keywords: Erin Cook

  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Edward Snowden comes around to fix my sick PC

    • Catherine Magree
    • 03 March 2015
    2 Comments

    Afterwards we will sip green tea in the sitting room and I'll persuade him that his next exposé must reveal our own torn and twisted hearts straining to escape their ventricular structures in the gaping face of the world's inanimate evil.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government's mixed report card on taking responsibility

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Last week two reports exposed the limits of Australian responsibility to people who have suffered as a result of historical or present Government actions. The Closing the Gap Report revealed more failures than successes, and Tony Abbott's response to the Report was exemplary in taking responsibility. Not so with the Human Rights Commission Report into children in detention. He denied responsibility and accused the messenger of deliberately distorting the facts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bad Christmases are nothing new

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 December 2014
    16 Comments

    Shady family members who turn up uninvited, unresolved sibling rivalries, end of working year pressures. In a way they recall the organisational disarray of the first Christmas... A rocky engagement, the man discovering that his fiancée was pregnant with a child that was not his, a long march to fill in tax forms, having to give birth in a paddock and suffer an invasion from disreputable shepherds and odd foreigners.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Martin Place terror belies quiet progress in relations between cultures

    • Zac Alstin
    • 16 December 2014
    25 Comments

    The siege at the Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney's Martin Place is frightening for all Australians. It also obscures the progress of relations between Muslims and other Australians, as such events have such an unfortunate polarising 'us and them' effect.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ABC is not a business

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 November 2014
    25 Comments

    Governments are  tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The masala stone

    • Bernard Appassamy
    • 12 November 2014
    19 Comments

    Families, like mine, that are born from migration are reborn punctually through the scent of their cuisine. It's the 1970s and a grinding rhythm from the garden is audible through my window. Leaning over the ros kari, Jessie, our family cook, is crushing spices for the evening curry. With her two hands, she holds flat a cylindrical stone, the baba, and rolls it with her wrists back and forth, on its large rectangular base.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Australian history through the eyes of a dirt digger

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 24 October 2014
    9 Comments

    Satirist David Hunt's best-selling Girt The Unauthorised History of Australia prompted Joe Hockey to offer him a job as speech writer. There’s plenty of dirt. Australia was the place to be, writes Hunt, 'unless you were black. Or a woman. Or gay. Or suspected of being Irish. Or even worse, all of the above'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kashmir's majestic allure

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 19 September 2014
    2 Comments

    Peace has come to Kashmir, but it’s a tentative, fragile peace. My guide Younis swiftly apprises me of the virtues of his homeland: ‘Pakistan wants Kashmir, China wants Kashmir, India wants Kashmir. It is a very beautiful place and here we have [so much]: electricity grids, land, fruits.’ He pauses, then says, ‘But nobody likes Kashmiris.’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A daughter's life rekindled

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 22 August 2014
    8 Comments

    My daughter's depression is a dark and inhospitable valley in which she has lost her way, but it is also a mirror held up before me, forcing me to acknowledge the deep troughs into which I myself have fallen, and to recognise the needlessness of having clawed myself out of them alone. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Dubious heroes of Wikipedia

    • Philip Harvey
    • 23 July 2014
    6 Comments

    Swedish physicist Sverker Johansson has reportedly written over 2.7 million articles on Wikipedia since 2001, at an average of 10,000 articles a day. Phil Parker is purported to be the most published author in history, successfully publishing over 85,000 physical books, each of which takes less than an hour to 'write' — 'patented algorithms enable computers to do all the heavy lifting'. But the real work begins after they have finished.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A plague of killer robots

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 April 2014
    6 Comments

    Killer robots — drones in an advanced stage of development — are now a daytime reality. They will be autonomous in their operation, able to identify targets, track them down, work out the best way to destroy them, and learn from their failures, all without the need for human direction. These qualities raise serious ethical questions. Obama's use of just war theory to defend such drones was misguided at best, pernicious at worst.

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