Change and Cheese
I hope you’ve come to this issue of Sunday in a robust and open frame of mind. There’s a little in these pages that might shock the delicate of sensibility. Let’s start with the inside back cover (if you’ll just turn to it quickly and come back to me – thanks). The ad sales team politely told me I could have an alternative ad that was less “confronting” than a cute little calf and its loving mother being torn apart for the benefit of those of us who like to scoff meat and cheese.
I thought about this and decided the Sunday reader was tough enough for the advert. I mean, either you’re a vegan or you’ve made peace with the fact that we separate cows and their calves for our own culinary purposes. (And to be clear, I’m sipping on a flat white as I write this…) If you’re going to eat meat and cheese, why draw a veil over where it comes from?
But drawing veils over things is something we do brilliantly, as a society. Another example is the sex industry – which continues to carry a stigma, although it’s been legal for almost 15 years. On page 14, you’ll find an interview with Jennifer Souness who ran escort agencies in Auckland and Wellington for over a decade. She encountered many judgemental attitudes towards her business, although it was designed to offer protection to those working in a potentially dangerous industry. Despite the law reform, prostitution continues to occupy a criminal space in many people’s minds.
Change is slow, but eventually it happens. Just check out Adam Dudding’s account (on page 16) of playing piano for drag performer Diamond Lil in the 90s. The show’s jokes (about race, about rape) make us shudder now, but in the 90s they were still sending Kiwi audiences into gales of laughter.
Change is good.