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Coke selling sexism

18 January 2011 | Ronnie Scott

Diet Coke Love It Light girlsIt scratches a weird, deep itch when we're made to want to buy something in a way that feels intelligent and fresh. Coke manages to scratch that itch frequently. But the new Diet Coke ads feel lazy, cheap, sexist, and patronising.

Best of 2010: The dignity of Carl Williams

05 January 2011 | Andrew Hamilton

Carl WilliamsWhen celebrities who have treated people violently suffer themselves from violence, their suffering is approved because it is an expected part of the plot. The death of Carl Williams has been covered as if it were an episode of Underbelly. Williams deserves better than this.

Losing Mikayla

16 December 2010 | TIm Kroenert

Andrew and Mikayla FrancisThe mainstream media dons a benevolent face. 3AW talkback radio, The Herald Sun, Channels Nine and 7 News carry Mikayla into Melbournians' homes. It's easy to be cynical about their motives. In an ideal world every sick child would be noticed in this way.

Oprah and WikiLeaks

10 December 2010 | Andrew Hamilton

Oprah WinfreyWinfrey's style is confessional in therapeutic mode. Wikileaks is confessional in a heroic mode. Winfrey will be feted in Australia, while Julian Assange's enterprise will, one way or another, be brought to an end. The grace he offers is not cheap enough. 

Raising Julian Assange

09 December 2010 | Lyn Bender

Anwar IbrahimWho is this Assange? Is he a messianic hero, larrikin, renegade, terrorist, or just a very naughty boy? As a psychologist my interest lies in history, as this is frequently re-enacted in our lives. And Julian Assange had a very unusual childhood.

Julian Assange's problem for feminists

09 December 2010 | Ruby Hamad

FeminismJulian Assange claims to be fighting for freedom of speech and government transparency — ideals that feminists also hold dear. But Assange has been arrested on rape charges and many feminists will find it hard to reconcile their defence of him with their support of rape victims.

Wikileaks' problematic moral justification

28 October 2010 | Andrew Hamilton

Wikileaks logoIt has been argued that even if the leaks do endanger the lives of some allied soldiers, even more lives have been lost because governments have concealed the reality of the war. This utilitarian argument undermines Wikileaks' claim to be ethically superior to governments.

Polanski's art not greater than his crime

16 July 2010 | Binoy Kampmark
Roman PolanskiThe decision by a Swiss judge not to extradite film director Roman Polanski to the US has again triggered the debate about how artists are treated by the law. The case has been running simultaneously to that of Russian musician. The parallels are striking.

How Facebook changed my life

19 May 2010 | Cassandra Golds

You never read anything good about Facebook. A headline in the Sydney Morning Herald this week declared there are no rules. It has a reputation for superficiality and promiscuous over-sharing. But I haven't had so much fun in years. And I have never felt less alone.

Sympathy for Catherine Deveny

07 May 2010 | Andrew Hamilton
Catherine DevenyCatherine Deveny's sacking smells of hypocrisy. Some will say that those who live by the sword die by the sword. But in this case it appeared that those who provided her with the sword and encouraged her to use it liberally, stabbed her in the back with it.

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