Two hundred words on writers foreseeing calamity ::

Writers have in the last century been sounding rods for threats inherent to human progress. Huxley for the implications of standardising life. Orwell for the reality-altering potential of controlling information. Plath and Kesey for the repercussions of medical and surgical interference with the psyche. Vonnegut for the inability of the mind to cope with industrialised warfare. Dick for the impingement of intelligent technology on the … Continue reading Two hundred words on writers foreseeing calamity ::

One hundred words on activism ::

A friend of his was in the quadrangle holding down a recently adopted dog and beating it, for what he never discovered. He was in university at the time. He’d just stepped out of the shower. Towel around his waist, he had walked to the window of his third-floor dormitory. He ran out of his room and downstairs, losing the towel at a leap in … Continue reading One hundred words on activism ::

One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::

In the northern foothills of the Alborz mountains, bordering the Caspian Sea, a small village community once existed. It thrived temporarily on the artificial water systems provided to it by a government that lasted not all that long, water pumped from the great dams that watered Tehran on the southern slopes of the mountains, water that ceased to be pumped when certain people ceased to … Continue reading One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::

One hundred words on the most successful chain of shopping centres in the world ::

I work at Westfield Belconnen, est. 1978. The best way I could envision for you a day inside it is as a cut-scene from a news story. The news story is about rising rates of obesity. The cut-scene is one stories about obesity always use: a landscaped herd of bulging waistlines heaving towards and away from the camera, thick hands clutching large postmix soft drinks or half-eaten Subway sandwiches, … Continue reading One hundred words on the most successful chain of shopping centres in the world ::

One hundred words on electric sheep ::

Some winter mornings when I check my weather widget, it tells me the day will be warm. Not just warm: beautiful, perfect. My weather widget dreams. I put my computer to sleep and it drifts away. I wake it up in the morning and it’s still there, away, sleepily oblivious to cold Canberra mornings. Doe-eyed, it tells me it’s a beautiful day, Ashley, and tomorrow … Continue reading One hundred words on electric sheep ::

One hundred words on men’s urinal troughs ::

Open urinals bring a level of intimacy to the process of relieving yourself that has no parallel in women’s excretions. Though you keep your fucking eyes on the floor, the sound and smell of the man’s piss, whether it was intermittent, immediate, weak or confident, you share that. Waiting at the internal door on busy nights, propping it open with a foot—enough that you’re in … Continue reading One hundred words on men’s urinal troughs ::