Screenshot from Modern Family wedding

Modern families: neoliberalism’s alternative to the welfare state

It extrapolates, of course, the socially conservative values of the right of today: the withdrawal of contraceptive rights, denial of civil rights to queer citizens, the re-assertion of a women’s place, and so on. But it also demonstrates the dangers of the new social conservatives, as well as ‘a certain kind of thinking in the left’: a desire to re-establish tradition bonds of community, which they view as destabilised by the autonomous neoliberal world.


The Spring Fiction edition: Our hour

Although they covered vast territory, the truthful pieces all said the same thing: see me. See me. So, I tried. I saw bits of myself in some of them, and I saw lots of what I am not and have no ownership of, stories that cover great multitudes of experience that isn’t published, that isn’t relayed, and that isn’t recognisable or even present in our media. I took bits away. I learned.



In their second year of marriage, she became a spider. Her reasons for the metamorphosis varied depending on who was asking. She told her employer she needed more artistic growth and development; she told her mother she was compensating for gymnastic failures as a child; she told Michael she felt they had been growing apart and that she could now bind them together again. Literally.



Diego always used to tell me that his mother died because her dreams were too big for the life she was destined.

‘It’ll kill a person,’ Diego would say, ‘wanting to be more than you are made for.’ He says it today and shrugs dispassionately, spitting his gum onto the dry grass, where it rests beside a flattened beer can.

‘I’ve been dreaming about the kid,’ I tell him, and he spits again even though there is no gum left.