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Keywords: Matthew Johns

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The value of novels

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 26 July 2021
    19 Comments

    I was at university when I first heard of the so-called death of the novel, and was frightened by the thought. But I’ve since heard the phrase many times during the ensuing decades, and am cheered by the fact that so far the novel has clung to life, albeit precariously, while novelists persist in writing, despite the many drawbacks attendant upon the practice.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The true quiet Australians

    • Brian Matthews
    • 03 June 2021
    6 Comments

    Red gum, this ‘smooth-barked large tree that gives watercourses all over Australia their Australian feel’, seemed intent on bobbing up in my life one way or another, sometimes as a result of sheer luck or coincidence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tis the times' plague

    • Brian Matthews
    • 24 November 2020
    5 Comments

    In measures now sadly familiar in 2020, theatres were closed once the number of weekly deaths exceeded 30, later 40, but because actors and the theatre world itself were so economically vulnerable, actors, understandably intent on earning a living, soon legally or otherwise cut themselves some slack by taking liberties with the rules governing performances and quarantine — again, a phenomenon that is now, against all previous odds, familiar to people of 2020.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our neighbour Sam

    • Brian Matthews
    • 04 August 2020
    19 Comments

    Our neighbor Sam is in his mid-seventies. He takes things quietly, enjoys a chat where our two gardens converge at a corner of the lambing paddock that unfolds beyond our shared wire fence and, regularly in summer, Sam is partial to a few cooling drinks.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate science for the birds

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 November 2019
    3 Comments

    The scene I have described was more than purely peaceful. In these iron days, to write about or seriously discuss the world of nature and its phases and complexions can be a political act, 74 years after Orwell wondered about that very same point in 'Some Thoughts on the Common Toad'.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parliamentary troll alert

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 March 2018
    4 Comments

    In Iceland, the most recent 'troll alert' was only 50 years or so ago, and belief in the mythological troll dies hard. What is interesting to consider regarding the revenant troll of the internet age is where they are congregated. Michaelia Cash's recent outburst suggest we might look no further than our Federal Parliament.

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  • RELIGION

    Food for imagination in Christmas stories and art

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2017
    7 Comments

    The embroidery on the Gospel stories shows that, like the painter and the refugees treading through the dust and heat of the road to Egypt, God dreams of a peaceful world in which people and nature live at peace, villages are well watered, trees cared for, grapes hang in bunches, refugee children are fed, and angels help make art.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My Telstra Catch-22

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 October 2017
    5 Comments

    'I am being charged for items I did not buy and have never heard of. The cost of these 'purchases' was added to my normal Telstra phone bill. When I protested, Telstra said it was not involved, it simply administered the charges ... Entirely innocent from the start, I lose - no matter what happens.' On 23 August I wrote these words to Telstra for reasons that will soon become apparent.

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  • MEDIA

    Channel 7 needs to get with AFL's non-violence program

    • Garry Westmore
    • 02 May 2016
    4 Comments

    Arguably, as a society, Australia's tolerance for violence is waning, and both the AFL and the NRL have been proactive in diminishing the prevalence of deliberate and reckless violence that might endanger players' safety. Unfortunately, despite the AFL's desire to stamp out the more dangerous incidents, many televised football commentators are hindering the cause by making excuses for players, playing down the severity of their actions, and failing to condemn them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis is not an anti-Capitalist greenie

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 October 2015
    4 Comments

    Francis knows there are all sorts of issues inside and outside the Church where for too long people with power have tried to keep the lid on, in the hope that the problems and complexities will go away, often by parodying those who see the problems or complexities as small 'l' liberals or cafeteria Catholics. He delights in being joyful and troubled while contemplating big problems, calling people of good will to the table of deliberation reminding them of the kernel of the Christian gospels. He has the faith and hope needed to lift the lid without fear and without knowing the answers prior to the dialogue occurring.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of giving service

    • Alice Johnson
    • 09 October 2013
    3 Comments

    In a contemporary society where the focus lies amid a whirlpool of egocentricity, self-gain and self-improvement, one must question where the true motive for giving service lies. While the 'ethic of duty' is the ethic of the social gospel movements, Kant believed religion was only valuable because it caused one to lead a good moral life. Thus it is possible to argue that the habit of giving true service lies in the 'ethic of love'.

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