1. 08:40 17th May 2014

    Notes: 223324

    Reblogged from djackmanson

    Tags: gamingpolitics

    poppunklovesongs:

    knee-say:

    "I loved you, always.”

    going to comment a little on this game: the overseeing voice talks as if it owns you, and defies your free will. if you follow its orders, you are praised, and the worldview becomes sharper and more detailed. if you don’t, you are chastised, and the world becomes more vague and difficult to navigate, but also more colourful and loud. it’s odd, and sort of eerie, but definitely interesting. take it as you will.

     
  2. portraitscollection:

Critiquing Downton Abbey
By request, I wrote a piece on Downton Abbey, here’s an excerpt:
I guess the question I always hear when I talk about all this with my friends is: where’s the harm? Where’s the harm in enjoying all this, and indulging in the beauty of these old aristocratic and privileged homes and lifestyles? Well, on an individual level, not much. But we don’t live as islands, we live in societies, cultures and countries. Where’s the harm? The harm comes in the fact that what is being promoted is a very limited and specific representation of English and British identity for modern audiences, who are increasingly living in multicultural communities and societies. On a daily basis, many of our politicians (in Australia too) exploit the uncertainty of modern times by reverting back to some idealised vision of national identity that relies on exclusion, privilege and creating borders between cultures and communities. These heritage dramas and films do the same thing (if, in a very beautiful and seductive way).
-Read the rest here.

    portraitscollection:


    Critiquing Downton Abbey


    By request, I wrote a piece on Downton Abbey, here’s an excerpt:


    I guess the question I always hear when I talk about all this with my friends is: where’s the harm? Where’s the harm in enjoying all this, and indulging in the beauty of these old aristocratic and privileged homes and lifestyles? Well, on an individual level, not much. But we don’t live as islands, we live in societies, cultures and countries. Where’s the harm? The harm comes in the fact that what is being promoted is a very limited and specific representation of English and British identity for modern audiences, who are increasingly living in multicultural communities and societies. On a daily basis, many of our politicians (in Australia too) exploit the uncertainty of modern times by reverting back to some idealised vision of national identity that relies on exclusion, privilege and creating borders between cultures and communities. These heritage dramas and films do the same thing (if, in a very beautiful and seductive way).


    -Read the rest here.

     
  3. ‎later that night
    i held an atlas in my lap
    ran my fingers across the whole world
    and whispered
    where does it hurt?

    it answered
    everywhere
    everywhere
    everywhere.
    — Warsan Shire  (via memoriesofamnesia)

    (Source: naturalinfiniteyes)

     
  4. Resources on welfare

    I’ve been seeing quite a few posts bouncing around on Facebook and Twitter in support of drug tests for welfare recipients, or other limitations (including not allowing welfare recipients to vote). Oddly enough, none of these posts include any evidence that the majority of welfare recipients are on welfare because they’re shiftless burdens on society who simply don’t want to work. This is a little place-holder for useful, evidence-based sources looking at how and why we demonise welfare recipients in Australia. I may update it as I go along, including with relevant research from other contexts (for example, this look at 5 media myths about welfare in the US).

    Verity Archer, 2009, Dole Bludgers, Tax Payers and the New Right: Constructing Discourses of Welfare in 1970s Australia.

    In this article, Archer looks at the way in which economic think tanks and political figures pushed the idea of “dole bludgers” who were a burden on hard-working taxpayers, as part of the general shift towards neoliberal in the 1970s. This is important because it demonstrates that concerns about “dole bludgers” aren’t a response to changing conditions (such as an increasing number of people taking advantage of Australia’s welfare system) but rather is a result of a particular political project.

    John Falzon, 2011, Real welfare reform needs guts, not paternal damnation.

    This article, which is written for a popular audience and therefore both an easier read and less heavily referenced, emphasises that problems associated with welfare are collective, not individual. Falzon raises various objections to the idea that those who are marginalised should be blamed for their own marginalisation.

    Karen Soldatic and Barbara Pini, 2009, The three D’s of welfare reform: disability, disgust and deservingness.

    This more in-depth piece looks particularly at disability and welfare in Australia. It includes comments on the ways in which welfare policy under Howard actually discouraged disabled people from engaging in work (including voluntary work). It also provides some thought-provoking research on how we construct ‘deservingness’ (in other words, how do we decide who is ‘deserving’ of help and who is just a “dole-bludger”?)

    Tim Prenzler, 2011, Welfare fraud in Australia: Trends and Issues.

    Prenzler uses official data in order to inform the debate on welfare in Australia. He determines that, “demonstrable fraud represents a very small fraction of all welfare transactions”.

    Eva Cox, 2012, What’s data got to do with it? Reassessing the NT Intervention.

    One of the repeated themes in populist critiques of Australia’s welfare system is the idea that we need to limit people’s freedom to spend their welfare as they see fit. Sadly, the NT Intervention provides us with a case study in what this might look like in practice. “Income management” has been imposed in some communities (after a shameful suspension of the racial discrimination act). Cox evaluates a range of research in order to evaluate whether the intervention has been successful, and finds that there is little evidence to suggest it has.

     
  5. the politics associated with the rethinking of spatial identities have been, and continue to be, equally emotionally fraught and liable to touch on deep feelings and desires not always immediately associated with the ‘political’. Rethinking a politics of place, or nation, is an emotionally charged issue.
    — Doreen Massey, 2004, Geographies of Responsibility, p. 6
     
  6. sunili:

    As news of a possibly-fatal boat sinking off coast of Indonesia the hit Australian airwaves on Wednesday 29 August 2012, the views of its citizens and residents was displayed for all to see on Twitter and News Ltd Facebook pages. Ordinary people (many using their real names) expressed…

     
  7. 02:46 10th Aug 2012

    Notes: 24

    Reblogged from kathleenjoy

    Tags: poetrypoliticsaustralia

    Plays: 139

    (I have not listened to this yet but this is a note to remind me to listen later. As now I am sneaking poetry between serious words like nibbles of cake before dinner except sometimes I think that reading poetry is the most valuable thing I can be doing and writing these small fragments that only a few people will read.) 

    kathleenjoy:

    I recorded this some time ago to be read on a friend’s anarchist radio show and I’d forgotten about it. Isn’t listening to your own voice weird? I don’t sound formal like this at all in in normal conversation (I think in conversation my voice is more thickly Australian), and I am not that comfortable reading my own poetry. This is what I sound like putting the distant memory of years of speech and drama into practice, if you wanted to know!

    Political Suicide

    when I overdosed the doctors at the hospital force fed me charcoal      the cruellest antidote to a bottle of vodka and fistfuls of smooth white pills     my body spewed black dust   when I got the bill from the hospital there was an itemised line for the Carbon Tax     I wanted to be baptised in Ash Wednesdays but I couldn’t find the right form to renounce my confirmation name so I put my name down on a list of people Mormons will baptise after they die      now they pump my stomach for stars I buried inside     why aren’t any journalists asking the right questions which are     why are we mining our shame backwards and who will get the Southern Cross constellation in this custody dispute we call leadership because real leadership would be cyanide pills in cups of Flavor Aid for the government and opposition so I can throw a party in a soft white room     I will lay down all my kitchen knives at the Australian War Memorial      open the borders and the sea levels will rise and joy will flood in     close down our suicide factories and free the refugees     the only war I will declare will be on sunburn and you’ll say baby this complexion looks good on you  I bought you this lipstick called happiness it has a grenade pin     this time we will keep dying until we don’t have to die any more

     
  8. 20:13 8th Jul 2012

    Notes: 1992

    Reblogged from sunshineandtechnology

    Tags: politicsactivism

    Your question is: why am I so interested in politics? But if I were to answer you very simply, I would say this: why shouldn’t I be interested? That is to say, what blindness, what deafness, what density of ideology would have to weigh me down to prevent me from being interested in what is probably the most crucial subject to our existence, that is to say the society in which we live, the economic relations in which it functions, and the system of power which defines the regular forms and the regular permissions and prohibitions of our conduct. The essence of our life consists after all, of the political functioning of the society in which we find ourselves. So I can’t answer the question of why should I be interested; I could only answer it by asking why shouldn’t I be interested? Not to be interested in politics, thats what constitutes a problem. You should ask someone who is not interested in politics; “Why, damn it, are you not interested?
    — 

    Michel Foucault (via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)

    Rather clearly spoken for Foucault! But preach it.

    (via screamingjessopmonkey)

    I like that.

    (via revolutionist-ism)

    (Source: apoliticalnonsense)

     
  9. "Recently I lost out on a job opportunity because of my art. That was the reason that was given to me. That had never happened before. It was a job I’d done twice in the past and really enjoyed, in fact, I loved it! I was good at it, and I made the job better. The person in charge acknowledged this, yet still cited “the vulnerability of minors” and the potential problems some might have with the “intimacy” of my art." - Katie West

    I’m sad about this. I’ve been impressed with Katie West: the honesty of her art, her willingness to put her own vulnerability on show. The politics of using herself as the subject of her photography.

    I put a lot of myself online, for similar reasons to the ones Katie discusses: I’ve found some of my best friends online, or shifted from being ‘acquaintances’ to friends because of connections we discovered online. Being able to talk about my politics and my life online is important to me, and I know that it may, at some point in the future, cost me a job. I hope it doesn’t. I have my doubts about whether this is going to work for Katie - it’s hard to undo a large digital footprint associated with your real name. But I wish her all the best finding her way through it. I’m sure there are a heap of students out there who’ll benefit from having a teacher like Katie, who seems (from what I’ve seen online) to be honest and thoughtful and a brilliant writer.

     
  10. theskyshallburn:

    “… As an ideology, veganism fails to understand capitalism and ecology. It is incontestable that to save animals and the planet, capitalism must be abolished. Emphasizing the dubious power of consumer choices sabotages the fight against capitalism and ecocide. Existing as consumers, which is a role involuntarily imposed on all of us, is not compatible with nature, and in the long run the vegan diet is not the same as an ecological diet. The most important factors are not the presence or absence of meat, but if the food is local, and if it is sustainably produced. Today, only a limited number of people can achieve this lifestyle. The point is not to be one of those people, it is to abolish capitalism and develop ecological perspectives within anti-capitalist movements (and anti-capitalist perspectives within ecological movements, which are not one in the same only because of short-sightedness in each movement). Many vegans have done vital work spreading environmental consciousness (as have many omnivores). But as a whole veganism tends to spread a false consciousness. It misrepresents what means are capable of creating an ecological society and what lifestyles an ecological society could sustain. Vegans have spread the lie that you can’t be a meat-eating environmentalist, and suppressed the truth that you can’t be a capitalist environmentalist …”

    1) Most sub-cultures, even oppositional sub-cultures, end up being expressed primarily within the dominant values of the system which they exist within. Most sub-cultures tend towards expressing group identity through consumerism, because we’re so conditioned to think of the world in that way. (Similarly, many sub-cultures are mired in sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression that run through our society.) Veganism is no exception, although it’s also not homogeneous. There are plenty of vegans out there who do link their veganism to a broader critique of capitalism.

    2) It’s useful and important to push for veganism (or vegans) to link the ethics of meat to a broader structural critique. Many vegans use the term ‘cruelty-free’, and this gives a handy starting-point to a discussion about the problems with capitalism. [EDIT: in tandem with this, it’s useful to also think about whether being vegan really helps to support your ethics - if we want to decrease your environmental impact, maybe we have to think about more than just whether or not we’re eating animal products. And if we want to avoid causing unnecessary suffering, there may be some animal products it’s ok to eat. Gelderloos also raises the important point that veganism is in many ways a privileged position that comes out of being able to choose what we eat. He also argues that “There is no coherent morality or ethics rooted in nature that can view the killing and eating of animals as wrong. In nature, killing and eating something is a respectful, intimate activity, and a necessary part of natural cycles.”. I think it’s possible to simultaneously recognise the privilege involved in being vegan, and to argue that it’s unnecessary (given that privilege) to cause other beings suffering.] 

    3) I don’t think it’s useful to create an opposition between personal politics and a broader structural critique. The ethics of how we live our lives should be informed by our politics, but at the same time living our politics is a good argument for what we believe in (because it shows people that it is possible and enjoyable to live ethically, to try to help each other, to create better communities, to fight against the things we disagree with…)