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Apr 15, 2010

Five great articles to read from the couch

Since early last year, the Crikey website has prided itself on collecting really interesting articles from everywhere. In that spirit, here are five really great reads for tonight.


Since early last year, the Crikey website has prided itself on collecting really interesting articles from everywhere. In that spirit, here are five great things to read from the couch tonight (ah, if only you had an iPad).

1. Building a career from Lego. Some people don’t ever get past the Lego phase. In fact, the company now recognises “certified professionals” in Lego building. But can Lego sculptures be art? asks Morgan Meis in The Smart Set.

2. Homage or rip-off? When does “sampling” become a copyright issue in the digital age? Jessica Au pondered the question recently in Meanjin’s blog Spike.

The article, published on Friday, was prescient given the controversy that erupted yesterday over Sam Leach’s Wynne Prize-winning landscape and its resemblance to a 1660 Dutch painting. Crikey‘s own W.H. Chong has a great Photoshopped piece exploring the point at which homage becomes … problematic, with cheeky suggested Wynne Prize winners for 2011 and 2012.

3. Oprah without make-up. The New Yorker‘s Lauren Collins has read Kitty Kelley’s unauthorised biography so you don’t have to. Though the tone of the book is “prosecutorial”, Collins says it does contain some delightful anecdotes, including Oprah’s pun-loving ways:

Did you know that Oprah ran for student council on the slogan “Put a Little Color in Your Life. Vote for the Grand Ole Oprah”? (Later, she won the Miss Fire Prevention title, and scored a gig on Nashville’s WLAC at the age of 19.)

Gawker has all the juicier revelations too.

4. British navel-gazing. For The Times, Cole Morton tours the countryside eating quintessential English breakfasts in order to assess the state of the nation through its stomach. A bit of a stretch perhaps, but fun to read his salt-laden account.

5. Sarah Palin’s diva turn. Sarah Palin’s speaking rider [PDF] was discovered in a California university recycling bin by students who leaked it to the press. Have a read and enjoy the demands: bendy straws, nothing less than a lear jet for travel, and please, no spotlights on the face.

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One thought on “Five great articles to read from the couch

  1. Michael James

    One thing about the Palin rider, it is apparently the same as that for all the other Washintton Speaker’s Bureau speakers.

    The only Palin-specific requirement was for first class travel; from Alaska to the lower 48 states, and business class travel within the continental US, with private jet as an alternative. Pretty staid stuff really, especially given the distances involved from Alaska to Washington DC or the US North East or South East. (Alaska to Florida can be a 6-7 hour flight if you can’t get a non-stop).

    The requirements are actually fairly tame when you see the demands of some speakers and particularly some celebrities and musicians.