keywords: Black Balloons

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Black Saturday gibe mars Murray's might

    • Philip Harvey
    • 16 April 2010
    6 Comments

    In one poem Les Murray would reduce the causes of the Black Saturday fires to differences in forest management between 'hippies' and 'rednecks'. Utilising poetry to play the blame game demeans our understanding of the complexity of that disaster.

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  • 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Two elegies for a vanished farm

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 02 December 2019

    After spirit-lamps were doused the house drew in upon itself; its clutch of dreamers moaned and tossed in stifling mosquito nets — each isolating sac of mesh a Magellanic cloud.

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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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  • CARTOON

    The compassion of Peter Dutton

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 February 2019
    3 Comments

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Walking home alone

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 08 August 2018
    5 Comments

    It's 11.30 on a weeknight. I'm on the train, coming home from catching up with my friends. I'm on the phone with one of them as I move to the doors. 'Yeah, I'm right to walk home,' I tell my worried friend. 'The train's pulling up the station now.' I said that too loudly. I glance behind me and there are two men standing there.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Recognition or treaty ... Why not both?

    • Kate Galloway
    • 18 May 2016
    19 Comments

    Newly appointed Senator for Western Australia, Pat Dodson, in his first week on the job, raised the thorny political question of treaty. I see the need for both treaty and constitutional reform, which support each other in promoting justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. But the limitations of my understanding are both that I am a lawyer, and that I am not an Indigenous Australian. I need to heed the diverse voices of Indigenous Australia in understanding what is truly at stake.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Sulphur sunshade is a stupid pollution solution

    • Greg Foyster
    • 14 April 2016
    10 Comments

    Geoengineering means intervening in the Earth's climate to offset global warming. It's hacking the planet on a monumental scale. The most widely studied proposal is spraying sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight, cooling the planet. The idea comes from huge volcanic eruptions, which can blast millions of tonnes of sulphur into the stratosphere, creating a kind of chemical sunshade. After decades of being taboo, this outlandish scheme is now being taken seriously.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Drug mule's poo strike stymies bad cops

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 11 December 2014

    During an end-of-season trip to Bangkok, impressionable country footy dork Ray is badgered by one of his teammates into turning drug mule. He is picked up in Melbourne, where a couple of nasty cops detain him under supervision for seven days, waiting for him to pass the heroin-filled balloons he ingested. Ray is beset on all sides by systemic corruption, which makes his refusal to poo — fuelled not by greed but by a kind of everyman nobility — seem truly heroic.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Empathy and irony in post-Howard Australia

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 December 2012
    1 Comment

    Becalmed, bereft, besieged by race memory and hip pocket absorption, a nation of travellers and seafarers swallow leaders' sleight-of-hand, as they conjure pirates from refugees, demons from daughters, sons and lovers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    September 11 shudder

    • Brian Doyle
    • 11 September 2012
    7 Comments

    Just before the first plane hit the north face of the north tower there was a flickering of power, a brown-out, just for an instant. Maybe all the people in the tower at the exact same moment thought, did I say that I loved her or just think to say it? ... Maybe that's what happened when the building shivered.

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