Vol 18 No 18
Israeli history's 'definitive' rewrite
Benny Morris, Israel's best-known revisionist historian, led more and more Israelis and Diaspora Jews in the 1980s to accept
the legitimacy of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. Morris has changed his spots.
Modern parents' toy story
Our children are not our children. They live in a world saturated in brands, commercialism and all manner of hyped-up toys. So when, over a pre-dawn hot chocolate, our son told us he wanted to buy a Ninja Turtle, we just smiled.
Film implicates audience in acts of cruelty
The previous films of director Michael Haneke depict a media-saturated society disconnected from reality. His latest release is a critique of 'violence as entertainment', and every audience member is implicated.
The new Indigenous affairs orthodoxy
An emerging school of thought claims that substance abuse is the cause, not the symptom, of the present-day Indigenous crisis. Such myths give an inadequate account for the situation, and fail to provide prescriptions for change.
MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD
Learning to teach Aboriginal kids
Teachers arriving in remote Aboriginal schools represent merely the latest in a long, transient line. What will separate them from their predecessors is their ability to listen and learn from the people whose land they now live on.
Mem Fox and the parable of the green sheep
Working mums were 'offended' and 'disgusted' by Mem Fox's childcare slam. Other critics berated 'selfish mothers' and a society sick with affluenza. There was one word missing word from all the brouhaha: 'fathers'.
Existence warms my skin
blood and mood .. jigger the radio of my mind, turning .. it in and out of the band ... of unaccountable happiness .. What have I forgotten that I can stand .. to smile?
Paying the climate change piper
In The Pied Piper of Hamelin, a town tries to buy a cheap solution to a terrible problem, and their children pay the price. In light of Garnaut's latest, coservative climate change recommendations, it seems we may need a Class 5 tropical cyclone slamming into Brisbane to jolt us into decisive action.
The real money's on humanities
Following Friday's announcement of Nathan Rees as the premier of
NSW, media reports highlighted his background as a garbage collector. They neglected to mention he was doing this to fund his honours degree
in English Literature at Sydney University.
THE MEDDLING PRIEST
The right not to kill
Victoria's 'groundbreaking' Abortion Law Reform Bill dispenses with informed consent provisions that protect vulnerable women, and neglects the right of health professionals to conscientious objection. Surely the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief should count for something.
England writ grotesque
The stories rub class against
class, age against youth, the past against the present. The collection is imbued with old-fashioned charm and a postcolonial awareness of what damage old-fashioned England once
Kids or criminals
A 14-year-old boy in a country town has his first gulp of beer in a street.
A passing police officer charges him. How is it that the first resort
in many cases in Australia is to immerse the child in the criminal
Abbott's complex Aboriginal odyssey
The news Tony Abbott would spend three weeks in a remote Aboriginal community came as a pleasant surprise to many. He gave himself a chance to learn, and his reflections reveal a genuine interest in the lives of the people.
'Freaks' on film
In 1932, Todd Browning's Freaks sought to unsettle with the 'otherness' of its circus sideshow performer characters. A modern-day festival of films by and about people with disability emhasises not otherness, but humanity.
Zimbabwe youth survive jungle of doubt
Zimbabwean names often reflect the mood of a family to the arrival of the new member. At a rural mission school I taught Blessing, Charity and Unique Faith. Penniless Ngwenya was the best and brightest of my students.
'Stalinist' Mugabe won't go without a fight
Sensing humiliation and still uttering vapid rhetoric about 'insidious foreign hands', Mugabe has lowered himself to talking to his opponents. The old rogue is not going anywhere except in a box or at the end of a gun.
Unequal pay favours 'white-collar chums'
Many low-paid workers experience stress and illness due to jobs that are dangerous, arduous or powerless. Perhaps it is they who should be compensated with higher pay, rather than those who perform interesting, high-status work.
A taste for sainted meat
'Have you tried fruit?' said Francis .. 'Nothing to it that crackles and tears in the jaw!' said the head wolf. 'I will bake you bread' said the Saint .. 'It is nothing but air warmed and crusted, Entirely wrong for wolves.' And the thronged wolves .. Began to close
Economic logic will protect Fairfax quality
Market realities demand corporate managers do not trash the 'brand'. The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Financial Review are respected brands because they contain quality reporters and commentators.
Pieces of Terry
Terry told us he had advanced cancer of the prostate and was hoping to reach October. He was interested in joining the book group, which had three volumes of Proust to go. It seemed like it would be a close run thing.