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Attachment Styles

Edition 84

The attachments we form shape our experience of the world and our understanding of who we are. ‘Hell is other people,’ wrote Jean-Paul Sartre, his point being less about misanthropy and more about how entwined our self-perception is with the ways in which others perceive us. And alongside our personal relationships – from filial to friendship, from collegiate to romantic – sit the complex emotional connections we form with places, ideas and objects. How do we navigate these varying attachments, and what can they offer us when our lives are so mediated by technology? Can we break free of the tropes and traps associated with our most primal relationships: the social expectations of motherhood, the burdens of filial duty, the complexities of infidelity? 

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Eat your words

Whet your appetite for great writing with this enticing buffet of food-themed fiction, memoir, reportage, conversations and more. 

Consuming content

‘Do food bloggers realize how awful their recipe pages are?’ a Reddit user innocently enquires in a thread I stumble across while googling food blogs bad. ‘Do they take reader satisfaction into account?’ According to more than 600 replies, the answer is largely no.

Lunch bars

From cream buns and vanilla slices to cheese-filled sausages and salad sandwiches, working-class culinary culture would not be the same without the lunch bar. Typically tucked away in a corner of the city’s suburban, industrial and commercial districts, lunch bars have sustained the work force with an array of no-frills fast food since the 1950s.

The fight for the white stuff

Although non-dairy milks are hardly unique to the US, there seemed something distinctly ‘American’ about the consumerist techno-utopianism of engineered nutrition. In its seductive promises and dazzling abundance, in its massification and drive for profit, and its bold-yet-arrogant ambition, the world of plant milks became a metonym for everything I loved and loathed about US culture. Give me a carton of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and you have given me America.

Confected outrage

Many of us can name our favourite childhood lollies. But what if a lolly’s name, or the name of another popular food item, is out of date? What if it’s racist, harmful or wrong? What happens when the name of a lolly doesn’t work anymore?

A serving of home

I think we should be proud of where we come from and be proud of what this country can offer us. We’re unique in our food culture here – we should be embracing it, and we should ask for native produce.

Big Blueberry

Today blueberries are grown across the globe. In Australia, blueberry production tripled in the five years to 2021, and the fruit is grown almost year-round – a perpetual river of fructose and antioxidants shipped across the country…

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Captain Planet sucks  

The ecological crisis has a problem. I’m hugely underplaying this – it’s got many – but one glaring oversight is the lack of cultural output that relates to the fact we broke the planet. Yes, we enjoyed Don’t Look Up, but it was not the searing cultural meteorite we were hoping for.

Weird feelings  

Engineering is all about taking a complex thing, breaking it down into its smallest parts, then working out the connections or sequencing between the parts. Cartoons are kind of the same. I like trying to apply a sense of logic to an emotion or feeling.

The return of the femcel 

Where male incels blame feminism for their inability to get laid, femcels identify misogyny, power imbalances and unrealistic beauty standards as the cause of their struggles. Unlike previous waves of political lesbianism, the #femcelrights movement to opt out of sexual relations with men is more of a signal than a concrete commitment.

Real men eat meat

Men eat meat. And if a man does not, his masculinity will be in question; emasculation shall be his malnourishment. Many of us today mock the ‘real men eat meat’ refrain. Yet society still insists that meat consumption is a marker of manliness – and the redder the meat, the manlier the man.

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