Vol 26 No 5

14 March 2016


 

  • RELIGION

    Elusive Easter's challenge to wider society

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 March 2016
    24 Comments

    To many the challenge to endurance comes from a public world in which small gains are overtaken by huge losses. Why bother about people who seek protection from persecution or about our natural environment when the small initiatives we take are overrun by a flood tide of brutality and cynicism? What hope of building harmony in society when the Paris bombings are followed by those of Brussels? This challenge is universal, so the Christian celebration of Easter is of wider interest.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Eye on the messy ethics of drone warfare

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 March 2016
    5 Comments

    With more than 30 dead in Brussels just a few short months after the horrors in Paris, the Western world again confronts an assailant in ISIS who deals in fear and bloodshed. In contemplating our responses to such attacks we recognise the historical and current geopolitical realities that have bred the ideologies that fuel them. This messiness is the stuff of a new British film that arrives in Australia this week, which explores the plight of those who might be 'collateral damage' in the hyper-technological 'war on terror'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Greens' senate reform spin is sweetened nonsense

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 March 2016
    19 Comments

    The idea that these laws are, as Twomey writes, 'more conducive to representing the genuine choice of the people in electing their Senate' is untrue. It is a view expressed by Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale, who suggested 'the Senate that's delivered after the next election is the one people vote for'. What these voting reforms actually serve to do is give the false impression of eliminating manipulation while diluting Australia's political base in favour of monochrome party politics.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Running after Merv Lincoln

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 March 2016
    10 Comments

    I was out on our quiet country road the next morning at first light intent on running just half a mile. Some days later, when I had recovered and various outraged muscles had stopped twanging, I determined to carry on. In those days, running was regarded as eccentric, even sinister. 'Why do you do it?' the 'milky' asked. 'Are you a footy umpire or somethin'?' Then there was the elderly bloke who, driving past in his ute, stared back at me for so long to demonstrate his scorn that he drove off the road.

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  • CARTOON

    Bleached as

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 23 March 2016
    1 Comment

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

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lazarus at our gate (Easter poems)

    • Bill Rush, Marlene Marburg, Maureen O'Brien, John Cranmer
    • 22 March 2016
    3 Comments

    To be fair, he wasn't a leaner, he was one of the lifters. Helped to keep the country running, so to speak, and speak he did often, on many topics. He was a leader, and felt justified when others, in the region, followed his lead. It wasn't that he didn't see Lazarus, but more that he saw him differently. Break the rules, help one starving beggar and before you know it there will be a flood of them on your door step. That's how he argued and plenty agreed. Judgement day was a long way off.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Change is possible when democracy runs deep

    • Moira Rayner
    • 22 March 2016
    18 Comments

    When I received my invitation to 'lead' the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees my first response was to ignore it. This was partly ego and partly disillusionment. It's true that in Melbourne at least 6000 people walked or struggled or strode along Spencer Street. But I no longer believe marches for huge national issues have any effect on local powerbrokers. I believe as Saul Alinsky said that the most powerful force for change is local activism on local issues and generational organisation from the grass roots up.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 March 2016
    10 Comments

    Rui Maria de Araujo, the prime minister of Timor-Leste, wrote to Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to turn a new leaf in the Australia-Timor relationship. It was not to be. But the Timorese are well used to winning the hearts and minds of Australians even when our political leaders appear to be tone deaf to their pleas. This time they have convinced the Labor Party about the justice of their cause, and there is every chance that the Australian community will rally behind them after the federal election.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Tale of Meddling Mama Daniel

    • David Ishaya Osu
    • 21 March 2016
    3 Comments

    My elder sister was negotiating with a mobile seller of wears, and a neighbour, fondly called Mama Daniel, interfered, asking the seller not to sell to my sister, Elizabeth. And my sister pounced on the 40-something-year-old woman. They exchanged blows on their bodies. And my sister, who was more muscular and raging, grabbed the woman's wrapper and opened her secret. This is where everything ended and began, simple and complicated. Elizabeth has been a psychiatric patient since 2006.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A new year, a new Bill?

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 18 March 2016
    9 Comments

    While Turnbull may be ahead as preferred prime minister, the Coalition has yet to demonstrate the principle of fairness that is deeply held and widely felt across the electorate. Labor's narrative needs to be not only that it is the party best equipped to deal with the challenges we face, but is the only party that can ensure any changes will be just and equitable. A plan for the future that is both convincing and seen as fair may end up being the difference between being in government and opposition.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Queer experience is not limited to trauma

    • Ellena Savage
    • 18 March 2016
    24 Comments

    'Coming out' is a gesture specifically, politically required of queer people but not of straight people. Another statement demanded of queer people is that they are injured and traumatised by the fact of their sexuality or gender. But why call on individuals to testify when the statistics are heartbreaking enough? This demand on queers to continually deliver narratives of oppression limits their social roles, and even invalidates their voices on matters other than their sexualities and genders.

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  • MEDIA

    'Jilted' Brownless saga shows AFL sexism still runs deep

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 17 March 2016
    7 Comments

    It's time someone called out this whole Billy Brownless/Garry Lyon saga for what it is. These former AFL footballers and sports media colleagues have fallen out over the past few months, over a reported affair between Lyon and Brownless' ex-wife, Nicky. This is not merely a salacious non-story. It is the nadir of a grubby grain of sports journalism that serves as the mouthpiece for an industry that has a long way to go before it leaves accusations of racism, homophobia and misogyny in its wake.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humility is the forgotten virtue this election year

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 March 2016
    10 Comments

    In a month in which some politicians trumpeted their own virtues and others their opponents' vices, one traditional virtue went unserenaded: humility. The reticence is unsurprising. Humility is associated with timidity, self-doubt and a reluctance to put oneself forward. Successful politicians project themselves, are confident, competitive, and lead like strong men. This view merits challenge. It assumes a corrupted form of humility, and exempts politicians from ethical reflection about their craft.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The epic life of the real Iphigenia

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 March 2016
    9 Comments

    It was a bright winter's day when we visited Iphigenia. Long widowed, she was meticulously turned out in black traditional outfit. Iphigenia is not sure how old she is; she thinks she is 86. Anglophones regularly make a hash of this beautiful name, the correct pronunciation of which is Ifeeyainya. But the ones I know are intrigued by the mythological character, who was ill-fated, to say the least. I soon learned that there had also been ample sorrow and trauma in the life of the modern Iphigenia, too.

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  • CARTOON

    Playing your cards (hard) right

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 16 March 2016
    3 Comments

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

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  • MEDIA

    CommInsure exposé proves spin doesn't always win

    • David James
    • 16 March 2016
    7 Comments

    Most spin doctors are either former journalists, who have personal experience in how the industry works. If a story appears in the media, it is more often than not because some spin merchants want it to be there. Happily, there are exceptions. Gold Walkley winner Adele Ferguson did a brilliant exposé of the insurance industry that was definitely not on any spin doctor's agenda. Indeed it was a demonstration that spin has its limitations if the journalist is skilled enough to get beyond the wall.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vacuous politics breeds vacuous politicians

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 March 2016
    6 Comments

    The standard explanation for the rise of 'outsider' figures like Donald Drumpf in the US and Clive Palmer in Australia is that there is disillusion in democratic countries with 'politics as usual'. Neal Gabler has blamed the media for turning politics into celebrity theatre. While he has pinpointed the symptom, I suggest that he has it exactly the wrong way around. It is because politics has already been hollowed out to be a slanging match of personalities rather than ideas that vacuous celebrities can flourish.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Preselection esteems politics over merit

    • Fatima Measham
    • 14 March 2016
    10 Comments

    The debate over the Coalition's proposed senate voting reforms has highlighted the inter-party brokering that brings candidates into office. Yet if representative democracy were predicated on transparency, then another area deserves scrutiny: preselection. The mechanism for choosing party representatives clearly relies on powerful backers - politics - rather than merit. That is an obvious thing to say. But it carries repercussions for governance with which we have yet to grapple.

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