Vol 24 No 8

28 April 2014


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    The right to be bad

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 May 2014
    8 Comments

    There's nothing wrong with being nice. But women need to stop asking nicely for equality, and instead just expect it. I relate strongly to my near namesake, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Eleanor Savage, who in 1920 asks why she couldn't have been born 100 years into the future, assuming that a century of progress would give her the freedoms she desires. Women do have it it better today, but that is not the same as having innate equality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Probing the political culture of corruption in NSW

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Independent Commission against Corruption in New South Wales continues to provide stunning insights into the compromised relationship between the major political parties and government in that state. It has moved on from Labor to the Liberal party and from political lobbying to political donations. But the essence of the story remains the same. Casual self-interest reigns, and the culture of political life at the top-end is corrupted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Move over Lance Armstrong, the Budget is coming

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 May 2014
    13 Comments

    Heightened competitiveness does not foster interest in the common good but creates a narrow focus on the interests of the individual. The use of drugs in cycling illustrates the point. Doing what it takes meant taking competition out of the game by excluding competitors from the possibility of winning. In Australian politics the cult of competitiveness has led to a rigged competition in which the national interest will not be served.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hugo Weaving's grief and healing

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 May 2014

    Weaving's latest character is inspired by a real-life minimum-security prison officer whose daughter had died. This man helped develop a program for rehabilitating injured raptors, that would be overseen by prisoners as part of their own rehabilitation. 'The program encapsulated the positive side,' says Weaving, 'of someone trying to deal with their own grief, and healing himself by setting up a kind of living memorial to his daughter.'

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Gerry Adams arrest inflames ghosts of Ireland's past

    • Brian Lennon
    • 06 May 2014
    9 Comments

    My uncle, Michael Lennon, fought with Eamon DeValera in Boland's Mill in Dublin during the 1916 Rising. Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, sees himself as Michael's successor. But 98 years after the Rising, Adams was last week arrested for questioning about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. Republicans allege that the timing of the arrest was politically motivated. At the root of all this lies the problem of the past: how do we deal with it?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Handwritten history of two mothers' loving meals

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 May 2014
    7 Comments

    My mother's recipe book has been part of my life for 60 years. Every entry is handwritten, and the handwriting conjures up the person. But the book is a historical document for other reasons, for in it my mother has also written out the recipes she learned in my Greek mother-in-law's village kitchen. Yiayia was illiterate, so my mother had to observe and make notes. The book is, in a sense, part of the story of two mothers.

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  • CARTOON

    Hockey's fortunes

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 06 May 2014
    1 Comment

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

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  • ECONOMICS

    Whose liberty matters as Dickensian budget looms?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 06 May 2014
    16 Comments

    French economist Thomas Piketty argues that current conditions have set us on track for a return to 19th century-levels of inequality. The Commission of Audit proposals suggest that the auditors and the Government are keen to expedite this neo-Dickensian era. It's all done in the name of 'incentives' toward 'personal responsibility', but this cannot remain coherent in the face of those who will be hit hard by the proposed suite of cuts and co-payments.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine races towards civil war

    • Tony Kevin
    • 05 May 2014
    19 Comments

    Tim Judah, highly regarded historian of the post-Yugoslavia wars of secession, predicted things were about to go very badly in Ukraine. He wrote that in the east he witnessed 'the same brave talk, euphoria, and delusions' that beset Yugoslavs before they 'tipped their country into catastrophe in the 1990s'. Just two weeks later, Ukraine races towards civil war, prompted largely by the provocative clumsiness of Kiev and its Western cheerleaders.

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  • EDUCATION

    Audit Commission's Gonski landmines

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 05 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Commission of Audit has planted so many landmines across the political landscape that two have been scarcely noticed. One is planted directly under Gonski, the other under the federal role in schooling. Christopher Pyne's brazen effort to get rid of Gonski served only to show that he is not to be trusted. Abbott must be wondering whether this minister could carry the day with the kind of scheme recommended by the Commission.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our Lady of Perpetual Retail

    • Josephine Clarke
    • 05 May 2014

    Pilgrims arrive to the hiss and gush of bus brakes and it is always the liturgical season of steel. Dockets fly like white moths; we communicate in glance. Our Lady of Perpetual Retail lives here ... You have every reason to steal. In spring Boronia brings its breath of silent spaces not for sale in this temple.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Pope Francis thinks about Abbott's Audit

    • Michael Mullins
    • 04 May 2014
    17 Comments

    The National Commission of Audit believes spending cuts that produce a balanced Budget will make us all better off because we will have a stronger economy and more jobs. But Pope Francis is skeptical about such 'trickle-down' economic theories, which express 'a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power'.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Abbott and Hockey more Prince John than Robin Hood

    • David James
    • 04 May 2014
    11 Comments

    In politics, one should never opt for a balanced and thoughtful description of the truth when wild exaggerations will do. Especially when you want to take from the poor and give to, if not exactly the rich, at least the investor class. The dire pronouncements from the Abbott Government in response to the Commission of Audit's 86 recommendations reflect not only the PM's relentless negativity, but also more than a whiff of class war.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Don't let plane panic paint all men as paedophiles

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 01 May 2014
    15 Comments

    For feminists who have fought for generations against sexism, the argument that men should be excised from children's orbit lest they commit the same atrocities of which a small percentage of other men are guilty is chilling. It rubber-stamps the notion that people's character and behavioural choices are determined by their gender, and presupposes that individuals can be judged on the basis of their group's collective history.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Star Wars fails the colour test

    • Fatima Measham
    • 01 May 2014
    11 Comments

    As I scanned the actor profiles for the new Star Wars film, it became apparent that no brown actress was among them. The mythology George Lucas created 40 years ago remains predominantly male and white. What happens when brown women are kept out of the picture is that their invisibility is normalised. We are not seen to contribute, much less lead. This is not harmless. It makes our presence in society incidental. Dispensable.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dangerous, sensual young love and sex

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 April 2014
    4 Comments

    During the summer of her 17th birthday, Isabelle manufactures the circumstances of her first sexual encounter. Not long afterwards, she finds herself working as a prostitute. By making men pay her, Isabelle exerts control over the manner and circumstances of her objectification. These are drastic and tragic measures that condemn the everyday exploitation of women by men, from pop culture to pornography.

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  • RELIGION

    Lessons from Christian camp's gay discrimination

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 30 April 2014
    29 Comments

    In April the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that a youth camp run by the Christian Brethren had discriminated illegally against same-sex attracted persons by refusing a booking from a community health service for an event for young gay and lesbian people. This is not an isolated case. It is sobering that churches often seem to need the courts to give them lessons, if not about sex, then about hospitality and fairness.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens' song for the poor

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 April 2014
    8 Comments

    While Dickens, staunch champion of the poor and of children, reportedly hoped that A Christmas Carol might encourage the restoration of social harmony, his narrative line can also be seen as a convenient plot device. It is a deeply Christian story, not just about Christmas, but about life itself, about actions and their consequences, the need for wrongs to be made right, and the desire for hope and potentiality of renewal.

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  • CARTOON

    Asylum seeker policy psychology 101

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 29 April 2014
    8 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's boat people psychopathy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 29 April 2014
    36 Comments

    Ministers and officials structured on Manus a sustained deterrence scenario intended to be so awful as to choke off the flow of boat people. The impeccable logic of the plan reflects the logic of psychopathy. Psychopaths are highly intelligent, good planners, manipulative, with expert knowledge of human nature, yet lacking in empathy. Whatever their motivation, the planning of the Australian ministers and officials ticks all these boxes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remembering Barry O'Keefe

    • Brian Lucas
    • 28 April 2014
    5 Comments

    The late Barry O'Keefe was among the best known barristers of his time and no doubt there will be many tributes to his prowess as advocate, judge and corruption commissioner. The integration of the spiritual life and professional career is a challenge for most people. How do you find stillness and God's presence when there are constant demands on your time and energy? O'Keefe said his attendance at daily Mass was integral.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    New Year at the Killing Fields

    • Tony Page
    • 28 April 2014
    1 Comment

    The children go holiday wild, swarms of them drenching us with holy water. Skin soaked, we fall off our bikes, flattened by their rabble-roused blessing ... Inside it's a garden, well-kept trails between the mounds, fooling us they were designed to please the eye ... Look, that tree, so graceful — against which babies' heads were bashed ... I check for red-handed stains but they have long since dissolved into complicity.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Workplace safety issues in South Korean ferry disaster

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 April 2014
    6 Comments

    It would be unfeeling and presumptuous to speculate on the causes of the disaster. But it may be helpful to enumerate the questions that have been asked, as they disclose a pattern. In travel by ship, as in many other enterprises, there are two sets of interests: the operational interests of those who provide the service, and the interests of those who benefit from the service. Companies ideally take both seriously, but they stand in tension.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's days of the dead

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 27 April 2014
    20 Comments

    ANZAC Day is a powerful and worthy ritual. But the tales of our soldiers make up only one of the ongoing chapters in the story of our country. There are many others. On 25 January, let us remember the Indigenous people who once nurtured the land. On 25 February, let us remember those who gave their lives in settling this unforgiving land. On 25 March, let us remember the people who lost their lives migrating to this country.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    South Sudan warning for Australia's hate speech champions

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 April 2014
    9 Comments

    In South Sudan, hate speech broadcast on a local FM radio station earlier this month led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians in a massacre based on ethnicity. Local UN officials are now calling on authorities to 'to take all measures possible to prevent the airing of such messages'. Meanwhile in Australia, the Government is attempting to give legal sanction to the kind of hate speech that incited to the South Sudan massacre.

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