September 22, 2015

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note October 2015

By Nick Feik

The end of Tony Abbott’s prime ministership arrived quickly, but it wasn’t exactly a shock. His leadership had seemed stuck in the past tense for a long time – since he took over the job, in many ways.

Malcolm Turnbull and his cabinet must now address the challenges that the Abbott team dodged or denied. The most obvious of these are the slowing demand for Australian commodities and the need to rejoin the global community in climate-change action. These dovetail in the subject of this month’s lead essay: the coal crash.

Australia’s coal industry has been buffeted by falling prices, emissions-reduction efforts around the world, and an increasingly competitive export market. Paul Cleary weighs up the future of coal from Australia’s perspective. A modern economic program, such as Turnbull has promised to implement, must come to terms with the new reality of coal’s decline. Relying on its continued extraction is a bad strategy, for both economic and environmental reasons.

British author Will Self also explores Australia’s vexed relationship with the land, albeit from a very different perspective. In his provocative essay ‘Australia and I’, Self writes about his fascination with this continent, and the troubling treatment of its original owners by its European colonisers.

The October issue is notable too for its swathe of great arts writing. The nation may be facing major challenges; so too are its artists and arts organisations, in part due to the troubling interventions by the former arts minister, Senator George Brandis. Julian Meyrick explores some of these in his comment piece. Brandis will be missed by the arts community in much the same way that Tony Abbott is missed by the broader public.

The Monthly welcomes both the new arts minister and the new prime minister.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

From the front page

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Gladys for Warringah?

In attempting to take down an independent MP, Morrison is helping pro-integrity candidates across the country

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The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man

Still from ‘No Time To Die’

The Bond market: ‘Dune’ and ‘No Time To Die’

Blockbuster season begins with a middling 007 and a must-see sci-fi epic

Image of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese during Question Time earlier this week. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images

Go figure

How did Labor end up with an emissions-reduction target of just 43 per cent?

Online exclusives

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Debt burden: Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man

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‘Get Back’ is ‘slow TV’ for Beatles nuts

Despite plenty of magical moments, Peter Jackson’s eight-hour epic is the work of a fanatic, and will likely only be watched in full by other fanatics

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Candid camera: ‘How To with John Wilson’

Both delightfully droll and genuinely moving, John Wilson’s idiosyncratic documentary series is this month’s streaming standout

Image of Clint Eastwood in Cry Macho. Image © Claire Folger / Warner Bros.

Slow motions: Clint Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’

Despite patient filmmaking, the 91-year-old director’s elegiac feature is unable to escape the legend of the man