Sunday, 7 August 2022 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 BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland