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I’ve never seen a Marvel movie – so why not start with Thor: Love and Thunder?

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Ci sono 29 movies in the Marvel universe – and until recently, I had seen none of them. Once there are that many movies, that many heroes, villains, plots, deceduti, worlds lost, worlds regained, monsters destroyed – ...

Everyone is sickillness in 2022 has medieval vibes

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Now is the winter of our discontent! After two years of plague, after a summer of torrential rain and flooding and more plague, after an autumn of mould and more rain and even more plague, comes the sickness. It’s lik...

Why did Covid disappear from our collective consciousness so quickly?

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After a mass trauma comes the mass forgetting. No one really wants to talk about Covid any more, even though it tore through every dimension of our lives. But now it’s as if the disruption was so great, weird, terribl...

Linkedin is a place full of polite people being nice to youso why am I drawn to the war zone that is Twitter?

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Does our existence on a social media platform have the lifespan of a dog (10-13 anni) or a person (72.6 anni) or a palm tree (80 anni)? I guess we don’t know because the end has not been written in the code, instea...

Confessions of an old learner driver: would I get my license despite not knowing left from right?

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The journey began – like all good journeys – in the Downing Centre local court. I had just successfully contested a driving charge (failure to wear a seatbelt) with my friend Jemma (I was the passenger, she was drivin...

Money might save your property, but who wants to live in a country where the poor drown and the rich are saved?

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Imagine a future even more dystopian than the present – a world where catastrophic climate change meets catastrophic income inequality. In this near future, floods and fires get more intense and the government’s respo...

A stranger who lived in a van gave me moneyand some incredible life advice

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I’d never done a reverse park before, and in the empty train station car park, my instructor directed me to reverse in beside the only other car in the area – a grey van. Reverse parking is horrible. I don’t understan...

Did I just pay someone to bash me up? The horror of a rough massage

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author who hands in her manuscript must be in want of a good physiotherapist. After more than two years working on a book about Stoicism, my body had calcified around my ...

A letter to New Zealand, from Covid-ravaged Australia

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Dear New Zealand, Kia ora! I guess by now you have received Omicron, the unwanted visitor that we in Australia hosted over the Christmas season (and beyond – the guest that stayed all summer!). No doubt you have been...

I was pretending to be a hedonist – but I was actually the opposite

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Catching up with old friends this week and talk turned to a party we had between 2020 blocchi. In the rented beach house there was dancing on tables, jugs of cocktails, late-night swims and lots of singing. “How abo...

In this strange summer it feels like the wheels are falling off faster in 2022

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Arriving home to a heatwave, I open the front door to see the house has swollen in the heat. It’s an old miner’s cottage built on dirt, no proper foundations. It seems to breathe and change form depending on the weath...

Teeth grindingthe sound of the pandemic

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“You’ve got bruxism,” said my GP, printing out some information for me from the internet. “No I don’t. How dare you!” She asked me if I knew what bruxism was and I confessed I didn’t, but doubted I would have an infe...

I once worked as a dish pig in a seminary. It was character-revealing

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“I’m training”, says the badge, or “Trainee”. Or they tell you “I’m new”, and that it’s their third shift. The last fortnight, I have been staying in the Bellarine peninsula – a popular holiday spot west of Melbourne....

Daniel Johns and the fame trap: get famous enough to buy back the freedom you once had

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Fame. You wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy, particularly not if your enemy was very young. Fame of the extreme kind – when you are a household name and your image is worshipped on bedroom walls and all manner of f...

I locked eyes with a stranger crossing the street and felt the blast of pure eros

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It was June 2020, really early in the morning, still dark around the edges, and I was crossing the big intersection at Spencer and Bourke streets in Melbourne. I was half asleep and the only people around were tradies...

The six ages of driving – or how I went from heroin alley speed junkie to terrified city motorist

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The amusement arcades in Russell Street were the place in Melbourne to buy heroin in the 90s and early 2000s. But I went there to learn how to drive. My housemate and I would wander down to the city after classes and...

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