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Other Writings > Letters to the Sydney Morning Herald — Quips

Sydney Morning Herald

Brevity is the soul of wit. Here are some of my briefer encounters with the letters page…


As a Mac lover, I always find PC Christmas divisive and hard to use.

December 20, 2016


Why is it so many proponents of marriage inequality struggle to maintain even a basic grasp of history, law, or theology?

July 4, 2015


When did not being racist become left-wing activism?

October 4, 2014


Before the spreadsheet people completely take over the government, let us pause to remember that democracy would fail a cost-benefit analysis.

August 28, 2014


The amount of tax not paid by Google was much discussed prior to the May 2014 budget...

Google pays 1 per cent tax because that's the number mystically determined by their magic algorithm, the same algorithm they use to convince us a cat video is the answer to our most pressing questions (Letters, May 5).

May 6, 2014


Alan Jones inspired a quip that made the front page!

I talk, you bully, she lies: irregular verb?

October 9, 2012


How I could I resist a quip on the discovery of the Higgs Boson?

What’s the bet the discovery of the Higgs boson (aka the god particle) leads to the realisation that underneath the standard model is another layer of even less comprehensible complexity made up of completely imaginary "godless" particles connected by mythic forces defined by post-rational numbers divisible only by zero?

July 5, 2012


KRudd stirs the Labor leadership at an opportune time for quippers!

And the Oscar for most unsupportive actor in a non-leading role goes to…

February 27, 2012

My 350th letter published!


With the increasing trend towards complete shallowness, it's only a matter of time before they start asking, ''What's a thought?''

September 5, 2011


And there was I thinking men's sport was more popular because it gave all those so-called family guys a way to spend the afternoon admiring the finesse and physique of other men without having to resign.

May 27, 2010


I thought the claim that ads flogging Jesus "do not make explicit mention of God" showed refreshing candour and insight.

September 12, 2009


At some point during the beginning of the end of the middle of the GFC…

The recession we didn't have to have?

June 4, 2009


The real problem with treating animals as accessories ("Animals are not accessories", January 7) is finding shoes to match.

January 8, 2009


A quip asking after the MCA extension's acoustics demanded a response.

Tony Turner (Letters, December 13), the acoustics of the MCA extension are excellent: I can hear the whingeing perfectly.

December 15, 2008

The triple Ted - Number 300!


I do hope the economists telling the Prime Minister how to fix the financial crisis aren't the same ones who didn't see it coming.

December 8, 2008


Noting a letter from the Right Reverend Bishop... I wonder if there is also a Left Reverend Bishop — Morris Graham

Morris Graham, given the conservatism seemingly required by high office in the chirch, I think Left Reverend may be an eccesiastical oxymoron.

January 11, 2007


Who could resist a quip over the Te Kanewa/Farnham court case?

So, for Dame Kiri, the opera is over when the fat ladies fling?.

February 3, 2007

The two-and-a-half Ted - Number 250!


We may be able to beat the Poms at cricket, but they’re giving us a walloping in the game of same-sex civil unions.

December 20, 2006


I can’t help imagining Milton Friedman following the footsteps of Orpheus into the underworld and beginning negotiations for a free-trade agreement with the living.

November 20, 2006


The award for best [un]intentional joke in the Sydney Bienniale goes to the Art Gallery of NSW which, under a large work made of several sheets of Braille, hung a sign saying, "Please do not touch", thus inspiring the riposte: "Am I allowed to look at it?"

August 26, 2006


Once we solve the mystery of why sugar soap cannot be used to wash sugar, perhaps we can decipher what sort of filth a vacuum cleaner removes from pristine nothingness.

August 1, 2006


A mate for head of state? I'd be happy if we had one in the Parliament

January 28, 2006


Responding to another regular commenting on a Goonellabah writer who appeared to be channeling Ted…

Con Vaistas (Letters, September 6), Ted Matulevicius haunts all of us one-liners who attempt pith while taking it.

September 7, 2005

And with this came the "Double-Ted" My 200th letter published!


On the Cross-City tunnel…

A traffic-reducing tunnel that will increase congestion? They must have had consultants in.

August 27, 2005


Economic figures are seaonally adjusted because without seasoning they're too bland for anyone to swallow.

July 15, 2005


On the new Pope's call for unity…

A call for unity from a faith based on divisve theology? Who said these old Germans don't have a sense of humour.

April 22, 2005


Not making a film because the script isn’t good enough ("Blood on the Eucalyptus as Crowe stops movie", Herald, February 12)? That's hardly the attitude that's made our film industry what it is.

February 14, 2005


It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone in posession of a Jane Austen novel must be in want of a life.

December 14, 2004


On an NRL player blaming ADD for bad behaviour…

How much publicity does it take to alleviate an attention deficit disorder?

May 25, 2004


Responding to a letter expressing concern at security levels at the Opera House…

The reason there is little security at the Opera House (Letters, November 29) is that terrorists prefer to target the living heart of a culture: an audience of the living dead watching 19th-century-top-of-the-pops just doesn't qualify.

December 1, 2003


On Simone Young's sacking…

The opera is over when the board does the singing.

September 17, 2002


Responding to an exasperating spate of Opera/Cricket letters…

Should we be surprised that lines from a boring, outdated art form (opera) so aptly describe "events" from a boring outdated sport (cricket)?

January 24, 2002

With this trifle I celebrated the coveted "Ted" My 100th letter published!


Post September 11…

It's much easier to spread a fear of anthrax when the world and its media abandon reason and behave like sheep.

October 16, 2001


When will someone try to buy my vote, young white ABC-watching arts-loving single kidless city dweller who works for a living that I am?

May 24, 2001


On a university "cash for degrees" scandal…

When a fool and his money are passed by a fool for money, who is the greater fool?

January 9, 2001


On the 2000 US Election…

The United States of America: where all votes are counted equally, but some are counted more equally than others?

December 15, 2000


A debate broke out on why pictures hang crooked, forcing me to respond…

Is a straight picture one that sleeps only with pictures of the opposite sex?

April 17, 1999


On that famous presidential affair…

Does Linda Tripp wonder why nobody ever calls any more?

November 20, 1998


Surely the soon-to-be-knighted Elton John will be known as Dame Elton, not Sir.

December 31, 1997


Our business sector seems to react to almost any event (e.g. the Asian currency crisis) by crying "We'll all be rooned".
It would appear Hanrahan has sold the farm and moved to the city.

October 27, 1997


On the close of an exhibition featuring "Piss Christ"

Now that we've closed the exhibition of unacceptable and dangerous art, I suppose we should burn all books and invade Poland.

October 16, 1997


I suppose courageous little Sojourner is destined to become our first interplanetary abandoned vehicle.

July 15, 1997


IMAX promises a "film experience bigger than your imagination". I doubt it. To confine someone else to the limits of your own imagination is dangerous indeed.

October 21, 1996


On French nuclear testing

How can a nation so civilised that its language still has a subjunctive, do something so indicative?

September 8, 1995


And that fateful first letter…

I notice the lack of any Father's Day sale including a food-processor, a sewing machine or a new moisturiser and declare the fight against stereotypes as far from won.

September 1, 1995


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