Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 No 5. March 29, 1972
Dog Bites Editor
Dog Bites Editor
You, Mr Petersen, have obviously forgotten the purpose for which you were given the editorship of Salient for this year. Perhaps you did get pretty bitter and twisted first having to put up with Harcourt when you just knew you were better and then having the chance to prove it last year letting Logan get the better of you and push through Cruickshank to your editorship. After all Dave had some sense of journalistic integrity and everyone knows that's not nearly as good or satisfying as being a mealy-mouthed little prick and letting it all hang out.
Sure students suffer pain from individual intellectual activity so don't give a stuff about our homegrown womens' liberationists but your own appeal simply demonstrates your own fellowship with the illiterati since anyone knows the 'homegrowns' are all motivated primarily by Fyson's ratbag lefty Mormons. That your diatribr Germaine Who? in last Salient got no response so far is probably evidence (or is it a reflection of how far who reads your rag). Don't think I want your job - no - that's up to the Richard Norman's who don't know better than to envy the condemned man his personal treatment. I do think It's fucking awful form though to be lured into worrying about the proletariat - just Imagine being answerable to SCM. However Salient is financed by the student populace and is the assn's attempt to remedy or (ameliorate the situation instead of giving elitist pricks like you a chance to insult their tender pride. Antagonising your readers won't wake them up and God help you if you do succeed going about it by mean-mouthing them. Anyway you're a fool to think one trite article on generalities could do it. The function of the student In this outfit is not to be blackmailed or blackjacked into thinking for himself/herself for starters - its to receive the easiest means to the easiest life and thinking is a drag to most - at best seen as an extracurricular activity on the same level as drug taking is taboo Good students don't have inflamed consciences over womens' rights, race problems, wars and the' rest and to change that would just make them upset. After all it's the exclusivism of being a really bad student that makes it interesting so don't knock the library crew since I'm sure you'd be out on your arse if students just read your paper properly - and knew how bad the editor is Bitter righteousness probably stands alone as opportunity par excellence for witty, interesting journalistic invective and in 'Germaine Who' you lacked the slightest subtlety and interest for that matter. However that was more in Cruickshanks line and you coudn't possibly copy his simple love of the absurd (call it contrary) even at the expense of turning out a readable newspaper. Neither do I support Salient 71 since you both fell too easily to hating your benevolent bosses for their lack of perception in knowing a bad publication when they had it thrown at them each week. Cruickshank was at least possessing of some sense of subtlety and feel for the language which quality you have not yet shown yourself to possess.
Running a newspaper virtually on your own is pretty hard work I know Petersen, especially unfulfilling when your readership are pig ignorant and unconcerned about the shit in their own bed but I just can't help thinking were you even to raise a sound the likes of you would be first against the wall.
But I'm a liberal at heart myself and am ready and willing to give marks for impersonations of Dave Harcourt perhaps some day God will feel sorry for you and give you some credit on a few of the brains Harcourt had that you haven't. The character deficiencies are just about spot-on though Gill - keep trying.
Don't think I'm standing judgement on your attitudes to students it's your conceptions that are all wrong. The concept of a questioning, intelligent, aware university apart from being impossible is an ideal based on the utilization of a raw material intelligent individualists. If you think it's the other way round, that the university makes miracles of the native of granting sight those born blind than a little more realism could go a long way. Students don't want to cars and allowing yourself to get bitter over congenital mediocrity bodes ill for you once you get to see what it's like beyond Salient office and your University.
Why waste time belabouring the impossible losing reputation and credibility. Because you can see between one set of lines is not to guarantee against yourself being one upped, and you've obviously been unable to realize the beneficial results to be enjoyed of an ignorant people or alternatively the dangers of a tittle vision in the hands of children. Count your blessings—ulcers can be useful. No-one's changed the world by bitching and only the fool enjoys the fellowship of other fools. Salient has the tools to mould student opinion so why not try using them for this purpose instead of wasting your opportunities to come out on top by indulging your personal antisocial tendencies in puerile and unrealistic invective.
Please dont print this and justify my suspicions that you are, in fact afraid of public criticism.
T.M. Christian50 Rintoul Street, Newtown. 22 Townsend Road, Mirimar.
[If this magic christian would identify himself as openly as his sour gripe letter is published (there are too many christians here now but most of them are no longer ashamed of their identities), then perhaps we could re-arrange our differences. If he will not, then he is advised to address his future mail to the counselling service. Salient is not a psycho-analyst's office, not for individuals anyway.
"T.M. Christian's" remarks about my personality deserve no place here. His comments about this year's Salient imitating the 1970 Salient can be explained simply as a search for style. If he knew his Salinets as well as he pretends to, Mr Christian would also find ideas from Cruikshank and Roger Wilde, (among others) being used as often as Harcourt's. This letter is published as a request to him to make himself known - Ed.]