Say what you like about the work of Andrew Bolt, but there’s an awful lot of it about. Forget, for a moment, the product of the man’s labour and marvel only at his capacity to produce. We needn’t hold with the ABC view that Bolt “clearly has a great intellect” to freely applaud his true genius: staying awake. We may think poorly of his regular columns, frequent radio broadcasts, daily television program or incessantly updated blog. But, what we may not legitimately do is call the guy a loafer.
Some may call him a calculating bigot, an alphabet vandal or a thinker fatally unencumbered by thought. Others may describe him as, say, an unsightly symptom of epochal sickness, a stack of turds, or the sort of boy-conservative so failed and over-eager that even Grandpa Hayek couldn’t bring himself to cuddle.
We will not say these things. Not today. Let us refuse to be among those leftist bien pensants who bury him in the lies whose very utterance is made possible only by the Bolt defence of Freedoms™. Let us praise him.
Not, actually, of course for any crap he says, types or otherwise discharges from that sagging ring of a mind, oops, by which we mean Great Intellect. We praise his productivity.
Seriously. Even bad stuff takes time. You might say, “Oh. His column is basically identical to my racist cousin’s Facebook, but with spellcheck.” But, does your racist cousin churn out 10 of these a day and even if so, does your racist cousin select 10 different late-breaking, unsubstantiated incidents to saturate in numb hate? No. They don’t. They’re probably still going on about the made-up “white privilege” story from Monday, right?
And there is no chance that your cousin, even if well-remunerated, could pop off to the Sky News studio each night to name the true problem of the Western present, which is the silencing of persons like your cousin. I mean no disrespect to your cousin and I am not suggesting, even for a moment, that they do not labour hard in every instant they repost the thoughts of Andrew Bolt.
But, there really only is one Andrew Bolt. His energy is remarkable.
Whenever the words “Andrew” and “Bolt” appear on my screen in intimate proximity — can’t find an extension to stop this — I feel a jolt of pure envy. Not because he is popular with racist cousins. Not because he is rather well-to-do. No. Because he churns stuff out at a rate only matched in factories of the Global South then publicises it with the defensive passions of a Paleo Pete Evans/Caitlyn Jenner then rises again and again from the demonic cot of unreason like Linda Fucking Blair. Green vomit everywhere at all times is not as easy as it looks.
I work a minimum 60-hour week. In that time, I can generally produce a maximum of 5000 endurable words. And, sure, not all of them are good. But nor are Andrew’s. It’s the volume! The sick just seems to flow from Andrew and I imagine this infuriates Mark Latham, Tim Blair and, really, any person with any ambition to rule the world through the act of communication, i.e. me.
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This is no mere envy engendered only by the malice of capitalism. No. It feels like more than that. Maybe it is a basic, ancient envy at a display of superhuman endurance. I don’t know. I don’t even believe in that sociobiology dross. I did believe for a while, though, that Andrew Bolt had a team of persons for Fox News Central devising maybe even writing his next filthy product.
This has been considered before, I imagine. In a long-ago piece for The Monthly, writer Anne Summers suggested that late propagandist Roger Ailes had influenced the chap. Certainly Ailes, reportedly a guy who even gave Rupert Murdoch a case of the awed heebie-jeebies, was the Fox invisible hand. He may have given Bolt a lesson or three in becoming Bill O’Reilly Down Under. Probably gave up on the fourth, though. Because not even a legendary GOP Svengali could make Bolt seem natural in front of a camera.
These are the bitter thoughts I have about Bolt. I don’t like the jealousy that overwhelms me when I think about him rising again and again before a liberal crucifix and feeding off that craven hope like a demon. Why don’t I have a tenth of that energy? I can’t even be arsed uploading a podcast, showering or eating anywhere but in front of the fridge in my dacks some weeks. Why does he get all the life force while I spend freaking hours frozen with the third audiobook of Capital before even producing a word?
Look. He’s a robot. He is a machine. It’s really the only explanation. Not even romance novelists can describe so many gross fantasy scenarios in so many words inside a week. I did consider a potential use of amphetamine, but, no. I’ve tried that and all that unfolds is an overuse of punctuation. Besides which. That guy is so obviously not on speed.
He speaks like an automaton on TV. He writes like a robo-journalist of the near future. It is likely there is a man called Andrew Bolt, of course. What do you think I am, some sort of loony leftist consumed by creative doubt? NO. I know the truth. I see it. The guy is a FRONT. A front like “gay marriage” is a front for reducing OUR FREEDOMS.
Andrew Bot is the beta-culmination of corporate capitalist productivity. He is Tay the Accidentally Racist Microsoft Machine with a better chance of passing the Turing Test. He is the social media bot that mimics the worst of the worst of all speech yet has evolved to a point where he is able to form this into almost coherent paragraphs. He is NOT A MAN BUT A MACHINE and is exactly what one might expect to happen in an age where innovation has come to serve only the powerful.
Editors’ note: We at Crikey have arranged for our clearly distressed writer to enjoy a nice long weekend in her safe space, which is, of course, Melbourne’s annual Marxism Conference. She will be speaking with Roz Ward, who has, by coincidence, been a frequent topic of interest for Andrew Bolt.