Summer has arrived in Australia, and Christmas is just around the corner.
We are all getting ready to scrub down the BBQ, glaze the ham, stuff the turkey, peel the prawn and chill the beer, in preparation for the famous Australian summer holiday season of hot, sunny beach days and sunset cocktails with family and friends.
30ml Banana rum*
30ml Absolut or Belvedere vodka
Method: pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake, and strain into a large martini glass. Decorate with slices of banana.
*My preferred banana rum for this cocktail is the ‘8 Year Old Banana Rum’ from the Fiji Rum Co.
While you are enjoying your Banana martini, here are a few of my favourite tunes I am currently listening to.
‘The Other Boys’ by NERVO feat. Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears and Nile Rodgers
This recent surprise release by Australia’s own electronic dance music, electro house and progressive house duo, sisters Miriam and Olivia Nervo was a big hit with me.
It has a lot going for it: a genuine Australian pop diva, Kylie Minogue; the fabulous Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters’ fame; and the legendary Nile Rodgers.
The song is an edgy, disco, dance music extravaganza. The video is a fun, wild ride with Kylie in fierce-mode, Jake sassing it up, while Nile is at his usual guitar virtuoso best. Enjoy!
‘The One I Love’ by Seth MacFarlane
Yes, it’s that Seth MacFarlane!
‘Family Guy’, ‘American Dad!’, ‘The Cleveland Show’, ‘Ted’ and Academy Awards host Seth Woodbury MacFarlane.
Did you know he also has a sexy, velvety voice that channels Frank Sinatra and an old world charm? His new 17 track album, ‘No One Ever Tells You’ was released on 30 October and it is a surprise treat of classic covers and a few originals.
MacFarlane is truly the thinking nerd’s sex symbol. Enjoy!
‘Space Oddity’ by Chris Hadfield
This David Bowie classic from 1969 performed by astronaut Chris Austin Hadfield on the International Space Station is a modern classic. Reportedly it took months to work through the copyright issues, but I am glad David Bowie granted the necessary permissions.
‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue’ by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz
If you prefer a literary journey with your Banana martini, my pick this month is not letting you off easy.
‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue,’ has been published by Harvard University Press. It is a collaboration between ‘controversial’ atheist Sam Harris, and former member of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz.
We live in a complex world where much of the population is now wedged between Islamic terrorism, and increasingly extremist Western sentiments, some of which can be described as nearing fascism.
The book was conceived with the explicit purpose of starting and furthering a difficult conversation about Islam in a civilised manner, without ‘devolving into bigotry or caricature.’
People who tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to the mention of the word ‘Islam,’ will learn a lot from this book.
Sam Harris is long known for considering Islam a particularly dangerous religion and set of ideology. Maajid Nawaz approaches the subject arguing that Islam can reform and become part of a secular world. Harris is sceptical whether Islam is capable of such an evolution and, on current trends, one can’t help but be somewhat sympathetic to his position.
But the most significant aspect of the book is that it offers the art of dialogue to resolve this ongoing conflict, rather than merely adding fuel to the fire.
“The reform of Islam is shaping up to be the most important issue in political ideology of the twenty-first century. This honest and intelligent dialogue is a superb exploration of the intellectual and moral issues involved.”
Steven Pinker, cognitive scientist, psychologist, linguist, author
The Vue Post will be taking a summer vacation from Thursday, 24 December 2015 to Sunday, 10 January 2016.
Sunday Life will return on the first Sunday of February, on 7 February 2016.