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October 15, 2012 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

On Campus

An Uthereal Moment

This week we went in-house (read: cbf searching elsewhere) to our neighbour across the page, the one and only Uther Dean—former co-editor of Salient, playwright and columnist at local Wellington magazine FishHead.

Uther, your column is the only one I read. How does that make you feel?
Unworthy! Makes me think people should read more—in Salient and in general, but it’s much needed validation because I spend lots of time fretting over that column… I kind of know it’s good, but of course, I’m my biggest critic. “What is this, an opinionated rant?”

When will you do us a Mohammed cartoon?

I’m a coward, so never, but thinking about it makes me feel that this whole backlash is an incredibly small minority ruining the perception of an otherwise perfectly fine religion. At any other time of the year most will recognise that these are extremists, but as soon as extremists are on the scene they’re all “Islam is an inherently violent religion!” which, of course, it isn’t.

Do you even go here?

Yes, I do the Masters in Script at the IIML. Next year I won’t be a student so can’t get published in Salient. It needs to be a student voice. When I came back to re-sign up for uni, the guy looked at my record of BA, Honours, Salient and now this, he was like “you must really like university”—I don’t. The alternatives are terrifying or just can’t do. All comes back to the coward in me. Next year, I gotta face the facts.

How do view the role of a cartoonist? Or a columnist for that matter…
Cartoonist: Mine were just me responding passive-aggressively to the dire admissions we were getting at Salient last year. Clearly people were doing them in two minutes in lectures – they were ugly, usually misspelt and offensive, so I wanted to print something worse to shame them out. I just find it for fun! I don’t take pride in them, they just have to exist.

Columnist: My columns have been going off the brief. I’m the recipient most of the time – self- flagellating… it’s interesting having just done things about columns I’m too scared to write about – like relationships, humanity’s inherent possibility for violence and jealousy. Like most, I’ve gotten good at pretending to be profound—no one knows what they’re doing, and everyone is sitting there going “how the fuck does everyone know what they’re doing?” You just start pretending.

What plays need to be read?

Angels in America. I’m slowly dealing with the fact that I’ll never write anything as sublimely beautiful. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which is really funny and mean—it’s four drunk people being mean to each other. Anything by Sarah Kane—her plays are dark and distinct with a clear authorial voice, which is horrible but enlightening.


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