Proof that some artists shouldn’t be let loose in public…

By skepticlawyer

What with server brownouts and all the Ashes hype, I haven’t been keeping up with the latest from Australia’s kultural kommissars. Daniel Barnes, one of our friends from across the Tasman, supplied the mp3 of a recent interview with author Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One etc). It kinda gives new meaning to backflip.

Go here.


  1. Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Please take time to listen to this. It’s as funny as a fit.

  2. entropy
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I am curious why nobody’s history lessons ever seem to extend further back than the crusades. It’s like they have never heard of Charles Martel and the Battle of Tours. it’s like they think the pope woke up one day and said “Bother me there are a lot of annoying nobles about these days. Let’s get rid of a few by having a jolly little crusade or two”. Putzes.

    Bryce only had one reasonably good airport novel in him, the rest are as good as his ad campaigns for the ALP.

  3. Jason Soon
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Bryce Courtenay is an artist?

    Sorry, that was mean …

  4. Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I just love the double twist with pike he executed after it was pointed out that the US invasion of Afghanistan took place after 9/11.

    I have no problem with writers/artists/whatever being popular. On one occasion I wrote a novel that sold in Bryce Courtenayesque proportions. I hope any subsequent novels do the same. It makes my bank balance look better.

  5. Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Its not a question of his history not going back past the crusades he doesn’t even make it back 5 years. He thinks 911 was a response to the invasion of afghanistan and tried to argue the point!

  6. Jason Soon
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Not a comment on him being popular, sl. Neal Stepehenson is popular too and he’s an artist to me. Just that I tried reading one of his novels once and couldn’t make it past the first chapter.

  7. entropy
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    True Steve, and he probably lost sleep that night for shame at his stupidity (unless he is truly up himself). But the first bit was a theory of how guilty the west was for its behaviour during the crusades. A time, I might add, when the holy roman empire was a dark ages creation just like the caliphate that OBL wants to recreate. People of those times were so different from the modern west they might as well be Klingons.

  8. Posted November 23, 2006 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Fair call. I’ve only ever read The Power of One, which was pretty good. I don’t know about the others but he may not be your cup of tea anyway.

    He does cop a fair bit of jealousy from the artwanker crowd because he’s popular. I just think that interview is an incredible bit of confused thinking. So much so I wonder if he was hung over at the time.

  9. Posted November 23, 2006 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I guess that is what he is talking about although he says 1500 years so I wasn’t sure. Anyhow its pretty clear he doesn’t have a great grounding for his historical theories.

  10. Posted November 23, 2006 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I loved the power of one when I was 14 or whenever it first came out. Didn’t think much of the sequel, and so never read any others.

    I must say I’m also suprised just how muddled he seems to be.

  11. entropy
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Maybe he had been on the turps, or experienced a severe Beazley moment. Pretty ignorant of both current and historical events.

  12. entropy
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Actually I am currently listening to the audible version of ‘the power of one’. It was a giveaway in celebration of the first anniversary of the OZ itunes store. Apple gave away five songs (including a cool Celebrity Drug Disasters song as well as the audible version of The Power of One. I think it normally sells for $45, so it was pretty good value. And I must say I am enjoying it, having never read it.

  13. Posted November 23, 2006 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Admitting that artists say lame stuff but can still be good artists is like owning up to making change in the offering plate.

    I’ll freely concede that I’ve periodically said absolute crap when buttonholed by journalists, and was only able to fix the problem of speaking shit by engaging in some media management:

    1. Only ever do live radio
    2. If you don’t know the answer, say so.
    3. If this generates an uncomfortable silence, let the interviewer squirm.
    4. If you don’t like the show/magazine/newspaper chasing an interview, don’t do it.
    5. Write as much of your own story as possible (rather than letting someone else do the interviewing). You even get paid that way!

  14. John Humphreys
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Skeptic… off topics but the alcohol in my system gives me an excuse. I was chatting to a lefty journo friend about you recently and their only comment was that you were stupid for not writing a sequel while you were such hot news.

    It’s a good point. You ran away when in reality the shit-storm you created could only have been good for future sales. Write the bloody sequel woman… and make sure the LDP (and me) are in there somewhere! ;p

  15. Posted November 23, 2006 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    John, I’m workin’ on it. More news in Sydney at the blogmeet.

  16. Daniel Barnes
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    SL, your rules in comment #13 are good ones. What amazes me about Bryce C’s comments tho is how sanctimoniously he ventures his opinions, despite having it all completely backwards! It’s not like the interviewer asked him a tricky question or anything. He presents it as if he’s been thinking deeply about it, how we are ‘unquestionably’ to blame for Sept 11…as the result of invading Iraq.. or Afghanistan…or something…

  17. c8to
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    im might ditch jason as a co-writer since he hasn’t done anything in a year…

    damn…i just realised my blog took the first three chapters of my novel with it…hope i have a backup somewhere…

  18. Jason Soon
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    well I’ve been preoccupied, c8to, if you prodded and reminded me I might get moving.

  19. davidleyonhjelm
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    People who know him tell me Bryce Courtney suffers from overweening arrogance. That might explain the talk first – think later history lesson.

    They also tell me he had too much alcohol in his blood surrogate, although in his case it was retrospective.

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