Tasmania bags a Booker

132.Richard Flanagan-The Narrow Road To The Deep North coverYou would think Tasmania’s great writer was front page news on my favourite daily, but barely, Haines decision to try out for NFL was  front and back cover on today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Sure, Richard Flanagan had a nice page 14/15 spread pointed to from the lowest ranked heading below Haines, but who makes these calls? Seriously. Flanagan’s gong is an internationally major achievement, not because he won the Booker but because the prize was an opportunity for a bunch of literati to call it a bloody masterpiece in a competition that is fiercer than ever. I’m a tepid footy fan and Parramatta is my team and  like so many others I’ve admired Haines. His achievements have rightly been celebrated. That’s the immediate past. By SMH putting him up ahead of Flanagan (and that’s how I see it) is to skip the present and say that ambition (future) is more important than actually scoring the goal now. New age nonsense to me. Besides, The Narrow Road to the Deep North is an Australian story the like of which no hero can match by playing footy.

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