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social commentary Archives - David Werdiger

Same-sex marriage: right or social change?

By | Personal Blog | No Comments

Disclaimer: some of these arguments regarding same-sex marriage are specific to Australia. The same-sex marriage debate continues to hot up in Australia as the Liberal party stumbles around, torn from within and without. Plebecite? Postal vote? Parliamentary conscience vote? But all of this is a side-show to the core debate. As a quick aside, it’s worth noting that anyone who uses the term ‘marriage equality’, rather than the neutral ‘same-sex marriage’, has made up their mind….

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The Language of Mistrust

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Language constantly evolves, and we coin new words and phrases to fit the zeitgeist – the dominant set of ideals and beliefs at any time. While usually language and pop culture are reflections of this zeitgeist, features of said culture can be hard to identify because we are deep inside of it. However, by studying the new words that have been coined, we can get a greater insight into the trends around us. I’ve noticed the increased use…

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On Gay Marriage, Polyamory, Slippery Slopes and Straw Men

By | Personal Blog | No Comments

It started when I read recently that Cory Bernadi “equated gay marriage with bestiality“. Did he really do that? It sounds absurd! Before I go any further, an important disclaimer: this article does not take a position on gay marriage. Rather, it looks at the way it is debated and reported. In the current world of “media stories with dubious connections to reality” (which beats the now meaningless term “fake news“), I felt obligated to investigate further before commenting,…

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Membership has its Privileges? The Gamification of Loyalty

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The airline loyalty system has officially gone crazy. I was ready to board a flight from Houston to LA, and was pleased to see the big word “PRIORITY” on my boarding pass. The earlier I board, the greater the chance of finding a free bin to put my hand luggage. Thinking that I would be one of the first to board and positioning myself at the front of the pre-boarding area, I wait. Then the…

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A Modern Australian Nationalist Credo

By | Featured Posts, Personal Blog | No Comments

I love my country and am proud to call myself an Australian. I have travelled around the world enough to have formed the view that our country is up there with the best in the world. Being an Australian is a strong aspect of my identity. I support the concerns of all citizens of our country, especially so called “ordinary people” (an awful term). Does all that make me a nationalist and a populist? By any dictionary…

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Fake #FakeNews and Alternative #AlternativeFacts

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Is there anything worse than #fakeNews ? Yes. Fake #FakeNews. The #FakeNews phenomenon grew out of the large number of contrived and false articles purporting to be news that spread like wildfire on social media. I’m not talking about the satirical newspaper The Onion (although there are way too many people who think their articles are true). Rather, it’s about: completely fabricated stories (sometimes from real-sounding news sites) like the Pope supporting Trump, or Germany adopting Shariah law,…

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5775 – Annus Horribilis

By | J-Wire, Personal Blog | No Comments

To say it’s been a difficult year for our community would be a gross understatement. The Royal Commission case study exposed us to the world, warts and all. The evidence from victims and their family members confronted us with their pain and suffering. The fallout has ripped our community apart, and opened up the deep rifts that lay festering beneath the surface for years. As we stand at the end of the Jewish year, we can look…

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After the Royal Commission – Stepping Back from the Precipice

By | Personal Blog | One Comment

The Jewish community is reeling after the recent case study as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. From the perspective of an ‘insider’ who personally knows almost all of the people involved, it’s especially painful. I am related to victims, to people accused of abuse, and to people in senior positions in the community. That’s the way things work in close-knit communities: there are many overlapping and complex inter-relationships,…

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Of Dead Cricketers and Dead Shul-goers

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The national outpouring of grief following the tragic death of cricketer Phil Hughes after being struck by a cricket ball on the field has been quite overwhelming. Every day there have been several pages in the daily newspapers as cricketers around the country and the world deal with the tragedy. A huge campaign of people putting their cricket bats out as a public expression of grief – it was even featured on the Google search page,…

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