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Editors letter, Issue 5 2020


Kia Ora e hoa mā,


It’s the first day of level 3, and as I attempt to write this letter (while also scrolling Instagram) I stumble across a Reductress post titled “QUIZ: Have You Made The Bon Appétit Focaccia Yet Or Do You Live With Someone You Can Fuck.” And like most things I see these days, I feel like this post is a personal attack.


Okay, well that may have been a little bit dramatic, but in all honesty I feel like every decision being made right now fails to take into account how those most vulnerable are affected. FYI I do live with someone I can fuck, but we’re stuck in my family bubble, which also houses my very conservative Chinese parents (you know the ones who own a fish’n’chip and made me work there every weekend of my poor high school life, but while I’m here, go support your local businesses). So yes, the Bon Appétit Focaccia is serving me better than my boyfriend ever could.


My screen time is at an all-time high. I have found myself frequently refreshing media and news outlets. And all I can say is 2020 sucks. Universities are financially exploiting their students, whoever does the PR for Simon Bridges and the man himself needs to be fired ASAP and KFC is open but I have no car. So, I have been complaining to just about anyone who will listen. I’m also very fragile right now, and if I receive one more response of “that’s just the way things are Rebecca,” I can assure you I will crack. It seems like everyone has default opinions about how things should be, because that’s the only way we have ever known. But what is ‘Default’ anyway, and is ‘Default’ enough? Coming out of this pandemic I encourage us all to be more critical towards the information we are fed and to also question our own biases. I think now, more than ever, we need to put pressure on how things operate. Because let’s be honest, things weren’t great prepandemic either. But it took a pandemic for us to really see how weak our belief systems are.


As you can probably guess, the theme for Issue five is ‘Default.’ We wanted to create an issue that provided avenues for alternative thinking while still providing commentary on existing belief systems.


Our sex writer Casta talks about her experience selling nudes and how she has personally benefited from this experience. There seems to be a strong stigma associated with transactional relationships. In this issue, Casta provides a little insight on how these relationships are becoming increasingly more accepted, and how to best navigate this side hustle. But if selling nudes isn’t your cup of tea, James provides a number of other side hustles that may also pique your interest.


We all know fast fashion sucks. And our default thought when buying new clothes sustainably is to thrift. However, how often do we consider the ethics of thrifting and how damaging it can be towards marginalised groups? Andy recalls his days vomiting at childhood birthday parties and espouses some Macklemore conspiracy theories in an effort to get to the bottom of how we can save the planet and still look good.


Maia talks all things productivity. From the guilt we feel when watching other people’s insta stories, to why we always feel a need to justify time well spent. And Emily touches on the complexities of gender, and how our external environment provides the foundation for our identity.


As always, this issue has a lot of other interesting bits and pieces from our very talented team of contributors. If you’re interested in contributing in any capacity just send an email to rzhong@aut.ac.nz.


Ngā Mihi,

Rebecca

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