In the aftermath of Saturday’s carnage, I have never felt more distant from the grieving white climate activists in Australia.
This comic was commissioned by the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 General Strike and Clarrie O’Shea’s release from prison.
So if Crowe’s right, it’s not just ‘big ideas and ambitious plans’ that are dead to our politicians. It’s also, according to the best available science, a great chunk of life on Earth, with neither major party even trying to put forward the measures necessary to end extinctions.
That’s a bleak conclusion – but, in a way, it’s a bracing one since it clarifies, in the starkest possible fashion, the strategic perspectives in front of us.
In reflecting on the campaign and result, I want to make some initial observations of whether there are continuing expressions of anti-politics in Australia. It is important to reflect on whether my original thesis of anti-politics holds up, and if it does how it might need to be refined in light of the past weekend.
Many of us are grieving today. There are jokes about moving to New Zealand, and memes about excising Queensland. More seriously, though, here are some initial thoughts to prompt discussion on what lessons there may be in this moment.
I used to be like you. I lived in the city, I became vegan and I went ‘to the country’ occasionally, getting angry at the lack of signage about the massacres through which my fellow colonists come to be here. I knew about the bees dying and REFLEX paper through Facebook, and I thought that the old growth forests, like the greenies, were somewhere ‘out there’, somewhere further away than Daylesford or Castlemaine.
I worry that Australian society is not ready or willing to look deep within itself and begin to reconcile why disabled bodies are locked away. Why, for so many, the torture, beatings and rape of disabled people are acceptable. How, beyond our own ideas of ‘fairness’ and ‘dignity,’ the humanity of so many disabled people in this country can still be denied.
The thing is, I’m not really sad any more. I’m angry. And the role of anger is so often missing from these discussions of climate grief. Why is that?
Eurovision should be about coming together to celebrate diversity and inclusion. Building solidarity between LGBTIQ people and Palestinians must be a priority, and embracing this boycott is just the start.
Bolsonaro is advancing his political agenda not by dictating what may or may not be taught, but rather by bringing to bear on students and academics the discipline of a market he commands.
Should Bojack Horseman somehow discover that I have embarked on the journey of writing an essay inspired by his show that excludes him, or at least decentres him, he would not be very pleased. He would say, But I am the star, to which I would reply, Yes Bojack, you’re the star but this is about Todd, the ace freeloader in whom I saw myself more than once.
Not awarding the Vogel’s this year is downright cruel. Mediocre books get published all the time, and some of them even win multiple awards: who cares if you give the Vogel’s to a manuscript that isn’t a work of utter genius?
On Thursday, I moved through my busy day at a remove. Being occupied was best. At every other moment of my day, I felt two things racing through my body. Fear and anger.
The enduring appeal of horror is its capacity to peer over the edge of whatever social and cultural boundaries we have nervously sought shelter behind, to confront the terrifying inadequacies of our intellectual conceits – including the humanist ideals that ‘prestige’ drama clings to as it seeks endless reassurances to its own self-importance.
David laughs as he recalls his pathway to work in Australia. An employment officer at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre helped him get the job but it was the first time the company had ever hired an asylum seeker. To get to the factory, David woke before 4 am, walked twenty-five minutes to his bus stop then rode the bus for an hour. He’d then walk an additional hour to arrive at work, just before his shift started at 7 am. He couldn’t be late; he was ‘representing all asylum seekers’.
While thinking about this huge subject of silencing, the muting of voices, and bullying tactics used to oppress, humiliate, manipulate, create fear and exclude, I thought about how to tell this story about censorship in another way – by visualising an extreme situation where the world was stopped from telling stories. Let’s say we lived in a story-less world where our rich literary traditions no longer existed, and have been excised from memory.
‘Loud’ writing attracts attention with its zeitgeisty theme or high-concept plot. An ambitious, edgy approach to form or genre that demands to be read as spectacle. A punchy, fast-paced writing style that doesn’t so much invite you into the story as hustle you along with it.
Kashmir is a tourist retreat in an occupied land. Every year, as the monsoon rolls across India, bringing with it both soaring temperatures and pounding rain, the county’s elite escape to the overwhelming beauty of the Kashmir Valley. These two realities – Kashmir as a haven for holidaymakers and a warzone for locals – remain remarkably separate, so much so that when one invades the other the effect can jar, like a jolt of absolute reality.
Chinese-Australians continue to be marginalised and othered in dominant culture and discourse, assumed by many to be more recent arrivals than anyone who happens to have white skin and an undetectable accent. This prejudice persists through the same tired stereotypes and colonial fears of the Yellow Peril. We are blamed for everything from driving up house prices to threatening national security.