Political theorist Hannah Arendt, in her 1963 book On Revolution, surmises that hypocrisy is the worst of all vices since it destroys integrity, the only thing that allows the individual to reclaim their incorruptible self: ‘Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil, but only the hypocrite is rotten to the core.’
The 2017 judges, poet Ali Cobby Eckermann and Overland poetry editor Toby Fitch, have finished blind judging the competition and, after deliberation, have selected a shortlist of nine poems.
The problem with illness is that it robs you of pleasure. Young people are supposed to live in the moment, take risks, be spontaneous. But life in a hospital is a boring and cruel simulacra of life, with the minutiae of your body ticking like a machine being the best and only thing to focus on. In other words, you become self-obsessed, but not with gaining pleasure, more in avoiding pain.
We, hundreds of thousands of us, supporters of BDS and human rights throughout history all over the world join together in memory of Sharpeville and Wounded Knee and Lidice and Budapest and Ferguson and Standing Rock and Gaza and raise our fists in protest. We hurl our glasses into the fire of your arrogant unconcern, and smash our bracelets on the rock of your implacable indifference.
Those of us involved with political organising often harbour the belief that we are more politically aware than others; that the ‘ordinary people’ who exist outside our theoretical and organisational worlds are apathetic, or apolitical, or unenlightened. I have never found this to be particularly true. Like many people, those I met in Logan had lost faith in politics, but they were highly politicised.