Thursday, April 22, 2010

`Unaustralian' is unaustralian??

In an odd turn of events I found myself watching Lateline last night. Why is this odd? Because I hate so-called `serious' current affairs, and don't care to watch the schoolboy bickering of middle-aged millionaires.

But tonight it was about SPORT! So I made an exception. Specifically, it was a discussion of perhaps the biggest story in Australian sports history. Big enough that it made me care for a fleeting moment about Rugby League. Bigger in some sense than Tiger Woods, and bigger in every sense than the Starcraft Betting Scandal.

For anyone out of the loop, the Melbourne Storm was caught engaging in rampant salary cap breaches and covering it up. They were punished about as harshly as they could be, short of cutting off all the players' feet. They were stripped of two premierships, three minor premiership, and any chance of making finals this year.

The discussion was interesting and led to deeper questions: how did the NRL allow them to get away with it for 5 years? More important, were the players oblivious, or complicit?

But one thing stood out to me. A former NRL Player Warren Boland and the ABC sports dude (just made a freudian typo, and called him a `dud') Peter Wilkins - no, not the Entertainment Guru who falsely accused Jeff Goldblum of dying last year - came on to discuss it.
PETER WILKINS: Yes and there was a sad irony tonight. Just before the Footy Show on Channel 9 they're promoting the Anzac Day NRL matches involving the Melbourne Storm, they're talking about Australian values and sacrifice in this ad and then here we are with something un-Australian, something slimy, something underhand.
I got an australian value for you. PISS OFF. How tired can one sentence be? Not only does it misuse `irony' and use that old chestnut `unaustralian', but name-checks the ANZACs, the ol' diggers. Well done old man, you're officially out of touch.

Can the word `unaustralian' be used without irony? Maybe if you're talking to a 55-year-old CWA member who's too busy running her B&B to actually think for a second about what an `australian value' is, or a Young Labor/Liberals/Family First kid who's too afraid to call you out in case he ends up looking silly because nobody else has the guts, either.

Well I'm neither of those things. GRAGRARHG