Claiming condemnation as vindication spares you from introspection.

Mental gymnastics can be a useful skill. Being able to approach questions from different perspectives and tease them out in unique ways can make you a deeper, more thoughtful person. But cerebral dexterity can also make you impervious to reality or reflection. They’re a lot to unpack regarding the Israel Folau saga, but frankly othersContinue reading “Claiming condemnation as vindication spares you from introspection.”

Death, dying and the pursuit of control

Victoria’s landmark Voluntary Assisted Dying laws are now in force and, for most Victorians, won’t mean a thing. They will probably never use them or know anybody who does, for the eligibility criteria is so narrow. But for the unlucky few who will eventually exercise their rights under these new laws, they mean an awfulContinue reading “Death, dying and the pursuit of control”

When racism is in fashion.

Running commentaries on media stories are boring at the best of times, but occasionally an exception is warranted. Not because something is so egregious or overt (there’s plenty of people ready to be outraged about anything over on Twitter) but because it’s subtle and missable, potentially even unintended—but definitely still damaging. So here goes. AContinue reading “When racism is in fashion.”

How did the Right lose ownership of marriage?

Look around the world and you’d be forgiven for thinking marriage equality, gay marriage, equal marriage (whatever you want to call it) is a progressive notion. Calls for reform are often heard from the so-called Left: greens, students, academics and connoisseurs of cold drip coffee served in moody laneways. It’s easy to forget marriage is intrinsicallyContinue reading “How did the Right lose ownership of marriage?”

Did the promise of pudding swing the Victorian election?

THE internet engaged in a collective ‘isn’t he adorable’ a few months back when it transpired actor Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t say the word “penguins”. You can watch the video here. (The fact Cumberbatch had just lent his voice to a nature documentary about penguins — or “pengwings” — and is currently starring in the PenguinsContinue reading “Did the promise of pudding swing the Victorian election?”

Even Republicans can enjoy the royals

This article first appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald. I HAVE some advice for all those rabid supporters of an Australian republic. The most productive thing you can do when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Australia in April is simple: take off your grumpy pants and get on board. That’s right, you heardContinue reading “Even Republicans can enjoy the royals”

The troublesome truth about politics

This review of Jonathan Green’s The Year My Politics Broke (Melbourne University Publishing) first appeared in The Voice.  As a detailed account of how politicians and politicking has veered off course in Australia over recent years The Year My Politics Broke isn’t an enjoyable read. But then, it isn’t meant to be: the book isContinue reading “The troublesome truth about politics”

Lamenting “Do Something-ism” in Australian politics

This piece first appeared on Election Watch. “AT LEAST DO SOMETHING!  DO!”  former Hawthorn coach John Kennedy Snr (right) famously urged his players during the 1975 VFL Grand Final. The rousing address was recorded, and now forms part of footy folklore. But the speech might also speak volumes about our approach to national politics. Callers toContinue reading “Lamenting “Do Something-ism” in Australian politics”