4th Test heroics (we hope)

By skepticlawyer

Cricket tragics over to Tony the Teacher’s place for 4th Test action. Once again Spanky Roebuck has covered himself in, well, err… something best left to your imagination. (Non) Money quote:

That is to confuse joy with rage. Likewise, the umpiring was acceptable and even-handed. Only lamingtons imagine otherwise. The game is up for that lot. It is time to move on. It is debatable whether people born in this country should be allowed to vote. It is no achievement to emerge from a womb. They could just as well be in Winnipeg. Australia is best loved by its settlers.

Apart from the fact that I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean (and I’m willing to concede it may have been mangled by a sub), purple prose on that scale is evidence of, I dunno, delusions of mediocrity.

38 Comments

  1. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    SL,

    if you do not like what he said about the Asussie team in Sydney then come out and say it.

  2. Posted January 24, 2008 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Homer, I dislike bad writing, period. That is very bad writing indeed, and also suggests some peculiar obsessions.

  3. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    with respect,

    it feels more like the bee in the bonnet is stuck there.

    Apart from anything else he is saying anyone who thinks the Aussies lost because they played within the spirit of the game ,as opposed to Sydney, is barmy.

    I agree.

    Good players should not need to descend to bad sportsmanship to win.
    If they do they get the brickbats.

    They got them in spades.

    Perth was a very good test. Immensley enjoyable and a far cry from Sydney.

  4. Tony.T
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Spanky’s gone mad.

    He can’t stand to see Straya win and only used the so-called way they win as an excuse to take pot shots.

    He just hates seeing happy Strayans.

    He’s a bitter man.

  5. Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Personally I think he’s sucking up to the indians because that is where the money is in cricket. Probably figures he’ll get more attention and lucrative contracts there

    When he is actually talking about cricket play – as opposed to team selection, I think he sometimes says interesting to say. But his prose has always been awful and pretentious.

  6. Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    SL,
    When I first read that I thought it a randomly chosen sample of poor sentences. It is actually a paragraph? OMFG.

  7. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Tony T you are the bitter one.

    you go for the man merely because he emphasises the obvious.

    disgraceful.

    Australia lost in Perth because they are leadenfooted when the ball swings

  8. Jason Soon
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea what this is about but I’ll take whatever side Homer’s not on.

  9. Tony.T
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Emphasis is the key word, Homer. If you want to take something bad out of any sporting contest, you can, and Spanky does. When it suits.

    And tell me where I said Straya weren’t beaten fair and square, Homer?

    Tell me if I didn’t say this:

    “Let’s not beat around the tea tree, India played better than Straya to win the Perth Test.”

    Or this:

    “Straya lost, not because ‘they were due’ or even because they played bad, but because India played better where it matters most: in the bowling. RP and Irfy maintained excellent, sustained swing to nullify our lefthanders. Instant Karma was sensational.”

  10. Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    India bowled better.

    Lee was too expensive and not enough wickets.

    Australia’s batter’s were inexperienced and their big hitter’s didn’t get an established innings.

    India batted well down the order.

    Australia’s fielding was less than average.

    India played better than normal, Australia played less well than normal. Australia is 1, India is No 2 in the world.

    It isn’t brain surgery. Umpires and egos are irrelevant.

  11. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    tony T ,

    I don’t care what you said at your site, I was responding to your comments on 4

  12. Tony.T
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Hom… ohh, get stuffed.

  13. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    well that sums up your arguments very well.

  14. MichaelF
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Sceptic, you reckon that what Roebuck has written is “very bad writing indeed …”. I accept that this is your opinion, but I don’t accept that it is the definitive judgment on the matter. For example, you can easily make the case that it is sharply written, in short sentences that would have done Hemingway proud, and that it is anything but “purple prose”. I accept without quibble that you “have no idea what it’s supposed to mean”, although you run the risk of telling us more about yourself than about Roebuck. I, on the other hand, didn’t have to give it a second thought to know what he was on about, and didn’t think for a minute that it was bad writing. Roebuck has been in the game (both as cricketer and writer) for a very long time, his commentary is widely published and his enthusiasm and love for the game is beyond doubt. By all means tell us that you disagree with him, or that you don’t like his writing or at least this example of it. But I reckon you go a step or three too far when you dismiss him as a bad writer with “delusions of mediocrity”.

  15. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    c’mon, Michael, the subbie should have just said ‘no’ to this

    It is debatable whether people born in this country should be allowed to vote. It is no achievement to emerge from a womb.

  16. Nanuestalker
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Read this yesterday in the Heraldsun…..

    TOP cricketer Brad Hodge woke up with a massive dilemma yesterday. His wife Megan was facing heart surgery to fix an irregular heart beat.

    And Victoria was facing a thrashing at the hands of South Australia.

    Hodge chose to juggle his duties – staying at Megan’s bedside until she woke up at Royal Melbourne Private then dashing to Junction Oval to score 64 for the Bushrangers.

    The star batsman said cricket played second fiddle until he and 20-month-old son Jesse knew Megan was all right.

    “When I left she’d come out of surgery. I saw her for about five minutes,” he said.

    “She was crying a little bit, she was a bit sick, but OK.”

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23094082-661,00.html

    Husband of the year or what? What a dumbass…that’s cricketers (and the Heraldsun) for you.

  17. MichaelF
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Sinkers, the subbie was right to accept it – in the context. His point here is one-eyed Aussie fans, you know, nationalism, my country right or wrong, “aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi”. OK, he expresses the point in a provocative way, a little over the top even. So? It sure makes the point, it makes the reader sit up and go “what the hell” – that is, it’s attention grabbing and related to the point he’s making. And your problem is? (BTW Sinkers, if you hate over-the-top writing that is provocative and hyperbolic, what the hell are you doing hanging around this part of the Intertubes?)

  18. Sinclair Davidson
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    “in the context?” I couldn’t work out how it fit into anything.

    if you hate over-the-top writing that is provocative and hyperbolic, what the hell are you doing hanging around this part of the Intertubes?

    I think there is a big difference between a professional writing in a profession outlet and the discussion that happens here – the 21 century equivalent of a barroom discussion.

  19. Posted January 24, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    …in short sentences that would have done Hemingway proud,

    Bollocks!

    The paragraph is inelegance itself. There is no music. It’s just a series of hackneyed sentences that flow together like inter-splicing bars of Air Supply with Ligetti.

    Yuk!

    C’mon Mickey I know you’re Catallaxy’s resident defender of the hacks press, but Hemingway? With respect, is a little hyperbolous no?

  20. Posted January 24, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    OT But on sport. David Ferrer knocked out of the Oz Open yesterday:

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx?id=23359c78-a56d-4172-b1bf-18e1d1864d63AusOpen2008_Special&MatchID1=4628&TeamID1=1&TeamID2=6&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1165&MatchID2=4636&TeamID3=7&TeamID4=9&MatchType2=2&SeriesID2=1169&PrimaryID=4628&Headline=Djokovic+masters+Ferrer+to+reach+Aussie+Open+semi

    Shame. The lad is class.

  21. Posted January 24, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Do you read the Hindustan Times as a matter of course, Adrien – or just for the sports coverage?

  22. Posted January 24, 2008 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Diversity! It’s nutritious Andrew. For the mind and the body.

    And what better expression of globalisation’s positive attributes than reading an Indian paper to get news about a Spanish tennis player being defeated by a Serbian six blocks down the road?

    Does Rupert own The Hindustan Times yet? No? Gettin’ slack Rupert, gettin’ slack.

  23. Posted January 24, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Peter Roebuck can get stuffed. Trying to be as offensive as you can in the pursuit of promoting good sportsmanship is laughable. He can take his appreciation of Australia and stick it where the sun does not shine so brightly.

    Mind you, the Indians seem to have had our measure today.

  24. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    interestingly Kumble asked the BCCI for three warmup games before the First test and they said no.

    That decision cost them the series not umpiring decisions in Sydney.

    In terms of Australia we still have batsman vulnerable to the swinging ball as we saw in 2005 and we now know neither Johnson nor Hogg are test bowlers.

    the two indians Aussies love to hate are Gangles and the Harbarnator both of whom play it in the Asussie way.

    This series is now Tendulkar’s highest scoring series

  25. Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    ‘Lamingtons’, Michael. You grew up in the country – that’s a term commonly flung at a certain sort of Aborigine, used as an alternative to ‘coconut’. Roebuck – who is the epitome of a certain type of English upper-middle-class pretention – may not know that, but on the other hand, he might.

    And you more than anyone should know that a gig at an Australian newspaper means nothing at all – indeed, I think you’ve pointed it out a few times previously.

    Tony, don’t let Homer get you down, he does that to everyone. Especially when it comes to a certain recent US president who shall remain nameless (can’t have Bubba running free range on a cricket thread).

  26. Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    What exactly does Roebuck mean by Lamingtons?

  27. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    SL, give it up.

    Roers most certainly did not mean aborigines at all.
    that is so silly I am speechless more so it came from you.

    I sometimes think I am at Timbos place

  28. Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, Adrien. I wouldn’t have a clue. ‘Lamingtons’ used in that way can mean an Aborigine ‘acting white’ but still letting the wheels fall off at home (by being a pisspot, usually). I heard it used that way a couple of times during the Hurley trial (Townsville, outside the courthouse, last year). To be fair I’ve never heard it used in any other context (other than the sponge cake of course). I don’t think Roebuck knows what it means – at least, I hope not. It’s just careless writing. He’s clearly being allowed to get away with hyperbole, if only for effect – google the guy and he’s everywhere.

  29. Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Lamingtons’ used in that way can mean an Aborigine ‘acting white’ but still letting the wheels fall off at home (by being a pisspot, usually)

    I thought when Aborigines were on the piss they were acting white. Or Irish anyway. 🙂

  30. Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    google the guy and he’s everywhere.

    Of course he is. He’s Earnest Hemingway. 🙂

  31. MichaelF
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh fer feck sake, get a grip you lot. “Lamingtons” is used for Australians, as in “as Australian as lamingtons”. To suggest, as SL does in # 25 that it is somehow racist in this context is bonkers beyond words.

    And then there is good old Adrien “put to the” Swords, Catallaxy’s resident pedant who takes everything literally. Go back and read what I wrote Adrien – I was referring to the short sentences when I invoked Hemingway, a classic Ernest trait. I made no mention of “elegance”. As for “just a series of hackneyed sentences” – that is simply dribble. Like them or not, here is nothing hackneyed about those sentences. They are short, sharp and convey very precise and direct messages. Remember, these are the same sentences SL describes as “purple prose”. Umm, you do what “hackneyed” means don’t you Adrien?

  32. Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to cricket writers doing the Ernest Hemingway short sentences thing well, read John Harms (who taught me PE and history for two years in high school). He’s no doubt given the teaching away these days, with lots of sports media and writing gigs. He’s always written well in that Hemingway style. Tony discusses a great piece of his here:

    http://aftergrogblog.blogs.com/agb/2008/01/johnno-the-huma.html#comments

    Tony finds the short sentences irritating after a while, but I’ve always had a lot of time for John’s writing skills, and not just because he was my teacher. In fact, IIRC, I didn’t like him that much at school, but then again, I was a teenager 😉

  33. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Sorry SL, but in this case Michael is correct.

    you have a touch of the timbos. must be the slow bowelers

  34. Posted January 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    No comparison with Hemingway, Michael?

    For example, you can easily make the case that it is sharply written, in short sentences that would have done Hemingway proud, and that it is anything but “purple prose”.

    Now that is hyperbole. And I’d remind you of your manners undertaking, too. I have not had a personal go at you at all, just a go at Roebuck. We disagree. I think he’s capable of being a good writer, but in this case he’s engaging in bad writing. Maybe I dislike his writing because I disagree with him. Maybe you like his writing because you agree with him – always a possibility.

    I’ve made it very clear on previous cricket threads that I dislike the way the Australian team carries on at times. I’ve also made it clear that I think the Indians are little better (although the BCCI is far worse than the team, to be fair). Roebuck is simply over the top, and – as Scott Wickstein pointed out over at AGB – often seems to hate his adopted country. Now I do realise – up to a point – that he’s forced to live in Oz. This is due to a combination of criminal history in the UK that means he’s not treated very well around these parts, and animus from certain English cricketers (notably Botham).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/10/20/nroe20.xml

  35. MichaelF
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Sceptic, unless and until you hand out patronising manners lectures equally around here, you can shove ’em where the sun don’t shine. I’ll not listen to another one of them, and I will push back – with interest – if you try to lay one one me.

    Oh, and don’t verbal me sister. I did not compare Roebuck to Hemingway. I said the short sentences in the passages were Hemingway-esque, to wit: “in short sentences that would have done Hemingway proud, and that it is anything but “purple prose”.

    And for the record Sceptic I don’t agree with Roebuck and thought his “Ponting should be sacked” call was completely over the top. But it is simply not true to say that he is a bad writer with delusions of mediocrity, as you started out saying. Also for the record, I know Roebuck personally, though not well. And John Harms is a mate. And what a great Tendulkar century.

  36. MichaelF
    Posted January 24, 2008 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey Sceptic, did you even read that 2001 Telegraph article to which you linked? It says Roebuck was an Australian citizen at the time of the court case, that is, before he had a criminal conviction. Kind of shoots your theory down in flames. I’ve never had any doubt about Peter’s love of his adopted country … and your suggestion that England is not big enough for both him and Botham is just nonsense. Do you even know that he and Beefy are sworn enemies? You are making all of this up as you go along Sceptic. Fact is, you wouldn’t have a clue about Peter’s motives for taking out Australian citizenship, nor of his true feelings for this country. Bollocks, the lot of it.

  37. Posted January 24, 2008 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Michael, you know everyone. We’ll just defer to your absolute knowledge, oh mighty one. Now maybe you can tell us all why the Bulletin folded, since you’re such an insider.

  38. Posted January 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    And I’ll hand out manners lectures to who I like, when I like, on my threads. Go start your own blog if you’ve got a problem with it.

    I thought there’d been some rapprochement, but obviously not. Sigh. I am now going to kill this thread (so sorry other cricket fans – you will have to go over to Tony’s place).