keywords: Satire

  • AUSTRALIA

    ANZAC tradition now beyond satire

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 October 2006
    1 Comment

    In an age of continuous and ambiguously justified war, the ANZAC commemoration has become highly politicised, infiltrated by party politics and populist bravura.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clive James' poetry of memento mori

    • Philip Harvey
    • 29 November 2019
    12 Comments

    Obituarists sharpened their quills in 2014 when word had it the death of Clive James was imminent. Since then we have witnessed a late flowering of poetry, reviews and articles tinged with mortality that revealed to the last his Twainian flair for journalistic self-promotion, albeit in the internet age. Now the quills are out in earnest.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My mother the Surrealist

    • Michael Sharkey
    • 14 October 2019
    3 Comments

    The voices of two women in the train up to the highlands rise in volume and insistence ... 'Mother, they're not Germans. I said, gerberas, they're all around the farm. Just wait, you'll see them from the window of the lovely room we've set up for your stay. A field of gerberas in full bloom.' 'And are the Germans all in uniforms, then, dear?'

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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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  • MEDIA

    In defence of 'court jester' Mark Knight

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 September 2018
    14 Comments

    The tradition of court jesters licensed to criticise the king exists in many cultures. It is part of a broader tolerance of satire in which the foibles and sins of the great can be safely criticised. The Shakespearian fools are typical in representing the view of the common man as he speaks truth to power. Printed cartoons stand in this tradition.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ted Kennedy's darkest hour

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 May 2018
    2 Comments

    Chappaquiddick notes the effects of these expectations on Ted's actions, without sympathising. 'I'm not going to be president,' he murmurs, by way of announcing Kopechne's death to Gargan. He comes off as more pathetic than Machiavellian, the future Liberal Lion rarely having the courage of his convictions.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Alienation and angst in the age of Instagram

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 25 October 2017
    1 Comment

    On the face of it, it's a cautionary tale against relying on social media as a source of relationships and self-identity. That's a fairly retrograde take-home though, and the film is actually more than that; it's an exploration of loneliness and isolation that is universal despite a context that is very much of this moment.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nearly knowing John Clarke

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 June 2017
    2 Comments

    One of the 30 comedians, satirists, cartoonists and writers they interviewed was John Clarke. 'I first met John Clarke five years ago,' Murray recalls in his 1992 introduction to the interview, 'even though we grew up in the same town in New Zealand and for a while went to the same school. My claim to fame is that I nearly knew John Clarke. Recently when we looked though his school photos we realised that we knew every kid in Palmerston North in 1960 except each other.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    St Patrick's Ballarat

    • Tony London
    • 13 February 2017
    6 Comments

    The chimneys of various shapes and sizes on the priest's houses next door, have not spumed since the winter, and in and around St Patrick's things like that might seem symbolic. Will fires ever be lit there again - lest the people speak - the ribbons spliced up and down the wrought iron railings, rattle in the brisk autumn breeze, telling stories of love, suffering and endless disharmony, broken trust, send messages to those in the passing traffic  ... better the devil you don't know ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Food for thought in atheist inspired animation

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 August 2016
    1 Comment

    There's a bagel character, coded as Jewish, and a lavash (Armenian flatbread), coded as Palestinian, who clash because they have to share an aisle. 'Isn't the aisle big enough for both of you?' asks Frank. In this and other ways the film points to the destructive power of religious belief corrupted by self- or socio-political interest. On the other hand it ignores the role religion can play in developing robust ethical thinking about the ways in which we can interact meaningfully with others and the world.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bob Ellis the gifted troublemaker

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 05 April 2016
    7 Comments

    Ellis' work is a prime example of the notion advanced by the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: that committed literature, and the act of writing, are political and ethical acts. Even in a film script, one can ponder social political change. Always of the left, but never formally the structured party man of faction and following, the dishevelled, sometimes wild Ellis proved contrarian even to Labor stalwarts. There were never pious reflections, or unqualified praises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ruddock appointment thumbs nose at human rights

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 February 2016
    7 Comments

    If Phillip Ruddock's appointment as Australia's first special envoy to the United Nations on Human Rights is about demonstrating the worthlessness of current international human rights protection structures (and the consequent hollowness of their criticisms of Australia), it is a rather short sighted one. Appointing a person with a weak record of upholding human rights in the area where Australia itself is weakest sends the unmistakable signal that Australia is no longer committed to the human rights project.

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