Vol 27 No 11

04 June 2017

Teresa May and Jermy Corbin Cartoon by Chris Johnston


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ARTS AND CULTURE

The story of the dog who wouldn't be ours

11 Comments
14 June 2017 | Catherine Marshall

DogsIt was humiliating, being refused adoption at an animal shelter. But it was worse knowing, in the ensuing months, that there was a little dog out there, and lots more besides him, who was being withheld from a genuinely loving family simply because they had failed to meet unreasonable demands. We tried to find a suitable dog at other shelters, but the pickings were slim. And so we did the very thing the shelter that had refused our application railed against: we bought a puppy from a pet shop.


Our addiction to connection is centuries old

4 Comments
14 June 2017 | Sarah Klenbort

Posting It: the Victorian Revolution in Letter WritingOn a recent tour of Vaucluse House in Sydney's east, I couldn't help but notice, in every bedroom, a writing desk. I imagined Sarah Wentworth scribbling away with inkpot and pen 180 years ago. I wonder if the Wentworths went straight to their writing desks first thing in the morning, the way some people check their phones? The desire to receive news from someone somewhere else is century's old. In 1850 Tasmania had 11 newspapers, for a population of 70,000.


AUSTRALIA

Remembering, dismembering on World Refugee Day

3 Comments
13 June 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

A group of rescued people on the deck of an Italian naval vessel as the sun sets in the Mediterranean. ©UNHCR/A. D'AmatoWorld Refugee Day is a time for remembering. We remember we live in a world of millions of refugees, and that many of our fellow citizens arrived as or are the children of refugees. We may remember refugees, but in their own lives they are dismembered. The tiles we take for granted in the mosaic of our ordinary lives have been hacked out of refugees' lives. Many people lost parents, siblings and children in the persecution and terrors they endured. With each loss part of themselves also died.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Who killed Whitney Houston?

1 Comment
13 June 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Running parallel to this is Houston's intimate, long-time friendship with Robyn Crawford. Broomfield stops short of characterising it as romantic; others do not, and space is given to rumination about the difficulties of being a black, gay woman. In any case, the friendship sparks tension with Brown, and disapproval from Cissy. Crawford's abrupt departure from the tour is another turning point. In Broomfield's thesis, Houston's drug habit is a reaction to these various threats to her authenticity.


AUSTRALIA

High school racism in the merry old land of Oz

10 Comments
12 June 2017 | Tseen Khoo

Alice Pung: Growing Up Asian in AustraliaI was told in grade nine I shouldn't bother trying out for the lead of our school play, The Wizard of Oz, because there's no way Dorothy would be Asian. Though I had no intention of trying out for the play, the fact that she told me not to bother made me arc up. The reason she gave - my incongruous Asianness - made me feel angry and ashamed. Angry because it was stupid and unfair. Ashamed because it felt somehow like it was my fault for not being white enough.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Nearly knowing John Clarke

2 Comments
12 June 2017 | Brian Matthews

John Clarke and Brian DaweOne of the 30 comedians, satirists, cartoonists and writers they interviewed was John Clarke. 'I first met John Clarke five years ago,' Murray recalls in his 1992 introduction to the interview, 'even though we grew up in the same town in New Zealand and for a while went to the same school. My claim to fame is that I nearly knew John Clarke. Recently when we looked though his school photos we realised that we knew every kid in Palmerston North in 1960 except each other.'


CARTOON

Up, up and away!

12 June 2017 | Fiona Katauskas

Stuporman Peter Dutton stands for untruth and injustice. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

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


ARTS AND CULTURE

Three aspects of Australian racism

1 Comment
11 June 2017 | P. S. Cottier

Prisoner in hood at Don DaleIt involves hoods, but less KKK than DDD - Don Dale Detention where the kids wear the hoods in a stunning display of regressive taxation. 2. Outsourcing pain to poorer places which we pay to exercise contempt on our behalf - washing red hands in the convenient sea. Who needs a wall? 3. Protecting Islamic women by shouting at them on streets for wearing religious freedom.


INTERNATIONAL

Lessons for ALP in UK Labour fightback

17 Comments
08 June 2017 | Jeff Sparrow

Teresa May totters while Jeremy Corbyn smiles onWhen Corbyn invoked the many against the few, he did so while advocating free education, the renationalisation of utilities and a break from the US alliance. By contrast, Blair coined the phrase in a speech where he urged listeners to put behind them 'the bitter political struggles of left and right that have torn our country apart for too many decades. Many of these conflicts have no relevance whatsoever to the modern world - public versus private, bosses versus workers, middle class versus working class.' We all know which version sits closer to Shorten's heart.


Je Suis Tehran

1 Comment
07 June 2017 | Justin Glyn

Iran parliamentThe unprecedented attacks by Daesh in Iran in which at least 12 people were killed and 39 injured come at an incredibly sensitive time for all countries in the Middle East. What is often obscured by commentators is that much of the present violence in the Middle East is political, not religious, even though religious labels are used as a shorthand for the competing blocs (in much the same way as 'Catholic' and 'Protestant' were used during the Troubles in Northern Ireland).


AUSTRALIA

Know your enemy (and it's not Islam)

13 Comments
07 June 2017 | Fatima Measham

Rescued Christian evacuees from Marawi huddle with Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr, who supplied them with relief provisions before sending them to an evacuation center. Philstar.com, fileSince 9/11, as well as more recent, atomised attacks in Europe and the UK, our judgment about what is against us has been clouded. It is not Islam, no matter what politicians and commentators say. To believe them is to take seriously the notions that it is ever possible to 'fight' religion as if it were a nation-state, that religion holds a single interpretation, that the only legitimate victim of religious violence is white and non-Muslim, and that human motivation is simple and direct.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Raising feminist men in 1970s America

06 June 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Abbie introduces Jamie to the paired liberating movements of punk rock and second-wave feminism. Both lead to illuminating experiences, from his first rock concert, use of alcohol, and kiss, to being beaten for casting aspersions on a peer's grasp of female sexual anatomy. His relationship with Julie on the other hand provides a difficult counterpoint. His peevish concern over her promiscuity is largely possessive; his theoretical understanding of women's agency falling down in the face of adolescent hormones.


RELIGION

Vatican II, the sexual revolution and clergy sexual misconduct

69 Comments
06 June 2017 | Stephen de Weger

Vatican IIThe sexual revolution and Vatican II was a release from 'parental control' resulting, for many, in the sudden emergence of full-blown psychological adolescence with its risk taking, experimentation and lack of a fully developed sense of responsibility. Many clergy either slid into adolescent liberalism or, collapsing under new adult demands of freedom, retreated into reactionary conservatism. Others grew up and moved on, into new ways of being 'celibate'. Clergy misconduct is found in all three groups.


ENVIRONMENT

When cricket, work and Catholic teaching collide

5 Comments
06 June 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Picket fence around cricket ovalTo consider cricket as work would strike many people as odd. They would see it as a hobby, a recreation, a game or a calling. Professional sportspersons receive little attention in Catholic social thought, which is a pity because a Catholic understanding of work provides a helpful perspective. Its crucial insight is that work is a human activity, and that each human being is precious, unique and needs to be respected. Neither people nor work can be seen as means to an economic end, or as expendable.


CARTOON

Tweet, tweet, repeat

3 Comments
05 June 2017 | Fiona Katauskas

Trump tweets agressivley. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

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


AUSTRALIA

Cashless Cards and other salvos in the war on the poor

11 Comments
05 June 2017 | Michele Madigan

Cashless cardIn 1978 Kaurna/Narungga woman, Georgina Williams, said to me that Aboriginal people tend to be first on the receiving end of governmental oppressive practices and, when that works, the practices are extended to other poor Australians. Thirty-nine years later, almost every day brings new evidence of a relentless campaign against the poor, of which Cashless Cards are but one particularly vindictive example.


ECONOMICS

What lies beneath the finance industry's water words

10 Comments
04 June 2017 | David James

Paper boatOne thing that is rarely done is a literary-style analysis of the language used in finance and business. It can quickly reveal the sleight-of-hand, even outright deception, that plague these powerful sectors. To take one example, finance language heavily relies on water metaphors, which are deeply misleading. It is unlikely that this is done deliberately; it is more probably reification (making the intangible appear to be concrete). But its consequences have been, and remain, devastating.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Another stranger on a tram

4 Comments
04 June 2017 | Peta Yowie

Woman watches tramIt's a no eye contact sport, when I see a girl I like. She's putting lip balm on her lips, as the morning scenery slips by like a young child getting out of his pyjamas. I stare at everyone but her, because her face is like a burning sun ... It's only as I go to get off she looks up and smiles. I smile back, I've done a few miles with these smiles. I'd like to peel the pastry off and eat the sweet thing underneath. I catch my breath like a butterfly in a net. She's another stranger I'll never know the destination of.


ENVIRONMENT

Pope calls for intellectual conversion over climate

10 Comments
01 June 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

TreesThe strident public debate about global warming and the threat it poses has died down. Few knowledgeable people deny its reality. At the same time, powerful interest groups and politicians appeal to the need for economic growth in order to weaken any international commitment. At such a time it is worth returning to Laudato Si, Pope Francis' passionate exhortation to care for the environment. Its most significant insight is that the environment is not something outside ourselves. We are part of it.


AUSTRALIA

Don't turn away from dire child abuse stats

7 Comments
24 May 2017 | Barry Gittins

Child on wet footpathAustralian kids are being bashed, raped, starved, scorned and otherwise treated with no dignity or kindness. The study states it is not simply a case of one-off abuse, noting that 'research has demonstrated that maltreatment sub-types seldom occur in isolation (e.g. sexual abuse is often accompanied by psychological maltreatment or physical abuse)'. That is difficult reading. It makes me sick to write it. But the paper should, in a just society, serve as a catalyst for a national conversation.