Some Timely Thoughts on Political Correctness and the Mid-Season NRL Review (Part 1)

Filed in Other by on December 9, 2010

We live in a strange and hypocritical world where personal indignation has replaced principle and a social disconnect has seemingly bestowed the right of intellectual sterilization on antisocial minorities. That previous statement probably offended many: Intellectuals, anti-intellectuals, hypocrites, strange people, the antisocial and perhaps anybody who considers themselves members of the world. And this is just how these philistines in their colourless pants like it. It tends to justify their being, providing a delusional reality where they are cast as the prophet of good and the vast majority play the great unwashed, impure and in need of re-reading the book of public decency. Those who deal in words not constrained by orthodoxy are deemed bigots, misogynists, racists and religiously intolerant.

This, of course, means that nothing of any real merit, either intellectually or for the purposes of entertainment, can ever be written or spoken. Everything must be kept within the vice-like boundaries. There is nothing more exciting than staidness. There should be no mention of race, religion, geography, national identity, disease, deformation, sex, sexual identity, sexual preference, colour, politics or anything that could possibly differentiate any one person or thing from another person or thing.

Perhaps we should eradicate professional sport? Or sport in general? It is surely too offensive. Basketball may offend the short. The Cronulla Sharks may offend winners. Golf is surely offensive to the poor. Rugby union is just plain offensive, in every sense.

Of course, no individual can ever succeed in this PC world. The reason is simple. Those who complain don’t pick their fights over legitimate broad issues of discrimination. There is little personal glory in attacking a position most people agree is discriminatory. No, the issues that cause offense are nearly always personal and the goal posts always move. These politically correct types expect that everybody will act in a manner that does not offend them. No objective measure of offense is required because those trying to keep us in the box have their own way of computing what is offensive and what is not. And we must not only live up to their personal measures but the personal measures of everybody.

This, of course, means you will be watching and reading and listening to nothing more than inane, meaningless, verbal fluff. Difference will not only be rejected but it will be actively oppressed. Never mind the hypocrisy of it all.

Political correctness is the new Communism. It seeks nothing more than to bring a monotonous sameness over society, where any gripe should result in censorship and those with a difference should be labeled a hater.

Professionals will be thrown to the streets and perfectly designed computerized drones, made in the backrooms of a suburban Tokyo factory, will take our place.

The day political correctness is allowed to take full hold is the day we had all better get excited about tales of the raceless, countryless, non-denominational asexual doing, saying and thinking nothing. That should be fun. We will call it “The Tale of the Raceless, Countryless, Non-Demoniational Asexual”. That should prove suitable.

In the meantime, it is mid-season review time. The worst half, at any rate. The hammer will be out and those who are offended by the prospect of it being bought down firmly on the skull of any number of professional athletes should look away now or risk being forced to flee to a small archipelago island like Pitcairn or the Cocos Islands as a reaction to living in a world full of ideas, opinions and thoughts.

North Queensland Cowboys

Prediction: 16th
Pre-Season Prediction: 6th
2008 Best: Ray Cashmere, Carl Webb, Ben Harris, Johnathan Thurston
2008 Disappointments: Matt Bowen, Luke O’Donnell, Shane Tronc

The North Queensland Cowboys are a disgrace and are fully deserving of the wooden spoon. They are a cheap and nasty football team, the rugby league equivalent of Black and Gold single ply. From the disgraceful undermining of the club’s most successful coach, the sneaky luring of Neil Henry, the thuggish behaviour of Luke O’Donnell, the refusal to commit in defence and the reliance on petty tactics such as time wasting and feigning injury, all the way through to the dip in form of a number of senior players, the Cowboys have embarrassed their fans and the game in 2008. Graham Murray did well to get out. They have a bye left. That might be their last two points.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Prediction: 15th
Pre-Season Prediction: 5th
2008 Best: John Sutton, Isaac Luke, David Fa’alogo, Luke Stuart
2008 Disappointments: Roy Asotasi, David Kidwell, Nigel Vagana, Dean Widders

South Sydney started the season appallingly and had killed any of the carryover goodwill from a good 2007 season before May had begun. The Bunnies won only one of their first eleven matches this season thanks to some simply abhorrent coaching from Jason Taylor, off-field political turmoil, a ridiculous pre-season trek to the United States, the laziness of experienced forwards such as Asotasi and Kidwell, the revolving door that is the halves combination, the injury to key recruit Craig Wing and a distinct lack of self-belief. Souths have made a few adjustments and can win enough games on the back of the brilliance of Sutton and Luke to avoid the spoon. Bringing in John Lang was also a positive move.

Canterbury Bulldogs

Prediction: 14th 
Pre-Season Prediction: 1st 
2008 Best: Luke Patten, Sonny Bill Williams, Andrew Ryan, Corey Hughes
2008 Disappointments: Daniel Holdsworth, Reni Maitua, Michael Sullivan, Willie Tonga

I have never been more embarrassed to be a Bulldogs fan. It is not just the shameful losses. It is the humiliating manner in which the Bulldogs have acquitted themselves on and off the field. With very few exceptions, the Bulldogs have been painfully inept in attack (thank you Daniel Holdsworth) and horrifyingly lazy in attack. The team seems to revolve around the availability of Sonny Bill Williams and that is dangerous practice as he is rarely fit and usually more concerned with sounding stupid. Coach Steve Folkes has done nothing to help the situation either. While the Dogs have been ravaged by injury, Folkes has offered little in terms of tactics or inspiration. 2009 cannot come quick enough.

New Zealand Warriors

Prediction: 13th
Pre-Season Prediction: 9th
2008 Best: Michael Luck, Simon Mannering, Ian Henderson, Manu Vatuvei
2008 Disappointments: Grant Rovelli, Steve Price, Ruben Wiki, Logan Swann

The Warriors were hot and cold early on. Now, they are just cold, like an Icelandic butcher shop. The Warriors have once again struggled to win on the road and now they are losing at home. The team has been hurt by injuries to key personnel but the simple fact is that the Warriors are soft in the belly. Even Steve Price has struggled to get anything going since he has returned. The brewing mutiny against Ivan Cleary will not see matters improve. Yet again another season that began with so much promise has once more dissipated into failure.

Penrith Panthers

Prediction: 12th
Pre-Season Prediction: 12th
2008 Best: Petero Civoniceva, Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings, Nathan Smith
2008 Disappointments: Rhys Wesser, Luke Rooney, Tony Puletua, Luke Priddis

The Panthers have again been inconsistent this season and as such, have not been able to gather any momentum. Civil unrest disrupted their first month and injury and ill discipline has hampered them since. Luke Lewis has been a revelation in the halves, Petero continues to lead from the front and Jennings and Tighe have both been effective tryscorers. The Panthers are, however, structurally unsound in defence and combined with a lack of commitment (as it so often is at Penrith), they are vulnerable to leaking points. They will win a few and lose more and again disappoint their fans with a low finish.

Wests Tigers

Prediction: 11th
Pre-Season Prediction: 15th
2008 Best: Chris Heighington, Brett Hodgson, Matthew Head, Robbie Farah
2008 Disappointments: Benji Marshall, Liam Fulton, Chris Lawrence, Taniela Tuiaki

The Wests Tigers have shown glimpses of brilliance but as has been the case since their 2005 premiership win, the Tigers have struggled to play tough middle-third football. Whenever the Tigers forward pack dominates, the likes of Hodgson, Farah and Marshall are lethal. The Tigers forwards rarely dominate, however. Chris Heighington has been a revelation but he has had little support. Injuries have also hurt with most of the Tigers props sidelined. The Tigers have a few big wins in them yet but there will also be plenty of losses in games they should win.

Newcastle Knights

Prediction: 10th
Pre-Season Prediction: 16th
2008 Best: Kurt Gidley, Jarrod Mullen, Danny Buderus, Chris Bailey
2008 Disappointments: Steve Simpson, Danny Wicks, Cory Paterson, Keith Lulia

Brian Smith needs to be given credit. He sucked it up and tore apart the club to rebuild it. Many were critical (I being one of them) of his methods but there is no doubt he has made the Knights a tougher team. They are gritty in nearly every game, fighting and scrapping to the end. The problem with Newcastle is a lack of firepower in attack. Kurt Gidley is sensational but aside from Jarrod Mullen, the rest of the team is not particularly threatening in attack. This will prove costly in the end. They have certainly improved but not enough to lay claim to a finals position.

Canberra Raiders

Prediction: 9th
Pre-Season Prediction: 8th
2008 Best: Joel Monaghan, Todd Carney, Colin Best, Josh Miller, Joe Picker
2008 Disappointments: Michael Dobson, Dane Tilse, Michael Weyman, Neville Costigan

The Raiders have been ravaged by injury and treachery yet have lost none of the pluck that makes them ever dangerous. At home they remain very difficult to beat but the road wins are few and far between. Any team who takes the Raiders lightly tends to pay a very heavy price. Todd Carney has been good while Terry Campese has been better since his future was settled, setting up some quality outside backs. The problem for the Raiders has been in the middle and in particular up front. Alan Tongue continues to work hard but the likes of Tilse, Logan, Weyman, Costigan and Plum have all disappointed. The Raiders will keep on keeping on and will be right in the mix for the last finals spot.

There it is. The uncensored rugby league reflections and predictions of a warrior of the word…

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