ISSUE 05, VOLUME 05 AUGUST 2019 EDITORIAL TEAM Bec Marshallsay - Editor in Chief Caitlin Burnett - Content Editor Mary Jo Dowsett - Content Editor Courtney Kruk - Content Editor PUBLISHER Jordan Jansen TALENTED CONTRIBUTORS Cover artwork Darci McElroy Editorial Caitlin Burnett - Mary Jo Dowsett Jordan Jansen - Courtney Kruk Bec Marshallsay - Luke Maurice Creative Tom Swales - Billy Bevan - Kayla Evans Tin Ling Ho - Stefan Jatschka Juan Mendiola - Jueun Oh DESIGN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
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Message from the President
Geta Writersâ€™ Award
Humans: The storytelling species
Perception is not the person
No time for silence
The power of stories
Why we need the media as storytellers
Storytelling on film
Snapped on campus
Feature artist: Sally Breen
Entertainment 54 Being creative
Get the hell outta here
Once upon a time in a land not too far away (well, right here on campus in fact), an editorial team set out to share their love of stories with their loyal magazine readership. The Storytelling Edition of Getamungstit comes with an extra dose of enthusiasm because the Ed Team believes that stories are one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Stories create a sense of community, they teach us right from wrong, they entertain us, they record our culture, and they allow us to express our hopes and dreams, as well as our fears and anxieties. This edition we are chatting to Griffith’s creative writing cohort to find out what makes a good story in a long form Vox pops. While Caitlin has an extended chat with lecturer, editor and published author, Sally Breen in our Feature artist section.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of this edition is a bumper Being creative section full of short stories to keep you entertained while you stand in line at the G07 microwaves. If you think we missed a great opportunity for an article this edition you can submit your own piece to the Geta Writers’ Award for the chance to win $50 Campus Cash and publication in a future edition. And they lived happily ever after. The Editorial Team Getamungstit
While we might not always trust them, Mary Jo reflects on the importance of the media as storytellers. Courtney considers whether our ability to tell stories is one of the key markers that makes us distinctly human. And Bec shares a story about her icy experience at Tasmania’s Dark Mofo winter festival.
ITE R W US! R FO
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Hey everyone, What a successful trimester it’s been for Griffith already! While I myself am no form of athlete, I’d like to congratulate our incredible competitors who took part in the Unisport Nationals Div 2, and further applaud those who will be continuing onto the next stage of the competition for Div 1. Good luck team! I can’t believe we’re already at Week 6, right in the thick of mid-trimester exams. I hope you’re all keeping as stress-free as possible, while making the most of our assignment help service, crafting workshops, and events we have right here on campus. For those who joined us at our Annual Student Guild Race Day, thanks for coming along and making the event such a hit. If you missed it and want to get involved, you can still grab yourselves a ticket to our Doctors & Nurses and Halloween parties, or help us congratulate our dedicated clubs and societies, Guild Crew, and Wellness Warriors at the Annual Guild Awards.
As fellow students, board members understand the toll certain life events can take on mental health. With that in mind, I wanted to take a moment to remind you all of the different support services available to you from both the Guild, and the University. We’re all here to help each other get through life (and our degrees!) together, so don’t forget to take a moment, not only on 12 September, and ask a friend, ‘R U OK?’ Finally, if you want to get more involved on campus, then keep an eye out for our upcoming board nominations. As a board member, you can actively play a role in improving the student experience with your fellow board members, and gain a tonne of experience while doing so. We’d love to have you as part of the team! Best of luck for the rest of the trimester everyone, and we really hope you enjoy this latest edition of Geta. Jordan Jansen Student Guild President
This is your chance to tell us what you love, what you want to see more of or suggest new ideas. Maybe there is an issue you think we should be covering or you want to weigh in on the best coffee debate... whatever you need to get off your chest, we’d love to hear from you. Connect with us and stay up to date! - facebook.com/Getamungstit - facebook.com/groups/getamungstit.contributors/ - email@example.com - gugcstudentguild.com.au/getamungstit
Thursday 12 September Library Lawn (G10) Visit ruok.org.au for tips on how to ask.
Some of these things are true and some of them lies. But they are all good stories. Hilary Mantel
GETAMUNGSTIT WRITERS’ AWARD
But how could you live and have no story to tell. Fyodor Dostoevsky
Do you have something to say about storytelling and culture? Do you think we missed a great article opportunity on this theme? This is your chance to have your ideas published. You are invited to submit articles or creative writing on the current edition theme for your chance to win and be published. Submissions must be the writer’s original work and must not have been published elsewhere.
Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.
Theme: Stories, storytelling in culture, fables and myths, cultural narratives
Closes: 11.59 pm 22 September, 2019 Prize: Publication in the subsequent issue of Getamungstit magazine + $50 Campus Cash.
If you are not the hero of your own story, then you’re missing the whole point of your humanity.
Win! $50 Campus Cash + your article published in a future edition.
Steve Maraboli Conditions Entries are open to current Griffith University Gold Coast students - student number must be provided with entry. Entries must be under 1000 words and must be submitted by email with the heading ‘Geta Writers’ Award’ to firstname.lastname@example.org by the closing date. Entrants grant Getamungstit non-exclusive rights to publish the work in Getamungstit (in print and/or online). The winning entry/entries will be selected by the Geta editorial team and/or appointees based on quality of writing and fit with the magazine. If there are insufficient entries or the team cannot determine a winner, the editorial team may decide not to award a prize. All decisions are final, no correspondence will be entered into.
Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day. Charles Dickens 5 2
GETA GIVEAWAYS Because who doesn’t love free stuff? Each edition we’ll have loads of goodies up for grabs for our wonderful Geta readers. All you need to do is follow gugcstudentguild on Instagram and email us at email@example.com with your name, email, mobile, Instagram name, the prize you’d like to win and ‘Give me Geta goodies’ as your subject line.
WIN ME Movie World single day passes! WIN 2 x single day passes to Movie World and live the thrill life! Valid until 19 June 2020.
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Kick the evil toxins and say hello to a nourished life!
WIN the following pack: 1 x Life Basics Rose Geranium Face & Body Soap 1 x Melrose Liquid Coconut Oil 100ml 1 x Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil 10ml 1 x No Pong all natural anti odourant 1 x eco minerals Uluru Blush 1 x Dr. Bronnerâ€™s 18-in-1 Hemp Cherry Blossom Pure Castile Soap 237ml 1 x Andalou Naturals Mandarin Vanilla Body Lotion 236ml All products have been supplied by Nourished Life. nourishedlife.com.au
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Harry Potter books would ring the equator 1.6 times if every book ever sold was placed end to end, according to Bloomsbury.
With a focus on storytelling this edition, we’ve asked students from Griffith’s Creative Writing cohort to share some of their writing expertise and tale telling recommendations.
Where do your ideas for a story come from?
How do you combat writers block?
Assessment criteria haha. When I do have the time to explore my passion for writing without boundaries, my stories come from my thoughts and/or experience.
Music. Or have a whinge about it to my brother…he is quite the motivator with his “get your shit together snotface and stop being a pussy” pep talks.
What do you think makes a good story? For me, I love relating to a story. Characterisation that has me connecting with the protagonist on a level where I don’t want the story to end. Is there a particular book that has impacted you, either personally or as a writer? So many! But if I can mention only one, it’s definitely The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I have reflected on the bravery, strength and resilience of PK in my own times of turmoil more than I’d like to admit.
What is the last book you read? Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. Are you currently working on any writing projects? Always. Whether I finish it or not depends on choosing to be brave and kicking that beast called fear square in the gonads. If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
What is your go-to book or author recommendation? I cannot go past recommending Holly Ringland’s The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. Especially considering she is a Griffith graduate!
Be brave and vulnerable at the same time (as Brene Brown would say). Have the courage to tell your self-doubt to fuck the hell off! Can you tell us a story in six words? Shooting stars, are not stars anyway.
Where do your ideas for a story come from?
for this novel, I never would have explored creative writing.
Are you currently working on any writing projects?
My ideas are often inspired by books I’ve read, or movies and TV shows I’ve watched. I also sometimes combine it with real life experiences I’ve had along with real history.
How do you combat writers block?
I am! There’s a fully laid out plan for the story, but somehow it feels like a mess at the same time. I’m sure it’ll make sense as time goes by.
What do you think makes a good story? A good story should not only entertain you with is tension, but also resonate with you as the pages turn. A good story should leave you thinking about it after you finish it. When written well, you can turn a good story into an iconic one. Is there a particular book that has impacted you, either personally or as a writer? Every time a question like this is asked the first thing that comes to mind is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This is because it is the first book I ever read and the first book in a series I grew up with. if it weren’t
I listen to Lady Gaga on repeat until her soul enters my mind to tell me to get my ass back up and start writing again. What is your go-to book or author recommendation? Neil Gaiman has a number of books I’ve read and enjoyed. If you want a good fantasy novel, check him out. What is the last book you read? I’m currently reading On Writing and Worldbuilding: Volume I by Timothy Hickson. It’s not a novel, but rather a book full of specific ideas and methods to consider when writing a novel, particularly in fantasy and science fiction. Unfortunately, the author is not too well known yet but his book is very helpful and I would recommend reading it and watching his educational YouTube videos on creative writing.
If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be? Word vomit!!! Whatever idea, words, or sentences you have in your head, just write it down. It may look awful when you read it for the first time, but when you edit it and rewrite it with a solid foundation in mind, you can create something great.
Can you tell us a story in six words? I sure can! Wait, maybe not.
Where do your ideas for a story come from? Anything and everything. Even conversations I have with people at work have inspired stories I’ve written.
Is there a particular book that has impacted you, either personally or as a writer?
read, and her stories are extremely relatable for new adults such as myself.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is my all-time favourite text. The characters and the plot are interesting and unique, but above all the story is relatable. That’s what I love about it, the author just writes things as they are without romanticising life. it’s a refreshing look at the reality of growing up.
What is the last book you read?
How do you combat writers block?
What do you think makes a good story? I think a good story is fantastical but relatable. For me, it is vital for the plot and setting to be unique, but everything should still feel familiar. That’s what makes it appealing.
I move on from the story, not long term, but just for a break. Sometimes I write something else for a bit, or don’t write at all. Eventually I will overcome that block and get back into the story I want to finish. What is your go-to book or author recommendation? I adore Rainbow Rowell. Her writing is complex but still easy to
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Are you currently working on any writing projects? I have a document at the moment full of practice stories that I never plan on submitting anywhere. I just use it to keep myself writing. If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be? You can’t overdo a new paragraph. Every time someone talks, when the subject changes, when you change narrators. It’s easier to read small chunks of writing than big blocks. Can you tell us a story in six words? What’s in your mouth? Drop it!
Where do your ideas for a story come from? My genre fiction ideas mostly come from reimagining elements/ scenes of my favourite books and shows. I then work out my feelings toward a particular social/political issue which works well with the story element and combine the two. What do you think makes a good story? Any story which evokes a strong emotion is, for me, a good one. Even if its disgust or rage. Just means the author is doing their job right. Note: good writing and a good story are not mutually exclusive. Good writing just helps. A lot. Is there a particular book that has impacted you, either personally or as a writer? The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan are the books which inspired me to become a writer (flaws ‘n’ all). I saw in them
the ways fiction directly tackles real-world issues by taking the philosophical arguments inherent within them and reworking them into palatable and understandable terms for young adults. How do you combat writers block? This seems to be an eternal state of being. Lately, I’ve been using the Pomodoro Technique for all my writing. Its helped me focus on creating, then editing; rather than trying to do both simultaneously. What is your go-to book or author recommendation? My go-to book is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. My author recommendation is Susan Dennard. What is the last book you read? I refuse to include any course readings. The “last” book I read was a re-read of Brandon Sanderson’s Alloy of Law.
Are you currently working on any writing projects? I have a few on the go. A few literary/creative nonfiction short stories, and a fantasy standalone
If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be? Write. Even if what you’re writing sucks. Keep writing. Go back and edit later. See what worked for you, see what didn’t. Allow yourself to fail. Can you tell us a story in six words? Shitbag! Stay away from my daughter.
Where do your ideas for a story come from? I get inspiration from music. I’ll listen to a song and imagine a character, or a scene, and it will just start to blend together until I have a story. What do you think makes a good story? Seeing what your characters are made of. Seeing them crack under pressure and get back up, seeing how they react to an impossible situation. They are like geodes, to see what they are made of, you must break them. Is there a particular book that has impacted you, either personally or as a writer? I grew up reading Ranger’s Apprentice, which showed me that it’s not always the big, strong knights that rescue princesses, sometimes it’s the wiry little ranger who most people ignore. A great story for someone who was forgotten in school.
plot twists and heart-wrenching moments.
How do you combat writers block? I don’t. I find something else to do, so I’m still being creative. Eventually I’ll get back to it when I’m in the right headspace for it.
What is your go-to book or author recommendation? The Throne of Glass series, or A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Absolute queen! The strongest female characters you will ever find. What is the last book you read? Graevale by Lynette Noni. Lots of action and fantastic characters, Vox pop
Are you currently working on any writing projects? Too many, and none at all. I’m having writers block so I’m doing other creative projects at the moment. One day I’ll get back to them. If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be? You have to make your character want something, without that, there’s nothing. They need to want something above all else. And then you have to do everything in your power to stop them getting it. Can you tell us a story in six words? Medieval fantasy. With lots of dragons…
Marena Janse van Rensburg
Where do your ideas for a story come from? I get my story ideas from past experiences. They are largely inspired by the emotion that those people and experiences evoked. What do you think makes a good story? I think a good story is one that captures the reader’s heart. We tend to be so separate as humanity and when we read something that tugs at our spirits, we suddenly don’t feel so disconnected because someone else out there can relate to that emotion and experience.
How do you combat writers block? Writer’s block sucks. The best thing that helps me is not to try and force something to come. A good bottle of wine and Netflix usually helps though! What is your go-to book or author recommendation? Definitely would recommend Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, Into the Wild by John Krakauer or The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was The Is there a particular book that has Imam’s Daughter by Hannah Shah. impacted you, either personally or Are you currently working on any as a writer? writing projects? Personally, Another Man’s War by I’m currently working on a Sam Childers hit me the hardest. collection of short stories about I was so inspired by the fact that you can take someone’s story and women I met while travelling use that to change lives. It’s what I in India. hope to do as a writer.
If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be? The best advice I could give any aspiring writer would be to trust your voice and your style. Be open to help and wisdom, but stay true to your style and always work on developing it. Trust in your abilities.
Can you tell us a story in six words? Dairy looked like a good idea.
Where do your ideas for a story come from? Mostly from either course material, my own research or what I feel like writing about. I went through an extended phase of writing ‘blue collar’ Australian fiction, but I love literal fantasy and sci-fi so I try to write in that genre when I can. What do you think makes a good story? Originality. When I’ve written stock standard redemption short stories, they’ve been torn to pieces. So, originality is an absolute must. That and being confrontational – people seem to want to read about subjects or stories that have some degree of taboo. Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is an example. Is there a particular book that has impacted you, either personally or as a writer? Absolutely. I’m a big fan of Hemingway and McCarthy for their style of prose. The Old Man and the Sea is an absolute work of art, as is The Road. I also enjoy Dennis
Wheatley’s works, particularly those that engage with occult themes. How do you combat writers block? It depends on what I’m trying to achieve. With most of the ‘blue collar’ stuff I write, that’s straightforward because I write about what I, or my fellow apprentices, did several years ago when I was working as an electrical apprentice. For my sci-fi or fantasy work though, I’ll do a lot of research – possibly too much – and go from there. What is your go-to book or author recommendation? Hemingway or McCarthy. What is the last book you read? I fell way behind with GOT, so I’m reading the books now to see how George RR Martin devised his world before then skipping to the show.
Are you currently working on any writing projects? Sure am! I’m working on an experimental music piece that came about from Griffith’s ‘Experimental Writing’ course. Effectively I’m writing a novelette, in prose poetry, and combining it with doom and black metal. I’m also working on a huge fantasy setting that I’ve had on and off for a few years, and I’m planning to get some kind of anthology of my short stories happening for my ‘blue collar’ stuff. Fingers crossed! If you could offer any advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be? Realise that if you’re going to have children while at university or while writing a piece, you need to adapt to writing only between 7.30 pm and whenever you fall asleep at your desk. Can you tell us a story in six words? Sure. This has been my go to line for the last few weeks: New baby, can’t come for drinks!
CREATIVE CONCEPTS | GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY | ILLUSTRATION IMAGE RETOUCHING | PRINT & WEB SOCIAL MEDIA | BRANDING Liveworm Gold Coast is staffed with a collection of skilled multidisciplinary design students, guided by a highly experienced team of industry professionals. The studio is also a creative incubator for student industry concepts, supporting the local business and cultural community. The studio opened its doors in 2008 after being converted from a grungy fine art and sculpture workshop into a creative studio and incubator space — under the wing of the 130 year old Queensland College of Art.
Liveworm Gold Coast designers are the future experts of their field. They know what’s current, enjoy predicting future trends and utilising classic design strategies. In the midst of a new studio image and direction— Liveworm Gold Coast is working towards a stronger position within the evolving creative Gold Coast culture. The team of students and staff embrace the changes that are occurring locally and globally and enjoy creating design outcomes that reflect this unique approach.
HUMANS: THE STORYTELLING SPECIES Courtney Kruk
Like many, my earliest memories of storytelling began during childhood in the form of bedtime stories. The universal stratagem used to coax children into the land of nod with the ammunition of an entertaining tale. I favoured my dad’s rendition of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. That shepherd boy and his trickery of the villagers piqued my interest and imagination, and it always ranked highly on the inventory of story requests. I like to think this simple fable influenced my morality in some small way, encouraging a generally honest nature and repugnance for liars. A fascination for stories didn’t end there, surpassing the allotted bedtime telling’s and developing into a lifetime affection for narratives in many genres and forms. Whether it was tales shared by family or friends, books, movies and television programs, or when gathering around the space in my primary school library we affectionately called ‘the pit’. I still remember my grade one teacher extracting John Burningham’s Courtney from a nearby shelf in that library and handing it to me. A story about a scruffy old dog that enamoured a family with his amazing talents and shared my name was just another reason
to endear myself to the world of storytelling. Anecdotes such as these probably resonate with most people. A favourite story that your grandma always told, or the first book you ever loved (I do hope you have one). Human beings are a storytelling animal and we have been for thousands of years. It is something that has evolved to become a trait, a signifier of our human nature. What we could even go as far to suggest makes us human. Of course, I don’t mean that literally. Our capacity to spin a yarn isn’t what makes us human in the grand scheme of scientific reasoning. But it is a unique attribute and one that deserves some rumination. Why do we tell stories and how did this begin for our species? It’s hard to deduce exactly when we might have begun to tell stories. We are a species that thinks, with a conscious capacity to even think about thinking. We became an animal that realised it is alive, and then in turn knew that it was going to die. At some point, we began to represent ourselves and the world around us through art, developed language, speech Humans: The storytelling species
and writing. Perhaps storytelling was just a natural part of all these processes, whereby we understood our experiences in a past, present and future sense and how information could be transmitted to others of our species. Writing for the BBC, author David Robson reasons that ‘although we have no firm evidence of storytelling before the advent of writing, we can assume that narratives have been central to human life for thousands of years’. This is reinforced by his example of cave drawings in France’s Chauvet Cave. The discovery of these primitive paintings in 1994 suggested a form of art, expression and storytelling dating back over 30,000 years. As many who have studied prehistoric forms of human activity, Robson considers sites such as Chauvet Cave allude to a considered effort by early humans to illustrate scenes that were feasibly accompanied by storytelling. The animals depicted in the cave; bison, mammoths, rhinos, appear to reflect something witnessed, and their transference to the rock wall infers a permanence in this vision. Something that could continue to be witnessed and shared for
a time to come. Applying my own considerations to Chauvet, imagining a person 30,000 years ago, linguistically, cognitively and physically, is fascinating in itself. More so when contemplating what motivated these ancient human beings to create the cave paintings and the possible correlating stories they told. Art is one way to understand origins of storytelling, human history and how cultures and societies developed throughout the ages. The discovery of materials and artefacts offer further crucial explanations. An instance of this that has deepened our understanding of storytelling is the Epic of Gilgamesh. Dating back to the ages of early civilisation in Mesopotamia, the ancient tale of Gilgamesh is regarded as one of the first known forms of literary writing. Though the tale was believed to be spread orally first, it was eventually etched onto the surfaces of clay tablets, written in cuneiform text around 13001000 BC. After their discovery, the engravings were eventually deconstructed and translated some thousands of years later, cementing the Epic of Gilgamesh as one of the world’s oldest known written stories.
As Cody Delistraty writes for The Atlantic, the Epic of Gilgamesh ‘has all the trappings of a modern story: a protagonist who goes on an arduous journey, a romance with a seductive woman, a redemptive arc, and a full cast of supporting actors’. When surmised with such modern eloquence, it’s easy to forget Delistraty is referring to a piece of literature discovered in a place commonly referred to as ‘the cradle of civilisation’, one of the earliest locations from which societies began to form and structure. Gilgamesh’s epic adds to a whole myriad of observations made of our species from this time and place, and in the context of storytelling, a piece that can better help us understand when humans began this kind of tale telling expression in writing. I suggest it would be difficult to find a region of the world totally devoid of any historical storytelling evidence. Author Jeffrey Kluger shares a similar sentiment, pointing out that the custom of storytelling ‘has been ubiquitous in all cultures over all eras in all parts of the world’. Citing a study from Nature Communications, he further explores possible reasons for this, stating ‘storytelling is a
powerful means of fostering social cooperation and teaching social norms’. This is often observed from eras of hunter-gatherer societies, where conclusions are reached that storytelling became a way of reinforcing these kinds of social behaviours and even, as Cody Delistraty remarks, became an evolutionary mechanism that helped keep our ancestors alive. The gradual awakening of our big brains throughout the ages, where we began to comprehend our place in the world and how to maintain that place. If we survived, and continued to tell stories that enhanced our survival, we continued to be part of a shared history. Well, that’s how I interpret it anyway. Thomas Suddendorf, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Queensland, offers another theory, pointing to ‘a fundamental urge to link our minds together’ as a way of understanding why we tell stories. By doing this, we ‘take advantage of others’ experiences, reflections and imaginings to prudently guide our own behaviour. We link our scenario-building minds into large networks of knowledge’. Knowledge that becomes
accumulated, shared and spread through many generations. In his book The Philosopher and the Wolf, philosopher Mark Rowlands attributes part of our unique ‘humanness’ to this urge to share knowledge and make sense of ourselves through storytelling. He describes us as ‘the animals that believe the stories they tell about themselves’. And we have the cognitive capacity above other species to not only do that, but express it too. That’s not to suggest other animals don’t exhibit consciousness or memory, they just don’t share our capacity for speaking, writing and reading to express those thoughts and deeper conscious states. Though science would undoubtedly like to see it happen, we are yet to see a chimpanzee open its mouth and tell us a story. Considering the evolution of our species and the existence of expression from ancient to modern times, we begin to understand why storytelling is thought of as an intrinsic human attribute. Jonathan Gottschall, author of The
Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human and TED Talk presenter, goes as far as calling us a ‘storytelling animal’, dependent on telling stories. For him, humans live their lives every day trying to impose the order of story structure on the chaos of existence. ‘We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories’. When considered in this way, humans really do spend an astonishing amount of time consumed by or dedicated to storytelling in some form. In his TED Talk, Gottschall takes this even further, saying ‘human beings live inside a storm of stories. Story is how we communicate with each other. It’s how we learn, it’s how we think, and without story to organise your experience on earth, you’d be experiencing your life as a blooming, buzzing confusion. It will be all sound and fury. It would signify nothing’. Because stories have surrounded my existence since I came to, well, exist, and long before that, I happen to agree wholeheartedly. Humans: The storytelling species
I don’t know when human beings first began to tell stories, but I do believe there is something uniquely human about our capacity to do so. From early inscriptions on clay tablets, to cave paintings, even to the humble bedtime story, we are a species that decided it had something to say and share. Some grand story to tell about ourselves and the world, which will continue for as long as we as a species do.
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PERCEPTION IS NOT THE PERSON: THE DANGER OF STORIES Luke Maurice ‘Great work son! I never thought you’d be able to pull something like this off. For someone so not mechanically minded you’ve done a wonderful job. I remember when you were just a boy and you couldn’t do anything without asking your brother for help, and now you’ve grown into a fine young man. You changed a lightbulb all by yourself! I’m so proud’. There is nothing quite as powerful as a reputation. It can precede a person before they walk into a room, and influence those they have never met. If stories don’t create an identity, they at the very least maintain it. No such example is more obvious than with my father. If you were to come over for dinner with my family, it would not be remiss of you to believe that I was still that small, incompetent child, lacking confidence and basic problem solving capacities, that my dear old dad tells so many tales of. What might be a mere granule of bemused clarity amidst the ever-shrouding clouds of cognitive degeneration for him, is a cringe worthy rollercoaster of emotional backpedaling for myself, transmuting x number of cells back into the unevolved state that they had worked so hard to grow from. And so, the friend I brought to dinner laughs and later says he’s not as bad as I made him out to be. Hyperbole? I can see that. But
if you spend your whole life constantly working to undo a perception, and every successful attempt is met with, ‘Huh, this is unlike you, remember when (insert dumb shit you did)’ how else would you react? Especially when all of the ‘exceptions’ outweigh the supposed fundamental characteristic. I missed a flight ONCE. I missed a flight once, and now I’m the guy that misses flights. Let’s not talk about the literal dozens of times I’ve successfully managed to board a plane since. Here’s a crazy idea; if you want someone to not make a mistake, stop telling them that they are the kind of person who makes mistakes and reminding them of all the times they’ve messed up in the past. You don’t need to be a quantum physicist to understand that the more you bring something into existence with words and thoughts, the more likely it is to manifest
Perception is not the person: The danger of stories
physically. Such is the power of storytelling. While this may all seem like a post-adolescent Oedipal tirade against my father, I truly believe that many people share similar experiences. We’ve all had people circulate stories about us. Stories that shape our self-identity rather than those that are derived from it. The dangers of this are not always obvious, but can be realised in disastrous ways. We’ve all had the crazy party friend who gets up to all sorts of zany capers. (If you don’t have that friend, congrats, it’s you). When the stories surrounding this person are only related to drinking and partying or being wild, it’s easy for them to feel that they always need to be ‘on’ and have to perform to be likeable. It’s human nature to grow and change but it is also human nature to find stability and familiarity in our surroundings. Parents want to think they still know and understand their kids, and your peers want to feel like they know their friends better than anyone. Telling stories is our way of expressing this to ourselves and others. Creating a new identity that we chose is hard, and shedding an old one we didn’t is even harder, and the last thing
we want is for our mums to tell all our high school friends how brave we are for catching a bus to Movie World without an adult present. It’s normal for kids to have attachment issues mum, that’s why there’s a name for it. As can be seen, telling stories to different audiences at different times at different frequencies can all affect a person’s reputation and self-identity. And this isn’t even mentioning those retellings that get a little bit more exciting each time. (The fish was actually this big.) We’ve all done it - given a touch of polish and pizazz to some vanilla non-fiction to make it sparkle; I even did it in the last paragraph! And while this is great for impressing friends, rarely do we fully grasp the power that our tongues can wield. People can actually create new memories based off the nuances of retelling the same story. It reminds me of the classic psychology experiment by Loftus and Palmer in 1974… (What, you thought this was a university publication and you weren’t going to learn something?). Basically, this duo found out that there was a difference in how people remember things based on how the events were described to them at a later date. In one experiment,
participants were shown footage of a car ‘crash’ and then later asked if they remembered seeing broken glass in the footage. To test differences in recollection, the scene was described to one group of participants as cars ‘smashing’ and to another group as merely ‘contacting’. When the scene was described with the word ‘smashing’, participants were more likely to report broken glass than the group that had the cars described as ‘contacting’. There was no broken glass present FYI. This experiment showed that introducing new stimuli into the memory of something that a person actually saw with their own two eyes, with the use of some colourful language, can actually alter an individual’s memory of an event. In a real-world setting, the dangers of this can be recognised, to use one example, in legal proceedings, where false testimony has fabricated non-existent memories of trauma or changed the reliability of a witness’ account of events. Or if you need a lighter exemplar, me successfully convincing my sister that I actually didn’t steal her Barbie Pool Party Volume 1 CD in 2002, even though she caught me red handed.
Humankind has used stories as the primary modus operandi of passing along information since the beginning. It is how legends grow and what allows subsequent generations to stand on the shoulders of giants. And now it has been distilled into allowing me to listen to Blue by Eiffel 55 as a ten-year-old without suffering the consequences of a rightfully cantankerous sibling in years past. We’ve had them used against us and used them to our advantage, so it’s about time we realise how stories can shape identities, reputations and even livelihoods. They say never to let the truth ruin a good story, but no one ever warns of what the story itself could be ruining.
NO TIME FOR SILENCE Mary Jo Dowsett
One in ten Australian women suffer from endometriosis, a debilitating condition that not only impacts quality of life but can cause infertility. However, there is limited knowledge on the disease, with a diagnosis typically taking seven to ten years due to misdiagnosis. With no cure or knowledge on how it is caused, why is funding for research still so limited? Twenty-one years old and told you have an incurable condition. A condition you have never even heard of, yet one in ten of your female friends suffer from it. This was the reality for now 38-year-old Kylie Maykin who was diagnosed with endometriosis after a year of incessant doctor visits in a desperate plea for answers. Seventeen years on from her diagnosis and limited advancements have been made. The condition has continued to severely impact her quality of life, with the pain so unbearable at times she is forced to retreat to the bathroom during work hours. ‘It really affects my life, when the pain comes I can’t think, I can’t move, I can’t talk to anyone and
within five minutes it’s extreme,’ Ms Maykin says.
For one in three of these women, infertility can also be a reality.
‘If I’m at work and I get the pain I have to go sit in the bathroom until my painkillers kick in, and I work with children so it’s really challenging.’
According to Endometriosis Australia, the average ‘lost work productivity’ is $7950 per woman per year. However, work is not the only aspect of life affected, with the disease putting strain on both relationships and friendships, making it one of the most isolating conditions despite it affecting more than 730,000 women in Australia alone.
Endometriosis is a benign yet chronic condition where tissue, similar to the uterus lining, grows in other parts of the body. For sufferers this can bring unimaginable pain. These growths can occur on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the bowels. In extreme cases, these growths can even occur in the lungs and brain. The cells grow and bleed like normal endometrium tissue but due to their location, cannot escape, causing inflammation and fibrous scar tissue to form. This scar tissue can then cause organs to stick together, causing severe, chronic and debilitating pain for sufferers.
No time for silence
In mid-2018, the Turnbull Government announced its first ever National Action Plan for Endometriosis. The purpose of this plan was to improve understanding of the condition, enhance awareness and ultimately try to find a cure through funding research. For thousands of women suffering across the nation, it finally seemed as though the government was starting to listen. The plan would see $4.7 million put toward actively tackling
1 IN 10 WOMEN SUFFER FROM ENDOMETRIOSIS
endometriosis. Whilst writing this piece, an extra $10 million funding boost was also announced by Health Minister, Greg Hunt, putting the total close to $15 million. Secretary for the Endometriosis Association Queensland (QENDO), Isabella Gosling, says the plan is definitely an important step in finally taking the condition seriously, however, its success will only be proven over time. ‘There was a consultation phase where they put out the draft program and what it might look like but nothings actually been put into place yet, so it’s a good step forward but actually putting it all into place and seeing what that looks like for those women affected will be the next step,’ Ms Gosling says. Currently, both diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis can only be done via a laparoscopy, where specialists burn off the growths with a laser or diathermy. Although this is only done through keyhole surgery, recovery can take up to three months with no certainty on whether the growths will return. Griffith University student, Brittany Matthews, was diagnosed with the condition at just sixteen while living in Singapore, after surgeons found the endometrium growths by chance when removing an ovarian cyst. ‘My mum took me to a specialist
to get checked out because I had been experiencing extreme pain for around two years, and it was only by chance they found it when removing an ovarian cyst. Doctors had first thought I had appendicitis because I was in so much pain,’ Ms Matthews says. ‘So far I have only had one surgery and the recovery wasn’t great, the surgery lasted around four to five hours and it took two to three weeks before I was back at school.’ Since moving to Australia, Ms Matthews has been on a two-year waiting list for another check-up as her condition is seen as ‘nonurgent’ within the medical field. ‘I was diagnosed and treated in Singapore, but ever since living in Australia I have been on a waiting list for two years because my case is not urgent enough, chronic illnesses aren’t supported well enough here, and there’s no funding for my medication,’ Ms Matthews says. ‘It would be nice to know how my endometriosis is doing.’ She is one of countless women whose condition has been labelled ‘nonurgent’, placed on the back burner and dealt with years down the track. This stress of waiting around for surgery has also been felt by Ms Maykin. ‘I’ve had two surgeries so far, one was when they first discovered it during the laparoscopy and my second one was last year because 25
I was getting the pain so often,’ Ms Maykin says. ‘But the surgeries are called ‘elective surgery’, which means they won’t hurry the surgery along. Luckily, I did both of mine through private health so I could get in quickly, but if you go in the public system you can wait years.’ For such a debilitating condition that affects such a large percentage of the female population, it is unclear why so much ambiguity surrounds it and how it can still be so easily misdiagnosed. However, this seems to be a reoccurring theme for many female patients, not just those presenting symptoms of endometriosis, with many doctors not taking their complaints or concerns seriously. A 2014 Swedish study showed that women wait considerably longer in the emergency room, especially when presenting abdominal pain, than their male counterparts. Further studies have also shown that doctors are more inclined to diagnose a psychiatric disorder and prescribe anti-anxiety medication to women, even when presenting the same symptoms as men. These results illustrate the discrepancy between treatment of males and females in the medical field. This gender bias could be a direct result of society viewing women as hysterical, dramatic and
emotional. An unfair judgement that ultimately leads to further delays in accurate diagnosis and treatment.
‘When I was younger I was battling alone…we didn’t have any way of understanding or knowing what it was and if your mother was in pain that was just normal,’ Ms Ciccia says.
This is something that Public Health student, Kelsie Ross, has experienced particularly over the last twelve months, as her health concerns have basically been shrugged off by medical professionals. ‘I haven’t been diagnosed with endometriosis, but I am in a lot of pain every month, essentially bed ridden. Doctors tend to tell me that I’m basically just complaining and that every woman goes through it, which is so frustrating,’ Ms Ross says. ‘I know that my body shouldn’t be in this much pain, it doesn’t feel right. I’m in much more pain than many other women I know, so it would be great to just find out what’s going on.’ ‘I definitely believe more research should go into endometriosis and other female related conditions, I can’t believe how many women have endo and the struggle they had to go through just to be diagnosed.’ The average delay in diagnosis for endometriosis is seven to ten years, leaving women to suffer in silence as they are told the pain is normal, and they are overreacting. As we wait for the government to act on its National Plan, support groups around the country are the ones truly making a difference. Organisations such as QENDO are actively starting up programs and events in hope of change, having recently secured non-government funding to begin implementing a menstrual education program in schools throughout the country.
‘Endometriosis Australia has three main areas of focus, it is about raising awareness, increasing education and raising funds for endometriosis research.’
QENDO Secretary, Isabella Gosling, says the volunteer-run organisation provides a range of events in support of endometriosis sufferers as well as plenty of resources, even supplying care packages to women who are newly diagnosed. ‘Some are social events or fundraising, we also do education events as well where we get experts on different topics relating to endo to come and share their knowledge with the community,’ Ms Gosling says. ‘There’s a range of people who volunteer, we’ve got people who work in media and communication, business people, nurses, and we’re just currently establishing a medical ward at the moment as well, so we’ve got lots of doctors that we liaise with.’ Endometriosis Australia also play a pivotal role in helping raise awareness and providing an advocacy and evidence-based education network for women across the nation. Director and Cofounder, Donna Ciccia, wanted to establish the organisation after experiencing first-hand the isolation associated with the condition.
No time Article forTitle silence
Not only has endometriosis cost the Australian economy $7.7 billion annually, it has also affected the quality of life for 730,000 Australian women and 176 million women worldwide. It begs the question, if this was a male issue, would it still be an issue? It is apparent that both healthcare professionals as well as the general public need to be far more knowledgeable on the issue to ensure women’s pain is no longer optional to acknowledge. Director and Cofounder of Endometriosis Australia, Donna Ciccia, says that despite the draining nature of the disease, there is always help available. ‘I still have endometriosis and I still have to live with the legacy of what the disease has done to my body, so I understand what it’s like to live day-in-day-out with it, but there is hope and that’s what I want to let girls know.’ Endometriosis is one of the most unrecognised chronic conditions in the world and women have been suffering in silence for far too long. Greater investment is needed to ensure earlier diagnosis and improved treatments are available for women right across the country. There is no time to sit around and wait, there is no time for silence.
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THE POWER OF STORIES Caitlin Burnett
Like many other passionate Game of Thrones fans, I tuned into the final episode ever this past May. So, if you haven’t seen the final episode, then read no further! To misquote Melisandre, this article is dark and full of spoilers… In the dwindling, final minutes of the series, I sat in anticipation as we waited to see who, if anyone, would become the new ruler of Westeros. In a final, unexpected twist, Bran Stark, the Three-eyed Raven, was named King. Why? Because he knows their history – every story. As a strong supporter of Daenerys Targaryen, I must admit that I was disappointed with the finale, although not necessarily surprised. If there’s one thing you can rely on, it’s that Game of Thrones will subvert expectations. However, Tyrion’s crucial monologue, wherein he named Bran as King, was particularly memorable. Tyrion: ‘What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags?... Stories. There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.’ I may not be a big Bran supporter but Tyrion made an excellent argument. Stories are powerful and not just in the world of fantasy. They are the foundation of culture and a uniquely human construct. So, to really understand the power of stories, here are five things built around the practice of storytelling.
The power of stories
Novels, movies and TV shows This one goes without saying but let me put it this way. No stories = no Netflix my friends. Say goodbye to all your fandoms, that dog-eared Classic novel and binge watching Stranger Things season three instead of finishing that article you were meant to be writing for Getamungstit… or is that just me?
Religion According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of the world’s population identified with a religious group as of 2015. Prominent religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism have survived thousands of years. How? Through stories, passed by word of mouth and recorded as sacred texts. These include the Bible, the Quran and Hadith, the Vedas, the Sutras and the Torah.
Music, visual art and dance
Not all stories are told with words. In fact, the practice of musical, visual and dance based storytelling predates written language. Early examples of Parietal Art (cave drawings) have been dated as far back as the Palaeolithic period, while dance and music traditions have been linked to every known culture in human history. Fastforward to 2019 and these three storytelling forms are all legitimate and thriving industries.
This one might sound like a bit of a stretch but stay with me. The other night I was having some drinks with my roommates and my friend’s grandmother, Cynthia. Cynthia was regaling us with wild tales from her youth – from partying to travelling, working and relationships. When she left, she made a passing comment ‘make sure you remember all of your stories. When you get to my age, that’s all you have’. Although it was a sombre turn to the conversation, it was also inspirational.
Social media Posted to your Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook Story recently? Shared a picture, an ‘insightful’ tweet or blog post? It’s called social media but it’s much more about storytelling than socialising. You could say it’s the millennial equivalent of cave drawings and campfire stories. Humans are social beings because we have an insatiable desire to share our story. It might sound vain but it’s that drive to share and learn that has allowed humans to evolve into intelligent beings. Although you might question that last statement after watching a YouTube fails compilation.
So, as a final note, I encourage you all to go out and live a full life, make memories and tell your story to anyone who will listen. PS. I’m still team Danny.
WHY WE NEED THE MEDIA AS STORYTELLERS Mary Jo Dowsett
Have you ever thought about what a world without the media would look like? Although the idea of a mediafree world might not ignite any fear within you, the truth is it probably should.
whistle-blowers) who had disclosed secret government information. The raids sparked a national debate on just how free the Australian press really is, and whether tougher laws need to be implemented to protect journalists.
Not only would it be a world without updates on your favourite celebrity, it would also be a world with no international news at the touch of a button and definitely no one to keep a watchful eye over the people in power.
It is clear that in certain situations government interference is necessary to ensure things such as contracts, top-secret missions or even people are not put at possible risk or danger. However, limiting the press on what they can and cannot report on can at times be just as dangerous.
Although this isn’t going to be a reality anytime soon, the freedom of the press and what they can and cannot report on has become a prominent point of discussion within the last few months. In June this year, the Australian Federal Police initiated a raid on the ABC to investigate whether any laws had been broken in their 2017 stories alleging misconduct by Australian Forces in Afghanistan. A News Corp journalist’s home was also raided regarding her story on a possible government plan to spy on citizens. Documents and emails were carefully searched by police as both of these stories had been produced with the help of sources (otherwise known as
Ultimately, journalists have the responsibility to provide factual and unbiased information to the public, equipping citizens with the knowledge and information they need to make informed decisions. Without journalists, not only would we be clueless about what is happening right throughout the world, but we would also be left with a dysfunctional democracy. Let me explain. The press is known as the ‘Fourth Estate’, meaning they are placed among the other three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial. The term essentially means that journalists become the Why we need the media as storytellers
watchdog, keeping governments in check and ensuring the public are made aware of any new developments. This role is crucial in creating a successful democracy. Whistle-blowers are therefore occasionally needed to uncover the wrong doings of an organisation or situation, especially if it directly impacts the public. Deciding to reveal the information, however, is extremely risky and can do more damage than good. Countless whistle-blowers have ended up in jail after revealing classified government information to the media. Australia doesn’t have a specific law that guarantees press freedom, however, it is typically agreed upon that the government shouldn’t punish journalists for simply doing their job. The debate on whether or not we need a set law is unremitting, but if we want to prevent wool from being pulled over our eyes then legislation guaranteeing press freedom is definitely worth fighting for.
Only 43% of Australians actually trust the media, according to the 2016 Australian edition of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report.
Only 43% of Australians actually trust the media, according to the 2016 Australian edition of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report. However, whether youâ€™re a fan of the press or not, it is clear they have a crucial role in supplying us with the necessary information we need to become better-informed citizens. If we begin limiting what the media can report on we will begin to lose government transparency and will be unable to hold the people in power accountable for their actions. Letting the media roam free may be a scary thought but silencing them is even scarier. 31
DARK MOFO Bec Marshallsay
All I can think about is the pain in my feet. It is comforting in a way because it distracts me from the fact that I am about to get naked in front of almost 2,000 people. It also distracts me from the general feelings of cold that are to be expected if you are wearing just a towel on a Hobart beach before sunrise in July.
The drums get louder and finally the flares are released.
We run, we splash and the air is filled with whoops of excitement.
The moment is here. There is no time to think about diving into the icy waters. The air is filled with red smoke, towels are dropped and without a second thought I am following a sea of bottoms into the crisp ocean.
This is the annual Nude Solstice Swim, held on the last weekend of Hobartâ€™s Dark Mofo festival. While it is without question the most exhilarating thing I will do at the festival, it is by no means the most unusual.
I donâ€™t cope well with being cold (or hungry) and this had been my biggest worry. Certainly a much bigger concern than nuding up in front of a gaggle of strangers. Although my confidence about getting my kit off had been tempered by the revelation that we would all be wearing red swimming caps. Nude is fine. Nude in a swim cap is somewhat less dignified. But it was the idea of shivering on the beach that I dreaded most. So the excruciating foot pain is a relative blessing. It is something to focus on and it has obliterated any general feelings of coldness. The drums start. People are hopping around now and the buzz of excitement increases. A few brave (and confident) souls have already shed their towels ready to brave the elements.
Image: DarkLab Media Dark Mofo
Dark Mofo is a winter festival that has been warming up Hobart’s waterfront since 2013. The festival is a dark celebration of art, music, food and the southern winter solstice, with the 2019 iteration running from 6-23 June. The celebration is the brainchild of David Walsh, the founder of Tasmania’s Museum of Modern Art (MONA) and has come under scrutiny in past years for its willingness to host controversial artists. I spent four days at the festival over the final weekend and was treated to the thought provoking, the tantalising, and the downright bizarre. After a day exploring Hobart and its surrounds, visitors can head
to the docks areas to indulge in the sumptuous Winter Feast. The Feast precinct houses dozens and dozens of food vendors offering a mouth-watering selection of delicacies from empanadas, German flatbread pizzas, berry crumbles and Ethiopian curries to truffled mac’n’cheese, Bruny Island fondue, gourmet bao and homemade pastas. Once you have selected your first course, it’s time to make your way to one of the indoor bench tables decorated with thousands of candles or to head outside and find a stool by one of the many open braziers they have burning in the outdoor precinct that is aglow with light and fire. Locally made gin, whisky and wine is available for you
to sip while you agonise over what to have for second dinner. This foodie paradise is sufficient reason alone to book a visit to Dark Mofo and visitors can pick up a season pass to gain priority access to the busy dining precinct. Food featured heavily in my visit to the solstice celebration but I also found time to sample some of Dark Mofo’s sinful delights. After indulging in too many courses on my first evening, I stopped into the Black Temple Gallery. The building appears to be an ordinary church from the outside but once you step inside the cloisters have been replaced by a gaudy, technicolour chapel comprised of toys, magazine clippings, more than a few phalluses and
general bedazzling paraphernalia. The installation It’s all wrong but it’s all right was a contribution by Melbourne artist, Paul Yore, dedicated to worshipping ‘Dolly Parton and Justin Bieber, and other icons of love, sex, and excess’.
looking around to see if anyone else watching the inflatable pig and sipping their semen cocktails seems to know if something is going to happen), you decide that you might be in some elaborate artistic social experiment and you pack up and leave.
The next stop was an installation by Japanese latex artist Saeborg at Slaughterhouse-15. To paint a picture of this experience. Imagine you have stepped into a room with a giant inflatable latex pig running down one side. There is latex farm scene in front of you that includes an inflatable pig with its entrails hanging out.
It turns out that the installation was not a bizarre test of audience endurance and that random times during the night performers would come out in latex suits to engage with the scenery and the waiting audience, but I was not in luck that night.
You decide not to purchase one of the cocktails being touted as cups of frozen semen, and you take a seat on one of the hay bales in front of the farm scene. There is a track on loop of flies buzzing and after twenty minutes of sitting there you have become convinced that every pause in the monotonous buzzing is significant. Something is about to happen. But it doesn’t. After forty-five minutes of getting twitchy every time the track starts new (and
Other highlights of the weekend included a relatively tame but highly enjoyable performance by Tasmanian band, Augie March and a trip across the water to the ever trippy MONA. I ducked in and out of the various galleries scattered around Hobart, and returned every evening to take the next step on my futile quest to sample everything that Winter Feast had to offer. Every year Dark Mofo draws to a close with The Burning: OgohOgoh. Ogoh-ogho come from an Indonesian Hindu tradition. They
are large statutes that are paraded and then cremated as part of community purification ritual. This year, Dark Mofo’s ogoh-ogoh took the form of the swift parrot – a bright green Tasmanian parrot on their threatened species list. On the final evening I joined the hundreds of people gathered on Hobart’s waterfront. We followed the giant swift parrot in a procession of drums, chanting and celebration along the waterfront until we came to a giant tree with a nest where the parrot its final perch. The burning was a spectacular display of smoke, noise and fire as the swift parrot was sacrificed to banish evil spirits and our fears. For me, this completed my triumvirate of highlights… good food, an icy nude swim and one very impressive fire.
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STORIES ON FILM The book was probably better than the film. Let’s get that out of the way up front. Discuss any book to film adaptation with enough people and you are nigh on guaranteed to find a friend, relative or disgruntled blogger who will dive into all the ways the film went wrong. And there are some indisputable massacres of great stories out there. That aside, there are also a lot of great movies that have done a commendable job of interpreting the source material and plonking it onto the big screen for those of us who have never read the book… or who are at least able to relax enough to enjoy the film on its own merits.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) A high-school, reading-list favourite, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was turned into a film in 1962. You may already be familiar with this cinematic favourite if you opted to try and get away without reading the novel in English class. Gregory Peck stars as Atticus Finch, a 1930s lawyer with a strong sense of social justice. However, the story is told from the perspective of his two children as they learn that their father’s point of view is the exception in a society that is permeated with racial prejudice and malice.
Fight Club (1999)
The Book Thief (2013)
I am Jack’s unequivocal approval of this novel to film translation. Edward Norton is an every-day man, disenchanted and disenfranchised in a consumer driven existence. When he meets the enigmatic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), Norton’s character is drawn into the novelty and liberation of Tyler’s nihilistic underworld. The pair start a fight club where men fight each other to try and reclaim something they have lost. The first rule of Fight Club is that you should definitely make time to see this film if it has not made it into your viewing list yet.
This is one of those rare occasions when the film might be better than the book. The cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s horror classic, sees a group of misfit kids, in the town of Derry, confronted by an ancient evil that hunts children and can shape shift into a range of nightmarish forms. Director Andrés Muschietti has kept some of the best aspects of the novel, namely the terrifying Pennywise the Clown. What is missing, but perhaps not missed, are odd elements including a giant mystical turtle and an underage group sex scene that has not aged well.
The Book Thief is a stunning novel and a beautiful film. Liesel Meminger has two secrets. The first is that she likes to ‘borrow’ books. The second is that her foster parents are hiding a Jewish refugee in the basement of their Munich home. This WWII drama is an intimate portrait of building family and of the unwavering thread of humanity that lingers through even the darkest times. The film does its best to capture the spirit of the emotionally rich and deeply moving novel written by Australian author, Marcus Zusak.
Stories on film
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Gone With the Wind (1939)
There is an entire generation who can’t picture anyone other than Sir Anthony Hopkins as the lipsmacking, Chianti drinking, serial killer, Hannibal Lecter but The Silence of the Lambs was adapted from Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name. The film follows rookie FBI Agent, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), as she tries get the incarcerated Hannibal the Cannibal to provide her with information to help her hunt down another serial killer. Both Foster and Hopkins won Academy Awards for their work on the film.
It is sweeping and oh so very long, with a running time of 238 minutes, but the 1939 film is still a much shorter investment of your time than reading the original novel by Margaret Mitchell. Gone With the Wind is a Civil War era drama centred on the iconic pairing of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. The film is the highest grossing box office release of all time when adjusted for inflation.
You may not be aware that the mother (or godfather, if you will) of all gangster films, The Godfather, was adapted from a best-selling novel by Mario Puzo. The Godfather features Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, the head of an Italian American crime family based out of New York. The mob movie has topped many a ‘best film’ list and delivered many scenes that have since become pop culture staples including the horse head in the bed and the line ‘I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse’.
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
And Then There Were None (2015)
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
After his service in WWI, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) accepts the position of lighthouse keeper on a remote Western Australian island. His remote idyll is complete when the woman he loves, Isabel (Alicia Vikander) becomes his wife and they begin to think of starting a family. Their relationship is tested when, after struggling to have a baby, an infant washes up on the shore in a rowboat. The Light Between Oceans was originally authored by M.L. Stedman, and is, in either format, a tear jerking story of love, resilience and loss.
While we usually focus on cinematic releases, And Then There Were None is too much of a hidden gem to leave off the list. A group of strangers find themselves trapped on an island with a murderer and an abundance of secrets in one of Agatha Christie’s best stand alone stories. The three part mini-series was produced by the BBC and boasts a plethora of great actors including Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Charles Dance, Noah Taylor, and Aidan Turner. This adaptation well and truly does justice to the novel.
There is no shortage of Jane Austen on screen but director Ang Lee’s take on Sense and Sensibility stands out as one of the stronger adaptations. The Dashwood sisters find themselves of limited means when their father passes away and the inheritance is passed to a halfbrother. Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne (Kate Winslet) discover that their new home in the humble Barton Cottage brings new friendships and the promise of romance. Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant round out a well-considered ensemble.
The Godfather (1972)
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12 July @ The Uni Bar
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27 July @ T he Uni Bar & Robina Stadium
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Feature artist – Sally Breen
Dr. Sally Breen is a senior lecturer in writing and publishing at Griffith University. She is also a Griffith Alumni, achieving her Bachelor of Creative Arts and PhD, Doctor of Philosophy – Creative Writing. Through her longstanding career and involvement with the University, Sally has been involved with and founded several projects, including Smallroom Writers Collective, Talent Implied and Books for Bali. Sally is also widely published, including her 2011 creative non-fiction novel, The Casuals, (winner of the Varuna Harper Collins Award) and her 2013 neonoir novel, Atomic City. She has also worked as the Fiction Editor for Griffith REVIEW and is the current Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Writers & Translators (APWT).
Your career, in all its many shapes and pathways, has revolved around storytelling. Have you always been interested in stories? Yes. I think initially I was very interested in theatre and acting. And then I realised I wasn’t very good at acting. I’ve always been a reader and always very interested in the arts in general. And so, I think the fascination really started with a combination of getting into a lot of music, the song lyrics and the storytelling within songs. [I was] sort of fascinated with different lyrics and different bands and then that seeped into being fascinated by, particularly, David Lynch and Twin Peaks, when I
was younger. And then French cinema. All of those things seemed to be connected and once you got into one thing, it led to another thing. You know, you’d read about this filmmaker and then they’d be influenced by this other filmmaker. So, I just started to follow the trails through all of this stuff and at the same time, reading literature. It was a kind of a self-exploratory thing; I wasn’t at uni at that stage. Then I started a theatre company, with a bunch of friends that were all mad – and then we did these mad plays which made no sense - which had no words and highly conceptual, bizarre storylines. But when I look back, the fact
that we actually pulled them off, and we were doing these quite big productions in Brisbane. It’s pretty interesting too look back on that. I guess it’s a skill that I’ve continued on with, bringing people together and making something happen. Whether is Smallroom or APWT or other things I’ve been involved with. I think I like that side of things too because writing can be very – well, it a solitary activity. And I like interaction. I like to see things happen and I like to help people find their way into their creativity.
Is your theatre company still active today? And how did you transition from theatre to writing?
No! No, it was called Nude Productions. It was a mix of musicians, that we probably wanted to sleep with. Just crazy people, a big bunch of people that I’d met in the grunge scene in Brisbane and everyone had different talents. Some amazing talents, actually. Fascinations with stories, music, film - all of us were into that kind of stuff. We were running blind, none of us were trained at all, in any of those things really. We had some very good singers, but none of us had studied theatre at that stage. And then that led on to, when I did eventually go to uni for the second time.
The first time I went, I studied science for some weird reason. One of the lecturers wrote me a letter – no email then – he said I think you’re actually in the wrong course. I had been writing all these assignments about soil erosion and the lecturer said ‘I think you should study English because your assignments are really amusing but they’ve got nothing to do with soil’. One of the people that was in Nude Productions got into the course at Griffith, which back then you had to audition for. It was started by Nigel, twenty-something years ago now. You studied visual art, theatre and creative writing all at once. I’m really glad that I was able to take part in such an innovative degree for the time. Creative writing was really just starting around the world as a legitimate tertiary major.
Do you think that studying at university improved your writing? Or was it something that came naturally to you? It definitely improved my writing, as I think it does everyone. And I know there are a lot of debates about whether you can teach it. You can’t teach talent but you can definitely teach people how to write better. There are just so many continuous, repetitive mistakes that people make. It’s also about
opening up your mind. What happened for me is that I realised all the connections between visual arts, theatre and writing. Philosophically your mind is blown. We had some great lecturers. Without that I think that at a certain point I would have hit a wall. That’s what study does, it extends you.
You have written both fiction and nonfiction. Do you find that your fictional works are based on real people/places? For example, Atomic City is based in the Gold Coast. I lived in the city. The voice of the city in that novel is drawn from lived experience. But the dealer and Jade are completely fictional characters. I actually wrote Atomic City first, before I wrote The Casuals. The way the publishing company wanted to order it, was to release the non-fiction first. I’ve written quite a bit of fiction in short form. They are different of course but I don’t distinguish between them that directly. I think it depends on what you want to write.
One of your latest projects is Books for Bali. What’s it about? I’ve had a long association with Bali now. I’ve run three tours to Indonesia, with students through the global overseas mobility program, through DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). I have, via those projects, developed a very strong connection with some colleagues in Indonesia, at the University of Ganesha. Sonia Piscayanti in particular. But I feel a really strong connection to Bali and to Indonesian people. It’s something that’s sort of taken me by surprise, in some instances. In Bali, education is hugely important to them. They put a lot of onus and effort into that. For a country of its status, it does have a fantastic educational program. They are teaching most of their young people English, or they have bilingual classes. The problem in Bali is that books are incredibly expensive. There are a few people who run the whole scene there, which is basically a big pirated
E DR. SALLY BREEN network. When I was at the Ubud writer’s festival in 2012, I was looking in the bookstore and I was like ‘What is that book? That’s not my book’. It was a pirated copy [of The Casuals], wrapped in plastic, the wrong size, the wrong paper. I spoke to the director of the festival and she said ‘I’m really sorry, there’s nothing we can do. It’s just this monopoly’. For local people to afford books, they are very expensive. For many people, it’s not possible. I knew that just within my own networks of people and friends, that we could easily be sending books over there. And that Sonia, who has developed a literacy program in the north of Bali in Lovina, could use them there. She also has connections with schools and works at the University. She agreed straight away and said ‘I’ll come on board and I’ll be your distributor’. And so, we did it and we had a huge response which was great. It’s Griffith supported. The School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences is actually Book’s for Bali’s major sponsor at the moment. To do the initial shipment which is going out this month, the University is paying for that. Hopefully it will grow and I want to get some other partners on board.
You have experienced a successful career as a writer but you are also a teacher. What’s it like teaching young, often unpublished, writers? I like teaching. I really enjoy it. Especially when the cohort is strong and engaged and interested. Partly that’s my job and partly its people wanting to be there. I remember – okay it’s been over 20 years since I was at Uni but I know what works. And that you want to have someone that walks away from the lectern, or who is talking to you. It’s an exchange. Someone who challenges you. And pushes you. I want to be saying ‘okay guys, let’s go! It’s on. Let’s do this thing!’ I’ve always been proactive. I come from a workingclass background, I was first in the family at university. I think you make your opportunities. I
think people who are born into more privileged positions obviously get a bit of a leg up. There’s no denying that. But if you want something, you can chase it. You can make it happen. But you have to work hard. I think a lot of people who do arts degrees, they don’t go out and chase it. They’ll maybe try a couple of times and then they’ll settle and go work at a bank or something. Really, if you are doing all the right things, like working for the paper, going to Smallroom, getting into Talent Implied – all that stuff to stimulate your CV – I just watch those people go like this [moves hand upwards]. I think that if you’ve got a bit of ‘go’ about you, there’s a lot of opportunities in the creative industry. In this country and overseas – why not pursue these things.
The mediums through which we read stories are slowly changing, with greater access to online resources, eBooks, etc. Do you think books are going out of fashion? The book hasn’t died yet. It’s been dying for 20 years. If it is dying, it’s going to be a very slow death. There have been big changes already. Your ability to be known globally as a writer is much better than it was. But some companies are still so old school in the way they operate. That’s the thing about publishing, it wasn’t forced to get its shit together and so it still takes too long. But the tactility of the book is just so powerful. I don’t think that will go away. I do a lot of reading online now. I read a lot of articles – I used to get newspapers but I’m reading all of that online now. A lot of reading that’s short form. If it’s long form, I’m reading it from a book. All of these journals that are operating digitally, they offer so many more opportunities for you to write that weren’t there before. Now you can write for heaps of people and get paid for it. I think that area is going to be huge. The digital content and online opportunities for writers will be great – I mean, that’s bread and butter.
30 SEPTEMBER - 4 OCTOBER Your experience at university will normally be smooth sailing but life gets busy from time to time and we are here to help. Take a break before exams hit and put your health and happiness first. The Guild is bringing you workshops, yoga, Wellness Day, a movie night and a jam packed stress less schedule. Find out more at gugcstudentguild.com.au |
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$5 lunches - Fashion - Bargains Live Acoustic Music Library Lawn 10am â€“ 3pm fortnightly Wednesdays starting Week 1 Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11
SPACETEAM App Spaceteam markets itself as a game of cooperative shouting and this is a pretty accurate description. Get a group of friends together to download the free Spaceteam app and then jump aboard your very own intergalactic spaceship. This is a space mission of mayhem though. Your ship is prone to malfunction so you need to work together to identify problems and provide instructions to your crew to get the problem fixed before your ship falls apart mid-flight. While you shout for someone to turn on the dangling shunter, your team members might be desperately trying to get your attention for you to soak the ferrous holospectrum. Keep an eye out for wormholes and asteroid fields while making sure your control panel stays in good repair. Spaceteam delivers all the chaos and all the fun. spaceteam.ca
QLIFE Website QLife is dedicated to improving the mental health of LGBTI Australians. The program is built around giving people the opportunity to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships via anonymous peer support services, through webchat or their telephone line on 1800 184 527. The website is worth a look too with a range of great resources including a referral database for community services (festivals, legal support, groups, health services and more), guides for health professionals, and video stories and perspectives from LGBTI community members. qlife.org.au
BLACK MEN CAN’T JUMP [IN HOLLYWOOD] Podcast Film buffs – this is for you. Black Men Can’t Jump [In Hollywood] is a weekly podcast that reviews and reflects on films featuring people of colour in lead roles. Hosted by Jonathan Braylock, Jerah Milligan and James III, the podcast takes a comedic route to examine a diverse range of films through the lens of race and diversity in Hollywood. With over 200 episodes in the vaults, the podcast revisits classics like The Matrix and Independence Day as well as keeping up with new releases such as Aladdin, Always Be My Maybe and Men in Black International. foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/ black-men-cant-jump-in-hollywood Online
NATIONAL PUBLIC TOILET MAP App While many people head out the door without any further thought than have I remembered my phone and keys? there are a range of reasons why many Australians need to plan their journeys a little more closely, not least of which is continence. The National Public Toilet Map is funded by the Department of Health to assist the 4.8 million Australians affected by continence issues. The map is also handy for people who need access to baby change spaces, sharps containers, or who are heading out with young kids. The map is available via app or online and provides the location of more than 18,000 public toilets around Australia with details of their opening hours and facilities. The app is prone to glitches and is not a complete register but it is a helpful resource to have on hand. toiletmap.gov.au MARINARA: POMODORO TIMER Website The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique designed to break your work into 25 minute sections with a 5 minute break. Strict adherents of the technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo, take a longer break of 15 minutes after four blocks of Pomodoro work. Cirillo developed the technique using a tomato shaped kitchen timer in his home. There are a number of Pomodoro apps but the Marinara timer is simple to use and completely web based. Open a browser window, set your timer and settle in for a focused block of work. Using the timer can help you stay focused, ignore distractions and ensure that you are taking regular breaks to stretch your legs. This version also lets you set custom blocks of time to suit your project. marinaratimer.com
Booksmart Bec Marshallsay 2019 Running time: 103 min Genre: Comedy Director: Olivia Wilde
Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever hit the screen as Molly and Amy, long time best friends who enable each other as chronic overachievers. And they are absolute perfection. I would send Feldstein and Dever into a comedy smackdown against any iconic cinema buddy pairing, confident that they would more than hold their own. This is a great thing for Booksmart as the film’s success is built on the strength of Amy and Molly’s friendship. On the final day of high school the power duo realise that they may have sacrificed just a little too much to get into their dream colleges, and that they have one night left to experience a real high school party. What follows is a series of misadventures the like of which you have seen in countless high
school comedy flicks. What keeps Booksmart fresh however is the crackling chemistry between the leads and an enthusiasm to bask in the glow of their loving, vulnerable ride-or-die friendship. There is also a rich ensemble cast whose quirky caricatures support the major storyline with varying degrees of success. Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) are spectacular as Amy’s unfailingly supportive parents, while Skyler Gisondo (Vacation) is surprisingly charismatic as the school’s token rich kid, in a role that could have been little more than an obnoxious punchline. Some of the other subplots feel unnecessary and sit awkwardly within the broader context of the film, such as the girls’ favourite teacher, Miss Fine, putting in an 11th hour appearance that lacks comedic value and does nothing to strengthen the movie. In a film that is incredibly strong overall, it feels as though some of the ensemble characters could have been merged to give the viewer the chance to spend a bit more time with the characters who were Entertainment
delivering on the laughs and the feels. Booksmart is the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde (House) and she has created something great. Wilde delivers an engaging and familiar genre film that has been painted with dark indie humour, and a clear love for both the characters and the actors she is working with. The result is a cinematic staple, updated to effortlessly include new perspectives and to match the times. With relatively little promotion in Australia, you might have missed the in-cinema release but get your hands on Booksmart as soon as you can.
Flamingo Mary Jo Dowsett Three years since the release of her debut album, Australian singersongwriter, Olympia, has finally released her second studio album titled Flamingo. The album is a poprock fusion that injects an 80’s vibe via the prominent guitar riffs and definitely brings a breath of fresh air to the pop scene. Olympia slightly resembles Florence + The Machine throughout this album, mainly through her extremely powerful vocals
that become layered on top of propelling beats and heavy bass. Opening the album is the first single, ‘Star City’, a fast paced 80s inspired track that is sure to get you on your feet. It isn’t until song four when the title track, ‘Flamingo’, introduces a slower pace to the album as it reminisces on what seems to be a lost love. The entire album is only eleven tracks long, however, manages to cover a lot through its raw accounts of sorrow and grief. Flamingo definitely requires multiple listens to really digest the lyrics, which are at
Normal People Courtney Kruk Following the praise and acclaim of her debut novel, Conversations With Friends, Irish author Sally Rooney returned in 2018 with her highly anticipated second work, Normal People. Set in the small, rural town of Sligo in Ireland, Normal People centres on the would-be relationship of college students Connell and Marianne. Opposites in the schoolyard, the young pair become secretly acquainted after school in Marianne’s family mansion, where Connell’s mother works as a cleaner. Through their gradual conversations and interactions, the pair soon become entangled in a romance, one that pulls and
times hidden beneath the powerful instrumentation. On the third and fourth listen, Olympia’s song writing skills are well and truly confirmed. Olympia has managed to create a highly cohesive album that introduces new listeners to a rockier side of pop. I can imagine Flamingo being the soundtrack to a movie, and perhaps that is what Olympia was going for. It is an album that takes you on a journey and separates you from your reality, even if it is only for 37 minutes.
pushes for many years to come. Tackling the theme of ‘young lovers from different worlds’, the novel feels all too familiar at first. In actuality, what Rooney manages to achieve is a refreshing indifference for the typical through her distinct writing style and complex character constructs. Even in parts where this creates frustration, pay off is an opportunity to be immersed in something that feels surprisingly original. Expect to find Marianne and Connell’s relationship abstract and trying at times, and comforting at others. Readers will find themselves strangely drawn to this and invested in the pair, and for this reason alone, Normal People is worthy of recommendation.
IN FAVOUR OF MOSH PITS Tom Swales Thursday. I have been suffering as of late. Some undefined ailment. Very irregular at this young age, I am sure. I think I possess too much leisure time and do not use it properly. Why am I so resigned to Lovecraft? Am I the only one that thinks school should run forever? Very irregular at this young age, right? At night the stars hang like scary glitter on my window. I stare at them and everything makes an uncomfortable sort of sense. It’s all the same. My thoughts undergo their own nebulous life cycles. They coalesce under the dark energy of consciousness and then collapse under their own perilous tension. I think I need a distraction. My folks suggest a sturdy foothold in the economy, but I have a better idea. Friday. Tonight, I went to a dive bar. From the street outside, I observed that it was bloated with life. I saw in through the vast windows that the first level was filled with members of the X generation, ploughing tinnies and consuming televised sport from every upward angle. With each victory the grizzled tradesmen and the bald punters would all cast their beverages into the air and cheer ravenously, only to slip a little on the spot and sink back into their stools. Level one would soon be inundated, and I was never much of a leisurely swimmer. Level two was blocked by shutters. This was alluring. I heard the faint thunder of grunge guitar. ‘Grunge is alive?’ I thought. Trends in music nowadays are like pornographic house inspections… fucking all over the place. Nonetheless, I was a stout bus ride from home, so I pushed forward. The doorman was frightening to the core. He was fixed with studded eyebrows, a Hindu-like ponytail but a very European face, and angry biceps that meant to devour the black collared shirt that only barely contained them. He held my card up to my face. I thought he might crush it to powder.
And that simple action, the examination of my face, set off an intense heat of self-awareness. Lately, the thought of me as an object has been reducing me to a steamed vegetable. An eggplant, yes, for its sickly colour. Because, in my vision of their vision of me there is a sense of absolute difference in quality. A subjective inner seat of myriad thoughts and feelings utterly separated from my own, an appropriately defined slither of existence with no judgement to be made on its parameters. Their experience may as well be focused on. I may as well jump into their skin, for there is no prejudice of mine over theirs. So, is it actually the same? Don’t ask me. I shrugged this off with a clutch at my exceptional appearance. ‘I am sure to evoke a few sultry looks tonight,’ I thought. You see, my face is elongated and skinny, yet fixed into proportion with a smooth, diagonal jaw. My hair is longish, murky blonde, and my complexion is said to be flawless, yet I always appear to be exhausted by the mere prospect of existing. I could be likened to an elf with a meth habit, and I had on tight jeans, a cosy looking shirt jumper and a soft, cream scarf; the latter meant as a charming focal point. I dare say I was in top physical form. The scary man handed me back my card and with a stiff motion to the flickering stairs behind him. I read the gesture as ‘access granted: if you break a glass, I’ll break your tiny little chicken legs.’ So, having struck up a chord of probably unnecessary egoism, I set upon the staircase with a brisk confidence which, upon reaching the top, diffused into a cool saunter. The bar was right in the middle of the space, swamped as was expected. The booming stage was to the right, upon it a band of unmistakeable derelicts. The guitarist had already broken free of his tank top and proudly showcased a lady… a female, rather… straddling a tricycle just above his spleen. Grease would splutter from his head whenever he jerked it, and the singer had a flaming red mullet and a pair of black, muddy boots. He was shrieking two syllable words about rainforest
conservation. Perhaps they had drunkenly stammered through the nearest reserve before the show? The crowd was rabid. ‘Maybe this isn’t grunge’, I thought. ‘Grunge doesn’t usually have a moral agenda.’ The mullet man, who was very short, paused to sink a VB while the guitarist went for a two-note solo. A gaunt figure emerged from the crowd and fondled him before getting nailed with a bass guitar. Whatever this elegant performance was, I felt myself warming to it. Then I began my descent into the heart of the mosh, slipping, sliding, pinpointing sudden vacuums of space and then seizing them. It was a bog of sweat and hot flesh. Before long I fell into a cavernous pit where the perverted stage crasher had just been tossed like a bowling ball, and the space between the fallen pins ushered me right to the bottom of the stage. But of course, in a heart-beat, everyone had recovered and returned to their thrashing with a vengeance and I, with my petite structure, was swept up in the tide. Oh, fruitless journal! The pleasure of being stuck in the undertow of a human wave! My will meant nothing, my frustrations were rendered meaningless. Whoever got sucked to the bottom of the swaying stampede would at once draw an army of good Samaritans to elevate them back into the fold. The mosh pit is, strangely enough, a place of love! And perhaps even wisdom! I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, being preoccupied with keeping my head in the stratosphere, but the feeling of self-imposed, semicontrollable chaos is utterly cathartic. When the set was over, I was able to escape with my life… and a big fat grin that I hadn’t bargained for. Hopping down the stairs I noticed a tickle of hope inside me. It sure was nice… Feeling bloated with life, that is. The glitter on my window doesn’t seem that scary tonight.
HIDDEN STORIES Stefan Jatschka It’s hard to write on paper. I’m left handed and always smudge the ink of my pen. I have to think longer about the words I’m going to write when I write on paper. I shape them in my mind and think of ten other words I could use instead of that one. Why? To sound more sophisticated? To prove I can express myself in ways non-writers cannot? Or is it my insecurity or inability to express exactly how I feel that holds me back? Once a word is written on paper, it’s there permanently. The ink gives the paper purpose. Sure, I can cross it out or white it out, but there’ll always remain a smudge of white that reminds me of a mistake. Something I could have done better or shouldn’t have done at all. A reminder of the lack of connection with the world I’m creating. Typing stories on a laptop is hard too, though. The flashing text cursor keeps my attention on every second that goes by without having hit any of the black keys in front of me. I wish I could disable the delete button somehow; those mistakes I hate making when I write on paper are the raw versions of my thoughts that represent my soul most accurately. The unfiltered stories my heart desires to write.
word she deemed unnecessary. I tried to peel off the white paper to reveal what was hidden underneath those snippets the first time I read her journal but I couldn’t bring myself to commit such a defacing act. I felt like I was violating her privacy, invading her raw, unfiltered thoughts. The mother I never knew. I was excited when the glue failed to keep her secrets. Her handwriting underneath the snippets was different from the handwriting of the rest of the journal. I could see when she realised she had made a mistake. I could see it in the ferocity of penmanship. The rest of the journal was written with gentle, smooth strokes, precisely measured lines. Her handwriting almost seemed dull to me. The mother I grew up with. Hiding. Trying to blend in. Contouring her emotions as much as she could. Although, we both knew, what was boiling under the surface of our facades. The minivan took up both lanes of the street and only slowed down when cars tried to pass us. I close my mother’s journal for now to avoid getting carsick and to forget her for a moment.
I was re-reading my mother’s journal on my way to Lake Maninjau. The hostel owner had organised his friend to drive me to the lake and back. In Sumatra, people seem very helpful, entrepreneurial almost. Every time I wanted to go somewhere, someone would offer me a ride. I was the only passenger for a while but the minivan had been a major source of transportation for many travelling souls, including my mother forty years ago. My mother’s handwriting wasn’t like mine. There were barely any corrections or mistakes. A few times, she had taped a small snippet of paper over a spelling mistake and written the correct version over it. I turn those pages over and hold them against the sunlight to perceive what exactly she didn’t want to be seen. The glue, almost forty years old, had lost its adhesiveness and after a while, the little white snippets fell off the pages like leaves from a tree during winter at home. I barely had to touch the paper. The errors she hid were banal. One snippet covered an illegible ‘a’ that could have been mistaken for the letter ‘d’. Another snippet had been stuck over the prefix of a Being creative
WHAT WE KNOW Billy Bevan What was it Doc always used to say? Something too smart. Doc always was too smart. ‘Halt there, Android.’ A squat man stuffed into a navy spandex onesie decorated with silver Captain Insignias planted himself in the middle of the corridor; he stroked the pressure mesh of the Ion Rifle slung over his shoulder. It was the older cream and yellow issue, the one they gave to children to practice with. I switched my vocal audio output to Robot. ‘Halting’. These Android-Human interactions always went more smoothly when I acted how humans thought I should. I stopped five inches from the man. ‘Halted.’ Captain Spandex stumbled backward a few steps. He still had to crane his neck to make eye contact. ‘Fucking Androids,’ he said. ‘Back up five paces.’ I changed my vocal audio output to Truck. ‘BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.’ It was an awful screech, and much to my pleasant surprise, the Station developers had skimped on noise-reducing materials. ‘Fucking Androids!’ Spittle flew from the guard’s mouth, his hands pressed to his ears. ‘Always me getting this shit’. His eyes watered, and his face had turned a wonderful shade of orbital re-entry. His rifle swayed at his crotch, no doubt he’d set the strap length intentionally. A little friction in the right places gets a man through the day. I waited while Captain Spandex composed himself. He grumbled something about making less noise, then turned to a wall-mounted security unit. He punched in a code, hitting the machine three times before a bright blue holo-display flickered to life with a hum. ‘ID and Bay number,’ he said, not bothering to make eye contact. So much for mammalian civility. ‘One-Zero-One-Zero-One-Zero-‘ ‘In fucking English ya dumb tin-can.’ ‘FLMC dash Four-Two-Four-Zero-Eight-Two-Two. Docking Bay Three.’ The screen rippled as Captain Spandex entered my credentials: A verdant green flash indicated a positive reply from CENTRAL. He spat on the ground next to the security unit, taking up his rifle. ‘Now, listen here, Captain Newman,’ I hate that name.
‘You cause any trouble…’ he shook his rifle at me. I held my hands up. We were playing cops and robbers, apparently. ‘You and your circuit-fried Android buddies get all jacked up on-‘ he trailed off, looking past me to something down the way I’d come. ‘Move, tin-can,’ he said urgently, directing me against the wall with a flick of his rifle. ‘Yes, officer.’ I followed his order without hassle; sometimes, it wasn’t worth pushing buttons. I was now more interested in whatever had Captain Spandex’ spandex in a knot. A small flock of well-plumed people flapped in procession, at their head, a man wrapped in NovaBlue Military-cut finery. He wore an elegant gold trimmed nano-metal chest plate with matching armbrace and boots, and a three-quarter length cape that caught the light and shimmered like a clear night sky. ‘Pompous dick,’ Doc said. Agreed. But would ya look at that, I thought in reply. It was the Android that followed a step behind that held my attention. Something about it seemed familiar. Doc, you recognise that Android? The one to the right of Pompous Dick? No response. Dammit, Doc. I pressed myself against the corridor wall and turned my back to the flock, hoping I’d go unnoticed. I didn’t go unnoticed. Where’s a cloaking module when you need one? The flock slowed. Captain Spandex saluted. No one noticed so apparently he had the cloaking module. Pompous Dick and the Female Android exchanged hushed words; the procession continued, leaving the Android behind. I recognised the hum of her heart core as soon as the others were gone. ‘Scraps,’ she said warmly. ‘Still wreckage diving I see.’ ‘Aelia, and you’re looking lovely with your new body upgrades. Does your master polish you himself, or did he install the auto-polish unit?’ Aelia laughed. ‘Careful what you say of Lord Beckett while you’re here. His men are… loyal.’ Noted. I eyed Captain Spandex, who still stood rigid at attention. ‘He’ll stay like that till I give him leave,’ Aelia said. ‘It 59
really is remarkable considering.’ Considering. Out here, Androids went missing, so we tend to stick together, it was safer that way. That was why I was here. Opportunity. Aelia absently waved Captain Spandex away and I could see the suspicion in his sideways glances as he returned to his post by the security unit. ‘I almost didn’t recognise you,’ Aelia said. ‘No offence, but you’re looking tattered, even by your own standard.’ Android emotion was an odd thing. Humans couldn’t grasp it, so they believed we didn’t have any. And we happily allowed them that belief. But I felt Aelia’s pity as a low drawn out frequency. I smiled. ‘Just makes it look like I’ve got nothing on me worth stealing.’ That was true, but I wasn’t going to tell her I was robbed a month back; they even took my nice coat. ‘Well, it works then.’ She let me keep my lie. A moment went by without either of us saying anything. It wasn’t awkward at all. Androids don’t get awkward. Not like humans, anyway. Silence doesn’t bother us. ‘How long are you on C-6?’ she asked. ‘A week. Maybe less. Depends. Parameters can change.’ That’s harsh, Doc said. He was getting better at reading Android emotion. And I was getting better at saying hurtful things, apparently. Aelia didn’t seem to notice. Androids don’t usually pick-up passive-aggressive speech patterns. They don’t usually exhibit passive-aggression either … apparently. ‘If you can allocate time, give me a call.’ She held out her hand, palm up. I didn’t hesitate. I put my hand to hers and with a magnetic jerk, locked our hands together with a metallic click. Aelia’s energy sizzled through my neural network. Her personal information burning into my memory. Our hands decoupled and all but the memory of that pure enegy remained. ‘Wah! What a rush! I’ll never get enough of that,’ Doc said. ‘Do it again.’
‘I’ll see,’ was all I said. I ran a low-noise cooling module to remove some excess heat from my heart core. Aelia left without another word. ‘I require that you give that girl a visit,’ Doc said. We’re here for work. Anyway, I know I’ll just get burnt again. ‘She could help us.’ ‘Looks like she’s in Beckett’s pocket now.’ ‘He’d never even know.’ ‘I think I’d have to take Beckett out for him to never know.’ Captain Spandex’s head whipped around. ‘Halt there, Android!’ he said, shouldering his cream and yellow toy. Doc, did I speak out loud again? ‘Apparently.’ I never thought I’d find a man in spandex intimidating. I was wrong. With his Ion rifle shouldered I swear Captain Spandex’s bulge grew by the second. ‘Threats made against Lord Beckett are dealt with by direct force!’ he proclaimed. Dammit Doc, I knew talking with you would get me in trouble. Again. ‘Well, It’s what you know that holds you back.’
THE WATER WE LIVE IN Juan Mendiola The lone shark glided across the ocean floor. Fins grazed the sand while its tail swept it away. His stomach was empty. If he did not stray from his school, he could have joined them for feeding time. Another day, perhaps. Today, he would eat alone, but there were many little snacks swimming above him. The shark stalked the fishes and waited. There was no doubt they would all scatter when he lunged for them, so he hungered for the biggest. Finally, the shark spotted one. It was larger than the rest and floated across the water. Its small fins could barely move its body around. The shark bared his teeth and swam up from the sand. Ever so slowly, the shark circled all of them, creating an invisible line for his prey. The fishes began to huddle, their fins wading across the water to get ready to swim away. They waited for the shark to make its move. Unfortunately, they did not have a chance to be patient. The shark’s tail swept the water as he struck the fishes like lightning. The fishes scattered just as quickly, leaving small bubbles in their path. They all escaped the attack, all but one. The shark sunk his teeth into his feed. It pierced its scales and stabbed the soft flesh. The shark devoured his food quickly. Almost no blood left his mouth as every drop satisfied the hunger. He swallowed quickly and swam around. His eyes searched for more of its shoal. He was a good hunter and he wanted to hunt more. The shark darted around for more prey. Swimming across the ocean, his eyes targeted more shoals with more fishes. He bared his teeth once more as it prepared for another feed. SPLASH! The shark suddenly heard from above. The shark turned his body up and faced the surface. A black presence floated on top and cast its shadow over him. His school warned him about the ships and the creatures aboard them. Some were sunken to the ocean floor and some were used to slaughter his own kind. The shark wondered what this one would do. It did not take him long to discover. Slowly, the small ship released a wall. The wall descended from the surface and divided the sea. It was bound together by ropes. The lines were thin enough to see through its many holes. The shark had
never seen one before, but the chilling tales of nets were enough to recognise them. The net touched the floor, creating a barrier between the shark and the other side. He dared not touch it for its danger was unmeasured by any fish under the sea. All he could do was swim away. The nets had evolved and the council needed to know. The Great One circled the council with her shiver. Her shadow loomed over the smaller sharks beneath her. Other sharks surrounded them, floating atop rocks and shipwrecks. Rumours of the Wall and the perilous nets caught the attention of all sharks, including the bottom dwellers and the giant plankton feeders. However, where some saw it as a rumour, some saw it as a problem. A problem big enough to worry the apex predators among the sharks. ‘First they slice our fins off and now they want to take our waters?!’ Thresh fumed. Thresh rallied his frenzy as their rage bubbled to the surface. Their long tails shuddered in the water, whipping and stunning anything they touched. The Great One watched their fury. She could almost see the steam flowing from their gills. Ham floated in between Thresh and his own gam of sharks. One eye watched his own kind murmur between themselves while Thresh’s frenzy riled up a commotion. Both eyes, however, fixed his gaze on the Great One as she circled them, listening to every word and watching every move. ‘What will you do, Ham?’ Thresh questioned. ‘Stay on the floor like some bottom dweller?’ Ham snarled. How easy it would be to pin Thresh to a rock until he suffocated. He only ever used his wide head to hunt for prey, but Thresh and his frenzy made him wonder what it would be like to hunt for sport. ‘And what about you, Gumera?’ Thresh asked as he turned his body to the large shark above them. ‘What is the Great One’s plan for us?’ Silence fell as the words left his mouth. No shark ever dared to address the Great One by name. Her large silhouette did not budge, only swimming in circles like before. No shark could see her face but they could feel her glare secured on Thresh. 61
‘These nets would not be here if it weren’t for you,’ he continued. ‘How could you and your shiver confuse those land walkers with fish? You must be getting old.’ Her silhouette vanished from above. From the blackness of her shadow, the Great One materialised in all her glory. Her massive body charged the council as she sliced through the water. She bared her teeth and unhinged her jaw. Her target was clear and Thresh knew it. Thresh turned his fear struck body to escape her bite. His tail barely moved before sharp teeth pierced it. Thresh wailed in despair and begged for mercy. His body yearned to be released from her teeth while his tail hopelessly paddled in her mouth. His pleas for forgiveness fell to the Great One’s ears like the flow of water. His fate was sealed. The Great One jerked her head from side to side, violently shaking her prey. Blood seeped through the water as Thresh lost connection to his tail with every tug. The sound of his skin tearing and his bones breaking echoed through the council. Thresh’s eyes grew empty as the inevitable quickly came to pass. With one more tug, blood erupted from the shark as his tail was torn. The rest of his body floated up. The last breath of life in Thresh yearned to see the surface. His eyes started to lose vision, but not before the children of the Great One surrounded him. With one last sense of consciousness, Thresh watched them bare their teeth like their mother before they fed. From the red cloud in the sand, the Great One rose. She spat the piece of flesh from her mouth and into the frenzy it belonged to. The tattered tail sunk in front of them, but the frenzy could only tremble before the shark that executed their leader. Ham and his gam sneered at them as he awaited words from Her Greatness. ‘No more talk,’ the Great One said through blood stained teeth. ‘Stay away from the Wall and don’t get captured. That is the plan.’ ‘This better be worth my time,’ the Great One warned. The Great One swam across the sea as she followed Ham. She trusted no other shark more. Despite his flat and wide head, the skill of his senses was unmatched by any other. No shark could smell like him, no shark could see like him. The Great One knew this and made good use of it. Ham navigated Her Greatness through the vast ocean. They soared through rocky reefs and the small critters that inhabited it. The fishes hid behind the corals as the two sharks hovered above them. Ham was tempted to make a meal out of them but now was
not time for feeding. Alarming news was needed to be heard by the Great One, news that could threaten their entire society. ‘The nets have not broken us,’ the Great One said. ‘My plan still stands.’ Ham worried for Her Greatness. Whispers of discontent plagued the council. No shark ever ventured to the Wall, but none could escape the capturing of the nets from above. The Great One’s plan for them was hardly effective. Every day, their brothers and sisters sunk to the ocean floor, each one dismembered and begging for death. Their cries did not go unheard. Their blood fuelled the anger of the council, and the Great One could not see herself trapped in a chasm that they slowly brought to a boil. ‘What are we doing here?’ the Great One snarled. Ham remained silent. He knew of the rules, but there was something at the Wall that needed to be seen by his superior. They swam alongside the secured links. The thin ropes seemed endless, disappearing into the deep blue. They watched the fish swim on the other side. Their source of survival was so near. Unfortunately, the land walkers claimed the water as if it was theirs. Ham and the Great One descended closer to the floor. As they went deeper, the ropes of the Wall became tighter. The holes became smaller as the knots twisted against each other. The Wall was being pulled at and cries for help echoed through the waters. It was not until the two sharks swam deeper did they see the beast responsible. Tangled in the net was a surface breather. Its colossal body entwined with clumped rope. Not a single part of its rubbery skin was left untouched by the net. Its limbs and tail were suspended in the water while the hole in its head seemed clogged by knots. It emitted sounds of clicks and grunts, bellowing a deep note that reverberated against the wall. ‘This is not the first surface breather to be trapped by these nets,’ Ham said. The Great One swam circles above it. The nets only ever preyed on sharks but to see another kind succumb to it surprised her. However, she knew the Wall did not discriminate. It was just collateral damage to the Great One, damage that only the land walkers were responsible for. Her Greatness swept the issue aside. Perhaps the surface breathers would learn to take more caution. ‘With all due respect, your Greatness,’ Ham began. ‘But this problem is bigger than you believe it to be.’ The Great One opened her ears. ‘Tensions have always been high between us and
the surface breathers. If they learn of their kind being killed because of weapons meant for us, there will be war.’ The Great One studied the surface breather. She watched it twist and turn as it yearned to be free. The Wall had no intention of releasing it. Its ropes wrapped around it, hugging it tighter as the creature was absorbed into its coil. Soon, the surface breather would only be another piece of the Wall’s collection. ‘Let the nets kill them,’ the Great One said. ‘Let our enemy kill our enemy. The surface breathers will die and we will live as long as we do nothing.’ ‘Your Greatness…’ Ham begged. ‘Do not confuse neutrality with complicity.’ The Great One turned her body. Her black eyes fixed on her subordinate as she bared her teeth. She swam her way to Ham, backing his trembling body to the Wall. She dared him to challenge her again. As terrified as the smaller shark was, he knew he was right. The nets would never leave the ocean. As long as they remained, war with the surface breathers would always be on the horizon. ‘We cannot fight two wars at once,’ Ham murmured. ‘The nets will rid us of surface breathers but not enough to level their numbers and strength. Their killers can defeat any one of us. Imagine an entire pod of their killers with an entire pod of giants like this.’ Ham swum down to the tangled creature in the Wall. ‘As undefeatable as the Wall is, we have a better chance of surviving them than surviving a war with surface breathers.’ The Great One studied the tangled creature once more. It was truly gigantic. Had it been free from the Wall’s grasp, neither Her Greatness or Ham could defeat it alone. And according to whispers across the waves, there was one for each of them. Gumera snarled. How could she be called the Great One if she could not protect her kind? ‘What do you propose?’ she asked in a hushed tone. Water rushed from Ham’s gills as relief settled his body. ‘My gam heard some fishes talk of peaceful waters far from here, an ocean without land walkers and surface breathes. An ocean where we can rule unchallenged. We heard its location be spoken before we fed.’ Gumera hesitated. The Great One wanted to fight everything. Her Greatness would rather die before being driven out of her home by nets and surface breathers. She would die before refusing to fight for her family. She looked down at Ham’s pleading eyes and the creature’s vengeful ones when Gumera realised the truth: If they stayed, there would be no
family left to fight for. The shark behind the title knew what she had to do. ‘Where are these waters you speak of?’ Migration. The movement of one’s kind from one place to another. The Great One wanted no part of it, but she believed in its necessity. She discarded her power and pride as the attributes of Her Greatness drowned in the endless ocean. Survival was all that mattered now and Gumera knew it. The water was crowded with sharks. An army of predators soared above the floor and under the surface. They were plagued with reluctance. There was no shark among them that did not want to fight for their home. They bared their teeth at the power of their enemies, but they knew a home was no good if it was filled with corpses. The sharks were not able to fight for their homes, but they were able to fight for survival. And so, they did. The armada glided across the ocean like a tsunami. They followed Gumera, trusting her to bring them to the New Sea. Gumera’s young trailed behind her, asking her if they would ever see home again. ‘As long as we’re together, we are home.’ Gumera’s eyes scanned the waters. Fishes roamed the area. Fortunately for them, no shark was hungry. As she watched the fishes surround the ocean floor, she noticed the strange colours of their home. The coral’s colour seemed to fade, its bright hues fading into a pale white. The entire reef seemed to be infected by the contagious stain. These were strange waters. This must be the New Sea. Gumera heard splashing beside her. Her young fought among each other as they tore at something unbreakable. It was like a jellyfish. It was grey in colour but, unlike others, this one lacked tendrils. Gumera kept swimming. If it did not hurt them, her young could eat the strange and foreign jellyfish. The grey jellyfish littered itself among the armada. Sharks picked them off from the water, curiously tasting its tough body. The council rejoiced in the bounty of prey. The New Sea was truly a place of paradise. Gumera watched her armada be surrounded by the harmless creatures. They continued to glide above the floor. Foreign objects scattered across the sand. A new sea indeed. As Gumera led her sharks across the ocean, relief flowed from her gills. She saved her kind. The brown, murky waters of the New Sea was theirs to rule. Their fate was sealed.
Jueun Oh Bachelor of Design
Tin Ling Ho Bachelor of Design
Get the hell outta here There’s no better way to build up your own store of great stories than getting the hell outta here and exploring all that the Gold Coast and surrounds has to offer.
STUDENT GUILD REC TRIPS
GOLD COAST OPEN HOUSE
Not only does the Student Guild offer a host of workshops and events to keep you living your best life on campus they can also help you get the hell outta here with a range of recreational trips. Rec trips are perfect if you are new to the area and don’t have a bunch of friends to head out exploring with yet, or if you already have a boat load of friends and you’re just looking for budget friendly activities.
On Saturday 19 October the Gold Coast is throwing open its doors to let you behind the scenes of some of the most interesting buildings on the Gold Coast. Hosted walking tours and visits will tell you all about some of the most architecturally significant building on the Coast including schools, community space, churches, private homes and sporting venues.
The Yatala Drive-In might be a brand new novelty, a distant memory from your childhood or where you spent a good chunk of your teens, depending on where you sit on the spectrum from Gen Z to Baby Boomer.
Did you know that we have a whale super highway on our door step? You can check out all the splashy action up close on the Student Guild Whale Watching Trip as the whales head south with their new young. The Whale Watching Trip is on Sunday 8 September and is just $40 (plus online booking fee) for GUGC students. Book online or at the Guild office (G07). If you miss the boat (get it?) for whale watching the Student Guild has partnered with Get Wet Surf School to offer students discounted surf lessons all year round. Otherwise keep an eye out around campus or on the Guild social for more great rec trips and events.
The 2019 program will be released on Tuesday 3 September and bookings for venues with limited spaces will open Friday 6 September. While the specific buildings are still under wraps Gold Coast Open House will showcase eight museums and 48 buildings across the city. Last year’s programs included Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast Little Theatre, Envi Micro Urban Village and the Keith Williams House. Mark the dates in your diary and get in early to book spaces at high demand locations. goldcoastopenhouse.com.au
Located just 30 minutes from campus, the Yatala Drive-In has three screening fields and shows almost all of the major cinematic releases seven nights a week. Park your car, pull out your snacks and enjoy the movies with a twist. You can sit in your car or bring some chairs, picnic gear or beanbags and set up outside for a cinema under the stars experience. If you have a ute or wagon you can even back your car in and fill the tray with blankets for an extra cosy viewing experience. You can pay by person or by car load (whichever is cheaper). If you don’t want to pack your own food you can stock up on plenty of greasy and sugary delights from the 1950s themed diner. If you love the experience you can even take in a double feature for just a few extra dollars. fivestarcinemas.com.au/drive-in
Get the hell outta here
ISSUE 6 VOLUME 5
THE SECRETS EDITION EXPOSED IN WEEK 11 RIPENING WEEK 1 GUGCSTUDENTGUILD.COM/GETAMUNGSTIT GUGCSTUDENTGUILD.COM/GETAMUNGSTIT
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