News from Nowhere 1

Saturday, 6 April 2013

I borrowed the title for my new blog ‘column’ from William Morris’ novel, News from Nowhere. Basically, this will be a purging and collecting of interesting articles and posts I find online in one place. I was so disappointed when Jessica announced that her READ.LOOK.THINK. blog column is on hiatus. There are many similar columns on other blogs, where a blogger does a round-up of links and articles at the end of the week. But anyone who reads Jessica’s knows her column is unique and more thoughtful. When she then announced that she changed her mind, I was relieved. But it got me thinking about how much time I waste by not doing something similar. I link some of my favourite articles on twitter, and then save them in a million other places I don’t remember later on. And I need some of these articles for my work. Whenever I go back and try to find them on the various places I may have saved them, I waste a considerable amount of time. So I’m going to collect them here instead and also share them with others who may be interested.

However, I’m not really one who can commit myself to posting a regular column once a week on my blog. So much of my work and my other freelance writing revolves around regular schedules and deadlines, this blog to me is like a relief from all that. My life is over-scheduled as it is. Most of my posts here are spontaneous, and I don’t like to plan when I post on my personal blog. So basically, I’ll just be sharing things whenever I feel like it, and I don’t promise consistency with News from Nowhere. I do suggest though that you sign up for Jessica’s column, as she is consistently excellent in what she finds.

So here’s the first ‘edition’:

: : Me and My Country, Where to Now? Christos Tsiolkas interviewed by Heather Taylor Johnson. I first read this in print in the latest issue of Meanjin, and was struck by the final paragraph:

“The other thing that makes me angry is the devaluation of education in Australia. I know through my own lived experience, and through being a child of people who were denied education, how important it is, how essential it is in creating the possibility of a future. This is where I feel the betrayal of the Labor Party most acutely, in their acquiescing in allowing neo-liberal economics to infect their educational commitments. Anti-intellectualism is pernicious and dangerous, a poison to a culture. I think the fact that Australian egalitarianism has been eroded over the last quarter-century is a result of not taking public education seriously and this explains the resultant poverty of our media, the bankruptcy of our political institutions and the increased inequality of our society. Allowing the education system to deteriorate to the extent it has is a national disgrace. We are a dumber country, a more myopic, more selfish country for it.”

I agree with every word.

: : Abbott’s climate change policy is bullshit by Malcolm Turnbull, written in 2009. It’s worthwhile considering his words now, when Abbott is primed to become our next Prime Minister in Australia. Please, can we have someone like Turnbull as the leader of the opposition instead?

: : Speaking of which, if you need more proof that Tony Abbott shouldn’t be the next Prime Minister, then here you go. I still can’t believe this man is an actual candidate and will probably win. A few years ago, most Australians rightly thought he was a joke. And he still is. People are free to dislike Julia Gillard for valid reasons of policy and decision-making, but the level of vitriolic hate I’ve seen aimed at her by both the general public and the media borders on the ludicrous. I don’t think she has been perfect, there are many things with which I’ve strongly disagreed with her, and there were many dumb moves made by the Labor party as a whole. But Tony Abbott shouldn’t be a viable alternative. He makes Australia dumber and meaner, and if he becomes our next Prime Minister, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

: : The curse of Australia’s silent pervasive racism.

: : Why is North Dakota Torturing Women?

: : Damn this article is good, just read every word.

: : Some of my best friends are women.

I have purged, I feel better - and theoretically, more organised now.


ronnie said...

please purge more often! the link to the Tsiolkas piece was reason enough... but I like your take on what's going on in politics right now.... I can't stand the thought of abbott as the next PM.... but I can't abide the idea that we keep gillard.... I'm expecting a whole nest of nasty in the coming months (sigh)

I think its long past time to really rethink governance in this nation.....

suzie said...

Such a great idea! I love Jessicas's R.L.T ~ it has sent me down some really interesting avenues. Thank you for some reading matter for me to pick through.

P.S Love the (appropriate) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song More News From Nowhere! You a fan?

Sera said...

Wonderful! I'd already seen a few of these, but that article about men-hating was perfect to send to someone I'd had a discussion with this past week, as well as clarifying a couple of my thoughts on the problem. Thank you so much - I'm also a fan of Jessica's list, and am really glad that you've decided to do something similar. Non-regular is also fine for me as I always feel a bit of pressure to get through Jess's whole list before the next one (like I feel the same pressure with a monthly magazine) and it will be nice to be able to relax with your lists :)


hungryandfrozen said...

Thanks for these excellent links! And no need to feel like you have to stick to a schedule - the old quality over quantity thing definitely applies. I appreciate you reproducing some of the text from the article, too. And finally - I have Jessica's column open in a new tab, ready to read!

Nit said...

Christos Tsiolkas words quite resonate in here too. As things stand in my country, where economic crisis and a politicians class that is as corrupt as it can be, education is one of the first things that is taking the brunt of the cuts... making the population dumber (all about soccer, toros, sangria and sevillanas) would be, I imagine, their dream come true. Less opposition that way. It's such a sad process to see.

Hila said...

Ronnie: The Tsiolkas piece is my favourite. I'll take Gillard over Abbott a million times over. He's awful and quite frankly, the thought of him being PM is terrifying. I think we've dumbed down political debate in this country so much, that most people think it's a joke. It's sad.

Suzie: I actually didn't think of that Nick Cave song when I came up with this title, but I'm a fan!

Sera: I love Jessica's consistency, brilliance and dedication to R.L.T., but I definitely can't replicate that! We all have to do our own thing.

Laura: I'm glad I introduced you to Jessica's column, I'm sure you'll become a fan.

Nit: Yeah, I agree. A dumber population is a population that is easier to manipulate with cheap tactics and rhetoric. And it seems to be working, sigh.