Just when you thought the platform formerly known as Twitter couldn’t get any grubbier, Amanda Vanstone arrives to take us further into the gutter.
After an evening of sharing videos of bats emerging from caves, a raven singing to a flute and a mum and baby sloth uniting (seriously, check her feed), Vanstone – for reasons that seem hard to fathom – decided to kick singer-song writer Tim Minchin in his moment of grief.
Minchin had left audience members at his Sydney show in tears on Friday night after revealing his mother had died after a cancer battle the day before.
Minchin explained that he felt compelled to go ahead with the show despite the family tragedy, and then launched into a heartbreaking version of one of his most popular songs, White Wine in the Sun.
Minchin’s voice faltered momentarily as he sang the lyrics: “I’ll be seeing my dad, my brother and sisters, my gran and my mum … they’ll be drinking white wine in the sun.”
He then ended the emotional show by asking the audience members to help him sing one final song for the night, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
The theatre’s lights were switched off for the haunting song, and many concertgoers were crying as they sang along with Minchin in the darkness.
“It was such a special night – sad but inspiring too,” Susan Bellamy wrote on social media. “Being in the audience was something to never forget.”
“We were there,” added Susan Tomkins. “The whole audience sent a collective hug out to him. Tim then went on to perform three more songs. The last was played and sung in the dark, the Hallelujah song, with the audience singing the chorus. Not a dry eye in the house. So powerful. Amazing. Such a multi talented and vibrant performer.”
“Singing Hallelujah with Tim, 2000 other people, in the dark, in the gorgeous State Theatre was transcendent,” wrote Nickole Trayhurn. “By far the closet thing to a religious experience that I will ever have. It just took my breath away.”
Minchin’s vulnerability was widely celebrated after news.com.au reporter Andrew Bucklow, who was also in attendance, published a story about the evening on Monday.
But Vanstone, the former politician, wasn’t one of those saluting the singer.
At 10.50pm, she shared Bucklow’s story on X with this nightmare comment: “Losing a parent is hard. Whatever age and however expected. But to me it’s a private grief. Making it public seems to cheapen it, make it marketable.”
Vanstone must be unaware that everyone from The Beatles to Metallica to Green Day to Eric Clapton have written songs about losing a parent.
And she was quickly taken to task in the comments of her post, with one writing “unfollowing, now” and another “people can deal with grief differently”.