Monday, July 2, 2012

The end of Rave magazine - a eulogy of sorts.

The end of Rave is, above all else, sad. I have not yet seen or heard of anyone crying out and falling to their knees beating their fists on tarmac until bloody, so we cannot say it is harrowing. Nor is it terrifying, because we know of the motivations and the justifications for the actions and they were economically logical. Distressing might be a reasonable description of the human emotive response to the news, but it does not indicate an adequate emotional investment and subsequent loss. Equally, we may be disappointed, annoyed, furious, or even angry. If you experienced any or all of these responses to the news then I think you’re on the right track and somewhere along the requisite stages of grief and loss, but for me, it was sadness.

The adjective cannot be undervalued. Sorrow is a profound thing. The gentle sadness that comes with some disappointment and a small measure of guilt. I learnt of the news a few days ago in an email from Chris Harms (the editor), and have been sad since. There are larger questions to deal with of course. Questions about the future of print media, Queensland’s cultural identity, and the waning strength of local unity. As usual though, the mind brings the concern back to oneself, and I wondered about my own relation to the publication.

I would read RAVE whenever I stumbled across the latest edition either on the university stands or somewhere in West End each week. Back in the days when I couldn’t even get into 18+ events, and I had to save months of wages just to afford the taxi fares to the all-ages gigs. (Subway paid $6.74 to fresh 14 year old recruits.) I was never quite tough enough to know all the bands either, so Rave took on that status reserved for older brothers, people who work at Rocking Horse, and that cool chick you really wish you were friends with – somewhere between awesome, unattainable, sexy, and frightening. Reading it was like dating someone totally out of your league because you were so damn excited waiting for them to call you out on all the things you don’t know. They (Rave) were also far betting looking than I was.

Fast-forward a few years, and I still approached those pages with ever-so-slight trepidation. I’d sit beside my computer as I read it, poised to YouTube or Google, or (in recent years) follow through to their website for the full story. I’d cut the pages out for makeshift posters on my ceilings and think about how amazing it was that this publication was free. That no matter how many shifts I worked, or how many times I forgot to (read: couldn’t afford to) renew my Rolling Stone subscription, RAVE was always there for me. Loyal from the start.

And now we come to now, and I’ve decided I want to be a writer, and so I email Chris and he says my stuff isn’t too bad, and maybe I could write for Rave. So I pitch a bunch of events coming up in Brisbane for when I finish exam block, and then I’m on the mailing list for contributors and the world of Brisbane explodes into my face and I’m so goshdarn excited and stoked and I can’t wait to start…

And then email comes in, that Rave is no more.

Like a melancholy spanner into the cogs/works of my holiday plans. Now I’m typing up a eulogy instead of reviewing awesome stuff. Now I’m stressing about the future of my city when I would have been in the middle of its making. It sucks. It sucks real bad.

Not only have my rocking June/July arrangements been ruined, but the golden glow I’ve felt towards Brisbane since returning home in February is beginning to wane. The only thing to quell the concerns this new challenge raises, is the crowd-funding project for the Queensland Literary Awards over at Pozible. In the first 24 hours $5000 was raised, and as of this evening, $12'000 has been raised. It’s been on the news and the radio, and its been in my mind as a reminder that Brisbane can do this. I suppose I just have to have faith in my city. That, and make new holiday plans. 

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