news & views
WHEN I open The Weekend
Australian my first action is to see whether there is an article by Jane Fraser in Review. No doubt Jane is years younger than I am, but I so enjoy what she writes with such beguiling humour, about everyday subjects for which I have a fellow feeling. Bless her for often launching my Saturday so well. Ann Shevill Kenmore Hills, Queensland. REVIEW is a major reason The
Weekend Australian is now the only newspaper to which I still subscribe. In particular, the music reviews are excellent. You are the only newspaper I know of that treats world music seriously. And thank you for your excellent commentary on Reuben Morgan and his new CD (Spin Doctor, June 30-July 1). It is rare for a mainstream Australian journalist to write about the Hillsong Church without sneering. Martin Roth Melbourne A FEW years ago I purchased at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane a card featuring a striking photograph of priests whirling in the snow by Mario Giacomelli. I was particularly touched by the thought contained in its title. I wrote to the gallery at the time, pointing out that the Italian title is not Lo non ho mani che mi accarezzino il volto but Io non ho mani . . . — ‘‘I have no hands to caress my face’’, a simple difference between an I and an L).
I received a courteous acknowledgment of my letter from the director. I was therefore very sad to see that this mistake has been perpetuated in the title of the exhibition of Giacomelli’s photographs reviewed by Bronwyn Watson (Public Works, June 30-July 1). Surely such an important cultural institution should respect itself enough to ensure that when it employs a language other than English it gets it right! Anne Di Lauro The Gap, Queensland THANK you, Rosemary Neill, for your intelligent and thoughtful presentation of the story of the tortured soul, Jim McNeil (‘‘Inside job’’, June 23-24). In the 1980s I was teaching a marvellous bunch of young people in an English Higher School Certificate class. We read a couple of McNeil’s plays and made a trip to Sydney to see a performance one mid-week evening. It was powerful theatre. Shortly thereafter one of my students was involved with a mate in a silly break-in to the school library. It was not malicious nor was anything stolen or damaged that I recall. Nevertheless the police became involved and the lads were charged. I had a brother then working as a youth officer at Tamworth, a facility for boys convicted of murders. According to him it was a dreadful place where the bosses skimmed off money to build weekenders at the coast, the boys were bribed with cigarettes and pornographic videos and given precisely the kind of food that might pump them up. So, given the reality of McNeil’s writing and my brother’s story, and imagining the possible fate for my student, I wrote a letter of support for him to be presented to the court for compassionate treatment of the boys. After all these years I can’t be sure of his penalty, but I know he sat his HSC with us. Jim Kable Caves Beach, NSW