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Jonathon Otis

Jonathon Otis, a Melbourne-based writer, is the winner of the 2008 ABR Reviewing Competition.

Jonathon Otis reviews ‘Blind Conscience’ by Margot O’Neill

March 2009, no. 309 01 March 2009
Moral panics, which Stanley Cohen, in Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), said involve any group of people who are defined as a threat to societal values and interests, were grist to John Howard’s mill during refugee debates. Applying the classic analysis, his governments were ‘moral entrepreneurs’ who employed scare tactics whenever a perceived threat arose. Asylum seekers and their suppor ... (read more)

Jonathon Otis reviews ‘Nothing to Be Frightened Of’ by Julian Barnes

November 2008, no. 306 01 November 2008
‘Let’s get this death thing straight’, declares Julian Barnes in his recently published memoir-cum-meditation Nothing to Be Frightened Of. He sets out to confront mortality, the titular ‘nothing’, but manages only to peer at it through parted fingers. He takes short peeks, which calls to mind the title of his death-haunted novel Staring at the Sun (1986). Barnes’s death awareness, dis ... (read more)