Hi all,

Roger has had trouble with "getting this up" on the forum (ha ha - pun intended!) so I am uploading it through my account.  It's a bit serious and a bit fun!




I am a Wanker.


My wife and I returned home over the weekend after having been away for a few days to attend our grandson’s graduation at Harvey Agricultural College. A pleasant enough affair; another milestone in both his life and in ours.


Jack and his friends, not even through the first quarter of this football game of life and my wife and I in the last quarter. They in their Spring, my wife and I in our Autumn. It was a day to remember.


I remembered my graduation as a mature student. Hard to believe it was over forty years ago. My parents were there; my grandparents had long gone. My parents had lived through two world wars and brought my brothers and I safely through.


The baton that they handed over that day was a world riven with terrorism and the ever-growing threat of the cold war turning hot.


We, my fellow students and I, were told we were inheriting a world that was going to starve and of all careers, we had chosen agriculture; that was our challenge. We were asked whether we were enthusiastic and ready to accept the challenge and prove the doomsayers wrong? Fifty years on we all know the answer.


Jack and his friends were given the same message last Friday. A message that world food production must increase by 50% within the next twenty to thirty years if we to again avoid world starvation. The noticeable difference between the two graduations was that very few of Jack’s year intend to pursue a career in agriculture, let alone farming.


So what has this got to do with being a Wanker?


Yesterday, as one does, I turned on my computer and watched the emails that had been sent to me during my absence fill the screen. There were about fifty in all.


Again, as one does, I quickly cast my eye over the page to pick out those that might require my immediate attention. One caught my eye and was headed ‘A suspended member has sent you a message. It read as follows:


A suspended member has sent you a message on Just Grounds Community.  CJ Morgan writes:


How childish.  Apparently, you can't even cope with the mildest criticism - a sure sign of weakness.  Wankers.


Now as most of you know I am not a sensitive soul. I freely admit I have been called a ‘wanker’ before. A quick check revealed that my fellow moderators had also received the same message.


That got me to wondering what the collective noun is for ‘wankers’. A bunch of wankers? Too nice, flowers come in bunches. A mob of wankers? That has a good Australian feel to it, but ‘wanker’ is not just an Australian word. I am happy to receive suggestions, within the bounds of propriety of course, for a suitable collective noun for ‘wankers’ as it applies to Moderators. The best I can come up is a Hand of Wankers.


I have been called a ‘wanker’ before. Once by a Shearer. A Scotsman who seemed more intent on skinning sheep than shearing them. The same man managed to ‘ham string’ a couple of good lambs and at the end of the day had the audacity to offer to hang them up for the cook.


I think that day I was an ‘effing wanker’, as he collected his cheque and on departure moved the gravel on the driveway and tried to run over one of my dogs.


He tried to get his own back when the AWU representative turned up the next morning threatening to take the shed out on strike unless he was reinstated. The contractor was helpless even though he stressed he would never employ the man again because of the lack of quality in his work. The wool classer told the AWU rep that the wool classer’s job was to class fleeces not skins. It made no difference the AWU rep was adamant.


A strange thing then happened — the shearing team stepped into the argument.  It was a big shed, ten stand, and we were three thousand into about eighteen thousand to shear. All told there must have been sixteen to eighteen men in the team.


Their spokesman was a grizzly little man and a dyed in the wool union man. Well in his forties, always within one or two sheep of having the highest tally for the day, so at a hundred and eighty sheep a day with the narrow gear, he was no novice.


He told his AWU rep in no uncertain terms and with the ability to use the same effing word as a noun, a pronoun, a verb, an adjective and a preposition in describing the recalcitrant Shearer as being the ‘real wanker’. He added that he and ‘his’ team would never work with the man again and the next time he saw him he would tell him, in no uncertain terms that it was he, not me, who was the real wanker!


Then I became a wanker for a second time.


The second time was when, quite unexpectedly, I found myself refereeing a soccer match of over enthusiastic primary school boys. To this day I don’t remember how I could have been so stupid as to get myself into such a position. The most vivid recollection I have is that a friend, whose son was in one of the teams told me that the referee, a parent, hadn’t turned up but had contacted them to say that he would.


None of the other parents of the boys in the teams were prepared to take it on. Would I, because I was English so I must know all about soccer (I had in fact played rugby union all my life) take it on until the ‘real’ referee arrived? In a moment of weakness and in what I hoped would appear to be in the spirit of the game and in the interests of the sport and having looked at the pleading faces of the children, I agreed.


Two things then happened. One I should have realised was just part of the game and the other was ugly and unexpected.


The first, the one I should have expected was that from the kick off, twenty little boys with immense vigour, energy and enthusiasm, in a pack, ran after the ball. Their coaches were allowed on the field in an attempt to teach the kids positions on the field and that sort of thing. It made little difference. The energy, enthusiasm and the pack mentality prevailed.


I did my best with the whistle. Occasionally stopping the game so that the coaches could restore order and explain the foul or the reason why the whistle had been blown.


What I hadn’t realised when I took the whistle in my hand, it never entered my mind, was that there was at least one parent to every child on the pitch, standing on the sideline. A minority were quite prepared to express, as loudly as they could as to what their son should be doing, where he should be doing it and when.


As if to add insult to injury to my predicament, some of the parents were migrants from Europe who, to a man and woman, all believed, or so it seemed, that one day their son would play for Manchester United or Inter Milan or some such team and any decision that I made on that day, would permanently affect that prospect.


It soon became apparent that one gentleman, an Italian, who I later got to know quite well, thought on that day that I was a ‘wanker’. His command of the English language was not good but it was good enough for the occasion. He may have heard the word from another parent close by who was obviously from somewhere in the middle of England and just copied him, I shall never know. What I do remember was to that other man in true English fashion I wasn’t just an ordinary ‘wanker’ I was an ‘effing wanker’!


The parent who was supposed to referee the game didn’t turn up and after sixty minutes, with great relief I blew full time. Goals had been scored and one team had won. Their respective coaches got all the little boys to shake hands and they ran off the field to find their parents arguing among themselves. Some started shouting at their children. Little boys started to cry.


Some parents apologised to me and thanked me. The Englishman left still calling me a ‘wanker’ and the Italian, on the insistence of his ‘ample’ wife apologised. I later learned that she had called him some words in Italian that fitted his description of me.


So what is the moral to your story? Wanker.


To start with I have no idea who CJ Morgan is. Man or woman? Don’t know. Don’t care.


I do know, having spoken to Rob, using the sports analogy again, he made the decision to issue the Red Card after he and several other moderators had some difficulties with the amorphous CJ Morgan.


I am not interested in the detail of the reasons as to why a Red Card was issued to CJ Morgan. I was not here. I support what was done. I am confident that the reasons were sound, simply because my fellow moderators made that decision. That is what apparently, in the eyes of CJ Morgan, made me a wanker.


When we formulated the Terms of Use we spent endless hours in discussion by email. In all my working life, it was one of the most difficult documents that I have ever contributed to. Wankers or not, we did our best. I invite everyone to read them again, perhaps even for the first time?  Particularly:


If you disagree with a Moderator decision, take time out and cool down. If you still disagree, send the Moderators a private message requesting further consideration and express yourself in a calm and reasonable fashion. The Moderators will then put the issue to a panel of Moderators for consideration and decision. That decision is final.


So the reason I am not interested in CJ Morgan is because he or she sent me an abusive email, which, no matter how hard I try, I cannot construe, I cannot interpret it as, see it in the spirit of, or the intent of what is written or intended by the Terms of Use.


Intent in documents such as these is important because we are all imperfect with our use of the English language. Lawyers as we all know earn a living by arguing. What is not commonly appreciated in the much-maligned Common Law is what is apparent with regard to the intent in a document is considered as to be as relevant and important as the written word. It is my view that the Intent of the team that drew up the Terms of Use is quite clear and defined.


What I am interested in is I gather there have been some criticisms of how some Moderators apply and/or interpret the Terms of Use.


Using the sporting analogy again, sections of the crowd always disagree with the umpire or the man or woman with the whistle. There cannot be anyone reading this post who hasn’t called or at least thought, that an umpire of a game they were playing in or watching, wasn’t a wanker.


The interpretation which the umpire or referee puts on a particular action or comment from a player, according to the Rules of the Game demands an instant decision or if uncertain then the view of the assistant umpires and in some cases reference to video replay. In some sports you get a couple of yellow cards, break the rules again and you get the red—off for the rest of the game. Other sports have the sin bin. Others like the AFL where ALL the umpires are wankers players get reported for breaking the rules and when found guilty, get fined or rubbed out for weeks or months.


Just Grounds is no different from all of the above. We have drawn up a set of Rules our Rules and called them Terms of Use. Rules can always be changed, as can the Terms of Use. There is a process for you all already in place. How democratic is that?


I invite you to read or maybe re-read my post of 22 October 2010: Community Message sent to all members. As of writing, I have not received one private email from a member expressing concerns about the Just Grounds site or it’s management. The preferred method is to shout abuse from the sideline for all to hear. That is destructive not constructive. To quote CJ Morgan ‘How childish’.


It would be wrong of me to put all the blame on CJ Morgan. There have been others who have preferred to criticise and use words like childish and kindergarten stuff when referring to the Terms of Use. Constructive criticism is an oxymoron. The intention of such remarks can have no other purpose than to attract attention to the writer. An exercise in self-aggrandizement.


There have been others who I can only classify as smart arses. They know their way around. They know how to play games on and with the Terms of Use and the Moderators. What is their purpose you may well ask? I don’t know. To aggravate? Maybe, but there are other places on the Internet where they can do that unimpeded.  So why choose Just Grounds? They bear us a grudge? Why? What have we done?


Are we too open? Should we vet or approve every post before it appears? No of course not because we, those of us who thought this site was worth saving, all believe that the majority of members and visitors to the site are decent people. To believe otherwise would to be governed by paranoia.


As has been stated before, being a Moderator on this site is a voluntary position. We cannot be watching all the time, there has to be a bond of trust between us as Moderators and you as members. We know we will never get100% support. There are those who will, for reasons best known to themselves, always be intent on mischief. That is why we have Moderators.


We Moderators talk among ourselves on our private phones. We consult each other. There are times, like last weekend when all the ‘stars’ didn’t align. The result was that there was only one Moderator on ‘watch’. As it turned out it was an unenviable position.


Marice was out there, metaphorically, with all the kids chasing the ball and she had the only whistle. But like me with the soccer, she had to cope with the comments from the sideline. So she too has become a wanker.


I ask you all to read again our Mission Statement and our Terms of Use together with: 22 October 2010: Community Message sent to all members.


To finish on a positive note we, the few that were prepared to stand up to save your site and fight our way through all the trials and tribulations that were involved in that process are delighted at the manner in which the vast majority of members have responded. Serious issues are being discussed. There is humour. There are jokes. There is contention that treads a fine line in everything from BSE to Climate Change to PRA and that involves.


There is directness and a robustness of decent respectful debate not found on any other site that I know of. Let us all protect that and move on.


by Roger Rankin W. Crook 


Views: 432

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Hello Roger, I discussed this wanker term with my 23 year old daughter. She assured me that it? wanker....is a common word. While, wanker, is termed as: one singular wanker the most common collective noun of her generation is: A pack of wankers - meaning more than one wanker to be any number greater than one.

Regards Lee.
Thanks, Roger, for this brilliant article. Your inimitable, entertaining style makes it a great read.
For any who haven’t read it yet, it might be mentioned that the humorous title belies its significant message. It really is important reading for all members, and especially any potential would-be knockers.

Note Roger’s revealing comment:
“When we formulated the Terms of Use we spent endless hours in discussion by email. In all my working life, it was one of the most difficult documents that I have ever contributed to.”

I believe we are a remarkable and quite unique community, with great scope for activism, many intelligent and exceptional members, and generally speaking, a great ‘community spirit’.

I’m sure it is worth preserving, and let’s face it, it is our community. Therefore, it behoves all of us to ‘put our shoulders to the wheel’, support our Moderators, and work together to help make it the success it has the potential to be.
Cate, Cate, Cate!

Very clever.

Off the subject so I will probably be moderated!

I didn't understand why that handsome but overpriced bull made it to Hollywood and then into the debate on BSE.

Should we tell everyone why some stud stock make such high prices or should we keep it to ourselves?

Good fun though. Sometimes I miss that cattle country. I might need an FEL to get me on the horse, but one day before I go, I might just, just might, do it all again. Smell the leather, the horse and the cattle.

Hey Roger, great post!

Mate, you should write a book! LOL

Ray Jamieson
Say no to MDBP
Say yes to GDRP- Government Department Reduction Plan

Who needs the water worse, the farmers or the ocean?
Farmers honor their contracts, government should also.
MDBP- mighty dumb bloody plan
1040kms yesterday- off to the downs again in an hour or so. Great story Roger.

The good Captain Morgan- being a rum drinking sea cap't should know that if you pick a verbal fight- you can't run behind a skirt and say your being bullied.

I went head to head on the post and asked him to take the hint a few times- Then he was surprised!?

Must be the "Good Ship Lollypop". I guess I should read the fine print but stirrers never take the hint but they know all the rules (Like Roger's rough shearer)
Roger, I have not read through the comments of this discussion yet, but after glancing at this when you first posted, I put your post high on my mental "must read" list.

With a cup of coffee in hand this morning, I relished the colour and depth of your article. It went down very well with my coffee, and it has given me a bit of perspective that is timely.

I just received a call that changes all my plans for the day. I will deliver documents to Perth, so will spend 5 hours of this day on the road. It will give me time to further digest the richness of your post.

This I know: it is easy to sit on the sidelines and criticise DOers decisions.

It is not so easy to take up that whistle and be responsible for split-second decision making.

It is not so easy to put your face and name in the public sphere to take the criticism that goes with the job.

It is not so easy to ignore the critics, when the majority fail to speak up.

I am thankful for you and other moderators being willing to do the job you are doing. I was thankful for that when Steve Truman had the site, and I'm thankful for it now. You and all your colleagues are to be applauded for taking up whistles and putting yourselves out there.

Until the pay gets better, thank you.

...and now that I have read the comments, I see that my mere 5 hours on the road looks insignificant compared to Rob Moore's 1040 kilometres yesterday. Dammit, Moore, must you always upstage me? LOL.

I do hope that your 1040 kms was more productive than my 5 hours is going to be. If I had known I was going to end up as a delivery girl, I would have gone straight into it after school and saved myself a heap of heartache in between. (JJ...wouldn't have had my life any other way.)

I have always been one to get up early and hit the road. And my kids will tell you that typically I don't like to stop unless I need to refuel the car. A week or so ago I flew to Adelaide to pick up my latest toy. I am fairly certain that sometime in the last 8 years since I drove to Adelaid, the road has been lengthened, because I don't remember it being that long! It seemed to take forever, and it wasn't helped by only getting 400ks to a tank of fuel!

In a similar vein - in 1994 we did a trip to Ayers Rock - and climbed it. We went again in 2006, and climbed it again. But bugger me if it wasn't higher and steeper.

As for Quarter Glass windoew - I love them. And sunvisors over the windscreen. And weathershields around the windows. Hell, I just love my old cars. The smell, the sound. Love it. That may be why the collection just keeps getting bigger!

alan mikkelsen said:
Rob, you are a man, or a nutter, after my own heart! When we drive up and down to Qld (I flew up and hired, this time, but we will be driving up again in 5 weeks) I always aim to do 1150 - 1200km the first day, leaving another half day to Bundy, the Sunshine Coast, Roma - wherever we are heading - or the same in reverse. In the bad old days of my youth before such behaviour was identified as very bad and never to be mentioned, we used to get up and leave early - say 3am - and drive straight through. But now with a 6am start and rest / fuel breaks, 1200km is OK

Cheers bro' al m

Janet H. Thompson said:
...and now that I have read the comments, I see that my mere 5 hours on the road looks insignificant compared to Rob Moore's 1040 kilometres yesterday. Dammit, Moore, must you always upstage me? LOL.

I do hope that your 1040 kms was more productive than my 5 hours is going to be. If I had known I was going to end up as a delivery girl, I would have gone straight into it after school and saved myself a heap of heartache in between. (JJ...wouldn't have had my life any other way.)

My old man bought a brand new Nissan Patrol not long back and asked the youngster if it had aircon, to which the reply was " Certainly Sir, and it has a CD player and many other wonderful features!" John replied " Right well tear all that BS out as its only another thing to go wrong with the car!" The young man was left slack jawed that anyone in the NT wouldnt want aircon or music for that matter. I had a great laugh.
Ian, these inspiring words are worth repeating!

Ian Macrae Yeates said:
Amazing piece, Roger.
Just Grounds is turning hurts into halos and scars into stars;-)
Actually, the kids are pretty good. They just settle in and look at the scenery - and cross their legs till the 'need to go' gets really bad. They have spent many, many hours in the car, and both now love cars as well. Both are in the process od building their own first cars, and they both really love the old cars I have. In fact, it is a competition to see who gets dibs on them when I finally fall off the perch.

As for the original positing. It is a funny thing in Australia that we often use the same word for good or bad effect. A bloke can be a funny old bastard (and that is OK), or he can be "a real bastard" (and that is not good). Same word, different inflection, different meaning. I myself have been heard to exclaim after a person tells a particularly bad joke, "Ah, ya wanker" as a term of endearment. At other times, such as when being cut off by the mobile phone talking idiot in the black BMW while driving a truck, my fast and fluid use of terms such as Bastard and wanker (often preceeded with a descriptor) is somewhat less complimentary.

The problem with the written word is it is almost impossibe to get the inflection correct. I contend, therefore, that CJ Morgan was extending a compliment to you rather than being derogatory. He is not doubt sitting back in utter confusion unsure of why offense was taken for his innocent remarks.

It's possible...

Ebony Jackson said:
Ayers Rock, (Ularu?) before you all get on my case for not spelling it right...tell someone who cares, yeah :) Well.....the rock is a mean bugger, and it has a killer attitude too!

It sorted me out when I tried it out way back in 1989.

And just for your information guys...last night I watched Powder Finger, the final gig on aunty...they are totally ticked off with all of the tourists who go to the NT to climb the rock, because there are signs everywhere telling dick brain tourists...not to climb it, the aboriginal people see it as sacred.

Brett...I bet your kids are good at "are we there yet".

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