The plebiscite and the impasse on marriage equality

Type
Reflection
Category
Equal marriage
LGBTQI
The plebiscite

But now this long campaign for equality has taken what I think is a self-defeating turn by making its main focus stopping the proposed plebiscite. And with Bill Shorten’s apparent decision to oppose a popular vote no matter what, that approach may kill not only the plebiscite, but with it any chance of marriage equality being legislated in this term of parliament.

Irish same-sex marriage referendum
Cast photo for Broadway stage play, Play it Again Sam, starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.
Type
Reflection
Category
Gender
Sex

Power and consent: teenage girls and grown men

After that, Pete would tell his housemates that he was ‘off to see Jailbait’. I hated being called that. It depersonalised me, reaffirmed that I was only a plaything to him, and that he also viewed me as some kind of threat: I would get pregnant, dob him into my parents, and his whole life would be ruined.

Reagan-still
Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
Politics

Resurrecting Ronald Reagan

It is conspicuous that in a year where Democrats openly fought to claim Reagan’s legacy, Netflix’s has found a hit in Stranger Things, a nostalgia-hued monument to the blockbuster films of the 1980s. As Reagan has become a revered figure in mainstream American politics, cultural memory of the postwar era has placed increasing emphasis on its stifling social conservatism (Carol, Mad Men) and its paranoid politics (Trumbo, Hail, Caesar!). It would seem the 80s are coming to replace the 50s as what Fredric Jameson called ‘America’s privileged lost object of desire’.

Lamb-campaign
Type
Polemic
Category
Nationalism
Television

A chop to multiculturalism

Controversial advertisements for lamb have been a feature of our media landscape for some time, presaging Australia Day and the coming of spring with their familiar nationalistic bluster. It was the first ad, back in 2005, presented by former AFL player Sam Kekovich, which set the mould: irreverent, knowingly hectoring, casually racist and homophobic. The ad also traded on the curious, enduring invention that lamb has traditionally been the culinary centerpiece of Australia Day celebrations – and, therefore, to refrain from it is unpatriotic.