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Well, the bookcase was convincing
by KEITH GOSMAN
In many respects it is a pity that
one of the superpowers did not press the doomsday button a cou ple of dccades ago. At least we would have been spared 'Burn the Butterflies' (ABC, 8.30pm, Sun day).
One imagines that the play left more than one viewer with singed brain cells. Judging by last Sunday's effort you could have been forgiven for
thinking that the holocaust had struck Gore Hill a few weeks ago.
Jingoism is one of the more re pulsive attitudes that a person can possess and I can think of no reason why Australian television products should be judged any differently than foreign products.
'Burn the Butterflies' was bad. And there could be the end of it. Un fortunately it was so serious about being bad. Not one laugh, not one
chuckle. But then I suppose there is no time for mirth when Government Ministers have convenient and dra matic heart attacks while travelling on aeroplanes and Prime Ministers are
What made the play more annoying
than its Calvinistic tone was that it
was about a contemporary issue. Uranium mining. Should we or shouldn't we.
There seems to be a school of thought in some areas of the "arts" that topics such as love, hate, courage, cowardice, etc are distinctly outre. This school is the champion of the contemporary issue. "Let's see some thing that really makes a statement. You know, grapples with questions taunting society".
My feeling is that contemporary issues, if one must use the phrase, should best be dealt with by news and current affairs. They should only be resurrected after they have had a
sufficient rest like wine bottles in the
For example, I think that the Opium Wars are just about due for a deluge of screen treatments.
Anyway, what we had on Sunday was a Social Action Party Prime Min ister, Mr Joe Delaney, trying to win support for his view on uranium. Ray Barrett as Delaney did a strange sort
of impersonation of a Labor Prime_
Minister and watched a -lot of tele vision.
That was the one virtue of the play. The idea of using the television, within your television, to tell you the back ground of the play. Mind you one got the impression that 'Nation* (read Nationwide) was screened 24 hours a day — revolting prospect. Mind you, Clive Hale might get shamed into buying a presentable jacket — some thing that does not compete with the test pattern.
Delaney managed, in between watching television, to drink a fair bit and do a bit of bullying and bartering which was all fairly tame. Most of the time was spent in the PM's office
which looked as if it had been bor rowed from the set of 'Prisoner'. The
bookcasc was particularly convincing.
The outside broadcast scenes could
have been written by John Cleese. The so-called journalist in his mackintosh squealed that the crowd was aghast and other things, after the PM was shot.
Ray Barrett said some very silly
things about what he, the PM, wanted for Australia and about his past. And . . . Oh, dear me, no more.
The play told me nothing about uranium or politics. And anyway, who
would assassinate an Australian Prime Minister — we would have to pay for the funeral.
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AND speaking of contemporary is sues, Jane Fonda was a guest on 'The Helen Reddy Special' (CTC, 7.30pm, Thursday). Helen Reddy might now be a citizen of the United States but you can still tell where she was born. She might have overcome her natural Australian tendency to speak through the nose but she still sings through her
The most unpleasant factor about Reddy is not her nasal caterwaulling
but the veneer of feminism which she
sprays liberally in order to enchance
her aura. It is the sort of veneer which could be scratched only with a Cartier