The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

IN his in­ter­view with Hirsi Ali and com­ments on her book In­fi­del ( Re­view , May 19-20), Ge­off El­liott states that while the au­thor is cred­i­ble, given her ex­pe­ri­ence in the Mus­lim world and the fact she now lives in the West, she is ‘‘ hardly an ob­jec­tive voice in the de­bate on Is­lam and the West’’. It is just this back­ground that gives her the ex­pe­ri­ence to speak with some ob­jec­tiv­ity.

While she may have her faults, like all of us, what a wo­man she must be! To con­tinue her cam­paign, while re­ceiv­ing death threats and hav­ing to sur­round her­self with body­guards, speaks vol­umes for her grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Long may she con­tinue with her dis­sent! In­fi­del is on my to-read list. Ken Moore Glam­or­gan Vale, Queens­land FOR what it’s worth, Deb­o­rah Hope, if you want your sons to be well read ( Re­view , May 19-20), get them to read Primo Levi’s If Thi­sisaMan, Ron­ald Glasser’s 365Days and Robert Pir­sig’s Ze­nandtheArtof Mo­tor­cy­cleMain­te­nance . None of th­ese is fiction, but all de­serve a rank­ing among the 20th cen­tury’s great­est lit­er­a­ture. Grant­ley An­der­son West Beach, South Aus­tralia LEAV­ING aside the demise of John Wayne’s char­ac­ter in TheCow­boys , the film def­i­nitely halted the ca­reer of the ac­tor who did shoot the great man (in the back no less), Bruce Dern. Un­for­tu­nately for Dern, shoot­ing some­one such as John Wayne made stu­dios wary of his pop­u­lar­ity with movie­go­ers. Many years later, in the 1989 film TheBurbs , Dern is en­cour­aged to get mov­ing with the line ‘‘ we’re burn­ing day­light’’, the phrase used through­out TheCow­boys by Wayne’s char­ac­ter to en­cour­age his cat­tle­hands to not waste time. James Samp­son Morn­ing­ton, Vic­to­ria AL­THOUGH nei­ther a his­to­rian nor a jour­nal­ist, I take up Les Sul­li­van’s chal­lenge to those pro­fes­sions ( Re­view , May 12-13) to re­but his claim Aus­tralians ‘‘ did not re­fer to Amer­i­can sol­diers as ‘ over­paid, over­sexed and over here’ ’’. Thus Bluey de­scribes to Cur­ley (Sul­li­van will re­mem­ber them) over­hear­ing a sheila be­ing chat­ted up and in­ter­spers­ing each frame of the car­toon with ‘‘ jan­gle jan­gle’’. Cur­ley is mys­ti­fied. ‘‘ Oh, that’s the sil­ver dol­lars in his pocket,’’ Bluey ex­plains. (The pair were a rough im­i­ta­tion of Ab­bott and Costello.) ‘‘ Over here’’ was the punch­line be­cause (as in Bri­tain, from where it prob­a­bly came to us) what gave the phrase its point was its deriva­tion from the well­known US World War I song, Over­There . Gavin Robin­son Bur­wood, Vic­to­ria EVAN Wil­liams’s oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle on the cen­te­nar­ies of the birth of John Wayne and Lau­rence Olivier ( Re­view , May 19-20) re­quires one cor­rec­tion. John Wayne’s char­ac­ter in TheCow­boys was not killed by his teenage cat­tle­hands. They were on his side, be­ing the only crew he could hire. Hence the dou­ble mean­ing in the ti­tle. Peter West The Vines, West­ern Aus­tralia

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