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Soup of This Day #256: How Come You Never Go There?

October 21, 2012

The leopard, annoyed at high ticket prices and willing to change his spots, climbed a convenient tree with a grandstand view of a women’s football match – Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, c2005. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

When I was younger I used to watch a TV program called Rage. The show was/is on Friday and Saturday nights, from roughly midnight to past dawn the next day, and it was/is comprised almost entirely of music videos.

Rage has been produced since 1987 by the public Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and in keeping with that cool institution it plays stuff that showcases the fringes of mainstream music – The kind of material that commercial stations are not going to give much of a chance, at least until it had sold a few million copies.

When I was still living at home my Dad would occasionally wander in to the lounge with his bowl of breakfast cereal, sit himself down and start to watch with me. He’d invariably last for the 1st 30s or so of each song before loudly pronouncing, ‘Enough already!’ This I think was an attempt to Jedi mind trick the programmers into suddenly switching from the Beastie Boys to content that would appeal to a middle-aged working-class guy who did not want to fight for the right to party.

Yeah that didn’t work for him.

He should have known better – I think it was the Village People that declared that you can’t stop the music. No, you can’t, nobody can, they said and who are we to argue with a policeman and a soldier. Authority figures they are.

I’m writing about this because, even though I am a handful of years shy of his age at that point, I’m worried that I’m starting to become like Dad and that I’ll lose my cutting musical edge.

Tonal intransigence seems to have crept up on me.

A prime example of this came yesterday, when ironically I was tweeting about buying an alternative album that had been out for less than a year. My tweets read:

@Longworth72: In these days of iTunes had forgotten joy of listening to whole album and having tracks apart from singles grow on me.

@Longworth72: Feist’s Metals in case anyone interested. Cracker of an album from the Canadian songstress & I’m less than a year off current.

And there I left it, proud of my in-the-moment musical moment.

Until a friend, @shorebuck, tweeted back:

@shorebuck: @Longworth72 wait, you listened to something post 90s?

That wounded me @shorebuck. It cut me to the soul of my musical soul.

Mostly because, like a lot of stuff that @shorebuck says, there was a a skein of truth in those words. Just a skein mind – I have actually bought music that was post 2000 – Bruce Springsteen for instance has done some work in the past decade that I much admired. As has the E Street Band.

All of them. Even the drummer.

But seriously, I might be getting older but I am still open to new sounds and new concepts.

Take women’s sport for instance – I grew up believing that women’s sport was a lesser beast – A kind of watered down contest. They can’t run as fast or kick as hard or get stuck in as much. I figured that the numbers are never as large so the watching is never as compelling.

I was wrong.

Those numbers are just metrics, whereas the beauty of sport is more than just the measuring – It’s the drawing of those statistics into a narrative that truly counts. In those resultant stories the women fight as tough and play as real as the men.

You could have affirmed all of this if you’d been hanging around Intiga Stadium, here in Perth, Western Australia, at 10:30am local time today. For then and there, 1 of this blog’s teams, Perth Glory Women kicked off their 2012/2013 campaign in the W-League, the premier national Australian women’s soccer competition.

I added the Glory Women to my roster of sporting teams recently, in part because I wanted to redress the gender imbalance in my fandom but mostly because they’re a local outfit that’s playing a game that I love. And they do that in a way that is stripped of the attendant bollocks that seems to accompany the men’s game at the highest levels nowadays.

They don’t play for millions – There just doesn’t seem to be that kind of cash floating around the W-League. And it doesn’t look like they’re in it for the attention – The games are covered on public TV to the tune of just 1 per week. The hosting team probably has to buy the camera crew’s lunch. Maybe those are reasons why there seems to be less diving, less arguing and just more football.

I need that.

I’m getting just a little bit jaded with competitions like the English Premier League (EPL). Chelsea’s right-back Ashley Cole is a case in point.

6 years ago Ashley was an Arsenal man. The Gunners had been good for him, netting him 2 EPL titles and 3 FA Cup winner’s medals. They also paid him well and had prepared an offer of £55,000 per week via a new contract.

Unfortunately this paltry wage did not go down well with Ashley who had thought that £60,000 per week was going to be the deal. In fact when he heard about the offer, of £5,000 per week less than he’d envisioned, he almost swerved off the road, such was his shock.

To be fair to him, I’m almost swerving off the road as I’m typing this, such is the impact of that barely-above-the-poverty-line offer.*

Cashley, as he came to be known, then settled on a £90,000 a week gig with the Blues, which subsequently got increased to a very un-paltry £120,000 per week in 2009.

And he’s been good some value for it – In 2011 he took a .22 calibre air rifle into training and pointed it at a work-experience guy before pulling the trigger on what he thought was an unloaded gun.

That’s some good gun thinking there – Don’t horse around with 1 unless you think it’s unloaded.

Unless it turns out that it is actually loaded. Because in this instance it was and so Cashley shot an intern, who fortunately was not seriously injured. The gun backman did apologise formally and after a rap over the knuckles Chelsea did find a silver lining – Cashley is a defender after all and we all know they can’t shoot for @#$% so to hit the target from 5 feet out is something to build on.

Positives aside, this kind of behaviour is not something I think we’ll see from the women of Perth Glory. They just don’t get paid enough to shoot interns. They probably don’t have enough money to employ interns – Even free 1s.

Sporting money you see is generally weighted towards the gender represented by gun-slinging Cashley. It’s supply and demand 101 – People want to watch Cashley and his EPL mates (Although it’s probably not safe to be mates with a guy who merely assumes a gun is not loaded) and they will fork out the cash to back that up. This has recently been highlighted by the BBC who have published the 2012 edition of their ‘Price of Football’ survey.

The comprehensive results mark Liverpool FC as the 2nd-most expensive EPL club to visit for a day at the football. The cheapest match-day trip to Anfield sets you back a whopping £47.30. On the plus side a pie at Anfield only sets you back £3.10 and that’s a whole 80p cheaper than at Fulham’s Craven Cottage – Although given that Fulham’s cheapest day out is £18 less than Liverpool’s you will need to eat 23 of those pies to attain some kind of economic parity.

And probably some kind of gastronomic indigestion.

Meanwhile a trip to see Liverpool Ladies in England’s top-flight Women’s Super League will set you back a comparatively frugal £9.30.

Oh, and a pie at their West Lancashire College Stadium home is only £2.00. Plus, for a bonus, you don’t need to wear a kevlar vest.

To be honest I can’t verify the quality of the pies on offer. I can though pretty much guarantee that the football at the elite women’s level is going to be worth more than the price of entry – The Perth Glory Women certainly gave value for money in today’s outing.

Up against a Melbourne Victory side that had finished 4th last term the Glory pushed forward early but had to wait until the 74th minute for the opening goal – Katie Gill got in behind the defence before finishing with a clinical strike. From there the game opened up as Melbourne chased an equaliser but as is often the case they ended up taking a sucker punch for their efforts – Marianna Tabain curling in a shot in the 88th minute to secure the win and the 3 points for Perth.

That 2nd goal also contributed towards Australia’s premier football competitions having a Perth-centric feel – Both the Glory Women and Men sit atop their league tables, albeit after just 1 and 3 games respectively. So early days but the start really has been quite good.

That Feist album really is quite good too – It’s chock full of bluesy rhythyms, brassy riffs and primal, driving percussion.

You could even say on this day, a lazy sunny Perth Sunday, that it’s a glorious sound.

*Please don’t blog and drive. Get a chauffeur and write pointed comments about his/her cornering ability.

How Come You Never Go There?

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