Australia admits more migrants than any other big Western country—but thanks to section 44(i) of our Constitution, many of them aren’t able to run for federal parliament (as mentioned here in August). I posted a few comments to a Metafilter thread about the latest High Court ruling about section 44(i) and dual-citizen MPs, several of whom (most prominently the deputy prime minister) now find themselves excluded from parliament.
A few links that stood out of the morass of American despair this month.
Brexit talk has been in full swing again this month, and it’s been hard to keep up with the fast-moving indecision surrounding such a dynamic, intractably stalled process. I’ve posted a couple of thoughts to Mefi in recent weeks, excerpted below, and have been collecting links...
As a big Armando Iannucci fan, I was looking forward to The Death of Stalin, and saw it last night. It was an odd experience: I didn’t laugh much, but still thought it an excellent film. I think the fact that it’s Iannucci and that half the cast are recognisable comedians (not only the leads, but people like Justin Edwards in minor roles) lulls us into expecting boffo comedy when really what we have here is, as the tagline has it, terror. It certainly contains comedic moments, but I spent most of the film feeling viscerally terrified of the story and (some of) the characters—which is exactly as it should be.
We might be getting used to the gathering parade of celebrity deaths, but Tom Petty’s still hit me. For a few years in the late ’80s and early ’90s he was one of my favourite artists, both in his Traveling Wilbury guise and solo. Into the Great Wide Open was one of three CDs I bought on Oxford Street to keep me company at the start of my student year in England, and it’s still my favourite, but I loved Wildflowers, She’s the One, and of course Full Moon Fever, too. (Petty, apparently, hated She’s the One, but for me it’s the last great record of his eight-year peak; I’ve never even seen the movie, but it’s one of my favourite soundtracks.) In later years I kept up with his releases, with the Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch, and solo, but perhaps didn’t listen to them as closely as I should have. Time to go back to all of them.
As an Australian-at-a-distance distracted by northern hemisphere stuff, I hadn’t fully absorbed the impact of the federal government’s Marriage Law Postal Survey. I mean, I knew it on an intellectual level, but not being surrounded by it day-to-day, it took exposure on social media to feel the full awfulness of it. Malcolm Turnbull has basically been prepared to put thousands of same-sex couples through months of agonising campaigning that strikes at the heart of their identity so that he can duck the responsibilities of power while maximising his chances of maintaining that power.
Another batch of links on politics and other miscellany.