Adelaide University Student Magazine
Vol. 79 / Issue 2
On Dit Magazine
Contents Vox Pop
Degrees of Knowledge
Mural On Frome St
Islam and Democracy
Coping With Recession
Local Band Bio: Doe
The Great Pub Expeditionings
Now We’re Cookin’ With Garf
State Of The Union
Go To www.ondit.com.au if you’re not a square Editors: Sam Deere, Elizabeth Flux & Rory Kennett-Lister Cover artwork by Thuy-My Nguyen Inside front cover photo by Juan Girsang On Dit is an affiliate of the Adelaide University Union Published 15/3/2011
Volume 79, Issue 2
I’d like to start with an apology to Tom. I’m sorry. But if you think back over how things went down, really, it was your fault. I was 17 and you were my only friend. Then you weren’t. You were needy, made me listen to all sorts of awful music, and most of all, forced me to prioritise and rank the people in my life. MySpace. No wonder most people are still cheating on you with Facebook. Hi, and welcome to the first of what promises to be a pretty social-networktastic edition of On Dit. Unless of course you’re one of those people who reads the editorial last, purely to kill time because you really don’t want to be learning about the microeconomics of the sheep farming community of pi. In which case, the pre-preceding sentence will be redundant, as you will have already deduced for yourself. Maybe. Depending on whether or not you read the articles. Or columns. Maybe you just did the Diversons page (in which case, one of the answers is “Fox”). However, if you are indeed the person I just described, you already knew that. Shit. 97% of readership: alienated. However, if you’re a person who enjoys simple humour, this is issue number two. Enjoy. Anyway, psychoanalysis of our readers (all both of
you)* aside, there really is a lot about Facebook in this issue. However, if you tyre (ha.)of that, you can really get stuck into some procrastibaking. Similarly, if you are getting weary Frome (mural) all the puns, there are some pub recommendations somewhere in here too. Not that we condone drinking. Or playing pool. So, read. Do puzzles. Use the pages for origami. Throw on the floor with disdain. Whatever you do, you have in some way interacted with our magazine and that makes us superfriends. We are Tom to your late-teen-don’tdeny-it-you-were-slightly-emo self. But honestly, Tom... At least you never sold my details to an Italian bra company, unlike that douchebag Mark. [also: Democracy. Philosophy. Websites. Being poor. They are in this issue but I couldn’t think of puns. Lame.] Love, Elizabeth (and Sam and Rory)
*Actually all 3500 copies of issue 1 were picked up. Take that selfdeprecation area of my brain
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Contributors Writers Rogan Tinsley, PhD (“Cryptozoology”, page 10) Rogan is a former medical research scientist who turned down a glamorous life of neuronal cultures and spectrophotometers for the chance of a stint back at uni and a new career in the classroom. He is studying a Graduate Diploma in Education with the aim of becoming a high school science and math teacher...and possibly writing and illustrating a textbook one day. Rogan blogs and tweets under the name DrAdenozine. He is married with three crazy children.
Patrick McCabe (“[Citation Needed]”, page 32) Patrick McCabe studies Law, having previously completed an Arts (Politics) degree. As such, he understands that the lying and deception he admits to in his article count as work experience. Patrick is a well-respected journalist, whose career reached its zenith in 2009, when he was given an ‘Honourable Mention’ for the On Dit editors’ “Fail” Award for most unreliable contributor. In his free time, Patrick enjoys writing about himself in the third person. Given that this is Patrick’s final year at university, he anticipates that he will be able to indulge in this pastime much more frequently come 2012.
Galen Cuthbertson (“Bipolar Culture”, page 28) Some facts about Galen: He stared into the eyes of Medusa; now, he blocks her calls. Danger fell in love with him, because he was always flirting with it. When he disagrees with you, it’s because you are wrong. He once flew with Virgin Blue; when he disembarked, they were simply called ‘Blue.’ Mythbusters started an episode on Galen myths, then realised they weren’t myths. Atlas would drop the world for a chance to shake his hand. His car runs on sexual tension. He has his moments... all the time. Galen is also a second-year law student and, in his spare time, a writer.
Artist Lillian Katsapis (“How To”, page 7; “Bipolar Culture”, page 28) Lilli is a first year student, but should be in third year. She started off studying Health Sciences, then transferred to the Psychological Sciences and has finally ended up in Design studies. Third time lucky. Other than liking to change her mind she also enjoys watching Sci-fi/fantasy television shows and training as a competitive cheerleader for the Adelaide Allstars Cheerleading Club. You can find her at one of her two jobs, wandering around uni or at training. As you can see she lives a very thrilling life.
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Biomedical Science, 1st year
Medicine, 5th Year
Arts, Law, 3rd year
2. 3. 4. 5.
I want to be able to find a cure for some kind of disease. I sort out my clothes by season. Telepathy. Yes. Came to O’Week.
3. 4. 5.
Yes — foreign affairs. Putting the dishes in the cupboard when they are dry and filling bottles with clean water. Wolverine’s powers. Not that I recall. Burping in public.
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To be a vox popper. I talk to myself when I walk around. The one where you can’t touch people without them dying. My poetry professor, Tom Burton. Jager shots with the On Dit editors.
We asked our panel of randomly selected students: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Do you have a career plan What’s your strangest habit? Which X-men power would you want? Have you ever written poetry for someone? What’s the least classy thing you’ve done in the past fortnight?
Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, 1st year
Aerospace Engineering, 2nd year
Biomedical Science, 1st year
2. 3. 4. 5.
I want to work for Santos/ BP/BHP. I have to have clean feet before I go to bed. Wolverine’s powers. No. I live in Modbury.
3. 4. 5.
Something to do with the Airforce. (I have the haircut, I s’pose.) Washing my hands then smelling them...just to be sure. The ability to summon my phone and keys! Apart from my English teacher, no. Wear the same blue shirt for the past fortnight.
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3. 4. 5.
Not really - research of some kind. When I get out of bed the last digit on the clock has to be an even number. What Storm can do. No. Nothing — I’m all class.
that car is listing to one side. Ig-
nore for several minutes, until you hear the dull scrape of wheel rim on asphalt
lights and make sure you’ve got the handbrake up.
get the car high enough to
fit the new tyre.
nuts the rest of the way.
them, they’re important.
Swap the wheels
over, screw the wheel-nuts on until finger-tight,
and turn the crank handle the other way to let the car down
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Illustration: Lillian Katsapis Words: Sam Deere
the jacking point behind the
wheel, and place the jack under
wrench, and spare
it. Insert the crank handle and
ably under the carpet in your boot.
all the nuts on the wheel rim
before you get too trigger-happy with the jack.
Don’t try to
loosen the moulded
plastic ones on your hubcap; that will just increase your frustration.
off into the sunset feeling
pretty good that you didn’t call the
Use the tyre
wrench to tighten all the nuts firmly.
opposing nuts (i.e. top, bottom, left, right)
Reverse. Collect wrench, jack, and Drive off again.
Volume 79, Issue 2
Degrees of Knowledge An insider’s look at something you don’t study
MEDIA Words: Joel Parsons
During an information session back in 2000-whatever, I was charmed by the apparent hyper-relevancy of the media degree; “They’re discussing internet and television — I like internet and television!” Since that time however, much like the media itself, the degree has evolved significantly during recent memory. Like so many MySpace profiles relegated to the internet ghetto, time has had its way with several core media subjects I studied only a few years ago. So I turn to the faculty program outline to see the degree’s current iteration. As is typical for such documents, nebulous concepts are strung together in an attempt to encapsulate “learning objectives”. I will attempt to demystify selections of the degree’s official synopsis. “You will learn to think of yourself as a critical consumer of media product” Media analysis and criticism are present in most courses of the degree, particularly in subjects such as Media Theory and Media Democracies. Bam! You are The Gruen Transfer! You will learn about media theories
such as ‘semiotics’ which involves considering media texts as combinations of visual signs that convey meaning; “the woman in the perfume commercial tilts her head to the side - a common pose in advertising connoting submissiveness.” You might also become an embodiment of Media Watch. You will learn to recognise stock elements of news reporting, including the frequent reduction of complex issues to binary opposites to facilitate efficient and digestible reporting; old vs. young, foreign vs. familiar, the council vs. me and my innocently loud pet. You might detect news values that increase ‘meaningfulness’, including ‘cultural proximity’ whereby local issues are prioritised in favour of the international; ‘welcome to the news, some drugs busts went down, some cats ran up some trees, oh and like, 100,000 people died in some place they don’t speak English’. You might notice news media demonstrating “personalisation”, AKA going for the human interest angle, or attempting to blur entertainment and news; ‘welcome to tabloid current affair rubbish, let’s ride a rotting carousel of journalistic regurgitation, until the 6.30 slot becomes a palimpsest
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of fad diets, shonky builders, evil tenants, cheap groceries, and dowdy people selling things online.’ “Advanced level core courses include media law, media research, global media, online democracy, professional practices” Media Law does what it says on the box. Defamation, regulation of broadcasting, and a touch of intellectual property law; ‘ah yes perhaps the 20 year-old case of Ettingshausen v Australian Consolidated Press in which a photo of a naked footballer was controversially published will be relevant to this completely novel currentday situation in which a photo of a naked footballer was controversially published’. Media Research Methods teaches data collection in a media context, for example ‘ethnography’, which involves participant observation; “watching this dude stumble through this old council library website indicates that it could use a makeover”. Global Media concerns the structure of media organisations, and encompasses study of those organisations; “wow Murdoch founded News Corp in Adelaide!? Fo’ rizzle?” Professional Practices will develop common
skills frequently required of media workers; “who would have thought that I can just whip up a freelance proposal to redesign the website of some clueless council’s library!” “This degree suits resourceful and committed students” Media alumni often complain that there is little specific practical training and the degree. Thus seize opportunities such as the practical Radio and Industry Placement electives offered at later levels. You might to go outside the degree and use it as leverage to gain work experience. We have vibrant student media in a time when other universities around the country mourn the death of theirs. So cherish that shit and get involved. Develop a media skill in which you specialize. When it comes to apply for your first job or internship, these things will be a rather large cherry atop a fairly standard media degree sundae. Also, you should probably avoid food metaphors when writing articles. O
Volume 79, Issue 2
Cryptozoology Words/Illustrations: Rogan Tinsley, PhD
As children we are taught to fear predatory animals. Yet we need no instruction to be afraid of the unknown. What lies beyond knowledge, beyond science, has always held a grim salience. Intrepid Victorian naturalists went to great lengths and endured gruesome diseases to acquire the pelts, eggs and plumage of rare and exotic beasts. Specimens were meticulously labeled, dispatched to and catalogued in great institutions of learning, such as the Natural History Museum in London. Even today, taxonomists, using mostly genetic analyses, continue the task of adding every known species to the web of life.
But what of the creatures that have never been caught? Only glimpsed as they dart between the trees or waves, felt as an eerie presence in the night, or spoken of in hushed tones around tribal campfires? These rare and elusive creatures are the realm of cryptozoology. Cryptozoologists continue that noble Victorian spirit of the gentleman naturalist, mixed with a big dash of freak-show peddler and a pinch of charlatan for good measure. Myriad unknown species teem on both land and sea. In fact, in a recent article in Trends in Ecology and
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Evolution, the authors (Carbayo and Marques) calculated that there are approximately 1.4 million known animal species and 5.4 million unknown species. The cost of training and funding the army of taxonomists required for the job of cataloguing them all would cost around US$263 billion. Most of the unknown species are invertebrates. The science blogger Ed Yong, writing for Nature, recently quoted one invertebrate biologist as saying “you can effectively consider the warm-blooded things done”. However, the masses of undocumented invertebrates hold little sport for the cryptozoologist, for whom glory lies in discovering “big game”. The larger and scarier it is, the more they love it. The Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch and the Yeti are perhaps the best known, and therefore dullest of the cryptids they seek (See Fig 1). But for me, the ultimate prize has always been the Chupacabra. The name translates from Spanish as “goat sucker” (See Fig 2).
Mange seems to have a similar effect on other fauna, leading to reports of squirrel and even wombat chupacabras. As with the Ranleigh Sewer Monster (See Box 1), it turns out that there is a rational explanation behind even the most bizarre cryptid. As much as we may enjoy the monstrous and mysterious, we must not be tempted to veer too far into the irrational. The world is full of bizarre and fascinating creatures; their scientific study should do little to reduce our wonder and awe. Indeed, the opposite should be true – the deeper we examine, the more interesting and unlikely many creatures become.
Chupacabras were first sighted in Puerto Rico, fleeing from the corpses of livestock, drained of all blood. They have been described as hairless, with thick, grey skin and spikes or ridges down their back, large fangs and claws, bony and fierce, with glowing red eyes and a rank odour.
Carbayo and Marques concluded their article as follows: “The most essential action now would be a concerted effort to raise the image of taxonomy from being seen merely as an ‘old’ and ‘simple’ task of biologists that is unfashionable and horribly constricted to low-impactfactor journals to being viewed instead as a fundamental, indispensable, and vibrant branch of the life sciences.” Life truly is stranger than fiction - just take gametophytes, for example - though you’ll have to wait for another installment for that tale. O
Alleged sightings have now spread across Latin America, and even as far as Russia (See Fig 3). However, as with much cryptozoology, once the bodies of a beast or two are available, the real zoologists can set to work. A few such “Chupacabras” were examined near the end of 2010, and the results are thus: They appear to be coyotes, or sometimes dog-coyote hybrids, with advanced mange or parasitic infestations. These make the poor creatures hairless, bony and malodorous - unable to attack all but the weakest of livestock, and liable to do nothing more than mortally wound them, then lick up the blood as the victim bleeds to death.
Volume 79, Issue 2
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Mourning 2.0 When support networks become public spectacles Words: Emma Jones / Illustration: Alex Weiland
Michael Jackson’s death
rocked the world, possibly even more than his magical change in skin colour and ever-
increasing physical resemblance to
everywhere were converging in their public grief.
candlelit vigils at which mourners huddled and moonwalked.
were televised tributes.
There were Facebook
Most people simply used the R.I.P Michael Jackson pages to share their stories about how the King of Pop had impacted their lives, and to lament the loss of such a definitive artist. (Messages like “i realy rip michael jackson” are abundant.) There were a few obsessive fans who posted weird poetry and personal obituaries on the sites. There was even a girl who declared “funny thing is...........i didn’t give a shit about michael ‘till he died, then i looked him up and now i care ‘bout him, too bad it’s too late lol”. But the type of post that intrigued me most were ones like this one, posted by a guy called John Stifler*: “I rili miss him so much n stil cnt believe * Name has not been changed because I’m 99% sure it’s a fake name already
his gone bt his memory within me..plz add me.” Personally, I won’t be adding John Stifler or, for that matter, anyone else who thinks ‘rili’ is a word. But his post is exemplary of the sort of exhibitionist grief that has come to be a staple feature of the Facebook universe.
Network Support Don’t get me wrong. Facebook is actually a great support network for many people who have loved and lost. On the Facebook Stories page, thousands of Facebook users have left testimonies thanking the site for providing them with such a positive and accessible healing tool. One user, named Paula, writes:
Volume 79, Issue 2
Just recently i lost my amazing boyfriend in a terrible motorbike accident. Reading Kieron’s profile page that has been filled with so meny lovely kind words and memory’s from his friends, i have personnally, and i think that I can speak for his Family aswell have found great comfort in reading about how much Kieron was loved and how much he will be missed by so meny. For that Facebook i thank you. Xxx
the ordeal. “I really appreciate all the love and support from the community,” she says. “At the time, those messages really helped me, and I’m sure Carly could feel the love from everyone… it really touched me to know that so many people were sending love who didn’t even know Carly in life! When you feel supported it really gives you the strength to fight.”
Communities, like the ‘Gold Star Wives’ (widows of deceased military members) have proven “a good way to stay in touch and be able to know that someone is just a click away when you need them most,” posts Katie from Kansas. Matthew, living in Dubai, confesses that after hearing a friend from home in the United States had been killed in a car accident, he was “shocked to see (Facebook) posts to him from friends and family… People were speaking to him directly, telling stories and making jokes. You’ve allowed me to connect with friends… and let me grieve through a loss that I would otherwise have been totally isolated from.” Facebook brings people together, despite geographical boundaries, and allows communities spread out all over the world to unite in times of loss and sadness.
Almost 60% of Australian Facebook users are Generation Y, with 28.8% of Australian users aged between 18-24, and 29.3% aged between 25-34 (seosydneyblog. com). Facebook itself has more than 500 million active users, 50% of whom log on to Facebook in any one given day. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, has 130 friends and creates 90 pieces of content per month (facebook.com). It comes, then, as no
One such example of online grief can be seen in the tribute page for Adelaide teenager Carly Ryan, who was tragically killed at Port Elliott in 2006 after her online boyfriend ‘Brandon’ turned out to be 50-year-old predator and paedophile, Gary Francis Newman. She was only 15 years old. The Facebook group has 602 members, and is a source of information for members about the outcome of the trial of Carly’s murderer, as well as providing an online gathering place for those who remember Carly. Users have posted yearly birthday wishes for Carly, who would have turned 19 this year, as well as memories of times spent together and touching responses to her loss, like this one, posted by Bella: “happy birthday carly, i’ll never forget you. You were so perfect and beautiful, i’m glad they found the people that did this to you. rip ♥”. Carly’s mother, Sonya Ryan, who started the Carly Ryan Foundation to promote online safety, says the tribute page helped her to survive
“ It’s not only abusive idiots who tarnish these community grief networks, though. Sometimes it’s attentionseeking idiots, and it’s hard to decide which is worse ” surprise that 99% of this content is total cockwash, and that 82% of users are brainless retards (my brain). Naturally, with thousands of tribute pages granting public access to Facebook users, they get their fair share of insensitive assholes. ABC online reports that Kapunda teenager Chantelle Rowe’s tribute page was inundated with abusive messages and offensive photographs less than 24 hours after her family’s horrific deaths, and that child pornography was posted on the tribute page for 12-year-old Brisbane stabbing victim Elliott Fletcher. Queensland woman Jessica Cook, 22, was prosecuted for posting hateful and abusive material on a memorial page for Sunshine Coast murder victim Justine Jones.
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Feature: Mourning 2.0
She was released on two years probation under a total ban from social networking sites. It’s not only abusive idiots who tarnish these community grief networks, though. Sometimes it’s attention-seeking idiots, and it’s hard to decide which is worse. There’s a fine line between grief-centric grieving and egocentric grieving. Posts like “i miss u so much! I know u will be missing me too. I know u see me cry but i cant help it, the pain is raw it burns inside & i forget to breathe. I want u back & that bastard took u away from me!” serve only to confirm that some users are looking for sympathy, rather than support (or spellcheck). Other sites garner much attention shortly after the deaths of their subjects, and then, years later, use their sizeable fan lists to promote themselves or ask for more ‘likes’ or followers. Some sites even use the exposure to sell t-shirts.
Love & Loathing At 4.20am on September 5, 2010, sixteen-year-old Leroy Economou, from Hackham in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, was killed in a car accident at Maslin Beach. He was one of four passengers in a car whose driver was arrested and later charged with causing death by dangerous driving. There are several memorial pages for Leroy on Facebook, many of which have been used mainly to keep his friends and networks updated on events such as a televised farewell ceremony at Seaford Skate Park (which has since been under petition to be renamed Leroy Economou Memorial Skate Park), and, like Carly Ryan’s page, a place online for those who loved him to gather and remember Leroy. Unfortunately, not everyone grieving for Leroy has Leroy on their minds. One particular site instigates discussions on the topic of Leroy’s ‘murderer’, the 18-year-old who was driving the car when it crashed. What follows is little more than slander. “This MURDERER is an absolute loser!”, declares one poster. “People can say all they like that the MUDERER will be filled with guilt, oh poor him! Well he isn’t sorry coz he is out driving, drinking and partying it up... He is probably at schoolies now! He is living his life like nothing happened. He should of been killed that night, HIM!” Another takes it so far as to
criticise the driver’s mother. “Earlier that night he was doing burnouts out the front of his mothers house and she reckon’s she tried to take the key’s away... Well she didn’t try hard enough! … What a poor excuse of a mother to not do her job properly and take those keys! To raise a total loser who would grow up to be a MURDERER!” The original cause of the site – a place to mourn the loss of a young life – has been lost in anger and hatred, turning the site from an innocuous tribute page to a hate site full of hurtful language and even more hurtful grammar.
RIP Young deaths, like those of Adelaide teenagers Carly Ryan and Leroy Economou, are heartbreaking tragedies in and of themselves. To lose a loved one at such a young age, and in such horrific and preventable circumstances, leaves a permanent mark on those left to grieve. In such a way, community tools like Facebook provide a blessing for those who need a way to connect with others struggling to survive the same ordeal. It seems to me that through the ages bereavement has been a sacred rite; when mourning, anything goes. By the same token, those using Facebook to express their grief need to keep in mind that they are publishing their thoughts on a public forum, accessible worldwide; some things, as they say, are better left unsaid. O
If you want to see more testimonies of how Facebook has impacted lives (yes, for real) visit www.stories.facebook. com. (My favourite is a post from a guy called Gebadia from Alberta, Canada who writes, “No good can come from having a girl your dating as your friend on facebook. men are naturally insecure and we do not want to know her male friends are hot. facebook use to drive me insane. you want a story the igebadia has stories of love of heartbreak of mental gebadation.. which means I was a dumbass. Facebook stresses me out. Makes me want to run into a wall. I want to quit you but I like the fb login.”) For more information on the Carly Ryan foundation visit www.carlyryanfoundation.com
Volume 79, Issue 2
Mural On 16
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Frome St. Words: Adele Teh / Illustration: Madeleine Karutz / Photo: Alexandra Baldock When you walk down Rundle St and reach the intersection with Frome St, something intergalactic is going on. You may have wondered what it all meant, or simply bypassed it blindly on your way to Cibo for that early morning caffeine hit. Iâ€™m referring to the giant mural spanning the wall at the intersection of Frome St and Rundle St.
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You may be unmoved by it, or even be some scrooge who “bah humbugs” at murals. You may have been a past admirer but due to an irrational fear of locusts have distanced yourself ever since that one night in the last weekend of February when they swarmed the wall like uni students to a free item (of any description). Despite whatever present view you hold, when you first set eyes on that wall your reaction may have been different. You may have had a chuckle at how the street sign for Frome St is drolly incorporated into the mural to read: ‘Alien Frome Saturn’. Or you at least had thoughts along the lines of, ‘that man better hurry up and eat his ice cream; it’s dripping everywhere and that’s going to be one nasty stain.’ The Frome St mural is undeniably one of the icons of Rundle St and Adelaide, but not everyone may remember that it used to look very different.
Temporary Time-Travel Let me take you on a trip in a time machine, to Frome St in the pre-Cibo days. Do not fear the past. Unlike in ‘Back to the Future’, you will not have to fend off romantic advances from your mother or ensure that you are born, but there will be a trendy roadster with side wing doors to ensure safe arrival. If you look like Michael J. Fox, then even better. Disembarking from the aforementioned trendy roadster on Frome St, things look different. It is the 1990s. The future of music looks bleak; the Spice Girls and an assortment of identical boy bands reign supreme. More importantly, at that time the wall at the intersection of Frome St was a completely different beast. Before 1998 there was no alien, no road into the horizon, no starry night sky decorating the intersection. A giant hopscotch fills the centre of the wall, with the words ‘When I’m sixty-four…’ reaching across the grey background. To the left an old man in a suit and hat stands holding an ice cream. At the right-hand side is a girl on a bike, beneath galahs flying overhead. Has nostalgia crept up on you yet? Have distant memories resurfaced? The same graffitied school bags that lay at the bottom of the hopscotch remain now, as does the outline of the
bike and old man, except his ice cream is now dripping. The artists behind the original mural were Carol Ruff and Barbary O’Brien. They created the Frome St mural in 1984, for the 1985 Come Out Youth Arts Festival. Both had been involved in works locally and interstate, and had worked together on the Adelaide Festival Centre mural. The 1985 Come Out theme was ‘Youth and Age’. Accordingly, the mural symbolised the link between older and younger generations through play. ‘When I’m sixty-four’ is also the name of a song by The Beatles about growing old, with the overall sentiment tying in with the rest of the mural.
Back to the Future Winding the time machine forward, the girl on the bike has grown up and left in a spaceship, and the old man’s ice cream drips down his hand. The poignancy of the girl growing up and leaving reflected the changes that had to be made to refresh a well-established mural. (Growing up is never an easy thing, which is why Peter Pan has never changed his wardrobe stylist nor left Neverland for a white-collar job and white picket-fence life on Pluto.) The mural’s current appearance materialised in 1998, when the Adelaide City Council and Rundle Street Traders commissioned Driller Jet Armstrong to update it. The project incorporated the artwork of David Bromley, ‘Brettski’, Andrew Parish, Chris Gaston and Andrew Petrusevics. Although rarely referred to by name, its updated title is ‘Daubist Mural No.1’. This refers to Daubism, where the artwork of others is worked over and incorporated to create new pieces. There have been other changes to public art over the past few years, and there may be more in the pipeline. In 2001 the Adelaide City Council introduced a Public Art Policy. This Policy has resulted in the glass boats suspended on the Torrens Lake (Talking Out Way Home by Shaun Kirby and Thylacine) and the coins embedded in the Rundle Street pavement (installed by Michelle Nikou in 2006). Rundle St pedestrians are still ever so amused when the uninitiated try to pick up the coins. The Council introduced a new five-year Public Art Poli-
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cy in 2008, alongside a five-year Public Art Action Plan. The East End is the predominant focus, along with parts of the Western precinct of the city. To fund the Plan the Council has dedicated 1.3% of its total annual Capital Renewal and Strategic Enhancement budget. This may sound like peanuts, but it’s better than nothing.
Sticking it to the Man The Council may be aware that public art adds vibrancy to the city and needs to be supported, but what about non-commissioned public art? The artistic landscape of the Adelaide CBD has seen more subtle changes in the way of street art. Street art has often been thought of as a battle between the artist and the local council’s grey paint. Despite the inevitable disappointment when a favourite piece evaporates and is replaced by a blank wall, it breeds excitement for Adelaide residents when new pieces appear. I can imagine the tornado chasers of street art out there with GPS systems, lo-fi cameras, walkie-talkies and sturdy walking shoes. Peter Drew, an Adelaide street artist, is unfazed when his work is painted over by the council or other artists. Drew is the artist behind the ‘Like’ pieces and the eyecatching Einstein on Bike paste-ups that traveled their way around the Adelaide cityscape reaching cult status, before moving on to London and Berlin. His pieces have appeared on buildings on Frome St and Currie St, the side of the Exeter Hotel on Rundle St and countless more locations around town. Some pieces have stayed, while others have been painted over within days. Drew sees it all as part of the creation of street art and believes that “some of its power comes from the fact that is ephemeral”. There certainly is a magic in street art, in discovering a piece of creativity in a dull or neglected space and appreciating it, because it might not be there the next time you walk past. As an onlooker to the process there is also a satisfaction in seeing other pieces added. Drew sees it as exciting when these layers build up, as it not only allows a dialogue between artists but also facilitates more substantial works to be created. Street artists may be given greater reign very soon, with Drew being
aware of plans for new designated art spaces in the CBD. These ‘Spontaneous Art Spaces’ would allow artists to submit work without council approval. This may not be the complete freedom street artists wish for, but it would boost Adelaide’s street art. It would be a welcome improvement from the David Copperfield-esque disappearing acts that such art is often party to.
Sign o’ the Times Change is inevitable. Where there is creativity and it is allowed an outlet, expect public art to reshape and adapt. The Frome St mural may even need another update in the future. Drew is of the view that it is possible for all murals to become stale and invisible after a while, and I agree. I know that in the countless times I have walked past the mural in the last year, I have rarely looked at it properly. My excuses have included: “I was concentrating on buying coffee because I had to start uni at some ungodly hour (11am)” and “the sun was in my eyes”. Before you are taken in by these stellar excuses, I must let you in on a secret; these are unacceptable reasons. I had simply begun to take the mural for granted. But despite the fact that it no longer jumps out at me while I wait at the traffic lights, it still has vitality. I can’t envision how it could possibly be updated without losing its appeal. In 1998 I am sure some had the same feeling about the original mural, yet now the new version is undeniably an accepted and admired part of the City. The question is, what kind of changes would fit our everchanging society? If anyone mentions a LOL-Cat mural, I will scream. In recent years, everything old has been declared new again. Vintage and nostalgia have peaked in the interest charts. If I were to draw a pie chart comparing obsession with the future to obsession with the past, it would look like a tiny piece of future was missing from ye olde style blueberry pie baked according to great-grandma’s recipe. In light of this retro-vintage modernity, perhaps an update of the mural will see the aliens replaced with disco, the bicycle morphing into a penny-farthing and the girl remaining young forever. O
Volume 79, Issue 2
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FACT: Leibniz needed pimpin’ hair to cover his enourmous brain
On Consistency Deserving your uniquely critical mind Words: Tim Rabanus-Wallace
is a magic carpet that you can ride to understand philosophy.
ple concept will yield a world of truth.
a few minutes thought about this sim-
will undermine, supersede and lay waste to almost every religious be-
lief, television advert, popular saying, political slogan, lifetime warranty and list of pool rules you’ve ever come across.
will enrich the life your privileged human mind was given to live
yet its name is rarely spoken.
Consistency. ‘Verifiable’, ‘commensurate’, ‘integrated’, ‘mutually-corroborating’, and other such terms are used to describe the kinds of things that really get to the core of philosophy1, but really, they are all baying at the heels of this simple term which is already happily bobbing about in 1. To appease the yelping philosophy students, allow me to clarify that I’m using this article to help define philosophy, as if you’ve ever tried to achieve so much, so stop demanding a ‘complete and coherent definition’ at this early point, and if you want anything else, please feel free to wave your Centrelink applications at me from a reasonable distance.
common usage. So, having given the ending away, let’s start from the top… Knowledge. We can agree, I’m sure, that some knowledge can be held with more confidence than other knowledge. I know that 1 + 1 = 2. That is very sure knowledge indeed. Magicians can make their careers by taking elaborate measures to defy this simple concept. Zero rabbits in, one rabbit out, 0 = 1, ergo, magic – shit! The reliability with which we can predict that, when we
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add a number of things to the same number of things we find we have double the number of the initial groups of things, indicates (as Leibniz noted) that this particular type of knowledge must reflect some ‘fundamental’ property of the universe2. Whilst later philosophers have qualified or detracted from his view, they’re all still pretty damn sure that one plus one does actually equal two, and Leibniz’s is still a very interesting point touching on one of those deep questions which usually necessitate armchairs and a bottle of shiraz. A slightly less sure type of knowledge is that when you see red, and your friend says they see red, that you are having a comparable experience. Of course you can’t be sure that the ‘image in your head’ (a concept itself currently under severe scrutiny) has just the same redness as the ‘image’ in theirs, but you can speculate quite reasonably that, for example, all mental phenomena are a result of our physical makeup, that all physical traits are the product of our biology and evolution, that we are largely homogeneous in all other measurable aspects of our physical makeup, and that therefore, our ‘image’ of colour is probably as similar as our ‘image’ of what is sexy – which, if you know many university-aged males, is not highly variable. It’s only for my own entertainment that I need delve into areas of knowledge which are highly unreliable. Homeopathy works. Nutritionists are real doctors. The 9/11 collapse was a demolition. The moon landing was fake. Atlantis. Horoscopes. Psychics. Creationism. Ownership and subjugation of women is acceptable in certain cultures. Marriage. Homophobia. Racism. Religion. In a way I am thankful for many of these examples of extreme idiocy for being a good starting point for beginning philosophers to cut their claws on a basic, unmoving target before moving on to more adult prey.
have different amounts of reliability. In science, this is called a variable. As you will have noticed, however, this variable (“sureness” of knowledge) is very hard to measure quantitatively. This problem also occurs in formal science experiments. Whilst measuring the pH of a solution is accurate and straightforward, measuring the real value of money in a society is not. A scientist can’t just poke an electronic buzzing thing at some money to see how much it is really worth. They also can’t simply add up what everyone has to find the average amount each possesses, because if everyone has on average, say, a thousand Shekels, that could mean they can each buy one thousand-shekel cup of coffee, or ten hundredshekel Ferraris. The most meaningful number a curious scientist could come up with here would be how many cups of coffee the average person could buy. This is called an index. ‘Average Bob can buy six thousand lattés’ makes purchasable lattés the index of the value of money in Bob’s society, which is the variable3. Let’s tie it all together. We appreciate that sureness of knowledge is variable. We understand that variables cannot always be measured reliably. We recognise that a difficult-to-measure variable can be elucidated by an index. Consistency is the index of sureness of knowledge.
I think we’d all agree that these types of knowledge
It has to be. I challenge you to think of a case which suggests otherwise. Furthermore I challenge anyone to conceive of and describe a universe in which anything else is the case. Can you fathom anything else representing the sureness of knowledge than the observation that, when observed many times, the phenomenon reliably repeats itself? It’s barely conceivable where to begin. Could the index of the reliability of knowledge be that, when written on paper, reliable knowledge burns more brightly than unreliable knowledge? Absurd. That more people believe it? Equally absurd, but more com-
2. Like a good philosopher, Leibniz showed his working. Unfortunately it took several books spanning hundreds and hundreds of pages of notoriously difficult-to-digest prose, diagrams and mathematics to get it all across. If you’re interested, I suggest typing “Leibniz summary” into the search box onwww.amazon.com.
3. Yes, sharp-witted tigers, the index is basically just another variable which bears a corollary relationship to the first variable, though the relationship need not be reflexive. Given how sharp you are, you won’t need me to tell you that scientists use the words independent variable and dependent variable to express this distinction.
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mon. That a person of supposed authority claims it with great conviction? Also absurd, even more common. That people have believed it for a great many years? That somebody once died for it? How about this one – that many people have for many years believed it when people of supposed authority have told them that someone once died for it... on a cross? I hope this is beginning to sound eerily familiar. Take the challenge to our examples. 1 + 1 = 2. If we gather one, then another one of a thing together, and we repeat the process one hundred times with different ‘things’, we will find that never, ever, do we end up with three things. We will always be able to share the resulting pile of ‘things’ equally between a friend and ourselves. As for the second example, the colour red, if we choose one-hundred objectively-measurable traits of human perception and test them in one hundred people we will find that the results, whilst containing some variation, are in good agreement with one another, giving strong credence to our suspicions that our friend’s ‘red’ is analogous to our ‘red’. As for the third, which I again include for a laugh, take any one of my examples and Google it with the post-script “clinical trial” or “scientific study”. The case really has already been closed for me on those. This issue is important. Hypocrites who govern our countries claim in the same breath, to believe things by faith, and to visit doctors. “Thank God for the doctors” – the expression makes me nauseous. Doctors are scientific practitioners – they engage in instituting those methods and findings which have proven consistent. No exceptions4. If they know a drug works and has no serious side effects, even if they have not the slightest clue what is in it, what it does in your body, or even how it is made, it will be used to cure us with the blessing of all those who govern. The way they know, again, 4. A phenomenological approach to knowledge involves only considering ‘what happens consistently’. A mechanistic approach involves constructing and gathering evidence for (i.e. knowing) a more complete and integrated explanation that is itself consistent with other knowledge. Only phenomenology is required for knowledge of the phenomenon itself, and doctors readily rely on it.
no exceptions, is by consistency – the clinical trial, a manifestation of philosophy into the modern methodology of science. Faith is inconsistent. Take one hundred examples of one hundred people’s objectively-qualifiable faith-based knowledge and compare them. The inconsistency you find in faith-based belief is not evidence of a ‘different type of knowledge’ as the hyper-conciliatory minds of too many inoffensive intellectual bystanders vapidly claim, but evidence of a lack of knowledge. Goodbye dark ages. Goodbye Cambodia vs. Thailand. Goodbye Gaza strip, astrological charlatans, quack science. Goodbye God. Good morning humans. These examples should not stand alone, though if one like them were to gain momentum, it might be an excellent eye-opener for the unconcerned public to whom critical thinking is far less than the auspicious quality that distinguishes the human race from our crawling, feeding, mating and dividing cousins, some of whom shared a meaningless and unconsidered existence with us up until a trifling seven million years ago. Philosophy means ‘love of knowledge’. That might as well read ‘love of consistency’, but that sounds far too mundane – and the mundane and banal are something philosophers, not as intellectuals but as people, seem to abhor. Philosophers have Socrates and Epicurus5 to remind them that the novel ability we have – to think critically, better than a lion hunts, or a mole tunnels, or a falcon flies – is the greatest key to our own happiness and the rejection of the mundane. Without naming any dead Greeks, however, I’d like to nominate Aretha Franklin as our philosophical Obiwan Kenobi, when she urges us simply, “Think!”. With consistency, the tools are handed to us to begin digging for knowledge and vindicating our privileged place in a universe thriving with mystery. O
5. Socrates, who may have never existed, is known only through the writings of Plato. If he did exist, we can be sure that he was a raving, untreated nutter who was apparently impervious to cold and alcohol, and patrolled the streets accosting people to make them doubt their own ideas. Epicurus’ writings survive — he was a progressive funloving hippie type who set up a groovy school for young people interested in science and the art of happiness. Rumours of orgies between lectures persisted. Both were ultimately sentenced to death.
Volume 79, Issue 2
Words: Tomas Macura
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried – Winston Churchill. I wonder what conservatives concerned with foreign policy must have been feeling in America and other Western countries when Cairo erupted in protest. These are individuals who have supported maintaining strong ties with autocratic regimes in order to ensure stability in the Middle East and to further strategic interests, while gently attempting to coax their allies into political reform. But they also fiercely indentify with freedom, accountability and democracy – the demands of the demonstrators. This paradox between safeguarding national interests and not compromising moral values certainly unsettled Western representatives of all political colours. It resulted in cautious statements calling for the demands of the ‘Arab street’ to be respected. Democracy and elections are not magical end-points that guarantee a happy and secure life. They are mere mechanisms through which representatives must have the will and competence to govern in the interests of their constituents. Despite the Western world’s obsession with frequent free and fair elections, effective institutions and the rule of law, a universal principle must be in place before genuine policy debate can occur. We separate powers and impose limits on the duration of office because human nature condemns unconstrained 24
individuals to use power for self-interest. Plato’s fabled philosopher-king, who rules only in the best interests of their people is not an achievable prospect for any contemporary human society. This is why authoritarian regimes around the world have largely poor populations, which they must brutally repress to maintain stability. These kinds of political reforms are the reason hundreds of thousands of people are demonstrating against their governments throughout the Middle East. Along with unemployment, official corruption and rising food prices, the desire for greater openness triggered the protests in Tunisia last December. These protests resulted in the resignation of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, eventually followed by Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. An important feature of the protests, stretching from Algeria to Yemen, is that they have lacked ideological fervour. They have been characterised by young people — 60 percent of the Middle East’s population is under 30 — who have utilised increasingly sophisticated communications technology, including social networking sites, to organise nonviolent demonstrations in urban centers. But if previously divided opposition parties and movements cannot adequately fill emerging power vacuums then the old guard or new repressive regimes will spurn this window of opportunity. Hopefully the protests will energise the traditional opposition parties, and lead to the formation of new ones, to contest what will (again, hopefully) be free and fair elections in the near future.
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Picture: omarroberthamilton / www.flickr.com/photos/56458828@N02
Islam and Democracy
The actions of the region’s national militaries have been crucial, with their neutrality in Tunisia and Egypt commendable. It was a tragedy that hundreds lost their lives in Egypt’s revolution; however, it could have been much worse if the armed forces were dispatched by Mubarak against his people. In states where the military is not tied to the ruling regime, it can play a pivotal and positive role, by refraining from escalating nonviolent demonstrations and moving quickly to safeguard important institutions. They also help to maintain law and order should a power vacuum arise. By contrast, the possibility of a brutal crackdown is enhanced by the actions of militias loyal to the regimes (like the Basij in Iran) in addition to the police and intelligence officials who pay no heed to human rights and justify anything in the name of national security.
So is a functioning democracy possible in a majority Muslim nation? Turkey and Indonesia already provide credible examples. It’s true they are not liberal democracies free of significant internal corruption, nor do they have ideal human rights records or high living standards. But compared to the rest of the developing world, their people have it pretty good. In any case, comparing the democratic systems of non-Western states with vastly different cultural values to ours is unfair. It is also worth pointing out that the West has had two centuries of conflict and experimentation with various forms of representative government, while postcolonial states have not. The argument that because democracy and the nation-state are Western concepts they are incompatible with non-Western faiths and cultures is farcical. Many ideas and inventions were expropriated by the West from the Middle Eastern empires during the medieval and early modern periods. Furthermore, if the Qur’an is interpreted in its entirety, according to reason and in a historical context, it becomes evident that Islamic religious principles such as consultation, consensus and independent interpretive judgement are conducive to a democratic political system. The vast majority of Muslims are moderate followers of their faith and do not consider there to be a contradiction between the oneness of God and democracy. The US and other Western states will have to work hard to form positive relationships with the new class of rulers, who will be resentful of America’s support for the authoritarian old guard and its blind eye to human rights violations. However, given the vast consumption of the region’s oil by Western industry and consumers, the equipment and training provided by the US to those countries’ militaries, and the ongoing development aid programs, it is unlikely that a significant restructuring of alliances will occur. What is likely to be required in the short-term is humanitarian assistance to displaced persons fleeing the various revolutions. The West should not be too forceful in promoting its brand of democracy and be patient with elections so the grass roots revolutions have time to consolidate their gains and set up a
“ An exaggerated fear among observers of the protests is that islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, may hijack the revolution ”
home grown political process. An exaggerated fear among observers of the protests is that Islamist groups (such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt), may hijack the revolutions and implement their fundamentalist sharia legal systems. The prospect of such an organisation attaining power is highly unlikely as they only have a small minority of support among the populations of the Middle East. In addition, the mood of the protests does not reflect a desire for an islamist mandate seeking to create another theocratic state similar to Iran or Saudi Arabia. The comparisons with the 1979 Iranian revolution that deposed the monarchy are unfounded, as the anti-imperialist sentiment directed towards the US is not as prominent. The people of the Middle East have swallowed the bitter pill of Iraq’s invasion and occupation and are more receptive to President Obama’s foreign policy. The closest Islamists will come to power is if they are included in a coalition government, but this will not translate into their main agenda being implemented or their members being granted important ministries. However, a serious danger is terrorist networks exploiting the uprising and potential civil war in Libya or the protests in Yemen — already an extremist hotspot. Both countries’ leaders have resisted calls to resign, although Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has vowed not to pursue another term in 2013 and has announced wide reforms. Despite detractors joining the rebels, a significant portion of the Libyan military are defending Muammar Gaddafi’s regime by engaging with the rebels as well as targeting civilian protesters, causing significant casualties. Yemen is struggling to deal with a secessionist movement and has a contingent of CIA personnel combating al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A power vacuum would only play into the hands of AQAP and other militants. Major protests in Iraq could also destabilise reconstruction efforts and the fragile coalition government which emerged after 8 months of negotiations following elections last year, potentially plunging the country back into civil war. Therefore, whilst the transition to democracy will drastically improve the lives of millions of people in the Middle East, a violent last stand by power hungry despots could drag the region into further insecurity. O
Volume 79, Issue 2
On Dit’s guide to COPING WITH RECESSION Words: Rhia Rainbow / Illustrations: Alexandra Stjepovic At our house we’re well versed in cost cutting measures and money-making schemes. The fact that we’ve been cooking our meals on a camp stove in the yard to save on electricity has to be an indicator of how far we’re willing to go to save a dollar. That, or how desperate I am to use all of the butane that I bought on sale at Kmart. Finding it hard to live on a budget? Struggling to buy your dumplings? How far are you willing to go to save five dollars today? Keep in mind that in three days that’ll afford you enough leeway to splurge on some cask wine. Get your priorities straight, and spend the week living as we do.
mood lighting. I suggest Murder in the Dark.
Do not get a job at any cost. If you can write your name legibly then you can fill out forms. Once you start receiving your benefit, you can spend your days doing more important things, such as financing your first loan. Get in touch with long lost relatives, and borrow a measly $20 from each and every one of them. For further efficacy, make such requests over a nice dinner. At their house. Free dinner is the best dinner!
Mooching! This not only applies to meal time, but also to your social hour! Just the one drink from every person that you know in a crowded bar will not only make you more popular, but also ensure that you don’t spend a cent when you go out. If you’re lucky, you can also find a place to stay for free! Depending on how far you’re willing to go, and how little you value your moral compass, it’s amazing just how easy it is to find a bed for the night. Point your moral compass south and just roll with it. Dress cheap (which you are).
Living by candlelight! Not only will this save you from those pesky electricity bills, but create a delightful ambience in your otherwise shabby and under-furnished home. Guests will enjoy coming to your house to play games and enjoy the
Consistently ordering complicated variations on the normal menu at McDonalds will ensure that the poor 13 year old at the drive thru window will somehow fuck up your order. Call the establishment to complain, once you’ve eaten your meal, and they will give you another meal for free! No time or money for this? Simply turn up and insist that you spoke to someone last Wednesday about your free meal. They won’t have time for your shit, and will usually placate you in an attempt to make you leave. For best results, do this during their busiest period (I suggest 6pm).
Fashion! Now that you’re living on the poverty line, it’s likely that this will be reflected in your fashion sense. Luckily for you, even the rich kids are dressing like paupers these days. Avoid bathing and allow your hair to dreadlock. You’ll save money on water bills, plus, if you top off your look with some fisherman pants and a headband you can be a hippie (helpful for getting in with the freegan clique). Alternatively, check out the crowd at Supermild and emulate their dishevelled appearance with some op shop threads and a trashed bike with no gears. Just quietly, did you know that you can refer to all of your old shit as “vintage” now?
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advertisement with the ‘Olden Times’ theme. Yes, this exists. Utilize it.
Now this is a simple one, folks. Spend $10.02 on petrol and $0.42 on Mi Goreng! Since the penny was discarded, it’s a great time to be alive! Pure profit.
Hard rubbish! This is a must if you are going to be lucrative in your business dealings. A quick internet search will give you access to the council’s hard rubbish calendar. There is no reason to believe that any television on the side of the road is not high definition and fully functional. Assess your neighbours’ home furnishings pre-emptively, and make subtle hints if necessary. Blackmail in this situation is certainly profitable. Sell the wares for hard cash, or hoard.
Hoarding! Never, ever throw anything away. It is not profitable, and it is certainly not economical. A dilapidated bathtub can soon, with a little elbow grease, become a fine centrepiece in your traditional Japanese garden.
Ebay! There is an entire world of compulsive shoppers out there, just waiting for you! Now that shopping is at our fingertips, we (the humans) have evolved in terms of our increasing desire to collect mountains of really specific ‘vintage’ shit. Ransack your grandparents’ junk cupboards and put everything online! Be sure to include the words ‘authentic’, ‘vintage’, ‘antique’ and ‘circa’ or ‘era’ in your item description. Sit back and watch as the rare, circa. 1940’s, antique unicorn miniatures collectors come to fight over your wares. It is of little consequence whether the items are actually antiques, so take some artistic liberties. Spend the extra $0.60 to stylize your
Victims of Crime! This undersold money making scheme has been somewhat overlooked by the general public. A bit of pain for a lot of gain. Save money on therapy by expressing all of your pent up rage at a random stranger! One black eye today means comfortable living tomorrow.
Clinical Trials! Have you ever heard of CMAX? At this wonderful place you can spend up to six weeks of your life sleeping and eating for free! You also get the luxury of utilizing their dial-up internet and PS3 at no personal cost. You may be required to take some sort of potentially hazardous new pharmaceutical, but there’s a 50% chance that you’ll get the placebo! These are good odds. At the end of your incarceration (aka. delightful bed and breakfast) you will also be paid an honorarium for your time. This is another example of pure profit. If the thousands of dollars and free psoriasis medication isn’t incentive enough, they also throw in a full medical check, including STD screen. No more hefty gaps at the doctors’ office. Want to donate your bone marrow for $200? Contact the haematology team at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Heinz Big Red! Tomato soup that fits in a saucepan on the camp stove!!!
Now go forth and save! This is the day that your life begins. Much like your first beer bong or your twelfth consecutive conceded pass, take it as a lesson. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to afford that goon sack (in three to five days).
Volume 79, Issue 2
Bipolar Culture or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Concentrated Festival Season”
Words: Galen Cuthbertson / Illustration: Lillian Katsapis
For much of the year, Adelaide is quiet and sleepy. Sort of boring. Depressed. But once a year, for a month or so, we go nuts. From mid-February to late-March, Adelaide sings, dances, paints, and performs. From the start of the Fringe to the end of the Clipsal, it seems we hardly sleep. A broiling mess of crowds and excited emotions, Adelaide transforms temporarily from a neatly-planned country town into a living, breathing chaotic city. From a combination of alcohol and arthouse cinema, we all blur the normal social rules and have a bit more fun. The trouble is, such violent mood swings can be bad. Somewhere along the lines, we chose to have a concentrated festival season – to be “The Festival State”. But some Adelaideans also complain that we’ve doomed ourselves to apathy, boredom, and mind-numbing cultural deprivation for eleven months out of twelve. Well, have we? And if so, should we take some cultural lithium and spread all the festivals out? In short, maybe. We’ll start by cataloguing the downsides; the problems with having such a dense festival season. So here’s roughly what happens every year: The whole season starts with the Big Day Out. It’s way back in
early February, but it puts you in the mood. Even if you don’t go yourself, you probably know someone who does. And upon hearing about it, you think, ‘Oh yeah, Adelaide’s about to get fun again.’ Then the Garden of Unearthly Delights pops up. The keen amongst you go to the opening. You dance – or, at least, you see cooler people dancing and are reminded that dancing is ‘a thing’. A week later, the Fringe Opening night happens. Your spirits – and this year, thanks to rain, your clothes – are dampened, and you remember that the night often seems vaguely disappointing. But then the festivals get rolling properly. In a frightening change of pace, the international-busker-filled streets are suddenly busy after sunset. Between hunting student-priced (read: free) shows in the Fringe, you also splurge on comedians and plays. If you’re a film buff, you spend an evening or two watching movies in the Adelaide Film Festival. The artsy amongst you even add art exhibitions to your timetable. You might also hippy-out at Womad ... or inhale rubber at the Clipsal. Is that everything? Oh, no, there’s also Writers’ Week and the we’re-far-more-serious-than-thefringe Festival of the Arts, which occurs biennially – and will be annual from 2012 onwards. Exciting? Hell yeah! In theory. The problem is that, as one friend said to me, “after a while, it’s just too busy.”
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Besides being ‘too busy’, there’s also the basic problem of ‘being interested’. Early last year, in my first year Law tutorial, our tutor decided to force an introductory game. One at a time, we unenthusiastically stated our name and “what we were most looking forward to at the fringe or festival this year.” Except, well, nobody was planning on going to anything.
So the concentrated festival season comes with two problems: it’s too busy, and some people are too overwhelmed by the choice to pick out the things that interest them. But March also sees Adelaide plagued by a mysterious, ghoulish social force: The Clash. Not the 80’s English punk rock band, but the supposed Clipsal/ Festival/Fringe conflict.
Clutching at straws, the tutor asked if any of us were ‘at least’ going to the Garden of Unearthly Delights. In a room of twenty-six, only two of us nodded; the rest shook their heads. After a moment’s silence, someone explained that “nothing looks interesting, and all the shows are the same” – to which almost the entire room chorused agreement. They thought that nothing appealed to their tastes. The festival season wasn’t something they involved themselves with. Rather, the Fringe, the Festival, the Clipsal, and Womad all happened nearby. Adelaide was swollen with creative spirit but, for them, it mostly just meant that the traffic would be terrible. One show-avoiding friend later provided the excuse: “It’s not that nothing’s interesting. But there’s so much going on. It’s just that I can’t decide what is [interesting].”
Scheduling the petrol-head and paint-head communities to gather simultaneously is, so the argument goes, an atrocious idea. As a book-reading, environment-loving liberal arts major, I naturally fall into the artsy latter category. I was born and raised to comprehend Romanticism, not the romantic aspects of metal boxes driving repeatedly in a circle and propelled, rather terrifyingly, by way of controlled explosions. From an early age, a line was drawn in my mind between Them (the ‘revheads’), and Us. Judging by conversations, we urbanite Adelaideans share this view almost universally. At least, all the latte-sipping youths from hippy-parentage do ... I’ve staunchly avoided conversations with The Others. We latte-sippers always imagine our thin, beret-wearing companions being set upon by terrifying hordes of muscle-bound, mullet-haired car enthusiasts. In my mind’s
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eye, I see myself fearfully swinging my messenger bag full of Russian literature onto my back and trying to flee on my stylish bicycle. I imagine hearing – between the beer-fueled cheers of “Holden!” and “Ford!” – pitiful cries of “I just wanted to attend a post-modern production of The Scottish Play!” and “Save me, Jean-Paul Sartre!” For my play-attending compatriots and me, March brings The Rev-Heads. The Horde.
“ Maybe it’s just that you could ride shirtless on a unicycle down Rundle Mall without a single weird stare ” Well, that’s what we tell each other. The truth is, there isn’t much of a conflict. There are more people on the streets waving car flags, and some of them are a little drunk. But there are also more playwrights on the streets, and more sideshow artists with painful-looking piercings. There might be more cars around, but there’s also a hell of a lot more unicycles clogging up the place.
For an average person on an Adelaide street, it’s also pretty cool. During festival time, the Artist-to-Non-Artist Ratio always seems to shift dramatically, until everyday interactions with semi-famous performers become strangely common. Suddenly, you realise you’re standing at the traffic lights next to the three guys from comedy trio Tripod, or you’re buying coffee next to a circus performer you saw two nights before. If we were to spread the festivals out, it’s hard to imagine that sort of thing happening as frequently. The percentage of tourists in Adelaide during the festival season is also quite impressive: according to Fringe organisers, roughly 18% of Fringe audience members are from elsewhere. We could talk about the positive economic impact of high tourism, but that’s a little boring. What is really means is that, if you go to a show, you’re way more likely to have fascinating interactions with each other. Meeting cool people with cool stories from other parts of the world? I’m up for that.
The picture I’ve painted thus far is of an exhaustingly busy, painfully uninteresting, clash-of-the-cultures festival season. To be honest, it’s a view of March that I used to share. But they’re poor arguments for spreading out the festivals.
But it’s the most fundamental benefit of our festival season that we always seem to overlook: atmosphere. Maybe it’s the lights. Maybe it’s the people. Maybe it’s just the fact that you could, if you wanted, ride shirtless on a unicycle down Rundle Mall without a single weird stare. But something’s palpably different. And everybody feels the same. For just a month, nobody even thinks to say, “there’s nothing to do” or “Adelaide’s boring.” You could go out every night and still not see most of the things you could have seen. If you let yourself, a simple night in town can leave you giddy and excited. March is that rare time of year in Adelaide when even the most cynical of us can see something so exciting – something so new and remarkable – that we forget ourselves for a moment. It’s not an atmosphere that could be sustained all year round.
First and foremost, it builds connections between artists and other artists. The Adelaide Fringe Festival is the second largest of its kind in the world – beaten only by the Edinburgh Fringe. It attracts performers from all over the world. It’s open access, so anybody can participate; but it’s big, so it also attracts high quality performers. Adelaide’s a small town, so the Fringe artists inevitably mix with the Festival artists, and networks are formed.
The truth is, if we were to spread out the performances across the year-long period, we’d be just as bored and apathetic, except we’d also miss the breath of cultural fresh air that March provides. We’d miss the ups and downs. To paraphrase Chesterton, Adelaide would never starve for want of wonders, but we’d starve for want of wonder. Adelaide’s festival season is wonderful, in part, because it is so brief. So go enjoy it. O
Maybe it’s actually true, and there are three distinct groups: the Clipsal-goers, the Fringe-goers, and (biennially), the Festival-goers. Maybe those groups do divide roughly with class divisions. Maybe they don’t. But the nightmare we sometimes scare ourselves with? The vision of some March Mayhem; some violent clash of warring factions? I’ve never seen it.
The varying skill levels across all the events also make participation much less intimidating for the inexperienced.
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Picture: ozipital / flickr.com/photos/ozpaul
Volume 79, Issue 2
Words: Patrick McCabe
A frightening number of years ago, I was but a first-year, beginning my journey through a double degree in Law and Arts. In those carefree days, I undertook an Anthropology elective, which, although it started innocently enough, quickly descended into scandal.
I quickly found that Anthropology was perhaps not to my taste. The elective I took was an introduction to anthropological ‘theories of interpretation’ (I think). As a sensitive first-year, I was a little intimidated by these ‘theories’, all of which seemed to be suffixed ‘-ism’, all of which I thoroughly failed to comprehend, mired as they were in incomprehensible jargon. To my great surprise, I managed to achieve good grades in Anthropology despite my utter lack of understanding of the subject-matter. This started to plant seeds of doubt in my mind. I confess that I started to wonder whether these esoteric theories were all jargon and no substance. Given that I had apparently satisfactorily demonstrated my understanding of anthropological theories I did not actually understand, it seemed logical that I might be able to invent my own anthropological 32
theory from scratch, without actually understanding it at all. Faithful On Dit readers might remember a past article by this author detailing certain Wikipedia exploits. It must be admitted that I often rely on Wikipedia when in need of amusement or a feeling of intellectual superiority, or (more commonly) both. Thus, I turned to Wikipedia, that ultimate barometer of legitimacy, to unleash my mastery of anthropological jargon on the world at large. I created a Wikipedia page entitled ‘Functional temporalism’. Astute readers may detect that ‘temporalism’ is not generally viewed as an actual word (certainly not by Microsoft spell-check), but that has never stopped anthropologists from coining new ‘-isms’, and it wasn’t going to stop me.
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My article contained an overview of the anthropological theory of functional temporalism. The concept was simple: string intelligent-sounding words together into seemingly cogent sentences entirely devoid of any meaning. Just as I suspected that some anthropologists did not fully understand the theories they espoused, I too had absolutely no clue what my new theory was about. The text of the article read thus: Functional temporalism is an anthropological theory drawing prominently from the functionalistic and postmodern paradigms first discussed by Clifford Geertz. It is also heavily indebted to the symbolistic school of thought in sociolinguistics. The theory ostensibly deals with the functional aspects of more traditional temporalism. Functional temporalists maintain that such aspects are consistently overlooked by mainstream academics and that this greatly affects the interpretation of cultural articulations in an exceedingly pejorative sense.
fully placed my article in the “Postmodernism” category. Presumably he figured that if he couldn’t understand it, it was probably postmodern (which is not such a foolish conclusion). With this, my article seemed to gain some authority. To my great surprise, the article did not disappear over the next couple of months, but continued to fool editors with its jargon. Soon, I was a second-year, and functional temporalism remained. The world changed. Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister. Obama became US President. Lives ended, lives began. And through all this, functional temporalism stayed constant. Before I knew it, I had reached third-year, and my bogus anthropological theory was nearly two years old. At this point, a friend of mine began university. Like me, he enrolled in an anthropology elective, and like me, he had his doubts about the substance of some of the jargon employed in that elective. So I told him about functional temporalism. He was inspired by the story of my home-baked theory that had taken its place in the pantheon of credible, Wikipedia-endorsed anthropological canon. He determined to preach functional temporalism to the world – starting with his next assignment.
With increased pragmatism in academic ethnographic work, however, the social other is able to attain a more post-idealistic status in the cultural hierarchy. This should empower her to achieve a kind of social solipsism not precedented even by late-twentieth century Marxist methods of inquiry. Criticism Some critics of this school of thought have argued that though there were flaws in pre-naturalistic sociological theories, these flaws are better compensated for in more recent theories which deal with interpretative analyses in a more deontological sense. Functional temporalism, on the other hand, is decidedly teleological in its disdain for feminist ideologies. Many advocates of the theory do admit the exceedingly teleological outlook of functional temporalism is a weakness. The most sense that can be made of this description is that functional temporalism is like temporalism (which isn’t actually anything), but functional. As a first-year, I thought my little joke theory was a great laugh. My mirth continued when Wikipedia editors, instead of deleting this half-baked, quasi-academic-sounding nonsense, assisted me by linking to the appropriate articles concerning Clifford Geertz, sociolinguistics, and so forth. Another Wikipedia editor help-
This was a bridge too far for me. I warned him that fooling non-anthropologist Wikipedia administrators was one thing, but fooling actual anthropology academics was another. I assumed such academics would easily be able to spot a fabricated theory when mentioned in an assessment. However, my friend wasn’t simply planning on mentioning functional temporalism. His assignment was to consist of five reviews of anthropological studies (or ‘ethnographies’, for those who don’t like their academic language watered down for mass consumption). He decided that he would pretend that a certain 1992 ethnography entitled ‘Ruminations with a view(point)’ by an M. Wolf was a critique of functional temporalism. He therefore proceeded to write one-fifth of his assignment on the specific subject of functional temporalism – a theory, you will remember, that doesn’t exist beyond the bounds of Wikipedia. His review is set out here: Wolf offers her own perspective on ethnography, and its place in contemporary ethnological study. In this chapter, she criticises the postmodern Geertzian theory of functional temporalism. Although Wolf recognises the value of critiquing ethnographic fieldwork, she asserts that functional temporalism is ignominiously obstinate and hostile in its scorn towards feminist anthropology. The case is made that while all ethnography is at least somewhat flawed, such adamant condemnation only serves to hinder the very openness
Volume 79, Issue 2
that the founders of anthropological fieldwork, including A.R. Ratcliffe-Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski, intended to create. Within her denigration of functional temporalism, Wolf argues that a certain degree of subjectivity is to be expected in any sociological fieldwork; appraisals of ethnography will never be homogeneous, so it is, therefore, irrational for functional temporalists to impose their beliefs as truisms. Wolf goes on to suggest that this very ambiguity enriches anthropology, allowing for further fieldwork and analyses, perpetuating the value of the field. It is for this reason that Wolf berates scholars who stubbornly display disdain towards ethnographers, as she believes that such conflict is the antithesis of the broad-mindedness that all anthropologists should possess. It is certainly true that anthropologists are a broadminded lot. A little too broad-minded, it seems. This spurious work not only promulgated a bogus anthropological theory, it also completely misrepresented poor Ms Wolf, who – unsurprisingly - never wrote a word about functional temporalism. If that wasn’t enough, it also committed the cardinal academic sin of using Wikipedia as a source (albeit an unacknowledged one). The anthropology tutor was so broad-minded that he or she saw fit to overlook (or miss) these flaws, and award my friend an 83% grade – almost a High Distinction. From this point on, hubris reigned amongst the FT true believers. Perhaps I shouldn’t have given up anthropology - perhaps I was the next Clifford Geertz! I started to spread the word amongst friends about my exploits. Sadly, this spelt the end for functional temporalism. It turned out that one such ‘friend’ was something of a Wikipedia puritan, and upon discovering the hoax, alerted the appropriate authorities. I and the other true believers put up a fight, but once the editors were told the truth, there was nothing that could be done to stop them, and functional temporalism ceased to exist as a credible addition to the modern anthropological debate. When the article was deleted, it had been on Wikipedia for two years and four months. Thankfully, some Wikipedia administrator with a sense of fun (an oxymoron perhaps?) keeps a list of the longest-lasting hoaxes in Wikipedia history. I am very proud to say that my hoax came in at number nine of all time. My parents still boast to their friends, of course. I am thankful to Wikipedia for democratising knowledge in the way it has – encouraging not only stuffy university academics to invent questionable new ‘theories’, but also every upstart first-year. I encourage all On Dit readers out there to get involved in this brave new world, or risk being left behind in a world where you still have to use reputable sources and analyse actual theories to get good marks. O
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Local Band Bio Picture: Michael Hodge / www.flickr.com/photos/mhodge
DOE We have no idea if photos of this band even exist, so we improvised
Words: Seb Tonkin
I first saw Doe in November, at a show in a one-off venue that used to be a veterans’ hospital. And while it might have partly been the novelty of the surroundings (or perhaps the slight buzz that I was carefully maintaining), I was blown away. Since then I’ve caught them a couple of times at the Exeter and Format, and I’ve been steadily coming to a sober conclusion: that Doe are really freaking good. Featuring members from local groups like the Sea Thieves, the Honey Pies, and Young Hearts Fail, Doe manage to sound nothing much like any of them. Locally, they fit, if anything, into the sorta-post-rock niche that bands like Steering By Stars and Box Elder have eked out over the past 18 months or so. To be sure, some of the touchstones I’d reach for in describing Doe are the same I’d use for the others – My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, nineties ‘art-rock’ in general – but Doe have some slightly different ingredients in the pot. They’re probably classifiable as ‘post-rock’, I guess, but to use the term seems a little unfair. It suggests to me a focus on noodling, extended builds, and drawn-out climaxes. In truth, Doe doesn’t really feature any of these. They’re instrumental, with long-ish songs and a focus on guitars, but they’re also a tight, concise, driven unit. To illustrate this, there are a few tracks on their Myspace (myspace.com/doedoesdo) and a live video on their Facebook from when they opened for My Disco (youtu.be/ YFCGzQeHsw4 - props go, as always, to Spoz). Check them out, if you’re so inclined. Maybe leave ‘Trill’ until
last – it’s a little different. I like Doe because of this relentless perpetual motion they seem to develop. You can see it in songs like ‘Oui!’ and ‘Sure, Why Not’. Their drummer and bassist are really good at propelling things along, in ostinato, driving, almost-krautrock fashion. Around this pulse, Doe start weaving guitar and keyboard lines that, on an individual level, are pretty simple. But it’s in the interplay between them – the points where one guitar changes note and the other doesn’t – that these really interesting harmonies and chord progressions start to emerge. It’s almost hypnotic to watch Doe constructing and deconstructing these soundscapes as they go – twinkling, throbbing, and crashing towards the inevitable end. But I also like Doe for another reason, which is harder to glean from internet streams. They’re quite loud. When I get in a room with them, I’m not really thinking about their structure. I’m hearing, and feeling, the waves of sound and rhythm. Analysis aside, for me at least, there’s always a kind of visceral glee to be found in volume, guitar buzz, feedback, and dissonance – each of which can be found, from time to time, in Doe. Apparently they’ve got some proper studio recordings on the way too, which is nice. Let’s hope they don’t disappear before making some kind of lasting statement.
Recommended if you like: Sonic Youth, Steve Reich, Steering By Stars, Deerhunter, My Disco, and/or ‘loud noises’.
Volume 79, Issue 2
The Great Pub Looking for a new watering hole? On Dit assesses the public houses of our fair city. Words: Kelli Rowe
Coromandel Pl, City
Gilbert St, City
First Impressions: walking down the street in excitement (good name). Coming in the door – wine barrels, ooohhh. A little further in – old men, nyuh. Once inside – eehh. Beer Range: Pure, wholesome, unadulterated Coopers – 4
Picture: J4mie / www.flickr.com/photos/j4mie
Beer Quality: It’s Coopers. Standard as pie – 3
Music: Borderline inaudible with a dash-ofdistinguishable Pink Floyd/ Sigur Ros vibe. Can we say it doesn’t suit the pub, and can we add the noise levels make the last point superfluous – 2.8 Pool Table: The Pub’s very small, shall we say quaint,
hence, negative. Other Patrons: Post-workhappiness – 3 Ambience/vibe: It’s a pub, in the true sense of the word, and might we add this is the ‘Great Pub Expeditionings’ – 4 Bar Staff: We got happy hour beers on credit, which is above and beyond the call of happy hour duty – 5
We are excited to be here, to be honest. And now we are here, and have the exclusive information that they are going to do it up, are comforted to know that they will keep the Historian historical.
First Impressions: being open a plus after a night marked by crushing nonsuccess (Tuesday night). Inviting, with a big beer garden on a ridiculously hot night. Plus, we were interested in the cricket. Beer Range: Taps basic but varied. Fridge unusual. Good – 3.5 Beer Quality: Yes, bottled experience provided nice surprise – 3.1 Music: It begun with the end, the end of the quiz night. It then turned to dancy-pop. On verge of interruptive. Appropriate – 2.8 Pool Table: Yes
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Other Patrons: Friendly. Perhaps skewed representation due to quiz night – 3.5 Ambience/vibe: Comfortable, outside, couches, deck, pergola, plants. Potential for summer/winter. The go-to pub in case of lack of ideas or incentive. You won’t be disappointed –4 Bar Staff: Sell expensive chips. No discernable vibe –2
Should come for the Tuesday night quiz. Could see ourselves staying here for an extended period of time. It’s what we want.
Expeditionings Rules of Engagement:
(Out of 5, 1 being crappy)
Coopers on tap Pale must be tasted, even if just in schooner form Two beer minimum for non-driver Tuesdays are preferable to minimise variables
Beer Range Beer Quality Music Pool Table Other Patrons Ambience/vibe Bar Staff
THE HOTEL METROPOLITAN:
THE ARAB STEED HOTEL:
Grote St, City
Hutt St, City
First Impressions: Quaint with high roofs. Invisible before now, but a nice unexpected surprise. Extensive inside and out. Beer Range: Coopers and draught. Blonde. – 2 Beer Quality: Somewhat clear to very clear – 2 Music: Our proximity to the outside, which locates us in reality, outside, leads to the lack of music and the sounds of Grote St traffic in its place. N/A Pool Table: Unsure
Other Patrons: Caused the early closing. N/A Ambience/vibe: Inside looked nice, wooden bar, wallpaper, fireplace with added benefit of books. Outside chairs good, with added city greenery. Plain, but a pub – 3.7
First Impressions: we should have stayed outside. Had we not the need for comestibles and the good liquid, the page would be oh so different. Beer Range: Standard, plus Guinness, so it says –3
Bar Staff: Awesome. Talked and warned of impending closure in an apologetic tone – 4
Beer Quality: Average – 3
Another good but hidden spot (despite the obvious location). Worthwhile coming back to.
Pool Table: None to be seen
Music: Radiographed genericism. Billy Idol – 1.8
Other Patrons: Pensionesque, plus other mixes.
Volume 79, Issue 2
Well patronised. Inoffensive – 3.2 Ambience/vibe: Inside – RSL. Outside, better but how could it be worse, except for vomit everywhere. Nice windows. Pity about the pub – 1.3 Bar Staff: Friendly – 3
We ate here and it was good food and service, a good pub meal. But woe the pub. Worth coming as a last resort, but in the city there are other resorts and other lasts.
Pub Expeditionings The Great Pub Expeditionings The Great Pub Ex 38
THE EARL OF LEICESTER:
Finniss St, North Adelaide
Leicester St, Parkside
First Impressions: We’ve been here before, but the thing is, here we are. Couches, fire place, charming bar and a deceptive mirror, as beer can do with mirrors and people. Beer Range: Quite reasonable, with special mention to the fridge range and the mystery beer of the month – 3.7 Beer Quality: Regular, well poured – 3.7 Music: Unfortunate, if you could call it that – 1.5 Pool Table: Yes, one in front bar
Other Patrons: Families like to eat, bogans/regulars like to drink and play pool – 3.3 Ambience/vibe: Good, slightly marred by music, but nice décor, couches, wood, fireplace, bbq. None of this modern wank, comfortable in all aspects – 4 Bar Staff: Good pouring skills, good attitude – 4
If it wasn’t for the music (which isn’t loud) it would be a great regular. Great for an off night for some beers, and more people would not deteriorate things.
First Impressions: Waft of genericism and ooh an ATM in a phonebox. Beer Range: Well, the whole beer list thing gets it off to a good start, extensively impressive bottled. Taps ordinary, but bottles globalised – 5 Beer Quality: Bottled, therefore sealed in normality. New taste sensations – N/A Music: Soccer took precedence, jukebox – N/A Pool Table: Yup. Other Patrons: Good age range, friendly and unobtrusive – 3.8
THE ROB ROY:
THE ROYAL OAK:
O’Connell St, North Adelaide
O’Connell St, North Adelaide
First Impressions: Stone bar, good name. Beer Range: Very good, excitingly new. Two new beers we have never seen on tap. Plus a wide range of other beer – 4.2 Beer Quality: Hard to tell with the new beer, assume as good as supposed to be. Above average – subjectively 3. Music: Can’t remember any and currently are we are outside the establishment, hence N/A Pool Table: Doubt its presence
Other Patrons: There are other patrons, few, but good considering late time and weeknight. We think it would be a working crowd in it’s hey-time – 2.5/3 Ambience/vibe: Extensive outdoors on a quiet city street, stone bar, hidden pokies, wooden top, trees with nice light post. Fits our style nicely. Needs more people – 3.8 Bar Staff: Helpful with beer, strange haircut – 3.8
First Impressions: Jazz music and undertones of The Colonist. But it’s not The Colonist, so good. Beer Range: Coopers, Stella, Superdry, Squires, Bright Ale – 3 Beer Quality: Pale was pale but expensive – 3 Music: Live music people –4 Pool Table: Negative Other Patrons: Mixed. Every sub-section of Adelaide culture is repre-
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Ambience/vibe: Come here when the ‘football’ (soccer) is not on. Front half great – wood bar, slate walls, wood floors and tables. Homely – 3.9 Bar Staff: To the point, abrupt, short, varied, preoccupied. Heavy-heartedness – 2
We may have knocked certain beers onto the floor, providing entertainment to friends that the pub did not enjoy. Joker theme, but jesting jovialness did not carry to the bar staff; but like any job, no-one wants to be at work
sented. Obviously an exaggeration, but still – 4 Ambience/vibe: We like it. Booths should be tried. Decorations are good – intertwining tuba family, lamps and horse-racing pictures, marble bar, leather stools, wooden accessories – 4.5 Bar Staff: Relaxed, nice t-shirts, too busy to be friendly. That’s OK – 3.5
If it weren’t for the expensive beer, we’d be here all night. But $9 pints are a little cumbersome.
Square Meals Restaurants that provide delicious food at student prices, reviewed by a gal who once attempted a science degree, and a guy who’s nearly completed one Words: Gemma Beale / Degustatory Expertise: George Stamatescu
Madera coffee lounGe You’re 3 weeks into semester one. By now you’ve been disappointed by the $8 schnitzel at the Uni Bar (Oh God, the side salads are so horrible) but you don’t know where to go for a similarly priced but more nourishing meal. We’d like to draw your attention to Madera Coffee Lounge, located at the East Tce end of Rundle St just across from The Stag, a short walk from campus. With a lunch special that lasts a vague 3 hours from 12 – 3pm, and plush couches all over the place it’s very student friendly. Service is great, the staff are convivial and super accommodating, especially since the slightly too-enthusiastic barista moved to greener pastures. Lunch Special, you say? Essentially, the lunch special means that the price of almost everything on the menu falls to about $10, give or take a little for varying meal sizes, with a significant $5 drop in some cases. Today we road tested the The Madera Brekky and The Veggie Burger and were pleasantly surprised. The Madera Brekky features a plate full of 3 chevapchichi sausages, bacon (so much bacon), scrambled eggs with roast capsicum and fetta with lepinja bread (hint: butter the bread). It’s satisfying and cheaper than its East tce cousin. The Veggie Burger, though enormous, is pretty standard, but set apart from others with honey mustard and decent side of chips (or salad. But seriously: chips). Judging a veggie burger on Rundle Street is made difficult by the stiff competition served up by Vego and Lovin’ It, The Exeter and Zen House and as such while this burger is certainly good, compared to other versions it’s not the best we’ve tasted. All in all, we recommend the breakfast, suspect the chevapchichi plate for two would be amazing, but mostly want to highlight how great a 3 hour, $5 drop in price is. Given the generous nature of the offer, it might not last forever, so get in while you still can. As a final note George would like to suggest that some friends, specifically lady friends, aren’t so interested in dining above Cheap as Chips or down some dingy alley. As such Madera is a reasonably priced and suitably alternative location to take any potential lovers. After all, breakfast is the new dinner.
Volume 79, Issue 2
Now We’re Cookin’ With Garf Words and Illustrations: Garf Chan
America’s finest apple Pie Living away from home sucks, but having lived with an American girl who can actually cook food other than macaroni and cheese is the best indulgence ever (although the worst for your wardrobe). This recipe is not mine but belongs to the grandmother of my ex-housemate. And yes, Americans do make the BEST apple pie. And the worst thing is, I think I miss her apple pie more than her…(lucky she doesn’t go to this Uni!)
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Ingredients Crust: 3 cups flour | 1 tsp salt | 1.25 Tbsp vegetable oil | 1 egg (beaten) | 6 tsp water | 1 tsp vinegar Filling: 2/3-3/4 cups sugar (1/2 white and 1/2 brown) | 1-2 tbsp Flour | 1/2 chopped nuts | 1/2 tsp salt | 1/2 tsp grated lemon | 1/2 tsp apple juice | 1/4 tsp nutmeg | 1/2 tbsp cinnamon | 6 - 7 cups apples sliced (1 kg) Utensils Big mixing bowl | Chopping board | Pie dish | Wooden spoon | Knife | Brush (for glazing) Oven Temperature: 220ºC — Baking Time: 40-50 minutes
Chop apples into 3 cm rough cubes. Place into a big BIG bowl and mix with everything listed under Filling. Make crust. Do this by making a small flour hill, and place the wet ingredients in the centre of the hill. (I recommend you place chopping board so it is easier to clean.) Use your fingers and gently mix together the crust ingredients. Then, roll out a big sheet of pastry about 2mm thick or so. Grease your pie dish. Roll pastry around rolling pin, and then unroll over your pie dish. Gently press into the corners with a fork and allow excess to hang. Then trim the edge off with a knife. Place filling into the crust. Then, using a knife, cut strips of pastry and in a
6. 7. 8. 9.
criss-cross order, line it over the top of pie. Glaze top with egg white/ water. Sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar. Place in oven. In the meantime, run to the convenience store to get the best vanilla ice-cream they have. Run back. Get the apple pie out the oven. Cut a big slice. Put the biggest scoop of ice cream on the hot apple pie slice and tell yourself, “You deserve this. You had a big work out because you just had a run to the shop to get ice cream and you have been making pie all day.”
Om nom nom nom.
Volume 79, Issue 2
Procrastinetting The Hard Copy Blog Words: Sujini Ramamurthy
NastyCute - http://www.nastycute.com/ Tag-lined “The Nastiest Thoughts of the Cutest Animals,” NastyCute is the antithesis of the “Look-at-thisadorable-animal-being-adorable. -I’ll-just-ignore-the-fact-that-it’s-actually-a-hideous-shaved-rat-that-wants-tochew-my-face-off-and-lick-my-earwax-and-play-with-my-blood” blog. Comedian Eliza Skinner attributes the most contemptible acts and ideas to the sweetest looking puppies, kitties, bunnies, duckies, and ponies that you could ever imagine, with predictably brilliant results. You’ll never be able to look at little Muffy again without wondering whether she actually wants to “juice in your nostril whilst listening to house music”. The best thing about this blog? She updates daily.
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Tone Matrix - http://lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix A “simple sinewave synthesizer triggered by an ordinary 16step sequencer.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean… The Tone Matrix is the definitive cure to all ills. Whether you are lonely, miserable, hungover or just cripplingly bored, the tone matrix is categorically assured to amuse and delight. No combination of tiles can possibly sound bad! I highlighted “HATE,” “FAIL” and “I AM GOING TO KILL YOU AND THEN SNIFF YOUR EYELASHES. SHUT UP. FASHUN”, and all of them sounded charmingly indie. Here’s one I prepared earlier to help y’all get started. Just copy the code, and paste it onto the matrix: 4030,672,160,0,4030,640,3518,4,3976,2750,2176,2,403 0,2690,2176,0
Time Cube - HTTP://WWW.Timecube.com/ While the Internet may be rife with unhinged fanatics touting absurd conspiracy theories, by far the hardest working unhinged fanatic touting the most comprehensively absurd theory would be Gene Ray with the Time Cube. Ray’s theory of time and space asserts that four simultaneous days occur with each single rotation of the Earth. Accordingly, all modern physics is WRONG, and to think in terms of singularity rather than fours is to deny the CUBE TRUTH. “ONEness education is anti-intelligence.” DUH, you CYCLOPIC HALFBRAIN. If you are into reading endless nonsensical prattle (frankly, it’s crazed) written in all caps with mismatched, centered, 30-point type then this is the site for you. Not to mention the fact that you are also able to picture the “ineffable truth” as a giant cubed disco ball. Gene Ray is like your eccentric European high school physics teacher, who could never quite figure out how to use PowerPoint or how to spell “lacks discipline” correctly on your report card, after having been lost alone in the desert for 65 days with no food, water or oxygen, then attacked by a murder of sloths, and then suffering several irreversible head traumas. In other words, he’s insane. Hilariously so. Did I also mention that Ray also offers $10,000 to anyone who can disprove his theories? I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY AND DEFEAT THE WISEST HUMAN, YOU ONEINTELLIGENCE STUPID! SEEK CUBE WISDOM OR DIE!
Volume 79, Issue 2
Private I Words: Adam Marley
A friend posted an important link on Facebook recently, regarding (unsurprisingly) privacy. Apparently there is yet another thing we have to click somewhere in the seedy backrooms of Facebook settings, or our precious (-ly mundane) information will be available to absolutely everybody who has ever been alive on any planet anywhere. Also, Zuckerberg will personally break into our homes and steal our fillings while we sleep. Then, a meteor will crash into Earth, killing all those people who now have our personal information (those residing on Earth at least). Without the sarcasm — this new feature does something along the lines of allowing websites (and their sinister operators) to access our Facebook particulars, so as to provide a more seamless experience on their site. Seems fine to me, but then I guess I am pretty boring: Adam Marley, 23, has teeth, might have eyes, likes breathing – preferably on a regular basis; why should I care if they have that information? (OK, so maybe not completely without sarcasm, but you get the idea.) It got me thinking. This new addition to the plethora of Facebook features that need to be disabled (or at the very least assessed) in order to have a ‘safe’ Facebooking experience, is just a drop in the ocean of privacy measures (countermeasures?) people seem to be employing these days. Photos? Friends Only. Wall Posts? Friends Only. DOB? Blank. People can find you in a public search? No thanks. Some Nice Person you don’t have as a friend but who may in fact be a long lost relative poked you ; would you like to poke them back? No, I’d like a restraining order instead, please. I even have friends that use fake names on Facebook. However it doesn’t stop at ‘social networking’ (IRONY!); there was that whole hoopla over the proposed (and effectively compulsory) Health and Social Services Ac-
cess Card a few years back (that would have taken all your medical/welfare factoids and played them incessantly on a megaphone strapped to your hip) . People are simply going nutty over privacy these days, so much so that it is generally at the sake of convenience. In econobabble, that translates to people actually paying for increased levels of privacy, or should I say: increased levels of believed privacy (implying supposed security). I’m going to gloss over the whole ‘if you’ve ever handled money The Government has your DNA and is making clones of you at this very moment, while the Evil Banks (bastards!) stole all your credentials the first time you had a credit check and are currently printing money on your children’s socks’ thing (leaving it at: private? Who are you kidding?) to instead ask WHY? 1. Somebody saw a picture of you doing something embarrassing – so? I’m sure you embarrass yourself in person all the time anyway. 2. Your employer discovered something revealing about you – personally, I don’t want to constantly hide who I am while at work anyway. 3. That ugly guy you hit-on while pissed sent you a friend request – DON’T ADD HIM. 4. Your new doctor has all your medical history at the ready – um, awesome? 5. Somebody assumed your identity and charged to your credit card – cancel it. 6. Nicholas Cage stole your face – spear-gun that sonofabitch! It needs to be said: You’re simply not that interesting. Honestly? Nobody really cares. So your information is bouncing around cyberspace (and it most certainly already is) – it just makes life easier for you. I’m sure there are some drawbacks, but do they negate the convenience? Doubtful. You’re already living in the database, why not visit the neighbours once in a while?
On Dit Magazine
A Brief History Of
Words: Rory Kennett-Lister
Do you know what interests me? Nothing. That’s right — nothing. Now, steady — let’s not jump to any conclusions of nihilism; it’s not that I have no interests, but that (get ready) I’m interested in nothing. Now, given the subject matter (or, if we’re going to be sticklers, the lack of subject matter) that last sentence is going to be a little hard to flesh out. But bear with me and I might make it worth your while. On second thoughts, I probably won’t. I’m quite happy to sit here tapping away at the keys, giving barely-sensical representation to my little mind farts that might, if described by the wrong person, be called thoughts. I’m happy to listen the clacking as my fingers tap against the black keys of my super-cool MacBook. But If I was to do that for an entire column, in a magazine that I somehow managed to blunder into the editorship of, I might be called self-obsessed. And if you’re as self-obsessed as me, that might be detrimental to your self-esteem. So without any (more) further ado, I present you with a brief history of filler. Before I fill your brain with facts, I should pause to stress that when I refer to ‘filler’, I’m not referring to the Hungarian monetary unit of the same name. (Oh, If only they spoke English in Hungary — the punning that could be had. ‘Filling up one’s tank’ would be so much cleverer. But, alas, they speak Hungarian, so…yeah, you kind of fucked me on the jokes, Hungary.) Filler, as may be guessed at a momentary glance, is derived from the root word ‘fill’. This is itself derived from the Old English ‘fyllan’, which is, in turn derived from the Dutch ‘vullen’. But honestly, who cares? Certainly not me. What does that tell me? Not much (but not quite nothing, because then I’d be interested). It pretty much tells me that there were older words used to describe the action of taking up a space’s capacity to contain any more of something. People got lazy, stopped enunciating, and now we say ‘fill’.
There’s an apocryphal tale that gives some clue to the creation of the modern meaning of filler (that is, something of little substance, used to plug gaps in a publication)1. It occurs around the same time daily newspapers — the dailies in old speak — were being thrust in the faces of unsuspecting city civilians. In the newsroom: “Oh darn boss, we got a gap on page six!” “Damn. Well, just chuck something in to fill it.” Next time Butch had a gap in the print run — bam! He chucks in the ‘filler,’ as it has come to be called. But the truth is less known, and far more shocking; Selley’s made some undisclosed deal with the New York Times — the first example of subliminal advertising, starting at the printer. After that little noted, but all pervading Faustian deal, filler’s rise into pop-culture was meteoric. The high point, it must be noted, has been the term’s entry into cliché. Does “all killer, no filler” ring any bells? Jerry Lee-Lewis — he of the great flaming balls — named his anthology of greatest hits as such. But he married his 13-year-old first cousin when he was 23, so perhaps that’s no great endorsement. More recently, Sum 41 gave their debut LP the same name. With the album going platinum in the UK, USA and Canada, maybe their seemingly arrogant claim is to be believed. In the present day, filler has continued its subtle permeation through newspapers, television, albums and magazines. Recently, filler has been somewhat legitimised as a basis for a 1 page column, having been published by the editors of On Dit magazine in a feeble attempt at meta-humour.
1 No there’s not. I made it up.
Volume 79, Issue 2
Diversions Spot All 8 differences!!!
On Dit Magazine
Crypt-o-clue 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Some periodic part of a Baltic company is blue (6) That wild person is violent (6) We, at our stage in life, are common parlance (5) Address it to a genderless boy (4) Hear that? A Dior mix! (5) A sexy canid (3)
This issue’s word:
“Masticate” What it means: To chew (food). What it sounds like it means: This one doesn’t need too much explanation. Use it in conversation and see what happens: “I did some heavy masticating last night.” Reason it’s awkward: Really?
Diversions Answers on page 48
What are the full names of Merry and Pippin in Lord of the Rings? 2. What are the first two words in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”? 3. Which former member of Monty Python directed “Brazil”? 4. True of false: Vin Diesel was in “Saving Private Ryan”. 5. In the US Army, what rank is higher, Sergeant or Staff Sergeant? 6. Name the colours on the Senegalese flag. 7. What’s the capital of Canada? 8. What is a palindrome? 9. In what year was the Great Fire of London? 10. What anagram of ‘room’ is the name for an Islamic person from 16th Century Spain?
Find as many words as you can using the letters on the Sudoku grid (including a 9 letter word). Words must be four letters or more and include the highlighted letter. Use the letters to solve the Sudoku (normal Sudoku rules apply)
Volume 79, Issue 2
O G O
State Of The Union
Words of wisdom from your benevolent union president Words: Raff Piccolo So you have survived O-Week and you’re now into the first few weeks of your university life. If you are feeling a little unsure, don’t worry; I can assure you from personal experience that it is a natural feeling to have. In fact, I am into my fifth year, and I am still a little unsure about what I want from university and what I want in life in general. However, don’t allow this feeling to overwhelm you. Perplexedly, the role of university and education is not supposed to make you sure about anything in life; instead it is supposed to do the exact opposite. I know this might seem like a rather preposterous proposition, but please allow me to explain. Many of you have probably decided to come to university as a means to pursue a career. You hoped that after graduation you would have obtained a degree that had a set of identifiable and recognised skills attached to it — the skills required to put you in good stead for when you fronted up to your first interview. However what you will come to realise is that many of the skills you obtain from university are not necessarily quantifiable. But there is no need to panic! University is about opening your mind to whole new areas of thought, ways of thinking and analysing situations as they to come to hand. For example you may have left school with a science background, enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, but after a few weeks may be questioning your motivation. Is science really for me? Embrace this uncertainty. Perhaps your real passion is history, or accounting. That’s the real beauty of univer-
sity, it opens your mind to an endless supply of engaging opportunities that do not exist in any other environment and may not be available to you at any other time during your life. But one thing is for sure; whatever route you decide to take, you will learn how to learn. This is not like high school where you are fed information and expected to regurgitate as much of it as possible during a three-hour exam. At university you are expected to engage with the content, analyse it, criticise it. You will learn to become self-sufficient and self-motivated in your learning. These are not skills that you can necessarily put down on your resume, nor will you usually associate them with your degree, however I guarantee you they are attributes that potential employers will be looking for when you present yourself to them. So sit back, relax and just go with the flow (metaphorically speaking).
Answers L T I
I L T O S N
E T S G O I
S E T O G I L N M
G I O M N L E T S
E O L T I N S M G
I M S L O G N E T
T N G S M E I L O
9 Letter word: Molesting
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Cobalt Savage Usage Mail Radio Fox
Crypt-OClue On Dit Magazine
3. 4. 5. 6. 2. 1.
Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took “Two households” Terry Gilliam True Staff Sergeant Red, yellow and
9. 10. 7. 8.
Green Ottawa A word or sentence that is the same when read either forward or backwards 1666 Moor
No peeking until you’ve done the diversions on page 46
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Featuring cryptozoology, mourning on Facebook, a Wikipedian hoax, useful hints for changing a tyre, Islamic democracy, plus reviews, cheap e...