October 12 – 18, 2019

News

Image for article: Exclusive: 500 children forfeited to state in NDIS standoff

News

Image for article: Extinction Rebellion protests
Image for article: Crackdown on large cash transactions
Image for article: No end in sight for Hong Kong rebels

Comment

Diary

Gadfly
A Greek comedy duo

The dazzling Athenian sunshine caught the highlights of Kevin Andrews’ luxuriant crop of Grecian 2000-enhanced hair as he took coffee at a footpath cafe in Skoufa, close to the Greek capital’s embassy district. But hold on, there was an even bigger distraction. Pauline Hanson, that heart-throb of menopausal males from the boondocks, was perched close by. Quite the strange pairing to spot on holiday together in the Mediterranean.

Letters, Poem & Editorial

Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Gospel of Peter

 a poem constructed from the words of Peter Dutton

 

african gangs have taken over the streets,

melburnians are afraid to go out to eat

 

                                     and asylum seekers are having

 

anchor babies … armed with pro bono lawyers

          trying to leverage migration


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Editorial
The untold joke

At best, larrikinism is a cover for the worst aspects of the Australian character. It excuses poor behaviour and indulges second-rate talent. It is a particular kind of unseriousness that avoids difficult questions and laughs at those who try to ask them.

Letters

Trouble ahead on aged care

Rick Morton gives a valuable perspective on the crisis facing aged care (“Exclusive: Aged-care sector at risk of collapse”, October 5-11). It’s valuable as it shines a light on providers …

A failing system

Rick Morton summarised concisely a muddied subject: aged care and its conduct and viability through successive governments. In doing so he’s spotlighted the absurdities underlying the current structure, which …

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Culture

Author Philip Pullman.

Profile

Fantasy bestseller Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman found fame in the 1990s with the His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy. Now, the children who grew up with the heroine, Lyra, can revisit her as an adult in The Secret Commonwealth. The author talks about having his work adapted for the small screen, the dangers of single vision and the allure of dust. “We know we’re conscious, but philosophers are still struggling with what David Chalmers calls ‘the hard problem’ – how do we get from matter to consciousness? Once you accept that consciousness is a normal property of matter, and that everything is, in however dim and rudimentary way, conscious, everything becomes clearer. This is the question towards which The Book of Dust is working.”

Image for article: Mentalist Scott Silven

Theatre

Mentalist Scott Silven

Relying on more than sleight of hand and psychological manipulation, mentalist Scott Silven elicits wonder and delight from his audiences by connecting them through his performances.

Books

Image for article: Ducks, Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann
Ducks, Newburyport

Image for article: Act of Grace

Anna Krien
Act of Grace

Image for article: Grand Union

Zadie Smith
Grand Union

Life

Image for article: Padrón peppers with tomato bread and aioli

Food

Padrón peppers with tomato bread and aioli

Louise Gray, the executive officer of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Australia.

Health

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder

In Australia, up to 9 per cent of babies are born each year with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Mixed messages about drinking during pregnancy and a lack of awareness mean few people understand the condition, let alone discuss it.

Image for article: Pocket rocket Robby Foldvari

Sport

Pocket rocket Robby Foldvari

Thirty-three years after winning the World Professional Billiards Championship, Robby Foldvari has returned to this year’s tournament, with his passion for the sport – and his hunger for success – as alive as ever.

Puzzles

Quotes

BUDGETING

“Well, they’re maintaining its operational status.”

Kaylene ZakharoffThe Home Affairs Department’s immigration detention group manager explains why at least 125 staff were employed at the Christmas Island detention centre, which housed no detainees, at a cost of more than $22 million.

ROYAL WELCOME

“It is disappointing.”

Renae Grljusich-PoolmanThe royal family enthusiast expresses her dismay at being the only person who showed up to greet Jeffrey Epstein associate Prince Andrew on his visit to Perth’s Murdoch University.

OBSOLESCENCE

“I just feel like it’s better to do the apology and patch things up rather than let it drag on and become a bigger issue.”

Ron IsmayThe mayor of Hindmarsh Shire is genuinely contrite for describing Nationals MP Emma Kealy as “the best-looking politician in Victoria” at the opening of a skate park in Nhill.

SHOWBIZ

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.”

Martin ScorseseThe veteran director admits he has never watched a Marvel film, though that didn’t stop him from declaring them “not cinema”.

IMPEACHMENT

“Perhaps Downer is always completely oblivious to international news. Perhaps he spends too much time drinking with 28-year-olds.”

Ann CoulterThe right-wing American columnist theorises why Alexander Downer should be considered an unreliable source in impeachment investigations against Donald Trump.

TITLES

“It is not so much reform but restoration.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister asserts that reintroducing a peerage system of “knights and dames” is still very much on his political agenda.

ISRAEL–HAMAS WAR