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Keywords: Slow Train Coming

  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    All deaths great and small

    • Brian Matthews
    • 26 June 2015
    1 Comment

    Many deaths of course are not small deaths. They evoke distinction, achievement, leadership, innovation, creativity or, in some cases notoriety, quixoticism or eccentricity. Yet placing some names above many, some in a class of their own, others in a ruck of the scarcely memorable, one indispensable criterion unites all the characters and places them beyond our imaginative, intellectual or descriptive reach: they are dead.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The enigma of the island

    • Ian C Smith
    • 23 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Our salt-blasted car rental veteran guzzled fuel, gearbox a disaster gasping past wallaby roadkill leaving the dramatic volcanic mountainscape for glimpses of carved bays, Crusoe beaches contrasting with weathered scrub, still farms.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My personal climate change bind

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 May 2015
    16 Comments

    Most people think that the effects of climate change as dire but far off. I don't have that comfort. My seafarer father plays a role in generating wealth for miners who then use it as a means to influence politicians - coal, industrial salt, iron ore. I am deeply aware that my government is committed to doing as little as possible to address climate change and its lack of a coherent, internationalist policy in Australia costs countries that are climate change-vulnerable, including where my family lives back in the Philippines.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to be a gym junkie and a food junkie at the same time

    • Isabella Fels
    • 11 March 2015
    5 Comments

    How I love sweating in the gym. I frantically try to keep going on the treadmill to burn off as many of the naughty calories as I can. I can really feel myself spinning, almost like a spiritual awakening. My personal trainer is my motivator, and in many ways I feel like I have already won the battle of the bulge just by turning up.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Edward Snowden comes around to fix my sick PC

    • Catherine Magree
    • 03 March 2015
    2 Comments

    Afterwards we will sip green tea in the sitting room and I'll persuade him that his next exposé must reveal our own torn and twisted hearts straining to escape their ventricular structures in the gaping face of the world's inanimate evil.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Petrol price plunge won’t arrest car decline

    • Greg Foyster
    • 06 February 2015
    3 Comments

    After years of writing pain-at-the-pump puns, journalists are giddy at the prospect of prices heading south for once. The low price is a boon for motorists and regional tourism operators. But it won't change the face that we've hit 'peak car' and are driving less. Young people now prize access over ownership.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Linguist's life and language lost to Alzheimer's

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 February 2015
    2 Comments

    The brilliant linguistics professor Alice Howland and her biologist husband, John, sit down to break the news to their adult children: Alice has early-onset Alzheimers. At first Alice maintains a fragile, trembling stoicism. But when she tells them the disease may be passed on genetically, the façade slowly implodes. 'I'm sorry,' she weeps, horrified by the prospect of what she clearly sees as a betrayal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Doomed actor's devastating ego trip

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 January 2015

    Riggan's ego is immense. The action takes place backstage during the days leading up to the premier of his latest vanity project, and onstage during a series of previews. Riggan is out of his depth, prone to humiliating blunders, including one that results in a near-naked dash through the crowds of Times Square. But his resolve to affirm his greatness in the eyes of a media and public that has dismissed him is maniacal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How Phillip Hughes' death moved the nation

    • Brian Matthews
    • 05 December 2014
    4 Comments

    Greg Chappell has already made the comparison with the response to Princess Diana's death, but it goes back further than that, to John Donne, for example, in 1624: 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main'. Death haunts the newspapers and the airwaves. Just? Not at all. Every now and then, we cower and weep before Death's undiscriminating might.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ritual procrastination as part of the grieving process

    • Jim Pilmer
    • 05 December 2014
    10 Comments

    Personal grief, complicated by group dynamics, is a volatile mixture. Phillip Hughes' death reminds us that personal stories highlight the huge variety of needs and perceptions surrounding a death in the workplace. When do we tidy the desk of the colleague who won't be back? There is a time, but maybe it's not yet. 

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  • RELIGION

    Restorative justice for child sexual abuse victims

    • Vic O'Callaghan
    • 17 November 2014
    15 Comments

    Total focus on designing the right professional standards policy could be creating a hole, where all that is heard is a droning 'let's move on' message. Where are the stories of people gathering to help mend and heal themselves and the victims of this horrific episode in our history?

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