It is one thing to describe this reality, another to explain it
without falling into simplisitic slogans.
A few sat goggle-eyed,
before the traffic that was leaping forward on the right
along for the ride
but with little to no idea what was about to happen.
‘Apple pie exists to create sweet memories, not regurgitate old ones!’
The military thought this was great stuff—
‘Stay a little to the side!’
They’d heard about our proposed sedition:
a form of collective memory
intent on taking the fight a big step further.

I pull my professional face into order.

A speech.
A postcard to the next Left,
a matter of some delicacy.
The nakedly commercial and haphazard nature of the literary enterprise
is clear.
Where will this take us?
Access to such a rich store of information
that is continuously changing and evolving through ongoing debate
lowered the barriers to participation,
opportunity too, in the tsunami of material
the seeds for non-abstracted, compassionate, grass-roots politics.
Where will this take us?
Politics has a tendency of being refracted.
As a country we are profoundly deluded—
whose views does it represent?
They locked us out, remember?
We expect more than this from our government.
The old monkey suit doesn’t fit like it used to
we need to go beyond thinking
that the struggle for liberation follows a linear
Cultural creativity comes in all shapes and sizes.
The real work of transformation
is being born in our households, in sharehouses, in neighbourhood projects.

Overland was launched in 1954—
an extraordinary career

and you need to nurture those glimmering ideas
the source of our dissension.
Writing can capture the evanescent spirit of an age
in a way few other mediums can

by an alchemy never quite explained—

its arms outstretched in majesty,
immediate, vivid, authentic,
animated to voyage on a discovery of self-awareness.

It’s a good thing you’re around.

Each line of this piece is a fragment taken verbatim from OL 198, 199 or 200. With thanks (and apologies) to Mungo McCallum, Raewyn Connell, Lizzie O’Shea, Miriam Sved, Simon Sellars, Brian Walters, Phillip Tang, Kevin Foster, Cate Kennedy, Michael Hyde, Sean Scalmer & Jackie Dickinson, Tad Tietze, Carmel Bird, John McLaren, Jeff Sparrow, Michelle Carmody, Sophie Cunningham, Marion Rankine, Bruce Mutard, Clive Hamilton and Chris Graham.

Stephanie Convery

Stephanie Convery is the deputy culture editor of Guardian Australia and the former deputy editor of Overland. On Twitter, she is @gingerandhoney.

More by Stephanie Convery ›

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