not a bad bone in his body... a saint.
Jesus has died...
I mean Bill Leak has died.
“Not a bad bone in his body” says one of his friends...
The eulogies, the tears and the glorification will soon turn into beatification. I am surprised the Murdoch outfit has not asked the pope for a comment.
So, it’s now Gus Leonisky’s, the lazy pauper amongst the poor cartoonists, turn to eulogise Bill Leak.
I met Bill a couple of times, at some people’s places where for whatever reason I had been invited, being on some publicist’s rent-a-crowd list; you’ve all seen “The Party”, the movie with Peter Sellers. The name gets added by accident, after the bumbling character destroys a superproduction movie set.
I don’t think Bill liked me. I felt as if I did not exist or did not matter to the scheme of the Cheddar cheese. I believed he did not like people with a different opinion than his. I could be wrong and he might have been a pluralist, but on many edgy sensitive issues, he stuck to the Murdoch’s ugly stable scripts: Labor bad, Libs (KONservative) good. My mistake was not to eulogise him then about his portraits of famous people. I had done my bit of portraiture but nothing as memorable as Bill’s.
I recognise now that Bill was walking on water, drank the water he had turned into wine (or beer -- I forgot which one was his poison) and was very very shy. As a person that is. As a cartoonist he was a loony ratbag extremist, but that is the job of a cartoonist. A cartoonist needs to hit their target in the balls -- or in the face, never in the back, or should the target be a woman, they need to spoil their hair-do. I’m old fashioned with the ladies and I drink red ned from the casks while no-one is looking.
There were many differences between Jesus Leak -- as described by The Australian, the Daily Telegraph and all the “independent” press -- and Gus (goodness, I could not compare myself to this god!). He was on the right side of politics and I tend to hover more towards the left, being anti-establishment, anti-military and anti-police -- and god forbid, while making amends with the Ruskies -- presently demonised by the western press, more than hell itself. The next difference is that I rarely punch “the little guy” -- the downtrodden, the poor, the sufferers and the sick, including the sick in the head. I only hit the big guys: the rich, the politicians, the churchmen, the dictatorial religious hatted men, including those of the Muslim community. I always see that the little persons, even the supporters of crap, have been the victims of hoaxes as promoted by the big men, including the capitalists who steal from their pockets.
For Bill, he saw the little people to be depicted as bludgers, loafers and morons, and he did not like the “left” -- especially if you were part of the Intelligentsia. What is the “intelligentsia”? Good question. For different people it will have different meaning. Should you be a well-read, thoughtful idealist with knowledge of sciences and literature, plus understands many of the world’s problems and have a heart of gold, you are a pissy intelligentsia member and deserve to be ridiculed as a Chardonnay swilling lefty. Should you be a rightwing greedy warring bastard, you should be promoted to general in chief -- the kick-ass extraordinary, the Tony Abbott brigadiers and the best admiral to get banks to make a buck from your back-pockets.
I know: Bill fell on his head off a balcony in 2008. This could have been a life changing event for Bill. And it was. His nice way to attack the little poor blokes was seen as an asset by the Murdoch cronies. He was in need of employment to pay for the permanent headache he was suffering from, and the Murdoch outfit needed a cartoonist that could destroy Labor, especially Julia, and piss some more on the little poor people who were already shafted by the indecently rich. Thus Bill, Jesus-the-Leaky-Jester, went to work for the sheriff of Nottingham. Sure, as Warren Brown (another right-wing cartoonist for the Murdoch media), tells us in his eulogy of Bill, “a cartoonist job is to be unfair to everyone.”
That’s a lot of codswallop.
John Howard is fair game for introducing the never ever GST and the duty of the cartoonist is to enlarge his eyebrows (guffaw) but you cannot be unfair to some poor bastard with fetal alcohol syndrome who could not remember his own name. This is the pits of freedom -- of speech or otherwise. It’s a bit Nazi. The Nazis used to kill them after experimenting on the poor bastards’ reduced faculties. Yes Freedom can have pits of ruthlessness. And this is where some people -- especially the one with black skin or “cafe-au-lait’ deserve to be protected from cartoonists. . .
We, cartoonists, are a dangerous people if we indulge is this caper. We need empathy with the under privileged. We constantly need to be reminded of our duty, not of our glorious larrikinism, which has been praised so much by Bill’s adulators, as if Bill lived in a giant tub of mayonnaise.
The guy had great talent by the 3doubleD-truck load. But he used it for the force of darkness -- Uncle Rupe.
Bill is lauded for being “brave” to challenge the 18C legislation. I do not find this “brave”, I find his attitude actually wrong and weak. Freedom has responsibilities. One could place this annoying Leak trait of bashing the little guy, whether with “good intentions” or not, as being immature and as lacking a shingle on the roof. Who knows... Some article in The Australian calls Bill Leak, “the people choice”. That is a bit much. Which people? The people who read the drivel at the Daily Telegraph, the people who write the drivel for people to read in the Daily Telegraph? Uncle Rupe?
The Daily Telegraph of Saturday March 11 2017 tells us Bill was “A satirical genius, a superb artist and a tireless champion of truth and fairness.” One out of three ain’t too good. Yes Bill Leak was fantastic with the pen and the brush. Beyond this he was not a genius. He was as dorky as the next idiot on the issue of global warming for example. Genius? Did he invent a new Quantum Mechanic theory? Truth and fairness? None of this ever showed in his cartoons. Not even in his portrait, which in many ways were exaggerations of reality, a bit like Michelangelo’s portraits of god in the sistine chapel.
Then The Daily Telegraph tells us that “A NATION MOURNS THE SHOCK DEATH OF AN AUSSIE VISIONARY”. Wow... The whole nation? Nupe... VISIONARY?... Sorry I never saw this aspect of the bloke. Here one needs to define “visionary”. I won’t go into the details of the meanings of this strange word which can become contradictory. This was, I hope, a relative one-sided superlative from the DT. Visionary, thus? Nupe again.
Miranda Devine lets us know that “[Bill Leak] was under enormous stress recently because he had the uncomfortable habit of telling the truth.”
Here Miranda might have her finger on something she knows nothing about: I sense an uncomfortable leaky position for Leak, not about lacking support. Bill Leak had the entire Murdoch Media Machine riding pillion with him about “the truth” (whatever that is), so why would he be feeling under stress, when he actually had so much support around him -- as well as “telling the truth” and being such a nice bloke?
Where there dark demons? Here I can only guess. My guess would be that Bill knew he did not tell the truth, but massaged ideas to channel the spirit of rightwing autocracy, his paying master, and did it very well. This could be harsh but I can see no way that Bill could be “under stress” unless he had serious second thoughts about what he was doing. I know the caper. I have been doing it since 1951. It got me into trouble a few times, and as one has once said, there no such a thing as a lazy artist with talent.
I have been trying to disprove this for a long time now. My laziness is legendary in my own mind. I could be the most lazy person of the planet and in order to balance this unfortunate state of laziness, I work day and night and do not sleep.
So, vale Bill Leak, my combative opponent. Well, I was not your opponent nor other people would see this way since no-one knows I exist. And that’s okay by me...
Condolences to the family. Bill Leak was a good man but a vicious cartoonist.
A friend in occupational hazards, despite the brickbats.