21 Deep, Penetrating, Important, Philosophical Questions: Gospel music, Twistie Rolls and Shaun Hampson

There have always been philosophical questions throughout history.

Why we do we exist? What is our purpose? Is there a supreme being?

Philosophy is an ancient and wonderful science, one that can dominate a lifetime or while away an hour over a few beers.

There are definitely some important questions to be asked in life. Questions of ethics, the concept of good and evil, and the place and worth of religion.

Then there are some curiosities that baffle us. Concepts that we cannot explain that deserve to be questioned.

And then there are banal ponderings that insult our very intelligence and are a complete waste of energy.

Below, in no apparent order, you may find all three:

How can Richmond think that playing Hampson, Vickery, Maric and Griffiths in the same side is going to work?

How can Richmond think that playing Hampson in any side is going to work?

Can you reconcile being an atheist and still liking gospel music?

How can Jack Reiwoldt feel good about a potential Coleman Medal if he keeps kicking junk-time goals at the end of games we’ve blown?

Is there a proven link between hipster beards, tatts and the ability to make coffee?

Will we ever see another 100 goal season from an individual player?

Can you be a vegetarian but still cook meat?

If you played a drinking game in which you had to scull every time Bruce McAvaney said “off a step” would you be drunk by half time or three quarter time?

Is impersonating an accent a racist act? Does it depend on the accent? Does it have to be the accent of an oppressed or ridiculed country to be seen as wrong, or if I pretend to be American or British, that’s OK? If there are a lot of shoes and boots on your front porch and you say it looks like a mosque, is that wrong? Are phrases like “more chins than a Chinese phonebook” too much now? Is wearing a sari OK, but darkening your face insensitive? Am I still allowed to tell a joke that starts “An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar”?

If I don’t like Van Morrison, then, (in the immortal words of my mate Nick) , then does it automatically follow that I don’t like good music?

Why do umpires ‘put the whistle away’ towards the end of close games, why do we encourage them to do it and then why do we complain when frees aren’t paid towards the end of games?

Why does a twistie roll and a chip sandwich work, but the vice versa doesn’t?

Should I care about the St Kilda football club and whether they’ll still be around in 20 years’ time? Will it matter if they aren’t? What role do they play in the growth and future of the AFL?

Here endeth the lesson.

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Sean- I first heard Van’s Astral Weeks with mates when seventeen and mocked it. As I heard it sporadically over the following decade I realised that it is brilliant.

    I doubt history will subsequently regard the current Richmond side with similar fondness.

  2. Rick Kane says

    Hi SC

    If it’s okay, I’d like to tackle the question:

    Can you reconcile being an atheist and still liking gospel music?

    Yes, easily.

    There are countless themes discussed in music that I don’t necessarily agree with but I’m still very interested in the ideas. I’m against capital punishment but I still sing I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die with total abandon. All the while, thinking about the enormity of the idea. I have mixed feelings about the lead character in To Her Door but I love the song. The relationship with music is multi-layered and multifaceted.

    And how can you go past the choral harmonies in Gospel music?


  3. Sean – in answer to some:
    Can you be a vegetarian but still cook meat? – No – my brother’s ex girlfriend flat out refused. She would not even turn it when she was at the stove.
    I don’t like Van Morrison and all the music I like is great.
    Everyone blames the umpires all the time, no matter what they do, even if they are vegetarian Van Morrison fans.
    Is there a proven link between hipster beards, tatts and the ability to make coffee? – The barista who makes my coffee has all three – she is awesome.
    Will we ever see another 100 goal season from an individual player? – Only during replays of previous decades.
    How can Jack Reiwoldt feel good about a potential Coleman Medal if he keeps kicking junk-time goals at the end of games we’ve blown? – As Wayne Carey recently said, you want as many goals as you can get, though Carey wasn’t ignored by his teammates like Reiwoldt is, and if Carey was, he went and got the ball anyway.
    Voice impersonations are the new racism
    You should care about St Kilda. In 20-years time you don’t want to be mentioning St Kilda and Fitzroy in the same sentence.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Mind Your Language

    I prefer Van Morrissey or Camper Van Beethoven to Van Morrison or Bruce McaVANey. I also prefer BTO to BT, John Simon Ritchie to Lionel Richie (or, referring to the above, Greg Ritchie), the Lime Spiders to the Serious Young Insects, the Modern Lovers to Young Modern (just), can’t split the Gang of Four from the Four Tops. But what moves me is my business only, same goes for everyone else.

    I love hearing the Ramones singing about sniffing glue or beating brats with baseball bats, but I faint when writing on a whiteboard and I’m a coward. And don’t even ask me to justify enjoying the Sex Pistols’ “Bodies”.

    Coffee is a [email protected], I love it, daily, but I don’t remember too many of them.

    I think it is because the roll can, well, roll around the twisties without any lumps. Chips are soft, so is bread.

    Why can I eat icecream, but gag if my banana is soft ?

    Re St Kilda, are you trolling Yvette ?

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    I saw Shaun Hampson talking about his passion for coffee on a channel 7 interview recently. Maybe it’s his lack of a hipster beard and tatts that is holding him back?

    More realistically, Richmond should be recruiting blokes who are passionate about restoring muscle cars or going pig shooting out the back of Balranald.

    You would be rotten very quickly, but I can put up with endless ‘off a step’s if it keeps ‘special’ under lock and key.

  6. Swish

    Yes, considered Yvette when writing the St Kilda lines, in fact it is only her and people like her that make me sympathetic to them. I was actually considering what relevance they had just before that article came out in The Age a week back about the relevance ladder. Without Yvette’s pieces and love for them despite their performances, I’d have possibly gone harder on them


  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says


    Why just the Saints? Surely the same could be asked of Footscray (and maybe North Melbourne (perhaps also Brisbane))

    The AFL has achieved “virtual relocation” via Gold Coast and GWS, the relevance of the three teams above has transferred to those two. Except it hasn’t if you get my drift. All that has happened is we have five or so teams at the comp’s margins. If you factor the Gold Coast/Brisbane relevance switch then who knows, perhaps we’ll end up with fourteen (at a pinch sixteen) sustainable teams.

    Would the TV numbers be greater with fewer, possibly higher quality matches as well as attendances ?

    Are the “irrelevant” teams crucial to the fabric of the competition or even the sport itself? The comp survived the demise of Fitzroy.

    I’m not saying that those teams should be done away with, but will there come a time where their continued existence is no longer warranted if they cannot become self-sustaining?

    Hawthorn’s post velcro-Hawk resurrection, Port Adelaide’s resurgence. Could the same happen to St Kilda and co? If so, how long do we/whoever wait?

    Did James Brayshaw do the Kangas a favour or a gross disservice?

    Would the demise of Footscray be made up for by the rise of GWS? How many Foxtel subscriptions do they sell in Kingswood, NSW?

    Hey Lord, don’t ask me questions, ain’t no answer in me.

  8. Patrick O'Brien says

    Maybe if we do away with every other team except St Kilda they might – might – win something and thereby become relevant again.

  9. Come on boys, whats with the saints bagging. Passionate since 1959 and will be forever. Only another saints supporter knows what I go through. (maybe the doggies supporter as well). To put a spin on a comment in a paper today “I’m not racist, I hate everybody equally”. I’m not biased, I love the saints and all other clubs.

  10. Earl O'Neill says

    I love eating and cooking meat but I’ve also made Indian feasts that vegans have raved about. Not sure if that works in the other direction.
    Between 1940 and 1968 only John Coleman kicked 100 in a season. It’ll happen again.
    If you play Them’s ‘Mystic Eyes’ single on 33 it sounds just like Howlin’ Wolf.
    What about a drinking game in which you knocked back a pink gin every time Bruce says “you get a feeling…”
    Being good at accents is a talent I would like to have.
    When I was an angry atheist, I still liked gospel music. Maybe that’s partly why I’m now a contented theist.

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Like the questions Sean. Not a Van man myself.
    Think St Kilda, and the Bulldogs for that matter, have relevance and a future in the comp. St Kilda have the bayside and Mornington Peninsula areas they are trying to grow their club in. Bulldogs have the ever expanding Western suburbs. Would be more worried about smaller inner city clubs like Melbourne and North who compete against the big inner city clubs. But the AFL does seem to assist the smaller/poorer clubs much better these days than they did in the Fitzroy era.

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