Page 1

GSM reviews politics culture stories

FREE Ed. 5 Vol. 2


3


GSM is made possible by your financial support of ECU Student Guild. GSM is editorially independent.

Editor: Tom Reynolds editor.gsm@gmail.com GSM - ECU 2 Bradford Street Mount Lawley WA 6050 Cover: Luq Lut Ali (provided by Duncan Barnes) Design: Tom Reynolds Printed by Photos: pg 3 Giselle Natassia - Model/Make-Up/Styling: Dead Corvette - Model/Assistant/Fluffer: Toddy, pg 17 Tom Reynolds, pg 10 (walrus) www.worstofperth.com, pg 31 & 32 provided with permission by Analisa Bell Editing Team: Jasmine Reilly, Aldy Hendradjaja, Divya Jankee, Bjorn Myran, Bronwyn Fraser, Alysha Edwards, Kaitlyn Plyley. Arts: Divya Jankee arts.editor.gsm@gmail.com Books: Jasmine Reilly books.editor.gsm@gmail.com Film: Larry Fife film.editor.gsm@gmail.com Games: Ana Victoria Neves games.editor.gsm@gmail.com Music: Jess Gibss music.editor.gsm@gmail.com Advertising: Tom Reynolds (08) 9370 6609 communications@ecuguild.org.au

The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Editor, ECU Student Guild or the Advertisers. The Editor reserves the right to make changes to material as required. GSM reserves the right to republish material. Contributors retain all other rights for resale and republication.

2


3


To the left is the proposed cover for this edition. My consideration of running it has been described as everything from cool, to a bold statement on the freedom of expression, or a tactic endorsement of the Holocaust. Likewise my decision to pull it was tasteful, sensible, and an act of capitulation. As Editor the final decision on content is always my own and I pulled this as the cover because i’m not passionate this image. Bold, attention grabbing, topical to the theme – but it just doesn’t grab me. Doubtlessly this image would have, and perhaps still will generate controversy, but I’m only prepared to defend with the same intensity as my belief in the value of the things I publish. The image is very different to my original vision for the cover. I had in mind something minimalist and masculine, an image that would balance and compliment the playful smuttiness of the last edition’s cover. All of this isn’t to say I am violently opposed to this image. I think the quality is outstanding, its political message is easily understood and it successfully operates as visual allegory of the ascent of Nazism over the Weimer Republic. At least that’s part of what it says to me. The fact that it motivates a broad range of responses also indicates its success as a piece of art: worn cliché, offensive sexualisation of industrial murder, provocative statement, dull. To me there’s also something creepy about this image that the general senitment amongst Gen Y. towards Nazism has become just another genre, the swastika another logo in the constellation of corporate and political symbols. I think in reviewing this image after canvassing a range of opinions from men and women, gay, straight and Jewish friends, students and colleagues (including fellow editors) I wasn’t comfortable in reproducing without comment an image that participates in this generational dialogue of boredom in the face of evil. We have become as bored by the swastika as we are by the golden arches. I’m not comfortable legitimising the mentality that is aware of, but apathetic, to the symbolic presence of six million murdered Jews, and another six million victims of the Holocaust. I’ve published this image to promote reflection and engage in a conversation about the attitudes we hold toward such symbols. I asked a number of people to tell me about their own reaction to the image and encourage you to continue the conversation.

From the artist: please note we are in no way endorsing nor glorifying the Third Reich. We are merely exploring power in various forms. Here we touch on the power of the female form, the military and the power of symbolism/symbols and the semiotics and connotations attached to them. No matter how badly you reacted to the image, remember you are proving the power of symbolism. I’m a student here at ECU and I’m Jewish on my mother’s side, meaning that I am also Jewish by blood. Though I do agree that the Swastika is a very strong icon, I feel that this image represents Hitler’s violent and extremist approach to power and is a very well recognised symbol for power and corruption. As a teenage girl, I feel that the image of the female towering over the man is a little clichéd but it is aesthetically useful for the cover of a magazine. I’m an international student at ECU, travelling all the way from Norway to the land down under. Coming from a country that was invaded by the Germans, and have a proud history of resisting the Germans, I’m very used to being bombarded with everything that has to do with Nazism. And because of that I’m not easily shocked when I see a woman with the symbol of sun, life and good luck on her very nice tits while standing over a guy in typical girl power fashion. I can understand why some people inevitably will find this offensive, which is the greatest symbol in itself. Male early 20s, Jewish background with a decent understanding of historical context. First up, pointing out that I find the fetishisation of the Nazi aesthetic creepy and disrespectful. There’s nothing sexy about industrialised mass murder. Otherwise I’m tempted to write the image off

as trash and not really worthy of comment. Crude shock tactics in the absence of anything interesting to say. If you’d asked me to imagine a generic ‘controversial’ image, a broadly similar image hitting the obvious S+M, fascism, nudity tropes would come to mind (props are due for not adding in a bit of defecation though.) Honestly, the image is more boring than transgressive. This strikes me as a shallow piece of work, it isn’t saying anything of interest about gender politics, fascism or sadomasochism. There’s no sign that any thought went into the historical context of the imagery used. I assume this was a poor attempt at transgressive shock art but it strikes me as better resembling white supremacist porn. Funny thing is that I actually quite like the cover for last GSM issue, it had a playful quality to it which I thought played on the eroticism of pop/performance quite well even if it had a bit much of an eighth photo in a minor Lady Gaga photoshoot element. A female lecturer from the School of Communications and Arts: what strikes me most about the image is that both people look bored. She’s not looking manically thrilled with her power – she seems more concerned with her balance and poise – and he is gazing peacefully, almost sleepily, at the camera. His gaze turns us as viewers from shocked witnesses to a dirty act into participants in the scene in which sex and the symbolism of war and brutal death are mixed. This makes me dislike it. I don’t want to be part of the scene because I don’t find war crimes sexy and fun, I find them sad and troubling. It is also sad and troubling that the endless search for new thrills has caused a deadness to the real meaning of the Nazi symbolism that rightly should be perceived as more sickening than sexy. While sexual liberation is fine, these kids don’t seem to be having fun, they seem bored. Not even something as powerful as the symbolism of most horrific World War can enliven them. “Lest We Forget” seems lost on them. They’ve been oversaturated in wrongness and porn and have already forgotten. As a white female my first response to this image was that of immense surprise. This is a shocking image, and artistic, clearly artistic, but it is controversial. Although I have to admit that the picture was taken brilliantly and clearly shows a play of power, I think it is portraying an idea and/or belief that a lot of people wouldn’t like. It is certainly a stunning piece of art that forces the viewer to spend time absorbing it, but it is also in your face. This is clearly an image that is aiming to get a response, but it is not guaranteed to get a good response. I am not sure which is more offense to the view is, the dominatrix or the Nazi association, but the mixture of these two takes me away from my comfortable world, to a world that scares me. I’m a 39 year old female and a staff member at ECU. I’m married with two small children. My reaction to this image was initially a bit taken aback at the near-naked breasts on display as my eyes were drawn straight to them! It seemed like a type of mild bondage porn shot. This was followed closely by some shock at the fact that it was swastikas covering them. These, plus the military hat and the overcoat, and the spotlight effect on the wall behind, made me a feel a bit uncomfortable in that it conjured up images of war, concentration camps and death. To me, the main issue was the nazi imagery which I don’t think should be glorified in any way (eg by making it look ‘cool’ to wear as a fashion accessory) and also the objectification of the female, eg the ageold trick of an attractive, half naked female to catch people’s attention. Would a female with a more generous figure or less conventionally attractive features have been placed in the shot, for example? Although the woman appears ‘powerful’ in the image, the fact that she is scantily clad to me largely negates this and reduces her to a mere sexual object. Some responses have been edited for brevity.

4


ECU5912 ECU Student Guild Magazine, �5, TB� 2011

There”s safety in numbers. 6304 3333 If you’re feeling even the slightest bit unsafe, don’t hesitate to call security. ECU’s qualified and professional security officers are there for all staff and students during the evenings, �eekends and public holidays. They �ill happily escort you to your car or any�here on campus. �ll you need to do is ask. You can also contact them via ECU’s many Emergency phones. Just lift the handset or press the call button and �ait for a response. Security �ill respond to all alarms and emergencies and perform first aid �hen necessary. Security officers are on campus 24/7 at Mount Lawley and Joondalup. On the South �est campus, they’re available: Monday to Thursday 7am - 11pm, Friday 7am - 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am - 9pm. Outside those hours a local security contractor �ill respond to all calls. Remember, security staff are there for you anytime you need it. Just call 6304 3333.

303 ECU5912 CRICOS IPC 00279B ECU5912 ECU Student Guild Magazine, �5, TB� 2011

ECU5912_A5_Guild_Security.indd 1

Worry about your deadlines not your parking No one �ants to spend all day stressing about parking fines. So stick to the rules and you’ll have one less thing to �orry about. �ll vehicles parked on campus from 8am to 8pm �eekdays need a clearly displayed, valid permit or ticket. Student Red zones require a Student Red permit. You can buy Short Term Student Parking Scratchies for $3 per day or $6 per �eek. Your vehicle must be �ithin the marked bays to avoid a penalty, and parking rules apply all year including semester breaks. Unfortunately having a permit doesn’t guarantee you a spot, so make sure you arrive early and allo� enough time to find one. To make finding a spot even easier, check out ECU Carpooling. It’s a free service to help you find a carpooling partner and reduce the number of cars on campus. Or get public transport to avoid the hassles of parking altogether. There are lots of buses to and from ECU, �ith free C�T buses and excellent train services at Joondalup. For more info and to order permits, go to ���.ecu.edu.au/fas/sts

5

18/3/11 1:53:05 PM


Many university students experience regular feelings of stress, the main triggers being:

The workload of university is significantly more involved than the high school workload, and it comes with less hand-holding from parents and teachers. Mature-aged students also face additional challenges such as juggling university with family and work commitments, and sometimes struggling with new technology and modes of study that may be unfamiliar. Creating a new social network, dealing with being away from home for the first time and finding less parental support, finding and living with a roommate, balancing friends with university work (and often part-time jobs), and dealing with the dynamics of young adult relationships can all be difficult. For international students, there can also be the added challenge of adapting to a new culture and language. Some students deal with missing home and may wonder if they’re in the right course. Most students struggle with who they are and where they’d like to be, at least at some point in their university career. Unhealthy ways of coping with stress: These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run: Top Stress Relievers for Students: The following list of stress relievers are most appropriate for students: relatively easy, quick, and relevant to a student’s life and types of stress. Using pills or drugs to relax Sleeping too much Procrastinating Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence) Smoking Drinking too much

Overeating or undereating Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities

Power Naps Students, with their packed schedules, are notorious for missing sleep. Sleep in short bursts during the day when you can. Visualisations Visualisations can help you calm down, detach from what’s stressing you, and turn off your body’s stress response. You can also use visualizations to prepare for presentations, to stress less and score higher on tests by vividly seeing yourself performing just as you’d like to. Exercise One of the healthiest ways to blow off steam is to get a regular exercise program going. Students can work exercise easily into their schedules by doing yoga in the morning, walking or biking to campus, or reviewing for tests with a friend while walking on a treadmill at the gym.

Breathing A quick way to calm down is to practice breathing exercises. These can be done virtually anywhere to relieve stress in minutes, and are especially effective for reducing anxiety before or even during exams, as well as during other times when stress feels overwhelming. PMR Another great stress reliever that can be used during tests as well as before bed is Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or PMR. This technique involves tensing and relaxing all muscles until the body is completely relaxed. With practice, you can learn to release stress from your body in seconds. Music Students can harness the benefits of music by playing classical music while studying, playing upbeat music to ‘wake up’ mentally, or relaxing with the help of their favorite slow melodies. Staying Organised Clutter causes stress and can decrease productivity. Many students live in a cluttered place and have cluttered study areas, and this can have negative effects on grades. Keep a minimalist, soothing study area that’s free of distractions and clutter. Eat Right You may not realize it, but your diet can either boost your brain power or sap you of mental energy. A healthy diet can keep you from experiencing mood swings, light-headedness and more. Positive Thinking and Affirmations Optimists actually experience better circumstances, in part because their way of thinking helps to create better circumstances in their lives. The habit of optimism and positive thinking can bring better health, better relationships and higher grades. Where to go on campus if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed: Education & Welfare Officers, ECU Student Guild – Blg 10 @ Joondalup; Blg 12 @ ML; Blg 2 @ Bunbury ECU Student Counselling Service, ph 9370 6706 e: counselling@edu.au Or come along to Stress Less Day to learn more stress management tips, have a free massage & other fun stuff – on Wed 12 October at both Mt Lawley & Joondalup campuses. References: “Stress Management: How to Reduce, prevent, and Cope with Stress” by Melinda Smith, M.A. and Robert Segal, M.A. “Students and Stress: Study Habits, Organization Skills & Stress Help” – About.com

Word By Rosemarie Dale (BSW) Education & Welfare Officer, ECU Student Guild, Mt Lawley

6


Ni Hao, Xi’an The city of Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi province is

full of cultural awakenings for its western visitors. Sometimes it is hard to comprehend the way of life here, and the difficulties that arise when it comes to the language barrier, but if you remember that a smile and a laugh translate into any language you can get by fine here. Xi’an is world famous for its terracotta warrior statues that are located just outside the city itself and have become an UNESCO world heritage listed site and attract millions of visitors each year. I have come here with four fellow students to study a semester of Journalism at Shaanxi Normal University (I am yet to encounter Shaanxi abnormal university).

I have, on three occasions (I’ve only been here a week) seen small children evacuating their bowels in the flower beds that line the streets here, whilst their parents looked on and nodded in approval As you walk the footpaths of Xi’an, it becomes somewhat of an obstacle course, with scooters, bikes, stray cats, rats, and street vendors selling anything from mystery meat on sticks, to baby turtles, which will inevitably end up in soup. It is a miracle if you don’t gag by the time you reach your destination, the pungent smells that waft from some of the street vendors are so repulsive you wonder if the locals have lost all sense of smell. There are though, some nice smells coming from bakeries and the few western cafes that are here, where we escape for our coffee fix. I have, on three occasions (I’ve only been here a week) seen small children evacuating their bowels in the flower beds that line the streets here, whilst their parents looked on and nodded in approval, not too sure but I think that’s socially acceptable here. Generally, the food here is AMAZING! Nothing like the westernised versions of Chinese we have back in Australia which involves peas in fried rice. If you don’t like spicy food then maybe don’t eat the local dishes here, the majority of dishes come laced with chilli and are mind-blowing. We made the mistake of asking for our hot pot extra spicy; although it was delicious our mouths were numb for several hours after. Xi’an is such a large city with many backstreets and alleyways, so it helps to do your research and get restaurants recommended in order to find a little gem. The supermarkets here are an experience in themselves, they sell EVERYTHING! Dried salted carrots, entrails of most animals, and in a country with state-controlled population growth there are of course instead of candy at the checkout, condoms. Rows and rows of condoms, every flavour, size, shape imaginable, to which I have a giggle at the irony of contraception in a country with a current population of 1.3 billion people. Public transport here is less of an option to get from A to B, and more like a fairground ride that leaves you in need of a neck brace from the whiplash. You must keep in mind there is no such thing as personal space or queues here, this means you must pretend you’re in a rugby scrum to get on the bus and, that you most probably will end up with an armpit in your face. My tips would be to sort out your last will and testament before boarding, or just get a taxi.

7

If you get up early enough here, you will see elderly people out doing tai chi, you will also see, what could appear as a scene from Monty Python’s “ministry of silly walks” sketch, which basically is people doing very silly walks and moves all in the name of exercise, I couldn’t help but join in. in Xi’an they do try hard to keep their city clean, people come out in the mornings and sweep the roads and wash the paths, but it is hard to ignore the heavily polluted air here, a haze constantly hangs over the city ,and at times is so thick you can’t see skyscrapers that are just out your window. China is a changing place, from what it used to be. Rapidly growing and expanding, and ever so slightly loosening its grip on the younger generations here. Although most of them are still very loyal to their country, they are also very keen to learn about Australia and its people. There is a stark contrast here between the older generations who are still cautious about what they say and do in fear they are been watched, and the younger generations who appear to be more open and inviting to foreigners, so friendly that when you say “ni hao” in a café, they come and sit with you and want to know your life story. Just as you start to believe that deep down Xi’an might not be really that different from Perth, you see something that confirms that YES, we are so very different. The armoured guards that service banks here, are nothing like the ones in Australia, here they literally have machine guns locked, loaded and pointed as you walk past. The roads in the city are six lanes wide and the traffic does not stop for pedestrians, so you have to cross one lane at a time feeling a gush of wind from the truck that just passed centimetres behind you is one of those life flashing before you moments. Once you have crossed and checked all of your limbs are still intact, you can breathe a sigh of relief and swiftly make your way back to the hotel to change your underwear. The more I explore the nooks and crannies of Xi’an, the more it’s growing on me. The fusion of the ancient structures and traditions is merging with new, modern ideas and concepts to create a place which is so full of character and an unknown of what to expect at every turn. Although Xi’an is a beautiful place so rich in history and culture, at the end of the day I like my personal space too much to be able to live in a city like Xi’an, as much as I bitch about how boring Perth is at times, let’s face it, no one wants a big smelly armpit in their face.

Words by Shannon Wood


Morley, I’m In Love Morley is the cultural hub of Perth. Yeah right, I’m not fooling anyone with

that introduction, but there are a lot of perks about living in Morley. Situated less than a twenty minute drive to the CBD, beach and airport, Morley really is central to most of the best sites and shops that Perth has to offer. You can’t go past the Galleria, located right in the middle of the suburb. Its vast array of shops, the majority of which are slanted towards the 15-35 year old market, makes the Galleria an affordable and easily accessible shopping Mecca for students. If people watching is your thing, (and yes, it is a sport, try it with your friends), from the easy ‘who-can-spot-someone-wearing-green-shoes’ to the most outrageous underwear wedgie, the Galleria will cater to all your people watching needs, so make sure to get in early on a Thursday night for a truly entertaining evening of observational shenanigans.

Creative

Cultural

As well as having all the usual supermarket suspects the Galleria and surrounding smaller outlets also have a plethora of green grocers. Access to fresh food and alternatives to major supermarket chains will only increase with the opening of the Coventry Square Markets, scheduled to open in mid 2011. Obviously that isn’t going to happen seeing that we are already part way through September, but fingers crossed that hopefully the markets will be open and operational sometime in the next decade. It’s an exciting commercial development for the area, not only will the markets offer more options for consumers but there will be a section devoted purely to organic produce. If you’re in the area and interested in organic food, ‘Alive Organics’ on Walter Road is already established and open six days a week, so get down and check it out. One of the best things about living in Morley is the complete overkill of takeout food and entertainment options. While most of the take away options aren’t the healthiest at least you don’t have to worry about going hungry at 3AM – and admit it we have all been coming home from a night out and thought that giant glowing “M” looks appealing. In the way of entertainment there are the cinemas at the Galleria, 10+ video stores within the suburb boundaries, not to mention numerous others in the surrounding areas. There’s also bowling, golf, swimming pools, sporting ovals, recreational centres, 24/7 gyms and enough bottle shops to supply a small navy with alcohol for a year. Morley is home to a mixture of nationalities and income brackets and the houses reflect this. Being an older suburb you will see a lot of the 1950s brick-and-tile architectural masterpieces around the place, not to mention rats that could give a small cat a run for their money. Given the diverse range of housing you will be able to find reasonably priced accommodation in the area, with share houses at around $125 per week and two bedroom units at around the $250 per week mark.

Cosmopolitan

Some of the major sites you may want to look out for in your exploration of the suburb are, Morley Drive (see a real life police car, ambulance or fire engine complete with lights and sirens!), any of the numerous local parks complete with swings (unfortunately I am yet to locate one with a dizzy whizzy), packs of roaming misplaced high school students and, if you’re lucky, AU Falcons doing doughies (I at least witnessed this rare and exciting spectacle for myself just this week). You can’t go past the Wellington Road road-works though, you will be captivated by the glorious array of orange cones, pillars and tape, not to mention interesting machinery which seem to have been frozen in place for the last 4 weeks. Personally, one of my favourite things about Morley is its proximity to ECU’s Mt Lawley campus. There is adequate public transport, and by car you’re not more than a few minutes drive from anything – just make sure to watch out for the sneaky speed/red light camera’s now situated at the major intersections. All in all I’ve lived in a lot of suburbs, many of which have been around Morley. While I wouldn’t say Morley is the best suburb, it’s definitely one of the better ones. Rating 3.75/5 houses!

Vibrant

Words by Paige Wittingham

8


It’s a bitter fight to the death between two great competitors. Okay

that’s not completely accurate, it’s more an uneven match. Its ECU Vs. the other universities; Curtin, Murdoch, Notre Dame and UWA. Universities where you spend countless hours in classes, digesting unidentifiable food, being subjected to the pressure of exams and trying to pick up attractive class mates. First you have to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Gone are the carefree days of your childhood, when you could say “Fireman” and parents would go “awwww”. Now it’s usually “what the hell are you planning on doing with yourself”. For some reason, sleeping is still not an acceptable answer. Each university has their own areas of speciality. If you pick somewhere that specialises in your area of study, chances are the faculty will receive more funding, which means better educational resources for you. Curtin specialises in business, Murdoch has veterinary science, ECU has nursing and education as well as WAAPA. UWA has medicine and law and Notre Dame, well actually I have no idea about Notre Dame other than its a Catholic institution and it’s in Fremantle. So you pick a course, you pick a university and now you have to receive an offer. We’ve all heard the jokes; ECU is where you go when you can’t get into anywhere else. Entry benchmarks may support this outlandish claim but I call bullshit. Hang on, can I say bullshit... yep I can... right, where was I? Ah yes, bullshit. UWA’s entry benchmarks are notoriously high and why is that? Well it’s UWA, think prestige! But seriously is the education you receive there going to be any better than, say, what you would get at ECU or Curtin? My opinion is no, and I can say that with conviction. “How?” I hear you ask. Well I am a former UWA student I have the benefit of knowing what it’s like on the other side. At UWA you will pay more for your units, have more contact hours, ridiculously expensive booklists and insane parking costs. Because unless you have completed eight units of your degree, you don’t even qualify for a parking permit. When you do there isn’t adequate student parking anyway.

9

Having driven past both Curtin and Murdoch on more than one occasion I feel I’m sufficiently qualified to discuss them in detail *cough*. Firstly Curtin. If I wasn’t at ECU and my major was offered at Curtin, I would have given it some serious consideration, even overlooking it’s somewhat unfortunate suburb location. Curtin is well known for their research into sustainable development and emerging technologies, as well as having campuses located overseas in Malaysia and Singapore. Knowing a few people that attend Curtin I can’t say I’ve heard anything negative about the campus or courses, and I know for a fact that online access to lectures and unit resources is superior in comparison to ECU. In regards to Murdoch, well if you don’t mind the 45+ minute journey in the mornings, go for it. Personally it’s not for me, I’ve never been enticed to look into it. I don’t know anyone who’s been or is a student there, and their website is slow. Enough said really. So after saying all that, who wins? The answer is no one; each university has its strengths and weaknesses. For the sake of the article though, let’s look at the good and the bad of ECU. The negatives first; our online lectures are a joke, we need recordings! Not just slides. The library needs to be open later as do the food outlets; classes run till 9pm, we are starving! ECU should keep the future in mind, especially when deciding to discontinue units, minors, and majors. We live in WA, let’s just say Geography is an important discipline for this region of the globe. After all that negativity are there any positives? Well we have two great campuses, Joondalup being home to some pretty impressive architecture and Mt Lawley being situated in a great area. Both benefit from well established transport links. We are named after the first female member of an Australian Parliament, we’re home to WAAPA, which has and will continue to produce some extremely talented members of the creative industry, and lastly we have staff that support our studies, goals and personal situations. All in all ECU isn’t a bad place to while away three-six years of your life. Words by Paige Wittingham

z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z


zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz Power-napping is one of the most under-used resources

provided to us by the University. Many of you will ask, “Well how is it a resource provided to us by the university?” Simple, the little nooks and crannies that you can find through the University (and my top five personal favourites, which I am about to share) were invented by humans and thus you need to learn them to identify them! Everyone should power-nap, because it comes with benefits such as stress management, and increased productivity. There is nothing better than kicking back in the sun during summer whilst at Uni. In my first semester, I was known as the sleeping pirate, mainly because I had mutton chops and big pirate-like earrings, but also because I was well known for sleeping in the strangest of places. Currently my true nickname is sloth because I have the ability to turn anywhere into a place of sleep (other various sloth-like attributes I have like being slow, and coming across as lazy, we won’t discuss here!)

Before I reveal my top five sleeping places (if you find me sleeping in one, please do not disturb) I need to exclaim that it is an art form! The general rules of finding a place to power-nap are; it needs to be quiet, it needs to have some form of sun light, you need to be comfortable, and just as a back up if you drool-somewhere to wipe the drool onto. So here are my top five! 1. During my time at the Joondalup campus, when the current Student Central was the old library, I found myself on the top floor, a floor that NO ONE EVER USED, (and most likely impossible to be used nowadays based on its current uses). It was an eerie room however, not one student would ever go up there as it was an archive of oldschool folders full of dust, and commodore 64 print offs of computer data. It was the perfect room for a cheeky power-snooze. I found myself curled in a ball under one of the chewing gum infested tables and sleeping in minutes.

2. Dear Tavern punters; on a quiet day like a Monday morning, after a hard weekend, if you need a place to sleep, the sofas at the tavern are a dream waiting to happen! Utilise the free stuff people! Reasons: Sunlight-Check. Lack of Humans-Check. Hair of the Dog (if necessary)- Check. What more do you need?

3. Grassed areas! The grassed areas are no real secret, much like the Uni Tavern, but it's knowing how to find the best patch. As a sloth I know a good patch of grass when I see one. I could write a “guide to power-napping on grass” but I won't. The take home message for this one is; don’t sleep in people's way or they will step on you, draw on you, and even do strange things like put sand down your butt crack. Trust me, this I have had to learn. My favorite patch of grass is just outside Building 19/21 on the Joondalup campus, which now has a ridiculous amount of nurses due to Building 21, but also a gigantic ugly blue paper plane with a zig zaggy trail coming out of it... Sleeping spot's now redundant unless the paper plane becomes accommodating? 4. Studying late night in the big purple ugliness that is our e-lab? Need a place to snooze, but those irritating humans are still talking about their weekend plans and previous weekend adventures? Take a walk outside, wander past Aroma, and find the stairs. Presently they have black and yellow tape that, to any sane person, would suggest stay out, but to someone like me would suggest free sleeping zone without human distraction! This place of sleep however is not very comfortable and has only been used at night. Luckily for me I am just that type of person to have a spare pillow in my bag at the right moment! 5. Ye Old Building 32 with its open glass doors and big square softcushion-things is top pick and prime sleeping during lectures. Sun light-Check. Comfort-Check. Only downside is that a lot of people use that building for lectures, especially psychology students..., although I suppose if you can hear the lecture you'll end up asleep anyway. Happy Sleeping future generations!

Words by James Franco

10


“What’s your religion?” In Australia or other western countries like the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, this question may be seen as an intrusion of one’s personal life. Westerners might ask this question after knowing someone for a number of months, or they just eventually find out. But where I’m from, this question is usually asked within the first hour of one’s conversation with someone they just met. When I first arrived in Perth this question was also almost asked every time I meet someone from Indonesia the first time.

For now, I think I believe in the existence of a higher power, whatever you may call it. I like to call it Mother Nature. I don’t know what she’s capable of and whether she’s good or evil, but I can appreciate her through nature, though I don’t worship her. She is grand, but I know she doesn’t have power over my free will. My faith might have been a mixture of the principles found in Wicca, Buddhism and the Church of Satan. However, it is safe to say that I have no religion. Despite my current belief, I was raised a Christian. I had learned the Bible; I was even an active youth member of my church when I was 14. When I was 16 I started questioning whether going to church was necessary. By then I had noticed that in the beginning, there was no religion. Man communicated with God not by going to church. I stopped going to church. By the time I was 18, other questions surfaced: did King David attack Jebusite and take over Jerusalem because God told him so? Or did he do so just to expand his own kingdom, and used God’s name to justify his actions? And if God loved men so much, why would he favour one nation over the others? I put down the Bible once and for all and started drifting away from Christianity. Since before Jesus was even born, God’s name has been used to justify human actions. David went to war with the Phillistines, Moab, Hadadezer and the Syrians and claimed his victory given by God. He even “took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem” and “from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, [he] took exceeding much brass” (2 Samuel 8:7-8). Let us recall the London Riot looters. Justify their actions with God’s name; we’ve got King David.

Claiming one’s faith rightful and others blasphemous is not new. The most common example the world has become familiar with is Islamic jihad. However, kings in the Bible can also be seen as mujahedeen (people engaged in jihad). The highly respected Catholic Joan of Arc went to war in the name of God. Heterodox Christian Hong Xiuquan of Guangdong wanted to establish the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The church executed people believed to be witches in the Salem Witch Trials. India has seen religion-based attacks between Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Religious wars between two beliefs had also happened all around the globe prior to this: the Crusades between Christianity and Islam, the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years War in old Germany between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. In February this year, a group of twenty Ahmadiyya Muslims practicing their faith was attacked by a mob of 1,500 hardliner Muslims in West Java, Indonesia. I watched a compilation of videos from the attack and heard the mob leader shouting, “This is heathen!” and exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” meaning ‘God is the greatest’ before they started throwing rocks at the house in which the Ahmadiyya Muslims were gathering at. What is it about religion that is so powerful? Religion is a man-made attempt to reach the higher power, and it has been used too many times to justify human actions. Do people actually think their religion’s triumph over others’ is a way to secure their place in Heaven? Peter H. Gilmore, a High Priest in the Church of Satan, said “the biggest threat to [religion] is these fundamentalists who want to force people into their belief systems. They want to destroy people who have sexual activity they don’t think is appropriate according to their texts”. But people do fall into this trap. One’s potent faith in their religion can bring destruction to others. But, let’s face it; we’re not even sure whether God truly exists. No man can say for certain that there is a Heaven or Hell, or that their religion is the righteous one. But then, it is also possible to think that Men are being their greedy selves and that they are using God’s name to get away with everything.

Words by Dina Waluyo

11


If you look up the term ‘nudity’ in a dictionary it will tell you that nudity

is “the state of wearing no clothing”. It will also add that the wearing of clothing is an “exclusively human characteristic.” Scientists believe that our ancestors started wearing items that we recognise as clothing as early as a million years ago with clothing becoming common about 70,000 years ago. Knowledge of knitting and weaving reaches back until about 8,000 B.C. The early versions of clothes are believed to have been furs or simple vegetation materials sewn together by basic needles made of animal bones. Clothing is believed to been used first as protection against cold weather and just became a modesty issue during cultural developments later on. While today most known cultures use clothes as an everyday item, nudity has not always been treated in the way we treat it today. In ancient Greece, for example, it was very common for men to do sports nude. So the word gymnasium, which we still use today, comes from the Greek term “Gymnós” (for naked.) The word gymnasium roughly translates as “a place to train naked”. Evidence for the role of nudity are the nude statues and detailed paintings that remain today. In ancient Rome nudity was socialised in public bathing, people would even use public group toilets (latrine), which was considered completely normal - while today people could hardly imagine sharing their toilets with random neighbours! It is believed that there have been different body aesthetics back in the day. For example, the foreskin became an idolised part of the male body in ancient Greece and Rome which we know today from ancient medical records, literature and arts. This idolisation had gone so far that Jewish men, that were generally circumcised, were apparently wearing prosthetic foreskins made from sheep guts to avoid being ridiculed in the gymnasium. In Rome nudity was also important during public fights, with the gladiators wearing none or nearly no clothes apart from their weapons. In other contexts nudity has been used for motivational reasons. If Germanic tribes got into fights, the women and children would hide while the men were fighting. But if their men would want to give up the fight and try to escape, the women would expose their breasts to motivate the fighters and to show them what they would be losing in case of a defeat.

Generally nudity has been part of many traditional celebrations and dances throughout Europe pre Christianity. With the rise of Christianity the naked body became a sinful item, with the “flesh” seen as an evil temptation, especially if it was a female one. Nudity became a taboo in Europe with its peak in the Victorian Age, in which people would consider nudity so obscene that they would undress only in the dark, bath as rarely as possible and use intercourse exclusively for procreation reasons and of course only within marriage. Early in the 20th century nudity had a comeback with an international body acceptance movement that encouraged nudity as natural behaviour as opposed to the extremes of the Victorian Age. Looking at different cultures all over the world today nudity means still different things to different people. In traditional hunter-gatherer cultures in warm climate zones nudity is still a standard practise for men and women. In some African and Melanesian cultures a string around the waist is the only clothes a man is going to wear for a hunt. Finland, Spain and Germany are said to have a quite relaxed relationship towards nudity, with topless bathing and mixed nude saunas being common. Even mixed nude bathing is happening, without the slightest intention of getting sexually active in the hot tub. Free Body Culture became a trend, with people even getting married nude, with the first nude wedding being celebrated in 1942 in Elysian Fields, California. Some artists try to work with the effects of nudity, like the photographer Henning von Berg who paid amateur models to strip bare in places all over the globe. He organised the male-only nude photo shoot in a parliament building with hundreds of speechless people watching. And if after this article you are interested in the topic, just enter “nudity” into Google and you will get directed to a website with the title “Letting it all hang out – best nude beaches in Australia!”

Words by Marieke Reichert

12


Imagine Packed to the Rafters without Rebecca Gibney or Michael

These guidelines have resulted in other world-renowned films such as ‘The Castle’, ‘Muriel’s Wedding’, ‘Shine’, ‘Australia’ and the recent Oscar-nominated ‘Animal Kingdom’. Australia is famed for its wealth of acting talent. The current rules have provided employment opportunities and a career path for performers for the last 20 years – you just have to look at the glut of talent on screen today around the world.

According to Equity, the union that represents performers and crew, this is a very real future if Foreign Actor Certification Scheme changes are introduced. These guidelines, administered by Simon Crean’s Office of the Arts (controversially, demoted from Department under the Gillard Govt.) are in place to ensure Aussie performers receive a fair crack of the whip when it comes to casting.

If the proposed rules are brought in, the great fear is that Australian screen culture will be taken back to days where producers could freely bring in overseas performers, to the degradation of the Australian voice – that is, the power of Australians to tell stories about each other. WAAPA graduate, Chris Tompkinson points out: “In 1959, The Summer of the 17th Doll, the first great play about Australia, was made starring Ernest Borgnine and Anne Baxter. Without legislated Australian content and casting rules, all great Australian voices will have an American twang. What’s a country without its own culture?”

Caton; Offspring without Asher Keddie and Deborah Mailman; Australia without Hugh and Nicole; Home & Away without Ray Meagher (Alf). No Muriel’s Wedding with Toni Collette or Mad Max without Australia’s own Mel Gibson. Or Underbelly, sporting a cast of American throw-backs instead of quality local performers.

The Government’s proposed changes to the Foreign Performer Certification Scheme Guidelines would allow Australian producers to bring in overseas performers on any and every screen production. These Guidelines would destroy the livelihood and careers of Australian performers and erode the uniqueness of Australian films. Some of the proposed changes include: • Producers being allowed to give more overseas actors lead roles in Australian productions;
 • TV series such as ‘Home & Away’, ‘Neighbours’, ‘Packed to the Rafters’ and ‘Underbelly’ could import whoever they like;
 • Productions receiving the new Australian taxpayer-funded Producer Offset (that is, 40% taxpayer funded) would now be able to import overseas performers with no restrictions;
 • ABC and SBS programs, like ‘Angry Boys’ (which don’t receive any further subsidy), would be able to import performers at will. The existing Guidelines are important to the screen industry because they have created career paths and provided critical employment opportunities for Australian performers for more than two decades. Many performers have been able to work internationally because of these opportunities and are now able to come back to Australia to work on local productions and assist in the development of a sustainable local screen industry. “To maintain and develop Australian cultural identity, Australian stories must be told on Australian screens”, says Phil Miolin, a NIDA grad and Perthbased performer, currently working on a local production being shot in the South West of WA (‘Drift’) - with no less than ‘Avatar’ and ‘Terminator’ star, Sam Worthington.

13

So how does Equity’s membership, which represents professional Australian and New Zealand performers and crew, see the future? Well, in a word, bleak. They predict Antipodeans will be left with bit parts and miss opportunities to foster an arts industry that under these changes will change forever and not necessarily for the better. And the changes to the rules are not reciprocal so there is no chance that Aussies will benefit in an exchange scheme. But some in the arts see the changes as a boon for the much maligned sector. Talented arts all-rounder, Joe Lui, looks at the changes positively: “I’m for the changes. Perth performing arts, as it is, functions as enough of a work-for-the-dole programme to not accept honest to capitalism consumer money for product that they want”. Indeed, the screen industry hasn’t had the assistance other nations adorn their culture with. And private funding takes years to harness, with most Australian films budget sitting in the $1.5-3.5 million range. Sounds like a lot, but when you consider that some actors have a $20 million payday just for starters in the US, we start to get a perspective on the Australian screen landscape. Add to this Australian television’s dilemma over whether to buy episodes of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for a few tens of thousands of dollars, compared with making local content that runs into a few hundreds of thousands of dollars and the attraction to create local content is greatly sullied.


There’s also a furphy going around that Australian performers and crew oppose outright the importation of overseas performers i.e. that they are protectionist, a nasty word in a globalised society. As well as being Perth’s go-to casting director, WAAPA and Screen Academy lecturer, Annie Murtagh-Monks, elaborates that it’s more to do with giving Aussies a fair-go: “When Australian tax payers help finance film or television productions in Australian via their taxes, it’s a ‘no brainer’ that we should aim to protect our cultural identity as well as jobs of Aussie actors and crew. And the current practise of allowing a limited number of high profile international actors to appear alongside Australian actors helps our industry and in my opinion should continue”. So, no-one seems to be talking about banning international film or television creation in Oz, which is bandied about a bit in the discourse over these changes. Talking to a majority of Australian screen practitioners it’s revealed they actually welcome cultural diversity and encourage foreign production in Oz. However, like Annie, most believe that when a production is being funded by Australian taxpayers, the right to use an overseas performer should only exist in those circumstances where the production gains significant levels (around 30% plus) of foreign finance, or if there is an ethnic or other special requirement. Effectively, what we’re starting to realize is that the fear is we’ll be America’s poor cousin once again (or the Mexicans with Mobiles as one studio boss referred to Australian cast and crew). Talking to performers, you start to feel that if Australia’s arts industry loses its voice, we’ll soon end up dressed in the cultural equivalent of postcolonial beige. The Gillard Government has proposed rule changes which will allow producers the ability to give away Australian jobs to foreign performers – it’s also worth noting that many producers are more than reluctant to partake in such activity because the changes also affect their ability to tell the Australian stories they wish to tell and passionately invest time and money into. But market forces have to be accounted in this fiscally challenged time. In the new guidelines, “flexibility” clauses permit a producer to hire a foreign performer if an investor demands it, or if they can prove an “overall benefit” to Australia’s film or TV industry. The reality is that these are simply loopholes that allow producers to do as they please when it comes to hiring policy. Now, what does this all really mean to those of you who don’t quite follow the arts and what it’s all about? Let me put it another way… imagine if the Government (employed by the taxpayer) decided to fund a building and then allowed the developers to import the construction crew of their choice from another country. It would be unacceptable in that situation and it is unacceptable in this situation. Even the Government’s own research points out: “the overriding justification for continuing with current standards is for cultural reasons…to promote and project attitudes and values. It is important that these remain overwhelmingly Australian.” Power comes in many forms and often you don’t recognize what you have until it’s threatened. The arts, particularly the screen industry, are enormously influential on our sense of identity. Arguably, the question could be asked, ‘do we make the arts or do the arts make us’? Think about the characters who you associate yourself with and a lot of them will be Aussie character’s from the big and small screen. So, what happens if someone wants to take the power of that voice away? By all accounts, you might be able to see the results sooner than you think…Mr. Crean, (Minister for Arts); the future of the Aussie screen is in your hands. Words by Michael McCall Ed: congratulations to Michael who was nominated for the Best Director Equity Guild Award. All the best on November 7th.

14


What is to be said about power that cannot be seen by all who live in

an age obsessed with energy? As another September passes by, many re-visit 9/11 and confront the archetypal powers of death and rebirth, of fear and love. In doing so, we reconsider the capacity of minorities and masses to deeply affect the lives of others, and review the values of our culture. From this place of contemplation, citizens and their states, local and abroad, are faced with reconsidering this very simple, yet significant, bearing for our civilisation: Are we striving for the power of love - or for the love of power? Not only has our time been deemed an Age of Energy, coming multifariously to those in the Middle and Far East in the form of Shakti, the Fifth Sun, and Halliburtonesque foreign interests seeking dark, dark nectar and cheap, cheap labour. But for those of us living the West-side life, the mad-babblings of quantum thinkers and New Age fringeís make us aware that we are also entering an age of information.               Unless you can score some red pills or find out where Morpheus is then I’m saddened to report to you that ëknowledge is not powerí. There is a need to marry the two; energy and information. This is a sensitive issue, as conservative systems seek to accommodate their privilege with the larger need for change. This marriage can come well in the form of green industrialism, but better as felicitous capitalism. Giving credit where it’s due; modern technocratic capitalism has just flourished from its love of power, and deserves a sticker. However, when it comes to its power to love; to nurture and share with any personal, social or political theory, we discover a different story. In which society, that loves power or powerfully loves, would lunar flags and Hubble snaps take precedence over housing the (excess of 1.6 million) homeless? In 2000, wealth condensation as evaluated by the United Nations University estimated that 40% of global assets were empowering 1% of the world’s richest adults, who, I might add, are yet to share the love with ìthe bottom half of the world adult population (who) owned barely 1% of global wealth. You see Perth, and the West in general, is excellent at monitoring time, speed, fuel, stocks and rockets, but who has ever seen us clock joy?! Energiser bunnies parade their power in agitating ads across my TV all the time, but not once, not once, has a bliss bunny bore my adinspired rage. Check out Bhutan: Its national flair to be a culture bent on happiness under the rockiní ruler ship of His Majesty, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, operates from a Growth National Happiness (GNH) Index, not a GDP, which as of 2008 has been monitoring social happiness as national productivity. Here in Perth we get our UV Index and America get to fondle their Terror Alert, what’s up with our Happiness Indexes?!... o_0 Whatever!    What would a civilisation look like if it had, for 6,000 years, focused its energy solely on the power of love? What would be its priorities? Its culture; creations and dreams? How about a civilisation that had, since Sumeria, focused its energy into a love of power? Would it have taken Hammurabi’s dream of centralised surveillance to artificial and intoxicating heights? I wonder.                                                                We are alive, here today in an astonishing time, not just because mankind is pushing beyond history and out toward the stars, but because September beckons spring! Tis the season to be happy. To walk around Kings Park and smell the flowers, to not just watch the movies but hire the DVDs and giggle at the bloopers.   Words by Ben Wilcox

15


Power of the body The body of both females and males can be extremely powerful. This power comes back to the power of desire. Women are more able to use their bodies to obtain things they want than males, but this doesn’t mean that males can’t use their bodies as well.

Women have a lot of power that isn’t always evident in this patriarchal society. I believe that the cliché “behind every great man is a great women” is oh so true. This power, however, is not limited to just the body. But that is an argument for a different time. With their bodies, women have a weapon that is tricky to wield. If the tool is used properly the body can manipulate the men around it. However, if the body is used incorrectly, men just want to use you for your body. On this note though, some women find men wanting you for sex and just sex very powerful. The power of the body is much like the power of beauty; it all depends upon the eye of the beholder, or the person wielding the body. I am sure there will be people out there will disagree with me here, but I have to say it. There are a reasonable amount of girls (too many in my opinion) who dress, for lack of a better description, like sluts. These are the sought of girls who guys want to fuck, but don’t wanna know the next day. I want to establish here though that I do not think that these girls are asking to be raped. I hate it when people say that, because women should have the freedom to dress how they want without worrying about their protection. But back to the point, there is a certain art to pulling of the look. Some women can use the slutty look for there benefit, but they have to be able to use the power well. I believe that there is a more subtle way to use the power of the body though. I think that more is less and know that at least one male agrees with me. This male told me a rule one day about girls who dress up for the clubs: “You should show either boobs, or legs, not both.” If you show both, you simply look like an easy skank. Women can still use there body as a power without showing off every single inch. Guys do enjoy guessing what is under that outfit, but to get them thinking about that, you do need to show a little bit. This doesn’t mean you have to show skin, you wear tight clothes that emphasise your body as well.

I guess it doesn’t exactly matter how you use your body, but I don’t think it can be denied that women have more power to do it than men. I mean, why are women voices always used on GSP, and why do pretty women always get more men stopping at their booths? It all comes down to desire, and often just a smile can bring out the desire in the opposite sex. I say opposite sex because men can also use their looks to manipulate people. One person I know who can do this is my brother (yes I am mentioning him again). Through the use of his smile he often got himself out of trouble at school. Women can be driven by desire as well, but we don’t have a body part that demands the change of blood flow. But the body can also be used once you have started having sex. Most American films and television series indicate that the women are the ones who chose to not have sex. I think this varies from person to person, but I want you to ask yourself this “have you ever withheld sex from a guy to get what you want, or has a girl ever withheld sex from you?” Sex in the City disappoints me as all of the women (with Samantha as an exception) are constantly looking for a man, as if they aren’t complete without one (can anybody say patriarchal society?). There is an exception though. I love it when Samantha talks about giving blow jobs as she mentions that you have the man by the balls. This interesting woman takes an act that can be extremely degrading to women and turns it around, so that she holds the power. The body is lead by desire and often that desire conflicts with what our brain is telling us. Because of this, people can use their body to create desire in others, which gives the person power. I think that women are more successful in this aspect of power and have heard on more than one occasion “yeah, but you’re a girl” because I was more successful at something. Remember, desire is desire, and if you can get something out of a guy through the use of your natural assets, I say why not.

Words by Jasmine Reilly

16


The term ‘small arms’ is generally used to refer to weapons such as

rifles, machine guns, hand grenades and other arms intended for military use by a single person. The global proliferation of around 8 million small arms is the largest factor for human casualty in the world today. A decade after the end of the Cold War, this issue continues to frustrate attempts to build and maintain peace in the war zone. Legal Market The legal trade in small arms is a global market. According to the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers, 194 countries import/export small weapons which generates an annual market of $3–10 billion (USD). However, there is no international agreement on how to conduct the trade between the countries. Currently, the export licensing system is uneven in different countries, which make it possible for the arm broker to smuggle the weapons. After they are traded into the countries with lax supervision, the small weapons will be transferred into the illegal market, which, specifically, can be divided into the grey market and the black market. Grey Market The trade in grey market is conducted by or with the complicity of the governments. The heyday of the grey market was during the Cold War. The superpowers, their allies, and China delivered arms to rebel and insurgent groups involved in conflicts throughout the world. The full extent of the Cold War grey market will probably never be known. The Soviet Union delivered weapons to groups in Ethiopia, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Western Sahara, and to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

17

Small Arms

Power of

The United States sold arms to groups in Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua, and Cambodia. Both superpowers attempted to subvert the global influence of the other by clandestinely arming the enemies of their enemies. Grey market sales have not ended with the Cold War. Post-Cold War U.S. transfers have been made to groups in Northern Iraq opposed to Saddam Hussein, and they have returned to Afghanistan after 11 September to supply the Northern Alliance forces fighting the Taliban. A number of other governments have been implicated in attempts to destabilise foreign countries through the transfer of small arms: NATO member states equipping and training the Kosovo Liberation Army prior to, and during, the 1999 bombing campaign; support for the Kurds in Turkey by Russia, Greece, Syria, and Armenia; Turkish support for Chechen guerillas; Pakistani aid to Kashmiri militants; French government support for the ex-armed forces of Rwanda and the Interhamwe militia; Ugandan support for groups in Sudan; and Sudanese support for groups in Northern Uganda. Black Market The black market constitutes transfers of illicit arms that are conducted by private individuals, criminal organizations, or non-state actors such as rebel groups; often, all three groups will be involved at once. As black market arms are used by groups or individuals deemed to be illegal under national or international law, the arms will likely be used in “unacceptable acts” such as genocide, non – state armed conflict, human rights abuses, or organised crime.


Small arms are lightweight, easy to conceal, can be used immediately by the purchaser, and can be recycled around the world’s conflicts. These attributes, together with the illegal uses to which they are put, make them very attractive cargos for smugglers. Almost all firearms in the black market were originally manufactured under government control, came from military stockpiles, or were bought from licensed gun dealers. Arms Brokers The arm brokers are the people who organise illegal arms sales, be they black or grey. It is a job that involves a large amount of skill, organisation, preparation, and financial resources. Documents need to be forged, officials bribed, legitimate arms companies persuaded to sell their weapons, money laundered, and aircrews recruited. As this process is illegal, there is no way that the knowledge and contacts required can be easily obtained. Brokers themselves generally do not take possession of the arms—they bring together the buyer and seller, and facilitate the deal. According to the UN committee investigating sanctions breaking in Angola: Landing heavy cargo planes with illicit cargoes in war conditions and breaking international embargoes such as the one on Angola requires more than individual effort. It takes an internationally organised network of individuals, well funded, well connected and well versed in brokering and logistics, with the ability to move illicit cargo around the world without raising the suspicions of the law or with the ability to deal with obstacles. Arms brokers provide an essential facilitating role in supplying illegal groups with weapons—without their activities, this supply would be much more difficult. However, in most countries their activities, as they rarely come into physical contact with the weapons, are completely unregulated. It is unsurprising to note that the international networks used to smuggle conflict goods are also used to smuggle arms. The techniques used in both involve smuggling, false documentation, and money laundering. The techniques required to illegally supply arms are almost exactly the same as those required to dispose of conflict goods. The same person can supply weapons and facilitate their payment. When Leonid Minin—a major supplier of weapons to conflicts in Africa—was arrested in Italy, he was found in possession of twenty grams of cocaine, $150,000 in cash, and half a million dollars worth of African diamonds. There was also a cache of 1,500 documents detailing Minin’s dealings in oil, timber, gems, and arms. When conflict goods are sold by criminal organisations separate from the arms brokers, the link between the two is still clear. The sale of conflict goods enables groups to purchase weapons that they otherwise could not afford. For example, the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone earns at least $30- 50 million per year from diamond sales, which is then spent on importing arms. Arms and Children During the recent war in Afghanistan, the international community highlighted the dire situation of civilians in that country, and of children in particular. As experts reported that 25 percent of Afghan children die before the age of 4— most due to treatable disease—the consequences of the misuse and proliferation of small arms was seen first hand in children being denied access to a proper education, receiving little or no food, and facing limited economic opportunities.

On 2 October 2001, the New York Times reported provisional commander Fazil Ahmend Azimi saying: “It’s been three decades of our people going backward in terms of education. We have young boys that are more familiar with a gun than with school.” Children in Afghanistan “have been raised in a highly militarised ‘Kalashnikov culture;’ in schools both inside the country and refugee camps, textbooks and teaching methods have used images of tanks, guns and bullets in mathematics and reading classes.” Former child soldier Emmanuel Jal described how he had fought for five years in southern Sudan before escaping to Kenya, where he subsequently became an internationally-acclaimed singer and an advocate against the use of under-age combatants. “I chose this way because my country’s at war and every time I turn on the TV I still see the same things happening,” he said. While precise estimates are difficult to come by, some 250,000 children globally are being recruited to fight in armed conflicts in violation of international law, a United Nations official said today, reporting mixed progress in efforts to tackle the problem. Children are being recruited by groups in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Small arms have left a lasting legacy in Cambodia - a country which has experienced civil unrest or political and social instability for more than 40 years. The reign of the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979 imposed an extreme level of suffering on the entire civilian population and extinguished more than a fifth of the population, including hundreds of thousands of children. Those who survived the brutality of the Pol Pot years experienced extreme deprivations as a result of the internal armed conflict and the resulting proliferation and use of small arms. The adult population of Cambodia is now made up of these children who suffered the violence and abuse. The juvenile population is made up of their children. This generation of children comprises approximately 47 per cent of the population. It is not surprising, therefore, as one newspaper commented, “We can’t see past the atrocities and the killing… the fighting has imposed an ideology of violence on everybody.” In Conclusion Some progress has been made to restrain arms transfers. So far, small arms and light weapons are covered by three international instruments within the framework of the United Nations: the politically-binding Programme of Action that was adopted in July 2001; the legally-binding Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, which entered into force on 3 July 2005; and the politically-binding International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons, which was adopted by the General Assembly in December 2005. Yet arms continue to be sold to governments which abuse human rights and to countries in conflict.

The trade in small arms is a major factor behind the worldwide phenomenon of child soldiers, according to United Nations experts who gathered today in New York to discuss the impact of the weapons trade on society. Words by Jingjing Zhang

18


Batman: I thought I was supposed to be the scary one and you were supposed to be the nice one. If we’re both bad cops, then how are we supposed to play good cop and bad cop? Superman: Easy, we play bad cop and psycho cop. Guess which one you get to play. For those who are not familiar with the above lines, those are from Superman #713 where Superman was in the middle of his depression and Batman confronted him for recklessly endangering the lives of the innocent civilians. Although Superman’s remark was a bit sarcastic, in reality Superman and Batman are best friends. Many comic book fans are probably involved in the never ending debate of who would actually win if Superman and Batman were to fight against one another. I used to be a part of the circle as well but somehow after watching an episode of Superman: The Animated Series (split into three parts) in 1997 called The World’s Finest, I started to look forward with enthusiasm for any animated and comic book materials where Superman has to work together with Batman. It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...It’s Superman! Superman: The Man of Steel (1986) was a six-issue comic book that reimagined the origin of Superman as landing in the USSR rather than the USA. I had the translated paperback version and it was probably my first Superman comic ever. The art and the storyline were memorable but unfortunately I accidentally lost the book somehow. Later on, I got to watch Superman (1978) on television when I was in primary school. I think at that time, all kids at my school wanted to have Christopher Reeve for their birthday parties instead of clowns. So what does Superman stand for? In Superman (1978) and Superman Returns (2006) there is a lot parallelism between Superman and Christ. Jor-El’s speech: “I give you my only son” and the relationship between father and son are the two obvious ones. Next in Superman II (1980), in the scene where a depowered Clark Kent gathered whatever remaining pride that he had left and begged his father to help him is pretty much a reference to the Prodigal Son. Despite his alien origin, Superman can be as vulnerable as a normal human being, and I do not mean his weaknesses against kryptonite. In Superman: The Man of Steel (1986), when Clark used his power in the open for the first time to save a plane, he was overwhelmed when the crowd surrounded him. Everybody wanted to know who he was and everybody wanted to have a piece of him. Clark had no idea what to do and eventually he had to escape and sit on top of Mount Everest to clear his head. In his years as a super hero, Clark used his power to help people. Superman does all sorts of things: helping a little girl getting her pet kitten from a tree, saving people from getting mugged, helping the UN solve global conflicts, saving the world from his arch nemesis, Lex Luthor. Oddly enough with many accomplishments under his resume, things have not always been smooth for him. The death of his adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, the destruction of New Krypton, and events that caused him to be treated as an outcast by those people who used to

19

trust him. It depends on which version of Superman that you are looking at. But for every incarnation of Superman, I think he truly can either represent an ideal type of citizen (a good tax payer and good commitment to national service) or somebody who just wants to blend in and get acknowledged by other people by projecting a self-image as a good citizen and likeable character. Somehow Superman is the DC version of Marvel’s Captain America. It’s the gosh darn Batman! He is just an ordinary guy without super powers in a bat costume. When it comes to Batman, my first thought about him is always about his high-tech crime-fighting gadgets that put even James Bond and Q to embarrassment. Batman claims that he has spares bat mobiles and batwings located all over the main cities of the United States (Superman #713). Definitely an expensive solution I would say, but I cannot imagine Batman hailing a cab in his costume. I have no idea which Batman comic I first read as a boy. However I do remember that apparently the guy who wrote the story neglected Batman’s no gun policy. There is nothing much that I can remember except that Batman had to race against time to prevent himself from being transformed into a werewolf (he was injected with some kind of virus by a mad scientist who happened to be the main antagonist of the story arc). Superman: Secret Origins and Superman: Brainiac would probably be perfect since the artist paid tribute to Reeve by using his likeness in the drawings. If a speed up lesson on Superman and Batman is needed make sure that these animated films: The World’s Finest (1997), Superman – Batman: Apocalypse (2010) (Supergirl’s origin), Superman-Batman: Public Enemies (2009) are at the top of the checklist.

If anyone is familiar with the fictional New York from the Max Payne series then you should not be a stranger to Gotham City. Gotham is a dark place, it is gloomy and the organised crime syndicates have nearly total control over the law enforcement agency. If one was a citizen of Gotham, then gazing through a venetian blind in a dilapidated apartment during a rainy night would definitely give the kind of feeling where the whole surrounding felt like a scene from film noir. A perfect time for an inner monologue, I would say. This is the main base of operation for Batman. Meet Bruce Wayne, a billionaire playboy who spends his night as a masked vigilante by beating up criminals to a pulp with his bare fists. Beating up criminals to a pulp? This is hardly something that a wellmannered super hero like Superman would do. Frank Miller in his ‘definitive’ All-Star Batman and Robin might have positioned Batman at the very edge of the no gun policy border but his practicality and his (sometimes) cynical persona remain intact. This is definitely the kind of vigilante who hits first and asks question afterwards to get the job done. Gotham’s a dirty place so Batman sometimes has to find himself tossing the rule book around. Yes… he can do it just fine because he’s the gosh darn Batman!


Superman – Batman team up There are many versions of the first meeting between Superman and Batman, but The World’s Finest (1997) is my favourite one so far. Collecting evidences from the crime scene and interrogating people were the two elements in the story that make Batman truly indispensable in the movie. Superman definitely filled up the role of a heavy-hitter with a dramatic entrance whenever Batman found himself in tight situations. Superman Beyond #0 (set up in the same timeline and Batman Beyond universe) on the other hand had no scenes where Batman or Superman came to the rescue to the other, but the friendship and trust between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne were as solid as ever. Another entertaining fact that I think worth mentioning is Superman’s tendency to get lectures from Batman whenever they work together. Most of the time, Batman has trouble putting up with Superman, mainly for his naïve approach (getting into the enemy’s trap easily due to his invulnerability.) In his crime-fighting methods. Superman in return cracks a few jokes in the form of dry humour occasionally. I personally think that the characterisations of Superman and Batman given by the storytellers distinguish both characters pretty well and fans should be able to make remarks such as: “This is just sooo Batz” or “These are some of the things that only Supes would probably do”. Batman: The kryptonite is near your heart. I don’t know if I’ll get it before the wound closes. Superman: Where’s The Flash when you need him?

Batman: Do me a favour and lose the sense of humour. Superman: Do us both a favour and buy one. Suggestions Want to know more about Superman and Batman? Well, this is actually the perfect timing for DC virgins. DC has recently rebooted their mainstream universe through a comic book event which is known as ‘Flashpoint’. So literally Superman and Batman are going to start fresh again. There is plenty of material from the pre-Flashpoint but to be honest it is difficult to make any recommendations. Batman: The Killing Joke is probably one of the best graphic novel about the Batman’s archnemesis, The Joker. It was very dark and the depiction of Joker’s twisted past was probably one of the best flashbacks ever. The Deluxe Edition of Batman: The Killing Joke released in 2008 features minor updates and different colourings on some of the pictures. For those who believe that Christopher Reeve was a real ‘Superman’, Superman: Secret Origins and Superman: Brainiac would probably be perfect since the artist paid tribute to Reeve by using his likeness in the drawings. If a speed up lesson on Superman and Batman is needed make sure that these animated films: The World’s Finest (1997), Superman – Batman: Apocalypse (2010) (Supergirl’s origin), Superman-Batman: Public Enemies (2009) are at the top of the checklist.

Words by Prayitno Wignjopranoto

20


The history of science is a compelling narrative that follows humanity’s quest to

gain an ever-deeper understanding of the universe in which it finds itself. Behind every great scientific achievement, there stands a brilliant mind whose life was dedicated to the investigation of nature and the unraveling of its many mysteries. As time passes by, our knowledge and understanding grows incrementally, with each generation of scientists expanding on the work of those before them. Occasionally, however, completely new ideas are proposed – ideas solely due to the genius and imagination of certain individuals. An example often cited is Albert Einstein’s ‘theory of relativity,’ an innovation that single-handedly revolutionised physics. There is one idea, however, that stands above them all as the single most powerful and provocative ever proposed. A simple yet elegant scientific theory, it not only has huge explanatory power, but also profound implications for every facet of human existence - Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1859, the English naturalist Charles Darwin published his book, ‘On the Origin of Species’, in which he challenged the prevailing view that life had been created in its present form and instead proposed that species change over time. All 1,250 copies of the book were sold on the first day and his theory sparked heated debate, deeply dividing the community. Over time, however, the evidence for evolution became insurmountable and by the early 20th century it was regarded as a scientific fact no less certain than the theory of gravity. What makes Charles Darwin so important is that he was the first person to truly recognise the fact of evolution as well as describe the mechanism by which it acts – natural selection. In order to understand how evolution by natural selection works, you must first have a grasp of some basic biology. Inside the nucleus of every cell in your body is a complex string of molecules known as DNA – a biological recipe that describes exactly how to make another copy of you. DNA is comprised of many small units of molecular information called ‘genes’. These genes are responsible for everything about you (eye colour, how fast you grow, how tall you are etc.) and they could be referred to as the individual instructions of the DNA recipe. When two organisms reproduce, their genetic information is copied and then combined to produce a ‘recipe’ for a new organism. Occasionally, a mistake occurs when the genes are being copied (known as a mutation) and the new organism is born with a gene neither of its parents had. This new gene gives the organism a unique characteristic not shared by its parents or by any other member of its species. The principle of natural selection is that organisms with favourable characteristics (e.g. better eyesight, longer horns, more teeth) will be most likely to survive and reproduce – they are said to be ‘selected’. Favourable mutations will be preserved and passed on to future generations. What matters is not how long an organism lives, but how successful it is at reproducing. New species evolve when groups of the same organism become isolated from one another. As a result of their separation, the groups experience different selective pressures (e.g. difference in climate, more or less predators) and thus the types of mutations that are preserved in each group will vary. The populations gradually evolve in different directions and are classed as different species when they are no longer able to produce fertile offspring with one another. This process is known as “speciation”, and it can be observed especially well on island archipelagos. In fact, it was on a voyage to the Galapagos Islands that Charles Darwin first began to formulate his ideas on evolution. Throughout the archipelago, he found that there was great variation in the appearance of the same types of animals. Thinking it ridiculous that each tiny island had been created with its own unique set of species, he hypothesised that each type of animal distributed amongst the islands had evolved from a single, initial population of that animal.

21


What makes evolution such a powerful scientific theory is its ability to account for the immense diversity and staggering complexity of life. Take, for example, the human eye. While it is not a perfect device –and better eyes exist in the animal world– the eye is nevertheless overwhelmingly superior to any photographic device constructed by humans. How, you may ask, could such a complex organ have come about through random mutations? The answer is very simple. The eye did not appear in its present form; it started as a simple entity and increased in complexity over a very long period of time. The evolution of the eye most likely began with a mutation that caused an organism to develop a few light-sensitive cells. Imagine a creature swimming along the bottom of the ocean; light sensitive cells would give it the ability to detect predators swimming above it, providing it with a huge selective advantage. The gene for light-sensitive cells would be passed on to its children, who would also reap its benefits. Over time, mutations would have occurred enabling the organism’s descendants to detect the direction of the incoming light, or even its colour. The quality of the image produced by the eye would increase as mutations accumulated, gradually leading to a more and more sophisticated organ like our eye today. This example demonstrates that although the biological world may seem amazingly improbable, it has come about via a process where small changes in genetic information build-up over time – life starts simple and gradually becomes more complex. It is also important to note that large evolutionary changes (e.g. reptiles evolving into birds or sea creatures becoming land-based) happen over time scales incomprehensibly vast. The Earth is 4.5 billion years old and life has existed for almost 3.7 billion years. Until roughly 500 million years ago, however, the world was dominated by relatively simple organisms and it was not until a violent upheaval in the Earth’s climate that complex, multi-cellular life began to emerge. Over the past 500 million years, life has evolved from sea cucumberlike creatures that lived on the bed of the ocean to the wondrous variety of forms alive in the present. We Homo Sapiens have only inhabited the Earth for approximately one hundred thousand years – a miniscule amount of time in evolutionary terms. To use an analogy: if the history of life on Earth was represented by the distance from the center of your body to the tips of your fingers, the history of human civilization would be proportional to the amount of fingernail removed in the single stroke of a nail file. Charles Darwin’s discovery of evolution was immensely humbling for humanity, highlighting the fact that we humans do not have dominion over the animal kingdom - we are part of it. Evolution nullifies the notion of a ‘divine creator’, as it is a completely unguided, naturalistic process. In no sense has evolution progressed so as to achieve humanity; in fact, there are several times in the history of life where the extinction of a single species would have led to humans never evolving at all. Ultimately, evolution shows us that we are material beings, not specially created, but products of the laws of nature, evolved from other creatures over an unfathomable length of time. Some people may find this reality unsettling, I, however, find it uplifting and invigorating. Evolution demonstrates that we are more deeply connected with the natural world than anyone could have previously dreamed; we share a kinship with all living things - a common genetic code and a common ancestry. The realisation that we are mere guests on this magnificent world underscores our responsibility to look after it, treasure it, and preserve it for future generations. Evolution places the burden on us to provide our own lives with meaning and purpose; what makes us human is our capacity to think and reason – so use those abilities and make the very best your brief stay in the universe. If humanity it progress, we must all come to an understanding of the process that got us here in the first place. Evolution is a fact – it really happened. And what an enthralling fact it is.

Words by Alistair Milne

22


An Essay on Power By Anonymous

We are all familiar with the term ‘power’. There is institutional power and personal

power. Institutional power encompasses the rules we live by issued by governments, councils, businesses, and administered and enforced by the courts, the police and the military. Then we have personal power where we co-opt others into our way of thinking and behaving; embracing our philosophies, goals and ideals. Whilst we are usually very aware of institutional power (Oh no! Not another speeding fine!) we are less well informed on matters of personal power. In terms of our employment we are very aware of the institutional power of the company, (whether we have a job or not) and of the personal power of the ‘boss’ (he can sack me if he doesn’t like me, or if I don’t measure up). But are we aware of our own personal power? Our effect on others when we don’t do our job properly, or spend our day standing around the water fountain talking of personal matters either related or unrelated to our job. (Or not accomplishing our studies, for that matter.) In my line of employment I am aware of both aspects of power. As an employee of the government, I am subject to the many laws pertaining to my job that must by necessity be adhered to at all costs. The repercussions of not applying the law can be very costly not only to my career, but also in terms of time, effort, emotion, and health; and it doesn’t stop there. The costs also flow on to my work mates, colleagues, and others associated with my employment. A botch up in my job can be devastating to my colleagues and have long term repercussions to those involved, as well as to others indirectly affected by my actions. There is also my personal power with my colleagues. We must work together as a team to fulfil our duties so that our day runs smoothly. We cooperate, aid and assist each other as necessary, to ensure maximum productivity for our own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of others. Our personal power is used positively to gain optimum output because we know the cost of defiance and obstruction; issues we deal with every day. My colleagues and I supervise others who often know a lot about personal power and use it to maximum effect, over others who are naive, afraid, unaware, or just too selfish to get out of their own way. A lot of these people have mental health issues like learning difficulties and psychoses, and all have a very deep dislike of institutionalised law. These people prefer their own law and will go to great lengths to convince you of their ways of thought, which is of course, the right way, the only way. Their sense of power comes in the belief that they have succeeded in tricking you, or in gaining some kind of advantage over you; their personal power is all they have. Their personal power creates their identity, it determines whether they survive, hold their own, or are over-powered by others who are less vulnerable than they are. Their personal power is the means of their survival, and is honed at every opportunity they get. Consequently they are testing their personal power all day, every day, at every opportunity, and on anyone whose attention they can command; they have little else to do. If you haven’t already guessed, I work in an institution. To those I don’t know very well, I say I work in a “day care centre for the underprivileged”; my friends know it as a prison. The insidious side of personal power is called “grooming” – being manipulated either with or without your knowledge or consent – against your wishes or better judgement. However, not all personal power is bad; it can be used for positive purposes. It can be used to encourage and assist, to foster growth and development, to support and aid in the achievement of goals and ideas; just one of the many roles of the prison officer. It is also one of the many roles of the educated. It is up to you how you use your Personal Power – I hope you use it wisely. Words by Anonymous

23


Few can admit that they actually know what BDSM is. However,

without knowing, many have participated in BDSM in the bedroom. BDSM can be broken down in a few different ways. It stands for Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism. Each part has its own importance and roles. Many people assume that it is all about pain and control, but they are wrong. Bondage and Discipline refers to the consensual restraining of another person whilst understanding the duty of care that is required in this form of play. Dominance and submission is more about the roles that can be played out. Generally it means that one person is in charge of the other. Both have their own responsibilities to play and both understand that everything still has to be consensual. Sadism and Masochism is based around pain. But again it is consensual and done with extreme precaution. Sadists revel in the pain of others while Masochists enjoy the pain of themselves. There are many assumptions that are laid upon BDSM. Many think it is a chance to humiliate people and do only what they want while disregarding their partner’s needs. Majority of people who participate in such activities will openly frown upon those who use it for the wrong reasons. If one wants to partake in BDSM, they must do it for the right reason, not for their own selfish acts. There is also the general opinion that only men can dominate and women be submissive. That is not true. I know plenty of submissive males and dominant females. It is all about individual preference and comfort levels. A lot of people also think that BDSM is only about pain and suffering, but they are wrong again. Any pain is consensual and unless there is something wrong with communication no one does things that they don’t want to do. (I do understand that like any sexual activity things can go wrong, but if they do it is generally because someone is in the wrong and not being dutiful). There are many terms that one may hear in regards to BDSM. They all have their own importance and should be thoroughly understood before one takes on a more serious role. Most couples only experiment, which is totally acceptable. It keeps the sexual side of the relationship interesting while also developing a deeper sense of trust and communication within the partnership. Those who enter the more serious roles have usually done a lot of experimenting and have therefore done their own research into the roles of BDSM.

BDSM can be a very fun and romantic way of spicing up your sexual relationship with your partner. The submissive dotes upon their dominant and shows nothing but affection and caring. They would do just about anything to make their doom happy. The dominant looks after their submissive and makes sure their sub does as told. It is a very dynamic and somewhat complex role to play but is very enjoyable whether it is done seriously or just for the giggles. Wanting to experiment with BDSM is a perfectly natural thing to do. There is a certain allure to it that makes us want to partake in it. For men it can be the chance to shed the role of being dominant and give them a chance to be bossed around for a change. For women it can be the idea of being a bad girl. Doing something she really wouldn’t consider herself doing. During your first few trials at BDSM it is completely normal to feel nervous and unsure. And why wouldn’t you? You feel exhilarated and excited. You feel naughty and powerful. You feel odd and unusual. After all, you usually don’t go around spanking others or being spanked now do you? In my own experience, I have been a submissive, a slave, a switch and now I am learning to become a Mistress/Domme. Most people generally easily fall into a role. Some experiment with many roles. It all really depends on who you are and how much you are willing to experiment. For myself I am happy being a submissive. But I will tell you, there is something special about tying someone up and standing above them having them look up at you with that hint of fear in their eyes wondering just what you are going to do (or not do with them). Some BDSM Terms you may be interested in looking up yourselves: 24/7 – Aftercare – Bondage – Safeword – Switch – Top – Bottom – Kama Sutra Know that if you experiment you can stop whenever you want. Have fun and stay safe y’all

Words by Alysha Edwards

24


power of procrastination Dear readers, is it surprising if I say I love my assignments? Yes, I love

assignments! I adore them. I worship them. But don’t get me wrong; I still think assignments are arseholes. I just love the procrastination that comes to me when I’m supposed to work on assignments. If karma is a bitch, then surely deadline is the queen of bitches. Her bitch-slap really hurts and often results in bad marks and failing a unit. But who can stand up against her? Sadly, no one. Anyway, because in this edition GSM talks about ‘Power’, I figured I’d write something interesting – say, ‘the power of deadline’. I then thought that I should procrastinate, because I’ll have to fit the mood of ‘deadline’ by experiencing what it feels leaving everything to the last minutes. All for the sake of writing a good article, I suppose. Besides, I’m sure my editor wouldn’t know I just wrote this article the night before, as long as nobody told him about it. So please don’t tell him or else I’ll get fired. Procrastination When we’re talking about deadlines, we must also talk about procrastination. Believe it or not, dear readers, procrastination is healthy for your soul. Deadlines and procrastinations work together to make you happy. It’s because you have ‘something to do’ that the state of ‘doing nothing’ is more fun. For example, what will you think of when you stay up all night to finish several assignments at once? Surely you’ll want a holiday. But what will happen if you’ve got an extremely long holiday and you realise you’ve done everything you want to do? Well, perhaps you won’t ask for uni to start again – no, that’s just wrong – but you’ll hope to have something else to do. My point is simple: it’s because of our most hated deadlines that holiday and procrastination can feel so fun. Even better, dear readers, procrastination leads to world peace. Yes, it does! Imagine if all terrorists in this world keep procrastinating from their plans to kill a million people. Nobody would die. It’s because of careful planning that people die, not procrastination. Of course, I might be wrong, but Satan paid me to talk this shit.

Busy vs. Productive There’s a big difference between being ‘busy’ and being ‘productive’. Being busy means you’re doing stuffs, but being productive is about getting stuffs done. You can be busy watching porn all day. You can be busy testing your keyboard for drool resistance. But are you productive? No. Being busy isn’t enough to finish your assignments. It’s better to be productive in the last couple of hours before the deadline, rather than to be busy for two weeks without doing anything. It’s more efficient and, more importantly, it reduces stress. Stress, Stress, Stress Watch out! Stress isn’t good for your body. Rather than feeling stressed about your upcoming deadlines, why don’t you just take a rest and enjoy your procrastination? After all, everything will be finished one night before the deadline. Want to start your thesis? You can do it after sleeping. Want to be a CEO? You can do it after molesting your secretary. You can procrastinate as much as you want, and then, in the last minutes before the deadline, you just need to think, ‘Oh, shit!’ to gain the needed drive to finish everything on-time. And believe me, dear readers, it works! Alternatively, you can also plan every stage of doing your assignments, work on them bit by bit each day, get stressed out and commit suicide at the end. But that’s beside the point. These two methods end up just the same – finishing your assignment – but the first one ensures better happiness. Of course, there’s a chance you’ll end up not doing anything at all, but hey, at least you won’t feel stressed. You can still be absent the next day and blackmail your doctor to write you a medical certificate. For the last piece of advice, dear readers please don’t get freaked out even if you can’t finish your assignments on-time. Even in the most desperate situation, you can still go to your tutors with a bomb strapped on your back. You might die, but at least you’ll be freed from deadlines. And if you’re lucky, you might even appear on The West Australian. Hooray for instant fame!

Words by Mr Insult

25


A journey from the world’s most mountainous country to the flattest

continent in the world was both exhilarating and debilitating. It was obviously exciting because I was making a journey from one of the least developed countries in the world to one of the most. There were huge expectations that Australia would offer me. I pictured myself studying all the time; finishing my studies, going back to do what I was doing – writing for a weekly newspaper – and offer better service to the people of my country. Before I left Bhutan, I pictured a lot of fairytale stories involving money trees and the carefree lives people in Australia lived. I visualised that language wouldn’t be a problem here because I have been studying English since I was six. With the excitement and thrill I had about moving to a new country, there was anxiety that I would be experiencing change from familiar locations, signs, customs, cues, norms, symbols and day-to-day activities. I feared about how well I would be able to fit into the new culture, a new society. A society where dressing scantily is part of the culture, whereas I come from a country where a formal dress code is still strictly followed, where the cold climate dictates that people cover every part of their body. Most of my fears turned out to be true. The education system was totally different. Although most of the lecturers tried to have a neutral accent to help multiregional students understand, I still had problems understanding. Back home, education could be defined as a system that selectively discards talented students with inquisitiveness and the ability to ask questions. The system still follows the old way of the teachers talking, and no participation from the students. Students are still encouraged to mug-up the theory and write what’s there in the textbooks, even if it is wrong. Instead the lecturers here initiate interesting questions that keep students attentive, and create a learning environment that encourages students to observe themselves and gain self-knowledge. Initially it was difficult to switch from the traditional system, which was rooted in me for the last 24 years, to the new. It has been a year and I have partly adapted to the system here. I have had my dose of homesickness, isolation from my support network, being away from my family and friends. Now I am having a great time here and living a style of life that I couldn’t hope for in Bhutan.

I have found Australia as a land of opportunity, where if you work hard you are well rewarded and people respect the dignity of labour which is almost non existent in South Asia. This is my experience. A chillip (Caucasian) friend of mine once told me that Australia is not for everyone, some regret coming here, some get home sick and cannot concentrate on their studies. But the main thing to remember is that if you have the opportunity and do not try, then you could live the rest of your life wondering ‘what if’. He said if you come here and find the lifestyle is not for you it doesn’t mean you have failed. It could mean Australia has failed you. It simply means it is not your style of life – nothing to be ashamed of. I am taking his advice seriously. I dress the way I feel comfortable, I cook my food, I eat rice, I walk the same way I did back in my country. People often asked me where I am from, was I learning English, and was I on working holiday visa. I tell them I am a post graduate student and I am from Bhutan. Bhutan? Is there a country called Bhutan? Where is it? And I have to explain in length, which of course I love doing. Bhutan, a remote Buddhist kingdom, is sandwiched between Asian giants, China and India. This tiny country has a population of about 700,000 people, and is very careful in protecting its hidden existence. Tourists were first allowed in the country in the mid 1970s. Today, a tourist visa costs US$250 a day, and the country practises a “low volume, high quality” tourism policy to protect its pristine environment from degrading. Bhutan is also very selective about westernisation. Television and internet came only in 1999. TV brought some unrestrained western culture in Bhutan and encouraged the youth to imitate western culture. I learned about Australia through internet and TV. The cable operator provided a channel – AXN TV – which was supposedly an Australian station, but I have never seen it in Australia. Through this channel I learned that Australia was a land of kangaroos and crocodiles. During my visitation to some of the parks in Perth, I have seen the unique animal, the kangaroo, but I am yet to see the basking of crocodiles. Words by Rabi C. Dahal

26


MIND POWER

This is the story of the rise of an idea that has come to dominate our society, the idea that the satisfaction of individual feelings and desires is our highest priority. Every time I get dressed to go to university, I look through my closet to find a combination of jeans, shirts and shoes that make me feel comfortable and good about myself; an image that helps me be myself in a crowd of many others.

Early in the 20th century Sigmund Freud claims that he discovered primitive sexual and aggressive forces hidden deep within the minds of all human beings, forces that, if not controlled, lead individuals and societies to destruction. Freud has devised a method he called ‘psychoanalysis’. By analysing dreams and free association, he claims to have unearthed these powerful forces which are the remnants of our animal past, feelings that we repress because they are too dangerous. When World War 1 broke out in 1914, mounting tales of horror and death began to spread. These were seen by Freud as evidence of the horrible truth of his theories. He wrote at the time ‘The saddest thing is that this is exactly how we should have expected humans to behave from our knowledge of psychoanalysis.’ Governments had released the primitive forces in human beings a no one was sure how to stop them. Edward Bernays was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, who immigrated to America with his parents. As America entered the First World War, Bernays was employed by the government to promote the war effort. When the war ended in 1918, he was invited to accompany President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference, where he saw Wilson receive a hero’s welcome. He began to wonder if the same kind of mass persuasion was possible in peace time. The word ‘propaganda’ had gotten a bad name because of the Nazis, so Bernays coined the term ‘public relations’ and set up a consulting firm in New York. With this he hoped to form a bridge between America’s corporations, himself, and his uncle’s theories. Bernays’s first customer was a tobacco company who complained that they were losing half of their market because there was a taboo against women smoking. Bernays consulted a psychoanalyst who told him that the cigarette was a symbolism of the penis and of male power. So cigarettes began to be marketed in a way that implied that women who smoked were more powerful and independent. It’s not that they became more powerful or independent, but it made them feel that way.

27

Bernays began to foster and promote the idea that people could be persuaded to behave irrationally by linking products to people’s emotional desires and feelings. Irrelevant objects could become powerful, emotional symbols of how you wanted to be seen by others. The old notion of buying something because you need it was replaced with an unspoken sentiment that you will feel better if you buy it. I went to a vintage market a few weeks ago to hopefully find something great. I really liked coming across that one awesome dinner jacket that paints the image it once belonged to an old professor who smoked a pipe while flipping through the tattered pages of his original copy of Dante’s Inferno. Or that one pair of Italian snake skin shoes that you can’t believe fit your clown feet. I like knowing that I’ll almost never come across or see anyone else wearing these little treasures, they’re unique. Just after his election, President Hoover told a group of corporate ‘Ad Men’ that “You have taken over the job of creating desire and have transformed people into constantly moving “Happiness Machines” that have become the key to economic success.” Meanwhile, after Bernays had Freud’s works published in America, he asked his uncle to write an article for the magazine Cosmo, entitled A Woman’s Mental Place In The Home’. Freud was disgusted and wanted nothing to do with it. Freud was becoming more and more pessimistic towards human nature while witnessing events taking place in Germany. He was becoming convinced that human’s irrational forces were easily triggered when in groups and that these unconscious forces were even more dangerous than he had previously thought. He commented that Man was an impossible creature, the most ferocious animal ever created, who was fundamentally sadistic and who enjoyed the torture of his fellow Man.


His latest book, claimed that civilisation had been constructed to control the dangerous animal forces inside all of us and that the idea of individual freedom, at the heart of democracy, was impossible. Human beings could never be allowed to fully express themselves because it was simply too dangerous. Humans must always be controlled; therefore they will always be discontent.

What Bernays believed was that the interests of business and the interests of democracy were indivisible but explaining this rationally to the people was impossible because they were irrational. Instead one had to touch on their inner fears and manipulate them for a higher truth. This he called ‘the engineering of consent’. But soon enough someone came along to challenge these established notions of human nature.

The Second World War had shown governments what could happen if human’s irrational forces were unleashed. Widespread atrocities and the horrors that took place in concentration camps across Europe were evidence enough for the need to repress the savage barbarism that lay hidden in all of us.

His name was Wilhelm Reich, a psychoanalyst who had studied under Freud and later came to oppose him. Reich believed that the unconscious forces inside the human mind were fundamentally good, it was in fact repression by society that distorted them and that made people dangerous.

Ernest Dichter was a psychoanalyst who had worked with Freud and had now moved into big business. He said that Americans were fundamentally irrational and could not be trusted; that their real reasons for purchasing products lay in unconscious desires and feelings associated with sex, social status and recognition. So he set out to find what he called ‘The Secret Self of The Consumer’.

He said that the main underlying force that had been suppressed was the libido, and if released, human beings would flourish. It didn’t turn out well for Wilhelm, he was forced out of the industry by the Freud family, lost everything, went mad and was imprisoned where he died a year later. To top it off all his works were burned by order of the courts.

How he found this Holy Grail and what he gave birth to was, The Focus Group. What he thought was that this is far more than just selling: Products could be used to strengthen the personality and these same products had the power to both satisfy one’s inner desires and give people a feeling of commonality with those around them. This, he said, was the strategy to create a stable society, ‘The Strategy of Desire’.

The 60s came and went with the brief belief that we could all change and that we were individuals, but such protests came up against the hard hand of the American State. Out of the 60s came a new consumer, one that didn’t want to live their lives within the parameters of mainstream society, a consumer that said ‘I just want to be me’.

Sometimes it can feel a little embarrassing, or maybe a better way of saying it is I feel left behind, since I don’t have an iphone or a laptop. When I tell people that I don’t own a car, I’m met with a few raised eyebrows and blunt comments like ‘why?’ Forget trying to get a date, what girl wants to go out to dinner with a guy, in his mid-twenties, whom she has to pick up from his place? That, my friends, is pure sex appeal. When I go out to a bar with my friends it’s hard not wearing something kind of fashionable at the time. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of fashion trends out there. I’m not saying that I feel like I have to stop into Live each week and browse through whatever crap they’re flogging at the time, I just feel the undertones of a shifting fashion and accessory competition sometime. It’s not just in bars, it’s at Uni, in the streets of Mount Lawley, at the gym and everywhere in between, except perhaps Mandurah.

This unique consumer was quickly labeled by big business as the ‘Expressionistic Individual,’ and it didn’t take the Standford Research Institute very long to find a way of measuring these new individuals. This soon gave birth to ‘life style’ marketing. Soon enough those who were once rebellious towards capitalism, now embraced it because it helped them express their individuality, to help them be themselves. I don’t like these notions of suppression and engineered consent but I love this lifestyle and all the wonderful goods and services just waiting to be purchased in order to make me happy, satisfied, content, stable, even if it’s only for a day. I am a walking talking Happiness Machine.

Words by Jordan Davenport.

28


Arts

Analisa Bell is a WAAPA graduate who is now enjoying a thriving and fulfilling career as a cabaret artist on the Perth art scene. She is a regular performer at the Maj and has been known to play lead and ensemble roles in ‘The World Goes Round’, ‘Putting It Together’, ‘Bad girls’ and so on. She received the award for best actress in 2007 for her performance in ‘The Vagina Monologues’. This “…bubbly, wide-eyed performer…”, as described as The West Australian, took some time out to talk to GSM about her life and her hobby: singing and performing.

AB: It just comes to me. It’s just whatever is on my mind or

GSM: Analisa, how would you introduce yourself to our readers?

AB: The thought came to me a few years ago when I heard one of her

AB: I would describe myself as a cabaret artist/slash performer. I mainly perform music theatre and I have been performing downstairs at the Maj for five years now. I love performing. It’s what I live for!

GSM: What made you choose the performing arts as a career? AB: I did not think there was anything else for me. I did not see

myself doing anything else. It started in primary school when I was around 12 years old. I always loved singing but I was really shy. Then, there was an audition at school that I did. I got the lead role and it helped me shed my inhibitions about performing.

GSM: From WAAPA to live stage, tell us about your journey AB: I graduated with a Certificate of Music Theatre in 2000. I worked for radio for a couple of years, but it is very different from what I do now. I wanted to be on stage. It gives me the chance to be closer to my audience. I got into a couple of shows and lived in Vancouver for while. Then, I came back and did Cabaret for about 5 years. In fact, I am going to New York soon to perform in the International Cabaret Conference, which is going to be held at Yale University.

GSM: Canada… That is interesting! Why Canada? AB: Well, let’s just say I had itchy feet and wanted to travel, so I

came across this 3-month intensive acting course. I enjoyed that a lot even though it concentrated on film acting. It was a good experience but I knew I preferred the stage more. I worked in a music store over there and also sang old time music hall songs in a historical theme park.

whatever is happening around me. I am a chubby girl (laughs) so one of my cabaret performances titled ‘The Fat Lady Sings’ just talks about my experiences as a girl. It is difficult for me to say where the inspiration comes from.

GSM: Your upcoming cabaret performance is about Billie Holiday. Any special reasons for that?

songs. I spent my whole life thinking she was a man until I heard her song in a café. I loved her music and the way she sang. So, I decided to find out more about her and I wanted to do a tribute to her songs.

GSM: Okay. Pop music today seems to have a lot of influence on today’s youngsters. How do you feel about that?

AB: I don’t really know (laughs). I do not really listen to pop music. It’s not my type of music. I much prefer classical music.

GSM: Who are your favourite artists and why? AB: I am really inspired by artists such as cabaret performer Meow Meow and music theatre star Caroline O’Connor. They both have an incredible energy about them and it shines on stage.

GSM: Where do you think your career is going to go? Any plans for the future?

AB: I aim to be one of Australia’s top cabaret performers, but

would very much like to try my luck overseas too. I’m going to spend some time in NYC next year after attending the International Cabaret Conference at Yale, and then perhaps head to Europe to research cabaret in London, Berlin and Paris. After which I may come back to Oz and settle in Melbourne to forge my career there.

GSM: Finally, what message would you give to all the WAAPA students who are studying the performing arts and are contemplating a career in that field?

AB: Don’t give up (laughs). Keep trying and don’t give up.

GSM: Your cabaret performances are very interesting. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

29

Words by Divya Jankee


Arts

A Glimpse of Art

Wrong Angles

Strange Fruit

The WA Indigenous Art Awards

Alex Spremberg

Analisa Bell

The Shadow Quartet sculptures exhibited in one of the halls of the WA Art Gallery would (if they could) be amazed at the outpour of people around them on this 12th August 2011. A tiny stage, illuminated by ceiling lights and two colour changing light columns at each end, gave the feeling of a cosy and casual atmosphere on this Awards Night.

3/5

4/5

‘Wrong Angles’, I would say, lives up to its name. The exhibition space is filled up with seven themed series titled ‘Orthogonal Dawn’, ‘Empty End’, ‘Geometry of Groceries’, ‘Chrome Flow’, ‘Oblique Objects’, ‘Conference’ and ‘Thrills and Spills’. The artist uses cardboard in most of his works. Cardboards of all shapes and sizes that are stacked on top of each other, stuck on a wall, distorted into all kinds of shapes with actual ‘wrong angles’. Creativity has no limit and I would say that Spremberg did not hold back on it with his creativity on cardboard.

The performance begins with a static voice of an old recording, which tells us a brief about Billie Holiday, also known as ‘Lady Day’, a famous American jazz singer and songwriter at the beginning of the twentieth century. And after the recording stops, Analisa Bell steps onto the stage, singing ‘What a Li’l Moonlight can do’, one of Lady Day’s early songs. Assisted by three talented musicians Tim Cunniffe (piano), Daniel Connor (saxophone) and Manoli Vouyoucalos (double bass), this WAAPA graduate will make you dance with her beautiful voice and perfect articulation.

There is nothing that made me go ‘wow’ about it but he does have a pretty interesting technique of painting. Using enamel pain on all the cardboard boxes and meshing different shades of greens, reds, blues and yellows together is nice to look at. Another interesting thing that he did was to stick 76 rectangular and square cardboard boxes of all sizes on a wall and paint it in black and white stripes. The overall effect is slightly overwhelming. He uses stripes on most of his works except for ‘Thrills and Spills’ where he uses enamel paint on photographs in different hues to make it appear like it is actually part of the photographs.

As a tribute to Lady Day, Bell brings us sixteen of the famous jazz singer’s most favourite songs. Following ‘What a Li’l Moonlight can do’ are ‘God Bless the Child’, ‘The Very Thought of You, ‘Miss Brown to You’ and other beautiful songs by Lady Day. I had a hard time choosing my favourite, but I’d go with ‘Them There Eyes’: a song that I think is the most cheerful of all and involves a very thoughtful combination of the three instruments. You can tell there are a lot of practises being involved here. The use of the on-stage lightings really supports the mood of each song – blue or pink lighting for slow songs and orange lighting for more cheerful ones. And Bell even wears a gardenia flower on her head: Lady Day’s trademark back in her performance days. That tells just how much she’s done her research.

Dressed in a shiny bright suit, Dr Stefano Carboni, Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, gave a welcome speech to open the ceremonies, which was followed by an address and a song by Dr Richard Walley OAM, setting the tone for the night. The award winners, Jan Billycan and Gunybi Ganambarr, received $10,000 and $50,000 respectively, and that too, from the WA Minister for Arts and culture himself. Ganambarr came to accept his award singing an Aboriginal song accompanied by a didgeridoo. The crowd went insane. Very original! After the short ceremony, I went upstairs to see what exactly Aboriginal Art was. What I found baffled me: an intricate myriad of dancing colours and poignant symbolism in every nominated artist’s paintings. Ranging from abstract to postmodern passing through traditional art techniques, these paintings are a delight for the eyes and could be subject to numerous interpretations. Winding through the exhibited paintings, I came across the winner, Gunybi Ganambarr’s art work. Painted patterns designed in an exquisitely complex sequence in the shapes of decorative objects that hide an enormous amount of symbolism: beautiful but difficult to describe. You are bound to be smitten by at least some of the art work in this whole exhibition and I would definitely recommend it if you happen to be in Northbridge some time when the gallery is open. Go and experience the wondrous culture and talent of Australia’s traditions and beliefs. The exhibition is open until the 19th of December.

‘Chrome Flow’, ‘Oblique Objects’ and ‘Conference’ are all displayed on the floor and walking in the middle of all these small, colourful cardboard monuments made me feel a bit like Gulliver in Lilliput. ‘Empty End’ was just a series of displayed boxes which were unpainted and plain but it serves as a comparison of what the cardboard boxes looked like before being handled by the artist. The most intriguing one was ‘Geometry of Groceries’ where you can see boxes of Strepsils, biscuits, Mortein and so forth that have been reshaped in weird ways, using weird angles. All in all, there is nothing outstanding about this exhibition but it is innovative and creative enough for you to spare some time to view it if you are in the neighbourhood. It is on till the 30th of October at PICA.

Divya Jankee

Divya Jankee

Another notable song is ‘Strange Fruit’, which was originally written by Abel Meeropol but famously performed by Lady Day. This song really gives me a chill. Even as Bell sings it, her face changes into a mask of disgust, as if the thought of singing it is like eating a rotten egg. And indeed, that’s just what the song tells us: it’s a condemnation of the racism in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. No doubt, it’s one of Lady Day’s strongest songs of all time. Overall, it’s a really awesome tribute to Lady Day. There are two instances when Bell actually ‘forgot’ her lines, but she admitted it openly and made a gag out of it. A bonus point for her honesty and sense of humour. Aldy Hendradjaja

30


Books

Gamble Felix Francis

4/5

Gamble begins with a BANG and Herb Kovak died. And now it’s up to Nicholas ‘Foxy’ Foxton, our main character, to solve the crime before he too loses his life. Gamble is Felix Francis’ first book as an independent author. Previously, he has assisted his father, Dick Francis, writing four novels before the legendary crime novelist passed away on February last year. Felix, however, isn’t discouraged by his father’s death and goes on to write this novel. True to the title of his book, Felix takes a gamble by writing this novel. The sudden opening leaves many questions unanswered for the readers, which results in too many flashbacks in the first few chapters. But this changes as the story develops. Actions begin to dominate the story, and instead of being a confused financial adviser he was at the beginning, Foxton has become a paranoid with a pure determination to solve this crime. This book is full of actions and twists that’ll tickle your curiousity, yet it also has many side-stories that make the characters more believable. I must admit, though, the ending isn’t exactly satisfying. Foxton’s certainty for the identity of the murderer makes it obvious that he’s gonna make a mistake – and he does. I prefer a more twisted ending where, after the culprit was revealed, I could say, ‘Whoa, I never suspected of him/her at all.’ Still, this is an excellent debut novel for Felix Francis. Very recommended if you’re a fan to Dick Francis’ novels. Aldy Hendradjaja

31

Homemade- Simply Delicious Food Anna Gare 2.5/5

Prodigal father, pagan son. Anthony ‘LT’ Menginie & Kerrie Broban 3.5/5

Anna Gar appears to have written this book because she loves food and the way that food brings her family and friends together, whether it’s while cooking or while eating. Although this isn’t the way food exists in my life (when I cook, I cook alone), I think the idea is not only intriguing but also a good reason to cook. She also encourages the reader to change the recipes to suit what they enjoy in their food. I took this to heart and experimented.

I’m not going to lie to you, Prodigal father, pagan son isn’t an easy book to read. This isn’t because of the writing, but because of the content. The writing pleasantly surprised me, there are some unique metaphors used that put you in the scene.

I found that cooking many of these recipes required a lot more effort than what I normally put in when cooking and an example of this is the Sausage Meatballs. Although this recipe was reasonably good, it took me a good hour just to cook the meal and I believe that a bottle of spaghetti sauce tastes just as nice. Another example of a recipe that shat me off was the Egg and Bacon Pies. This was a fiddly recipe that took over an hour. Frustratingly she chose to describe it as a “the best hangover cure”, but how can a recipe that requires concentration for such a long time be a hangover cure? After complaining, I need to note that there were some good recipes, my favourite being the white sangria. Overall, I would say that this cookbook would not be suitable for uni students who don’t have time or money to spend on food as I had to spend more money and time making these recipes than I had allocated. For those who love to be creative with food though would love this book. Jasmine Reilly

The problem I found, like most non-fiction, is that the stories of events are strung together in an aim to make the most important stories be known. This makes the passing of time confusing. It appears that Anthony ‘LT’ Menginie was not afraid to share his horrible secrets. His stories explore the use of alcohol, drugs, murder and belonging. A child was bought up in the world of gangs. I think the best thing about this book is that it doesn’t try to lie to you about the bikers. When he starts to tell you about an honourable biker, you begin to think that you can relate. But then the same biker beats another biker all night and you are taken back to the truth. The story makes you think about the circle of life; what opportunities that you may obtain in life depend a lot upon your parents. Although Mengine claims that he would be fucked up no matter how he was bought up, I think that if you are bought up by a drug addicted lady who goes from man to man who aren’t afraid to hit a lady or child, what hope do you have of living a life outside of bikers, crime, drugs and sex? This book was hauntingly amazing. 3.5/5 Jasmine Reilly


Books

The Reinvention of Love Helen Humphreys 2.5/5

The Time of My Life Cecelia Ahern 4/5

The Waterboys Peter Docker

This story is set in Paris. It starts in the 1830’s and finishes around the 1860’s. It is set during Napoleon III’s reign in France. The story follows the lives of Charles, Victor and his wife Adele. Charles Sainte – Beuve criticises literary works and falls in love with Adele. Victor Hugo is a poet and dramatist, famous throughout France for his works. These characters are real and the story has been gleaned from old private letters.

The book description read ‘Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life- and she’s going to have to keep it.’ Lucy is a woman trapped in a monotonous routine she has become comfortable in. She is not the happiest person though- she lies to her friends about stuff because she feels embarrassed and she is single, stuck in a job she does not particularly like and hates her family. Well, as it turns out, Life comes around. Literally!

This is a book that is really hard to explain. If you’re in the mood to kick back on a Sunday afternoon and have an escapist read, you’ll probably hate it. However, if you’re after stimulation and a thought provoking read, then this book could be for you.

The story follows the lives and secrets of Adele and Charles in particular. It is written from the point of view of Charles but later switches between himself and Adele. Charles questions everything to do with love whilst Adele is over verbal interactions and wants the physical touch of a lover. The language of this novel is very flowery and description. Everything flows naturally and beautifully. However the constant direction of Charles thoughts can get muddled up. He blames love with messing with the chronological order of his story. After all, this story is from his heart. Everyone in the story has a secret. Some more obvious than others, but they are spelled out for the reader. There is one secret that is never divulged to reader. It is just hinted at. And it is this hint of just one more secret that pulls the reader through to the end. It is a wonderful story. This novel is heartfelt, sad, gorgeous and an exploration of the hearts emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and recommend it for those curious about true love and the romanticists. Alysha Edwards

As unnerving as that is, she meets her life. He is a person and his physical and emotional states always depend on what Lucy is doing. Lucy is messed up but she is also lovable for that because anyone can identify with at least one aspect of her life. She is in constant denial about her life but when confronted with it, she has no choice but to try to make it better. She is also slightly self-delusional. The writing is in first person, which is good because we get a succinct image of what is going on with Lucy. There are quite detailed descriptions of situations and settings, which I think is essential for the novel. I have very little to pick on from this novel. It gives an intriguing angle- that of coming face to face with your life and realising that it’s very miserable. It forces you to think about your own life, what you have to do and what you want to do. We are all fearful of change but occasionally, we have to go through that to make our lives better. Easier said than done but hey, there’s always hope! Divya Jankee

4/5

The story weaves between a future civil war, when scarce West Australian water supplies are under the control of an Eastern States corporation, and the past, to an historic reinvention of the violent arrival of European settlers in the Noongar Boodjar (Swan River) region. In a culture where black vs white and East vs West, the story follows Conway’s escapades evading the Water Board soldiers, and his dreams of a life lived in the past alongside Captain Charles Fremantle. The Waterboys is both entertaining, and for whitefullas with little knowledge of indigenous culture, educational, as it comes complete with a glossary of aboriginal words, and a map of indigenous lands dated the year 1832. Docker writes in a succinct, beautifully crafted style that describes place so visually that even someone unfamiliar with the outback environment could imagine themselves there. He shares his knowledge of indigenous culture in a whitefulla perspective that feels inclusive, almost like an invitation to join a movement that inspires reconciliation. It challenges the reader to consider the past in relationship to the present, and what it predicts for our future. Dianne Zanetti

32


Books

Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck Author: Michelle Gillespie Illustrated by: Sonia Martinez 2.5/5 Michelle Gillespie’s Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck is a classic Ripping Yarn children’s book, the true tale of an admirable, unselfish act of public virtue which earned the dashing hero and heroine each a handsome reward. In this era of fragmenting societies and cultures it is a valuable tool for children to learn key cultural ideas fundamental to the Australian way of life; to generously assist anyone in need and treat thy neighbour as thyself. A real adventure book, the illustrations are exciting and full of movement, and the book demonstrates how powerful and productive a sympathetic relationship between man and beast can be. Two dashing horses that also star in the story are beautifully illustrated. However, this is a teaching tool and many important, key factors are left unspoken. The true context of the hero is absent; what is the name of his tribe? Where is his traditional land? Even his name - Sam Isaacs - thoroughly European, gives the reader no clue. There are no images of how his people lived in humpies made of sticks and bark, yet the life of the heroine is richly described and illustrated. Tragically the story does not explain a grant of 100 acres of freehold land to an Aboriginal, by the whites who had colonised his land, was a phenomenal exception to the policies of exclusion implacably hindering his race? Hopefully this important information will be available at the month-long exhibition at the State Library of Western Australia, beginning 13 October, 2011.

Alice Judith Hermann

Beth’s Diary Melissa Vann

3.5/5

This book is all about loss. We discover facets of the protagonist, Alice, in five different short stories. All of them deal with loss to some degree. Loss of people in her life and the changes that come with it! The writing is concise and to the point. In fact, the style of writing reminded me of Camus’s style of writing from one of his books ‘The Stranger’. That existentialist way of describing what is going on in the protagonist’s mind and around her in her ordinary, mundane life works in the favour of this book. It sort of makes loss an ordinary fact. There are barely any background details or stories about the people who have died. We do not know how exactly the protagonist knows them or what her relationship with them was like. Feelings do not seem a concern of the author. There seems to be no consistency in what the protagonist does. She jumps from one thing to the other, from one thought to the other. It was a bit unnerving at times because it did not all make sense to me but I guess that is what humans do- they move from one thing to the other. The most significant loss for Alice happens in the last chapter, where we learn she has lost her husband. It is only in this chapter that we get slightly more depth into Alice’s feelings and how she is trying to cope with the loss. This book is for you to interpret it as you like and I would recommend it only if you like existentialist literature or do not mind reading about things like loss and death. Divya Jankee

4/5

Melissa Vann is a Masters student at ECU who recently wrote and published a children’s story. The surprise arrival of a tatty old red book lets the story’s main character Beth McMorris, escape her dull life In an interesting presentation the subjects are presented in a classroom environment and in a parallel universe style. Melissa’s character begins to write in the still of the night. Her story comes to life, transporting Beth and her best friend to the most amazing places and with an escape from a nasty girl gang of school bullies. Though the main characters are girls, this is a book for both girls and boys, who will thoroughly enjoy this story with a twist; are these places and characters real, or is it all a dream? In particular the book deals with themes of how to cope with school yard bullying, recycling, caring for the environment and helping save animals from extinction. It is a great teaching tool touching on many of this era’s hot topics, and Melissa’s book is now being read during some primary classes. The book provides learning environments. Greenatopia is the home of environmentally friendly fairies and elves and some naughty pixies who refuse to give up riding their polluting motorbikes. This land teaches about the complexities of multiculturalism and mixed cultural environments.  To enhance the story the book is about to have a second, illustrated print run. This book is entertaining enough to engage and amuse the parent who reads to their child.  Susanne Harford 

33


Games

There have been few games that challenge our philosophical ideas, our opinions on what is moral and what is logical. You can really tell that the development team at Eidos Montreal have put in the hard effort to deliver a truly captivating gaming experience. The long awaited prequel to one of many gamer’s favourites is here, and it is a worthy successor. We take a trip into the past of the original Deus Ex to look into the advances in human/technology integration, transhumanism, and how society reacts to and debates about what it is that fundamentally makes us human. You take up the role of Adam Jensen, a security specialist working for Sarif Industries, a world leader in the development of human augmentation. After an attack on the company leads to Jensen being mechanically augmented against his will, he seeks to find out who was behind the attacks. Soon, however, he realises the events occurring around him are much bigger than himself, and he will have to choose what side he is on. The storyline of DE: HR is very intricate, the side missions often being necessary if you wish to uncover the truth for yourself. The characters play off each other well as the game progresses; you can really feel immersed in the development between Jensen and his colleagues. On to the gameplay. What amazes me is how this game delivers its non-linearity in the multiple paths you can take. Whether you are the run-and-gun type or enjoy infiltrating an enemy compound without alerting anyone, there is something here for everyone. Cover is used extensively in this game, and you can die easily if you do not effectively utilise it. Your health regenerates automatically when not in the firing line, but don’t think for a second that will make it easy. The other intriguing side to it is how you can choose to be lethal (Rifles, revolvers and explosives) or non-lethal (Stun, tranquilise, knock-out). This can pose a moral dilemma to the player, while I am more powerful than the average human with my augments, would I misuse that power to get ahead quicker or do I restrain myself? Unfortunately boss battles do not follow this way of thinking and you have to kill them, but it’s okay, because they were evil from the start...or is it okay? If you truly wanted to go down the moralistic path of nonlethal take-downs, wouldn’t you be able to do what Batman does and not kill even the most lethal and evil opponents? That is potentially a

missed opportunity there by the developers for creating a truly unique experience. As the player advances they gain experience points, which unlock praxis kits. These kits allow you to unlock new augments including computer hacking, sensory upgrades, stronger arms enabling you to carry more items, improved legs allowing you to jump great heights, better armour and a cloaking stealth system. Hacking is a fun mini game that you will find yourself doing quite a bit of, so it is best to get those augments for it quickly. To hack a computer or system, you have to attack directories until you capture your objective. Be wary though as you can get detected, and the system will try to find you. Hacking is a well thought out part of the overall experience of the game, and can really benefit when you take over files that give you experience points to use for unlocking more augmentations. The soundtrack backing up this game is astounding and really helps set the stage. As the gameplay intensifies so too does the music, reacting to the state of play. Say you were infiltrating a building and a guard recognises you, he will alert his buddies that you are around. As the bullets fly the music fuels your adrenaline, giving you an intense rush until the end of the confrontation. Even when you aren’t in direct conflict the music can really work with the setting. One track I felt really captured the essence of what the location was all about. You walk into a facility called a limb clinic, which is much like a hospital for augments. The music is eerie in the sense that people would come to this clinic to have their perfectly healthy body butchered, replacing once working parts with mechanical augmentations, simply because they are ‘better’. I felt the track struck the right cords. Overall I find this game to be all it had promised back when the developers first announced it. Grabbing it as a pre-order off of steam for 60 dollars was money worth spent and had I known it was this good, I would have paid more. And now I will enjoy being able to wear cool looking sunglasses at night, because my vision is augmented. Words by Christopher Gibson

34


Film

Cave of Forgotten Dreams Director: Werner Herzog 4/5 Stars: Werner Herzog, Baffier and Jean Clottes

Dominique

Director and art theatre maestro Werner Herzog made a spontaneous decision when creating Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Although believing 3D “is not suitable for general use in cinema” he thought 3D would allow his team to “capture the intentions of the painters” at Chauvet Cave, France. Disorientation occurs early on as the director takes the audience on an exacting walk near Pont d’Arc, a magnificent natural archway straddling the Ardeche River. This leads to a descent on a passageway unknown to the outside world until 20 years ago. Hertzog informs the audience they will soon accompany cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger and the rest of his small team as they descend deep within the earth to an isolated cave forgotten by man for over 25,000 years. Herzog only had authority to use three hand-held flat cold light panels to provide all luminescence, to protect the pristine environment. Yet his team manages this restriction superbly, achieving echoes of Plato’s Cave , as the theatre-goer experiences an outstanding array of hundreds of prehistoric cave-paintings - in 3D – in flickering, wavering light. Herzog describes experiencing the images flickering and wavering in 3D as similar to the way the prehistoric artists would have viewed their animal creations. Throughout the documentary different experts speculate about the use of the cave and how the images are part of deep, shamanist experiences of ancient man. While the soundtrack is heavy and inappropriate, with substantial, unpleasant background noise this is a valuable documentary experience worth viewing.

35

Susanne Harford

Friends with Benefits Director: Will Gluck 3/5 Stars: Mila Kunis, Timberlake and Patricia Clarkson

Justin

The Eye of the Storm Director: Fred Schepisi 4/5 Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Rampling and Judy Davis

Charlotte

Friends with Benefits is a romantic comedy directed by Will Gluck and stars the drop dead gorgeous Mila Kunis and renowned singer Justin Timberlake. The term friends with benefits refers to a sexual relationship without emotional attachment, the film examines this concept of having sex with ones friend otherwise known as the term ‘fuck buddies’. Is there such a thing as no strings attached sexual intercourse?

Set in 1970s Sydney, The Eye of the Storm is about a dying rich matriarch, Elizabeth Hunter (Charlotte Rampling) who, despite her deteriorating health, still holds power over the people around her. Accompanied by two nurses and a housekeeper, Elizabeth still tries to maintain her looks when her children, Dorothy (Judy Davis) and Basil (Geoffrey Rush), fly in to say their final goodbyes.

Mila Kunis plays Jamie a leading hundhunter from New York City whilst Timberlake plays Dylan an Art director from Los Angeles. Whilst recruiting Timberlake for the role of Art director for GQ magazine, Kunis brings Timberlake over to New York for an interview, she shows him the highlights of the city. An honest and laidback friendship emerges they begin to debate and discuss the need for physical intimacy without expectations. They shake hands and venture to the bedroom to enjoy a mutually agreed upon no commitments sexual relationship.

Filled with tales of manipulations and deceptions, The Eye of the Storm depicts a malfunctioned familial relationship. The nonlinear plot goes back on forth between the present and the past in flashbacks, revealing the root of Dorothy’s resentment towards her mother. The film also touches a subject on social differences seen in the relationship Basil developed with the day nurse along the way.

However, it is not without its own complications. The film also features Timberlake’s sister played by Jenna Elfman and his father by Richard Jenkins. Patricia Clarkson does a hilarious job playing Kunis’s mother. Highlights include a moving performance from Jenkins, seeing Kunis and Timberlake half naked for most of the film and the constant homoerotic crudeness as employed by Timberlake’s sports editor colleague played by Woody Harrelson. Timberlake and Kunis both play convincing characters and apart from being a great session of eye candy for both sexes, the film is rather enjoyable and definitely has its moments. Giselle Natassia

Don’t expect a fast paced film with dramatic plot from this film. After the screening I had the pleasant chance to have a chat over it with a lady at the bus stop. She didn’t enjoy the film because it doesn’t flow and everything seemed dragged. I personally think that it is not a film to be enjoyed, rather a film to be reflected upon. The Eye of the Storm is most definitely not a film to watch if you’re looking for enjoyment. It left me dazed and replaying certain scenes that mirror the flashback scenes, creating a loop in my head. It is a rather heavy film but the subtle humour will keep you going. Definitely worth the watch. Dina Waluyo


Film

Zookeeper Director: Frank Coraci 3/5 Stars: Kevin James, Dawson and Leslie Bibb

Rosario

The zookeeper is a family comedy that is worth taking your kids or younger brothers and sisters to if you need a way to keep them entertained for a few hours. It stars Kevin James and is your typical story of a funny, nice guy who’s a head zookeepers with relationship problems. In order to help Griffin get the girl of his dreams the animals decide to break their vow of silence to coach him in the art of game, which turns out to be surprisingly accurate considering the advice is being delivered buy bears and gorillas. Its got some funny moments and some jokes for the adults as well as keeping the kids entertained, judging by the two who were sitting behind me repeating every sentence they though was remotely funny. As with most children’s story’s the plots fairly predictable and i found myself getting a little bit bored with it towards the end. But overall its a good family movie that’s aiming to be the next Dr Dolittle. Although this movie had a lot of potential to be great, I do feel there was something missing and maybe they were trying just a little to hard to supply you laughs and interesting quirks. Overall it dose have some interesting moments, the happy ending and is teaching kids that golden lesson be yourself and you should never change to make other people like you. Rebecca Hoare

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Director: Rupert Wyatt 3/5 Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis and Freida Pinto A few years ago Twentieth Century Fox remade a classic and, although it made money, largely sucked. Can this prequel make up for past mistakes? Well, yes and no. It ticks all the right boxes on the surface; the storyline is interesting, the animation is amazing, and the action is decent. It’s a very satisfying film to watch. Subtle links are also made between this and the original movie, which led me to believe that the makers were making this movie while trying to keep faithful to the original. Unfortunately, however, this movie looses the soul of the original’s themes and issues: where humans, because of wars, almost wiped out it’s own species; and that the apes then evolved over time and filled the void. Self-destruction and evolution combined were great! Here, though, it is merely science which causes one species to rise while the other falters. Instead of an examination of the human condition, and highlighting the evolutionary similarity to that of apes, all I got out of this film was that we better not to try to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, because that could lead to our demise! To be fair, I know what I want when it comes to sci-fi. The idea of scientific experimentation creating a ‘monster’ just don’t cut it anymore. If you’re not as picky as me, though, which for the sake of those around you I hope you’re not, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the movie. It may not tick my box, but it ticks the basic’s well. Larry Fife

The Smurfs 3D Director: Raja Gosnell 1.5/5 Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria Who likes Jews? Apparently not the Smurfs. The Small Men Under Red Father Stalin make their first return to the screen since the end of the Cold War. Dropped between the product placements the plot follows the elite cadre of Smurf society as they explore New York City and attempt to avoid capture by the overtly semitic Gargamel. Gargamel and his feline sidekick “Azrael” hunt down Smurfs for gold in the original story, in the movie he attempts to extract their magical bodily fluids (make of that what you will). The additional facts that Gargamel is a hunched, big-nosed, scruffyhaired, balding, mummy’s-boy who is fixated on predating upon the Smurfs for gold/fluids are apparently merely conincidence in their mirroring of the same qualities that define the racist archetype of the European Jew. All of this lines up to make the climatic battle at the end of the movie a rather unsettling affair. Essentially the smurfs conduct a lynching. Which is totally acceptable by the way because Gargamel is an ugly, unsuccessful, and mean pseudo-Jew. Rather than have Gargamel arrested, or won over by the apparently peace-loving Smurfs he’s attacked by an entire Belgan village. And if there’s one thing I know about French culture it’s that there persists a deep-seated anti-semitism to it. Just saying. Personally I thought this movie was crap. The story was predictable, the acting dull, and the writing aimed for the lowest possible common denominator. The only thing that vaguely interested me was this whole Gargamel-as-Jewish-sterotype, which i’m going to assume was unintential. However frigging obvious. Tom Reynolds

36


Music

Adele

Rise to Remain

The Kooks

21

City of Vultures

Junk Of The Heart

5/5

4/5

5/5

Don’t ever read a review anticipating a fair summary. All experiuences are subjective, there is no objectivity. So i’ll tell you straight up that this album was my “break up” soundtrack. I first listend to it for about five hours on repeat crossing over the Pacific Ocean earlier this year.

This is metal as it should be. Rise to Remains debut album is a very strong collection of songs with weak points being very few and far between. And the few you might find is definitively overshadowed by beautiful instrumentals, concrete hard riffs and kick ass solos. The two tracks that stand out from the rest are Talking In Whispers and God Can Bleed, which has all of the above.

Close your eyes and picture everything you love about the summer. The beach, the waves, the hot girls in summer dresses and wind in their hair, the barbeque, the sunset with a cold beer in your hand. Add this album as the soundtrack and you’ll have a picture perfect. The Kooks aren’t messing about and the twelve songs making up Junk Of The Heart, has moved them up in the heavyweight division of Brit pop-rock.

The album is lightly influenced by the blues and has the fingerprints of sixties-era female vocalists on it. There is an emphasising of a stripped back sound that underscores Adele’s amazing vocal strength throughout the album. Rolling In Ihe Deep has been the lead single but Rumour Has It and Someone Like You are equally strong performances. Fun Fact, Someone Like You is the first purely vocal + piano single to ever reach the #1 position in the 53 years of the US Billboard’s Pop Single’s Chart. Hardly surprising given Someone Like You is also the strongest song emotionally on the whole album. There’s also a cheeky surprise included in 21, a lovely cover of The Cure’s Lovesong. There’s a strongly country and western feel to Don’t You Remember and if you get your hands on the deluxe album version you’ll also score some delightful live acoustic versions of SLY, Turning Tables and Don’t You Remember. Adele came out guns blazing with her first album 19 and followed this through with the consistently awesome 21. She’s certainly managed to oupace those one-album wonders previously sharing the stage as part of Britain’s revival of the female vocal revival - and how lucky we are for it! Tom Reynolds

37

The album was produced by Carl Brown and the legendary metal producer Colin Richardson, who has groups such as Chimaira, Cradle of Filth and Slipknot on his track record. The only reason why the album doesn’t get the top score is because I’m not a huge fan of the death growl, which Rise to Remain use a lot. As with everything, it has a time and place when even I can appreciate it, but in my opinion less is more. Despite that, the growling doesn’t change the overall quality of the music from the Best New Band in 2010 according to metal magazines Kerrang and Metal Hammer. The Londoners can look back on a very eventful year where they started as supporting acts for Iron Maiden in February and now they’ve started the journey to metal stardom. Only time will tell if they make it, but City of Vultures is a damned good start. If you bang your head to the tunes of Slipknot, In Flames or the likes of them, here’s my advice. Buy, press play and enjoy. Bjorn Myran

This is the third time around for the EastSussex indie rockers and the wonder is which brit-band will be their next ‘rivals.’ After each of their first two album releases another band from the island of indie-rock has had a public ‘beef’ with one or all of the members of The Kooks. With a record sale of over 3 million worldwide and their two first albums earning them a collective seven platinum and three gold certification, maybe it’s time for Liam Gallagher to come out of the insult closet and call the boys from Brighton a bunch t¨ats that doesn’t reach him to his musical, non dancing knees? One thing is certain though. This just might turn out to be the best album of the year for me personally. Bjorn Myran


Music

Laura Marling

The Living End

Twin Sister

A creature I Don’t Know

The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating

In Heaven

5/5 “It’s not really a story as such. It’s more like a short story, a burst of something with no end or beginning” opines Laura Marling about her third album. At just 21, Marling can quite rightfully claim to be Britain’s most gifted songwriter of the recent years. Her heady rise since 2008’s breakthrough, ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’, and the seminal follow up ‘I Speak Because I Can’ (2010) cemented her name and reputation in our minds. What makes this album so spectacular is her honeyed vocals have finally reached maturity and, Marling’s lyrics that reveal moving retrospection combined with a powerful awakening of her femininity. “I didn’t realize how provocative it was until I heard it back”, confesses the chanteuse. In the lyrics of ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ and ‘Salinas’ we hear the culmination of her previous records that, while adept, are essentially naïve and whimsical compared to her latest songs. Moving away from the destructive romantic influences of sad sack folk pretenders, Marcus Mumford and Charlie Fink, did Marling the world of good and in ‘All My Rage’ the rural goddess is unleashed with vicissitude, allaying any fear fans may have had of Marling fading into posterity. With moments of elliptical nuances that nod towards Dylan and Leonard Cohen, with the soulful poise of Joan Baez and suitable indie sensibility of Beth Orton, this is the sound of the summer road. Michael McCall

4/5 The Living End are a unique Australian band. They write songs about issues relevant to today’s society and amp them up so they sound awesome. And for those who think of Midnight Oil, who were also a political Aussie band, there is a big difference between the two bands, TLE have style and awesome dance moves. TLE have just released their sixth album and it is just in time for their latest tour. This album, though not my favourite one, stays true to TLE. Their music matures with them while still maintaining its original youthful charm. They aren’t the same band that released “Prisoner of Society” all those years ago. They are a much better music team that still manages to create an awesome sounding CD while squeezing in what they believe is important. I like listening to TLE because I don’t hear the same lovey dovey, hip hop, repeating, shitty songs that are constantly repeated on the radio. TLE write their songs in the old school style of VERSES and one Chorus that isn’t used as though it is a verse. I will say that I am a little disappointed with this album though. It does seem to lack the usual energy and beat that I heard in their earlier albums. Luckily for them, I’m pretty sure most of their hardcore fans will still happily listen to their new album and only skip a few of the songs. Living End FTW!!!!

2.5/5 I had no idea what to expect from this album. I was told that this is the kind of music that will make me comfortable cheating on someone so I was curious. It was surprisingly trance-like. I really enjoyed the voices of the singers, which were very soft and soothing. This is the kind of music I would listen to in an attempt to relax or chill out with some friends. They have attempted to vary the songs in the album and describe themselves as a pop band. I think they are more into the lounge/trance genre though and I would say it works for them. The lyrics though are difficult to comprehend. Not because they were are in English but because in this album, the music overwhelms everything else. However, after the 6th song, the songs turned to a more lively kind of music, with a light rock-like component. That was when they lost me. Moreover, the words, that are supposed to tell a story, made no sense in my hand. There is definitely some creativity here though I sometimes felt I was in the 90s when I listened to this album. There is nothing extraordinary about it but it does contain some good songs and if you are into lounge or trance music, I would suggest it. Divya Jankee

Alysha Edwards

38


GSM ed. 5 vol. 2 "Power"  

Edition 5 of GSM 2011

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you