Occident Prone

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Cousins and Newman show us what we hold dear

Posted by occidentprone on June 25, 2008

This morning we had two indicators of where our moral compass lies:

Recovering drug addict Ben Cousins may play in the Victorian Football League this year, aiming to return to AFL ranks in 2009.

The former West Coast Eagles captain and Brownlow medallist is expected to be registered to play in the VFL before next Monday’s deadline, News Limited has reported.

It’s possible he may sign for the WAFL, but the Herald Sun said it was more likely he would pull on the boots for one of 10 VFL sides. (Source: The West)

The ABC says it’s not a done deal:

But his manager, Ricky Nixon, says no decision has been made and clubs from both the VFL and WAFL are still in contention and he refused to close the door on nominating for the draft later this year.

Mr Nixon says the Brownlow medallist has received offers from almost 200 football clubs from around Australia.

“It really comes down to playing in the best competition or training rather with the better sides closer to AFL level,” he said.

And another fallen star is back on his feet:

Sam Newman is set to return to the AFL Footy Show on Thursday night, three weeks after Nine Network bosses ordered the star to rest, News Limited newspapers report. 

Newman was asked to take an indefinite break from performing three weeks ago following a series of on-air incidents, including groping a lingerie-clad mannequin while holding an image of journalist Caroline Wilson over its face and making suggestive remarks.

News Limited said Newman’s departure on May 28 marked a drop of 70,000 viewers within two weeks. (Source: The West)

So a footy star famous for running with gangsters and bingeing on drugs and a loathsome, neanderthal TV personality are back in good graces with proprieters (who are in the business of making money) without any public demonstration that they are worthy of such good fortune.

On the one hand, we could argue they are examples of a society which values forgiveness and believes in redemption. On the other, you could argue a big-dollar earner can get away with whatever he wants. A short spell in coventry for appearance’s sake then get that guy back bringing in the dough. And we can formulate the redemption ‘narrative’ afterwards for a New Idea deal.

Newman and Cousins are not irreverent or merely unruly – which we could dismiss as larrikinism. They both transgressed the very generous lines we set for them, and have shown little or no remorse. True, Cousins had a drug problem, which can mask the true morality of an otherwise good person. But what’s Newman’s excuse? No matter how clean living and sober he gets, he’s still a mean spirited, malicious misanthrope.


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