Grapeshot Magazine | 'Pop Vulture'

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Greetings and salutations my pretties, welcome to another edition of your friendly neighbourhood student magazine. Popular culture is all around us. It’s what we eat, it’s what we listen to, it’s what we watch and wear. You may choose to opt out of it by subscribing to alternative culture, but it’s argued that even that is a subculture within popular culture. Soz. Dedicating a whole issue to popular culture has been an interesting ride. Pop culture is fluid and transcends time and place. It exists everywhere and yet, within a flash, it can disappear. The famous become washed up, media sensations become outdated

and irrelevant, however, some movie quotes and songs transcend generations. So, ‘why Pop Vulture?’, you may ask. In a way, we are all vultures of culture. We adopt traits or fashion from people of influence, we subconsciously speak words we’ve heard people say ... we scavenge popular culture. We are vultures of ‘pop’. In this issue, we speak with DJ Sprinkles (pg. 28) about her experience as a transgender DJ in the house scene, we discuss how ‘real’ the Real Housewives of Melbourne are (pg. 32) and if Americanisation has affected Sydney’s small bar scene (pg. 30). Ye gives us a piece of his mind on irritating work colleagues (pg. 17) while we offer you some tips on breaking the internet (pg. 15). Apparently, it’s not too hard. So, happy reading ya’ll. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed making it. And if you don’t like it... frankly, my dears, we don’t give a damn.

Macquarie University Law Society magazine Edition 1, 2015 (Volume 21)

EDITORIAL & CREATIVE PRODUCTION EDITOR IN CHIEF Sarah Basford DEPUTY EDITOR Regina Featherstone FEATURES EDITOR Jack Cameron Stanton NEWS EDITOR Anna Glen REGULARS EDITOR Vanessa Capito COPY EDITOR Amelia van der Rijt WEB EDITOR Raelee Lancaster EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Nicholas Wasiliev Aswathi Neelakandan CREATIVE DIRECTOR Natasha Michels GRAPHIC DESIGNER Samuel Ip MARKETING TEAM ADVERTISING MANAGER Michael Rosser MARKETING MANAGER Joanna Marciniak OUR AWESOME CONTRIBUTORS Alia Alidenes, Neha Babu, Simon Clarke, Cameron Colwell, Remy Dunne, Patricia Grigoriou, Ellen Kirkpatrick, Michael Maglis, Laura Marii, Joshua McInnes, Nicholas Rider, Alicia Scott, Marie Claire Selim, Katy Shaw, Blake Sherry, Ruthie Singer­-Decapite, Charlie Smith, Brittany Solarz, Sharmaine Spencer, Rabeah Zafrullah, Tony Zhang EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD STUDENT MEMBERS Patrick Barkachi, Sarah Cameron, Kris Gilmour, Emma Grimley, Jack Morgan, Natalie Morton, Jacob Rock, Yi Wong COORDINATOR Melroy Rodrigues PUBLISHER Craig Oliver

Grapeshot would like to acknowledge the Darug people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work, and pay our respects to their elders, past and present.


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QUEENSLAND ELECTION: A WIN FOR LABOR AND WOMEN IN POLITICS Annastacia Palaszczuk has replaced Premier Campbell Newman after a tremendous 37 seat swing to the Labor party. This is the second greatest landslide in Queensland history, only surpassed by Labor’s crushing defeat in 2012, where the party gained just seven seats. In an Australian first, the cabinet hosts a female majority, with eight women in a cabinet of fourteen. The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Leeanne Enoch, is of Indigenous heritage and is a proud Nunukil/Nughi woman. Given that the Parliament House in Brisbane was built without female toilets in the 1850s and that Indigenous peoples did not gain the vote until 1967, Queensland has come a long way. Go Queensland!


Australia’s population will grow to 39.7 million in 2055 and the number of people over 65 will double, according to the Government’s most recent 170-page-long intergenerational report. The report is released every five years to assess the long-term impacts of government policies, population growth and demographical change. Tony Abbott says the findings show greater budget cuts are needed to avoid “intergenerational theft”. It is likely these cuts will affect students, as Christopher Pyne has vowed to push through his higher education reforms, and other savings measures such as the GP co-payment have been dropped. The report has been criticised by Labor and the Greens for failing to adequately address the issue of climate change, with just three pages dedicated to the matter, compared to 74 mentions in the previous 2010 report.

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STUDENT OPAL CARDS HAVE ARRIVED The student Concession Opal card has been officially rolled out to all participating universities. Benefits include: no more queuing at Macquarie University station, a thirty per cent discount on off-peak train fares, single fare price for journeys within the same hour, free travel after eight paid journeys, $2.50 Sundays and a maximum total expenditure of $30 per week.

MY KITCHEN RULES IN MACQUARIE PARK Controversial contestants on Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules, Nikki Spehar and Katie Brooke, are in fact students at Macquarie University. The pair study double degrees in business administration and psychology, and became friends after realising they both had part-time jobs as butchers. The students have received some unwelcome attention after being branded as the token nasty couple on the show. “We knew they’d want some villains, and we expected it would be us.” Brooke said. What’s more, 2014 contestants Shanelle and Eel Lim have opened a new Asian fusion café called KIN, located next to Macquarie University on the corner of Herring Road and Saunders Close. Suitable for students, Shanelle said she wanted the café to be a place “where you could just hang out”.

AUSTRALIA TO JOIN THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST For the first time in Eurovision history, Australia will be one of forty countries invited to join the extravaganza as part of the contest’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Guy Sebastian is set to represent Australia, telling the ABC he is “pumped” and that “200 million [viewers] beats the local RSL”. Described by organisers as a ‘one-off event’, managing director of Australia public-service broadcaster SBS Michael Ebeid, sees Australia’s invitation to participate in the contest as an “historic opportunity for Australia to be represented on the world’s biggest stage” attracting an audience of 195 million people. Australians will also be able to vote.

THE OSCARS SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON SEXISM AND RACISM WORDS || TONY ZHANG The Academy Awards typically attract the largest nonsport television audience in the US, but Reuters reports that the 87th Oscars broadcast on 22 February 2015 has seen viewership numbers plummet to a six year low.

In one of his better moments, Neil Patrick Harris sent a stinging line to the industry in his open address, saying, “Welcome to the 87th Oscars. Tonight, we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest. Sorry, brightest”. The controversy surrounding the Oscars was not only confined to the Award Ceremony itself. The pomp and pageantry of the Red Carpet as the forerunner to the main event never fails to garner significant attention when it comes to the wardrobe choices of Hollywood royalty, but the antics of reporters highlight the nature of sexism in the public gaze.

Since the broadcast, there seems to have been no shortage of critics taking aim at the show’s poor scripting, program schedule, and Neil Patrick Harris’ less than engaging performance as host. The 2015 Academy Awards seems to have generated considerable debate for the wrong reasons; issues of sexism and racism within the film industry have again reared their ugly heads. Racism was reflected in the distinct lack of racial diversity amongst the nominee list, which subsequently ignited a frenzy on social media as captured by the trending of #OscarsSoWhite.

In response to the seemingly never-ending stream of banal questions being directed at women, #AskHerMore started trending on social media for the duration of the broadcast, with users the world over providing suggestions for better, more engaging questions.

The Huffington Post reports that “at least one nonwhite person has been nominated each year since at least 1998,” yet, of the twenty actors nominated for this years Oscar’s, not a single one came from a non-Caucasian ethnic background, effectively making this year’s Oscars the worst for ethnic representation since 1998.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, #AskHerMore was first created by the non-profit organisation Representation Project in 2014, and gained traction during the Emmy Awards of that same year. Associated with the hashtag are concerns that the achievements of female artists are being overshadowed by a shalllow interest in their personal lives, their physiques and what they are wearing. The hashtag took off again during this year’s Oscars as Patricia Arquette, Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore echoed many social media users, calling on journalists to start asking Hollywood’s leading ladies more profound, respectful questions.

Dissapointingly, despite Selma’s nomination for Best Picture, neither lead actor David Oyelowo nor director Ava DuVernay were nominated for Oscars in their respective categories. Equally as disappointing was the fact that women were regrettably under-represented. Not a single female screenwriter or director was nominated this year.

Unfortunately, sexism for those in the public eye is all too familiar and does not occur in a vacuum. The Everyday Sexism Project, founded in 2012, was born from the need for women across the developed world to share their harrowing experiences of sexism in their day-to-day lives. More recently, in January 2015, Australian freelance writer Clementine Ford started #QuestionsForMen, which identifies and ridicules the double standards to which women are subjected in everyday life. The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards have simply served to highlight the inherent racism and sexism in an industry where social biases are still all to prevalent. We can only continue to actively reject bias and discrimination, and hope that next year’s Awards will showcase a more diverse range of talent.

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6000 PEOPLE TO BOYCOTT SUPANOVA 2015 WORDS || RAELEE LANCASTER & ANNA GLEN Actor Adam Baldwin has caused uproar within the Australian pop culture community, when it was announced that he was attending the Supanova Expo this year. Many people may not see any reason for this uproar, choosing only to acknowledge his roles in Full Metal Jacket and Firefly. However, it is often forgotten that he was the instigator of one of the most socially destructive movements in popular culture: #Gamergate.

choosing to boycott Supanova, and why The Ledger Awards have revoked their sponsorship of this year’s event. Eve Beauregard, a popular cosplayer, told Kotaku that she feels Supanova is dividing the community by allowing Baldwin’s attendance. “The reason I love these events is that they are a safe haven where people are free to express their passion for the things they love. That’s what geek culture has always been about for me — inclusion, fun and safety. By hosting a guest who actively seeks to divide our community, Supanova is sending a message I simply cannot align myself with”. Other Supanova enthusiasts have answered that they’re boycotting the event because #Gamergate has not only sparked hate, but also threats of physical and especially sexual violence. “Countless people have been threatened, harassed and targeted in the name of the movement which Adam Baldwin is the celebrity face of, many simply for voicing an opposing view,”Beauregard explained.

#Gamergate is a Twitter hashtag which has promoted sexism among video-gamers and within the video-game industry, and also promotes rape culture which targets women and the LGBTQIA+ community. It is because of #Gamergate that so many high-profile artists and cosplayers are

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On the Supanova Facebook page, Daniel Zachariou, Supanova Event Coordinator, defended his decision to allow Baldwin to attend the event with the following statement: “We have Adam’s statement above verifying he will not discuss #GamerGate [and] stating categorically that he

does not condone harassment, bullying or doxxing under any circumstances.”

But given Baldwin’s controversial Twitter account, which contains many offensive statements towards women and the LGBTQIA+ community, it is not surprising that the justification offered by Supanova has not soothed the restlessness of the community.

As of February, over 6000 people had signed the petition to disallow Baldwin’s attendance, and that number rapidly continues to grow. Australian stand-up comedian Kirsty Mac withdrew her

support due to Baldwin’s appearance and wrote a piece for online news site Daily Life, reportedly suffering harassment after its publication. The problem with Supanova’s decision is that it is based on a presupposition that expos such as Supanova can somehow be an apolitical forum. In another statement, Supernova claimed, “all our stars appear to discuss their work in pop culture, not their personal political or ideological viewpoints”. Baldwin echoed this sentiment arguing he would not discuss his political views because “pop culture conventions are inappropriate venues for controversial topics”. The notion that pop culture expos are apolitical and do not have a problem with sexism is a farcical one. ABC journalist Brendan Keogh reported that accounts of sexual harassment against women at pop culture expos such as Comic-con and E3 are not uncommon, and also pointed out the way in which promotional ‘booth babes’ serve to ostracise attendees who are not heterosexual men. These examples, along with the advent of #Gamergate, demonstrate that organisers of pop culture expos must make a more considered attempt to be actively inclusive in order to effectuate a shift in culture. Regrettably, Supanova’s apolitical stance effectively dismisses the sexism that occurs in these environments, and reinforces a status quo wherein #Gamergate was able to gain traction and promote violence against women.

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MACQUARIE ACADEMICS #STANDWITHGILLIANTRIGGS AND ‘DEMAND BETTER FROM OUR LEADERS’ WORDS || ALICIA SCOTT A damning report from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has exposed alarming human rights abuses against children in detention, including accounts of sexual assault, self-harm and voluntary starvation. The ‘Forgotten Children’ Report, released 11 February 2015, revealed the horrific living conditions children and adults are forced to endure in mainland and offshore immigration detention centres. The report also discloses first-hand evidence; the profoundly negative impact mandatory detention has on childrens’ mental and emotional health. The findings of the immigration inquiry are formidable. Between January 2013 and March 2014, there were 233 counts of assault, 33 incidents of sexual assault, 27 incidents of voluntary starvation, and 168 cases of selfharm, with 105 children on suicide watch.

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More than a third of children in detention were diagnosed with serious mental health disorders, compared to a mere two per cent of Australian children. Dr. Kristine Aquino of Macquarie University’s Sociology Department has conducted extensive research in the fields of multiculturalism and migration. “Working with refugees and asylum seekers in the community, I have seen first hand the vulnerability of this group and enduring forced detention no doubt exacerbates this vulnerability,” Dr Aquino said. Aquino thought the findings of the inquiry to be both shocking and sad. “The report highlights Australia’s failure to protect the human rights of these children and their parents. Even sadder is witnessing the government response, which has turned human suffering into a political debate,” she explained. Rather than recognising the physical and mental harm suffered by detained children, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and several other Liberal ministers have criticised the AHRC for their “blatantly partisan” report. Labelling it a “transparent stitch-up”, Tony Abbott attacked the timing and motivation of

the report, but could not point to any factual errors in the 315-page inquiry. It has also been revelaed that AttorneyGeneral George Brandis made a secretive offer of a senior government role to Gillian Triggs – in return for her resignation from her role as AHRC President. The Government’s impulse to attack the messenger sparked a notable response from more than fifty academics, who wrote a joint letter in support of Triggs and the inquiry into children in detention. Among the academics was Carolyn Adams, senior lecturer at Macquarie Law School.

Drawing by 14 year old, Darwin dentention centre, 2014

social commentators such as Macquarie Alumni Jane Caro, as well as prominent editor and publisher Anne Summers and Triple J presenter Lindsay ‘The Doctor’McDougall.

While domestic opposition to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees seems to be growing, more needs to be done to meet our obligations under international law. Other countries don’t care whether it was the Howard Government, the Rudd-Gillard Government or the Abbott Government who introduced these harmful policies. All they see is Australia’s failure to protect basic human rights. Aquino concludes, “A recent report by the Human Rights Watch ranked Australia quite low against other countries because of its failure to meet our international obligations… we collectively demand better from our leaders, our government and other social institutions in regards to more humane treatment of asylum seekers, particularly children”.

The public also showed their support with #IStandWithGillianTriggs, including notable

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Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is one of the first films to involve the collaboration of scientists and filmmakers in order to blur the lines between science fiction and scientific fact. Nolan worked with renowned theoretical physicist Kip Thorne and visual effects team Double Negative to produce Gargantua, which has been described as the most “accurate depiction of a black hole ever”. Gargantua was modelled to have a gravitational mass equivalent to one hundred million suns, rotating at approximately the speed of light. The final product was mesmerising; streams of light, gas and other celestial bodies surrounded the elusive phenomenon in a captivating halo, which is scientifically known as the ‘accretion disk’. Some alterations were made to the images for cinematic purposes, because traditional ray tracing software caused flickering effects on the graphics and hindered image production. This occurs as standard ray tracing programs act on the assumption that light follows a linear path. However, as the gravitational pull of black holes are so great,

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light itself becomes distorted and is bent into arcs. To combat this problem, the special effects team designed the Double Negative Gravitational Renderer (DNGR) that, unlike customary renderers, followed the bent light beams travelling around the black hole and eliminated glints that obstruct clarity. Chief scientist of Double Negative, Oliver James, commented that the Double Negative team “changed their code in a manner that has never been done before” and realised that they had created a “tool that could be easily adapted for scientific research”. The “new approach to making images will be of great use to astrophysicists”, Kip Thorne added. It is suggested that this groundbreaking technology will contribute significantly to a better understanding of astrophysics and may help to chart real black holes in the future. The unanimous praise for the DNGR technology is being echoed by NASA scientists, who are hoping that this program will shed light on complex bodies such as neutron stars.



When it comes to everyday life, young people all over the globe are influenced by high-profile women who are constantly appearing and reappearing in our social media, television and film screens. Whether you have clicked ‘follow’ or not, these unintentional celeb-bots flood our media, even if they don’t intend to do so. It is worth discussing, then, whether the women the media focus on are truly the best role models for young people. To do this, we must question the integrity of the media in the way they choose to represent women. It leads us to stop and think: are these really the only women I’m supposed to be looking up to? Take Miley Cyrus, for instance. Everyone had something to say about her transformation from sweet, innocent Hannah Montana to the provocative Miley we now find in music videos such as ‘Wrecking Ball’ and ‘We Can’t Stop’. Her controversial performance alongside Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMAs had everyone talking for weeks. At that time, Miley was the sole focus of the media, and yet we didn’t hear about any of the good work she’s done for research and charities. The media successfully captured the attention of young people all over the world, for all the wrong reasons. With great media attention comes great power and influence. Celebrities are often able to effectively use that power and influence to create positive change, inform people and spread messages and initiatives globally. Unfortunately, a great portion of the mainstream media choose to only focus upon and perpetuate the image of

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controversy creating, high profile women, purely for the sake of ratings. Exactly how many times has the media emphasised Miley’s charity work, rather than the way she danced or dressed at a particular event? How often have they applauded her for the $200 000 she raised for My Friend’s House, an organisation dedicated to helping rehabilitate homeless youth? Or mentioned the half a million dollars she spent at an auction for The American Foundation for AIDS Research? Then there are the women who don’t create the type of controversy the media seek. Malala Yousafzai, the seventeen-year-old Pakistani activist for female education, has already been extremely controversial in her short life. The Taliban thought she was so controversial that they shot her in the head. Sadly, although she is the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, and has dedicated her life to improving human rights, she does not recive nearly the same amount of media attention as Miley. In fact, she receives almost no media attention at all. Whether consciously or not, we allow the media’s representation of women like Miley to influence our opinions of her. Perhaps we need to be more active in forming our own opinions of high profile women. Because Miley does use her status to help effect change, but that story simply doesn’t sell. And inspirational women, like Malala Yousafzai barely make it onto the Six O’Clock News.


Everybody remembers the day, late last year, when Kim K’s butt broke the internet. Keyboard warriors rose up, Photoshop experts suddenly appeared, and slut-shamers giddily jumped into the conversation. It created a mass explosion of irrelevance in the media that went viral not only on all social media platforms, but in the news as well. For those wishing that they could someday break the internet like the Kardashian klan and Queen Bey, look no further. You too can become a cyber-STI, spreading like wildfire throughout the interwebs. All you have to do is follow these simple tips…


My love for T-Swiz knows no bounds. This love grew exponentially when she walked the streets of NYC wearing a t-shirt saying, “no, it’s becky”. The story behind this t-shirt began, like most weird and wonderful things, on Tumblr. Tumblr user yallarebrutalizingme posted a picture of a young Taylor Swift, insisting that it was her deceased friend named ‘Becky’ who, allegedly snorted marijuana and consequently, died.


It was recently reported that a US spy program may quite literally break the internet if it is not reformed. Twenty countries are supposedly considering domestic laws requiring local data to remain local, effectively creating their own internet. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, says that if this occurs “the simplest outcome is we’re going to end up breaking the internet”.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that “tradies get the ladies”. They could be fat and balding, and there is still a part of me that slightly swoons at their high-vis shirts and bulging arm muscles. However, when you give a tradie a puppy, the internet explodes (and so do my ovaries). In February, a tradie adopted a puppy at Melbourne’s Pet’s Haven Animal Shelter. The image of Ben Henderson and his new playmate, Ruffa, went viral, with over 17 000 Facebook likes in less than a week.


Thank you, BuzzFeed, for the wonderful vision of Obama pulling faces in a mirror and (attempting) to use a selfie stick. Although the video was a strategic plan on Obama’s part, to promote his healthcare regime, it was a brilliantly crafted video which encapsulated a key fact that we commoners tend to forget: Obama is merely a man. He takes selfies, sketches pictures of his crushes and even uses cringe-worthy colloquialisms like ‘YOLO’.


We all remember Alex from Target whose image went viral late last year. However, there is a new contender for Target Employer of Year. In February, Dennis Roberts helped a teenager pick out a tie for a job interview. Now this may not seem like much—just good customer service. However, it was the video of Roberts teaching the teen how to tie the tie that sent the Target employee global. Let’s just hope the kid got the job.

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Whether it’s Ellen’s Oscar selfie or one of the thousands of other selfies that get uploaded to Instagram, the selfie is a phenomenon that has garnered popularity and wide debate. While older generations call all this selfie-taking narcissistic, a sign of mental health issues and “definitely a problem”, us millennials have embraced the phenomenon. The very world as we know it is changing, as selfies slowly evolve from the duck-faces and bathroom snaps that once clogged up your Facebook news feed. While timers on cameras have been around for a while, and front-facing cameras aren’t making headlines anymore, technology is adapting to the rise of selfies – and things like filters are only the beginning. Firstly, we have that abominable invention, the selfie-stick. For those of you who somehow haven’t heard of this latest innovation, it’s basically an extended appendage that allows you to take selfies from a farther distance than your arm would naturally allow (hooray

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for all those T-Rex out there with lagging social lives!). Its popularity has risen to the point where museums like the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art have banned them from their premises, while, hotels have started to supply complimentary selfie-sticks to guests. Although you might look ridiculous using one, the results can’t be denied. Finally, we have something that allows us to take panoramic pictures of ourselves without having to rely on strangers with shoddy photography skills. Then there’s the fact that cameras and phones have started to come with ‘selfie’ settings and automatic sharing. Though the words ‘selfie’ and ‘duck-face’ might still get autocorrected, Oxford has already added them to its official dictionary. It is easy to say that selfies have made us more self-centred, but when you realise we are all constantly being held to unrealistic beauty standards by the media, perhaps selfies aren’t all that bad if they inspire more confidence.




Oh Lamborghini Mercy, your colleague she so thirsty? Am I reading that right? I don’t usually read books or history because I’m usually writing it … like now. That’s what this is, history and you got the best teacher. I got the loudest voice. I bet you don’t even know what that means. It means now. It means real. It means when your colleague slurping she connecting. You know what I’m saying? It’s the corporations that make her do that and keep her sipping. That make me do this, do that. You too. I bet you don’t even know where to get a marble conference table from? How the hell do you hold a conference without one? It’s that. That’s what I’m saying. I was the first one to wear leather running pants. Maybe she doing that? Her coffee is her leather running pants? I run in Lanvin now. But I hear your problem. I hear my problem. We have the same problem except you can see me perform. You know I

will never be able to see myself perform? Do you know what that does to me every night when I try and get to sleep on my fur pillow? It’s hard and ya’ll just acting like it’s nothing. I mean, you can’t look at a glass half full or half empty if it’s overflowing and maybe that’s what’s happening. Maybe she have to have that drink at work late, maybe she ate breakfast at Gucci and they forgot to give her her damn croissant. All I know is that I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney. Nike, Google. Alternatively, if you could record some of that, I’m sourcing new beats for my duet with Michelangelo. Yeah, he’s dead but we are going to wake him up, and the sound of him sculpting me will be the backing, and 2 Chainz is going to be featured. So yeah, send it into Yeezy@God - no dot com, God will forward it on to me. Ye.

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THERE’S NO TWOWAYS ABOUT IT WORDS || VANESSA CAPITO PHOTOS || LAURA MARII “I don’t have any grand aspirations. I never thought I have to become a rock star, where I’m like, I have to get out there and people have to hear me. I just get a lot of pleasure out of singing.” Local Sydney singer/songwriter Cassandra Braslin released her debut EP Five Ways last month at the Foundry 616 to an audience eagerly awaiting the first-time performance of her original tracks. Full of depth, character, and intricately thought out lyrics, this five-track musing will toil with your emotions and no doubt leave you begging for the next installment. Having done countless cover sets at different pubs and bars all over Sydney, Braslin decided to branch out and explore the art of songwriting. Having never thought much about writing her own music before, Five Ways is the first set of original songs that Braslin worked on, and she now describes the experience as “super addictive, I pretty much write all the time”.

Five Ways is titled after the Five Ways in Paddington, where, living in a studio apartment, Braslin began the writing process and spent most of her time on the EP. Produced by Ben Richards, Five Ways was developed over three years. “We did it a little bit differently. Instead of just going in and doing one mammoth recording session over a weekend, we just chipped away at it over time”, says Braslin, describing the recording experience. She explains that Richards would help her ‘craft’ the songs she’d written, and together they’d demo the tracks with a little keyboard back in Braslin’s apartment. It was a long process, but importantly for Braslin, “it was a passion project. I really wanted it to sound a

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particular way and there was just no rush for it”. Writing more about personal experience, Braslin hopes that as she matures as a songwriter, she can become a little more abstract with her lyricism – “it’s a nice contrast to have songs that aren’t just from your voice”. Braslin draws her inspiration from Jeff Buckley, the çool, clever, complicated’music stylings of Radiohead, old soul music, and Mowtown. “I like those melodies and I love listening to their voices”, she explains. The second track on the EP is ‘Streets of Philadelphia’, Braslin’s take on the Bruce Springsteen original, and although she’s a big fan, she admits that he isn’t a massive influence on her sound. The five-track EP is a collection of dreamlike and atmospheric songs, starting off with the emotive ‘My Heart’, where you can really hear Braslin’s appreciation of soul music come through. The fourth track, ‘Waiting’ is the most catchy, and a surefire hit. With a slow beginning that builds up to a jumpy, sing-a-long type chorus, it not only shows Braslin’s range, but it’ll have you pressing repeat. ‘Waiting’ adds a pleasant contrast to the slower, more moody tone of the other tracks on Five Ways. The EP ends on ‘All the Same’, a far more heavy, dark sounding track, paired with Braslin’s angelic vocals. Braslin is already experimenting with tracks for her next EP, but you can catch her current debut EP Five Ways on iTunes and Triple J Unearthed now. HEAD OVER TO HER FACEBOOK (WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CASSANDRABASLINMUSIC) FOR MORE INFO.

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ARTISTS IN PROFILE We knew we wanted to change the look of our Grapeshot distribution stands, but we didn’t know quite what we were looking for. We asked some creative individuals to help us out, but we didn’t know what to expect. We’re pretty happy with the end result.


Studying: Media Art at COFA Weapons of choice: Finger painting, Posca Markers, sewing machine, Microsoft Word and printer. Influences: Misaki Kawai, Kreayshawn, $2 shops, toys, kids drawings, Sega. You can find my stuff on: or @spoontyart Two songs that get your creative juices flowing right now: ‘(It G Ma)’by Keith Ape and ‘Throw Sum Mo’by Rae Sremmurd. Best Sydney hideout/hangout: Techno City, I go there every week, my friends and I play the Fish Game. Decade of choice and why? 20XX, The future will be more exciting than anything ever.

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MARTINA CALVI AKA: martinamartian

Studying: Bachelor of Design / Bachelor of Media (PR & Advertising) at UNSW Weapons of choice: Graphics tablet, needle and thread, paint Influences: 80/90s fashion and graphics: the brighter, the better. You can find my stuff on: @martinamartian or Decade of choice and why? Late 80s/early 90s - it was a time when people’s outfits were louder than their personalities, when the kitsch was embraced, and the birth of sportswear as fashion. Pop culture wouldn’t be the same without … Young people pushing boundaries in order to be noticed. What does the future hold? Hopefully, more colour. I think I mean that in both a literal and metaphorical sense.

ALEXANDRA XERRI AKA: Cleopatra (doppelganger)




Studying: Bachelor of Fine Art at National Art School Weapons of choice: Fountain pens, ink, knives, bamboo, eye-droppers. Influences: Picasso, Dali, Caravaggio, and of course Bob Ross and his inspirational words of wisdom and happy little trees. You can find my stuff on: @surrealiskt Pop culture wouldn’t be the same without: Encyclopaedic 90s Simpsons quote knowledge, ingrained in the back of many people’s minds, ready to use in any given social situation. Item you can’t live without? The internet. Fave Sydney hangout/hideout? Currently I enjoy Newtown, or otherwise Uncle Ming’s, Sidechains and Mojo’s never disappoint.

Studying: Bachelor of Animation at UTS Weapons of choice: Mainly pencils, pens and whatever has a cool texture. Then pretty much all of Adobe and Maya (3D software) Influences: Comic book art, especially Frank Miller, a lot of German expressionism, David O Rielly, Egon schiele. More recently, Irana Douer, Diana Köhne and Michael Kenner. I’m sure there are others I’ve missed. You can find my stuff on: There’s not much there yet but it’ll get there. Decade of choice and why? 1920s I think, a lot of stuff was happening then and art world was doing amazing things, it also would have been sweet to see film start to kick off. What does the future hold? A frozen meal that I put on before doing this.

Studying: Bachelor of Fine Arts at UNSW Art and Design Weapons of choice: Markers, pens, poscas, brushes, AK47s. I use anything; the gun not so much. You can find my stuff on: You can find my art group, Creature Development Project on facebook, otherwise my name on facebook and @vishmiart & @vishmihelaratne Two songs that get your creative juices flowing right now? ‘Burn’ by Jimmy Edgar keeps me bouncing, and ‘Renegade Master (Fatboy Silm Old Skool mix)’ by Wildchild, this one gives me power (POWER TO THE PEOPLE). Next travel destination? Sri Lanka – THAT’S MY HOOD, yo. That’s why I’m brown. I was born in New Zealand though so I’ll probably go visit my holy Kiwi-land very soon. Last app downloaded? Solitaire. It’s the by far the best game.

Studying: Bachelor of Arts–Media/Bachelor of Laws at MQU Weapons of choice: Anything I can get my hands on: pens, paints, oven-bake clay, my loom. I’ve recently come across a silkscreen frame and I can’t wait to use it. Influences: Klimt, Schiele, Del Kathryn Barton, Alexandra Levasseur, George Grosz, Nature & Music. You can find my stuff on: @tashmichels Pop culture wouldn’t be the same without: Badasses and egos ... and Prince’s suit collection. Next travel destination? Japan! Sayonara Sydney. What does the future hold? Many mistakes, lots of learning and a little bit of world domination.

Regulars || 21



LIPSTICK: Lime Crime DRESS: General Pants SUNGLASSES: General Pants SHOES: Nike

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SARAH RAMDOO, 19 SKIRT: Valley Girl BAG: Colette HAT: Colette TOP: Op Shop SHOES: H&M


SHIRT: Kmart PANTS: Vinnies HAT: Vintage Shop BOOTS: R.M. Williams


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riple J’s latest Hottest 100 countdown is wriggling under the microscope. Voters found themselves surprised – pleasantly or otherwise – to discover that a radio station that once prided itself for variety and the foreverelusive idea of alternativeness has compiled a list characterised by repetition.

the Top 10 to have more than one song on the list is the Offspring, coming in third and fourth. Offspring aside, every band is different.

So what does this say about us? Have Australian music tastes gradually centralised and therefore discouraged the uniqueness of emerging bands? After all, the list is a democratic poll, a convergence of our musical palettes into one neat and easy to navigate numerical figuration.

Australian electronic music duo Peking Duk was awarded with two songs in the Top 10. In 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis topped the list with ‘Thrift Shop’, a song globally popular on commercial charts. But our most recent list doesn’t necessarily reflect global charts in the way that 2012’s did. Currently, electronic music is incredibly popular with young Australians; there has been a shift from the more mainstream pop sound of commercial industries.

This year, Australian electronic musician Chet Faker took the number one spot with ‘Talk is Cheap’ from the album Built on Glass. Three songs from this album alone featured in the Top 10 picks, setting a record for the most songs by a single artist in the Top 10. Chet Faker had a total of four songs on the list. A number of artists, including Vance Joy, Hilltop Hoods, Alt-J, and Ball Park Music, were featured on the list three times. If we return to the 1994 list, then we see a contrasting pattern. In fact, the only person in

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It begs the question: did Chet Faker produce an earthshaking, planet aligning record, or are we less adventurous musically?

In fact, the Hottest 100 isn’t corroborative with international charts. Nick Evershed from The Guardian Australia notes that songs successful in Triple J’s Hottest 100 were not necessarily popular in the ARIA Charts. Interestingly enough, 1997 was the biggest concurrence between lists, with a total of 17 identical songs shared between them.

The changing tastes of young Australians provide more opportunities for local musicians and bands to showcase their tunes. Another Hottest 100 first – and maybe, if we think on the bright side, this is more important than Chet Faker’s Top 10 domination – is that Australian musicians produced 59 of the ranked songs. Here, Triple J seems to fulfil their objective, by providing a platform for local aspiring musicians to gain exposure. These sentiments compliment the Triple J Unearthed project, which aims to find hidden and upcoming talent across Australia. I interviewed Marco Coehlo from Clean Feed records industry in Portugal about the Hottest 100, and whether a unique Australian sound exists. Marco thinks it is hard to separate Australian music as wholly distinct from the music produced and favoured in the United Kingdom and United States. He believes that, worldwide, music is becoming similar and more centralised, as the impact of globalisation and commercialisation has reached such towering heights. On average, four out of five songs on Portugal’s Top 100 charts are sung in English rather than Portuguese. Although Australia doesn’t suffer this linguistic dilemma, it’s evident our music is indeed influenced by Britain and America. The first Triple J countdown, back in 1989, included 43 songs by British artists, and only 26 Australian songs. However, the tables turned in 2000 when the USA scored 36 tunes, while Britain only managed a mere 16 songs. Dan Nevin, CEO of Australian Independent Record Labels Association, believes there is no distinct Australian sound. That said, Dan claims artists are increasingly opening a dialogue with local fans, and responding to feedback.

Coehlo argues that when trying to define the sounds of Australian music, one could look at Indigenous bands such as Yothu Yindi or No Fixed Address. Although these bands contribute to the diversity of the music scene, they do not define it. Coehlo recognises the growing sense of pride within the Australian community of locally produced music and talent. Some argue that the domination of electronic music on the Hottest 100 countdown discourages the experimentation of emerging bands with alternative styles or genres – another vehicle of commodification, in other words. Nevin partially disagrees, arguing that it doesn’t serve any artist well to copy or be similar to anyone else, as it isn’t sustainable. He believes there are many emerging artists and bands endeavouring to create their own sound with integrity, and thus are at the forefront of their genres. The preferences and tastes of Australians are constantly evolving with the times. Music has changed vastly since the 1980s, where a strong rock influence was evident (think bands like the Sex Pistols, Cold Chisel, R.E.M. and Midnight Oil). In the 2000s, local indie heroes like the John Butler Trio and Angus and Julia Stone came to dominate the charts. Nevin believes that Triple J’s Hottest 100 has diversified. It’s no longer exclusively rock and pop, there is punk, hardcore, electronic, and dance tracks experiencing mixed degrees of success. It’s clear that there is a growing space for Australian artists in the Australian music scene. In future Hottest 100 countdowns, however, it would be excellent to see more diversity among the genres and artists given airtime.

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he internet has affected the ways we publicly embarrass ourselves and blissfully avoid reality. Less noticeable, however, is how our sense of humour has changed, ranging from the ways in which we engage with and access content and creators, as well as the packaging and presentation of comedy. The digital challenge to comedy’s traditional forms and mediums has forced creators to adapt, encouraging innovation that has paved the way for a new generation of comedians. This ‘new-wave’ uses the power of the online world, particularly the culture of viral exposure, to achieve rapid popularity for budding comedians. To better understand Australia’s current comedic landscape, I interviewed two comedians, who each represent different eras, backgrounds and areas of comedy: Greig Pickhaver, better known as H.G Nelson from the duo Roy and H.G, and Alex Williamson, the YouTube personality shooterwilliamson. Today, many performers seem to take their freedom of exposure for granted. These opportunities, Williamson believes, mean viewers “discover more about Australia each day”, as local comedians – amateur and professional – are able to broadcast to the world at almost no cost. Internationally, the Internet exposure allows audiences to “move on from Kangaroo rooting

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jokes and have formed a genuine fascination in our alcoholic culture and exuberant lifestyle”, as Williamson puts it. “The internet is vast. It has opened the world up to a broader range of comedic performers,” Williamson explains. Pickhaver, however, experienced a totally different introduction to the comedy scene. “When I started, the only choices were free to air television and AM radio”, he said. As the variety of platforms and materials available has grown, so has the audience and the means through which they choose to view comedy. Always fickle, the problem for comedians, as Pickhaver puts it, is “holding onto an audience” and understanding the best means to connect with them. “You can take a few more risks [with the internet]”, explains Pickhaver. “When you work with commercial stations, you inevitably take on board the burden of the organisation, what you can and can’t do, and that you’ve got to be better to get better ratings. The internet tends to free you from that – you aren’t really constrained by the larger problem.” So the internet removes limitations on the distribution and creation of content, expunging the fear of ratings and corporate agendas, while encouraging personalisation and selectivity.

“On the Internet, only those who [want to] watch you tune in”, Pickhaver said. “You don’t have the burden of somehow justifying the program generally to an audience that doesn’t like you”.

Shorter content functions better online, especially over social media, influencing its popularity and the ease we access it. The prominence of Vines, turned viral through their immediacy and suitability for social media, play directly to the rules that govern social media and how we engage with it.

From carefully planned sketches to bizarrely dark images, the free-for-all of the internet means content can be as offensive as its creator desires. “You used to have to search hard for darker comedic material’, Williamson explained. “These days all the darkness and filth has come to the fore on the internet. Some tell jokes that are too crude for television. Others do magic tricks with their cock”.

Whilst Vines and the chaotic humour of shows like Family Guy demonstrate the continuing popularity of a quick punch line, we still consume long-form comedy, and audiences now have the flexibility to jump between material, enjoying the available variety. As Pickhaver explains, “a long winded act isn’t good on the internet, but you can get away with one stand-up wise”. It is now highly important that comedians adapt their material, making it more suitable for the medium they are using.

Aside from seeing two men play the piano with their junk, Williamson believes comedy has an important role in tackling difficult topics. “We need to laugh about sensitive issues to rise above them as a society […] the internet is slowly helping us laugh at more than just other peoples misfortunes”. “I can just sit in my dad’s shed, smoke a bong, talk shit into my phone and reach a couple million people with a video instantly,” Williamson said. Whether or not this is fact, the increasing interaction with audiences has allowed comedians to augment their material by inviting viewers to participate along with them. “If you set the agenda the audience will participate fairly enthusiastically,” Pickhaver said. “And often you think: ‘oh wow that’s a lot funnier than something I could think up’”. It’s similar to banter and heckling at live shows, but less disruptive, it can extend the life of material and give audiences a role in the humour. The temptation is to think that our attention spans for comedy have shrunk, as we search for material more immediate and condensed. But it’s the way we use the internet during the working week that means certain types of material come to dominate. “When it’s during the day in the rush of people being at work and school, it’s nice to have a 15-second Instagram video to watch quickly”, Williamson said. “Instagram’s videos fit nicely with the pace of life”.

Williamson and Pickhaver’s work demonstrates an enduring theme across Australian culture: our capacity to laugh at ourselves. “There’s so much humour there, because there’s so many backward cowboys in this country”, Williamson said. “There’s lots of people who shout at the TV while watching sport, at what the commentators say, they rubbish the back pages of the papers”, Pickhaver said. “We [Roy and H.G.] try to find the humour in those relationships, because they want to be taken seriously whereas we find it all particularly funny.” Both commedians like to comment on the way Australians view themselves - our trivial conerns and odd habits - and enjoy exposing the some of the absurdities of the ways we act. As we continue on, serious as ever, there are comedians around the world who see through us, finding what we say and do curious and amusing. And through the power of the internet they expose our hilarity to the rest of the world, allowing them to laugh at us, just like we laugh at them. See Alex at the Enmore Theatre Friday 1 May as part of the Sydney Comedy Festival. Check out the Gig Guide at for tickets and information.

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ontemporary cynics will tell you that music has lost its integrity as a platform for activism and meaning. For many artists, this depressing state of affairs has been realised by the colossal music industry, which values commodification over substance. However, people like transgender deep house musician Terre Thaemlitz (also known as DJ Sprinkles) believe a world still exists where music can signify more than just sound. Terre’s musical productions infuse philosophies on gender and identity with deep house, often characterised by sadness, personal anecdotes, and atmospheric soundscapes. Throughout the eighties and nineties, Terre struggled to establish herself as a DJ in New York. In 1997, disenchanted with the nineties underground queer community and frustrated by the rise of the industry’s commercialised brand of high-energy vocal house, Terre left New York and moved to Kawasaki, Japan, where she currently resides. Terre was awarded Resident Advisor’s Album of the Year in 2009 for Midtown 120 Blues, a melancholic portrait of her experience that ultimately confirms

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that music is not universal but rather hyper-specific. Midtown 120 Blues is widely acknowledged as a deep house masterpiece. It delves into the crux of Terre’s disappointment with the New York house scene, including her condemnation of the hetero-sexualised reinvention of the foundations that once stood as an oasis for queer activism. I interviewed Terre about her views on gender politics, and how witnessing the bastardisation of the world she loved fostered her experiences of disaffection and vilification as a transgender DJ. “What is happening today resonates with the commodification of gay disco, and what had to happen culturally for the scene to end up with stadiums filled with heterosexual women fantasising about fucking The Village People,” Terre said. Terre describes her gender as non-essential transgenderism, which rejects the assumption that gender is confined to biological disposition and birthright. In other words, gender cannot be signified through a solely genetic and scientific lens; we must consider personal, psychological, and emotional

qualities as well. She is also non-transitioning, meaning she doesn’t feel the need for any kind of clinical or formal sex change to occur in order to validate her gender position. Despite all these signifiers that confirm Terre is comfortable and proud in her own skin, her evolution as a DJ and activist arose from suffering. “Even the history of DJ Sprinkles as a ‘male’ character (I DJ almost exclusively in male drag) comes from the fact that I started DJ-ing in a transsexual club where the queens were quite hostile towards non-transitioning people such as myself.” I discussed with Terre the current relationship between gender politics and the house scene. “For me, queerness in the more useful, radical, and specific sense of the term – as something that relates to gaps between identities, including dominant LGBT[QIA+] identities – involves an interrogation of the functions and dangers of visibility,” Terre said. Visibility is meaningless, therefore, if it exists without empathy or understanding. Why try to reach an audience that isn’t paying attention? “There is a tendency within politics, as well as music, to believe that the ultimate goal is to reach as many people as possible . . . but some things will not catch on.” Terre acknowledges that her message is niche and caters to a minority. Therefore, no real juncture exists in her aims as an idealist because she is pursuing the same objective – to speak from a position of panic and try to analyse the present, saying, “Hey! This shit is fucked up and harmful. Stop and think for a moment about what is happening NOW! Stop trying to change the ‘now’ by dreaming of a brighter tomorrow, because that’s likely how we got into this mess. Get into the here and now!” She strives to combat the erasure of minorities by voicing their struggles through numerous platforms, including audio production, academia, and art – basically, devoting herself to becoming a freelancer in these realms, never a full-time contractor. Activism within clubs was born organically, out of necessity. In the past, gay clubs represented a space where people could convene, often in secret, to engage in harshly demonised non-heterosexual acts, sexual or otherwise. Thus, the enormous LGBTQIA+ underground community proliferated. This scene

was associated with its own collection of troubles, requiring the distribution of things like free condoms and needles – IV drug use was rampant at the time – and information sharing about the potential harms and risks involved in their activities. Even though it seems as though these clubs shared Terre’s aims, it was sadly not the case. “The rhetoric of transcendence, shelter, and love may sound like generic liberal bullshit about universalism,” she said.

“The house nation likes to pretend that clubs are an oasis from suffering ... but suffering is in here, with us.” From a current perspective, it would seem as though many of these terms have faded back into meaninglessness, and do indeed sound like bullshit. I know it wasn’t always the case, especially in the eighties and nineties. But the house scene community is a thing of the past. In Sydney, for example, hetero-centric clubs devoid of personality and community have become ground zero; the status quo. Our establishments, frequently run and owned by thirsty money vampires, quite simply do not value the now elusive and romanticised ideas of acceptance and camaraderie. People drift in with the allure of alcohol- and adrenaline-fuelled fun, consequence free, in a momentary void of responsibility and sanity, living the elusive ‘good life’. These are not generalisations. There are our times. We have irrevocably imprisoned ourselves with the drugs promised to bring everyone closer together. The blindfolds are fastened; a black hole sits in front of our faces, sucking in any knowledge of the depressing reality: there is suffering on the dance floor. Suffering is in here, with us. When I asked Terre what the future holds for house music, her answer was unsurprisingly grim. “I assume a continued regurgitation of familiar samples and reference points, with few people interested in investigating those references, even fewer having experiential entry points to their content, and all the while money being made and lost. In other words, business as usual”.

If you’re interested in Terre Thaemlitz’s music and writing, check out her website

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n recent years, there has been an insurgence of Americanised bars across Australia, offering more boutique beers and, of course, creative spaces to enjoy some icecold beverages. From rock-n-roll dive bar Frankie’s to the taxidermy of Shady Pines and the candle-lit intimacy of Baxter’s Inn, something has interrupted our usual interface of pokies machines and Tooheys on tap. Americanisation and homogenisation are hot topics in our increasingly globalised world. As more and more small, American-style bars appear throughout Sydney, it’s worth asking whether this is a new, expressive way for us to enjoy the variety Sydney has to offer, or a sign of increasing cultural homogenisation in Australia. Are we jeopardising our sense of integrity? I went to Shady Pines Saloon in Darlinghurst and interviewed bartender Jimmy Sauvé. To him, the emergence of American bars in

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Sydney is a great addition to the flourishing bar scene. “Sure, this place is American; but it’s relatable,” he said.

“We could dress up as cowboys, but we don’t. It’s not about shoving Americana down your throat, it’s about expression and creating something new”. So many things that exist in Australia trace their origins back to the US. Examples include cuisine (fast-food like McDonalds, Subway and KFC), shopping (supermarkets and megastores like the Macquarie Centre; which were first pioneered in North America in the 1930s), the film and music industry, and even cultural idioms. Sauvé also highlighted the fact that the US pioneered the creation of bars and the cocktail culture. “When liquor laws were changed in America in the 1920s,

many pioneers moved to Cuba and the UK, expanding its influence enormously into what the bar and club scene has become today”. So why is it that American-style bars are so popular in Australia? According to Sauvé, their popularity springs from the idea of cultural appropriation; borrowing ideas from American bars, and putting an Aussie spin on it. This process creates something that can make the drinking experience a lot more exciting and refreshing. “It’s very laid back, very fun. There’s no dress codes, you come as you are.” In 2000, the NSW Government introduced legislation which allowed for the licensing of small bars. Shady Pines Saloon was one of the first small bars to open in Sydney, following the implementation of that legislation. Numerous other small bars have since appeared across the city. Some of the most interesting small bars now include a record shop that serves drinks down the hallway, illuminated rooftops swarming with people, and other spots that decide to not advertise themselves altogether. There is as much culture in the discovery of a venue as the atmosphere. This small bar licence scheme is backed by the City of Sydney, which even provides videos on its website about how to open up a small bar. The scheme has clearly been very successful; last year, in the city alone, six new small bars were opened. The licensing scheme, according to Sauvé, has provided an explosion in the bar culture in Sydney, and this is especially true of themed bars. “I think the increase of American-themed bars is great. This licensing scheme allowed many new bars to be created”.

In recent years, many of these new bars have attempted to move away from American styles and themes. European-style bars, like The Bear in Chinatown, and Art Deco bars including Fifty-Fifty in Darlinghurst have proved to be extremely popular. It seems, however, that the popularity of the Americana theme continues to dominate the majority of small bars in Sydney. Sauvé attributes the success of American bars to the fact that thirsty Sydney-siders are continually looking for something new and exciting. Maybe these multicultural elements are a testament to our cultural diversity and willingness to embrace new environments and experiences.

“No one would open a business unless patrons wanted it. If you’ve got an idea, just have fun and run with it. It’s about the product you produce”. This, it seems, has been the secret to the success of the American-style bar, and also one of the reasons why it is so relatable. Along with our interest in new experiences and cultures, our palattes have shifted. In particular, craft brewers have reenergised the West Coast-style appreciation for bitter hopsy beers, like Indian Pale Ales and Porters. So drinking has evolved to encompass something far more holistic. We are offered variety as the norm. Don’t fear the Americanisation of Aussie bar culture. Help turn it into a peaceful coexistence instead.

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or some, last year represented an entire summer of commercial teasing and elongated suspense for the premiere season of The Real Housewives of Melbourne. Inspired by the American Real Housewives television shows, the first Australian version was clearly a massive success with Season Two airing in February 2015. This time around, the ever so busy, list-making, Gina-hating Andrea Moss has been replaced with two new women; Gamble Breaux and Pettifleur Berenger – yes, those are their real names. The sneak peak of Season Two revealed Gamble’s main concern coming onto the show was whether she had “a big enough wardrobe”. In the first season, it was almost stunning to learn that Janet never washes her own hair, instead electing to visit the hairdresser every time. Even more bizarre was Janet’s statement that she doesn’t know anyone who hasn’t undergone a regular Botox procedure. As Lydia puts it, “Wow”. It’s examples like these that make you wonder just how ‘real’ these housewives

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actually are. Their lives may be reality to them; however their standard of living is not on par with that of the average Australian. I’m not suggesting the producers intend to create the illusion of reality. Indeed they do not represent the majority of Australian women. The interface I want to interrogate are the more disguised elements of the show. Why, for instance, do I find myself sedated on the couch, eyes glued to the screen, watching the show ritually? Furthermore, why do people secretly – or openly, in some cases – dream to one day live a lifestyle of equal lavishness? According to the latest data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average full-time working Australian earns $1,476.30 per week. With income figures of that calibre, it would be quite difficult to attend regular Botox appointments, hit up your hairdresser three to four times a week, afford luxury getaways, nannies for your children, and a chef to prepare gourmet meals. So how can we call this television program ‘real’?

Well, Foxtel has recently announced that The Real Housewives of Melbourne is the highest rating reality production ever on their network, and the second biggest local series (just behind SoHo’s Wentworth). *Lydia voice* “Wow”. Although many viewers would argue this type of program is rubbish and as far away from reality as possible – sometimes, it definitely is – there are also positives to this style of television. The women who have been chosen to star in the show, for example, are very interesting in the sense that they are all strong, independent, and clearly successful. In reality, they are quite good role models for the younger generations. When thinking in these terms, the first housewife that comes to mind is Chyka. She co-owns The Big Group (one of Melbourne’s biggest catering and event companies), The Design Depot (a hiring company) and Capital Kitchen (retail outlet) with her hubbie, Bruce. Gina, although she is continually labelled a ‘drag queen’, is in fact a practising criminal barrister, while Pettifleur is a very successful property developer. One of the central criticisms is that the housewives aren’t ‘real’. Most of these women worked hard to achieve their wealth. So instead of rolling our eyes, we should be encouraging women to get out and stand up on their own two feet, follow their dreams, and become barristers like Gina, create their own brand like Jackie, or found a company like Chyka. These housewives are by no means role models or beacons of hope in our society but they do have more accolades than female counterparts on other reality programs. However, despite these housewives’

impressive professional lives, their worth is determined by how much they can bitch and backstab one another. In that way, everyone can agree that the show isn’t real. Our lives are multi-faceted and by excluding a core element from a portrayal of someone namely their working life, of course our impression of them isn’t ‘realistic’. What’s more is that these women have agreed to partake in this series, knowing full well what they are expected to do. While pity isn’t exactly the right emotion that should be assigned to the situation, it’s difficult not to feel sorry for what they are reduced to. They are perpetuating a stereotype of women; one that is petty and vapid.

Real Housewives may not be real in the sense that these women are wiping up spilt yogurt from the back of their fridges, it’s real in that it showcases what society values about women even in its hyperbolised form. At the end of the day, we need to realise what this show is really about. It’s trashy, (most likely scripted) reality that focuses on the social events, beauty and bitching of a select group of women. It’s not reality but is presented as such which is problematic for the average viewers, who perhaps doesn’t realise the extent that these series are set up. No woman’s life can or should be reduced to bitching and gossip. These women are worth more and should stand up and be proud of their CEO or barrister identities rather than the fact they have zero wrinkles. Living in 2015, we need to acknowledge that women can make an identity for themselves that is strong and powerful and not just the average ‘housewife’ stereotype/After all, this world needs more women to “Shine, shine shine!”

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Was your heart broken by a girl named “Rihanna”?



Do you prefer to rap with your crew?


Do you get ur “freak” on?








Is your anaconda way up?


Do you prefer to sing or rap when showering?




Skip to other asterisk

Did you grow up on the New York Times side (crime side)?






Has your hair been did recently?




YES :/




Do you feel sad thinking about all the other lonely people out there in the world?











NO ... WHAT?


Did you totally make “fleek” happen?

Are you kinda “Mafioso” when you rap?







> >

OKAY, well, what about British?


> >






> >

> >



> >



> > >



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MISSY ELLIOT The Queen – You work it every day and only a few things make you lose control (probably just music… and in a cool way). You steal the show every time, even when it’s other peoples show (Yes, you… Katy) and you just know how to run it. Even though, you’ve kinda been chilling since 2006 like Missy, you know you still reign.

WU TANG CLAN Wu Gambino 4 lyf – Okay so spiritually speaking, you’re more like a group of street wise rappers rather than a one-person show. You’ve probably made some bad life choices but it’s helped you to become who you are now. While cash does seem to rule everything around you, getting the money, dollar… dollar bill (ya’ll) isn’t everything to you. So protect ya neck, follow the rules and you’ll triumph.

NICKI MINAJ The badass honey – Like Nicki, you’re a bit of a bad bitch and obviously, hotter than a Middle Eastern climate. Being super bad is kinda your thing and spitting out sick verses is something you do on the daily. You’ve tamed anacondas, overcame pills and potions and everything in between. You probably also think the patriarchy is bullshit just like this generic description of you.


The sensitive type – If you’re reading this, it’s too late. You got Drake. That’s life. Just like your spirit rapper, you shed a tear for all things unfair in the world. While you didn’t necessarily start at the bottom, you understand hardship and how unfair this life can be. Similar to rapping companion, Nicki Minaj, you wish you could have these moments 4 life as they allow you to come thru in the heat of the moment. Sensitive? Never. Highly in tune with your emotions? *weeps* is it really such a crime?




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nd so, let me tell you that it all seemed repellant in unexplainable ways when Jay thought about driving another forty minutes just to see her. Well yeah, alright, but first off, before you criticise the poor bastard, consider how she carried on pathologically about bullshit disasters. You remember, don’t you? Yeah, of course – the fucking time she arrived at your house after a night binge, trying to claim her drink had been ‘spiked’. Gotta say I don’t have issues with people taking drugs and whatnot, but there’s a limit to my ... pass me another Camel? And the lighter? And so anyway, sorry, this time she had called him in tears, yelling something about her parent’s divorce, something else about it being her fault, and not to mention an immediate and irreconcilable desire to end her life in under forty minutes time. Those were her words. “Immediate and irreconcilable”, like, colliding planets or something. So Jay, in heated desperation, forgot about the broken glass along his driveway, which he spotted earlier that evening and I guess did nothing because, well, I guess because he’s crazy girlfriend is chewing his ear off about suicide and all. But he rolled over the glistening shards and his Commodore’s front left tire tore up on the highway doing, like, eighty kilometres, causing him to skid across an intersection and straight into this Honda Civic. Apparently he was suppressing the violent urge to sneeze as he roared through orange traffic lights. And even though he crashed and whatever, his girlfriend survived the forty minutes and was relieved to see him when he arrived. I remember Jay interrogating why someone on the fringes of

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suicidal ideation decided it was an appropriate time to bake some vanilla and coconut cupcakes. But so it goes, I guess. Hang on to that thought. Tom’s a star athlete, one of those happy-golucky-all-rounder-aint-he-gorgeous types, so easily written off as somebody whose life is ‘handed to him on a goddamn platter’, and, like, as a result, people treat him, well, anyone like Tom I guess, with suspicion and fear, simply because their lives seem to shine more. I’m a fucking criminal in that department. What’s that? Sure. I’m not done yet, Frankie. Order me two Gin & Tonics and a glass of some fine Shiraz. I don’t wanna get up for the next fifteen minutes.

There is a pause in conversation. Roach smokes two cigarettes at the table. Frankie empties his wallet at the bar. Roach accidently knocks the ashtray onto the floor, and a plume of misty ash and crushed butts cover the floor. Frankie returns. And so anyway, he, Tom, didn’t so much enjoy playing soccer but rather endured it, by virtue of birth-given talent. Since age four, he remained between the goalposts, which is really quite a responsibility for a young lad. And I’m not talking casual Sunday football – it’s more like representing NSW, training five times a week, eating calorie-counted meals, penciling in gym sets, always the apple of his father’s eye. And so I don’t need to explain why Tom’s

affection for Impressionistic paintings remained unheeded, and was a “heresy” - his father’s words. “Painters draw legends, not the other way ‘round”. He always said some shit along those lines. Maybe he puts so much pressure on Tom because he, Tom’s father, I mean, justifies his paralegal assistant duties by saying that his musical career “never quite kicked off”, which is semantically equivalent to a painter claiming he “likes art, but doesn’t really paint”. So turns out that last Friday, Tom’s father had had a really bad day. Remember what I told you about Jay? Well, I shit you not: he crashed his Commodore into Tom’s father’s Honda Civic. His Gibson SG was totally ruined in the car accident. And I mean like in splinters sort of ruined. When Jay’s Commodore veered from oncoming traffic – he still blames the sneeze, not the fucking busted tire – he slammed right into the Civic’s boot. Unfortunately, the only thing there to absorb the impact was his dusty Gibson SG. Even though Jay apologised and shared details and shook his hand and took full responsibility and mumbled something about tending to a murderous girlfriend, he, Tom’s father, couldn’t shake the sense that something was irretrievably lost that day. So you can imagine the shock on Tom’s father’s face that very night when he accidently strolled in to Tom’s room at three in the morning and awoke to laughter underneath bedsheets. Suspicious, he opened Tom’s door ajar and encountered his seventeen-year-old son in bed with his friend Mark, the left-footed right back on Tom’s football team. They were tussling together fiercely. And for a moment it seemed an elaborate heated game of tug-of-war, causing the father to signify enthusiasm by choosing a cry from his mental inventory, deciding on “down the wing, down the wingggggggg!!!”

fright rather than tremours of guilt. He split his head on the dresser. Nine stitches, or something. But more importantly, he lost the blankets from his naked body, exposing Tom’s father to his athletic, statuesque figure, and, of course, a healthy swollen cock. The scent of amyl hung perceptibly in the air. Tom’s face was horror incarnate, tears screwing his eyes into a perpetually blinking mess, shame became the eraser of fear, and an irrepressible sense of having done something wrong permeated his soul. Tom’s father blossomed, then turned violet, fuming, a blazing mixture of frustration and disappointment, forgoing any rational response to his situation. So instead of embracing his confused and emotionally shattered son – and I guess it’s sad – he swung a heavy suckerpunch at Mark right after he suggested there’s really nothing wrong with being gay. So I suppose it’s repellant that Tom didn’t intervene, or tend to his harmed lover, but he was frozen inside himself: glacial, unthawed.

Roach allows an ice cube to dance from cheek to cheek before crunching it in half. I mean, nobody ever told Tom it was fine to be gay. And for the record that’s his father’s duty. And I guess the real problem here is that nobody understood why they felt so miserable. A fucking disaster, mate. I mean, everyone was acting out of love, after all.

Roach knocks over his half-finished Gin & Tonic when he stands up suddenly and yells the above remark, as a way of emphasis (and perhaps a poorly veiled release of drink-related adrenaline). And this yell was the catalyst for the boys catching sight of the father’s shady silhouette. Mark fell from the bed, probably from legitimate

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he sun rises. There is nothing you can to do stop it. So you watch.

Light spills rudely through the louvers and onto the timber desk, music theory books, and hinges of a guitar case leaning against the corner. For a while, you exist as nothing except the will to go on like this, unthinking but observing. Basking in the spell of last night. You play the game you used to play at sleepovers, testing yourself, seeing how long you can go without remembering your location. The general how is obvious, because it’s routine, but the follow-up of who with takes a while. You hold off proper consciousness, as if with a stick. Last night’s body is beside you. His nipples, a pale pink on buttermilk skin, are ringed with wispy hairs. While you’re watching him, observing the shine of a lick of spittle on his bottom lip, you try and pinpoint some recurrent factor in the men you’ve been sleeping with. Only you realise it’s not their looks you’re after. Any body will do when it’s dark. You go out to sate a hunger. If you ignored it, it would burn you up. You could do without the social interaction, or so you tell yourself.

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Plus, you can’t ignore the ciders, since drinks are pricier over here. It’s been a year now, but you still think of it as the new city. You came for study. Below the nipple, on his side, is a black tattoo of a guitar. You’re unsure if you’ve had a musician before. Had. You like the word; the possessiveness of it, the consumptive air: like the men are cheeseburgers, eaten quickly, the leftovers thrown out of your car window. You find your clothes around the floor amongst the detritus of a messy life. You wore the ripped jeans, the Doc Martens, the loose grey t-shirt. You consider taking something, something small, maybe you can start collecting mementoes. There’s a need to watch something accumulate, besides your grades. But also you’re very attracted to the idea of coming and going without a trace, as with the other kind of body. There’s a mystery to it: if you’re going to drift around unattached for this section of your life, you’re going to gift it with a sense of purpose. You’re somnolent, sleepwalking through unreal, liminal space. You realise he’s awake. The way he looks at

you recalls a soon-to-be-roadkill cat you saw once: alive, watching, but paralysed. His hands are where you were. You lean down into the mirror, pretending not to notice him in the corner of your eye. Your rectum continues to feel like a tube of heated jelly. You started this project not too long after the big move, thinking a kind of immersion therapy would cease your shyness. And maybe you wanted to dilute yourself, somehow. At first, you tried a hookup app, only it didn’t work. You needed faces, expressions, muscle tics: the textures beyond text. You’re still working on it. You’re no less timid, but you do feel older. Stretched out, perhaps, from too much solitary thinking. How long has it been since the move? About a year. How many men have you inflicted yourself on? Too many to count. You think about leaving a number, or even your surname. Maybe you can make a friend. Both of you looked out of place in the club, amongst the pink tank tops and the swim shorts and the golden lamé of the drag queens. So many exposed six-packs. Some gut fear stops you from staying. It’s the credits syndrome, that suction of an exit. You’ve always been the kid who’s gotta go. It’s strange how you can strip so easily now, but in classes you still struggle to introduce yourself. The threat of an ending is always keeping you distant from others. While you’re headed down the sharehouse steps you consider that you’ve been here before. But all these places seem the same, after a while.

Sleeping around provided a reasonable tour of the various city suburbs. You see a lot of nice things you wouldn’t have otherwise. Today, for instance, down the road, past the bus stop, is the ocean, blue and glittering in the sun. A real jewel. There’s a teenager, walking down the footpath towards the beach. Same age as you, but you don’t look that youthful anymore (or so you think). While you’re waiting for the bus you’re watching the play of his tanned shoulder muscles, and begin to think of last night, of lips and teeth and tongues. Of the warm liquid heat rushing up your arse up to the tip of your spine, the peak of pain where you always think you’re going to burn up and die, to be relieved by the gelatinous pleasure of afterwards. Of his eyes, the way they looked into yours, and how you hesitated. Why is it that the same loneliness that gets you out of your pants, comes back stronger once you’ve put them back on? It’s not fair. You cling onto the bus shelter, worried. It’s the worry that you get after leaving lecture halls, cinemas, trains, that something left behind is now irretrievable. The sun seems to brighten a fraction. It is too bright, and early. It yanks the last of the dream-feeling away from your eyes and leaves them bloody – vulnerable to reality. You’re too aware of the grease in your hair, the body odour, the tightness of jeans, the fuzziness of unwashed teeth. The dried semen stuck to your back. A drop of sweat sinks down the crease underneath your nose, salty in your mouth. Is it always going to feel like this?

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represents the ways we see fate and destiny. Although sometimes we feel consumed by a situation perceived as beyond our control, all it takes is a disturbance, a shift, to transform our lives. The ripple effect of the coin signifies how the interruptions to reality can change us, either damaging or enhancing our existence.


SMOKESCREEN This piece was inspired by the ever-changing thoughts of the human mind. The smoke twists, twirls, and expands like the growth of a newly forming idea. Simultaneously, however, the smoke loses clarity and fades, signifying a memory drifting to the back of the mind.


The simplest things in life are often the greatest. The memories of playing board games as a young child is something I personally wanted to preserve before they disintegrate into the gallows of maturity. The sheer excitement gained from rolling the dice or revealing a card is reflected through the explosion of bubbles against the pieces as they drop into the deep.

Check out more of Simon’s photography at

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Look, I get it. Occasionally we all need a drink, some of us more than others, and for me, that’s usually more often than everyone else. But hey! I’m not here to advocate drinking, but as a student, and in times of stress, desperation and need, you gotta quench that thirst with something a little crazier than water. Am I right? And, I don’t know about

you, but nothing fills my insides better than a really shit house-white or a delectable cocktail. Heck, why do you think they put a bar on campus? So here’s a few suggestions on where to quench your thirst so you can relax, unwind and get back to studying. Or not. I won’t judge you.


16-18 Oxford Square, Darlinghurst Wed-Sat 6pm-3am From the bad boys who brought you Shady Pines and Tio’s, comes The Cliff Dive; a tropicanadicotheque that’ll relieve all your boogie and cocktail needs. Once you head downstairs, past the kitsch neon signs and to the bar, you’re spoiled for choice. Admittedly the cocktails here are exxy, but don’t get your knickers in a knot about it. They offer a great range of beers brewed in Australia, Vietnam and PNG, and if you’re not one for beer, they’ve got all your usual wines, spirits and ciders. The music here is great, with DJs most nights of the week playing anything from techno, to all your favourite old school classics, leaving the dance floor begging for more late night bump and grinds. 3.5/5

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Basement Level, 58 Elizabeth Street, Sydney CBD Wed 5-10pm, Thurs-Fri 5pm-3am, Sat 7pm9am, Sun 9pm-3am


55 York Street, Sydney CBD Mon-Fri 12pm-12am, Sat 5pm-12am We know themed bars are in vogue at the moment and you can’t get more Asiankitsch-themed than the whiskey, cocktail and dumpling bar, Uncle Ming’s. It isn’t huge but there is room to sit at tables or stand at the bar. This place has every popular Asian character or person as a cocktail i.e. The Cookie Kwan (real estate agent from The Simpsons) or The Jackie Chan. The dumplings are good and you even get a mini light show as the bartenders set cocktails ablaze at people’s tables. There is a relaxed mood to the place, perhaps because it’s separated from its trendy Surry Hills counterparts. This is a great little bar that doesn’t make you feel out of place. Great cocktails and easy location. 5/5

Spice Cellar is the house and techno venue in Sydney CBD. Inspired by the European scene, Spice offers a deeper, more intimate experience, focusing primarily on hosting international DJs, with impressive names playing almost every weekend. Known for late-night hours (sometimes until 10am), Spice serves refreshingly delicious cocktails, a select but mature range of sessionable beers, and offers a dinner menu from 5pm till 10pm on Thursday and Friday. Tragically, Spice Cellar is relocating from their underground hub as a consequence of the suppressive effects of lockout laws. Owner Murat Kilic has announced that Spice Cellar will be relocating to the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville after the Easter long weekend. Check out the cellar dwellers before they’re gone!


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REVIEW || CHARLIE SMITH Jupiter Ascending has a plot that is way too convoluted and ridiculous to even try to explain. Written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers, I was going in expecting a visually incredible sci-fi film. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Struggling to find the positives in it, I came up with two. First, the visuals of Chicago exploding were exceptional. for the first two minutes. They quickly got boring, continuing for a quarter of an hour. Second, the score is composed by one of my favourite composers, Michael Giacchino, who is known for his work on Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. Jupiter Ascending comprises an appalling screenplay, non-existent character development, and the most ridiculous plot I have ever seen attempted. I can already gladly assume that it will remain my least favourite film of the year. 0.5/5


REVIEW || CHARLIE SMITH Matthew Vaughn is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors. With a short but impressive résumé including films like Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class under his belt, I had high hopes for his latest installment, Kingsman: Secret Service, and my expectations were exceeded tremendously. Yes, it’s another undercover spy film, but it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen. It comes across as a James Bond film in some aspects, but it’s vulgar, bloody, gory and surprisingly funny. That being said, this movie wouldn’t be the same without its amazing cast. With Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson and Michael Caine all with leading roles, I was already excited. However, the films protagonist, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, played by newcomer Taron Edgerton, steals the show. In his first movie role ever, he well and truly earned his place next to these film giants with his versatile performance. 4.5/5


REVIEW || VANESSA CAPITO The latest film from Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, Leviathan is a compelling drama that explores the side of Russia where politics and religion are unified. Following protagonist Kolya (Alexey Serbryakov), and his attempts to keep his land from being taken from the government, Leviathan has been subjected to disapproval and outright censorship from authorities who don’t agree with its harsh criticism of the nation’s endemic corruption. An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Leviathan is everything you should expect from a Russian film: anguish, melancholy, bitter irony and lots of booze. A visually stunning masterpiece set in the Russian village of Teriberka against a propulsive Phillip Glass score; Leviathan has a feeling of expansiveness and grandeur. There is the old saying about how power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is the heart and soul of Leviathan. 4/5

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REVIEW || CHARLIE SMITH If you’re looking for a powerful, deeply moving film to see, Ava DuVernay’s Selma is an excellent option. It depicts the 1964 Civil Rights movement in Selma, Alabama, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo). At the time, African Americans were consistently denied the right to vote, and Selma explores this story. This 128-minute film can drag at times, especially when establishing the story, however some scenes were remarkably intense and left me wanting more. This intensity is aided by the incredible screenplay written by Paul Webb, who, surprisingly, had never written for film before. Selma is a truly emotional biopic that didn’t quite get the respect it deserved in the Awards season (Academy Award nominations, anyone?). Without Oyelowo taking charge with his incredible performance, however, I feel this film would have simply been a slightly aboveaverage historical piece. 4.5/5



REVIEW || JACK CAMERON STANTON Reading Haruki Murakami’s newly translated novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is equivalent to yawning for three hours straight. The storyline is as predictable as it is ostensibly mind-numbing. The story follows Tsukuru’s endeavours to discover the reasons why his childhood friends inexplicably abandoned him sixteen years ago. This premise, at heart, is unproblematic, but if you were to assume that Tsukuru does indeed find out why they left him, and the subsequent epiphanic revelation allows him to continue his adulthood, expunged of melancholy and insecurity, I’d say you’re not far off the truth. There, I’ve saved you four excruciating hours of pretty writing with no backbone, no vigour. Go read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World or 1Q84 instead. 1.5/5

REVIEW || BRITTANY SOLARZ The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a fresh take on the traditional coming-of-age story. Charlie, right from the beginning, is an intensely lovable character whose innocence displays honesty and devotion. His friends and family surround him, and confide their troubles to him, while he simply narrates his own thoughts on the topics and issues they help raise. His simple explanations and observations lead the reader to understand and relate to what he’s experiencing, allowing us to reflect and have a peaceful state of mind. The takeaway message from this novel is that we define our own future, and as individuals we alone can make the most of who we are and where we come from. A touching tribute to high school and all the perils we seem to face, The Perks of Being a Wallflower a must-read for young adults. 4/5


REVIEW || KATY SHAW “There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told”: this a quote that seems to resonate with people that have read Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl. As a biography, the book obviously doesnt contain any large, overreaching narrative structure, nor does it provide an in-depth character development. If you’re expecting the rise and fall of plot points, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, Not That Kind of Girl is simply a young woman writing about her experiences and opinions. Don’t pick this book up if you’re expecting more, because that’s simply not what it’s about. If you read it like you should, as the memoir of 28-year-old, who still has a lot to experience, then you’ll appreciate the analogies, and the small but powerful moments of clarity. Overall, Not That Kind of Girl was a genuine exploration of the simple things in life. 3/5

REVIEW || AMELIA VAN DER RIJT Jane Hawking is a remarkable woman, and one we certainly haven’t heard enough about. Her memoir is an engaging tale which charts her 25 years with physicist Stephen Hawking. Sometimes inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking, Hawking relates her story with a candidacy which makes the memoir endearing. Though the content is engaging, as a literary piece Travelling to Infinity leaves much to be desired. Hawking’s prose is elegant, descriptive, and beautiful in its simplicity. That prose can quickly become tiring, however, and at times it appears superficial; an unnecessary attempt to make the memoir more poignant. The division of the memoir into short chapters is a wise move, and an effective counterbalance to the exasperating prose. Despite its shortcomings, however, Travelling to Infinity is definitely worthy of your time. 3.5/5

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REVIEW || JACK CAMERON STANTON Whenever a band’s selling point is that they are a certified ‘supergroup’, then you know there’s trouble. Too often does this notion of pre-ordained excellence demotivate the musicians to construct anything meaningful or exciting on their new record. Angel & Airwaves’ The Dream Walker is no exception, in the sense that every tune strives for that same atmospheric soppy emo sound that delivered them a momentary limelight with the song ‘The Adventure’. In fact, that’s this album in a nutshell: chasing the dragon. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if you are driving somewhere or sitting at home doing other things, you can play this record. It’s inoffensive, sessionable, melodiously pretty, with a tingle of melancholic upbeatness – but all these factors coalesce and produce a record that is murderously dull. 0.5/5


REVIEW || NICK WASILIEV I knew little about Irish artist Hozier, besides his hit single ‘Take Me to Church’, however, after listening to his debut album I feel like he should have been discovered eons ago; because this is an absolute knockout! Hozier takes inspiration from Celtic music, as well as Ireland’s troubled religious past, but this album is also heavily infused with a modern blues, rock and folk edge. The combination it leads to is a brilliant, brooding, bluesy album! ‘Take Me to Church’ may be successful, but “‘Jackie and Wilson’, ‘Someone New’, ‘From Eden’ and ‘Foreigner’s God’ are songs you will instantly fall in love with, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this strong record. It’s use of guitar, drums and blues is simple, but effective. Hozier wears its Irish heart on its sleeve, and I’ll be watching this artist in the future! 4.5/5

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REVIEW || NICK WASILIEV Mark Ronson has contributed as a writer, guitarist and producer to artists like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Despite this musical talent, it was surprising to see Ronson struggle to be recognised in his own right, but that was before he dropped the monster hit with Bruno Mars, ‘Uptown Funk’. Though it may’ve been catchy, ‘Uptown Funk’ was only a taster. With Uptown Special, Ronson brings a funky retro sound, like a cross between Michael Jackson’s Thriller and a funk-infused Tame Impala, which is no surprise considering Tame Impala band member Kevin Parker collaborated with Ronson. The result? A really refreshing album. While ‘Uptown Funk’ shines, ‘I Can’t Lose’, ‘In Case of Fire’, and my personal favourite track ‘Daffodils’ also stand out. In short, Uptown Special is slick, funky and unbelievably sexy. Warning: may cause foot tapping! 4/5


REVIEW || MARIE CLAIRE SELIM American singer, songwriter and musician – Beck’s 12th album Morning Phase was released in February 2014 after the artists’ six-year hiatus. The innovative musician, often considered a visionary, has not disappointed with his Grammy-Award winning Album of the Year. Although at times it might appear that the whole album shares the same note of melancholy, in typical Beck style, there are times when that mood is prolifically captured and expressed, and only rare times when this tone is dull. Standout pieces such as “Morning” and “Blue Moon” embrace Beck’s penchant for ironic lyricism and warm melodies. A personal favourite is “Unforgiven”, reminiscent of Arcade Fire and Fleet Foxes, although maintaining the hazy feel of his much earlier work in Sea Change. 3.5/5



PC, PS4, XBOX ONE REVIEW || BLAKE SHERRY Evolve garnered the attention of the gaming industry with a bit of a bang. Offering downloadable content before the game itself had even been announced, online scrutiny over its micro-transaction stuffed model threatened to end the game before it had begun. Rest assured however, Evolve is better than the original caution would have you believe. An online first-person shooter, the innovative nature of Evolve lies in its asymmetrical multiplayer, pitting a team of four class specific humans against a giant alien. However, an innovative concept does not always make for a good game. Uneven matchmaking, underwhelming offline multiplayer (with simplistic and uninteresting bots), as well as a lazy campaign mode, all serve to undermine the experience. On paper Evolve ticks all the boxes, however with a minimal scope of competitive play along with repetitive and anti-climactic gameplay model, it’s promising, but worth a miss. 3/5


PC REVIEW || ALIA ALIDENES Vertically explore a small island open world as B.U.D, a cute and curious robot, in this procedurally animated adventure game. Your mission is simple: grow the Star Plant and have fun. Developed by an eight-person Ubisoft branch-off team, Grow Home delivers a breath of fresh air and reprieve from the lengthy, serious, and over-complicated games we’re so accustomed to today. With simple gameplay and controls, it’s impossible not to have a blast as you run, jump and glide around the world. Offering a minimal, cell-shaded polygonal design, Grow Home is aesthetically bright and humble, and a downright pleasant experience. Connecting a console controller is recommended, but not necessary. This game is truly refreshing and awakens a rediscovery of the simple, unbridled fun of discovery and challenge. With new content and achievements being released with updates, this charming and vivid game is hard to fault. 4.5/5

FOR PC, LINUX, PS4, XBOX ONE REVIEW || BLAKE SHERRY It’s not often one finds oneself disagreeing with Dylan Thomas as he wrote “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”. However, in the case of Techland’s survival horror game Dying Light, I’m willing to make an exception. With first-person freeform platforming, fluid movement in an open sandbox map, interesting melee combat, shooting and zombies – this game has a lot to offer. Did I mention the zombies? Set in the same post-apocalyptic world that’s been in every movie and TV show over the last twenty years, Dying Light isn’t too innovative in the story department, and it isn’t that innovative in the gaming world either. But I won’t rage against it, not even for a moment, because it has one core element. It’s fun. Lots of fun. If you want twelve or more hours of free-roaming joy, with cherry-picked mechanics from great games, this is a must play. 3.5/5


FOR PC, MAC REVIEW || ALIA ALIDENES I Am Bread places you in the position of, quite literally, a slice of bread. What is your goal? To get toasted (duh, obviously) in the “beautiful story of one slice of bread’s epic and emotional journey …” To do this you must traverse somewhat realistic and varying obstacle courses over multiple levels, all whilst retaining your ‘edibility’ level. Using a keyboard, the controls can feel a bit like QWOP, so a controller is recommended. I Am Bread is not just another made-for-let’s-play indie game. This imaginative puzzle platformer title, whilst only in its early access stage, is still a perfectly playable game. It delivers just the right amount of challenge to keep you going. Even at its premature stage this game has some big ideas, so it will be interesting to see what I Am Bread delivers in future. 3/5


FOR PC, MAC, LINUX, PS3, PS4, XBOX ONE REVIEW || ALIA ALIDENES Escape the immoral and gruesome nightmare that is Rupture Farms as Abe in the ground-up remake of the 1997 sidescrolling puzzle-platformer, Abe’s Oddysee. Help Abe escape his pursuers, whilst also striving to free all Mudokon slaves in this challenging, morally painful, cinematic experience. This game is unparalleled in its unique narrative and humour – you’ll be laughing and groaning simultaneously. New ‘n’ Tasty retains and enhances aspects of the original title without compromise, such as audio, controls, and a fixed (but dynamic) camera. This lovingly crafted remake feels so right with current hardware and maintains design without getting overzealous with graphical capabilities. New ‘n’ Tasty guarantees to provide a thrilling return for veterans and an incredible journey to newcomers. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty masterfully matches and surpasses its predecessor. 5/5

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You are a pack leader and with that comes the glory of pioneering ideas. Be wary of the risks of your freedom-loving spirit.


Please don’t dash at the sight of red. Curses and blessings are just the same coin flipped over.


Your curious mind craves thoughtful banter on the train ride home. I recommend downloading a few TED podcasts. Alternatively, you could listen to Lorde.


You are a homebody in need of change that can only be brought about by rad tastes in food, fashion and film. It’s out there so take a peek!


Worried that your inner Luna has got everyone thinking of you as a loony? Don’t mind them. They’ve all got wrackspurts clogging their ears.


Steer clear of stress heads, health nuts, gamers and Swifties. Solitude can be a saviour.

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This new season calls for loud, great moments and even greater people. Don’t be tangled in fears my dear.


Head a few miles out of town to escape the wrath of approval…or rather, the lack of it.


Those printed shorts are Breaking Bad-ass! You are doing everything so incredibly right.


Did you buy a selfie stick (or have you been in the vicinity of one)? Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to jail.


You are so zesty and flamboyant, which unravels some. But remember that Oprah was born in the same month as you. All is well.


The summer high has trickled down to a mellow autumnal chill, turning daydreams to hard goals. Is that such a bad thing?


DOWN 1. Dollar, dollar bill ya’ll. 2. You got the best of both worlds. 4. It killed Voldermort. 5. I want to go to there. ACROSS 7. Imma let you finish. 3. I enjoy Lap dances from Nikki Minaj. 8. They call it a Royale with cheese. 6. That’s so Fetch. 9. Do you want to build a snowman? 10. Winter is coming. 11. It’s a trap! 14. First, let me take a ______. 12. Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal. 15. Spread love t’s the Brooklyn way. 13. Is this the real Caesar’s Palce? 16. The only reason people watched Magic Mike. 17. Too fancy for her own good. 21. I’ve been drankin’. 18. Who you gonna call? 23. Everything’s coming up ________! 19. So no one told you life was gonna be this way. 24. This sick beat. 20. Kimye’s lovechild. 25. EXTERMINATE! 22. No soup for you!




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