Keywords: The Spectator

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Olympics silver whining

    • Various
    • 07 August 2012

    Our species believes it progresses without limitation. We shout when a swimmer wins silver, 'That's no inspiration'. As humans pound forward, no 'burden of care' limitation ... We deserve only winners, our species the sole inspiration.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Close-ish encounters with two queens

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 March 2012
    4 Comments

    I saw a gloved hand at the window and that was it. The experience turned out to be the one time when I saw the Queen 'in the flesh'. I had gone under duress, having even at that young age vestigial republican tendencies. A few weeks ago I went with more enthusiasm to see another Queen. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian larrikinism is a royal myth

    • Ellena Savage
    • 28 October 2011
    22 Comments

    The fact the Queen is a very nice lady doesn't negate her inherited privilege, her arbitrary powers, and the fact her reign isolates many Australians. There is a myth that Australia is a larrikin nation. But we are a nation not of provocateurs, but of conformists.

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  • RELIGION

    Atheism vs religion: half time update

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 October 2011
    35 Comments

    Public interest in the aggressive form of atheism represented by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, and the religious response to it, seems to have waned. This half time break gives commentators a chance to grab a pie and sauce and assess who is likely to win.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Abbott faces fallout from Gillard's Big Week

    • Tony Kevin
    • 17 October 2011
    29 Comments

    Abbott will face a worsening dilemma. If he continues to rage about revoking the carbon tax, he will alienate industry groups that want stability above all. If he goes quiet, he will validate Labor's portrayal of him as a cynical opportunist who stands for nothing but gaining power.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Carbon tax saves Gillard (for now)

    • Tony Kevin
    • 14 September 2011
    11 Comments

    Though Gillard's leadership has started to come under pressure, no one in Labor will want to overthrow her until the carbon pricing laws package is securely in place. This means no challenge before the first half of 2012. Only then, if opinion polls keep trending down, may Gillard be vulnerable.

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  • RELIGION

    Morality plays in sport and politics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 August 2011
    5 Comments

    Sport and politics display in minor key all the basic human drives, passions and political moves that we find on the larger public stage. Melbourne AFL club's sacking of coach Dean Bailey, and the forced departure of South Australian Premier Mike Rann, are cases in point.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rednecks, bogans and bad boat people

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 23 June 2011
    13 Comments

    The participants on SBS's Go Back Where You Came From seem like rejects from a bad reality TV show and are stereotypical in their views. Some reflect on the difference between 'good' and 'bad' refugees: this false dichotomy is a sticking point for many refugee advocates too.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Coastal communion

    • Gregory Day
    • 01 June 2011
    6 Comments

    In the tiny church built of ecumenical brick, with barely any aesthetic pleasure to distract from the humility of the message, Patrick and his cohort in both the earlier football match and in the communion to come, sat quietly, though with the telltale legs of novices swinging restlessly under the front pew.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Osama bin Laden's wasted life

    • Brian Doyle
    • 17 May 2011
    25 Comments

    Imagine the same man, rather than consumed by hate, alert instead to humour, to the power of mercy, apology, simplicity, conversation, common ground. Imagine what he might have done for the religion he loved, to which he instead did more damage than anyone else in history.

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  • MEDIA

    Let's talk about rape

    • Jen Vuk
    • 06 May 2011
    11 Comments

    Rape takes away the victim's free will and builds around them a wall of connotation and innuendo. For 40 minutes, American journalist Lara Logan was rendered silent by the mob that sexually assaulted her in Cairo. Little wonder when finally she spoke it came out like a roar.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lessons about Australian identity from 'The King's Speech'

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 January 2011
    18 Comments

    Some advocates of monarchy have jumped on the film The King's Speech as evidence that Australia needs a monarch. Monarchists often argue like this when they want to personalise the constitutional debate by concentrating on a member of the Royal family with attractive features.

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