flat white

Apologies to journalists, but some of us are just clueless

Imprisoned Saudi writer Raif bin Muhammad Badawi was on my mind this week, as he often is when questions of free speech…

24 Jul 2021

The Great Barrier Reef extortion racket

The Australian Institute of Marine Science has just revealed that Great Barrier Reef coral coverage has recovered to be as good as,…

23 Jul 2021

Is the Kids Helpline helpful – or just a sign of our malaise?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Curtin…

23 Jul 2021

Bezos’s bell-end: a postscript

When he was back on the ground after his – ahem – epic space flight of all of ten minutes, Amazon founder Jeff…

23 Jul 2021

Covidanity: Australia’s new state religion

A key to understanding our current predicament is the extent to which Covid has come to resemble a religion. Covidanity,…

23 Jul 2021

It's not woke versus woke if lesbians want to exclude the transgendered

The street I grew up on was the border of a public housing estate.  On my side of the street…

22 Jul 2021

The Oldest Culture: Engineering

The fourth in a series of articles examining Dark Emu-style claims. These days we hear a lot about what a…

22 Jul 2021

We have no choice? Really, Mr Premier?

The Premier of Victoria said a few interesting things when he plunged the state into its fifth lockdown.  He was…

22 Jul 2021

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We conspiracists, we happy few

What makes America America? An answer available to most of us is our shared dedication to the principles of liberty…

24 Jul 2021

The rise of the noble liar

For four years the mainstream media kept a tally of every lie President Trump ever told. Fact-checkers like the Washington…

24 Jul 2021

The monsters we become

Nietzsche would have been great at Twitter. He excelled at epigrams, which are to philosophy as the fortune-cookie motto is…

24 Jul 2021

No vax, no vote? Macron's vaccine passport plan sparks fury

Will it be necessary to produce a passe sanitaire (vaccination passport) to be allowed to vote in France? With 221…

24 Jul 2021

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New Zealanders are revolting against Ardern

Thousands of tractors this recent week lined the streets of towns and cities throughout the country. In ‘The Howl of…

24 Jul 2021

New Zealand's transgender debate is turning nasty

New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. But now,…

14 Jul 2021

Will fairy dust power New Zealand?

Wishful thinking, allied to government incompetence and the ambition of our Prime Minister, is lining up trouble ahead. In one…

13 Jul 2021

Kiwi Life

One of my goals over the coming months is to watch an entire rugby game for the first time in…

10 Jul 2021

New Zealanders are revolting against Ardern

Thousands of tractors this recent week lined the streets of towns and cities throughout the country. In ‘The Howl of…

24 Jul 2021

Flirting with the Marxists

I would vote for any party that promised either to privatise the ABC or to make it a subscription service,…

24 Jul 2021

Business/Robbery, etc.

It’s a legal double-whammy, especially for the resources sector. ‘Perceived bias’ in the Australian judiciary on the one hand and,…

24 Jul 2021

The moral scolds are now in charge

I am in charge of streaming in our household. Someone has to be. Let face it, there is a dizzying…

24 Jul 2021

The Big Lie vs Stop the Steal

The soporific vision of genial old Joe, eating ice cream and mumbling through an autocued speech, belies what’s actually happening…

24 Jul 2021

Ivermectin. It’s as Aussie as Vegemite

As more than five million Sydneysiders woke up to their fourth week under house arrest, they were greeted with the…

24 Jul 2021

Why does the Pope dislike conservatives?

To pray for someone’s death is morally wrong, yet it will be difficult for many Roman Catholics to resist the…

24 Jul 2021

Constitutional outrage

The Wuhan virus could never be sufficient reason to justify the evasion of much of the separation of powers and…

24 Jul 2021

The Greeks

What a time of captivity, what a time of plague. The Disney musical Frozen, long delayed by the mammoth Melbourne…

24 Jul 2021

Martin Clunes

Just as the lockdown imprisons the people of Sydney those in Canberra have had the chance to see that exhilaration…

17 Jul 2021

Opera Australia’s production of Otello

Lockdown must be making me irritable; an article during the week really got me going. It concerns two forthcoming productions…

17 Jul 2021

Ethos

A Sydney lockdown on the heels of Melbourne: what price entertainment? It seemed natural as ever to have recourse to…

10 Jul 2021

Aussie Life

It used to be that sporting endeavour was regarded as a noble cause, and that our sporting pastimes were governed…

24 Jul 2021

Aussie Language

Talking to Peta Credlin on Sky News I coined a new expression, ‘language communists’. I used to call the bullies…

24 Jul 2021

Can the Lions prise open the strong Boks?

You would need a digger to explore the levels of irony in a Springbok chief slagging off an opponent’s dirty…

24 Jul 2021

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends asking to stay in my holiday cottage?

Q. My beloved wife has been studying Chinese metaphysics for 18 months. Our house and garden have been badly neglected…

24 Jul 2021

The least familiar stretches of Nile prove the most interesting

It’s one of the most tantalising travel images in the world — a felucca floating along the Nile at sunset,…

24 Jul 2021

Terence’s stamp: The Art of Living, by Stephen Bayley, reviewed

Rumours reach me that the libel report for Stephen Bayley’s forthcoming biography of Terence Conran was longer than the book…

24 Jul 2021

Playing with fire — did QAnon start as a cynical game?

On Easter Monday 2018, Donald and Melania Trump stood on the balcony of the White House next to a giant…

24 Jul 2021

As circus gets serious, is all the fun of the fair lost?

What’s so serious about a red nose? How should we analyse the ‘specific socio-historical relations’ and ‘aesthetic trends particular to…

24 Jul 2021

Even psychiatrists don’t know how the drugs they prescribe work

What is it like to go mad? Not so much developing depression or having a panic attack — which is…

24 Jul 2021

The great awakening: Henry Shukman becomes a child of the universe

For eight years I rented a small house in Oxford overlooking the canal. The landlord, a poet and novelist younger…

24 Jul 2021

The man who made Manhattan: The Great Mistake, by Jonathan Lee, reviewed

What makes a city? The collective labour of millions packed into its history; the constant forgetting of incomers who arrive…

24 Jul 2021

The young bride’s tale: China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota, reviewed

Sunjeev Sahota’s novels present an unvarnished image of British Asian lives. Ours Are the Streets chronicles a suicide bomber’s radicalisation,…

24 Jul 2021