In his continuing quest for relevance, Andrew Bolt went blogbaiting yesterday. It was the usual wingnut bingo board – ABC, Crikey, leftist conspiracies, Jonathan Green, Eric Beecher, Annabel Crabb – the typical sort of content diversity that we’ve all come to expect from that end of the online swamp.
I’m usually spared this sort of third rate “Look at me!” piffle because our previous run ins have never ended particularly well for one us – but yesterday I too was roped into the latest dramaverse of Boltworld. Well, I was for a while, then I wasn’t, and then I was again! … but we’ll get to that bit of internet courage in a minute.
Andrew Bolt is actually a victim.
No, no, no, no… not a victim of conservative affirmative action that gets him the “lonely chair” on Insiders – a sort of special policy for special people – us idiots that watch the show are the true victims of that pernicious little act of ABC cowardice.
Uh uh. Andrew, you see, is a “victim” of terrible, gratuitous online insults that cause immeasurable hurt! You’ve got that arseclowns? It causes immeasurable hurt! But more shocking than that, if it’s even humanly possible to imagine something more shocking than being called names online by anonymous people, is that he’s the victim of rather unusual violent threats against his personal safety and that of his sphincter.
Andrew writes about your humble marsupial “one of [Jonathan] Green’s writers has urged in a headline that I be ‘sodomised’ “ – referring of course to this little number from wayback, where keeping with the theme, he had his arse handed to him on a plate*
*Note to Andrew Bolt: I didn’t literally carve a chunk of your arse off and give it to you on a piece of fine China… just so we’re clear here and before you start wondering whether that’s why your jeans don’t quite fit properly anymore – it’s a metaphor.
The dramaverse of Andrew Bolt is so intense – and so extreme is the victimhood involved – that he apparently, in all honesty (who am I to question him), believed that particular piece “urged” people, *urged people* no less, to go out and stick calculators up his bum!
I imagine it made for some horrifically paranoid trips to the local Office Works – “is that bloke with the calculator a Pollytics reader”. Oh the humanity!
Now, apart from the spatial difficulties involved – with that particular area usually being filled by a head– what sort of drama queen actually envisages a world where people would chase him down the street, favourite Casio in hand, with the intent of unleashing unspeakable acts of deviancy and the odd long division?
Yes folks – it’s my solemn duty to inform you that we have reached Peak Wingnut.
But it gets even more pathetic, as all did not go well at Blog Bolt yesterday on this. Originally, the Bolt piece in question looks much as is does now – linking into my article with the word “sodomised”. So I thought I’d get up to a bit of mischief and added the following as an update at the very top of that post, guaranteeing that it would be the very first thing his readers would see as they came in from the link. If Bolt was going to be, well… his usual self, the least I could do was have a bit of fun.
To Bolt’s readers – let us hope that you’re a little sharper than the author of the site from whence you came, understanding both a well known political meme when you see one, and the importance of empirical reality guiding political commentary. If you can also manage to leave your dramaqueens at the door and spare me the poor little victim bullshit, you’ll be four points up on Bolt himself.
Not too long after, Bolt’s article was changed – here’s a grab:
The link had mysteriously disappeared! Those links eh, minds of their own sometimes. Particularly when things get a bit embarrassing.
I noted it on twitter at the time:
That caused much mirth around the traps – oh, how we all laughed… etc etc. Then, as the piss taking fallout was rapidly spreading across social media on the gutlessness of it all, you’ll never guess what happened.
The link miraculously re-appeared around 3:10 pm Qld time.
The whole thing is just 20 kinds of pathetic – to the stage where it’s starting to get utterly pointless to even joke about it these days.
Some readers might baulk at my lofty descriptions of blogging vis-à-vis the rudeness, sarcasm and indecency that they may observe in the blogosphere. Indeed Catallaxyfiles where I blog is often singled out as being particularly nasty. Many of those making that claim, however, are social democrats who are simply not used to being challenged by articulate, educated and intelligent individuals. They live in world where disagreement with their ideals can only be due to corruption or stupidity.
To be fair, that isn’t the entire explanation. Blogging may be a conversation but it is not genteel. It is robust; it is frank. Just as markets can be a bazaar so a conversation can be a cacophony. It is well documented that individuals can be more aggressive online than in real life; but, on the flip side, they can also be more considered, more eloquent – and, with the ability to link to other sites on the web, they can back up their arguments with evidence.
So to reject the legitimacy of conversation on the basis of tone is to place form above substance.
Then on Tuesday, Bolt complains about his hurt feelings from the naughty bloggers and worries about people sticking calculators up his bum. It isn’t even farce anymore – it’s just pathetic. When serious media runs Bolt, they get in terms of audience quality exactly what they deserve – as they do with every other talking sock. If I see Bolt, I tune out – I can hear that shit anywhere.
And I’m not alone in thinking that.
It’s worth finishing with Annabel Crabb’s slapdown of Bolt on Insiders and now famous internet meme – The University of East Bumcrack: