keywords: The Black Balloon

  • AUSTRALIA

    The rising corporatisation of queer identity

    • Dejan Jotanovic
    • 05 March 2020
    8 Comments

    Pride is politically messy. When you stir together an alphabet soup of people all of which have other intersecting identities (race, class, religion, political allegiance), you will invariably plate up a political mess. And the 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras dished quite the menu. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What you notice when you’re not really there

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 04 July 2019
    8 Comments

    I've waitressed at yacht clubs, fire stations, homes. I've seen 16 year olds on their birthdays, old couples on their anniversaries, a surprise wedding. I've watched grandmothers ferrying food to their grandkids, and heard the cadences in people's speech all over Victoria. I learned a lot about people when I wasn't 'really' there.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget 2019-20 and the way forward for welfare

    • Joe Zabar
    • 08 April 2019
    6 Comments

    A proposal to take decisions around welfare payments out of politicians' hands is the best way forward. If the major parties are going to put supporting the most vulnerable in the 'too hard' basket, let an independent commission determine the rates at which various welfare payments can allow people to live a dignified life.

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  • CARTOON

    The compassion of Peter Dutton

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 February 2019
    3 Comments

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The misanthrope on New Year's Eve

    • Geoff Page
    • 29 January 2019
    3 Comments

    Half past ten, I'm off to bed. One more whizz around the sun. Ho hum ... What's the point? If it were the solstice, maybe. All that nonsense on TV. And fireworks, celebrating what? The triumph of chronology? This year maybe I will die ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The woman who got me into Ned Kelly’s funeral

    • Martin Flanagan
    • 02 July 2018
    6 Comments

    We share a love of poetry, having come to Gerard Manley Hopkins from opposite directions, her from religious ecstasy, me from the dark sonnets. In the 1980s we met, in a shelter for Aboriginal women in Collingwood. My next memory? Ursula introducing me to the granddaughter of Kelly's sweetheart, an old woman dying in a Melbourne hospital.

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  • ECONOMICS

    In the end, debts cannot be paid

    • David James
    • 08 November 2017
    3 Comments

    Once upon a time, usury was considered a sin and lending was subject to strict controls. Now, the world is in the grip of usury. It cannot continue. At some point it will have to be retired, or swapped to equity. A good place to start is third world debt, which is the most immoral variant.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mme. Blanchard hits the roof

    • Ian C. Smith
    • 03 April 2017

    Riding her gondola, a skimpy thing like herself, she sees her balloon ablaze, begins her descent, feathered hat lost, a rushed farewell performance. The house roof's pitch steep, her rigging tangled, fire almost out, burned, broken, she can't hang on, she who once remained aloft all night over Rome.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Trump's pro-globalisation critics miss the key questions

    • David James
    • 07 February 2017
    10 Comments

    Many defenders of globalisation express frustration at the rise of Trump and what they see as an ignorant and self-defeating backlash against its virtues. But they have no answer to the most pressing question: Is the global system there to serve people, or are people there to serve the global system? They also never address a central contradiction of globalisation: that capital is free to move, but for the most part people are not, unless they belong to the elite ranks.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    He is not the killer he used to be

    • Jordie Albiston
    • 18 August 2015

    Her every lover, her filler of dreams, her kisser of broken & bruised. She watches him through the pills, she misses him when he leaves, whispers to foot that when she recovers she will love him for ever & ever, but now he is heading back down the stairs & she stares at his absence.

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 12 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The boys' pranged up moment of shared and shed untruths

    • Kevin Gillam
    • 27 January 2015

    beering, untangling, cruising, jaunty and blooming, the boys, in the ambered half light, the boys

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