New Australian magazine The Monthly is said to pay contributors $1 per word (a high rate for local publications). In the latest edition, Charles Firth cashes in big-time:

Roy Kirkland, ADFA’s pastry chef, is showing off the desserts he has been making to feed the 100 academic staff and 1,000 students on campus. He begins with a batch of fresh-baked blueberry muffins, followed by an apple tart with calvados (brandy made from apples). Then it’s on to chocolate and orange slice, bavarois au chocolate (a kind of mousse), cheesecake, mixed berry tartlets, custard tarts, raspberry mousse with cream tartlet, apple strudel, mud cake, mixed berry turnover, slab cake, choc and peppermint mousse slice, chocolate eclairs, matchsticks (a jam-and-cream sponge delight!), blackforest cake, orange and poppyseed slice, jelly and mousse, and finally, créme caramel.

Firth has just earned $105 for reprinting a menu. The piece continues for another two grand or so.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/30/2005 at 11:41 AM
    1. The New Yorker is the same, except they have fact-checkers.

      Posted by rhhardin on 05/30 at 11:49 AM • permalink


    1. Hmm.  Then maybe that crazy lady on the cover wasn’t PMS’ing.  Coulda been gas.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 05/30 at 12:13 PM • permalink


    1. Speaking of menus:..

      And St. Attila raised the hand grenade up on high saying: “Oh Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” The Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and …”

      Posted by Rob C. on 05/30 at 12:23 PM • permalink


    1. I would really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really like to have this published in The Monthly.

      Posted by ErnieG on 05/30 at 01:35 PM • permalink


    1. Obfuscation invites extinction.

      Posted by Aaron – Freewill on 05/30 at 01:54 PM • permalink


    1. Who’s the money bags behind it? The Australian’s Review of Books paid very high rates too (and I got published in it, hee hee), but Rupert decided that it wasn’t worth the money in the end and it was discontinued.

      If it publishes ten 2000-word articles an issue and a few smaller pieces then we’re looking at about 30 000 words. That’s 30 000 bucks an issue just in writer’s costs. If they’re charging about 6 bucks an issue that means they need to sell 5000 issues a month just to cover those costs, not to mention the cost of the editorial staff and the production and printing costs. That’s tough to do in the small Australian market.

      Posted by Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny on 05/30 at 03:25 PM • permalink


    1. The Monthly sure has a thing for words. And ‘succinct’ isn’t one of them. From the first issue’s Editorial,

      Letters and responses are encouraged. None under 700 words will be printed.

      Posted by JAFA on 05/30 at 03:36 PM • permalink


    1. The double golden arches restaurant used to pay you with a Big Mac if you sung the ingredients back to the check-out chick in a rapid fashion … is that a comparison?

      BTW, I thought the defence forces still lived on bully beef and dog biscuits.  Aah, I remember being fed aeons ago by the “fitters and turners” of the Catering Corps … they “fit” it into pots and “turn” it into shit …

      Posted by Stevo on 05/30 at 04:45 PM • permalink


    1. Stevo — Ya got Burger King on damn ever post now.  I think they use that scary big-head puppet guy to harden the troops.  If that creepy SOB don’t scare ya, the haji’s ain’t got a prayer.

      I was in just after they’d switched over to MRE’s from C-Rats, so I got to sample both.  I never really had a problem with C’s, since I did my own bachelor cooking on civvie street, but I did miss the little P-38 can openers they used.  You could repair a jeep with that little sucker, incredibly useful.

      But I hated the T-rats when they introduced those.  The troops pretty much agreed we got them because the prisons had standards.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 05/30 at 04:54 PM • permalink


    1. Scott Campbell might also remember that the Australian Government paid Rupert – with our taxes, what else? – to publish the ‘Australian Review of Books’, via a hefty Australia Council subsidy.  As for Morry Schwartz, who is the deep pockets behind this venture, I keep thinking of that exchange in ‘Citizen Kane’, where the Mr. Burns-like banker thunders at young Kane that his quixotic newspaper venture is losing a million dollars a year.  “At that rate”, replies Kane, “we’ll have to shut down in sixty years”.

      Posted by cuckoo on 05/30 at 05:26 PM • permalink


    1. #9 richard:
      An army marches on its stomach according to Napoleon, but it looks like the American Army will literally march on its stomach.And MREs … “Meals Rejected by Ethiopians” … I’m sure they’re not that bad … I quite liked the Australian Army one man rat packs, which included a small bar of chocolate made by the Cadbury Company. The chocolate had a distinctive taste … maybe because it sat in the pack for years … but one I eventually got used to.  Does anyone know how to get their hands on Cadbury rat pack chocolate in civvy street???

      Off to work …

      Posted by Stevo on 05/30 at 05:27 PM • permalink


    1. Stevo — MRE’s are not T-Rats.  T-Rats were these terrible precooked meals in big aluminum pans that you were supposed to reheat in big open vats of boiling water.  Because, you know, big open vats of boiling water are so easy to transport tactically…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 05/30 at 06:15 PM • permalink


    1. Stevo, I’ve got about a dozen uneaten ones, leftover from ‘adventures’ out field. I was going to save them to use as fence palings.
      I heard that you can actually buy a Aus Army 1 man rat pack from a civvy shop (I have no idea which ones), and they cost about $50 (!)

      Posted by FusterCluck on 05/30 at 07:04 PM • permalink


    1. Citizen Kane had not been repeatedly declared bankrupt in his previous dealings. Even with the outrageous Australia Council subsidy and stuffing itself with syndicated material, The Australian’s Review of Books eventually dropped to 70 cents a word, before closing. Morry might not be too patient when it becomes clear just how optimistic the venture was.

      Posted by Andrew R on 05/30 at 07:07 PM • permalink


    1. I used to like the one man packs- the tubes of condensed milk were the ducks guts on the dog-like biscuits (my old man used to make porrige in the field by boiling the two over hexamine), and some of the canned stuff wasn’t too bad, the can openers terrific. Best of all were the cans od Kraft processed bung’ole;during cadet camps, one pitched into the campfire of a rival school went off like a mortar round, spraying burning embers and molten cheese everywhere, and if you managed to set fire to some hootchies it was double the sport.

      Posted by Habib on 05/30 at 07:37 PM • permalink


    1. Habib — I always liked the pork’n’beans for that… more uniform frag pattern…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 05/30 at 10:55 PM • permalink


    1. Suddenly all minimum page assignments at school we had to pad out and add loads of fluff make sense.

      Posted by Aging Gamer on 05/30 at 11:00 PM • permalink


    1. See, that skill did come in handy!

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 05/31 at 05:49 AM • permalink


    1. How does one get a gig on such a verbose-friendly organ? The recompense seems eminently suitable for a loquacious chap as myself, given as I am for rabbitting on about any old twaddle, beating about the bush and generally taking for ever to get to the point.

      Translation:- I’ll ‘ave a slice o’ that, it looks a right good earner for a moufy twat.

      Posted by Habib on 05/31 at 06:00 AM • permalink


    1. See, that skill did come in handy!

      Thing is, it really shouldn’t

      Posted by Aging Gamer on 05/31 at 06:20 AM • permalink


    1. I understand William F. Buckley, Jr., has pointed his yacht towards Australia under full canvas, for word rates like that…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 05/31 at 09:27 AM • permalink


    1. C-rats, MREs, T-rats…..I’ve had ‘em all.  I miss the C-rations, including the P38.  But that pound cake….mmmmmmmm!

      MREs I can leave or take, although the recent additions actually try to be palatable.  One good thing about the war is that the stockpiles are rotated constantly, so you don’t get stale M&Ms.

      I long ago concluded that T-rations are the ultimate in institutional food, and possibly violate the Geneva Convention, if not anti-pollution legislation.  I don’t recall consuming any variety of the t-rats with any degree of pleasure.  In fact, that’s where I learned to appreciate Tobasco sauce as the ultimate bad taste cover up.

      I once gandered at the pre-packaged field rations for the Bundeswehr, and I almost dehydrated from the sudden onslaught of salivation.  The contents were exclusively commercial, and looked wonderful (the exact opposite of what the Bundeswehr fed the troops in garrison, oddly enough—the Germans loved TDY with American forces back then, they ate at our mess halls).  However, this was in 1982 or so, pre-reunification.  I don’t know if the Bundeswehr still has the same quality of field rations.  If not, such a loss…..

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 06/01 at 09:40 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve read the entirety of this article and I can tell you now that its resentful attitude over the fact that ADFA is a good university is based on many hasty assumptions and poor journalism, if it can even be called journalism. 

      When Firth attacks ADFA because its students are paid (and notably, getting the pay rates wrong), he doesn’t even consider that it could be because they work full-time in training, live on-base 24/7, are expected to excel in, and are held responsible for everything they do, have to perform a variety of tasks a civilian student would never consider, are constantly evaluated and are answerable to two different legal systems – one that can charge you for not shaving – to mention a few points.

      When he attacks the fact that they have free medical and dental, he ignores the fact that it is a necessity that military personnel are healthy, and that the training that they undergo poses many more health risks than your average university activities.  The medical and dental facilities at ADFA are military facilities, yet Firth wants us to believe that they come standard with a BA at ADFA.

      When he exposes the decadence of the mess, he ignores the fact that military personnel need such facilities because they are not simply allowed off-base during working hours, and if they were, they wouldn’t have time to go out for a bite.  Of course, he also forgets that they don’t get that food (or mess membership) for free, and by the way, it isn’t actually that decadent.

      Oh, and that bit about eight hours of military training a week being easy?  Well, it’s actually a bit more, and not just per week; officer cadets have to go on SSTs – single service training – for weeks in between each academic session.  Army officer cadets then have to complete a whole year of officer training across the hill at the prestigous (and demanding) Royal Military College, Duntroon after they finish their degrees. Whilst on the topic of degrees, if Firth feels that ADFA has developed a BBus today for the private contractors of tomorrow, his logic sounds way off to me.

      Finally, it seems he wants to trash the reputation of the students at ADFA by telling of how they go out on the weekend.  That was the bit that really caught my attention; Firth’s professionalism shone when he exposed the fact that these people actually go out to bars and nightclubs on the weekend.  Frankly, if Firth wants to attack officer cadets for that then I think he should remind himself that so do civilian uni students (I can tell you now, I’ve seen both do it), and that they are plagued with drug problems as well.

      Fine, Firth may have issues with the government cutting funding to normal universities, but you don’t go about it by demonising ADFA through the merging of its two roles – academic and military – in order to present an image of a decadent university thriving at the expense of other universities, even its parent – UNSW.

      And that taxi driver?  Well, I wonder how reliable a source he really is…

      Posted by tyrannicidal on 06/02 at 06:35 AM • permalink


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