PETER Wilson’s assessment of the inferiority of Big Brother and the instant celebrity of shallow reality TV compared with literary festivals ( Review , June 23- 24) is common knowledge, at least to most readers of this paper. However, realistically, Big Brother ’ s indispensability to TV producers, or what makes shows of this kind lucrative, is not the young audiences’ celebration of mediocrity as Paul McCartney so condescendingly put it. BB is a game. The young millions tune in to watch how similar people are living their real lives in what they believe to be recorded reality. It is discovering oneself through observation of others. Reality TV is a tool for self- assessment for the viewer and selfexposure for the contestants. The sustained interest in such shows is the zeitgeist of a different generation. Believe it or not, some of BB’s viewers are well read, but find disdainful lectures at literary festivals, now dominated by mind- numbing regurgitation of history and other trite topics, just as shallow as reality TV is said to be. Peter Run Collinswood, South Australia CONGRATULATIONS to Jon Kudelka for his ‘‘ great moments in Australian art’’ illustration ( Review , June 23- 24). Great idea, that toasting marshmallows twist. Also the execution: I don’t know if Frederick McCubbin was left- handed, but making him so gives perfect balance. Brilliant. Syd Curtis Hawthorne, Queensland PAUL Kelly ( Review , June 23- 24) need not worry. I estimate the silent majority of ‘‘ nonreligious’’ in this country to be between 60 and 70 per cent. Our rejection of organised religions, and their fanciful and incredibly infantile stories and obsessions is probably second to none in the Western world. Australians are no fools, and I think Paul Kelly has joined a chorus of people in this country who believe we do not need to be dictated to or constrained by archaic religious doctrine. Keith Wilkie Beaumont, South Australia COULD Frank Campbell ( Review , June 23- 24) at least spare us his crocodile tears? In an article in which he says a collapse of the Aboriginal art market would be disastrous for indigenous communities he goes on to describe Aboriginal art as ‘‘ tiresomely repetitive’’, ‘‘ repetitive two- dimensional design’’, ‘‘ two- dimensional design with very limited technique’’ and ‘‘ incapable of being high art’’. It is a wonder he restrained himself from telling us that black people can only paint with natural rhythm.
What is galling is not that Frank is bashing black people in a column in a national newspaper, but that he is not able to name a single Aboriginal artist. His dismal ignorance of the topic is obvious to anyone with the most minimal interest in art.
I would suggest that if you have doubts that Aboriginal art is capable of ‘‘ threedimensionality’’, consider the works of an artist such as Kathleen Petyarre, who evokes three dimensions sublimely. You will need to go to an art gallery though, not the tourist shop where Campbell did his research. Steve Walker Largs Bay, South Australia