June 29th, 2017

An open letter to Jim Schembri

Dear Jim,

I could handle your “punking” of the “Twitterverse”, even if your outmoded use of buzzwords run into the ground eight years earlier suggested an inability to recognise how desperately unhip you are. In fact, I sympathised with you. I know what it’s like to be caught saying something you shouldn’t have online, and to pretend you meant it all along as a social experiment is an understandable compulsion.

But you’re a journalist, Jim, and I know this may seem rich coming from a blogger, but you should hold yourself to higher standards than the bloggers and tweeters for which you harbour so much contempt. (I assume that, somehow, your blog and Twitter account are different to all the rest and therefore you are neither a blogger nor part of the “Twitterverse”.)

Your infamous Scream 4 review was only online for a matter of hours, and — although it caused a stir almost immediately — could have easily been amended before the breakfast-time rush with a short “we were wrong”, no damage done. Instead, you chose to fabricate a tale about an elaborate “social experiment” to prove… well, I’m not sure exactly what it was supposed to prove. But you stuck to your guns in the face of some harsh criticism, and even decided to throw a few vitriolic bolts of your own from the ivory tower.

Unfortunately, choosing a confident, intelligent and well-resourced blogger like Crikey‘s Luke Buckmaster as an adversary was probably not the finest decision of your career, and in due course it came out that you were – surprise, surprise – full of shit.

I think we were all glad to see the end of that ridiculous episode, not least your petulant insistence that you were the victim of a smear attack, but it wouldn’t be long before you were at it again levelling nonsensical criticism at the new ABC comedy Outland for being “too gay”. I think I agree with those over at the Australian Tumbleweeds on this one:

Considering the show is about a group of gay science-fiction fans, that’s like saying the problem with The Love Boat is that it contains too much shipboard romance.

Maybe the Scream incident had taught you a lesson, because this time instead of pretending it was all a ruse and playing the victim, you took a different tack: dangling the threat of legal action over a journalist who did nothing but express an opinion in opposition to yours.

Ah, freedom of speech is alive and well in Australia.

Now, as a narcissistic sociopath who follows no one on Twitter yet regularly searches for mentions of your own name (often enough that one blogger has begun referring to you as Shim Jembri to escape your gaze), I know that you get off on posts exactly like this one. You don’t care if you’re vehemently hated, as long as people are thinking about you, right?

You loved that you got that mention at the AACTAs. And I could call you an idiotic, cantankerous old halfwit, and you’d fucking love it, wouldn’t you, Jim? You see yourself as a puppet master, pulling the strings of all your haters with each drop of acid that falls on the page, but I see you as more like Kyle Sandilands: a small, sad man, desperate for attention and relevance any way you can get it.

I have never commented on Kyle Sandilands’ many controversies, even privately amongst my friends, because to even react with negativity plays into his trollish, egotistical hands. Privately, I’m sure Kyle is a great bloke, but he’s still a grown man who asked a 14-year-old girl if being raped was the only sexual experience she had had.

And you’re a man who thought that in 2012 it was OK to refer to a queer-themed television show as “too gay”, as if that was a legitimate criticism.

You may see that as a noble exercise in journalism, Jim, but I don’t.

So I’m going against rule number one of the web — don’t feed the trolls — to ask you as politely as I can:

Please, Jim, stay the fuck off my internet.

I cannot go another month with your contrarian bullshit polluting my Twitter feed. I don’t follow you, but many of the people I follow do, and they rejoice in retweeting each and every one of your ridiculous link-baiting articles.

So please, do me and every other responsible member of society a favour: next time you feel like writing a hate piece, roll it up into a ball and shove it up your arse instead. I think we’ll all feel better for it.

I’m sorry to say that, as I am not employed by any media outlet, you will have trouble finding an editor to whom you can send the summons. But I invite you to email me directly at bd@cinemaquest.com.au and I look forward to your well-reasoned, sensible response.

About Bradley J. Dixon

Bradley J. Dixon is a freelance writer and blogger from Melbourne.


  1. Ruth says:


  2. Amy says:

    Well said!

  3. Steve says:

    Jim, Jim Jim, Jim………
    I am at a loss to understand why you even watch movies and then bother to review them when you find the vast bulk of them a waste of time (and pretty much below contempt).
    I gave up even reading your reviews in the Green Guide something like 30 years ago and to see that you haven’t changed since then is sad.
    There is not much I can add that isn’t said by your grand total of 4 ‘Likes’ on twitter.
    Please stop wasting internet bandwidth with you banalities because you are not contributing to anyone’s appreciation of anything.

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