Friday, 6 July 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Australia has a reputation of wanting to cut down its 'tall poppies', people who achieve above the rest, who 'rise above their station'. While it does seem to be changing, it is (sadly) true that we look askance at the high achievers. You can read more about it at Psychology Today.

The odd flip side is that, while we are skeptical of academics, entrepreneurs and thinkers who dare to stick their head up, we are very prone to elevate sports men and women to 'hero' status. (A misnomer, as they are idols, not heroes. Heroes, by definition, should do something heroic and it just devalues their heroism if they have to share the title with some neck-less yobbo in lycra shorts who happens to be able to play football. Sorry, I digress.)

But elevate them we do.

Well, some of us. I am strongly non-tribal when it comes to sport and being Australian is no ticket to my uncritical support. I was happy this morning to learn that Lleyton Hewitt had lost overnight. Any Australian nationalistic support I may have, any admiration for the guy's talent I may have, all dissolves and fades into insignificance when I see his atrocious on-court behaviour.

This is not someone I want to be associated with, not someone I want touted around the world as representing my country.

In this paddock of poppies I am happy to set the mower blades to 'low'.

BTW Lleyton has justified his 'Mr Hand' action by saying that it is not directed at the opponent, that it is not a form of intimidation, that is is an internal 'self-motivation' action.

So...where are his eyes pointing in the above photo?


  1. "Classy is as classy does." I feel bad for people when they make asses of themselves....

  2. I cant say what I want to say... it would affect your rating, very possibly. Just when you think you have safely categorized it.
    That photo depicts a lot of what is ugly about sport, in my humble opinion.
    I should have nominated you for the 8 randoms, but I dont really like tagging people. You could volunteer, if you chose?
    But I did like the Interview meme. Oh heck, is this tall poppy syndrome?

  3. I disagree with you about Lleyton Hewitt, Lee...but that's allowed. Actually, when he does that pose as depicted it's usually directed at his own people in his "box"...not at his opponent. I see it as him pumping himself up, not as any reflection upon his competition.

  4. Molly: Yes, I can understand that.

    Meggie: I have a rating? Let me think about the 8 randoms...

    Lee: That's OK Lee, it helps people tell us apart. I don't want to encourage that sort of behaviour, especially where it involves imaginary chainsaws.

  5. Perhaps you are just getting grumpy and intolerant in your old age?

  6. I totally agree with this post. We here in WA are so sick of hearing of Ben Cousins and his drug use and he is daily in the news. "Is he back, is he not back etc" it's so annoying.

    I wish we can have a brave news reader to rip the news bulletin up like the American news reader did when Paris Hilton was mentioned again.
    Good on her!!

    Here almost every second footy player apparently was associating with outlaw bikey gangs, and they say they are role models?

    Not in my books!

  7. ewwhhh, yuck. I hate the hero status of sports figures here in the US as well.

  8. Well, after seeing this same look (and possibly the same attitude) in I dunno how many drill sargeants while in the army, all I can say is, intense-ness of beating the competitor is as much the fault as any.
    I dunno how to quite explain that.

    Probably, considering my usual rambling on, I shouldn't even try.

    Instead, I wonder if the games (how can that fierceness be called a "game" at all?) wouldn't be much more enjoyable if, instead of people watching, just cameras, with the audience somewhere else (say at home...possibly with the sound turned down)

    Here I am, just thirty or so miles north of the Pacers (basketball) the Colts (football, and supposedly world champions) and the indy 500, the brickyard 400, and an endless stream of other, go get em, loud, fierce, competitors....
    need I say that my opinion on this matter is not only unheeded, but, has gotten me into near fights at public places.

  9. ....well, dang.

    I got the wierdest response from a comment I made on the you tube place, followed the comment back to from where it came from, and low and behold, a heart wrenching, absolutely ignorant group of sheep....

    And, I couldn't help but to look deeper, look at more videos of folks who have joined some bizarre cult....

    and suddenly felt like I had done some form of wrong to you.
    Something called
    ...the blasphemy challenge....
    people in masses denying ANYTHING in the bible....

    and sure enough, I doubt quite a lot of it, too, but, the concept has always held ground with me.

    But, these folks are denying it all.

    spewing their hatred out on any form of any kind of religion....

    Why do I feel that I wronged you?
    Because I felt that by living the way you did was what the CREATOR wanted....
    You help others
    You love the creation
    those are the only criteria

    But, by saying so, I have wronged you in that I've included you in what I think will be my heaven one day. In fact, believing in reincarnation the way I do, I've already assumed you to be in it.

    but...maybe you don't want to go.

    ...and that makes me wrong.


    i apologize....

  10. I found the article in psychology today puzzling for it's description of prominent sports figures as "mates" while intellectuals are "egotistic."

    It strikes me that I've known scholars and accademics that are the reverse of egotistic, always willing - interested - in hearing a different point of view. Focused on the issue, and not on themselves. Yes, they take a position and one can't do that w/o believing that one is correct.

    But why is that seen as egotistic and a prominent athlete that focuses exclusively on their own bodily prowess - not?

    Isn't it the focus on "I" that makes one an egotist? If so, a scholar who is focused on their subject should be seen as the opposite.



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