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I Love Joe Hildebrand

I Love Joe Hildebrand

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Published by Maureen Shelley
Life would be greyer and bleaker without the insight and delightful humour of columnist Joe Hildebrand
Life would be greyer and bleaker without the insight and delightful humour of columnist Joe Hildebrand

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Published by: Maureen Shelley on Nov 21, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I Love Joe Hildebrand I love Joe Hildebrand, his mind not the man.

In fact, I have trouble telling Joe Hildebrand the man apart from John Rolfe. They are both slightly weedy, slight nerdy looking 30-something journalists who work for The Daily Telegraph part of the great News Limited stable in Sydney, Australia. There the likeness ends. I can’t talk much about John Rolfe, except to say that he seems to work online more than in print. But Joe, there is a horse of a different colour. Joe has a take on life that makes you stop, read what he’s written and go “WTF? Let me read that again.” Joe writes stuff that makes you laugh right out loud in the middle of a busy newsroom – a newsroom full of cynics. My colleagues now tell me they read Joe with extra interest on the days when I can’t stop laughing all the way through subbing his column (making it fit the space). This is work I get paid to do; thank you Rupert. Joe is not Joe the Plumber of Obama/McCain election campaign fame. He’s not some guy that has had what he’s said taken out of context and made into an icon to hang an election on. Joe can’t be taken out of context because the only context that may suit him and his genius is a Dirk Gently think-a-like competition or Monty Python reborn into a 21st century zeitgeist. Joe makes observations on life and politics, love and loss, friendship and loneliness, and his imaginary friend (at least I think he’s imaginary) left over from what was clearly a disturbed childhood, Darrin. In a meandering way, that is a bit like attending a Billy Connolly concert – you have to pay close attention or you lose the thread – he subtly paints his canvas, layer upon layer and then stops just when you think you’ve understood what he was saying but you’re not sure. You then walk around for hours in between hanging out the washing and making the kids lunches, checking your friends updates on Facebook, and go through his words again. Giving up, you just chuckle to yourself and thank your lucky stars, God or a pound puppy that the world contains people like Joe. People who can make you laugh, people who make you think, or people who can just distil one of life’s experiences into a few sentences are rare and delightful. May his lapsed-Catholic, angst-ridden soul continue to inspire his genius for many years to come and may Rupert continue to pay him to communicate it with the rest of us. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,,24546694-5001031,00.html Maureen Shelley © 2008

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