Jeff Sparrow, editor, Overland 202, Autumn 2011
I have one major complaint about this issue of Overland: it won’t be read by enough people. It gets classified, correctly, as of the left, and so there’s an assumption that only people who identify as left-wing should read it. It gets marginalised, when item after item in it deserves the widest readership and engagement. Rather than saying too much, here are a couple of excerpts.
From Guy Rundle’s ‘Open-eyed conspiracy his time doth take‘, a look at the theory and practice (‘praxis’) of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks:
In Assange’s model, the failure of the anti-globalisation movement to challenge the governmental conspiracies that emerged post-September 11 resulted from the very dispersal that they celebrated […] WikiLeaks, in that respect, represents a dialectical development: recognition that a counter-conspiracy, to be effective, must decisively reject openness in favour of an ultra-conspiracy. […]
WikiLeaks’ massive category-shifting leaking is not intended to dissolve governance but to uncouple governance and conspiracy, to make it impossible for governments to fall back on conspiracy as a mode of action.
From Rjurik Davidson ‘s ‘Imagining New Worlds‘ on ‘New Wave’ science fiction of the 1960s and after:
The New Wave [demonstrates] that approaching culture politically (in the broad sense of the term) does not necessarily result in the production of dour and didactic texts. On the contrary, political interventions underpin many of the greatest formal revolutions, the most experimental and original work.
From Bob Gosford’s ‘They took our culture – now there is no law‘, one of three pieces on the Northern Territory under the Intervention:
[A] Northern Territory judge who in 2009 considered the effect of the changes to the Emergency Response Act 2007 noted that: ‘the precise mischief that [the section] is intended to remedy is unclear’. He went on to argue that because the legislation precluded consideration of a range of previously acceptable and relevant issues, it ‘distorts [the] well established sentencing principle of proportionality, and may result in … disproportionate sentences’.
From Alexis Wright’s ‘Talking About Tomorrow‘, an open letter to Bob Brown and Rachel Stewart:
I cannot believe that the Intervention can be justified when families are leaving their
traditional lands – the lands where they have lived and that they have taken care of for tens of thousands of years – unable to endure the heaviness of government controls over their lives. They are becoming the new gypsies, vilified by residents of Australian towns and cities opposed to having them as neighbours.
She goes on to argue that ‘the only way forward is through treaty-making with individual nations and regions in northern Australia. in particular in the Northern Territory ‘.
From Patricia Gillespie’s ‘[In]Dignity‘, which is largely a graphic account of her elderly mother’s experience with the health system:
From a medical perspective, the treatment for her congestive heart failure – the reason for her admission to hospital – was a success. She was no longer ‘dying’ or ‘drowning’ in fluid. But Marie inherited […] problems such as vitamin deficiencies, suicide ideation, muscular weakness and mobility issues, chronic rash, a bleeding tongue, bedsores and ulcers, which made a mockery of the notion ‘do no harm’.
There are eight wonderful pages of images and pensées from Sean Tan. There’s poetry, including K A Nelson’s ‘Chorus of Crows‘ (winner of the 2010 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and another angle on the NT Intervention) and Jennifer Compton’s sweet celebration of the quotidian, ‘I Came Home with the Shopping‘.
Almost teh whole lot is up on line. Have a look.