Volume 17 No.5

20 March 2007


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Traditional musician echoes south-of-Derry hometown

    • Paul Daffey
    • 02 April 2007

    After the dogs and the trots on the pub's TV have been silenced, the musicians arrange themselves around the table. Martin Kelly closes his eyes, plucks his guitar and sings a ballad written at the time when the potato famine was laying waste to Ireland.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bettie Page, the tease from Tennessee

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 02 April 2007

    Bettie Page experiences an equal, if not greater, level of popularity today than she did during the peak of her career as a pin-up model in the early to mid 1950s. But the exploitative, even dangerous, aspects of her work, should not be pushed out of sight and forgotten.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    2007 the year for final decisions

    • Tony Smith
    • 02 April 2007

    In 2001, science broadcaster Robyn Williams wrote a novel inspired by Orwell's 1984, but set in 2007. It suggests that change is occurring with exponential speed, and that our opportunities for altering course are dwindling numerically, shrinking in size and diluting in quality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In praise of moral robustness

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 April 2007

    Many people regarded as morally robust would not pass the politicians' purity test. Countless great Australians who have received civil honours have fallen foul of the law, and the criteria for judging moral purity, at some stage in their life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A diaspora of purged peripatetics with holey socks

    • B.N. Oakman, Les Wicks
    • 02 April 2007

    Watching the stained lights of Christendom concede to soft Galician darkness before repairing to the bars of Santiago to commune in broken tongues with penitents of many nations until dawn

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The quality of asylum seeker processing

    • David Corlett
    • 02 April 2007
    4 Comments

    What matters is not where the 83 Sri Lankan asylum seekers will be processed – Christmas Island or Nauru – but the nature of their reception and processing.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Is this really the worst drought on record?

    • Brian Matthews
    • 02 April 2007
    3 Comments

    Statisticians of weather can have a shot at telling us where this drought stands in the pantheon of arid disasters. Is this the 'worst drought' in a thousand years, as Mike Rann is said to have claimed? Who knows?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Military Commission rules lessen Hicks chances of fair trial

    • James Montgomery
    • 02 April 2007

    Serious discussion of the David Hicks case should take place in the context of due process. Any commentator who has not read the prosecution brief is indulging in speculation and uninformed comment.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The dark gospel of Martin Scorsese

    • Scott Stephens
    • 02 April 2007
    1 Comment

    Scorsese’s is a fallen world. Like Cain, his tortured characters are driven further into the wastelands – whether the desert or the untamed streets of New York – by their acts of almost mythical violence, until any remaining vestige of hope or virtue is finally extinguished.

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  • RELIGION

    Bishop misses mark in assault on understanding of conscience

    • Max Charlesworth
    • 02 April 2007
    28 Comments

    Bishop Anthony Fisher's recent lecture is based on a similar lecture in 1991 by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Both attempt to diminish the importance given to conscience in the moral and religious life of Catholics.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mark's Jesus goes beyond the Church

    • Nahum Ayliffe
    • 02 April 2007
    5 Comments

    John Carroll's The Existential Jesus affirms a view expressed by Nick Cave that the bloodless, placid Jesus offered by the Church denies Christ his potent, creative sorrow, and the boiling anger that confronts us so forcibly in the Gospel of St Mark.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Film locates warmth in Stasi darkness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 April 2007
    2 Comments

    The Lives of Others is part of the recent wave of acclaimed German films focusing on the country’s troubled 20th century, while simultaneously seeking out stories of hope, inspiration or simple humanity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What to do about Mugabe

    • Peter Roebuck
    • 02 April 2007
    28 Comments

    Everyone must pray for Mugabe's death (though his mother reached three figures). At present the best response is to help those seeking justice and to assist those promoting education, thereby sustaining hope for a better tomorrow.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Politically correct dancing

    • Richard Leonard
    • 02 April 2007
    1 Comment

    A new ocker comedy depicts young protégés at a suburban dance school immersing themselves in choreographies about starvation, people dying of AIDS and the nuclear holocaust.

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  • RELIGION

    The cost of our friendship with the United States

    • James Massola
    • 02 April 2007
    2 Comments

    Jesuit peace activist John Dear is continuing the tradition of civil disobedience pioneererd by the Berrigan brothers in the 1960s. A month in Australia has convinced him that we want to give up our freedoms in order to become part of the new American Empire.

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  • RELIGION

    Terrorists not solely responsible for violence

    • James McEvoy
    • 02 April 2007
    3 Comments

    Lily Brett's writing about her struggle to come to grips with her emotional scars in middle age gives us insight into our own. Moreover, the doctrine of original sin suggests that our temptation to blame violence entirely on terrorists is far too simplistic.

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