Shonen knife japanese pop punk band
Shonen Knife's Naoko Yamano


I’ll always be a Shonen Knife chap so I don’t have a lot of time for J-Pop but the intersection of Japanese and Korean pop industries raises some interesting questions about the countries’ histories, especially in light of Japanese imperialism. Isabella Trimboli challenges both the absence of women from contemporary alternative music history and the stereotyping of their work.

What if you watched the Tour De France and were so entranced you decided to move to a little village high up in the Pyrenees? Follow in the footsteps of a former monk who moved continents. From the celebrity circus, a new kind-of biography of Princess Margaret examined those who preyed on her as much the woman herself. And – who knew — being a dick is apparently endemic in the UK’s novelty food scene.


Late to this, but Gaynor Macdonald has a fascinating piece questioning the idea of state and territory-level treaties with Australia’s first peoples and pushing back against the assumptions that lie behind calls for an “embrace” of Indigenous Australians. At Overland Katerina Bryant challenges perceptions – and the willful non-perception – of disability. In the US, the truly vile Alex Jones is being sued by parents of children murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre for his incessant claims they are fakes. What does the case mean for US free speech law?


Why is France obsessing over a micro-scandal involving Emmanuel Macron’s former bodyguard? Turns out there’s a long history with presidential bodyguards, dating back to De Gaulle. The French are also playing catch-up with both animal welfare and vegetarian trends across Europe. Meanwhile Slavoj Žižek struggles with Europe’s record-breaking summer heatwave, which has so affected him he almost produces an easily followed article.


With hundreds of billions of Donald Trump’s company tax cut flowing into share buybacks, how damaging is the phenomenon – which was only legalised in the ’80s – for real economies? And then there’s the damage Trump’s trade war is inflicting on American workers. Meanwhile, The Economist reports on what sounds like a bunch of Blairite neoliberals hoping to save the international order – a “D10” of which Australia is one, and of which I confess I’d never heard. Finally, a not-unrelated issue that has been bubbling away since David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs struck a chord: much modern work may indeed be literally useless.


So there are now 25 million Australians. This is how we’ve grown, according to the ABS.

Our growth was, at least until the mid-20th century, at the expense of Indigenous Australians: estimates of Indigenous Australians in 1788 range from over 300,000 to 1 million; by the 1920s that had fallen to around 60,000 and did not reach 100,000 again until the 1960s. In 2016, 649,200 people said they identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Seems we overshot the projections of the 2002 Intergenerational Report a little …


OK, you may recall an encounter between the US Navy and a UFO in 2015, one of a couple apparently verified – to the extent that such things can be – with released Navy footage. Well, the organisation that released the footage is pretty weird itself and not just because of the involvement of the guy from Blink 182.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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