Tag

John Stapleton

Thailand: The Varieties of Expatriate Experience

The Tartan Pimpernel Walter ‘Whacky’ Douglas looked like he was having a fine old time when he was arrested and deported from Thailand in 2014. Douglas, known as “The Tartan Pimpernel” and once described as one of Britain’s ten wealthiest… Continue Reading →

The Daughter of Siberian Shamans

Yakutsk is the coldest place on Earth. Winter temperatures plunge below minus 50 degrees Centigrade. The town of Oymyakom, in the East Siberian Depression, has recorded temperatures well below of minus 60. The indigenous tribes of this most hostile of… Continue Reading →

Salman Rushdie: Hunting the Famous

Serious breaches were breaking through the fabric of things. Back in London in the 1980s, I was using my new found status as a freelance journalist to pursue literary idols. The interview with Salman Rushdie took place in the same… Continue Reading →

The Carlisle Hotel: Extract from Hideout in the Apocalypse

Photography by Dean Sewell The Carlisle Hotel in the back streets of Newtown in Sydney’s inner-west is one of the few places left in Sydney where the wowsers have not won; an old-fashioned pub in an increasingly strictured, shuttered country. Hotels… Continue Reading →

Shearers: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Award winning photographer Russell Shakespeare explains the obsession: I’ve photographed shearers a lot over the years for a number of different publications. They’re an important and easily understood symbol for one of Australia’s most important industries; and there is a… Continue Reading →

The Future History of Publishing

Since the beginning of literature technologies have shaped the written word. And thereby publishing technologies have shaped history, culture, politics and war. The adage history is written by the victors has transposed in this truly astonishing era into something else…. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Unfolding Nightmare

How It All Ends Part III Oak Flats is a working class suburb south of Wollongong on Australia’s east coast. Its demographic of tradies, electricians, plumbers, tilers, truck drivers, school teachers and nurses do not like or trust the nation’s… Continue Reading →

Commute: The Black and White Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Russell Shakespeare is a multi-award winning Australian photographer. His professional work, while at times a fascinating high pressure roller coaster ride, has its decided restrictions. This series explores the artistic side of one of Australia’s most accomplished lensmen. The Commute… Continue Reading →

Shutting Down Australia

How It All Ends Part II “The world’s gone mad,” the old reporter said as he passed people on his morning walk. “Didn’t make any sense anyway,” comes the response. Australia is shutting down. Extreme measures introduced purportedly to stop… Continue Reading →

Lost Worlds: Australia

How It All Ends Part I For years the biggest story in the country has been the slow motion collapse of the Australia of old. Now, with the country only slowly stumbling out of lockdown and insane levels of social… Continue Reading →

Paul Bowles and the Sheltering Sky

ONE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE WORLD, not just one part of it, Paul Bowles once told an interviewer. Gifted annually with a round-the-world free ticket courtesy of my father’s job as a Captain on Australia’s national carrier Qantas, for a… Continue Reading →

Betrayal of the People

Extract from Dark Dark Policing Everyone felt like a stranger now. The announcement came, the legendary Kidman properties, spanning three states and the Northern Territory, reportedly some 2.6 per cent of the nation’s land area, 101,000 square kilometres, was being sold… Continue Reading →

The Myth of Black Opal: Lightning Ridge and the Fiery Guardians of Eternal Love

The picture above was taken in 1909, at the height of the what was known as the Three Mile Rush. The bicycle polisher rigged up in the centre of this picture was being used to rub down opal. The commercial… Continue Reading →

By Australia’s Mehi River

The Craft and Art of Jupuul Mari Mehi means girl in the gamilaraay dialect Miyaay. Moree is Mari and Mari means man. That is just the way whitefellas take our language and put it in their phonetic context. Because our… Continue Reading →

Lunch with Joseph Heller

It’s not every day you get to interview one of the world’s most famous authors, someone who created an expression which entered the English language. Catch 22. The Oxford dictionary defines a Catch 22 as: A dilemma or difficult circumstance… Continue Reading →

Sydney’s Song Before Sunrise: The Photography of Tim Ritchie

Crisis turns into salvation at every step. For Tim Ritchie it is literally true. “I am a diabetic and eight years ago my doctor told me to walk 10,000 steps a day, but even then my blood sugar levels were… Continue Reading →

Phfen Shock: Yearning for the Chasm

Phfen Shock. The words kept repeating through his head, although he could find no definition, no logical reason. That was the sensation, he discovered, when you arrived at a new place expecting welcome, the village beyond the veil, only to… Continue Reading →

Thailand: The Varieties of Expatriate Experience

The Tartan Pimpernel Walter ‘Whacky’ Douglas looked like he was having a fine old time when he was arrested and deported from Thailand in 2014. Douglas, known as “The Tartan Pimpernel” and once described as one of Britain’s ten wealthiest… Continue Reading →

Winter’s Coming Back to Australia: The Photography of Dean Sewell

After one of the worst bush fire seasons in living memory, it’s easy to forget that last winter there were snowfalls across parts of Australia that don’t see snow from one year to the next. This piece was originally published… Continue Reading →

A Celebration of Genius: Maria Popova and Figuring

Luminously intelligent, gifted with a great eye and a startling, incandescent love of beauty, the already celebrated Maria Popova has finally put out a book. Figuring, is now available. For twelve years now Popova’s weekly newsletter Brain Pickings has dazzled,… Continue Reading →

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