by Ross Sharp
There are occasions, mostly moments of boredom or lethargy, when a perverse impulse takes me to Andrew Bolt’s Blog With No Name, where I quickly scroll down the numerous items he posts on any given day just to reassure myself that, in this ever-changing world in which we live, some things remain soothingly constant and shall be so forevermore.
In Andrew’s world, the song always remains the same, scratched-up old-timey tunes blaring from out his battered bakelite and neon conservative cliché jukebox, songs of woe, calamity and fear, Old Shep has died and someone’s stolen the truck again. Barbarians from the wilds. Dark savages at the door. Murther most foul. They wantonly defile our most sacred, revered institutions and traditions, they spit in the face of decency, they that are “they”. These people …
You shall see the Lord of Life and Death,
You shall see Heaven in Hell,
You shall be blinded by light,
You shall see darkness.
In Andrew’s world.
Not so long ago, just last year in fact, and for almost two years, Andrew was on top of his world, he was in, he was connected, he had the ear of a Prime Minister no less, a true insider with a seat at the table, the table of power, true power.
Do you remember?
Then it all fell apart.
Tragedy struck, and it struck Andrew hard. As it did Piers Akerman and Janet Albrechtson and Miranda Devine and Gerard Henderson and Greg Sheridan and Paul Sheehan and Alan Jones and their pain, their loss, their rage reverberated throughout the land, column after aggrieved column, anguished comment upon anguished comment, they spat their displeasure and disappointment, their hurt, upon every stage whose boards they took to treading.
“Rupert? Wherefore art thou, Rupert?”, whimpered their Great Leader, their Chosen One to His Master’s Voice.
Nothing could be done. Nothing.
Rollover Red Rover.
A vile conspiracy of smears and black innuendo, of monstrous abuse and ridicule, a remorseless conspiracy of Brobdingnagian proportions had been orchestrated by the collective brute forces of Stalinist savagery to fell their Most Beloved Man.
O most heinous villainy, the very oceans and seas themselves did swell with the outpouring of so many bitter tears!
Blood did fall upon the wattle. The blood of Tony Abbott. Former Prime Minister …
“What are they going to say about him? What? Are they going to say he was a kind man? He was a wise man? He had plans? He had wisdom? … The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”
For one brief moment in time, one fleeting moment, they were no longer mere observers, they were Players in The Game, with a tumefied swag of Glittering Prizes within their grasp, they were Kings and they were Queens, and they could’ve been Heroes, forever and ever.
Just for one day.
Where are they now?
Greg Sheridan lays a damp, cool cloth across the furrowed brow of his friend, a soft kiss upon the cheek to soothe his troublesome fevres, “It’s all right Tony, it’s all right, my friend”, and returns to his lowly position as foreign editor in a broadsheet nobody reads much anymore.
Gerard Henderson continues as Executive Director of a “tatty living room of a terrace house” called The Sydney Institute to regularly host “about 20-30 superannuated types who have driven their Daimlers over from Mosman for a nice talk and a few ports”.
Miranda Devine has taken a sabbatical from a Sunday night radio show nobody much knew she ever had, to “spend more time with her family”, and no doubt reflect upon the fate of her luminary paladin, her knight in tight red armour. Where once she did squelch, now there is only chafing.
And Andrew. Poor Andrew.
Andrew Bolt’s column continues to be syndicated in Rupert’s tabloids, and is still to be found just a few pages before the classified ads where you can find listings for young, busty Asian girls to satisfy your every desire, couples welcome. His show, “The Bolt Report”, television’s finest vaudevillian political comedy of our time awaits news of its fate and placement, possibly Sky News, because, well, everybody subscribes to Foxtel.
Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled forever, let me mourn;
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.
Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their last fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.
Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days, my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.
John Dowland, 1596