section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Notes against a closed-fist mind

    • Peter Bakowski
    • 15 October 2013
    2 Comments

    Time is lost more often than it's found. Be wary of having too many intentions. Make the rut you're in as uncomfortable as possible. Don't dwell in dark places unless it's to gain empathy for those who dwell in dark places. No one is born with a conscience. If pigs could fly, there'd be less bacon.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    University turning point

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 October 2013
    4 Comments

    My first year at university was a time of exquisite confusion and crippling diffidence. The only way I could see to climb the mountain of difficulties my studies seemed to present was to work harder. After one late-night stint in the library, over a cup of the 'caf's' execrable coffee, my friend gave me a book. 'Don't read it on the tram going home,' he said, 'you might embarrass yourself.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Warm fuzzy flipside to a fidgety control freak

    • Brian Doyle
    • 08 October 2013
    5 Comments

    We did not see eye to eye, yet no one cared more about the work we did. He was subject to fits of temper, and you never met a gentler man. He held grudges, and was the soul of mercy. He was the worst manager I ever saw and the best employee. He had been a quiet drunk and when he realised he'd damage his new children he stopped and never took another sip. Lots of people knew him and no one knew him well.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The film about Indonesia that Tony Abbott must see

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 October 2013
    3 Comments

    In Australia the reality of ongoing Indigenous disadvantage is proof of the effect of past atrocities on the structure of ensuing society. Likewise, despite some democratic progress in recent times, Indonesia's unhealed past remains a source of serious human rights problems. The Act of Killing demonstrates a direct continuum between the evils of the past and the present political reality.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blessed are the whistleblowers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2013
    12 Comments

    The International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October coincides with the birthday of Gandhi, who pioneered the concept of political non-violence and the notion of passive resistance, and paid the highest price for his moral choices. A great many people, like Gandhi, desire a non-violent world, in which whistleblowers and thoughtful, idealistic individuals are honoured rather than punished.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A conversation in the wind

    • Bai Helin
    • 01 October 2013

    When husbands and wives quarrelled, I put it down to personality clashes. It's not till I got married that I found it's a tradition.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Politicising the bimbo

    • Ellena Savage
    • 27 September 2013
    6 Comments

    The pleasure of not affecting one's native mode of speech to appease a kind of person who means to privilege the privileged, is unparalleled. Try speaking in a playful way to someone who's scared of bimbos, and then watch their brains literally explode. When a listener struggles to understand that when I say I 'literally died', and yet clearly am still alive, that I am using language in a playful and even ironic way, it's not really their fault. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mythologising family history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 September 2013

    Polley approaches the subject with great patience, like an anthropologist who has a deep love for those whom she is studying. In the beginning she instructs her interviewees simply to start from the start and tell it how it was. She no doubt hopes to find clues in the detail, but she also dignifies each participant by allowing them to have a voice. She is self-effacing, yet the questions she asks are bound up in her very existence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A life of oranges

    • Rory Harris
    • 24 September 2013
    6 Comments

    My father is still in the house he built with his wife; those hand-held walks after work from three suburbs away, to plant a garden as the bricks became walls, and as the fruit trees budded walls became rooms.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Funny mummy slaps patriarchal Australia

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 20 September 2013
    5 Comments

    As a parent of a boy, I was concerned by Thomas' experiences doing 'sexual ethics theatre performances'. She recounts negative responses from teenage boys to one scenario dealing with pubic hair — the lads assuming that 'any girl with pubes would be so self-conscious about them that she'd avoid sex altogether', and that malekind is disgusted by non-exfoliated women.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A broken woman hastily reassembled

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 19 September 2013
    2 Comments

    Jasmine is a tragic figure, and her fatal flaw is that she is entirely self-absorbed. But she is also a victim; the product of a society that expects women to conform to norms that disempower them. It was not her husband's downfall and the resultant material loss that caused her breakdown. It was the many years she spent in a marriage that was fundamentally abusive.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Philosophy of falling

    • Ailsa Piper
    • 18 September 2013
    9 Comments

    Waters fall. So does night. We fall asleep, sometimes because staying awake is too painful. Soldiers fall, and we mourn them. They are boys, many of them, so fall-able. We fall into love, and out of it again, like it is some dark hole. We forget that love should be about rising, because we have fallen back onto cliché. We go through life as though we will always be upright, and when we fall, it hurts.

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