Semester Two, Issue 9 Editorial I

I recently learnt how to say no. It was at the departure gate in Brisbane airport, less than a week ago. He was very pleasant, very concerned. He told me they have a group in Sydney who pray for people like me.[1] There were no curious onlookers or self-righteously indignant friends; I didn’t need to…

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I recently learnt how to say no.

It was at the departure gate in Brisbane airport, less than a week ago. He was very pleasant, very concerned. He told me they have a group in Sydney who pray for people like me.[1] There were no curious onlookers or self-righteously indignant friends; I didn’t need to laugh or be embarrassed for him.[2] I just said “no thank you”, and it was the easiest thing in the world.

Saying yes isn’t easy. Yes to commitment and obligations, yes to bruising criticism justified and unjustified.[3] Everyone who has contributed to these pages said yes.

But it’s hard to demur with grace. To disappoint people. To know that there are things that you should do but can’t, that you’d love to take on but mustn’t.

I won’t apologise for this paper. For the messiness and the irreverence and the inadequacy of it and of us. For pandering, for not pandering. I won’t take on the moral burden of de-problematising 500000 words of content—a burden foisted on me by people who tell me I have a responsibility to bring progressive change to privileged institutions, and in the same breath call me this editorial team’s token woman of colour.

No thank you.

Rebecca Wong


 

[1] That is, blind people.

[2] Or awkwardly sit next to him on a bus for 10 minutes like last time.

[3] And a nocturnal lifestyle and a diet of pizza and burritos and cheap curry and not seeing your friends for a year I don’t think I even have friends anymore oh god.

Vice Chancellor Michael Spence.

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