Posts in: culture & reviews

Helen Keller: A Rebel Life

Winter/Spring 2004

What do you know about Helen Keller? Most likely that she was blind and deaf and overcame huge obstacles to learn to communicate by working with a dedicated teacher, Anne Sullivan. What you may not know is that she was a socialist activist, a feminist and fierce opponent of World War I. She was also… Read more »

Black Paradise: Singing for self- determination

Winter/Spring 2004

Singing can be a very dangerous activity in West Papua. In 1984 the bloated bodies of musicians Arnold Clemens Ap and Eddie Mofu were washed up onto a beach. They’d been tortured and killed by the Indonesia military. In 2001, Sam Kapissa died in suspicious circumstances, described officially as food poisoning. Many West Papuans believe… Read more »

Making music: The Bread & Roses of Life

Summer/Autumn 2002

Facing the Music is a cinema verité type documentary on the music department of Sydney University.  Shots of intense-looking students playing classical music. Passionate lectures on Beethoven. You might think that this is an odd kind of film for a radical paper to review. But it’s not. Facing the Music shows in detail, which is… Read more »

Before Night Falls: Arthouse attack on revolutionary Cuba

Summer/Autumn 2002

The impact of the Cuban revolution on the world has been profound. It provides ordinary people a picture of life without capitalism and demonstrates the power we have to make this change. No wonder the United States wants so desperately to kill it. But nothing — not 42 years of economic blockade, military invasions, attempted… Read more »

In and Out of Port: Workers’ power in action!

Winter/Spring 2001

April 7, 1998. A date which is burnt into the memories of countless activists from all around the world. The day that Patrick Stevedores, at Webb Dock Port Melbourne, locked out its entire unionised workforce. The naked anti-union aggression was breathtaking. Security guards wearing balaclavas and with dogs, charged in to clear the docks. The… Read more »

In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right

Winter/Spring 2001

Robert Manne has for many years been associated with anti-communism and a trenchant opposition to the Left in Australia. This has led to a tendency among leftists to dismiss him as just another apologist for rampant capitalism. The truth, as always, is more complex. In fact Manne has been a consistent liberal, believing in the… Read more »

Reality TV: Telemarketing and tittilation

Winter/Spring 2001

There’s no doubt who won Big Brother. It was the Ten Network! According to Melbourne’s Age newspaper of 21 July, the program was responsible for a “modest improvement” in the broadcaster’s notoriously weak advertising sales. As anyone who saw a single episode is aware, the Big Brother house had wall to wall advertising. Not surprisingly,… Read more »

Funky Feminist Fights Hip Hop Hate: A Tale of Two Rappers

Winter/Spring 2001

Eminem, aka Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is white, male and famous. The hip hop “artist” from Detroit sings about raping his mother, brutally murdering women and terrorising gays and lesbians. Sarah Jones is black, female and a little-known underground artist. She raps against sexism, using her talents as a powerful wordsmith to answer all misogynists… Read more »

Kick the Tin: A survivor of the stolen generation kicks back

Summer/Autumn 2001

If you want to understand what it’s like to be a member of the stolen generation, read Kick the Tin by Doris Kartinyeri, a member of the Ngarrindjeri nation. Not that we can ever truly know. As her sister, Dr Doreen Kartinyeri, says in her introduction: “Only those who have been taken from their families… Read more »