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ISSUE #4 - 2011



you are still

JUST a rat in a cage. Billy Corgan fights a pig! Page 59!


CONTACTS Editorial - 9266 2806 Advertising - 9266 3087 Email -

Grok would not exist were it not for the generous donation of time and effort from it’s contributors, to whom we are eternally grateful. (in no particular order)

EDITOR - Sean McEwan LAYOUT - Rozanna Johnson COVER - Rozanna Johnson

Andrew Cameron Scott Donaldson Anthony Pyle Emil Cholich Connor White Leanne Fitzgerald Rocheen Flaherty Alan Smith Jennifer Peterson-Ward Angelin Yeoh Missy Mather Carmen Reilly Fran Quintanilla Abby Huthinson Aiden Stingemore

Grok exists for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed therein are not necessarily that of the Curtin Student Guild - or often of the authors themselves.


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Editorial Letters to the Editor

your guild: 5 President your guild: 6 VP’s guild: 7 your Faculty Reps uni life: 9 Sem 1 Photos CUPSA feature: 10 8 Steps to


feature: feature: 18 42 Can’t le Hell am Why What We Be Friends? I Doing Here? feature: feature: 44 21 Have All the Grammar Nazis Where Riot Grrrls Gone? feature: feature: 22 47 Fear Of a PROSH:

Brown Planet

advice: 246 BETTER ASK SOMEONE 28 CALENDAR feature: 32 Beyond the Survive a PhD Call of Duty advice: feature: 13 AGONY SQUID 34 So Angry II Feel Could... guild: 14 your feature: Club News 36 CAVE MEN feature: 15 Island Dwarfism 38 feature: Blazin’ Mad your guild: 16 STUDENT 40 your guild:


Queer Department

It’s For Charity

Make Me Rage

Idea at the Time: Going to Uni

uni life: 49 About Things Curtin That creative: 50 Killing the Rage reviews: 51 GAMES feature: 53 Literally R.A.G.E. reviews: 54 MUSIC advice: 56 It Seemed Like a Good 1 - contents

ISSUE #4 2011


The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, from Greek mesos (middle), nychus (claw), and teuthis (squid)) sometimes called the Antarctic or Giant Cranch Squid, is believed to be the largest squid species in terms of mass. It is the only known member of the

genus Mesonychoteuthis. Though it is known from only a few specimens, current estimates put its maximum size at 12–14 metres (39–46 feet) long, based on analysis of smaller and immature specimens, making it the largest known invertebrate. Unlike the giant squid, whose arms and tentacles only have suckers lined with small teeth, the Colossal Squid’s limbs are also equipped with sharp hooks: some swiveling, others threepointed. Its body is wider and stouter, and therefore heavier, than that of the giant squid. Colossal Squids are believed to have a longer mantle than giant squids, although their tentacles are shorter.

2 - editorial

The squid exhibits abyssal gigantism. The beak of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni is the largest known of any squid, exceeding that of Architeuthis (giant

squid) in size and in robustness. The Colossal Squid also has the largest eyes documented in the animal kingdom. The squid’s known range extends thousands of miles northward from Antarctica to southern South America, southern South Africa, and the southern tip of New Zealand, making it primarily an inhabitant of the entire circumantarctic Southern Ocean. While little is known about the life of this creature, it is believed to feed on prey such as chaetognatha, large fish like the Patagonian toothfish and other squid in the deep ocean using bioluminescence. The Colossal Squid is thought to have a slow metabolic rate, requiring only around 30 g of prey daily. Estimates of its energetic demands suggest that it is a slowmoving ambush predator, using its large eyes primarily for predator detection rather than active hunting. Based on capture depths of a few specimens, as well as beaks found in sperm whale stomachs, the adult squid ranges at least to a depth of 2200 metres, while juveniles can go as deep as 1000 metres. It is believed to be sexually dimorphic, with mature females generally being much larger than mature males, as is common in many species of invertebrates.

The squid’s method of reproduction has not been observed, although some data on their reproduction can be inferred from anatomy. Since males lack an organ called a hectocotylus (an arm used in other cephalopods to transfer a spermatophore to the female), they probably use a penis instead, which would be used to directly implant sperm into females. Many sperm whales carry scars on their backs believed to be caused by the hooks of Colossal Squid. Colossal Squid are a major prey item for Antarctic sperm whales feeding in the Southern Ocean; 14% of the squid beaks found in the stomachs of these sperm whales are those of the Colossal Squid, which indicates that Colossal Squid make up 77% of the biomass consumed by these whales. Many other animals also feed on this squid, including beaked whales (such as the bottlenose whales), pilot whales, southern elephant seals, Patagonian toothfish, sleeper sharks (Somniosus cf. microcephalus), and albatrosses (e.g., the Wandering and Sooty albatrosses). However, beaks from mature adults have only been recovered from those animals large enough to take such prey (i.e., sperm whales and sleeper sharks), while the remaining predators are limited to eating juveniles or young adults.

3 - procrastination


4 - letters to the editor

Welcome back! Yeah, clearly my excitement for semester 2 might be somewhat both tragic and unusual , however the Guild has a great semester planned with something for everyone. Also a big welcome to all students who are starting at Curtin for the first time! Whilst campus may have been quiet and most students have been catching up sleep on sleep and earning some much needed cash, the Guild has been in full planning mode for semester 2. We’ve got a great line-up of events this semester. Sarah our AVP has been working hard to get Guild day ready, which is on Wednesday July 20. Guild day is the return of O’day with plenty of stalls and entertainment, check it out. Later on in the semester the international students committee will be hosting Multicultural Week and Pasar Malam. This is a huge event where we see 5 days of entertainment with different cultural aspects, representative of the countries where many of Curtin’s international students call home. The final day is Pasar Malam, where we’ll see the south oval light up with heaps of festivities, amazing food and entertainment. Judging by the pollies in Canberra, it looks like as of 2012 a new student amenities fee will be in place. This fee will most likely be charged to all students who study at Curtin campuses in WA. How much the fee will be is still unknown, it’s most likely going to be charged to your

HECS therefore the good news is you won’t have to pay that cost until you graduate and are earning some serious cash. The Guild will hope to receive some of the funds in order to expand its current services such as student assist and the reboot program. However a large portion of the fee will go to University support services. The Guild Courtyard adjacent to Centrelink and Building 106 is almost finished! We’ve been fixing up a few minor issues and the furniture has been ordered. We’re getting rid of the old worn out tables and replacing it with funky yet practical furniture which will transform it into a new study space for all students to use. Hopefully by the first weeks of semester it will be all ready to go! So what does everyone think about this year’s academic calendar and the changes to the tuition free weeks? What I’ve been hearing from students is that having only one tuition free week per semester and a shorter winter break is really affecting peoples studies, not to mention stress levels! If this is an issue for you as well, then I want to hear about it. I’ve spoken to Uni heads about this to let them know that this is a big issue! Also just a reminder that the Guild equity space in building 106F is a common room for all students so feel free to come chill, study or more importantly eat! Once again, welcome back and please remember the Guild is here to give you a helping hand whenever you need it.

GUILD RECEPTION Building 106F Open: MON-FRI 8:30am - 5pm president Joseph Quick p: (08) 9266 2934 e: president@ education vice president Chris Hossen p: (08) 9266 2920 e: educationvp@ activities vice president Sarah Connor p: (08) 9266 4578 e: activitiesvp@ general secretary Ali Kirke p: (08) 9266 2918 e: generalsecretary@

FACULTY REPS business faculty rep Caitlin du Toit p: (08) 9266 2764 e: business@ health sciences faculty rep Rachel Murray p: (08) 9266 3392 e: health@

humanities faculty rep Michael Ball p: (08) 9266 2764 e: humanities@ science & engineering faculty rep Maz Rahman p: (08) 9266 3392 e: science@

GUILD DEPARTMENTS CUPSA Andrew Cameron p: (08) 9266 4465 e: president.cupsa@ indigenous department p: (08) 9266 3150 e: indigenous@ international students committee Nathassja Widagdo p: (08) 9266 2910 e: isc@ gender & sexuality department p: (08) 9266 3385 e: sexuality@ women’s department p: (08) 9266 3386 e: women@

STUDENT ASSIST OFFICERS Mandy Middle p: (08) 9266 2911 e: m.middle@ Simon Roy p: (08) 9266 3224 e: s.roy@ Juliana Desker-Lim p: (08) 9266 4779 e: j.desker-lim@

RECREATION/ CLUBS guild recreation e: recreation@ guild clubs: e: clubs@

RETAIL OUTLETS curtin concept p: (08) 9266 2828 e: concept@ guild copy & design centre p: (08) 9266 2925 e: secondhand bookshop p: (08) 9266 2909 e: bookshop@

the spot / spotlight tickets p: (08) 9266 1797 e: spot@ IT works computer store p: (08) 9266 2902 e: itworks@

FOOD OUTLETS p: (08) 9266 2900 e: reception@


location: building 106C p: (08) 9266 2904 e: tavmanager@

GUILD EVENTS p: 9266 2900 e: events@

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES p: (08) 9266 3087 e: advertising@

GROK MAGAZINE p: (08) 9266 2900 e: grok@

all guild email suffixes are:

5 - your guild



EDUCATION VICE PRESIDENT - Chris Hossen Hi everyone and welcome back for Semester 2, especially all those new students out there, welcome to Curtin and I hope you are enjoying your first read of GROK. I guess I’ll introduce myself again; I am Chris the Education Vice President of the Guild. My job is to work for you all to improve your educational experience at Curtin and also to ensure your welfare is considered after when decisions are made by the University. We have been working hard over the break to make sure everything is ready for the return of students for Sem 2. We have 3 brand new microwaves out in common rooms and more appliances soon to go out. Also the Guild’s Equity space is fully complete and it’s been great to see students using it over the break. From Semester 2 there will be a change to the Guild fortnightly breakfast. We will be moving the cooked breakfast to once a month; but having continental breakfast available everyday in the Equity Space. On the parking front, we have met with the uni; they have indicated that they are open to some of our ideas. We will continue to lobby hard to ensure that full PAYG parking does not happen. We will keep you updated on this as the semester unfolds. Also, don’t forget that the Guild’s Excellence in teaching Awards are now open. So if you have a lecturer or supervisor who is amazing drop a nomination in for them. Lastly, Bookshop grants are open again; if you need help with purchasing textbooks, grab a form. You could receive up to $200.

6 - your guild

Well that’s me for another edition. Hope you all enjoy the read and have a great start to the semester.

So it’s that time again…to begin the elusive search for a parking bay, master the cues at Main Café and clear the dust off the text books. Welcome to Semester Two, I hope study break gave you chance to stretch the legs and recharge the batteries, and that you are not returning too bitter or jaded. As a mark of my dedication to ensuring Curtin has a diverse, fufilling and totally off the hook campus life, I spent some of my break in Melbourne, not only researching the hipster culture, but attending the Student Satisfaction in Higher Education Conference. Whilst the conference helped me to feel equipped to assist Curtin student maximise their engagement with their time on campus, to be honest the penguin aqaurium and the MCG may have had a bigger impact on the semesters event portfolio… expect to see some AFL and snow inspired events popping up later in the semester!!! In the mean time, here’s a rundown of some of the sweet on campus happenings …

Start Up Party

A new addition to the Guild social calender the Start Up Party will be rocking out at the Tav on July 15th. New Curtin students are invited to have a welcoming taste of Tav’s social life, but I really hope to see oodles of students who have been around the block for a while, so you can show the freshers our Curtin style. For more details check out the brand new Curtin Student Guild FB page (while you are there make sure you like to stay up to date with our events and happenings).

Guild Day…

O-day’s little cousin is back in town on July 20th. Just like O-day did in semester one, Guild Day is about promoting our off the hook campus life, with stalls by Guild departments and student clubs, all keen to show you a good time. Grill the Guild will also be there, handing out free snaggers, so make sure you come on down to Charles Court Promenade, outside Guild Reception (Building 106F) between 10-2 to join the fun. Then stick around that evening as we have a very special Wicked Wednesday @ the Tav. To kick us off in style for the semester, we will have some local talent rocking out at the Tav. We’ll also have our usual Wednesday night specials and free snaggers for all so, what better way to welcome in the new semester then getting your freak on at the Tav.

Guild Ball

A chance to get frocked up, tuxed up and glammed up, the 2011 Evening of Elegance Ball, is on Friday August 5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Perth. The night offers a 3 course meal, full drinks package and a glamming good time. Hurry and get your tickets from the Spot!


Are you a misunderstood muso looking for a platform to launch yourself as a rockstar? The Guild hears you! Firstly we are hosting a Curtin heat for the National Campus Band Comp. This comp is kind of a big deal, with previous winners from Perth back in the day including Jebidiah and Eskimo Joe. So if you think your band is a 44 gallon drum of unsigned talent, check out the entry details on the Guild FB or website. Those who have been dragging their feet around Curtin for a while will remember Music @ Curtin, the live music that used to get Henderson Court cranking. After a short soiree due to neglect by the university, the Guild is hoping to take it over, redress it and relaunch it this semester. If you’re a keen muso looking for a gig, or have a wicked new name for the program, be sure to drop me a line at

Common Free Time Funtimes…

Wednesdays have always been the standout best day to be on campus (rivaled only by Friday’s because Fish and Chips is the Main Café special). Grill the Guild is here to stay every Wednesday, with free snaggers for full Guild members. Ovents are back bring their random goodness and fun with them where ever they fall, and we are looking forward to adding a revamped Music@Curtin to the mix. The Guild holds so many events during common free time to make much of what we do accessable to all students. Common free time is also used by many clubs, study groups and even staff to schedule meetings and events to maximise attendence. However common free time does make timetabling more difficult for the university. We’d love to hear your views on common free time… is it an essential part of the oncampus experience? Or is it not worth the timetabling hassles? Email me at activitiesvp@guild.curtin. with your views on common free time. All in all, this semester looks like it is going to be an epic jelly pool of campus life good times, so make sure you get involved and join the fun! And remember…Guild is good for you!

BUSINESS - Caitlin du Toit Hey business kids! Hope you all survived exams and end of semester assignments – it always feels like it’s never going to end but fortunately, it always does. I’ve been busy trying to find a new spot for a faculty common room, open to all business students but it’s taking a little while – promise it will be worth the wait! Other than that, it’s been fairly quiet with not too many students left on campus. Heading off to Melbourne for four days with a few other guildies to a conference so hopefully I’ll hear of a few things we can implement in the Business School to make it the best it can be. Once again, if you guys have any ideas on how to make the faculty better, please email me ( or just pop into the office.

I tried to follow the success of my fellow fac reps and find a few jokes to make this a little bit more exciting in my box but unfortunately I couldn’t find any business jokes (none that I thought were very funny anyway). So shoot me an email if you know of any good ones, I’ll be forever grateful as I’m tired of looking like the boring one. I thought of adding in a few “FML” quotes – I always feel better about my life when I read about other peoples embarrassing or awkward moments but one of my best mates told me that this makes me a terrible person. So, I think that I’ll refrain from that for now. But for now, I hope that the exam results are better than expected and good luck with Semester 2! Thanks - Caitlin

HEALTH SCIENCES - Rachel Murray Welcome to Semester 2! I hope you all found your mid-year break relaxing, stimulating, productive and memorable. I don’t know about the rest of you, but this year seems to be rolling along a bit too fast for my liking - graduating at the end of this year suddenly seems very close! In the meantime, a couple of things I would like to remind the delightful Health Sciences students about. The Guild Excellence in Teaching Awards are now open for 2011. This is your opportunity to nominate a lecturer, tutor or supervisor who you think deserves to be recognised for their awesome work. They’ll receive a nifty certificate, cash to put towards teaching and learning and the chance to brag to their colleagues that their

students actually like them. For the last few years the nominees from Health Sciences have dominated every other faculty in their all-around greatness so don’t let me down this year! You can find nomination forms at Guild reception, floating around the various Health Sciences common room and on the Guild website under ‘Representation’. While I hope you have all had a really positive year so far, just a quick reminder that if you have any issues with your course/common room/staff members/university experiences…PLEASE LET US KNOW! And finally for your comedic pleasure: A man walked into a bar. He said “ouch” (See Caitlin, it’s not that hard!)

SCIENCE & ENGINEERING - Maz Rahman So, exams ended weeks ago, and hopefully everyone faired better than I did. It’s been a busy time around the Guild as we get ready for semester 2. With the SSAF coming, we’ve been working with the uni to ensure that the compulsory fee you will all be slugged with is put to good use. Just before semester 1 ended, I took a trip to Kalgoorlie and discovered that students out there didn’t have easy access to a bulk billing doctor, a service the Uni should really ensure all students are able to access. So the Guild has stepped in and will cover the Medicare gap, but we will still be putting the pressure on

the Uni to make sure that services are available to ALL students regardless of which campus they attend. Just like clockwork, it’s that time of year when the Uni is looking to try and remove Common Free time as a band aid solution to timetabling issues. Rather than such a short term solution we’re hoping they come up with ideas for the long term. Even on a faculty level, S&E are against the idea, so let’s see if the Uni actually listens. As always, if you have any issues, feel free to shoot me a message.

HUMANITIES - Michael Ball

If you can’t tell by now, this was written at the end of semester one with the one goal of

reminding you I’m here. Call me, email me, come sit on my couch, I don’t care; just give me something to do. I get bored sipping export with a slice of lemon in it. One last thing, I’m currently counting my bruises from crashing the motorbike I was trying to sell in semester one, thus, no longer for sale. Balls xx

7 - your guild

As the hangover that was semester one fades away, all of my documents are shifted into a file aptly named “sem1-2011 The Shitstorm Semester” and I sell my last non vital organs so that I can afford to park at this corporation university. I look forward to what is the better semester for this year.

8 - advice


9 - uni life

Here’s some of what happened...

10 - feature

Surviving a PhD isn’t as hard as everyone thinks. Sure, you’re going to be an emotional cripple with no social life by the end of it, but at least you’ve achieved something worthwhile.

8 Steps to Surviving a PhD Andrew Cameron - CUPSA President

1. Find a Good Supervisor

Your supervisor can make all the difference between Happy Research Student and Homicidal Research Monster. When shopping for supervisors, choose one whose research interests are similar to yours. There’s nothing worse than a supervisor who doesn’t know anything about your field or doesn’t care about your project. And you don’t want a supervisor who will hijack your project and make it theirs. That’s not fun. Sit down with them, establish your expectations regarding frequency of meetings and their level of support. Your enrolling area should be able to help you to find a supervisor if you’re struggling.

2. Join a Student Club

I’m not talking about Alcoholics’ Anonymous. I’m talking about CUPSA. Here at CUPSA, we’re all about helping students. We are the wing of the Student Guild that specifically caters for postgraduates. We represent postgrads, we advocate on their behalf, and - most importantly! - we host events. Each member of our Council is a postgraduate student themselves, so we know the difficulties of research. Even better, all enrolled postgraduate students are automatically members of CUPSA. So it’s free! But don’t just take my word for it. The President of the Guild, Joseph Quick, says that CUPSA is “totes awesome.” Come visit us at the CUPSA office (Building 106F) and say hi. Also, I heard that the CUPSA President is really handsome.

3. Make Friends

Research can be pretty lonely. Have you ever been in the library late at night and caught yourself thinking that the Applied Physics textbook has a sexy cover? If so, you should probably seek help from a professional, because that’s just wrong. But research can isolate you from your friends and family and do strange things to your brain. So you should make friends with people who will understand - other research students! Benefits include being able to complain about your project to a sympathetic audience and having someone to accompany you to the Tav when all seems lost. Plus you might be able to collaborate with them on some sweet research project.

4. Get used to late nights

7. Get used to filling out forms

5. Love Coffee

8. Learn the Subtle Art of Procrastination

Because your brain will switch on at the most heinous hour and keep you awake. Sleep deprivation also makes you paranoid. That is the price of being a genius. Other people won’t understand, but they will be secretly jealous of your intellect. And soon they will plot to harvest your brain…

Unless you’re a rabid cocaine fiend [um... - ed.], you’re going to need something to get you through the late nights and hard times. Enter coffee. Also known as the “magic energy bean,” coffee was discovered deep within the bleak heartland of Siberia in 1978. Some say it is a gift from the Gods, others say it is a curse. Whatever your views, coffee is a staple in the diet of a research student. If you join the Curtin Student Guild, you get 25% off the price of every coffee you purchase on campus. That makes a lot of sense. You should do it.

6. Find a topic that interests you

Not only does a doctoral degree give you extensive knowledge of a specialised field, but it also makes you a pro at filling out tedious forms. Getting ethics approval for your research is probably the worst, but you pretty much have to fill out a form to do anything at this university. Even going to the toilet.

I’ve heard that the P in PhD stands for Procrastinate. That seems likely. Research students will do almost anything to avoid actually doing their thesis. Some will clean their house, others will take to cooking. I could say that procrastinating gives your brain a chance to process all the information you’ve learnt, leading to some fancy “cognitive shift.” But that’s crap. My proudest moments: I once managed to watch all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica and pass it off as “research.” And today I spent half an hour playing hide and seek with my dog.

This is about staying motivated. If you choose something that you aren’t passionate about, you’re not going to be able to spend three or four years of your life working on it. Passion drives research. Makes sense, right? So choose something that will keep you motivated and excited. And an interesting topic makes you an interesting person. If you choose a boring topic, how will you keep your friends entertained at parties? Your natural charms? I highly doubt it.

11 - feature

As the President of the Curtin University Postgraduate Student Association (CUPSA), I’m often asked for advice on how to make the most out of a PhD. I don’t know why students come to me. Usually I just make incoherent sobbing noises and hide under my table, but sometimes I say something profound. Anyway, here’s my list of 8 steps to surviving a PhD. (Why 8 Steps and not 10? Shut up.)

12 - clubs


Colossal squid have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, with the largest measured at over 28cm – that’s the size of a dinner plate. Eyes that size can grant them extraordinary powers of perception – into your personal problems, whatever they may be. Human doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists can take years dismantling personality disorders – squid have their own collective consciousness and have no such need for such crutches. They, in short, get things done. All questions for David should contain in the header “ATTN: AGONY SQUID” so that they may be directly routed to his tentacle-friendly computer.

I train horses – trotters - and I’ve been having some troubles with one of them in particular. It’s a problem of consistency really; one day the the horse will be in form and looks like nothing will beat it, and other days the jockey would be better off walking himself. I’ve tried different diets, different training styles, more whip, less whip, but I just can’t get the horse to get speed consistently. I’m almost afraid to race it again because if it’s an off day, it will be very embarrassing for me. Can you help? Horsing around

Dear Horsing Around, Squid are traditionally water-based creatures, and as such could ordinarily offer no advice on the locomotion of animals that make their way about on land. Thankfully, in my gap year, I was able to live for a time in Melbourne, where I lodged with the great Bart Cummings, making board by cleaning the stables (which is an easy task when you have more than two arms and require constant hydration anyway). I was able to observe two retired racehorses living in a nearby pasture. Both previous cup winners, their names were Razzle and Dazzle. Every day they would race from one end of the pasture to the other. On the first day I watched, Razzle pulled out ahead, then Dazzle caught up, then Razzle pulled away, then Dazzle started running even faster, Razzle,

Dazzle, Razzle, Dazzle, Razzle, Dazzle, and Razzle won by a nose. The next day, Razzle pulled out ahead, then Dazzle caught up, then Razzle pulled away, then Dazzle started running even faster, Razzle, Dazzle, Razzle, Dazzle, Razzle, Dazzle, and Razzle won by a nose. The third day, Razzle pulled out ahead, then Dazzle caught up, then Razzle pulled away, then Dazzle started running even faster, Razzle, Dazzle, Razzle, Dazzle, Razzle, Dazzle, and Razzle won by a nose. A dog who had been watching them race alongside me day after day finally asked them, “Why is it that Razzle always wins by a nose?” And Razzle said to Dazzle, “Look, Dazzle, a talking dog!” David

13 - advice

Dear Agony Squid,





Welcome back to another semester with the CEC! I trust you all have had a restful break and are pumped for some more study! Yay! (Boo.) We have many enticing events coming up, including the legendary Ignite! Ball, our Quiz Night, the Networking Forum, Laser Tag Night, and Beers on the Lawn 3 & 4. The ball will be Shanghai Moon themed with affordable, all-inclusive prices (10/9). The Networking Forum held mid-semester (2/8) will be a good opportunity for us crazy engineers to secure some valuable connections with potential employers in a professional setting. Also, we will be at O-Day and Guild Day so make sure you check out our stall and get your friends to join if they haven’t already (this goes for you mid-year intakes as well!). We’ll be selling our new 2011 shirts too.

iCurtin Motorsport Team Hits the NOS Switch!

Hello again! We hope you have had a brilliant break away from the hustle and bustle of assignments and exams. But before you get right back into it, we have some exciting events in store for you! As usual our WiECD Wednesday lunch sessions will be running fortnightly from Week 2, and our second Wicked Women – Real Women in Engineering presentation will be held in Week 3. All are welcome! Stayed tuned for more details!

The WCC has got some pretty excellent events lined up for this semester- first up is a Ping-Pong tournament at the Tav on Friday, Week 4. There’s prizes to be won (including a $50 voucher for the Tav!), and apart from a competition of epic ping-pong proportions, this is really just an excuse to chill with some fellow Biomed students at the Tav. We’ll also be having a BBQ or two, and of course at the end of the year we’ll be hosting the Health Sciences End-of-year Ball, which is always a hit.

14 - your guild

Check out our new facebook page! CurtinEngineersClub (and like it… please). And if you’re keen on getting more involved or want to add to your CV/portfolio, let us know! We’re always in need of extra helping hands so feel free to drop us a line on

The Curtin Motorsport Team have had one of the better starts to the year for quite some time with a number of major milestones met, including finalised chassis, and suspension. As well, we have had one of our most successful recruitment campaigns resulting in 10 new team members. A huge thank you to all team members who helped out at all of these events! To help reduce the time it takes to construct our chassis this year, we have enlisted the help of a CNC machining company called Cartesian Tube to notch up all our chassis bars and bend up our roll hoops, resulting in us receiving a box of notched tubes for us to put together like a jigsaw to make a chassis! During the semester break, CMT is going to flip the NOS switch and catch up on lost time. By the end of the break, we plan to have our car welded up including tabs for spacers, and also have our suspension components manufactured. At the same time, we will be finalising designs for all the other components on the car, as well as fixing up our trailer, so it will be a very busy month for us in between semesters. If you would like to help us out, we have plenty of jobs ranging from fabrication, to design as well as marketing. Please contact us either via email au or come down to our workshop, Building 205, room 111.

Last semester, our inaugural Cocktail Evening was a huge success – check out JTan Photography’s Facebook page ( jtanphotography) to see the photos. We can’t wait for next years’ Evening, but in Semester 2 is our flagship event – WiECD Celebrates Women in Industry, for inspiration, fashion and fun. Tickets are strictly limited and will be approximately $40 (subject to change) which includes food and drinks. We’ll be selling them throughout the semester everyday from 2-3pm just outside the Basement Café in Building 204 – more information soon. To join WiECD, come along to any of our events or check out our stall on O-Day or Guild Clubs Day. You can also contact us on womenineng. if you have any questions about joining or what we have planned.

ISLAND DWARFISM Aiden Stingemore

Absentmindedly watching a documentary on Tasmanian wildlife made me realise something; their little mudhut civilisation is teeming with fucking scary animals. I mean, Jesus Christ, the Thylacine used to roam freely; it is essentially a furry dinosaur with a mouth of gangrenous razors primed for eating the slow (and undoubtedly fat) children that waddled there. Salmon’s fatty acids are called fatty for a reason, you gluttonous, culinary elitist fucks. The Tasmanian devil can supposedly crush bone and tear through wire with its strong jaws; I can see why the first settlers used to marinate the bastards. What a way to go though, mauled to death by a temperamental plush toy whose vocal register is a cross

(relevant interbreeding metaphor is relevant) between a nail on a chalkboard and Gilbert Gottfried masturbating to his own voiceovers. That being said, they have no excuse when it comes to things like tiger snakes and our plethora of poisonous 8-legged friends that we manage to deal with fine. What kind of a pussy is afraid to lodge their foot into a dirty gumboot or frolic about in ominously tall grass? Tasmanians, that’s who - they will die, as their immune systems are weakened from lifetimes spent inside a sanitary pod, quaffing cabernet sauvignon and fishing for salmon in a hole in their backyard. Omega 3 improves brain function? Sam Neill, you fucking liar. And then it hit me. The 2+2 moment. The lightbulb. Being the resourceful little mongoloids that they are, Tasmanians have avoided certain backyard death by

passing on genes in the comfort of their own home. It’s a Josef Fritzl house party and you and Dad are invited! I believe the watermark of Tasmanian currency is of Fritzl, being the pioneering influence that he is, using his bare hands in the heart of winter to build the rape dungeon. But seriously, this assertion accounts for the range of mutations evidenced in the Tasmanian troglodyte populace and gives credence to their provincial cousin-fucking endeavours. One can’t help but feel a little sorry for these little fellas; they’ve got to have kids somehow without being eviscerated mid-coitus by a group of rogue of Tassie devils. And who better to copulate with than an attractive relative that any normal person would refrain from inserting themselves into? Pesky genetic compatibility is a cruel bitch, however, so expect an odd batch.

Cut off from Australia by the pubic bone that is the Bass Strait, this makeshift little civilization, left to their own devices, have gone all Dunker family on us and have proudly raised their middle (and highly distended) finger to the corpse of Charles Darwin. Island dwarfism is clearly the agenda of our phallus-shaped land inhabitants, breeding themselves into the comic fodder that this spectacularly factual piece needs. The age-old stereotype is no longer, resigned to pages of history as a turning point in taking the piss out of our little Tasmanian counterparts, replaced by cold hard fact. And I’m pretty sure I’m free from repercussions because everyone knows Tasmanians can’t read.

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I have a theory as to why all Tasmanians are inbreds.

Terminated What Does It Mean? Brought to you by the Guild’s Student Assist Department

If you have just received notification via OASIS Official Communication Channel (OCC) advising that your academic status is now TERMINATED and you are wondering what it means and what to do next... read on.

What is Your Academic Status? Your status reflects your performance and academic progress in your course. If you are in GOOD STANDING you are achieving satisfactory course progress and are permitted to continue in the course and to re-enrol. CONDITIONAL status means you are at risk of not achieving satisfactory course progress but you are permitted to continue in the course and to re-enrol, under such conditions as may be determined by the Head of School. If you are TERMINATED, you have not achieved satisfactory course progress and are terminated from your course. You are not permitted to continue in the course or to re-enrol in the course without approval from the Director of Student Services.

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Your student status appears on your academic record at the end of each semester.


Any student terminated from a course due to failure to achieve satisfactory course progress has a right to appeal that decision. If you are an International Onshore student studying within Australia on a student visa and have been terminated from your current course, please be aware that as a consequence of this you are potentially in breach of Student Visa Condition 8202, “Achieving Satisfactory Course Progress”. This breach may lead to the cancellation of your student visa by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and a 3-year exclusion on further visa applications to Australia.

consequences of any decision you make in relation to this matter. You are able to lodge an appeal against your termination and to have the decision to terminate you reviewed by your Head of School. You must lodge your appeal within 20 working days (28 calendar days) of the date of receiving the Official Communication that notifies you of your Academic Status. If you choose not to lodge an appeal, or your appeal is unsuccessful, the University will be required to report you to DIAC for breach of Student Visa Condition 8202, “Achieving Satisfactory Course Progress” as soon as practicable after the outcome of your appeal is determined or the 20 working day appeal period expires.

It is therefore extremely important that you understand the

To avoid being reported to DIAC you only have one option and that is to successfully appeal against your termination.


Option 1: Accept termination

Any domestic student terminated from a course due to failure to achieve satisfactory course progress has a right to appeal that decision. As a student you have 4 options:

Option 1: Accept termination decision and cease studying. Option 2: Accept termination decision and apply to switch courses.

Option 3: Appeal against termination decision.

Option 4: Appeal against

termination decision and simultaneously apply to switch courses.


In addition to an appeal letter, all students are required to print, complete and submit the administration form Appeal against

Decision to Terminate from Course

found at: administration/documents/APPEALA GAINSTDECISIONTOTERMINATEF ROMCOURSE190209.pdf (This MUST be attached as a cover page with your appeal letter)

decision and cease studying

Accepting the decision that you a terminated from your course of study you may decide that Curtin University or university in general is not what you’re best suited to and decide to pursue an alternative career path i.e. TAFE or work. OR After a minimum of 12 months you may apply for re-admission to your course of study. You will need to demonstrate how your personal circumstances have changed significantly and include evidence or relevant study or work experiences you have successfully completed since ceasing study.

Lodging your appeal... Once written, you will need to lodge your appeal letter and cover sheet marked ‘Attention Examinations’, located in Central Administration, Building 101. Please be aware appeals need to be lodged within 20 working days (i.e. 28 calendar days from the notification of your results/status). If your appeal is successful you will be notified of this decision in writing via the OCC and the original decision to terminate shall be varied and your academic status will be changed to Conditional or to Good Standing depending on the decision from the Head of School.

MORE IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Note: it is your right to apply for admission to a second course at Curtin if you are terminated from a first course. However if your termination from the first course proceeds, under legislation the University is required to report you to DIAC for a breach of visa condition 8202. Reporting to DIAC must occur even if you are successful in being admitted to a second course. This means that irrespective of your admission to a second course, you risk cancellation of your visa and a 3 year exclusion being applied by DIAC. That is, the decision whether or not to cancel your visa is a decision made by DIAC. Curtin has no influence on whatever decision

Option 2: Accept termination decision and apply to switch courses

Termination means you are not permitted to continue in your current course; however you may apply to another course within the university and will need to approach the School of interest and enquire about enrolling there. Be aware that if you switched course successfully following a termination certain conditions may apply.

Appeal unsuccessful?

If your appeal is unsuccessful you will be notified of the outcome and the reasons for the decision in writing via the OCC. You have a further option to refer your appeal to the Director, Student Services. This request needs to be lodged within 10 working days from the notification of review by the Head of School. A further appeal to an external body such as The West Australian Ombudsman can be made upon completion of the internal appeal process.

DIAC may make. Please bear this in mind as the University can take no responsibility for action taken by DIAC to cancel your visa. If this occurs, you will not be permitted to continue studying at Curtin and risk losing all fees paid for units you were enrolled in in the second course. You will also receive no credit for any uncompleted units at the time your visa is cancelled. For these reasons you are strongly advised to think very carefully about whether it is worth the risk of applying for admission to a new course when you face being reported for termination from your first course.

Option 3:

Appeal against termination decision If for whatever reason you don’t do too well one semester and find yourself on conditional or terminated status, you have a right to lodge an appeal. You will need to have strong grounds for an appeal to be considered. Perhaps you experienced a medical condition that affected your ability to study or there were other extenuating circumstances in your life that affected your semester results. You should provide documentation with your appeal letter to support any claims of exceptional circumstances. This could include medical documentation from your doctor or counsellor for example that supports what you are saying.

Where to get further assistance...

Students can visit Student Assist in Building 106 for further assistance or phone (08) 9266 2900 or toll free on 1800 063 865 for an appointment.

The Curtin Counselling Service, located in Building 109, phone (08) 9266 7850 can also assist students with appeals and university grievances. Student Advisers, Bldg 102, phone (08) 9266 1663 or email:

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On the 18th of May this year, I boarded a plane. Now, I wasn’t heading to

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The whole film felt like it had been made by a child with the attention span of a bowl of porridge;..

Bali to get cheap DVDs and an infected tattoo, nor was I going to Melbourne to do whatever it is that people do over there. No, I was going to Cannes, a town on the Mediterranean coast of France. For those of you who are unaware, during the month of May, Cannes plays host to the world’s biggest and most prestigious film festival, the aptly named Cannes Film Festival. And thanks to a fantastic contact, not only would I be soaking up all things French, I would be attending A-list parties, and would also be on the red carpet for a then unknown film. That’s right; this unsophisticated, immature, and culturally oblivious Aussie would be spending a week in the cultural hub of the planet. Currently, I’m waiting for my return flight in Nice airport, and am trying to work out whether the trip was any good or not. You might be thinking that a trip to the Cannes Film Festival is a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you’d be right. But then again, so is being thrown into a pit filled with nails and pumas. Hence, I’ve decided to write a review. And just so you know, I’m not going to review one of the films I saw, or one of the many episodes of Judge Judy I watched in my hotel room, or a meal I ate there. I’m going to review the entire experience, from start to finish, without regard for cross-cultural sensitivities. Now, what better place to start than to tell you I don’t get out much. Infrequent trips to the UK aside, I’ve never spent a long time in a country where the primary language isn’t English. So therefore, I’ve never really had the urge to go out and learn another language. In Cannes, we stayed in the Intercontinental Carlton hotel, which was great, because the staff are fluent in pretty much every language that has ever existed, from Japanese to Cimmerian to the tribal tongue of the Ewoks. For me, that hotel was a safe haven; a hideaway from the unforgiving French language. However, the realisation that I wouldn’t be able to survive on apocalyptically expensive hotel food came quickly. And so, I ventured forth, into the harsh, expansive French town. For lunch.

WHAT LE HELL AM I DOING HERE? A Review of the Cannes Experience from a Rubbish Tourist Scott Donaldson

Moving on. It may come as no surprise to you that the Cannes Film Festival attracts its fair share of celebrities. As such, it was quite difficult to get from one end of the town to the other without tripping over several A-list parties. Aside from the constant reminder that I’m a complete nobody whose life will likely never be remembered, this didn’t really bother me at all. Let the rich and famous have their fun, right? “Wrong!” said my travel partner, who managed to wrangle us a spot on the list for a huge after party, simply titled, The After Party. I thought these Hollywood types were supposed to be creative. Anyway, on the guest list for said party was Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson, Jude Law, Gwen Stefani, Sean Penn, Kirsten Dunst, and me. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to it. So we got there, and let me tell you: never in my life have I felt more out of place than at that party. All the blokes were at least six times my height, covered in bling, and had the ability to grow facial hair. And the girls? 7-foot-high clones of Megan Fox, every one of them. And there I was, standing in the corner with a drink that really wasn’t getting to work fast enough, wondering what – apart from the celebrities – made this party special. Lady Gaga was pumping from the speakers up the back, those on the dance floor were jumping up and down like drunken teenagers, and mini-pizzas were the finger food of choice. I think I’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been to that sort of party before. Then I bumped into Sean Penn. And I mean that

literally; I kind of brushed passed him on my way to get another drink, and that was all the interaction I had – and will likely ever have – with the two-time Academy Award winner. You might be thinking that I wasted a golden opportunity to talk to the guy, and you’d be right, but what was I going to say? I’m not the kind of person who feels a great deal of adulation towards celebrities; I’m not going to shower them with praise and attention just because they’re famous. Sean Penn is just another guy; he didn’t need me to start harping on to him about how great Into the Wild was. So I continued on and got my umpteenth drink, but I did manage to get one thing out of the encounter: I found out that I’m taller than Penn. I was amazed; film stars always seem so tall on the screen! So that became my mission: find out which celebrities I’m taller than, and then brag about it in a blog post later on. But unfortunately, I only found one more midget: Kirsten Dunst. I only managed to get a quick measure, but it was enough; I’m sure the knowledge that I’m taller than Mary Jane will get me through all of life’s little struggles. And then I found Jude Law, saw he was taller than me, and left. The next day, we headed to the premiere of a film called This Must be the Place, and if you were wondering, no, the red carpet experience is not what it’s all cracked up to be. Since we weren’t royalty and/or covered in hundred Euro bills, we were ushered in through the side door at the end of the carpet. Then, almost immediately, we were ushered into the theatre, severely limiting our photo-taking opportunities. As it turns out, everyone was asked to vacate the carpet, because the film’s stars had arrived, and of course, us plebs have no business being even somewhat close to them. So we headed in and took our seats, and got to watch the proceedings on the carpet on the cinema screen. They were all there: Sean Penn (yup, it turns out I was inadvertently stalking him), Judd Hirsch, director Paolo Sorrentino, and for a reason unbeknownst to me, singer Gwen Stefani. So they got their photos taken, they took their seats, we clapped, then the movie started. And for the next two hours of my life, I was inflicted

by a confusion of such magnitude that I thought my brain was going to melt out of my ears. This Must be the Place defines the term ‘art for art’s sake.’ The film is a road movie, and as such is made up of a series of vignettes, each focusing on Sean Penn’s retired musician Cheyenne’s encounters with new individuals. The problem here is that there are so freaking many of them, that by the end, we really just don’t care about any of the ideas that Sorrentino has raised. The whole film felt like it had been made by a child with the attention span of a bowl of porridge; as soon as an idea is touched on, we move on before it is fully fleshed out. Even so, there was the obligatory standing ovation for Penn and company, and I even managed to grab some photos of him shaking hands with some very, very polite members of the audience. Still, I wasn’t entirely disappointed. I hardly went in there expecting a rip roaring action film; this was the Cannes Film Festival, the world’s hub for all things artsy and fartsy. I mean, at least it was in English, right? After the film, we had no more obligations, and were therefore given the run of the town for the last couple of days. I could have gone and done all those things that tourists do, but, as you can probably tell, I’m not really into that kind of thing. So I did what any useless tourist would do in a foreign country: I went to McDonald’s. And my, was it fantastic. It was perhaps the highlight of the trip – who needs culture when you can order a beer with your McFlurry? Not me, that’s for sure. I’m not a great tourist. Never have been. I’ve never really understood why fun gets attributed to places just because they’re far away; I have fun where I am. And is that a problem? I don’t think so. Christina Aguilera once asked “where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?” Now aside from the brutal ignorance of the question, she does pose a good point. Does the Cannes Film Festival really need to be held in Cannes, a place full of snobby types who, of all languages, speak French? I for one wouldn’t mind having the festival held in my hometown of Joondalup, because then I wouldn’t have to go anywhere.

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And it was horrible. It turns out that I’m that customer. You know, the one who points at things on the menu and utters meaningless combinations of vowels and consonants, in the vague hope that their shoddy attempt at communication will actually come off as an order for that double-chocolate muffin. Again, it was horrible, and this will of course be reflected in Cannes’ final score. Now you might think me intolerant for criticising a population for not speaking English and, well, you’d be right. I am intolerant.

Guild Ads


I have a certain love hate relationship with grammar, and with those who love it. The conflict begins with being a writer I should assumedly automatically obsess over it, but I don’t. The simple nuances I get, the capital letters and punctuation’s fine. The harder aspects to grasp are when one should use a semi colon or a comma. Really I should blame it on every English teacher I ever had, and how they never taught me how one was any different from the other. Before I end up with a tangent on the poor teaching of English in our schools though, I think I should clarify that it isn’t the end of the world. For the record I will mostly only be using commas in this article, to save myself the confusion of checking every possible way a semi colon can be used. Because I do kind of understand how to use a semi colon, but should grammar ever be a case of not being sure most of the time whether it’s one or the other. Especially when most of us grow up in a society where we are not uneducated and that these things are offered to us from a young but perhaps not concentrated on enough by those who teach it. Now I’m certain my own ignorance and lack of interest in learning the differences will be criticised, but really, do you read this sentence any differently with a semicolon or a comma. I’m certain you don’t. For the most of you I can’t even imagine you fully understand how to use a semi colon, and it has no way inhibited your way of life so far. Just in case you were wondering the use of a semi colon is sort of easy. Basically use it when you have two sentences that could stand as separate independent sentences, but you think they would look cuter as a couple. As long as you don’t throw in a conjunction, then the marriage should go swimmingly. Saying that, there are some other uses of a semi colon, but that involves introducing other affairs to the happy marriage metaphor that I’m just not willing to mess with. If you still aren’t sure about the use of a semi colon, ask your teacher about it. They probably won’t know completely either, but I think that just proves the point I made in the first part of this rant.

Another grammatical rule that has always bothered me is this. Why can’t I start a sentence with ‘and’. That’s something teachers always used to tell me and I haven’t a clue why. Sure it’s a conjunction, but sometimes I want to start my sentences from the middle of nowhere while connecting them to a previous statement. Which I suppose doesn’t make sense in hindsight, but writers in famous books do it all the time. Not that I can give an example right now, but they do, do it. So trust me. The point I’m trying to bring across out of this strange sea of metaphor and mixed messages is that, you can break grammar. As long as you do it well that is. I think clumsy new spellings of words that are born from people just not understanding how words are even structured are a problem. And the thing I really don’t want is for us all to go back to the days of Chaucer who while considered the father of literature, can also be seen as the most confusing man to read ever because everything he wrote was in phonetics due to standardised spelling not being created at that point. How far can you go though? Why not start employing there, their and they’re and place them wherever you feel. Well no. This doesn’t work; this isn’t what I want to happen. I think ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ can be easily mistaken and as long as you are using the first to mean the latter, it’s hopefully not the end of the world, and hopefully it’s only on instant messenger and not written in a formal essay. These things are important, but not integral to the structure of our society. For instance I saw a book in my local library the other day completely written in text talk. Now I tried to read it and it did drive me a bit mad, but the evolution of grammar is among us when it starts to be published. Most of us can understand the unintelligible word vomit that comes out on some people’s social networks after all. So I don’t believe this isn’t a matter of “I can’t understand a word you’re saying.” But more a purist society of grammar Nazis that will put you down if you type out of line.

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[editor’s note; for the sake of irony, this article has been left completely unedited]

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having studied Law, the pair have been slowly making their way up the comedy ladder, with a confrontational style reminiscent of Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor. The difference from any other blasé discovery story? They’re both Muslim and passionate about the representation (or lack thereof) of race in Australia, and aren’t afraid to frankly discuss either. Grok sat down with Aamer Rahman ahead of their tour here. The most popular TV show at the moment is Border Security. Do you think that speaks of Australian attitudes in general?

Definitely. One of the biggest things that comes to my mind is the reaction after the 2001 Tampa crisis, in which 77% were in support of mandatory detention. The Herd put out a song about it called 77%. I don’t think that’s changed much... there’s a lot of overt racism in Australia, but there’s also a lot of widespread undercover racism, and Border Security is a perfect example. The entire thing is basically against foreigners... ‘Oh, look what they’re about to do to our beautiful nation’.

Where do you think that comes from? I think it’s a combination of a lot of things[...] White Australia has basically lived in fear of the people whom they took the country from. The more we don’t reconcile with our past, the more that insecurity will stay.

Why do you think there hasn’t been a group like yours spring up earlier? Who would they perform to? You go to a comedy festival, the audiences there are almost entirely white, and people tell us we’re the first ones to

be carving a new audience. People say that it’s amazing that different people are coming to our show... I don’t think that it’s amazing, I think it’s sad that in 2011 it’s a novelty that people who are not white are attending comedy events.

different-coloured people’ racism? Yeah, I think the Bolt stuff is more genuine, more honest, whereas there’s these progressive people that are doing something that is still racist. The other thing is that they’re genuinely smart guys – they’re not some idiots on air, they’re smart comedians, and to see them do a version of blackface is weird.

Going onto John Safran – I read your article about his blackface [a largely critical one featured in the Advertiser]. Was it disappointing How do you think race attitudes for someone who is associated with in Australia compare to places in race and religion in a progressive America? context to make that misstep [of It’s weird because I feel that going in blackface in his recent Australia has a widespread Race Relations program]? subconscious racism, far more Yeah, definitely, I’ve been a big fan of his since Music Jamboree, and incidentally there’s a much, much worse blackface in Music Jamboree – he blacked up as Coolio – but honestly I thought, one, that the whole thing was a complete misstep – in the same way I think the Chris Lilley thing is a complete misstep – and two, I was completely thrown by the amount of praise that was thrown on him, as it if was an amazing thing he was doing – to re-enact all these stereotypical images. I just didn’t see the point of it. I honestly was amazed by people thinking that this was this amazing new step in comedy, and I just didn’t see it.

Can you speak to me about Chris Lilley? Honestly, I’m a big fan of hip hop and I’m not opposed to hip hop at all, but at the end of the day it’s a very shabby kind of one-note, one-dimensional one-trick pony – wearing blackface and pretending you’re a privileged black person... then there’s Jonah, who I still think is problematic.

I thought it was just terrible. If he was in New Zealand, there’s be no way he’d be on the air. This stuff just passes in Australia – it gets approval from all the talking heads, whoever decides what’s in, then what can you do?

Do you think that approval is more insidious than your outright Andrew Bolt style ‘I don’t like

than there is in the States or the UK. It’s not to say that I don’t think there’s racism in those places, but in Australia the level of racism is higher, I guess. Because of our history, because the colonialism here was so brutal, because there’s so much guilt attached to it... and the White Australia policy. Brown people couldn’t come here until the 70s. You genuinely have generations of white people that have only dealt with white people.

How do you think the teaching about indigenous history has progressed? When I went to school, it was just Captain Cook discovered Australia and indigenous people hunted kangaroos. That’s all the indigenous history I learned in school. In the book, the picture was of white people with guns and aboriginal people with spears. The picture was a lot more sinister than what the teacher was saying... It was so obvious to me that it was not what happened. Australia knows something terrible happened for us to get where we are, and to have the country that we have. But it is a total denial and a total unwillingness to engage with that - that until you decide that you’re going to acknowledge this and we’re going to deal with it, or whatever, you still have to keep perpetuating myths about Aboriginal people. It’s still okay for Andrew Bolt to say that the stolen generation was exaggerated, or it didn’t happen the way it did... or say that people aren’t black

enough. Racial attitudes in Australia are definitely, definitely backwards compared to attitudes in similar countries.

Do you think with the possibilities of the digital sphere, is there less of an inclination for people to deal with you based solely on your race? It depends, because I was reading an article on World of Warcraft where racism is rampant because people are more free to say what they want.

No accountability.

But it depends, I mean, I look at the youtube comments under our videos... it’s hard to tell, people that tend to go out of their way to express themselves on the internet are usually a bit whacko, you know what I mean? The majority of people just read the internet, and don’t go out of their way to post comments. So it’s hard to say.

What do you think the relationship between sport and racism is? It’s hard to say because when you have players of colour – like Nicky Winmar and Michael Long – they are heroes, and rightfully so, but at the same time, sport generates this hardcore chauvinist culture. I wouldn’t feel comfortable at the footy and I’ve been to the cricket and seen hardcore racism – not someone yelling something out, like giant chunks of the crowd yelling something out. You’d have people yelling “Show us your visa”. It’s bizarre, it encourages serious hooliganism. But at the same time, throughout history we’ve had figures like Mohammed Ali. I have no connection to AFL whatsoever, but I still consider people like Nicky Winmar and Michael Long to be amazing heroes – and probably even moreso because of the locker room culture.

Fear of a Brown Planet will be playing at his Majesty’s Theatre on the 13, 14, 15 and 16 July.

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Fear of a Brown Planet are a pair of young standupcomics from the Eastern States. Both

ASK SOMEONE BETTER... least he was in Sin City, and that movie rocked.

How’s your life going? Probably pretty poorly - I mean you’re

reading a student magazine, your day has probably sucked, and you’re ugly. Look at you. It’s just horrible that you even exist. Don’t you wish you’d made better life choices? No, because any life choices you’ve made on your own have been screw ups, so why not ask someone who’s better at life than you. Email me your life dilemmas, and I guarantee a response of some nature, whether it’s a heart warming paragraph or three, or just a photo of a goat and a monkey doing stuff to each other..

Welcome to another special edition of Ask Someone Better, I’ve decided this month to answer questions taken from tween magazine Dolly, in an attempt to reconnect to a female audience, and cats, who my past articles have alienated.

Dear Dolly Dr Emil

Dear Dolly Dr Emil

Dear Dolly Dr Emil

For five months or so, I have been making myself throw up after every meal. A few weeks ago I threw up blood. I’ve also completely stopped eating. What’s wrong with me?

I’m 15 and I think I might have bipolar disorder. One week I’m happy and can’t stop smiling, the next week all I can do is cry and think the world would be a better place without me. I have tried telling my mum my concerns but she doesn’t care. Can you please help?

I have a problem! My big toe has turned a brown/green colour under the nail. I’ve seen the doctor about it and he’s given me this weird cream that doesn’t work.

Pippin, SA

Dear Anonymous Something you’ll learn as you go through life is that a doctor is just a guy with a degree who knows stuff about diseases and how to medicate them, read; useless. What you are experiencing is something known as a transformation. The odds are all of those radioactive microwaves you have been hanging around are transforming you in to something similar (but due to copyright, not exactly the same) to Stan Lee’s the Hulk. You should find yourself some purple pants that don’t tear easy to preserve your self dignity. Emil


Dear Anonymous Stop eating at Bookmark café. Emil

Dear Dolly Dr Emil How do you get rid of cellulite? I’m really skinny, but I have cellulite near the bottom of my bum. Is there any way of getting rid of it without surgery?

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Dear Undulation Butt In the season 6 finale of Dragonball Z Gohan defeated Perfect Cell by ascending to super saiyan level 2, in fact at this power level (with cell weakened by Goku’s previous Spirit Bomb) Gohan found Cell almost to be a trivial opponent. You’re Welcome Emil

Dear Dolly Dr Emil I have really dark freckles all over my face and I hate them! I get teased really badly and I’m selfconscious. Can I get rid of them? Sally

Dear Sally You have been dealt an unfortunate hand and are actually of a lesser quality than other human beings. A lot of people will tell you that you’re “equal” and that “some people are into freckles”, a lot of people are also in to Guy Sebastian, and that doesn’t make him ok. As a firm believer in Darwinian natural selection I believe that one day the world will be cleansed of your kind. Emil

Dear “Pippin” I think you’re right on the money. The only reason a 15 year old could possibly be moody isn’t due to hormones but is in fact probably due to bipolar disorder. In fact you appear to have an extremely strange manifestation where one of your bipolar personalities is the least impressive of the hobbits from JRR Tolkiens Lord of the Rings (a trilogy made as an identifier for men who aren’t compatible with anything aside from painting and fighting miniature figurines). This tells me you also have self esteem issues; at least be Elijah Wood. I mean he looks like there’s always like 12 fairies flying around his anal tract, but at least he was in Sin City and that movie rocked. Especially the bits with Bruce Willis. Emil



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date you on continue to up n to d se ea pl , which you ca r, and I’m ts and feedback en Vice-Chancello m ’s m ity co rs ur ve ni yo U e age ette Hacket, th lumn. I encour Hello, I’m Jean this regular co h ug u ro .a th du .e tin in ur rt at C @cu developments ly at m.mcnally argaret McNal M a vi e m to send

It is with pleasure that I welcome all students to second semester at Curtin. For those students returning to campus, I hope you are refreshed from your break and ready for another semester of study. To students joining us for the first time, it is wonderful to have you on campus and I trust you will enjoy a rewarding learning experience with us.

START One of the many services available to help students enjoy a successful experience at Curtin is the Student Transition and Retention Team (START). The team can assist in connecting you with various support systems such as the START mentoring program. The program will operate in semester two for mid-year entry undergraduate students to receive advice and support from senior students in a similar course of study. A mentor can boost a student’s learning capacity and confidence, and help with the transition to university life. Students are automatically assigned a mentor, and while it is not a requirement for you to engage with your mentor, the University encourages you to use this very personal form of support. Visit for more information. During the course of your studies, I understand personal and academic issues can arise, and START provides a free and confidential service to help you. The Student Wellbeing service offers a first port of call for students who want to have a

question answered or wish to have someone to talk to about their concerns. Feel free to drop in to the START office at Building 102 to see a Wellbeing Adviser or email

Call for volunteers One of the many volunteering activities underway at Curtin is the Student Vegetable Garden Project. The brainchild of Student

Experience Works!

Wellbeing Adviser Peter Cope, the Vegie Garden

At Curtin, we are committed to maximising the

provides students with fresh and organic fruit

employability of all our graduates. Recognising

and vegetables, as well as the opportunity to

that students with work experience are more

work with community volunteers to learn about

competitive in the graduate job market, the

sustainability concepts. The garden recycles

Curtin Careers Centre focuses on providing

food waste from student accommodation

students with opportunities to undertake

and campus food outlets, and provides

industry-relevant internships, work experience

ingredients for cooking classes that encourage

and volunteering positions.

healthy eating habits.

The Experience Works! Fair is an annual event

Located at the entrance to Kurrajong Village

organised by Curtin that offers students exposure to

at the Bentley Campus, the Vegie Garden is

a diverse selection of work experience opportunities.

run by a team of volunteers who are dedicated

The fair will take place at Curtin Stadium on Wednesday 27 July, from 11am until 2 pm. Students can browse the many stalls available as well as talk directly with potential employers. Last year, more than 2,000 students took advantage of this event, with many going on to undertake work experience with different companies – sometimes even leading to permanent employment. I encourage you to take this opportunity to

to the garden’s prosperity. New volunteers are always welcome. The benefits of volunteering are not limited to fresh food and hands-on experience. A rewards program, Gigs for Gardeners, is offered to student volunteers, whereby for every hour of time volunteered you will receive 2 GB of free data in your monthly Curtin user account.

enhance your future career prospects and

For more information about the garden or

continue in your journey to make tomorrow better.

how you can help, visit

To find out more, contact Curtin Careers Centre on

Finally, I wish all students every success

9266 7802 or email

for this semester.

CRICOS Provider Code 00301J CU-CC-0047/BRAND CUCC0691 Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology

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4 5 6 7 Offshore International Prep Week

Semester 1 Results Published

11 12 13 14 Harry Pooter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - opens in cinemas ECOMS Ball

18 19 20 21 GUILD Wicked The Musical (Until Jul 31)


25 26 27 28

Damien Lei

NCBC 1 2 3 4 @ the TAV HEAT 1

NCBC 11 8 9 10 @ the TAV HEAT 2

15 16 17 18

22 23 24 25 28 - calendar

Cancer Coun










8 9 10

15 16 17 Good Food & Wine Show (til July 17)

22 23 24 On the Bright Side festival

Dylan Moran

29 30 31 Splendour in the Grass (Devo it’s not in Perth)


5 6 7 GUILD Guild Rec: First Aid Course #5


12 13 14 Semester 2 Cencus Date

19 20 21 Guild Rec: First Aid Course #6

26 27 28

29 - calendar


ncil: Daffodil Day



Commonweath Bank Theobroma


Chocolate Lounge


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Gelare Ten Ten House

FOOD Chilliz Domino’s Ibra’s Kebab Ice Bubble Jesters O’Mama Kopitiam Mikasa Café Nando’s Sara Thai Subway Burger Edge Brumby’s Garden Fresh Gloria Jean’s Coffees Chicken Treat KFC Theobroma Chocolate Louge Gelare Ten Ten House TRAVEL Student Flights IT, ENTERTAINMENT & PHONES Techniq Computer Solutions Mo’s Mobiles Movies ‘N’ More HEALTH & BEAUTY Top Image Hair Design Specsavers Volona & Associates Priceline Pharmacy You Skin & Body NEWSAGENT, POST & LOTTERY Waterford News Karawara Post Office Waterford Lottery Kiosk SUPERMARKETS & LIQUOR Coles Oriental Supermarket Down Under Cellars GIFTS & HOMEWARES The Front Door Home & Gift Gallery ATM’s & Banks Westpac ANZ Commonwealth Bank (Branch) Suncorp BankWest Corner Kent Street and Manning Road

Guild ad Curtin Student Guild


Nominate your lecturer/tutor/research supervisor for a 2011 Guild Excellence in Teaching Award. Each winner receives $1000

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Forms are available from ballot boxes around your department, Guild Reception (bld 106), or online at:


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Connor White

It seems like the demographic is so braindead, they think it is “ fucking brootal” and that makes the game good.

I won’t be doing any of that. Why? Because I’m sick to death of it, that’s why. Sick of the fanboyism, sick of the shooting, sick of the community, everything. This game series sends a chill down my spine whenever I see it still being sold preowned for $100 six months after it was released. It doesn’t deserve such high prices. No game does. So how dare people put me down whenever I degrade this franchise. It deserves it. Where to start? How about its treatment of the subject matter? War is a tragic event, not one to be celebrated or undermined. All war games, to a degree, degrade war simply by portraying it in a game. Right, but that’s an accident, and not that horrible. Leaving shitty rap songs in in-game radios is just terrible. So is the whole zombies thing, but that gets off somewhat

for having actual merit. Let it go on record that Black Ops zombies is nowhere near as good as Der Riese, though. One of the most hateful moments towards mankind I’ve had was beating that accursed campaign, listening to the classic Stones song Sympathy For The Devil, and immediately following that up with Eminem’s Won’t Back Down. “I’m a shitstain on the underwear of life”. Seriously, who writes lines like that? The issue with the song’s inclusion is that has nothing to do with anything in the game. Listening to a popular Vietnam song and then listening to some guy sing about who gives a shit is just horrible. What else? Hey kids, do you like violence? Yes, I know I made another reference, shut up. Anyway, set pieces are only good when their implementation is equally outstanding. i.e Remember how good those stealth missions in the fourth one were? That was because they were remarkably different to the rest of the game. Nowadays? Shoot this, shoot that, and that’s the extent of the game’s innovation. The only thing that changes from level to level is the amount of explosions. You’d think going underwater would mix things

up? Not if you don’t actually control those bits. Oh, you silly dickhead, no one cares about the singleplayer. Let me argue against that by saying no one, and I mean no one, has said anything good about the multiplayer. Even among fans, I don’t hear anything but negatives about the multiplayer. Everyone says it is unbalanced, and it is. There has always been one assault rifle that has completely towered above the rest. Martyrdom might be completely gone now, but its effects are still being felt by fake war vets everywhere. Air support at a team’s spawn point will guarantee you lots of kills, particularly that beach map. And you’d think that a franchise with millions of dollars spent in development would have lots of polish. As in, one guy on the internet should not be able to make a webseries of trapping teammates in corners. Walls should not be able to be phased through. So when I ask someone why this franchise is good, I can never get a good answer. It seems like the demographic is so braindead, they think it is “fucking brootal” and that makes the game good.

If that’s the case, why have L.A. Ice when you can have Coca-Cola? Other shooters do those sorts of things and better. I’m sure you won’t have to look far to find them. When I told the guy that, he just got all pissy and told me to go away. I shouldn’t have been surprised. He played this game after all. Playing online with strangers in any game is a crapshoot in terms of player attitude quality, but this one asks more of its players in tolerating bad behaviour than it has any right to. I know I can mute these people, but should I have to? I realise part of this is out of the creators’ control, but you know what? If some people can call the fact it has multiplayer an amazing feature that makes it better than other games, I can lambast it for being unlistenable online. About the only thing I’ve enjoyed from this series in the last three years was the zombies mode, and again, it was done better than last year anyway. Also, do they think we are idiots? Fortunate Son came out in ’69, not ’65. Morons.

One guy tried to tell me it was because it had co-operative elements and that it gave you an adrenaline rush, and other such things?

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There’s a game coming out at the end of this year. You will all want me to review it, despite the fact I could review the last two iterations and I wouldn’t have to say anything different for this coming game.

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I feel so ANGRY I could...

“I feel so angry I could...” We’ve all said it but what is the worst thing you have done? Vented on the internet and lost all of your friends? Told your boss what you thought of them and got fired? Been expelled from school for attempting to burn it down/ blow it up? Yes there are many things we do when we are angry and we often regret it later. So how can we deal with rage without getting into trouble but still get self-satisfaction that you have had the last laugh?

Leanne Fitzgerald

My first technique is surprisingly easy and involves no crude language whatsoever. Jump up and down on the spot for a few minutes trying to reach the ceiling. It may seem crazy, but this technique uses a lot of energy and you’ll soon feel so tired that although your brain may be concocting evil plans, you’ll be too exhausted to actually go through with it. You could go for a run instead of jumping, but I personally find that jumping is more practical because it doesn’t require the space needed to run. A warning though; be careful of fans or chandeliers hanging from the ceiling before jumping up and down.


My second strategy involves writing a super nasty letter, venting how much you hate the person/situation. You can swear and say whatever the heck you want because depending on how smart you are, you probably won’t send it or leave it lying around for the person to see. It may seem tempting to leave it lying around at the time, but believe me it is better to file it away for at least a week before deciding whether or not to act upon it.


Ok, third idea is (if you are at work) being as unproductive as possible and clean instead. Use this strategy when you are at work and the boss has said or done something to really peeve you off. Cleaning up makes it look like you are kissing the boss’ butt however you have just been paid for doing pretty much crap all and muttering insolent insults under your breath. I like this one because it suits my workplace but it may not be practical for everyone, so find out what works for you.

if all else fails... Ok some final ideas which aren’t as great but might still work; take time out, count to 10, punch/scream into a pillow. The key to dealing with anger is that it is a personal thing. We all feel anger at different extremes and act in different ways because of it. The most important thing to do is to train yourself to react to it in a constructive way. Everyone needs to recognise and respect the boundaries of acceptable behaviour and hopefully my advice can help.

DISCLAIMER- The strategies of dealing with anger mentioned in this article are meant to be suggestions that could be used, however you should think everything over before you act and remember that when you area angry your actions are likely to be regretted later. I take no responsibility for any losses or injury that come about because of taking my advice.

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CAVE MEN 36 - feature

Rocheen Flaherty

get naked and go crazy...

Just because females are considered equal doesn’t mean that when I accidentally bump into a guy who is taking up half of the footpath outside of the Leedy on a Wednesday night, he has the right to call me the ‘c’ word. Oh, how I despise that word! Then this ‘gentlemen’ had the gall to threaten

to bash my face in when I turned around in shock. Call me naïve but I truly did not expect that any male would use that language to address a girl who gave him the slightest little accidental nudge. As much as I was tempted to turn around and give him one swift kick where it hurts, I decided that I really didn’t want my brains to end up scrambled like an egg on the sidewalk. What I want to know is when did modern guys get so raging mad? I have a theory. For those of you who have been to Northbridge on a weekend you’ll know when I say that I see a lot of metro guys. You know those poncy guys with pointy leather shoes, cocky attitude, and slicked back hair with enough gel that it is practically flammable

[back in my day, we just called them commerce students – ed.]. One

last ingredient of a metro guy is apparently enough pent up rage

that gets their perfectly groomed nose hairs flaring. Coupled with a few drinks their intoxicated brain leads them to pick a stumbling fight with anything that moves and for the most part vaguely looks like it has high levels of testosterone. So what I want to know is why these boys spend so much time and money on their appearance to go home with a black eye and ripped designer jeans? I suppose their seething intoxicated rage takes hold, and that after the alcohol hits their bloodstream they realise how feminine and un-masculine they all look. Once this is comprehended a mad panic seizes so they decide to overcompensate and get down to their cave man roots. Oh yes the caveman comes out alright: grunt ‘he looks threatening’ grunt ‘he man’ grunt ‘me fight’ grunt.

who are capable of going out and civilly having a good time when Mr Cavemen has you set in his sights you’re in trouble. So if you ever end up in the situation where you get targeted by a modern day metro caveman I have a solution for you: get naked and go crazy. Why? Because no one wants to fight a crazy naked guy. Either that or hold a cigarette near their hair, or throw a banana and yell fetch, as they really are not that far advanced through the evolutionary chain.

Of course not all males are like this, but most unfortunately for those

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I open up a newspaper or turn on the news and there is one topic that reigns most prevalent as of late, late night drunken violence. Gone are the days where males are gentlemen. Oh how Jane Austen would weep into her aptly created character notebooks if she could see just see how low males in the 2010s have sunk. Gone are the days of ‘can I open a door for you?’

BLAZIN’ MAD 38 - feature

Alan Smith

I’m not a layabout, good time easy going stoner. I hate stoners. Like one third of Australians aged 14 and older, I’ve tried marijuana and have indulged in occasional recreational use and found nothing of great interest therein. Chances are I’m just as likely to berate lazy dole bludging marijuana smoking university students as Howard Sattler. I drink, sure, in moderation, sometimes, but more often not, but who doesn’t nowadays? Aside from evangelists and straight edgers, neither of whom I’d like to consider in a discussion intended for adults. That said, I don’t think that anybody can make a particularly strong case for Kronic, or other such synthetic cannabinoids (or cannabis itself for that matter), being banned. And I am appalled, as I would think any rational person would be, by the sort of knee-jerk band-aid ego-driven politics that surrounded the whole campaign, especially surrounding the cancelled ‘Kronic Blowout’ event. For those who weren’t paying attention to the furore, Kronic was banned Monday, with the ban to come into effect on the Friday following an amnesty period where users could dispose of the drug. On Tuesday, 8pm, an event was announced at the Bakery advertising itself as a ‘Kronic Blowout’, where users could celebrate the end of the substance’s legal status/get rid of the rest of their stash ‘in style’. Among artists playing were the Sunshine Brothers and a DJ playing under the amusing pseudonym of ‘Krolin Barnett’. Come Thursday morning, Colin Barnett (keeping in mind that this is the man who led a

campaign in 2004 to push the age of consent of homosexuality from 16 to 18) commented publicly on the party, stating, “I think that is highly inappropriate.” Continuning, “In no way should any organisation, particularly one that receives Government funding, either condone, encourage or facilitate drug use.

event. Undercover police remained at the venue until it closed. A WA Police Spokesperson said, in an amazing display of euphemism, said the publican ‘made the decision herself to close the show’, after officers ‘educated’ her about ‘possible outcomes’. Similar, no doubt, to the way Tony Soprano would educate.

“I would hope that they reconsider their decision to hold this event.”

Kronic is legal but controlled in New Zealand, its country of origin, where the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs, chaired by the Chief Advisor on Public Health, found it was appropriate to restrict a number of synthetic cannabinoids rather than ban them outright, based on the lack of robust scientific data on the harm caused by such drugs, despite a potential for harm existing.

In lockstep, the good gestapo of the Police Liquor Enforcement act shut down the venue citing, Section 114 of the Liquor Control Act of 1988, wherein the police can temporarily close a venue in the interests of public safety, in what is somewhat shaky application of the law. Artrage policy states that they do not ‘...censor works or the marketing of works by independent promoters and artists at the venue unless they are illegal’. Which, as I’d like to remind readers, at the time of said advertisement, Kronic was not. To quote Kron Voyage, promoter, in a release following the decision, “There was no indication of any kind that any kind of trouble would eventuate from this show and no real grounds to stop it in this way. The decision implies that intelligent adults who got the joke and were keen for a night out are in some way violent or below the law or sub-standard is completely horrendous.” Following this, at 4pm the event found a new home and new outlook; tongue no doubt firmly in cheek, it was advertised as a ‘Say no to legal and illegal drugs concert’, to be held at the Civic Hotel. This was swiftly shut down under pressure from undercover police officers, who allegedly threatened the publican with a $60,000 fine five minutes into the

And yet, we have a man of science such as Associate Professor David Mountain, the AMA WA President, drumming up the moral panic with anecdotes. “These types of drugs have dangerous side effects and people are already presenting themselves at emergency departments in Perth,” he said in a media release calling for the immediate ban of the drug. “...These are very powerful and potentially very dangerous drugs and should not be freely available.” I would say it’s fundamentally dishonest for a presumed learned man to include the use of anecdotal evidence to sway an argument using emotive factors rather than reasoned ones. But what would be the point? Science is fucking boring. What’s the point when we have gems on such as “Experts say the legal weed is potentially 100 times stronger than cannabis, with adverse effects including heart palpitations, hallucinations, delusions and

psychosis.” Are these experts even given, or is it a direct quote? Of course fucking not. Why would they be? I mean, what hope is there when the West will run a three page beatup on a self-imposed shop policy to not sell the drug to under 18s, driving demand into a frenzy while ending up all but calling for those who dare consume such a poison be flayed, then run a mild apologetic editorial on the Saturday after the event about how it was all blown a bit out of proportion? What hope is there when they will bury allegations of police standover tactics on a perfectly legal event on page 18 of the Weekend West after running a weeks-long scare campaign on what was then also a legal drug? What hope is there, in a quick cheap shot, when we have the Western fucking Independent printing Triumph Bra Ads posing as stories at a print date AFTER it’d been exposed as such on Media Watch? Kronic in New Zealand has been sold – nominally legally - to over 18s for five years, and nothing drastic has happened. A Class D category of drug was created so that it could be restricted to only over 18s, something that the Kronic industry was in support of – and – am I really advocating a New Zealand government policy here? I mean, Jesus. Here’s some anecdotal evidence; since Kronic has remained legalised in New Zealand, buildings have not been crumbled, the ground has not opened up and swallowed itself, and the flood waters have not risen. Wait, fuck.

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Let me get a few things straight here, before I start:

Another Letter From the Countess of Haberdash. Fellow Queers and Queer Friendly Persons, Welcome back from your various holidays, vacations and whathaveyous. May your break from schooling have been a salubrious one. As I have had little time to write a proper article for this issue, please find attached a letter I found smooshed into the seat cushions of the plush queer department sofa. It was addressed to ‘That Queer Fellow With the Hair� which I took to be myself. Enjoy. Nick Jones

40 -- creative your guild

Queer Officer, 2011.


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Hence the terms ‘Batman & Robin’, ‘Hamish and Andy’, ‘Bush and Blair’, and the Seven Dwarves. Wonder Woman does not team up with Superwoman to catch criminals and Catwoman works on her own. What about Sex and The City? Carrie Bradshaw and her 3 others friends are pretty tight? After watching that Sex and The City movie where they all go on a holiday to Abu Dhabi, I am convinced that Carrie Bradshaw is a psycho who spends most of her time imagining she has this writer’s salary that allows her to spend money on designer bags, shoes, clothes and eats lunch at fancy places with her friends. Imaginary friends don’t count. Thelma and Louise you say? They both died in the end. Friends don’t let friends drive off a cliff. I think women in general can’t really be good friends with each other (notice that I said ‘women in

general’, therefore if you imply that I meant all women, including the ones in Papua New Guinea, I can assume that you’re racist because I’m Asian). This can be attributed to the fact that most women I know are really insecure about themselves. It is rooted in society and constantly portrayed in the media that women are expected to be this and that and more or a little bit less. You as a woman; can’t be dumb nor can you be too smart. If you’re unpretty, at least be funny or nice. If you’re not nice, at least be pretty. You can’t be a virgin, cause then you’re a prude and you’re no fun. But most men don’t want to marry any girl who is too sexually active either. If you can’t cook, at least be great career-wise. If you can’t be a mining engineer, a nurse or a rocket scientist – then you’ve got to have some housewife material. But if you’re too much of a housewife material, career-driven women will call on your lack of feminism. So what is a woman to do? How about trying everything? Learning to be interested in things like comic books, video games, various sexual positions, dressing up for a night out, learning how to make chocolate soufflé, have a

really good academic transcript, be funny, be funny and crude but don’t look like Seth Rogen, accentuate cleavage, long limbs, eyes, give out sensual vibes, be interested in a religion, go to the gym, give up ice cream and everything else. Feel free to add on to this list. And then we’re also really mean to each other. Women will say things like these to each other and about each other; You can’t cook?! How are you going to feed your husband and kids?! You could use some time in the gym because I notice you’re getting wider in the hips. I question your ability to get dressed for class in the morning. At the club last night? Yeah you were pretty drunk. (Translation: You were such a slut)

- we’ll immediately call them gay, effeminate or fucking hipster. If doing the things women do is ‘socially unacceptable’ for men, then why do we keep doing the things men like? But really, don’t answer that question. My point is trying to tell women, to start being nicer to each other. Just because you’ve succeeded in making another woman feel inferior about herself, it doesn’t make you a better person. It just speaks volumes about your own insecurity. If you’re constantly trying to look for other people’s flaws in order to make yourself more appealing to the opposite sex – then really, that is why you’re miserable in the first place. So yes, keep doing the things you like and remember to stop being an asshole. Because, it’s already bad enough that you’re really hard on yourself.

Are you sure you want to eat that? Women are constantly trying to one-up each other. We do the things men like and make it a point to be better than the other women at it. But if men do the things we like, say... weepy television shows, baking, make an effort to dress well, camwhore, shower twice a day or do some shopping

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If there is ONE thing I have to admit men generally do better than women (other than reading maps), I’d say it is being good friends with each other.

post路post路fem路i路nist adj \ post-post-fe-me-nist : Proof that women are capable of achieving the same dazzling heights of assholism as men.

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(Source: Urban Dictionary)

Pop Music and “Post-Post-Feminism.” Jennifer Peterson-Ward

I recently came across an article about Katy Perry that, in addition to mentioning the Californian singer in the same breath as Ke$ha (cringe) and Lady GaGa (shudder), used the term “post-post feminist” to describe all three acts. question here is not what the hell “post-post feminist” is supposed to mean — the answer is probably that it doesn’t mean anything — the question is why we still, in 2011, feel it necessary to hash out what brand of sexy, nonthreatening “feminism” our female pop stars are carrying in their handbags as they strut and fret and smile innocuously across the ruddy carpet of our culture. What we’re left with is Katy Perry’s infantilized, finger-sucking “naughtiness”. Sexual experimentation! Bisexuality! Kissing! And liking it! On first glance, Perry’s hit single I Kissed A Girl offers up a positive, fun, and inclusive vision of female sexuality. On second glance, it’s none of that. Perry’s song winkingly reinforces bisexual and lesbian women as objects of male fantasy (“hope my boyfriend don’t

mind it”). Then, it situates bisexual and lesbian women as nothing more than an “experimental game” for heterosexual women to play with (“It’s not what I’m used to / Just wanna try you on”). Finally, it turns girls kissing into some sort of crazy taboo (“It felt so wrong / It felt so right / Don’t mean I’m in love tonight”; “It’s not what good girls do”). Perry’s accompanying music video sets up the ultimate safety-net for this bit of experimentation: Perry’s little same-sex kiss turns out to be nothing more than a dream. Really? To be fair, Perry does not fly the flag of post-post anything on her own ship. If there is a fourth wave of feminism afoot, Katy hasn’t made much of an indication that her boots were made for walking in any of its rallies. Perry is, at best, a purveyor of appealingly escapist pop – and not one

that has any intention of overturning (or even challenging) the men-have-swaggerwomen-are-vulnerable order of the pop universe. Still, for an artist who gleefully cites “keeping it real in the name of the f-word” as a musical inspiration does seem like a mixed message at the very least and suggests that “post-post feminism”, if there is such a thing, may be nothing more than a new brand name for “pre-feminism.”

Pseudo-Feminist Musicians: The Worst Offenders

Ever since the Spice Girls made “Girl Power” cool, sexy, and (above all) lucrative for record producers, empowerment has been a convenient posture for pop music to assume—lyrical cognitive dissonance be damned! Here’s a few of the worst offenders:


45 - feature music reviews


(Where Have All the Riot Grrrls Gone? cont...)


The sheer awesomeness of Single Ladies is almost enough to make me overlook the anti-feminist weirdness. Beyonce looks and sounds even stronger on this track than she does in the more traditionally girlpower songs in her catalog (Independent Women Part I; Survivor). I mean, she has a bionic arm in the video. What’s not to like? Well, a few things. Beyonce referring to herself as “it”? Equating herself to bling? Handing herself over to a man who will determine her self-worth through a demeaning, years-long game which can only end with Beyonce emerging triumphant as his symbolic property, or crawling away as a meaningless ex? Saying “Ring or door, your choice,” without asking why on earth you’d want to marry someone who puts you in that spot because he enjoys the sadistic pleasure of seeing how far along he can string you before you break? I don’t care how triumphantly Beyonce announces “If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it.” That shit is messed up.

Alanis Morissette

Admittedly, Alanis has laid down some legitimate feminist anthems in her day (okay, I’m mostly thinking of her parody of My Humps) – but You Oughta Know, the song that catapulted Morissette to feminist-y prominence, isn’t one of them. Yes, she is announcing, screaming, and growling her perspective into the public sphere. No, she is not going to take shit from any man. Yes, I’ll admit it’s pretty awesome that this song is purportedly about her ex-lover Dave Coulier (Full House, anyone?). But no, it is not cool to turn your Coulier-hate into some extremely scary thoughts concerning the ‘Other Woman’: Is she perverted like me? Would she go down on you in a theatre? Does she speak eloquently? And would she have your baby? I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother Hating the guy who screwed you over? Sure. Projecting that angst onto another woman’s sexual proclivities / reproductive health? Creepy, Alanis. Creepy. And not helping the feminist cause one little bit.

46 - feature

Lady Gaga

The pop world cause celebre, Lady Gaga, is undoubtedly one of the most successful artists of our generation. Having sold over fifteen million albums worldwide - coupled with around 369 awards and nominations to her name - the upper-middle-class girl from Manhattan has had tremendous start to what is sure to be a long and prosperous music career. As a result to Gaga’s international renown, many feminist critics have become interested in Stefani Germanotta (Gaga’s birth name) as a powerful woman within contemporary popular culture. After reviewing the plethora of articles, blogs and journals that concentrate upon Gaga as a feminist icon, there is seemingly no overall consensus amongst those writing upon the subject. The music sensation herself claimed that she is a “representative of sexually strong women who speak their minds.” However, within an earlier interview, Gaga proclaimed that

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift – the product, not the person – bothers me. It’s not that her favorite storylines involve Virgin/Whore dichotomies, her white-knight-and-dressfilled fairytale songs encourage a new generation of Disney Princess-ism and her lyrical message to teenage girls is clear: BOYS (That’s it. Just boys. Crying over boys and feeling broken and/or completed by boys.) it’s that the non-sexy songstress (a rarity in today’s slut-soaked media) holds so much potential to be a modern day feminist role model. You Belong With Me, a song about Swift’s secret crush on a friend, could have been girl-power declaration about women pursuing their romantic and sexual interests without shame. Instead, it’s another ode to romantic passivity, as Swift spends the entire song “Dreamin’ about the day that you wake up and find / That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.” Meanwhile, she manages to edge in some vaguely slut-shaming commentary about her fantasy boy’s real girlfriend—a high school cheerleader who wears “highheels and short-skirts”. Gross!

“I’m not a feminist - I hail men. I love men.” These two contradictory statements typify Gaga’s enigmatic, postmodern celebrity persona. Under such conditions, labeling Lady Gaga a feminist icon is invariably going to be problematic. Yet whilst GaGa may be mentioned in the same breath as post-feminism because she is a woman who does not necessarily espouse feminist values – or indeed even care about them - on a sociological level, I believe she does not provide realworld solutions in which to better the positioning of women. The pop star’s circumstances are exceptional – she was born into affluence; educated privately; and managed to use her voice, body and charisma to procure international stardom – and she seemingly endorses the idea that women can, and should, use their bodies to reap economic and social benefits. Not cool.

...I’ve created a new charity event: it’s called Prick.


It’s for charity. Emil Cholich

to that tutorial (well, maybe you shouldn’t have registered for your classes at the last minute), and you’re probably pretty tired from being up doing the assignment that you’re on your way to hand in. Nothing could make this morning any worse - could it? You’re wrong.

A sound blasts from the distance, a high pitched squeal that could only come from a porpoise being beaten with an accordion or, alternatively, an annoying, drunk, UWA student trying to push her wares onto you. This is a reality for Perth once a year. Prosh is a newspaper that is published by the UWA student guild annually in April. People’s increased consumption of chocolate, due to Easter and its accompanying holidays, mean they need to take dumps and therefore wipe themselves more often. This causes supplies of Pelican to dwindle and therefore UWA needs to push something else out to compensate.

I’m not writing this article because I have a problem with the content of Prosh’s newspaper effort - I mean where else can you get seven separate articles based around Charlie Sheen? Nor am I writing this because I dislike charity. In fact I think that I would say overall I’m glad that something good comes out of Prosh. My problem lies with the concept of Prosh itself. Students dress up as zombies, nerds, douchebags, whatever, and then sell their newspaper to passers-by. And by sell I mean force themselves tirelessly on patrons. They’re like hipster Big Issue salesmen, if Big Issue salesmen had enough money to support their alcohol problems, and if you replaced the words ‘Big’ and ‘Issue’ with ‘Predictable’ and ‘Wank’, respectively. Why? Well, it’s for charity. I suppose all’s fair in love, war and charity. In fact I’ve created a new charity event: it’s called Prick. The concept is that we all go to the city and slap people in the face with our cocks, and they can’t bat an eyelid because it’s for charity.

The worst thing though is the false sense of self-satisfaction gained from participating in Prosh. See, the idea of selling newspapers to help charities isn’t enough motivation. At around 4AM the Prosh “rave” starts. From what I’ve come to understand “rave” is merely a prefix for “man, I fingered so many chicks in the parking lot of that-”. This year the UWA Guild banned the Rave and it still happened. When the group organizing the event has to be pouring out alcohol because it can’t control it’s own event one has to question whether Prosh the event has anything to do with Prosh the charity newspaper. I have no problem with that lifestyle choice. In fact I’ve been a drunken public nuisance on many occasions, and have every intention to continue. My problem is with the use of charity as an excuse to be drunken assholes. I work really hard to be an asshole, and I don’t get to do it under the guise of charity, so why should they?

insist that it’s their own personal business what they do before and after. They piss on your feet then tell you it’s raining. My problem is not with the articles, the annoying badgering salespeople or the public drunken behavior. I just disagree with the slimy mislabeling of it as an event driven for the benefit of the less fortunate. How about this? Take all of that money you spent on goon bags, on speakers, lasers, and crappy music, and repurpose it towards the cause you’re supposed to be supporting. Prosh is run 10% for charity 90% for wank, and I don’t care if you want to show us that you so rowdy.

Leave me alone, it’s 7 god damn AM.

They deny that this rave has any thing to do with Prosh and

47 - feature

Hey there, it’s 7am isn’t it? You’re probably dreading going

Some things are better with contacts.


Our Umere Silicone Hydrogel contact lenses are probably the most comfortable contact lenses in the world and they are exclusive to Specsavers. At Specsavers Waterford we’re giving away 30 pairs of Umere contact lenses free to everyone who buys 3 months worth*. Visit for more details or book an appointment with a Specsavers optometrist today. Only available at Specsavers Waterford. Waterford Plaza (near Curtin University), corner Manning & Kent St, 9313 1433. *Offer available to Curtin University students when they present their Student ID card. Free Contact lenses must be the same prescription as the 3 months purchased. Subject to suitability. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid until 14th August 2011. Offer only available at Specsavers Waterford. Š 2010 Specsavers Optical Group. SMART_SPE13057.


I hope you get tangled in your Door Gym Full Body Exerciser.

Emil Cholich

Because OASIS just wasn’t shit enough already.

Mature Age Students

They’re like your penis when you’re 12; they always get up in class when you don’t want them to. Oh, do I care about how your childs fingerpainting is postmodern? Or about how your husbands work as a vacuum cleaner salesmen has informed your knowledge of business? No. Just shut up like the rest of us. I, for one, like the awkward silence when a tutor asks a question with no response from the class, all of us students allied against the concept of voicing our opinions because we’re insecure about the accuracy of our answers. Stop contributing.

Surveying Students

Oh yeah, let’s stand here behind this thing all day every day holding a clipboard. Cool man! No, what the hell are you doing? How can you be surveying the same patch of ground between the library and bus station every day all year? What the hell kind of redundant data collection is that. Have you ever met a surveying student? Like, properly met one. I have a feeling that they aren’t actual people, they’re just hired by Curtin to make the campus look like it’s buzzing with practical education.

Health Science Students

Oh did you know that I’m a health science student and you aren’t? Yes, I did, because it says it on your shirt, soooo cool. I hope you get tangled in your Door Gym Full Body Exerciser.

The Socialist Alternative Really? Come on.

Grok’s vendetta against straight people

I wonder how many articles about how cool not being straight there is in this issue. God, I hope they’re full of even more stereotypes. How progressive! Seriously though, just stop it, how can somebody’s entire life focus entirely around their sexuality? Can’t you write about something that isn’t how chicks with long nails can’t be REAL lesbians because it prohibits them from masturbating comfortably? Ignorant.

That guy in my Brand Identity 271 class on Wednesday mornings last semester

I got here at 8am, you got here at 10, you dick, moving seat to cut in front of me is the only thing more douche-baggy than your fringe. And please don’t ask me how my assignment is going, you want to know how it’s going? Better than yours is how it’s going. Because the two hours you spent in the morning deciding which of those giant saggy beany elephant-foreskin looking hats would be most ironic, I spent being better than you. Ass.

PAYG Parking I don’t even drive.

49 -uni life



My heart

50 - creative

is beating so fast but it’s no longer in my chest; it has leaped inside my throat and is evaporating all the saliva from my mouth. “Well, what are you gonna do about it mate?” I can’t breathe. He’s yelling into Kane’s face; spitting. Kane stands tall with his arms strong at his side. I can sense the adrenaline that would be pulsating through his system but I don’t understand what’s gotten into him. It’s like he has eliminated all sensibilities and consequences from his mind. I go to scream out but the word is pounding around in my head and unable to escape. Why can’t I scream stop? Kane’s hands are red with clenching fists. He must be too angry to reply. He stares into Kane’s face, trying to intimidate him but even I know there is no chance of that. Kane won’t back down. His arm swings through the air and makes contact landing just below his left eye and slightly knocking his nose. I just notice blood spitting from his nostril before his fist swings round and hits Kane’s face.

I desperately search the street around for somebody, anybody. I hear people laughing up ahead. Should I run and try for help? But what if they don’t come? I turn back to the two brawling men punch after punch they just don’t seem to stop. My eyes blur with tears it’s painful to see Kane be hurt like this. I can’t even remember where this guy came from; where are all his friends? Kane is launching his entire body behind the punches. The knocks hit his face hard and fast. Just as he falls Kane stands back. Tears are streaming down my face and mascara has smudged across my cheeks. I go to reach out to Kane. I could use his comfort but I hesitate; something about his face scares me. Kane is staring at his opponent but I can’t help to think of this guy now only as a victim. His head smashes against the concrete, His eyes are shut, and his face is covered in blood. I stare at his body too. Familiar laughter is moving closer towards us and echoes through the silent city. The laughter stops as they must spot the scene. Three people in the

middle of the street, one of which is unconscious on the floor; I know it would make something click in my mind. They begin rushing over, but I stand in the same spot paralysed. The fear of what has just happened has caused my body to stop. They are shaking him and screaming in his face. Somebody is calling the ambulance. “What have you done!” a girl screams into Kane’s face but his body has also stopped. The skin across his fist is broken and bleeding and a bruise is starting to yellow around his right eye. More people are crowding around the fallen man. Where the hell are they coming from? Why weren’t they here to help ten minutes ago? The pit of my stomach aches but I can’t distinguish the fear from the guilt. Kane and I become a blur in the crowd. “He’s dead!” somebody screams above the noise. And with this I snap. My heart is racing and instincts are re-tingling across my body. I grab Kane’s arm and I run.


PS3, 360, PC

PS3, 360



Let me start by saying if you haven’t played the first one yet, put down this issue and go play it. It’s a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Right, finished? Now put it this issue down again and go play Portal 2. It’s a masterpiece…wait a minute… It’s actually somewhat hard to describe what makes Portal 2 wonderful. Actually, it isn’t, but that would give away the plot. Which is a masterpiece, by the way. Portal 2 is a unique puzzle game in which you navigate a futuristic test facility with portable wormholes, hence the name. The puzzles in here are a little less engaging than in the first game, due to the fact you could trial-and-error your way through the vanilla ones, but then you get to the goo-focused puzzles, which are awesome brainbenders. There isn’t as much focus on the portals themselves, but if you want that, buy the first game. Masterpiece. Suffice to say the gameplay is still original, which is a major selling point for a game in a market full of… games about fishes. Also? It’s funny. Very. GLaDOS, the overseer of the facility, is a complete bitch with a passive-aggressive attitude. Her witty jibes against you are all hilarious, but still prove she has a vendetta against you. Why? Play the first game. Your companion is a droid called Wheatley, voiced by British comedian Stephen Merchant, of Extras fame. Wheatley is an idiot, but not in the sense that he is nothing but slapstick. He tries his best to be

smart, and this leads to what can only be described as intellectual fallacies. “Yes! I’m free of that rail! Free to go wherever I please! Um, where are we going actually? Just...follow the rail actually.” Also, you remember J J Jameson (JK Simmons) from the Spider-Man movies? He’s in it too. He’s also funny. In fact, I’m sure anyone surfing YouTube would have come across a Portal 2 joke at some point. Remember all the fuss about cake from the last game? Well, now it’s about space and combustible lemons. Despite the humour, this is still an incredibly deep and thematic story. You can just think of it as an escape from a facility, or you can indulge in the discussions of man’s freedom, family ties and many other issues. It’s incredible. I was wondering whether to give this game a 10 due to the brevity of the single-player, although I’d say it long enough for what it was. Enter co-op. Valve pulled out all the stops to make it comfortable, giving you tools to communicate with your partner even if you don’t have a headset. You can also play splitscreen, which I recommend. I’d also recommend playing with a friend rather than a stranger online. Whatever you do, buy this game. The plot, humour and gameplay are the stuff of kings. The only hamper here is the lack of competitive multiplayer. Actually, no, that’s no flaw. You people shouldn’t be fighting with each other all the time.


Tired of answering all of your problems with firepower? I am. Originality is the spice of life, after all. LA Noire promises originality with its revolutionary facial scanning technology and fresh approach to open-world gameplay. Does it live up to all of it? Er, no. The game promises an openworld layout, but plays more like a point-and-click interspersed with action parts. This is actually a good thing, as it makes the crime scene investigation a major part of the game, and this is definitely its strong point. Moving around murder scenes and crashes, picking up clues and interacting with them is an involving process. You will feel like a detective in these parts, and in the other selling point. The facial scans aren’t just for show (thankfully no one has facial hair in this game, which would hinder it). Interrogations rely on you reading the subject’s face and determining whether they are telling the truth or lying. This is extremely original and works well for the most part, but some of it is rigid. Instead of just saying whether they are lying or not, you can either call facts into doubt or prove their lies with clues you are carrying. Deciding which of these two to use is too tricky sometimes. A lot of the times you use evidence that feels obvious and arbitrary. For example, this woman tries pitifully to deny having worn a bracelet. There’s no reason for her to lie, and the proof you show to her to get her to tell the truth is so obvious,

it’s a wonder Cole Phelps doesn’t just do it automatically. Ah yes, the plot. For the first half of the game, the only overarching plot is the main character’s, Phelps’, past, told in flashbacks. Each case is solitary, up until a certain point. I can say I was never bored with the plot or any of the case scenarios, though there is a plot twist later in the game that just pissed me off. It almost ruins the game it’s so bad. LA Noire builds up an impressive atmosphere of 1940s America, but it doesn’t do anything with the city. The city might be open, but it’s no sandbox. If you play this game, get your partner to skip most of the driving. LA is just too big for you to do it all and not get bored. Another minor flaw is that the AI is a bit shabby. Your partner can get stuck in crime scenes sometimes, which is annoying. They also aren’t the biggest help in the numerous shootouts in the game. But if you’re ever too annoyed by the action parts of them game, you can skip them after failing three times. This is good, as these parts are serviceable but not formidable. Though this review comes off as divided, I really enjoyed LA Noire. Its potential is almost completely explored, and it’s one of the better games to come out this year. It’s just nowhere near as glorious as Portal 2.

8.5/10 51 -- contents reviews


Generations of Australian kids have fed upon the rage smorgasbord served up weekly without fail (except during the Olympics). The theme tune – Iggy Pop’s guttural bark, “Haaashwow wild child!” – is to me like the call of an old, drunk friend. And does anyone remember that weird guy in the end credits with the jerry curl and his face all stretched? Who was that guy? [Johnny O’Keefe – ed.] He haunts my dreams. Anyway, rage is important because it’s a well-known fact that bright, flashing colours help children grow up big and strong. Music videos are where many of us get our first taste of real pop culture: sex, Americana and celebrity fetish. Delicious. rage ain’t all sleaze ‘n’ hot pants, though. The show gives exposure to local and independent acts and its archives constitute a unique visual history of contemporary culture – the fashions, the fads and the fools. It helped me, at least, to develop a general appreciation for “culture” of all kinds. In my kiddy-hood, I loved nothing more than watching a few hours of the rage Top 40, before kitting up for T-ball. It was the 90s and class acts like Gina G (“Ooh-aah... Just a Little Bit”), Whigfield (“Sexy Eyes”), Shaggy (“Boombastic”) and The Spice Girls (do you really need an

example?) graced the screen. So much sexy gadabouting! So much flesh! Youtube those videos now and compared to today it’s like watching nuns sing and dance in The Sound

of Music.

My tiny, innocent mind didn’t know the half of it. One Friday night, when the ‘rents were away at a particularly entertaining dinner party, the baby sitter let us watch late night rage. It was positively titillating. I swear to god, the very first video at 12am featured a digitally animated purple devil-lady setting fire to things. And the next day, they played it on Triple J! I was super excited. It felt like I’d joined some naughty, secret club for trendy, underground adults who stay up after 9 ‘o’ clock. (I wasn’t far from the truth; stoners are rage’s most dedicated audience.)* Later, I discovered the guest programmers. Since 1990, on most Saturday nights, rage has gotten artists and bands to introduce 40 of their favourite music videos. A lot of classic punk, new wave and eighties pop is chosen, like the Clash, the Cure and Devo, respectively. Memorably, the Beastie Boys selected the X-Ray Spex’ video for “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” The 1977 clip was grainy and consisted of one, continuous shot of this tiny chick (Poly Styrene, RIP) in a plastic-bag dress, screaming her lungs out in front of a nonchalant band. I fell in love with old school punk on the spot.

For general interest, rage’s guest programmers have included the likes of Nick Cave, Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Radiohead, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Silverchair, Eskimo Joe, Wolfmother, Metallica, Queens Of The Stone Age, Weezer, Beck, Frank Black, Jack Black, Green Day, Meatloaf, Hilltop Hoods, Public Enemy, The Flaming Lips, Devo, The Strokes, Bloc Party, Kasabian, Grandmaster Flash, Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Malcolm McLaren, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Scissor Sisters, Dandy Warhols, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Avalanches, The Prodigy and buttloads more. It’s a testament to rage’s influence and standing in the music world that so many amazing acts have agreed to be filmed for the show. I discovered my favourite band of all time on rage and they too went on to be guest programmers. The Darkness is probably the schlockiest, ugliest band in the industry but I love them sick. That fateful Saturday morning, I literally fell to my knees and gaped about a foot away from the screen as their video for “Love is Only a Feeling” unfolded. While that sexy intro twanged into life, the camera panned over the band on a cliff, high above the Blue Mountains. I don’t know whether it was Justin Hawkins’ unbelievable falsetto or his skin tight leopard print outfit, but I was (still am) hooked and have rage to thank for it.


The videos that stand out for me are the ones where you can spot a sly wink at the camera; the videos that don’t take themselves too seriously or just plain take the piss. I live for these moments; when Justin Hawkins’ does his little bum wiggle in front of the camera; when Har Mar Superstar prances around an empty pet shop, serenading to goldfish, in “DIU”; even Ke$ha knows the ins and outs of satire, explaining how she became the president of Uzbekistan in the video for “Blow.” My relationship with rage is a modern romance of sorts. It’s a little bit love and hate; a little bit ironic (like ra-ain on your wedding day, as the old ballad goes). I’ve discovered some of my favourite bands on rage, and I’ve sat in stunned horror as the worst crimes against music are committed (Baby, baby, baby, oohhh). As much as I scoff at all the talentless and/or half nekid pop stars and cap-busting rappers, I’m equally amused by the multitude of deadly-sincere hipster bands with their dead-pan, ironic use of non-prescribed glasses-frames and sobbing homage’s to The Smiths. ‘Cos don’t forget, they are

all incredibly individual and must be taken very, very seriously.

The kitsch and the credible all find a home on rage. That’s the beauty of it: it’s an unjudging democracy, and everyone gets their turn in front of merciless armchair critics like me.

*Presumably. May not actually be true. Stoners aren’t trendy.

53 - feature

Airing on ABC since 1987, rage is now the longest running late-night music program in the world.





This Modern Glitch

Born This Way

Tron Legacy Reconfigured






The Wombats return with their highly anticipated second album This Modern Glitch, a more danceable record than 07’s A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. The 10-track album contains the same “i’m so indie and quirky” pop as the debut, whilst bringing in heavy dance influences. Every song is designed to get people moving by focusing on danceable rhythms that build to catchy -i-can’t-get-out-of-my-head choruses.

Hating Lady Gaga in this day and age seems a bit like beating a redheaded stepchild; you don’t even know why you started doing so in the first place, but you keep doing so out of obligation. Remember when you didn’t have to convince yourself of how deep and meaningful an album was to your personal situation to be able to say you liked it in public?

If you’ve seen Tron Legacy, you will also hopefully know about how daft punk did the original motion picture soundtrack. Well, this is the album that remixes those tracks and adds in a few choice quotations from the film itself. Now before you lose interest - as I’m certain you will - you should know that if you are going to listen to this, you are best to leave it in the car and reach for it when all good music on the radio stops. Now this music might not be anything original, but when you are driving it makes you feel like you are on an adventure, and even if you don’t know where you are going, you are going there fast.

One reason record reviews exist is to help people make purchasing decisions. A reviewer tells you a new album is great, you buy it, you dig it, you say, “What should I buy next?” Well, buy w h o k i l l next – you’ll love it.

The album opener ‘Our Perfect Disease’, sets the mood for the rest of the record by kicking rapid electronic bloops before adding ‘80s-style synths and keys. ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’ brings back the energy of the band after the subdued opening. With its disco keys and the heavily bouncing bass, it’s probably the catchiest track of the album. ‘Last Night I Dreamt’ is a bit of a let down. Wombats seem so close to getting it right it hurts a little bit when their vocals are that lazy. ‘Techno Fan’ is instant sing a long material, by far the best song of the album. It will make you get up and ‘move with them’.

54 - reviews

‘Walking Disasters’ is more like the first album, indie-rock vibe and quirky lyrics “I will be your Freudian slip” (what does that even mean?). The album closer, ‘Schumacher The Champagne’, is a decent send-off along the lines of classic Wombats. The dance-floor anthem feel disappears for the final track, but you can play it again! This Modern Glitch is an enjoyable, really catchy collection of songs. Melancholy was never so danceable until The Wombats.


Born this Way is probably Gaga’s most accomplished album but will probably also be marked as the point where she jumped the shark. The title track, supposedly written in half an hour (and god doesn’t it show) is this glorious upbeat anthem, fantastic until you start actually listening to an attractive rich white woman tell you what it’s like to be oppressed. The rest of the album mostly follows down this path – vague self-empowerment anthems with that strong catchy four-to-thefloor backing. Lyrically on Born this Way, Gaga gives nods to Judas Priest and the Boss, compressing these slightly nonsensical soundbytes about American identity: “I am not a freak,

I was born with my freedom - Don’t tell me I’m less than my freedom.” – she

sings on ‘Bad Kids’ - and filtering it through what is an essentially European sound. Her public persona – built around the cultivation of ‘Monsters’, the inclusion of supposed social outcasts into a group larger than themselves – clashes with these anthems of individualism and there’s already been backlash. To paraphrase The Incredibles, saying everyone is special is just another way of saying no-one is. But god, isn’t it fun.


But what does the music mean? Well don’t ask me, I love the film that it’s apparently sampled from, but all I can do is nod my head to the beats and occasionally recognise Jeff Bridges voice being mixed in just so we all know it’s all still Tron. This is definitely not an album you should buy without listening to it first. Then if you do buy it, prepare to feel sick as you notice that the money you’ve spent on this could have gone to something more aesthetically pleasing. The real fault of this album though is as good as these remixes can be, there are plenty of artists on the internet willing to give their works away for free, while Disney continues to milk the Tron name until it eventually collapses in on itself.


Why? Well, that’s where it gets a little more complicated. By far the greatest challenge in reviewing w h o k i l l is sorting out any frame of reference for the benefit of an audience.


is one of those increasingly rare albums that sounds like nothing else out there – it is a post-pop album, yes, but it is not post-rock, math rock, or any form of electronic dance music and yet it is far too avant-garde to be pure guitar pop, either. An ear-pleasing conundrum, from the opening organ chords of The Country to the final chorus of ‘Killa’ (whose fade-out makes you sad that the lengthy album is over) you’ll get insanely catchy ‘60s-inspired psychrock music, great melodies and riffs, gloriously dense complicated layers of sound, insane arrangement, drony ambience, cathartic noise, and many other delicious surprises, including the sparkling sonic blending of swooning dream-pop with rhythm heavy Afro grooves. Buy this album and you’ll get an exceedingly well-placed album that’s high on concept and low on tedium. Buy this album and expect your jaw to be left on the floor. Buy this album and expect to hear something that stands head and shoulders above anything else that is currently being blasted out of your iPod. You’ll get a lot for your $19.99. So buy it, already!




There Is A Way


Simple Math





Overlooking the blatantly stupid band name, Dananananaykroyd actually aren’t half bad. Defined as fight pop and hailing from Glasgow, this six piece band is certainly not short on energy. Having previously toured with the Kaiser Chiefs, and having been added to the Splendour in the Grass line up, their music is like a poppy tune turned violent as they throw in some screams for good measure.

There’s a parrot on the cover of this album and that can only mean one thing – calypso!! Friendly Fire’s second-coming is riddled with tropical flavours: steel drums (“Show Me Love”), seagulls (“Helpless”), 70’s disco (“Hurting”) and even 90’s pop (“Pull Me Back to Earth”). (Oh yeah, the 90s are back!) Giving a clue to its vibe, the album’s name, Pala, is the utopia in Aldous Huxley’s psychedelic 1962 novel, Island. There is indeed a lot of celebratory hoo-ha going on.

Anthemic. Grandiose. Epic. I fucking hate albums that tout these selfserving descriptors of what is more often than not, a musical facepalm. However, I was fortunate enough to pick up the exception in indie rockers Manchester Orchestra’s

Seeker Lover Keeper, the new debut written and produced by some of Australia’s most notable Indie folk darlings, Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann is a charming and whimsical collaboration of contemporary Australian indie music.

The album starts off promisingly but as it continues, the beats and rhythms begin to blend into one another as the songs sound the same. There appears to be not enough differentiation and experimentation in their sound.They regurgitate a similar song over and over, making it difficult to distinguish any favourites in the group. However if you’re someone who loves a song so much they just put it on repeat, then this album could be for you, because you don’t even have to push the repeat button. It feels like punk rock for the hipsters wanting to indulge in a bit of aggression and call it fun, which it is, and I can appreciate that, but once a song ends I’m curiously not feeling any urge to re-listen. however, don’t disregard this band altogether if you like something a bit different to the bubblegum pop spewing out of the music industry. If you want a new take on the pop genre then definitely give these guys a listen.


The opening single, “Live Those Dreams Tonight” – the song Triple J’s been orgasming over for the past month – features infectiously dancey, super fast drum solos. Next is “Blue Cassette,” which is also agreeably danceable and should excite indie hipsters with its reference to obsolete media. Combining hipster’s favourite things – filth, colours, the past, and home – many will relate to the lyrics:

“I found a tape in my back garden. A blue cassette covered in dirt. And through the dust the reels start turning. And plays memories stored in earth.”

I love that song.

“Hawaiian Air” is like a tropical holiday in song form, tapping into the carefree recklessness that accompanies travel to exotic lands: You can imagine the band sitting in an aeroplane – white islands below and a blue sky above – demanding more spirits from the flight attendant. Pala is heaps of fun and proves that second albums aren’t always worse than debuts. The Fires have moved into pretty exotic terrain while managing to keep the catchy beats and clever song writing that made them popular. Let’s just hope they branch out from Splendour in the Grass and come to Perth.


Seeker Lover Keeper

Simple Math. Simple Math is their third studio

release and has the daunting task of realising the context with which it is in. Preceded by the gloriously poignant and lyrically gritty Means Everything to Nothing, an album that touched some pretty raw chords with me, this album had a lot to live up to. I was skeptical upon hearing that it was a concept album that spoke to a hypothetical 23 year old’s understandings of all of life’s big questions. Concept albums reek of pretension and they’d disappointed me in the past. Thankfully, and refreshingly so, frontman Andy Hull and his group have forged a masterpiece in a milieu of inordinate musical success. Replete with sweeping soundscapes, shimmering strings, gentle keys and Hull’s toying with a dynamic of soulful cracklings and impassioned yelps, Simple Math sees an assuage in the distortive elements of METN in favour of a more epic aesthetic, intent on atmosphere and that coveted ‘wall of sound’ akin to Pink Floyd. Hull and co. have, through a complete shakeup of what was already a successful ethic, have crafted one of the most arresting albums of the year; reviewing nirvana. This is Manchester Orchestra making math fun again.


The trio’s self titled album, a product of the three women’s fortnight recording in New York, has united the three songstresses talents into a strong and soulful debut. Their wispy and soothing voices float together with ease as they dominate over the calming melodies bringing a collaboration of a truly whimsical and inspiring debut. The strengths of each of the women shines through the album, especially “Even Though I’m A Woman”, and “Seeker Lover Keeper.” Both musically and lyrically, the ladies have created a dozen songs that leave shivers down your spine with harmonies that are rich and deep. In a time where hip hop dominates, and indie has reached a cult wave of cool, this trio is bringing a sense of honesty and much needed musical fulfillment to the Australian charts. I think this collaboration is a stunning debut of heartwarming melodies and lyrics for the soul.


55 - reviews


IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME Going to University Alan Smith

56 - advice

Finishing school, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind, after leavers; going to university. Not going to university nowadays seems to be an admission that you’re poor, dumb, or naïve; you can’t get a job without going to university first, everyone knows that, and the only people that need a full-time job after high school are those whose parents cannot afford to feed them, right? So off I trudged to that fine institute of learning, UWA, in hope of attaining myself an arts degree. The first thing I learned there was that I was poor. Very poor. What do I mean, poor? My parents, as an 18th birthday present, bought me a 1989 Toyota Camry. This means I was poor. They made me pay its registration, insurance, and running costs, presumably in some lesson of financial responsibility. This meant that they were poor. I lived in a (nice) suburb south of the

river. Poor. It was an economic status that was to dog me in years to come. People wouldn’t come to my parties, simply because it was too far away from the golden triangle. The second thing I learned, soon after I was poor, is that university students, on the whole, are insufferable. I don’t wish to perpetuate a stereotype, but, between the overly keen mature agers, the incurably stupid, and the look-atme-I’m-so-quirky-look-at-how-quirky-I-am, it was hard to converse, let alone make friends. Harder still when a girl I was getting along well with (up to that point at least) tried to win a friendly argument over the origin of grenadine by claiming that her father owned a bar, and that put her in the right. (For the record; it’s pomegranate, not raspberry as she so claimed) The third (and perhaps final) thing I learned was that I am not well suited to a higher learning

education, perhaps terminally. Arriving freshfaced and fancy-free at Curtin, lured by the prospect of less wankers and a better teaching, I found instead apathy and... apathy. Say what you want about the students of arts at UWA, at least they argued – sometimes reasonably - about their asinine interests or points of view. Here it was a dull haze of mild agreement or people not having the presence of mind to realise that what they were trying to say wasn’t original, clever, or funny, making it of less worth than a dog that speaks norwegian.

Lest not the pot call the kettle black.













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Grok Issue #4 2011  
Grok Issue #4 2011  

Curtin Student Guild's student magazine