Anupama Pilbrow’s debut collection opens with ‘The Body Poem’, which details a forbidden affair between a lover and ‘the body’. The lover is enamoured by ‘the body’, the lover accepts ‘the body’ and even appreciates ‘the sound it makes like / jangling keys’. The subject of the poem is never degraded, used or objectified. Pilbrow instead wraps ‘the body’ in a protective ‘gauze’ (instead of gaze?) which ‘sways in the breeze’.
It started quite innocently, as these social media collisions always do. A friend and I were discussing on Twitter Ed Whelan’s bizarre conspiracy theory in defence of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, remarking – as many people have – that it was reminiscent of Eric Garland’s infamous 120-tweet long ‘game theory’ thread of late 2016.
Since Bob Hawke and Paul Keating implemented the Australian version of neoliberalism in the 1980s and 90s, there has been a broad consensus between the Labor and Liberal parties on the basic fundamentals of the Australian economy. This consensus has been a major root of two crises in Australia – one political, one economic.
My parents named their only child after one of Shakespeare’s most famous cross-dressers. One might have imagined, therefore, that they’d have been less taken aback to learn of my gradual slide into ambiguous Kinsey Scale territory. As it was, they were deeply surprised. Most people are.
Bert and Ernie occupy such a mighty place in the popular imagination that it’s hard for us to remember that they began as a reference to something else. But in the Jim Henson universe, sly, humourous, or worthy commentaries on public figures and social issues were always part of the process. The recent public debate about them seems to have handily sidestepped the fact that the characters are, among other things, an obvious allusion to The Odd Couple, originally a 1965 Broadway play by the late Neil Simon.