by Ross Sharp

Former Fairfax turned Newscorp columnist Gerard Henderson has, from the sound of it, had a whole year of very bad underpant days.

You know the ones …

Where the elastic on the waist is done all tuckered out and they keep slipping half-way down your arse-crack every ten minutes, so you keep tugging at yourself and the girls in the office are talking and think you’re weird and you smell. Or when the crotch keeps riding up and pinching the sucked-dry, pale passionfruit-like contours of your ol,’ grey testicles, so you tug at yourself again, and you have to squat a bit when you do and the girls in the office are talking again and giggle softly behind their hands every time you go to the toilet for a wee.

And no matter how hard you scrub and scrub or spray and spray, there’s just no getting rid of those anemic canary-yellow pee and cum dribbles, or the gourmet-styled streaks of caramel-coloured smears on the rear-ends of those ol’ grey underpants that not so gently cup your ol’ grey testicles in a febrile sperm-destroying stupor.

Gerard always brings to my mind a line from an old Elvis Costello song, “he has a very German sense of humour”

“A year of “massive exaggeration, wide-scale false prophecy, appalling judgment, wilful omission and narcissism” he opines and this is it (some of), according to Gerard …

January – “ABC presenter Jonathan Green declares he will never be able to convince himself that Tony Abbott is “a man of intelligence … while he keeps wearing those blue ties””

This statement may well have been accompanied by a “chuckle”. A “chuckle” and a statement such as this, would typically indicate a jest of some kind is being made, a “funny”, in this instance, and from the evidence available, a rather mild one at that.

If it were me, I would’ve called Abbott a maggot-brained fuckwad, but then that’s probably why I’d never be invited to present a show on the ABC.

Bias and all that being the thing it is.

February – “Morry Schwartz’s The Saturday Paper is launched, stating its intention to be read by wealthy inner-city professional types who have Netflix accounts and are “lighthouse consumers”. In fact, it’s just another boring rant against the Coalition”.

Somebody started a newspaper Gerard doesn’t approve of. That’s sad. Gerard probably doesn’t approve of Morry Schwartz either. Maybe he had an old communist uncle or something back in the ‘50’s, I don’t know. Gerard has a thing for that type of stuff.

I buy “The Saturday Paper”.

I’m definitely not wealthy by any standards, being on just a slightly above-average wage. I’m not a professional, diplomas-wise and such, but I am professional and highly experienced in and about my work. I don’t have a Netflix account. I rent from Quickflix. I don’t have an internet connection at home. That’s sad. Not really. I just rent the discs. Or buy them from up road. I don’t live in the inner-city, but I am three train stations away, and the reason I’m three stations away is because I don’t have a fucking car, and I rent a flat, and just like a big whole bunch of other people, I find it’s sorta more kinda-sorta convenient-like to live closer to work than farther away … just for the benefit of that whole left-wing “life-work balance” shit people bang on and on about every now and again.

Gerard also says “In The Sydney Morning Herald, Mike Carlton describes Tony Abbott as “pure Vladimir Putin”, overlooking the fact Abbott does not lock up opponents.”

I’ll just leave that one alone.

March – “Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs objects to criticism of her organisation’s $60,000 Christmas party.”

Two words …

George Brandis.

June[Mike] Carlton bags the Abbott government as a “gang of punishers and straighteners (sic), of cutters and slashers, run by the sort of bossy former private school prefects who enjoy enforcing dress codes at golf clubs”. Carlton attended Barker College on Sydney’s north shore, where he wrote appalling poetry in the private school’s magazine.”

Everyone wrote appalling poetry in high school, private school or public. That’s what teenagers (at least the boys) do. Mast*rbate ten times a day, and write appalling fucking poetry about lovesickness and forlorn yearnings for faraway girls (or boys) with stars in their eyes lolling about on grassy knolls, all careless and fancy free, loins full of lust, and brimful to the brink with jism.

Eventually they’ll grow out of it.

As a slight, accusing a teenager of writing bad poetry is a little like calling someone a “latte-sipper” thinking it a devastatingly explosive putdown. I’ve never, for the life of me, been able to figure that one out. As a slight.

I once asked a barista in a coffee shop near where I worked what the difference was between a latte and a flat white, and he leaned close to me and whispered softly, “Just between you and me, Ross, I’m fucked if I know.”

I’m a flat-white man myself, except after lunch, if I’m eating out, I’ll take a short black.

The remainder of Gerard’s Bad Underpant Year snipe boils down to nasty names people called each other, writers he doesn’t like writing things he doesn’t agree with, and people saying things he’d rather not hear said, unless it’s MuslimIslamMuslimIslamMuslimIslam!!!!  when some criminal psychopath behaves like a criminal psychopath and kills people just for the shits ‘n’ giggles.

A year of “Massive exaggeration, wide-scale false prophecy, appalling judgment, wilful omission and narcissism”?

It’s all a little pissy far as scope and scale goes, importance-wise that is. Media types talking to and about media types talking to and about political types, the sniping and the snarling, the snap of a line that bubbles and boils the Twittersphere for a minute and a half, and is long gone and forgotten a few days later. And none of it, I suspect, matters half a hill ‘o’ beans to the real lives of real people living out here in the real world, even those “inner-city types” Ol’ Grumpy Pants is forever carping on about. It’s all a little pussycat-pussycat, a little soft ‘round the belly, a little tired and try-hard.

People of little influence but lots of mouth talking bullshit about other people talking bullshit.

As for “wilful omission”? …

There’s 409 of them over here what Ol’ Gerard ain’t spoke nary diddly-squat about in that there art-ickle o’ his.

Maybe he was done havin’ hisself another bad unnerpant day when he done writ it.