I think about the kakapo almost daily. I can’t fucking stand the thing, but its squishy green body and black eyes haunt my dreams, my dreams of getting older and wondering what life will be like for me, me, a kakapo, a flightless bird sat squat inside the face of a cliff, calling, calling, calling. The male kakapo attracts a mate by walking miles away from a kakapo population centre to a precipice, high and jagged, with a nice view. He builds a nest, something with attractive features like an ensuite or some bits of blue plastic. He then […]
I’d just read the photographer’s account of her ‘date from hell’ with Aziz Ansari. My thoughts on such stories are always identical, had in exactly the same order — with exactly the same fervour — every time: believe the victim, separate art from artist, leave such matters to the real courts rather than those of public opinion. There have been a handful of stories published recently on the supposed downsides of #MeToo, of #TimesUp. Articles questioning whether, in our (over)zealousness to protect victims and to pillory perps, we’re inhibiting men and women’s ability to enjoy fully-fleshed out adult sex lives. […]
‘African’ robs 7-11. There it was, dropped neatly on to Twitter by the national broadsheet ‘for the informed Australian’. Three words–an entire tale told in half the space needed to sell unworn baby shoes. The current news cycle requires no greater context, the headline was the inevitable distillation of the latest frothing ‘crisis’–any crime that could be linked to an alleged offender ‘believed to be of African appearance’ was grist to the mill. That evening, pushing a pram through a park in Melbourne’s western suburbs to will a restless baby to sleep, I happened upon a man ‘of African appearance’. […]
In 2015, there was a cashed-up candidate driving around the poorest areas of Mexico in a Batmobile. Not that the tenancy of a reality TV star in the White House doesn’t aptly illustrate the politics/celebrity-fusion scourge, but there’s something particularly captivating about the involvement of a Batmobile. It’s been a long while since we were encouraged to vote for our betters. For people who are wiser than us, who are greater visionaries. Postmodernism has won and apparently there are no longer agreed-upon definitions for words let alone wants. Today too many of us are entering the polling booth with the […]
At a Meanjin launch event at the State Library of Victoria, Mark Pesce spoke on the themes developed in his Summer Meanjin essay, The Last Days of Reality. He was very good. Have a listen here.
Margot met Robert on a Wednesday night toward the end of her fall semester. Some called it ‘autumn’, but Margot called it fall, because she thought it was a good time to fall for someone. She often had thoughts like this, and wondered, did it mean she was a genius? She was working behind the concession stand at the artsy movie theatre downtown, trying to get the vomit out of the carpet and longing for the day they would let her work AT the concession stand, rather than being forced to stay in the shadows behind it. Robert walked up […]
Here’s an excellent gift idea for your Christmas shopping list: a year’s worth of fine Australian writing. Purchase a gift subscription to Meanjin before 15 December to ensure delivery of the Summer issue in time for Christmas. To purchase a print gift subscription, follow the prompts here and select ‘Change Shipping Address’ on the ‘Confirm Order’ page.
Sadly departed in the past week, historian Ken Inglis wrote this appraisal of the ABC for Meanjin in 2003 (Vol62/2) to mark the broadcaster’s 70th anniversary…
These [poems] are not shockingly untrue to what he has become… They are an indication of what he almost always was…. He was a dilettante in terms of poetry and he was a dilettante in terms of politics. He had a talent for it… but the whole thing turned out to be harder than he thought. – Geoff Page Of course, we all do… and say silly things in our youth and at university. But few of us do it with such aplomb. The fact that he was so skilful at writing something so… odious, you know, does tend to […]
Around the same time Brand New’s Jesse Lacey was singing songs about wishing his ex-girlfriend would die in a plane crash because she had the audacity to do a semester of college abroad, he was coercing underage girls into sending him nudes. When he was singing songs about plying women with alcohol and then fucking them in the carpark while they were blackout drunk, he was masturbating on webcam in front of horrified teenage girls. These things are not unconnected. The fact that those girls felt they couldn’t publicly share what happened to them until more than 10 years later, […]
Beware Australia’s federal parliamentarians! The historians of the future are watching you. As the nation’s representatives gather in the nation’s capital over the next weeks to debate the marriage equality bill that our Prime Minister promises us will be law by Christmas, they should take heed: the words they utter will matter. The way they shape their arguments will matter. Their choice of analogy, metaphor and syntax will matter. The bogeymen or disaster scenarios they concoct to prophesise doom will matter. Every utterance of every MP who takes to her or his feet to proclaim, lament, predict, counsel, hand-wring and […]
Earlier this month I declared on Twitter that I’d adopted the term ‘birdster’ to describe people who love birds but who aren’t obnoxious about it. It was a joke; little did I know that only a couple of weeks later people all over Australia would turn out to be birdsters. The Guardian’s ‘Australian bird of the year 2017’ poll on Monday came out of nowhere, unanticipated and unexpected, like a vagrant bird that takes a turn down the wrong migration route. Such vagrants do occur, and if you’re a twitcher you’ll drop everything and rush to see one; but if […]