Friday, May 12, 2006

mining the depths

Is this really happening? Is this the world in which I live? The Channel 9 “special Footy Show tribute” to the rescued Beaconsfield miners (click the link for a photo of the miners with their new best friend). I knew our society had a tendency towards crass commercialism, but this…this is more tawdry than I could ever have imagined. I don’t blame the miners for going along with it – shit, if I was being offered the kind of sums being talked about, I’d probably do it too. I won’t bother to go into why the whole thing makes me feel so uncomfortable and, frankly, sad. I’m probably just preaching to the converted; the Eddie McGuires of this world wouldn’t ever get it (not that anyone like that would ever read this, mind you).

Just a couple of points from the Sydney Morning Herald article:

McGuire said $450,000 had already been raised by corporate Australia and asked the viewing public to make donations to a fund, to be managed by Mr Shorten on behalf of the miners.

As somebody asked on Crikey yesterday, what and who is the fundraising for? Why are the citizens of Beaconsfield suddenly destitute? OK, if the mine shuts down, the local economy will be hit, but, as far as I know, the mine's future isn't known yet. And surely that possibility doesn’t warrant half-a-million (and counting) in donations. Besides, if the reports are to be believed, that’ll be pocket change for the two miners.

In recent days rumours have swirled around the town as a bidding war escalated between the Seven and Nine networks for the miners' story. Seven will stage its own show on Wednesday.

Of course! Standard protocol after 14 days trapped down a mine: medical checkup, greet family, attend co-worker's funeral, negotiate TV deal. At least I think it's in that order. The only thing this circus is missing is a we-are-the-world-athon.


McGuire had said last night was a chance for the men to thank friends, neighbours and rescuers but could not resist asking the big question: "I'd be sacked as a journo if I didn't ask you what it was like down in that mine." Mr Russell: "Tell me how big the chequebook is and we'll talk." The whole town cracked up. It was their night.

Nothing wrong with the joke itself – fair play to Russell. But it sums up the whole vulgar exercise very well, really.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on the $$ SW. "Eddie Everywhere" is just one of MANY journos following like sick puppies. Kochie (from Sunrise 'fame')even got Russell's dog tag from the mine, after jumping into the back of the ambulance. The really ironic (?) thing about the whole media play (and PAY) is ... how much can someone possibly say about being in a 2x1m space? $$ well spent i'm sure.

10:40 am  
Blogger secret wombat said...

bunkie, you're right - are we going to get an hour-by-hour report of their experience? "At 11pm, my legs started to get numb, so I shifted them. Listened to Foo Fighters on ipod. Again. ipod is really cool though."

11:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the strong impression that the media are keen to ramp the crap out of a story, tell us its HUGE to create a saleable asset, then flog it back to the same brainwashed public with some movie deal.

yeah, I can imagine the movie: gee its cold and dark, im hungry, wonder what the footy score is..duhhh


7:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're missing the point. This country waited 14 days for the answer to the question that stopped a nation:

Where did they poo?

We have a right to know.


5:07 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...

bloody hell, S! You're right - I did miss that rather obvious and pressing point. Seriously - I really DO want to know.

5:13 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...

PS _ if it were me and not eddie bloody mcguire interviewing them, I now know what MY first question would be...

5:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'd be like this:

Okay boys, let's get straight to the big question. Poo - in your pants or not?


11:47 am  
Blogger secret wombat said...

And: "tell me - did you ever accidentally touch each other's poo???"

10:16 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home