So many updates! Check out ‘Syntax & Salt’ for their poetry issue, because I was a guest editor; Rae White’s ‘Milk Teeth’ has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier Literary Awards 2019 (mega grats Rae! I’m saving your book to read over this holiday period!); I no longer write for Froth so not sure what I’ll tell those kiddos at work about how often adults actually want to drink alcohol…
So I apparently only binge-watch audio-visual media when I’m starting to feel 5-6/10 depressed which also means: lots of sleeping; lots of avoiding food; missing practising musical instruments regularly; not listening to music; limbs entangled around cat/s; not reading…anything. It’s really difficult to deal with that last one because even when I’m down, I still feel like I’m getting things done if I’m getting through reading material. Reading online doesn’t count, unless it’s submissions for Syntax & Salt.
Despite how consistently miserable I’ve felt the last couple of months, I’ve really, really been enjoying my not-really-new-anymore job. A couple of weeks ago, I…agreed…with a group of kids I work with regularly that adults do not drink much alcohol because we all know how bad it is for our health and relationships. I am an appalling liar: if needed, I’ll say things along the line of preferring to be quiet rather than lie (stony faces/glares work well for this kind of thing). In what I call the biggest white lie I have ever told in the potential protection of future adults, I told this same group of kids that I only drink beer twelve times a year, when reviewing beer for Froth. Yeah, yeah, big deal…IT IS, ACTUALLY.** I hate lying, because it’s easier to keep track of the truth.
Aside from the fact that the thought of physically birthing humans is real-life horror film stuff, a major motivating factor for (me personally) not having kids is that adults do have to be epic jerks and lie to them at some stage about all sorts of things. Then there’s times where being honest can break them. Then there’s times when kids aren’t as clueless as adults think we are, then there’s the genuine consideration that some of us are as mature as Alfie Wickers* even on our ‘best’ days…
Seriously, how do conscientiously procreating humans process this?! Anyway: enough freaking out. A zine review, and you bet there’s a damn beer to go with it.
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This was supposed to go up forever ago when @rae.elliot.white was in town for #qlns18 free from the shackles of my Patreon but it’s here now! Smashed soooo many tinnies of this @3ravensbrewery drop, it’s so good! Both beer and zine resting on one of my fave cookbooks by my dream ideal grandma <3 (post url to follow)
zine: Rabbits & Relics by Rae White
drink: Salted Caramel Shake salted caramel milkshake IPA (6% ABV, 375mL can) by 3 Ravens (Thornbury, Melb.). Worth checking out the beer description and can design on their specialty range page.
This beer is pretty much everything excellent about being a legal-age member of society: it’s good if: you’re thirsty; you’re feeling down; you’re craving sweet things; you can’t be arsed making fancy desserts; you don’t have clean glassware; you’re not a purist about your beer styles (and shame on you if you are, but oh well, more for us plebs to enjoy!); your wife has left you; your wife won’t leave you; you have no wife; you made carbonara for the first time out of the stalest but not rotten ingredients ever because you’re poor and too lazy to get groceries…you get the idea, yeah?
I’ve lost count of how many tinnies of this 3 Ravens tipple I’ve bought, guzzled and lusted after once my supply ran dry. I deliberately left one in my fridge to match up to a zine for this series. It’s probably best to come clean about the fact that I do not in fact imbibe alcoholic beverages on a maximum of twelve occasions per calendar year.
The beer: it’s like drinking this ever-so-slightly alcoholic, slightly bitter chocolate-vanilla drink that feels like drinking a silky cold (but made hot) chocolate beverage. It smells like an enticing candy that won’t make you feel sick because you’ve gorged on it.
I chose Rae’s zine because in just over a week, I’m mega-excited to get to participate in a poetry reading where they’ll be reading too. You might remember that Rae had a poem in the zine I reviewed in the post before this one: I got R&R at that same QPF zine fair. This zine is about Ōkunoshima (Rabbit Island) in Japan, an island that’s part of Hiroshima Prefecture and has live rabbits running about amidst reminders of World War II history.
As someone with mixed Asian heritage, Japan has always struck me as a culture of ‘paradox’ – within Asia, and because of its similarities to (dominant) Western attitudes. A loooong time ago, I thought my life might mean I’d end up living in Japan. Having mixed-heritage children, for instance, would have been considered a ‘pollution’ to his family line. My ex’s family liked the idea of me, but always at a distance, and as an ‘other’. He also said that deliberate cultural blindspots are accepted when it comes to WWII history and the related war atrocities in an attempt not to deal with it emotionally.
I mention this because Rae says on the first page of their zine that it exists to make sense of how confronting and striking having loads of live bunnies hopping about in a site of significance to WWII (Ōkunoshima’s poison gas factory which was responsible for producing what waged chemical warfare in China) oddly does make sense to my head. Not a good sense, but a sense in that the Japanese can adore cats, nature, can have better physical health that their Western counterparts…yet can be deeply misogynistic or homophobic, or ignorant of emotional well-being. What is it about neglecting emotions to a degree where it affects mental health that is common enough to be shared across several cultures (no, really, if you have answers, tell me!)?
This post turned out more somber (sober?) than expected. It’s the first one I’ve edited down to not blab on about personal history. The cricket highlights: beer is delicious especially when made to taste like sweet things even if this is a contradiction, rabbits are scarier than they initially appear, and Japan embodies this metaphorically and otherwise…
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*okay, no one could be that immature in real life and have to be responsible for that number of minors, but the problem with having a brain is there will be many times where you will feel like this is your unintentional peak
**also told another kid that my Haiku Society membership would be revoked because I let them write haiku with three lines/6-8-6 syllables instead of the usual 5-7-5.