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4 Guild Business 5 Editorial
6 Contextualise This!
7 Meet The Team
8 Perth 2050
27 Interview: Gary Sewell
10 Robot Toilet
11 I Wanna Be Old!
12 Alien Observations 13 Entertaining the Future 14 Too Damn High! 15 Iâ€™m In Perth, Now What? 16 Button Down 17 My Top Time Travels 18 Time Machine Reviews 20 The Future is Retro
Editor: Tom Reynolds firstname.lastname@example.org GSM - ECU 2 Bradford Street Mount Lawley WA 6050 Cover: Jason Dirstein (original image), Tom Reynolds (design) Design: Tom Reynolds Printed by: Images: Jacky Le (10, 12, 15), Wenjie Zheng (11, 16, 17, 29), Jason Dirstein (13), Tom Reynolds (1, 8, 9), Esen Heyawee (2) originaly published in 6/2 and incorrectly attributed, our apologies
Editing Team: Aldy Hendradjaja, Alesha Sills, Dina Waluyo, Divya Jankee, Larry Fife, Tim Neal, Asten Nunn, Rehana Badat, Julie Khan, Shaun Cowe, Adrian Rosetti, James Blackburn, Evan Roberts, Chris Gibson, Chloe Hannay, Rosemarie Dale. Want to get involved with our sections? Arts: Aldy Hendradjaja email@example.com Books: Divya Jankee firstname.lastname@example.org Film: Dina Waluyo email@example.com Games: Chris Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org Music: Shaun Cowe email@example.com Photography: Ali Alatas firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Tom Reynolds (08) 9370 6609 email@example.com
The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Editor, ECU Student Guild or the Advertisers. GSM is editorially independent. The Editor reserves the right to make changes to material as required. GSM reserves the right to republish material. Contributors retain all other rights.
The Edith Cowan University Singapore Students Association (ECUSSA) was officially set up on 9 August 2004 to commemorate Singapore’s independence day since 1965. It was created as a social club that all Singaporeans can call their own and in view of Singapore’s multicultural society, consisting of four major races, Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians, also welcome students from all nationalities to join and support multiculturalism. Our main objective is to provide the same support to its members while keeping the Singaporean spirit alive. Special events and gatherings are often organised to develop stronger relationships and a sense of belonging to the student community in ECU. Last year, we organised the 1st ever Singapore Short Film Festival in Perth and look forward in sharing our cultures again with you this year. For more information please email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributed by Brandon Ong Do you run a Guild-affiliated club or society? Did you know you can promote your club, upcoming events and fundraisers for FREE in GSM? Deadline for submissions to edition two (May) is Wednesday April 11. email@example.com
The Student Guild’s Education & Welfare Officers are here to help students with any issues regarding their academic or personal welfare. Our main roles are to provide information, advocacy, support and referral. Being independent from the university, we are your voice and represent your interests during your time at ECU.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of GSM! Hopefully you are all getting off to a good start with the new semester.
The Student Guild has an inclusive policy welcoming all students to access our services. So please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help! Often a problem is not as bad as you think, there are usually ways to resolve it. So come and say hello, we enjoy meeting students and finding out what issues are important to you.
Many of you would have seen the abhorrent and homophobic ad released by Katter’s Australian Party. Without going into too much detail, the ad presented gay people as perverted sexual deviants and chastised certain politicians for supporting gay marriage (i.e. for suggesting that LGBTI people should have equal rights to everybody else).
Some of the issues we assist with are: • Appeals – for any academic result appeal (unit/exam/assignment) or progression status appeal (eg suspension/exclusion) • Grievances • Complaints – about any product/service of ECU; equity issues such as discrimination or harassment; student or staff misconduct • Academic Misconduct (if you’re accused of plagiarism/cheating/colluding etc) • Tenancy/housing • Legal • Centrelink • Crisis care • Emergency Financial Assistance Dianne Webster Blg 5 Bunbury Ph: 9780 7786 firstname.lastname@example.org Georgia Thompson Blg 10, Joondalup Ph: 6304 5628 e: email@example.com Rosemarie Dale Blg 12, Mt Lawley Ph: 9370 6821 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to talk about one particular social issue that have been in the media recently.
Decent people were rightly outraged by the shameless bigotry behind this commercial. Right-wing, gutter level vitriol such as this is responsible for the alienation of LGBTI people in our society. It is this kind of filth that leads to a higher suicide rate amongst LGBTI identifying people, and to homophobic discrimination in general. Katter’s commercial is a blatant public attack on gay people and their aspirations toward equal rights. The good news is there is a way to counter this attack. We must take to the streets and continue putting pressure on the government to legalise gay marriage. On May 12th, there is a National Day of Action calling for full marriage equality. Perth campaign group Equal Love will be holding a rally at the Supreme Court Gardens. I would encourage everyone who is against homophobia to come to the National Day of Action this May. To get involved, or for more information, please contact me. Tom Marcinkowski email@example.com 0430 323 963
Shalom Welcome to edition one, volume three of GSM. What the hell is GSM? GSM is the student magazine at ECU. It’s free, monthly, and each edition is themed. Students are responsible for the writing and editing, as well as providing images. We keep the content as liberal and openminded as possible, and ask that you read us with the same attitude. We’ve published on everything from female ejaculation, and experiences of a gay bashing, to satirical guides on how to be a drug dealer. We write for a youthfully minded adult audience and provide the freedom to write on whatever topics you’re passionate, curious or informed about. We encourage writing that is creative, knowledgeable and engaging - be it anecdotal, opinion-based or speculative. So what is “student press” all about, then? I strongly believe good student publications are about more than stories and pictures. They’re also about good communities. The best publications are the ones enthusiastically supported by a broad church of contributors. If you’re interested in joining ours I strongly encourage you to attend the writers’ nights at Mount Lawley (and get involved with proof-reading too). Please note that we encourage frank and open discussions at these events.
If you do disagree with something we have published please feel free to e-mail me or alternatively come speak to me in person, my office is in the Guild (Building 12). Sounds good, how do I get involved? 1. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org 2. Follow us on Facebook 3. Come to our writers’ nights A special thank you to... Kayt Davies for her ongoing support (and shenanigans). Stuart Medley, Quintin Beresford, Trevor Cullen, and Hanadi Haddad for allowing me into their classrooms and encouraging their students’ participation. Amy Raz for promoting us in SCA. Divya Jankee and Chris Gibson for helping promote the first writers’ night. Aldy Hedradjaja for running our stall at both O-Days. My section editors (Chris, Aldy, Divya, Shaun and Dina) for reading my verbose emails, and then following up on them. The folks who came in to proof-read, you’re assistance was invaluable, and your company was sterling. Adrian “the work experience kid” Rossetti. Ali Atalas for his enthusiasm and commitment. Gabrielle McKie for her tough love. Jason Dirstein for his assistance with the cover. And finally Josh Chiat, and Richard Ferguson - for being a pair of loveable muppets and indulging my kvetching through this edition.
Tom Reynolds email@example.com Building 12 ML
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we ask the question: when is it okay to call someone a bitch? I was born in 1975, so I am o-l-d. I grew up in a world where expectations were extreme and hellishly sexist. My parents dragged me across the continent aged 13, to give my brother a chance at a better life, regardless of the fact that it might totally fuck mine up (it did for a bit). It’s how it was in the ‘80’s and how parental units had been programmed in the ‘50’s. Being intelligent and someone for whom everything came easily, knew their mind, had strong morals and opinions—and with massive boobs—it wasn’t long before I was labeled a bitch. It’s a label guaranteed to have me spitting purple chips and blowing red sparks. The only people who have ever called me a bitch have been people who couldn’t bully me, break me down or make me concede defeat (my dad included). It’s a word aimed to hurt. I’m a delicate petal, it hurt and used in this context it becomes degrading. It’s cruel and petty to label someone a bitch simply because they are prepared to stand up for their beliefs, speak their mind, refuse to be told they are worth nothing, or bend to your will. And it says more about the labeler than the labelee. To me, a bitch is one of two things: 1. A female DOG or 2. A female human who wants to manipulate/wound others who are in the way or for the fun of it. If you know me, you’ll know that I am not either of those definitions. I’m human, all about love and equality. Bitches are all about hate. So for all you haters, you can keep the name bitch for yourselves. I don’t want it. Opinion by Shezzam
As an offensive word becomes more widely used in day to day speech, its negative associations start to disintegrate. These words become part of everyday language and are embraced by society. Bumper stickers bearing the slogan ‘Bitch Onboard’ are proudly plastered on the back of minivans and sedans alike. Some will argue that it’s a sexist term used to degrade women and yes, it can be, but I say it all depends on the context and a healthy dose of common sense. For example, let’s say that your friend is complaining incessantly, a perfectly acceptable response would be ‘Will you stop being a whiney bitch’, will she take offense? Possibly, but given the standing relationship between you both it’s just as likely to cause laughter or a humorous slanging match. Offensive words are given the power to demean, insult or offend depending on individual beliefs and values. What one person finds offensive, someone else will laugh off or even consider a term of endearment. Does the risk of offending some mean that as a whole we need to censor speech in order to ensure that no one becomes upset?... NO. We live in a multicultural, democratic society and we are given the opportunity to decide what is appropriate and what is not. Just remember, it is an individual’s responsibility to think before they speak and whether to listen to what is said. Peace out bitches. Opinion by Paige Wittingham
At the heart of 1984 is an exploration of totalitarianism, and in particular its desire to control language. This is particularly evil because controlling language extends to controlling the ability of our minds to grasp, articulate, and invent thoughts contrary to the orthodoxies of the day. The control of language is the ultimate triumph of totalitarianism. So how does all this serious and dour expositioning relate to being called a bitch? Because being called a bitch and calling others a bitch or bitches is hilarious, demeaning, camp, endearing, empowering, and bitchy. Its varied uses are now as much a part of the acceptable mainstream as any other re-appropriated word. Take for example the re-appropriation of the words “gay” and “nigger”. Their intention, reception and appropriateness depend entirely on the context of their use. The fluidic nature of free speech offers a plethora of contextual permutations that determine meaning. There is nothing inherent or immutable to the arrangement of the letters b-i-t-c-h that makes the word irredeemable or unchangeable. Feminists like Tina Fey use bitch freqently and intelligently. In the gay community it is a word of endearment and an expression of commaraderie “let’s get our drink on, bitches” and a part of camp humour as any other re-appropriated insult (sister, girl, power bottom). Australians generally are renowned for their irreverence and appropriation of insults as a form of affection. To adhere to one single interpretation, to resist the appropriation and evolution of a word, and to enforce its orthodox conceptions is to control the ability of others to re-imagine life outside the social status quo. Appropriating words is a form of empowerment. So yes, it is appropriate to use the word bitch and I encourage you to use it frequently. Enjoy it, take it for outings to social occasions, and most importantly use it wisely.
Opinion by Rupert Voysey
GSM GSM GSM GSM Shaun Cowe firstname.lastname@example.org Studying: Jazz at WAAPA I got involved with GSM because: It gives me the opportunity to test out my subliminal messaging in a controlled environment. My vision in 2012 the music section is: To annex Western Australia in a bloody coup and use its uranium-rich mines to begin production on nuclear warheads and my own race of radioactive mutant superbugs.
Meet the Team
Divya Jankee email@example.com Studying: Bachelor of Arts and Communications I got involved with GSM because it gives me a chance to improve my communication skills and make my portfolio look good ;) My vision in 2012 for the Books section: get more reviewers involved and include more author interviews
Christopher Murray Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org Studying: Computer Science I got involved with GSM because of my passion for writing and a desire for a creative output. My vision in 2012 for the games section is to allow non gamers a sneak peak into what makes our hobby great, and how it affects us daily.
Aldy Hendradjaja email@example.com Studying: Bachelor of Writing I got involved with GSM because I was hungry and Tom promised to bring free pizzas for the Writers’ Nights. Oh, and because I need to write. My vision in 2012 the arts section is broadening the definition of ‘arts’ reviewed in this magazine – not only art galleries but also, for example, the art of making coffee and the art of cosplay. What is the definition of “art”, anyway? The hell if I know. As far as I’m concerned, toilet porcelains are also art if you can prove their value. Dina Waluyo firstname.lastname@example.org Studying: film & video I got involved with GSM because my dear friend kept nagging me about it. It wasn’t until six months since he first asked me to come to Writers’ Night that I finally took the offer :/ My vision in 2012 for the film section is world domination through movies and publication. Taking over GSM and turning it into a film magazine is the first step. MUHAHAHA.
We all know how Perth looks in the year 2012. But how might it look like in the future? Here are five scenarios of how Perth could be in 2050. Scenario 1 – The New New Zealand (Kiwiperth) The slow sinking of New Zealand due to the rising water levels caused by global warming, has had many Kiwis search their luck in Australia. Because of the boom in the mining industry and the unstoppable rise of the Australian Dollar, many New Zealanders have moved to Western Australia. As a result, Perth’s original citizens have disappeared to the UK, saying they would rather cope with bad weather and miserable people than with sheep grazing in Kings Park. Northbridge pubs are now forbidden to sell anything but Stein Lager and the few remaining Aussies have complained about the choice of music: “Crowded House and Kimbra on replay” moans Aussie Paul Miller, “it really gives me a headache”. To maintain the bonds of the Commonwealth and to keep Kiwis away from Sydney, previous Prime Minister Julia Guillard proclaimed in 2018 that New Zealanders were allowed to keep Western Australia to make up for the loss of their country. The New Zealanders created a new flag featuring a big sheep and edeclared the independence of Western Australia, which they renamed: New New Zealand. On Australia’s east coast, many people have been unhappy with the decision, saying the Kiwis would not appreciate Australia’s generosity and would just complain about the wind. New New Zealanders don’t even listen to Triple J; they nowhave their own radio station, called Double N. The only things that keep Sydneysiders happy these days is that Perth, New New Zealand, is further away from them than Auckland, New Zealand, ever was. Scenario 2 – The Ghost Town (Ghostperth) After the new global guidelines in resource management in December 2012, mining stopped in Western Australia. As the miners and builders couldn’t find work anymore, 60% of Perth’s population have left the state. Sociologists have called the movement the biggest pilgrimage since biblical times and the slogan “Go East!” has become a motivation for many. Surprisingly, most of Western Australia’s Irish citizens chose to move back to Ireland. As a result, Perth has become a ghost town. Previously popular suburbs such as Cottesloe and Scarborough are deserted, with kangaroos grazing in backyards.
Since the Australian government decided in late 2014 to give up on Perth all together, not even the streets and community services are maintained anymore. As a result there is rubbish everywhere. To make money, people have been hacking the asphalt into pieces and selling it to the new boomtown, Newcastle, in NSW. At the time this article was written Newcastle already had a population of 2.4 million – with thousands of new workers arriving every day. For the remaining Perth citizens, life has been tough. As there are no more restaurants, and supermarkets Coles and Woolworths don’t produce and sell to Western Australia anymore. Most of Perth’s citizens are dependent on growing their own vegetables and raising chickens in their backyards. “Sometimes I go for a stroll in Leederville with my children”, said remaining Perth citizen Sheila Cooper, “and we try to find food in the deserted houses and shops.” While back in 2012 people were used to Jus Burgers, Hungry Jacks and McDonalds, the new generation does not even know what a burger is. Not even backpackers come to Perth anymore. The few that make it to the west coast take the new road from Exmouth to Albany, because they are scared to get robbed by hungry Perth citizens who are after their baked beans and Wicked Vans. Scenario 3 – Atlantis (Atlantperth) A giant tsunami caused by a seaquake in the Indian Ocean has turned Perth into an underwater city, now called Atlantperth. While it took time to adapt to living underwater, citizens now say they embrace the new standard of living. “It is nice and cool down here!” gushes Julia Gillard, Australia’s previous prime minister, who has moved to Perth after political troubles in late 2012. The reason why people choose to live underwater are best explained by Perth’s extreme climate conditions. “People reckon they have been over the ‘dry heat’ for a long time and embrace water life as a welcome change” says meteorologist D. Waludo. But while Western Australians have gotten used to their new life circumstances, the rest of the world is puzzled. “Whenever I receive a letter from my granddaughter, the paper is wet and the ink is impossible to read”complains Sydney sider G. Paul.
But how do Atlantperth’s citizens cope with daily life? It seems that Perth citizens have been lucky after ECU patron Rolf Harris made the invention that ultimately saved them. “You have to imagine it as a sort of mermaid tail”, he explains. “Now people can paddle to work or go for an afternoon swim through Murray Mall”. “The houses needed to get vacuum sealed” adds builder J. Robson. “Good business for all of us”. The plumbers, on the other hand, have been out of work: “everyone just has a sewage pipe leaving the house.” The good news is that these days it is a lot easier to visit Rottnest or Penguin Island. Generally the tourism has slowed down, because Perth airport could not be used anymore. Bali is still a popular holiday destination but the Balinese have complained about swimming Aussies just popping their heads up at Kuta Beach. Scenario 4 – Desert Perth Due to global warming, Western Australia has become a desert. The large forests around Pemberton and Margaret River have disappeared and left behind sand as far as the eyes can see. Tornados and sandstorms have been a struggle for the sinking population and have convinced many to move to Rottnest Island, which now has a population of 570,000 and growing. “I hate the sand in my eyes”, grumbles DesPerth citizen T. Reynolds, who we meet with his backpack on the way to the harbour. Because the desert is still growing, Western Australia is now globally known of as ‘Wahara’. The question of how to help Perth’s isolated citizens has troubled the United Nations, who have tried to come up with different solutions and asked countries all over the world to donate money for the good cause. Australians who are not wealthy enough to secure themselves one of the flats on Rottnest Island have been seen on little sea kayaks, making their way to Indonesia and Malaysia, which are overwhelmed by the number of refugees. Christmas Island refugees waiting to get access to Australia now have to struggle with Perth citizens on their way to Denpasar. Another problem is that the temperatures in the Perth desert at night go down to a freezing -24°C, which has W.A. importing clothes from Northern Europe, Canada and Alaska. Australian brands Billabong, Insight and Hurley have launched ‘desert collections’ to help Perth citizens survive the extreme weather conditions.
Without surprise, tourism has completely slowed down because most of W.A.’s natural wonders have lost their attraction. “No-one is going to the Pinnacles anymore because they are buried under 200 tons of sand” complains tourism manager Bruce Smith. While there are not many reasons to live in W.A. anymore (except if you like to build sandcastles) people have tried to keep their spirits up: “A pro is that all the camels that have been freed after building the great railway lines can finally be of good use”, said politician M. Morley. “They were caught using helicopters and are now used as easy transport instead of bicycles, which have proven to be pretty useless in the sand”. Scenario 5 – Jungle Perth While Australia used to be the driest inhabited continent back in 2012, technical development has since made it possible to transfer large amounts of water from Lake Eyre in South Australia and Lake Argyle in Western Australia to Perth. As a result, people have not only started to wash their cars more frequently, but also to leave on sprinklers day and night. Before long the combination of Western Australia’s hot climate and the new water resources have turned Perth into a jungle. “People are actually swinging to work using lianas”, explains Sam Smorland. “It’s great, TransPerth has not been in use for years. It was a hopeless system anyway.” Perth people have also been glad that banana prices have never been affected by catastrophes in Queensland anymore: in Perth, every second plant is a banana tree. “I am having bananas every day! Banana shakes, banana bread, banana pancakes! It’s awesome!” Perth citizen Mara Walsh says. ‘Tarzan’ has become the most liked name for newborn males, with ‘Jane’ being number one for female names. The other good news is that now everyone can own a house, because they can easily build one from exotic jungle plants. People do not even need to buy property anymore, and building costs are cheap. Generally Perth citizens have been happy, although they’ve still trying to get used to the possibility of waking up in the morning to find that your precious pet has been eaten by a Boa constrictor. Words by Marieke Reichert Images by Tom Reynolds
They wouldn’t even need a waste evacuation system…would they? Oh, Vector Illustration. Our time together was doomed. Why, why had she introduced this idea into my stream of consciousness? Robot toilets. Sure, I could live with that. Heck, I could even see it happening before long. We already had bidets and those super-toilets in Japan that wash and dry and flap their lids at you – not much of a stretch to get to personalised loos with an integrated social media facility, built-in hairdryer, built-in hand to take care of certain functions…oh dear. Well, toilet-making companies can’t just ignore that big singles demographic out there. I’m sure their robot toilet (Martha? Mr Roboto?) will keep them company on those lonely nights. I just hope the designers think to create automatic sensor heating to counteract the sting of cold porcelain. Yowch! But toilets for robots – that scared me. The fact that the symbol showed humans, aliens, and robots all sharing the same toilet…well, I was disturbed. I’m all for equal rights, and I know that there are plenty of unisex toilets around now. Hadn’t anyone considered the potential risks?!
I attended my first Vector Illustration class in the second week of semester. The lecturer was friendly and focused: without much preamble, she whipped open her laptop and loaded up the PowerPoint presentation. There on the screen was an infographic; it didn’t take much consideration to work out what it was representing. Yup, we were gazing at two symbols indicating male and female toilets. Interesting choice of subject for my first lecture – I was mildly impressed. The lecturer cajoled us into pointing out the features of the graphics that told us which were for men, which for women. We began to see the importance of cultural context, the use of negative space, etc. Anyway, the best symbol was the one that was pointed out to most likely exist at a sci-fi convention (but was really found in a science museum – pretty awesome museum, huh?). A wonderful glyph that depicted three humanoid figures for each sex – one human, one rather alien, and one unmistakably a robot. Ha, ha. Toilets for robots: what a laugh, right? But the PowerPoint slide had planted an evil seed in my hitherto unsuspecting mind. My thoughts drifted – away from the classroom, away from the well-meaning words of our lecturer – drifted, to a time, perhaps not so distant, in which we might share such facilities with our robot cousins…no, that’s ridiculous! I told myself. Why would robots even need toilets?
I could see it all: in the future, humanity and robot-kind, forced into co-existence with one another after humans invent sentient robots. The robots demand to be catered for. Combined toilet facilities become common. What if I were a guy? I might head into the bathroom, ready to relieve myself, only to find a robot had a similar idea. We would stand there awkwardly. It had no eyes, only sensor panels, so I wouldn’t be able to tell if it was looking at me or not. My clammy hands would unload my flaccid manhood…how pathetic and meaty it would look in comparison to the robot’s gleaming aluminium façade. I would try to keep my anxiety from showing, but that tender part of me would wobble slightly. Would it (he?) then pull out his robot-rod? Perhaps extrude it from a hidden cavity, where it lay retracted. Maybe even look at me as it did – maybe even look down at my decidedly unmasculine display and chuckle in its binary way. For it knows that it can just keep on extruding, feeding its rod out in lengths that laughably surpass mine, until it resembles nothing less than a giant, steel dildo? The mind boggles. I think I would make a swift exit, leaving it alone to pour its waste-oil down the specially modified drain filter. I wouldn’t want to stick around – after all, there would be stories whispered of what things might happen to a human if he was caught alone in the toilets, with a couple of robots. Robots that may have disguised themselves as the steel urinals. Unspeakable, horrible, metal things. You know, those fancy Japanese toilets don’t seem so cool now. When the future comes round, I think I’ll move to another planet. Give those aliens a go. Words by Naoibh Marian Image by Jacky Le
I just can‘t wait to get old. You heard me: Can‘t. Wait. Can‘t wait for my trousers – so long exiled to the uncharted reaches of my lower navel – to finally creep up and resume its rightful place just under my nipples. For that age when Today Tonight begins to emerge in my geriatric mind as a credible news source and when Bert Newman finally becomes entertaining for reasons other than his hair piece. That‘s right, old. And why? So I can embarrass my grandkids. Not intentionally of course. Or, at least, not in a way that I‘d be in any way aware about. It would happen innocently – perhaps while standing in full view on the hover bus, chatting happily to my already irate children/grandkids/asexually produced clones when suddenly, I‘ll say. “And what about those cyber-furries having sex with all those goats these days? At least in my day we had the decency not to do it in public” And just like that, all conversation in the bus will drop by twenty decibels and everyone who haven‘t already had their eyes trained on their mind-altering holo-displays will discover a pressing newfound interest in the pattern of their iShoes. And absolutely no one, not a single person will stand up and tell me I‘m not allowed to say things like that anymore. And why? Because I‘m Old. Funny how that works, isn‘t it? Because I have a grandma who, back in her day, would have found it perfectly socially acceptable to comment on the cleanliness of the black people sitting on the bus. Hell, she probably even found a good number of people who would have agreed with her, instead of the awkward replying silence and the uncanny feeling that her granddaughter is secretly calculating the mathematical probability of surviving a leap out the back window of a moving vehicle. But that‘s just the person she is. So why didn‘t I correct her then? Well the reasons are simple: First of all, she‘s dead (and there are laws against that sort of thing). And secondly, well, she was old. She had lived her life. Hers was a product of a by-gone era, replete will all the ideological idiosyncrasies of the time. Sure, to me she was just another source of love and biscuit-based bribery, but there were still moments where Grandma would say something so utterly, bizarrely and inexplicably racist that I‘d realise that the distance between the ideologies of her era and mine were separated not merely by years, but by decades. And no amount of soothing admonishment would change that.
Does that make her an inherently bad person? Of course not. Let’s make one thing very very clear: my Grandma kicked arse. Raising six kids as a poor widow against the oppressive backdrop of the apartheid regime proved that she was simply a product of the times.But does that then mean, given the environment of her upbringing, that she couldn‘t have turned out any other way? Bloody hell, No! (Sorry Grandma.) She could have been a social thinker of the time! She could have fought, and protested, and advocated, against the very things that the majority of society had come to accept. She could have embraced the taboos that no other had embraced, and in her own way, contributed to what I like to believe is the relative freedom of the current world. Like Sir Thomas Paine, who (presumably out of sheer spite for his last name) during the height of America’s love affair with Slavery, felt enough outrage to state: “So monstrous in the making and keeping them slaves at all, abstracted from the barbarous usage they suffer, and the many evils attending the practice.” But it was statements like this, coupled with his vocal attacks against the failings of Christianity, that meant Mr. Paine needed just six chairs to accommodate people attending his funeral. So of course it was possible. Possible for anyone at her time really, to recognise their natural tendencies towards certain shades of morality to be a by-product of their environment. But what about us? What are the social norms and opinions that we take for granted. And how did we get them? What will we be saying, some sixty years from now, to a hover-bus full of people. What will cause our own backward prejudices – those last remnants of the society we enjoyed in our youth, to shine through. What mundane opinions that we so take for granted – about euthanasia, gay marriage, the existence of God and the position of the toilet seat – are the product of genuine thought and assessment, as opposed to something we‘ve just learned to accept through years of browbeating propaganda?
Words by Rehana Badat Image by Wenjie Zheng
This is the transcript that our government doesn’t want you to see. On June 28th 2011 the space shuttle Atlantis departed on mission STS-135; her final voyage before going into retirement. The four astronauts aboard Atlantis reported hearing some unusual noises throughout their journey. It appears that they intercepted some messages between two extraterrestrials from an unknown location. NASA interpreted the radio static and this is the translated transcript. Subject one: What are your observations of the planet Earth and its inhabitants? Subject two: The humans are curious creatures. They awake in the morning, creeping out of bed as the sun creeps over the edge. Some busy themselves organising miniature versions of themselves. Some stay in bed, pressing a snooze button 3 or 4 times. Then most of them go on a journey, hovering bumper to bumper on dark grey paths in a symmetrical fashion. The humans seem to believe that once a traffic light turns red, their car windows become totally opaque and they are free to pick at the breathing apparatus in the middle of their face. Subject one: Their nose. Subject two: Yes, that thing. Some humans clean, some play, but most of the humans work every day. Some of them travel in these teleporting things, elevators. They take you from the bottom of a building to the top in hardly any time. Sometimes the humans leave what they call, farts—which are gaseous balls of stench—in elevators that others subsequently enter. Subject one: Disgusting. Go on. Subject two: The females of the species walk around in contraptions that clearly hurt their feet, yet they choose to suffer. Sometimes they bleed and walk around like there is nothing wrong with them. This goes on for days…and yet they do not die. Subject one: We should steal this technology. Would be handy on the battlefield. Subject two: They shove food of assorted shapes and sizes into the hole on their face. It seems pointless as it just comes out another hole a few hours later. They eat foods loaded with preservatives but do not seem to preserve. Also, when the humans are in their home, they look in this cold storage rectangle for food. Sometimes they come back and back and back like they think food will miraculously appear. It never does. It seems pointless. Subject one: It does. Subject two: Some go to a gym and more of their body’s surface is revealed. They run but get nowhere, they ride but get nowhere. It seems pointless. Subject one: Yes.
Subject two: They return to their home and try to make it a different temperature. It is summer there now and they make the house cold as if it were another season, winter. Yet, I noticed that there are devices to make the house like summer when it is winter. It seems pointless. Subject one: Then what? Subject two: They stuff more food into the hole on their face. They cover themselves with liquid until they are completely wet. Then they dry it all off. It seems pointless. Then, at night, they watch a rectangle flashing with images of themselves— only different. The humans also watch digital video disks. They use a complicated filing system, as I found that whenever I would open a DVD case, it would be empty or have a totally different movie in it than what the cover suggested. After the DVD the humans go to a soft place, usually in pairs. Most of the time the light is extinguished and they either use their toes or shins to navigate through the room in the dark. I studied their light source and found something quite peculiar. They use bulbs made of glass, totally enclosed, yet there are dead bugs inside. So, in the dark, when the humans go to these beds, at times they fit together like pieces of a puzzle. It generally only last a few minutes. They close their eyes and don’t open them for another 6 to 8 hours. Then they repeat the process all over again. Then they do it all over again. Then they do it all over again. Then they Subject one: Do it all over again, I get it, I get it. So what’s the point? Subject two: Well, nothing sir, it all seems pointless. Subject one: So your synopsis? Should we invade? Transmission ends. Words by Asten Nunn Image by Jacky Le
Technology has shaped the world in ways we could never have imagined; from the all-knowing internets to the apple empire, we have become a society that relies on and relishes in technology. As of yet we have no hover boards, nor personal jetpacks, but there are still some crazy gadgets out now that seemed to have come back from the future. Here are our picks of some futuristic tech to keep an eye out for: TVs – Two Points of View, One screen: As you may already know, 3D technology works by presenting two image on slightly different angles. The lenses of 3D glasses act to separate the images and create the illusion of depth; one image for the left eye, the other for the right. Some developers are turning this mechanic around and making it so that a TV can show two television screens in one so that two different people can see different things simultaneously, depending on what glasses they are wearing. The technology is currently aimed at allowing two-player full screen video games, but imagine that you’re watching TV when your parent/housemate/partner comes in to watch their show; all you’d need to do is make the TV play both at the same time and simply throw on your 3D glasses. Or perhaps in the not-sodistant future movie-goers will all see slightly different versions of a movie; some scenes included, some characters missed, some commentary altered. Autonomous Cars: Our future may not hold flying cars and traffic jams high in the sky, but it will certainly contain vehicles capable of driving around by themselves. The basis of driverless technology is that a car is fitted with sensors which allow it to build a 3D model of the surrounding environment. This 3D model is then linked up with a GPS or google maps, allowing the vehicle to deftly avoid objects and adhere to the road rules. Self-driving cars may seem like a scary far-off concept, but these independent vehicles are already driving themselves across America free of human meddling. In fact the US state of Nevada has recently legalised driverless cars, albeit with the human fleetmanager held responsible for any trouble caused. It won’t be long before these clever cars are careening around corners only to pause politely at the round-about, awaiting their turn. A list of upcoming awesome robots is really a full length article in itself, so we’ll just give you some of the interesting androids that exist right now. Fighting Robots: Much like the movie Real Steel, there are currently robots built solely for the fun of fighting. Simply strap the fighter into a harness and they can remotely bludgeon their opponent’s battle bot. The winner of Japan’s ROBO-ONE fighting competition Naoki Maru is even working to incorporate motion sensors, like the Xbox Kinect; so you may find yourself betting on a boxing mech match in the near future.
Helpful Robots: There’s nothing like a machine to put a person out of work, but sometimes there just aren’t enough humans for the job. In order to care for an aging population, Japan is putting a huge amount of funding into robot assistance to care for the elderly. From heavy-lifting helpers getting people from their beds, to tiny talking assistants keeping the brain busy; there are robots in development for just about everything. It may be a while before the Western world embraces android assistants, but the technology is out there. Realistic Robots: There are many images that come to mind when you think of robots, but perhaps the scariest are those that look, move and act just like living things. Some of the latest mechanoids to spring to life include; Saya the human-looking robot who works in reception at Tokyo University; BigDog, a four-legged bot that runs and bounds across all types of terrain just like man’s best friend; and Asimo who has the poise and skill to walk and dance. A few years ago there was even a robot developed to feel love. Dubbed Kenji, the experimental android was successfully taught to feel affection, although perhaps a little too well. An unintended consequence of his training was that he developed ‘love’ for his female technician; to the point where he tried to block the exit so she could not leave and hugged her repeatedly. The assistant was eventually able to contact senior staff at the facility to deactivate him so she could leave. It looks like the future is here my friends! Is it everything we hoped for or a scary, scary place? Words by Jess “Ninja” Watson Image by Jasin Dirstein
The table above compares prices at multiple food outlets at universities in Perth. The three items compared where chips, sushi and a flat white. Even though Clusters at Edith Cowan University offers sushi for $8.20, it is a larger size compared to the sushi available at other food outlets. Some items may vary, like the size of the flat white. Some food outlets just have one size, but this table will provide a rough outline of the food outlets at universities in Perth. The two cheapest food outlets were the Main Café at Curtin and the Village Café at UWA. This is not a surprising result considering both these places have guild and non-guild prices. All the food outlets had approximately the same price range. However, buying these items multiple times a week can be really expensive. If universities wanted to help students with food prices on campus they should consider having guild prices, fridges, and kitchens where students can store and cook food throughout the day.
When asking Mt Lawley students around campus about the food outlets on campus, it seems to be the same few issues about the variety and high prices that they are most concerned about. The three food outlets on the ECU Mt Lawley campus are Aroma, Clusters and Café 10. They all seem to be based on coffees and sandwiches. Aroma seems to be the most popular amongst students because of the healthy food options and the convenient location being in Building Three and next to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. “Aroma is the place where I normally go to meet friends because of the location, atmosphere, seating arrangement and the healthy eating options,” said ECU student, Alister Yuen. “The problem is however the price of food is exponentially expensive. $7 for a tiny container of pasta at Aroma! If I were to purchase it off campus, I could get almost double the amount of food for the same price,” he said. Many students want more variety of food outlets on campus at a reasonable price. Amy Wakefield, a first year ECU student, has only been on campus a few weeks and has noticed the food is quite expensive and there isn’t much variety. “I would like to see more variety on campus so a sushi place or a Boost Juice would really improve the food options on campus,” Wakefield said. Natalie Stafford has been at ECU for over three years and would like to see more food outlets on campus, for example Sumo Salad or Pasta Cup. Not many people that I know at ECU, or the ones I have interviewed go to Clusters because of the location, atmosphere and lack of healthy fresh food options.
This was the perception over the past couple of years but this year, they have finally upped their game and introduced a make your own sandwich option, new seating and have fixed the presentation of the food. Eric Frahamen is the national general manager for Blue Sky Catering who was employed by Clusters to renovate everything about it. He admitted the coffee was terrible to drink so he was determined to change that. “Victorian [sic] University has won multiple awards in Victoria for their food outlets. I was asked to come over by Clusters and basically replicate what has been done at Victorian University and bring it to Clusters. From the variety, presentation of the food, the prices to the seating and the coffee.” Frahamen said. If you walk into Clusters this semester you would have noticed a big difference from previous years. The make you own sandwich option is the first of its kind on campus, the improved presentation and freshness of the Chinese and Asian food and a new barista that will hopefully improve the coffee at Clusters. Clusters has lost a lot of customers over the years but in the first two weeks of the semester Frahamen can already notice the positive customer feedback and a jump in sales. What do you think of ECU food outlets and what would you like to see happen with the food outlets? Email editor.gsm@ gmail.com.
Words by Adrian Rossetti
Are you a first year international student new to Perth? Are you feeling a little manic/bi-polar right about now? One minute, it’s “Gah! I cannot believe that am I living in Perth, Australia! This. Is. So. Awesome.” And the next it’s, “Holy crap. What have I done? I miss (insert special person here) so much! I don’t know anyone here. Why did I come here?” Listen, it’s ok. You are not alone. Let’s take a deep breath, all together now. Better, right? First, whatever it is that you had to do to get here, you did it! Yay you! Don’t forget that, especially when times feel a little tough. Here are some tips on how to not only survive, but ultimately thrive here in Perth. Get your grub on Being a student can be like trying to live a Jaguar lifestyle on a Pinto budget. The cost of living in Perth does tend to be higher than most places but can be managed with some planning. Eating out all the time can, well, eat away at your budget very quickly and can be unhealthy. Get in the habit of cooking. Locally grown food is plentiful here, so buy whatever is in season. It will end up less expensive and you’ll get the benefit of healthier food that helps the local economy. Not a great chef? Start with something easy and work your way up from there. A super easy (and inexpensive dish) is pasta. Cook the pasta and in a separate pan, lightly brown a clove of chopped garlic in some olive oil. Add some crushed tomatoes and toss in your cooked pasta. Top with some parmesan cheese and voila! A dish that’s not only yummy and inexpensive but can also be made in a large batch initially to make several meals. Get creative You know the instant ramen noodles that are less than a dollar a packet? Well, they come with some great seasonings like sesame oil, chili and soy sauce. Fry up an egg, add some fresh veg and any leftover protein you may have in the fridge and you have an easy, inexpensive and balanced meal. Can’t boil a pot of water to save your life? No worries, mate, there are plenty of pre-made meals at the grocery store. There’s such a great selection of different types of cuisine that you won’t have to suffer the pains of a bland diet! There are also daily specials at local haunts to help feed you. For instance, The Flying Scotsman here in Mt. Lawley offers a $10 pizza and pint special on Sundays.
Get your social on There’s no way around it. Making new friends can be tough, even for the most outgoing person. It’s a lot like dating, except you don’t have the physical stuff to fall back on. First things first, make sure that you have an open mind. There are a lot of great people here in Perth, but you shouldn’t expect to find the exact same group of friends that you have back home. That expectation may leave you frustrated and then sad when an exact replica of your friends/social circle back home doesn’t magically appear. Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself. Yes, I know, this is tough. Get over it! If you have an open mindset and are comfortable with yourself, it can lead to some new and exciting friendships (or more). Just remember to enjoy yourself. It’s contagious. Talk to someone who doesn’t look like you. Talk to someone who’s in line with you at the bookstore. Talk to someone who’s sitting at the table next to you at the Aroma Café. There are opportunities to meet new people everywhere. Get the basics Like every other city in the world, Perth does have crime. Be careful and use your head. You are smart enough to have made it to university, right? If you’re out late don’t try and walk home. Get a taxi. Better to spend a few bucks and be safe rather than sorry. There are certain parts of Perth that become very scary after a certain hour. For instance, just the sheer number of bars in Northbridge makes it a breeding ground for nothing good late at night. Know where you are going and always have a route planned out. From what I understand, public transit can be iffy after a certain time at night. Try to plan alternate methods of travel ahead of time. You should also get very comfortable trusting your own instincts. If you hear that little voice in your head telling you something about anything, just follow it. Always. You can make your time here in Perth a great adventure or a total snooze fest. Choose the adventure! And don’t forget to study hard, crack is whack, and so on… Written by: Julie Khan Image by Jacky Le
We perpetually fashion a future. Fashion, like architecture, is one of those rare artforms that only make sense after 20 years has passed. Even then, comprehension occurs through fixedly pinpointing the exact moment that a look looked hideous. After all, we daren’t be caught dead looking that atrocious again. That is why fashion appropriates from the past: enough distance from a fashion disaster gives us the dignity not to repeat the same sartorial mistakes. In theory. Only just recently, double denim had another fleeting in vogue mo’, some pushing the trend to encapsulate triple denim by reversing stone wash so it lost the 80s texture and throwback. And now it seems cargo pants are set to creep back into the lexicon as utility enhanced pants, the 90s balk against the flare toned down so the calves and thighs don’t become pack horse points once more. And if you step, just slightly, out of the design aspect of fashion and into the style sector, you’ll remember how Gucci revitalised the mullet at the beginning of this century, giving life to bogan chic by way of a $200 haircut. Essentially, every horror memory fashion has inside its pretty little head is a nightmare ready to be relived... until it’s made to look not so scary but actually, yes, covetable and ironic and dreamy and I need it. Now. Please. Charge my cards with it.... So what future does fashion have if it merely eats its own vomit, much like a polite feline or mutt does? Well, the future is bright folks, since as a culture, fashion is becoming obsessed with bringing down the gender binary inherent in clothing and style. The fashion throng at Sydney’s Rosemount Australian Fashion Week last May were all exclaiming about this decade’s promise of ‘The New Androgyny’. Here, let us count the ways it has already come into play: 1. Andre Pejic. 2. Kayne West in Celine on stage for the first leg of his latest world tour. 3. Lea T, the world’s first trans supermodel made famous in that Givenchy campaign. 4. Lady Gaga’s embrace of queer social identity and its expression through form and fabric.
Now the future of ‘The New Androgyny’ is being actualised in the smallest of fastenings: the inherent gender binary of the button is coming undone. The simple act of buttoning up a shirt or blouse is what distinguishes menswear from womenswear. You may think it lays in the name, a shirt being a shirt and a blouse being a blouse, or in the flow of line on paper as the garment is created, but neither is essential until the designer decides which side the button or fastener is to appear on. At any given moment prior, the garment has a defined gender ambiguity – cinches might suggest a suppling below breast, but they can relinquish and become a sensual tract of tracing muscle’s impact beneath the silhouette. The act of placing a button, clasp, fastener or such plays into our century old socially conditioned hetroperformative norm. You know, instinctively, which way your business jacket should button up, yes? Yes, you do. But now, thankfully, designers are tackling this tricky little piece of gender stereotyping right at its core. Perth based menswear label ZSADAR has created an AW12 range where the jackets and jumpers fasten up following the line of the spine, buttons and zips placed at the back, much like you’d expect on a woman’s dress. Elsewhere and Perth’s Zhivago are all set to showcase AW12 with slightly masculine fastenings, the likes of which you wouldn’t have seen in high fashion for quite a long time, if possibly at all. Details are, naturally, under wraps until they showcase this range at the inaugural Perth Fashion Week in April. So the challenge now becomes – how to get rid of the button? Or, rather, how can a button become devoid of social programming and simply fasten? And in loosening the expected roles of such hardware, what happens to the language of dressing up? If we stop pressing the buttons of what consumers expect and rely on as a fundamental to their wardrobe’s function, can we enable a shift in how society perceives gender? Yes, we can, because it’s in the smallest details that the greatest change can be enacted. Buttoning up was never such a bitch... or bastard. Words by Scott-Patrick Mitchell Image by Wenjie Zheng
I am a great believer in the cliché of all clichés that everything happens for a reason. For this reason my time travel destinations would not involve altering historically significant effects. Yes everyone would like to go back and kill Hitler, stop September 11 happening, take a bullet for John Lennon and stop the Titanic from sinking. But who knows what the life altering consequences would be down the line if, for example, the Titanic didn’t sink. James Cameron would have never made the movie and Kate Winslet never would have won an Oscar! Poor Kate! So here is my list of top ten time travel destinations1. The Big Bang - the beginning of all life. Pros - This would defiantly put a lot of theories to bed, and confirm my atheist beliefs. Cons - ultimately this would be bad for followers of religion. If human kind weren’t fighting religious wars we would most probably still find something else to fight over. 2. The Eighties - The most amazing music generation. Pros - amazing music, amazing hair, amazing fashion, and up until 1988 university education was FREE in Australia. Cons - Madonna was still just as popular then as she is now, like a rash that won’t go away. 3. Victorian England - most of our modern inventions and customs come from the Victorian Era. Pros - brilliant fashion and a time when men were still “gentlemen”. Cons - Probably would catch a life threatening disease, or be thrown in jail for stealing bread. 4. Walk with the dinosaurs in the prehistoric era- Something no human has ever laid eyes on, so amazing, so mysterious. Pros- All of my childhood dinosaur picture books coming to life. Cons- The majority of dinosaurs were said to be carnivores which mean you would be eaten and most certainly killed. 5. Ancient Egypt- such a widely researched, but still mysterious era in time. Pros - would see firsthand this astonishing race of people with a unique set of customs and culture. Would be able to confirm one of life’s greatest questions, how the pyramids were built. Cons - May be captured and forced into slavery, as this was a slave driven era.
6. The 60s - peace, free love, hippies and shit loads of drugs. Pros - lots of crazy arm waving style dance moves and general all round feeling of love and revolution. Cons - women were still fighting for equal rights and were generally stuck in the kitchen. 7.
30 years from now- did the end of the world happen? Pros - would be able to assess what impacts our actions will have in the future and help to change them for the better. Cons - might not like what we see.
8. Go back to when Perth was being established, snap up all the land in the Peppermint Grove/Mosman park area, fast forward 100 years and boom, instant millionaire! Pros - would be rolling in the cash. Cons - If you think Perth is primitive now, imagine it 100 years ago. 9. 5 years from now- just like on ‘Back to the Future’ I would buy a gambling guide for my future self. Pros - fool proof way to make some cash. Cons - Buying anything I could ever want—hang on, there really are no cons… 10. Man landing on the moon, July 1969. Pros - my sneaking suspicion that it was filmed in a television studio could be resolved. Cons - great period of technological advances, and all round human morale was at a high, due to these advances. So there are my top ten time travel destinations, a snapshot of human time to revisit. Ultimately if I could choose one era to live in permanently it would be the 50s. I love the chivalry that still existed and the manners and respect that was around back then. However, we should all be proud of the era we are in now, nothing is more important than the present and future, and as a human race we have come so far.
Words by Shannon Wood Image by Wenjie Zheng
TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), cosmic treadmill and black holes; time travel is a popular topic in fiction, and why would it not be? With time travel the possibilities are endless. Did you know that one of the earliest works of literature alluding to a concept of something like time travel was written in around 700BCE? Anyway, with so many ways to time travel, which one is the best? Is it by TARDIS, vortex manipulator or one of the many ways you can go back in time using astronomical phenomena like wormholes and black holes? I hope that this article will shed some light on this by rating each method It should be noted that we are not biased when rating these. Ha ha ha! *shifty eyes* The Flying Delorean – Back to the Future Trilogy – 2.5 / 5 One of the most popular fictional time machines, invented by Dr Emmett Brown. Now there are two different versions of this machine, so we’re going to look at both. The first and classic one was used by Marty McFly to travel 30 years back in time, almost prevent his parents from meeting. Great Scott! Do I have a lot to say about this machine! Even though it’s cool to have a stylish DeLorean DMC-12 as a time machine, there are some problems I have with it. First off, where am I going to find plutonium or a bolt of lightning? You don’t see those things in deli stores across the road. Also, you have to travel up to the speed limit of 88 miles an hour, which is not only breaking the speed limit and the law, but also speed kills. Enough said! The second version of this machine is way better than the first, but once again, it has some heavy moments. The flux capacitor now takes garbage as power, which makes it easier to find, and it even flies, so “where you’re going, you don’t need roads”. However, the time circuits in this version are a bit dysfunctional, and if you’re not careful you could be taken back to 1885 by accident during a thunderstorm. However, if you need to get somewhere quick, you can use it as a regular car, just as long as you turn off the time circuits since the engine runs on normal gas. Overall, the two versions have their ups and downs, but if Doc Brown wants this machine to be the best, then it would have to go back to the drawing board.
Vortex Manipulator – Doctor Who / Torchwood – 2.5 / 5 What Doctor Who fan doesn’t know about The Vortex Manipulator? First used by Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who, it was invented by The Time Agency in the 51st Century. Designed as a wrist strap, it can be used to travel trough time and space via the time vortex. The range of travel for a vortex manipulator is unknown although the one owned by Jack did transport the doctor and his companion at the time (Jack and Martha) from the end of the universe to 100 trillion years into the past (present day) although if more than one person uses it , side effects include back problems and nausea. It has many other functions such as a hologram projector, life sign detector and the ability to control some electronic devices, making it a really cool toy to have. The Phone Box – Bill and Ted – 3.5 / 5 This particular machine was used by the two “Great Ones” Bill and Ted, so they could pass their final history report in high school and remain together as the band “Wild Stallyns”, whose music will help shape the future forever. Given to them by Rufus, this time travel device isn’t exactly excellent, but it’s not bogus either. It’s in the shape of a phone box, but unlike The Doctor’s TARDIS, it isn’t big on the inside, which makes it extremely crowded if you wish to take all your friends. The controls are simple to use. A telephone number book with each number representing a date in history is included and strapped to the booth, so it cannot be hard to lose. So basically, find the historic moment in the book, insert the number into the phone pad, close the doors, and off you zoom through the circuits of time. It is a little bumpy and there’s nowhere to sit, but looking at the amazing view of the circuits of time does make time fly. Also, the phone booth adds on a proper working phone, so you could call your mum to let her know you’re about 200 years in the past, but you’ll be home by dinner. Also, be careful that everyone surrounding the phone booth stands well back when it materialises or otherwise they could be sucked into the circuits of time, following the booth wherever it goes.
Cosmic Treadmill – The Flash – 3 / 5 Most DC comic fans have heard of this (I hope). A device first invented by Barry Allen in The Flash #125, it allows any being with super speed to travel in time, and sometimes between realties. Basically they would run (It’s a treadmill duh) until they found the correct time period. The vibrations caused by the runner is what sustains their stay in specific periods of time. It’s awesome for the fact that it’s so specific in its destinations. The Toaster – The Simpsons – 1 / 5 TV’s favourite animated character Homer Simpson accidentally created and used a time travel device out of a toaster while trying to fix it. First off, it only takes you to the time of dinosaurs and back to the present, so there’s no travelling to the future. In addition, try not to get eaten by dinosaurs or even touch or destroy anything, because once you do, the future will be changed in ways you can’t imagine. I see nothing good about this, apart from having toast to eat if you get hungry from destroying everything in the dinosaur times to get back to your normal world. Overall, you’ll have a lot of reasons to cry out “do’h!” Click Remote Control – Click – 1.5 / 5 A time travel device in the shape of a TV remote was given to Michael Newman from Morty, the mysterious clerk at a retail store – but is the remote worth playing or skipping? The style and controls of the remote are simple. With it, you can do everything you can do with a regular time machine – go forwards and backwards in time. There’s also the option to do everything you would usually do with a TV remote, but with time, such as pause, rewind, skip, and slow down time. However, while using the device, your body ends up on “autopilot”, where your mind skips ahead but your body lives in everyday life. So in other words, you could possibly skip things by accident that you would really enjoy. It dysfunctions at times by going backwards and forwards randomly based on your previous commands, and the worst thing is, you can’t get rid of it or destroy it. With that said, this is obviously something that should be skipped.
TARDIS – Doctor Who – 3 / 5 What would the doctor be without his TARDIS? Possibly the most well known time machine, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) is the main method of travel in Doctor Who. A sentient time machine (and wasn’t it cool when it had a human body in “The Doctor’s Wife”?) the Doctor’s TARDIS has a broken chameleon circuit (incidentally, there’s a band called Chameleon Circuit that wrote a song called Type 40 TARDIS). It’s amazing, being the doctor’s constant companion throughout all his travels. Reshaping itself to fit each new regeneration, the TARDIS is dimensionally transcendental (bigger on the inside) and runs on Huon energy. It has its own personality and though it may not always take the Doctor to where he wants to go, it’ll always take him where he needs to be. Even though it goes a little wild sometimes, the ringing of the cloister bell can be annoying when you don’t know what the problem is, and there are so many levers and controls that we wouldn’t know what does what, it’s still fun to play around with. The Time Machine – The Time Machine – 4 / 5 A classic, yet traditional machine that first appeared in 1960 and later in the 2002 remake (kinda prefer the original to be honest). Both based on the novel by H.G Wells, this machine was built by George Wells, and it allowed him to travel over 500,000 years into the future. Even though it’s a traditional machine that brings nothing much exciting to the table (such as pausing time, or add-ons like an operating phone), it serves the main purpose we were looking for – to travel through time. There is only one control lever, and the further you push it, the faster you travel through time. There is also a very comfy seat for the ride, and you can enjoy your surroundings in a very fast pace when travelling both forwards and backwards in time. However, be sure to keep an eye out for when you should stop, because if you’re unconscious, the time machine will keep travelling through time, and you might go way beyond where you want to go. Also, be sure to push the leaver back slowly when stopping your travel through time because if you push it back really fast, it’ll result in a lot of dizziness and you will fall out of the machine. However, with those two considerations in mind, this machine is great and I would definitely recommend it. Overall, we had so much fun from reviewing these machines. We may have accidentally prevented some people from existing, but that’s the hazard of time travel. We’ll keep that between us...and everyone who reads this. After all our hard work, *cough* (watching sci-fi all week), we present to you this article, and we ask you to keep this as a warning when selecting your method of time travel.
Words by Rafeif (Rae) Ismail and James Blackburn
We all like to think the future will be full of amazing inventions like flying cars and teleportation devices. For many this kind of high-tech future has been painted by countless books, films, music and TV shows, all vying for the most accurate predictions of what’s to come. Funnily enough it’s these very predictions that inspire our best inventors, architects and engineers to create what we see on screen. Let’s imagine a world where the creators of Star Trek hadn’t decked out the Starship Enterprise with large view screens instead of windows. It‘s quite possible our lounge rooms wouldn‘t be similarly decked out with giant plasma screens today. Likewise, if a handful of Japanese engineers hadn‘t witnessed that memorable scene in Aliens where a little girl is saved thanks to Ripley’s hydraulic exoskeleton, they might never have invented exactly that - a suit that allows the wearer to lift up to 200 pounds. Popular culture doesn‘t necessarily predict the future, rather it inspires it. But while many of these predictions have come eerily close to the real thing, sometimes they do end up falling short of the mark. Let‘s take a look at some of the most notable technology hits and misses in pop culture over the past century: The tablet and Star Trek: Tablet devices have wormed their way into our everyday lives at an astonishing rate. What most people won’t realise though is that their new gadget was imagined by the creators of Star Trek 23 years ago. Except back then it was simply known as a PADD or Personal Access Display Device. These smooth, flat touchscreen devices were used for everything from taking notes to controlling the Starship Enterprise. Luckily for Apple, these guys haven’t waged any patent wars for it… yet. Cloning technology and The 6th Day: The 6th Day predicted a world where by 2015 humans had the ability to clone themselves at a whim. It’s hard to tell if this will be the case within three years’ time, but cloning is certainly on its way. Stem cell research has raced ahead since the first nondestructive human embryonic stem cell was created in 2008. Within just two years stem cells were being trialled in humans and are said to have the potential to imitate different cell types throughout the body. Our science-types have set their sights on stem cells benefiting those with spinal injuries, but it’s a slippery slope after that.
Airport X-rays and Total Recall: With X-rays fast becoming a staple in airport security and causing plenty of controversy, one can’t help but think back to the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger flick Total Recall and commend its accuracy. The airport X-ray is just one of numerous technological advances featured in the film, but in this particular case it has hit the nail on the head. Family robots and Bicentennial Man: This lengthy family film set an ambitious date of 2005 for robots to be capable of interacting with humans on a personal level. Of course our houses are already filled with machines to make toast, straighten your hair and play music, but you could hardly have a conversation with your jaffle maker when you’re feeling lonely. This one is a while off yet. Flying cars and Back to the future part 2: This cult classic saw everyday cars upgraded with an application to allow it to ‘hover’ or ‘fly’. The flying car prediction isn’t too far from reality – the first flying car saw lift off only last year – but it’s unlikely this technology will be adapted for use on beat up old DeLoreans, or any other car for that matter. Based on our existing efforts, the only way cars will see anything other than the ground is if they are built from scratch to resemble light aircrafts. Space travel and 2001: A Space Odyssey: We all remember the unnerving future of 2001: A Space Odyssey overseen by the red eye of HAL. While there’s no doubt that one day our houses will be able to tend to themselves (after all we already have self-cleaning ovens and automatic vacuum cleaners), the year 2001 was either a little ambitious of the writers or else we as a human race are resting on our laurels. Either way, HAL’s not likely to be taking control of your domestic environment anytime soon. Keep an eye on your iPad though… BONUS: The Internet and Mark Twain’s sci-fi attempt In 1898 Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) produced a rather underwhelming science fiction novel entitled From the ‘London Times’ of 1904 which made some pretty spot on predictions about the Internet and social media. The book describes a telelectroscope which makes “The daily doings of the globe visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too” via a world-wide information sharing network using the phone system. This predication is particularly impressive when you consider this book was published before phone lines became commonplace and almost a century before the Internet became publicly accessibly. Words by Nikkita Dixon
What’s on in The Blue Room Several Fridays ago, I visited Blue Room Theatre for their special ‘Media Speed Dating’ event. I’m not the only journalist in this event; there were other, more professional journalists also invited. During this event, each of us was partnered with an artist (performer, scriptwriter and/or director) from Blue Room Theatre, quickly interviewed them about what show they’ve been planning this semester, before changing partner with the other artists. Really exhausting (and I don’t get paid for doing this, dammit!), but it’s fun ... somehow. I managed to interview seven artists present that day, plus one who wasn’t present but made a video conference for us. Now! What will be waiting for you theatre-lovers this year? Here’s the list: John Gavin (17 April – 5 May) This show retells the story of John Gavin, the first European hanged in WA in 1844. He was accused of killing the oldest son of the Irish family he was working for, trialled, convicted and hanged in three day‘s time. He was fifteen years old. Nick Candy, the creator and one of the performers in this show, has done an extensive research on John Gavin and the history of WA in 1830-1845 to perfect the script. He admitted facing quite a challenge making a historical event into a play, because, as he put it, ‘history doesn’t work in a linear way’. In his research, he met many important details on the event and had to choose carefully what to put in the script. ‘With this [show] it’s easy, because we’re only doing a story of one person,’ he went on, ‘but it’s tricky because for one person [you have to] meet a lot of people’. Although only involving three actors on the stage – one for John Gavin and the other two have to keep changing roles – John Gavin is flavoured with many stage performances and aerial tricks that will take your breath. Nick admitted there’s one question he wants the audience to think over in this show: Did John Gavin really deserve to hang? You answer. Skin (24 April – 12 May) The multi-award-winning actor, writer and director Humphrey Bower presents us twoin-one stories titled Skin. Based on real experience, these two stories play with the ideas of identity, race, staying in foreign places, transformation and being uncomfortable with your own self.
Humphrey admitted that the first story of the show is inspired by his hairdresser in Melbourne. The story is about ‘a white Australian tourist whose skin changed colour and [he] became unrecognisable and started behaving in a different way’. There’s also a reference to the ancient origin and Vietnam War, although the whole setting is set ‘while he was cutting my hair and he was telling a story’. The second story is based on Humphrey’s own experience when he was out in a desert in WA. It’s a ghost story that involves an Aboriginal woman with an ability to turn into a python. It also gives us an insight to Aboriginal culture, in which skin may be interpreted as one’s familial relationship, and also snake skin that shows a connection between humans and animals. I (Honestly) Love You (15 May – 2 June) I like this one. When Damon told me, ‘I honestly love you’, I went like, ‘What?! But we’ve just met!’ Then I realised it’s just the show’s title. It’s embarrassing, and perhaps I shouldn’t talk about it here, but I’m too lazy to press the delete button on the keyboard. I (Honestly) Love You brings you a romance between two people, man and woman, who fall in love with each other and try to maintain their new relationship. Although at first it sounds like a standard love story, the writer and director Damon Lockwood provides you with one twist: this couple has a rare psychological condition that makes them only able to tell the truth at all times – even at times when the truth shouldn’t be said out loud. Damon admitted the idea for this show comes from a joke he used to make in fourth or fifth grade. He wants to play with the theme of honesty and lie. Especially the latter, since he describes lie as ‘one of the earliest human relations, and the most powerful and the most universal’ because every single person ‘lies at some point’. True? True. Is honesty really more precious than gold? Is honesty always more valuable than lies? What do you think? Lex Affreux (22 May – 9 June) Lex Affreux follows the story of a young journalist who just returned from the Arab Spring and found his life seemed to crumble bit by bit. This thriller show is the first major theatrical production for the young filmmaker Wade K Savage. He admitted he was trying to play with the idea of how sometimes mistakes can follow you through people who know about these mistakes. Lex Affreux is quite a simplistic show, in the way that it doesn’t involve too many technical appliances (lightings, settings, et cetera) and instead focus on the five actors’ performance, intrigue and story.
Wade described this show as his opportunity to ‘produce good performance, explore particular themes and, in a general sense, create a story for the stage’. He really hoped that, through Lex Affreux, he is able to make his name known as a theatrical director, and the same goes with the performers involved in this show. Hello My Name Is (12 – 30 June) Hello My Name Is is another innovative show from Blue Room Theatre that might even leave a big question mark on the definition of ‘performance’. This show sets up in a community centre – which is not a real community centre, as the director and performer Nicola Gunn said, but just ‘a room [she] calls a community centre’ – and it involves the audience’s participation ... but in a nonparticipatory way. Confused already? Me too. Basically, from what I perceive it, Hello My Name Is blurs the wall between the performers and the audience. By becoming a some-kind-ofparticipant in this show, the audience becomes ‘part of something that folds around them’. Nicola went on by saying that ‘inside the room, I want to build a community – a utopia’ where each person is valued for their difference. ‘Because,’ she said, ‘even if we give things the same meaning, we don’t give things the same value’. With a touch of complexities and mysteries of everyday life, Hello My Name Is brings you a new type of performance with you as a performer. Black as Michael Jackson and Other Identity Monologues (19 June – 7 July) One of the very first monologues in Black as Michael Jackson is ‘I’m not racist, but...’ And the next few sentences are full of racist language. Black as Michael Jackson is a series of monologues that play with the idea of identity and racism. The emerging playwright Michelle White explores the questions of how identity is perceived in Aboriginal communities and ‘what is Aboriginal person’. She admits that this show has a personal value to her, because of the aboriginal familial line from her mother side And her experience growing up as an Aboriginal person, but with white skin and blue eyes. In addition, she makes a new use of experience from other people she has gathered during her twenty years working in the media. Consisting of humour, a controversial topic and coarse language, Black as Michael Jackson explores racism in Australia and what it is like to ‘actually want to be proud of [being identified] as Aboriginal’. Epic Research by Aldy Hendradjaja
Hundreds or Thousands hundredsorthousands.blogspot.com.au
David Egan 5/1 Forbes Road, Northbridge
Mad Hatter’s High Tea Northbridge Plaza
Upon seeing the first five photos on the website, fashion blog sprung to mind. Photos of dresses, ripped jeans, jackets, more jackets, and even more jackets come one after the other. Until I saw a photo of a cat in a bath. Wait, what? Yep. A photo of a cat in a soapy bath.
The exhibition titled The Unknown by the More Unknown by David Egan, presented by the OK Gallery, is one of many exhibitions popping up in Northbridge‘s ever-expanding diversity. One could simply imagine that this art exhibition, like all others, would go beyond exceptional, as art is intended to be. I was one of them.
The Mad Hatter’s High Tea was a great way to spend the afternoon playing games, munching on delightful food, and the best part was having to dress up as your favourite character from Alice in Wonderland. Everyone wore the most detailed and colourful costumes. There were many different characters, the most popular being the Mad Hatter, but the one that really was an eye spotter is the Cheshire Cat from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. It was so well detailed and bright, and the funny thing is that its head could come off just like in the movie. The atmosphere was amazing. Everyone was relaxed and enjoying the afternoon. There weren’t as many people as the organisers may have hoped due to the heat on the day, but even with that little hiccup I think everyone would agree that it was still a successful afternoon.
Then came a couple of semi-nude photos, a list of songs apparently the blogger has on their iTunes playlist, followed a little bit later by a photo of retro coke glass bottles filled with colourful liquid, something that seemed like a bowl of whipped cream with strawberry slices… and a jug of pink lemonade. The mind is boggled. Sure the blog is overall pretty looking. It displays very vibrant, colourful photos – until some more muted coloured seemingly vintage photographs took over a few scrolls down. Photographs of everything from clothes, shoes, animals, food, seascape (even a photo of an elderly couple playing chess with their chairs, table and feet in a pool) are there. The Arts Editor described the blog as displaying “lifestyle”. Yet of what? It’s got photos of animals and iTunes songs playlist. Looking through the posts, I feel that the blog lacks a solid theme. No personality but – I’m going to sample my friend’s words here – “generic self-important hipster bullshit” shines through. There was a five second tingling of short-lived warm and fuzzy feeling from the bubbly colours of the photos and simple layout. If I were to stumble on this blog on Tumblr, I’d probably like some of the photos (how often do you see a photo of a cat chilling in a soapy bath?). But since at the moment I am looking at it as a form of art, I’m afraid I’ll have to say: don’t bother. P.S.: A picture of a llama in a wig and pink skirt deemed “Llama Del Ray” killed all the good things about this blog. 0.5/5 Words by Dina Waluyo
Like many realities, I soon realised there are some truly awful galleries. The OK gallery (for me) stands below its title —it was not ok. It was not ok to leave visitors whom have arrived on time, such as myself, waiting outside. To make matters worse it was a very hot day. The exhibition itself had nothing much to offer. There were only eight paintings. They were bland, faded and looked as though a four year old could have done it. If David Egan was trying to show the uncomfortable mysteries of pop culture phenomena, he should re-colour his pieces. The layout of the artworks (four paintings on each side and a red book sitting on pillar at the centre) was boring. If there had been more colour, less white-space and a sense of dedication (if the person was there to let me in), then it could‘ve been a different story, a very different story! The only painting I can positively note was one with the lines connecting to the dots forming a major powerline-like structure. It was more sophisticated and well thought out compared to the rest. But that does not mean I was impressed. Overall the exhibition was underwhelming, disappointing, and potentially lifethreatening (from heat stroke). It is not worth the journey, even if the place had air-conditioning and it was open. 1.5/5 Words by Jacky Le
The afternoon started with games such as chess, a very large scrabble broad, badminton and of course, what would a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party be without croquet? If you weren’t playing games, you could get inside the café, indulging on the delicious morsels of food and sophisticated beverages. There was also a photography exhibition on display, which was very interesting to look at. Most of the photos in the exhibition were pictures from the movie, and it was very fascinating to be able to see the details closer up. There was also a camera set up for people who wanted photos of themselves in their costumes. After spending most of the afternoon playing games and indulging on food, everyone then settled on the lawn in the mini loungers and tables were set up to watch Alice in Wonderland on a big screen TV. I had so much fun reliving my childhood for the day and experience the wonder of Alice in Wonderland. The organisers have set it up so well. It really was a unique kind of art to experience. I can’t wait for next year’s tea party. 4/5
Words by Kyra Edwards
Wreck and Sinking of The Titanic: The Ocean’s Greatest Disaster
Alan Carter ‘Flipper’ was how they called that body in the beach – the headless dead body, arms and legs eaten by a couple of sharks, unidentified except for the fact that it – correction, he was a male. Cato Kwong, the ex-poster boy from the police force, received a call from his ex-boss who told him to handle the case until he could send reinforcements. But Cato wasn’t interested in waiting for the reinforcement – he wanted to prove that he was still a good cop. But perhaps Cato should’ve just waited, especially because his little game caused the death of someone he knew. Prime Cut is a debut novel for the emerging crime writer Alan Carter. From the first page, you can’t help but glue your eyes on the brutality and the tragedy happening on each line. Alan has a description skill that makes you believe you can smell the blood, as if the whole story was happening right before your eyes. Each character is so believable, with enough background stories you can relate to. Just what you’d expect from a book that’s been shortlisted for 2010 Debut Dagger Award. Overall, I really like this book – except for one thing. For some reason, I found the story is disturbingly racist, although I’m not sure if Alan intentionally makes it racist to represent the problem of racism in the world today. Otherwise, you can call the book multicultural – Cato, the main character himself, is a Chinese descendant and there are a few Africans also making an appearance in the story. Like a believable crime novel? Then this book is for you. 3/5 Words by Aldy Hendradjaja
In this “deluxe reproduction of the 1912 memorial edition edited by the great descriptive writer Marshall Everett...”, we are taken to a trip in the past and given an insight into one of the disasters that shook the whole of humanity. If you are thinking that there is nothing left to say or hear about this story, this book will change your mind. You are bound to learn something you did not know about this tragedy. Written in simple yet vividly evocative language, this book is not a subjective narration. The author went to great pains of getting statements from survivors, looking at different theories and hypotheses, and including all the investigations that were carried out after the disaster occurred. The book takes us back in time and goes into the political, economic and social ramifications of the sinking of the Titanic. People need to understand how this horrendous event occurred despite the reassurances of its builders that it was unsinkable. The book itself has a lot of character and seems appropriate as it tells a story of that time. The slightly yellow pages occasionally offer some very interesting illustrations, pictures and sayings. In the midst of this tragedy, we share the lives of those who survived and those who did not. Even though this happened years ago, the author made sure we could engage with the characters. The most striking thing is that the Titanic is referred to as a woman. While it is not the best book I have read, I do recommend it if you have some free time and are looking to educate yourself on some past history. 3/5
Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait K. A. Bedford This book is appropriate for this month’s edition of GSM “the future”. A science fiction novel written by a western Australian author K. A. Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait explores the not so distant future where anyone can purchase a time machine. The story centres around Aloysius ‘Spider” Webb who is one of the few characters that distrusts time travel. His life completely changes once he finds the corpse of a murdered woman inside a time machine. Which leads him on a journey to discover the truth of the murder and unearth a few secrets about himself as well. The novel provides an intriguing view of time travel and its consequences. If you enjoy mystery, crime, science fiction and a little bit of Drama then this is the book for you. Personally, I enjoyed the novel, finding it interesting as it shows what society will be like if time travel was a real and widely available thing. Even with the advances in technology, society and social structures still seem the same. The novel challenges you to think about time travel and all its implications. Another thing that I love about the novel is that it’s set in Perth, something that I don’t see much. The novel was published in 2008 so its not very recent but it’s still a great read and I’d recommend it for whenever you have free time and feel like reading an interesting story. 3.5/5
Words by Rafeif Ismail
Words by Divya Jankee
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
Pirate Outrages Compiled by Douglas R. G. Sellick
This book has been on the bestsellers list for a few years now, and for a good reason. In this book, Coelho explores some of the questions we ask ourselves everyday: Why are we here? Does God exist? Is there a destiny? How do I not give up? Now, this is no preaching book. Even though the author does come from a strong religious background, he uses fantasy story-telling to answer the cynical questions we ask ourselves. His style of writing is striking in its simplicity. This book is an easy read.
Shouldn’t Our Grandchildren Know? An environmental life story Graham Chittleborough
Do you like pirates like Captain Jack Sparrow or Black Beard? Well then, this may be the book for you. Pirate Outrages is a book based on a number of true stories of piracy in the China seas. Many have been captured and have been tortured in many ways that you may not have thought possible. You may find this book to be very confronting. I know I did. To be beaten to the point to finding yourself on the edge of death only to heal then be beaten again.
If ever there was someone I wished was my grandad, this is the man. The life’s work and experience of Dr. Chittleborough results in a book packed with almost unbelievable experiences and anecdotes, written by a passionate, educated, determined man in the forefront of the battle for environmental investigation and protection.
He uses a shepherd as the protagonist of the story, who sets out on a treasure hunt, experiencing both good and evil in various ways during his journey. He learns a lot and finds that the treasure was much closer to him than he thought. Yet he needed to go through the journey and had to happen the way they did, because that is what was meant to be. He realises that these experiences as they happened made him stronger, learned, courageous, and above all, he started to believe. I find Coelho very idealistic in his way of describing love and the reading of omens and their importance to men. He also points out the need to believe and never lose hope, the need to understand that God, the Universe, or whatever you want to call it, encompasses everything in this world. Many of the spiritual concepts he explores find resonance within various religions. What I take out of this book is that the message that we all need to believe and hope. Even though that can be difficult, we must never give up. 4/5
Altogether, there are 24 stories in this book. Out of all the stories, I enjoyed the story of Fanny Loviot the most. Fanny Loviot was a woman who was held captive for twelve days by pirates. It was very easy to sympathize with her and understand what she had gone through. I did find that it was difficult to understand some of the words in the stories because all the stories are straight from the captive and haven’t been changed from the original. I also found that some of the stories weren’t as engaging as the others. But overall, I really enjoyed this and definitely recommend it as a must read. 3/5 Words by Kyra Edwards
This amazing book does have small print and takes you through a wondrous journey through his academic career, but it is enthralling and magical as the man himself must be. Originally written when Dr. Chittleborough’s first grandchildren arrived, winning the Premiers Award in 1997. His message is urgent and critical – our ecosystems are failing and the onus is left to Gen Y. His ethos of ‘stick to your guns, stand up for what you know to be right, no matter what the consequences’, based on an early life lesson, has seen him educated by Sir Douglas Mawson (for real!), visiting Antarctica in 1949(!), and involved in the original International Whaling Committee movement of the 60s and 70s. He has researched and watched our West Australian wildlife suffer and starve, and railed against the complacency and misdirection of legislators, and paid the price for his stance. This one is a gotta read and really will get you a better life. Go get it. NOW. 5/5
Words by Divya Jankee
I know I really love watching and reading about pirates but even I find this to be too much to handle. It is very interesting to read about how they used to live and how they survived at that time. Pirates were much feared in that era; men would blow up their boats with them inside rather to be captured by pirates.
Usually a sanctimonious academic writes this type of book, with not a day’s experience in the “real world” with really small print and lots of big words… You know, the type of person who went from high school to uni, and never ever left. Well, that isn’t this book and certainly not this guy.
Words by Shezzam
The Hunger Games Director: Gary Ross
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Director: Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Director: John Madden
Based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, ‘The Hunger Games’ is the story of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place as tribute in a televised fight to the death in the postapocalyptic country of Panem.
No need to munch on some magic mushrooms before seeing this film my friends. This family friendly Dr. Seess film contains singing goldfish, marshmallow rain, trees made of a cotton candy substance and cutesy little dancing bears who I believe are descendants of the lovely Eewoks from Star Wars.
“Oh no, it’s an old peoples movie, what have I gotten myself into?” Those were my exact thoughts as I sat down in a cinema full of pensioners. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a comedy-drama not just for pensioners, even if it is about a group of pensioners who were captivated by the luxurious retirement hotel in India at the fraction of the price. When they arrive they find no phones, little electricity, a rundown hotel with not so luxurious rooms.
Going into the cinema, I had serious doubts about the film, as film adaptations of other books have left me disappointed. I had no need to worry however, because the screenplay team, including director Gary Ross and Collins herself, did a remarkable job of translating the first-person narrative to an omniscient film, while still keeping everything important in the story. The way background information is explained to the audience was a nice touch, and complemented the book extremely well. Every cast member was spectacular in their role, the standouts to me being Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, the pampered and proper Capitol official charged with bringing Katniss and her fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark, to the games. The hair and makeup crew did a fabulous job transforming the citizens of the Capitol. I felt there were some concepts in the movie that could use some more explaining, for the benefit of viewers who haven’t read the book. The two most pressing ones that come to mind are the role of Haymitch (Harrelson) as mentor to the two tributes, and the three-fingered gesture Katniss uses after she volunteers in her sister’s place. Despite this, the movie and everybody involved ought to be congratulated. Whether you’ve read the books or not, you won’t be disappointed.
This quirky and charming film can be read on two levels, and I know this because I saw it with my eight year old cousin. The message that he took away from the film is that: ‘the boy that cut down all the trees is naughty,’ and that we should ‘let it grow, let it grow, let it grooooooooooooow’ (Yes, the film had plenty of musical numbers). There was so much adult subtext going on that I found the whole film rather moving. It even managed to cover the tricky topic of intense parental pressure inherent in many families. The film also highlights how f%*ked up our world is becoming because of our obsession with ‘things’ and ‘stuff’, and how we value all this crap over what is really important: our natural environment. This is pretty much what the film is about, and I hope that presenting the message on this platform will help kids to understand their impact on the world and their surroundings. How could it not? The message was sugar coated in the delectable Taylor Swift and Zac Efron and was a treat for the old eyeballs. The colour! The music! The imagination! What a spectacle! I really enjoyed it and I am sure that the kiddies—and big kiddies at heart—will enjoy it too. 4/5
Each character has their own story, they all search for something, whether it be love, comfort, peace, money, sex, viagra and weed. Yes, I did say weed. Visually I loved the way India was presented, seeing the colours, the traffic and mayhem in India, to the poverty, and to seeing young boys playing cricket in the street. It was raw but beautiful at the same time. Many of you would know Maggie Smith from Harry Potter as Professor Minerva McGonagall. Muriel is the character she plays, who is an old, grumpy, racist exhousekeeper. Have to say I laughed at every racist thing that came out of her mouth, my favourite character out of the whole movie. Personally, I loved the movie, laughed quite a bit and I do have to admit I did shed a tear in one particular scene. I would spill the beans but that would spoil the movie. Over all it was a movie for people to appreciate a good laugh and do not mind taking their grandparents to see it. 3.5/5 Words by Aneta Grulichova
Words by Asten Nunn
4.5/5 Words by Ashley Swetman
21 Jump Street Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
The Rum Diary Director: Bruce Robinson
Margin Call Director: J.C. Chandor
Awesome movie! There’s no argument that the original TV show from the 80s is definitely more serious than this remake, but I reckon the added comedy really gives it that kick.
There was a lot of things I loved about this movie; the setting, the art direction, the costumes, the soundtrack and Johnny Depp. Set in exotic Puerto Rico in the ‘50s, The Rum Diary was a generally light-hearted movie about American journalist Paul Kemp (Depp) who just moved in to take a freelance job run by Americans. Being a bossa nova jazz lover, I was treated by Dean Martin’s Volare as an opening soundtrack.
In his first feature, J.C. Chandor takes us on an intense ride as we watch what happens inside an investment firm during the early onset of the 2008 financial crisis. With an all-star cast and a well written script, this movie is worth the price of admission.
Honestly, when I heard there was a movie remake coming out of the original TV series, I doubted it would be a success due to the fact that the TV series was an absolute hit. I mean, my parents still talk about how great it was. So, when I came into the theatre my expectations were very high. But guess what? I was beyond satisfied! The directors even chucked in suggestive humor about this movie being a remake of the original hit series. They used up every opportunity they had in the movie to make the audience laugh and cringe in their seats. I had never heard a cinema audience laugh so loud and long before… Or maybe that was my own endless laughter I was hearing! Ice Cube played a fantastic role as the fiery Captain Dickson; seriously, they couldn’t have picked a better actor for the part. His booming voice had us all silent and attentive! An added bonus was the use of his hit with NWA ‘Straight Outta Compton’ as music in the film. OK, perhaps I’m a little biased about the significance of Ice Cube in this film because I’m a fan girl of his music. The best thing about this film is there are no lame, boring parts; it’s interesting all the way ‘til the end. AND finally, there’s a twist at the end of the film… and you’re going to love it. 4.5/5 Words by Mimi Rukmarata
The lush green tropical forests in the movie reminded me of a lot of those back home in Indonesia. And the ‘50s dresses, hairstyle, cars and guys in button-down shirts all looked very pretty. Most importantly, it was nice to see Johnny Depp actually looking like a normal human being.That’s about all the things I loved about this movie. While I normally absolutely love Depp, I felt that he was a little bit too comical in acting as Paul Kemp. Probably it was because I’m so used to seeing him play eccentric characters with comical expressions like Ichabod Crane, Willy Wonka and Mad Hatter in Burton’s films, and Jack Sparrow in the Pirates saga. Though, I could swear he wasn’t as comical in Chocolat. Finding Neverland and Public Enemies. The plot itself was boring. Throughout the film I had the impression that there was no climax. If there was, it was so anti-climactic I didn’t notice it. The Rum Diary failed in trying to be a solid film, exposing the American suppression on native Puerto Ricans in the ‘50s and trying to keep the whole movie light-hearted at the same time. Had I not gotten a free pass, I wouldn’t spend $13 on this film. 2.5/5 Words by Dina Waluyo
Riddled with the typical douchebag trader personas, we see the high stakes, often glamourized industry at its worst – these men (Demi Moore serves as the lone main female character) are more occupied with the large amounts of money to be made and what that can buy than they are with seemingly anything else. This captivating movie is able to evoke laughter, sadness and disbelief from the viewer throughout. We see how the line made famous from another trader movie, “Greed is good,” has played out decades later. The unchecked pursuit of money leaves an obvious emptiness in its seekers. As their worlds come crashing down, the question of having something to show for their careers comes up time and again with a less than fulfilling answer. It serves as a good reminder that life must be more than a relentless pursuit of the material. The cast across the board turns in a compelling performance, even pretty boy Penn Badgley as the vapid party boy junior analyst obsessed with how much everyone makes. While I wish Demi Moore’s character would have been developed more, it doesn’t change my bottom line on this movie: go see it. 4/5 Words by Julie Khan
Sintillate Studios is a YouTube web series created by former WA Screen Academy student Gary Sewell. The show revolves around the life of porn stars. Each week, this production house has to face all the troubles of making porn videos – such as not being in the mood, the rivalry between stars, the first time trying gay porn, and much more. The show also deals with the lives of the employees as human beings, covering family, love and personal values. Gary: Like I’ve said, the main message, if you’re looking for one, is that people are people no matter who they are. People are the same, even if they have a job as extreme as a porn star. When it came down to it, I believe they’re made of the same stuff. That’s the idea behind it. Beyond that ... there’s nothing, really. It’s designed for an entertainment, so I really want people to watch it, and enjoy it and get a laugh [out] of it, rather than saying that porn is good or porn is bad. I have a balanced view about porn. It’s mostly for fun, so it doesn’t really have a political message in it, that’s for sure. GSM: I know you’ve just begun with this Sintillate Studios, but have you had memorable experience while working with your team? Gary: Just in general, I’m so glad I can work with the fantastic cast and crew from the WA Screen Academy at ECU. We basically get together after [we] graduated. It’s just a fantastic team. I guess considering the subject matter we’re filming, it’s kind of hard not to have a laugh and to [become] fond of people very quickly. I guess it’s about the family concept. We all want to have fun. None of us is paid for being there, so they’re all doing it for the love of it. So, yeah, it’s just the sense of family and we all want to make a good friend. GSM: What is your inspiration behind Sintillate Studios? Gary: I’m usually attracted to the ideas that people are people, no matter what bizarre kind of situation they are in. Like, in this show, the bizarre situation would be porn. People [don‘t] often think porn stars as people with their own ambitions and dreams and romances and all the rest of it, so I thought it would be interesting to put them in the spotlight. GSM: Is there any special reason why you name this web video ‘Sintillate Studios’? What does ‘Sintillate’ mean? Gary: It just comes from the word scintillate. The actual word means to spark or to cast fire, so we’re kind of playing with the idea that we’re scintillating or exciting the world. We kind of spell it differently from the actual word, s-i-n instead of s-ci-n. It’s kind of playing with the idea of sin, but also the word scintillate has, you know, the feeling of energetic and sparky. So, yeah, it sounds appropriate for a comedy-porn like this.
GSM: What do you think is the most important factor in working as a team? Gary: I think communication is number one, and that’s for a very good reason. You have to keep on talking to the cast and crew before and after a project as big as this. You need to get people work out any crisis, especially when they’re not being paid. You really need to share your vision with your crew, making it clear. So, yeah, I think communication is very important and also creating a fun workplace where people enjoy being themselves. I think we achieve that really well and I hope it can be shown in the final product, how much fun we have when making it. Continued on next page.
GSM: Do you have a special vision and mission behind Sintillate Studios? What message do you want to convey to your audience?
GSM: Is there any favourite episode so far? Why? Gary: I really like episode five, ‘Crocodile Cumdee’. We want to show a great porn star desperate for money, so he gave gay porn a go. That’s quite a funny one. And also for me, I like episode seven. That one is really fun. We’re playing with the idea of Carly the Vampire Layer. And we also want to show the relationship between Carly as the main character and her boyfriend. So, I think this episode has a nice laugh but also quite dramatic, which makes it have a nice balance. GSM: Now I’d like to hear your opinion about feminism. In the third episode, Sintillate Studios was ‘attacked’ by feminist protestors. Since each person can have a different opinion about ‘feminism’, what is your own definition of the word? Gary: My own definition of feminism would be a gender equality for male or female, so that we can have female recognised in every single level as equal. The kind of trends we’re showing in this web video is quite an extreme kind of feminism. There’s a view in some people out there that porn is degrading the female and that sort of thing, but we want to portray the opposite view. We obviously want for some kind of extreme to achieve the comedy and drama tension. You know, there’s feminists out there who don’t mind pornography because it empowers her role in the term of sexuality, so we kind of portray the very outspoken activist group in our episodes. But I personally think that feminism and porn are not necessarily enemies. The most important thing is equality. That’s what feminists usually try to portray: the equality between male and female. Some people might have a problem with porn by saying that female[s] are being objectified by male’s sexual pleasure, and of course there’s also feminists with the same view as our characters: that women can be a porn star if they choose to. GSM: Speaking of which, how long have you been working in the film and video industry? Gary: I’d say about three and a half years now. I did a Masters degree in screenwriting at WA Screen Academy. After my Undergraduate degree, I decided to get into scriptwriting, and after I was graduated I started working on RESCUE Special Ops on Channel 9 in the script department. I also worked on Wild Boys, which was a Channel 7 action/drama, and now I’m working on Home and Away, which was also on Channel 7. So, yeah, I’ve been working on script department for the last two and a half years. I’m definitely still at the beginning of my career, but I think I’m going in the right direction. The more experience you take, the more skills you get.
GSM: Any hope for the future? Gary: For Sintillate specifically, we want to get as many people watching it as possible. We’ve had a great response so far. At the moment we’ve got over 5000 viewers for our channel, which is great, and we’re just trying to promote it even more. Beyond that, we want to work for a half-an-hour TV comedy show—that’s a possibility for it—and also to make a second series of the web incarnation of Sintillate. We’ve actually got a script ready to go, and all we need to do is working on it and looking how the response of the first one goes. So, yeah, those are where the Sintillate is heading in the future. It’s quite exciting. I’d love to do the second series. The great thing about doing a second series is that you can work on the strength of your first series and learn from the mistakes you’ve made. The script is really, really fun and hopefully we’ll put it together somehow. Of course it would be a bit difficult with the limited fund, but with a little perseverance, who knows what might happen.
Interviewed by Aldy Hendradjaja Photos with permission You can find this web series at www.youtube.com/user/SintillateStudios. Have fun and ... make sure you’ll be naughty boys and girls, won’tcha?
I haven’t been in Perth for too long, but when it comes to food we seem to have a ‘burger culture’ here. I’m not saying this as a bad thing; heck, I go to these places myself with friends every so often. But it’s just an observation of western society. A culture meets the needs of ‘casual’ and ‘hardcore’ participants. If you talk about gaming, you have a balance of both casual and hardcore gamers who both have needs. In terms of gamers everyone starts out as a ‘casual’, where they don’t put more than a few hours a day into games, aren’t competitive and prefer simpler games. By living in a world where smart phones and similar portable devices are so common, many people are now becoming casual gamers for the first time. Hardcore gamers are the ones that have moved on from this primary stage and can easily spend multiple hours per day on games, and are not only competitive but prefer realistic and challenging games that require skill to be good at. These are the people who would consider gaming to be a medium and a potential art form rather than a passing fad. In addition, they are generally the ones that recognise a need for a R18+ classification for games in Australia, and in some cases are such people that are pushing for it. They understand that some games out there should be classified at this level, but are regrettable either (a) being banned (and then imported regardless), or (b) are classified MA15+ after being censored by the manufactures which may result in a game that consumers won’t want to play for various reasons. But I digress. In the past as gaming was predominantly done by hardcore players, it was seen as a time wasting activity. In the last few years a cultural change in the way we see games now has allowed it to become more socially acceptable to play such games casually. This could be due to the rise of cheap and free games on mobiles instead of being on customised hand-held consoles, or the change in market demographic being targeted by larger game consoles; regardless, today playing games is not something that is seen as only socially acceptable for those under the legal age – anyone can play and be a gamer.
This social change hasn’t gone unnoticed; free games can now be downloaded that tie into movies and television series that give viewers additional content about storylines, downloadable media, even fan fiction. Tapping into these other markets has become a gold mine for such Hollywood studios, which is a cheap form of advertising and word of mouth promoting. While this has been done for years with game consoles in the past, it generally was something where you had to go and buy the game for anywhere up to $100. On top of this you would need the actual console and controllers anyway – a high price if you didn’t already own the technology for yourself. By pushing into these ‘casual console’ markets – essentially smart phones – which are owned by western society now en mass, the way we consume such products has been advanced and leading casual gamers to become more socially ‘acceptable’. As we continue to use mobile phones for gaming purposes, they have become a better marketing tool, as opposed to just relying on old standards such as novel releases, fast food promotions, soundtracks with either commercial songs or written scores, and general merchandising. These casual gamers now play an important factor in the market. Mobile phones used to be sold on the back of containing an FM radio, camera and other features. Now a major selling point is what games you can download onto your phone to play. This is different from the past where games were usually available on the phone but put on as an extra feature, or even buyable later, but not ever the main selling point. But now they are the main selling points in the ads for Android and iOS phones. This change would not have been possible if not for the change in the culture of gamers, especially the casual gamer. Game studios are now creating games specifically for these platforms, not just traditional platforms. These are the gamers who normally would barely touch a controller, but are getting hooked on games on smart phones. Let’s see just how this market evolves in the years to come. Words by P. McGregor Image by Wenjie Zheng
So another year has rolled around. Memories of fun nights, first loves and liver failures dull as we return to the dusty tomes and the life-crushing monotony of academia. However, it’s not all bad. A new year sees a new copy of GSM, your friendly neighbourhood student magazine. Along with your favourite publication comes your soonto-be favourite muso – me, to be exact. With the new editor job, I’ll be bringing you lots of goodies to help you swallow the bitter draught of tertiary education, alongside a menagerie of fresh-faced reviewers – and a few seasoned ones as well. Remember folks, new writers are always welcome! Just come to one of the monthly writers’ nights we incessantly advertise across the campus. As for music, with summer coming to a close the festival season ends also. Those who attended some of the big name festivals are most likely still complaining about what a terrible time you had (you know who you are), while secretly scurrying home to order advanced tickets for next year. With the festivals finished, the next big event on the horizon takes the form of Radiohead – the streets of Perth narrowly avoiding a riot once the news had reached that Radiohead was skipping WA. The mass exodus of alternative music fans to the Eastern States is set to destroy many local music stores, with Off Ya Tree already considering relocation. Well, that’s it for this edition. I hope that this year sees us become the best of friends... and maybe more? Sensually yours, Shaun Cowe
Adam Cohen Fly By Night 06/03/12 On Tuesday night, after Labour Day weekend, which included both the Future Music and Soundwave Festivals, it was a pleasant change to settle into the Fly By Night in Fremantle; to sit back and unwind to the musical stylings of Gossling’s Helen Croome and Adam Cohen. Croome opened up the night with a solo set on the keyboard. Croome’s voice was impressive; gentle and innocent, yet with a husky inflection. Playing songs from her soon-to-be-released EP International Living, Croome’s music washed over the audience like a steady stream, as they sat back, relaxed and soaked it in. Enter Adam Cohen. When you are the son of iconic musician, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen it is hard not to draw comparisons between father and son. Similarly, Cohen’s music evokes feelings of love, tragedy and personal experience. His lyrics are straightforward, honest and revealing, allowing personal insight into Cohen’s life. His songs Beautiful – a tribute to his son, What Other Guy and Like a Man strike a deeper chord, but there was one too many love songs on this particular night, and Cohen did not demonstrate his full range on his first time to Perth. It must be said that Cohen appears to love performing and he did not fall short when mixing and interacting with the crowd; giving up jokes, stories and a part of himself. On a still and cool night Cohen came out to play, we listened, laughed, learned a bit about the man and were entertained. Words by Jason Ng
Lana Del Rey - Born to Die Born to Die is the debut album from American singer songwriter Lana Del Rey – formerly Lizzie Grant. The award-winning album has reached number one in most countries, including Australia, and so much was expected of it. The theatrical ghetto feel, made by the Gretsch guitar, classical strings, hip hop beats, deep drums and the young voice of Lana Del Ray, was a defining point for the album. The first track ‘Born to Die’ is an emotional song about living each day to its fullest. This is a really fantastic track with great use of harp, piano and strings which set the mood and it’s a fantastic start to the album! Sadly, the album as a whole lacks continuity in terms of story and mood. The sudden move from the sad-yetsweet Video Games to tracks such as Diet Mountain Dew, (reminiscent of Rhianna’s Umbrella, for some reasons) and National Anthem, which sees Del Ray turn to being a posh rapper, doesn’t work and ruins the structure of the album. The first couple of songs are very good – though Blue Jeans and Video Games do sound very similar. However, they are let down by Del Ray turning into a posh rapper midway through the album. The song National Anthem is an obvious miss, with the exception of the children’s choir singing: “I’m your national anthem.” It just doesn’t work; though Del Ray does manage to partially redeem herself with Summertime Sadness and Million Dollar Man. 3/5 Words by James Blackburn
White Rabbits - Milk Famous
VCMG - SSSS
Disappointment. That’s what I felt listening to the White Rabbit’s new offering: Milk Famous. Disappointment and a little boredom -- and then I crashed into a pole, but I digress. The third album from Brooklyn’s best Spoon tribute band doesn’t live up to the hype and potential of a band who count The Walkmen, Interpol and Muse as friends.
Beginning with heady synth tones rising from nothingness, halfway between an 80s sci-fi film soundtrack and a drug-addled psychosis, SSSS by VCMG is a trip into the darkest, dirtiest corners of electro music. The brainchild of former Depeche Mode founders, Vince Clark and Martin Gore, VCMG answers the age-old question: “What would happen if we gave those guys from Depeche Mode meth?”
Opening track and single Heavy Metal does little to draw the listener in. The catchiest track Temporary shows signs of live music appeal, if only the audience weren’t already asleep. The Day You Won The War is a break from the album’s overall relaxed pace, but at track 10 of 11, it’s all a little too late. And therein lies the problem: this album doesn’t know what it wants to be. Lead singer Stephen Patterson has stated in interviews his displeasure at the comparisons levelled at White Rabbits.
With the pair releasing their debut EP only last year, VCMG have managed to churn out a remarkable amount of music in a relatively short amount of time – owing, no doubt, in part to the couple’s extensive history and hard work, and in part to a severe lack of social life. Following the opening track, Zaat demonstrates that Clarke and Gore seem to have stumbled upon a formula of mixing those hard, driving bass lines you hear while crouched over the seat of a toilet in a dingy underground club, with short reprieves of ambience to spice up the tracks.
While desperate to prove their individual musical merit, the band has overproduced simple melodies and confused lyrics, releasing an overall uninspiring 41 minutes of noise. There’s nothing here that hasn’t already been done, and done much better. White Rabbits is a great band; it’s time their recordings prove that. Milk Famous isn’t that recording – or perhaps it is. Perhaps it’s so brilliant it’s over my head. Either way, I won’t be racing to press replay any time soon.
The songs are stripped back to a handful of elements, with a single synth line taking predominance, reinforced by effect-laden backing riffs and a strong rhythmic pulse. It’s a far cry from Clark and Gore’s synth-pop roots, though Clark’s more recent forays into the world of experimental electro are easily identifiable in VCMG’s songs. All up, it’s a synth-heavy dance album for those dance-or-die nuts out there, though it will no doubt alienate many Depeche Mode fans.
3/5 Words By Jen Wake
Words by Shaun Cowe
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets For those of you whose only experience of Bob Seger is thanks to Tom Cruise dancing in his tighty whities during Risky Business. Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets is a snapshot of a musical career spanning five decades and 50 million albums sold. Twentysix tracks cover classics like Night Moves and Hollywood Nights, and live recordings of fan favourites Turn The Page and Beautiful Loser. Seger and the Silver Bullet Band deal with the blue-collar issues arising from life in the Mid West. Through Seger’s deep, rasping voice, heartache and heartbreak take their place at the heart of most tracks. We’ve Got Tonight is a beautiful expression of the loneliness that can be felt by looking too far forward, with Seger asking, “We’ve got tonight/who needs tomorrow?” Against The Wind, Still The Same and Mainstreet continue the themes, and could form a significant part of any breakup compilation. But it’s not all doom and gloom, Roll Me Away gets the foot tapping and Old Time Rock and Roll will get even the most resistant party-goer moving. For this latest greatest hits offering, all tracks have been digitally remastered, and the music benefits significantly from this treatment. The live recordings add an extra dimension, which should please old and new fans alike. Seger says it best: “Today’s music ain’t got the same soul/I like that old time rock and roll.” If you (like me) agree, go buy this CD. 4/5
Words By Jen Wake
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