Surveillance of activists is about to get much, much worse

Type
Polemic
Category
Politics

The mountain of reporting on the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has buried discussion of new laws that Federal Attorney General Senator George Brandis is attempting to pass through parliament. The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (2014) will produce a significant shift in the way Australian intelligence agencies can collect information and collaborate.

surveillance
Charlie'sCountryPic#01
Type
Review
Category
Culture

Like everything and nothing

Australian national cinema is multitudinous. But as with any country with a colonial past, white people tell most of our stories. Towards the end of 2011, filmmaker Rolf de Heer learned that David Gulpilil was in jail. Flying from Tasmania to Darwin to visit his estranged friend, de Heer realised ‘that the only thing I might be able to do for him was to make a film with him’. De Heer refocuses the conversation about aiding someone in crisis through his realisation that actually helping means changing ‘to do for’ to ‘make with’.

Game-of-Thrones-still
Type
Review
Category
Culture

Watch the throne: why we love fantasy

The main reason I like Game of Thrones is because, at its core, it’s about power: who has it and what they do with it, who doesn’t and what becomes of them. It is a morality tale like The Sopranos or The Wire, but with swords and battle-axes. And in this respect, while it derives from fantasy, on another level it is remarkably realistic – it’s Tolkien’s world updated for our times.

Gaza_Beach
Type
Polemic
Category
Activism

Gaza: if not now, when?

‘Atrocity’, ‘massacre’, ‘crime against humanity’: one thinks of Conrad’s reference to ‘the old, old words worn thin, defaced by ages of careless usage’. But there are times when such terms ring true – and we’re living through one of them. Whatever Hamas has or hasn’t done, attempts to justify a military assault on a city of millions necessarily rely on a terrorist logic: it’s the imposition of a collective responsibility that holds every Gazan guilty simply because they live in Gaza.