Keywords: Mortality

  • Will Andrew Chan payback hurt more than heal?

    • Brian McCoy
    • 25 February 2015
    2 Comments

    I have witnessed Aboriginal payback. It was in the Kimberley on an open sports oval. A young girl from the community had been found killed and I watched the community's desire to re-balance itself with the serious and public punishment of the offender. The whole community was present as the family of the deceased took it in turns to beat his back and stab his thigh. It was one of the most highly charged emotional events I have ever experienced. At the end, after all the punishment, he fell. The nurses took him into the health clinic and he was later evacuated to hospital. After the ritual was over I remember speaking to the father of the young girl. 'I want to kill him', he said. 'But even that will not remove your pain', I replied. His hurt was raw and tangible and nothing seemed able, at that time, to even get close to healing it. Read more

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Self-righteous road use causes accidents

    • Anthony James
    • 11 February 2015
    26 Comments

    Better infrastructure such as dedicated bike lanes helps to avoid cyclists being injured. But the road is not a battleground and increased armoury is not the answer to our need for safer roads. A more gracious attitude to each other on the part of both motorists and cyclists is just as important.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ten films that will get you talking

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 18 December 2014
    8 Comments

    It's December, and film writers everywhere are putting together their lists of the best films of 2014. But best-of lists are so subjective, so here's our take: ten films from 2014 that are guaranteed to get you thinking, and talking!

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lessons learned from Phillip Hughes grieving

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 December 2014
    11 Comments

    Hughes' death became a media event. Media analysis of death and grieving makes it more difficult to respond simply and naturally because we are made self-conscious, aware of what we are doing and how it might be seen by others. It affects the intimate connections associated with grieving, as well as our ability to be touched by hope. A specificity that only exacerbates loss.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 14 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Good priest walks the ruins of the sex abuse crisis

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 July 2014
    5 Comments

    Ensconced in the anonymity of the confessional, a man who suffered injustice at the hands of the Church informs the priest, Fr Lavelle, that he plans to kill him. The killer's reason for wanting to inflict violence is that he was, as a child, a victim of abuse that went unpunished. Lavelle is not respected by his parishioners, despite the centrality of the Church to their community. Amid the ruins left by the abuse crisis he carries little moral authority.

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  • EDUCATION

    Philosophy professor's cavalier interventions

    • Brian Matthews
    • 20 June 2014
    4 Comments

    On his own admission, Australian poet, essayist, philosopher, naturalist and storyteller Brian Medlin left the publication of his life's work to his last few years, but his passions, gifts and lyricism were set free in an extraordinary correspondence he conducted with British novelist Iris Murdoch. Their letters cover more than two decades and, with both writers terminally ill, are marked by love, wit, subtlety, argument and insight.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cancer teens in love and death

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 June 2014
    1 Comment

    Augustus and Hazel meet in a support group for cancer sufferers. During the course of their ensuing romance they both prove to be pragmatic about their own mortality. They share frank discussions about God and the afterlife, and gain little comfort from them. It's an inherently sad story, but to parallel the individual horror of their cancer with the experiences of Anne Frank during the Holocaust is a step to far.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Atheist Clive James' hymn to God

    • Philip Harvey
    • 10 June 2014
    8 Comments

    Rumours of his death are greatly exaggerated, but Clive James has since 2010 made a public art of dying. It is in this intense moment of re-evaluation of life that we read his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. Possibly no great poem is so immersed in the connections between our life here and now with life after death. It's striking that an avowed atheist produces the best poetry in Paradiso.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Be selfish, save the planet

    • Megan Graham
    • 02 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Just a few days after we marked the annual observance of Earth Hour, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, emphasising the likelihood of an increase in extreme and irreversible damage. In light of this, the fact that we deem Earth Hour to even be necessary seems akin to prompting a dog to notice its kennel is on fire. Unless the dog is in very bad health, it would do what it needs to do to save itself.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    AIDS outlaw battles Big Pharma

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 February 2014
    3 Comments

    Homophobic Texan electrician Ron learns he has AIDS and may have only 30 days to live. Desperate for a cure, he heads to Mexico, where a disgraced doctor treats him with unapproved pharmaceutical drugs. Ron begins to smuggle the drugs into the US, to distribute to other AIDS sufferers, including Rayon, a trans woman who becomes Ron's friend, business partner, and ally against the Big Pharma interests that try to shut him down.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: Mandela crosses the burning water

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 January 2014
    1 Comment

    I said my own private goodbye almost two years ago, when I visited Robben Island on a trip back to my homeland of South Africa. That journey across Table Bay, towards the tiny green cell in which you lived for much of your 27-year incarceration, took me not so much to an outpost of apartheid as to the birthplace of democratic South Africa.

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