news & views
KUDELKA’S cartoon Supershouty Handyman (February 4-5), is the best illustration I’ve seen of Mark Twain’s advice: ‘‘Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.’’ Tim Saclier Leopold, Victoria GREG Sheridan’s claim about Powerpoint presentations — that he had never seen one that was ‘‘remotely worth paying attention to’’ (The Forum, February 4-5) — recalls the ‘‘are we there yet?’’ tedium of having to endure far too many of them in staff meetings and inservices, where the standard modus operandi was to impress with brightly coloured, jazzily formated dot points which the Powerpointer would then voice-over, while half-turning to keep an eye on them as if the dots might do what we urgently wanted to: nick off. Such presentations reverse the normal relationship between homo
sapiens and our tools: they become the master, and we homo serviens. One wonders how Demosthenes, Cicero, Disraeli, Churchill, Menzies and Whitlam got on without them. Leonard Colquhoun Invermay, Tasmania I BEG to differ with Miriam Margolyes (Character actress, February 4-5): ‘‘I’m very clear-eyed about the fact I’m not a beautiful woman.’’ The fact is, my dear, you are a beautiful woman, as the wonderful photograph accompanying the report so clearly suggests. Your clear, hazel eyes sparkle with energy and those rich, indelible character lines across your face reflect a life full of love, laughter and generosity of spirit. Not beautiful? Phooey! Neil Mcdonald Fairfield, Victoria HAVING travelled to Sydney for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, a word jumped out at me from Plainly Jane (January 28-29): so, Jane ‘‘hated’’ the fireworks and deplored the waste of money. We spent that day enjoying the company of friends and chatting to strangers from other countries and Australians of several ethnic backgrounds. We watched boats full of happy people gathering on the harbour on a glorious Sydney afternoon, and after enjoying the spectacular 9pm and midnight displays, wended our way home surrounded by families, teenagers, 20-somethings and old folks like us, all of whom had obviously experienced one of the most beautiful evenings of their lives and who were bursting with good will. As to the waste of money, perhaps Opera Australia should donate its La traviata costs, and we our therefore unnecessary attendance money? And what about the Picasso exhibition (yes, we ‘‘did’’ that, too), or perhaps Matisse in Brisbane? Should we consider the costs of indulging in these cultural extravaganzas? Of course not. Sometimes we just need to party! Alison Watson Tweed Heads, NSW
Correction: A photograph in the February 4-5 edition was wrongly captioned. The scene on Page 5 was from Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist. To be considered for publication, letters must contain an address and telephone number for verification. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.