The Commodification of Sport (Or, How to Lose Your Integrity: Part 1)

The Commodification of Sport (How to Lose Your Integrity: Part 1)
cricket ball

Once upon a time, I was a cricket fan. My introduction to the sport, as for so many people born in the 1950s, was through the suave tones on the radio of such commentators as Alan McGilvray, Lindsay Hassett, John Arlott, Tony Cozier … This early interest impressed my parents so much that I was taken – at the age of five – to watch the one-day match between the Southern Highlands and the inimitable West Indies in the summer of 1960-1961 at Manuka Oval. (I lasted until the luncheon break. Then my mother took me home, leaving my father to watch the rest of the match in peace.)

Cricket continued as a background to my life during the 1960s and 1970s – an exciting yet reassuringly predictable part of summer. Then came Packer’s Circus, and the move from cricket’s status as an essentially amateur but – where professional – lowly-paid sport to one where the top players suddenly received substantial rewards. With that change came, to my eyes at any rate, a change as well to the nature of the game: the gradual disappearance of “sporting” behaviour, the longevity of the top players (because of the money – after all, what other career options do most of them have after 15 plus years in the game?) to the detriment of youngsters wanting to have a go at representing their countries at the highest level – in short, the commodification of the game for the benefit of promoters and media proprietors. During the 1980s and 1990s I rapidly lost interest, and though I could generally tell you the results of a series, I rarely listened or watched any more.

Then, in the late 1990s, Adam Gilchrist erupted onto the scene. My interest in cricket was revived – not merely because he was a very good keeper (not the greatest, but still pretty damn’ fine) and an enchanting batsman, but because of the spirit in which he played the game. He walked – even when the umpire had given him not out – if he believed that he was truly out.

After delivering the 2009 Cowdery Lecture– which even cricket traditionalists may find interesting – Gilchrist, in conversation with Mark Nicholas, was asked about the time when he “walked” in the 2003 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka, even though the umpire had ruled in his favour. This is my transcript of Gilchrist’s explanation, which I first heard on 28 June 2009. To me this illustrates his personal integrity, which why I admire him as a cricketer, and more importantly, as a person (any errors in the transcript are my responsibility):

It’s something that I guess was ingrained early in my life. I spoke right at the start about my parents and the values and qualities that they instil in you as a person. I guess that’s what defines you and carries you through your journey of life, and for me it’s been a cricketing journey. Probably two significant moments in my career that I hadn’t really thought about until around, funnily enough, the semi-final in the World Cup in 2003 after the well-documented walking incident in that match. That was the catalyst for me to start thinking and thinking why have I got this approach.

When I was 17 I came over – had the great fortune of coming over here and playing for the Richmond Cricket Club on a scholarship. And in a match during that year when I was playing here I got a nick on one and just walked and got into the rooms and everyone said “Oh, the umpire wasn’t going to give you out. What did you come off for?” I wrote a letter to Mum and Dad and I said I was really disappointed, I shouldn’t have walked, I might have got to the 100 and so on. But my last line was, “Oh well, but at least I did the right thing.”

A couple of years later I was playing for the New South Wales 2nd Eleven in a trial match against the ACT. Got a big nick on one, got given not out and I didn’t walk, and I went on to get 100. But I tell you I felt lousy for the rest of the innings. And I went to the bowler, who was an ageing bowler about to retire from the game and I went to him and I said, “Mate, I’m so sorry about that, and I feel terrible.” And he said, “Oh, don’t worry about that. Look, I’m nearly finished, you’re on the rise, this game means much more to you than what it does to me.” And that line just sort of struck a nerve in me, sort of “At what cost does it mean that?”

And I think they are probably the defining moments that led me to play that way. But it’s never been a crusade. The greatest thing that I’ve found awkward about this whole discussion is that I feel that some people look upon people that don’t walk as being dishonest or unsporting. I very much don’t feel that way – I can accept that it’s part of the game. It’s here to stay, this issue, and do you or don’t you – it’s an individual choice.”

(my emphasis)

Gilchrist retired in 2008, and Ricky Ponting’s tenure as captain went on and on and on and on … For the last couple of years, I’ve mostly neither known nor cared when, where, or whom Australia is playing.

My lack of interest has been compounded by the promotion of betting on every possible aspect of the game. Obviously this is most observable on the commercial channels, but despite protests from many listeners even the ABC’s radio coverage has been contaminated.

Of course, cricket is not the only sport where betting has now been normalised: it occurs in all the football codes and – guess what? – one of the consequences is that match-fixing is now rife and has been described as a “disease that could kill football”.

Is it any wonder that the get-rich-quick-at-any-cost attitude that seems to be so pervasive nowadays spawns greedy fools like Lance Armstrong, who not only take risks with their long-term physiological and psychological health but also compromise their own moral compass, perhaps permanently? Not to mention corrupting their chosen sport …

Sport has become yet another victim of late-stage (terminal?) capitalism: commodify it, add a healthy lashing of “wagering”, let the white-collar and underbelly criminals rip, and as for the competitors and their adoring publics – well, they know what they can do with themselves.

Meanwhile, as crime writer John D. MacDonald wrote:

Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.

Integrity? The commodifiers of all things wouldn’t recognise integrity if it bit them on the bum.

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816 thoughts on “The Commodification of Sport (Or, How to Lose Your Integrity: Part 1)

  1. David Horton ‏@watermelon_man
    Have I understood – deliberate piece of shit from Laming, total media silence. Well-meaning but a bit clumsy from Matheson, media outrage?

    Just sayin’

  2. Worth pointing out though that Laming’s twitter efforts haven’t exactly been met with media silence either. But still, he has a point.

  3. Victoria,

    We may make that assumption, but I want incontrovertible evidence out in the cold, hard light of day.

    So that everyone can see what is going on – a bit like that stupid anti-Muslim letterboxing in Lindsay just before the 2007 election.

  4. fiona

    I understand your point, but unless it is legislated to be disclosed before election is held, no one is going to willingly disclose their financial support

  5. Victoria,

    That’s why I’m calling for a whistle-blower. Someone somewhere in the Coalition web who for whatever reason suddenly decides that they don’t want Australia’s democracy to be sold to undemocratic foreign interests.

  6. Also another aspect to donations, is that often donations are made to both parties from the same donor. Of course, the bigger larger donation is made to the preferred party, which is usually shrugged off as being an oversight.

  7. victoria,
    So are Labor taking these seats seriously??

    There’s some very good Local Members and Ministers out that way, like Ed Husic, Chris Bowen and Tony Bourke. Also Julie Owens in Parramatta. So I imagine they are. I won’t actually know for sure about it all until we all start getting together again up here.

  8. Victoria,

    True. On the other hand, if even our small voices can create a small ripple of disquiet, who knows what might happen?

  9. c@tmomma

    Speaking of seats in NSW

    Hope you dont mind a cross post

    [Re the JWS Poll I suspect that the prediction on Banks where I live is correct and Kingsford Smith may sadly be a likely loss for the ALP as well.

    It is the seat which my grandfather held for twenty years and where I lived until I married so lots of emotional attachment to the seat. Mum still lives there.

    In the early years it was the area where people moved to from the inner city now the demographics have changed enormously and it is terribly expensive.

    One of Mum’s cousins sold her house there a couple of months back for $1.7 million.

    Hope I am wrong but we will see.]

  10. victoria,
    Don’t mind the cross posts at all. Did it myself this morning with Kevin Bonham’s post on the JWS poll. :)

    About your cross post. IMO, Labor have to start owning the word ‘Aspirational’. It’s a very effective net for the Coalition to catch a lot of people and their votes in. If I were advising the federal party, a ludicrous assumption I know, but I would say that they have to nick the word and give it a new twist. Something like,

    Aspire to be something better. Don’t just aspire to selfishness. Aspire to selflessness. Aspire to improve your world. Aspire to improve your country.
    Vote Labor. The only party that aspires to do these things too.’

  11. So, if Labor take possession of the word ‘Aspire’, it will give those people who aspire for themselves, and their family, and who are moving up in the world and real estate-wise, a party to identify with that aspires on a national and a global scale.

  12. C@t wrote:

    However, there are reasons to take {the marginal seats poll} seriously as well, such as the innate conservatism of many of the families that now live in that area, many migrants from more patriarchal and/or religious societies. Plus many Aspirational Asians.

    They’re NOT “conservative”. They’re reactionary.

    They have been attuned to react first and think later.

    Reality TV shows, instant polls, talk back radio – all legitimise the idea that what counts is the NOW not the LATER.

    Punishment figures largely in all this, too. They punish the skank on Big Brother. They punish the sportsman or woman who fails to perform to expectations. They punish the politician. All of these punishments are meted out without considering the consequences.

    The two former have no consequences. The latter does.

    In this Bizarro World of anger and retribution,

    * We have voters petitioning NBN Co. to run an optical line past their businesses in Queensland, and at the same time polishing their baseball bats to punish the government that will do it, while rewarding the opposition that will demolish it.

    * They want their tax breaks – the tax-free threshold is a good example – but will vote for the opposition that has vowed to get rid of it.

    * They admit that the Carbon Tax has had virtually no inflationary effect, either nationally or on their own pockets – which means they stuff those same pockets with the compensation – yet convince themselves they are still angry about a half-arsed statement by the PM nearly three years ago about “No Carbon Tax”, that most of them never knew about until they saw the re-runs months or years later.

    * They need either the direct income from their own public service job, or the indirect income from public servants spending their income in their shops, hairdressing salons, parking stations, hiring them as tradies and so on, yet they will vote for an opposition that has promised to sack tens of thousands of public servants.

    They want the goodies AND the anger, both.

    They want the rewards AND the punishments… as long as they win the rewards and get to mete out the punishment.

    They think that – somehow – the Coalition won’t try to live up to its promise of demolishing the past 6 years of government, just to return to higher interest rates and some nostalgic view of Howard Glory.

    Gillard is wrong, wrong, wrong when telling voters not to believe all Abbott’s promises. She should be shouting from the rooftops that he intends to carry every one of them out!

    I have to admit, Abbott has done well here. He gets to make the unbendable promises, the rolled-gold guarantees of wrecking everything Labor has done, and – at the same time – arranges it so that no-one really believes him.

    While the government is behind in the polls – depicted as them being much further behind than they really are – the journalists tell their viewers and readers that the government is “lame duck” and that therefore their policies need not be considered seriously.

    At the same time, the same readers and viewers are told that the opposition’s policies also need not trouble them, because opposition don’t have to reveal policy until the day before the election (and sometimes not even then).

    In some cases we’re even told we’ll get what we’re given,and will have to lump it, good or bad (meanwhile, Tim said something about Chinese lady doctors).

    This is a very skilful tactic: report the vows and blood oaths, but dog-whistle the message: “Don’t worry, he’s not really serious.”

    It all ends up with enough members of the public believing they can vent their anger on the government, but simultaneously get to keep the glittering prizes.

    You almost can’t blame the voters for believing the rosy days will live forever. No alternatives are given to them.

    And the government encourages them to believe Abbott is lying about keeping his promises.

    They should be swearing their own blood oaths that Abbott means every word of them. They should force the public to consider what Australia will be like, not if he does, but when he does.

    No NBN, no tax cuts, no NDIS, thousands sacked and thrown on the scrap heap, withdrawl of government services, continuous election chaos, cost cutting to the bone… it goes on and on in Abbott’s mind. He’s never happier than when he’s causing trouble and stress. It’s his whole personna to do so. He thinks chaos creates opportunity.

    With political commentary now at the ridiculous stage of counting Albo’s pointing out that “Abbott goes negative” as itself a negative comment (via the Project last night), we have a situation where politics has become a word game of gotcha, deliberate misconstruction and cheap debating points.

    It sits EXACTLY in the same frame as a smarty-pant breakfast television guru bouncing catty quips off today’s celebrity target. It has about as much depth as the thought process that goes into deciding who to vote off the island. It’s about as meaningful as a anchorman’s hairdo.

    As long as the government allows this meme to run wild, it will stay behind in the polls and probably lose the election.

    As long as it permits Abbott and his media mates to peddle the myth that political voting is like all the other voting the public is invited to do – frivolous and without consequence – the government will fail.

    The moment an Abbott kite-flying exercise (again on Ten, this time on their news bulletin) about “new taxes and levies” for the current floods is given greater precedence than a measured national response to Climate Change and the disasters that follow from it, Labor is lost.

    When we vote against someone on a talent show or a Reality TV program there are no consequences: we get up in the morning, go to work, pay the same bills we had to pay the day before.

    Political voting has much greater consequences.

    Labor’s task is to differentiate between the two, and get it it stick in the public’s mind: elections are for keeps.

    The rest of it is entertainment.

  13. I’d ignore everything MyTwoBobsWorth (MBTW) at the other place says. She is the classic concern troll. Says she is Labor to the core and is constantly dining out on the fact that he grandfather, Dan Curtin, was the member for Kingsford-Smith for a very long time. On that score, she is correct, but he was generally just a beneficiary of the Randwick/Botany Labor “machine”. Was there for about twenty years, the vast bulk of it in opposition and I’m not aware of any lasting benefits that he may have achieved for the area – although I’m not saying they didn’t happen.

    MBTW is 100% Rudd and, along with the usual suspects, is on to anything remotely looking like bad news for Labor like a seagull onto a sick prawn. Followed by the “gee I hope I’m wrong”. She is Liberal to the core these days and busily undermining the member for Banks.

  14. Just walked in and on ch7, now acquainting Tim’s words to misogyny? I don’t get it, can someone clarify that for me.

  15. It would be a mistake for Gillard to apologize for Tim’s statement. IT made a great point: better a delicate finger up your bum than a ham fist. Whatever the size of the digit, though, GET IT DONE!

    A clarification is all that is called for, perhaps a spirited clarification, evena defiant one… but not an apology. That would be suicide.

  16. Well I waited with bated breathe for about 2 hours for the Premier’s press conference from the banks of the swollen river overlooking the Bundaberg Hospital. The Premier was surrounded by Police Minister, Police Commissioner, and local mayor. They dispensed with the Auslan interpreter as they squinted into the sun, sweat trickling off their faces and we struggled with poor sound.

    It contrasted poorly with 2 years ago when the scheduled emergency situation updates were broadcast at 9am and 5 pm from state emergency headquarters. The Premier knew her stuff and answered all questions, she wore her pearls, ironed long sleeve shirt, jeans and RM Williams boots.

    Big Ted could have learnt not to appear in a suit in the country on a holiday weekend, although by Melbourne sartorial standards no suit might equal no respect. Noticed the Prime Minister sat next to Peter Ryan the Emergency Services and Police minister who I reckon is the real power in Vic. Ryan is National Party

  17. Speaking about seagulls swooping on a raw prawn:

    Just walked in and on ch7, now equating Tim’s words to misogyny? I don’t get it, can someone clarify that for me.

    It isn’t about misogyny at all. It’s about destroying the advantage JGPM gained with her attacks on Saint Tony of Misogyny.

  18. Aint it great! the press turn every big word that people hardly understand into a taunt. The bullies have latched onto MISOGYNIST

    As Matheson said nothing derogatory about women we must buy Channel 7 a dictionary

  19. billie,
    You’re 100% correct about Peter Ryan being the power behind the suit that is Ted Baillieu. Ryan is as ugly as a hat full of bums, but the brains of the show.

    Still, he’s not that great because Labor are leading the Baillieu government in Victoria.

  20. Long time reader , first time poster . Thanks for the welcome C@tmomma . Just wanted to say thanks to the 4 mods for providing this place for our enjoyment . It can’t be easy finding time to write & comment . Like many have already said , I have given up on OM & look to places like this for information & discussion . Ta

  21. My god, hasn’t this nation morphed into a nation of prudes? Getting all hot under the collar about a casual, slightly blue comment about the delicacy of Asian ladies fingers compared with the sausages attached to most male palms.

  22. BB
    Your tweeted link to here is blank.

    Thanks gravel. Old tweet deleted. New tweet with proper link in place.

  23. Levin12,
    Thanks for the warm endorsement. :) We are trying our best, with our limited resource of time, as we are all just folk with families and jobs.

  24. Catalyst,
    Politican’s partners used to be off limits- so what happened? Its double standards.

    The order has gone out. Destroy Gillard by whatever means you can.

  25. Why doesn’t someone from the government demand a public apology from the ABC the same way Morrison demanded one from Stephen Long when he had the ‘audacity’ to tell the truth about the Opposition’s Immigration policies and tactics?

    This is an election year, ffs! It’s time to make every post a winner! And to put your foot down about the miscreants in the media.

  26. victoria:

    I wasn’t sure if that was an ABC tweet or the ABC re-tweeting someone else’s tweet.

    Still poor form though, whichever way.

  27. Frank Keany ‏@redneckninja
    NT Senator Trish Crossin to hold a press conference today at 2pm Darwin time @NewsTalk2UE

  28. C@tmomma,

    Why doesn’t someone from the government demand a public apology from the ABC the same way Morrison demanded one from Stephen Long …

    If you or anyone else could suggest the relevant minister, I suggest a barrage of emails.

  29. Thanks fionajr…..hope you are feeling better . I find it hard to get my head around the fact that my fellow Australians , seem to want to reward a bully ie Tony . As we get closer to the election , I hope people focus on what the differences are between Labor & the Cons , & vote for fairness eg NDIS, & progress eg NBN

  30. Levin12,

    You are welcome!

    I would like to share your hopes, but I do fear, along with Mr Bushfire, that the broader community has been sold a pup. In short, they have accepted the merger of “reality” and lived experience, and the commodification of that bastard offspring.

  31. at 1021 C@tmomma wrote “If I were advising the federal party, a ludicrous assumption I know,”

    Bloody hell, anything but ludicrous.

    Just look at the good sense she then immediately wrote at 1023 and then Bushfire followed up at 1032. These are words and advice that should be getting through to the strategy developers of the ALP in Canberra.

  32. “Government-induced political correctness and finger wagging” George Brandis trying to pin the blame for the confected public outrage at Tim Mathieson’s comment on the government.

    Tony Abbott, never missing an opportunity to point the bone at the PM said she had to get personally involved in the apology.

  33. Another cross post

    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm | PERMALINK
    The more I look at that JWS the more I think it’s bulldust and should be disregarded. I’ll have something up on my site about it later. Of course if the government polls anything like the current polling trend (of c. 47.5) at the next election it will lose a fair to middling pile of seats and be defeated but we knew that already. As evidence that things are worse than that picture this poll is pretty useless.

  34. Funny tweet from the geek

    Surely the real news to come out from #prostategate is how Tory men and MSM men prefer doctors with large hands. #ROFL

  35. Victoria,

    That tweet from the geek is priceless!

    BTW, I hope you realise that my rant earlier today was not directed at you! And if you didn’t, it wasn’t :)

  36. Victoria,

    When I was carrying on about Kochroaches and whistleblowers.

    To tell the truth, I was mightily annoyed because OH had forgotten that I had to have a blood test this morning. And he checked to make sure that there were enough sausages for dinner tonight – and then forgot to take them out of the ‘fridge.

    Well, I didn’t quite get to finish my self-designed concert yesterday, so I think it’s time to play some Daddy Cool and cheer myself up…

  37. BB,

    Were those trooly rooly tears or did you apply an onion?

    Got them from Google Tears.

    Last time Tony cried was when he missed the face and punched the wall instead.

  38. Ooooh, BB:

    Last time Tony cried was when he missed the face and punched the wall instead.

    The most unkindest uppercut of all …

  39. fiona

    Oh that! That wasnt a rant. No doubt you are feeling frustrated considering all the challenges being thrown your way. Hopefully, time will be your friend and you will be back on your feet raring to go before long.

  40. Another beauty from geek

    On behalf of poor petite-digited, Asian female doctors I take umbrage at suggestion only large handed doctors do prostate checks. #auspol

  41. Victoria,

    Thank you for your patience. Today is – to my amazement – the first time I’ve felt seriously frustrated about not being able to do things and having to rely on other people for so many aspects of life.

    Still, it’s the halfway point: five weeks to go (I hope).

  42. I think Tim has been a lot smarter than anyone realises. He told a very old joke that everyone has heard before, it gets national coverage, he apologises and it keeps on getting talked about. If he had not made the joke no-one would have been aware of the event he spoke at or its purpose or his interest in promoting men’s health. As a result of all the hoo-haa a few blokes might decide it’s time to get that check-up they’ve been putting off for ages. A few women might decide to drag their men off to the doctor. Maybe a life or two will eventually be saved. That’s all good stuff. Gaffe? I don’t think so.

  43. The whole Tim issue will be old news shortly once the national exec finalise the Nova decision and the OM grab onto it.

    Tim is no longer relevant and the caravan will move on to the next lot of belly fluff.

  44. ‘Got them from Google Tears.

    Last time Tony cried was when he missed the face and punched the wall instead’

    BB – Are you sure you didn’t pinch your tweet photo from the folio of when Abbott was tempting the Independents to come over to his side?

  45. I’m late to this. What are they taking umbrage at? That Asian females can be doctors? That women have smaller hands than men? That nobody’s looking at Tony?

    Anyway, as I expected, they couldn’t keep Positive Tony alive for more than two days. No great surprise there. Bring out a booklet, make a speech to the faithful, wait for rapturous response, wait a little longer, panic, fill a sandbag, panic, sink the boot into the ALP. Thus dies a mini-campaign.

    The funny thing about it is that this story won’t last more than a day – they seriously think a line like that from Tim has legs? – and Abbott’s jettisoned his entire 2013 approach just to take a cheap shot. Nice work.

  46. The Project ‏@theprojecttv
    Come on guys, let’s get Tony Abbott on The Project! #TalkToUsTony

    When I get digital TV (happening next week), I will be able to get The Project for the first time!

  47. Gerard Henderson’s a hoot, isn’t he? It may have escaped his attention that over the past 25 years there’s only been one Coalition PM. People being the partisan creatures they are, they’re going to vote along party lines mostly. So Howard’s 35%, being considerably less than the current Coalition PV, isn’t all that impressive. The ALP got 45% combined.

    Any conclusions he might have drawn after that misapprehension are pointless.

  48. Aguirre,
    Coming up thirty years, actually. Speaking of years, the more that pass since Howard’s humiliation, the more it hurts them. The anger is building up to something of tsunami proprtions. If Gillard somehow does win this year, the MSM are going to go into a frenzy of the type we haven’t seen. And won’t see again until she wins the next time.
    They don’t even try to disguise the Labor hatred any more.

  49. On twitter. Hear bloody hear!!

    If ever there was an illustration of how corruptly biased our press is look at the gravity & reporting of ‘fingergate’ vs #Ashbygate.

  50. I was very surprised to just hear my sister say that Tim’s talking about prostate cancer was in itself distasteful and inappropriate, as well as being sexist and racist.

    One is tempted to draw a distinction between that and the constant feast of information we all (men and women) experience about breast and cervical cancer in women.

    I know my sister is only a sample of one (and one that surprised me, because she was once pretty concerned about it, seeing as her husband died of prostate cancer), so I ask: do other women believe the men talking to other men about the digital test for prostate cancer is somehow icky?

    I put it to her that her primary objection was that in this hair-trigger world, with practically the entire media on the lookout for gotchas (and this one has turned out to be a beauty, occupying the national news all day so far), being “dinner party” correct was the only option available, if you wanted to avoid becoming ensnared in the gotcha trap.

    She wouldn’t have a bar of it.

    Sexist. Racist. Inappropriate… bottom line “bad” she said.

    When my sister stands her ground, she stands her ground. She didn’t care that Tim’s speech got publicity it couldn’t possibly have achieved if it had remained “naice”. She was agin what he said and that’s that.

  51. BB

    Dont understand why it is inappropriate to talk about getting checked out for prostate. Your sister can stand her ground, but she is wrong.

  52. BB,

    … do other women believe the men talking to other men about the digital test for prostate cancer is somehow icky?

    Not I, nor any of the women I know well. On the contrary – thank goodness that men are finally talking about prostate cancer and all that goes with it. So to speak.

  53. victoria

    ‘That was surprisingly hilarious!’.

    I thought there was a Andy Griffith clip on atomic/nuclear war -”I’m baaacck!’ but couldn’t find it.

    Maybe it was just Sellars?

  54. so I ask: do other women believe the men talking to other men about the digital test for prostate cancer is somehow icky?

    I’ll never forget a Sex and the City ep where Miranda was dating a bloke who liked to have his arse licked – and we’re talking more localised than his cheeks. Miranda’s friends all agreed that a new generation of men were wanting more attention to the area, prompting Carrie to ask “when did men get the idea that the arse was on the menu?”

    SATC covered issues way more icky than a mere rectal probe. I think some people are taking the opportunity to feel offended according to their political views.

  55. Confessions,

    I knew there was a good reason why I’ve never watched SATC – apart from almost no access to a TV.

  56. “so I ask: do other women believe the men talking to other men about the digital test for prostate cancer is somehow icky?”

    I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I have had countless digital exams, for cancer checks, pregnancy etc. Those gynaecologists seem to jump at every opportunity to have a probe.

    How many ads have you seen to go and have a pap test.

  57. Thanks Victoria and Fiona.

    So was Tim being racist and sexist, or just being a political klutz?

    My sister suggested he should have said, “Make sure the doctor has small hands heh-heh”, or similar.

    When I posited that this would not have gotten the coverage that the “racier” method of expression got she just said, “That’s too bloody bad then.”

    Apparently Gillard has condemned Tim’s statement and Tim has apologized.

    I think that was a mistake.

  58. Confessions
    I hope you are not too disappointed in The Project. Sometimes when you think you are missing out on something, it turns out that you really haven’t missed anything.

    BB
    Sorry that your sister feels like that, I guess it would have been okay if abbott had said it instead.

    Fiona
    I’m with you about SATC, never watched, never missed.

  59. Hello everyone, I am new here. Love the place!

    If any of you (or your Labor loving children) have a tumblr account, please join the tumblr I have made for the election year.

    http://gillardlabor2013.tumblr.com/

    I figure it’s another social media platform that can be used to get Labor’s positive achievements/policies out there.

    It’s something Labor should really look into, especially if they want to target younger voters. Obama’s people used it to get effect during the US elections.

    If any of you have any suggestions on how to improve it, please let me know! You can also find me on twitter at @JGLabor2013…

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