Thirtysomething with a science degree, thinning hair and hirsute back – lumpenprole, latte-left. More analytic-liberal-left than radical-continental, except for my breakfast; I’ll have Habanero sauce on my eggs, thanks.
Born into a 1970s, working-class, rural-Australian vat of bile originally intended for spewing over Fraser’s Liberal Party, simmered for a decade in 1980s pop-culture, then poured out into ten years of Sons of Anarchy (sans guns, sans bikes) meets Bottom, on the budget of Shameless, I’m lucky to be sane, uncharged and unconvicted. Ten years have since passed, in which despite Adelaide’s reputation as the limbo between Perth and Melbourne, I’ve regained feeling in some of my extremities and have in general, really started to enjoy myself.
… and now I have delusions of aspirations toward being a writer.
Bits that help you pigeonhole me further…
My current gig: Carer. (Privacy issues prevent me from telling you more).
My schtick by training: Environmental systems (primarily ecology), computer science and science and mathematics education.
My interests: Politics, culture wars, secularism, science, vegetarianism and ethics. Satire, polemic and essay.
Writing aspirations: I’m currently working on a non-fiction manuscript on the godless, godless cultural aspirations and the surrounding culture wars. I have concepts in mind for two novels. I wouldn’t mind acquiring a bit of work on the side writing an essay or two, now and then…
Favourite non-fiction authors: Bertrand Russell, Christopher Hitchens, Jared Diamond, Steven Pinker and Peter Singer.
Favourite scientists: W.D. Hamilton, Rosalind Franklin, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Richard Feynman.
Favourite novelists: Kurt Vonnegut, Albert Camus, Martin Amis, George Orwell, Joseph Heller, Franz Kafka, and just to break with cliché, Michael Moorcock. (Another Book of Rachael and Leslie Cannold will join this list).
Favourite poets: I’m re-discovering poetry, but at this stage I can say I really am enjoying Samuel Wagan Watson.
Favourite columnists: John Birmingham, Leslie Cannold, Christopher Hitchens and Ophelia Benson.
Economic values: Somewhere between John Quiggin and Paul Keating. Less tax cuts, more services, thanks.
Social values: Left-progressive. Not particularly radical – I don’t have an aversion to ‘identity politics’ for a start (although I’m wary of the narcissism of small differences). I’m for state recognition of gay marriage, separation of church and state, the Australian republic, freedom of expression and libel reform. I’m against attempts by government to filter the Internet, fund discriminatory policies like chaplains in schools, and the suppression of public protest through heavy-handed policing.
I’m for freedom of association and freedom of assembly. I’ve never believed an employer should have a say in union membership, and I’ve never been a supporter of the closed shop.
I’m in favour of collective bargaining and industrial action rights for union members.
I’m for bans on cage hens and greater regulation of the dairy industry (regulation to help cows and farmers). I want to see more accurate and informative labelling of foods – I like my genetically engineered, non-animal rennet and I want to know where to get it. I sometimes enjoy rubbing salt in the wound when meat-eaters think they’re persecuted just because a vegetarian airs an opinion within earshot. Boo hoo.
And I’m inclined to think arts funding could be increased, and reformed (more needs-based funding of grants, for example).