Beverage-Based Insults

August 15, 2009

Today’s guest lecturer, Tim Richards, looks at the controversial topic of libation vilification…

coffee

“You are going to have a piece of policy that comes direct from the manic monkey cafe of inner-suburbia nirvana-ville straight to you!”

Well, crikey. When Senator Barnaby Joyce frothed over (like a vigorously prepared cappuccino) with these words in Canberra in June, a few thoughts occurred to me:

1) Canberra has that effect on people.

2) Where can I find this Manic Monkey Cafe?

3) And do they do good lattes?

Which then led me to reflect on the time-honoured practice of conservative commentators using beverages as insults

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Words, Words, Words: The World Of Blurbs

September 22, 2008

It’s festival time in Melbourne. Actually, it’s always festival time in Melbourne. Arts, Film, Comedy, Fashion, Writers, Design, Stencil, Cycling, Jazz, Brass, Animation, Fringe, Moomba, Tap, Travel Writing, Italian, Scarf, Funk… and that’s just the first five pages of Google results. Melbourne has a festival for everything. But how do you decide which film to see? Which comedy show? Which travel writer? Which scarf?

In most cases your guide will be the festival program, and the description of each event. 150 words need to convince you to commit your time and money, to get off the couch and turn off those old tapes of Chances – “The best kabuki puppet western you’ll see all year!” “I laughed so hard I mislaid my socks!” “Gong Li is the most beautiful woman on Earth!”

Anne-Marie Peard wrote about the launch of the Melbourne Fringe Festival program a couple of weeks ago, and we talked about blurbs during the Melbourne International Film Festival. But what makes a good blurb? What needs to be in that magic paragraph to pull in the punters and let the sun shine in?

The Outland Institute assembled a panel of experts to address this deeply important issue…

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Great Literature Of The 20th Century: Further Reading (and Further Eating)

September 10, 2008

Last week on Great Literature I featured that classic tome, The Doctor Who Cookbook. At the end of the article I included the full recipe for Elisabeth Sladen’s Cauliflower Cheese – you may remember Elisabeth Sladen as dauntless lady journalist Sarah-Jane Smith – here’s a picture of her being possessed by a stone hand while dressed as Andy Pandy:

I set the challenge to Outland Institute visitors to make this dish at home and report back (the Cauliflower Cheese, not the stone hand). I didn’t think anyone would be brave – or foolhardy – enough to try… 

I was wrong. Journalist and travel-writer Tim Richards was up to the task, and he even invited me along to try the finished product (incidentally, Tim and I share a set of parents – it’s a funny story).

Tim has sent in this report:

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