THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #104 – Just the scores, ma’am

A new view as I also get used to the new format. This week I have decided to impose upon you my favourite Australian film as part of my ongoing mission to educate the rest of the world about the despotic little nation I call home.

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 18
Essendon 16.12 (108) def St Kilda 11.9 (75)
Collingwood 15.15 (105) hammered Carlton 9.3 (57)
Port Adelaide 13.14 (92) def Hawthorn 12.12 (84)
Sydney 9.18 (72) def by Geelong 20.5 (125)
Brisbane 9.10 (64) def by Melbourne 11.8 (74)
Richmond 15.10 (100) def Adelaide 11.14 (80)
Western Bulldogs 22.11 (143) easily def North Melbourne 10.12 (72)
Fremantle 24.19 (160) dominated West Coast 13.7 (85)
Etihad Stadium – The Docklands Stadium – has been in the news for the past week. Reports of its playing surface not being up to scratch came about after last weekend when skilled players were slipping over as though running on ice. Apparently the surface moves underfoot and has done so since it was built (and named the Telstra Dome – gotta love corporate sponsorship screwing up the naming of everything. I mean, where is Etihad stadium? In Etihadton? No, Melbourne, but the sponsors pay for naming rights so the stadium names change as the sponsors do. Way to get loyalty and people knowing what’s going on!) but now the players are making a stand.
            There’s supposed to be four finals in Melbourne the first two weeks this year, with interstate teams going like crap. The MCG can’t hold them all, so at least one will have to be at Etihad Stadium. And that means one result could be determined by the playing arena and not the skill of the players and teams involved.
            Part of the issue is the way the stadium is used for concerts, especially close to or during the football season. I don’t have an issue with that, but the stadium management then has to ensure that everything is fixed afterwards, instead of just playing a football game two days later.
            The real question, though, must be: How can Australian Rules football make strides to gain the sort of world-wide audience they are hoping for if they cannot even play in on a ground that is safe for its players?
SANFL Round 19 (part two)
The end of the split round.
South Adelaide 7.10 (52) easily def by Norwood 17.13 (115)
Port Adelaide 13.7 (85) upset Sturt 4.9 (33)
Bye: Woodville-West Torrens
None of note.

Rugby League
NRL – Round 21
Canterbury-Bankstown 32 def South Sydney 12
Penrith 24 def North Queensland 16
Parramatta 12 def by Sydney Roosters 48
Wests Tigers 24 def Cronulla 22
Warriors 20 def by Gold Coast 28
Melbourne 36 def Canberra 12
Brisbane 10 def St George Illawarra 6
Newcastle 32 def Manly 14
Queensland rugby league and the Australian rugby league have finally apparently resolved their differences so that league will have its own independent commission to investigate matters arising in the game.
            About bloody time. An independent commission would have looked at Melbourne without any hint of conflict of interest. They could investigate any of the numerous player incidents without fear or favour.
            This is a huge step forward and could well start to stem some of the political machinations behind the scene in league. For the good of the game, that has got to happen.

Other Sport
Rugby Union – Tri Nations Test
Australia 28 completely outplayed by New Zealand 49
Formula One – Hungarian Grand Prix
1st: Mark Webber
2nd: Fernando Alonso
3rd: Sebastian Vettel

Film Time!
I was asked via email to explain Australian politics. But unless you’re interested in it, I might as well try to explain why being a cleric is better than being a mage in a game of Dungeons and Dragons for all the interest I’d generate.
            So I’m going to tell you all about my favourite Australian film.
            Now, Australia has had many films I have loved. Mad Max, The Club, Death In Brunswick, Gallipoli and The Castle to name but a few. Of course, there’s also been an inordinate amount of shit as well, but that is really par for the course.
            The Odd Angry Shot (1978) is a Vietnam war film about a bunch of Australian soldiers who realise they’re fighting a war that has nothing to do with them. It stars Graham Kennedy, John Hargreaves, John Jarratt, Bryan Brown and Graeme Blundell, and is well written and well directed. It does not show war as a Rambo-style bunch of heroics, and downplays the actual fighting (for which the Australians were well regarded), but is considered somewhat more ‘realistic’ in its depiction. I have a few relatives who went to ‘Nam and they all consider this the best of the Vietnam films (or in one case, second to Platoon). I should point out here that I am not a war film buff, especially the rash of Vietnam films that came out in the late 70s through to early 90s. Platoon was overrated in my opinion. I prefer horror, sci-fi, fantasy and comedy. Still, this film is excellent.
            With Graham Kennedy in the cast, it might be expected to be a comedy, but while some of it is funny, it is not designed to be an out-and-out MASH-like treatment of the Vietnam conflict.
            I feel this film has been long overlooked as a classic of Australian cinema, and as a part of the genre of Vietnam war films. And it is my favourite Australian film.
            (Note: Before I get ripped a new one, let me just say that it is my favourite. I did not say it is the best Australian film or the most popular or the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is my favourite Aussie movie, and I would recommend you watch it if you are into this sort of genre.)

And that’s the View through to August 2.

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