Best Of 2009

04 January 2010


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: The homeless poet

    • John Falzon
    • 15 January 2010
    3 Comments

    A Japanese homeless man was sending the most exquisite poems to a popular newspaper. There is nothing extraordinary about a person experiencing homelessness producing great poetry. Yet the scenario was regarded with astonishment. October 2009

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Best of 2009: John Safran the holy fool

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 15 January 2010
    1 Comment

    Safran's stunts — such as hoodwinking a Palestinian sperm bank into donating Palestinian sperm to the Israelis, and vice versa — are cringe-making. But they are in the context of a cogent and pithy argument that has serious intent. October 2009

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2009: Roman Polanski and clergy sexual abuse

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 January 2010
    6 Comments

    The case for Polanski's avoiding extradition has generally received a sympathetic hearing. The same sympathy is not generally shown to clergy who have been tried for less serious acts committed just as many years ago. October 2009

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2009: Michael Jackson's tragic gift

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 14 January 2010
    1 Comment

    When celebrities die, public grief is disproportionate, because death reasserts the humanity of one who has seemed beyond it. Jackson had become so far removed from his humanity that the shock of his mortality is even more profound. June 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Rudd faces ugly story of abused innocence

    • John Honner
    • 13 January 2010

    The Prime Minister offered his apology to those who spent their childhood in care, via a carefully crafted speech. He said it is an 'ugly story' that must be told without fear or favour. Some who worked in or were associated with these children's homes may not like this judgement. November 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Generation Y for yoghurt

    • Edwina Byrne
    • 13 January 2010
    1 Comment

    It's fashionable to make all sorts of claims about Generation Y. Among other things, we are spoilt, attention-deficient, highly educated and unemployable. If you stop prophesising our doom for a moment, you might see we're not as hopeless as we seem. August 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: The case for Abbott as Opposition leader

    • Scott Stephens
    • 12 January 2010
    6 Comments

    Opposition presents the Liberal Party with a rare opportunity to recover its conservative soul and abandon Labor's vapid brand of politics. The only way forward is for the Party to replace Malcolm Turnbull with Tony Abbott as its leader. August 2009

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Best of 2009: If Facebook died

    • Drew Taylor
    • 12 January 2010
    1 Comment

    Australian online and wireless games constitute a rapidly-growing, billion-dollar industry, and sites such as Facebook increasingly dominate our social networks. Have we taken the first step towards 'trusting the computer' too much? October 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Breastfeeding is not obscene

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 11 January 2010
    9 Comments

    Whether grotesquely augmented, stricken with cancer or tumbling unbidden from the frocks of soccer wives, breasts guarantee rapt attention. But never are these appendages more hotly debated than when they are being used according to their very purpose and design. October 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Why ethnic jokes are not funny

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 January 2010
    2 Comments

    Because we lived so long with a policy of assimilation, our ingrained racism takes time to shake. We need public policy that reasserts the principles of multiculturalism. Instead our Prime Minister is caught out making an ethnic jibe. June 2009

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Best of 2009: Why green Catholics are not communists

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 08 January 2010
    3 Comments

    Many conservative Catholics are sceptical about global warming. For them environmentalism is the new communism. This echoes the paranoia of the '50s and '60s are clear, when anyone with an interest in social justice was suspect. September 2009

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2009: Michael McGirr's waking life

    • Morag Fraser
    • 08 January 2010

    McGirr seems more the magpie than the dormouse. Even when he's curling up under his desk for a post lunch kip you figure he's just giving his brain a few horizontal minutes to organise and file the prodigious miscellany that might otherwise leak out. July 2009

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2009: St Mary's, Bishop Robinson and the value of dialogue

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 January 2010
    18 Comments

    Bishop Bathersby and Fr Kennedy are pastoral, down to earth men. If there had been more dialogue between them, and between Cardinal Pell and Bishop Robinson, the Catholic Church would be more the Church Jesus would want it to be. March 2009

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2009: When Leonard Cohen prays

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 January 2010
    1 Comment

    The world of pop music is dominated by prettiness and skin-deep perfection. In that context, Cohen's greatness is not instantly discernable. Lately a Buddhist, he has spent his latter years in study of religion — 'But cheerfulness keeps breaking through.' February 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Indigenous people power challenges mining might

    • Moira Rayner
    • 06 January 2010
    1 Comment

    The Martidja Manyjima people of the Pilbara want a WA mining registrar to hear their challenge to BHP Billiton's claim for more mining leases on 200 square kilometres of their traditional land. The outcome will affect every one of us. September 2009

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Best of 2009: Sexy vegetarianism could save the world

    • Sarah McKenzie
    • 06 January 2010
    10 Comments

    Vegetarians are still seen as antagonistic and self-centred, as if they'd made a selfish decision purely to sabotage dinner parties. Vegetarians have been too polite, and too careful not to offend carnivores, for too long. November 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Fatal firestorm's distant witness

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 05 January 2010

    A year ago, on the day of the National Apology, the emotion was palpable over the seas. But it was hard not being there, standing on the same dirt as your fellow countrymen. It is similarly difficult to be away from home during a time of natural disaster. February 2009

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2009: Stairway to international student security

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 05 January 2010
    5 Comments

    After midnight, a group of international students, on a break from their night jobs as waiters, gather in a concrete stairwell and share their stories. Victorian premier John Brumby could learn a thing or two in that shabby stairwell. September 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Boobs, booze and Muslim feminists

    • Ellena Savage
    • 04 January 2010
    18 Comments

    She'd rather be wearing jeans, but is compelled to dress like a Christmas tree for the Spring Racing Carnival. Her desire to be desired for the depth of her cleavage is nominated by the designs of men in her society. No wonder some Muslim women feel the hijab subverts patriarchy. November 2009

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2009: Empathy for paedophiles is not sympathy for the devil

    • Michael Mullins
    • 04 January 2010
    4 Comments

    A bill passed hastily by the NSW Parliament last week, specifically to force released paedophile Dennis Ferguson out of his home, effectively enshrined hate in legislation. Like drug addiction, paedophilia is a problem that requires community empathy, rather than ostracism. September 2009

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