Editorial

Type
Editorial

There seems to be a consensus forming in Australian publishing circles that 2010 will be the year when the e-book goes mainstream. That’s the context for the first essay in Overland’s ‘Meanland’ collaboration with Meanjin: Margaret Simons’ exploration of current and future reading practices.

OL198cover-big
Type
Regular

Correspondence

Thank heavens someone – and, what a delicious irony, a woman – should finally point out (Overland 197) that the Emperor (I know he would prefer King, but then I’ve seen him referred to as St Nick – the Devil, of course, rather than the man torturing reindeer at the North Pole) has no clothes.

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

Bread and waratahs

When Overland began, the Left in Australia was fairly easy to define. It consisted of a large, blokey faction in the Labor Party and the unions, plus a fast-shrinking Communist Party, plus a small crowd of intellectuals and peace marchers orbiting those organisations.

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

Justice on trial

On 1 May 2007, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) used the Commonwealth Criminal Code to charge three prominent members of the Australian Tamil community with serious offences, including being members of a terrorist organisation, namely, the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers). The charges carried penalties of twenty-five years jail.

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

Embedding control

A key difference between the Australian military’s relations with the media and the American model is that the ADF neither needs nor wants the media to tell its story or endorse its credibility. It is, then, little wonder that we are so ill-informed about what the ADF are up to in Afghanistan.

Type
Essay
Category
Reading

Reading in an age of change

So what of the technological innovations of our own time – the internet and digital media – which are surely at least the equivalent of the printing press in their disruptive effects? It is helpful to get a grip on what is new, and what is not. I think that, up until a couple of years go, there were two really important changes brought about by the internet.

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

Rudd on the boat people

Why do Australians, normally a laid-back and tolerant, if not welcoming, people, suddenly turn in to foaming paranoiacs when a few leaky craft bearing the wretched of the earth appear off our shores? Certainly the program of propaganda and brainwashing run by the last government did not help: asylum seekers were transformed by a longstanding campaign into queue jumpers, disease carriers, drug runners, potential terrorists and eventually child murderers.

Type
Essay
Category
Culture

Hiding in plain sight

While technical proficiency has remained consistent within the scene, storytelling has improved markedly. Though you can still find an emphasis on dunny humour (which, to be fair, saturates all of Australian society, not just animation), Australian animation has grown up. Gone are the too-cutesy anthropomorphised objects, animated to voyage on a discovery of self-awareness.

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

But what about Zionism?

In the dispute between Curthoys and Altman over responses to Zionism, I sympathise with both positions, albeit with reservations. On the one hand, Altman’s seems more moderate and cautious. Yet he dismisses calls for a boycott of Israel. To me, this is unreasonable. I agree that the campaign for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) is likely to be ineffective in the struggle for Palestinian rights, and I have argued this at length elsewhere.

Type
Fiction
Category
Writing

Best and Fairest

The RSL hall stinks of boiled meat, and Reece and Dooley are running late. I’ve got some footage on the mobile from the game this afternoon. At least it’s a distraction, something to help me avoid the small-town desperation milling around. All those slavering mums and dads waiting for their chance to corner me and dump a load of shit about their shitty adolescents.

Type
Fiction
Category
Uncategorized
Writing

Bits

My brother tends to a nest of prehistoric computer games under his hospital bed. He plays them to access old memories the way some couples use sex toys to create new ones. He once said memories are limited like game cartridges: write-once. Your brain can’t look back and see new details your child eyes missed. Maybe. When I replay the picnic my brother and I had on a roundabout once, my brain is seven again.

Type
Fiction
Category
Writing

Dog's Life

I’m puzzled by your decision to deny availability to Axcel’s film and photographic archive. Since the technologies being investigated are now, effectively, public domain, you should expect the public to be cynical about appeals to commercial confidentiality. Though it’s our wish to remain open-minded with regard to the efficacy and conduct of your researches, obstructive behaviour will, inevitably, have implications when forming a narrative viewpoint.

Type
Poetry

The Easement

dead ground    [         ] in this median season
 [        ] of trees ingrown [                          ]
 [        ] like scissors pushed [                     ]
Type
Article
Category
Reading
Writing

A healthy diversity

The last year or so has yielded a good crop of new Australian fiction writers, including Tom Cho, Jacinta Halloran, Steven Amsterdam, Nam Le, Vivienne Kelly and Patrick Cullen. Beyond the fact that (with the notable exception of Nam Le) they are all supported by small independent publishers, the most striking thing about these writers is how unalike they are.

Type
Review

The Children of Leonidas

The most memorable character is ‘The Butcher’, leader of an anti-Italian squadron that re-groups as a resistance cell after the surrender. He gets his name because ‘He made us hold down/ Italian prisoners as he cut their throats,/ explaining as he did so/ the importance of saving bullets’.

Type
Review

Comic Commentators

In recent times, academics have been turning to the subject of Australian editorial cartoons for research, thesis subjects, or published projects. Two academics, Robert Phiddian and Haydon Manning, have compiled fourteen essays of contemporary cartooning in Australia, five of which are written by practicing artists.