The Big Issue : Edition 478
8 THEBIGISSUE20FEB–5MAR2015 “I refuse to be treated as less capable, weaker, dirty or impure for being a woman. God loves all his children: rich or poor, man or woman, menstruating or not. It’s high time we speak openly about menstruation in India, a country that truly needs to quash its taboos one at a time. I think talking and writing about it freely is the only way we’ll get it done. I bleed. Deal with it.” Anisha Bhavnani, an 18-year-old social sciences and humanities student in Mumbai, on her country’s practice of menstrual shaming. When she was in 5th grade, Anisha was reproached by a teacher for entering a temple while she had her period. Women are also expected to stay out of the household kitchen during that time of the month. – CNN (US) “Grievers really benefit from being able to interact with the actual Facebook page of someone who died... Not a memorial page, but the actual page. It’s sort of like being able to visit the grave.” Heather Servaty-Seib, Professor of Thanatology (the study of death and dying) at Purdue University, on the way grievers interact with the Facebook pages of dead people. Facebook has announced a new function that will allow users to designate a legacy contact – a friend or family member to manage their account after they die. – Vice (US) “The cheapest warm place was the cinematheque. You could see one film for one franc, and if you stayed in the toilet between, you could see four films for one franc. That was my budget. I became quickly addicted. I saw about 15,000 movies in a year – the entire history of cinema.” Cult filmmaker Wim Wenders, (Paris, Texas; Wings of Desire) on how being cold in Paris, and hiding in cinema toilets, led to his interest and education in film. It may also explain the title of his 2005 film, Don’t Come Knocking. – Dazed (UK) “I’m not a technophobe. I’m on the internet all day, every day, except when I’m actually trying to write... It’s not that I have technophobia. It’s the notion that somehow this is a transformative, liberating thing that I take issue with, when it seems to me more like a perfection of the free market’s infiltration “For three or four years, maybe all I listened to were folk singers. I went to sleep singing folk songs. I sang them everywhere. If you sang ‘John Henry’ as many times as me...you would have written ‘How many roads must a man walk down’ too.” Fellow folk singer Bob Dylan, during his acceptance speech after winning MusiCares’ ‘Person of the Year’ gong, on how anyone at all could have written ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ if they’d listened to folk the way he listened to folk. MusiCares provides financial assistance to musicians in need. – Rolling Stone (US) I THINK PEOPLE MISUNDERSTAND BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T SMILE ALL THE TIME. BUT SHE’S NOT A MOVIE STAR; SHE’S A QUEEN. SMILING IS NOT A REQUIREMENT. WHAT’S REQUIRED IS TO BE DIGNIFIED. TO BE ALMOST ICONIC, AND SELF-CONTROLLED. NOT TO BE CHARMING. IN THE END, I PREFER THAT TO SOMEONE WHO SMILES A LOT AND SECRETLY HAS BULIMIA. Actor Helen Mirren on Queen Elizabeth II, whom she is set to portray again in a play on Broadway. Mirren, who in 2007 won an Oscar for her title role in The Queen, says the royal family live in a world beyond our understanding, but “are the same flawed, insecure, vulnerable, complicated human beings we are”. – The New York Times (US) HEARSAY WRITER RICHARD CASTLES » CARTOONIST ANDREW WELDON “Do they bother having an appendix in human biology books?” Yes, but it’s never used. An anatomically unnecessary question, overheard by Mia of Balcatta, WA. EAR2GROUND PHOTOGRAPHBYARTHUREDWARDS/AFP/GETTYIMAGES;CARTOONBYANDREWWELDON A FLAWED AND INSECURE HUMAN BEING?