Charles Firth

Charles Firth WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

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Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Politics

Pirate politics

By this time next year, Australia’s political system could be controlled by pirates. In June this year, Sweden’s Pirate Party secured 7.1% of the vote in the European elections. Then, in September, the Australian Pirate Party opened nominations for …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

The black polo

Some questions are taboo. At 7.49 pm on Friday, 24 October, two twenty-something women, both about 170 centimetres tall and with brunette hair, parked a freshly washed black late-model Volkswagen Polo outside Tabou restaurant, in Sydney's Surry Hills. …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Lies, damned lies

My mum has been lying to me. It's either her or Telstra, and I always take Telstra at its word, so it must be Mum. This month marks the first anniversary of Justice Peter Gray's ruling that Optus offers better value than Telstra. Telstra had tried to …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

nation_reviewed

Dogs of war

In the advertising business, there is a phenomenon called the Puppy Dog Effect. When a firm is pitching several different concepts for a television commercial, they will often slip footage of a puppy dog into the mock-up of their favourite idea, even …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Politics

The flatbed scanner of democracy

It is vitally important to the health of Australian democracy and the economy that everyone buys a flatbed scanner. A few weeks ago I was standing in front of my mirror, practising my smug-yet-sombre look, when I was informed of a rumour that John Howard …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Veritable listeria

My sister recently became the minister for cancer, women and climate change in the New South Wales government. That is an absurd thing for any person to become, but it's especially absurd when the person is your big sister. In fact, I lied about her title, …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

The real world

A few years ago, I was asked to speak at the Screen Producers Association Fringe Conference, in Byron Bay. I can't remember what my area of expertise was, but I do remember one television executive who specialised in getting shows ‘to market'. She explained …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

nation_reviewed

Jumblats Pty Ltd

It is a hard life bending to the whims of Sally Warhaft. Sally is The Monthly's editor - for the moment, at least - and she is a tough taskmaster who has been on a concerted campaign to drive this publication into the gutter ever since she arrived. …

essay

Over here, over fed, over-funded

As destitute universities count their pennies, students at one Australian institution count their blessings