Since Bob Hawke and Paul Keating implemented the Australian version of neoliberalism in the 1980s and 90s, there has been a broad consensus between the Labor and Liberal parties on the basic fundamentals of the Australian economy. This consensus has been a major root of two crises in Australia – one political, one economic.
My parents named their only child after one of Shakespeare’s most famous cross-dressers. One might have imagined, therefore, that they’d have been less taken aback to learn of my gradual slide into ambiguous Kinsey Scale territory. As it was, they were deeply surprised. Most people are.
Bert and Ernie occupy such a mighty place in the popular imagination that it’s hard for us to remember that they began as a reference to something else. But in the Jim Henson universe, sly, humourous, or worthy commentaries on public figures and social issues were always part of the process. The recent public debate about them seems to have handily sidestepped the fact that the characters are, among other things, an obvious allusion to The Odd Couple, originally a 1965 Broadway play by the late Neil Simon.
The best that can be said about the Ramsay Centre’s proposal to sponsor an elite course in Western civilisation is that it has revived a flagging discussion about the intellectual and political considerations that shape the humanities curricula of Australian universities.
I first heard about Marielle Franco in April this year. While visiting Rio de Janeiro in Brazil as a tourist with my family, I found myself in a bar late one night with an expat who had lived in the country for more than thirty years.