And yet, as a 2014 letter from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to her then Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu made clear, Australia continues to talk down the atrocities of a century ago. ‘The Australian government,’ Bishop wrote, ‘does not … recognise these events as genocide.’ This position is long-standing and bipartisan, and puts Australia in the company of other equivocators, including the US and Britain, neither of which sanction the use of the ‘G’ word. Obama has been particularly – and characteristically – mendacious, stating during his 2008 campaign that he would refer in office to the killings as genocidal but failing to do anything of the sort once elected.
How the left should respond to Reclaim Australia is an intriguing question. There is some evidence to suggest that this may be a growing movement, one nurtured by a prevailing Islamophobia on the one hand and white anxiety on the other.
‘Healthy’ no longer means a body that functions at its optimum but living by a particular set of arbitrary rules invented by someone with a product to sell and no medical authority. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist with the thinnest of qualification.
A woman deals with a mysterious affliction. A couple invite new friends over for dinner. A young man faces his own guilt after a terrible event. A woman and her new lover visit a terminally ill former lover. In each of these very different stories there is a confrontation. A truth is revealed, but often the truth is a terrible, strange and unwelcome thing.
In recent weeks a culture war has raged in the field of science fiction and fantasy. Hot on the heels of the Gamergate controversy – and to a significant extent running parallel alongside it – in this latest case, a right-wing group known as the ‘Sad Puppies’ have campaigned to correct science fiction of its ‘Leftist’ bias. The fight again highlights the deep schisms running through contemporary popular culture.
In particular, the primary and secondary education sectors are a minefield of homophobic and transphobic law, institutional practice and everyday discrimination. In this, LGBTQI people are the collateral damage of the neoliberal push towards privatisation.
Why don’t we commemorate Gallipoli by taking a clear, cold-eyed look at what war is and what war does? Instead of featuring members of the Australian cricket team, why doesn’t every Camp Gallipoli event include speakers who have lived through recent wars and can talk about their experiences?