Editor of The Media, Peta Krost Maunder, bought David Bullard’s latest book, Out to Lunch…Ungagged as she missed reading his columns in the Sunday Times. Here she gives her opinion of the controversial columnist’s latest offering that is NOT for sale to lefties!
I am not sure I like David Bullard. He seems poncy and there is nothing vaguely modest about him. So, we are unlikely to be close friends but ever since I knew of his columns, I’ve read them avidly.
They might incense me. I might even agree with them. The point is I read every one and I kept coming back for more. For me, it was less about the subject matter but Bullard’s style and ability to write damn good columns.
So, when I heard there was another book of his columns out, I was keen to get my hands on a copy because I haven’t been following his writing since he left the Sunday Times. So there would be lots to read. And there is something really great about a good book of columns for short sharp entertainment at irregular intervals.
I was concerned, though, that his columns are often newsy and news dates fast.
On checking out his cover and seeing the warning that it was “not for sale to Lefties”, I wondered if my political leanings were finally going to prevent me from enjoying his work. But then, am I still a leftie? Today I am not sure who is a lefty, a righty or a dangling-somewhere-in-the-middle. I mean, ANC stalwarts get really pissed off with the ANC and the old Nationalists are ANC now anyway. So who is a lefty?
One of the things I really enjoy about the book is his commentary after the columns, bringing them up to date. As I mentioned, news columns date fast and have the potential to be very dreary and old. I didn’t have that sense with Bullard’s book and it is because of the regular commentary.
Having said that, the commentary that breaks up THE column that got him fired was overkill. That was the only part of the book that was TOO much and felt much more about hitting back at former Sunday Times editor, Mondli Makhanya, and the Avusa team than about Bullard’s own work.
I must say though, I have missed his writing in the Sunday Times and I am not the only one. His writing is so damn good! He really has a way with words and structures a column like a work of art.
How’s this? “Personally, I like my politicians as I like my rock stars…flawed. I don’t believe all this guff about perfection, which is why I am warming more and more to a Zuma presidency.”
Then there this: “They (angry readers) wake each morning snarling with anger, fire off a few spiteful comments on internet sites from behind the safety of a pseudonym and go about their miserable lives consumed by envy and hatred…. They are nothing but a bunch of bed-wetters and their discomfort should only serve to make the rest of us feel good about what is happening in South Africa.”
Then when Carl Niehaus fell from grace, he criticised Gwede Mantashe’s comments: “What a load of cobblers. Why doesn’t Mantashe just come out and say that it is the policy of the ANC to hang onto crooks and fraudsters.”
Ah, there are so many to enjoy. So, Mr Bullard, I still don’t agree with everything you say and never will but that doesn’t stop me really enjoying your columns. I agree with you, Mr Bullard, writing a column is not just expressing an opinion. It is about crafting a work of art. Few know how to do it quite like you do.
David Bullard’s book, Out to Lunch…Ungagged, is published by Two Dogs.