Or, how not to do regional promotion.
Yesterday was shockingly windy, but I had to leave the house for a Continuum programming meeting (aka eating a steak sandwich with a friend while we made plans and took notes and scribbled things like “THIS PANEL CANNOT RUN WITHOUT MAJORITY ASIAN PANELISTS” in our spreadsheets).
And since I was in the city anyway, I managed to knock some places off my to-do-one-day list: the Koorie Heritage Trust, and the Moving Tongues exhibit at the City Library.
AS PROMISED, feelings about East Side Gallery.
First Dog on the Moon’s comedy show covered, among other things, the power of cartoons to change the world. Accordingly, No Award’s account of the evening is hereby presented in cartoon form. (With description at the end for people using screenreaders.)
Steph has taken advantage of having a blog to interview her friend Vidya, who has a show, Asian Ghost-ery Store, starting this very week at Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
So today Steph and Vidya talk talcum powder, ambiguity, ghosts, and the comfort of the Asian grocery store.
The show blurb:
Raised in the aisles of Asian grocery stores, time has come for Shan and Yaya to escape — and haunt modern Australia. But how do a couple of ghosts conjure a stylish, post-racial image while stuffing their faces with Hello Panda? Shannan Lim and Vidya Rajan glide you through a late-night trolley ride of story, performance, sketch and meandering rumination. Part truthful, part ball of lies, Asian Ghost-ery Store is an exorcism — a dark yet gleeful shopping spree of their shared consciousness.
Over the weekend, Liz piled into a car with some Friends of No Award and also Friends of Friends of No Award, and headed out to Kyneton (coincidentally the hometown of Stephanie’s most embarrassing celebrity crush) for the Lost + Rare Trades Fair (and also embarrassing celebrity crush sighting).
(Steph went to the National Steam Centre instead of Kyneton; she has this celebrity crush business UNDER CONTROL)
1. On a slow Monday in 2013, a bunch of friends and I conceived a Narnia AU (that’s alternate universe, for those of you not steeped in fandom lingo) where Narnia is Melbourne’s inner north and its denizens are basically hipsters.
1a. The question is not whether or not Reepicheep owns a fedora, but how many fedoras he owns.
2. Melbourne is currently in the grips of the Spring Racing Carnival, that time of year when we have a public holiday to get dressed up, wear silly hats and drink champagne (yay!) and also lots of horses die because horse racing is terrible (not yay!)
1 + 2 = 3. Shasta and Aravis have something to say about this.
(As a result of this piece, I was asked to do the Narnian hipsters’ Tinder profiles. I’m still contemplating that, but I am 100% certain that Lucy is one of those girls whose cat features heavily in her profile.)
(He is not a tame housecat.)
Liz and Steph, accompanied by Friends of No Award Ashleigh and Dr Freya, visited the Heide Museum of Art on Saturday! It was VERY EXCELLENT. Also it turns out a Housemate of No Award is RELATED TO THE HEIDE CREW and this has made the world a better place.
Super important Fatberg update: Wet wipes cause massive issues for regional drainage systems.
Mr Raff said body corporate and property owners were footing bills of between $800-$1000 for the installation of cameras down drains in unit housing to determine who is responsible for clogging drains, should the problem arise.
Cameras to look at who is flushing wet wipes! We hope the cameras are in the drains, not in the bathrooms.
Jax Jacqui Brown (well known Melbourne queer + disability activist) let down by VLine. Train shame: Disability advocate forced to sit in space reserved for luggage
Steph feels like the magic is gone, and it’s Buzzfeed’s fault: We Found The Guy Behind Australia’s Greatest Ever Meme.
Netball: The sport America invented, then lost. Liz has a lot of complicated feelings about netball, mostly because it was compulsory for girls at her primary school, and the teachers just assumed everyone knew the rules. Plus, she was tall (yes, really!) and much better at basketball. However, netball as a cultural artifact is really interesting!
What happens when cyclists actually obey all the road rules, haha, suck it.
Steph is having a lot of feelings about this tumblr thread on hippies as racism (which she agrees with, fyi, it’s just helped solidify some feels).
How snobbery helped take the spice out of European cooking. TELL STEPH ALL YOUR FOOD HISTORY FEELS.
The ‘N’ word through the ages: The ‘madness’ of HP Lovecraft. In case you didn’t know how racist he was. (No Award’s new WordPress theme is called Lovecraft, because Liz was tickled at the idea of calling out our own theme as problematic.)
Liz went to MONA on the weekend! Her feelings ranged from “Meh” to “Dislike”, with occasional pauses for things she actually liked. Here is an article from 2012 that partially sums up her feelings. The comments are also worth reading.
(MONA is not a great place to visit if you are asexual, have triggers relating to graphic depictions of rape, or have issues around cruelty to animals. I mention this because it didn’t come up in any of my pre-trip reading, and I personally would have liked some warning. Also, I can’t figure out why people were upset about the blunt knife in this piece, when the real issue is that the bowl is too shallow and the fish are hanging out in their own excrement.)
On the upside, I have yet to produce a museum review as terrible as this one.
Huw Parkinson of the ABC has found his calling: Australian politics and pop culture mash-ups. The only aspect of this Bronwyn-Bishop-as-Lucille-Bluth clip is that Tony Abbott isn’t Gob.
On a related note, Friend of No Award Ash has drawn our attention to a highlight of Bishop’s Wikipedia page:
Bishop was educated at Roseville Public School, completing her primary education in 1954. Bishop undertook a five-year LL.B. program at the University of Sydney. However, she was deemed ineligible to continue after failing a number of subjects multiple times. Bishop failed a total of 11 subjects over six years. In her first year in 1960, she failed all four core subjects. In 1964, she failed four subjects again and repeated them in 1965, in which she failed three again. The policy of the University of Sydney at the time was that a student was required to show cause why they should be allowed to repeat a subject for a third time, and Bishop was deemed ineligible to continue.
…Bishop first worked as an articled clerk and played an acting role as a barrister in the 1960s Australian television program Divorce Court.
Finally, Liz had one ongoing problem in Tasmania: the underwire of her bra kept popping out and trying to stab her. But Google has provided a solution! (No, it’s not “don’t wear bras without underwires”. They don’t exist in my size, and aside from the occasional stabbing, I prefer the support that comes with a bit of metal in one’s undergarments.)
This link has “borrowed” content and gender essentialism, but it also has more useful illustrations than the original source: How To Repair An Underwire Bra, featuring cheap corn/bunion pads.
It is Monday! And today is particularly Mondayish, here at No Award.
REMINDER that there is now a No Award twitter.
ICYMI, apparently the Australian government has literally been paying people smugglers to take asylum seekers back to Not Australia, in a complete inability to understand the impact of MONEY in SUPPLY and DEMAND. Prime Minister Tony Abbot dodges questions on people-smuggler payment claims (SMH) (SMH!!!?!); Tony Abbott refuses to say whether Australia paid people smugglers (The Age).
Spook Magazine writes about our national tragedy, the fact that David and Margaret left us and we’ve no one to replace them. Will there ever be another Margaret + David?
Yesterday Steph and Liz, in the grown up company of Noted Fatberg Zoe, visited the Qianlong exhibition at NGV:I. We also detoured into something something embroidery of England 1600-1900. Highly recommend a visit; “A Golden Age of China: Qianlong Emperor” ends 21 June and includes many small necked outfits, much to Noted Fatberg Zoe’s delight; drunk people in English embroidery runs until 12 July.
THE PAST: Fitzroy before it was gentrified, with words and pictures at Our ABC.
Pozible for LittleWren, a mago for young ladies
In No Surprises (sometimes I think we should have called this blog “No Surprise” except that’s a bit too Radiohead), How can a mini-series about British settlement show no Aboriginal people? The answers are a) Australia likes to believe there are none; b) Australia likes to believe there were none; c) Racism; d) This is a trick question, who do you think you are, the answer is all of the above.
By contrast, the ABC’s adaptation of The Secret River doesn’t sugarcoat the violence driving the spread of white people through Australia. No Award hasn’t read The Secret River, but the Australia Council for the Arts’ Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing highlights it as one of the best examples of a non-Indigenous author writing about Indigenous history.
(Also, that document is an amazing resource and starting point if you are a non-Indigenous person interested in writing about Indigenous issues or characters. It was published in 2007, so unless there’s been a new version and I need to update my bookmarks, it’s a bit out of date. But as I said, it’s a good starting point.)
On a slightly related note: former Continuum Guest of Honour and novelist Ambelin Kwaymullina wrote Walking Many Worlds: Aboriginal Storytelling and Writing for the Young.
Indigenous peoples are unlikely to ever use the written word in the same way as those to whom the English language belongs; we reinterpret and subvert to make someone else’s form communicate our substance. In the end, we are not writing. We are speaking, singing, laughing, crying. And we know it is desperately important to be heard.
At Crikey, why don’t many more train travellers bike and ride? Feel free to ask Steph this one in detail, because the answer is ‘VLine hates cyclists’ and passively does everything it can to discourage bikes on trains. (Liz adds, also, bikes on trains at peak hour are just really inconvenient and everyone stares at you with hate in their eyes.)
Look, I’m not saying that winters are only going to get worse in Our Climate Dystopia, but for a little while we’re going to have some more severe cold weather events, and it’s well noted by people from countries where it actually gets cold that Australian houses are shit in the weather, so it’s nice to have an article to point to about that. Australian houses are just glorified tents in winter.
The Evil Reign of the Red Delicious – Liz is perplexed by the way this article frames the scourge of the Red Delicious as a uniquely American problem, but nevertheless, she’s always up for hating on the world’s most terrible apple.
Phil Tippett was demoted from Dinosaur Supervisor to Dinosaur Consultant for Jurassic World. He did a terrible job at that, too. THIS ISN’T AMATEUR HOUR, PHIL.
Link to Linkspam: as usual, Natalie Luhrs provides an excellent round-up of reading material in general, and in particular, this week, to the responses to Tor’s decision to throw one of its leading creative directors under a bus after she dared call noted white supremacist and misogynist Vox Day a white supremacist and misogynist.
The first comment expresses something Liz has been thinking since it happened, that publicly reprimanding an employee is unprofessional and bullying.
(Note: the top picture on the linked post is from Eliza Bennett’s A Woman’s Work Is Never Done series, in which the artist embroiders her own hand. I find it deeply upsetting and horrible, and I don’t even have self-harm triggers. It also makes me angry, in that it’s meant to be a statement about the lives of women who perform menial and manual labour, yet it’s something that only someone who doesn’t perform that sort of work can do.
But honestly, I just find it so upsetting and grotesque that I suspect I bypass common sense and go straight to I Don’t Like It, Therefore It’s Problematic And Also Objectively Terrible. Which is ridiculous, because like I said, I bypass common sense. For example, I had to stop typing this three times so I could get up and take a walk around the office and flex my un-injured hands for a few minutes. Seriously, it makes my hands so tense, they get muscle spasms and a week of arthritic pain if I see it and don’t block it fast enough.
My point being, I guess: warning, trigger and otherwise.)