Let them eat lotus

Type
Article
Category
Television

In The White Lotus, the pursuit of absolution becomes a form of self-actualisation. Shame affirms these characters—both in how they respond to it, and how they attempt to elicit it in others. But this is an ability reserved to them precisely because of their circumstances. Privilege, we learn by the show’s end, offers a limitless supply of tools through which to both invoke shame and resolve it.

Type
Article
Category
Deaths in custody
Policing

Support Fella's Bill and #BanSpitHoods

Until Fella’s Bill is law, the use of spit hoods is dependent on ever-changing government policy and the good faith of police and prisons. The current operational ban in South Australia means that at any time the ban on the use of spit hoods could be reversed. Without legislating the ban on spit hoods by law, the use of these devices could be re-implemented and strengthened with the flick of a pen.

Type
Article
Category
Far right

Constructing a narrative: the CFMEU protest and the far right

It’s into this toxic political environment that the far- and extreme-right attempts to insert themselves, simultaneously denouncing unions for their presumed complicity in the denial of the right of workers to sell their labour in the ‘free’ market and presenting themselves as the workers’ champions against tyrannical government control. Insofar as unions such as the CFMEU are understood to be in the pockets of a Labor government responsible for implementing some of the most severe and longest lockdowns in the world, they will become a lightning rod of dissent.

Type
Article
Category
Coronavirus
Politics

Covid, the Left and radical democracy

If there’s still a chance to eliminate Covid, it won’t be through the kind of lockdowns we’ve seen to date. The fight against the virus now depends on direct politics: the democratic mobilisation of the entire population. That’s the only way we might sustain popular enthusiasm for the measures required.

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Article
Category
Mental health

Churning

I’ve been churned, perhaps you’ve been churned, too. Maybe in the future someone you care dearly for will be churned. Churning is a tactic employed by employment services and employers, specifically in the disability sector, to extract the most amount of energy and time from an employee before they burn out and return either to hospital, unemployment, or both. On a strategic level, churning keeps the working class subdued, tired, hungry, doubting, sick.

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Article
Category
Gaming

Game difficulty settings: safeguards or gatekeepers?

It’s clear that the definition of what constitutes a gamer and the debate on difficulty settings are intertwined. The gaming industry has already started shifting its focus to include more diverse audiences. However resistant ‘traditional gamers’ may be, difficulty settings have well and truly arrived and are here to stay. For plenty of people who don’t fit the stereotypical gamer mould, that’s a good thing.

Type
Article
Category
Coronavirus
Policing

Policing a health crisis: protest after the pandemic

From public housing tower lockdowns to the deployment of generals to leadership positions and soldiers to the streets, to the imposition of nighttime curfews that do little if any practical good, the Covid-19 pandemic has provided state and national governments with even more opportunities to look tough in the face of what is in essence, like climate change, a crisis of health rather than law and order.

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Article
Category
Culture
Friday Features

Witches, scandals and sham guilt

How permanent are the puritanical elements of our society? Where did our sense of enchantment go? What does it mean to be magical? Rivka Galchen’s latest novel Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (2021) and Shola von Reinhold’s debut novel LOTE (2020) are semi-fictional revisitations of historical records that spill into these questions of our present moment.

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Article
Category
Consumerism

‘Your feedback is important’: the fetish of customer care

Couched in the hollow language of customer care, consumer surveys are just one aspect of the all-pervasive feedback systems and practices that flourish in the digital realm and are embedded into the fabric of our everyday lives. Ultimately, their semblance of care for the customer benefits the corporate bottom line while diverting attention from the interests and welfare of workers.

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Article
Category
War

The war is over, long live the war

Just like with Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 respectively, people calling for peace will inevitably be labelled as unwitting (or even witting) supporters of the Chinese government. This has always been a strange accusation, but seems even more misplaced now. As Afghanistan clearly shows, war very rarely punishes the guilty or benefits the innocent.

Type
Article

Poetry | Losing your hearing

as in not an event but the unspooling as in not working from definitions a new state to declaim “ok, this is normal now”, but conscious of hollowing, the dark souls of sense data a wasp’s nest growing in the walls