Paranoia, Histrionics, Fiction.


Richard Flanagan

Apart from The Greens, as we well know, the most vocal of the illegal refugees’ champions and cheerleaders are to be found in the halls of the ABC and SBS Australia-hating cultural Marxists. But a less vocal, just as toxic group of permanently-outraged, bleeding-heart leftist zombies also regularly pollutes Australia’s literary circles and probably the most famous luminary of this very same lefty literati is the famous author, Richard Flanagan.

Unlike many of his peers, however, the ultra-sensitive and highly-intelligent Flanagan (I’ve read and enjoyed a few of his books) seems not to be just another leftist zombie. Far from it. Flanagan, in fact, seems to be deeply and perpetually disturbed.

So totally consumed, is Flanagan, so emotionally involved with the sufferings of humanity and with the plight of his fellow third-world (but not first-world) humans and with the planet as a whole, and so consumed by an obsessive-compulsive fascism disorder (Flanagan sees Nazis everywhere, including in his soup), one can’t help but think that he is just one step away from a psychological break-down. Whereas most of the other refugee advocates seem to be emotionally-disturbed (but are in fact really just utter morons), Flanagan appears to be genuinely emotionally-disturbed. And genuinely emotionally-disturbed about everything. (Excellent writer that he is.)

A case in point.
Writing – or should I say emoting – for The Australian on Friday, Flanagan really fell out of his trolley, unleashing a swingeing, hysterical, conspiracy-theory-ridden, paranoidal attack on the entire Manus thing: on the gulag, on the PNG police, on Australia (‘inventor of a vile form of repression’), on Australia’s IMA deterrence policy and on Peter Dutton.

It was all fantasy of course, but highly-entertaining fantasy. And I couldn’t help but laugh. (All the way through.)

Flanagan’s entertained us with his paranoia before, of course, famously on climate change. However there is also that other equally-stupid, figment of his great imagination: Australian fascism. ‘Fascism’, that is, as in the fascism of preventing hordes of unvetted migrants reaching Australia’s shores. Stopping the boats, in other words, is fascism. (And it’s vile.)

But unlike most of the other typical dick-warts on the Left I think the often hysterical, always highly-strung Flanagan, intensely, to the core of his very being, actually believes all this.

In the documentary about his book The Long Road To The Deep North, Flanagan demonstrated how emotionally-fragile he is, breaking down and weeping on TV, having to be comforted, like a little school-boy, by the interviewer. In Melbourne in 2015 he  went completely bonkers, practically frothing at the mouth, screeching ridiculous accusations of a fascist take-over in Australia by the newly formed Australian Border Police. Totally groundless, of course: the type of hysteria which can only come from someone truly paranoid and overwrought. (Like Flanagan, for instance.)

But I have to say, besides having a gift for paranoia and histrionics, Richard Flanagan also has a truly great gift for fiction. Combined together, however, the result is what rational people would quickly dismiss as the insane ravings of a lunatic (as they do my blog, come to think of it), and Flanagan’s article in The Australian on Friday was a brilliant example of this.
I can wait to read more.

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