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  • AUSTRALIA

    My accidental apathy

    • Megan Graham
    • 16 October 2013
    10 Comments

    Christian activist and author Shane Claiborne wrote that the real tragedy of poverty is not that we do not care about the poor, but that we do not know the poor. As my memories of particular brushes with people living in poverty fade, feelings of empathy begin to lose their potency; a natural attrition when their reality, so distant from my own, is so lost among the 'First World Problems' of my inner city life.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Slow down, you're just in time

    • Megan Graham
    • 11 September 2013
    6 Comments

    At a certain point, emotional and mental overstimulation leads to a sort of emotional numbness, as the brain and central nervous system can only respond to so much. With enough dopamine hits from 'likes' on Facebook, and adrenalin spikes from sensationalised news stories, one's emotions can become blunted. That is, with the notable exception of general irritability borne of expecting one's real life to be as fast-paced as one's online one.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election day reflections on religion in the public square

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 September 2013
    12 Comments

    How clever of you to choose the day of the federal election for me to offer these reflections.  I come amongst you, not as a publisher or journalist but as an advocate in the public square animated by my own religious tradition as a Jesuit and Catholic priest engaged on human rights issues in a robustly pluralistic democratic society.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human faces of Monet's demons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 09 August 2013
    7 Comments

    Monet, in a period of deep grief and loss, made what was in his career a rare decision: to paint other people. The artist forgot himself in contemplating the faces of his wife and his son, in depicting the faces of death and of incomprehension. We need icons like this — icons of incomprehension, reminders of the fragile self that, behind its virtual armour, is beset by doubt and demons.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Husic feels the chill of Australia's racist winter

    • Ellena Savage
    • 05 July 2013
    11 Comments

    The media response to the racial abuse Ed Husic suffered after the Qur'an affair in Parliament was as troubling as the abuse itself. Labor MP Stephen Jones called Husic an immigration success story. I wonder what an immigration disaster story would look like. Perhaps the British-descendent bullies who spat on a 14-year-old, headscarved girl in 2004.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Catholic Church's toll on Aboriginal Australia

    • Mike Bowden
    • 25 June 2013
    32 Comments

    Present members of missionary orders, when writing up the story of their predecessors, tend to present these pioneer missionaries as enlightened men and women suffering hardship to spread the gospel. The destructive effect of the approaches taken by some missionaries does not negate the good work of many others. But it is part of the story and should be told.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Liking Kevin

    • Michael Mullins
    • 24 June 2013
    21 Comments

    Rudd's rise from backbencher to Labor leader in the five years to 2006 was facilitated by his weekly presence on Channel 7's Sunrise. Here he created a persona seen as ordinary, trustworthy and familiar to the point of intimacy. Things went wrong when he was unable to work with colleagues to get things done for Australians who saw him as their mate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The rise of global surveillance anxiety

    • Ray Cassin
    • 21 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Unease about the Australian Federal Police obtaining phone and internet records without a warrant coincided with a greater, global anxiety about the more troublesome surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency. The Obama administration's defence of the NSA has been as lame as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus's defence of the AFP.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sex is to pregnancy what racism is to genocide

    • Ellena Savage
    • 07 June 2013
    10 Comments

    This past fortnight, race has been high on the agenda. Can a 13-year-old be racist? Is what Eddie McGuire said racist? Meanwhile, revelations that police officers in one Melbourne suburb had printed and distributed 50 racist stubby holders hinted at a frightening culture of racialised violence. The reality is that racial violence is inextricable from racist language.

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  • MEDIA

    Catholic communicators navigating new media

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 07 May 2013
    1 Comment

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex separated from religious song

    • Various
    • 07 May 2013

    They're hooked, no longer hear the church's gong, the stories or the insights that beget it, Real need for intimacy drives them on, a bare heartbeat from chaste religious song.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Frantic chat on the world wide spider web

    • Various
    • 30 April 2013
    3 Comments

    And in the raucosity of blogs, the avidity of trolls, the ubiquity of porn, the vidvidvidity of tubes, the facebookery of profiles, the aviary of twittervation — can the mind still find that space to stretch itself?

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