keywords: Spotlight

  • MEDIA

    Where are the Asians on Australian screens?

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 06 February 2018
    2 Comments

    Does watching this ridiculously premised film full of obnoxious characters, complete with smatterings of Singlish, make me feel culturally represented? Yes. There are threads of cultural recognition in the Southeast Asian locations and the Chinese customs that resonate, as well as the cultural mobility of various characters.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 January 2018
    13 Comments

    The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teaching kids to read between the rhymes

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 November 2017
    16 Comments

    Nana's favourites were chain-rhymed stories such as 'The Old Woman and her Pig', and 'This is the House that Jack Built', both of which I try to communicate to my grandchildren. My sister and I never realised how we were acquiring tastes for story and rhythm, or that we were exercising our young memories, our capacities for recall, as well.

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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

    Why the seal of the confessional will remain

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 August 2017
    23 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a 2000-page three volume Criminal Justice Report. One of its recommendations is that the states and territories 'create a criminal offence of failure to report targeted at child sexual abuse in an institutional context'.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Of murderers, bastards and inequality: neo-liberalism's failure

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 August 2017
    18 Comments

    Cometh the hour, cometh the third murderer. So now inequality is in the spotlight and is being booed off the stage. It is blamed for the rise of populist politics, and more fundamentally for economic stagnation. The economic neo-liberal orthodoxy, that so implausibly claimed that economic competition unfettered by government regulation would benefit all of the citizens, has produced the gross inequality that hinders economic growth. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    What writers festivals say about culture

    • Tseen Khoo
    • 08 August 2017
    6 Comments

    The Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) starts on Friday 25 August. It’s a good time to consider what such a festival says about our local cultures, as well as being a perfect time to think about how you relate to that culture. 

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  • RELIGION

    It is time to stop equivocating about domestic violence

    • Sean Lau
    • 01 August 2017
    17 Comments

    As the responses poured in to the ABC’s story on domestic violence in evangelical churches, I was reminded of the discomfort Saint Augustine showed, in The Confessions, towards his father beating his mother. But he still praised his mother for placating her husband to avoid beatings, and for criticising wives who were beaten. Augustine, then, while possibly opposing domestic violence, had no idea what to do about it, and endorsed behaviour that made it worse.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Grenfell Tower laying inequalities bare

    • Saman Shad
    • 28 June 2017
    4 Comments

    The Lancaster West Estate, which contains Grenfell Tower, is among the top ten per cent of the most deprived areas in England, but is located within the wealthiest local authority. As a former resident of the area the disaster has validated what I knew all along: that events such as these bring out both the best and the worst in people, and that this little corner of West London is a microcosm for greater society and an increasingly unequal world where the poor suffer while the rich increasingly prosper.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Finkel and the climate theatre of the absurd

    • Greg Foyster
    • 22 June 2017
    6 Comments

    If politics is theatre, climate politics is a family drama. For the last decade we've watched two rival households having the same endless argument. Political journos call it the 'climate wars' and mostly focus on the lead actors standing in the spotlight - in the Western narrative tradition, characters drive events. Almost no one has noticed the scenery change. Stagehands dismantled the backdrop years ago, but politicians have carried on as if the same circumstances existed when they started this charade.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Penetrating the cult of secrecy and abuse

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 March 2017
    1 Comment

    The power of Jones' film comes from bringing us the faces and voices of the victims in the present day; to hear in their words and see in their manner the ongoing trauma of those experiences. It is a timely and illuminating exploration of the impacts of child abuse, arriving during a period when many of our Australian institutions, religious and otherwise, have been facing the probing spotlight of a royal commission for behaviour that was at times equally as secretive, and traumatic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Feminist 'us first, you later' mentality doesn't work

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 07 March 2017
    5 Comments

    International Women's Day was founded in women's rights movements across Europe, demanding better labour conditions as well as calls for suffrage. So though these days it is primarily about celebrating the achievements of women, it is rooted in feminist protest and activism. In the spirit of the 2017 theme #BeBoldForChange, I think we should change it up a little. While it is important to look back on the achievements of feminism, we should also look back to learn how to be better for the future.

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