The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

YES, Barry Humphries ( Re­view , May 26- 27) is a bril­liant comic tal­ent. Like other celebrity ex­pa­tri­ates, how­ever, he picks up on su­per­fi­cial changes but re­mains fix­ated on the Aus­tralia that he left long ago to join big­ger bat­tal­ions. Per­haps Mr Humphries spends too much time with his mates at Quad­rant . Hasn’t any­one told him that ra­bid sec­tar­i­an­ism and terms like ‘‘ left­footer’’ are now a dis­tant me­mory, un­known to any­one un­der 40? Once again he re­sus­ci­tates Sandy Stone, back from the grave with all his an­cient prej­u­dices in­tact. Any­one who thinks this is not a racist coun­try should hear the shouts of au­di­ence ac­cla­ma­tion, far in ex­cess of any­thing mer­ited by the hu­mour, as Sandy lays into Asians, won­ders where the new Aus­tralians of the ’ 50s have gone ( many of them and their off­spring no doubt make up much of his au­di­ence) and re­serves his snidest quip for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, to roars of de­light. Gil­lian Ap­ple­ton Leura, NSW ROS­ALIE Hig­son’s piece al­lows Barry Humphries lit­tle respite from pub­lic scru­tiny. He once com­mented ‘‘ Af­ter a long and stress­ful day, I step into my cos­tume, my per­sona, walk into the light and think to my­self, alone at last.’’ David Crom­melin North Strath­field, NSW GREG Sheri­dan was right to praise The Lives of Oth­ers ( Re­view , May 26- 27). It is a mag­nif­i­cent film. But he was wrong about the words of Mi­lan Kun­dera he quoted. What Kun­dera wrote was this: ‘‘ The strug­gle of man against power is the strug­gle of me­mory against for­get­ting’’ ( or, in some trans­la­tions, the strug­gle of me­mory against obliv­ion). Man against power, not man against com­mu­nism. The fic­tional Mirek who makes this ob­ser­va­tion in The Book of Laugh­ter and For­get­ting is a dis­il­lu­sioned com­mu­nist, but he is de­scrib­ing what he sees as the essence of the broader hu­man strug­gle against tyranny. Anna Lanyon Port­land, Vic­to­ria I WISH to ap­plaud Greg Sheri­dan. His ar­ti­cle summed up my frac­tal thoughts about the ABC in a clear, con­cise and pre­cise ar­tic­u­la­tion. I wish the ar­ti­cle could be placed on the core read­ing list for high school­ers, thus pro­vid­ing them with some ob­jec­tiv­ity prior to en­ter­ing the bi­ases of trade and ter­tiary man­i­festos. Please, for all our sakes, keep up the crit­i­cal re­views. Gary Ba­con Ferny Grove, Queens­land FOL­LOW­ING on from Ian Cuth­bert­son’s re­view of Jeri­cho ( Re­view , May 19- 20), I have been a fan since watch­ing the last 10 min­utes of the sec­ond episode. Since then I have been watch­ing the last half of the sea­son on­line. There has been an as­ton­ish­ing fan cam­paign for a sec­ond sea­son fol­low­ing CBS’s de­ci­sion to can­cel the show. Many me­dia an­a­lysts and TV blog­gers sug­gest it is the big­gest, most or­gan­ised protest by fans they have seen. Some add it is new me­dia, blogs, wikis and mes­sage­boards across in­ter­na­tional bound­aries ver­sus old me­dia, CBS and its flawed Nielsen rat­ings! Jen­nifer Kir­ton Lis­more, NSW

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