Vol 24 No 24

08 December 2014


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Paul Collins illuminates sectarian divide in Australian history

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 19 December 2014
    4 Comments

    The chasm between Catholics and Protestants is thankfully unknown to my children. Paul Collins' new book A Very Contrary Irishman - The Life and Journeys of Jeremiah O'Flynn is a labour of love that presents a very driven man of the colonial era whose actions - and attributed actions - changed lives and helped shape our culture.

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  • RELIGION

    An Aussie Muslim's Taiwan Christmas

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 19 December 2014
    6 Comments

    Christmas is a fabulous time to spend at home. Even those of us who aren’t terribly Christian can enjoy a free holiday with friends and family. And if you like choral music, you can always come along with me and a Jewish mate to St Mary's Cathedral. But last Christmas I found myself in Taiwan.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    #illridewithyou shows the kind of world that is possible

    • John Falzon
    • 19 December 2014
    36 Comments

    While the horrible tragedy was underway in Martin Place, a remarkable thing happened. We saw, and continue to see, a powerful sense of compassion in the 'I'll ride with you' spontaneous pledges. One one level it was a simple offer of human support. But it was also a deeply profound declaration of a vision for a just and inclusive Australia. 

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  • RELIGION

    A messy birth and a vulnerable baby

    • Richard Leonard
    • 18 December 2014
    21 Comments

    At a Christmas party, I met the charge nurse of the maternity ward. Pleading that because I was a celibate I would never be at a birth, I enquired if I might be allowed to come and see'. … Mary and I met six hours into her labor, which was an unusual circumstance within which to meet your birthing partner.' She had very little small talk, maybe because she had no breath at all.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ten films that will get you talking

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 December 2014
    8 Comments

    It's December, and film writers everywhere are putting together their lists of the best films of 2014. But best-of lists are so subjective, so here's our take: ten films from 2014 that are guaranteed to get you thinking, and talking!

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bad Christmases are nothing new

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 December 2014
    16 Comments

    Shady family members who turn up uninvited, unresolved sibling rivalries, end of working year pressures. In a way they recall the organisational disarray of the first Christmas... A rocky engagement, the man discovering that his fiancée was pregnant with a child that was not his, a long march to fill in tax forms, having to give birth in a paddock and suffer an invasion from disreputable shepherds and odd foreigners.

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  • CARTOON

    Santa Abbott

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 17 December 2014
    7 Comments

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Aussie diggers' pen as mighty as their sword

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 17 December 2014
    9 Comments

    A soldier's life is usually one of bursts of brief action followed by extended periods of drudgery and boredom, and never was this more true than during this dreadful war of attrition that dragged on apparently interminably between 1914 and 1918. A book titled Aussie was published in 1920 as a bound collection of AIF soldiers’ own paper of the battlefield, wholly written, illustrated and printed in the field. 

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  • RELIGION

    Joe Hockey's prize orchid

    • Marcelle Mogg
    • 17 December 2014
    11 Comments

    In his Mid Year Financial Economic Outlook statements this week, Treasurer Joe Hockey construed 'The Economy' as a rare prized orchid, requiring careful nurturing. The orchid is to be admired, and the gardener more so for the skill, expertise and craft that gives rise to such a beautiful creation. The trouble with treating The Economy like a prized bloom is that we fail to recognise that the it exists to serve people. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Martin Place terror belies quiet progress in relations between cultures

    • Zac Alstin
    • 16 December 2014
    25 Comments

    The siege at the Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney's Martin Place is frightening for all Australians. It also obscures the progress of relations between Muslims and other Australians, as such events have such an unfortunate polarising 'us and them' effect.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wee Mary MacKillop minds the shop

    • Brian Doyle
    • 16 December 2014
    4 Comments

    I can tell you that Fitzroy always was and will be a wry wilderness; Every colour and ethnicity and language you can imagine lives there... And now I see wee quiet shy Mary MacKillop there, minding a shop. She is fourteen. Her people are Scottish. She will be legendary, later.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politics of mediocrity threaten Blake religious art prize

    • Michael Mullins
    • 15 December 2014
    9 Comments

    Our fickle politics shows that the majority of Australians are prepared to gloss over serious issues such as how to answer the life and death needs of the refugees whose lives have been disrupted by the wars we wage. Politicians are driven by opinion polls, and most corporate sponsors are inclined to follow their lead. That is why Saturday's 63rd Blake religious art prize may be the last.

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  • RELIGION

    Activists strike back against the Empire

    • Sally Cloke
    • 12 December 2014
    18 Comments

    On Wednesday, 53 Christian protesters were arrested staging 'pray-in' actions at politicians' offices around the country. Eight were allegedly strip searched before being formally charged with trespass after praying in the Perth office of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. There are echoes of martyrdom in the early church, which involved the refusal to worship the emperor. In contemporary Australia, the resistance is to the border protection regime.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My Christmas cake friend

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 December 2014
    10 Comments

    On Christmas Eve I will deliver, for the twelfth year in a row, an iced, naively decorated fruitcake to my oldest and dearest Australian friend, Enid. I will pull up into the driveway of her brick home. She will open the front door before I have even knocked, and before she’s even kissed me hello will tell me how beautiful the cake is and how she couldn’t possibly cut into it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia turns its back on a world in need

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 12 December 2014
    14 Comments

    As we prepare to mark the tenth anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami, Australia's proud achievement in being the largest per capita provider of overseas aid at the time is being overshadowed by reports of further devastating government cuts to our aid program. Successive cuts - including 20 per cent in the May Budget - mean that we are starting to be seen as a country turning inwards. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Drug mule's poo strike stymies bad cops

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 December 2014

    During an end-of-season trip to Bangkok, impressionable country footy dork Ray is badgered by one of his teammates into turning drug mule. He is picked up in Melbourne, where a couple of nasty cops detain him under supervision for seven days, waiting for him to pass the heroin-filled balloons he ingested. Ray is beset on all sides by systemic corruption, which makes his refusal to poo — fuelled not by greed but by a kind of everyman nobility — seem truly heroic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lessons learned from Phillip Hughes grieving

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 December 2014
    11 Comments

    Hughes' death became a media event. Media analysis of death and grieving makes it more difficult to respond simply and naturally because we are made self-conscious, aware of what we are doing and how it might be seen by others. It affects the intimate connections associated with grieving, as well as our ability to be touched by hope. A specificity that only exacerbates loss.

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  • CARTOON

    The (Mean) Spirit of Christmas

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 10 December 2014
    7 Comments

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

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  • ECONOMICS

    Hapless Joe Hockey

    • David James
    • 10 December 2014
    12 Comments

    One of the fascinating aspects of Australia's political pantomime is the manner in which the Federal Treasurer is forced to metamorphose into a used car salesman who is spruiking the Australian economy. One reason for the relative impotence of the Treasurer is that the Federal government only has control over fiscal policy. Monetary policy, the interest rate, is set by the Reserve Bank, not the government.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fighter who found community on the streets

    • Steve Sinn
    • 10 December 2014
    26 Comments

    Sue will always be for me flesh and blood, her trust I will forever cherish. Hers was a wretched life from the beginning to the end. But for some reason I feel impelled to lift her name out of the anonymity narrative that includes the vast numbers of people who have gone before us. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God's little twinkler

    • Jordie Albiston
    • 09 December 2014

    —trembly bubble of life —raindrop clinging still to cold window glass —illuminated deity —stunning —hosanna on heat —heaven in a melt —earth on its knees beneath serious sun

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  • MEDIA

    Death of a disability dynamo

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 December 2014
    6 Comments

    Death loses its abstraction when a person like Stella Young dies. It becomes material. It makes itself manifest in the silence, which it somehow solidifies: the unwritten word, the unspoken retort, the unmade joke. 'Disability doesn't make you exceptional,' she told a TED audience in Sydney last April. 'But questioning what you think you know about it does.' Stella flipped what we thought we knew about many things.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Almost no silver lining in new TPV cloud

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 08 December 2014
    22 Comments

    It is possible to understand why Senators Xenophon and Muir supported the bad law that reintroduces temporary protection visas. They saw it as a small improvement now for people in desperate circumstances, and that is true. The real culprit is the irrational and punitive policy pursued by the Government. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good parents don't make gender stereotypical choices

    • Michael Mullins
    • 08 December 2014
    16 Comments

    Among this year's silly season news stories is the trivialising treatment of Greens Senator Larissa Waters' deadly serious call for parents to avoid buying Christmas toys that gender stereotype their children. 'Blue for boys, pink for girls' is a dogma that can do real harm to young people, and parents should focus instead on what makes their children genuinely happy. There is no room for judgment and coercion that seeks to make them someone they are not.

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