Author: Ellena Savage

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    US health care a sick joke that’s coming to Australia

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 January 2015
    9 Comments

    America's iniquitous health care system is often portrayed with dark humour in popular culture such as the 2007 Michael Moore film Sicko. Our own Federal Government has been putting constant pressure on our system of universal health care as it pursues a course of action that presents class warfare as fiscal responsibility. It raises questions about the vested interests behind dismantling health care protections for poor people.   

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shock of the new bourgeois reality

    • Ellena Savage
    • 28 November 2014
    9 Comments

    The need for artists to exist inside an economy regulated by middle class tastes and preferences restricts the possibilities for their work. But when our present is rocked by the incredible injustices we are watching unravel in Ferguson, artists are called upon to drop their aspirations for class mobility that is tethered to the material, and instead draw light on the immaterial, Emerson's 'secret'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Looking for depth in the selfie

    • Ellena Savage
    • 31 October 2014
    4 Comments

    I take a lot of selfies. Some of them are silly, coquettish, dramatic. Others are just my face looking into my computer, sitting where I work, dressed in work clothes. They mean more or less nothing. They’re just an inane collection of data on my laptop, or too easy self-portraits. Nothing means nothing, but it says something about the culture. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for remaining single

    • Ellena Savage
    • 03 October 2014
    9 Comments

    In the few times I have felt distressed by the prospect of some kind of eternal singledom, I have reminded myself of how difficult and suffocating romantic love can be, especially in the belittling shadow of celebrity couplings. My accumulated life data tells me that no-one is a perfect partner, even with 'hard work', and there are many more things to love than some perfect other individual. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wombs for rent

    • Ellena Savage
    • 05 September 2014
    5 Comments

    When Bill Heffernan said that Julia Gillard was unfit for leadership because she was 'deliberately barren', he didn't really err. He just named our preoccupation with motherhood. But is the drive to procreate so powerful and important that it should override the integrity of women in developing countries? Should it continue to be the defining quality of women?

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  • EDUCATION

    Australians don't need to speak proper English

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 August 2014
    12 Comments

    There's a view that most Australians, including the Prime Minister, still have poor speech skills, and that there ought to be some kind of standardised verbal communication skill-level as a prerequisite for politicians, educators and advocates. Personally I'm quite content with an Australia that is accepting of vocal particularities, the flexibility of meanings, and often humorous miscommunications.

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  • EDUCATION

    Inside the women's lit gender ghetto

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 July 2014
    3 Comments

    Women's lit needs a course of its own'. How original to segment women's work into a category of its own so that it has no bearing on the mainstream! Men's work is universal, and women's work is specific to women. Sixty-five years later, and Simone de Beauvoir still nails it. So should we feminise the mainstream? Or continue to participate at the margins, and hope that the old guard takes notice?

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  • EDUCATION

    School leavers' class wars

    • Ellena Savage
    • 13 June 2014
    11 Comments

    Year 12 tertiary entrance exams: turning 17-year-olds into nervous wrecks since the 1830s. They divide the smart from the dumb, the hopefuls from the no-hopers, and, what it boils down to more often than not, the privately educated from the state educated. But what if there was another way, a way that properly acknowledged the impact high schools have on their students' access to university admission?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The right to be bad

    • Ellena Savage
    • 09 May 2014
    8 Comments

    There's nothing wrong with being nice. But women need to stop asking nicely for equality, and instead just expect it. I relate strongly to my near namesake, F. Scott Fitzgerald's Eleanor Savage, who in 1920 asks why she couldn't have been born 100 years into the future, assuming that a century of progress would give her the freedoms she desires. Women do have it it better today, but that is not the same as having innate equality.

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  • MEDIA

    Free speech! Well, sort of

    • Ellena Savage
    • 21 March 2014
    13 Comments

    Andrew Bolt's response to Q&A's airing of accusations of racism was surprising. While no human is immune to emotional distress, it seems excessive for a man whose career has taken him to the edge of defamation laws to publicly wither under his opponents' attacks. This matter brings to light the discord between Australian conservatives' rhetoric about liberty and free speech, and the reality their policies and opinions impose.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thoughts from a sanctimonious expatriate

    • Ellena Savage
    • 21 February 2014
    9 Comments

    There is a difference between immigration and expatriatism. The term 'expat' seems only to refer to the affluent, particularly those with Caucasian ancestry. The expat has no obligation to learn the language and customs of the place they live, and always has a home they can return to. Since taking a job in publishing in South East Asia, I am the kind of person who gets to be thought of as an expat. It feels weird.

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  • MEDIA

    Journalistic ethics in transgender tragedy

    • Ellena Savage
    • 24 January 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week a troubling story broke on sports journalism site Grantland. While investigating the background of Dr V., an avowed physicist who had invented a revolutionary golf putter, journalist Caleb Hannan discovered that Dr V. was a trans-woman. In the course of the investigation, Dr V. committed suicide. This tragic case raises questions about journalistic ethics, not least of which is if journalism is, by its very nature, unethical.

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