It’s all about me

There’s a reason why our youngest generation has been termed the “me” generation. Never before has technology, smedia and politics been so self-centric and so much about personal entitlement. In Anne Manne’s latest book The Life of I: The New Culture of Narcissism, she gives some disturbing news: narcissism is trending up. And it’s manifesting […]

Retail therapy

The shopping centre, or “mall” in the American vernacular, has been a dominant part of our cultural and social lives for the past few decades. It has long been our one-stop-shop for groceries and the latest fashions and homewares, but it’s also earned its reputation for being a social hub. For teens and the elderly, […]

Wide open spaces

Retired geologist Alastair Stewart spent 40 years of his life systematically mapping the northern half of the Australian continent. He worked in some of the most isolated pockets of the country, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town, spent countless nights sleeping under the stars and countless days at the mercy of the harsh Australian […]

Beauty and the geek

You know that stuff they say about left-brain and right-brain people? Well, if you were to categorise a computer programmer and a fiction writer, you’d probably place each of those in opposite hemispheres. Writer and professional coder Vikram Chandra brings together both vocations in the one body. In his latest book Geek Sublime: Writing fiction, […]

Lust for life

In the early 1980s, Rayya Elias’ upward trajectory seemed unstoppable. Her music career was taking off, her hairstyling skills were high in demand – she was making it in big, bad, beautiful New York City. But the drug use which was inseparable from the music scene, and which had dogged Rayya her whole life, grew […]

Would you like pomme frites with that?

Nearly a decade ago, there were three blogs that I read religiously: Girl with a one-track mind, Waiterrant and The Hungry Cabbie. The writers of the first two blogs took pains to protect their identities – which became more important as more and more people read their posts about their sex life (Girl) and obnoxious […]