Editorial – RT42

Bum sniffer turns innovator

As postmodern theory has asserted, performance is everywhere you look. But you have to know how to look. It helps if you’ve got a videocamera to note the finer details, or see things that real time viewing would never reveal. Fox has released slomo video shots of rugby league player John Hopoate violently goosing (or “date fingering” as coined by HG Nelson) the opposition in order to “immobilise them”, as one player put it. Viewers are aghast. Parents kick the TV power plug out of the socket or shield the eyes of the innocent. Grown men throw up over TV dinners. Team officials pretend shock. Players line up to come out—“he did it to me…it’s not uncommon…it’s just part of the game…” Well, well. No wonder men and women alike are turning away from league and taking up rugby union in droves. Doubtless the video footage will become a collectors’ item, aided by the media’s insistence on showing the footage over and over like the crash of the Hindenberg. Whatever, Hopoate has given new meaning to that old expression “bum sniffers” as applied to rugby league players ( The Dinkum Dictionary, 1991). What a creative nation.

In RealTime 42 cultural matters are only a little more refined as Linda Jaivin and Trevor Hay look into post-Cultural Revolution art and literature—the paintings of Sydney-based Guo Jian and the novels of Anchee Min, who lives in the USA. Exorcising the Cultural Revolution is not only therapeutic, but it can also be commercially satisfying—witness the trade in Cultural Revolution kitsch in China and Singapore, including DVDs of Madam Mao’s model operas and ballets which are central to the images and lives presented by Guo Jian and Anchee Min.

So that RealTime can become more and more a part of your life, take a look at our website between editions. You’ll find breaking stories and selected articles published ahead of the next print edition. We’ve also installed a good search engine, which not only allows you to find articles and artists appearing in RealTime, but also is great for web-surfing in general. Our website has been incredibly busy in recent weeks, prompted partly by interest in the response to the Richard Wherrett speech (See RT#41, page 23) and the Benedict Andrews reply (this edition, page 23) to Louis Nowra that we published online in March.

After 7 years of publishing RealTime we’ve finally decided to run a regular letters page (RTpost, page 10) and a news & commentary page (RTtalk, p11). These are modest responses to the vast amount of talk that goes on around the arts and the importance we place on dialogue with our readers.

RealTime issue #42 April-May 2001 pg. 3

© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 April 2001