Today I saw a headline in the papers that appeared to say "Government Provides Free Porn" but which actually when I looked closer I saw went for two lines rather than one and so on further inspection turned out to say "Government Provides Free Porn Filters".

If ever the people in layout should have a say over the sub-editors who write the headlines, it's moments like that don't you think? I've got a headline somewhere that I cut out of The Herald Sun one time that just says "INSERT HEADLINE HERE". You just know someone got fired for that one.

So anyway I saw Polanski's Oliver Twist last night. I said yesterday that I haven't read many classics. That is sadly true. Of the classics I have read, however, most of them have been Dickens. I've read Oliver Twist at least once (meaning once - and another time when I was "studying" it), I've seen the non-musical film version and the musical film version, and let's not forget that I played the role of the Artful Dodger in the grade six play (the only interpretation of the role I'm aware of that has included a top hat combined with a ponytail). So, in terms of knowing the story of Oliver Twist inside out, I'm probably only a fraction less well informed than the probably countless thousands who are currently writing a thesis on it. HOWEVER I did enjoy this interpretation. Ben Kingsley is really quite brilliant as Fagin, who is the key to the whole thing in my opinion - and the rest of the casting was pretty spot on. Dodger, though, should really have had a ponytail.

Then I went to Readings with the intention of buying a classic Russian novel or a Thomas Hardy or even a D H Lawrence. Needless to say I did nothing of the sort. I am now the proud new owner of the new A. Manette Ansay book. Manette Ansay spoke to my writing class when I was studying at Boston College and she was such a breath of fresh air amongst some of the more conservative influences (which were probably better for me than I thought they were at the time). Her website is here. I've never forgotten the class she spoke in and I've found it really hard to find her writing anywhere in Australia. Her book of short stories, Read This and Tell Me What It Says is just so damn good. The title short story is a corker. I'm looking forward to a weekend of reading punctuated by cups of tea. My favourite.