Democracy is a constant search for balance between competing principles. Take the balance between single-member electorates in the House of Representatives and the principle of majority representation. On May 18, the Morrison-led coalition won 77 of the 151 seats in the House—50.99%. The national two-party-preferred vote stands today at 51.42% for the coalition. That number may alter as the ‘non-classic’ seats, currently fifteen, where minor parties and independents dominate, are recounted to produce the two-party (Labor vs non-Labor) figure. For now, give the system a tick for getting the balance right. Occasionally, it goes wrong. It did in 1998 and […]
(C4H9)3Snta Claus and Other Dickheads (Disambiguation) 1. In the 1950s, (C4H9)3Sn or Tribytyltin compounds (TBT) became a central component of paints used by boat manufacturers around the world. 2. In 1998 a small Yorkshire pig ran the length of one of Sydney’s busiest arterial motorways. The pig was fulfilling its role as actor; a thespian swine, a worker and an earthling, a distillation of the human mode, a small possible hero. 3. Santa Claus was pronounced dead on Thursday 4 August, 2005. The death notice was published in the US Postal Service’s publication, Postal Bulletin. Santa’s death […]
it’s been pretty bleak these past few years—for those of us privileged enough to feel the relative shift, the prevailing fatalistic mood—&the apocalypse has been on my mind. perhaps it has been on yours too? &what does it mean to consider the apocalypse at this moment? oscillating between a joke on twitter &a real fear that grips you in the moments between sleep &waking; an ambivalent attachment, dread, acceptance, entertainment, hope, a kind of giving up, a withdrawal, intellectual, or pragmatic; i’ve been reading writing that clicks into some familiar temporality, a sense of impending doom—speaking to this moment where […]
Courtney Herron, a 25-year-old woman who grew up in Melbourne, was murdered in a ‘horrendous’ attack in Melbourne’s Royal Park last weekend. The explicit details of her murder have yet to be revealed, including the exact cause of her death, but they appear too horrific for widespread media coverage. Her body was left in the park, near where Parkville, North Melbourne and Flemington meet, behind the infamous grey–white logs, which look somewhat ominously like enormous bones—an apparent attempt by her killer to hide his awful act. Nevertheless, Herron’s body was found by some Saturday morning dog walkers, and a man […]
In a 2016 Meanjin essay one of this country’s most celebrated writers, Alexis Wright, asked us a fundamental question in relation to storytelling and the role of the writer. ‘What happens when you tell somebody else’s story?’ she asked, in a thoughtful piece of writing that did not demand that white Australia not engage with the story of Aboriginal people (as some have concluded). In addressing the question, Wright asked of each of us, Aboriginal and ‘settler’ both, that we give deeper consideration to the act of telling stories and take greater responsibility for the decisions we make as writers. […]
After your world ended for the third time, you walked. The gold ring on your right hand heavy and the blue band around your left wrist even heavier. ‘Rip-off fitbits’ was how Intisar had described them three years ago, as the two of you sat on the couch in the living room of your then new apartment, staring down at your clasped black hands.
From a young age, names preoccupied me. As a child I didn’t like my name and I would often daydream about changing it. Na’ama (in Hebrew, נעמה) was too heavy for me.
We sat on the porch that winter and
talked of murder, imagined bodies trapped
beneath the breaking crust of the field.