Just so you know, rekeying is a slog. I am finding it remarkably slow going – I can barely believe how long it’s taking me. I’ve only just passed the halfway mark of the last draft, but since I’ve dumped a lot of the beginning for the next draft, that means I’m nowhere near halfway in the actual rekeying itself. Does that make sense? It’s a really big job rekeying all those words… I accumulated those 80,000 words in fairly good time in the very first instance, but retyping them now is a bitch. Still, I wish I’d known about this little exercise while I was preparing to submit my thesis – now there’s a document that really could have used a large, sharp scythe, although the thought of rekeying that ugly monster is enough, even now, to make me want to flee the country screaming.
In the meantime, I’m wondering about the other thing that makes me want to flee the country screaming, and that’s the Productivity Commission’s recommendations (see Australians for Australian Books for a clear picture of the anticipated consequences from the Australian publishing industry’s point of view, and for a less emotional, more cogent response to the news than my own post on the subject, see author James Bradley’s analysis). I am trying to recover my native optimism about it all. I just have to believe that good writing will find a way to reach its readers, and I am not going to despair of that being the case for the future of Australian publishing. No. Too many people work too hard and believe in it too much and do it for too little money and too much love already for it all to go to the dogs. They deserve my faith and that of other readers and writers. So now I’m just wondering how to help them. I guess my first agenda item will be writing to the appropriate parliamentarian. My mother-in-law suggests Senator Robert McClelland, Attorney General, as the recipient of such a Missive of Malcontent, and I think I might spread the fury to a few more quarters just to make sure I don’t miss squirting the right weeds with something appropriately noxious.
Charlotte from How to Shuck an Oyster has just reminded me of another issue on which our government – the same government whose election I greeted with such JUBILATION, mistakenly, naively believing it to be deliverance from the politics of John Howard, which, to my dismay, I now find very much alive and well in the so-called alternative (FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK) – is just thoroughly out of order, and that’s their plans to censor the internet on behalf of the supposedly free citizens of this country (for more information on how to register your disgust with government, click here). I’m not kidding, and unfortunately, neither are they. Um. Gee. You arrogant, Draconian maniacs.
Nothing gives them the right to make these decisions about limiting our access to information, but what I’d like to know is, HOW did we get to a point where they are thus empowered, and feel more than comfortably justified in exercising that power to these ends? I guess the answer is the malaise that strikes this country time and time again. And that’s apathy, deadlier than anything currently doing the rounds of Australian communities. Apathy kills. And we are in the midst of an apathy epidemic.
We all need to wake the fuck up.