The Big Issue : Edition 439
18 THE BIG ISSUE 16 -- 29 AUG 2013 In the frst 24 hours after this scandal erupted, the President of the United States took cover behind phrases like “if we wish to assert the primacy of public order and civility, we need to maintain our faith in due process”, but then she fnally bowed to the gathering pressure and had the Governor executed by fring squad on live television. That seemed to settle things. People who might have been tempted to be coarse and uncivil saw the error of their ways and desisted, which was not as most would have predicted. COMMONLY HEARD I ALWAYS WANTED TO'S 1. I could never say this before, but I always wanted to know what it would be like to kiss you. Just once. 2. If you and I were having this conversation a month back, before notice was given, I would have told you how much you hurt me by doing those things – the betrayals – but now, with that said, I think it’s more important that we fnd a way to forgive each other. 3. This is my frst time calling a radio station, and my question isn’t one that I would expect to have answered on air in different circumstances, but times being what they are, I’ve always been curious to know what pleasure, if any, women are meant to get from anal sex? And, while I have you on the line, could you explain Bryan Adams to me? A GOLDEN AGE One might have thought that children would be anxious, or at least resentful, about missing the opportunity to grow up and become whatever they were due to become, but, once again, counter-intuition held the day. For kids, it was a new golden age. With so much serious thinking and drinking to be done, parents threw open the doors and said, “Get out there and play! You want to climb to the highest branch of the tree, that’s on you. You want to skateboard down the middle of Nepean Highway, that’s on you. You want to kick the ball around the park within view of dangerous perverts, that’s on you. Have as much fun as you can without hurting yourself in ways that need plaster.” And the kids did have fun. They dug holes and built castles, and the streets were so flled with the sounds of their giggling and chasing and squealing and joy that you could have been excused for forgetting the endgames still to be endured. In the meantime, their sounds were sounds worth hearing. GRANDSTANDERS When powerful types with their big, convoluted plans were accused of grandstanding and told to shut up, one began to see that there were folk who enjoyed the egalitarianism of this moment. Some Important Persons behaved as if it should be assumed they were too vital to go the same way as everyone else. Certain that exceptions would be made, these VIPs then struggled to describe the particular, indispensable value they could offer the new regime. Many of them – as it was frequently pointed out – had run the same industries that brought this need for renovation to a head. While hundreds of the infrm elderly told their doctors they wished to “dream The Green Dream”, surprisingly few hospital and nursing home employees abandoned their roles as carers for those who chose not to take this path. “Tired as I am, this might be worth seeing,” was a commonly expressed sentiment. THE EXISTENTIALIST STRIKES BACK “This isn’t so bad,” a high-school art teacher told a vox- popping television crew. “When you kiss someone now, it has the intensity of a frst kiss, or a sign-off kiss. Everything’s more loaded, more meaningful. Who wants to waste time griping, ‘Why now? Why us?’ We really needed this to happen a long time ago.” “So, you’re choosing to be glass half-full?” “Mostly. My upstairs neighbour has had his stereo going full-bore with the same 60s classics for three years, and this deadline gives him further licence. But now I can imagine a time when it might even be possible to miss immature drunken sad-arses who live for the memory of their glory days.” THE DOWNSIDE Did animals bred in zoos meet the defnition of ‘beasts of the feld’ or would they, too, need to be euthanased? When zoo offcials pursued clarifcation, the owner’s representatives didn’t respond. A team of Adelaide scientists announced that they had very likely discovered a cure for cancer, but now there was no time for the trials that would establish their claim. Cancer was the least of our worries. At first, the widespread desire to Renounce had some charm. Olympic champions confessed to their use of undetectable performance-enhancing drugs, and politicians admitted to having acted corruptly, and living double-lives with regard to their true sexual preferences. But then things got tacky and abject, with the saddos who confessed to child abuse expecting to be heard and forgiven, while their victims were seldom given opportunity to speak on their own behalf. Signifcant tensions arose between the folk who wanted to go out with a Jonestown party to end all parties, and those who were content to do what they ordinarily did and see what happened. Five days before the notice period expired, I published my private journals online, fguring that no one would fnd the time to read my (libellous and defamatory) thoughts even had they been otherwise inclined to do so. In those pages, FOR KIDS, IT WAS A NEW GOLDEN AGE. WITH SO MUCH SERIOUS THINKING AND DRINKING TO BE DONE, PARENTS THREW OPEN THE DOORS AND SAID, "GET OUT THERE AND PLAY!"