Clem Bastow

is a Melbourne-based writer and critic.

By this author


Life March 09, 2019

Astrology and tarot cards

Where once religious faith was used as a guide with which to navigate life’s bleak realities, astrology and tarot are today filling a void for many minority groups who feel marginalised by more traditional spirituality.

Life August 10, 2018

Library learning with ‘Dolly’

Library-borrowed copies of Dolly magazine offered a much-loved window to the world of beauty, fashion and budding sexuality. But, beyond the model searches and sealed sections, they were also tinged with feelings of solidarity and shame.

Opinion April 07, 2018

The edge of consent

“Through all this, the notion that consent may be withdrawn retroactively looms large as the debate’s most dangerous idea. Beyond the fringes of radical feminism and the nightmares of “men’s rights” activism, however, the concept is less about …”

Opinion October 28, 2017

Me too, myself and I

“While #MeToo may be an organic social media campaign, it carries with it the same expectation to perform trauma as personal narrative, and the same expectation that not doing so is somehow a betrayal. This is a culture of confession as substitute for …”

Opinion October 14, 2017

Hollywood’s disgrace of ‘open secrets’

“This is the sad song of contemporary feminism: burnout for the women who speak up, endless “cookies” for the men who offer little more than lip service. It’s bittersweet to admit that women and other marginalised people don’t seem to be able to …”

Opinion March 11, 2017

Flame war is over. If you want it.

The overwhelming negativity of Facebook’s newsfeed did little to assuage my growing suspicion that the 21st century’s great social media experiment is doomed to be remembered as a failure.

Life August 27, 2016

Competitive preserves at the Royal Show

Rekindling a passion for competitive jam making at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Life May 28, 2016

The magic of pro wrestling

Punishing bouts of local pro wrestling offer the purity of ordinary – if unusually solid – people entertaining crowds hungry for heroic stories.

Opinion April 23, 2016

Housing affordability and the irrelevant generational war

“Once the smoke of the false intergenerational spat clears, we’re still left with a policy mix that has engineered the current housing affordability issue.”

Opinion November 14, 2015

Generation X men

“Not only does this cultural ephemera overwhelm the collective consciousness, it is telling the same simple story over and over, and we don’t seem to mind.”

Opinion April 04, 2015

The problem with online ’choice feminism’

“This first-person feminism maintains a status quo through personal empowerment: ‘I have reached enlightenment, so the fight is over.’”

news August 23, 2014

Infrequently asked questions about depression

For the depressed or vulnerable, seeking help can often be a bridge too far.

Opinion July 05, 2014

Supply and demand: piracy in Australia

Instead of pushing governments into policing ISPs, media companies should simply let us pay them for their wares.

Opinion May 31, 2014

The real budget emergencies

Households around the nation face genuine hardship, with terrible consequences.

Opinion April 26, 2014

Silent resignation

Favouring observance over protest may be giving up true calls for change.

Opinion April 05, 2014

Bible bashing

The radical act that is having faith.

Opinion March 07, 2014

I tweet, therefore I am …

In the world of social media, when a life is ‘lived’ online, how authentic can it really be?