Latest from my blog

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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Things I want to get rid of

Dahon 7 speed folding bike, in reasonable working order. Purchased with dreams of vacations by V-Line coach, never used for said purpose. Two lawnmowers, somewhat functional though noisy and stink-belching. I’ll always appreciate the kindness of the people who gave them to me. A king-sized sheet, blue cotton, purchased in mistake for a double-sized one,…

antique books

Books I Can’t Shut Up About

I’m running a little blog carnival titled, “An Annotated Bibliography of the Inside of My Head,” and the following is my contribution: the books I can’t stop thinking about, won’t shut up about, and keep pressing on my friends to get them to read. If you’d like to join the blog carnival, you can post…

phrenology model

An Annotated Bibliography of the Inside of My Head

Join us for a one-off blog carnival about the books you can’t stop thinking about, won’t shut up about, and wish everyone around you would read.

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Queer sex ed and queer history – come see my stuff at Frolic Festival!

Just a quick note that I’m doing two things at this year’s Frolic Festival (Ballarat’s annual LGBTIQ+ arts and culture festival). Queer sex ed First of all, “Let’s Talk About (Queer) Sex” is a panel discussion and Q&A featuring sex educators from around the central Victorian goldfields, talking about queer sex, sex education, and all…

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Support my work

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!

Not only will you help me do more work like this, but you'll also get regular updates and sneak peeks at my work in progress.

Recommended Reading

a rumpled bed with a visible foot, after a hookup

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

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

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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right wing link networks

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search

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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world aids day hiv

An Open Letter to the Person Who Gave Me HIV

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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social network diagram

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

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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melbourne housing

101 Notes on the LA Tenants' Union

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

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

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 on queer justice

Barbara Smith: Why I Left the Mainstream Queer Rights Movement

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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queer community

The Land Dykes of Southern Oregon Saved My Life

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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