You've probably heard this one by now, but if you haven't, I'll catch you up to speed: Over the weekend, at a show in the New South Wales town Nyngan, someone threw a beer at Shannon Noll. Obviously, this is no way to treat a performer, or anyone! Not to sound like a kindergarten teacher, but if you can't leave the house without trying to hurt someone, you probably shouldn't leave the house at all. But anyway, the beer didn't hit Noll, but it set him off, sparking a hideous rant directed at the audience member who threw the beer. “Whoever threw that, come up here,” he said, "Come on then. That fuckhead in the tie. You’re a fucking maggot. Have some fucking balls to come up here, cheapshot prick."
The abuse didn't stop for a long time. Noll continued: "Shame that motherfucker right there. Fucking private school stupid fuckhead motherfucker. Have some balls and get up here and I’ll punch your fucking teeth down your throat, then I’ll fuck your missus and your mum."
Are you shocked? Are you devastated? If you are, may I ask: Really? I am not at all surprised or shocked that a man with a southern cross tattoo, a guy who very recently beat up a bouncer at a strip club, did this. I am not at all surprised that someone who is ironically loved by a whole lot of semi-woke bros for embodying STRAYAAAAA culture, felt that the correct response to onstage abuse was to tell an audience member that he was going to "fuck [his] missus and mum", to encourage other audience members to beat him up.
Shannon Noll does embody Australian culture, but all the worst parts. As much as I'm sure you'd love to have some pride in this country, Australia is a place where domestic violence spikes on game nights and women are murdered week on week. This abusive turn from Shannon Noll, which leaned so heavily on hyper-masculine threats and ugly, coded language, is emblematic of the deep violence that sits beneath the cultural-pride veneer of Aussie Bloke-dom. Loving Noll ironically doesn't hold up if that 'ironic love' fosters and emboldens a culture that allows harm to pass.
Noll apologised for the incident on Facebook. "I would like to apologise for my behaviour and language at Saturday night’s Duck Creek Picnic Races," he wrote, "During our set there were people in the audience throwing cans and bottles at the stage and after one guy threw a full can, just missing my head it really rattled me."
"We’re just doing our job and these actions are not acceptable. I completely understand that that is still no excuse for the way I spoke and I am deeply sorry for the terrible things I said that were purely out of frustration."
This didn't really sound like frustration. Noll's speech used virulent rhetoric that draws deep from the wells of the toxic masculinity lexicon. Maybe this rough-around-the-edges, old-fashioned values style thinking is what you like about Noll. Worship your ironic Australian heroes all you want, but my advice? Get some real fucking heroes.
Shaad D'Souza is Noisey's Australian editor. Follow him on Twitter.