section: Arts And Culture

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Savaging sex and religion

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 15 December 2011
    4 Comments

    Three teenagers are lured into the midst of a demented cult waging a brutal crusade against society's sexual profligacy; the Westboro Baptists re-imagined as violent extremists. This is not the first time questioning Catholic filmmaker Kevin Smith has had a go at religion.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confronting the beggar dilemma

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 14 December 2011
    10 Comments

    My father was disgusted by beggars. 'You know what that's all about? A bottle of metho to go with the boot polish.' These days I divide beggars into categories. The aged are in my in-group, and so are children. I give to amputees, but one day an 'amputee' got up and revealed himself to have two legs.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Learning to walk and to dance

    • Various
    • 13 December 2011
    2 Comments

    When I last saw you, still horizontal, interrogating the floor, you'd begun reversing Kafka — a slow transformation from beetle to vertical human. Powered by a new locomotion, you steer yourself towards the stereo; music erupts into your world, is taken entirely for granted.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teachers' uprising

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 December 2011
    8 Comments

    'Matthews!' the headmaster called. I kept walking. 'Matthews!' I walked on. 'Mister Matthews!' I turned and said, 'Yes?' 'Did you not hear me?' 'I answer to Brian or Mister Matthews, nothing in between.' We were enacting our miniscule part in a process that would grow through the decade.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pope on the run

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 08 December 2011
    3 Comments

    The Catholic Church has more than a billion members worldwide. To lead it is an immense responsibility. Irreverence notwithstanding, We Have A Pope stands as a gracious gesture, free of Church politics, to those who accept that responsibility. Surely, none would do so blithely.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lesson for heretics

    • Various
    • 06 December 2011
    3 Comments

    Waiting, something opens without our willing it, without force ... A vastness of silent notes accompanies us, a symphony we have longed to hear of belief far beyond our interpretations ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Voyeur God comes to sordid Sydney

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 01 December 2011
    9 Comments

    Shay has escaped from her abusive stepfather into a life of prostitution. Holly has accumulated wealth as a high-class call girl. Their work is more dangerous than either had imagined. For them, if there is a God, he simply watches, rather than watching over.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tribute to the non-defeatist graffitists

    • Philip Harvey
    • 30 November 2011
    14 Comments

    I harbour a quiet pleasure at seeing dull square buildings of grey concrete slabs scintillatingly covered with outlandish swirls of colour. We know why they do it: to resist boredom, to challenge conformity, to strike out at a world that is not listening, to leave a mark when all other avenues are closed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Christmas Island crabs

    • Various
    • 29 November 2011

    Christmas for crabs; their island blooms with a rare largesse of flesh mashed to pulp on rocks — such 'palatable human refuse'.

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