Hello, I’m very angry! Are you angry? Fair enough, there’s plenty to be angry about. Sometimes when people are angry they say things which they shouldn’t. Not shouldn’t as in ‘you are not permitted to do that particular thing’ but shouldn’t as in ‘it would really be in everyone’s best interest if you didn’t do that particular thing.’ Often – especially when they’re afraid – people say hurtful, hateful and racist things. Typically, immediately after that parcel of word-vomit has finished emancipating itself from their mouths they yelp ‘But I’m not a racist and anyway I have a right to free speech!’
There seems to be a lot of confusion about free speech. This is understandable, given that there are in fact many different types of free. Facebook claims to be ‘free’ because it doesn’t charge you money, but it does take all of your information and all of your friends’ information and sells that data thus profiting from the intrusion of your privacy- something that you should be a lot angrier about but aren’t because you’re busy being furious with people because who have varying levels of skin pigmentation. Stores often advertise ‘buy our overpriced plastic consumer goods to fill that empty chasm in your life and receive a FREE GIFT!!!!’ but this makes no sense because gifts are by definition free and if a purchase is required than the object in question is not actually a gift, it’s just another thing.
Given that the idea of ‘free’ is so poorly understood it’s no surprise that some people seem to have a grasp of the concept of ‘free speech’ that is as shaky as a shake weight in an earthquake in Kelis’ yard. Let’s have a quick refresher on how free speech works:
1 You ejaculate a garbled string of wordsounds from your mouth-hole.
2 People respond with their own wordsound ejaculations.
They may agree, disagree, disrespect, expand, expound, expectorate, proselytise, prattle, protest or drop a sick beatbox beat. It’s up to them! This part is actually as important as the first part because if only one opinion was permitted then this would not be free speech.
If you like you can say something hurtful to someone. Or, if you’re particularly adventurous, to an entire group of people, an entire race even! It’s not against the law. HOWEVER, that’s not to say it isn’t wrong. I could cheat on my girlfriend and it wouldn’t be against the law but it would be a pretty horrible thing to do and also quite difficult because very few people are sexually attracted to me and besides who even has the time for an affair? I barely have time to do laundry. So if you want to say something horrible and racist and your excuse is ‘IT’S NOT AGAINST THE LAW!’ you might want to try a fun game called shutting up and/or jumping in a cobra pit.
For argument’s sake let’s say you’re really super keen on forging ahead with wanting to say awful things to people, quite possibly because your world view is as sophisticated as that of an an encephalitic mountain weasel. It’s important that you remember the thing that comes after speech, which is almost always ‘more speech.’ If you say a thing, let’s say for example a racist thing, there is an astronomically high chance that someone will call you a racist. This is because you have said a racist thing. Often this is called ’cause and effect’ or ‘calling a spade a spade’ or sometimes ‘uncle Larry’s had too many tinnies and is going on about the Japanese again…’
People will respond thusly because:
free speech = the right to share your opinions and ideas
free speech ≠ the right to share your opinions and ideas without recrimination or response
If you say something which is empirically false and someone replies ‘You are wrong,’ this is not an ‘attack on free speech,’ it is an act of free speech. If you vomit wordsounds that stereotype, persecute or vilify an entire race then people will call you racist because you have said a racist thing, this is also an act of free speech. You might defend yourself by claiming to be a ‘patriot’ or ‘free thinker’ (there’s that word again!) but neither of those terms are applicable in this scenario. Similarly, if you frequently set fire to things because watching objects consumed by flame fills you with malicious, destructive glee, it is likely that someone might comment: ‘You sir/madam, are an arsonist!’ You may object and say ‘That is inaccurate! I am merely a person who places fire on things and if those things burn it is not my fault the blame lies with said things for possessing flammable properties!’ However, you will be not only incorrect but also the textbook definition of an arsonist because you have repeatedly committed arson.
Thus if you would like to not be called a racist the easiest way is not to do or say racist things. That way, we can all have the right to free speech without necessarily invoking it in order to spread hate. I’m a big fan of free speech, a hardcore fan, a superfan. I want to bribe security to get into its greenrom and have it sign my nipples. In this country I’ve been able to say things in books, magazines, blog posts, poems, songs and on stages that in plenty of other places would have seen me arrested or possibly killed. That’s not something I take lightly, which is exactly why we should use free speech as an important tool in the continuing evolution of our shared knowledge and understanding, rather than as a crutch for justifying linguistic vitriol.
Agree, disagree? Great! I look forward to hearing your affirmations, remonstrations and sick beatbox beats.
Click here to purchase J.M. Donellan’s Book of Things Which Should Be Completely Obvious But You Clearly Still Don’t Understand for just twelve easy payments of $3.1415 with a FREE GIFT!!!
My dearest Vodafone,
You have wounded me, right in the very centre of my coal-black heart. We’ve been together for six years now, ever since way back when Rudd was PM (the first time round). Back in those youthful halcyon days I always swore I’d never go on a contract. All my friends were settling down, signing their lives away while I was living free and easy. I casually switched month to month from Optus to Virgin to Telstra. It was a beautiful, debt-free era and a part of me thought it would be like that forever.
But then you came along, and I committed to two years. And another two. And another. Before I knew it we’d changed PMs four times and you and I were looking at our 6 year anniversary. I’ve never even rented the same house longer than 3 years, so you should know this is a pretty serious commitment for me.
I thought that meant something. You always there for me when I called, unless I wanted to call anywhere outside the CBD and then your coverage would be as absent as dignity at a frat party, but I accepted that you just weren’t the outdoors type. I also accepted that you didn’t even know how to spell ‘phone’, despite the fact that the primary purpose of your existence is to provide telephonic services. I forgave these faults and plenty more besides, because I thought you cared.
Lately, however, things have taken an ugly turn. First, I find out that despite earning 3.6 billion dollars in13/14 you paid no tax whatsoever. Sure, the tax evasion hurts, but you know what really twists the knife? The fact that you kept it from me.
Finally, you decided to check in with me, to see how I’m feeling about you. I respect that you care about my feelings, but I wanted clarification on the nature of our relationship. Here’s what happened:
I’m hurt Vodafone, I’d call one of my friends and cry into the phone at them if not for the fact that I just KNOW you’d listen in. We’ve had some good times, but I’ll be keeping our relationship strictly business from now on. You can assume my reply to all future surveys is ZERO, unless of course the question is ‘how much tax should Vodafone pay after earning 3.6 billion in profits?’
Working in the arts, you have to expect the odd negative review and the conventional wisdom is to just ignore them. However, I honestly never expected that anyone would ever care enough about my work to call for a boycott, and I DEFINITELY did not think that anyone would ever be demented enough to call for a boycott and write a 1300+ word essay based purely on the TITLE! Oh, what a world of wonders we live in! Here’s my review of Gerald Keaney’s utterly sincere and yet unintentionally hilarious boycott call to arms.
1 ““Poetry is dead!” It’s an edgy and intriguing title for a poetry event on 9th December 2015, part of the Brisbane Powerhouse’s end of year Wonderland Festival.
Your essay begins with getting the date wrong. GREAT START!
2 While the pair’s subject matter is up to them…
Implies that the subject matter of an independently produced performance would, for some insane reason, be up to someone else (you, presumably?) This is deranged enough to be hilarious. Please continue!
3 If everyone is a poet, there are no more poets.
In our incredibly brief online interaction I saw you use this line three times, so you’re obviously very proud of it. Poetry is currently a niche art form, so this is hardly a concern. Furthermore, one of the reasons why it is so sparsely practised is because people are put off by the kind of elitist gatekeeping you’re espousing here. Imagine if you told every ten year old who picked up a guitar: “You’d BETTER have a comprehensive understanding of 19th century flamenco music!”
4 Donellan also claimed his “poetry is dead” byline referred to old fashioned poetry. “In with the new, out with the old!” he declares…
You’ve taken a (wildly exaggerated and inaccurate) paraphrasing and presented it as a quote. I seem to recall Jonah Lehrer doing something similar. Things didn’t work out too well for him, did they?
5 Nevertheless Donellan’s endeavour could have easily been saved. He could have been a little more enthusiastic about discussion afterwards… Along with poetry, he obviously thinks public discussion has died, and it is time for the public to sit back like good passive little consumers of art.
I said I was happy to talk after the show – repeatedly – but that we could not host a Q & A afterwards because we had to pack down the stage for the show which began 15 minutes after ours finished. You really don’t seem to have a very firm grasp of either time or basic social protocol. You aren’t an only child who was raised by some sort of humourless disgraced Slavic royalty in a barn with only your rancorous patriarch and pet woodlouse for company by any chance?
6 Even without seeing their show I can only conclude that it is a mistake for Donellan and Wilmett to use the title “Poetry is dead.”
Easily my favourite part. Basically the equivalent of picking up a copy of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and saying: “I fucking HATE rye, I’m not reading this shit!”
7 They are left displaying only a faux cleverness, and the way the pair has used the slogan Poetry is dead gives entirely the wrong message about poetry itself. For that reason my advice is boycott.
First of all, are you familiar with the concept of irony? Seeing as the only thing you seem to be interested in is your own opinions, would you prefer that we called our act Gerald Keaney and the Gerald Keaneys? Because unfortunately that name is already taken by some deranged narcissist. In any case, even if you think it’s a terrible title, calling for a boycott is definitely overkill. What next, call for a ban on poetry readings in a library ? Oh wait, I see you already did that.
8 YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SHOW. I realise I mentioned this already, but I felt it was such an important point that it was worth repeating.
In conclusion: if this is a mislabeled piece of fiction written from the perspective of a character who is a petty, ageing punk who indulges in writing petulant rants and dressing them up as rambling, incoherent academic critique then congratulations, you’ve nailed it!
However, if this is actually a sincere essay, it gets a solid F+. The ‘+’ is awarded on the off-chance that you really are an only child who was raised in a barn with only your rancorous patriarch and pet woodlouse for company. Perhaps next time you could try typing with both hands?
Why don’t you want my money? Is it a moral thing, are you worried that my income is derived from heinously unethical sources like contract killing, drug dealing or writing for Newscorp? Because I can assure you, all of my income is legitimately earned (well, assuming you can call art ‘legitimate’…)
Would you like me to pay you in bitcoin? Dogecoin? Maybe fucking DRACHMAS? And yes, I do know that Greece hasn’t used Drachmas in many years it’s just that 1) ‘drachmas’ is a funny word that sounds as though it might describe a Grandma Dracula and 2) Paying with an obsolete currency makes infinitely more sense than going to great lengths to prevent people from paying you.
“But silly Australian consumer!” you might say. “It’s easy to watch HBO in your weird, kangaroo filled country! Why don’t you just pay for Foxtel?” Let me answer your question in the form of opening a second window in my browser and searching ‘mercenaries located within walking distance of HBO headquarters.’
To sign up for the Foxtel package that includes ‘high quality’ content (why is there any other type being offered on a premium paid service?) including installation fees is $665 – a number so tantalisingly almost satanic that it suggests a bunch of board members sat around and said “Can we make it less than $666 because we don’t want to give away the fact that Satan is our lord and master but only very SLIGHTLY less because, I mean, you know…we love money.” This pricing is bullshit on a cosmic scale. For that kind of money, according to Ebay, I could buy the skull of an extinct Merycoidodon. I don’t even know what that is, but I know I’d rather pay for that than a bunch of crappy reality shows where they put models fresh out of rehab in charge of the economy of a small island nation or whatever dross comes packaged with the handful of decent shows on offer.
Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and had a conversation like this:
Do you know WHY you’ve probably never had this interaction? Because it is a batshit crazy business model that would only be cooked up by an obscenely wealthy oligarch at the nasty end of a six day coke binge. Last year, some of us were hopeful that the streaming service HBO GO would offer up some assistance, but instead you had served up a big old digital middle finger to the world and had everyone outside of the US screaming HBO GO FUCK YOURSELVES when they read this:
It’s well documented that piracy rates are extremely high in Australia. And look, I understand why you might be annoyed about that. I currently lose money to piracy even though you can literally get my books for free from the goddamn library, and that stings. Especially because my landlord refuses to let me pay in dramatic monologues or haiku for some stupid reason. It would probably break my heart, if not for the fact that I just have a fat black lump of coal where it used to be. But one of the reasons the piracy is so prevalent in this country is because Australians are sick of being constantly and consistently screwed on both the pricing and the availability of digital media. You might as well let Pirate Bay put up banner advertising on your homepage, given how much traffic you drive their way.
I want to like you HBO, really, I do. I even want to give you money. But you just make it SO. DAMN. HARD. I shouldn’t need to use a quasi-illegal ‘greymarket’ workaround to achieve this. Netflix finally figured this out last year, surely you can do the same. Or you can keep rolling along using your heinously outdated business model and people will keep stealing your stuff forever. Why don’t you ask your buddies in the record industry how that’s working out for them?
Dearest Sydney Airport,
I like to think we know each other pretty well. You’ve made me remove various items of clothing and screened me for explosives many times. I’ve slept in your chairs, consumed your Krispy Kreme products with jet-lagged jaws and recently you’ve even been kind enough to stock my latest novel in your bookshops. Now, I’ll grant that over a breadth of time and experience a certain intimacy develops, but there are boundaries to such a relationship and one of those boundaries should very clearly be the bathroom. The shitter, the lavatory, the outhouse, the thunderbox, the bog, the porcelain wonderland. Whatever euphemism/dysphemism you want to employ for that tiled little collection of cubicles and piping where humans go to accomplish the natural – and completely disgusting – process of expunging waste. Our relationship is important to me, Sydney Airport, so let me state this clearly: When I am in the bathroom, LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE.
Recently I visited your fair city in order to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival. How was it you say? Why, it was wonderful, thank you for asking! I spoke on some panels, signed some books, performed some poetry and got to meet many of my favourite writers. I did accidentally smack someone’s microphone out of their hand as I exited one performance but I’m going to pretend that the audience thought it was just a sort of hip-hop ‘dis’ move rather than the clumsy flailing of a terminally uncoordinated man. Plus, I got to see the Vivid festival and the luminary Sufjan Stevens. What a magical couple of days, what a grand, kaleidoscopic adventure, what a shame it had to end with a robot asking me “Wanna get naked?” in the airport bathroom.
I applied Occam’s razor to the situation and logically concluded that someone had slipped me a drug from a Phillip K. Dick novel. It turns out, however, that a video vending machine was attempting to sell me Four Seasons Naked condoms. You’ve crossed a line Sydney Airport, the bathroom line. You see, the problem is, I’m unable to boycott the use of these repugnantly invasive machines. Sometimes, I have to use airports, and during my time in said airports I have to use the bathroom. There’s no ‘ad-free’ option. There is no opt out.
Also, Four Seasons, what the hell is wrong you with you? You have a product that prevents diseases AND is directly related to sex, surely that’s got to be a marketing agency’s wet dream? Whatever agency landed your account must have wept into their champagne and sacrificed a few goats in celebration when that deal got inked. How hard can it be to write some ads that move product without invading bathroom privacy? Look, I’ll write some ad copy for you right now:
“The cost of raising a child in Australia is $300 000+. This costs $2. Enjoy your flight.”
“Hi. Buy one of these for $2 and it could stop you from dying of AIDS. I like your outfit, have a nice day.”
“If you don’t have one of these s/he won’t have sex with you. Thank you.”
Seriously Four Seasons, most ad agencies fall over themselves trying to tenuously connect sex to their products. Just look at this:
You can just imagine the conversation that preceded it can’t you?
“Morning Terry, what’s the new account?”
“Hearing aids! Dumb, stupid, bloody useless hearing aids! I mean, how are you supposed to sell a technological marvel that does nothing but restore one of your vital senses?”
“Yeah, I reckon I’ll go with sex.”
It’s worth noting that condoms can also be purchased from pharmacies, at a better rate and with a superior selection. I wouldn’t dream of discouraging anyone from using such a vital and important product, so I’ll just politely remind people that you’d have to be a complete moron to buy a single condom for $2 from a robot with no sense of bathroom decorum when you can buy a whole pack for just a couple of dollars more from an actual person.
Whilst shopping for reasonably priced prophylactics sold by humans who haven’t harassed you in the bathroom, you might also want to pick up some chewing gum. It’s an inexpensive and delicious treat that if chewed during takeoff helps reduce that irritating popping in one’s ears. Also, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but once chewing gum is jammed into a small space – the coin slot of an outrageously invasive video vending machine for example – it serves as a surprisingly effective adhesive that would likely be very difficult and expensive to remove.
Now, I know what you might be thinking, if it was so bloody awful and invasive why didn’t I just take a video of the damned thing to prove it? And the answer is BECAUSE RECORDING ANYTHING IN BATHROOMS IS A DISGUSTING THING TO DO (much like using sexualised robots to solicit you to buy products.)
We’ve had a long history together Sydney Airport, so I have every confidence that you’ll rectify this error soon. I look forward to shitting in peace next time I visit your otherwise fine facility.
J. M. Donellan
PS I’m very curious to know if the vending machines in the female toilets have been displaying equally aggressive behaviours. Visitors to Sydney Airport drop me a line if you have a similar story to tell.
Look, I’m old school about these things. I know I could go to comic book conventions and try and ‘network’ and all that jazz but it just feels awkward and unnatural. I’d rather spend my time eating all the delicious buffet food that the actors take for granted and try to explain to security guards that yes, actually, I am supposed to be in the VIP area and no I’m not a Moby lookalike.
Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah. I NEED AN ARTIST. Not an ‘I made a sculpture out of my hair and threw it at my laptop as a protest against data retention‘ artist, an artist who draws things. Specifically comic shaped things. The story in need of the aforementioned art skills is called the Eternal, and it charts the adventures of O aka Orion/Ophelia/Omid/Orchid/Olof and a few other aliases as they travel alongside a Goddess who has lost memory of her divinity, the two of them used as pawns played by various cosmic forces.
It will be a sweeping fantasy epic beginning in 18th century India and ending in modern day Japan with a cast featuring gods, assassins, thieves, devils and poets (the worst of the whole bunch). It is influenced by graphic novels like The Maxx, Saga, The Unwritten, The Invisibles, Sandman and movies like The Fall, Inglorious Basterds and Snowpiercer. I want it to be philosophical and poetic but also action packed and laden with snappy dialogue.
This is going to be a grand undertaking that will roll out over a few years. I’ve written plays, novels, poems and a whole bunch of other stuff but this is my first time tackling the comic book format. I’d love to work with someone who is also based in Brisbane but then again the internet is a wonderful thing.
My original artist, the incredible Tony Gilfoyle, has had to pull out of the project due to various personal reasons but will be staying on to consult and perhaps help out with later instalments. The sketches displayed here are all his, and ideally I’d love to work with someone who has a similar(ish) style. If you’re interested, you can email me at jmdonellan [AT] gmail [DOT] com and we can throw ideas at each other. Please only hit me up if you are really serious about taking on a large, longterm project and you are a supercool person who is invariably friendly and fun even in stressful situations and you love puns and always gets stuff in by deadline and possibly play drums so we can jam out between sessions to unwind and if you have a helicopter of some sort that would definitely be taken into consideration.*
THANK YOU AND HAVE A NICE WHATEVER TIME IT IS WHEN YOU ARE READING THIS.
PS Re: payment, I’d most likely be looking to split royalties and enter into this as a partnership but I’m open to discussion.
*I am aware that no person this great exists, but it is literally my job to live in a world of fiction.
I’m very excited to announce that the wonderful Microplane has remixed one of the songs from last year’s Poetry is Dead EP. I had the pleasure of meeting Fancisco aka Microplane in Porto a couple of years ago. I was already hopelessly in love with Portugal and visiting this city, home of one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores and the birthplace of port wine, only deepened my adoration.
Microplane’s new EP is based on the idea that ‘planet Earth is becoming a huge “waiting room”. We are spending more and more time seated on chairs, downloading stuff in our mobile devices to help spend time and smiling to touch screens…’ which fit perfectly with the track Mike and I put together for our Cycle One EP. We’re very excited to have it reincarnated here. Plus having my voice transformed so I sound like a philosophical supervillain is pretty great. Also, having one of our songs released on an Italian label by a Portuguese musician makes me feel muito exotico.
If you want to check out the original recording you can get it from Poetry is Dead’s bandcamp page.
PPPS Black flamingo.
Dearest Person Reading This,
I would like to give you synaesthesia. No, don’t worry, it’s not a sexually transmitted flesh-eating fungal infection. You have to go to some really dodgy Ecuadorian bars to get those (or so I’ve heard). Synaesthesia is a neurological blending of the senses. The lead character in my newest novel Killing Adonis is a synaesthete, and my publishers came up with the wickedly clever idea of making this internet tool.
Vladimir Nabokov, Marilyn Monroe and Wassily Kandinsky all had synaesthesia.
Basically what it does is match each letter and number on your keyboard with a corresponding sound and colour, mirroring the way in which a synaesthete experiences the world. You can write whatever you want and share it as a synaesthetic sound/colour/text experience. Feel free to jump straight in and have a play and write whatever you want. You might even just want to tap out a few tunes. You can write some witty/snarky things and share them around the internet (I believe that is the internet’s primary function after all).
However, if you’re not very good at being witty and articulate don’t feel bad. Neither is Tony Abbott and he somehow managed to become PM so clearly it’s no biggie. Perhaps you have other talents like frisbee golf skillz or being very good at finding the best avocados in the pile. Whatever the case, I’ve made a bunch of presets for you that you can tailor as necessary. There’s a selection of threats, insults, pickup lines. Just the usual stuff that a normal person uses a couple of dozen times a day. Click on the links to see and share them synaesthetically. Have fun, make up and share some your own and whatever happens definitely do not send this message to ASIO under any circumstances.
My dearest darling honeyknickers, I have always loved you, despite the fact that you smell exactly like old cheese wrapped in sweaty socks.
Dear Mum, thanks for squeezing me out of your vagina. I hope my annual gifting of a $20 gift card serves as adequate compensation.
Dear [person I am attracted to] I dislike not dating you and would substantially prefer to do the opposite. I do not have chlamydia (at least not according to WebMD).
THREATS & INSULTS
Dear [coworker], if you continue to eat my yoghurt out of the fridge I am going to start flavouring it with industrial strength laxative. And no, I don’t know what industrial strength laxative is but believe me I will find out.
Dear Neighbours, when you have sex it sounds like a pack of rabid wolves playing in a screamo band. PS Do you want to join my screamo band?
If your personality were an album, it would be Chinese Democracy.
If your face were a film, it would be The Room.
Dear Tony, the rumours are not true. There is not going to be a G20 afterparty in Obama’s room. Definitely don’t go there because there will be nothing going on, if there was we would definitely invite you because everyone thinks you are great despite what the polls, commentators etc. have to say. PS Putin says he will meet you on the oval at 4. Come alone. – DC
Dear Mr Pyne, I’m contacting you here because my work email has been hacked. Can you ask Malcolm how to delete emails from the cloud? Cheers. – B. Spurr
PS I’m just shy of my 1000th twitter follower. If you become number 1000, send me one of these synaesthesia messages using #KillingAdonis and I’ll write you a lil somethin’ somethin’ special in reply.
First of all, I was highly disappointed that this novel was not written by Tim Winton. As every reviewer knows, the only good novels in Australia are those that are either written by Tim Winton or try very extremely hard to sound like his work with the addition of a mild idiosyncratic twist. Perhaps a giraffe with OCD and a drinking problem or a sexually confused parking inspector with a penchant for Scandinavian taxidermy.
This book has received a slew of favourable reviews. Books + Publishing said ‘This is a writer with a deft handle on his craft’, Book’d Out called it a ‘surprising page turner‘ and Glamadelaide went so far as to comment that Killing Adonis is ‘great, inventive storytelling from an exciting new Australian author.’ Frankly I don’t see what all the fuss is about. As a post-modern western space opera it leaves a lot to be desired, as an erotic kung fu saga it is (almost) completely lacking in either sex scenes or kung fu sequences and as a technical manual for the Atari 800 it is beyond useless. After reading all 450 pages of this book I am still have no idea how to reboot my mainframe in the event of a lightning strike or zombie apocalypse.
Killing Adonis is incompatible with:
Killing Adonis is completely lacking in digital features. I tried a vast range of swiping and voice commands and it was obstinately unresponsive. The novel is not compatible with OSX , Xbox, Linux or the Matrix and all attempts to connect to WiFi or Bluetooth met with disaster. Furthermore, it proved entirely inadequate as a floatation device in even the most rudimentary inflatable pool testing and when I tried to use it to assemble my newly purchased Ikea wardrobe it was nothing short of unusable.
Under ballistics testing, the book did prove somewhat more capable. Its 450 pages and pleasingly tactile faux leather cover do serve to reduce the velocity of a Walther P99 at a distance of 300 feet. However, at closer proximity the bullet will penetrate all the way through, so use with caution.
Overall I’d give this book 5 stars (out of 100) and unreservedly recommend it as a bullet resistant accessory but strongly encourage anyone who is looking for a Tim Winton penned futureproof Bluetooth enabled erotic space opera to look elsewhere. Available from all good bookstores (and some of the bad ones).