section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The hell of hoarding

    • Ellena Savage
    • 20 January 2012
    3 Comments

    Inside an old case of art supplies I'd lugged in and out of three houses but rarely opened, I found a plastic bag with something like a dead rat in it. It was not an animal however but a full head of my own hair from the time I shaved my head. There is internal logic to hoarding, but it has its perils.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Religious icons tweaked by Renaissance masters

    • Alex McPhee-Browne
    • 19 January 2012
    1 Comment

    The Renaissance embodied a revolution not only in form, but in content. Bellini's Madonna and Child is enlivened by a zesty piece of human theatre: the baby Jesus, anxious to be on his way, raises one leg in a gesture of defiance, a perfect half-scowl etched onto his tiny features.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Parenting habits of Mormons and Catholics

    • Brian Doyle
    • 18 January 2012
    9 Comments

    In Mormon families, the first kid has to be a bishop or scout leader, and the second through fifth are trained fpr football. In the Catholic system, a family produces a priest or nun, a cop, a teacher, and a solider, after which the rest of the kids can be whatever they want, even Lutherans in some cases.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Before the fall

    • Kevin Gillam
    • 17 January 2012
    2 Comments

    The chant of the unseens — ripple in a magpie's throat — as the sigh of a city's prayer cushions — forgiveness has the weight of faith and cloud. And then rain, symphonic on tin, washing walls of doubt.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2011: Rescuing JFK

    • P. S. Cottier
    • 12 January 2012

    'Kennedy was a cold warrior, but Johnson took it to the next level. He had the same my-balls-are-bigger-than-yours complex as Dubya.' The narrator journeys into the past in order to produce a kinder America. One that may not throw itself into Vietnam with such lust. Published 16 November 2011

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2011: Greek crisis viewed from the corner store

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 10 January 2012
    2 Comments

    Panayiotis runs the mini-market he inherited from his father. I have known father and son for 30 years. 'How do you see things at this stage of the krisi?' I ask him, for I'm always asking people what they think of Greece's financial crisis. 'What crisis?' he grins. 'Greece has got a crisis; Greeks haven't.' Published 14 June 2011

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2011: Songs of England at war

    • Philip Harvey
    • 05 January 2012
    1 Comment

    Gallipolli was a disaster and a relatively minor conflict, but it is upon such 'minor' conflicts that Empires are built. These songs go to the heart of a contradictory dilemma: the love of country on the one hand and the ugly extremes of patriotism on the other. Published 23 February 2011

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2011: Breast sandwich

    • Mary Manning
    • 04 January 2012
    2 Comments

    'I'm Shareena,' she says. 'I'm your radiographer for today. For your breast screen.' An old man looks away from the waiting room television when he hears the word breast. His eyes linger over my sensible tailored shirt and I wonder if I have left a button undone. Published 19 April 2011

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Best of 2011: Religion's homophobic scratch and sniff

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 January 2012
    1 Comment

    Vile denunciations and allegations waft across the vast expanse of space and time. Flatulent Dutch ovens of bigotry aloft fly, as adult, equal love's tagged 'sin', not raft to finding solace, as surely as the Made seeks the Maker's consoling deeps. Published 21 November 2011

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The beer jingle that saved Christmas

    • Brian Doyle
    • 22 December 2011
    1 Comment

    A hickory tree peed his pants. A striped bass assaulted an eggplant. A teacher cursed in Gaelic into her mic. Then my kid brother, Tommy, spontaneously stepped forward and sang that jingle. Some moments are unforgettable for reasons we can't articulate. My dad says he'll savour that one on his deathbed. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Giving ice-cream to strangers

    • Phoebe Marsh
    • 21 December 2011
    3 Comments

    I spied a boy in school uniform. 'These ice-creams are about to melt, would you like one?' He looked up from his phone, shook his head and grunted. I tried a woman nearby: 'They'll only go to waste!' 'No thank you.' I was the weirdo on the platform offering sweets to strangers. It was not a good look.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Feast of the fantastic

    • Peter Gebhardt
    • 20 December 2011

    This place is bigger than any kingdom. It opens out, boundary-less, to everyone everywhere. It doesn't matter how many come, and the skateboarders will always get a seat at the banquet, where they will taste the wine and food, learn to sing with the host and rejoice in his good.

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