female jesus
Type
Article
Category
Capitalism
Food

In the act of eating: food culture in late capitalism

Somehow over the last decade, food has become supreme arbiter – moving around the cultural landscape and absorbing our biggest fears and desires, before transforming everything into a café-ready salve. What’s strange about food culture’s claim to authenticity is not so much the baroque propositions – slow food, local food, homemade food – only that the stuff we eat has taken on such a potent, transformative quality in the first place.

455111587_8194ef80bd_z
Type
Polemic
Category
Class
The future

From boomer to millennial bust

‘New York Millennial can’t afford to move to DC before her job in Congress starts’ read a recent headline in VICE for an article on how Congressmember-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t yet afford to move to Washington DC, as the rents in the city are so high.

Not a week goes by without a media report revealing how difficult it is for young people to afford a house; simultaneously, we’re inundated by articles on disgustingly wealthy baby-boomers.

profunda
Type
Article
Category
Fiction
Gentrification

In the grip of Melbourne: revisiting Monkey Grip

Text’s new edition of Helen Garner’s 1977 novel Monkey Grip is an opportunity to revisit the book’s influence on Melbourne. In addition to being widely considered a classic of Australian fiction, Monkey Grip is frequently referred to as an iconic ‘Melbourne’ novel. Certainly, it is a novel absolutely grounded in and shaped by place. For Nora, the narrator and protagonist, it is the locus of the social encounter and emotional intensity on which the book’s narrative depends.

9149880026_08c56bdc99_z
Type
Review
Category
LGBTQI
Reading

Where is the radical queer imagination? On Going Postal

Collective outrage was growing in August 2017, when Australia’s mandatory detention regime killed another asylum seeker, Hamed Shamshiripour, on Manus Island. As argued by Maddee Clark at Deakin’s Gender and Sexuality Studies seminar series, the Australian parliament sought to distract the public from the asylum seeker issue, and so a two-month long postal survey emerged on marriage equality.

robertaperkinsfinalfinal
Type
Article
Category
History
Queer politics

Remembering Roberta Perkins

Pindi remembers running from the cops with Roberta at her side. It was Darlinghurst in the late 1970s, when being a sex worker was a crime, and transgender sex workers in particular were targeted by police. Scared of being arrested, Pindi stuck out her leg, apologised, and sent her friend flailing to the ground. Through the tumble of her own limbs, Roberta may have seen Pindi dart around a corner and disappear.

votes
Type
Article
Category
Politics
Socialism

Of radicals and rebels: a response to ‘Why the Greens will continue to fail’

The switch from the Greens to the Victorian Socialists represents an encouraging materialist turn. But there remain reasons to be critical of the new party. In part, my scepticism stems from the same source as Toller’s optimism: many people involved with the new political party are people who were convinced of the Greens a few years ago.

6156141184_2288117534_z
Type
Article
Category
translation
War

Like light on the sea floor

Ota Yoko (1903-1963) was the only prominent novelist to survive the bombing of Hiroshima. After it, she wrote only essays and fictional stories, which documented the experiences of victims, carving out the field of atomic literature in which she is renowned. Her obsessive dedication to realistically relating what happened was driven by her conviction that she was the only one left to do so. Burdened by survivor responsibility, she wrote on tranquilisers to dull the visceral trauma triggered by remembering, and struggled to find the right words, saying new vocabulary was needed to render ‘the reality of Hiroshima’.

4602805654_db8b6569fb_z
Type
Polemic
Category
Electioneering
Socialism

Why the Greens will continue to fail

In the aftermath of the Victorian election, leftist politics are in flux. After a campaign marred by allegations of sexual assault and misogyny, the Greens will likely lose all but one of their seats in the Legislative Council. Rather than gaining the balance of power in the lower house as projected, they lost Northcote and failed to pick up the soft Labor seats of Brunswick and Richmond. Prahran still hangs in the balance.

Tress
Type
Reflection
Category
Illness
LGBTQI

How to label the self

It’s true that, like Fiona Wright, ‘for so many of the years I was unwell, I was too savage to love, and kept all of my appetites satiated.’ My obscene hunger dulled feeling and desire; there was simply no room in my ever-shrinking, increasingly androgynous female body.

Coonardoo crop
Type
Polemic
Category
Long read
Writing

Subjects of the imagination: on dropping the settler pen

In 1857, English journalist and author Frank Fowler visited the colony of NSW and wrote with much excitement that ‘our fictionists have fallen upon the soil of Australia, like so many industrious diggers and though merely scratching and fossicking the surface have turned up much precious and malleable stuff.’ Fowler’s brief nineteenth-century summation of the Australian literary landscape still resonates today.

crop_marriage
Type
Polemic
Category
LGBTQI
Marriage

My best friend’s wedding

By the time I was thirty, I’d been married twice, once to a woman, once to a man, both times for love and both times because of borders. Despite thinking I would never get married, to date I have flipped the saying and been always the bride and never the bridesmaid. In the last year, I’ve been invited to no less than seven weddings by feminist friends on the radical left and my Facebook newsfeed has been clogged with many more. None of these have been visa weddings.

6808409460_42f8f372a9_z
Type
Reflection
Category
Climate change
New South Wales

Travelling a darling river

We came from Melbourne up over the Great Dividing Range to be atop the Barrier Range. Then onward to a river camp in the corner country of northwest New South Wales. The idea was to travel once more to the desert, starting at Broken Hill, then camp, explore, immerse ourselves and stay awhile, not just hop from roadside postcard photoshoot to national pretty park, not to blithely pass through.

parl1
Type
Essay
Category
Language
Refugees
The law

But what are we backing when we #BacktheBill?

This Bill then, supported by the crossbench and a range of NGOs and lobby groups, should only be seen as a deeply ambivalent ‘solution’. Just like the Kids off Nauru campaign – which created the hashtag #KidsOff – this Bill has spawned a campaigning hashtag (#BacktheBill) and provides a very partial remedy to a much larger problem. It is a crisis response to a crisis purely of the politicians’ making.

save
Type
Essay
Category
Prison
Refugees

How could it all have happened?

I want to tell you of the way in which two SERCO guards are present 24/7 in the room of a dying person, of someone who cannot walk, hardly talk, cannot eat, drink, function, and when communicating, communicates with absolute visceral fear of the knowledge that they (Australia) are killing her/him. I want to tell you of how these guards say ‘this is what happens when you come by boat’.

more than
Type
Essay
Category
Borders
Solidarity

Beyond ‘refugees’?

The left, for the past ten years (with some exceptions), has faithfully tailed the benevolence and generosity line of liberals and ‘refugee’-NGOs. The humanitarian line – that these are vulnerable people seeking safety and protection, and being treated as lesser human beings – is undoubtedly true. But it also fatally politically limited. If our demand is to ‘bring them here’, we have to ask: what will happen to them when then they arrive in Australia?