flat white

The great koala capers continue

Multinational green corporations such as World Wildlife Fund are taking millions of dollars from well-meaning and naive people concerned about the welfare of…

24 Nov 2020

Ita Buttrose: Emma Alberici, eat your heart out

In case you managed to miss Ita Buttrose’s stirring speech in defence of her well-remunerated job, sorry, the ABC, here’s…

24 Nov 2020

Clive James, sex and revolution

One year ago, on November 24, 2019, the great man of letters, comedian, and raconteur, Clive James, died.   I won’t even pretend to be impartial. Ever since I was fourteen,…

24 Nov 2020

Mourning the non-existent transexual murder epidemic

Imagine a funeral where mourners stand grieving around an empty coffin. Those gathered for the service are inconsolable. That there…

24 Nov 2020

Those small-l liberals and their ABC

In his recent appearance on Insiders, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vehemently declared that: The Guardian is an avowedly, small-l liberal,…

23 Nov 2020

The Sword of Damocles hangs over the heads of some SAS troopers

Central to the Special Air Service badge is a dagger, surmounted by wings. It was inspired by SAS founder Colonel…

23 Nov 2020

Where is Australia’s conservative intellectual movement?

“There are right-wing commentators aplenty on the ‘op-ed’ pages of the newspapers and in journals of opinion, but they are…

Just how voluntary will any coronavirus vaccine be, given the ethical concerns?

Over the last couple of weeks there have been several developments with regard to a potential coronavirus vaccine.  On 16…

22 Nov 2020

Did Trump just concede?

President Trump said Monday in a tweet that his administration is willing to start the formal transition of power to…

24 Nov 2020

The amazing blandness of Joe Biden’s foreign policy team

What does a Joe Biden presidency mean? We all know the answer. It means that tired but nice-sounding clichés about…

24 Nov 2020

Was Covid beginning to peak before the second lockdown?

‘I don’t think that word means what you think it means,’ says the Spaniard Inigo Montoya in the film The…

24 Nov 2020

Criminal gangs are making billions from fake medical supplies during COVID

While it’s great news that Pfizer, BioNTech, AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies are developing vaccines to prevent people from getting…

24 Nov 2020

Emissions reduction targets stink

The anti-democratic sentiments of the climate change cult have been exposed again. According to them, the results of an election…

21 Nov 2020

Covid and culture cringe

Culture cringe seems alive in Australia. Speaking in parliament on 27 October, Labor’s deputy leader Richard Marles made a pointed…

21 Nov 2020

Dismiss dismissal dogma

Beware those who claim a monopoly on historical truth. Their goal is not enlightenment or edification, but rather the unthinking…

21 Nov 2020

Living in Andrew Jacksonland

All of us living in the Anglosphere right now are living through two pretty major political shifts.  Forty years ago…

21 Nov 2020

The big steal

Consider this election night scenario: America and the world sit down and tune in to the vote count for the…

21 Nov 2020

Apocalypse next

‘To state the obvious, we seem to be turning a pretty dark corner now,’ said Joe Biden, this week, gloom-monger-in-chief.…

21 Nov 2020

Honour the brave

Why are politicians — elected public servants — so determined to run down morale in our defence forces, discourage enlistment…

21 Nov 2020

May I quota you?

What would you call a glass ceiling that blocks men from career advancement? A lipstick ceiling? Whatever, it exists, even…

14 Nov 2020

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Here come the judge

1968 was a year of recurring turbulence for the United States, all of it witnessed in American living rooms, courtesy…

21 Nov 2020

Billy Wilder

Slowly the world of the arts starts to take a timid step forward in plague-torn Australia. Just as alarming new…

21 Nov 2020

Ernani at Teatro all Scala

The Opera is coming back! Unable to perform for nine months, the company has suffered great financial loss, forcing substantial…

21 Nov 2020

The Undoing

It’s a strange prospect for strange times, the young violinist Freya Franzen on the stage of Melbourne’s Concert Hall playing…

14 Nov 2020

Kiwi Life / Language

Amy Brooke Once you have paid the Danegeld… We seem to have ingrained in us a sense of fair play,…

My neighbour’s dinner party was a near-death experience

At dawn, starving, I drove to a commercial laboratory in the town centre where five phials of blood were taken…

21 Nov 2020

The language of lounging around

At the Austrian embassy in Naples, a German diplomatist asked the great beauty Madame de Ventadour if she had been…

21 Nov 2020

Dear Mary: Will my friend be offended if I buy her an XL dress?

Q. My son has moved his girlfriend into our fairly small house for the second lockdown. I am grateful for…

21 Nov 2020

Cheering for Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool FC’s manager can do no wrong

As his biographer, I feel obliged to quote John Updike’s wise sayings — among them the first rule in his…

21 Nov 2020

A closing of ranks: The Searcher, by Tana French, reviewed

If the homage wasn’t clear from the title, Tana French makes sure throughout The Searcher, her seventh novel and second…

21 Nov 2020

Poise and wit: The Collected Stories of Shirley Hazzard reviewed

Shirley Hazzard was in her late twenties when, in 1959, somewhat diffidently, she submitted her first short story to the…

21 Nov 2020

High-speed trains, planes and automobiles are increasingly redundant

Should the world be faster or slower? This is a question relevant to global economics, politics and culture. But not…

21 Nov 2020

Sunshine on a plate: the year’s best cookbooks

In the dark days of a terrible winter, Elizabeth David began writing her first book, about Mediterranean food. The timing…

21 Nov 2020

A brutal education: At Night All Blood is Black, by David Diop, reviewed

Alfa Ndiaye, a Senegalese soldier fighting for France in the trenches of the Great War, is consumed by bloodlust, which…

21 Nov 2020

Tortured youths: how childhood misery often makes for genius

Greatness. Genius. Can you bottle it? Is there a formula? Inspired by his Radio 4 series Great Lives, Matthew Parris…

21 Nov 2020

Claire Messud helps us see the familiar with new eyes

The title of this collection of journalism is a problem. Not the Kant’s Little Prussian Head bit, which, though opaque,…

21 Nov 2020