Now Let’s Watch It Burn

07/09/2019

I usually listen to music when taking the bus to various places, and recently I have started – for no real reason – picking out lyrics from songs that, out of context, could be associated with climate change. The one that seems most relevant this week?

“Welcome to the world, now let’s watch it burn.” – Gotta Let Go, Hollywood Undead.

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Cultural Decline in the West?

17/08/2019

I haven’t written anywhere near as much as I would have liked this month so far, partly because of university and partly because my motivation to do so has been mildly lacking. But a question that I have been seeing crop up rather frequently (for reasons I’ll explain below) is, “is Western culture in decline?” And for the context of this piece, by culture I am referring to art, like what you would find in a museum, music, literature, pop culture, that sort of thing; not an ‘East vs West’ definition of culture, and I will only briefly mention semi-political ideas as well.

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Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: A Reflection

29/07/2019

Despite having two other books to read for university and a topic to read up on for an upcoming internship role, I impulsively bought Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs and read it within a few days because bookshops are a (wonderful) trap. I am glad I did get it, though, because while my knowledge of international and Australian law is passable (read as: probably not great, but most people I know, in the nicest terms, don’t have a clue so I appear intelligent), there is always more to learn, a fact to add to your arsenal. When the topic is humanitarian issues, the outcome literally means life and death.

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Quick Quips: I’ll Drink to That

03/07/2019

“If you voted Greens then get out of the house!” Thankfully, I didn’t get drunk that night, otherwise there may have been quite the political hurricane amid the reserved celebrations of the evening. Head down, amiable but fake smile, avoiding the gaze of my chuckling friend as the older man praised “ol’ Trumpy”. Some whiskey and a nod later, crisis was averted – a friend’s birthday saved. I’ll drink to that.

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Quick Quips: Now That’s Over…

21/05/2019

While I’ve been consciously taking the time to pick up on important global events, it has been easy that last couple of weeks to have been caught up in the spiralling election coverage here in Australia. So now that our quiet corner of the world has been rightfully criticised by the world, what better time to throw our sights elsewhere? Just a short one this evening.

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Eurovision Covers Media as Israel-Gaza Conflict Escalates

07/05/2019

Eurovision, a music contest that has become a global event, will be held in Israel this year. Many people have called for artists and viewers to boycott the contest in an attempt to draw attention to Israel’s abuses against the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. As tensions rise, along with the death count, what could be the beginnings of another strike against Gaza might get swept aside due to the contest’s popularity.

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UN Veto Powers Undemocratic: On the Sexual Violence Resolution

26/04/2019

There is a reasonable argument that can be put forward about how the UN is structurally undemocratic – for example, I certainly didn’t feel overly represented when our government refused to take part in negotiating a treaty to ban nuclear weapons in 2017. Decisions being made with little to no consultation or care of the public can hardly be considered democratic. Larger issues aside, one of the wildest issues with the UN is the absurd concept of the veto powers, held by countries that probably shouldn’t be leading global ‘diplomacy’.

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Quick Quips: Out of Line

28/03/2019

David Draiman’s song Out of Line, featuring Serj Tankian, is easily my favourite song on his album Device. It doesn’t hold back on its criticism of abusive power, which remains undefined but can be applied to any autocratic or plutocratic institution. From the chorus:

“You try to justify the pain that you’ve wrought,

But you’re out of line, you’re out of line.”

It is safe to say in recent months, many have stepped out of line.

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Quick Quips: One Million Voices

05/03/2019

Two Steps From Hell, an incredible music production company, recently hit one million subscribers on YouTube – a feat they are immensely proud of, for good reason. For the occasion, its founder and one of the main composers Thomas Bergersen released a track called One Million Voices, from his upcoming solo album Humanity.

I am no expert on music by any means, but the title of the song and album are entirely fitting. Merely through sound and a clash of cultures, art is created and (judging from the comments so far) fans globally have come together. If one piece of music, one man, one voice, can do that, imagine the impact of one million voices in unison. Imagine the power for change that remains untapped, each additional voice adding strength. Across borders, across cultures, across the divides we have made. Just imagine…

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Drugs Are a Health Issue, Not a Criminal One

02/01/2019

Regardless of your take on drugs, whether you think they are the greatest thing in the world or the height of evil, it’s simply reality that there will always be people who use them in one way or another. The current system fails to decrease drug use, and criminalising and punishing those who use them (especially addicts) only further marginalises them. We need to remove the negative stigma surrounding drugs and view them as a health concern and not a criminal issue.

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