It is deeply disturbing for any Minister to attempt to directly control the kinds of culture produced in a democracy that values freedom of expression. We want to continue the Australian tradition of arts funding being independent of any political influence. The Minister himself has previously argued that art will always provoke debate, ‘that’s why we have an arms-length and peer-reviewed structure for the allocation for the funding’. What he now proposes is precisely the opposite.
The bush setting, for many festivals, is meant to be a celebration of human interaction with nature, so waste management and environmentally conscious operations are very important, both to the local area and to the attendees.
The language itself is a blanket, or a white sheet thrown over those bodies. It suffocates any debate or talk of alternatives. What does it even mean to distinguish between economic refugees and the regular kind, when those who flee poverty are driven to attempt such a dangerous crossing? ‘No one would put their children in boats unless the sea is safer than land,’ as the phrase attributed to Somali-British writer Warshan Shire goes.
In Mad Max: Fury Road, normative masculinity is not just broken, it is literally diseased. Survival for women in this film in many ways relies on their ability to find a way forward beyond often contradictory tribal manifestation of the kind of bat-shit crazy masculinity that can only be deemed ‘unreal’ if you are privileged enough to see no problem with the current gender political status quo.
Literary contests are sliding more and more towards charging fees that exclude many people, and exploit many who can ill afford the entry fee. I am lucky, in that if I really wanted to enter something, my partner could provide the means. But I would not enter a competition that cost $33 because it is simply too much of the household’s money for me to spend with a clear conscience.
The media’s response to the 2015 budget is as predictable as it is planned. The government told us we were going to get a fairer budget, the media informed us we were going to get a fairer Budget, and so inevitably we got a fairer budget, the narrative having been written well before the event.
For poetry that means taking seriously ideas like artists-in-residence and re-thinking the English department as a site of potential. Moreover, it means thinking through some of the ideological unconsciousness that exists in the English department as it is configured in Australia.
Mad Men reflects, or channels, this mainstream moral ambivalence. There is something immature about refusing to share your toys – or privileges. True adulthood involves accepting that we cannot confine our concerns to the self (and our closest associates). We need to look out for the Other(s). All thinking people agree that whether it is along income, racial or gender lines, the disparity should be closed if a mature society is to exist..
Some 8000 Rohingya asylum seekers and Bangladeshi migrants are currently stranded, lacking food, water and sanitation – and the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are pushing their boats back into the ocean, knowing they have nowhere to go.