On This Day, August 26

Posted on 26th Aug 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Sorry, not much happening on this day… got side-tracked while researching…

… all I found out was that on this day in 55BC, Julius Caesar led his Roman troops to invade Britain.  They made Bath a lovely place to visit…

… in 1498 Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pieta…

… in 1910 Mother Theresa was born…

… and on this day in 1978, actor Charles Boyer died.

As a kid I enjoyed watching a slick TV series starring Charles Boyer, David Niven and Gig Young called The Rogues.  Back then I wondered how they managed to entice film quality actors into a quirky TV show and I onlt recently found out how – the TV production company was owned by Niven and Boyer so they could get good actors cheap!  And the series was devised to roitate the lead actors so shooting could fit in with their other paid jobs (Gig Young had more lead roles because he wasn’t as in demand elsewhere.  The three played conmen and they pulled off the acting sleight of hand by having continuity in the support players (Gladys Cooper and Robert Coote) and they whistled in favours from fellow class actors to take the roles of the ‘baddies’ – Walter Matthau, Telly Savalas, George Sanders etc.

So, that’s about all I have for you today… but if you have been following the news his week, you probably noticed that Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has been copping a bit of mud from the far right for allegedly doing favours for a dodgy union boyfriend some 17 years ago when she was a lawyer with the firm Slater & Gordon. Gillard responded by saying she was on the end of a smear campaign led by “misogynists” and “nut jobs on the internet” who were “vile and sexist”. She was referring to a cartoonist of note, one Larry Pickering. When she called him these names, I thought, “Hello, she knows the man.” Pickering has a talent with caricature, no arguments there, and I’ll own up to being amused with his early ‘pornographic’ calendars depicting politicians naked (Bob Hawke with a huge penis, Margaret Thatcher with a bow in her pubic hair – that sort of thing) – but he is a conman, a serial bankrupt and a misogynistic liar who somehow manages to live a millionaire’s lifestyle on a pensioner’s income.

I don’t know Pickering at all well, but I have observed him, played pool against him and know people who had close dealings with him. He lived in Vanuatu when we first moved there. He lived in a posh house overlooking the harbour and Iririki Island Resort.

The house is now The Rendezvous restaurant (right – gosh, there’s a cruise ship in town!) and is opposite the Melanesian Hotel – in those days the Melanesian had the Sunset Bar that had a pool table, darts board and was a popular hangout.  That’s where I’d bump into him occasionally. Sometimes he had his then wife, ‘Tuppence’, in tow and I mean that in the ‘caveman dragging the missus about’ allusion.

Mind you, he was stoned much of the time. He’d even roll a number while playing pool. Occasionally he would hire a helicopter to drop him somewhere like Erakor Island Resort for lunch. Erakor was five minutes by road and five minutes by ferry from his house – it would have taken longer to get to the chopper and fly to the resort, but he loved to be noticed. That could be part of this flurry – the egotist spotting an opportunity to say, “Look at me” – especially when over half the population hopes he isn’t lying. Nasty bastard. The cartoon BTW is only half the picture – Pickering was banned from Facebook for three days for publishing what was deemed a lewd drawing of our Prime minister. I’m no prude, but I also find it gratuitous and offensive. The bit I chose to censor is a large strap-on dildo. Here endeth the rant.