Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lunacy? I rest my case

‘Luna’ is the Latin word for moon. And according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the adjective ‘lunatic’, which dates from the late 13th century, means ‘affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the moon’ [1]. Though the moon causation’s long been debunked, the words ‘lunatic’ (as an adjective and a noun) and ‘lunacy’ (as a noun) remain in the English lexicon. And because ‘neurons that fire together wire together’ [2], in my mind they’re inextricably linked to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix [AF1GP]. On 27 January I wrote that Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle questioned the AF1GP’s future on cost grounds, and after a meeting soon after with Premier Ted Baillieu, AF1GP chairman Ron Walker announced that the event’s costs would be cut [3]. Clearly a major component of its expenditure is Bernie Ecclestone’s licence fee. But Ecclestone’s avowed that the fee won’t be reduced [4]. Because Albert Park’s a temporary circuit (that masquerades as a public park for the rest of the year) another major cost is transporting, erecting and dismantling infrastructure (including grandstands, barriers, sound systems, video screens). Even Blind Freddy [5] could see that a permanent circuit would eliminate infrastructure costs. So what did Walker do? On 1 February he challenged the Geelong mayor to lobby for the event – on a temporary circuit along the regional city’s bayfront Esplanade [6, 7]. Lunacy? I rest my case.

No comments: