Author: Ellena Savage

If there are more than 100 matches, only the first 100 are displayed here.

  • AUSTRALIA

    2015 in review: Maintaining youthful rage

    • Ellena Savage
    • 14 January 2016
    1 Comment

    A friend recently died at 25. She was heavily involved in our political and literary communities, and I saw in her the very best of rage and rawness in politics. But I also saw how possessing such a sense of obligation to raw, honest, and emotionally-engaged political exploration, is exhausting. Of course it is. Popular wisdom has it that as you age, you get more 'realistic' about political matters. But that's not it.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    No alarms and no opinions

    • Ellena Savage
    • 03 December 2015
    7 Comments

    In November I did not change my profile picture to a European flag. I did not post a link to a fresh journalistic insight into a gang of men with machetes who are desperate to feel relevant in the empty ravine of history. I felt mild joy for Myanmar, but if I am honest, I don't know enough about Myanmar. I felt indignant that no-one changed their profile pictures to the Mali flag after 170 people were taken hostage there. Then my indignation dissolved when I realised I didn't know what the Mali flag looked like.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Housing fantasy quashed by culture of entitlement

    • Ellena Savage
    • 05 November 2015
    23 Comments

    When I was a child, the house I longed for in my adult future was blonde-bricked, double-storied, concrete-paved, white-carpeted. Now I am older, and renting a room in such a house is possible, if I share the place with six other paying adults. Because it is 2015, I live in Melbourne (the sixth-least affordable city to live in in the world), and am not a merchant banker. No concrete plot will ever by mine, I say in tune with the million other people my age who have just assimilated that knowledge.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Breaking the silence in the kingdom of the sick

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 October 2015
    7 Comments

    While suffering from cancer, Susan Sontag suggested that it, like tuberculosis the previous century, was a disease shrouded in metaphor, morality, and silence. As time passed and the AIDS epidemic raged, she expanded her analysis to include that virus. What would she think of today's culture around mental illness? Like allergies, some of the origins of mental illnesses are societal. And the social and political conditions which produce illness are not generally a part of the medical project.

    READ MORE
  • MEDIA

    Images the catalyst for action but not change

    • Ellena Savage
    • 10 September 2015

    There are few activities more unsettling than viewing the bodies of deceased children. But I'm not convinced that visual tokens of suffering, shared within safe, affluent settings, change much. A photo can suggest that a woman is abused by her partner and motivate people to donate money to a charity. But it won't make anybody voluntarily give up the privilege that fostered the pain.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Maintaining the rage beyond the golden rhythm of youth

    • Ellena Savage
    • 13 August 2015
    7 Comments

    A friend recently died at 25. She was heavily involved in our political and literary communities, and I saw in her the very best of rage and rawness in politics. But I also saw how possessing such a sense of obligation to raw, honest, and emotionally-engaged political exploration, is exhausting. Of course it is. Popular wisdom has it that as you age, you get more 'realistic' about political matters. But that's not it.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Zen and the art of wealth amassment

    • Ellena Savage
    • 16 July 2015
    4 Comments

    There is a suburban myth about migrant families. The first generation toil, the second become professionals, and the third artists. Like all dynasties, the Rineharts are destined to one day represent the crusty relics of former glory. That's fine. I mean, why would the beneficiaries of other people's obsessive toils and struggle work, if they didn't have to?

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    There's hope for mediocre women

    • Ellena Savage
    • 18 June 2015
    13 Comments

    I have a friend who tells me she loves seeing what she terms 'mediocre women' at the top of their fields, especially in public, because it shows that feminism is working. Some women have made a success of themselves as men have always done, through acquiring privilege and seizing opportunities with a sense of entitlement, rather than by the myths of brilliance and sacrifice. I like this perspective. 

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    The tyranny of career

    • Ellena Savage
    • 21 May 2015
    3 Comments

    The expectation to enjoy the labouring part of your life, or find it 'rewarding', is a relatively new one. Australia's boon in tertiary education in the latter half of the twentieth century, and the post-industrial nature of postmodern work means that for many, labour is immaterial, and jobs are not necessarily protected or stable. 'Career management' is therefore a key concept that rules life decisions.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Europe's more humane approach to on-water matters

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Australian references to 'boat people' is simplistic and offensive. 'Queue jumper' inaccurate and moralising. Even the term 'asylum seeker' has become politically complicit. European coverage of this week's Mediterranean boat tragedy describes the victims and survivors simply as 'migrants', which is an open description of a person on a boat crossing borders.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inside the head of an IS martyr

    • Ellena Savage
    • 19 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The language of martyrdom is being used to recruit young Australians to brutal stateless warfare. Because martyrs are morally superior to suburban burnouts. IS propagandist Abu Ismail described Melburnian Jake Bilardi as 'a lion on the battlefield although he was at a young age and with a weak body'. So, Bilardi was a weak young lion and therefore ripe for battle. How obscene!

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ciggie butt brains indict Aussie middle class elitism

    • Ellena Savage
    • 19 February 2015
    8 Comments

    When Damo and Darren's 'Train Station' — Michael Cusack's animation of an obscene 'part derro, part yobbo, part bogan' duo fighting over a lighter — was published on YouTube, it clocked 2 million views in its first month, and made people very happy. I showed it to a friend who had grown up in England's north under Margaret Thatcher. He was not amused. 'Why are Australians laughing at poor people?' he asked.

    READ MORE

We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review