Let’s concede, for a second, that Grace Dunham was indeed the victim of Lena Dunham’s predatory sexual behaviour. That Lena masturbating next to her in bed was an overt display of power, that bribing her with kisses was a form of grooming and that finding pebbles inside her was driven by misconduct.
In my far-off youth, if you wanted to write creatively, you learned to do it by yourself, as there were no creative writing courses in Australia. Did it do us any harm not to have studied creative writing? Would we have become better writers if we had? Who knows. If Creative Writing had existed at my university I’d have done it, certainly. Since then I’ve watched the rise of dozens of these courses, admired the talented writers they produce, envied the grants and residencies they get, and longed to have my time over again.
Put the goggles on and you are in prison, caged in a cold white concrete 6 x 9 cell. The only signs of life are the dirty scuff marks ascending the walls and the steely toilet that drips ‘because it sweats and it hits the floor; chswip, tcshwip, tschip’. Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton’s 6×9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement (2016), along with other VR work, promises an immersive experience, attempting to conjure a first-person experience of the traumatising conditions of solitary confinement.
There are three broad avenues into any conversation on this debacle. One is the brazen illegality of what transpired. Another is the cultural mourning. And the last one is a concentrated nausea toward developers who act unscrupulously. A general revulsion at what went on is the communal hangover.
Eastward from the mountain haze across the bays enduring gaze
Over soft white sands that surround the sleepy islands shore
Through tea trees softly swaying is a lake neath a bunyips playing