I have to say at the off that I have never met Ben Naparstek, 23, new editor of The Monthly. But it is reassuring to see that that Morry Schwartz and Robert Manne have selected someone of better than drinking age. This presumably is to facilitate their regular ‘editorial board’ meetings at Jimmy Watson’s at the Prague end of Carlton’s Lygon St.

A drinker? Maybe. A thinker? Certainly. Of age to take responsibility for, to direct — to edit — a publication that could yet play a significant role in Australia’s life of ideas? Probably not. It’s hard not to see in this appointment the desire of Manne and Schwartz to keep control. To install another ingenue; another cypher for the literary and political ambitions of two mid-life men who apparently lack the chutzpah to do it in their own names. The Monthly, the only magazine of ideas in the world edited by the work experience kid. Maybe they could have made the editorship some sort of tie-in with year 12 english? Or convene it collectively through young Ben’s Facebook page? Or maybe not. We’ll see. Good luck Ben. Take it to them.

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