keywords: 1984

  • AUSTRALIA

    Trump's 1984 is Turnbull's Animal Farm

    • Brian Matthews
    • 20 February 2017
    14 Comments

    In these duplicitous times it's not surprising to find Nineteen Eighty-Four cited. In Airstrip One, WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH - a Nineteen Eighty-Four equivalent of a Tweet with plenty of character space left to add insults. And all facts are alternative, as in the news, 'Oceania is at War with Eurasia', which becomes before your very eyes, 'Oceania has never been at war with Eurasia.' For events closer to home, Orwell's Animal Farm is disturbingly apposite.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Tears in store after Hong Kong chaos

    • Michael Kelly
    • 08 August 2019
    9 Comments

    The betting among many observers is that the current chaos will end in tears. The massing of troops at the border is one sign. But the biggest thing that suggests that the PLA will march in and declare martial law is that the Chinese Communist Party has what we call 'form'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An Orwellian view of climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 July 2019
    6 Comments

    By 'belly to earth', Orwell meant not only the uncomplicated, hands-on approach he threw himself into at Wallington. It also denoted a quality of engagement with the natural world that he saw to be threatened by the nature of what he considered to be the 'evil' times in which he lived — a feeling familiar to many in 2019.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Meet the robots who would be human

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 February 2019
    1 Comment

    More Human Than Human's exploration of the history and present reality of artificial intelligence is not a tale of terror. It is a thoughtful and nuanced engagement with the people who are making, using, or thinking about AI; those who have been touched by its life-changing potential, or come a-cropper of its more sinister aspects.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The prayer-poems of Mary Oliver

    • Carol O'Connor
    • 31 January 2019
    10 Comments

    Mary Oliver, who died recently, came to realise it's not just kneeling and kissing the ground that needs to be encouraged, but that the natural world itself, which fed and sustained her creatively and emotionally for a lifetime, is now endangered. We are in danger of wrecking creation.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in schools

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 January 2019
    39 Comments

    When Parliament resumes, one outstanding item of business will be Penny Wong's bill dealing with religious schools' capacity to discriminate against students on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. I support the bill subject to the proviso that religious schools should remain free to teach their doctrine respectfully and reasonably.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious freedom in secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 December 2018
    15 Comments

    Let's hope all members of parliament can agree to the insertion of such a clause in the legislation providing assurance to religious educators that they can continue to teach their doctrine in good faith while assuring all students and their families that they will not suffer any detriment while sitting at the feet of religious educators.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    UN human rights declaration turns 70

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 December 2018
    14 Comments

    It is appropriate to affirm the worldwide amplification system for the 'still, small voice' of conscience speaking to power, even when that voice of conscience maintains a religious tone, while the power of the state is increasingly secular and the tone of society more stridently secularist.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fake news about 'fascist' Queen

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 01 November 2018
    20 Comments

    Some creative choices see Bohemian Rhapsody veer from fairytale to fake news. Displacing 'Fat Bottomed Girls' allows the filmmakers to write out the exploitative publicity stunt for that song. By skipping The Works tour, they can conveniently ignore how the band flouted the UN's cultural boycott against apartheid era South Africa.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Singapore punishes women for living longer

    • Sangeetha Thanapal
    • 07 August 2018
    2 Comments

    Singapore has one of the world's lowest mortality rates, with a general life expectancy of above 80. Singapore's women outlive men by about five years, making the country second in the world for how long its women live. It seems the Singapore state has decided to punish women for it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When healthcare is a remedy for cruelty

    • Sheila Ngoc Pham
    • 30 July 2018
    3 Comments

    Australia's healthcare system reflects some of our best values, which surely demands we think about how we can make it work better. We need to ensure care is extended beyond our immediate communities, because we're all interconnected — including asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Remembering my friend Beverley Farmer

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 26 April 2018
    8 Comments

    Australian writer Beverley Farmer died on 16 April. She and I had been friends, albeit usually long-distance ones, for more than 30 years. It seems to me now that we had so much in common that friendship was almost inevitable: it was just a matter of timing that first meeting.

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