Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Call me, Ishmael

A couple of hours later, Cameron Slater returned to his Manukau office to watch the reaction to his scoop unfold. The 40-year-old's distinctive, dark locks described, in an annotated photograph anonymously faxed to him last month, as a "permed afro", but probably closer to the wet look of a Jheri curl were still damp from the workout. (The fax, with its scribbled critiques of Slater's appearance during a Close Up interview, appeared to have originated from outside his fanbase, noting as it did his "shifty, untrusting eyes", "puckered little liar's mouth" and "fat bastard chin". "Water off a duck's back," says Slater, who claims a professional immunity to the sting of personal denigration.) He wore the same raglan T-shirt he'd worn during that television appearance, in which he had spoken as a National insider on the Worth affair. The shirt, which can be purchased through his website for $28.90, bears his blog's cartoon logo: a snarling orca, flexing bulging fishy biceps.
it is not exactly breaking news but I was so horrified and fascinated by the profile of the blogger known as Whaleoil in the Sunday Star Times, that it took me a week to compose myself for a response. It is not merely that Mr Slater reveals himself as a character who might have been created by Steve Coogan or Sacha Baron-Cohen, it is the details of his life that are so compelling; details such as:
Heading home from a weekly yum char lunch with a close group of fellow right-leaning, Seventh Day Adventist-affiliated mates, Slater takes a call about a proposed visit to Fiji, as a supportive guest of the regime, to interview Frank Bainimarama. The Commodore has not been granting interviews with the New Zealand press, but one of his deputies is a Whale Oil reader.
Could this be true? Is Mr Slater a cereal-munching Sabbatarian, or does he just hang out with foot-washers? And is Commodore Bananarama so short of friendly copy that he is prepared to whisk Mr Slater off on a whirlwind tour of his island paradise? I think we should be told. And, while we are at it, is an Orca a whale, or just a ginormous dolphin with anger-management issues? And who wears raglan shirts? And are Adventists allowed to eat yum char?

And what of such statements as "Slater claims recent posts he wrote were talking points at Lockwood Smith's wedding." Leaving aside the fact of Dr Smith's wedding being a talking point in itself, did they have nothing better to discuss? And then there is:
Asked if he ever experiences offline blowback from his blogging activities, Slater glances admiringly at his torso, then smirks. "I do boxing training, I talk about it on my blog. I weigh 100kg, but I'm not super-fat. A lot of it's muscle. My shoulders are wide. Buck, my personal trainer, is a monster."
A lot of it is muscle. A fair amount is just weird, such as Mr Slater's campaign against someone called Pearl Gooding, a young woman who has endured a year of cyber hell, at the hands of Mr Slater. But why? Why does Mr Slater persecute this socialette so? Is it because she is a protege of Rachel Glucina, former arch-rival to Mr Slater's friend Bridget Saunders in the gossip game?

And why the [fashionable phrase of the moment follows] sense of entitlement? "Each month, the blog to which he devotes his full-time energies earns $147.68 in advertising revenue, and costs $220 in server expenses." And your point is? He makes no money from his blog, just like every other blogger. That's the thing about blogs: they are free. People would not pay money to read them and they do not want to read the advertisements. They do not want the raglan shirts, either. It's the web, stupid: everything is free.

Mr Slater has achieved what he could expect from his blog: he has been on television and in the papers. He has many readers, angry white men like himself. He feeds them the indignation they desire. They reward him with readership stats. Journalists call him for his opinions on matters of politic. What more could a beneficiary in South Auckland with a tattoo expect?

I could go on, but that would involve giving libertarians the lesson in free-market economics which they sorely need. Blogging is about writing and self-promotion.There is no money in it.

By the way, we still have some articles in stock, including the Atletico Fundy Post away strip, available in S, M and L sizes. Please send a postal order for 12s/6d (includes P&P) to the usual address. Delivery may take up to 21 days.


Anonymous said...

Elsewhere in the article it notes that his wife sells things on trademe to try and make ends meet.

So in other words this self-described champion of traditional roles, this magnificent, muscle bound example of angry manhood, doesn't actually achieve first base in the man stake - he can't even provide his own family.

sas said...

He is odious.
I think I just turned into a lesbian.

Jake said...

Damn. I thought my blog was going to keep me in caviar.

Jake said...

Or indeed, mashed celeriac.

Anonymous said...

failoil's profile on FB says "christian".

pity the milk of human kindness only extends to other white men. especially young men in their undies.

seriously. i'm told his google image cache is replete with homoerotic soft pron.

Samuel said...

Split your lungs with blood and thunder...

Grace Dalley said...

Paul in answer to your question about Orca, yes, Orca are technically dolphins, but dolphins are technically a kind of whale.

Philip said...

It took me a moment to work out that trademe divides into the words trade and me . At first glance I thought it was an unholy fusion of trad with meme. Perhaps I have been on the internet too long.

Word Verification: astste, a trypanosome vector with orthographical issues.

Anonymous said...

If he has truly achieved what he can expect from his blog, hopefully he'll soon just stop it.

B.S. said...

Hey Paul - I am proud to be an "angry white white man". Shouldn't the complete description be "angry white men in denial of latent homosexuality". Not quite as snappy but perhaps more accurately reflecting the pitch of your post.


Bryan Spondre
Angry White Man (Not Sure About The Latent Homosexual Bit but I guess that is what latent means)

Paul said...

Bryan, you are reading a lot into this post; which at lest means I don't have to write more. Why have one entendre when you can have double?

B.S. said...

"Blogging is about writing and self-promotion.There is no money in it." - if you do it with the intention of not making money you must be a masochist or a narcissist. I suspect Cameron would love to make money even though he enjoys the attention.