WHY TRUMP WON, MY FIRST TIME HAVING SEX, MAKING NICE HAPPEN//
E FO RTY U
The Team EDITORS Eleanor Danenberg, Lisandra Linde, Liam McNally SUB-EDITORS Elise Christopher, Ainsley Ewart, Kayla Gaskell, Jack Harrison, Cameron Lowe, Patrick O’Loughlin, Karen Smart, Marithe Solis, Sundus Raza, Leeza Von Alpen COLUMNISTS Aden Beaver & Tom Goldblatt, Ashley Curtis, Richard Falkner, Emma Hough Hobbs, Patrick O’Loughlin ILLUSTRATIONS Aden Beaver Rhianna Carr Sheydin Dew Emma Hough Hobbs
CONTRIBUTORS Amber Anon, Rhianna Carr, Marina Deller-Evans, Ainsley Ewart, Michael Gamboli, Kayla Gaskell, Brenton Griffin, Lisandra Linde, Cameron Lowe, Liam McNally, , BM Charlie Murray, Chris Norman Jordon O’Reilly, Drew P
With thanks to: The ever reliable Brenton Griffin for helping us out with a lastminute submission, and thanks to Steph Walker for helping to create ET’s lovely new design.
ADVERTISING/MEDIA Steph Walker email@example.com
Empire Times would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people who are the traditional custodians of the land Flinders University is situated on, and that this land was never ceded, but stolen. We would like to pay our respects to the elders of the Kaurna nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginal peoples, past, present, and future.
Enquiries Level 1, Student Hub, Flinders University (FUSA) 1 Registry Road Bedford Park, 5042. About the cover art: The cover art, by Sheydin Dew, was inspired by the First Australians.
Empire Times is a publication of Flinders University Student Association (FUSA). Empire Times is printed by Flinders Press. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the editors, Flinders University, or Flinders University Student Association. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that Empire Times articles and other information are up-to-date and as accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Empire Times Magazine for any errors or omissions contained herein.
work with us! WRITERS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, ILLUSTRATORS & MAKERS OF PRETTY INTERESTING THINGS! Empire Times is a student publication that prints 10 times over the academic year. It is made by students, for students and provides a unique oppotunity for students to be published, to talk about what's important to them and to be read by those in their community. Empire Times relies entirely on contributions from the readers to make up its content. Each selected piece goes through a collaborative editing process. We're very friendly, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out everything you need to know about being part of the team.
On Campus What’s going on?
March FUSA’s always thinking of you, and they want to aid your welfare with free breakfasts every week!
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1st March/ Sturt 7th March/ Plaza 8th March/ Anchor Court 9th March/ Tonsley 15th March/ Medical Centre 16th March/ Education 17th March/ Registry 20th March/ Anchor Court 21st March/ Sturt 22nd March/ Plaza 27th March/ Education 28th March/ Tonsley 30th March/ Registry
Febr u ar y 23 Fl inde rs Unive rs it y Fo ot b a l l C lub: C ome N’ Tr y
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March Apr i l
FUSA R el ax D ays. Thanks
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Flinders University Football Club Come N’ Try - Men’s and Women’s Football.
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to your student association, you can pick up some great freebies like food, haircuts, and masssages. RELAX! 1st March at Plaza / 8th March at Sturt Library / 15th March at Tonsley / 22nd March Medical Library / 29th March Plaza 5th April Sturt Library / 2 week Mid Semester Break / 26th April Plaza
March 31 Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) Semester 1 Pub Crawl Friday March 31st Details: fusa.edu.au
Pub Craw l
Apr i l 28 Flinders Business School Student Association Pub Crawl (Details on Facebook)
Pub Craw l
Vox Pop: Voice of the People
Behind the Scenes: 2017 O’Week
Straight White Men: Why Trump won
6 Things: Favourite Childhood Films
My first time having sex
Mean Girls and Making ‘Nice’ Happen
Empire Times Quiz
Introduction to Boardgames
What to do in Adelaide this summer
Flinders University Clubs
The First Steps to a Better World
How the Healthcare System has failed Trans people
Interview: MidnightSun Publishing
Advice from... President Donald Trump
5 Star Film Recommendations: Suspiria
My First Christmas Without my Mum
Book Review: The Vegetarian
Moving from Queensland to South Australia
The Legend of Zelda
Fiction: Living With the Dead
The theme of this issue is ‘Firsts’, because the new year is all about lots of different firsts. For Flinders, lots of bright eyed, bushy tailed first years are hitting the scene; may you not get lost as often as I did in my first year, may you not leave assignments to the last minute (as I still do now in my forth year), and may you take a chance and make longlasting friends. This is my forth year of university and my second year of editing Empire Times, and I I still get that excited and nervous feeling about returning to Flinders after break. From my very first day, I’ve felt like Flinders is exactly where I’m meant to be. Over the uni break I had a few ‘firsts’; I visited Northern Territory for the first time! I went on adventure to Alice Springs, my boyfriend’s hometown, and we travelled around Central Australia and saw some truly breathtaking sights. And the heat of an Alice Springs summer was certainly a ‘first’ for me, it’s truly in a league of its own. For the last 3 years of university, I’ve been living on campus at Flinders Living, but this year I moved out to a proper house, and that’s another first that is so far going fantastically. I have a big bathtub, the opportunity to bingewatch Food Network whenever I like, and no one around to tell me off for eating chocolate (Looking at you, Mum and Dad…love you two) Empire Times readers, I implore you… make sure you do something for the first time this year, or even better, do lots of new things for the first time! Do things that scare and excite you, do things that make you grow. Maybe you could contribute to Empire Times for the first time? ;) Okay, sales pitch over. We hope you love the magzine this year, we’ve tried out a lot of new things and we’re really proud of this mag in your hot little hands. Love, Eleanor
I’m bad at introductions so maybe I’ll just summarise: I’m Lisandra, the fresh face in the Empire Times office. I’ve been a student of Anthropology, Archeology, Sociology, Literature and now finally Creative Writing. The way I see it (to justify the five years worth of uni debt) I’m a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. Maybe I have a lot of experience. Maybe I just can’t make up my mind. Either way, I’m here and excited to be your new editor and curator of fine student work. Issue one is my first as editor and man do I feel like a squeezed out sponge. All the things I thought I knew have been pressed out of my skull to form a slimy globule of discarded confidence. I guess that’s to be expected. But fear not dear readers! All is well here at Empire Times. And although we are taking the mag in a new direction this year you can rest assured that we won’t be turning it into a smutty porn mag or a passionate homage to the Flinders Ducks (however tempting the latter may be). When I’m not roaming the campus in search of coffee and free bread you can find me lurking like a bad smell in our office in the shiny hub building. Feel free to drop in and say ‘hi’ or come stare and watch as we collectively consume more coffee this year than the nation of Norway does in a month. Vi snakkes, Lisandra.
After a year that was regarded by so many a terrible event bookended by such key losses as David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, here we are in a new year. New hopes and new goals await. These are, however, uncertain times. So let’s focus on the certainties. Another year of study is here. For some of you, this will be your first year. There are plenty of opportunities to try out new things, and if you’re reading this at O’Week, there’s no better opportunity than this one. Join a club, have fun, meet new people, enjoy the student experience. That being said, another certainty is coffee. That there is no coffee appreciation society here is a damning indictment on this institute as a whole. Coffee addiction is one of the defining aspects of the student experience. It will be an interesting year. Trump in the White House (let’s face it, likely as seldom as he can manage – he’s a got a role as a Twitter agony aunt to maintain), Britain deciding what they meant by ‘Brexit’ all this time, you cannot accuse the coming year of being dull. One certainty for the sporting fans out there, I can see it already. The Swans down by four points. The Grand Final ten seconds from the end. Lance Franklin breaks from the pack, ball in hands. Oh God! He’s brought down in a tackle… by three umpires. You can count on it. I’m psychic. It’s the coffee. Liam
Vox Pop Voice of t he p e ople (on c ampus) Main Campus
Pr imar y E duc at ion &Ar ts
D o c tor of Me dicine
UpC o Big B oss
Q1. Will Smith
Q1. Paul Walker
Q2. I gave up eating fish at 5 and declared I would be a Marine Biologist
Q2. Doctor - that’s really lame
Q2. Foreign Aid Work
Q3. I wish it involved running and a green smoothie; alas, I just check my phone Q4. “I’m not smart enough for this” Q5. Attend events and build your support network
Q3. Staying in the shower... #procrastishower Q4. I thought it looked actually really ugly. It’s had a transformation almost as good as the one in the Princess Diaries! Q5. Try and find a balance between uni and your home/social life as soon as you can. Be inspired by Jim Carrey and say YES to as much as possible
Q3. Get my daughter up Q4. It was 2002 at a Flinders Tavern gig; it stunk of cigarette smoke and salted peanuts from the bar Q5. Relax at the Plaza with an UpCo coffee
Q1. Who was your first celebrity crush? Q2. What was your dream job as a child? Q3. What is the first thing you do when you wake up each day? Q4. What was your first impression of Flinders University? Q5. What advice would you give to a new first year student?
L aw & Ar ts
Masters: Biote chnolog y
Advance d B achelor in Bre ad S cience
Q1. Jesse McCartney
Q1. Bashayer Al Shaibani
Q1. Daisy Duck
Q2. Trapeze artist
Q3. Drink coffee
Q3. Look after my kids
Q2. Duck hunter (admittedly I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite understand the role)
Q4. I was interested to start
Q5. Say YES to as many things and opportunities as possible
Q5. Read more and do more research and study
Q3. Slay Q4. Too much left-wing propoganda, not enough pro-bread propoganda Q5. Always carry bread in your pockets and me and my kin have got your back
colu m n/ s ati re
Straight White Men... Why Trump Won He defied the media and the establishment. The question everyone’s asking is ‘How?’ Aden Beaver and Tom Goldblatt
It’s been the story on everyone’s lips for the better part of last year. And by the time this column has been printed, Donald Trump would have been inaugurated as the President of the United States. An adage comes to mind; “I don’t expect the government to solve my problems, but I expect them to understand it” which sums up why Trump won in a nutshell. The disenfranchised backbone of America was tired of being ignored by Washington for the past 4 years, and went for the candidate who seemed to understand their problems. They could see that the U.S. has been on a declining slope and after being offered no solution from the Clinton camp, went with the successful businessman who promised to ‘Make America Great Again’. Where Clinton was the epitome of the political establishment, Trump was clear, concise, and consistent. He’s held (most of) his views for most of his life and you knew what you were voting for. The main belt of people who voted Trump were middle class white workers, many of whom were typically from the Midwest and country electorates, which speaks a volume as this election was essentially The Country vs. The City. Progressivism has only benefited the people in the cities, who think that they’re the only ones that matter. Outside of the bubble, it’s another story. These places are being hit by recessions, unemployment, loss of manufacturing industries and continual offshoring of jobs. Their way of life is under threat, and it doesn’t help that mainstream media continually alienates them and labels them primitive, backward and racist, when it’s simply not true. When you’re faced with nothing, of course you’re going to vote for the guy that promises you everything. By now you’ve probably read many an article analysing the life out of the election result, looking for a place to assign blame. Russia. Fake News. The Electoral College. Racists. Russia Again. Playing the blame game returns a simple answer: Blame the Democrats. Clinton was for the status quo, the establishment. Four more years of Obama. Many Democrats backed her simply because they wanted to see the first female president, and were out of touch with the electorate in every degree. The political bullying and intimidation tactics the party pushed didn’t work. Rigging their
primaries against Bernie Sanders, a candidate many say could have changed the outcome of the election, didn’t help. Calling Trump supporters “Angry White Males” and blanketing them as sexist and racist didn’t help, as Brexit proved. If white Americans were so racist then they wouldn’t have elected and then re- elected Obama. The Media’s opaque bias did not help either. The left holds a monopoly on media, entertainment, and social networks. The media knew Clinton was deeply unlikable and untrustworthy, and so diverted the narrative onto Trump’s many character flaws, trying desperately to take him down. When Trump announced his candidacy, the media laughed. When Trump won his primaries (by a mile, and without rigging them) the media was concerned. And when Trump turned the states Red, the media became terrified. The media polling a Clinton landslide was proven wrong, and they’ve been on the defensive ever since the election. WikiLeaks exposed the corruption and collusion behind the Media and the Democrats, and cast serious doubts on Clinton’s presidency. Cables upon cables of leaks and e-mails from the DNC were one of the most talked about topics of the election cycle, and had an undeniable sway on the result. In the end, Trump won because of the points above. UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says Donald J. Trump’s victory is an “unmistakable rejection of the political establishment”. Voters saw Clinton as the definition of said establishment. The woman with the money and the power, with big business and media behind her. Trump was the underdog, who couldn’t possibly win, yet win he did. It’s worth noting that these were two of the most disliked candidates in their respective parties’ history. The election circus brought up past demons of both candidates, instead of focusing on policy that would build and shape America, seen as a beacon of hope and freedom to the wider world. Faced with all the points and all the madness we’ve highlighted, the people had to choose. And they chose Trump, who’s promised a very different way the country will be run. Artwork by Aden Beaver
colu m n/ s ex u a l ity
Oh, Gosh! Talking about a typically private experience on a public platform. Amb er Anon
“When it comes to firsts within our society, few match the supposed importance of losing your v-card. So, I figure I’ll tell you about the time I lost mine. I wonder whether I would have even bothered with sex then if I knew how little the payoff was going to be”
When it comes to firsts within our society, few match the supposed importance of losing your v-card. So, I figure I’ll tell you about the time I lost mine. Before I begin with the (lack of) juicy details though, I feel like I should preface this with a brief disclaimer. My decision to participate in the disclosure of my own sexual encounters is not with the purpose to titillate; honestly, there is enough easily accessible pornography out there that any contribution I could provide would be like a raindrop in an ocean. As such, my purpose for this disclosure is to provide an alternate perspective to the pervasive normative sexual narrative which influences many (but not all) young individuals who participate in sex within western sexualised culture. Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s begin. Strictly speaking, I was no longer considered a “virgin” the day after my 16th birthday. Why this day? Well, I had made a promise to my mother that I wouldn’t have sex until I was 16, and through the fear of god and retribution, I kept that promise. In retrospect, this negotiation of my first sexual experience which specifically entailed vaginally penetrative sexual intercourse now seems highly suspicious; as if my birthday somehow dictated my awareness and preparedness for sex. Honestly, how much control did I truly think I had entering into that somewhat unspoken agreement? I wonder whether I would have even bothered with sex then
if I knew how little the payoff was going to be. Either way, this negotiation seems particularly suspicious considering the fact that all of my sexual encounters prior to “losing my virginity” hadn’t been so similarly restricted at all. However, unfortunately for me, my experience has been merely one of thousands of “respectable” sexual encounters; it was plain, boring and nothing like what I had seen on television. I realised further down the track that any resistance from this normative narrative was met with unpleasant repercussions. You see, the trouble with this pervasive sexual narrative is it’s all about the “right type” of sex. It’s about if you’re getting any; who you’re getting it with; that you should and shouldn’t be getting it with certain people (emphasis on the people); and it dictates what age you’re expected to have matured enough in order to participate, assuming everyone becomes sexually aware the moment we reach a certain age. However, if you’re not getting any, you either better be waiting until you’re married, or watching porn and strategising how you will be getting all up in other people’s junk. It’s a pretty restrictive narrative which impacts the accessibility and accountability of specific individuals and their sexual encounters. Unfortunately, not everyone within this system is enabled in the same way; gender, sexuality, and desires all have differing levels of acceptability, and
deviation from the norm results in social or criminal punishment in varying forms. As such, this prioritisation of sanctioned sexual interactions creates more problems for the lay-person than it solves. And god help you if you have a non-mainstream kink (the fact that there are kinks considered mainstream vs. non-mainstream is a whole other can of worms). My first, and many subsequent other experiences with sex have been primarily frustrating, with moments of pure unadulterated bliss. Truth be told, I find that the most frustrating experiences have primarily been conversations with peers, purely because of this normative narrative. For many of my friends, sexual desire and satisfaction may as well be a pipedream. More often than not conversation turns to a lack of satisfaction, and maybe it’s more normative to discuss what’s bugging us than what going right, but I seldom hear about sexual triumphs. If sex surrounds us in the media and is so fervently promoted within our society, then why is it that we don’t talk more about what is sexually good within our lives? Why is that aspect of enjoying sex still taboo? And why is it that the discussion of our desires is still taboo? Could it be that so many of my peers (myself included, perhaps) don’t feel like we can break out of this normative safety bubble for fear of not getting back in?
However, it’s not all bad news. Discussion of sexual freedom and education nowadays has come a long way from when I was first stumbling into the sexual scene. Depending on geographical location and state legislation, children and teens receive a far more robust and forthcoming sexual education nowadays; including conversations regarding gender identification, sexuality, consent, reproduction, and STI’s. For the most part, we have the ‘mechanics’ pretty well covered. And while this education may be overly structured and limited in regards to healthy sexual relationships, or safe expression of individual desires, progress is being made there, too.
It’s our responsibility to ensure that following generations don’t have similarly bogus first times by teaching ourselves and each other that this pervasive narrative shouldn’t be a rite of passage into the sphere of sexual encounters. The time between when our first encounter was to the time we are in now shouldn’t exclude us from this conversation, as there is always something new to learn. As such, it’s important to consider how we can shape the sexual future for ourselves and that of others by not enabling reductionist sexual narratives. It’s our responsibility to learn from others, and teach ourselves so as to make meaningful change in our own lives.
Surveys conducted amongst this youngest cohort show that sex education is already shaping how these kids are preparingand navigating the pitfalls of oursexualised society; with major positive increases in harm minimisation and open-mindedness about gender, desires, relationships and more. Unfortunately, my generation (and those before it) are sometimes lacking in up-to-date information regarding sex and gender; and since, in some aspects, we’re pioneering the normativity of gender identification in legislation, there’s always more that could be done. It’s all well and good to think we need to better educate future generations, but we actually need to do it. How are we meant to teach them if we don’t know the information ourselves?
Fighting for the rights of future generations’ access to up-to-date and unbiased information should be an imperative; merely clicking “like” or “reblog” on social media just isn’t enough. So why not strike up a conversation with your friends, family, and anyone else you feel like? The nature of a taboo is such that it ceases to be a taboo the more normalised it becomes. That is, the only thing that may be stopping us now is that brief moment of social discomfort; but the more we have these conversations now, in time they become less taboo. Heck, you might even find out that your weird freaky kink isn’t so weird and freaky after all.
colu m n/ w hat to d o i n Ad el ai d e
What to do in Adelaide this summer Ash le y Cur t is Port Willunga beach is located approximately 30 minutes away from Flinders University, and is one of the most incredible beaches I have ever visited in South Australia. I remember walking on this beach for the first time and being struck by its cleanliness and natural beauty. The white sand of the beach was offset by the yellow-gold of the cliffs and the rich blue of the sea. It was not overcrowded, which makes it so serene, and all you could hear were the waves crashing against the shore and the little kids laughing and playing happily on the beach. For those who love snorkelling and scuba diving, Port Willunga has a shipwreck a bit further out from the shore that you can snorkel or dive into, and it is quite amazing! In 1888, the ‘Star of Greece’ was a ship that was driven ashore whilst trying to battle a fierce storm and unfortunately lost 11 members of its crew, whom are yet to be found. There is a cafe near the entrance of Port Willunga that is named after this ship, and some of the wreckage can be exposed at low tide, allowing for snorkelers and scuba divers to swim out and explore the wreckage. This can be hard to find, and you do have to swim quite a bit, but I promise for those of you with a little
snorkelling and diving experience, it is totally worth the swim. Unlike the other popular beaches such as Brighton, Glenelg, Port Noarlunga, and West Beach, this beach also offers some lovely shade, although you have to get there early to secure a spot. This beach has some small craters in the cliff side that you can sit in to avoid the awfully dangerous sunrays. This beach can really make you feel like you are on a holiday and is the perfect getaway for a day. So if you ever feel like taking some time out from your busy life, and just want to let your imagination wander or if you want to go somewhere different with friends and explore more of the sea, then this is the beach to go to. I can promise you that the first time you visit this beach, won’t be the last. P.S. You cannot drive on this beach, but you can drive on the beach in Aldinga, which is about 2 minutes away from Port Willunga. Photo: Michael Coghlan
colu m n/ w hat the F U C
What The FUC: Flinders University Clubs Give me your shy, your bewildered, your huddled Freshers yearning to breathe free Richard Falkner
Hey – you there! The one with the bewildered look on your face - relax, welcome to Flinders University. Right about now, you will probably be screaming “oh fuckity fuck” – at least on the inside. Yes, dear fresher, they didn’t tell you this during recruitment and enrolment. Starting uni is a big, overwhelming deal. It doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of high school, or a world-weary adult from Brighton or Beijing, finding your feet and hitting your groove takes time. If I may, I’ll give you a helpful pro tip: join a club. Now, your next question will be “how on Earth do I do that?” Within a millisecond I whip out my response, “Check out the stalls during O’Week, or the link on either the FUSA webpage or on the new-fangled MyFlinders app.’” Throughout O’Week, many clubs set up stalls in or around the ground and first levels of the Hub. The stalls enable the clubs to reach out to new students, provide information and an opportunity to sign-up. Many clubs make the most of this engagement opportunity by elaborately decorating their stall and, in some cases, putting on displays of their activity. Warning: be prepared to duck when passing by Ultimate Frisbee - those suckers pack a wallop! Don’t be afraid to approach, the club members at the stalls will be really friendly and want to provide you with fun
facts about their club and help you to signup. Speaking of which, there is no pressure on you to join any club. You can whack your deets down on as many sign-up sheets as you want, but you’re not contractually bound to any club (perhaps read the fine print on the Law Society sheet). As a seasoned veteran of the Flinders club scene, I would suggest you take a good walk through the stalls and sign up to any club or society that tickles your fancy. In the sober post O’Week light of the academic term, you can decide which clubs to follow through with and which to give the flick. Remember, joining and participating in a club will take time away from study, working or sleeping. So while you may think at O’Week you’d like to get involved with, Debating, WingChung, Gaming, Permaculture, Costumes, Speakeasy, Meditation, and the Bob Hawke Appreciation Society, in reality you will probably only have the time for one, two or three of these beauties. If you can’t make it to O’Week, or despite my assurances, you are too much of a shrinking violet to approach a stall, you can still connect with a club via the link on the FUSA web page, or the MyFlinders app. The link transports you to a page listing both FUSA affiliated clubs and societies and Flinders One clubs. “What’s the difference?”, you ask. Well, FUSA affiliated
O’Week is the perfect opportunity to check out all the different clubs around uni
clubs are generally for non-sporting activities (League of Legends, caving and Quidditch, please note the use of the qualifier ‘generally’), and Flinders One Clubs are devoted to a wide world of sports from the old chestnuts such as: footy, cricket and hockey through to more niche pursuits, such as: crossfit and cheerleading. Most clubs have links on the FUSA page to either their website or Facebook page. Either way, you will be provided with the means to make contact with the club that pursues your interest/passion. Now, dear fresher, despite the number of sporting and non-sporting clubs on offer, there is the possibility, slight as it maybe, that no club exists to pursue and promote your prime interest. Fear not, if philately or Barry Manilow appreciation are your cuppa dejure and Flinders doesn’t have a club or society to fit – start your own. The friendly folk at FUSA are willing and available to help you set up a club and walk you through the vital steps such as: conducting an inaugural meeting, and setting up a bank account. They even have a dedicated club space near their offices in the Hub that can be booked for meetings. Well, dear freshers, that’s the low down on the vibrant club scene at Flinders. As well as letting you pursue your interests, joining a club enables you to meet people from all disciplines and year levels. Some of these folks might become life-long friends. Other benefits of participating in a club may be
physical or mental fitness, skill acquisition and, most importantly of all: life balance. Uni study is a long commitment, and maintaining an interest away from study will really help you along the path to academic success. Good luck and happy clubbing. Go on, take the plunge and signup, you know you want to.
More Info: FUSA fusa.edu.au/clubs/ MyFlinders my.flinders.edu.au/ Contact: Level 1 Student Hub Flinders University Bedford Park 5042 P: (08) 8201 2371 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
fe atu re / env i ronmenta l
The First Steps to a Better World Charlie Murray
“We all need to make individual contributions to the war on climate change. Remember any small contribution you can make will have an effect, no matter how big or small. This is our planet so why don’t we all fight to make some changes”
Climate change is something we have all heard about over the years, however no matter how bad this issue gets, there still isn’t anything really being done. The world is getting hotter and the polar ice caps are melting - these are facts. Now, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal at the moment, it’s just getting a few degrees hotter, big deal. However, the increased heat is melting the ice caps, and the more the ice melts the higher sea levels rise, and that is an immediate risk. If water levels rise any more, thousands of people living in coastal regions will one day be without homes, forced by floods of the raising sea levels to leave everything they have and travel inland. Climate change might not seem like much now, but it could soon have a much bigger impact on us than anyone expected. Oil companies have been draining the planet’s resources for years now, through drilling, fracking and offshore mining. These drilling stations are pumping oil from the depths of the ocean right into large areas of marine life; one mistake and these stations can destroy an entire ecosystem, leaving years worth of damage. This has already been seen with the oil spill of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Yet oil companies continue to drill and are even attempting to install more of these ocean killers. In 2015, BP approached the Australian Government for permission to build an offshore drilling station in the Great Australian Bite. The Bite homes dozens of marine species like the southern right whales, sea lions, and more. However, with the hard work of foundations like Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd, enough
signatures on petitions from SA locals were gathered to encourage the government to deny BP any drilling rights in SA. This is proof that if we come together as a community we can have a larger impact on protecting the world and the animals that inhabit it. So, let’s look at the four big emitters and what they are doing to the planet. Burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas produces CO2 or carbon dioxide. This CO2 builds up in the atmosphre and holds in the sun’s heat, storing it inside the earth’s atmosphere. Trees help regulate the climate by absorbing the CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore, cutting down large areas of forest, (deforestation), is limiting the earth’s ability to remove all the CO2 that’s being pushed into Earth’s atmosphere. The trees also store carbon inside them, so once killed, it releases the carbon adding to the greenhouse effect. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the fruits on the oil palm trees found in North and South America, Indonesia, and Malaysia. These large corporations come in and clear an entire forest of its palm trees, killing any native fauna and flora. Palm oil is well known for being the reason so many orangutans are being killed and being brought to the edge of extinction. Plantation owners desperate to cash in on the value of palm oil, clear rainforests by either chopping or setting fire to the vegetation; not only does burning the vegetation lead to a release
of carbon into the atmosphere it also has drastic effect on the species living in the forest. Orangutans are considered a pest simply for seeking safety in plantations and are often killed because of this. It’s estimated that no less than 5000 orangutans are killed each year just so companies can get cheaper vegetable oils. At this rate, it has been said that complete extinction of the orangutans will occur within 10 years. This is a sad and shocking fact; we claim to be the advanced species on this planet yet we are the only species of animal that has single handily eradicated so many other amazing species. However, there is a glimmer of hope. In December of 2015 the EU had 195 countries from around the world come together and actually agree to tackle climate change by lowering global warming by 2 degrees Celsius (that’s right, governments actually agreed on something). The EU targets to have a 20% cut in greenhouse gas emission, 20% of total energy consumption from renewable energy and a final 20% increase in energy efficiency. If all 195 countries come together and put into action what they have all agreed upon, these goals will hopefully be met by 2020. In 2015, Sweden also announced its plans to become the first nation to end its dependence on fossil fuels and rely entirely on renewable energies. This is one giant step in the right direction. If more countries follow suit we could see drastic changes in climate change, and for the first time these changes might actually be positive. Sweden was already the planet’s biggest user of renewable energies; between 2013 and
2014, 51.1 per cent of Sweden’s energy came from renewables. The Swedish! Beautiful and environmentally friendly. Sweden’s government will be investing a whopping 4.5 billion Kronor. (around 6.7 Billion AU dollars) into renewable energies. Most countries are slow to get behind renewable energies simply because of a lack of funding and the obvious reason that coal is much cheaper. For renewable energies to work you need the support of the governments, the citizens and local businesses. We need to show that even though renewables aren’t as cheap as coal and oil, it has far more positive long-term results. If everyone is focusing on the same goal, working toward using more renewable energies and less fossil fuel is an easy goal to accomplish. As amazing as all of this is, it’s still not enough. We all need to make individual contributions to the war on climate change. We need to stop purchasing any food or cosmetics with the palm oil label on it; we need to rely more on solar energies and less on coal or oil. One of the most important things you can do is to learn about what’s being done in your local town or cities, vote for MPs that will push for climate change initiatives and remember any small contribution you can make will have an effect, no matter how big or small. This is our planet so why don’t we all fight to make some changes.
Sources: Ocean Portal, Gulf oil spill, 2016. European Commission, Climate action, 2017. European Commission, Climate action, 2017. Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia, ‘What’s palm oil got to do with orangutans?’, 2008. Samuel Osborne, Independent, 2016.
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How the healthcare system has failed me, a transgender man Drew P.
The last time I saw a doctor who wasn’t my expensive, private practise, hormone specialist doctor, I entered the building feeling mildly optimistic about finally having the energy to seek help, and left feeling defeated. For the past few months I had been having almost daily anxiety attacks and common panic attacks, and I had decided that I needed to seek medical advice. My mother had advised me to see her own doctor, telling me, ‘she is fantastic, she really listens to me’, after being prescribed helpful anti-depressants herself. I decided to give it a shot. However, when this doctor looked through a brief medical history of mine after I’d finished explaining my situation, I was greeted with, ‘I think if you were to stop being, you know, transgendered, you wouldn’t have this problem’. As a person who requires many doctor’s appointments throughout the year to maintain my health as a disabled, transgender man, not every appointment is smooth sailing. Oftentimes I find myself in predicaments in which I need to seek healthcare to remain healthy, though whenever I am not able to see my usual doctor, I prepare for the worst. It is mostly the system that we live in a system full of prejudice, stigma, and ignorance, mostly for those who aren’t identify as cisgender, white, straight, ablebodied, or middle class. When this doctor was being educated, quite possibly a few decades ago, she may not have been educated very well about
transgender people and their health. It’s the education that is of crucial importance to how a doctor sees and treats transgender patients. However, to this day, even with universities teaching current student doctors all this information, it is still a common occurrence that doctors fail to treat their transgender patients correctly. My experiences are much less severe than others though however. Many of my friends who are living in South Australia have also been failed by this system, by poorly educated doctors who have no idea what to do with their patients, derived by a corrupt system that sees transgender health as secondary. Some of these people have ended up in the Emergency Room because of issues their doctor failed to identify after waving their symptoms away as something ‘transgendered’ related initially. This isn’t just hurting transgender health; it’s hurting hospital resources and funds over something that could have been prevented earlier. Not only is improper education (or a lack thereof) hurting the transgender community, it is also government policy and laws that cause health problems for us. Transgender school kids are getting UTIs and kidney infections because they aren’t allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender at school, and have to wait to use the bathroom until they get home; and those who wish to seek medical transition have multiple barriers to cross. Medical transition, which may involve accessing hormones or surgery, is difficult in South Australia, and for many, it is imperative for remaining healthy, mentally as well as
physically. Before accessing hormones, whether it be testosterone for transgender men or estrogen for transgender women, we must see a psychiatrist who determines whether hormone replacement therapy is necessary for our wellbeing. Not only is this process long, and often incredibly expensive should one go through private practice to avoid the long public waiting list, but finding your way to a surgeon’s waiting list for corrective, and life-saving surgery, is even longer, harder, and more expensive. Australia deems most of these surgeries as ‘cosmetic’, meaning Medicare will not cover much at all. Medical transition is necessary for me, and for many other transgender people too, but not everyone. Jumping through the hoops of policy and law, whilst paying large amounts of money to maintain a physical and emotional comfort within myself to remain healthy is difficult. Not all transgender people can afford or access medical transition. For some, like me, medical transition is important for our health, but doctors who know how to treat us are also important for our health. Our health is suffering, our pockets have holes in them, we live everyday fighting a system that tries to sweep our issues under the carpet. This is only a glimpse at the way the healthcare system has failed me as a transgender man.
Above is the author’s individual experince and therfore does not necessarily represent the experiences of all transgender people.
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“It’s about being out there and showing who we are and the good quality of our books. Now we get more people who’ve been published elsewhere sending manuscripts whilst in the beginning it was just new authors.”
ET editor Liam McNally sat down with MidnightSun owner and author, Anna Solding, to discuss the publishing scene in Adelaide, establishing a brand, and engaging with writers in Adelaide. MidnightSun is situated in an old silver mine from which cool air blows even on warm days and where the yet-to-be-sold books await their delivery to eager readers. In the beginning, what was it that made it really feel like it was on the move and really going? I suppose there were a couple of moments. When the first book was published, which was my own, ‘novel constellation’ as I call it, a novel of connected short stories. That came out and it was very well received, got great reviews, and was short-listed for a few awards, there was such a big buzz around the book and around the company as well. I was interviewed by Books and Publishing. That was kind of exciting, and I thought ‘wow, I could keep doing this.’ Then I think the really big moment in a way was when I decided to take on a picture book which was something completely different to what I had done before. I’d done adult literary fiction and that’s what I thought I would do but then Jane Jolley and Sally Heinrich approached me and they had this amazing picture book they hadn’t been able to get published elsewhere. I couldn’t believe my luck and I said, ‘Of course I want it’. But we didn’t have enough money to publish a picture book because it’s very expensive to print
so then we had to rethink our whole idea of publishing and how were going to get this done. So we did a crowdfunding campaign because part of the proceeds go towards Safe Ground which is an organisation that works against landmines. The book is about a boy and his elephant and the elephant steps on a landmine and loses her leg and the boy nurses her back to health and right at the end, on the last page of the book you see the boy also has a prosthesis. It’s a really beautiful book. Once got the whole big machinery of crowdfunding campaign, then I started to think, ‘this is getting bigger – this is quite cool.’ How have you gone about finding writers and people to contribute? It’s still slush-pile. We’re open for submissions all the time. I get lots of people sending me manuscripts. They get better over time because people know more about what we do so I do get quite a few good picture books coming in and I’ve signed about six picture books coming up. I do talk to people around me I know who are writers and they’d say ‘are you interested in this?’ and I’d say yes or no. We’re still not particularly interested in non-fiction, we mainly do fiction. But this is the thing, we’re still open, so if someone has an idea for a great non-fiction piece, I might take it on. We have done one, which was the colouring book about local sites – it’s called Local Colour Adelaide. It did very well, it was just right at the time when colouring books were very popular. I still get a lot of stuff that is not appropriate
Above: MidnightSun Publishing logo. Top Right: Anna Solding, writer and publisher. Below Right: Artwork for One Step at a Time. for us. In the beginning I got a lot of vampire novels which is not the sort of thing that I’m interested in. How have you found that process of refining to get more appropriate submissions for your style? We launched the company in February 2012 so we’re coming up to our fifth anniversary. As soon as it was announced, people started sending in manuscripts. It was instant. That’s continued, I get about 5-10 manuscripts a week. I get the first twenty pages, that’s what I asked for. Then I go through that and look at that and if I like the first twenty pages, then I ask for the full manuscript. Because I’m still just one person and I’ve got Justina and I’ve got Lynette, my other editor but it’s still mainly me. I try to read the full manuscripts, and they pile up, because I ask for full manuscripts if I like them. I’ve got a full calico bag full of manuscripts and there’s thousands of words there to read. I think I’m really lucky because it does sound like people know about MidnightSun more now. Because we’ve had success with a picture book which was an honour book at the CBCA Awards last year, that’s amazing for a first-time publisher of a picture book to be shortlisted and then an honour book. It was pretty cool. It also meant really good sales so that was very good us. The other really big success we had was the overseas rights to One Step at a Time (sold in Spanish and Simplified Chinese) and we also solved the US and the UK rights to An Ordinary Epidemic and we’re in talks for an option for a film. Because that was then news in the
publishing world, people read about it and the name went out further. Not everyone knows about MidnightSun still, we just had launches in Melbourne and Sydney (for Wild Gestures) and I met a bookseller in Melbourne who came to the launch because he knew the launcher and he said, ‘I’d never heard of MidnightSun but I’ll keep an eye out for you now’. It’s about being out there and showing who we are and the good quality of our books. Now we get more people who’ve been published elsewhere sending manuscripts whilst in the beginning it was just new authors. Wild Gestures had 1000 copies printed. Will the next book have a more expanded run?
but the government stopped it because it’s such a large area. We actually stopped the press for that book to change the last paragraph to include that in the book. That book has already been sold into schools through Scholastic standing order. They have a standing order that goes out to schools that have subscribed to it. They have a book every month and that book is going to be included in the box so that means they’ve order 2,500 copies. So we’re printing 4,000 copies of that book [in total]. Which is obviously a big expense because the outlay is quite large for picture books. You never get any money back until further down the track so we’re still trying to build up so we have a buffer.
It varies because it depends on how many preorders we get. King of the Outback which is a non-fiction picture book coming in April, which is about Sydney Kidman, the cattle magnate. He had properties all through Australia so his cattle would never have to leave his properties. [His properties are] about the size of Denmark. It’s this huge land area where his cattle would roam. It’s a really interesting story. He had this birthday party which was a big rodeo in Adelaide. People came from all over to see that. The picture book is lighthearted and it’s about his story, from rags to riches, but it is a true story. It’s also very topical because just a few weeks ago Gina Rineheart ended up buying that land. They were trying to sell it to the Chinese
This is the shortened version of the interview with Anna Solding. For the complete interview, visit empiretimes.com.au
fe atu re / b ehi n d th e s c enes
Behind the Scenes: O’Week 2017 Liam McNally
“The success of [last year’s] O’Week sets lofty goals for FUSA... in 2017. this year’s O’Fiesta acts Ball Park Music, Tkay Maidza, Alex Lahey, Robbie Miller, and The Vandelays offers a good chance to top what has gone before.”
O’Week is the most relaxed and fun week in the university calendar for most people. You can hardly take a step without being offered something for free, tripping over some new game or activity, or finding some new club you could join. Come the end of the week, you have O’Fiesta to look forward to. In the months running up to O’Week, the crew at FUSA (your Student Association) have been busily setting up the 2017 O’Week since August last year, shortly after the completion of the 2016 second semester O’Week (ReO’Week). Between the first and second semester O’Weeks, ‘it’s a yearlong project, including student director recruitment, brainstorming, designing, planning, and making it all happen’, says Rachel Pollock, the Events Officer at FUSA. Each year has seen FUSA take a greater role in O’Week, according to FUSA Media Officer Steph Walker. FUSA’s role was initially to take care of around a third of O’Week, plus all graphic design. Year on year this changed to the point that FUSA now takes full control, though they continue to work with staff members ad students from around the University outside FUSA. FUSA now owns the domain ‘flindersoweek.com. au’ and this year the website hosts a game designed by FUSA’s own Kate van der Horst – Tappyfish. Last year she created a custom Space Invaders. The media and design aspect of O’Week is the domain of FUSA staff Steph Walker and Kate van der Horst. Among their roles is to create the theme and artwork from the guidance of the Student Directors. Despite designing the FUSA logo, they both push for
minimal branding on the items contained in the O’Week bags, as most students aren’t likely to be very interested to wear the logo around for fun, though if you do, they love you for it. 2016 was the first O’Week in the new Hub and Plaza areas, 2015’s O’Week having been based in the Humanities courtyard. This allowed for a far bigger space and more sprawling festivities. FUSA now has, according to Rachel Pollock, ‘an idea of how to maximize the space and make everything bigger and better for 2017’. The 2016 O’Week took full advantage of the added space with the O’Fiesta. Fresh off their Hottest 100 win, the Rubens were the headline act of the show. The success of that O’Week sets lofty goals for FUSA to aim for in 2017. This year’s O’Fiesta acts of Ball Park Music, Tkay Maidza, Alex Lahey, Robbie Miller, and The Vandelays offer a good chance to top what has gone before, aided by the increased capacity of the plaza on last year. Last year’s O’Fiesta was a sellout so the increased capacity will prove more beneficial. Another factor used to measure the success of the O’Week is the social media and website visits – a helpful indicator of how widely spread awareness of the event has become. The creative driving force behind the O’Week is the group of student directors. The team of directors work with FUSA media and design duo of Steph Walker and Kate van der Horst to brainstorm and refine the theme. This year’s theme, Australiana, is the result of discussions of animals on campus, albeit with a conversational
detour on the merits of fairy bread. There is a back-and-forth of ideas until the results are settled upon, with feedback from the Student Directors and tinkering by the media team. Each year the positions are advertised in April and the candidates are narrowed down to eight by a panel consisting of people from the Transition Office, FUSA staff, and Student Councillors. On arriving at a group of eight, the remaining two positions are filled by the General Secretary and Social Activities Officer on Student Council. One of this year’s Student Directors, Harry Gaffney, described the role as ‘one of those things you’re going to look back on with a smile when you’re retired and sitting on your front porch.’ He also pointed to refining skills in ‘teamwork, group planning, and negotiating’ as valuable element of the experience. He recommends the position, particularly for anyone looking for event planning experience. The position offers a look behind the scenes of the University and of FUSA.
Above: (Left) Last year’s O’Fiesta poster. (Top to bottom): Last year’s O’Fiesta performance; contents of last year’s bag; seeds, pin, for this year’s bag.
Six Things: Childhood Movies
B ab e (1995)
R obin Ho o d (1973)
Tit anic (1997)
There are few childhood movies that elicit as much fondness in me as Babe does. In the plethora of talking animal films I loved as a kid (Black Beauty I’m looking at you) it was George Miller’s 1995 live-action film that stole my heart.
Favourite childhood film, eh? I know I’m on a winner for honest introspection when the answer is immediate: Walt Disney’s Robin Hood, circa 1973. In the interests of a fair go, I mentally pose a few alternatives – Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady – but they pale in comparison.
Perhaps I was an unusual child, not that I didn’t like animated Disney movies, but my true favourite was based loosely on a true story. Every Saturday after my swimming lesson from not long after my eighth birthday until I was 10, I would sit myself down with the family dog and watch the three hour long film, even though I knew just what was going to happen, because in movies the ending never changes.
I spent long hours on my grandparent’s carpet re-watching the story of a piglet who avoided being made Christmas dinner because he was a useful novelty. Though in all seriousness, there was something about this little talking pig who was clever, witty, and kind, that hooked its little trotters in me and did not let go. Maybe it was because Babe was about accepting the differences in other people and loving them anyway. Each challenge Babe faced was overcome by to talking and understanding the people (and animals) who were different from him. It’s not a rare message in family films, but Babe did it well.
The legend is enacted through anthropomorphic animals, George Orwell style. Don’t expect poor animations though – these look like hand-drawn illustrations, brimming with joie de vivre. Maid Marian is simple gorgeous, whilst Robin Hood (Brian Bedford) has the ‘foxiest’ voice a five-yearold can imagine! Like all good children’s movies, ethics and adult humour slyly intrude, but it’s hard to worry about property redistribution when Little John, dressed as a fortune teller in a blond wig and pearls, can fit Prince John’s solid gold hubcaps down his brassiere. (Obviously, Disney were just warming up for Timon’s cross-dressing efforts). Recommendation: enjoy with apple pie! Sweetness should be celebrated.
I was most definitely too young to be watching a movie filled with death and nudity. I’m still not sure why my parents allowed it, except that they were well aware of my youthful obsession with the Titanic disaster, one that has persisted well into my adult life, culminating in a firsthand experience of the birthplace of the real Titanic in Belfast.
The Pr incess Br ide (1987)
St ar Wars [A Ne w Hop e] (1977)
L aby r int h (1986)
Leeza-Jayde von Alpen
By the time I was 13, I’d seen some of the best movies the 80s had to offer: Indiana Jones Trilogy, the Star Wars saga, the Back to the Future series, Big Trouble, Little China, Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, Better Off Dead, The Blues Brothers, Labyrinth, and my all-time favourite: The Princess Bride.
I have a lot of favourite movies from my childhood, but the original Stars Wars (Episode 4: A New Hope) is the one that comes to mind first.
When I was eight years old, Mum introduced me to Labyrinth. I was captivated. The fantasy, and imagination, and music and amazing special effects… I would watch this movie maybe eleven times before I needed a break. I knew every word.
Rob Reiner’s classic fantasy rom-com had some of the best scenes that a budding adult could want: swash-buckling adventure, magic, torture, revenge, romance and, of course, rodents of unusual size. Scenes and lines from this masterpiece were able to be applied to everyday life. The movie, although quite absurd, was rather relatable. For example, when I was in Catholic School, our priest sounded like the celebrant who conducted the not-so marriage of Humperdink and Buttercup. And, of course, just because people think you should do something based on your appearance, such as Fezzik being only used for his physical strength, doesn’t mean that they don’t just want to write poetry. It is also one of those rare 80s movies that stood the test of time. Coming up to its 30th birthday this year, it is still one of those movies that brings the nostalgia and delivers all the feels.
I first saw it on a pre-1997 Special Edition video I rented from Blockbuster (old I know!). I spent almost the whole time watching playing with my toy soldiers, pretending they were the Rebels and Imperials. I hadn’t done that for any other movie beforehand, which is one of the reasons why I think it’s amazing. The movie was my first introduction to the weird and marvellous world of science fiction films. It’s because of this one movie why I now have an obsession with sci-fi, why I want to create strange new worlds, and why I love learning about outer space.
‘You remind me of the babe’, ‘What babe?’, ‘The babe with the power’, ‘What power?’ would become an inside joke with my best friend at the time, and the song my mum would grow to gradually abhor from how much I hummed it. I loved the friendship in the film as well; what people would do for each other. In short, I wouldn’t see anything nearly as cool as this until I was exposed to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. In fact, the only thing I disliked about Labyrinth was how frightened David Bowie’s emphasised crotch made me feel (may he rest in peace).
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‘Mean Girls’, ‘social suicide’ and making nice happen. Ainsle y Ewar t
The term “social suicide” is, of course, a quote from Mean Girls, the 2004 comedy written by Tina Fey which is now a guidebook to teenage girls everywhere. At my school, we were shown it in health class in year nine as it supposedly accurately represents the high school experience, especially at the all-girls school I attended. Unfortunately, girl world is showing signs that more girls want to be like Regina George than anything else. When Rosalind Wiseman wrote Queen Bees and Wannabes, the self-help book for parents of teenage girls that inspired the screenplay of Mean Girls, it was to discourage Plastics-style hierarchies and point out how damaging they are to women. When I was in high school, there were news reports of “Burn Books” being established for the state and for separate high schools on Facebook. The vernacular of this film has pervaded our lives to make people miserable. Tina Fey would be so disappointed in this trend, especially with two young daughters herself. So, I have decided to create a list of some protagonists we can look up to, and hopefully make happen, unlike “fetch”. My first suggestion is Olive Penderghast, (Easy A) played by the brilliant Emma Stone. She is wordy, sarcastic and altogether a good person. My favourite part of Olive’s character is how realistic she is. She’s a smart girl who goes unnoticed until a rumour spreads through the school of her false promiscuity, and likes having the attention, even if it is for all the wrong reasons. She alienates herself and tries to make things right, but learns that often other people will let you down when the truth needs to be told. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) is an obvious choice. She’s smart, she’s bossy, and you wouldn’t want to mess with her. She’s a fighter and a strong believer in fairness and equality (especially book Hermione). She was the girl I wanted to be when I was five, and I still want to be her now. Princess/General Leia Organa (Star Wars) is also obvious, for very similar reasons to Hermione. (She is also played by the equally awesome Carrie Fisher, who as we all know drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.) She’s a fighter, she’s awesome, and she doesn’t tolerate idiocy. She’s an excellent leader and continues to fight for decades. Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation) is the feminist hero of our dreams. She works hard, she values her friends, she loves waffles and she’s such fun to watch. She’s a normal person who freaks out over meeting Joe Biden and Michelle Obama and doesn’t want to leave her hometown even though there are many problems there. She throws great parties, buys great presents and scrapbooks every important moment of friendship you could ever think of. These ladies encourage women to be intelligent and great friends, as opposed to tearing each other down. In 2017, a year with a terrible lead up, what I want to see is people being nice to each other. I don’t want to see any Regina George wannabes trying to tear girl world apart. I want more Leslie Knopes. I want more Hermiones. I want women to be encouraged to be awesome. Mean Girls is a great film, but it isn’t a great reality. And to any Regina George wannabes, I want to remind you: we have a busy bus interchange that could snap you back into reality very quickly.
Emma Hough Hobbs
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ADVICE FROM... D ona ld Tr ump, President of t he Unite d St ates of Amer ic a *
Dear Donald, There’s a girl I like, but I don’t think anything will ever come of it. I’m not rich, handsome, or intelligent; she’d never go for a sad schlub like me. Do you have any advice for me? Should I try to win her over or should I just give up? - Alex To Alex, As a good friend once said to me (NOT Putin, I don’t know Putin), if you set your mind to something, you can achieve it. I mean, he said it in his mother tongue of Russian, so the translation’s a bit rough, but that’s basically what he said. Now, I don’t want to get braggadocious, because I never talk too bigly about myself, but I have the best words when it comes to advice. Just look at my life, Alex – I started out with a mere million dollar loan from my father, and now look at me. I’m Vice President of the United States of Armenia! Oh, sorry, I meant President of the United States, I sometimes have trouble with my reading and writing. Some very mean, very mean, people say that I can’t read, but that’s just nasty and WRONG. Anyway, business and romance, are all about taking risks and demanding success. Now, Alex, there’s something very important that has been left unsaid by you… this woman you’re in love with… is she hot, or is she not? Is she a nasty woman? Is she fat like Rosie O’Donnell? Is she the type of woman I would degrade and disrespect (and that is a very large subset of women)? You see, Alex, you have to have high standards when seeking a mate. Just personally, my type of woman is an immigrant whose English is so sub-par that she doesn’t actually understand what I’m saying – otherwise she’d be totally repulsed by me! Can you imagine? Sad! I’m so fired up I may release an angry tweet later. Now if the woman believes in global warming, that’s an instant dealbreaker. If she’s let herself go, like she used to be hot and thin but now she looks like a housekeeper/pig hybrid, that’s a dealbreaker too. If she’s not hot enough for me to (as fake news would report it) “sexually harass”, that’s definitely a dealbreaker. If she’s a woman who’s mean, so mean to you, like crooked Hillary has been mean to me, that’s a dealbreaker. Finally…if she’s your daughter, that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, you might be able to make that work. Love, Donald xxx
* This advice may or may not have actually come from Donald Trump, President of the United States of America.
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The First Christmas without my Mum “YES, WE FELT CLOSER THAN EVER, BUT YES, THE SKY WAS ALSO CRASHING DOWN ON US. IT WASN’T COMFORTABLE AND WE COULDN’T PRETEND IT WAS”
For someone who was given a ‘Little Miss Sunshine Award’ at work, who often wears the plastic coloured earrings we made for her as children, and who cooked homemade meals and desserts every night of my childhood without fail, it’s not hard to picture why Christmas is my mum’s time. It’s when she’s ‘in the zone’. It’s less about the actual ‘Christmas’ thing and more about the family and food, I think. I have never seen someone more in their element than Mum flitting and flying around the room – a blur of red and green, carrying toppling plates of food, tucking tags into the backs of t-shirts, refilling drinks, posing for pictures, laughing with the adults and tickling the grandchildren. When she finally gets a moment, she heads to the balcony and watches the warm evening sunshine glowing atop the gumtrees, beer in hand.
This is what I’ve known every year of my life – until the Christmas before last. At 2015’s Christmas there was a prickly feeling in the air; something made us want to hold each other close. As Mum walked about the kitchen, we all tried to persuade her to sit down. ‘Mum, that’s too heavy, let me take that to the table instead,’ ‘I’ve brought the cake, Kate, don’t worry about it!’, ‘Come sit down, Mum, don’t fuss yourself’. She sat, but you could tell it distressed her. Fussing about was the thing she knew best in those sticky summer evenings. What was the point in drinking
beer on the balcony if you hadn’t worked up a thirst? Of course, she wasn’t drinking beer at all as her treatments had begun again. After nine months in remission, nine months cancer free, nine months almost-but-notquite forgetting the horrors of the years before – she’d gone back to her tradition of a drop of wine at dinner, and a beer or brandy on the porch with the day’s dying light. This Christmas she didn’t drink. The food on her plate was left mostly uneaten from a dwindling appetite that didn’t look like it’d be growing again anytime soon. That Christmas we all felt it, heavy and hot, dragging on our chests and throats. We knew it would be our last together.
I was careful not to over simplify it, or to romanticize it. Yes, we felt closer than ever, but yes the sky was also crashing down on us. It wasn’t comfortable and we couldn’t pretend it was. After writing that piece, the words just stopped.
Maybe I stopped writing about it because even though it was undoubtedly the biggest thing that has ever taken up space in my world, there also wasn’t that much to say. It was explained easily enough; there’d been a tumour – a giant one, in her head. It had gone unnoticed in those nine, blissfully unaware months after her treatments and mastectomy had supposedly banished the cancer. But it had been there, and it made its presence known by a terrifying late night rush to the hospital, by three heartwrenching days of confusion, and finally, by the diagnosis. Stage four breast cancer Mum’s re-diagnosis isn’t something I’ve – terminal. written a lot about. When the cancer returned – without warning, like a flash of The re-diagnosis had been only a few short lightning across an otherwise clear sky – I months before the Christmas of 2015. thought I’d be writing about it constantly. After that strange night of half celebrations, Writers have a habit of doing that with life half hushed loved and appreciation and an events, I know that I for one often write odd sense of foreboding, the days flew by. about my life just to make sense of it all We jolted into the new year of 2016 and and to form the experiences into words on months slipped like water through fingers. a page is a comfort. This time it just wasn’t My younger brother and sister went to the case. I wrote one short story, part of school, I started another year of uni, my a uni assignment, and read it out loud older siblings continued to work and raise to Mum, and then to a group of writers. their families.
As Mum declined she also published another book, and continued to care for her family. She knitted a handful of scarves for friends, and made sure to call and contact others. She watched TV series after TV series with us, huddled up on the couch with our cats who hadn’t left her side since her illness had taken hold. When I swept in bawling my eyes out after learning of a long-term partner’s betrayal, she held me close and calmed me down. Even in her hardest months, she was there for us and for everyone else. That’s just who she was. When July came, she couldn’t eat much. She couldn’t walk more than a step or two without a frame and one of us for support. Even though we’d just moved house (a phenomenal effort in only a week or so) in order to have flat floors for her to walk across, she was moved early to palliative care. Not quite understanding, I set myself to researching what that meant. It meant they were making her comfortable and ready to die. The weeks that followed were the strangest and hardest I’ve ever experienced, but in a lot of ways also the loveliest.
Last Christmas was the strangest of all. I’d spent the months leading up to it reading books, spending time with my siblings, doing my gift shopping. I caught myself three or four times considering what I’d get for Mum, whether that colour would suit her, if she had the latest DVD in a favourite TV series or not. I would read a wonderful passage in a novel and rush to her room to read it out loud to her. I’d go to text her and let her know my siblings and I would be home for movie night… Most times the thoughts were swiftly interrupted by my memory, a short, jabbing ‘she’s gone’, but on one occasion I got as far as the selfservice checkout with a present in-hand before I realised.
When Christmas did come around, my older brother offered to host it. When we arrived he seemed excited and slightly panicked making sure everything was ‘just right’. He reminded me so much of Mum. After greeting everyone, marvelling at the decorations and giving big squishy cuddles to my now-toddler niece and nephew and brand new baby nephew too, I sat in the lounge room alone. My younger sister noticed my absence and came to find me. On the 6th of August, 2016, Mum passed When my little brother walked in the room away. only moments later, he said ‘I walked in here expecting to see her’. We sat, all three of us, on the two person couch together for a while, flecks of coloured light from the Christmas tree dancing across our laps and hands.
This first Christmas without Mum hurt in a lot of ways, but healed in a lot of ways too. As the night went on, we all helped cook and clean. We all darted around the table adding cutlery and extra food and moving chairs and pouring drinks. With the sun setting behind him, my older brother toasted Mum. We tucked in, and then had seconds, then thirds, just as she would’ve forced us to do with a loving laugh of ‘you need more, you’re growing’. We ate happily. As we unwrapped presents my nephew, Blake, ran from person to person helping them tear the paper and throw it around him in fits of giggles. And here’s the thing that helped me through, most of all – it was my beautiful nephew Hugo’s first ever Christmas. By the wide-eyed stare and cheeky smile, you can just tell he’s going to love it as much as his Granny did. Surrounded by his older sister, cousin and (admittedly many) uncles and aunties, he had a fabulous time. It wasn’t a perfect night, not by a longshot, but we all felt something different in the air.
fe atu re / ex p er i enc e
The South is Another Country I’ve changed. I’m no longer that peculiar, awkward little Queenslander who snuck into a sprawling city with just a suitcase and no thoughts of the future. I can now place Adelaide on a map and I don’t find myself searching for the familiar scent of rainforests or the constant itch of fresh mosquito bites.
It’s easy to forget that Australia isn’t just a country, but a continent. Growing up in Far North Queensland I couldn’t imagine an Australia that wasn’t all endless sugar cane fields, mosquito infested rainforests and no seasons beyond ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. It’s no surprise that moving to South Australia came as something of a culture shock for me.
to find a bus to take me to Flinders. Tucked under four layers of clothes, a thin silk scarf wrapped over my nose, I watched the city flash past in an endless stream of buildings for what seemed like an eternity. Was it really that far from Munno Para to Bedford Park? It seemed so much shorter a distance on Google maps. Could a city really be this big?
All that I knew about Adelaide when I arrived can be condensed into the following: 1. It was hot and in a perpetual state of drought 2. Everyone ate pie floaters 3. They made good beer and wine
The University proved to be much bigger than I’d imagined – a sprawling campus centred around a gleaming lake. Ducks waddled all about the plaza, trying to snatch food out of the laps of unsuspecting students. People milled around the entrance to an old bar, leaning against wine barrels fashioned into makeshift tables. Stairs rose up all around, beckoning upwards to the endless levels of the university. For each flight of stairs I tackled there were at least two more above. This was a far cry from my old uni back home in Cairns.
I’ll let you, dear reader, be the judge of how accurate the above statements are. When I first stepped out of Adelaide airport in shorts and a t-shirt it was 14 degrees and bucketing down with rain. Icy wind howled through the narrow streets of the city and heat billowed in plumes of grey from the exhaust of every car. In that moment, when I first saw the city I’d moved to on a whim, I realised that I had no idea what I was in for. My grasp of distance was limited. I realised this when I made the trek from home to university for the first time. I was a couch dweller for the time being, living out of a suitcase at my friend’s house in Munno Para. From there I trekked for fifteen minutes up the hillside to reach the train station, rode an hour into the city, then navigated the chaos of rush hour on King William Street
There, we’d had a small cluster of brick buildings flanked by demountable classrooms that had become permanent fixtures of the wet, overgrown landscape. The hourly bus rarely showed up on time and it was a thirty-minute bus ride through paddocks of grazing horses and wallabies to get back to the suburbs. But Flinders, it felt more like a university. More like a city of its own, like the great and ancient university towns of Europe. A place where students could meet and mingle, share ideas and swap notes in bars or cafes that belonged almost exclusively to them. For someone who had always dreamt of a university that didn’t feel like an extended high school, this was paradise.
That was three years ago. Flinders has changed a lot since then. The old, fall-apart plaza has been carved out to fit a radiant new building with stunning views of the lake and the sea.
That was three years ago. Flinders has changed a lot since then. The old, fall-apart plaza has been carved out to fit a radiant new building with stunning views of the lake and the sea. The ducks still rummage around people’s feet for food, but not with quite as much success as before. The new bar is sleek, modern and has become like a second home already. I can’t help but wonder, whenever I leave my office and wander down through the plaza to the bus stop, that the university isn’t the only thing that has changed in these three years. I’ve changed. I’m no longer that peculiar, awkward little Queenslander who snuck into a sprawling city with just a suitcase and no thoughts of the future. I can now place Adelaide on a map and I don’t find myself searching for the familiar scent of rainforests or the constant itch of fresh mosquito bites. Though I’ll never forget those first days, those first months, that first year that I spent here. Though I’ll never be able to shake the feeling that the south is another country. This has become, through the steady roll of time, my home, my life, my future.
c re at ive / f i c ti on
Living with the Dead BY MARK TRIMBOLI [TRIGGER WARNING: DRUG USE, SELF HARM]
Sid lay on his bed, thinking. The darkness dyed the silence amaranthine. As long as he didn’t move, anything was possible. He could be anything, anyone: as long as he didn’t move. His thoughts bounced off the walls like echoes in an empty shell. Martin, however, was busy in the next room. With nervous, furtive movements his brush stroked arcs of colour, feeble stains of self intent. During the long nights Martin would sometimes pause, brush poised, ear cocked, listening for sound from the next room. But Sid lay silent, thinking, only waiting for the dawn.
As usual, the function was a bore. Martin scanned the faces, searching for his lover. He wanted an escape. The bright lights beat upon the milling crowd and threw garish, harpie-like shadows that danced upon the walls. Awkward figures draped in Lycra gowns of tangerine and puce stood chatting, skeletal flamingos behind the looking glass. Bangles of copper and gold adorned a bevy of hired hostesses as they parried trays of cocktails and nibbles imported from France. The winning art filled a feature panel. In pride of place hung Forever – Martin’s piece. He had won first prize, again.
The brothers shared much; a flat, a kitchen, the one toilet – a passion for painting. Sid worked during the day. His images hung on nails around the room, or in a jumble of rectangled canvases against the walls. His art lay undiscovered, unrevealed, hidden away in a room of striped floorboards, used ‘picks’ and a dusty, forgotten sunlight. Martin was less gifted but driven, consumed by the desire to match his brother’s skill, his talent. So he painted all night and then peddled his déclassé work by day, hawking fusty prints down the run of lesser galleries, hoping somewhere, somehow, to find a benefactor or kindly patron. But all he got was chaffy praise and a cheque that never came. And he knew that the funds that kept them, the money from their parent’s estate, was all but spent and gone. They met at breakfast; a lutescent dawn sent cold fingers of light to tourney hazy ribbons of cigarette smoke and burning, white ash.
‘There you are, Michaelangelo. Let’s go – I want to leave.’ At the sound of Martin’s voice, Michael turned, let go of the arm of the man he was talking to, and in mock surprise spilled half his drink over the front of Martin’s tuxedo.
‘When I look at you, I see a world trapped under the slide of a microscope.’ ‘Huh – what do you mean?’ Sid didn’t bother to look up. He pulled at the thin, rubber strop, tightening; the vein stood out like a crooked blue railway line on a map. ‘I mean they way things move, the way things happen – like we’re bloody microbes or something; amoebas – little squirmy things, swimming ‘round in a Petri dish, blindly splashing about, only waiting for that next...’ At this, Sid looked up; he flashed black eyes like holes in the sky. . . .
art lay undiscovered, unrevealed, hidden away in a room of striped floorboards, used ‘picks’ and a dusty, forgotten sunlight.
‘You’re drunk – again!’ Martin turned on his heel. He angrily brushed a lemon slice from his jacket’s lapel and strode off; exit stage left. Michael performed a clumsy glissade in attempt to catch him up, but the move was a disaster. He tripped on the corner of a rug and fell to the floor amongst the stares and smirks and upraised eyebrows of the gathered, fancy guests. ‘There was a forty-pound monkey on my back,’ sighed Frank Sinatra from the screen. Martin’s favourite movie, The Man with the Golden Arm, was the background soundtrack as the two aged paramours argued, spat invectives, and refused to look each other in the eye. The scene played out in Martin’s penthouse suite. The décor, quasi-minimalist with flourishes of bronze and chrome to impregnate the muted lavender and industrial viridian. The furnishings: angular and sparse. They strode about, drinks in hand, sloshing; sloshed, both filled with a burning desire to be heard above the din of guilt that filled their ears.
‘How can you say that? You’ve never been... where I’ve been, what I’ve gone through. How can you tell me what things are like – what they should be like? You, with your petty bourgeoisie banter and spiteful, blue-collar morality...’ Michael seethed at this description of himself. He gulped down the last of his drink and with a practiced nonchalance let the empty crystal tumbler drop onto the tiled and shiny marble floor. The crash and tinkle set fracture lines to echo in Martin’s heart. Alone, the blood-pulse beat a relentless tattoo that throbbed in Martin’s head. Michael had gone. All that remained was the hastily scrawled note that lay scrunched and menacing on the table. Four words, yet it was enough. For the hundredth time, images from that last morning with Sid played out in Martin’s mind, like a retinol mosaic, spike ice thrust into the eye; that last conversation, the milky, yellow light; the silence as Sid fell to the floor and failed to move; the impact of reality when the Ambulance Officer whispered ‘overdose’. But these awful memories were but blades of grass in the overwhelming forest of disgust that now surrounded him. He read the note one last time: I shall tell all. And Martin knew that his forged signature at the bottom of Sid’s unsigned paintings was to be the seal of dreaded doom. He was past living with the dead, for now his time had come.
cre at ive / p o e tr y
Oblivion: There must be a world, Of blue pacifics and white roses, Of doveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wings soaring Into endless sky, Where your soul waits, And your energy flows, Into this world of Ramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s horns, And pink ribbons, Of pen to paper, And endless dreaming, Dancing on the edge Of life, But of death, Like water vapour, To clouds, To rain. An endless cycle Of energy transferred, Continuing on, Unending, Forever.
stu d e nt c ou nc i l /pre side nt’s re p or t
Student Council President WHAT IS FUSA, WHAT IS STUDENT COUNCIL, AND WHY DO THEY MATTER TO STUDENTS LIKE YOU? PRESIDENT JORDON O’REILLY IS HERE TO HELP EXPLAIN/
Why am I writing to you? I’m here to let you know about your Student Association. FUSA (pronounced foo-sa) is here to help you with almost every aspect of uni life. FUSA is made up of a democratically elected Student Council (19 of us in total, reflecting the diversity of the student council) and a super rad bunch of staff who help deliver the events, projects, and help you need.
Contact Jordon directly via email email@example.com. au , or visit fusa.edu.au or call us on 8201 2371 .
Because you’ve got O’Week to attend, beers to drink or work to do, here’s a quick round up of what you need to know about FUSA. 1. We organise the fun stuff on campus 2. We help you when you’re having a tough time with class, or if you’re struggling financially 3. We, as the Student Council, lobby the University government on issues that are important to you Still reading? Thanks! Many of you would know us as the people cooking you a free BBQ while you’re studying for exams, and funding clubs. We also organise most of the events on campus for example, Pub Crawls, Balls, movie night and of course O’Week! FUSA also provides funding and assistance that help FUSA is always looking for new ways to liven up the campus atmosphere, which is why if you have any ideas we’d love to hear from you. Each Council member has a collective: Womens/International/Queer/Education/ Welfare/Education/Environment/Indigenous/ Postgraduate/Disabilities/Social Activities and Mature Age! Visit fusa.edu.au/collectives to connect via email or Facebook. It might not feel like it now, but there can be times where you will struggle with some aspect of University life. Hopefully no one
has an issue with money, or in their studies, but if you, we’re right here waiting to help you out. FUSA has a Student Advocacy Unit called Student Assist. Student Assist can help you with the academic side of things (getting assignments remarked, dealing with an academic issue/policy). They also offer welfare support like emergency food support, financial counselling to help you get back on your feet, with interest-free loans, advice on creditors and budgets. Sometimes, student issues can be more widespread, like lobbying university management to make changes across all courses or larger goals like making submissions to State and Federal Governments about what affects you. This side of FUSA can be inherently political, but that’s the medium needed to create change. Throughout this year some of the bigger issues will be how the university implements its new restructure, the representation on University Council (the peak decision making body of the uni) and of course changes made at a government level. But I would like to stress that this does not make every aspect of FUSA political, providing free breakfasts and BBQs will always be about providing you with a free feed* (*free feed may come with a spiel about what FUSA is up to) Our main goal is always to make sure we do everything that helps benefit you during your time at Flinders.
So I hope you enjoy the year, and you make the most of it. Come visit the office (in FUSA, level 1 of the Hub), follow us on the Social Medias, email, call or send smoke signals. - Your friendly neighbourhood Student President
stu d e nt c ou nc i l /inte r v ie w
Student Council General Secretary YOUR STUDENT COUNCIL IS MADE UP OF 19 POSITIONS, AND WEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LL INTRODUCE YOU TO ALL OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS IN EMPIRE TIMES THROUGHOIT 2017/
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE POSITION OF GENERAL SECRETARY? I have been involved with clubs at Flinders University since I started studying here in 2012; being President of Flinders University Digital Gaming Enthusiasts, as well as on the executive of the Flinders University Labor Club and a general/founding member of a number of other clubs. I have been passionate about improving campus culture throughout my time at university and I see clubs and societies, and FUSA as the best way forward in improving the culture on campus. As the General Secretary is the member of Student Council in charge of clubs and societies I thought that I could make positive change that would improve the opportunities for clubs and its members on a day to day basis.
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACHIEVE THIS YEAR AS GENERAL SECRETARY? This year I am hoping to do a number of things: I want to make it easier for clubs and societies to access the help that FUSA offers them, I want clubs and societies to have the ability to run bigger and better events, and give them the opportunity to work in partnership with FUSA for FUSA events. I also want to secure a stream of non-SSAF revenue. Currently FUSA does not (outside of the occasional Pub Crawl) have any consistent revenue that does not come from the SSAF (Student Servcies Amenities Fee) fee that students pay every year. By securing non-SSAF income FUSA will have many more opportunities to support students without intervention from the University.
An example is that it is currently University policy that any SSAF funds cannot be used for the purchase of Alcohol, so if a club wants to run an event that provides a drink or two for their members they are left totally out of pocket; if we can secure independent revenue we may be able to help out. I am currently investigating the potential of selling FUSA merchandise. I also want to help spread the word about what services FUSA provides. Many students know that FUSA exists but not enough know exactly what we do. I want any student who needs FUSAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s help to be confident in coming to us and asking for it. WHY IS GENERAL SECRETARY AN IMPORTANT POSITION FOR FLINDERS UNI? The General Secretary is responsible for the Finances of FUSA, this means that the General Secretary plays a large role in making sure that events and services are run effectively. Additionally the General Secretary oversees inward and outward correspondence, as well maintaining membership records, calling meetings and being responsible for Clubs and Societies. In essence, whilst the Student President is the face of FUSA, the General Secretary is usually there behind the scenes making sure things are running smoothly. So if the General Secretary is doing their job well, FUSA should run smoothly, and if FUSA is running smoothly then it can do an even better job at standing up for Flinders Students.
Contact Chris directly via email, firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit fusa.ed.au or call us on 8201 2371.
Empire Times Quiz Welcome to the Empire Times Quiz where there are no prizes and no victories, only defeats, much like student/millenial life
Entertainment & the Arts 1). In what state were Rosie Larsen (The Killing) and Laura Palmer (Twin Peaks) murdered? 2). What nationality was James Bondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother? 3). Who was the Third Doctor? 4). Where did Sherlock Holmes fight with Professor Moriarty in Sir Arthur Conan Doyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original work? 5). Who is the only Jedi (in the films) not to have a lightsabre that is green or blue in colour?
History 1). Who is the longest serving US President? 2). How many Australian Prime Ministers have served time in prison? 3). How long did the Hundred Years War Last? 4). According to legend, how did Genghis Khan die? 5). In which year did the Great Fire of London occur?
Bonus (totally legit questions)
1). Who is the most prolific goalkicker currently playing in the AFL?
1). Who is in charge of Flinders University?
2). Which team/country has won the greatest number of Rugby Union World Cups? 3). How many gold medals did Australia win at the 2016 Olympic Games? 4). What team has spent the most time at the top of the International Cricket Council’s test rankings? 5). For what team does Moana Hope play in the AFLW?
A). Colin Stirling B). Hillary Clinton C). Jesus D). Milton, Lord of Ducks 2). The name of Australia’s current Prime Minister is... A). Malcolm Trumble B). Julia Gillard C).Whoever Donald says. D). Who knows? Probably changed since printing. 3). The Flinders lake is famed for...
Current Affairs 1). Who became the 48th Vice President of the United States on 20th January this year? 2). To the nearest million, by how much did Hillary Clinton win the popular vote in the 2016 Presidential Election?
A). Sirens luring first years to their death B). The summer getaway of the Loch Ness Monster. C). Home of the Moria monster from Lord of the Rings. D). Being the deepest lake in Australia 4). At Urban Paddock Co., they serve....
3). Who recently defected from the federal Liberal Party to found his own conservative party?
A). The elixer of life B). Coffee. C). Hope. D). Those three things (they’re all the same).
4). What video game TV show did the ABC recently axe?
5). Empire Times is...
5). Who played White House press secretary Sean Spicer for Saturday Night Live, drawing Trump’s irritation?
A). Left-wing propaganda B). Right-wing propaganda C). A bit duck-crazy D). Definitely real
ANSWER Entertainment and the Arts: 1). Washington. 2). Swiss. 3). Jon Pertwee. 4). Reichenbach Falls. 5). Mace Windu (purple lightsabre). History: 1). Franklin D. Roosevelt. 2). One (John Curtin). 3). 116 years. 4). Fell off his horse and contracted fever. 5). 1666. Sports: 1). Lance Franklin. 2). New Zealand (All Blacks). 3). Eight. 4). Australia. 5). Collingwood. Current Affairs: 1). Mike Pence. 2). Three million. 3). Cory Bernardi. 4). Good Game. 5). Melissa McCarthy. Bonus: 1). Milton, Lord of Ducks. 2). Malcolm Trumble. 3). The summer getaway of the Loch Ness Monster. 4). Those three things (they’re all the same). 5). A bit duck-crazy.
c olu m n / b o ardg ame s
Board Game Baptism An Introduction into Hobby Board Gaming Patrick O’Loughlin
“That cardboard box could be Monopoly, Risk, or Trivial Pursuit; later that night shouting sounds throughout the house, temporary, but vicious. Feuds form, and everyone swears to never to play a board game again”
Stuck at home, on a Saturday night, many years ago; too young to leave the house of your own accord, and old enough to resent it. The family mopes around the house, eventually herding themselves onto the couch, prepared to watch the Saturday night movie with glazed eyes. Suddenly, a small, long-rusted cog in your father’s mind unexpectedly turns, and he remembers the cardboard box buried under a pile of junk. He runs to the cupboard and it’s still there, just as he remembers it. That cardboard box could be Monopoly, Risk, or Trivial Pursuit; later that night shouting sounds throughout the house, temporary, but vicious. Feuds form, and everyone swears to never to play a board game again. The reputation of board games often rests on the like of Monopoly and Risk, but thankfully, there’s another side of board games that you may not have heard about. A side with no hotels, no outdated trivia, and significantly less pointless luck. My own experience was sparked after my brother brought a copy of Last Night on Earth to my house. While it still retained some outdated mechanics, such as the roll and move of Monopoly, it also featured zombies, weapons, and scenarios that presented the players with clear objectives, and for that reason it was a blast. Players around the table clapped and laughed and light-heartedly trash talked. It was a far cry from the grudges formed out of Monopoly. Betrayal at the House on the Hill was the next subject of our games night, and produced similarly positive results. During the game my character turned into a werewolf, friends I was allied suddenly became prey, and it was hilarious. Despite both of these games being quite luck-heavy and strategy-light, their cool themes left a positive impression. After something with a little more strategy baked into the ruleset, my research began.
What I found was amazing. Thousands of games (boardgamegeek.com, the biggest board game website, currently lists 87,440 games in its database) that encompass dozens of themes, mechanics and a wide range of complexities. Not knowing where to start, I began slowly picking some of the games on Board Game Geek’s top 100 list, slowly at first, then voraciously. I now have eighty-something games in my constantly growing collection. It’s quite fair to say that these games have left a positive impression and an empty bank account. Choosing suitable games was initially quite overwhelming, so with my cardboard-related experiences in mind, I have this column in Empire Times to guide you, the beautiful reader, on a journey over this year that will clearly and concisely explore board games in their beautifully varied forms. Each issue will feature a theme or a specific game mechanic, and a number of board games that I feel exemplify these. Traitors, area control, worker placement and hidden movement are just a few of the mechanisms modern board games employ, each title offering a unique spin on its respective genre. The very well designed Pandemic will be featured in the next issue along with its narrative-oriented older sibling Pandemic: Legacy and a few other board games that superbly utilise co-operative mechanics, such as the very tough Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. In the coming months, expect to see primers on games featuring Lovecraft, Egyptian mythology and the far reaches of space, as well as a whole heap of other things that can’t be included in the word count. Until next month!
c olu m n/ f i l m
Five-Star Movie Recommendations Suspiria (1977) Art and Words by Rhianna Carr
Suspiria (1977) is an intense and, at times, unbearable cinematic experience. Visual and sound elements are pushed to their limit; the saturated lighting (mostly red and blue) engulfs the characters and is paired with a beautifully unnerving soundtrack. Suspiria has the pulse of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The opening scene shows Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), a dancer from America, arriving at the Munich airport in Germany, and through a storm she travels by taxi to the ‘Tanz Akademy’ (Dance Academy) in Freiburg. Suzy is welcomed at the door by a distressed woman, Pat Hingle, mumbling incoherently. On the same night of Suzy’s arrival Pat is brutally murdered by a “madman.” Suzy is questioned about the event, but little is done about the incident. Suzy remains relatively unaware about the goings-ons of the academy, meanwhile a string of mysterious murders occur. Dario Argento had already made a name for himself in the film industry at the point of directing Suspiria, and is considered one of the greats in the Italian horror genre. Argento had grown tired of making ‘giallos’ (Italian for ‘yellow,’ a word used to describe the filmic themes of a cheap paperback mystery novel), and instead delved into the supernatural realm with Suspiria. Argento developed the idea for the film after travelling through many of the European capitals including a trip to the geographical ‘magic’ point where Switzerland, France and Germany meet, and he became interested in the history surrounding the controversial Waldorf schools. Austrian-born Rudolf Steiner founded the Waldorf schools, which were accused of teaching occult practices in the guise of artsbased education. Argento had initially wanted child actors to play the students at the dance academy, but this request was denied by the producers. Argento used other visual techniques to give the child-like perception of the students, such as heightening the handles on
all the doors to make the students appear shorter and inserting immature and playful dialogue. Suspiria can be compared with popular children’s fairy tales like the dreamy tale of Alice in Wonderland and the Technicolor glory of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Visuals popular with the German expressionist style can be seen throughout Suspiria, not only in the strong angular style of production design, but also in the angles Luciano Tovoli (Cinematographer) chose to shoot the scenes. Goblin (an Italian progressive rock band) produced the soundtrack for Suspiria. They used a blend of music styles to create a fantastic yet agitating sound to meet the dark themes of the film. The band researched different techniques and consulted with Argento to achieve his vision. Argento requested for very low whisper to be heard underneath the stronger instrumentals, repeating words such as “witches.” The dubbing of dialogue is prominent; although, dubbing was just common practice for Italian films of that time. During takes on the set of Suspiria, multiple languages were spoken amongst the actors including English, Italian and German and were to later be dubbed all in English, the actors had to appear as though they understood what one another was saying. Although the dubbing can be off putting and the dialogue itself leaves a lot to be desired, the visuals will keep you entranced. The experimental nature of this film makes it original and groundbreaking. There is a great contrast between themes of satanic practises and the naivety of the protagonist, along with the childlike attitude of the other students at the dance school. Ultimately, Suspiria was born to be a cult film.
fe atu re / g am i ng
It’s Dangerous to Go Alone, Take This! All Great Adventures Must Begin Somewhere Cameron Lowe
The Legend of Zelda is perhaps my all-time favourite video game series. I first began my travels with the green cladded hero, Link, in Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. Together we fought strange creatures, ventured through time, and defeated the Dark Lord Ganon. Since then I have travelled with him across the seas, through the sky, and between worlds. With the upcoming release of Breath of the Wild and the recent 30th anniversary celebration, I would like to travel back and talk about the game that started this legendary series: The Legend of Zelda.
Link must face Ganon in Death Mountain and rescue Princess Zelda, restoring peace to Hyrule.
“The Legend of Zelda was
not only a first for this legendary series, but a first for some key moments in video game history as well.
Subtitled The Hyrule Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda was first released in Japan on the Famicom Disk System (a Floppy Disk add-on for the Famicom) in 1986. The game was created by Shigeru Miyamoto and was inspired by his love for exploring things in his childhood.
The game features a top-down perspective and a world that changes when you walk to the edge of the screen. The world is populated by monsters that randomly generate, secrets with upgrades, and people who live in caves. It was later released in the West on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987, simply called The Legend of Zelda. The cartridge had a gold appearance in its original release rather than the standard NES grey and a manual full of information on the world of Hyrule.
The Legend of Zelda featured the hero, Link, who must travel the land of Hyrule, defeating monsters and collecting the eight pieces of the Triforce. Link collects these pieces by exploring dungeons and defeating bosses at the end of them. After collecting these eight pieces of the Triforce,
The Legend of Zelda was not only a first for this legendary series, but a first for some key moments in video game history as well. This was the first NES game to sell over a million copies, and the first to feature an ability to save data. Games before it didn’t have save points, instead relying on off
long playtimes or ridiculously long passwords. The save data was stored on a battery in the cartridge, allowing a much longer and more detailed adventure than what many people were used to at the time on home consoles. This also began the shift towards save data rather than passwords in adventure video games.
guides from the internet. The music and characters are some of the most recognisable and best the video game industry has to offer. Most of all, it was the first time the world was introduced to the word of The Legend of Zelda series, which thirty years later still captivates so many people, gamers and non-gamers alike.
I first obtained a copy of this game as part of the Ambassador Program on the Nintendo 3DS back in 2011. I never thought much of it at the time, only really seriously playing it seriously as recent as 2016. I fell in love with its wonderfully crafted 8-bit music, a vast amount of secrets, and the fantastical adventure. I replayed it again later in the year on the NES Classic Mini, only to fall in love with it all over again. It is by far my favourite NES game and certainly one of my all-time favourite classic games.
If you’re like me, a diehard Zelda fan who can’t wait to get their hands on Breath of the Wild and haven’t played The Legend of Zelda, then I recommend you go play it immediately. You can find this game easy enough on the 3DS and Wii U eShops, or on the NES Classic Mini if you’re feeling like a challenge to obtain this game. I also highly recommend it if you’re into classic gaming, or are curious in exploring the first entry of a legendary series.
Compared to more contemporary entries into the series, The Legend of Zelda is fairly dated; the story is pretty simplistic and the item selection is ridiculously complex. However, unlike many other NES games, it has stood the test of time. It still plays well even today and is still challenging, even with
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The Vegetarian by Han Kang Kayla Gaskell
“While I am still unsure if it’s something I would want to recommend, it it is certainly something that has added to my understanding of schizophrenia.”
South Korean writer Han Kang’s novel The Vegetarian won the Man Booker Prize for 2016, and ever since hearing about it I’ve wanted to read it. Sure enough it soon found its way into my to-read pile and now I can finally say I’ve read its English translation by Deborah Smith. The novel tells the story of Yeong-hye, a woman who experiences a transformative dream which causes her to become a vegetarian. The dream, as unsettling as it is, is not talked about in great detail due to the narrator’s lack of interest in the dream itself. As the story progresses however, the dream seems more and more like a starting point for a long, downward spiral in Yeonghye’s life, leading her not just to lose her husband and her family, but also her mind. A disastrous series of events is triggered by this strange dream and Yeong-hye’s inability to talk about it.
The book is divided into three segments, each with a different narrator with a different relationship to Yeonghye. Kang makes no claim to understanding the mind of a person suffering from schizophrenia and so uses the people around Yeong-hye to tell her story. The first segment is told by Mr. Cheong, Yeonghye’s husband. Mr. Cheong is a basic person with basic wants and needs. The second features Yeong-hye’s brother-in-law, who is an experimental filmmaker who becomes obsessed with Yeong-hye’s birthmark, a blue Mongolian Mark after which the section is named. The third features Yeong-hye’s sister, In-hye, and her struggle to cope with her role as carer to her sister while simultaneously being abandoned by her own husband and family. It is a good choice, showing the pressures put on those caring for people with mental illness as well as those of the sufferer. By the end of the first segment I was thoroughly unsettled. I didn’t know what to think of the novel. It is strange, violent, and deceptive. Her attempts to abstain from meat were met with disbelief and disgust by her family—so much so that taking her own life became one
of the few things she believed she could do. Vegetarianism goes against Korean customs and so becomes a pivotal issue for Yeong-hye and her family who have been cooking and indulging in meat their entire lives. The moment her family turns on her seems to be the trigger for her latent mental illness and soon she goes from eating vegetables and grains to not eating much at all becoming thin and sickly from believing that her food is poisoned. The stages of schizophrenia are brought to life through Kang’s writing until the reader themselves can reach the diagnosis. This is quite a powerful and frightening work of fiction that portrays schizophrenia with a frightening accuracy. While I am still unsure if it’s something I would want to recommend, it is certainly something which has added to my understanding of schizophrenia. For those interested in mental illnesses and the effects on family and loved ones this is a good book to turn to. The Vegetarian is beautifully written, but also as violent, emotive, and terrifying as any novel about schizophrenia ought to be.
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YURI!!! ON ICE Rating: 4/5 Shinji-kuns
Words and Ar t by E mma Houg h Hobbs Japan’s been treading on thin ice with all this queer baiting. “Why not just make it real gay?” I ask. The creators of YURI!!! ON ICE stop and think for a moment, then respond, “Yes… why not?” YURI!!! ON ICE is a 12-episode anime about ice-skating and love. Animated by the brilliant Studio MAPPA and directed by Sayo Yamamoto, it’s a queer winner from the previous season of new anime. The show is heart-warming, nerve-wracking and filled to the brim with ice-skating sporty goodness. After placing dead last in the Grand Prix Final last season, Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki is on the brink of quitting skating forever. That is, until his long time idol and record-breaking Russian skater Victor Nikiforov rocks up at his family’s onsen after seeing a viral video of Yuri skating to one of his programs. Victor proclaims he will be Yuri’s new coach and will guide him to winning gold at the next Grand Prix Final. We then follow their developing relationship as Yuri grows and learns to open up and realise he’s not fighting alone. Yuri realises that the power of love can propel his career further than he could ever have imagined. Overall the animation does a fantastic job of displaying the emotions and performances of all the characters and figure skaters that perform in the show. The amount of movement the animators have taken on for this show is 120% ridiculous and impossible
but they’ve done it somehow and have managed to keep up the great standard for the entire show. However, that being said, the animation is not perfect. During minor characters’ performance segments you can see subtle distortion of the characters caused by using 3D models as reference, which distracts a bit from the performance. But they do get a great big load of bonus points for minimal flashbacks and cutaways to avoid animating movement.
Anime Movie Recommendation Koe No Katachi
The charming story and visuals aside, the part of YURI!!! ON ICE that really makes me go “wooooow” and “vkusno” repeatedly is just how canonically and undeniably gay it is. I’m well used to ferociously debating the queer identities of anime characters with fellow viewers (Free!!, When Marnie was there) and having to rely on what the creator’s intensions are, more than what’s shown onscreen, to ‘get’ some gay characters. This show was a real breath of fresh air. Yuri and Victor are together, it’s a healthy relationship, and it’s not anime porn. The anime gods have answered our prayers.
Rating: 5/5 Kaworu-kuns
YURI!!! ON ICE is a crowd pleaser if I ever saw one, effortlessly combining sports, comedy and genuine romance and flourishing it with a distinct and mesmerising style. I honestly can’t imagine even the most hardened of anime critics walking away and not loving almost every single moment of this wonderful show.
This film is absolutely captivating in its passionate and honest storytelling. I wouldn’t have expected an anime to display such a telling tale of social anxiety, bullying and disability. Captivatingly animated by Kyoto animation, it’s beautiful both in its approach to narrative and aesthetics.
Throwback anime FLCL FLCL is like an animation explosion: condensed into just 6 episodes it’s really a wild ride. Released all the way back in 2000 by Gainax and Production I.G., it still stands up against new releases. Every episode brings a jam-packed session of nonsense plot and medium defining action sequences. Watch it before season 2 comes out later this year! Rating: 4/5 Ramiels