“…as heads is tails / just call me Lucifer / ’cause I’m in need of some restraint”
‘Sympathy for the Devil’ (1968), The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have courted controversy for their entire 60-year career. The British rock & roll band was marketed as the anti-establishment antidote to the saccharine Beatles — and they didn’t shy away from living up to that bad-boy image.
My Lolo was an illustrator for the largest media company in the Philippines. He would sketch caricatures of people at ease and master different writing styles with a delicate hand. Lolo never believed his art was perfect, only good enough. But he had been satisfied with his position. A mixture of fun and work.
But in 1972, when Lolo was 27 years old, everything changed.
It’s hard picturing how the world could get any better. Everywhere we look on the news, on our phones, or out on the street, things seem horrible. As young people, we feel more and more hopeless in the face of the daunting challenges that lie ahead.
Nothing makes me more energised and giddy than the magical hours spent at a music event. I’m talking festivals, concerts, bush doofs, clubs, bars, gigs or even someone’s over-cramped house party at four in the morning. These settings allow people to dance their hearts out, socialise, celebrate, experiment, make utter fools of themselves (all in good spirit) and temporarily shed the weight of the world — which is the very essence of life. Like most universal rituals of festivity, they are also places where high levels of drug consumption take place, sometimes even as a social prerequisite.
In the past year, Australia was ranked dead last for its climate policy, with no current plan in place to work towards transitioning to renewable energy on a national level. No new policies have been announced to reach zero emissions by 2050, and each and every year we watch on as houses are burnt down and flooded, leaving Australians left with little hope for the future.
Looks and appearances are everything, apparently. The clothes we wear, the colour of our hair, the amount of piercings and tattoos we have — these are all things that are often judged by other people. In 2022, you’d think we should be able to present ourselves however we want. However, my personal experience proves otherwise.
“You see, more often than not, the people who shame women the most are actually women themselves.”
I remember first grappling with the notion of internalised misogyny while preparing for my Year 12 oral exam. My topic was about why all men play a role in eliminating violence against women, and the way I wrote it fixated heavily on how men were always the main perpetrators. While I was rehearsing in my English teacher’s office after school one afternoon, she said something that I didn’t really understand at the time, but has stuck with me ever since. She said: “you see, more often than not, the people who shame women the most are actually women themselves.”
The term ‘intersectionality’ was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an African American woman, in her 1989 paper, ‘Demarginalising the Intersection of Race and Sex’. Intersectionality is a concept in social studies that refers to how different factors such as age, race, ability and class all interact with each other to bring about inequalities. The term still holds true today in a world that has begun to shift under the tides of drastic social change. It is not surprising that Kimberlé came up with the word based upon her own experience, nor is it surprising that the term has been misused, misconstrued and not properly credited over the years since. Her experiences are the sad reality for a woman and person of colour in academia, and it’s the same behaviour we witness in our communities which is built upon discriminatory views formed by our own biases. It is still exactly what Kimberlé warned us about and the marginalisation that she faced when she was immediately sidelined for being too critical and playing into ‘identity politics’. But don’t we all speak from our own experiences and knowledge? This question is where it all began, and how I first came across the conceptual understanding of intersectionality in my sociology classes.
Can you think of a day that you’re not a consumer of news? If you’re a regular browser of Facebook and Instagram (which I’m sure you are), you most definitely are consuming news stories every single day. You may or not may have noticed, but the way stories are presented to us through the digital-scape is… hectic, to say the least.
I’ve always been partial to a good night out, and my routine has been somewhat perfected. It goes like this: pres beforehand at someone’s house or occasionally just sculling your drink in an alleyway before waiting in line to enter a bar or club (trashy I know, but don’t tell me you haven’t done it). After several hours of dancing — or what could only be counted as simply head-bopping — nothing beats the 3am Macca’s run that follows. Then comes the impossible quest of finding your Uber on crowded Chapel Street to finally return home, ready to crash.
I remember clearly when the Year 12s of a nearby all-boys school sprawled sexist comments across their school uniforms. Or when boys in my year created a ‘Holy Trinity’ of the ugliest girls at my school. Or nicknamed girls a ‘bike’ based on their weight or looks. I remember when boys I was forced to go to school events with proudly shared a video titled “Jordan Peterson destroys triggered feminist” on social media. For so long, there has been denial of a clear cultural problem in all-boys schools that is obvious from every angle.
Someone once asked me to list some of the greatest joys in life, and waking up and not thinking about them anymore is easily in my top 10 — asidefrom kissing in the rain and other main character-esque qualities. There’s no denying that breakups are one of THE MOST tumultuous journeys that a human can go through, but the process of healing and overcoming pain is monumental.
What does it mean to be in quarantine? What is it like to be locked up indoors with only a few hours of sunshine allowed? Is it punishment? Is karma biting the human race? Is it a doorway to a mental asylum? In truth, I don’t know what it really means or how it has impacted people. It would be extremely arrogant and ignorant to assume that it has hit everyone the same way. Each experience is very unique. Some might be terrible, while others surprisingly good. This will be part of my personal journey with lockdowns, quarantine, and COVID-19.
Twelve years ago, on a warm Saturday morning, I sat cross-legged in front of ABC3 while my mum combed out my loose curls and put them into two tight braids. As “Scotty and the Ninjas Too” were lighting up the screen, their voices filling the room, we were idly watching on. Both my mum and I focused on getting ready for netball before rushing out the door.
The last few months have seen me enter a side of TikTok I never saw coming: the crystal side. I don’t do crystals; they’re not something I’ve ever felt drawn to and if we’re being honest, not something I’ve ever believed in. But it turns out, if the algorithm hassles me enough, I’ll try anything once. After all, 2021 (and this edition) is all about growth.
To call this a journey of enlightenment feels a little hyperbolic. It is as if I am equating my personal relationship with my parents to the age of newideas and philosophical movements that dominated the 18th century. But I’m not talking about Enlightenment with a capital ‘E’.
Recently, I decided to make the poor decision to declutter my room, which is something I rarely commit to. Why? It almost always ends in me crying from exhaustion as Marie Kondo’s techniques slowly eat away at my poor capacity to let go of things I haven’t used in more than 10 years.
For some unbeknownst reason, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon my long-term partner at the age of 16. Young, naive, and desperate for that Wattpad fanfic-like love story, it only took us a few dates to couple up, and only a month or so to say that L-word. Four years later, at the good old age of 20, my boyfriend and I are still going strong.
I wake up to butterflies. Paper butterflies circle the ceiling above me. With the butterflies, photographs hang from thin strings. They mark the places I’ve been, the friends I’ve made and lost, my family — whether they be in the room next to me, an ocean away, or looking down at me — either from heaven or from those photographed moments in time