Journalism

I write regularly for newspapers and magazines. I've written opinion, features and reviews for The AgeSydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Guardian, Herald-Sun, BBC and ABC, among others. I'm also a feature writer for New Philosopher and Island magazines.

Some writings discuss 'big picture' philosophical ideas in daily life.  Others are simply celebrations or clarifications - more literary or journalistic than philosophical.  To search for a particular theme or issue, click on one of the 'popular topics' at the very bottom of the page.


OPINION/REVIEWS

The Age/The Sydney Morning Herald
'Meet the author: why writing is no longer just about the words' (16/5/15).
'Magic pen delivers a graphic masterpiece' (7/3/15).
'Austen's Fanny Price remains true to herself after two centuries' (27/9/14).
'Pain comes before a punchline' (22/3/14).
'Running on empty' (7/12/13).
'Distraction - blame it on the mind, not the machines' (9/11/13).
'Is "me time" a selfish pursuit?' (7/10/13).
'Ever-present photography (and why it's a problem)' (17/9/13).
'When it is and isn't political correctness' (27/8/13).
'How to lose an argument before you've really started' (19/8/13).
'No room for politics at the kitchen sink' (13/8/13).
'Taste sours the sweetest food memories' (8/8/13).
'What we can learn from Monet's garden' (31/7/13).
'"Them" and "they": crutches for a limp existence' (30/7/13).
'Free for all' (3/7/13).
'Trivialising women in politics' (17/6/13).
'Marriage: the "ball and chain"' (6/6/13).
'Mind-full: adventures of a different kind' (22/5/13)
'Hopefully, wonders will never cease' (5/5/13).
'Gardening is child's play' (10/4/13).
'The curious pleasure of cleaning up' (4/4/13).
'An encyclopaedia of Janeite love' (9/2/13).
'The fashion assassins' (8/1/13).
'Why the ink's not yet dry' (5/1/13).
'The lure of erotic fiction' (1/10/13).
'Talk about food should skip the bulldust' (31/12/12).
'The joy of exercise, or why life lived well means a body worked hard' (2/9/12).
'Play God: say yes to organ donation' (30/8/12).
'Why patience is a virtue' (4/8/12).
'Why karate kids are less likely to grow up to be violent men' (8/7/12).
'A little bit of hush' (5/5/12).
'Cherishing the ANZAC spirit - as long as it's not going to cost' (25/4/12).
'We interrupt this program for an important message on relating' (17/4/12).
'Oh, he of little faith' (17/3/12).
'Homeopathy is not a cure, it's water and consolation' (16/3/12).
'Narcotic for the mind: inhale deeply then delete at will' (4/3/12).
'Embracing spontaneity helps make holidays child's play' (23/1/12).
'Caffeine less vital than the conviviality of a cuppa' (23/1/12).
'Revelling without a cause can leave you low in spirit' (31/12/11).
'Listen up: this rapper's the Dylan of his day' (28/11/11).
'Not idle, but thinking big' (8/10/11).
'Holding thoughts to the minimum' (5/10/11).
'Weak and dimwitted humans in a world run by machines' (8/6/11).
'Life's lessons found packed in a removalist's box' (21/5/11).
'Getting to grips with unnatural urges' (30/4/11).
'Familiarity breeds content for old gallery's loyal patrons' (21/4/11).
'Super-rich exceptions closer to being the rule' (2/4/11).
'Turn video games into more than child's play' (14/1/11).
'The crisis and the cure' (1/1/11)
'Spring's gentle nudge to leave winter's walls behind' (15/9/10).
'Too much screen time means our lives lack dimension' (28/7/10).
'Exercise your mind and the body will follow' (13/7/11).
'You don't need Jesus to enjoy Christmas' (20/12/10).
'Fighting can nurture the soul - just ask Plato' (27/11/10).
'A balanced life holds amazing rewards' (15/11/10).
'Father knows best: don't buy into this false festival' (4/9/10).
'Instructive lesson in class at the auctioneers' (18/8/10).
'Quiet now, your soul is healing' (17/7/10).
'A little smut goes a long way' (23/6/10).
'Empty pockets and wonky careers can provide a richer life' (19/5/10).
'Taking a bite out of Apple's vision' (18/5/10).
'In moments like these, we need mentors' (26/4/10).
'Autumn glory lets us count our blessings' (2/4/10).
'Forget the cheap shots, cage fighting is a virtuous sport' (12/4/10).
'Channel your rage, young man' (9/01/10).
'Should auld acquaintance and bad times be forgot?' (28/12/09).
'An enriching, illuminating, bonding, godless Christmas' (23/12/09).
'A bad review can be a learning experience (21/12/09).
'The urge for single-sex fraternity will remain strong' (27/11/09).
'Identifying with the victims, not the killers' (11/11/09)
'Celebrity adoptions expose our hypocrisy' (14/9/09).
'We don't need Dylan on satnav to be driven to distraction' (1/9/09).
'Dreams don't come in installments' (18/8/09).
'Reality she wrote: Austen's top tips' (7/7/09).  
'Your numbers may never come up, but dream on' (2/7/09).
'To remain relevant, that is the dilemma (19/5/09).
'Channel the rage: teach boys to fight' (22/4/09).
'Here's a thought - turn off the TV, tune into life' (24/11/08).
'Driven by distraction' (5/7/08).
The Guardian
'Our botanic gardens are about more than prettiness, or even science' (18/5/14).
'Eventually, jellyfish might rule the world. What should the art world do about it?' (19/2/14).
'Why swimming is sublime' (7/2/14).
'If exercise was good for Charles Darwin, it's good for all of us' (2/1/14).
The Australian
'The by the word, die by the sword' (16/5/15).
'Forthright defence of atheism' (18/1/14).
'The meaning of life? Here's the rundown' (27/4/13).
'Thanks to the memory of a father who failed' (21/1/12).
'The price of freedom' (7/9/11).
'Open the pod bay doors, HAL' (27/8/11).
'Ennui need not be dull' (19/3/11).
'Research the name of the game' (2/3/11).
'Philosophy as a contact sport' (8/12/10).
'Merry hell' (20/12/08).
The Canberra Times
'An inquiring mind essential kit for travellers' (24/4/15).
'When the benefit of the doubt is in order' (23/2/15).
'Smacking children asks for a certain brutality' (14/2/15).
'There might be two sides to climate change story, but only one is well informed' (7/2/15)
'When it comes to quaffing, 'authenticity' has no taste' (9/1/15)
'Sixty years on, we can learn from Ernest Hemingway's grim New Year's resolve' (2/1/15)
'Civilisation, and how to cultivate it' (26/12/14)
'Meeting the challenge of Christmas' (24/12/14)
'Promises, promises' (9/12/14)
'Celebrity culture brings out the worst in us' (2/12/14).
'Political ideals of progress are impeding our advancement' (8/11/14).
'Political insults have their place, but better to engage in debate' (31/10/14).
'Running towards a higher level' (1/3/14).
'Broadband out of whack with experts' (4/11/13).
'Death penalty at odds with the value we place on life' (21/10/13).
'Laptop dogs growl at cost' (22/7/13).
'Spectator vitriol exposes losers off court' (17/7/13).
'The "specialness" of gold class cinema' (25/5/13).
'In short, what we need is more wit' (23/4/13).
'Chard remains' (31/1/13).
'Intensity of friendships reveals a reflection of our true selves' (4/1/13).
'Desire is never just a walk in the park' (27/12/12).
'Deep thoughts on nature's way' (12/12/12).
'Laughter: antidote to a crazy world' (21/11/12).
'Politics: the good, the bad and ugly' (13/11/12).
'Turnips for work; chestnuts for play' (3/10/12).
'Shining a light on real values' (28/10/12).
'Intellectual ambition rarely appears on the box' (24/10/12).
'Every good boy deserves to...become better' (9/10/12).
'Satire the perfect way to test huffiness of today' (6/10/12).
'For sale: traditional values. Well used. Still loved' (3/10/12).
'More than promises broken when politicians recant' (28/9/12).
'Glamour can't disguise the fact that sex is still about power' (12/9/12).
'Malicious web trolls are petty, broken human beings' (8/9/12).
'Much in human nature that is dim, blind and cruel' (3/9/12).
'Throwing the book at literary prejudice' (27/8/12).
'Political lessons to learn from the United States' (13/8/12).
'Limiting exposure to the commercial cacophony' (6/8/12).
'The politics of bashing those down on their luck' (27/7/12).
'More than mere child's play' (16/7/12).
'Too easy for Google stuff to fill our vacant minds' (13/7/12).
'Papers need to lift debate standards' (9/7/12).
'To tax is to share, not to punish' (19/6/12).
'A healthy civilisation needs writers -- and readers' (7/6/12).
'Good, the bad, and the ugly: the blog's here to stay' (24/5/12).
'Never mind the quality, feel the art's price' (14/5/12).
'Gossip is easy and addictive, but also unhealthy' (3/5/12).
'We are dehumanised by automatic work processes' (24/4/12).
'Why grandmothers are key to familial wellbeing' (16/4/12).
'Savouring the magic of the local bookshop' (2/4/12).
'Fun between the covers with long-dead strangers' (9/3/12).
'Stop submerging status in the subservience of "sir"' (1/3/12).
'Honour? Thanks but no thanks' (13/2/12).
'Navigating the conditions of unconditional love' (31/1/12).
'Impossible vanity of caring for everything at once' (16/1/12).
'Norse lessons from across the rainbow bridge' (11/1/12).
'As copyright ends, we can take the literary plunge' (6/1/12).
'Nurturing a healthy lifestyle is food for thought' (3/1/12).
'It's time to let the fizz out of these sickening drinks' (16/12/11).
'Children's stories need a moral side' (12/12/11).
'At times, pedants are just revolting' (29/11/11).
'Practical, proud paths of civility' (24/10/11).
'Not easy to be an older parent, but it's not selfish' (10/10/11).
'Memory lane is a learning curve' (3/10/11).
'The work/life divide: time to think about getting it right' (26/9/11).
'Why Australia is one of the least corrupt nations' (29/8/11).
'Violence runs deep within young men' (13/8/11).
'Fountain of the imagination and joy in the hand' (8/8/11).
'Tastes that narrate our lives' (26/7/11).
'Smokers: 'liberated', but not free' (22/7/11).
'Cinema puts us all on the same stage' (11/7/11).
'On-the-spot fines for swearing fans the fire' (6/6/11).
'Very witty Wilde, but what about this weather?' (26/5/11).
'Counting the cost of credit card debt' (18/5/11).
'Don't write off female front-line warriors just yet' (20/4/11).
'Desperately seeking nothing of real importance' (10/4/11).
'A time to plant, and a time to harvest' (7/4/11).
'Families are slaves to an age of debt' (11/3/11).
'Penning books for the young no life sentence' (25/2/11).
'Gossip adds to woes in office' (14/2/11)
'It's a juggle, but parents can love in the struggle' (7/2/11).
'Internet a tool for tyranny as well as democracy' (4/2/11).
'Courage keeps society a civil one' (31/1/11).
'Along with our grapes, we're maturing nicely' (24/1/11).
'Kicking away the crutches of luxury' (18/1/11).
'Time to put down the pen and join the human race' (27/12/10).
'These feet are made just for walking' (20/12/10).
'The big four are well overdrawn on humanity' (10/11/10).
'Why backflips by politicians are steeped in such negativity' (18/10/10).
'Playing outside has many benefits' (13/10/10).
ABC
'Constancy or madness in the midsummer heat?' (15/1/14).
'Curiosity vs celebrity: why do some reject fame?' (14/10/13).
'FlexiWar: a modest proposal...' (10/7/13).
'We shouldn't ask the dying to keep living' (13/5/13).
'Biographical daydream' (4/1/12).
'The garden in the library: Cicero and the stuff of life' (21/12/12).
'Gods can teach us--just don't worship them' (7/12/12).
'A myth understanding' (23/11/12).
'Private faith v public faith' (9/11/12).
'Critical thinking critical to teaching' (26/10/12).
'An adoring family does not a feminist politician make' (9/10/12).
'The "herd" instinct' (5/10/12).
'The fictional universe of the spiritual illuminati' (24/9/12).
'The fight for common sense' (21/9/12).
'Princesses and superheroes: the consequences of gender roles' (7/9/12).
'Coffee with David Hume' (23/8/12).
'Everyone picks on the fat kid' (10/8/12).
'Our alien and desiccated home' (30/7/12).
'Is God interesting?' (27/7/12).
'Surviving the suburban purgatory of the school run' (13/7/12).
'Christ's love is bad medicine' (29/6/12).
'The Mayans and the end of thought' (15/6/12).
'A letter from a god' (1/6/12).
'Darwin's modest discovery of evolution' (18/5/12).
'If God is dead or dying, why criticise religion?' (4/5/12).
'The Bible just isn't funny' (27/4/12).
'Prayer is delusional but its power can be real' (20/4/12).
'Believers share their dubious apologetics with Trekkers' (13/4/12).
'Infinite debt of a Christian faith' (6/4/12)
'Art without god' (30/3/12).
'Universe's magnificence without the narcissistic supernaturalism' (23/3/12).
'Waiting for God: an ultimate power' (16/3/12).
'Liberating a popular literary invention: the Lord' (9/3/12).
'Why worry about theology?' (1/3/12).
'Sympathy for the devil' (24/2/12).
'Religion and politics: dangers of policy based on faith' (17/2/12).
'Atheism and growing up' (10/2/12).
'The Ultimate Fighter, priest-style: piety and religious vice' (2/2/12).
'Friends in high places' (27/1/12).
'Astrology: an odd mix of humility and arrogance' (19/1/12).
'The symbolism and rage of victimhood' (12/1/12).
'Do scientists have faith?' (3/1/12).
'The symbols of Christmas' (26/12/11).
'Hitchens and infuriating faith' (22/12/11).
'Martial arts and the mind' (16/12/11).
'Out with the caricatures!' (9/12/11).
'Politics and loyalty: to the party or the person?' (2/12/11).
'What was Socrates the radical philosopher doing in Bolt's blog?' (25/11/11).
'For better, for worse, for satin, for cufflinks' (18/11/11).
'The world is not enough for supernaturalists' (10/11/11).
'Paranormal success is a psychic's only power' (3/11/11).
'Atheists, creationists and the pitfalls of public debate' (27/10/11).
'God, man, and the Obedient Wives Club' (20/10/11).
'Book of Jobs: electronic Eden not paradise for everyone' (11/10/11).
'Communication: it's always better when we're together' (22/9/11).
'A boy's world through rose-coloured glasses' (11/4/11).
'Can a job really be worse than unemploymnt?' (1/4/11).
'The paper's place in a digital world' (13/1/11).
'The marvels of what is' (17/12/10.
'Feminism: a struggle shared' (3/12/10).
'Stop and think: it's World Philosophy Day' (18/11/10).
'Editors: strange, misunderstood, essential' (15/11/10).
'Digitally surfing the flushable sea' (20/10/10)
'The wisdom of illness' (1/10/10).
'Why write?' (10/9/10).
'Guiltlessly myopic electioneering' (17/8/10).
'Mentally sexy dads' (30/7/10).
'A rhythmic, sweaty meditation' (18/6/10).
'Not just for geeks' (11/6/10).
'Skinny vs healthy debate' (6/4/10).
'A time for reflection' (7/12/09).
'When will the shallowness end?' (2/11/09).
'Write on' (12/10/09).
'Light bulb moment' (4/9/09).
'The shape of love' (9/7/09).
'Plant for the future, not the past' (17/3/09).
'Junk ethics' (16/9/08).
The Herald-Sun
'Sweetest tastes of Easter are not found in chocolate eggs' (11/4/09).
'Seasonal magic of creating happiness' (25/12/08). 
iPod down, stand up for a lady' (17/11/09). 
'Lives driven to distraction' (22/9/08).
New York Daily News (US)
'Legalizing mixed martial arts in New York' (16/1/11).
The West Australian
'The gift of literary moonshine' (5/3/12).
BBC (UK)
'The distraction society' (7/5/10).
Indianapolis Star (US)
'Boxing is liberating for men -- and now for women' (14/4/11).

ESSAYS

New Philosopher
'Can ideas travel?' (8)
'Plato said knock you out' (7)
'The right side of history is wrong' (6)
'The self and other explosions' (5)
'Dirty thoughts on civilised leisure' (4)
'Happiness is hard to find' (3)
'What is a mind?' (2)
Meanjin 
'Illustrating Ethical Dilemmas' (72 2, 2013).
'The Devilish Art' (70 2, 2011).
'The Reader's Duties' (70 1, 2011).
'My Melbourne Spring' (69 3, 2010).
'On fiction and philosophy' (67 4, 2008).
'The langorous siesta: on summer reading' (66 4, 67 1, 2007/8).
'A Sparta for our times' (66 2, 2007). 
'Faith without God' (65 4, 2006).
'Facing Nietzsche's demon' (64 3, 2005).
Island
'Philosophy is Not a Therapy' (141).
'Who is the Author?' (140).
'Fanny Price in the Garden' (139).
'Everyday Philosophy' (138).
'An Australian Superman' (137).
'Public Writers, Private Lives' (135)
Aeon (UK)
'The wisdom of gardens' (14/6/13).
Griffith Review
'Tragic intimacy' (35, 2012).