Issuu on Google+


ISSUE 13 / MAY 31ST / 2010

05

I AL

E

DIT OR

18 INTERNET ADDIC-TRON-NET 22 BAR CLIENTELE 24 FOOTBALL WORLD CUP

AG

06

ONT P FR E

WS

08

NE

O FI LE

17

PR

FE

U AT RES

31 Soap Box

50

C K PA GE

BA 32 COLUMNS

43 GAMES 39 BOFS

44 MUSIC 40 LETTERS

46 FILM

47 BOOKS

48 PERFORMANCE

49 ART

Disclaimer: the views presented within this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, Planet Media, or OUSA. Press Council: people with a complaint against a newspaper should first complain in writing to the Editor and then, if not satisfied with the response, complain to the Press Council. Complaints should be addressed to the Secretary, PO Box 10-879 The Terrace, Wellington. 03


Facebook rolled out yet another round of changes to its privacy settings last week, creating another blitz of reporting in the media. If it were a country, Facebook would be the third largest in the world behind China and India. The 500-millionth person is expected to sign up this week. TIME made a good point in its cover story last week: “Google helps us search out data. YouTube keeps us entertained. But Facebook has a huge advantage over those other sites: the emotional investment of its users.” It’s true. People are obsessed. But they’re seemingly obsessed with something that they know little about. I’m continually amazed at how much information people make available publicly on Facebook – even to people they have not ‘accepted’ as friends. Facebok started off at Harvard University and it is still most popular with university-aged people around the world. A cursory glance around the Central Library will quickly reveal that it is no passing craze here. Over 7 000 students are members of a group that posts quotes overheard from other students right here at Otago. You would think that at somewhere like the University of Otago, where people are supposed to be smart and stuff, that people would be careful about what they put on Facebook; who they accept as friends; and how they set their privacy. For starters, employers do look at your Facebook when hiring. Trust me. I employ people. If you’re going to post pictures of yourself coma’d out with dicks drawn on your face, don’t be confused when you don’t get that Grad job. The other thing of which you should be aware, is that Facebook is raking in the cash. So those groups you join saying you would like, totally delete your profile (on a side note: you can’t actually delete your profile) if it started charging are stupid. The stuff you put on Facebook is personal to you – but the data is pumping up the company coffers. As long as you understand that and don’t care, then there is not a problem. I don’t think Facebook is evil. I spend half my day on it. But it pays to know what you’re signed up for. Check your settings (And, as Richard Cheese pleads on p34, stop being so friggin’ annoying). According to various news reports, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been caught out at his own game (another reminder that everything you put online lasts forever). The following is an alleged online exchange between him and a friend soon after Facebook was launched: Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard Zuckerberg: Just ask. Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one? Zuckerberg: People just submitted it. Zuckerberg: I don’t know why. Zuckerberg: They “trust me” Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks.

Critic – Te Arohi PO Box 1436, Dunedin (03) 479 5335 critic@critic.co.nz www.critic.co.nz Editor in Chief: Ben Thomson Designer in Chief: Gala Hesson Creative Director: Dreke Verkuylen Features Writers: Susan Smirk Caitlyn O’Fallon Thomas redford News Editor: Gregor Whyte News Reporters: Rory MacDonald JuLIA HOLLINGSWORTH Sub Editor: Marie Hodgkinson Music Editor: Simon Wallace Film Editor: Max Segal Books Editor: Jonathan Jong Performance Editor: Jen Aitken Feature ILLUSTRATOR: TOM GARDEN And a substantial army of volunteers. Advertising:

Kate Kidson Tim Couch Dave Eley LOGAN VALENTINE Ad. Designer: Daniel Alexander PH: (03)4795361 kate@planetmedia.co.nz WWW. planetmedia.co.nz

05


Numbers.

Cook me some eggs.

Dave.

Whoops.

For the stalkers among you.

50 000 000: The price at which Stonehenge was recently valued, in pounds. 10 000: Number of days that Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has been continuously erupting. 18: Age of Alia Sabur, the world’s youngest university professor. 1: Length in hours of the longest Oscar acceptance speech. The speech was delivered by Greer Garson in 1924.

West Virginian man Guy Jones came home to find that his wife, Beverly Jones, didn’t have dinner on the table. Affronted by her insolence, Guy got a little upset, and decided to set the house on fire. He got arrested for arson. We hope he likes prison food…

A Montana man has been arrested on two Driving Under the Influence charges, five hours apart. Two hours after being arrested the first time, the silly goose got back behind the wheel to nip out and get a cask or three, and promptly drove into a parked car. Doughy.

An Iraqi terrorist was killed after posting a letter bomb with insufficient stamps, and opening it when it got sent back. Fittingly, while the package was returned to sender, the sender was returned to his maker.

cutiespotter.co.nz is the newest addition to any stalker’s arsenal. Basic premise: see a person you think is hot around Uni? Post your target’s location and description, then attach your overly personal/weird thoughts about what you would like them to do to/with you. Fucking weird.


Fucking Terminator shit. Overheard

Flea Olympics.

Munchies.

Uncommon assault.

Police in Iowa reported that a burglar broke into a local Subway store, helped himself to a smorgasbord of cold cuts, and made sandwiches for the journey home, but left the store’s cash behind. Police have no suspects, but if they ever find anyone it is unlikely they will be in for much of a chase.

A man has become the first person in the world to be infected by a computer virus. Before you all start panicking, the infection was deliberate, confined to a small micro-chip implanted in his hand, and unlikely to bother the general public for a few years yet. Girl 1: When I don’t eat I get sex crazy, I can’t get it off of my mind. Girl 2: Just do your essay. Girl 1: I’m going to play with my nipples ... – From the Overheard @ Uni of Otago Facebook page

Researchers took down an academic research prize after finding that the fleas that live on dogs can jump higher than the fleas that lives on cats. The research is said to have great implications for the entire flea circus industry.

A Philadelphia man has pleaded guilty to assault, after deliberately vomiting on a police captain and his 11-year-old daughter. The man, irate because his friend had been ejected from a baseball game, stuck his fingers down his throat and threw up on the pair. Apparently he received a good kicking while he was being arrested. He probably deserved that.

07


The University, the City Council, and OUSA have come under tough scrutiny after Critic revealed they collectively spent $40 000 on a four-and-a-half-page report on student drinking. It appears that no concrete guidelines, expectations, or clear terms of reference were given at the start of the trip. Following a damning report in the Herald on Sunday last week, all parties are doing damage control, maintaining that their contributions to the project were worthwhile. The University and the DCC spent $20 000 and $17 000 respectively. OUSA contributed a further $3000 from its professional development line. A spokeswoman for the Vice Chancellor’s office said that the ongoing contribution of OUSA staffer Vanessa Reddy, who used the money for a year-long tour of American universities, will be more significant than simply a written report. An Alcohol Issues Task Force has already been established based on the report’s findings. 08

Speaking to the HoS, Mayor Peter Chin seemed unaware of the funding input of the DCC. “The ... huh … I can’t recall the details of the funding, that was not something that I personally had anything …” Chin explained in unpublished remarks. “I’m not aware of the full details of … Clearly by if it was paid by us, I accept it was paid. In terms of the management of that, which budgets, that’s not something that I recall that I actually had anything to do with.” Chin did manage to say that he thought the trip was value for money. “In terms of her having been there, having done all the work – as a result she is hugely more experienced. It’s how that report is used as time goes on that will determine the value for investment. “Just because a report is four pages doesn’t mean it’s a bad report or good report. It’s the information that will lie behind all that and how it’s used.” OUSA President Harriet Geoghegan tells Critic that OUSA staff are paid less

than commercial rates, and to compensate for this OUSA often contributes to staff development by enabling them to upskill while working. According to Geoghegan, OUSA will benefit from Reddy’s upskilling in a number of areas, including being able to offer a greater range of events, and providing a “road map” for discussing an official stance on alcohol consumption. “We are not trying to ‘water down’ Scarfie culture or discourage students from drinking, but support students in doing so safely and responsibly.” Despite media criticism that the report was insufficient given the money put into it, Geoghegan maintains that she would prefer an easily “digestable” report than a “waffly 40-page report.” Geoghegan does not mince words when discussing the HoS article. “I am really disappointed that the journalist misquoted and got facts wrong,” she says. “I explained [it all] to him but still he made it look as though we sent her off and spent $40k – seemed to be a real jab, and wasn’t surprising to find out he used to work for Salient.”


The OUSA Executive was expected to vote on a raft of changes to how students set association policy as Critic went to print late last week. Prime among these was a motion to hold Student General Meetings (SGM) online, in an effort to increase student participation in the constitutional process. The motion comes after poor student attendance at SGMs, with recent meetings often having insufficient attendance to ensure quorum. In a memorandum sent to the OUSA Executive, President Harriet Geoghegan said “it seems to be glaringly obvious that the Executive needs to change the way SGMs are run … In keeping with our strategic objectives of being relevant and engaging it is imperative that we move voting online as soon as possible.” The proposed solution would see external policy submitted to an online vote after it had either been approved by a majority of the Executive, or upon the submission of a petition signed by 2.5 percent of the student body (approximately 450 people). Geoghegan touted the benefits of the scheme, saying: “The SGM process would … be more protected from being overrun by non-representative groups who are super-mobilised and function in a similar manner to the ballot box in Parliament.”

Additionally, the suggested process changes seek to utilise a ‘student forum’, which would incorporate posting a video of a ‘student discussion’ regarding changes to external policy. This would be put online within 24 hours of being filmed, or, pending costs, be streamed live. Critic understands that there has been suggestion from some Executive members that such forums would also need quorum, so that standing orders could be adhered to, and procedural motions be put forward (e.g. advancing to next item of business and amending wording). Geoghegan however is of the opinion that the forums would merely comprise discussions and that quorum would not be necessary. The worry for some Executive members is that the over-use of an online system like the one being proposed could lead to ‘referendum fatigue’, bringing the student body right back to where it started: student voter apathy. If the Executive accepts this proposal, and the constitutional changes pass OUSA’s lawyers, the first online voting could be held from midnight on July 16. Also under review is the suggestion that, in order to combat the issues of being bound by outdated policy, all current policy will automatically lapse after three years unless it is reaffirmed by the student body.

09


Proposed restructuring of the University of Otago’s Social Work and Community Development department has prompted a group of concerned students to urge caution. Plans are in the works that would see the Social Work and Community Development department merged with the departments of Sociology and Women’s Studies to create a new department in the University’s Humanities Division. A recent $300 000 operating deficit for the department, which has required internal funds transfers to stay afloat, has prompted the move. Postgraduate social work student Brian Rathbone raised the student group’s concerns in a recent letter to Humanities acting Pro Vice Chancellor Associate Professor Sue Court. The letter, signed by Mr. Rathbone on behalf of himself and ten other Otago

social work students, said the proposed changes might realise only “a relatively small financial saving”. Rathbone, speaking to the Otago Daily Times, said that any cuts could “severely curtail” the department’s effectiveness in delivering education, and could contribute to the country’s social work needs not being met. Departmental head Margaret McKenzie confirmed that the proposed restructuring of the Social Work department would go ahead. From next year, the combined department would be known as the Sociology, Social Work, and Gender department. McKenzie told the ODT that “Brian’s letter was brilliant. There is a real danger that if we close down programmes there won’t be enough social workers around. There is an increasing need for social workers. We are concerned that our distance

learning programme may not be continued, as it is costly. This is a crucial part of the social work programme.” For students worried about the possibility of not being able to complete their degrees, McKenzie was reassuring, saying “From what we know at the moment, there will be no change to the degree we offer. There will still be a major in social work ... We understand that it is University policy that students who are partially through degrees are always able to complete these degrees.” However she noted that “unfortunately, there will be staff reductions, and as you can imagine everyone is very concerned about that. It has placed quite some stress on both staff and students, but overall we are very pleased to be retained as a discipline within the University.”


After the “traumatising” content of the Capping Show this year, Rape Crisis Dunedin has declined OUSA’s offer to be the official charity this year. Heidi Cripps of Rape Crisis Dunedin said the move was made due to the lyrics and content of the sextet sets. Rape Crisis felt that receiving charity funds from the Capping Show would be inconsistent with the fundamental message of the organisation: “that rape and sexual abuse is common, is serious, and is unacceptable.” One song in the set featured a singer pretending to scream while being sodomised by his abuser. The second set included a song about drug-facilitated rape. The sextet are said to feel terrible their songs had such an effect, and made some changes to their set as a result.

Cripps said that Rape Crisis was invited to sell jellybeans at the event, to further fundraise for their charity. However, Rape Crisis felt that the show was not safe for survivors of sexual abuse, as the show trivialised the seriousness of rape, which was likely to cause further trauma to victims of sexual abuse. OUSA President Harriet Geoghegan thanked Rape Crisis for highlighting the issue. She maintains it was not the Capping Show’s purpose to re-traumatise victims, and says that she respects the decision of the charity, which she hopes can be supported by OUSA in other ways. However, Geoghegan did point out that the Capping Show is intended to offend, and that in future it may be necessary to draw potential charities’ attention to this prior to any arrangement.

Georgia Knowles, a support worker from Rape Crisis, said that although they were saddened by the show’s content, especially as Rape Crisis was the show’s official charity, the OUSA response was positive. “Not only did we receive an apology from Harriet, our concerns were taken seriously enough that the OUSA worked to have the content removed for the show for the rest of its duration.” The Capping Show charity actually receives it’s money thanks to the Lost Property sales throughout the year, which has so far raised $1121.70. Critic understands Rape Crisis was not made aware of this. A new charity will be appointed at the next Executive meeting. The OUSA puppy lobby is understood to be hopeful.


The grim reaper is at it again, this time stalking the corridors of the University of Otago College of Education. Tertiary Education Union southern organiser Kris Smith told the Otago Daily Times that staff members from the College of Education were called to a meeting last Wednesday, and were “stunned” to hear 23 of the approximately 70 teacher-educators are likely to lose their jobs by the end of 2012. The jobs are on the chopping block as a result of cost-cutting ‘restructuring’, which staff fear will result in poorer-quality programmes for teacher trainees. The teacher-educators that are in the crosshairs are responsible for teaching classroom practice to trainee teachers, and supervising work-experience placements in schools and early childhood education centres. They mostly consist of former teachers with considerable classroom experience.

The University again wheeled out the familiar ‘research’ defense, saying that restructuring would ensure a greater proportion of college teaching was delivered by researchactive staff. This was “in accordance with the University’s vision as a research-led university,” chancellor Prof Vernon Squire said in a statement. Smith told the ODT that the teacher educators felt the University was favouring research over practice and classroom experience. They were concerned restructuring would result in less contact time between teacher-educators and teacher trainees, less supervision for teacher trainees on work placements, bigger classes, and more emphasis on lectures, as opposed to tutorials and small-group work. “There is a real fear that people who were employed for their expertise, in particular teaching practice areas such as Maori and Pacific Island education ... won’t survive this.”

The restructuring process will create roughly seven new positions, with some of them being offered to existing staff. The overall net job loss will be between 15 and 20 positions. The University is facing government funding cuts from next year, and has set up a taskforce to try to save money. Six departments, employing more than 330 staff, are being reviewed.

While sitting in the Proctor’s waiting room this week I couldn’t help overhearing him tell someone that “If you come up here again you’ll be getting a thousand-dollar fine.” That someone then left his office with a cheerful and satisfied expression on her face, indicating once again the Proctor’s rare gift for putting the fear of God into someone without coming across as the bad guy. In his office myself, I didn’t hear what that particular threat was about (confidentiality clauses, etc.), and in fact learned that recent student behaviour had actually been fairly ordinary:

In fact, the big threat recently has come from a group of “local louts” who have apparently taken a flat somewhere near campus for the specific purpose of intimidating, and possibly assaulting, students. No blows have yet been exchanged, but threats have been made, so it may be worth keeping an eye out for yourself over the next wee while. Although it’s May, there are still a few flats for whom the novelty value of unsupervised drinking and staying up past bedtime hasn’t quite worn off. We appreciate that there are a lot of people who are just here for the Otago Student Experience™, and we wish them every success on their threeyear, $20 000 bender. However, the Proctor would like to remind them that, despite what you see in the ads, this is an institution of

learning, and exams are coming up. Please be considerate. Car jumping – leaping onto the bonnet of a parked car, bounding over the roof and landing on the other side, with the potential for significant and costly damage to all concerned – is an occasional craze on campus, and resurfaced lately during a party in the quarter. This has been established because the offenders in question did it across the road from a parked police car. Fines ensued.

While collaring that car-jumping nitwit, the police were surprised to see one of his mates copying him – by jumping over the police car. These guys have tasers, you know.


Graduation season has rolled to an end for another May and bookings are once again possible in restaurants classier than Blue Sky. This year’s three graduation weekends saw almost thirteen hundred graduates make the trek to the Town Hall to cross stage in person. Each graduation ceremony featured a different speaker: Emeritus Professor James Flynn spoke at the first, Simon Moore SC at the second, and artist and educator Marilynn Webb delivered the final address. In his speech Professor Flynn noted that there had been a decline in students reading books during his years as a teacher, and urged more students to engage with the great works of literature. Prof Flynn said that the lack of literary appreciation among today’s students was a worrying phenomenon, perhaps traceable to a decline in the emphasis placed on books and general knowledge in the increasingly technological society of today. “I suspect that it has little time left to place high priority on reading literature that requires concentration and wide general knowledge. You are unlikely to enjoy Tolstoy’s War and Peace if the vocabulary is unfamiliar

and you do not know who Napoleon was or where Russia is.” At the graduation, Professor Flynn was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Simon Moore SC, Crown Prosecutor for Auckland, also addressed the issue of change, telling Law and Commerce graduates that they should be prepared to embrace the quickening pace of change in society. One example he gave of this was the change of attitudes towards flatting in Dunedin. These days, mixed flats are entirely normal, but in 1967 a student was suspended for living in a mixed flat. “In 2010 it seems inconceivable that the University’s disciplinary powers could be invoked for something which, viewed through today’s social lens, seems so apparently harmless.” Marilynn Webb, an internationally celebrated artist, also received an honorary doctorate, the Doctor of Laws degree. In her speech she congratulated graduates for their achievements, but also took her chance to offer a stern warning against plans to mine New Zealand’s conservation land, saying it would “destroy heritage for all future New Zealanders.”

Monday “Changing Patterns in Medicines Use in the Mt Everest Region of Nepal” 1pm, Room 713 Adams Building

Tuesday “Molecules, Fossils, and the Phylogeny of Whales and Penguins” 12pm, Biochemistry Department, 710 Cumberland Street

Wednesday “The Impact of Direct Air Service Availability on New Zealand Inbound Tourism” 12pm, Commerce Boardroom

Thursday “The Roots of Brazil: a Cinebiography of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda (Raízes do Brasil, uma Cinebiografia de Sérgio Buarque de Holanda)” 6pm, Burns 1

Friday “Training Boys to be Boys: Enskilment and Apprenticeship on the Early Modern Stage” 4pm, Burns 1


University Stonewalls The University is refusing to give any details about how much it has spent on the Campus Master Plan so far. Architects and planners have been bought in from overseas, weeks of consultation have taken place, and a glossy 196-page report has been produced for the media and interested parties. Critic was curious about how much it has all cost so far, but the University has been less than forthcoming. A University spokesperson says, “The University will not make any further comment about the Campus Master Plan until it has been considered by the University Council and therefore any decisions are likely to be some months away.” That didn’t even answer our questions, but we suppose that was the point. – Julia Hollingsworth

By golly! OUSA By-election Results! The vacant posts on the OUSA Executive have been filled in a by-election last week. The two posts up for grabs were the Health Sciences Divisional Representative, and the Postgraduate Representative. In the former race, David McKelvey cruised to an easy victory over No Confidence, winning 134 votes, compared with No Confidence’s 19, and 14 abstainers. In the more hotly contested Postgraduate run-off Travis Monk emerged the winner, securing 71 votes. Elizabeth Olsen was the runner-up with 42 votes, and Tessy George was third with 23. In last place Abe Gray, with 22 votes, managed to beat out No Confidence. – Rory MacDonald

Training Facilities Opened The Otago Clinical Skills Laboratory has received a $600 000 upgrade. Unveiled last week, the refurbished facilities include 12 consulting rooms, a waiting room, and a new simulated hospital room. Designed to improve training for students in the health professions, the laboratory provides an improved learning environment, and will help students meet the developing demands of the new medical curriculum. The majority of the funding for the project came from the University of Otago, with other major donations from the Otago Community Trust, the Healthcare Charitable Trust, and the General Medical Staff Trust. – Teuila Fuatai

Sleep Loses Sleep Over Vic Students’ Sleeping Arrangements VUWSA Executive member James Sleep has been found guilty of misconduct by the VUWSA Exec, following comments made in his Salient column earlier this month. VUWSA received a formal complaint following the column’s publication in the 3 May issue of

Salient. Sleep made reference in the column to “the rich kids who you might find yourself sitting next to,” and “the one’s that seem to think it’s a status boost to say they live in Weir House.” The Exec found Sleep had breached the VUWSA Code of Conduct by making negative and disrespectful comments about VUWSA members. When asked to make a public apology for the comments made in the column, Sleep initially refused to do so. “No, that is not something I will be doing. I am not prepared to make a public apology in Salient. I don’t see why I need to.” Following the meeting Sleep told Salient to say he had “had second thoughts” and would apologise in a later issue of the magazine. Sleep did acknowledge using the stereotypes “was unacceptable” and agreed to apologise to the complainant, but only after it was suggested by the Exec. Sleep’s column was discussed in a recent select committee hearing about Roger Douglas’s Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill, a bill which would introduce voluntary membership to all students’ associations. VUWSA President Max Hardy told Salient he was disappointed that Sleep had made the comments. – Angela Mabey, Salient

“Unrelated and Unplanned Events” to Blame for Undie “Disruption” A new University of Otago study has looked at the role of the media in the Undie 500 mayhem, with the aim of addressing the causes of disorder at the event, and considering possible preventative measures. While the study acknowledges that the Undie itself was “well organised and went according to plan,” it points to “unrelated and unplanned events” which coincided with the Undie as leading to “alcohol-fuelled disruption on the streets of Dunedin.” Discussing the media’s role in the event, researcher Maria Stubbe says “the media portrayed the unorganised alcohol-fuelled events in Dunedin as being part of Undie 500 — despite the fact that some of this disruptive behaviour had preceded the arrival of the rally cars. It is acknowledged that tertiary students are an ‘at risk’ population for alcohol misuse. However, non-students were also involved in the disturbance — a point which was largely overlooked in the media reports.” Attempting to form conclusions from the events at Undie, researchers pointed to areas that could have been improved, including managing student events better to avoid potential problems such as situational drinking and disruptive behaviour, and organising activities such as music or arts events which could assist in dispersing the crowds across the city. Further, the report stated that “the media could also assist by adjusting its focus to celebrate the positives of events and student culture in the future.” – Daniel Richardson, CANTA


Dr. Paul Oestreicher is the visiting fellow for Peace and Conflict studies and is in Dunedin working on a project concerning the abolition of armed violence in the world. A former editor of Critic, Oestreicher grew up in Dunedin after escaping Nazi Germany with his parents in 1939. After studying in England and Europe, Oestreicher became one of the founding members of Amnesty International in the 1960s and went on to chair the organisation in Britain for a number of years. I sat down with him last week to talk about his role there and the research he is involved in at the moment.

Are there any current developments that you view as promising in terms of challenging this perception of war? Steps are now being taken to see that you can begin to see armies as a way to actually stop war and stop one from breaking out. In other words, peacekeeping operations are now a part of the international agenda. This is a completely new development in human society and is a step in the road to what I am aiming at, where we no longer have national armies at all. Which conflicts concern you at the moment? My own political heart is in the conflict between Jews and Palestinians. I have a Jewish background, I have a vested interest – as I think all human beings should have – that the Jewish people should survive. But at the same time, I think the state of Israel is aggressive; it is inexcusably occupying land that does not belong to it. Are you aware of the present situation in the Mediterranean where a flotilla of humanitarian aid vessels are being blocked by Israel as they want to get supplies into Gaza?

You are working on a project with Professor Kevin Clements on the abolition of war. As it is such a wide-ranging subject, how are you going about constructing your argument? My research project is not concerned with any particular conflict, it is concerned with the social psychology of human beings. Can we turn around people’s consciousness [to the belief] that armed violence is wrong? There will always be conflict as long as there are human beings. In private life, we generally manage to live together in spite of our conflicts. But collectively, that is not what we do. Collectively, as nations, as tribes, as religions, we still think it’s okay, if the cause is good enough, to kill each other. You seem to divide your argument between conflict on a large and small scale. What is it about collectivism that leads to such violence? I am basically saying that we have to apply the micro to the macro. In other words, we have to learn to do collectively what we have already more or less learnt to do individually. We have to be at war with all those things that glorify killing, including the kind of patriotism that is still deeply embedded in every nation.

Yes, this is just one example of Israeli politics which is inhumane and damnable. Israel is pursuing policies that in the long run will only hurt Israel, it is creating so much emnity and hatred and anti-semitism around the world. I belong to an organisation called Jews for Justice for Palestinians, it is quite a strong organisation in Britain. You are a founding member of Amnesty International. How did you become involved in the movement? Well, we were a little group who met in Peter Benenson’s office. It was born in his mind and he gathered people around him, and I was one of those people. We began to campaign for the ready release of people in prison around the world who should not be in prison. It was a very humble beginning to what is the biggest human rights organisation in the world, and I was there in Britain in the outset, stayed with it, and became its chair in Britain in the 1970s. What did this role entail? Administratively, it meant I was the chairman of the committee that employed the staff. The reality is that as I happened to be gifted as a journalist I could make Amnesty more known. I was on television every week, I was writing newspaper articles – that was my contribution to Amnesty.


The latest thing in protesting seems to be trying to sell something on TradeMe. OUSA tried to sell themselves to make a point about VSM. Design Studies made a brief appearance on the site in April. A school principal in Invercargill even tried to sell the New Zealand curriculum on TradeMe to protest national standards. All of these auctions were taken down on the grounds that these things weren’t actually for sale. Caitlyn O’Fallon set out to investigate what else is for sale online, and along the way, what to do with six kilograms of marshmallows.

THE OBVIOUS The internet is a big place, and a substantial chunk of it is devoted to selling stuff. A lot of shops have online outlets. If you’re into electronics, you don’t need to go into Dick Smith, Noel Leeming, and Bond and Bond to find the best price. They (and most other competitors) all have online stores. If you prefer clothes, then your options range right through from Glassons to Kate Sylvester. Woolworths will even deliver your groceries for about ten bucks. Add to these the sites like TradeMe, the iTunes store, and Mighty Ape, which only trade online, and you really start to see the possibilities. Online shops have lower overheads than ‘real’ shops, so their prices are often much lower. TradeMe is obviously a potential goldmine of cheap stuff. And what’s more, shopping on the internet is fun.

THE DANGER You know all that. It’s 2010. You also know that shopping at your computer doesn’t feel as real as normal shopping. It’s much easier to get bored and browse online (you can only procrastinate for so long on Facebook) than it is to haul your arse into an actual shop. Instead of handing over cash or swiping a card, all it takes is to enter a few numbers and whatever you want will arrive on your doorstep a few days later. It feels like getting presents in the mail. This is why the internet is such a dangerous place to shop. For those of us inclined towards impulsivity, there are just so many opportunities. It is actually possible to be medically diagnosed with ‘compulsive buying disorder’ or, to put it medically, oniomania. Apparently being a shopaholic is not just a joke. It’s probably unsurprising to learn that the majority of sufferers are women – but men are not immune. So, how can you tell if your buying is out of control? Here are some warning signs: Buying things you can’t afford. Impulse buying, often followed by guilt or remorse. n Being unable to stop shopping, even if it’s having a negative impact on finances or relationships. n Lying about prices or purchases, or hiding things. n Thinking about money and shopping gets in the way of daily life. n Shopping because you’re lonely, sad, or bored. n Buying things and then never using them. n Being in debt as a result of shopping. n n


Seriously. It is a problem – people go to the doctor for it. Although not Student Health, it seems, as they cannot recall anyone complaining of oniomania. But that does not mean there is not a problem among students in Dunedin. Students whose parents bought their love with toys and presents when they were younger are more likely to develop a problem when they get older, because of the ongoing sentiment of emotional deprivation they endured as children. The purchase of a toy is substituted for affection. These so-called ‘shopaholics’ are unable to deal with their everyday problems, especially those that alter their self-esteem. Most of the issues in their lives are repressed by buying something.

THE MARSHMALLOWS Putting that element of competition in there just makes it worse. On TradeMe, bidding is practically a competitive sport. But one site has the compulsive buyer online shopping audience all worked out: 1-day.co.nz. 1-day is a smaller contributor to the internet shopping phenomenon than TradeMe, but the purchases it offers are definitely weirder: 12 bags of cocoa pops or 48 bags of salt and vinegar chips were two examples Critic found students guilty of buying. One student confessed to coming within a few clicks of buying a unicycle. Basically what happens is that every day, this website displays three deals, offering a massive range of products for cheap. Each deal only lasts for one day, hence the name. A lot of stuff sells within hours or even minutes, and a little status bar keeps you informed of how much is left. The items range from cameras to gym equipment to bulk food – which, of course, is where the marshmallows come into it. They were cheap. With shipping, it worked out at about $4 per kilo. And a kilo of marshmallows goes a long way. Of course, just because something’s cheap, doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. But that didn’t stop one Critic giving into temptation. To put six kilograms of marshmallows into perspective, an ordinary bag of marshmallows weighs 180 grams. The marshmallows Critic bought equated to 33 of these bags. Critic became its own case study in what happens when compulsive buying meets the internet. And what happens is that you get really, really sick of marshmallows. They started off well. The box of marshmallows was impressively, satisfyingly big. The marshmallows were the good sort, with that soft, sugary, flakey coating and the moist, gooey insides. Hot chocolates were the drink of the moment. Then the baking started. The recipes started out classic. Rice bubble squares, rocky road, and marshmallow brownies. But then they started to get insane. Candied yams are not quite what they sound like. In North America, yam can mean the vegetable we think it means, or it can mean kumara. In this case, ‘candied yam’ is a side dish made with kumara. From a New Zealand viewpoint, it involves some pretty strange ingredients: brown sugar, cinnamon … and marshmallows. This caramelized, buttery mush of kumara with a gloopy marshmallow layer and crispy sugary top made a surprisingly palatable dessert. The real puzzle was that it’s not a dessert. This is a side dish to go with your turkey at Thanksgiving. At the time this went to print, Critic had about four kilos of marshmallows left.


THE RECIPES Candied Yams Yes, this is meant to be a savoury side dish. Other common ingredients are honey, maple syrup, or orange juice. Ingredients: n 1kg kumara or fruit n 150g butter, melted n 100g brown sugar n About half a bag of marshmallows. Specifically, the white half, though I guess raspberry would be interesting n Cinnamon (to taste) Peel the kumara and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Boil for around 10 minutes until soft. Mix in the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mash the kumara up a bit, but not so much that it’s like mashed potatoes, just so it sticks together instead of being separate chunks. n Put it into a greased, oven-proof dish and layer the marshmallows on top. Stick it under the grill for about two minutes – keep an eye on it, it goes quickly. When it’s all golden brown and puffy, it’s ready to eat. n A much yummier (but less interesting) version involves putting marshmallows on top of cooked fruit and sticking it under the grill. Two apples and a banana with a decent spoonful of brown sugar and lashings of cinnamon, cooked in the microwave, works really well. The name ‘candied yams’ seems a bit inappropriate here, though. n n

Rice Bubble Squares These are like a much nicer version of LCM bars. Ingredients: n A bag of marshmallows n A couple of decent spoonfuls of butter n Rice bubbles Melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave. Mix in rice bubbles until it’s the consistency you like – gooier or crunchier. It will probably take about three cups. n Press into a greased tray (the greased bit is important – marshmallow’s sticky …) and leave to set. Slice into squares once it’s cooled. n n


Rocky Road There are a lot of different variations on this recipe out there. The basic idea is marshmallows and chocolate, with various additions. This is a good version. Ingredients n 400g dark chocolate melts n 250g marshmallows n 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts n 100g glace cherries or raspberry lollies (like jubes) n 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional) Line the base and sides of an 18 x 28cm rectangular tin with foil or baking paper. Melt the chocolate. The easiest way to do it is in the microwave in short bursts, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. n Mix everything into the chocolate and dump it into the tray. n Put the tin in the fridge for 20 minutes to set. n n

WHERE TO SHOP n

TradeMe.co.nz: the ultimate place to shop online. Not only is it possible to buy almost anything on there, but the thrill of an auction makes everything so much more exciting – and more dangerous. It’s too easy to pass all your limits if there’s something you really want.

n

MightyApe.co.nz: Mighty Ape is more of a straightforward place to buy stuff. It’s probably the best place to go for new games, movies, music, books, and electronics.

n

1-day.co.nz: this site tends to lead to the sudden realisation that you really really need a cheap digital photo frame/pair of socks/bulk quantity of gummy worms. It’s impulse buying at its most fun. There are three deals per day, each of which only lasts the 24 hours, and often there are limited quantities available.

n

iTunes store: MP3s are one of the most common impulse purchases, and iTunes is the number one supplier.

n

thinkgeek.com: the nerdiest online store ever and probably also the most awesome. Products include giant cuddly microbes (ever wanted to give your girlfriend Chlamydia for her birthday?), astronaut ice cream, soundtrack t-shirts (the exact one Raj had on The Big Bang Theory – life is way cooler with theme music), and heaps of other gadgets and cool things.


Cook:

Gardies: Touchy subject. Over the years, Gardies has proven a haven for both first- and second-years, especially those on ‘the Castle Street buzz’. Come the end of every exam period, Gardies finds itself packed to the rafters with all sorts of sop, eager to get loose, and erm … do telephones and shit.

Critic is pretty sure that the only time someone older than a first-year heads to the Cook is purely due to nostalgia over graduation, or to prey on a firstyear. Downstairs is full of young yahooers sculling jugs and stealing wedges. Upstairs provides an opportunity for young pups to try on some sleaze.

Copa:

Why Copa has an indoor area (aside from serving drinks) is beyond us. PreBathies third-year-plus scenesters mill about outside smoking (scabbing) darts and spinning yarns. Great place to hook some seaze as you move towards Baheez and the Octagon.

South:

Baa:

A veritable who’s who of human sop. The Baa provides a combination of uni boys heading down to catch the code, young Dunedinites (read: bogans) heading out to cut loose, and, of course, good, honest, working-class blokes looking to whittle away their cash on horses, dogs, and beers.

South provides a breeding ground for most Scarfies within the first- to thirdyear bracket. A real melting pot. ‘Classy’ jocks will enjoy the banter with beers, pizzas, and ‘classic’ acoustic in the front bar. Hopeless trainwrecks bop to God knows what in the main bar, exchanging saliva and vodka lemonades. Finally, Dunedin’s best DJs such as super skax Jordan Higham and that Snoop Dogg lookalike fuel the lounge bar with dope beats so peeps can dance, and shit. Was better as Two Bears.

Monkey Bar:

Wieners, ‘ironic wacky cunts’, and ethnic minorities. Apparently Monkey Bar has cheap drinks, but Critic safely assumes that this is purely to save itself from going out of business. There is no other reason to put up with this melting pot, and even we suggest ignoring every hooky bone in your body and forking out elsewhere. Highlights include those crack-ups (read: losers) and sluts dancing on the ledge surrounding the d-floor.


Carousel:

What once started out as an attempt at class in Dunedin has (successfully) managed to transform itself into a gay bar. It makes for an interesting amalgamation of characters, especially for those still slowly coming to the realisation of the bar’s new orientation. Classic. Still, who knows what’ll happen after a few cocktails, after all it’s the 21st century … Gay, straight, it’s all the same.

Bathies:

Peaks, jibbers and d’n’b. Nothing more needs to be said. Peeps getting their wob on, meow. Check Bathies (pronounced Barheez) fo’ the beats, stay for the cheap pints.

Metro:

Perhaps Dunedin’s most disgusting bar. A combination of South Dunedin trash, student trash, and general trash. Any bar that plays the Lion King soundtrack is questionable in our minds. Critic recommends taking in the baggy jeans and skate shoes over a nice bourbon and coke.

The Break:

Young Dunedin scumbags. Never have there been three more fitting words in the English language. This is where Dickies pants and DC shoes come to die. Talk of skylines and purple goanna orders permeate throughout the bar. This is a nightmare. Steer. The. Fuck. Clear.

Pop:

Despite all the rumours regarding the dominant sexual orientation of patrons, Pop is like, cool and shit. Keep an eye out for scene kids, swilling cocktails and doing their thang. Older Copa crowd. So tiyyte.

Alibi:

The same shitty place where every sop ends up. Decidedly full of jocks and doneup rotters, Alibi is a logistical nightmare. Electro-bop hits ensure the miniscule d-floor fills to the point that it blocks the bar. Getting people into a bar with music only to find they can’t actually get to the bar? Decidedly ironic.

Pequeno: The skuxest dive in town. Generally brimming with an older, more astute crowd than found elsewhere. Jazz nights and expensive drinks be meaning yo’ better be packing that cash.

Brimstone:

Another Dunedinite haven. A similar idea to the likes of the Outback: take a rustic setting, fill it with bumpkins, serve them piss, and observe ensuing havoc. At Brimstone you’re likely to find an older crowd, looking for a dance, and maybe a nice young lad/lass to take home. Dangerous.


South Africa Despite their measly FIFA ranking (90 at time of print), smart money is on South Africa to progress past the group. They will get the majority of the referee’s decisions, and will always have home crowd advantage, plus conditions and all the rest. They have a young but inexperienced squad, with only three of their players participating in the very top leagues. However, they will be pacey and determined, and out to impress.  Player to Watch: Steven Pienaar has been in stunning form for his domestic team Everton, and may even be the target of some bigger clubs. He will be looking to boost his value this World Cup. Fun Fact: This team only qualified because they are hosting the tournament.

Mexico Critic is gonna put it out there and say this Mexican team will be one of the most exciting teams to watch at this year’s World Cup, if they can find their feet early. If they can beat hosts South Africa in the first game of the competition, then odds are on for them to qualify for the next round. Anyone without a team this year should get behind the Mexicans. Player to Watch: Rafael Marquez is the Mexican with the most exposure, having been a solid member of the Barcelona backline for a number of years, winning the Champs league in 2006. Young Player to Watch: Javier Hernandez will have many eyes on him after his big move to the legendary Manchester United earlier this year. He is a clean finisher and quick as shit. Expect a couple of goals at least. Fun Fact: Mexico has beaten the United States twice as many times as they’ve lost to them. Maybe if the US set up a football academy in El Paso, Texas …

Uruguay They might manage to sneak past the hosts and Mexico, but it will take some special skill to do this, and anyway they are guaranteed not to make it any further. The team doesn’t have a great record outside of South America. Player to Watch: Diego Forlan has been in stellar form for Atlético Madrid (isn’t that right, Liverpool?), and is always going to be a threat up front. Fun Fact: Uruguay won the first ever World Cup, beating Argentina 4-2 in 1930.

France Despite talisman Henry being a cheating scumbag, France will always be a formidable opponent at the World Cup. They have a history of good play (as long as we ignore 2002), and while they aren’t favourites for this tournament, no team will be taking them lightly. Many in France are not happy about the direction that the coach, Domenech, is taking the squad. However, the French always exude confidence, and can perform under pressure. Player to Watch: Florent Malouda has been one of the standout players in the successful Chelsea team this year. He is lighting quick and has a ridiculous finish, and is one of the younger players in an aging French side (despite being 29). Young Player to Watch: Youann Gorcuff, of Bourdeax, will be looking to establish himself as a permanent fixture in the French side. He’s technically off the rocker. Fun Fact: France qualified by scoring a last-minute goal against the Irish, and the replays show Henry clearly uses his hand to knock the ball into the net.

Argentina Probably the second best place to put your money this year in terms of chance of winning:payout ratio. A 9:1 ratio seriously underestimates the quality that this side has. They also boast the best player in the world – Lionel Messi. Despite being shit in the qualifications, no team will relax running out against these guys. As long as they can stick it out, they have a glorious chance of claiming the honours this year. Let’s just hope the coke fiend coach can lay off the rails to provide some useful decision-making. Player to Watch: Lionel Messi. He makes straight guys gay, and gay guys explode. Young Player to Watch: Gonzalo Higuian. Mind-blowing domestic form, and was genuinely competing with CR9 for Real Madrid’s Golden boot. He lost, but he’s still mint. Fun Fact: Argentina has played 161 games against Uruguay, the most ever played between two teams.

Nigeria Nicknamed ‘The Super Eagles’ (that’s what happens when the naming job goes to the winner of a colouringin competition), Nigeria have Swedish stronghold Lars Lagerbeck as coach; expect to see a traditionally fast and skillful team supplemented by some rigid defence. Wouldn’t bet against them progressing past the group stage. Player to Watch: John Obi Mikel Fun Fact: The Nigerian football team won gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, beating Brazil in the final.

Korean Republic These boys did well when they co-hosted the 2002 World Cup, providing one of the most exciting games of the tournament. They have a chance of getting out of their group, as long as they can break down a traditionally stoic Greek defence. Player to Watch: Park Ji–Sung is the most successful Korean player to date, and that little terrier should exhaust any of his markers. Fun Fact: South Korea beat current World Champions Italy to progress to the Semi’s in the 2002 World Cup.

Greece After surprising success in Euro 2004, and a reputation for strong defence, the Greeks have every chance of getting past the group stages in 2010. Most of their players play in the Greek domestic league, and a large portion for Panathinaikos, meaning this team will be used to one another’s playing styles, and might come out the blocks a bit faster than their Group B competition. Player to Watch: Giorgos Karagounis will captain Greece this year, and is one of their most reliable players. Fun Fact: The Greeks were paying 150:1 to win Euro 2004.


England Probably the most overrated and underperforming team on the world stage, England hopes to turn that around this year, under the direction of Italian Stallion Fabio Capello, who has been charged with the toughest job in football. Every four years the English press decides that this year will be the year that England will beat every team 10-0 and then run for President of the World … but it never quite happens like that. Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney (if he’s fit) will terrorise any defender in the world, especially after his insane domestic season. Young Player to Watch: Joe Hart (if he makes the top squad). England has had shithouse goalkeepers since Seaman retired, but this kid looks like he could be the next big talent. Otherwise, keep an eye on Man City starlet Adam Johnston. Fun Fact: England has only won the World Cup once, in 1966, despite inventing the fucking game.

United States ‘Soccer’ has been growing steadily in the US, due largely in part to a strong domestic league. Most likely to come second in their group, but a cheeky outside bet on them coming first wouldn’t be a bad one. Player to Watch: Landon Donovan is US soccer. Smart and versatile, and has had a good run recently with Everton. Fun Fact: Sam’s Army, the United States’ reply to the Barmy Army, boasts 15 000 official members.

Algeria Called the Desert Foxes, they stole their way into the World Cup in a tense qualifier against Egypt. Won’t make it out of group C. Player to Watch: Nadri Belhadj. Fun Fact: Algerian football fans are a passionate bunch and are known to cause the odd diplomatic row. During the qualifying stages Algeria was beaten by Egypt, prompting riots and attacks on Egyptian fans. The Algerian Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Cairo, where “extreme dismay” was expressed about the Algerians’ behaviour.

Slovenia Good nuggety team. Both England and the US will need to have their wits about them if they want to take points off of Slovenia. Player to Watch: Millivoje Novakovic. Fun Fact: They played their first match in 1992 after the split of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991. Before that, Slovenian players played for the Yugoslavian national team.


Germany One of the favourites to raise the cup in South Africa, the German team always proves a difficult bunch of players to beat. Like a ruthless German mistress they don’t take any shit, and have a very efficient and formulaic way of playing, which has done the goods for them in the past. They should charge out of Group D without dropping any points. Player to Watch: Bastian Schweinsiteger. Despite having the name of an SS Guard, this guy is a phenomenal talent, and can be relied upon to pull the German team out of any rut. Young Player to Watch: Thomas Muller, who currently plays for German side Bayern Munich, will be an impact player for the German team. He’s very quick, and has proved he has a good eye for goal. Fun Fact: Germany has only been an international football team again for the last 20 years. From 19501990 it was called West Germany, because Stalin was a miserable bloke.

Australia The ‘Socceroos’ (cool bro) are on the rise in World Football. They have a number of players in the Premier League, and have attracted a lot of international attention recently, even notching up a win against England. Unfortunately, there is almost no chance of New Zealand playing them. Player to Watch: Tim Cahill. Despite his celebration being the driest thing you’ve ever seen, he is a prolific goal scorer for Everton, and has played against the world’s top players. Fun Fact: Australia lost the World Cup 20/20 to England. Get that in you, Shane Watson.

Serbia Strong team full of tough buggers. They make them strong in Serbia. Should be enough to combat the speed of the Africans, and they should smash the Aussies. Player to Watch: Dejan Stankovic is capable of some ridiculous goals. Fun Fact: Used to be called Yugoslavia up until 2006, when Serbia declared its independence from Montenegro.

Ghana First qualified for the World Cup in 2006; they were named FIFA’s most improved team. Fast and skillful, they will be a handful for any team that gives them the space. Player to Watch: Sulley Muntari has just won Serie A with Inter, and will be rating his football at the moment. Fun Fact: Kevin Prince-Boateng is the reason Micheal Ballack will miss Germany’s campaign, thanks to a tackle in the FA cup final.


Netherlands By all rights, this team should have won the World Cup at least once. They have had some ridiculous players over the years, but have always managed to choke when the pressure comes on. Anyone who watched them in Euro 2008 would understand why their odds of 13:1 to win are the best bet on the tournament outcome. If you have a loose $100, put it here. Player to Watch: Robin Van Persie is back from injury, and he and his ski jump will be chomping at the bit to reaffirm that he is the new Bergkamp. Young Player to Watch: People are picking Ryan Babel as the young player of the tournament. Hasn’t had a fair go at Liverpool, but has the potential to be godlike. Fun Fact: They were the first team to qualify for the World Cup, with a 100 percent record.

Denmark Denmark has only qualified for the World Cup three times before South Africa, but the team has a good record of progression. Their group is reasonably tough, but they are a safe bet to come through after the Dutch. Player to Watch: Nicholas Bendtner will be looking to spearhead his team’s attack, and increase his value. Strong front-man with a good finish. Fun Fact: Their current coach has been with them for a decade, and the team’s nickname is after him (the Olsen Gang).

Japan Japan has always promised lots but been unable to deliver. They play a stylish passing game, but lack the finishing quality needed to really pose a threat. In a qualifying group with the Netherlands, Denmark, and Cameroon, Japan’s path is not an easy one, especially since their honest goal is a final four finish (no shit). Player to Watch: Shunsuke Nakamura. Fun Fact: Japan was once ranked ninth-best team in word (1998).

Cameroon Africa’s most successful side has qualified six times for the World Cup; they have a quality team, and one of the world’s best strikers in Samuel Eto. Crunch match against Denmark to decide the group. Player to Watch: Samuel Eto is one of the world’s best strikers. Quick and smart, he can turn a match on its head if he has to. Fun Fact: This team once played in unitards, but FIFA declared it illegal and homoerotic.

Italy The Azzurri, the current world champions, are the second most successful international team. They play intelligent, stylish football, and half their team looks like male models (that Cannavaro is a pearl), so you can get that nagging wench of a girlfriend to sit still for 90 minutes while you soak up some of the best footy on the planet. They will play the All Whites, who narrowly lost to them 4-3 in 2009. The Azzurri should stomp us, but stranger things have happened. Player to Watch: Probably keep your eye on keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Stunning shot stopper. Young Player to Watch: Guiseppe Rossi has the makings of a World Class forward, and is in the running for Young Player of the Tournament. Fun Fact: Italian girls are hot. This may or may not have any thing to do with why their team is good.

Paraguay New Zealand group-mates Paraguay did well to qualify out of South America, including a 1-0 over Argentina to secure their qualification in a World Cup for the seventh time. They probably will beat the All Whites, but you never know … Player to Watch: Ex-Ryan Nelsen team mate Roque Santa Cruz is a classy striker and is guaranteed at least three goals this tourney. Fun Fact: Came second at 2004 Olympics in Athens.

New Zealand The All Whites are attending the 2010 World Cup for only the second time in their history. After a recordbreaking qualifier against Bahrain, where Rory Fallon brought the pants down at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium with a first half-headed goal, and Mark Paston sent them into a full blown Football Orgasm with a penalty save, the All Whites arrive at South Africa hoping for the best, despite being labeled as massive outsiders (1:1000). New Zealand’s coach, slick Ricki Herbert, has been the architect of ‘the second coming’ after three years of juggling the national team with the increasingly successful domestic team the Wellington Phoenix. While much may not be expected from the All Whites this June, hopeful New Zealanders can all learn a lesson from Senegal, who beat then-reigning World Champions France in the opener of the 2002 World Cup, despite similar odds. Player to Watch: Goal-scoring machine Shane Smeltz, with his A-League record, is the All Whites’ best chance for competition goals. Young Player to Watch: Winston Reid is a Danish youth international who has defected to his home country just in time for the World Cup. He is known as one of the most exciting young players in Denmark. Fun Fact: All Whites was also the name of the South African Rugby team that toured New Zealand in 1981.

Slovakia Also known as ‘the All Whites’ best chance for a competition point’. All the good players went to the Czech Republic after the split, and Slovakia got the drift. Pay attention to this All Whites match, the boys could get up, and that would be the meanest bro. Fun Fact: They have the most boring nickname, Repre, which literally means ‘represent’. Did Ali G come up with it? Fun Fact: The first team they ever played was Germany in 1939 – and they won.


Brazil Who? Ahhhh … just jokes, bro. Brazil is undoubtedly the best national football team ever, and they have the trophy case to back it up. Brazil has won the competition five times (that’s the most), and they set the benchmark for international standards, and are deserved co-favourites this time around. They are in this year’s ‘Group of Death’, but only a miracle would not see them qualify top. If anyone wants to see how football should be played, watch a Brazilian match. Their style of football is like the wax of the same name: clean, sexy, and fucking exciting. Players to Watch: All of them. Young Players to Watch: Nilmar Da Silva currently plays for Villarreal in the Spanish League, and is a blinding young talent. If he can get Luis Fabiano to pass him the ball (hard task), we might be lucky enough to see some of his skill. Fun Fact: Their coach has already won the World Cup in 1994. Greedy bastard.

Portugal Spain’s little brother got a hard go of it in the Group Selection, drawing Brazil and Côte d’Ivoire in their group, the Group of Death. A must-watch match will be the game between Portugal and the African team, but odds are that Portugal should take this out. This match will decide who comes second in the group. Portugal often suffer from being overrated because of the reputation of a few of their stars, so if they can get their heads down and not get to far in front of themselves, they have every chance of going relatively far. Player to Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo is the second-best player in the world. As long as he stays on his feet, he will be in scintillating form this World Cup. Young Player to Watch: Nani has started to put in some quality domestic performances, and as long as he isn’t overshadowed by his old teammate, he is sure to do something special this year. Fun Fact: The team’s nickname, ‘Selecção das Quinas’, directly translates into ‘Selection of Machines’.

Côte d’Ivoire The Ivory Coast boasts some of the world’s best players, but is unfortunate to be in the Group of Death. Even if they manage to beat Portugal, they will probably get smashed out of the group stage. They are gonna be exciting and flashy, and may give us some of the best goals this time around, but avoid putting your money on this team. A lot of punters will lose coin on them. Player to Watch: Didier Drogba is one of the game’s best strikers and biggest personalities. He is coming off the back of a successful domestic season, and will be looking to show his shit off on the worlds biggest stage. Fun Fact: This season the team is being coached by SvenGoran ‘the Predator’ Eriksson. It would be ironic if he managed to get this lot further than the Poms.

Korea DPR They don’t have a hope of winning any game, and they round out the Group of Death. However, if you travel to North Korea, you will find that they did in fact win the 2010 World Cup, despite what you saw. And how dare you think otherwise. Fun Fact: North Korea has outlawed fun, so this fact couldn’t be completed.

Spain This team is co-favourite alongside Brazil, and with good reason. Despite an international record that isn’t great, they are hitting their straps, and probably have the bestknown team in the world. Spain plays quality football, and it’s hard not to go camping when you watch them play. They are coming off the back of Euro 2008 victory, and will be gutted if they don’t win this year’s tournament. Player to Watch: They are all insane. Don’t make us pick. Young Player to watch: Pedro Rodriguez has played some downright sexy football recently. Fun Fact: They have the shared hottest streak in international football, unbeaten for 35 games from 2007-2009.

Chile Chile did well in qualifying and is contesting the second place in a tight Group H, favourites to qualify after Spain. Expect a good game when they play. Player to Watch: Gary Mendel. Fun Fact: Their nickname is ‘everybody’s team’, which is a blatant lie.

Honduras Another team making only their second appearance in the World Cup, Honduras could surprise everyone with a sneaky qualification from Group H. Player to Watch: Wilson Palacios. Fun Fact: Honduras were beaten 10-1 by Guatemala in their first-ever international game.

Switzerland Despite the success of the U-17 side at the 2009 World Cup, not much is expected from the Swiss at this World Cup. If they manage to keep the South Americans out they may qualify, but every team in their group will be looking to take maximum points from the Swiss. Player to Watch: Hakan Yakin. Fun Fact: Switzerland’s biggest defeat was 9-0 at the Hands of Hungry. They almost lost their footballing appetite.


For some reason, I’m not out with my flatmates. Even after four and a half months of living with them, I haven’t told them that I’m gay. I’m out with nearly everyone else I know, but I haven’t told the people I live with. Why? To almost everyone I know, I identify as gay. Proudly. I’m proud to be a queer. I even recently bought a flag, I’m so gosh darn proud. I openly play a role in queer politics and in organising queer events. I try to strive to let everyone know that we’re not a threat and I strive to ensure that there are spaces that all us ‘non-heteronormatives’ can feel safe. But all of that disappears when I come home. Although there is absolutely nothing that my flatmates have said or done that justify it in any way, I fear them finding out. My own home doesn’t feel truly safe to me. Usually, it doesn’t matter. We’re more worried about what’s for dinner or playing Xbox to really care, but at least once a day, something happens that makes me want to hide from them. Be it something simple like a shot of a hot girl in an advertisement or when I’m running out the door and someone asks me where I’m going – to my shame, I can’t admit I’m visiting my partner. I try to plan what I’m going to say when they find out. I’ll be all like, “Oh, well, you never asked, so I didn’t think it was an issue. I’m gay. So what?” But anyone who’s been in the closet can tell you that that is sadly almost never the case. Obviously it is an issue; otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here writing. So, if I’m so proud about my sexuality and I’m so ‘out’ everywhere else, why can I not be out with my flatmates? What makes me put myself back in the closet every time I walk through the door? I think I know. When I first came to look at the flat, and meet some of the randoms I’d be living with, my old flatmate said something to me. “Don’t tell them you’re gay,” she said. Why not? “Wait until you know them,” is what I think she meant to imply, but that’s not what I heard. I dismissed her ‘advice’ as I left to meet them – I told myself, I need to live in a flat where I know the people are going to be okay with me being gay. The easiest way to test that is to tell them from the start. But her words kept playing over in my mind, and as I went to meet with them it all came flooding back. All of the fear, the apprehension, the self-loathing; it all came back. Suddenly there I was again: a meek teenager, closeted, trying desperately to fit in while feeling something that is fundamentally wrong with me. I never told them, and now I feel like I’m living a lie all over again. For the last four months, it feels like I’ve been kidding along that I’m ‘just one of the guys’, whatever the fuck that means. The longer I don’t tell them, the harder it seems to get to just drop it into conversation. The longer I don’t tell them, the harder it seems to exist as myself in my own flat. I have a space that’s supposed to be mine that I don’t really feel is mine, because someone told me not to tell my future flatmates that I’m gay. I like to encourage people to speak out against all forms of homophobia and queerphobia. We don’t have as much overt homophobia here as the rest of the world, but it’s still there. Whether it’s people saying that a TV programme or whatever they don’t like is ‘gay’, or my old flatmate’s poorly-worded attempt at protecting me from my new flatmates. My reasons for not being out are the remnants of on old fear resurfacing momentarily to take hold again, but for many that fear is still legitimate. Please, don’t give them a reason to be afraid.


T

he idea that you can fly around the world and offset your carbon emissions by buying trees is really quite lazy, short-sighted, narcissistic, and retarded. For starters, the trees are already there. Since you’re emitting more carbon, you will need more trees to act as a carbon sink. If you plant more trees, the trees will need to stay put for a good 50 years at least, and as soon as they come down the carbon is released all over again anyway. Oh, and did you know that if the Earth continues to heat up due to too much carbon in the atmosphere, the permafrost in Siberia and elsewhere will melt, all that methane in the underlying vegetation will be released into the atmosphere, and the Earth will be fucked? Yeah … the only way to not screw our habitat, the Earth, is to become conscious and not just carry on living like we are. WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT LISTENING? You know what fucks up the Earth, so stop doing it, you retards! And to all you militant vegans who think you’re doing the world a favour by eating and drinking imported soy and not eating animal products: you’re actually fucking over entire ecosystems in the Amazon and other such places by funding soy crops. Most of these are on land where rainforests used to be. Plus, the beans are grown in one place, shipped to another place, processed, sent elsewhere, packaged, and then shipped to us. Talk about carbon emissions! Oh, and the cartons the soy milk comes in are not recyclable in Dunedin, so soy is just plain crap really. If you’re going to be serious about being kind to our furry and not-so-furry friends by using a milk alternative, get some local organic soy beans and make the shit yourself. Seriously. Or if you’re just a vego like me, drink organic cows’ milk. Happy cows make the yummiest, lowest emitting milk, and you can recycle the bottles.

Oh, and that Budget? When are our country’s leaders gonna stop being fucking idiots and trying to fix everything by focusing on the economy? It’s not real. It’s digits and decimal points. ARGH! I’ve got the rage ... Yeah ... rant over.

T

he rise in tobacco excise tax will help to offset other tax cuts recently announced in the Budget. Simple enough, but is that really fair? Taxing one group of people, based on their personal choice to give themselves cancer, to enable the Government to take less from others? It seems a little discriminatory, but of course smokers have more health problems, and should probably pay for these themselves (private health insurance?). The problem arises from the fact that smokers are now paying around $900 million in tax every year, and the Government spends about $250 million on smoking-related health costs. Of course there are other costs that could be linked, but at just under $1 billion in revenue, smokers are more than subsidising their costs. Additionally, the last Government sadly got it the wrong way round with its smoke-free legislation applying to workplaces. Far more important would have been banning smoking in public. Much like alcohol bans, smoking bans would prevent passive smoking and impact on non-smokers. Every person who smokes around me in a public place is taking away my right to breathe fresh air. That isn’t right; the Government has a limited level of control over public places, which should be used to prevent people infringing on others rights. Banning smoking is public is far more legitimate than banning it in a privately-owned location. If you don’t want to work somewhere, don’t work there, whether it’s because of the pay, the smokers, or any reason. If you don’t want to go to a bar, don’t go there, whether it’s because of the price of drinks, the crap toilets, or the smokers. The flipside is, many people have little choice but to go out in public – and be subjected to second-hand smoke. Now that everyone has cellphones, all the redundant telephone booths could be turned into smoking booths for those caught short on the street. Keep the smoke contained and away from the public. Increasing tax is not the right way to tell someone what they can and cannot do. As long as the harms to others are minimised and smokers are covering their added expenses by paying higher insurance premiums or a fair rate of tax, which is directed at the health system, that is enough. Higher taxes are fining people for their personal choices.


Oliver: The idea of force-feeding sufferers of anorexia is not only immoral, but is an invasion of an individual’s autonomy, and in no way helps determine a solution to the issue. The argument that force-feeding is only a short-term solution fails to take into account the long-term effects treatment of this kind will have. Anorexia is something that can rarely be cured with pills. In the majority of cases it will require long-term counselling, and that will require a high degree of trust. The force-feeding of those who suffer from anorexia is going to see a collapse of this trust. How can a person trust a system that claims to be trying to help them, when against their will, it forces a tube down their throat? The effects of this practice will be to encourage a yoyo effect that is already experienced by many with weight problems. A patient will simply gain weight from force feeding, then lose it again, due to the now permanent lack of trust they will have for the system. On top of this we only have to imagine the psycholigical side effects a practice such as this would have on the patient. In the majority of cases anorexia can be classified as a mental disorder where an individual has a distorted image of their bodies. Forcing a tube down the throat of someone whose mental health is already in question is simply going to force this person further from reality and a path to recovery. Finally, who has the right to decide that a person can no longer choose for themselves, and instead takes away their autonomy, and makes their decisions for them? We can provide counselling and information on the issue and its dangers, but to take away the independence of a person who is a danger to no one but themself is immoral and inconsistent with so many aspects of our society. Proportionally, more people die of obesity than anorexia, but there is no policy on limiting meal sizes, which would have far few psychological effects.

Shoul d We Force -feed Anore xics?

Nick: Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness, like depression or bipolar disorder. In most cases it can be treated with a combination of therapy and medication. But not always. There are, and will continue to be, cases where anorexics starve themselves to death. In this minority of cases, medical professionals are justified in force-feeding anorexics. For someone who has starved themselves to the brink of death, food is obviously a medical necessity. The crucial issue is whether people suffering from anorexia should have the right to refuse medical care. You could easily argue that even a sane, rational person shouldn’t be allowed to starve themselves to death. For example, many countries around the world will force-feed prisoners of war if they choose to protest through a hunger strike. There is a fair argument to be made that as a society, we value life so much that people shouldn’t have the right or the freedom to give up their own lives. But even if you do support this right – even if you think protestors should be allowed to starve themselves to death to make a point, even if you believe in the right of the terminally ill to have access to euthanasia – this still doesn’t mean that sufferers of anorexia should be allowed to starve themselves to death. The right to refuse medical treatment, or food, or anything life-sustaining has to be premised on the decision being made by a rational person. There is no way that a person whose anorexia is so severe that someone who has put their own life in danger is capable of making such a choice. Western society has long recognised that sometimes mentally ill people do need to be treated against their will. The right to refuse medical care cannot apply to a malnourished waif who is convinced she is obese. Force-feeding anorexics does not cure their mental illness. That isn’t the point. If an anorexic person has starved themselves to the point where their life is in danger, the most pressing medical necessity is their severe malnutrition. Food, voluntary or not, gives doctors a chance to address the root cause of the behaviour. It is wrong to allow a mentally ill person to kill themself. This applies across a whole range of severe mental illnesses. To oppose the force-feeding of anorexics, one must support allowing a mentally ill people to starve his or herself quite literally, to death. No moral person should support such a conclusion.

Debatable is a column written by the Otago University Debating Society. They meet every Tuesday at 7pm in Commerce 2.20.


Top 5 Most Annoying Types of People on Facebook

Various Artists,

Yodelling From the Mountains (Carinia Records, year unknown)

W

hen done well, a compilation is more than a mere collection of songs. A skilled compiler can arrange a series of tunes in such a way that the whole becomes much greater than the sum of its parts, whether they are summarising the cultural landscape (the groundbreaking Now That’s What I Call Music! series) or evoking the feel of a specific time or place (the amazing The Best Beer Drinking Songs in the World Ever [Volume Two]). When compiling Yodelling From the Mountains, the producers faced a formidable task: how to best convey the breathtaking splendour of the Swiss Alps in a single record? In less capable hands, it could have been a disaster. Thankfully, the uncredited creators of the album were able to assemble an all-star cast of master yodellers (or meisterjodlers) for what would become a yodelling tour de force. It’s no surprise that big-name yodeller Lois Kerschbaumer (with the Walter Ruggenthaler Trio) contributes no less than three tracks, including seminal yodels ‘Kannst du Jodeln? (Can You Yodel?)’ and ‘Kuckucksjodler (Cuckoo Yodeller)’. However, yodelling aficionados may also be pleased to see the inclusion of lesser-known yodellers Midi Berchtold (with the Bemsi Trio) and Otto and Uschi Biersack. Not content with restricting itself to pure yodelling, Yodelling From the Mountains also contains a varied selection of folk songs, marches, and polkas. What’s that, I hear you ask? No plattlers? Oh, you’d better believe there are plattlers: not one, but two, including the classic ‘Zirler Glockenplattler’. You could swear they were slapping their thighs in your own living room! And let’s not forget the beautiful landlers that close each side of the record: the tuba playing on ‘Sterzinger Landler’ is particularly exquisite. With an album full of yodelling heavyweights such as this, Yodelling From the Mountains seemed destined to become a classic. Yet outside of yodelling circles it has all but been forgotten. How do such things happen? Perhaps in today’s fast-paced world people just aren’t prepared to sit and let themselves be transported to a faraway land of frosty peaks and majestic alpenhorns. It’s a sad day when you ask a person on the street “Kannst du jodeln?” and are greeted with a blank stare – I can only hope that future generations will once again understand the pure pleasure of yodelling from the mountains.

The weirdest part is that most of these people aren’t your ‘friends’, they’re just people you added out of obligation. Now you have to deal with their annoying habits. The Group Joiner: I hate it when you jump on Facebook to see what the gossip is, only to find those two or three people, who join every goddamn group imaginable, busy doing what they do best. Seriously, no one gives a shit about those random groups that start with the overused phrase ‘that awkward feeling you get when...’, which was funny maybe the first time. Well, I’ve got a hilarious group for you to join. It’s called ‘that awkward feeling you get when you read this column and realise I’m talking about YOU!’ The ‘Liker’: Everyone has at least one of these people as a ‘friend’. They will ‘like’ the fuck out of everything. What makes it worse is that they usually are similar to the ‘group joiner’ and since Facebook changed ‘becoming a fan of’ something to ‘liking’ it, now they can ‘like’ every single activity you and your friends do and ‘like’ every other fucking thing when there’s nothing going on. Like like like like!!! Fuck off you buttnugget!!! The ‘Frequent Status Updater’: “Hey guys, I thought I’d just tell you something you didn’t need nor want to know” pretty much sums up the mentality of someone who updates their status six times a day. I think I speak for the vast majority of us when I say I don’t give a shit about what you’ve had for breakfast (unless it was something weird), or how boring your class was. Sometimes you should just keep things to yourself – i.e. I don’t care if you took a crap that looks a bit like a porcupine. Keep status updates for something semi-interesting. The ‘Comment Commander’: Here’s a case in point. Go to the Critic Facebook page and have a look at the comments under everything. It’s so great to see the perks of free speech ... useless and annoying opinions galore. The Application Asshole: To the people who invite everyone to Farmville and every other shitty application. Fuck you, you little knobfairies. If you’re going to do that shit, don’t tell anyone. Don’t you think you’re a bit old to be playing those sorts of things anyway?


I

ndian Summer (Carnegie Centre, 110 Moray Place) is my new favourite Indian restaurant. The cool floor-to-ceiling glasswindowed restaurant front gives the place a comfortable casualchic feel, making it the kind of place that you could just pop in for quick, casual meal on a whim, but also where you would think going for a special occasion. The genuinely polite, friendly, exemplary service shown by Ram and his staff is especially noteworthy because while the service at most establishments is generally polite, I am rarely struck by service that feels instantly sincere and unpretentious. While exploring the detailed menu, which has useful little symbols identifying items that are vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and which contain nuts (makes no difference to me, but I had never seen that before and thought it was pretty awesome), I noticed that they offered a few items that I have never seen on other menus, which makes Indian Summer a little more interesting. In the five minutes that I took to decide what to order, D sneakily inhaled the entire lovely, mango-y, yogurt-y, super thick mango lassi drink that I ordered. Ram noticed the offence and brought me another mango lassi, but D downed that one, too. We started with the vegetarian platter, which comprised of samosas, pakoras, onion bhajis, and tandoori mushrooms. I particularly enjoyed the delectable, juicy, vermillion orange-coloured tandoori mushrooms. The pakoras and onion bhajis were tasty, light, and crispy, unlike the sometimes thick and doughy varieties found elsewhere, and we really liked the delicious, refreshing, light mint chutney that accompanied the platter. On Ram’s recommendation (I would never have ordered it otherwise because I have never liked any Kadai curry anywhere else), I had the Kadai Prawns (prawns cooked with sautéed onions,

capsicum, tomatoes, cumin, and coriander seeds, and finished with lemon juice and fresh coriander). It was amazing and unquestionably the best Kadai I have ever tasted. The sauce had a certain depth and flavour that I can’t put my finger on; the ingredients tasted fresh, the capsicums were firm and crunchy (the vegetables in curries are often mushy at other places), and the decent-sized prawns were nice and springy. I could not get enough of it. We also savoured the beautiful, melt-in-your-mouth tender pieces of lamb, in the blissfully rich, smooth but not sickeningly creamy spinach sauce that was the Saag Lamb (a spinach-based sauce tempered with fenugreek, ginger, and garlic). This too was the best Saag that I have tasted. At that point, we were in a state of prandial euphoria. Our third curry was the tasty, chunky Chana Masala, which is made with whole, firm chick peas cooked with onion, garlic, ginger, and spices. The curries were served with rice and on top of that, we had some garlic naan. Needless to say, we were very happily satiated. If the fantastic service, pleasant ambience, and great food at Indian Summer weren’t reasons enough to keep me going back, I also noticed that after the meal, I did not experience any curry reflux (as is often the unpleasant but inevitable consequence of eating curry) or lingering aftertaste. Indian Summer must be doing something different because for the first time ever, I walked away from having a curry-filled meal with a clean-feeling palate (and oesophagus), not groaning or feeling sick from ‘too-much-curry-itis’. Absolutely brilliant!

If you would like Critic to review your restaurant/food, please email food@critic.co.nz


M

ost don’t care to admit that the so-called ‘Top 40 songs’ or ‘New Zealand Top 40’ are not necessarily liked by anyone with a fully developed brain. For the most part they’re decided on by people who have yet to develop chest hair, let alone any intellectual acuity: the 13-and-unders. Those that are buying the records taxonomised under the misrepresentative mantle of ‘The Top 40’ are younger than sense, and probably don’t realise the affronts to taste that they’re involved in. Fair enough; but any person older than this who acquiesces to peer pressure by allowing themselves to get caught up in modern pop music should realise their culpability in musical waste distribution! To reify this position, consider the latest song by the corpulent reggae rip-off artist (I’m being very generous by allowing the word ‘artist’ to slip into my description) known as Sean Kingston. His latest ear-singeing single is ‘eenie meenie’, a song that steals lyrics from the children’s counting rhyme often used, in a very jejune way, to select a person when making a decision. The lyrics, to his immortal shame, contain the passage “you’re an eenie meenie miney mo lover.” Sigh. Not much more needs to be said on that. Basically, popular music is getting to the point where it’s closer to children’s music than anything else. I’m not trying to be facetious when I say all this; popular music is now sculpted for the cultural group known informally as ‘tweens’. It presents a vapid and puerile view of events and life that young teenagers seem to cling to. The songs are created to be astoundingly simple, astonishingly plain, and painfully formulaic, while using lyrics and themes that are amazingly stunted. Unfortunately these musical abortions have a near-hypnotic effect on some of those in our age bracket, exemplified in the masses that dance to “hey, hey,” “yeah, yeah” every Saturday night, and accept this torpid attempt at a chorus as something transcendent and interesting. In my view, many are simply too polite, or too encumbered by peer pressure to admit that most of the stuff that’s peddled as ‘popular music’ is well below their usual mental standards. Most importantly, popular music doesn’t represent the tastes of the vast majority of normal people on whom record labels push this indolent and mentally moribund refuse; it merely pretends to do so.

The Star. A few weeks ago. We’ve been meaning to get to it sooner but the ODT has just been so darn funny. The Star is the ODT’s sister publication, which comes out once a week and focuses on community issues. The lead story in the issue out May 6 was a unique take on the Emissions Trading Scheme. Coal prices are going to rise 30 percent! Let’s hand over the front page to a coal supplier to see what he thinks. “From July 1, a carbon tax would be implemented which would result in Kai Point Coal raising its prices an additional $26 per tonne … General Manager Chris O’Leary said. ‘We’ve been forced to put the prices up … we’re tax collectors now,’ Mr O’Leary said. The company, which is the main domestic and commercial coal provider in Otago was expecting a ‘bit of a backlash’ from customers …” ‘A bit’? A coal supplier’s customers might be a bit grumpy that the Government is finally doing something about the effect dirty coal is having on climate change, and it’s on the front page. Jesus. Anyway, now for the other side of the story to provide some much needed balance. Solid Energy’s communications manager? Nope. Dunedin Budget Advisory Service? Nice try, but no. The co-owners of Coal Merchants? We give up. Coal’s going up 30 percent but no worries, you can still score yourself a handbag for just $960 … and it’s a great deal, discounted down from a mere $4808!

Pick one up for your missus. See The Star May 6, page 37.


A Symphony of Queefs

I

n my younger years, I had this distinct illusion that sex was a clean, soft, velvety affair of veils, heavy panting, and moans. Little did I expect squishes and other noises. Let’s talk a little about queefs. Queefs are merely the fodder of farcical sex. Queefs are never featured in Hollywood. Queefs are the clit’s clown nose. Queefs are a vaginal burp, a vart, an unexpected toot after a couple of deep thrusts. It’s just air being pushed out of the vagina. How biology betrays us … There’s nothing wrong with queefs. They don’t smell and there’s nothing fecal about them, unless you suffer from colovaginal fistula, which is when a tear between the vagina and the colon makes queefs rancid. Usually, queefs make sex the kind of hilarious experience you never really expected in your virginal years. In the event of a queef, make eye contact, laugh about it and quickly move on, or ignore it. No disgusted faces allowed. Queefing’s a pretty regular female occurrence during exercise or at the mall. Some lovers find queefing erotic and blow air into the vagina during cunnilingus to hear that sweet bubbly chiming in their ears. It can be produced, usually in doggy style, when the lover pulls out most of their appendage before thrusting again. If you feel the need to produce a queef at will – tremendous party trick, ladies – please use the following technique. Lie down, put your legs in the air and spread them. Reach down, spread your labias so you feel them fully embracing the air. Relax your pelvic and vaginals muscles, then clench and relax your vaginal muscles kegel style. When you feel assertively warmed up, roll back on your shoulders, raise your legs up higher, and spread them wider. Push down with your pelvic muscles. Inhale deeply, and then exhale sharply while contracting your abdomen. This will help suck air up there. Several repeats of this might occasion a queef, but you can also wait until you have some air in there, then quickly bring your legs together and lower them, and exhale while contracting your abdomen to push the air out of your vagina. Let’s hope you never have to answer the question: “That wasn’t a fart, was it?” Personally, I think I live in a Western society where I talk about orgasm like I brush my teeth. I think what is worth a consideration or two is how exposed and impersonal we allow our sex lives to be, because they become a piece of social trivia like any other, when maybe …

Girl: My silly friend once tried to convince me that one-way (unrequited) love was the height of romance and the only true love because you get nothing from it. Now, I don’t know whether to class my crush as ‘unrequited’; I have no idea how he might feel if he didn’t have a girlfriend, but that’s unrequited enough, and it certainly means I have no intentions of finding out. What my crush certainly is = infuriating, soul-destroying bliss. When you’re a part-time misanthropist, meeting anyone you actually adore, wholly and completely, is a very pleasant surprise. When that person turns out to be insanely hot to boot, it puts him in the Top Three Crushes Ever category (the other spaces are taken by a documentary film-maker who lives ‘between’ Brooklyn and Paris, and a wholesome yet jaded ex-army boy with a literature degree). Getting into my Top Three is about as competitive as getting a high-level job in the U.N., so when I got to spend my weekend with one of you, it hurt my heart. Actually. Physically. Hurt. Lingering hugs, heated debates, and awkward tender moments, and now I can’t get a single thing done, except write this column and day-dream about future run-ins with you, and what kind of miracle it would take to get even just one kiss. Boy: I pulled myself away from graduation parties late Saturday night to make sure Girl was having a successful time with her abovementioned crush. They were falling over and onto each other as they gesticulated away on the bench outside the bar. Overhung by the vine that grows around the neon blue Refuel sign, it looked like a scene from Francis Ford Coppola’s One From The Heart – Zoetrope Studios’ 1982 hit-flop romantic musical about infidelity. The image of two lovers fit perfectly to the Tom Waits soundtrack. Girl’s evening lilted awkwardly just like Coppola’s movie, and her date ‘spilled it’ on a walk down George St: “Yea, this is such a great time, this is the sort of thing my Girlfriend and I like to do.” We went to Karaoke and, like One From The Heart, there could only be suggested infidelity. A cute connection, an ‘Oh, if only you were single’. That’s an unrequited crush. And for Boy? Well, I ‘blocked’ myself exceptionally well last night – I went out with Bachelorette #1 again (she was in town). But she had read Critic last week. She was not impressed with Bachelorette #3; jealous, even. How was I to know she cared? It was the inverse of Girl’s situation. Requited? Possibly. All off? Yes.


T

he first half of the year certainly has been a huge learning curve for me. As well as the big political things that have been going on, behind the scenes I have been rewriting OUSA’s strategic plan and working on some big internal changes. Unfortunately it is only a one-year plan, as OUSA’s future is relatively uncertain (VSM ref. #1). However, regardless of what happens, the new mission statement and core values defined will still apply. The mission statement is: “With a focus on comprehensive engagement and exceptional services OUSA will provide the ultimate student experience.” The core values are: inclusive, responsible, engaging, and relevant. The mission and values are to be the root of everything OUSA does for its members from now on. Engaging OUSA members (all students) better and being more relevant is a particular focus this year, and a number of reviews have been initiated. The first of these is the governance structure review. There has been a fair bit of criticism of the Executive’s size, efficacy and representativeness, and given that the Executive governs the organisation, the review has had a pretty wide scope. The way we have gone about the structure review is not to sweat the small stuff and have a Survivor-style vote of who stays and who goes, but rather to go back to the drawing board and say: “If I were to design a student executive to govern an organisation that has an operational budget of $2 million, runs a whole raft of services and provides political representation to 20 000 diverse students, what would it look like?” That’s not an easy question to answer and our proposal is pretty sizeable. But given we want your opinions on it and we want you to vote to accept proposed changes, I thought I’d give you the heads-up as soon as possible. From today, the official report of the Governance Structure Review Working Party has been released and is on the OUSA website. We would really appreciate your feedback and hope to consult with as many students and clubs as possible over the coming weeks. (Email president@ousa.org.nz to have your say). I’m sure there will be full scrutiny in Critic in re-O Week (we changed the name back, officially) and at the end of the first week back we would like to hold a student forum to discuss the proposal, then open up voting (online) for a week. As well as voting on changes, we will also be putting forward the constitutional changes required to have SGMs officially held online. Thanks in advance for checking it out and telling me what you think!

T

here is a considerable amount of evidence that Maori do not have the same level of oral health as nonMaori across all age groups. Oral health disparities such as access to care exist, and one way to address ethnic inequalities in NZ is through Maori oral health workforce development. The first Maori to qualify in the dental sphere was Perle Taiaroa, who became a school dental nurse in 1926. Continuing her pilgrimage are a small but mighty number of Maori dental therapists, hygienists, and technicians. The first Maori dentist was Walter Morete, who obtained his Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1928. It wasn’t until 1974 that the first Maori dental specialist, Albert Kewene, graduated in Periodontics. According to DCNZ Workforce Analysis there are currently 40 Maori dentists registered with the Dental Council of New Zealand, representing only two percent of all active dentists. Nga Mokai o Nga Whetu was established in May 2007, with the purpose of increasing the recruitment, participation, development, and success of all Maori dental students. We currently have around 20 Maori undergraduate students enrolled at the School of Dentistry, of which nearly half are active participating members. Through the development of our association we hope to promote oranga niho (oral health) among Maori and encourage young Maori to enter dental tertiary courses, with provision of support during study and beyond. We encourage and support our members to attend the annual conference of Te Ao Marama, the NZ Maori Dental Association, and endeavour to make our appearance at this particular Hui an expected occurrence. This year we met inspirational people such as Minister Tariana Turia and Doctor Albert Kewene. With support from Te Roopu Maori we also subsidise the cost of our members undertaking clinical placements with Tipu Ora (Rotorua and Ngati Hine), Taranaki, and Raukura Hauora o Tainui. For Te Wiki O Te Reo (Maori Language Week), Nga Mokai will endeavour to present relevant educational resources to staff, patients, and students of the Dental School. We are currently developing a Memorandum of Understanding and Mentoring Programme with Te Ao Marama. In addition, we are investigating the feasibility of incorporating University of Auckland dental therapy students within the Nga Mokai roopu. Nga Mokai will endeavour to continue to evolve and be relevant to our dental students. If you would like to be a part of our vision please email us at ngamokai@otago.ac.nz. We would especially love to hear from any Bachelor of Oral Health and dental technician students. Naku Noa, Nga Mokai executive: Tumuaki Joy Tahere Secretary Abbey Corbett Treasurer Rachael Evans  BDS Rep Nick Stretton 


Letter of the Week

wins a $30 book voucher FAME? YOU WANT TO KNOW FAME? WAIT TO YOU GET COMPARED TO ROBERT PATTINSON ON OVERHEARD. ASK OUR EDITOR.

Dearest Critic, what do you mean by publishing a cartoon that acknowledges the existence of Capeguy but questions the existence/ identity of Capegirl? Have you not seen me around campus? Are you blind? How can you miss a giant red billowing cape with bare feet poking out under it? Are you a filthy Med or Maths or Physics or Theatre student or something, ‘cause those are the only students who have classes in buildings which I don’t frequent?! I’m a freakin’ Theology and Classics student, I have classes in every building, so long as it has small rooms! There is no excuse! I’ll have you know that I get people coming up to me even when I’m not wearing the cape, to ask me why I’m not wearing the cape! Last year when I walked down Castle Street barefoot and cloaked each day I was cheered by drunken scarfies on the Cookathons! Drunken sluts wander up to me and pretend like they know me, ‘cause they know my cape! Random guys stop their cars and warn me about “the big bad wolf”. Someone played me in the Knox Farce last year, for goodness’ sake, and if the Knox Farce isn’t fame, what is?! And granted, Capeguy has been around longer than me, but his cape isn’t even a cape, I could buy it straight from a clothing bin! My cape was carefully constructed by my mother from a costume pattern, and the double-layer shan-tung linen cost $80 in all! I can do swishy things with it that he could scarcely dream of! I was going to send you in a photo of me just in case you really have been living under a rock for the last three years, but maybe you don’t deserve it! Yeah, what now? Love, Capegirl 40

P.S. It’s actually a “cloak”, capes and cloaks are very different. But I’ve given up on trying to educate people, because “Capegirl” has kind of grown on me. P.P.S. Actually I just couldn’t be bothered scanning the photo. P.P.P.S. Actually I love Critic very much. Hoarding your magazine used to be one of my O.C.D. compulsions. P.P.P.P.S. No, really. I’m actually being serious. P.P.P.P.P.S. But if you do this again, I’ll have to send you a long angry letter entirely in dead languages – and not that boring old mainstream copout of a dead language, Latin. We’re talking Ancient Greek and Hebrew here, people. Do you even have those keyboard settings enabled on your computer? Yeah, I didn’t think so. P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Some of my best friends are Med/Maths/Physics/Theatre students, I swear. CRIME OF THE CENTURY.

Dear Refill Paper Thief, Cheers for not taking the course reader. Could I have my class notes back? They’re folded up in the middle of the pad paper … They’re kind important so do you think you could leave them where you found them? I’ll be checking. Cheers. Victim of Refill Paper Thief BRING BACK POETRY.

Dear Editor, We, the undersigned, wish to express our disappointment in the absence of a Poetry page in the 2010 Critic. This decision has apparently no foundation in logic. The magazine is not shorter, no other section has been completely removed and there is a startling amount of white space. An entire page is not essential for poetry, column would be sufficient, yet this option was never offered to the Poetry Editor. She was not even informed of this change until the time came for her to submit work. The Poetry page had become a place where tentative young poets could gain confidence and recognition from the Dunedin poetry community. Since the time of Brasch and Baxter, the University of Otago has prided itself on our poetic roots,

our encouragement of aspiring young writers, and the volume of work which has come from our University. In culling a vital part of our culture, you not only stifle and discourage burgeoning talent but you undermine the history of the University and students you claim to represent. The following signatories demand the return of the Poetry page; [46 Illegible Signatures] Thanks for your letter. The reasoning behind the decision to discontinue the Poetry page in Critic this year was made because it was felt that as the only ‘fiction’ page, it was out of place with all the other content. There were also concerns about how many people were reading it. This move is in keeping with what other student publications have done in recent years. Next semester, Critic is planning on doing an issue highlighting the considerable literary talents of students at Otago and we’re hoping to include short stories and poems. Hopefully those who signed this letter and others will be keen to contribute. More details will be made public closer to the time. Editor HEAD HURTS. FEEL SQUITTY.

To Teacher. OH GOSH. Leather skinny jeans on a chubby middle-aged lecturer. This is a calamity! The leather lycratard is the core from which emanates a horrific, yet also slightly fascinating Frankenstein-esque explosion of colour and cotton. The jeans stand upon a pair of worn, steel-toed work boots. This intrigues me. A lot. I find it highly unlikely that a man who will be studying Bertolt Brecht’s political commentary within his writings will also be constructing a megastructure in his spare time. The shiny, black cow-hide chaps flow upwards into a faded black t-shirt with an orange symbol on it. “punters – quality time.” Ok. Cool. The orange emblem is rivaled only by the faded purple dress shirt that is dishevelledly layered over top. It is a former shadow of what once would have belonged to the public face of Cadburys Chocolates when they announced that they had, in fact, copyrighted a shade of purple now called “Cadbury Purple ©” and he was sporting a brand-spanking new shirt in that particular colour. Now, I have no problem with man-jewellery, in fact I even wear a wee necklace myself. But it is NEVER


okay to EVER wear THREE accessories around ones neck. Don’t shake a baby. Don’t over accessorise your neck. Pretty much the same thing. Choose one of the following: jade necklace, laser pointer on a piece of string, piece of string that has keys, USB drive, donut etx on it that rests in faded Cadbury Purple © dress shirt. Now discard the other two. Congratulations. You have taken the first step to looking less like a multicoloured copyright infringement with tight leather pants that make your arse look big. Sincerely, Uneducated due to your freaky fashion

right to vote. Is it too much to ask if I can choose when I vote and how I vote? I don’t need a random vomiting their political opinions on me. (I would have liked objective information though) 2) International Socialists are annoying; I left because of them. You came across as stupid. (and you guys are like babies always asking for this and that, always saying what you think. The wise listens)  I know I’m being hypocritical 3) Harriet had it bang on; I really liked the online SGM idea; it would mean I don’t have to listen to IS? Juno Pyun

PEOPLE ARE SO ANGRY THESE DAYS.

Dear Green Finger, Where do I start?!? The first $10,000 be taxfree. For fuck sake, this liberal fantasy is a delusion. The budgets tax cuts for high and middle incomes are about keeping skilled people in New Zealand and those who actually contribute to the economy, not the welfare dependents. It is about reinvestment into the productive economy to create wealth for greater frontline social services, and not needless bureaucracy which the Labour Party is renowned for. We need to create the right incentives for people to increase their incomes and grow the economy as a whole. You and James Cluck socialists alike have never grasped the concept of how the REAL world works. The RICH pay more the majority of things in this country. The governments tax base is primarily made up of those who earn between $70,000 to $120,000 a year, low and middle income earners who have children and receive working for families virtually don’t pay tax. Taxing the rich only restricts New Zealand economic capacity for higher paying job. Sucking on the tit of the New Zealand tax payer is NOT productive. This budget was about shifting towards a more productive economy, and helping those who create the wealth and jobs of this country!! Its not about individual interest, it’s about the national interest. Sincerely yours, Ashton Jones NOTED.

To Critic Three things 1) SGM sucked; I want to have my

ALSO NOTED.

Dear international socialists, Can you please cease your “we have the support of the majority of students” and “stuff that matters to students is student politics” rubbish? You are talking out of your asses and you know it. If student politics really mattered, as you claim, why do SGM’s have such poor attendance? You only have the support of the few students that bother to turn up to SGM’s, but that’s it, now fuck off. Perhaps, as part of the University’s Master Plan they could ban ISO from campus, that would certainly clean the place up. -Stuart Berry ps. to the grammar nazi - your as foolish as the socialists if you think anyone cares LETTERS POLICY Letters should be 200 words or less. The deadline is Tuesday at 5pm. Get them to us by putting them in the mailbox under the Union stairs, emailing us at critic@critic.co.nz, or posting them to us at PO Box 1436, Dunedin.

ECO ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2010 omy: “Environment, Conservation & Econ Foundations for the Future” e July 2–4 2010, Living Springs Conferenc Centre in Lyttelton, Christchurch. her The ECO Conference will bring toget and s group ental onm envir a wide range of ssions, individuals with presentations, discu skilland interactive workshops. Join us in sharing, learning, and getting inspired! n. Check out eco.org.nz for more informatio

STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES A Review of Student Health Serv ices is to take place 7–9 July 2010 which will look at Student Welfare and Support. The Review Panel invit es students to participate by send ing in a written submission. For full Term s of Reference and information on how to make a submission see otago.ac. nz/ quality/reviews/currentrev.html . The deadline for submissions is Frida y 18 June. Contact the Review Secr etary annabel.rutherford@otago.ac.nz

DUNEDIN FILM SOCIETY SCREENING June 2 – The Colour Of Paradise – Poignant Iranian drama about the troubled relationship between a father whose wife has died and his blind son, who may be touched by the Divine. Screening begins at 7:30pm in the Red Lecture Theatre. Free to full members. Casual admission possible. Website: dunedinfilmsociety.tripod.com

STUDENTSOUL Cafe church for students. Service Sunday 6 April 7pm, George Street School Hall. Speaker: Rev Helen Harray. Contact Helen on 0274730042.

All letters must include full contact details (name, street address and phone number), even if you don’t want these details printed. Letters of a serious nature addressing an individual will not be published under a pseudonym, except in extraordinary circumstances as negotiated with the Editor. Critic reserves the right to edit, abridge, or decline letters without explanation. We don’t fix the spelling or grammar in letters. If the letter writer looks stupid, it’s because they are.

NOTICES POLICY Notices must be fewer than 50 words in length and must be submitted to Critic by 5pm on Tuesday before you want it to run. You can get notices to us by emailing critic@critic. co.nz or bringing them to the Critic office. We accept up to five notices a week from non-profit organisations and other student-related groups that aren’t looking to make a bit of dosh.

41


< ; 05 rt 17 e a use s â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 95 th . Ăł n 16 ik , n itik i it sm kr ed : r l ic in k i ig k itic of kil rit Or < G cr m. , s . c e al ; r F of f tic ng of ri gi c ud j

42


Red Dead Redemption:

PS3 and XBox 360

R

ed Dead Redemption is a game set in the Old West of the United States. It is a truly epic game produced by Rockstar, the same company that made the Grand Theft Auto games. The story takes place in an open world sandbox environment, and unlike other recent sandbox games, this one is actually fun. In Red Dead Redemption you play as a man who is trying to save his family by killing the leader of the gang he use to ride. The world is absolutely beautiful, and, as you ride through it accompanied by the Western sound track, it feels as if you are in an old Clint Eastwood movie. This is the only truly great Western game that has been made, far out-performing the others in its category. With amazing scenery, engaging missions, and good mechanics, this game is a joy to play. Red Dead Redemption is one of the best game I have played in years, and definitely the best sandbox game I have ever played. It uses the solid, proven mechanics from Grand Theft Auto IV, moves them into a new and engaging environment, and adds new, intuitive mechanics that make you feel right at home in the old western setting. There are a few minor errors with a glitch here and there, and the physics arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always perfect. Fortunately, these defects are far and few between and can usually be easily overlooked. Ever since I became interested in video games, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve wanted this game, or one almost identical to it, to exist. Rockstar has achieved an incredible feat, and the bottom line is that if you are a fan of Westerns, Grand Theft Auto, or just good video games, this is a must!

43


W

ith a vibrancy befitting his cartoon alter ego, Hopepa warmed up the small alcove we were forced under by the rain in a way only someone living their dream can. Having been drawn into the fold of Fat Freddy’s Drop only months after their inception, his bad ho jelly-roll dance moves and loose maneuvres on the trombone have become one of the defining characteristics of the Freddy’s experience. His inclusion into the group occurred with ease – “I would turn up to their gigs, and was really excited by what they were doing. I thought ‘I could do that,’ so I brought my horn and waited for them to invite me on stage. I’d wait to catch Warren [Maxwell] or Mu’s eye to get invited up to play a solo. Toby [Laing] was busy with the Black Seeds often, and Warren was busy with Trinity Roots, and so I’d get the call from Mu to play. After a while I was doing so many gigs that they thought I better get signed up – persistence pays off in that regard.” After the travails of their debut Based On A True Story – an “onerous, drawn-out, painful process” according to Hopepa – the band became a national success story, and received international accolades as well. Their underground nature almost resulted in the exclusion of their key single, ‘Wandering Eye’, a tune thought of as ‘too obvious’ – “It’s been a blessing and a curse,” explains Hopepa, “it’s brought a lot of attention and success from the mainstream, but it’s not really who we are in terms of how we make music. We’re almost trying to rejoin the underground in a way.” The nationalistic fervour surrounding Fat Freddy’s success would seem to make that rejoining a tricky procedure. “It’s good to be appreciated by as many people as possible, and I’m not trying to be elitist, but you don’t want to be caught dumbing your shit down because you want to make some sales. I don’t feel we think about that shit too much in a way. It’s more – this is the song, this is how we think it should go, and keep true to that.” And the band are still keeping it live, and creating new music every time they perform, as attendees of The Freddy’s Show in Dunedin on June 6 will be able to attest. “We try to keep it live and improvise. I love that fear of fucking shit up, it’s really good. It’s really liberating and stimulating. I love it when we fuck up. Sometimes when you come up with your best shit is when you’re doing something wrong, and I’m doing shit wrong all the time.” The Freddy’s Show, Sunday 6th June, The Regent Theatre, Dunedin. Tickets from Ticket Direct and Amplifier.

44


Fornax Chemica

Chemical Furnace Universal

T

he phrase “strictly better” is used in some strategy games to describe when one move, choice, or play is better than another in any given circumstance. It isn’t often used in reviews. The notion of a book, movie, or song always being better than another doesn’t traditionally bind well with the concept of subjectivity. Regardless, I can safely say that Lateralus, the 2001 release from prog-metal giant Tool, is strictly better than Fornax Chemica’s new album Chemical Furnace. Everything about Chemical Furnace emulates Lateralus. Everything. It has the same chugachuga guitar with the ‘proggy’ interludes. It has the same drum sound, complete with the same time signatures. The same bass sound. The only thing which is missing is the vocals. Fornax Chemica foregoes them. Maybe they couldn’t find anyone who sounded enough like Maynard James Keenan? There is little point in pursuing this review further. Chemical Furnace is unashamedly identical, and I mean IDENTICAL, to an instrumental release of Lateralus. They had might as well have removed the vocal track and resold the album with a ‘Fornax Chemica’ sticker over the Tool logo. If you are the biggest Tool fan the world has ever seen, you may want to listen to this. It will sound familiar.

The Outsiders

The Words Will Write Themselves Universal

W

ellington-based band The Outsiders have been touring relentlessly for their debut album, These Words Will Write Themselves. Live, these songs are fast paced, catchy, and more than anything, fantastic to listen to. Unfortunately, they do not have the same effect on the album. The album is solid and couldn’t be called bad; however, it lacks the energy that these guys have on stage. These Words Will Write Themselves opens well with ‘The Other Half’, where Stu Young starts the album strongly on bass. The second song, ‘Blue Skies’, is catchy – so catchy I found myself humming the chorus during the day. The standout track on the album is ‘This House Ain’t A Home’, which has a fast punk drumbeat and is closer to the sound from the demo the band released two years ago. The final track that I feel deserves mention is ‘Freddy Fudd Naked Again’, which talks about The Outsiders’ time touring as a band. These songs make it even harder to say this, but the album as a whole is rather bland. It did grow on me considerably the more I listened to it, especially the first few songs, but it still could not compare to these guys live, and I fear that this will take away a lot from a band that deserves more. If you get the chance, have a listen to it – but more than anything, make sure you catch these guys next time they’re here, as they’re awesome live.

45


Paper Heart

Directed by Nick Jasenovic

C

harlyne Li doesn’t believe in love. She has never been in love, and thinks she probably never will be. To see what she is missing out on, she sets out on a trip across the U.S. with director Nick Jasenovic to make a documentary about love and the mystery surrounding it. Very cleverly written, Paper Heart is half documentary film and half fiction. Starting off as a normal documentary, the film takes a twist when Charlyne meets Michael Cera (starring as himself) at a party. Charlyne doesn’t know who Cera is, and when they are introduced, she doesn’t take much of a liking to him. Despite this, Cera takes an interest in her and the two start seeing each other. Charlyne and Michael’s budding relationship becomes the main focus of the film, with the camera crew following them each date they go on. Awkward, huh ... Charlyne talks to many interesting characters on her quest to find out about true love. She interviews members of a biker gang, celebrants at tacky Las Vegas wedding chapels, a couple of gay men, some old couples, scientists, and many others. Everyone has a different story and a different view on what love is. Both being goofy and a bit awkward, Charlyne and Michael have great onscreen chemistry. The fact that Charlyne finds a boyfriend whilst making a documentary does not feel forced at all, rather a natural progression of her discoveries about love and all its wonders. A charming and quirky story about love in its many shapes and forms, Paper Heart is not cheesy or overly romantic. Funny yet sincere, it is a film that everyone will enjoy. Letters To Juliet

Directed by Gary Winnick

I

n Letters to Juliet, an interesting premise leads to a uninteresting rom-com. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is an aspiring journalist. She and her fiancé, Viktor, travel to Verona together. But the trip isn’t as romantic as she’d hoped: Viktor blatantly ignores her most of the time, making you wonder how they ever got as far as engagement. Sophie finds solace in reading the letters written to Juliet Capulet by other uncertain young women from all over the world. She finds one dated 1957, writes back – and within the week, the woman, now an older lady, Clare (Vanessa Redgrave), and her dashing grandson Charlie (Home and Away’s Chris Egan, sporting an English accent) appear in Verona. Clare intends to right the wrongs of her past and find the man she never married. It becomes an escapade. Clare and Sophie pursue the elusive Lorenzo, and Charlie sulks and resents Sophie in the background. Then: surprise, surprise, Charlie is not so horrid after all. In fact, he is a stand-up gentleman. But Sophie is engaged to the biggest idiot in America! What to do? Both tales end as you’d expect. The film ends up being nothing more than a regurgitation of tired plotlines, set against a sunny Italian backdrop. The final love scene is worst of all – clichés every way you turn. But this is the genre of romantic comedy – and, as long as you’re female, you’ll be able to overlook Letters to Juliet’s faults and leave the cinema with a smile.

46


L What Darwin Got Wrong

Jerry Fodor and Massimo PiattelliParmarini Profile

et’s get this straight: Fodor and Piattelli-Parmarini (F&PP) are not creationists; they are atheists through and through. They don’t deny that species are descended from other species; their argument is over how this happened. Neo-Darwinians think that evolution occurred by ‘natural selection’ (NS): Populations (e.g., species) evolve because their members vary on heritable traits, which lead to differential reproductive success. F&PP’s charge is simple: this ain’t how populations evolve. Their argument is less simple, and consists of empirical and conceptual objections. The empirical objection is intended to dethrone the idea that most biological traits are selected for in this way. Instead, they appeal to a slew of non-adaptationist factors (e.g., genetic drift, frequency dependent selection, freeriding, internal constraints. By the way, they do a great job summarising the research on these to a lay audience). But we’ve known about all this for decades. They’re right that NS isn’t the only evolutionary player, but this is an uninteresting claim. More interesting is their assertion that NS is at best a minor player, but this assertion is unsurprisingly unsubstantiated, since it’s an empirical claim that’s still heavily under investigation. The conceptual objection is against NS’s central explanatory concept: ‘selection for’. According to neoDarwinians, nature selected for the oxygen-bearing properties of haemoglobin, not its redness, even though these two properties always co-occur. F&PP argue that this is false, unless nature can tell these two properties apart, which they can’t, unless nature is an agent (which is absurd). But F&PP take things too literally. All neo-Darwinians mean is that the oxygen-bearing properties of haemoglobin (not its redness) caused increased reproductive success. Nature doesn’t have to know this for it to be the case, though scientists might want to know which properties of traits increase reproductive success (i.e., were selected for). So, the conceptual objection is interesting, but misled. F&PP conclude their work by declaring that there are no laws in biology. Evolutionary explanations are historical explanations, not deductive-nomological ones. These are meant to be controversial claims, but they’re not. Evolutionary theorists have been saying this for decades. Once again, F&PP are right, but uninteresting.

V

The Rehearsal

Elanor Catton

ictoria University Press does a strong line in novels written by photogenic dark-haired young women with fringes. The majority are graduates of Victoria University’s creative writing program. I struggle to tell a lot of these woman apart, and after a few drinks, it can seem that all these books are more or less about the same thing, too (roughly speaking, it’s their mothers). I know this is wrong, but when a book like Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal comes along, its genius really just reinforces my basic sense of the banality of so much else. It is an amazing book. Catton was 23 when she finished it, and this alone is terrifying. It concerns a group of aspiring drama students putting on their end-of-year show. But this is a little like saying the Bible is a father-son story. It doesn’t really do it justice. The Rehearsal is incredible, lurching from reality to dreamy internal worlds, on and off stage with ease, often in the same sentence. When she does the monotonous realism of her cadre, it is simply preparation for something far stranger a few pages on. Catton’s control of her characters is fierce without being intrusive, and quite simply, leaves me proud and thankful that she was born in New Zealand rather than somewhere else. I’m sure London will swallow her up with the likes of Emily Perkins, whose prose she clearly has read, but until that happens, I’ll wait eagerly for whatever Catton sees fit to write next.

47


Review

T

The 39 Steps

hey don’t give up, they damn well keep going.” – Richard Hannay The 39 Steps, performed by an extremely skilled cast of four, opened to a very appreciative audience on a cold and rather dismal Dunedin evening. Akin to a two-and-a-half-hour round of high-energy theatre sports, this play was one where the narrative was intriguing but didn’t really matter. The actors played with each other and played with the audience and they never let their focus or energy lag; they just damned well kept going. Davies and Still had the most fun. This Tweedledee and Tweedledum pairing showcased tens of characters each, varying in stature, accent, costume, and even sex. Watching these two play was an absolute joy. The standout character of the evening had to be Davies’ ‘decrepit Scottish man’. As Davies entered the space like a newborn foal, limbs akimbo, one could not but marvel at the immaculate command he had over his body. Kudos should also go to Davies for indulging in the performance of the most strenuous death scene ... ever. Norris used the space to its fullest extent, allowing her actors the luxury of injecting themselves into (and at times onto) the audience. These moments were very organic – the actors earned this luxury and they were a treat for the audience. This high-energy, high-spirited romp is packed with delightful characters, staging, and costumes. This show really is a credit to the incredible physical talents of the cast and I would suggest that it is worth venturing out on a cold winter evening to experience the joy that is The 39 Steps.

Adapted by Patrick Barlow Directed by Hilary Norris Starring Patrick Davies, Anna Henare, Mark Neilson, and Danny Still Fortune Theatre Mainstage

LTT Review Voyager VI

Directed by Jimmy Currin Devised and starring THEA152 Semester One students

48

T

his Voyager installation was ambitious and inventive. This stream of THEA 152 students – approximately 25 people, I am going to guess – staged the murder trial of the fictional Paulie Lorenzo. Voyager is designed to be a showcase for the Theatre Technology students, and ironically what often seems to let these productions down is the technical components. Keep it simple and focus on really showing us what you are capable of. Make sure you have a strong command over your gestures and voice and remember to stand in the light and then build from there. I would suggest that less is often more. With that off my chest … it was clear a lot of time and effort into this production, and this should be commended. Seeing students throw themselves into their work like this is both encouraging and exciting. The concept was innovative and the audience interaction with the crime scene and the aftermath of the murder meant that the audience could grasp a real sense of the extent of a murder investigation. Remember, no decision is ever made lightly.


COLIN MCCAHON

Brett McDowell Gallery

T

he Colin McCahon exhibition at the Brett McDowell Gallery was a visually startling and emotionally evocative experience. Colin McCahon is regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest painters of the 20th century and he continues to have influence over a generation of modern New Zealand artists. McCahon was an artist and writer whose works are characterised chiefly by an ability to convey a critical and philosophical enquiry, which probes the depths of the human condition. This subjective exploration of the human condition is why McCahon’s work continues to resonate with viewers posthumously, both locally and internationally. McCahon’s works predominantly use the Modernist convention of the flattened, broken picture plane with reinterpretations of various Modernist styles, including Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and Cubism. This is particularly evident in what one would regard as his most visually alluring piece, View from the top of the cliff, Muriwai (1971). This piece is breathtaking, reminiscent of Monet’s Soliel Levant (1872). McCahon masterfully substituted the New Zealand landscape’s visual reality for that of his own image of the landscape through his dynamic application of subjective emotional responses. This use of landscape to convey concerns for spirituality was a primary concern for McCahon. This is evident in works such as Moby Dick is sighted off Muriwai Beach (1972), and Brenda in NZ (1967), which has a strong organic quality. These two works, as well as View from Top of the Cliff, Muriwai (1971), were also produced to express McCahon’s desire to communicate his environmental concern for the West Auckland area, where he had established a studio at Muriwai beach. McCahon’s works exhibit religious undertones, not only via the landscapes (which denote a strong sense of spirituality) but also through his exploration of the human condition. His works throughout his career dealt with Christian themes – not only did he bring Biblical themes into the contemporary world, but he also related his concerns for the notions of life, death, faith and spirituality. This is particularly evident in such works as The Three Marys at the Tomb (1947) and 15 Drawings (1952), both of which have strong religious undertones and are of Cubist influence.

49


50



ISSUE 13, 2010