“Fueled by Fury”… Australian Comic Hannah Gadsby Moves Heart & Soul in “Nanette”—Now Streaming on Netflix…

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‘The pressure of “my people” to express our identity and “pride” through the metaphor of “party” gets very intense. … ‘The Sydney Mardi Gras was my first experience with “my people”. I watched it on my little TV, in my little living room, in my little small dc0ab0985da10a3bf99805753a400420town, and I go: “Wow, those are my people. They’re busy aren’t they? Where are all the quiet gays supposed to go?” …

‘I’m a quiet soul. My favorite sound in the whole world is the sound of a teacup, finding its place, on a saucer.’

Wow. What a show. Smart. Sensitive. Funny. It creeps up in you and makes you laugh and then it places on your shoulders the shared weight of our world…where we are, where we’ve been, where we should be going.

Laughter is not our medicine. Stories hold our cure. Laughter is just the honey that sweetens the bitter medicine. I don’t want to unite you with laughter or anger. I just needed my story heard, my story felt and understood, by individuals with minds of their own; because, like it or not, your story is my story, and my story is your story. I just don’t have the strength to take care of my story alone anymore…what we need is connection.” 

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From Huffington Post…

How ‘Fury’ Fueled Hannah Gadsby’s Stand-Up Revolution

In her Netflix special “Nanette,” the Australian comic is undeniably angry with her industry: “If your only responsibility is to make people laugh, then get off television.”

Hours before I met comedian Hannah Gadsby at a coffee shop in Manhattan, news hit that Eurydice Dixon, an up-and-coming Australian comic, had been raped and murdered while walking home alone from a bar show in Melbourne.

Gadsby was, in her own words, shaken. “I didn’t know her, but 12 yrs ago I was negotiating the world the same way as she was,” she later tweeted. “My deepest condolences to her family.”

Gadsby is accustomed to talking about difficult, painful topics. Her latest stand-up special “Nanette,” which hit Netflix on Tuesday, broaches subjects like the Me Too movement and the homophobia she’s encountered as a lesbian. Throughout the dynamic hour, she tumbles from deadpan jokes about how the gay pride flag is “a bit busy” to unabashedly calling out sexual abusers such as Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and even Pablo Picasso.

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The Error Called Nostalgia: Remember How the World Used to be Better? What if it Never Was?

Damon Ashworth Psychology

One of my favourite movies of all-time is ‘Midnight in Paris’. Let’s just forget about the director of the film for a second, and focus on the main reason why I love it – nostalgia.

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The main character in the movie, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, is writing a novel about a character who owns a nostalgia shop. He clearly idealises the past, especially the creative scene of Paris in the 1920s where Ernest Hemingway bumped shoulders with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Salvadore Dali and many other famous writers and artists.

In the first great scene of the movie, after a few wines and a midnight stroll, Wilson’s character somehow finds himself at a party back in the 1920s, meeting all of these icons. There, he also meets a beautiful and intriguing woman, Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard, who also idealises a time from her past, Paris…

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Naomi’s Room–A Terrifying Ghost Story by Jonathan Aycliffe (Continued) … Chapter 13…

imagesNaomi’s Room, Chapter 13…

Dear God, the clock has stopped. I wound it yesterday, it has no reason to stop now. Of course, it may mean nothing. But the silence feels charged. How I wish I could leave this house. How I wish I could leave.

***

I found Laura in Naomi’s room. She was playing with the doll’s house, one that my father had made in his spare time for Naomi. She had been three and a little young for the house, but he had wanted her to have it. He had modelled it on one he had seen in the toy museum at Wallington Hall in Northumberland, modifying the design of the original to make his version a more or less exact replica of the house in which we lived.

Laura was speaking to herself in a low voice. At least, I thought then that her whispers were intended for herself. I know better now, of course. They were meant for Naomi. And quite possibly Caroline and Victoria, though I cannot be certain. Not that it matters now.

She held little dolls in her hands and with great exactitude was disposing them through the rooms of the tiny house. Naomi had long ago named the dolls. I did not then know with what precognition. Charles and Laura and Naomi, of course. And Caroline and Victoria, ordinary names that had signified nothing. And Dr and Mrs Liddley, which had made us laugh. Sweet Jesus, made us laugh! We wondered where on earth she had dreamed up such names.

I took the dolls from Laura and led her from the little house. She followed me without protest, like an obedient child whose playtime has ended. We went back to bed, but neither of us slept for the rest of that night. There were no further sounds from the attic, nor did I tell Laura that I had heard any. On the floor by the dressing-table, fragments of glass lay glinting in the cold electric light.

***

The next morning, Lewis arrived shortly after nine o’clock. I introduced him to Laura. There seemed little point in continuing the charade. I told him that Laura had seen the photographs. That was later, when she was out of the room. I mentioned to him that there had been some I had kept back. It was then that he told me quickly what he had seen in the shots developed the day before, the ones he had telephoned about.

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Naomi’s Room–A Terrifying Ghost Story by Jonathan Aycliffe (Continued) … Chapter 12…

imagesNaomi’s Room, Chapter 12…

Laura did not want to leave. She was frightened, of course she was; who wouldn’t have been? But not in the way that Lewis and I were frightened. I think she wanted . . . I think that, having met the little girls, she guessed about Naomi. So I showed her the photograph, the one of her and myself, and Naomi in the background, watching us walking down the path. I wonder now, if I had not shown her that photograph, might things have turned out differently? I might have persuaded her to leave, if not that night, then the next day or the next. But I showed her the photograph and she said she wanted to stay.

The rest of that evening was spent leafing through old family photographs. We started with the snaps of our honeymoon, but that led to others, and finally to the photographs taken the previous Christmas. Instead of upsetting her, those last pictures of Naomi seemed to give Laura a sort of peace. Not even the presence in them of the man and woman or the two girls could alter the fact that Naomi appeared, laughing, smiling, happy. I think Laura would have accepted anything just to see Naomi again.

We went to bed late and, for the first time in over two months, we made love. It was the saddest lovemaking we had ever known, an affirmation of the flesh, an unmaking of Naomi’s death. It lasted a long time. Afterwards, Laura wept, the first time she had cried properly since hearing of Naomi’s murder. I held her until she fell asleep. Then I fell asleep myself, still holding her, drifting into darkness, naked, unable to dream.

I was wakened by Laura shaking me by the shoulder.

‘Wake up, Charles. Wake up for God’s sake.’

‘What is it?’

It was pitch-dark. I remember feeling groggy, as though I had had too much to drink. Laura was sitting bolt upright on the bed beside me.

‘Listen,’ she whispered. ‘Listen.’

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Naomi’s Room–A Terrifying Ghost Story by Jonathan Aycliffe (Continued) … Chapter 11…

imagesNaomi’s Room, Chapter 11…

Lewis left shortly afterwards. He took with him the rolls of Egyptian film, as well as those he had himself taken in the house that afternoon. In spite of his strange panic in the attic, he was more than ever determined to dig to the bottom of the mystery. Almost as soon as he had left the attic and returned downstairs, his mood had changed. Two large glasses of calvados had restored to us both something of our former equanimity and composure. I laughed a little, trying to make light of how we had suddenly turned tail and fled precipitately down those dark steep stairs, like children who have spooked themselves in the night. But Lewis remained sombre.

‘I felt it,’ he said. ‘That menace you spoke about. Felt it as soon as I set foot in the attic. Well, it wasn’t so much menace as a feeling of being menaced, if you see what I’m driving at.’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I suppose that’s it. As though someone else wished ill of you.’

‘Oh, yes,’ he said. ‘Undoubtedly. But more than that.’ He sipped his brandy slowly, less to savour it than to bring his mood down the more gradually. The yellow liquid turned in the glass. ‘As though they wished you harm,’ he continued, ‘physical harm. As though they meant to do you some mischief. Hatred it is, I suppose. Terrible hatred. And resentment, I could feel that too. And something else. Jealousy, I think.’

‘Is that what you meant back there when you said you felt compelled to relive your death? That someone wished to kill you? Out of jealousy?’

He shook his head with an air of reluctance, as though he wished he could say ‘yes’ and leave it at that. It took a while and several sips from the glass to bring him to it.

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Naomi’s Room–A Terrifying Ghost Story by Jonathan Aycliffe (Continued) … Chapter 9…

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Naomi’s Room, Chapter 9…

Lewis telephoned later that day to say he had something else to show me, something important. I hung up on him. He tried again, several times, until I left the receiver off the hook. By then, of course, I knew he was telling the truth, that his photographs were not impostures, but images of people no longer living. No longer living, that is, in any proper sense of the word. But I wanted things to end there, I wanted the dead to stay dead. I could not bear to think that they might mingle with the living. More than anything, I now perceive, I wanted to give my own feelings a decent burial. Left above ground, they could only be an abiding torment to me.

The next day Superintendent Ruthven turned up on our doorstep. There had been no disturbances during the night. At my insistence, we kept to our bedroom, though neither of us slept. Laura was keyed up, expecting the sound of prowling footsteps from the room above. Just before three o’clock was the worst time, for we both expected to hear that scream again. When the moment passed and all remained silent, we relaxed somewhat. I fell into a light doze, but Laura–so she told me later–remained wakeful until dawn. No footsteps sounded above our heads. In the morning, I ventured into Naomi’s room. Nothing more had been touched.

Ruthven brought with him a large plastic bag containing Naomi’s coat. Unlike her other clothes, this was not stained with blood. We confirmed the identification for him and he replaced it in its bag for return to his forensic laboratory.

‘Where was it found?’ I asked.

‘In a church,’ he said. ‘An Anglican church called St Botolph’s. It’s in Spitalfields, off Brick Lane–not far from the spot we found Naomi herself. We’ve got people going over the place now, but we don’t expect to come up with anything. It’s an old church, hardly used. A curate from another parish comes in to do a weekly service. That’s about all. A few old folk attend. Some vagrants. Anybody could have left your daughter’s things there.’

‘Whereabouts?’ I asked.

‘I told you . . .’

‘No, in the church, I mean. Whereabouts in the church?’ For some reason I could not explain, it was important to know.

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Naomi’s Room–A Terrifying Ghost Story by Jonathan Aycliffe (Continued) … Chapter 10…

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Naomi’s Room, Chapter 10…

‘What happened?’

Lewis and I were sitting in the study, facing one another across a low table on which I had placed a small folder.

‘His throat was cut. Savage, according to the report we had at the office. Nobody at Old Jewry knows why he went down to the church. They’d finished there, done all their forensic business, and given up. Seems they haven’t found anything yet. They think the coat got there by chance, nothing more. A vagrant may have come across it, taken it to the church.’

‘But why leave it in the crypt? What would be the point?’

‘The caretaker says vagrants go down there sometimes, the clever ones that know there’s a boiler. They don’t last long, though. The place spooks them. Nobody’s ever spent a night there, as far as he knows.’

‘Could they be related?’

‘Who?’

‘No, not who: I mean the murders. Naomi’s and Ruthven’s. Could there be a link? Could Ruthven have been on to something? Panicked the murderer into attacking him, perhaps?’

Lewis shrugged.

‘It’s too early to say. There’s no record of a lead. They only shut down their operation at the church yesterday.’

‘When was he found?’

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