The Big Issue : Edition 555
COLD WAR KIDS STREETS AHEAD Just bought a copy of the ‘Stories from the Streets’ issue [Ed#554]. We all know that truth is stranger than fiction. These people are truly remarkable because of their genuine spirit of community. Society has dealt them an unfair hand, yet they seek to make a contribution. So many people are marginalised and we as a society need to welcome and value every individual. Their words of wisdom can educate us all. Bryan Kemp, Kingswood, NSW a regular purchaser of the magazine with a particular interest in Public Service Announcement. Reflecting on Lorin Clarke’s announcements that I have so far read, it seemed to me that they all had a common theme, which was that we could all do better with our lives if we took the trouble to contemplate simple things, and generally make an effort to “get out of ourselves”. Donald Balfour, Canberra, ACT Just chatted to a Big Issue guy in Melbourne. He was selling the David Attenborough in shades issue [Ed#553]. The whole experience elevated my day. Selling The Big Issue is indeed a big deal. We all have a responsibility to buy it and help people help themselves. The magazine always comes with an entertaining chat and words of wisdom. Stella Lombard, Lane Cove, NSW I had a stall at the Apollo Bay Market on Saturday and bought a Big Issue [Ed#553]. The vendor gave me a genuine “have a great day mate”, and brought happiness into my day. Annemarie’s Streetsheet letter reassured me about what was important in my day at the market, and it wasn’t money. The ‘Love All’ article with Billie Jean King so touched my heart I had good tears sitting at my stall. Happiness, reassurance and heart tears; thank you all so very much. David Rainbow, Apollo Bay, Vic Some months ago, I picked up a magazine – The Big Issue – in a doctor’s surgery. A new magazine to me. Browsing through it I came across a Public Service Announcement, ‘Walk the Walk’ [Ed#543], which commenced “There are lots of things you could possibly do to improve your life”. I read the article with interest, written with humour, but it made good sense. Anyway, as a result I became AS A CHILD of the Cold War era, I was scared stupid by the threat of nuclear war. I think we all were. Once, as a five-year- old, I lay frozen under the seesaw at the local park, convinced by an older boy that we would be bombed by the airplanes flying above us if we dared move. The two of us were stuck there, side-by-side in stillness, while the vintage airshow raged overhead – eventually saved from our dystopian distress by a concerned (and confused) dog-walker. One of my heroes was Samantha Smith, a girl who’d written letters to the Russian president urging peace, and became a mini ambassador being flown around the globe to meet world leaders. I’d really forgotten how pervasive the fear was, until last year. Amid renewed rhetoric of nuclear warfare, contributing editor Michael Epis received a call: did he know that an old aquaintance was receiving a Nobel Peace Prize? Dimity Hawkins is one of the founding members of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the Australian-born movement that won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work towards banning nuclear weapons. The first Australians to be awarded the honour. In this edition, we follow the inspirational story of ICAN’s extraordinary evolution from a group meeting in a Melbourne cafe to a global force for peace. Also in this edition, contributing editor Anastasia Safioleas celebrates another world-changer: Freddie Mercury. He’s been dubbed the “greatest frontman of all time” by his peers, and by some Big Issue vendors who have been lobbying for a Queen cover since their tour – with Adam Lambert as lead vocalist – was announced. So here it is, one rocking ride of an edition that will have you cueing up ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and singing along Wayne’s World-style at least once this week. Amy Hetherington, Editor LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT As winner of this edition’s Letter of the Fortnight, Bryan wins a copy of Carmen Maria Machado’s book Her Body and Other Parties. See our interview on p32. COVER #555 FREDDIE MERCURY, 1986 PHOTO BY SUZIE GIBBONS/ REDFERNS /GETTY Nelson Handcock It was terrific to see Brisbane vendor Kevin back on the job! Hope you keep looking after yourself mate! ED’S LETTER YOUR SAY THE BIG ISSUE USES MACQUARIE DICTIONARY AS OUR REFERENCE. MACQUARIEDICTIONARY.COM.AU Lucy Aubor Great photo of David Attenborough [cover Ed#553]. What a legend! » ‘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.