Football fantasies

Type
Article

Sport has been at the centre of Australia’s national identity since the early days of white occupation. The sporting field is, today, one of the few places Australia is confident in projecting itself internationally. And to do so assumes a certain level of competence over an extended period, based on hard work and honed skills – not smarter cheating.

MCG
#letthemstay
Type
Article
Category
Politics
Refugees

The Andrews rebellion

It’s important to acknowledge the limits of Andrews’ position. He has written to the Prime Minister offering to host the 267 refugees currently bound for Nauru in Victoria. He hasn’t explicitly opposed mandatory detention or offshore processing, nor has he outlined a specific policy approach that deals with refugees more systemically. It has also been reported that he voted for offshore processing at Labor’s national conference last year.

americans
Type
Article
Category
Culture
Politics
United States

The spies next door

The majority of critics have seen The Americans as a show about relationships and marriage, a view reinforced by the show’s creator, Joe Weisberg. But to me, regardless of the creator’s intentions, it’s a text about eighties politics and the decline of the traditional left in the US.

melbcityofwords
Type
Reflection

John McLaren remembered

Early in the morning of 4 December, Overland lost a great friend and guide when John McLaren died. John was associate editor of Overland from 1966–1993, editor from 1993–1996, and a board member until 2014, when he stood down for health reasons to become, instead, an official Overland patron.

moonshine
Type
Reflection
Category
Identity

Family vices

I come from a family of Appalachian moonshiners who lived in obscurity in the Cumberland Gap of Tennessee. There in the poverty above the coal mines they smoked, chewed tobacco and drank in remote little bars, until bleary-eyed and swooning they staggered back into their rust-bucket cars and made their way on unlit, unpaved paths, through the hills back to their homes.

paper
Type
Article
Category
Culture
Writing

Judge not lest ye be judged

Think of how different our literary world would look if we read everything blind. You would never have to read a story, as many critics, academics, reviewers and judges do, and note that because it is written by a white heterosexual male, it must possess merit. A phenomenon Hustvedt refers to as the ‘masculine enhancement effect’. Readers may not, as many do, pick up a book by a person of colour, and look for the traumatic, moral story at its heart.

vietnam
Type
Reflection
Category
Violence
Writing

The train to Quảng Ngãi

It was in the canteen car of the late-night service that the Vietnam veteran finally told me his story. We’d been friends for months, regulars at a Louisiana-themed bar off Saigon’s Bùi Viện backpacker strip, but his time in-country was, if not exactly taboo, not really a go-to topic, either. The story that unfolded was right out of Michael Herr’s Dispatches, an un-filmed sequence of Apocalypse Now conveyed orally, in equal parts surreal and evil. What surprised me was how unsurprised I was by it all.

for-header-image
Type
Article
Category
Culture
Film
Politics

Scola's A Special Day

One of precious few Italian films to deal with the pre-war Fascist period, and most especially with the acme of Mussolini’s popularity, Ettore Scola’s Una Giornata Particolare (A Special Day) takes place entirely within the confines of a tenement complex known as Palazzo Federici in Rome. Watching the film again during the week of Scola’s death in late January, and being familiar with the story, I find that my attention is drawn not to the characters but to the buildings themselves.

14598223557_d73c34b1a5_z
Type
Article
Category
Feminism
Technology

Sorry, not sorry

The app has received some criticism for ‘policing’ women’s speech, although other critiques could be made. For mine, knowing your limitations is an asset rather than a setback, and accordingly the words ‘I’m no expert’ could stand to be used more often. In addition, the phrases singled out above seem to be a way of putting a recipient at their ease; hardly the worst sin to commit in an email.

skipping-girls
Type
Article
Category
Feminism
Transgender rights

Blood ties

Of course it’s true that transgender women don’t experience menstruation. I don’t think that’s very interesting, of itself: plenty of cis women don’t either. Nor, for that matter, do all women experience the following: childbirth, lactation, penetrative vaginal intercourse, bikini waxing, swooning over Colin Firth in a wet white shirt, wearing lipstick, and so on. And yet all of these are variously held up as universal – or definitive – experiences of womanhood in popular discourse. The shorthand we use for formative girlhood experiences privileges the white, middle class, heterosexual stories of cis girls in the Anglosphere.

beaumont
Type
Reflection
Category
Nationalism

Mis-remembering the Beaumont children

One of the key tenets of historical studies is that memory is political. What and how we remember certain events speaks volumes not only about those events, but also about the sociohistorical spaces in which those events played out, as well as the spaces in which the events are remembered. I am most interested in the way that the Beaumont children’s disappearance has been framed as symbolic of national innocence lost.

RAC
Type
Polemic
Category
Activism
Refugee rights

We need a better refugee rights campaign

[T]he time has come to resist constantly turning to law as a place to direct our political disquiet. The indignity and disrespect with which we treat our fellow human beings is no longer about the law. The time has come to build a movement of solidarity with the people across oceans we plan to imprison, should they decide to make the rational decision to flee wars that we are already involved in (or no doubt will be fighting in future) – and to align ourselves with the fates of those we’ve already imprisoned.

Marconi essay
Type
Essay
Category
Politics
Technology

Simply air vibrating

It is hard to determine the veracity without having been there, but the tale is a good one. Guglielmo Marconi had a series of heart attacks in the mid 1930s – that much we know for sure. By this time, he was in his late fifties and an Italian hero: a pioneer of long-distance radio transmission, a statesman, a friend of Mussolini. Somewhere around the time of his fourth or fifth heart episode, so the story goes, Marconi became convinced that sounds live forever.