Vol 26 No 4

29 February 2016


 

  • ENVIRONMENT

    A word to the wise on selling climate action

    • Greg Foyster
    • 11 March 2016
    3 Comments

    The best known examples of framing come from American cognitive linguist George Lakoff. He argues that George W. Bush replaced the phrase 'tax cuts' with 'tax relief' to reframe paying tax as an affliction. Embedded in those two words is a neo-conservative worldview against government intervention in the private sphere. If you accept the term, you absorb the worldview. In a similar way, a few words could build political will to tackle climate change. The problem is no one is sure what they are.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sanders preaches progress, but Clinton embodies it

    • Megan Graham
    • 11 March 2016
    11 Comments

    Even if his views and rhetoric are radical, everything else about Sanders is so within our comfort zones that they become more palatable. It's difficult for any progressive to get into power without aligning with powerful groups, whether they be politics, class, culture or gender-based. And Clinton is already disqualified from a club with arguably the most stubborn membership of all - the 'boys club'. For any feminist, it's hard to view the installation of the first female president as anything but progressive.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cultures of accountability for clergy and celebrities

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 March 2016
    24 Comments

    If we are to make institutions safe for children, we need not only hold to account people who have presided over unsafe places, but also to address a culture that protects silence at each level of organisations, preventing complaints being made and being reported. Clergy and celebrities must not be treated as different from others, entitled to have their bad behaviour ignored. They must be held accountable to the officers and regulations of the organisation in which they work.

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  • RELIGION

    Cardinal Pell and the culture of silence

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 10 March 2016
    23 Comments

    Even as a young priest George Pell was marked for higher things. He was a protege of B. A. Santamaria who had a significant following among Victorian bishops and priests. He was chosen to go to further study in Rome and then in Oxford. He was quickly given positions of responsibility. Within this trajectory there was no room for a priest who rocked the boat on clerical misconduct. To ask questions about why Ridsdale was being constantly moved was evidently not part of the plan.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Great white filmmakers can't dismiss diversity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 March 2016
    6 Comments

    When questioned about diversity in his films recently, Joel Coen replied: 'You don't sit down and say, "I'm going to write a story that involves four black people, three Jews, and a dog".' The answer is disingenuous at best. Filmmakers choose what stories to tell and how; with a few exceptions, the Coens tell stories about white men. Just as Quentin Tarantino ought to continue discussing the role violence and misogyny play in his films, the Coens should engage meaningfully with questions of diversity.

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  • CARTOON

    Gender inequality at play

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 09 March 2016
    1 Comment

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homeless truths from an agent against poverty

    • Brian Doyle
    • 09 March 2016
    8 Comments

    The tall man had worked for the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence for years, and long ago had lost any illusions about the overarching nobility of people who were hammered and lost and helpless against addictions, diseases, crisis and tragedy. I asked him about the most wonderful people he'd met, and he told me some amazing stories, and then I asked him about the worst, and he told me some horrifying stories, and then his face twisted and he told me about the worst of the worst.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The night the Black Dog caught up

    • Peter Day
    • 09 March 2016
    12 Comments

    Our friend's not doing so well. The Black Dog has caught up with her. It's been chasing her for 20 years. She got tired; couldn't run anymore. So up to the emergency department she went: 'Doctor, nurse ... anyone, I can't run anymore. The Black Dog's too fast, too strong. I'm worn out - just want to be normal.' They heard her ... sort of. Into a tiny room she was sent ... to wait. Don't be fooled by politicians and bureaucrats holding umbrellas; the mental health landscape is in severe drought.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Going back to school on gender-based violence

    • Ellen Poyner
    • 08 March 2016
    18 Comments

    If we had a problem with numeracy, we would invest in maths, improving our education systems to build knowledge and skills. Instead we have a problem with gender equality and relationship violence. And so, let's improve knowledge and build skills in respectful relationships. Respectful relationships education integrated into the school curriculum is one of the proactive strategies designed to contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence in our communities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Home, alone and stoned

    • Peta Edmonds
    • 08 March 2016
    7 Comments

    I've run out of dope. This is my last ever toke of synthetic pot, I hope. There's synthetic people, but my heart drops like a coin into a homeless man's hat. The eternal night isn't very maternal. Of all those people sleeping on a concrete mattress under a black sky doona ... The homeless have faces like empty spaces. No solution to their heads in the pollution, and their feet in the gutter. The poor gather on the banks of the flowing street. The rain hits the roof in pain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Count the human cost of Australia's overseas mining interests

    • Fatima Measham
    • 07 March 2016
    3 Comments

    In 2012, a pregnant woman and two of her children were killed in their own home in Tampakan, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. Tampakan is the site of a new mine with Australian interests. The woman was the wife of a B'laan tribal leader agitating against the mine. Over recent years indigenous peoples of Mindanao been harassed, displaced and killed by militias, some allegedly with the imprimatur of the Philippine army. Much of this has passed without notice in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse survivor reflects on Cardinal Pell's 'sad story'

    • Paul Coghlan
    • 07 March 2016
    42 Comments

    'It was a sad story and it wasn't of much interest to me.' Pell's brutal response to a question from the royal commission has provided an important point of organisational, personal and cultural reflection. As a survivor of child sexual abuse I understand the disbelief, shock and outrage that such a comment has provoked. And having conducted many organisational reviews, I know that in trying to find the origins of such responses, our understanding of how the world works expands exponentially.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    View from the brink of the age of Drumpf

    • Jim McDermott
    • 04 March 2016
    5 Comments

    On Sunday Drumpf demurred when asked how he felt about former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke voicing his support for a Drumpf presidency. And yet he still swept the polls in the American Super Tuesday primaries, racking up wins in eight of 11 states. Under Barack Obama the US has had eight years of largely responsible, idealistic executive leadership. Yet rather than shepherding in a new hope-filled era, we find ourselves standing before a chasm of largely uncontrolled id.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell, Safe Schools and the personhood of children

    • Moira Rayner
    • 04 March 2016
    40 Comments

    A feeding frenzy is afoot over the review of Safe Schools program. At the same time poor old George Pell is under attack for failing to observe that his Ballarat colleagues were prolifically enabling Ridsdale and other pedophiles to sexually abuse little boys. The prurient desire to control the sexual interests of others on the one hand, and on the other the gross failures by institutions to protect vulnerable children in their care, are sadly linked to an unwillingness to face the truth about human sexuality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Apology from a baby boomer to generations X and Y

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 04 March 2016
    2 Comments

    At present, there is an argument between the two sides of politics about negative gearing. According to one side, changing the rules would reduce the cost of housing - and this is their strongest argument against such a change. A member of Gen X or Gen Y - someone in their 20s or 30s, not long out of education and in a first or second job, saving in the hope of one day being able to afford a home of their own - might not read it the same way. No wonder they are looking for a Messiah.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Humanity found in ritual amid death camp horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 March 2016

    In the history of the Second World War and the deathly screed of the Final Solution, the Sonderkommando cuts a pitiable figure. These Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz and other death camps who were forced to perform the logistics surrounding mass murder - the carting and disposal of dead flesh - though patently victims, were viewed by some as collaborators. Son of Saul provides an immersive and impressionistic extrapolation of this ethical and actual horror.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Diagnosing the great Australian sickness

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 March 2016
    9 Comments

    Who better to consult than Dr Hippocrates and his humours? Before Tony Abbott's deposition the choleric element dominated in Australia, full of sound and fury. This has been followed by the preponderance of the sanguine humour, expressing itself in that sunny optimism that makes light of problems. But more recent events suggest that the humours are again in chronic imbalance. The core weakness in the Australian constitution has not been removed with the accession of Malcolm Turnbull.

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  • MEDIA

    #HollywoodSoMale

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 03 March 2016
    7 Comments

    Chris Rock's hosting of the Academy Awards was a win-win culmination of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign in which no actual person had to take the blame. Instead, a faceless institution named 'Hollywood' was rapped over the knuckles for its racism while the flesh-and-blood white faces that represented it could get on with the business of congratulating themselves. While all this mollification was going on, there was another, gargantuan prejudice saturating the air these celebrities were breathing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Down to The Wire: How SIBs can save social programs

    • Gabriela D'Souza
    • 02 March 2016
    5 Comments

    Social impact bonds are a type of impact investing: investing for results. A community service provider who wants to pilot or scale up an existing program can use SIBs to finance their projects. A bond issuer makes the SIBs available to private investors, who will receive the principal with interest if the program attains a predetermined success rate. While modified versions of this model are being trialled in NSW, the heartbreaking fourth season of HBO's The Wire sheds light on how they might work.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Death and the (young) maiden

    • Barry Gittins
    • 02 March 2016
    3 Comments

    This year we faced the prospect of having Wolfgang, our 16-year-old apricot Spoodle, euthanised. This was sad for me, my wife, and our son. But for our daughter, entering her first year of high school, it presented a looming disaster. Mark Twain is purported to have said that 'the fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.' Timidity equals preoccupation with mortality? No disrespect to Samuel, but it's unlikely he shared that gem with his daughters.

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  • CARTOON

    Speedos 2: Cruise Control

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 02 March 2016

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In the ring with Stevens and Hemingway

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 01 March 2016
    1 Comment

    Rounds and counts, jabs and feints. Glass jaws and upper-cuts, southpaws and the rest. It was a new word-world. Yet more colonial drill, and blood should spill. Meanwhile there was order by the key, water was washing, banter and barter in brief bargain. Then a jab to the jaw, fishbone cry, a hand cracks, skinless words.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No justice in rushing senate voting reforms

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 March 2016
    11 Comments

    The government, the Greens, and Senator Nick Xenophon want to keep the debate about electoral justice as narrow as possible because they are offering some technical improvements. But they shouldn't be allowed to rush their reforms, which must be separated from the idea of a double dissolution election driven by a determination to cut short the terms of sitting micro-party senators. The anti-major party feeling among a significant minority of voters cannot just be condemned as mere populism.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Being myself doesn't work

    • Paul Micallef
    • 29 February 2016
    11 Comments

    Autism typically makes people less likely to care what others think. When I was younger my default was to do what I wanted, to 'be myself', and not worry if others were not doing the same thing. You can imagine what happens when I put this into action: I end up alone. I am the only one not dancing. I am the only one who wants to crank the metal music at 7am. I like people. I want to share my experiences. But often my choice often comes down to: 'Do I be myself? Or do I be around others?'

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  • MEDIA

    Time to retire 'magical negro' trope from Aussie sport

    • Erin Riley
    • 29 February 2016
    16 Comments

    Sports journalists shape narratives. There is drama intrinsic to sport, but the sports journalist draws it out, identifying heroes and villains, and slotting each performance into a broader arc. The power to influence the way the public understands a game or player ought to be wielded carefully. Too often, it is not. This is best demonstrated by the ways in which commentators and journalists speak about Indigenous athletes. A simple superlative can be loaded with more than a century of cultural baggage.

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