Archive for January, 2008

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Of Convicts, Coffins and Nails

Old Sydney Burial Ground 

For those in Sydney with an interest in both the macabre and the historic, this is one of your last chances to see a slice of early colonial Sydney before it is lost to time. Archaeologists (including yours truly) are currently excavating over 50 graves belonging to a portion of the Old Sydney Burial Ground, one of the first cemeteries in the colony and the last resting place of convicts, officers and free settlers, with it’s first official iterment in 1792, and it’s last in 1820. And you can get a look at it, for one day only.

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Posted by Robert on Jan 20th 2008 | Filed in Events,History,News,People | Comments (0)

Review – Mansinthe 66.6%, Not A Copy Of An Imitation

I’ll get to the point up front – this is a decent Swiss absinthe.

Adorned with a slightly surreal painting by Manson of himself in old age, one might become suspicious that this is largely a ‘vanity label’ or ‘celebrity brand’. But rather than just another product looking for a celebrity endorsement, we have a much more interesting story of a modern entertainer who has worked hand in hand with a traditional distiller to produce something that maintains the right aesthetic for both.


I would generally like to avoid using the term ‘brand’ here because Manson’s portfolio of interests is extending well past music into art, film, literature and now absinthe – would it be fair to call ‘Andy Warhol’ a brand? Well, yes, the Warhol Foundation has seen to it that it is now through extensive licencing.

So if Manson must be conceded as a brand, thank goodness it is a brand with certain minimum values.

I remember reading a story about Mr Manson ‘holding court’ with fans on an occasion – and at this meet and greet, the truly tragically gothic and beautiful were overlooked in favour of the geeky and awkward. And here is a dichotomy I think some people miss with Manson – for all the ‘distinctiveness’ he projects, I don’t believe he seems himself as forsaking society like some ascetic, but to evolve as he is ‘within’ the confines of that society. He is not inaccessible.

I’m trying to use this anecdote as a metaphor for saying that Manson has put his name to an accessible absinthe – with a quality and price point that allows anyone, the geeks, the goths, the “it must be French/Swiss” absintheur and even the “woohoo! absinth shooters!” consumer to try it (and hopefully change the behaviour of the latter).


In fact, accessibility seemed to have part of the very intent in the crafting of this absinthe by Swiss distillery Matter-Luginbühl AG. Read the history and you will see this product is as much about a family tradition as it is about a man with his name on a bottle.

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Posted by Jonathan on Jan 13th 2008 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

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