All right, that’s it. It’s time to stop putting it off. Writing a little summin’ summin’ at the end of each year has become sort of a tradition in the Colwill household and this year I did more things, pushed more boundaries and learned more about myself than your average year. And yet for some reason, when I think about sitting down to write this time around, my inner eye glazes over and I find myself doing something else instead.
For some reason, even though there’s more to report on in every facet of life this year, I’m more loathe than ever to sit down and report on it.
But one of the lessons 2019 has taught me is the value of record keeping, journalling and otherwise ensnaring the moments that disappear like so much clumsy metaphor. Another is that something doesn’t have to be perfect to have value and that I should embrace the opportunity to learn and grow regardless of how much “worth” I perceive it to have.
And so! I will begin! I will stream-of-consciousness this bitch out on to the digital parchment and so help me, it will be adequate!
Continue reading Roads travelled, literal and metaphotical
Previously: Red Meat Republic, by Joshua Specht
Ethics in the Real World, Peter Singer
Before we get started: I received a copy of this book from a friend of mine as a thanks for helping them at work. The book included a personal annotation which meant, and continues to mean, a lot to me, and honestly made me tear up a little when I received it. If you’re reading this, I hope you’ll forgive me for putting this book through the wringer like I have. I think the world of you and I’m so touched and grateful.
I was in Perth city in early November, catching up with an old friend. While I was waiting for him to arrive, I noticed that there was a homeless man sleeping outside the Westpac bank branch there, just across from the train station entrance. Several people commented loudly that they needed to step around the man to get into the building, and that he was inconveniencing them with his presence.
I was struck at that moment by the depressing, shitty irony of this situation: here was a man with no home, sleeping outside of a bank which owns millions of them. Even though Westpac has the means and the resources to trivially give this man a home, they deliberately do not, and they are lauded for it. Meanwhile the homeless man and anyone else in his situation are considered a problem to be managed, barely above the level of a rat or a cockroach.
Continue reading Books What I Read In 2019 (Part 3)
Previously: October, by China Mieville
Red Meat Republic: A Hoof to Table History of How Beef Changed America, by Joshua Specht
Economics as a field of study becomes a lot more interesting when you stop thinking about it as “stocks and graphs” and start thinking about it as a way of deciding who gets to eat and who doesn’t. By the same token “food” becomes a lot more interesting when you stop thinking about it as “a delicious treat for the hungry boy” and start thinking about it as a way of deciding who has any value to society.
The politics of food is an astonishing minefield that is irrevocably tied up with our beliefs around gender, race and class, and it’s one of those things that everyone would much rather not think about – why talk politics when we could simply tuck into a delicious steak, after all? Am I right? Fellas? Red Meat Republic says a big “fuck you” to that line of thinking and delves into the history of beef in America, starting right at the beginning and going all the way up to the present day, and in the process showing how despite coming so far, in many ways nothing has changed at all.
Continue reading Books What I Read In 2019 (Part 2)
In 2018, I read a bunch of books and I wrote down what I thought about them. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to do it again this year. Let’s see if we can make this an annual thing!
I wrote a lot more words than I intended so I’ll break this up into multiple posts in order to increase the chance that someone reads it! Honestly, the things I do for you people.
October, China Mieville
Before this book was released, anyone who wanted to learn about what happened in Russia during the Revolution of 1917 you only had one choice: listening to a wheezy hardcore leftist whose Twitter bio included so many “-ist” suffixes that you needed to stop for a tea break before he had even finished introducing himself. Thanks to China Mieville, millions of people have been freed from this terrible fate and can now simply read a book instead.
Continue reading Books What I Read In 2019 (Part 1)
Earlier this year I was struggling pretty hard to find anything funny about video games anymore, and was seriously considering putting Point & Clickbait on an indefinite hiatus until, well, everything stopped being a fucking nightmare.
I did not do that. Instead, I asked James “Jickle” O’Connor to help out, and he has since done a stellar job which I want to take a moment to recognise in the traditional form of a listicle, which is how games journalists communicate.
In no particular order other than chronological, here are ten delightful pieces of James from the year of our lord 2019:
Continue reading 10 Times That James “Jickle” O’Connor Was Very Funny On Point & Clickbait This Year