Vol 31 No 21

24 October 2021


 

  • INTERNATIONAL

    TikTok Tourettes: The rise of social media-induced illness

    • Jarryd Bartle
    • 04 November 2021
    2 Comments

    For the past two years, there has been a dramatic uptick in young people (almost exclusively females) presenting with tic-like behaviours indicative of Tourette Syndrome to specialist clinics in Canada, the United States, the UK, Germany and Australia. The phenomena of tic-like behaviours developed rapidly over a course of hours or days, coined ‘rapid onset tic-like behaviours’ in one paper, appears to be a form of functional neurological disorder with an unusual cause: social media.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Your poetry questions, answered

    • Philip Harvey
    • 04 November 2021
    8 Comments

      Although I teach poetry and do occasional workshops, the following is written in response to one such workshopper, new to writing poetry, who in lockdown would message me on social media with fairly open-ended questions about poetry. My answers are written after the wry manner of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska; wry, but generally helpful. They are not the launch pad for a new poetics. I have stopped for now at 12 questions, but the questions keep rolling in.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When love raises its head on the shop floor

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 November 2021
    6 Comments

    In large organisations love hardly rates a mention. Mission statements highlight care, duty, responsibility and friendliness, but not love. Love is generally seen as an interrupter, combustible, something to fence in with protocols and professional standards, and for HR to monitor. When Pope Benedict XVI devoted an Encyclical to the place of love in public relationships, people were surprised. His argument is worth revisiting.

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  • CARTOON

    The political science is in

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 03 November 2021

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Public faith and Perrottet

    • Julian Butler
    • 01 November 2021
    15 Comments

    The elevation of Dominic Perrottet to the Premiership of New South Wales caused a flurry of commentary about his religious faith. In many parts of the media his politics and personality were framed by his Catholicism. I watched on with a degree of discomfort, and with a sense of possibility. Could some of the bigoted characterisations invite a richer conversation about the ideals and deeper narratives that enliven our public leaders?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    26 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The promise of alchemy

    • David Rowland
    • 01 November 2021
    8 Comments

    Ben Jonson is one of the great English Renaissance playwrights but he can also be challenging for the modern reader. When I first came to Jonson some years ago, I attempted a comedy from 1610, The Alchemist. I soon felt out of my depth. Conceding defeat, I put the book aside and told myself that there would be some ‘other time’. This year in Melbourne, with the theatres closed, the streets largely deserted, and travel restrictions firmly in place, that ‘other time’ arrived.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disciplining delinquent words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 October 2021
    2 Comments

    Sins have often been divided into those of thought, word and deed, with deed regarded as the worst. Today we pay more attention to sinful words, realising the harm that they can do. Bad words can bring social exclusion. Yet complex questions surrounding the use of words remain. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    From persecution to protection and the purgatory in between

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 October 2021
    5 Comments

    Mark Twain is reported to have said ‘history does not repeat, it rhymes.’ Watching a US helicopter evacuating people from the US Embassy in Kabul, that was rhyming. Many have seen this picture before, 30 April 1975, but then it was Saigon. The massive confusion, mixed messages, terrified people, lack of human rights protection happened in 1975, and still happens in 2021.

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  • RELIGION

    Evaluating plenary: One journey ends, another begins

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 October 2021
    11 Comments

    Ten days after the conclusion of the first Assembly of the Plenary Council each member was sent an Evaluation Form to complete. As well as reflecting on our experience we were asked to consider how we would complete the phrase ‘It would have been good if…’. The authorities told us that our responses would help to plan the second Assembly. 

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Scott Morrison’s climate PFFT

    • Greg Foyster
    • 27 October 2021
    6 Comments

    After an excruciating few weeks of negotiations with the Nationals — and far too many hours subjected to Barnaby Joyce’s ramblings — the Morrison government has finally announced their predictably underwhelming plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Has the pandemic changed the way we work for good?

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 26 October 2021
    1 Comment

    We are in the midst of what is being called the ‘the Great Resignation’, with millions of workers rethinking the place of work in their lives, and WFH is a huge part of this. According to a report by Microsoft, ‘over 40 per cent of the global workforce [is] considering leaving their employer this year’ and hybrid work — a combination of home and office work — is here to stay.

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  • CARTOON

    When the heat is on...

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 26 October 2021

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Poor-blaming lets governments off the hook

    • Claire Victory
    • 26 October 2021
    7 Comments

    We don’t need further commentary that gives people who are well off yet another excuse to demonise people living in poverty and to blame them for their circumstances. It lets governments off the hook – governments which should be addressing the structural causes of poverty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Climactic events in Royal Park

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 October 2021
    2 Comments

    These weekday mornings all is quiet. / I stroll across the highway, / a piddle of cars in the outbound lane, / a puddle at the distant lights. / Along the parkland trail / cowled figures walk alone, / measuring their distance. / From the rise above the railway cutting / Macedon stands burly in the smoke-free air.

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  • RELIGION

    The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 25 October 2021
    15 Comments

    The First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council held few surprises. The program made sure of it. Proceedings were carefully choreographed and the agenda was deliberately anodyne. It took several days before participants found their feet. The upshot was a week devoid of strategic focus.

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