grammar australia

The Weekly Round-Up: Philosophising Sex, Appreciating Buses and the Reason Why Nobody Writes Good No More

Each week we share five exciting and provocative ideas, links and articles making waves on the internet.

ALAIN DE BOTTON WANTS TO TALK ABOUT SEX

Like those much lauded philosophers of early ’90s hip hop, Salt-n-Pepa, Alain de Botton wants to talk about sex. In this article published in the Sydney Morning Herald, de Botton talks about his latest book, How To Think More About Sex, suggesting, amongst other things, that adultery is over-rated, impotence an asset, and marriage an institution which tends to ruin desire. Watch the talk he gave at the Opera House in 2012 here.

DAVID MARR POINTS OUT THAT THE PRIME MINISTER IS LEGISLATING AGAINST HERSELF

David Marr’s piece for Fairfax this week lambasts Labor’s Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill for renewing religious groups’ ability to discriminate against anybody who injures “the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion”. Affecting a long list of people including homosexuals, transexuals and couples (like Julia Gillard and Tim Mathieson) who live in sin, the law gives religious leaders the right “to bar anyone in Julia Gillard’s shoes from any job in any of their schools, hospitals and charities, even those they run with public money.”

AUSTRALIA’S YOUTH DON’T KNOW WHAT A PRONOUN IS, AND HERE IS WHY

Gemma Sapwell in an article written for The Drum explains why the decision to cut grammar from the Australian curriculum in the 1970′s has caused nearly all young people to be grammar-illiterate. An excellent insight into why “nobody knows how to write good no more.”

AN ODE TO SYDNEY’S MUCH-MALIGNED PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM

Sydney author Charlotte Wood writes an ode to public transport in the summer edition of The Monthly. “A bus trip is the only time I’m in the company of strangers that doesn’t involve commerce and transaction…Maybe this is why I find it so affecting. On a bus we are revealed and connected, close up: all guilelessly, fallibly human. As basic as this is, it feels an important thing to remember.”

RICKY GERVAIS AND RICHARD DAWKINS ARE IN FURIOUS AGREEMENT

Parts of this interview were used in Richard Dawkins’ most recent documentary, and highlights the passionate beliefs of both men. Watch Dawkins’ speaking in Sydney in April of last year right here.