Weekend Things, Y18-W10

Vale Peter Nicholls

We just finished the most perfect week of #ausumn weather and now I guess the slow descent into winter horribleness begins

Sophie’s (first) father Peter Nicholls died early last week, the day before his 79th birthday. I have never been much of a science fiction reader, but I came to appreciate the seriousness of the genre in his company; he was one of the first people to grapple with it from a scholarly position, and even though the establishment didn’t get it to begin with, he built an academic career around it. In 1979 he published The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, written with John Clute, for which they won a Hugo award in 1980, and he continued to contribute to its revisions until quite recently.

He had been living with Parkinson’s disease since just before I first met him 17 years ago, and in the last few years had slowed right down, but even as he slowed he would show glimpses of the charming, intelligent, extraordinarily well-read man he was. In the entire time I knew him, I only saw him a handful of times outside what I consider to have been his native habitat: the magnificent five metre dining table running through the middle of a library containing thousands of science fiction books; that is how I will always remember him. Farewell, Peter.


I have realised that as an Aboriginal feminist, I don’t have to continue reacting to these failures. There is already a foundation built by brilliant black women which allows us to continue developing an Aboriginal feminism. And the reason this is so important is because the unique experiences of Aboriginal people, the way racism impacts our lived experiences as women, brotherboys, sistergirls and non-binary peoples, is a matter of life and death.

Amy McQuire, writing about how white liberal feminism has failed Aboriginal women by perpetuating racist narratives about the causes of and solutions for violence in Aboriginal communities.

IndigenousX is doing great work.


It makes me sad that Doughnut Time has been failing to pay its staff, because their product is so deeply unpleasant and their popularity so completely marketing-driven and unjustified, that at the very least they should be providing a benefit to society in the form of wages for young people. I am not immune to crappy junk food — give me a packet of Sour Worms after bootcamp and I will inhale them — but whenever those doughnuts appear in the kitchen at work I have not even the slightest difficulty walking past them.


Isn’t Timothée Chalamet just the most sweet and earnest young man — in this article, he’s interviewed by the equally earnest Frank Ocean for the absurdly earnest VMan (an offshoot of V Magazine) and it’s definitely my jam because ART FEELINGS or mostly just because Frank and Tim.


A former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with nerve agent and found unconscious in a public shopping centre in Salisbury, in the south of England. They are extremely unwell, and a bunch of other people who attended the scene have also become ill; a few years ago the former spy’s son also died in mysterious circumstances.

Which reminds me that The Americans returns for its final mini-season at the end of March and omfg I just can’t bear it.


The Five Women episode of This American Life is an amazing bit of in-depth reporting about four women who worked for and were sexually harassed by one man; the fifth woman of the episode title is the man’s wife Vivian. All of them are interviewed and speak frankly not just about their experiences with him, but also about their personal histories of and attitudes to sex, rape and harassment. It’s incredibly moving.

Also, because I visited the TAL website, I now know how to spell Chana Joffe-Walt — I was imagining something like Hannah Joffywalt, so I’m glad that’s been cleared up.


Inmate firefighters can make a maximum of $2.56 a day in camp and $1 an hour when they’re fighting fires. […] Those higher wages recognize the real dangers that inmate firefighters face.

They recognise? The dangers? Of firefighting? Shawna Jones died in a landslip in California last year, while working in a program where prison inmates are trained in ‘fire camps’ to augment the civilian firefighting force.

Shawna’s story is tragic, and the wages these women are paid are disgraceful, but the fire camps are still a step up from general prison life, and the story hints at the benefits of programs that give inmates the dignity of work and fellowship. If only they were afforded the dignity of workers’ rights as well.

(thx Max for the link)


I make Nong’s Khao Man Gai about once every six months, and it’s so good, even if I can’t get hold of Nong’s secret sauce here. Next time I think I’ll use the food processer to chop the portion of ginger/garlic/shallots/galangal that goes in the rice, since the galangal I can buy here is woody af and ends up being a bit crunchy, but otherwise this is a wiiiiinner.


In the absence of leaks from the special counsel’s office, the public is left to listen to the clothes, which are equally reticent, which is their elegance.

A little New Yorker thing about Robert Mueller’s role as a style icon — my favourite detail is the $50 Casio watch he wears, with the face turned to the inside of his wrist. Also noted in the article is the $1.3m USD spent on clothes by disgraced Trump campaign director Paul Manafort over a period of 6 years. Ick.

Like what you read? Give Virginia Murdoch a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.