The Listener and The Discerning Reader

One of my research assistants asked this week if I wanted his back issues of The Listener. I’m now regretting my luke-warm response, given that it is barely two months since the owner, Bauer Media, closed down New Zealand’s 81-year-old current affairs magazine. German-owned Bauer Media had been trying to sell its magazines in Australasia for a while. Things came to a head with COVID-19, as magazines were not considered “essential” under NZ’s strict level…

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Non-viral news stories you may have missed

Even when the world is assailed by an invisible foe – a global pandemic – the ordinary news cycle continues. Not that you’d know it, with electronic and print media obsessed 24/7 with the virus and its long-term effect on the global economy. (That is, the economy has been seriously affected – not ‘impacted’, please- the latter referring to something jammed together, e.g.  wisdom teeth. SWAG(SheWhoAddsGrammaticalNotes)) The Guardian Weekly has taken to presenting 15-20 news…

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Martial Law Or Just Do What You’re Told?

This may be Good Friday, but by any definition it’s not all that flash, given varying states of emergency in Australia and attempts to police COVID-19 restrictions (emergent but not quite martial law). Well may you scoff, as hysteria spreads in the US about the very real prospect of the Commander in Chief ordering the armed forces to take over. Outspoken New York governor Andrew Cuomo has dismissed martial law rumours in his state, although…

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A Festive Feast of Christmas Movies

Has it ever occurred to you how few Australian Christmas movies there are and why our lives are so permeated by American culture (such as it is)? This week’s theme came to mind whilst seated in a front row pew at St Mark’s Anglican church in Warwick. We were participating in a Christmas service with our new choir, the East Street Singers. It’s a magnificent 151-year-old sandstone kirk with a landmark tower, stained glass windows…

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