Thursday, October 14, 2010

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

We’re gripped by it.

We’ve practically come to a standstill.

Yep, it’s the Commonwealth Games. The Comm Games. The C Games. Or, as our house is now referring to it… the Commies.

Every four years the countries of The Empire (that’s the British Empire for you insular Americans) come together to play games. In the spirit of participation, sharing, pursuing one’s goals… oh, no it’s not. Sorry. Brad the Tradie just reminded me that the Commies are about winning and dominance. Which makes a lot of sense really. Only countries once dominated by British rule (when they mistakenly thought they could rule the world) are allowed to compete at the Commonwealth Games. All these nations come together to see who NOW rules the Commonwealth. Oh. Look at that. It’s the Aussies. By a landslide.

And we bloody well love it. Bugger the citizenship exam. You can tell a true Aussie because they downright want to win. Especially against the Poms. “Ha! Take that for British rule! Can’t beat us in the swimming or netball can ya… huh? Shove that in ya monarchy and smoke it!”

I think we like to… want to… NEED TO dominate the Commies because it reassures us that as a nation we don’t suck that badly after all. Australia doesn’t lead the way in many things, let’s face it. It’s not a popularity problem. Everyone likes us. How could you not? There’s just such as lack of achievement in Australia that we end up having to pride ourselves on having a dreadfully safe national airline and a good reef. The world is actually ruled by China and the U.S.A. They make everything and tell everyone what to do. We won’t ever invite them to the Commonwealth Games. EVER. So there. The Commies belong to us Aussies.

We’ll never tire of the anthem being played as chlorine-drenched swimmers get gold medal after gold medal.

We wince a little at silver, but clap and say, “Good try mate!", put in a protest and kick the winner in the shins. Although, have you noticed this time around that we excel at some rather unusual, not-usually-Australian sports? That immigration program is working wonders isn’t it? We’ve got a barely English speaking Greco-Roman wrestling champ that can do backflips on command (we like that… did you see him being interviewed? “Hey mate! Do a backflip! Pwwoahhh! Look at that!”), Chinese diving coaches and some darn good rhythmic gymnasts (who wear an awful lot of glittery hair gel and are dressed by trannies). I reckon I know the secret actually. All those illegal boat people sneaking into our waters? Well, they’re chucked off the boats within sight of Darwin to see how fast they can swim. “Ahhh mate! You’ve practically got bloody flippers! Welcome to Australia!” As long as they win gold medals, they’re welcome here anytime.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that most of the other Commonwealth countries are the size of Brisbane. How did I get to be 38 years of age and not know about a country called Nuie? Although with darts being their national pastime I can kinda understand my ignorance. The nation of Samoa I get. They grow ‘em BIG and fuzzy in SAM-O-A. We don’t begrudge them a couple of weightlifting medals. They can’t really swim, the poor things.

It’s been exhilarating watching poor old host country India win some medals in exciting sports such as discus and shooting. I’m hardly surprised they’re good at self-defence sports, given their living conditions. Who invited India to host the Comm Games anyway? Did no one else apply? I love how the village and stadiums were all falling down and the Indians weren’t that worried. “Ya dudes! We did our best! Less things are broken than we thought huh?” India’s one of ‘those countries’ that BtT and I will maybe one day visit, providing we go there on a cruise ship and look at the Indian culture on a day tour with lots of hand sanitiser. India has resonated strongly with us Aussies hasn’t it? I mean, Curtis Stone even cooked up some Indian slop for his ‘feed your family for under ten bucks’ segment at Coles. By the looks of Indians, you could probably feed half a street of them for ten dollars, but anyway, good on you Curtis for enlightening us on the joys of Madras Chicken.

Brad the Tradie’s been glued to the Commies.

The sport side, not the cultural side. There’s really only so many sari’s you can look at. It’s like these Games were scheduled the week after the footy grand finals (but before the cricket season) just in case he got the shakes from a lack of sport on the telly. With Foxtel showing half a dozen different Commie events in our home theatre 24/7 I feel I’ve been thoroughly exposed to the kulcha of the Games. BtT doesn’t mind which sport’s on. We’ve cheered for lawn bowls (“robbed they were! Robbed!”) and by golly, how exciting’s that cycling road race. Phew! About as interesting as watching paint dry actually. Which we were, given that our new house was being painted and so we didn’t have a great deal else to do except watch Kenyans run around a track fifty-seven gazillion times.

I have wondered this week how Commie sports are chosen and how I go about adding new ones. 

 I could Google it if I really cared, but instead I thought I’d come up with some extra sports for the next Games in Scotland in 2014. Here’s my list:
• Highland Fling – very Scottish and fashionable. I may defect to compete in the Scottish national team in this one just to wear the kilt. Argghhh! Blossom McBogan I am!

• Cricket – I mean REALLY. How is cricket not in the Commies? It’s the only sport Indians will watch for goodness sake and it still wasn’t in the Comm Games. Surely even Lesotho could field a side. So that we could win of course.

• Drinking games – another of our national strengths obviously. It would give the athletically-challenged a chance at Commonwealth Glory and I think ‘scull scull’ would make compelling TV viewing. Give the Welsh and Irish a chance to win a silver medal too.

• Pom Thumping – not just beating the English, but ACTUALLY thumping them. Give that medal to Samoa as well. Do we get immigrants from Samoa? Anyone?

• Of course, in the spirit of including people with a disability in the Comm Games (how amputees swim that fast is beyond me), we could have the conjoined discus and S10 rolypoly down the hill. The more the merrier!

As long as us Aussies still win. We might love our sport in Oz, but we sure as heck don’t like losers. Because, you see, although everybody wants to rule the world… for twelve days, we actually do. That'll teach the Poms for dumping all their convicts here.  Oi! Oi! Oi!

Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Tears for Fears, 1985