If there are more than 100 matches, only the first 100 are displayed here.

Exposed, illegal, adrift

08 August 2016 | Frances Roberts

Asylum seeker boatThis cramped corner of the decking planks is all you have on a pelagic wreck, a Medusa raft, splintered, rank ... Part of an interlocking human mat, you lie exposed and frightened, to escape the below deck stench of excrement and illness. Scant hope here of sleep ... The true villains in this outcome bask proudly in their stand firm against illegal entry by the family of man.

Forget conspiracies and own your complicity

07 August 2016 | Ellena Savage

Madonna in Frozen video clipThe talking heads say the same things I once heard on Illuminati documentaries. In place of Pharrell Williams making suspicious hand gestures though, the blame for the unpleasant outcomes of a healthy free market is bestowed on the western world's maligned: refugees, Indigenous people, queer people, the working poor. These talking heads, who feel desperate and inferior because they have never contributed anything to anyone other than themselves, are eschewing their complicity in harm.

Alfred Hitchcock's Catholic guilt

04 August 2016 | Tim Kroenert

The interviewees regard Vertigo with awe, waxing lyrical about its psychosexual subtext; but not a word is said about the inherent misogyny of a film that is explicitly about a man's objectification of a woman. The film's most interesting segment however concerns the pre-eminence of guilt in Hitchcock's films, and the role it plays in shaping human activity. This, says Martin Scorsese (a filmmaker similarly preoccupied with guilt and sin), may define Hitchcock as an essentially Catholic filmmaker.

Buddhist traffic light

1 Comment
01 August 2016 | Lesley Lebkowicz, Andrew Madigan, Barry Gittins

Traffic lightMy friend, new to Mandalay, never before in Asia, sighs as she sees the east- and west-bound cars and rickshaws slow to a ragged fringe across the intersection. The north- and south-bound take their turn in the same gentle, fearless lack of order. Ah, she says, see how aware they are, each of the other. Such harmony: you can tell it's a Buddhist country. Spoilsport, I point to where, so easily ignored, enmeshed in a thicket of wire overhead, lights flicker: green, amber, red.

Mortal touch

25 July 2016 | Anne Elvey

Fingers touchWith the same sense that meets the keys I stroke her arm. This tactility makes the tangible seem eternal, as if the want to write were training me to count on time. My mortality is misdirected thus by a capacity to touch. And when I put my arm around her shoulders, I feel beneath the skin the sharpness of the bone.

Worn and wasted by election day shambles

07 July 2016 | Ellena Savage

Counting ballot papersThe OIC makes a dramatic speech about the integrity of live ballot papers, that there will be no repeat of the Western Australian kerfuffle, that we have our booklets that contain all the answers (and many typos, too). He seems nice. Maybe a little skittish. Not someone I'd imagine would be hired to run an office or manage a kitchen or even wait tables, but he must know what he's doing. This speech is the last demonstration of authority I witness on this day.

School walk in German winter

04 July 2016 | Tracy Ryan

xxxxxOur one star has departed. We're wholly dark. The clouds are shedding pretension to friendliness, flake by flake. Which of us guides the other across this glassine surface that blanks every letter, deadening words. Who is that figure, globe-headed, dirndl-skirted, vacant hand-holder. The street-sign makes Mother, her little familiar. When you were born the ground had taken more than a dusting. We were locked in, but not forever. Now you are thirteen, age of reversible prime ...

The quiet torture of unspeakable grief

1 Comment
29 June 2016 | Tim Kroenert

This strange and engrossing Italian film proffers an unsettling rumination upon the rituals of mourning, and upon a mode of grief which itself is a kind of death. It opens with a sweeping close-up of an imposing crucifix, and the fine musculature of a graven Christ. A mass of mourners is then revealed, and before them a woman, immobile and weeping silently. The camera angle cuts to calf level, to reveal a trail of urine more copious than her tears, running down her leg to her shoes.

Happy hour reverie

1 Comment
27 June 2016 | Dougal Hurley

Beer pintsAmber brethren unified over glazed tables, cracked leather chairs groaning under the burden of another weary apprentice. Here's to the blackened crust on a Parma special and to being pricked by an unofficial entry tithe ... Douse me in the balm of mellifluous chatter. Let me move amorously down through this molten journey until I am left suckling at the dregs in my comfortably reduced environ, tending towards something that approaches what some might call contentedness.

Feminist parable's message for Eddie McGuire and co.

22 June 2016 | Tim Kroenert

That McGuire, eventually, and presumably under pressure from the club's board and a major sponsor, offered what seemed to be a sincere apology, barely diminishes the fact that the comments were made in the first place, compensates for the lack of real repercussions, or excuses the time and effort that was required to get the incident on the agenda at all. Like a good parable, Mustang illuminates the ethical deficit of such a scenario, where women can so readily be bulldozed by powerful male voices.

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