Strange contradictions appeared throughout the magazine - you'd get an article about recent studies on marijuana use (bad) and the effects of cigarette on your health (bad), but then you'd get a cartoon showing kids playing with hoops, and one kid saying to another kid, who happens to be proferring him a hoop and stick - 'No thanks - I roll my own.' Even better was a short news-bite simply titled, "Nazis Again", noting: "It is hard these days to find anyone who was a Nazi under Hitler..." Then, two pages later, there was the brazenly titled "In defence of violence". I think it was an anarchist piece looking forward to the coming revolution, or something, but I have to admit I didn't read that far.
Best single title, though, had to go to "Notes from the trial of a notorious onanist" (about Philip Roth and the public reaction to Portnoy's Complaint); best article was by Barry Humphries (a review of Patrick White's The Vivisector in which Humphries spends the first half of the article rambling in a superb fashion about the opinions of a lady from Moonee Ponds he once met.)
Next week, I think I'll go back and have a look at old copies of The Argus.
So anyway, a while ago I was chatting to Bruce Gillespie at the pub and he told me a bit about the history of the Nation Review. Apparently the guy that ran it never made a profit out of it, but basically kept on churning copies out until he ran out of money, selling it in milk bars and corner stores throughout the nation.
They do that sort of thing lots in Melbourne. Prodos hangs out on street corners and gives out propaganda to anyone who cares for a copy. The writer and publisher of the St Kilda Bugle basically gets funded by a rich St Kilda philanthropist who gives him heaps of money and tells him to go nuts.
And look at me, man, I write a blog!