Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Melbourne Cup Day

Is Melbourne the only city in the world that gives its citizens a day off for a horse race? Probably not, but surely this isn't normal behaviour.

I occasionally feel guilty for taking this day off, given that I have no interest in horse racing whatsoever. But that's only for about a second. Then I roll over and go back to sleep.

It's interesting, though. And I suppose it fits with Australia's image as a nation of punters. But the average sports talk in the office during the average week is not horse racing. It's footy. So why don't we get a day off for the Grand Final?

I guess at some point, an event like the Melbourne Cup reaches a kind of critical mass, where those who aren't really interested talk about it just because everyone else does.

We see the same thing with any amount of other empty-headed media fodder, like when stories about Britney Spears seem to take precedence over everything else.

Recently, it's been the lighter side of the Australian federal election coverage. Sure it's important, but how much is fluff, spin and clearly "non-core" promises, and how much is credible reporting of political intentions?

Our fine media outlets have even managed to put an election spin on the Cup, showing Howard looking sour because he backed a loser, and Rudd raising his beer high in celebration of backing the winner. Is it an omen?? Ho hum.

Oh, and in other news, some people died someplace.


Spoon said...


I am one of those people that has little to no interest in horse racing during the year, but (due to family and work pressures) do get a little bit interested during the spring carnival. (I think through my fascination with getting systems to beat punters' gut feel or experience, more than anything else).

But I had to work yesterday... so where's balance?

And yes, some people died someplace. That happens every day. But then again so do horse races. See what I'm getting at here? (cos if you do, please tell me).

Hmmmm. I think I miss the heady days of controversial religious discussion in your blogs. I know, that was so last week but still, wouldn't it be good to return to those halcyon days?

So, how about that God, eh? What a loony.

Sarah said...

We got a day off in the ACT this year but they called it "Family and Community Day". It kind of sucked because the only time I've ever enjoyed the cup has been wearing a hat and drinking champagne while waiting to find out how I did in the sweep and, most importantly, doing it at work so I'm being paid!