The Winter {of our discontent} Games  should be considered in the context of the previous  Balls and Games but in particular  The 2002 Liberal Lifestyle Olympics.

In June 2004 during  the lead up to the Federal elections of 2004 with the grim thought of a  fourth term with a Howard Liberal government,  it was for many a 'winter of our discontent'. It was with the notions of the carnivalesque as a societal escape value for pent up frustration and a forum for parody and the profane that I began to organise The Winter ( of our discontent) Games. These Games were conceived in the vein of other communal anti-Spectacle events but crafted for a local community to vent anger disappointment and frustration and for a short time to treat the growing fears of more insidious and damaging policies and politics, as fodder for light hearted like-minded entertainment. The call went out for other artists, activists or just any one who wanted to, to add in some way to the proceedings of the day, for volunteers to help run events and for participants to engage in events on the day.

The Winter Games followed the procedure of the previous 'games' and 'olympics' I had orchestrated with a march past, speeches from special guests, entry of the games torch, running of events and awarding of medallions and much help and support from family and friends. For this event "Athlete" registration was instigated. This served the multiple function of liability, documentation and data base for future invitations. As I was unsure of the numbers expected for the day this was also a method to ensure that heats for 'events' were limited. At registration teams were also able to pick up (if they had pre registered) or select a 'doll' for the sexing-up event and purchase wedding vows and certificates for the Lightfoot Wedding. All proceeds from the day were donated to Médecins Sans Frontières. This amounted to $67.00.

The first event commented on the ramifications of the free trade agreement desired by John Howard, especially for the pharmaceuticals industry and the consumers of deregulated medicine.
Event 1 : EVERGREENING RELAY – 4 people / adults only
– Athletes need not come from the same team as 4 medals will be awarded to the Finals winning team. So cobble together a group of 4 ask the athlete next to you if they want to form a relay team but check their footwear and assess their fitness level first. Tell anyone checking you out that you are faster than you look. Register your company a at the registration table and with the official running the event.

Format- Collect your pill bottles from the Official running this event. Transfer your pills to your shelf company (team mate) before the patent expires. First Shelf Company across the line with pills left in the bottle wins the event for the registered company Return you teams pill bottles to the Official running this event.

This event was a comment on the whipping up of terror by the media and used as a smoke screen by the Government.
Event 2:  TERRORATHALON - 2 people / adults only
– One of you wears a blindfold while the other gives verbal instructions and encouragement. Be sure this is a trusting partnership.

Format- This is a time trial and the Finals participants will be the 4 best times. Wearing your blindfold, walk the plank over the gene pool, find your way through the maze-like queue (remember no queue jumping! go down the financial drain then crawl under the blanket and emerge with a statement apron. Please wear this statement apron around for a while so visual documentation can be done, thanks. Two medals will be awarded one for the trainer and one for the athlete.

The Baby bonus was brought in on the 30th June, 2001. This event was a response to the ludicrous notion that young girls, single parents, would be producing babies like rabbits as a source of income.
Athletes need not come from the same team as 4 medals will be awarded to the Finals winning team. So cobble together a group of 4 ask the athlete next to you if they want to form a relay team but check their footwear and assess their fitness level first. Tell anyone checking you out that you are faster than you look. Heats in 2 age groups 7-12 and Caregivers will need to accompany the 3-6 age group.

Format- Stick 2 babies under your jumper and run to the next person in your team. Lie down so your team member can pull your babies out and stick them up their jumper. Then repeat with the next team member. Final team member over the line first with 2 babies up jumper wins.

We were inundated with reality TV.
Event 4 : REALITY DASH – Individual event
- You can choose to be a TV camera (5) or a TV Reality victim (10)

Format – TV Reality victim – Don your TV helmet. Dash off and try to find the voters, these are people in the crowd licensed to give you a vote in cold hard currency, one note per voter, so scamper around and find as many voters as you can. Don’t make it obvious when you find a voter as the more votes you get the more likely you are to win. BUT watch out for the TV Cameras, their job is to catch as many of you as possible for their Reality show. If you are caught please co operate and return quickly to Home (starting point) with your camera. You have 5mins before they come looking.After10 mins, at the sound of the whistle, be the first TV reality victim back to the house with the most votes who hasn’t been caught. One medal awarded for the Finals winning TV Reality victim.

TV Camera- 5mins after the TV Reality victims go vote hunting, eliminate (catch) as many as you can. Each Reality victim must be brought back to the house (starting point) before you go off to catch another. The winning Camera will be the camera having caught the most TV Reality victim or the camera who was the first one to return with a TV Reality victim. One medal awarded for the Finals winning TV Camera.

Our Prime minister was referred to by his good buddy George W Bush as a man of steel , primarily because Johnny had stuck to his guns and sent troops to Iraq despite the fact that nearly the whole of Australian public did not support any , let alone Australian involvement in the Invasion.
Event 5 : THE MAN OF STEEL TRIATHALON – Individual event/ elite adult athletes only
- Collect your Johnny Mask / 4 people per heat.

Format- First obstacle – crawl up an arsehole -Bushole, Blairarse, Merdeoch. Zoel-lick.. Second obstacle- throw a quoit onto Pinocchio’s (George Bush) nose. Third obstacle- kick some an arse hole over the line to victory- Abbutt, Pants-downer, Costellorifice, Ruttock. First over the line wins. Medal for the Finals winner.

A well worn political behaviour.
Event 5.73 : MUDSLINGING –Individual event.
s- sling your mud and hit the target any clever verbal accompaniment may advance slinger with poor aim to the next round.

Format- 3 attempts per round before disqualification. The ratio between slinger and target will be increased in each round (so verbal slingers will only advance if the quality of their slinging increases). Medal awarded to the athlete to sling mud the farthest and make it stick.

Any slinging of mud at live targets will result in immediate disqualification of the athlete and the athlete’s team.

To justify the Invasion of Iraq documents were 'sexed up' to fabricate reasons.
Event 6 : SEXING UP EVENT- group event no maximum on athletes  
Collect your mannequin after registration. Collect sexing up equipment.

Format- Using sexing up equipment provided and a liberal amount of ingenuity make your mannequin the sexiest. Special guest judge will award first place. Maximum number of medals for winning team is 5

This event commented on the homophobia still being whipped up by our leaders to get those few extra votes.
This quote by Senator Ross Lightfoot was taken up with Glee by talk back radio and popular media. "If a bloke is allowed to marry a bloke, what's to stop a man marrying his E-type Jaguar."
Senator Ross Lightfoot, quoted on Lateline,
Friday 28th May 2004

So, please don your wedding regalia and walk through our Games Guard of Honour made up of our sexed up 'dolls'.
Bring your wedding vows/ certificate, follow Monsignor Porcamadonna's instructions and receive his blessing.

A chance to give out the highly prized medallions and thank everyone.