Vol 18 No 21

13 October 2008

'Market Crash' by Chris Johnston


Hamlet's complex adolescence

24 October 2008 | Ellena Savage

Hamlet, a novel, by John Marsden, cover image cropped to 50 by 50Marsden shows us Hamlet, Horatio and Ophelia as children playing in the forest. They discover a dying badger and agree it needs to be euthanised. Hamlet stalls.


A fair go for Gurkhas

24 October 2008 | Dan Read Gurkhas on parade, Flickr image by DannynicThe decision to allow Nepalese Gurkha war veterans to settle in Britain is to be commended. The problems that have caused Nepal's young men to leave their homeland to seek employment elsewhere remain to be solved.


Coens' cynical spy spoof

23 October 2008 | Tim Kroenert Burn After Reading movie poster cropped to 50 by 50It can be hard to spot the villain in a Coen Brothers movie. The ill-fated scheme at the heart of their latest comedy is instigated by Linda, an endearingly goofy gym employee who longs to be able to afford cosmetic surgery.


Overworked Aussies' imperfect match

23 October 2008 | Tony Smith

The creed of Roy Slaven and H. G. Nelson is that too much sport is barely enough. While Ricky Ponting has denied talk of a falling out with his chief 'quick' Brett Lee, the plight of the Australian team in India proves there is such a thing as too much cricket. 


Bankers conspire to cover their assets

22 October 2008 | Les Coleman

Circumstantial evidence suggests that during the past few weeks we have seen a massive manipulation of monetary policy to support US bank stocks. The manipulation has been played out in plain view, which, of course, is the best place to hide a secret.


Something rotten in Islam

22 October 2008 | Irfan Yusuf Flickr image by Cishore When a Muslim woman was kidnapped by the Byzantine empire, the Caliph in Baghdad threatened to send a vast army to rescue her. Today, Muslim leaders do nothing to help women being mistreated and held in captivity in their own countries.


Bipartisan games

1 Comment
21 October 2008 | John Warhurst

Kevin Rudd has a patchy record of bipartisanship. Although Rudd and Turnbull together offer the best chance yet for the republican movement, they have traded blows over bipartisan approaches to this and to the the economic crisis.


Bad day pose

21 October 2008 | Isabella Fels I've let you down by not looking after you ... By pretending to be your closest intimate buddy ... But leaving you for dead ... Every time my other friend ... The fridge entices me with her sensuous delights...


Wall Street Blues

20 October 2008 | Jim McDermott Drift of autumn leaves alongside cracked sidewalkAs I walk the streets of Manhattan, things seem much the same as always. Yet newspapers are peppered with references to the market 'cratering', a term that conjures the desolate landscape of the moon. A friend suggested another interpretation: 'A crater is what's left after a massive explosion.'


ABC Radio National's bland vision

20 October 2008 | Michael Mullins ABC squiggleThe ABC is abandoning the Religion Report and other specialist programs as part of changes intended to make the most of new technology. Management must explain how dumbing down content will ensure Radio National's relevance in the future.


Inside the Brethren lobby horse

17 October 2008 | John Gunson Behind the Exclusive Brethren, by Michael Bachelard, cover image cropped to 50 by 50The Brethren cultivated a relationship with Howard that secured them generous access to him while he was prime minister. Rudd has made it clear he has no time for them, but they will no doubt re-emerge when the climate is more congenial.


Neither Scott nor Amrozi deserves death

17 October 2008 | Frank Brennan Bali Bombing memorial corss at the Australian Consulate in BaliWe should feel deep regret when the bullets pierce the hearts of the Bali Bombers. Neither just nor useful, the death penalty is immoral. Prime Minister Rudd is well positioned to contribute to its abolition.

Moral relativism's extreme close-up

16 October 2008 | Andrew Hamilton

Dissent over descent by Steve Fuller, cover image cropped to 50 by 50Two people embrace on a verandah. The camera pulls back to disclose a housing estate, with couples embracing on each verandah. Relativism works like the move from close-up to broad perspective in film, by seeming to deflate the significance of what we have just seen.


Wired, profound

16 October 2008 | Tim Kroenert Man on a WireIn 1974 French acrobat Philippe Petit balanced mortality and destiny on a wire between New York City's Twin Towers. This documentary imbues Petit's dizzying, existential quest with the dramatic tension of a bank heist.


State wards: parental guidance recommended

15 October 2008 | Philip Mendes

Homeless youthWhile most families continue to support their children when they turn 18, young people leaving state care are expected to transition to instant independence with scant ongoing support. Little wonder many face the transition with trepidation.


The battle for the economy class armrest

15 October 2008 | Brian Matthews Recent events both aeronautical and financial have been enough to scare anyone off banks and aeroplanes forever. Global economic chaos is nothing compared with the trauma of being stuck next to a large person on a plane.

Eight months on, still sorry

14 October 2008 | Deborah Ruiz Wall Deborah Ruiz Wall sorry poemand so it was, in Canberra .. alongside screens from across the globe .. where many eyes focused on this fateful day to witness .. a new national leader seize the first opportunity .. to begin his regime with one word


Uganda's aggressive peace

1 Comment
14 October 2008 | Ben Fraser

'Supernatural' rebel leader Alice Lakwena told her fighters that bullets would bounce off them and stones would become grenades when pitched at the enemy. For many Ugandans, religion was ballast against violence. For others it was an instrument of war.


The chuckling economist

13 October 2008 | Bronwyn Lay

On the day the markets bled we rushed to hear Stiglitz's diagnosis. The Nobel Laureate used to be Chief Economist of the World Bank, ending his term in fisty cuffs with the IMF and the US over their financial bullying of developing nations. Stiglitz had schadenfreude written all over his face.


Monastic gaze through money myopia

13 October 2008 | Andrew Hamilton

Placid SpearrittNews last week of the death of Dom Placid Spearritt, Abbot of New Norcia Abbey, was set among the daily chronicles of financial collapse around the world. That seemed paradoxical.