There are a lot of things I don’t get about Twitter and/or Facebook: hashtags (seriously, who uses them?), profile photos, how righteous a tweet can make us feel even as it fills us with self-doubt. There’s no tone and little room for nuance or context in these spaces, no grace for momentary lapses or mistakes, and outrages frequently ensue.
When Victorian senator John Madigan trained his raygun-of-righteousness on the rate of ‘gender-selective’ abortion in Australia last week, the response was, largely, bewilderment: there is no evidence that the practice even occurs in Australia (making it seem more like an instance of Madigan discovering the toy of the month – the dog whistle of racism).
Besides, who can say with certainty that downloading academic papers has not crossed that terrorist line?
Abortion and women’s reproductive rights are significant issues for me. But they are also a microcosm of society more broadly, and the continued attempts to limit women’s choices, whether they be economic or educational or about being able to raise a child alone or to not raise one right now.
It is depressing that only a couple of weeks after SlutWalk (but years after the Reclaim the Night marches and many waves of feminism), we still have to reiterate that women should be able to walk the streets at night.
Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen made a truly revealing comment on ABC’s Q&A last night. It wasn’t when he came out in support of Jim Wallace (and echoed the logic of Todd Akin), stating that a lot of people have told him that homosexuality is bad for your health, and that there’s a lot of literature to support the claim.
Until recently, when someone mentioned modern-day Russia, I’d think of those photographs by Anna Skladmann of Russia’s wealthy children. Well those, and the fact that there have been so many journalists murdered in Russia since the early 90s that the list has its own Wikipedia page.
After a ‘Politics and literature’ panel at the NT Writers Festival, I joined a conversation with fellow panellist Robin Hemley, editor of the Iowa Review, and an audience member who was also a journalist. The conversation was about Mike Daisey’s now-infamous This American Life episode on Foxconn workers in China.
‘Enhanced interrogation techniques’: to distinguish between the way the CIA used to interrogate, and the new, improved way.