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Vol 32 No 14

17 July 2022


 

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 July 2022
    1 Comment

    Daniel Mendelsohn lectures in classics at Bard College, a liberal arts institution in New York State. His retired father, aged 81 in 2011, regrets gaps in his own education, and asks to sit in on his son’s course of seminars on Homer’s The Odyssey. Professor Mendelsohn agrees, and Jay Mendelsohn joins a class of 18-19 year-olds. Later, father and son go on a cruise that retraces The Odyssey where they discover: is home a physical place, or something you carry around with you or within you? 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Then and now

    • John Honner
    • 28 July 2022
    3 Comments

    The ‘Land Rights Now’ banner is hoisted against the wind, and the marchers set off for the Embassy. A young Aboriginal woman walks ahead of the banner. She has dyed her hair red. She turns and leans into the wind to face the marchers, holding a megaphone to her mouth. ‘What do we want?’ she shouts, ‘When do we want it?’ And she keeps going, exhorting the marchers. We reply ‘Land Rights … Now!’ The crowd tires before she does.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pride and tolerance

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 July 2022
    14 Comments

    There has been much said in recent days about the refusal of a group of Manly Sea Eagles footballers to wear a special Pride jersey. The boycotting players have been labelled as hypocrites (for taking a stand on this issue and not, for example, gambling or domestic violence) and even hateful for their actions. Many say they would be happy to see them sacked from the club entirely. It seems to me, though, that the attitudes of the Manly players deserve more consideration than this.

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  • RELIGION

    After the Plenary

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 27 July 2022
    6 Comments

    What did the Plenary mean exactly, and what is next for the church? Secretary to the Council, Fr David Ranson, offers a rich and bracingly realistic set of observations about the Plenary Council. As secretary, Fr David was deeply absorbed in the lead-up, in the events of the week itself and now in assessing what comes next. He might surprise you with his judgements. They're delivered by a man with an acute sense of Church procedures but also with an eye to possibilities. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the invisible worm

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 July 2022
    2 Comments

    Over recent weeks many people have expressed alarm and despondence at the rising number of infections and deaths from COVID. Just as we were enjoying freedom from restrictions we found ourselves encouraged to work from home if possible and to wear masks. The crisis and the recommendations recall the first onset of COVID in Australia. Yet the response of Governments is much less forceful. The differences between the responses and the reasons for them merit reflection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Secretly suicidal: Why prisoners need access to Medicare

    • Damien Linnane
    • 27 July 2022

    Two months into a 10-month prison sentence, I was placed in solitary confinement after having a nervous breakdown. I’d originally made a fruitless attempt to keep my breakdown to myself, because I’d been told what would happen if Corrective Services found out I was having mental health issues. One of the first friends I made in prison, like many of the inmates, was suicidal. ‘The best advice I can give you if you’re struggling with your mental health’, he told me, ‘is to do everything you can to keep it from the officers.’

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stray thoughts: Living by make-believe

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 July 2022
    1 Comment

    In some ways this habit of association of ordinary personal life with the epic figures of literature or history marks a return to childhood. In it admired figures have a mythical status. I used to imagine that if, in my hand I had a Don Bradman bat, on my cap a Neil Harvey badge, or Mopsy Fraser’s number on my back, their skills would become mine. They never seemed to.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Why debt forgiveness may be inevitable

    • David James
    • 25 July 2022
    3 Comments

    Monetary authorities are caught in an impossible situation. Inflation is rising: it is over 5 per cent in Australia and over 9 per cent in the United States. Inflation is often seen as a way out of excessive debt because it erodes the real value of money and therefore the real value of the debt. But what is increasingly being discussed are ways to cancel the debt.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In praise of complexity

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 July 2022

    One of the tests by which we can judge political maturity is whether it gives due weight to complexity. It is easy to reduce political conversation to opposed statements between which we must choose. That will sometimes be appropriate. Often, however, discussion of policy raises several different questions, each of which needs to be considered.

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  • RELIGION

    War, truth and Christianity

    • Peter Vardy
    • 21 July 2022
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis recognised that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine was ‘perhaps somehow provoked’ and said he was warned before the war that Nato was ‘barking at the gates of Russia’. In an interview with the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica the Pope condemned the ‘ferocity and cruelty of the Russian troops’ but warned against a fairy tale perception of the conflict as good versus evil.

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  • CARTOON

    It's not easy being green

    • Glen le Lievre
    • 20 July 2022

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When the moaning stops: How porn is damaging young people

    • Melinda Tankard Reist
    • 20 July 2022
    1 Comment

    Exposure to pornography has been linked to an increase in in sexually aggressive behaviour and adolescent dating violence. This mass, industrial-level grooming of our young is causing lasting damage to their social and sexual development and leading to even more women and girls being viewed as less human.   

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The UK decision to extradite Assange

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 19 July 2022
    3 Comments

    The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding the extradition of Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the solemn view that he was ‘duty-bound’ to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917, and one based on computer intrusion.

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  • RELIGION

    Church reform is systemic not personal

    • John Warhurst
    • 19 July 2022
    17 Comments

    When those, like myself, seeking reform speak of systemic change to church structures those opposed to change see disrespect towards those holding positions like bishop and priest within the established order. When reformers seek the equality of women in governance and ministry those opposed to change see disrespect towards lay men and male religious as well as to other women. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reducing flood risk in Lismore starts with better data

    • Jerry Vanclay
    • 19 July 2022

    How is it that Lismore, one of the most flood-prone towns in Australia, can be so ill-prepared and so badly affected by floods this year? What can Lismore do to reduce its flood risk, and what are the implications for others? These are important questions, especially now as the newly constituted Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation assists flooded towns in the region to make pivotal decisions. Flood frequency is critical information, so you might expect that such guidance was based on the best available data – but this does not appear to be so.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stray thoughts: A more powerful lens

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 18 July 2022

    If there is another civilisation out there peering into the skies like us, what would they see as they catch a glimpse of life on Earth in the 21st century? I wonder what they would make of our preoccupations, and what they might see through their powerful lenses that we ourselves cannot? 

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