Author: Brian Matthews

  • 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The back to school blues

    • Brian Matthews
    • 20 January 2011
    3 Comments

    BACK TO SCHOOL shout the billboards and shop window displays and it's still only mid January. I suppose this infuriates present day kids as much as it used to stir my juvenile ire. For former teachers, 'Back to School' arouses other, less youthful associations.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Escaping Oprah and Christmas

    • Brian Matthews
    • 10 December 2010
    2 Comments

    'Apodemialgia' is the opposite of nostaligia: a desire to escape. Add the brash, McDonald's-sponsored presence of Oprah to the pleasant but undeniably testing rigours of Christmas and apodemialgics all over the country will be reaching for something stronger than McCoffee. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Meaning amid wedding chaos

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 November 2010
    1 Comment

    At the edge of each knot of resplendent women stood the groom. Uncomfortable in a constricting collar or a slightly askew bow tie or colours they'd never worn before and would never wear again. Many looked curiously grumpy. Wasn't this their day of days? What was going wrong here?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fanatic's football fairytale

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 October 2010
    1 Comment

    Fiction writers have to arrange events so that they achieve the required outcome without stretching credulity. Yet real life routinely throws up sequences so bizarre that a fiction writer wouldn't dare to own them. Try this one. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Political farce aboard the Starship Ostracise

    • Brian Matthews
    • 08 September 2010
    1 Comment

    Lieutenant Yoo Hoo Hoo leans forward to read the tape: 'Gillard offers Katter trip to Russian Space Station'. Our voices are drowned out by a persistent beeping sound. The specially engineered Windsor-Oakeshott Thrusters have split and the Ostracise is going into reverse.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Staking out our vampire fetish

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 August 2010
    1 Comment

    For all our modern sophistication, refinement and technology, we remain in imaginative thrall to one of the most venerable and terrifying of folk figures. The vampire combines two of human kind's profoundly obsessive preoccupations: mortality and sex.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Burke, Wills and ... Rudd?

    • Brian Matthews
    • 14 July 2010
    6 Comments

    Burke and Wills have long since attained the kind of heroic status Australians seem inclined to assign to catastrophic failure. But perhaps, in mid 2010, we might see their expedition's story as being more about the strains, perils and transience of leadership.

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