May, 2018

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Mark Basil Butler – A Life in Books. Book 8: My Family and Other Animus, by James Jeffrey

, May 03, 2018

For James Jeffrey, it is not about the politics, but the people, which is probably why he has managed to survive for so long in the toxic political environment at the Oz, stuffed as it is with Liberal Party operatives and conservative thinkers (forgive the oxymoron). He is genuinely (not, unlike many News Corpse writers, unintentionally) funny. Deeply funny. The kind of funny that leaves you in tears, but not always tears of laughter.
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“A species of contempt heretofore unknown to the law”: Registrar of the Supreme Court (NT) v Nationwide News and Craig Dunlop

, Apr 03, 2018

The lessons for Court  administrators? If you are going to bring contempt charges against a journalist and their publisher then you must conduct a proper investigation of the circumstances of publication, in particular who published what, when and on whose authority. While it is unstated in Chief Justice Grant's reasons for judgment—for fairly obvious reasons—the real problems in this case lie with the conduct of the Registrar's case and the apparent lack of any investigation sufficiently thorough enough to gather evidence to meet the standard of proof required by the Court.
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Book-burnings of our times. Clinton Walker’s Deadly Woman Blues gets pulped …

, Mar 08, 2018

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There are no winners in any of this—a group of women are (rightfully it seems) aggrieved by Walker's (admitted) failures in research and diligence, a respected author has suffered a terrible fall from grace and none of us (well, most of us) will get to read what is/was without doubt a valuable contribution to our shared musical history.
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10 more years of “beads and mirrors” – Yuendumu’s 2008 ‘Statement from the Heart’

, Mar 04, 2018

Yapa-patu nganimpa, Yurnturnu wardingki karndu nyarra wangkami ny arnpu statemcnt purdanyajaku manu yungurnkurlu pina kanyi Federal manu N.T. Government kirra ... Nyurru ngurla juku!
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“Donald Trump never fit in here” – Richard Stark on Trump, Mar-a-Lago and Palm Beach

, Dec 28, 2017

'Donald Trump never fit in here' ... 'I should be pleased Mr Trump took over Mar-a-Lago,' Lesley said, 'I think we should all be pleased, because we didn't want it to turn into Miss Havisham's wedding cake out there, but to be honest with you, I think a place must be just a little déclassé if Donald Trump has even heard of it.'
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Requiem for a Monster, by John Birmingham

, Dec 25, 2017

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All those ratfucks understood was strength and fear and the simple joy of driving their enemies before them. There was no schadenfreude in seeing Bjelke-Petersen humiliated before the Fitzgerald Inquiry when he was unable to explain what was meant by the doctrine of the separation of powers, because all it did was hammer home the truth that we'd been comprehensively arse-raped by a man with the ethics of a starving sewer rat, and the political instincts of a sabre-toothed baboon with a really scorching methamphetamine addiction.

The Poinciana Woman of Darwin’s East Point. By Roland Dyrting

, Dec 22, 2017

There was once a beautiful brown-skinned Asian woman who long ago was raped by a group of Japanese fishermen out on East Point. She became deranged after this event and when she discovered that she was pregnant she hanged herself from a branch of a Poinciana tree near where she’d been assaulted. She has since become a wraith who stalks and kills men at night. She entices them by initially appearing as a beautiful, white-robed, long-haired young woman but then transforms into a hideous wild-haired eagle-clawed hag just before she eviscerates her victims and feeds on their still-steaming guts.
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Graverobbers for God – AIATSIS, the Vatican and anthropologists on the Tiwi islands

, Dec 20, 2017

Now after the Catholic church has spent over a century stripping us of everything they could get their thieving hands on including our culture and our children, they have managed to find themselves another role to play. To add insult to injury they now present themselves to the world as the preservers and keepers of Tiwi culture.
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“And still my family die.” Marie Munkara on the commodification of life and death on the Tiwi islands

, Nov 22, 2017

The mission arrived one hundred and six years ago. Despite having a perfectly functioning society for thousands of years, they came to “Save” us, but since their arrival we have the highest incidence of suicide on the planet and domestic violence is rife. So what does that tell you? They were too busy coveting our souls to really Love Thy Neighbour weren’t they? We are not people to them, we are objects of religious zeal.
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Tracker: Stories of Tracker Tilmouth, by Alexis Wright

, Oct 24, 2017

Tracker was one of the few brilliant statesmanlike leaders we have had – one who stayed close to his own people, and who really had the capacity to push back the boundaries for much of the action that shapes how we think and have thought about our times.
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Building up … going Troppo in the Top End

, Oct 21, 2017

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Too. Fucking. Hot. I cleared the breathalyser and turned off Lee Point Road. As I drove past, just one hundred metres away from the alcohol and drug testing station, I could see one of the many old mates of Darwin’s Northern Suburbs leaning back in his plastic chair, pulling on a bong. Happy Thursday to you, Old Mate.
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NT News throws its best under a bus

, Oct 20, 2017

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The reasons for Walsh's shock departure are unclear at present and may never be revealed—though there is no shortage of rumour on the street.
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Yes, I can cook! Koulla Roussos on unrequited sex, art, food, jail and a pair of steel-capped boots

, Aug 14, 2017

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He winked and said, "no more chances". I slipped back into my steel cap boots, and marched confidently with a swagger towards the interview room. So yeah, I can fucking cook.
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“I don’t read fiction” and the ‘obligation to imagine and daydream’

, Dec 25, 2016

A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.― Flannery O'Connor.

The kill-or-be-killed world of NT politics, 2012 to 2016

, Nov 29, 2016

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Giles’s mood had changed from denial, to anger, to bargaining. He first denied any knowledge of an unfolding coup. Later he raged about the stupidity of it. And in our last conversation, just after midnight, before the phone was hurled from the balcony, he seemed to think there was a way to fight on.
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Crocs in the Cabinet: The CLP, politics as farce and farce as politics

, Nov 27, 2016

This book is about the fall of an empire – about the power struggles and missteps and flawed characters that took the CLP from the Northern Territory’s dominant political force to near extinction, from an election win in 2012 to holding just two seats in Parliament four years later: Ben Smee and Christopher Walsh.
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Lord Ashcroft’s Republican Convention Diary: Days Three and Four

, Jul 24, 2016

“This is not the weirdest election in history, just in our lifetimes": Karl Rove
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Lord Ashcroft’s Republican Convention Diary: Days One and Two

, Jul 24, 2016

So far, Trump has relied largely on the media to get his message out. As one experienced Donald-watcher explained: “It’s not that he hates the media – he doesn’t like investigative reporting about himself. Hillary hates the press. She’d be fine if the press never covered her again, but Donald Trump wouldn’t.”
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Nganana tatintja wiya – why nobody should be climbing Uluru*

, Apr 20, 2016

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Ask a Red Centre tour guide - you can’t tell Australians anything. During school holidays we would always get a lot of school trips; of the ones I guided 100% of students climbed up Uluru along with most of their teachers. Many had decided even before they departed school grounds that it would be the crowning achievement of the trip.
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The Territory’s greatest living artist gets his day in Court

, Feb 08, 2016

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"I'm allowed to be here. I'm a fucking poet. I'm a poet. You cunts, I'm a fucking poet. Police brutality. I'm allowed to be here": Trevor Jenkins, Darwin Literary Awards, May 2014.