The Democratic Party is already great!

Type
Polemic
Category
Trumpism
United States

The only thing more disempowering then watching Donald Trump’s surrealist acceleration of American revanchist conservatism is relying upon the Democratic Party to lead the #Resistance. After Clinton’s misreading of the electorate and colossal failure one would hope that even the most willing corporate servant might understand, even if only cynically, the necessity of a left-populist tack.

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Natassia2
Type
Article
Category
Greece
Refugees

Squatting in Athens with refugees

The City Plaza Hotel stands a half hour walk away from the Acropolis in central Athens, nestled in an inner-city alley amongst ageing apartment blocks. Few abnormalities can be registered from outside: the building’s windows emit dim light in the grey morning and clothes are strung along half the balconies on its seven floors. The one outlier is a banner that stretches across three balusters: ‘People are dying in the camps’, it reads, ‘Open Borders. Open Buildings.’

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Type
Article
Category
Philosophy
Poetry
Reading

Infinite book lists and other loathsome behaviours

French poet and mathematician Jacques Roubaud once proposed the following formula for maintaining an ideal book collection; by his working, 1 of 361 works: K + X > 361 > K – Z, where K = 361, X = a newly acquired book, and Z = a previously owned and since-relinquished book. While this formula amounts to a collection of books currently owned, rather than exhaustive cumulative tally of books read, it does at least set in our sights a number more manageable.

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Type
Reflection
Category
Violence
Writing

Masochism and memoir

I’ve been at a few storytelling events in which adults bring in the diaries they kept as a teenager and laugh at the things they wrote. I laughed along, but with some sense of disquiet. There are limits to looking back on your direct experience – as you lived it then – with a jovial posture. Reading through my own old experiences would not be funny. My old diaries talk of a deep sense of misery and loneliness. Reading them aloud would be enacting a cruelty to a self that no longer exists but who I feel protective of, and sad for. I also don’t think it would be an ethical representation of a woman, nor of a person who lives with mental illness, nor of myself.

tragedy and comedy
Type
Polemic
Category
imperialism
Racism

Shakespeare in Rwanda: the white-saviour industrial complex

Like so many other well-meaning white people, Professor Garrod’s motives in going to Rwanda are ostensibly good. Having lost the sense of meaning and purpose he once derived from his Ivy League professorship, he decides to go to Africa to ‘make a difference’. The film charts the months of rehearsals and, over time, his altruistic veneer slips. Just under the surface, a mindset that’s essentially that of the early colonialist – namely the missionary – begins to emerge

Goldmannewyork1916
Type
Article
Category
Sex
Sexism
Work

Sex work and silence

Even before Goldman’s radical political-feminist critique of sex work, Marx postulated that ‘prostitution’ might be most basically understood as a signifier or a metaphor for the relations between labourer and capitalist in a capitalist system. The simplicity of this argument, as well as the very complex and sociocultural plurality of the relationship between men and women, makes it a less favourable way of understanding producer-consumer relations in contemporary society.

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Type
Polemic
Category
Equal marriage

Heterosexual privilege

For me, marriage equality has always been more of a political than personal issue. This, despite the fact I have several close friends in non-heterosexual relationships. But perhaps this was the root of the problem: I’d approached the inequality intellectually and whenever I needed to personalise it, I always did so by way of my discriminated-against friends. I was that self-righteous heterosexual: I care because I have gay friends.

Landscape
Type
Polemic
Category
LGBTQI
The media

Still failing trans people

Back in October 2014, there was public outcry when Queensland tabloid the Courier-Mail ran the lurid headlines ‘Monster chef and the she male’ and ‘Ladybody and the butcher’ when covering the case of Mayang Prasetyo, a transgender woman who was murdered by her partner.

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Type
Article
Category
Politics
Racism

Pauline Hanson walks into a restaurant

Testimonials adorn the walls of an otherwise ordinary suburban joint, giving praise to the delicious food and fabulous service. For years it has been a cheeky past time of Members’ of Parliament to leave a note. There’s a joke that if you’re not on the wall, you’re not legit. After requesting a table for two, we were seated next to the restaurant’s latest acquisition: a note by Pauline Hanson. ‘I don’t like it! I love it! Please explain’, it said, signing off with, ‘Pauline Hanson, Now Senator’.