The Big Issue : Edition 569
PAYING RESPECT GIVING THANKS I want to share with you a wonderful interaction I had with a Big Issue vendor, outside Hungry Jack’s, corner Pulteney and Rundle Streets. Unfortunately, I did not ask the name of the vendor. Admittedly, he had me lined up from about 30 metres away, which was fine as I always try to buy The Big Issue when I am in town. The vendor was engaging, very flattering and jovial. I gave him the money and almost walked away without my Big Issue as he had me laughing. This made my day. I walked away feeling how amazing was this man who engaged with me, made me laugh. For me this was the highlight of my day and makes me smile while I write this email to you. It makes you realise that money does not bring happiness and it is a good reminder that we all have something to share and to be thankful for. Karleen Thornton, Adelaide, SA. Ed – the vendor who made your day was Adrian H. and eschewed. From fraught and fused mother-daughter relationships to the gentle touch of humanity in a quiet stranger. From points of childhood resilience to fragile moments with our mental health. The Fiction Edition captures and explores rich lives at quirky, precious moments. In doing so it honours the lives of each of its writers, vendors and readers. So thank you again for such brill work! Ramona Kennedy, Springwood, NSW. Wowee, what a great Fiction Edition [Ed#568] you have out this year! They say that the arts show us truths about life which science and maths cannot, and your contributors to this edition have not let us down. Thinking of getting a boob job? Still got a few things you wouldn’t mind saying to your ex? Know the untethered life of a foreigner in another land? Parenthood is explored from bittersweet and quirky angles. Belonging is yearned for, questioned SITTING ON THE tram on her way into work, my colleague Bella was blasting Aretha Franklin through her earbuds. A private tribute to the Queen of Soul; the news of her death still fresh and raw. Bella was cueing up all Aretha’s hits, and a few of her B-side bangers. She pulled out the headphones...but could still hear that powerful voice. Confused, for a beat, she realised the woman next to her was also having an Aretha moment. Over the past weeks, many of us have similarly paid our respects to this one-of-a-kind woman whose music moved the world. Aretha is one of history’s most influential singers; she sold more than 80 million records, won 18 Grammys and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But she was more than her extraordinary musical legacy. As former US president Barack Obama and wife, Michelle, remember, “She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.” Several of Aretha’s songs became the empowering anthem of the civil rights and feminist movements. Her soulful lyrics remain as relevant as ever, reminding us that a community built on respect is inclusive, fair and compassionate. It values every voice, equally. “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right,” she told The Toronto Star in 2014. “That’s why people still relate to that song so much.” In this edition, writer Doug Wallen celebrates Aretha’s music and lasting legacy. He’s also compiled a Spotify playlist of his favourite Aretha tunes, so that you can soundtrack your reading to her glorious voice. Amy Hetherington, Editor LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT COVER #569 ARETHA FRANKLIN IN 1964 PHOTO COURTESY ATLANIC RECORDS/ WARNER MUSIC @ejgibbens Bit of insomnia easily aided by this fantastic edition of @thebigissue. The authors’ prose, diversity of topics, and clever storytelling is stimulating. Highly recommended picking an edition up today! #whatiamreading THE BIG ISSUE USES MACQUARIE DICTIONARY AS OUR REFERENCE. MACQUARIEDICTIONARY.COM.AU @living_with_shih_tzus Dude outside the train station was yelling at the top of his lungs “Last four Big Issues, last four”. I went back, bought one, had a little chat. Then as I left, I could hear him yelling, “Last three Big Issues, last three”. Made me laugh. Seemed like a sweet guy. #bigissueaustralia » ‘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. YOUR SAY ED’S LETTER As winner of this edition’s Letter of the Fortnight, Karleen wins a copy of Troye Sivan’s album Bloom. See our interview with Troye on p30.