The Big Issue : Edition 462
10 THE BIG ISSUE 4 – 17 JULY 2014 LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT 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 email@example.com • post The Big Issue, GPO Box 4911, Melbourne, Victoria 3001 • facebook The Big Issue Australia • twitter @thebigissue • website thebigissue.org.au/your-say/ That vendor was Simon – who has recently started working on the corner of Exhibition and La Trobe streets, Melbourne. – Ed Alan wins a copy of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. (See our review on p37.) I have just bought my first ever copy of The Big Issue from a really sweet older man on the end of Kent Street, Sydney. I walk past him every day, standing there in the cold and he can’t be younger than 65. To my surprise I really enjoyed reading the magazine and it’s much more interesting and real than any other magazine I have bought before. I will continue to purchase this from now on and it makes me so happy knowing half the money is going to that old man. Thanks again, it’s a great magazine! Aimee Stokes, Sydney, NSW The vendor in question is Gary G, who works on the corner of Kent and Market streets, Sydney. – Ed I felt humbled standing next to a Big Issue vendor depositing $5 into his bank account while I processed my weekly pay cheque. Chasing him down, I purchased his last copy. People often assess value by comparing expenditure to the price of coffee. Well, after buying a soy latte and sitting down with my magazine, I had a wonderful two hours of entertainment for $10. (Roughly the price of two coffees!) Layla, Melbourne, Vic When I read Pelayia’s ‘Your Say’ letter in Ed#457 of The Big Issue, her reaction did not surprise me. Sadly it is common for people who have strong beliefs to be offended by any contrary opinion expressed by others. Suggesting that Fiona Scott-Norman and Helen Razer consult the Bible is not a sensible reaction. The Bible is largely myth and hearsay and is interpreted in many different ways even by those THERE BUT FOR... Recently, I was rushing to a business meeting and saw one of your vendors selling The Big Issue on the corner of Exhibition and La Trobe streets in Melbourne. I didn’t have time to stop but promised myself that if he were still there on the way back, I would stop and buy a copy. When I returned, he was still there. So I stopped and bought a copy. We struck up a conversation and talked about all manner of things including his hope that his AFL team, Melbourne, would win that weekend. I was in a ‘look important’ business suit; he in jeans and a T-shirt, with a red Big Issue vest. To an onlooker it would have looked strange indeed, a businessman having a matey matey chat with an underprivileged person. What your vendor didn’t know, and what I didn’t tell him, was that 20 years ago I was one step away from living in the gutter. My life had crashed down around me in all areas and I had reset my scoreboard to zero. Fortunately I was able to turn my life around. That conversation with your vendor was the highlight of my day – and I really wish him all the best. I have nothing but admiration for your vendors who are out there and having a go. Alan Brown, Melbourne, Vic who have strong religious beliefs. It’s a pity that she is going to miss out on reading your excellent publication and withdraw her support for those less fortunate than herself because of her delicate sensibilities. Perhaps my subscription will help to make up for her departure. Mike Brown, Elizabeth Downs, SA I have always found Fiona Scott- Norman funny, particularly her recent ‘Henducation’ column series, but she cemented the writer–reader bond for me recently with her ruminations on ‘Royal Rarity’ (Ed#458). It was as if I’d been introduced to a long-lost relative. Fiona is a swing dancer, like me! That’s why I’ve always felt like she’s on my wavelength! Which, really, just proved her point that scarcity makes things more desirable. Swing dancers are an exotic species! Thanks for all the laughs. Long may they continue! Tanya, via email @abcballarat Happy 18th to @thebigissue and to long-time #ballarat vendor Glenn! @AmeliaJCox I bought @thebigissue today and I love the vendor profiles in the mag. It’s a hard job, selling on that corner in winter. @mbhoffman Great to see that you can now get a digital copy of @thebigissue.