In which is discussed the private school system in Australia, my time in it, and wondering why on Earth it has access to public funding.
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In which is discussed civic duty, its effect on Australian society, and whether or not it actually exists, en masse, in this country.
In which is discussed the Gallipoli campaign, its mythologized status in Australia, and the issue of our place in the world.
In which is discussed the problem of ‘knowing’, the virtue of tourism, and the mysteries of other places.
In which a house in the middle of a field is meditated on by the author; wondering at the people who thought it would be a good idea to put it there, and the people who suffered to die in the process.
In which is discussed one of the most potent and least known of Kubrick’s films, its portrayal of the passage of a life, and its deep and tremulous impact on the viewer.
In which is discussed Mary Beard’s Women and Power, an essential book exploring the assembly of power, and the future of women to acquire it.
In which is discussed Portal, one of the first great games, and arguably one of the first games that could reasonably be described as ‘art’.
In which is discussed the film, its astonishing vision, and the landscape of dread which makes the finished product a masterpiece of any medium.
‘People very commonly confuse the technical superiority of a nation with the moral and intellectual superiority of the population who make it up.’
This quote, from Lucy Mair’s ‘Primitive Government’ (Penguin, 1962) is part of Mair’s anthropological study of government in its early stages. In this paragraph, she speaks in particular of the way that a people are often conflated with their achievements – i.e. a Western farmer would not know how to split the atom, or build a steam engine, simply because his people developed it. This double standard is used to promote Western ideals at the expense of others, especially by saying that the lack of advanced technology makes one society completely second to another, when so few people were responsible for the technology in the first place. These pages are notable for their compassion, do not smack of intellectual arrogance, and read quite astonishingly modern. As an anthropologist working in the early and middle 20th century, any work that she hitherto presented would be at very great risk of racism and assumption, but the book is quite prescient in its treatment of murky colonial issues. The book was cited widely in academic work, and is a reminder that voices of the past are not always moulded in the way we would expect.
The Schwenge Benge is written by Martin Quinn, and updated without great constancy, but some frequency.
The publication is interpretive, analytical and artistic in nature. It may be that it is slightly satirical, or deeply personal, quietly empirical or a combination of all three. One must decide for oneself whether the content is worth the time of day.
As it discusses topics of all stripes with great, unbending fortitude, it may be worth noting that some articles will form points of disagreement. Please remember that this publication is written in the spirit of amity and discussion, and that disagreement is not only welcome, but encouraged.
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