It’s not true that there are no new things under the sun – I think I have just seen one such object on our local newsagent’s racks: an attack magazine.
Don’t get me wrong – I realise that publications from the dawn of the written word have come out attacking things – we see it in all the best and worst authors, for equally good and bad reasons. But this is the first time that I have seen a periodical define itself in those precise words. Attack magazine.
Of course, it is connected with the arts. That was a given…oh, wait…ahh, I might have made a mistake in that. It could also have been connected to the left wing of the Labour Party. They rather favour attacks, particularly when in opposition. Not exclusively then, you understand…they do like to do it in the party caucus rooms was well when in government.
But I am side-tracked. The 1cm-thick magazine is printed on very good quality paper – heavyweight and luxurious. It has a logo and screed to say it is in some wise sponsored by the Australian government through a department of the arts. Most of it would appear to be connected to RMIT in Melbourne, and I would be willing to bet a great many of the attacks contributed to it are from arts students in Melbourne.
This is as it should be. Arts students form a valuable resource for the nation and must be supported during their formative years – first by especial programs in secondary schools and then through arts grants in tertiary institutions. Thereafter they should receive large sums of money from state and federal governments and from private corporations for the manufacture and supply of…attack.
Well, that’s what they wrote that their magazine was all about. They know what they do better than we.
Of course their attacks must be directed properly. Target lists for all the most popular attacks are readily available at most universities. The standard categories of target; whites, males, middle class individuals, Liberal Party voters, Christians, Jews, Americans, etc., need no comment, but once the attack artist has settled on the broad plan, there are always details to be investigated.
Will they be able to get funding from one religious body to attack another? Will they be given the latest list of things to be offended about – these change weekly, you know, and it is no good trying to be outraged with material from last month. What about their position on the points table ? Can they get their picture in the paper by camping somewhere and waving a banner? The list can be frighteningly long.
But never fear. Attack artists…RMIT attack artists…are never daunted. They have the firm support of the rest of the RMIT students with the possible exception of the Engineers who think they are wankers, and they can move bravely forward into broad upland plains of protest, angst, and righteousness.
At least as long as the supply of really good printing paper holds out.
PS: $ 14 at your local newsagent. Or read it free if you are willing to stand there for just hours.
PPS: That’s ZOWIE magazine there on the top. ZOWIE is not printed on good quality paper, but who cares?