linkspam please

The Boomer Supremacy — an interesting look at how Sydney’s lockout laws are yet another bar to young people participating fully in society.

That’s why Sydney’s lockout laws, and those planned for Brisbane, are copping such blowback. It’s not because the police are suddenly molesting wine bars in Paddington, or because the moralising class has started running a citywide temperance program. It’s because they are synergistic attacks on millennials, Gen Y and Gen X. They’re almost elegant in their efficiency: their motivator is youth’s use of public space, already diminished as the public square makes the declension to the shopping mall. They increase the price of already valuable properties further, and accelerate gentrification.

Graffiti tagger destroys historical Smith Street feminist mural

One of the artists, Ms Evans, said she felt sad and angry for the women whose stories were on the wall, but was not too “precious” about the artwork itself.

She said a lot of women, including some who were on the mural, contacted her upset over the vandalism.

“We don’t really care …it was very badly damaged anyway across the bottom because of many years of graffiti, it was never really looked after,” she said.

Artist Megan Evans said she felt sad that the stories of Northcote women were wiped out by the vandal.

“But the thing that I didn’t like …was the symbolic writing over the women. I felt angry on behalf of the women.

Steph is so into this article you have NO IDEA: MFA vs. CIA. A writer considers an alternate life as an undercover agent.

Steph’s local shopping centre when she was at uni just went solar: Perth shopping centre cuts grid power by 30% with WA’s largest rooftop solar array

Goat expectations: Don’t ever introduce animals to solve a problem

A great storify on disability access and pre-packaged foods. Please note that this is a North American ramble, and as such when they say ‘libs’ I think they mean little el liberals in the USAmerican context. Steph was SUPER confused.

“Women built this castle”: An in-depth look at sexism in YA.

While there are classic novels that can retrospectively have the YA label applied to them, the first YA book is considered by some to be Maureen Daly’s Seventeenth Summer. The novel, which focused on seventeen-year-old’s Angie Morrow’s budding attraction to Jack Duluth, published in 1942 as the idea of a teenager became to take hold socially.

But the book that most consider to be the first YA books is S.E. Hinton’s 1967 novel The Outsiders, about a group of teenage boys.

Fun story from Liz: I studied The Outsiders in year 10 — followed by Looking for Alibrandi in year 12; my education is basically an example of why studying YA in schools is awful — and I only just found out now that S E Hinton was a woman. Our teacher referred to her as “he” all through the term.

Stereotyping of Africans is everywhere, but Australians are particularly clueless

Australia is a nation that prides itself on being laidback and down to earth. The idea of everyone having a “fair go” is something most Aussies claim to value. So when marginalised people speak out against oppressive forces, I guess this image of fairness is threatened and people simply don’t want to face it.

…Sharing our experiences with racism is especially hard as black Africans here, because we are also subject to the “aggro race-card-pulling” archetype that is peddled by the media. Even in Australia’s most “progressive” spaces such as universities, conversations around racism seemingly always stop at Islamophobia and the experiences of black Africans are ignored. On the rare occasion that they aren’t, it is always through an American lens (thanks a lot Tumblr).

PR ‘stuff-up’: Michael Pezzullo defense falls flat, allegedly

Lifehack: never, ever use the word “alleged” in the context of Nazi atrocities. Not even to defend your island concentration camps and gulags from people who say they’re not very nice.

Lessons from Louise: the story of Paul Sheehan and the Sydney Morning Herald

A look at Paul Sheehan’s long career of right wing trolling in the guise of journalism. (Warnings for racism, domestic abuse, stalking.)

Weirdest and Sexiest Costumes from the Original Star Trek

You don’t really see crotch tassels on television any more.

Apply to things: Melbourne Fringe’s ‘Open Book’ concept.

Melbourne Fringe is excited to announce a new program in partnership with Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office – Open Book. The Open Book program provides free Fringe registration for selected artists with innovative ideas for new Festival projects that cast a fresh light on Melbourne and its relationship with literature.

All kinds of artists are encouraged to apply, particularly those interested or working in the literary arts.

Promoting an SF convention is hard.  But creating fake Facebook accounts and dubious ties to charity is never the solution.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Defence Of Kanye

(This is an excellent piece; it’s only failing — and it might just stem from a decision to avoid digression — is its failure to interrogate the sexism behind the idea that Kim Kardashian “ruined” Kanye.)

A Full History Of The Deeply Personal Feud That’s Consuming Australian Politics

This is legit amazing. It’s In The Thick Of It if Malcolm Tucker was played by Michelle Gomez.


Supergirl is a delightful, frothy sorbet mingling the sweetness of a family drama (both in the sense of being about family, and suitable for families with older children), the stronger flavours of an action series, and just a dash of Feminism 101.  Its special effects are on the ropey side, some of the acting is a bit rough, and it wears its heart and subtexts on its sleeve.

I love it.

I especially love Cat Grant, self-made media mogul, employer of Kara Danvers and creator of Supergirl’s media persona. Cat’s storylines deal with the complexities of being a woman in a masculine business, being an older woman in an ageist society, and more.  She is a wonderful character who says true things about the challenges facing women in the workforce.  She calls out mansplainers and takes no crap from people who look down on her because she’s a single mother who started out as a gossip columnist. She is, in many ways, a feminist role model.

She’s just not mine.

Continue reading “#solidarityisforCatGrant”

Vote [1] No Award

We’re still in awards season, guys!  Hey, guess who is nominated for the Best New Talent Ditmar? Oh, just the ginger half of No Award!

It’s a tremendous honour just to be nominated, but to take it that next step further, members (including supporting members) of the 2016 Natcon can vote for Liz here. (Digression from Stephanie: AND THEY SHOULD, so Liz can have the tremendous honour of winning it and being there to accept her award. Don’t you want to make Liz’s homecoming sweet and delicious and statuesque? Do it for Liz on International Women’s Day.)

And while you’re there, you can also vote for “Sara Kingdom Dies at the End” by Tansy Rayner Roberts in Companion Piece: Women celebrate the humans, aliens and tin dogs of Doctor Who.  Not to mention a lot of other excellent people and works.

THEN there’s Hugo nominations to take care of!  We humbly suggest you should include in your nominations:

  • For Best Related Work: Companion Piece: Women celebrate the humans, aliens and tin dogs of Doctor Who, edited by L M Myles and Liz Barr (Mad Norwegian Press)
  • For Best Novelette: “The Dan Dan Mien of the Apocalypse” by Stephanie Lai, Review of Australian Fiction

NOT AN AWARD: You can buy Cranky Ladies of History, featuring stories by both Liz and Steph, for discount today, International Women’s Day. Celebrate Ladies by giving them your votes and your money.

this week in: what has your government done to you (mardi gras ed)

Here is Monday! As is traditional, we are blearily facing the start of another week (unless you’re in Perth, and therefore celebrating a public holiday), and tonight when you check twitter you will, if you’re Steph, remember with despair that it’s #qanda day and you’ll go to bed early.

To make it worse, we bring you this week in what has your government done to you: mardi gras edition (not all acts are related to mardi gras obvs).

Continue reading “this week in: what has your government done to you (mardi gras ed)”

No Award reviews: The Wells & Wong Mysteries by Robin Stevens

Liz made Steph read “Wells and Wong,” a series of books featuring young lady detectives in an English boarding school.


Technically, what I said was, “These books exist, the heroine is Chinese, I think they’re quite good, you might like them.” I wasn’t exactly standing over Stephanie with a pile of books and a gun.

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)


I was skeptical, but I’ve been won over. Mostly? Mostly.

Continue reading “No Award reviews: The Wells & Wong Mysteries by Robin Stevens”

Couture: convention and conflict

After visiting the Chinese Museum on Saturday, I made my way down to the State Library to attend a free lecture, Couture: convention and conflict.  The blurb:

Enjoy a journey of fashion transformation, from the Edwardian hobble skirt to the freedom of the flapper.

Dramatic social upheavals in the first decades of the 20th century brought radical shifts in the way we lived, worked and dressed. Join a fascinating discussion with fashion and history experts to discover how the suffragette movement, World War I and the increased use of bicycles, automobiles and electricity all influenced and dramatically changed fashion.

100% relevant to my interests!  How could I not put my name down?

Quokkas, I was disappointed.

Continue reading “Couture: convention and conflict”