My 2019 Reading List

31/12/2019

Admittedly, I thought I had read more books than the ones on this list, but alas it is much smaller than anticipated when I compiled it. I wasn’t expecting anything huge, and 16 books is still a reasonable feat, in my view, but I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment that I didn’t get through more. I would, however, suggest that finishing university and keeping up with news events and analysis probably makes up for that. Nevertheless, these are the books I read this past year, with a few thoughts looking back on them and links to piece that refer to them.

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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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Divided Opinion: Postnatal Depression

09/12/2019

EDIT: I mixed up the wording – I had put “neonatal” instead of postnatal depression. This has now been corrected, so thank you to the friend who pointed it out to me.

I don’t often do so, but here I feel it prudent preface this piece by acknowledging the fact I am a male, and in this case also childless – hence I would defer any and all serious discussion on this topic to females, particularly mothers, and especially those who have experienced postnatal depression. I observed a conversation a few of my friend’s family members (all female) had, which was quite tense, relating to a family friend who took custody of a child due to the mother having had postnatal depression. I’ll leave out most of the details and stick to the relevant ones for this piece – spoiler alert, the man was entirely in the wrong here.

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Rethinking Camelot: A Reflection

02/12/2019

Interpretation of Historical Fact

Camelot is the myth that surrounds John F. Kennedy, the hero of the American people during a Presidency cut too short by a malicious assassination that changed America’s and the world’s future forever, specifically in relation to Vietnam and the Cold War. This myth, still peddled by many today, perhaps more so given the growing years between us and the events that took place, is nothing more than that – a collation of numerous accounts that all rely on a complete dismissal of fact.

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Rich ≠ Trendy: Morrison’s Media PR

01/12/2019

But it can equal influential, that’s for sure. The media has yet again come to the Coalition’s rescue in the aftermath of one of their greatest defeats yet. What better way to sweep away the incompetence and authoritarianism of your out of touch party than to showcase your totally relatable wife in the media as a fashion influencer!

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What School History Doesn’t Teach: The Vietnam War

29/11/2019

I never took modern history in high school, but from what we were taught in the junior years and from what friends who did take that subject told me, what we learned was an extremely watered down and pretty much propagandistically pro-West depiction. I can’t speak for the US education system, but I can only assume that US exceptionalism is a fundamental part of any history taught in school. There are a few examples one could use, but the Vietnam War is probably the most damning.

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Labor Has Mixed Approach to Unions

26/11/2019

The Labor party has, historically, been the party of the working class and the Union movement. This year, however, following their “surprise” election loss, they’ve opted for a more distanced approach from one of their greatest backers. Both on a State and a Federal level, there has been cause for praise and alarm, regarding policies that Labor has supported, from the Unions.

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Private Property: Housing

25/11/2019

One of the few things I’m currently in uncertain disagreement with regarding anarchism is the idea of private property. In many cases, it is quite simple, but in others, like housing, and data, there are some discrepancies that it would be wrong to not address. Seeing as I have probably written more about anarchism in the past few days than I have since I started the site, now seems to be a good time to discuss them.

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Free Speech, Understanding, and Growth: Anarchism and Feminism

24/11/2019

I finished two books today. The first was The ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman, which I’ve referenced in a few of my recent posts – well worth reading if you want to understand anarchist (specifically communist anarchism) ideas. The second, which was half the size and a much quicker read – hence finishing it within a few hours of the day – was Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin. The title intrigued me, and rightfully so – it was also fascinating, although I admit it threw me in the deep end on feminist writing and thought. Both books had some rather similar suggestions and themes, which I thought were worth discussing.

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Reflecting on Old Reflections: Lenin and the Russian Revolution

23/11/2019

Earlier this year, I read Lenin and the Russian Revolution by Christopher Hill, which was a rather old and small book that is very much an introduction to the revolution and to Lenin himself. At the time I also wrote a couple of pieces on my thoughts about it, thoughts which, with further reading and understanding, are worth revisiting in an exercise of revision. While the general thrust of each of the pieces is still solid, my view of Lenin has changed drastically – for the worse.

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