flat white

Married at First Sight and the unkindness of strangers

Critics ask, ‘why MAFS’ – and it is certainly a polarising topic. This take, for example: ‘Fucking hard hitting journalism…

16 Feb 2019

The green-left war on God becomes a poll fight

One of the things that the Left hates the most is religion. And unfortunately, New South Wales Labor contains a…

15 Feb 2019

Doctors are doctors, not philosopher kings

Doctors swear on the Hippocratic Oath that they will “first do no harm”, yet they pay little attention to the…

15 Feb 2019

Switching off a nation: no-coal Germany

In 19 years’ time, Germany will have no more coal mines and coal power plants, bringing to an end hundreds…

14 Feb 2019

Treaty, nuh

The Victorian government, having passed legislation to authorise negotiation with Aboriginal Victorians, is advancing towards a formal treaty. Despite the…

14 Feb 2019

Ignore Hayne and deregulate the banking sector

It may seem paradoxical – even insane in polite society. But with a surge of new technologies emerging, which could…

14 Feb 2019

Cubbie Station is a scapegoat

Cubbie Station cops the blame for all of the problems of the Darling River, particularly by green journalists, politicians, and…

13 Feb 2019

What’s woke this week?

Super Bowl has been the biggest woke show in town, with a number of performers declining to perform at the…

13 Feb 2019

The man the Left fears most

The seat of Warringah, on Sydney’s northern beaches, has never been marginal and has always been held for the conservative…

16 Feb 2019

Aux bien pensants

After the dry comes the wet ‘Remember, after the big dry comes the big wet,’ presciently warned  salt-of-the-earth South Australian…

16 Feb 2019

Secularism – the new firebrand religion

The Australian Senate is currently considering a bill sponsored by the ALP’s Senator Wong that, if accepted, will amend the…

16 Feb 2019

Fall of the House of Adler

‘Look here, what’s this book on my desk about Al Capone?’ ‘Why, Vice-Chancellor, it’s one of our flagship publications from…

16 Feb 2019

Ramsay versus the Kaiser

Politically active people don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues these days, but something they all seem to agree on is…

16 Feb 2019

Business/Robbery etc

Who needs parliament to make laws when there are clever judges who reckon they can do a far better job…

16 Feb 2019

The Lion, the Witch & the Closet

With impeccable timing, increasingly-eccentric Defence Minister Christopher Pyne this week leapt out of some bizarre theological closet to declare that…

16 Feb 2019

Selling virtue

Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto have become the first major companies to publicly support the Uluru Statement from the…

9 Feb 2019

Gerald Murnane

I know I’m a bit late getting to the party; the party that has formed to honour the writing of…

16 Feb 2019

Paul Dyer

In 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) made a rather grand job application to Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg. He…

9 Feb 2019

Best production The Harp in the South

We are in the middle of the awards season for the entertainment industry. There have been the Golden Globes and…

2 Feb 2019

Portrait of Leonard French by Hal Missingham

Arguably the most monumental of Australian artists, Leonard French experienced extraordinary fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some…

26 Jan 2019

Faithless husbands can be the best husbands

Gstaad   Who was it that said we always hurt those we love the most? I did just that last…

16 Feb 2019

‘I don’t know how ever Jerry stands it’: diary of a world war one artillery man

My sister’s boyfriend is a solitary man and easily overwhelmed by another’s presence. On his rare visits he flits in…

16 Feb 2019

Why I could kiss Mark Zuckerberg

Since posting some of my research into the RSPCA on Facebook, I now better understand the way social networking works.…

16 Feb 2019

Did the BHA call it right on equine flu?

The pre-war Fabians Sidney and Beatrice Webb apparently had a pre-marriage agreement. It wasn’t like today’s Hollywood prenups, designed to…

16 Feb 2019

John Ruskin: the making of a modern prophet

At the time of his death in 1900, John Ruskin was, according to Andrew Hill, ‘perhaps the most famous living…

16 Feb 2019

How fear and loathing of Nixon sent Hunter S. Thompson crazy

Hunter Stockton Thompson blazed across the republic of American arts and letters for too short a time. When in February…

16 Feb 2019

Seeing and believing: the best spiritual films of Europe’s golden age

The Italian film director Federico Fellini was not known for his piety (far from it), yet towards the end of…

16 Feb 2019

The unearthly powers of the North Pole

Having spent too much of my life at both poles (writing, not sledge-pulling), I know the spells those places cast.…

16 Feb 2019

Fiction for the #MeToo age: Victory, by James Lasdun, reviewed

James Lasdun is my favourite ‘should be famous’ writer, his work extraordinarily taut and compelling. His eye-boggling psychological thrillers are…

16 Feb 2019

The powerful magnetism of James Clerk Maxwell

Chances are, you are reading these words in some room or other. Build a wall down the middle of it,…

16 Feb 2019

Hitting the bull’s-eye: Hark, by Sam Lipsyte, reviewed

This is an ebullient, irreverent and deeply serious novel in the noble tradition of Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis (especially Babbitt…

16 Feb 2019

No escape from grief: Where Reasons End, by Yiyun Li, reviewed

When Yiyun Li first became a writer, she decided that she would leave behind her native language, Chinese, and never…

16 Feb 2019

The brutish origins of British liberalism

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the one to heaven may be surfaced with bad ones.…

16 Feb 2019

Fun at the EU’s expense: The Capital, by Robert Menasse, reviewed

Stendhal likened politics in literature to a pistol-shot in a concert: crude, but compelling. When that politics largely consists of…

16 Feb 2019

Fishing for meaning in vanished Doggerland

Somewhere deep in the water-thick layers of Time Song, Julia Blackburn says, funnily, that in Danish, ‘the word for book…

9 Feb 2019

An island’s dark secrets: The Tempest, by Steve Sem-Sandberg, reviewed

‘I should not have gone back to the island but I did it all the same.’ So begins the Swedish…

9 Feb 2019