Online now is Clare Wright’s piece on Lola Montez, Andrew Macrae’s review of local SF and John Martinkus’ memoir of journalism in Afghanistan, which begins as follows:

In September 2005, it seemed from afar that things were going well for Afghanistan: so well that my first proposed story on that country had already been cut from twenty-five to fifteen minutes by an uninterested management before I even left Sydney. There was the perception that the country was on the right track, that Iraq was still the main game. Sure, there were still some isolated acts of violence, mostly in the border areas, but in the capital, Kabul, I was surprised at the lack of roadblocks, the presence of foreign troops and the ease with which foreigners travelled around the city in local taxis and sometimes on foot.

Maybe it was the company I was keeping but no-one seemed overly concerned about security. As I had been kidnapped in Baghdad the previous October, I was a little more cautious than others about potential threats. Still, I remember on the first night having drinks and socialising with a few old friends in a stylish bar in Kabul and thinking, well, maybe things weren’t going too badly, maybe the international community was welcome.

That feeling didn’t last long.

Read the rest here.

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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  1. I think it would be great to have the comments facility on the actual articles, particularly the creative pieces and poems. Would make for very interesting feedback. Any chance?

  2. At the moment, there's a default distinction between posts (which have comments) and pages (which don't). Could get rid of it but it causes problems since it would mean that the comment facility appears everywhere (like on the purely administrative pages, too). You could go through and take it off everywhere except the actual articles but it would be a bit of work.
    The other thing is that the authors of blog posts are supposed to monitor the comments and respond to them. But people who write articles for Overland won't necessarily be doing that. So I'd feel a bit uncomfortable about allowing comments without the article's author being there to defend his or her work.

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