The Big Issue : Edition 450
10 THEBIGISSUE24JAN–6FEB2014 A cover is supposed to represent a prominent feature inside the magazine. One miniscule paragraph about Doctor Who, no mention of Tim Cahill or the Hobbit, and then a few farewell 2013 lists only leave us asking the question printed on the edition’s front cover: “Who’s next?!” An angry Whovian Contact has been made with this correspondent, whom we hope has been mollified. The reason there was not more on the Doctor in Ed#448 is that Dr Who was our cover story last April (Ed#431). We have asked that Daleks NOT be told where we live. –Ed FACEBOOK FRIENDS Ernie Starr Bill who sells around Sydney Uni always makes time to get know our names and lives and is such a sweet, wonderful man. Wendy Purton Russell at North Melbourne Station is always very cheerful and happy to have a chat. When I used to work in the city, I always had to stop and have a chat with Cheryl and her cat, Cougar, too. ASTONISHING ASHLEY I had a few overseas orders from some friends who are Bon Jovi fans for the Bon Jovi edition (Ed#446) of The Big Issue. Heading into Civic in Canberra one Saturday morning I found Ashley in the shopping precinct. I will always remember the look on his face when I told him I needed to buy 15 copies! Priceless. Hope you enjoy your planned bushwalking trip, Ashley. Beth Heath, Kambah, ACT Beth (who wrote a delightful story for Ed#446 about being a Bon Jovi Superfan) wins a copy of Salinger (see our review on p37). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT I recently attended a Penguin Book Club session about Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Part of the discussion focused on the fact that Dickens has had a huge influence on our modern celebration of Christmas. Many people have never read the story, but they are familiar with Ebenezer Scrooge, the Ghosts, Tiny Tim Cratchit, and so on. Just the previous day I had bought the special Christmas edition of The Big Issue (Ed#447). In her column for that edition, Helen Razer vented her antipathy towards Christmas and “the noisome air-freshener stink of A Christmas Carol”. She defends “poor, misunderstood Scrooge...the prototype and eponym for those people who, quite sensibly, hate Christmas and take care to avoid it”. I happen to hold a different view, but Razer is a top-class writer. I enjoyed her article and recommend it as an effective antidote to the saccharine schmaltz that overlays the simple seasonal message of peace and hope. The same edition of The Big Issue includes two other references to Dickens. In her review of Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch, Melissa Cranenburgh described the book as “constructed like a 19th-century epic, begging for comparisons to Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield”. The edition also featured a fiction piece, ‘He Ain’t Lager’, by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, who is an ambassador [for] the International Network of Streetpapers (INSP). In his Editorial, Alan Attwood gave readers some context to Welsh’s story: “Think of it as a modern version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, though not quite so jolly and with much more swearing.” It really does seem that Dickens’ stories, characters, language and imagery continue to hold as strong and pervasive an influence today as ever. Reverend Geoffrey R Usher, Unitarian Minister, The Quest, Potts Point NSW I am incredibly annoyed by the Ed#448 New Year’s edition cover, which featured a TARDIS floating above the earth with the Doctor, Tim Cahill and the Hobbit with a soccer ball inside. The only mention of Doctor Who inside the edition is a single paragraph in the ‘Top Ten DVDs of 2013’. This tiny paragraph does not warrant a cover devoted to Dr Who. The least that should be behind such a cover is an article on the subject. This misleading cover is an abuse of all those Whovians [fans of Dr Who], who are eagerly snapping up any mention of Dr Who after the record- breaking viewing of the series’ 50th anniversary and Christmas specials. @DianahMieg Nice to see @thebigissue vendor Mark’s smiling face in @rundlemall this morning. New Year issue a great read. @KiraHalpin LOVE the vendor profile in the Ed#449 @thebigissue. Next time I’m in Canberra, I’ll look out for Kylie & say hello!