Issue 10 | MAY 2013 www.ausm.org.nz
Issue 10 | MAY 2013 Directory
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AuSM all rights reserved 5 Editorial 8 Artist of the week: Winston Shacklock 10 Article: Spain Exchange 12 NIFTY NEWS 14 AuSm Updates 15 Memorandom Auckland's Got it Going On 16 Lewis & Alice 17 Social Pressures 18 Crazy Foods 20 Social Media Highlights
21 Kardashian Scandals Samsung Galaxy 22: Singledom 23 The Perks of Quirks 24 PC Procrastipage 25 Job Interview Tips 26-28 MUSIC: Great North Typhoon Villainy 30-32 REVIEWS 33 Sexy Baby
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by Matthew Cattin Hello everybody, You may have noticed last week the arrival of the NZ Blood crew on campus – you may have even been generous enough to share a pint with them. It’s an odd thing to do – needling your veins into a little bag for somebody else to borrow. It makes me feel rather queer contemplating the fact there may be folk wandering round with my blood all up in ‘em, squirming around their arteries and veins, mixing with their own. If you’ve never donated, you should definitely consider (if you meet the requirements of course) – apparently each donation can save three lives. Sure you’ll probably never get the recognition for your time and efforts, but I sure feel nice knowing there may be 20 folks out there feeling stronger because of my type A- liquid gold. Oh – and they give you biscuits for being a good sport (unfortunately no Squiggles this time though – sad guys). Thinking about the various places my donations have ended up gets me thinking of all the other bi-products of me, and anyone really, that have spread around the place. As humans, we are constantly regenerating and shedding our hair and skin. A common, yet untrue,
piece of trivia that has haunted me for years states 80 per cent of dust is dead skin. The percentage is exaggerated but the implication remains that everybody breathes in a lot of everybody else because it’s always floating in the air. Think on it, and you come to the pretty cool realisation that everywhere you have ever been, you have likely left a micro trail of skin and hair. Every pillow you’ve slept on has collected a little head hair and every shower has gobbled up a portion of your body. Think about all the times you stubbed your toes and grazed your knees as young’uns, leaving your skin behind in the grooves of the concrete; the dry scabs that were later pushed off by the healing beneath. Reminisce happily about your summer dips in the ocean where the sand gently exfoliated your skin, sending it off on a whirlwind adventure through the ocean. Likewise, that Christmas dinner you gorged on is still hanging around somewhere, dispersed and unrecognisable. There are pieces of me right across New Zealand, in the markets of Hong Kong, on the beaches of Samoa – everywhere. It’s a bit of a gross out to think about your Hansel and Gretel trail of skin flakes and hair but when you take a step back even smaller, things really get
interesting. To explain it more eloquently than I could ever dream, take it away Bill Bryson – “Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms – up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested – probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. So we are all reincarnations – though short-lived ones. When we die our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere – as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew.” Brings a whole new meaning to the hippy favourite “we are one,” right? Enjoy your week and try and find the time to share some blood; you have plenty and it probably regenerates faster than your student bank accounts. Matthew
Artist of the week: Artist of the week: WINSTON SHACKLOCK
Auckland based artist Winston Shacklock is currently finishing his final year studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts. Winston creates his artwork using various processes such as painting, illustration, screen-printing and digital painting. 6
by Andy Bell Madrid, the city that never sleeps. What? That’s supposed to be New York! Well that’s what I thought before setting foot in the Spanish city. Madrid is an amazing city with so much history and life; it’s a place where you could easily spend a long time absorbing all that it has to offer. But wait, let’s take a few steps back so I can explain to you what I was doing in this vibrant city. In 2011 I learnt of an opportunity AUT offered called Outbound Exchange, which enabled me to go overseas to another university for a semester. This instantly grabbed my attention, as it was a way to explore a new place without falling behind in my studies. The best part was that it was not too expensive because Studylink would still give me my student loan and/or allowance while I was away. Before I knew it I was signed up and on my way to Spain for semester two of 2012. There is nothing quite like being dumped in an unfamiliar place where day-to-day life is all but completely unknown. The city was different, the language was different, the food was different, and the people even dressed differently! Yes that’s right they dress differently, exceptionally well in my opinion; however, it did pose a problem because my ‘going out’ clothes in NZ became my daily attire in Spain, which meant I had no nicer clothes to wear out. Despite this outrageous inconvenience as well as getting lost numerous times and struggling to get what I wanted with my broken Spanish, adapting to the Spanish culture was a fun adventure that I would recommend to anyone. Ok, let’s get back to Madrid being the city that never sleeps. One of the customs the Spaniards have (that I grew a liking to) is to stay up really late. It’s as if the city wakes up at night, well actually it is crazy throughout the day too, but maybe we could say at night it gets a caffeine rush. Here in NZ we like to eat early and go to bed early. In Spain people eat dinner around 10pm and are in bed by midnight at the earliest. If you feel up to it you can go out to a club any night of the week; however make sure you have nothing on the next day as
the clubs don’t get busy until 2am and run into the early hours of the morning. The clubs and bars in Madrid are much livelier than the ones we have in NZ. I know it’s hard to believe but the whole exchange experience is not just about going out and drinking all night, there are so many other wonderful things Spain has to offer. As I mentioned earlier, Madrid is a very beautiful place that has so much history behind it - numerous old buildings and art museums scatter the streets. I know, who cares about art museums? Well surprisingly after living a Madrid I somehow gained a newfound appreciation for such things. Madrid is the home of many world-renowned museums including the Prado and the Rena Sofia, must-sees if you are in the area. Another awesome bonus about going on exchange to Madrid is that Spain, and the rest of Europe, are right at your fingertips! During the weekends I traveled around Spain to places like San Sebastian, Barcelona, Toledo and more. I even went to France and the Netherlands because traveling to other countries is cheap thanks to budget airlines like Ryan Air and Rail Transit. So I have talked a lot about the culture, the city, and traveling, but I also went to university in Madrid. My university was just a 20 minute train ride from Madrid and was a quaint Catholic university called Comillas Pontifical University, which had classrooms with Jesus on a cross instead of clocks, and a few nuns here and there. Going to uni was a lot of fun and very different. The classes I took were in English, but the best thing was that class finished mostly by two in the afternoon so the students could go home for lunch with their host families. For me it meant I could go home and have a good ol’ Spanish siesta. The many new and diverse experiences I was lucky enough to have in Spain are only some of the reasons I am a huge advocate of the exchange program. It is a great adventure to live in another country as it really opens your eyes to different ways of life and ways of doing things. I had an amazing trip, made tons of new friends and met amazing people from all around the world.
The Loving Hut
Reviewed by India Hendrikse If it’s friendly service you are after, then The Loving Hut vegan restaurant on Victoria Street West is the place to visit. The Loving Hut vegan restaurant chain is run by Ching Hai, the founder of the Buddhism-based Quin Yin Method. In 2008, the organisation launched a campaign in New Zealand and Australia with the catchphrase; "Be Green, Go Veg, Save the Planet". While there is some dispute around whether the method is selfishly publicity-based, the founder has still been awarded for her philanthropy and humanitarianism. Regardless of controversy, The Loving Hut makes some great food. The meal that arrived was a delicious noodle stir-fry. Prices were fairly cheap for Auckland, with the average meal only costing around $12. The Asian fusion-type food is packed full of fresh veges, but not fearful with flavour. The Loving Hut’s meals are served with smiles and love, no matter how cheesy that may sound. The waiter served us with the widest grin I have ever seenhe made my day, and all with a simple smile and friendly gestures. Vegan food is not rabbit food I may add. These meals are the type that are hard to finish, and packed full of complex
carbohydrates. I was too full to try the dessert menu, but raw cheesecake and hot fried bananas were features. The dessert prices were also miniscule, only around $4 each. This little eatery is perfect for any student on a budget, and keen on experiencing the vegan way of life. An array of organic juices fill the glass cabinet at the front of the shop, and there is somewhat a peaceful atmosphere, even though a glance outside sees the higglety pigglety of Auckland’s busy CBD, with buses racing past and business-types sculling coffees. Although not a fine dining experience, the restaurant is clean and certainly quite pretty. Leaf prints decorate the walls, and precious gems for sale in cabinets surround the tables. Although popular, the restaurant has hardly any wait times, and does not feel overcrowded. The well-lit room makes this more of a hangout place as opposed to a first-date paradise. Romance is not in the air, but friendliness is, so I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a quick, cheap and delicious casual meal with friends or family. As the Quin Yin Method says; “Be Green, Go Veg, Save the Planet”… And eat some good food while you’re at it.
RHYTHM GROUP ENTERTAINMENT PRESENT
WAIOHIKA ESTATE, GISBORNE - 29, 30, 31 DECEMBER 2013
TICKETS ON SALE 9AM 29TH MAY rhythmandvines.co.nz www.ausm.org.nz
CELEBRITY MELTDOWNS by Matthew Cattin If there’s one thing more fun than watching young celebrities earn way more money than me for doing way less, it has to be watching them fall into dark holes and get eaten by paparazzi wolves as they tearfully struggle to fight personal demons. Don’t deny you loved it when Britney went nuts, shaved her head and looked like a cross-dressing John Malkovich. Or when Lindsay Lohan went from cute child actress to a drug snorting addict who ‘doesn’t need rehab’? Schadenfreude the word is – pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. It’s a funny thing; why I feel such excitement at the first hint of a celebrity meltdown. But I do, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Maybe I should quit debate and apply at Women’s Weekly where I can make a living being a sour old gossip thriving off nip-slips and drunken photos… Or maybe I should just have a vent every now and again to keep myself regular. Yeah. I’ll go with the vent. Here are a few meltdowns that I eagerly await.
Justin is so close to a total meltdown I can almost hear the masses of hysterically sympathetic tweens screaming “take me instead!” The 18-going-on-13-year-old heartthrob is in my opinion a spoilt little tripe at the edge of a precipice. And with a monkey sidekick, it seems he’s already reached MJ’s level of madness. As a friend said “now Selena is gone, he’s lost his stability” and I think it’s just a matter of time before his pot smoking becomes heroin injection and his nerf gun “assault” becomes arrest for carrying a piece in his bra. He shows up late for gigs, throws tantrums at paparazzi has been accused of somehow impregnating Beliebers. I hope his mug shot is as pretty as his voice.
The thing about Lady Gaga is that if she has a meltdown, nobody would notice - she is already bat shit crazy. Who wears a dress made of cow? The thing is though, she’s no dummy. Everything she does is deliberate and planned to generate outrage, controversy and of course, attention. Now that’s no fun at all! I’m looking forward to the day she goes too far – dolls herself up in a dress made of human skin, a scarf made of orphan’s blankets and heels made of baby seals. Problem is, nobody would mind – she had a meltdown long before she made it big and the world has simply adjusted. Bummer.
As weird as he is, Tom hasn’t quite fulfilled his crazy quota yet and I think he has some really special meltdown moments just around the corner. Yeah he jumped on a couch on Oprah but I think that was only a hint at the potential Tom possesses. I want him to damn the Christian world to hell, predict the apocalypse, build a rocket to further the scientology race and start speaking in tongues in interviews. With any luck, Suri inherited Tom’s crazy genes too. I think she’ll look great bald.
Wouldn’t it be great to see Oprah on the receiving end of a bare all interview? “The nineties were the bad years – I was addicted to crack and horse tranquilizers – my heart actually stopped beating and I was declared dead three times. I was distributing crack to my audience as under-seat prizes. I couldn’t look at my own reflection.” They could even get Lance Armstrong to ask the questions – how great would that be? “So at any point in your career, did you ever feel like you were cheating your audience?” She’s the biggest woman on the planet – every house wife’s best friend. Her meltdown would be like the apocalypse and with any luck, she’ll take down a few celebrities with her, screaming out their darkest secrets as the LAPD struggle to drag her weight off to solitary confinement – a beautiful image.
Illustrated by Nicole Koch
Dog Artist Sets His Sights On Rest Of The World by Shilo Kino image source: facebook.com/DOGATHON100
dogs make up half of his customer base. After hearing about Mr. G at Bayfair Vets, in Tauranga, Lyn Nothling decided to get a portrait done of her British bulldog Bella who died two years ago. “I called him and went down to his studio and took a couple of photos of Bella with me, and he painted her for me. He did an absolutely outstanding job.” Mrs. Nothling owned Bella for almost 11 years, and was devastated when she died. “She used to go everywhere with me. She was like my child, so getting the picture from Mr. G was just phenomenal.” The portrait of Bella hangs in Mrs. Nothling’s office, and she talks to it every day. “The whole experience with Mr. G was amazing.” Mr G says his portraits show what dogs can do and the impact they have on people’s lives. While some may think that this is simply a great business idea, Mr G. says that he has a genuine love for our dogs, and it is no gimmick.
Painting portraits of dogs has helped a Papamoa artist land his own television show. The demand has been so huge for dog portraits in New Zealand that Graham Hoete, aka Mr. G, is going global. He has signed a contract to have his own television show based in New York, and he will begin a global Dogathon. Mr. G founded Dogathon 100, a campaign where he painted portraits of 100 dogs using a spray can, a year ago. “This was a mammoth challenge for a solo artist.” Last year, Mr. G also drew a portrait for rapper Ice T and his wife Coco from the reality television show Ice Loves Coco. He visited the United States to present the portrait of their dog Spartacus. The
portrait was later shown on their show. From this, Mr. G met the show’s producer Sean Miles who has signed him up for a television show. Miles wants to follow Mr. G’s progress as he attempts a celebrity Dogathon. “They love the fact that I’m a New Zealander, have a funny accent and big enough to be Obama’s body guard. I’m something totally new, unique and different." Before he goes to New York, he will move to Sydney to start his global Dogathon, because there has been a lot of interest in Australia. “I did a street mural of a British Bulldog right in the beach area in Bondi and I got a lot of response there because of that.” Mr G. says customers who have deceased
“Since I was a kid, I’ve always understood from a child the bond you can have with a dog. This is a natural fusion of my two loves really, art and dogs.” Mr. G’s appeal can be put down to his use of a spray can, which gives his portraits an edgy street look. This stems from his love for graffiti growing up. “The thing I loved about graffiti was the big bold colours and it was very public. Being a youth leader at a church, I had to stay true to who I was so I didn’t do the illegal stuff. I worked on sheets at home and I would approach dairy owners if I could paint on their walls, and most of them said yes.” Mr. G is certain that his Dogathon and Television show will be successful overseas. “Wherever there are dogs, there is a market.” You can keep up to date with Mr. G’s progress by liking his facebook page “Mr. G Dogathon100.”
When I catch up with Nadia she is rushing between interviews and finding spots on K Rd to hang up posters for her tour with Luckless. With more than 15 date’s over 17 days for Nadia it is like a “boot camp and a huge risk,” nonetheless worthwhile because of the exposure, practice opportunities and the chance to push herself. “Every time you put a show on like this you have a feeling where you throw a birthday party and you think no one's going to come,” she says. The tiny towns along State Highway One even make it onto the tour schedule. Reid says they do not tend to get many performers coming through, so when they do the whole town rallies in. It has been two years’ since Nadia’s first EP Letters I Wrote and Never Sent. Working with Christchurch producers Ben Edwards and Tim Moore her first EP has a big band sound, with lots of electric guitar and bass. Reid’s set to release a new record in July.
Budding Talent Nadia Reid By Cameron Carpenter When I first saw Nadia Reid perform in Christchurch she was covering Michael Jackson's Billie Jean at a house party. That was four years ago; since then she has released her debut EP, had a song featured in the documentary When a City Falls, and bases herself in Auckland performing regularly across the city. Growing up with a jazz-singing mum who took her to folk festivals, it was not long before Nadia was performing. At 15 she performed at the Waihi Bush Folk Festival with her friend Hanna Harding.
“I feel it has taken ages to do this, but I also feel like it is the right time.” And this time - she’s promising a sound that is purely hers. “I think this new one is going to be a little bit more refined, folky driven and more about the words and the voice.” A taster of what’s to come is her latest release Holy Low: listen and let Nadia’s sublime voice take you on a melancholy journey about ending a relationship. Nadia Reid and Luckless: Friday 24 May at The Wine Cellar.
A Memorandum 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.
Forget about budgets – they’re for politicians and old people – travel instead. It is not easy watching money exit your bank account, but it’s best not to think about it – at least not until you need to. The problem is, I can never seem to work out when that might be. Just over a year ago I decided the time was now. I picked up some extra part-time hours, opened up a savings account and started putting money away each week. I must say it was very responsible of me - I was growing up and so was the amount of money to my name. But that was so last week. I’ve just blown it all on a trip to Africa. Now, back to watching money leave your account and how hard it is. I’m not talking about Vodafone taking it overnight while you sleep or $11.50 disappearing every week for a gym membership you don’t use. I’m talking thousands of dollars vanishing in a matter of seconds without even so much as a “goodbye mate” or “have fun”. It’s even harder being the one pressing the “pay” button. It might as well be the “poor” button because now I’m back to making my lunches and coffees at home and going into a cold sweat every time I use my Eftpos card in a crowded place. But it was worth it for one simple reason and I think this quote sums it up perfectly:
“Give me the clear blue sky over my head, And the green turf beneath my feet, A winding road before me, And a three hours’ march to dinner.” William Hazlitt You often hear people say “well it’s the simple things in life, you know”. And I guess that’s what makes travel so damn attractive: it’s a simpler way of life. You go from place to place surviving on what money you have, picking up odd jobs if you need to keep going. You see new cultures and lifestyles and that puts your own in perspective. You see and hear beautiful sights and sounds and that leaves you feeling at peace with yourself and the world – even if it is just for an evening at a time. There are no deadlines or forward thinking, everything is now. The stresses are different, the people are different, life is different. Sure, one day you return home to find a job, pay rent, save money and make a budget but we’ve got plenty of time for that. Seeing large sums exit your bank account may be difficult and scary, but so is life, so go out and spend wisely – travel, travel, travel. I found those wise words by Hazlitt in a great little quote book under the chapter “The Joys of Travel”. It got me very excited for the end of the year. Lucky for me the chapter afterwards was “What’s the Use of Worrying?”
By Mike Ross
AUCKLAND'S GOT IT GOING ON Holy moly May seems to have gone on for forever. Not that I'm complaining: I'm loving the Comedy Fest x NZ Music Month killer combo. Here's something to remember though: it's the only time that there'll be five Wednesdays in May for another 823 years. Uh-huh, suck on that trivia. So make the most of it, there's plenty of mid-week NZ Music Month shenanigans to get amongst.
The Nark Collective presents: She's So Rad, 1885 Britomart Each Wednesday this month TNC has been showcasing a different genre of NZ music. They've had electronica (represented by Jetski Safari), experimental (Totems), hip hop (Raiza Biza), and now comes band music with She's So Rad. These guys are groovy. Check out their "disco edit" of the Opensouls' track Dollars. Funky shizz. Or just look out for their drummer Johnny 'Long-Legs' at uni - he's a third year Communications student with, er, very long legs. Anyway, they're hitting the stage at 1885 on Wednesday and it's free. Come down for a dance and leave with a first year.
Fred V & Grafix (Hospital Records), Coherent These drum and bass producers are making huge waves in the 14
UK with their BBC Radio1Xtra show, and they're playing for one night only at the dirty pit of grime that is Coherent on K Road. Expect ball-busting 175bpm epic drum and bass from two of the up and comers of Hospitality Records - yep, that's the same record label that's home to Netsky. If you're into your D&B, this'll be one night not to miss out on.
A Weird Night Out, Vic Park Markets It's always nice to see something a little bit out of the ordinary when it comes to night life in Auckland, and 'A Weird Night Out' certainly fits that bill. Held in the recently renovated Vic Park Markets, it's been organised by Nick D & Dick Johnson, two enigmatic NZ DJs in their own right, who come together to form Weird Together. Weird Together is the pair's world music/ electronica outfit that fuses DJing with live performers: think African drummers and Indonesian brass acts. There's a huge support lineup too: She's So Rad, DJ Paydirt…the list goes on. Be there. For more info about this week's events and a description of the Labour government's 1990's political agenda: www.google.com
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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...
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"He did NOT just drop the soap..."
Lewis & Alice;
A 21st Century love affair by Augustus Bloodsworth
It’s seldom that I begin an article giving you where I stand on a subject, though, given the squeamishness about Lewis Carroll and his relationship with Alice Liddell, it’s important, that I say now, I’m not going to attempt to justify Carroll’s relationship. It simply isn’t my place, nor is it my place to call one of the greatest literary minds to ever live a paedophile or to insinuate such without ever having met the man. What follows is an observation on their relationship and perhaps a more important question, can we let be what was, or does the black and white 21st century notion of love and romance need to spoil a man so great? More than a century after Carroll’s death his name is still suffering under the accusations that he was a paedophile. While one of his early biographers argued he wasn’t to the point of saying “there is no evidence that he felt or inspired any pangs of tender passion”, feminists have also torn Carroll’s work apart and have read, “all sorts of rapacious nonsense” as the one writer from The Guardian put it. Now simply isn’t the time to delve into whether these accusations and defences are true, it seems as though the feminists have seen what they wanted to see, and that his defender, has also done the same. After Carroll’s death in 1898, his diaries were heavily censored; some of the pages were torn out altogether. These pages included the ones that dealt with his falling out with Alice’s family when she was 11. This then led to a greater mystery (which, was merely a continuation of Carroll’s efforts to subvert the prying public eye when he was alive), none of his 10 siblings ever spoke publicly about their brother or his relationship with Alice. The discovery of a letter, written when Carroll was 43 and Alice 25 (twelve years after publication of Alice In Wonderland and three years before Alice married) reads from the Daily Mail as follows; “Thank you for the sight of the pretty photographs, but don’t keep the child in for me - I am fearfully busy- and what could Miss Lloyd have been thinking to say such things of me? “She must have taken some remark of mine about liking children and have said to herself for “some” read “all”, for “girls” read “boys” and for “ten” read “two” - such a method of exaggeration is wholly unfounded, and yet she professes to be an admirer of Dr Liddon. Believe me.” While there is certainly evidence and writings that suggest that Carroll was indeed fond of little girls (perhaps a pseudo-paedophilic statement in itself), what is clear is that he certainly wasn’t the rabid, horrifying, relentless and immoral paedophile that the 21st century has taken to fancy. The missing and censored pages from his diary hold the answers to many questions but then again, so does the lost mind of Carroll himself. One can only speculate that sinister relations took place, if indeed they did so at all. Is there a point here, then, where we let art be art, and accept that past as the past? There is nothing that can be done for Carroll or
Alice, outside of unnecessary and unneeded slander. Alice was Carroll’s muse for Alice in Wonderland; if it weren’t for her, the anthropomorphic genius and wondrous products of Carroll’s imagination may never have made it to the page. But to suggest he’s the only writer that has ever had a muse that can be deemed inappropriate is nothing short of absurd. In the 19th century Carroll wasn’t alone in this, and I doubt that he is now. We know also that Carroll was tormented by his affection for the young girl and there is suggestion that it was infatuation and imagination that led to the story. Through some of his writings, namely his references to praying to god for a heart that wasn’t sinful, or binding himself in an emotional prison, Carroll’s battle with himself and his refusal to act on his feelings and emotions is almost honourable. To think a crime is one thing, but to commit the crime is another thing entirely. In many ways, Lewis Carroll’s relationship with Alice (and the thoughts he recorded in his diary) is still something that doesn’t sit easily in our society. Given that, in those days, it was common to ask for a girl’s hand in marriage before she came of age, even now, we seem to struggle with a relative age gap. And perhaps this struggle, this fear of love and romance that doesn’t fit inside a black and white vision is one of the reasons Carroll won’t be left alone. After all, the man was loving and caring but, he was also (according to Tea Time Mag) a man that was particular, fussy, not with many friends, and while he kept the company of the greats, such as Lord Tennyson, he was known t o drive his colleagues at Christ Church Colleges crazy with the menial. His complaints ranged from mail being damp, to too much milk at breakfast. And while I conceded, in that last point, I haven’t painted the most appealing picture of Carroll, he was, after all a writer. A breed of people, known for their solitude and at times their peculiarity. Along with his adoration of Alice and her friends, Carroll is unfortunate in that he exhibits signs we now associate with bad people. Which include his awkward relationships with other adults, his love of children, and being a relative loner. So it seems, that the 21st century social obsession with love and morality are destined to not leave this man or his works to be as they are. Perhaps, there will come a time when we can look on Carroll’s work and appreciate it for the masterpiece that it is. But, I fear this time, will only come when we can let bygones be bygones and see that while Carroll’s relationship with children wasn’t what we would have liked, for now, we must settle with the thoughts, that it is done. And whether or not he was indeed a paedophile is likely a fact that will be left in the gentle hands of time. To dissemble such a work in search of preconceived ideas and to fulfil notions is not only abhorrent but will lead only to a much a greater slander of a man who cannot defend himself or his legacy. Should he not be remembered for who he was, over who he could have been?
ARTICLE: The Digital Domination
SOCIAL PRESSURE A Battle Of the Brain.
By Laura Ouwejan The human brain is a wonderful and terrible thing. Yes, it's phenomenal the way we Homo sapiens think. We have emotions, imagination and a vast range of knowledge all packed into a relatively small, fleshy blob. Remarkable. Yet, there are times when I wistfully think about how simple life would be if I had the brain of say, a butterfly. Or the brain of my cat, thinking only of where I might find the next patch of sun. Because with the human brain, comes all the complications of an advanced mind. The desire to know what the future holds. The fruitless ponderings about what life really means or the wondering about what's happening in other people's minds. I often wish there WASN'T so much room in my brain to fill with these trivial things. You see, I am the kind of person who will take every situation, and over think it. I will find things to worry about, even when worrisome things don't exist. I will lose sleep over imaginary happenings. It's exhausting, it really is. Inventing scenarios in my head, and convincing myself that they will unfold. Perhaps I'm mildly schizophrenic. I may just be a chronic worry-wart. Either way I know it's pointless, but I can't prevent it. I have an ever-present fear that I'm not performing as I should be, or that I'm upsetting or offending people. I secretly hope I'm not alone in this mind-set, that there are others who suffer this same insanity. But really, this is not the way the most advanced species on the planet should function! Constantly pressuring ourselves to be acceptably "normal". I wish I could say I'm someone who is oblivious to what other people think. The freedom must be extraordinary. Doing whatever you please, as it suits you. I know what you're thinking, you should live like that anyway! Who cares! If only it were that simple. I ask myself questions like, "I bought this two years ago, can I still wear it?" or "will people think I'm rude if I don't go?" As humans, the approval of our peers is essential to our well-being. Even though we will defensively deny it over and over. We will tell ourselves we are happy with our decisions. But in reality if there's nobody to support us, we only continue justifying things because we feel we have a point to prove. So we say "screw them, I am going to go ahead with this idiotic endeavour because I know I am right". But then comes the little niggling in our brains, the questioning of one's motives. "Maybe they aaaare right, maybe it is a waste of time". Etc etc. And the need for approval defeats us - social pressure rears its ugly head. Sometimes, we indulge in hobbies, not for the enjoyment but for the label they'll give us. Or we spend hours in the morning fretting over which outfit
is more flattering. Just admit it. Sadly, even the approval of strangers can alter our sense of comfort. A stare is enough to make us assume they're judging us. Or if they ignore us, we're either too ugly to be worthy of eye contact, or they're just rude. This is complete madness of course, we know it's not even true yet our minds tell us that it could be, therefore itâ€™s a plausible cause for discomfort. Intertwined with all this feeble uneasiness, there is also the pressure to live up to life's expectations. We're paranoid about having a reputable job. Paranoid that we will not be married by a certain age. We want to live up to all those clichĂŠs that we associate with a happy and successful lifestyle. A loving husband, a nice house, multiple well-behaved children. Things that we can be proud of. I don't know who got to decide that this is the way life should be. Oh wait, I do know, it's called society. Society rules the subconscious minds of us all. We feel like we're letting ourselves down if we don't comply with the socially acceptable way of doing things. We do not what we want to do, but what the people around us want to see. Sometimes I want to just throw all that out the window. I want to climb a tree, never mind the fact that I'm an adult and we're in a public park. I want to buy a farm with pigs and live there, writing all day, in amongst my passionfruit vines. Who cares about a real job! But I never would, because of the social burden, and the label it might give me. Okay, so maybe that's a little over the top. I do have ambitions. But I want them to be fuelled by desire, not by social pressure. So the challenge is this. I want my brain to stop arguing with itself every day, over what I should and shouldn't do. I want to exterminate the doubt - do things based on my own opinion, and not fret about what other people might think or assume. So far I've made a goal to be happy about everything, and a goal to continue welcoming love. This will be the hardest one yet. But if we all did it, there would be a lot more people in the world with smiles on their faces. If you can truthfully say you aren't a victim of social pressure, then I admire you more than you'll ever know. As for the rest of us, if you dream of living a spontaneous, rootless life, do it. Make a crazy investment that you will undoubtedly regret later on down the track. If it's a thrill for a moment or two, then it's worth it. If your goal is to have a husband and a house and a perfect family, go for it. But do it because you want to, not because it's expected. My fellow firstworld-worriers, free your minds of social pressure, and perhaps we'll accomplish something more than just a daily headache. www.ausm.org.nz
Smells Like Fish,
Tastes Like Chicken
Culinary Madness by Nigel Moffiet Neigh! Neigh! That was the strange sound coming from countless beef burgers, chicken nuggets and packets of Spaghetti Bolognese as Europe was hit with a sloppy piece of horse meat scandal. The news caused jaws to drop and, funnily enough, people were left looking like hoofed grass grazers themselves as they took in the news. Horse meat you say? Outrageous! Well actually, if you head to the Saturday markets of South Auckland you will find some in the Pacific Island community buying the meat to smother in coconut cream and oven roast on high for a rich, sweet tasting dish of lo'i hosi. My own taste buds have also been challenged to a certain degree after spending time in South Korea. The weirdest thing I tasted was an oily dish called Sannakji – what’s that you say? It’s a murderous looking meal that’s literally squirming on your plate. Baby – not quite dead - octopus! “Be careful to chew it properly,” I was warned. “If you don’t chew properly, you could choke.” The brain-like pieces would actually stick quite firmly to the plate and I later learned people have choked to death eating the darn thing.
Bugger that! Here’s a new word for you: Entomophagy (from Greek éntomos, "insect", and phagein, "to eat"). This is a common practice around the world – the consumption of bugs and insects. Yummmeeey! Street food and party nibbles go up a notch with fried grasshoppers, crickets, scorpions, spiders and worms found sizzling on the hot streets of Bangkok. New Zealand gets a special place on this list also with our very own Huhu grub which many say tastes just like…you guessed it, chicken! In fact Wikipedia goes a step further saying it tastes like “buttery chicken”. Mmmm, I’m thinking this could be New Zealand’s answer to tandoori.
In ode to horse meat and all things creepy and crawly, here is a list that will rattle your taste buds, clear your nostrils and settle your scurvy. Here is a list of the world’s weirdest feasts.
Goodness gracious great balls I think Kiwis are pretty familiar with this one – a highlight from the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. To be fair, this raises the eye-brows of city folk while country hard men merely roll their eyes – bull testicles (aka Mountain Oysters) are a staple for rugged bushwhacker types. To prepare this dish the balls are commonly deep-fried after being “peeled, coated in flour, pepper and salt, and sometimes pounded flat”. Ouch!
Gag reflex special: Haggis Haggis, a traditional Scottish barf fest, was probably invented by some bloke resembling the Austin Powers character Fat Bastard. Which is funny considering that (using Wiki again) the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique (whatever the hell that is?) describes the taste the same way Fat Bastard described his shitty coffee: "Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour". This “nutty texture” consists of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep or a calf minced with suet, onions, oatmeal, and seasonings and boiled in the stomach of the animal. Oh come on, mate – harden up!
What the shark?
A little balut of goodness
Hakarl is an Icelandic treat made from Greenland or sleeper shark. Not so bad. But wait there’s more: it’s cured, fermented and hung to dry for up to five months and is finally ready to eat once the ammonia smell oozes. It is also described as having a toxic fishy/cheesy smell. Wikipedia is so funny – it describes this piece of shit as having an “acquired taste”. To get a better understanding of how bad this rot tastes, intrepid traveller, food writer, chef and critic Anthony Bourdain says this is the worst tasting thing he has ever tried. If you watch Bourdain’s show, you know he’s tried everything and he is usually pretty forgiving. Not with this one.
This tasty little morsel (balut) is a fertilised duck embryo that is boiled and eaten shell and all – the embryos (in my expert opinion) resemble little Pokémon characters so I hereby declare these Pokémon eggs. Pokémon eggs are common in South East Asia and served with salt, chili, garlic, vinegar or anything else under the sun that will cover up the taste. Wikipedia says they are commonly served with beer which makes sense cause you’d have to be pretty horsed to try this one!
Excuse me waiter, there’s a dog in my soup.
Is this how centaurs are made?
Bow wow wow the animal right’s activists kick up a storm over this one. Boshintang or Gaejangguk is one of the more whispered about novelties from South Korea which according to Wiki is still the fourth most consumed meat in the nation. During the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup the South Korean government faced heavy pressure from groups such as PETA to have dog meat banned. During my time in Korea I passed up an offer to try this specialty which is served in a bowl of broth flavoured with boiled vegetables, green onions, perilla leaves, dandelions, and spices. I later found out it was on the menu at a restaurant I would eat at a lot. I was content with the chicken soup. Well, that’s what I thought I was eating.
Picture this: you’re getting slicked up and dolled up for a night on the town. Then a mate shouts out, “who’s up for a shot of jizz?” Horse jizz that is. Yep, yep, I know – it adds a whole new dimension to the phrase “getting horsed”. This little treat caused a sensation when it debuted at NZ’s Hokitika Wildfoods Festival in 2011 and later made headlines around the world when a Wellington pub offered the shot as an apple-infused chaser to spring rolls. Seriously, what’s next? A George Thorogood song? One shot, one bourbon and one…err…..
#social #media #highlights Nigel Moffiet The world is full of constants. The sun always rises, what goes up always comes down and we see another day of scandal, intrigue and munters on the news. Sometimes cool guys too. Until recently, Aaron Gilmore was a little known National MP from Christchurch. He threatened a waiter by saying he’d get the Prime Minister to kick some ass and pulled the “do you know who I am?” line – you know the story. Well, he’s outskies now!
Gracie! First molested in her own bed by uncle bully. And now kicked out of #xfactornz" he wrote. Martyn Bradbury @CitizenBomber “Dom Harvey has managed to make Aaron Gilmore look sophisticated” Jay-Jay Feeney @JJFeeney I love my husband @DomHarvey but I do not always share his views. He is his own person” Rose Matafeo @Rose_Matafeo .@DomHarvey Yo man, I don't want to be snarky. I'll just tell you straight up that the way you speak about women offends me, that's all. Harvey has since apologised with this tweet: Dominic Harvey @DomHarvey 13 May “I have deleted a tweet I wrote last night. It was supposed to be funny. On reflection, it was not. Sorry for any offence caused”
However, some are calling on Gilmore as the next Prime Minister and there is a Facebook page dedicated to this dream: A pseudo Gilmore states: “Dear Adoring Fans. I am now a member of the general public again, which means it's not appropriate to be updating this page. I've really enjoyed your unwavering support. Don't give up. I will be Prime Minister one day. I may come back in on the list this term, but I might be busy on the moon, surfing tsunamis, or healing the sick with my hands. Who knows, I may even finish that degree. Thanks."
The biggest international story over the past few weeks was the discovery of three Cleveland women who went missing between 2002 and 2004. Amanda Berry, 27, Michele Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, 23 were all missing and there were no leads in any of the cases until a neighbour heard Berry screaming from behind a locked door. That neighbour was Cleveland resident Charles Ramsey and he’s certainly a bit of a legend and now an internet sensation: Here are a few quotes on what he had to say about the rescue: “I heard screaming. I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl goin' nuts.” “My neighbour: "You got some big testicles to pull this off, bro..." “I barbecued with this dude! We eat ribs and what not, and listen to salsa music!... There's nothin' exciting about him, until today."
Yet, comedian Guy Williams is still confused: Guy Williams @guywilliamsguy 6 May “I still don't know who Aaron Gilmore is.” But Ali Ikram to the rescue: Ali Ikram@AliIkram “For those still wondering this is Aaron Gilmore. He competed Dancing With The Stars. Winning 2006 w Lorraine Downes.” On another note, Radio DJ Dominic Harvey is under fire again for his prolific Tweets. This time he did more than scrape the barrel after having pity on X Factor contestant Grace Ikanasio with a stupid reference to Gracie and Uncle Bully from Once Were Warriors and the movie’s horrific rape scene. "Poor
Lastly, Angelina Jolie announced in a New York Times article last Tuesday that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carries a mutation which increases her risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Good on her I say. Celebrities also tweeted support. Jennifer Love Hewitt @TheReal_Jlh “I have always admired Angelina Jolie. But reading about her brave decision I'm completely blown away. What an amazing woman. Inspiring.” Sheryl Crow @SherylCrow “I commend Angelina Jolie for her courage and thoughtfulness in sharing her story today regarding her mastectomy. So brave!” Although there was some nervous sarcasm from NZ: Ant Timpson @Timpson “Looking forward to Dom Harvey's hilarious Angelina Jolie dbl masectomy tweet today.”
Government Declares National Samsung Galaxy Day By Kieran Bennett
SCANDAL By Abigail Johnson
In a bold and unprecedented move, Prime Minister John Key has declared May 10 to be national Samsung Galaxy day, coinciding with the launch of the wholly unremarkable Samsung Galaxy 4. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched on May 10, making New Zealand the first country in the world to receive the new phone. In a recent poll, around 70 per cent of New Zealanders identified themselves as “having a hard time giving less of a shit” while another 15 per cent had no idea what a 'Singsong Universe' even was. Despite overarching public opinion, New Zealand media outlets have fallen upon the story and given it coverage it never really deserved. TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick was quoted as saying "the launch is great for our flagship news programme really. There are only so many times we can run Novopay stories or sensationalise the Prime Minister’s choice of hot beverage". Sipping on what may have been a cappuccino, the prime minister expressed his love for the Samsung Galaxy. "It may potentially be the most exciting thing to happen all year" he said at a press conference shortly after the announcement. He then went on to say that he hoped more countries would choose New Zealand as their phone launching country of choice. When our reporter attempted to remind Mr Key that New Zealand was only receiving it first by way of our time zone, Mr Key laughed and said that time zones were a fabrication of the opposition. Samsung CEO Kwon Oh Hyun has released a statement saying that he/ she is incredibly perplexed by the attention the phone has received, saying "it’s basically the same thing, we do it every year". He then went on to express confusion at people’s excitement, wondering just what all the fuss was about as the phone was “honestly just not that exciting”. However shortly after a consultation with Samsung’s marketing and PR departments, he revised his statement saying, “the new Samsung Galaxy S4 is essentially the best thing I have ever used. It has increased my skill not only as a businessman, but as a man and a lover”. Mr Oh Hyun’s wife was not available for comment. Lines to receive the new Galaxy on the 10th were far longer than many electronics stores had anticipated with some queues wrapping around the block several times. National productivity was reported to have dropped by an estimated 73 per cent, prompting the government’s decision to declare the day a national holiday. JBHiFi CEO Terry Smart said in a statement that JBHiFi was committed to providing high levels of “useless junk” and that in future they would make sure to carry plenty of stock when “the nation loses their minds and demands the next big piece of crap”. Preparations for next year’s Samsung Galaxy day are already well under way with large, ugly displays being set up in public spaces that serve no particular purpose and ad space being bought up and filled with lens flares and words like ‘dynamic’, ‘environment’ and ‘I am a professional photographer. Really, I am’.
On May 6th 2013 Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attended the annual MET gala in New York. For the uninitiated, the MET gala, or more importantly, the MET gala red carpet, is like the Oscars red carpet on crack. While other red carpets at least pretend they are about the celebs and their movies, the MET red carpet is about one thing and one thing alone: haute couture. Celebrities dress the way Lady Gaga dresses for every red carpet, and it’s usually pretty ground breaking. This year was no exception. Madonna bared her bottom, Miley styled her hair like a mad scientist’s, Hathaway showed up with suddenly blonde locks, and yet it was Kardashian who took all the slack. She wore a floral patterned piece, which hugged her seven month heavy baby belly, and included attached gloves. It was by no means radical, even if the gloves did take it into onesie territory. OK, I hear you, she was at a fashion event, we are allowed to judge her outfit; but that’s where the critique should end, right? Well it didn’t. The internet broke loose. “For some with boobs, hips, an ass and now a belly, I don’t see why she thinks figure-hugging clothes are a good idea” said one commenter. “She looks like a huge slut” said another. “Whale!” everybody cried. The ugly side of the internet showed up, but it didn’t stop there. A childhood hero of mine, Robin Williams, compared her to his infamous drag alter-ego Mrs Doubtfire, with “I wore it better.” She was morphed into a couch, compared to vomit, basically dehumanized at seven months pregnant. Now this isn’t a tearful, fangirl “Leave Britney Alone” moment, and I’m no Kardashian fan, but I am concerned about what this reveals about how we like our women. What does it mean when we say women with “boobs, asses, hips and now a belly” aren’t allowed to wear figuring hugging clothes, or when we compare women, who are bringing life into the world, to whales? Does it stem from a culture that cares more about weight than if does safe child-rearing? Does it say that we are therefore allowed to make fun of all women who gain weight during pregnancy? Does it mean that if I have a baby I am not allowed to let anyone see my boobs, ass or belly? Am I supposed to be ashamed of these parts of me? This was by no means the first time Kardashian has been judged through her pregnancy, headlines like “Will someone please tell Kim she’s PREGNANT!” and “She can’t stop eating!” greet me every time I walk past a magazine rack, reminding me of last year’s pregnancy victim, Jessica Simpson. The truth is, short of smoking P or gurgling down a litre of Wild Turkey, we have no right to comment on what pregnant women do. I’ve done some research and, lo and behold, it turns out pregnancy is a wee bit stressful, and, this one blew me away, PREGNANT WOMEN GAIN WEIGHT! We have no right to comment on a woman’s pregnant body, or how she clothes it. The fact that we think we do is the real scandal.
by Aspen Bruce “I sooooooo want a boyfriend! Someone who I can snuggle up to, and go on cute dates with, and who I can win against in an arm wrestle (because they let me), it would just be so awesome.” Now I imagine if you’re anything like me… Human… Then there’s a high chance at some point in your life, you’ve been through it, let’s just name it for what it is; the desperate, single moments. Those beautiful moments when you look around and it seems everyone else is in a relationship, and it looks so cute; like they’re off in some fluffy land in the clouds, and then you come back to reality and realise you’re still here. Stuck on the ground, in the rain. Drenched. And alone. “Wow thanks,” I imagine you’re saying right now to your pet gecko, “that makes me feel so good about myself.” But wait, don’t leave yet, I promise there is a silver lining in all this. Trust me. You see, over summer my beautiful, a VERY attractive AND still on the market (ultimate wing woman 101) friend and I spontaneously came up with this game called “I’m happy I’m single because… (Insert the cool things you can do if you’re single here): eg: I’m happy I’m single because it means I can go to the cinemas and throw popcorn at couples, who get too PDA-ish and it’s not immature because I’m not trying to impress anyone. Or I’m happy I’m single because it means I can go out to dinner half an hour earlier, because I won’t be helping my fashionless boyfriend find SOMETHING else to wear. And on it goes…. But what was cool about the game was
realising that being single ACTUALLY has it perks! Yes it is harder when all your friends are in a relationship or people around you have their little romantic ‘things,’ but I’m coming to learn that realistically, as fun as those things may appear and are, they require a lot of work, time and effort. Which is why I made a list about just some of the perks of Singledom: 1. Singledom is honestly awesome. It’s a cool period of time where you get to work on you. You get to piece together what you like and what you don’t like. What your passions are. What you want to be when you’re older, and all those important factors. 2. This is a biggie. There is no expectation. You don’t have the pressure to be the perfect girlfriend/boyfriend AND top sports team AND 100% grades AND, while we’re at it, superwoman/man. 3. Most importantly it is such a critical time to shape who you are as a person. I’m gonna be honest, for a long time all through my early teen years I hated being single. All my friends were getting boyfriends and having their first kisses and walking around school together, and it sucked. I felt so out of the loop. But as I got older, something slowly began to change. Although I had never been in relationship, I had seen my friends go through the highs and lows and the break ups, and I saw what an effect these guys had on my friends. Most of these girls, all strong and beautiful women came out feeling lost and confused, questioning their value. Once again, I reiterate, these girls are stunning! The nicest, prettiest girls, but coming out of the relationship, most of them began to doubt themselves, their beauty and their worth. Looking back now, I am so grateful that I HADN’T (yep, I said it) been in a relationship. Sure I would have learnt some really cool things, but I feel more content with myself now, and who I am as a person
(I realise this is probably sounding very egotistic at the moment). I know what I like (skiing, writing, reading; if you were curious) and am still learning about the things I’m good at. That’s not to say there aren’t times now, where I wish I had a boyfriend to snuggle up to, of course I would love that, but I am learning that there is still so much I can learn in the place I am right now. A relationship isn’t something that starts when you begin/meet someone. It actually starts now, with the most important person: YOU. And it is crucial to remember, that in a dating/engaged relationship you are your own person. It is two INDIVIDUALS coming together, not two to make a whole, in a relationship. The more I come to grips with this, the more I realise, that out of honour and respect for the guys I will date in future relationships, I need this time of singledom, to sort myself out enough so I could come into a place where I could cope with my own baggage (insecurities, problems, trials) AND someone else’s. SO maybe that’s where I leave you today, where are you in your relationship with the most important person in your life: YOU. • Are you chasing after the things (sports, academics, music, people etc.) because you love them, or because you feel it is out of obligation? Lastly, you are actually awesome! I mean that. You are unique, and there is trueness and a beauty concealed within each of you. A little secret: you will like the ‘real’ you, AND so will others, just give them a chance to see it. PS: if you’re in a relationship and reading this, kudos to you that’s awesome!!! I’m sorry if I’ve made you long to be single again…actually, no I’m not. We hear all about how good you’re relationships are and you’re the reason we get jealous, so…yeah. Haha. No hard feelings right?
The Perks of Quirks
by Ramina Rai The day has come. You have graduated from Spinster School and you are now climbing the relationship ranks. It started with some flirty banter, some cheeky glances across the room at each other and the subtle hints at some alone time. You upgraded to the 'dating' position for a while getting to know each other at various food joints and parks, before the bucket of romance spilled over into the full-on stages of official boyfriend & girlfriend. In most cases, you have pretty good judgement of who you're dating, even before you've locked in the 'in a relationship' status on Facebook. Then suddenly out of nowhere, something unexpected happens. Something you never thought would happen in your wildest dreams. 'I'm sorry, what?' you stutter, barely even a whisper. "You heard me..." He says. "I just accidentally flushed my clothes down the toilet." Quirks, possibly the funnest part of getting to know your boyfriend/girlfriend. Some quirks end up as deal-breakers, like if you're quite keen on collecting nose hair, chances are you may just struggle to make it to the second date. Maybe even the first date if you are the type that carries it around with you. But aside from creepish tendencies, quirks are always a pretty endearing thing to get to know about your partner. Especially if they are a bit of a blonde & tend to mistake the toilet for the washing machine. Then one by one, more of these little habits surface. Soon, you'll know for certain that they're going to fall asleep halfway through the movie, no matter how cool the 3D effects are, or how good-looking Ryan Gosling is. Or being one of the chosen few that knows about a certain place on their body that you absolutely cannot touch because the tickle-meter explodes off the Richter scale. Or knowing the special pair of socks to put
on their feet when they're feeling glum. Discovering new quirks in your lover-friend is always an enjoyable experience, whether they’re adorable cute or painfully lame quirks, unlocking a new one is an excellent achievement in the game of relational knowledge. Time passes, your relationship solidifies and your friends title your togetherness with horrendous couple nicknames. You get to know their parents and siblings, and start becoming a regular attendee at the family gatherings. You get invited to parties and events as a unit, and you arrive to shindigs as a unit. “Sorry we’re late!” You say to the host. “That’s fine! Let me guess, you both thought you knew where you were going, but had completely the wrong place in mind?” Laughs are shared as you nod your head. “So typical, you two!” The host giggles as she walks away. Your hearty chuckles fade as you look at your partner… “Wait… Is that something we do often?” You ask. “Well I suppose there was that last time… And that other time… And the time before that…” There’s an eerily awkward silence, which is shortly followed by extreme high-fiving, airguitaring, and fist-pumpin’. You’ve done it. You’ve unlocked the couple-quirks, a whole new realm of oddities to proudly own or be quietly ashamed of. Don’t get downhearted if you’re a singlelady, I mean Beyonce wrote an anthem for you, so suck it up and respect your role in life as a doomed cat-lady. But that wasn’t actually the point I was going for. What I meant was, don’t fret about not having your couple-quirks sorted yet, they will come in good time, true love will find you. For now, enjoy figuring out the quirks of the duos in your peer circles. There are plenty of good ones out there, and you can be the bearer of good news, the one who first noticed it! This is considered an honour in most Westernised countries according to a recent survey, so get your binoculars out and get to work. Find that softly-spoken, quiet and seemingly
conservative couple that will randomly bust out into furiously intense pashes when you least expect it. Or the couple that is absolutely un-coordinated but will be the first on the dance-floor. Or the couple that arrive at drinks together but then mysteriously disappear from the evening without anyone knowing when or what time they left. But I don’t want to dish out all my hints at once, so go, be free, and enjoy this special task. Overall, this ramble didn’t have any clear concise meaning or message, but here’s some points to take away and ponder over in your next boring lecture. • If you are in a relationship, enjoy the quirks of your fellow lovebird. Whether it’s a big or small quirk, that’s what makes them who they are, and it deserves to be appreciated. Some habits may lose their cutefactor over time, but every now and then it’s sweet to point out that those weirdo little things are all what makes you love them. You don’t have to wait for Valentines or anniversaries to write a romantic prose about their quirks, earn some easy cool-points by sharing the love for them on an average weekday. #cheezyoverload • Own your couple-quirks! They’re usually quite funny-cos-they’re-true, so laugh it up and have a celebratory date night, you wacky little quirksters. • If you flush your clothes in the toilet, whatever clothes are left should then be placed in the appropriate washing machine, and then set to a hot-wash on the heavy duty setting.
So What?! Be Offended! by Jordan Bond
I’m not even that old, but I remember ‘the good old days’ when you could say anything you want. Well, not quite. One time when I was a kid I told a lady on the street that her “thighs were really big” and I got in a bit of trouble from Mum. But it was true. She was quite fat. Political correctness drives me insane. “But I was offended!” I prefer to call it ‘whining like a little bitch’. It all boils down to people claiming they’ve been offended by something someone else has said or done. People aren’t going to have any opinions soon. We’ll all become too scared to say anything for fear that someone ‘might get offended’ and sue us on grounds of defamation or hate speech. Opinions are what make us unique, and our uniqueness is what makes us human. I think we’re most offended by the things that we know might just be a little bit true, parts of ourselves we’re still trying to come to grips with. Basically, things deep down that we’re a bit insecure about. Things that aren’t true shouldn’t really be offensive. If someone told me I’m a terrible human being, I wouldn’t get mad because I know that I’m not. But anyway, even if something is true and you do get offended, who cares? Well, it seems like a lot of people do. You can almost certainly get a five minute slot on the news if you claim someone has offended your beliefs and kick up enough of a fuss. You could probably get time off work and get ACC to pay reparation on grounds of mental trauma, all because some people have decided not to grow up. Australian comedian Steve Hughes puts it this way: “So what, be offended! Nothing happens! You’re an adult, grow up! Deal with it! Nothing happens when you get offended. It’s not like this happens: ‘I was at a comedy show, and the comedian said something about the Lord, and I was offended, and when I woke up in the morning, I had leprosy’”. Part of the reason PC-ness annoys me so much is that it has huge double standards. Imagine if there were male only gyms. Or if there were places specifically reserved for Caucasians in med school. The way a black guy can say ‘white men can’t jump’, but I could never say ‘black guys can’t swim’. You will almost certainly get a death stare and/or kick to the stallion if you say to a woman ‘make me a sandwich’, but why is it okay for my girlfriend to say to me ‘fix my car’? Anyway, I don’t have any answers for any of this, so here are some of my favourite ‘PC gone mad’ situations from around the world wide web. A school in Seattle renamed its Easter eggs 'spring spheres' to avoid causing offence to people who did not celebrate Easter. A UK council has banned the term 'brainstorming' – and replaced it with 'thought showers', as local lawmakers thought the term might offend epileptics. Throughout several US councils and organisations, any terms using the word 'man' as a prefix or suffix have been ruled as not being politically correct. 'Manhole' is now referred to as a 'utility' or 'maintenance' hole. A UK recruiter was stunned when her job advert for 'reliable' and 'hard-working' applicants was rejected by the job centre as it could be offensive to unreliable and lazy people.
by Matthew Cattin
X Factor When I first saw the poster for X Factor New Zealand, what struck me as odd is that I couldn’t actually name any of the judges. I’ve since learnt. We have from left to right Daniel ‘attention seeking’ Bedingfield, Ruby ‘what am I even famous for’ Frost, Stan ‘cultural quota’ Walker and the moody Brit from All Saints (I’d Google it but it’s not worth my time). Now. I knew this show was going to be a spectacular fail the moment it was announced but that still didn’t prepare me mentally for the absolute abortion that rapes our televisions twice a week. It’s like watching tsunami footage; it’s loud, depressing, upsetting and just when you think you’ve seen it all, another wave of horror comes sweeping through. And just like tsunami footage, I just can’t look away.
Tea time is all the time. No matter how many times I promised to make an early start on uni assignments, it never happened. Not once. A procrastinator to the last word, I would do everything and anything if it meant a few extra minutes without increasing word count. The result? Tea consumption skyrocketed. The best thing about tea-drinking during assignments is that with every soothing sip of infused magic, you remember that life will be happy and warm, that the sun will rise again, that everything will be okay the moment the assignment is handed in. Unlike amped up and jittery coffee, tea is that gentle friend that whispers steamy encouragement into your ear, holds your hand in its handle and smiles into your tummy. I recommend vanilla, mi-chai, caramel and green teas for pure, unadulterated fun times.
Eeeeeepic RAPBATTLESOFHISTORAAAAAAYYY. If you’re familiar with Epic Rap Battles of History, you may already be laughing imagining the incredibly hilarious intro to every video. One of YouTube’s priceless gems, Epic Rap Battles pitch two historic figures against one other in a no-holds-barred rap battle of sizzling proportions. It may sound lame but the research, tight rhymes and attention to character detail really do make the series a worthwhile watch. Some of my favourites include Albert Einstein vs Stephen Hawking, Gandalf vs Dumbledore, Freddie Mercury vs Frank Sinatra and Dr. Seuss vs Shakespeare. Who won? Who’s next? You decide… Expect your data consumption to skyrocket.
5 Tips to Conquer “What is your biggest weakness?” question in job interviews by Jackson Teoh Imagine… you are in an interview for your dream job. Moments before you enter the interview room the stress kicks in. You walk in and sit on the supposedly comfortable chair as the interviewer begins to question you about yourself, your background – things you know so well. You begin to relax as everything starts to run smoothly. Suddenly, the interviewer looks you in the eye and asks, “what are three of your biggest weaknesses?” You freeze trying to think of an appropriate way to answer the question. You don’t want to make yourself look bad. You start to sweat, your heart beats faster, blood starts flowing to your feet and instinct tells you to run out of the interview room, away from ‘danger’ and the job of your dreams. Questions about your strengths and weaknesses are very common in interview situations. Not surprisingly, most of us get stuck when asked about our weaknesses as we walk the fine line between showcasing our selfawareness and jeopardizing the interview. However, it is crucial that we know what our weaknesses are. If you are not able to answer such a question, there is a high possibility that the interviewer may question your level of maturity and willingness to learn. To help you ace your next interview and score that dream job, we’ve put together five tips for talking about your biggest weaknesses with a little help from Forbes. 1. Know your weaknesses. Career coach and author of ‘Brazen Careerist : The New Rules for Success’, Penelope Trunk, wrote that if you are not clear about your weaknesses then you are not clear about your strengths, and your value at the office will be questionable. She recommends that if you do not know what your weaknesses are, take a personality quiz. The results will show you. Everyone has specific strengths and weaknesses and by knowing them, you will not
only nail the interview question but also have the opportunity to grow your strengths and fix your weaknesses.
to arrive at meetings or events would be the support you needed to show you fixed the issue.
2. Be honest but don’t mention essential skills. Before you apply for a job, you will read the job description on your preferred job search media. Take note about what the employer is looking for and then review your weaknesses. Avoid mentioning a weakness that will crush your opportunity in getting the job. At Enactus AUT, we usually get the answer – “I pay too much attention to detail” and according to Penelope Trunk, that is a terrible answer, especially for someone who is getting hired to do detail work. It means that you have a deficit in the exact work that you are trying to get hired for. According to Trunk, the best way to answer the question is to be honest and truthful because it is very unlikely you will be hired for the thing you are most weak at doing. Let’s say that you are a marketing student and your weakness is in finance. You applied for a marketing job at an organization. Going back to your list of weaknesses and knowing that you have to be honest, tell the interviewer that your weakness is in finance. You are not getting hired for a finance job anyway! So it doesn’t matter if your weakness is in finance.
4. Don’t prepare an exact answer During our interview feedback sessions, we always tell our interviewees to prepare themselves for questions regarding their strengths and weaknesses. That does not mean that you need write them up on a piece of paper and rehearse the answer over and over again in front of the mirror. Know your weaknesses and when the interviewer asks you the question, talk according to the flow of the interview. Remember, the way you answer it will vary based on what you have talked about so far you don’t want it to come across as rehearsed, unauthentic or staged.
3. Talk about how you have conquered your weakness in the past. Dylan Schweitzer, the group talent acquisition manager of Enterprise Rent-A-Car advises interviewees to be prepared to share an example of a previous failure or weakness that they have successfully turned into a strength. Do not discuss areas of opportunity that you are still working on and have not yet fixed. Schweitzer says that if you tell the interviewer that you used to come in late for work but usually come to work on time now, do not expect to get the job. There needs to be a story about how a manager, mentor or family member talked to you about how timeliness impacts your personal brand and ever since then you arrive early to all meetings. In fact, an example of a manager recently complimenting you on being the first one
5. Don’t say you’re a perfectionist or you work too hard There are two weaknesses that interviewers commonly hear: “I am a perfectionist” and “I work so hard that I don’t allow myself to relax.” According to Schwietzer, these common responses are immediately dismissed by interviewers as they may assume that you have prepared a generic answer. Trunk also agrees that you should avoid saying that you are a perfectionist because by saying that, you also imply that when it comes to work, you would want to make sure everything is perfect and that makes you extremely slow and annoying. Instead, use the weakness question as an opportunity to share how you’ve overcome a professional challenge and how you now are better because of it. Remember, hiring managers know that people make mistakes and they want to know how you’ve handled yours. Being aware of your weaknesses is a good sign as it shows that you know where your boundaries are and aren’t suffering from a case of hubris. With these tips, the next time somebody asks you the question, “What are three of your biggest weaknesses?” You can feel the comfortable chair and answer the question with confidence. www.ausm.org.nz
GREAT NORTH by Erica McQueen
Great North is a five-piece alternative-folk-country band from Auckland. The five are Hayden Donnell – writes and sings, Rachel Donnell – struggles to sing harmonies and play bass at the same time (their words not mine!), Dale Campbell – piano and vocals, Stráhan Cole – electric guitar and Ryan Attwood – drums. I had a chat with Hayden and Stráhan about music, thrift-shopping and annoying instruments. As I imagine many bands do, Great North got together in a different format to play a gig a few years back and it morphed into what they are today, adding members along the way. And replacing some too, Olly (former drummer) moved to Hawaii and was swapped for Ryan but no one noticed the changeover because I’m told they have the same personality. It seems some of the band go way back though as Stráhan tells me one of his earliest memories is of “a seven year old Hayden kicking me in the balls at Sunday school”. As for the name Great North it had a humble beginning but has organically grown into something with great meaning. That great meaning being isolated Canadian forests where bears are probably eating salmon alive. As for their sound, I would describe it as melancholic. Apparently it’s interpreted quite abstractly by some. One guy said it’s “music to cut your wrists too” and it’s also been said their “songs were delivered by angels. Drunk angels. The kind you don't invite ‘round for fear they will break your teapot or burn their wings while cooking chips”. I love their lyric “you say you want to leave someone, how ‘bout me”. Hayden is a very talented lyricist, and they definitely contribute a timeless dynamic to the songs. As far as albums and stuff goes, last year they released Halves, which I’m listening to as I write, so you can consider these words inspired. They have two other albums, Newfoundland (2010) and EP Soldiers (2009). Two videos have been made and they are some of the most stunning music vids I’ve ever watched. One is a blend of animation (if
I can call it that), Hayden playing the piano, and an actress. The other is a mixture of Sir Boy Harvey walking along the beach and lovely, old home videos. As always, I like to throw some oddball questions at artists just because that’s what you can do. Hayden likes mugs and the sound of birds. If Stráhan could make his own genre of music it would be called Saviour of the World and it’d have the ability to improvise its own, generating frequencies to counter any dubstep track, thus muting all dubstep forever. Stráhan was raised by wolves and was confused that I expected him to have a favourite shape. I mentioned thrift-shopping and awful instruments. Hayden claims his wardrobe is made up of things he bought at Save Mart (sounds like me!) and Alpaca jackets he buys after drinking a bottle of wine at WOMAD. Hayden possibly finds the oboe annoying but claims no one can do more damage than an obnoxious guitarist after which he subtly hints he may be referring to Stráhan who isn’t a fan of woodwind unless it’s Bjork who makes it cool. Great North have just finished a tour with Farah Loux. When they are not touring they are often playing shows around Auckland, which is great! I still haven’t managed to see them live though, but hoping to catch them later in the month at backbeat alongside my favs Joseph & Maia and Paper Cranes. Definitely follow these guys on twitter! Hayden is a journalist and is quite the pro tweeter. Lastly some words of wisdom from the boys. “You need to do better.” “If your wife is short, stoop to her.” “If you like music you’ll love Bruce Springsteen.”
Common Sentiments Matthew Cattin chats with Typhoon. Eleven members strong, Kyle Morton describes Typhoon as a big family. Or a cult... Logistically, it shouldn’t work. The pay checks have to be split 11 ways, getting anywhere means multiple cars or a bus and trying to fit nearly a dozen into a venue must be nightmarish. But when you hear the whole band kick in, everybody has a place and the sound produced is nothing short of biblical. When Typhoon is at its best, Kyle says it puts him into a kind of ecstatic delirium. As for his gripe? Small stages. “At times it feels like Noah’s ark up there,” he tells me. Being a band of so many, I asked Kyle if it’s difficult to combine ideas from each member in the writing process. “It's more a difficulty in getting everyone to a place where they feel safe sharing their own ideas,” he says. “I think we're coming around to that place. As you can imagine, pitching your ideas to a large group has the potential to be fairly traumatic. But once they're out there, combining the ideas is the fun part.” As a child, Kyle became afflicted with Lyme disease after being bitten by a bug – an event that is referenced a lot in Typhoon’s lyrics and will make a return in Typhoon’s upcoming album White Lighter. In Summer Home from 2011’s EP A New Kind of House, Kyle laments the years he struggled through the disease and other health problems, “then a small thing happened or sunk its tooth / And I was left behind, in different shapes you move / In my peripheral sight I reach out for you / But when I turn my head I’m in an empty room”. “Lyme disease was only the tip of the iceberg in my very long engagement with illness, though it provided me with a good central motif,” he says. “I've been very sure of my own death at various times, and yet here I am writing an email to you. The most I can say is that I've faced the certainty of it.” Although the lyrics are poignant, Typhoon’s music is anything but. Powerful and uplifting, I recommend it to friends as a bigger, better version of Arcade Fire. Kyle appreciates the comparison but he says my claims are slightly backwards. “Butler's themes have had a huge influence on my thinking about music, especially in terms of its essentially religious nature. And while they're
immediately accessible in their big, anthemic sound, I think they also demand very careful listening,” he says. Typhoon’s new album White Lighter is to be released later this year but fans have already been treated to a taste of what is to come, a two-song EP called Common Sentiments. Released in October, Kyle describes it as a coherent transition between their current releases and White Lighter. “Common Sentiments is something of an indication, but in the way that it is a bridge-gap between our last two records and this one. Aesthetically and thematically it is in closer relation to Hunger & Thirst + A New Kind of House than the rest of the new record but at the same time it is the point of departure from the old ones,” he says. Of upcoming White Lighter, Kyle says lyrically it is “just the usual haunts – birth, death, entomology”. Without the vehicle of festivals like Big Day Out to ride on, it’s harder for alternative bands to make it economically viable to cross the seven seas to New Zealand but with any luck, Typhoon will make it down some time soon. “We're hoping to make the leap outside of North America with this next record cycle, so fingers crossed,” says Kyle. “My sister studied in Dunedin back in 2008-2009 and I had the chance to visit her and spend some time in your beautiful country. New Zealand has a special significance for me as it was there during my visit that I first starting writing music again after having given it up for nearly two years.” In the meantime, the best we can get is watching Typhoon videos on YouTube, but I reckon you owe it to yourself to buy one of their records – you won’t regret it. YouTube is good and all but there’s nothing like owning the real thing, or as Kyle eloquently puts it, “I'm grateful that there exists this low-cost infrastructure for getting our music to people who may want it hear it, but at the same time I fear that the very saturated nature of the internet undermines the ability of the average person to have a meaningful experience with what he or she listens to”. Take heed, get some Typhoon into ya.
VILLAINY by Matthew Cattin
Debate caught up with Thomas Watts (Guitar) and James Dylan (Bass) to chat about Auckland Alt-Rock band Villainy's breakthrough success. “World domination, heaps of hookers and blow,” says Thomas Watts when I asked Villany’s aspirations as a band. Although I’m pretty sure (pretttttty sure) the second two were just jokes, I wouldn’t put it past Villainy to tackle the world head on – judging by their output and drive to date. With a self-funded number one album Mode. Set. Clear., three top 10 singles and stints opening for Incubus, The Offspring and Billy Talent – I’d say they’re well on their way.
A further testament to the band’s work-hard philosophy is their dedication to music video production. “We’ve had four official videos and for fun, we’re making videos ourselves and putting them up. If we have enough time and resources, we want to do one for every song, just to have something to look at while you listen,” says James. “A lot of the time people use YouTube as their primary means of actually finding a song,” adds Thomas. “You can use Spotify, but there’s something nice about having the visual accompaniment.”
“Our whole ethos with putting together the band was that we wanted to do everything as well as we possibly could with the people that we wanted to work with. We didn’t want to cut corners at all,” says Thomas. This saw the band head straight to the top with their album art, asking the late king of covers Storm Thorgerson – the man responsible for some of the most iconic sleeves in music history including Dark Side of the Moon. “We were working out the kind of album covers that we liked and all of our favourite album covers were Storm Thorgerson ones and so we were like ‘well fuck it, let’s flick him an email and see what he reckons’,” says Thomas. The band emailed their demos and lyrics to Storm and were sent back concepts thematically based on the album. Villainy eventually decided on a concept called ‘the authorus’, James explains. “There’s a miniature lady at a desk writing letters and the idea is that all of the guys walking in and out of the walls are relationships in various stages of coming and going. It’s mean to be a little bit creepy and jarring you know, coming in through walls and rooms and things and it represents the album quite well because each song is sort of a different phase of relationship . There’s break up songs, there’s I hate you songs, there’s let’s have fun and get to know each other better songs.” As it turns out, it was one of the last band collaborations for Storm who passed away in April this year. Mode. Set. Clear. was recorded and produced in Melbourne by Shihad drummer Tom Larkin, a costly affair the band of perfectionists didn’t mind forking out for. “The album is self-funded. In all intents and purposes that was us going you know, we actually have something that we genuinely believe in – lets push it as far as we can go. If it turns out that we’re delusional and we fucking suck then that’s okay,” says Thomas. Luckily for the lads, their delusions either did not exist or they were shared by listeners who got their album to number one. Thomas however disagreed, joking that it was all due to a good old fashioned payola. “That’s actually what happened - we gave everybody meat packs and went to number one. They weren’t even good meat packs…”
After an eight date tour around the country, Villainy is back in Auckland excitedly working on new material for the next LP and after that, potentially a trip to Australia to spread the good word. “Australia is a good place to go because you can almost treat it as a West Island. So you do the North Island, South Island, West Island when you do your tours. If we can get some footholding over there, it will be a good way to spread,” says James. “For me, the ultimate thing would be to be in a band that is successful enough to tour the world and play shows and decide ‘hey, let’s convert this swimming pool into a studio for our next album, just because it might be fun’.” Whether Villainy will ever record in their swimming pool of dreams is up in the air but judging by their passion for DIY and motivation for world domination, I wouldn’t be surprised.
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Star Trek Into Darkness
Starring: Benedict Cumberpatch, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine Director: J.J Abrahams Rating: Reviewed by Matthew Cattin
Until a few weeks back, I was a trek virgin. I had never seen the series or any of the films and I wasn’t particularly interested in doing so. Of course, as with many pop culture behemoths, I was familiar with a few trek-isms (beam me up Scotty, Vulcans, Spock’s bowl cut) but I always assumed I’d find the old-school series and films too inaccessible to endeavour with. In anticipation of Into Darkness however, I hired J.J. Abrams’ remake and blow-me-down it was awesome. Great cast, spectacular effects and far better than I initially suspected upon its 2009 release, my anticipation for the follow-up was suddenly roused. Into Darkness opens with a colourful and edge-of-seat sequence which shows the Enterprise crew racing the clocks to cease a volcanic eruption threatening to wipe out a primitive, alien race. Captain Kirk breaks a few rules to save his crew and returns to earth only to lose his stripes but when super-awesome-villain Khan starts blowing shit up, there’s only one team for the job. What follows is a manhunt of deliciously epic proportions that keeps you guessing right to the credits. I wish I could compare it to the original but since I can’t I’m going to go ahead and say it’s probably better – surely no other Star Trek has been delivered with so much class. Although I imagine George Takei would have been glorious… The casting really is masterful, particularly of Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Kiwi lad Karl Urban) and the fabulous villain Khan (Benedict Cumberpatch). Khan is the breed of villain that makes a good film great. With a believable motive, one-step-ahead intelligence and mad fighting skills, his surface invincibility really gives the film its edge. I’m torn trying to decide whether he’s more terrifying when in control or out of it – Cumberpatch really is a standout. Although I’m not huge on Iron Man, I do thoroughly enjoy the sharp banter and with Into Darkness, you can expect a fairly similar style of comedy, only spread throughout the cast and more subtle. Maybe it’s a classic Trek gag, I don’t know, but some of the reactive lines between Spock and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) are just too good – as with the delivery from Bones and Scotty (Simon Pegg), too good. My only gripe with the film is I felt the ending was a tiny bit of an anti-climax? But on revaluation, perhaps I was confusing what I assessed to be anti-climax with disappointment that the film was ending. Because the ending was pretty bloody good in hindsight… I just wanted more Star Trek injected into my eyes… The verdict? If you’ve never trekked, this is a great place to start – barely any prior knowledge required and a thrilling cinema experience.
The Phoenix Foundation Fandango Rating: Reviewed by Nigel Moffiet
Following their 2010 album Buffalo, which was largely praised, The Phoenix Foundation return with Fandango – a double disc crafted with 78 minutes of expansive, rolling, ambitious psychedelic pop; it reflects New Zealand’s lush ruggedness and, despite its musical breadth, there’s something warm and familiar about this album – Kiwiana even. Recorded in part at Neil Finns’ Roundhead studios and “partially at a barn in the depths of the NZ countryside”, there are a number of influences here. Frontman Samuel Flynn Scott describes the album as "test match music". In other words, the band is seeking the purest form of pop, they aren’t after quick thrills, and they demand the listener’s attention. The opening track Black Mould captures the band’s sound which is dreamy and soulful with wisps of early Pink Floyd for inspiration and a touch of the best parts of British pop. Flynn Scott delivers his lyrics as part of the rhythmic beat: “we’re living in darkness in a river of shit, on a rainy little island in a fly infested spit.” Perhaps not the most beautiful lyrics but illustrative and dark nonetheless. The following track, Modern Rock, is a quiet and cold song with a folky, acoustic delivery and splashes of electronic adding to a breezy atmosphere. “I’ve got a shattered skull from rocking with you,” sings Flynn Scott. The Captain is a song that comes to life like the sun emerging from the clouds – with warmth. It’s upbeat and catchier than the opening tracks. With Conrad Wedde on keys the song is organ driven and falsetto in parts. Not surprisingly, it’s the album’s first single. Thames Soup is wistful and cinematic and something weird connects when Flynn Scott sings about bowls of soup, drops of blood and “baby I love you so oh oh ohh…” Inside Me Dead is also expansive and pretty. The second disc of Fandango requires more work. Yes, there’s the 17 minute monster, Friendly Society, which isn’t really that friendly. This track, along with others like Corale (on the first disc), adds instrumental atmosphere but little more. Even the second disc opener, Supernatural, as bright and joyous as it is, requires work. The bird sounds at the beginning of the song help to stamp a bit more Kiwi identity. Adding to the second disc is Morning Riff which is a dark, moody and captivating and Sideways Glance which has been humorously described by the group as “soulful yacht rock” – these tracks are second disc standouts. This is a challenging album and will require repeated listens. Frontman Flynn Scott says the group were paying “absolutely no attention to the short form game of contemporary music,” when the album was recorded. The Phoenix Foundation are raising the bar and adding a level of sophistication to pop music with another collection of exciting tunes.
Guy Williams Has Won An Award
My only experience with Guy Williams had been his role on Jono and Ben at Ten. I do not like Jono and Ben at Ten and neither did I like Guy Williams, finding him awkward and negative; and so my expectations were low and I feared I was in for a night of pain and forced laughter. My fears however were somewhat put to rest when the man himself arrived at the venue to open the doors, but not before greeting everyone who had already arrived with enthusiastic hi-fives. This would prove to be the first cheer-filled step in what was to become one of the most entertaining nights of my life.
Having never been to a comedy show before, I was a tad nervous as to whether my standards had been set too high. I practiced a pity laugh before leaving the house for good measure.
Guy Williams Rating: Reviewed by Kieran Bennett
Williams’ show, Guy Williams has Won an Award, was hosted solely by Williams himself in what was truly a one man show. Providing a self-deprecating, sarcastic commentary as he set his stage up, from the beginning Williams endeared himself to the audience. When he began, it was initially obvious that Williams had prepared a script, seeming to almost force his words out and the beginning of the show felt stalled and uncomfortably awkward. However when he began to espouse the virtues of Hastings in a moment of (what appeared to be) improvisation, the show well and truly got going. Williams lost the majority of his nerve and allowed his sardonic, obviously Kiwi wit to flow; entertaining the audience to no end. Riffing off his family, small New Zealand towns and even his own shows, Williams was incredibly funny. He never took himself or his material too seriously; quite happy to smile with the audience or even acknowledge that what he had ‘was a bit shit’. This I think is Guy Williams’ key strength above other comedians his age, or even in New Zealand. He was certainly nervous, but allowed his nerves to be a source of strength; taking the source of whatever may have made him nervous and just inviting laughter at it. While other comedians might be thrown by stuff ups, Williams quite easily rolls with them and is better for it. Because the show was booked, set up and performed by Williams, there was also another factor that boosted the show above what it could have normally been. Guy Williams was genuinely super pumped to be there. There was a real love for performing, comedy and making people laugh that came through him and meant that the few spots where he wasn’t as funny were easily overlooked. Keeping the show going for an extra 20 minutes or so, his enthusiasm was apparent and it made the show one of the best and most entertaining I have ever been to.
Arj Barker Rating: Reviewed by Ramina Rai
However those fake-laughter techniques never came into play whilst watching Arj. He started with a brilliant musical number, teamed with some fancy dance moves. It was hilariously timed and received a lengthy, well earned applause. From then on I knew it was going to be a legitimate good time with Arj - his comedic content was on form all night. Even better, Arj has one of those voices where he can say almost anything and it will be absolutely hilarious, which resulted in a very real laugh a minute. No exaggeration. Go Time has plenty of so-bad-that-they’re-good puns scattered throughout the show that Arj has graciously created for the audience to use on their friends, for example 'get a pack of cards.... and deal with it'. He explains that he made these jokes up because he saw a massive gap in the market for witty comebacks, citing 'build a bridge and get over it' as an influence. Barker is also immensely honest with the audience, sharing detailed stories of his diarrhea, his love for his iPhone despite the horrific conditions they were made in, and dating himself. He even talks of his necessity to sleep in the nude, and how he cannot sleep even if there is even one sock on his body, referring to them as 'Clothy Assassins'. What surprised me most about Go Time is that there was some genuinely deep and meaningful ideas. Arj stresses to the audience that 'tomorrow doesn't exist', how it is a man-made concept, and that you should remember to live in the moment and stop waiting to get around to things the next day. He also talks about pursuing your passions and doing what you truly want to in life, instead of thinking you should immediately give into the '9-5 job, married with kids' lifestyle. All in all I would absolutely recommend seeing Arj Barker's show, or at least buying one of his delightful sticker packs with his genius puns on them. If you miss out on either of these next time he's back in the country, you need to put a filing cabinet in your toilet... and sort your shit out.
I have to admit, I felt a little bit privileged to be standing in line for Lorde’s first ever Auckland show on May 9. The North Shore 16-year-old is the talk of town after topping New Zealand music charts with her single Royals. Tickets to the show sold out in a matter of minutes alongside her Wellington show and additional Auckland all-ages show. Thanks to my friend (whaddup, Natalie?!) we were amongst the lucky ones to witness this historical event.
MS MR’s Second Hand Rapture is dark, moody, angelic and it even lapses into the realm of a little bit tedious at times. Don’t get me wrong, tracks like Bones, Head Is Not My Home, and BTSK are near dream realm driven tracks of vocal orgy. But there is only so much of that one album can take, and unfortunately, while the tracks by their very nature are diverse, they begin to sound like part one and two of themselves. It isn’t common themes that give them this feel (thematic tracks, as a rule, are fantastic in their ability to tell stories, so much so you can usually forgive the repetitiveness that may sink into them) but what feels like a lack of musical exploration. MS MR have found a sound, and they’ve altered it, yes, but fundamentally the tracks sound formulaic and the soundscape of the overall record begs to be pushed a little further against its limits.
Concert Rating: Reviewed by Natasha van der Laan
With doors opening at 8pm we waited an hour before a dude in a rad shirt dropped some party beats as her opening act. There was a lot of downtime as the couple in front of us became increasingly drunk (and horny) before Lorde came on at 10pm. The crowd let out a cheer and she looked so overwhelmed it’s a wonder she wasn’t overcome by tears. Her opening song Bravado couldn’t have been more appropriate with the lyrics “I was raised up to be admired, to be noticed.” We admired. We noticed. Firstly we noticed her voice. It was in every way perfect. It was hard to believe that such a strong, powerful voice could come so effortlessly from within. With a voice beyond her years it’s no wonder she’s been signed to Universal Music since she was 12. Think a combination of Florence Welch, Jessie Ware and an African-American soul singer. The second thing to notice about her performance was her hair. It was fabulous. It was big. It was enough to make me want to snap my GHD in half and book myself in for a perm. Lorde’s performance was much like a rendition of Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair as she tossed her beautiful locks around. I was in awe. It fell perfectly every time. Lorde performed songs from her debut EP The Love Club as well as treating the audience with four brand spanking new songs. It was somewhat disheartening to witness a sea of iPhones illuminating throughout the audience. Disclaimer: I am guilty of a sneaky snap or two. But c’mon kids, seize the moment and ‘gram it later. Contrary to popular belief Facebook CAN wait. The ever-present phones did not seem to faze Lorde. She was at home on that stage. Microphone comfortably in hand she performed like a veteran to the stage. She was saucy and sassy, yet genuine and humble. We loved her and she loved us. A highlight of the show had to, of course, be her performance of Royals. The song’s opening drums sent a cheer through the crowd as Lorde raised her mic, poised and ready to sing. However the cheeky thing tricked us and let this beat carry through four times before singing the opening lyrics “I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh”. Well, you know what? I’ve seen a diamond in the flesh. She goes by the name Lorde.
Second Hand Rapture Rating: Reviewed by Augustus Bloodsworth
Notably, the lyrics of this record and the vocals are fantastic. The vocals switch from being dreamy and melodic to pop princess without the pretentiousness, while the lyrics provide the perfect balance to the album’s sound, they are great to listen to and very well written. Musically, MS MR have the levels perfect, the way the vocals come over the music without the two forces every competing is fantastic. It shifts the focus from the record’s sound to the record’s poetry. Even in those songs that feel as though they’re part two or three of the ones before, the lyrics remain at the forefront and their content is incredibly important to the album. I’m in two minds about this album, the lyrics and vocals are fantastic, but the musicality of the record lets it down in a big way. When a record begins to sound same samey, it can be hard to move past that feeling, no matter how good the lyrics or vocal melodies and overlaying are. The listener risks being trapped in the endless drone of the same song. This is true for anything, not just MS MR. In their case, it’s dreadfully unfortunate because the other elements of the songs lose some of what makes them so loveable and they are lost in the haze that becomes Second Hand Rapture. You can find the album on Soundcloud.
SEXY BABY by Shilo Kino Within two minutes of watching Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer’s documentary Sexy Baby, I was bombarded with a montage of clips that had everything to do with sex. From images of Kim Kardashian’s infamous sex tape, to sexy music videos by pop star Britney Spears and even an interview with the ‘younger generation’ commenting on taboo subjects such as ‘sexting,’ pornography and pubic hair on a vagina. One particular heartthrob tells us how he saw bush on a vagina once so he “never spoke to her again.” It is alarming hearing these words coming from kids that have barely been through
puberty yet but that is exactly what Bauer and Gradus intend to do; shock us on how the Internet, more specifically porn, social media, and music is turning our society into a much more sexualized place. Sex is everywhere but more so, sex is reaching the fingertips of our kids through the advancement of technology in a new sexualized digital age. The film follows around three different women/girls from entirely different worlds. The comparison of Winifred, a 12-year-old girl caught up in a digital native world run by technology and sex compared to former porn star and stripper Nichole "Nakita Kash" is
Sexual objectification of woman is nothing new, so what makes your documentary special? It certainly is not anything new. But the big game changer is technology. As young people explore their sexuality today, there are new platforms that impose a great risk at a time when judgement and impulse control is not fully developed (i.e.: sexting). Also, never before have we had everything at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. Playing devil's advocate, what's your response to people who say you are pushing a conservative agenda? We have actually never gotten this accusation! But if we were to, we would say that our strongest agenda for the film was to begin a conversation. The film does not propose any solutions, but it does raise a lot of questions. And the answers are not simple nor are they the same for everyone. How do you think we can combat the downsides of this new sexualized digital era, especially when it comes to young girls? As uncomfortable as it is, parents need to assume that their kids are seeing everything. Open lines of communications are essential. Being strict and making your kid fearful to tell you about something they shouldn't have seen is a missed opportunity. Had Danielle (Winnifred's friend in the film) not felt comfortable enough to talk to her mom about seeing porn at a friend's house, she would have been suffering silently rather than having a chance to gain perspective from a trustworthy adult about what she saw.
fascinating to say the least. Laura, a teacher who is having cosmetic surgery to decrease the size of her labia is interesting also but gets little screen time. Sexy Baby may shock you, but it is a must watch documentary about the dangers of a new sexualized era. The Documentary Edge festival will run until May 19. Sexy Baby is available for viewing in NZ via this link on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/ sexybaby I spoke to Director Ronna Gradus about Sexy Baby and what makes it so great.
Documentary pioneer Michael Moore commented on Sexy Baby and said the following: “you have not seen a film like this. There is not film like this.” What do you think of Michael Moore? How was he an influence on Sexy Baby? We would say that he was not in any direct way. His style is to have a clear point of view on an issue, while we strived to do the opposite with Sexy Baby -- we really wanted people to come to their own conclusions. What he has done that we find inspiring, is get documentaries into the mainstream. And after being at his festival last summer, we saw firsthand that his passion for other people telling stories through documentary filmmaking is truly genuine. He was so kind and supportive to all the filmmakers he met (including us!), which was very special to see and be a part of. What do you think of Gary Wilson's TED Talk? Studies like this are very important. We are not anti- pornography, but we do think that the ubiquity and accessibility to online porn may be changing how people behave in relationships. If it is affecting intimacy and real connection (and the enjoyment of being sexual with a real person), then this is something we need to learn more about. As Wilson points out, mass consumption in a way that was never possible before, may be causing changes in the brain that are leading to depression and anxiety. Most young people are likely unaware of these factors -- we believe that incorporating discussions about today's porn into their sex education is very much needed. www.ausm.org.nz
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