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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

No Vote Needed - What's Good Is Obvious

Andrew Ryan

so i fell in love with our uber driver last night. he pulled up outside the bird, i jumped in to wait while jules and kevin were getting organised, and i told him we wanted to go to fremantle. "fremantle?" he said. "yeah fremantle…" "fremantle??" "yeah, you know, fremantle…" so it turned out he was punking me hard, pretending not to know where freo was. as soon as i realised, we both started giggling so much, and that continued the whole ride home, jules and kevin in the back, me and yogi in the front, cracking jokes, punking the other two, and singing along to his djing which mainly consisted of mixing enrique englasias with snoop dogg, with a little bit of shakira added in for good measure, although not even to the second chorus. at one point jules asked him if he'd prefer to marry shakira or beyonce. "it's obvious!" he told her. "shakira!" jules was like, "really, why??" and he said to her "because the hips don't lie". hahaha.

later in the trip i asked him about the tattoos on his neck. "it's just a design", he said "it's my name in chinese symbols." he said it like he knew it was a dirty thing to say, but who knows if that was part of a joke as well.

it's very special that thing that occasionally happens, when you become friends with someone in 2 seconds flat. but that's what happens, and i miss that uber driver.

i've been thinking about friendship this week in terms of the damn plebiscite. the main thing i don't understand is, don't these liberal politicians have gay friends? how can they show up to a dinner party and be there with everyone knowing they're not willing to make their party make the change that everyone wants. yes, everyone. the few people who disagree are just wrong and old this time. some old things are good, this old thing isn't. how could you deny such normal human rights to your friends, and then eat stuffed chicken breasts in their house?

i think about the people on manus and nauru - they aren't friends with members of the labor and liberal parties, so it's easier for the politicians to just deny their human rights. it's so far away, there's water between us, they have different accents, brown skin, different outlooks on the world. it's easier to understand the callousness in that situation, but what if your gay friends are before you at the dinner table?

the handmaid's tale that everyone is watching is a reminder of these things. it's reminding me to take things seriously. i remember the roe 8 time, when i was walking by the clearing area, outside the fence, holding a couple of banksia heads. two police crossed the road. they started questioning me, asking for my name. "are you seriously asking for my name?" i asked, shocked and incredulous, because i know that if police ask you for your name you have to give it. "yes" they said. "but i'm just walking here, i'm not touching the fence, i'm not doing anything except walking along the road" i told them. "well, that's ok, just tell us your name", they said. "are you serious?" "yes" i had to give it to them. "what's in your hand?" they asked "banksia heads" i showed them. neither one knew what a banksia was. "it looked like you were carrying something suspicious" they said. still makes me angry thinking about it.

see, sometimes i think the police and state powers don't really matter. if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't need to worry. but it's not like that at all. my brown friends get stopped by police all the time. walking, driving, breathing. and if a little thing changed in who was in power or how, even if at first it happened 'democratically', it could soon be a time of that again, that i can be stopped in the street, even as a rich white lady, and be questioned, and have my freedom encroached upon with the threat of violence and state force or maybe eventually be sent off to an island to be sexually assaulted and have no way of knowing when i can ever get out or if i'll die in there. it happens slowly, quickly, in the present, in the past, the future, and we have to be on guard even in the good times. but of course, the good times are only good for some. i mainly don't have to worry about people using their power against me ~mainly~ because of my skin colour and being born into the family and place i was born. but, that tv show, even though it's just a tv show, is a big reminder of what has happened, is happening, will happen. no pasaran.

anyway, with freedom i went to a gig at 208s. what a happy night to take a friend there who'd never been there. i saw cocaine for the first time on the way there (i've been under a rock with banksia heads instead of the world of coca), i ate a great kebab in the golden triangle on the way home, and in the middle of the night i got to see one of my 3 favourite heavy bands in perth: self harm. self harm are undeniably soooo good. amongst a night of various versions of metal, grindcore, death metal etc etc (dunno genres) self harm stood tall, proud, fast, tight and as always just eminently watchable. there is something captivating about that singer, don't know his name either, and every band that michael is in (maybe it's just self harm and drowning horse, but i swear i've heard him sing as well.) i kind of wish when softer bands like king gizzard come over they'd get supported by metal bands like self harm, instead of the same sameness, but yeah, i'm not picking line-ups, i'm just saying my opinion out into the wilderness of the 40 people who'll read this article. it seems at the moment that the metal is separate from other perth music, and maybe that's the way people like it, but if you don't usually go dark, go test the waters with self harm and i wager you'll never regret that decision, unlike the australian parliamentarians who'll be passing away eventually wondering why they denied human rights to their fellow people.