Thursday, 18 January 2018 Contact us

MASTURBATION AND BREAKFAST - MAR 30 - 3.25PM

Professor Terence Kealey, Breakfast, Cornflakes

Well, I would have paid £200 to have heard Professor Terence Kealey’s talk on breakfast.
No, on second thoughts, make that £400.
You see every year there’s always one one talk, one speaker, one subject that grabs you by the throat, lifts you off your feet, shakes you over the room like a rag doll and then tosses you limp and exhausted into a corridor outside the Bodelian library. And this was that 2017 moment.
Joy, I tell you, doesn’t come much better or weirder for anyone who’s spent hours listening in on informed debates so profound their worthiness weighs you down.
This was liberating, exhilarating, ball-grabbing in its ferocity and I - and the audience too - loved it.
So what was the fuse that ignited this firestorm of controversy…?
Breakfast.
Yes, that best meal of the day, that breakfast like a king ritual that all of us rarely have time to eat, let alone contemplate.
In fact, the title of the talk should perhaps have raised a few red flags but seriously, does “Breakfast Is A Dangerous Meal” truly sound that dangerous?
No, but it was, and on a scale too I could never have imagined (I’m actually rubbing my hands with glee right now that such a literary jewel should have fallen so splendidly into my lap).
Delivered by Professor Kealey with the fervour of a 19th Century fire-and-brimstone sermon, the simple - you would think? - theme of bacon, eggs, coffee, tea and cereal included these two fabulous revelations:
* That Japanese schoolgirls who do eat breakfast tend to hold on to their virginity for two years longer than Japanese schoolgirls who don’t, and…
* Dr Kellogg, the man behind well pretty much everything from cornflakes to Rice Krispies, was so obsessed with the apparent sin of masturbation that he created the humble cornflake as a means of deflating the single working man’s morning ‘urges’.
And that trust me this was just the beginning.
“Breakfast,” he stated many times “is all about the money” huge, multinational companies with vested interests in Cheerios and Weetabix can make.
Was it mad? I’ve no idea. This guy is as Blue-Chip as they come. But it was certainly wonderful fun and simply unforgettable.
And I was there.

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford HSBC Global banking partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner BBC World Service International radio partner BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner British Academy HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture Galileo Foundation Italian Cultural Institute Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Ian and Carol Sellars Lady Hatch Emily Rose and James Marrow George Warren Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Marshall Maserati Festival courtesy cars The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Eynsham Hall Said Business School Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Corpus Christi College The Queen’s College The Queen's College St John’s College St John's College Jesus College Hertford College Exeter College Exeter College St Hilda’s College Keble College Keble College Oxford University Press Princeton University Press Oxford Brookes University Oxford Cultural Collective K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography Ashmolean Museum Floris of London University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Macdonald Bear Hotel Conference Oxford Critchleys Liaison Financial Services The Litmus Partnership British Humanist Association The Sheldonian Theatre Felicity Bryan Associates The Royal Society of Literature Oxford University Museum of Natural History The Story Museum Oxford City Council City Audio Visual OX magazine

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival 2018 partners & sponsors

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford HSBC Global banking partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner BBC World Service International radio partner BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner British Academy HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture Galileo Foundation Italian Cultural Institute Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Ian and Carol Sellars Lady Hatch Emily Rose and James Marrow George Warren Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Marshall Maserati Festival courtesy cars The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Eynsham Hall Said Business School Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Corpus Christi College The Queen’s College The Queen's College St John’s College St John's College Jesus College Hertford College Exeter College Exeter College St Hilda’s College Keble College Keble College Oxford University Press Princeton University Press Oxford Brookes University Oxford Cultural Collective K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography Ashmolean Museum Floris of London University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Macdonald Bear Hotel Conference Oxford Critchleys Liaison Financial Services The Litmus Partnership British Humanist Association The Sheldonian Theatre Felicity Bryan Associates The Royal Society of Literature Oxford University Museum of Natural History The Story Museum Oxford City Council City Audio Visual OX magazine