Vol 23 No 16

11 August 2013


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Torn by Chopper's inner torment

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 22 August 2013
    3 Comments

    Chopper's a racist, self-billed sociopath with acknowledged mental and physical health issues and a highly evolved if bizarre set of moral principles. A raconteur ever-ready to discuss the robbing, bashing, torture, murder and disappearance of various peers and colleagues. Yet he is also a man who recognises the damage done by the spiritual, emotional and physical abuse he took as a child.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Two bulls in the election ring

    • Moira Rayner
    • 22 August 2013
    21 Comments

    Abbott successfully damped down his glee in the taunting and negativity which he aimed so cruelly at the first woman prime minister, when she withdrew from the internal stoush she couldn't win. In the first round both he and Rudd offered the most boring, stagey and value-free 'debate' we have witnessed since the days of Billy McMahon. But the blokes got aggro and personal in the second.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How to disagree without hurting

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 August 2013
    16 Comments

    Reflecting on his participation in an SBS TV marriage equality discussion, Ben felt judged and humiliated by many who responded to him. Must determining what is right and wrong for a society be bound up with judging people? Or can we listen to our conversation partners, reach for a language that is shared and leave room for our opinions to be changed? Pope Francis showed the way when he said: ‘If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them?’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Smiling face of a quarter-life crisis

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 August 2013

    Frances and Sophie had been virtually co-dependent; a celibate lesbian couple, they'd joke. But with a new circle of friends and a new fiancé, Sophie is quickly outgrowing Frances, and this throws Frances into disarray. She approaches life with wide-eyed wonder, and tries to maintain the wonder no matter what life throws at her. But endless optimism can be wearying work.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hostages freed to forgive

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 August 2013
    6 Comments

    Forgiving and forgetting are weighty matters. It is unlikely, for example, that Judith Tebbutt and Nigel Brennan, both of whom were held hostage in Somalia, will ever be able to forget their experiences of prolonged isolation, near starvation, and threats of death. Yet both have achieved a kind of forgiveness via the effort to understand their captors' lives.

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  • CARTOON

    Low down and dirty

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 20 August 2013
    1 Comment

    View this week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.

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  • RELIGION

    Irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 20 August 2013
    9 Comments

    It’s a crude and misleading line of reasoning to declare that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood can’t be committed to democracy because it is an Islamist organisation much like al-Qaida and Hezbollah. On what basis do we label individuals or groups 'Islamist'? Or 'fundamentalist'? Or 'extremist'? How can we have a monolith amongst a set of congregations making up almost one quarter of the world's human population? The history and politics of Islam is just as complex as that of Christianity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rudd and Abbott charge the north

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 19 August 2013
    7 Comments

    Official Australia has a history of trying to conquer and develop the north. That long and frequently violent struggle now seems to be reaching a new stage. We like to think that the devastation of one population and culture by another is all in the past, but the apparent failure of Rudd and Abbott to notice that northern Australia is shared country suggests that there might be more to come.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor and the Coalition's cruel credentials

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 August 2013
    9 Comments

    Labor is subcontracting our international obligations to poor neighbours who do not have the resources to resettle refugees who may well have trauma issues. Not to be outdone in the cruelty stakes, the Coalition has four proposals, each of which has serious flaws. Neither party has a policy that respects relevant human rights issues, or an administrative system designed to ensure the correct decisions are reached.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Asylum seeker karaoke

    • Barry Gittins
    • 19 August 2013
    5 Comments

    Manus Island's hot, there's no protection for the weak. Though you think you're kind, it's true asylum that I seek. What's the point of difference between the church and state? Why do Salvos validate a policy of hate? History repeats, you Aussies did the same to Jews. Running from the Nazis, with their pleas for help refused.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian democracy needs an intrusion of the excluded

    • John Falzon
    • 18 August 2013
    24 Comments

    Kevin Rudd says we need a 'new politics' or a 'new way'. Tony Abbott says we'll only get a new way by electing a new government. What is missing in both statements is the recognition that what we actually need is a new kind of economic democracy: a reconfiguration of our economic prioritising away from individualism towards the common good, and towards the participation of all rather than the exclusion of many.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Military rulers bring Egypt into disrepute

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 August 2013
    11 Comments

    Disrepute and disaster are twins. If suspicion persists that football players were encouraged to take drugs whose long term effects are unknown, it would lead parents to discourage their children from playing the game at senior level, with incalculable commercial consequences. It is a much more serious thing to bring a nation's polity into disrepute. And that sadly is what the military rulers of Egypt have done.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parochial Australia needs to grow up

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 August 2013
    15 Comments

    Hot-button topics such as economic management and asylum seekers are best seen from a wide lens, yet we seem determined to keep the rest of the world out of the frame. It is a sea-girt mentality that our politicians don't care to take apart because it is too hard to convince the average voter that there are in fact other people on the planet. Such denialism will inevitably leave us ill-prepared for significant challenges.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign policy beyond asylum seeker silliness

    • Evan Ellis
    • 15 August 2013
    1 Comment

    We might get lucky. Malcolm Turnbull might be right, and the mass of egos, grievances and interests that make up US-Sino relations might 'evolve into a new order, without either side having to make concessions to the other'. But the risks are growing. In this context the framing of asylum seekers as a threat to our sovereignty seems plain silly. War between China and the US would be a disaster to our national interests.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Finagling free trade in the Pacific

    • Jemma Williams
    • 15 August 2013
    2 Comments

    Many Pacific Island nations question what they will gain from PACER-Plus, the free trade agreement that is being negotiated this week between these nations, Australia and New Zealand. If Australian and New Zealand really want to achieve development in the Pacific, why are they pushing these islands to reduce their barriers to trade in a manner which could restrict their achievement of human development goals?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blowing up the people smugglers

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 14 August 2013
    2 Comments

    As social commentary Elysium clearly has in mind any country that receives 'unwanted' arrivals of refugees. But it seems particularly timely in Australia, where the political response to asylum seekers who arrive by boat is simply to stop them. The response by the fictional bureaucrat Delacourt, to blow the smugglers' ships out of the air before they reach Elysium, certainly takes the 'stop the boats' mentality to its extreme.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Community sector sickened by managerial mindset

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 August 2013
    10 Comments

    Although community organisations are often a burr in the saddle of a managerially minded government, they are important because they represent a humane vision and because they can reflect back to government an intimate experience of what is happening to the people whom they serve. Their advocacy, even when unwanted, keeps governments in touch with human needs.

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  • MEDIA

    SBS audience betrays gays with a kiss

    • Ben
    • 13 August 2013
    90 Comments

    My appearance with my partner Nam on last night's Insight episode about marriage equality was one of the most intense experiences of my life. I thought I was strong enough to bear the brunt of bigotry, but the day after the program was filmed I broke down. For the first time, I felt the full force of internalised homophobia and public heterosexism.

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  • CARTOON

    Election memory blanks

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 13 August 2013
    2 Comments

    View this week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Born-to-rule Bombers glimpse unprivileged reality

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 August 2013
    11 Comments

    When James Hird, coach of the Essendon Football Club, says his club has a 'right' to play finals despite the ongoing drug scandal, he obviously means that the players have won enough games to qualify. But when you wed his use of the word 'right' to his often proclaimed love for the club and his aspiration to put it back where it 'belonged', 'right' starts to assume the force of due privilege.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Making time and lasagne

    • Selected Poems
    • 12 August 2013

    I have lost my recipe for making time, but it must be similar to making lasagne. The meat sauce of opportunity, the pasta strips of memory and the cheese roux of anticipation. In fact I'm making some moments right now, and I'm hoping they don't over-cook.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Which party really has the economic smarts?

    • David James
    • 12 August 2013
    3 Comments

    As the China boom fades Australia is experiencing a delayed version of the GFC, without the banking crisis. Until now we've been reasonably well served by both sides of politics, in terms of macro-economic strategy. Now we require a way of dealing with more mundane economic issues like productivity and efficiency. Neither side has many good ideas about how to achieve the required structural shifts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election advice from ancient Rome

    • Dustin Halse
    • 11 August 2013
    11 Comments

    In 64 BC, the brilliant orator and lawyer Marcus Tullius Cicero decided to run for the highest office in the Roman Republic. His younger brother Quintus, who possessed a penchant for the most outrageous acts of cruelty, penned a detailed memo outlining what his older brother needed to do to win the election. The current Australian federal election campaign would appear familiar to the Cicero brothers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election issues that matter

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 August 2013
    9 Comments

    It is hard to imagine that those living in disadvantaged communities would find great personal interest in the things that matter at election time. Interest rates and mortgages, rates of company tax and paid maternity leave are issues for the advantaged. They are problems of managing income that those without it might like to have.

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