The most frequent criticism levelled at fanfiction is that because of its connection to source material, it is derivative and unimaginative. In the words of science fiction author Robin Hobb, ‘Fanfiction is to writing what a cake mix is to gourmet cooking.’ But where does this leave professional authors of bound-and-printed literary homage and pastiche who also draw upon someone else’s source material?
The world is in the grips of what some are calling ‘a police body camera revolution’ and Australia is in the thick of it. This might be an unalloyed good if we were confident that all body-worn cameras do is improve police behaviour and community safety. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.
We all know that universities produce research like banks produce money. They hoard knowledge, turn it into the ignorance of the rest of society that they might better arbitrate from above. Organise it into disciplined shapes that do not touch for fear that the meeting of different types of knowledge might produce something new, uncategorisable, unassimilable to the corporate plot (‘A thought would be ignited.’).
As Tobin Siebers observed, ‘Art is the active site designed to explore and expand the spectrum of humanity that we will accept among us.’ Despite attempts to exclude disability from the art world, for Siebers it is central to the experience of ‘aesthetics’: how certain bodies make other bodies ‘feel’.
This article was sparked by the jacket that Melania Trump wore as she travelled to a detention camp for migrant children, but my intent isn’t to argue that she or her staff chose that jacket in order to send a coded message to the president’s far-right followers. It is, rather, to highlight some of the historical echoes of that phrase – ‘I don’t care’.