keywords: The Joker

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bread and circuses in modern Australia and America

    • Julie Davies
    • 24 January 2017
    11 Comments

    I can understand the Trump phenomenon. Hard-working Americans and many Australians are blaming various minorities as responsible for their decline. They are being blinded to the real culprits: our own governments and their wealthy backers. Juvenal's 'bread and circuses', designed to keep the people docile and distracted in Ancient Rome, have been updated to Maccas and manufactured news. And hatred. Are we so easily manipulated? Is the American model the future Australia wants for itself?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Umpire, a local buffoon

    • Ian C. Smith
    • 10 May 2016

    An honest tackle trucks two junior footballers tangled across the boundary line of the arena before the barrier between hoi polloi and gladiators, the tackler fouled again, the ball out of play, an elbow stab to the ribs, a knee seeking a crotch in this small town that yearns to be a contender, the fair team fitter, faster, braver, ahead.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Easter's April Fools

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 April 2015
    8 Comments

    Jokes are also part of the story of Jesus’ killing. They are not harmless, but are bitter mockery. After Jesus is sentenced he is mocked by the bored soldiers guarding him. As he hangs writhing on the cross, the bystanders and the local authorities also mock him because he claimed to be the Son of God. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bikie laws sicken civil liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 October 2013
    18 Comments

    Political commentator Malcolm Farr, a bike enthusiast, noted that many bikies are indeed 'frauds', 'thugs' and 'grubs'. The medicine on offer in Queensland and other states, however, is bound to kill that frail patient known as civil liberties. What is being touted is a police state response, rather than a measured, legal program. And broad brush strokes in legal responses tend to be disastrous.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Exasperated American's note to crazypants Republicans

    • Jim McDermott
    • 04 October 2013
    13 Comments

    That's right — the House Republicans shut down the government because they oppose universal health care. Which for the rest of the world is like crazy talk gibberspeak. Opposing people's right to have health coverage is like opposing Disneyland — in fact it's even weirder, because you can at least imagine someone saying 'I just don't like giant smiling mice'. Who in their right mind would say 'I just don't want people to have health care'?

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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

    Roman Polanski and the chain of abuse

    • Lyn Bender
    • 12 March 2013
    15 Comments

    In 2009 I wrote an article examining the suffering of Polanski, the acclaimed filmmaker who was wanted on a rape charge he'd pled guilty to 30 years ago. I soon discovered how cruel an online lynch mob can be. Some commentators wished rape upon me, so that I might know how bad it was. The truth is I was already 'in the club'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blaming Batman for gun violence

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 July 2012
    12 Comments

    As far as US politicians are concerned, blaming Batman for the massacre at Aurora is as good as hiding their heads in the sand. The larger issue is not violent entertainment, but gun control. Ironically, the Batman films take a decidedly thoughtful approach to violence in general, and gun violence in particular.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian larrikinism is a royal myth

    • Ellena Savage
    • 28 October 2011
    22 Comments

    The fact the Queen is a very nice lady doesn't negate her inherited privilege, her arbitrary powers, and the fact her reign isolates many Australians. There is a myth that Australia is a larrikin nation. But we are a nation not of provocateurs, but of conformists.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Brother of a suicide and war dead

    • Ian C. Smith
    • 12 July 2011
    1 Comment

    His mother quoted Shakespeare, preferred her husband to their children, placing her faith in him, gin, and ghosts ... When she turned up breast cancer's card she hugged her suffering to herself.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we swear

    • Philip Harvey
    • 06 June 2011
    6 Comments

    Fining people for swearing is silly. We can no more control what people say than we can hold the wind, or even a very large fart. Victoria's swear-fine laws are likely to be used either as threat or reality on those who can least afford the fine and cannot fight back.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Getting smart, not tough, on bikies

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 May 2009
    4 Comments

    No 'group' can be assumed to be full of criminals. Men form friendships out of common, innocuous interests. Laws introduced in NSW interfere with civil liberties and are likely to be ineffective at addressing organised crime.

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