Author: Brian Matthews

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bowled over

    • Brian Matthews
    • 26 June 2006

    Some time in November 1962, I decided to upgrade my living arrangements from squalid to moderately conventional ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lessons learned from Icarus

    • Brian Matthews
    • 26 June 2006

    There’s a lot of reality around at the moment – at Guantanamo, in Baghdad, in East Timor, in Australian workplaces. To be fully human, we must observe, take account of, and if possible influence these realities as best we can; at the same time life, ordinary quotidian life, must go on.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blair whiching

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 June 2006

    Tony Blair was in trouble. Grey-faced, uncharacteristically faltering, he could only reiterate under siege in the press, on television and in parliament that the Weapons of Mass Destruction which had convinced him to take Britain to war really did exist and would be found.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Anarchy rules

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 June 2006

    Just say you were on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and, coming up to the $500,000 question, Eddie asks you, as he would be highly likely to do at that moment, ‘What do the following have in common?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Floating flock

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 June 2006

    The unfolding affair of the floating sheep would move most people, even someone named Truss, to poetry, because it is full of echoes, paradoxes and drama.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A race for stayers

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 June 2006

    As Melbourne Cup time comes round each year, I remember—with a mixture of dread and triumph—the Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Lecture that I gave on Tuesday, 5 November, in the Chancellors Hall of the University of London Senate House in 1996.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fuel to burn

    • Brian Matthews
    • 05 June 2006

    As far as events in the Place de l’Horloge are concerned, Madame Gauguin is the one who knows all.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Butchering words

    • Brian Matthews
    • 31 May 2006

    A friend of mine, fond of fashioning his own brand of aphorism, announced one day, after what he claimed had been a long period of research, ‘butchers are much given to bullshit.’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    George Orwell's homage to a fellow underdog

    • Brian Matthews
    • 29 May 2006
    1 Comment

    Almost exactly 60 years ago George Orwell published a wonderful essay called, Some Thoughts on the Common Toad... The point of the essay was to insist ‘that the pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing’.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Winds of change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 22 May 2006

    Towards the end of a bleak, mid-February Friday, the wind started to groan through the narrow, village streets. Shutters creaked and in the valley below a filmy curtain materialised over the vines and blurred the outlines of the farmhouses.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Taxi cab tales

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 May 2006

    Cab cultures, not to mention the cabbies themselves, vary widely around the world. The Australian habit of hopping into the front seat with the hack and exchanging a cheery word is not generally welcome in Paris.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Far canal

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 May 2006

    Pundits who were left gasping by the announcements of Colin (‘Cry me a river’) Barnett  would have been less surprised if they’d read the last issue of the Okotsk Institute Journal of Research into Inexplicable Public Behaviours.

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