Lifestyle General Geek is Good
Geek is Good

 

How is it that we bring into our air-conditioned homes every electronic diversion in the Harvey Norman catalogue and then wonder why the kids aren’t outside entertaining themselves with an inflated bladder in 38 degrees, wearing four layers of UV-resistant clothing?

Wardell-Wendy-Ms-cropped Mar14130x110 Wendy Wardell

At the risk of causing rioting in the streets (once the footy is over) why would we want our kids to aspire to be sports people anyway?

At the elite level they come across as over-indulged, narcissistic and often unpleasant people.

What values do team sports teach them other than that of a well-aimed elbow, invasive index finger or a cheeky chomp when the ref’s looking the other way?

If sport creates such fine upstanding role models for kids to aspire to, someone please explain Sam Newman to me.

The main message as far as I can tell is that if you become a sporting superstar you get to marry a human coat hanger. I bet those unions provide some deep, incisive dinner table conversations 20 years down the track.

Social changes always fuel concerns about the next generation. No doubt 19th Century health advocates were worried that seven year olds were getting too fat to get up chimneys and by the 1920s, hardly any 12-year-olds knew how to hitch up a horse and buggy.

The world is the oyster of today’s teenaged Sofa Loafer. We should learn to get over that slightly zombiefied expression and delve a bit deeper.

Super-Kids280Try visiting Supernova – an annual event that’s been called the Geek’s Day Out.

This is completely unfair as it’s actually run over two days. Everyone’s dressed up as their favourite character – and it’s pure escapist fun.

There is no judgement and no grog-fuelled hostility even when someone gets Coke spilled on their best Wookie costume.

Here, kids of all ages share a common love of fantasy and imagination, queuing to get photos with their favourite actors and authors, who make a mint out of it. Sure, some of these kids may look a bit pasty and carry more weight than is maybe ideal.

That can easily be remedied by parents making them walk to the shops to get their own pizza and chips. It’s still physically and mentally healthier than an under-12 footy game where your kid could get beaten up mid-match by an opposition player’s grandmother.

What talents have been lost to society through its obsession with sport?

The hands of a potential concert pianist that have instead been crushed inside boxing gloves or the budding scientist who never got the chance to experiment on his sister because he always had to get up early for rowing?

Bill Gates’ parents knew he was never going to make it as a basketballer, and Nelson Mandela didn’t just channel his unhappiness at the Apartheid regime into a mean spin-bowling delivery.

Just think about it, had other parents focused on their kids’ latent talent for anything else whatsoever, Australia might even have been spared Warwick Capper.