The alternative title of this story is ‘Why Many Hand-Wringing Supporters Of Independent Media Need A Good, Hard Slap In The Chops’. And a warning to readers: This story contains foul language and is written in a particularly bitter and angry tone.
Lovers of independent media… pull your heads in. New Matilda, a shiny beacon of the ‘semi-radical but occasionally just plain contrarian’ left has been slaving away for years, operating on the sniff of an oily rag, upsetting paupers and millionaires alike, and getting racists and bigots fired from their jobs.
And for all that hard work, we have a lousy 30,000 folllowers on our Facebook page (the lousy being a reference to the number, not the individuals, who have proven to be discerning and thoroughly awesome).
30,000 sound good to you? Well, here’s a list of people and organisations who have more Facebook followers than New Matilda… and some of them are complete prats.
1. Awkward Family Photos – 2,609,738 Followers
It’s not that we actually have a problem with Awkward Family Photos’ Facebook page. This is more one of those cases of jealousy, because it’s an especially excellent site.
And with photos like this, with accompanying awesome captions, how could it not be: “This is a pic of my husband and his family. My mother in law is obsessed with clowns. Her house is covered in them. This year they were even included in the family pic.”
But it also has nearly 90 times as many supporters as the New Matilda Facebook page, which is reason enough to also hate it… and have an actual problem with it, despite claiming we don’t.
But then… you see photos like this, with accompanying caption, and you love it again: “My brother and his wife couldn’t get any good pics for Easter because my nephew wouldn’t come out of ninja mode.”
Even so, we hate them, and you should too if you value independent media. Or someone into hacks your online family photo album.
2. Tony Abbott – 460,655 Followers
The man who brought us such stunning phrases as ‘Living in a remote community is a lifestyle choice’, ‘Australia was nothing but bush prior to the British’, and ‘As the housewives of Australia do the ironing what they need to understand is…” has more than 15 times as many followers on Facebook as New Matilda.
In one post alone, which has been liked by more than 7,000 people, the former ‘Village Idiot-In-Chief’ stands with a smiling family at his local Rural Fire Service fundraising event. Notably, his shiny new RFS uniform is both un-ironed and un-sullied by smoke and ash. Which strongly suggests someone gave it to him to wear for the day.
Even so, it attracted this post from one of ‘Tony’s followers’: “Always in the public service. So much respect for you our elected PM Tony. Merry Christmas to you Margie and family and Happy New Year. Please stay in the parliament as we need you to stop the drift to the left as we don’t want two Labor parties.”
We don’t want two Labor parties either (indeed we’d rather there wasn’t even one), but that particular comment was posted on December 24… quite some time after Abbott lost the Prime Ministership… intelligence apparently being no barrier to creating your own Facebook account these days.
3. Steve Irwin – 193,186 Followers
Steve Irwin’s Facebook page is not even a real one – it’s one of those automatically generated pages based on a Wikipedia entry. It doesn’t even get updated. Ever.
And there’s a simple reason for that – Steve Irwin died while harassing an enormous stingray almost a decade ago, before Facebook was even really a ‘thing’.
And yet still, almost 200,000 people have decided is quite a bit better than New Matilda’s Facebook page.
As Steve Irwin himself might have said, ‘Crikey, that stings’.
4. Boycott Halal in Australia – 85,696 Followers
Liking a page calling for a boycott of a concept – as opposed to a thing – is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face (which also has a Facebook hate page, available here).
It’s entirely possible the 85,696 people who like the ‘Boycott Halal in Australia’ page don’t really understand what they’re boycotting. Indeed, that seems highly likely, given the mental faculties (or lack thereof) it would take to like the page in the first place.
So here’s the problem… and we’re typing very slowly for those having trouble keeping up.
It’s one thing to support a ‘boycott of Halal-certified foods’. It’s another thing altogether to support a ‘boycott of Halal’. And that’s because if you decide to ‘boycott Halal’, you’re boycotting anything which is permissible for Muslims to consume… including most of the foods you eat every day. Sorry Islamophobes, that’s how uncomplicated and unthreatening Halal actually is.
But don’t just believe the blog of a rabble-rousing rag – here’s a Facebook page which claims that oxygen and water also happen to be halal. Naturally, we fully support all the followers of the aforementioned Facebook page boycotting those as well.
5. Jacqui Lambie – 73,274 Followers
The most recent post on the former Palmer United Party Senator’s Facebook page is of a dog wearing pants, appearing to have passed out drunk on the ground after a particularly vigorous New Years Eve.
The post immediately before that is of a Pug wearing a pirate outfit. Which pretty much sums up Jacqui Lambie’s broader contribution to public life in 2015.
If that isn’t offensive enough, Lambie’s ‘About’ section reads: “Jacqui will attend Tasmanian community groups and organisations to speak at no charge to the group.”
Well hurrah for you, Jacqui… considering you got yourself elected on someone else’s cash, then quit the party that backed you, all the while soaking up taxpayer dollars to flit around the country and say things like this: “Anybody that supports Sharia Law in Australia should not have the right to vote, should not be given government handouts and should probably pack up their bags and get out of here.”
Lambie’s offer to ‘give free talks’ sounds more like a threat than a treat, thus she should be charged under the new sedition laws and sent to Supermax so she can’t update her Facebook page anymore. One small tragedy for dog lovers, one giant leap for everyone else.
6. Reclaim Australia – 64,661 Followers
In the course of writing this story, which took about three minutes, the Reclaim Australia Facebook page actually increased by 10 members. So either Peter Dutton’s army of media advisers got a brief break from his latest screw up (and got online to search their favourite right-wing Facebook pages), or it’s just a really popular page that a lot of people really like.
Which is perplexing, considering the nature of Reclaim Australia… basically, it’s populated by a steaming pile of unabashed racists who are determined to ‘reclaim their nation’ from a threat which remains, as yet, unidentified.
And it’s even more perplexing when you consider what Reclaim Australia actually posts on its official page.
New Matilda’s most recent post is a thoroughly excellent New Matilda story about the power of renewable energy, written in response to another thoroughly excellent New Matilda story about how crap renewable energy is.
Reclaim Australia’s latest post? A half-arsed beat-up from a sh*t sheet in London, headlined “UK waterpark bans bikinis and orders visitors to wear ‘Islamically appropriate’ clothes”… a story which subsequently reveals (if you’re stupid enough to click on it – admittedly, we were) that it’s only for a single day, for a special event to celebrate the local Muslim community.
7. The Great Aussie Patriot – 46,173 Followers
About the only thing worse on Facebook than the Reclaim Australia page is the Great Aussie Patriot page, dedicated to a man who is so racist and unlikeable that even Reclaim Australia won’t have him anymore.
Turns out, Shermon Burgess (no really, that’s his name, although many people understandably mistake him for the bookish kid from Rocky & Bullwinkle) aka the Great Aussie Patriot, is a one-man splinter group from a 40-man splinter group.
Shermon’s latest ‘thing’ is to demand people “support our farmers”… because they’re clearly not getting enough government subsidies already. And they’re oppressed. By the government AND the weather.
But his most recent home video is a departure from the usual over-enunciated fire and racist ‘I hate left-tards’ brimstone sermons for which Shermon’s become semi-famous. Instead, it opens like this: “Morning guys, yes, I am up very early this morning. I know this. I’m just gunna have breakfast, go down the gym, do a training session and then I am going up to the lake fishing for the day. Hopefully I catch something. If I do I’ll be sure to let you know.”
There is, sadly, no follow up video… which strongly suggests that Shermon didn’t actually catch anything. And we were really, really hoping he caught something.
8. Support Cliven Bundy – 42,016 Followers
Haven’t heard of Cliven Bundy? You’re missing out. But that doesn’t mean you should like his Facebook page.
Bundy is the head of the Bundy clan… a hard living, God-fearing ranching family from the north west of the United States.
Another wealthy, oppressed white man, Bundy has successfully managed to avoid paying more than $1 million in back taxes owed to the US government (for cattle grazing fees) by enlisting the help of a few hundred mad, wide-eyed gun nuts who believe that the Obama administration is part of a One World Government conspiracy, and is plotting to take their guns away.
Whenever the government turns up and tries to collect the money Bundy owes, his private ‘militia’ pull out their guns and wave them in the general direction of government officials, and grimace a lot, and speak into walkie-talkies and say things like ‘I’ve got a shot, I will engage if fired upon’. Naturally, the agents of the world’s only remaining Super Power meekly retreat, and go looking for unarmed black teenagers to shoot.
And in case you’ve been living under a rock, Bundy’s boys are currently holed up in a government compound in Oregon, having taken the empty Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by force over the weekend (turns out rumours that a weekend cleaner tried to fight off the advancing militia with a mop and bucket are greatly exaggerated).
The Good Old Boys are now stocked up on canned goods, armed to the teeth, and planning to hold out “for years” in order to create a paradise for ‘wild west Patriots’ who want to live unmolested by government who won’t even seize the cattle of a white guy who owes a shitload in tax.
On reflection, it’s no wonder they have more Facebook likes than we do.
9. Larry Pickering – 40,884 Followers
Everyone knows penises are funny. But who knew penises drawn onto the bodies of politicians – particularly female politicians – could be so downright hilarious.
Larry ‘Dick and Balls’ Pickering has been plying his doodling trade for several generations now. In the early days, everyone just thought he was a kooky cartoonist with a not-at-all creepy predilection for drawing gonads. But as time passed, people came to realize that Pickering – who happens to also be a part-time conman – was a few sandwiches short of a hamper, the worse kind of conspiracy theorist… and more than a little focused on everyone else’s genitals.
Even so… those nudie cartoons are pretty amazing, which must explain why he has 10,000 or so more Facebook likes than we do. Fiona Katauskas, Lindsay Foyle and Costa A take note.
And last but definitely not least… indeed probably the biggest insult of them all.
10. George Christensen – 32,604 Followers
George Christensen might only have about 2,000 more followers than the New Matilda Facebook page, but the fact is… he has 2,000 more followers than the New Matilda Facebook page.
Granted, quite a few of those followers appear to be the sort of people who like to wake up angry, and start shouting at the world before their first coffee (a bit like a sizeable proportion of Alan Jones’ audience, who only listen to the shock-jock because they have trouble getting going in the morning).
But it’s still incredibly insulting from New Matilda’s perspective, particularly when you factor in what Christensen actually posts on his Facebook page.
There’s the usual ‘climate change is all a conspiracy’ crap, but on December 29, Christensen outdid himself by his own bottom-feeder standards, with a post about domestic violence.
“Probably politically incorrect but it’s also the truth. Violence in a relationship is violence whether it’s perpetrated by men or women. In any case, it isn’t right and it should be condemned in all of its guises.”
Yes George… it’s “politically incorrect” to condemn domestic violence. You idiot.
And here’s a bonus five pages from people and organisations who, thankfully, don’t have more likes than New Matilda.
Scott Morrison – 25,717 Followers
Suffer in your jocks, Morrison. We’ve got more Facebook followers than you, because you’re a human rights abusing bastard. Although in your defence, you were thoroughly excellent on Annabel Crabb’s Kitchen Cabinet this year. And you brought flowers. And Annabel batted her eyelids and blushed… which made for the best television of the year. But you’re still a bastard. And we still have more followers than you.
Badly Stuffed Animals – 22,583 Followers
Admittedly, at one level, this page is pretty cool. Behold their profile picture, which, ironically, looks like the sort of animal that Morrison might whip out of the cupboard for his appearance on Crabb’s show.
Their ‘About’ message is also rather cool, and unambiguous: “For all of us who like badly stuffed animals. We post a badly stuffed animal every once in a while, so like us if you like :-)”
We were utterly unaware that, besides an occasional passing interest in Cory Bernardi, anyone gave two hoots about Badly Stuffed Animals. You learn something every day.
The World Toilet Organisation – 14,253 Followers
There are many things to dislike about the World Toilet Organisation’s Facebook page – the photo of the large, building–sized inflatable poo at the top of their wall being a case in point. But it’s not a complete disaster area.
The ‘WTO’ (see what they did there?!?) has less Facebook likes than New Matilda, which is an enormous relief, and more than Peter Dutton, which, when you think about it, makes a hell of a lot of sense.
Peter Dutton – 12,767 Followers
Speaking of toilets, what do you say about a man who thinks the inundation of Pacific Island nations via climate change is funny, and who hopes to ‘secure our borders’ but can’t even secure a text message to another minister (who just lost his job when everyone discovered he was a creepy drunkard), and instead sends a message to journalist Samantha Maiden describing her as a “mad f**king witch”?
You say… that man belongs at the highest levels of a Malcolm Turnbull-led government.
Which is where Dutton currently resides, despite the fact he has all the popular appeal of (but is only half as good looking as) a rotting potato with ebola.
Which, when you think about it, says a lot… notably, that New Matilda is at least twice as popular as a rotting potato with ebola. Facebook popularity being a very slippery slope.
Benjyo Soujer – 35 Followers
And still speaking of toilets, from MedicalDaily.com comes news of Benjyo Soujer, a new social club in Japan that believes the “path to spiritual enlightenment” is cleaning public toilets.
We shit you not: “The 35-member group gathers every Sunday morning at 6 a.m. to visit, mop, and rinse the urinals and toilets of Tokyo, including the facilities’ walls and floors. Each bathroom takes about an hour-and-a-half to complete.
“The participants think of themselves as lavatory combatants, given the club’s name — Benjyo Soujer — is a combination of the Japanese word for ‘lavatory’ and the English word for ‘soldier.’”
Their facebook page has recently been shut down, but they make this less in the interests of proving that there are things less popular than Peter Dutton.
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.