John Bartlett

A State of Permanent Outrage Arousal (POA)

Posted by on 3:37 pm in Blog | 1 comment

A State of Permanent Outrage Arousal (POA)

A recent essay from Australian novelist Christos Tsiolkas struck a chord with me and made me suddenly aware I had been afflicted with POA or Permanent Outrage Arousal. This is a disorder whose symptoms include chronic tweeting on social media, sudden and unexpected swearing often directed at politicians and repeated shouting at conservatives, racists or homophobes (some of whom may also be politicians). There’s plenty to be outraged about these days but where does all that outrage go and is it good for the human spirit to be continually...

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Two steps forward, three steps back – the future of LGBTI rights

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Two steps forward, three steps back – the future of LGBTI rights

Despite the mixed reviews on the accomplishments of departing US President Obama, his record on LGBTI rights is extensive. We might have forgotten this list of his varied successes, best summed up in his concise statement that “the simple truth is that LGBTI rights are human rights.” The ascent of President-elect Trump is worrying for a number of reasons, one of which is the future of LBGTI rights in America and the fallout around the world. Despite the lack of clarity on whether Trump’s campaign rhetoric will match the reality of his...

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Politically Incorrect

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Politically Incorrect

An article published in The Australian in June this year was entitled: “The church of political correctness (PC) controls national discourse” and ranted about the rise of ‘humorless zealots’ who attempt to control public discussion. More and more this bludgeon of the ‘political correctness’ slogan has been the weapon of choice by the emerging Alt-right to downplay issues such as support for a Bill of Rights; the emergency of climate change; legal status for same-sex marriage and all the issues which supporters of human rights have struggled...

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World Mental Health Day 2016

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World Mental Health Day 2016

October 10th is World Mental Health Day and to mark the remembrance I’m sharing two of my previously published short stories that explore aspects of mental health:     LIMBUS -first published in Pendulum in 2005 and republished in All Mortal Flesh in 2009   “I think it was on the day of my father’s funeral that Mum seemed to come out of the fog she had been in for years. I don’t mean that she’d been a bad mother, just distant a lot of the time, doing all of the normal things for us but then looking out the window as if...

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Detective Swan returns, bloodied but unbowed – a review of ‘Goldstone’

Posted by on 11:58 am in Blog | 2 comments

Detective Swan returns, bloodied but unbowed – a review of ‘Goldstone’

It was a shock this week to be suddenly precipitated from one of the coldest days so far this year in southern Australia into the hot and dry landscapes of Goldstone, Ivan Sen’s sequel to his highly successful Mystery Road. These landscapes of Middleton, central west Queensland, where Goldstone was mostly filmed, stretch out hundreds of miles in all directions like a multicoloured carpet unfurling. The viewer feels overwhelmed, seduced and abandoned all at the same time. Interestingly European exploration of the Middleton area began with...

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David Manne lifts the lid on the double standard operating in Australian migration policy

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David Manne lifts the lid on the double standard operating in Australian migration policy

On June 28th I attended a public meeting where David Manne lifted the lid on the double standard operating in Australian migration policy and suggested ways forward that go beyond bipartisan one-upmanship on Border Protection. David is a human rights lawyer and migration agent, and Executive Director of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC). He has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years. In January 2001, he joined RILC, which has been at the forefront of defending the rights, the dignity...

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The whistling man with the prosthetic leg (masculinity at risk?) – reviews of ‘Downriver’ & ‘Noise’ (revisited)

Posted by on 12:46 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The whistling man with the prosthetic leg (masculinity at risk?) – reviews of ‘Downriver’ &  ‘Noise’ (revisited)

First-time filmmaker , Director Grant Sciciuna, played the role of a corpse in the 2007 movie Noise where he met Australian / Hungarian cinematographer László Baranyai who has now gone on to become the cinematographer in Sciciuna’s new film Downriver. ‘Beyond estuary’ here review’s Downriver and revisits Noise from 2007. On the tram from Carlton into the city after seeing Downriver I heard someone loudly whistling behind me. At the next stop a man with a prosthetic leg jumped off the tram and went whistling down Swanston Street. For me this...

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