Australian politics, society & culture

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Will Australia learn from the US's healthcare mistakes?
By Lally Katz
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
Murdoch’s Tweets of Doom
By Peter Conrad
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Eugene O’Neill’s 'Long Day’s Journey into Night'
By Peter Conrad
Eugene O’Neill thought of his Long Day’s Journey into Night as a posthumous work. Completing it in 1941, he decided that it should only be published 25 years after his death; he also stipulated that it should never be performed, effectively killing it before its creation. Writing it made him feel like a dead man – a
David Michôd’s 'Animal Kingdom' and Banksy’s 'Exit Through the Gift Shop'
By Luke Davies
Vampire Weekend at Brisbane’s Tivoli
By Robert Forster
The big discussion has been about Ezra’s hair. Recent photos have had it fluffy and a little out of control. No problems tonight, though; it’s clipped and up over the ears, with a fringe that curls just above the left eye. He’s in old-school trainers sans socks, tight black trousers that don’t scream ‘rock’, and his
The Methadone Program at 40
By Gail Bell
Two old hands who dose at the pharmacy where I work (a couple, Danny and Carla) have been using since they were 18. They are in their forties now, have raised their kids (the eldest is at university), and keep a neat house in the suburbs. This is their third go at methadone and they think they’ll stick with it this
Alfred Stieglitz’s Lake George Years
By Peter Conrad
Alfred Stieglitz was the kind of man that Australia, more’s the pity, has never had. Here prophets come from the desert, as AD Hope once dryly remarked, which means they’re mostly too parched to say very much when they stumble out of the scrub into our coastal cities. And would anyone have listened if some crackpot
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
The Sydney Symphony's Mahler Cycle
By Anna Goldsworthy
In the summer of 1910, Gustav Mahler consulted Sigmund Freud, seeking advice on his troubled marriage. “Mahler gave me the impression of being a genius,” Freud recalled, “yet at the same time somehow curiously apelike.” Over the course of their four-hour conversation, Freud diagnosed a Holy Mary complex or mother
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Australian Style
By Clare Press
“Are not the colours exquisite? And see how intricate the patterns.” So said the two swindlers intent on convincing Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor that his new clothes were indeed the proverbial bee’s knees. Alas, the Emperor’s subjects could see his knees and plenty more besides, for as we know these splendid
'Community: A Compilation of Hobart Music'
By Robert Forster
When is Tasmania going to produce some great bands? It must be soon, if only through the converging of cultural forces, time and the fact that both Brisbane and Perth have had a fruitful past decade of breakthrough artists and bands and the frontier needs a new place to shift to. Writers such as Robert Dessaix,
By Michelle de Kretser
In Thomas Hardy’s elegiac poem ‘During Wind and Rain’ there are “Clocks and carpets and chairs / On the lawn all day”. As any trawler of flea markets can attest, a terrible vulnerability attaches to private belongings exposed to public view. The pathos is heightened in Hardy’s poem because the owners of these “
John Waters at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. © Alan Stevens/Flickr
John Waters
By Peter Conrad
Frederick Seidel's 'Ooga-Booga and Poems: 1959-2009'
By Kate Jennings
For your consideration: “A naked woman my age is just a total nightmare.” Now there’s a rip-snorting line of poetry if there ever was one. Frederick Seidel, who is not afraid to repeat himself, offers the line not once but three times in Ooga-Booga (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 112pp; $24). In my youth, loaded up with
By Peter Craven
Kirsten Tranter, the daughter of famous poet John and formidable literary agent Lyn, has a literary background with bells on. Her first novel, The Legacy, shows her to be a novelist with a commanding talent – a tough plain-stylist who can people her fictional world with characters of great vivacity and vigour.The