The North


Issue Nº 7

Printed Newspaper Journal – Spring 2015

“You're short on ears and long on mouth”



Recently we stumbled across a very simple yet powerful idea, one of those ideas where you think: ‘Why didn’t my brain have the capacity to come up with that statement?’ It was 5am on a bitterly cold winters morning, we were delivering Issue 6 of the North Journal. Fingers numb and bleeding from the tightly bound newspapers when The Act of Listening was gifted to us via podcast. The ability to listen entirely with your whole self seems like a pretty grass roots idea but is clearly one many of us decide to skip over. Maybe you have already tuned out of this intro deciding to follow the trails of pretty pictures instead.  

As soon as we hit those teenage years our sound proof walls go up. Our parents do all they can to break through, but in an attempt to preserve our dirty, unwashed, salt-encrusted hair from becoming fluffy, smelling of herbal essences and totally uncool we take on the disease that has reached epidemic levels worldwide in angst-ridden teenagers. Mum called it selective… something, selective... selective hearing – that’s it.

I was guilty of tuning out. My sister had it even worse, and we didn’t even have Instagram or Facebook on our phones then. That snake game on the humble Nokia was a major contributing factor though. All of a sudden you wake up at thirty and questions flood your disoriented mind: how much do I really know about my parents, my friends, my town and my extended family? Sure, my mother told me plenty of stories as a kid, but often I was too busy worrying about getting my personal best lap time in Mario Kart. My grandpa told me amazing tales for twenty-something years before it all really began to sink in, and then next thing you know he is gone and so too has his ninety years of history with only us, his next of kin, holding onto his life’s work hoping our memory holds out until we can pass it on.  

This paper reaffirms our beliefs that storytelling is important, and what good is that story if no one is listening? The North Journal is recording our own version of history, even if sometimes we make the odd mistake. We realised it wasn’t Steven Seagal who said, “assumption is the mother of all fuck ups” (Issue 5) – it was the guy playing opposite him. But you get the message. We haven’t heard from Seagal’s people yet but it’s only a matter of time. The act of storytelling however is still there and it means nothing without the act
of listening.

So sit down with your lover, your ratbag kid, your rambling grandfather, your mum, your dad and your enemies. Realise that by having that half hour conversation you are recording history, your version of history. Then pass that history on. Hopefully this paper can continue to collect and pass on this history for years to come.