Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Welcome. After a two year absence, The Backbench is back!
When we ended the bi-monthly publication back in 2006, it was always intended as a temporary hiatus as other pursuits took us elsewhere. Over this time, the ideas have continued to brew and opinions have continued to form and morph. But given the current state of the world, we think it’s high time for an independent and eclectic voice to be heard once again. This is Backbench 2.0, if you will.
In the past, Backbench has had a uniquely Australian voice on international and local issues. The previous incarnation covered topics ranging from religion in China, to sex education in Guyana and GIs in Djibouti. Not to mention pieces on Sudan, Israel, Thailand, England and the US.
This international focus will continue growing in this new edition.
We now have writers based in all of the major global hotspots. In the credit-wasted West, we’ll have voices in Silicon Valley, London and Canberra. The new upstarts, the so-called “Emerging World”, will also have on the ground coverage - particularly from capital rich China and muscular Russia.
The current global financial turmoil makes for an electric juncture in world history. Has the credit crisis (or having Dubya as President) hastened the decline of the US empire or will a bright new leader be able to rescue the great nation from its plunge? Is this the dawn of the “Asian century”? Will Russia’s rise be peaceful? In particular, what is Putin’s angle in appealing to the gay magazine set by constantly taking his shirt off and flexing his muscles? These are all questions and more, we hope to answer.
We also aim to air some eclectic pieces symbolic of Generation Y, including travel diaries from war zones or foreign-aid missions, and tales of experiences others can vicariously enjoy.
Finally, we are always on the lookout for new contributors, so if you’ve got an opinion to vent or a story to tell, we’re happy to hear it. Our sole requirement is that the tale you weave or the opinion you voice be interesting, and that, in today’s tumultuous world, is an easy hurdle to vault.