IT’S STAR WARS SEASON. (We were totally going to do this post two weeks ago, to coincide with the release of The Force Awakens, but Liz was busy at work, and then she was busy doing absolutely nothing on holidays, and it’s not easy being Liz, okay?)
Anyway, the best thing about the prequel trilogy — we know that’s a low bar, but hush — is spotting all the Australians and New Zealanders. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were filmed in Sydney, so there are plenty of flat vowels to be heard. Not to mention some amazingly bad American accents. Let’s take a look…
But first: thank you so much, everyone who voted for me in the NAFF election. I TOTALLY WON, so I’m off to Brisbane in March! I AM QUITE EXCITED AND ALREADY PLANNING, ie, trying to work out if the Contact venue is convenient for MOS Burger.
Now, Floppy Haired Boys.
As people who were teenage girls in the ’90s, Stephanie and I have a weakness for this Non-Threatening Boy subgenus. It’s just something about the way their fringe falls into their eyes, you know? I have fond memories of the day the darkest, angriest goth girl in my year group confessed that she, too, loved nothing more than a gormless white boy who hadn’t been to the hairdresser in a while.
But I was serious about this. You read enough books in which people like you are disposable, or are dirt, or are silent, absent, or worthless, and it makes an impact on you. Because art makes the world, because it matters, because it makes us. Or breaks us.
While our factory provides excellent wages and working conditions, Chinese working conditions are generally more strict. This year, we used the money from one day of our holiday promotion to give our workers something very uncommon in China: a paid vacation.
The printer didn’t have any formal procedures for paid vacations, so we bought 100% of the factory’s capacity and paid them to produce nothing for a week, giving the people who make Cards Against Humanity an unexpected chance to visit family or do whatever they pleased.
We at No Award think it’s pretty cool that JKR has gone from reading and faving articles about racebending and PoC headcanons in HP to actually casting a woman of colour. And Dumezweni has been quite amazing in the few things Liz has seen her in.
An Unbelievable Story of Rape. A compelling long read about a serial rapist, and the particular case of one of his victims, a girl who had just left foster care, who was treated remarkably differently to the middle class women who were also attacked.
For its second number in 2016, Southerly will be producing an issue, co-edited by David Brooks and Andy Jackson, on Writing and Disability, and we are seeking contributions in all our usual fields – poetry, short fiction, essay, review, memoir, etc. Both physical and psychological disability will be considered – visible and invisible – and disability will be interpreted widely within these areas. The co-editors do not wish to limit contributions in any way. They do note, however, that the area of writing and disability is significantly under-theorised, especially in the Australian context, and hope that this publication might make some contribution in this area.
Of course, there can be a certain pleasure in getting something for nothing — and achieving that emotional state can be a goal that takes over the lives of some people (even very well-heeled ones). Take the case of a successful white-collar professional who began stealing wine from stores at the age of 50 after several deaths in his family. Like many wine connoisseurs, he was guided by Robert Parker’s wine reviews and aimed for bottles with a rating of at least 95. Then he set a goal of boosting $1,000-worth of wine in a week, and succeeded. Along the way, though, he was arrested several times and spent heavily for lawyers to avoid a felony conviction that might have cost him his professional license.
Ms Hoskin, who refused to comment to the media after the Court of Appeal judgment was handed down, tumbled down the steps outside court after the verdict, and had to be given first aid treatment for a suspected broken ankle.
She was helped into a taxi by members of the media, after refusing an ambulance.
On Wednesday morning, the court rejected the residents’ claims that the mosque would bring negative social effects to Bendigo. The judges said Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights protected freedom of religion, and said the mere practice of religious worship could not be considered to be an adverse “social effect”.
Fan Fund: a fan-run fundraiser to enable the elected delegate to attend a con that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
NAFF: the National Australian Fan Fund, created to send a fan to the Australian National Convention (aka the Natcon, because that’s a mouthful).
As it happens, I’m a NAFF 2016 candidate! (Hamilton interlude: “I was chosen for the Constitutional Convention!”) What does that mean? If you vote for me, I’ll be able to attend Contact 2016, a one-off con held in Brisbane.
(Further Hamilton interlude: “You’re openly campaigning. That’s … new.”)
(Further interlude: A CONVENTION IN BRISBANE, WHAT IS THIS MIRACLE? I could take my mum! I mean, I actually can’t, because $$$$, but it would be geographically feasible!)
Now, this is one of those years where there’s a strong field all around, and I wouldn’t begrudge any of the nominees if they won … but you should vote for me because (a) I am the only one who has a Harold Holt joke in her candidate bio; (b) HALF A NO AWARD ROAD TRIP (Stephanie will be going to Swancon, maybe, as is her Perthie duty); exciting things seem to be happening in Brisbane, fannishly, and I would like to investigate in person. MAYBE I WILL WEAR A DEERSTALKER but probably not.
Voting costs $5, and closes Wednesday 23 December (TOMORROW). GET IN QUICK.
You can submit to Issue #2 of 3rd Gear, which will have a super fancy launch at The Festival of the Photocopier; and to Tofu and Trangias, a vego bicycle touring zine, which will be available also at the Festival of the Photocopier.
In other bike news, I made a denim pouch for aforementioned BFF of No Award Danni. This denim pouch was made out of a pair of Danni’s old jeans (being a cyclist, she goes through jeans very quickly). It’s perfect for cycling in a dress, going to festivals without a bag, and generally looking cool. I’m so chuffed with how this pouch turned out, and it was really simple. Liz is insisting I tell you how to do it, and so:
A little jeans pouch how to
You will need:
A pair of jeans that you or someone near to you has ruined
2 metres of trim
pair of scissors
needle and thread
bling (I will be adding some penguin and shark patches to this pouch)
What to do:
Pick a butt panel. This will form the foundation of the pouch. Cut out the approximate size and shape of the pouch panel, as well as up and along the waistband. Keep the waistband intact, as this is how the pouch attaches (via the button, like a usual pair of jeans). Cut as close to the double seam as you can, as this will minimise your need for hemming, and minimise the fraying. Carefully cut between the top of the zip and the waistband.
From the discarded bits, cut out whole pockets – that is, not the hip pockets, but coin and other butt pocket. Sew these onto the pouch panel. You can choose between cutting off the pockets, or cutting out the pockets (ie, including the internal denim). For strength, I included the entire pocket.
Trim the entire business. I chose hot pink, because hot bike ladies deserve hot pink highlights.
TIPS FOR TRIMMING: Trimming is pretty easy, it’s just the addition of stuff to your hems and borders. You can trim with a variety of techniques and materials, but for this I simply wanted to make the edges neat so I used extra wide bias tape and a running stitch through the thickness of the denim. Trimming has the advantage of acting as a form of hemming, meaning I didn’t have to hem any of the denim I had cut, particularly around the curve of the pouch (ie the butt panel). Lace and ruffles would also work excellently as trim on this pouch. You can skip the trimming if it doesn’t take your fancy, if you’d rather go for a plainer pouch – in which case, just make sure to hem the butt panel part.
Does YA fiction need to check its privilege? On class, and the lack of working class YA protagonists who aren’t leading a revolution. (Liz agrees strongly with this article, and sadly notes that some of the worst depictions of class are from OzYA.)
An Open Letter to JJ Abrams – Did you know that girls can be Star Wars fans? Apparently JJ didn’t. But what made this blog post particularly enjoyable was the author’s account of becoming a science fiction fan in Hong Kong.
Great piece at Overland on the shit going on against the CFMEU and Australia’s Unions: Black bans and blackmail, and why it’s important.
That’s why having workers’ representatives monitoring safety matters. Last month, when a concrete slab crushed two men to death on an East Perth worksite, it transpired that the CFMEU had been refused entry to the site sixteen times.
As Parkhill noted in a response to Kilbride’s piece on Facebook, the core issue was not simply that the piece was ‘garbage’, but that it passed the editorial process at all. ‘Perhaps worse than the article’s content is the fact that [New Matilda] have exposed a very young and inexperienced writer’s ill-formed thoughts to a large audience,’ Parkhill said. ‘This article was by no means ready to go live, and I’m sure in the fullness of time its author won’t thank [New Matilda] for the opportunity or “exposure” but will regret the fact that [they] were willing to publish such asinine crap to which his name will be forever attached.’