section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A wild new pope

    • Barry Gittins, Brian Doyle and B. A. Breen
    • 12 March 2013
    8 Comments

    Man, yeah, I would be pope, if the phone rang, late at night, collect from the Vatican. Yes, I would, if I could do it right. I'd call a meeting of the Curia and say boys, we are letting women run everything for the next five years. Each of you gets a new boss in high heels.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Roman Polanski and the chain of abuse

    • Lyn Bender
    • 12 March 2013
    15 Comments

    In 2009 I wrote an article examining the suffering of Polanski, the acclaimed filmmaker who was wanted on a rape charge he'd pled guilty to 30 years ago. I soon discovered how cruel an online lynch mob can be. Some commentators wished rape upon me, so that I might know how bad it was. The truth is I was already 'in the club'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In bed with Phillip Adams

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 08 March 2013
    7 Comments

    Adams once told me about his room of gods. It's chockablock with deities from myriad cultures and creeds. While Adams is revered as Godfather to Australia's atheists, at heart he remains a young boy huddled under the covers at night; buried under the considerable challenges due his story of origin.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex and power in the case of Cardinal Keith O'Brien

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 March 2013
    2 Comments

    Catherine Deveney was right to point out that power, not homosexuality, was at issue in the case of Cardinal O'Brien, who resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct. A new film by American director Steven Soderbergh also reflects on relationships based in power, and the ethical obligation of the party with the greater power not to act against the interests of the other. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Auden dines with Barry Humphries

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 05 March 2013
    1 Comment

    What I fear is that on Judgment Day one's punishment will be to hear God reciting by heart the poems I would have written had my life been good.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    George Orwell's chicken feed solution

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 March 2013
    4 Comments

    'On this day in 1939: Belgium signed a trade treaty with France, 71 people died in the Black Friday bush fire, and Orwell's chickens laid two eggs.' Orwell's domestic diaries seem trivial, but it is wrong to assume he saw his recording of vegetables, egg laying and other small-holder concerns as dwarfed by the great world. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar-winning racism in Hollywood's mixed bag

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 February 2013

    After cataloguing the ways in which the film belittles and marginalises the experiences of black slaves, Williams laments the fact that such marginalisation continues to exist seemingly unnoticed in mainstream popular culture. The Oscar awarded to Django Unchained is the epitome of popular culture 'not noticing'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The extraordinary sandwiches of Sister Cook

    • Brian Doyle
    • 27 February 2013
    12 Comments

    Many a man has written elegiacally or bitterly of his education under the firm hands of the Sisters, but not so many have sung the quiet corners where perhaps we were better educated than we were in our classrooms. I learned more about communion at the epic timbered table in Sister Cook's golden kitchen than I did in religion class. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blood cancer solidarity

    • Peter Mitchell
    • 26 February 2013
    3 Comments

    Mars-sunset eyes deep sunk, prune wrinkled hide, cheek bones protruding like clenched fists, hovers above the bed of respite. In the silence, this fellow-feeling fissures the lines of my ordinary features.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Love and euthanasia

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 February 2013
    4 Comments

    There are moments that highlight the misery of Anne's condition, the slights rendered against her dignity. She awakens in a puddle of brown urine; labours excruciatingly over every syllable she speaks, but is misunderstood; howls in pain as she is showered. Her husband can do little but tend dutifully to her needs. Is it enough?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The lost art of posting a letter

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 February 2013
    10 Comments

    She was about to post some letters in the box near her house when a car drew up: a man leaned out and asked if he could watch, as he'd never seen anyone post a letter before. 'How many?' he asked. When she said, 'Six,' he drove away, shaking his head.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Vegemite interrogation on the Prague night train

    • Anne M. Carson
    • 19 February 2013

    Cash-strapped, post midnight. Transport police rifle our rucksacks, suspicious of backpackers. One prises open my Kodak canister, sniffs, says 'ach!', fires Czech questions at me. 'Vegemite fur frustuck,' I say, trying to convince Vegemite is not hash resin. I smile the smile of someone who doesn't know how bad it can get.

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