Thursday, May 19, 2005


As a result of my many wheelings and dealings, I received a free copy of the first edition of The Monthly in the mail last week. For those of you who haven't heard of it, The Monthly is a news magazine launched this month, which, according to its publisher, aims to be an Australian version of The New Yorker... only without the whole New York thing, presumably. I’ve read it with great interest.

Some items of note:

Sophie Lee, ex-Bugs Bunny presenter and writing student, is listed as a contributor, although her only contribution so far has been to appear on the cover under the title "The Best of Times…", wearing an expression somewhere between "You call this a macchiato?" and "Wait a minute... didn't we used to have three children?"

Don Watson apparently got a haircut by a rural hairdresser several months ago and has been bitching about it ever since. If you want to read someone sneering at honest people for not being sophisticated, and at sophisticated people for not being honest, Don's your boy. Just go easy on the hairstyle. He's a little sensitive.

John Birmingham does an admirable job of attempting an even-handed appraisal of our nation under the Howard government. At least he does for the first half of his essay. He begins to lose his grip just a little towards the end, when the subject of the Tampa comes up and he has to fight his brain auto-loading Furious Indignation v 2.1. It may also be the case that Don Watson was standing in the doorway goading him for being John Howard's butt monkey, and pummelling him with empty conditioner bottles. I guess we'll never know for sure.

Margaret Simons covers the plight of the poor, needy, financially starved souls at the ABC, where a climate of fear and passive-aggressive intimidation is being inflicted on left-leaning staff... instead of on right-leaning staff, as used to be case back in the good old days.

Helen Garner is an Australian literary legend, and a writer of rare deftness and beauty. This apparently means that the first rule of film reviewing – DON’T GIVE AWAY THE FRICKIN’ ENDING – doesn’t apply to her.

Kerryn Goldsworthy’s article on Andrew Denton was very good. Sorry, but it was. I can’t be snarky about everything, you know.

I think that if it survives, it may serve a useful function in the Australian media landscape, as a centre-left cousin to the centre-right Bulletin. Providing that it can keep Margo Kingston out of its pages, and doesn't require poor Don Watson to travel out of commuting range of Joh Bailey’s salon ever again, it certainly has what it takes to make a go of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lengthy story by Malcolm Knox on
the difficulties serious Australian
novelists have getting published was
also well worth reading.

9:50 AM  

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