Posts Tagged ‘Outlook’

Three snapshots of the Vietnam antiwar movement

May 30, 2005

In Australia between 1965 and 1970

Helen Palmer


Bob Gould

In his History of the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance, John Percy crudely portrays the socialist magazine, Outlook, as being isolated from the antiwar movement of the 1960s.


Birth of an old bush ballad

May 24, 2005

Helen Palmer

In 1951 Doreen Jacobs and I wrote two songs. She had been studying with composer Alan Bush in London and had worked with his Workers’ Music Association choir. There was controversy in the air about sung ballads and folk songs, and the proper role of the people’s choirs that were forming here and there to present militant and traditional songs at festivals and meetings. The folk tradition — what was it, essentially? Vaughan Williams’ lush settings of waly-waly-up-the-bank English folk­song and Paul Robeson’s “Negro Spirituals — arr. Burleigh” for the concert platform were beginning to move into disrepute. A.L. Lloyd had written of the militant popular origins of folksong. To try to incor­porate it into a more sophisticated musical culture – was this merely to tame and domesticate it, depriving it of its roots and its sting? On the other hand, was a folksong an authentic reflection of the popular cul­ture only if presented in the untrained, nasal style of the Oldest In­habitant from whom Cecil Sharp or his equivalent had taken it down? Wasn’t this merely an accident of birth or history that it would be artificial to perpetuate in a different environment?



The long goodbye

May 23, 2005

Ian Turner

How to review, over thirteen years, eighty-two issues, of Outlook? What it has said, what it has meant, what it has accomplished? To run through the file — from the first roughly printed sixteen pages (June-July 1957), which opened with the optimism of “Socialism is again becoming a live issue in Australia”, to this issue which will, unhappily, close the file – is to have an overview of a long chapter in the life of one generation and one stratum of Australian radical intellectuals, to confront again their preoccupations and their practice, their hopes and their fears, their attempts to find a new self-definition and a new faith. But I should say “our” rather than “their”, for I am part of this generation and this stratum, and Outlook is part of my political and intellectual autobiography; so perhaps I can best do the job I have to do in personal terms.