Part 1:

Brilliant Creatures1 explores the achievements of the following people of fame, a Gang of Four to use what has become a much used term in several aspects of popular and political culture. These four people were at their early peaks in the 1970s: Robert Hughes at Time Magazine as its art critic; Germaine Greer riding on the success of The Female Eunuch; Clive James a junior member of the London literati, and Barry MacKenzie making a Barry MacKenzie movie.1 We must first look at the Australia of their childhood, the cultural propellants, good and bad, that made them move and shake. This doco does some of that early life and cultural examination.

Since I, too, was in my early peaks of career success in the 1970s, I find I must look at my early years, 1943 to 1972, to try to understand my own success. I was not in the same league as these four giants of popular culture; I have lingered in the minor leagues of popular and academic culture since those early seventies. We all can't be famous and rich as we each have to work out our own life-narratives, by sensible and insensible degrees, over the several climacterics which are our lives.

Part 2:

The context of the success of these four, indeed brilliant creatures, is the greatest strength of this ABCTV doco sub-titled: Germaine, Clive, Barry and Bob. The doco is hosted by the ridiculously charming and talented Howard Jacobson with insightful and discriminating observations of the times, and the several sources of its rebellion, coming from: Martin Amis, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Schama, Michael Parkinson, Eric Idle, Bruce Beresford and Rachel Griffiths.2 -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABCTV 23/9/'14 at 8:30 pm., and 2 Ruth Ritchie, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19/9/'14.

Your careers were just
taking-off, as mine was
too, little did I know it
at the time.....and little
did you know.....Now,
after more than forty
years, we all reminisce
about those good old-
days at the time when
we were just starting-
out on our long careers,
la longue durees as that
school of history, known
as Annales, calls historical1
structures over long periods,
events, political and cultural
transition......mirabile dictu.2

1 The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century to stress long-term social history. Today the Annales approach has been less distinctive as more and more historians do work in cultural history, political history and economic history. The lifetime of an individual, though, really does not define la longue duree, as the above prose-poem suggests.

2 A Latin phrase meaning 'marvellous to relate'

Ron Price
married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16, and a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)