Thursday 23 January 2014

Drive, he said

In Nicholas Winding Refn's rather good movie Drive, the unnamed driver wears a bomber jacket with a scorpion embroidered on the back. It obviously meant something as Refn provided several lingering shots of it throughout the film, but it wasn't at all clear what that meaning was.

At first I thought it might be some kind of Tarantino homage as it seemed quite Quint, but during the bloody final scenes, a character briefly mentions the parable of the turtle and the scorpion.

In it, the scorpion is on the bank of a river, and asks the turtle to take him across on his back. The turtle says to the scorpion, 'you must promise not to sting me, because then I will die and you will drown'. The scorpion agrees, but in the middle of the river, stings the turtle.

'Why did you do it?' the turtle asks.

'Because it's my nature,' the scorpion replies.

Admittedly it's a bit of a leap from Ryan Gosling to N Srinivasan, but the point's the same: a body will obey its nature most of the time. The leak of the ICC's position paper simply suggests the logical conclusion of a direction that has been apparent for a long while. That the wealthy and powerful will exert their wealth and power is not really news in the wider sense.

The story has barely made the mainstream media in England, which perhaps reflects that lack of surprise. Cricket is a parochial sport built on empire, and for all of its talk about creating a global game, the ICC is a cartel/oligopoly/closed shop of the classic kind.

As Hunter S Thompson once wrote about another industry: 'the music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side.'

Amen, bro, amen...

NB: Cricinfo has reported the story best. Read Jarrod KimberRussell Degnan  and David Hopps for the skinny.


NoodlyBeans said...

I couldn't work out whether David Hopps was being optimistic or overly naive on this issue on Switch Hit. Certainly doesn't look like a positive move.

Also it's Ryan Gosling, not Reynolds, t'would have been a terrible film with the latter involved.

alanmcl said...

Three good links there. As you say, those three cricinfo writers have really said all that needed to be said.

Degnan's post was particularly illuminating. When you run the numbers like that you can see what it's ultimately all about.

And as you've said, it's the nature of the beast that is our cricket administrators. CSA is outraged but given half a chance they wouldn't hesitate to do the same themselves, as would each and every full member board.

Anonymous said...

As alanmcl said, given half the chance CSA would've gladly taken the ECB's place in this deal. The sad thing is that the stupidity about letting the BBCI-ECB-CA run the game and not getting relegated may well lead to the shelving of one thing that I think would really revitalise Tests - namely a two tier system with promotion and relegation.

Anonymous said...

I read Jarred Kimber and David Hopps with increasing distaste. Much as I like good cricket writing, this is more of the same from CI. Kimber on L. Sivaramakrishnan's rise in FICA sounded like those old Blimpish fogies with clip-ons arguing for the days of empire and white is right and Hopps seems to have acquired scruples suddenly. Yes, BCCI generates most of the money that runs but I can't recall similar outbursts when the MCC ran the show and when there vetoes. Srinivasan may be a scorpion but it's the two others who want his loot that are coming aboard for the ride. A plague on both your houses. My last comment critical of this English bias was not published. I doubt if this one will.

Anonymous said...

I would add Sharda Ugra to the list of journalists who have done a good job of bringing out details about this bloodless coup staged by the Greedy Three.
Here is the link to her piece

Anonymous said...

Strangely, the story about the scorpion and the tortoise has multiple applications to the Pietersen saga, too.

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