This weekend, Melbourne hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix – a race they “stole” from Adelaide many years ago.
How do you steal a car race, you ask? Well, it depends who you’re speaking to. A Formula 1 fan from Melbourne would probably reply: “Of course you can’t steal a car race! They simply moved it from a lesser city to a greater one.” (Non-Australians may not be aware that Melbourne sees Adelaide as a bit of a backwater.) A Formula 1 fan from Adelaide might reply: “Too damned right you can! That bloody Kennett* and his government’s standover tactics!” (Non-Australians may not be aware that Adelaide harbours a chip-off-the-shoulder mentality towards Melbourne.) A non-Formula 1 fan from Melbourne might say: “What race?” and a non-Formula 1 fan from Adelaide would definitely say: “I don’t know or care how they did it, but when Melbourne stole the Grand Prix, they got exactly what they deserved!”
Enough in-jokes about car races. Thinking about this today, I thought: where have I heard the word “stolen” a lot recently?
The answer was: in my own writing, on this blog. Hmmm.
I’ve talked a lot about what depression and anxiety have stolen from me; the problem with that language is that once something’s stolen, it’s generally gone – gone forever – and the victim is passive in the process.
This was a lovely, timely reminder to become active once more in reclaiming those things which have been ‘taken’ from me.
So, thank you, noisy cars and blocked streets and inebriated tourists and multi-million dollar cost to the state’s taxpayers. You have invigorated me, re-energized me in my quest to regain my former quality of life.
Definitely worth it.
* Jeff Kennett was the Premier of the state of Victoria at the time the Grand Prix moved from Adelaide to Melbourne. He is famous, among other things, for creating Federation Square in Melbourne’s CBD, and making major cuts to the state education department while in office. He is currently the Chairman of BeyondBlue, a national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression. I have heard some former state teachers say that this is a bit like putting a vampire in charge of the blood bank, but of course I would not have an opinion about that.