Magazines: Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.

 

frankie’s latest edition is somewhat underwhelming, but there was one diamond in the rough: Justin Heazlewood’s “honest look at his relationship with Indigenous Australia” in “Black or White”.

I will admit that up until about two years ago when I started working in the cultural/tourism sector and really immersed myself in the Melbournian way of life, I was “a little bit racist”, as the Avenue Q song goes.

Now, I’m taken aback when friends, family members and, yes, even colleagues, express their racist views. Dare I say I’m offended on behalf of the racial minorities who are victims of racism on a daily basis. (I am primarily a white Australian, but I do have Native American heritage, and I have been the victim of latent racism on several occasions throughout my life). And there’ll be more to come on that later in the week.

Heazlewood references the homeless Aboriginals out the front of Woolworths on Smith Street in Fitzroy, who often get the short end of the stick when it comes to preconceived notions, but I was hanging out in Fitzroy last week and saw just as many drunk and intimidating bums who happened to be non-Indigenous.

But, as I discussed with a workmate over the weekend, city people are far more tolerant than country folk when it comes to race relations. I grew up in a small country town which claims to be the epicenter of Chinese immigration during the gold rush, and it certainly is. But I can only remember one indigenous kid and one Chinese kid at school… and I attended six different institutions!

It’s an interesting take on the cultural/racial gap in Australia, and probably the only reason to pick up a copy of the mag this (bi)month.

Related: VCE Top Designs: frankie Editor Jo Walker Talks to Media Students.

frankie Review: January/February 2011.

VCE Top Designs—frankie Editor Jo Walker Talks to Media Students.


Last Thursday frankie editor Jo Walker spoke to VCE students studying media and design at Melbourne Museum, as part of their annual VCE Top Designs exhibition.

The forum was also headed by two VCAA State Reviewers, who got the event off to a promising start when they asked the students if any of them read magazines as inspiration for their projects, and a tumbleweed blew by.

But you know what high school kids can be like: in the words of Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull, “I’m glad I never was one!”

Walker can count me as one of her loyal subjects, and I hung on her every word.

Granted, a lot of it is stuff I’ve heard before, as it’s been five and a half years since I graduated from high school, but interesting nonetheless.

She spoke about frankie’s humble beginnings, the founding editors Louise Bannister, who left not long after the mag’s inception to backpack around Canada, and Lara Burke, who’s still there as creative director today.

Walker described frankie as a “general interest magazine for hipsters”, which I have to say was a turn off, as I can’t stand hipsters! But, like my friend Zoe, who looks like a hipster on the outside, but is really just a normal, cool, great person on the inside, frankie is similar.

Walker said it’s easier to describe what frankie isn’t than what it is: it’s not a colourful, mainstream mag about how to please your boyfriend in bed. frankie readers already know how to do that, according to Walker!

The mag is inspired by “random conversations in pubs”, bookstores, news shows like ABC’s Australian Story, the internet, social media and frankie staff’s favourite blogs (no word on if The Scarlett Woman is one of them!). But essentially, if editors Walker and Burke  like it, it goes to print.

frankie has stopped using models for its fashion shoots (though not for the cover evidently), instead using musicians in what could be seen as a token gesture to silence its critics.

Stepping away from the typical frankie-esque story, this month has a “frankie weddings” special, which Walker described as “not just another [Cosmo Bride] wedding story”.

Ultimately, Walker says she looks to give each issue the balance, flow and rhythm of a “mixtape” (though I don’t think many of the kids knew what one is; “an iPod playlist”, if you will.)

I was so inspired by the talk and the amount of references to the current issue, I went out and bought a copy, even though I don’t get paid til next week and had already exhausted my magazine allowance!

Related: George Michael Paper Dolls in Independent Zine ZINm.

 frankie Review: January/February 2011.

Elsewhere: [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Why It’s Worth Talking About frankie Magazine.

Image via Girl with a Satchel.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Frock & Roll asks “What Makes a Compelling Website?” Frequent updates, a unique writing style, an interesting story to tell and expertise (on things like “how to make a pillowcase from a DVD player”). Also, the final instalment of “The Blogger’s Guide to Hustling” is now online.

Darling of the magazine world, Frankie, is profiled on Pedestrian.TV.

A pro-hunting friend of mine put me on to this article featured in The Age, entitled “Men Who Kill”. The provocative title certainly reflects what a lot of animal-loving, vegetarian Greenies think about hunters (I, myself, have conflicting feelings about being a meat-eating, leather-wearing, zoo-goer versus being staunchly against animal cruelty, puppy mills/pet shops, fur, whaling etc.), but one quote from the article is particularly thought-provoking: “It’s [the rabbit] out and about and ‘bang’, the next thing it knows is nothing. It’s not tormented by a slaughter yard or fed hormones.”

In other Barbie news, Chloë Browne, guest blogging at Em & Lo, asserts that you can be a feminine feminist… and a Barbie connoisseur. Amen.

To celebrate season two of Jersey Shore, The Atlantic thinks that “We Are All Snooki”, the undisputed breakout star of the show, in terms of “crafting public selves”. Only Snooki’s public self is a whole lot more outrageous and famous than most of ours.

Bret Easton Ellis does The Babysitters Club? WTF? But he does it oh so well. For example, Kristy says, “Like, sorry that you have diabetes Stacey, but do we have to spend half the afternoon discussing it? And yeah, it really bums me out to watch Claudia snort up half those Pixie Stix when she is so blatantly trying to get attention to her sugar problem…” Speaking of Claudia, her chapter is far better; very passive aggressive, in the vein of BEE:

“We were going 30 in a 25 mph Stoneybrook crossing lane, my dad’s hands clenched white against the wheel while I could practically hear him grinding his teeth all the way in the backseat. I was sitting next to my older sister Janine, who had spent the last three days on some sort of cleanse diet because she was, in her words, ‘packing on the pounds like I was the one eating all the junk food.’ Or because someone had switched out her carefully hidden birth control pills with orange Tic Tacs last month. Either one.”

Sometimes it seems my sister and I are the only ones on the face of the earth who have seen/remember/love the ’80s teen movie, Teen Witch. Until Jezebel profiled it! Above, a choice rap clip from the film!

Erica Bartle has a discusses the perils of committing to a comprehensive review of all the September issues and promotes blog loving on Girl with a Satchel.

An oldie but a goodie: “The Self-Manufacture of Megan Fox” at The New York Times.

We can’t have “On the (Rest of the) Net” without the requisite Mad Men link. This week it’s “Mad Men’s Very Modern Sexism Problem” at The Atlantic.