When you're writing for a major international magazine like The Spectator, it's usually pretty safe to make up columns about weird foreign people living in foreign countries. The only problem I see with this particular column, by Tim Heald, is that it's about Sydney and parts of Sydney that I know fairly well. And it's all crap!
He starts off on safe ground, whinging about the public transport system, something that we all do from time to time. 'The trains are unreliable' he moans, 'and Central Station is a nightmare.' I don't see anything wrong with Central Station myself, but we'll let him have his whinge.
I love this bit:
buses swirl past stops during rush hours because they’re full, and some of their drivers enjoy high-speed duels with each other.
I wish I'd been in one of those high-speed duels. Whenever I caught a bus in Sydney, I seemed to sit across from a raving alcoholic, and the buses hardly ever went anywhere.
The preferred form of travel for those venturing out of town is by air — as anyone visiting the Italian-dominated suburb of Leichhardt can testify. Leichhardt is on the flight path not far from the airport and every few seconds a big jet thunders overhead...
He should try visiting Marrickville. And what's with this 'air travel' being the preferred form of transport? Perhaps he should take a drive on the Pacific Highway.
And how about this bit?
St John’s College, where I’m spending a half-semester, is an imposing Victorian Gothic complex in an otherwise grotty part of town. My wife and I are living in the old gatehouse on the busy Parramatta Road opposite what appears to be a groovy house of ill-repute and near to more dealers in white wedding dresses than even Barbara Cartland could have imagined. The College and the university feel, to me, ill at ease with their environs.
I'm not sure how he can see this as an 'otherwise grotty party of town'. Perhaps if you take out the university, the colleges, the few statues dotted around the Prince Alfred Hospital, the various libraries, the Anglican college on the corner of City Road, and the sporting ovals... And if the university is 'ill at ease' with its environs, what does he make of the cafe and bookshop culture on King Street or Glebe Point Road? I guess university students or professors don't need to eat, talk, or read books.
Hey, maybe I'll take a trip to England and write an article about it for the newspaper. I'll be sure to talk about the 'dilapidated suburbs of Old Blighty' and the 'ramshackle tenements' in which I stayed, as well as the 'neurotic combination of the groovy West End types' with the 'anxious Tweed-and-Tennyson set'. Throw in about twenty more adjectives, and I'll have my column.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
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- Screw the government!
- Fastest underwear in the west
- Groundbreaking literary analysis
- The Workplace Chronicles, book 7, verses 1 - 4
- Insect philosophy
- Ladies and gentlemen, my father
- Collect each one in the series!
- "I am thinking of bees... "
- The man who turned into a post-office box
- Hello everyone
- Verily, Agatha
- More sneers
- Small talk
- Terrors of the natural world...
- Speaking of collanders
- Mercy is for the squeak
- An open message to all Drunkards
- The wide word of animals
- Some of their drivers enjoy high-speed duels!
- Some Mr Men books for the modern generation
- A call to action
- Modify that dangler!
- Incomplete catalogue of sneers: an excerpt
- The war against the pumpkins
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