section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Social order of wallabies

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 14 June 2016
    1 Comment

    Brunette or shocking white, these wallabies have their own special nook nearby, under that blackwood. Why just there, I ask myself: no particular foliage has given a meaning to the spot. Something about bone-dry shadow under those boughs appears to murmur clan or family. Yes, I know that sounds kind of patronising, but when these animals go through their routines we can see a social order clear as day.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The bleak ballad of Wilson Parking

    • Ellena Savage
    • 10 June 2016
    13 Comments

    When my friend and I get to the payment station of the car park, it says we owe 70 bucks, which can't be right because we got the early bird special which was a quarter of that, so, nah. We call the parking lot people and they say look at the fine print, it clearly states that the early bird deal only applies if you leave the car park after 3pm. Wilson Parking is a subsidiary of a subcontractor of Transfield Services, which runs security at Nauru and Manus Island. I grow petulant and say I'll wait til 3pm.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Angst and insecurity in public school battle of wills

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 June 2016

    Vice-principal Rickard claims the credit for having lifting the status of the once struggling public school, and sees in the smart but troubled new student Mark both the potential to do well and a danger to his own legacy. For his own part Mark, who was previously kicked out of the private school to which he had earned a scholarship, sees in Rickard a misguided do-gooder and, later, something a little more dangerous: an ambitious man whose ego is the flipside of insecurity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    No sex please, we're praying

    • Rodney Wetherell
    • 07 June 2016
    2 Comments

    In prayer, our minds are sex-free, let us hope; our thoughts of God do not include the body, his or ours, svelte or chunky, erotic perfume should be undetectable, ditto the sense of orgiastic writhing sent down to us from digital porn heaven. Should your inner eye pick out an angel, beautiful, and fixing eyes on you, or Jesus wearing little but a wisp of cloth across a gym-toned body streaked with blood, contact your counsellor, ring that number - you've wandered to the opposition site.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    One child held my left pinky

    • Brian Doyle
    • 06 June 2016
    11 Comments

    One child held onto my left pinky everywhere we went. Never any other finger and never the right pinky but only the left pinky and never my whole hand. To this day sometimes in the morning I stare at my left pinky and suddenly I am in the playground or on the beach or in a thrumming crowd, and there is a person weighing 40 pounds holding onto my left pinky so tightly I am tacking slightly to port. My finger misses her hand this morning. It has been many years since she held my finger.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Letting go of bicycle grief

    • Ben O'Mara
    • 03 June 2016
    7 Comments

    I found the remains of my bicycle on the carport wall. They were broken and twisted, like the body of a victim left to rot in a serial killer movie. The police officer told me it was strange. So strange that his partner took photos and dusted for prints. I couldn't make sense of the robbery. While sturdy, my bicycle was seven years old, and had seen better days. It wasn't worth much money. Who would buy worn leather and a few scratched bits of metal on eBay? Or risk being caught for second hand parts?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Foster kid finds healing in the New Zealand wilderness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 June 2016
    2 Comments

    It's the last chance for Ricky, who has been through a lot of other foster homes before winding up at Bella and Hector's. We don't know the detail of these experiences, but it is telling that the natural nurturer Bella's smallest gestures - cooking breakfast for Ricky, or putting a hot water bottle in his bed at night - are kindnesses like none he has ever known. It contrasts with the child welfare worker''s mantra of 'No child left behind', which on her lips becomes menacing, or at best a bureaucratic inanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lonely lament of a stay-at-home mum

    • Suvi Mahonen
    • 01 June 2016
    5 Comments

    'Hi,' the text began. 'Just letting you know there's no pilates tonight. We're all going to The Hub to C an indie music jam. C U next week?' I put my phone down and stared numbly around my kitchen. Dirty dishes jammed the sink. My toddler's banana was smeared all over the fridge door, but I couldn't gather the energy to wipe it clean. I knew I was lucky to have everything I'd worked for - family, a new apartment, financial stability - but I also knew I had never felt so lonely. 'C U next week.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nuns in love

    • Brian Doyle
    • 31 May 2016
    7 Comments

    O, I had a sweetheart, sure I did, says a tiny stooped nun to me this morning. Long tall handsome man he was too. Did you think I signed up to be a nun before I could fall In love? No. I never met a nun yet wasn't in love before. It's good for you as a nun to have had your heart broken, seems to me, or to break someone else's heart. It's a way of the world. Better to know it so you can be tender when you see it later.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Not-so-nice guys have sexist cake and eat it too

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 May 2016

    As is the time-honoured tradition of Hollywood PIs, Holland has long bound the wounds of some unresolved grief in alcohol and cynicism. Notwithstanding individual tastes that are by no means aligned with gender, this is the kind of movie that can tend to appeal to puerile male interests while diminishing respect for women. In this regard Shane Black, a mainstream filmmaker who is more self-aware than most, tries to have his cake and eat it too, by both drawing and subverting the objectifying male gaze.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rumours of thylacines and distant barbarians

    • Shane McCauley
    • 24 May 2016

    Here in this weather-beleaguered outpost there are so many rumours - thylacines, panthers, wagyls even that in the distant east are barbarians ... But separating deserts might as well be galaxies, and we are self-contained, and even like those theoretical others have our contentments - blue sky, blue sea, and even now the sun's great wintery eye. Hidden as we are however we hold our heads high, perhaps would not be ashamed one day to be discovered ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Miracle of the Andalusia schoolhouse wasp

    • Dan Graham
    • 20 May 2016
    12 Comments

    I attempted to continue with the class but it was impossible for the children to ignore the wasp. I elected to evacuate. We had our lesson on the playground. One of the kids went home and told their mother about the wasp and that instead of class, we'd had an extra long lunch. The mother failed to appreciate the dilemma I'd faced, called my boss and asked her how I could be trusted with 20 children when I couldn't even handle a single wasp. Next week, same class, the wasp returned.

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