Squid Game: violent madness or a trip back to the old schoolyard? – Sydney Morning Herald

Posted: October 13, 2021 at 7:39 pm

Well, it didnt until the arms race of 1970s when some evil genius thought: I know, why dont we wet the ball first.

Not only did this make the ball go faster but, for reasons known only to science, it made the ball leave welts that lasted for weeks.

I repeat the name. It wasnt called, Lets happily tag each other with a gently thrown tennis ball in order to improve our throwing skills. The game was called brandings, presumably inspired by a Texan cattleman trying to prove ownership of an ox.

In one version, you were at least allowed to run around. In another, the group would stand against a brick wall, lined up like the victims of an execution squad, while whoever was it took aim.

Once branded, you would then become it and have the chance to wreak revenge, as if in celebration of the notion of a perpetual blood feud.

Not all our games were physically violent. Some were more emotionally gruelling.

Loading

Like the competitors in Squid Game, we played the odd round of marbles. Youd take a shoebox which had contained your Bata Scouts (with built-in compass!), and cut out a series of arches, each arch marked with the reward which would be given should a fellow student manage to power their marble through the hole.

Impossibly tight doorways were marked with big rewards, the figure written in Texta above the hole. More forgiving entry points might see a return of the original marble, plus one extra.

If a tycoon had been trying to create a gateway drug for gambling addiction, schoolyard marbles was it. We all had our stalls lined up, in what felt like a crowded marketplace, Please, try your luck here, my odds are very good, the arches are very large.

Some days, youd win. Often, youd lose badly. Normally, youd blame yourself for miscalculating the size of the arches. It certainly made Year 5 more gruelling than it needed to be.

Who is writing this stuff? Jean-Paul Sartre in a fit of nihilism? Extinction Rebellion trying to make a point about global warming?

My games tended to be with the boys, but the girls had it worse. Whether it was hopscotch or jump rope, each contest came with a built-in rhyme:

My bonnet is blue/ My heart it is true/ And I dare not be seen with such rubbish as you.

Or: Roses are red/ Violets are blue/ Smelly socks/ Remind me of you.

Not all rhymes involved personal attacks; others were merely bleak. Here, for instance, is one quoted by June Factor in her book Real Keen Baked Bean!, a compendium of Australian schoolyard rhymes:

Ladybird, ladybird/ Fly away home/ Your house in on fire/ Your children all gone.

Who is writing this stuff? Jean-Paul Sartre in a fit of nihilism? Extinction Rebellion trying to make a point about global warming?

But back to Squid Game. Its true that some viewers find the South Korean series hard to watch, due to its scenes of hardcore violence, designed to illustrate the bleak horror at the heart of human existence.

But its different for those of us who grew up in an earlier Australia. For us, Squid Game is just a rather jolly trip back to our childhood.

See the rest here:

Squid Game: violent madness or a trip back to the old schoolyard? - Sydney Morning Herald

Related Post