Vol 19 No 4

02 March 2009


ARTS AND CULTURE

Adelaide's 'pivotal' bishop

5 Comments
13 March 2009 | Greg O'Kelly Josephine Laffin: Matthew Beovich — A BiographyThe decades spanning the 1920s–1970s were times of intense change for Australia and the Church. Post war immigration, the Labor split, the Vietnam War and Vatican II all occurred during 'Matty' Beovich's time as Archbishop of Adelaide.


AUSTRALIA

How G-G weakened monarchists' case

9 Comments
13 March 2009 | John Warhurst

Quentin BryceGovernors-General are appointed under a system that freezes out the Parliament, the Opposition and the people. The controversy over Quentin Bryce's trip to Africa has again revealed the office's vulnerability to partisan politics.


ARTS AND CULTURE

The trouble with free speech

2 Comments
12 March 2009 | Tim Kroenert It's Hard Being Loved By JerksA French satirical paper was sued for portraying Muslims as terrorists and labelling them 'jerks'. The editors would have us believe it's a case of free speech versus censorship. But there's more to it than that.


RELIGION

Non-believer drawn by the sacred

3 Comments
12 March 2009 | James McEvoy Seamus Heaney, Stepping StonesIrish poet Seamus Heaney's spiritual journey could be seen as a casualty of the so-called secularising effect of the '60s and '70s. Heaney describes a shift from faith as external and ritualistic, to something more personal.


ARTS AND CULTURE

How to survive committee meetings

2 Comments
11 March 2009 | Brian Matthews Flickr image by by laverrueSome rules of thumb: always say 'prior to' instead of 'before', 'in excess of' instead of 'more than' and 'in the approximate vicinity of' instead of 'about'. It's good to say things like, 'We'll have to real-time this to impact on the offshore numbers'.


AUSTRALIA

ICC's dubious Darfur justice

2 Comments
11 March 2009 | Kimberley Layton Omar al-BashirPresident Omar al-Bashir stands accused of two counts of war crimes and five of crimes against humanity. But prosecuting him will not deliver justice to the people of Darfur. What seems like the beginning of the end of the tragedy may be the end of the beginning.


ARTS AND CULTURE

God of the empty image

4 Comments
10 March 2009 | Peter Lach-Newinsky Belief in Non-GodTo attain God everything must go: will, self, knowledge, word, God Himself ... Their faith is words. Mine unspeakable.


AUSTRALIA

What price our sporting soul

7 Comments
10 March 2009 | Edwina Byrne ACER ArenaMembers Equity Stadium, ACER Arena, Suncorp Stadium, Etihad Stadium; corporations think they own a lot of our stuff. These buildings, and the events they house, constitute our cultural and urban landscapes. They should be sources of community pride.


ARTS AND CULTURE

East Timor's digger friend

9 Comments
09 March 2009 | Paul Cleary

Paddy Kenneally, photo by Jon LewisWhen East Timor was struggling to get a fair deal in negotiations over Timor Sea oil, Kenneally rallied his mates to fight. Appearing on national television, he told Prime Minister Howard: 'I'd rather you did not come to my ANZAC Day parade.'


AUSTRALIA

Gain from pain

09 March 2009 | Michael Mullins John BrumbyThe Victorian bushfires occurred during a time of financial uncertainty, but Australians gave their money generously. It was as if they were consciously and calculatingly investing their funds in the solidarity of the community.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Why humans rule the world

06 March 2009 | Jen Vuk The Well-Dressed Ape, by Hannah HolmesScience journalist Hannah Holmes turns a cool, scientific eye back on us, reminding us of our mammalian origins and bringing us down to size. 'Knobby', pink-skinned and ludicrously top heavy, our peculiarity is also the key to our success.


MEDIA

Religion lives on in the ABC's shallow pool

11 Comments
06 March 2009 | Peter Kirkwood CompassThis week Compass celebrates its 21st birthday. In the fickle, faddish world of television that's quite an achievement. It's ironic that serious coverage of religion is being celebrated on ABC TV, while being purged from radio.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Loving George W. Bush

4 Comments
05 March 2009 | Tim Kroenert Josh Brolin in Oliver Stone's WThose who expect a portrait of a monster will be disappointed. Stone's Bush is not exactly sympathetic. But he is human. He is even likeable.


RELIGION

How to 'green' your church

9 Comments
05 March 2009 | Steven Douglas Catholic and Anglican Churches are relatively recent converts to religious environmentalism. The rhetoric of the Catholic Church on Creation-care remains largely an optional extra for its organisations; economic and institutional gains take precedence.


ARTS AND CULTURE

The human face of a 'metaphorical' poet

6 Comments
04 March 2009 | Garry Kinnane

In 1972 Auden abandoned New York to live at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was given a cottage in the grounds, and was expected to give occasional talks and be available to students. It turned out not to be the success everyone had hoped for.


INTERNATIONAL

The logic of the Bali death machine

3 Comments
04 March 2009 | Peter Hodge

Scott RushIn Kafka's 'The Penal Colony', a brutal, archaic killing device is valued more highly than the law it enforces. As members of the Bali 9 continue to languish, we ask whether 'because the law says so' is sufficient reason for them to die.


EDUCATION

How to teach 'vampire' students

10 Comments
03 March 2009 | Eleanor Massey Robert Pattinson, TwilightThe student teacher is doing his best, trying to teach abstract ideas in a difficult play about a postmodern world. A girl in the front row is discussing her new 'vampire' boyfriend. 'He's in 12B,' she says. 'I can't take my eyes off him.'


ARTS AND CULTURE

Miscellaneous notes on Rwanda

03 March 2009 | Shu Cai Drunk BreezePoor Armadu .. His sixth son is crying .. his wife is pregnant with his seventh .. Armadu's belly must be full of a poor man's joy.


AUSTRALIA

Burger buggers' price hike spin

3 Comments
02 March 2009 | Michael Mullins McDonald's - I'm lovin' itMcDonald's is increasing prices for those in lower socio-economic areas, and claiming the moral high ground at the same time. But it's rising star food chain Aldi that is showing the way with its uniform pricing policy.


ARTS AND CULTURE

Art and the Piss Christ umbrella

8 Comments
02 March 2009 | Jessica Frawley Edgar Degas, Edgar Frau bei der ToilettePaintings that once would have once sparked controversy now adorn biscuit tins, umbrellas, notebooks and a range of other merchandise. We have killed the controversy and challenges faced in the past by branding it to death.