Cheeseburger Gothic

The sort of work I used to do

Posted May 19, 2013 into Books by John Birmingham

Buy the book

Anna Krien does that work now. She goes to places, finds things out, and writes about them. At great length and with cool intelligence. Here, she's launched into a story that never goes away, has been covered extensively, but rarely with nuance.

Elite sport and sexual assault.

Night Games reminds me of a piece I read many years ago in the now defunct Times on Sunday. A couple of female journos accompanied the Australian cricket team through a domestic tour and wrote about what happened on that tour, but off the field.

It was only feature length, say two thousand words, but it went off like a bomb. There were no allegations of rape, but you were left with the very clear impression that the Aussies thought of their female followers, who were legion, as nothing more than convenient holes.

Example? Two senior players met in the lift riding down to the foyer of their hotel. The girls they'd spent the night with rode down in the same elevator. The men ignored them, until one turned to the other and said, "Jeez, yours was a bit ugly wasn't she?"

His mate replied, "I was only going for the crease."

The Windies, by way of contrast, were more succesful with the ladies, possibly because they treated them well. The Poms just drank heavily. Very, very heavily.

Anyway, Krien has done the hard yards for this book.

It should be The First Stone for a new generation.

The extract is below. I've decided to run the book extracts on Sundays because it's more likely people will have the time to read them at their liesure on the weekend.

11 Responses to ‘The sort of work I used to do’

Murphy puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2013

One thing I miss about the Old Journalism are the long, in depth articles on a given topic. The local paper still does them from time to time but rarely.



On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2013

Good idea on the shift to hese extracts on Sunday, was that traditionally the day to sit and read the longer newspaper pieces, does that still happen?

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Bunyip mutters...

Posted May 19, 2013

And this was a nice thinky piece. Ta muchly.

(Implicite agreement with Sun vs Mon)

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 19, 2013

I'm glad you've shifted the extracts to Sunday, John; always a laid-back day. I enjoyed reading this extract by Anna Krien.

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caldron_baidu mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2013

*nods* Sunday is the best day for reading - whether it be the burger, wknd broadsheets or catching up w/ The Guardian/Observer and NYT thinky pieces via their respective apps.

I bought the Night Games e-book on the strength of a recommendation & blog from @erinrileyau who's worked as a sports journo & for one of the major clubs - and having read Garner's work, I agree w/ its inclusion in that company.

Thanks for widening its potential audience JB.

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ali puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2013

Anna was interviewed by Richard Fidler this week on ABC radio.

A WELL Wicked interview that would be up on the podcast, I reckon for those interested. I'd provide the linky thingy, but that would be beyond the scope of this cat's skill.

Murph perhaps...?

Jayanthi's Atomic Cat is gonna tell you...

Posted May 21, 2013
Can't make it hyperlink but here's the url.
I hope.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted May 19, 2013

I read some of Anna's work today.

I think it is the most engaging style of journalism I have read for a long time.

It's pretty good! Strong stories and 'subtle' expose`s. Is polymath the correct description? She has won a lot of awards and praise.

Sundays works better for me for extracts, except then I go and spend my 'precious' time checking out the author's work.

Good call on Anna JB.

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BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted May 20, 2013

I heard Anna Krien on Richard Fidler's show and Jon Faine's show, and read an extract in last wekeend's Sydney Morning Herald Saurday magazine. Will definitely read her book.

I reckon the worst mistake the young woman made was to associate with Collingwood footballers. Collingwood is the wealthiest and best-connected of the AFL Melbourne-based clubs, and has an egomaniacal control freak as its club president. It was never going to end well for her.

Contrast this story with the young girl a couple of years ago who single-handedly brought about the downfall of Ricky Nixon, and seriously damaged the St Kilda FC "brand", after she refused to be made the bad guy after her night-time dalliances with St Kilda players. St Kilda, not coincidentally, are one of the also-ran Melbourne AFL clubs.

Moral of Anna Krien's story, I guess, is those with the power and the $ will always win out.

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JBtoo has opinions thus...

Posted May 20, 2013

I hope it's a lot better than The First Stone. From the Richard Fidler interview I can see the similarity, in that Krien also only had access to one side, and for similar reasons. I didn't get the sense that she wound up barracking for that side though, which is what I felt Garner did.
I loathed Garner's book; it was more about her than any serious analysis of the situation or the culture that engendered it.

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted May 21, 2013

I listened to the interview. It got better towards the end, but the first half was a challenge.

I found it troubling that the young woman refused to speak to her. I also found it unsettling that she developed an affection for the player on trial. Her words to the effect 'I'm a sucker for tears' sent a cold shiver down my spine.

If you've ever known someone who can pull off the 'street angel/home devil' persona then you'll understand why that bothers me.

Those Victorian rape laws are just boggling. What an incredible loophole.

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