Search Results: literature

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Minister Morrison is giving up for Lent

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 March 2014
    19 Comments

    When I was young, I remember being encouraged to give up lollies or chocolate for Lent. On the eve of the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday last week, the Immigration Minister announced he would be effectively giving up granting protection visas for refugees for the duration of Lent, and beyond, until 1 July.

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  • RELIGION

    Thinking Christians spurn hammy creationism

    • Chris Middleton
    • 17 February 2014
    33 Comments

    Australian-born creationist Ken Ham argues that every human is descended from Adam and Eve, that God created man and all land animals on the same day 6000 years ago, and that there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. The relationship between faith and reason goes to the credibility of being a Christian in the modern world. A minority view within Christianity should not be allowed to frame a false dichotomy between religion and science.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The empathy revolution

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 February 2014
    3 Comments

    While realpolitik can drive us beyond a healthy scepticism to cynicism and indifference, British cultural thinker Roman Krzaric contends that when we look beyond the real — through imagination, creativity, vulnerability and networking — we can bring about the ideal of 'empathy on a mass scale to create social change' and even go about 'extending our empathy skills to embrace the natural world'. Without dreamers like Krzaric, we're stuffed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clean, bright, efficient death

    • Kristin Hannaford
    • 10 February 2014
    1 Comment

    The abattoir to the left funnels steam into the night, a long slow drag exhaled by a thousand beasts, also travelling tonight. Poor cattle, horses, and pigs. Some days, the air is so bloodthick it hinges at the back of the throat, a glottal of rusty muck. Not tonight though. The air is winter clear, glassy.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Deciphering capitalism's corrupt metaphors

    • David James
    • 06 February 2014
    15 Comments

    'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'. This was George Orwell's parody in Animal Farm of the vicious use of language in communist states. It was one of his memorable depictions of how the absurdities of language not only reflect evil, but also predicate it. Language was a tool of oppression in communist states. In capitalism it is no less vicious.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Passion has a place in border protection's age of reason

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 06 February 2014
    24 Comments

    In the Australian migration debate, 'passion' is construed as opposed to 'reason'. But the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said that 'passion' in its classical (ancient or biblical) sense, is not opposed to reason (being attuned to the world), but rather to 'peace' or 'harmony'. Therefore 'passionate' language — alongside practical proposals — can unsettle uncritical pictures of the issue.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's booze culture on trial

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 February 2014
    10 Comments

    Alcohol has a privileged place in polite society. All mood changing substances rely on a myth of a better life and relationships, but the alcohol myth is distinctive because it is rooted in high as well as in popular culture. Attempts to regulate its consumption and limit the damage it does will therefore always be unlikely to succeed.

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  • MEDIA

    Journalistic ethics in transgender tragedy

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 January 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week a troubling story broke on sports journalism site Grantland. While investigating the background of Dr V., an avowed physicist who had invented a revolutionary golf putter, journalist Caleb Hannan discovered that Dr V. was a trans-woman. In the course of the investigation, Dr V. committed suicide. This tragic case raises questions about journalistic ethics, not least of which is if journalism is, by its very nature, unethical.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2013: Politicising the bimbo

    • Ellena Savage
    • 12 January 2014
    2 Comments

    The pleasure of not affecting one's native mode of speech to appease a kind of person who means to privilege the privileged, is unparalleled. Try speaking in a playful way to someone who's scared of bimbos, and then watch their brains literally explode. When a listener struggles to understand that when I say I 'literally died', and yet clearly am still alive, that I am using language in a playful and even ironic way, it's not really their fault. 

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  • MEDIA

    Facebook personality disorder

    • Ellena Savage
    • 19 December 2013
    8 Comments

    Social media requires us to produce 'profiles' of ourselves that represent our cultural aspirations; not only who we are, but who we imagine we would like to be. This is often liberating and creative. But the digital sphere is not as innocent as mere self-expression. The more we believe that we are inherently self-made, essential beings, our capacity to recognise the cultural and economic forces greater than us suffers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Christmas puns, fun intended

    • Barry Breen
    • 17 December 2013
    11 Comments

    Santa walks into a bar and the barman says: Sorry, we're claused. If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, then punning must have a reputation almost as undesirable. A joke that can be greeted only with a groan can hardly be a real joke now, can it? But punning has a rich history. It graces the pages of the greatest of writers. And when it comes to puns, subeditors responsible for article headings believe themselves to be a race apart.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Corroboree in the sky

    • Michael Sharkey
    • 16 December 2013
    2 Comments

    The bird that has no feathers mocks my language. Runs and flaps its wings at me but cannot fly. Throws land-things at me. We laugh like water, make corroboree in sky.

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