keywords: Stranger Things

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Called or shunned by Vietnam war conscription

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 10 November 2015
    7 Comments

    I'd never met a Vietnamese, couldn't figure what we had against them. But we were raised in shadow of returned men, the shimmer of lapelled bronze, a presumption we in our turn would go when ordered ... Most of us dodged gap years of sweat and khaki, missing madness, maiming, napalm, agent orange, learning how to kill and to piss ourselves out of fear. Instead we were granted head starts with women, front marks in the greasy pole dash, a less congested clamber to unremarkable lives.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ode to the demise of hard rubbish

    • Sally Cloke
    • 23 September 2015
    11 Comments

    Our local council has announced the end of hard rubbish. As an adult, my enthusiasm for what the council calls 'scavenging' has become the source of many beautiful and useful items. But my objections are philosophical as well as practical. Ugliness has its place, and at clean out time, we literally bring to our doorsteps what we would rather put of sight and mind. Hard rubbish symbolises the costs of our throw-away consumer society while going a small way towards recouping some of them.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Maintaining the rage beyond the golden rhythm of youth

    • Ellena Savage
    • 14 August 2015
    7 Comments

    A friend recently died at 25. She was heavily involved in our political and literary communities, and I saw in her the very best of rage and rawness in politics. But I also saw how possessing such a sense of obligation to raw, honest, and emotionally-engaged political exploration, is exhausting. Of course it is. Popular wisdom has it that as you age, you get more 'realistic' about political matters. But that's not it.

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 12 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • The questionable good that our public policy serves

    • Elenie Poulos
    • 02 April 2015
    4 Comments

    Humans have always pursued wealth and the power it affords, but only relatively recently has the world itself become organised around the service of that wealth. The systems and structures which define the way our world works are financial, geared to the making of profit. They are global and buoyed by governments whose domestic and foreign policies ensure their support. ‘Social good’ and the ‘common good’ are assumed to be economic neoliberalism, and what’s in the ‘public interest’ is whatever advances the neoliberal economic agenda.  

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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

    Toleration must include understanding

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 24 October 2014
    7 Comments

    The repeal of the burka ban in parliament followed woeful comments from ignorant senators and an obvious lack of real government consultation with Australia’s Muslim communities, spotlighted an embarrassing level of illiteracy with regard to Islam. We need to move beyond a token religious ‘tolerance’ that is paired with incomprehension of the religious other, towards promoting a more engaged understanding that entails some comprehension of how religious and other cultural traditions fit together. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Quality childcare an investment in the future

    • Lin Hatfield Dodds
    • 17 October 2014
    4 Comments

    Children of the 1980s are likely to have been cared for full-time by a parent. But most of them are now combining parenting with paid employment as they become parents today. The Productivity Commission has been asked to make childcare and early learning services affordable and flexible, to ensure children don't get in the way of workforce participation. But the other priority, which is perhaps easier to ignore, has to do with the quality of care and learning offered. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The beauty of hard-won hope

    • Megan Graham
    • 07 August 2014
    2 Comments

    Broken and bruised by their respective journeys, Gretta and Dan seize the chance for solidarity. For both, their sense of compassion and resilience allows them to navigate a cold and indifferent New York City that threatens to swallow them whole. They use the creation of music as a mirror to reflect back a version of themselves – and NYC – that they can love. 

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