Interlude: Rest in Peace, Hawkie

Day 39. 64 pages, 30,290 words. Done some editing!

Today I learned of the passing of an age-old Australian icon, former prime minister Bob Hawke.

I don’t know whether he was a good politician, or a good man. He seemed popular when I was a kid and remained popular in most circles I know of to this day. I don’t recall seeing him being reviled as so many politicans are in recent years. It’s probably fair to say he had a few skeletons and was responsible for some perpetuation of mistreatment of minorities. I don’t want to trivialise that but I will plead my complete ignorance.

He was a politician in the 1980s. A product of his time, to be sure, and I’m certain there will be any number of glowing homages, searing take-downs, and the hottest of hot takes over the days to come. Again, I plead ignorance and can only offer this Eighties Kid’s reflection on a larger-than-life national leader.

Mr Hawke’s capacity for drinking was vast. After all, he entered the world record books upon sinking a yard glass of beer in under 12 seconds during his time at Oxford University.

He was very much an Australian icon. From his beer-drinking victories (he quit drinking entirely during his time as a political leader but was still notorious) to his declaration on national television that any boss who fires an employee for skipping work the day of Australia’s victory in the America’s Cup is a bum (not to mention the class act of cheating on his wife with his own biographer, although it seems as though he divorced and remarried with said biographer and remained with her until his death, which – I – well – I, I just don’t know what to think but I’m sure, again, that the takes will be fresh, hot, and numerous), he was well-loved in a quintessentially Australian way that I connect, for better or worse, with my childhood.

Not that I drank a lot of beer and screwed around behind my wife’s back with my biographer in the 1980s. Or, you know, at any other time. I don’t actually have a biographer, in fact. I wrote my own biography, so I guess there’s a masturbation joke in there somewhere but let’s show a little bit of respect … actually Hawkie would probably have a laugh, never mind.

I’m very proud of it in one way [and] very disappointed that all the other, many brilliant things I’ve said are never mentioned. “What’s the most brilliant thing Hawkie ever said? It’s the ‘bum’ one.”

– Hawkie on his bum quote

Like all things from the 1980s, Hawkie was probably better remembered than experienced, and I’m sure he wouldn’t have been well-received in reboot form.

I didn’t know, for example, that Hawkie’s government was responsible for making Advance Australia Fair our national anthem. Up until 1984, it was God Save the Queen – same as Britain’s. Yikes. Now to be fair, Whitlam started this particular fire but then the Queen / Governor General dismantled the Whitlam government on the 11th of the 11th and the replacement government – hmmmm – reinstated the old anthem.

Hawkie also made the green and gold Australia’s sporting colours at the same time. Fascinating.

Here’s to ya, Hawkie. Good innings.



– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in the carpark.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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10 Responses to Interlude: Rest in Peace, Hawkie

  1. RIP, Hawke! Ethan Hawke is, I believe, Australian. Lazy but wonder if there’s a relation?

    Anyway your cheating story reminds me of our neighbor 2 houses back. His wife had, I believe, cerebral palsy and was wheelchair bound and they had like a nanny of sorts to help out. Home health aid, whatever. Not really sure, but it was always the same woman, not a rotation from the healthcare system.

    The dude was in his 50s. The nanny was probably 30 or so, and pretty cute. The obvious thoughts came to mind.

    Then the wife died. And the nanny stayed. And was clearly in a relationship with him at that point. So…yeah. I’ll be nice like you and not say much, but stay classy amirite?

    LOL =/

  2. brknwntr says:

    They may have had the wifes blessing. Or even her support.

    Imagine two people who both care about each other, but also care for the third person. Who lovingly care for her until her death, and then acknowledge their feelings for one another. Or perhaps she acknowledged the feelings for them. Pointed out that she knew they both loved her and didn’t want to hurt her, but that they were hurting themselves. Encouraged them to be happy, because she knew it wouldn’t change how they felt about her. I imagine she was occasionally remorseful about certain aspects of her relationships that she could no longer enjoy, maybe even bitter at times. But ultimately, if all three relationships are founded on n love and trust, and it worked for them, shouldnt we be supportive and happy for them?

    • stchucky says:

      This is why I didn’t judge too harshly. Hawke has made several statements about the affair he had (some of it in that link in the main post), and by all accounts the separation and remarriage all seems to have been amicable. Frankly it really should just be between the three of them, but Hawke was a public figure so that goes out the window.

    • stchucky says:

      Oh you’re talking about Aaron’s neighbour? Yeah, no comment on that one myself.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Hey a guy can dream, right? But that’s pretty liberal, I gotta say, to be accepting of an open marriage situation like that.

      I dig it.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Also funny side-note, in my sleepy head I was confused and thought we were talking about Hawkeye, his wife, and Black Widow for a bit there. Also responded to the wrong comment with each of these responses. Coffee time!

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