Author: Frank O'Shea

  • EDUCATION

    The English teacher's drink of choice

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 06 July 2017
    2 Comments

    Paddy was a mediocre teacher, even if that is the unreliable opinion of a colleague who has great sympathy for what must go on in an English class. He had a weakness not uncommon among the literati and which may well have been a reaction to the rigid pieties of his Tory background. In his case, the consumption of alcohol caused him to become tiresomely scrupulous, seeming to lose the capacity for dissimulation and verbal artifice that are necessary qualities for life in the modern world.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    What does $20 billion worth of subs look like anyway?

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 22 April 2016
    18 Comments

    What is the biggest number you can visualise? You can probably picture a crowd of 100,000, either because you were once part of such a crowd or have seen shots of a full MCG on Grand Final day. But what about ten times as many, or 1000 times ten times? Now we are talking billions, and your mind has likely gone into what computer programmers call overflow. So when we read that the cost of replacing our six subs with 12 new ones will be $20 billion, it means little to us: it's just a number.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Apology from a baby boomer to generations X and Y

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 04 March 2016
    2 Comments

    At present, there is an argument between the two sides of politics about negative gearing. According to one side, changing the rules would reduce the cost of housing - and this is their strongest argument against such a change. A member of Gen X or Gen Y - someone in their 20s or 30s, not long out of education and in a first or second job, saving in the hope of one day being able to afford a home of their own - might not read it the same way. No wonder they are looking for a Messiah.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Ian Paisley's no middle ground

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 22 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Somehow Paisley and McGuinness worked well together. The Chuckle Brothers they were called, an attempt to present them as two buffoons out of their depth. But for ordinary people, it was an endearing image, a tribute to a pair who had brought their respective sides with them in an unlikely peace. 

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Trials of a recalcitrant priest

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 19 March 2014
    18 Comments

    Irish priest Fr Tony Flannery wrote that he did not believe 'the priesthood, as we currently have it in the church, originated with Jesus'; that some time after Jesus 'a select and privileged group who had abrogated power and authority to themselves' claimed that priesthood had been instituted at the Last Supper. He was duly silenced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His supporters now hope that Pope Francis will reinstate him.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cold silent life of a football monk

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 12 February 2014
    5 Comments

    He worked as a shoemaker in a local shoe store, and all the girls in town were secretly in love with him. In a football-mad town, he played at centre half back on the local team and was in that position the year they were beaten in the championship final. After that game, he disappeared. Finally, the truth came out. He had gone into a Cistercian monastery in the foothills of the Knockmealdown mountains.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Music rising from the ashes of abuse

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 24 October 2012
    7 Comments

    In their stylish red and blue uniforms, they were a central part of big football games. They played before the game and at half time, led the teams in a formal march, 60 or more kids blowing brass and beating drums. The thousands in the stands were unaware of the harshness that these boys faced every day.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Hail to the climate geeks

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 22 August 2012
    27 Comments

    The word geek has changed from a term of derision to one of smiling respect and even a badge of honour. The members of the Climate Commission would no doubt be happy to be called geeks. Unfortunately there is far too little 'geek' representation in the halls of power.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The two St Patricks

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 14 March 2012
    6 Comments

    The theory that the person we know as St Patrick is an amalgam of a number of holy men is now respectably mainstream. The idea that Patrick came to pagan Ireland and changed it to an island of saints and scholars is an attractive one, however shaky that conversion has often seemed.

    READ MORE
  • EDUCATION

    The best teacher I ever knew

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 07 December 2011
    13 Comments

    Top classes or remedial ones, nerds or footballers, were all the same to Albert: he was first a teacher of boys and then a teacher of maths. One of Sydney's most prestigious schools offered him a position which he turned down due to a disability that would remain with him for the rest of his life.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Former terrorist pres a hard sell for Irish voters

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 20 September 2011
    5 Comments

    When it comes to leopards changing spots or terrorists turning into statesmen, former IRA chief-of-staff Martin McGuinnes is up there with Mandela and Mugabe. His entry into Ireland's presidential race on the weekend is significant, as the rest of the field is desolately dull.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Adventures of a vegie amateur

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 05 April 2011
    2 Comments

    My favourite things to grow are rhubarb and broad beans because you can see those over the weeds. I go out to the garden and spit on my hands. You never see people on television gardening programs spit on their hands, which is a dead giveaway that they are picked solely for their good looks.

    READ MORE

We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review