section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life as a Florence tour guide

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 22 August 2012
    6 Comments

    All is not quite lost. There's still Michelangelo's David in the Academia — that's 'famous' and always makes for a good Facebook album cover. But after queuing for two hours, you feel rather underwhelmed — David isn't the 20m high statue of a ripped male you had been expecting, and there isn't a secret passageway leading from his gluteus maximus to a torture chamber beneath the Vatican.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confronting the shadow within

    • Stuart Barnes
    • 21 August 2012
    1 Comment

    Dark shadow, I don't love you anymore. (You're deadly, the sea of Ezekiel; the flame forever roiling the bush ...) I don't think I ever did.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The trams revolt

    • Brian Matthews
    • 17 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Like a uniformed and undirected army, they queued end to end, an implacable wall of yellow and green. The trams seemed to squat somehow lower on their shiny rails — and all their lights went out. For more than a month they paralysed the city and everyone could see the government had entered its last days.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shaking Australia's 'brutal sexual economy'

    • Jen Vuk
    • 16 August 2012
    15 Comments

    Author Kathy Lette recalls: 'We girls were little more than a life support system to a pair of breasts ... Once I realised Germaine Greer wasn't just rhyming slang for beer, I wanted to write down our story.' Puberty Blues is what you get when teenage girls with a grudge show the world what they're made of.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    After Greece's party ended

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 August 2012
    3 Comments

    Things were speeding up. Greece entered the European Community, banks were throwing money at every Tom, Dick and Spiro, credit cards seemed a form of modern magic. The party is over now, and the ones who have survived in the best shape are the older villagers who never expected a party and so did not join in the spree.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Car crash requiem

    • Philip Salom
    • 14 August 2012

    Death is different at night ... A cool light we gently call dawn enters the tree tops and so enters me. I am entering the next world ... Can it be in some secret way I am dead?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Robert Hughes, the Australian exile who never left

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 09 August 2012
    3 Comments

    Hughes was part of that movement of Australian artists and intellectuals — Germaine Greer and Clive James among them — who fled to Europe in the 1960s. Yet he was unable to escape the antipodean orbit he found arid and constricting. Australian reference points followed his pen with nagging persistence, a permanent shadowing.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Aboriginal voices silence Vietnamese war stories

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 August 2012
    2 Comments

    The anti-American rhetoric is direct and effective, the phrase AMERICAN WAR OF AGGRESSION a recurring, pulsating slur. Yet who would deny it, faced with this photographic account of Vietnamese suffering? There are at least two versions of any war, and this is theirs. But there are others.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Farewell to the concierge of Pitt Street

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 08 August 2012
    24 Comments

    Yassin made sure the bins were out for the garbage collectors, and that people had parking tickets on their cars in case the rangers passed by. He looked after the area so well that we nicknamed him 'the concierge'. Last Monday a security guard found him lying unconscious and without a pulse.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Olympics silver whining

    • Various
    • 07 August 2012

    Our species believes it progresses without limitation. We shout when a swimmer wins silver, 'That's no inspiration'. As humans pound forward, no 'burden of care' limitation ... We deserve only winners, our species the sole inspiration.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cultural snobbery and Wayne Swan's Springsteen mania

    • Ellena Savage
    • 03 August 2012
    6 Comments

    In Australia, land of the cultural cringe, the social elite mainly consume middle- and low-brow culture: mainstream cinema, best-sellers, and Bruce Springsteen, for example. Swan's admiration of Springsteen is positive in its belief in the legitimacy of mainstream taste, which is dictated more democratically than highbrow taste.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Drowning rats of Wall Street

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 August 2012

    Eric Packer is 'the one per cent', who stoically discusses economics with his chief advisor even as an anti-capitalist protest broils outside his limousine; Occupy reimagined as animal anarchy, with protestors yielding spray-paint and dead rats; 'the 99 per cent' of the besieged city raging to reassert their worth.

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