In the last act of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the hyper-rational, beneficent, electronic technocrat known as HAL 9000 slowly but surely loses its virtual mind.
‘If a visitor to Australia, unacquainted with the country’s politics, were to read a recent speech by Malcolm Fraser and compare it to one of John Howard’s speeches, the visitor would be unlikely to believe that the two men had each led the same political party.’ What John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs wrote in Quadrant several years ago is as true today as it was in 2002.
It’s that time of year again, when the great and the good of the world literary scene descend on the Harbour City for an orgy of back-slapping, book-signing and self-congratulation at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
A study in America’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this past week offered consolation to anyone worried about impending middle or old age: according to the researchers, people tend to get happier as they get older, with 85-year-olds apparently even happier and more satisfied than 18-year-olds.
Did you feel that rumbling? A deep, faint trembling is suggesting deep shifts are taking place in the tectonic plates — not prompted by volcanoes in Iceland or sinkholes in Guatemala, but rather a re-alignment in the ranks of the federal ALP that has prompted serious questions about Kevin Rudd’s long-term future.
One of the consolations of studying history is the perspective it provides on one’s own troubles.
Any doubt that an election is in the offing was dispelled by Wayne Swan’s budget this week.
Any way you look at it, it was a remarkable achievement.
Everybody tells lies, and anyone who says they don’t is a lying liar.
The dangerous thing about thin ice is that one never knows just how thin it is until it cracks.
And so the great Rudd juggernaut has come shuddering to a halt.
Adam Connolly on the unlikely friendship between ex-PMs Bob Hawke and John Howard
Whoever coined the phrase ‘politics makes strange bedfellows’ did not know the half of it.
Has everyone finished hyperventilating about the Melbourne Storm busting the National Rugby League salary cap? Good.
Local readers who have travelled to the US or the UK, or even watched the seemingly endless stream of reality cooking shows those countries export, are aware that Australians pay far too much for their food and drink.
This page is not known for being shy about its opinion of Malcolm Turnbull — or anyone else for that matter.
Karl Marx said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, later as farce.
Whatever purpose unions may have served in an earlier age, in 21st century Australia they have well and truly passed their use-by date.
The Queensland maverick upsets sophisticates because he is a popular outsider who helped kill the ETS, says Christian Kerr
The kind words came thick and fast in the hours and days after Malcolm Turnbull announced his departure from federal Parliament this week.
As physical feats go, it is hard for most of us to contemplate, much less sign up for, an endurance test such as the iron man triathlon Tony Abbott recently completed in just under 14 hours.
Kevin Rudd likes to tell anyone who will listen that when it comes to evidence-based policy, he’s its number one fan.
These columns frequently attack political figures for their regular blunders and policy flip-flops.
It is hard to decide which is a more depressing prospect: that healthcare spending threatens to become the issue that, if not controlled, will over time come to eat the economies not just of Australia but those of the rest of the Western world; or that debates over national health policies can be won or lost over electronic ‘worms’ directed by hand-picked focus groups.
The obvious thing to say about ‘The Authentic Mr Abbott’ on Four Corners this week is that it revealed more about the ABC’s internal, incestuous and self-reinforcing culture than it did about the alternative prime minister.