Off the artistic role call

She was born with a pedigree for writing, but screenwriter Marieke Hardy - awaiting the start of her new TV series - likes to do it her way.

Although she prefers to keep her online identity a secret, Marieke Hardy, the 29-year-old Melbourne screenwriter who wrote and produced Seven's 22-part drama, Last Man Standing, drops some fairly strong clues about it in her own publicity material for the show.

Along with her impressive professional credentials in the program notes for the 20-something series are the lines: "Marieke Hardy has a radio show, a political fashion label, a go-go dancing career, a regular DJ gig and a secret contentious life on the internet.

It appears that Marieke Hardy/Ms Fits of Reasons You Will Hate Me fame has cracked it for a three page profile in the metro (yep, capital letters are on a ration at Spencer Street due to budget cuts) section of The Age on Monday. The profile, by entertainment writer Wendy Tuohy, is remarkably positive about Hardy, her writing, her personality, her love for Bob Ellis, even the presense of a flower behind her ear. It seems that Ms Fits can do no wrong. Of course, during the profile she gives the obligatory plug to her new TV series which hit the airwaves last night.

It certainly is some sensational personal publicity for Hardy. A little odd though, that the day the new program launches, when the network publicity machine is going into overdrive, that it's not the stars who feature prominantly - as would be expected - but the scriptwriter.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Hardy has been in the pocket of The Age. Hardy has been appearing in their ultra-lame "a subscriber because..." adverts, which feature minor Melbourne luminaries telling the world why they subscribe to the paper. Surely something like this - that Hardy has a commercial relationship with the newspaper - was worthy of a mention at the end of the profile. Alas not.

Marieke Hardy flogs The Age

Looks like that's the deal, folks. You praise them, and they'll praise you. How cosy.

I'm a big fan of The Age, and a modest fan of Ms Fits (Hardy's alter-ego) but the whistle needs to be blown on shonky little arrangements like this. Firstly, The Age shouldn't stoop to tacky 'celebrity endorsements' to sell a quality broadsheet. Secondly, if they are going to do it, then they've got to disclose it should it be relevant to a story. Sounds pretty straight-forward.

The last word on this one ought to go to that great philosopher of our age, the very wise, and now very dead, Bill Hicks:

"If you do a commercial, you're off the artistic role call. Every word you say is suspect and is like a turd falling out of your mouth and into my drink."

That'd be you, Marieke.

UPDATE, 7/6, 11:41pm: How depressing. After pouring my heart and soul into fascinating insights into the human condition in places as diverse as Burma, North Korea and a stinky Thai prison, the record for hits and comments on this blog is set when I hang shit on a former writer from All Together Now. Ah well, thanks to everyone who stopped by, had the time to abuse the hell out of me and fart in my general direction. As I said in the post, I'm a fan of both Hardy and The Age and don't want to drag either through the mud, I just believe that we need to all be vigilant when it comes to conflicts of interest. Oh yeah, and I wanted an excuse to get out my old Hicks CDs.

UPDATE 11/6, 11:20pm: Various netizens in the Ozblogosphere having been chipping in their two cents on this particular storm in a tea cup, and up until now I've decided to keep my nose out of it. Given that plenty of misinformation has been floating around, I thought I might take a chance to separate fact from fiction:

1. I have no agenda. I've never met Marieke Hardy, and the little I know is derived from the article, and from being aware of her involvement in the Pandagate kerfuffle last year. I don't have some desperate craving to undermine her credibility. Indeed, as the writer of a new Australian comedy/drama, I wish her all the best and hope that anything which pushes the merry-go-round of crass reality shows off its axis is a good thing. I missed the first ep of Last Men Standing, but I will tune in next week to catch it.

2. There is no reason to think that the only reason the original Age profile was run with her connection with the paper. That is absolutely absurd and at no time did I claim that. Instead, the point of my post was to suggest that The Age owed its readers some basic disclosure about Marieke's role spruiking the paper via the ads. Without this disclosure, it was fair for readers to wonder what was really going on. The article could quite happily have been published as it was, but a two sentence disclosure at the bottom would have let readers be fully informed.

3. It is wrong to draw a parallel between Hardy featuring in an advertisement and then recieving positive press with a media outlet/restaurant/film publishing a paid ad and then recieving positive press. The crucial difference is that Hardy's appearance was spruiking the paper, not simply spruiking her own product.

4. It's also wrong to say that we can read nothing more into "a subscriber because..." ad other than Marieke is a subscriber. Instead it tells us that not only is she a subscriber, but that she has chosen to become a public advocate for the newspaper, and been paid (presumably she was paid, otherwise she's a dill, and she aint) for doing so. She is not merely 'a subscriber' but a paid spruiker.

5. I did indeed screw up the spelling in the title: it is a ROLL CALL, not a ROLE CALL. Much as I'd love to change it now and burn the evidence, that would breach an unwritten blogging rule, as well as destroying links that have been made to this post. Apologies to the English teachers who taught me to spell over the years... and conducted a roll call at the start of class.

6. I've copped plenty of rather personal criticism for all this. For posterity's sake, here are some of the juicer ones:

La Nadine asks: who the fuck are you?

Jess reckons I'm: smarmy and self-congratulatory

Kranki chipped in with: The only person in America who knows you exist thinks that you are a sad, bitter and misguided fecal nugget, who isn't funny enough to earn the right to even quote Bill Hicks. (Hey, at least I have a big following in Sweden. -A.)

thomasr addresses me as: you fucking shit stick

Over at Virulent Memes I am: some reactionary tard (A still can't quite work out what a 'tard' is - a misspelling of turd? a late Frenchman? a Doctor Who fan with a missing syllable? -A.)

tiny tirant wonders: young chubby Ari (what the f*ck is going on with that pic?)

Flashman agrees with Jess (earlier) that I'd slipped into: 'smarmy git' mode

It seems like it's Tourettes week in Blogsville.


Fluffy said…
If you're a modest fan (and certainly not one without access to horse's mouth testimony) why do you jump the gun and not ask Marieke about her relationship with The Age before yelling "scoop!" and frigging yourself madly?

I fail to see how The Age benefits from this 'cosy' arrangement.
Anonymous said…
BEVIS said...

Eat a fart.

la nadine said…
who the fuck are you?

get your own "impressive professional credentials" before you jumping on successful and talented people that you are supposedly a "modest fan" of.

Jeremy said…
Wow, such hostile response. I for one agree with Ari, I can't see why the commercial relationship here didn't deserve a mention at least at the end of the profile piece.

He's not a journo with access to personal interviews with even minor celebrities, you can hardly expect him to get a response even if he asked (and I can't see why he should have)...
Anonymous said…
BEVIS said...

I got a fart here for you, too, Jeremy. Eat it.

Jess said…
I don't want to put forward any crazy notions, but perhaps they praised her because she's very good at what she does? And perhaps Wendy wrote about her personality in a positive manner because, despite how some of the blogging world tend to perceive her to be like, she really IS lovely?

I suspect you weren't intending to sound nearly as arsey as you did, but the last bit of "That'd be you, Marieke" did you no favours. It came off smarmy and self-congratulatory and maybe it's just because I'm not from Melbourne, but I really can't see the drama or the scoop here.
Anonymous said…
Some company you keep, Ari. It looks like bloggers (I assume dickheads like fluffy [no caps, of course] and BEVIS [all caps, of course - but no brain]) also resort to juvenile invective as soon as one of their sacred cows is attacked. Just like everyone else!

Your comments about Marieke baby are spot on, of course. The only bone I'd like to pick with you, though, is your description of the Age as something of quality. It is not. It is no less of a rag than its opposition - but it certainly has greater pretensions. BEVIS (the larger the caps, the smaller the penis) - whose obviously an expert in these matters - would say that it thinks its farts don't smell.

underwhleming said…
I don't know Ms Fits in real life, but it is very possible that the journalist was surprised by the contrast in what she read online, and who she met.

I think its unfortunate to assume that a nice article has alterior motives; and there is absolutely no questioning her professional credibility. For god's sake she's written a 22-hour show (that, whether you like it or not, is a lot better than the average Australian comedy/drama), and wrote a series at 20. Isn't that rather impressive?

To pick up on the first comment, I don't see the benefit to the age? I mean I subscribe, so will they write a puff piece about me? Given Ms Fits works under three names, the least recognisable/ famous of which is her own (RRR and her blog are previously more public), it appears more 'coincidence' than 'cosy'. I think it is a stretch to say the ad means she is a sell out, or the paper is biased, was she paid for them?.

I think it is great that a scriptwriter is producer, and also promotes the show.

Implying she just took a dump into your drink is a little extreme, and "that'd be you Marieke" is a bit harsh. Though maybe something the online Ms Fits wouldn't object to doing in your drink after your 'expose'.

As for Anon (N), you can't accuse someone of being juvenille one paragrpah, and then the next say that they have a small cock. I mean you can, but it just makes you look like a large cock.
Anonymous said…
Dear N (no name, merely an initial, which is in all caps, of course, because that's the correct way to type it, and if we know nothing else about N, we know that he / she / it likes to be right about these things),

I'm just brewing up an especially potent one for you now ...

Ahhhh. That's great. Now eat it.

I don't know what possessed you to assume I was male (Was it my flatulence? What a generalisation!), but I admit I have a very small penis.

I keep it in a jar. I went after the last guy who irritated me with a pair of gardening shears.

So tell me, N, where do you live? I'd love to meet up with you and ... *snip snip*

(all caps, therefore you must be able to tell everything about me)

PS - 'Sacred cows!' 'Just like everyone else!' Hilarious! You should write for the Comedy Festival! With such pearlers as those, you must be rolling in girls / guys / trannies. Brilliant work! Where can I find other examples of your work? What a gem.

PPS - I'll do the fart jokes. Your attempts stink.
Anonymous said…
No BEVIS baby, EVERYTHING about you stinks!

I'm truly worried about the (virtual) company Ari is keeping. la nadine (no caps, no dick) thinks you have to have impressive professional credentials to criticise "successful and talented people". What a tosser!

And BEVIS, little BEVIS. Is this boy a psychopath or what? I assume he keeps his brain in the same jar as his dick. That way they can continue to fuck each other.

I'm out of here!!

Buck Fudd said…
Why do a profile of Marieke rather than the show's stars? Maybe because the Age wanted to go beyond superficial and obvious TV Week/Hun style promotional pap and give its readers some actual insight into the show's nature. They can do this by profiling the show's Principal Creator. The writer and co-producer. Who wrote all the scripts (bar 3). Who had some input into how the show was made. Who was involved from its inception three years ago. Rather than an actor who was hired six months ago to play a single part or a director who only made, at a guess, six or seven episodes.

This is the first new Australian TV drama to appear this year. A major profile of that program's main creative voice is entirely legitimate, eminently sensible, and the best way of getting more intelligent viewers to take an interest in the show.

Therefore, the appearance of this profile in the Age actually shows that it's still a better, more intelligent and insightful newspaper than its competitor, and has nothing to do with the fact that Marieke has been giving regular hummers to every arts editor there since she started writing for Neighbours ten years ago.
Jess said…
"Some company you keep, Ari"

In fairness to Ari, this comment thread is more reflective of the company that dirty tacky poo spitting wench keeps. It's just he ran immediately over to her blog and linked to this post which I can only assume was an effort to get her friends to take the bait and respond in her defence and\or get a response from the lady herself.

And, having tasted a mouthful of said bait, I think it's time to bid you all adieu since my favourite ghetto money ho doesn't really require any defending from us on this non-drama. x
Buck Fudd said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Buck Fudd said…
I agree with Jess, but I'd just like to point out that Fits herself beat me to the punch with the bought-article-with-sex joke by more than an hour and on her own blog. Spitting poo at herself, I guess you could say.
Anonymous said…
BEVIS said...

I agree with Buck Fudd and Jess. Two brilliant people because they hold the same views as me. Good on them.

As for the cowardly N who ran away to blog another day, I think I'm in love. He / she / it cleverly worked out that la nadine has no dick (was it the female name that did it, genius?), then tried to upset me by rabbiting on about my dick and my brain being in the same jar.

Well done to you, N. A well thought-out argument with sexy undertones and an alluring rebuttal.

You have hurt and scarred me more than you will ever know by saying everything about me stinks. It is truly third grade insults like these that leave me reeling in shock and disbelief at the skillful and crafty retorts you're able to strike at me.

I don't know how you do it, but please continue. The fact that you have the intelligence to construct a full sentence marvels me. I watch amazed.

The point everyone's missing here is one Ms Fits stated herself in the article Ari was referring to at the start: She welcomes opinions that oppose her own and wouldn't try to stifle them.

It's for this reason that she's a better person than any of us.

I think we should all just take a deep breath, smile, shake hands, agree to disagree, and then flush your head down the toilet, you snotty-nosed try-hard leftie.

Anonymous said…
I'm gratified to learn that BEVIS is in love with me, but what a pity that his love will never move beyond the platonic (no dick, no brain - remember?).

It took all of my four years in third grade to master the type of insults that roll so freely from BEVIS's calloused fingertips. By that stage, though, I was already bored with fart jokes.

Anyway, I suspect that fluffy, la nadine and big boy BEVIS were the threesome in the UFO that our sweet Maieke was talking about in her blog.

Good luck to the three of you.

I'm out of here (again)!
Anonymous said…

This is an excellent post. These sort of conflicts of interest and cosy relationships need to be out there in the public domain. If Ms Fits isn't embarrassed by this blatant corruption, then she shouldn't be bothered by this post. If she is embarrassed by it, then it was obviously wrong to her as well, and it should have been disclosed.

Either way, a great post.
Anonymous said…
Well done Ari. An excellent post. Marieke and her minion of nerd losers may attack you for it as you see above, but you are right, she has lost all artistic credibility.

Her only claim to fame - she was stitched up by Andrew Bolt for being a phoney. Well done on exposing this c-grade celebrities conflict of interest. To quote her own words, you really gave her in her the "lesbian finger bang f*ck and then pissed on her."
Jeremy said…
DO you know what I hate? People posting insults as "anonymous".

For fuck sake people, it takes five minutes to get a Blogger account. And if you can't be bothered, at least put a pseudonym at the end of your comment.

Jesus. Have some dignity.

(I'm not commenting on this stoush, because neither Ms Fits nor Mr Sharp need my assistance.)
kranki said…
The only person in America who knows you exist thinks that you are a sad, bitter and misguided fecal nugget, who isn't funny enough to earn the right to even quote Bill Hicks.
thr said…
Ari, Ari, you quote Bill Hicks when you are the antithisis of what Hicks represented you fucking shit stick. Hicks would have eaten you for breakfast and shat you out before lunch.

The quote you used was in the context of Bill having a go at Pepsi/Coke popstars- not encouraging people to read a broadsheet. Further, Bill's "roll of dishonour" included "establishment" pop stars et al selling their opinion when they didn't need the money. If Ms Hardy does read The Age, then it's a looong way from that to Britney drinking Coke when she has a contract with Pepsi.

How bout this quote:

A dimwitted Waffle House waitress came up to my table, saw me reading a book, and asked, "What are you reading for?" Not "what are you reading?" but "what are you reading for?" "Well, I read for a lot of reasons, but one of them is so I don't end up a fucking waffle waitress."

YOU are the fucking waffle waitress.

"Looks like that's the deal, folks. You praise them, and they'll praise you. How cosy"

What a moronic throw away line that was. Surely even you don't believe it.

Or are you so desperate to piss on her parade that you'd even stretch reality that far.

Let's go there conspiracy nuts:
[Very High Up Person at The Age]: "Hey Wendy, it's %$^@# here, owzit goin'?"
Wendy Tuohy: "Not bad, how's the New World Order?"
VHUPITA: "Haaa, wendy always taking the piss, ha ha. But look, straight to business, that Hardy wench you are speaking to this week, just a few pointers..."
WT: "Oh yeah?"
VHUPITA: "Yeah, look- go easy, glowing, lightweight if you don't mind. Think Naoimi Robson on serepax or one of Ray Martin's bonzer sheilas, you get the vibe"
WT: "... can I ask why?"
VHUPITA: "sure"
WT: "WHY?"
VHUPITA: "That ad we ran back in '04 on page 3 of business, right down the bottom, the one that featured her pretending to read the paper..?"
WT: "ummmm.. yuh?!"
VHUPITA: "Frankly, We. Really. Fucking. Owe. Her"

Ari- what are doing at uni when you could be on Media Watch with exposes like this? Littlemore, Ackland, Barry and Marr (not to mention Jackson) step aside- Ari the Obvious is in tha house!!

Ari pop the foil hat on and go about your business.
Anonymous said…
Good point Ari, well made. Thanks for pointing that out. A conflict of interest if ever I saw one.
Anonymous said…
thomasr and kranki are obviously in the same category as BEVIS and la nadine et al. They wouldn't know their arses from their elbows!

What's more, they're dishonest. They are clearly mates of the lovely Marieke and are unable to express an unbiased viewpoint. They would have loved Channel 9's Schapelle special, and thought it wonderfully balanced.

The post was a good one. Finito.

Jess said…
thomasr, I want your babies. That sketch was brilliant.
thr said…
Where you assume, I deconstruct.

I do know arse from elbow- you can't lick your elbow, but YOU can lick YOUR arse.

Didn't watch the Schappers special, but thanks for coming out and giving it a shot. It's like the special Olympics- you get FULL points for just having a go.

I am not a "mate" of Marieke's, just have a low tolerence for trolls and long shot conspiracy theories. Never met, spoken to nor even emailed Marieke. So put that to bed.

OK, so I have LIFE SIZE CUT OUT OF HER AND A FUCKING SHRINE to her, but then I used to have one for Miranda Airy Brain as well, so it's hardly a glowing endorsement.

And BTW- You won't be calling "finito", leave that to the adults.

FIN- fucking - ITO
Anonymous said…
The only thing you deconstruct, thomasr, is logic and truth. You deconstruct because you cannot construct. You'd do well in Abu Ghraib.

I'll leave the arse licking to you. You're so far far up Marieke's ring that we can barely see your heels. She was caught out. End of story. Good on Ari.

Now it's finito, boyo. Go to sleep.

Jeremy said…
Ari - there's a reason why this post has received more comments than your other - and, I might add, more interesting - recent posts, such as the ones from North Korea (which were fascinating).

And that's because you posted a link in Ms Fits' comments leading to a post in which you told her that her words were like turds. What did you expect? Ms Fits has a very popular blog, and has built up a large following, as you know. Not because of who she is in real life, but because of her writing. Obviously trolling for a response in her comments is going to get people riled up.

Pity, because I think most of the people who've jumped all over you for this would actually find your blog interesting if they went through the archives.
Buck Fudd said…
1. Yes, I am a mate of Marieke Hardy's. Initially because of her blog writing.

2. When I was running a small anti-racist website 1+ year ago Ari was one of the few people to tell us he was a fan of our work.

So I definately don't have anything in particular against Ari. However, you're seriously off the mark with this conflict of interest shit.

Pick up your copy of Monday's Age Metro section again - the one with Marieke on the front - turn it over and read the review of Last Man Standing on the back. Not very positive, is it? In fact, for the most part, he shitcans it. No sign of cosy commercial relationships there.

Returning to my original point in my first comment: the profile was simply the best way to promote the first new Australian television drama this year to a thinking audience. Any suggestions of shifty commercial conflicts of interest should be directed at Ch.7's relationship with the Age, not Marieke's. I think they buy advertising space in the paper, don't they? Go and demand that this be declared at the end of every article and review. Go on. But the negative review kind of undermines that argument anyway.

Urr, whatever...
Anonymous said…
I was dissapointed that after all the promos with 'watch out guys, all our inner secrets will finally be revealed' I found out that it was written by a non-guy, and as noted by a poster on TSSH,was 'looking like an hour long, metrosexed, blokey beer commercial...'
Anonymous said…
Apathetic Loser said...

Must comment quickly to be number 30!

Hmmmm,what can i say that hasn't been said?

I don't know who's the biggest loser in this one. Myself - a non-blogging blog consumer enjoying the shit-fights that ensue after smarmy posts from competing bloggers? Or Marieke's blogger mates who are scambled DEFCON-style lest her esteem be lowered in the eyes of losers like me?

It's a tough choice.

...And a side-note about the age article from a not immodest fan.

I think it would have been enriched, if not made more balanced, if it had touched on the Marieke/MAB/Bolt scandal. Not just for discerning losers like us, but just to revisit Marieke's foucaltian mastery of the "GBLT sexual violence insult".

Much more impressive than fart jokes,
- a certain LOSER take note.
The Student said…
Melbourne Blog Gliterati ATTACK!

Right or wrong it's a good post.

If it were anymore than a puff peice, I think it's be worth the fuss, but considering the show is shit and the reviews say so, who cares?

Anonymous said…
I don't think Marieke's readership is actually that wide - just a group of the same old people again and again.

Good on you, Ari.
Anonymous said…
If find it a little sad that her biggest fans seem to be her real-life friends - a little round puddle of sychophants. That, and the fact they all appear to be nuffies.

I like her blog, but the word is her show's crap. And she's endorsed The Age in an ad, which should have been disclosed in the profile. Grubby behaviour.
thr said…
I like her blog, but the word is her show's crap. And she's endorsed The Age in an ad, which should have been disclosed in the profile. Grubby behaviour.
Spoken like someone who didn't see it.


Buck Fudd said…
"they all appear to be nuffies"

What the fuck are nuffies?
Anonymous said…
How is her subscribing to the newspaper a "relevant connection"? Do you really think the editors check with the distribution department to see which subscribers might like to be interviewed? Should we complain if Andrew Denton deigns to interview people who happen to watch the ABC? Grasping at thin air. I remember when weblogs were all about the links, not the amateur journalism. Stuart Littlemore envy?
BwcaBrownie said…
For your follow-up, perhaps you could list every Phillip Adams contribution in support ofthis country's Traditional Owners Indigenous Rights/ Achievements, published in The Australian,and bleat about why he never actually reveals that his daughter is married to an Indigenous Australian / Traditional Landowner?

It would also be more agreeable if you could simply support any press promotion of Australian writing.
Anonymous said…
"It would also be more agreeable if you could simply support any press promotion of Australian writing."


I suppose Brownie's full name is Brown Nose!

What a load of the proverbial! Ari mustn't comment on any Oz writer, just in case he upsets his or her feelie-weelings! I wrote before that the contibutors crapping on Ari wouldn't know their arses from their elbows, and the are certainly proving me correct. Who do think they are? The fucking "Thought Police"?

You're doing good, Ari. But steel yourself. The next round of invective from these people will move from the personal to matters of race/religion. That's how it goes with Philistines who can't deal with views tha6t differ from their own.

Anonymous said…
hey ari,

You appear to have made inpress magazine. Apparently now you are a right wing blogger.
Anonymous said…
nuffies = people from Newfoundland
Anonymous said…
Right on, brother! When I saw on IMDB that Folly C had appeared in R.F.D.S., I inquired (via her now empty message board) as to whether the title stands for "rabid foamy dog slag". And do you know what? Her parents went out of their way to publicly thank me!

Keep up the good fight!
Anonymous said…
Right on, brother! When I saw on IMDB that Folly C had appeared in R.F.D.S., I inquired (via her now empty message board) as to whether the title stands for "rabid foamy dog slag". And do you know what? Her parents went out of their way to publicly thank me!

Keep up the good fight!

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