By Scott Draper
Political activists are reporting incredible success incorporating sport-related language into their campaigns.
The method involves the use of sport lingo and metaphors in order to demonstrate the importance of broader social and political issues. This comes after a study by the Department of Important Studies (DIS) which found that significantly more attention is given to sport-related news than to actual issues.
Allegedly, the mere mention of a sport scandal – where phenomenon derives its name – is enough to grab the undivided attention of millions of Australians.
One woman said she suddenly noticed the mass protest in front of the State Library of Victoria regarding cuts to education, now that they wear green and gold jerseys. “Before I just thought they were angry, poor people.”
“Now I realise that they’re mostly literature and international politics students, which is a big difference.”
Karen, who regularly comments on Facebook posts about Nick Kyrgios, said she heard some gibberish about the government and then chanting of “you’ve dropped the ball.”
“It immediately got my attention.”
This new technique of political persuasion appears to be transforming the landscape of activism. Old signs displaying children being tortured in refugee camps are now accompanied by images of angry Melbourne Storm fans. Environmentalists’ posters showing the Earth being destroyed by climate change have been replaced by scratched cricket balls.
Reports indicate that the medical community is still unsure how to incorporate the AFL doping scandal into a campaign to relieve fears of the alleged dangers of vaccines.
Several campaigners have, however, commented on the method. “It’s a little unorthodox,” one admitted. “But we’ll do what we need to in order to generate awareness.
“It’s great that we’ve finally figured out how to do that without distorting the facts.”
A recent public protest of the Carmichael Coal Mine proposed by Adani saw such changes implemented. The mine is expected, by minimum estimates, to emit 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and may threaten the existence of a number of species and the entire Great Barrier Reef. Greens activists have suggested that there is a greater public understanding of the issue as a result of their new campaign style.
One onlooker we interviewed affirmed this, suggesting that they had ‘woken up’.
“It’s finally clear. Letting them do the coal mine is like letting Bancroft tamper with the ball… but the ball is the Earth. And Earth is bigger than a ball, so it must be worse.”
When asked why it would be bad, the person, who wanted to remain anonymous, shrugged and said, “Look, it’s about a fair game. You can’t let ‘em get away with it. And that means sacking everyone who knew about it and backed it.”
The DIS suspect that the phenomenon relies on the fact that sports involving balls being thrown and rebounding off walls, bats and people, are far more entertaining than human rights abuses and the gradual degradation of our biosphere. According to the DIS, it is difficult to identify a national disgrace without such factors.
“It’s also worth noting that people tend to trust sportspeople more than political activists and politicians,” one DIS spokesperson said. “Where the latter regularly betray the trust of the public, sportspeople only semi-regularly disappoint their fans.”
When asked whether the study contributed anything new or merely affirmed common knowledge, the DIS refused to comment.
The Australian Government has responded swiftly to a staggering number of complaints from sport fans suggesting that they are ‘acting like dickheads’. One government spokesperson said: “We’re overjoyed that more citizens are entering the public debate and exercising their democratic rights.
“We just wish it wasn’t in the form of criticism or demands for accountability.”
In true sportsman style, however, the government has also appeared to apologise without actually apologising. After a number of files were leaked revealing extensive abuse of children in offshore detention centres, the then Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said: “We’re sorry that people feel offended and outraged by these events.”
“In particular, we are especially sorry that we got caught.”
Despite persistent backlash, the Greens, the government, and all other political activists have resoundingly declared that any and all problems are merely set-backs which will be overcome by next season.
“We expect to have a stronger team and better policies next year. Please vote for us.”
The above article is purely satirical, with the exception of the aforementioned national disgraces: the destruction of the environment in favour of corporate mining interests, continued cuts to the education sector, extensive abuse of asylum seekers, and the horrific tampering of a cricket ball. All other events, quotes and interviews are fictitious.
Scott is a Third Year JD Student