Author: Brian Matthews

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The climate change vanishing act

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 January 2010
    3 Comments

    Senator Steve Fielding attempted to debunk climate change theories using graphs based on Channel 9's Snicko. The debate petered out when Tony Abbott incautiously declared it was all 'crap'. Re-thinking, he amended crap to tax — it was just a big tax.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Close encounters with cricket history

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 December 2009
    2 Comments

    January 1961: the fourth Ashes test. On the eve of the final day, with Australia's plight looking grim, we went to a Chinese restaurant. We'd just given our orders when Richie Benaud, Neil Harvey, Allan Davidson and Ken 'Slasher' Mackay walked in.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Forgotten Hack lacked killer colonial instinct

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 November 2009
    3 Comments

    John Barton Hack was one of the prominent Adelaide men with the task of assigning names to the main streets of the new city. While his colleagues managed to imprint their names on the main city streets, all Hack got was an insignificant laneway in North Adelaide.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The wet sheep: a football eulogy

    • Brian Matthews
    • 07 October 2009
    1 Comment

    The one thing more potent than the anticipation of seeing your team in a grand final is the misery of seeing them defeated. A wet, bedraggled lamb glimpsed en route to Melbourne proved to be an ill omen for one footy fan.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Larrikin poet's Sentimental 'slanguage'

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 September 2009
    3 Comments

    C. J. Dennis once wrote that, as a boy, he had 'a devout and urgent desire to become a larrikin'. The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke provides a window on part of Australian culture and the traditions, speech and images that forged it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Economists and other prophets

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 August 2009
    3 Comments

    Economists are often, sometimes spectacularly, wrong. But like all prophets, they are unabashed by and unpunished for abject failures. They pop up from each new set of ruins, surprised yet unrepentant, princes of a plethora of evanescent predictions.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Malcolm Turnbull and the parable of the pelicans

    • Brian Matthews
    • 08 July 2009
    3 Comments

    Years ago, a trout fisherman with 'irresistible' bait was outsmarted by a flock of pelicans. Like a punter with unshakeable conviction, Malcolm Turnbull also learned the hard way that there's no such thing as a dead certainty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The parable of the dirty floor

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 June 2009
    1 Comment

    The mysterious stain on the kitchen floor was evoking obscure feelings of unease and danger. What was happening in the cosmos that could be making me feel that way? A hell of a lot, as it turned out.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shakespeare and the F word

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 May 2009

    If Shakespeare had dabbled in cuisine, dishes such as 'eye of newt' and 'fillet of fenny snake' may have been a sensation. As the first 'foody' to emerge from the obscurity of Stratford-upon-Avon, he would have an unlikely successor: Gordon Ramsay.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The gardener's prodigal son

    • Brian Matthews
    • 15 April 2009

    Joe's plans for a family business foundered on his son's refusal to get out of bed before 10am. Joe was not used to 'spilling his guts', but he needed to talk, and he knew that my experience of teenage vagaries was extensive.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to survive committee meetings

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 March 2009
    2 Comments

    Some rules of thumb: always say 'prior to' instead of 'before', 'in excess of' instead of 'more than' and 'in the approximate vicinity of' instead of 'about'. It's good to say things like, 'We'll have to real-time this to impact on the offshore numbers'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When nature is the enemy

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 February 2009
    7 Comments

    Fires and floods, murderous cyclones, unprecedented storms — none of them confined to their time honoured places and seasons. Nature is no longer our familiar element and our inspiration. It's running amok.

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