Vol 28 No 21

21 October 2018


 

  • EDUCATION

    Research funding regime gets personal

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2018
    2 Comments

    Birmingham's intervention, and Tehan's consolidation of that ill-exercised discretion, suggests Australian Research Council funding will be politicised by executive veto. Expertise will be subordinated to the whimsy of the education minister of the day; researchers will be pondering how to shape their applications accordingly.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In defense of Halloween

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 31 October 2018
    12 Comments

    As a kind of culture-blending holiday, there's room for many types of Halloween. The fact it has endured for so long and in so many forms is testament to how much we desire connection: to our past, to the dead, to one another. I don't think that's such a bad thing to celebrate.

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  • RELIGION

    Christianity tells stories; Islam finds designs

    • Michael McGirr
    • 31 October 2018
    20 Comments

    My year ten class studies Islam, one of the most formative influences in the world that my students will inhabit and hopefully improve. I have a profound respect for Islam. Westerners often fail to acknowledge the debt they owe to Islam, a tradition that had a huge role in bringing Europe through the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Stories that can save your life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 October 2018
    5 Comments

    McGirr's reflection on the callowness of racist attitudes in Australia is deepened by Conrad's novel, which describes a white man's journey into the centre of black Africa to search for an acquaintance. But it also explores the river of exploitation that connects the Nile to the Thames, and situates the heart of darkness in Europe.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Brazil's long night of the soul

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 30 October 2018
    8 Comments

    Bolsonaro's election is the product of Brazil's disenchantment with democracy and hatred against a political system corrupted to its core. It is corruption — a malaise that infiltrates just about every slice of Brazilian society — that has pushed the country to what Vladimir Safatle, a Brazilian philosopher, has described as 'night without end'.

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  • CARTOON

    The last resort

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 30 October 2018
    2 Comments

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pittsburgh's hymn of hate

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 October 2018
    6 Comments

    Analysts have commented often and at length on the divisive nature of politics in today's USA, citing Trump's inflammatory language and anti-immigration policies. One commentator went so far to say Trump did not 'pull the trigger on Jews in Pittsburgh, but he certainly prepped the shooter'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nunc dimittis

    • Anne Elvey
    • 29 October 2018
    2 Comments

    Cast the wonder of who we are — an old man, a child, their story — as if held over a font. The aged words pour like fortune over the child's head precipitating ends. A choir sings and southern crux moves across a sky above suburban light displays and lorikeets that thrive in yards.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A bill of rights for the age of technology

    • Kate Galloway
    • 29 October 2018
    2 Comments

    A robust human rights framework would hold government to account in its own deployment of technology such as 'robodebt'. It would also provide protections against the government's increasing attempts to control data through legislation — where data is collected and deployed using diverse technologies.    

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  • EDUCATION

    Three ways to fix our schooling

    • Pauline Griffiths
    • 26 October 2018
    10 Comments

    Are we clever enough in Australia to reduce the inequity in our schooling in order to help our moderate voters develop a strong narrative of sensible sharing to shape our future? Or, will the inequities in our schools contribute to ever-deepening divisions?

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate change is here, now we need to adapt

    • Cristy Clark
    • 26 October 2018
    7 Comments

    We are already suffering from the effects of global warming and the intensification of extreme weather events, and things are going to get worse. The question now is what we do to both limit the damage and adapt to the inevitable. Fortunately many of the actions that we must take will actually make our lives better.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The worst may already have happened

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 October 2018
    6 Comments

    Under such conditions, it is hard to get people to concede that what they believe might be incomplete. No one wants to give anything up. This is an attempt to get people to give something up. Here is how to do it: ask what is the worst that can happen. Then accept that it may have already happened. But not to you.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump, turtles and the new nuclear threat

    • Justin Glyn
    • 24 October 2018
    5 Comments

    While nuclear weapon stockpiles have reduced massively since the 1980s, the major arms controls treaties have been gradually eroded. At the same time, and even more dangerously, the world has seen a repudiation of the diplomacy which limited the numbers of nuclear weapons and which has prevented their accidental use.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Royal visit's model for Aboriginal sovereignty

    • Dani Larkin
    • 24 October 2018
    4 Comments

    The system that keeps Aboriginal cultural autonomy oppressed calls itself representative democracy, yet our voices remain unheard. Seeing the royal couple prioritise our own land conservation more than the Australian government does is the ultimate example of how disrespected and politically powerless we are.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humanity on show in Wentworth aftermath

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 October 2018
    7 Comments

    If that is the world of politics then the cooperative energy and the graciousness seen in the Phelps cavalcade and the Liberal candidate are superfluous to requirements. As with refugees despatched to detention, the light and intelligence newly elected MPs bring to Australia will quickly fade from their eyes.

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  • RELIGION

    A new story for child abuse survivors

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 23 October 2018
    17 Comments

    Survivors and their families have been at the centre of this story, and now it's theirs to carry. For years, the people who maintained they were victims of abuse were told that they were trapped in a story about something that had happened to them when they were children. But that wasn't the story they were in at all.

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  • CARTOON

    Sorry not sorry

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 23 October 2018

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    A crash course in climate literacy

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 October 2018
    2 Comments

    Drought creeps, infiltrates, sometimes seems little changed day after day, then tightens its grip on this or that paddock, unveils the slowly splitting bottom of a never-before-empty dam ... Even still, according to many of the experienced, crisis-hardened men and women on the land to whom I've spoken, this drought is different.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Resignation syndrome

    • Colleen Keating
    • 22 October 2018
    4 Comments

    The concurrent symptoms for this poem: vague staring into mid air; take to their bed; not eating or drinking regularly; not toileting; not responding. Imagine a child without light in their eyes. It is not a flash back. It is now. It is the Australian people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Harry and Meghan's Circus Oz

    • Megan Graham
    • 22 October 2018
    28 Comments

    I must admit, the royal family and all news related to them goes straight to the 'irrelevant' folder in my brain. A friend's Facebook post last week sums up my feelings about it. It was about people saying to her 'The royals are doing a wonderful job' and her rather perfect response: 'At what?!'

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  • RELIGION

    Compassion and justice after abuse apology

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 October 2018
    24 Comments

    May the Lord have mercy on us all. May the day come when church officials and victims will be comfortable in each other's presence in our Parliament even if not in our Church. But let's dare to pray that all might belong both in the galleries of our Parliament and in the pews of our Church seeing the light in fullness of days.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Fronts of distortion in the Khashoggi affair

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 19 October 2018
    4 Comments

    Trump finds facts distasteful and prefers to avoid engaging them; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia finds them in need of censorship, possibly of the most extreme type; and Turkey, with one of the world's most sullied records in treating journalists, retains a reserve discordant with its own findings.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Waking up to homelessness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 19 October 2018
    11 Comments

    In London of the 1990s, I observed people sleeping under bridges, on doorsteps, in cardboard boxes. How they survived the winters, I never knew, and I suppose many didn't. Since the beginning of Greece's financial crisis in 2008 and the influx of refugees from the Middle East, similar scenes can now be seen in Athens.

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