From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours…

God, this is Icke-y. Few things capture the bleak absurdity of 2018 than the news that Alice Walker, acclaimed African-American novelist, feminist icon and civil rights activist, has been red-pilled. In a recent New York Times interview, Walker recommended anti-Semitic conspiracy-theorist David Icke’s And the Truth Shall Set You Free as one of the books on her nightstand. A former mediocre English professional footballer and TV presenter, Icke’s unhinged ramblings include the belief that Earth is controlled by a cabal of shape-shifting extra-terrestrial reptiles, the Holocaust was possibly made up, and that Jewish organisations were secretly responsible for slavery, the US Civil War and the Ku Klux Klan.

Walker’s admiration for Icke goes back as far as 2013, when, on a BBC Radio program, she named another of Icke’s tomes as her choice if she could only read one book. But how did a literary legend like Walker fall in with a crank like Icke? Her YouTube history might give us a clue. In a bizarre poem published on her website last year titled To Study the Talmud, Walker urges the reader to start with YouTube in order to understand the “poison” of the Jewish holy text. YouTube has come under fire this year for being a breeding ground for radicalisation with critics arguing its algorithm is built to recommend more extreme, conspiratorial videos. Clearly, Walker was not immune. “Some of what you find will sound too crazy to be true. Unfortunately those bits are likely to be true”, Walker writes, before continuing on a thinly veiled anti-Semitic ramble more reminiscent of Alex Jones than a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Make a genital note. The teams of the AFLX (a truncated take on AFL that exists now for some reason) have unveiled their names and logos, in a big flashy super hero style promo. The Flyers, The Rampage, The Deadlys and The Bolts all unveil their captains and insignia, and it’s all pretty fun. But one particular logo caught Ms Tips eye — that of the Rampage.

And clearly Ms Tips is not the only one to note a striking anatomical resemblance — blogger (and wife of Western Bulldogs player Liam Picken) Annie Nolan wryly predicted “it’ll be team that can withstand cramps, pain and can take a pounding…but might have a few blood rules”.

Never tweet. It has become a mantra within political and media circles: never tweet. This, a real and actual and completely needless 2015 tweet from disgraced Nationals MP Andrew Broad — who on Tuesday announced he would not contest the next election after it was revealed he utilised “sugar daddy” websites while on overseas trips — is a perfect example of why: 

Exhibit B is from former New England independent Tony Windsor, who took time out from haranguing the Nationals for their institutional misogyny to refer to the woman at the centre of the scandal as “the Hong Kong bimbo“, who was engaging “extortion” — which, apart from anything else, is not how these arrangements work.

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