Margo Kingston’s Comedy Central…

I have to admit, as Troppo’s resident RWDB, that I occasionaly drop into Inner Margolia for a bit of a giggle.

And I had a hilarious laff at this effort by ‘the Jack’ Robertson, well known errr… he says he’s a soldier, writer and former blogger.

The Jack seems to have a lot to say about Stephen Mayne’s well timed decision to accept a deal where title to his ‘crikey.com.au’ moves to other hands.Hilarious really when you consider the amount of work Mayne has put in to his effort.

More work there then Margo “will be back on deck soon” Kingston has done since her ‘publishing’ effort started. Given that, ‘Crazy Jack’s take that Mayne has ‘sold out’ is hilarious.

Even more hilarious is the comments. And Margo’s comments on the comments. Margo’s comments are so fatuous and dishonest (and with the support of the Sydney Morning Herald, mind you), that you wonder if there is any limit to what this woman could publish.

Consider this:

Margo: I would be just as critical if Labor controlled the Senate. If you really had read Webdiary you’d know that.

Yeah, right. This ALP shill and liar “I have never criticised Jews, nor have I alleged Jewish control of the media.” (No, only Zionists) has a nerve to cast a stone at anyone else.

And this is the woman that says about her Jack:

Harry and Jack each wrote a chapter in my book. For free, so they know hard work when they see it.”

Oh, the poor dears. A CHAPTER no less. They must be all worn out. Oh, the deprivation.

I’m not sorry to mock. This woman thinks writing a chapter of a book is hard work. For FUCKS SAKE!!!!!!

I’m sorry. But the Sydney Morning Herald thinks this is a serious contribution to the national debate.

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Cameron Riley
2022 years ago

I refuse to deep link to Kingston, Henderson and Sheehan amongst others. I also made sure the SMH knew I was doing it and why;

http://www.southsearepublic.org/story/2005/1/20/84417/4560

I am doing it to deprive them of potential advertising revenue by denying them referrals. I would encourage anyone else not happy to email the SMH (or any other newspaper) and tell them you wont be deep linking to certain writers.

This is the contact url for the SMH;

http://smh.com.au/contacts/readerlink/

or;

readerlink@smh.com.au

The only way to stop them is to deny the SMH potential revenue. The Australian political blogs have sufficient weight of numbers that if we all start telling the SMH the same thing the writers we target will get dropped.

Same goes for any other newspapers.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

“The Australian political blogs have sufficient weight of numbers that if we all start telling the SMH the same thing the writers we target will get dropped.”

Alas, not even close.

Cameron Riley
2022 years ago

Have to love that climb the mountain because it is there attitude. The Frill Neck makes itself appear larger than it is. It is also surprising just what an overly vocal minority can get done.

Even if you think it is useless – tell the SMH which site you are from, how you arent going to deep link certain writers and that you want those writers dropped. Tell them about it each month.

Otherwise we are going to continue to get the writers the SMH thinks they can foist on us, rather than the quality political discourse we deserve.

Bill
Bill
2022 years ago

I can never figure out what Margo is on about, anyway. I don’t think she is really anti-semitic, she is just loopy and not particularly bright. Why she has such a loyal following is beyond me.

Rex
Rex
2022 years ago

Appropos selling out. Stephen Mayne is quoted in today’s Age Insight thus: Tim Blair’s move to his full-time job with the Bulletin is “a sad sell-out. I would never have sold my soul to Packer”

I couldn’t help thinking that Blair had already sold his soul, and that Packer should be pissed off that he doesn’t receive free and unencumbered title.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

“This woman thinks writing a chapter of a book is hard work.”

It can be very hard work, or not. I am reminded of some famous author – perhaps Lawrence, but I’ve forgotten – who reported an exhausting day. Asked to elaborate, he explained that he had added a comma in the morning, and then taken it out in the afternoon.

The crazy thing is that writing can be such an intensely demanding craft that it’s conceivable that the story might have even been literally true.

Tim
Tim
2022 years ago

Of course writing a chapter can be hard work. I don’t even understand what you mean, Scott. Do you mean that its easy because it isn’t physical or something?

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Digging a ditch is hard work. Writing a chapter is recreation.

Zoe
Zoe
2022 years ago

Only if it takes the same mental effort as digging the ditch, Yobbo.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Comparing Crikey and Webdiary is interesting. Crikey is very good at the ratbag journalist skill of publishing with graded credibility. There is a sense of intelligent scepticism about the whole enteprise.

Webdiary has no sense of discipline, of editorial control. How could Margo produce that single statement: “Because the fundamentalist Zionist lobby controls politics and the media in the US and Australia..” without listening for the sound of blowtorches? She was going to get trouble if it was or was not true.

Not the kind of mistake you would find on Crikey, old or new. Interesting that Steven Mayne seems to value shareholder activism more than whistleblowing journalism. And sad.

Gummo Trotsky
2022 years ago

Chapter Ones are a real bitch.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“Crikey is very good at the ratbag journalist skill of publishing with graded credibility. There is a sense of intelligent scepticism about the whole enteprise.”

Crikey’s pitch is insider gossip. People love gossip – particularly if it seems privileged. Somewhere along the line, Stephen Mayne – wasn’t he the eminence grise behind the uniquely unsuccessful “Jeff Kennett is Louis XIV” re-election bid? – has seemingly managed to convince the commentariat that he’s some sort of Emile Zola. But Crikey will always be the Latham bucks night video ‘revelation’ to me :)

You shouldn’t try to read Jack Robertson, Scott. It’s like watching a crazy guy crashing through adjectival thickets, pursued by baying editors waving red pens.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Chapter Ones can defeat the strongest of wills. Yet I always find that there is another shocker waiting down the track, somewhere in the middle, perhaps two-thirds of the way in, if you are employing, for example, the 19th century realist novel form. Once I’ve managed to stare down a chapter one, it’s tempting to relax, but I still know at the back of my mind that there will always be a real ball-breaker to come …

cs
cs
2022 years ago

In fact, I once went through a Chapter Five that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy …

*shudders at the mere thought*

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

I dunno about “like”; it IS watching a crazy guy crashing through adjectival thickets. But at Margo’s place there are no baying editors waving red pens. Margo would’t know illiterate babble if it jumped up and bit her on one of her body parts that produces the stuff she doesn’t flush. If she was baying, you’d know it was full moon.

As for writing book chapters being hard work, it certainly CAN be. But it depends on the book. I didn’t bother to buy Margo’s “not happy john” tome, but I scanned it on a friend’s bookshelf and it looked to be the same stream-of-semi-consciousness crap that she, Jack etc spew forth in Web Diary. But I shouldn’t be too sweeping. Although Margo and Jack write little that is intelligible let alone intelligent, some of the other regular Web Diary contributors are often worth reading.

Ron
Ron
2022 years ago

This really is a RWDB post!

You lot sound like a bunch of jealous old misogynists (not part of the PellAbbott fan club are you?). If you had just 0.001% of Kingston’s audience we’d be able to hear you shouting down here in Sydney! :-)

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Ron

I’m glad you’ve realised that this isn’t a monotonically left-leaning blog. In fact Troppo contributors have widely divergent, quirky and sometimes unpredictable viewpoints on lots of issues.

Speaking for myself, my objection to Margo and Jack has nothing to do with their left or right political orientation. I have enormous respect for lots of left-leaning op-ed pundits and bloggers (e.g. Chris Sheil, Tim Dunlop, John Quiggin, Mark Bahnisch). It’s simply that Margo and Jack mostly produce material that is both loopy and poorly written. Crap knows no ideological boundaries.

As for your comment about audience size, I imagine that Web Diary’s audience would probably be larger than any blog with the possible exception of Tim Blair’s. But that’s because it’s a part of a mega-million dollar Fairfax publishing empire that’s existed for a century or so, rather than because of its innate quality. I suggest the audience of radio “shock-jocks” like John Laws, Alan Jones or Stan Zemanek would in turn dwarf that of Web Diary (or Tim Blair). In your opinion, does that mean that those commentators are entitled to automatic respect for their opinions or manner of expressing them? If not, why the double standard?

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Not jealous, disappointed and frustrated.

Does she have a huge audience? Connected to SMH, you would hope so.

Ron
Ron
2022 years ago

Yes, connection to the SMH is, of course, an obvious advantage. (Is that an understatement or what?)

However, she must be producing the goods for her audience to continue returning.

Personally, I just read the topics there these days: who’s got time to wade through comments that sometimes number in the hundreds?

Still one of my favourite blogs, Ken. I like the variety that comes from having several contributors. Sometimes on single person political blogs, the same pov on all articles gets to be a tad tiresome. I think Ms Fits (Reasons you will hate me) was so popular on those recent blog awards because you are guaranteed a laugh or something outrageous most days (today’s post is heart-stopper – turn you off sausages for life!)

‘monotonically’ – hmmm… as I rush off to dictionary.com.

Ron
Ron
2022 years ago

“Still one of my favourite blogs” – I was referring to Troppowith this, not Web Diary.

John Quiggin
John Quiggin
2022 years ago

If anyone wants to enjoy themselves writing book chapters, I’ve overcommitted myself badly. How about 5000 words on uncertainty and property rights in the Murray-Darling Basin?While you’re engaged in this recreation, I could mow my lawn and plant a tree or two.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2022 years ago

I think it was Flaubert who spent the day inserting and deleting a comma – stylish prose can take a lifetime to construct. Anyone who has edited and re-edited and re-edited to the point where you are uncertain whether you are sharpening the work or grounding it into a messy pulp of strange fragments knows exactly how this feels.

Yes, one can a write a not particularly good chapter in a short period of time, like one can do an essay the night before it is due. And sometimes one can produce a lot of material in a short period of time but this is generally after it has been thought out to some extent. When it comes to a quality most novels that are written in a couple of weeks, read like novels written in a couple of weeks.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Second John’s offer regarding thesis chapters I could use…

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

ps – I think Ken is mistaking the Ron in this comments thread for a Ron in another comments thread. Two Rons to add to Troppo’s numerous Jameses who comment!

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

There’s a better take elsewhere in the SMH on the Crikey sale:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/02/04/1107476806777.html

Gummo Trotsky
2022 years ago

So once I’m over chapter one it’s all plain sailing as long as I restrict myself to four chapters. I can deal with that.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

You’d be lucky Gummo. More usually, only the hellhounds on your tail will keep you going into the daily abyss.

James Russell
2022 years ago

Digging a ditch is hard work. Writing a chapter is recreation.

Spoken like a true non-writer.

zoot
zoot
2022 years ago

And when did Yobbo ever dig a ditch? Last I heard he was a student; so by definition he wouldn’t know a decent day’s work if it jumped up and bit him on the bum (doncha know, cough, splutter). Or has he graduated to the ranks of the underemployed?

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

It’s been a while since I dug any ditches.

I know quite well what a decent day’s work is like – which is why I plan to continue avoiding such days.

Guido
2022 years ago

My blog is one that has a link in Webdiary. I have no problems with that at all. Margo Kingston is part of the commentariat and her views can be infuriating as much as Hendo’s or anyone. I still believe she is a passionate journalist and in these days of Canberra Gallery ‘groupthink’ it is important.

The boring bit is by the contributors who have the usual refrain: The ALP is like the liberals, they have no guts, Howard=Beazly etc etc. The same arguments you hear on radio National.

Guido
2022 years ago

Also…I had to look in the dictionary to see what a ‘shill’ was and I got this description:

“One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.”

I don’t know about that as Kingston is very critical of the ALP (especially now that Latham has gone) and has repreatedly stated that she is a Green voter.

Gary
2022 years ago

As one who struggles to put a single sentience together I can relate to “writer’s block. But a ditch digger has to over come to the mental barriers to motivate them physically and the time and work conditions are far more pressing then your average professional writer. Or though you wouldn’t find a “ditch digger” (at least not in the private sector) digging a 6*1 ditch to hold a cup of water but there are plenty of professional writers that would have failed a third grade assignments for the amount of ‘filler’ and ‘obscurity’s’ contained in their work.

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

‘…Troppo’s numerous Jameses who comment.’

A well known reason for having, and using, a surname. As most of us in fact do.

There are, I suspect, at least as many Marks.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

The only other Mark I recall having commented regularly around the blogosphere was Mark McGrath at Backpages… it’s actually a reasonably rare name, despite being one of the Evangelists. However, in 1968 when I was born, it was in the top 10 so there are lots of Marks of my vintage. This may or may not have had something to do with the name of the boy in Skippy…

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2022 years ago

“Two Rons to add to Troppo’s numerous Jameses who comment”

If you’re confusing James Farrell with James Hamilton, you’re doing some serious skimming and should probably slow down just a little bit (thesis or no thesis).

There can be some confusion when someone replying in a thread that has comments by both Jameses says something like

“James: A very good point. Well said”.

They are usually referring to James Farrell’s comments. Unless it is about music…

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Not confusing anyone, just counting up the Jameses – Hamilton, Russell, Farrell… We now also have Andrew B and Andrew M… but, yeah, this procrastination is getting pathetic! Must do work, must do work…

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Andrew N, that should be (Bartlett and Norton…)

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2022 years ago

Oh yeah sorry Mr Russell, I had forgotten about you. Could you give me a quick refresher on what you believe in? Maybe I had you confused with Farrell…

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

‘They are usually referring to James Farrell’s comments.’

If that’s true then maybe that curmudgeon Ron is right after all.

‘Unless it is about music…’

Well, it’s not my fault if no one wants to discuss baroque opera.

Anyway, apart from the Mark you mentioned there’s Mark Gallagher, MarkL (the army major) and marklatham. At least.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

Happy to discuss baroque opera, James. Monteverdi too early for you?

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

True, true, I should have remembered MarkL because he comments at Troppo from time to time. My apologies…

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

Indeed not, Rob. I saw no fewer than three Monteverdi productions last year. I almost wrote something about Pinchgut Opera’s L’Orfeo on Quiggin’s Monday Message Board, but decided against it, my review the previous year of The Fairy Queen having failed to elicit any sort of clamour for a follow-up.

But Sir Kenneth has put it on the record that he hates opera – opera topped a list of ten pet hates as I reacall – so it would be an abuse of hospitality to have a conversation here.

Brian Bahnisch
Brian Bahnisch
2022 years ago

The lots of Marks in 1968 had everything to do with the name of the boy in “Skippy.” I wish to record, however, that although we had a TV (just) in 1968 we didn’t watch “Skippy” and hadn’t heard of him. We chose Mark because we liked it and it worked with a German surname as well as in English.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

James: The Fairy Queen, how I love it. Purcell, the one indisputable genius that English music ever produced (unless you count Benjamin Britten – I would. Oh alright, maybe RVW also). And Dido and Aeneas, and the witches’ dance:

“In a deep vaulted cell the charm we’ll prepare
Too dreadful a purpose for this open air.”

Which Sir Kenneth, anyway?

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

It’s actually Scott’s thread. I don’t know what he thinks about opera. James is referring to Ken Parish.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

Well, shame on him.

Rob
Rob
2022 years ago

‘Sir Kenneth’, I mean.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

I don’t mind opera, although I lean more Wagner then anything else. Rienzi, anyone?

James Farrell
James Farrell
2022 years ago

Rob: One of the three Monteverdis I mentioned was Il Combatimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, and this was done together with Dido (which I also love) by Opera Australia. Maybe you saw it.

Scott: Wagner is great, but time consuming. Il Combatimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, by contrast, is only twenty minutes, but has about as much meaning and passion packed into it as the whole Ring Cycle.

Brian: Did you not consider Hamish?