The Big Issue : Edition 452
10 THEBIGISSUE21FEB–6MAR2014 BEATING THE DRUM After drumming in a samba parade for an hour in the 36̊C heat in the Canberra summer, some friends and I decided to head to the pub for a drink. I heard a friendly voice cry, “Big Issue! Big Issue!” and I dashed off to get my copy. Once back at the table, the mag did the rounds as everyone read their favourite columns right then and there. What a lovely find in the middle of the Multicultural Festival madness, and a great testament to the quality of your fine magazine. Keep up the good work! Jo Squires, Evatt, ACT Jo wins a copy of The Lie by Helen Dunmore (see our review on p41). 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 Cool it Cate! Where’s Moi Nomination? OSCAR'S EDITION $6 No 451 7–20Feb2014 HELPING PEOPLE HE LP THEMSELVES $3 of the cover price goes to your vendor LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT “open for business”, but not all of us are shareholders. Refugees are still being kicked from pillar to post, there’s a gap that needs to be closed, and the Great Barrier Reef is allowed to be violated by mining companies. Grim indeed. Michael Olliffe, Bexley North, NSW I enjoyed Fiona Scott-Norman’s article ‘Tuning Out’ [Ed#450] and certainly share her aversion to the FM-radio ads, which she nicely characterises as a ‘highly effective aural electric fence’. But she doesn’t even mention ABC Classic FM, which is ad-free and has regular news breaks! Though wall-to-wall classical music is clearly not everybody’s scene, it offers, at the very least, refuge from the relentless intrusiveness of commercial radio. Rob Mathew, Yarraville, Vic I really enjoyed Ed#450, especially seeing the article ‘The Long Dry’ by Peter Barry. I used to buy my mag from him all the time. Then, one day, he just wasn’t there. I always wondered what had happened. I hoped for the best but feared the worst (which may be why I could never quite bring myself to ring the Big Issue office and enquire). Then I opened Ed#450 and saw a huge photo of Peter’s smiling face. Peter – I’m so glad you got the help you needed and I hope you go from strength to strength. Margaret Bozik, Hurstbridge, Vic To the vendor on Collins St (who is a Helen Razer fan and kindly gave me a Big Issue copy for free because I didn’t have any change): thank you once again, you made my week. I’m very sorry I didn’t catch your name. But you’re right, Razer is on form! I’ll definitely be paying your generosity forward. Kimberley Thomson, Fitzroy North, Vic I loathe protestations from the right wing about how oppressed they are by the ABC. They have Andrew Bolt, the Murdoch media and shock jocks on the radio – you can’t have everything. One slip by the national broadcaster and you have Abbott bringing in the gallows. It’s funny that Prime Minister Abbott declared that Australia is @MaddiLam Finally decided on a worthy #newyearsresolution. I will buy every issue of @thebigissue this year. I’m not sure what television columnist Lorin Clarke meant in her article, ‘What’s Not to Like?’ in Ed#449, regarding the type of person who watches Q&A on the ABC. Was it meant to be something like, ‘people who watch Q&A are beneath contempt/try-hards/nerds’? I was a bit confused, as I quite like the show! Maybe writing this email proves her point: over-sensitive, pretentious people with delusions of intelligence and social awareness probably do love Q&A. My ABC-loving partner has a T-shirt that says, ‘Honk if you’d die in a ditch for Leigh Sales’ – which I applaud for its dagginess and lack of irony or cynicism (or is it just puerile, low-level sexism for middle-class, white males?). Anyway, I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it would be good to know what that opinion is, rather than have a string of vaguely mocking allusions to Q&A. I think Q&A is often a really thought-provoking debate by a diverse panel of guests who can be completely annoying sometimes but, more often than not, bring a lot of humanity and honesty to the issues discussed. Delia Sala, Brisbane, Qld Lorin Clarke responds: My conclusions about Q&A weren’t so much about whether people who watch it are pretentious (some are, some aren’t), or whether the show is good (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t). The point is, we judge each other on our viewing choices. “Pretentious people with delusions of intelligence”, for example, is an astute judgement of me watching Q & A. PS. You could sell a whole line of those T-shirts. Mine would feature Jay from Play School.