Vol 28 No 5

11 March 2018


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    New ways of gauging films' feminist cred

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 21 March 2018
    1 Comment

    The Bechdel test, which deems there must be two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than men, has become shorthand for gauging gender imbalance in films. But it isn't always a good test. If you take the rules literally, Suicide Squad, which is aggressively misogynistic, passes on a technicality.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Finding freedom after fleeing North Korea

    • Eunhee Park
    • 20 March 2018
    5 Comments

    Freedom is a common word that is often used in our daily lives, but it is not easy to define. Freedom for me means being able to express myself and be outspoken. It means thinking for myself and being free to be curious. Finally it means preserving important economic, social, and cultural rights. I am a North Korean refugee who escaped in 2012 for this freedom.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palm Sunday protests demand a better way

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 March 2018
    15 Comments

    Critics are right to say the marches are ineffectual in the face of bipartisan and popular support for Australia's brutal behaviour. But the faces of those who take part - refugees and activists, older Australians and children, churchgoers and atheists - witness that the Australian community can wear a compassionate face.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Dispelling lazy thinking on trade deals

    • David James
    • 19 March 2018
    6 Comments

    The recent furore about Donald Trump's imposing of tariffs on steel, from which Australian companies have been exempted, raises an interesting question about the economics discipline. Which is better, an oxymoron or a tautology?

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  • CARTOON

    Dutton's true colours

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 19 March 2018
    1 Comment

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Russian spy games: a Novichok fact check

    • Justin Glyn
    • 18 March 2018
    15 Comments

    It's like the plot of a John Le Carre novel: A former double agent found unconscious on a park bench; allegations Mother Russia poisoned him with a secret nerve agent; diplomatic repercussions. Before assuming life imitates art, it would be well to check our facts, not least because stumbling into war with a nuclear power is a silly thing to do.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Medical school reunion

    • John Frawley
    • 18 March 2018
    4 Comments

    We the remnants, largely spent, professors, teachers, beloved practitioners, scientists, world leaders, pioneers, a menagerie of specialists, some honoured citizens, the sick, the grey, the bent, the pill dependent, divorcees, the widowed, the saints, the sinners, bound and equal, together, all as one, gathered again, searching out new pastures, denying mankind's stark mortality.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate champion SA Labor's dark stain

    • Greg Foyster
    • 15 March 2018
    5 Comments

    The complexity of environmental policy in SA echoes a broader trend in environment issues: climate change has monopolised the debate, squeezing out local conservation concerns. The upshot is a Left-leaning government can be progressive on clean energy, while holding a regressive stance on less prominent topics.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God in the cell

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 March 2018
    2 Comments

    Kane insists God doesn't make mistakes: 'That's what makes him God.' Lena retorts with reference to the Hayflick limit — the naturally occurring limit on the number of times cells can divide. Never mind cancer; the very fact of ageing, she says, comes down to a flaw in our DNA. It's a telling scene, pointing to a scientifically enlightened humanity at odds with its own physiology.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Exploiting the housing crisis

    • Sue Stevenson
    • 15 March 2018
    10 Comments

    The struggle of workers has changed a lot since the 1850s, when stonemasons won the right to an eight-hour day. With the rise of contract work and the hustle of the gig economy, a lot of the fights won by workers don't even make much sense. Consider the following Facebook ad an outer Melbourne resident: FREE ROOM IN EXCHANGE FOR HELP.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stephen Hawking as saint and celebrity

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 March 2018
    22 Comments

    The rush to pay tribute to the cosmological colossus had an air of reflex about it. People paid respects, but many were not entirely sure why. He'd be missed, but in what way? Such is the way of celebrity, even those rare intellectual ones who burst the barrier of mass marketing. They become symbols in their time, ciphers of an age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Do we really value families?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 14 March 2018
    3 Comments

    Politicians like to talk family. They talk about their own during campaigns, to establish their credential as human beings. They talk about ours, the 'working families' and 'family values' upon which socio-economies rest. There is even a party called Family First. But let's get real. We wreck families all the time.

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  • RELIGION

    Bringing humanity back to the cult of numbers

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2018
    16 Comments

    At the heart of Pythagoras' contribution was wonder at a world in which human intelligence could understand and handle such different phenomena as music, architecture and the stars through mathematics. The cult of numbers in a cruder form remains characteristic of public life today. The most revered numbers are economic.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    We must not fail the stolen Dapchi girls

    • Precious Marho
    • 12 March 2018
    3 Comments

    As a Nigerian, I am irked by these events. Acquiring an education should never be this perilous. These are future leaders, captains of industries, doctors and lawyers whose dreams, hopes and aspirations are at risk of being crushed. Every moment they spend in captivity increases the risk. We must act now.

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  • CARTOON

    Our hero

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 12 March 2018

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Buying exemptions: Donald Trump's tariff deal

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 12 March 2018
    5 Comments

    This affair has done little to encourage Australians keen on pushing a more robustly independent line from Washington. A ceremonial subservience and deference to US power has been exhibited. Such sentiments embrace the inherent inequality of the Australian-US relationship. To be in deficit to the US is seen as a good and necessary thing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Counting the cost of data as currency

    • Kate Galloway
    • 11 March 2018
    2 Comments

    The question that goes begging in the discourse around data is beyond any 'right' for us to control collection, storage, or deployment. Each of us produces so much data, in so many diverse forms, it is almost impossible to imagine all the places where our data might reside. How can we control something we don't know to exist?

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  • EDUCATION

    Teaching public issues in Catholic schools

    • James O'Brien
    • 08 March 2018
    65 Comments

    I was in a lecture with 50 pre-service teachers preparing to transition into the profession. One student spoke up saying he was afraid to teach in Catholic schools, fearing he'd be reprimanded if he said 'the wrong thing'. In fact, a church school comes alive when teachers and students breathe an air of freedom.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Greek village rides the rise and fall of plastic

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 March 2018
    7 Comments

    Yiayia Aphrodite always practised frugality. She cut old dresses into strips and wove cotton rugs out of them, and used matches twice if she could. When plastic bags came into supermarkets, she immediately made use of them: I think every house in the neighbourhood received presents of circular blue and orange bathmats and doormats.

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