Australia Day: Triple J, MLA, and the Symbolic Smokescreen

07/06/2021

(The following piece is my essay assessment for Media and Society at the University of Queensland).

The Australia Day debate surrounding the “Change the Date” movement has generated growing controversy every year as we get closer and closer to January 26th. The aim of the movement is to move Australia Day away from the darker and more brutal aspects of Australia’s history, much of which sprung from the declaration of a British penal colony in 1788. Rather than a celebration, many dissident voices view the day as one of mourning, the beginning of an invasion and wiping out of the indigenous populations and their land and traditions. Much has been done in recent decades to cement the dominant hegemonic view of a celebratory white (and generally male) experience, including attempts to sanitise this image (Brooker, 2017)1.

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George Floyd Was Murdered

21/04/2021

In May of last year, George Floyd was murdered.

In August, bodycam footage of the incident was released that showed George Floyd was murdered.

Today, Derek Chauvin is the first officer in Minnesota to ever be charged and held accountable for the murder of a black man.

Since 2005, only seven officers in the USA have been convicted of murder in police shootings.

And still so many are justifying this horror. Just American exceptionalism, I suppose.

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Communities of Knowledge: The Power of Networks

30/01/2021

I recently bought a book (which has joined my daunting and ever growing to-be-read pile) called The Knowledge Illusion. The subtitle really caught my eye: “The myth of individual thought and the power of collective wisdom”. Perhaps the book may change my mind on the individual thought front – I think individual thought is still extremely important and powerful – but the notion of collective wisdom had me making parallels with other fields, from neuroscience to the cosmos. I think it is undeniable, if not plainly obvious, that creating a community of open knowledge is a natural and necessary part of any society or group.

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The Cheese Is Capitalist

08/08/2020

I am once more late to the party of outrage and debate on this topic, but recently there was social upheaval over the name of a cheese brand. With or without prior context, you can probably guess who took which side and what arguments were used for or against the pending change. But I just want to make a quick point, mostly to call out a frequently recurring criticism about the motives of corporations to instead smack them back down with an entirely separate criticism. Sorry to upset some people, but Coon cheese – the cheese of contention – is capitalist.

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What About Free Speech?

27/06/2020

Random short rant in response to a comment I saw underneath an Advance Australia post.

“Black Lives Matter are in fact promoting a ‘racial divide’ and perpetuating racism. The left thrive on division.”

So the post claims. Below in the comments, a response not only highlights some people’s ignorance of the Black Lives Matter movement (or any “leftist” movement, whatever that means), but, seemingly without self-awareness of any kind, advocates rather totalitarian methods of combatting them. As the post title suggests, it is, ironically, an attack on free speech.

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Defunding the Police and Changing Focus

21/06/2020

There is a post going around at the moment that is supposedly meant to paint the police in a positive light during the recent global protests again police violence towards native peoples and people of colour. Honestly, it really sounds like the author (unknown, at least I’ve not seen a name with it) is telling the population to submit to power because… it’s power.

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Trump Calls Antifa A “Terrorist Organisation”

01/06/2020

Does it surprise anyone that Trump’s rhetoric has labelled anyone involved in the protests and riots in the US as a “terrorist”? That isn’t hyperbole, that is the implication of him trying to designate Antifa as a terrorist organisation, even though he can’t actually do that on a whim despite how he’s acted during his first term (yes, first, there will probably be a second even after this).

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The “Protest” Against the Brisbane Drag Queen Duo

13/01/2019

What I thought would be a rather small, local story in the South East Queensland area, having first seen the associated video on a Facebook group for QUT, has turned into a national story with the Guardian, the ABC, and social media (mainly Twitter) taking hold of it. I’m surprised that I’m surprised about that, and I decided against writing a post about it last night, but with more information coming to light and some interactions I have seen take place, I feel it’s worth discussing a few points.

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Media Hasn’t Really Changed: Colonial Tasmania

28/12/2019

I am currently reading The Vandemonian War by Nick Brodie. As always, when I learn more about Australia’s history involving the Indigenous peoples, I grow more and more disappointed with the shallow understanding that our education system throws at countless disinterested students. But I’ve written about that already, and there was a small point Brodie made about the press coverage that made me chuckle – rather cynically – at the parallels to today.

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Uluru Closure Is A Good Step

03/11/2019

But there is still much more work to be done. While preventing people from climbing the sacred rock is a monumental success that adheres to the wishes of our Indigenous population, I would hesitantly still consider it a more symbolic gesture than something of actual substance. I, of course, don’t mean to downplay the importance or significance of this victory that many apply to it, and it is possible – probable, even – that the fact I am not Indigenous myself plays into my opinion on the matter. It is just a single step in a much more complex issue.

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