O Come All Ye Forceful: @burgewords on protest Christmas carols

During the silly season, when you catch a strain of yuletide song at your local shopping centre, know that what you’re listening to (or doing your best to avoid) probably started its life as a protest song. Well, perhaps not technically a protest song, but a Protestant song, which once meant the same thing. When Martin Luther reformed the church establishment in the 16th century, he brought song into the churches and placed it in the mouths of the faithful. A songwriter in addition to being a reformer, Luther was keen for men and women to sing in their own language, instead of listening to male choirs performing in languages […]

Amanda Bishop, the UnReal Julia Gillard: @burgewords interview

As Julia Gillard made her way through parliamentary ranks before, during and after Kevin07, the political satirists of Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue recognised they’d need to find an actress to portray the woman who would become Australia’s first female Prime Minister. From her knockout live performances, to her starring and co-writing roles in the controversial At Home With Julia on the ABC, actress Amanda Bishop has become synonymous with the role of Julia Gillard. Bishop spoke with No Fibs this week about what it takes to succeed in satire, and the consequences of your subject being a politician, prone to the whims of voters and internal party tactics. We often […]

Boldly going nowhere: @burgewords on the inequality of Sci-Fi

  “When I was nine years old Star Trek came on,” Whoopi Goldberg told Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, at a casting session for the show’s reboot in the early 1990s, “I looked at it and I went screaming through the house: ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be, and I want to be on Star Trek.” That ‘black lady’ was African-American actor Nichelle Nichols, in the role of Lieutenant Uhura, a character who inspired even Dr. Martin Luther King to follow the […]

Long live The Yartz! @burgewords column

When Margo Kingston asked me to consider writing a regular arts column for No Fibs, I thought she was pulling my leg, simply because art and politics didn’t seem like a natural blend. Aren’t artists a government’s greatest nightmare, grudgingly budgeted-for, the black sheep’s back on which Australia’s great nation couldn’t possibly be built? The one time I was part of a policy discussion for a state election campaign, when we got around to considering the arts, someone reminded us of Sir Les Patterson, Cultural Attache and Minister for ‘The Yartz’. We all had a laugh, and The Yartz got slotted under some other subheading, which is why I have […]