Like any bad horse opera, it started with some constant droning, then a few transparently orchestrated manoeuvres in the dark, and, recently, with certain powers-that-be in the Oz racing world going up the back downstairs to try and cripple this site. Sorry, boys, it’s 2015, and it doesn’t work that easily. This dog isn’t going to turn over, have its tummy tickled, and go away. To paraphrase that great poet Mr Jimi Hendrix, Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
Racingbitch is an online platform for the racing world- the global racing world- to exchange the good, the bad and the ugly of an industry that remains an outcast of the sports pantheon and entertainment world with all the respect of Rodney Dangerfield.
It is a medium started almost ten years ago to be the starting point for a healthy exchange of ideas about the sport between a few friends. This was at a time when one wouldn’t have known Facebook from Arsebook.
Today, Racingbitch has grown to what it is today- a game changer and a chameleon that will soon morph into something akin to an online version of the man-eating plant from The Little Shop Of Horrors, asking and inviting racing fans to, Feed Me with consumer-generated content. Think of it as racing’s very own YouTube channel. Scary, isn’t it? But only to those who fear change.
It’s time for those running- and plodding- their way through racing clubs to understand how and why the music industry, ruled for decades by the fats cats and old boys club from the major music companies, were bitch-slapped by music fans.
Music fans stormed Le Bastille and embraced all those finally offering them a Voice, along with online sites with legal and illegal music downloads, file sharing and streaming. The genie was out of the bottle, and music fans were rocking in the free world. Video killed the radio star and technology sneaked up on music companies when complacency had set in and hit them where it hurt most: Paying for music.
The tail was wagging the dog and that once mighty corporate bark turned into a whimpering, simpering pussy purr. Bloggers emerged and freedom of speech along with questioning as to what was real and what was nothing to get hung about began. It was Strawberry Fields Forever along with some rhubarbs and Revolution along with evolution.
When this writer stood up to Simon Cowell, one of the most powerful figures in the entertainment world, about SEOs- Search Engine Operatives- and their possible role in the “overnight success” of the supposedly “unknown” Susan Boyle and was threatened with legal action- and won- it spoke volumes for the new online world order and its ability to quash the combined power of the old boys network and expose it for what it was: Bully Boys Anonymous. Enough was enough and the rug was pulled from under them.
It’s now happening to the racing industry. And unlike Europe, the boys ands girls down under- victims of the tyranny of distance, and believing their own adulterated hype mixed with that tall poppy syndrome ( “we’re the greatest in the world at anything and everything we do”)- are caught in anything, but a tender trap. Or a Venus Fly Trap.
The racing administrators and decision makers in Oz know their deficiencies, and when these deficiencies are exposed and challenged, go into a passive aggressive response mode and dig a hole for themselves bigger than the Black Hole Of Calcutta.
The racing industry, especially in Oz, has managed to keep its head afloat through hype, false promises, intimidation, lies, deceit, with self-serving agendas. These have been aided and abetted by duplicitous individuals with a false sense of self-importance when everyone knows how easily they bend with the wind. Hell, they don’t even have the backbone to lie straight in bed- and we all know who they are.
To those at the very top of that billabong tree casting stones this way, some tips: Look inwards. Have there been self-serving agendas? Why are the peasants getting more and more restless? Let’s not even get into why a legendary racing media professional that is Kenny Callander has called it quits. Mr Callander’s move speaks volumes.
Despite the “integrity” mantra being droned on to supercilious racing media characters in their Monty Pythonesque Quixotic quest to be seen as being the importance of being earnest- or Millie- and “the voice of the people”, they are nothing more than toadies who refuse to ask this question: Where is the integrity in so many racing clubs- and who is policing all of this? Our Gal Sal?
Isn’t there a whiff of hypocrisy to constantly fall back on the “integrity” escape clause when real integrity starts at home- the racing clubs? Or are they above the law and living la vida loca with the Untouchables?
No, dear, dear boys, Racingbitch will not limp away and be a good boy. Or girl. We are here to stay- without any advertising, without being beholden to anyone and with zero tolerance for compromising. Or being in the invidious position of finding ourselves in a conflict of interest. We will never be anyone’s running dog. Or bitch.
As technology continues to bring about more and more change, we’ll continue to embrace this change. We’ll evolve to help the voices grow louder. Be scared, be very scared, as iBitch is just around the corner- right here where it started, in other new online mediums and apps, and a series of conferences where everyone is invited to share and make themselves heard without fear of incrimination.
The smart and progressive sports, and their administrators, have made technology their best friend and ally. They listen- and listen intently- to their customers and would-be customers, and reap the rewards.
Like the advertising and music industries have learnt the hard way, customer-centric is no longer part of corporate speak to keep the customer satisfied.
The customer that so many racing clubs are trying so hard to attract and entice are spoilt for choice. They are saying, Convince Me. Talk To Me. Never talk down to me cos I have options.
Together, we- Racingbitch in all its future incarnations- and everyone in the racing world- even those who would like to cut us off at the pass and hobble us- are invited to join in a journey of discovery to understand where, right here and now, nobody’s right when everybody’s wrong.
Why? Because without a team there’s only work, and not working as a team leads to that place called Nowhere inhabited by the offspring of John Lennon’s Nowhere Man.
What is it about Australian racing administrators and “decision makers” that makes them so driven by fear? They fear the present and are mortified by the future and the new. They fear the failures of the past and present. Fear is their worst enemy.
In a healthy democratic environment, criticism and dissent are the most potent agents and instruments of constructive change. If you can’t use it to your advantage, then you shouldn’t be a part of it. There’s a parachute waiting outside the front entrance. Use it. Soar with the turkeys while going, “Gobble gobble”.
But, don’t ever- ever- try to strong-arm and muzzle and circumvent us. We wear our role as a badge of honour. Racing is too good to be manipulated by gun-toting cowboys shooting blanks and suffering from shrinkage.
Don’t be afraid. Racingbitch won’t bite. Nor will it roll over and play dead.