Typewriters & the Men Who Love Them

Reports of the typewriter’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Newspapers all over the world might run headlines of their extinction (“Last Typewriter Factory Left in the World Closes Its Doors!”), but hey: newspaper editors love stories about extinction, as long as they’re not about newspapers. Even now, small office supply companies quietly manufacture typewriters, and boutique businesses now devote themselves to restoring the old beasts like prized antiques. As recently as 2009, the New York City Police Department spent close to $1 million on typewriters (though this is more evidence of gross inefficiency, probably), and “type-ins”—special evenings where people gather to tap out hand-typed letters—are becoming big amongst hipsters.

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The Refugees Are Coming!

Edited version originally published in frankie #43 (Sept/Oct 2011)

Lock your doors, my fellow Australians! Shut your blinds, crawl into your bomb shelters and sandbag your daughters. For there is a collective menace lurking our island shores, and they come to ravage our country, take our jobs and plague our communities with crime, disease, headscarves and delicious ethnic food. Their transport of choice? Loathsome ocean-faring vessels of sophisticated design—‘boats’, they’re called—and when our federal politicians’ highest priority is to stop them no matter what, you know we have a problem. God help us all. Continue reading

When I Was 20-Something: Jenny Kee (interview)

We were part of a gang who all knew there was a world out there. Only a tiny pocket of it was in Sydney. Sydney had been pretty boring. I’d been at East Sydney Tech doing dress design, and it was a very old-fashioned type of design school where they wanted you to make little shirts, and it wasn’t at all inspired. It’s an inspirational place now, but it really wasn’t in the early 60s.

Me and my girlfriends knew what we wanted was in London. It was a need to express ourselves and we just wanted action. Heading to London was just the thing. You didn’t fly then, so you had to get a boat—six weeks to London—and sailed on the high seas. There was no stopping us. Continue reading