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Thread: General/Opinion

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Gerry Patterson, Your Most Esteemed And Humble Blogger

With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Friends?


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Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 17:34:55 +1000

They used to say that a week was a long time in politics. Thanks to the 24x7 news cycle, these days a day might seem interminable ... Or at least it might to Alan Jones, well known Sydney shock jock, who has encountered a perfect storm of convergence of politics and social media that has gathered momentum over the last three days.

jonesschad: (noun) -- Pleasure derived from watching the discomfort of an Australian shock jock suffering from a self-inflicted injury (See also Jones, Alan plus Schadenfreude).

Well dear reader this blog rarely ventures into the murky waters of politics (Or not since the last Australian general election). But on Sunday morning there was a news item to wit: someone had posted audio on the Internet featuring Alan Jones, well known radio 2GB personality, in which Jones can be heard speculating about whether Julia Gillard's old man might have "died of Shame"

And even though this was an extremely tasteless pun ... Probably one of the unfunniest your blogger has heard this year ... Your blogger must confess dear reader, that he did utter a wry little chuckle ... It was, in fact, your blogger's first experience of the emotion of jonesschad, a word recently coined by Dan Byrnes, Armidale historian, raconteur and poet without a blog. And freshly minted in your blogger's own humble words (above).

Dear me, Mr Jones, your blogger thought to himself, This is simply beyond the pale. Whatever else you believe Julia Gillard may or may not have done, she is still a woman who has recently lost her parent ... It occurred to your blogger that Mr Jones might be paddling into troubled waters. And indeed as the Melbourne Storm rugby league team prepared to storm into Sydney, more ominous storm clouds gathered on Alan Jones' horizon ...

Before too long Mr Jones had issued an apology ... A long rambling, unconvincing, and singularly unapologetic apology ... Although, truth be known, it was probably more for his sponsors than it was for Julia Gillard ... It was all a little unfair Mr Jones, opined ... People had said worse things about his side of politics ... And he had repeated a little joke at a "private function" ... And It was a such an innocent little joke ... And ok he conceded (grudgingly), it was wrong of him to repeat it (etc).

Mr. Jones had many pithy aphorisms about eating crow and taking it on the chin. But there was one he maybe should have cited ... Namely that when you are in a hole, you should stop digging! But Mr. Jones went on digging until he was in nice and deep ... It probably would have been a lot smarter to have issued a simple apology.

Now with his curiosity well and truly piqued, your blogger went searching for the offending item. And yes, Alan Jones can be heard speaking the very words ... However, dear reader, your blogger also heard something else on the digital recording ... It was laughter ... Not polite little chuckles ... But loud guffaws ... Big hearty belly laughs ... Howls of derision ... Your blogger could almost picture tears of mirth flowing down the faces of the assembled merry-makers as they clutched at their sides and tried not to soil their undergarments or fall on the floor and roll around kicking their legs ... What a hoot, dear reader. What a hoot!

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

-- Bob Dylan, Ballard Of A Thin Man

Dear me, Mr. Jones, you still don't get it do you? And even though you would never read this humble little blog, your blogger will attempt to explain it ... The transgression was not the repetition of the joke ... It was the great gales of laughter and obvious enjoyment that followed the repetition ... This is what appears so tasteless to the Australian public.

Had there been an awkward silence ... Some coughing and clearing of throats ... A muttered remonstrance of "Steady on old chap ..." etc, it might not have gone so badly for all concerned ... And if only that little smarty pants pest hadn't been recording the proceedings with his smarty pants phone.

Since this audio was posted, several guests who were present at the function have disavowed their mirth. They claim they didn't actually hear Mr. Jones' remark ... And in any case, they had been laughing at something else at the time ... Perhaps it was the intoxication of the moment? Maybe just good old joie de vivre? ... Or the bubbles in the beverages?

Inevitably, the dogs of twitter and facebook have been unleashed, and have set upon Mr. Jones, sunk their sharp teeth into his nether regions and savaged him mercilessly. All the while members of the general public, such as your humble blogger, have looked on in a state of bemused jonesschad.

Throughout this Ms. Gillard has maintained a stony, dignified silence. The prime minister probably considers it best to give Alan Jones clean air. After all, in three days on his 24x7 cycle, he has done more damage to the Liberals than her entire front bench managed in three years ... So she'll probably let Jones do the talking for the time being ... After all, Ms Gillard probably thinks to herself, with enemies like this, who needs friends?


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