From the editor: Carping coy


Is there anything more insidiously corrosive to a life than the idea of being ‘coy’? Probably. But it’s still rotten.

When I was a kid I was at one of those family holiday places – you know the kind, there’s art classes and computer classes and your brother learns how windsurf. There is also a show put on every night by the staff, apart from the last night when it becomes the turn of campers to ‘entertain’. Essentially this was just the chance to work the staff extra hard as they shoe-horned us all into templates of set show pieces.

I remember being thrilled when I was asked to be Olivia Newton-John in a dated template of her 80s hit tune ‘Let’s Get Physical’, leading an exercise class. Of course I said ‘no’. I couldn’t be keen, but fully hoped that they would implore me so that I could say ‘yes’. And they put a wig on a dude and he did it brilliantly to great applause.

All the black and white movies lovingly watched with grandparents said – and even the more recent films agreed – that to get what you wanted you had to be won over. What they don’t say is that this works best for a narrative arc and isn’t really applicable to real life. It’s not ‘unfeminine’ or ‘pushy’ to say what you want and ask for it.

Being coy is pants. And it puts our own destinies into the hands of others, and asks them to be mind readers. So, when you know what you want – tell people! Do that thing! Just like the kids in the Music Marathon (p9), Neil Innes’ constant creative adventuring (p7), and some of your favourite people. They’re not coy.

Victoria Nangle

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