Editorial

Type
Editorial

‘Dear capitalism,’ began one of the handmade, cardboard signs floating above the sea of occupiers in Toronto, ‘it’s not you it’s us.’ Then, scrawled below: ‘Just kidding, it’s you.’

Over the past year and a half, events have highlighted a growing suspicion that capitalism is becoming a threat to anyone not a stockbroker, politician or CEO. This widespread movement had made itself felt in Tunisia, Egypt, Greece and Spain, in the crumbling of Wall Street, and in the people’s occupations transforming public spaces into tent cities.

OL206 cover-big
water
Type
Article
Category
Culture

Between two oceans

I sit at one end of the foyer in the Coroners Court. A young blonde woman sets herself down next to me and then addresses the two older men seated by my side. ‘I’m Sarah, from the Maribyrnong Leader,’ she says. ‘So, um, what’s happening here today?’

Europe
Type
Article
Category
Politics

The European meltdown

Like ‘sex’ and ‘violence’, the words ‘Europe’ and ‘crisis’ seem to have a near permanent affinity these days. This constant conjunction tells us that the nature of the crisis is no transient thing. It is what Gramsci would have called an ‘organic crisis’, one that condenses multiple chronic problems at various levels of the system in a single, epochal spasm.

coins
Type
Article
Category
Politics

Occupy abundance

When the Occupy movement spread to Australia, many mainstream commentators were incredulous. Has Australia not been doing exceptionally well, having enjoyed a long summer of economic growth since the 1990s and escaping the worst of the global financial crisis?

file000471905941
Type
Article
Category
Culture
Writing

The dangers of a single story

Ramsay Street’s newest family is part of a deliberate campaign to diversify Australia’s most famous neighbourhood. The move has already met with public outrage: online comments criticising Network Ten’s decision have been filled with racist vitriol. Me? Well, I just hope that the Kapoor children have better luck in suburban Australia than I did.

Victorian
Type
Article
Category
Culture

Another other Victorian

Once upon a time, Victorian England had a reputation as such an arctic tundra of sexual frigidity that people believed the ridiculous claim that piano legs had to be covered with drapery to preserve decency; or that the typical mother’s nuptial advice was ‘Just lie back, dear, and think of Britain’.

books
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Reading

The five books of my apocalypse

Given the assignment of choosing a handful of books that to me represent, or inform, or speak to, or embody, or maybe manifest the spirit of the Occupy movement (that should probably be capitalised: the Spirit Of the Occupy Movement – SOOM), I went democratic: I asked around.

Cocaine
Type
Article

Blood and chocolate

That’s how it started – an exchange via internet floated the idea to bring me to South America. Now here we are in Sao Paulo International La Gru shaking hands.

keyboard
Type
Article
Category
Culture
Meanland
Politics

CEOs, authors and white-collar work

We have reached a point where reading and writing are now inseparable from the consumer technology and software that produce them. Those who don’t use computers at their place of employ will almost certainly own a mobile phone – and increasingly, it will be a smart phone, of the kind that have made fortunes for companies and CEOs.

Gilson-Tractor
Type
Fiction

Tractor Tractor

In Nepal my friend Cliff is trying to keep the wind away. A tiny disease has taken his face. Nothing that won’t repair, he assures me, that a month on the farm won’t fix. But it hurts to be alive.

This makes me want to scribe something long-winded and a little brutal to the diplomatic corps.

Type
Fiction

Australian academic

The academic formerly known as Cedric Pinkwattle sat with one leg crossed over the other, a position of repose typically favoured by women, libertines and intellectuals that he found pleasantly conducive to thought – in spite of the pressure his scissored thighs placed upon his testicles, creating a sensation that, if he paused to think about it, he would have to define as painful …

Type
Poetry

Sunday poem

Rotate the potato. A labrador is happiest collecting kindling.
While the football’s on in the other room we salt the pigskin: O, giver of gout.
Brie suctions the wooden platter. Wisteria bruises on the patio.
Type
Poetry

Mayfield Blues

O man – that concrete powder twilight over Mayfield
falls softly down into the mind; we’re skylarking, you see,
on Vine Street, atop the hill, near The Gatsby House,
Type
Poetry

Sonar

From a drunken cruise on the harbour
comes a bouncing melody: I wanna
have sex on the beach. Anyone can