section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pity abandoned on the banks of the Parramatta

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 21 October 2015
    6 Comments

    A young man introduces himself: Ashley. He has sandy blond hair, a lithe body and an ease and grace with the kids. The lessons are free, but my daughter doesn't wait to for this explanation; she's already picked up a unicycle. 'You need a helmet first,' Ashley explains, and I tap my daughter's arm and sign, 'Helmet'. 'Does she read lips?' he asks. 'If you could just look at her when you're talking,' I say. 'Okay,' he says with the slightest trepidation. 'She's d-d-deaf and I have a stutter.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Persian poetry pastiche

    • Paul Smith
    • 20 October 2015
    4 Comments

    Where is one who through friendship will be faithful to me ... who with a reprobate such as me will act kindly, mercifully? / Real friendship is so difficult to find because it means of the other thinking more than oneself, loving the other, sincerely. / True friendship means equality, listening, putting oneself in the other's shoes and seeing out of those eyes ... differently! / Friendship that matters is not one-sided, lacking in interest: a lasting friendship is one of selflessness, a thing of beauty!

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The man who gave the Twin Towers their soul

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 October 2015
    1 Comment

    In 1974 eccentric French acrobat Philippe Petit walked a tightrope between the recently completed Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. He and his team of accomplices, aware of the illegality of what they were doing and the complex physical challenges of rigging a cable between 400-metre-tall skyscrapers (let along walking on it), spent months scheming in secret. On the day, any number of unforeseen circumstances could derail the intricate plot. The Walk recreates the feat in vertiginous detail.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning how to die with chimera Montaigne

    • Patti Miller
    • 14 October 2015
    13 Comments

    I have always felt guilty about an inability to commit to any belief system. So when Montaigne said 'Only fools have made up their mind', I felt an enormous sense of relief. He knew that those who are certain are the ones to shut down newspapers, lop off heads, blow up planes, burn books. There is a thread throughout his essays, too, of him finding sex undignified and therefore unfitting for grown men and women. It is one of his many contradictions and confronts me with my own contradictory attitude.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Windows to grace on the school bus

    • Brian Doyle
    • 13 October 2015
    6 Comments

    I am present in the kitchen window at 7.39 exactly if at all possible, to be given the gift of a kid licking his window, or a kid waving at me, or one little kid inarguably and thoroughly picking his nose. You wouldn't think that a boy picking his nose would be a glorious and poignant and thrilling and joyous sight, something that seemed truly and deeply holy, but it sure was, to me. All children are my children and yours and the bus bounces down the street every morning and we are not dead and all is grace.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Devil worship on Boston's mean streets

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 08 October 2015
    2 Comments

    A Black Mass is a travesty of the Catholic Mass in worship of the devil. In this instance it is a metaphor for FBI agent Connolly's devotion to violent criminal Bulger, due in part to the social benefit he attains through his association with this powerful criminal, but running all the way back to a formative childhood encounter that is hinted at but not articulated in detail. Of the flatly villainous Bulger and the morally complex, wilfully compromised Connolly, the latter is the more palpably evil.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Growing old in Australia is a difficult business

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 07 October 2015
    9 Comments

    Well, I know the dehumanising rot began to set in a long time ago. I have a vision of George Orwell sitting on a cloud and wringing his hands in renewed horror, for now the business model and associated language appears to have taken over the world. In short, the changes in aged care could be counterproductive, as the aims of streamlined access and equity may result instead in the development of barriers and more inequity. Growing old clearly means more hard work, and more adjustment.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The red wheelchair

    • Sue Cook
    • 06 October 2015
    3 Comments

    So much depends upon a red wheelchair lined with black canvas beside the front doorstep. Even more depends upon two ramps to convey a red wheelchair into the world outside.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blood and the Bard

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 01 October 2015
    4 Comments

    Lady Macbeth is left somewhere in the realm of caricature, her 'Out damned spot' soliloquy oddly decontextualised and the circumstances of her death diminished and confused. That said, the conflation of the Macbeths' conspiracy to commit regicide with an act of discreet marital sex is a potent image of their moral codependency. This faithful adaptation by Australian director Justin Kurzel is grimmer even than Polanski's 1971 version, which it is set to displace as the standard-bearer adaptation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dreams, storms and boyhood

    • David Ishaya Osu
    • 29 September 2015
    5 Comments

    A family of four: an ex secret, a doll to share new moons with, a sky-blue diary and a door — nobody does the sign of the cross during sex; a braid of moonlight and shadow directs your head to a pillow, and next to your window hangs a raindrop ready to touch your heart; even a rat cannot feast on a field of vows; can i go outside of this life, you ask.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grace and quiet rage in David Gulpilil's country

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 September 2015

    Gulpilil measures the distance to Ramininging from Darwin by the number of river crossings, and defines its rough edges by the points at which traditional values clash with the imposed or inherited Western trappings. Through him we meet a man who found Christianity while in prison, and who now on Easter Sunday leads an epic reenactment of the Passion through the town's dirt streets. In the degradation of his trial and execution, says Gulpilil, Jesus is neither God nor leader; 'He is black. He is one of us.'

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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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