section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Edward Snowden's lessons for a secure Australia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 February 2015
    2 Comments

    Snowden is both passionate and highly articulate, wanting nothing less noble than to see the delineation between those with power and the people over whom they wield it redrawn. The real meat of the matter is not the revelations themselves, but how in their light governments and societies desiring security will move to decide just how much freedom they are willing to surrender in order to acquire it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The case for defending children and their advocates

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 February 2015
    10 Comments

    Children have always suffered and been exploited. Only recently have been regarded as being children at all, rather than mini-people. Reformers like Dickens raised consciousness beginning in the 19th century. Bombs are raining on children in Syria and elsewhere. Not so Australia, but many are being damaged nonetheless. The Australian Human Rights Commission is having to defend its report on Immigration Detention from critics that include the Prime Minister.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    I am not ephemeral

    • Marjon Mossammaparast
    • 24 February 2015
    8 Comments

    How many times rooted are we to earth, though we would reach away from it, lifting our arms like trees? My stem, yielding to the fashioner’s knowing hand? I am not after all ephemeral. No petals of a flower.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ciggie butt brains indict Aussie middle class elitism

    • Ellena Savage
    • 20 February 2015
    8 Comments

    When Damo and Darren's 'Train Station' — Michael Cusack's animation of an obscene 'part derro, part yobbo, part bogan' duo fighting over a lighter — was published on YouTube, it clocked 2 million views in its first month, and made people very happy. I showed it to a friend who had grown up in England's north under Margaret Thatcher. He was not amused. 'Why are Australians laughing at poor people?' he asked.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Living and dying for Martin Luther King's dream

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 February 2015
    1 Comment

    The theme song from Selma references Rosa Parks and Ferguson in the same breath. Indeed this is a powerful period drama that resonates loudly in a modern age where the injustice against which Martin Luther King raged continues to haunt Black America. Oyelowo's King is charismatic and proud, but plagued by doubts and capable of great sadness when even one of his followers falls in the midst of the struggle.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My mother often used to say

    • Geoff Page
    • 17 February 2015
    4 Comments

    Although a country atheist, my mother often used to say, she rather hoped there'd be a heaven, where one day I would have to pray, forgiveness for my voting record, my sell-out to the 'other side', by telling my large-looming grandpa, what made me cross the 'great divide'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Helen Garner's 'Best Essays' triumph

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 13 February 2015

    The Best Australian Essays 2014 finely illustrates the unnervingly unclear line between essay and short story, but no-one plays with form quite like the indomitable Helen Garner. She offers such a brooding, aching ode to her mother. Proof again that good writing is an inexorable, spiritual exercise that seers itself into the reader's memory. How does she do it?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar Romero's cinematic sainthood

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 February 2015
    6 Comments

    The late Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who as of this month is one step closer to beatification, has long been regarded as one of modern history's great champions of the poor. In 1989 he was 'canonised' on celluloid. The production has not aged well but is elevated by the late Raul Julia, whose conflicted, heroic portrayal of Romero is surely as iconic as the man himself.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lord A of Yarralumla

    • P.S. Cottier
    • 10 February 2015
    8 Comments

    Subtle as a ventriloquist, he clacks and grins ... But the beer is flat and the snags, the snags are burning to memory. Someone should give him a lap. Someone please give him a gong.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Linguist's life and language lost to Alzheimer's

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 05 February 2015
    2 Comments

    The brilliant linguistics professor Alice Howland and her biologist husband, John, sit down to break the news to their adult children: Alice has early-onset Alzheimers. At first Alice maintains a fragile, trembling stoicism. But when she tells them the disease may be passed on genetically, the façade slowly implodes. 'I'm sorry,' she weeps, horrified by the prospect of what she clearly sees as a betrayal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Avoiding the other 'F' word

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 04 February 2015
    12 Comments

    To prevent arguments, I have given up using the word 'football' for any code. I now almost exclusively use the terms soccer, Aussie rules, rugby (union) or league. What matters is not the shape of the ball, but whether a sport can provide great stories and spectacles on the field.   

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sitting in a room with my mother and father

    • Diane Fahey
    • 03 February 2015
    2 Comments

    The wind a cool shadow felt at my back: when the sun’s blaze slams into my chest, I am held between them as if both would claim me, pass through me. So grief, with its heart-heat, its pressuring shadows, lays claim, passes into and through us.

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