Issue 07 | APRIL 2013 www.ausm.org.nz
Issue 07 | APRIL 2013 Directory
reception City Campus Level 2, WC Building 921 9805 Mon-Thurs: 9am-5pm Fri: 9am-4pm North Shore Campus Level 2, AS Building 921 9949 Mon-Fri: 11am-1pm
Photograph by Ramina Rai p22
Matthew Cattin email@example.com
designer/PHOTOGRAPHER Ramina Rai
Manukau Campus MB107 921 9999 ext 6672 Mon-Thurs: 9am-3.30pm
Abigail Johnson | Antonia Anderson | Aspen Bruce | Carl Ewen | Elesha Edmonds | Emmanuel Samoglou | Erica McQueen | Jamie Barnes| Ji Soo Kwun | Kieran Bennett | Laura Owejar | Mays Shalash | Mike Ross Nathan Wood | Nicole Koch | Nigel Moffiet | Rachel Peters| Scott Yeoman | Shilo Kino |
governance & leadership Kizito Essuman AuSM Student President 921 9999 ext 8571 firstname.lastname@example.org management Sue Higgins General Manager 921 9999 ext 5111 email@example.com advocacy Nick Buckby Liaison Manager 921 9999 ext 8379 firstname.lastname@example.org marketing Kate Lin Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator 921 9999 ext 8909 email@example.com events Carl Ewen Student Life Manager 921 9999 ext 8931 firstname.lastname@example.org media Matthew Cattin Publications Co-ordinator 921 9999 ext 8774 email@example.com vesbar Zane Chase Vesbar Manager 921 9999 ext 8378 firstname.lastname@example.org volunteers & clubs Nathan Bromberg Volunteers Coordinator 921 9999 ext 8911 email@example.com
Illustration & Photography Matthew Cattin | Nicole Koch Ramina Rai
advertising contact Kate Lin firstname.lastname@example.org
PMP Print Ltd.
publisher 5 Editorial 6 Artist of the week: Connor Crawford
18 Charity Fallacies Makeup Madness 19 Recipe Mythbuster Rob
8 ARTICLE: Love Bites
20 An Ode To Childhood
10 Article: Japanese Dreams
21 The Will To Dream
11 INTERVIEW: Connor Crawford
12 A Memorandum Auckland's Got It Going On 13 Prez Sez AuSM Updates 14 NEWS 15 MUSIC: Lisa Crawley 16 ARTICLE: Living Wage
24 MUSIC: Beast wars 26 MUSIC: The Veils 28 Real Groovy 30 The Impeccable Brew 32 Afterschool Delights
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KEEP UP WITH WHAT’S GOING DOWN
by Matthew Cattin Hello again, I’ve been on a bit of a Spielberg buzz for the last few weeks. It all started when my young cousin came for dinner with some of the extended whanau. “Put a movie on,” says Mum, keen for me to do some babysitting. “Umm… Alright…” says I, fully aware of the hugely inappropriate contents of my hard drive. Flip… What do kids these days even enjoy, thought I. So I’m in the TV room scrolling down the extensive (and totally legal) list of violence, coarse language, substance abuse and sex scenes and it’s not going well for me. Let’s see America Psycho, no, Black Swan, yeeea-no, Drive, maybe… ET? Shit yes. Oh but what’s this? My cousin is not impressed. He says he’s seen it before and it’s “boring”. Oh well – my house, my rules bro. Take a seat, it’s Spielberg time. So on goes ET and I am LOVING IT. There he is toddling around the house, hiding in the toys and having a grand old time with his new-found earth friends. Meanwhile I’m on the edge of my seat self-diagnosing a Spielberg-shaped hole
in my heart. He really is the greatest film director of the generation – he has the most incredible knack for creating films that appeal to film-goers of any age. Take Jurassic Park as an example. As a child who wanted to be a palaeontologist, I watched it for the dinosaur fight scenes, hitting fast-forward in the film’s dialogue-heavy moments. Rewatching it now, I find the conversations absolutely riveting. There’s talk about DNA sequencing, the ethics of biological engineering, philosophical arguments over ‘playing God’, Ian Malcolm’s chaos theory – it’s amazing how much the film has to offer. And all these moments I would have whizzed past as a kid – for shame, I could have been a genius. Another reason Spielberg has absolutely dominated the last three decades at the box office is his refusal to play it safe in any one genre. Instead he’s covered aliens, sharks (see page 8 for the damage), pirates, dinosaurs, robots, war and the holocaust – constantly flitting between the harsh realism of non-fiction and the mystic fantasies of fiction. To me he is an incredible nutrient for
imagination but when he needs to, he tells it like it is. In Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg depicts the Omaha Beach assault of WWII in about as much detail as I can handle. He’s been praised for the realism he brought to the scene, not shying away from the emotions combattrained men experienced when facing death. I recognise it’s from a different war but I feel like it nonetheless depicts the struggles our ANZAC soldiers probably went through landing on Anzac cove in Gallipoli (see Scott Yeoman’s Memorandum on page 12). That’s about all from me! Study hard for your exams, enjoy your breaks, get on a Spielberg buzz and pay your respects on ANZAC day. Matthew PS – To celebrate mid-semester break, I have a double pass to Tahuna Breaks’ May 4th gig at the Powerstation to give away. Email debate with the subject line Tahuna, along with your name and student ID number and you will go in to win.
Artist of the week
Artist of the week: CONNOR CRAWFORD You can check out more of Connorâ€™s work at
For an interview, flip flop your way to page 11.
ARTICLE: LOVE BITES © waterinspired.com Juan Oliphant
LOVE BITES Free-diver/shark-swimmer/surfer/model/conservationist Ocean Ramsey had a chat to Matthew Cattin about her incredible passion – sharks.
It was love at first sight for Ocean Ramsey. While catching a few early morning waves near her home in Hawaii, she spotted a small shark hunting for food on the bottom. Fascination overtook her as she paddled out after it in the morning sun, feeling completely at ease and unthreatened by the creature. “It’s an amazing feeling being in the water with sharks; so beautiful and perfectly designed,” she says. “My father was a diver and I used to watch him go scuba diving and listen to his stories. He never had any scary experiences with sharks and my mother, being a very outdoorsy and sweet person, taught me a respect for all life.” In a fearful world however, it wasn’t long before she realised that not everybody saw sharks with the same level perspective. “They [people] had a horrible unrealistic fear of the animals and further
more, the fear was all they knew about the animals,” she says. Growing up in Hawaii, Ocean spent her youth swimming through underwater lava tubes, free-diving, surfing and swimming with sharks, dolphins and whales. “I realised only a few years ago that all those activities have helped push me to maintain a tolerance of high levels of carbon dioxide and low levels of oxygen,” she says. So in non-scientific terms, she can now hold her breath for a very long time; her record today sits at a hefty 5 minutes 45 seconds. “Animals are more likely to approach you if you have no bubbles and are able to move calmly or efficiently like them. It’s really neat sitting on the ocean floor sometimes, staring at a shark or even just some fish, and the longer you stay the more comfortable they become with your presence,” she says.
In recent years, Ocean has used her free-diving skills to attempt the seemingly impossible – swim with great white sharks. With no cage, no weapons, no tricks and no protection, she is at one with the ocean giants, holding on to their fins as they gracefully glide through the blue. She describes the experiences with great whites as an incredible honour and a privilege. To share moments with a rare, borderline extinct creature, she says, makes her feel more aware, more awake, more alive and in tune with herself and her surroundings. “Watching and experiencing an intelligent, beautiful, and powerful animal like that consciously acknowledge me and accept my touch is like watching the most beautiful thing you've ever seen - it just takes my breath away and makes my heart stop.” Ocean made world headlines recently when footage surfaced online of her swimming casually alongside a 17ft great white. The images are mind-blowing, a completely refreshing and surprising portrayal of the fish we fear so much. Graceful and relaxed, Ocean defies belief as she swims next to (and is dwarfed by) the car-sized predator. She says the footage was intended to show a non-Hollywood side to the animals and prove that they are not the malicious, violent creatures that they are so often made out to be. According to Ocean, great whites can survive an estimated three months on one decent meal so 98 per cent of the
time, they behave like what you see in the video. “They are nothing like the film Jaws,” says Ocean. “Yes, they are large wild animals and apex predators and they need to be respected for that role and I don't recommend people go out and do this without a lot of training and experience specifically interacting with large sharks. Even then you are still taking a risk. It is a large animal and it outweighs us by several tons; accidents do happen and while they are probably more predictable than dogs, it’s not advisable.” While she doesn’t deny the animals can be dangerous, Ocean says that shark attacks are merely cases of mistaken identity; unfortunate accidents. “Sharks have been on the planet for over 400 million years. Their sensory systems have evolved to target specific animals. On a daily basis sharks are able to distinguish us from their natural prey but occasionally accidents do happen. It really is a testament to their senses that given the number of people who frequent shark territory, often in bad visibly, mistakes don't happen very often,” she says. This logic is rarely applied by the media who mislead the public with fear mongering headlines. “Films and television shows have
demonised sharks for decades by portraying them unrealistically as man-eating machines, mindless, and bloodthirsty, quick to frenzy and attack anything that they come across. This idea has been gradually accepted as the truth due to its repeated presentation and the lack of real true scientific information.” The most recent case in New Zealand was of course the death of Adam Strange in Muriwai earlier this year – a case Ocean paid close attention to. “My greatest condolences to the Strange family - death is not easy, regardless of how it comes. There is never a good or easy time to lose someone; anyone,” she says. “Mr Strange died doing something that he enjoyed and was one of an average of only five fatalities a year from great white sharks. I hope that the public will realise that accidents do happen and that the wrong response is to go out and kill a bunch of sharks. Understand that sharks are an important part of the ecosystem and Mr Strange took the risk of encountering wild animals when he entered their habitat.” And according to Ocean, worrying about sharks is the least of our problems. “People should be more concerned with protecting and preserving the environment and addressing things like drunk driving and teen suicide that cause a greater loss of life and are more in people’s control.” The ocean is of course a shark’s natural habitat, so when we enter their home, Ocean says there are a few logical precautions we should take to reduce the risk of an accident. “Don’t surf, swim, or dive near harbour entrances where fishing boats come in and clean their catch, especially on an outgoing tide where the scent of fish blood is passing in the current. Expect to see sharks when abalone diving, spear fishing, and even cleaning barnacles off the bottom of a vessel. Look around more when engaging in activities that put blood in the water; you are basically ringing a dinner bell and sharks are just doing their job, what they are designed for. Spear fishermen - be smart and put your catch out of the water right away. Don't swim far from shore in bad visibility, or over steep drop offs, especially around seal colonies. While I'm not suggesting that doing any of the above will result in an encounter with a shark, these are times when it is more likely that you are confusing a shark’s senses.” While most people are afraid of sharks, Ocean is afraid of the opposite – a world without them. And according to statistics, we should be too. “The world’s shark populations have declined by over 90 per cent already,” she says. “Without sharks the populations lower on the food chain have more sick and diseased individuals contributing to the gene pool. Their populations become out of balance and they over feed on other species. Each species has a key role in the eco system and if you take out one you will have a major impact on the other.” Ocean says the fish stock population is expected to crash in 2048 and if we don’t make a change immediately, the future of the world’s oceans, and our dependence on them, is at stake. “I know that fear is deep-seeded and change isn't always instantaneous for people that are not open to it but I hope it will inspire enough people to learn more about these important animals. Hopefully enough people will learn the truth and stand up for sharks and help make the changes they need to be made to save them.” So what can average citizens do to help sharks survive? I got the lowdown from Ocean. “One. Try and change someone’s negative view about sharks. The negative perception has wrongfully been given to these animals and is very counterproductive to gaining any kind of support or efforts to save them. “Two. Sign a petition. It only takes two minutes of your time. Standing together shows policy makers that the general public cares and it will result in real and widespread change. If everyone takes two minutes, everyone’s individual voices will have made a difference. When you take action it will inspire and help others. oceana.org, projectaware.com, www.stopsharkfinning.net/petitions. html “Three. Do not purchase or support shark fin soup, shark souvenirs including teeth (unless fossilized), medicinal products made from sharks and trophy or sport fishing tournaments.” Oh, and did I mention Ocean is a model?
AUT Japanese language student Ji Soo Kwun enjoyed a life-changing exchange at Hirosaki University from October 2011 – February 2013. Here is her story. Hello New Zealand and my home town Auckland. It has only been a few weeks since I came back and I already miss my friends and my second home town Hirosaki; Japan. My first impression of Japan was a whole new world. Yes, everything is in Japanese. The writing on billboards, the announcements in buses, and the language these people speak. I thought I was in some sort of wonderland where my ability to speak was taken away from me. Although I was a 'goody good' in school, doing my homework and studying while my friends were playing around outside, I was not able to say a proper sentence in Japanese with confidence. Arriving in Tokyo, everything was so developed and fast, it took me days just to figure out how the subways worked. So after successfully arriving in Hirosaki from Tokyo with the help of my friend, my first impression was 'quiet and relaxing'. Being a semirural place, there were no subways; instead there were buses and trains. There is a developed area of Hirosaki just like Queen Street in Auckland Central (very long and straight) named 'Dotemachi'. There’s plenty of space on the sidewalks for pedestrians. However, something interesting caught my eye. It was very rare to see people walking on the sidewalks but very common for people to rather ride their bicycles on the sidewalks as their main transportation. Nearly everyone had a bicycle and as for me; an exchange student who was incapable of riding one, this was my first assignment in Japan. After a few crashes I managed to learn how to ride a bicycle. The school life was amazing. My new friends came from all over the world; Germany, France, Hungary, China, Thailand, Indonesia and many more. Through them, I was able to learn their culture and also learn the Japanese culture through various perspectives. The exchange student classes had similar atmospheres to AUT. The teachers and students were able to question and answer during class. Also, students found it easy to make new friends. There were many varieties of classes offered to exchange students; Japanese theoretical literature classes to practical internships. My favorite I would have to say, was the "Tsugaru Studies" class. Tsugaru is the name of this region of Japan. This class was based on field trips to historical areas of Tsugaru. There were many other activities in Hirosaki for exchange students. I was called out to be a model for a kimono show. I thought, "Wow... me being a model. That is a once in a life time chance.
I'm going for this." So my friends and I tried on beautiful kimonos named 'Nagasode'. These kimonos (the ones with long sleeves.) are only allowed to be worn by virgin females. When women get married, they wear normal kimonos (ones that have sleeves which come to their wrists).
There were festivals for each season in Hirosaki. My favorite festival was in spring - The Sakura Festival in Hirosaki Park. Hirosaki is known as one of the biggest cherry blooming places in Japan, it even has 'doctors' for cherry blossom trees - people who are professionals regarding cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms bloom around mid-March all over Japan, and people from all over the world come to Hirosaki Park to see the beautiful blossoms. There are food stalls and game stalls all over the park which open from morning to night. Japanese people usually gather in groups to have time together underneath the cherry trees and sing songs. All of the international students went to have lunch at the park. Through this festival, I realised that the cherry blossoms were overwhelmingly beautiful and it cannot be described in words. You HAVE to go and see these for yourself to understand the beauty. After all the fun times and hard times during the exchange, coming back to New Zealand made me feel as if I've come back to reality; that I have woken up from a dream. I really want to thank the AUT international exchange team and the Japanese teachers for all their help, encouragement and the work they’ve put in to making all this happen. It was definitely an adventure that influenced a lot in my life. I want to recommend exchange to every AUT student - go out there and have this superb experience. Cheers!
Artist of the week:
CONNOR CRAWFORD What is it about gig photography that tickles your fancy? Music has always played a huge part in my life. Both my parents were huge music lovers so I grew up to the sound of music; especially with my father’s love for classic rock. Ever since I could remember I always wanted to be a musical artist. It didn't matter what instrument I played, I just wanted to be in a band. However after years of trying every instrument, and playing in some terrible bands, I faced the fact that I just wasn't meant to play music, so instead I decided the next best option was to visually document those who did play music. So really it's the music that you experience in gig photography that really appeals to me; being right at the front of the concert full of adrenaline as you line up your shots and the pleasure that comes from getting 'the shot' from every concert. I love taking photos of music, because I love music. What can be difficult about getting a good photo at a gig? It's known that with concert photography usually one out of 10 photos taken is actually any good - sometimes even less depending on stage setup. The biggest challenge with concert photography is the lighting. Most concerts are dimly lit and consist of very bright LED lights that will often over saturate your photos making them look horrible; blue and red led lights are not your friends. With the larger concerts it is very common that using flash is not allowed either, so getting sharp photos without a flash in a poorly lit area can prove itself to be a huge challenge - although a challenge is all in the thrill of it. I love shooting difficult stages because when you get 'the shot' you feel a lot more proud and satisfied knowing that you conquered that stage. What is your tried and true equipment setup? I am a Canon supporter through thick and thin. Because of this I refuse to buy any other brand's photography equipment (especially Nikon!). Although this may be very one-sided and I am always being told that there are far cheaper alternatives out there, I have never been displeased with any Canon equipment and I’ve always received what I expected and more from them.
How do you get your camera into gigs? I work for several media outlets such as Groove Guide magazine, UpFm radio station and others. How it works is that these companies promote upcoming events, along with the promotion agreement and usually a photographer is offered to cover the event for that media outlet. For example Groove Guide has a 'live concert' section in every week’s issue, which is where my photos end up. With this the promoters pretty much sort you out with a media pass and you’re good to go. Although, when it comes to concerts where I personally want to shoot myself, first thing I do is get permission from whoever is in charge. You will find that if you show up to a concert with your camera without getting any sort of permission (better known as a media pass), you won't be allowed in and this does not look good for your reputation, and when it comes to photography, reputation can be everything. Who would you most love to photograph? My dream band to shoot would be the German industrial metal pyromaniacs, Rammstein. After seeing them live at Big Day Out, I have made it my personal goal to one day photograph them live. This is simply because their live shows are simply amazing in terms of their pyrotechnics and stage presence. Never have I seen a band before make the crowd go so completely bedazzled by the amazement of their performance. There are also several festivals I would like to shoot such as Australia's Soundwave, England’s Download and Belgium’s Tomorrowland. Hopefully one day I will be able to reach these places with my camera and create some great photos. What else do you enjoy photographing? I use to do a lot of nightlife photography which I really enjoyed. Although after a while, its gets incredibly tiring and you start to get sick of the people that you have to deal with every night. Drunk people may be some of the most entertaining people to shoot, however they can also be some of the most annoying. Lately I have been looking at expanding my horizons with photography, shooting weddings, modelling and band promos. www.ausm.org.nz
By Scott Yeoman
Memorandum [mem-uh-ran-duh m] -noun, pl. –dums, -da 1. A short note designating something to be remembered, especially something to be done or acted upon in the future; reminder.
Lest We Forget
Thursday next week will mark 98 years since New Zealand and Australian soldiers - the Anzacs – landed on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula. 25th of April, 1915 was the start of a doomed campaign to capture a vital gateway that the allies hoped would lead them out of the stalemate on the western front. Thousands of Kiwis stormed the beach at Gallipoli that day, only to enter into a combat environment that resembled the stagnated front they were attempting to break. Among the 120,000+ soldiers that died over nine very long months, 2721 were young New Zealanders. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by the enemy. Although this battle may have seen a devastating loss of Kiwi life, it also saw New Zealand entering into a role and identity as an individual nation - a nation that was pulling its weight in the World War. The sacrifices made by those who fought and died at Gallipoli, set up a proud past and a promising future for the country we now call home.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”
So I urge you all to attend an Anzac Day service next Thursday, no matter how small your connection is to this country, or its heritage. Lest We Forget.
On this hallowed day each year, we commemorate all New Zealanders killed in war, as well as honouring our returned servicemen and women. It is a day of remembrance and a day in which we can show our gratitude by going along to a service and paying our respects.
By Mike Ross
AUCKLAND'S GOT IT GOING ON Oh shit me! It's 4pm Wednesday, deadline was 4pm Tuesday - it's safe to say I'm feeling the pressure of pre-mid-semesterbreak-university. If you're like me and are swamped up to your cojones in work then you'll need a break to unwind. And I've got just the spots to do it:
All Week Long
The Late Night Diner on Ponsonby Road An Auckland food joint that doesn't have a drive thru and is open after 10pm!? Madness. But true. Finally the 09's night owls can satisfy their cravings with The Late Night Diner. It's right next to Ponsonby Social Club, and hot damn the deep fried pickles are good. Get inside me you little green things. It's open till late Thurs-Sat (until 3am!) so get your taxi driver to pull over on the way home and check it out. You will not regret.
Josh Leys at Chapel Bar You can imagine my surprise when, upon trawling through the event guides for content, I saw the name of a guy I was once in Power Rangers with. Yes, you read correctly, I was (and arguably still am) a TV star. Not just anyone can be a featured extra, and Josh Leys and I were two of the finest. 12
But not only does Josh have some choice acting chops, he's also a well sought after musician. He jams all over the place and always shows audiences a good time, so if you're out and about on Wednesday head to Chapel for a beer and a listen - if you ask nicely he might even show you his secret talent for beatboxing (no really, he's sick).
#Vogue at Goldfinch Sophisticated clubbing is something of a mythical beast in NZ - people have heard about it, but in actuality it's not often seen. Having said this, you may just witness legend become reality as #Vogue launches this Saturday night at Goldfinch. Jupiter Project are headlining are lineup chocka-block with talent: Sam Hill, Jarrod Phillips, The Beat Mafia…the list goes on. This will be the place that you want to boogie this Saturday night. For more info about this week's events and a widerange of sporting apparel: www.google.com
Photos from events this semester so far.
Amazing Race with AuSM Exec Members.
Prez taking time off.
With Hon Melissa lee at an ethnic youth function.
Beads of Courage day.
O-Week at Akoranga Campus.
Exec team building.
CAPTION CONTEST Updates 2013 O’Week survey It has been a while since AuSM@AUT's 2013 O'Week Festival, but we still want your feedback! Head to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ausm1 and fill out a short survey. You will automatically enter the draw to win prizes such as an Xbox 360 with games, Apple TV and other cool prizes! Check out our Facebook page @ausm1 now to know more. Thursdays: $2 lunch Lunch at Te Kaipara (wharekai), City Campus every Thursday from 12pm – 2:30pm! Get yourself 1 filled roll, 1 piece of fruit and a cup of tea/coffee for just $2 (cash only)! What a great deal! 2-for-1 passes to Paradice Ice Skating Check out our AuSM competition page for great passes! Enter the draw now and get yourself and your mate a chance to go for ice skating during the mid-semester break! http://tiny.cc/comp2013
Name: Email: Campus: Drop your entry into your nearest AuSM office, or the box on the side of the red debate stands, or email debate before 12pm Thursday. What’s up for grabs? Two “squawk burgers” vouchers for Velvet Burger on Fort St, Auckland CBD. Issue 5 Congratulations to...
City Campus who scored two Squawk Burger vouchers!
Zizi wins because we like her name. Correct Answers: John Campbell, Pita Sharples, Kimbra, Richie McCaw, John key. www.ausm.org.nz
Wrestling Going Out With One Final Smack Down by Antonia Anderson AUT student Mike “Elias” Anderson, 22, has been with IPW for one year out of the five years he has been wrestling and says he’s sad to see it end. “We’re all pretty upset that it is stopping. There are some guys who have put the last 10 years of their lives into IPW and now they won’t have that outlet.” IPW wrestlers compete mainly in Auckland but have travelled to compete in Hamilton, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Wellington, as well as being a part of the Armageddon expo across the country
As April ends, so will New Zealand’s leading professional wrestling organisation. On April 27 Impact Pro Wrestling (IPW) will host one event to celebrate 10 years of heavy-hitting entertainment. A statement released from IPW says it is closing due to the “current economic climate” and it has been a tough decision. IPW operates only in Auckland and has constantly been voted as the top professional wrestling company in New Zealand and will leave a void for many when it finishes.
Impact Entertainment Ltd Director Daniel Burnell says they are focussing on providing a memorable send off for IPW “I can speak for everyone though when I say we want to focus on these final two shows and give the fans exactly what they deserve, and that’s a send-off that only IPW can provide,” says Mr Burnell. One show was on March 30 and the last “A Decade of Impact” will be on April 27 at the Lynfield Recreational Centre. “I don't have any achievements but I do get an amazing rush when my music hits and I can hear our loyal fans cheering for this big lug in spandex,” says Mike. Mike ‘Elias’ Anderson’s signature moves are the ‘Big Boot’ and the ‘Face Off’.
Mike is 6 foot 5, 127kg and his favourite catchphrase is "I will rip your face off”. Mike is also part of a tag team called "Man Mountain”. “I'm not entirely sure on why we are closing down but I do know that it was a management decision that made us join all the other companies out there that have been hit by the current economic climate,” says Mike. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity I have been given to not only have an outlet for all my energy but a way to entertain in the coolest way possible.” “It's quite a sad time to be a wrestler in Auckland but we have one big bang left at the end of April to say goodbye to IPW. I hope all my fellow students take a bite of curiosity cake and come and see a bunch of normal people doing amazing things.” To help give IPW the send-off it deserves, debate mag has been given a double pass to giveaway for the final show “A Decade of Impact” on April 27 at the Lynfield Recreational Centre.
Email debate with the subject line IPW, with your name and student ID number to be in to win.
Documentary Festival Hits Town by Emmanuel Samoglou Australasia’s biggest documentary festival is officially underway. The 8th Annual Documentary Edge Festival kicked off Wednesday evening with a sold-out show at downtown Auckland’s Q Theatre. Opening the festival was the award-winning doc, The Island President, a film that chronicles the efforts of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, as he travels the world to bring awareness to the existential crisis facing his island nation. The Maldives, as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, are directly affected by climate change as a rise of three feet in sea level is expected to submerge the almost 2 thousand islands which make up the island nation. This year’s fest features over 60 diverse films, showcasing outstanding Kiwi and International filmmaking.
Running alongside the festival, the 7th Screen Edge Forum will be held at AUT from April 18-19, featuring local and international filmmakers and global documentary film industry leaders. Other must see films include I am Eleven, China Heavyweight, Red, White, Black & Blue, The Invisible War and Tales from the Organ Trade. The festival runs until April 21 in Auckland before travelling to Wellington from May 8-19. The complete festival lineup and more information is available online at http://www.documentaryedge.org.nz/.
MUSIC: Lisa Crawley
LISA CRAWLEY by Erica McQueen Lisa’s songs are bright, cheerful and heart-warming. If life had a soundtrack, Lisa’s are the songs you would want playing while running through a field of long grass and daisies.An eclectic mix of folk, alternative pop and indie with a sprinkle of jazz and country, Lisa combines her stunning vocals and unique musical talents with everything from piano to omnichord to create something magnificently spectacular. Her lyrics are clever and playful and her twitter tells me she’s a ‘cat enthusiast’. With two EP’s (Shoot the Night ’07, Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between ’09) and a full length album (Everything That I Have Seen ’11) under her belt there’s no doubt Lisa Crawley is incredible talented. Lisa was an APRA silver scroll award nominee for the second time last year with her song Blind Eyes alongside the likes of Six60, Homebrew, Opossum and Ruby Frost. Her songs have recently been used for a number of ads and her single Blind Eyes is on the latest TV3 Windows 8 ad and includes some of the music video. It also featured on an Oxfam commercial. Another of her songs is used for flush amok (Baby Hammock) ads. This speaks to the versatility of Lisa as an artist. She also won the international Pacific Song Writing competition with her song Stranger. A talented songwriter, vocalist and musician Lisa was a winner on the audience, a website launched last year to assist with the allocation of NZ on air grants by public vote. Lisa was also a finalist on the 2009 season of NZ’s Stars in their Eyes appearing on the show as Norah Jones singing Don’t know Why. More recently, Lisa was a backup vocalist on New Zealand’s Got Talent and toured with Tim Finn’s band. A delight to listen to, as always I humbly suggest you hunt down some of this gorgeous girl’s tunes! Her album and both EP’s are available via Lisa’s bandcamp.
Who's in the band and what do they do? I don't have a regular band at the moment. I’ve been playing solo lots and writing/recording, so when I do my next tour I’ll put a new band together for that. I’m very lucky to have an array of talented friends who help me out on a regular basis too! And how'd y'all get together? The band I’ve played with mostly in the past are made up of friends I met at high school or university. I started performing my own songs when the band I was part of in high school fell apart. Favourite lyric/line from a song?(yours or otherwise) "It may be years until the day my dreams will match up with my pay.” The last CD/song you purchased/downloaded was? A karaoke version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town (sad but true, it was for a Christmas gig) or the last song I downloaded for free is
Hysteric by Yeah Yeah Yeahs- I’m learning it for a wedding! Describe your 'sound' in three words or less. Melodic. Interesting. piano-ey. What can you never leave home without? My cat following me out the door making me feel guilty for leaving. If you like _________ you'll love Lisa Crawley Regina Spektor, Lisa Mitchell, Adele, Bic Runga. Who's been most influential on your song-writing/music-making? My travels, relationships and friends. If you could offer one bit of advice to those starting out song writing, what would it be? It’s very common to write 100 songs you're unhappy with before you get one you like! Perform as often as possible when starting out to gain confidence; open mic nights are great for that!
What rumour would you like to start about yourself? That I’m a good musician who writes good songs. Craziest thing you've done for your music? Not got what everyone calls a "real job" and stuck with the 2 minute noodle lifestyle. If I wasn't playing music I'd be_____ A full time extra on shorthand street/ piano teaching, playing for other musicians, singing on ad's etc Favourite smell? Petrol. Or salt n vinegar chips. Or my flowerbomb perfume What can we expect to see from you over the next year? A new album, some new videos, more radio airplay (fingers crossed), some international travels/gigs and some awkward banter.
Students Too Broke for Two Cents Nigel Moffiet gets the lowdown on the Living Wage. AUT student Chantelle Bignell knows what it’s like to be homeless. She and her flatmate were left with nowhere to live after a fire in her apartment complex broke out. She was struggling on a financial hardship benefit of $350 at the time and finding new accommodation proved a huge challenge. “I went around to over 40 flat interviews in the CBD and surrounding suburbs. Rejected by all because StudyLink doesn't give enough to cover the rent. Hard to find a job when you have no home,” she says. Finally she did find a place but the conditions were not ideal. “I was living at a hostel for $200 per week, not including food, laundry and internet and sharing a room with at least nine to 11 other people.” This is one of many stories told to debate after asking students about the costs of living on the back of a report that says Kiwis can’t live on the $13.50 minimum wage. When debate asked AUT student Nick Jones for his two cents’ worth on the topic he replied: “Sorry, I need my two cents otherwise I can't pay my bills.” Fair enough. However there were students with barely enough cents in their broke ass pockets to spare a few more stories of hardship. Other financial concerns facing the average Auckland student involve issues with StudyLink, and the pressure of balancing more than one job. Communications student Jessica Nutley is keeping her head above water with three jobs and expresses frustration with StudyLink which does little to help her.
“I think everything that is set up from StudyLink has good intentions but it doesn't work very well,” says Nutley. Nutley also expresses frustration with the parental income assessment. Although she is independent and receives no financial support from her parents, StudyLink fails to take this into account. “In my case, I moved out of my parent’s home to be closer to university, meaning less travel time, more study time. My parents don't support me with anything. I pay my own bills, rent, buy my own groceries whilst studying full time. How do I afford it? Three jobs. Which doesn't allow me much study time at all. So I went to StudyLink for help, only to get a reply saying my parents and I earn too much for me to be eligible. “I then thought what if I don't work, would I be eligible? Yes, they said. You would get $91. Oh good, because that will pay for my expensive Auckland rent, bills and groceries,” she says. The report that put the liveable wage at $18.40 was put together by the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit. Released in February it is titled Report of an Investigation Into Defining A Living Wage For New Zealand. The Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU) is working hard to promote the report and push for a living wage throughout New Zealand. They recently visited campus to discuss the living wage and encourage AUT to be the first university in New Zealand to adopt it. The union says the report “confirms what our members have
AUT student Chantelle Bignell knows what it’s like to be homeless.
ncreasingly been saying. They can't live on the minimum wage and the report provides evidence that workers need at least $18.40 just to get by in New Zealand”. SFWU national campaign coordinator Annie Newman says the response she received from staff and students was very positive. “People have been fantastically supportive,” she says. “A lot of students identified with it because they often go out and try to earn money and they have been paid minimum wages so they know what it means to live on the breadline.” Newman says it shouldn’t matter what a worker’s circumstances are – they should be paid enough to live and they should be paid fairly. “If two people are doing the same job and one happens to be young and the other not, that is an unacceptable reason to discriminate against them,” she says firmly. So what is the definition of a liveable wage? According to Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand, a living wage is “the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society”. The report focused on this definition as part of their assessment for the $18.40 figure. Prepared by Peter King and Charles Waldegrave they state: “Participation refers to more than survival on the basic necessities, because it involves the ability to participate socially and even consider the future like a modest insurance policy. It embraces small but important things like being able to pay for children to enjoy a school trip, having a computer in the home and being able to mix with friends recreationally, albeit modestly.” The assessment of $18.40 was based on a number of factors including average rent, food costs and childcare. Transportation cost is another financial strain. AUT graphic design student Hazel Waters expressed such concern. “I live on the Shore, I work 15 hours a week in addition to classes and intern work. Half of my wages every week go solely on public transport. I am fortunate that my parents support me in way of food and housing, but if I didn't have that I would be screwed. In addition to course related costs for materials and supplies, if I got sick, or needed to do anything not in the weekly budget, you just couldn't cope,” she says. Speaking to journalists on a video posted on Stuff, Prime Minister John Key said he would like to see wages rise but it was not likely to happen any time soon. Key said wage rises could put more New
Zealanders into strife with the threat of job losses. “We’ve got to be very careful and continue to make sure that employers want to take on staff and if the price of labour goes up too much then eventually that’s put at risk,” says Key. Newman says the Prime Minister’s response is a common argument but firmly disagrees. “There is no evidence, here or overseas, that increasing the minimum wage has put business under,” she says. And there is no doubt many families are struggling. AUT nursing student Minta Ashby says the cost of her degree is putting a lot of pressure on her family. “I live in the heart of Manurewa with my mum and brother. My mum is supporting me while I'm at uni, she earns just under the threshold so I get around $34 from StudyLink a week.” Ashby says if it wasn’t for her mum, she’d be “screwed”. “She feeds me, puts a roof over my head and pays for all the bills by herself. She also has a mortgage to pay. So I guess that I can be a bit of a financial burden.” Ashby says she feels for the students that don’t have the same support networks as she does. Meanwhile, Chantelle Bignell is lucky to have a place, but her pressures continue. She even had to get a loan from a distant family member in order to pay for books and course related costs. “I am left with no savings, no money to pay this week’s rent in full, no money for food except the food vouchers I received from AUT financial support, and no flatmate. “Every time I try ring StudyLink their phones are too busy to take my call, no matter what time I've tried ringing, so I’m unable to make an appointment to get a food grant,” she says. Bignell’s struggles are unlikely to improve as the Government plans to increase the minimum wage by 25 cents from 1 April this year. Newman says the planned increase is a “total insult” that’s “not going to make any difference”. Bignell, on the other hand, would be happy to find a job with enough hours. “Just giving people the work,” she says.
Make Up Madness By Abigail Johnson
“The greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was convincing women that they looked better in their makeup,” – Macklemore. I wear make-up. In fact, when I’m trying to impress, I won’t go without it. I enjoy it. Pretty cat eyes and pink lips are my go-to when I’m heading somewhere fancy, but I also don’t wear make-up. I spend the majority of my day to day life bare-faced. Not because I am super confident, partly because I am lazy, but mainly because I want people to know what my face looks like. I want to feel good about myself in my natural state. In this beauty-negative society that is no easy feat. When we learn the feminism basics we are shown adverts from the fifties. We see how women were conditioned to believe housewifery was best. “Look at how far we’ve come!” we delight, before hastily checking our faces in the nearest window. You see, I don’t think we have come very far at all. When those brave early feminists liberated us from domesticity a new form of oppression took over. The beauty industry. Women were once told they were useless unless they were the perfect housewife. We are now useless unless we are beautiful. In order to control me, the beauty industry must first trick me. This is how capitalism works. They sell me a problem and then a solution. They need me to want something so they tell me that I am ugly. My insecurity is their asset. As long as I believe my skin is too pale, I will keep buying foundation. “You’ve always been unhappy with your looks” they taunt. The examples are everywhere. “Look at how sad we are with a few pimples on our face” the skin-care team intones. Cue melancholy music and downcast glances. A certain celebrity-filled infomercial would have me believe that a three-step system will have me grinning in the sun all day, living a life of unimaginable bliss, if only I didn’t have those damn spots on my chin. But what is so wrong with these natural states? It was a brilliant conman who decided that female body hair was undesirable. He must have laughed himself to the bank, but what it has left us with is horrified thirteen year old girls shaving off all their hair below their head, altering their bodies to achieve a state of normalcy which is anything but. I have basically been taught that I am not a good enough person without looks on my side. And since I don’t have them (so they tell me) I must BUY, BUY, BUY! I have been taught that it doesn’t matter how intelligent, or caring, or innovative I am. It doesn’t matter how successful I am in my career, unless I am pretty too, I have failed. And so we stick clumpy black glue near our eyes (OUR EYES!), we swallow tonnes of lipstick over our lives, and for what? I’m not asking you to stop wearing makeup, to embrace your pimples, or let your arm pits grow out. My only wish is that we recognise the messages we are bombarded with. I will continue to wear makeup. I will continue to shave my legs, but I refuse to let anyone make me feel unworthy when I haven’t.
Charity Fallacies By Rachel Peters There are some certain fundamental ideas, which in a culture as diverse as ours, are still agreed upon by the majority. Very few would argue with the idea that generosity is a good thing. The world needs more giving, and there are major problems in the realm of human rights issues, environmental issues and animal rights issues that need to be addressed. But when it comes down to giving away our own money there seems to be some commonly held beliefs which make us sceptical. Why Greenpeace decide that the most effective way to gain followers is having a mildly enthusiastic youth asking for ‘just a minute of your time’ while you busily hurry down Queen St, must be some sort of insider secret and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been asked if I had something wrong with my neck as I shake my head at them. A recent video I watched on TED, by the speaker Dan Pallota shed some light on many misconceptions of charitable giving. The fact is we live in very commercial and capitalistic society. Charities are companies like any other. I think the most common reason I have heard for not giving to charity, particularly to worldwide charities such as World Vision, is that you cannot be sure where the money ends up. Just like any other companies, charities take a reasonable about of money to set up. Deciding to send food to children in Africa would not be the easiest operation to execute would it? As Pallota explains, people are worried about the overheads, the ongoing expenses of running a business. If charities want to gain any share on the market these are of course essential, and in any other industry, they would rarely be called up on it. Worrying about overheads causes charities to struggle unnecessarily. If charities did offer higher salaries it is likely that they would attract some top students who could really create and implement schemes for great change. Another reason people don’t give to charities is because they think their contribution would be too small to really effect change. People don’t want to do something small, they do not feel that it is significant; they want to feel really involved in the activity. Pallota was also aware of this, and contrary to most charities he did not put participation as a priority in his fundraising techniques. He set the minimum fundraising donation at $1000 for anyone wanting to compete in a biking for aids event he ran and made more money for aids than any other previous fundraising for aids in history, $108 million after expenses. He also raised a significant amount of money for suicide prevention in the states. I admire his ambitious attitude, differing from the usual attitude expected from charities that they must be grateful for anything at all. Pallota released a book called Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential. In this book he claims that the biggest hindrance for charity companies is the expectation on them to be prudent, non-profit and saintly, filtered down from the heavy influence of Christianity on the western world. Although in the perfect world this would be the case, surely the amount they effect positive change is really what they should be measured on rather than keeping their overheads at a minimum. There are so many great charities and people getting involved in philanthropic activities and it would be great if these charities also attracted people who are good at making money and affecting change. Imagine how much they could change if they were influenced by the ambitious and hard working leaders, or innovative and creative types who are attracted to advertising. They really deserve some limelight and praise for their activities, and should be able to step out from the humble positions which they currently hold. Link to video cited. http://www.ted.com/playlists/91/ everything_you_thought_was.html
Rolling with the “you shouldn’t print a recipe you haven’t tried” approach, baking extraordinaire Mays Shalash whipped up some slice for the AuSM office and it was ka pai. This, contributors, is food of the Gods. $10.50
-200g super wine biscuits -1/2 cup oil -1/2 tin condensed milk
-75g dark chocolate -1/4 cup milk -4 Tbsp icing sugar -Dates (pitted) to cover your dish completely -Handful of Walnuts
Method 1- Preheat oven to 190°C 2- Break biscuits in half and blend in food processor until finely crumbed 3- Add oil and pulse for 30 seconds 4-Add condensed milk and pulse for 30 seconds 5-Spread mixture out in a 25cm ovenproof dish, making sure it covers the whole base evenly 6-Bake for 15 minutes or until top in lightly golden 7-Heat your milk in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minute 8-Break your chocolate and add it to the heated milk, stir with a spoon until melted completely 9-Add the icing sugar to the mixture to thicken it up 10-Once base is done take it out and spread most of the chocolate mixture on it 11-Split your dates and cover the dish with them 12-Sprinkle a handful of walnuts all over the dish 13-Drizzle the top with the chocolate mixture you have left 14-Bake for a further 5 minutes 15-Pour yourself a glass of milk and ignore the guilt that comes with eating this
10% Brain Myth A widely-held and frequently perpetuated belief is that humans only use 10 per cent, or some other small fraction of the total available amount of their brain capacity. This claim is usually made with the intent to convey a sense of the massive stores of untapped potential that people contain. However the claim has no basis, and cannot be understood within the current scientific model of how the brain works. Scientists have various methods through which brain activity can be measured and these show that all parts of the brain serve functions in some way or another. The brain develops and is organised in response to use, and therefore the brain would not develop large areas of unused resources. If areas are not being used for their intended purposes they will be repurposed to serve a role that is required. In addition, if it were true that the major proportion of brains was an unexploited resource then the removal of this area should cause no loss of function, and this is not what is observed. The myth probably persists due in part to a superficial plausibility, and the strong appeal it holds in promising people a chance to access vast reserves of intellect and potential by doing relatively little work.
An Ode To Childhood
When we are children, everything is more colourful. Everything is bigger and louder and more exciting. The things we experience are all shiny and brand new, and our brains are like sponges, never bored, always craving information. It's not healthy to live in the past, I know that. But there's no harm in a little reminiscing. It's not that I'm not excited about what's still to come, because I am. However, I want to recall the feeling of utter freedom that comes only with being a child. That innocence and naivety that makes the world look like a playground. That serenity that can be achieved with a simple cuddle. When we are children we are carefree by nature, because there genuinely isn't anything worth worrying about. There is no pressure to be successful, unless it's in regards to a game of Monopoly. No need to impress people, unless there's a chance they'll give you a lolly.
Image source: Flickr
Admittedly, I am a little reluctant to grow up. Sure, I can be mature when it matters. But does maturity mean forfeiting the things that excite me? Does it mean that I have to like gardening as opposed to climbing trees? Favour watching the news over watching The Lion King? And spend my Saturdays doing housework, rather than playing with my friends? Because that all sounds monstrous no matter how old I am. When I was a teenager, I didn't feel I was missing out on anything, I was eager to be treated like an adult. Only now, that I have experienced the big wide world, have I come to the realisation that our childhood years were some of the greatest. If we didn't want to walk, we could be carried. We didn't have to decide what to do with our lives, because we didn't look past getting to school. Tricky decisions like what to eat for dinner, and which socks to wear, were all made for us. Any problem could most likely be solved with a tasty treat or a kind word. When you're a child you can be anything you want to be. A princess or a knight, an astronaut, a popstar. Endless possibilities, without the hindering knowledge of them being unlikely. The first thing I can remember wanting to be was a postie. Riding a bicycle all day and delivering peoples' letters sounded delightful. I then jumped about between teacher, zookeeper, florist and detective, truly believing that I could be all these things. Perhaps I could have been, I'll never know. The point is, my glorious childhood brain imagined it, therefore I saw some truth in it. I didn't pick apart the negatives, like I would with anything nowadays. I didn't think about the salary or the hours or the hard work. Only the enjoyment. That's the power of a child's innocence. Kids can get away with anything. They say something that would generally be incriminating and rude, but instead it's adorable. I would love to be able to tell people outright that they're annoying, but that just isn't acceptable from the lips of an adult. Children can ask endless questions, and although we may be exasperated, we will still continue answering them. A public tantrum will always be forgiven. Tears are greeted with sympathy, no matter how insignificant the problem is. Special occasions are always more exhilarating when you're young too. Christmas is about new toys and pretty decorations and Santa Claus. Not about eating too much food, and drinking the day away, and cursing the hideous carols that someone insisted on playing. Birthdays are your special day where you dominate everyone's attention and there is an abundance of presents. You believe you're the most special kid in the world, just like you believe that a giant bunny comes to your house bearing chocolate. And that a magical fairy is willing to pay you for your grotty old tooth. A child can believe their life is a fairy tale, without any consequences. An adult living in dreamland is a concern, for a kid on the other hand, it's the definition of normality. The days of childhood are filled with carefree enjoyment, endless fantasies and minimal complications. I envy my 10-year-old self. I long for those days, the fun and the craziness and the chance to dream. But at the same time, I have independence, I still have new experiences every day and a long life stretching out before me. So although the lighthearted times may be seemingly behind me, I still have fun. I still have laughter, friends, and an imagination. Childish amusement is something to be embraced rather than evaded. To be young at heart is to have the best of both worlds. Let us look ahead to the incredible days we will encounter, and pay tribute to the ones we once had, never forgetting that dreams last forever. And things are never quite as bad as they seem.
An Ode to Childhood By Laura Ouwejan
The Will To Dream
The Will To Dream Romantic prose by Rachel Peters I tasted your full, blossoming lips, bit the bottom labium, held it in my trap, tasted its softness. Your pale skin, thin, fragile, so delicate, we left our fingerprints and remnants all over the sheets from the long weekend. The blood running through my veins was warm and pumped a strong pulse all the way from my heart, my centre and soul. You are my owl, my only meaningful knowledge. You unravelled my layers, peeled me apart as if I were a pastry. I hear nature in your voice, a stream to swim in, flowing with life. I flout when I think of your dim tones speaking my name. It has been days without you, and I awoke to a pile of pillows stacked in the centre of my bed. Your smell still lingering in the navy cotton pillows. I cannot expel the memories of your caresses and my trusting vulnerability. Your hazel eyes staring deep into mine giving me faith. Rain pounds on the window sill. Rain pours inside me. I have the lonely chills. When you were here you held me together and now I could just dissipate into streams between cracks in the concrete. I look for a place to sink. There is little more than silence unless I grasp onto scenes that have not happened yet. I push play to future memories. I read books, prose starts to sting when I feel so much. I purse my lips and furrow my brow, I cannot just sit with my longing. I lay naked in the sheets as I was naked in your hands. I learnt from you, was nourished by your light. These are trappings to this kind of lust so I need to remember not to be my greedy self, to let go of the tantrums and stubborn destruction. You teased me, called me a free spirit; you know the unusual ways to flatter my ego. I fumble over sentences to hide it. I stroke my fingers over the gems you have given me, kinaesthetically whisper my gratitude. I am only a bird, following my unknown journey of migration, I had no premonition of finding home, but when I arrived I knew I was there because you were too. Itâ€™s hard to awake, to get on with my day, when the will to dream takes over. www.ausm.org.nz
Directed by Danny Boyle Starring James McAvoy. Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel. Rating: Reviewed by Matthew Cattin
No bones about it, Danny Boyle has the Midas touch when it comes to making cinema sexy. Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and 127 Hours have all been revolutionary in their own right so it’s safe to say, expectations were high. Often the best way to watch a film is with no prior knowledge of it and such was the case for Boyle’s latest, Trance. I avoided trailers, averted my eyes on webpages and refrained from reading any critic buzz surrounding it. It possibly only served to heighten my anticipation but there you go – I was determined. The film started off simple. Painting auctioneer Simon (McAvoy) receives a head injury trying to prevent the theft of a multimillion pound painting. A rifle butt to the head from gang leader Franck (Cassel) knocks Simon unconscious and the painting seemingly changes hands. Unfortunately for the gang however, it didn’t go to plan (does it ever?) and they opened up the bag to check on their loot only to discover the canvas had been cut from the frame. So naturally, they were pissed. Meanwhile, auctioneer Simon gets out of hospital and returns home to discover a band of angry, violent men. After a wee bit of the ol’ ultra-violence, the gang decide Simon’s “I don’t know anything” excuse must be an honest one and decide to seek external help. Enter hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson) to reclaim from Simon’s mind what the gang needs so badly – the whereabouts of the painting. What follows is a twisted and complicated whodunit with a touch of Inception, a dash of Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and a sprinkle of Layer Cake. In other words layers, dark comedy, violence and confusion. If I told you I followed it completely, I would be a liar. I understood it well enough to walk out satisfied but I still had questions and truth be told, I feel it was more confusing than was necessary. A regular whodunit is at times enough to lose an audience but add to that the confusion of not knowing what is real and what is hypnosis and you get a true mind bender of a film. But goodness me did it look good… Perhaps I need to see it again to give it the credit it may be due but honestly, if a film makes you feel like a bit of a thicko, then perhaps it should have been presented a bit clearer. Excellent idea, great acting, superb cinematography, but not quite enough to be on the same level as Boyle’s classics.
Wilco & Mavis Staples Auckland Town Hall Rating: Reviewed by Matthew Cattin
At 73-years-old, Mavis Staples still remembers how to party like it’s the 60’s. And lordy did she show the Town Hall on Saturday night. With three backing vocalists, a slick guitarist, bass player and drummer, Aunty Mavis produced without a doubt the best warm-up performance I have ever seen. With her gravelly voice, gorgeous charm and R&B soul tunes, she had the crowd cracking up, dancing, clapping, singing and smiling like it was Sunday funday at church. Meanwhile I was on an emotional rollercoaster; a beaming grin contrasted with the welling eyes of feel good euphoria. She was truly magic and I feel so privileged to have seen such a legend. She even brought Tweedy (as she calls him) out for a singalong of her track You Are Not Alone – a special moment. She told tales of the good Dr King, getting locked up in jail, marching and singing for civil rights and everything in between. What a woman. Am I gushing? Probably… But flip – I fell in love. Aunty Mavis you stole my heart – come back soon for a full show. Wilco took to the stage shortly after to commence a careerspanning set list of their genre bending best. Opening with recent album The Whole Love’s first track Art of Almost, it was straight into it for the Chicago five-piece - their noisy soundscapes coming across perfectly in a live environment. Phenomenal lead guitarist Nels Cline was incredible to watch, visibly levitating as his fingers took over and he lost himself in the rush, particularly in the soaring Impossible Germany. If you haven’t heard the tune, it’s a must, especially for guitarists. Twin guitars harmonise a riff as Nels Cline absolutely loses his mind in a thrilling solo. It’s heart exploding. What’s nice about Wilco is they offer a little bit of everything to the fans. They didn’t thrash the new album but rather carefully selected its best tracks and mixed them in to bits and bobs from their entire discography. We were treated to a couple from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Sky Blue Sky and A Ghost is Born as well as a decent helping from their older albums A.M., and Summerteeth. Highlights included an all-out crowd singalong of Jesus etc, the jumpy jingle of Hummingbird and the grand finale – a cover of The Band’s The Weight with Mavis Staples and her band. The verses were shared around like a plate of nachos and everyone jumped in for the “take a load of Annie, take a load for free,” chorus. It was a nice way to showcase the vocal talents of both bands and Wilco’s bass player John Stirratt got a solid applause as he took the lead for a verse; Wilco’s hidden gem? Indeed. The perfect way to finish off a fantastic evening! Hurry back Wilco! And Aunty Mavis? Please bring back the heart you stole from my chest.
House of Gold & Bones Part 2 Rating: Reviewed by Carl Ewen
Dead Space 3 Visceral Games Published by EA Games Rating:
Reviewed by Nathan Wood
Stone Sour already set expectations exceedingly high on the release of their fourth studio album, House of Gold and Bones Part 1, the first part of their double concept album. And they don’t disappoint in the slightest with the album’s epic conclusion. What fans get from this album is an epic collection of tracks that play more like the soundtrack to a movie, than a standard rock album. From the outset, the album sets a sombre tone. Opening track Red City showcases vocalist Corey Taylor’s vocals against the backing of a minimalist piano backdrop, setting the pace for what is to come, and by the time Black John kicks in, Stone Sour show that they can handle any style of rock with ease. Black John is as an epic Stone Sour track as any. Gritty, hard edged all with a massive hook. Opening with an almost vaudevillian piano track, it launches into a solid rock groove, complete with the distinctive sounds of Roy Maygora on drums and Josh Rand and Jim Root on guitar. Taylor’s voice kicks into full force, showcasing his wide vocal range from growl to perfect harmonies. Sadist is a slower, more macabre track that almost comes across as a lost-love song with lyrics like, “This is all the pain a man can take, this is how a broken heart still breaks”. Peckinpah, picks right up where the previous track leaves off, kicking off slow but cranking into a pre-chorus that has a feel of early Slipknot tracks. The variety of song styles on this album truly keeps you on your toes, and leaves you wondering what is around the next corner. The tempo picks up again with Stalemate and rises up to a beautifully melodic chorus. Gravesend is yet another dark track that continues the soundtrack feel, and showcases some spectacular guitar work from Rand and Root. One thing about Stone Sour, is the soulful and sincere lyrics written by frontman Corey Taylor. This is a man who is easily the greatest and most talented vocalist of this generation. The truth and pain you can feel in his voice is honest and moving. The Conflagration proves to be a passionate and heartfelt ode to wanting a better life and living on the positive side more. “So if you live a life with no tomorrow, Every day is just about the sorrow”. These are words to live by. The closing track to this two album epic, is the title track House of Gold and Bones. The song opens with a chant, harking back to the song RU486 from Part 1. It erupts into overdrive and serves as a perfect closer to this two parter leaving you feeling rocked. While I don’t think this is the strongest offering from the Iowa natives, House of Gold and Bones Part 2 is solid, honest and an amazing album from a band that has already shown they are a true force to be reckoned with. Stone Sour are so much more than the side project to Slipknot they were first seen as back in 2002. They have proved this on each and every release, and continue to enthral audiences worldwide. Recently playing New Zealand as the support act for Linkin Park, Stone Sour showed they are on top of their game, by blowing away the “main act” on the night. In my opinion, Stone Sour can do no wrong, and Corey Taylor is God.
Dead Space 3 marks the series’ complete departure from its roots as a survival horror game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as after two previous games fighting the same enemies there’s not much you can do to keep it fresh; so Dead Space 3 throws that out the window and focuses instead on a more action heavy game. Instead of being set in mostly tight and claustrophobic corridors, it instead opts for wide and open outdoor spaces with some beautiful set pieces intermixed with older corridor-style environments. At the core of the game are the same controls and basic principles that have been present in the prequels. The controls are a bit clunky in the action-heavy sequences and they’ve tweaked how you kill enemies, progressing from having to shoot off their limbs to kill them to an ‘if it bleeds we can kill it’ mentality where enemies can and will die from sufficient bullets. On top of this is the addition of chest high walls and cover mechanics you can use to fight the occasional human enemy. And finally the removal of weapon specific ammo means that you’re never pressed for ammo. Also seen (to mixed reactions) was the addition of the crafting system and the controversial microtransaction pay-to-win system input into the game, enabling players to pay money for in-game resources needed to craft. The crafting system lets you strap two guns together along with mods that make the weapon fire differently. Unfortunately the crafting system quickly devolves into crafting the one optimum weapon that can be used for everything in the game without ever needing to change it. Visually the game looks great, with plenty of beautiful set pieces and detailed and varied environments to stomp Xenomorph’s in. The character and enemy design remains unchanged from previous games with the addition of a few forgettable enemy types being the only change in that area. Dead Space 3 is a fun third person shooter but it runs out of rabbits to pull from its hat as soon as you hit the three quarter mark and becomes a grind, If you’ve played the previous games in the series then pick it up, but if you’re new, there are better games to pick up.
Obey the Riff
Carl Ewen catches up with Beastwars’ drummer Nathan ‘Nato’ Hickey to talk their new album, Beastwars beer and vinyl records. Beastwars abide by one unwavering motto; Obey the Riff. Described as being a mix of the best parts of Mastodon and Motorhead, Beastwars are easily one of the most talented and internationally recognised New Zealand bands in their chosen genre. But chances are 99% of you have never even heard their name. These sludge metal giants, hailing from our nation’s capital are making massive waves, not only at home in New Zealand, but across the globe. Almost coming out of nowhere, Beastwars, made up of , Clayton Anderson (Guitar), Nathan ‘Nato’ Hickey (Drums), Matt Hyde (Vocals) and James Woods (Bass), first burst onto the NZ music scene in 2009 with the release of their self-titled album Beastwars, two years after first forming in Wellington. I caught up with Beastwars’ drummer Nathan, prior to the release of their sophomore album Blood Becomes Fire, the band’s heaviest and most diverse offering yet. From their early beginnings as an instrumental three piece, they first gained momentum when they found their ideal vocalist in the form of howler, Matt Hyde. Beastwars first came together however when drummer Nato and guitarist Clayton were introduced by mutual friends. “We started talking about music and the sort of stuff we were into, and how it wasn’t really being played in NZ, so we thought, well let’s start a band”, says Hickey. “So, we found a bass player, and at one of our first gigs we were playing as an instrumental three piece. Matt, our singer was in the audience and he was singing and making up words while we were playing”. And it all started from there. www.ausm.org.nz 24
For Blood Becomes Fire, Beastwars chose to return to Dunedin to work once again with their co-producer and friend Dale Cotton. They first worked with Cotton on their self-titled album, and managed to record it in only four days. So, for their second album, they thought 10 days would make it less stressful. “It was more intense doing the 10 days. I thought 10 days would be more relaxed than four days, because it wouldn’t be so rushed, but it was just as rushed and we didn’t have a break, just recorded for ten days straight. We lived at the studio” says Hickey. “It’s great recording an album like that, because you bond with your band mates, but it was the longest amount of time we have ever spent together. Luckily we got on well. We cooked meals together, played each other music and watched movies and documentary’s together, and learnt what other people were into.” Since the release of their debut, Beastwars have received a nomination for the Taite Music Prize, and two nominations at the 2011 NZ Music Awards; Best Rock Album and Best Artwork or Packaging. They won the award for the latter due to their involvement with renowned Weta Workshop artist, Nick Keller. To make an awesome year even bigger, the boys even had a beer named after the band. So how did this collaboration come about? “Both Epic beer and Hallertau were tweeting about the album when
it came out, so I sent both of them a tweet saying if you want us to play at your Christmas party just give us a yell. Then the guy from Hallertau called and said ‘I have been inspired by the music to create a recipe for a new beer, can we call it Beastwars, and you supply some artwork for it?’ And we thought sweet, well give a free download of a song with it. And it was, and still is, the biggest selling beer he’s had. We definitely got some good exposure from it. Now a lot of bands do the beer thing, AC/DC and Iron Maiden have just released a beer, so we kind of started a trend.” All of the boys from Beastwars have a true passion for listening to music, and their choice of format is vinyl. Beastwars are instrumental in bringing back the art of listening to and buying music ‘the old fashion way’. Having released their previous album and singles on 12” and 7” vinyl, Blood Becomes Fire is no different. “I don’t buy CDs, I only buy Bandcamp downloads if it’s something I can’t get on vinyl” says Nathan. “I think its music in its purest music form and I like the size of it. The format just feels real to me.”
from frontman Matt Hyde. From the beginning you almost get the sense that this album is a concept album that any Prog band would be proud of, but with the epicness that is equal parts Kyuss, Mastodon and Motorhead.
Blood Becomes Fire is due to be released on Friday 19th April, conveniently the day before International Record Store day, and yes, there is a vinyl release for the album. Blood Becomes Fire is an album from a band that is at the top of their game. It’s heavy as hell, yet subtle in parts.
This album is a legendary album in its own right, and a must have for any metal fan. You need this album in your collection. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
The opening track Dune is thunderous from the outset with pounding bass and drums, deafening riffs and the almost animalistic howls
And it doesn’t stop there, Imperium and Tower of Skulls (which Nato tells me was penned during the last election) continue to bring the heavy. More sombre tracks Realms and Rivermen slow down the momentum slightly, but instead of lowering the mood, it just showcases the immense talent of a band who put their all into their craft. This is an album, and a band that is far too good to be hidden away and kept a New Zealand secret. They have honed their sound to absolute perfection, and have proved this even further on Blood Becomes Fire. Where their debut dealt with tales of the end of days, Blood Becomes Fire focuses on the resulting carnage, shown through the eyes of a traveller from another time.
Beastwars new album Blood Becomes Fire is released on Vinyl, CD and Bandcamp download on 19th April 2013. Catch them at Real Groovy at 3pm on Saturday 20th April for Record Store Day. www.ausm.org.nz
BEYOND THE VEILS The Veils’ lead singer Finn Andrews caught up with Matthew Cattin to talk about the new album Time Stays, We Go, growing as an artist and being a full time Kiwi musician. Serendipitous circumstances dictated why you won’t hear much piano on The Veil’s upcoming record Time Stays, We Go. Although critics may argue it was artistic direction (and I’m sure they will, being antsy critics), it was in fact the result of poor building structure in Finn Andrew’s London abode. “I bought a piano but it fell through my floor and I just started writing on guitar. So there’s not as much piano on this one,” he says with a laugh. It’s been over a decade since Finn’s demo tapes were picked up by a UK record label and The Veils’ journey took flight. Still in college at the time, Finn tells me it was when he dropped out that the fun began. The Veils came to being and they released their critically acclaimed debut The Runaway Found, an album Finn says took a long time for him to be able to enjoy. “They were the first songs I had ever written and because the album took so long to come out, by the time it did, that line-up had disbanded and it was this hugely uphill struggle. It was all built on these songs I’d written when I was 14 or 15 and by then I was 19 and it felt like I couldn’t get far enough away from them. But recently I’ve felt like I can stare at them with a clearer head. It really just reminds me of being at school and being 15. I’m proud of it now – it’s just taken me a while to get there,” he says. Finn says ditching New Zealand to make records in the UK was nothing personal; he’s just happy to live anywhere that allows him to make a living out of his music. I was pleased to hear however that he left a piece of his heart here in Aotearoa. “The places in my head that I still write about are places from there. I think musically we’re still very much anchored there, though I’ve never really been from anywhere. And I kind of continue not being from anywhere so nobody’s ever quite sure where to say we’re from as a band. We’ve got two English people, two New Zealanders and an Italian so we’re kind of geographically confused. But it’s still a really important place to me and it still feels like home.” The album title Time Stays, We Go references the themes of mortality
Finn explores on the record, spurred by the death of his family’s older generation. With every end however, there is a beginning and Finn has reflected on the experience and crafted 10 beautiful songs; some light, some dark. “You get that kind of feeling of being on a weird conveyor belt and I think that sparked a few of the themes on the record. I think I write so much to relieve anxiety in myself that it often makes sense for me to write about things like time and death and love; the things that generally provide a lot of that anxiety. So it’s a way of working that stuff through.” Despite being a frontman since his teenage years, he says it’s something he is still working on – although I personally think he nailed it a while back. “I’m still learning about a lot of this,” he says. “When I first toured I was so terrified of singing in front of people and I constantly felt like a fraud. As time went on I felt more comfortable and confident with it and it’s a really fascinating thing to do. I still feel like I’m learning about it all the time. It’s an odd thing where you immerse yourself and release yourself at the same time – but I love that side of it.” I was first introduced to The Veils in college so to me, they don’t seem like an old band. But with four LP’s out and over decade together as The Veils, it’s certainly been longer than it seems. “Time rushes on. I remember very clearly making all those records and since I started making records I have done nothing but do that. So I suppose the time has flown even faster for me. I was 17 when I started and I’m 29 now. It’s a long time but it’s not long at all – there’s nothing I would have rather spend 12 years doing.” So when is The Veils bringing the new album back home for a tour? Sometime in the not-too-distant future according to Finn. “It should be sooner rather than later. We were hoping to be there by the end of the year at least but now it looks like it could be a bit sooner so that’s good.” Good indeed Finn! Good indeed!
With Record Store Day coming up on April 20, debate spoke to Real Groovy’s rad person/manager Sarah Williamson about smelling vinyl, shitty music and the adventure of a record store. “Real Groovy is proudly recognized as one of the best record stores on the planet,” says Sarah. “If it sold groceries and undies, I would never shop anywhere else.” And nor would I. For a quarter of a century, Real Groovy at 438 Queen Street has been keeping the music alive for Kiwis. After a nervous period where it nearly went under a few years back, RG is once again the thriving hub of awesomeness – staying afloat because of its loyal customer base, hard work and new stock, particularly in the vinyl section. “Sure torrenting or choosing a digital format is easy, but there is a whole world of music and senses people are missing out on when they choose the impersonal digital world. Those who still frequent
record stores know the joy of discovery, picking something off the rack to try for the first time and falling in love,” says Sarah. “There’s nothing quite like sitting down with a new record, reading the lyrics, smelling the vinyl and being tantalised with the artwork. Playing vinyl is also a very social activity; pop on a record and share it with everyone in the room – rather than isolating yourself in your headphones.” “People have been bombarded with crappy money-making singles in the charts for a long time now, with low-talent artists with highly produced songs and a heap of money behind them, there is a whole generation who were force-fed shitty music,” she says. “Those fortunate enough to not be in the generation of ‘single listeners’, know the value of listening to a whole album - b-sides and all - and their lives are enriched by it. So people are starting to respect music, (like we used to) and support the artists that they love, listen to tracks that aren’t highly marketed, and hear a whole narrative of an album - the way the artist intended.”
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN is coming to cinemas April 18, and Roadshow Films and Debate are giving you the chance to WIN a one of 15 double passes to see this action packed film! Synopsis “When our flag falls our nation will rise”
When terrorists take down the White House (code name “Olympus”), a disgraced Secret Service agent attempts to rescue the president of the United States in Olympus Has Fallen, an electrifying and inspired action thriller from acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). Olympus Has Fallen stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Academy Award®winners Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF TRAINING DAY
In Cinemas April 18 Rating: TBC
IN CINEMAS APRIL 18
OLYMPUSHASFALLENMOVIE.CO.NZ Check the Classification
THE IMPECCABLE BREW by Jamie Barnes In contemporary life of high pacing and long hours the humble cup of tea often takes a back seat to the energizing and alertness properties of coffee. I admit I have been known to abuse caffeine the night before a deadline, but (I find) coffee is to lager as tea is to wine. Although you can get varying different types of coffee it essentially boils down to varying degrees of disgusting (McDonalds should advertise their stuff ‘coffee’ in inverted commas), yet there are masses of different types of tea each with its own distinct taste and appropriate with their own situations. Don’t get me wrong there is NOTHING WRONG WITH COFFEE; it has its own advantages and disadvantages, but sometimes you just need a good cuppa, and this is how you make one along with its etiquette, detailed like a proper Englishman.
BOILING WATER •Only use fresh cold water, never re-boiled water. We are preparing tea here not throwing together coffee. •Once boiled count to ten when the noise stops. This is to ensure the tea doesn’t scald. Afterwards immediately pour into the pot, single mugs ONLY if you are making for yourself.
Teapots Teapots are never cleaned. If soiled or used for anything other than tea that can’t be fixed by a quick rinse - toss it out.
Types of tea Like I said tea is like wine; to find your favourite you’re going to have to do your own research but the most popular brands are in that position for a reason.
Brewing the tea Single mug: One tea bag/spoon. Teapot: ‘one bag/spoon for each person and one for the pot’- this is an age old saying for a reason and people who disagree are wrong - they do not know better. DO NOT OVERBREW THE TEA. Finding the perfect time for tea to brew is a skill. A good rule of thumb is to keep it in until it’s a dark caramel colour like hokey pokey or unrefined sugar. If you have followed these steps correctly you have now made the perfect cup of tea, then and only then should you start adding extras. 30
Sugar This is the most widely debated aspect of tea. Some people only need a little to curb the bitterness while others are dead set on getting diabetes before reaching middle age. Then there are the fundamentalists who believe that sugar is an abomination and should not be used in any circumstances. I find that any more than three teaspoons drowns out the taste of the tea so I encourage that if you want the full effect of tea try it without the sugar for about a week but if you still prefer it with a little sugar then add it sparingly. That said there is an exception to the rule, such as upon receiving distressing news - like finding out a significant other broke their leg falling out of a tree or something - some sweet tea is an ideal prescription.
Milk Milk is less controversial, most prefer with, some prefer without. What is up for debate though is when to add it. Personally I add the milk last since it cools the brew down which makes it harder for the sugar to dissolve. Some say add it first to avoid scalding the tea (see “boiling water”) while people contend that the lactose clogs up the teabag. In all my research I have found no “right” uncontended answer however my method has not failed me yet so I will continue with that.
Occasion Tea is only appropriate in certain occasions, which is to say all of them. “Oh your dog died, I’ll make you a cuppa to calm your nerves”. “You’re getting married? Congratulations, you get the biscuits while I put a brew on”. “Ad break, who's putting the kettle on?”.
Etiquette -Tea is a social drink, when making a pot inquire if anyone else in the vicinity wants one and adjust the amount of tea being made appropriately. -Tea is to be drunk at leisure, do not rush it. -If you make a mess ALWAYS clean up after yourself. If you follow these simple rules and methods then before long you will be preparing tea like a true Englishman.
DRAGON BALL Z
afterschool debate contributors reminisce about the happy times when cartoons were worth racing home for.
by Shilo Kino
From the very first episode, I was hooked. I went from crying, to laughing, to almost having a heart attack, to crying again. I would race home from school in anticipation see what would happen next. Forget Pokémon, Digimon, Yugimon, or any other cartoon you grew up watching. Dragon Ball Z is the greatest, without a doubt. The pursuit of the dragon balls and the fighting scenes were as exciting as they were emotional, and the baddies got scarier as time went on. The whole Super Saiyan fantasy world was incredible. The plot was awesome. Goku has to be the best-animated character of all time. He could even kick superman’s ass if he wanted too. Who could forget when he turned Super Saiyan? He went from a shy little kid to a formidable warrior and it was amazing. He wasn’t just strong either, he was funny, loved by Matthew Cattin food and had a huge heart. Everything about Dragon Ball was pure gold. I have never come across any show that has had me on the edge of a seat anticipating the next move, while at the same time “Move it crying because it was so emotional football head!” – The immortal (or maybe it’s just because I’m a words that to this day shrivel the testicles of any boy born and raised in the nineties. Helga with girl). her shocking pink dress, angry monobrow and awful whine of a voice was the femme fatale of childhood cartoons, stalking around with her feet so widely placed you begin to wonder why. The show is of course Hey Arnold!, essentially a random assortment of quirky characters living day to day in fictional Hillwood. Arnold of course has a football shaped head and his grandfather’s head is shaped like a penis – two of the many eccentric facts that make the show fantastic. I have many fond memories of watching the show and when I see it now, I am surprised at how touching it can be. The plotlines are always moral and in depth, the characters are diverse and layered and it’s just a damn good show.
DEXTER'S LABORATORY by Nicole Koch
Dexter is an extremely intellectual boy that has his own secret lab that nobody knows about except his annoying older sister, Dee Dee. His extensive lab seems to increase in size depending on what crazy inventions or misadventures he experiences in the episode. I don’t think by Nigel Moffiet I’m alone when I say that while I was watching this in my youth I was extremely jealous of Dexter and his giant laboratory, and Sitting cross legged, arms folded on the mat, endlessly annoyed with Dee Dee. She was always disturbing his hopelessly for the school bell to ring. I waiting brilliance and, as Dexter would always say, rather “stuuuupid”. to get home, cook 2 minute noodles on wait couldn’t Dexter’s accent is just delightful too. He seems almost German TV for one of or something even though his parents and sister have American the stove and settle myself in front of the to other cardifferent was Doug Doug. – favourites my accents? Some parents look down on the show because of toons – it was introspective. Doug wasn’t a hero, and the the amount of violence and rude behavior but it’s honestly wasn’t full of action or violence. He was a somewhat show not a bad show. The characters are entertaining to watch pathetic kid around my own age (11-years-old ) with so and the story is always interesting even if it’s a little much anxiety that he took on the appearance of a balding weird. My particular favorite is when Dexter tests his middle aged man. Hilarious! invention, the Beard-a-Tron, and grows a full
on ginger beard! The episode is actually called The Beard to be Feared. How great is that!
Doug Funnie was a boy who liked to write in a diary, go skateboarding with his pal Skeeter, he had an interest in music (playing banjo) and would confide with his dog Porkchop. The show also featured one of the more celebrated cartoon romances around – his secret, nervous crush on Patti Mayonnaise. "Doug Funnie, you're terrible," she would say in her scratchy voice.
delights POWERPUFF GIRLS by Elesha Edmonds
THE WILD THORNBERRYS by Abigail Johnson
The Powerpuff Girls were a primary school playground hit. Obviously only three girls could be chosen for the roles of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. I landed the role of Bubbles due to my blonde hair and pigtails. We would spend lunchtime in the playground chasing the bad guys (the boys) and even coordinated our outfits to match our characters. Then one tragic day I was fired from my sought-after position as a Powerpuff Girl. Seems one of the bad guys we were chasing liked being chased by Bubbles in particular. I was told that I had betrayed the Powerpuff sisters and had obviously sided with the villains. Consequently I no longer was allowed to wear pigtails and fight crime. It was a sad day for me and a sad day for Townsville.
On screen, a girl’s appearance is often her most important commodity, so it was refreshing to grow up with a cartoon where the protagonist was geeky and bespectacled, while the blonde sister played sidekick. Eliza Thornberry goes down as a hero of mine; she was intelligent, compassionate and daring. Spending an afternoon with her family was like going on an adventure, it’s what I imagine having David Attenborough as your dad would be like. It was the utter lack of reality that made The Wild Thornberrys so endearing. They had a monkey named Darwin (though I didn’t understand what this implied at the time), they had an adopted son who was raised by Orangutans (voiced by Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers!) and, oh yeah, Eliza could talk to animals. In terms of good cartoons for girls, this one might take the cake. There was almost no focus on the things girls were usually taught to care about. There was no mention of princesses, of knights in shining armour or of true loves first kiss, Eliza fought her own battles and learnt her own lessons. It was a show that taught, not just to care for animals, but to be curious about the world. It was one of a kind.
POKEMON by Michael Ross I was a huge Pokémon fan back in the day. Who wasn't? I had the cards, the figurines, and the show's timeslot clearly etched into my six-year old brain's mental calendar. I can still remember the tantrums when the TV was turned off in the middle of an episode and my mum decided I needed to go to this new place called 'outside'. The Digimon kids though, they were the worst. How could they have a clear conscience watching such a blatant rip-off, copycat, TV show? I still get shudders at the thought of it.
Samurai Jack by Kieran Bennett
Long ago in a distant land, Genndy Tartakovsky sat down and created a cartoon the way he wanted to create it. That cartoon was one of the most dialogue-less and violent shows to ever grace the Saturday morning airwaves. Samurai Jack. The never ending story of a stern faced samurai’s quest to journey back to the past and save the future enthralled me as a kid. It was violent in a spectacular and ridiculous way, had a skill about it when it came to crafting stories from nothing and best of all; if I missed an episode it didn’t matter. Every episode was basically the same, Jack would find something fiendish or horrible from Tartakovsky’s mind and battle it to the death over the course of 25 minutes. The sets would change, the monsters would change and other characters may make an appearance but ultimately Jack and his magic sword would save the day. And isn’t that what cartoons are supposed to be about? The good guys saving the day through skill, hard work and never giving up? Even if, especially if, they get turned into a chicken and have to fight in gladiatorial battles? Oh yes.
Image credit: Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Shee-Oosh, Inc, Cartoon Network Studios, Jumbo Pictures, Pokemon USA
Hot dog and chips
Onion rings and chips
Mini Samosas and Spring rolls $6.00 Hot dogs
fish and chips
chicken and chips
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