keywords: The Dirty Word

  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't move to New Zealand, stay and fight

    • Brenna Dempsey
    • 20 May 2019
    34 Comments

    My social media feeds were awash with posts from my friends — many of whom are queer, disabled or on low incomes — worrying about their futures and the future of our earth. I saw countless posts with people saying 'That's it, I'm moving to NZ'. I completely understand the desire people had to give up — I felt it too.

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  • RELIGION

    On love, money and Valentine's Day

    • Barry Gittins
    • 13 February 2019
    6 Comments

    Valentine's Day is built on some fairly shaky historical ground. Rather than honouring a prelate offering bridal trysts, or hoping for a good harvest, I'm inclined to spare a thought for the Greek philosophers and poets who set up shop well before Romulus and Remus; I like to muse over their various efforts to pin down love.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Remembrance Day, 2016

    • Barnaby Smith and Earl Livings
    • 03 November 2017
    3 Comments

    Think also of you, my father, tending to aircraft engines, or helping out on black-market runs in small cargo planes ... No action as such, though early in the war you crossed submarine-haunted seas on a troop ship, and patrolled a jungle aerodrome ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our mothers called us little fish

    • Chelsea Candy
    • 02 November 2017
    2 Comments

    You'd swear a dinghy was alive. Sometimes she was sluggish and moody, refusing to set, dragging me along a grey sea. Or she hurtled like a stallion, not caring if we won or if we went over, me hanging off the side by my ankle straps, not knowing where we would end.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Romantic view of 'darkling' modern world

    • Brian Matthews
    • 07 September 2017
    2 Comments

    Born a few months after Shelley drowned and desperate to understand the living Nature the Romantics had known, Matthew Arnold too found the natural world had gone silent. Where Wordsworth had heard 'strange utterance [in] the loud dry wind' and 'the sky seemed not a sky / Of earth - and with what motion moved the clouds', Arnold sadly concluded that 'the world, which seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new, hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light ...'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My hospital visit

    • Isabella Fels
    • 26 June 2017
    4 Comments

    Lying here in this hole, I try to feel whole, trying to do as I am told, making a few bold moves, as I swing out of bed, and hang onto my mobility devices - which I am getting the hang of, almost like learning how to drive a car - and showing lots of drive. In bed, not even well read, just eating bread, staring right ahead. As you help me pack up my things I no longer feel stuck in the same place, falling steadily in many different ways, no longer feeling the sun's rays ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The story of the dog who wouldn't be ours

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 June 2017
    11 Comments

    It was humiliating, being refused adoption at an animal shelter. But it was worse knowing, in the ensuing months, that there was a little dog out there, and lots more besides him, who was being withheld from a genuinely loving family simply because they had failed to meet unreasonable demands. We tried to find a suitable dog at other shelters, but the pickings were slim. And so we did the very thing the shelter that had refused our application railed against: we bought a puppy from a pet shop.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Unis share blame for profit motive funding model

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 03 May 2017
    14 Comments

    For various reasons, 'free' education in Australia has been qualified by HECS, which actually serves to wedge the liquid incentive of government and educational institutions on the one hand with the need for students to obtain affordable education on the other. Even that balance is now under threat, with a pre-budget announcement suggesting cuts to university funding and increasing costs to student degrees are in the offing. Universities are far from blameless in the present distorted funding model.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Citizenship changes make a new enemy of the migrant

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 24 April 2017
    16 Comments

    Australia has long had a successful migration program, and the country's economic success is proof of this. So when Turnbull calls a press conference to impart the news that 'membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be afforded to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia', he is making a redundant point. The vast majority of migrants and new citizens already do this.

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  • RELIGION

    The risk and future visioning of sustainable Catholic services

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 March 2017
    1 Comment

    'We need to be more focused on grace, Christ and God's word, rather than just on law, the Church and papal utterances. But today, I will draw more on law, the Church and the Pope to point us towards those more fruitful domains: grace, Christ and God's word. Our future visioning needs to focus more on the gospel imperatives including the option for the poor and the dignity of all persons, including those who are non-believers.' Address to Catholic Health Australia's Catholic Governance Symposium, 27 March 2017

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Turnbull's coal pitch is a Trojan Horse for gas

    • Greg Foyster
    • 23 February 2017
    10 Comments

    Australia's most politically contentious rock is back in the limelight after Prime Minister Turnbull spruiked 'clean coal' power stations in early February, and Scott Morrison brought a lump of the stuff to parliament. It was a juvenile act, but an effective one: here we are again, still talking about coal weeks later, when the real energy policy battle is over gas. But that's how it goes - a pitch for a new coal-fired power station in Australia is actually a clever exercise in repositioning gas as a greener fuel.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Faith and humanism behind Tim Winton's curtain

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 October 2016
    1 Comment

    'When I was a kid I liked to stand at the window with a rifle and aim it at people.' So begins the opening, titular essay. It is a singularly arresting entre to an essay that charts the author's complex relationship with firearms (part awe, part terror), by way of commenting on the place of guns in Australian society. In this collection of essays Winton adopts this mode frequently, weaving (sometimes deeply) personal narratives into stirring, thoughtful commentary on a broad range of social and political issues.

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