Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's a naive business-friendly rag, but the pond thinks you'll be amused by its presumptuous poetry ...

Now in the past few weeks most people will have taken away as the main Australian Financial Review story the sacking of journalist Paddy Manning for making the mistake of talking truth to power.

The fallout resonated during the week with the Commonwealth Bank withdrawing its sponsorship of a column, as you can read in CBA sponsorship lost after Fairfax sacking. And there was titillation over at Crikey - original cause of the fuss by publishing Manning's pieceabout a book by an AFR hack about the trials and tribulations of Fairfax - Killing Fairfax, no less, as you can read in First shots fired in the blockbuster Fairfax book wars.

Now it's hard to imagine why Manning imagined he could point out the state of the emperor's brand new clothes and get away with it, but any reader of the AFR will know that he accurately described the state of the clothes, as Jim Parker noted in The Stockholm syndrome infecting business reporting. (all Crikey pieces may be paywall affected).

Parts of the AFR rag are just junket heaven and sales promotions, the opinion pages are invariably poor and deeply prejudiced, and it regularly astonishes the pond that anyone would fork over $3.30 of the readies for the weekend edition.

That said, the rag also regularly displays an ability to amuse and amaze, and no, we're not talking about the Rowe cartoon, or the pathetic attempts at humour displayed by the astonishingly feeble Rowan Dean. They sack Manning and keep on Dean? Beyond the valley of the silly ...

Never mind, in another life the pond used to hang around with Adelaide hills prats - perhaps was even once a foodie and a whinie - so let's give a concrete example by taking a look at several fine examples of concrete poetry on view in this weekend's Life and Leisure section:

Sapid, souk-like spices
Plus dark, shiny fruitcake
And luminous carbon paper
Pepper and deep fruit aplenty
Fine tannins
And finessed oak treatment.

Carbon paper!

That about Gimblett Gravels Vineyard syrah, 2010, from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand, 95/100 and a snap at $45.

Now if you want that rasp of carbon paper on tongue, you know where to go ...

How about:

Light, fragrant, mossy
And maraschino cherry
Gentle, wet, leafy
Silky fruit flesh on the tongue
with succulence that lingers
Finishes with a smidge
Of toffee crisp

Wet! Wine that's wet?

Who could imagine such a thing? Who could imagine such an incisive insight? Now you know where to go to get wetness. And a smidge of toffee crisp.

That about a Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2011, from Martinborough NZ, 93 out of the hundred and a more severe $56, presumably for the wetness.

And finally, let's admire:

Deep sexy-smelling 
Strawberry pippy creamy
Fab in the mouth
Has structural build
And then reduced succulence
Mouth-sucking and
vividly flavoured.

It's surely the weakest of the three.

Fab in the mouth is quite banal and socialite whirl as a metaphor, a saggy sodden pippy flourish that undercuts the deep sexy-smelling evocation of vagina and penis co-joined in vigorous coition (unless, unless, is sexy-smelling intended to evoke the taste of come in mouth, or the smell of anal sex? Is that what mouth-sucking means, is that what fab in the mouth means, has the pond missed the playful triple level cross-referencing evocation of a blow job in an eastern suburbs, perhaps Paddington lane?).

Anyway that poem's about a Calvert Vinyeard Pinot Noir, 2010, from Central Otago, NZ, somehow either 94 or 95 out of a hundred, depending on your ability to equivocate, and an equally severe $56.

Now the AFR doesn't usually do culture - a few film reviews here, a bit of chit chat about a Mao impersonator there - and that's your lot, because it's too busy complaining about how it should really be doing business in the United States where the slave labour, sorry the labour, is so much cheaper.

But surely these poems are a cause for celebration. The y'artz live ...

You'll have to decide for yourself whether this fine poetry adds to Manning's case or convincingly disproves it, because all the pond can do when confronted such aesthetic wonders is to fall silent ...

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