Month: January 2009

On ambient intimacy and assistive devices

I was having a discussion about ambient intimacy in a couple of elsewheres, where I tried (and possibly failed) to say that what is so reviled by opinion editors and other meatsnobs can be useful in all sorts of ways.

I like the little slices of life on my friends’ livejournals, however trivial, because I just can’t access this sort chatter in my meatspace. Yes, I want to know how

That Ms. Cover

As no doubt the editors hoped, this cover for Ms. Magazine’s Special Inaugural Issue has generated a lot of controversy. Many feminists feel that Obama’s feminist credentials are not nearly as strong as they could be, while the cover has generated an escalation in panic-mongering and shrill we-told-you-so’s from the religious right plus a great deal more snark about Obamessianic visions and rainbow unicorns from the neocon right.

Australia Day: “Speak English!”

It’s Australia Day again, so I’m recycling my favourite anecdote from a few years ago.

We had decided to spend a warm Australia Day picnicking on the shores of Lake Monger with friends. Plenty of other people had decided the same thing, and it was a convivial atmosphere. The black swans were noodling around in the background, there plenty of kids playing on the grass, families were chatting with each other

Life on the Riverbank: “Edwardian Gay”

John Sutherland, Eremitus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London, discusses his latest book Magic Moments on ABC Radio National:

a kind of Biographia Literaria as he takes a look back to the magic of 25 experiences of books, films, plays, songs, paintings, sounds and smells which took him by surprise, sank into his memory and changed his life

Australian of the Year 2009 finalists

We haven’t talked about the Australian of the Year nominations here yet. What struck me immediately with the 2009 field is that this time around, only two of them are (as far as I know) white men.

Note, however, that none (again, as far as I know; I’m open to correction on this) are women of colour. For this year’s Australian of the Year, you can be an indigenous or immigrant person of colour, or a woman; but not both.

Friday Saturday Hoyden: Caroline Chisholm

This fairly blunt profile of Caroline Chisholm presents her as an impressive but uncomfortable woman due to her uncompromising standards, and came as a bit of an eye-opener to me in terms of sanitised school history: the fact that the young immigrant underclass women that she was training had been lured to the Australian colonies where they were left to fend for themselves and would have no options other than prostitution or crime to earn a living was very heavily glossed over

Otterday, and Open Thread

This river otter was pictured on TrekNature New Zealand. Isn’t it beautiful?


Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a great book? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?