Phil on the couch

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:29 am

Phillip Adams reveals the terrible childhood forces that shaped him:

Gun lust: “A toy cowboy gun—a scaled-down version of a Colt .45 in the cheapest of cast metals with flanks of plastic masquerading as pearl handles. It was the most beautiful object I’d ever seen.”

Materialism: “Buying it, possessing it, was entirely out of the question. First of all, the price was enormous: around ten shillings.”

American cultural imperialism: “Oh, that gun! It looked exactly like the one Tom Mix used in the cowboy serial at the kids’ matinee at Hoyts Rialto—or the two that Hopalong Cassidy kept in matching holsters.”

Jealousy: “It was the sort of present that the wealthy parents of my best friend, Johnny Sinclair, could easily buy for him. Even the less affluent Prestons, just up the road, could buy it for David, whom I regarded as my worst enemy.”

Self-pity: “But there was no-one who could or would buy it for me.”

Parental resentment: “Once my absentee mother, in an attempt to demonstrate the depth of her maternal concerns, had made me some short pants …”

Shame: “I can still hear the laughter those wretched pants provoked at East Kew State. Almost as bad had been the two-wheeler I’d been given which, instead of being a shiny, glamorous velocipede like my friend Johnny’s or my enemy David’s, turned out to be embarrassingly secondhand and old-fashioned.”

Sexual insecurity: “To make matters worse, it had pink tyres. Pink! The thought of being seen on it, let alone leaving it with the gleaming machines in the school bike shed, was intolerable.”

If only Phil’s bike had non-girly tyres. Imagine all the columns we’d have been spared.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/18/2004 at 07:56 PM
    1. “inaccurate, emotive, unfair, misleading and seriously lacking in balance”

      That’s about the best description of the environmental movement I’ve heard in a long time!

      Posted by JPB on 12/18 at 08:07 PM • permalink


    1. Sorry – that was meant to go to the the previous thread…

      Posted by JPB on 12/18 at 08:08 PM • permalink


    1. OFF TOPIC :

      Andrea, the RSS feed is working in Sharpreader now! Thank you!


      Posted by darwin on 12/18 at 08:19 PM • permalink


    1. Dunno about the environmental ramifications, but that’s definitely one of the best fiskings I’ve read in a long time. Kudos, Tim.

      Posted by TimT on 12/18 at 08:28 PM • permalink


    1. what’s the bet that this david preston chap is now a liberal party member?

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 12/18 at 08:57 PM • permalink


    1. OT: For some reason Andrea I still cannot modify my member profile – keeps complaining about an ‘invalid page request’. what’s up?

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 12/18 at 09:22 PM • permalink


    1. Now let’s hear about Michael Leunig’s childhood. I suppose that involved being seriously assaulted by crooked nosed evil jews; kicked in the guts by fat old ogre-like Americans; and being raped by a giant yellow duck.

      Posted by Richard_of_Oz on 12/18 at 11:36 PM • permalink


    1. We had to _earn_ our guns, digging holes to bury kids shot by other kids.

      Posted by rhhardin on 12/18 at 11:59 PM • permalink


    1. I think a shrink would find something seriously wrong with the fat buffoon’s fixation on his “childhood” memories.

      Or, more likely, it’s all just proletarian solidarity bullshit.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 12/19 at 01:27 AM • permalink


    1. It would be useful for us non-Aussies to have a sidebar telling us who Phillip Adams is and why he rates a front page story in a major publication.

      Even if today, old Phil is the worst leftwing nutcase longing for a complete takeover of the globe by euroweenies and Michael Moore clones, doesn’t mean he isn’t sincere about the toy gun and the sacrifice his grandparents made getting it for him.

      Posted by blerp on 12/19 at 01:47 AM • permalink


    1. benson: from what I’ve been able to find out, the “invalid page fault” thing is a firewall problem. Are you running a firewall on your system?

      Posted by Andrea Harris on 12/19 at 02:07 AM • permalink


    1. thanks for replying Andrea. yes i am behind a hardware firewall at the moment, but no software firewall on the computer I’m typing at now – are you sure that’s the problem? i find it hard to believe that it is since i’m only making outbound connections to this site.

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 12/19 at 02:42 AM • permalink


    1. This lunatic decided God wasn’t real “long before” he decided Santa wasn’t real?

      Posted by Aaron – Free Will on 12/19 at 03:08 AM • permalink


    1. “I realise now what a cheap, tawdry thing it was.”

      It”s remarkable how one sentence can destroy an essay.

      Posted by Franklin on 12/19 at 03:23 AM • permalink


    1. Franklin: He’s just establishing some bourgeois sentimentality to maintain the fraudulent connection with his comrades.

      Posted by Aaron – Free Will on 12/19 at 03:38 AM • permalink


    1. Phil and I have something in common.  Our mothers dressed us in girls clothes until we were 9 years old.  I’m not sure what Phil has in his closet these days.

      Posted by Mystery Meat on 12/19 at 03:49 AM • permalink


    1. Aaron � Keep in mind he was 37 when he decided God wasn’t real…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 12/19 at 04:42 AM • permalink


    1. I’m with Franklin.  Cut the “I realise now what a cheap, tawdry thing it was,” and this is a wonderful Christmas story.

      Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 12/19 at 04:58 AM • permalink


    1. Pink wheels?

      No wonder he later became a board member of Greenpeace.,5744,1860505%255E12273,00.html

      Posted by jorgen on 12/19 at 05:41 AM • permalink


    1. In the interest of truth, justice and fair play, is it correct (as Phillip Adams claimed) that he made himself unpopular with the comrades by speaking out against hatespeech legislation?

      One of the most deplorable characteristics of many lefties is their refusal to give credit to opponents when they do something that is manifestly the right thing.

      If Phillip did oppose hatespeech laws I would like to congratulat him.

      However I would also like him and all the ex comrades (and current comrades as well) to say Sorry for the crimes of the Soviet Empire.

      Posted by Rafe on 12/19 at 09:04 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry to read that his parents ran away; must have been those boring conspiracy stories he keeps telling.

      Posted by rog on 12/19 at 09:25 AM • permalink


    1. Phil has a great voice for radio and an easy flow of banter. But he is more show-biz chameleon than intellectual. This was no handicap to himself or Mark Latham in their ascendancy to the ranks of “labor intellectuals”. That bar needs to be raised. The revelations of childhood are unremarkable for that era, but make him vulnerable to potshots.  His lack of rigour in examining current affairs probably stems more from a professional background in advertising, the film industry, and the Communist Party. If only he had used his talents in the realms of fantasy for good!

      Posted by blogstrop on 12/19 at 10:23 AM • permalink


    1. personally, I think he’s parents only ran away.  They could have put him in a sack with a rock in it and thrown him in the river.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 12/19 at 11:32 AM • permalink


    1. Read that column yesterday, and remember thinking how whiny it was.

      Sure we are all sooks when we are kids (I want this and I want that), but that diminishes as we get older and we realise our parents, grandparents, whoever, did the best they could.

      Rafe, I think Adams has generally shown an opposition to anti-vilification laws in that traditional old-left freedom of speech way.

      Posted by Darlene Taylor on 12/19 at 03:27 PM • permalink


    1. benson: no, I’m not sure what the problem is. That’s just one of the most frequent explanations I received by searching the Pmachine support forums. Email me ( with the things you are trying to change and I’ll do it; until I can get an answer on what causes this that’s all I can do.

      Posted by Andrea Harris on 12/19 at 04:48 PM • permalink


    1. nah that’s ok was just asking what was up. thanks andrea.

      Posted by benson swears a lot on 12/19 at 04:50 PM • permalink


    1. made a new account instead – apologies for any nuisance caused Andrea!

      Posted by bensonski on 12/19 at 07:35 PM • permalink


    1. I was quite moved by the story. It helps to explain why Adams is the way he is.
      Imagine the trauma of being one of the few divorced kids in the 1940’s-50’s.
      That was one of the best Christmas stories I’ve ever read.

      Posted by davidb on 12/19 at 08:33 PM • permalink


    1. Phillip forgot to mention that his grandmother used to dress him in army fatigues and a green cap with a red star on it.
      It puts the gift of a gun in a whole new light.

      Posted by gubbaboy on 12/19 at 09:25 PM • permalink


    1. I think the Bolshevik equivalent of the American Colt 45 would have been the Broomhandle Mauser C96 “Bolo”. They also came with a nifty matched shoulder stock.

      Maybe his grandparents were a little concerned about the Bolshie attitude toward small farmers.

      Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 12/20 at 07:32 AM • permalink


    1. Andrea is it Norton? (causing invalid page thing).

      Posted by crash on 12/20 at 07:36 PM • permalink


  1. What I have read indicates it could be a Norton firewall problem. I’ve never used Norton; but I did use ZoneAlarm for a while and I used to have trouble getting into some sites. With that software you could set permissions to let some websites have more access, but I don’t know anything about Norton, except that a friend of mine who is a systems analyst hates the program.

    Posted by Andrea Harris on 12/21