Editorial

Type
Editorial

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.

Type
Regular

Correspondence

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’.

Type
Regular

On grief

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.

Type
Essay

Only disconnect

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.

Type
Essay
Category
Culture

Football's women problem

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

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

Remembering ASIO

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’.

Type
Essay
Category
Politics

‘True and good citizens’

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.

Type
Polemic

Michael Brull versus Tad Tietze, ′That political Islam is not a friend of the Left′

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.

Type
Polemic

Michael Brull versus Tad Tietze, ′That political Islam is not a friend of the Left′

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

Type
Polemic

Response

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’.

Type
Polemic

Response

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.

Type
Debate

References

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.

Type
Article

Readers’ feast

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.

Type
Fiction

The long way

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.

Type
Fiction

Under skin, in blood

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.’

Type
Fiction

Daylight

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.