Edgy urban culture.
BLAIRE 1 JUNE 2014 EMILY EATON EDITOR SARAH LONG CREATIVE DIRECTOR DAVE LEE ASSISTANT EDITOR NICOLE MCMAHON ADVERTISING / MARKETING EDITORIAL CONTRUBITIONS: MONICA JANKOWSKI MUSIC NICHOLAS IVANOVIC FILM MIA FRANCISCO LIFE TOM BENSLEY LIFE GEMMA DAVIES LIFE SPENCER HADLOW LIFE ISOBELLA VAN SCHAIK LIFE MITCHELL PASCOE SPORT TORY PRICE FASHION PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRBUTIONS: LUCIEN GRAETZ FEATURING: DUNE RATS, HANDS LIKE HOUSES, JOSH GALLETLY, LINDSEY FISETTE, THIRD CHAPTER FASHION SPONSORED BY OZ APPAREL ENQUIRIES / SUBMISSION / ADVERTISING: SARAH@BLAIREMAGAZINE.COM ABN: 62359130068 BLAIRE MAGAZINE IS AN AUSTRALIANBASED INTERACTIVE PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT. LAUNCHED IN 2012 AS A BLOG PROJECT, BLAIRE’S INITIAL SUCCESS RAISED BIG INTERVIEW AND PRESS OPPORTUNITIES, ALLOWING FOR A RELAUNCH IN MAY 2013. WWW.BLAIREMAGAZINE.COM 2 3 40. LINDSEY FISETTE PHOTOGRAPHY 4 CONTENTS 06 PRE-DRINKING CULTURE 08 DUNE RATS 14 MUSIC REVIEWS 16 HANDS LIKE HOUSES 20 FEATURE ARTIST / JOSH GALLETLY 28 ONLINE PERSONALITY 30 RAPE DEBATE 32 FASHION / THIRD CHAPTER 37 FILM REVIEWS 38 FEMALES IN FILM 40 FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHER / LINDSEY FISETTE 50 WORLD CUP SILENCE 52 SAVE OUR SOULS / SYRIA 54 COCO THE KINKY COP 5 PRE DRINKS SURE, PRE-PRINKING HAS LEAD TO ALCOHOLRELATED VIOLENCE, INJURIES AND DISEASES MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, BUT DO WE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THAT? It’s the end of another long workweek. You’ve just walked out of the office at 5.30pm after a 10-minute lecture from your boss about how ‘just because its Friday afternoon doesn’t mean you should slack off at the end of the day’. Apparently the last hour on a Friday should be our most productive – despite the fact that the rest of the office is already long gone at this point. Anyways, you shrug it off and head home – trying to savor that feeling of freedom as much as you can, knowing that Monday always comes quicker than expected and you have to start all over again. You’ve organised to go out with a bunch of friends to some club in the city. Naturally you can’t wait. You want to chuck on something new or sexy and thrash around on the dance floor until it’s time to just in a cab to head home for a much needed sleep-in. Before you head out though you have to pick up some drinks from the bottle-o. Tonight you’re hosting pre’s. What we in Australia call ‘predrinking’ goes by many other names around the world, including but not limited to: pre-gaming, pre-partying, pre-loading, prefunking, or prinking. Basically what it entails is heading 6 to the closest bottle shop and purchasing as much cheap alcohol as you can to have at home or at a friends place before you head out for the night. You hear a lot in the media about Gen-Y’s love affair with pre-drinking – usually followed by a list of all the negative aspects of it. Honestly, most of these are valid. Local businesses often suffer, as younger people are less likely to buy drinks. Pre-drinking also tends to lead to binge drinking. Young people will end up drinking more and for a longer period of time if they start their night pre-loading at home. This then leads to host of other problems. It can lead to a rise in alcohol-related violence, more alcohol related injuries and most importantly; a higher risk of alcohol related diseases and health effects in the long term. Obviously these are all very serious, and shouldn’t be ignored but in true Gen-Y style I thought I’d list some of the positive things about pre-drinking (remember to always drink responsibly). 1) Pre-drinking is cheap. It’s common knowledge that the biggest reason for pre-loading is that booze bought at the store is always cheaper than booze bought at the bar. I would like to personally pay tribute to the Smirnoff Double Black, the alcoholic savior of straight girls and gay men everywhere. To buy a double black at a bar or club can cost north of 12-13 dollars in some places - whereas on a good day I can buy four for just over 17 dollars. That’s almost 4 times the amount of drinks for the same price. As cost of living continues to increase its understandable the young students will want to save money by stocking up at home. 2) It’s a great confidence booster. I know for me personally, going out and being around a whole bunch of strangers can be quite overwhelming. Having a few drinks before you leave can help to relieve some tension. This proves to be great defense against the occasional ‘judgie budgie’ that unfortunately tend to lurk around in some of Melbourne’s nightlife precincts. Once you’re tipsy from pre-drinking you won’t give a second thought to the judgmental side-eye they’ll give you from across the other side of the bar. 3) Insulation. Night times – especially winter nights in Melbourne – are freezing. Pre-drinking is a great two-pronged solution. Firstly, you get to spend more time at home in front of a heater or fire away from the cold. Secondly, by the time you head out you’ll be drunk enough you want even feel the cold anyway. This is a great solution if you’re someone like me who hates worrying about where to put a jacket at a bar so he won’t forget it later. 4) You get to spend more quality time with the people that really matter. I can’t speak for everyone but I know that thing I enjoy most about going out is getting to spend time joking around with my friends. You can go out and drink and dance and laugh and try to chat to strangers but it will never quite compare to the fun that you can have with your friends before you even leave. I know my favourite nights are the ones where ‘pre-drinks’ become ‘drinks’ – and we never quite make it out the door. Its safer, its warmer, its cheaper and its easier. There are really not a whole lot of downsides. Pre-drinking is something that has been going on more many decades and will continue for many more. Just remember to always be sensible and drink responsibly. Cheers! Spencer Hadlow 7 DUNE RATS 8 Dune Rats’s unique so and they’re showi are seriously cool d all – the tour, the a ound has captured our attention, ing the world how it’s done. They dudes. We chatted to BC about it album and their love for all things green. Before we get to the serious questions, I just want to know, what does BC stand for? It’s a nickname! It stands for Byron-Clune, which is the hyphenated last name, given to me by my parents at birth. Michael is my first name. When I first went to high school, my teacher called me BC because my last name was too long and hard to pronounce. Everyday during roll call she called me BC. Then everyone started calling me BC and it just stuck from there. Cool! Now, how did the Dune Rats come to exist? I was playing in another band at the time and so was Danny. We kept running into each other in the Valley (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane). We even versed each other in a band competition one time. We both ended up loosing. That is pretty funny. We kept meeting up with each other and going back to a friend’s house after we had been in the Valley. We would get stoned together or whatever and kept talking about starting a band. We talked about it for about it for like half a year and eventually, we got the chance. We wrote our first couple of songs and the band started from there. We met Brett crossing the road. It’s a funny story. He came with us to a drug dealer’s house and then we got baked and chilled out. He ended up joining a band called Bleeding Knees Club, and we went on tour with them. We had rotating bass players at the time and that’s when he stared playing bass for us. It all kicked off from there. You started as two and then you added a third member. How has that shaped your sound, your music and the way the band works? Instead of two dudes with long hair, now there’s three [laughs]. Sound-wise, I guess we have more rhythm. Having Brett in the mix has changed the sound and it’s awesome. He’s a really good musician. He can play pretty much every instrument. He’s better at drums than I am! We get along really well. We’re stuck in each other’s pockets for a majority of the year touring and we never have any problems. We just went to the States together for like two months, living in an RV and we didn’t fight once. We’re all really close friends. No dramas at all. Your music has a really unique sound. Who or what inspires you guys musically? I guess its whatever bands we liked growing up. They say your sound is a mix of what you used to and do listen to. It’s a mix of everyone’s individual sound smashed together and I guess that’s what it’s like for us. We just kind of get into a room and don’t really talk about what sound we want to come up with, it just happens. We jam and play some songs and that’s generally how our songs come about. Your debut album coming out soon. In Australia, it will be out on ‘Dune 1st’ How are you feeling leading up to the release? Are you nervous? We’re really stoked about it. It’s going to be good! It’s the first album we’ve ever put out and it’s the first album I’ve ever been a part of or played on. I’ve only ever put out shitloads of EPs. I’m stoked to have a full-length album with heaps of songs on it. Am I nervous? Should I be? [laughs] I guess? I don’t know. We’ve had the songs for so long now so in my head, it’s like we’ve already put the album out. We’ve been playing the songs quite a bit around America and other countries for the last couple of months. What’s the writing process like when its time to come up with a song or an album? Are you all involved? It’s basically all three of us, in a shed with drums, bass and guitar. We play our instruments together, at the same time and eventually the noise comes > 9 out and turns into a song. We keep adding parts and then another part and another part. We put it all together and then start to focus on fixing it up. We add some backing vocals and that’s really it. It’s not like one person goes away, writes the song and then comes back to the band and gives us each our parts. It’s a group effort. We almost always start with the music first though. There’s one song that we started off with lyrics first, but it never really turned into a song. It’s just fun to sing when we’re drunk. That song needs to go on a future album for sure! Can you tell us a bit about what we will hear on the album? You’re going to hear twelve tracks. My favourite one on there is called ‘Superman’. There’s going to be a bunch of music and a bunch of singing. You’ll hear the production work of a guy called Woody. A few smiling faces too. It’s a bit different to what we’ve done in the past. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s more musical, I guess. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why? Living, it would either be Dave Grohl or Paul McCartney. Dead, it would have to be Tupac or um, Tupac. Dave Grohl because I reckon he would be an awesome guy to hang out with. Paul McCartney because he was in The Beatles. And Tupac because he’s the OG. Your tour started in April but you won’t be in Australia until June 12th. How have you prepared for the two months of touring? I hadn’t even packed and we were leaving in less than 24 hours to catch a flight. I haven’t really done much preparation for it. I tried to pack a lot lighter than I did when we went to the states. I was just carrying a massive suitcase around the whole time. Then I bought a bunch of clothes and they wouldn’t fit in the bag. So this time, we’ve packed sweet fuck-all, and we’re going to pick up clothes as we go. We didn’t even know what the weather would be like during the tour, we assumed it would be cold. Just pack one jumper and that’s all you need. Just bring one backpack and sort it out from there. Where are you most excited to perform on the tour? I’m looking forward to going back to South Africa and going to Europe because I have never been there before. I went when I was a kid to Sweden but it doesn’t really count. New places are always the most exciting for me. I can’t wait to go back to Bali as well. Bali is the best! We ended the overseas tour there. We’re staying there for five days or a week or something this time, so I can’t wait to just chill, get massages, drink on the beach and ride around on mopeds. It will be sick. You mention South Africa. Not a lot of bands head to South Africa as a part of any tour. It’s cool that you guys are doing something totally different in the sense of where you are taking your music. Are there any cool memories you have from the trips there that are special for you? When we first got to South Africa, we thought it was going to be really fucked up and scary. We had heard all these stories from other people. Hank, the guy who took us around, picked us up and drove us straight through the ghetto over there. We fucking freaked out. Everyone was silent in the car. We were like, ‘Fuck, what did we get ourselves into!’ We didn’t even want to stop at traffic lights. We drove over the Nelson Mandela Bridge and it was all over. Hank told us we wouldn’t experience anything scarier than that on the whole trip. He was right. That was the scariest experience of the whole trip of South Africa. It was just generally really chilled after that. We were just surprised at the amount of people who came to the shows in South Africa. A lot of them also came bearing gifts of weed. > 10 WE WERE JUST SURPRISED AT THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WHO CAME TO THE SHOWS IN SOUTH AFRICA. A LOT OF THEM ALSO CAME BEARING GIFTS OF WEED. 11 ALIVE? HOPEFULLY ALIVE. NO, THAT’S ABOUT IT. I WOULD BE PRETTY HAPPY WITH THAT. AS LONG AS I’M BREATHING, I’M SWEET. If the world was ending tomorrow and you could do anything you wanted to do on your last day, what would you be doing? I suppose if I was going to die anyway, then I would go and get a bunch of hardcore drugs and smoke it all. You’re gonna be fucked anyway, you might as well end it on a high. I’ve never had any of the hard stuff but I may as well try it. At least I wouldn’t feel any pain. You guys are classic Aussie blokes. You love music, beer, the babes. Do people outside of Australia get you guys? Or is it hard to relate to people in other countries? When we toured China, they definitely didn’t get us. [laughs] I think we came across as a boy band over there because we were all white dudes, with long hair and tattoos. I think that’s the only thing they could understand us as. It was pretty funny. The guy that we were touring with kept calling me Justin Bieber and I was calling him Justin Timberlake. South Africa gets it and so does America, I reckon. Not China. And not Vietnam either apparently? I read that they weren’t too impressed with the Dune Rats and your love of weed, amongst other things? Yeah, we had a show booked there and we were expecting to go over there and play it. But before we could, they said that we couldn’t. They worded it some weird way but basically it meant that we couldn’t play the show with our bong video clip. We were supposed to go back there on this tour, in the Asian leg near the end but I guess we didn’t get booked again. You guys don’t hide the fact that you like to smoke and drink. The video clip is a proper example of that. Do you think that this could stop you from achieving more success than you already have? We haven’t really had many troubles with it apart from the Vietnam incident. I don’t really think so. We’re not really fussed about it. I mean, we don’t get many corporate gigs and stuff like that but on the flip side, we get to play at the real cool venues. So, its alright for us, we aren’t fazed. We’re comfortable with who we are. Where do you guys hope to be in another five years time? Alive? Hopefully alive. No, that’s about it. I would be pretty happy with that. As long as I’m breathing, I’m sweet. Three words to describe the Dune Rats? The. Dune. Rats. If I had to pick another three it would be: BC, Danny, Brett. Or: Fuck. Yeah. Cunts. That has to be the best answer to that question so far. Good luck with the tour and the album. See you guys soon back in Australia. Thanks! Hopefully, we make that five-year goal and make it back alive after the tour. Peace out. Monica Jankowski 12 13 MUSIC REVIEWS / Sarah Long Chet Faker / Built On Glass Ahh, Chet Faker. The dreamboat. His mesmerising voice and alluring eyes had me at hello, and I think I’m talking on behalf of every woman in Australia. This guy. He’s unbelievable. Now that he has captured the hearts of many, he has released his debut album Built on Glass. Two years in the making, it was masterfully recorded and produced by the man himself. It brings together his love for music and all of its genres. From RnB, to indie to house, and soul; simultaneously sounding nostalgic and innovative. Built on Glass starts with some lounge-level organ, lightly touched, but he then throws in an electronic rush, mixed with his vocals, which brings a real soulful sound! ‘Talk Is Cheap’ highlights his love for blending soulful singing and occasionally daring electronics. Anyhow, this album is rad. The perfect sounds to get around whilst lounging on a rainy or sunny Sunday afternoon. 14 Thundamentals / So We Can Remember The Aston Shuffle / Photographs If you’re yet to be familiarised with Thundamentals, allow me to introduce you to one of the most popular hip-hop acts currently circulating the country. Album number three, So We Can Remember is becoming a hugely successful one. The guys have introduced parallel light and dark in their song themes. This album is filled with deep, soulful lyrics and innovative production. From the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek verses of ‘Quit Your Job’ and ‘Noodle Soup’, to the darker and more politically aware melodic tracks, the guys have nailed it. Opening number ‘Home In Your Head’ is a slow jam that features soulful vocals. There’s something very sexy, self contained and cool about it. Thundamentals needed to stand out from the crowd with this album, and they have well and truly succeeded in doing exactly that. I really, really, really love their new album! It’s fucking awesome. I have always loved The Aston Shuffle, but this album honestly kicks arse. It’s so much fun. You can listen to it in any mood and their sounds will suit it, unless you’re in an angry mood, then it will make you really happy. Their latest album Photographs was worth the wait. They have worked with with Kaelyn Behr, Mayer Hawthorne, Elizabeth Rose and Joel Compass; just some of the vocalists that lend their pipes for the dance-driven album. Album opener ‘Tear It Town’ has been getting plenty of love and remix attention from the likes of Indian Summer, and stands out as one of their finest. ‘Comfortable’ is my pick of the bunch. Photographs is a hugely enjoyable album and a strong effort from the Canberra boys. I cannot wait to see where they take this material this year. DZ Deathrays / Black Rat With huge success from releasing their debut album of international acknowledgment, Shane and Simon only had one motive when launching album two, and that was to outdo their first. No biggie at all. Just make sure that you produce something better than something that was already fucking unreal. So off the two boys went on an adventure, to make this wild dream come true. They rented a house near Yass in NSW to write the album, before collaborating with their producer and recording. So what did the two boys produce? Punk-rock riff-raff mushed into the sounds of guitar pedals and loud head-banging drums. You feel compelled to like this album, and the boys are kicking some serious butt worldwide. Songs like ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Keep Myself On Edge’ are just a few of the songs that give you a taste of what they have up their sleeves. PHRESH TILL DEATH STREETWEAR 15 phreshtilldeath.bigcartel.com HANDS LIKE HO 16 OUSES Hands Like Houses are kicking goals. The Canberraborn boys are touring the States before they return to Australia later in the year. Their new video has just come out and has had a tremendous amount of success worldwide. We chatted to vocalist, Trenton Woodley. How is your tour of the US going so far? It’s been great! Had a few logistical nightmares over a few days, trying not to miss a show while our van was in the ER, but overall the response has been great, the bands are phenomenal and we’re stoked to be a part of it. What do you miss most about Australia when you are away? I think that’d vary for each of us, but for myself it’s definitely my fiancé and family. Being away is tough but having someone to be your anchor and reference point for who you are means you’re always making sure not to miss or waste any opportunity or time away. Beyond that, I miss good quality food (especially cooking at home) and the ability to sleep in a full-size, stationary bed haha! You’ve just announced dates for an Australian tour which is super exciting! How important is it for you to have support from fans back home? It’s huge for us – we are Australian, we’re proud of our country, our upbringing and our music scene and so it’s incredibly important for us to be able to come home and not feel like we’re foreigners in our own land. Australian shows have actually been among the most fun we’ve ever played because I think people are starting to take pride in what we’re about and it shows. What has been your favorite moment of the year so far? I think our hometown show in Canberra in February was pretty amazing just because of the friends and family that made it incredible, that or Self Help Fest in California last month; we played to 5,000+ people and it was pretty mind-blowing. Unimagine is the current album out and it’s also the dreaded second album. Were you guys nervous going into the process of creating the album? Absolutely – Ground Dweller had become such an underground favourite to a lot of people, that we were nervous of how to follow up in a way that progressed but didn’t leave anyone behind. We had to go in with the utmost confidence that our ‘sound’ is simply what comes naturally to us, and as we mature and improve as people and songwriters, we hope that is reflected in the music. I suppose we’re looking down the barrel of the same challenge going into album number three, but we’ve been blessed with a huge response to both albums so far. We hope to keep the faith going forward. Did you aim to keep things similar to the first album or did you try mix things up completely? Like I said earlier, we just tried to progress intelligently and naturally. We’d actually had three years between starting Ground Dweller and recording Unimagine, as there were a few back-and-forths and delays in making Ground Dweller a completed reality. So it sounds like we grew up a lot in a short amount of time, but in truth we had a big head start long before Unimagine came about. There are six of you in the band. Is it hard to organise yourselves and make group decisions without any drama? Haha absolutely. In some ways we work exceptionally well because we’re a band of brothers. Of course we disagree pretty fiercely on things from time to time, and there are the occasional frustrations of who is cleaning up after who, etc. but overall we have a great mutual respect so > 17 HONEST, INTELLIGENT ROCK... I THINK THAT’S OUR GOAL WITH WHAT WE WRITE AND WHO WE ARE AS A BAND. 18 everyone is accountable. Drama never lasts longer than it needs to to motivate constructive action. Out of all of you, who is the funniest? I’d like to say me (Trenton) but then again I have a VERY dry wit so I think everyone else would disagree. But tough biccies boys, I’m answering the interview. Parties the hardest? I’d say Alex. He’s not so good with knowing when to stop haha. Is the clumsiest? Coops, he loses a wallet every other tour. Is the messiest? Between Coops or Alex again. Both have a shifting, evolving mess of assorted items that rotate between their bunk, the seats or floor of the van periodically through the day… much to the protest of Joel, Jamal and myself who usually do the cleaning up haha! What is your favorite song on the album? For me it’s probably ‘Wisteria’ at the moment. It changes all the time but I’m really enjoying it live. In a way it sucks that it’s a song about a very dark time in my life but at the same time it’s good to be able to get it out and take on the strength I found in climbing out of it to amplify the song. Which is the theme of the lyrics, really. Music’s cool like that I reckon! You’ve just released a video for ‘A Tale of Outer Suburbia’ and everyone is loving it! Where did the inspiration for the video come from? It was actually a pretty simple and open concept we presented to Josh (Aylett, Director) that we wanted a simple, well executed video involving some form of dance interpretation and something that would challenge people to think or feel about their interaction with the song. We think he nailed it! What was it like working with Joshua Aylett on the video? We gave him a pretty open-ended brief, but he came back with a bunch of video references and an ambitiously simple treatment that got us both confident that he’d be able to deliver, and also uncomfortable that it might go over the heads of some people (specifically youtube haha). Even some of the folks at our label were very, very skeptical about it but we pushed it through and it’s come out brilliantly, and to an overwhelmingly positive response (especially compared to what we feared). What do you guys do in your downtime to relax? We tend to disperse like oil in water in the first week or two of getting home, just disappearing into our own lives and relationships. Between us all, we read, play games, watch movies, travel, write, etc. If the world was ending tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? Scrambling desperately for a way home to spend as much time as possible with my fiancé before the meteor hits. Assuming it’s a meteor of course. Where do you guys hope to be in the next five years? Man, five years is such a long time in the modern music industry. We’ve already come so far in three. I’d like to think if we’re all still in the band in five years we’ll be doing it for the love of the music and not trying to claw at some semblance of a ‘career’ if it’s not happening naturally. It’d be great to be at the level of say, 30 Seconds to Mars, or Foo Fighters or anything like that, but I don’t think there are many bands these days that will ever reach that level. You usually just create your own niche and that’s what you build on. Three words to describe ‘Hands Like Houses’? Honest, intelligent rock? It’s hard to answer these things without feeling a little like you’re tooting your own horn (toot toot) but I think that’s our goal with what we write and who we are as a band. Monica Jankowski 19 JOSH GALLETLY Your skull is your home and everyone has one, yet very few people spend enough time in there. A while back, skulls were plastered all over, and folks lapped them up willy-nilly like they had no choice. Mostly, it was dead, empty content that we were happily consuming. We are still doing it. Here’s a formula: pick two trending icons and combine them. Any fool can shove a skull up a pineapple or a twinny up a tuna fish. The combinations are endless and the result is always kitsch. It’s bullshit. It says nothing. Who gives a fuck? Thrills clothing company won my heart recently and encapsulated this idea perfectly when they produced a tee which also used this formula; a trend combo of collegiate type and apathy. The T-shirt had the slogan ‘WHO CARES’ slapped across the chest. Evidently ‘WHO’ does care because we lapped up a whole bunch of those shirts. Skulls have had their time and we’ve become sick of seeing these bony clichés because we’ve forgotten what they stand for. A skull is a symbol of mortality and it serves as a worthy reminder that we ain’t going to be here all that long. David Carson said it best: ‘What the heck are you doing? You’re gonna be dead a real long time.’ It’s good to keep that in the front of your mind. Fill your skulls with meaning, do your own thinking, make your own choices and stop feeding on the fruity, sugar-coated, superficial shit. Instagram: @joshgalletly 20 / www.joshgalletly.com 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 ONLINE PERSONALITY How is our online identity affecting our real life? Is social media harmful, or is it liberating? That is the question being debated on a daily basis. More and more there have been debates to discuss whether the online communities such as Facebook, twitter and Instagram are truly letting us ‘connect’ with people. A tool designed to help us stay in touch and share with family, friends and acquaintances has now become something of a joke to many. What was once a multi-million dollar award winning idea has now slipped by the wayside as a result of the consequences. perfect online persona and as a sad consequence, we have let down our real family and friends by not spending time with them. Our most important connections with the most important people have weakened. How many out of the 600+ friends you have, do you actually talk to? Have you ever found yourself scrolling down the newsfeed on Facebook and asking yourself, ‘Who is that person?’ Most people’s friend lists consist of random adds, drunken adds and the rest are people you either know really well or sometimes see when you go out. We are slowly opening our eyes to see that these online relationships are actually meaningless. We have sacrificed time and effort into cultivating the It’s a sobering thought. If we are constantly online, when are we in real life? Take away your Facebook friends, your twitter followers and how many ‘likes’ you get on Instagram and what are you left with? You are left with a group of friends you can count on both hands, you are left with a particular group of people that you actually spend time with and you are left with the family that you seldom talk to. Social media has replaced all the important connections that as humans we are designed to have. I was not born wanting hundreds of friends online, rather I was born wanting to go out into the big bad world and experience so many things. I don’t just want to look at photos of other people doing it; I actually want to do it. 28 Whilst browsing Instagram a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a funny meme. It read: ‘My internet went down for five minutes, so I went and spent some time with my family. They seem like nice people’. I laughed of course, until I realised I had spent hours online and hadn’t spoken to anyone in the real world once. Now to those who disagree with me, think about this: when you make a status on social media or upload a photo, are you doing it for you, or are you doing it to get likes and comments? Face the reality that every single time you decide to open your mouth on social media you do it in order to get a response. You are not posting who you really are, what you really like or what you really think. Rather you are posting what you think people want to see. Essentially you are changing your personality to fit in. If you think you left your desire to be popular behind once you left high school, think again. I watched a short YouTube film the other day and it blew me away. It was a story about a young man who was lost and asked a girl for directions. It went through their life together from that moment. They dated, moved into together, fell in love, got married, had kids, moved to the suburbs, went on holidays, had grandkids and finally died together. Then it revealed that none of that actually happened, for when the man was meant to run into the woman asking for directions, he instead turned on his data and continued on his way. The woman walked right by him. They never met. your account and you don’t have to delete everyone in your friends list. I’m telling you that you need to watch it. Watch how much time you spend online, do it in moderation. Watch how much time you spend online compared to the real world. Watch how often you talk to people over the Internet rather than face-toface. Watch how often you become absorbed into this online life. Don’t become so absorbed in a fantasy world that you miss out on all the wonderful things the real one has to offer. Isobella Van Schaik What are we missing out on by spending our lives on Facebook? Are we wasting all our important moments on people that aren’t that important to us? I’m not telling you to back away from social media; I’m not telling you that it’s evil. You don’t have to delete 29 Photo: GQ ARE WOMEN TO BE BLAMED FOR BEING RAPED IF THEY’RE WEARING ‘PROVOCATIVE’ CLOTHING? It’s a touchy subject. We put our writers to the test when we asked them if wearing skimpy clothing makes women more susceptible to rape. What gives us the right to dehumanise a victim, in a culture which grooms young women to believe their worth is directly linked to their appearance? We glorify the sexualisation of women in society, until it turns one of us into a casualty, at which point she is on her own; no longer ‘one of us’ because we don’t want to acknowledge that we advocate the appearance-based economy she was participating in. We believe that since she chose the outfit, she chose the consequences. We run with this narrative to distance ourselves from the reality that we are also a potential victim. With enough space between ‘us’ and ‘them’, we maintain our denial; there are variables, and they are within our control. We can choose to avoid dressing provocatively, we can remain in control of our faculties and avoid walking home alone. We exaggerate our judiciousness at the expense of every women ever pinned down and fucked against her will. We would rather insult the victim’s integrity than acknowledge that rape is perpetrated by our equals, against our peers and 30 in our own backyard. No matter how a victim is dressed or how drunk she has become, the only risk factor in a situation where a women is likely to be raped is the presence of a rapist. Blaming the victim not only is a disservice to the individual, but a disservice to society, because it shuts down any hope of a rational discussion about the facts surrounding rape. In lying to ourselves about the power we think we possess by moderating our dress and behaviour, we are neglecting the power we actually do have. We accept our rape culture but we can shift our attitudes if we could be arsed. We can stop trivialising sexism toward women, their bodies and their intelligence. We can stop dismissing women who take offense to sexist remarks, and we can start holding people accountable for their attitudes when they’re called out on their sexism. We can choose to stop rolling our eyes when the word ‘feminism’ is mentioned and actually consider truthfully why it makes us uncomfortable. We can drop this ridiculous notion that a women who is up for sex more often than other women is in someway exempt from being considered a victim if she is raped. Additionally, we can choose to drop the façade that men are unable to control their dicks when a women with a decent pair of legs decides to enjoy a few drinks on a Friday night. This is just insulting to both man and women. It suggests that men have limited capacity for morality, and implies once again that women are in some way culpable for the actions of another. Instead of asking what the victim could have done to prevent her rape, we should be holding each other accountable for passing the blame from the perpetrator to the victim. Gemma Davies In a typical rape case, much of the focus of attention is on the victim in the situation. Future preventative methods concern the victim, as does advice on dealing with rape and the medical and psychological research is conducted often with the victim in mind. While this has been tremendously beneficial toward protecting women and developing a culture which understands and is wary of rape, this focus on the victim in rape cases has led to blaming or “slut shaming” the victim, for her choice of clothing, provocative manner and even “leading on” the perpetrator. What’s lacking is more of an investigation of the rapists themselves. Rape is commonly viewed as non-sexual. It is labelled as an act of violence, of domination or manipulation and as a violent attack on a vulnerable person. It is important however to understand rape as a sexual act, one which is committed due to the rapist’s sexual drive and preference concerning the physical attractiveness of his victim. The statistics measuring the ages of rape victims in the Australia and the US show a much higher percentage of women in their teens to early adulthood, being the ages at which people are their most sexually active/physically attractive. So if rapists are usually sexually attracted to their victims, does this mean some responsibility should be put on women not to dress alluringly, provocatively or revealingly? Quite simply, no. Assuming that a woman puts herself in danger by how she dresses in public is, as I mentioned before, ignoring the issue of the perpetrator of the crime. A man’s sexual attraction to a female never, in any circumstances, gives him the right to take her by force, no matter how suggestive to him she may appear. This would imply that sexual attraction allows for some loss of inhibitions and disregard for the safety of others, which is nowhere stated as a legal or moral law, and it just doesn’t make sense logically. different one and the blame must be shifted to the man who has become a rapist by making this choice. If he cannot control himself when he sees a woman he is attracted to, this is his problem and it is he who must be dealt with according to the law and to the public’s perception of the case. Where this issue is concerned, shifting focus from the perpetrator to the victim is a necessary move. Advising a woman to dress appropriately before she leaves the house is good advice, but her susceptibility and vulnerability to a rapist should not be her concern, because it is the rapist who is the problem. He is the one who should be put under public scrutiny for his behaviour. He should be shamed, prosecuted and psychologically evaluated. Every case of blaming and shaming the woman is only a huge step backwards. Tom Bensley A woman who dresses provocatively stands to be persecuted only under the law of indecent exposure. But as soon as a man makes a choice to take the indecently exposed woman by force, the issue is an entirely 31 FASHION / Sponsored By Oz Apparel Third Chapter is a contemporary lifestyle brand which embraces the rawness and vitality of the Australian skate, snow, music and art communities. The brand unmasks the modern moods and movements of these truly unique lifestyles whilst simultaneously paying tribute to the eras of when these cultures were born; a story that preached a message of freedom and individuality and showcased it to the world. With Third Chapter, community is back, the streets and mountains are an all-day affair which carry long into the night, and their influence exists far beyond these realms. We celebrate skateboarding, snowboarding, music and art as a pastime, a culture and an expression of self. The product is a stand-alone collection of street wear, apparel and accessories, with a distinct sophistication and authenticity to the core. Designed for functionality, practicality and relevance. The artwork is commissioned by an esteemed stable of local and international artists, who have impacted the culture and it’s surrounds through their creative expression and endeavours. Third Chapter is created by freespirit Will Kendall as he presents a brand that is respectful of the past, confident in the future, and destined to establish an influential role in the progression of modern culture. 32 Third chapter has some seriously sexy/dirty vibes, but the name is bookish-sounding, which is kind of unexpected. Was this all part of the plan? We try keep it clean here at 3C. Maybe you have watched too much Third Chapter party footage to get that idea. ;-) You guys have been around for six years, which is a lifetime in the fashion world! How do you keep reinventing yourself whilst staying true to your main stayers? We stay true by only producing products that we would personally wear. We are always evolving and keeping it fresh by staying connected in our surrounding cultures and building inspiration and design creativity from it. Your Sofles collab is incredible! Who approached who? Russ (Sofles) has been a good homie of mine for years now. Lee harden aka Linz introduced us back in ‘09 I think. I approached Sofles for the collab. It certainly took some time to get the artwork. If you know Russell then you know he can be a hard man to catch and is constantly travelling the world. I got the graphic sent to my inbox a few days after his now viral Internet clip dropped: ‘Limitless’. EMBRACIN RAWNES VITALITY O AUSTR SKATE, S MUSIC AN COMMUN NG THE SS AND OF THE RALIAN SNOW, ND ART NITIES. 33 34 Can you give us the sneaky on your next collab? I can’t let too much out of the bag but the collaboration is with an international artist from Europe. I can tell you we are doing a three-product capsule series. Custom Bucket hat, T-shirt and Rolling Papers with this artist’s famous graphics. What is your favourite piece from the Thrice City collection? It would have to be the Sofles collab of course, and also the Thrice City tee by Alex Lehours. Who would be your ultimate person to Instagram a picture of themselves wearing 3C? At the moment probably @Danbilzerian or @Jenselter You guys look like you know how to throw one epic party. What is your go-to party outfit? We sure do. You should come along to the next one. Go-to party outfit: 3C Bucket Hat, 3C Tee, chinos and Jordan 4’s. You are advertising for an intern at the moment, what credentials do we need to have to score the role? I’m available (basically I just want to hang out with babes and party)! Unfortunately it isn’t all babes and parties. Well not all the time anyway. Nothing comes easy and we work super hard to make it all come together. For the internship we are looking for the next 3C leader. Someone with skills in graphic design and who is willing to put in the hard yards and help grow the brand while being a part of our Third Chapter family. What are your five must-have pieces that you could not live without? iPhone, laptop, microphone, bucket hat, Jordan’s. Who is your style legend? I don’t have one. I run my own style but build inspiration from all sorts of people; from high-end fashion designers to just your day-to-day things. There isn’t one particular person. Summer or winter fashion? I like switching it up, but winter is tight. Crew necks, beanies, coaches jackets, hoodies and fresh duffle bags. Is it ever okay to wear elbow/knee pads and a helmet when you are skateboarding? Maybe if you’re hitting the mega ramp. Interview: Tory Price Answers: Will Kendall SPONSORED BY OZ APPAREL OZAPPAREL.COM.AU 35 36 Lucien Graetz FILM REVIEWS / Nicholas Ivanovic Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier Cap has returned to restore your faith in the super-hero film genre! Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier sees Chris Evans return as the powerful patriot as well Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, head of Secret Government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. Cap is joined by a sidekick, ‘Falcon’ (Anthony Mackie) and they uncover a conspiracy within the aforementioned agency. What makes Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier an engaging film is that it doesn’t feel like a super-hero film at all; it feels like watching multi-layered spy-thriller combined with actions scenes taken out of a Michael Mann film. The film also finesses a social commentary about the ideas of freedom and security in a post-9/11 world. Overall, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier is a suspenseful and rewarding viewing experience that will even keep non-comic book fans glued to the screen. 4/5 The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro The sequel to the lacklustre The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) does nothing to restore your faith in this prematurely rebooted franchise. Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker/SpiderMan and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey, his love interest. This time around Spider-Man battles an electric-powered villain by the name of ‘Electro’ (Jamie Foxx) whilst facing difficulties balancing his hero responsibilities with his personal life (much like the plot of Spider-Man 2 but executed much more poorly). With a run time of 142 minutes, not only is this film over-long but is also poorly written; the one-liners and gags are terrible! Action scenes are rushed and uninteresting. Worst of all, you cannot get emotionally invested into any of the characters, and the film frustratingly tries to ‘shoehorn’ future instalments down your throat! A DVD rental a best. 1.5/5 Pawn Shop Chronicles With the popularity of A&E shows such as Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn (aren’t the puns delicious?), it was only a matter of time before a film was going to be made about one. Pawnshop Chronicles is an ensemble film starring Paul Walker, Norman Reedus, Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood and Matt Dillon. It tells of three different stories set in Louisiana with the common element being that they all revolve around items within said pawn shop. Not much point going into detail about the overlapping and unsatisfying stories, but they involve B-grade actors doing terrible southern accents in stories that involve meth dealers, Elvis impersonators, hillbillies and other nonsense. It tries to be some kind of weird southern black-comedy that wants to be cult-bound, but watching it feels awkward in the same way as watching your creepy old uncle feeling up your girlfriend; you question why you’re watching it and just want it to stop. 1/5 The Midnight Meat Train Bradley Cooper stars in American Hustle, which hit our DVD shelves earlier this month. But horror movie fans may want to pick up this title from 2008 which stars a then unknown Cooper. Cooper plays Leon Kauffman, a street photographer who can’t get a break and decides to start prowling streets at night in search of edgy photos. Meanwhile, a mysterious well-dressed man (Vinnie Jones) lurks at the back of late night train carriages, waiting to kill unsuspecting victims with his meat tenderiser. The film has inspired visual style and the onscreen gore is brutal yet shot stylistically. But it’s brought down by the melodramatic scenes with Leon’s girlfriend (Leslie Bibb) and the illogical last act which shifts into action film territory; feeling out of place. Even still, The Midnight Meat Train is a well-acted, stylish and violent film that should provide an enjoyable ride for horror fans, despite having a few short stops. 2.5/5 37 FEMALES IN FILM Females have always been the black sheep of the film industry – receiving more praise for their sexual prowess than for their talent. But there’s been a recent shift in gear, and women in film are becoming a force to be reckoned with. When Cate Blanchett won the Academy Award for Best Actress of 2013 earlier this year for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, she said in her speech, ‘those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences… they are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.’ This passage of the speech got me thinking, wondering about the place for females in cinema and why it is so often thought to be insignificant and inferior to that for males. I was reminded of a certain event that took place about seven years ago, and made me want to follow it up and check out some facts to see if anything had changed. What I discovered was quite interesting and most definitely backed up Blanchette’s statement. In 2007, the then Head of Production at Warner Bros. Studios, Jeff Robinov allegedly made a decree that the studio would ‘no longer (be) doing 38 movies with women in the lead.’ The issue sparked heavy debates amongst cinema-goers and film industry professionals over the involvement of females in film and whether or not movies starring females as a lead character were actually any good. Well, according to Robinov, who had only just suffered fatal box-office crash-and-burns for two films starring females in the lead, they were not any good at all. In fact, it was his belief that people didn’t even want to go and see films with females in the lead. The two films in question were the Jodi Foster vehicle, The Brave One and Nicole Kidman’s The Invasion – neither of which made any kind of profit at box office. In fact, neither film even made back the entire amount of the budget. The Brave One was made on a budget of $70 million and only made just over $69-and-a-half million in its entire run at the cinemas (usually around five to eight weeks). The Invasion, more severely, was made on up to $80 million and only took in $40 million. For a film to be considered successful, it doesn’t just have to make back the money the producers pumped into the budget, but it also has to make quite a considerable profit. For example, take The Avengers, (lets ignore the fact that practically the entire cast are male) which was made on a budget of $220 million… much larger than either of the aforementioned films. The Avengers made a whopping $1-anda-half billion at the box-office in its entire run. $207 million of that came from the opening weekend of the film alone. That’s almost the entire budget in four days! So, obviously, The Brave One and The Invasion were humungous flops, and even though the real reasons the films probably stunk up the cinemaplex is because they were just really, really, shithouse films. Warner Bros. Studios seemingly stuck to their ‘no girls’ policy for about five years, considering excluding a handful of really bad chick-flicks, Warner Bros., arguably, didn’t release a single film with a female lead. Now, Warner Bros. has, in the past, highly disputed these claims, but looking over the large number of films between that time, and to hardly find one big film with a female lead seems a little suss. In fact, for a while, female-headed films seemed to be a thing of the past for a lot of studios. In 2011, however, a small little comedy film with a modest $30 million budget was released. The film was written by two females and starred six females in the equal-lead role. This small film, which seemingly came out of nowhere went on to earn just under $300 million at the box office (10 times the budget) and went on to become one of the most successful R-rated comedies of all time (THE most successful female-led R-rated comedy), making Kristen Wiig highly considered not only one of the funniest women of all time, but one of the funniest people of all time. Incase you’re still wondering, the film was the wonderfully hilarious Bridesmaids. I believe Bridesmaids to be an incredible turning point for females in cinema. It showed that females could well and truly conquer the box-office. And, even though, it was not as successful as the male-led The Hangover film, released only two years before, it still showed that females were just as brilliant screen performers as men. Oh, and of course it squashed the age-old stereotype that women are not funny. Now, some of the funniest people in the film world are female – Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey (who is an incredibly dominant force as an actress, comedian, writer and producer), Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham and even the loveable Jennifer Lawrence. Bridesmaids opened up our eyes – it made the world realise that there was a place for females in cinema, and since, there has been an abundance of female-led films raking in big bucks at the box-office. Think The Hunger Games, Gravity, The Heat, Thor 2 (arguably, Natalie Portman had a larger presence than Chris Hemsworth in this installment), Carrie, Blue Jasmine, Frozen (currently the highest-grossing animated film of all time, with an Academy Award for Best Animated Picture under its belt), Saving Mr Banks… I could go on and on. In fact, various sources have recently claimed that in 2013, of the 100 highest-earning films, female-led films made collectively more money at the box-office than films led by a male cast… by an average of 20%. That’s $116 million average for female-led films versus $97 million for male-led films. of filmmakers, directors, writers and producers are men, the chances probably aren’t great. Nonetheless, female-led films have become more desirable and even bigger than ever. I for one enjoy them… I’d rather pay to see J Law in a skimpy warrior outfit than Matthew McConaughey getting his shirt off again, that’s for damn sure. David Lee Another problem in the past has been that females tend to get the wrong end of the stick when it comes to getting a paycheck. Robert Downey Jr reportedly picked up a $5 - $10 million paycheck (plus about $40 million more from film percentage and revenue) from The Avengers whilst Scarlett Johansson reportedly only picked up one worth $4 - $6 million for the same film. In comparison, J Law picked up a $10 million paycheck for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. However, to squash this long-standing walk over, it appears things are looking up in this division too. In 2013, Angelina Jolie made more money than her partner Brad Pitt, earning an income of $33 million, becoming the highest paid actress on Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors in 2013. Brad did not even make the list. In fact, for her role in the upcoming Disney film, Maleficent, which tells the tale of the Sleeping Beauty villain, Jolie raked in at least $15 million, whilst Brad made $13.5 million for his role in last year’s epic blockbuster World War Z. These are interesting stats to look over, and definitely something to consider as we look forward to the future of film. It’s clear that, as Cate Blanchett suggested, females are being taken more and more seriously as actors by the film-going public – the days of ‘actresses are bad performers’ are long, long gone. It’s tough to say if female’s will over-take males as the dominant force in films, however, given that the vast majority 39 40 LINDSEY FISETTE I am a fashion and beauty photographer from the Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada. I am currently calling Melbourne home, but the mountains and dark coastline of BC will always have my heart. Coming from a smaller city in Canada, the magical demeanour surrounding bigger cities has always inspired me. When I was 18, I moved to Vancouver where I studied photography at Langara College. I spent most the time in the darkroom developing 4x5 and medium format film, making mistakes the hard way and then learning from them - the technical aspect of photography. Since then, I have learned that those rules are meant to be broken. I have been known to combine graphic art elements into my beauty portraiture. I have always been torn between graphic design and photography, so it came quite naturally to combine the two fields. I feel that there is a story to be told within my images and overlaying textures and adding patterns and elements helps to emphasise my perspective. 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 WORLD CUP SILENCE The upcoming World Cup in Brazil will be the biggest sporting event of the year, but how much will its fans give up in order to host a financial juggernaut? Their basic human rights? Competition is becoming increasingly unhealthy. Nowadays when thinking about competing, our thoughts naturally move to the notion of sport or intellectual prowess. A medium in which rival countries can vie for bragging rights and global recognition of their superiority on the field. But the more we ‘evolve’ the more issues we are having with global security and how we are perceived as a country. The ancient Greeks were a race who thrived on conquests and battle. Their history, both fictional and historically accurate, is filled with stories of awesome victories and bloody battles. Yet the creators of democracy were able to foresee the advantage of diplomacy and created the Olympiad: our modern day Olympics. A range of events which enabled countries to gain bragging rights over rivals for four years, without the need for bloodshed and murder. Fast forward a couple of centuries and are we any more advanced than the games of back then? Propaganda, 50 boycotts, drug cheats and terrorism now smear these global celebrations and are much more memorable than majority of the success stories which emerge from hard work and dedication. Another highly prestigious event is now being marred by internal affairs; the 2014 World Cup being held in Brazil. Brazil is rich in soccer history, with them hardly entering event and not being considered a realistic chance of snaring the top prize. But it is not their on-field performance which is under the microscope, yet. The suppression of their people’s freedom of speech is being criticized globally. Brazil is currently on high alert to maintain a smooth tournament, and to also ensure that their country is seen in the best light possible by the world. An unprecedented document, along with pending legislation, is in place to prevent any protestors or demonstrators from being heard, or more importantly, seen. The pressure placed on a country to flawlessly present a world event must be enormous. For around a month, the world’s focus is squarely on the city, and how it manages to present itself under these measures. The biggest change to a country in recent memory came during the Beijing Olympics. In an effort to remove the smog which covered the city, production in all of its surrounding factories was halted several months before the games, to improve the spectacle and improve the air quality for the athletes. This decision had a ripple effect, as lots of these textiles and goods factories supply a lot of the world. Look around your home and remove everything that comes with a ‘Made in China’ label on it. Leaves your room a little bit on the bare side. Brazil is currently restricting its people’s freedom of speech but deploying a 10,000-strong police force with military training to maintain peace, and use force to accomplish its goal. Under its incredibly vague definition of terrorism, any riot or disturbance could fall under this umbrella definition, and be dealt with swiftly. Out of all sports, soccer would have to be one of the world leaders for supporter scuffles. From flares, rioting and property destruction, passionate fans have a habit of making the news for the wrong reasons. Would you call these people terrorists though? Because in a month’s time, they will be subject to these new rules, regardless of their intentions. You step over the line during this time period, and you can expect the full force of this new ‘law’ to come crashing down on you. So in comparison to the ancient Olympians, have we really moved forwards? Sponsorships and the almighty dollar are propelling paranoia and ensuring that every right we have fought for as humans, can be ripped down as soon as a government feels the urge to PHOTO: Gustavo Froner/REUTERS protect an image. These changes directly rebel against everything that their Constitution stands for, all because of a soccer tournament? The argument could be made that this is oversimplifying the issue, but it essentially boils down to exactly that. Sport and money will leave a population without some of their basic human rights for a designated period. Just because something is called the ‘World Cup’ doesn’t mean it is suitable for the whole world. Participation is fine, you cannot exclude because of race. But for the sake of a whole city’s freedom, is having equal hosting rights fair? Are these the measures that FIFA requires to save face and include a country which is a powerhouse in the sport? Politics is very important in the day to day operation of the world as we know it. But we are in the process of taking a colossal step back towards dictatorship if we continue down this path? The rules we make today will be used as precedents tomorrow. These newest cases will warp the current laws to something completely unrecognisable. It is much easier to make a stand today and offend now, than to fix a mistake tomorrow. History has been recorded to learn from our mistakes, not to remember which silencing techniques worked best. Mitchell Pascoe 51 SAVE OUR SOULS... PLEASE The ongoing conflict in Syria is being deemed as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Australia has offered a financial helping hand, but is it enough? A war of any kind is never a good thing. In its basic form, a war can be fighting with your next-door neighbour, to constantly having arguments with your sibling or partner. It is indeed a horrible feeling to have and equally horrible situation to be in. I am sure this is something we can all relate to; fighting with another over something or someone. I personally know how angry and upset and annoyed this makes me, so I can only imagine how the innocent civilians of Syria must be feeling right now. Again, I can only imagine how terrified, broken and spiritless they must be, for no war I have ever encountered with a family member or partner has ever involved weapons. Nor has it ever included physical torture, plain evil, rape, theft, slavery or murder. These merciless hardships are just a few of the evils forced upon women, men and children, people just like you and me, in a small WestAsian country that borders Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. This country has the same population as Australia and yet it is smaller than the state of Victoria. This country could be 52 named hell on earth. This is Syria, and the shocking story of all its innocent civilians. The current war in Syria does not have a good side nor a bad side. It cannot be described as the rebels are standing up and fighting against the wicked dictatorial regime, for that is only a small part of the story. After reading countless articles from Amnesty International and following the ABCâ€™s coverage of the financial support of Australia, I learnt that the Syrian Civil War is a conflict between its long-serving government and those wanting to boot it out of office. Pardon my French, but this is fucking ridiculous. I could spend the rest of this article in a frenzied, empathetic uproar about how unjust this is, but more facts and shocking details must be revealed to fully comprehend what is going on in the fractured country that is Syria. The Assad family has held power in Syria since 1971 and they are not religiously extreme, so this war is not focused on people protesting against hard-line Islamists, which occurs in other countries. Apparently, people are furious at their government because they are angry about the failure of long-promised economic and political reforms. If you are having difficulty understanding how this could be cause for such a terrible war, you need to remember that Syrians are not as blessed like the people living in safe countries such as Australia. Every day is a battle for them, every day they are failed or lied to, and every day is another day of war. What really seemed to be the major catalyst for this war was back in March 2011, when some children, who had painted anti-regime graffiti, were JAILED. Public protests first started happening after the DEATHS of a few of those children. News of this hideous crime spread around the country, fuelled by the failure of the government to punish the murderers of the children. And thus, the civil war is born. Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, announced that Australia would be contributing 20-million dollars to help the Syrian children refugees who were forced to flee their country’s ongoing civil war. The funding will be spent under the United Nations’ No Lost Generation initiative, which works with children in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. Amnesty International says that whilst this financial aid is a great support, it is definitely not enough. In fact, it appears that financial aid is not the kind of help that workers of Amnesty International are calling for. thoughts are with all the innocent and injured, be it physically or emotionally, people of Syria and I sincerely hope that this nightmare will be over for them soon. Mia Beverley Francisco The statistics on their Syrian Crisis page show that the conflict has so far stolen the lives of over 100,000 people and driven over 9 million people from their homes. These civilians are homeless. They are scared, starving, dehydrated, possessionless, but they are alive and they have the right to carry on. This is why Amnesty International has announced that Australia should help to bare the burden of taking in these refugees. Australia has agreed to take just 500, a tiny 0.02%, of Syria’s most vulnerable refugees. France has also pledged 500 places and Spain just 30. To some people, this is still not enough. It is difficult to say whether or not the resettlement of Syrian refugees is one of Australia’s major issues to deal with right now, as larger countries would be the first place to go to in regards to re-homing people. I personally believe the Australian government did not do what it is fully cable of doing to help. If countries like Lebanon can host more than a million refugees, then surely Australia, as well as France and Spain, could squeeze in a bit more. It would be so much simpler if all larger countries that are not at conflict could band together and delegate the entirety of refugees to any accepting country so that nobody is left behind. But this will never happen. So I come to the sad conclusion that money is a fantastic bit of help during a crisis, but it cannot fix everything, and it certainly cannot make the war go away for good. For now, my 53 PHOTO: Mediawerkgroep Syrië CHEEKY CHAPTERS / Sarah Long COCO THE KINKY COP Here at Blaire Magazine, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with a friend about her one-off experience as a stripper at a buck’s night. Tell us a bit about your experience. Kinky Coco. That was my identity for the night. The three of us were standing at the door, shivering in stilettos and tight fishnet stockings. It was not ideal for a cold winter’s night, but that was the name of the game. We could hear loud sounds of wolf whistles coming from inside the house. The men were ready for us. I took a huge gulp of air, held my whip firmly and left all morals behind me. I stepped into a world of Coco the Kinky Cop. Two months prior, my friend Kate asked me if I was interested in making good money, easy. With an offer like that, I needed to know more. She said that she had just caught up with an old friend Dale, who was interested in starting up a ‘professional female stripping company’. He said that he wanted it to remain strictly professional, as there are too many tacky and tasteless stripping business’s that are currently out there. 54 So Kate and I went along to Dale’s first meeting at his private gym. We walked up the stairs and straight into a room of hot, oiled-up half-naked men. I popped my eyes back into their sockets, as we wandered over to Dale’s desk. ‘Great timing girls. We have some boys auditioning for spots on the male stripping team.’ We watched the last of the auditions and then the boys disappeared off into the change rooms. Dale and Pete (his business partner) sat down and began chatting about our positions. The needed waitresses, topless waitresses and strippers. They organised the events that we were to attend and took zero of the cut, which was $90 an hour for us. What were our requirements? Host a party. Serve drinks, play drinking games and one of us would eventually put on a little strip show. It was completely up to our discretion as to how far we wanted to go. We then had professional photos taken. I was standing in front of a camera getting shots in lingerie, to be put up on the website. This made me nervous, but I never thought anyone would come across the photos. Only one guy that I knew, found me and he kept msging me asking for ‘strawberries and bubble bath time’ at his place. I just ignored him. Booking one: Bucks party in Mt Eliza. Thirty Jewish men and lots of money to be thrown around. So there I was, in little, black fishnets, (I had been living on carrots for a week) high heels, and the tightest, kinky cop outfit going around. I was ready to handcuff some naughty criminals. I was Coco, nothing and no one else. Just some saucy little minx with bright red lips and pushed-up tits. We entered through the house into a massive living room where the men were all sitting around drinking, shouting and playing pin the boobs on Pamela Anderson. I tried to act like I had done this before. I walked around in circles smiling like an idiot, before stubbing my toe on their marble encrusted doorstop. The host (best man) took us to the bar and showed us where all the alcohol was, told us to help ourselves and make the men cocktails. One of the girls and myself grabbed the bottles and began mixing. The other girl, who had done this was already standing in front of the men spraying whipped cream on her nipples whilst getting them to lick it off. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was like holding a big piece of steak up in front of at least twenty men and swinging it side-to-side, watching them drool. One of the men came up to me half an hour into the night and we began chatting. He asked me how long I had been doing this for, which is when I told him it was my first night. He grabbed my hand and said ‘come with me’. So I followed him away from the crowd into a bathroom. He pulled out the biggest bag of cocaine I have ever seen to this date. He asked me if I wanted some! I just stared. He laughed and said, ‘It’s cocaine darling. It’s the best you’ll ever have.’ This guy was at least thirty. He was married. And I’d dare hate to ask how many kids he had at home asleep in bed. In saying this, he was probably the more respectful of the bunch. As I bent over, I snorted three slugs of the stuff. My whole body was immediately numb. We went back out to the party and I tried to talk, whilst pushing my tongue back into my mouth. Once I finally articulated what I needed to say, the girl was off to do some for herself. The next thing I know, I was in front of those men spraying whipped cream everywhere. I’m not sure whether sexy was my thing, but this was fun. It was going on their faces, down their pants, in their eyes and they loved it. One of the men had taken a liking to me at this stage. He seemed pretty harmless. He told me that the men required a dance off me. I hesitated, and then said that we would do private shows for the boys. I took my first customer into the bedroom, demanded music and $50 (I thought I would try and push the limits) for the first five minutes. And he did exactly that. Customer one: The Buck. He was young, sexy and really drunk. As he sat on the end of the bed, I stood in front of him in my kinky cop outfit. I slowly took every piece of item off. I was down to my underpants, with my hands up against the wall, slowly bending over so that he could get a full view of my butt. Before I knew it, I felt something hard press up against my back. I turned around to have his penis grinding up against me. He pinned me up against the wall, he began making out with me while caressing my boob. I had no idea what to do. I kissed him back, then slowly (in a sexy way) slithered out underneath him and said that if he wanted another striptease, he would have to give me another $50 and that he did. This time he behaved and left. Customer two: The Bucks uncle. Married, at least 45 and had kids. He slammed $100 on the bed and said, ‘I want you for as long as that can get me.’ I said three songs. As I was half way through my second song, my ankle gave way, slamming my face up against the wall. Butt was in the air. He lost it. I was trying so hard to make it look like it was a part of the routine by doing the worm on carpet. That made it worse. I don’t know what I was doing. He told me he wanted to kiss me, but he said that he would feel bad because he has a wife. Since when did I ever say I wanted to kiss him? Must have missed that memo. Customer three: Someone’s best mate. I was too fucked by this stage to even remember my own stripper name. I’m pretty sure I started calling myself Chocco. He took me to another room, because we kept getting interrupted. He told me that he would pay me for sex. I said no. But for some reason I thought penis sucking was ok? His hard, long snake fell in front of my face and I began sucking. While he was throwing the dollar bills, the sucking went longer. He told me he wanted to do the same to me, as he was mid-way through, someone walked in and they asked for a threesome. I’m pretty sure he was the married old man? I put my > 55 clothes on, took my cash and left the awkward situation. The rest of the night was a blur, but before I got into bed to pass out, one of the girls told me that it was time to go home. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to wake up in that house the next day. The girls and I made it home, crawled into bed and passed out. I woke up the next morning, sprawling out a bunch of crisp notes. $1050 exactly. I never had the opportunity to host another party again, as I moved interstate to continue my studies. However, I still to this day think about the experience and pull a different reaction every time. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I think about the gross, wobbly hard thing dangling in front of my face. Did you do anything (other than stripping) that put you completely outside of your comfort zone? Everyday people are challenged to step outside their comfort zone. Whether it may be applying for a new job, speaking to someone they have a crush on, moving houses, to even trying a new coffee shop. The real question is, how far do people push outside their comfort zone before they realise that they’ve gone too far? If you’re in complete control and have a good understanding of the circumstances of whatever you may be pushing the boundaries in, then I think it’s fine. They say that outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. People need to live life, as long as they stay true to themselves. Was the experience degrading? Did it make you more empathetic to strippers, or not? I thought that I would feel degraded or demoralised in someway after >what had happened, but I didn’t. Maybe it was because I had inherited a new identity for the night, that was not my own. I am an extremely confident person, who is in complete control of my body and the decisions that I make in life. I have goals, passions and am driven in being 56 successful in my future career path as a journalist. I’d like to think that this was an experience to write about to understand why other women do it, rather than being ashamed about. Strippers have a choice, so my empathy towards them does not change. A prostitute’s story is different. Strippers aren’t sold into the sex industry, like a lot of prostitutes. They choose to be involved in it, because they know that they can make a quick dollar. Some of them have reason behind it, as it helps pay off their education to become successful in another career; some of them are single mothers trying to provide for their children. They need to make ends meet. However, some of them just love the money and lifestyle that the industry can provide them with. Regardless of the circumstance, they’ve chosen their current circumstance and I do believe there are other options! What impacts do you think that working as a stripper regularly would have on a person? This is a challenging question, because it all depends on the individual. However in saying that, I believe that being a stripper hardens a woman. I have met a handful of strippers in my time and they are a lot less satisfied in their personal relationships (maybe it’s because they’re not fed $20 every five minutes of hanging out with a buddy). And they also have trust issues within their romantic relationships. After experiencing the world from a man’s eye, it unfortunately leaves a bad taste in a lot of stripper’s mouths. Strippers also seem to prize their physical ability above intelligence or anything else that they have to offer. It goes to show that the occupation is not empowering women at all. It does of course seem accurate that a woman can doubt her self worth, if all she’s doing is taking her clothes off for a living. But once again, there’s women out there who are doing it for a reason and not purely on the basis of getting their gear off for men. Do you now condone or condemn the sex industry? Did that night change your perspective? I have always been one to sit on the fence in discussing the sex industry. My views change on a daily basis, but its something that I’m passionate in learning about, because I find myself becoming very frustrated whilst discussing the topic. If I were to be married to a man, I would expect him to be 100% completely devoted to me. I would not want him delving into the sex industry, unless of course it was porn (which is something that we could enjoy together). While I was Coco for the night, I was a woman who was condoning men’s sexually explicit behaviour. However, to be honest, I actually enjoyed exploring my own sexuality. I think it’s important for women to enjoy exploring their options while having some fun. They should not be deemed as ‘dirty’ or a ‘slut’. The more open we become about our sexuality, the more likely barriers will begin to break of what could become socially acceptable for both parties to enjoy sex, just as much as each other! Women do love sex. We love orgasms and we love having fun. If women have control of their sexuality and understand that it’s okay to explore their bodies with other men to a degree, then it’s fine. However, I don’t think women should lead on men, or do anything sexual with them, if the men are already married. It’s disempowering women, allowing men to think it’s ok to cheat and have sexual domination. Women should use our sexuality to control men, not let men use us, just to get their dicks wet. Love, Coco x JOIN THE CONVERSATION TWITTER / @BLAIRE_MAGAZINE FACEBOOK / FACEBOOK.COM/BLAIREMAGAZINE INSTAGRAM / @BLAIREMAGAZINE WWW.BLAIREMAGAZINE.COM 58