Vol 23 No 1

13 January 2013


 

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Transformed by a boring Brussels Mass

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 24 January 2013
    15 Comments

    The coughing is getting worse; it sounds like the pew behind me is hosting a cardiac arrest. English theologian James Alison described mass as 'a long term education in becoming unexcited', a state that allows us to dwell 'in a quiet place' that 'increases our attention, our presence'. In Brussels, becoming 'unexcited' seems important.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How to fix anti discrimination law

    • Moira Rayner
    • 24 January 2013
    21 Comments

    Anti-discrimination acts are meant to protect vulnerable people, not corporations or dominant ideologies. The employers I represent reap the benefits of understanding that diversity and inclusion are brilliant for business and productivity. The Government's new human rights consolidation bill has missed simple opportunities for real improvement.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Bedtime flatulence and marital bliss

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 23 January 2013
    1 Comment

    Despite moments of crass humour, This Is 40 is centrally moral, even conservative in its elevation of 'heteronormative' family unity. It stands as a nuanced riposte to the simplistic assessment made by one character that Debbie and Pete 'aren't right for each other'. Marriages are complex, and even troubled ones may not be easily dismissed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Declaring war on the r-word

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 23 January 2013
    19 Comments

    I have heard colleagues refer to decisions as 'retarded', personalities as 'on the [autism] spectrum', and behaviour as 'OCD'. I hoped my silence would express my disapproval. Far from mere 'political correctness', seeking to eliminate such terms from discourse is a natural extension of a respectful and inclusive society. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rock's radical Australia Day message

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 22 January 2013
    14 Comments

    As a social and political activist since my teens, people ask me what motivated me early on. A few factors shaped my values, including my Irish Catholic background and my public housing upbringing by a widowed mother on welfare. But it was a rock song that brought it all together. 'Someone lied,' it declares: 'Genocide.' 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Julie Bishop's pall of duty

    • Max Atkinson
    • 22 January 2013
    13 Comments

    On the question of whether Australia should support a higher UN status for Palestine, it appears Julie Bishop sees herself and fellow shadow ministers as obliged to accept Tony Abbott's opinions, regardless of the nation's interests, much less those of Israel and Palestine. This theory of duty must be rejected as profoundly irrational.

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  • CARTOON

    Diary of a climate sceptic

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 22 January 2013
    11 Comments

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love poem to a Hills Hoist

    • Kevin Gillam
    • 21 January 2013

    dear hoist, still standing? still spinning? still lapped by buffalo? we loved you. weren't allowed to of course. but we did. draped over, swung from, cranked up and down, merry-go-round on green sea. Mum's peeling carrots, voice piercing the flywire.

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  • RELIGION

    Incompetent dealing with priestly paedophilia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 January 2013
    50 Comments

    Bishop Harry Kennedy was not the only one out of his depth in the saga of paedophile priest Fr F; practitioners in law and psychology were found wanting. Other than Kennedy, most of the senior clergy involved appear to have done their job credibly according to the values and practices of the time.

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  • RELIGION

    Vein hope for Pakistan's minorities

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 20 January 2013
    7 Comments

    If Pakistan is to remain a nation with something resembling life and soul, it must protect its minorities. But instead, as with India, it is quietly eviscerating them. It isn't just extremists engaging in the self-harm, it happens at all levels of society. Before long the nation may find itself bleeding to death.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Not judging Ned Kelly and Lance Armstrong

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 January 2013
    16 Comments

    Discussion of whether Ned Kelly and Lance Armstrong are heroes or villains is a distraction from the more important big picture reality such as crime and justice in 19th century Victoria, and performance enhancing drugs in sport today. If we are preoccupied with judging behaviour, we will miss the opportunity to promote better laws that will make our society fairer for all.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rape and restorative justice

    • Ellena Savage
    • 17 January 2013
    8 Comments

    My friend was raped by a stranger at knife-point. When the police found the perpetrator she learned he had raped other women, and had murdered some of them. While he was being charged, she decided to opt out of the proceedings. She didn't believe prison would rehabilitate him, or aid her own survival.

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  • RELIGION

    Secular scrutiny can save the Church

    • Michael Kelly
    • 17 January 2013
    40 Comments

    Too often the Church acts as if Catholics have a right to legislate their morality for everyone else. Now the boot is on the other foot and Catholics are being told their Church has to smarten itself up. It won't be the first time in the life of the Australian Church that external intervention has produced far more than was initially intended.

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  • RELIGION

    Using poor language in the liturgy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 January 2013
    109 Comments

    One year on from the introduction of the New Mass Translation it is clear that the more dramatic hopes and fears were not realised. There were no reports of widespread rebellion in the pews, but nor has there been the great spiritual renewal that some promised. The language of the new translation is simply not grounded.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stories about God and monsters

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 16 January 2013
    4 Comments

    Life of Pi offers two stories. Both concern a boy who survives a shipwreck and spends months adrift in a lifeboat. One is constructed from mundane albeit horrific facts; the other, from visual and mystical wonders, scenes of terror and transcendence that seek no less than to better understand God. Which do you prefer?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Winter of Greece's discontent

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 January 2013
    6 Comments

    I have always felt safe in Athens, but recently, while travelling in a crowded train, I was jostled by several large young men. When I alighted, feeling more than a little shaken, I discovered that my wallet was missing from my bag. There have long been beggars in Greece, but now there are many more, and of a new type.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Family drama reveals detention contortions

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 January 2013
    15 Comments

    Ranjini turned up for a routine catch-up with her caseworker only to be told she was deemed a security risk and that she and her young sons would be detained indefinitely. Days later she found out she was pregnant. Last night, she gave birth to that child, a son who will be an Australian citizen.

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  • CARTOON

    2013's silver lining

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 15 January 2013
    1 Comment

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An infinite number of Tasmanias

    • Brian Doyle
    • 14 January 2013
    9 Comments

    If you are like me, you have on your wall a map, or perhaps several, of places you know you will never be; not in this life, anyway. It's just not going to happen. For me: Tasmania. It's as far away as you can get from where I exist.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The bankable brats and buffoons of Australian sport

    • Michael Visontay
    • 14 January 2013
    10 Comments

    Professional sport is driven by two competing forces: the pursuit of unrealistic achievement and the need to be entertaining. Shane Warne has spent his career playing buffoon-genius, and cricket now celebrates the buffoon over the genius. It remains to be seen if tennis' Bernard Tomic can escape the pressure of his own ego. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coal mining, civil disobedience and the public good

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 January 2013
    11 Comments

    Fake ANZ media release activist Jonathan Moylan did the wrong thing in undermining public confidence in the share trading system. But he would not have seen the need to act if governments and the coal industry were acting with integrity and in the public interest.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The unknown unknowns of the sexual abuse royal commission

    • Ray Cassin
    • 13 January 2013
    57 Comments

    It can't denied that the chief impetus for the creation of this royal commission has been the appalling record of concealment of abuse in Catholic institutions. If that record did not exist, the royal commission would not exist. And Catholics — especially bishops and major superiors — cannot evade this fact by complaining.

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