Thursday, 25 June 2009

Tribal colours

How a night changes things. Last at night at Parramatta and Redfern, there were many people in sky blue getting on trains (in opposite directions). Today in Parramatta, there are a significant number of maroon jumpers instead.

Mind you, I reasonably often see different maroon jumpers at Redfern, and am reminded of my high school days. It was more of a shock to see the group of Cumberland High School green jumpers roaming Parramatta today, which made me think of walking through the grounds full of "grown-up kids" on the way to primary school. They don't seem so grown-up any more!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Racy reporting

I'd rather this issue went away in reality, but it hasn't, and it certainly hasn't left the media's attention, with protests and violence in Harris Park today. I'm talking about the attacks in Australian cities on Indian and other foreign students. To my mind, while there are many very disturbing aspects to these events, the most concerning display of racism is in the fact that the issue is receiving the most prominent reporting in the Australian press only now that a minority ethnicity is used to describe the perpetrators of one group of attacks, as well as the victims.

I suspect that many of the attackers - whatever their ethnicity - are, figuratively and sometimes even literally, simply schoolyard bullies who need little excuse, racial or otherwise, to bully. Anti-racism campaigns and other approaches may or may not change their behaviour over time, but the sort of attitude we see in the press all the time serves to create and sustain an environment where ethnic conflict of all sorts can grow.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Twenty lessons

This is the second edition of the T20 international tournament, and any number of high and low profile other T20 tournaments have preceded it. All the teams should have had plenty of time to develop strategies exploiting both the similarities and differences between 20 (or 7) over games and the longer formats.

The West Indies have learnt that it doesn't matter how many wides you bowl in the first over, as long as you take two wickets as well. I don't think that's much consolation for Steve Harmison.

Scotland have learnt that the only way to respond to missing out on a World Cup is to leave the shorter world cup in an astoundingly short time.

Australia either haven't learnt much at all or still don't care. Just start with the team - apart from the more debatable selections, Brett Lee at this point in time is clearly not a serious WC-type selection - he is a let's get him some match time before the other event of the winter selection.

The captain still doesn't look like he can think quickly enough for T20 - then again, he doesn't think that well in any other format. As for the batting, after the initial trouble, we saw nothing more than an example of turning up the tempo on standard 50 over attacking batting. It's hard to get too risky when you've lost early wickets, but I can't help wondering whether they simply hadn't realised that the Oval's boundaries are much much smaller than the MCG's.

I'm not yet convinced of the ongoing success of the 3-hour game, but I'd like to enjoy it when it's on. I'd also like see my country do well - I'll support them tonight, but in light of the way they've treated this tournament, Jrod isn't the only one who's more interested in success of Dirk and the Dutchmen.

Monday, 1 June 2009

It's cool

A year ago I was somewhere over Siberia, having spent 8 hours in a hot awindy Beijing. Apart from the short and nervous trip back to England's "summer", though, I've been back in Australia for a while, and this is my second winter back in Sydney. After going through the London version 4.5 times, last year it didn't seem like winter at all.

A year sure makes a difference! I've already started to feel it this year. It was only when we had to evacuate as part of a drill today and I remembered evacuating into the evening air just before Christmas one year that I remembered just how cold this weather isn't.