Author: Brian Matthews

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The pulsating cut and thrust of international Scrabble

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 January 2008
    1 Comment

    What with the Ashes being a let down, the One Day Internationals more interminable than ever and Federer just too bloody good, serious students of TV sport might instead turn their attention to the National Scrabble Masters Tournament. From 27 February 2007.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nationals need Warren Truss to live up to his name

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 December 2007
    2 Comments

    Revealing his poetic side when the ship was turned away from Kuwait, Truss explained to Parliament that the sheep were beginning 'their long, lonely journey down the gulf'. As the responsible minister, he later repressed his lyricism and reverted to political jargon.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Romantic poets and climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 November 2007

    A person unaware of and cut off from nature will be taken by surprise when nature embarks on one of its punitive cycles. The Romantic poets reckoned that there was a spirit within the natural world that you could connect with.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nothing new in cynicism towards politicians

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 October 2007
    1 Comment

    When reconciliation becomes a last-minute vote catcher, only the deepest, most corrosive cynicism is possible. Trampling on the rights of others for political advantage was the modus operandi of Adelaide's Nomenclature Committee in 1837.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Digital compact camera ensures no more unexamined life

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 September 2007
    1 Comment

    Digital photography allows the easy recording of almost every moment of our lives. Putting to your dog the proposition 'The unexamined life is not worth living', he would look at you with an expression that respectfully suggested, 'Human beings are so dumb'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ozlit's gentle ambassador in Italy

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 August 2007
    2 Comments

    Bernard Hickey devoted his life to the cause of Australian literature and Australian culture in Europe, often at the cost of great personal sacrifice. He was known, loved and profoundly respected wherever Australian writing and literary culture were studied.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A mystery of olive groves and aloof neighbours

    • Brian Matthews
    • 25 July 2007

    Country people are welcoming. They smile at you, however vaguely, passing in the street, and shopkeepers and tradespeople are invariably polite and helpful. But there is the odd exception, sometimes the very odd exception.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In search of Henry Lawson's mother's birthplace

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 June 2007
    3 Comments

    A literary pilgrimage to rural lands near Wellington, NSW, while writing a book about Louisa Lawson. You never arrive: there is no pub, no post office, no CWA; no change in the benign parquetry of land ploughed, harvested, under crop, straggling with native scrub.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flavius smirks at tourist-clogged modern Verona

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 May 2007

    Traffic chaos suggests a reason Italians are so good at opera. Life in their cities unfolds each day not with the rational continuity of the novel, or the spareness of the short story, but with traditional opera’s volatility and impatience with the mundane.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wandering wombats

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 May 2007

    Your common wombat probably wouldn’t appreciate being described as a ‘lumbering marsupial’ but truth will out.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Drover's Wife echoes in computer data loss

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 April 2007
    1 Comment

    A desperate attempt to remember often produces fragments which are deeply moving and yet, at the same time, are parodies of the larger, solemn picture we cannot reassemble.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Is this really the worst drought on record?

    • Brian Matthews
    • 02 April 2007
    3 Comments

    Statisticians of weather can have a shot at telling us where this drought stands in the pantheon of arid disasters. Is this the 'worst drought' in a thousand years, as Mike Rann is said to have claimed? Who knows?

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