Eureka Street Podcasts



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  • Banning repugnant figures reflects a harsh, fearful society

    Banning repugnant figures reflects a harsh, fearful society


    Banning people from entering countries has become the flavour of the month. Two US citizens, hip-hop artist Chris Brown and anti-abortion advocate Troy Newman, were banned from entering Australia. It is sometimes right to exclude people. But unless the processes are transparent and the need clearly demonstrated, such exclusion has costly consequences for the life of the community. It privileges power over reflection, and suggests character is defined unchangeably by past behaviour.

  • US gun law change cant come soon enough

    US gun law change can't come soon enough


    In July, an NRA article entitled 'Australia: There Will be Blood' described Australia's gun buyback as a 'mass confiscation' that left guns in the hands of criminals and everyone else defenceless. Meanwhile, America has experienced more than one mass shooting per day so far this year. My hope is that we are in that time of unsustainable stasis Malcolm Gladwell talks about, during which nothing seems to be changing, while beneath the surface stability is being eroded, leading to sudden, permanent change.

  • Corporate benefit trumps public welfare in TPP

    Corporate benefit trumps public welfare in TPP


    According to WikiLeaks, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the 'icebreaker agreement' for what will be a 'T-treaty triad' which will ultimately apply to 53 states, 1.6 billion people and two-thirds of the global economy. Each of the countries was being sold the implausible idea that the agreement was too large not to sign, that this was the train of history that needed to be occupied, even if seating was in third class. What was on sale, however, was a dogma of corporate benefit rather than public welfare.

  • Growing old in Australia is a difficult business

    Growing old in Australia is a difficult business


    Well, I know the dehumanising rot began to set in a long time ago. I have a vision of George Orwell sitting on a cloud and wringing his hands in renewed horror, for now the business model and associated language appears to have taken over the world. In short, the changes in aged care could be counterproductive, as the aims of streamlined access and equity may result instead in the development of barriers and more inequity. Growing old clearly means more hard work, and more adjustment.

  • Blood and the Bard

    Blood and the Bard


    Lady Macbeth is left somewhere in the realm of caricature, her 'Out damned spot' soliloquy oddly decontextualised and the circumstances of her death diminished and confused. That said, the conflation of the Macbeths' conspiracy to commit regicide with an act of discreet marital sex is a potent image of their moral codependency. This faithful adaptation by Australian director Justin Kurzel is grimmer even than Polanski's 1971 version, which it is set to displace as the standard-bearer adaptation.

  • Search for truth continues 50 years after Indonesias purge

    Search for truth continues 50 years after Indonesia's purge


    Like Tony Abbott before him, Malcolm Turnbull is slated to make Jakarta one of his first overseas ports of call as prime minister. His visit will occur as calls grow louder in Indonesia and elsewhere for the truth to be told about the massacres of up to 1 million Indonesians 50 years ago this October. It is assumed that at the time Canberra did not protest the massive miscarriage of justice and international law that occurred. It can now compensate in a small way for that silence by making public what it knew.

  • Francis sticks in Republicans craw

    Francis sticks in Republicans' craw


    The only people who regard Francis as radical are those who think popes should only attend to matters of personal conscience. Topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage are safe zones for comment because they don't concern the economic order, or threaten systems that generate wealth for the few. But Francis has smudged the line between faith and economics in a way that many conservatives find inconvenient.

  • Oppressing compassion in Europe and Australia

    Oppressing compassion in Europe and Australia


    When refugees walked into Europe, away from distant distress sites, their presence made the global issue visceral for Europeans. Australia doesn't have asylum seekers walking en masse through ordinary streets. Our border is one of established hatred. 'Stop the boats' policy denies ordinary Australians their compassionate impulse, and creates a history that our children will face judgement upon. It denies humanity's collective memory after World War II.

  • Hamid crushed by Australias immigration laws

    Hamid crushed by Australia's immigration laws


    Hamid is stateless, and came to Australia by boat in mid 2012. He will never get permanent residence, because of his age or because the law states that if you ever held a TPV, you can never get the permanent protection visa. When I explained this to him, I thought might cry. He is now unable to see a way of getting a long term solution for himself and his family, all because of the need to punish refugees who arrive in Australia by boat.

  • The roots of troll culture are closer than we think

    The roots of troll culture are closer than we think


    The common perception of internet trolls is that they are outsiders descending on a particular platform in order to wreck it. But there is a close relationship between trolls and the culture in which they operate. If you're a publisher seeking virality, you need to foster the strong emotions in which social media trades. Getting people to love your content is great, but outrage, incredulity and even hatred also work.

  • Reflect and connect to give peace a chance

    Reflect and connect to give peace a chance


    This year's International Day of Peace comes amid much war-making. Those with a feel for history may see it as an echo of an idealistic age that had experienced years of war and was determined to shape a better world. To those caught in fear and violence, and promised another ten years of the same, it will come as an insinuating hope against hope; a reproach to a world that stirs rather than douses wars.

  • Grace and quiet rage in David Gulpilils country

    Grace and quiet rage in David Gulpilil's country


    Gulpilil measures the distance to Ramininging from Darwin by the number of river crossings, and defines its rough edges by the points at which traditional values clash with the imposed or inherited Western trappings. Through him we meet a man who found Christianity while in prison, and who now on Easter Sunday leads an epic reenactment of the Passion through the town's dirt streets. In the degradation of his trial and execution, says Gulpilil, Jesus is neither God nor leader; 'He is black. He is one of us.'

  • Eureka Streets journalism of empathy

    Eureka Street's journalism of empathy


    It's about eschewing hard facts and egocentricity to imagine the world through other people's eyes. I was prompted to think about empathy by the Abbott Government's decision to take 12,000 Syrian refugees. Whether or not the motivation was political, it's actions that count. Which was indeed the case with the Minister Dutton's display of negative empathy in his joke about the precarious climate plight of Australia's friends who live in Pacific Island nations. 

  • I was a teenage Cold War Russophile

    I was a teenage Cold War Russophile


    When Josef Stalin died on 5 March 1953, a couple of months into my Matriculation year, my Russophile leanings seemed about to be intensified. Research in those days was a matter of consulting encyclopaedias, or, if possible, going to the Public Library, but in Stalin's case the newspapers were full of reports, history, anecdote, judgement and various degrees of relief, so there was suddenly plenty of information.

  • Moral injury and the recalibration of priorities

    Moral injury and the recalibration of priorities


    French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has stirred controversy over cartoons depicting Aylan Kurdi. Superficially it appears this is about the bounds of propriety, but the hard truth is that body of a three-year old refugee cannot be a holy relic that is untouchable. What is the point of being miserable over things we cannot control?

  • Australian Citizenship Day with an edge

    Australian Citizenship Day with an edge


    This is traditionally a soft occasion, with ceremonies to welcome those becoming Australian citizens, in the presence of the local mayor, and the presentation of a small tree as a symbol of their own grafting on to the Australian vine. But this year the day has deeper meaning, in the wake of the Australian Government's introduction of anti-terrorism legislation designed strip citizenship from certain individuals with dual nationality.

  • Transgender sex worker fights back from the margins

    Transgender sex worker fights back from the margins


    When Sin-Dee rants about the 'fish' with whom her pimp boyfriend has been cheating, she is a transgender woman using a derogatory term for a person who is socially and biologically female. Her story does not merely transgress traditional gender binaries; it assumes the perspective of marginalised characters to reveal through their lived experiences the ways in which gender is both an individual and social construction.

  • A political death

    A political death


    It is hard to comment on Tony Abbott's demise without being splattered by the schoolyard mud. But we should begin by sparing a thought for the man himself in this time of humiliation. He has given his life to the Liberal Party, and to be disowned as leader by it is surely devastating. 

  • Moving on after two unhappy years

    Moving on after two unhappy years


    Now is an exciting moment for Australia, after all the low points of the past two years. We can look forward to a real return to greater civil discourse and intellectual integrity in politics. It will be good if the parties can set aside the negative energy that was brought to the Parliament and return to an informed contest of ideas, for there is much to debate.

  • Broken porcelain illuminates destructive Dutch colonial legacy

    Broken porcelain illuminates destructive Dutch colonial legacy


    400 years ago, when Mauritius was still uninhabited, a cyclone thrust three tall ships of the Dutch East India Company against the coral reef. As the ships were ripped apart and thousands of Ming porcelain pieces on board smashed, the crew fought for their lives, but 75 men including the fleet commander Admiral Pieter Both, drowned. I picture that Sunday afternoon in the 1980s when my mother and I were wading in the water close to a familiar beach and found washed up shards of the porcelain. 

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