The Big Issue : Edition 498
8 THEBIGISSUE13–26NOV2015 “These stories are being repeated all over Australia all the time. When the topic comes up, I’ve been struck by how people always – always – have a story about a mother, a brother, father or sister who died badly... One should always be careful with opinion polls. But the one law of opinion polls is to follow the trend, and the trend in this country is unbroken over many years. There is no issue on which the public has been more firm in saying what they want than this.” Television producer and personality Andrew Denton on the issue of voluntary euthanasia for people experiencing terminal and unbearable pain, the subject of a podcast series he is developing for release in 2016 called Better off Dead. – The Age “When I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of greys... And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.” US President Barack Obama on learning the most important stuff from novels, that the world is full of more than 50 shades of grey. – New York Review of Books (US) “My whole life, really, has been a ‘no’. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars. I came into Manhattan, and I had to pay him back, and I had to pay him back with interest.” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on his tough, riches-to- riches story. Hankies, please. – Today (US) “People have asked me: ‘How could you play music in the camp?’ It wasn’t the situation that you come there and have a choice: you come there expecting to go in the gas chamber. Instead of that, somebody puts a cello in your hand. Well, you are “When they cast these shows, they’re like, ‘We already have our minority guy or our minority girl.’ There would never be two Indian people in one show. With Asian people, there can be one, but there can’t be two. Black people, there can be two, but there can’t be three because then it becomes a black show. Gay people, there can be two; women, there can be two; but Asian people, Indian people, there can be one but there can’t be two.” Actor Aziz Ansari, star of TV series Parks and Recreation, on the racial and sexual quotas on TV shows. – Vulture (US) Justin Trudeau, Canada’s new Prime Minister, on why half of his cabinet members are women. – The Guardian (Aus) HEARSAY WRITER RICHARD CASTLES » CARTOONIST ANDREW WELDON “What do you think of children in detention?” “Opposed entirely. Unless you’re talking about The Breakfast Club.” Conversation in a cafe, overheard by Helena, of Surry Hills, NSW. EAR2GROUND IMAGEBYNICHOLASKAMM/AFP/GETTYIMAGES BECAUSE IT’S 2015.