The 2020 Bad Take Smackdown


It is time to start winding down, to put aside the workaday cares, indeed to put aside work altogether. Treat yourself. Maybe don’t go into the office or the widget factory. Hang out at home all day. In your jimjams. Give the breakfast gin an extra slurp and savour that well earned lunchtime rumbo. Perhaps you could lean into the infernal heat of accelerating climate change for a change, or contemplate the creeping ennui of the flying reindeer season. The PM surely has.

He’s three eggnogs into picking a fight with this guy…

… and it hasn’t occurred to him yet that when his Avengers assemble it’s not gonna be Captain America and Ironman. It’s gonna be a peevish Andrew Bolt, shitposting from exile on the Mornington Peninsula, and the Iron Ore Billionaires Club deciding over cigars and tax loopholes that Smoko has to go before he endangers the free flow of Chinese megaprofits into their Cayman Islands post office boxes.

There’s no reason the twice-baked dick cheese soufflé from marketing should have all the end of year fun.

So let’s dial it back.

This week let us entertain conjecture of bad takes, and specifically of the hierarchy of bad takes, which is currently the only growth industry we have and, in a delightfully convenient furtherance to the discourse, open to all comers. Anyone can play, whether it be a terribly unfair tweet by some grievous rando roasting your favourite TV show, or Prue McSween randomly being terrible because she doesn’t have a TV show any more and it’s a helluva fall from Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia to whatever the fuck it is she does these days to mend the broken cassette tape of her heart.

At the mildest end of Team Bad Take’s nomenklatura, among the internet’s reply guys, DM sliders and captains of the obvious, the bad take havers are a representative sample of Douglas Adam’s characterisation of the entire human race in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, ie. mostly harmless. (Adams, of course, died before realising that most people are not in fact harmless, they are the worst. But some guys have all the luck).

At this mostly harmless end of worst take ontology we find the relatively odourless, nonthreatening brain farts of writer, raconteur and local homosexual Mister Benjamin Law as regards the matter of Lemon Crisp biscuits, which he considers to be superior to all other biscuits, when they are instead a delivery mechanism for dangerous levels of industrial grade pool salt and Yellow Food Dye Number 5.

Not far removed from the epistemic hell where B-Law daily dives into giant sticky mounds of malarial fail crackers, we find his comrades from The Guardian’s Vanguard Cell For Conscientious Criticism And Self-Criticism perpetrating their annual Bird of the Year atrocity which never goes to the noble bin chicken our one, true feathered monarch.

These are bad takes, but not ruinously so. For that we would have to crash a Barnaby Joyce pity party (there’s always one somewhere), or check in with Sky News Aprés Noir for a cheeky little amuse douche from their white nationalist spank bank.

This being both the festive season and the business end of this colum, however, and to be honest because the idea just occurred to me, I would like to play Secret Santa and offer as Alien Sideboob’s Bad Take Haver of the Year, Mister Joe Hildebrand.

Pliny the Elder it was who spoke a timeless truth when he told us two thousand years ago that, “The only certainty is that nothing is certain, except a Joe Hildebrand bad take.”

Yes, records from that period are spotty at best, but one thing we do know about a Hildrebrand bad take is that unlike bad takes from the lesser crash test dummies of the bropinion class, a take from Joe is a take so heavy with neutron star densities of pure derp that it will not just warp reality, his terrible take will destroy it at relativistic speeds. That’s how Pliny the old one, a philosopher of the early Roman Empire knew to warn us against the maximum concern troll of the fauxgressive yapperazzi thousands of years later. Joe Hildreband’s bad takes have fucked up spacetime itself.

Hildebrand’s reaction to everything this year was to snort an entire sippy cup of lukewarm Bonox out through his nose and blame the Woke Left. That is his reaction to everything every year. Tiresome constancy is what he has instead of a single original thought.

He is no bin chicken, but Joe Hildebrand is the winner of the AlienSideBoob 2020 Bad Take Smackdown.