Six theses on fascism after Charlottesville

Type
Article
Category
Activism
Far right

With Donald Trump all but endorsing the recent fascist rally in Charlottesville, and liberals in the US and Australia suddenly coming around to the importance and legitimacy of antifascism, it’s worth taking a step back to look at what fascism is, where it comes from, and how to stop it.

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Type
Announcement
Category
Activities
Writing

The 2017 Overland Writers' Residency

The Overland Writers Residency, supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, is an initiative aimed at addressing a lack of opportunities for under-represented writers. Following the success of Overland’s inaugural Writers’ Residency in 2016, this year’s residency will be open to Indigenous writers at any stage of their writing career. Applications close Sunday 24 September, 2017.

Australian poetry
Type
Polemic
Category
Poetry

On Australian poetry now: a response to David Campbell

One way to read poetry in Australia is to see it as being in a constant state of conflict. For the most part, this is a cold war where poets argue with poets in very poetic ways – the outcry about Geoff Page’s Southerly blog probably counts as the outer limit of this activity, which manifests more often in email exchanges, reviews that are compliment sandwiches or gossipy asides. Sometimes this breaks out into the open, as we saw when John Kinsella took out a restraining order against Robert Adamson and Anthony Lawrence and which the Sydney Morning Herald covered in 2006.

marriage
Type
Article
Category
Equal marriage
History

Marriage stinks

We need to remember the history of marriage even in the midst of making the argument for equal access. Otherwise we risk becoming inadvertently ahistorical and conservative, both in argument and politically. Looking to the history of marriage and to the history of queer liberation also helps to remind us that there are many ways to conceive of what constitutes a relationship, and many ways to express love outside of marriage, even outside of ‘relationship status’. And critically, this history helps us to imagine the vast possibilities for difference in the present and in the future.

AGE
Type
Review

August in nonfiction

I picked up The Honest History Book during the first wave of concerted right-wing attacks on Yassmin Abdel-Magied for her seven-word facebook post on Anzac Day, and its measured and analytical essays came as a welcome relief. The book traces the strange story of how a devastating global conflict became so central to Australian nationalism when, as Douglas Newton observes, ‘the Great War should rattle our souls, not rouse our national self-esteem’.

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Type
Polemic
Category
Gender

‘Kids are gross’: on feminists and agency

My son, Oscar, is three. He is articulate and perfectly able to understand plain English, but people are constantly talking about him, in his presence, as if he’s not there. Many of my friends are self-described fierce feminists, who can and do rant indefinitely about the indignity women suffer by being silenced, ignored, objectified and dismissed, and yet they consistently do all of these things to Oscar.

teeth
Type
Announcement
Category
Prizes

Shortlist for the 2017 VU Short Story Prize

Overland and Victoria University are pleased to announce that the four judges of this year’s Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers – author Frank Moorhouse, UQP editor Ian See, writer and academic Enza Gandalfo and Overland’s Rachael McGuirk – have reduced this year’s 800 entries to a shortlist of ten stories.

Tom O'Lincoln
Type
Review
Category
Activism
History

The Highway Is for Gamblers: on a life spent fighting for human liberation

Everyone’s story is an interesting whole in its own right, and this book is what Tom has made of his – but it also captures the rich political history of the past six decades. The German student movement, Berkeley radicalism, the Whitlam sacking, the Portuguese and Nicaraguan Revolutions, the Lebanese civil war, dissidence in the Eastern bloc, labour struggles in South Korea, the fall of Suharto – many such episodes are told as eyewitness accounts, amid Tom’s reflections on building the International Socialist tradition in Australia.

guys
Type
Article
Category
Brazil
Indigenous rights

Camp Terra Livre: Indigenous Brazil versus Temer, the tropical Trump

On the same day in April this year that I arrived at the Terra Livre Indigenous Camp in Brasilia, the various nations present decided to march on the National Congress. Each group gathered under its banners and flowed out into the city’s enormous central avenue. The Kayapo, famous warriors of the Xingu River, at the forefront of every campaign to protect the Amazon since the 1980s, went first.

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Type
Article
Category
Publishing
Writing

Death of the editor

Among the various portentous ‘deaths’ that seem to be befalling contemporary culture – the death of the ‘manly man’, the death of ‘Australian values’, the death of the personal essay – is the lesser-known apparent death of the editor. In a 2008 long-read for Essays in Criticism, Harvard University’s J Stephen Murphy lamented the slow demise of my long-beloved profession, largely as a result of the changes to the publishing landscape wrought by new media and their ostensible democratisation of writing and literature.

this-bush
Type
Polemic
Category
United States
War

The restoration of George W Bush

In an era of Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson and the alt-right, it’s easy to forget the uniting power that George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, had over the world.

For the duration of his eight years in power, Bush was a near universal symbol of mockery, derision and utter hatred.

1984 book cover2
Type
Article
Category
Copyright
The law

How to think left on copyright

The role of intellectual property law in the age of the information economy is a hugely complex topic, and parsing out the various roles and objectives of copyright (let alone intellectual property law more generally) is a monumental task. Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to buy the line that protecting copyright (and resisting the liberalisation of the regime via fair use) is synonymous with the interests of artists.

image
Type
Article
Category
Equal marriage
Politics

A non-binding poll: how bizarre

So far the conservatives have out manoeuvred the marriage equality movement. Defeating them in the so-called plebiscite will finally end years of shadow boxing over what should be a simple decision, namely to amend the Marriage Act to remove the requirement that marriage be solely between a man and a woman.

Hamed-Manus-vigil-RIP
Type
Polemic
Category
Activism
Refugees

This shit is not normal

You can oppose the torture of refugees with all your heart but the mentality that this shit is normal blankets everything in public life like acid snow, and you have to fight to keep your head above it. Like let’s all go to the beach or a sausage sizzle or whatever and pretend this is the lucky country while innocent people in detention are setting themselves on fire.

Croggon column
Type
Column

On acts of solidarity

What makes me burn are those times when I should have been kind and wasn’t, when a gesture might have made a difference and I didn’t make it. Perhaps it would have made no difference, but that’s not the point. I know that in those moments I betrayed something fundamental in the contract of human relationship.

O'Shea essay
Type
Essay
Category
Inequality
Technology

Reclaiming the future from the digital colonialists

The Juicero story exhibits all the excesses of the technology industry in one neat bundle: the assumption that technological development is inherently good; the overly clever design with shortcomings that appear patently obvious to outsiders; the zeal for throwing vast sums of money at a brazenly ostentatious product in a time when many struggle to meet their basic needs. How did we get to a point where inane products are designed and financed by a community that fancies itself the repository of the globe’s brightest minds?