issue 2 2011
five worst Superheroes
Interview with Neon Trees
A Facebook Revolution?
issue 02 2011
ISSUE 02 2011 5 Editorial 6 Letters/Creative Corner 7 Orientation Photos 10 Emergency Kit/Quiz 11 Sport
Scott Moyes look at how sport will help Christchurch recover
12 How To/Recipe Paul Belli helps you to keep your New Year’s resolutions
13 Pres Sez/AuSM Update 14 Where Were You? Samantha McQueen remembers where she was on February 22
on the cover
14 A Few Million For Christchurch 15 Is Auckland Prepared?
Sunhats by Naadei Atafu
Ben Matthews looks at how well Auckland would cope if disaster struck
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16 Christchurch Column/Oscars Review 17 Does Social Media Bring Social Change? Alisha Lewis looks at whether Facebook caused a revolution
18 Neon Trees
Samantha McQueen interviews the band from Utah
21 Five Worst Superheroes Ever 22 Tips on Succeeding at University 24 Copy + Paste = Success Conor Whitten explains why originality is dead
25 Columns 26 Suggestions/Horoscopes 27 Agony Aunt 28 Fashion Petra Benton looks at the controversy around Black Swan
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his time last year, my editorial centred around the Oscars, fame and featured a photo of me next to Rob Pattinson (I kid you not). I was toying with the idea of writing about fame for this week’s editorial, seeing as the Oscars were held last week and Charlie Sheen’s gone completely bonkers. I was going to rev up the second week of Orientation and make witty references to drinking and studying. But then February 22 came and we saw the biggest natural disaster to ever hit New Zealand unfold. The Christchurch earthquake will be something we will tell our kids about in years to come. We’ll remember where we were, how we found out and how it affected us. Whether you are a Cantabrian at heart, spent a few years holidaying there or have never visited the place before, we all found ourselves glued to the television, hoping for miracles and wishing we could do something more to help ease the pain of so many. It’s like something out of a Hollywood movie, except the end credits don’t seem to be anywhere in sight. It’s moments like these that define both a person and a nation. While I’ve shed a few tears over the harrowing and devastating footage that has been shown on television, photos and news articles, most of my eye-welling moments have come from the generosity and spirit of New Zealand in the days after the quake. People have been digging deep into their wallets to show Cantabrians that they’re in our thoughts. Businesses previously thought of as soulless conglomerates have donated in the thousands, or even the millions, and even those with no affiliation to Christchurch or with little in their pockets have been giving what they can – and it’s showing through. At the time this editorial was being written (at the last minute, like always) there had been more than $10 million in donations to the Red Cross alone. No doubt this number would have greatly risen by the time you read this. The Canterbury student army – which has more than 24,000 likes on Facebook – have been rolling up their sleeves and helping with the clean up, for little more than a thank you and perhaps a chocolate bikkie. They are proving what I mentioned in my last editorial; students are not always the drunken hooligans the media makes them out to be. We’ve donned red and black to show support for our fellow Kiwis and last week the nation observed a two minute silence to mark a week since the earthquake struck. People have rummaged up old blankets, clothes, home ware and toys, ready for the moment Christchurch asks for them. Internet addicts have taken to Facebook and Twitter to get the information out there, and to relay to the web-o-sphere when someone has notified them that they’re safe. In summary, New Zealand has been a family. Everyone and everything that was lost or damaged in Christchurch, we’ve felt all around the country. We’ve cried for people we didn’t know and offered complete strangers our homes so they can have a chance to rebuild. While it’s taken this tragedy to bring out the goodness in some people, the nation has really brought meaning to the phrase “united we stand, together we fall”. New York may be the greatest city in the world, but New Zealand is the greatest country in the world.
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Letter of the week wins two movie tickets for Event Cinemas!
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Letter of the week
As an education student, I am very aware of the rhetoric of the AUT using words like ‘inclusion’ ‘respect’ and ‘identity’, but I fear these sentiments do not apply to the Asian students in our institutions or in our community. I would like to have the names of the Chinese students included on the student rolls in their proper form, in recognition of their identity, and to encourage lecturers and other students to make an attempt at pronouncing them properly. Chinese names are very difficult for Nz’ers to remember, and the students themselves are willing to include their English names, but they would prefer to have their own names to at least be acknowledged. I propose that the Pinyin versions with diacritics be used on the rolls for every Chinese student, with their English names in brackets, for example, Sòng Mi‘ng Fēng (David). This tells us that the name Sòng is pronounced with a downward inflection, Mi‘ng, with an upward inflection and Fēng (Fung) with a flat or monotone inflection. It also tells us that Sòng is his surname and his English name would be David Sòng. (A fourth tone ‘v’ is pronounced with a down and then upward inflection).
When Chinese names are easily recognisable, other Asian names can be readily identified. Korean names do not have the tonal inflections, and are normally very short, for example, Kim and Lee, as opposed to Thai names which are normally quite long, for example, Suriyawongse. During the Suharto regime in Indonesia, all Chinese were required to give up their Chinese names and adopt Indonesian ones. The same thing is happening in NZ albeit in a different guise. It is not a directive by an oppressive regime, but something more insidious. Overseas students learn to adopt English names when applying for jobs and accommodation, in an attempt to combat the underlying racism in this country. Foreigners are required to forgo their own identity in order to be assimilated as much as possible into the dominant culture. With very little effort on the part of the institution, and ourselves, we can play an effective part in acknowledging and respecting the identity of our future pupils, fellow students, colleagues and global citizens.
Dear Debate, On Tuesday the 2nd I checked on Arion for my time table and rooms for the day. I then had a moment of panic when my Tuesday class did not appear. Having refreshed the browser twice I rang AUT at the North Shore Campus as this was where my class was. After asking for my ID number the lady confirmed that yes I did have a class at two today and gave me the room number. After stressing over trying to find a park at the unfamiliar North Shore Campus I then had to walk 15min with my broken toe, up 3 flights of stairs to reach the room. To discover no one was there. I then followed signs to the student help desk, only to be told that there was no class today as it is usually a workshop/ practical. What gets me is how no notice of the canceled class was sent to students, or that even when a student phones to confirm a class they are told incorrect information. Regards, Frustrated with AUT.
Derek Chuan It’s a cold, cold place
Lonelle Rodrigues Untitled
issue 02 2011
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the worst by Samantha McQueen
A version of this article ran in Issue 21 of debate last year after the initial 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch. Apologies to those who have already memorised this article (I’m flattered, really) but after February 22 debate felt it was worth reiterating the importance of being prepared in case disaster strikes here. I know students live on the bones of their ass but it’s worth having even basic versions of all of these items in case you get shut off from society (and with Auckland being spread out the way it is, it’s a very real possibility). And remember, if you can’t afford some of the more luxurious items, I’m sure the folks or grandparents would be more than happy to gift you one, even if it is in replacement of that millionth pair of socks.
Your basic emergency kit: what should be in it - Battery powered flashlights and a radio, with spare batteries. You may have internet on your phone, but if the power is out or the phone services are down, you’re screwed. Check the batteries are still working every six months; someone could be sneakily using your flashlight for a game of spotlight. - A basic first aid kit. If you are stuck in an earthquake, or other natural disaster, you or a loved one could be injured by falling objects, glass or rubble. Hospitals may be inaccessible for overrun so you need to be prepared to look after someone’s cuts or bruises at home. All first aid kits should include multiple pairs of latex gloves, sterile dressings, antibiotic ointment or moist towelettes to stop infections, gauze pads, burn ointment, bandages, tweezers, scissors, a thermometer, eyewash, personal hygiene items, panadol and any prescription medicines needed (even something as simple as a spare inhaler).
- A waterproof poncho or rain jacket and waterproof shoes. In a climate as volatile as Auckland’s, there’s just as much chance that you could be leaving your house in the pouring rain. - Survival blanket or sleeping bag – you never know if you have to evacuate your house. - A map – even if you know the area well. Water containers and enough water stored for three days (minimum three litres per person per day). Also include water purification tablets in case the water is contaminated. A case of gastroenteritis is the last thing you need when you can’t flush the toilets. - Emergency food supply, including food for any pets or babies you have in the house with you. If you are stuck in your house without power, eat your refrigerated stuff and your frozen stuff first; the fridge will keep them cool for at least a day without any power. Eat canned and non-perishable food last; canned fruit, baked beans, canned soup, muesli and protein bars, cereal, nuts, biscuits, tuna, powdered or UHT milk etc. Don’t forget to add a can opener to your kit. Basic utensils and paper towels are also handy to have. Remember to check and/or renew this food every year! - All your important documents, including passport, birth certificate, banking and insurance information, important phone numbers and any sentimental photos or small valuables (like jewellery or petty cash) that you couldn’t bear to part with. Keep these in a well hidden, but accessible place in your house. If possible, keep a digital or disposable camera in there as well, so you can easily record the damage to your property for insurance purposes. - Spare underwear; it may not seem essential, but if you’re away from clean clothes for more than 24 hours, you’re going to be so thankful for something as small as a fresh pair of knickers.
1. A ferry that had its front window smashed by a wave last Wednesday was travelling between Days Bay and where?
4. What is the name of the hotel – the tallest building in Christchurch – that is visibly leaning after the February 22 earthquake?
a) b) c) d)
a) b) c) d)
Auckland Wellington Picton Dunedin
Hotel Grand Chancellor George Hotel Copthorne Hotel on Park
2. Petrol prices have risen over $2 a litre from the first time since when?
5. Which actor said the F word during their Oscars acceptance last week?
a) b) c) d)
a) b) c) d)
2006 2007 2008 2009
Christian Bale Natalie Portman Randy Newman Melissa Leo
3. Tennis champion Serena Williams recently underwent emergency treatment for what?
6. Which car manufacturer has a model called Passat?
a) b) c) d)
a) b) c) d)
a broken wrist A hip fracture A blood clot on your lungs Anemia
Volvo Volkswagen Toyota Kia
7. What is Shakespeare’s shortest play? a) b) c) d)
The Comedy of Errors A Midsummer Night’s Dream Macbeth Othello
8. Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a medical leave of absence in January for what? a) b) c) d)
Brain tumour pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant Kidney transplant Exhaustion
9. How old is Justin Bieber? a) b) c) d)
12 16 17 18
10. Who is the AuSM student president? a) b) c) d)
Veronica Ng Lam Derek McCormack Samantha McQueen Cameron Leslie
Answers: B, C, C, A, D, B, A, B, C, A
Pride of the South by Scott Moyes
Being a sports fan is something I believe many people fail to Christchurch has suffered a devastating blow. The sheer loss of life understand. I’m not talking about casual supporters. It’s not the guy and destruction is almost too difficult to fathom. But many grief that tunes into the All Blacks every now again. It’s not even the dude stricken families will be looking for something – anything – to lift that likes cricket, but not the test matches because they go for five their morale; something to help them gain the courage to begin days and that’s just ridiculous. Being a true supporter of a team or rebuilding their lives. sport is a commitment you make. It’s not something you become a When the likes of the Crusaders and the Southern Steel go out to part of when it’s convenient or opt out of when the going gets tough. battle, they’re not just playing to honour their contracts. There is I’m not going to lie; I cop a lot of crap for being a Warriors so much more at stake than that. Your Daniel Carters who are out supporter. To be fair, I probably do prattle on about them more than there playing are struggling just like everyone else is. A member of my mates bargain for. The thing is though, it’s quite difficult to be a the Crusaders own board was amongst the casualties on February part-time Warriors supporter. Many will understand being a Warriors 22. Everybody has been affected in some way by this earthquake, supporter is a rollercoaster ride that will take you from the dizzy whether it be possessions lost, a home in ruins or a family member heights of success to a deep depression that will never come home again. These before you can blink. The thing is though, it’s quite difficult to be sports teams are putting on a brave face I’m often told to just “get over it” when a part-time Warriors supporter. Many will and leading the way into the future by the Warriors lose. It’s just a game after representing their home town, which they understand being a Warriors supporter is all. No one really cares. To be honest, do so with pride and passion. Canterbury a rollercoaster ride that will take you from I think this is a very ignorant way of sports teams are renowned for being tough looking at it. I like to compare it to soaps the dizzy heights of success to a deep and competitive. The public will look to depression before you can blink. on TV. It never ceases to amaze me how their sporting heroes and take pride in the so many people can turn up to school dignity and determination which they take or uni one morning and be generally to the field or court. If only for a moment, depressed that so-and-so from Home and Away just croaked it. Most it will inspire them to dig deep and know that they aren’t in this of the time I’ll just think, “Get over it, they’re not real and they’re alone. actually living in a penthouse in Sydney”. Though for many of you It also makes me realise how important it is that Christchurch are this so-and-so goes by the name of Jack Holden who was there in able to regroup in time to host the Rugby World Cup in September. your living room every afternoon, comforting you with deep and Inconsiderate as it may seem, I believe it can be seen as a goal to meaningful looks when you had a shitty day. For me, so-and-so is strive for. As John Key stated, it may present itself as the chance to actually Logan Swann who just needed to pass the ball to Michael announce to the world that Christchurch is back on its feet once Crockett to win that semi-final. It’s Steve Price who has just been more. They may be down, but certainly not out. Of course this is no forced to retire after an outstanding career lasting more than 300 mean feat. Accommodating masses of extra people is something the games. city won’t be able to achieve for some time yet. But I imagine how it My point is, sport can affect your emotions as easily as the character will rejuvenate the spirits of many Cantabrians in the quest for the on TV you’ve come to know so well. I know when I leave Mt Smart Webb Ellis Trophy and give a much needed boost to many broken Stadium on a Sunday afternoon having just watched the Warriors businesses. demolish Manly, the coming week instantly seems much more New Zealand is in desperate need of something to smile about at enjoyable. This is not to say I pin all my hopes and dreams upon the moment. We need something real. We need a feel good story my team winning a game. It just ignites a hint of hope they have a worthy of being on Oprah. Being the sports-crazy nation we are, let chance of finally holding up that Premiership trophy in September. our heroes rise to the challenge and give us something to cheer about Everything else seems slightly easier to cope with. again. This is why I believe over the next few months the endeavours of Canterbury sports teams will become so vital. There is no denying
How To Stay Fanatical About Fitness
by Alicia Crocket
by Paul Belli
If your New Year’s resolution to get fit has already been forgotten, perhaps you need to think about the goals you’re setting yourself. Studies show that if people don’t experience changes within six to eight weeks, 90 per cent of them give up! What can you do to help stop this from happening? Small and attainable goals are more likely to keep you motivated and on route throughout your fitness journey. • Break your goals down over the year. Push yourself to complete a new fitness challenge, half marathon, a tramp in the South Island, mini triathlon etc. These events are seasonal as well, so you’ll always have something to train for. • If your goal is to fit into that bridesmaid’s dress in four months, break the four months into bite sized goals, e.g. fortnightly or monthly goals. This makes the overall goal less daunting and more achievable. • If your goal is weight loss, then don’t check the scales or do measurements on a daily basis. You may only be losing a couple of hundred grams or millimetres each day. It can be disheartening when you only see small losses, if any. However, they do add up over a week or two so let that bigger number motivate you to keep at it. • Take a before photo. A picture can paint a thousand words after a couple of months. Don’t be shy
about it either (but perhaps don’t post and tag it on Facebook), you want to see improvements in the areas you were thinking about covering up. • Time lapse photography can also be a great tool. Take a photo every day for the duration of your target goal, put the pictures together in a photo viewer programme, set the slideshow for one photo every 0.5 seconds and watch your body transform! • Get a friend to take the journey with you. Having someone to share an experience with you not only makes it fun, but makes you accountable for more than just yourself; you have to motivate your best friend and vice versa. The body is amazing and is constantly learning and adapting to the stresses and loads we put it under at the gym. So changing your programme every four to six weeks is the key to achievement. If you keep loading your body with the same workouts your body will get to that level and then plateau because you’re not giving it any new challenges. This is where your motivation will drop and before you know it you’re watching people work out on The Biggest Loser rather than hitting the gym yourself. This often happens around the six week mark, so if you’ve been doing the same workout for more than eight weeks get another one and make some new goals to kick start everything again.
Serves 4 Dairy free, Gluten free (if use GF stock and soy sauce) Cost per serve: $1.77 by itself, $1.90 with rice Lentils are a great meal choice; they’re cheap, easy and they taste good. I get a bit bored of the usual stew, soup or curry you use lentils with so here’s something a bit different to try. Don’t get put off by the thought of drizzling honey on top, it’s a beautiful combination and you can always reduce or increase the amount of honey to suit your tastes. Ingredients 1 cup brown lentils 1 bay leaf 2 cups water 1 tsp stock powder 1 onion 4-5 mushrooms 1 courgette 1 capsicum 2 cloves OR 2 tsps minced garlic ½ tsp minced chilli OR ¼ tsp chilli OR curry powder 1 Tbsp oil 1 tsp dried mustard powder ¼ tsp ground ginger (if you don’t have ginger cinnamon also works) 1 Tbsp soy sauce 1-2 Tbsps honey Directions 1 Preheat oven to 170°C 2 Wash lentils 3 Add stock powder, lentils and water to a pan 4 Boil uncovered for 15 minutes 5 While the lentils are boiling, cut vegetables and sauté them with the chilli/curry powder on a medium heat in 1 Tbsp oil 6 When the lentils are finished transfer them to a casserole dish along with the sautéed vegetables, mustard powder, ginger and soy sauce 7 Drizzle honey on top. If your honey is solid, heat it in a container in the microwave for 10 seconds 8 Put the lid on the casserole dish and cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the liquid has been absorbed. 8 Serve on rice or by itself Note: Any vegetables could be substituted depending on the season. This is also lovely with pumpkin, peas carrots and celery.
issue 02 2011
Veronica Ng Lam AuSM President 921 9999 ext 8571
email@example.com Greetings AUT Titans, I want to begin by making a tribute to Christchurch. I think we should all feel extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to start at AUT and have our Orientation programme without the sadness and tragedy that is facing Christchurch. Last week in the quad at 12.51pm we honoured the people of Christchurch by participating in the nation’s two minutes of silence. We were joined by our vice-chancellor Derek and general manager of AUT Vivien Bridgewater, as well as other staff to acknowledge and pay tribute to their unfortunate circumstances. AuSM has partnered up with Red Cross over these two weeks to collect donations where ALL donations will be given directly to Christchurch. If there are students out there who need support or who have ideas of how to help please get in contact with me and we can see what more we can do. And to the guy who rode your bike through the quad during our two
minutes of silence – not cool dude! But...welcome back to the second week of university! I hope the first week of Orientation was exciting, full of fun times, new friends, good memories and most of all, I hope you made the most out of all the freebies we provided for you throughout the week! The free feeds were intense with the queues spanning all the way through the quad! Don’t worry, guys and girls, we will be here all year long! Uni Games 2011 is right around the corner and we are hosting so make sure you sign up! Remember that the AUT Titans are on the prowl to reclaim victory and it has been far too long! 2006 was a long time ago and the last time we held the shield in our hands! Competitors, volunteers, and officials, WE NEED YOU! On the student politics side of things, the Voluntary Student Membership Bill has again been delayed for another six weeks! With Labour Party and Green working hard to ensure that the outcome secures and protects student choice and better ensure services can continue, it is promising to see that Maori Party also share the same view. This Bill will effectively diminish the student voice and endanger the services that we provide for you, like your weekly free feeds/diaries/ posters etc. We will wait to hear what the final amendments are before the Bill heads into its third reading and as it is my responsibility to inform you, I will be back here again next week with hopefully some clearer updates! Do not forget though, we are doing all the best that we can to make the government see that AuSM here at AUT serves their student body and actually cares about them. I wish you all a good a week ahead. Again I pay tribute to Christchurch and I look forward to our final week of O’week! Ia Manuia – Blessings. Veronica Ng Lam
Thanks to everyone who turned out to our big gigs and daytime events last week – check out our Facebook page (ausm1) for your photos. It’s been one of our most exciting Orientations to date and there’s plenty more to come this week. If you had your pictures taken at our photobooths we have copies of your photos on DVD so let us know if you want them. Week Two This week we’ve focused on providing inclusive daytime activities that you can watch, get involved with and/or enjoy (free of course)! There will be free feeds and activities everyday in Awataha Plaza (North Shore) and Hikuwai Plaza (City) so come down and check it out. At Vesbar this week we have the pub quiz (Tuesday), hypnotist comedy show (Wednesday), retro party (Thursday) and infamous FOAM party (Friday). We’ll be dishing out 80s paraphernalia at the door for the retro party so get in early to grab one. There will also be a live covers band helping you relive your memories of the 80s – or make new ones if you’re too young to remember. Speaking of Vesbar, be sure to sign up as a VIP, free during Orientation. You’ll get access to the online VIP area, super specials, prize draws and VIP invitations.
Uni Games If you haven’t registered for the AUT Titans team yet email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for information. Uni Games will be held at AUT from April 26 to 29 and we will win it…with your help. Earthquake AuSM has been collecting on behalf to Red Cross during Orientation and will be assisting students on the North Shore with a cake stall on Wednesday, March 9. Come down and get some goodies and/or donate some baking to the cause. Are there any students on the City or Manukau campuses keen to do the same? Email email@example.com Feedback If you have any suggestions for activities or events on your campus this year including free feeds, fundraisers, clubs, music, parties or theme nights at Vesbar please let us know. We want your ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org Enjoy week two and brace yourself for so much more from AuSM.
WHERE WERE YOU ON FEBRUARY 22? by Samantha McQueen
I was eight years old when my mum came into the bathroom on September 1, 1997 (New Zealand time) to tell me that Princess Diana had died. I was in the bath playing with my blue, red and white toy boat and my first thought was “what colour had she dyed her hair?”. It sounds moronic now, but it’s the first thing that springs to mind whenever anyone mentions the late Princess of Wales. I had always been fascinated with the royal family, mostly because I had a crush on Prince William, before he started to bald and went steady with that commoner Kate Middleton. On September 12, 2001 I spent part of the day in Room 17 at Otumoetai Intermediate, crowded around a 12” television watching images of the World Trade Center crumble in front of our eyes. I remember the plane going into the second tower kept replaying and the sight never got less scary. I didn’t cry at the time, but when that song by DJ Sammy was released a year later with the little girl talking to her dead father, I bawled. This was the first time an international event affected me.
a few million for christchurch by Courtney Jarrett
On September 4, 2010 I was fast asleep in a student flat in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch when I suddenly felt myself being yanked from the comforts of flannelette sheets to the doorway of the bedroom. I was worried the wardrobe in front of the bed – made up entirely of mirrors – was going to smash based on how loud it was shaking, and the glass skylight in the bedroom roof did nothing for my nerves either. After the initial shock was over I turned to twitter to confirm that I had indeed experienced an earthquake. I shed a few tears during the tremors but after 10 minutes, I had set up camp on the hallway floor, covered in a mink blanket because it was freezing. The flat I was staying at only lost power until 10am and the street had not a scrap of evidence that there had been destruction further afield. That night, while the television showed images of silt and broken houses, I ate nuggets and chips on the deck with a beer. On February 22, 2011 at 12.51pm I was eating a pita in Auckland’s metro food court, with my phone sitting in my bag back at the office. I first heard of the news
when I got back to my desk. My manager Rebecca said to me “a big earthquake’s just hit Christchurch” just as I was reading a text message from a friend that read “fucking big quake just hit”. It was just after 2pm and there were already images of the destruction on Stuff and people openly grieving online. I only made it to 3.30pm at work that day before I went home to watch the devastation unfold on screen. February 22, like few others before it, will be engrained in my memory for the rest of my life. And I was safely in Auckland, away from all the debris and tragedy. I can’t even fathom how it must feel to be stuck in the centre of it all, feeling helpless to Mother Nature and those awful tectonic plates. It will be months before Christchurch finds its footing again and New Zealand will carry the grief of February 22 around with them forever. In 20 years time, when our children talk about Christchurch we will be able to tell them exactly where they were the moment a piece of New Zealand was lost forever. So, where were you?
We’ve all seen footage of the devastation that hit the lower country on February 22. We’ve seen the ruined houses, the ruined workplaces, the ruined lives. We all know that it will take years to rebuild and that the cost of this is estimated to be in the billions. We know that a country like New Zealand cannot afford such a price. Do you know what the government could have done to fundraise? Called off the Botany by-election. With the resignation of Pansy Wong as a Botany candidate last year, the rapid growing area of Botany has been left without an MP. An election held on March 5 is set to change this, all at the cost of the taxpayer. I believe this was a waste of time. Although a relatively new electorate, the Botany area has always been traditionally held by the National Party. So much so that the cheesy smile that is Phil Goff stated on One News last month that his underdog candidate, Michael Wood, has 11,000 seats to win back in order gained a majority vote. Think this is going to happen? Not likely. In fact, in the same news article, members of the Botany public were asked to recognise Michael Wood from his candidate photo. Only one person could recognise his face. That person was me. Did I vote for him? No. A by-election in Botany was a waste of time and resources that could have been better used to help fellow Kiwis in need. With general elections due in September, a by-election only holds true for another five months before the process, and the cost, is repeated. There was little need to waste millions of dollars on this election to see it become null and void in the near future.
The time span until general elections is not the only thing that bothered me about this election. What bothered me is that every person who I talked to had little or no interest in the election and had no idea who they are going to vote for. Those who did have half a clue tell me that chose their candidate because they seemed like “a nice guy” when strutting around Botany shaking hands with the locals. Perhaps the candidates were perky from all the coffee they drink from my local cafe, or maybe they were just trying to secure the electorate before the general election. Either way, a false smile and a few hand shakes are not going to deal with the poor public transport to the Botany area or the growing number of potholes in the road at the town centre. Jami-Lee Ross, no matter how many times he introduces himself to me, does not seem to value these issues. I did not hear anything of what any of these candidates stand for, nor did I wish to know. I did not partake in an election funded by money that could be used to do real good. Yes, I realise there had already been a lot of money poured into the by-election and that nobody wanted to see those pricey, shiny billboards go to waste. But why didn’t we save the rest of the resources that will soon be used by Jami-Lee Ross, Michael Wood, Lyn Murphy and Paul Young and give them instead to our family and friends down South. Let the candidates keep their posters up until September and get them away from my early morning caffeine fix.
issue 02 2011
With everything that is going on in Christchurch, and in other parts of the world, such as Queensland in Australia, I thought to myself as I went up the lift in the WT Tower, how safe would I be if an earthquake was to strike right there and then? From what I know, Auckland is nowhere near a fault line (even though they said the same thing about Christchurch) and the lovely receptionist at the top of the WT Tower reassured me that the building was 100 per cent earthquake proof, it still gives us a very important question: could Auckland as a city cope (and recover) from an earthquake? Firstly, let’s look at some of the historical buildings. Christchurch lost a number of historical buildings because of the earthquake, including the iconic Cathedral, which managed to withstand the original 7.1 quake in September last year. Although we don’t have nearly the same amount of historical icons as Christchurch (let alone other countries like England or America) we do have some, even though they are often undervalued (three words: St James Theatre). There’s St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Matthews in the City, Britomart, the Museum and the Town Hall across the road from WT tower. And these are just buildings that have come out of my head without resorting to Google. With the destruction of so many historical buildings in Christchurch, do we need to look at some of the buildings in Auckland to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them? Can these buildings survive an earthquake? To be honest, I am not too sure, but I’m sure there are analysts sitting behind their mountains of paperwork just itching to tell us the answer. But it’s not just the historical building in Auckland that we have to worry about. For those based on AUT’s city campus, you only
Is Auckland really Prepared for a Natural Disaster? by Ben Matthews
have to look out your classroom window to catch a glimpse of the dozens of skyscrapers that make up the CBD skyline. Would you be safe enough walking down Queen St after drinks in the Viaduct if an earthquake suddenly struck? According to the current building regulations act, a building must be safe enough to withstand a natural disaster without causing great harm, so most of these buildings should be safe. But can we say the same for the buildings that were constructed before the act was made? Can we guarantee that building a lot of us spend most of our time at university in is safe? But for most of us, if an earthquake strikes, the effect will be more close to home. A lot of student flats barely have insulation in Auckland and the walls are paper thin, which doesn’t bode well for if disaster strikes, but even if your one-storey 1920s villa stays standing after a natural disaster, will you have the skills and the supplies needed in the days – and weeks – after? Footage on the news showed hundreds of people lining up in front of a water tanker with empty milk bottles and plastic containers, desperate for clean water. Some of these people would have lost all their possessions in the earthquake, but there would have been those with standing houses that were simply unprepared. Where was there
emergency supply of water that should have been gathered as soon as the original quake struck? Do you have a supply of water in case of a natural disaster or even if Auckland’s water supply suddenly becomes contaminated? What about non-perishable food supplies, a basic first aid kit and some sturdy footwear and clothing? Not only that, but the motorway would most certainly be closed, so you could be stuck with whatever you have saved up for a while. Even just scratching at the surface, an earthquake in Auckland would be unthinkable, but for the people of Christchurch, it is a reality. So the next time you flush your toilet, take a shower, fill up your bottle of water, update your Facebook account, put a load of washing on or pull out a roast from the oven, remember there is someone in Christchurch at the moment that doesn’t have that luxury. Luckily, Auckland’s earthquake chances are fairly slim at present, but to be honest, I’m nervously looking at those volcanoes scattered around Auckland. Could we survive if one of them decided to have a hissy fit? PS: I visited Christchurch back in 2007 as a school trip, so I’m really sad that such a lovely (and also my favourite) city has been destroyed. I’m hoping that the city can recover and I am with the people of Christchurch hundred per cent of the way.
I’ve been seriously avoiding writing this column/piece in light of all that’s happened recently. I felt guilty writing about the lack-lustre and offensively below par Oscars ceremony (but if you’re keen to hear about that, check out the review below) when the last week has been the worst week ever for a lot of New Zealanders. One conversation I find myself having with every single person I’ve encountered in the last two weeks is: Where were you when you the earthquake hit? I was at a work training course when I read on Twitter that, what people initially believed to be a huge aftershock, had just hit already devastated Christchurch at 12:51pm. As I sat in my chair in the sun, eating lunch with old and new friends I was with, I wondered “will this time be different?”. “Would Christchurch’s people escape again without losing anyone?”. It didn’t happen. Shivers and panic set in as I realise the enormity of this earthquake: It happened during the day. It happened at lunchtime. It happened at a much shallower level compared to the September 4 quake. I have friends down there right now who I don’t know if I’ll ever hear from again, I don’t know if I’ll ever see or hug them again, I don’t know if I’ll receive a text, a Facebook message, a tweet from them ever again.
Was the biggest night the biggest flop? by James Wheeler
So the Oscars turned 83 years old this year. We had two fresh faced hosts for the first time in forever, one of whom was nominated for an Oscar. It should have been a great show. But this year’s ceremony seemed to be lacking something. Was it laughs? Was it surprises? Was it good hosts? Let’s see…
While the academy wants to stay as far away from Ricky Gervais as possible, maybe they should look for his phone number after a solid but probably fair to say, under-par hosting performance by James Franco and Anne Hathaway. The academy has made no secret that they want to aim at a younger demographic, but this year they were blatantly their ‘hip’ youth references in our faces. Franco tweeting from the stage, or Justin Timberlake saying there must be an app to change the stage background was supposed to inject youth and excitement, but it was lost on me. In fact, the funniest laughs seemed to come from the older generations, like Kirk Douglas, Billy Crystal and even Franco’s grandmother. The thing I enjoy the most about the Oscars is an upset or two. However, this year there were none in the major categories. Melissa Leo and Christian Bale stayed true to their ‘favourites’ tag and took home the gold, while Natalie Portman and Colin Firth (who were never in any doubt), won their first Oscars. The King’s Speech won best original screenplay and
The next couple of days were really surreal. The pictures that emerged from the destroyed city were emotionally devastating and myself and my colleagues struggled to hold it together as did hundreds upon thousands of people around New Zealand. At the time I’m writing this to you, 160 people have been confirmed dead and the toll is expected to rise. I am so fortunate and lucky to be writing for you, the lovely readers of debate magazine. I am so fortunate to attend this beautiful university with people who inspire me and who I will surely stay friends with for a lifetime. I have been so proud to call myself a student after what the Volunteer Student Army has been doing, not just this week, but over the last six months. I’m so fortunate enough to have heard from all my friends, specifically my dear, lovely friend Matt. He is such a great friend and fellow film fan. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever lost him. Not as many people are as lucky as I have been. Kia kaha, stay strong my friends. Appreciate what you’ve got. Live every day to the full. Acknowledge and love your friends and family more often than you already do. Be a better person. Strive to be the best that you can be. That’s what I’m aiming to do. And to those who lost their lives on as a result of the February 22 Christchurch earthquake: Rest in peace.
The Social Network won best adapted screenplay. For the three hour duration I was just waiting for a hint of an upset but it just never came. When the winners are this clearcut, the show lacks impact and shock factor. When the show lacks surprises, call on the hosts to add some spark to the occasion right? It’s tough to host the Oscars. No doubt about that. But when you go from Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, two Hollywood veterans who know how to work a crowd, to two Hollywood up-and-comers, you could just tell there were some first time jitters there. That being said, it was an amazing year for film. Everything came out in 3D, the right people won (for the most part) and the right film won best picture (The King’s Speech). A few more laughs would have been nice, but Hollywood’s biggest night will go down a success. Looking ahead to the 84th Oscars next year, will Franco and Hathaway be back? Will an old host return? Which films will be in contention? Until next year AUT, that’s a wrap.
Natalie Portman winning best actress. Even though she was heavily favoured, it was still exciting to see her hold the Oscar high 17 years after her career first began. Great speech too! Melissa Leo dropping the F-bomb, excitement! Line of the night went to Colin Firth: “I feel like my career just peaked.” Some actors don’t figure this out for years! Robert Downey Jr. (who MUST host at some point) and Jude Law’s skit before presenting two awards. Celine Dion singing Smile while the ‘In Memorium’ clip played.
Lowlights: The hosts. I wasn’t a huge fan of Anne Hathaway’s “woooooooooo” for every presenter she introduced. Christopher Nolan for best director! It’s about time he got recognised. He didn’t even pick up best original screenplay either. Inception rocked! No awkward acceptance speeches for entertainment value. People are writing speeches now! Blast!
issue 02 2011
by Alisha Lewis Before the earthquake struck, everyone in New Zealand was getting worked up over the government’s recent purchase of a new fleet of BMW cars. Way over on the other side of the world, people were getting a little annoyed with their government too. I’m talking about that little ‘incident’ in Egypt, where thousands of protestors called for, and brought about, the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-long dictatorship. Or, as it’s now called, the Egyptian revolution of 2011. We all know about previous revolutions and rebellions – the French revolution, the Indian Independence Movement and the fight for Black Civil Rights in America – but this is the first time we’ve actually been able to witness one happen. Only this time, there’s a difference. Rather than calling them “people’s revolutions”, people have been attributing the success of the recent Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions to social networking sites, dubbing them the Twitter or Facebook revolutions. I’m sure it has come as a shock to some that Facebook and Twitter actually serve a purpose other than letting you know whether that cute guy or girl from comparative literature is “in a relationship” or what sandwich Lady Gaga just had for lunch, but they do. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have proved hugely instrumental in the organisation and implementation of the recent protests in Egypt and Tunisia. But are they the cause of the resulting success? Most definitely not. The protests happened not because someone started a group on Facebook but because people in Egypt and Tunisia had reached breaking point. They were fed up with a government that was letting them down and holding them back. It’s common knowledge that the media plays a major role in informing, educating and connecting people. In this way, social media allowed people to come together and form a united front more quickly than if they had not been connecting or gathering support online. Hence, sites like Facebook and Twitter acted as a sort of catalyst, uniting people with a common cause and speeding up the process. They were not, however, the reason the protests were successful. People seem to forget all about the basic grassroots mechanism: the individuals behind the Twitter pages and the Facebook groups. It wasn’t a social networking site running the campaign, fuelling the protests and spreading the truth – it was people. What is more, the total anger and passion on the faces of the protestors couldn’t have been manufactured by a tweet of 140 (or less) characters. Rather, the protests were the culmination of 30 years of corruption, repression and injustice which finally forced people to fight for a better future. They were driven by hope, not Facebook. The unifying effect of social networking sites however, undoubtedly frightened President Mubarak because he shut down Egyptians’ access to the internet for five days. Unfortunately for Murbarak, this move backfired. Although the use of social media sites was helping unite protestors, what garnered an even stronger reaction was the banning
of these sites. Instead of disempowering the protestors, as Mubarak must have hoped, the decision sparked fiercer outrage and greater determination to oust the leader. To the Egyptian people it must have been like a slap in the face – as they fought for their rights he stripped the people of them. In this way, social networking sites played a vital role, albeit inadvertently, in driving the protests, acting as a catalyst. However, this did nothing more than add fuel to a fire that was already burning. For Egyptians, living in a country where everything was controlled by a strict regime, the freedom of speech provided by social networking sites would have felt hugely empowering. While the government could censor traditional media outlets, sites like Twitter and Facebook provided people with the real deal – honest news of what was happening, direct from the epicentre of the action. The viral nature of this news was something the government could not control. Even when Mubarak banned the internet, Google and Twitter teamed up and provided Egyptians with a way to send tweets via cell phone, without an internet connection. Social media gave a little bit of power back to the people; it made them feel heard. While this would have urged them to keep up the fight, it was not the reason they were fighting, nor was it the reason they won. At the end of the day, it all comes down to Social media sites such as Facebook the power of human and Twitter have proved hugely determination and instrumental in the organisation a healthy dose of and implementation of the recent hope. This sense of protests in Egypt and Tunisia. But are determination was they the cause of the around long before resulting success? Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook. It was around in 1848 were the people of France were unhappy with an absolute monarchy that did nothing for its citizens. It was present when four African-American students sat down at a “whites only” counter at a lunch bar in Greensboro. It is part of something rooted deep in the human condition, not a product of social networking sites. So no, I don’t believe we have just witnessed a Twitter of Facebook revolution (although, wouldn’t that be something to tell the grandkids?). Does it really even make sense to associate commercial brands with struggles for human freedom and dignity? American journalist Jillian C. York summed it up pretty well, saying, “I’m glad they were able to utilise social media to bring attention to their plight. But I will not dishonour the memory of…those that died on the streets for their cause – but dubbing this anything but a human revolution”.
Their name comes from the neon palm trees outside an In-N-Out burger that lead singer Tyler Glenn spotted in the 10th grade, but unlike most bands, Neon Trees didn’t grow up playing together at school assemblies and Earth days (although they’ve all done that separately). It started off with Tyler and guitarist Chris Allen, who grew up next door to each other in Southern California, the home of the desert and renowned festival Coachella, where Neon Trees are playing next month. When Chris moved to Provo, Utah to study, Tyler followed and after three years of fill ins and substitutes, they found the perfect fit with bassist Branden Campbell and drummer Elaine Bradley. Since then, the self-proclaimed “post punk soul” band have opened for The Killers and 30 Seconds to Mars, had their debut single, Animals, go platinum in the US, and released their debut album, Habits, worldwide. Quite simply, the band has taken flight – literally. After spending most of 2011 travelling around America, Europe and Australia, they managed a whirlwind stopover – 23 hours to be exact – in Auckland. Samantha McQueen sat down with Branden and Chris to chat to them about band dynamics, being a rock star and the first album they ever owned.
issue 02 2011
Congratulations on the slot in Coachella in April! How does it feel to be part of a line up that includes Kanye West, The National, The Strokes and Jimmy Eat World all in the same day? Chris: Well I grew up in Southern California so that’s the hometown big show so it didn’t matter who was playing, you know? Every year it’s just an amazing line up so it’s just an honour and a dream come true to be playing that, but it makes it even cooler to realise what contemporary artists will be playing and that we’re in the same line up AND we’re in the bolder font. We skipped the small font. In interviews you’ve been referred to as so many different types of sound. You’ve been pop punk, electronic, pop rock, indie and Rolling Stone called you synth pop revilatists. What would you guys use to describe your sound? Branden: There have been so many that we decided to make up our own and we went with post punk soul… because there are definitely those synth pop sound of the early 80s, that post punk era and then also there’s a soul aspect I think, especially in Tyler’s voice. It’s got soul. What are your thoughts on getting compared to other bands and their sounds? Chris: You can’t really avoid it so it’s nice that most of the bands that people mention are bands that we like. Have you had any bizarre ones? Chris: Someone said Bon Jovi once. Every now and again you’ll get someone way out in left field. Like they’ve only been to one concert in their life, you know, and it’s like “oh, it’s got electric guitars; it’s like Bon Jovi”! Neon Trees isn’t a band that has been together since high school playing at school assemblies and in garages. Is the dynamic different to other bands that have been playing together? Chris: I feel like it took time to get to know each other and find out how we work and the writing process and everything and the line up has changed over the years as well. It’s been fun as new people enter the band to see the band evolve and go to new places and we’re really happy with the line up right now. We’ve learnt each other’s quirks and each other’s strength and I feel like we’re in the groove. It was a year long process writing and recording, so obviously that dynamic must have got a lot tighter? Branden: There’s that saying that bands have their whole lives to write their first album and only a short window to write their second album or third album. So there were some songs we had for a long time and we tightened those up and then there was probably another five or six songs that we wrote once we decided we were making a record that was going to come out throughout the whole world. Chris: We felt like we were ready to release a box set already and we just had to whittle it down. Unlike most bands that take a song from the track list and use it as the album name, you guys picked a word that is in the intro of your song, Sins of our Youth. How did you land on Habits? www.ausm.org.nz
Branden: We were on tour and we already had a name – we had a couple of things floating around – and we just decided to take another approach at it to see if anything stuck. I think it got to that point where we started throwing out lines of songs and different things like that, and it kind of came down to Habits. Chris: We always wanted youth to be something in the title because that’s the theme throughout the whole album. Habits, they stem from our youth and the habits that we create for ourselves… in any aspect of our lives we have all these habits and the way we do anything. It felt youthful, especially with it being in the first track of the album, it kind of made sense. Speaking of youth, did you always want to be a rock star? Branden: I would say professional musician. There are people that want to grow up and be stars and they want to be in the spotlight. I never specifically wanted to do that. It’s great to be recognised for your talent and there’s no doubt that we’re not hiding behind a curtain playing music but I think it comes down to the love of the music and playing guitars. It’s a great job and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Can you remember the first album that you ever owned? Chris: my first was INXS – Kick. Branden: I think it might have been a Motley Crue record. I think it was Shout at the Devil actually, which I don’t know why my mum let me buy that but I had a baseball coach that had grown up listening to heavy metal and he said “if you like rock and roll then you should get this album”. I thought it was going to sound like jukebox hero. Chris: You thought it was going to be an ABBA record! Branden: Then it’s like, “In the beginning good overpowered the evils of all men’s sins but in time the nations grew weak and the cities fell to slums but evil stood strong”. How old were you? Branden: I don’t know, like nine. Then it disappeared so I think my mum wised up. A lot of your songs have great hooks and catchy choruses that you find yourself singing after only one listen; was this always the direction you wanted to go with this album? Branden: I think that sometimes as the performer you have to turn around and become the listener because in the performance of a song, some intros or instrumental parts, you’re involved in that as the musician. As the listener it may not be what the song needs, depending on what songs you want to write. If you want to write pop songs then there’s a saying “don’t bore us, get to the chorus”. So all of a sudden you realise the one minute keyboard solo before the first chorus may not work. But you learn that after a while and I think everyone learns that. How did you guys decide on Animals as the first single? Chris: Well speaking of a song getting stuff in your head and hooks or whatever, that one just felt like the most obvious one that gets stuck in
Neon Trees (L-R): ELaine Bradley (drums), Branden Campbell (Bass), Tyler Glenn (lead singer and chris allen (guitar).
your head and you can’t get rid of it. You wake up in the morning and oh, I’m singing Animal in my head. It’s been said in interviews that none of you drink or party which goes against the grain of people who do dream about being “rock stars”. Has it affected you musically in terms of touring? Because a lot of people in New Zealand take offence if you say you don’t drink. Branden: No, it’s been great. We’ve all been around the block numerous times so it’s not like some people in the band haven’t experienced those things in the past but I just feel so much better [and] healthier, especially the demanding schedule out on the road. We never want our show or our music to be compromised because of these fringe benefits of being on the road. People think that because the beer is there or the drugs are there that you have to do it. Obviously people have their own lifestyles and we’re going to shun anybody for living the way that they want to live but it just really comes down to, especially in these days, I think it’s the most rock and roll thing you can do, that’s going against the grain. Chris: I think when people realise that we’re not judging them for what they want to do, that most people can respect that we don’t want to do it. We’re not preaching it or anything. What would you like to tick off the Neon Trees bucket list in the next 12 months? Chris: I really want to play here, so if we can come spend more than 23 hours in New Zealand. I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan, I’m a big Flight of the Conchords fan. Come play for The Hobbit when they start filming here! Chris: Yeah, our album will be called Hobbits when it comes out here, not Habits. Neon Trees’ debut album Habits is out now!
issue 02 2011
Five Superheroes Robert Downey Jr. Will Never Play by Brendan Kelly
“I think being different, going against the grain of society is the greatest thing in the world.” - Elijah Wood on being a little Hobbit man
In every group, whether it is a family of humanoids, a murder of crows, or a spastic of Lady Gagas, there is an outcast. But in some families the black sheep is slightly more distinguishable than in others. Take, for instance, superheroes: a group I love like the rare tree dwelling Latvian iguana loves guavas. And although movies about nocturnal billionaires and pissed off green ogres are abound, there are some members of the superhero genre that have fallen by the wayside. And thus the purpose of the article becomes clear; paying homage to the unsung not-so-super humans. After the average powers they got given, the least we can do is celebrate their mediocrity. So, I present to you the worst five superheroes ever; the five characters whom you will never see a film about because, well. Yeah.
“There are certain things- a spider, a ghost, The income tax, gout, an umbrella for three- That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most Is that wanker Aquaman.” - Lewis Carroll on Aquaman
Aquaman takes number five because he actually does have the potential to be a little bit useful. In his preferred domain (water. Aqua means water), Aquaman possesses a number of extremely useful abilities. These include superhuman strength, extremely fast movement, and the ability to talk to sea creatures (molluscs and such). Take the aqua out of the equation and you’re left with just that. Man. On land Aquaman is about as useful as Manu Vatuvei’s library card. The conclusion we can draw, then, is that if all crimes occurred underwater, Aquaman would be the most superior hero of all. And although the great underwater diamond heist of ‘36 was a high point, not many crimes occur under the sea, making Aquaman the sheriff of Moray eels and sweet fuck all.
4.The Legion of the Super-pets
“You can encourage your friends to make this decision for themselves, and then they can spend eternity with you! ...and God, in Heaven.”
1. Matter-Eater Lad
“Mate, have you got any matter? ‘Cos I’ll - Bibleman on religious propaganda fucking eat it.”
Bibleman is my personal favourite from this list, but I couldn’t put him as number one because I’d get lynched. Bibleman is a character from a series of American direct-to-video movies who wanders the globe using the “sword of the spirit (which is the word of God)” to defeat evil. Complete with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace (I couldn’t even make this shit up), shield of faith and helmet of salvation, Bibleman is fully equipped to deliver religious messages directly to children’s ears. Resplendent in purple and yellow, Bibleman tells us to encourage our friends to make the step to accepting Jesus as our saviour. With the aid of the Bible and some third rate special effects, he’s an armoured Jehovah’s Witness; fuck, maybe he should be number two...
2. Squirrel Girl “You can’t be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit!” - Sarah Jessica Parker bitching about Squirrel Girl’s outfit
Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, is a mutant. Does she have three foot blades that emerge -Comet the Super-Horse on whether from her knuckles, laser beam eyeballs or the or not he is a valid superhero ability to summon demons from the other realm? Imagine a cat, a dog, a monkey and a horse. Add No. Squirrel Girl’s mutations are a squirrel super to the front of their names. tail, squirrel teeth, and the ability to summon You are now a comic book writer. squirrels. She has enhanced strength and “Neigh!”
dexterity, but only to the extent that she is a good climber. In other words, she is a giant squirrel. Not wanting to leave her completely defenceless, her creators also decided to equip her with lips that are hazelnut flavoured (I can’t make this shit up) and an above average sense of smell. The only way this heroine could be redeemed is if all mentions of ‘squirrel’ in this segment were replaced with boa constrictor, African lion, or Rocky Balboa. Even then, I’d still rather have Batman. Or even Aquaman.
Krypto the Super-Dog, Beppo (?) the SuperMonkey, Streaky the Super-Cat and Comet the Super-Horse all combine to create the legion of the Super-pets, who in some fashion are meant to assist Superman. As far as I can tell the animals had no particular purpose at their time of publication, except to fill in pages or perhaps attract a wider audience of veterinarians and monkeys. Then again, they first appeared in 1962, so maybe acid was involved. One can only hope.
- Matter-Eater Lad on eating matter, lad Sigh. Matter-Eater Lad. You’d think that as number one, he would have the longest description. This is not the case; the name says it all really. I don’t know if this article will include a picture, but the Wikipedia page for this sad excuse for a superhuman features a great one of Matter-Eater Lad devouring a fence. Matter-Eater Lad eats matter. The fact that his creators gave him no other powers actually made them write him out of most comics anyway. That’s right, Matter-Eater Lad was so shit, even the guys who made him up couldn’t think of ways to make him fight people. He did however once eat an entire silo of grain in order to avoid a death trap, something which I’m sure has happened to us all. Never has a superhero been so devoid of any useful abilities; he can’t even summon a lousy squirrel. He could probably eat one though, provided it was made of matter. That’s kind of his thing. With this article, interlaced as it is with crosscultural themes and ideas, I wanted to bring some very important questions to the table. For example, do rare Latvian iguanas like guavas? Does guava rhyme with plaza? And, perhaps most importantly of all, is eating grain really a talent worthy of the title ‘superhero’? We will never know. What I do know is that even though the heroes of this list may be useless, pointless, mediocre to the point of irritation, they are still accepted. Every group has a black sheep. Every family is different. Take a look around you; if everyone appears normal, and you are eating your own tail, underwater, in a tree, odds are the black sheep is... You.
If it’s not your best friend now, it will be in a couple of months. Wean yourself on with vanilla lattes and mochas and by the end of the year you’ll be drinking long blacks like it is water. Invest in a portable thermos or plastic coffee cup so you can do your bit for the environment at the same time and in some cases, save some dough.
I get it, a lot of you had to wear hideous polyester uniforms throughout your high school years and now your skin is yearning for luxurious fabrics while you just want to break out all the jewellery you’ve been forced to wear in secret. (I myself wore a snazzy emerald green number in my high school years with a jersey four sizes too big that smelt like wet dog when it rained.) But this does not mean you need to wear your most haute couture pieces to lectures. I’m not saying go the way of wearing sweatpants or – gasp – pyjamas to your classes, but jeans, a nice top and a decent pair of flats seems much more practical than that too-tight LBD and four inch stilettos. A general rule of thumb is: if you have to tug to keep it from showing your intimates, would wear it to town on a Saturday night or is listed as a personal item on your insurance, then don’t wear it. Also, wearing a hat and sunglasses inside is not ironic – it just makes you look like a douche.
Ah, first years, the bottom of the university food chain. It’s been a while since you’ve been at the wrong end of the heap. For most of you, last year you were at the top of the secondary school food chain, with the collars popped on your leaver’s jersey, wearing your roman sandal backs up (because wearing them down was soooooo year nine) and skipping class and heading to McDonalds (or sushi if you’re from some swanky Auckland private school) every Friday because “no one learns anything in last period anyway”. It was a good life, but now you’re most likely to be found looking helplessly at a map, trying to find WA220 or rushing frantically to get from your lecture on one side of campus to your two hour class on the other side. You have brand new stationery, arrive 20 minutes early to class and hang out in packs to try and disguise your newness. If you don’t want to be associated with the label of first year, here’s a brief guide on how to blend in and pull off the university suave that’s so effortlessly achieved by third and fourth years.
This may sound like it’s written for children, but apparently people with the social skills of a three-year-old are still being let into university. Actually, I take that back – I know some very well behaved three-yearolds. - Turn your cell phone off. It’s not only rude to your lecturer who is trying to help you pass your classes, but also to your classmates, who are paying the same fees you are. If you’re expecting an important call, turn it on silent or better yet, tell them to call OUTSIDE of classroom hours. - Don’t turn up late. It’s not the first week of uni anymore so you should know how long it takes to get from class to class, or bed to class. If you don’t, time yourself. Remember to factor in 10 extra minutes for traffic, people who ignore the moving around campus note, the line at your local coffee shop and the queues for the lift. - Sit in the middle of rows and work your way out. If you know the lecture is a full one, don’t leave seats between people. They don’t bite and if they do I’m sure you can get them removed. - Bring pen and paper. Being prepared is cool.
If you want to use your study time to talk to your friends about who would play you in a movie or to gossip about which classmate took their clothes off at Matt’s party on the weekend then that’s your business, but take that conversation to a café, not the library. You might not be worried about your degree just yet (that probably won’t kick in until
issue 02 2011
AUT Lifts middle of second year) but the people in the library surrounded by textbooks or hunched over their laptops are. It amazes me how some students disregard the signs that say “silent study” because they think their storytelling is more important than someone’s education. Guess what? It’s not. The same goes for people talking on cell phones – take it outside.
Moving Around Campus
First years tend to hang out in groups of other scared first years, which is great when you’re sitting in the quad, having lunch, but really shit when you all walk in a footpath in a line and block all the one-man wolf packs (mad respect if you pick up on the film reference). I know you all want to link arms and involve everyone in your posse, but you’re less likely to be flipped the bird if you break off into groups of two when you’re walking down the street or to lectures. Don’t worry, you can meet up with your gaggle when you all sit together in lectures or at the free AuSM movie screenings.
Don’t worry, all first years before you also got five envelopes containing the exact same letters and contracts. Studylink either has a shit database system in place or really hates trees.
Lift etiquette is one of the most important things you need to master at AUT, especially if you’re one of the hundreds in the WT tower that try to get up the lifts five minutes before class starts. It may sound simple and that’s because it is, but apparently some people don’t even understand simple elevator rules. - If you’re going to level three or below, take the effing stairs. Nothing grinds people’s gears more than students who waits five minutes for a lift, takes someone’s place and then proceeds to push level two, while everyone else is going to level eight or higher. You could have walked to your class twice in the time it took you to wait. - Wait until everyone is out of the lift before getting in. It’s not going to go anywhere until you’re all in it. Also, if you know you’re going to a higher level, move to the back. - Don’t answer your cell phone in the lift. It’s awkward enough in that small space without having to hear someone’s pointless conversation. Plus they have crap reception. - Turn your headphones down – no one wants to listen to your crap choice of tunes. - If you see someone who needs the lift more than you (anyone wheeling or carrying a lot of equipment, people in wheelchairs, people with guide dogs, strollers etc) let them through. - Never let one rip in the elevator. That’s just wrong.
If you’re a student at the City campus, don’t drive to university. There’s barely any parking and the spaces that are available are a billion dollars an hour (or something like that). If you live in some ridiculous part of town and have to drive because the bus system is shit in your area then park your car in one of the city fringe areas (Ponsonby, Parnell, Herne Bay) and walk in. You’ll get your 30 minutes of daily exercise and your legs will be toned by the end of the year (even more so if you encounter hills or stairs). There’s pay and display parking over on the North Shore campus and AUT also has a shuttle bus service that runs between all three campuses $2.50 per ride (North Shore to Manukau and vice versa counts as two rides). Students at the Manukau campus not only have the greenest campus and a Wii in their student lounge, they also have a free student car park if they want to drive to class in the morning.
AUT is co-hosting this year’s University Games and AuSM wants the biggest team of Titans to beat all the other universities and bring back the shield to its rightful home (it hasn’t been here since 2006). Whether you were a jock in high school or just enjoyed a casual game of netball, there’s something for everyone. Plus, it will help combat the “freshman 15” that will no doubt be starting to happen from all the booze, junk food and lack of exercise.
by Conor Whitten University teaches us that plagiarism is the eighth deadly sin, to be avoided as vigilantly as wrath, envy or lust. But life shows us that in the real world, often the best ideas are those that belong to somebody else. Christopher Nolan spent more than a decade working on one of the most original movies ever with Inception, only to be snubbed from the best directing category at this year’s Academy Awards. At the other end of the spectrum, James Cameron’s Avatar taught us that you can borrow an entire plotline from science fiction (and a Disney movie) and turn it into the highest grossing movie of all time and pick up a few awards in the process. Disgraced scientist Stephen Wilce showed us that you can falsify a CV and end up in a senior role in the New Zealand Defence Force. And Nickelback proved that you can release the same song every year under a different name and become the best selling artist of the decade. Popular music has recycled the same power chord and three-chord melodies for decades now – after all, there are only so many ways you can arrange the 12 notes of the musical scale. But these days it’s proving much more lucrative to recycle whole songs themselves. Bands like Linkin Park and Nickelback have been squeezing money out of fresh batches of 12-year-olds for years using this strategy; pumping out interchangeable singles that could all be played simultaneously without ever slipping out of sync (Google “all Linkin Park songs sound the same” for proof next time you’re procrastinating). But while plagurising yourself is simply creative sloth, claiming another’s work as your own is far more sinister – and if the pop charts are anything to go by, even more successful. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a theme or idea from another artist. Breakthrough singer Ke$ha’s chart-topping debut Tik Tok – an ode to pedicures, wardrobes and poor oral hygiene – bears a striking resemblance to Uffie’s Tthhee Paarrttyy in both lyrics and style (YouTube it and judge for yourself). Likewise, Taylor Swift’s single You Belong With Me (“She wears short skirt, I wear t-shirts/She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers”) mimics Saving Jane’s Girl Next Door almost word for word, note for note (“she is the prom queen, I’m in the marching band/ She is a cheerleader, I’m sitting in the stands”). Apparently all teenage girls have the exact same high school experience. And even the biggest name in pop music right now – Lady Gaga – can’t escape the copycat syndrome. Her latest single, Born This Way, was tipped
At the other end of the spectrum, James Cameron’s Avatar taught us that you can borrow an entire plotline from science fiction (and a Disney movie) and turn it into the highest grossing movie of all time and pick up a few awards in the process. to be the next big revolution in pop music and fans endured a drawn out countdown of almost a year. But once the “Mother Monster” released it onto the world, all people heard was Madonna’s Express Yourself. It’s uncanny. Likewise, Katy Perry’s current hit E.T. bears more than a slight sound resemblance to the massive 2003 hit All The Things She Said by Russian act t.A.T.u. Other times, it’s entire songs that are hijacked and re-branded as new. The Black Eyed Peas’ bizarre single The Time (Dirty Bit) not only gets its lyrics and hook from Dirty Dancing’s The Time of my Life, but lifts the beat straight from Deadmau5 track You and I. In fact, just about the only part of the song that the Peas actually wrote themselves is the stunning line, “dirty bit”. I wonder which songwriter extraordinaire came up with that one. And this isn’t a new or isolated phenomenon. By Kurt Cobain’s own admission, Smells Like Teen Spirit, the Nirvana song that defined an
entire generation, owed its unmistakable, gutpunching riff to Boston’s More Than a Feeling. Closer to home, not one but two songs by New Zealand rockers I Am Giant appear to borrow heavily from Velvet Revolver’s She Builds Quick Machines (potentially by chance, but the line between coincidence and conspiracy can be difficult to define). Undoubtedly every major artist has influences and inspiration has to come from somewhere, but true creativity seems increasingly rare these days – at least in pop culture. I should know. I wrote a riff just the other name that had me dreaming of sex, drugs and rock and roll, arena tours festival main stages and Guitar Hero franchises… before I realised that I’d just rewritten the intro to Metallica’s 1991 smash hit The Unforgiven. Originality is an elusive virtue and apparently life is much easier for those who leave it at the door.
issue 02 2011
Heels, Meals IMmature & Sealing Deals by Jason Burnett
The times they are a-changing. Being a child of the 80s I feel I am a dying breed. My childhood was spent outdoors with nothing but my imagination to keep me entertained looking oh so cool with my buzzcut/mullet/ratstail, my browned cancer-inducing tan and acid-flashback-coloured track pants (that had the very practical heel strap!). I took interest in the world around me, imagining I was a star cruiser captain running around fields with my friends, shooting invisible laser beams at their imaginary space ships. It was a good time. It was a fun time. It was always, at the least, a personably entertaining time. I look around these days at the next decade of kids coming through the ranks and although they are just a few years my junior, I do wonder if maybe they’ve changed the cloth from which we are all cut. I call them generation “right now”! With attention spans shorter than a limp dick, they must have something to entertain them right now. Peter Griffin seems to scratch that itch. But as soon as the Family Guy credits roll they want – no, they need – something else and they need it right now! Sure, there is always more TV to get square eyes from but who has the patience to wait through ad breaks? Substitute the TV tan for another artificial light box that not only keeps you that pasty white tan that is so HAWT right now (and a necessity for that Jersey Shore orange glow all the kids are spraying onto themselves these days) but also allows you to engage in deep, meaningful conversation with people all over the world – the internet! Don’t get me wrong, the internet is an amazing tool and with the wealth of ways to procrastinate that uni assignment, it seems to now define our personalities, realities and relationships. Facebook, I believe, was not created by Mark Zuckerberg, but by Satan himself as a way to drain the souls of its 500 million users before everyone dies in 2012 and has to relocate upstairs or down. Sure it’s great for keeping in contact or stalking that high school crush, but today it seems we define ourselves with idiotic status updates and replace personal interaction with user comments on those idiotic status updates. My personal hate is the daily “I’m having so and so for dinner” which seems to dominate my news feed between 5.30pm and 7pm. No one meets anyone in real life anymore, it’s all just friend requests. Hell, even texting seems out of date now everyone has an iPhone and can just as easily log onto Facebook and LOL at your dinner update – instantaneous “deep and meaningfuls”! Maybe every generation feels a disconnection from subsequent ones, but unlike previous generations, the “right now” kids would rather get lost in a digital translation and leave this world behind. Bob Dylan saw this coming half a decade ago.
by Elana Kluner
In a married household, when the phone rings and the voice at the other end is the husband’s boss telling him about a week long business trip he’s needed for at the end of the month, it’s a happy day. The husband is ecstatic because he is about to make a crucial business deal that could lead to a raise. The wife is gleeful because she gets to catch up with her girlfriends, go shopping, watch girly DVDs and go out dancing at night. There comes a point in every relationship where you become completely comfortable. You know that this person loves you and will be with you day in and day out, so when an opportunity to be away from each other comes along, you are not threatened by it. You know a week apart will not break your bond. So what happens when this same scenario lands upon two people who have just starting dating? Unlike the married couple, time is needed for them to get to know each other. Building a bond relies on days spent together and making a deeper connection that can only happen when the two are side by side. It’s easy to say “bad timing” and let the relationship disperse, but what if you really like each other? What if you think this could be something special? What if this person is worth the distance, the constant business trips and the time away? Can you make it work while he’s away for work? A good friend of mine, Layla, has been dating a man named Geoffrey for nearly six months. Geoffrey works for a company that requires him to be out of town quite often. At first, their relationship seemed to be suffering because they weren’t able to spend the time together needed to make something work. Every time Layla felt like she was getting closer to Geoffrey, he would leave again for a week or two, which would set them back even more. This was a continuous cycle that went on for months, but neither of them felt close enough to each other to be honest with what was going on and try to work something out. Nothing was official yet so Geoffrey felt like it wasn’t his place to say that he needed her around when he came back and Layla felt like she would be nagging him if she told him she needed more of his time. All in all, the communication was slim and the chance at a lasting relationship was fading fast. One day, Layla decided that if this was something she really wanted, she needed to step up to the plate and take a swing. She told Geoffrey how she felt and to her surprise, he felt exactly the same way. They both agreed that the time apart was setting them back so they made a plan. Geoffrey told Layla to call him any time she wanted to hang out and Layla told Geoffrey the same. They had both been playing the hard-to-get card, but it clearly wasn’t working. Plus, why play hard-to-get when they are already hard-toget? Like Geoffrey told Layla, if you want to see someone, there’s no point in avoidance. Chances are that they will want to see you too.
Now that’s what I call Volume Two with Samantha McQueen
These last two weeks have been marred by the devastation of the Christchurch earthquake and because of New Zealand’s two degrees of separation, chances are you knew someone that was affected, injured or sadly no longer with us. So even though you’re only a poor student, if you can, donate to the Red Cross or Salvation Army, who are tirelessly working around the clock to help all those affected by the quake. Watch the game at home with friends and some beers instead of paying $5 door charges at the viaduct or add a couple of gold coins to your grocery bill when you go through the checkout. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but just think how much you’d want their help if it was us in their shoes.
The Biggest Loser
I’m not a big fan of reality television (sorry Jersey Shore lovers) but every Wednesday night without fail I find myself in front of the television with a bowl of ice cream or custard watching The Biggest Loser on FOUR. I don’t know what it is about watching severely obese Americans battle it out to win chunks (hilarious pun!) of cash. It could be the tear-inducing back stories, the dramatic weigh in music or the immunity challenges but in the end, who cares? Plus, watching people exercise and lose weight is almost the same as doing it yourself, right?
Washington – How To Tame Lions
If you haven’t heard Washington’s name before now, do yourself a favour and get acquainted with her EP, How To Tame Lions, quick. I was lucky enough to catch a private show of this amazing Aussie lass (although she was raised in Papua New Guinea) when she was in New Zealand last month and she blew me away with how good she is live (you won’t find autotune on this album). As an aside, hunt down her song, The Ballad of Bokito and Petronella (not on the EP), which is based on the true story of a gorilla who falls in love with a woman at a zoo and after eight years of seeing her, escapes from his enclosure and crushes her with a hug.
Now Missing Summer
Even though it’s responsible for all that nasty sunburn, empty wallets and expanding waistline (Christmas belly is no longer in style apparently) I really don’t want to have to wait another nine months until summer rolls around again. Here’s hoping autumn will still have warm temperatures, but without the humidity, mosquitoes and people wearing togs as undies. If you think you’re on the pulse with what’s happening in Auckland, email email@example.com with your own Suggestions for Volume Three.
horoscopes ARIES (March 21-April 19)
The stars see a skirt-tucked-in-undies or toiletpaper-on-foot incident this week. You have been warned.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Becoming a university student does not mean you need to scrimp on personal hygiene. Invest in a bar of soap this week.
GEMINI (May 21-June 21)
Wow, only one week at uni and you’re already sporting a bit of a gut. That’s as impressive as it is repulsive.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Remember that $5 you found last week from rummaging through everyone’s belongings? Donate it to the Red Cross. Karma will make sure you’ll see it again.
LEO (July 23-August 22)
Puppies, free food and unexpected cash are all in your sign this week. Uni life rocks, right?
VIRGO (August 23-September 22)
With summer officially over it’s time to start befriending people with dryers and culinary skills.
LIBRA (September 23-October 23) Don’t worry, no one else understands APA referencing either.
SCORPIO (October 24-November 21)
Spend this week revisiting your times tables. Even though you’re studying Communications, that’s no excuse not to know basic multiplication.
If your flatmate keeps splashing onto the seat, gladwrap the toilet seat so he knows what it feels like to get a nasty surprise in the middle of the night.
CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19)
The saying “like taking candy from a baby” will have a new meaning for you this week. Just don’t actually take candy from a baby, because that shit is just messed up.
AQUARIUS (January 20-Febuary 18)
Find out which people in your lecture have a pool at home and be friends with them. Casually mention you’re a water sign and you always bring a bag of chips to a party.
PISCES (Febuary 19-March 20)
If you’re eating Burger Fuel and drinking Starbucks every day, you clearly need to rethink your student budget.
02 2011 issue 01
Dear Agony Aunt
My friend’s mum was diagnosed with skin cancer a few weeks ago and it’s got me thinking that I should be doing more to make sure I’m okay. How do you check for skin cancer? What does it look like? I’m 20, am I too young to get it? From Just Checking This Agony Aunt column is brought to you by the team at Health, Counselling and Wellbeing. If you have a question you would like answered email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Agony Aunt as the subject or drop it in to the Health, Counselling and Wellbeing office.
Dear Agony Aunt
I am fed up with my friends getting out of their head when we go out. I don’t want to get so drunk that I can’t remember what I did the next morning. I think I have outgrown this kind of behaviour, I just wish my friends felt the same. They make me feel like I’m being boring if I say no when I’ve had enough to drink so I usually just join in and get hammered. What should I do? From Had Enough
Dear Had Enough
Find some new friends. Getting out of your head with alcohol and drugs is immature, irresponsible and downright dangerous. Your friends are unlikely to change their behaviour just because you don’t want to behave like that anymore so let them go ahead without you. Eventually they will grow up too.
Dear Just Checking
No, you are most definitely not too young to get skin cancer. It is the most common form of cancer in New Zealand; two out of every three New Zealanders will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Most can be cured with early diagnosis and treatment. The sooner skin cancers are detected the simpler the treatment so it is very important to be safe in the sun and to check regularly for any skin changes. Get into the habit of checking your skin at the start of each season. It is important to use a mirror or get a family member or a friend to help you. Check EVERYWHERE, including the genitals. You are looking for any mole or freckle which changes over a period of months, particularly if it grows in size, changes shape, becomes mottled in colour and irregular in outline. See a doctor if you notice any existing moles that start bleeding, feel different or become itchy. If unsure, get it checked. It is extremely important to protect yourself from the sun, particularly during daylight saving months in New Zealand (11am to 5pm). Cover up with a broad-brimmed hat, clothing and sunscreen. Use a SPF30+ sunscreen 20 minutes before going out and reapply two-hourly if you can’t avoid being in the sun for this long.
Girls on campus —
take charge of your
Confidential drop-in clinic at Health, Counselling & Wellbeing every Wednesday 9am – noon.
Rubble Donate Earthquake Ritcher University
AuSM Hypnotist Orientation Free Feed debate
• • • • • •
pill repeat pill teach depo cervical smear emergency contraceptive pill (ecp) sexual health check and advice.
Not sure? come and discuss your contraceptive options with nurses jo and fiona. Get in touch: telephone: 09 921 9992 location: wb219, city campus website: www.aut.ac.nz/health
The (Fashion) Gloves Come Out by Petra Benton
s far as summer films go, Black Swan pretty much slaughtered all opposition with its exploration into the human mind and all of its dangerous, self-destructive, flip-sided elements. However, behind the undisputed intelligence and beauty of the film, there lies a fairly prolific bitch-fest taking place between the film’s official costume designer Amy Westcott and design duo the Mulleavy sisters (pictured below) of high-end label Rodarte, who created a number of the ballet costumes. What initially began as an inkling of discontent over credit given to Rodarte has escalated into a fully publicised scrap which has highly likely influenced the controversial decision to snub Westcott for an Academy Awards nomination. Rodarte was brought into the film through lead actress Natalie Portman, who is frequently seen wearing the label at red-carpet events. Highly respected in the fashion world, Kate and Laura Mulleavy have until now had a glowing image, with their undeniable creative talent and subsequent winning of various industry awards. In the other corner of the ring is costume designer Amy Westcott, who has won both BAFTA and CDG awards for her film work, but of whom very little can be found in the media. Google her and it’s a pretty small list. It’s fair to say she is not a fan of the media and prefers to stay (successfully) out of the public eye. Right from the get-go this doesn’t look like a fair battle. As with any exchange of blows there are, of course, two sides to the story, but when dealing with high publicity people such as the Mulleavy’s, there is also the added side of the media. Due to the discrepancies in public profiles, Westcott has argued that they’ve used their publicists to influence and meld information of the situation to how it is presented in the media. Westcott, on the other hand, couldn’t do much about her name being
thrown about in a less than desirable manner. Not only did she not have a publicist, but throughout early days of Rodarte airing their discontent she was instructed not to engage in the issue, in an attempt to keep the film away from “bad press”. Evidently this cloak of sunshine and butterflies has long since faded, with a recent interview with Amy Westcott presenting a no holds-barred approach to the row. She sums it up: “Controversy is too complimentary a word for two people using their considerable self-publicising resources to loudly complain about their credit once they realised how good the film is.” It’s visible how far the drama has veered from reality when the number of costumes Rodarte contributed is observed. The media has been gushing about how they designed 40 costumes, whereas the confirmed factual number lies at seven. Where the fictional other 33 popped out from is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they too sprouted out of Nina’s back wound. In the press it has also been reported that these supposed 40 costumes included not only Portman’s black and white swan costumes, but also the majority of the ballet corps. This is not only incorrect but also very unfair as it takes credit away from the actual designers. The vast majority of the ballet corps costumes were designed by renowned ballet specialists Jack Brown and other every-day pieces by Yumiko who are both highly respected in the ballet world. It is here that it’s clear what Westcott is emphasising in her interviews is so very true and that is that the costuming on Black Swan really was a joint
effort and collaboration between not only Amy Westcott and the Mulleavy sisters, but also between Jack Brown, Yumiko and Darren Aronofsky. Amy Westcott herself worked meticulously on Black Swan and it is very disappointing that this drama has overshadowed her excellent job and overall contribution to the success of the film. Westcott spent more than three months solidly researching Aronofsky’s vision and fully immersing herself in the ballet world. In an already under-appreciated occupation this controversy is hardly helpful. Since the media leapt on the case, other costume designers have revealed they too have encountered this type of post-film release credit battle, but because of Rodarte’s high fashion-profile, this particular case gathered more press. Now that the Academy Awards have passed (and passed right over Westcott) the battle of the designers appears to have trickled out, with Rodarte no doubt busily working on another collection and Westcott on another film. You can safely bet they won’t be chatting over plans of a future collaboration though, with Westcott stating she would most likely never work with another designer again after such a special first encounter. It can only be hoped that this rather public clash will gather more work and a higher public profile for Amy Westcott. There’s no dispute that the costumes by Rodarte were breathtaking and incredibly executed, but all in all that’s no reason to lie and trash another through the media.
issue 02 01 2011
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Grab a 2degrees Student SIM from participating campus bookstores, 2degrees stores or wherever you see the Blue Pyramid.
bluepyramid.co.nz * Buy a 2degrees Student SIM and get two $10 Texts Packs with 2000 texts each and $20 credit. $20 credit and first $10 Text Pack applied on activation of SIM card. Second Pack added 30 days later. Offer only on Prepay. †Stated benefit is based on receiving the initial two free $10 Text Packs, and referring 10 friends who have successfully activated a 2degrees Student SIM. For each referred friend you will receive $10 credit which you may apply towards a $10 Text Pack (i.e you could receive 12 $10 Text Packs each to be applied over the 30 day validity period). See full Terms & Conditions. www.ausm.org.nz
Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Film Review by Samantha McQueen (C)
Thirteen years ago, Peter and Bobby Farrelly had us all looking at hair gel a little differently with their raunchy comedy, There’s Something About Mary. It was a promising follow up to cult classic Dumb and Dumber but it seems the directorial duo peaked too soon. Since then, their unique, risqué comedy has disappeared from their movies and audiences enduring their latest offering, Hall Pass, only have Larry Joe Campbell taking a dump on a golf course to try and make them chuckle. The premise behind this “strictly boys only” comedy is a simple one. Rick (Wilson) and Fred (Sudeikis) are two married best friends who think, even though they’re on the wrong side of 40 and still wear Hawaiian shirts, that they can still score with the young women they’re constantly caught gawking at. After an overheard conversation on how much they’d pay for consequence-free infidielty and an embarrassing scene at a friend’s party involving the host’s wife’s vagina the men find themselves with a hall pass from their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate respectively), which means a week off marriage to get it “all out of their systems”. While it is at the introduction of the hall pass that the comedy magic should come alive, instead we’re treated to two days of them stuffing their faces with meat at Appleby’s and playing golf while doped up on hash brownies, before any real female temptation comes along. For Rick, it’s the blonde Australian barista at his local coffee shop, the just turned 21-yearold babysitter Paige and her 45-year-old aunt Meg. For Fred, it’s a recently non-smoker with a stomach problem and a failed attempt at some Thai “massage”. Meanwhile, the wives are doing much better over on the Cape, with their college baseball players and silver fox coach. Though Wilson (Zoolander, Wedding Crashers) is an old hat at comedy, even he seems pained at the lines he’s having to read. And he’s not even lumped with the crudest jokes or the gag-inducing, um, gags. That unfortunate task is left to Sudeikis, an SNL regular, who has to
rely on sex and shit jokes to try and get some laughs. He’s certainly not going to wow people with his performance, considering he shares no chemistry with either Wilson or his on-screen wife Applegate, making you wonder how they ended up together in the first place. In fact, the women are the ones who momentarily lift Hall Pass out of shit creek, but their scenes are few and far between. If you’re a fan of sex talk and unnecessary nudity, then Hall Pass should satisfy all your bases. But for those that like a bit of substance with their storyline, just give this film a pass.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra Film Review by Joshua Martin
Imagine being a well respected and wealthy doctor, traveling to a beautiful foreign land as a keynote speaker for a medical conference, accompanied by your catwalk-worthy wife. Life seems as if it can get no better when, of course, it all goes downhill. In an attempt to avoid a falling fridge, the taxi you’re in swerves, smashes through the barrier and crashes straight into the icy river, knocking you unconscious in the process. Upon awakening, you discover your identity has been stolen and there is not a single soul who recognises you, including your wife. This is only the beginning of a series of somewhat unfortunate events that take place in Unknown, based on the novel, Out of my Mind by Didier Van Cauwelaert. Liam Neeson (Taken, Schindler’s list) leads the charge as Dr Martin Harris, who has been invited to speak at a biotechnology conference set in the picturesque city of Berlin. Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Harris, played by the stunning January Jones (Mad Men), is the wife of the traumatised Doctor. When Martin discharges himself from the hospital and makes his way back to his hotel, he is denied by Liz, who introduces him to her husband, who also claims to be Dr Martin Harris. This sends the real Martin into a spin, and unsure of what to do, he recruits the help of the reluctant taxi driver (Diane Kruger). The rest of the story pretty much centres on Martin trying to find out what has happened to his life in the four day since his accident, finding people who can vouch for the fact that
he is indeed who he says he is, and finding out why this is happening to him. Let’s be honest: the whole stolen identity thing has been played out with the Bourne Trilogy. Neeson puts in a solid performance as the lost and confused doctor, but you can’t help but yearn for Neeson to hook someone up to electrical mains like he does in Taken. Kruger’s attempt at an overstaying taxi driver come diner worker has moments of sincerity and believability, but overall leaves the audience with a somewhat forgettable performance while Jones leaves you stunned with her staggered and jilted portrayal of a forgetful wife. On the whole, the story is clever, and well told, albeit a theme that has been done over and again. There is enough action in Unknown to keep even the most easily distracted audience member captive and plenty of twists to keep the avid detective guessing, although no Oscars will be handed out in honour of this film. It is definitely worth watching if only to see a vengeful Liam Neeson hold a gun again, but those looking for the out-of-your-mind action thriller will be somewhat disappointed.
Directed by Jonathan Lynn Film Review by Jess Etheridge
Bill Nighy is Victor Maynard, a “taller than average, skinnier than average” man with a big fuzzy moustache who just happens to be a professional assassin. He lived with his mother, who gave him his first gun on his seventh birthday, until she had to be placed in the local infirmary. Maynard is hired by the very rich, very dangerous Ferguson (Rupert Everett) to kill Rose, played by Emily Blunt, after she cons him out of $1 million. Maynard’s reputation of being the very best assassin was untarnished until he was hired for this particular job, but something stops him from harming Rose. His mother had her suspicions about Victor’s love life but for the first time in his life, he feels something other than the drive to kill someone. Along the way, Victor acquires an apprentice called Tony, played by Rupert Grint. The trio must find a way to protect Rose and get rid of Ferguson for good. Bill Nighy has brilliant talent, as seen in
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his previous stints in Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Underworld films. He does character acting extremely well. Unfortunately, he is poorly cast as an extremely underwhelming assassin. Many other well known spy-type characters, such as James Bond, have such swagger and charisma which is what makes them interesting. Maynard is as dull as a doorknob and I think Nighy knows it. The only stand out performance is Harry Potter alumni, Rupert Grint. As the young and keen Tony, Grint manages to steal every single scene he’s in through his comedic charm and witty delivery. Grint has started to branch out in order to separate himself from his Ron Weasley portrayal and in Wild Target he demonstrates just how far his acting chops can stretch. Wild Target quite clearly tries to be a witty British action story but the poor delivery through dialogue and terrible editing fails the cast which could have been so much more. At one point, we see Nighy’s character redecorating his living room to impress Rose, but then the film jumps to another scene less than a minute later that has no connection whatsoever. Director Jonathan Lynn seems to have lost his touch since he directed the brilliant criminal comedy, The Whole Nine Yards. Ideas were all over the place, there seemed to be no set idea for who Victor Maynard actually is and there was no solid direction in post production to keep this film together. British humour is usually a winner, however I strongly advise anyone wanting to see Wild Target to STAY AWAY.
Album Review by Joshua Martin
in the Deep) and a cover of a song from iconic pop stars of times past (Lovesong). But on closer inspection you realise this Brit has developed both vocally, musically and lyrically since the release of her debut single Hometown Glory back in 2007. The leading single Rolling in the Deep, which debuted at number one on the NZ iTunes charts in February, has mastered the unique ability to lure you in with its pop rhythms and melodies, and then slap you in the face with it’s vengeance fueled lyrics (“Think of me in the depths of your despair/You’re gonna wish you never had met me, tears are gonna fall”). Showing off his Midas touch ability to turn any song into an international hit, One Republic front man Ryan Tedder collaborated on two typically catchy and creative songs; the fun and cheeky play-on-words of Rumour Has It and the heart wrenching pain of Turning Tables. Someone Like You and One and Only have heavy lyrical content that could melt the heart of an ice cube, and hooks that hang around in your head for hours after you’ve heard them. The latter showcases Adele’s ability to take the listener on a journey through her personal desires to be loved and the brave challenge she sets before an unnamed lover. In the remake of the classic The Cure hit, Lovesong, she captures the emotion of the song perfectly by seemingly causing a moment of stillness in the album with the repetition of the words, “However far away, however long I stay, whatever words I say, I will always love you”. Though there are many similarities between 21 and 19, this new and beautiful musical gift stands on its own two legs, by taking the listener on a ride that includes toe-tapping pop hits, soul stirring ballads, poignant lyrics and concludes with a brave show of raw emotions. It has the ability to not only perk up your day, but also challenge you to think deeply about love and life in a world where it is socially more acceptable to keep your heart in your chest, and not on your sleeve.
Flip Grater There is something magical that happens when you listen to 21, the sophomore album of Grammy award winning singer Adele. You are transported from the 2000s back to a time where music was more than just a clever mix of auto-tune and electronic instruments, but an art. At first this album seems like a mirror of her critically and commercially acclaimed debut album 19. Well written lyrical gems (One and Only, Don’t You Remember), Pop hits (Rolling
Album Review by Katie Montgomerie (B+)
now resides in Auckland – and is a seasoned artist, releasing three albums to date. She is signed with Maiden Records and has been producing music since she got back to New Zealand from Sweden when she was in her 20s. While I’m Awake I’m at War is Flip Grater’s third album. There are 11 tracks on this album in total and they are all very introspective, making you feel as if you are getting a glimpse into the person, Flip Grater. Her music is most commonly slow and sensual with some backing of violins and other strings, especially in the title song. However the majority of her music is accompanied by the guitar. One of my favourite tracks on the album is I Am Gone. This song has a faster tempo than many of the other songs on her album and is reminiscent of country folk. You can tell from this and many of her other songs that Flip Grater has loved and lost. A lot of her songs centre on the theme of struggling with emotions and feeling fragile; “None of this counts for nothing. A kiss on the mouth means nothing.” This is also prevalent in her song Careful, another favourite of mine; “Be careful how you lay your hands on me. I may not be as tough as you think.” Flip Grater has a soft, lilting voice that has led to many comparisons to Stevie Nicks and French pop singers. On this album her voice sounds quite raw and unedited which is a welcome change from hyper-edited mainstream music. However it’s not the type of CD you would listen to if you need something to get you motivated. Most of her songs are very sleepy, not to mention quite sad and melancholy. It’s perfect if you’re winding down after a long busy day, relaxing in the bath tub, background music for a dinner with friends or a lazy Sunday. My only criticism of While I’m Awake I’m at War would be the lack of variety in this album. All of her songs sound very similar and centre on the same theme. But, as people have said to me before, this isn’t a mixed tape. This is an artist with a very defined style and she needs to maintain this for her branding. If you’re a fan of Flip Grater already or like the sound of an alt/country/folk/indie/pop mesh artist (it really is hard to put her in a box!) you will most probably enjoy Flip Grater’s new album. If you like something a bit more upbeat, I would suggest you look elsewhere. I personally think she is very talented and like listening to her, even if it is just for the beautiful sound she creates.
Some may know her from the Red Bull Live Sessions on bfm, but some may not know her at all. Flip Grater is Cantabrian born – although
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Certificate of Communication Studies
What are you most looking forward to about university? The friendships that I will make and learning all about the communication industry Worst thing about Auckland? The traffic! Most annoying song on the radio right now? Any song by Justin Bieber If you could be any animal, what would you be? A shark because it is scary in a fierce way Who do you think will win the Rugby World Cup? Tonga (Quietly biased)
Bachelor of Communication Studies
What are you most looking forward to about university? Looking forward to meeting new people and being a student... and being able to use Vesbar! Worst thing about Auckland? The big crowds and sometimes the weather Most annoying song on the radio right now? California Girls by Katy Perry If you could be any animal, what would you be? A giraffe… because they have a blue tongue Who do you think will win the Rugby World Cup? The All Blacks! We get to watch them from our hostel
Bachelor of Communication Studies
What are you most looking forward to about university? Learning all the new experiences and memories Worst thing about Auckland? The buses and traffic Most annoying song on the radio right now? Check it Out by Nicki Minaj If you could be any animal, what would you be? A tiger because it is the king Who do you think will win the Rugby World Cup? South Africa because I’m from there and think they’re pretty good!
Bachelor of Communication Studies
What are you most looking forward to about university? Having days off, sleeping in and having a student life Worst thing about Auckland? Door charges at the clubs at night and having a long way to travel to get anywhere Most annoying song on the radio right now? Grenade by Bruno Mars If you could be any animal, what would you be? A flamingo because it just stands there all day and gets to be pink Who do you think will win the Rugby World Cup? All Blacks of course!
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Bachelor of Communication Studies
What are you most looking forward to about university? Meeting new people… find me on Facebook Worst thing about Auckland? “Mission-ing” to get anywhere (It’s such a mission). And I can’t walk from town or actually anywhere Most annoying song on the radio right now? Hold It Against Me by Britney Spears If you could be any animal, what would you be? Giraffe because the view’s good from up top Who do you think will win the Rugby World Cup? All Blacks because Dan Carter is my favourite
Bachelor of Communication Studies
What are you most looking forward to about university? It seems pretty good all around… a big city, new experiences, learning about myself and all that other stuff Worst thing about Auckland? All the construction and not keeping it green Most annoying song on the radio right now? Homesick by Stan Walker If you could be any animal, what would you be A meercat because it’s cute Who do you think will win the Rugby World Cup? All Blacks because of Sonny Bill! issue 02 2011
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