Author: Ellena Savage

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    To kiss or kill a feral cat

    • Ellena Savage
    • 15 February 2013
    15 Comments

    Whenever I spot that lithe mottled feral cat lurking behind our pumpkins, I have to fight bipolar urges. The kitty-lover in me wants to lure it in with milk and sardines, then trap it into a co-dependent relationship. My other urge is the environmentally responsible one: to take it to the vet and have it put down.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rape and restorative justice

    • Ellena Savage
    • 18 January 2013
    8 Comments

    My friend was raped by a stranger at knife-point. When the police found the perpetrator she learned he had raped other women, and had murdered some of them. While he was being charged, she decided to opt out of the proceedings. She didn't believe prison would rehabilitate him, or aid her own survival.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2012: Fear the politicians of the future

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 January 2013
    1 Comment

    If my short tenure in university politics gave me anything, it is an appreciation for non-politicians. Not only did Barbara Ramjan's allegations against Tony Abbott not surprise me, the honest brutality of the act sounds preferable to the slow, steady harassment that sustains student politicians these days. Friday 28 September 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Coming to terms with Christmas

    • Ellena Savage
    • 21 December 2012
    2 Comments

    My most vivid childhood Christmas memories have little to do with Christmas. In one, I'm rifling through the antique wooden bowl beside my grandmother's fireplace, finding hundreds of ancient marbles. They glow in the amber light that spills through the hand-crafted lead-glass lights. I don't even remember the presents I got that year.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sinister side of African Aid

    • Ellena Savage
    • 23 November 2012
    5 Comments

    The picture disturbed me: a small child, my own age, sitting beside an infant on the stoop of a simple wooden house with a dirt floor. I cried at their hopelessness, and my helplessness. The point was to make Australian kids aware of their economic privilege. But I wonder if it also made us believe in the weakness of others. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rape culture in life and theory

    • Ellena Savage
    • 26 October 2012
    8 Comments

    A recent column on pop culture site The Vine argued that the misappropriation of the phrase 'rape culture' cheapens 'the rhetorical playing field' and damages the cause of anti-rape politics. The only time I decisively called out a man for touching me inappropriately, he reacted aggressively, as if I had done something inexcusable.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fear the politicians of the future

    • Ellena Savage
    • 28 September 2012
    7 Comments

    If my short tenure in university politics gave me anything, it is an appreciation for non-politicians. Not only did Barbara Ramjan's allegations against Tony Abbott not surprise me, the honest brutality of the act sounds preferable to the slow, steady harassment that sustains student politicians these days.

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  • EDUCATION

    Holistic cures for school snobbery

    • Ellena Savage
    • 31 August 2012
    2 Comments

    Once, my mother reprimanded a young student whom she taught at an expensive private school. The boy replied that his dad could 'buy and sell' her. As easy as it would be to conclude that private schools breed poor behaviour, rude children are just that — class has little to do with it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cultural snobbery and Wayne Swan's Springsteen mania

    • Ellena Savage
    • 03 August 2012
    6 Comments

    In Australia, land of the cultural cringe, the social elite mainly consume middle- and low-brow culture: mainstream cinema, best-sellers, and Bruce Springsteen, for example. Swan's admiration of Springsteen is positive in its belief in the legitimacy of mainstream taste, which is dictated more democratically than highbrow taste.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The struggle to resist linguistic empires

    • Ellena Savage
    • 06 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Letting languages disappear is a crime against humanity, asserted a recent article. But reader comments shouted that if a language could not keep up – or rather, if the language was not English – it should die, die, die, as though it were a simple matter of natural selection.

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  • MEDIA

    The feminist diet

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 June 2012
    3 Comments

    Squeezing my own body fat in front of the mirror is a horrible, but familiar experience. Reflecting on the self-loathing involved makes me red with rage and embarrassment. I should be above that. Today's women are united more by their collective disgust of their bodies than they are by any other factor.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Warm bums and nuclear activism in Tokyo

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 May 2012
    6 Comments

    I took the train into central Tokyo, my bum warmed by the heated seats. Each time we stopped, the train's engine shut down briefly, and the bum heater switch off for a few seconds. Over the loudspeaker I heard 'Setsuden chu', the catchphrase meaning 'We're currently using less electricity', which is posted all around the city.

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