Media critique, the Grand Prix, and other bathroom renovations

It’s been a fortnight that has seen as much political manoeuvring in sport than anything seen on the hill in recent times. The annual squabble of the F1 has taken the usual argumentative pathways. Residents of Albert Park aggrieved at having to walk the Labradoodles at another location, up against Ron Walker who believes the event justifies every bit to the $50M black hole it puts in the Victorian budget each year, up against Bernie Eccelston who doesn’t care where the thing is as long as he gets the folding stuff. Personally, I’d love to see them go round, just once, to see how clever these machines and their glamorous drivers really are. Once. As in one lap. Then piss the whole lot off and put a real game of footy on. Whether you’re a fan of F1 racing, as opposed to après driving, or not, the whole thing is basically a wank for rich people who reside in Monte Carlo and have daughters who rub their absurd wealth in poor people faces.

People obviously like car racing in general (Ford or Holden regalia in the pubs and cars of Australia suggest that many do). However, those people like real blokes who drive big bloody V8s that your average punter can buy at the local dealer, put a bit of work into the donk, and turn the thing into a machine that defies all laws of physics and Middle East cartels. Yeah, real cars that Lowndesie and Johhno and Richo drive. Cars that Norm Beechey, Bob Jane and Alan Moffet drove around the toughest 1 mile track in Australia at the Hume Weir circuit near Albury. Not some small pooncey knob from France who should be riding horses at Bendigo rather than using his daddy’s investment business to bankroll the dream of some plonker with a penchant for go karts. Except for Mark Webber of course, as he is from Queanbeyan and nothing remotely wankerish has ever come out of Struggletown other than the Raiders and David Campese (remember the stints in Italy? Enough said).

The threat of a real game of footy looms on the horizon and not before time. The various media outlets in Melbourne and on Fox have explored every possible pre-season permeation of your team’s prospects for 2012. I believe that Eddie has a displaced Moorabbin Park duck on his EMT show given the exhaustive search for anything related to footy (the show needs Mary Hardy by the way?). Fox’s 360 is proving to be somewhat of a winner despite Mark Robinson. Robbo is sadly being exposed as a chump old school journo who should have been a town copper. Thick on opinion, poor on actual understanding, who you sense would rather settle an argument out the back, rather than through logic. Even Cam Mooney made him look basic. But it has provided more depth than anything Mike and Gerard could produce in a submarine and the addition of recently retired player such as Barry Hall and Cam has been terrific. Surely their task will get even easier when the real deal in back in business. Gerard Whately is growing on me, in that he brings a certain ABC sensibility to discussions, as opposed to Robbo’s desire to seek answers through submission holds.

What would Mike have written?

Speaking of Mike. For a bloke that gave the writing game away last year, other than occasional “special opinion” columns, he sure hasn’t hidden his light under a bushel. Mike couldn’t help himself, doing the top 50 players of 2012 before a Sherrin has been kicked an anger. That’s as stupid as former Geelong ruckman John Barnes wishing he “could look into a crystal ball” to try and work out why the Cats couldn’t win a flag in the 80’s and 90’s. John could possibly have used another reflective source, such as his bathroom mirror, to find the main source of the Cats’ woes.

Tip of the week

As I lay back soaking in my new bath, in my refurbished bathroom, Barossa Shiraz in hand, it allowed my time to ponder the merits of DYI against outsourcing the whole shebang. Sure the room looks great and the addition of a glass brick window will surely have the folks from Home Beautiful knocking on the door for feature story. However, when you look back over some the small “inconveniences” it makes you wonder why the hell you didn’t study harder at school so you could have been a Worker Compensation lawyer and have a hugely expensive team of tradesmen do all that shitty stuff for you. But, then the Shiraz wouldn’t taste as good and you would be devoid of several thousand wife points that will soon need to be cashed in after an oncoming golfing trip. DYI good people, DYI.

Tony Weekly Dump

There are reasons why one has go do to a shopping mall but so many more reason why not. A recent foray in to the local Frank Lowy Institute at Belconnen was not for the faint-hearted. After negotiating the car park and finding the mall entrance was some 2.7km away, I walked into a world that only HG Wells could have imagined. I know local malls do offer the opportunity for people to congregate in centrally heated caverns surrounded by delightfully fitted out shops with delightfully loud sound systems. I also know that many use this experience as form of relaxation and recreation. I would rather cut my hand off. Every where I walked I kept on being trapped behind this hideous family whose sole aim in life was the get a table in the Food Hall. Then I realised they weren’t the same family. Everyone was searching for the Food Hall. Having found my intended item and having dealt with the Gen Y customer serve of JB Hi Fi (guys, I’m really, like, kinda, really sorry I interrupted your chat to buy something eh) I fled to my car only to find that Frank had buried my car under another three Aldi stores. If this is a “shopping experience”, no wonder the retail sector is buggered.

See ya later

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.


  1. John Butler says

    TR, you need your own reality show.

    You cover all the demos – home renovation, cars, wine, shopping. With a sideline in media analysis that beats any Kardashian.

  2. Peter Baulderstone says

    Your best one yet, Tony.
    I watch car racing for the prangs in the first five laps when they are all in a bunch. Then turn it back on the last five laps to see if there is a close finish looming. The rest is run by automatons in the cars and in the pits, and the main skill seems to be timing the pit stops. Bathurst stopped being interesting in the 80’s when they put brakes in the cars.
    The perils of the home handyman – I am looking out my window at the landscaping I was so proud of 5 years ago. Why have the lights stopped working? (Maybe I should have spent time and money on conduit for the wiring). Why is the retic not working on one station? (And what the hell is a solenoid and how does it work). Why is the paint peeling off the water feature? (Maybe I shouldn’t have use bleach to kill the pond algae).
    Check bank account and lament youthful (and middle-aged) indiscretions. Time to roll up the sleeves and make another mess.
    Thanks for your reassuring inspiration.

  3. John Harms says

    Tony, I really like the Frank Lowy Institute reference.

    I tend to be fairly laid back about most things, but when I walk into a shopping centre I am instantly angry.

    Loving your tone, and the ongoing sagas.

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Understanding how those shopping centres screw their tenants, I refuse to set foot in them. Research the meaning of ‘Gruen transfer’ for some more insight.

    The monstrous one in the Geelong CBD has sucked the life out of the rest of the city terribly. Moorabool St is just $2 shops now.

  5. I’d rather go to gaol (or is that jail) than go to a big shopping centre.

  6. Pamela Sherpa says

    So glad the bathroom is finished Tony .Good timing-getting the stress of it out of the way before the footy season begins .

  7. Great stuff Tony.
    Mary Hardy!! Magnificent – perhaps they can cross to the trots on EMT?

  8. Tony Robb says

    Budge. I Think they should have crossed to the trots at half time of last year GF

  9. Peter Baulderstone says

    Last quarter of the GF – Cats had the ‘red hots’. Pies supporters had the trots.

  10. Glad I’m not the only one who dislike shopping malls. Temples to idolatry and materialism. Symbols of all that’s wrong in the world.

  11. Tony Robb says

    Peter I watch question time for the same reason hoping that a certain person will crash and burn
    Cheers TR

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