Beautifully written stories on politics, social movements, photography and books

Tag John Stapleton

Dark Seas. Extract: Hideout in the Apocalypse.

By John Stapleton. Photography David Sandford. The spooks were easy to spot. Most Australians couldn’t afford a new iPhone, and certainly not in that part of town. Old Alex felt decidedly unsafe, packed up the apartment, both glad to be… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Part Four: Dangerous To Us.

The first person in Australia to die with COVID was James Kwan, a 78-year-old man from Perth, on 1 March, 2020. He was a passenger on board the cruise ship Ruby Princess. The ship later became infamous as the single… 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 →

The Tragedy of Australia

By Paul Collits: UK Conservative Woman THE British historian Guy de la Bédoyère claims that ‘Australia is falling apart’. Off Guardian suggests that we are ‘going full fascist’. Daily reports in France, Russia and everywhere in between and beyond, hover between pity, amusement and disbelief. How… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. The American Podcast: The Land Down Under.

By Nick Asia. MGTOW Chats. Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia aims to dismember the political, administrative and social derangement which has overtaken Australia since the early days of 2020.   Australia’s democracy has proved virus thin. There has never been a more politicised… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Speech to Forum organised by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

By John Stapleton Public servants like to talk about “evidence based policy”. Well, where is the evidence that lockdowns work? Australia’s democracy has proved virus thin. There has never been a more politicised and thereby more disastrously mismanaged disease. Eighteen… Continue Reading →

The Lie at The Heart of Hysteria. Part Two of Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia.

Photography by Dean Sewell. There in that frightened time, Old Alex had believed he was putting his best foot forward, almost as a military instruction, a belief that reason could survive, that democracy, despite all its deformities, was worth saving,… Continue Reading →

By Australia’s Mehi River

The Craft and Art of Jupuul Mari Mehi means girl in the gamilaraay dialect Miyaay. Moree is Mari and Mari means man. That is just the way whitefellas take our language and put it in their phonetic context. Because our… Continue Reading →

Sound Clown: The Music of Ian Purdie

Amazing to me, now that I’m old, is that for such an impatient person I was able to devote the thousands of hours to playing guitar that it takes to become competent on the instrument. It seemed when I was… Continue Reading →

The Kashi Vishwanath Express: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Apart from walking, one of the slowest ways to travel the 794 kilometres from New Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh to Varanasi on the Ganges is the Kashi Vishwanath Express. Multi-award winning Australian news photographer Russell Shakespeare first… Continue Reading →

Sydney’s Song Before Sunrise: The Photography of Tim Ritchie

Crisis turns into salvation at every step. For Tim Ritchie it is literally true. “I am a diabetic and eight years ago my doctor told me to walk 10,000 steps a day, but even then my blood sugar levels were… 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 →

Gilligan’s Island, Sydney: Borrowed Sorrow

Terror in Australia: Workers’ Paradise Lost On Oxford Street in Central Sydney, where I lived for some months while researching Terror in Australia: Workers’ Paradise Lost, the homeless, were regularly moved on; rough sleepers driven from public view. Drunks, wayward, schizophrenics, Sydney’s… Continue Reading →

Winter’s Coming Back to Australia: The Photography of Dean Sewell

After one of the worst bush fire seasons in living memory, it’s easy to forget that the previous winter there were snowfalls across parts of Australia that rarely see snow from one year to the next. This piece was originally… Continue Reading →

I Built No Schools in Kenya: Kirsten Drysdale’s Year of Unmitigated Madness

This is not your standard white-girl-in-Africa tale. I fed no babies, I built no schools, I saved no rhinos. Self-discovery came a distant second to self-preservation on this particular adventure. So says Kirsten Drysdale, who is better known as a… Continue Reading →

A Celebration of Genius: Maria Popova and Figuring.

Luminously intelligent, gifted with a great eye and a startling, incandescent love of beauty, the already celebrated Maria Popova has finally put out a book. Figuring, is now available. For twelve years now Popova’s weekly newsletter Brain Pickings has dazzled,… Continue Reading →

Sandor Berger

Sydney’s Great Eccentrics Not every famous person has a name. And almost no one knew the name of Sandor Berger, one of Sydney’s best known eccentrics. For many years notices appeared on telegraph poles across inner-Sydney: “Psychiatry is Evil, It… 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 →

Incomprehensible: Unfolding Catastrophe Part X

He could feel the interest gathering; there to be used and reused and discarded, a threat that could neither be eliminated nor controlled. He was trying to make alliances, there in that place, there in those hours, while his dying… Continue Reading →

Destroying A Nation: Part IX Unfolding Catastrophe

The onslaught of Covid incompetence came at a time when the nation itself was on rocky ground.  Those who would doubt Australia’s democracy were spread far and wide. Trapped in circumstance, Old Alex was reliving his own version of The… Continue Reading →

How To Destroy A Nation: Part VIII Unfolding Catastrophe

Old Alex was alive to the whole End of Days narrative for multiple reasons, including his own childhood. Having grown up in a Christian cult, members of his family were preparing for the end of the world way back in… Continue Reading →

A Ship of Fools: Unfolding Catastrophe Part VII

Very early on in the Covid drama the country’s commentators were straight out of the box slamming the government for mismanagement. There was no rallying behind the flag. From leading independent news site Crikey a story titled Ship of Fools: … Continue Reading →

Barrage: Unfolding Catastrophe Part VI

Alex’s barrage began with a story titled “Covid-19: Pundits Queue to Criticise the Prime Minister” and subtitled “Australia’s Collapsing Democracy: A Deficit of Trust”. OK, warming up.  “Experts have long warned that with the extremely poor quality of government which… Continue Reading →

Sequestered: Unfolding Catastrophe Part V

There was a torrent on the water surface but Old Alex was hidden in the deep matting on the bottom of the sea. That’s the way it felt.  There was a tumultuous effect. There was a spiritual component. There were… Continue Reading →

Scott Morrison: The Elephant In The Room. Best of the Archives.

The single most fascinating thing about Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison is: He Shows No Guilt. Not a shred of remorse at having thrown millions of people onto welfare thanks to his absurd misreading of the Covid Scare. Not for… Continue Reading →

Scott Morrison Leaves Australia In Flames

An Extract from Dark Dark Policing. Featuring the Photography of Dean Sewell. There is an encyclopedic array of scandals swarming around Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with journalists already forming a queue to label this the most corrupt government in… Continue Reading →

Nothing More Permanent Than A Temporary Measure

Part IV Unfolding Catastrophe Already by the Australian autumn of 2020, following straight on from a Christmas of bush fires and extreme loss, the warning signs should have been entirely clear to anyone who cared to look.  An uneducated public… Continue Reading →

Naive Faith: Unfolding Catastrophe Part II

None of it would last, or so Old Alex believed, retaining as he did a naive faith in the natural, healthy scepticism of Australians. Surely none of what was happening made any sense at all. There had been weeks of… Continue Reading →

Prelude: Unfolding Catastrophe Part I

The thing he remembered most starkly about those early months of the so-called “pandemic” were empty trains churning through the night, a sense of dread as everything was altered, military helicopters hovering over an empty Sydney Harbour, empty streets, silent… 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 →

Deserted From Above

Unfolding Catastrophe For days, or was it weeks, he could feel the ships hovering overhead, across time, across space, terraforming as they settled on that picturesque part of the South Coast. There was everything to be said. We have a… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: The Links So Far

PRELUDE: UNFOLDING CATASTROPHE PART ONE NAIVE FAITH: UNFOLDING CATASTROPHE PART TWO AND SO MUCH MORE: UNFOLDING CATASTROPHE PART THREE NOTHING MORE PERMANENT THAN A TEMPORARY MEASURE: UNFOLDING CATASTROPHE PART FOUR SEQUESTERED: UNFOLDING CATASTROPHE PART V BARRAGE: UNFOLDING CATASTROPHE PART VI… Continue Reading →

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