My Marxist Philosophy Class

My Marxist Philosophy Class

Tall And True Short Reads

My Marxist Philosophy Class

Episode 58 (28 August 2022)

In February 1998, I started an eight-week evening college course, Introduction to Philosophy. I was in my mid-thirties, and while I was aware of philosophers, I hadn’t read their works and knew nothing about critical thinking. Our text was Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. And our tutor was a Marxist.

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My Marxist Philosophy Class

Show Notes

Episode 58 (28 August 2022)

My Marxist Philosophy Class is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the post: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/my-marxist-philosophy-class

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I shared the blog post, My Marxist Philosophy Class, on Tall And True after finding the fax communication between the course tutor and myself in a box of papers in September 2019.

I enjoyed drawing on extracts from our faxes and my 1998 diary entries to craft the post. And I loved reacquainting myself with the story of Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder.

What struck me most when writing the blog post was that although it was over twenty years since my Marxist philosophy class, the memories and emotions of that night were still vivid. And I guess this partly explains the passions of the class member who complained about the course and the tutor who defended it. And why Marx and Marxism still provoke passionate debate!

I hope you enjoyed this philosophical episode. You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

Season Three of Tall And True Short Reads begins in September. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for all fifty-eight episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Clock Ticking: https://freesound.org/people/blukotek/sounds/412751/

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

Episodes are recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

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My Marxist Philosophy Class

Thanks Ian St James Awards

Tall And True Short Reads

Thanks Ian St James Awards

Episode 57 (8 August 2022)

In their heyday, the Ian St James Awards offered the biggest fiction prize in the UK and Ireland. Launched by the thriller writer Ian St James in 1989 to encourage new writers, the awards were open to 5,000-10,000 word short stories by unpublished writers.

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Thanks Ian St James Awards

Show Notes

Episode 57 (8 August 2022)

Thanks Ian St James is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the post on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/thanks-ian-st-james-awards

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote the Thanks Ian St James Awards blog post in 2018 after uncovering the original copies of my short stories and judges’ critiques during an attic tidy-up.

Although I enjoyed rereading all four Ian St James entries, 1994’s Both Sides of the Story was the one that had best stood the test of time. But it needed a good edit, and in 2019, I started reworking the story to share on Tall And True and published it as a collection of short stories in 2020, eventually narrating these for Tall And True Short Reads.

None of this would have been possible without the inspiration of the Ian St James Awards and the constructive encouragement of the judges’ critiques. And although the Awards no longer exist, this blog post was my opportunity to say a belated, “Thanks, Ian St James Awards”.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of gratitude. You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections, including Both Sides of the Story, from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

My Marxist Philosophy Class

The Lost Hour

Tall And True Short Reads

The Lost Hour

Episode 56 (26 July 2022)

You know what it’s like when you lose something. It’s always in the last place you look. So I write down all the possible places the lost thing could be and work through the list in reverse order. But how do you find a lost hour? It’s not like it can slip down the back of a sofa like coins or keys!

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The Lost Hour

Show Notes

Episode 56 (26 July 2022)

The Lost Hour is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read the story on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/the-lost-hour

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

In April 2022, I learned the Australian Writer’s Centre had longlisted my short story, Stuck in Time, for Furious Fiction March. And I celebrated the following weekend by writing my third unofficial, off-quarterly month Furious Fiction.

I followed the usual competition rules and gave myself 55 hours to write a 500-word short story based on a randomly selected brief from the Writers’ Centre’s archive. And for this month, I drew the October 2018 brief from my hat:

  • The story’s title had to be “The Lost Hour”.
  • Include a sentence with three colours in it.
  • And the sentence or phrase, “it was lighter”.

After drawing the brief, I went for a long walk with my dog and thought about different interpretations for “the lost hour”. And before we got home, I had my story’s draft opening lines:

“You know what it’s like when you lose something. It’s always in the last place you look. But how do you find a lost hour?”

Along with the absurdist observation:

“It’s not like it can slip down the back of a sofa.”

Other parts of the story came together when I started writing. For example, if we “lost” an hour overnight, it would be lighter in the morning than expected, and only atomic clocks could confirm the discrepancy. World leaders would make speeches, and conspiracy theories would run rampant. And NASA would be involved, of course.

Neil Gaiman says short stories are “tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams”. And I wanted The Lost Hour to tick the Furious Fiction brief and tell an odd and unlikely story about the world losing an hour. But I also wanted it to offer a tiny window into the mind of a man who’s lost more and seeks redemption.

Did I achieve my goal? That’s for you, the listener, to decide.

I hope you enjoyed losing a few minutes listening to The Lost Hour. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The Podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the traditional lands of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

My Marxist Philosophy Class

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration

Tall And True Short Reads

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration

Episode 55 (10 July 2022)

In May 1992, the Sydney literary news was full of Tim Winton’s success and his novel, Cloudstreet. And I thought it an omen. Winton was thirty-one, and I was thirty. He’d grown up in W.A., and so had I. He’d just won his second Miles Franklin Award. And I was having a second crack at being a writer!

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Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration

Show Notes

Episode 55 (10 July 2022)

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read post on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/cloudstreet-timwinton-omen

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I received Tim Winton’s The Shepherd’s Hut for my fifty-sixth birthday in 2018. Given my long affection for Winton’s works, dating back to Cloudstreet in 1992, was the book another omen or more inspiration? Perhaps both, because it inspired me to write this blog post in March 2018.

I was pleased I’d kept the Sydney newspaper cutting, slipped inside my copy of Coudstreet, and enjoyed digging out my diary entries from my trip to Australia in 1992.

It was tempting to re-read Cloudstreet. But I’ve done this with other books I loved as a twenty-something, only to be disappointed by them as a fifty-plus-year-old. (One of these was The Great Gatsby.)

So, I didn’t re-read Cloudstreet when I wrote the blog post in 2018. However, recently, I listened to an audiobook version of Cloudstreet, narrated by Peter Hoskin, and again felt the joy I had reading my paperback back in 1992. And laughed aloud when Hoskin voiced Oriel Lamb’s stern reminder to her family, “Remember, we’re Lambs, not sheep!”

By the way, it took me twelve months to work through my towering to-be-read pile and reach The Shepherd’s Hut. But when I finished reading it, I shared another blog post on Tall And True about the book, aptly titled Tim Winton Wows Again.

In the post, I observed that Winton’s writing was in another league to mine back in 1992 and still is today. And how when I finished reading the last sentence of The Shepherd’s Hut, I exhaled the breath I’d held for the final paragraph and exclaimed, Wow!

I hope you enjoyed Cloudstreet by Tim Winton – Omen or Inspiration.  You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing and memories with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small one-off or regular donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The Podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

My Marxist Philosophy Class

Stuck in Time

Tall And True Short Reads

Stuck in Time

Episode 54 (22 June 2022)

It’s 1997. I’m fifteen, and Dad’s delivering another lecture on my poor prospects: “If you carry on like this, son, you’ll end up in prison.” I won’t admit it, but he may have a point. Because today on the drive home after catching me shoplifting again, the local cop issued a “last warning”.

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Stuck in Time

Show Notes

Episode 54 (22 June 2022)

Stuck in Time is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read Stuck in Time on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/short-stories/stuck-in-time

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I celebrated my second anniversary of submitting 500-word short stories to the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Furious Fiction competition in March 2022 with Stuck in Time. The brief for March was:

  • Each story has to include a character that commits a crime
  • Some kind of DOOR being opened
  • And the words CHALK, TALK and FORK (longer variations accepted with the original spelling retained).

Having “brainstormed” ideas, I set my first draft at the “Redundant Dads Club”. I felt the characters at this monthly meeting offered me opportunities for a crime and doors opening (and closing) on relationships and places for the required words, with lots of TALKing.

But I stalled after about 200 words, abandoned the draft, the first time I’ve done so in two years of Furious Fictions, and returned to my ideas list. And among my jottings, I spotted an alternative opening line: “My father is giving me another of his talks.”

I’ve blogged on Tall And True about following Ernest Hemingway’s advice to write one true sentence. And so I changed the opening line into something my father once said to the teenage me: “If you carry on like this, son, you’ll end up in prison.”

Ping! Like a light switched on inside my head, I suddenly saw the story, with my protagonist flipping back and forth between his teenage and “pushing forty” selves. And struggling to reconcile his feelings for his father.

How much of a writer’s work is imagination, and how much is memoir?

I used a true sentence in Stuck in Time. Yes, I live across the continent from my father. And we have had our “father and son” difficulties over the years. But I call him regularly and visit whenever I can. The rest is pure imagination — the shoplifting, mum and dad fighting, running away from home, dad dying,   sharing a joint outside a hospital with my brother. And I was fifteen in 1977, not 1997, and when I wrote Stuck in Time, I wasn’t pushing forty, I was pushing sixty!

In another first for Furious Fiction and me, Stuck in Time was longlisted for March 2022. I was as proud to see my name and story on the list as if I’d won the competition, and it felt like a fitting reward on my second anniversary of Furious Fictions.

I hope you felt rewarded listening to Stuck in Time. You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small regular or one-off donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Clock Ticking: https://freesound.org/people/Julien%20Matthey/sounds/457651/

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The Podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us

My Marxist Philosophy Class

Six Weeks in Teal

Tall And True Short Reads

Six Weeks in Teal

Episode 53 (31 May 2022)

In 2018, I shared a blog post about My Week in Politics, handing out how-to-vote cards for Dr Kerryn Phelps, an independent candidate for Wentworth. Kerryn won that by-election but lost the seat in the 2019 Federal election. Three years later, I spent six weeks in teal helping another independent, Allegra Spender.

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Six Weeks in Teal

Show Notes

Episode 53 (31 May 2022)

Six Weeks in Teal is a blog post from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.

Read Six Weeks in Teal on Tall And True: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/blog/six-weeks-in-teal

Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads

Buy Robert’s short story collections online:

Writer’s Insight

I wrote Six Weeks in Teal during the week following the 2022 Australian Federal Election. The “independent teal” I’d supported, Allegra Spender, had won my local Sydney seat of Wentworth. Across the country, there’d been a teal, Green and Labor backlash against the incumbent conservatives. There was a change of government in Australia, and I had been part of it, wearing my teal t-shirt for six weeks.

The goal of this blog post was to explain what had spurred me to play an active part in politics, first in 2018 and 2019 for the independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps and again in 2022 for Allegra. And give a flavour of what it felt like to be part of Allegra’s teal team.

I could have gone into great detail about the long days of campaigning (often wet and cold), late-night Zoom meetings, conversations with voters and conflicts with the incumbent candidate’s team. But instead, I wanted to write the blog post as I will remember my six weeks in teal, something of a blur, as the vortex of the election day approached.

I apologise if my voice sounds more snuffly and gravelly than usual in the narration. In her post-election wrap episode of ABC’s The Party Room podcast, host Fran Kelly commented election night was crowded with parties (celebrating or commiserating), and COVID had struck down many party-goers and broadcast teams covering the events. And I, unfortunately, was one of them.

I hope you enjoyed my account of Six Weeks in Teal. You can read this and all my blog posts, short stories and other writing at TallAndTrue.com. You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads (with hopefully a less COVID affected voice) will be in your podcast feed shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website for earlier episodes from Seasons One and Two.

And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite app — doing so helps me share my writing with other listeners.

You can support this podcast financially by making a small regular or one-off donation via the Acast Supporter Page.

And finally, please tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.

Podcast Theme and Sound Effects

Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.

Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org.

Production Notes

Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity.

The Podcast is recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.

Acast Podcast Supporter Page

Support this show https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads.

Contact Us