Tag

John Stapleton

Lumbini: Buddha’s Birthplace

Extract: Hideout in the Apocalypse “You must heal yourself, no one else can, no one else should,” reads one of the placards posted around Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini in Nepal, where he had spent several months not so long before. Of… Continue Reading →

Grafton: Australia Lost

Photography by Dean Sewell Perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre Brenton Tarrant, 29, has just been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of committing a terrorist… Continue Reading →

Betrayal of the People: Australia’s Political Class Spirals into Chaos

Desperate to distract attention from his spectacular mismanagement of the Covid crisis, the destruction of the national economy and the devastation his idiotic policies have wrecked on the lives of millions of people, this week Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison… Continue Reading →

Alarming Expat Experiences in Thailand’s Prisons

Many books by foreigners about Thailand include romantic or dissolute tales of alcoholism or substance abuse in the enervating heat; accompanied by a colourful caste of local prostitutes, gangsters and police, with virtually all the characters on the take in… Continue Reading →

The Laughing Lama

On Meeting a Buddhist Master “Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is in fact profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease,… Continue Reading →

India’s Festival of Colours

The Black and White Photography of Russell Shakespeare India’s Holi Festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It lasts for a night and a day and erupts in vivid display of colours across the villages, towns and cities of… Continue Reading →

The Triumph of Death: Bruegel The Elder

Death triumphs over the mundane. An army of skeletons raze the Earth. All life is extinguished. The background is a barren landscape in which scenes of destruction are still taking place. In the foreground, Death leads his armies from his… Continue Reading →

Thailand: The Varieties of Expatriate Experience

The Tartan Pimpernel Walter ‘Whacky’ Douglas looked like he was having a fine old time when he was arrested and deported from Thailand in 2014. Douglas, known as “The Tartan Pimpernel” and once described as one of Britain’s ten wealthiest… Continue Reading →

The Daughter of Siberian Shamans

Yakutsk is the coldest place on Earth. Winter temperatures plunge below minus 50 degrees Centigrade. The town of Oymyakom, in the East Siberian Depression, has recorded temperatures well below of minus 60. The indigenous tribes of this most hostile of… Continue Reading →

Salman Rushdie: Hunting the Famous

Serious breaches were breaking through the fabric of things. Back in London in the 1980s, I was using my new found status as a freelance journalist to pursue literary idols. The interview with Salman Rushdie took place in the same… Continue Reading →

The Carlisle Hotel: Extract from Hideout in the Apocalypse

Photography by Dean Sewell The Carlisle Hotel in the back streets of Newtown in Sydney’s inner-west is one of the few places left in Sydney where the wowsers have not won; an old-fashioned pub in an increasingly strictured, shuttered country. Hotels… Continue Reading →

Shearers: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Award winning photographer Russell Shakespeare explains the obsession: I’ve photographed shearers a lot over the years for a number of different publications. They’re an important and easily understood symbol for one of Australia’s most important industries; and there is a… Continue Reading →

The Future History of Publishing

Since the beginning of literature technologies have shaped the written word. And thereby publishing technologies have shaped history, culture, politics and war. The adage history is written by the victors has transposed in this truly astonishing era into something else…. Continue Reading →

Australia’s Unfolding Nightmare

How It All Ends Part III Oak Flats is a working class suburb south of Wollongong on Australia’s east coast. Its demographic of tradies, electricians, plumbers, tilers, truck drivers, school teachers and nurses do not like or trust the nation’s… Continue Reading →

Commute: The Black and White Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Russell Shakespeare is a multi-award winning Australian photographer. His professional work, while at times a fascinating high pressure roller coaster ride, has its decided restrictions. This series explores the artistic side of one of Australia’s most accomplished lensmen. The Commute… Continue Reading →

Shutting Down Australia

How It All Ends Part II “The world’s gone mad,” the old reporter said as he passed people on his morning walk. “Didn’t make any sense anyway,” comes the response. Australia is shutting down. Extreme measures introduced purportedly to stop… Continue Reading →

Lost Worlds: Australia

How It All Ends Part I For years the biggest story in the country has been the slow motion collapse of the Australia of old. Now, with the country only slowly stumbling out of lockdown and insane levels of social… Continue Reading →

Paul Bowles and the Sheltering Sky

ONE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE WORLD, not just one part of it, Paul Bowles once told an interviewer. Gifted annually with a round-the-world free ticket courtesy of my father’s job as a Captain on Australia’s national carrier Qantas, for a… Continue Reading →

Betrayal of the People

Extract from Dark Dark Policing Everyone felt like a stranger now. The announcement came, the legendary Kidman properties, spanning three states and the Northern Territory, reportedly some 2.6 per cent of the nation’s land area, 101,000 square kilometres, was being sold… Continue Reading →

The Myth of Black Opal: Lightning Ridge and the Fiery Guardians of Eternal Love

The picture above was taken in 1909, at the height of the what was known as the Three Mile Rush. The bicycle polisher rigged up in the centre of this picture was being used to rub down opal. The commercial… Continue Reading →

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