ART · COMMENTARY · CULTURE · FICTION · NEWS · NON-FICTION · PHOTOGRAPHY · POETRY · SATIRE
Publishing the University of Melbourne's student writing and art since 1925
“EGREGIOUS BAD FAITH”: UNIVERSITY CUTS PHD CASUALS’ PAY BY $10 PER HOUR Selina Zhang and Josh Davis p. 20
COLOURISING THE GOLDEN DAYS Vanessa Marryatt p. 46
RODEO CLOWN Aeva Milos p. 64
BE THE COWBOY Edition Four 2022
content warning: mentions of death. slaughter, colonialism, racism, police, slavery, rape; in no explicit detail
Acknowledgement of Country Written by Patrick Mercer (Wadawurrung, Kulin) Farrago acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung clan of the Kulin Nation, on whose sovereign lands this magazine is published. We also acknowledge the Bunurong and Wadawurrung clans of the Kulin nation on whose territories the University of Melbourne also has campuses. We uphold the sovereign claim of each of these clans and pay respects to the elders both present and dreaming, acknowledging potency in their murrup and song. Indigenous Australians have a complex relationship to this country’s cowboy past. During the frontier Yra Aboriginal people often found common cause with runaway convicts and bushrangers, giving them refuge, tracking for them, and fighting alongside them. Bushrangers however, also often slaughtered our men, kidnapped our children, and dishonoured our women. Aboriginal people also played significant roles in the catching of bushrangers, being used as trackers, as well as native police, such as the infamous Queensland Native Mounted Police. For Aboriginal resistance, the term “bushranger” is largely synonymous with freedom fighter—prominent Aboriginal bushrangers include Mosquito, Jimmy Governor, Pemulwuy, and Mary Ann Bugg, one of Australia’s few female bushrangers. Under the protectorate on the missions and reserves that fringed society, Aboriginal people were enslaved. Prized cowboys and stockmen, Aboriginal people found themselves working for rations, having spoiled flour, sugar and tea, along with addictive “luxuries” like tobacco and alcohol. Farrago recognises the contributions of these people, on whose backs, not the sheep’s, this country was built. Modern Australian industry has irreconcilable roots in stolen and coerced Indigenous labour. We also recognise the resilience of cowboys like Uncle Vincent Lingiari, whose struggle and leadership against the British landowner Lord Vestey paved the way for the liberation of Blak land and Blak people—a project barely yet begun. Honour our fighting cowboy murrup, our spirit—and remember there’s nothing more yeehaw than fighting for Blak liberation!
CONTENTS REGULARS 02 Contributors 03 Editorial 04 August Calendar 05 Radio Fodder 06 12
Semester 2 Program Letters to the Editors Flash Fiction
UMSU 07 UMSU Updates Sophie Nguyen
08 Office Bearer Reports
NEWS 14 Election Coverage The News Team
The Election Coverage Team
17 History Professor Dr Una
McIlvenna Announces She is “Leaving Academia”
Joel Duggan and Tianyu Wang
18 University and UMSU Service
Overlaps—What Does This Reveal About Their Relationship, and Its Impact on Students?
Jordan Di Natale and Selina Zhang
20 “Egregious Bad Faith”:
University Cuts PhD Casuals’ Pay by $10 Per Hour Selina Zhang and Josh Davis
22 Green Caffeen and UniMelb Aiming High for Reusable Coffee Cup Scheme Despite Challenges Vanessa Chan
SATIRE 23 Satire-in-Brief The Satire Team
24 Dear Diary:
The PM’s Retrospective Journal Jack McMahon
NON-FICTION 27 The Death of the Cowboy I. J. Morris
Career vs. Careerist: Who Do We Want in Our Nation’s Parliament? Felix Kimber
Mollie Crompton Jasmine Pierce
30 The Death of the Pre-Teen
(How Sexualisation Has Killed the Pre-Teen Demographic) N. B Jalandoni
Aesthetics of Poverty— Why Students at UniMelb Are So Keen to Appear Poor Maggie Stoner
38 Saying the Unsaid—
Profile of Megan Cox Helena Morgan
46 Colourising the Golden Days Vanessa Marryatt
RADIO FODDER 34 Radio Fodder’s Declassified
Gig Survival Guide: August & September Edition Carmen Chin
CREATIVE 59 Sick Paddock Caitlyn Steer
62 Two dogs on a yellowed, upturned plate Izma Haider
64 rodeo clown Aeva Milos
65 god fucked me last night Amelie Mcintosh
66 Bull Man
71 The Doña
78 Melbourne Gardens: Haiku Series Ophelia Wass
These Hands Ophelia Wass
79 The Running Inn Anonymous
80 stone statues don’t cry Wildes Lawler
PHOTOGRAPHY 49 Featured Photography Akash Anil Nair Christian Theodosiou Michael Sadeghi
Illustrated by Manyu Wang
ART 06 Featured Art Anushka Tiwari
13 Featured Art Ivan Jeldres
25 Featured Art
Ashlea Banon and Niamh Corbett
26 Featured Art
48 Featured Art CJ Starc
57 Featured Art Matilda Lilford
81 Featured Art
COLUMNS 10 A Day at UniMelb: Food Weiting Chen
40 The Facets of Madness—
“This Is the Light of the Mind”: Lady Lazarus’ Maddened Musings
41 Filling Up the Static: Hot Tea, Haiku and Two Hands S Theocharides
42 A WIP Around the Workshop:
Don’t Go Down to the Basement: Why We Shouldn’t Enjoy Horror... and Why We Do Anyway. Sarah Dornseiff—Creative Literature and Writing Society (C.L.A.W.S.)
44 Lost in Translation Riley Morgan
58 Ordinary Phenomena: Birdmen in Flight
68 Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals:
A Happy Hearty Meal for a Great Big Adventure Marcie Di Bartolomeo
70 Murder on the Dancefloor— Tales from Late-Stage Hospitality: The Bathroom Stickers
74 DIY Craft Guide: Resin Craft Weiting Chen
EDITORS Charlotte Waters Jasmine Pierce Joanna Guelas Nishtha Banavalikar
COVER Helena Pantsis
MANAGERS Akash Anil Nair Bayley Horne Ben Levy Brighton Wankeaw Carmen Chin Christina Savopoulos Emma Xerri Jordan Di Natale Samantha Shing Trang Dau
CONTRIBUTORS Aeva Milos Amelie Mcintosh Anonymous Anushka Tiwari CJ Starc Caitlyn Steer Elena Hogan Felix Kimber Helena Morgan I. J. Morris Izma Haider Anushka Tiwari Laura Charlton Maggie Stoner N. B Jalandoni Ophelia Wass Sophie Sjostrom Vanessa Marryatt Wildes Lawler janvi sikand,
COLUMNISTS SarahDornsei (Creative Literature and Writing Society— C.L.A.W.S) Donna Ferdinando Helena Pantsis Jack McMahon Marcie Di Bartolomeo Rupert Azzopardi S Theocharides
GRAPHIC COLUMNISTS Riley Morgan Sophia Zikic Weiting Chen
ONLINE COLUMNISTS Aries Chathuni Gunatilake Emma Xerri Ishan Morris-Gray Nina Hughes ZoëHoman
NEWS TEAM Aeva Milos Alessandra Akerley Archie Bear Bayley Horne Brighton Wankeaw Dominique Jones Ella McCartney Joel Duggan Jordan Di Natale Josh Davis Kayra Meric Max Dowell Megan Tan Tan Miriam Litwin Patrick Sexton Rebecca Reubenicht Selina Zhang Tianyu Wang Vanessa Chan
NEWS SUBEDITORS Beau Kent Daisy Assauw Emma Barrett George Tyurin Le Thuy Linh Nguyen Max Dowell Rico Sulamet Sarah Pemberton Stephanie Umbrella Zara Feil
CREATIVE SUBEDITORS Aeva Milos Ava Nunan Breana Galea Chelsea Rozario
Clem McNabb Helena Pantsis Izma Haider Jaz Thiele Laura Charlton Leah Macdonald Mary Hampton Melana Uceda Nalini JacobRoussety Nina Adams Romany Claringbull Rowan Burridge Xiaole Zhan ZoëHoman Zoe Keeghan
NON-FICTION SUBEDITORS Alex Thomas Allegra McCormack Bella Sweeney Clem McNabb Bridget Schwerdt Emma Barrett Frank Tyson Gwynneth Thomas Helen Tran Leah Macdonald Livia Kurniawan Mary Hampton Millie McKellar Samson Cheung Sara Vojdani Sarah Pemberton Sophie Lodge Sunnie Habgood Susan Fang Tegan Lyon Thalia Blackney Yoly (Yuzheng) Li Zara Feil Zhiyou Low Zoe Eyles ZoëHoman
STAFF WRITERS Alain Nguyen Animesh Ghimiray Bella Farrelly Crystal Koa Daniel Snowden Emma Barrett Emma Xerri Felix Kimber
Joel Duggan Joel Keith Kae Girao Laura Quintero Serrano Maggie Slater Maggie Stoner Nalini JacobRoussety Nicholas Speed N. B Jalandoni S. Fitzgerald Sophie Breeze Velentina Boulter
ILLUSTRATORS Amani Nasarudin Amber Jepsen Amber Liang Arielle Vlahiotis Ashlea Banon Ayushmaan Nagar Birdy Carmen Casey Boswell Cathy Chen Chelsea Rozario Chau Hoang Edie Spiers Ella Cao Evan Goulios Grace Reeve Indy Smith Ivan Jeldres Jessica Norton Joanne Guo Leilani Leon Manyu Wang Marchella RuscianoBarrow Matilda Lilford Meadow Nguyen Melana Uceda Monica Yu Niamh Corbett Nina Hughes Pamela Piechowicz Riley Morgan Sally Yuan Weiting Chen Yicheng Xu Zoe Eyles ZoëHoman
Illustrated by Weiting Chen
FODDER BLOG SUBEDITORS
Alexi O’Keefe Anannya Musale Christopher Prawira Maggie Ung Melana Uceda Phoebe Lee Sabrina Ke Qin Ting Samantha Shing Timothy Willett Vincent Escobal Yicheng Xu
Elina Pugacheva Issy Abe-Owensmith Joel Duggan Nikita Mohar-Williams Pamela Piechowicz Saanjana Kapoor Samson Cheung Sarah Pemberton Thalia Blackney Zhiyou Low
PHOTO & VIDEO TEAM Akash Anil Nair Alexandra Richardson Ben Levy Brighton Wankeaw Chaital Vasta Chen-Yang Lee Chong Jia Wen Christian Theodosiou James Hunter Jashan Deep Singh Joshua Davis Kayra Meric Maddy Cronn Michael Sadeghi Mollie Crompton Rebecca Vincent Suwanthi Elpitiya Acharige Tonia Pan Trang Dau Yvonne Le
SATIRE TEAM Alexia Shaw Ashley Mamuko Bayley Horne Danqing Zhu Genevieve Byrne Gloria Yu Madison Barr
SOCIAL MEDIA Crystal Koa Eliza Routley Janna Dingle Madison Barr Mae Horsley Rachel Manning Samantha Shing Tejas Gandhi Trang Dau Vivien Hooper Weiting Chen
FODDER BLOG TEAM Alexia Shaw Aeva Milos Beatrix Brenneman Benley Nguyen Chelsea Rozario Isabella Ross Lochlainn Heley Maia Everist-Migliore Olivia Ryan Padmo Widyaseno Rhea Chatterji Sherry Tay Tanisha Khan Zac Eaton
This magazine is made from 100% recycled paper. Please recycle this magazine after use. Farrago is the newspaper and magazine of the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU). Farrago is published by the General Secretary. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of UMSU.
It is 2018 and Japanese-American indie rock musician Mitski has just released her fifth studio album. Its name is Be the Cowboy. She sings like a person alone on stage, in a dark room with a single spotlight trained on them; she sings of loneliness, of wanting to find a home in someone, of wanting to be wanted. She is confused, she is in control, she is anxious, she is camp. Toss your dirty shoes in my washing machine heart, she begs. It is 2022 and here we are with Edition Four. Its name is Be the Cowboy. Though not a direct tribute to Mitski Miyawaki, the subjects of our motley pages include lone rangers leaving academia, the erasure of minorities that haunts old Hollywood nostalgia, and trans folks who turn over their memories and realise they’re not really (and never were) the cowboy they were always told to be. Our pages are confused, our pages are in control, our pages are anxious, our pages are camp. Open this edition and actually read something, we beg. There is an obsession with cowboys in the Farrago office. We are of the belief that anything can be a Western, especially in our modern-day life at this god-forsaken university. When you find yourself knee-deep in readings, three weeks behind content, or falling asleep in a lecture, ask yourself what Mitski asks: “What would a swaggering cowboy riding into this town do in this situation?” Well, the Cowboy walks the line. Heels just high enough to fit comfortably in his stirrups, but not high enough to get caught. Metal spurs and a fully loaded canister both deadly and comfortable like an extra limb. The Cowboy is naked without his clandestine outfit; his sparkling jewels; his lasso, bandana, and hat. Picture him cantering down Professors Walk, winning a stand-off at the Arts West frontier, and ending his day at the Clyde. It’s the Twilight of the Old West at UMSU and we give you Edition Four. Edition 4 is our liminal little hate child, forced out of a womb of dark winters, mid-year slumps, and well-beaten new years promises. It’s the second half of the year and our Cowboy can’t afford to hold onto any regrets. Essays will be submitted and students will graduate regardless, so please: ask out the girl you’ve stared at for weeks in your tutorial, demand an extension from your old man tutor, run up that hill and make a deal with God then treat yourself to a beautiful pint at the end of the day. “Be the cowboy you wish to see in the world,” Mitski says. It’s what we’ve tried to do with these pages. Rope’em, tie’em, hold’em down and ride’em. Giddy up Cowboy.
Illustrated by Weiting Chen
August Week 2
12–2pm Southbank BBQ
1–3pm PoC Collective
3pm Women and Enbies Collective
3–5pm Creative Arts Collective
1–2pm Southbank PoC Collective
1–2pm PoC x Queer Collective
1–3pm Bla(c)k Collective
2pm Feminist Fridays
4–5pm Women & Enbies of Colour Collective
1–2pm Activists of Colour Collective
1–3pm PoC Collective
1–2pm Southbank Disabilities Collective
1–2pm PoC x Queer Collective
1–3pm Bla(c)k Collective
12pm Media Department: News Editing Workshop
12–2pm Southbank BBQ
3–5pm Creative Arts Collective
3pm Women and Enbies Collective
4–5pm Women & Enbies of Colour Collective
12–2pm Southbank BBQ
1–3pm PoC Collective
3pm Women and Enbies Collective
3–5pm Creative Arts Collective
1–2pm Southbank PoC Collective
1–2pm PoC x Queer Collective
1–3pm Bla(c)k Collective
2pm Feminist Fridays
4–5pm Women & Enbies of Colour Collective
5pm Creative Arts Grants Deadline
1–2pm Activists of Colour Collective
Wednesday 24 1–3pm PoC Collective
12–2pm Southbank BBQ
3–5pm Creative Arts Collective
3pm Women and Enbies Collective
Thursday 25 1–2pm Southbank Disabilities Collective 1–3pm Bla(c)k Collective 4–5pm Women & Enbies of Colour Collective
11am Media Department: Sports Journalism Workshop 1–2pm PoC x Queer Collective 2pm Feminist Fridays
12–2pm Southbank BBQ
1–3pm PoC Collective
3pm Women and Enbies Collective
3–5pm Creative Arts Collective
1–2pm Southbank PoC Collective
1–2pm PoC x Queer Collective
1–3pm Bla(c)k Collective
2pm Feminist Fridays
4–5pm Women & Enbies of Colour Collective
5pm Farrago Edition Five Launch Party
For the most up to date info, visit: umsu.unimelb.edu.au/events
8–10am Welfare Breakfast 11am–1pm Union Mart Open @ Union House Cafeteria
2pm Feminist Fridays
Illustrated by Monica Yu
/ radio fodder
Radio Fodder Semester 2 Program
TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY
Student and Local Music Hour
12:00 Writer’s Jam
Bollywood Buzz Little Brown Girl Discussions
Do You Like When Love Is Scary Movies?
The Kitchen Public Playlist Table
70’s Saturday Listen now at radiofodder.com or farragomagazine.com
Illustrated by Manyu Wang
Letters to the Editors Write to us! Send your letters to email@example.com
Dear Editors, I want my cowboy boots back. I was a Halloween queen WhendidQnallygobackhomethispastsummer,theQrst in high school, and my 11th grade costume was by far my thing I asked my parents, still jet lagged, was “do you guys best work: a trip to Goodwill produced a bright yellow top, know where my boots are?” No, they didn’t. They might have aRoweredbuttondown,anill-Qttingpinksatinmaxiskirt, been tossed in the move, and even if they weren’t, my things and a showstopping pair of high-heeled tan cowboy boots. I had been packed way into the back of a cavernous storage hot glued fake blossoms to a headband, and the morning of cubicle with no hope of recovery. There’s not a day I don’t October 31st, 2017, I drew a thick unibrow, pinned my hair think about those cowboy boots. I’ve got a sexy long black pair up, and slathered on the brightest red lipstick in my mother’s of boots, a jaunty short white pair, but there’s a gaping hole in purse. My classmates looked towards the door in unison as my shoe rack begging for vintage tan midcalf boots with beige I tottered into chemistry lab twenty minutes late, until our curlicues and a hidden zipper. teacher broke the silence: “Frida…Kahlo?” I guess life is all about making do. Like leaving an ingredient My two best friends in the class were also the smartest, and out of your favorite recipe (it’ll take years for those supply generously took me in for group projects. We were in the end chains to recover!!), and pretending you don’t taste the stages of a weeks-long experiment, a borderline alchemic dierence. process of transforming one compound into another distillate Telling your parents how much you like their new apartment, into a gas and back… they delegated the simplest tasks to me. and biting your tongue to keep from asking “can we go home The very last instruction was to drain and weigh tiny particles now?” of copper, but Editors, leg-restraining skirts, shoes a half size small,andvinylRooringarewhatwechemistscallimmiscible( . Smiling wanly at a new man as he asks what your major is grabbedtheRask,stumbled,andsentoursolutionall andover whether you have any siblings, when you would’ve been theworkbench.Worse,myQrstreactionwasn$ttorescue celebrating your eighteen month anniversary with your ex who the solution we’d spent hours preparing, but to dab the knew you like the back of their hand. liquidomy$12shoeslestiteatthroughtheleather.And Weighing out the last dregs of copper solution, calculating when I rose back up, I was met with poorly concealed utter a 1500% error and handing in your lab report with “sorry!” disappointment from my best friends, and my Frida lipstick scribbled in the margins. suddenly felt like clown makeup. Wishing for a pair of shoes that are, at best, rotting in a Despite this setback, I refused to let the boots leave my closet, storage unit across the planet, and at worst, rotting in some instead becoming an expert in walking in heels and making landQllintheGlobalSouth.Lacingupthetrustyadidas themanoutQtstaple.Whenitcametimetopackmysuitcases Superstars instead, and rushing out the door—late again after for Melbourne two years later, my mother left them out, saying daydreamingofthingslost.ThisisQne. they took up too much space and besides, “you’ll be back in six months to visit, just grab them then.” As I’m sure you can If Farrago has any spare funds to allocate towards locating guess, I did not return home six months later, and remained my boots, I’d be eternally grateful. Until then, I can remain a cowboy-bootless throughout the pandemic. In that time, my cowboy in my mind’s eye. parents downsized from our house to a chic two-bedroom Love, Janvi <3 apartment, packing my childhood into a storage unit and throwingoutwhateverdidn$tQt.
Illustrated by Anushka Tiwari
content warning: mentions of sexual assault, sexual harrasment, mental health; in no explicit detail
UMSU Updates Written by Sophie Nguyen, UMSU President President’s Report Hey all! It’s been a busy time, and lots has happened. The Federal Election is over, and I am glad that we have a new Government with new opportunities in improving and bettering our higher education system. There is much to be done (including reversing previous legislation) and I am looking forward in the student union movement’s involvement in that. Some other updates include advocating for a transparent University with matters of safety on campus. This has resulted in the University committing to an annual report on sexual assault and sexual harrassment (SASH) to hold itself accountable. I have also been involved in being a student voice in how the University implements the Student Wellbeing and Mental Health Framework, including some reviews in teaching and learning, Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and literacy and resources. I am continuing to assist other departments in their campaigns as we push for better change around student life and experience. UMSU Updates •
Arts and Culture is moving! They will be moving to the new Arts and Culture building over at the student precinct, ready for Semester 2! It’s so exciting to have spanking new facilities. Definitely come have a visit once it is open and I’m keen to see the rest of UMSU move over around late September!
Old Zambies is the new one-stop shop for students! We are opening a space in Union House partnering with the University to provide students a one-stop shop filled with free to subsidised goodies. This includes the Union Mart, SecondBite program, and the Enviro clothes swap. Really keen for this one, we’ve been advocating hard for a program that addresses food insecurity on campus.
We are also busy advocating for the Student Wellbeing and Mental Health Framework to be implemented in a way that addresses students’ needs and outcomes. We are making good progress with this, and I am glad to see the University take a whole-of-university approach to this matter.
Like always—if you have concerns, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustrated by Jasmine Pierce
UMSU / President | Sophie Nguyen
Please refer to UMSU Updates on Page 7.
General Secretary | Millie Macwhirter
Hi all! I have been pretty busy with meetings on meetings! We have had meetings of the Students’ Council; Operations Sub-Committee; Constitution, Regulations and Policy Working Group; RAP Working Group; and WinterFest Steering Group. WinterFest is looking fabulous and I can’t wait to see you all there! We have had two meetings of the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group where we worked to develop our Terms of Reference and aims moving forward. I attended the Student Wellbeing Workshop where we prioritised initiatives drawing on the student Wellbeing and Mental Health Framework to better deliver mental health support to students. Lots of love!
Clubs & Societies | Eleanor Cooney Hunt and Benito Di Battista
What has been going on in the clubs department you wonder? Well, it has been quite productive these past few weeks. A few new clubs have been created, the development of new welfare training has been resourced (a huge win for club safety), and of course more grants. Grants as far as the eye can see. So many grants. So so so so so many grants. All of the grants. Also some planning for WinterFest is underway so get ready for a banger clubs expo (hopefully). LOL thanks k Bye.
Creative Arts | Prerna Aggarwal and Marcie Di Bartolomeo
We have had a magical start to the semester with our WinterFest Hocus-Pocus Arty Party, with vibrant costumes, festive performances and karaoke galore! Our Tastings artists and production team have been conQrmed and are now working on dazzling Tastings projects for a September Showcase and Take Alongside UMSU Media, our collaborative anthology Above Water has also been in the works, and we have been judging marvellous student submissions compiled together by our amazing editorial assistant to be shortlisted for the anthology!
Education Academic | Ethan Georgeou and Moira Negline
A big few weeks for Ed Ac! Yeehaw!! First and foremost, we had received several reports from students alerting us to assessments in the swotvac period. This contradicts UniMelb regulations, so we managed to getmostoftheduedateschangedtotheweekafter!Bigwins!YoucanQndthereportingsystem website. We’ve also been working with UMSU Queer and Advocacy to get a review of the subject ‘Feminism’ (PHIL20046) due to the harmful impact of its content on students. We expect this to draw out for a while.
Education Public | Ruby Craven
Hey team! We’re gearing up for a very exciting Semester 2, with lots of fun and interactive events and workshops in the works, as well as the continuation of the No Cuts campaign. To keep in touch and makesureyou$retheQrsttohearaboutourevents,makesuretofollowoursocialmediaonFBa Education, Insta @umsueducation, and/or get in touch via email at email@example.com. au. Cheers, Ruby xx
Burnley | Kaitlyn Hammond
Due to circumstances, a report could not be submitted.
Disabilities | Betty Zhang A report was not submitted.
Illustrated by Alexi O’Keefe
/ UMSU Indigenous | Brittney Henderson and Harley Lewis
Hello lovelies! The Indigenous department has been super busy planning our trip to Brisbane for the Indigenous Nationals University Games. Our team has been training since early Semester 1 and it’s incrediblyexcitingtoQnallybeabletotakethemuptocompeteagainstothermobfromaroun WearealsointheQnalstagesofGunduiBunjilediting,andlookingforwardtosendingitoto earlySemesterThe 2. ReconciliationActionPlan(RAP)workinggroupisozciallyunderway,andwear grateful and proud to have been able to achieve this in our OB term. Super excited to update everyone on our progress when we get back from Brisbane!
People of Colour | Hiba Adam and Kyi Phyu Moe Htet
Hello! Semester 1 has been a huge success for the PoC department. From our weekly collectives to our Ramadan Iftars, we got to see so many new and old faces. We will be continuing our collectives for Semester 2, with a few more exciting events lined up for you. Make sure to follow our social media platforms to know what we have in store for you <3
Activities | Bella Henry
A report was not submitted.
Queer | Rook Davis and Rose Power
Here in the Queer Department, we’re gearing up for WinterFest! At this point in time, we’re still planning the Rainbow Roller Rave—with music, lights, roller-skating, and even a disco ball. We’re super excited to shineour brightest at Carnival Day.Beyond WinterFest,we$ll be oering our usualcollectiv like G&Ts with the LGBTs and Queer Lunch. We are also hoping to host our Qrst in-person Queer B since 2019. What’s the theme? Shh… it’s still a secret. We have had some recent setbacks in terms of the ‘No Transphobia in Ours Tutes’ campaign, as we’ve seen little success in our attempts to have PHIL20046 ‘Feminism’ undergo review. After our petition was rejected from the Academic Board, we are now looking into alternative pathways that will allow us to have our voices heard by the University. Thanks again to Education Academic for their tireless dedication to our cause.
Southbank | Nina Mountford, Jack Doughty, Alex Birch and Xiaole Zhan
THERE SHE BLOWS: It’s a busy second semester here at the Southbank campus, with our plant-based bbqs being weekly now! (every Tuesday from 12–2pm), POC Collective every even week on Thursday from 1–2pm, Disabilities Collective every odd week on Thursday, at the same time—as well as Queer Collective every odd Tuesday. As always, double check the dates for collectives and events on our Instagram and Facebook! We’ve got even more events this semester, with WinterFest having introduced Southbank-ers to more clubs and opportunities to get involved, along with jam nights coming up, and our Southbank Ball at the end of semester!!
Welfare | Lynne Bian A report was not submitted.
Women’s | Kraanti Agarwal An report was not submitted.
Environment | Chelsea Daniel and Zachary Matthews
Hello from your enviro OBs! Since the last edition, the main focus of our department has been the new Sustainability Plan, where we were able to meet with the university and chat through the plan, so if you have any questions about it feel free to ask us! Because this plan has made some changes, we’ve had to readjust our divestment campaign and policy submission to make sure it’s still relevant. Other things from us include an expansion of our clothes swap, and WinterFest events as part of the UMSU carnival.
Illustrated by Alexi O’Keefe
graphic column /
‘A Day at UniMelb’ by Weiting Chen
/ graphic column
FLASH FICTION One-Sentence Westerns
‘Redemption’ We’re Both Here, I Guess
When he got back, the beans were eaten. Good.
She rode off into the sunset: just a girl and her horse, and a saddlebag full of gold.
by Breana Galea
by Zoe Keeghan
The kid was staring out the only window, moonbeams in his eyes. The moon glazed them grey. He dumped his hat on the kid’s head, his neck bending forward under the weight. His eyes peeked at him from under the hat. “Look kid, I ain’t much for words, butcha can stay here ’til yer dad comes back—yuh hear? Just don’t go wanderin’ in the desert ’gain.” The kid paused, then nodded. With tight lips, he turned back to the window, the hat hiding his eyes. He’d go again.
by David Nawaratne The cowboy stood unconvinced in front of the mirror, staring at his cardboard hat and plastic gun, wondering if it would all be enough.
“What do cowboys dream of?” by David Nawaratne
riding into sunset, one day, just riding and riding and riding on our horsies till the sky goes black and all is peaceful.
They Were Glowing by Breana Galea
They began as bioluminescent pinpricks on the dark horizon, wavering on a tide of sand. The larger they grew, the more townspeople gathered. A low grumble hummed, waking the night breeze. When they stopped, the wave of dust following them collapsed to the ground. Their faces were covered by wide-brimmed hats, eluding the dim moonlight. As their horses shifted and stamped, space seemed to ripple, teasing their glowing marks. The sound intensified. I covered my ears. The ground rumbled and throbbed, sand sieving into an ever-larger vortex in the dunes. Glowing eyes watched.
by David Nawaratne Bang bang the pistol goes, that shotgun forearm makes him the deadliest crackshot in the west (I haven’t seen him but I’ve heard the stories).
by Breana Galea “I know yer annoy’d ’bout us bein’ tied up here, but wut was I s’pposed tuh do huh—shoot ’im?”
That’s how we became a ghost town.
The horse reared up, dropping its rider, and galloped into the horizon.
The sheriff and the outlaw were actually good friends, it’s just that both careers paid well and kept the other in business.
by Claire Le Blond
You know when you write their name, it’s serious. I’m tempted. Truly. With a pistol fast running out of ink, do I waste its last words on a name that cares not for mine? I demand redemption. A Western redemption, for a Southeast Asian girl. I am the cowboy, the not-so-lone ranger marching through the smoke, triggered by intuition, my personal firing range. I am the bartender, saccharine lips along glass rims. I am the jailer, locking my heart away, letting the tumbleweed float along abandoned in my overly rational mind. I am my own Western. I redeem myself.
Illustrated by Amber Jepsen
NEWS Artwork by Ivan Jeldres
Written by the Election Coverage Team Farrago published several pieces covering the 2022 Federal Election. Here are some highlights of our coverage. You can read these pieces in full online at farragomagazine.com
‘Nepo babies’ and white feminism: the ‘22 Teal Independents
After Years of Neglect, is Labor’s Promise of Cultural Policy Enough to Save the Australian Arts?
Written by Tharindi Danansooriya
Written by Joel Duggan
The 2022 Federal Election has been construed as a win for women. For one, the Liberal government is out and Labor is in. A slate of independent women, including teal independents and others such as Dai Le, now hold more power than ever. Although this step forward must be celebrated and enjoyed, it also calls into question the perhaps perceived power that the teal independents now hold.
It’s always a good sign when one party announces their culturalpolicyQvedaysbeforetheelectionandthe party doesn’t have a cultural policy at all. So, you can imagine the pessimism weighing on my mind as I made the trip down to St Kilda this Monday to catch Shadow Minister for the Arts Tony Burke presenting Labor’s agenda for the Australian arts if they win on Saturday. The launch was held in the Gershwin Room of the Espy, one of Melbourne’s most iconic pubs and live music venues and among the many venues that has borne the brunt of these two years of COVID-19.
In this historic election, teal independents claimed 6 seats, all representing former Liberal heartlands. Most of them are backed by the Climate 200 Group—a funding group that supports candidates on the basis of climate change and tgoeswithoutsayingthattheartshavesueredthe integrity.ThisgroupisownedbythesonofAustralia$sQrst few years. Even before the pandemic, we saw a decade of billionaire—Simon Holmes à Court. Whilst it is undoubtedly funding cuts and disrespect culminate in the Coalition’s a win to have more progressive women winning seats, it is decision to get rid of the federal arts department. You also important to recognise their privilege. would hope that, after artists helped to unite the country behind those suering from the 2019 bushQres, the Published 2 July 2022. government would realise the importance of the arts, but the treatment we saw during the pandemic reveals the utter falsehood of such a hope. Published 21 May 2022.
Previous PMs Pick Sides as the Election Race Heads into the Homestretch Written by Lachlan Forster
Da Budget Breakdown Written by Bayley Horne
Content warning: Mental health, suicide in no explicit detail. With Election Day looming, both Albanese and Morrison To dorks like me, the federal budget is like Christmas areheadingintotheQnalstraitsoftheircampaigns.We$ve come early. We all sit around the Qreplace and wait fo so far seen the use of gotcha questions, rhyming slogans Santa (Josh Frydenberg) to deliver us a ton of goodies. and political attack ads, but one of the most popular And with less than two months before the Federal strategies has been relatively understated in the lead up Election, which has yet to be called by ScoMo but we to the current election; the endorsement of former PMs. all know it’s happening, we have had one of the more The approval of former Prime Ministers can be weaponised intriguing budgets in (my) recent memory. There’s a lot to invoke nostalgia within lapsed voters who may pine for on the line for the Coalition this year (such as, all their former glory days, and can signpost stances and polices jobs) so they are trying not to screw this one up. that may be on the table for the major parties. But if you didn’t have the patience to sit through Josh’s Here is a brief summary of where six former Australian speech or are confused by all the infographics you’ve Prime Ministers stand in the 2022 federal election. seen on Insta, allow me to try and decipher the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain weird from this year’s Published 20 May 2022. budget. Published 4 April 2022.
Farrago Policy Comparisons #1: Environment and Climate Change
“I just think it’s so blatantly obvious how fucked up our government is”: On Voting Independent.
Written by Benjamin Cronshaw
Written by Allie Akerley
Welcome to the Qrst edition of Policy Comparisons Auspolfor is fucked. the Australian 2022 Federal Election. Each week we Okay, a correction: Australia’s federal politics are widely will cover a dierent policy issue and where the parties considered by voters to be completely broken. Just ask and candidates stand on it. This week we are looking at 21-year-old University of Melbourne student, Annabel Yates. Environment and Climate Change. “The two-party system isn’t serving the normal Australian citizen,” Annabel tells me over Zoom. Yates is currently Liberal–National Coalition (currently in Government) volunteering as a campaigner for Independent candidate • Emissions Reduction Target for 2030: 26–28 per cent Monique Ryan, the formidable ex-head of Neurology at (created for the 2015 Paris Agreement). the Royal Children’s Hospital, and who is tipped as Josh Frydenberg’s greatest threat in acquiring the traditionally More Liberal–National environmental programs include: Liberal seat of Kooyong. •
Supporting the Great Barrier Reef through “2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan”.
Supporting Landcare and National Park Upgrades.
Investing in Antarctic research with new ice-breaker RSV Nuyina and a station on Macquarie Island.
Labor (currently in Opposition) •
Emissions Reduction Target for 2030: 43 per cent by 2030. The Labor target has been slightly reduced from their 45 per cent goal at the 2019 election, but is more ambitious than the Government.
More Labor policies include: •
Supporting Indigenous environmental management, including doubling the Indigenous Rangers Program.
A subsidy for electric vehicles.
Many Independent candidates, like Ryan, have little background in politics. This is precisely what is allowing them to be so appealing to voters. Simply put, it seems that most Australians no longer have faith in their politicians. Almost a year ago, the ABC’s Australia Talks survey revealed that 56 per cent of us believe that, “Australian politicians are often corrupt”. Add in a country that is simultaneously on Qre or underwater, ra with sexual misconduct in parliament, trillions in debt and a Prime Minister whose favourite phrase seems to be “It’s not my job”, voters are looking for a better alternative anywhere at this point. This is where Independents come in. These ‘teal’ parties have shifted from existing as a footnote that lingers at the bottom of a voting card, to acting as a serious threat to Labor and Liberal. Published 13 May 2022.
Published 6 May 2022. This is a series, you can find the rest of the policy comparisons online.
5 of the Weirdest Things to Happen this Election (so far) Written by Allegra McCormack
The Memes of the 2022 Election (so far) Written by Allegra McCormack
I was originally going to say “best” or “funniest” or There’s just over a week to go until the 2022 Federal something like that but I don’t feel any of these really Election and it’s fair to stay things are getting quite deserve that title. They are technically memes. And rather serious. And sure, this is the fate of the nation we’re than suer alone as a witness to them, $ve decided t talking about. But at a certain point it’s important to take share the ‘highlights’, relative to AusPol, that the Greens, a step back and remind yourself how truly bizarre and Liberal, and Labor parties have put out this election. I inane politics truly is. In the interest of bringing some completely avoided One Nation because frankly nobody levityback,hereareQveoftheweirdestthingswants tohappen or needs to see that. Also I’m honestly scared of this election season. Obviously they’ve been selected whatever One Nation TikTok is like. with the utmost of objectivity and abject criteria-based reasoning to ensure journalistic integrity was maintained. So brace yourself for the cringe and let’s begin. Published 13 May 2022.
Published 16 May 2022.
content warning: protests, violence, abortion, natural disasters (flooding), death, in no explicit detail.
NEWS-IN-BRIEF Goodbye, Boris Johnson
It is 7 July, 20 and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his resignation at p 03:21 m, within hours of Nadhim Zahawi, the newly installed Chancellor of the Exchequer, publicly stating that Johnson should resign. On 6 July, there were a total of 13 ministerial resignations in the Johnson government, with many MPs withdrawing their support for Johnson. Johnson has been accused of lying, elitism, bigotry, and cronyism uispvhipvu i t p u dbboe dbs c dbns ui up c dibsh e gps cs bl oh ui (see: P “ artygate”). At time of writing (July), Johnson is still PM in a caretaker capacity.
NSW Flooding Again
It is July, 20 and Anthony Albanese is prime minister, we are in Semester 2, some of us have new jobs, some of us have started dating someone, and New South b t t tu ppe oh u u n warnings across several rivers in NSW are still in place, uipvhi tpn s g dbo c gpvoe o began 3 July. Around 85,0 people were displaced or requested to leave their homes by authorities. One death has been counted so far. Flooding damage xbt t ho dbou c dbvt ui sb o g already been saturated by months of heavy rainfall.
VLFW Essendon 20 Premiers
Roe v Wade Overturned
Roe v Wade (1973), the landmark ruling which protected a woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion in the American Constitution, was overturned in a 5–4 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court. Though this does not mean that abortions will not automatically become illegal in the U.S., individual states are now allowed to decide if and how to allow abortions. Thousands gathered to protest in solidarity against the decision around the world. Protesters also voiced stu concerns for howo easily bx xi p dabortion rights can be taken away in other countries.
Sri Lanka Palace
On 9 July, protestors swarmed into the President of Sri Lanka’s house, refusing to leave until they saw “systemic change” and the President’s resignation. This xs comes of food shortages (Colombo pg u from oh months ) v ppe is expected to run out completely by September), tpbs oppe bu oh po boe opo. tu ou eo oh for medication and fuel. Many blame the Government for mismanagement; the Government, led by the Rajapaksa family, have tried to prevent demonstrations through the use of tear po boe uibu ibegas, water cannons, and giving the military greater powers. The President’s brother Mahinda Rajapaksa had resigned as Prime Minister earlier in May in an attempt to appease protestors. At time of writing, the President has not yet resigned.
West Coast Fever Defeat Vixens
The Essendon team soared through the ’22 VFLW tu pbtu s t dvs e ui s stu season, winning the VFLW Grand Final against the premiership in front of a home crowd in Perth on Southern Saints. This followed a historic season where 3 July, defeating the Melbourne Vixens. Fever led the club went undefeated throughout the entire gspn tubsu up o ti x ui btib bthpx t btpo i o ti e ui s hv bs t btpo MVP x ui for her performance x ot in goal attack. The Vixens and two draws, before producing three big wins in the had defeated Fever in the 20 Grand Final, with ob t t s t i ob tdps xbt tt Fever oepo also losing ) to Sunshine up Coast in the 2019 Southern Saints 0.7(7). sboe ob i s n sti national league trophy.
20 NAB AFLW Season 7
It’s a time to be alive for women in footy. Following a landmark CBA, which entailed a pay rise of 49 per cent across b b n ou u st boe b n ou gps vo b e ipvst ) nb oub o oh uo tt s dp s This upcoming season will feature four new teams: Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, and Sydney. However, the t btpo x s nb o bu spvoet uipvhi ui s x c bo usb x l bee e up ladder. The 20 NAB AFLW Season 7 begins with Carlton v Collingwood on Thursday, 52 August, p 01:7 m at Ikon Park. Carn the Dees!
Illustrated by Jasmine Pierce
ob t bo
History Professor Dr Una McIlvenna Announces She Is “Leaving Academia” Written by Joel Duggan and Tianyu Wang
University of Melbourne history professor Dr Una McIlvenna unaware of it. There needs to be a public debate about went to Twitter on 31 January with her announcement that what$s happening and the long-term eects of this kind she would be leaving academia following the end of her devaluing of education at every level.” contractduetoalackofopportunitieswithinherQeld. Describing the end of Dr McIlvenna’s contract, a University The thread describes how, despite having “two books and spokesperson claimed that: “In accordance with the dozens of peer-reviewed articles”, Dr McIlvenna lost her University of Melbourne’s recruitment and appointment position as Hansen Senior Lecturer in History to another policy, the ongoing role was Qlled via an open and already-employed academic, with the Qve-year contract transparent process.” ending that day. She has “now joined an enormous group This was followed by a link to the University’s Recruitment of ex- and soon-to-be-ex-academics who are leaving the and Appointment Policy. academy in droves”. Dr McIlvenna has not cut all ties with academia and “is “The neoliberal university is driving so many gifted people continuing [her] research when she has the time”. away,” Dr McIlvenna wrote. Upon her thread going viral, Dr Mclvenna was oered “The net result [of losing my position] is one less researcher an unpaid position by ANU, which grants her institutional intheQeld.Onemoreunemployedperson.( azliationandlibraryaccess. Dr McIlvenna’s thread went viral, achieving 9000 likes “I’m doing various kinds of paid writing at the minute and over 1 0 retweets. The comments were Rooded and there’s a market for my skills and my knowledge,” Dr with outpourings of support and condolences, but also of McIlvenna stated. stories detailing similar experiences within the academic When it comes to academic work, “[she is] not going to wait labour market. around for scraps at the table when there aren’t any.” “It shows that this problem is global,” Dr McIlvenna University of Melbourne Student Union Education (Public) said to Farrago. Ozce Bearer Ruby Craven echoed Dr Mclvenna: f the “The academy around the world is in big trouble.” federal government continues to cut funding to higher When asked whether she could recommend an academic education and to put proQts before people, more sta w humanities career, Dr Mclvenna oered a straightforward lose their jobs, and students will continue to receive a worse response: “Absolutely not.” quality of education.”
There are no jobs - And $m extremely qualiQed. f there NTEU Melbourne University Branch Secretary David were jobs, I would probably get one.” Gonzalezhassimilarlycommentedthatstaareworkin an increasingly neoliberal and corporatised university”. Dr McIlvenna has moved intercontinentally with family for her job three times. The NTEU will continue to Qght for the rights of all st through building stronger networks of workers, students “I did everything that was required of me … I made all of and alumni through our union.” thosesacriQces,myfamilymadeallofthosesacriQcesDr McIlvenna’s second monograph, Singing the News of Death, Eventually, I thought I was going to be rewarded for all these was released in April by Oxford University Press. sacriQcesmade.Butwasn$t.( “It’s a long history of the idea that we used to sing the news … Dr McIlvenna expressed particular concern about her When someone was punished … it would be put into a song discipline: History is like the other Qelds in the humanities. and sung on the streets.” It’s in trouble … And it’s partly … [because] governments we’ve voted in are very much devaluing academia in general, However, Dr McIlvenna expressed concern at the price, but speciQcally the arts and humanities because which we bring iscurrentlysittingat$125(. the critical thinkers to the Qeld, we speak truth to power “This is another way in which the academy simply isn’t They don’t want thinkers, they want factory workers. working. My book is now out of reach of the normal person, “The problem … is that there is no discussion in the wider onlyuniversitylibrariescanaordtobuyit.( media about the devaluing of education. People are mostly
University and UMSU Service Overlaps—What Does This Reveal About Their Relationship, and Its Impact on Students? Written by Jordan Di Natale and Selina Zhang With the University implementing their Student Life initiatives in 2020, students have increasingly expressed confusion about overlapping services provided by the University and the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU). Students have pointed to the Melbourne Peer Mentoring Program (MPMP) and UMSU’s Mentoring Program as an example of this: both group new and older students together to help make the transition into university life easier, with a shared aim of enriching the student experience.
How has the relationship between UMSU and the University contributed to service overlap? Reasoning behind the recent service overlap is based on the previous and current relationship between UMSU and the University. Historically, UMSU has been the main contributor to student life and activities, most notably through the implementation of the orientation week program SummerFest.
However, due to Qndings from its 2019 Student Life Green However, despite the University spokesperson’s claim that, Paper, the University has increased its own involvement in “evaluation data of the MPMP does not suggest … students student activities and programs. areconfusedbythedierentmentoringprograms(details ; of the MPMP’s operations alongside UMSU’s Mentoring Program The Green Paper reported that some students have felt disconnected from services and events. have nonetheless remained unclear.
“I am really confused about what the two are, and if there are any ntheQrstsemesterfeltsuperanonymous,likewasalowlifeQrstyear.feltlikedidn$thavetherighttojoinan dierencesbetweenthem,said ( Vijay,aQrst-yearArtsstudent, one student said. who did not feel comfortable providing their last name. The University added in the Green Paper that “particularly DonnaFerdinando,anotherQrst-yearstudent,alsoexpressed her uncertainty over the allocation process for both programs. troubling” was its performance on the ‘student support’ scale of the Student Experience Survey, where it placed “I didn’t sign up [for] either of them. The University basically second-last among Australian universities. allotted me into one peer mentor program,” said Ferdinando. As a result, it has since intervened to try and address this “I only heard about UMSU’s program through their social decline in student support and experience, by establishing media page,” she added. programs like the MPMP and Melbourne Commencement Ceremony (MCC). UMSU leaders believe this has resulted in their involvement in student life being increasingly overlooked.
“In previous years … SummerFest was valued as an integral part of the orientation program, and as such, was aorded the space and timing to run,” said UMSU Communications, Marketing, and Events Manager Dee Jarrett.
Illustrated by Amber Liang
“Sadly, SummerFest 2022 was restricted to two limited time slots The University, however, has maintained the objectives to - avoidconRictswiththeMCCs,whichmadeitimpossible behind to its services are ultimately still aligned with UMSU’s. deliver the full range of opportunities in week zero.” “The University and student organisations have a shared UMSUarguestheUniversity$seortshavemiscalculated responsibility the to … fund high quality services and activities importance of student involvement and communication. that are valued by students and respond to our diverse student community’s changing needs and priorities,” said a The thing that dierentiates UMSU from the University is spokesperson. that UMSU is completely student-run,” said UMSU President Sophie Nguyen. What does the relationship look like going forward? “This translates into our programs being more relatable, understandable, and accessible for students, because it’s by students.” What are their service goals, and how do these affect the student experience? The University has recently announced that its vision for an improved undergraduate experience will likewise revolve around a principle of what it calls ‘student-centricity’. “This model is focused on ensuring that students new to the University are given an opportunity to meet other students in their degree, connect with later year students, and feel welcomed to the community,” its 2019 Student White Paper outlined. UMSU has maintained that while its programs are also centred around connecting students, it places more emphasis on wider communal engagement. “[We are] focused on the community-building side of university life, providing students with opportunities to meet life-long friends outside of their courses, and to learn about the services we provide to help them along the way,” added Jarrett. Some students believe the University’s attempts to rebrand student programs have overshadowed UMSU’s role in providing student services.
Moving forward, there are hopes from UMSU that consistent, comprehensive communication will be more highly prioritised by the University, in order to ensure students are getting the most out of their university experience. “It can seem as if the University has attempted to adopt student life services to duplicate or exclude UMSU from important conversations, but sometimes they just forget to check in and collaborate before setting up their programs,” said Nguyen. “I would like to see the University recognise the valued programs UMSU runs, and a renewed commitment to make space for them to continue and develop,” added Jarrett. In turn, the University has introduced plans for UMSU to be “closely involved in key strategic discussions during 2022”. This includes a new Students and Education Strategy, which will formulate a vision for the student university experience and codesign. However, only time will tell if the University will uphold this or not, as it has a history of creating misleading promises, such as promising to stop investing in fossil fuels by 2021.
“[It] covers up UMSU’s involvement [in] the student experience, and ultimately sheds more light on the University’s expectations of student life,” said Vijay. Ferdinando agreed, and went on to say programs like the MPMP were “more [focused] on stress management and workloads … so it seems like more of an academic approach.”
Illustrated by Amber Liang
content warning: wage theft
“Egregious Bad Faith”: University Cuts PhD Casuals’ Pay by $10 Per Hour Written by Selina Zhang and Josh Davis
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has launched NTEU’s formal dispute letter. an industrial dispute against the University of Melbourne “Either the University deliberately misrepresented the intent overallegationsofwagetheft,afterthepayofPhD-qualiQed of its changes … at the time, in which case it engaged in casualstainsomefacultieswascutbyover$10perhour. egregious bad faith then, or it had no actual intention of Under the University’s enterprise agreement, it must pay changing the eect of the PhD rate, in which case it is any casual lecturer or tutor holding a “relevant doctoral engaging in egregious bad faith now.” qualiQcation( a higher hourly PhD rate(, in recognition of Why is this important for students? their expertise. Dr Knight believes the University’s underpayment of PhDIn 2021 however, the Faculties of Fine Arts and Music, qualiQed casual sta will have a negative impact on Veterinary and Agricultural Science, and Arts, among others, entire student experience. stopped paying this rate without notice. “I should be able to stand in a classroom and be a This decision hinged on the re-interpretation of a single representative to my students that what they’re doing here word in the enterprise agreement. According to the NTEU, is worthwhile doing. the word “requisite” refers to the requirement that the PhD be relevant to the subject being taught in order for the “If your business is to let people obtain a degree—if that’s product that you’re selling, and it’s supposed to be sta member to receive the PhD rate. A tutor withthe a PhD in Australian History, for example, would be paid the rate something valuable, it really needs to be valued,” she said. to teach any history or Australian Studies class, but not a A sta member who isn$t valued will Qnd it a lot harder t science class. go the extra mile - f you constantly have to Qght over pay The University disagrees, indicating in a statement to Farrago raises, about job security, that takes away from your time. It that the PhD rate is only applicable when performing duties aects my enthusiasm about wanting to prepare classes “requiring a PhD”; that is, only when the University believes the right way.” a PhD is “requisite” to perform the work. Who is responsible for this change? Dr Kerstin Knight, a casual tutor in the School of Historical Questions around who is accountable for these changes to and Philosophical Studies, disagrees. casual PhD rates have remained unanswered, despite the “My PhD is not like a tool that I sometimes use and dispute being formally raised in May 2021. sometimesdon$tuse-t$snotsomethingthat switcho, In fact, even basic knowledge of the policy change is use that knowledge all the time,” Knight said. inconsistent across levels of senior authority, with ViceThe NTEU maintains the removal of the PhD rate is “illegal, Chancellor Duncan Maskell and Provost Nicola Phillips and is a form of deliberate wage theft”. claiming ignorance of the non-payment when the dispute “At no time during bargaining did the University suggest it wasQrstraised. was proposing any change to this long-established rates regime,” wrote Branch President Annette Herrera in the
“On the one hand, the Provost and Vice-Chancellor make public statements about what they will do to end insecure
Illustrated by Meadow Nguyen
work and how they are sorry for wage theft, meanwhile faculties are allowed to undercut the PhD rate to the same exploited cohort,” added Herrera. “Who’s in charge?” she asked. This discrepancy between faculties over the non-payment of PhD casual rates reveals the isolated nature of communication between the University’s administrative divisions.
stated: “I think it’s revenge … on the part of a clique within the University executive, particularly the workplace relations team, who were trying to get back at the Union for winning $10millioninback-payforstolenwages.( He went on to question the authenticity of both the University’s apology, and reasons for underpaying PhD casuals.
f it was about the students [or sta], decisions li would be taken only in the most extreme circumstances, [t$s]astateofaairsthatspeaksto,think,thelackoftrust which this university is not in.” and conQdence in upper levels of executive management,( said NTEU Organiser Ben Kunkler. “It really is just a penny-pinching exercise,” he concluded. The remoteness of this administrative policy is also noted by Dr Knight.
What happens next?
“It seems to me that [these] policies are brought in by people whoaren$tactuallyaectedbythem,(addedKnight.
CasualstaarecallingfortheUniversitytoreconsi it values not only doctoral qualiQcations, but its e more broadly.
“So, they just see it as a policy—they don’t see it as a change in policy.”
“Why shouldn’t you rectify something that’s clearly wrong?” said Dr Knight.
So far, the University has oered no answers as to thethe better approach. The University should just “That’s reasons behind the policy change. clean up its act.” “We are working actively with the faculties to establish whether, where and why any change in practice has occurred,” the University spokesperson stated.
Following the University’s inaction, the pay dispute was brought forward by the NTEU to the Fair Work Commission, withtheQrsthearingtakingplaceon7April.
Can the University’s apologies be trusted?
“We gave the University ample opportunity to reverse its illogical decision over payment rates, agree to back pay sta and issue an unreserved apology, but management has failed to do so,” said NTEU Victorian Division Assistant Secretary, Sarah Roberts.
In light of this dispute, which forms part of a growing list of wage theft claims against the University, the sincerity of its apologies have been met by staff and union members with scepticism. In fact, Dr Knight revealed how the University attempted to back-pay her using the disputed PhD pay rate from 2021, rather than the standard industry rate.
Despite being underpaid, there are still many casual PhD holders, such as Dr Knight, who want to continue teaching at the University.
“Does it- mean I don’t want to be here? No! “They neglected to take into account that they were actually reapplying the rate at a lower level. So their apology was “I want to be here, and be treated right.” eectively short-changing me - [t] is not even lip service,( she said. When asked why he thought the University decided to cut the casual PhD rate, despite recently issuing a public apology for the exploitation of casual sta, Kunkler bluntly
Illustrated by Meadow Nguyen
Green Caffeen and UniMelb Aiming High for Reusable Coffee Cup Scheme Despite Challenges Written by Vanessa Chan
The University of Melbourne continues to cooperate with Using reusable crockery and cutlery is not new at the Green Caeen, encouraging students to switch toUniversity. reusable The “Choose to Reuse Plate Program”, launched cups when purchasing coee on campus. However, the in 2019, means students can ask to use ceramic dishes from scheme has faced challenges such as COVID-19, café any food retailer at Union House. reluctance, and student hesitation. However, the mobility of ceramic cups restricts students The dark green reusable cups with a University badge fromordering Qrst theircoeeasatakeaway.Aimingtoplugthis appeared at cafés on campus during Semester 1 O-Week. loophole, the University’s Sustainability Team introduced GreenCaeen$sreusablecupstocampusinFebruary20. To pick up and use these reusable cups, students need to download the Green Caeen app and scan QR codes Now, over three months after the scheme was launched, available at participating cafés. theSustainabilityTeamissatisQedwiththeresult
BoostedbythecoeegiveawaysinO-Week,thenumberof “We’ve 775 cups used so far, and there’re 347 customers … Green Caeen application downloads increased. However, it$s a very signiQcant increase from our Qrst month,( sa its usage over the past three months is underperforming EmiliaBisogni,theUniversity$sSustainabilityOzcer. compared to what the organisation anticipated. The team will keep monitoring the monthly data provided by The organisation’s co-founder Martin Brooks ascribes GreenCaeentodesignmorepromotions. the decline to the ongoing recovery in social activity We$lldeQnitelykeepworkingatit,especially[because]e from COVID-19. semester new students are coming on campus,” said Bisogni. “Everyone [is] just [getting] to use reusable cups again,” “As with all other reuse programs, we’re constantly promoting said Brooks. them, especially at the start of the semester … so we’re COVID-19 has raised hygienic concerns about reusable always looking at better ways to promote the program and items over the past two years. Nonetheless, scientists said it get people to engage.” is safe to use reusable containers carrying food and drinks The Sustainability Team ran a lucky draw from 9–20 May to as long as they are washed properly. promotetheGreenCaeencups.Studentsgotthechanceto “I think it’s normal behaviour of the society at the moment, winaweekoffreecoeesfromtheirchosencaféwhenthey it’s just getting back into the socialising aspect in sharing pickedupaGreenCaeencupatanyofthethirteenparticipatin and borrowing things,” added Brooks. cafés on Parkville, Southbank and Werribee campuses
Privacy concerns are also preventing students from joining Alongside these initiatives aimed at students, the University the Green Caeen reusable cup movement, as they must also supports coee retailers reducing single-use cup provide their credit card details on the app. One of the providing reusable cups, such as those by Green Caeen, volunteers for the giveaway event in O-Week, Isabella Chen, for free. But getting them to use the reusable cups has noticed this when helping promote the application. become the biggest challenge. “Students were generally willing to download the app to help UniMelb become a more sustainable campus, also for [getting]thefreecoeevoucher,(shesaid. “However, many opted out when they had to place their bank details.”
“For [cafés], it’s convenient for them to pick a disposable cup, they give the cup to their customer, then the customer walksoThey$ rethinkingaboutthecustomersandproQts etcetera, they aren’t really thinking about the logistics,” said Sue Hopkins, the University’s Sustainability Manager.
The University has also installed vending machines selling According to Brooks, the credit card details provided to reusable items like straws, water bottles and masks on Green Caeen are stored in a global payment platform campus. Students arriving from abroad are given reusable called Stripe. If customers fail to return the reusable cup coeecupstoencouragesustainablepracticesfurther within 30 days, they are then charged $12.9 to cover the costs. But if customers return their cups at any time (even afterthedays) 30 Green , Caeenwillstillrefundthemoney.
Illustrated by Arielle Vlahiotis
content warning: mentions of racism, references to death
Yet Another Student Has Been Forced into Small Talk About How Quickly 2022 Has Flown By
Elderly South Yarra Woman Accuses Kim Kardashian of Cultural Appropriation for Wearing Marilyn Monroe’s Dress
“Every year. Every bloody year it’s the same conversation. Yes, I can believe it’s already August. Yes, I can believe it’s the start of Semester 2. Just shut up already,” a disgruntled third year said. First year students are rumoured to still be enjoying this icebreaker, having not yet learned the conventions of university chit-chat.
“It’s just so disrespectful to the person this garment was originally made for. It’s in a museum for admiration and education, not for her personal use!” said Deborah Downing. When asked about the Native American war bonnet displayed in her second living room, Downing declined to comment.
— Madison Barr
Three Dead from Starvation After Waiting for “Post-Post-Post-End Credits Scene” in New Marvel Film.
— Madison Barr
Kris Jenner Creates “MasterKhef” to Repair Family’s Image
After Kendall Jenner’s disturbing attempt to chop a cucumber drew criticism, Kris has announced a new cooking program to show the Kardashians aren’t as incompetent and out of touch as they appear. The new show, which will feature all of “There’s gonna be another scene. I bet they’ll the Kardashians, will include challenges designed be introducing Morgan Freeman as Highlighter to show o the family$s impressive culinary skills. Man.” The group waited in the cinema for three days, before Qnally perishing. Their bodies will The premiere will feature Kourtney and Khloe’s remaininCinema4fortheindeQnitefuture,as emotional journey trying to boil a pot of water, Hoyts employees are not paid enough to deal while the entire second episode will depict Kim with that shit. grating a carrot in real time. — Alexia Shaw — Alexia Shaw “Just wait guys,” said diehard Marvel fan Steve Stevenson to his friends after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Vegan Destroys Entire Democratic System by Refusing Democracy Sausage
An unidentiQed woman was stopped on Election Day by polling ozcials when she attempted to leave the primary school grounds without purchasing a democracy sausage. She was directed towards the small BBQ stall, to which she reportedly responded, “Oh no thanks, I’m vegan.” Voting in the electorate immediately ceased, as did voting across the country. All ballot papers spontaneously combusted, ParliamentHousecrumbledintoruin,thePrimeMinisterhasbeenRowntoasafelocationbutmartiall is now in place, there’s protests in the street, the Farragoozcehasbeenbarricadedbutitwon$tholdfor long,everything$sonQreohgod — Alexia Shaw
Journey of Self-Discovery (AKA Eurosummer) 2022
It’s expected that record numbers of Melbourne Gen Zs will expand their perspectives on life, and perhapsevenQndthemselves,thisEurosummer.Withitinerariesconsistingofgoingtoraveswithpeopl they always hang out with, visiting tourist spots for Instagram pics, and speaking as little of the local languages as possible, it’s set to change the way they see the world. Signs of someone who has a new Eurosummer perspective can include: • Anecdotes about the DJ they saw in Berlin, dropped into completely unrelated conversations • Complaints about the weather because they had become “so used to the summer” • Remarksonhowaordabletheirtripthat ( mayormaynothavebeenpaidforbytheirparents)was, aaaandsubsequentexplanationsoftheconversionbetweentheeuroandtheAustraliandollar — Genevieve Byrne
Illustrated by Cathy Chen
column / satire /
content warning: ableism
Dear Diary: The PM’s Retrospective Journal Written by Jack McMahon
Dear Diary, This will be the last time you hear from me before the election. That’s right, I’ve called it. Saturday, May21stwillbethedaythatpullomysecondelectionwin.Albohastriedashardashecanto stop me in my tracks but that’s just not possible. The troops are rallying in all of the electorates, and I do owe a lot of thanks to my good friend Josh. He has worked so hard for his seat in Kooyong, going around putting up signs in all the empty buildings throughout the area. Though, I’m not too sure why they are all empty, maybe businesses in Melbourne close for winter? It’s very nice of them to let Josh use their shopfront, it must be in recognition of the great economy that he has managed in recent years?
Now, one of my favourite things about election time is the debates. And I’ll tell you what, Albo is not much chop when it comes to them. We’ve only had one so far, but I am pretty sure I absolutely wipedtheRoorwithhim.Therewasoneissuethough,andthatwassurroundingquestionsabou the NDIS. A mother of a child with a disability asked me about funding cuts, so naturally, instead of talking about funding, I told her how blessed I was to not have a disabled child. I thought it was a nice comment but apparently, a lot of Australians disagree. As a good Pentecostal, I understand that children with disabilities are a product of their own parents’ sin, but fear not, heaven promises to be disability-free. So, in the end, everyone’s blessed. Now if people just let me defend myself, they would see what I truly meant! No need for an empathy coach here.
And to make matters worse, China signed a security pact with The Solomon Islands. Prime Minister Sogavare has signed a dangerous agreement, and I was so proud to see Barnaby call them “Little Cuba”. Perhaps I need to read up on JFK’s Cuban Missile Crisis response in preparation, I mean, I am going to be around for a few more years… It is my belief as well that they have only done this becausetheelectionissoon,andweallknowXiwouldmuchratherthoseRedGuardLaborozcia get into power. Well, not on my watch. I’m bloody sick of ICAC. To me, it is no more than a Kangaroo Court that just wastes my time. That leadinvestigatorhadthenervetolabelcriticsofCACasbuoons.wonderifhemeantme? Probably not, I mean I’m more than happy for an investigation, but I just want to choose what model they use, who they speak to and how long they get to investigate for. I really don’t see the issue, but apparently, that further brings into question my integrity! Honestly, I cannot win with these people. Totopitallo,peopleweremakingfunofmycooking.Sowhatiffeedmyfamilyslightlyraw chicken? It builds resilience, strength, and a good economy! Well, that’s what I said… but jeez, even I’ll admit maybe likening a curry to a strong economy was a bit of a stretch. Ah well, I’m sure no one will notice. Well,$motowinanelection. Until next time, PM.
Illustrated by Pamela Piechowicz
Read more weekly pieces at farragomagazine.com/nonfiction
NONFICTION Artwork by Ashlea Banon and Niamh Corbett
Artwork by Sophie Sjostrom
The Death of the Cowboy Written by I. J. Morris Let me tell you a story. You may have heard it, in full or in part. Gather round, friends, for the tale of the cowboy.
It’s not perfect, of course. The users of these chat rooms are often lonely and socially isolated. In a physical world that seemingly forgets them, they turn to digital solace. Under capitalism, many work long hours and receive only poverty wages. And inevitably, in these communities, arguments arise.
It all starts on the American Frontier. The Wild West, postCivil War and recently emancipated, becomes the homeland of the cowboy. They’re born of an eclectic mingling of cultures, from Victorian chivalry to Mexican vaqueros, but it works.Traditions,stories,communityallRourish.Sure, Andit$ so,s the a cowboyisreborn.Adierentform,adierent hard life. The cowboy lives close to homelessness, working time, but the begrudging peacekeeper always steps up. In a long hours for poverty wages. Some steal on the side. They lawless LAN, they’re not a moderator or admin, but they’re a live isolated and lonely lives, and are oft-forgotten by regular force for good. They make friends out of acquaintances and society. But many still choose this life. There’s a camaraderie, communities out of groups. Some cause a mild ruckus. But a surprising tolerance, and of course the regular shindig. they help resolve that ruckus too. The myth lives on. And so, as the community grows, the myth does too. Until a man named Mark Zuckerberg has a bright idea. He The cowboy becomes legend. In a lawless land, they’re inventsFacebook.NosingleinventionwhollyredeQnedt notquitethemayororsheribut , they$reoftenaforce internet, for of course, but he’s a good scapegoat (or perhaps good—a begrudging peacekeeper, mostly when townsfolk scapelizard). Suddenly, fences spring up in the digital are willing to pay. Riding into town, stopping (or causing) world too, and the money-making cattle are once more a ruckus in the saloon, then riding on into the sunset. Not fenced in. Billions of people share a platform which was perfect,butinanexpansedevoidofeectivegovernance, onceanopenspace.AndthemoneyandpowerRowfrom towns take what they get. The myth lives on. the celebrities—from the talk show clips and the TikTok sensations, from Instagram models, MatPat and Musk. Until a man named Lucien B. Smith has a bright idea. Industrialism transforms into internet capitalism, and slowly He invents barbed wire. Suddenly, fences and railways but surely, it again kills the cowboy. can spring up along the once-open plains. Distant towns become interconnected, intertwined, interdependent. The But the cowboy never truly dies. power,moneyandlawsRowoutfromthecities,andthe No, the cowboy is in all of us. Because wherever there are cowboy is supplanted. people, there will be communities. After all, we’re built The cowboy watches the end of an era. The landscape for more than parasocial relationships. We’re built for shifts around them. They keep their social roles while they towns, physical or digital. We’re built to seek the saloon remainneeded,butthey$reunproQtableinthisnewworld. and Qnd a ruckus. We$re built to watch the changing of SomeQghtthetransformingsocietythey$represented the with, times, to see problems in the system and Qght the but to no avail. The times change, and slowly but surely, whether we lose or win. From pre-history to the space industrialisation kills the cowboy. age, humans are the same. But the cowboy never truly died.
No,thecowboyneverdied.BecausepeoplewillalwaysQnd their town. Because the begrudging peacekeeper always, always steps up.
You see, though the American Frontier disappeared into history, another frontier eventually emerged. A new digital landscape, ripe for exploration and pioneers. WWW: a Wired Because you are a cowboy too. Wild West. Just as before, isolated communities popped up, devoidofeectivelegislationearlywebsitesandinternet chat rooms. Each one a small corner of the internet, a small digital town with its own quirks and loose social norms.
Illustrated by Yicheng Xu
Career vs. Careerist:
Who Do We Want in Our Nation’s Parliament? Written by Felix Kimber, Staff Writer Insults come in all shapes and sizes. Some are crass and vulgar; others are witty and subtle. Some smack you across the face, and others land gently. In any one parliamentary sitting day in Canberra, you might hear a variety of types delivered in a single sentence. Politics, an innately rhetorical profession, invites the crafting and use of verbal putdowns. Most are dispensed, received, reacted to, and forgotten within minutes. Others, when repeated often enough, are a little more sinister. I am going to focus on one insult in particular that I think, when repeated, can do serious damage to our democracy: this is calling someone a “career politician”. By discharging this epithet from their rhetorical armoury, a politician is able, in one fell swoop, to discredit their opponent’s competence for governing.
immerse themselves in the “Canberra bubble” because it is the environment in which they can further their material interests. On the other hand, “career politicians”, or people who select politics as a career, often have a sense of vocation and go into politics because of a genuine desire to improve their society. When politicians conduct this terminological sleight of hand by casually suggesting that anyone who spends a lifetime in politics does so because of greed or some obscene obsession with the strategical side of parliamentary life, everyone loses. I will look at an instance where the media has probably unknowingly espoused the “career politician” fallacy.
The example comes from Insiders, a weekly program on the ABC where a group of journalists discuss the When you call someone a “career politician”, the week’s news. The topic being discussed by the panel is intentionissimple.Byazxingthismantletoaperson, the public’s perception of the opposition leader at the you are suggesting that they are so consumed in the cut time, Anthony Albanese, and his capacity to withstand and thrust of political life that they lack a conception of the stress of a six-week election campaign. While what “real” Australians think. You want to say that they contributing to the discussion, one of the journalists, are out of touch and that they have been so focused News.com.au’s Samantha Maiden, subtlety conducts the on the bureaucratic pen-pushing of representing their “career politician” switch-trick on her viewers: electorate in Canberra that they have lost sight of what “[Anthony Albanese] has not held an economic portfolio, the everyday Aussie wants. right? And he hasn’t had that discipline. It is very strange ThereistheQrstproblemwiththeterm:inassuming to me that he got that infrastructure portfolio in the that the “real Aussie” exists, it falsely assumes that Rudd years, and he just stayed there. And after there somewhere among the 25 million people who live was the [ALP] leadership change after the 2013 election in Australia, there exists a group of people who are, and he ran against Bill Shorten… my understanding is undeniably and unimpeachably, true, blue, Aussies. that Bill Shorten basically gave him his pick of portfolios. The “career politician” clearly exists in the same fraught And he chose to just sit [in infrastructure]. It shows a ecosystem as the “quiet Australian”, people outside lack of ambition.” the “Canberra bubble” who do not care for politics and See what she did there? Her commentary can be instead want to get on with their lives without having summarised as something like this: Albanese has not held to worry about the quibbles of politicians. This term aQnance,treasury,ordefenceportfoliodespitebeing therefore tries and succeeds in shining a light on the divide between the political class and their constituents, in parliament for 26 years. He became Infrastructure which is often seen in electorates that feel disconnected Minister in 2007 during the Rudd government; however, when given his pick of shadow portfolios after the 2013 from the people who make their laws. This divide exists election defeat, instead of selecting a more “prestigious” and is indeed harmful, and although this ought to be one, he stuck with Infrastructure. For Samantha Maiden, it rectiQed,callingsomeoneacareerpolitician(often is incomprehensible that someone should want to join the does nothing substantive to address this issue. Instead, House of Representatives without a desire to accumulate it is an insult that continually seeks to exploit that divide power or reputation. By making the term “career politician” for partisan gain. a dirty phrase besmirched by images of self-absorbed and One of the major problems with the partisan use of a out-of-touch bureaucrats, we risk devaluing those in our termlikecareerpolitician(isthatitconRatestwovery parliament who devote themselves to a portfolio or issue dierentsortsofpeople:thecareeristpoliticianand because they believe in its importance. Maybe Albanese the person who chooses politics as a career. Careerist stuck with Infrastructure, not because of a lack of ambition, politicians joined politics not because they see the but because he thought it was a portfolio in which he profession as a vocation or as the highest form of public couldmakeamaterialdierenceinthelivesofthousand service but because they see it as a means by which of Australians. toaccumulatepowerorinRuence.Careeristpoliticians
/ commentary / culture
There was a critical moment on the ABC program I suppose there are a few questions we want to ask Q&A episode earlier in the year where this idea was ourselves before we dispatch insults like the term brought out into the open. As part of their question, “career politician”. Do we want to encourage the an audience member suggested that Australia should ruthless pursuit of power and reputation in our nation’s adopt term limits for politicians. They thought this might parliament?DowewantthetreasurybenchesQlled curbthefactional,andultimatelyinternecine, withconRicts people more concerned with their own career both major parties are riven by. This is a suggestion prospects than with governing the country? Also, what that ought to be considered carefully. In many ways, sort of “real jobs” do pundits think excuse politicians thefactionaldisputesthata^ictbothmajor from parties the ignominious mantle of the “career politician”? epitomise a political system dominated by careerist Are politicians expected to be schoolteachers or politicians. The factional system leaves a party a members of the ADF? Or should they be obscenely wellconglomerate of cliques and clubs and rewards the paid investment bankers or board members, like many career-driven and ruthless individual rather than the of the venerable MPs currently sitting in the upper and vocational parliamentarian. A powerful response to the lower house? So, next time someone accuses another suggestion of term limits does, however, bring us back person of being a career politician, let us examine the to the “career politician”, the person who selects politics insult carefully. Is the recipient a ruthless and power as their calling in life. Term limits risk depriving the driven individual, the careerist politician? Or are they Australian electorate of operators who have spent years the devoted and competent MP who has something getting to know their constituents or portfolio and have importanttooerthenation. somethingvaluabletooerourparliament.
Illustrated by Ivan Jeldres
content warning: paedophilia, grooming, brief mentions of disordered eating and pornographic content, and sexism
The Death of the Pre-Teen
(How Sexualisation Has Killed the Pre-Teen Demographic) Written by N. B Jalandoni, Staff Writer This article primarily focuses on the adolescent experiences of cisgender girls. It also contains some American terms and statistics.
after their well-being. Later, underage actresses Jodie Foster and Brooke Shields both played exploited underage characters. Foster played a child prostituteinthe Taxi Qlm Driver and had to undergo Nowadays, kids and young teens seem increasingly a psychiatric assessment and be accompanied by a hard to understand. Their vernacular and social worker on set while playing the role. Shields entertainmentarestarklydierentfromwhatyou played a twelve-year-old whose virginity was up for and I may have grown up with. Online and on the auctioninthePretty Qlm Baby. playground, eleven-year-olds are calling one another “submissive and breedable”, while thirteen-yearAlthough laws protecting child performers have olds have “MILF” or “DILF” written in their Instagram improved, exploitation has taken a new form online. bios. They no longer wear clothes from Justice or The disturbing “countdown” trend counts down to the Aéropostale but instead are sporting Gucci belts date an underage, typically female celebrity reaches andSupremepuers.AsamemberofGenZ legal age. It has happened to the Olsen Twins, Britney myself, I cannot help but wonder what has caused Spears, Emma Watson and most recently, Billie Eilish such a disparity between this generation and their and Millie Bobby Brown. Brown has expressed her predecessors.sitsomethingassimpleasdierent disgust towards the scrutiny and sexualisation she folks,dierentstrokes(,oristheresomething experienced more asayoungactress,stating,$mdeQnitel troublingbehindit?Howhassocialmediaaected seeingadierencebetweenthewaypeopleact how younger individuals interact with each other and and the way the press and social media react to me theworldatlarge?Howhassexualisationkilled comingoof age… It’s gross.” the tween demographic? In an advertisement for Calvin Klein, teen singer Billie The sexualisation of young teens, especially young Eilish primarily describes why she chooses to wear girls, on a massive scale is nothing new. baggy and more masculine clothing. She narrates, “nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t Beginning with the “Classic Hollywood” era, famed seen what’s underneath. Nobody can be like, “she’s child stars such as Judy Garland and Shirley Temple slim-thick(,she$snotslim-thick(,she$sgotaRat were the darling sweethearts of the silver screen, ass”, “she’s got a fat ass”. No one can say any of that buto-screen,theirliveswerefulloftragedyand because they don’t know.” For the June 2021 cover exploitation. From an early age, the pair worked of American Vogue, a legally aged Eilish donned a gruellinghours,severelyaectingtheirphysicaland Qgure-huggingoutQtandapairoflatexoperagloves, mental health. They were encouraged to consume a stark contrast from her typical street style. Many of drugs and were abused by adults meant to look her fans supported her change in style, while others
Illustrated by Jessica Norton
more interested in the pretty aesthetics and failed shared their virulent opinion, using lewd, crass and see the darker messages which lay beyond. We abusivelanguage.Eilish$sexperiencereRectstothe “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” criticism and rebloggedpostsaboutthe197Qlmadaptationof Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial book Lolita. We expectations young teens face. understood Lana Del Rey’s lyrics were the gospel Accompanying the Death of the Pre-teen is the death truth because that is what we thought was cool. As a of “Tween” media and retail. Magazines targeted at twenty-one-year-old, it is worrisome to see how these young teens such as Twist, Tiger Beat, Pop Star! and trends are back in full force on more popular media J-14 are now irrelevant or have gone defunct. They platforms, where an increased number of young kids cannot keep up with the growing pace and glamour can interact. of social media. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are Nowadays, creators of these posts are quick to add now encyclopaedias for kids to learn how to be the a disclaimer in their descriptions, but the content of “cool kid on the block”. Currently, the “block” is not thepostsbegstodier.Supposeyouscrollthrough limited to one’s school, neighbourhood, or local the hashtag Lolita on TikTok. In that case, most videos commercial centres; it has grown to encompass the will have a short disclaimer stating that the post is digital sphere, where the young and impressionable not meant to romanticise Dolores and Humbert’s can be perceived as “cool” by millions of people relationship. Still, the video will be of Humbert’s around the world. Previously kids and pre-teens fantasies with a Lana Del Rey song playing in the had to rely on printed media or weekly airings of background. A quick disclaimer that will be ignored their favourite shows to learn about the newest or overlooked is not enough to stop a young person trendandhotgossip.Now,withinstantgratiQcation unfamiliar with Lolita’s subject matter from being and an array of interactive media platforms at their Qngertips,theinternetprovidesyoungkidsenamoured navigatingbytheQlm$sprettyaestheticsandpro boththeonlineando^ineworldswiththetyranny of The pre-teen demographic is continuously sexualised, choice. With so much information available to them eveno^ine.ThepopularHalloweencostumegenre andvariousauthorityQgures(tellingthemwhat of the to “sexy ____ girl”, the romanticisation of the word do, it’s hard to blame young kids and teens for being nymphet and the popularity of pornographic videos curious and partaking in the latest trend. featuring barely legal or teen in their titles are just
some examples of how adolescence has become so While young teens wanting to explore their identities sexually charged. Just google “schoolgirl” and let the and control their lives is nothing new, video essayist images speak for themselves. Shanspeare elucidates, “the desire to be grown is not dierent,butthemediumstoexploresuchdesires are. ( The pre-teen and early teen years are already an
uncomfortable experience in themselves. It is the Today an increasing number of children are online period of time when most people are going through and posting on social media. An estimated 63 per their initial stages of puberty, discovering new likes cent of Americans aged 12 to 17 are active users of TikTok, and 57 per cent are active on Instagram. With and dislikes and exploring their identities. Having to the state of social media platforms comparable to the dealwithbigfeelingsandwantingtoQtinmakest demographic especially vulnerable to manipulation wild west, a troubling trend has resulted in its wake. and exploitation. It’s no wonder the pre-teen ThesexualisationofyoungteenshasbeenjustiQed demographic has ceased going through their as a means of “reclaiming their sexuality”. The “awkward years”. Today’s pre-teens are sexualised problem is that these young kids do not understand and ridiculed for their childishness but still expected the repercussions of their actions. A young person to act and think as young adults. seeking acceptance or validation may misconstrue the praise and likes they get from posting racy content as positive, promoting them to post more potentially endangering content. While the child may feelsafeintheirownpersonalproQle,thereisno telling what a stranger may do with their information once it is online. A child’s need for acceptance, validation and general unawareness of the dangers of the wider world makes them incredibly susceptible to predators wishing to harm them. Having been a pre-teen on Tumblr during its heyday in the early to mid-2010s, I witnessed the site’s many problematic trends come and go. Such trends ranged from the promotion of eating disorders to the romanticisation of age-gap relationships and grooming. I will not deny that my friends and I were
Illustrated by Jessica Norton
Aesthetics of Poverty—
Why Students at UniMelb Are So Keen to Appear Poor Written by Maggie Stoner, Staff Writer A TikTok by creator and former I’m sure you have become familiar UniMelb student @lucy.holz, with with the tote bag wearing, op-shop over 1000 comments and 225,000 frequenting, Brunswick share house views since it was posted in October residing “UniMelb student” that has 2021, sheds light on how widely become emblematic of student life recognised this phenomenon is aesthetics. Or perhaps you’ve been among students. Commenting susceptible to the appeal of the on, the perplexing subversion of waiQsh,dishevelledheroinchic( popularised by on-screen characters traditional class hierarchies during likeEyStoneminSkinsand,more her time studying, the creator claims, “Everyone acts like they’re recently, Rue in Euphoria. poor… it would go from talking The 2017 Universities Australia about money or how a café is Student Finances Survey evidenced particularly expensive, all the way to that 58 per cent of domestic straight out lying.” undergraduate students are She gave several examples, recalling concerned about their Qnances, that “one of [her] best friends would demonstrating that university life constantly complain about money is synonymous with poorness but was getting an allowance from and Qnancial instability for many his parents, he wasn’t working, he Australian students. However, had never worked in his whole life”. there has been a growing trend of wealthier students, who have Whether it’s romanticising 2-minute complete or signiQcant Qnancial noodles, rolled tobacco or a studio in support, eagerly adopting what BrunswickwithQveroommatesthat they think is the look of a “poor is paid for by their parents, students student” without the hardship that have continued to try and “look the comes with it. part” of a broke uni student without considering that, for some, this The discourse accusing this sofamiliar romanticisation of a “poor experience is unavoidable. called “student aesthetic” of student” lifestyle that middle-class fetishising poorness has surfaced The creator emphasises, “I think or wealthier students are so keen to within the past year on social some people just genuinely do insert themselves into without having media (especially TikTok), and in not comprehend what it’s like to to endure the ongoing barriers, conversations between students onbe impoverished.” prejudice and challenges that come ando-campus. Her TikTok was met with a myriad of with being genuinely impoverished. comments, most of which expressed Nadja, a 20-year-old student, currently a profound agreement for this enrolled at UniMelb, lamented the shared observation that has not typical characteristics of performative been addressed enough. poorness that she witnessed in the University community. One commenter alluded to the
privileged ignorance of some “Poor aesthetic can involve students students, claiming, “I’ve seen buying expensive vintage clothes Melbourne uni socialists handing and claiming that they “stole it from outoursocialismRyertohomeless Salvos”, it can look like complaining people.” Another commenter about rent that they don’t pay, it mentioned a seemingly familiar trend can look like going to their parents’ of wealthier students: “when they holiday house on the peninsula and complain about having to pay rent, leaving their aesthetic behind when but the property is owned by their they do so.” dad,andtheyonlypaya 0 1$ week.( An example of this discrepancy Although the phenomenon betweenprivilegeisthedierent of a ‘poor aesthetic’ isn’t new, understanding of the word ‘broke’. universities all around the world Traditionally, and for low-income have begun to recognise this allstudents, brokeness refers to a
Illustrated by Grace Reeve
/ commentary genuinelackofQnancialstability.By deQnition,itisthestateofhaving run out of money. However, it has become socially acceptable for upper-class, middle-class, orQnanciallystablestudentsto colloquially profess brokeness, despite still having adequate Qnancialsupport.knowhavemade throwaway comments like “I can’t go out this weekend, I’m too broke“, ignoring the money I have in savings, and I’m sure many others have too.
upper- or middle-class students at Melbourne University—this is not the case. No one can elect what family they are born into andtheQnancialpositiontheyare raised in. Instead, the issue lies with an ignorance of the wealth and opportunity that middle- or upper-class students have and the privileged positionality they refuse to acknowledge. Unfortunately, as long as fashion and lifestyle aesthetics continue toemergeandcapitaliseo disadvantage, the trivialisation of legitimate poorness within the UniMelb community isn’t likely to cease. However, I urge you to think about the connotations and consequencesoftheseReeting trends and question the morality of adopting poverty tropes when they are positioned as a “cool” aesthetic rather than an inescapable reality.
Aside from the belittlement of lower-income students that arises from the increasing romanticisation oftheirQnancialinstability,a their left-wing beliefs that are consequence of students trying favourable in a tertiary setting. to “look the part” has been the Their clothing is a way of outwardly gentriQcationofopshops.Opsnubbing their “white privilege”. shopping as a growing trend among Nadja, on the other hand, thinks that Gen Z and Millennial populations has become a point of contention— conforming to poor aesthetics is a way to demonstrate an “individuality” creating a paradox between the or “uniqueness” that is perceived as desire to shop sustainably and linked to being impoverished. the need to maintain appropriate op-shop prices. Buying secondOn a more systemic level, the hand clothing supports the ethical ignorance associated with these shopping movement, as opposed behaviours comes from a myriad of to the convenient consumption upper- and middle-class students of fast fashion at the expense of who genuinely don’t understand sustainability.However,theinRux the scope of their wealth because of middle-class individuals buying of the existence of those wealthier from places like the Salvation Army than them. Holz referenced this in and Vinnies to uphold their “poor her TikTok: “I had a friend who went student(aestheticisinRating to the an elite private school, and I think prices of the clothing in these shops, I said something about it, and he makingitdizcultforlow-income said, ‘well like, I don’t live in Toorak, individualstoaccessaordable liveinCamberwell$(.SheclariQed, second-hand clothing. for those who aren’t familiar with Kaylee, another 20-year-old Unimelb the class hierarchy of Melbourne’s residential suburbs, “It’s like saying, student, referred to some of the ‘well, at least I don’t live in this “grungier” fashion choices trending again in the student zeitgeist. To her incredibly opulent suburb, I just live in this slightly less opulent suburb’”. and many others seem like a choice to mimic poorness.
Ultimately, this can be attributed to the fact that most people have “Students are now using wired headphones,wearingQngerless a skewed perception of what gloves, ripped tights and baggy jeans. constitutes wealth relative to their own experience. For example, it’s Their hair is DIY dyed and cut, they are covered in stick and poke tattoos, clear that an impoverished student and their black nail polish is chipped.” willhaveaverydierentperception of wealth than someone who has WhenreRectingonwhystudents grown up in wealth and continued seem so keen to appear poorer tobeQnanciallysupportedasa than they are, Kaylee stated: student. This subjective perception has the potential to become “I believe it stems from their increasingly harmful if continually desire to reinvent themselves perpetuated in student bodies. upon leaving private education… I truly think students who dress “broke” are attempting to highlight
Some will misconstrue this discourse as an attack on the
Illustrated by Grace Reeve
fodder blog /
Radio Fodder’s Declassified Gig Survival Guide: August & September Edition Written by Carmen Chin
After (give or take) two years of governmentmandated silence in the Australian live music scene, and six separate lockdowns to boot, Melbourne’s live music scene is slowly but surely whirring back to life. As Victorian pandemic restrictions are all but a mere memory at this point, we’re seeing so many more music acts take to the stage, whether they be local bands hoping to get their careers started in a postpandemic age, or international headliners announcing their anticipated returns to the city.
range from regional Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers gigs to large-scale Tyler, the Creator and Billie Eilish residencies, we have all the information you need to start packing your schedules with our picks of shows you can’t aordtomissthisyear.
Of course, make sure you clock in some extra time on your calendars to support several of the local gigs we have here, who will be playing at grassroots venues that have somehow managed to weather the pandemic’s economic Music fans across the city of Melbourne have downturns—they’ll need all the help they can get. had our hopes brutally brought up only to be dashed time and again over the course of what has been a tiresome, frankly vexatious period of nightlife halts, but inevitable scepticism aside; August and September 2022 are shaping up to be some of the best months this year to return to the sweaty, maybe sometimes violent moshpits we all have come to hate and love. Behold: Radio Fodder$s declassiQed survival guide to tide you through the return of Melbourne’s live music—with our list of bigticket concerts and humbler pub shows that
/ fodder blog
Tyler, the Creator; Tierra Whack When: 2, 3 August Where: Rod Laver Arena Prices: $$
Star Generation, Daddy Issues, Calico Sunday
In support of his recently released record Call Me When: 26 August If You Get Lost lastyear,TylerQrstannouncedhis Australian headline tour in August 2021, and it’s Where: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood $ settomarkhisQrstheadlinetourofthePrices: country in over eight years. Tyler will be accompanied New South Wales-based punk band Star by Philadelphia R&B maestro Tierra Whack, in Generation are south-bound for a string of replacement of Kali Uchis. showsinMelbourne,withtheirQrstbeingh at Smith Street’s own Gasometer Hotel. Having Amyl and the Sniffers debuted just last year, they’re set to be joined by female four-piece rock band Daddy Issues When: 4 August and Britpop-inspired Calico Sunday. Where: Pier Bandroom, Frankston Prices: $
Melbourne-based pub-rock, punk-rock band When: 7 September AmylandtheSniersaregearinguptoembark on their ‘Comfort To Me’ tour of Australia, a Where: The Forum 12-date run that will see them perform for Prices: $$ four nights across dierent locations across This one is for our fellow K-pop enjoyers! Naarm. A number of these shows are either Previously scheduled for July, Nam had to sold out or are about to be, but fret not—the push his headline tour of Australia and New rock outQt recently added an extra date dueback a couple months for unknown Zealand to high demand; they’ll be taking their tour to reasons, but it’s always a good time with Eric Frankston’s Pier Bandroom in early August. Nam—especially when it’s in support of his latest record, There And Back Again.
Gang of Youths
When: 12, 13 August Where: Rod Laver Arena Prices: $$
Hailing from Sydney, the Australian alt-rock outQt are set to take over the Rod Laver Arena with a two-night residency this August, coming in support of the band’s most recent third studio record, angel in realtime.
Illustrated by Pamela Piechowicz and Joanne Guo
fodder blog /
The Beths, Hans Pucket When: 15 September Where: 170 Russell Prices: $
Hatchie When: 9 September Where: Corner Hotel, Richmond Prices: $
Brisbane indie-pop visionary Hatchie will be hitting the road in September for her ‘Giving The World Away’ tour of Australia, with a stop in Naarm planned. If you’re into some genresplicing deep-cuts—by this, we mean a wave of shoegaze, rave, ‘90s mall-pop and more all at once—you might just have to give Hatchie’s latest album of the same name a chance, or even watch her perform live to immerse yourself in the splendour of her music.
The revered New Zealand quartet will be returning to Melbourne, with opening act Hans Pucket, after a sold-out Australian run in March, a mere day before the 16 September release of their 12-track, guitar-heavy album Expert In A Dying Field. It’s the perfect chance to get acquainted with their old music while perhaps revelling in the privilege of getting to hear some of their newer cuts before they’re released into the world; rife with deep subject matter and cut-to-the-bone lyrics, The Beths are always worth the watch.
alt-J When: 22 September Where: Margaret Court Arena Prices: $$
O the back of their fourth studioThe album Dream in February this year, alt-J announced a headline tour of the Southern Hemisphere slated to kickstart in September, gracing Melbourne with a show at the Margaret Court Arena in late September for a night of heartfelt lyricism and music.
Illustrated by Pamela Piechowicz and Joanne Guo
/ fodder blog
The Script When: 17 September Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl Prices: $$
The Dublin pop-rock trio that deQned the mainstream pop scene of the late 2000s are about to make their way to Naarm in support of their 2021 anthology album Tales from The Script: Greatest Hits; you immediately know what you’re signing up for here. An unabashed celebration of the band’s greatest music moments, this is one of those must-go events for reliving your richchildhoodofSonyEricssonRipphonesand YouTube to MP3 converters.
Death By Denim When: 2 September Where: Hotel Westwood, Footscray Prices: $
Formed in Perth six years ago, Death By Denim areafour-pieceindieoutQtdeQnedbyhoneyed vocals, dreamy synthesisers and vibrant guitar ris. The Cigarettes and Honey$ and Wiggy$ singers are returning to Naarm with a show in Footscray’s Hotel Westwood as part of their ongoing ‘Spring Break’ tour; if you’re looking for a night of sensory escapades and pure feel-good music, this might be the perfect gig for you.
Saying the Unsaid— Profile of Megan Cox Written by Helena Morgan
relationships and identity, beneQt her writer’s eye. Upon her return to study in mid-2021, Megan found herself connecting emotionally and subjectively with content and situations like never before.
What is not Said
I chatted to Megan over Zoom on a warm afternoon, wishing her a happy Oscars nominations announcement day; a mouthful of a “holiday” that I made up on the spot.
In ‘What is not Said’, we sit huddled on a couch in a share-house living room with Nadia, a dating-weary twentysomething, and her friend Cherie. After prompting from Cherie—”Well, what would you have said? Pretend “Oh, is that today?” she laughed her feet despite smashing through I’m him”—Nadia unleashes a stream and then proceeded to claim her various acceptance rounds. of consciousness vent on the regularly unawareness of my imaginary debilitating and infrequently rewarding was surrounded by Qlm bu s who holiday as indicative of her being game of casual dating. Megan’s had these classic big dream stories a bad Qlm student( . The furthest poignant dialogue sees Nadia grapple and I just really liked editing and thing from the truth. Bridget Jones’s Diary, but I was okay with rejection, interrogate the validity Her mile-wide grin when discussing with that!( Megan$s Qrst year involved of her feelings and above all express her recently released Qlm many Whatlearning curves as she gradually confusion as to why her actions do is not Said’, of which she played found her way through making fun not align with her usual sense of writer, editor and director, evokes yet provocative content. self. However, the Qlm concludes by an equally goofy grin over my face. swinging back to square one. Cherie Meg’s ceaseless wit, comprised of “I had no distinctive style or technique… again asks the initial question—”What dad-joke dagginess and dry quips yet!( As Megan reminisced on the Qrstwould you have said?”—and Nadia reminiscent of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, year of Uni, it was clear to see her talent reaches for her teacup without renders her work an asset to the was only just starting to grow. answering before the screen fades VCA Film cohort. COVID unleashed havoc upon to black. Did the conversation even everyone’s life, including Megan’s. happen? “Well, that’s the thing,” Megan Meet Meg Online learning meant Megan said to me with a grin. “In the end, Megan is equal parts classiness and was unable to experience the Nadia chooses not to say it even to her gooQness. Her cackling laugh means irreplaceable collaborative and housemate. If she said it, it would be you can hear her approaching from technical aspects of her degree. with the sole intention to win back the 100 metres away. She energises She turned to writing to satiate rejector, so she decides not to.” the room like a shot of espresso, a her creative musings, determined Hate the Player perpetual hostess with the most-est. to create a Qlm she was proudDon’t of Her excitable energy is complimented despite COVID’s interference. Megan In developing the narrative, Megan by a palpable warmth and calmness. deferred university for the remainder sought inspiration from her own Megan arrived on VCA soil fresh from of 2020 and writing became her main experiences of casual dating as well high school, armed with a love of editing focus, even though she approached as her friends. She redirects the trope common to romantic dramas and a proclivity to rapidly recall Angus, timeowithapprehension.However, Thongs and Perfect Snogging quotes. the absence of a rigid academic of charting long-term relationships Imposter syndrome set in early for perspective let Megan develop and instead explores the casual insights into interpersonal dating scene. Megan primarily chose Meganassheinitiallystruggledher toQnd to explore the occasional loss of self which follows short term intimacy. “I wanted to tell the story of a fallout of purely an intimate interaction, not a relationship, between two people which transformed how one person— Nadia—perceives herself. There’s this assumption that casual dating is painfree, easy and empowering, and it can be, yet compromising our values to sustain a short-term emotional connection has the potential to prompt identity crises.” Megan discussed how these casual blips generate feelings like “big and wonderful” love stories, however
/ culture you feel shameful using heartbreak discourse to refer to your experience. How do you grieve a six-week-long relationship that leaves one side of the party confused and grappling with a loss of self?
The Unsaid Megan suggested that saying the unsaid to our rejector with the goal of “winning them back” may not be a good enough reason to remove burdens from our chest. But shouldn’t we say things for catharsis, no matter how uncomfortable it makes the person on the receiving end? I’m sure we have all experienced this intoxicating desire—if only I could clumsily explain myself to the rejector, maybe this pit in my stomach would subside. But Megan mentioned that if we did say the unsaid, perhaps all the person would do is sit there and stew in awkwardness. Yet don’t we need that for a sense of vengeance after rejection?
Above everything, Megan sought for to put on story telling ability over herQlmtoprovideamomentofrelief gender. for audiences by reminding us that we “If you can nail story-telling, you’re in are not alone in feelings of confusion with a chance.” She also addressed and despondency. the dizculties of attributing a lac “I believe no one truly knows what female directorial and screenwriting they’re doing,” she said with a nominations to gender discrimination. slight laugh. Almost everyone has a “Productions are comprised of so default setting of stumbling aimlessly many moving parts and there are around, unsure whether others countless reasons as to why a Qlm are experiencing the same internal Ropped.( Megan$s stance reRects her emotional conga line. Thus, Megan belief that Qlm should operate as a aimed to create content that speaks unequivocally collaborative process. directly to the audience, in whatever t$s not just one woman in Qlm, it$s way they require. manypeopleinQlm.(
Best Woman in Film
From uproar at the lack of female What’s Next for Meg? nominees for best director at the As a shameless fan of Megan’s, I will 2020 Oscars and BAFTAS, to Cate continue to operate my post as head Blanchett accepting her Oscar for cheerleader for whatever she does. Best Actress at the 2014 Academy But where does Meg see herself in Awards and subtly disparaging the the next few years? commonviewthatQlmswithastrong “Heading overseas! I see myself female lead are “niche”, the discussion giving the Qlm industry a crack for regarding gender inequality within ten years and working on projects theQlmindustrypersists. that I truly care about.” Megan Megan put my rallying cry for revenge SomearguethataQxationonwomendescribed the joy gained from mere involvement in a production, even into perspective and I nearly spat out inQlm$isredundant.Meganremained my milky tea in applause. as unsure as me regarding direction the ten-hour days and sleepless and priorities, however her perspective nights. She is open to begging on her “For Nadia, it’s not about the pain hands and knees for experience— oersasenseofhope. of losing the rejector, it’s about the $ beensoexcitedbyQlmthathaven$tas we’ve all predicted doing postpain of losing her sense of self. She’s ve graduation—however she’s already always believed she was a certain yet felt disadvantaged. I know that VCA clocked up work experience as a way and now for some reason, this is my sole experience yet there is an equal proportion of females, males and runner and researcher for the ABC. intimate experience prompted her non-binary people in my cohort. So Megan’s charm will have far-reaching to display coldness. And she needs far, I’ve been treated with only respect inRuence, as she also sees hersel to Qnd out why instead of relying and kindness on shoots.” However, pursuing a career in psychology on a knee-jerk reaction.” Megan Megan expressed her frustration at the or hairdressing, because, as we suggested yearning to win someone ubiquitous male lens. recited together—‘hair is everything!’ back who does not want us anymore “We are still so used to stories being perhaps has nothing to do with the told by males and how they direct… person we’ve lost, but the realisation we more often than not only have Megan Cox’s short film ‘What is not that something needs to change an exclusively male experience to go Said’ is is now available to watch on within us. o . ( Megan implored for emphasisYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Ie7T-A_j4qU
column / non-fiction
content warning: references to mental illness and psychiatric treatment, mentions of death
The Facets of Madness—
therapy at the hands of an incompetent doctor. The trauma of electro-shock therapy remains embedded in her veins, even as she is taken under the care of a doctor of a moreempatheticnatureandaninQnitelyknowledgeab psychiatrist. Yet, this trauma stands in stark contrast to howhermotherandthehospital$smedicalstaseem eager to ignore her “madness” under the guise of returning Written by Donna Ferdinando to normalcy. Esther Greenwood, the novel’s protagonist, is thus forced to internalise her trauma. Attempting to adopt Irisewithmyredhair,andIeatmenlikeair,(declares the gilded veil of normalcy only resurges Esther’s terrible Sylvia Plath in a sonorous tandem. madness and harms only herself. Written in a burst of creative energy, Sylvia Plath’s Plath’s goal is to rent the veil into shreds and humanify concluding line in her poem ‘Lady Lazarus’ is nothing short madness. She aims to portray it as an innate facet of the of intimidating. Recalling the resurrected Lazarus of biblical human personality; one to be acknowledged rather than lore, she seems to write that she herself is resurrected out ignored;onetobehandledandnotsuppressed.Itisher oftheRamesofherownsueringmorepowerfuland suppression and the general unwillingness to acknowledge intimidating than ever before. her mental illness that leads her down the thorny path, thatmakesherfeelsuocatedasifsheiswithintheai Between the spaces of her written poetry, her voice conQnesofabelljar.Theminuteshebeginstoknowit, rings free and curious, wild and uninhibited, breathy and however—to slightly deranged. Indeed, there is a bit of the deranged in embrace it as a reluctant companion and manage it as one manages a petulant child—her highs and the absolute conviction with which she proclaims the raw lows converge into a bumpy yet straight and smooth line. power she appears to hold over mankind. Certainly, had many of the men of Plath’s 1960s caught wind of these And perhaps it is this humanising of mental health that words, I can only assume they would take a page out of allows Plath’s readers to relate to her work and explore the the old cliché’s book and collapse dramatically into an taboo aspects of their personalities. armchair in a Qt of misogyny. I saw my life branching out before me like the green Qg Many would have, in fact, thought Plath mad; and indeed, tree, ( Plath writes. One Qg was a husband and a happy the chronic depression that plagued her until her death home and children, and another Qg was a famous poet, wouldn’t have helped her case. Yet, one could just as easily and another Qg was a brilliant professor- I wanted ea argue that Plath simply wrote what she knew. Her highs, and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing her lows, her cynicism, her witticisms, her morbidity, her all the rest.” mental illness and her experience of it all; every single bit How many of us have embodied these exact fears and of it was poured into her work. To be frank, there is no anxieties about our future; fears of falling behind, of madness in that—only the unspoken side of humanity. making a fatally wrong choice, of ruining chances and living Take, for example, The Bell Jar, the one novel Plath with regret? How many of us have wanted and wanted, and dedicated much of her scholarly intellect to writing. She have had to give up what we wanted? And how many times does not shy away from revealing society’s perceptions has the admittance of the “taboo” aspects of our humanity ofmadnessandtheRawedinstitutionalisedmethodsof been demonised, ignored or misconstrued as madness? “curing” madness conducted by asylums, prisons and PlathishardlytheQrstauthorandpoettodepictth psychiatric hospitals. hidden woes of the human mind, but she arguably does Itwasaqueer,sultrysummer,thesummertheyexecuted itbetterthanmost.HermusingsstrumattheReshy theRosenbergs,andIdidn$tknowwhatIwasdoinginNew heartstrings of the reader and map the neurotic pathways York,” she writes at the opening of her novel. ofthereader$sbrain.It$ssafetosaythatifthepoetic musings of the inner human mind, the blatant depiction of Later, this sense of helplessness—amidst the vast, mental health and psychiatric institutional practice cannot monstrous, overwhelming tsunami of the unknown— sway the taboo on “madness”, then nothing will. makes its encore when she undergoes electro-shock
“This Is the Light of the Mind”: Lady Lazarus’ Maddened Musings
Illustrated by Niamh Corbett
/ column / creative non-fiction
Filling Up the Static:
Hot Tea, Haiku and Two Hands Written by S Theocharides
One of my housemates and I swap bad haiku about our day. What comes out of my mouth is Sugar in assam My room is so cold today Wearing ugly shirt The shirt has blue and purple stripes. It is an enthusiastic thermal meant for camping and the outdoors where nothing sees you except trees and other people who are wrapped in similarly bright layers. They (the thermals and people) make sure you won’t get lost in the forest you are hiking through. They make youincrediblyobnoxiouslyvisibleandincrediblyobnoxiouslywarm.TheyQndyouandwrapyouinheat. I am at home stirring brown sugar into a mug full of Assam tea, steeped so strong it is now a dark red-brown. It is the colour of good rotting leaves. It is warming my hands which are A) clean from a hot shower, B) smelling of the cocoa butter moisturiser my mum has used for as long as I remember and C) cold but getting hotter, because the mug is so full. I think about my two hands getting warm and about how the record playing now, Two Hands by Big Thief, is maybe getting warm as it spins. (Do records get hot? On an emotional level, yes they do. But on an emotional level, most things can get hot and then cold and then hot again.) This album is sometimes aboutred-brownteafullofdarksugargranulesmeltingQrstinthemugandtheninyourmouth.tis sometimes about a forest you get lost and found in. It is also about My room is so cold today / wearing ugly shirt. The sweet dark things pouring from their (eight) hands (and various mouths, instruments) are words that want to come out of the rich cold mash of the world and into the warm.
The room is not that cold really, but you can sense an eager winter day inserting itself into late autumn inthewaywinterdaysoftendo:politelyQrst,andthenlesspolitely.Thebreathstartssteaminggle even when the sun is out. Before long, everything is beginning to relearn how to collapse in the cold. The world collapses in order to feed the trees so they will be full and fat in spring. couldoerthetreesoutsidemywindowsomeAssamBoldtea.wouldmakeitstrongandsweetin a watering can. I think they would like at least six teabags and six spoons of sugar each. The clumps of dark sugar would melt slowly, but I would be patient. I would ask the limbs if they wanted milk, to which they would likely answer no, and then I would pour the tea gently in careful circles all around the trunks, soaking their cold roots. Small tree tongues would emerge from the earth and lap gratefully (greedily) at the pools. I can hear it: When the tea hits the frosty grass there is a great hissing. The frost turns to steam and rises noisily to kiss my face. They like its sweetness. I drink my tea outside in the winterdayandthetreesdrinktheirsandweslowlyQllwithheat,andthenourcheeksgoveryredin the cold. Bright leaves on our tired faces change into new things. My cheeks are turning red and my two hands grow warm and my shirt is blue and purple and ugly and I do not get lost in the forest. I am wrappedinbrightfabricandeasytoQnd,eveninthedark.tissosweet.
Illustrated by Ella Cao
column / non-fiction /
content warning: mentions of horror, gore
A W.I.P. Around the Workshop—
Don’t Go Down to the Basement: Why We Shouldn’t Enjoy Horror… and Why We Do Anyway. Written by Sarah Dornseiff, Creative Literature and Writing Society (C.L.A.W.S.) Think back to when you were a child. It was after dark, and your parents or caregivers had turned out your lights. You were lying in bed alone, breathing quietly, so quietly you barely made a sound even inthesuocatingsilence.
a challenge of pattern recognition as you’re visually and audibly led through the story.
Tobeputsimply,youwatchaQlmforanintense, physiological arousal produced in mere minutes, and you read a book for a slower, more dreadful build-up in thehopesthattherewillbearicherpayothatwillst It wasn’t the dark you were afraid of but what was in withyoulongafteryouhaveQnished.Eventhoughhave the dark, in the closet, under the bed. Everything came already exposed where I stand, I’m not here to start a turf alive with sinister intent if you looked hard enough. The warbetweenFilmBusandBookworms.Donewell,both shadows of trees were hands with claws. The coat on your canviscerallypetrifyyou.Butbooksaren$talwaysaorde doorwastheQgureofanintruder.Thecurtainshidyou thesamestorytellingconventionsasinQlmortelevi from the outside well enough but there was always the they must create their own. thoughtthatifyoupulledthemback,youmightQndaface staring at you from the other side of the window. Anatomy of a horror story If you were like me, you scared easily (and maybe still do). My imagination held that unique terror we invent for ourselves. The kind that sets your heart racing, pits sweating, skin shivering, stomach churning, and stands your hairs on end. These aren’t sensations we’re supposed to enjoy experiencing. Not in theory.
Sadie Trombetta, a freelance writer and book reviewer givesseveralreasonswhyreadinghorrorissoeective producing a fear response. For starters, it’s a commitment. You’re signing up to be scared for days, potentially weeks as you sift through the pages of a King novel, and that’s not a commitment you should take lightly. Let’s face it, ruminating alone on a homicidal clown and its connection So why on Earth do some of us seek out the blood-curdling to the poisonous depravities of a small town in Maine thrills of horror, when this is the exact physiological and is going to alter your mental state. And that’s the other psychological response it’s supposed to inspire? Better yet, thing: reading is a solo adventure. Even if you are reading whocomesupwiththesedisturbingideasintheQrstplace? the same book alongside another person, they will never The answers to these questions will, quite predictably, experience it the way you do. That fear is intimately yours vary from person to person, and even vary within a and it is not easily conveyed. person. The way I feel about consuming horror content However, the most important part of written horror—the is very di erent to the way feel about producing it. With still-beating heart it holds out to you in its cadaverous the former, I am a pissbaby who has very little stomach hands—is the way it hijacks your imagination and forces for gore and hates jump scares with a passion. As a rule, you to conjure the version of its “big bad” that is tailored refuse to watch a horror movie unless it is certiQably to scare you the most. That right there is the power of terrible and I am in the company of friends who are there suggestion. And in those moments where your mind is to laugh at said terribleness. racingwithRashesofanevilthatisyettobeproperly However, my opinion changes when presented with horror deQned,youbecomeanintegralpartofthestory,tothe in a written format. Suddenly, I am not only curious about point where you believe you are experiencing this trauma the twisted contents of a novel or story, but I am also Qrst-hand.Youareplacedinthebodyofthenarratorand unRinchingenoughtosatisfymycuriosity.Wemightargue this time you don’t get to look away. that is because reading horror is not nearly as frightening So, we’ve dissected the mutant zombie that is literary as watching it. horror and found where it keeps all its brains. Cool. That We would be wrong. doesn’t explain why we like it though. The difference occurs in the way the media resonates with us which, according to Harvard University professor Dr Steven Schlozman, are two different experiences at a neurological level. Reading horror lights up the parts of your brain that deal with space and time, to provide a context for the visualisation of what you’re reading. In watching horror, that work is being done for you, so your experience then becomes
‘Lessons from a terrified horror researcher’ Mathias Clasen has dedicated his academic career to studying horror and combines his research with natural and social sciences. The contention he presented to his audience in 2017 was this: horror exploits an ancient and evolved set of biological defence mechanisms which we may call a “fear system”. This system was an evolutionary development from our distant ancestors who lived in a
Illustrated by Zoë Hoffman
/ column / non-fiction / column
world full of dangers. Predators, disease and other humans all posed potential threats and the vigilance developed by theirfearaordedthemsurvival. Clasen also claimed that we don’t experience the same kind of dangers as intensely or as often as our ancestors but again, this was the rosy era of 2017. Clasen didn’t have 2020 vision back then and neither did we. I digress. In the modern world, we are no less vigilant than our ancestors and this is the key to our morbid fascination.
scenarios work because they are structured to exploit the evolved fear system. Our exposure to horror allows us to test this system and calibrate it. We learn what it means to be afraid, how to handle negative emotions and develop coping mechanisms. By building a tolerance to horror, we build a sense of mastery that is transferrable to how much negative stimulation we can handle.
The place in which horrors are invented.
Horror is moulded from confronting some of the worst TheQrsthorrorstoryreadthatproperlyterriQed human me fallibilities and the concept of our own mortality. into a state of existential crisis was a young adult novel by As such, there are many reasons why a writer might Norwegian author Johan Harstad called 172 Hours on the choose to dedicate their craft to it. Harnessing the Moon.pickeditupfromtheQctionsectionofmyschool element of fear could be a writer’s way of leaning into library thinking that the premise was interesting. But it their natural instincts, or it could be an exercise with was its eeriness that convinced me to begin reading it a distinct purpose. For example, writing horror can be right there at the circulation desk. “Do you want to go to used as a method of working through trauma by giving a theMoon?(itaskedonaRyerseveralpagesin.Mykneeperson the sense that not only can they face their fears, jerkresponsewassure(,excepttheRyerwithitshalfbut they can control them. Perhaps even befriend them. obscured moon in a sea of black began to unsettle me. 48 Alternatively, some enjoy Qnding the spirit that pr hours of binge-reading later, I found out why. “Eerie” was a in the face of adversity and feel it is just as cathartic as goddamn understatement. In the process, the narrowband extrapolating on worst-case scenarios. radio signal, 6EQUJ5—the Wow! Signal—was branded With writing, there is often a sense of playing God, but onto my brain, never to be forgotten for fear that a real that increases tenfold when considering the best ways astrophysical phenomenon from the 70s might come back to raise the adrenaline of a reader. I cannot claim to to haunt humanity with apocalyptic consequences. be an expert author in this Qeld, though the method o Reading Harstad’s book was psychologically harrowing constructing prose that elicits such a primal response and bleak. I couldn’t look at the face of the moon for is one in which I hold immense curiosity. Mostly, I write months without feeling a cold sense of dread. Yet it with the aim to frighten myself, for then I will surely remains one of the best stories I have ever encountered, be on the right track toward frightening others—for horror or otherwise, and it began my appreciation of the sake of entertainment, of course. To me, writing horror as a literary genre. The respect I have for it is horror represents a mastery of controlling and releasing almost reverential. Sorry, Stephen. tension. It gives us the chance to expose the darker side of humanity and wield mythic, supernatural forces that WeseektobeconfrontedbythehorriQcinacontrolled reRect our demons, and help us destroy them. environment where we otherwise perceive ourselves to be safe because we have evolved an appetite for vicarious experience with threat scenarios. In Clasen’s opinion, these
Illustrated by Zoë Hoffman
graphic column /
‘Lost in Translation’ by Riley Morgan
/ graphic column
content warning: racism, violence
Co lo u r i s i n g t h e G o l d e n Days Written by Vanessa Marryatt This all started when I went to an art gallery over the weekend.
Actually, if I’m being truly honest, it started much before that, from the moment I stepped into this country, from the moment I was born—that is to say, from the moment I was othered. But this story begins in the present day, in a quintessential Melbourne environment: an independent artist’s premiere of a new work. The artist in question is the phenomenal James J. Robinson, renowned for his photography and Qlmmaking. He$ s widely recognised for his famously condemning photo of his St. Kevin$ s blazer lit on Qre in protest, as well as his work with celebrities and publications such as Rihanna, The New York Times, Sydney Sweeney, and Vogue. This premiere, however, focused on other identiQers of the photographer: his background in Qlm and television, and his ethnicity as a Filipino Australian. This new work is named On Golden Days and is a series of photographs and short films reflecting on what Robinson calls “the memory industry” and our societal nostalgia for innocent times past. As Robinson points out, easily forgotten in this lust for simpler times is the erasure of minorities’ lived experiences that haunt this naïveté. Robinson raises the question: “who benefits when those stories are forgotten?” And reality is, unfortunately, much darker. And so, the idea is formed. With an entirely Asian TherealityisthatonlytwoHollywoodQlmsintheent cast, Robinson builds an alternate reality in which the twentieth century featured an Asian majority casting. Golden Age of cinema was inclusive of, if not entirely The reality is that Asian actors cannot and have not run by, Asian minorities. The audience is swept into this beenHollywoodprotagonists,notuntilthepastQve world through vignettes of both everyday moments of years and only just barely; one needs only look at the period, as well as pointed revivals of retro movie Goonies and Indiana Jones actor Ke Huy Quan’s twentyglamour. We see a range of cinematic characters: the year drought to understand this truth. The reality is that lonecowboyfacingointhedesert;theglowingdiva we still haven’t had an Academy Award for best actor surrounded by her entourage of male admirers; the giventoanAsianpersoninthetwenty-Qrstcentury. performer preparing to enter the stage. Alongside this Reality is that, even in 2022, Robinson’s all-Asian casting on-screenrepresentationaretheo-screen,intimate is a rare sight to behold on screen. scenes, with my personal favourite being an incredibly Being Asian in a Western space is a battle for space, sweet photo of two older women, smiling at something and for visibility. Cathy Park Hong, a Korean-American just beyond the camera, arms entwined. Robinson has poet, explains this question of existence in the white a particular brilliance with lighting and tone throughout landscapeasanontological(dierence:t$slike hisworks,andthisseriesisnodierenteachphoto explaining to a person why you exist, or why you feel beams with warmth, and the soft sensuality of the pain, or why your reality is distinct from their reality. colour palette lends itself to suggesting a fond memory Except it’s even trickier than that. Because that person long forgotten. The make-up and costuming are vibrant has all of Western history, politics, literature, and mass and elegant, featuring dramatic swoops of eyeliner, culture on their side, proving that you don’t exist.” Even beehive wigs, and chunky accessories to boot. Mitski, internationally renowned Japanese-American pop Robinson powerfully lures his audience to yearn for this singer, consciously manoeuvres this liminal space in the past, to “[anaesthetise our] contemporary anxieties”. But length of her songs, aiming to be “precise and concise” it is here that the photographer sets his trap and leaves as “I’m not a straight white guy. No one’s going to listen his viewer with a vulnerable truth: these photos are the closest they will ever come to experiencing this alternate to me noodle for 45 minutes.” world. The celebration of Asian Australian bodies, the collective pride in the beauty of the Asian immigrant life, and our stories as being worthy of old Hollywood fame, is a mere dreamscape.
Australia,unsurprisingly,isjustassuocating,ifno worse. Author Alice Pung’s compelling essay this year in Meanjin’s autumnissuereRectsuponwhosefeelings
photographyandQlm-makingstyleartistically,itis impossible to separate this art from the politics that encompass it. Everything from the premise, execution, andreceptionareactsofdeQanceagainstthe hegemony of the white lens. Through Robinson, the audience is forced to reckon with not only the mourning of real lived experiences of minorities of the Golden Age, but also the unlived experiences that will never be spoken into existence. The diva born for the limelight, basking in her own glory. The assertive cowboy, guns blazing,readytoacethestand-oandrideintothe sunset. The two comfortable, wealthy ladies, who have the luxury of time. The luxury of simply sitting and staring, decorating themselves in detailed makeup with their hair stacked painfully high. Two ladies who need not concern themselves with making a living from minimum wage, with serving their white communities at the nail salon, the laundromat, the restaurant. Who need not be concerned with being another statistic of violence towards Asian women.
hadtheopportunitytobrieRyspeakwithRobinsononth night of the reception. Incredibly sweet and down-to-earth, matter in literature?” with her entire essay dedicated he was all bashful smiles as I thanked him for the beauty to the (in)visibility of Asian writers in the publishing of the night. For someone who had just about every right industry, as well as more broadly Asian representation to be busily networking and dealing with more important in Australia. She notes that “we don’t assume people things, his patience and kindness to a complete stranger have read our books and know our characters, or will is something I respect dearly. He remarked upon the want to buy our books and know our characters. We attendance of the night, which had spilled out of the gallery have to hustle the shit out of them.” She dives into and burst onto the street. He seemed surprised by the the complex manoeuvres Asian authors face in order turnout; he had thought he’d overestimated the number for their stories to be palatable to white audiences: of pies he’d need and they’d go to waste. Little did he know Pung recalls her own father asking in regards to her they would be demolished within the hour, alongside the autoQction Her Father’s Daughter, “Do you think there’s rest of Robinson’s work. Even an Asian man as talented toomuchsueringinthisbook?Whitepeopledon$t and internationally renowned as Robinson is surprised in wanttoreadabouttoomuchsuering.You$vegottobe the ability to be granted the space he deserves. What kind careful.” The onus, she describes, is on the author to be of art will we discover when we give Asian Australians the malleable to the white reader—sometimes so far as to space to breathe? question the mutilated object left in its wake. This is the setting within which On Golden Days situates itself. Robinson is hardly alone in his questioning of the visibility of the Asian diaspora, and he utilises this foundation of discussion to build his own reaction against the nostalgia industry of the Golden Age in his work.RobinsonhimselfhascommentedsigniQcantlyon the representation of Asian Australians. In an interview with Liminal Magazine, he notes: “Any time there’s an Asian character there’s this implicit sense of ‘why are they here? Why are they Asian?’ And there has to be some reason why this character is Asian; they can’t be a regular character who also just happens to be Asian. What I hate is when people say, ‘it doesn’t really, you know, suit our story’. I’m like, ‘how does it not suit your story?’ But I guess it’s a major part of being a person of colour in Australia. As in, I’m here in Australia just like anyone else, you know? I exist.” On Golden Days undoubtedly seems to respond to this critique, depicting Asian characters who suit Australian (and Hollywood) stories perfectly. As much as I wish that a review such as this could be based simply on the ingenuity of Robinson’s
Photographs courtesy of James J. Robinson
Artwork by CJ Starc
/ photography tear-out
Photography by Mollie Crompton
photography tear-out /
Photography by Michael Sadeghi
/ photography tear-out
Photography by Akash Anil Nair
photography tear-out /
Photography by Jasmine Pierce
/ photography tear-out
Photography by Michael Sadeghi
photography tear-out /
Artwork by Jasmine Pierce
/ photography tear-out
Photography by Christian Theodosiou
photography tear-out /
Photography by Mollie Crompton
CREATIVE Artwork by Matilda Lilford
column / creative /
Ordinary Phenomena: Birdmen in Flight Written by Helena Pantsis
FairyRossstrungaroundtherootsofyourteeth,tonguesQzzingwithsugar,andholy incense sent skyward from booths of hot tornado potatoes and pork skewers. You are yammering, excited. The cotton candy melts easily on your tongue. You haven’t been to a fair since you were a kid. Your belly rises and falls. The crowd trickles in and out of lines, lips dulcet and candied, breaths loud and permeating. A man on stilts slinksthroughthecrowdwithwide,redlips,amoonfacegleaming,hisbodyRuidas syrup. It is otherworldly, almost, so that your friends must keep hold of you as not to lose you in the fray. You lose your appetite on a ride that plummets you to the earth, unspooling your stomach and yanking it back. You lose your head on a Gravitron that spins you at light-speed, and you’re not sure at what point you lost your sunglasses. You lose your voice, your throat ragged and dry. You lose your mind in the hall of mirrors and games of chance, existing in duplicates and triplicates. There are stalls where you knock down pegs and shoot water by pistol into a clown’s open mouth. You trade dollars for attempts at victories and, more often, losses. You don’t take home anygoldQsh,butyouseeamanwithQnsforarmsRoathighacrosstheYarra.Hefalls violently to the water so you all laugh. He is no birdman. None of the men in costumes are carried by the wind, instead drifting downstream and drenched in the Yarra’s unendingRow.Still,youareRying,morebirdthanpersonatanypointthroughoutthe day, but especially in the grip of the ferris wheel. You drift into twilight, neon pinwheelstriped patterns washing across your upturned face. Your mouth is stained by shaved ice,madeRuorescentunderthemoonlight.Theferriswheelisalightintechnicolour the glowing rainbow haze shifting in waves as the carriages turn with gravity’s pull. The world is blurred at the edges. You can see the whole city from the top. You drink it in, the lights, the night, the wind in your teeth. Your heart is in your throat, the fairy Rossyoumunchedonearliercaughtatthebackofyourmolars.Feetdribblingover the seat, your friends sway, testing the limits of the little box, seeing how high you can swing before the car does a full 360. It creaks with each push and pull, up and down as it rounds. It hums, an elongated breath to match your own when it stalls, both you and the ride in awe of the way the sky swallows you whole. A man above you shouts that he rules the world like he is in Titanic. Below you a couple shares a kiss. You soar over the ground, the people on earth the size of seeds. Moving in lurches and groans, gravity draws you back down and around. Something shifts inside you all. None of you says it,butyouknowthatthesecondyougetotheferriswheel,youwillnotbethesame peopleyouwerewhenyougoton.YourfaceisRushedaglazedcottoncandypink.A hand slips through the open car door to help you down the steps. You hesitate, look to your friends. One more time around and you each promise you’ll go home. Just one more, you promise, before the dawn smothers you whole.
Illustrated by Casey Boswell
content warning: animal death, allusions to colonisation
Sick Paddock Written by Caitlyn Steer The cow’s wail wafts ghostly in life. In death, it breathes on the air, odourless, a clean tongue. NotevenRieswouldtouchit.
Amongst asphodel vitality, one sick paddock, a haven for the diseased body. Trampled earth, pondweed, sure, but trees and turf, spinifex, kangaroo shit; mean antiseptic for Paterson’s squalor.
Elsewhere, in Martian silence, pungent baking rubber and saltbushes in caked dust, she lies, a hide perfectly stretched over sparse bones, bugless, scentless, soundless, cacophonic. You can hear the dead under this sky.
Illustrated by Nina Hughes
graphic column /
‘Oyster’ by Sophia Zikic
/ graphic column
content warning: allusions to grief
Two dogs on a yellowed, upturned plate
We are putting in a crop
a pocket knife gone awry. I wrapped
on a drought year. Father
his hand in grease cloth to join you
Written by Izma Haider
HiswordsandactionsQttogether bare feet in the kitchen like straying
talkstotheQeldsliketalkingtoin you, theQeld,thetractorgoingallthewhile tills the soil like knowing you.
and the pad of his thumb next to my
like two halves of a tally. I have
apple-skin. Swearing to give
never felt at ease with him.
Of everything I’ll grow up to be
a good reason to a man like that? You want
I am guilty. That’s the drought
to be gritty. You’re gritty like cornmeal
talking, but it’s right. We don’t
in my porridge and a quick jam.
say what we know, don’t say what they do.
You’re not gritty, you’re
His is a mean country. If he could dig
granular like strawberries
I take from the vine and
score it, cut it, slice it. I remember
made when stone is worn
Illustrated by Evan Goulios and Ivan Jeldres
away by water or ice, when small
to be alone, but I don’t like
stones scrape riverbeds, making
being left behind. I can’t
smaller stones, which collide and
leave, because if two do
become smaller and collide and
the same thing, it isn’t
become silt. This
the same thing.
might be the only absolution
I’d like to show you I’m alive.
you’ll receive. I’d say our insides
When I see you, I’ll meet you
might be silt-lined, but prayer
with my face on. Still,
is so short. And the dry,
say grace. Say goodnight. Say it
so long. You woke me
is. Say you will. Or I will guess.
up when it wasn’t even morning, not even Dad could have ever called it morning. The river looked like a soft grey string. Wellworn. A little loved. I was glad
content warning: allusions to sex
rodeo clown Written by Aeva Milos the rodeo clown makes love to the bull
the whale-road pierces simulacrum
love has a funny way of being
tangled between red bedsheets
twice as big and thrice as small
watched in an arena full of cowboys
seven times you cross yourself Qngerstwistedintheshapeofgeese
o rodeo clown, my rodeo clown!
what is it like? in the tall grass
your body dreaming of
your meat hook prayer
diamond bodices and fur coats
god’s treasures crushed between a lion’s jaw—hair, teeth, engagement ring
the lamb, suckling on the statue of liberty
the dishes raw
against desert kingdoms
in the living room
and mountain steeples nothingcanmu^ethesoundof daddy giggling in her dressing room or cain and abel, headlocked in lover’s embrace and the bull, oh the bull buck-wild in bed
o rodeo clown, my rodeo clown! which dusty road did you follow? was it to andy’s factory or san francisco i love you, my rodeo clown let down those tresses, those cowbells and kiss me kiss me kiss me body and bull, body and bull
Illustrated by Joanne Guo
content warning: sex, alcohol
god fucked me last night Written by Amelie Mcintosh god fucked me last night or was it you? i couldn’t tell you apart frommypositionontheRoor. when you stroke my face i’m twelve years old again.andyouarethepriestoeringrepentance vodka burning my throat becomes the communion wine, when you separate your lips and tip your face toward the sky i can see the resemblance to the man at the front of the church when kneeling was a punishment rather than an act of love, or maybe lust, or desire religionhasleftmeentirely,religionisyourQnger on the edge of my mouth, religion is the priest’s hand on my shoulder and the weight of the bible in my arms. love you doesn’t mean i love you doesn’t mean i’m in love with you but i look at you in the blurring lightofthedanceRoorandican$ttellthedierence between sin and salvation when your hands are just close enough to mine to pretend they’re not touching at all. i’ve been fucked and i’m still pathetic enough to want to be loved.
Illustrated by Marchella Rusciano Barrow
creative non-fiction /
content warning: transphobia, gender dysphoria
Bull Man Written by Elena Hogan Be the cowboy, he says to me. Balding white man.
Do you remember that party with the mechanical bull? A competitive streak lined the wall, all boys. I queued with I’m standing in a gallery. I’m standing in a gallery at a them shyly and awaited my turn. And there stood Bull thoughtful distance from the work. He sneezes behind Man—silent, expectant. He tottered his controls until, me. It’s just the two of us, I can feel his shoulders lurking one by one, we were smacked down. I remember the over mine. Don’t turn around, I think. With feigned interest I trodden grass below. Loud 2000s music. Screaming. approach the title card. Then memories whip the canvas. I waded over the deep mat, mounted the bull. I gripped its horns and clamped my legs tightly around The windswept face of a tourist. Now several tourists. itshide.twasbuedwithage.BullMancrankedhis They record a dust devil ripping through the desert. dial and I worked to shift my weight early, always one It’s close now, and quite without realising they all take wrench ahead. Everyone was watching. Dad, I wanted to a step back at the same moment. Watch their hats last a while. Ryaway.Watchthemprodtheirphonesasthedevil Bodies whisked across my vision. Bull Man sweeps closer. Red. pincered his little joystick and hurled me across the pen. Lights blurred like trailing spit. I fell hard. My Dad is in Tucson, Arizona. Over the phone he But I queued again. Be the cowboy, I thought. It describes the saguaro cacti. Some of the guys saw wasn’t my thought. hummingbirds fly inside them, he says. There must be something good in there, with all those prickles. He tells He says it again—the security guard behind me. He’s me they are everywhere. I google them and see the sniggering in his mask. I stare deeper into the painting, little holes he described. Little nests. We have fun pronouncing saguarotogether.t$shisQrsttimein there$snowhereelsetolook.MyneckisstiandRinch when he sneezes again. Arizona. Work trip. On our call you describe Tombstone, the western Do you remember, Dad, those DVDs we borrowed from town “too tough to die”. You drove sixty miles souththe neighbour? Several years ago. A whole pile of Clint east$dof Tucson to get there. You say it’s something EastwoodQlms.We$dwatchupstairsintheevenings, like Sovereign Hill and I clench my teeth. I think of make popcorn and we’d gnaw handfuls at a time. We’d squint at the TV like he’d squint at the sun and the cacti. raspberry drops and tongue ulcers. I think of swinging It was rare for you to spend so long upstairs. Mum saloon doors, how they Qll rooms with greaseless quiet. I think of racism. would call us down to ask what we were doing, do you You show me the web of your thumb—a remember? You’d tell her about our little screenings with shooting range scab from the pinch of a glock. But a childlike buzz. She would roll her eyes and smile at the you’re not a gun person. It was something to do, like both of us. We’re being cowboys, I thought to myself. But I the clay target and rabbit shooting that busied your said nothing, my lips were sealed. I didn’t know what I was.
Illustrated by Sally Yuan
/ creative non-fiction teenyears.Theywereyourbrother$shobbies Be Qrst. Bull Man dialled up his controls. Full tremolo. the cowboy, he thought, and so you thought it too. Your And I was the lonely strings in my room again. I gave my parents had saloon doors to their ensuite. Seventies bodytothegame,outrightrefusedtofall.ARurryof architecture. Outback Yorta Yorta country. lights consumed me. Loud chanting. Louder music. You say you’re missing home. I miss you too, I Dad, do you remember when I sold my guitars? You sold say. I scrunch my skirt in my hand. your motorbike too. You worried for me. How could I give At the party, Bull Man shot me a glare. Try again? His up years of my life? But I wondered the same about you. spectacle had waned, only a few kids were watching You outran the cops as a twenty-something on that bike, now.ThemisQts.Alcoholicmudswallowedthegrass or something like it—I remember you told me. It seems beneathourfeet.Rungomyshoesandmountedthe we were both moving on from something. We were sick bull. What else could I do? I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t of popcorn, sick of picking seed from our gums. You know myself. Be the cowboy, I thought. Let the bull rock. returned the westerns to our neighbour. But that was all years ago now. Sepia times. usedtohaveanampwithbuilt-insoundeects. Do you remember my primary school graduation? dialled up the tremolo and plucked the lonely strings. It was goldrush themed. We’d been to Sovereign Hill that I hid in my room all my life perfecting the role of a year, you were the parent volunteer. The school corridor cowboy, never quite ready to perform it. The tremolo, a was lined with on-theme “wanted” posters, sepia-toned deep whorling shimmer, skipped the beats of my heart. portraits with nicknames for all the students. I zipped My lips were sealed. around looking for mine. For my grief, I didn’t have words. Now I’m four months on estradiol. I’m Pretty boy, it said. I clenched my teeth. eavesdropping in a dress on the stairs. I can hear Mum talking with you on the phone. Three more sleeps, she Be the cowboy, he said. Balding white man. Bull Man. says, and you’ll be home. You’re helping her through my The nausea went on on on. My arms were locked, transition, but not much, since you’re so far away. She my neck was stiff. Then the bull slowed. Suddenly he misses you. I think she misses “me” more. told me to get off. The guys cheered for me. Is this She really thought I was a cowboy, didn’t she, what I wanted? It wasn’t. I stumbled onto the mud. Dad? I hear you comfort her, you describe the saguaro No grass was left. and the hummingbirds. There must be something good in I wanted to say something. But all I’ve known is the there, with all those prickles, you say. I touch my thinning violence of bulls, my powerful body shaken to silence. stubble, remembering you told me the same. I loosen my neck and turn to the guard. I want to Tissues trumpet from the bedroom. She’s confront him. He’s gone. There’s a woman. She smiles crying. You squint at the sun. Endless saguaro and says the gallery will close soon. I glance back at the surrounds you, so far from home. work, it’s red and brown and beige. I lean in toward the Bullmancrankedhisjoystickwithdiscernible title eort; card. I’m no cowboy, it reads. I exhale deeply. met his eyes in the act—fearless, vacant. Be the cowboy, Dad, there are hundreds of works here: I’m no they said menacingly. I couldn’t shake myself free. I fireman, I’m no prince, I’m no stuntman. And so many couldn’t. He had me pinned. memories. I am none of these things. We are not our Everyone watched me now, including the girls. memories, are we? I think you taught me that. I’m Half a dozen kids recorded on their phones. Quite thinking of you as I leave the gallery. I hope you can without realising they all took a step back at the same meet me soon. Three more days. moment. I wanted to be seen, I wanted the girls to know me. How do I put this into words? I was the dust devil ripping dangerously close.
Illustrated by Sally Yuan
column / creative /
Hocus-Pocus Recipes and Rituals: A Happy Hearty Meal for a Great Big Adventure Written by Marcie Di Bartolomeo
Hello hello! This is your local apothecary and witch Selena Sparklemoon. I must confess, I’ve been finding myself bone-tired lately, and sluggish as a mealworm without a meal. I’ve tried powering through it and now I’m bedridden with a fever. What’s worse is I promised Amon we would go on a road trip around the world, and we’re supposed to leave together tomorrow! I really do want to go but I am quite ill—what a predicament! Usually when I’m this ill, I would just sip on some tea and sleep in, but I have to go. I promised Amon—we pinky swore and everything—and soon Amon has to return back to the demon realm for a demon conference that only happens every 66 years, and usually lasts for six whole decades! I will practically be an old hag by the time they return, if I can even live long enough for that. So what can I do, you may ask? Why cheat with magic of course! I have a recipe saved up for just this occasion—a hearty stew that has been passed down in my family for generations You will need the following: Five cups of hedgehog mushrooms—despite the name, no hedgehogs are harmed in the making and harvesting of this elusive ingredient, so don’t stress! Veggies! Two cups of potatoes, one cup of carrots, one cup of celery and one cup of broccoli is my go-to mix for this recipe, though you can substitute your own assortment of veggies A sprinkle of lavender blessed by moonbeams—our stew isn’t complete without it! A sprinkle of your finest herbs and spices; thyme, basil, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ginger— whatever you have lying around A litre or two of vegetable stock (depending on how thick you want the broth to be). You can make your own or get some from your local supermarket. I tend to make up batches of vegetable stock from the leftover veggies of this very stew A single magic giant’s bean—this alone will add quite a kick to the stew, so try not to add any more (unless you wanna feel even sicker)! My family kept a store of magic giant’s beans in our pantry before they just suddenly disappeared when I was just a kid… Not gonna lie, I don’t know where to find more; my family kept that secret so hush-hush they wouldn’t even tell me Your sharpest knives to cut up your produce nice and good! One cauldron for all your ingredients One wooden spoon to stir it up into a feel-good broth
Illustrated by Jessica Norton
/ column / creative 1. To start, slice your hedgehog mushrooms into itty-bitty skulls. Amon and I tend to get batches of the stuff from our local farmers’ market; the ones they sell are always so fresh and vibrant. Plus it’s a nice little adventure visiting the other stalls, especially when Amon’s favourite honey farm is in town. 2. Next up are the veggies! Again, the farmers’ market is perfect for some organic veggies, but your very own garden will do plenty too. Slice and dice them all up with your sharpest knives. 3. Next up is lavender—I’ve started growing my own garden of lavender to make it easier for my recipes and rituals since lavender seems to feature in so many. Pluck a bunch and leave them out in the moonlight overnight to crisp up. 4. Pluck your herbs and dice them up until you’ve got a little mound of green. Then plant them and your mushrooms and veggies in the cauldron.
7. Once it is sunrise, collect your lavender and add it to the cauldron. Drop your magic giant’s bean into the mix; stir for half an hour clockwise and another half hour anti-clockwise. 8. Chant the words “I give thanks to this meal, and I will happily indulge” over and over and over, until the broth releases fireworks into the air. Time to celebrate! 9. Enjoy the hearty meal and be happy and healthy! After completing the latest batch of my family’s ol’ happy hearty stew, I now feel renewed and restored and ready to take on anything! Just in time too—I can already hear the flap of Amon’s wings—they’re right at my window! It’s time to go soon, but I do want to thank my family for passing down this recipe to me. I hope they’re okay, wherever they may be… That’s all from me for now! Tune in next time where I show y’all how to use cheese to predict the future!
5. Stock time! Pour your entire veggie stock into the cauldron. Leave to bubble bubble, boil and trouble overnight with an open window so that the broth can bask in moonbeams too. 6. Have a good night’s sleep—no happy hearty stew is complete without it!
Illustrated by Jessica Norton
column / creative /
content warning: alcohol
Murder on the Dancefloor—Tales from Late-Stage Hospitality: The Bathroom Stickers Written by Rupert Azzopardi “Pass us the Jimmy,” Miles said, squeezing past Chloe, gesturing at the Jim Beam bottle behind Anna—Anna rolled her eyes and retrieved it for him. “Dude, how many times do I have to tell you to stop calling it that?” Chloe complained. She poured a beer. “As long as we both work here, it’s Jimmy,” Miles replied. He served the next customer. He was conscious of the growing crowd at the bar of The Banana Split, but everyone was friendly, and for every few unfamiliar faces, there was a regular waiting to shake his hand or say hi. He loved the bar—they all did. It was a small dive which had graduated from being a regular watering hole for Miles and his uni mates, to becoming his primary source of income. The walls were adorned with dim neon signs of the Sailor Jerry tattoo, a portrait of Hendrix, and a print of Jay-Z taming a crowd; it was comfortable working at a place like this. Everything was familiar to him, and everything was familiar to the regulars. It was well-loved, like the spine of a book read dozens of times. A gin and tonic went out; the corresponding tenner came in. Miles looked up at the DJ—Chloe had ducked out of the bar to have a chat with him. The DJ, Val, waved and smiled at him. Val had been around for pretty much as long as Miles had, and for each of them The Banana Split was something of a second home. They had shared so many memories, drinks, and more, that any Saturday either of them was missing was never quite the same. On weeknights, Val was busy with other gigs—but on Saturdays, they were all part of the furniture.
HeRickedthestickeraway.Helookedbackattheseaof labels, bands, artists in all their colours and typefaces and identities and passions, and in the space he had just cleared withtheremovalofMudpie,hesawasliverofhisreRectio It was gaunt and tired. “I miss those gigs. I wanna see Val play at other places. I want to see all my friends from the old music scene. I never really get to anymore,” he went on. “I know the feeling, dude. I haven’t watched Carlton play in aboutayear.They$reQnallywinning,(Chloesaid. “Fuck the Blues,” Miles said, but he had a small smile on his face. Chloe hit him on the arm. “You know what. One night, you and I should take the night o.WewatchtheBluesbeattheCats,thenwegetfuckedup at a techno club. How good does that sound?”
“Dude, I love this place, but no chance we’re both getting a nightoatthesametime.Also,thereisnoconceivableworld in which Carlton beat Geelong. I’m sorry, but you’re deluded.” “Maybe you should let go of this place a little, Miles. It’s just a job.”
* Miles woke the next afternoon at four with a blinding headacheandinastateofcompleteexhaustion.Knocko drinks with Val, Chloe and Anna had lingered well into the daylit hours. He wasn’t completely sure, but he thought he remembered staggering into his front gate as a group of schoolchildren walked past with their mothers. He winced.
At closing, Chloe and Miles did a bathroom check. Typically, every surface but a square metre of mirror was covered with Work was in two hours. Anna had spared him the early stickers of bands, DJs, and independent labels. That night, openatQve,forwhichhewasendlesslygrateful;butas Milescouldn$tseehisownreRection.HeandChloebegan he considered getting ready for work, he felt the meagre scratchingothestickers,sprayingthemwithvinegar, and minutes of time to himself stretch uncomfortably thin. Miles tossing them into a big black bin liner between them. He looked over at his decks, dormant and dusty in the corner peeledoabrightredonethat$dcaughthiseye:Mudpie of his room, and felt his headache twinge anew. He thought Records. With a jolt, he remembered it as the company Val wassignedto.thadadierentlabelnow,morepunchy, ofwhatValsaidtohimwhentheyhadQnallysatdownfor drinks: just come along, you’ll fit right back in. less cartoonish. He felt a pang. Chloe noticed him grow quiet. She took a glance at what he was holding. “You know, you should play a set again some time. You’re really good, dude,” she said.
He reached for his shoes and felt a slippery surface on his sole. Looking down, Miles saw a single, shiny red Mudpie stickerstuckthere.Failingtopickito,hepulledhissh on.FortheQrsttime,consciouslyatleast,hefeltthewal around him begin to close in.
“I’m too rusty,” Miles replied, “I haven’t touched my decks in months now. Been too busy with work.”
Illustrated by Ayushmaan Nagar
The Doña Written by Caitlyn Steer Disparities assemble between the ethics of words, to keep them sealed tightly or let them unfurl, absinthe leaves against the nausea of cleanliness, And I am clean, by this squat brick stack I am clean. Asaluminium-scuedrust am I clean. In a dream, the Doña came to me in a time of great need, and I shook upon that ocean, heart pounding like a drum, though my face – blank as a limestone pillar. Then the doña was me as I hate to fear and crave it. Her hardships strewn over some distant hill – and me? No longer seasick, But I am clean, by this straw windmill I am clean. As a hard-wrung bath cloth am I clean.
Illustrated by Melana Uceda
pithecus Written by janvi sikand
i like to visit my girlfriend after dark.
her after their favorite song.
she’s got prime real estate on lock: a spot across from Central Park, rent controlled since ’74.
“but i don’t get the big deal about the Beatles,” she says. “who even cares about John Lemon or whatever his name was?”
she’ll live there for free, forever, lucky girl—but there’s always a catch. her windows are huge and the landlord refuses to install curtains. anyone can look in and see her body bare, laid out for the public.
they set the rules: constant surveillance,noRashphotography, no running, no food. no touching, no kissing, no holding hands, and lights out at 5:30pm.
i hate to say it, but it’s becoming her African name is so much boring. she’s lived a thousand more special, but nobody lifetimes, but has yet to bothers to call her that. she experience the splendour of Qnally told me when we made the city beyond her front door. our love ozcial:Dinkinesh. i want her under my palms, but Amharic for “you are marvelous”. she’s waiting for marriage. and she is. “and the people of New York City,” besides, i can’t keep sneaking she laughs, “love to press their Lucy’s a stunning specimen of around this way; reception is getting faces against strangers’ glass.” woman. four feet of bipedal suspicious of my daily drop-ins, and beauty, she follows a strict we met at the museum. i fell in the tickets drain my pockets. diet and is practically skin and love the moment i laid eyes on bones—minus the skin. but i refuse to break up with her. her at thirteen years old, though i mean, i just can’t help myself: i shedidn$tseemestaringat“at Qrst. my age, only focusing on my love Lucy. Qguremakesmybeautyregimen it took a few trips, forking a lot easier.” i insist she’ll never so i’m taking matters into my out petty cash for general look a day over eighteen. my own hands. admission, before i had the guts friends call her a cougar, but to approach her, to whisper her tonight, we’re bringing our what’s a three-million-year age name, to ask for her number. relationship to the next level. i’m gap when love is love? going over with a hammer in my “hey, Lucy. hi, pretty girl. wanna i must admit, though, that we’ve back pocket, and taking Lucy out go out with me sometime?” reached a bit of an impasse in onatwenty-Qrstcenturydate. she has one of those names our relationship. see, lately, i’ve been hard at that rolls o the tongue, and our honeymoon phase is creeping work disabling cameras and there’s a funny story behind to an end, and we both feel it. memorising security guard it. she confesses that she still circuits. dreams of the smells and it’s so awfully quiet where Lucy sounds of the lush Ethiopian lives. that’s what happens when i’ve planned the perfect escape forests, her home before being you stay someplace as fancy route: sharp left at the Hall of whisked away to the States. as Spitzer Hall, where even the Biodiversity, and duck into the softest of sound waves would People of the Plains dioramas if her adoptive parents were super ruin their upscale atmosphere. watchmen pursue us. into the Beatles, and renamed
we’ll ferry to Ellis Island and meet Lady Liberty. in Manhattan, i’ll buy my girlfriend a 99-cent New York slice and eat her leftovers, and we’ll giggle as we order street kebabs in Sopranos-mobster accents.
i’ll just bring my girlfriend back to my place—an inner-city shoebox, the last place authorities will think to look. we’ll be fugitives, yes, but we’ll be free.
i’ll take her to my room for some we can stroll through Times privacy. we’ll share my bed and Square and have a couples catch up on eons of pillow talk… caricature drawn of us, though and then i’ll pop the question: we’ll have to make a run for it Lucy, Lucy, i feel the heat of your when the artist recognises us love in my bowl-shaped pelvis; from our wanted poster stretched you send shivers down my weightacross Qfteen thousand square bearingspine,frommyRatbrow feet of billboards blinking above. ridge to my front-facing big toes.
Illustrated by Amani Nasarudin
i promise my devotion will persist even once we die in each other’s arms, and walk hand-in-hand to hominid heaven while our bones turn to dust. i’ll bend on one bicondylar knee andoerheraringcarvedfrom a mastodon tusk. Lucy, my angel, i thank god for the day you fell out of that tree and into my lap. Dinkinesh, baby, will you be mine forever?
graphic column /
‘DIY Craft Guide’ by Weiting Chen
/ graphic column
content warning: references to death, allusions to homophobia/transphobia
Eulogy Written by Laura Charlton Here Lies Cowboy— fought shot stole died. … put his boots on the bed, got told put that smoke out, seen enough
through the window, up the veins of the mountain,
got told stop smilin’ like a schoolgirl, you all glittered up like the snake in the Garden, holding that apple by the stem and twisting it, spinning temptation. spoiled himself with new spurs, enjoyed the sound of them,
like a bejewelled lady when he walked
silver, silver, dust. Here Lies Cowboy adream— not like he used to be, not twitching catlike, no bouncing fingers, no jaw working overtime, no tooth-on-tooth, no hat over his face so you can’t see his eyes are open. always
slept like that. used to read the sweat-
stains on the canvas, little interest in stars. dreamed of a horse and a symphony of silver, diamonds, all up his arms.
Here Lies Cowboy, broke— made no money keeping the best diamonds for himself. Here Lies Cowboy, a bad invitation. practises another pose. this one could say huddle for warmth?
wishes the selfie was invented so he could check.
barely breathes through the night, feels
the body curled beside him and against him, doesn’t even need a handhold.
the awkward dawn stretch.
the minute before when he ain’t a man, just
a matchflame within someone’s reach.
just an orange flare, tear-shaped, inside the night. so what if we died like this, out wild, so far away we can’t be found, can’t be buried. ah well. Here Lies Cowboy—
you want a man beside you in a grave,
sure. take the devil.
Illustrated by Chau Hoang
Melbourne Gardens: Haiku Series Written by Ophelia Wass Carlton Gardens Dewy fractals spill from stone-white cherubine mouths, fall gently downwards. Edinburgh Gardens Tightly wound pockets of wine-lipped gingham friendships; they all face inwards. The Random Five-Metre-Squared Park Up The Road Unkempt patch of grass, folded between sharp corners. Nobody stops there.
These Hands Written by Ophelia Wass These hands with their blue-green veins that snake like lace toward blushing knuckles, stretching to reveal baby dimples. These hands with the palm reader lines surging upwards with vitality, landing on half-moons that disappear when pressed. These hands with the criss-cross cracks in sunlight, the glistening thumbprint residue, middleQngerleaningawkwardlytothe left. These endless hands with their tapping, stroking, holding, writing, waving, pointing, scratching, smoothing, grasping. These hands curl inward with anxiety, unfurl to receive wisdom soften to cherish with.
Illustrated by Edie Spiers
content warning: animal death
The Running Inn Written by Anonymous
David Karlen had been a sheep-shearer by trade. He had married into wealth and become a stockbroker. He was staying at the Running Inn for two more nights, and he had ordered lamb. When the waitress took his order she felt forewarned. Missy Lou had always been a smiler. She was sitting with her mother and they were smiling together. Her father had died during the cholera and their sadness had brought them closer. They were leaving the Running Inn that day, and had both ordered the same thing. Jesùs Estos had made his bones on the plains. He had turned in the Gang of Six and not told the police they had been the Gang of Seven. He had arrived in Running that morning, and had chosen the table with the view of the window. He likedtosmokeandfelthemightaswell.Thewaitresslikedhisaccent,andimaginedrunningowithhim. Karleen Baker was a midwife. She was getting older now, and these days she ordered what she wanted, to hell with anybody who knew. When the waitress saw her, she took her order next, and gave no emotion towards it. She had delivered half the town. John Reid worked in irrigation. He knew crops and had used his opportunity at the academy like his parents had said he would. He liked listening to Maurice Rohan, the French tenor, and he had considered buying a phonograph. For his own reasons he had decided not to. Inside he was living a life the world around him believed impossible. He was staying alone at the inn for two more nights. The waitress was rushed and mistook his calmness for arrogance.
William J. Blake was a young man. He was in Running for his mother’s funeral. His grief was long-lived, and he feared foreclosure on his business premises in Ohio. Days before, he had visited a physician, and had poured out his feelings underconQdentiality.HisfatherhadpaidavisittohisRatunannounced,intearsfortheQrsttimeBlake Blake listened, then asked him to leave. Afterwards, Blake went to the locksmith and had the doors changed. As he looked around the room of the Running Inn he saw only unfamiliar faces. He wondered who these people were, and why they had come here. He had ordered chicken. Anne Roland was a schoolteacher. She was eating at the Running Inn because the general store was closed and she had forgotten her lunch. Her pet chook had died the day before, and she had cried and buried it alone. Her greatest fear was that she would be left with nobody to talk to. She had ordered soup. The waitress was thinking about something else when she gave the woman chicken and the man soup. She was halfway back to the kitchen when the woman stood up and said: “No, excuse me, no, I’m sorry, I did not order this.” Blake and six others looked up at the woman. Blake looked at his bowl. “Oh,” he said. “I think that’s mine an’ this is yours.” He passed it over. He smiled, and looked at the empty seat beside her.
Illustrated by Marchella Rusciano-Barrow
content warning: body dysmorphia
stone statues don’t cry Written by Wildes Lawler This glasshouse gallery has no ceiling, and the blood of my callouses is slicked, like hot oil paint on its walls. I try to climb out, and my head anchors me down. My eyes eclipse a searing red. There is nothing here but gods of marble—the hands of Michelangelo. Moulds that seem impossible to fill. A Vitruvian army with a laserfocused gaze, forever fixed on me. Outside are more eyes—sharp like chisels, untamed tongues—blunt like chisels. If my blood were a curtain, I would not feel the eyes making me wormly. I would not hear the tongues telling me: “stone statues don’t cry.” And it rains on the ceiling, but the ceiling is not there. The rain is the brine that washes the paint away—crumbling the marble. The running paint is thick, the broken statues are sharp; so I slide my fingers down the razor. I am choking on it all.
Illustrated by Ayushmaan Nagar
STAY CONNECTED farragomagazine.substack.com/subscribe farragomagazine.com radiofodder.com @farragomagazine @radiofodder
CONTRIBUTE Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org For further info and submissions guidelines, visit farragomagazine.com/contribute Artwork by Meadow Nguyen
UMSUandtheMediaOzcearelocatedinthecityofMelbourne,onthelandoftheWurundjeripeopleof Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their elders—past, present and emerging—and acknowledge that the land we are on was stolen and sovereignty was never ceded.