Women are not actually a minority group, nor is there a shortage, in the world, of female writers. So began the open letter to the New Yorker from subscriber Anne Hays, a letter that noted the remarkable under-representation of female writers in that journal.
In ‘Killing the worm in ourselves’ (Boris Kelly, Overland 200), the binaries are, on the one hand, excessive drinking, leading to individual and social harm, spiritual depletion, sexual promiscuity and, on the other, sobriety, leading to individual control, capitalist productivity and a ‘sound … mind and body’.
Hours, it took us, to build a fence the width of the gallery, running from wall to wall and topped with two strands of barbed wire that we had stubbornly and stupidly unwound with our bare hands, balancing on ladders, fixing the whole thing into place with industrial staples.
‘For thirty years the country [Sri Lanka] went through a kind of hell and endured untold economic and cultural deprivation. Now, with things looking up, we need all the friendly input we can get from well-meaning outsiders.
Because I’ve lived in Queensland my entire life, I’m allowed to say that the weather up here can be a mother-fucker sometimes. Our summers might give us golden mangoes and a legitimate reason to walk around in jocks, but the same heat can knock you flat in the middle of a working day.
On Friday 13 August 2004, in an unusually emotional debate punctuated by tears and rage, the Australian Senate passed a Howard government amendment to the Marriage Act 1961, defining matrimony as the exclusive union between one man and one woman for life.
On 4 November 2010, the lavishly produced docudrama I, Spry: The Rise and Fall of a Master Spy was screened nationally on ABC television. Considerable controversy swirled around the program. In the Sydney Morning Herald, Gerard Henderson rejected as ‘mere hyperbole’ the insinuation that Sir Charles Spry, ASIO’s director-general from 1950 to 1970, used ‘the weapons of the communists against Australian citizens’.
Into the void of the last AFL off-season leapt a young woman who called herself ‘The small girl, with a big voice’.1 The echoes of that voice – its Facebook- , Blogger- , Twitter- and ultimately 60 Minutes-fuelled reverberations – dominated the off-season and continue to be felt. This was, in the words of Richmond director Peggy Haines, ‘a crisis of a proportion that hadn’t been contemplated’.2
The Left should be firmly and unapologetically secularist. The Left, rightly in my view, has historically stood for classical Enlightenment values of rationalism. We should support people thinking for themselves, rather than believing in irrational and empirically dubious dogmas. We should support people challenging undeserving authorities, rather than offering them deference or outright obedience.
The wave of revolutions sweeping the Arab world represents a sharp break from almost a decade of defensive struggle against triumphant neoliberalism and neo–conservatism. Philosopher Peter Hallward calls it an opportunity to break the pattern of TINA (the notion that ‘there is no alternative’ to the relentless assault by ruling elites on their peoples), while Slavoj Žižek celebrates the revolution’s appeal to the ‘eternal idea of freedom, justice and dignity’.34
Perhaps the most astonishing thing in Tietze’s essay is his dismissal of ‘a naïve adherence to secularism as a progressive force in the modern world’. It reminds me of Emma Goldman’s meeting with Lenin, during which he informed her that ‘free speech … is, of course, a bourgeois notion’.
Michael Brull makes two key claims that lead him to confusing issues of principle and strategy for a Left forced to deal with political Islam’s influence. First, he argues that while ‘[p]olitical Islam can take many different forms’, it is not anti-imperialism, it is not feminism, and it is not socialism – and he backs this with examples of reactionary policies and betrayals by various Islamist formations.
Janet Afary and Kevin B Anderson, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005, p. 206.
Since the curtains came down on HEAT 24 – the final issue of the journal in print form – we’ve had a steady stream of correspondence from readers and writers alike (often in verse form) letting us know, as one long-term subscriber put it, that ‘the trip to the mailbox won’t be nearly as exciting’ anymore.
They call me Aunty and I pretend to these young things that I mind. ‘I’m not your Aunty,’ I say crossly. Cheeky mites. But those words, that name, they are medicine to these tired bones. ‘Outside with you, you little buggers. Don’t get under my feet.’
Drunk, you say? I’m sober enough to iron your fucking shirts, shithead. What? What’s that you say? You want to take me to the recycling bin to count the empties? Yeah? Well how about I take you to the fucking ironing basket to count your shirts? I notice you can add up the empty wine bottles but not the empty detergent bottles, dickhead.
I’m driving from Bairnsdale to Melbourne, off to the AC/DC concert and singing along to one of their CDs: You think it’s easy doin’ one-night stands, try playin’ in a rock and roll band! Bon lets rip with his bagpipe solo, I turn it up until my ears sting and, just for fun, I toot the Monaro’s horn. Magpies fly off a fence and I give them another toot for their journey.
Rivers are all the same. Dirty water
if you’re lucky, smelly mud and silt
We have set beasts up and walking but no one is paying notice to the trample. They lift whole train sleepers like toothpicks and interrupt
Turning invisible will come as a blow. (if you turn your glasses upside down
A disused rail siding,
the grass-covered platform
a sharp-edged mound of earth.
Make your spine an aerial. No,
a urinal. No, an arrival. Tune in
you animal. Even my stegosaurus
I can’t think about your anniversary. At 2 pm, I don’t want to be here: A coffee shop next to the Entry of
fell from sky mimed milk-orange silk caught fast behind silver surface
This is far more not so bad than there usually is Usually there’s fuck all not so bad What do you know anyway?