Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries: ‘Caitlyn Jenner is a publicity-seeking ratbag’

Barry Humphries has joined Germaine Greer in dismissing Caitlyn Jenner as well as kicking the crap out of the liberal left:

The 81-year-old may be a little paunchy, though he?s quite the fop in yellow trousers, a fedora and a blazer decorated with a sparkling brooch. The shocking thing about Humphries is how softly spoken he is ? after all, we are so used to the Australian?s alter egos ? the flamboyant Dame Edna Everage and the boorish Sir Les Patterson.

Humphries prefers to stay out of the spotlight and allow his creations do the talking. ?Yes, it?s wonderful!? he beams. ?Les can say what he likes. I can say: ‘I disapprove of what Edna said the other night.??

In an age of ever-increasing political correctness, he says, he needs to hide behind his creations. Not that he always does. Last year, he became involved in a very public row over the resignation of Barry Spurr, a Sydney poetry professor after private ?racist? emails were published (Spurr said that they were a jokey ?game? in which he and a friend tried to outdo each other in their use of outrageous language).

?It?s this new puritanism, isn?t it?? says Humphries theatrically. ?It was a disgraceful persecution.?


Humphries is not, he insists, particularly Right wing. ?I don?t know anything about politics. But the far Left is so conservative, paradoxically, inflexible, doctrinaire and humourless. You can?t describe the world as it is any more. You get jumped on.? Does he? He chortles. ?I?m happy to say I do. I give offence therefore I am. Not too much offence, though.?

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Bludging arts wankers sticking their hands out

Have a read of this opinion piece from literary critic Peter Craven.

It really gives you some idea fo the entitlement?mentality?of bludging arts wankers.

There was a dinner at Jeanne Pratt’s Raheen mansion recently in honour of the Melba Foundation. Melba happens to produce the best classical CDs in the country and it also happens to have had its throat cut funding-wise by the Gillard government.

The dinner had a lot of donors present but it also had a number of distinguished artistic figures – Geoffrey Rush (the man who has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony), Barry Tuckwell, arguably the world’s greatest horn player, and Bill Henson, the photographer who was already famous before politicians decided to add slander to the mix. But the reason some of us were there was to see George Brandis, because if the polls are to be believed we will have a Tony Abbott Coalition government in September and the man who will be not only attorney-general but arts minister is Senator Brandis.

Well, the good news – piquant news for people who honour a Whitlamite legacy with the arts – is that George Brandis showed signs of being a better arts minister than we have seen in the longest time.

It was a lustrous evening with quotations from Vladimir Ashkenazy singing Melba’s praises and a clip of Barry Humphries telling us its glories. Robert Richter, QC, a man with a highly developed sense of liberty, spoke with that painstaking forensic logic of his (that would make many of us choose him if we were accused of high crimes) about the injustice that had been done to Melba which was not about making money but about recording the work of great Australian artists. Then Maria Vandamme, the head of Melba, talked about the importance of what the foundation wanted to achieve.