The Fifth Estate: Big Tobacco
Four years ago, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.
Well, ‘plain packaging’ is probably a misnomer; ‘hideous packaging’ might be closer to the mark. In Australia today, regardless of which brand you choose, your cigarette packet will come plastered in public health warnings and photos of mouth cancer.
It’s supposed to make…
War and Terror: The Nightmare of Our Times
‘Know thyself, know thy enemy’ – the oft-quoted rule of war isn’t so straightforward these days. The shape of war has changed.
Today, the idea of a nation-state declaring war against its neighbour seems almost quaint. Many major conflicts around the world now involve militias, terrorist organisations and insurgents, acting on sub-national and supra-national levels. Since 2001 we have engaged…
What’s That Sound? Activism Today
American marriage equality campaigner Jim Obergefell calls himself ‘an accidental activist’, but his name will appear in the history books for many years to come. He was the plaintiff in last year’s landmark Obergefell v Hodge Supreme Court decision, which legalised same-sex marriage across the United States.
Visiting Melbourne, Obergefell joined four revered local activists – Elaine Pearson, Gary Foley…
Here and Queer: Gay Rights Across the Globe
In 2013, Russian made news around the world, introducing federal laws banning ‘homosexual propaganda’. The laws effectively made a crime of gay activism, reducing non-heterosexuals to second-class citizens.
While Australia discusses the prospect of gay people having the right to marry, there are many other countries where gay people are deprived of even more basic rights. Russia might have earned…
Invasion of the Pod People: Emperors of Rome on Cleopatra
Podcasts, when done right, have a unique way of getting into our heads and infusing us with passions and fascinations we never thought we had. At their best – Stuff You Should Know, or Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, for example – history podcasts can act like a museum of the mind’s eye, providing an absorbing audio guide to…
Ring True: Music, Identity and Obsession
It took 25 years for Richard Wagner to write Der Ring des Nibelungen (the Ring Cycle); presumably he was hoping people would like it. But did he anticipate that his masterpiece would be an enduring source of obsession for people in the 21st Century?
For this conversation, we bring celebrated American radio producer, former film composer and Ring Cycle devotee Jad…
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