keywords: The Lost Art Of Sleep

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis and the power of tears

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 June 2014
    4 Comments

    The Pope says we have 'forgotten how to weep'. The most potent moments in current affairs television occur when a person is shown to cry, yet we're taught to believe that 'breaking down' means that we're not in command of the argument. Julie Bishop could not have been unmoved if the jostling Sydney University students had instead wept over the lost educational opportunity in the Federal Budget.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    God of the cracks

    • P. S. Cottier
    • 27 May 2014
    2 Comments

    mona lisa with monobrow, smiling past watchers as she spots the gay god, the god who goes down, sweet curser of figtrees, just to perplex theologists.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's days of the dead

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 April 2014
    20 Comments

    ANZAC Day is a powerful and worthy ritual. But the tales of our soldiers make up only one of the ongoing chapters in the story of our country. There are many others. On 25 January, let us remember the Indigenous people who once nurtured the land. On 25 February, let us remember those who gave their lives in settling this unforgiving land. On 25 March, let us remember the people who lost their lives migrating to this country.

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  • RELIGION

    Easter memory loss makes plastic of the present

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 April 2014
    16 Comments

    Both the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter are exercises in memory. The Jewish child who asks why this day is remembered is told a story of slavery in Egypt followed by deliverance by God. He stands in line with other children who asked the same question during the Holocaust. The devaluation of history and memory has a deeply corrosive effect on society. In our society we can see this in our treatment of asylum seekers.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Rise of the right in Japan

    • Walter Hamilton
    • 24 February 2014
    4 Comments

    Tony Abbott has described Japan as Australia's 'best friend in Asia'. When he journeys to Japan in April and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe reciprocates in July, the two leaders will move to cement a new 'normal' in the relationship between their nations, including closer defence cooperation. As a correspondent in Japan in the '80s and '90s, I believed Japan's extreme right to be noisy but irrelevant. I'm now coming around to a different view.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Devil in the detail of asylum seeker directive

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 February 2014
    23 Comments

    In the clamour of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, an almost unnoticed government direction struck a revelatory chord. It affects people who came to Australia by boat and have been found to be refugees and have protection visas, stating that any applications they have made to bring family members to Australia must remain at the bottom of the pile. The brevity of the direction belies its enormous effects on the people affected by it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: NDIS helps the common good

    • Moira Byrne Garton
    • 17 January 2014
    3 Comments

    Dr Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council, last week cautioned the Government against listening to certain interests at the expense of the common good. His criticism of the former Government as 'reckless' for establishing and funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme reveals an upsetting indifference and a lack of awareness of the benefits of such a scheme both to individuals and to society as a whole.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Losing Chavez the indispensable

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 08 January 2014
    2 Comments

    With Hugo Chavez's death Latin America has arguably lost the most influential political leader of the last two decades. Chavez was one of those men that Bertolt Brecht called the 'indispensible ones'. He has been the champion of the socially and economically marginalised since he came to power in 1999.

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  • RELIGION

    Church plays part of Christmas villain

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 December 2013
    14 Comments

    Christmas tells the story of a God who entrusted Christ as a baby safely to the care of Mary and Joseph in a markedly hostile secular environment. The stories told at the Royal Commission are of parents who entrusted their children unsafely to the care of representatives of the Church. The face of Herod in our day is not that of a persecutor who threatens the church from without. It is that of a minister of the church who betrays from within.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    US gun lobbyists miss the logic of feeling

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 December 2013
    14 Comments

    I woke up to the news on a Saturday morning. One year ago tomorrow, a man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire. In the aftermath, gun lobbyists seethed with high indignation that President Barack Obama was politicising a tragedy. It goes to show that the ones who complain about the politicisation of tragedy tend to be the ones who do not want to do anything about it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thoughts in the key of Oxford

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 29 November 2013
    5 Comments

    The woman at the canteen yells 'Urrry up! Speed up! Who dropped that?' A 30 second washing detergent ad prefaces a video you want to watch on YouTube. A homeless man talks to his dog over a sandwich: 'Get lost Chance! It's mine, you've 'ad yours!' Everyday speech tells stories and offers glimpses of things not yet understood, to resurface later alongside other words and verses, fully invested with meaning.

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