Type
Polemic
Category
alt-right

What happened to Richard Dawkins?

Richard Dawkins is not a fascist, nor even a supporter of the alt-right. He’s better understood as an extraordinarily entitled member of the political class, who happens to possess a huge platform through which he can express that entitlement. Nevertheless, with the far right making increasing inroads into the mainstream, it’s important to remember the role that Dawkins and his friends have made and continue to make in popularising its ideas.

Type
Article
Category
Capitalism
Gaming

Twitch.tv and the work of watching

Twitch is an exemplary case of how audience activities continue to be commodified in the context of online digital media. Unlike with traditional televisual media, a key way that this value is generated is through the interactivity performed by viewers, enabled by the platform. The work of watching is the work that these audiences do in creating and sustaining captivating structures of feeling.

Type
Article
Category
Racism

Naming the racism that spreads along with Coronavirus

We shouldn’t need to prove to the colonial state that we’re ‘civilised’ or that Wuhan is a beautiful, vibrant, cultured city. Instead, we should become stauncher allies to First Nations people and other people of colour who face damaging stereotypes and harassment every day. When the Coronavirus outbreak is over, racism won’t go away. It will seek a different target and will always be ready to rear its head unless if we dismantle the structures that perpetuate it.

Type
Article
Category
Culture

The names of women like my mother

My mother loves her family’s name. Who wouldn’t, with all that pride and power emblazoned on it? It reels off her tongue like fire and warms her face with a smile every time she says it, a reminder that she is still her father’s daughter. During the sparse, brief disagreements she had with my father when he was alive, she would slap her chest and say in Igbo, ‘Me? Me, the daughter of Agbasiere?’. But she still had to abandon this name she is so proud of and take up a new name when she got married to him.

Type
Article
Category
Disability

What I hear when you tell me I am brave

I am writing to you because I know in my bones there will come a moment when I will feel vulnerable again. In that moment, I want someone to reassure me that we all forget useful things like phone chargers sometimes, and to tell me, only partly joking, that one hasn’t truly been exploring till they’ve stood alone at night in an unfamiliar, deserted town path with no back-up plan.

Type
Article
Category
Art
The city

The outrage on Hosier Lane and who has the right to the city

The recent ‘painting over’ the large mural-esque images that make up much of Hosier Lane’s artwork was an important critique of the co-option of street art and a commentary on who ascribes value. Its point was missed by the very people it sought to critique. That Melbourne City Council is now seeking to criminalise those artists demonstrates that their appreciation of street art dissipates when it presents a challenge to their authority.

Type
Article
Category
The law

Fines: designed to crush

Fine-related offences serve only to subject a person to police interference, surveillance and, as they are drawn into the criminal justice system when they can’t pay their fines, to disciplinary control and attempts at normalisation. These are symptoms of the punitive management of poverty.

Type
Article
Category
Identity
Sexuality

Being aro

Aromanticism is a way of describing people who experience little or no romantic attraction. For me, this means I don’t feel or understand such feelings the way others do. Actually, I find traditional ideas of romance – like dates, chivalry, flowers and chocolates, holding hands, getting married; that kind of thing – pretty repulsive.

Unions, Aboriginal rights and the climate movement

The success of the climate movement is going to depend on its ability to connect with Aboriginal communities on one hand and the union movement on the other. Aboriginal leadership of the climate justice fight is vital not only because Aboriginal communities are the most marginalised in Australia, but because they have the values and the knowledge that the rest of the country needs to build a sustainable and fair society in this place.

Type
Reflection
Category
Holocaust

Beyond the trees: last summer in Auschwitz

Nazism, and this place above all, operates a double annihilation. Firstly, the crime is committed. People are violated, undone, with every device that malice can conceive, and then they killed in ways people outside can scarcely imagine.
Then, secondly, one destroys the evidence.

Type
Article
Category
Memory
Nostalgia

Anti-ode to the nineties

To ‘us’, the white, suburban, middle-class, western youth of that era – the mascots of Generation X – the nineties felt like a letdown, a second-rate Elvis impersonation of the 1960s, a commercial pastiche of its iconoclasm.

Type
Essay
Category
Film
Politics

I would rather be a cyborg

It is now twenty years since the first Matrix film was released. Written and directed by the Wachowski sisters, Lilly and Lana, the film became a social phenomenon, transforming science fiction in the process. Inspired by everything from cyberpunk literature to the philosophies of Jean Baudrillard and René Descartes to the Gnostic gospels, the film was a melange of images and ideas that nevertheless found a mass audience.