From my Aussie buddy RJ Stove:
Others undoubtedly shall bring their expertise to bear regarding Joe’s importance to America. Perhaps a few words might be appropriate on the topic of Joe’s importance to Australia (a country he never visited), or, at least, on his importance to one
Of how I originally made contact with him, I no longer recall the details. I think that I was so staggered by the exceptional brilliance of one Sobran column — “Victims of Music” — that I overcame my habitual shyness and wrote to him in care of Universal Press Syndicate, which then syndicated his work, to say that he had surpassed himself with that piece. His response, far from being bearish, encouraged me to write more frequently (it was at his insistence that I started calling him “Joe” rather than “Mr. Sobran”). E-mail proved a means of communication well attuned to his free-wheeling approach. How often of a morning, after a fairly horrid previous day, did I turn on my computer and have my spirits raised by the sight of those welcome boldface words “Joe Sobran” in my inbox.
Late in 2002, he and I met. I believe I was only the second Australian he had ever encountered (his lady friend at the time, the New-South-Wales-born Michèle Renouf, would have been the first); he found it staggering that anybody in “Mel-bawn” — his pronunciation — had discovered his name at all. Still more staggering, to him, was the nature of Australia’s Servile State, as explained by myself. Like most other Americans of deep and probing intelligence, he readily understood the concept of a nation forced into slavery by foreign conquest; but try as he might, he failed to get his head around the idea of a nation that chooses slavery, as modern post-Christian Australia has done, in the absence of foreign conquest.
To my recital of Australian domestic tyranny’s most blatant aspects (no First Amendment, no Second Amendment, libel laws explicable solely as imports from Pyongyang, the spectacle of gun-grabber John Howard being hailed as an authentic conservative hero), Joe listened with a kind of rapt, slack-jawed horror, particularly when he learned that his appearances at seminars under David Irving’s aegis had made it impossible for him ever to acquire an Australian visiting visa. (Oddly enough, Sydney columnist Mike Carlton — although in other respects a left-wing atheist of the most conventional type — has lately started displaying sufficient courage to mock Abe Foxman’s Aussie stooges. On June 19, Carlton announced to his Sydney Morning Herald readership: “With bottomless irony, the Jewish lobby spent much of last week assuring anybody who would listen that there is no such thing as the Jewish lobby.” That phrasing has the authentic Sobran touch.)