Not yet being reliably inspired by the blogging muse, I’ve instead been catching up with the rantings of others over the last couple of months of my semi-enforced Internet absence. I noticed that Mark B posted an item a few weeks ago in which he referred to Marx’s immortal observation that great events in history seem to happen twice, the first time as tragedy and the second as farce. In the blogosphere, though, they mostly happen as farce both times!
I see Caz and the crew from The Spin Starts Here got into deep doo doo with the Murdoch press recently for posting a fairly gross but funny (at least to my warped mind) satirical piece about over-exposed, under-talented Aussie pop singer Delta Goodrem. Written by Caz’s partner Hack, the post solicited readers to sign a spoof web petition calling for Goodrem to be crucified at Easter. Tasteless? Without doubt, but what else would you expect at TSSH? You certainly wouldn’t visit Caz et al expecting restrained, academic analysis. Excessive? Offensive to christians? Quite possibly. Personally, I think a little light stoning and perhaps a crown of thorns would have been quite enough (note to any humour-challenged Murdoch hacks – I’m joking, however unfunnily).
Anyway, it seems the TSSH crew were forced to remove the offending post, presumably by threats of legal action (not that any such action would be likely to succeed IMO – although the reference to reports of Delta possibly being shacked up with someone else before she announced her breakup from Mark Philippoussis may be a bit borderline). Despite the offending post’s deletion, anyone who’s interested can still read it here (and there are thinly-veiled references to the whole fiasco here).
Apart from the fact that I find the whole sequence of events both bizarre and faintly amusing, for this wizened old blogger it also had a distinct flavour of deja vu all over again.
Have a look at this post from Tim Blair way back in July 2003, where he hoed into Tim Dunlop and Bright Cold Matt (a blogger who’s now sadly hung up his blogging keyboard) with hobnail boots for daring to suggest that the orgy of publicity at the time surrounding Delta’s cancer condition might have been just a trifle excessive and tiresome. Tim B seems to have felt that it was an unacceptable breach of taste to attack someone who was suffering from cancer. Generally I would agree, but the point I think
Tim D and Matt were was making was that Goodrem (or her publicity agents) were “cashing in” on her disease to generate a seemingly endless stream of media coverage for her. It’s essentially the same point that Hack made in his Crucify Delta! post a few weeks ago. I have no idea whether that claim is true or not, but it’s certainly true that her cancer condition generated an extraordinary amount of publicity. It shouldn’t be regarded as off-limits to raise publicly the question of whether publicity of that sort is orchestrated. Least of all by Tim Blair, who only shortly before he ripped into Tim and Matt had been excoriating Adelaide magistrate Brian Deegan for exploiting his Bali victim status to continually criticise the Howard government. Cliches about sauce, geese and ganders spring to mind. I don’t think either Deegan or Goodrem necessarily deserved an unconditional “leave me alone” card; it all depends on circumstances.
I can’t help wondering why RWDBs are so solicitous and defensive of this publicity-hungry popette. Could Delta Goodrem be the secret love child of John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop, perhaps? Probably not, she’s not ugly enough. But there must be an answer. Why is Delta the Darling of the Right?