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FEBRUARY 2014

EMILY EATON EDITOR SARAH LONG CREATIVE DIRECTOR MONICA JANKOWSKI MUSIC DIRECTOR EDITORIAL CONTRUBITIONS: MITCHELL PASCOE SPORT TORY PRICE FASHION TOM BENSLEY LIFE MIA FRANCISCO LIFE YEN LI WONG LIFE ROBERT KAUFMAN LET’S GET WEIRD FEATURING: 360, NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE, BONNIE ARBITTIER, JULCANOUE, FANG GANG, FLAMINGO AMIGOS ENQUIRIES / SUBMISSION / ADVERTISING: SARAH@BLAIREMAGAZINE.COM ABN: 62359130068 WWW.BLAIREMAGAZINE.COM

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CONTENTS

6. COWSPIRACY 8.

NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE

13.

MUSIC REVIEWS

14. 360 20.

THE MALE PILL

22.

FLAMINGO AMIGOS

30.

LET’S GET WEIRD

32.

YOU’RE SO GAY

34.

PHOTOGRAPHY / BONNIE ARBITTIER

40.

FASHION / FANG GANG

44.

NEW AGE SPORTS?

46.

ART / JULCANOUÈ

50.

ZOMBIE SALTS

52.

CHEEKY CHAPTERS / THE BABYSITTER

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COWSPIRACY Whichever way you look at it, our planet is on the losing end. Eating red meat could be the reason why.

When I was asked to write an article on Cowspiracy, I have to admit my first thought was one of amusement. Cowspiracy, really? Visions of Animal Farm-esque caricatures went through my mind. Then I started researching the topic and my amusement gradually faded to embarrassment and anger. Embarrassment because I had made light of something which is causing so much damage to the environment. And anger because based on Cowspiracy, it seems that we have been fighting a losing battle where the environment is concerned. Put it this way, we think we know the best way to combat the crap that Mother Nature is going through. We’ve been told to go on guns all blazing at a target (*cough* energy *cough*). We thought this would actually work towards saving the environment. But what happens when you’re targeting the wrong fucking thing? When the topic of sustainability and a sustainable lifestyle comes up, one nominally thinks about consumption and wastage. For instance: if Bart switches to solar energy, he receives immediate savings on his energy bill. Benefits of this are numerous: Bart gets to save money on his energy bill and also help save the environment because solar energy is obviously renewable and clean. Another example: Sarah is determined not 6

to contribute to landfill as much as she can. So Sarah shops at second hand stores, donates her old items to charity, does not purchase anything in disposable boxes, cartons or bottles and uses a Bokashi Bin to deal with her waste. Kudos to Bart and Sarah for joining the environmental bandwagon and doing their bit to help save our planet from self-destructing. All those measures are good and all, but according to Cowspiracy, there is one thing that almost all humans do every day that does more harm to the environment. Meat is the cause of all environmental problems. Forget all that banal bullshit about saving the world through switching to clean energy. If you think you’re an environmentalist and yet you still eat meat, your wrongdoings might actually outweigh any good you reckon you’ve done in your pursuit for a happy and healthy planet. So, the giant elephant in the room is animal agriculture. When someone decides to go on a meat-free diet, reasons are normally for religion or against cruelty to animals. However, hardly anyone comes up with the reason that the environment is the most hard done by human’s propensity to enjoy meat during mealtimes. Holy cow, why didn’t anyone mention something about this

earlier? I mean, when anyone talks about human activities, why doesn’t the topic of meat consumption come up? If animal agriculture is the single biggest factor that is killing the environment, why have we not been told? Obviously, animal agriculture is big bucks and industry bigwigs have a lot to lose if people ever start boycotting meat. Still, there is a lot more at stake than mega moolah. This is one part of human’s lifestyle that is single-handedly hazardous to life as we know it. If you’re not convinced, let’s just get some statistics to put everything into more perspective. For starters, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) states that the ‘the livestock sector contributes to human-induced GHG emissions for 14.5% and is a large user of natural resources… through grazing and the use of feed crops.’ Land and water – the backbone of animal agriculture – are growing increasingly scarce and this is a result of a lovehate relationship between the two components. Animals need land and water in order to grow; however, the usage of these resources is more than supply can keep up with. Whichever way you look at it, our planet is definitely on the losing end. When one looks at global emissions by source, you would automatically


note that energy emissions tend to top the charts. Agriculture would usually be somewhere near the middle of the list. However, when you take into consideration factors such as land use and forestry, you will soon realise that agriculture should really be somewhere near the top of the list, if not the number one contributor of global emissions. How is that for manipulation of statistics and figures? Segregation of data is necessary in order to optimise relevancy – however, it can also cause myopia for those who are not as discerning. Isn’t it true, though? Most of our fight against emissions has to do with a change in our consumption of energy. If animal agriculture is a leading contributing factor to global emissions, would we be as willing to make a change in our eating habits? Let’s now look at an average human’s water footprint. Many of you would remember the 3-year drought that hit southwestern states of Victoria and New South Wales between 2007 and 2009. Taking minute showers, not washing cars or watering plants, installing water efficient shower heads and rainwater tanks – these were some of the measures implemented then. However, the biggest contributor to a human’s water footprint is actually his diet. The next time you head to Macca’s for a

burger, think about the fact that your water footprint has just increased dramatically by 2,500 litres. That’s fucking a whole lot of water, isn’t it? That is pretty much the amount of water needed to produce beef throughout the whole process (i.e. feed, grains, grass, drinking) up till where it ends up in your stomach. And keep in mind that the animal agriculture industry is a big consumer of water. In fact, it pretty much uses 20% – 33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today (as reported by Waterfootprint.org). And to think that there are some people living in the world with no access to clean drinking water whatsoever. Speaking of these unfortunate souls, another nasty titbit I picked up from the Cowspiracy fact page was this: 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries. If you think about it, this factor in itself is ludicrous. In this day and age, for people to still worry about where their next meal will come from, if ever. Blame the power-hungry politicians! Blame the money-grabbing industrialists. Yeah, this finger pointing game is so much fun because it is definitely easier than thinking that there are people starving half way across the world because you love meat too much.

The fact of the matter is that there is really enough grain produced in the world to ensure that no one ever needs to be hungry. Still, when half of this grain is funnelled to the animal agriculture industry, it is easy to see why children are dropping like flies in undeveloped countries. The only bone of contention I have with Cowspiracy is the way it expounds that veganism is the only way to bring ourselves out of the mire that we are now in. I firmly believe that eating or not eating meat is a highly personal choice. And there are other ways in which we can combat this threat to the planet: an overhaul of the agriculture industry would be a good place to start. Environmentalists and watchdog groups say that there is a way to make the industry more sustainable and more efficient. In the meantime, on a personal level, we can and should have a long think about our diet and what we choose to eat. And we can and should share this message to the people around us: the meat we put in our mouths is the main cause of death to our environment. YEN LI WONG

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NORTH

THE HOUSE GOT REALLY TRASHED AND THE BATHTUB BECAME AN AQUARIUM... 8


HEAST PARTY HOUSE Looking for a party? Or a soundtrack to a night of dancing, moshing and a general all-round good time? Maybe you’re looking for rock beats mixed with electronic drops? Well look no further. Northeast Party House have it all and have just completed an extensive Aussie tour. We chatted with Sean (after he was sufficiently nourished by a sandwich) to see how Northeast Party House get their inspiration. YOU GUYS ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON A NEW TOUR? Yeah, this Friday we play our first Melbourne show and we’re playing at the HiFi in the city, which is kind of cool because we’ve never headlined there before, just supported. I’ve always wanted to play at the Hi-Fi because I love the venue so much. WHERE ELSE ARE YOU GOING ON YOUR TOUR? We’re going almost everywhere, we’re going to Melbourne, then Geelong, Ballarat in Victoria and then almost everywhere in terms of capitals; Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide, Bundaberg… everywhere I can think of except for up in the Northern Territory or south where they don’t usually get bands. HOW MANY TOURS HAVE YOU DONE? It’s maybe our tenth tour? We’ve been playing for almost four years now. This is our most extensive tour. It’s our biggest in terms of playing bigger venues. WHAT PLACE ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT? Probably Melbourne and Sydney this time. Because Sydney took a while for us to start selling really well. Like everywhere else in Australia picked up before Sydney did. And now Sydney’s picked up really quickly. We’re playing in the Oxford Art Factory and after Melbourne it’s our biggest show and it’s selling really well. DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-GIG RITUAL? No we don’t have one. Sometimes before a gig you have to get on stage really quickly because it’s running behind, and sometimes on stage you have heaps of time to wait around. So sometimes I’ll be setting up, and the guys will be like you need to start right now, so there’s no time for a ritual. If it’s a big show we all just hang out together before we go on and give each other a high five and say ‘have a good gig’. It’s all pretty casual though. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT TOURING? Just getting to be really free and not having many responsibilities on tour and getting to hang out with your best friends. It’s just like going on holiday with five of your friends but you’ve got all these people who’ve bought tickets to come and watch you play music. Apart from the hectic schedule of waking up early and going to bed late, and having to carry a whole bunch of heavy gear around with you, it’s kind of like you’re spoiled. You get to drive around in a car and act like stupid boys. And then play fun shows for people who have come to see you. It’s definitely the most fun thing about being in a band. It’s the most tiring thing, but it’s definitely the thing you remember the most. We play the kind of music that we can have fun as well. When we’re on stage it doesn’t have to be really serious and really emotional. There are moments when it’s serious, but it’s mostly about having a fun time and a fun show. 9


WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL, BECAUSE WE’VE DONE THAT SORT OF THING IN THE PAST, AND WE’VE GOT REALLY LOOSE AND COOKED IT, AND THEN FOR THE REST OF THE TOUR WE’RE JUST HUNGOVER! 10


ARE THERE ANY INTENSE PARTIES ON THE ROAD? Well yeah, we’ve got a bunch of after parties booked for this tour which we’re going to DJ at which is good. Sometimes after a gig it feels like you’re pumped but because you’re in a different state you don’t really know where to go. So it’s good to have an after party. But we have to be careful, because we’ve done that sort of thing in the past, and we’ve got really loose and cooked it, and then for the rest of the tour we’re just hungover! Now we’ve got four or five of them in a row so we have to be careful not to cook it too hard. There’s a fine line. YOU BAND NAME IS REALLY INTERESTING, WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? That’s from our friend called Sam Northeast. He threw a party back in 2008 when we were in year 12 and his mum went away for two weeks and he had the house to himself for two weeks. And he kind of just opened it up to his friends. It was amazing. It was the first time we’d experienced where we had the freedom to basically just enjoy ourselves. It was the first time we could push the limits on how we hung out and how we partied and that kind of thing. It’s a really interesting time in your life when you’re 17 or 18 and you’re starting to experiment with responsibility and where you stand, and how you want to be responsible and how you take care of yourself. That whole time in your life when you’re turning a corner. Sam basically had this open house for two weeks and it was crazy. Crazy, crazy, time! The house got really trashed and the bathtub became an aquarium... and the work site across the road was constantly losing power tools for no reason. It was a strange time, we were still kids so we couldn’t get into trouble, but we were adept enough to throw a really fun party. I’m sure his mum would have felt so betrayed and so disappointed, but when we made the band we thought let’s call it Northeast Party House because that was at the forefront of our mind at that time. MUSICALLY, PEOPLE TEND TO SAY THAT YOUR LIVE SHOW IS DIFFERENT TO THE RECORDED VERSION, HOW IS THAT? I think it is and it isn’t. When people come to see our gigs live, a lot of people after that say, ‘oh my god, I can’t believe how much it sounded like the CD,’ as a compliment. Like how we managed to capture the energy. I think that used to happen before we released the album. We used to have these crazy energetic shows but we hadn’t really released any music that really reflected that. That was the main conundrum. I don’t know why we didn’t embrace it earlier. I think the album embraced it much more. I mean they translate live much better. I think now if you listen to our CD and then come to a live show the two will definitely match up. In a good way, we’ve always built our reception from our live show rather than the radio. Which is why we have such a bigger following in Melbourne, because we’ve played live here more. It’s really that energy live that has kept fans coming back. IF YOU WERE TO THROW A MASSIVE HOUSE PARTY NOW, WHO WOULD BE YOUR TOP THREE GUESTS, LIVING OR DEAD? Whoah… I think I’d be far too intimidated to invite people who I admire! My house isn’t very impressive I think they’d rock up, get bored and leave. If I could invite three people and have them here and have them stay and be interested in the party, it would probably be a man called Guy Jay who is an electronic music producer, just because I’ve so many questions for him regarding the way he makes music and I want to tell him that I love him. And it would probably be Nick Cave, for the same reason. And also if Nick Cave comes in, a whole bunch of other people will come in. For my last one, it would be… Patti Smith. Maybe I’ll just start inviting these people anyway to see if they come [laughs]. MONICA JANKOWSKI

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Photo: Bonnie Arbittier


MUSIC REVIEWS / SARAH LONG

JAMIE XX / IN COLOUR (PREVIEW WHITE LABEL) If you’re yet to have your taste buds sexually tantalised by the deep beats of Jaime xx, then make sure that you do yourself a favour and pick up his most recent album. It feeds your ears with satisfying pleasure. Jaime has always delivered sound, commercial-friendly slow tunes with his partner in crime, known as The xx. But he’s more recently become very creative in playing around with the idea of deep, dark house music that sends your heartbeat into a trance, similar to being on a dance floor of an underground club in Berlin. In Colour is set out to be a fucking brilliant number, but at the moment, he’s teasing us with only four of his recently produced songs. Some of you may already recognise ‘Girl’ and ‘Sleep Sound’ which are both mint, but his most recent, ‘Loud Places’ has sure cemented only awesomeness to come. This guy is killing it in the industry and I’m sure there’s much more to come!

ALISON WONDERLAND / RUN I have been following this rad little biddie for quite some time now. It dates back to when Alison remixed rad-as-fuck hiphop music with heavy, dirty dance beats – just to watch the crowd go mental for her shit. She is as hot as a firecracker, who bounces around the stage stoking on everyone’s vibe. So, even though she has been producing her own music for a while, she’s been waiting for the perfect moment to release it. She’s now released her first album Run and it’s seriously dope. She has produced a real party sound throughout the entire album, which is pretty fresh. It’s progressive and upbeat, with electronic waves consistently giving you an exciting earful. I have nothing but rad words for this chick, who has successfully made a name for herself as a DJ, then transferred over to the producing world. It’s an exciting new start for her.

THE WOMBATS / GLITTERBUG I have always had a soft spot for The Wombats. I feel as though it’s because they’re one of the very first bands that I fell in love with when I was introduced to Triple J. I love their English accents and I love their pop, alternative rocksounds that leave you smiling, after listening to every tune. I have seen them live a few times now and they’re just as exciting to watch as they are to listen to. They’re great performers and never disappoint. However, I feel as though their most recent album lacks the excitement that they normally have. It’s almost as if they’ve played it safe and failed to release anything different to what they’ve already done. They’re still really upbeat, but I’m starting to sense that they’re singing about the same thing. Anyhow, give them a listen and let us know what you think.

KENDRICK LAMAR / TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY This is his second album and one of those pieces of art that comes along like once a decade, so it’s layered with a lot of meaning. Every time you listen to it, you uncover different subliminal messages and thoughts. You really need to listen to it. Every song is so different. What I really enjoy about this album though is that it tells and shares a story, a passionate political one at that, about racism, capitalism, religion and much more. I sometimes get lost in his lyrics when he goes full gangster on us, which is why I have had to listen to the album a few times – but once you get your head around those heavy lines, the song makes sense. What actually sold me, was his funky jazz tunes that he threw into his sound. I love jazz and I love funk and he’s combined it with his sound, to make a unique creation that stands above the rest. Cheers legend.

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You may not recognise him by his real name, Matt Colwell, but you will recognise him for his raps and trademark verses. He’s down to earth, genuine and honest both in life and in music. He’s often bringing awareness to an issue of some sort and he fights for the right to use his fame to better himself and those who his music influences. He’s had a tough trek in life but he continues to power through, growing with every experience he is dealt. He chats to us about life as 360, the hip-hop scene in Australia and his most recent album, Utopia. DID YOU EVER THINK WHEN YOU STARTED WITH THE WHOLE MUSIC THING, THAT THIS IS WHERE YOU WOULD BE YEARS DOWN THE TRACK? No, I didn’t at all. When I was younger, rapping was just like a little side hobby of mine. I didn’t take it seriously at all. I wanted to be a basketballer. I was playing basketball everyday. That was all I wanted to do. Then when I was about 19, my vision started to go a bit shonky. So yeah, that kind of killed my love for the game. But then, it was kind of a blessing, ‘cause I started focusing on music. But I never expected it to be what it is now. YOU ARE PROBABLY ONE OF THE MORE CONTROVERSIAL AUSTRALIAN RAPPERS. NOT SO MUCH FOR THINGS YOU DO BUT MORE FOR YOUR OUTSPOKEN OPINIONS. DID YOU EVER HAVE TO KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF OR HAVE YOU ALWAYS MADE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SAY IT HOW IT IS? I’ve always believed that I should be honest and speak about what I believe in. But I mean, with the amount of slack that I’ve copped, I do get conflicted sometimes. I try and say stuff to be a bit more positive and make people less negative about certain things. The reactions that I get from it sometimes just make me think, ‘why the fuck do I bother?’ Do you know what I mean? I do believe that people in my position who do have a big fan base and a lot of power with younger people should try and speak out about certain things. YOU SUPPORT QUITE A NUMBER OF CAUSES AND TRY TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR AN ARRAY OF ISSUES INCLUDING THINGS LIKE DEPRESSION, SUICIDE AND OSCAR’S LAW. SO WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE FOCUS ON MAKING YOU A BAD PERSON RATHER THAN CELEBRATING WHAT YOU DO POSITIVELY? Yeah, I’m not too sure to be honest. I think it’s got a lot to do with the success of the music. I think when some people get successful, I don’t know if it’s an Australian thing or not, but people seem to turn on them. Like, they get the tall-poppy syndrome and shit like that. In other countries, I find that like in America and stuff, if you’re successful and making money, people get behind that. They really root for you to do that. But I don’t know, I guess some people just want to tear other people down from that success. It’s a weird mentality. I don’t like it, but it is what it is. BEING ONE THE MOST PREVALENT PLAYERS IN THE HIP-HOP SCENE AT THE MOMENT, HOW DOES PERFORMING ON A WORLD STAGE COMPARE TO SOMETHING LIKE COMING HOME TO PLAY A SHOW? Well, I’ve done a few festivals overseas. I did one in the US called Lollapalooza and it was incredible. But it’s a lot harder when you go over there and you don’t have a fan base. I don’t have a big fan base overseas at all. We’re just starting from the ground up. So when you come home and perform you get a whole crowd singing all the words and all the choruses and stuff like that. With the overseas crowd you have to really win them over with the songs and then if they don’t know the songs, you really have to give them something that they can get into and vibe with. YOU’VE BEEN SPENDING QUITE A BIT OF TIME OVER HERE THIS MONTH WITH YOUR RETOPIA TOUR. HAVE YOU HAD ANY FREE TIME TO DO ANYTHING APART FROM PLAYING THE SHOWS AND IF YOU HAVEN’T, 14


360

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IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFICALLY YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING IF YOU GET SOME FREE TIME? We get a few days off here and there. We had a few days off in Airlie Beach and we got a boat out to the Whitsunday Islands. We went out there and did a bunch of snorkeling and checked out the scenery. It was pretty cool. But most of the time, on our days off, we’re just sleeping and trying to catch up on rest. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A ROCKSTAR LIFE. Yeah [laughs] it’s intense though! When you’re on tour, if you don’t look after yourself and you don’t sleep well or eat well, you get run down and you get sick really easily. So it’s really important to look after yourself and try to rest whenever you can. HIP HOP MUSIC HAS HAD A DIFFICULT TIME IN GENERAL IN AUSTRALIA OVER THE YEARS. WHY DO YOU THINK NOW IS THE TIME THAT IT’S ALL STARTING TO CHANGE? I think hip hop in Australia is very young. I feel like you’ve got the big artists who have cracked first like Bliss n Eso and the Hilltop Hoods on a real major scale. It’s almost sort of like the Beastie Boys and the Run DMCs, you know what I mean? It’s the very early stages but they were the first ones to blow up on a massive scale. I think it’s a really good time for rappers in Australia who are starting and who want to have a career in rap. It’s a really good time for that ‘cause if you’ve got good enough music, its quite (as much as it is hard) easy to get heard if the music speaks for itself. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE UTOPIA ALBUM AND WHY? Ooh… I really like ‘Early Warning’. It’s extremely personal that song and everything I say in that song is exactly how it happened. It’s quite full on. It’s about my brother’s battle with addiction and it deals with some stuff that our family went through. I think that is probably my favourite. When I played that to my parents they cried and shit. It was crazy. (IT WAS AT THIS POINT, WHERE I STOPPED FUNCTIONING LIKE A HUMAN BEING AND DECIDED TO LET OUT A WEIRD SHRIEK. TO COVER MY EMBARRASSMENT, I CHANGED THE SUBJECT. WE GOT OURSELVES A SMOOTH CRIMINAL UP IN HERE.) THE LAST ALBUM HAS DONE REALLY WELL AND YOU’VE GOT SUCH A GOOD LIST OF SONGS ON THERE. HOW WILL YOU IMPROVE ON THAT FOR THE NEXT ALBUM? Because Falling and Flying was quite successful in the sense that it had a lot of radio time and stuff like that, and a lot of people know the songs and shit, with Utopia, I really went into it trying to prove myself as a better rapper. I wanted to improve. I was really trying to do new things with my flow and with what I wrote about. I feel like I did that and I did exactly what I wanted to do. I tend to write songs from personal experience a lot and I want to try and take myself out of that comfort zone and try and come up with some cool concepts, rather than just writing about my personal hardships, you know? YEAH! ANY IDEA WHEN WE’RE GOING TO HEAR SOMETHING NEW? I’ve been working pretty hard on some stuff. I was in Sydney for about three weeks, working on some new stuff with some producers and some singers and shit like that. I’ve been writing while I’ve been on tour so when I get home, I’m going to go hard and hopefully come up with something soon. I LOVE ALL THE COLLABORATIONS YOU HAVE DONE SO FAR BUT THE ONES WITH DANIEL JOHNS ARE UP THERE AS MY FAVOURITES. HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO SNAG HIM FOR THE SONGS? My publicist is his brother. So I actually reached out to him and I was like, ‘Man, I’d really love to work with Daniel.’ He was like, ‘He doesn’t collaborate with anyone. I’ll ask him but don’t get your hopes up.’ He asked him and Daniel had 16


I’VE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT I SHOULD BE HONEST AND SPEAK ABOUT WHAT I BELIEVE IN. 17


actually been listening to me. So we met up. Initially, he wasn’t going to sing on the song, he was just going to write melodies for someone else to sing. But we just hit it off. I think we relate a lot, me and him, on a lot of things. We’ve been through similar shit in our lives. So we just hit it off as mates. Yeah, we worked on that first song and I went up to his place in Newcastle and worked on a whole bunch of shit. He’s amazing to work with. WHO WOULD BE ONE PERSON YOU WOULD NEVER REFUSE A COLLABORATION WITH? Kanye West. He’s definitely on my list of people I’d like to work with. I just love how innovative he is and how he’s constantly pushing the envelope. Like, I find with a lot of successful artists around, especially hip-hop artists, when they have a successful album, they tend to stick to that formula. They make albums that sort of sound similar. One thing he never does is make the same album twice. It’s always something new and different and I really love him for that. He’s not scared to try something new. He’s not scared to fuck up. He just does what he wants to do. That is a really good mentality for music. THE SONG ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ YOU’VE WRITTEN WITH DANIEL JOHNS, TALKS ABOUT YOUR ISSUES WITH YOUR EYESIGHT AND SOME FEELINGS TOWARDS IT. HOW ARE YOU GOING WITH ALL OF THAT? I’ve had a cornea transplant in my right eye and I’m actually blind in my right eye. I can only see out of my left eye. I can’t drive at night ‘cause I can’t really see shit. My left eye is good at the moment but I have to keep a close watch on it ‘cause it’s slowly deteriorating with the disease that I’ve got. It can kick in at any moment so I’ve got to keep a close eye on it. No pun. YOU KNOW HOW THEY SAY WHEN YOU LOOSE ONE SENSE, ANOTHER ONE STRENGTHENS. HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT IN YOUR CASE? Oh, not really ‘cause I can still see out my left eye. I don’t really notice that I’m blind in my right eye to be honest. But I do with small things. Like if I’m pouring a drink or something like that, my depth perception is off so I’ll go to pour a cup of water and I’ll completely miss the glass. If I’m walking up or down steps, I’ll totally misjudge where to place my foot. I think if I was to loose my eyesight for good, then I’d probably be able to imagine what I’d be like. Hearing and singing would be a lot different. I would hope my singing, my voice, would improve more. NOW I’VE JUST GOT A COUPLE OF QUICK QUESTIONS TO END THE INTERVIEW WITH. FIRSTLY, WHAT’S ON YOUR PHONE WALLPAPER AT THE MOMENT? It is a picture of a really good-looking female. [laughs] NICE! OKAY, MOST RECENT TATTOO? My most recent tattoo… I recently got my whole chest and stomach done. It’s like a big Samurai skull with flames coming out of it. It’s quite interesting. CATS OR DOGS AND WHY? Dogs for sure! I love dogs ‘cause they’re extremely affectionate. I find cats to be affectionate too but they don’t need you. They’re very independent. I think dogs are extremely loyal. They love you no matter what. I think, if there’s one thing you can count on not to judge you for anything, it’s a dog. I’ve got a staffy called Dr. Pepper. She’s amazing. We got her from a shelter. She was a rescue dog. She had been badly abused when she was younger and she’s a real nervous, anxious little dog but she’s so cool. DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE AS 360 IN THREE WORDS. This is a tough one… Alright, ‘fun’. ‘Rollercoaster’. (Pause) Oh shit! [laughs] And um, ‘creative’. MONICA JANKOWSKI 18


I REALLY WENT INTO IT TRYING TO PROVE MYSELF AS A BETTER RAPPER. I WANTED TO IMPROVE. I WAS REALLY TRYING TO DO NEW THINGS WITH MY FLOW AND WITH WHAT I WROTE ABOUT. 19


THE MALE PILL So a contraception pill for men is actually a thing. If you had the option, would you take it?

Gabriele Falloppio, inventor of the condom (and discoverer of the Fallopian tubes), did not doubt his invention’s potential for stopping the spread of infection. ‘I tried the experiment on 1,100 men,’ he said of his trials testing the condom, ‘and I call immortal God to witness that not one of them was infected.’ The earliest apparent use of the condom dates back further than Falloppio’s invention in the 1600s to the Ancient Egyptians and upper class citizens of Asia in the 1400s, though there’s scarce evidence for this. The Asians supposedly used a kind of condom which covered just the tip. It was viewed as a status symbol instead of having medical benefits. Throughout history, condoms have been made from animal intestines and tortoise shells in the 1700s before the invention of rubber in 1858. Latex was introduced in 1920 and in 1994 Polyurethane (a thinner, more versatile material similar to elastic) took over. Still, despite Falloppio’s cocksure statement and the sticky history of the condom since its inception, a large portion of the population is unsatisfied with the prophylactic’s performance and demands for something better to come along (puns fully intended). 20

Let’s start with the male birth-control pill. It’s been in development for some time and had its release date continually pushed back. The pill is designed to suppress daily sperm production, while maintaining normal testosterone levels. It contains a combination of the synthetic hormone progestogen (also in the female pill) and testosterone. These allow the pill to block the production of sperm and maintain sex drive. Like the female pill, it’s only effective when taken daily. Conversely to its female counterpart, the male pill is – so far – found to contain no side effects. It does however raise the issue of trusting one’s partner to take the pill regularly, and the inevitably high cost for any users. The second promising development is set to arrive in 2020 (though it too has had its date pushed back due to lack of approval from the FDA) and it’s remarkably different from the pill. Vasalgel is ostensibly a one-time procedure, involving an injection of synthetic gel into the sperm-carrying tube outside the testicle. The gel acts like a filter allowing fluid but not sperm to pass through in ejaculation. Once the procedure is performed, the gel lasts a decade and is reversible at any time should you want to start having kids. Vasalgel’s delay is due to pharmaceutical companies’ reluctance to finance

it. Think about it: if the procedure remains effective for ten years, how much are companies going to lose on pill and condom sales? And, of course, there’s the average man’s reluctance towards having a doctor waving a needle around his bits. Both of these developments are ideal for men in monogamous relationships, but they don’t offer any protection from STDs and infections. Enter philanthropist billionaire Bill Gates and his future condom. The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation recently offered a $100,000 grant towards developing a condom that would succeed the popular latex and polyurethane models. Two universities in the US have developed prototypes for ultra-thin condoms which, they claim, will barely dampen pleasure during sex. But are all these new developments necessary? Men already have the reputable condom, withdrawal (“pulling out”) and the vasectomy, and women have a myriad of birth control options, including the pill, IUD, female condom (and abstinence, but who counts that, really), among others, so why the need for more? For one thing, the condom isn’t as perfect as it’s believed to be. Condoms can break, slip off or not be put on properly (especially during a drunken hook-up) and


there continue to be unwanted pregnancies despite their abundance. Vasectomies are nearly irreversible (and so less desirable) and withdrawal is ineffective due to the production of “pre-cum” and the difficulty of pulling out at the right moment. For women, many of the methods can cause harmful side-effects. In addition to migraines and nausea, any allergies render the pill useless for some women and the synthetic hormone in the pill can often cause mood fluctuations and intense discomfort. My housemate told me he doesn’t want his girlfriend to take the pill because of these side effects. For him, an alternative male contraception would be ideal. There’s another benefit to alternative male contraceptives. If a man in a relationship has to start regularly taking the pill, suddenly he’s more responsible in avoiding unwanted pregnancy. Often – and this is something anyone can pick up in a daily conversation about sex – men feel that it’s not their responsibility to worry about contraception; after all, if she’s the one who gets pregnant, right? This can lead to stereotyping and the man attempting to use his penis as a “get out of jail free card”. Perhaps something like the male pill could help men understand how much responsibility is involved. The male pill could be an unexpected win for gender equality in a particularly sensitive area (so to speak).

birth control options can contribute to saving our planet. Notice that when Gabriele Falloppio celebrated his invention, he emphasized it’s potential for protection against disease? The condom wasn’t originally intended as a contraceptive. It’s primary function is to stop the spread of STDs and STIs – which it does magnificently – but unwanted pregnancies have persisted. The world needs alternatives to contraception, and with all these options currently in development, it’ll hopefully only be a matter of time before we can use them. We certainly wouldn’t want them to arrive prematurely now, would we? TOM BENSLEY

On an even larger scale, male contraceptives could be useful in the face of a massive environmental concern. Imagine if Vasalgel’s onetime injection were administered in poorer parts of the world, where unwanted pregnancies are a serious threat to the communities. What if Bill Gates’ “barely there” condom eliminated the complaint about condoms reducing pleasure? Over-population is increasingly contributing to global warming, world hunger and the destruction of our natural environments. More birth control options for half the population means a less unpredictably expanding population. It’s not outrageous to say that male 21


In 2012 we morphed from boring humans to pink, majestic, long-necked creatures. One by one, we sat on a 22,000km journey and flew from cold Europe to paradise itself. It was time to get creative. We formed a creative collective of filmmakers, designers and web developers in beautiful Byron Bay and our mission is to endow brands with personality and visual freshness. On the other side of the earth we found our place, and this allowed us to perform at levels we would have never imagined. We love our job and we take all the inspiration that this magical place offers and turn it into engaging content to promote each brand. The stunning locations we work from allow each project to be unique, special and stunning. In that sense, we have the chance to spend huge amount of hours filming in paradise. Our passion and drive have taken us to where we are today, far from home but happy to be able to work for rad brands and create the content we would like to consume ourselves. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE WHO FLAMINGO AMIGOS ARE TO A STRANGER? Flamingo Amigos can be described as a collective of creative minds that join forces to create cool shit for every single one of their clients. I guess we can be described as a Film Production company, a Creative Agency or as a Young Digital/Visual Collective, that performs under modern and freedom-based business policies. Our belief is that happiness through work and lifestyle is possible. WHERE ARE YOU AND YOUR TEAM FROM? We are a five-person team from Spain and Portugal, in our early twenties, living in Byron Bay, and working from our little studio at a five-minute walk to the beach. Production, creation and film come from the Spanish brains and web and graphic design come out of the Portuguese minds in the team. We work with some of the most amazing minds around Byron and collaborate with the coolest people in independent and commercial projects. WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING CULTURAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR NATIONALITY AND AUSTRALIA? The language. It can get a bit up-hill when trying to communicate concepts and ideas in a language that is not your main one. It is sometimes hard not to sound repetitive with the tiny amount of words and synonyms we know, but we are very passionate and always find the way to make the person in front of us understand what the fuck we are trying to say. However we have been in Australia for almost three years now and our lingo is only getting better, which is allowing us to approach bigger and better clients.

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ONE THING WE LOVE ABOUT THIS PLACE IS THE LARGE AMOUNT OF CREATIVE PEOPLE THAT LIVE AND WORK FROM HERE. WE’RE ABLE TO GET IN TOUCH AND BE INSPIRED BY REALLY COOL PEOPLE.

Just imagine how crazy would it be trying to convince a Spanish brand about all the benefits that your collaboration would bring to the table, IN SPANISH! Fucked up right? I have to admit though, that Australians are very patient and easygoing, and always take the time to listen and try to get what we need to say. BEING IN A STUDIO 24/7 TOGETHER, YOU MUST BE ALL GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER REAL WELL. WHO IS THE WEIRDO, WHO IS THE GRUMPY ONE, WHO’S THE FUNNY ONE AND WHO IS THE SMELLY ONE? It is true that we spend a large amount of time together, whether it is in the studio, at home, in the water, we are basically together at all times. If you ask them, they would quickly point their finger at me as the grumpy one. It is my main job as a producer to make everything run smoothly and we do have heaps of setbacks sometimes that require an extra push from the whole team. It can get tense at times. Olgui would clearly be the weirdo, no doubt. She is the only chick in the team and always offers her different point of view. She gets inspired by things we don’t even notice and always adds that spice to every project to achieve originality and freshness. Her job is to supply the boys with inspirational new content and its normally weird as fuck – but she’s good, really good, she has the eye of the tiger when identifying new trends and rad content. The funny one would be Miguel, well, if you ask him. He is the only non-Spanish speaker in the team although he has a great sense of humour, every joke ends up taking him 10 minutes to explain and it gets hard to laugh after all. He is only been in the country for two months as he is the latest addition to our team. We are sure his jokes will get better with time, and hey, who knows, we might be able to crack a laugh one of these days. That only leaves us with the smelly one, and that’s going to have to be Oscar. The poor thing spends huge amount of hours running around with the camera and gear under the strong Aussie sun, he can get sweaty. Luckily after every shoot he can go for a surf, that solves it all. HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR FEET IN BYRON BAY? I’ve known Oscar for the last 12 years as we come from the same town in Spain. We used to skate when we were little groms and shoot little clips just for fun. Later on, we studied film together in Spain, where we met Ivan. I came to Byron a year before them where I met Olga, together we came up with Flamingo Amigos and started setting ground for it. They came a couple months later and we started working on our first production, a documentary about Spanish migrants living in Australia. We presented the video at the Beach Hotel, and after that we received a couple of interesting emails, and we were suddenly making videos for brands. Not too long ago, Miguel decided to join our team. With his addition, we now offer a wider service as we can implement our video production to web and mobile applications. We have had a few major setbacks, but that hasn’t stopped us from growing and slowly becoming who we want to be. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BYRON BAY’S MIXED CULTURE OF HIPSTERS, HIPPIES AND HOMELESS? Byron offers the sickest vibe. One of the reasons we live here is the amount of interesting people we meet every day. You never know what that person or that conversation is going to lead to, and most of the time, it’s a positive outcome. Byron can get a bit crazy in summer but after a while living here, you get to know the right people and how to be invisible during the busiest time of the year. One thing we love about this place is the large amount of creative people that live and work from here. We’re able to get in touch and be inspired by really cool people. I couldn’t think of a better place to run a creative agency.

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Left to right: Olgui, Jaime, Miguel and Oscar

THE BEST THING IS THAT WE AR TEAM, WE ALL SUPPORT EACH OTHER AMAZING THING

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RE A VERY COMPLETE R AND ACCOMPLISH GS TIME AFTER TIME.

WE’VE NOTICED THAT YOU’VE TEAMED UP WITH AFENDS (BYRON BAY) TO RELEASE THE ‘HEMP REVOLUTION’ – CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS RAD PROJECT? WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING ABOUT WEED? WHO IS INVOLVED WITH THE LAUNCH? Yeah, We are currently working with Afends on the Hemp Revolution documentary. Its great to be working with a local brand that has such big success across the country and overseas. Its a great opportunity for us to show what we are capable of, as this clip is going to be viewed across the globe from thousands of screens. We are super stoked on how everything is coming along, the shots are looking super cool and I’m sure the Afends fans are going to love the final result. Plus we have the chance to go shoot in amazing marijuana fields. This is allowing us to learn a bit more about hemp, which we now know IS NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN SMOKE. It is not weed, and that association is what is causing governments and institutions to try to hide this amazing natural resource. Afends just launched their first 100% hemp boardies, they feel great to surf in, plus they are made with a sustainable resource. The feature doco will be presented on Stab Magazine on September 1, which is also fucking awesome. YOU’VE CURRENTLY REBRANDED AND RECENTLY RE-LAUNCHED, CONGRATULATIONS! THERE MUST BE A REASON WHY, CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US? We have been improving our work and clientele over the time and we felt like we were getting behind on our own shit. If we are going to be selling amazing content, it makes no sense to have a boring and non-functional online portal. With Miguel’s addition to the team we decided to rebrand our company. As we offer a broader service now, we need to present our work differently as it’s more target-focused. Our new website is looking amazing and allows the user to interact with us in a smarter way, whether you want to work with us or just have a glance at our work. ENLIGHTEN US ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE IN STORE THIS YEAR FOR THE TEAM, AND YOUR VISION. We are so frick’n busy. Its unbelievable, the amount of work we get. We are currently working on five projects at the same time as well as our new branding and website. The good thing is that we are super passionate about all the clients we are working with at the moment and most of the time, work doesn’t feel like it. This year is planned as the year where most things fall into place. We redefined ourselves and we were able to identify what we want to do, and how we can do it. We are literally working our arses off every single day to accomplish this mission. The best thing is that we are a very complete team, we all support each other and accomplish amazing things time after time. We love what we do, so in that sense we can push it as hard as we possibly can. WHERE DO YOU SEE FLAMINGO AMIGOS IN FIVE YEARS? Hopefully having a day off. WHO HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO COLLABORATE WITH, AND WHY? We have our ‘black list’ of all the people we want to work with. It is large. We want to work with people who trust in whatever it is they are selling, we want to work with clients who are passionate about life, surfing, travelling and everything in between. Our goal is to be able to work for the brands we want to wear, for the brands we are inspired by, and with every person who wants to create something visual, cool, and likes to have fun on the way.

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WE KNOW THAT WITH HARD WORK AND GOOD VIBES, GREAT THINGS WILL EMERGE. AND SO FAR, SO GOOD.

IF YOU HAD 100K FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM, WHAT VIDEO WOULD YOU CREATE AND WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU CONVEY, TO HELP CHANGE AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE? I would like to make a video to encourage people to think freely and to choose for themselves. Something controversial that would open people’s eyes and to disagree with the established rules. We would encourage people to think, to create, to speak, and speak loud, to be themselves. We believe that that is the main key to happiness and would love to share our vision with the world so we could become a cooler and more original society. DID YOU GO ON AN ACID TRIP AND SEE LOTS OF FLAMINGOS ONE DAY? WHY THE BIG PINK BIRD AS YOUR BRAND MASCOT? I have always wanted to create a brand. Not necessarily a film production company, but a brand. I tried to think of all the successful brands who use animals for their logos and couldn’t think of one with a flamingo. Whaaaat? One day I was laying in bed and Olgui showed me a cool collage she did with flamingo faces, and that’s when it hit me. I wanted to create a collective of creative minds, although I couldn’t imagine how fast would it grow. We didn’t want to be like every other production company (Flamingo Media, Flamingo Productions, Flamingo Films, Flamingo Enterntainment). This just doesn’t represent us, so we decided to go for Flamingo Amigos. Amigos means ‘friends’ in Spanish, and that’s what we are – a bunch of friends playing adult games. IF YOU WERE A DRUG, WHAT WOULD YOU BE? AND WHAT TRIP WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON? If we were a drug, we would be a pink flamingo trip. You would take a small pink carton, that would make you see the world through our eyes. Craziest trip ever, trust me. WHAT LIFE MOTTO OR QUOTE DO YOU LIVE BY? Our motto is ‘luck and attitude’. We believe in luck, a lot, but we also believe that luck is attracted by your attitude in life. At Flamingo we are very openminded, positive and goal-orientated, and that allows us to squeeze all the luck out of every situation. We know that with hard work and good vibes, great things will emerge. And so far, so good. ANY LAST WORDS FOR BLAIRE MAGAZINE? Now that Flamingo Amigos and Blaire Magazine have teamed up, just wait for the upcoming cool shit that is on its way. Check the video at www. flamingoamigos.com or blairemagazine.com for amusement. YEW. INTERVIEW WITH JAIME, BY SARAH LONG

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LET’S GET WEIRD / ROBERT A. KAUFMAN

Short Blonde Roast

Why do all us sad fucks keep coming to the Starbucks in Hanover, New Hampshire? I mean, the Wi-Fi is solid, but the library’s got that. Coffee’s good, sure. But, looking around, most folks don’t come here for coffee. The Hanover High School sophomore boys with their omnipresent maroon Marauder swag stick to Grande Vanilla Lattes and Venti Caramel Macchiatos and then their one buddy with his sweat pants rolled up exposing hairless calfs orders his Oprah Winfrey Chai Tea Latte, ironically. That old man with his penguinesque wobble comes for The New York Times and a banana. Strong move with the paper, man, but a buck for some potassium? The two girls from the Dartmouth lacrosse team with their Mocha-but-it’s-with-skim- milk-so-fuck-you-too Frappaccinos who are studying Econ by discussing whether Lindsay’s fuck-buddy couldn’t get hard last Thursday because he had had too much Keystone playing pong at AD or if he’s just gay because he never hit on either of them. Then there’s that little kid who keeps spilling shit and her/ his/its mom who wipes her child’s mouth, but not the table, the floor. Of course, there’s always that one dude with his Passion Iced Tea giving me Blue Steele, and, possibly, a telekinetic STI. And then that med student with his Red Eye listening to Indie pop that is pop-pop- popping through his Beats by Dre headphones while he looks at a screenshot of the red, more-red, and less-red parts of an eardrum while texting incessantly. I guess that is why we come, To see this fucking bonanza of weird people drinking weird things in a weird place. To make us feel less weird. Or more.

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YOU’RE SO GAY Apparently being gay is not a choice. If that’s the case, then why isn’t gay marriage legal yet here in Australia?

You’re so gay, you probably think this article is about you, don’t you? Don’t you? Ooh you’re so gay, so gaaay! You probably think this article is about you don’t you? Don’t you! Sorry, just getting my Carly Simons on. But to be honest, if you are gay and then YES this article IS about you! And if you aren’t gay, well it still concerns you. So this neuroscientist dude, Ben Carson, said something really stupid. Something silly like, ‘Being gay is a choice.’ I’m sorry, what? Can you repeat that please? Being gay is a choice. Being gay is a choice. Being gay is a choice. Yeah, nah. Still stupid. He also stated that, ‘a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight, and then when they come out they’re gay. Did something happen in there? Ask yourself that question.’ Um, I think Benny boy should ask himself whether or not he should get a trusted loved-one to put a wad of gaffer tape all over his mouth. Although, he did apologise to the gay community, and everybody else who was in uproar over his stupid observation and ridiculous jail comment. From where I stand, I think people who are openly gay made the choice to reveal that bit of info, not necessarily decide that they chose to be gay. In my experience, I didn’t 32

wake up one day and decide I like boys (although to be frank, I never liked boys. Only men. Blue-eyed, grey-haired men who answer to the name of Clint… Eastwood.) Anyway! Liking males just came naturally to me. I did not have to question or doubt myself. Growing up with gay friends I learnt that they only questioned their feelings, not their choices, but their internal and uncontrollable feelings. So if you like girls, guys, both, whatever, recognise your thoughts and feelings and fucking run with them! The only choice you should feel the proud owner of, is whether you keep your news to yourself, or if you want to happily shout it to the skies. Whilst it is fascinating to hear what Mr Science Man has to say on the matter, I went in search of some valid opinions from the people who know best. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, longhaired dogs and pineapple-artwork lovers, let me introduce you to a couple of peeps with the greatest response to my question of ‘do you think being gay is a choice?’ First off, Georgie Hickey. Now, I met Georgie when we were 12 years old, trapped in high school and hating every minute of it. Somehow, Georgie and I ended up in the same yeareight drama class – apologies Miss

Craig. Not once did it ever enter my mind that I could not be seen laughing hysterically with Georgie over the weirdest stuff because, well you know… she’s gay AND she CHOSE to be gay! *Gasp* After badgering her with some questions, Georgie revealed that she has always known she was gay, she just decided to come out during her high school years. I wonder what Mr Neuroscientist would say about that. Many, like Georgie, decide to come out during their teen years because those are the days where a lot of identity-formation and self-discovery takes place. So what does miss Georgie believe? BLAIRE: Someone once said people choose to be gay. What do you think? Georgie: Well, I don’t really know what to say to something like that. I know a lot of people who are gay and, for example, they have a gay dad and all the kids (in that family) are gay. I’d like to know if there is a gay gene. Well, Georgie, being the oh-sostudious girl that I am, I did some research and recent studies* show that there is no specific ‘gay gene’ BUT some genes may make being gay likelier. Now, onto my next victim… First day of uni O-Week and I was on crutches,


hopping around campus trying to get away from a creepy guy who was hitting on me, and trying to juggle my books, backpack and crutches, when I made eye contact with a friendly-looking boy with THE kindest blue eyes I’d ever seen. Anyway, this newfound friend of mine turned out to be the amazing Tim McBrearty. Like me, Tim was creative and loved his freedom more than he did his uni life and so-called future. A bond was born. Tim had a fabulous answer for me explaining how him being gay was not a choice he decided to make. In his own words Tim says, ‘the realisation that I am gay was gradual, and at times fearful. My sexuality is a fundamental truth in my heart and soul, and the thought of being hated or rejected for something I couldn’t control or deny was upsetting. Nowadays, my sexuality is incidental to my existence, only a fraction of my being.’ Seriously, someone get this guy a microphone.

new research is tapping into finding out if those who are gay have a biological predisposition, it seems pretty odd that gay marriage is not legal in Australia. But political mumbo-jumbo states that in recent years there has been a shift in community and political opinion and the issue of legalising same-sex marriage is probably going to be on the new Parliament’s agenda. As Tim puts it, ‘Soon enough gay marriage will be as regular as nanna’s apple pie!’ Let’s hope so. MIA BEVERLEY FRANCISCO * 2014 study in the journal, Psychological Medicine

So if being gay is not a choice and

33 Photo: Bonnie Arbittier


BONNIE ARBITTIER

Bonnie Arbittier is a freelance photographer and photojournalist based in Philadelphia, PA. She thrives on the quirkiness, grit, and creativity that exists in Philadelphia and is constantly being inspired during her tremendously long walks around the city. She studied Fine Arts and French at Penn, and after trying the “practical” route of moving to New York and getting a graphic design internship in fashion, she decided to move back to Pennsylvania and follow her passion of telling stories through images. Her camera has allowed her the opportunity to live in Jamaica, follow a kickboxer into the ring, watch dogs hunt rats, attend large political events, and grow close to her sister. She tells the genuine stories of those in her backyard and uses her tool as a way to connect creative communities in Philadelphia. She is constantly sending out cold emails to photographers she admires and meeting them for coffee and good conversation. Bonnie’s work has been featured on Tumblr, Vice, Roads and Kingdoms, and 34th Street. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ pages/Bonnie-Arbittier-Photography-andDesign/317715521584978?ref=hl Blog: bonniearbittier.tumblr.com Instagram: @bonniearbittier

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FANG GANG

Fang Gang are making serious waves in the streetwear industry. We chatted to designer, Timmy Fresh, about it all. FIRSTLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, HOW DID YOU GET SO FRESH? Well when you’re the realest mafucka on planet mafuckin’ earth, it comes naturally. HOW FRESH WILL I GET IF I WEAR ONE OF YOUR TEES? Not only will you remain fresh to death, but Fang Gang tees are guaranteed to make you run faster and jump higher, especially if you got the popo hot on your tail. YOUR INSTA SAYS THAT YOUR BUSINESS IS ‘DOIN’ COOL SHIT’. EXPLAIN. It came to me while I was running around the fields of Meredith, or was it Golden Plains? Anyway it was a few moons ago… for those who have rocked a weekend down there know what’s up. You’re bumping into friends from all over Melbourne and the rest of Aus, from one mini party to the next. Always gallivanting around and getting asked, ‘hey, what are you up to?’ I’m obviously pretty flat-chat at this sort of a gathering, a lot on and a lot of peeps to see, mainly business meetings… ‘Doin’ cool shit’ became the moto. Once I took that back to Fitzroy it kind of became the mantra for the homies and life. What are we here to do? Help peeps and do cool shit. Lyf lesson son. HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH SUCH RAD DESIGNS? I bang my head against the wall for days trying to design shit, and then when I’m cold chillin’, the designs always sneak their way in. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE PEOPLE WHO RUBBISH YOUR, ‘OUR PRINTS COOLER THAN GENERAL PANTS,’ CLAIMS? Not many kids have been on the frontline and in the trenches as long as me. I’ve been down with GP for over ten years. It’s all about timing and GP just licensed some of my favourite brands ‘Insight’ and ‘Ksubi’, these brands still offer some dope stuff but they ain’t got the soul they used to have. I want to feel connected to the dope print I’m rockin’ on my tee, I don’t have to know the designer but at least have an idea of the inspiration and struggle of where that tee came from. GP now have creative rights over these labels, times are tough even for the big guys, they’re all running vertical product (which means they own and design everything!) The peeps who shop at GP cotton on to this sooner or later, they’re smarter than that and love their streetwear/fashion. And with streetwear comes a story. A lot of these stories in the bigger outlets have been lost or are straight up made up fictional stories based on nothing of substance! 40


FANG GANG TEES ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU RUN FASTER AND JUMP HIGHER, ESPECIALLY IF YOU GOT THE POPO HOT ON YOUR TAIL. 41


FANG GANG AND STREETWEAR IN GENERAL IS DOMINATED BY DUDES. WORKING WITH PHOTOGRAPHER AND STYLIST, LIZZ... HAS HELPED OPEN UP FANG GANG TO THE BABES

HOW HARD IS IT TO GET PEOPLE OFF THE BEATEN PATH OF THE SAME OLD STREETWEAR AND INTO YOUR UNIQUE STUFF? The hustle never stops. Everywhere I go I’m meeting people who are stoked on the label, the head buyer at GP just peeped the Fang Gang range a few weeks ago (word to Crimmy), but as I mentioned above, it’s all about timing and the timing wasn’t right. Not to say the Gang isn’t offering a lot of inspiration for these bigger companies to bite our steeze. Once people see the product and the quality that is delivered in each tee – deal’s done. The majority of Fang Gang’s production is done in Australia. The price remains competitive with every other streetwear label on the market, but the Gang surpasses nearly every one in quality. And shit, I design the prints. Say no more! Yieeeeeooow! THE FASHION SCENE IS FULL OF WANKERS, HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF FROM GETTING SUCKED INTO THE BULLSHIT? Haha, streetwear is a bit different I suppose. Not to say that I’m not down with all levels of fashion, I love it all. But streetwear’s my shit, and moving to Melbourne in 2006, the cats who were printing tees were and are real as fuck, no bullshit. Paul Garvey was printing some of the freshest tees through Mont La Roc and Ben Totty was crucifying tees with some of the gnarliest streetwear prints on his label, Suicide in Hollywood. Brands like this existed in the underground in Melbourne back then and that was some real shit. It wasn’t easy finding one of these tees. If you owned one of these tees you’ve probably still got it because any tee from the scene these days doesn’t last like a classic. You’ve got to stay true to your steeze, good luck trying to design prints for someone else’s style which you don’t understand. ONE OF YOUR TEES SAYS THAT ‘CITY FOLK ARE SCUM’. HOW SO? It also says ‘Surf Ratz’ implying that coastal kids are rats. This tee is for all the grubs out there, whether you reside in the city or the coast. I’ve lived both lives and roll with both teams. YOU RECENTLY RELEASED YOUR FIRST UNISEX LINE, IS IT BECAUSE YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR OWN GENDER ORIENTATION? Haha, nah I straight dig babes! Let it be known. Fang Gang and streetwear in general is dominated by dudes. Working with photographer and stylist, Lizz Pennings of Gypsystone, has helped open up Fang Gang to the babes. We just wanted to show off how the Fang Gang babe rocks our threads and I think the ladies did a pretty damn good job at that. Stay cool my sisters. ALL GANGS HAVE INITIATION RITUALS, WHAT ARE YOURS? One must name the entire Wu-Tang Clan members. By the time you got a gang tee on your shoulders, you’ve generally passed the second step of becoming a member, you’re in. DID YOU NAME YOUR LABEL FANG GANG BECAUSE YOU ARE A VAMPIRE? I’ve spent many a late night lurking the back alleys of the dark and wet Melbourne. But the gang’s always fangin’ for something, and that’s where the whole name derived. INTERVIEW BY TORY PRICE PHOTOGRAPHY: LIZZ PENNINGS

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NEW AGE SPORTS? Want to be actively different, or ready to start a new trend in sport? We’ve named a few which i’m sure you’ll be keen to hear.

Cricket season has finished, footy season is upon us, and neither of them interest you. Or you could really love footy and just be a long-suffering Carlton supporter, like yours truly. It turns out that television is lying to us, and there is, in actual fact, a plethora of sports which we all could be very good at. You just have to trade in an audience of thousands in for a handful of passionate drunks, but I think you’ll find that trade off quite reasonable when you see what you’re in for. Our first sport is a part of the Cotswold Olimpicks and it only requires that you are wearing a soft pair of shoes – steel capped boots have been banned. The reason for this is that you are about to participate in a shin-kicking competition. Very simple premise, the two competitors hold onto each other’s collars and kick at each other’s shins until someone’s legs give way. At the end of three rounds, whoever has managed to remain upright twice moves on. Rumor has it that England has been trying to substitute shin kicking instead of the Ashes this year, just to save themselves a bit of pain. Lots of people avoid sport because of the fear of injury, so we will look at one of the most strategically challenging games I have ever seen, and no it isn’t chess. It goes by the 44

name of Kastenlauf, or beer-crate running, for those of us who can’t speak German. The rules are simple – each team of two must run a 10km course whist carrying a crate of beer, and consume it. The order of these operations is left to the team, so long as the finish line isn’t crossed with any beer remaining. Do you scull the beer and attempt the 10km drunk, carrying an empty crate, or do you get through the 10km with the heavy crate, and quench your hardearned thirst at the finish line? Or any combination of these two extremes along the way? It makes Formula 1 strategy look like simple mathematics in comparison; toilet breaks are much more important than fuel stops. But maybe you’re a punter, and just haven’t had any luck betting on the horses. In the right sort of environment and course, you really only need two of any animal to constitute a race. Humans have been known to race camels, ostriches, yabbies’ and even snails. So long as someone is willing to wager against the other animal, you’re in business. But what about interspecies racing? In Wales there is an annual marathon where a man takes on a horse over the 35 kilometer course. The man is gifted a 15-minute lead, and the horse is subject to a vet check at the halfway mark, which is deducted at the end of the race.

Whilst it seems impossible, the first 2 kilometers contains a slow climb and the occasional bog, there is the odd year where the human gets up and wins, much to their delight with the prize money jackpotting by a thousand pounds each year, because apparently horses aren’t in it for the money. If I still haven’t been able to tickle your fancy, then perhaps we have to look at some of the more obscure entries on our list of sports. These include, but are by no means restricted to; uppies and downies, a game of football played between 100-1,000 people. Worm Charming, where the contestants are given half an hour to raise as many worms out of a patch of ground by any means necessary, dish washing detergent is banned, obviously. Sporthocking, an ‘extreme’ sport very similar to skateboarding tricks, except the contestants use barstools. Alternatively if you are a jack of all trades, the nude Olympics are held in South Australia annually, and are under constant pressure from the Australian Olympic Committee to shed the title of ‘Olympics’. If I haven’t been able to generate your interest for one of these ‘sports’, I wouldn’t be surprised. I believe if you can find people to compete in them, the real fun would be had


on the sidelines, observing these ‘athletes’ at work. If you have it in yourself to gamble responsibly, then I would be sitting back and having a few dollars on the horse to defend it’s title. I’m not one to sit still however, so you will have to look for me somewhere near Adelaide… MITCHELL PASCOE

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JULCANOUÈ

I’m JulcanouÈ I draw a lot but I think it is not enough. I want a lot of people to see my drawings but I also think drawing is a really personal thing and so I keep most of them in my room. Artist meetings scare me, unless I have a lot of artist friends. I’m scared most of the time about everything. I love making zines. I like to do everything by hand. I really don’t like working on a computer. I used to wear masks in comic conventions, some people thought that was ridiculous... I don’t think so. I’m thinking about designing a new mask and a bag with my little sister who is impressively talented. My first solo zine is called GICLURES ANONYMES. My zine crew is called DUVENT, and Madame, who we work for, is the president of it. I want to do more comics, and more drawings. I can work for you... whoever you are... I need money. Some people say that i can be a cool and funny guy sometimes... not today, sorry. giclures-anonymes.tumblr.com giclures anonymes on facebook julcanoue@gmail.com 46


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WHAT ARE ZOMBIE SALTS? ndividuals are becoming quite creative, in consuming chemicals to feel an out of body experience. But who would have thought that the following would turn someone into a zombie?

Remember the story of the guy who literally ate away at a homeless man’s face whilst on “bath salts”? Well, more and more people are taking after Rudy and turning to the use of chemicals for an outer-body experience. Not only is this extremely dangerous but it could potentially end a life. The use of chemicals as a drug alternative is something that has become popular over the last couple of years. But how much do we actually know about the effects these chemicals have on our body? Not much at all. You’ll probably be familiar with the use of “bath salts” and some of the effects of its use. Here’s a quick run-down of some information about chemical substitutions and their effects. CHEMICAL SUBSTITUTIONS Bath salts come under a branch of drugs that are classified as “chemical substitutions.” Basically, they’re a cheap and essentially legal form of drug. I use the term lightly, but because of their chemical structure, these drugs are constantly modified to exclude the “illegal” chemical and replace it with something similar. The trouble with these sorts of drugs is that it is easy to substitute these substitutes with other substitutes 50

making it hard to keep up with. Two common “synthetic cathinones” that are illegal as of now are Mephedrone and MDPV. The drugs are taken orally, inhaled or ingested. BATH SALTS Not to be confused with the glorious substances we chuck in the bath to make our skin feel delicious. Bath Salts have a number of street names, including: Vanilla Sky, White Lightning, Ivory Wave, Bloom, Cloud Nine, Scarface, Lunar Wave. Bath Salts specifically are the most prominent of this wave of drug substitutions. WHY PEOPLE USE THEM Honestly, I don’t know. Yes, they’re cheap and essentially legal but you have literally no guarantee that you will live after you take it. Why the fuck would you do that for a short period of euphoria? EFFECTS The typical effects that attract users to these drugs are the euphoria, increased sociability and increased sex drive. But what people tend to easily forget about is the paranoia, agitation, hallucinatory delirium, psychotic and violent behaviour and

death in some circumstances. Yeah, this shit can kill you. WHAT IT DOES It is still hard to determine exactly what the chemical does to the brain and the body. Making it even harder is the fact that each experience could be different every time for the same person using the same dosage. This is due to the unknown composition of each batch. What we do know is that the initial effect is similar to cocaine and amphetamines, where it raises the levels of dopamine which causes euphoria and increased activity. The most common synthetic (MDPV) found in the users of the drugs raises brain dopamine in the same manner as cocaine BUT IT IS 10 X MORE POTENT. The levels of serotonin are also raised similarly to MDMA. They tested rats for that. You probably have all heard the story of Rudy Eugene at some stage. But so many other lives have been lost too. Jairious McGhee, Glenn Punch, Matthew Rybarczyk and Eric Scott are some of the names of people who died because of bath salts. The worst part is that not all of them died from willing consumption of the drug. In some cases, its been sold as ecstasy


or MDMA and people have lost their lives without even choosing to take the chemical substitutions. After doing all this research and reading up about these drugs, I cannot justify why anybody would use them. I think it’s fucking dumb. MONICA JANKOWSKI

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CHEEKY CHAPTERS / SARAH LONG

THE BABYSITTER If you know it’s wrong, you probably shouldn’t do it.

‘My wife doesn’t need to know, it can be our little secret,’ the text message said. She thought she was reading something that would only exist in pornography. This guy had clearly been so desensitized by a world of sex, dick, and role playing, that he had marinated on a make-believe life in which his nanny would drop to her knees and suck his dick, before spreading her naked arse in front of a home job camera, smiling saying, ‘ooh stick in it me.’ This guy had seriously cooked it… Rafealla had been living in Byron Bay for quite some time, but due to her accent, people had mistaken her as a tourist, traveller or just a fly-by looking for a quick buck so she could keep living in her van as a free-spirit hippie. She was some of the above, but definitely looking to reside in the coastal town permanently as a local. Having a degree in Primary School teaching, it made sense to take on the role as a nanny whilst looking for work within the educational system. Conveniently, Raf’s friend was finishing up in her role as an au pair for a family, who still had more work for the right person. Raf decided to go for an interview and wound up with a job. She wasn’t overly eager to settle as an au pair, as she wanted 52

to find a place of her own. However, she needed to take what she could and moved into the little boy’s room that week. He was four years old and it was weird. She didn’t really know what else to do. The mother was never home. So Raf had completely replaced her role in the household. She was feeding the family, bathing them, bringing Ben (the dad) coffees, washing, ironing – everything. Over that period of time she and Ben ended up spending a lot of time getting to know each other. It was always strictly a nanny/employer relationship, from her perspective anyhow… He did suggestive movements, like brush past her and accidentally touch her bum, but it was never enough for her to assume anything. Then there were the times that he would touch her hand while she was passing him something, but still it was never enough to assume that he was interested. Eventually she would get dressed up to go out, walk out to the lounge room to say goodbye to the family and he would stare straight into her eyes before slowly drifting. He entirely undressed her with his eyes. It sent little, tingly spikes up the back of her neck. She felt uncomfortable, but never said anything. She never wanted to assume that Ben, a loving husband

and father, would be looking at her in that manner. Months passed and Ben didn’t change, in fact he only got worse. Raf finally found another job and moved on. Then she bumped into him one night while he was drunk on the streets with his mates, a few words were conversed with a wink from him and he was on his way! Later on she received the message… Ben: Hey what are you doing later on? Would you be able to come over for a few hours? Raf: I’m going home. Do you need help with the kids? Ben: the kids are fine; I was hoping that you could come and take care of me? Raf: Are you not well? Ben: I’m more than fine, but I would be better if you could come and take care of some needs, in my bedroom. Raf: I’m sorry I don’t understand. Ben: You’re a very beautiful girl. I would like to explore your body. Raf: Excuse me? I don’t think your wife would appreciate what you’re saying to me. Ben: My wife doesn’t need to know, it can be our little secret.


Raf did not reply. She phoned Bel, her friend who used to nanny for the family. She began to repeat what had just happened. Her friend was silenced. There was an awkward moment that Raf knew meant only one thing. ‘I don’t know Raf, I just don’t know how it happened. He came onto me and I didn’t know what to do. I thought I liked him. He was always so nice to me.’ Bel explained. She then further continued to unveil her story… ‘The mum was never home, she always worked. He worked from home and always sat at the kitchen table to do his paperwork. We got along really well. We chatted about everything. He made me laugh. He was really funny. I had been going through a bad patch with my ex boyfriend and he caught me crying on my phone one day. That’s when he sat down and asked me what was wrong. He hugged me and told me that I was really beautiful and didn’t deserve that bullshit. It made me feel really good. From then on I began looking forward to seeing him every single morning. We were having so much fun. I don’t know why, but it never crossed my mind that I was doing something bad. I think it was because I started to like him. ‘This one day, everything changed. It was a super hot day and I was wearing a short dress that flowed. I was in the kitchen doing the dishes. He was behind me and accidentally knocked something onto the floor directly behind me. As he knelt down to pick it up, I could feel his warm lips press up against the back of my calf. He began softly kissing up the back of my leg, past the kneecap up into my inner thigh. It was all happening so fast. ‘I dropped the plates into the sink. He pushed my undies to the side and softly kissed the lower of my bottom. He squeezed and separated my cheeks, sending goosebumps up my body. I clenched onto the side of the bench, breathing harder for more. I leant forward while he continued moving his tongue up towards my 53


vagina. He pressed his warm mouth up against the moisture. I was panting. I could feel how wet I was. I just wanted all of him inside of me. He inserted his fingers and started massaging. I let my undies fall down to my ankles, turned to him with a smile and told him to fuck me. ‘He was really hard; I could see it through his pants. They dropped to the ground. He pressed his warm, erect penis up against my bum. As he massaged it against me, he lifted my dress up and took my bra off. He grabbed both my boobs from behind, caressed them and breathed heavily down the back of my neck telling me how much he wanted to fuck me. He continued giving me soft kisses. I reached behind and started stroking his erection. He collapsed onto me, moaning for more. ‘Before he climaxed, I stopped and told him to put it in me. He entered his dick into my vagina and we fell into satisfaction. He griped his hands around my waist and he moved in and out, pounding into me harder and faster. He finally came and that was it. It was like all this tension built up was gone. He pulled his pants up, kissed me on the lips and went to the bathroom. ‘My emotions changed so quickly. I wanted it for so long and when it was done I felt so guilty. All I could think about was his wife and the kids who I take care of every day. It was weird. He told me later on that he had never done something like that before and he would hope that I didn’t say anything, so I did what he said – but I couldn’t work there anymore. I was too ashamed to look at his wife in the face. So I left the job. I didn’t think that he would do it to you though, Raf. I’m so sorry about this.‘ Raf sat in disbelief of what she had just heard. She wasn’t angry, she was just shocked that this man had somehow manipulated her friend and then tried to do the same to her. She began questioning how many other au pairs he had done this to. And how long he had been getting away with it. Neither Raf nor her friend spoke of the incident after that night, they both felt ashamed. 54

We’re born into life consistently building set morals, values and boundaries. Whether they’re construed by what’s socially acceptable, or what instinctively does not feel right – we all know that there plays a little emotion called guilt. It’s an emotion that we can only control and dictate through our actions. Unfortunately life isn’t like Instagram, where we can filter, upload and if we don’t like what we’ve created we have the option of deleting it and starting again. Life tests us with situations in which we have to revert back to what we think is right, before taking action on the matter. Too often, we fail to even consider the repercussions of what we’re doing with the mentality of YOLO, and hoping for the best outcome. Nine times out of ten, if you’re playing with fire then you’ll probably end up being quite crispy. Moral of the story – if you don’t like what could be done to you, then why would you play with the idea of doing it to someone else? Life is about making choices, so don’t be a dickhead.


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Profile for Blaire Magazine

BLAIRE MAY 2015  

SEX. ART. MUSIC. FILM. URBAN CULTURE. UNDERGROUND THREADS. ACTIVISM.

BLAIRE MAY 2015  

SEX. ART. MUSIC. FILM. URBAN CULTURE. UNDERGROUND THREADS. ACTIVISM.