Link Roundup: June 25

Welcome to Flood Media’s link roundup! Each week, we bring you fresh Flood-approved content from around the web, covering current events, debates, and hot takes. It's worth noting that Flood editors and contributors hold diverse opinions on a range of topics. Many of the articles we link to will represent points of debate or disagreement within our editorial team and the Left in general. We don't shy away from this diversity of views - in fact we think it makes our project more interesting, and we invite our readers to reflect and engage alongside us. 

Let's start off with a strong contender for the title of Most Cursed Sentence I've Read This Year: "Hillary Clinton ... needed to convince voters that she was passionate about changing the status quo." Well! If you, like me, enjoy hate-reading about liberals, I recommend Pankaj Mishra's piece in the LRB. Mishra reviews - that is to say, rips to shreds - Yascha Mounk's recent fret-fest about Norms, and gives a highly satisfying overview of Thomas Moyn's takedown of liberal human rights. I would like to give a special shout-out to the phrase "youthful enchantment with the muzak of the Third Way", which is coincidentally my new band name. 

Why did Salvador Allende have to die? In 1974, soon after the coup that saw General Augusto Pinochet take power in Chile, the New Statesman published Gabriel García Márquez's long essay about Allende. It's tragic, beautiful reading. "The drama took place in Chile," Márquez writes, "to the greater woe of the Chileans, but it will pass into history as something that has happened to us all, children of this age, and it will remain in our lives for ever." 

For something closer to home, Melissa Lucashenko's 'Sinking Below Sight' is one of the best contemporary pieces of writing about poverty in Australia. Lucashenko, upon moving back to Brisbane's 'Black Belt' in 2009, undertook a project of interviewing three of her peers, women who were "doing it tough in the Greater Brisbane area." "How do my Black Belt peers manage?" Lucashenko asks. "How do single mums, in particular, get by on current levels of welfare? And what dreams are possible for the Brisbane underclass in 2013?" It's difficult to write about poverty without patronising, exoticising, or sentimentalising, but Lucashenko manages it, and the result is a fascinating and moving piece of writing on the conditions of the working class in Brisbane. 

From Sarah Sharma in the Boston Review, an interesting piece about gender, labour, and apps. Sharma points out the way that 'Mommy's-basement' apps - apps that replicate the unpaid labour of mothers through tasks such as driving, laundry, and cooking - "reveal a problem that goes beyond a matter of gender and diversity in the tech world ... A Mommy’s-basement world forecloses the possibility of a reconfigured technological future that is not based on exploiting the labor of others."

And now for something completely different: This being a safe space, I will admit to a somewhat bourgeois liking for the personal essay. Alexandra O'Sullivan's 'Losing Teeth' - about domestic violence, and toothache, and Anna Karenina - is one of the best in the genre. I first read it when it was published in the Autumn 2017 issue of Meanjin, and a few times a year I go back and re-read it and am struck dumb all over again by how good it is. 

Until next week!


Photograph of Salvador Allende, reused via Wikimedia Commons