Australian pulp fiction: these works can be read as a symptom, laying bare the unspoken fears, desires, dreams and nightmares of the time. Author provided

Friday essay

Friday essay: the complex, contradictory pleasures of pulp fiction

Mid-20th century pulp fiction was trashy, tasteless, exploitative and lurid. There’s a lot there to love. You might read pulp as a cultural Freudian slip, loony bulletins from the collective Id.
eSports, which includes online multiplayer games like PUGB, is an industry forecast to reach nearly US$1 billion in revenue by 2019. YouTube

Video games

War as eSport: the politics of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground

PlayerUnknown's Battleground - a multiplayer, fight-to-the-death video game - was the most downloaded game for the first quarter of 2018. It feels like an immersive experience of today’s nightmares.
People are still drawn to cinema to share the mass experience of watching a movie. Shutterstock.com

Film

Cannes is right, Netflix movies just aren’t the same

Netflix's Chief Content Officer has said the streaming service is the future of film. But cinemas have survived many other threats to their dominance.
Four of the six shortlisted books for the 2018 Stella Prize were from smaller presses, as was the winner, Alexis Wright’s Tracker. Stella Prize

Friday essay

Friday essay: the remarkable, prize-winning rise of our small publishers

As major publishers chase bestselling books, small ones are leading the way in publishing Australian literary fiction. And of late, they have been sweeping our major literary awards.
The battle for the Franklin River runs far deeper than simply providing the backdrop for a political tug-of-war. PETER DOMBROVSKIS/ LIZ DOMBROVSKIS/AAP

Podcast

Essays On Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River

Essays on Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River. The Conversation23.2 MB (download)
The battle to save the Franklin River - an exhilarating story of politics, cultural heritage and passionate environmentalism - captivated the nation in 1983.
Graffiti comment adorning an image of a woman in Brunswick. The comment was quickly erased, nearby tags stayed up much longer. Author provided

Graffiti

Where has Melbourne’s political graffiti gone?

A walk down Melbourne's streets reveals more commercial street art than the spontaneous politics of years past.
Yorta Yorta women and girls at the Cummeragunja Reserve in NSW with their knitting for soldiers serving in the second world war. Australian War Memorial: P01562.001

ANZAC Day

Clarrie Combo, Mrs Brown and Aboriginal soldiers in WW2

During the second world war, a young Aboriginal soldier, Private Clarrie Combo from New South Wales, exchanged mail with Mrs F. C. Brown from Loxton, South Australia — a white woman whom he had never met…
The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC) BabelStone

Sexual histories

In ancient Mesopotamia, sex among the gods shook heaven and earth

Sex was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia. And the authors of Sumerian love poetry, depicting the exploits of divine couples, showed a wealth of practical knowledge about the stages of female sexual arousal.

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