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  • Writer's pictureTsunami Hee Ja

Pulling Punches

So glad he's in my corner.

Yeah, my husband is awesome. I hope no one gets the wrong impression from this cartoon, because he is the most amiable and least aggressive person you're ever likely to meet in this lifetime or the next - he's just very good at making me laugh when I feel like a pile of angsty turds. Upon reflection, I realise that I've made a habit of not talking too much about politics, social issues, and many of the things I believe in when it comes to making art, just because I've always preferred to avoid conflict and fly under the radar. Growing up I was picked on pretty brutally for standing out, and my safety mechanism was to run swiftly from the line of fire whenever possible. So, I don't think I'm brave enough to talk about everything I am thinking honestly, but I can say this much... In my lifetime I have been screamed at, stabbed, and spat on in public because of my appearance. I have lost count of how many times I've been told "go back to your own country", when the truth is I have no other country. I'm adopted. My parents are white Australians, and this is the only home I've ever known. I would like to believe that the people who follow my work or who are close to me are not the sort of folks who would ever treat anybody like this, but it's not the zealously toxic minority that shapes the attitude of a nation. It's otherwise good people, making thoughtless jokes and sharing intolerant Facebook posts directed at those they see as somehow less deserving of freedom, compassion and respect than themselves, be it because of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. And I know, obviously, everyone's social media is their own to do with what they please. I am just putting it out there, that maybe, before one clicks the share button, it could be worth pausing to think for a moment. If the content is something that makes life a little less bearable for others, is that really the sort of thing you want to be sending into the world? Is it really what you want to be known and potentially remembered for?

Well, maybe it is, and maybe I'm wasting my time, but today all I have to offer are some pictures and words about how crappy it feels to be afraid of other humans.

But also, I really love my husband. Did I mention that he's awesome?

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