Author: Brian Matthews

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Getting intimate with the da Vinci robot

    • Brian Matthews
    • 02 March 2012
    3 Comments

    Invisible hands parted my gown and stroked my spine with stuff that was exquisitely cold. 'Put your bum in there,' he said, 'wriggle round till you're comfortable then lie back.' I knew very well that when I lay back, securely anchored by my bum in the space provided, the adhesive would hold me in its grip.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Moving on from Tent Embassy tussle

    • Brian Matthews
    • 03 February 2012
    25 Comments

    I don't think for one minute that Abbott, in saying it was time to 'move on' from the Tent Embassy, meant it should be ripped down. The ensuing riot occurred because 'moving on' is an imponderable phrase, a synonym for sticking one's head in the sand. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teachers' uprising

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 December 2011
    8 Comments

    'Matthews!' the headmaster called. I kept walking. 'Matthews!' I walked on. 'Mister Matthews!' I turned and said, 'Yes?' 'Did you not hear me?' 'I answer to Brian or Mister Matthews, nothing in between.' We were enacting our miniscule part in a process that would grow through the decade.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Existentialism by the bay

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 November 2011
    1 Comment

    Bush towns settle into their landscape. The galvanised-iron roofs and encircling verandahs squat with a certainty and a determination that only nature at its worst — fire or flood — might disrupt. Coastal towns, conversely, know all about the uncertain nature of existence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Trashing American English

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 September 2011
    5 Comments

    Few dump masters are as erudite as Steve. 'Had a bloke here the other day, a Yank. Said he was after a couple of barrels. "You mean drums," I says. But no. He didn't want to play the bloody drums, he wanted barrels. Well, I says, the only barrels round here are wine barrels. What you want is drums.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Book junkie's detox nightmare

    • Brian Matthews
    • 02 September 2011
    7 Comments

    My wife and I are performing a difficult, heart-rending task: culling our books. There are thousands of them, on shelves and in boxes, some of which were sealed and labelled 25 years ago. I know who to blame for setting me on the path to this agonising task. It was Mrs Murphy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Gandhi and Richie Benaud's perfect storm

    • Brian Matthews
    • 05 August 2011
    1 Comment

    Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm makes one marvel at the way events separated by vast times and distances can conspire to produce unpredictable results. In 1959 Australian cricket great Richie Benaud found himself at the end of a chain of events set in motion by Mahatma Gandhi.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cucumbers and climate change deniers

    • Brian Matthews
    • 08 July 2011
    9 Comments

    European Parliamentarian Francisco Sosa Wagner risked ridicule to defend the honour of cucumbers. He stands in contrast to Christopher Monckton, politician and professional climate change denier who has called Australian economist Ross Garnaut a fascist.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Plagued by mice and climate change deniers

    • Brian Matthews
    • 10 June 2011
    7 Comments

    Considering the severity of South Australia's mice infestation and earlier plagues of locusts, you can be forgiven for feeling positively biblical. Many Australians, some in 'high places', need climate change to demonstrate its presence with such murderous, repeated efficiency.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bulldozing famous backyards

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 May 2011
    2 Comments

    Great sports men and women have emerged from suburban backyards and the tutelage of their parents on the rapidly wearing lawn. The yard Michael Younes wanted to obliterate in order to construct town houses had been the childhood training ground of one of Australia's greatest sportspeople.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Publishing George Orwell

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 April 2011
    2 Comments

    In 1981, a few months before actor Peter Davison became the fifth Doctor Who, Professor Peter Davison, the literary scholar, accepted a commission to produce the corrected editions of Orwell's nine books. The project was to be fraught by false dawns and recurring frustrations.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bothersome buskers and Twitter twits

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 February 2011
    3 Comments

    Like tweeters, buskers can command a certain amount of attention. They can sing in tune or flat, hit the note or miss it, just as bloggers can turn a stylish paragraph or churn out self regarding rubbish, and tweeters can report every breath they draw.

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