THE EDITOR’S LET­TER

GQ (Australia) - - EDITOR'S LETTER - FOLLOWNICK @NICK_SMITHGQ NICK SMITH EDITOR IN­CHIEF

Istill re­mem­ber the first time I re­ally no­ticed Brad Pitt on screen. It was in 1999, the year Fight Club came out, and his pres­ence was im­me­di­ately cap­ti­vat­ing. Pitt had plenty of cred­its un­der his belt by then, but this one seemed dif­fer­ent. His on-screen swag­ger was elec­tric and it felt that if you looked up the def­i­ni­tion of a ‘man’ in the dic­tio­nary, you might find a pic­ture of him, pos­si­bly shirt­less, in all his chis­elled glory. Since then, he’s racked up dozens of block­buster ti­tles, be­come one of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest stars and started a fam­ily with fel­low big-screen icon An­gelina Jolie. It seemed like he had the per­fect life. Like he was the per­fect man. Last year, that changed. The power cou­ple broke up and Pitt, now in his early fifties, found him­self alone and start­ing over. This is­sue, he sits down for a re­veal­ing in­ter­view about what it means to fall apart and – more im­por­tantly – put your­self back to­gether. There’ll be those who say Pitt just needs to suck it up and that ‘real men’ don’t show emo­tion. But if some­one who was per­haps the em­bod­i­ment of all things mas­cu­line can ad­mit his own weak­nesses, then we all can. Be­cause if Pitt’s in­ter­view is proof of any­thing, it’s that the def­i­ni­tion of what it means to be a man is chang­ing. And change is good. Which brings us to this, our in­au­gu­ral In­no­va­tion is­sue. The world, as any­one with a TV or a Twit­ter feed will al­ready know, is mov­ing fast. I can’t re­call the last time we had a slow news day. And while it might feel im­pos­si­ble to keep up, some­times we need to pause and re­flect on the in­no­va­tors who are tak­ing Aus­tralia – and the world – into the fu­ture. Last month, Qan­tas CEO Alan Joyce was speak­ing at a busi­ness break­fast in Perth, when a man marched on stage and planted a pie in his face. Joyce is eas­ily one of Aus­tralia’s most suc­cess­ful busi­ness fig­ures, hav­ing weath­ered plenty of tur­bu­lence to lead our na­tional car­rier from strength to strength dur­ing his nine-year ten­ure. He was quick to laugh it off, of course, but there was some­thing more trou­bling at play here. The pro­tester, it turned out, ob­jected to the com­pany’s open sup­port of mar­riage equal­ity – the idea that lov­ing same­sex re­la­tion­ships, like the one Joyce has been in with his part­ner since 1999, should not be recog­nised with mar­riage in this coun­try. If the pie-thrower thought he’d some­how hold back progress, he would be sorely mis­taken – Joyce said the in­ci­dent has only strength­ened his sup­port for mar­riage equal­ity. And in the af­ter­math of the at­tack, even as the CEO stood there with a face cov­ered in fresh lemon meringue, it was easy to see who looked more fool­ish. Read our ex­clu­sive GQ&A with Joyce on p46. Joyce is just one of the in­no­va­tors we cel­e­brate in this is­sue. We speak to Google about the new world of fit­ness-re­lated vir­tual re­al­ity (p147) and dis­cuss the po­ten­tial per­ils of our over-re­liance on tech­nol­ogy, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. We also look to an Aus­tralian econ­omy with re­tail gi­ant Ama­zon en­ter­ing the mar­ket (p87), and our fea­tures editor, Jake Mil­lar, poses a num­ber of hy­po­thet­i­cals if some chang­ing in­no­va­tion was ap­plied to the big con­structs of hu­man civil­i­sa­tion, like the need for food, war, bor­ders and jobs (p140). There’ll al­ways be those who want to slow progress and who think that there’s some­thing to gain by hold­ing back. But while the piethrow­ers of the world may think that they’re be­ing brave in stand­ing up to in­no­va­tion, his­tory has a way of prov­ing them wrong. And with that, I won’t hold you back from get­ting stuck into this is­sue any longer. En­joy.

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