There is no better place to be, on the whole planet, than my city of Hobs at this time of year. On a fine spring day, with a whiff of summer on the ether, it’s the epitome of blissfulness.
From up high Kunanyi looked down on our little capital; peering over its organ-piped ramparts on this special morning, the morning of ‘that one day in September’. And it noted that Salamanca was pumping. The Market was teeming, the cafes in the Square were crowded and over around the docks, people were up, out and about. The lads and lasses of the city had dispensed with winter layers and were flaunting summery attire; the tourists were firmly caught up in the laid-back vibe and then Kunanyi spotted a tiny girl. She was gyrating to the guitar twang of a ruddy busker, enticing smiles of pleasure from all who passed her by as she greeted the joys of life in fairy wings and her blue denim ‘queen’ dress. The venerable mountain approved of this tiny apparition, as it did all that was happening in the small city, ever-expanding around its flanks. Kunanyi was most satisfied.
That little mite attracting attention was, of course, the Tiges – granddaughter extraordinaire. Darling Leigh and your scribe had travelled into the CBD to meet up with the ‘little family’ for coffee, chats and wanders. On this same morning, across the water in Yarra City, many, many more extended families were rendezvousing for the same reason, along with groupings of friends; lovers even. Later on they would all wend their ways to a great arena to view a contest that would be frenetic and close. Sadly though, the outcome of this battle was supposedly a given. The team from the Harbour City to the north was sure to prevail – that was the consensus around innumerable tables in the coffee houses of the great metropolis that very same September morn.
Similarly, grouped at a table in Doctor Coffee, a tiny establishment in a small arcade running off busy Salamanca, the most likely outcome of the encounter was also being discussed by the two whose hearts are seared deepest with brown and gold – but how to cope with it was the issue. My daughter and I were the sole footy tragics of the fivesome; Leighsx2 caring only in passing for the game – although high hopes are held for granddaughter/daughter. How would we make it through an afternoon that only promised disappointment at the end, with undoubtedly immense personal stress in the journey to that point? We two; well, we each had our own methods of coping.
Later our group parted ways to examine the nearby art galleries and laden market stalls. Your reporter then trekked solo into the main part of the city to lose himself in its bookshops as Tom Jones and Ed Sheeran stretched their vocal chords over the loudspeakers of the mighty ‘G. There a tad under a hundred thousand souls were awaiting the first bounce of the Sherrin. Last year I had conspired to be up in the air for the event – this year needed another approach. By the stage ‘Advance Australia Fair’ ended to an almighty roar, I was enclosed by darkness. This feeble supporter was sealed off in a movie house. I possessed the expectation that what eventuated on the screen would take my mind off what was sure to unfold, or so I thought, across the Strait.
The offering chosen to take me away from a large part of that gladiatorial encounter was ‘The Little Death’ which, according to pre-release blurb, was – ‘Like a deviant antipodean version of ‘Love Actually’. It wasn’t. It never came within a bull’s roar of that classic – even if it did have its moments. Through this ensemble piece I did discover some sexual deviancies I never knew existed. There was the sad, henpecked man (Alan Dukes), whose wife (Lisa McCune) could only arouse him whilst she was asleep. I found this, to be honest, somewhat creepy. The was an over-done running gag featuring a new neighbour (Kim Gyngell) who just happened to be on the register of sex offenders. I quite liked, though, the final vignette featuring a horny deaf fellow (T J Power) trying to communicate with a distracted phone-sex worker via a translator – the latter a luminous Erin James. The most attractive character, to this viewer, was the lovely Kate Box, whose portrayal of the wife afflicted with dacryphilia – she can only achieve pleasure with a sobbing partner – was delightful. Now dear reader, just before you jump to conclusions, there was nary enough titillation on screen involved with all these various couples’ sexual entwinings to attract even the most desperate of the raincoat brigade – visually it was all reasonably chaste, if that not being the case with the kinky premises. I found little comedic attraction to the film’s examination of rape as a fantasy. Despite the partners concerned being consenting – in which case, can it be deemed rape? – it was handled with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. I thought its play-out to be just plain distasteful.
Josh Lawson, who wrote, directed and played a character in ‘The Little Deaf’, should be given some kudos for having a go – but gee, with the material and cast he had to work with, it could and should have been so much better. Still, I hope he is not put off by the hammering his product is receiving critically. I trust he keeps on trying to get stuff of this ilk up. One can clearly see the possibilities of better are evident. How he brings the diverse strands all together at the end is clever, but it’s not something that hasn’t been done before. Still, it did its role in getting me trough the bulk, time wise, of an event I was intent on avoiding.
The game was well into the third quarter by the time I reached my car and turned on the radio. To my delight and shock the Hawks were considerably in front. Driving home to the shrill reportage of the commentators, I felt, may only have had the effect of getting me over-excited and distracted, so I opted for the dulcet tones of Sara Blasko to accompany me instead. Once home, in the abode by the river, the television informed me it was three-quarter time and the brown and gold remained in the ascendency. I was still reluctant to view, given what had transpired the previous week, when Port Power came home like a steam train. Watching then I suffered close to a coronary. Fifteen minutes into the final stanza I knew the game was in the bag; that there were to be no last minutes heroics from the bloodless Bloods on this day. I could watch the denouement with Zen calm. I was so happy.
It seemed only one team came to play and the Swans, despite their much vaunted supposed superiority coupled with the Buddy factor, were not up to withstanding the challenge presented by my team. The Hawks, in the lead-up, had had anything but an easy season, but they dominated when it counted, generating a number of well reported feel good stories en route. For me, a joke doing the rounds will suffice as elaboration:-
How on earth could the Hawks possibly cope with Buddy at centre half forward for the opposition? Why, the answer is simple – by placing Jesus Christ at centre half back.
Get it? Jesus Christ – that is, his doppelganger, newly minted cult hero Matty Spangher. What, not funny you say? Well, I liked it.
My Hawks are threatening to go for a three-peat next year. Personally, I now want a GF where I can sit back and watch without any stress attached – you know, something like Freo agin the Tigers, or Port up against the Bombers. Two in a row’s enough for me. But now, next weekend, there’s another game I am particularly interested in and have my fingers crossed about. Some very special, dear-to-me people have their hopes riding on it. Go Rabbitohs!
Article – Josh Lawson on ‘The Little Death = http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/filmmaker-josh-lawson-breaks-the-final-taboo-in-sex-comedy-the-little-death-20140923-10kel0.html