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Issue 24 | September 17, 2012 | critic.co.nz


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Issue 24 | September 17, 2012 | critic.co.nz

Editor Joe Stockman Art Sam Clark Daniel Alexander Sam Stutch Words Callum Fredric

Activist group defaces planet

06

Anti-climate change group Generation Zero has defaced the University with drab, organic, possibly patchouli-scented graffiti.

Maddy Phillipps Michael Neilson Katie Kenny Zane Pocock Gus Gawn Ines Shennan Isaac Mcfarlane Toby Hills

18-21

Bronwyn Wallace Beaurey Chan Josef Alton

What the Art Critic’s resident art nerd Zane Pocock delves deep into the state of art, avoiding the Pandora’s box of a question “What is art?” like the plague.

Sarah Baillie Josie Adams Ronald McDonald Margot Taylor Alice Mcrae Georgina Klein

22-25

Holly Walker Sam McChesney

Apollo’s Arrow Josef Alton investigates the modern obsession with winning at any cost.

Brittany Mann Lukas Clark-Memler Jamie Burford Toby Newberry Rheymin Yau Lucy Hunter Taryn Dryfhout Lulu Sandston

26-28

U – Create Katie Kenny assesses the nature of creativity, and its status within the University.

Rana Saad Jehandad

P.O. Box 1436, Dunedin (03) 479 5335 critic@critic.co.nz critic.co.nz

06-11 NEWS 12-13 SPORTS 16-28 FEATURES

30-35 COLUMNS 36-43 CULTURE 44-45 LETTERS

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Critic is a member of the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). Disclaimer: the views presented within this publication do not

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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.

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3


NZ Fashion Tech’s “fast tracked” programmes were perfect for Louise. She has now secured herself a great job at Longbeach Apparel Louise Longbeach Apparel

4

critic.co.nz


A RT Y

It’s OUSA Art Week this week, so Critic have turned the laser beam of our attention to the art world. Zane Pocock explores the local art world and where it might be headed, Katie Kenny takes a look at creativity and its place in tertiary education, and Books Editor Josef Alton compares the two famous Armstrongs’ images in popular culture. I’m not really qualified to speak about the arts, despite my Arts (humanities) degree. Even as a toddler I wasn’t much for arts and crafts. I only painted once at play centre, taking a piece of paper and covering it entirely in black paint. I’m amazed I didn’t end up in kiddy counselling. Yet I can still see the value in art. It’s supposed to challenge accepted wisdoms, to comment on contemporary culture and society, and to act as a form of historical record, allowing humanity to turn its gaze on itself and understand a different time, different ideas, and different values.

“Sure, there is something to be said for being forced to think through a piece;

What I don’t like is art that artists refuse, and enjoy

to engage with it and understand its

refusing, to explain. Sure, there is something to be said

multiple levels of complexity.”

for being forced to think through a piece; to engage with it and understand its multiple levels of complexity. But when un-established artists answer the question “So, what were you trying to say here?” with “Oh, it’s whatever you want it to be,” I die a little bit inside. It is a stumbling block, possibly a deliberate hurdle preventing people who aren’t “in” the art world from entering. The point of art, or “What is Art?” is a shit of a question, and as well as being completely unqualified, I don’t know the answer. But I think that, generally, artists should be aiming for one of two things: to keep the viewer’s attention for as long as they ask for it, or to challenge the viewer to think about something in a different way. The picture is of my favourite piece of art, Toro by Picasso. He was rummaging in his garage and found an old bike seat and handlebars. That’s just the way his mind worked – everything could be turned into art. - Joe Stockman

critic.co.nz

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N EWS

Environmental Bandits Pollute Otago Campus By Bella Macdonald

G

University policies state that any chalking, writing, posting of bills, painting of any University building is prohibited. However, chalk on pave-

eneration Zero have tested the theory that all publicity is good

ments is acceptable due to its temporary nature.

publicity, after defacing University buildings with promotional propaganda on the evening of Sunday September 9.

Critic spoke to the Proctor, who encouraged alternative forms of publicity such as flyers, banners and radio advertisements. He suggested

Generation Zero members from the University of Otago have been

that activists should plan their actions more carefully to avoid counterpro-

punished by the Proctor after their publicity stunt promoting a three day

ductive results: “People are protesting against hydrocarbons in air – they

youth climate summit, Power Shift, left the area around Union Hall and

should think about what we use to remove their work.”

the Richardson buildings defaced.

The punishment for graffiti is usually for the perpetrator to cover

The “graffiti” involved a chalk, flour, and water mix, as well as a mud

the cost of removing the graffiti, while repeat offenders could face other

mix that over time grows into moss. This eco-unfriendly concoction was

penalties such as fines or community service. In extreme cases, a student’s

spread on pavements and up the walls of university buildings, leading up

continued presence at the university could be in jeopardy.

to Power Shift logos. The graffiti was designed to launch the Otago region’s

The Proctor explained: “If we permit one or two things, it opens the

promotion for the event, which is to be held between 7-9 December in

floodgates and Dunedin will look like the drive from Auckland Airport into

Auckland.

the City, a sea of graffiti.”

Generation Zero’s National Co-coordinator, Louis Chambers, told Critic

Chambers stated that their punishment of repaying the removal costs

that the goal of Power Shift, which has been organised by Generation Zero

was “legit as the University has a strong policy, but we thought chalk could

and 350, is “to educate and mobilise 1000 youths between 16-30 years

have been okay as it is temporary.” He says the $250 fine is expected to

old, from all over the Pacific, and for them to go out and promote climate

be paid by those involved.

change within their own communities.”

6

critic.co.nz


NEWS

College Has Inferiority Complex …Can’t Take The Hard Knocks By Zane Pocock

College is strengthened to 67% of NBS, then it

Presbyterian church) by a further 68 rooms in

D

should not be inhabited by students. To this end,

total, enabling them to pay off the loans over

r. John Kernohan, chairman of the

the University is considering lending money to

time. An elevator would also be installed in the

Presbyterian Commission, which is

the project.

main building, retaining as “much of the historic

currently governing Knox College, says

character of the place as possible.”

that the fort-esque student hall may have to

This is unwelcome news for the College’s 220

pull up the drawbridge for the last time if they

current residents and those who are a part of

Not straying far from the headlines this week,

are unable to raise the $10.8 million of funding

the its 103 years of history. As such, Kernohan

Knox is also looking to expand the number of

needed to undertake earthquake strengthening,

is confident that the “chances are good” that the

secondary schools from which it accepts res-

fire protection and extension work by the end of

money can be raised in time. For Kernohan, this

idents. This follows the publication of figures

October. Should it go ahead, the project would

has involved discussions with church-connected

in the annual Knoxonian magazine, which

be completed over the coming summer break.

parties to secure low-interest loans. However, he

show that 40.5% of residents over the past six

did confirm that “the commission believes that

years came from only 14 different secondary

Several years ago, the College’s main building

unless the earthquake strengthening work is

schools. Of these schools, 12 were rated Decile

was rated at less than 20% of the NBS (new

done then Knox shouldn’t be used,” and that if

10 and seven were private, raising concerns that

building standard) for earthquake strength, sig-

the College closed, it “might not reopen.”

residents have been unable to meet “a range of

nificantly worse than the bare minimum of 34%

new friends” over this time, according to Dr. Ker-

required to avoid a classification of “earthquake

$5 million of the funding would be used to

nohan. It remains to be seen how residents will

prone”. John Patrick, chief operating officer of

expand the number of residents at Knox Col-

treat these commoners invading their already

the University of Otago, has said that unless the

lege and Salmond College (also owned by the

shaky territory.

critic.co.nz

7


N EWS

Trespassed for being NORML By Bella Macdonald

issued. However, the head of NORML, Abe Gray, believes this latest crack-

T

down is part of the University’s plan to get rid of the 420 group. “The Uni he grass is no longer greener on the University of Otago’s side

is just testing the waters to hand them [trespass orders] out. They have a

after the Uni issued several Trespass orders against members of

‘we don’t like you, you’re stoners’ attitude.”

National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

– without explaining why.

The University is not allowed to issue trespass notices to students, but the 420 group is allowed a certain non-student percentage in their club,

On Wednesday September 12, Police issued trespass orders to a handful

who now appear to have been targeted by the University.

of non-student members of NORML, who according to fellow members “occasionally attend 420 gatherings” on the Universities Union Lawn.

NORML member, Paul, who was issued a trespass order over two years ago, told Critic: “It overrides the idea of a free society, and it’s unbecoming

Critic contacted members of NORML to confirm the number of notices

of the University.”

issued, but due to the distraction caused by the extremely long mozza-

Despite New Zealand having the highest use of cannabis per person

rella strands swaying off their pizzas, they were unable to confirm this

according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,

information.

Paul made it clear that this was not the issue at hand: “It’s niggly, petty

There is no legal obligation to state why a trespass order is being

harassment.”

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critic.co.nz


NEWS

Students Engaging in Hubba-Hubba with no Rubber

By Josie Adams

The survey revealed that safe sex prac-

lack of surprise at the results: “Most people have

tices among uni students were more relaxed

drunken sex stories to tell,” said a 20-year-old

esults are in from a 2009 University

than those of high school students: 63% of our

English student, “although that pregnancy

of Otago Department of Preventative

younger brethren used a condom during their

statistic is a bit surprising. People just don’t

and Social Medicine survey which ques-

last encounter. It was found that 3 – 4% of the

talk about it.”

tioned nearly 3000 17 – 26 year old university

women surveyed have experienced an uninten-

Several potential causes of the rising rate

students across New Zealand about their sexual

tional pregnancy, 74% of which were terminated.

of infections and teen pregnancies have been

R

practices.

One of the project’s researchers, Rebecca

suggested. Family Planning chief executive

With no update in national sexual health

Psutka, told Critic: “I think that in New Zealand

Jackie Edmond told the Waikato Times, “We

and behaviour data for over 20 years, the release

sexual health is neglected, when in fact it is actu-

continue to have inadequate sexual education

of this study is of vital importance to keeping

ally an important component of overall health

in schools, and there are issues around young

track of what’s really happening in student

and wellbeing.” She pointed out that education

women feeling comfortable in initiating condom

bedrooms.

should go hand-in-hand with healthcare: “In

use.”

The survey revealed that 54% of the sample

general, if you have had sex without a condom

Studies conducted elsewhere show that

had used a condom during their last sexual

you should go to Student Health or your GP and

New Zealand university students almost

experience, and one in five had three or more sex

get tested for STIs, since the majority of STIs are

unanimously attribute unsafe, unhappy, and

partners in the past year. Notably, one in 20 had

asymptomatic. Testing is very straightforward,

unwanted sexual experiences to the heavy

either experienced or caused an unintentional

but if you don’t test, you don’t know.”

student drinking culture.

pregnancy.

University of Otago students expressed a

Otago University’s Two Dirty Little Secrets By Callum Fredric

T

Pietsch was expected to talk about alterna-

Despite these setbacks, the presentation

tives to the Uni’s current use of coal to generate

attracted a healthy audience of 100-200. Speak-

wo University staff members cancelled

energy, while Phipps was intending to talk about

ers criticised the University’s use of lignite coal,

their plans to speak at an OUSA Envi-

the Uni’s moves toward sustainability.

describing it as “an outdated form of fossil fuel

ronment Week presentation on the

Gen Zero members told Critic that the Uni-

University’s use of lignite coal, apparently after

versity may have been spooked by the combat-

discussions with the University’s communica-

ive title of the presentation, although there was

One speaker was described by organisers

tions section.

also speculation that this latest cancellation was

as a “Southland local who is directly impacted

indicative of a recent trend of University staff

by these plans”. Her speech was critcised by one

declining to speak at public presentations.

attendee as “a storm of clichés, invoking terms

Energy Manager Hans Pietsch and Environmental Sustainability Co-ordinator Dr Hilary

that is inefficient to use and has an incredibly high carbon footprint.”

Phipps were due to speak at a presentation last

When contacted by Critic, University com-

like ‘disaster’ and ‘catastrophe’,” as well as sev-

Thursday organised by Generation Zero, entitled

munications staff said they were unaware of staff

eral witty references to John Key as “Shonkey”.

Otago University’s Dirty Little Secret. Critic was

withrawing from the event, despite Hernandez’s

told by OUSA Welfare Officer Francisco Hernan-

claim that they were involved in the decision.

Other speakers proposed an “adopt a lecturer” campaign, encouraging all attendees to

dez that Phipps told him she withdrew from the

The presentation was hit by a further blow

speak to a lecturer about the “evils of lignite”,

event following a discussion with the Otago’s

when former Green Party co-leader Jeanette

which will lead on to a joint staff/student cam-

communications team. Both staff members

Fitzsimons was unable to Skype in to the pres-

paign. Generation Zero is also aiming to present

emailed the event’s organisers to say they had

entation due to “technical difficulties”, possibly

the University with 2000 signatures opposing

mutually agreed that it would be inappropriate

because her solar-powered laptop was thwarted

the Uni’s use of lignite.

for them to attend.

by an inconsiderate cloud. critic.co.nz

9


N EWS

Student Jewry Sentences AUSA President to Insincere Apology By Callum Fredric

demanded an official apology from Williams

apologised to the forum “for not treating it like

A

“for visiting an apartheid country under an

the personal issue it was, for something that’s

rena Williams, the President of the

international boycott” and “for not representing

quite traumatic for generations of people

Auckland University Students’ Asso-

or consulting with students” about the trip.

involved in the conflict.” She will be issuing a

ciation (AUSA), has been forced to

Another SJP spokesperson went further,

written apology later in the week after con-

apologise after taking a 10-day trip to Israel,

saying Williams “has soiled our good name and

sulting with her executive. Critic wonders how

funded by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs

helped to legitimise the genocide, torture, land

sincere and heartfelt Williams’ apology can

Council (AIJAC).

theft and military occupation being committed

possibly be, given that she was forced to make

by Israel against the Palestinian people on a

it by a popular vote.

According to its website, AIJAC “endeavours to highlight and counteract instances of anti-Is-

daily basis.”

Williams told Critic: “All student leaders

rael bias and misinformation in the Australian

A student forum was held on Wednesday

should be able to go and experience these

media and the wider public debate.” The organ-

in the University of Auckland quad, with over

things with their own eyes. It requires a lot of

isation has funded trips to Israel for a number of

200 students attending. Three motions relating

responsibility on their part to be able to look at

young leaders from New Zealand and Australia

to Williams’ Israel trip were put to the vote and

the situation critically and not just be spoon-

in 2012, although the invitees are always techni-

succeeded with a clear majority – firstly, that

fed whatever information they’re given when

cally invited in a personal capacity. On Williams’

Williams should be censured for taking the trip;

they do go. But in future it would be very sad if

July trip, she was accompanied by Young Labour

secondly, that Williams should make an apology

student leaders who get offered experiences like

Youth Vice-President Glenn Riddell and Young

relating to the trip; and thirdly, that exec mem-

this from any organisation have to turn them

Nationals President Sean Topham.

bers “must consult” with the student body when

down.”

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were

visiting “contentious places”.

furious to find out about Williams’ trip, and

Following the successful motions, Williams

OUSA Is So Gay

companies?” was added into the referendum

But a mechanism in the OUSA constitution

late last week due to a petition by Presidential

means that if 100 members sign a petition, it

hopeful Dan Stride, which surpassed the 100

can go into the referendum. “It’s quite a good

signatures required to be included.

mechanism,” Jono says. “So good on them. I

By Zane Pocock

C

Administrative Vice President Jono Rowe

mean, it shows it’s relevant.”

andidate nominations are open for the

told Critic that “initially it wasn’t there because

However, he said: “My personal opinion is

election of OUSA’s 2013 Executive, from

we didn’t see that it met the core values of

no, we shouldn’t adopt an opinion. We should

9am this Monday 17 September until

OUSA.”

keep our powder dry and focus on other issues

4pm this Thursday 20 September. Voting is set

“We took a restricted view of these core

to occur over the same time period in the week

values post-VSM,” Jono said. These core values

The referendum will also include the ques-

after nominations close.

were defined “to be issues surrounding student

tion “Should OUSA support the Marriage Equality

welfare, interests and relevance.”

Bill currently before Parliament?” When queried

During the election period there will also be a referendum on what positions OUSA should officially take on several issues. The question “Should OUSA oppose the privatisation of state-owned electricity

10

such as post-graduate allowances.”

Under VSM (Voluntary Student Member-

as to how this is different, Rowe told Critic that

ship), OUSA perceived a risk of losing members

“we see a link there” on the basis of OUSA having

if they were to “approach non-student issues

a Queer Support Coordinator and affiliated LGBT

which are highly divisive.”

associations.

critic.co.nz


NEWS

Otago Succeeds 50% of Massey Students DROP OUT By Margot Taylor

A

No data was available for Otago students’

the type of improvement we have been working

rate of progression to higher-level study, while

towards. It shows the tertiary sector is respond-

series of tertiary league tables

88% of Otago students either re-enrolled at the

ing to our signals to focus on performance and

released by the Tertiary Education

university for the following academic year or

to deliver better value for taxpayers’ money”.

Commission place the University

completed their qualifications.

Joyce and Minister of Education Hekia

of Otago first in two out of four performance

The university has also maintained its

Parata announced that the Government plans

areas. The study was conducted to reveal how

position as one of the top 300 universities in the

to continue the success of New Zealand tertiary

taxpayer-subsidised students in New Zealand

world. This is the fifth consecutive year in which

institutions through the implementation of

are performing in tertiary study.

Otago has ranked in the top 201-300 universities

“incentives”. The ministers aim to ensure that

The four performance areas were successful

list, which is created by researchers at Shanghai

55% of 24-35 year olds have level 4 or higher

completion of papers, completion of a qualifi-

Jiao Tong University. Vice-Chancellor Harlene

qualifications by 2017, up from the current rate

cation, progress to a higher level of study and

Hayne said the University was “very pleased”

of 52%.

the number of students who either continued

to maintain its top 300 position.

to study or completed a qualification.

The ministers say this can be achieved

The QS World University Rankings were

through linking funding of tertiary institutions to

Otago was found to be the top ranked

more generous, rating Otago 133rd in the world,

performance and redirecting funding away from

university in the country for the completion of

second in New Zealand after the University of

courses with low completion rates. However,

papers, with 89% of students doing so. Massey

Auckland, which was ranked 83rd.

opponents suggest that there is no evidence

University was found to have the worst qualifi-

From 2009-2011, course completion rates

that this approach will work, and say that the

cation completion rate with only 49% of students

at tertiary institutions across the country have

detrimental effects of such an approach will be

completing their qualification, compared with

risen from 62% to 71%. Tertiary Education Min-

apparent in the future findings of tertiary league

81% for Otago students.

ister Steven Joyce told media: “This is exactly

tables.

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11


S PORTS

Fantasy Sports: The Anti-sex

L

urking just out of the sight of the casual sports fan is an ominous

Something about the strange amalgam of jockish sport nuttery and

subculture: a pointless pursuit that robs sports fans of not only a

nerdish bookkeeping makes fantasy a complete turnoff for the ladies. I

high percentage of their waking hours, but also a good deal of their

have never met a girl who can even begin to comprehend why anyone

dignity, not to mention their allure to the opposite sex. I’m talking about

would devote time to fantasy sports. If a girl purports to understand or

fantasy sports: a game that makes watching sports more fun; a sporting

even (God forbid) enjoy fantasy sports, I propose that they are not a girl

subculture that is becoming more and more mainstream. You may know

at all, and recommend a genital inspection immediately. No girl could

it as Fantasy Premier League, NRL Dream Team, or good old-fashioned

ever understand the addictive harmony of sport, stats, and squabbling

Fantasy Football, but fantasy sports are all essentially the same thing:

that fantasy provides, and it’s probably better that they don’t. People who

picking teams, counting stats, and beating your mates.

play fantasy football may get girls despite fantasy football, never because of it. Fantasy sports are the anti-sex. Sporting Dungeons and Dragons

Unsurprisingly, fantasy in its modern form originated in America.

with fewer dice.

Around 1980, a group of avid fans attempted to decide who was the most knowledgeable (or tragic) baseball fan by picking their favourite players

Most fantasy sports rely on either a draft system in which each (real-

in teams, in what was originally called a “rotisserie league” (named after

life) player can only be in one (fantasy) player’s team, or a budget system

the NYC restaurant in which the friends met: La Rotisserie Française). They

where players have a pre-set budget to “buy” a team of players. As the

originally worked out their scores by hand, using formulas they invented

season plays out, each player selected earns points for your team based

themselves and the stats provided in the evening newspapers. The game

on how well they perform. The person with the most points at the end of

caught on. Copycat leagues began to spring up, and usable computers

the season is obviously the smartest, and is declared the winner. Players

morphed the game into the fully automated, internet-based version we

are swapped, sold, traded, transferred, bought, or discarded throughout the

have today. Other American sports were easily integrated thanks to their

season, so each player must maintain their team week-to-week based on

fastidious statistical record-keeping, but nowadays you can play a version

what they think is going to happen for the rest of the season. Researching

of “fantasy” for almost every sport imaginable in any part of the world,

and tinkering with your team can become an extremely time-consuming,

including, unbelievably, surfing.

addictive process, which can begin to take over your life a little too much if you are not careful (especially around exam time).

So what is the appeal of “fantasy”? I think it’s the combination of skill and chance that makes it so frustrating yet satisfying. Just like poker,

Fantasy used to be an extremely niche pastime enjoyed only by

success is determined by how well you play the game, but also by fate.

fanatical followers of American sports, but marketers and broadcasters

The skill is in predicting what is going to happen – which players are going

eventually tapped into its value and made it huge. In New Zealand alone,

to perform well, and which are going to flop. But these are real people, and

the number of fans who manage a Fantasy Premier League team is in

this is sport. There is no way of knowing for certain. No amount of research

the tens of thousands, and there are over 10 million teams worldwide.

can tell you exactly how things will play out. Studs will flop or get injured,

Journalists can now make a living solely as fantasy “gurus”. What was

washed-up veterans will have breakout years, and waiver wire sleepers

once a slightly embarrassing subculture is venturing closer and closer to

will stay frustratingly dormant (so much jargon). All you can do is hope,

centre stage. Girls, many of your friends and boyfriends probably already

and that’s half the fun.

play. Don’t even try to understand it – just don’t hate them for it.

12

Sports Editor | Gus Gawn | gus.gawn@critic.co.nz


SPORTS

Student Politician Loves Spandex

W

e have reached Issue 24 of Critic for the year. That means only three more to go, and it’s fair to say that the well of relevant local sports stories has run a little dry. With that in mind, I made the short trip across the hall from the Critic office to ask

OUSA Exec board member Angus McDonald some arbitrary questions about triathlon. He’s a legitimate athlete, I swear. He has competed at age-grade world championships with good results, and if he can stay healthy he’s got plans to do some big international races in the next few years. Most importantly, he was available to answer mundane questions at short notice. Enjoy.

Tell us about how you got into triathlons. I was a 73 kg, 5’3” overweight rugby player from Gore. I thought, “I’m fat as fuck, I better lose some weight so I can be in the cool group and

whole Number 8 Wire mentality. I find that New Zealand seems to create a lot of great triathletes because we love to rise to a challenge. Triathlon is such a dynamic sport; it really suits our athletes.

fit through regular-sized doors.” The very next day, I laced up my Nike Airs from Front Runner Dunedin and got my pudgy ass round the block. I became infatuated with fitness. Then a few coaches from home got me in the pool and out on the bike. From there it was a natural progression, and I never looked back.

What kind of structure is there for young triathletes who want to do well, how does triathlon NZ help people out? There is a high performance tier system, which allows athletes to enter a selection process from a young age if they meet certain requirements.

What big races have you competed in, and how did you do?

Then athletes can progress through the system, which means better funding, coaching, and opportunities to race within NZ and internationally.

World Championships in 2009 on the Gold Coast was probably the highlight. I came 13th. I also raced for Team Cycle World in the New Zealand Road Cycling Series. I had to take a 16-month break from early 2010 after

What have you got coming up? Triathlon World Champs in October in Auckland, the first time it has

sustaining a knee injury, so it’s really good to be back racing.

been held there.

Are the only two available pastimes in Gore boy racer and triathlete?

Got any long-term goals in triathlon? I personally need to ramp up the swimming so I can be more com-

Yes. Without a doubt that is all you can do. A fellow triathlete named

petitive at elite level. I possibly need to take time off just to be a swimmer.

Aaron Barclay who is a Youth Olympic Champion and an avid boy racer

That is a two-year plan. I want to compete at the World Champs next year

has actually achieved well in both.

in London and reassess from there.

Which discipline is your favourite, and why?

I read on the ODT website (I Googled you) that your main inspiration is Lance Armstrong. Still the case?

It would have to be cycling. Being surrounded by other men and women in Lycra just really excites me. It’s the same reason Logan Edgar does it.

A lot has changed in the last five years… but in saying that, he still has done a hell of a lot in terms of the fight against cancer with his LiveStrong foundation. I find that pretty inspirational. But it looks like he may have

Do you have much time for training these days? What kind of time do you put into it each week? Yeah, when I’m not debilitated by injury. My Coach/Life Coach Rob

popped more pills then Keith Richards.

Who is the next big thing in triathlon?

Creasy has me swimming for 1 – 2 hours most mornings, cycling 8 – 12

Mike Peree. He’s a fresher from Cumberland College who I had the

hours plus a race most weekends, 3 – 6 hours running plus maybe a gym

pleasure of meeting this year. I heard a rumor he is the heartthrob of the

or bikram yoga session in there too.

first-year population of Dunedin. The two big guns you will be seeing at the next Olympics will be Ryan Sissons and Tony Dodds.

New Zealand seems to produce a lot of good triathletes who compete internationally. Why do you think that is? New Zealanders have the great ability to adapt to new challenges – the

If you think you’re doing something good in sports and you’re a student, get in touch with me. You could easily be on these pages within the week.

Sports Editor | Gus Gawn | gus.gawn@critic.co.nz

13


News Briefs

“So I went... wit dis bitch to her parents house...I culdnt wake her muda and fuda up so [was] real quiet. Afta givn her a gud seeing to we went to sleep. I woke up and ... I did a poo in...her stockings... I slid her window up, swung the poo around and let it fly out the window. Promblem solved. In the morning...poo [was] all over the walls! There was a hole in the stoking LOL”

Across 4. K-pop hit (7,5) 6. Australian marsupial (5) 8. The answer is sunday, what is the question (7,3) 9. Austrian psychoanalyst (5) 10. ‘The facts speak for themselves’ [lat.] (3,4,8) 13. Sea cow (7) 14. Law fashion trend (6,6) 16. Soft, fleshy stone fruit (5) 17. Superman’s weakness (10) 20. The new VC (7,5) 22. Best burger joint in town (6) 23. A man, a plan, a canal (6) 24. Horizontal position (6) 25. SOULS’ ugly cousin (4) 26. Location of body’s smallest bone (3) 27. Sequence whose sums make next iteration (9) 29. ‘God particle’ (5,5) 32. Minaj’s ‘other’ implants (3) 36. Flagpole chopper (4,4) 37. Runny rotavirus symptom (9) 38. Swedish sweat box (5) 39. Scribe’s addiction (6) 40. Syrian strongman (5) Down 1. It’s French for yoghurt (6) 2. Process to find a derivative (15) 3. Ubiquitous uni fashion label (5,6) 5. Annoying front row lecture occupant (6,7) 7. Sexiest president to date (5,5) (2 Words) 11. Creepy illiterate editor (8) 12. 2012 NBA finals’ MVP (6,5) 15. Tertiary education minister (6,5) (2 Words) 18. NZ’s Kardashians (3,6) 19. Stored glucose (8) 21. Demand equals supply at... (11) 28. Tabouli’s main ingredient (8) 30. Diddy’s real name (4,5) 31. Big cat on campus (5) 33. NZ’s PM ‘piggy’ (7) 34. Overweight halfback’s surname (5) 35. G rid-like cereal (4)

14


“I work in a restaurant... and we get a lot of dickhead cops in, [sometimes] I pee a little in there coffee, also you dont want to know what I do to there samwiches”

Enter online code HELLFREEDEL

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United States | A new DNA encyclopaedia sheds light on the complex inner workings of humans. This has exciting potential for fighting diseases, preventing aging, curing

Over 1000 items sent through NZ Post are lost every week

cancer, speeding up your metabolism, and heightening your concentration in lectures. Sorry, we may be exaggerating, but it is still quite exciting. United States | A young man called 911 twice to report that his dreams were real. He was under the influence of marijuana, and ended up in jail. Listen to the phone calls online – they are rather entertaining.

200 trillion texts are received every day in America

The word “Taiwanese” means “suckled by goats” South Africa | A buffalo sold for NZ $3.18 million. The new owner intends to “breed back the old giants of the bush of Africa which have been hunted out over past centuries”. . Nigeria: A man was snapped with a roast chicken stuffed with $150,000 worth of cocaine. The cash was going to fund his retirement.

Martin Luther King Jr. lip-synched most of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech

15


P L ED G EM E

PLEDGEIT By Walter Plinge

G

od, if there is a God, can be a bit or a dick. He blesses creative people with all the talent in the world, but no sales

skills; no sense of self-promotion. And so they create, and suffer, and die sad lonely deaths in cold houses without ever being recognised in their lifetimes. As all creative types know, it’s not having the ideas which is hard, it’s getting the money. Well, until now. In 2009 three enterprising young Yanks invented a website called Kickstarter, and the term “crowd funding” quickly joined the artist’s lexicon. The crowd funding idea is that that creative types put their project ideas up online, and then ask their contacts to pledge money to support the project. The catch? You have to ask for a certain sum of money, and if you can’t get up to that total in your pledges you get nothing at all. It never takes long for Kiwis to catch up with what America is up to, and NZ now has its very own crowd funding website, Pledge Me. Co-founded by Otago graduate and now Pledge Me Chief Bubble Blower Anna Guenther, it has gone from strength to strength in 2012, growing by over 2000% and raising over $400,000 for 190 different creative projects. But for some reason crowd funding hasn’t taken off in little ol’ Dunedin, with only a very few projects on the pledge me site so far. So check out the stats, and get that creativity online. You may find yourself taking on the world a lot sooner than you thought.

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critic.co.nz


17-21 sept

ousa.org.nz

LAUNCH PARTY!


WTA

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W TA

s a form of expression and com-

and Pacifica descent.” Alongside the country’s oldest

munication, art has been around

public art gallery and art school, Dunedin certainly

for almost as long as humanity. The

has the artistic infrastructure to foster public interest.

brain is hard-wired to appreciate the aesthetic, and the deeper readings of

Another great artistic element to look for in Dunedin

conceptual art can prove incredibly

is the project space. Jamie Hanton, Director of Dune-

rewarding for those that way inclined. But interest-

din’s Blue Oyster Art Project Space, says that project

ing though it is, the complexity of art can be hard to

spaces are small galleries that exist primarily for art-

grasp. Trends are seldom easy to define until refracted

ists whose practices “are not oriented towards having

through the lens of history, collecting is difficult with-

a commercial output.” It’s a choice artists make, and

out capital, and local opportunities to indulge never

they have to find funding from other sources. While

seem to be fully utilised. With OUSA Art Week here,

project spaces are fascinating for the viewer, one of

Critic’s resident art nerd Zane Pocock delves deep

their primary functions is a developmental space

into the state of art, avoiding the Pandora’s box of a

for artists. “We’re not a public art gallery in the tra-

question “What is art?” like the plague.

ditional sense. I think that project spaces are places for experimentation for artists. We have the responsibilities of a public art gallery but we have more

The Dunedin Effect

freedom. We should be as accessible as possible, but

Expanded this year to include a year-round rotation

is anything but linear. Often an artist will be picked up

of installations entitled Art On Campus, the ambition

from Blue Oyster by other galleries and institutions

of OUSA Art Week is to garner a bit of interest in art,

for a re-exhibition or inclusion in a publication, but it

and for good reason. One of the most depressing

also allows commercial artists to develop their more

things for many in the art scene is the lack of enthu-

experimental practices. “Project spaces exist because

siasm among young people. The number of students

we accept that art is not just for personal collecting.

I recognise in my art history lectures from exhibition

We should be provocateurs,” Jamie says. “But then

openings around town is remarkably low. Yet there

again, public art galleries should be provocateurs too.

is so much going on in Dunedin!

It should be an industry-wide responsibility; to make

that doesn’t mean we’re going to dumb down work.” These project spaces are vital to art evolution, which

people fucking think, rather than just to show them Dunedin is home to the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship, which offers a different New Zealand artist a 12-month salary and studio in Dunedin every year. Notable artists to receive the Fellowship in the past include Ralph

“public art galleries should be

Hotere, Jeffrey Harris, and Kushana Bush, all of whom are well worth looking up for those not in the know.

provocateurs too. It should be

Preference is given to emerging artists under the age of 40, and selection is carried out by a panel including

an industry-wide responsibility;

nationwide curators, directors, university lecturers, and a representative from OUSA. There is an annual

to make people fucking think,

allowance called the Hocken Endowment Fund, which is spent on acquiring work by contemporary

rather than just to show them”

artists to add to the 17,000-strong collection. Natalie Poland, Curator of Pictorial Collections at the Hocken Library, tells me, “as part of redressing gaps in the collection, we have been actively acquiring work by contemporary artists including past and current Frances Hodgkins Fellows, and practitioners of Maori

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19


WTA

“there’s a whole lot of different

art worlds that show different

what they think they want to see. I’m as aesthetic

sorts of art, and we’re interested

a person as anyone else, but...” If you’re taken by the concept, you can do your bit by volunteering at

in a very particular sort. So usu-

spaces such as Blue Oyster, helping install and de-install exhibitions, and working closely with artists

ally there are only a couple of

and directors in an intimate, enriching environment.

dealers showing the sort of art

Collect Them All

that we’re interested in.”

Arguably, collecting is one of the most confusing and secretive aspects of art. For the most part, collectors like to keep their gems to themselves, and advice is often hard to come by. Yet this apparent secrecy can

Although the Barrs have a large collection, they’ve

often be for good reason: taste in collection is excep-

never spent that much money on art, tending to

tionally diverse and personal. Natalie, for example,

buy works before the artists become too expensive,

likes to collect contemporary photography “when

then moving on to the next generation. “If you look

funds allow”, and Jamie is a big fan of supporting

at the stuff we’ve purchased, it’s usually been made

up-and-comers who are still at art school, as well

by people between 25 and 35.” Naturally, they’ve also

as recent graduates.

had specific dealer galleries they were interested in over the years, because “there’s a whole lot of dif-

To make some sense of it all I had a chat to Jim Barr.

ferent art worlds that show different sorts of art, and

Jim and his wife Mary are possibly New Zealand’s

we’re interested in a very particular sort. So usually

best-known collectors and patrons of art in New

there are only a couple of dealers showing the sort of

Zealand. It’s well worth checking out their renowned

art that we’re interested in.” Any recommendations?

blog, http://www.overthenet.blogspot.co.nz. “In gen-

“We just fell into it, really, and I think that’s probably

eral terms, we’ve bought quite a few works from a

the easiest way to do it. I mean, you obviously need

small number of people rather than across the board,”

to see a lot of things or you won’t have anything to

Jim says. “And then one day you’ve got more work

choose from.” Giving half the profits to the artist on

than you can actually fit in the space you’re living in,

the odd occasion that they do sell a piece, the Barrs

and it becomes a different sort of thing.” A big bonus

also believe in the age-old idea that you should buy

of the Barr’s collecting has been getting to know

art because you love it and want to live with it, not

the artists. By approaching dealers to put them in

for profit.

contact with the artists they’re buying, Jim and Mary

20

have fostered ongoing relationships with the likes

The best-known dealer in Dunedin is Brett McDowell,

of Michael Parekowhai and the late Phil Clairmont,

who “discovered” artists like as Kushana Bush and

who have always been very accommodating and

up-and-coming ceramist Suji Park. His exhibitions

generous with their time in showing them around

are always worth checking out, and there is usually

their studios. “And a lot of them have become very

an opening every three or so weeks. It also pays to

good friends over the years,” Jim says. “The artists

get on the mailing list for the Dunedin Art School,

are much more interesting than the rest of the art

whose openings are just as frequent and often as

world, I think.”

amazing.

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“Anything to do with urban planning, environmental

concerns and things like that are quite salient at the moment, especially in New Zealand because of the Christchurch earthquake, and globally because of urban planning concerns and growth concerns.”

The Future Is Trending, Y’Know

feel that the object will always be with us, but it’s not

Trends in contemporary art are hard to define. Gone

world, basically.”

guaranteed. I think that’s definitely something that younger artists are looking at.” Jim also identifies a “definite reintroduction of craft”, while in the past “if you did ceramics you were just tossed out of the art

are the days of Cubism and Pop Art: in the post-modern world it can seem like we’re left with an intricate,

All three say that works incorporating video and

beautiful mess, but not necessarily. Natalie believes

digital animation are more commonplace now than

there has been a resurgence in performance art over

they were in the 1970s, when video art emerged. Jim

the past five years or so, and Jamie says that “archi-

finds it amazing that video took so long to be incor-

tecture is pretty hot at the moment. Anything to do

porated into art institutions – “for private collectors,

with urban planning, environmental concerns and

it still hasn’t really happened yet.” Jim and Mary were

things like that are quite salient at the moment, espe-

possibly some of the earliest collectors to embrace the

cially in New Zealand because of the Christchurch

medium, even though it seems so obvious: “You have

earthquake, and globally because of urban planning

a screen where you can show absolutely incredible

concerns and growth concerns.” Jim agrees. “I think

imagery or some amazing art work. Why would

a lot of artists, although they’re all flying around

you not have it at home? It’s easier to collect than a

the world using up air miles and what have you, are

bloody bronze sculpture, that’s for sure!”

starting to see that even art can start offering some

It’s Free Booze!

solutions to sustainability issues.” Both Jamie and Jim talk about the possible rise of video gaming as an artistic medium, with Jamie

If you’re still not sold on the potential wonder of the

planning some sort of video game exhibition in the

art world, I’ve got the ultimate pitch: a Friday night of

future. Jim, for one, finds Minecraft amazing: “We

gallery openings is a free night out. The booze flows

were staying with some young kids who have been

freely, and you meet incredible people. Just the other

playing Minecraft recently, and I’ll tell you what:

week I met one of New Zealand’s most established

that’s their world! They’re completely immersed in

artists, Laurence Aberhart, and last year had the good

it, and they’re so skilled.” But he wonders what will

fortune of meeting Billy Apple, who worked alongside

happen to the physical “object” nature of art. “Are we

Warhol back in the day. It’s mind-boggling how few

coming to a world where people are pretty integrated

people have gotten onto this, and New Zealand is

into their laptops and their visual world? You sort of

possibly the easiest place in the world to get so intimate with art idols, so get amongst. When you do, it’s more engulfing than Alice’s hole.

critic.co.nz

21


A P O L LO

Ap ar

22


A P O L LO

S p ollo’s

tage 10 of the 2001 Tour de France was a climb in the French Alps involving three above category hill climbs, summiting at the legendary ski resort l’Alpe d’Huez. It is the first mountain stage of the world-renowned bicycle race. Early

in the day, Jan Ullrich had eased into the lead of the peloton (a cluster of cyclists), and was favoured to win the ascent.

r row by JOSEF ALTON

Lance Armstrong, the two-time Tour champion, appeared to be struggling behind the leaders, and race radios buzzed and hissed with speculation that the American had gassed out. However, nearing the slopes of the l’Alpe d’Huez, Armstrong climbed to the head of the peloton and level with Ullrich. They battled neck-and-neck until the head of the last hill climb, where Armstrong famously stood, attacked, and pulled out in front of the German, looking back as he passed, burning holes into Ullrich’s eyes, daring his defeated opponent to attack. Ullrich refused, and Armstrong finished the mountain stage with over a minute in hand. “The Look” quickly gained notoriety in sports circles. One American sports journalist considered it the moment that cycling graduated from a fringe sport to major league in America. The episode single-handedly showcased Armstrong’s competitive nature and never-quit persona that has enraptured millions. However, in the past three weeks his image has taken a serious beating. On August 23, Armstrong declined to continue to fight charges of using banned performance-enhancing substances brought against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency. His refusal to defend himself against evidence and witnesses has led the US agency to recommend that he be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and Olympic bronze medal. Armstrong is likely to fight the charges through internatinoal channels, hoping that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will overturn the USADA’s decision. The news has polarised Armstrong’s fans and the media. Some reports have chastised the athlete as a fraud, while others have cast doubt upon the validity of the USADA’s charges, stating that he is the victim of a “witch hunt”. But to Armstrong’s millions of die-hard fans, he is more than just an athlete: he is an idol. His public persona symbolises triumph over adversity; he epitomises the everyday-manturned-hero. The US$500 million that the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LiveStrong) has raised over the last decade and a half has put a dollar value on his persona’s social worth. Before he threw in the towel, Armstrong seemed invincible, embraced by a media culture infatuated with celebrity heroes.

23


A P O L LO

Hero worship, in its various guises, is ingrained into our

dashed by a string of assassinations, the Vietnam War, and

culture. Biographies of an athlete’s struggle to succeed, a

the civil unrest the unpopular war provoked. Amidst the chaos

social-outcast-turned-pop-star on American Idol, or an

the broadcast of the moon landing signalled a pivotal moment:

aspiring politician beating the odds to become a leader are

a divided nation stood together and watched humans move

narratives designed to strike an inspirational emotional chord.

forward. However, the US push to beat the Soviet Union to the

It all dates back to Ancient Greece, where heroes like Achilles

moon was not orchestrated solely for the good of mankind. The

were worshipped for their peculiar strength and extraordinary

moon landing was the equivalent of the USA giving the USSR

feats.

“The Look” while rocketing past the communist superpower into the lead of a political race for superiority. The Apollo space

When Thetis dipped her son Achilles in the river Styx, any

program was born from this acute need to win at any cost — an

place the sacred water touched his body became invulnerable,

attitude still very much present in the US and most nations

except for his heel, which remained dry. As a young man, he

throughout the world today.

went to Troy to fight, and proved himself to be an undefeatable warrior. To avenge the death of his friend Patroclus, Achilles

In January 1967, while most of the Apollo astronauts were in

killed the mighty Trojan Hector, and desecrated the prince’s

Washington DC rubbing shoulders with dignitaries, a ground

remains by dragging his body behind a chariot while Hector’s

test went terribly wrong, and a fire aboard Apollo 1 killed three

father, Priam, and brother, Paris, watched. Ultimately however,

US astronauts. The deaths could have been avoided if proper

his excesses did not go unpunished by the gods.

time and care were taken to ensure the astronauts’ safety. The US and NASA were guilty of forsaking the safety of their

The Tour de France is a war of its own, a multi-stage epic

astronauts to maintain the breakneck speed they deemed

encompassing 3,200 kilometres in 21 days. The journey

necessary to stay ahead in the space race. Lance Armstrong’s

through France is exhausting. To win it once is a dream accom-

own desperate need to finish first was perhaps driven by that

plishment; to win it seven consecutive times is an immortal

same blinding desire.

feat. By the mid-2000s, Lance Armstrong was untouchable. In the eyes of the public the only thing that could possibly rival

Neil Armstrong received his first flight certificate at age 15,

his Tour domination was his triumph over a 1996 diagnosis of

before his driver’s licence. He studied aerospace engineering

testicular cancer. LiveStrong became more than just another

at Perdue University before being called up to the US Navy

athletic slogan. The yellow wristband was emblematic of the

to fight in the Korean War, flying 78 missions. He returned

virtuous side of competition, intertwining an athlete’s individ-

to Perdue to finish his degree, and then joined the National

ual test of strength with the normal individual’s perseverance

Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-speed Flight Sta-

through difficult times — it was brilliant marketing. Armstrong

tion as a research pilot. He was praised for his aeronautical

quotes became ubiquitous. “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts

engineering skills, and was described as “the most technically

forever.” “Whatever your 100% looks like, give it.” “We have

capable of the early X-15 pilots”. He joined the NASA Astronaut

two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like

Corps without hesitation, later telling his biographer: “I was

Hell.” Arguably, his message was that every struggle in life can

disappointed by the wrinkle in history that had brought me

be reduced to a metaphorical competition: winning is fighting,

along one generation late. I had missed all the great times

so fight or die trying. It was the ultimate go-getter war call.

and adventures in flight.” NASA introduced a new kind

However, in life, as in sport, competitiveness has its rational

of opportunity.

limits, and when tipped to the extreme, the winning-at-allcosts mentality can quickly become a slippery slope to taking

This is where Neil Armstrong’s personality diverges from

any advantage available, no matter the cost. Yet both people

Lance Armstrong’s and the Apollo program. Though Neil was

and even nations are often rewarded — especially financially

a competitive man affiliated with the space race, his desire

— for “doing whatever it takes” to get the job done. The ben-

for success appeared not to rank above his own ethical and

efits of winning a war aren’t bragging rights, but claims to

moral responsibilities.

ideological, economic, and military superiority over others. It’s about looking and appearing invincible.

The mild-mannered astronaut was offered the post of commander of Apollo 11 because of what the NASA administrator

24

30 years separate Lance Armstrong’s first Tour de France

deemed his “grace and humility”. He was asked to be the

victory from the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969. At the time

leader of the highly technical and dangerous mission precisely

hope sparked by the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and

because he exhibited personality traits that best facilitated

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, had been

a team of highly trained individuals to work together and

critic.co.nz

“Th cult bro wha sake


A P O L LO

e cult of personality that defines our current ture demands that races are won, records are oken, and the famous transcend the limits of at we thought was humanly possible for the e of entertainment. “ flourish independently. His soft-spoken cool-headedness

largely overshadowed by his dusty lunar footprints?

in the face of danger made him the obvious choice. When Apollo 11 was picked to attempt the moon landing, Armstrong

The question is partly rhetorical, but there are beginnings of

was positioned to be the first man to walk on the moon. His

a possible answer. Cain argued in her popular TED talk that

fellow team member Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin lobbied vociferously

western societies, particularly America, have shifted from a

to replace Armstrong at the top of the walk order. According to

culture of character to a culture of personality. The person of

Armstrong’s longtime friend, Dudley Schuler, Buzz’s actions

action out-competes the person of contemplation. Individuals

embarrassed Armstrong, who saw the mission purely as a

once valued for their moral rectitude today appear increasingly

job, not a chance for fame. After the moon landing Armstrong

antisocial and strange. On the contrary, Lance Armstrong’s

never returned to space. He resigned from NASA and became

public persona is that of the perfect extrovert, and so he has

a Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Perdue.

been celebrated unchecked because his image is compatible with a social narrative that praises success based on compet-

Schuler, interviewed by the Telegraph in 2009, maintained

itive prowess. Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal has turned

that in the years after the moon landing, Armstrong’s shy

his public image into a contradiction: his flawed character is

personality defined his public persona, and that he was quick

at odds with his perfect personality. Much to the chagrin of

to disappear from public places if recognised. Armstrong him-

those wanting an archetype, the cancer survivor/seven-time

self said that he had no wish to play the part of a “human

champion/inspirational icon turned out to be human after all.

memorial”. As the years progressed, his paranoia of publicity grew. He refused to sign autographs, cards, or even yearbooks

While Neil rode upon the shoulders of Apollo to claim victory

at his high school reunion. Former US Under-Secretary of

for his country, he ultimately refused to taint his character

Commerce Jim Rogan said recently that after lodging a bill

with either fame or the win-at-all-costs mentality that

to recognise the men of Apollo 11 with the US Congressional

characterised the space race. Lance, like Achilles before

Gold Medal, Armstrong contacted him and asked for the bill’s

him, is killed by Apollo’s aim; by an arrow piercing where he

withdrawal. When Rogan refused, Armstrong said: “We’re just

thought himself strongest, his own competiveness. Winning

three guys who stood on the shoulders of so many people who

at all costs may have its place in the fight for survival, but

came before us.” Inexplicable as it may seem, Neil Armstrong

there is a tipping point where this attitude overrides morals

rejected fame and hero worship.

and ethics. The cult of personality that defines our current culture demands that races are won, records are broken, and

Susan Cain, author of the New York Times bestseller Quiet:

that the famous transcend the limits of what we thought was

The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,

humanly possible for the sake of entertainment. But there are

argues convincingly that it’s time to stop undervaluing the

physical limits to how fast a race can be won, just as there are

traits of introspection and solitude — common characteristics

limits to human ability that we will eventually have to face.

of introverts — and recognise that these traits are integral to effective leadership and social harmony. Throughout his

Life is not a race to the end, but a strange journey that begs for

lifetime, Neil Armstrong demonstrated many of the same

a metaphor to describe it. And if that is the case, let it hinge

attributes Cain mentions in her book. So why is Lance Arm-

upon a scale weighted with the better aspects of our character

strong’s character deemed an integral part of his athleticism,

than our own illusions of grandeur.

yet Neil Armstrong’s character has gone the last four decades

critic.co.nz

25


U- C RE AT E

U-Create By Katie Kenny

I 26

n Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed dystopian thriller, Never Let Me Go, art is literally a lifeline for the novel’s doomed characters, Tommy and Kathy. “That’s the whole thing about art,” explains Tommy. “It says what’s inside of you; it reveals your soul.”

critic.co.nz


U-CREAT E

CUTS TO CREATIVITY

and literary rock-star, Sam Hunt, warned me to be wary of the conformist clutches of tertiary institutions (despite being

Some would say, therefore, that the Dunedin City Council

university-educated himself). “Remember that poetry itself

made a soulless decision in betraying our city’s greatest

must always be the focus. University courses often overlook

asset: creativity. In the world of arts and culture, Dunedin

the art of writing,” he says, “and academics can be f***kers.”

has a well-founded reputation. Many of our country’s most

Albert Einstein famously articulated similar sentiments:

renowned artists have strong ties to Otago, and Dunedin is

“It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of

bursting with upcoming talent in music, visual arts, litera-

instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity

ture, design, and commerce. In a penny-pinching move of

of inquiry.” International education advisor Sir Kenneth

philistinism, all funding for public art has been postponed

Robinson believes that a radical reform of our educational systems in favour of creativity-based

until 2016 – 2017. After that, backing for public installations will be halved to just $25,000. Essentially, our city’s creative funding is being reduced to less than the average StudyLink debt. By cutting creative opportunity from nil to nada, art in the real world just became an even riskier vocation. But

“Remember that poetry itself must always be the focus. University courses often overlook the art of writing,” he says, “and academics can be f***kers.”

subjects is necessary for progression of the human race. “Every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects,” he wrote, “and at the bottom are the arts. Everywhere on earth.” According to Kenneth, our concept of intelligence is “predicated on the idea of academic ability,” and this ensures that, by the time we’re

it’s always been a capricious career, demanding unflagging confidence. Even the University of

adults, most of us “grow out of” creativity.

Otago website states that “Students taking Humanities at Otago are encouraged to combine their liberal studies with

As a student at the University of Otago’s English Department,

papers and programmes that have a professional or vocational

I’m pleased to admit that I consider the above concerns fairly

orientation, especially by doing a double degree, for example,

irrelevant to my classes. I’ll not deny that – even within the

BA/BCom, BA/LLB, or BA/BTchg(Prim).” These recommenda-

wider university community – stereotypically “artsy” degrees

tions aren’t unsupported; research shows a bleak fiscal future

are constantly derided and stigmatised as frivolous pursuits,

for “pure” arts students, as humanities graduates tend to have

extraneous to the so-called “real world”. However, creativity

lower starting salaries than almost everyone else.

shouldn’t be relegated to arts subjects; it’s an important component in every facet of education. To gain insight into

A recent Ministry of Education study compared what graduates

the value of creativity across a range of subjects at the Uni-

earned after four years of starting work. Unsurprisingly, four

versity, it seemed fair to consult views from both extremes

years after graduating, health professionals were reaping the

of the academic spectrum: the “most creative” and the “least

highest salaries. “Performing arts” brought in the lowest aver-

creative” departments.

age income ($30,000 per annum), and “Visual arts and crafts” was still well below the level of “All bachelors completers” ($45,000 per annum). This study didn’t include unemployed artists or those without tertiary qualifications.

MOST CREATIVE “Most creative” was a no-brainer. Have you heard of Dr

LEARNING THE UNTEACHABLE

Glam? He’s (one of) the 1970s inspired, hang-drum playing, glam-rock “performative alter-egos” of Executant Lecturer in Contemporary Music Ian Chapman. If you haven’t met Dr

If you’re likely to be poor for the rest of your life, then is it really

Glam, it’s difficult to imagine the uninhibited transformation

worth beginning your creative career as an indebted student?

of softly-spoken Ian. Physical expressions of creativity don’t

This is a contentious argument among academics and artists

end with Ian’s alter-ego. His workspace isn’t an office per se.

alike. Creativity is generally considered an “unlearnable”

Rather, it’s a floor-to-wall display of eccentric inspiration,

power. It requires imagination in addition to skill, and is

adorned with posters of David Bowie, stacks of CDs (I spotted

usually associated with artistic endeavour to produce a

Madonna), a coffee-table book about the Rolling Stones, and

novel invention of value. New Zealand’s best-known poet

eerie masks, amongst other eye-popping paraphernalia.

critic.co.nz

27


U- C RE AT E

“The tricky thing about creativity is that it’s difficult to grade according to a marking schedule. Our students first have to learn, and are assessed on, the ‘rules’. Once they know the conventions, they’re encouraged to go out and break them!”

my perspective, even though they are full of high-level math.” Despite stereotypes, Timothy says that creativity within his department is “extremely highly valued. It creates independent research contributions that we can publish. It leads to better teaching. It produces better research, better graduates, and puts money in our pockets.” Timothy also believes that this attitude is reflected in wider society: “I think creativity is very highly valued, and very highly rewarded in almost all cases. It goes hand in hand with problem solving for clients, firms, the country.” But what about those archetypal starving, suffering artists?

From the corner of the room, a toy guitar spasmodically blasts

Well, if any of you are reading this, unless you feel like a slap

horrendous electric sounds (“It’s haunted,” Ian explained).

in the face, I’d suggest you skip the next paragraph or so.

Ian’s research into “music iconography and image creation”

“The only exceptions,” Timothy continues, “are when ‘creativ-

spills outside the realms of contemporary music, and involves

ity’ leads you to selfishly create something that is worthless.

consideration of visual arts, theatre studies, and literature.

That is, if you create some piece of modern art or modern

He also encourages his students to appreciate the “interdis-

music or even academic research that stinks, then you won’t

ciplinarity of music”. In Ian’s opinion, creativity is valued to

be rewarded. You don’t have to create something that fits in

different extents across the different departments at the Uni-

with modern taste or style, it can be completely new and

versity. Although creativity can’t be taught, universities can

unheard of, but you do have to create something that genu-

provide students with a proverbial “tool-box” of knowledge,

inely serves a human need. Create rubbish, and you won’t be

which they can then apply selectively to their creative pursuits.

rewarded.” Tough love, indeed.

“The tricky thing about creativity is that it’s difficult to grade according to a marking schedule. Our students first have to learn, and are assessed on, the ‘rules’. Once they know the

“EVERY CHILD IS AN ARTIST”

conventions, they’re encouraged to go out and break them!”

- Picasso

Rule-breaking is integral for creative work. Originality, by definition, must depart from the status quo. Humans are

Rubbish or otherwise, where does creative ability come from?

creatures of habit, subconsciously favouring certainty and

“Creativity is a way of thinking,” Ian says. “All children are

structure, so creative value is difficult to measure. For this

born with creative capacity, but as most people age, this

reason, we sometimes take years, decades, even centuries,

diminishes. Some retain it more than others... it’s squashed,

to appreciate creative brilliance (think El Greco, Galileo Galilei,

to an extent, by education systems, societal ideologies, and

John Keats, Vincent van Gogh). “While public opinion may be a

parents who... What’s the phrase? Steal the magic from their

good indicator to an extent [of creative value], it should defi-

children’s eyes.” And eyes are windows into the soul, aren’t

nitely not be relied upon fully for judging artistic standards,”

they? “Steal the magic from their children’s eyes.” The soul’s

says Ian. For this reason, creative careers are rarely financially

magic, therefore, must be creativity.

rewarding. “It would be good if that were the case,” Ian points Now, for those of you who haven’t read Never Let Me Go, I

out, “but it’s not.”

should mention that Tommy and Kathy are clones – genetically engineered organ donors. One “special” school, Hailsham,

LEAST CREATIVE

encourages students to embrace art, drama, and music, in the

Naturally, the Department of Accountancy and Finance was

“We took away your art,” said the headmistress, “because we

my next stop. Professor Timothy Crack, Chair in Finance,

thought it would reveal your souls. Or, to put it more finely,

acknowledges that “many people outside [the field of account-

we did it to prove that you had souls at all.”

hope that this will prove that clones are capable of humanity:

ing and finance] underestimate both how mathematical it is... and how creative that quantitative material can be. I have

Creativity isn’t just for artists – it enriches every university

written books that are not novels, but they still tell a story from

department (clearly, some more than others). “Dunedin should fight to ensure it retains its unique, creative soul,” Ian urged. For the sake of our education, and for society in general, it’s our responsibility to agree.

28

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ANU is an education intensive research institute, recognised worldwide for its excellence. Our students benefit from a learning environment with more educators and mentors per student. Higher Degree Research applications can be made directly to ANU at any time of the year while Graduate Coursework closing dates vary from program to program.

29


COLUMNS

ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME None of you read this anyway. It’s just that little weird standfirst bit above the action below. But anyway ... The Blind Date has been at Metro bar for the last few weeks, and it sounds like they’ve been putting on quite a show. Great feed, good drinks, excellent service etc etc. If you want in on the action, email critic@critic.co.nz with your details.

Chris

Trisha

I know I shouldn’t have eaten dinner, but the aroma of fresh curry was

Hail, snow and rain. Temperature 0 degrees. It was the worst possible

too alluring. Justifying it to myself by saying that the food at Metro would

day to have a blind date on. The fact that I live on a hill pretty far away from

just be “nibbles” I tucked into one-and-half helpings of flat-made Thai and

any civilization doesn’t make it any better. I have never done anything

half a small glass of Jim Bean bourbon in an attempt to combat nerves. It

this crazy, but it was Dunedin and experiencing different aspects of the

didn’t do too much. Dastardly rice. Why must you be so absorbent? I guess

student life was goal. So why not try a blind date?

it’s all the starch. The day the date took place will henceforth be known as

It was quite short notice for the date and all kinds of horrid scenarios

“worst weather ever day”. Sleet was assaulting me at a horizontal angle

played out inside my head, including getting ma karate friend to the rescue

and the intermittent dumpings of hail were literally making certain classes

if anything creepy happened.

during the day totally inaudible. It wouldn’t have surprised me one bit if

Drove down the hill at 20km/hr, still skidded at turns and nearly

she never turned up, and I wouldn’t have blamed her. As it happened I

had a heart attack. Arrived late at metro, and assumed the only guy at

was waiting around 25 minutes. The friendly barman kept on saying that

the bar to be the one. He was friendly looking, quite tall and slender.

it looks like she might be a “no-show”. I spent the time conversing with

The conversation was awkward at first but we got talking and found a

him about bar-topics: “So, how does one go about becoming a bartender?”

few similarities between us. He was a med student; we have friends in

“What was the old bar like before you had it refurbished?”

common, chatted about a variety of things from future plans to religion

Just as I was about to finish my Speights, and was beginning to

and beliefs; from human cruelty to scary movies. I tend to ramble on about

agree with his estimate, she arrived. She’d been stuck at the top of the

various weird things, hope it was entertaining. The bar tab seemed a lot

hill de-icing her car’s windscreen and nervously driving down the slippery

at first but was quickly gone, the pizza and desert were pretty awesome.

hill in a car that didn’t have a “really good brake”. She risked her life to

Alcohol free for me as I was driving, so any chat was strictly sober and

meet a stranger. Cool girl. The preparatory alcohol proved to be totally

non-regrettable. He has a few interesting points, especially his lack of

unnecessary. She was incredibly easy to talk to, and we had a little bit in

ability to stay awake late at night, hence the early curfews.

common. We were studying in a similar area, and knew a small handful

We stayed at metro the whole evening, nothing else happened apart

of the same people. I admitted to having eaten dinner beforehand, and

from the chat, but he was easy going and we are definitely friends now.

I felt pretty bad about it. Ordering a large seafood pizza as well as some

Nothing romantic at all happened, sorry to disappoint. We left as more

soup and a banoffee pizza we blew through the $60 tab in one foul-swoop

people started to come in. I drove him home and the night ended with a

– that worked out really well, she was driving and I wasn’t in the mood

slightly awkward and unexpected hug.

to get drunk anyway. We discussed a whole bunch of topics: she wasn’t

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and nice food and it is always

religious (great!), but also wasn’t at all aggressive about it and thought

good to make new friends. Thank you Critic for setting me up with someone

that freedom of thought was important (even better).

far less scary than I anticipated and Metro for the awesome bar tab and

We chatted about horror movies for a little bit – she was a heck of lot

food.

more educated on the topic than I was, and I couldn’t contribute much. In the end she gave me a lift home, which meant I got to avoid Dunedin’s horrifying winter hell. I had a real nice time.

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COLUMNS

OBAMA, Barack Obama

Slaughter for Elephants

By Creepy Uncle Sam

By Brittany Mann

I don’t care what you say, Timothy Dalton was a great James Bond.

This is a bit of a departure from tradition – I’ve suddenly gone all PETA

As I watched Obama’s – let’s face it – boring speech at the Democratic

on yo’ asses. But as they say, animals are people too. Elephants, for exam-

National Convention, the same thought kept running through my mind.

ple, mourn and bury their dead, and can suffer from post-traumatic stress

Is Obama George Lazenby? Or is he Timothy Dalton?

disorder. Given the current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

We all know that Obama’s been a bit crap. Even Obama’s most goog-

(DRC), which is no stranger to massacres at the best of times, rates of

ly-eyed fanboys know this, deep down in their bleeding liberal hearts.

PTSD in the war-torn nation’s fast-declining elephant population must

After all, what demographic has Obama not let down in some way? The

be skyrocketing.

selectively racist, pro-drone, anti-war, gay demographic that likes a bit

In the DRC, elephants have become tangled up in political conflict,

of healthcare (but not too much) and a bit of change (but not too much)?

and these animals are paying the highest price for humans’ inability to

Sizable though this demographic surely is, polling indicates that it tends

get it together. This is not the first time this has happened, either – the

to get confused and vote for Ron Paul. So, no joy for Obama there.

Congolese mountain gorillas are also regular targets of militia groups

Still, there are two theories about Obama’s crapness. The George

fighting over charcoal.

Lazenby theory states that, like the ill-fated second James Bond, Obama

As if the DRC doesn’t already have enough to worry about, what with

was given an amazing opportunity but blew it due to arrogance, naiveté

the poverty and rapes and militias and lack of functioning government,

and lack of actual talent. Against this, the Timothy Dalton theory contends

now it’s losing its elephants at a rate last recorded in the late 1980s.

that Obama is massively underrated, and was simply unfortunate to arrive

Although it’s hard to talk figures with complete certainty, conservation

during the franchise’s creative nadir. Obama/Dalton actually is, or at least

groups say poachers are killing tens of thousands of elephants every year.

could have been, one of the best Presidents/007s, the best since JFK/

Today, ivory is the new blood diamonds (which in their day were the

Connery (perhaps – just quietly – even better), but had to do his best with

new ivory). But diamonds are so 2001. Move over Leonardo Di Caprio and

poor scripts, boring co-stars, general antipathy, and a producer with a

your questionable Saffa accent, and Kanye with your Grammy-winning

pathological need to end every fucking film with a stupendous series of

song: 2012 is the year of the tusk.

utterly gratuitous explosions.

It’s a case of history repeating itself. In the 1980s, the slaughter of

But the whole point of Obama was that he would change all that. In

Congolese elephants was driven by Japan’s economic boom. Today, it’s

fact, that was literally his only platform – at least, the only one people

driven by China’s rapidly growing bao fa hu, or middle class, who buy

cared about – and he failed. Yes, he failed because there was a lack of

ivory carvings as symbols of wealth and status.

political will behind him, but the idea was that he would create this will

And almost everyone seems to be getting amongst the killing spree

by inspiring people, and he didn’t. Instead he alienated his supporters

– mainly the Congolese army and various militias, but also the Ugandan

by dithering early on, trying to reach out to intransigent Republicans in

army and rebel groups like the Somalian al-Shabab and the Darfurian

a piece of pure electric fence-grabbing optimism. Dalton wasn’t to blame

janjaweed.

for The Living Daylights’ manic pacing and idiotic second half, or for the

The Ugandan military appear to be using American-bought heli-

total shambles that was License to Kill, but Obama, like Lazenby, gave a

copters to gun down elephants from above. Naturally, Joseph Kony also

bad performance and deserves his poor reviews.

gets a mention – the man the world loves to hate in 2012 is apparently

At the DNC, Obama gave himself a grade of “incomplete.” As numerous

selling ivory to Sudanese traders to get money for weapons. This “white

crestfallen first-years have discovered, when I mark an incomplete essay

gold” fetches up to US$1000 in Beijing. Despite strict laws in most African

I usually give it a D (#whoisCreepyUncleSam?). The twin highs of Obama’s

countries about poaching in general and the ivory trade in particular, 38.8

presidency have been repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and offing Osama bin

tonnes were seized in 2011.

Laden. Indeed, those are the only two times in his entire term in which

In the DRC there are marauding bands of heavily militarised, trig-

Obama has actually inspired people: one a symbolic but largely cosmetic

ger-happy park rangers who shoot first and ask questions later, and see

change, the other an extra-judicial revenge killing. Depressing.

the elephants under their protection as family members. But in this crisis, the scale of which has been compared to the Mexican drug wars, there seems to be little hope for the Congolese elephants in a country that has always been the poster child of the “resource curse”.

critic.co.nz

31


CO LU MN S

OLD SCHOOL

I Love Nickelback

By Dame La di Da

By Lukas Clark-Memler

This week I met my former high school principal while I was speaking

Mentioning Nickelback is a surefire way of attracting attention. It

at a seminar.

worked, didn’t it? You saw the title and immediately dived into this column with knee-jerk cynicism, eager to mock and insult my music taste. But

I had been fantasising for years about what this moment would be like. In

why, exactly, do you hate the world’s most hated band?

my fantasy I would do something outrageous that would make her deeply

No, I don’t love Nickelback. But I also don’t spew vitriolic bile every

uncomfortable. Or, perhaps equally outrageously, I would tell the truth

time they’re mentioned. Let’s face it: Nickelback are no worse than half

about how unsafe my school was for queer and trans folks like me (and

the shit masquerading as rock out there. They have a handful of decent

lots of other people who weren’t rural, heterosexual, white, able-bodied,

songs, can play the hell out of a stadium, and frontman Chad Kroeger

cis-gendered men). I had fantasised about telling her how angry I was that

has got to be given credit for un-ironically keeping a goatee for so long.

acceptance of this attitude came straight from those at the top (through

Nickelback are one of the few bands in history who are absolutely

action and inaction), and filtered its way down to teachers and students. I

acceptable to hate without justification. It seems strange though, doesn’t it?

wanted to tell her I consider what I have achieved since high school to be

The rock quartet aren’t controversial or polarising. They’re safe, bland and

in spite of what my school offered me, not because of it. I have fantasised

predictable, three traits shared by many of their cock-rock contemporaries.

about scratching my name off the head boy’s plaque, setting fire to things…

So just why do we hate Nickelback?

yes, I am angry about this.

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about music in the early aughts without mentioning Nickelback. They’ve sold almost 50 million albums,

Honestly, I think I am lucky to have survived high school. I wonder how

and are one of the most successful artists of the past decade. Through sheer

many other queer kids did not survive. I also wonder how many others

ubiquity they have become the very definition of rock music.

live with post-traumatic stress and mental ill-health as a result of their high school experiences.

So here’s what I think: we hate Nickelback because we hate what rock music has become. We hate Nickelback because we know their success and influence is our own fault. We hate Nickelback because we hate ourselves.

While I wanted to scream, weep, vomit on my principal’s shoes, and gen-

Nickelback seem to receive the most criticism for their lack of musical

erally make a scene, in the end I didn’t. I wore my faggiest pants, shook

diversity. They use the same chord progressions and distortion, they sing

her hand (as limply as possible), and carried on.

about the same things, and they haven’t changed their flannel shirts for years. But why haven’t they changed? Why did they self-plagiarize and

The thing is, queer and trans bulling is not just a problem at my old school.

never progress? Because we bought their fucking music; we filled their

It is a global problem. Ban Ki-Moon recently described homophobic bul-

concerts; we lined up in droves and affirmed their style. We shouted from

lying as a “moral outrage, a grave violation to human rights, and a public

the rooftops, “We love you Nickelback! Don’t go changing!”

health crisis”. Unsafe school environments undermine fundamental human

Last year, Nickelback were scheduled to play during an NFL halftime

rights to education, health, safety, dignity, and freedom from violence

show. A petition was created to replace them, and it received over 50,000

and discrimination.

signatures. But their seventh studio album, released a few weeks before the football game, sold nearly 300,000 copies within its first week. Someone’s

I hope that once the marriage equality debate is over there will be just as

obviously listening to the Canadian “rockers”.

many people marching through the streets, and signing petitions to say

We hate ourselves for destroying rock music, for pissing on the graves

that young people’s daily experiences of violence and harassment are

of the rock greats. Despising Nickelback has become an easy way to deal

unacceptable. Marriage is not the answer to appalling realities of queer/

with our self-loathing. Most of us don’t even know why we hate Chad and

trans teen suicide, self-harm, mental ill-health, alcohol abuse, risky sex

co – “It’s because they suck,” the aforesaid petition read.

and so on. Addressing the social contexts in which young people live, study, and work (including bullying) is part of the answer to this.

For the record, I’m sure we all resent the hell out of the fact that we missed the Stones in their heyday, The Clash’s guitar destruction and Hendrix’s anthems. We didn’t get any of that. We got Nickelback, and it’s all our fault.

32

critic.co.nz


COLUMNS

Aristarchus of Samos Astronomer Ahead of his Time By Toby Newberry

Roughly 500 years ago, Nicolaus Copernicus wrote a book, the gist of which was: “Hey guys, the Earth isn’t the centre of the universe, it actually goes around the Sun, lol.” Good job Copernicus. But wait, there’s more: 1800 years before Copernicus, another chap wrote a book (or scroll, whatevs) that said the exact same thing. This was Aristarchus of Samos, a Greek astronomer who anticipated the Copernican revolution by some 18 centuries. Boom. Very little is known about Aristarchus besides his heliocentric model, a few other choice bits of astronomy, and one or two scraps of trivia. First, the trivia: Aristarchus was born on the Greek island of Samos (big surprise there), and conducted his mathematical and astronomical works around 270BC. That puts him about 50 years after Aristotle, for those interested in that sort of thing. On to the heliocentric model. So, the actual work in which Aristarchus articulated his sun-centered ideas is lost (some copies were housed in the Library of Alexandria). The central source on this is Archimedes, a contemporary of Aristarchus who has enjoyed somewhat greater recognition. Archimedes wrote: “His [Aristarchus’] hypotheses are that the fixed stars and the Sun remain unmoved, that the Earth revolves about the Sun, and... [some other stuff].” Sounds about right to me. Kudos to Aristarchus. In his surviving works, Aristarchus performs some neat geometric tricks. Through the application of ingenious geometry and a couple of key assumptions, Aristarchus was able to determine the relative distances between the Earth, Moon and Sun. The details of this get a bit too maths-y for a history column, so I’ll shy away from number crunching. In brief, Aristarchus noted that the Moon had the same angular size as the Sun – it covered it perfectly during an eclipse. He then assumed that the moon shines by reflected light (’tis true). Combining these with some observations made during a lunar eclipse, he had sufficient information to work out the relative distances. This he did, and he was horribly wrong. The important point, however, is that his method was sound. Were it not for some understandably imprecise observations (remember he didn’t have a stopwatch or a telescope), Aristarchus would have nailed it. More kudos. It’s easy to read about people like this and think “Man, how could those other chumps not realise this guy was right, damn fools!” In truth, there were pretty good reasons for ignoring the heliocentric model – the Earth doesn’t feel like it’s moving, after all. Still, it makes you wonder where astronomy would be today if we hadn’t spent the better part of two millennia trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

critic.co.nz

33


CO LU MN S

Prejudice is sexy

Cold as FLAT

By Shane at Checker-Out St Flat

By Holly Walker

Our student poverty has reached a new level: we bake our own bread.

In my second year at Otago, I went to bed each night wearing thermals under my flannel pyjamas, and slept under two duvets and a sleeping bag.

“Shane, shouldn’t you get the bread out of the oven?” Louise asked.

In my third year, ice formed on the inside of my bedroom windows overnight. In my fourth year, strange black liquid ran down the hallway wall.

“Good point,” I said, checking my watch. “It’s basically due.”

You probably live in a flat like that now. You might even live in one of those flats. My sympathies.

“Ha!” Louise yelled. “It’s in the oven and it’s Jew!”

Living in cold, damp flats is widely regarded as part of the scarfie experience. We all brag about it. Ten years on (oh god, has it really been that

“Well, they are full of dough,” Tim said.

long?), I dine out on my tales of scarfie slumdom. The rose-tinted glasses of hindsight allow me to forget how cold and shitty it was. I remember

Didn’t I just mention our lack of dough? Touchy subject, Tim, touchy subject.

only the bracing, character-building fun of it all.

Anyway, Louise has been watching a lot of Secret Diary of a Call Girl lately.

And maybe, for strapping young healthy scarfies like yourselves,

The over-anal(ytical) Tim inevitably asked us all, “What’s your price?”,

there is an element of truth in that (though it probably doesn’t seem that

postulating that everyone has one. And the more I think of it, the truer

fun or character-building when your flat makes you so sick it impacts

this point seems, particularly for students.

on your grades).

Louise was first up. For a good Saudi Prince, she decided $10k was rea-

homes, we’ve done a major disservice to another demographic – children.

Still, by valourising the student experience of living in cold, damp sonable – “And their jizz would arguably be worth that again on the black market.” What’s with the racism tonight?

Kids are not well equipped to cope with poor living conditions. Cold, damp, overcrowded houses have a major impact on their health, and poor health in childhood severely harms their prospects long term.

How about Tim? For someone he knew, felt comfortable with and liked,

The recent Experts Advisory Group report on Child Poverty noted

he reckons he’d go down to $1,000, as long as there was no emotional

that 70% of poor children in New Zealand live in rental properties. We also

attachment. “At the end of the day I’d rather someone else’s dick got

know that very few rental homes have been insulated under the otherwise

covered in my shit than mine was covered in someone else’s. And if you

successful Warm Up New Zealand Heat Smart insulation scheme. Cold,

used enough lube you wouldn’t feel shit.”

damp, overcrowded homes are making our kids sick, and it costs us all in the long term.

I guess that makes it my turn.

Improving the quality of rental houses is probably the most cost-effective thing we can do to improve child wellbeing. To do that, we need

Relationships definitely come into it. Let me be honest: if I weren’t in such

mandatory minimum standards for rental properties, including a liveable

a good relationship, my price would be pretty low. In fact, if there were a

standard of insulation, heating, and energy efficiency.

market for my services, I’d almost certainly give being a rent boy a shot.

And guess what?! It just so happens that I have a member’s bill in the

But as it is, my price is damn near infinite, and besides, I don’t imagine the

ballot to introduce said minimum standards. Nice! (To give credit where

Dunedin market is too huge. As clichéd as it is, I could become homeless

it’s due, it was drafted by my colleague Gareth Hughes. But it’s mine now.

and still not revert to prostitution: the perfect partner makes money mean-

Booyah.)

ingless. But that’s just me. For others it can be a very different story, and

So my old flats (and yours) might not pass muster in their current

that’s cool too. I just wonder how difficult it is to date or love someone who

state. So we might lose some bragging rights. We’d also save some children.

sells themselves. Naturally, I can understand that it’s a legitimate income

Seems worth it.

and a very reasonable way to get through life if people are willing to pay and play safe: there’s no problem in using it to support yourself and/or your family. But it MUST be hard on a lot of the partners. Anyway, word-count’s up. Hopefully I’m off for a shag.

34

critic.co.nz


COLUMNS

NZH Watch?

The wheel

By Walter Plinge

By Rheymin Yau

You may have missed it, what with the snow and all, but the NZ Herald

Round and round it turns,

moved from a broadsheet to a tabloid format last week. To celebrate this

Taking its time as it rolls uphill;

first step on the road to obsolescence for NZ’s largest newspaper, we’ve

Turning so slowly that

let the pun-seeking powers of ODT Watch loose on the Herald’s hallowed

You’d need to etch

pages. The Herald and the ODT are basically sister papers anyway. Here

A groove upon its circumference

we go …

To track its progress.

It’s easier than you think to become a drug addict

You visit the site, Where the wheel is,

I don’t know NZH, I always thought it was pretty much as easy as taking

Once—or maybe twice—a week

drugs. How could it be easier than that? Is it government-subsidised now?

And record the position of the groove,

Chick on a bike: Looking like a pro

But, what you find is that nothing has changed. [Some time has passed since your last recording]

Lol at that girl thinking she can ride a bike like a boy. Better call her a chick to take her down a notch.

The wheel sits there

Stalker finds perfect fit with Madman

As the world passes it by— It has seen The rise and fall of empires,

It’s a match made in crazy person heaven.

The waging of wars—

Govt plans shake schools

Of battles won and of battles lost;

Bastards stole our Christchurch pun. How dare they?

Little by little,

Huffing deaths: ‘A lost generation’

While mushrooms litter its surface

Hang on a minute. 44 teenagers dying from huffing gas and solvents is

Waiting in full bloom for the pollinator

hardly a “lost generation”. And if we had to lose a few people along the way,

That will never arrive;

But, despite all that is said, It moves nonetheless—

And feed on its bitter decay,

I’d suggest that those that voluntarily put glue in their nostrils probably aren’t such a tragedy.

But once it reaches the top,

The day the chips bit back

Where the pollinator does come, It’ll roll down the other side in a blink of an eye— And there’s not much you can do about it, Except to watch it turn

There was a tooth in the chips. So when the person bit into the chips… yeah.

For the wand that guides the wheel

Squid sex... it’s just so tiring

Is nowhere to be found.

WTF? Seriously, wtf? I didn’t read the rest of this article, as I didn’t want to ruin the mental image of an exhausted Herald reporter lying next to a squid smoking a post-coital cigarette. Keep it up NZH, maybe one day you could even take on the ODT. critic.co.nz

35


BOOKS

The Driver’s Seat BY MuriEl Spark

Reviewed by Lucy Hunter

and doesn’t like sex. Bill thinks he is Lise’s type. Lise meets Mrs Fiedke, an

T

elderly Jehovah’s Witness who suffers from narcolepsy and confusion. She he Driver’s Seat follows Lise, a nondescript woman of little

is worried about the men’s rights movement; that men are demanding to

importance, and her own way of reasoning inside a mind which

be able to wear jewellery and look after the children. They won’t be content

seems to have got the whole world the wrong way round. The

with equal rights only. They’ll want the upper hand next. Mrs Fiedke buys

book opens with Lise freaking out at a shop assistant for suggesting she

presents for the nephew she is sure is arriving on a flight sometime soon.

buy a stain-resistant dress – “Do you think I spill things on my clothes?

She stays up late in case he knocks on the door. A nice man in a dark suit

Do you think I don’t eat properly?” Lise needs a dress for her holiday to

changes seats on the plane so he doesn’t have to sit next to Lise and Bill.

an unnamed country to find a boyfriend she hasn’t met yet, but is sure

He doesn’t know why exactly. He tells the police he was scared.

she will recognise when she sees him. She is paranoid that she will look like a prostitute

I love this book. The Driver’s Seat is a mind-

if her hem is too long. Her jacket clashes

fuck of a crime story in which the narrator

horribly with her dress. Everybody remem-

and characters seem to be conspiring against

bers her. The narrator does not know Lise’s

each other for no reason other than paranoia

thoughts. Glimpses of a future of Identikit

and spite. Neither author nor heroine attempt

pictures, witness interviews, and newspa-

to explain what is going on. Trying to keep

per clippings magnify the peculiarities of

up with details only makes the plot more

Lise’s actions, which she carries out with

nonsensical, but it kind of makes sense,

blank stare and parted lips. She takes out

provided you accept the book’s absurdity.

a pen and a map, unfolds it, re-folds it, puts

Everything seems to come back around to

it away. Forgets about the pen. She stuffs

the start, but with none of the coherence

her passport down the back of the seat in a

expected of a crime novel. The Driver’s Seat

taxi, to keep it safe. When she checks in her

is a slim book – just over 100 pages – so you

luggage you hold your breath. She smiles at

pay close attention to long descriptions of

the contents of her handbag and you grit

uncannily normal details. The crime-reader’s

your teeth. Lise is terrifying.

eye picks these up as clues, and they sort of are. The book was written in 1970, when

Every character in the book has a different

politics surrounding gender, race, oppres-

type of unnerving weirdness. A grotesque

sion, and human rights were very much in

woman holds her breasts and laughs openly

the spotlight. Murial Spark turns everything

for a long time at Lise’s clothes. A woman

the 70s stood for upside down, blurring the

buys books in pastel shades to match her

definitions of emancipation, freewill, motive,

spare bedrooms. Lise meets Bill, a greasy

and especially victim and perpetrator – not

sex-crazed entrepreneur with very particu-

to mention everything else in the world.

lar eating habits. He carries around a sack of rice which leaves a dribbling

Spark says, “I aim to startle as well as please.” If by “startle” she meant

trail wherever he goes. Bill’s world is split into Yin things and Yang things.

“scare the shit out of and confuse horribly”, then she was successful. You

Coffee and salami are bad Yin. Rice and sex are good Yang. Lise likes coffee

should read this book. Good luck.

36

Books Editor | Josef Alton | books@critic.co.nz


G AM ES

Defender’s Quest - REVIEW Developer: Level Up Labs | Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux | Genre: RPG, Tower defence

Grinding” doesn’t sound like a great

and all are skilled in conveniently contrasting

The trouble is that tower defence games are

way to spend one’s time, does it? A mule

disciplines. The story isn’t important, but the

fundamentally about fine-tuning your strategy.

in a medieval mill did a lot of grinding – of grain

dialogue bubbles that make it up can easily be

They are satisfying when defences are set up in

– to turn it into the coarse, unrefined flour that

skipped, and it’s good for the occasional mild

an inspired, reasoned way, and the player gets to

was the serfs’ staple food supply. That gameplay

chuckle when the mood strikes you.

watch the dominoes fall in exactly the way he or

mechanic, as popular as it has historically been

she hoped they would – with minimal interac-

in classic Japanese RPGs, is cheap. To me, arbi-

It is a typical tower defense game, albeit one

tion. You can cast spells, but they tend to be used

trarily forcing a player to replay the same battles

with a staggering attention to detail, except

whenever possible to boost your characters, or

over and over again in order to beef up their

that the towers are all human members of your

as a last resort to directly damage enemies.

characters so that progress becomes possible

party – with pseudonyms, military equipment,

is a repetitive way to pad out a game’s length.

and abilities that you allocate to them with

Grinding unfortunately makes this fine-tuning

In some ways it is also diametrically opposed

the experience and currency that you gain in

impossible, because you never know if you are

to the idea of a tower defence game, and is the

the battles. It’s a terrific idea. Having a large,

supposed to be able to beat a level. Am I failing

reason that the otherwise brilliant Defender’s

ever-growing posse of heroes to assist you is

this section because I’m not thinking about it

Quest is undeniably imperfect.

a nice feeling. Games like Mount and Blade and

or strategising correctly, or am I failing because

the indie game Queens are as fun as they are

I haven’t done quite enough arbitrary work

Defender’s Quest takes place in a pixellated

partly for that reason. You set up your buddies on

beforehand? Defender’s Quest is still terrific,

path through a kingdom of vast grassy fields

the edge of a course, and zombie and worm foes

addictive, and satisfying, but two of the com-

bordering choked deserts. The story is extremely

rush down the roads to your wizard character.

ponents that contribute to its greatness cancel

self-aware, and cheekily makes fun of all the

Setting up all your warriors in the correct loca-

each other out somewhat.

generic fantasy conventions that it employs.

tion and equipping them correctly is imperative

Strangers join your party at the drop of a helm,

to succeeding.

Games Editor | Toby Hills | gaming@critic.co.nz

37


T HEATRE

HERO A READING

T

he latest Stage South reading to grace

With the father already dead at the beginning of

achievable goal, and would bring diversity to

the Fortune Theatre Studio stage is Hero,

the play, our viewpoint shifts from his after-life

any theatre’s season. Perhaps we could see it

directed by Erica Newlands. A haunting

self, observing the present, to memories of his

put on in Dunedin some time soon? With the

and beautiful play by Arun Subrmaniam, a New

life, when the family unit was still complete. A lot

American elections a hot topic of conversation,

Zealand playwright, Hero takes us on a journey

of characters tell stories or relive past moments

the parallels between the world of the play and

to Malaysia, where the first political assassina-

involving the father without him being there,

our own are hauntingly similar, and made me

tion took place.

so we only see him portrayed through others’

reflect on politics in general. Oh, I know, how

eyes, most poignantly when his most violent

boring. But this play truly made me question

Patrick Davies plays the father of the family and

moments are told through the eyes of his

how we take things at face value – we’re taught

successful politican. The character is beautifully

wife. The contrasting characters were really

to trust those in power without really knowing

written – a different man according to each char-

enjoyable to watch, with the narrative building

them as people. Hero shows us that the person

acter, who never shows his true self to anyone,

interesting, complete characters who were still

on the podium can be a very different person

not even his family. He is described as both a

able to surprise us. The variety of monologues

to their wife, their children, and their friends.

monster and a hero, unable to control how he

and conversations was also a highlight, with

Obviously we all have different masks we

is perceived. His son, played by Luke Agnew, is

conversations taking many different forms at

put on for different people, and Hero simply

a 13-year-old genius sheltered from his father’s

the same time, such as acting out memories in

portrays a more elaborate version of that, but

work life and infidelities by his mother, played

the middle of someone’s story to demonstrate

it gets you thinking nonetheless. Though this

by Nadya Shaw Bennett. The mother is the

a point.

play is specific in terms of setting and era, its

most intriguing and complex character, and I

core is crafted from basic human instincts and

found her consistently engaging. She portrays

Hero was enjoyable to watch as a reading,

emotions. Very satisfied with this pick, Stage

complex feelings through her jumbled English,

and I left feeling satisfied. However, I can’t

South. Until next time!

and makes observations that strongly echoed

help but think about what it would be like as

the themes of the text.

a full production. With a cast of four it is an

WE ARE NOW ON CAMPUS EVERY TUESDAY From 11-3 (inside the Student Union building, beside the food court) WE ARE YOUR STUDENT TRAVEL EXPERTS! STA TRAVEL DUNEDIN 38

207A George St (Inside Starbucks) E: dunedin@statravel.co.nz P: 474 0146 www.statravel.co.nz Theatre Editor | Bronwyn Wallace | performance@critic.co.nz


M U SIC

HERE IS SOME MUSIC IF I COULD FUCK MUSIC THEN I WOULD

‘Over and Out’ – Males

M

ales have just released their debut EP for free, because, you know, YOLO right? Not sure if this is the single, but it should be. Not that the other songs aren’t just as good, but “Over and Out” is

one of those rare songs that sounds completely full, finished, and realised. It’s a pop song that follows the perfect avenues of sound and melody as it rollicks along, fulfilling each idea’s complete potential without overdoing it or boring me. Essentially, it’s the perfect pop song filtered through a garage rock band, a fantastically interesting singer, and a whole heap of clean-cut, stoner-behind-closed-doors vibes. Richard Ley Hamilton is one of the more prolific musicians in a city filled with prolific musicians, although unfortunately, and mostly due to reasons beyond his control, I and the rest of the public have been consistently starved of recorded material from any of his numerous bands. However, I hope this dearth disappears with the release of MalesMalesMales. With the reclusive super wordsmith networking burger king Sam Valentine and the rosy cheeked, ever smiling choir boy drummer Ben Madden, Males might just become a band that all of New Zealand can lose their shit to, just like all of ReFuel did at the dunedinmusic.com birthday party. They should swap instruments, though. That would make them way cooler.

‘Give You All My Lovin’ – Tom Lark

T

om Lark, New Zealand’s best new earthquake-surviving, one-name, five-person band of merry men, is basically just awesome from start to finish. His debut EP, available for free online, features a mix

of great songwriting, quirky themes, catchy hooks, weird noises, and a whole lot of cheek, adding up to a tight and endearing release. “All Night Long” has a chorus dripping with honey and a hook that just won’t get out of my head even six months later. It includes one of my favourite ever lyrics, “my Midas touch might as well be doubt”, which is both terribly defeatist and completely relatable. “Give You All My Lovin” has a gunshot of a chorus, bursting out through the chest of the verse in a mix of blood, bone, and 90s nostalgia that slaps you in the face before reloading again. A jack of all trades media-wise, the band comprises Daniel Fowler of FowlerFace productions, who handles the video making for the band, creating an appropriately bright video for “All Night Long” and a strangely beautiful fast-paced clip for “Lovin” involving a horse mask, and singer/songwriter Shannon Fowler doing his best I’m-shy-but-I’ma-rock-star pose. He writes fantastic songs, with a wit and sharp tongue belying his quiet demeanour outside of music. Tom Lark is wacky and weird, but in such a perfectly accessible way that shows that outsiders are in (shit that sounds hipster). All in all, this album would get a perfect score if Lark hadn’t changed the perfect name of their song “Christians Who Don’t Do Shit” to “Hipsteranity”. And more points off for playing at Parachute and not playing “Christians Who Don’t Do Shit”. That gives them a total of 7/5. Oh, and they are even better live – it’s ridiculous but true.

‘Pulled You In’ – Artisan Guns

T

his song sounds how I assume it must feel to float within a steady stream of clouds, basking in the light warmth of the sun as memories of a lost love fade into resigned nostalgia. There is something

hypnotic about the rhythm, which chugs along underneath the perfectly understated vocals of Matthew Someone as he sings, “I cry myself, I cry myself to sleep”. It’s not a dark winter night of a song, though – instead of cold concrete floors and loneliness, there’s a winter warmth, like that core-warming yet bleak and hazy early sun on a spring morning. This song romanced me, carrying me along with its flow, enchanting me into only being able to write overly flowery and romantic things about its gorgeous form, and transforming me into a swaying field of summer daffodils, with my eyes closed, getting pulled under. I’d turn gay for it, basically.

Music Editor | Isaac McFarlane | music@critic.co.nz

39


A RT

Yvonne Todd: Wall of Seahorsel Dunedin Public Art Gallery | Until Sunday 17th February

By Taryn Dryfhout

12 businessmen, who on closer inspection are

These connections are harder to find in “Wall of

C

not as ordinary as first assumed. Todd uses

Seahorsel”, and thus the consistency is found in

urated by Melbourne arts writer

subtle techniques such as missing fingers and

the illogical actions of its subjects. The beachy

Serena Bentley, “Wall of Seahorsel” is a

excessively bright eyes to add eccentricity and

elements of each picture – pieces of seaweed,

showcase of the most recent works of one

peculiarity to the photographs. The indirect

driftwood, light fabrics and other beach mate-

of New Zealand’s most respected contemporary

awkwardness of the photographs forces the

rials – also aid in tying the collections together.

photographers. Yvonne Todd is an award-win-

viewer to attempt to decipher what elements

ning artist based in Auckland. She has become

arouse such feelings of strangeness.

“Wall of Seahorsel” is thought-provoking and confusing, frustrating and perplexing. It

well known for her photographs, which utilise

This peculiarity is amplified in “Wall of

the clichés of commercial portraiture to both

Seahorsel” on the opposite side of the gallery,

expose and celebrate the artificial nature of such

in which the new series of photographs features

photography. “Wall of Seahorsel” examines awk-

costumed occupants of an imagined community.

wardness and uneasiness by contemplating a

Connections between the subjects are insinuated

series of illogical actions immortalised in Todd’s

via a series of senseless bodily positions. The

large-scale photographs. Todd’s background in

men and women in the photographs explore

photography and fine arts degree have allowed

movement and posture in combination with

her to successfully incorporate her photography

strategically placed props and costumes, which

into her art in an eclectic way.

add to the strange feel of the photos. These

This exhibition occupies two opposite walls,

absurd stances prompt uneasiness in the viewer

enveloping the spacious room it currently inhab-

and work in conjunction with “Wall of Man”,

its in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The left-

making that collection feel less unsettling than

hand wall features Todd’s 2009 photographic

it did before approaching “Seahorsel”. In “Wall

series of large portraits entitled “Wall of Man”,

of Man”, the connection between each man is

and the other is her newest collection of large-

made clear by the uniform way in which they

scale photographs called “Wall of Seahorsel”,

are dressed and positioned. The photographic

from which the exhibition takes its name. “Wall

techniques are varied but consistent, giving

of Man” is a collection of photographs featuring

a coherent feel to the collection as a whole.

triggers a sense of restlessness and anxiety, while also allowing space for quiet reflection.

Glue Vira 2011 & Sandy Cube 2011 | C-type prints Courtesy Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington and Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland

www.unibooks.co.nz 40

Art Editor | Beaurey Chan | art@critic.co.nz


FOOD

Prawn, Spinach and Lemon Spaghetti

T

his simple pasta dish marries prawns with smoked paprika

on the way to 5+ a day, and balance the heaviness of the cream. I

and tart lemon, wrapping the lot up in a rich cream sauce.

prefer coarsely grated lemon rind, but superfine zest works equally

If you’re a seafood fan but can’t get down to your nearest

well. For extra tang, try adding a few splashes of white wine along

waterway armed with fishing artillery or face the price that blue

with the tomato. Allow it to cook off before adding the cream. My

cod and salmon fetch at the supermarket, then stock up your freezer

spaghetti of choice at the moment is the “angel hair” variety –

with prawns. You can pick up half a kilo for well under $15. Simply

super thin, as the name suggests, and the perfect vehicle for a

thaw them as you need them, whether in the fridge overnight or

creamy sauce such as this one. As with most meals, don’t forget

in the microwave for a few minutes. Spinach and tomato set you

the essential final touch of lashings of freshly cracked black pepper.

Ingredients 250g dried spaghetti 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 red onion, finely diced 1 tbs soft brown sugar 20 frozen raw prawn cutlets, defrosted 3 tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped

Method

01

Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Add the

spaghetti. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes, or until firm to the bite.

02

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a deep frypan.

04

Add the tomatoes and cook for a further minute, stirring to break

them down a little.

05

Add the cream and spinach, stirring to evenly incorporate. Turn the heat

up until the cream just starts to boil, then

Add the smoked paprika, red onion and soft

reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes

300ml cream

brown sugar. Cook until the onion is soft,

until the sauce is heated through and thick-

3 0 0 g f roze n sp i n a c h b u n d l es ,

stirring frequently.

ened. Stir through the lemon zest.

03

06

defrosted, squeezed of any excess water and roughly chopped Zest and juice of one lemon

Add the prawns and cook for three to four minutes or until cooked through

– they will become pink very quickly.

SERVES FOUR

Drain the spaghetti and toss it through the sauce. Pile into bowls

and squeeze lemon juice over each portion. Eat immediately.

Food Editor | Ines Shennan | food@critic.co.nz

41


FILM

Wunderkinder Director: Marcus Rosenmulle Reviewed By Lulu Sandston

W

underkinder, set in the Ukraine in

As Germany advances on Russia, it is Han-

The film is beautifully shot, and Ukraine

na’s family that is initially forced into hiding, but

is utterly picturesque. The film is subtitled,

as the Germans fend off Russian forces the tables

and although it took me a couple of scenes to

are turned and it is the Jewish children who must

acclimatise to the flow of German speech, it

hide. A “return the favour” scenario occurs in

would have been a very different film had it

which each family assists the others. The bru-

been in English. However, Wunderkinder does

tality of wartime results in a heart-wrenching

lack the beautifully rendered childhood sincerity

twist that tests the Reich family’s loyalty to their

and naïveté that Boy in the Striped Pajamas so

beloved Germany.

delicately mastered.

1941, follows three young musical

Although the film shies away from explicit

The musical abilities of the children add a

Wunderkinder, or child prodigies,

depictions of brutality, the harshness of the

texture to the film which at times can be chilling.

who are bound by their love of music. Violinist

Nazi treatment of the Jews is still difficult to

While the story is told in a measured way, the

Hanna Reich (Bridgette Grothum) is German,

comprehend. A child-like understanding of

suspense is at times uncomfortable, particularly

while pianist Larissa Brodsky (Imogen Burrell)

the Nazi-Jewish relationship is represented by

as the viewer knows enough of the Holocaust

and violinist Abrascha Kaplan (Elin Kolev) are

Abrascha’s claims that he and Larissa cannot be

story to appreciate that the film isn’t going to

Jewish. They live in a small town only miles from

friends with Hanna anymore, “because adults

end well.

the frontline of WWII.

are stupid”.

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42

Film Editor | Sarah Baillie | film@critic.co.nz


FILM

The Expendables 2

Moonrise Kingdom

Director: Simon West

Director: Wes Anderson

Reviewed By Rana Saad Jehandad

T

Reviewed By Taryn Dryfhout

a wrong turn when one of their crew is murdered during the operation.

S

Determined to seek revenge, the Expendables wreak havoc among their

Before leaving the camp, they make a pact to reunite the following summer

enemies even though the odds are stacked against them. To add to the

and run away together. With camping aides in tow, as well as books and a

chaos, the crew is also attempting to keep five tons of weapons-grade

cat, they set off for a week of hiking and spending time together, hoping

plutonium out of the wrong hands whilst undertaking their mission: "Find

to settle in a cove on the island which they entitle “Moonrise Kingdom”.

em, track em, kill em".

Their “love” blossoms as they dance on the beach and generally live it

he Expendables 2 revolves around a group of mercenaries, the Expendables, who are enlisted by a Mr Church to retrieve a lost package from a downed plane. What seems like an easy job takes

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Bruce Willis, The Expendables 2 is an 80s

et in the 1960s, Moonrise Kingdom is about a couple of New England kids who cross paths at a summer camp and fall headover-heels in love. Suzy comes from an upper-class family of law-

yers, while Sam is an orphan who is constantly in and out of foster homes.

up (well, as much as you can as a tween), until they are eventually found by their families and camp leaders.

action fan’s wet dream. This amazing cast offers a testosterone-fuelled

Moonrise Kingdom has been getting rave reviews, and I cannot for

and action-packed film that doesn’t disappoint, with non-stop gratuitous

the life of me understand why. The film is odd and quirky in a very awk-

violence from the get-go. The Expendables 2 is one of those rare sequels

ward way, almost like a Dr Seuss novel. Its vintage tint, which I assume

that is much better than its predecessor. Its most entertaining element is

was added in an attempt to date the film, is distracting, and the plot is

the relentless stream of one-liners, which pay homage to 80s action films.

completely nonsensical. The foundation of the “love story” is a particularly

A special mention goes out to JCVD (the villain) and his signature kick.

naïve presentation of what young love is, and the fact that it involves two

I highly recommend this movie, but keep in mind that it’s not meant

12-year-olds is frankly uncomfortable.

to be serious; it’s a throwback to the good old action movies of the 80s

What started out as an eclectic, light watch ceased to be entertaining

and 90s. The Expendables 2 is an action movie that will plunge a blade

after the first half-hour. The film’s scope was so narrow it was almost

into your heart, twist it, shoot it, and then blow it up with an airplane.

condescending, and to call the ending a let-down is an understatement. I can’t say it’s something I would ever watch again.

Film Editor | Sarah Baillie | film@critic.co.nz

43


L ETT E RS

can do that and still be sexy. A little restraint

I saw you looking so damn feline on the back

isn’t old-fashioned or repressed. It certainly

cover of Critic today. Although I have been

won’t deter people you actually want to attract.

recently spayed, I am no less frisky than before,

Feminazis gonna feminazi,

LETTER OF THE WEEK The letter of the week wins a $30 book voucher to spend at University Book Shop.

Halal pie. Lol.

and I would kill to share my catnip with you. Meowwwww,

Scout P.S. The style is Rococo, not some lame children’s story-book “Bo Peep garb”.

Kitty xoxo

[Letter abridged by Ed]

Join the club

Mean Maori, mean

Clark. I want him to touch my body, roll me on

Kia ora Critic,

the floor. When I think about him I touch myself.

I have an obsession. This obsession is Sam

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed

The thought of him makes me feel like a virgin,

Lauren Wooton’s article on the Treaty - a well

touched for the very first time. Sam, baby i’m

balanced and open-minded look at the role of

yours, I want to cater to you boy. I know we

the Treaty and biculturalism in Aotearoa!

might not be the perfect match, but I just want

Dear all, its time for me to eat some

As a nerdy law student I feel a compelled to

one night with you no strings attached. I know

humble halal pie and apologies for my

make a small correction to assuage the fears of

you’ve seen me watching you, and i’ve seen you

comment in last weeks edition of critic with

those European families who worked land since

watching me. Every step you take, every move

regards to veils and headscarves. You see

their emigration here. The Crown does not give

you make.

my comments were very uninformed and

back privately held land in Treaty settlements

Yours truly,

quite ignorant. The point that I was trying to

to iwi, only Crown-owned ‘property’, which can

The girl that watches you sleep at night.

get across was that I’m opposed to oppres-

be land or assets. So those people who hold land

sion however veils or Hijabs are worn out

won’t have it taken off them as part of a settle-

of choice. And that’s choice! My comments

ment, yay for those landowners! This seems to

were certainly not reflective of the big ol’

be a commonly held fear of many of the old racist

diverse lady that is the ousa herself.

letter writers into the ODT, so if someone could

Sincerely,

let them know about this, that would be great. Thanks also to Kara, Tihema and Lisa for

Logan Edgar

their well articulated thoughts in the article.

You can see how we got confused

That’s quite an orgasm Dear Critic,

Dear Critic,

Notices Rosh Hashanah Pot Luck Meal Jewish students and any curious students are invited to attend a dinner to celebrate the Jewish New Year at 7pm tomorrow in the Gazebo Lounge. Please bring a vegetarian plate to share!

The section 21st Century Scarfies about stu-

I have been completely misrepresented in

dents lack of will to protest has sent an utmost

your Slutwalk article. That “young woman in full

orgasmic vibe throughout my body, yes, from

Little Bo Peep garb”? Yeah, that was me. I am

head to toe.

Actors? Aoraki Polytechnic are looking for actors of any age and gender to star in some short films

actually against the Slutwalk and dressed to take

As a first year student myself, it amazes me

the piss out of the slutty-dressed participants. I

to see the extent of the society I have walked into

No experience required. Please contact

support the movement’s fundamental aspects

whilst coming to university and it has opened

AorakiFilm@Gmail.com with a brief description

(i.e. rape is terrible and can affect anybody) but

my eyes vividly to the issues that revolve around

of yourself and we will arrange an audition.

do not agree with the execution of this message,

us.

or the ideas implied through the signs e.g. “Teach

Let us all join our voices and protest

men not to rape!” — as if all males are predis-

together in awareness against what we are being

posed rapists unless “taught” not to.

put through. We do not deserve the burden of

There’s a difference between blaming and

debt.

with a vareity of genres from zombie to romantic.

Politics, Pints and Pundits Critic presents the 2013 OUSA Election Forum. Candidate for the 2013 OUSA executive

warning. The statement issued was for the pub-

In great thanks,

will debate and face questions from the audi-

lic’s safety, not victim-blaming. Ideally, people

a local Scarfie.

ence. But since student politics is only so inter-

should dress freely without fearing judgement (or rape). However, the world does not care how

Think that was JayJay

one ideally think things ought to be. It’s selfish

Howie Darling,

and naive to pass on all responsibility.

esting, there will also be beer and food. 5pm to 7pm upstairs at the Captain Cook Tavern, Friday 21 September. All 18+ welcome.

I’ve seen you prowling outside Student

It’s not empowering to dress slutty. It is

Support, and find your rugged ginger fluff and

CRICKET!

empowering to value your body and present

rotund belly wildly exciting. As a lonely pussy

University Grange Cricket Club. Tuesdays 7:30 @

yourself as someone deserving of respect. You

around campus, I knew we had potential when

The Edgar Centre. Call 0273118354 BOOM!

44

critic.co.nz


LETT ERS

Film Society Preview

A naïve, unpolitical German officer is billeted

Wednesday 19 September at 7.30 pm in the

Le Silence de la Mer (The Silence of the Sea)

in the country with an old man and his niece,

Red Lecture Theatre, Great King Street, across

(Jean Pierre-Melville | France | 1947)

who maintain a disdainful silence in the soldier’s

the road from the emergency entrance of the

presence. “A root influence on Bresson and the

Dunedin Public Hospital.

Melville’s first film is one of the most disturbing and poetic films on the Occupation.

whole French New Wave.” – Time Out

critic.co.nz

45


CHA P LA I N C H AT

SCARY VENGEFUL GOD Greetings friends. Kia ora tatou.

L

ast week we held our University and Polytechnic Chaplaincy

God (or our defiant refusal to be open to imaging God at all) will strongly

Annual General meeting. It was a chance to pause and reflect on

influence who we become, how we live, and who we share most deeply

all that we have been trying to do as a Chaplaincy team here on

with. Faith in a loving God motivates us and equips us to be more caring,

campus over the last 12 months. Primarily what we are here for is to offer

merciful and compassionate people ourselves. Imaging God as a vengeful

pastoral care and spiritual support. Together, as a team of nine people, we

scary tyrant (not recommended) will result in lives characterised by fear. A

are privileged to touch the lives of thousands of students and staff each

healthy spirituality however can enhance our capacity to care and to serve

year in ways which we believe enhances the well-being of our campus

others. Spirituality deepens our awareness of what are the most important

community. Together what we are trying to do is to model a way of caring

things in life. Within the Christian tradition, the apostle Paul writes that

for others which might not otherwise be on display. There are endless

there are three great things in life; faith, hope and love, but the greatest of

opportunities each day to show interest in the well-being of the people we

these is love. (1 Corinthinans 13 vs. 13 ). May you be on the receiving end of

interact with. Pause for a few minutes and reflect on all the opportunities

all the faith, hope and love you need to get through the demanding season

you have to care for others, to show genuine interest in the well-being of

ahead leading up to exams. If any of our Chaplaincy team can help support

others and to show compassion for those around you who are struggling. I

you in any way, please let us know. Our new Chaplaincy offices are located

encourage you to do an “emotional and spiritual well-being audit� of your

on the mezzanine floor of the University Union building.

flat, Residential College, office, lecture theatre or lab. How well are people in all these places listening to each other and caring for each other ? In

Arohanui,

what ways might you be able to encourage greater respect and openness to

Greg Hughson

sharing honest feelings in all the environments in which you live and move and have your being ? I believe that in the end, what matters most is the

University Chaplain

quality of our relationships. Relationships with our families, our friends,

www.otago.ac.nz/chaplain

our colleagues and, some would say, with our God. Our primary image of

46

critic.co.nz


The OUSA Page

Everything OUSA, every Monday

logan says

Recreation Courses: Acupressure for Beginners:

Monday,

What is Acupressure? Acupressure is the application of finger or hand

Charity, Elections and Art Week. Deep stuff.

pressure on points of the body. This in turn stimulates the flow of energy and may aid aliments of the body. In this workshop you will learn more about the theory behind acupressure and towards the end put in into practical application. September 22nd 1:00 – 5:00pm at Clubs and Socs. Cost - $35.00 for students. 5 Elements Acupuncture Experience Acupuncture manipulates thin, solid needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. This in turn stimulates the flow of “qi” and

It’s nomination week (and Art Week)! So get yourself sorted and get your name put forward so it can be you running the place, not some random jockey who thinks they know everything about what you want. You’ve been great to work with, all of ya, even those who gave me the shits, you’ve given me a heck of a time and I’ve learnt a lot. Thanks to all the girls who’ve thrown themselves at me, the boys too, you know who you are, cheers. Now it’s time for some new blood to give it a shot and make sure OUSA keeps on the awesome road so it’s still epic for you guys! Roll on Ori’13! If you don’t wanna run then defs head along to the candidate forum at the ol’Captain Cook on Friday… cheeky.

may aid aliments of the body. During this “experience” you will gain both theoretical knowledge and actually experience acupuncture. Friday 6:30 – 9:30pm September 21st at Clubs and Socs. Cost $30.00 for students. Like a course? Get in touch or find out more via ousa.org.nz/recreation/

Exec Nominations and Referendum! The nomination period for positions on the OUSA Executive for 2013 are open from today until the 20th at 4pm. Make sure you’ve got your mates to put you forward so you can start campaigning on Friday and secure your spot at the Forum this Friday at the Cook from 6pm. Questions to be asked in the referendum:

• • •

There’s art all around campus this Art Week so check it out, try the scavenger hunt for some mint prizes, go on the gallery crawl, and even better check out all the student art in the upstairs Link, you can even buy some if you like and get all skuxy. There’s heaps of art up there, and you talented buggars made it, I even created a piece!

Should the proposed OUSA budget for 2013 be accepted in its entirety? Should OUSA support the Marriage Equality Bill currently before Parliament? Should OUSA Support the move towards a smoke-free Campus? Should OUSA actively support student representation on the govern-

The election period is next week and alongside that is the referendum with some interesting and topical questions! Each day of voting we’ll be giving away not only chocy fishes at the voting booth but also 10 movie passes, and at the end of voting one person will walk away with a shiny new Samsung Galaxy tablet! Seriously we wanna get heaps of you voting because you need the right people in charge who represent YOU, and we defs need your feedback on those tricky referendum questions… Seriously, are you cool with same sex marriage? Don’t just let the extremists be heard, we want normal everyday young people who will actually be the ones who will be affected by the change… If it will mean a change.

ing councils of tertiary institutions?

We’re also helping the KidsCan Charity this week and helping run the Coin Trail this Thursday between 9am and 1pm, please get in touch with Fran via welfare@ousa.org.nz if you have an hour to spare and help us collect at the Meridian! Chur,

Should OUSA actively support Post-Graduate students receiving a Student allowance?

Logdog.

Should section 19.10 of the OUSA Constitution be amended to read: “Any referendum at which fewer than five (5) percent of the total number of members cast their vote will be indicative only, except where the issue is about any or all matters listed in sections 19.11 or 19.12, where the threshold shall be one (1) percent of the total members, a figure the Secretary will ascertain at the commencement of

each semester and report to the Executive and the Student Media.” Should the OUSA constitution be amended to rescind sections 19.3, 19.13 and 20.2(d)(ii) and insert a new section 19.3 that reads: “Any Referendum involving finance or administration matters other than any or all matters listed in sections 19.11 or 19.12, shall be indicative only and not binding on the Association.”

47


NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN

DON’T LET AN ASS REPRESENT YOU Get yourself nominated to run for the 2013 OUSA Executive. Get experience, get paid, and help make Otago awesome! Go to ousa.org.nz or email secretary@ousa.org.nz for more info Nominations close: 4pm 20th Sept The referendum forum: 12pm 20 Sept, Link Courtyard or MCR Candidates & Presidents forum: 5pm, Captain Cook Tavern Voting: 24th – 27th Sept via voting.ousa.org.nz or at the Link voting booth

Make sure you vote to have your say (and win some epic prizes!)

Issue 24, 2012  

Arts Week & Stuff

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