section: Arts And Culture

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    To kiss or kill a feral cat

    • Ellena Savage
    • 15 February 2013
    15 Comments

    Whenever I spot that lithe mottled feral cat lurking behind our pumpkins, I have to fight bipolar urges. The kitty-lover in me wants to lure it in with milk and sardines, then trap it into a co-dependent relationship. My other urge is the environmentally responsible one: to take it to the vet and have it put down.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ugly face of a self-help monster

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 14 February 2013
    3 Comments

    Health and beauty executive Amy suffers a breakdown at her company's corporate offices. Flash forward, and she has just returned from a stint at a new-age treatment clinic. Enlightened parodies the self-centred philosophies of the cult of self-help and reveals how they can turn a person like Amy into a monster.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    What it is to be a woman in India

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 13 February 2013
    2 Comments

    Have the men in India been staring at you?' Audrey asks. Before I can respond she says: 'They've been staring at me, and I'm 84!' The trial of five men for the rape-murder of a young Delhi woman may prompt India to analyse the links between entrenched anti-female practices and the way women are valued today. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning to sail both ways

    • Graham Kershaw
    • 12 February 2013
    1 Comment

    Don't you seek a centre, an object of devotion? Don't you seek a primal source of light? In the evening, on verandahs, in the dark, in the rain ... Don't you go inside quickly and drink yourself blind? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Election year food, sex and meaning

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 08 February 2013

    David Marr's withering piece on Tony Abbot completes the political trinity. These writers manage the impossible: they have me feeling sorry for politicians. Well, almost. I'm not sure if such magnanimity is allowed in an election year. But what a pleasure to discover those grey Canberran corridors harbouring such a chiaroscuro of emotion.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Time runs out for idiot slavers

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 07 February 2013
    1 Comment

    Lincoln's quest to end slavery is a centrally moral endeavor requiring political maneuvering and even underhandedness to achieve. Whereas Spielberg's Lincoln hums with quiet patriotic fervour, Django Unchained is pure irreverence and a vicious 'up yours' to the idiocy of white supremacy. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Diabetica and other poems

    • Les Murray
    • 05 February 2013
    3 Comments

    A man coughs like a box and turns on yellow light to follow his bladder out over the gunwale of his bed. He yawns upright trying not to dot the floor with little advance pees.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teaching literature to rock stars

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 February 2013
    2 Comments

    He appeared in the doorway of my study one day in 1971 and asked if I was the one who was starting a course in Australian literature. His voice was soft and melodic, his accent beautifully Irish. Born in Belfast in 1947, he had grown up amid the horrors of 'The Troubles' and would in later years refer to himself as 'a recovering Catholic'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Evil is relative in the hunt for bin Laden

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 31 January 2013
    5 Comments

    The tagline 'history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man' is ironic. By the time of bin Laden's execution his dangerousness was arguably largely emblematic. Zero Dark Thirty portrays the manhunt as a quest for revenge, and leaves open to question whether America was enhanced or diminished by exacting its vengeance.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A fine teacher's urination solution

    • Brian Doyle
    • 30 January 2013
    11 Comments

    Sister Marie realised that Linda had been robbed of her lunch, and had not eaten at all, and had been humiliated by the theft, and was more humiliated now by public revelation. She straightened up and stared at the older kids, but just as she began to speak, Linda sobbed even harder, and a rill of urine trickled from the back of her seat.

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