VOL. 80 ISSUE 9
CONTENTS featured contributors
livin’ in the usa
photo essay: martindale hall
surfing the crimson wave (together)
open letter to: adelaide city council
stuff you like
Editors: Galen Cuthbertson, Seb Tonkin & Emma Jones. Front cover artwork by Madeleine Karutz; Inside front cover by Alex Stjepovic; Inside back by George Stamatescu and Orlando Mee; Back cover artwork by Daisy Freeburn. On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union. Published 13/8/2012.
If you’re anything like me, your Olympics experience involved one late-night (and kinda tipsy) session of watching the rhythmic gymnastics, saying clever things like ‘wow, she’s really good at rhythmic gymnastics’ and ‘gee whiz’. A couple of weeks ago, when we sat down with Warren Bebbington, the University’s new ViceChancellor, he was immediately keen to remind us that, for some, the Olympics are a much bigger deal – particularly for the nine (count ‘em) University of Adelaide students who somehow managed to make it in as participants. As we go to print, three of them have won bronze medals (Chris Morgan and James McRae in rowing, and Annette Edmonson in cycling) which, despite the weird strain of Aussie disappointment we seem to have going, is a pretty darn admirable achievement. I guess what I’m getting at with this is that 1) we interviewed the new Vice-Chancellor and 2) we have a (vaguely negative, sorry) article about the 2012 London Olympics. You’re welcome. We’ve also got a piece on private enterprise and food outlets on campus, strange tales from the Lizard’s Revenge protest at Roxby Downs, and a photo essay featuring an eccentric pastoralist’s mansion that just happens to have a certain University’s name on the title deed. Also: other things. We hope you like them.
When this issue hits campus, decidedly postOlympics, you’ll either be dreading or in the midst of another contest of epic proportions. Yep, it’s student election time, when the campus becomes a vicious hurricane of coloured t-shirts and heartfelt but sometimes subtle differences of opinion. Revisit page 10 of issue 80.4 (available at ondit.com.au) and lifeoncampus.org.au/elections/ for a run-down of exactly what it is you’re voting about. I’d quickly like to note also that the position of On Dit editors is being contested by two teams (neither of which is us). This isn’t a bad thing. Stagnation is to be avoided, competition is great, and the direction of the magazine should always be ultimately accountable to students. However, what does sadden me a little is that it seems to take an election for passionate opinions about this magazine to surface, which shouldn’t be the case. On Dit is, above all, your magazine. If you find it uninspiring, we’ve been waiting to hear from you all year. Send us your content, your manifestoes; send us the ideas you can’t be bothered writing. Let us know how we’re doing. Our mandate is to be the voice of students, and our email inbox is always open at email@example.com. Love, Seb (and Galen and Emma)
FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS George Stamatescu and Orlando Mee
George has no girlfriend and studies maths and engineering. He plans to continue studying. Orlando is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. He possesses indelible face tattoos that he deeply, deeply regrets. A special thanks to Gerry Bolognese, a source of inspiration:
Daisy Freeburn is an architecture student. Daisy likes to draw things, often. Daisy likes to correct people’s grammar, although her own is often terrible. But there’s nothing wrong with being a hypocrite. She has red hair. This makes life tough. She has the same birthday as Rembrandt and is therefore as good an artist as Rembrandt by default. She cooks a mean pavlova and converts non-pavlova lovers to Daisy-pavlova lovers. Daisy plays Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston on ukulele, often. Daisy is going to be the next Gaudi. Because Gaudi’s bloody awesome. And so is Daisy.
Michael is in his fourth and final year of a bachelor of architectural engineering. Next year he plans to be traveling the world, whether that be in a wondrous job or just mooching off distant relatives spread across the globe. In the meantime, he spends the majority of his time drawing all over his lecture notes and avoiding all things covered in glitter. He can also lick his elbow, that’s pretty cool.
(comic, inside back cover)
(illustrations: winter’s cool p 16, and exchange, p 18)
(illustrations: p 17 and commercialympics, p 28)
The On Dit editors would like to thank the following chums for their help with Issue 9... Thanks to Alex S, Madeleine, Katie, Daisy, and Molly - a team of fantastic illustrators who responded to our call in a time of desperation. Special thanks to Mike Stanford, who not only responded to a last minute illustrator email, but actually came to the office to chat about it. Mega props, dude. Molly, for the dresses. Elizabeth, for her last-minute contribution. Holly, Casey and Stella, for providing the foods and the helps and the distractions. And the Call Me Maybe Chatroulette guy. What a legend.
Dear On Dit Editors, I wish to comment on the article published in the On Dit magazine entitled ‘Safe Steps’. The article was generally well written and discussed adequately both the strengths and shortcomings of the campaign but I have a few issues about the article. One of the main premises of the article was that the campaign implies victims are responsible for the crimes they endure – not the perpetrators. That is simply not the case. In my opinion, the ‘Safe Steps’ Campaign is about raising awareness about the dangers of travelling from University in the dark. The campaign’s terms of reference should not have anything to do with allocating blame to each person of interest involved in a crime (that is for law enforcement agencies to decide). I believe that the writer provided inadequate evidence to support the above assertion. Fundamentally, the main reason why I wish to comment is the claim that the program is discriminatory in nature (especially in regards to gender). It is certainly not the intention of the campaign to enforce social rules and other draconian regulations upon females (or for anyone else). If anyone experiences this by a volunteer, this kind of action should not be tolerated. I do not wish to downplay the apprehension that females have in relation to their safety and their other concerns but it is not fair to blame an encouragement of discrimination against females on the ‘Safe Steps’ campaign. I would like to emphasise that the campaign encourages personal responsibility. It involves taking up actions that are not too intrusive but might help prevent the onset of something bad happening to you (e.g. don’t drive and drive). Finally, I share the sentiments of the writer that the scope of the campaign needs to be broadened (such as safety within the university). However, assertions that the campaign is discriminatory in nature and a view that it encourages an abrogation of a perpetrator’s responsibilities (in relation to a crime) are clearly unwarranted. Kind regards, Christopher Lau 2nd Year Engineering Student
V O N I H T R E G R E I G O N T V H E G O R I H V T N H I T N V G E O R N V R E T O H G I T H E O N I G R V I N V T G R O H E O R G H E V I N T
(see diversions on pg. 45)
Bursting to opine on something that’s in the magazine (or should be)? On Dit accepts your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or get all social-media on our facebook page: facebook.com/onditmagazine.
G T H V R E N I O
(Disclaimer: I was a volunteer in the ‘Safe Steps’ Campaign)
whiteboard comment, as found in geology facebook group. read the public enemy number oneâ€™s response on page 38.
STATE OF THE UNION
By the time this issue of On Dit is released, the Vice-Chancellor will have released a discussion paper summarising some of the discussions that have already been had, and some of the opportunities that the university has open to it.
Photo: Chris Arblaster
with CASEY BRIGGS, auu president. The University is currently working through a major planning project that will affect future students in a big way. The university strategic plan is going to expire at the end of the year, and the new ViceChancellor has started the process of planning for the next ten years. The next ten years will be an exciting time for the education sector. New technologies and software are finally turning online tools from a weird not-veryuseful novelty into something that has the power to truly enhance your education with interactivity and global collaboration. At the same time, there are a number of challenges faced by the university and education system. Students are more time poor than ever, the sector is becoming increasingly more unregulated, and universities are struggling with nationwide underfunding.
I strongly encourage you to have a read of this discussion paper (you can find it at https://www. adelaide.edu.au/VCO/towards2024/), and have your say by completing the form online. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Idris (see the next page) or myself. A few weeks ago I attended a retreat with a number of senior staff on the strategic plan, and weâ€™ll continue to contribute to the development of the plan until it is finalised in December. This is a big process that will shape the way that the university operates for a very long time to come, and so it is incredibly important that students make their point of view heard. Another important way for you to have your say is coming up: student elections are just around the corner. While a lot of people find them a turn-off, it is important that you vote, as the people that are elected are your representatives to the university. Learn about the candidates and their policies by having a look at the Election Broadsheet which will be released before polling opens on August 27. This year there will also be a Constitutional Referendum. The AUU Board has recommended a number of amendments that, amongst other changes, would alter the composition of the Board and remove the Finance Committee. A summary of the proposed changes and the full draft Constitution are available on our website. On a more social note, the Adelaide Uni final of the National Campus Band Competition is on at the UniBar on Friday August 24. Come along and cheer on your favourite local band as they compete for a spot in the State Final and potentially thousands of dollars worth of prizes. Casey Briggs President, Adelaide University Union Email: email@example.com Twitter: @CaseyBriggs
STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COLUMN
Bachelor Degree and further specialised with a two years Masters. Those who wanted to would then go onto a three year Doctorate.
Photo: Shaylee Leach
This had a bunch of implications for qualification standards for professions such as law or engineering, which I won’t go into now.
with IDRIS MARTIN, src president. Honours – should it stay or should it go? This is one of the major questions Universities across Australia are facing now, including our own beloved University of Adelaide. To give you a bit of back story, a little while back the world of university education was shaken by the introduction of something called the Bologna Model. It was established after members of what would be called the European Higher Education Area came together and agreed to establish a European wide model of study which had a number of goals. What it effectively came down to was what they had to do and a 3+2+3 cycle system of education, vaguely reminiscent of the American system of education. It meant that students in higher education did a three year undergraduate degree which gave them a
What is relevant to us right now is where that left Honours. Australia is one of the last countries that really utilises Honours to the extent that it currently does, being one of the few places in the developed world that recognises Honours as a satisfactory pathway to a PhD. Add on top of the alleged diminished stature of Honours with the fact that Honours is not consistently applied (you get Honours in one School by doing an extra Honours year but there are others that incorporate it into the Bachelors degree and others still that award it based on merit) and we end up with a bit of a mess that needs to work out. The University is currently reviewing Honours and its future within the University. Other Universities are looking to Macquarie University, that did away with Honours, to see how they will fare. One of the things still up in the air is how anyone will fund Masters of Research as opposed to Honours since Masters funding comes from a different pool of money. So my question to you: should Honours stay or go? Send me your thoughts. Other than the really big question of Honours, there are a number of other things happening still. We celebrated women in higher education with Bluestockings Day, there’s a forum on the State of Humanities coming up on the 21st of August and, obviously there is election week coming up. I know nobody likes election week but here’s some food for thought that I was told when I first came to uni: you’re going to be represented by someone, so you might as well have a say in who it is. Idris Martin President, Student Representative Council Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @IdrisMartin
Michael, Arts/Political Science 2nd year
Dr. Fiona, Law - Graduate Entry 1st year
James, Law 6th year
Quite limited really. I’ve just come from UNSW which is a much larger campus so there’s more demand. 2. Favourite: Men’s Diving and Water Polo, for obvious reasons. Least favourite: Equestrian, yeah, if the horses were riding the people I’d watch that. No animals should be ridden. 3. Matt Mitcham is hot, he’s so cute - shag and marry. To be honest I haven’t watched much of it. I’m a pacifist, so I don’t kill. 4. Bus - it only takes about ten minutes and it’s too cold to ride. And it’s environmental. 5. No. But I’d consider it, yeah. I’d study something relevant to my degree, I don’t know the options. 6. Friends. Great friends.
I think they’re good. I think it’s a shame there’s nothing open on the weekend or evenings. I come here to escape my family while I’m studying. I’m hungry now but there’s nowhere to eat. 2. I don’t really watch it. If I had to pick one it would probably be the tennis. 3. This might be a silly idea, but if I was obliged to pick I’d marry the Queen. I’d be set up for the rest of my life! 4. I walk usually, except today I drove, which was foolish. I usually walk because parking’s too expensive. 5. I haven’t. I don’t know much about it, but I’d consider it. 6. I have to be honest - my capacity to write coherent English. I’ve got a PhD in Creative Writing from this University - I was the first.
I don’t really use them. I buy coffee here at Taste, but that’s all. It’s cheaper somewhere else. 2. Favourite: The relay races, they’re quick and easy to watch. Least favourite: Skeets Shooting - it takes forever and it’s not fun to watch. 3. I don’t really watch the Olympics. 4. I used to ride but my bike got stolen from the Uni. It was locked up on the railing outside Ligertwood. I take the bus now. 5. No. I’ve got better things to do. 6. Looking for jobs - let’s defer that one.
In which On Dit asks six easily distracted students the following questions... 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
What do you think of the on-campus food options? What are your favourite and least favourite Olympic events, and why? Olympic kill, shag, marry - who would you pick? How do you get to uni every day? Have you ever done a Winter School course? Would you consider it? You’ve got 99 problems. What ain’t one?
David (Li Lunge), Accounting 1st year
Charlotte, Law/International Studies (Japanese), 1st year
Fabian, Psychology (Exchange) 3rd year
On campus I can eat different types of Australian food - like fish and chips. The Asian food here (in the Hub) is very delicious but very expensive. It’s convenient because I study here but it’s cheaper over the road. 2. Favourite: Diving. There are two Chiense people but they didn’t get medals. And the Table Tennis. Actually I just like all of them! 3. I really admire the Olympic Spirit. 4. I live at Thebarton, it’s near the city. I ride my bike and catch the free tram. 5. No. I’ve only been here for 3 months. 6. I focus on my study and readings because my English is not so good.
Yeah, I think they’re pretty good. I usually get sushi because it’s reasonably priced, or I go to Grass Roots. 2. Favourite: Diving. I just think it’s kind of like the Gymnastics, and I enjoy the Gymnastics as well. Least favourite: Weightlifting It’s kind of ugly looking. 3. This is going to sound bad, but I’d kill Emily Seebohm for crying when she came second. She should have been proud. I’d shag Usain Bolt because he’s confident. I’d marry Michael Phelps because he makes a lot of money with endorsements. 4. I live in the Barossa so I drive to Gawler and then catch a train. It takes about an hour and a half. 5. No. I think I’ll consider it. 6. Procrastinating - that’s what you caught me doing!
I don’t like it, sorry no. In comparison to Germany it’s very expensive. Everyone who reads this will think Germans are poor! 2. Favourite: Swimming, especially when boys swim. And diving, with those spectacular rolls and so on. Least favourite: I don’t like hammerthrowing, it’s not really pretty. 3. It’s not ethical to kill people so I’ll skip this one. It’s a really awkward question. Are there any hot Australian guys? (Eds: Matthew Mitcham?) Okay, then I choose him for both. 4. By bike. Because of the costs to go by bus is really expensive. 5. I guess I would not have this opportunity. 6. Do you know the German song by Nena, 99 Luftballons?
IN CONVERSATION: WARREN BEBBINGTON On the 1st of August, On Dit sat down with the University of Adelaide’s new Vice-Chancellor, Warren Bebbington. Here’s a dramatically abridged transcript of that interview. Go to ondit.com.au for the (very worthwhile) extended version, featuring reflections on his time at Melbourne, the SSAF, Study Abroad, and more on the roles of universities generally.
OD: What led you to a career in higher education? VC: Mine’s a funny story, because I came very late to music. I didn’t really study seriously until I was about fourteen, and most music students start when they’re about nine or eight. Having got into music, I thought it was a terrible mistake. At the end of the first year, I tried to change to Arts, and only didn’t change because I would have lost too many points. When I finished music, we went down to the pub and had a ceremonial closing of the piano, and all agreed we were leaving music, and I applied for law. But then two days later I was offered a job in music, so that kind of settled it. I think the thing for me was, there was one lecturer, whose name was Meredith Moon. He was just inspirational. Sitting in this man’s classes, suddenly music, which had been a mechanical thing, became the life of the mind. It was like nothing else on Earth was important. So it was the influence of a single person – which is a reason why I think that the relationship between staff and students at close quarters is absolutely central. That’s how I got here.
OD: You’ve just returned from a retreat on the University’s Strategic Plan for the next few years. Can you give us an update on where that’s going? VC: There are three themes that came out of the retreat. One is what you might call ‘the unique Adelaide educational proposition’. It’s very clear that we’re moving into a really competitive environment, both nationally and internationally, and we need to make the educational proposition here much more attractive, to the point where it’s going to be irresistible to people. We need to retain our position as the first choice in South Australia. At the moment we get 60% of the first preferences of Adelaide school leavers. Everyone thinks that’s good. At Melbourne it’s 93%. We need to retain and improve that position. The second was the research ranking. There are some things we need to do so that we can recruit more research stars much more easily, so we can offer a lot more PhD scholarships. The third was engagement with the community and that’s what I was talking about with the government. We need to get much better at communicating with the public, the community,
government and business. We had someone from the state government who said things about this university that would absolutely shock you to the quick. Those things were misconceptions, but that happens to be what the State believes. We haven’t been communicating well. To give you an example, we were told that this university has traditionally had little interest in students of disadvantage and lower socio-economic status; that we only got interested opportunistically. That is unbelievably untrue. This university was founded by Augustus Short, who’d come from Oxford and was horrified at the kind of aristocratic playboys that he’d had to teach, who had little interest but spending their time in an alcoholic haze, going to the races and hunting. And he came here committed to having a university of democratic breadth. The first students, from the outset, were not the sons of the local gentry. They were locally born, scholarships were open -- not to the elite schools, but to anyone in South Australia -- and from the outset they were women. In 1874, that was years before women could enrol for degrees in any English-
speaking world university. Forty years before Oxford, we were granting degrees to women. The State thinks we’re not interested. We’ve got a problem. That is completely wrong, but that’s the image. The image has been that we’re standoffish, arrogant, elite, uninterested [...] this university was founded with very noble principles, and we’ve got to recapture all that. OD: Are those ideals of a university something that’s attainable today? VC: Our biggest problem is the size of universities, and the economics of universities. Throughout my entire teaching career, governments have progressively pulled out of universities. The peak moment for funding universities was 1975. In real dollar terms, every university has had less money year by year since 1975. The way that universities have dealt with that is mass enrolments. This university had 7,000 students in 1975. It’s 25,000 now. So the question to me is ‘How, in that seething mass, can you recreate the thing which was important when I was a student: a small class experience?’ I would like to see that every student in
every course has at least some kind of small class experience. OD: Last year, we saw an example of some of that with the proposed cuts to the tutorials in humanities courses. They were taken back in the face of student pressure, but nonetheless it seems that there’s been a trend towards less small group teaching, not more, over the past few years. And it looks like those decisions have been driven by financial considerations more than anything. VC: Well, look, I don’t actually know a lot about that. But as I understand it, a scheme that was intended to introduce more e-learning ended up being used as a pretext to cut classes. In a place like this, you can never substitute real face-to-face learning. We’ve got a long way to go, but in this kind of university e-learning is always going to be an enrichment of face-to-face, not a replacement. As I understand it, at least one faculty here thought it was the pathway to save money. You don’t save any money when you go over to e-learning. It costs more. So, anyway, it sounds like we got the right decision in the end out of that. OD: You touched on what traits university graduates should be coming out of university having attained. Would you be able to
speak a little bit about what a UofA graduate should be coming out of here with? VC: At the moment the focus is very much on depth in a particular area. Funnily enough, that’s the thing that employers are less interested in. Employers keep telling us much the same message. It’s quite generic, they want students who can work in teams, who are good communicators, who are problem solvers, and they want students who can analyse data, and go online and come out with knowledge, not just random information. And those are generic things, and interestingly half of them relate to research, analysing data and problem solving. Which again, comes to what I think we have to do, which is put discovery back into undergraduate education. The other thing is, increasingly I think our students need to leave having done an internship of some sort. They need to leave with some work experience. People need to know that if they come to Adelaide, they’re going to get an internship, they can go and study abroad, they will definitely come out with these skills and this is how they’ll get them. ◊
EATS words: stella crawford art: molly ayers-lawler
The Cloisters, these days, are a vast precinct of emptiness.1 Ordinarily, the area is filled with the spill-over from Mayo; while the balcony refurbishment has been carrying on above, the area has been eerily quiet.2 Just a few years back, O’Ball rocked the square every February, Rumours Cafe was situated happily within Union House, and UBC Cafe occupied the current Fix Kitchen space. They were all Adelaide University 1. Just in case you were wondering, the Cloisters is the square outside Mayo. 2. It seems those metallic tables and empty chip cups do something to combat the impression of barrenness after all.
Union (AUU) organised and owned, and the decline in Union funding since VSU has been a reason for their decline as well. But this is not an article about VSU.3 This is an article about lunch. 3. Voluntary Student Unionism – prior to this bill (passed by the Howard government), all students automatically paid membership to the Union through HECS, and the Union itself was unsurprisingly more powerful. While some money from the SSAF (Student Services and Amenities Fund) will go to the Union, it isn’t a reinstatement of compulsory student unionism. The University has the decision-making powers over the distribution and use of the funding.
Lunch-eating around campus requires space and facilities, and these fluctuate over time and depending on what the University considers important. It follows, then, that we should be asking some questions about how it’s organised. Who should fund student spaces? How much do we need exactly?
Historically (four whole years of it) After the VSU crash, the quantity and quality of cafes and food outlets on campus decreased. There was
unirun Mayo,4 doing the same cheap eats as it always did. There were independent commercial operations such as Briefs, which resides in what was previously a Law School student kitchen. Available microwaves and kitchen areas became limited to faculty only or restricted areas – there was one in the chemistry building, for example, one in architecture and one in both the Rainbow Room and the Women’s Room. Eventually, someone put one in Mayo. Then Ingkarni Wardli, the building formerly known as Innova21, opened, and Aroma Cafe started doing a roaring trade. In the folded-UBC Cafe old space, Fix kitchen quietly opened. But quiet opening or not, if you’d gone in there midway through last year, the place would have been buzzing. It was the first generally available sandwich toaster, a revelation to student lunches everywhere. It’s also mostly fallen out of use now. The advent of the Hub 4. Control of which passed into University hands from the Union as part of a ten year funding deal secured in late 2007.
has radically changed the movement patterns of students and student-lunch-consumption. There are eight microwaves in the Hub, but lunchtime generates a queue regardless. This is alongside three new food venues, and a general store, each of which seems to have generated a stream of loyal customers. While the university campus constantly exists in a state of flux, there have clearly been some radical changes lately. The model that has predominated is one of mixed commercial and student spaces, but is this really what’s needed?
Space Issues There’s space on campus which has to be allocated to certain things. The university needs tutorial rooms, lecture theatres, laboratories and lots and lots of offices. And that’s just to run. What’s done with the rest of the space is a whole other question. There’s an argument that putting
any space aside for commercial interests isn’t in the interests of the student population. Students have legs and so on; therefore, if we desire purchased food, we should be using them to cross the mighty chasm that is North Terrace. And certainly, it would be easy to list off places around campus where commercial interests have prevailed to the detriment of the general student population; Briefs Cafe took over the Law School student kitchen, and Aroma is the only place to eat food in Ingkarni Wardli.5 But there’s also an argument that simply handing space to students isn’t a practical way to go either. The clear case study for this has to be Fix Kitchen, but right now it doesn’t say entirely positive things about the potential of student run spaces.
The Fix Experiment According to SRC President Idris Martin, Fix is ‘for students, by students’. And sure, it was set up by students as a project led by the SRC and architecture students. But when it comes to the ongoing maintenance of 5. Will this building ever cease to be ‘Innova’?
space, ‘by students’ becomes more complicated. When the renovations were suggested, they were allowed to go ahead without the space ever being officially leased to the SRC. And while the Union is taking on the lease, currently there’s no legal responsibility on anyone to maintain or clean the place. And trust me, it shows. Only one of the three microwaves work, and the remaining one is, to put it lightly, gross. The tables are often left dirty by past users, and stay that way. The blackboards, while ideally some sort of student voice broadcaster, are the province of interest groups alone – because no one else ever has any chalk. All there is, as Idris Martin said, is a ‘general responsibility of students’ to maintain it. Clearly, this isn’t any more viable than having sole commercial spaces.
On the other hand, Fix was intended as a trial to demonstrate that a student kitchen in the Hub would be successful, and in fact, was necessary. As a result of the high use of Fix last year, the Union succeeded in its push for a larger, well maintained student kitchen in the Hub. Given the facilities of the Hub, it’s questionable whether the space hasn’t outlived its usefulness. The argument for keeping it rests on those questions about student space. While the Fix experiment hasn’t been entirely viable, it’s currently the only alternative to the mixed space model; where commercial interests pay the rent and students commandeer what tables they can.
Movement Be it microwaves or hot noodle soup, students flock to wherever there’s food. The Hub is now not simply the central through route that Hughes Plaza was, but the primary hangout space. The Cloisters is empty because the buildings around them are flailing. The sixth floor of Union House drew people when Rumours Cafe was situated there, but since its closure the area has fallen out of use. Ideally, popular spaces should be spread out over campus, reducing congestion around central spaces. This is another argument for the continuance of Fix: that it draws students away from the Hub. Other than that, the obvious trend in services is centralisation. The Hub manifesto of offering all services in
one place increases convenience, sure. It also leaves large swathes of campus unoccupied and one predominant space, which is, unsurprisingly, overused. Do we really want the backdrop for all our memories of time spent hanging out at university to be the Hub? Surely student space should add something to our environment, aesthetically and emotionally.
Conclusion The University profits when rent-paying commercial cafes succeed. For the campus to be functional, though, someone needs to pay for student facilities that no-one makes a profit on. So while we undoubtedly need a bit of both, itâ€™s not necessary for it to be on the current model of mixed space. Our spaces could be spread out, and we could allow a clearer distinction between commercial and non-commercial space. In any case, right now is the time to be asking these questions. There are a lot of new projects around the University, and the SSAF funding is now coming through. Who knows, with a bit of thinking, we could envisage a radically different campus. Perhaps we could even make it happen. â—Š
WINTER’S COOL words: holly ritson art: daisy freeburn
Don’t call me crazy. Yes, I may have an excessively large collection of winter coats for an Adelaidean. Yes, I may have an absurd fascination with all things foodrelated. But there’s nothing ‘crazy’ about doing winter school. In fact, I’d argue that it’s quite a sensible thing to do. I know. Surviving an Adelaide winter is hard enough. What with all its temperate 20 degree days and isolated showers; why would you put yourself through the added pain of having to actually drag yourself out of bed every morning? The alternatives involve ski trips where being cold is actually a thing, or tax return holidays to somewhere warm and tropical. Why spend your winter holidays dodging puddles around campus? Well, for those of you who didn’t notice the excessive amounts of promotional emails, announcements, and banners, Winter School is apparently the only justification you need. The University tells you to do Winter School because it will let you ‘take control of your degree’ – as if the fact that we’re all ‘independent learners’ isn’t enough control. But honestly, its ability to accelerate your study, to help you catch up on missed subjects and to spread your study out over the whole year gives some weight to the proposition. But wait, there’s more. While the University’s promotional spiel appeals to our logical attempts to complete our degree as efficiently as possible, doing Winter School actually means spending even more
time in the chilly lecture theatres of my beloved university. And surely this can only be a good thing. I’m a big fan of the idea that being a student should be a full-time job. By keeping the study momentum going during the season when it’s most tempting to hibernate and/or drink a lot of dark ale, you can start Semester 2 with more (active) brain cells than everyone else in your classes. Not only does winter school allow you to keep studying, but it also encourages you to study and learn in a really effective way. It’s definitely a struggle balancing the subject matter and assessment load of four different subjects in a semester. I found having the opportunity to really focus on just one subject was a huge boost to my GPA. And getting towards the end of my degree, all of a sudden it seems that those three letters are much more important than Ds, Cs or Ps. How often do you get the chance
to attend a dinner party as part of your compulsory assessment for a subject? Or learning about the real life experiences from real life politicians instead of from your standard academic lecturer? Though I’m sure not all Winter School courses are equally exciting as the Anthropology of Food and Drink or Australian Politics in Practice, it seems in general the wintery offerings include subjects that you wouldn’t normally think to take. So embrace the opportunity to hone in on some really specific skills or knowledge, or learn about something you’ve never even thought of before. Convinced yet? No? Well, given the outfits I’ve seen around campus in the chillier weeks lately, I know you all have wonderful winter wardrobes; Winter Wardrobes that DO NOT GET SHOWN OFF when you spend all holidays in bed in your pyjamas. So go on, next winter, get out of bed, layer up and learn on. ◊
art: mike stanford
HOW TO: EXCHANGE words: tom sheldrick art: daisy freeburn
I studied abroad at The College of William and Mary in Virginia, USA and I had a phenomenal time. I definitely recommend the experience to everyone – except if they have posted ‘I’m never drinking again… until next weekend’ as their Facebook status, because everyone hates those people. Here is a quick overview of studying abroad in the USA.
People Americans are really different to Australians and at first I really felt like an outsider – I was even given the nickname ‘The Outsider’. I think this is mostly because I spent 10 of my first 14 nights at college sleeping outside because I kept losing my keys. Although I did find it difficult to relate to many of the students as they would spend hours doing what they called ‘contributing to society’ which was, for example, volunteering at a nursing home or organising a charitable fundraiser. I spent a comparable amount of time watching Gossip Girl and eating Doritos, but I think it was just a cultural thing.
The answer to the question on your mind: We’re definitely better looking. Australians are like ‘book Ginny’ while Americans are ‘film Ginny’.
Hollywood ones but with a lower production value and less room to move. Also you were much more likely to hook up with a Quagmire type than a Stifler’s mum type.
I thought that living on campus would be a massive adjustment for me because my mum had always prepared all of my meals, done my laundry and cleaned my teeth. The cafeteria staff took care of my first problem and I didn’t even have to ask my roommate to clean my teeth – he offered! Laundry proved to be my downfall and when I told my roommate that I was taking Women’s Studies 205 to learn how to do laundry, he answered, ‘I’ve never heard anything more sexist and offensive in my life, I’m not cleaning your teeth for a week!’
American food is like yo mamma: big and cheap! LOLOLOL (note to editor: I should totes write that after all my jokes. Can you do that for me? Eds: No). A burger, fries and shake will cost you about $4.95 and Domino’s can deliver to your dorm room which is convenient but means you have to eat Domino’s. Alcohol is ridiculously cheap; Miller’s is $8 for a 12-pack of full strength or free if you find it in the dormitory’s kitchen fridge. If you’re not yet 21, don’t worry; Americans will sell you anything without identification if you say you’re Australian and then say ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie, mate’ and hop around like a kangaroo (they think you have to be 21 to do that in Australia. I mean, I was honestly asked by 3 different people what language we speak in Australia). In general, you should only eat at a college
The library was open til midnight and the store that sold the Red Bull, donuts and meatball subs was open all night. I think you know where I’m going with this one ;) The answer to the question on your mind: The frat parties definitely resembled the
cafeteria if everything else is closed or you’re constipated. The answer to the question on your mind: At least 3-5 times per day (never clean snap) but the doctors kept reassuring me that it was because the kitchen staff put diuretics in the food and I wasn’t used to it yet.
Academia The answer to the question on your mind: Yes, relax; the old do-it-the-night-before trick works in the USA too!
Travel Studying abroad means travel opportunities but beware: Spring Break is basically an entire week of being in a club where 300 seedy dudes are trying to mack on 12 girls. The answer to the question on your mind: I don’t know if sleeping with him means I’m gay, I’m really confused right now. So go study abroad, you’ll have the time of your life and finally have more than just mirror selfies to post on Instagram. ◊
MARTINDALE HALL PAGE
photos: susan allin
It’s 1877. Mintaro, South Australia. You’re a wealthy pastoralist, you’re 21 years old, and you’re single. You’re a playboy. You’ve got $72,000 to blow, and a shit-tonne of free time. What do you do? Well, if you’re Edmund Bowman Jr, you build a huge fucking mansion. You hire 60 specialist tradesmen (50 of whom you bring over from England specifically for the task) and house them in tents for two years while they build the entire mansion with hand tools. You employ, full time, a London architect and an Adelaide one. The result? A mansion with six
stalls, two coach stores, and a forage room. The walls are a metre thick; the ceilings almost five metres high. There’s ornately-carved stonework everywhere you look. Of course, things went downhill from there. They finished Martindale Hall in 1879, and it opened without a hitch. But Bowman was a serious playboy. He hired 13 female servants and two butlers. A drought set in, but Bowman kept spending. He spent his time playing various sports and entertaining guests: he had a private racing track, a pack of foxhounds, and a cricket pitch built solely to entertain visiting
English cricketers. By 1892 the Bowman family was on the edge of bankruptcy. He sold almost all of his holdings, and William Tennant Mortlock (cf. State Library’s ‘Mortlock wing’) bought the Hall. William’s son (‘John Andrew’) started renovations, and also added a large art collection to the hall. In 1965, the Mortlock family bequeathed Martindale Hall and the estate to Adelaide University. We leased it to John Macguire. In 2002, a $1.6 million renovation repaired salt-damp damage and restored the mansion. Now? It’s a museum and hotel. ◊
LIZARD’S REVENGE PAGE
‘Do you have a spare seat going up to Roxby? I’ve got a friend that wants a lift.’
man-made hole in the world, ever. It will require an additional 78.8 gigalitres of water per year — water it’s going to get from building a power-hungry desalination plant. The uranium will be dug out of stolen land and create sites of permanent contamination for thousands of years. It will be, to be quite blunt, an environmental and
‘don’t sweat the petty things, pet the sweaty things’. We end up leaving late and head to pick up the friend-of-a-friend. ‘Mushy’, as I don’t reply to this text for a he’s called, turns out to be a very while. I’m less than 48 hours away new friend-of-a-friend. He’d been from heading up to Olympic Dam picked up, a complete stranger to take part in Lizard’s Revenge, wandering the streets of Adelaide the largest anti-uranium protest looking for somewhere to stay, Australia has seen in years and I’m having hitchhiked from Sydney. sort of freaking He has long out. I’ve been to hair with a marches and rallies ‘The day becomes a drawn-out standoff. Some try dark purple, tasselled outside Parliament and perform the dances they’d planned for the gates scarf wrapped all House or around him and government offices of Roxby. Sometimes it’s fun, a lot of the time it is as stereotypical but I’ve never been a hippy/stoner as feels limp and ineffective.’ to anything like you could ask for. this. Hundreds of He speaks in the environmentalists unhurried, spaceand Aboriginal-rights activists set moral clusterfuck. cadet voice of someone who’s seen a to descend on the desert with the lot of things and doesn’t remember stated aim to ‘shut Roxby down’. My friends picks up the van them well. We load up the van and, Rumours of hundreds of police we’re hiring and it’s about as much as we’re running late, start driving and angry Roxby locals have left of a rust bucket as I’d expect north in too much of a hurry to me slightly jittery. It’s not because from the price. It also has an actually check our route, adding an of doubts with the cause. The unbelievably aggressive paintjob extra hour to the trip. proposed expansion to the Olympic with two large guns painted on the Dam mine would create the largest side and the slightly gross slogan: Because of the delays we only
words: ben reichstein photos: rachel mundy make it as far as Port Pirie. I have a lot of relatives from the area and so I pretend to know the town but I’m not fooling anyone. We walk into a pub looking for food and the families and couples eating their dinner only stare as we negotiate with an incredibly lovely lady at the bar for some vegetarian food from the 100% meat-based menu. I only feel low levels of self-consciousness about the staring until Mushy starts loudly talking to one of us across the room.
of the van and the distinct sound of someone jumping on the roof. The obnoxious paint-job is finally getting the attention it deserves, and some bored kids have decided this is a good way to kill a Friday night in Pirie. One of them tries to grab the door closest to Mushy’s feet, causing him to spring up. Maybe they weren’t expecting people or maybe they weren’t expecting a wild-eyed stoner but this freaks them out and they run off yelling.
‘I’VE GOT A NEW TITLE FOR MYSELF.’
When we near the mine the next day we hit a roadblock staffed by police and private security guards. They explain that the road has been declared a special zone. People can be arbitrarily stopped, searched, and questioned as long as the order is in effect. We’re one of two cars there and we try to keep Mushy under control but he wanders off, ranting to the cops, trying to draw them into debates about the origins of Nazism. We’re told we can’t go through until the
‘What’s that?’ ‘ANDROGYNOUS FLOWERLORD.’ ‘Okay.’ ‘YEAH, ANDROGYNOUS LORD FLOWER-CHILD.’ I stare at my plate. That night we’re woken up in the dark by banging on the side
day’s march is over ‘for our own safety.’ We have a couple of hours to wait as more and more protesters start queuing their cars up behind us. Mushy finally goes overboard by lighting up a joint in the back of the van within ten meters of at least 8 or 9 police. Somehow, they don’t notice him. I don’t even know how to react so I walk away and hope it all disappears. Mushy finishes his joint and wanders off to meditate and chant, leaving the back of the van open with a shopping bag full of weed sitting in the open and spilt across the van. Instead of trying to murder Mushy we channel our energies into getting rid of it before a cop wanders over. At this point we decide to kick Mushy and his drugs out of the van as soon as we can. We’re allowed into the campsite and it’s as crazy as something from the set of Mad Max II—vans and cars parked into campsites in the desert; punks and their dogs
wondering around; activist and Aboriginal flags flying and art installations and stages built out of scrap metal. A police helicopter patrols the sky day and night. We ditch Mushy, destroy his bong, and join a camp of friends and comrades. We relax and spend PAGE the evening singing, chatting and 26 cooking, an elder from the tent (off-campus) embassy in Canberra contributing his guitar-playing. The next day I attend an info session giving practical advice to people involved in direct action. It’s full on. How to deal with arrest situation, what to say to cops. Remember that a police horse is an officer, you can be charged with
assault for touching one. Here’s how to treat someone who’s been capsicum sprayed. What you should think about before you try and de-arrest someone. What to do if attacked by a police dog (no one was sure). There are rumours of infrared cameras and everyone knows there are police informers in the camp. Later someone sees what looks like a Long Range Acoustic Device, something that’s been used for crowd control in the USA but not before in Australia. It’s designed to directionally project a loud disorientating sound and disperse crowds. The march of the day is a self-styled ‘zombie march’. As we
practice our undead walks I get to see the full range of protesters in attendance. Black-clad anarchists, scruffy punks, long-haired hippies, serious looking outdoors types in hiking pants all form parts of the crowd but mostly there are just people of greater or lesser degrees of conventionality. The march starts as a colourful parade down the dirt road towards the declared road and the gates of the mine. We’re lead by a car decorated as the eponymous lizard and by a large Aboriginal flag, leant from the tent embassy in Canberra. This quickly leads to a problem. The police won’t let us through with the car – it might be harboring weapons.
The day becomes a drawn-out standoff. Some try and perform the dances they’d planned for the gates of Roxby. Sometimes it’s fun, a lot of the time it feels limp and ineffective. The police try and drive a car down to meet us and some activists who’d walked ahead stand in their road. It’s here the protest attained its greatest moral weight and seriousness as three young activists stood proudly bearing Aboriginal flags, on heavy poles, including the enormous one from Canberra. A stand-off ensues between the protest’s leader, Uncle Kevin Buzzcott, an Arabunna elder on whose land the mine is set to be
dug, and the police. Uncle Kev insists that the police commissioner walk down to him and negotiate, the police refuse. After waiting for hours in the hot sun, the Commissioner eventually gives in and comes to negotiate. Eventually too many of the protesters drift off and Uncle Kevin calls the day’s activities off. We relax for the day and get ready for a night of music. The stage built on the red dirt includes a tiny makeshift cabaret box with a red curtain and solar-powered speakers and the evening features sweet folk ballads, experimental electronic loops, hardcore punk and classical piano.
Lizard’s Revenge was a gathering of the brave, the compassionate, and the insane. The efficacy of protests is rarely obvious in their own era—it’s only with the perspective of history that we can assess their legacy. But numerous dedicated individuals shared their skills and stories, assessed their PAGE 27 own strengths and weaknesses and (off-campus) built their resolve. They ‘raised awareness’, sure. But they also built foundations for their struggle. This recalls the chorus of Australia’s greatest political song, written by Paul Kelly and Murri man, Kev Carmody written around a campfire in a desert like this one. From little things, big things grow. ◊
COMMERCIALYMPICS words: kate matthews art: mike stanford
Tradition or product: has commercialism ruined the Olympic Spirit?
The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games was simply amazing; a dizzying display of fireworks, comedic skits and breathtaking live performances. …Or so I’ve gathered, from whatever scraps of shaky, cameraphone footage I’ve found lurking on the internet. I’ve not actually seen a shred of decent footage because when I logged into Youtube to view the 2012 opening ceremony, I was unable to locate any decent material that hadn’t been taken down due to ‘copyright violation’. This was my first insight into the black hole of consumerism that was sucking the spirit out of the Olympic Games. Further investigation revealed to me that the NBC was rigorously enforcing the ban against ‘unauthorised footage’
meaning that anyone outside of England who didn’t have time to watch the opening ceremony at 5.30am will likely have to wait for the DVD release before they can see it. Being banned from watching such a monumental occasion effectively felt like I’d been shut out of the spirit of the Games altogether, and that was disappointing to say the least. This was Britain’s chance to be a good and worthy host to one of our most honoured traditions. The opening ceremony had the potential to be a viral hit across the globe, uniting and reminding humanity of the collective pride we take in our most noble and multicultural pastime. Instead, they treated the opening ceremony like it was the latest Harry Potter movie; charging admission and cracking down on
illegal footage, lest it damage the overall gross income. The opening ceremony fiasco was just one of many factors seriously detracting from the ‘Olympic vibe’ of 2012. Truth be told, I think we all kind of needed that opening ceremony Youtube footage this year because there has been such a crushing lack of public spirit in evidence. Usually, when the Olympics roll around, you can’t help but know it’s coming. Those five rings we all know and love start cropping up everywhere – coffee house blackboards, car bumper-stickers, even cute Olympic-themed produce at our local family-owned businesses, like those Olympic Fruit Loop cupcakes that small local bakeries often create to show their support. These cute expressions
of Olympic spirit were disappointingly rare this year, but not for the public’s lack of trying. While big corporations are strictly prohibited from associating with the Games unless they’re an official sponsor, small familyowned business have generally been granted leniency. Sadly, no longer. The aptly-monikered ‘Brand Police’ have cracked down on any and all unauthorised use of Olympic symbols, taking down everyone from an elderly woman knitting the rings into a teddybear doll for a charity fundraiser, to a cheerful local butcher in England who had artfully arranged a chain of sausages in the shape of the Olympic rings. A trapeze group was even prohibited from performing an act that honoured the Games by forming the Olympic rings in mid-air. One would think that if anyone had
the right to associate themselves with the Olympics, it would be a group of hard-working athletes, but no. Apparently, our oldest and grandest sporting tournament belongs in the rightful hands of a burger chain. Obviously, there has to be some commercialism in the Olympics. It’s big, it’s expensive, and the money has to come from somewhere. Which is why I’m not here to bitch and moan about seeing the McDonald’s logo twenty times during any footage of the actual events. But what has happened this year is that Britain has crossed the line from mild commercialism to full-on corporate sell-out. It’s now official – the Olympics don’t belong to the public, or even the athletes. They belong to the fast-food chains, the network stations, and the big brand names. The sports exist
only as an excuse to host perhaps the biggest and most expensive global advertising festival the world has ever seen. One might be able to comfort oneself by watching the sports events and those alone, but sadly even those are sad to watch this year. Rather than approaching the games with a cheery disposition, Australia seems to be the sore loser of this years Olympics, with the bulk of media coverage whining about the Aussies not winning enough gold, and our own reporters bringing down the athletes silver and bronze victories with the incredibly insulting suggestion ‘You must be so disappointed.’ I think I speak for a significant percentage of the population when I say; yes, I am disappointed. Very disappointed indeed. ◊
words: sam prendergast art: madeleine karutz This seemed more interesting a month ago: when women live together their periods sync up, OR DO THEY? It seemed more interesting a month ago because a month ago I hadn’t actually looked into it. I’d just decided it was a thing. I expected to write an article that was all like: holy shit the human body is rad. But now I can’t do that, because that would be a lie.
Background According to Wikipedia/things I found on Google, menstrual synchrony was first reported in 1971 when this scientist lady named Martha McClintock conducted a study of 150ish girls living in a college dorm and found that they were mostly having their periods around the same time. Seven years later she conducted a similar study with female rats, and apparently the rats that lived together had more regular periods than the rats that lived alone. The only science I study is the social kind, so I’m not about to get technical. But to cut this shit down: Martha figured that women who live together will sometimes start to menstruate at the same time.
The Now I live in a six-person house
and three of us have vaginas. Even though this wasn’t the case when we first moved in, all of our periods now start within three or four days of each other. Crazy. Housemate Maddy and I noticed pretty early on. Nurofen purchases started to spike mid-month and half the house turned partpsychopath. We shared our theory with others and the knowing nods made me figure this was just a normal thing. From then on the middle of every month became a menstrual-sync-check-up: ‘I got my period yesterday.’ ‘I got mine today. And Emma just bought Nurofen.’ It was nice to know that if we had to bleed uncontrollably every three weeks then at least we could do it together. But even more than that: it just seemed really cool. The idea that our bodies had somehow sent each other messages that made us into synchronised bleeders was amazing. And it made my menstrual-time seem less of an annoying burden and more of a natural wonder.
Corroborating Evidence My willingness to decide our periods had
synced was helped by the fact that this has happened before. Last year I spent 5 months living in an American college, which unhappily involves sharing a bedroom with a stranger. Even though stranger and I were rarely in the room together and never became friends, I swear to god my menstrual cycle paused, waited for this girl to begin bleeding, then started again – as though it were too scared to go on its own. At the time I figured it was weird though probably coincidental. But when it happened for a second time: proof.
A Cruel Discovery The thing is that ‘proof’ according to an arts/law student who owns tarot cards is not the same as ‘proof’ in the real sense. The first hint that menstrual synchrony might not be a thing came from ‘friend’/crusher-ofdreams, Meg. She was blunt. ‘Hey Meg, me and Maddy and Emma all have our periods, they’ve synced!’ ‘That’s not real.’ Harsh. According to Meg and the things she’d read, menstrual cycles are likely to coincide: if one person’s on a 21 day cycle and another’s on a 35
day cycle, there’ll eventually be a point where the cycles cross paths. That might go unnoticed. Or the bleeders might delude themselves into believing their pheromones were making magic. Maddy lost faith immediately and her capacity to be swayed by logical argument was disheartening. Life has been different ever since. When I last attempted to talk about it she replied: ‘I don’t believe in that anymore; I believe in science.’ How easily the bonds that tied us could be corroded by ‘truth’.
What Science Actually Says (Without Any Actual Science. I Study History) In the wake of Meg’s (unwelcome) news, I decided to do some research. Turns out science is on her side. Martha did a few more experiments in the 90s and those tended to back up her initial research. But most of her studies are considered problematic. The bulk of science isn’t so conclusive as to provide us with a definite ‘no’. But it has provided us with a fairly persuasive ‘probably not’.
Why Would I Believe This Shit Anyway? Bleeding out of your vagina every month gets boring. And boredom is like the overbearing mother of arts-student-style invention. I saw ‘bleeding at the same time’ and read it as: science made us sync. It was a happy false discovery and to know that there might be nothing more to menstruation than a ginormous
evolutionary fail is sad. But there’s still one thing that gives me hope: science. Maybe Martha did a crappy job at ‘proving’ menstrual synchrony’s a thing. But when her study first came out there were people who really believed her – much like people are now more inclined to believe the no-sync haters. So maybe my period hasn’t actually synced with my housemates, but maybe it has. I’m choosing to believe the latter. Not because that seems scientifically likely, but just because it maybe might be possible and that’s what I’d prefer. Logic, get fucked, my vagina’s magic. ◊
M A L S D N A R G word
op well co x a m : s
Making Poetry I’m that annoying kid who in school was really excited about poetry. I mean, I’m a nerd full stop and I’ve been compared to a puppy for my enthusiasm more often than I’d like to admit, so my being excited about something isn’t exactly unusual. But poetry is just… fantastic. And the chances Adelaide affords to see writers of all stripes, but especially poets, bring out the fresh(er)-faced Max sitting in English classes.
Poems, Poems, Poems… Poetry has been around since approximately forever. Literally. The oldest pieces of writing we know are poetry. The Epic of Gilgamesh. The Odyssey. Beowulf. Some of the oldest surviving pieces of writing, all of them poems. The novel didn’t even come into existence until whole millennia later. Yet, despite this long history, poetry is out of vogue in the modern day. It hasn’t exactly got ‘a bad reputation’ (it’s not the Hester Prynne of literature or anything) but it isn’t exactly flying fit and fancy-free. A few attempts at remaking poetry for the modern day have been made. Poetry readings have been, and will be around as long as poetry has been. Authors reading their
work is great, but sometimes people feel it just isn’t enough. Performance and Slam Poetry are both attempts at reinvigorating the art. Both of them are relatively recent innovations, and both focus heavily on the performance of poetry as well as the creation of it. Beyond this, though, there are some pretty strong differences. Performance Poetry developed, in a sense, out of the media available to poets. When printing became common-place, poetry shifted gradually into a much more private space; Performance Poetry, throughout the Twentieth Century, pushed back. Hard. It was poetry without the written word. Rather than just being read poetry, Performance Poetry is emphatically performed. This started taking place as early as the late Nineteenth Century, but the term ‘Performance Poetry’ was coined in response to the poetry of a Doctor Hedwig Gorski in the 1980s, with the advent of Spoken Word radio programming broadcasting recordings of printed Beat poets like Ginsberg, as a term to differentiate between text-based performance and performance art. Performance Poetry enjoyed a popular pairing with music, which peaked in the 1980s, at the same time as the emergence of Slam.
Slam Poetry started in the 80s and is a type of poetry competition. It’s got a democratised tone to it, and its judges come from the audience. The most common type of Slam is open to anyone (time permitting). But the end goal is always the same: victory. Slams are looking much more permanent than Performance Poetry, having spread all over the world – even to Adelaide (something I’ll talk about later). Slam strikes out against the established poetic tradition. A lot of slam poets draw on less-thantraditional sources of inspiration. Slam poetry looks to cultures outside of the Western European classics, particularly hip-hop, and reaches out to people who have been silenced by the exclusive elitist culture. Supporters of slam look at it as providing a more egalitarian medium than traditional forms of literature. And the presence of women and people of colour in the scene, as well as the democratic methods of judging the competition, reinforces this. But slam isn’t a delicate ingénue. It’s copped a lot of flak. Someone once called it ‘the death of art’. The competitive nature of Slam can put some people off, sometimes completely. Slam isn’t ruined by it, but it’s not exactly the perfect art form. There’s even been an ‘Anti-Slam’ movement established,
Photo: Very Quiet (Flickr)
Photo: Very Quiet (Flickr)
Photo: Very Quiet (Flickr)
in which anyone can perform and everyone gets perfect tens.
Home Town Glory Of course, all of this is pretty detached. It definitely doesn’t capture the appeal of poetry. But that’s because the best way to understand poetry’s greatness is to go out and read some. Have some read to you, even. Many poets and poetry readings can be found in this town. The Lee Marvin Readings for example, run at the Dark Horsey Bookshop (right near the Mercury Cinema) by Adelaide poet Ken Bolton, feature a rotating line-up of Adelaide authors both young and old. Most recently on in July and slated again for September these events provide an interesting cross-section of Adelaide’s writing community. Even if you’re not sure it’ll be your thing, you can go along and enjoy the discount provided on the range of books, which reaches far outside of what you can normally
expect. Of course, if you try it, you’ll probably find that at least some of the writing on show appeals to you. Similarly, the WordFire event is a semi-regular event run by Adelaide authors. The last one, run around the end of last semester, provided a fun, casual night in the Crown & Sceptre seeing authors read their work, and a great time was had by authors and audience both (also, it’s free, which is always a plus!) Then of course, there are the Slams. Various groups put on Slams throughout the year. They’re often open Slams, providing anyone who wants a go with a chance to showcase their work. The Australian Poetry Slam 2012 commences its first SA heats in September this month (for more details, visit australianpoetryslam. com). Check out Paroxysm Press’s 60-Second Slam, which takes place during the manic festival season, but which spices up the competition by adding an extra-tight time constraint to it.
Of course, this is just an overview. The best way to know what you might like is to go out and try it. The best way to encourage anything to grow is to take part in it. Give poetry a shot. Give writing a shot. If it’s not for you, that’s too bad, but you might find yourself a new favourite event. ◊
If you’re keen to get involved in a local Slam Poetry event, check out the following sites: australianpoetryslam. com: the official website of Australian Poetry Slam, with heat dates, rules and more. paroxysmpress.com: download e-books, listen to podcasts or check out dates for the next event. wordfire.com.au: the official website of Wordfire is under construction, but you can still access dates and info.
AN OPEN LETTER TO: ADELAIDE CITY COUNCIL PAGE
Photo: Sam Young
Dear Adelaide City Council,
Mitsubishi Lancer, throwing gold pennies from my roll-down windows.
I don’t think I am the only one to have noticed that the street parking costs near Uni have increased by 50%. It used to be $6 for three hours. Not the cheapest, but it is bearable to have $6 in change on your person. Hey! You can even use the coins for vending machines and such.
The Adelaide City Council are actually discouraging students from shopping in town on a whim or going out to lunch (making the city ‘vibrant’ if you will) when parking costs are so ridiculous. Students who do shift work also suffer, as they need their cars to get from uni to whatever hellhole job they have, to make more money, so they can spend it on parking fees.
Fuck you. Fuck you very much.
But now it has increased to $9 for three hours. What the fuck? Who carries $9 in change about their person? I’m guessing if you do you have shoulder issues from the weight of the metal jangling about. Or maybe your pockets are wearing out. Whatever, this is not an attack at people who carry change. Good for them. This is aimed at Adelaide City Council, who in all their wisdom, decided to make the city more ‘vibrant’ by making the lives of uni students harder and more expensive. I am sick of Lycra-clad ponces who live in North Adelaide and spout ‘I don’t understand why people don’t just cycle into town’ (Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood, I’m looking at you). Maybe I’m paraphrasing there, but the sentiment seems to be ‘Fuck drivers, they have cars and can afford to be slugged a living increase of 50% to create revenue for the council.’ Apparently owning a car makes me a sultan, swanning around in my
To anyone bleating ‘This is a first-world problem, who cares?’ – well fuckhead, I care. I’d much rather spend my money on rent and textbooks and alcohol than give it to the Adelaide City Council. Students are the least able to afford these increases. On top of this, some bus routes have changed, making it more difficult to get to uni. It is my godgiven right as a student to get up 20 minutes before a lecture and hoon to town. How can I do that when the parking costs make me want to cry? If I wanted to, I’d live in Sydney, be miserable, and pay $50 for 3 hours of parking. But guess what? Adelaide is supposed to be a liveable city. Part of that is ease of movement for its residents, and cheaper parking in town. This quest for ‘vibrancy’ (excuse me while I vomit) in Adelaide is making it harder to live here.
I could also spout about the plans to charge for parking at Westfield Marion, how charging for something that has been free for over 20 years is obscene, will create chaos around resident’s streets, and how Westfield has enough money (the greedy capitalist pigs). I could also point out that if retail is dying as they keep saying; the worst way to encourage me to spend money is to charge me for the ‘privilege’ of visiting a shopping centre. But the less I say about that the better. I need to keep some of my spleen to vent later. My angry bursts need to be rationed, or else I will be a simmering hot mess, muttering and rocking back and forth. I do that anyway, but I really need to pace myself. Adelaide City Council, I hope you get lots of angry letters and emails. You are scum. Go die in a ditch.
Sincerely, Nijole Naujokas
(Financially challenged driver)
Got an open letter you need to send? It could be printed right here on this page. Send your open letter to to us: ondit@ adelaide.edu.au. You vent that spleen. Vent it REAL GOOD.
SEX AND THE UNI ROCK HARD get your rocks off with ROWAN ROFF. So apparently in my last ‘Sex and the Uni’ column I managed to offend a bunch of vocal geology students. Who knew you could offend people by publically guesstimating how prolific their sex lives are? Now, even though I realise that they probably just need to vent a little sexual frustration, for some reason they’ve gone and made me out to be some sort of anti-geological cult figure. Like it’s my fault they can’t throng a woman! Come on… this column is about me trying to help my fellow students! I only wrote that article to help steer kids into the more romantic courses on offer – like horticulture – and to help keep them away from dry, infertile subjects – like geo…metry. Normally I would let this issue die down over time, but I hear that geology students have a good supply of throwing rocks (or ‘minerals’ as I’m pretty sure they like to call them). So, instead of continuing to arrive on campus dressed as a construction worker for that new building, I’m just going to give them what they want and write, as best I can, why geology is the sexiest subject since pornography (which I think was removed from the university curriculum in 1972). I think they’ll know the truth in their hearts (and loins), but hopefully this gets me off the hook with them. Here goes: First, virtually everything in geology is a double entendre. Given that I knew absolutely nothing about geology I did a quick skim of the Wikipedia page and (aside from learning a 3-year degree in 5 minutes) found
these little ‘gems’ (which are shiny rocks – it’s a geology term): cinder cone, mud log, ‘seafloor spreading’ of a ‘hydrothermal vent’, erosional angular unconformity, dike swarms, and ‘igneous intrusions’ which ‘push upwards and crystallise when they intrude’. You also can say that you’re going to ‘get your rocks off’ which is hilarious and I’m sure a common expression on geology field trips when they go looking for rocks. Another point is that the whole subject of geology revolves around friction. There’s always some shit rubbing against some other shit and there’s a whole lot of heat building up under the crust and then inevitably you get some massive, throbbing, erosional angular unconformity. Or else you get a cheeky bit of seafloor spreading which usually prompts some geologist to come along and shove his massive drill in it to check the ‘lithology’ of what’s going on underneath. Quite frankly I’m getting turned on just thinking about it. What’s more, geologists constantly study what has been recognised as one of society’s biggest sexual metaphors: the volcano! It’s glorious isn’t it? It all starts with the igneous activity going on downstairs. It continues like this for an eternity until it can hold it no more. Time stops as molten magma shoots up the cinder cone and gushes out the top with such ferocity that it can sometimes shoot thousands of feet into the air. Put it this way: if you put a working model volcano in a room with two marginally attractive people then there will be two eruptions happening on Year 2 Science Day’. Any my final reasoning as to why geologists are basically programmed to get in a girl’s pants: all through history geologists have been asking themselves ‘I wonder what’s underneath that?’. They got through the crust but still weren’t satisfied. Then they took off Gaia’s mantle and got to touch her outer core and they still wanted more! They wanted to go even deeper: the fabled ‘inner core’. It gives me shivers. But they saw it. And then they documented it. Reading a geology textbook is filthier than 50 Shades of Grey if you know how to interpret it. And that’s why geologists, on closer inspection, actually get to have heaps of sex, heaps frequently and should cease their man-hunt for me immediately. We cool? ◊
SECULAR MUSINGS A FAIR GO ROSANNA ANDERSON just wants a little respect. I recently attended a Fair Go seminar (not associated with the University) aimed at promoting equality for all people. The idea is clearly positive and I thought it would be an inspiring talk to help me along in my quest to remove pre-conceived stereotypes that cause me to judge people too soon or incorrectly. I was shocked, however, to hear the speaker refer to the ‘solution’ for inequality as spreading the word of the Christian God. She claimed that only godly people have the proper capacity for the acceptance and tolerance necessary for a world of equality. Now I am not one of those atheists who throw Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion at believers, and spend hours reading the Bible so I can point out contradictions to religious people (and believe me, I know people like this), but I do feel that what the speakers claimed was a blatant untruth and that I have a right to defend myself. I am an atheist because my parents raised me with no belief. I learnt about evolution in primary school and never learnt to look at the world in a different manner. In the same way that is near impossible for a religious follower to renounce the existence of a God, I can’t imagine genuinely believing that this world was created by a higher deity. The fact that I do not believe in Hell or Heaven, however, does not mean that I judge people more unfairly than do believers, that I kill people or covet my neighbour’s wife. In fact I like to think (perhaps
egotistically) that I am quite a good person. Sure I have my ups and downs, but I’m certain that this is a human characteristic, rather than one exclusive to us godless heathens. I can differentiate between right and wrong based on the morals I learnt as a child. I am aware of the needs and feelings of others and predominantly act in what I would perceive as a manner which avoids harming or offending them, as do the majority of atheists and believers. I don’t feel that my capacity for acceptance is in any way limited due to my lack of belief, in fact I’m certain that it’s not. I don’t claim to be superior to religious people based on my view of the world, and all I ask is that you respect that I deserve a fair go just like you. I understand, as aforementioned, that there are militant atheists who aim to belittle religious beliefs and aggressively push their arguments onto other people which may influence people’s view of atheists. But, similar to their loud religious counterparts, they believe that their work is bettering the world. On one side, to remove a deception, and on the other, to redeem the souls of atheists. A friend once claimed that I believed nothing, which is nonsense. Evolution and science is, to me, just as amazing as the idea of a Creator is to others. We can all be amazed at the complexity and beauty of this world, albeit for different reasons, and I think this is enough for us to respect each other. Another person once told me that I would ‘find eternity a long time when I was burning in Hell’. There is a lack of understanding on both sides as well as extremes, but I don’t think these minorities should seriously cloud our views. I am an atheist, but (at risk of sounding awfully clichéd), I am first and foremost, a human, like everyone else out there, and all I’m asking for is a fair go. ◊
STUFF YOU LIKE
machine of death: casey briggs likes this.
doug: bryn lewis likes this.
Imagine there was a machine that could tell you how you were going to die. It won’t tell you dates or details though, it’ll just give you a slip of paper saying ‘Torn apart and devoured by lions’, or ‘Flaming marshmallow’.
Doug is a Koala-man-thing. I would call him an anthropomorphic koala, but he can’t talk. He, or it, also has no genitalia. He’s a timid little guy. In fact, Doug is perpetually afraid of everyone and everything. Or is he? (SPOILER ALERT) Turns out, before moving to America and adopting the alias of Doug, he was a Latin-American assassin named Cesar Rodriguez, aka: The Murder Bear. Cesar was responsible for a massacre in Bolivia which left him traumatised. Doug is still consumed by guilt. Oh yeah, Doug is a secondary character from the tv show Ugly Americans. Go watch now.
Would you use the machine? Would it change the way you lived your life? Inspired by one of Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics, this collection of short stories explores that possibility. It’s fascinating to see how different writers treat death, and the lengths that people will go to avoid an unavoidable fate. Buy or download the book, or listen to the free podcast at machineofdeath.net.
critical mass: ben reichstein likes this. Bike nerds, environmentalists and thrill-seekers everywhere should converge on Victoria Square at 6pm on the last Friday of every month for some non-violent direct action fun. For twelve evenings of the year Critical Mass lives out the favourite hypothetical of cyclists worldwide: what would the roads be like if they were dominated by bikes? The answer it turns out is glorious, freewheeling mayhem. The crowd is a diverse mix—young and old, hipsters and temporarily reformed lycratypes, hippies and punks—and there are often a few eye-catching bikes. But the real joy is rolling through the streets with the pack; the angry motorists honking and bemused Hindley Streeters staring—mouths agape and iPhone cameras aloft. Cyclists of the world, unite! criticalmassadelaide.co.cc Last Friday of every month, 6pm, Victoria Square
not watching cosmopolis: elizabeth flux likes this. In the almost two hours it takes to sit through this limousine ride odyssey, you could watch two episodes of True Blood, bake and consume some cupcakes or go for a run (lol). All of these things are better than essentially having a book read to you verbatim, with some taser sex thrown in for kicks and giggles. P.S. R-Patz is actually really good in this film. It is just very, very tedious to sit through.
your submissions: on dit likes these. Sharing is caring. If you like something, tell us about it here. Review anything at all - books, movies, CDs, games, anything – whether it sucked or blew your mind. You’ve got 50-100 words and our email address is this: email@example.com.
At first I take pleasure in watching them grieve. At my parents’ house, my sister Cecilia sits quietly at the dinner table watching my mother cry into a bowl of sympathy casserole from next door, wondering if anyone would cry that hard had it been her. Part of me wants to tell her that yes, of course they would, I would; the other part of me is glad that, somehow, my transmitters can only receive. My father, in my old bedroom, is on his knees among document boxes full of nine years’ worth of tax returns. He is holding out his hands, palms to the ceiling, supplicant. The last remnants of the Catholic schoolboy dictate that in times of trouble one must pray; he doesn’t know how to pray, merely to offer, and so he offers. I watch my father for a very long time. I like watching Alex the most. I spend a lot of time in our bedroom, a place usually reserved for rituals. It’s a museum now. Or a mausoleum. I haven’t decided yet. The bed is an island of grief. Alex wraps his arms around my pillow, the pillow I slept on the night before I died, and when my smell runs out he sprays perfume on it and inhales it, fervently, like a smoker. It’s reassuring, this proof that I am missed, but I can’t watch him for too long. When Alex weeps I start to feel sick. I didn’t think the dead could get sick. It’s been about six weeks now, and Alex is still crying into the same pillowcase. I can’t seem to physically manifest, or I’d throw it in with the dirty laundry myself. Cecilia went back to school, and Mum hasn’t noticed how skinny she is, the way her school uniform hangs off her like a sack, the way
her straw boater shadows her eyes like a shroud. I notice all of these things at once. I notice everything. I notice nineteen different shades of orange in a single autumn leaf, for fuck’s sake. I feel like Wordsworth on acid. I retreat to the library. There’s silence among the books, and shadow, and the air is cool and musty. I feel at home, surrounded by dead poets. We share a realm, now. I wonder if I’ll ever bump into Keats or Browning, the way I used to bump into estranged girls from high school at the supermarket and peer into their shopping baskets, judging their brand of shampoo. I suppose I won’t see Hemingway, or Plath. Even the dead don’t like to stare death in the face, and a bullet wound or the cherry-red cheeks of carbon monoxide are hard to miss. I nestle myself beside For Whom The Bell Tolls, and I wonder if the bell tolled for Hemingway, gunshot and all. I wonder if the bell will toll for me. I’ve been dead for six weeks, and none of the things I’ve expected have happened yet. I don’t have an angelic glow, and I’m not transparent. I can’t walk through walls. I don’t feel ageless or freed of the pain. I still feel thirty, and I still feel sick. Sickness is strange without a body to hold it. Instead of being in me, eating away at my stomach and throat, it follows me around, a constant shadow of unease. I feel like Baudelaire’s spleen. Kids in my classes used to say that. Woe is me, I’m nineteen, funerals file past in slow procession in my soul. I’d comfort myself by thinking, one day they’ll understand real spleen. Now, I do. L’Angoisse atroce, despotique, sur mon crâne incliné plante son drapeau noir. I would have just gone with ‘headache’, but then again, I was never very poetic. It’s easy to get melancholic
when you’re dead. Hemingway’s giving me the shits. I’m restless.
Dying We stuck the diagnostic report to the fridge with a magnet shaped like the Golden Gate Bridge. The magnet was painted with red glitter and I suppose we thought that its cheer could counter the seriousness of that word. The black type, underlined in the doctor’s red ink. Terminal. Terminal. When you say it out loud it’s all closures. Tongue against roof of mouth, closed lips, tongue on teeth. There’s no way out. If I said it enough times it tasted like my throat was already rotting. Alex crying in the doctor’s office. Can’t you stop saying that fucking word? I was a new bride, trying out her new surname. Mrs Terminal. That word would be with me for the rest of my life. I thought of airport terminals. Places of transition. Through the metal detector and into the air. They had excited me once. Buy a newspaper and a coffee in a Styrofoam cup and wait at the gate until it’s time to go. Dying didn’t feel so different. It was waiting. We were all waiting for the call to departure. Alex became unbending, unsmiling. I saw him leaning, tired, on Cecilia’s shoulder; I heard him speak using the language of the dying and the sick, apostrophising PICC lines and antiemetics and infection control. I did not like the bed. I wanted to sleep on my side with Alex’s broad forearm on my belly. Not on my back, not like this, not shitting myself in front of sympathetic strangers. I disowned my own body. I had loved it when it was a woman, had loved breasts, hips, belly and
thighs. Now that I was terminal it was bones and sores. One morning I felt my womb turn to dust and I woke Alex and told him I could not bear him a son. I said my womb is a tomb and he told me to stop being stupid this is no time for poetry. I said there is no poetry in a hospital. It dies with the germs and the patients. Alex called a nurse and had me sedated. You can’t be terminal and be a woman both at once. We stopped fucking. I wanted him to touch me on my deathbed. I wanted to kiss him with lush, wet tongue but my tongue was white and cracked. I died wearing a grey t-shirt and a pair of underpants with My Little Ponies on the snatch. Little girls’ size ten.
Death At my parents’ house, Cecilia sits at the dinner table, immersed in a senior chemistry textbook, while Mum flicks through the pages of a travel brochure. Do you think your sister would have liked Thailand, she asks, and Cecilia says yes, Mum, she went four times. My father, in my old bedroom, is on his knees among document boxes full of nine years’ worth of tax returns. He is working on the tenth one. He is thinking about the exchange rate from tax return dollars to tax return baht. He is thinking, in the June drizzle, about beach resorts and cocktails with little umbrellas in them. He thinks of a picture of me, twenty-two and healthy, on an elephant’s back. He smiles and presses his hand to his lips. Alex is cleaning. He is taking each book from the shelf and holding it in his hands before laying it gently in a box marked with my name. He is farewelling our friends, the men long dead who brought us together in a fifth-floor
classroom in our twenties. He whispers their names as he touches their spines in a sort of ceremony. Whitman. Marvell. Byron. Shelley. Rilke. Milton. Donne. The washing machine chimes and Alex lays down a dog-eared copy of Eliot. Do I dare disturb the universe? He takes a basket of white sheets and pummels them until they fit into the tumble dryer. I always used to tell him off for that. We both recall it. He smiles sadly, or perhaps it’s a smirk. Asshole, I whisper. He is still smiling as he picks up the Eliot, and I am the evening spread out across the sky, like a patient etherised upon a table. I am the yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes. I retreat to the library, but the silence is no longer comforting. It’s deafening. I thought death was supposed to be peaceful. I feel tears but I have no eyes and no release.
Departure It strikes me that ghosts are supposed to haunt their graves. It strikes me that I don’t know where I am buried. I decide to follow Alex there. I want to say farewell to the ruins of my body. How funny that our bodies are so essential to our selfhoods. You are what you wear. How I slaved over that body. I spent my early twenties striving to perfect it, and I had accepted its resistance just in time for it to fail me. By now my skin has blistered from my bones. My breasts, abdomen and tongue are swollen; my hair, nails and teeth are loose and my internal organs are stinking liquid. Alex phones Cecilia and they plan to visit the cemetery together. He doesn’t want to go alone. How long, I wonder, until Alex stops phoning Cecilia, stops
accepting my mother’s invitations to dinner on Sunday nights? How long until he meets and fucks and loves another woman? He must relinquish me sooner or later. Life goes on. Death goes on longer. I don’t want to watch. Cecilia says, six months Alex. How the fuck are you getting on? He laughs acidly. All right. Must be tense at home with your folks. They keep busy. For a while they are silent. Cecilia’s hand slips into Alex’s and they look like small children. You haven’t been here yet, have you? No, and neither have you. No. After they leave I go to my body. If death was like it was supposed to be I’d reanimate it, reclaim it. Even halfway decomposed it’s still my body. I feel a strange pain, looking at the earth that covers it. I can see why ghosts would want to hang around their graves. My vacant body is better company than a ratty copy of Hemingway, anyway. I set up camp. It’s better than the library. I am ether, and I am organic. Just not at the same time. The grass around my headstone grows longer and the bunches of flowers less frequent. The feet that tread my grass grow weary. I sink deeper into the soil and take root there. My headstone reads my name and my dates of birth and death. A line of repunctuated poetry, picked by Alex or maybe Mum, so typical and dearly amateur that I am touched and want to weep. For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow die not, poor death. Nor yet canst thou kill me. Touché, death. I wish you’d done a cleaner job. ◊
From Volume 68, Issue 1, 2000
RETROSPECTIVE Check out the wide variety of food available on campus in 2000. How has this changed in 12 years? What do you think? Check out On Ditâ€™s investigation on page 12.
(answers on page 4)
CRYSTAL BOLLOCKS Aries: Watching the Rhythmic Gymnastics has really inspired you, hasn’t it? You’ve been practising with the ball and the hoop in a sparkly leotard, haven’t you? You chose Dario G’s Sunchyme for your routine song, didn’t you?
because I can’t remember if there’s another one.
Taurus: That electricity bill you haven’t paid will come back to haunt you when your utilities are cut off just as you’re about to press ‘save’ on that big assignment. Fuck.
Scorpio: It’s a great day... for being sad.
Cancer: While shaking it like a polaroid picture, you’ll get stuck in a loop, and you’ll shake it shake shake it for all eternity. You know what to do-o-o. Leo: You will use the last piece of toilet paper when out for Sunday brunch. Remember to take the time to tell the staff to replace the roll, or karma will come back and bite you in the diaphragm. Virgo: A sudden change in the astral tides will cause you to feel definitively about one of the Culkin brothers. I think it’s either Kieran or Macauley but that’s mostly
Libra: You will sit in a wet patch while having a smoke at a party and then spend the rest of the night wondering if you sat in pee. Sagittarius: You’ll wake up next Sunday morning with a really bad hangover... and inexplicable telepathic powers. Use them wisely. Capricorn: Listening to Enya might soothe your soul, but she’s a Celtic Witch and she will get you. Aquarius: You will be too lazy to pick up a five cent coin that you saw a stranger drop. Either everything will be fine because it landed head side up or you will have bad luck. And die. Pisces: You will read your horoscope, but you won’t believe it. This will create a paradox which will either consume the universe, or cause a dog to twitch in its sleep three streets away.
TARGEDOKU 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). Hint: how we edit.
T I O
with psychic psusan
Gemini: If you keep on believing... you will find yourself in an episode of Glee.
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a comic by MICHELLE BAGSTER
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