Claiming condemnation as vindication spares you from introspection.

Mental gymnastics can be a useful skill. Being able to approach questions from different perspectives and tease them out in unique ways can make you a deeper, more thoughtful person. But cerebral dexterity can also make you impervious to reality or reflection. They’re a lot to unpack regarding the Israel Folau saga, but frankly othersContinue reading “Claiming condemnation as vindication spares you from introspection.”

Death, dying and the pursuit of control

Victoria’s landmark Voluntary Assisted Dying laws are now in force and, for most Victorians, won’t mean a thing. They will probably never use them or know anybody who does, for the eligibility criteria is so narrow. But for the unlucky few who will eventually exercise their rights under these new laws, they mean an awfulContinue reading “Death, dying and the pursuit of control”

When racism is in fashion.

Running commentaries on media stories are boring at the best of times, but occasionally an exception is warranted. Not because something is so egregious or overt (there’s plenty of people ready to be outraged about anything over on Twitter) but because it’s subtle and missable, potentially even unintended—but definitely still damaging. So here goes. AContinue reading “When racism is in fashion.”

Duncan – Issues vs Distractions

“I’ve got a disability and a low education, that means I’ve spent my whole life working for minimum wage. You’re gonna lift the tax-free threshold for rich people … Rich people don’t even notice their tax-free threshold lift. Why don’t I get it? Why do they get it?” Victorian man Duncan Storrar asked this questionContinue reading “Duncan – Issues vs Distractions”

How did the Right lose ownership of marriage?

Look around the world and you’d be forgiven for thinking marriage equality, gay marriage, equal marriage (whatever you want to call it) is a progressive notion. Calls for reform are often heard from the so-called Left: greens, students, academics and connoisseurs of cold drip coffee served in moody laneways. It’s easy to forget marriage is intrinsicallyContinue reading “How did the Right lose ownership of marriage?”

My Pa ‘bullshitting’ Ray Martin on national TV (1992)

As a celebrated bullshit artist, it’s really no surprise my charismatic grandfather Laurie Sheales ending up on national TV in May 1992 telling Ray Martin one of his tallest tales. My 87 year old and gloriously hirsute Pa was sitting in a pub one night, swilling beer and telling those assembled how he’d been completelyContinue reading “My Pa ‘bullshitting’ Ray Martin on national TV (1992)”

Did the promise of pudding swing the Victorian election?

THE internet engaged in a collective ‘isn’t he adorable’ a few months back when it transpired actor Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t say the word “penguins”. You can watch the video here. (The fact Cumberbatch had just lent his voice to a nature documentary about penguins — or “pengwings” — and is currently starring in the PenguinsContinue reading “Did the promise of pudding swing the Victorian election?”

This woman who I’ve never met made me feel better about the world

Racist rants on your bus, dodgy builders on your street, scammers on the internet… sometimes you just shake your head at humanity. (And that’s before we even consider the meatier issues of war, famine and the persecution of the needy.) But not today. Today I refuse to shake my head at humanity, and all becauseContinue reading “This woman who I’ve never met made me feel better about the world”