Editorial

Type
Editorial

On the one hand, imperial titles and bottles of Grange; on the other, austerity and cutbacks.

There’s nothing subtle about the Right’s program today. That’s partly why the Left struggles to respond: too often, we’re wrong-footed by the sheer brazenness.

The environmentalist Bill McKibben describes humanity as ‘running Genesis backward, decreating’. No wonder we hesitate to acknowledge the awful reality: a tiny handful of the super rich preferring planetary devastation to any diminution of their privilege or power.

Ed cover
croggon
Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
Politics

On the value of art

The worst sin any artist can commit is to refuse to be bought. In the crude rhetoric of self-interest that dominates contemporary politics, this sin has potentially become blacker still. If you argue, as Rupert Murdoch does, that the market is a transcendent moral force, then any artist who refuses its values exhibits the worst form of moral turpitude.

spritz-redicle-reading-app-on-device
Type
Reflection
Category
Reading

On resisting speed

It’s finally here: a radically new technology of reading. The hypertext wasn’t quite that. It was a way of connecting texts to one another, weaving them into a larger whole – potentially as vast as the culture itself.

muldoon
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Politics

Mourning democracy

One after another, democratic rights and entitlements appear to be slipping through our fingers. The contours of democratic regimes are gradually transforming, taking increasingly authoritarian shapes. New laws, institutions and ideologies replace old ones as we grope our way through the changes, naively using old concepts as if they still held their meaning. In truth, democratic talk is becoming an empty discourse, one devoid of substance. The liberal democratic regimes that were assembled during the twentieth century are being gradually dismantled.

Woodhead2
Type
Article
Category
Writing

Hard for the money

Even in times of economic boom, writers found it difficult to get paid for their labour – despite the ASA establishing industry rates for non-staff writers. That being said, it’s clear that the situation is now particularly dire. The ASA and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, the two organisations representing writers and their professional interests in Australia, suggest ‘minimum’ rates: they recommend, respectively, $892 and $925 per 1000 words, for both print and online publication.

BIennale-of-Sydney
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Culture

The biennale boycott

One of the artworks currently on show at the Biennale of Sydney is Bosbolobosboco #6, by Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson. It was made in collaboration with the Sydney-based group Refugee Art Project, which since its founding in 2010 has run art classes inside detention centres and organised exhibitions and publications for artworks made by asylum seekers. Safdar Ahmed, a founding member of Refugee Art Project, describes Bosbolobosboco #6 as ‘a biomorphic sculpture which resembles a living entity, comprised seemingly of skin or bone.

maddee
Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
Politics

Against authenticity

I can’t remember being as excited about a TV show as I have been about Redfern Now. Not since I was a kid and only allowed thirty minutes of TV a day by my overbearing grandmother. A scarcity of good things tends to make me more excited about them when they eventually happen – and there is certainly a scarcity of Indigenous bodies and stories on Australian screens.

winlaton
Type
Reflection
Category
Politics

A Process of Survival

In January 1974, Valerie, my fourteen-year-old half-sister, was taken to a Victorian police station, charged with being ‘exposed to moral danger’. She had been punched in the face at a party, and a doctor who had attended to her injuries reported concerns about her welfare to the police. According to the sole surviving piece of documentation, Valerie was delivered to the remand section of Winlaton Youth Training Centre.

hockey
Type
Polemic
Category
Politics

On the Age of Entitlement

‘The Age of Entitlement is over.’ The words were Joe Hockey’s, delivered to an audience of ‘friends’ at the Institute of Economic Affairs London on 17 April 2012. Twenty-two months later, the new Treasurer explained that not only was the age of entitlement ‘over’ but ‘the age of personal responsibility’ had now ‘begun’..

qian
Type
Debate
Category
Activism
Politics

Should the Left check its privilege?

There is a false opposition drawn in many conversations between what is supposedly traditional or ‘core’ Left thinking and these tricky new-fangled ideas about privilege and intersectionality. But the best parts of the Left have always been founded on self-determination, on oppressed peoples’ naming of struggles and speaking truth to power. Nothing about this is new. It’s not additional or peripheral.

fancy-cuts
Type
Fiction
Category
Reading
Writing

Fancy cuts: an introduction

There has, in recent years, been a push to rescue various ‘lost’ writers from obscurity. And yet the short story is a literary form deeply embedded in its time. Much of the energy that has sustained Overland throughout the years derives from its contemporaneity – its commitment to the urgent, emerging or marginalised voices of its day.

cartland
Type
Fiction

Nativity

They come in through gaps around the pipes, and under doors and windows that don’t close tightly enough. Their heads are wide and flat, their skin translucent. When my daughter manages to catch one, she runs her finger from its nose to its tail, slow and rhythmic. The lizard trembles with its own heartbeat.

fancy-cuts
Type
Fiction

Josephina Anna Maria

Wind tore through the darkness, and rain was beating down in heavy showers, the night one of the Sicilian wood-carters came to the door of Ryan’s Hotel and hanged on it so that its shrunken panels rattled. Michael had shut-up at nine o’clock; bolted the windows and barred the doors against the wind and rain.

boonie
Type
Fiction

Boonie

A couple of weeks after I started my new job, a woman from the office took a shine to me. Her name was Wanda and she was the payroll lady. She had some Polish blood in her somewhere along the line and she understood a few words of my language. She had a nice, round, pleasant Slavic face. I liked faces like that.

man-machine-dog
Type
Fiction

Man/machine/dog

‘So, what’s the report from your sector, Hector?’ asked Laylene, the night supervisor. As usual, she gave no indication that she noticed the rhyme in her question. Her unsmiling face radiated, as usual, blankness.

Hector saluted precisely, as usual. He knew that small talk was not necessary.

wire
Type
Poetry

Borderlines

forty-three West Papuan men   women and children
five weeks in wild seas in a traditional double outrigger canoe
drifting four days without food or water
john_hawke
Type
Poetry

The point

The green strip of land projecting low from the bay
is signalled by the figures of four tall pines:
these sentinels can be sighted for guidance

flight-paths
Type
Poetry

Departures, arrivals

Airport of the future. Devoid of take-offs, landings. Derelict hub. The passenger era having followed the strip-lights to the exit. Heat of steel, glass. Kids barefoot on tarmac. The encampments were quick to spread here. Spaces once open.

manusisland
Type
Poetry

After the riot

‘Order has been restored … breakfast has been served.’
– Scott Morrison when interviewed after a riot on Manus Island

And what did you eat for breakfast, Mr Morrison –

zepyrmagazine002
Type
Poetry

Castrato

When the kitten with a dislocated limb is euthanised,
you’ve stopped reading my blog, my sister refuses the call,
a bargirl on the south side of Sydney is being shagged,