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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tomatoes, harbour

    • Rory Harris
    • 22 August 2017
    1 Comment

    tomatoes you fade into the hospital white above your head a row of floral Hallmark cards as a husband’s garden once filled every available backyard space with colour the glasshouse arrived after retirement

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Finding the high way

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 July 2017
    11 Comments

    In our society ethical questions such as those to do with marriage, crime and punishment, the beginnings and endings of life, and freedom of speech are often highway issues. Protagonists establish in advance the right way to go, keep their foot down and their eyes on the road without noticing the terrain the highway traverses. Road signs indicating another destinations or alternative routes are ignored and towns by-passed. Certainty is gained; understanding of country is sacrificed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sexual harassment in Australia and the US

    • Sara Vukojevic
    • 18 July 2017
    10 Comments

    I couldn't believe it. It was the most obvious example of street harassment ever. Builders? Check. Cheesy pickup lines? Check. Innuendos? Check. Trying to prevent a woman from moving away? Check. It could've been a lot worse. Something worse happened to me in California. But this situation got my heart beating. It's six, large, capable men. They can do anything they want to me. I can't prevent it from happening if they decide they need to do more than look.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bookending Australia's history

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 July 2017
    9 Comments

    Modern Australian history is bookended by the arrival of white settlers in which Indigenous Australians were expelled to the margins, and by the arrival of people seeking protection who were also expelled to the margins. Between these bookends lie the events, the people, the relationships, the enterprises and the experiences that compose the story of Australia. The bookends, though, are a bit shonky: not ideal for supporting proudly the heft of the history that lies between them. They need fixing.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Jane Goodall's quest to stem the human plague

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 July 2017
    7 Comments

    Revered for her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe Stream, Goodall has spent the past three decades travelling the world in an effort to alert its human inhabitants to the alarming news: we are destroying the planet. The message seems to have been lost on those in a position to halt the change, for research scientists have just reported that a mass extinction is currently underway, a biological annihilation in which billions of regional or local populations have already been lost.

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  • EDUCATION

    Hanson's autism comments miss the value of diversity

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 22 June 2017
    19 Comments

    The mood was subdued at the gates of our small Catholic primary school at 3:30pm on Wednesday. Ten per cent of our school's students have an autism diagnosis, and for their parents who had read Pauline Hanson's comments to the Senate that afternoon, those familiar feelings - dismay at the ignorance and lack of empathy of some people, worry for the future, and defiant pride in their diverse children - had been activated yet again.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Strong women heroes of grim abduction parables

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 May 2017
    1 Comment

    If two current Australian films are anything to go by, then one social issue weighing on local filmmakers in 2017 is the danger to women of emotionally and physically violent men. Neither film is a mere portrait of victimhood. The heroes of Cate Shortland's recent Berlin Syndrome and Ben Young's upcoming Hounds of Love - in the former, an Australian traveller in Europe, in the latter, a teenage school girl in suburban Perth - are ordinary women with both the will and capacity to fight back against their assailants.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    If you vote for me

    • Bill Rush, Marlene Marburg, Maureen O'Brien, John Cranmer
    • 22 May 2017
    3 Comments

    Cars will be turned into flutes; sheep graze in public parks. Trams will be lined with books; prisons, wisteria-walled. Politicians will sing in choirs; accountants taught to tango. The old will have honour and cake and a licence for practical jokes. The middle-aged will lie on grass and watch the procession of clouds. The young will be loved and learn that to live is to be slowly born.

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  • RELIGION

    Finding meaning in a chaotic/changing world

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 May 2017
    1 Comment

    Our Church is presently a strained, outdated social institution with an exclusively male hierarchy and clergy. But it is also the privileged locus for us to be called to the banquet of the Lord sharing theology and sacrament which have sustained the hearts and minds of similar pilgrims for two millennia. Thank God for Pope Francis who is showing us the way, helping us to find meaning in our changing and chaotic world, putting a fresh spring in the step of all those Catholics holding in tension the prophetic and the practical, the theological and the humanist, the tradition and the contemporary reality.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The relevance of remembrance in the 21st century

    • Kate Mani
    • 21 April 2017
    7 Comments

    Ypres' human collateral damage and displacement of those forced to flee is investigated at Ypres' In Flanders Fields Museum. The museum handbook parallels Belgian's WWI refugee exodus with the plight of refugees today fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and Africa. It's one way In Flanders Fields Museum is adopting a forward-looking approach to commemoration, pulling World War I's messages and themes out of 1918 and propelling them into the 21st century.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Life before suicide

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 March 2017
    1 Comment

    A film about a lonely widower who repeatedly attempts suicide seems like a grim proposition. Ove has suffered one too many blows in his life, the latest being the loss of his job. He finds himself at a loose end, if not purposeless. He is the self-appointed overseer of the gated community where he has lived for years, enforcing protocols of behaviour among his terrorised neighbours. Now he's had enough, and decides to join his beloved wife Sonja, in eternity. But dying doesn't come easily to Ove.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't underestimate the politics of hate

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 March 2017
    15 Comments

    The Prioress in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales had a brooch alluding to Virgil's phrase, 'love conquers all'. In her case, her love for her two lapdogs beat her affection for mere people. But in public life one wonders about the truth of the epigram. Indeed a good case could be made that hatred conquers all, and that it is stronger than love. The advent of Donald Trump with his individual style has occasioned lament that the public world is now dominated by hatred and contempt. But there is nothing new in it.

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