Thursday, October 8, 2009

Man Booker winner "not unreadable crap" shock!

In a move that has the Australian literary establishment reeling, the judges of the Man Booker prize have awarded the top gong to a book that isn’t the traditional pile of horseshit they usually give the nod to.

People in black leather jackets and funky glasses across the nation said the Man Booker judges have gone too far.

Independent film maker from North Fitzroy Marcus Hall said he was disgusted by the decision.

“From what I understand Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is an immensely readable, well crafted novel, which is exactly what we don’t want in a Man Booker winner,” Mr Hall said.

“Man Booker is all about books that are so painful they make you bleed from the eyes; books all about dung beetles from the POV of the dung, so you can demonstrate to everybody how clever you are while reading it.

“If we’re going to give prizes to books like Wolf Hall, then what’s the point?

Media personality Marieke Hardy said “I’ve got my hair in pig-tails even though I’m 30, how zany am I? And I’ve got a dog called Bob Ellis. And my grandfather was a famous communist.

“Did I mention I’ve got a dog called Bob Ellis?”

Ms Hardy was later advised to have a nice cup of tea, a lie down and to “get a grip, for fuck’s sake”.

63 comments:

gingatao said...

Yayayayayayay!!!! As sane human writing about Australian literature, what a relief and a surprise. Let's start a movement.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Will there be pretzels, Ging?

squib said...

I like Marieke's hair. I like quirky

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Do you like pretzels, Squib?

squib said...

I love pretzels

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Good-o.

You can join the movement Ging and I are starting up for the pretzels and leave the room when we get to the "Marieke mocking" part of the agenda.

You could probably have a chat to Pers, who's outside having a smoke.

squib said...

Pretzels and passive smoking? That sounds too good to be true

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

There'll probably be beer, as well.

gingatao said...

Pretzels beer and smoke, perfect. Sounds like the editorial office of Overland.

wari lasi said...

You do realise you all missed the tsunami warning.

For shame.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm more interested in the tiramisu warning.

wari lasi said...

I'm not a dessert kind of guy.

I love a good saltimbocca though.

Seriously, there was a tsunami warning. Mass panic across PNG. There was a 7.9 earthquake at Vanuatu at 8 o'clock (9 for you guys) this morning.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Those warnings have now been cancelled.

It seems it was all a bit of a damp squib.

Sorry Squib.

Kettle said...

Ramon last week Squib was a giant squid and this week she's a little damp. I'm worried you might be doing yourself out of a Christmas button!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Kettle, I wouldn't dream of asking the amazingly wonderful Cde. Squib for any more buttons.

I think she deserves a rest.

And isn't it odd we both did posts about the Man Booker prize?

Kettle said...

Ramon, I'm hoping to be the proud owner of my very own Darwin button in the near future. All I have to do is translate four pages of Danielle Steele's 'A Bon Port' from French and Squib promised to send me a button! It's good to be me sometimes.

I think we both posted on the Booker because we're both geniuses. Or is it fools? I forget which.

Kettle said...

Ramon I remember now! We're geniuses!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

We are indeed, Kettle.

Bow before us, mere mortals, or be blasted into ever-lasting night.

I've been reading Wind in the Willows to The Boy for the past month.

Can you tell?

Puss In Boots said...

Really? This book is readable? And here I was all prepared to avoid it like the plague.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

It seems so, Puss.

Bit of a shock, I know!

squib said...

books all about dung beetles from the POV of the dung

I've just been reading a very good story narrated by a mollusc

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The shortlisted The Little Stranger is also a cracker.

Man Booker judges fucked up big time this year!

Kettle said...

So Ramon, apologies if I've missed something major or am about to make some kind of catastrophic TSFKA faux pas (or 'foh pah' as I once read in a story by a friend's younger sister) but what's the sticky with you and Ms Hardy? You're not into pigtails? You don't love 'media personalities' on principle? You wish you had chest puppies too? (Sorry, I've always wanted to say 'chest puppies'.)

Perseus said...

...before Ramon answers, I just want it on record that his views are his alone, and do not reflect that of all TSFKA contributors, some of who (well, me) think Marieke is pretty cool. Exvept that TV show she wrote. That was dumb. But the rest of her I'm a fan of, including her chest puppies.

patchouligirl said...

I've only ever heard of her on TSFKA and feel no need to investigate further.

Lewd Bob said...

I like her too.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

My default setting for Marieke is "polite indifference".

I think she's a very ordinary writer but if she's managed to get writing gigs through her "zany rock chick" schtick - then good luck to her.

Lewd Bob said...

I generally don't pay much attention to the quality of writing when I know it's coming from an entertainment blogger/columnist. As long as it's entertaining.

On the other hand, as an entertainment blogger, Perseus's writing is generally beyond reproach, with just an occasional omitted apostrophe which I'll put down to typos, laziness or a need to get his stuff published quickly while it's still fresh.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

My problem with Marieke is that she's not entertaining.

I've always pictured Perseus as some Hunter S Thompson speed-crazed freak, writing his posts at semi-naked with a cigarette in its holder and a bottle of Wild Turkey beside him.

That's certainly the way I write.

Perseus said...

Bob, that's the nicest thing you've said to me since 1983, when I took that low, left-handed catch on the run and fell into the bushes. "Good catch," you said, as I wiped the blood from my face.

Ramon, swap Wild Turkey for Long Macchiato and your picture is accurate.

Marieke's persona, I know, can irk some, but, having met her a few times I can vouch for her good nature, and, her nerdy literary rock chick tastes I find quite pleasing. No, she's not Orwell, but neither is anyone else that isn't Orwell.

Melba said...

Ramon your default to Fits is NOT polite indifference. You take every opportunity to put her down and rubbish her. I'm not defending her. And let me disclose my past as a RYWHM syco. But I'm just calling you out and I don't believe it's just her "bad writing" or her pigtails or flower or perky boobs that get to you.

Come on, out with it sir.

My sister, for example, is driven insane by Miranda Otto. I have no idea why, but it's visceral.

Melba said...

And what P says is true. I met her once and she was very nice and natural. She touched my arm. And I've never washed it since.

Did she touch your arm, Persey? And laugh at the same time?

Huh? Did she?

Perseus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perseus said...

Melba, in Ramon's defence, he has conceded many times in the past couple of years that she comes up with some reasonable articles. He has never been unreasonable in his criticisms.

If you want to see Ramon go ape though, say the word 'Clem'.

*

Melba, she made me a coffee once. I thought it was a little weak, but I appreciated the effort.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Aww, fair shake of the sauce bottle Melba.

I give Marieke a mild poke every now and then.

I just think she's over-rated.

Clem, on the other hand, I genuinely despise.

Melba said...

I confess to being disappointed in her about the mobile-book series thing.

I thought "sell out" and "not a real writer" in about 2 seconds flat. Especially when she was writing about her love of books and the touch and feel of them.

Also I don't read the articles anymore. They are boring, and nothing new. But the blog. How I loved her blog before it went downhill and then away.

And to me the word "kindle" is but devil-talk.

Melba said...

Over-rated?

I agree with you there. But you take a dig at every opportunity.

Oh, well. Sport for some... can't say I've never picked on a person.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I don't take a dig at her at every opportunity and I can't see how making fun of her public persona - a persona she pushes at every conceivable opportunity - is "picking on a person".

Melba said...

Let's change the subject. How do people spell the thing you sit on: veranda or verandah?

Perseus said...

With a haitch.

Melba said...

Thanks I thought so. With an aitch.

Lewd Bob said...

It wasn't meant to be a complement Perseus. In fact I thought you'd get defensive about the apostrophe remark.

Perseus said...

As long you no their typo's.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

LS, you have 15 minutes to come up with a PSF or I'm coming in over your head.

With a poem about trains!

Leilani said...

Forget Marieke - Myf Warhurst new back page columnist for The Age.!

And just for something completely original she wrote another fawning piece about Matt Preston. The Matt Preston swoon brigade is my latest pet hate.

Melba said...

That's 15 mins I believe.

Puss In Boots said...

Melba, I can't stand Marieke either. I think she is one of the most irritating people on the planet. She doesn't seem to have gotten anywhere on merit. It all smacks of nepotism to me. And she is just plain not funny. I listen to JJJ in my car in the mornings, because I like the music, but I thank fsm that I don't have to drive for more than 15 minutes, because any more of Marieke than that, and I think I would go postal.

Also, her "style" makes me want to punch her.

Basically, I hate everything about her. Except for the fact that we share a common interest in never resorting to sms-speak under any circumstances. I grudgingly give her respect for that.

Melba said...

I don't know that she's meant to be funny. I like her intellect, her bookishness and her spunk.

The nepotism charge - well, how can anyone possibly avoid that if they have a famous relative? Damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of thing. That doesn't bother me. She has to have something to offer, and does. Even the biggest arse-lickers in the media wouldn't give someone a free ride just because of the name. Who writes her articles? Monkeys?

Anything else is cosmetic and I don't really care about that, though like squib I like a quirky head of hair.

[adjusts little red riding hood hair button, made courtesy of squib with the help of squirrels.]

Cath said...

I think sometimes people just dislike her because she is more famous than them. Frankly I could do a great book review on tv, but noone is going to pay to watch me spout my opinions.

Enough of this tripe already - WHERE IS THE POEM????

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Myf Warhurst new back page columnist for The Age.!

Just what we need, another vapid, self-obsesed media "personality" writing about themselves.

The Red Setter said...

Clem.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Red, it's too nice a day.

The sun is shining and I can have my first beer in an hour's time.

Puss In Boots said...

Who writes her articles? Monkeys?

They may as well, given the substance and quality.

Lewd Bob said...

Link: Could this be Marieke Hardy's research team?

Melba said...

Hardihar har har.

Melba said...
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Puss In Boots said...

The nepotism charge - well, how can anyone possibly avoid that if they have a famous relative? Damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of thing.

I don't agree with that at all, Melba. There are plenty of people with famous relatives who have made their own way in the business, and no one has levelled the charge of nepotism against them. Largely because they have earned their roles through merit and talent. Kate Hudson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Liza Minelli, Nicholas Cage etc all have famous relatives, but I'm pretty sure none of them have relied upon them to get their gigs. In fact, Kate Hudson even turned down a role she auditioned for because Kurt Russell was in the film, and she didn't want to be associated with him professionally - she wanted to make her own way. Although personally don't think she's a great actress. Nicholas Cage even changed his name so people wouldn't associate him with Francis Ford Coppola. Again, I don't really think he's that great of an actor, but still.

Marieke, on the other hand:

1987 - actress in Henderson Kids II on which her father was a producer and her mother was a writer.
1994 - actress in R.F.D.S on which her mother was a writer.
1994 - actress in A Country Practice on which her mother was a writer.
2001 - writer on Something in the Air on which her father was producer and writer
2002 - actress and writer on Short Cuts on which her mother was associate producer and story editor
2003 - writer on The Sleepover Club on which her mother was story editor.

Yes, she seems to be doing things on her own now, but you can't deny that it would seem she only got her early work because her parents were already involved in the project.

Melba said...

Like I said, Puss, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Now was it you who was interested in the article we were talking about a few weeks back? I can't find it online but have it here in hard copy. Happy to email a scanned version to you?

Puss In Boots said...

And like I said, I don't agree with you. If she'd gotten her early jobs independent of her parents, I doubt anyone would be saying it was nepotism. She could still be a talentless hack (such as Cage and Hudson), but people would probably respect her more.

Yes, it was me who was interested in the article you had. Do you have my email address?

Lewd Bob said...

Puss, it's a little hard to know whether Hudson, Cage et al had help from their relatives or not. I think we're too far from the action to make a particularly informed comment about it. You refer to Hardy's very early years. I don't know old she is but surely in 1987, if she was perhaps 12, it would be a stretch to call giving her a job 'nepotism'. Technically perhaps, but she was just a kid. You gotta take the breaks when they come.

Melba said...

Puss, I got your email. Will try to send. It's still the gmail one right?

I can't be bothered going on with the nepotism/Marieke thing. I just don't care that much. Let's save energy to fight about something important. Like grammar. Ah, but we'd probably agree on that.

Boogeyman said...

On the one hand I can see why Perseus likes her - she's pretty, has nice lips, is within his ideal age group, and is presumably fertile.

On the other hand I can see why Ramon takes pot-shots at her - her writing style is rather like an indigestible word salad served up at a Nazi health camp.

On the third hand (I have three hands, didn't you know - hello ladies! :-) ) I can see Melba's point, which is.... well, ok, I concede I have no idea why Melba likes her, but it's probably a cracker of a reason.

Lastly, can I say that Marieke no longer needs the assistance of her family to get ahead in the industry. By getting a job within the ABC she now has a benefactor for life.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I recall seeing a photo of Marieke which showed she had tattoo on her upper arm.

In Chinese characters.

The woman's a walking cliche.