public statement. The Poms, Kiwis and Saffers are all gloating, "I told you so."

    Why does any of this matter?

    Well, it's not really about cricket. That's not QUITE the gentleman's game it once was (though, interestingly, the gentlemanly-ness of it all is still very well-preserved in WOMEN's cricket).

    What it's about is how we create heroes and heroines — desperate to find them in others, when we can't find the same in ourselves. And then... how they almost always let us down.

    It's a kind of archetype that would make Joseph Campbell think hard: a search for perfection (out there, in others), and then when it all goes wrong, we crucify our saviors, one by one. Humans have been doing that for a VERY long time.

    Heroes and heroines are hard to find. So when we can't find heroism within ourselves, we project it on to celebrities, sports personalities and, of course, our personal partners.

    And sooner or later, that quite often ends in tears.

    Why do we do this? Why do we expect and desperately hope that others will be perfect, when we are not... and later, blame them for it, every time?

    Cricket-lovers, Australians, and those who don't know a thing about either, are all more than welcome to dive in.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 27th March 2018 at 02:03.

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    Sweden Moderator Debra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    It's a shocker!

    Since Kerry Packer introduced the concept to mediafy the game with 1 day cricket and those fluorescent uniforms were born, a new breed of behaviours creeped in.
    I don't know, it could all be a coincidence - but from what I observe from as far away as possible - I am not a sports fan by any stretch - cheating and aggressive behaviour is endemic in other 'ball' sports in Australia but my question is: who are they doing it for?

    Maybe 'saviours' from sport are crucified because people do like rules.

    Fascinating phenomenon to unpack, Bill.

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    And then there's the case of the infamous Ozzie underarm bowling fiasco a few years ago...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undera...cident_of_1981



    Underarm bowler Chappell glad to lose 'most despised' tag
    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/63474718.cms
    ---------------------------------------
    'I haven't been able to shake this for 37 years - this is a relief': Notorious underarm bowler happy to no longer be 'the most hated man in cricket' as he warns ball tamperers they will be haunted FOREVER for cheating
    • Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will have to live with scandal
    • Trevor Chappell, the man vilified for underarm delivery in 1981, has strong words
    • Needing six off the final ball to tie, New Zealand were left outraged by decision
    • Footage is often replayed when it comes to debates about cricketing scandals

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...nted-life.html
    Last edited by KiwiElf; 27th March 2018 at 03:12.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Quote Posted by KiwiElf (here)
    And then there's the case of the infamous Ozzie underarm bowling fiasco a few years ago...
    Yes. This poor guy — Trevor Chappell, another young patsy at the time, also ordered by his captain, his elder brother — committed a different heinous cricketing sin back in 1981, 36 years ago. He's been reviled ever since, forever haunted by not saying no and refusing to do it.

    He bowled ('pitched') a ball along the ground, as the very last ball of the game, when a 'six' (a 'home run') was needed by the opposing New Zealanders to win. Rolling the ball on the ground ('underarm', it's called) made that impossible, of course. This wasn't technically illegal at the time, though no cricketer had done anything like that for 100 years. It was outlawed immediately after.



    The lessons (for anyone in a leadership position!) appear to be:
    1. If you're going to do something immoral or illegal, don't get a naïve young patsy to do it all for you. (Or lie!) It makes you look like a coward. (This is what's upset the Aussies the most.)
    2. If you do confess to a crime, resign immediately. At least you salvage a few inches of high ground which may be respected later.
    3. Why do it at all? The rewards are minimal and uncertain. The risks are to have your entire career and reputation ruined for life — literally.

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    New Zealand Avalon Member etheric underground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    It aint a crime if you dont get caught......ahhh silly billy aussie cricketers...you so blatantly got caught.

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    There's an interesting concept called Catastrophe Theory. That's when something abruptly changes from one stable state to another stable state. Like a bridge falling down, or an earthquake. Or being caught cheating by your partner — or by a nation that pays you.

    The personal bridge collapse can come from just ONE crazy, bad decision.

    In the model below, the catastrophe is when one skis right off the cliff, so to speak, from 'Utopia' to career-ending 'Disaster'.

    Reaching the 'Peak' is like climbing a mountain: hard, steady work. As in any career, or maybe even investing a lot of time and energy and attention to make a relationship go really well.

    It can take just one small thing for it all to come crashing down. That end, lower, state (maybe like retirement from a job after years of work) CAN come in a more controlled way. There are other ways to reach the valley floor again without a sudden catastrophe. (Even a divorce, or retiring as Australian cricket captain, can be amicable...)


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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Quote Posted by etheric underground (here)
    It aint a crime if you dont get caught......ahhh silly billy aussie cricketers...you so blatantly got caught.
    Yes, they were as dumb as bricks.

    But again, for non-cricketers, here's a simple but important Aesop's Fable. Back in 2012, Brendan McCullum was appointed captain of New Zealand's cricket team.

    Popular, inspirational, courageous and highly able, he immediately started transforming the culture in the team by personal example — until, pretty quickly, New Zealand grew to hold the world's admiration and respect as the by far the most sporting cricket team. (They won plenty of games, too. )

    They still hold that mantle after his retirement. NZ are totally the cricketing world's good guys. AND strong guys. And the nation is REALLY proud of that.

    McCullum truly was a hero... the Kiwis see him as a kind of Captain America figure (they call him 'SuperMac'). And maybe he really is.

    Moral of the story? As Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak famously said in the excellent 2015 film Steve Jobs:
    It's not binary: you can be decent and gifted at the same time.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 27th March 2018 at 04:30.

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    This is a sideshow to the real life and death drama that is our aussie government whìch has adopted many republican style mantras, destroy the unions, target the poor, jobless, sick, disabled and gut education, health, sell off tax payer funded infrastructuee so our energy providers are now charging rip off prices, banks make billion dollar profits with GFC style rampant corruption, as a Royal Commission is finding out, while holding 1500 refugees in offshore detention for years, with no heed paid to our belief in a fair go for everyone. We have massive immigration bought by paying for trade and university education guaranteeing citizenship, which is doubling Melbourne and Sydneys population, making home ownership hugely expensive, swamping infrastructure rail, road networks, schools, hospitals etc etc. and the Prime Minister Truffles as we call the sanctimonious goldman sachs ex banker, goes tut tut look over there at those highly paid cricketers. Simultaneously his guvmint is pushing for $64 billion in corporate tax cuts for business to allow wage rises and job creation to trickle down to the serf masses even as its been hailed by economists and welfare agencies as an utter waste. Its long overdue for cricketers and other sports and indeed business and politics to get their comeuppance, for a new broom to clean out the crooked elite, and real attention focus instead on the real problems facing the nation

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Australian Cricket.
    If you break the rules, bend the rules, or manipulate the rules to your advantage you bring the game and our country's sportsmanship values into question. Id be charging and hitting them with a huge fine to those responsible, banning them for life and they should never be allowed to play or represent Australia EVER AGAIN. They have tarnished the game and our country irrevocably. We will be labled cheaters from here on in. Its a disgrace and should be handled quickly, ruthlessly and bought home to face the wrath of the media TODAY. It makes me sick that these "sportsman" would stoop so low as to do this and it undermines everything we teach our kids about being honest in sport and all that they do to grow up as decent human beings. Im extremely embarrassed and saddened by this foolish act and i think that we haven't heard the end of this saga for many years to come.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Quote Posted by Spindoctor (here)
    This is a sideshow
    Yes, of course it is.

    But here's a question (to you, and all Aussies who are members):

    Why is sport, and the hero-worship that goes with it, so sacred to you? And why such a horrified national reaction when there's a fall from grace?

    * It's pretty sacred to people of many nations, but ESPECIALLY to Australians. This is not a pointed question, at all... I think I may understand it quite well, but I'd really love to understand it even better.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Quote Posted by GMB1961 (here)
    Id be charging and hitting them with a huge fine to those responsible, banning them for life and they should never be allowed to play or represent Australia EVER AGAIN. They have tarnished the game and our country irrevocably. We will be labled cheaters from here on in. Its a disgrace and should be handled quickly, ruthlessly and bought home to face the wrath of the media TODAY. It makes me sick that these "sportsman" would stoop so low as to do this and it undermines everything we teach our kids about being honest in sport and all that they do to grow up as decent human beings. Im extremely embarrassed and saddened by this foolish act and i think that we haven't heard the end of this saga for many years to come.
    I follow cricket closely myself, and I have to say I fully agree. I could talk about the cricketing details of all this for hours.

    A thread like this is a tricky balance! Here, where the majority of the readers and guests are likely to be North American or mainland-European, I'm trying to open up and generalize the many interesting human issues to a wider audience.

    The fallen-heroes thing I think is especially interesting for us all. Being a celebrity, even a very very minor one, is TRULY risky. I speak from experience!

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    I'm having a difficult time articulating this thought right now, because I think neither in words nor images, and this is a bit complex, so translating it into writing might end up muddying it. My apologies in advance if this post is a bit all-over-the-place. I will try to keep a thread of consistency.

    Before I get into it, I'm going to start with a little disclaimer: I don't really give a sh*t about cricket, nor any sport in general, really. I think organized professional sports, like religion, celebrities, and many other things, is just a sort of...distraction. Even if you're agnostic, not into sports, and abhor celebrity culture (like me), you're still guilty of partaking in this distraction. We all are.

    For me, it's mainly video games, and browsing the internet endlessly. Also, sugar. And sleeping a lot.

    So, while I know pretty much nothing about cricket and who this dude is, Bill seemed to convey the gravity of the whole thing rather well, though, so here are my two cents.

    Bill asked why we we do this.

    The answer, in a grossly oversimplified answer, boils down to this: because we suffer.

    Now, I can practically hear all of your eyes rolling to the back of your heads, but bear with me. This isn't as angsty and melodramatic as it may initially seem.

    Humanity, overall, suffers immensely. The reasons for this, we all know: the system pretty much sucks, half the planet is starving to death, we're still so hostile and violent, etc. We look at the world around us, the mundane grind of day-to-day life. Every day, inundated by horrible new headlines. 64 people burned alive in a shopping mall (malls are hellish on the best of days), mostly children. Fire exits blocked for some shady reasons, death toll expected to rise exponentially, poor conditions and fire code to blame for the magnitude of it. Facebook (shocker here) sold all of our information illegally, and seems to have been a key figure in the whole Russia election intervention thing. Kylie Jenner, a rich b*tch who was born into the Kardashian clan and never had to wash a load of laundry in her life, posted a sexy selfie after having been knocked up at 19. It's her first sexy selfie (still, one among tens of thousands, and how she makes almost all of her 50 million dollars) since the birth, and everyone is freaking out about it, because, unlike Kylie, they don't have gorgeous abs, a sexy (fake) ass, and 50 million dollars to their name, all before they could legally drink. So they sort of vicariously live her life through her social media, ignoring their tens of thousands in student loans that will only get worse with the 9% interest, or their job they hate that they have to go back to tomorrow, or their dead marriage and the fact that the last time they had sex, it lasted 2 minutes, she just laid there silently and without moving, and that was 7 months ago.

    Then, people realize that, even with all of that, they've got so much to be thankful for: at least they didn't starve to death in a filthy slum, the flies settling on their face because flies know when someone's about to die.

    While a lot of us are happy and fulfilled, and the world is teeming with positivity if you look for it, a good chunk of the population is still in a perpetual state of some degree of suffering.

    Bill more or less summed it up with the following phrase:

    "a search for perfection''

    In a world as imperfect as ours, we seek whatever little bits and pieces of not-crappiness we can find. For those who are lucky, it's probably their family, or their dog, or their beach house, or the delicious dinner they get to have that night.

    For many more, some because they have nothing else, others because they've become jaded to what they already have, they look elsewhere. Somewhere outside their own little bubble of reality.

    Maybe it's Beyoncé. Maybe it's some random girl on YouTube with a little makeup channel and a perfect face. Maybe it's your boss, who drives in every morning in his BMW, and gets to have his own office, with sunlight and a comfy chair and good health insurance.

    Why do we do this? Because in our heads, their life is perfect. Beyoncé? She has a gorgeous mansion she bought for 135 million bucks. She might have menstrual cramps like the rest of us, but she gets to lay there in pain in her luxurious sheets, her designer lingerie, looking at the ocean in her giant bedroom while the in-house private chef makes lunch and the maid dusts the living room. Your boss? Well, his wife is pretty hot and he doesn't have acne on his butt like you do.

    People don't generally stop and think that maybe Beyoncé can't trust if anyone genuinely likes her, or that their boss bought that BMW on credit, he's divorcing his gold-digging wife, and she gets to have custody of the kids and keep the house, too.

    Sure, intellectually, people understand that no one's life is 100% sunshine and flowers, but again: everyone lives in their little bubble, and bubbles are reflective. Human memory is selective. All too often, we dwell on the past, and focus on what's lacking in our lives. Deep down inside, usually subconsciously, we desperately cling to order, to meaning. That's why religion works so well: it's comforting to think that God has a plan for you, individually, and that your mom, who died slowly of pancreatic cancer last year, is in Heaven, kicking it with grandma and your old dog.

    Celebrities and major figures, whether we admit or not, end up filling in one of the many holes in our lives. When you're watching an incredible football match, or The Real Housewives, or listening to a sermon, for just that time, the world and all of its bull**** ceases to be of any real, tangible impact to you and your loved ones.

    And as we all know, reality can kind of suck, and, well, those celebrities? They live in the same reality we do, and they, too, have something that distracts them, their set of problems in their life, and live on a planet where most of its population lives in abject poverty.
    Last edited by Indigris; 27th March 2018 at 06:53.

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    I was going to share my pennysworth, but after reading Indigris' post I have nothing to add except a few swearwords, (which she obviously forgot. )
    [Indigris, I can't quite wrap my head around the fact you are only 22 yrs young. Amazing.]

    Well I might add that most of us grow up being told to be good but sooner than later recognise the standard eluded us on occasion, if not all too frequently at times; we then project it onto others - secretly knowing on some level we're passing the buck.

    When the Hero fails the sense of dismay is magnified, not only did they drop their torch but they dropped yours too!
    Last edited by Ewan; 27th March 2018 at 09:50. Reason: added a smiley

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    Australia Avalon Member Spindoctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Why do Aussies love their sport? Sheer blitkreig media coverage . Newspapers devote dozens of pages to rugby union league, soccer and cricket daily while radio and TV have large sections of programming devoted to cricket tests and pre, during and post weekend sport. . It is cheaper for tv to produce talking heads at a desk, with cheap comedy stunts and outragous, misogynistic behaviour thrown in than to a documentary, entertainment or educational contribution The media have close links to the very aggresively self marketed football codes and they play ball to have access to players, clubs, and the perks of corporate boxes , gifts paraphernalia. Sport is also part of school activities with parents encouraged to get their kids involved and doing physical activity rather than gaming . So sporting bodies are keen to be seen as community minded with early involvement for their promotion, advancement and ultimately support and recruitment Sport remains one of the few community gatherings as neighbours now surf the net rather than talk over the fence , help with gardens, repairs or just interact. Despite all the connectivity apart from sport we are more isolated and lonely than ever.. especially if you don't embrace sport.

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    Australia Avalon Member Violet3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    well said Spindoctor. There does not seem to be any leadership with moral authority in this country, in any sector I can think of. It's all a bit gutless and embarassing really. The cricket fiasco seems like just another example of the culture of corruption.

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    Australia Avalon Member Violet3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Quote Posted by Spindoctor (here)
    Why do Aussies love their sport? Sheer blitkreig media coverage . Newspapers devote dozens of pages to rugby union league, soccer and cricket daily while radio and TV have large sections of programming devoted to cricket tests and pre, during and post weekend sport. . It is cheaper for tv to produce talking heads at a desk, with cheap comedy stunts and outragous, misogynistic behaviour thrown in than to a documentary, entertainment or educational contribution The media have close links to the very aggresively self marketed football codes and they play ball to have access to players, clubs, and the perks of corporate boxes , gifts paraphernalia. Sport is also part of school activities with parents encouraged to get their kids involved and doing physical activity rather than gaming . So sporting bodies are keen to be seen as community minded with early involvement for their promotion, advancement and ultimately support and recruitment Sport remains one of the few community gatherings tage in this sad country.as neighbours now surf the net rather than talk over the fence , help with gardens, repairs or just interact. Despite all the connectivity apart from sport we are more isolated and lonely than ever.. especially if you don't embrace sport.
    Yep all of that but also, I wonder, is it also our colonial past and convict/ working class history? Football, more than the British cricket game, has always been a national passion, especially for men and boys, with the women on the sidelines cheering and making the scones. It is still one of the only major avenues for Aboriginal kids to get a career, the possibility of fame and a pathway out of serious poverty and disadvantage. Out in isolated regional towns, and certainly in the outback, football is still an important community event and an important social leveller- you might be dirt poor but if you are good at sport you are someone.

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you."

    We humans yearn for the sublime. Whether we represent it or someone or something else does, we still yearn for it. We don't trust ourselves enough to realize that we can embody it or maybe it's just too damn tough to do it. Kind of hard to be sublime when you have menstrual cramps or your stomach is upset.

    The hero's journey has to be taken, in order to be a hero. There are no shortcuts. Maybe the pressure of being a perfect hero becomes overwhelming and that is why there is cheating. Perhaps after having risen so high, anything less than a superhero becomes unbearable to the hero. Or maybe the hero was not really a hero to begin with, inside. So, it was inevitable he out himself in some way, shape or form and the rookie was looking outwardly for his heroism instead of inside and he fell too.

    The lesson is "be your own hero".
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with somebody when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous"

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    UK Avalon Member Star Mariner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Another good sporting analogy for Americans to liken this to would be the infamous Deflategate scandal of a couple of years ago, where the New England Patriots were accused of under-inflating the ball in order to gain an advantage. (An under-inflated ball is easier to throw/catch etc).

    As a big cricket fan myself, this has touched a few raw nerves with me. This scandal has been picked apart very well in the posts so far. I applaud Indigris in her heartfelt and deeply candid analysis, and like Ewan, have little more to add other than to register my dismay at this unfolding saga.

    It's truly unbelievable. What a fool, Steve Smith! You had it all, but you wanted more. That's what makes this even more shocking. It's not like a team of no-hopers had been caught working an illegal advantage, and cheating on the sly. Smith was top of Australia, and Australia were top of the cricketing pile. This could be where Smith's mind was at. Because Australia weren't losing at the time! He didn't just want to win the game, he wanted to win hard, thoroughly, this game and probably every game. It's again similar to the New England Pats - also one of the top teams (in gridiron). So why cheat when you're already at the top? Because when you've got it all, you just want more. They know this mantra well on Wall St. It's capitalism's highest virtue. Greed feeds an even greater need for greed.

    Greed, it will truly bring you down in the end - suddenly, sometimes violently.

    Even as a pom, as the Aussies would say, I can still imagine how they feel. Their image has been destroyed in a few crazy minutes on a cricket pitch. Integrity left in ruins. The damage done to the sport feels less important than what it has done to national identity. I totally get that. If it had been England, I would be embarrassed beyond words. In sports, you feel that the players of the team you follow, when they pull on that shirt, are somehow representing you personally. I know it's all illusion, and sport is just a distraction at the end of the day. But that's how it feels. And when they do something like this, you feel the sting of shame as if it's your own. That's why when something like this happens, the righteous outrage is so strong, and why you demand the culprits' heads. It's to defend yourself, and to clear your name.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
    ~ Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Hi, Folks: I've just tuned in here, breakfast US/Ecuador time. Thanks for all the VERY wise and intelligent and interesting comments. There are huge archetypal human issues under the surface of a 'mere' sports story, which is why I started the thread. I do appreciate the responses and the thought that's gone behind them.

    Of all the excellent comments, one happened to stand out for me, and surprised me as it did so. I'll spend some time today reflecting on WHY this might have struck such a strong chord. But it must be the core trajectory of thousands of books, movies and plays worldwide:

    Quote Posted by Star Mariner (here)

    What a fool, [insert anyone's name here]! You had it all, but you wanted more.

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    United States Avalon Member Kryztian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unfair Dinkum: it's not cricket... or, how Australia is in shock about a fallen hero

    Quote Posted by Indigris (here)
    Bill asked why we we do this.

    The answer, in a grossly oversimplified answer, boils down to this: because we suffer.

    Humanity, overall, suffers immensely. The reasons for this, we all know: the system pretty much sucks, half the planet is starving to death, we're still so hostile and violent, etc. We look at the world around us, the mundane grind of day-to-day life.
    Thanks for your post Indigris. While I think your analysis is great, I might disagree about what the underlying cause is. Instead of “suffering”, I would say that the cause is boredom, hopelessness. People are bored, find the world meaningless, and allow the media to do the work of finding meaning for them, which it obliges to do, by parading an array of celebrities from sports, Hollywood, business and constructing a drama out of there lives as “human interest stories” so that they get good Nielsen ratings and suck our attention into the TV.

    Like you, I know nothing and care little about cricket or most other sports (included those paraded before my consciousness by the main stream media.) On the one hand, I have great respect for those who see cricket as a craft, as a human activity that requires giving up one’s mind and body to strive for excellence, as a set of techniques to be understood and analyzed if one is to succeed, as an opportunity to utilize ones human potential. The lessons one could learn from being a good cricket player and the skills one might derive, could have great benefit to other things one does later in life. On the other hand, the media, turns cricket (and other sports, and arts and other human activities) in to a spectacle, and turns the craftsmen into “celebrities.” Once the media does this, there are million of people who know little about cricket, who find themselves oohing and aahing before their television altar, yet few of them gain any real knowledge of what the craft is, and who the craftsmen really are. The media turns them into “household names” and they appear for 15 second media intervals as if they are up on a pedestal. Then one day, they topple from the heights and there is oo-ing and moaning from the millions. Most of them would never look for a deeper explanation like “catastrophe theory” to explain what really happens. The whole drama for them just creates a hopelessness and a lack of faith in their fellow human beings.

    If you watch Norman Mailers movie “Rollerball”, this is what enables the strength of the corporatist state. We loose faith in our fellow human beings, and allow faceless, inhuman institutions to take control over our lives. We fail to notice that the medium that brings us this message is the mainstream media, part of the corporatist state, and that this media corporations are just a part of the secretive organizations and meetings (Council of Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, etc. etc. etc.) that are hell bent on taking our rights away, keeping us disinformed, taking away our health, livelihood, savings, etc.

    In the early 21st century, the media seems to want to take every form of human activity that can be practiced with deft and artistry into a spectacle. Even the act of cleaning ones home can be turned into an episode of “The Real Housewives of ...”. The television set, which was once considered a diversion from the drudgery of reality, is now, as the TV set tells us, reality.

    But turning off the TV set, divorcing our selves from the media, isn’t always the answer. We also need to look for our own answers instead of the ones Bilderberg and friends are trying to feed us. There is a real reality behind the manufactured one. And that is what Bill is trying to do here, trying to figure out what really happened to lead a craftsman and integrity figure down this path.

    Of course the corporate media raised Steve Smith to great, great heights and then showed him falling to great, deep, depths. But if we peer behind a media curtain, we will understand him as human, prone to faults, but also having the possibility of great success, and if we understand this, we understand that we human beings, and not our faceless corporate overlords, are the ones that are going to build a better world.

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