Latest from my blog

picture of a hand holding a pencil, taking a scantron multiple choice test

It’s not in my head, it’s just this late capitalist hellscape.

As they say in the classics, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t meant they’re not out to get you.” Or to put it in a more 2022 way, “Just because you’re anxioused and depressed doesn’t mean there’s not plenty to be anxious and depressed about.”

tomato seedlings ready to be planted out

The least spooky time of the year

Living in the Southern Hemisphere while being Extremely Online is always a bit of an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Of late, I’ve found that the most dissonant time of year is October. When I was a kid, we didn’t celebrate Halloween at all in Australia. The way TV shows were scheduled, often aired here at…

false dandelion weeds growing in my backyard

Self worth

Nothing more boring than excuses for not having blogged lately, so I won’t. Remember when blog posts used to be short and just, like, one little idea? I just wanted to say: I have been working on myself SO FUCKING MUCH for the last decade or so, and one of the things I’ve struggled with…

bushfires cut off mallacoota for weeks

Resilient communications in a time of crisis

Back in January, everyone watched as the residents and tourists at Mallacoota, on Victoria’s far east coast, were forced down to the beach under blood-red skies to escape bushfires that had surrounded the town. Over the next few days, many were evacuated by naval vessels. Those who stayed were cut off for weeks. The roads…

permaculture garden

How I adjusted to the “new normal” a decade ago

I haven’t written much — not even working on my interminable drafts of articles that are piling up — since the pandemic kicked off. Not because I don’t have much to say, but because priorities have changed so much, and all my pandemic-related thoughts are things that I’ve been talking about for ages, and I…

phrenology model

Annotated bibliographies of the insides of our collective heads

About two weeks ago I invited people to post about the books they can’t shut up about, aka an annotated bibliography of the inside of their heads. This is the roundup post linking to the blogs of everyone who participated. Edward Shaddow’s head is full of sci fi and ethical non-monogamy. Beth Winegarner recommends books…


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Hi, I'm Alex. I'm an independent researcher, writer, educator and activist based in Ballarat, Australia. This work is not funded by any institution, nor do I have access to the other resources – like academic journals – that would provide.

I rely on patrons to support my work and the expenses associated with it, including web hosting, books and journals, and travel to events. If you appreciate what you've read here, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. Even $1 a month helps!

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Recommended Reading

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The Art of the Hook-Up: Your Ethical Guide to a Successful Sex Life

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When I heard about Georgie Wolf’s “The Art of the Hook-up: Your Ethical Guide to a Successful Sex Life” and requested a review copy, I was thinking, “Yes! Maybe my confused trans ass can finally get up the nerve to try Grindr!” This is not that book, or not for me, anyway. This book is…

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I Told My Mentor I Was a Dominatrix, She Rescinded Her Letters of Recommendation

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The academic sex worker illuminates the insidious class tension of academia. Look at me, whip in one hand, Foucault in the other.

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Google, democracy and the truth about internet search

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I’m pretty sure I read this article in 2016 when it first came out, but I’m reading it again now with the eyes of someone thinking hard about why and how progressives should extract themselves from social media. I’m realising that search engine optimisation – fighting back against the forces that seed Google with horrifying…

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Gave Me HIV

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If I didn’t get HIV, if I hadn’t taken the step to ask you to get tested, that this could have been a very different story. A story of hospitals and death. This is how the silence brings harm.

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Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

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I don’t know what I expected from “Because Internet,” but the thing that delighted and surprised me most was the language used in the book itself. It’s written in Internet language, in a way that feels comforting and familiar to me, like a knowledgeable Tumblr post that makes you mash the repost button two nanoseconds after reading it.

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101 Notes on the LA Tenants' Union

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1. First of all, there is no housing crisis. 2. Housing is not in crisis. 3. Housing needs no trauma counselors. 4. Housing needs no lawyers. Housing needs no comrades or friends. Housing needs no representatives. Housing needs no organizers. 5. When we call this crisis a housing crisis, it benefits the people who design…

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A Highly Opinionated Taxonomy of Librarianship

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To think radically is to get to the root (radix) of something. Six years ago Erin Jonaitis made a proposal on Twitter that I still think about regularly: “If knowledge is power, then a key part of professional ethics for info professionals should be: Who are you empowering?” In some ways, it’s the only question in librarianship…

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Against Realism

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Dystopia does not require much imagination; as I have said elsewhere, it already has a postcode. It is Nauru, Manus Island and Don Dale. It is deaths in custody. It is the NT Intervention. It is family violence, defunded shelters, no escape. It is punitive welfare systems and robo-debt (all debt). It is feudalism in…

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Barbara Smith: Why I Left the Mainstream Queer Rights Movement

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If June is Pride Month, July is Wrath Month. Here’s what I’ve been reading. Three decades later, despite some genuine efforts to increase diversity, especially in progressive movement circles, exclusivity and elitism still divide us. We have won rights and achieved recognition that would have been unimaginable 50 years ago, but many of us continue…

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The Land Dykes of Southern Oregon Saved My Life

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I was wrong about what it meant to build queer community when I was younger. I was so obsessed with the idea of unconditional love as a moral litmus test, I forgot about the practice of actually building community, of showing up every day even when it doesn’t come from the heart. It’s a less…

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