maxresdefault
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’.

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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.

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
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

Hamnett Slogans 1983
Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
LGBTQI

‘Choose life’: a short history

1984 was the time of radical deregulation, ‘trickle down’ economics, extreme tax breaks for the rich and a freeze on wages. This was the year Margaret Thatcher identified trade union leaders as ‘the enemy within’. In March that year British miners went on strike and for the next 12 months, Thatcher’s government would deploy brutal state force to eventually break them, achieving a major victory for the neoliberal economic agenda.

Fascist
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Technology

The fascists are organising

The United Patriots Front page boasts in excess of a hundred thousand likes, which guarantees its content a substantial readership. A clip in which Cottrell whines about his legal travails has been shared a stunning 600,000 times; another in which he blames Islam for the recent tragedy in Melbourne’s Bourke Street received 75,000 views and 1800 likes.

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
Article
Category
Inequality
The law

Time and punishment: why bail reform won’t work

Indigenous peoples and women are two groups that have experienced increases at an alarming rate. Indigenous women, in particular, are the fastest growing group in Victorian prisons. Indigenous women are frequently denied bail due to perceived unmet ‘needs’ in the community, and then released without conviction.

bulldoze
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Democracy

A state of great thrashers and trashers

In Western Australia, problems aren’t there to be addressed, to be worked with creatively or innovatively – they’re there to be bulldozed, confronted, to prove our mastery of our beautiful and challenging environment.

But it is only hostile because we make it so. After all, Perth was founded by the felling of a tree. It’s a cultural legacy that seems rooted in our bedrock and unable to be removed.