Vol 23 No 4

25 February 2013


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In bed with Phillip Adams

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 08 March 2013
    7 Comments

    Adams once told me about his room of gods. It's chockablock with deities from myriad cultures and creeds. While Adams is revered as Godfather to Australia's atheists, at heart he remains a young boy huddled under the covers at night; buried under the considerable challenges due his story of origin.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Africa's answer to militant feminism

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 08 March 2013
    17 Comments

    Western feminism rejects women who don't ascribe to certain rules, such as putting children in care, pursuing a career or even disliking men. Young women looking for an antidote to such aggressive, individualistic feminism may turn to Africa, where community-centric, gender-inclusive ideologies have been espoused for decades. 

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex and power in the case of Cardinal Keith O'Brien

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 March 2013
    2 Comments

    Catherine Deveney was right to point out that power, not homosexuality, was at issue in the case of Cardinal O'Brien, who resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct. A new film by American director Steven Soderbergh also reflects on relationships based in power, and the ethical obligation of the party with the greater power not to act against the interests of the other. 

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kids corrupted by criminal treatment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 March 2013
    8 Comments

    In Australia the child's welfare is trumped by the demands of a justice system focused on containment of risk, and by populist calls to get tough on crime. When offending children are seen through a judicial lens, and justice is seen as retributive, the support society offers them to become responsible adults is fragmented. 

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Losing Chavez the indispensable

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 06 March 2013
    16 Comments

    With Hugo Chavez's death Latin America has arguably lost the most influential political leader of the last two decades. Chavez was one of those men that Bertolt Brecht called the 'indispensible ones'. He has been the champion of the socially and economically marginalised since he came to power in 1999.

    READ MORE
  • MEDIA

    Beware if Mr Assange goes to Canberra

    • Ray Cassin
    • 06 March 2013
    11 Comments

    It's not the Assange who aspired to strut the global stage as messiah or naughty boy who bothers me; it is the Assange of recently diminished ambition who now aspires only to strut the corridors of Parliament House. For all its faults t he democratic process is all we've got: beware those who promise to save us from it.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    The fable of Benedict's red shoes

    • Philip Harvey
    • 06 March 2013
    14 Comments

    It's hard to trace the rumour that Benedict's shoes were designed by Prada. Perhaps it was just a mischievous allusion to The Devil Wears Prada. Benedict is a wily fox, which is why we can be sure his red shoes were there to invite symbolic interpretations. Only thing is, red shoes have a life of their own.

    READ MORE
  • CARTOON

    Scott Morrison's downhill dash

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 06 March 2013
    2 Comments

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Auden dines with Barry Humphries

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 05 March 2013
    1 Comment

    What I fear is that on Judgment Day one's punishment will be to hear God reciting by heart the poems I would have written had my life been good.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Outsized party power distorts democracy

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 March 2013
    9 Comments

    What stands out most from the pre-selection defeat of ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries is that less than 200 pre-selectors voted. The power of this small pre-selectorate points to a broader problem in Australian politics. While the major parties are in decline as membership based organisations, they retain disproportionate power.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Fear is the enemy of democracy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 04 March 2013
    22 Comments

    Opposition Immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison called for a suspension of asylum seekers being released into the community, on the basis of a single violent incident. Fairfax Media showed these people are about 45 times less likely to be charged with a crime than members of the public. A fear mongering politician appears to have more credibility than the facts.

    READ MORE
  • EDUCATION

    Religious schools discriminate against the vulnerable

    • Luke Williams
    • 04 March 2013
    56 Comments

    She was in year nine when people started to suspect she was gay. At that time a lesbian teacher at her Catholic school 'was kicked out' and 'people targeted me even more'. State intervention in religion might be undesirable, but too many religious groups respond to the discrimination debate with rights-based arguments that lack empathy.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Remember the Rohingyas

    • Susan Metcalfe
    • 01 March 2013
    8 Comments

    The deaths at sea of nearly 100 Rohingya asylum seekers is a stark reminder that Australia needs to step up its efforts to improve regional protection for asylum seekers. If we are genuinely committed to saving lives at sea, we must bring more to the table than words and Pacific island diversion policies.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Church blame in the frame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 March 2013
    37 Comments

    There is a temptation to see justice, compassion and transparency as the obsessive concern of western liberals. They are much more universal than that; they are the contemporary, institutional rendition of gospel values. The unaccountable hiddenness of Vatican clericalism has reached its use-by date.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    George Orwell's chicken feed solution

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 March 2013
    4 Comments

    'On this day in 1939: Belgium signed a trade treaty with France, 71 people died in the Black Friday bush fire, and Orwell's chickens laid two eggs.' Orwell's domestic diaries seem trivial, but it is wrong to assume he saw his recording of vegetables, egg laying and other small-holder concerns as dwarfed by the great world. 

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Trust is shot for cynical NSW Premier

    • Tony Smith
    • 28 February 2013
    8 Comments

    Political trust is fragile and can be destroyed in many ways. The O'Farrell Government's environmental credibility has been forever undermined by its decision to let hunters loose in national parks. More than that, this arrogant and disrespectful act can only lead to the further destruction of public trust.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Anatomy of a papal scandal

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 February 2013
    17 Comments

    Like sex, scandals in governance attract an avid audience. So the master story of the papal election has become one of governance in disarray — of Vatican departments riven by ambition, scandal and acrimony. Even if the reports are not true, hearers begin to wonder who leaked them, and in whose interest.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar-winning racism in Hollywood's mixed bag

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 February 2013

    After cataloguing the ways in which the film belittles and marginalises the experiences of black slaves, Williams laments the fact that such marginalisation continues to exist seemingly unnoticed in mainstream popular culture. The Oscar awarded to Django Unchained is the epitome of popular culture 'not noticing'.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The extraordinary sandwiches of Sister Cook

    • Brian Doyle
    • 27 February 2013
    12 Comments

    Many a man has written elegiacally or bitterly of his education under the firm hands of the Sisters, but not so many have sung the quiet corners where perhaps we were better educated than we were in our classrooms. I learned more about communion at the epic timbered table in Sister Cook's golden kitchen than I did in religion class. 

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Inspirational Abbott's Indigenous aspiration

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 February 2013
    15 Comments

    Let's not underestimate the significance of John Howard's successor giving credit to Paul Keating for his Redfern speech, before invoking New Zealand's Treaty of Waitangi and calling for atonement. Still there is plenty of work to be done to attain proper constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.

    READ MORE
  • CARTOON

    The secret of Abbott's success

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 27 February 2013
    4 Comments

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blood cancer solidarity

    • Peter Mitchell
    • 26 February 2013
    3 Comments

    Mars-sunset eyes deep sunk, prune wrinkled hide, cheek bones protruding like clenched fists, hovers above the bed of respite. In the silence, this fellow-feeling fissures the lines of my ordinary features.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Israel's emotional pull on Australian Jews

    • Philip Mendes
    • 26 February 2013
    12 Comments

    Some Jewish Australians bring from their childhoods in tranquil Australia a special degree of idealism and innocence to their involvement in homeland conflicts. It may be this, rather than spy-catcher conspiracy theories, which best explains what happened to Ben Zygier and other young Australians who have died in conflicts in the Middle East.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Sports fans' idolatry makes monsters of heroes

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The success of elite athletes is often accompanied by narcissistic behaviours that exploit and damage other people. This appears to be the case with Oscar Pistorius and Lance Armstrong. In seeking to curb such behaviour, we can call for greater regulation and surveillance. But we can also examine our own behaviour. 

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Church helps set gay captives free

    • Paul Mitchell
    • 25 February 2013
    71 Comments

    David hated that he could not be himself at church. He considered suicide. But he couldn't give up on the God he believed loved him for who he was. One day he read a line in a local church's values statement: 'We regard each person as a valuable member regardless of sexual orientation'. 'Let's see if they're serious,' he thought. 

    READ MORE

We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review