Australian politics, society & culture

David Marr

© Andrew Taylor/Reuters
The pursuit of character over substance
By Mungo MacCallum
Nigel Thomson, 'Manoly Lascaris', 1994 (detail). Oil on linen. Private collection. Image courtesy of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum.
Manoly Lascaris and Patrick White’s ghost
By Debra Adelaide
Meeting Neil Armfield
By Jana Wendt
We are approximately an hour into Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure – first performed in 1604 – when a phone rings on stage. The appliance is lying on the bedside table of a starkly lit Novotel-like hotel room, glass-walled bathroom and toilet included. It occurs to me that if a director invests this much in a water
Forty-three Years at the ABC
By Chris Masters
Despite that dismal episode, I still see the ABC as a national treasure. It can be snobbishly self-important and oafishly bureaucratic. There are a lot of cardigans in those corridors. Managers come and go with the barest understanding of broadcasting, the central purpose of the place. A recent board became its
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By John Hirst
David Marr’s ‘The Henson Case’
By Sebastian Smee
David Marr's book on the Bill Henson controversy (Text Publishing, 149pp; $24.95) begins with a reasonable man reasonably wondering if an image of a naked young girl used on an invitation to an exhibition opening is not "a bit off". The man is the Sydney Morning Herald's arts editor, Richard Jinman,
2020 Hindsight
By Robert Manne
When my university offered to nominate me to attend the 2020 Summit, I accepted at once. Given that I had recently edited a book of ideas for a better Australia, it seemed churlish not to agree. But there was more to it than that. For the past decade the Right has sought to marginalise the virtual community to which I
Patrick White, Cambridge, early 1930s. National Library of Australia
The final chapter
By David Marr
Reinvigorating the National Broadcaster
By Robert Manne
This outline of my daily routine should at least make one thing clear: the ABC plays a very important part in my life. As it does for very many Australians. There is almost no institution in Australia that is more generally trusted, valued and loved than the ABC, as survey after survey shows. There is probably no
Why We Need a Change of Government
By Robert Manne
In the October issue of the Australian Literary Review, Australia's most influential political journalist, Paul Kelly, published an article attacking Australia's intellectuals. Kelly sought to turn Donald Horne on his head. Horne had famously described Australia as a "lucky country run mainly by second-rate people".
What Happened to Community?
By Drusilla Modjeska
Thirty years ago or so, the word packed a punch. It's hard to imagine now. In London during the '70s, I fell in with a rather wonderful group of women who were working at community centres and community presses, and elbowing their way out of the strictures of our mothers' generation by living collectively. I was only
Sydney's talkback titan and his mythical power
By David Salter
By Kathy Marks
It is 7.17 a.m. in the Sydney studio of Channel Nine’s Today show, and Tracy Grimshaw and Karl Stefanovic are preparing to quiz a British scientist who uses pickled gherkins to explain the Big Bang theory. Later in the program, entertainment reporter Richard ‘Dicky’ Wilkins will demonstrate the latest in foot-massage
By Margaret Simons
The working day is infused with the irony of the clever, their undercutting humour, and the slight sense of disappointment that always accompanies passion. Public broadcasting, a former ABC executive comments, is a thing built on intellect and emotion. This makes it precious, but hard to manage. The people are easy to