The Big Issue : Edition 497
10 THE BIG ISSUE 30 OCT – 12 NOV 2015 LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT YOUR SAY ‘Your Say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. Have Your Say about The Big Issue: • email email@example.com • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue • website thebigissue.org.au/your-say/ I was very interested in Andrew Nette’s account of the state of romance fiction (Ed#493), since it’s now more than 10 years since I published my history of Australian mass-market romance novels of the second half of the 20th century. Two comments: 1. Men do read romance, they just don’t buy or borrow it, preferring to read what their partners bring home from the bookshop or library. About 10% of the readership is male, which is probably about the same as that of women’s magazines. 2. People often read romance out of interest in faraway places. This is probably less pronounced than last century – when an Australian Minister for Immigration could be told that Mills & Boon novels set in Australia would help in the recruitment of migrants – but Australian authors make great efforts to ensure that the locales they describe are accurate. Juliet Flesch, Kew, Vic It was pretty unpleasant being in the city (Sydney) where everyone seemed stressed, bustling about and forgetting their manners. It was unpleasant until I reached King Street. There I chatted to a Big Issue vendor and felt immediately uplifted. These people give much- needed inspiration to society. Stella Lombard, Lane Cove, NSW After reading ‘Something Borrowed... or Maybe Not’ (Ed#494), I thought, How libraries have changed over FAMILY SOLUTIONS I’ve been reading The Big Issue for years and still think it’s the best Aussie mag around. Thank you for Kristine Lane’s story ‘How Mum Became Homeless’ in Ed#494. It was a brave and candid peek into her life and a wake-up call for all of us who have ageing parents and who are ageing ourselves. Our culture has never really embraced the welcoming of parents into the adult child’s home as we see in other cultures elsewhere in the world. I would like to see the Carer Allowance develop to be more financially realistic to assist young families in welcoming parents in need into their homes. There is so much to gain from a strong connection between children and parents/ grandchildren and grandparents. It would be such a great option for families who would like to help ageing parents but can’t because of their financial constraints. The benefits are endless, as we know that life without a home leads from one difficulty to another. You’ve been a wonderful daughter Kristine. Good luck to you, your young family and your mum. Jacqui, Fremantle, WA As this edition’s Letter of the Fortnight writer, Jacqui receives a copy of Deerhunter’s album, Fading Frontier (see our review, p37). the years! I remember the first time I walked into a library to borrow a book, during the 1950s, there were signs requesting “Silence Please” and people talked in hushed tones. These days some libraries even have the radio playing as background noise. My husband John is a bibliophile and our home is testament to that. He has a huge collection of books on shelves in the lounge room, bedroom, spare room and rumpus room. When I suggested perhaps donating a few to the local op shop, John’s reply was, “No way, you can never have too many books.” I think I am fighting a losing battle! Denise Tarrant, Happy Valley, SA So Kim Cattrall is not just a caring mentor or relative, she’s a ‘parent’ (as quoted in ‘Hearsay’, Ed#494). Really? Has she made appointments with the principal, argued till she’s blue in the face about tidying a bedroom, gone without holidays in order to buy school uniforms, been on call 24-hours-a - day for 20 years, stuck name tags on anything that can’t be nailed down, beaten herself up about being a bad role model, changed 80 nappies a week, worried herself sick over her child’s friendship groups, forgotten to buy new clothes for herself, given up eating Thai food because certain other people don’t like it and learned the words to every song in Tangled? Yeah, right – and I’m a ham sandwich. As if the lifelong sacrifice of parenthood isn’t already devalued enough! Shame on you, TBI, for printing such offensive twaddle! Ruth Oldfield, Pearce, ACT @WCSACT It’s not a long way to the shops to buy this rockin’ edition from a local vendor! #TheBigIssue #ACDC @Avionic_Media @thebigissue Great read this week on AC/DC. More people should buy your magazine!