Matthew Reddin

Articulating the Bolt from the blue

The attack on Andrew Bolt highlights the nature of discourse in this country, and no amount of sparkle can distract from it.

 

 

 

The fact that someone thought it a good idea to attack Andrew Bolt does not surprise me. However, the fact that they went after him physically is pretty disturbing, and the fact that the d!ckheads doing it decided to video it for – what? – prosperity? Notoriety?

For f***’s sake, Australia. Use your words.

I have made a habit of disagreeing with Andrew Bolt, for the most part, ever since I first discovered that he was a person. Which for me dates back to around 2003 when, new to Victoria, I stumbled onto a Herald Sun column he wrote, which I then read and was appalled that any print media outlet would stoop so low as to publish such word vomit. The fact is that he’s sometimes so wholeheartedly reactionary and plainly pig-headedly wrong led me to do as best I could to avoid his scribblings on purpose. Such was the case that the one time I read something he wrote and actually agreed with every last word of it, I needed a lie down.

(Back when that young woman from the Gold Coast got nabbed with a weight of marijuana in Bali? Bolt wrote a column that was well-thought-out and articulated, which essentially, and correctly, said “that’s not mine” is not a valid criminal defence…he was right then, as he was on the mass hysteria surrounding those crying foul of an innocent abroad being unfairly jailed by an apparently unsophisticated and barbaric Indonesian criminal justice system.)

To the man’s credit, if you email him, he emails back – or at least he did for me. He wrote some nonsense once about local councils funding public art which he didn’t like, and I wrote to him saying that art was by its nature subjective and shouldn’t be relegated to whatever floated his boat lest the arts community be reduced to “Dogs Playing Poker”. He wrote back, disagreeing, leaving it at that, and I thought it decent of him.


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Right, so this chap, I generally don’t care for the cut of his jib. He and I are on political opposites. Poles apart. I think what he says is wrong, broken, ill-informed and a waste of ink.

Having said that: under no circumstances does he deserve to be violently set upon by some d!ckheads. Many times I’ve read his bilious thoughts or heard him spout reactionary far right wing gobshyte on television and thought he was wrong, dangerous, broken, entitled. A git. But nobody forces me to read his excremental column in the Herald Sun; nobody forces me to watch him proselytise for the Church of Tony Abbott on Sky News or whatever pale Fox News impression he used to do on the Ten Network on Sunday mornings before being shown the door for getting lower ratings than a 3am infomercial on fibre supplements.

If you disagree with him, or Piers Akerman, or Rita Panahi, or any number of the ghouls employed by Rupert Murdoch to cup the conservative nutsack for a living, don’t read it. Make a counterpoint. Say something that might convince others of a better way forward, or even God forbid, run for elected office.

So a trio of what I can only assume are fringe left wing idiots take to him in the street and film it, for f***’s sake. Because, apparently, they disagreed with his politics. So do I, but because I’m not a knuckle-dragging shitweasel, I’m not going to try to beat him up outside a café, nor sling insults at him from a moving car, fling glitter, eggs or shaving cream at him. And of all the times I have seen him on television, I have never felt the compulsion to feel sympathy for him, until now. Well done, d!ckheads, you made me feel sorry for Andrew F***ing Bolt. I defend the man’s right to freely say all of those horrible things I absolutely despise him for saying, without fear of being set upon by some tools who watched V for Vendetta too many times.

Feel sorry for him, and admire him. The dude knows how to put up his dukes. Good form. Now if we could just get him to stop spouting fascistic, xenophobic, racist, entitled nonsense for the Murdoch press, I’d be truly happy.

 

Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at www.lessercolumn.com.au

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