Big Ups: 4 Things From September 2017 Worth Reading Again
Our monthly round-up of things from The Pantograph Punch worth celebrating.
Waiting for the king maker’s decision on which way the government will be formed has put us all in a bit of limbo. While the speculative media coverage will continue until the decision is made surely every stone has been turned. However while you are waiting, we have something to fill your time! Welcome to Big Ups, a monthly list of articles from the Pantograph Punch that deserve a big up. This month we have crying in the toilets after a play, an interview between two great thinkers, the march for science and a personal retrospective on migration.
“I'm talking about ways of being, ways of existing, which have assumptions about reality built into them.”
David Hall and Professor Dame Anne Salmond are two thinkers I greatly admire, so what better than a conversation between the two of them. This great interview centres around Salmond’s latest book, Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds and while the piece provides great insights into Salmond’s thinking, with it also comes a string of provocations. I give One Strange People, And Another: Dame Anne Salmond on Tears of Rangi big ups, and highly recommend it as a piece from September worth reading again.
“‘Science nice’ lines up with ‘politics nice’ (one that doesn’t always shy away from the desire to bomb poorer nations). Reason becomes reasonableness. The lab meets the street, and the latter is domesticated in the process.”
Even if Tim Corballis’s wonderful essay on going to a ‘march for science’ on the Wellington waterfront doesn’t offer answers, it articulates some feelings and fears incredibly well about the limits of dispassionate, amiable criticality in an environment of emotion, repression and marginalisation of plenty that isn’t normative, rational and Western. Though I was a dud in high school science, it’s his description of the distancing and alienating effect that writing can have on being in a moment greater than the individual that did it for me – on how the power to observe and assess, hovering pensively above it all, isn’t always a measure of the truth.
Sarah Jane Barnett
I saw My Accomplice's show Everything Is Surrounded By Water in 2014, and Uther Dean's talent was obvious – he has the enviable ability to get to the painful centre of the human experience. Seriously, that show blew me away. Last week My Accomplice's latest, Me And My Sister Tell Each Other Everything, was on at BATS in Wellington. The show was written and directed by Uther Dean. A combo of work and family meant I couldn't go, but my friend did. She texted me afterwards to say she had to go to the toilets to cry. So, if you didn't get to see the show then Matt Loveranes' beautiful review is the next best thing. If you did get to see the show, then this is a good way to revisit it.
Without much fanfare, Pasan Jayasinghe and Sahanika Ratnayake wrote one of the most cutting and urgent pieces about a policy hot potato this election. Their piece on the rogue's gallery of immigration policies and racist rhetoric thrown about during this election period brought a deeply personal, historically-minded perspective to a public shitfight that sorely needed it, calling out a disturbing trend of xenophobic buck-passing and analysing the cost of that for the Asian immigrants who suddenly found themselves the public cause of all the country's problems. With our two largest parties flirting with a rampant sinophobe to form a government, it's a piece that's only going to get more relevant – as grim as that is.