Search Results: Jeff Sparrow

  • ENVIRONMENT

    We need a grassroots revival to save the reef

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 27 May 2016
    12 Comments

    Many people have hoped that when global warming manifested itself as a concrete threat, politicians would be forced into action. Yet it's becoming horrifyingly clear that the political class is quite willing to let the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world, slowly die. If we want to save the reef, we're going to have to do it ourselves. The Franklin dam blockade of 1982-1983 transformed the political climate and preserved an iconic river. We need to recapture that energy.

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  • MEDIA

    Battered broadcaster's Bolt delusion

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 27 January 2016
    13 Comments

    Josh Bornstein compared the ABC to the victim in an abusive relationship, desperately trying to ward off the next blow by anticipating the criticism of its enemies. Certainly, enlisting Andrew Bolt to participate in a documentary on Indigenous constitutional recognition seems like a pre-emptive defensive move against the accusations of bias that are routinely levelled against the national broadcaster. For Bolt the arrangement is win-win; for the ABC it's yet another example of self-sabotage.

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  • MEDIA

    2015 in review: The roots of troll culture

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 12 January 2016

    The common perception of internet trolls is that they are outsiders descending on a particular platform in order to wreck it. But there is a close relationship between trolls and the culture in which they operate. If you're a publisher seeking virality, you need to foster the strong emotions in which social media trades. Getting people to love your content is great, but outrage, incredulity and even hatred also work.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Naming and renaming uni's racist monuments

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 02 December 2015
    7 Comments

    For many years, historian Gary Foley has drawn attention to the racist past inscribed throughout the infrastructure of Melbourne University. Now, some staff and students are campaigning to rename facilities linked to particularly egregious individuals, such as the Richard Berry building, named after a leading eugenicist who stole the corpses of Indigenous people for research designed to prove the racial superiority of whites. While some accuse the campaigners of politically correct censorship, in fact the past has already been censored, and the campaigners are dragging it back into the light.

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  • MEDIA

    A fascist by any other name

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 17 November 2015
    15 Comments

    In journalism, 'he said, she said' often functions as an evasion. Reporters' loyalty should be to accuracy, which isn't about compromise between extremes. When denialists and climate scientists take diametrically opposed stances, the truth doesn't lie somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, one side's right and the other's just wrong. The same can be said of reporting about the rightwing United Patriots Front. While they deny being fascists, that's what they are, and that's what we should call them.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Modern Islamophobia echoes murderous anti-Semitism

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 30 October 2015
    7 Comments

    Invoking Joseph Conrad's story about seagoing doppelgangers, 'The Secret Sharer', Edward Said identified Islamophobia as anti-Semitism's respectable twin. Indeed Israeli PM Netanyahu's description of the Mufti urging Hitler onto greater evil contains an echo of the old anti-Semitic canard of Jews as shadowy manipulators. This trope is central to the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, was a key element in Goebbels' propaganda campaigns, and is now central to contemporary Islamophobia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The roots of troll culture are closer than we think

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 25 September 2015
    6 Comments

    The common perception of internet trolls is that they are outsiders descending on a particular platform in order to wreck it. But there is a close relationship between trolls and the culture in which they operate. If you're a publisher seeking virality, you need to foster the strong emotions in which social media trades. Getting people to love your content is great, but outrage, incredulity and even hatred also work.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The emptiness of reform rhetoric in Australian politics

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 September 2015
    4 Comments

    The recent National Reform Summit was lauded as an attempt to 'rediscover the art of reform that in the past generation helped to drive high living standards and made Australia the envy among smart nations'. Yet the urgency with which Australian pundits demand 'reform' corresponds with a peculiar opacity about what the term actually means, with its past association with the socialist movement but more recent appropriation as a neoliberal mantra. 

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  • MEDIA

    Ashley Madison leak exposes a prurient and uncaring society

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 26 August 2015
    15 Comments

    The media has greeted the infidelity website leak with unabashed glee. We could instead ask why so many ordinary people are seemingly so discontented with their marriages, and what might be done to alleviate the wretchedness both of those who cheat and those who don't.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Nothing romantic about living in squalor

    • Ellena Savage
    • 15 March 2013
    5 Comments

    The Arts Minister Simon Crean's new Creative Partnerships initiative is another more-of-the-same, fund-career-administrators-and-educators-and-leave-artistes-to-their-hellish-squalor kind of model. Art can be a satisfying occupation, but artists cannot live on self-satisfaction alone.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Gillard, work and welfare

    • Sarah Burnside
    • 17 August 2011
    8 Comments

    Opponents of workplace regulation are well-resourced and powerful. In order to meet them head-on, the Government must do more than invoke the value of hard work. After all, if work automatically confers great dignity, what does it matter that conditions are unsatisfactory?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wren-Hardy stoush exposes sectarian bigotry

    • Juliette Peers
    • 06 August 2010
    6 Comments

    The Power Without Glory trial ought to be read as a high-profile and long lasting punishment meted out to traitors to a so-called Australian normality. Frank Hardy's acquittal and the campaign to defend his novel partly belong to mid 20th century Australia's strong anti-Catholic undertow.

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