keywords: Brian Matthews

  • 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Quasimodo comes to Woolies

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 June 2010
    1 Comment

    He was horribly contorted. His head was bent over his right shoulder as if being crushed down. The angle of the head concealed the right ear and enforced a distortion of his mouth and right eye. You don't stare at such afflicted people so I gazed elsewhere until he was on the move.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Iceland's ash cloud of the apocalypse

    • Brian Matthews
    • 19 May 2010
    9 Comments

    If Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano erruption was disruptive, its cousin Katla may have worse in store. Volcanoes, emanating a kind of preternatural, primal, patience, are landlords whose unchanging message is: you are renting; you haven't bought.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When Harry Hogan went to war

    • Brian Matthews
    • 21 April 2010
    14 Comments

    Harry was 18, a knockabout bush larrikin ready to give anything a try. He joined the Second Machine Gun Battalion on 10 February 1915 and landed at Gallipoli on 16 August. For the next four months he, like so many of his fellow soldiers, had an undistinguished, brutalising time, memories of which would stay with him forever.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cate Blanchett, Peter Garrett and other endangered creatures

    • Brian Matthews
    • 25 March 2010
    5 Comments

    Few people give a toss about Bilbies, the Arts or Heritage, but the moment someone rediscovers them and deems them indispensable, only to find that Bilbies are disappearing and Arts and Heritage are in palliative care, Garrett's a goner — again.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stark raven Barnaby Joyce

    • Brian Matthews
    • 24 February 2010
    4 Comments

    In Dickens' Barnaby Rudge, pet raven Grip is given to tantalising but incomprehensible pronouncements, fluttering annoyingly around the edges of conversational gatherings, and launching sudden, inexplicable attacks.

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  • 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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