Vol 25 No 16

17 August 2015


 

  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't fence me in

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 27 August 2015
    5 Comments

    As immigrants settling in Australia, the relative lack of fences and security measures was a sign that we'd chosen a safe and respectful country. This erasing of margins implied at once both mutual trust and an innate respect for the invisible boundaries that demarcated people's personal space. But 13 year later, I'm noticing the emergence of fortified residences boasting shiny black fences and firmly shut gates.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Be wary of politicians who speak about moral obligation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 27 August 2015
    18 Comments

    One would think after the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Libya that Australians would have learned to be just a little bit suspicious when the US Government suggests another Middle East war, or when a politician urges — as Bob Carr and Tony Blair have — that we have a 'moral obligation' to join the legally dubious US bombing mission in Syria.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rock star Streep and the uphill battle for Hollywood diversity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 August 2015

    There's a running gag that in Hollywood there are few roles for women over a certain age, unless you are Meryl Streep. Of course it isn't really a joke, if you consider the consistently dire statistics regarding gender, age and race diversity in mainstream American films. Whatever you make of this deplorable inequality, there can be little doubt that Streep is an actor singularly dedicated to her craft, who works hard and throws herself with aplomb into the wide range of roles that come her way.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Does religion in schools go beyond branding?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Religious schools have emphasised the transmission of faith and an ethical way of life through a network of relationships, symbols and processes. But this is now being tested, with the dominant view that values and faith are a private matter best hosted inside the family. The operative goals of schools become the academic and economic advancement of individuals, with religious classes and rituals little more than decoration and rhetorical branding.

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  • CARTOON

    Tony Abbott brings Indigenous baggage to the Torres Strait

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 25 August 2015
    3 Comments

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

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Lord's Resistance Army is alive and well

    • Dorothy Horsfield
    • 25 August 2015
    1 Comment

    For almost twenty years, across the settlements and subsistence farms of Central Africa the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has preyed upon civilian populations with exceptional cruelty, emerging from the bush in small units to commit unspeakable atrocities. These days there is a common assumption that the LRA has been decimated and scattered and that its leader Joseph Kony is in hiding and probably ineffectual. But visiting activist Sister Angelique Namaika insists this optimistic assessment is misguided. 

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  • MEDIA

    Ashley Madison leak exposes a prurient and uncaring society

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 25 August 2015
    15 Comments

    The media has greeted the infidelity website leak with unabashed glee. We could instead ask why so many ordinary people are seemingly so discontented with their marriages, and what might be done to alleviate the wretchedness both of those who cheat and those who don't.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The girl who stole her brothers' honour

    • Moya Pacey
    • 24 August 2015
    4 Comments

    In the dark cage of the village ... They shaved her black curls, closed her green eyes, scooped the body into a sack - threw it into the cold river.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thai turmoil continues

    • Michael Kelly
    • 24 August 2015
    4 Comments

    Thailand's chronic political instability intensified with the bomb that exploded last week in the middle of a major Bangkok tourist district. With 20 dead and still counting, the event is a decisive rebuttal of the military dictatorship's promise to restore 'happiness' to Thailand. Because Thailand's public life revolves around the frail and ageing king and the military, a brighter future awaits the outcome of royal succession.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dyson Heydon and the PM's quest for political purity

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 August 2015
    14 Comments

    The spectacle is a strange one. Heydon has to rule on an application that directly concerns his own fitness to be in the position. It recalls the situation Lord Hoffmann found himself in after his links with Amnesty International perceptibly compromised his views on extraditing Chile's former military ruler Augusto Pinochet. Even the best jurists can fall foul of the bias rule.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Vigilante' applies to the government more than environmentalists

    • Fatima Measham
    • 23 August 2015
    10 Comments

    The epithets used against environment groups have been extraordinary after a judge of the Federal Court set aside Environment Minister Greg Hunt's approval of the Adani thermal coal mine. Perhaps legislation has always been an instrument for ideological agendas, but the compulsion and ease with which the Coalition has taken to the law to restrict scrutiny doesn't bode well for us. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's an older person's life worth?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 August 2015
    12 Comments

    NT Health Minister John Elferink recently argued that the money spend on the health of the elderly — a million dollars for each person — would be better spent on children. Many Australian politicians and health administrators would secretly sympathise. But underlying this is the twin assumption that the life of an older person is of less value than that of someone who is younger, and that people’s value is measured by their economic contribution.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Real estate agents and the crime of locality theft

    • Brian Matthews
    • 20 August 2015
    5 Comments

    We set off towards the beach and the esplanade that meanders towards what the better class of resident likes to call the 'village'. 'I prefer "township" – it's more Australian,' I said. Roy scoffed at what he called 'this "village" nonsense.' Referring to electronic theft of credit card numbers, online personal details, he said: 'I reckon there's also a phenomenon you could call locality theft.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nanny state Australia could learn from Europe

    • Cam Hassard
    • 20 August 2015
    17 Comments

    After almost two years living abroad in Germany, I have observed a stark difference in how European societies strike a balance between legislative oversight and individual freedom. More or less anything is tolerated here, as long as you respect the rights and freedoms of others. Tolerance and 'least intervention' thrive on personal responsibility and eschew knee-jerk intervention. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Former Xavier students' love transcends AIDS horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 August 2015
    25 Comments

    Timothy Conigrave's memoir Holding the Man is a classic of contemporary Australian queer literature. Originally published in 1995 a few months after Conigrave's death from AIDS, it is an account of his relationship with John Caleo, whom he met in 1976 when they were both students at the Melbourne Jesuit private boys school Xavier College. Conigrave and Caleo were together for 15 years until Caleo's death (also from AIDS) in 1992. This film adaptation of their story is nothing if not bold.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The gloriously flawed humanity of our federal politics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Recent weeks' events in federal politics stretch the imagination. The search for historical parallels brought me to the start of the Burke and Wills Expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, and the race that saw Fine Cotton unravel. Each of these events was characteristically Australian. In Les Murray’s memorable phrase, they all had sprawl: the mingling of excess, overweening self-confidence, and the cutting of corners. 

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  • CARTOON

    The Libs' marriage equality song and dance

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 18 August 2015
    4 Comments

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

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Silence won't make abuse go away

    • James Fry
    • 18 August 2015
    6 Comments

    We tell victims of of crimes including bullying, domestic violence and child abuse, that help will come their way if they are prepared to speak up. But on several occasions, I spoke to those responsible for my welfare and safety, only to have such pleas ignored. For others it can be worse, with Child Abuse Royal Commission revealing victims being blamed for the crimes against them, and sometimes being delivered into the hands of other pedophiles.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The holy mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

    • Brian Doyle
    • 18 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Not one of them ever raped a child or moved rapists from one parish to another. Not one of them ever played havoc with church funds. Not one of them ran off with a secretary. As far as I could tell each of them embraced hard work, and kindness, and humility and was every bit as committed and dedicated to the ancient mission of the Church as any priest or brother or abbot or bishop or cardinal or pope.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    UK Labour's hysterical power struggle

    • Daniel Read
    • 17 August 2015
    12 Comments

    The ongoing drama over leadership of the UK Labour Party is raising the possibility of further fractures in the politics of austerity, not just in Britain, but across Europe. The entire political edifice of British politics has shifted so far to the right that even a somewhat inoffensive endorsement of state ownership, anti-austerity politics and trade union support, alongside scrapping the UK's nuclear deterrent and questioning our continued membership in NATO, can appear dangerously radical.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    He is not the killer he used to be

    • Jordie Albiston
    • 17 August 2015

    Her every lover, her filler of dreams, her kisser of broken & bruised. She watches him through the pills, she misses him when he leaves, whispers to foot that when she recovers she will love him for ever & ever, but now he is heading back down the stairs & she stares at his absence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition tactics on marriage and climate change risk self-destruction

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 August 2015
    25 Comments

    The consequences of the present Coalition manipulation will be that the hostility between opponents and proponents of legalisation is likely to be intensified, and the proper way to resolve the issues involved seen to lie in the untrammelled exercise of power and not in reasoned conversation. In such a climate, any appeal to other values at stake in legislation, such as religious freedom, will be regarded simply as self-interest, and will be overridden by the principle of non-discrimination.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kickstart our dire democracy by giving teens the vote

    • Clancy Wright
    • 16 August 2015
    17 Comments

    Sixteen and 17-year-olds shape society and culture through language, music, sport, arts and fashion. They challenge boundaries and push cultural trends up through our social fabric. They engage with technology and future ideas in a way that many older generations would fine overwhelming and confusing. We need this enthusiasm, this creativity and proven inclination to take risks in order to question our society's established methods and bring colour and life back to the broader political debate.

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