Damon Young

Broadband view out of whack with experts

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the travelling Australian media during a press conference, during the East Asia Summit in Brunei on Thursday 10 October 2013. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Damon Young Tony Abbott recently pronounced the former government ''wacko''. He's talking about the NBN.

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Damon Young

Intensity of friendships reveals a reflection of our true selves

CREDIT LINE MUST READ: AFP

Turkish novellist Orhan Pamuk poses in front of a poster showing himself 22 October 2005 during Frankfurt's international Book fair, one day before receiving the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. The widely translated author of internationally renowned works as

Damon Young Summer: a time of family and friends. And as the beer chills and wine breathes, it pays to reflect on what these ties mean.

Damon Young

Desire is never just a walk in the park

Damon Young

Damon Young We find novelist Henry James on another dark London morning, at another twilight breakfast: coffee, rolls, butter and jam. He writes for hours. When he is done, he strolls.

Damon Young

Laughter: antidote to a crazy world

Damon Young Given the oh-so-serious mood of commentary and analysis, it's easy to forget: every good thinker must know how to laugh.

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Damon Young

Politics: the good, the bad and ugly

Damon Young Just how cynical should we be about politics? Barack Obama's recent victory speech was a direct reply to political disengagement.

Damon Young

Turnips for work; chestnuts for taste

Damon Young 'Let us be many-sided!'' wrote J.W. von Goethe, the great German scholar and artist. ''Turnips are pleasing to the taste, especially when mixed with chestnuts.

Damon Young

Shining light on real values

Damon Young A RECENT trip to Bendigo, in central Victoria, got me thinking about values. As always, I enjoyed the architecture: rounded arches and corinthian columns, their acanthus hats drooping rakishly.

Damon Young

Intellectual ambition rarely appears on the box

Damon Young Is Australian ''ideas'' television actually a form of forced trolling?

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Damon Young

Every good boy deserves ... to become better

Damon Young The musical mnemonic tells us every good boy deserves ''fruit'', and Tom Stoppard's play gives us ''favour''. But I'd add something less elegant.

Damon Young

Satire the perfect way to test huffiness of today

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Damon Young In Australia, the media have recently taken to the word ''troll'' to describe angry or abusive internet commenters.

Damon Young

For sale: traditional values. Well used. Still loved

Damon Young

Damon Young Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, speaking to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC earlier this year, spoke of ''traditional values'' as a Liberal Party ideal.

Damon Young

More than promises broken when our politicians recant

Damon Young Politics truly is the boulevard of broken promises. Take the spectre of tax.

Damon Young

Glamour can't disguise the fact that sex is still about power

Damon Young

Damon Young That renowned feminist historian, Karl Lagerfeld, recently invoked the timeless glamour of under-age prostitution.

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Malicious web trolls are petty, broken human beings

Damon Young By now, almost everyone with an internet connection is familiar with trolls: bullying, insulting, threatening and stalking.

Damon Young

Much in human nature that is dim, blind and cruel

Damon Young Martin McKenzie-Murray, writing in The Age, recently argued that the internet is like a row of comfy bunks. Between nightmarish screams of snark, we praise our ideological bunkmates.

Damon Young

Throwing the book at literary prejudice

Damon Young 'Book learning''. It's one of those terse English sayings that often says more about the speaker than about the world.

Damon Young

Political lessons to learn from the United States

Damon Young With our universal health care, it's often said that the United States could learn a lot from Australia. But politically, there are lessons we might learn from our northern allies.

Damon Young

Limiting exposure to the commercial cacophony

Damon Young My wife just put something surprising and rare on the table: a supermarket receipt. Not unusual, you reply. Indeed: rubbish bins, pockets and car floors are littered with countless wax paper dockets.

Damon Young

The politics of bashing those down on their luck

Damon Young 'Austerity''. We hear this word regularly, usually from the mouths of those who have neither practised it as a virtue, nor suffered it as a policy.

More than mere child's play

Damon Young I recently left the Museum of Natural History, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was screamed at by a toddler. ''Rrrrraaaaaagh!'' he yelled, his eyes wide, teeth bared. I screamed back.