10 18 21 28
THE RISE AND FALL OF AMERICAN APPAREL POISON PENS: ALCOHOL AND JOURNALISM RATINGS VS WAISTLINES RAPT ON RAP
HOOKED ON A FEELING OUR NEW ADDICTIONS BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 1
ISSUE 04, 2011
5/25/11 4:21 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM NEWS
1 Hunters and Collectors: Ash Moore and Milla McPhee, 2011 USU Campus Culture directors. 2 Focus: Verge will return in September.
a BULL Magazine into a paper crane collection was worth a few points.
Photo: Jeremy Yao
In the end ‘Team Killer Joules’ took out the prize, impressively scoring more than 1,000 points. The Killer Joules were the only team to score the 100-point challenge of getting to the top of the belltower, no mean feat. The teams debriefed at Hermann’s Bar for drinks and pizza. Special mention goes to the brave entrant who shaved ‘I heart USU’ into his chest hair. That’s dedication.
FIRST-EVER VICTORY FOR USU MANDARIN DEBATERS
NEWS VERGE DIRECTORS GET TO WORK The USU’s annual festival of art, culture and creativity is taking shape behind the scenes as 2011 Directors Harriet Gillies and Tom Walker get to work. The Festival, held over two weeks at the beginning of September will feature a a busy program of events, exhibitions, live music, performances and more. Stay tuned… Meanwhile, Harriet Gilles has been busy directing the Sydney University Dramatic Society’s (SUDS) major 2011 production, something just happened… which will play from 1 to 5 June at Erskineville’s PACT Theatre. This
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 4
ambitious multi-media production is designed to bend and twist the performer-audience relationship and bring them closer than ever before. “Too often I see a piece of theatre and I feel like the show would be exactly the same whether the audience was there or not,” said Gillies. “The point of this play is not the crime or the criminal. We want to remind the audience that we know they are there, we like them, and we want to play.”
SCAVENGERS ON THE LOOSE More than 50 students were let loose around campus and surrounds on 18 May for the frantic USU Scavenger Hunt.
Organised by the Campus Culture directors, Ash Morse and Milla McPhee, the USU Scav Hunt was somewhat like TV’s Amazing Race, minus the grating bogan accents and sprinting through airport terminals. Twelve teams took off at 11am with a list of campus-based challenges and goals to earn points to put towards a grand tally to win the major prize pack of classic Dendy DVDS, vouchers and Lonely Planet travel books. The teams embarked on a hectic scurry through the University grounds, amassing points for completing such tasks as eating the spiciest meal on campus, proposing to the Gilgamesh statue, saying something ridiculous in a crowded lecture theatre, reenacting an epic battle scene on the front lawns, swimming a lap of the SUSF pool while wearing a hat and scoring a kiss off someone on the ACCESS Desk. Participants were also challenged to snap photos of specific items on campus – such as a St Andrews Cross spider, a painting of Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, the oldest tree on campus and Dr Karl. Even turning
The University of Sydney Union claimed a memorable victory at the Australian/Chinese Intervarsity Debating Championships last May. Zhenyu Feng, Hongyu Xin, Pengju Han,YunYao Zhai and Guanyi Yi took victory for the USU in the Mandarin-speaking tournament held in Melbourne. The team defeated the University of Melbourne in the final round on the topic: ‘whether foreigners should be excluded from purchasing real estate in Australia.’ The USU earlier had defeated the University of New South Wales and the Australian National University on its way to the final. Xin Hongyu won the accolade of ‘best debater for a single match’ following the final. The USU’s Mandarin Debating team was established last year as part of the USU’s expansive debating program. Their victory marks the first major success for a non-English speaking team from the USU. The team’s next assignment is an intervarsity tournament in Singapore in July.
5/25/11 4:22 PM
ISSUE 04 COLUMNS
COLUMNS EDITOR’S NOTE PAUL, ALEX, KIRA, ANNE & LEWIS
ello there, dear readers. As semester one comes to an end, we’ve got some good and bad news; we survived the Rapture only to have exams bear down upon us like a plague. If you’ve spent more time socialising rather than studying since Manning Grill reopened, it’s probably too late to hit the books now. Instead, settle in for some more good ol’ procrastination and guarantee yourself a good read with issue four of Bull. In time for Stuvac, we’ve examined our vices, with a look at modern addiction including the student staples of Facebook, shopping and coffee. We’ve also delved into the truth behind the link between journalists and alcohol. (Not that we’d know anything about that...) We’ve got a look at the downfall of American Apparel and the effects of celebrity chefs on our waistlines, and we’ll swag you out with recommendations of some top quality rap acts to tune into. We chat with Norwegian electro-rascals Datarock and pick up tips on how to be part of the next generation of rich, young entrepreneurs. As well as all that, we discover the truth behind recycling practices, demystify superfood health-speak, preview the Sydney Film Festival, look into Sydney’s delectable chocolate cafes and then take you on a university workout. Phew. Issue four is crammed full of warming winter goodness, so go on, dive in! Love, The editors.
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 5
PRESIDENT’S DESK DAVID MANN Welcome to the last edition of Bull Magazine for Semester One. As this will be my last column I write as President of the Union, I would like to thank a few people. Firstly I would like to thank the fabulous Bull Editors and Publications Manager Chris Beaumont who have produced an absolutely stellar line of editions for this Semester - I could not be prouder! I would also like to thank all of the Union staff who have made this Semester and my Presidency an amazing experience. Special thanks must go to our wonderful Department Heads, our outgoing CEO Paul McJannett, our incoming CEO Andrew Woodward, my fellow Board Directors, members of the University Administration and fellow Student Presidents. To the students who went out there and voted in our elections - I would also like to express my gratitude.You are part of the only group of students in Australia who know what it's like to experience a genuinely student-run, student experience that is also the best in the country. It is important that as these negotiations continue we remember how important our independence is - it allows our student board to deliver what students want, it allows our student board to insulate program funding from University interference and it allows our student board to keep student spaces, student-run. Having a student-elected board with a democratic mandate is a fantastic thing and it was fantastic to see how passionate candidates were on the campaign trail this year - I know they all have very bright futures ahead of them and I wish them the best of luck. I would on that note, like to congratulate those candidates who were successfully elected to the USU Board - you're in for a wild ride! A huge thank you to you, our members, who have supported this great Union through thick and thin. It has been an absolute honour and privilege to serve as your President over this past year. Signing off for the last time!
STUDENT PROGRAMS ALISTAIR COWIE Without sounding unnecessarily Hanson-esque, by the time you are reading this, the 2011 USU Elections will be well and truly over. I hope you participated – either as a candidate, voter or debater out on the hustings. The colour, passion and vibrancy of the USU elections are one of the many things that make life on this campus exciting. Sydney revels in having students who are informed and involved. So congratulations to our new directors and good luck over the next two years: you will be busy. And for the candidates who were not elected – please do not walk away from the commitment you made to your fellow students. There are many, many other ways that you can be involved and display the leadership that prompted you to run in the first place. Like many of you I will be enjoying a few hours in the examination room over the next fortnight or so. Deep sigh. But do not despair....for second Semester is just around the corner and it’s a jam-packed bumper edition too... Kicking off is The Re-O-Day International Food Fair. Think O-Week but condensed into a tasty bite-sized piece. Clubs will again take over Eastern Ave to strut their stuff and recruit members. There’ll also be plenty of food hawkers, honouring some of the 90-odd nationalities represented in our student population. Don’t miss out! Semester 2 also means The Verge Festival. We want performers, artists, talkers, ideas people and volunteers – so if you are interested, please email Tom and Harriet at email@example.com. Almost straddling Verge, as a one-legged Colossus might have the harbour at Rhodes, is the 2011 USU Revue Season. This year will see 11 shows –so keep your diaries clear between 10 August and 3 September. Good luck for you r exams and assignments...remember, only use slide rules if the By Laws allow it!
5/25/11 4:22 PM
2011 Student Leadership Position
Poetry Photography Prose Drawings Short Stories
EDITORS WANTED! Applications for editors close: 5pm Friday 3 June, 2011 Hurry, Hermes Editor applications are going as fast as the Greek god himself! Get on board with Australiaâ€™s longest-running student literary journal in 2011!
Apply now online at www.usuonline.com or at the ACCESS Desk, level 1, Manning House. Hermes is the University of Sydney Unionâ€™s annual student-produced literary publication, bringing together a wealth of student creativity and imagination. As editor, you collect and collate hundreds of creative pieces and define the look and theme of this unique publication.
25/05/11 4:26 PM
ISSUE 04 CONTENTS
News Columns Competitions What’s On Interview Campus Chatter Student Lifestyle Travel Health Food & Booze Environment Science & Tech Entertainment Reviews Mindgames The Bull Pen Caught on Campus
OUR NEW ADDICTIONS
Paul Karp Alex McKinnon Kira Spucys-Tahar Anne Widjaja Lewis d'Avigdor firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS
Fayzan Bakhtiar, Alisha Bhojwani, Shaun Crowe, Alexander Cunningham, Daniel Graham, Michael Koziol, Stephanie Langridge, Justin Michael, Lawrence Muskitta, Alissa Nasti, Nathan Olivieri, Miranda Smith, Gerard Smyth DESIGN
Carl Ahearn Anjali Belani PUBLICATIONS MANAGER
Chris Beaumont WWW.USUONLINE.COM LIKE US FACEBOOK.COM/USUBULLMAGAZINE The views in this publication are not necessarily the views of USU. The information contained within this edition of Bull Magazine was correct at the time of printing. This publication is brought to you by the University of Sydney Union and The University of Sydney. ISSUE 04, 2011
THIS MODERN DRUG
GLASS HALF EMPTY
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ACTUALLY GOOD RAP MUSIC
05 06 08 17 24 31 33 34 35 36 37 38 40 43 45 46
CONTENTS 25/05/11 4:26 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM COMPETITIONS
NSW Permit no. LTPM-10-00329
WIN TICKETS TO
THE HANGOVER PART II
JUST SEND IN YOUR CAPTION TO THIS GNARLY PHOTO DUDE AND YOU COULD TOTES WIN! (AS IN TOTALLY WIN, NOT WIN TOTE BAGS)
Following the incredible success of The Hangover, which is still one of the highest grossing comedies of all time, The Hangover Part II reunites director Todd Phillips and the main cast for an all-new comedy adventure. Hilarious, outrageous and unpredictable; the next instalment will not disappoint fans of the original. Right after the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug jet to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Stu’s plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch, however, goes seriously awry. The Hangover Part II in cinemas now! Don’t miss it. WIN! Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures we’re giving away FIVE double-passes to whoever can supply the best caption for the photo here. Send your lolworthy caption to email@example.com along with your name and details. Winners will be notified by email and the winner announced in the next issue.
ISSUE 2 WINNER! Congratulations to YOLANDA LU, winner of the ride in the Red Bull Stunt Plane.
WIN A DOUBLE-PASS TO HELMET
“Willie might not be big enough, but.... at least this rock is! Yay!”
Legends of post-hardcore rock, Helmet are headed our way after sold-out tours of the U.S. and Europe for the first time in three years! The Los Angeles fourpiece will hit the stage at our very own Manning Bar on Friday 24 June for what promises to be one hell of a show! We’ve got TWO double passes to give away – don’t miss your opportunity to catch Helmet live at Manning! To enter, send your name and details (email, phone number and favourite colour of protective headwear) to firstname.lastname@example.org Helmet @ Manning Bar, Friday 24 June, 2011, 8pm, 18+ Tickets available from the ACCESS Desk, Level 1 Manning House, or online at www.manningbar.com. Discount for Access Card holders!
Entries for all competitions close 10 June 2011.
COMPETITIONS BULL_04.indd 6
25/05/11 4:28 PM
Join us today for just $55. BULL_04.indd 7
7ITHTHREEONCAMPUSHEALTHĂžTNESSCENTRES over 30 recreation courses and more than SPORTING CLUBS WHETHER YOUmRE A SOCIAL SPORTSMAN OR AN /LYMPIC ATHLETE OUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP GIVES YOU ACCESS TO AN AMAZING RANGE OF BENEĂžTS AT AN UNBEATABLE PRICE
25/05/11 4:29 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM WHAT’S ON
WHAT’S ON YOUR GUIDE TO THE PLACES TO BE ON CAMPUS. WE’LL GIVE YOU THE WHEN AND WHERE – YOU SHOW UP AND ENJOY. TO SEE EVERYTHING THAT’S GOING ON (AND THERE’S A LOT) VISIT WWW.USUONLINE.COM AND CLICK THE CALENDAR.
WEEK 13 MONDAY 30 MAY
MNML MNDAYS 1-2pm, Manning Bar
ANTHROPOLOGY SOCIETY EXECUTIVE MEETING 6-8pm, RC Mills 148
CUBA-VENEZUELA SOLIDARITY SU TRIATHLON CLUB GENERAL WEDNESDAY 1 JUNE CLUB AGM MEETING 12-1pm, Isabel Fidler, Manning
4-6pm, Badham 141
SUSPENSE AND MYSTERY GENERAL MEETING
5-7pm, Isabel Fidler, Manning
12.45pm, Isabel Fidler, Manning
SU SHADES AGM
SHOW PONY SHOPPING DAY 10.30am-7pm, Show Pony Broadway, 247 Broadway
WEDNESDAY MARKETS 11am-3pm, JFR Plaza
Photo by Matthew Thurbon
LUNCHTIME SESSIONS 1-2pm, Manning Bar
HERMANN’S TRIVIA 1-2pm, Hermann’s Bar
MANNING TRIVIA 5-6pm, Manning Bar
QUARTY – QUEER ART PARTY 5-8pm, Verge Art Gallery
PROJECT 52 7-10pm, Hermann’s Bar
WEDNESDAY 1 JUNE SOMETHING JUST HAPPENED... (SUDS) MAJOR 2011 PRODUCTION) PACT Theatre
THURSDAY 2 JUNE VISION GENERATION AGM 12-1pm, Isabel Fidler, Manning
THEATRESPORTS 1-2pm, Manning Bar
ARTS REVUE AGM 5-6pm, Holme Common Room
SUTEKH GENERAL MEETING 6-7pm, Holme Common Room
GEOSOC MAD HATTER BALL 7pm-12am, Holme Building
THE NATION BLUE 8pm-, Hermann’s Bar
SATURDAY 4 JUNE CHOPFEST III 4.30pm – 12am, Hermann’s Bar
STUVAC MONDAY 6 JUNE MNML MNDAYS 1-2pm, Manning Bar
WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE WEDNESDAY MARKETS 11am-3pm, JFR Plaza
LUNCHTIME SESSIONS 1-2pm, Manning Bar
SATURDAY 18 JUNE CRUEL HAND (USA) 8pm-12am, Hermann’s Bar
WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE PROJECT 52 7-10pm, Hermann’s Bar
THURSDAY 23 JUNE JOHN HOWARD DEBATING CUP –
GRAND FINAL 6-10pm, The Grandstand Sports Bar, University of Sydney
FRIDAY 24 JUNE WEEKEND WARM-UP AT HERMANN’S 4-7pm, Hermann’s Bar
HELMET (USA) 8pm-, Manning Bar
HERMANN’S TRIVIA MANNING TRIVIA 5-6pm, Manning Bar
PROJECT 52 7-10pm, Hermann’s Bar
THURSDAY 9 JUNE GYPTIAN (JAMAICA) 8pm-, Manning Bar
WEEKEND WARM-UP AT HERMANN’S
EXAMS WEDNESDAY 15 JUNE
WEEKEND WARM-UP AT MANNING
COERCE 8pm-, Hermann’s Bar
1-2pm, Hermann’s Bar
FRIDAY 3 JUNE
4-7pm, Hermann’s Bar
FRIDAY 17 JUNE
PROJECT 52 7-10pm, Hermann’s Bar
5-8pm, Manning Bar
25/05/11 4:29 PM
ISSUE 04 WHAT’S ON
TOP PICKS GEOSOC MAD HATTER BALL Friday 3 June Holme Building, 7pm-12am It’s quirky, zany and a little bit absurd; follow Alice’s footsteps and fall down the rabbit hole into GeoSoc’s Mad Hatter Ball. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, we encourage you to dress to impress as you enter a world of magical creatures and delicious treats. The night will feature a 3-course meal, live music and prizes for best costumes.
COMPETITION & APPLICATION DATES Show off some mad skillz and win some great prizes!
HERMES EDITOR APPLICATIONS Applications Close: 03 Jun
KICK START GRANTS Applications Close: 03 Jun / 01 Jul
SHAVED GUERILLA: SECOND SEMESTER SHORT FILM COMP Theme Announced: 03 Jun
CALL FOR VERGE VOLLIES 25 Jul
GYPTIAN (JAMAICA) Thursday 9 June, Manning Bar, 8pm Gyptian is a bonafide crossover international reggae dancehall star with an impressive list of lovers rock, roots reggae and dancehall hit singles. His hit song ‘Hold Yuh’ became a major Dancehall anthem of 2010, topping the Billboard Reggae Digital Singles chart for 9 consecutive weeks. The 26-year-old artist gained his nickname because he often sported a shirt wrapped around his head in the style of an Egyptian pharaoh. Gyptian won Best Reggae Artist at the Soul Train Awards in 2010 and this performance will be Jamaican-you crazy with his talent!
Open: 02 May / Close 12 Aug
RE-O DAY AND INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR Wednesday 27 July Eastern Ave 10am – 4pm There’ll be Clubs and Societies stalls, ntertainment food stalls, market stalls, entertainment and more! It’s like a mini O-Week round plus amazing food from around the globe! To register for a stall please email au email@example.com to request a registration form. Registrations close Friday 10 June. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first in first served basis. tact For more information contact 0. the Access Desk 9563 6000.
Details correct at time of printing but may be subject to change. Please check www.usuonline.com for current details.
25/05/11 4:29 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
THE RISE AND FALL OF AMERICAN APPAREL GERARD SMYTH EXPLORES THE RISE AND FALL OF AN AMERICAN CLOTHING EMPIRE.
25/05/11 4:30 PM
ISSUE 04 FEATURE
o-one wants to talk to me. Since I stepped off Oxford Street, walked through both levels and spent an inordinate amount of time selecting a pair of socks I begin to regret ever coming to American Apparel. I head for the counter. Ten minutes drag on, silently. I’m waiting in front of a man wearing a bow tie and suspenders. Somehow, I am the one feeling awkward. The bow tie leans forward on the counter, remarks to his co-worker that the store music is completely shit and sighs slowly. He glances at the socks, stands upright and stares at me. “They’re $13 dollars.” The man responsible for this scene is American Apparel founder Dov Charney. Some have described the 42-year-old Canadian millionaire as a ‘visionary’, ‘contrarian’ and ‘passionate creative’. He was even Ernst & Young’s 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year. His company has long been considered a template for attracting and capturing the most alluring and lucrative of markets for clothing retailers: bored teens and fickle, fashion-conscious adults. The American Apparel empire, 20 years in the making, led a new movement in manufacturing and retailing. Emphasising low overheads, simple design, fair pay and an aggressive growth pattern proved to be wildly successful for Charney. The saturated basic clothing and accessories market opened up and sexually suggestive advertising kept everybody’s attention on American Apparel. Established mall heavyweights scrambled to combat the seemingly inexorable spread of identical American Apparel stores, each one crammed with an increasingly diverse range of products and each one attracting cashed-up consumers. However, it soon became apparent the American Apparel model suffered from two key flaws. The first was founding the company and the product upon the quicksand of popular culture. As the brand soared on word of mouth, blogging and peer pressure, those same forces were conspiring to level its reputation. The second flaw was Dov Charney. It took a while for the cracks to show. The brand’s meteoric rise began around 2004, and by 2008 it was a bonafide international retail power. During that time, any signs of stress, incremental market slip and debt questions were brushed aside as growing pains. They didn’t go away. Today, after a litany of controversies, many emanating directly from Charney himself, American Apparel faces bankruptcy. At some point, people stopped calling Charney a wunderkind or a visionary. They
began to refer to him as ‘abrasive’ a ‘challenging figure’. As Charney appointed himself the mantle of counter-culture CEO and cool-maker, it was clear his business acumen tended to wander. American Apparel’s fortunes seemed inextricably caught up with those of its founder. Lawsuits began to besiege Charney and debts piled up for American Apparel. As of April this year, the count stands at five new sexual harassment suits and losses of $86 million. Examine Dov Charney’s life and patterns emerge. American Apparel’s blistering rise and drawn-out fall begins to make sense. The real question is not how did Charney fail, but how did he get this far? The initial impression of the young corporate svengali is complex. Charney was born into a well-off family in Montreal, Quebec. His mother was an abstract painter; his father, Morris Charney, was an architect who worked from home so he could prevent young Dov ‘escaping’ into the street. Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder kept him on the outer rim of authority, often clashing with teachers, parents and anybody who strayed into one of his various entrepreneurial efforts. But his drive and zest for turning a profit was never in doubt. His father recounted a particularly inspired effort from the young hustler to collect rainwater in empty mayonnaise jars and sell it to neighbours. Shuttled between Montreal homes, Israeli boy camps and privileged boarding schools in Connecticut, Charney stumbled upon his passion. The simple sentence ‘Made In America’ became an obsession for the teenager. He pored through manufacturing methods, defunct companies and the bygone era of Americanmade clothing. An avid collector of American t-shirts, he began to conjure up the scheme that would eventually become a multi-million dollar clothing brand. In high school, Charney began importing plain American-made t-shirts into Canada, initially for friends, then as a small-scale retail racket. Basic brands like Hanes and Fruit of the Loom became Charney’s stock and trade. In a 2008 interview for an entrepreneur networking site, he reminisced about his high school ventures: U-Haul trucks, garbage bags full of clothes stashed on trains heading north and pushing his product on the street. Money
came quick, but Charney said the chief reward of his illegal importation system was his pleasure in “a girl trying on a bra or a tie-dye t-shirt, and she’s, ‘Ooh, I love it’.” Girls, underwear and an astounding failure to appreciate personal space became recurring themes in Charney’s controversial future. As his operation grew, moving up to 10,000 t-shirts at a time, so too did dire fiscal constraints. But the police got him before a commercial collapse. His 1987 arrest for illegal importation did nothing to dent his entrepreneurial aspirations. Later that year, Charney enrolled in a business degree at Tufts University. But studying didn’t excite Charney the same way smuggling, screen-printing or watching girls try on bras did. He dropped out of Tufts in 1990 and borrowed $10,000 from his father to start his own manufacturing business in South Carolina. Moving into manufacturing was always Charney’s grand plan; the allure of Americanmade clothing and running a factory by himself proved irresistible. The transition from teenage hustler to responsible employer, however, was troublesome. He aimed for a good t-shirt and a decent cost. The factory was the genesis of the Charney archetype: the figure of a man convinced of his own economic prowess and personal power, stalking around a factory exhorting his workers with his motto “If we can dream it, it can be done.” Charney didn’t dream hard enough. Either that or his competitors dreamed harder. He couldn’t compete with established manufacturers and his customers quickly deserted him. Bankruptcy came and he was thrown into doubt. Dov didn’t like doubt. Before the implications of his failure set in, he gathered what money he had and the American Apparel company was born. The South Carolina collapse became a handy template for the much more successful, but all-too-fragile, structure of American Apparel. The company restructured, moved to the East Coast and grew. Financial observers witnessed the brand flourish and painted an image of Charney as an incredibly motivated, confident and resourceful man. A man who in the space of a few years moved from wholesaling white t-shirts for band promoters, to overseeing more than 200 stores across the globe. The born hustler implemented his so-called ‘hypercapitalist-socialist-fusion’ and hustling became a very rewarding career. But eventually, Charney’s ‘contrarian’ traits surfaced. It was not long before the man who refused to stop dreaming refused to keep his pants on. Charney set his sights on ‘contemporary metropolitan adults’. He modelled the company on experiences from his sex life - if brands were exclusive, they were not cool. A brand implied status and segregation, or as Dov put it: “I mean, if I’m with a girl who’s wearing a Christian Dior necklace, I can’t even f--k her.” American Apparel’s absent branding allowed for a broad market. Social progressives swarmed for the fair labour standards, snobs were attracted
25/05/11 4:30 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
to the next big thing and the glut of consumers followed them. This ability to be all things to all consumers resulted in the fastest retail expansion in American history. American Apparel grew fast and stuck to the script. Stores sprouted in any suburb nearing the brink of gentrification or well into the process. They looked the same and carried the same product. Reputation spread via word of mouth and through a powerful media presence that began to coalesce around the coupling of stark images with a seemingly endless supply of nipples. The lessons of rapid expansion in South Carolina were forgotten and the stampede of retail outlets and slavish interest from investors propelled Charney’s carnival. Charney describes the period as full of “sickening money, man. Minting money.” Millions came quickly. So did the sexual harassment lawsuits. The centrality of sex was a mainstay of American Apparel’s image, but it took on a new meaning after Charney masturbated in front of a reporter from Jane magazine. Charney then took to setting up his own harem, living with 12 young female friends and workers in the Los Angeles hills.
“It was not long before the man who refused to stop dreaming refused to keep his pants on.”
Meanwhile, his ‘hypercapitalist-socialist-fusion’ soon attracted the attention of the Department of Justice, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Department of Immigration and a class action lawsuit from shareholders. A third of his workforce was found to be working illegally and were deported, a major investor withdrew, share prices have dropped to less than the production cost of a single t-shirt and a number of new sexual harassment lawsuits are now pending. Charney’s run appears to be up. The stratospheric heights of American Apparel’s early days have faded into an ugly
spat between investors, boardrooms and the ‘visionary’. Charney plunged into a market defined by its fluctuations. Cool doesn’t stay cool for very long. Become too big and you lose it all. The economic fortunes of American Apparel follow the deranged descent of Dov Charney from Canadian kid hustler to sexual harassment maestro. Even Woody Allen, a man known to frequent the shadier side of sexual mores, said he found Charney to be ‘sleazy’. The danger with Dov Charney is to see him as a modern parable – as a man too big for life or some other pithy, sentimental explanation. The truth is a lot stranger but also a lot simpler. Life was too big for Dov. He took a risk, basing a company on being cool. He failed, the crowds moved on and the market looked elsewhere. Dov can’t dream his way out of $86 million in losses, but it is certain that his next scheme is already bubbling away.
25/05/11 4:30 PM
ISSUE 04 FEATURE
ALEX MCKINNON BOUGHT 10 COFFEE MACHINES ON EBAY WHILE WRITING THIS.
DRUG BULL_04.indd 13
25/05/11 4:30 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
he word ‘addiction’ is pretty loaded, no? Chances are your subconscious just conjured mental images of the usual suspects: junkies, the homeless, Wall Street yuppies, or anyone who generally finds themselves on the fringes of acceptable society. It’s also easy to assume what they’re addicted to: alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex... Not so fast though… our increasingly hectic, inter-webbed society has led us to a new crop of addictive habits. Some are so new they’ve only recently become accepted into academic dialogue, and are still barely understood by earlier generations. Some of today’s most routine pastimes can become a serious monkey on the back if you’re not careful.
Internet addiction has a reputation of being one of those Dr Phil-type pseudo-conditions: a thinly-veiled excuse used to explain the compulsion for anti-social types to sit in their parents’ basement and play World ofWarcraft all day. The perception comes from the continued conflict over how exactly to define internet addiction. The internet is too new for comprehensive psychological studies to have reached any real conclusions, or for long-term trends to be identified, so the science is still incomplete. From a strictly medical standpoint, an addiction is something the body develops a dependency upon, to the point where the body’s functioning is compromised once the substance is withdrawn. Obviously that can’t tangibly apply to anything online, but just because you don’t inject Farmville into your arm doesn’t disqualify it from being addictive. A 2008 report from CNS Drugs Magazine placed compulsive internet use on a spectrum of stages of severity, from full-blown addiction that affects approximately 0.5 per cent of the population, to the incessant Facebooking that nearly all of us engage in. It’s unlikely you’ll suffer the same fate as some kids in Korea and drop dead from 50 straight hours of playing Starcraft, but we are addicted to Facebook. According to the latest Nielsen study, 63 per cent of Australians have an account and 6.6 million of us check our pages every day, more than anyone else in the world. That’s not necessarily proof of addiction, but the really interesting part is why we use it so
much. Ask yourself: is Facebook fun? Do you derive active pleasure or enjoyment from using it? Probably not, right? More likely you log on so much because you’ve been conditioned to. In the 1940s, American behaviourist B.F. Skinner proved that animals change their behaviour in response to positive reinforcement- ring bell, get food. The more certain kinds of behaviour are encouraged and rewarded, the more animals and humans will engage in that behaviour. In Facebook’s case, the positive reinforcement comes in the form of those blessed little red circles letting you know that yes, someone has noticed you today. The drug is social interaction and Facebook is the paraphernalia you use to comment, tag, like and poke your way to that tiny rush of red-dot satisfaction. And we all share the habit. Internet addiction is not exactly as harmful as shooting ice, but it does cut into study or work and wastes time that could go towards something more productive or beneficial. Going cold-turkey is not really an option, either; being online is now so interwoven in our lives that quitting outright would substantially impact your social life. According to Californian psychologist Dr Rob Bedi, the key to balance is by disassociating the internet from pleasure. Rather than trying to exercise a superhuman self-control you don’t have, you can at least take steps towards breaking the sense of being rewarded. One simple example cited is not letting your browser remember usernames or passwords, making it more of a chore to log in. If you’re not that self-disciplined, sites like ColdTurkey and EZInternet Timer can forcibly limit how much time you spend on any one site. If you still can’t kick the habit, head to the Heavensfield Retreat Centre in Washington State, one of a growing number of rehab centres for internet and gaming addicts.
25/05/11 4:30 PM
ISSUE 04 FEATURE
Shopping Shopping to excess, or ‘oniomania’, has only started to be seriously discussed by the psychiatric community in the last 15 years or so. Before then (and to many now) it was dismissed as rich people being silly, associated as it is with Sex and the City or anything starring Isla Fisher. Like internet addiction, it is still disputed, the American Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not recognise compulsive shopping as a mental condition, but the German psychiatric community has classified it as a subset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – an obsession to alleviate feelings of anxiety and insecurity. According to the Australian Psychological Society (APS), compulsive shopping can arise out of relying on so-called retail therapy to relieve stress, anger, boredom, or deeper feelings of alienation and low self-esteem. The temporary high soon gives way to feelings of guilt and anger that can only be alleviated by more shopping - a textbook cycle of addiction. Again, just how many people are actual compulsive shoppers as opposed to just rich and/or stupid is hard to measure, but if it’s to be found anywhere, it’s in Australia. We love buying stuff. The GFC made big spending uncool for a while, but it’s back with a vengeance. In the last year, near-fanatical crowds of shoppers swarmed into newly-opened Zara and GAP stores, prompting other retail heavyweights such as Topshop, Uniqlo, H&M and Forever 21 to lick their lips at the prospect of staking their claim in the future. Australians bought more than a quarter of a million Apple iPads in the five months since the May 2010 release, and smartphone sales increased by two-thirds late last year. Consumers are increasingly heading online, too. The rising Aussie dollar has led to an unprecedented boom in internet shopping; in March this
year, a purchase was made on Ebay from an Australian mobile phone every 15 seconds. We have among the biggest houses, cars, wallets and waistlines on the globe, and they’re getting bigger. Consequently so too, unfortunately, is our debt. Australia has $750 billion worth of combined household debt, the highest proportion in the world. According to the Commonwealth Bank, we spend $130 for every $100 earned, and most of that is financed by credit card debt, which can be financially crippling to pay back. The cure? Again, going cold turkey is not an option, but the APS recommends cutting up excess credit cards, only shopping in a good mood or with a companion, steering clear of large shopping complexes and adhering steadfastly to lists to combat the impulse to splurge.
Coffee This one’s a delicate topic, especially since coffee is held tenderly in many a student’s heart. We live in a world well and truly addicted to coffee. It’s the second-most traded commodity in the world after oil, moving around the world even more than coal does. And Australians freaking love coffee, drinking an average of 288 cups a year. In 2010 we spent a staggering $10.7 billion on coffee, which is about $594 per person. This is in spite of the constant debate raging over whether coffee is good or bad for you. The sheer number of studies ‘proving’ that coffee causes/ exacerbates/prevents/cures everything from diabetes to cancer to obesity suggests the science isn’t exactly settled, especially considering most of the scientists are probably on java-fuelled allnighters themselves. Coffee’s addictiveness cannot be disputed, however.You probably love coffee so much because you’re under the illusion that it’s a stimulant. After all, it boosts you in the morning, so it must be, right? Wrong: the difference in your energy level and mood pre and post-morning cuppa is in fact the ‘kick’ an addict feels getting a fix. Caffeine targets the brain’s receptors for adenosine, the chemical that calms your nervous system down, and steps in to block the calming, tiring effects of adenosine. That interference is what perks you up, not the coffee itself. It’s only temporary, though; the adenosine reacts by building up and creating new receptors, flooding your system when the caffeine wears off. When you wake up in the morning, you’re overwhelmed by the excess adenosine, making you drowsy and grumpy. The only way to get back to normal is to drink coffee. And
“Just because you don’t inject Farmville into your arm doesn’t mean you can’t get hooked.”
the addictive cycle ensues. According to a 2004 study by John Hopkins School of Medicine, the strength of a caffeine addiction is determined by how much is consumed, but it only takes about a week of one-cup-a-day before you’re medically addicted. So, how to detox? Well, unlike the internet and shopping, this time the only way to completely break a caffeine addiction: plain old cold turkey. It takes about nine days free of caffeine for symptoms of withdrawal to fully subside… nine seriously unpleasant days. Caffeine withdrawal was recognised as a genuine medical condition in 2004, and the list of symptoms is pretty nasty. Aside from the expected headaches, irritation, fatigue; severe cases of addiction withdrawal can lead to nausea, vomiting and even episodes of depression. So, good luck with that.
25/05/11 4:31 PM
A QUEER ART PARTY AT THE VERGE GALLERY
5-8 PM , WEDNESDAY 1 JUNE
VERGE GALLERY, JFR PLAZA
WATCH LAURA IVES PAINT THE MURAL FOR THE QUEER SPACE
FEATURING DJ CUNNINGPANTS
25/05/11 4:31 PM
ISSUE 04 INTERVIEW
nne Widjaja talks to Fredrik Saroea from Norwegian electro-rascals Datarock.
HOW WAS DATAROCK BORN? We were students, and like most students we were partying and going to clubs and shows, we were part of this club scene where you had a lot of exciting electronic acts. We thought this is interesting, let’s do this! It all started as a joke, like a day time project that wasn’t going to go anywhere, we didn’t have any ambitions. That’s how it started I guess, students drinking. YOU’VE SAID BEFORE THAT AUSTRALIAN CROWDS CAUGHT ON TO YOUR MUSIC AS QUICKLY AS YOUR HOME TOWN DID. WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES AUSTRALIAN CROWDS DIFFERENT? The Australian crowd can be super excited when it comes to music, but still have a sense of humour and fun about it. In some cities the crowd will be standing still with their arms folded, looking at you with a grumpy face even though they’re sort of enjoying it.
HOW DID THE BAND END UP RECORDING ‘FA FA FA’ FOR THE SIMS 2 FREETIME GAME? The major games, the Need for Speed and FIFA, they started playing Datarock songs. The Sims
came along and wanted a ‘Simlish’ version of a song, it was all hilarious. We had to re-record the song, it’s all jibberish, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s a made up language. I actually talked to the guy that made up the whole language… I think he has a very easy job. OFTEN BANDS TRY TO AVOID LENDING THEIR SONGS TO COMMERCIAL VENTURES… A lot of bands should, I think it’s hilarious! I really like the use of opportunities as vehicles to spread our retardedness. When it comes to advertising that’s a necessity… the income we get from advertisements, TV series and film - that’s how we pay our bills. It’s a great thing that we can access music online, you could never get that distribution physically or commercially, but that means the amount you write doesn’t really provide you with an income. In most countries you don’t have a Triple J. With the major radio stations, to get any kind of airplay you need to rely on the assertiveness of influential and powerful people to get your song on their channel. With the video games, you get exposure to 500 million people. I’m sure there are offers that we’re going to turn
WHAT INSPIRED THE RED JUMPSUITS, AND DO YOU EVER WEAR THEM OFFSTAGE? No! Well, it’s just a uniform, it’s not a personal choice, we don’t sing songs about the hardships of our lives… it’s a show, a performance, so for a show we have costumes. One day we just came across these funny tracksuits, and we got to know the company that made them, and when we did the music video for ‘Fa Fa Fa’, we had these tracksuits and a couple of BMX bikes and I thought: ‘this is pretty hilarious’. It’s like the meat dress on Lady Gaga, everyone talks about the meat dress, it’s probably the least interesting piece of clothing that she has in her wardrobe, but everybody can say: ‘oh it’s meat!’ Our new saying is we don’t wear the tracksuits, the tracksuits wear us. Photo by Kris Krug
THE ELECTRO-POP SCENE HAS ONLY EXPLODED HERE IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, BUT YOU GUYS ACTUALLY FORMED AS AN ELECTRO BAND IN 2000. WHAT WAS THE SCENE LIKE? The scene back then was really cool, the world of electronic dance music, or whatever you want to call it, it felt like we knew everybody who was doing the same kind of style around the world. We got to know TV on the Radio, Chk! Chk! Chk!, The Rapture. We heard all the LCD Soundsystem stuff months before it was released. Back then, you could record on a CD-R and put a label on it and make it an official release, everything was done by hand. We printed the covers in the copy machine store, cut the booklets, folded them and put them in the cases. We took them from country to country, and we’d distribute them at the main stage of a festival, like at Sonar, [which] at the time was the most important festival for electronic art and music.
In some cities the crowd will be standing still with their arms folded, looking at you with a grumpy face.
down. The funniest story is a theatre company in Argentina, they wanted to play ‘Princess’ to promote their plays. What company in their right mind would brand their product with a chorus that goes like this: (sings) ‘P-p-princess, you’re a princess, you’ve got the ass of a prince, you got a prince of an ass’? If someone wants to pay you a lot of money to ruin their own product, that’s great! (laughs)
INTERVIEW BULL_04.indd 17
25/05/11 4:32 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
MICHAEL KOZIOL INVESTIGATES THE PLACE OF ALCOHOL IN THE CULTURE OF THE MEDIA.
he intersection of alcohol and journalism seems to evoke two fairly distinct images. There’s the tireless sleuth, wining and dining with his source at the back of a cheap Italian restaurant, going the distance until the smoking gun is finally, fuzzily revealed. Then there’s the dishevelled hack, whiskey bottle in the bottom drawer, face flat against his typewriter by deadline time. Author and former NewYork Times reporter Gay Talese has seen them all, literally and regularly. He told US blog Big Think of the horrors he witnessed inside the Times newsroom, including a fellow sports writer who would so comprehensively inebriate himself before every match that a mutual friend would have to write the article on his behalf. “It’s a wonder the paper could ever get out,” Talese said. “Half of the staff was out of it from the drinking.” The prodigious journalist and provocateur Christopher Hitchens, these days chronicling life with metastatic oesophageal cancer in Vanity Fair, is without regret for the many years spent imbibing “enough every day to kill or stun the average mule”. Hitchens, whose drinking buddies once included Hunter S. Thompson and two generations of Amis royalty, admits that
he has “burned the candle at both ends” but that it, in turn, “gave a lovely light”. And he notes how, with eerily few exceptions, the great literary works of the modern era were produced by deeply-troubled alcoholics. A roll-call of revered American writers – Eugene O’Neill, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Norman Mailer or William Faulkner among many – is also a list of tragedy, addiction and death too young. Perhaps in the case of literature, the solitariness of a bohemian lifestyle is the culprit. But even in the profession of journalism, defined instead by rigid deadlines, rapid investigation, mingling and listening, undeniably a culture of inebriation and dependency has thrived. It is a stereotype which is well-known, both within the industry and outside. But how realistically does this image capture the reality of
Australian bureaus, and does it persist today? David McKnight worked in Sydney newsrooms throughout the 1980s and cautiously attests to the celebration of alcoholism, of sorts. “I think most myths or stereotypes have a basis in reality,” McKnight says. “There was something of a drinking culture at [Sydney Morning Herald publisher] Fairfax, but by no means did most journos participate in it. At least not in the most obvious pub.” Genji Sato-Fraser, editorial assistant and gaming writer at the Sydney Morning Herald explains alcohol as a social lubricant: “When you need to get to know your contacts, alcohol is a really good method to communicate. It’s just a common ground, where people can relax and explain a story.” Sato-Fraser believes a small number of people abuse alcohol, but notes that the
EMPTY BULL_04.indd 18
25/05/11 4:33 PM
ISSUE 04 FEATURE
25/05/11 4:33 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
reputation is “created out of certain people”. “There is a very interesting distinction between new-school and old-school journalism,” he says. "People in their late 20s or early 30s, they’ll have a good time and have a drink, but they’re not going to get shit-faced.” Veterans, on the other hand, have a tendency to display a little less self-discipline, a weakness which robs them of their otherwise articulate and often brilliant demeanour. McKnight also mentions the influence of other drugs, which played less of a social role but rather facilitated a workplace culture, which was manic at the best of times, and at worst, hellish. “I once knew a journalist who took speed all over the very quiet December and New Year period, and came up with story after story, which put him in the good books with his editors. He was working like crazy all the time,” he recalls. Recounting his arrest and incarceration on drug charges in Singapore, former ABC foreign correspondent Peter Lloyd nominates himself as a sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from years of exposure to destruction and misery in South Asia and beyond. At his Sydney book launch, Lloyd spoke of his time in Afghanistan, his coverage of the Bali bombings and the 2004 tsunami, and about slipping on blood and body parts in a Karachi morgue. Correspondents who walk the streets in the aftermath of tragedy are tinged not only by shock and horror, but by guilt. Despite his demons, Lloyd maintains he was never part of the “world of journalists who stick shit up their nose all the time”. Close friend of Lloyd and prominent ABC figure Tim Palmer, raised some eyebrows when he said “a lot of reporters overseas go out partying reasonably hard, drinking and/or other things,” adding that Lloyd’s proclivities were not necessarily rare at the ABC. A 2002 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that war correspondents had a significantly higher weekly intake of alcohol than journalists who had never covered a military conflict. The incidence of overall substance abuse among war correspondents was 14.3 per cent, which compares to a rate of alcoholism in the legal profession of between 15 and 24 per cent. Lawyers’ propensity for alcoholism and addiction is well-documented, and often explained by factors shared with journalism: long hours, high pressure, a social scene premised on drinking. Even for those who don’t cover the extremes of war or famine, the demands of working for the fourth estate are high, and often necessitate a
chemical outlet. Sato-Fraser, whose job sees him co-ordinate the submission of copy to the news desk, reminds us of the daily realities of being a journalist. “You’ve got people who have just finished doing something incredibly hard - editing the paper, sub-editing, making sure everything’s right for an 8.30 or 9pm deadline. Intense work,” he says. “You go, ‘that’s done, bang, let’s hit the pub’.” It is a repetitive and exhausting grind that the wider public, whose distrust and disdain for journalists is well-documented, probably does not appreciate. “Journalism is a funny kind of job, stressful in ways that are not immediately apparent to outsiders,” says McKnight, who describes the news desk as “a very psychologically-insecure place to work”. “You were constantly judging yourself, and being judged, about your talent. And people got demoted, or asked to leave, on a regular basis. This is a big contributor to stress, and possibly to the attraction of alcohol.” Sydney Morning Herald reporter Ellie Harvey was only 18 when she joined the newsroom. Today, only three years later, she is covering major stories, including the recent disappearance of Central Coast teenager Matthew Appleby and the tribulations of Qantas’ A380 fleet. Her experience of the industry has been quite alien to the tales of times gone by. “I think everyone has changed,” she says. “It used to be that you would spend more time with contacts down at the pub, but now everything has to be so much more streamlined and efficient. People have less time to do stories, you don’t have an afternoon to hang around at the pub and chat to someone.” “I think most workplaces have cleaned up a little bit, there’s a level of professionalism that’s expected.You wouldn’t turn up to work drunk and you wouldn’t come back to the office drunk.” Veteran journalist and commentator David Marr has seen it all and concurs. “Boozy lunches are a thing of the past,” says Marr. “Not least because expenses are much more tightly controlled than they once were.” But he still admits the legends of the old days “terrify” him. The indulgence and excesses which shocked Gay Talese might be increasingly rare, but modern journos still enjoy a convivial social
“Correspondents who walk the streets in the aftermath of tragedy are tinged not only by shock and horror, but by guilt.”
life within their own ranks, much like any other group of professionals. “We definitely went out for drinks every Friday night, without fail,” says Harvey, reflecting on her cadet days. “And it wasn’t just us, half the office was down there at the local pub.” Despite these changes in culture and behaviour, there is a sense of continuity and kinship between generations of reporters. SatoFraser has spent many a long night and early morning trawling the Sydney streets with the old guard, and Harvey attests to being closer to senior counterparts than those her own age. It cannot be denied this is a profession with a strong sense of community and identity, pursuing what it considers noble work in the face of a harshly critical public. “It’s a unique group of people, journalists,” muses Harvey. “They’re kind of brilliant, but not cookie-cutter.” She says it is the rare instance of a professional industry which allows and encourages quirkiness from its employees, which welcomes the manifestation of creativity and personality. Sato-Fraser is somewhat blunter. “Everybody who does journalism is f--ked up.You have to be.”
25/05/11 4:35 PM
ISSUE 04 FEATURE
FOOD THOUGHT FOR
HERE’S ONE KIRA SPUCYS-TAHAR PREPARED EARLIER.
hey’re the aproned kitchen crusaders leading the so-called ‘Food Revolution’. Food and lifestyle programs have exploded in popularity over the last decade and have spawned a generation of celebrity chefs, keen to highlight the importance of fresh foods and nutritional diets. Good, right? But are these chefs really helping achieve positive health outcomes in the community? Or are they more interested in fostering a cult of personality and marketing themselves? Perhaps the celebrity chef’s genuine attempts to impart messages of health have been misinterpreted by the general public. We’ve taken on the themes of home cooking, but missed the memo on moderation and personal tailoring.
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 21
5/25/11 4:23 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
aged five to 17 doubled from five per cent to 10 per cent. While the obesity rate remained unchanged for girls, the proportion of girls (1317 years of age) classed as overweight increased from 12 to 20 per cent. The Nutrition Survey also measured the BMI of participating adults. It revealed the categorical breakdown of those aged over 18 years. Those classified as ‘normal weight’ made up 37 per cent of the sample - the exact same percentage as those deemed overweight. Twentyfive per cent were obese and two per cent underweight. Meanwhile, more adult males (68
per cent) were overweight or obese than adult females (55 per cent). Being unhealthy literally outweighed being healthy. The findings, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, revealed ‘most obese young adults in (the) community were not obese as children’. It demonstrated that periods of major life transitions such as adolescence and early adulthood impacted on weight gain. It pointed out that high-school and university students in particular are an at-risk group and need to be well-informed about nutrition and lifestyle choices. Australian Food News, one of Australia’s largest websites dedicated to diet and nutrition, found the big trends for 2009 were ‘comfort food, nostalgia
The cooking show is not new. The simple, hostdemonstrating-actual-cooking-techniques has been on the small screen since almost the very beginning of television. The American program I Love to Eat from the late 1940s is generally recognised as the first network cooking show. For a long time, cooking shows were relegated to targeting the ‘bored housewife’, demonstrating recipes and techniques to improve their husband’s dinners. Recently, however, competitive reality TV entered the world of cooking to create a new genre of cuisine competition. Networks changed the centre of attention to promote an entire ‘foodie’ philosophy around the concept that everybody eats, so why not eat well? In the United States, there is even an entire channel devoted to cooking known as the TV Food Network. And with TV comes celebrity, so enter the celebrity chefs. Thanks to exposure from shows such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, names like Curtis Stone, Matt Moran and Manu Feildel are recognised outside restaurant kitchens. But any lessons of moderation given by these celebrity chefs are somewhat lost as they cultivate their food philosophy and personal image by extending their presence into magazines, websites, cookbooks, cookware and supplies. A simple analysis it may be, but it’s not completely extreme to see a correlation between the phenomenal ratings of the likes of Masterchef and the increasing rates of overweight and obese members of the population. A landmark 2007 study confirmed what was widely suspected for a long time. Despite new healthy living initiatives from the government and a transformation of the somewhat intimidating ‘gym’ industry into a more accessible ‘health and fitness’ industry, Australians are still getting fatter. According to the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, adolescence is the defining period in determining healthy lifestyle outcomes. The study tracked the body-mass index (BMI) of 5,000 young people over 20 years to discover a connection between age and weight gain. Approximately 1.5 per cent of children tested in 1985 were overweight but this figure soared to around 13 per cent when participants were tested again in their 20s and 30s. The numbers in the overweight category had also increased from about nine per cent for both sexes, to a startling 40 per cent of males and 20 per cent of females. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Nutrition Survey (NNS), between 1995 and 2008, the rate of obesity for boys
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 22
5/25/11 4:23 PM
ISSUE 04 FEATURE
and home-baking’. It suggested consumers wanted to save money in the wake of economic downturn and feel better about themselves and their lifestyles by making more nutritional choices. Consumers may indeed have become more supermarket-savvy, but it didn’t seem to impact on their waistlines. Celebrity chefs have unofficially assumed the right to educate us about healthy food choices, yet they appear to be almost the antithesis of fighting fit. George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston, hosts of Masterchef, would probably do well to try eating in moderation. Preston actually expressed a desire in 2010 to lose weight but was reportedly banned by Network Ten from endorsing the Jenny Craig weight loss program because it ‘did not fit well with the Masterchef brand’. Comedian Shane Bourne made a good point when hosting the 2011 Logie Awards in May: “I’m a bit confused. Channel 10 has The Biggest Loser and Masterchef,” said Bourne. “They spend the first half of the year showing you how to lose weight, and the second half showing you how to stack it back on again!” The issue is, seeing these high-fat, highsugar and high-carb dishes eaten on television night after night, we trick ourselves into believing that because the top chefs in Australia are doing it, it can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, where eating dessert after every meal is the norm and the more butter added the to the mash the better. It’s unabated indulgence, food porn, every night. A quick scan of the most popular recipes on the Masterchef website at the time of writing told a tale of baked chocolate praline
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 23
tarts, crème brulee, roasted garlic chicken and green eggs and ham with crumpets. Not exactly preaching the message of ‘sometimes’ foods or nutritionally-balanced meals. Even last year’s Masterchef winner, Adam Liaw, admitted he gained seven kilos during filming of the series. Other famous chefs stress the need for consumers to source fresh, organic, often peculiar foods - naively ignoring the accessibility and affordability issues many consumers face. Long-time British culinary hero, Jamie Oliver, states on his website that his food philosophy is ‘enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way’. He believes cooking knowledge empowers us to create in-season meals with fresh ingredients ‘at their best, and cheapest’. He clearly advocates moderation but also toes the line of organic produce. The problem of course is that for those living in lower socio-economic brackets, where eating habits are among the worst, organic produce is prohibitively expensive. When chefs push the need for such produce, many simply throw up their hands and turn to faster, easier, junk alternatives rather than taking away the message of the need for nutritious home-cooked meals. The ‘Food Revolution’ doesn’t appear to have impacted on many University of Sydney students. Of a number of students surveyed on Eastern Avenue, a large proportion claimed never to have seen Masterchef or other cooking shows. Second-year student Abbey McCarthy admitted, “My mum still cooks my dinners.” Others related how such shows presented completely unattainable ideals. “No-one ever sets me loose in a grocery store and asks me
“University students in particular are an at-risk group that need to be well-informed about nutrition and lifestyle choices.”
to buy three chickens and cook something special,” said third-year student Lan Wei. “Until they start cooking mi-goreng on Masterchef it’s not going to be relevant to my experiences.” Fellow student Jasmine O’Connor echoed the sentiment: “Let’s face it, some of the recipes are a little bit strange and it’s more about the drama of the show,” she said. “I do like Jamie Oliver and his cookbooks though.” Regardless of the high ratings, it seems the smorgasbord of programs dedicated to food and cooking aren’t helping young people’s habits. Even though it appears a great deal of Australians enjoy watching personable chefs meticulously preparing elaborate meals, it seems most time-poor students would still rather hit the frozen food aisle of the supermarket or head out on a Maccas run. But as research tells us, savvy young consumers need to focus on tailored healthy food choices in order to ensure the major life upheavals of our late teens and early twenties don’t turn us into a generation of ten tonne Tessies and Teds. Just don’t expect television to help.
5/25/11 4:23 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM.AU CAMPUS CHATTER
CAMPUS CHATTER I’M NOT A STALKER, BUT... TO ARNOLD, Are you my daddy? Confused
TO THE SUFJAN STEVENS DÖPPELGANGER IN MY ADMIN LAW CLASS, Let’s be honest.You breaking out into whispery melancholy song with a banjo would make my life. Or, at least, my 8am lecture. Please consider. Groupie TO MY OLD LITERATURE PROFESSOR, I miss your scholarly ways.Your replacement has none of your old-world sophistication, lacking even a pocket-watch. I mourn your absence. Yearning TO THE GUY WHO RETURNED MY WALLET, You made my day. It’s nice to know that chivalry’s not dead. Next time, slip your phone number in there. Scatterbrain TO THE PEOPLE WAITING FOR COMPUTERS IN FISHER LAB, There’s a dozen computers just around the corner that are almost never used. Just FYI. Smug TO THE FOLK AT TASTE BAGUETTE, Your creations may be pricey, but I’ll be darned if they haven’t replaced Manning burgers as the tastiest campus treats out (and the staff ain’t bad-looking either!). Converted
anyway. Look on the bright side: maybe you’ll develop some upperarm muscular definition. Irritated TO MY MECO LECTURER, I’m sorry you were so upset about no-one showing up to the final lecture. Little thing called five assignments got in the way, but no, apparently you and your bloody movie are more important. Diddums! Too damn busy for this nonsense TO THE JUMPING CASTLE ON EASTERN AVE LAST WEEK, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE! You complete me. Come back soon. Inner child TO CAMPAIGNERS, Manning is no longer my happy place thanks to you and your coloured t-shirt armies. Begone! #nevervotedneverwill TO SPLENDOUR-GOERS, We all know how you used your parent’s platinum credit card to buy yourself tickets, so don’t brag about how you’re going to have to sell an organ/eat beans for life on your status update. Can’t even afford beans
TO THE GUY WHO VOTED BEFORE ME AT MANNING, You took the last free meal voucher that booth had. It’s on, buddy. Watch yourself. Hungry for revenge TO THE REV. HAROLD CAMPING, So, um, that was awkward. Please explain? Unenraptured TO THE HIPSTERS BEHIND THE ‘SAVE THE BOOKS!’ CAMPAIGN, Have fun carting around those old books you’ll never actually read, and that will get put into storage
SOMEONE CATCH YOUR WANDERING EYE? SOMEONE ANNOY THE HELL OUT OF YOU? SOMEONE MAKE YOU LAUGH DERISIVELY? LET US KNOW AND SEND YOUR MESSAGES TO:
25/05/11 4:37 PM
ISSUE 04 CAMPUS CHATTER
WHY WON’T YOU LET HIM BE GREAT? ASKS ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM.
GOT BEEF WITH SOMETHING? SPILL YOUR GUTS IN 400 WORDS OR LESS TO USUBULLMAG@ GMAIL.COM
EMAIL YOUR STORY VARIATIONS TO USUBULLMAG@GMAIL.COM STORIES CAN BE NO LONGER THAN 300 WORDS...
PLEASE, HAVE A COW
“People talk so much shit about me at the barber shop they forget to get their haircut” – Kanye West. As we wait excitedly for Kanye West’s headlining slot at Splendour in The Grass in July, it is clear that most are back up on the Fishstick. However, a small but vocal group of haters remains, sounding increasingly irrelevant and nauseating as his musical genius is progressively confirmed. Like Socrates, JC and m more recently JBiebs, Kanye h has always had to deal with h hate, which he has struggled to understand. And so have II. His production has been cconsistently and objectively aawesome for 10 years running aand his rapping generously in includes references that white p people can actually understand. B But some cannot seem to get o over his contentious persona w when judging his art. Someone rrecently insisted to me that K Kanye West was terrible
elcome to Bull’s Variations on a Scene, where we encourage YOU to get your creative writing skills out and help evolve our story. It’s simple; read the current edition’s story and take one element of it – be it an object, setting, character, theme etc - and submit your own creative piece. Here is this issue's instalment – you take it from here!
because “the list of stupid things he has said and done is as long as my arm.” Firstly, this is untrue. It is easily longer than a human arm. Secondly, I think we can all agree that personal judgements should not inform our artistic judgements. This is why we can still all enjoy Two and a Half Men re-runs. Besides, Kanye’s Twitter feed, which also opened last year, has helped provide a more balanced picture of the man. His tweets are now some of the most highlyregarded out there, mentioned alongside the likes of Stephen Colbert, Ashton Kutcher and Snooki. Last October, he authored one of the greatest tweets of all time- an incisive condemnation of the overly-extravagant and life-complicating in-flight service provided to first class patrons: “I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.”
Fittingly, the MTV O Awards last month named the statue for its inaugural Best Tweet Award the ‘Golden Kanye’. All six nominations were for Kanye himself, with the above tweet taking the trophy (not making this up). Despite letting himself finish, he was reportedly distressed that the other five equally awesome nominations weren’t recognised (I am making this up). I genuinely believe that Kanye West is one of the voices of our time, and he seems to as well. This leads me to the most common Kanye criticism - delusions of grandeur. But, in a way, doesn’t this reflect the way we are at the moment? Everyone’s life is a Beautiful Dark Tweeted Fantasy, played out as pretentiously and noisily as possible. Whether or not you’re comfortable with the zeitgeist, Mr West is kind of all over it. Respect that at least. So, haters, please stop forgetting to get your haircut.
VARIATIONS ON A SCENE DANIEL GRAHAM Albert Spry, homicide detective extraordinaire, saw through the mother’s hackneyed attempt to protect her son in a second. She would go down as well. But for the now it was Michael Spacey in the hot seat. Handcuffed to the table. Solicitor on his way. Albert Spry liked to make arrests in the dead of night so it took that little bit longer for the tired and unready counsellors to get to the station. Albert Spry never slept. When you hit a prisoner with a copy of the Yellow Pages it doesn’t leave a mark. “This is why I hate the internet,” Albert Spry said to Georgetown Chang, his partner and occasional lover. “One day they’re going to stop printing these things. But think of the uses.” Georgetown lit a cigarette, let the others enjoy it vicariously. “I’m murdering my wife too,” Georgetown Chang said. “Every night when she goes to sleep, I close the windows and smoke maybe three or four cigars in bed next to her. Blow the smoke in her face. I encourage her to eat fast food, tell her what a hassle it is to go for a run.You want to know where
I’m never going to be?” “Where?” “Sitting handcuffed to a table getting bitchslapped with the K-Z by this handsome son of a bitch.” Albert Spry tweaked his moustache and winked at Michael Spacey. “I didn’t kill her.” “Uxoricide, they call it.” Georgetown’s cigarette hung lazily from the corner of his mouth. “Wifekilling.” Albert Spry was excited by the information. “Uxoricide! What do you know. My esteemed colleague Detective Chang wasted many years learning many dead languages. Tell me, Dr Spacey, what language does your wife speak?” “English.” “Incorrect! Dr Spacey, you should know better than most that your wife speaks no language, mostly on account of the bullet you inserted into her uterus. Tsk, tsk.” The door opened. It was Hieronymus Mozart, solicitor.
25/05/11 4:37 PM
YOUR ACCESS CARD WILL PAY FOR ITSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Save with your Access Membership
Retail Price (Unit)
(based on 30 weeks)
Access Member Goodie Bag
$39.85 (while stocks last)
SMH Student Uni Card*
Regular Coffee - from USU Outlets
$54 (based on 4 per week)
Prepacked Sandwiches - from USU Outlets
$67.50 (based on 3 per week)
$329.75 (based on 70 events)
Academic Dress Hire
Dendy Newtown Movie Tickets
$20 (based on 8 a year)
25/05/11 4:37 PM
GET A COMPLIMENTARY SYDNEY MORNING HERALD STUDENT UNI CARD WHEN YOU PURCHASE YOUR ACCESS CARD! Your Access Card will pay for itself over and over again and now goes even further. Youâ€™ll be kept informed with a complimentary student SMH Uni Card1 on top of all the great on and off campus Access savings. ($30 RRP and more than $170+ worth of value!2)
SUBSCRIPTION DATES NOW - November 18: Pick up your complimentary SMH Monday to Friday by showing your SMH Uni Card at participating Access outlets on campus. NOW - November 18:Choose a 3-day weekend delivery option to suit you and your schedule, either Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday. November 21 - February 26 2012: Youâ€™ll receive a special 7-day holiday subscription, with the SMH delivered to your home.
GET YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD AT:
Annual Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $110 Renewing 2010 Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $90
Âš J^[799;II:[ia"Level 1 Manning House, Manning Road Âš ?dj[hdWj_edWbIjkZ[djiBekd]["Level 4 Wentworth Building, City Road
Life of Degree Membership - Save 25% *
Based on purchasing year by year starting with $110
3 Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $220 (Save $70) 4 Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $285 (Save $95) 5 Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $350 (Save $120)
Âš 9WcfkiIjeh[" Back counter, Level 3 Wentworth Building, City Road
Âš Kd_l[hi_joe\IoZd[oIjeh["Level 1 Jane Foss Russell Building Âš 7YWZ[c_Y:h[ii"Ground Floor Holme Building, Science Road Âš Cki_Y9W\["The Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street
8Wi[ZedWl[hW][fh_Y[i$Fh_Y[ie\_dZ_l_ZkWb[l[djim_bblWho$7YY[iic[cX[hZ_iYekdjiYWdhWd][\hec\h[[[djhojekfje+&Z_iYekdj$ J^_ie\\[h_i\ehijkZ[djiedbo17YWZ[c_YIjW\\Kd_9WhZ_iWlW_bWXb[\eh,&Wj<eejXh_Z][IjWj_edWdZM[djmehj^9WcfkiIjeh[$ 8Wi[Zedf_Ya_d]kfj^[d[mifWf[h'$+&HHF[WY^m[[aZWoZkh_d]i[c[ij[h$
25/05/11 4:37 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM.AU FEATURE
25/05/11 4:38 PM
ISSUE 04 29 FEATURE
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO
RAP MUSIC ALISSA NASTI BREAKS IT DOWN, FREESTYLE.
any people think that rap music is crap. Anyone who has ever heard a 50 Cent song can certainly be forgiven for concluding as much. Gently mumbling, ‘I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love’, is about as deep as old Fiddy gets, and although this assertion may reveal an admirable level of self-insight, Shakespeare it is not. Unfortunately, however, Fiddy’s brand of rap is the rap most people hear on the radio or on TV. It’s like being made to only read Dan Brown for a year and then being asked to comment on the state of contemporary popular fiction.You’re probably not
25/05/11 4:38 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM FEATURE
going to make the most informed or objective judgement about the quality of the genre after 12 months of albino monks and Louvre hide-and-seek. And much as I love 50 Cent and Lil’ Wayne, they are definitely the Dan Browns of the hip hop world. But just as there is terrible pop (Ke$ha) and good pop (anything that isn’t Ke$ha) there is terrible rap music and good rap music. There is even, amazing rap, beautiful rap, rap that will make you cry and rap that will make you think. Don’t let Mr Cent lead you to believe otherwise. Listen to some true purveyors of quality rap and hip hop and then make up your mind… ATMOSPHERE Minnesota kings of indie-rap, Atmosphere are so mind-blowingly awesome that even the most cynical of you will find something to like about their music. Rapper Slug’s lyrics are self-deprecating (take a listen to the song ‘Godlovesugly’), dirty (try ‘Shoes’), hilarious (‘Hair’) and erudite (‘The Woman With the Tattooed Hands’). DJ and producer Ant makes beats so good that I feel compelled to describe him with such tired adjectives as ‘funky’, ‘eclectic’ and ‘soulful’. Some more awful, but apt adjectives to describe Atmosphere might be: ‘edgy’, ‘alternative’, ‘cheeky’, and ‘introspective’. But don’t take my adjectives for it. Discover their albums, now. Consensus is that Seven’s Travels is the best, but they are all incredible. BROTHER ALI A good friend and label-mate of Slug and Ant, Brother Ali is an overweight, black, albino Muslim rapper. He really covered all the bases there, didn’t he? He is also one hell of a talented musician. Brother Ali raps a lot about religion, family and self-worth, but not in a lame way. More in a way that will make you wonder why you were so quick to discount rap as a meaningless genre, filled with egotistical
douches. Ali's track ‘Forest Whitaker’ is also probably one of the best self-esteem boosting anthems of all time. As an adorable bonus, Ali’s little boy, Faheem, has clearly inherited his dad’s talent. Youtube ‘Greatest Rap Battle Ever: Slug vs Faheem’ for a mini-rap battle between Slug from Atmosphere and 8-year-old Faheem. Ladies, a warning: your ovaries will explode from the cuteness. SAGE FRANCIS Rhode Island MC Sage Francis embodies rap in its most distilled form. His music is more like spoken-word poetry, only - you know - not written by 19-year-old Arts students and not excruciatingly embarrassing. It’s intense and confessional and moody, and about as far removed as you can possibly get from your average hip hop, gangsta posturing. His beats have more in common with alternative and indie rock than the usual jazz and R’n’B samples you hear beneath most rap. MURS Murs is so good that I’m feeling the need to throw some more lame adjectives out there. ‘Irreverent’ - there’s one. ‘Genuine’. ‘Honest’. ‘Dancey’. But I will be more constructive and direct you to the Z-Trip song ‘Breakfast Club’ featuring Murs. It’s a completely badass song about Saturday morning cartoons. Seriously. While Fiddy mutters about sippin’ Bacardi and bub, Murs raps about his favourite breakfast cereals to eat while watching The Smurfs. Do I really need to say anything else? No, I didn’t think so. As Murs says at the beginning of the track, “I’m Murs and I like to have a good time, and on Saturday mornings I used to like to get
a big, fat bowl of cereal and watch cartoons, mother f--ker, and if you can’t relate to this song you’re taking this shit too serious. It’s hip hop, man, it’s f--kin’ fun.” Amen, Murs. Amen. SANDMAN THE RAPPING COWBOY Chris Sand is a Montana cowboy who raps, oldschool style. I’m not even going to try and sell this one to you, it’s all right there in the name. Sandman. The Rapping Cowboy. The best part is that while you would think that he’d be a novelty act, but he’s not. He’s genuinely good. AUSSIE HIP HOP Stop groaning - there is some listenable local rap out there. The vastly underplayed and under-appreciated Urthboy is a truly talented rapper who writes intelligent, politically-charged, but non-cringeworthy rhymes. His work with The Herd is similarly good, although maybe too earnest for some. Some more acts to Youtube: Horrorshow (heavily influenced by Atmosphere), Drapht (raps, hilariously, about Elvis conspiracies and Rapunzel) and Ozi Batla (terrible name, good rapper).
25/05/11 4:39 PM
ISSUE 04 STUDENT LIFESTYLE
n a digital, post-financial crisis age, the face of business appears to be rapidly changing… it’s getting younger. At age 26, co-founder of Facebook Dustin Moskovitz (who is younger than Mark Zuckerberg by only seven days) was named the youngest billionaire in Forbes’ ‘World’s Top Billionaires’ list. Meanwhile, Australian business website Smart Company recently named their ‘Hot 30 Under 30’, which featured even younger entrepreneur guns making millions per year. At the top of the list was David Hancock, 25, founder of Australia’s largest provider of computer repairs and tech support, Geeks2u. Hancock launched the company out of his bedroom soon after leaving high school, with only one other technician.
Young Money ANNE WIDJAJA WANTS A FAST TRACK TO RETIREMENT.
offer something unique.” But if you’re still not interested in taking the corporate route to your first million, take comfort knowing that the often-cited 90 per cent failure rate of new small businesses is in fact a hugely-inflated myth. It’s actually quite the opposite: the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded the national exit rate of small businesses in 2008-09 a mere 15.4 per cent, steady since 2007-08. However, equally important for a young entrepreneur making connections, listening to advice and learning on the job. Chen says he’s learned much simply through the experience of working on his own start-up – an online university buyer and seller market. “Connections are very, very important but you have to have a product, an idea to sell,” he says. Chen also believes real-world practice is the most valuable experience you can gain, experience that you can’t really learn from the classroom. “I think a business degree isn’t as applicable these days,” he says. “It’s all about putting yourself out there and learning from your mistakes. I’ve found that I’ve learnt more about entrepreneurship from working on my own start-up business than I have from my commerce degree!”
Another who made a splash was one Costa Anastasiadis. In 2001, at the age of 21, Anastasiadis abandoned a professional soccer career and opened a gourmet pizza store with old house tiles and $60,000 of capital. He named it Crust Pizza Bar, and today it is one of the hottest franchises in the country, earning $36 million in revenue and boasting a ridiculous 91 per cent growth rate per year since 2009. Oh to be young, and oh so rich. Although every snappily-titled business book and crazy pyramid scheme ever created will claim to hold the secret to that million dollar idea, in reality it takes a lot of hard work and even more lucky breaks to make it. This fact certainly doesn’t escape Yiwen Chen, President of Sydney University’s own collection of budding Zuckerbergs and Anastasiadises - the USU “The Young Entrepreneurs Society. difference between an “You may have a brilliant entrepreneur and someone idea but it’s about finding with a brilliant idea is the the right people to make it desire to take that extra step into a reality,” says Chen. and follow through” “The difference between an Yiwen Chen, President, entrepreneur and someone Young Entrepreneurs with a brilliant idea is the desire Society. to take that extra step and follow through.” In fact, many of the ‘Hot 30’ might argue that it doesn’t even take a ‘think big’ brilliant idea. Most of the entrepreneurs on the list took existing services and products, and just improved an aspect of the business itself to address unfilled gaps in customer needs. Hancock’s Geeks2u offered superior convenience in computer repairs. Anastasiadis’ Crust Pizza, meanwhile, was a healthier, gourmet alternative to the usual greasy, fast-food pizza. The challenge does not always lie in thinking outside the box, but rather in improving what is already in it. USU YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS SOCIETY (YES) This leads to the question of whether entrepreneurial types will thrive in a corporate Sydney Uni’s own entrepreneur breeding ground on campus, YES aims to provide members firm environment. Chen argues “a lot of with the chance to exchange innovative ideas, entrepreneurs do make the mistake of trying and build problem solving skills for a business to run before they walk - working in a top firm context. With some 950 members, YES runs builds a lot of entrepreneurial skills.” There is regular workshops and events to get those certainly a trend for young entrepreneurs to entrepreneurial juices flowing. work within larger organisations and become Visit yesusyd.org.au for more information. ‘intrapreneurs’, he says. “These young people drive the growth of the big companies and truly
25/05/11 4:39 PM
university of sydney union
11am - 3pm, jane foss russell Plaza
Wednesday during Semester
02 March 16 March 30 March 13 April 04 May 18 May 01 June
For stall bookings and enquiries: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Access Desk 9563 6000 - www.usuonline.com
25/05/11 4:39 PM
ISSUE 04 TRAVEL
magine this: you’ve just arrived in the ornate, picturesque city of Brussels, centre of the European Union and home of Belgian chocolate (yum!). After a day of sightseeing, your backpack is digging into your shoulders, your feet feel like shrunken mushrooms, you’ve overeaten, have a mild case of sunstroke and all you want to do is go to the hostel and collapse in a heap of exhaustion. But there’s something wrong. The hostel reservation you bought online turns out to be fake. Naturally, by this point you’ve already spent your emergency cash on waffles and humorous souvenir t-shirts, so you can’t afford to pay for another room. To make things worse, all the banks are closed, so even if you begged your parents to give you more money and, by a miracle, they did - the earliest you’d get it would be the next morning…What do you do? Well, for your exclusive benefit, I put myself in this very PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER scenario and learned a thing If you still have the energy and adventurous spirit or two. to pull it off, stow your pack in a safety locker (most major train stations will have them for around $5 a day) and from there, you can explore the night away. There is of course only a limited amount you can do without money. I was very lucky to be in Brussels for the Czech Street Festival, which was a free concert in the Grand Palace. There was everything from opera and jazz, to punk metal and melodramatic folk-pop. The night was a mixture of high-energy and rainbow feather skirts. Needless to say, I understood nothing but was highly amused anyway.
TRAVEL BULL_04.indd 33
Homeless in Brussels LAWRENCE MUSKITTA BRAVES THE STREETS FOR A NIGHT.
SLEEP IN THE STATION If fatigue wholly envelops you, you will need to find somewhere to sleep. A major train station is preferable, as there are more people in this situation than you would imagine many travellers miss their train and have to wait until morning for the next one. This does not, however, ensure that it’s completely safe. There is security onsite, but a guard did tell me (perhaps in a failed attempt at humour) that there have been numerous murders committed in the station at night, most committed by homeless people. So if you do decide to sleep, either take shifts with a travelling companion, not a stranger, or find a crowded place within the view of security, and always (wait, let me capitalise that) ALWAYS make sure your valuables are secure. NIGHT TRAIN This is an alternative I didn’t know about at the time. If you have a EuRail Pass or the equivalent, for less than $15 you can pop onto a specialised train with a bed. That’s right, a bed! And what’s even better is that you don’t have to waste a whole day travelling to your destination. Instead of being aimless and homeless, you can continue your travels comfortably, and at a low cost.
25/05/11 4:40 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM HEALTH
Superfoods or Superscam? KIRA SPUCYS-TAHAR DISCOVERS IF NEW HEALTH FOODS ACTUALLY GIVE YOU SUPERPOWERS OR IF THEY’RE JUST KRYPTONITE FOR YOUR FINANCES.
ow that we’ve entered the new age of yoga, meditation and health food hype, it’s become hard to avoid the mention of ‘superfoods’. These seemingly magic ingredients can supposedly prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, protect our immune systems, heal various ailments, and improve our appearance, our moods, our lives. But is there any substance to the publicity? Or is it just palatable-sounding snake oil, tapping into our fears around nutrition and wellbeing? ACAI BERRIES Pronounced ‘ah-sighee’, these round, dark purple fruits taste like a blend of berries and bitter chocolate. They’re promoted as a weight-loss product, yet there’s no evidence for these claims. The berries do contain high levels of antioxidants and fibre, but research suggests the antioxidant power depends on how the berry is eaten. Fresh acai have the most nutrients but are only available in the Brazilian Amazon. In juice, it offers little, if any, more advantageous health benefits compared to other berries. CHIA SEEDS These ‘super seeds’ are quite similar to walnuts and contain high levels of fibre, calcium, protein, antioxidants and plantbased omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds reputedly help lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. CNN Health blogger, Dr Melina Jampolis, writes that chia seeds, when
combined with liquid, form a gel which ‘may have some benefit in terms of weight loss’, but she concedes research in this area is limited. Chia seeds are low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol, but are high in calories, so should be eaten in moderation. GOJI BERRIES The Goji Berry is the commercial name for the wolfberry, which has been cultivated in parts of Asia for many years. These dark red, sultanasized fruits are sold dried or in juice. Claims have been made of goji’s ability to fight cancer and protect the liver, but reliable and substantiated research has not yet been conducted. Gojis are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre, and very low in fat, but you can find the same nutrients in other cheaper, more readily available fruit and vegetables. GREEN TEA All tea plants belong to the same biological species, but it’s well-known that green tea is better than black tea. Why? Green tea is the least-processed and contains the most
HEALTH BULL_04.indd 34
antioxidants and the least amount of caffeine. A 2006 study by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found green tea, which includes a property called EGCG, is healthier than even pure water because the tea rehydrates, and provides properties that protect against heart disease, cancer, insulin resistance, stroke and osteoporosis. However, most research is based on the amount of tea typically consumed in Asian countries – about three cups per day. Better put the kettle on. KALE A leafy green vegetable, kale is best served steamed. It has been scientifically recognised as providing digestive benefits by binding with the stomach’s acids and assisting in lowering cholesterol and supporting bodily detoxification. Without enough absorption of antioxidants, the body is at risk from oxidative stress, compromising metabolism and increasing risk of health problems and cells becoming cancerous. Extensive research has shown kale to be rich in glucosinolates and high concentration of the antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids, which have been proven to protect the body from oxidative stress. Kale is cheap and easy to prepare with proven benefits. PURPLE CARROTS Touted as the next big thing, Australian studies by the University of Southern Queensland have shown these carrots are high in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. In a biomedical experiment on rats, the carrots were shown to inhibit high blood pressure, liver and heart damage. It is also claimed they can assist sufferers of arthritis and back pain. Purple carrots are increasingly available in major supermarkets and not too expensive. They look cool on the dinner plate but stain similarly to beetroot. WHEATGERM This grain is actually a harvest of the wheat grain (found in bread) in its embryonic phase. It is rich in fibre and B vitamins, which function to increase the energy your body absorbs from foods, especially carbohydrates. Alcohol consumption drains the body’s small supply of B vitamins, so if you’re feeling tired or rundown, wheatgerm is a natural way to boost your diet and assist your body get over that hangover.
25/05/11 4:42 PM
ISSUE 04 FOOD & BOOZE
FOOD & BOOZE
Death by Chocolate
THIS MONTH PAUL KARP TREATED HIMSELF AND REVIEWED THREE CHOCOLATE CAFES.
Tucked away on a side street of Kirribilli is Coco Chocolate, a small boutique chocolate shop specialising in ornate designs and exotic combinations. The walls of the shop are lined with delicate trays of regulation rectangular chocolate creams, covered in exquisitely fine patterns that denote the various flavours. It’s hard to decide whether to eat them or buy several boxes and play mahjong with them. The menu offerings are surprising, including hot chocolates of heterogeneous but complementary flavours. The first to arrive is the white chocolate lavender and lemongrass – sweet and milky. It tastes like a pampering soap reduced to tastebud-tingling chocolate form. The plain dark chocolate on the side accentuates the gentle citrus crispness of the lemongrass. Next is the dark chocolate, rose, chilli and black pepper. Even chilli-chocolate sceptics could appreciate the subtle afterburn, given extra dimensions by the blend of spices. Warmth spreads through you like rich, syrupy mead as you isolate the individual elements. Finally, it's time to taste one of those little mahjong tiles I spotted on the way in. The chocolate shell cracks softly and rich cream begins to ooze over the dainty patterns. Mine is a luscious coconut, a flavoursome and lifelike evocation of tropical delight. The chocolate of Coco Chocolate is as good as I’ve tasted, but the experience is broader than the mere sapid. The service is friendly and personal. The decoration of the shop is gorgeous, with frilly cursive script and enticing mermaids on every surface urging you to “let the coco sirens tempt you to chocolate bliss.” The shop even offers chocolate connoisseur tasting evenings. Perfect for a date or personal indulgence.
Closer to campus is San Churro, the faithful stalwart on Glebe Point Road. Derided by some as the ‘McDonalds of chocolate,’ this does little to deter me because I take this to mean it represents good chocolate, quickly. It’s certainly more straight up and down than the boutiques, the sort of place you can pretend chocolate is a meal that you could do any day of the week and not a special indulgence. For a start there is more food, such as the classic long, Spanish donuts - churros, that derive their name from the monk that popularised chocolate in Spain after the conquest of Mexico (this may or may not just be me drinking the San Churro franchising milk). Then there are classic tummy-fillers like brownies and chocolate-coated strawberries. We’ll judge them based on their common offerings, though, so we order a few more hot chocolates including another chilli chocolate. The chilli chocolate is tasty but uncomplicated, with no secret spices to add intrigue. We wash it down with a mint hot chocolate, which is delicious and my personal favourite, but is too close for comfort to the combination of toothpaste and Milo to seriously trouble anything else on the tour.
BOON If Coco Chocolate was a rare indulgence, Boon is the equivalent of a chocolate last meal: the once-in-a-lifetime pinnacle of refined chocolate dining. Located in Darlinghurst, the downstairs of Boon is a sterile little shop, but upstairs the cafe lounge is a plush retreat reminiscent of high tea and aristocracy. The hot chocolates are small but much thicker and richer than the others we’ve tried, in
the European style. The different flavours are not mixtures but rather more subtle infusions, the menu presented in the form of tasting notes rather than a mere list of ingredients. One, the Caballeros de Manila, is a darker chocolate, redolent of lapsang souchong tea and tobacco. And yes, it did exactly what it said on the box and tasted distinctly of these musty flavours. The second hot chocolate we tried, the Grenada, is a milk chocolate with a fruitier taste of summer stone fruits. Each came with a chocolate praline and a shot-glass of milk chocolate mousse that is airy and sweet, a pleasant break from the thicker drinking chocolate. We also get an extra tasting tray of pralines. Classics like chocolate coffee are superbly executed. Some are truly inventive, like the balsamic vinegar and strawberry cream. The white chocolate pralines tend to be a bit blander, we tried one with pistachio and another with strawberry, but even these are delicious. The freshness of the ingredients is particularly evident in the honey caramel. For all its elegance, however, they are aware of their own class and charge accordingly. The servings are Alice inWonderland-tiny potion-size, but that said, they are all very rich and therefore more than adequate, the small servings just reinforce the rarity of this liquid gold.
25/05/11 4:42 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM ENVIRONMENT
here’s quite some impact to that particular brand of ‘green’ guilt the environmental movement has bashed into us carelessly wasteful individuals. These days, if you don’t separate paper from plastic, you may as well be suffocating dolphins with your own bare hands. We all want to ‘do the right thing’, but do we really know what happens to our waste and recyclables once we’ve dutifully wheeled them out on collection day?
Not so long ago, rubbish was manually sorted on-the-fly by a three-man team. Since the introduction of automated recycling trucks, our garbage is automatically divided into separate sections by the ‘claw’ and later sorted again at the council recycling plant. Depending on your council’s facilities, recyclables may be handsorted, machine-sorted, or both. But if trash finds its way into your recycling bin, there’s no guarantee that someone else will pick up your slack. If rubbish goes unnoticed in your recycling, the raw material eventually produced becomes contaminated, and will end up as land fill. For example, it takes a miniscule 15 grams of non-recyclable toughened glass (e.g. from drinking glasses) for a tonne of recycled glass to have to be dumped.
A fair bit of our recycling and waste ends up overseas. Planet Ark reports these materials are increasingly being exported to countries such as China and India for a neat profit. It raises concerns over how much of our recycling is really reducing our carbon footprint if it’s eventually shipped overseas, usually through the most polluting passage, the sea. More alarming is the amount of toxic waste being transported off our pristine shores. This particular issue has arisen with the exporting of e-waste (discarded electronic goods), which according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is growing in volume at three times the rate of general waste per year. E-waste is also responsible for 70 per cent of the toxic chemicals found in landfills, but only four per cent is currently being recycled. Australia’s HazardousWaste Act, installed after ratification of the Basel Convention dictates such materials can only be exported with a permit. However, there have been several reports over the last decade of illegal exporting of e-waste, a particularly profitable venture thanks to the precious metals found in electronic innards. In 2009, the Environment Department and the Australian Customs Service worked to intercept ships in Australian ports that were found to be
RECYCLING FUN FACT: PLASTIC Plastic containers are usually stamped with a numbered triangle symbol, but this symbol doesn’t mean your plastic is recyclable! Check with your local council exactly what plastics are recyclable, or go to recyclingnearyou.com.au. Different councils will recycle different plastics (plastic lids are always NOT recyclable).
illegally moving e-waste. The federal government considered the introduction of a tax on e-waste to curb its increasing growth, but the issue appears to have dropped off the agenda with the new carbon tax debacle. It’s no secret that most of the developed world’s e-waste ends up in China, specifically in the southern city of Guiyu, regarded as one of the world's most polluted towns. In 2010, a United Nations report revealed Guiyu's water and soil contain deadly levels of mercury, while an earlier Hong Kong University study found lead levels around Guiyu workshops to be a frightening 371 times higher than nearby areas. Moral of the story? Less waste is best. As the world shrinks with the spread of globalisation, keep in mind that your waste is doing even more harm to the planet, because it’s going global too.
“The Chinese city of Guiyu's water and soil contain deadly levels of mercury.”
Out of Sight, Out of Mind ANNE WIDJAJA LIFTS THE RECYCLING BIN LID.
ENVIRONMENT BULL_04.indd 36
25/05/11 4:42 PM
ISSUE 04 SCIENCE & TECH
SCIENCE & TECH
ydney Uni takes the interwebs seriously, rightly recognising it as an invaluable tool in the pursuit of academic enlightenment. In that spirit, the powers that be have seen fit to bestow upon you, O worthy student, the princely total of six free megabytes a day to use however you see fit. Six megabytes.Yippee. That’s about enough for a thirty-second video, maybe. Compare that to the unlimited free internet UTS kids get, and it’s pretty clear you need your own damn internet. So here’s the lowdown on getting yourself online: which connection types are the fastest, the cheapest, the safest, the most portable and the most convenient.
All Wired Up ALEX MCKINNON EXPLORES THE BEST BROADBAND OPTIONS FOR UNI.
PROS - PRICE, SPEED, COVERAGE. CONS - CONVENIENCE. The most popular choice in Australia right now, especially in family homes. This has everything to recommend: it’s fast, it’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it lets you download a whole mess of stuff. One problem, though; you need a phone line. Not an issue if you live at home, but try setting it up in a sharehouse or a college and you’re basically stuffed. No-one’s going to volunteer to undergo the hassle of getting one installed, and ADSL2+ is almost impossible to get without a 24-month contract, making it a nightmare if you’re moving about.
PROS- CONVENIENCE, SECURITY. CONS- PRICE, COVERAGE. Popular with uni students for one good reason: it’s portable.You plug in that little magic stick and you’re on, and if you sign up to a decent provider, you’re covered anywhere in Sydney. Speed’s not too bad; it’s not the fastest in the world, but it should suffice for downloading music and watching Youtube. It’s also relatively safe; no-one can steal your bandwidth even if they nick the stick, because you need the accompanying software installed on your laptop. Be aware of the downsides, though: it’s notoriously unreliable. Signal strength is affected by everything from location to time of day to cloud cover, although this is slowly getting better. It’s also pretty bloody expensive: for upwards of six gigs or so you’ll be lucky to get change out of $50 a month, although you can find cheaper if you’re willing to sign a long-term contract. Spending less than $20 a month will get you some piddling amount of data, and excess usage fees are by the megabyte and universally harsh. One way to avoid this is to go prepaid, only buying your credit when you need it. This has the added advantage of letting you shop around, as sticks often take SIM cards from various providers. Beware, though; prepaid is so horrendously expensive that it’s definitely not a viable long-term option.
SATELLITE BROADBAND PROS- COVERAGE. CONS- SPEED. Telstra’s satellite network covers all of Australia, a pretty remarkable thing when you think about it. It’s your best and only choice if you live out in the boonies and have to train it in to uni every day, as you can get online no matter where you are. Except if you’re in a tunnel. Or if it’s raining... or cloudy… or a mild breeze is blowing. Satellite broadband is the ugly duckling of Australian telecom. It’s unreliable, it’s slow, and there’s no alternative to Telstra. As consolation, it’s no longer crushingly expensive thanks to generous government subsidies, but it’s still something to avoid unless you have no other option.
25/05/11 4:42 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM ENTERTAINMENT
ENTERTAINMENT Screen Dreams MIRANDA SMITH PREVIEWS THE SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL.
une has little to offer the prospective arts festival scene. As it lacks the long evenings and arcadian charm of say, December or January, you could be forgiven for thinking that an artistic hibernation occurs over the winter months. But wait - this is Sydney; so tenuous our grip on the title of ‘Australia’s Culture Capital’ that such a seasonal slacking-off would surely amount to a concession of Melbourne’s cultural superiority over the Emerald City. Thankfully, the Sydney Film Festival is held in June – and Film Studies students will be quick to point out that the hibernation reference was not too obscure: for what is a movie but an exquisite dream! Somnambulists and cinephiles alike will crowd into the cavernous State Theatre to have their sleepy eyes opened to a world of experimental film. The Festival’s mission statement reads broadly: visitors to the official website find movies categorised into groups such as ‘Fire Me Up’, ‘Take Me On A Journey’, ‘Make Me Laugh’, ‘Freak Me Out’, et cetera. Directed by Clare Stewart for its fifth year, the SFF aims to illicit some sort, any sort, of response from its audience. The desperation of the Festival’s zeal for thoughtprovocation has also led to a number of pretty bizarre-looking flicks included in the line-up. Among them, Mutant Girls Squad – the ninety-six second trailer featuring 18 separate shots of people being hacked or exploded into little pieces – and Tucker and DaleVS. Evil – a twist on the regular hillbillyslasher, where, the yokels this time find themselves prey to a bunch of city slickers. Corn-syrup fake blood violence ensues. A big Festival draw-card will be Scenario, billed as ‘a world-first 360-degree Artificially Intelligent cinematic installation’. And as I can’t say for certain what that means, I’m not ruling out the possibility that either it reads or controls your thoughts. So watch out. Otherwise, Scenario looks pretty amazing. The Festival runs between 8 and 19 June. Tickets can be purchased through the website, with full-time student concessions available.
FOUR TO WATCH OUT FOR HOW TO START YOUR OWN COUNTRY Ever thought to yourself, ‘Hey, one day I could be the leader of a great nation’ – but remained unprepared to debase yourself through the rigmarole that is Australian (or student) politics? Why not skip the boring bits - declare yourself sovereign of your very own micro-nation. How to Start Your Own Country poses the question: what defines nationhood? It introduces us to the oddball personalities behind a number of unrecognised states, including the Hutt River Principality, Western Australia: population Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley. Director Jody Shapiro may be familiar to fans of Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno web-series (which, to the unfamiliar, is very worth a Google search). THE FUTURE The Future charts the relationship of two seemingly normal people who decide to get a cat. But let’s not forget this is Miranda July. Cutesy drama ensues. I recommend this movie largely to the hipster community.You’re welcome. But seriously, I have a great deal of respect for July as an author. Her book of short stories was truly excellent. sto
LIFE IN A DAY This project generated quite a buzz when, 11 months ago, members of the Youtube community were invited to film their activities of 24 July and then upload them online. Director Kevin MacDonald was then charged with the herculean task of cutting and pasting 4,500 hours’ worth of footage into a 95-minute documentary. The result? An encompassing look at the entirety of the world on that day… With the exception of anyone who couldn’t afford a camera (aka majority of the global population). WIN WIN Paul Giamatti plays a lonely, middleaged man whose life is disrupted – and enriched – by the introduction of a supporting character. Sideways, American Splendour, Big Fat Liar? Not quite. This time, the very special person is Kyle, a 15 year-old wrestling wunderkind whose distant mother attempts to re-enter his life. It’s Giamatti’s job to provide emotional guidance as the boring lawyer/ wrestling coach with a heart. Thomas McCarthy directs, his phenomenal The Visitor graced our screens in 2008. With McCarthy at the helm, it’s sure to be a <title-related></pun>, right?
25/05/11 4:42 PM
and The ACCESS Desk, Level 2, Manning House, The University of Sydney
JUN 8PM 18+
24 JUN 8PM 18+
25 5 JUN N 9PM M
28 JUL 8PM
+ JACK LADDER (USA) + DONNY BENET
12 AUG 8PM 18+
13 AUG 8PM
+ DISASTERADIO (NZ)
25/05/11 4:42 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM REVIEWS
REVIEWS CD ELLIPSE IMOGEN HEAP
FILM THOR KENNETH BRANAGH
CD ALL ETERNALS DECK THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
London-based composer and former front-woman of Frou Frou, Imogen Heap released Ellipse last year to mixed reception. Despite the success of second album Speak ForYourself enjoyed, Ellipse’s delicate compositions and softer, intelligent musings on the hum-ho everyday experiences were met with a quieter, pensive reception. It’s a gentler album, possessing melodic insights into the sweeter experiences of contemplation. Her voice functions as one of a dozen ethereal tools used to produce this extremely unique, hi-fi electronicapop. We are partial to the gentle sound of her floorboards squeaking in a quiet moment in one song, and the faint crackle of fire between harmonic sighs in another. ‘Canvas’ and ‘The Fire’ feature crackling and sweeping elemental notes interwoven with impromptu piano playing. On ‘Body Body Double’, Heap smacked her own naked buttocks and fed the sound through GarageBand software to create the personal feel many of the songs have. The looped and spun recordings result in the sometimes fast-paced, sometimes diffuse listening experience. Ellipse is perfect for the quiet overcast days where you're able to bask in the afterglow of the last dwindling notes.
Classic superhero movies like Richard Donner’s Superman: the Movie and its 1980 sequel Superman II set a now-familiar template: good casting, a generally non-serious tone, wit and excellent special effects. Thor has these in spades. Thor is a second-derivative adaptation of the Norse Legend of Thor, the God of Thunder by way of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is an impetuous hammer-wielding god from the heavenly realm of Asgard who has a stormy relationship with his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and is banished to Earth in the body of a mortal to learn respect and humility. On Earth, Thor falls for Jane (Natalie Portman), and battles his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief. Branagh plays up the comic book conventions which accompany the story, telling it with ALL-CAPS and cleverly realised visions of Asgard. The Earth sequences are filmed with nonironic affection for rural America and Branagh avoids shaky-cam action sequences in favour of coherent and well-choreographed action scenes. Thor is a well-made, funny action movie, which does the heavy-lifting for its Marvel Studios’ successor The Avengers (due mid2012) whilst remaining enjoyable and engaging in its own right.
The Mountain Goats have come a long way since they were just John Darnielle, a barely-tuned guitar and a four-track recorder. Where there was once a brutally lo-fi aesthetic and what The NewYorker described as ‘America’s best non-hip-hop lyrics’, on All Eternals Deck, there is now something more expansive: drums, a slide guitar, a string section and, in one song, even a barber-shop quartet. The album is not just a transformation of sound but also the way that Darnielle writes lyrics. While still brilliant, they are much less direct; the listener is made to search deeper for a song’s meaning. ‘Estate Sale Sign’, for instance, tells the story of love-lost through a series of searing metaphors. Remarkably, this is the first of their 13 studio albums in which music and lyrics have been able to look each other in the eye. They have certainly made good records as a full band (The Sunset Tree), but the aural had always seemed to be a platform for Darnielle’s literary prowess. Not so now. On AED, content is complimented by sound. On ‘Never Quite Free’, emotional weight lies in the relationship between its lyrics, piano and slide guitar. This album signals a Goats landmark. Instead of being an excuse for lyrics, they can now truly call themselves a band.
THEATRE THE RESTORATION OF THE GIRL WITH CURLS STEPHANIE BENNET (SUDS)
For a week and a half, The University of Sydney’s own Cellar Theatre was transformed into the Naked Egg gallery – an exhibition that fused Dali-esque decorum with a succession of electricallyeccentric performances. It all culminated in a piece that put on for show, the offbeat weirdness of ‘abstract’ performance art. What made Restoration work was the unfaltering commitment from those on stage, and behind it. The set design was gorgeous; out-of-place, yet frighteningly familiar surrealism in eye-popping 3D that no film studio could even attempt to emulate. The Galushka were hypnotically sensual, seductive and confronting like Mad Hatter femme fatales. Their rhythmic chanting and fragmented speech brought to mind the three witches from Macbeth. Not to be outdone by the cracked, almost disturbing vaudevillian antics of the Anthropomorphic Chest of Drawers. In spite of a very strong start, Restoration did drag in the middle, it seems not enough time was given to the very talented Girl with Curls. While it’s understandable that, as the audience’s surrogate, it was important of her to pursue a reactionary role, her turnaround when facing Dali’s Portrait of My Father felt rather rushed. Bennet deserves special praise for a wonderfully original concept, matched only by her spectacular set design.
FAYZAN BAKHTIAR JUSTIN MICHAEL
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 40
5/25/11 4:24 PM
ISSUE 04 REVIEWS
Much Ado About Nothing Bell Shakespeare NATHAN OLIVIERI With the polarity of quality one can be subjected to in the array of Shakespearean productions in today’s marketplace of theatre, you can most assuredly feel safe when one is prefaced with the esteemed name of John Bell. In the opening production of their 2011 season, the eponymous thespian takes his place behind the scenes to direct a stellar cast of budding amateurs and seasoned veterans in one of the Bard’s most beloved comedies. The play’s light-heartedness greets you as you enter the theatre, with Alan John’s playful score a prelude to the witty and incisive banter of the duo that no doubt are the drawcard of any production of Much Ado About Nothing. Blazey Best and Toby Schmitz do not disappoint, with the verbal sparring of Beatrice and Benedick uniquely heightened by their distinctive Australian drawl, making the sarcastic quips all the more stinging. They wholly make the roles their own, blending vivacity with poignant reverence to capture the diverse (and at times, fragile) emotional range of the two leads. They are more than ably aided by a support cast brimming with exuberance. Sean Hawkins
The Wombats Enmore Theatre ANNE WIDJAJA
British music rag NME was pretty harsh when they described The Wombats’ second album This Modern Glitch as a ‘triumph for mediocrity’. The review certainly confirmed my own fears that the band’s dalliance with bland electronica was an indication of a case of serious second-album slump. During the lead up to the band’s Groove in the Moo sideshow at the Enmore, mixed anticipation consequently ensued...would the band’s new tracks be met with dissatisfied shuffling in the audience? Luckily, the opposite happened. As the band entered the stage and began playing a blistering version of Modern opener ‘Our Perfect Disease’, the crowd, despite containing a large portion of men in their 30s, ruptured into a teen-girl screaming frenzy. Surprisingly, the new tracks
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 41
(Claudio) and Alexandra Fisher (Hero), both fresh off the school-touring ‘Actors at Work’ program, bring a fresh-faced enthusiasm to their fickle romance, capturing the naïve and impressionable essence of the pair. Though, it’s Sean O’Shea who steals every scene as the super-camp and chic Don John, a villain almost managing to garner our support with his sheer flamboyance. What separates the staging from many of its kind is the intense, yet more importantly insightful, thought visible in numerous aspects of the production. Transposition of setting has a propensity for high risk, yet the move to 1960s Sicily opens the play to mafioso undertones, and a sleek twist on the traditional themes of familial and personal honour. Further, Bell, though a self-confessed minimalist, has extravagantly recreated the décor of a rustic, frescoed
were just as well received as the old pop gems – take that music journalism! Single ‘Jump into the Fog’ soared through the audience with the heavily accented vocals and bops of charming front man Matthew Murphy, dressed in an equally impressive white suit. The set list flowed perfectly, cleverly interspersed with most of the tracks from their debut album, which brought a dollop of frenzied energy to the short, but sweet, one hour set. Highlights included the ecstatic sing-a-long to the chorus of ‘Kill the Director’ (“this is no Bridget Jones!”); the band’s frenetic thrashing on ‘My First Wedding’ and classic feel-good closer ‘Backfire at the Disco’. In fact, by the mid-set rendition of the oddly romantic ‘Techno Fan’ with its catchy harmonies and expertly-paced rhythm and pauses - the audience had already been completely won over. And later, so was the band, as Murphy revealed “you’ve moved our furry little souls.” The charm of Murphy’s lyrics and the band’s flawless execution of sprawling, hookfilled guitar pop brought the audience of hungry fans to their knees. No matter what any critic says, if any band can bring fans that much joy, then they can never really do any wrong.
palazzo, bringing a welcome authenticity to the production. An expert was even brought in to instruct the actors on the finer points of Italian body language and gestures for, as is the case with most things Italian, much of the humour is non-verbal. The play draws to a lull at times, most notably when the two leads are absent from proceedings, though it is more than redeemed when they are on stage. Best and Schmitz make the show, though it is the latter that truly shines, with his inimitable comic timing and effervescent persona just bounding across the staged divide and remaining with you long after the final applause. With only a short run left in Sydney, Much Ado About Nothing is one production whose touching doses of humour and heart should not be missed.
Photo by Kendra Storm Rae
5/25/11 4:24 PM
WEEKLY TRIVIA 1-2PM PROJECT 52 7-10PM
BEAT THE SYSTEM 5-8PM LIVE BANDS AND DJS
WEEKEND WARM-UP 5-8PM FRIDAY NIGHT BANDS FROM 8PM
HERMANNSBAR.COM USUONLINE.COM BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 42
5/25/11 4:24 PM
ISSUE 04 MINDGAMES
11 12 13
1 9 4
01 03 09 10 11 13 15 17 20 21 22 23
01 02 04 05 06 07 08 12 14 16 18 19
Not new (4) Transport systems (8) Erupt suddenly (5,2) Bitterly pungent (5) Participant in a conversation (12) Carried with difficulty (6) Third sign of the zodiac (6) Domestic work (12) Not clearly stated (5) Trailer (anag) (7) Re-evaluate (8) Jelly or culture medium (4)
Unjustly (8) Uplift (5) Bird of prey (6) Dimensions of an object (12) Established without observed facts (1,6) Team (4) Bravery (12) Composed of one member (8) State in the United States (7) Garments (6) Cake decoration (5) ___ Novello: Welsh composer and actor (4)
7 3 9
6 4 8
6 6 1
2 1 8
WORD PYRAMID Alcoholic drink
Smiles widely 2x
Ascending Opening up
Striving for something 2รท
MINDGAMES BULL_04.indd 43
25/05/11 4:43 PM
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY UNION
COMEDY-MUSIC-NUDITY If you only saw one revue last year, this year you should see more
GET INVOLVED! AUDITIONS NOW
ARCHITECTURE email@example.com ON ARTS firstname.lastname@example.org COMMERCE email@example.com CONSERVATORIUM firstname.lastname@example.org EDUCATION & SOCIAL WORK email@example.com ENGINEERING firstname.lastname@example.org LAW email@example.com MEDICINE firstname.lastname@example.org QUEER Queer.email@example.com SCIENCE firstname.lastname@example.org VET SCIENCE email@example.com
For more information please contact: The ACCESS Desk, Manning House, firstname.lastname@example.org
25/05/11 4:43 PM
ISSUE 04 THE BULL PEN
THE BULL PEN
niversity life quickly settles into a schedule of monotonous lectures, drinking at Manning, watching assessments pile up and odd (or maybe too many) social occasions. As uni socials begin to take a stab at your WAM, that New Year’s resolution to stay fit is bound to wear thin. Cheap Newtown Thai food, late-night Maccas runs and pastries with Campos coffee replace gym memberships and early morning runs. So what’s a student to do? Believe it or not, it is still possible to shape up while living the student dream. Here’s how:
The Uni Workout
GET LOST No, seriously. Wander through the laneways of Glebe or saunter past the cafés of Newtown; or, alternatively, forget about your lectures (especially if they’re recorded) and strut around campus in your finest. With the Aussie sun, you’re bound to sweat it out!
ALISHA BHOJWANI GIVES SOME TIPS TO STAY FIT AND STAY STUDENT-Y.
TURN FACEBOOK STALKING INTO REAL LIFE STALKING You know you want to. Find that cute guy or gal whose pictures you peruse every night and take an active interest in their life off the computer. Climb fences, chase them over rooftops, scurry from bush to bush. Plus, if you stalk them enough, maybe they’ll accept a date just so you’ll stop following them… KICK, PUSH, KICK, PUSH… I’ve seen 30-something dudes beating the city pedestrians by skating and scooting their way to work. And if a couple of guys in suits don’t have shame in embracing their childhood, nor should you. Go on, live a little (and I hear it’s better than taking the bus). RUN AWAY TO THE SURCAS Sydney University Recreational and Circus Arts Society, no less. One word: flexibility. Not to mention twists, turns, costumes, half naked, ab-tastic boys and girls in knickers. I think this one’s a winner. HAVE A ROMP IN FISHER Assuming you’ve actually taken my advice and followed these tips ‘til now, you should be looking quite honed and toned. So, really, this last tip is simple - take it on up to Fisher stacks where you can create your very own Atonement moment. Remember though, screaming and heavy panting is not generally tolerated in libraries.
25/05/11 4:43 PM
BULL USUONLINE.COM CAUGHT ON CAMPUS
WHY SO SERIOUS?
I HEARS YOU, BRO
CUE INSPIRING MUSIC
THE SIGNS ARE EVERYWHERE YOU SO SILLY
PHOTOS BY ALEX MCKINNON
CAUGHT ON CAMPUS
23 MAY 2011 ELECTION TRAIL
s we went to print, the USU Election candidates were still out in all their colourful, pun-tastic splendour – spruiking for those crucial votes. We ran the gauntlet and jumped right into the action of the campaign trail!
I AM SCEPTICAL. SCEPTICAL I AM
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS HIPSTER
MARIO KART: SERIOUS BUSINESS
BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 46
5/25/11 4:24 PM
WEEKLY MNML MNDAYS 1-2PM
TUESDAY TALKS 1-2PM ROCK YA BALLS BINGO 5-6PM WED
TRIVIA 5-6PM SUNSET JAZZ 6-9PM
WEEKEND WARM-UP 4-8PM
MANNINGBAR.COM USUONLINE.COM BULL_04 CARL FINAL.indd 47
5/25/11 4:24 PM
25/05/11 4:46 PM
Published on May 31, 2011