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Feb 24, 2017

What to read this weekend: recommendations from the bunker

What we're reading: on the Milo bus, the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Andes, turning the tide on colonisation's cruel third act, politics and the English language, and Centrelink and suicide.

Crikey long reads

Josh Taylor, journalist

On the Milo bus with the lost boys of America’s new right” in Pacific Standard by Laurie Penny

“Have you heard the one about the boy who cried Fake News? This is a story about truth and consequences. It’s a story about who gets to be young and dumb, and who gets held accountable. It’s also a story about how the new right exploits young men —  how it preys not on their bodies, but on their emotions, on their hurts and hopes and anger and anxiety, their desperate need to be part of a big ugly boys’ own adventure.”

Cass Knowlton, editor

Accused: the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Andes” [podcast] by Amber Hunt in The Cincinnati Enquirer

“This excellent podcast from the Cincinnati Inquirer examines the short life and murder of Elizabeth Andes, who was murdered in her own apartment just after Christmas in 1978. Her boyfriend was tried twice for the crime, and was twice acquitted. Prosecutors and many on the police force still think he was guilty, but many of Beth’s friends think there must be another killer who escaped justice. Host Amber Hunt chases down every lead in the case with the tenacity of a pit bull, and Accused is a Serial-esque gripping podcast that is the result of good old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism.” — Cass Knowlton

Sally Whyte, deputy editor

Indigenous incarceration: turning the tide on colonisation’s cruel third act” by Calla Wahlquist in The Guardian

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 14 times more likely to be in custody than non-Indigenous people. A teenage boy who identifies as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is more likely to go to jail than go to university and, because of the high incarceration rate, is more likely to die in custody than any non-Indigenous person they pass on the street.”

Charlie Lewis, journalist 

Politics and the English language” by George Orwell

“Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.”

Dan Wood, subeditor

Centrelink’s debt collection ‘pushed him over the edge’” by Martin McKenzie-Murray in The Saturday Paper

“The debt collection agency left a calling card at Cauzzo’s home on January 3. It read: ‘Need to speak to you about an urgent matter.’ On January 26, Cauzzo went out with Brit and friends to see some bands. Brit says he was a ‘little distant’ but otherwise fine. When they returned home, Brit and some housemates left to get dinner. Cauzzo stayed home. They were only gone an hour. When they returned, they found Cauzzo’s body.”

Bernard Keane, politics editor

How would immortality change the way we live?” by Olga Khazan in The Atlantic

“Terror management theory, as Atlantic writer Olga Khazan explains in this video, posits that whenever you remind someone of dying, they try to manage their fear by regaining a sense of control. What would the benefits be to living forever, and consequently, not fearing death? Would it make us happier, or more generous? In Silicon Valley, some of the country’s wealthiest and brightest minds are pooling their resources behind technologies that promise to extend life.” 

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