The right has successfully spread a perception of the university under neoliberalism as that of a vending machine: as transactional environments where you put X dollars in and get something directly worth X dollars out the other side. Students become customers. Researchers becoming entrepreneurial inventors bidding for venture capital.
People often ask me about Australia. It doesn’t matter where I happen to be. There seems to be no end of interest in the massive but tiny country that Paul Keating once memorably described as ‘the arse-end of the earth’. Over the eight years that I have been working as a foreign correspondent, however, I have noticed the nature of the questions changing. They have become more political, lined with disappointment at best and subtle condemnation at worst.
Brazil has been lobotomised twice in the last two months. In the first lobotomy on 2 September, the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro was burnt down, in a catastrophe directly attributable to the austerity policies of current president Michel Temer.
Death Road to Canada starts in Florida, in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. The player controls a small party of survivors, and the goal is to make it to the safety of the Canadian border.
I spent eight weeks playing Death Road. I would wake, read the news, go to work, come home and play the game.
Some say it smells on the streets of Buenos Aires. And not just of the infamous dog shit that plagues the city, but for those who know well, of 2001. The smell has lingered since last December, when price increases and pension cuts resulted in people no longer being able to pay for their electricity. Now a larger section of the population can no longer afford food.