Category: Society

L’Affaire McGuire: Eddie is a dinosaur, not a monster. There’s a difference.

L’Affaire McGuire: Eddie is a dinosaur, not a monster. There’s a difference.

Just when you thought it might finally be over – the demented accusations, the non-apology apologies, the corporate lemon-sucking/opportunistic advertising – two very different interventions served (briefly) to resuscitate the latest Eddie-centred shitstorm … One came courtesy of The Footy Show’s Sam Newman. Looking, as he invariably does, like a man who’s been injected with Botox at precisely the moment […]

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Analysis through the looking glass

Analysis through the looking glass

‘You may call it “nonsense” if you like … but I’ve heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!’ – The Red Queen in Through the Looking-Glass When Seymour Hersh published his 10,000-word essay ‘The Killing of Osama bin Laden’ last May he entered a strange and murky realm of information and counter-information in which […]

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The long wave goodbye: a review of Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism

The long wave goodbye: a review of Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism

‘This book makes no claim to be a “theory of everything”’ wrote Paul Mason at the start of Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, his 2012 investigation of the many protest movements to have emerged in the wake of the global debt crisis. Written in the heat of the historical moment, that book was indeed more reportage than economic analysis, its […]

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On the DCA’s #WordsAtWork campaign

On the DCA’s #WordsAtWork campaign

Diversity Council Australia’s #WordsAtWork campaign copped a lot of flak last week, not all of it from the usual suspects, and not all of it unjustified. Certainly Julie Bishop’s characterisation of it as an attack on free speech was way over the top – reminiscent of George Brandis at his most self-satirising – and the broadsides from the anti-PC brigade […]

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Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your jobs

Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your jobs

‘If you want a vision of the future,’ O’Brien tells a broken Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, ‘imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’ Alternatively, you might consider this scenario, from the comedy sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound on BBC Radio 4 … The time is about thirty years in the future; the place, the […]

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A blast from the past: talking sharks on Saturday Extra

An interview on Saturday Extra recorded in March 2014. Listen to it here.

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A mood on the march?

A mood on the march?

Eight years on from the global debt crisis, the most remarkable thing about US politics is that it remains the same asinine, catchpenny charade that it was in the decades leading up to it. Notwithstanding the devotees of the Tea Party, who after grabbing the wrong end of the stick with both hands proceeded to beat themselves into irrelevance, and […]

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Generation Ex

Considered in theoretical terms, the modern ideal of ‘marriage for love’ has never been more popular. In traditional societies such as India and China, arranged marriages (and certainly forced marriages) are less common than they used to be, while for many artists and activists in Muslim-majority communities the freedom to choose one’s life partner has become the emblem of freedom […]

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Review: Two Cheers for Anarchism and How to Run a Country

‘Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice,’ declared Mikhail Bakunin in 1867, ‘[but] socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.’ This ideological double-bind is no less relevant to party politics as it is practised in contemporary Canberra as it was to what Eric Hobsbawm termed, in his book of the same name, ‘the age of extremes’. For notwithstanding the occasional […]

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On Nicholson Baker’s The Way the World Works

‘I want to write a short book called The Way the World Works’, writes Nicholson Baker in a self-reflexive addendum to a short book called The Way the World Works, a collection of essays spanning fifteen years and containing such miscellaneous pieces as an apologia for pacifism, a tribute to the late John Updike, and a review of the ‘first-person […]

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