From 2015, Overland will be edited by Jacinda Woodhead, the current deputy editor. After seven years as editor, Jeff Sparrow is leaving the role at the end of the year.
The latest war in Iraq – coming soon to Syria! – has had many unintended consequences, not least the utter disarray of the neocon project, at least as far as any intellectual or ideological consistency goes. Not least among these has been the changing fortunes of ‘multiculturalism’, which has found itself back in favour again on the right. The latest round of police crackdowns, and the sheaf of new laws extending ASIO and other powers, is now defended as being in service to multiculturalism, which, according to the Australian and other propaganda organs, is now the glue that holds us together.
Reviewing Jacks and Jokers for the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this year, Queensland historian Ross Fitzgerald (no relation to Tony) wrote: ‘The reality is that few journalists, lawyers and academics in Queensland publicly protested against Lewis and especially against his powerful premier, who was eventually awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by Queensland University.’
On 15 and 16 October 2001, 131 packages were reported to the police on the suspicion that they contained anthrax. Between 11 September 2001 and February 2002, the authorities investigated more than a thousand such claims. The now-forgotten anthrax panic makes an interesting contrast with the current reaction to ISIS-related terrorism, not least as an illustration of the extraordinary evolution in threat perception.
Long before terms like global warming had entered the mainstream, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne was onto something: the fact that the environmental apocalypse won’t come with a bang, but with a gentle erosion. We won’t even notice it. In this world, cranked off its axis, we’re divorced from our own senses, living as if runaway ecological and social disaster is not imminent. Our politicians and parties offer no alternative to living apocalyptically. Zombies live here.