Vol 20 No 17

30 August 2010


ARTS AND CULTURE

Inside the student politics bughouse

1 Comment
10 September 2010 | Ellena Savage Comrades, by Dominic KnightUniversity student unions are cesspools of toxicity, sociopathy and tedium. I should know — I'm a student politician. In his latest novel, Chaser alumnus Dominic Knight strikes a balance between sardonic parody and genuine reverence for those whose political conviction outweighs their pessimism.


AUSTRALIA

Hope for a stitched-up government

12 Comments
10 September 2010 | Andrew Hamilton Many of us will wish the new government well, but refrain from putting our own money on its survival. Hopefully our two major parties, which were so happy to do whatever it took to win, no matter what the cost to human lives and ethical values, will recover a deeper sense of what matters. 


ARTS AND CULTURE

Not just war as teens fight back

3 Comments
09 September 2010 | Tim Kroenert Tomorrow When the War BeganThe characters voice implicit moral concerns about the right to kill in self-defense, and rationalise why it might be right to take up arms against the invaders. When Ellie is confronted by a mural depicting an encounterbetween Captain Cook and a group of Aboriginal Australians, she ismomentarily arrested.


INTERNATIONAL

Australian invasion anxiety in adolescent fantasy

11 Comments
09 September 2010 | Tony Kevin Tomorrow, When the War BeganWhat do young Australians take away from John Marsden's novels - and now, the film Tomorrow, When the War Began? They are more than escapist fantasies. They convey value messages, calling on young Australians to cherish our country, not to take it for granted, and to be prepared if necessary to kill and die for it.


CARTOON

Embracing the new paradigm

08 September 2010 | Fiona Katauskas 'Embracing the paradigm' by Fiona Katauskas


AUSTRALIA

Welcome back Julia, now do it differently

22 Comments
08 September 2010 | Moira Rayner Julia GillardThree Independents, belittled as 'The Three Amigos' but riding into the sunset nonetheless, have won the trust of their electorates and been able to exercise a little, meaningful power about how Parliament should work. This may not last, now that the decision has been announced.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Political farce aboard the Starship Ostracise

1 Comment
08 September 2010 | Brian Matthews Lieutenant Yoo Hoo Hoo leans forward to read the tape: 'Gillard offers Katter trip to Russian Space Station'. Our voices are drowned out by a persistent beeping sound. The specially engineered Windsor-Oakeshott Thrusters have split and the Ostracise is going into reverse.


In search of she who waits

3 Comments
07 September 2010 | Various Wrapped Spiritsomewhere, .. on a dusty stump .. or parched rock ... far from here on the road inside myself .. patiently fanning flies .. and hoping that I'll have the heart .. to travel on and not look back.


AUSTRALIA

Forgotten Jewish refugees demand recognition

14 Comments
07 September 2010 | Philip Mendes Al-Farhud: the 1941 pogrom in IraqInternational concern with Middle East refugees focuses on the approximately 700,000 Palestinian Arabs who left Israel during the 1947–48 war. Far less attention has been paid to the nearly one million Jews who left Arab countries in the decade or so following that war.


The politician who can't be bought

14 Comments
06 September 2010 | Michael Mullins

Andrew Wilkie Newly-elected Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie is basing his quest for power on ethical conduct. There’s nothing new about politicians talking about doing the right thing. Wilkie’s point of difference is that he quickly follows his words with action.


Utopianism could fix politics

7 Comments
06 September 2010 | Colin Long On the most important issues facing the nation, indeed the world — climate change — we have had a Prime Minister who vaguely recognises the problem but resists doing anything about it, and an opposition leader who trivialises it to a question of tax.


EUREKA STREET TV

Art prize tests religious convention

1 Comment
03 September 2010 | Peter Kirkwood


Art prize tests religious convention

03 September 2010 | Peter Kirkwood PopleThe annual Blake Prize for Religious Art has never been far from controversy. Works honoured this year include Sydney artist Rodney Pople’s Cardinal with Altar Boy, which is a provocative painting dealing with clergy sexual abuse. Its setting is the interior of a beautiful baroque church, and it portrays a headless prelate dressed in ecclesiastical finery, with an altar boy in his lap.


AUSTRALIA

Churches standing up to 'pro-Israel' politicians

30 Comments
03 September 2010 | Antony Loewenstein The Australian Jewish News has condemned the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) for calling on Australians to boycott Israeli goods made in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. The NCCA is supporting a campaign of groups determined to act where western political leaders have failed. Leaders including Barack Obama, Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott refuse to acknowledge what they are backing when they declare they are ‘pro-Israel’.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Toppling the idyls of youth

1 Comment
02 September 2010 | Tim Kroenert Boy, James RollestonA barroom brawl is transformed in Boy's head into a version of Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' music video. It's 1984 and Jackson is at his artistic and popular peak: pre-surgery, pre-child abuse allegations. Boy's worship is pure, but as an audience watching in 2010 we know the purity is transient.


AUSTRALIA

No equal voting opportunity

9 Comments
02 September 2010 | Moira Byrne Garton AECMany of us value our participation in the election and have been excited by the resulting hung parliament. But some adult  citizens cannot be placed on the roll at all, with a significant number of Australians with intellectual disabilities or mental illness disenfranchised.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Man of faiths

28 Comments
01 September 2010 | Peter Kirkwood Raimon PanikkarOn his return to Europe after many years absence, Raimon Panikkar said: ‘I left as a Christian, I found myself a Hindu, and I return a Buddhist, without having ceased to be a Christian.' This statement of his own multiple religious belonging is just one of many challenging insights and ideas that he wrote about with passion and eloquence.


INTERNATIONAL

Natural disaster and human greed in Pakistan

5 Comments
01 September 2010 | Simon Roughneen SukkurThe name Sukkur is derived from the Arabic word for intense. For aid workers, the epithet seems apt. This disaster seems as vast as the swollen country-long lake that the Indus River has become. But the real human suffering and loss can be obscured by or sanitised into mere statistics.


CARTOON

Independent thinking

01 September 2010 | Fiona Katauskas 'Independent Thinking' by Fiona Katauskas


RELIGION

Father James Chesney and Ireland's religious war

7 Comments
31 August 2010 | Frank O'Shea Fr James ChesneyThroughout more than 30 years of killing and maiming in Northern Ireland, the media and governments maintained that the unrest was a political conflict. Though virtually everyone on one side was Catholic and those on the other were Protestant, nobody dared call it a religious war.


ARTS AND CULTURE

The angel's telling smile

31 August 2010 | Michael Healey and Grant Fraser Leathered ComplexionHe is Gabriel, delicately boned, familiar, .. he has turned towards the Virgin .. who stands in her long solemnity, .. amongst the sober prophets, .. and the proper saints.


AUSTRALIA

The perils of holding the balance of power

10 Comments
30 August 2010 | John Warhurst Though the Independents are raising expectations about a 'new politics', the forces behind the status quo are strong and the public is fickle. If they fail to deliver they might eventually suffer a backlash, like Kevin Rudd and the Democrats before them.


Why we're slow to help Pakistan

4 Comments
30 August 2010 | Michael Mullins

The Australian public is being delivered a profoundly misleading subliminal message that, because the Taliban are active in the region, they are tied up in providing relief for flood victims. We need to forget politics for a while and think about the part we can play in helping Pakistanis through their crisis.