keywords: Greece

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens and Christmas as we grow older

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dickens was a prolific writer, and one of patchy quality: the threat of sentimentality was never far away, so that this brief work is not one of his best. But in this consumer age it is salutary to have his definition of the Christmas spirit, which is one 'of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance'.

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  • EDUCATION

    Teachers earn and deserve their holidays

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 10 December 2019
    9 Comments

    It's that time again, when exhausted teachers are wondering whether they'll make the distance and finish the school year with their sanity more or less intact. It's also the time when they have to endure snide remarks about 'a really cushy job' and 'all those holidays'. But it's not a cushy job. I know: my brother and I were third-generation teachers.

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  • RELIGION

    The light in John Henry Newman's darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 November 2019
    6 Comments

    Dad is out watering the garden, but all the front windows are open, so he can hear the piano and his wife and two daughters singing. He often hums along to our repertoire, which is a mixture of Anglo-Celtic songs, Australian numbers — and, memorably, 'Lead, Kindly Light', written by the recently canonised St John Henry Newman.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nazi fable's modern resonance

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 22 October 2019
    9 Comments

    A major part of Martin's so-called patriotism is anti-Semitism, and Martin soon uses the well-worn trope in which the prejudiced person makes an exception of an individual. After declaring that the Jewish race is 'a sore spot', Martin tells Max he has loved him not because of his race but in spite of it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Conscientious capitalists

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 24 September 2019
    6 Comments

    Raised by Politically Pink Parents, I was in my youth rather wary and suspicious of capitalism and capitalists. Eventually I realised that the only thing wrong with money is that not everyone has enough of it. We hear too much about arch-capitalists like the Trumps and the Koch brothers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Swearing? Won't have a bar of it

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 September 2019
    8 Comments

    Those were the days when children could expect to have their mouths washed out with soap and water if they uttered certain words. Fast forward quite a few years: once I got the hang of Greek swear words and realised my children were using them, I rejected the idea of soap and water, but began a system of fines.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Death and drones in the Mediterranean

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 23 August 2019
    4 Comments

    Opting for surveillance of migrants instead of rescue operations will result in death by drowning, or torture and possible deaths in Libya. For both scenarios, the EU has cultivated its own brand of impunity. Looking away has become politically acceptable, and the bloc can focus on funding the Libyan Coast Guard to do its dirty work.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    'Career' Brexiteers fail the Edmund Burke test

    • Max Atkinson
    • 02 August 2019
    17 Comments

    Now that the UK is in the final phase of leaving the Union we should ask, before the bell tolls, how much this misadventure — or folie de grandeur — was due to politicians putting their interests above those of the nation, ignoring democratic theory and long-settled constitutional practice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The saga of zany Granny's memory box

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 July 2019
    6 Comments

    While this saga was going on, I read an alarming piece about the transient nature of the digital world. Mobile phones get stolen and photos not backed up are irrevocably lost; flash drives and their capacities do not last forever. 'Print out' was the author's advice. Who would have thought?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fool Britannia: On bad mannered Brexiteers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 July 2019
    31 Comments

    As a celebratory anthem, Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy', was played, the Brexit MEPs, all 29 of them, turned their backs, thus insulting the Parliament, the young and talented musicians, and Beethoven himself. They clearly did not realise they were demeaning themselves by acting in this fashion.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A close encounter with our ill health system

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 03 July 2019
    10 Comments

    When I found myself facing the prospect of thyroid surgery, I had two options: either I could get it done for free through Medicare or privately at a cost of $11,000. I've been reflecting again on that choice in light of the recent criticism of 'celebrity' brain surgeon Charlie Teo. Australia's healthcare system is not as egalitarian as we think it is.

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  • RELIGION

    Reflections of a church tourist

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 05 June 2019
    16 Comments

    Architecture is not my strong suit, but I admire the beauty of walls and ceilings, the decorations, and the idiosyncrasies such as little sculptures invisible to congregations and visitors, but made in faith that God could see them. The history, the thought of generations of worshippers, the numerous associations: these are other things that fascinate.

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