Larry ‘the Lizard’ Pickering is one of those odious ego-driven characters with a smidgen of talent who strike it lucky and for a time strut the public stage like vainglorious peacocks before disappearing back from whence they came, emerging only occasionally over the years just so that we folk of a certain age can all ask ourselves how the hell we once thought he was interesting and perhaps even a smidgen clever.
In our defence the world was a different place back then, or suburban Australia was anyway, and we were just kids sucking in what we saw around us and, more particularly, on the magic idiot box which believe it or not in those days was the size of tank, didn’t have flat screens – you only got them at the drive-in; don’t ask kiddies, I’ll explain at another time – and boasted just 4 channels, which may be incomprehensible to the youngsters raised in the internet age where choice is a right not a privilege, but boy oh boy did those 4 numbers on the dial pack some punch or what?
TV had it all back in my day laddies and lassies, those were the golden years and don’t you worry about that. Racism, homophobia, and all manner of vile bigotries; sexism, chauvinism and the exploitation of women; homophobia, prejudice and bigotry of all varieties. You name it mid-1970’s Australia had it, and to put what now seems the nation’s appalling attitudes to almost everything into context, don’t forget that the White Australia had only officially been abolished a brief couple of years before.
This dark chapter in the Wide Brown Land’s history – an era when Racey, Leif Garrett, David and Shaun Cassidy and the Bay City Rollers ruled the charts – was fertile ground for a racist, misogynist homophobe to make a name for himself.
Enter Larry Pickering onto the national stage.
Pickering fit the bill to a ‘T’, and for a whirlwind decade his star rose like a rocket, his cartoons sold like chocolate-coated strawberries to a calorie starved couch-surfing sloth, . and the dough rolled in like the breakers at Bondi on a stormy day.
But of course f*ckwits are as f*ckwits do, and before too long Pickering’s hubris rotted his brain and he left what he was good at – obscene caricatures aimed at a base idiot audience – and became a horse trainer. Thanks to his friendship with John ‘Singo’ Singleton, who made his mate his stable trainer, Pickering had some early success, culminating in his horse Rising Fear running a place in At Talaq’s 1986 Melbourne Cup, but before too long it had all gone to custard, as most things that Pickering touches do, and the RSPCA were chasing him for animal cruelty after he simply upped and walked away from his stables leaving a gaggle of hungry and thirsty thoroughbreds behind.
The one time mate of the rich, powerful and downright crooked disappeared from view for decades, emerging only from time to time in the centre of one financial scandal or another, before popping back up in the public eye a few years ago as the author of the eponymous news and current affairs website the Pickering Post, which he used as a platform to promote his odious anti-Muslim world view and garnered thousands of followers even more stupid than he in the process.
So then here we are, and the morons who subscribe to Pickering’s form of prejudice hang on his every word, and take all that he spouts as gospel truth.
Leopards don’t change their spots, and neither has Larry, and so these days in addition to his stock in trade of penning obscene sexually charged and sexist cartoons, Pickering prints his rants and declares them the spot-on-the-mark prescient ruminations of a man more in the know than anyone on the planet.
It is of course untrue, and Pickering is nothing more than a garden variety moron with a criminal bent who happens to also have a talent for drawing and an aversion to fact checking, and nothing spells it out better than his recent ‘I know something that you don’t’ article declaring Hilary Clinton to be a lesbian who once had a passionate affair with Yoko Ono.
Boom, boom, boom, boom! Lesbians, Asians, ‘Lefties’, and women all in the one story. All that was missing were a few Muslims and a bucketload of truth, for you see Pickering lifted the story and its accompanying obviously photoshopped picture – without attribution of course – and sold them to his readers as the inside scoop from a man who knows.
There’s only one problem though: the original story is a fraud, an invented piece published on a satirical website by an author taking the piss out of Donny Trump’s outstandingly atrocious attitude to women.
And Larry fell for it hook, line and sinker.
The sad thing is not that Pickering published this tripe – one would expect him to – but rather that once upon a time this sad clown was winning Walkley Awards for supposed journalistic excellence.
Bloody hell, the next thing you know they’ll be handing out gongs to sheilas who hard sell conspiracy theories about illegally constructed quarries being responsible for floods that kill a dozen people.
What’s that Mum?