HONISOIT Week Eight May 2
Finding the pointe in culture: The Australian Ballet
The C-word: why it’s the new F-word
San Cisco: the not so awkward indie darlings 10
Contents THIS WEEK
Honi hits its top five bongs
Zanda Wilson writes from Big White in Canada, and debate rages over the smoking ban
4 Campus News
Max Chalmers talks to the students behind USyd Memes
6 News Review
James O’Doherty doesn’t think 99.95 was good enough
Felicity Nelson explains why reason and religion don’t mix
Profile: Reiko Hombo
Kira Spucys-Tahar learns how to pirouette with a rising star in Australian ballet
Feature Rob Morrison wears his undies on the outside.
14 Culture Vulture
Dr Anna Boucher dispenses sartorial advice, and Nathan Olivieri reviews The Avengers
16 Tech & Online 17
Zara Jackson-Martin looks into the science of homosexuality
Honi teaches you how to be hipster, and Tracy the mature-age student returns
SRC Pages Y u no use QR Reader?
Erin Stewart grabs a fistful of quarters and heads to the arcade
QRReader App is free for iPhone
Planner WED Students are always poor and in constant need of free food, so get your fill of yummy burritos from Guzman Y Gomez’s new store.
18 The Sandstone Report
8 The Third Drawer
Free Burritos - Guzman Y Gomez All day, Greenwood Plaza, FREE
Jeff Wong lets off some Steam and Christopher J. Browne takes you to the cloud above
O P i cukr
Interfaculty Men’s Soccer 10am-2pm, The Square behind Manning, FREE
Since Week 3, various faculties have been competing in the annual Interfac competition. This week is Men’s Soccer, featuring teams from Pharmacy, Vet, Dentistry, Science, Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, Commerce, Health Science, Education and Law. So even if you aren’t playing, then head down and support your faculty!
The Back Page
Editor in Chief: Rosie Marks-Smith Editors: James Alexander, Hannah Bruce, Bebe D’Souza, Paul Ellis, Jack Gow, Michael Koziol, James O’Doherty, Kira Spucys-Tahar, Richard Withers, Connie Ye Reporters: Christopher J Browne, Max Chalmers, Elodie Cheeseman, Felix Donovan, Brad Mariano, David Mulligan, Felicity Nelson, Justin Penn, Zanda Wilson Contributors: Dr Anna Boucher, Zara Jackson-Martin, Rob Morrison, Nathan Olivieri, Cameron Smith, Ludwig Schmidt, Erin Stewart, Jeff Wong Crossword: Ghoti Illustrations and Cartoons: Erin Rooney, Alessandro Tuniz Cover: James O’Doherty Advertising: Amanda LeMay and Rebecca Murr email@example.com www.src.usyd.edu.au / www.honisoit.comv
Disclaimer: Honi Soit is published by the Students’ Representative Council, University of Sydney, Level 1 Wentworth Building, City Road, University of Sydney, NSW, 2006. The SRC’s operation costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney. The editors of Honi Soit and the SRC acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. Honi Soit is written, printed, and distributed on Aboriginal land. Honi Soit is printed under the auspices of the SRC’s directors of student publications: Rafi Alam, Peta Borella, Michael de Waal, Eleanor Gordon-Smith, Jeremy Leith, Leo Nelson, Astha Rajvanshi and Max Schinter. All expressions are published on the basis that they are not to be regarded as the opinions of the SRC unless specifically stated. The Council accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions or information contained within this newspaper, nor does it endorse any of the advertisements and insertions. Printed by MPD, Unit E1 46-62 Maddox St. Alexandria NSW 2015.
The Clock 24hrs, MCA, FREE
This hypnotising exhibition is well worth checking out. Every Thursday it is played around the clock, in full! The Clock comprises several thousand short extracts from cinema history, each suggesting a particular time of day or referencing a specific moment, often through the appearance of a watch or clock face, which corresponds to the actual time in reality.
‘Sydney, the Making of a Public University’ explores the principle of public engagement and how it came into practice. From staff amd students, to sports, philanthropy and research, J. Horne and G. Sherington probe the meaning of the first hundred and sixty years of Sydney University, one of the first public universities in the world.
505 Presents: Dave Panichi Septet 7pm, Venue505, Surry Hills, $10/$15 Dave wants his listeners to know that they can expect three things from any gig of his - great melodies, grooves and solos. A great Sydney tromboner.
11am, Law Foyer, FREE
SUDS Presents: The Flu Season 8pm, The Cellar Theatre, $5, $4, $3, $2 Set in a psychiatric retreat centre of an unspecific type, and populated by psychologically unspecific types of people. Check out the SUDS Facebook page for more details.
N MO S TUE
Genevieve Fricker @ Sydney Comedy Festival
An annual event, happening all over the world, where you can get your fave comics for free. Woot!
7pm, Matchbox, The Factory Theatre, $15
Modern Love Late-Late, Oxford Hotel, $10
After a sold out season at the Sydney Fringe Festival, Genevieve Fricker makes her first solo outing at the Sydney Comedy Festival in Hello! Friendly!
MODERN LOVE is back for another edition. Full of hot indie boys, hot indie tunes and plenty of party, the night will feature tunes by The Rapture, Scissor Sisters, The Gossip, Mariah Carey, Franz Ferdinand, CSS, Kelis, Beyonce, Yeah Yeah Yeahs etc.
Science Revue Auditions Wks 8 & 9, Madsen Tutorial Rm 318
Free Comic Book Day! All Day, At participating stores, FREE
Honi’s Guide to what’s on
Want to finally find the creative performer within you? Then Science Revue wants YOU to audition for a part in their enthusiastic, talented cast. Check out Facebook for more details.
The Grapes of Bath: Darcy Soc’s Champagne Brunch/AGM Mon, 11am, Isabel Fidler Room, Manning This event combines the society’s AGM with drinking Champagne and eating scones. See you there!
Commerce Revue Auditions Mon, 4pm, Merewether The Commerce Revue Society is looking for all creative types to make Commerce Revue 2012: Dirty Financing the Revue of the season. Auditions will be held over weeks 9 and 10, so email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are keen!
She Got Game
The Smoking Gun
Kudos to Christopher J Browne for a thoughtful article last week on gender and sexuality equality in gaming.
In response to complaints about my Welfare Report in the week six edition of Honi Soit. As Welfare Officers, Rafi and I are always reviewing decisions made by the University and their impact on the welfare of students from a variety of backgrounds and identities, hence the reason for my report.
Tess Hutley Arts IV (Honours)
As a female gamer it is very easy to feel overlooked by male-centric developers. Take Skyrim, for example, a game that deserves much praise for its pansexual approach to romance. Having said that, when I went to find a ‘husband’ I was met with the rather unfortunate discovery that almost every option was either about four decades too old or horrendously ugly. Compared to the youthful, sexy females on offer, it’s no wonder my character quickly renounced her heterosexuality. One hand giveth as the other taketh away indeed. It’s a petty grievance for sure, but it’s indicative of a greater problem how much of a struggle it is for even the more progressive game creators to think outside their own straight male demographic. Progress is certainly being made, but it still has a long way to go. In the mean time: help us David Gaider, you’re our only hope.
Anti-President doesn’t exist... Anonymous
Let me preface by saying that I am absolutely disgusted by the ‘AntiPresident’s Report’ in the last edition of Honi Soit (Week 7). My understanding, is that the SRC is a service that provides guidance, couselling and support for students at this university. That the SRC gives all manner of advice with respects to discrimination and harassment at this university and would oppose such incidents that arose either verbally, physically or emotionally. How the heck can you have your logo (no less one of your student representatives) publishing articles that target the gay community. This is blatant hate speech which you have clearly condoned and it just sickens me that beneath this horrendous article is another article entitled, ‘A Dark Day for Honi’, wherein further remarks of a condescending nature are made attacking Michael Koziol for his sexual preferance. I myself am not gay, and am not a law student. However, I am a strong believer in the rights of the gay community to be free from such slander and harrassement. This is an informal notification that if I do not hear back from one of your representatives I will take this matter further and seek legal advice against the SRC and the so named ‘Anti-president’. Eds: I wrote that article, and feel I should be allowed to make fun of myself without being labelled a homophobe. Or perhaps you disagree. MK
Brigitte McFadden, SRC Welfare Officer
Firstly, my article did not say that all “poor people” are hurt by the smoking ban, it said “many”. Dozens of studies have proven that there is a correlation between socio-economic status and smoking: “Socioeconomic status is known to be strongly associated with many health conditions and health risk factors, and this is particularly true of tobacco smoking. The rate of smoking is much higher in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage” (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2005). The purpose of bringing up the issue of socio-economic disparity when banning an addictive substance was to point out that low-socio economic groups are often most affected by these bans, and that the University has overlooked this wider social implication while implementing the ban. Secondly, your reading of my article regarding female-identifying students, only proves your complete lack of knowledge regarding sexual assault and violence on campus and in the inner city (Yes! People get attacked here too!). You say that I paint women to be “as vulnerable as society so often paints them to be”, but the simple fact is women are most often the victims of sexual assault and violence. Pointing this fact out does not paint women as vulnerable; it highlights a problem with the way society views and treats many women.
CORRESPONDENCE Let’s go skiing in Canada, eh? writes Zanda Wilson It’s day six here at Big White, and my filthy ski-bum beard is coming along nicely. Intelligible conversation is proving elusive, and neither my 50-yearold parents nor my 12-year-old sisters are providing any assistance in that regard. The skiing has been sensational, especially on the rare occasion that I have been able to get away from the family and ski solo. The runs are short, the people are few, and the snow, weather, and scenery are spectacular. Spring skiing in Canada is living up to and exceeding expectations. In my boredom away from the slopes I have found myself making some observations about the people and culture here in Canada. Big White puts Sydney’s perceived multiculturalism to shame. In four ski-lessons (to better my already amazing skills...obviously), I have had teachers from four different countries. First, I had a Canadian gentleman, then a British bloke, a French chick, and finally a Scotsman. Learning why each
EDITORIAL In regards to agency, I recognise that I did word that part of my article incorrectly and I apologise. Perhaps a better way of putting it would have been to explain that these groups often do not take up smoking because they want to (the same can be said for many smokers outside these two groups, I admit), but that they are often more affected by social pressures that could lead to smoking. Again, the point of my article was to draw attention to the lack of thought that has been put into the smoking ban, and the effect the ban has on different groups of students; female-identifying and low-socio economic individuals being two groups of many. These groups are already marginalised and the smoking ban will only assist in marginalising them further. Rafi and I are available via email if you would like to discuss the issue with us further email@example.com
Honi’s sister publication at UNSW, Tharunka, is running their second annual non-fiction competition. The competition is open to any student enrolled at a tertiary institution. The prize is $800 and closes July 7. Judges are award-winning journalist Lisa Pryor, deputy-editor of Crikey Jason Whittaker, and Dr Matthew Thompson at UNSW’s Journalism and Media Research Centre.
s we approach the business end of semester one, final assessments are practically around the corner and exams not long afterwards, so I implore you to consider the feature and profile this week. For me they offer two important points to take home. Firstly, that we should follow our passions, no matter how crazy they are or what it takes. I’m sure many of us have dreamed of donning a superhero cape to save lives with the powers of flight and superhuman strength. And I know that for about three years of my childhood I always insisted on wearing pink and my favourite tutu, no matter the occasion. Although my dreams have changed and potentially matured, this edition reminds us that our chosen dream will require determination, courage and passion, along with the confidence to not care what other people think of your chosen hobby. But these sacrifices are always worth it in the end. This edition also reminds us of how great it is to do something we are truly passionate about. Many a wise tutor has reminded us to find something we would do for free and make our living out of it. Find something that energises you to jump out of bed each day and makes you forget you are going to ‘work’. In this edition we hear about comedians, musicians, a newspaper mogul and game developers, all pursing an endeavour that makes them excited to face peak hour traffic and miss out on a solid sleep-in that many of us relish. So I hope you enjoy reading our offering this week, as we have enjoyed bringing it to you!
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @HONI_SOIT OR FACEBOOK.COM/HONISOITSYDNEY of them loved Canadian skiing, I found myself agreeing with everything I heard. The Canadians I have met and spoken with on then slopes have been very Aussie-like in their mannerisms and cynicism, only with more ‘eh’s’ and ‘beauty’s’ in their vocab. An advertisement I saw the other day for Captain Morgan Rum was positively Aussie beer-like in its use of manly men and attractive women in unrealistic situations. Of course, American culture will always have an influence on Canadian culture. This is exemplified no better than while watching Canadian cable television. I found myself in hysterics a few days ago when in an commercial break I saw a car advertisement, followed by a fast food advertisement, and then an ad that asked: “Do you suffer from a heart condition or diabetes?” At some point last night I decided that I’d had enough of watching hockey and sitcoms and dragged Dad out to the pub for a drink. We found a place called Snowshoe Sam’s, and I felt at home straight away after observing a sign that read: “Snowshoe Sam’s: Helping Ugly
People Get Laid Since 1980”. Although Dad’s attempts to talk to randoms about how Canada used to be when he was young didn’t help my cause in the above regard, I did end up chatting to a Canadian bloke about the baseball game that was being televised at the time. We watched the end of a Toronto vs Boston game and the banter that resulted was well worthwhile. Finally experiencing an end to the severe jet-lag that has hindered my trip to no end is little comfort when I know I am heading home in a few days. I plan on spending the last few days of this trip perfecting my rail skiing and 180’s in the terrain park. I wouldn’t want to embarrass the locals by doing 360’s...which I can definitely do. I hope I will be able to ignore that sinking feeling that comes with knowing that I have two assessments due the first Tuesday back at uni. I think I’ll just live as a ski-bum forever...
Campus News WEEKLY NEWS
Chancellor’s bake sale an inter-faith inspiration
The minds behind USyd memes
Max Chalmers talks to Sydney Uni Memes Facebook page co-founder Ramzi Abbassi about his overnight success the ‘Y U NO’ meme is produced with the text “USU (University of Sydney Union), Why you have no Harry Potter Society?” The page has proved so popular that Ramzi now has trouble convincing some of his friends that he was its creator. While extremely surprised by the positive feedback the site has engendered, Ramzi remains humble, saying, “the best memes on the page are not ones that I’ve created. If it wasn’t for the people, the page wouldn’t have been that successful.”
When posting a status, comment or meme via social media, we all secretly pray for an uproarious response. Following that promising little red globe to confirmation that your procrastinatory witticism has been met by online applause can momentarily lift an (essay) weary soul. ‘Likes’ are the new Prozac and this February, Ramzi Abbassi accidentally OD’ed with his Facebook page Sydney Uni Memes. “My friends and I had this Facebook group where we joked to each other, so I suggested we start a Sydney University meme page. I woke up the next day and found 1,000 ‘Likes’,” Ramzi told Honi Soit. A second year Medical Science student, he now runs the page with the help of friend Harry Winston Sorensen, a second year Arts/Science student.
Some negative feedback has inevitably followed this growth in attention. Ramzi says this has usually been in relation to the well known ‘Asian Dad’ meme, which plays to stereotypes by depicting an elderly Asian man overbearingly criticising his child for a perceived academic failing (e.g. ‘you sing Beatles ‘Let it be’? Why not ‘Let it A’?) Ramzi, whose family still live in Dubai (where he was raised), says he is “definitely against racism” and that memes that have caused serious offence have been removed.
Since February, 1,000 has swollen to 9,500 ‘Likes’ and the Sydney Uni Memes Facebook page has attracted hundreds of comments and meme submissions.
In fact, Mr Abbassi is a man who sees memes as no less than a force for peace. “All memes have some sort of meaning, they carry a message” he says. He points to the popular site 9gag as a major source of inspiration and says online humour can overcome the racial differences and trollful spirit of the people on the internet. “[9gag] has united the people more than the UN has,” he affirms. Woodrow Wilson’s dream is continued by the anonymous hordes of 9gag, reddit and 4chan. Seems legit.
The site employs the tried and true formula of taking popular internet memes and reappropriating them in a specific context. In one example
For some laughs courtesy of Ramzi and his friends, visit www.facebook.com/USydMemes
Kira Spucys-Tahar channelled her innner cookie monster Last Tuesday, on the eve of ANZAC Day, members of the University of Sydney Union Interfaith Council joined the University Multifaith Chaplaincy in the spirit of charity. Representatives from Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Orthodox, and other faiths gathered at the charity organisation Our Big Kitchen in Bondi. The patron of the event was the Chancellor of the University of Sydney and Governor of NSW, Marie Bashir. Using the Governor’s Anzac biscuit recipe, students and religious leaders baked and packed biscuits, which were later sold outside Manning at the University. All proceeds went to the Chancellor’s charity St George Community Housing student education bursary fund. Interfaith Directors Lawrence Muskitta and Louise Castle assisted in the organisation of the event along with Rabbi Eli Feldman, Reverend Dr Rowan Kemp and Reverend Dr John Hirt from the University of Sydney Multifaith Chaplaincy. The morning activities took place with representatives from the USU Interfaith Council, including; Annemarie McLaren (Catholic Society of St Peter), Samuel Kaldas (FOCUS), Lachlan McFarlane (Hillsong), Sidney Hioe (Catholic Asian
The event was also attended by representatives from the UTS Union Student Board Directors and University of Sydney Union Board Directors including President Sibella Matthews, Vice-President Zac Thompson, Hon. Secretary Jacqui Munro, Hon. Treasurer Rhys Pogonoski, Nai Brooks, Mina Nada, Astha Rajvanshi and Shane Treeves. The Mayor of Waverley, John Wakefield, summarised the feeling in the room, saying, “the goodwill generated by such communal activity goes to the heart of Our Big Kitchen.” Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir gave an impassioned speech about the need for interfaith acceptance. “We meet in a common sense of love and respect… there is hope for humanity when we can gather together representatives of all religions in one room,” she said. “What is more nurturing or symbolic than the preparation of food?”
Strange societies: FredSoc
Brad Mariano brushes up on useless facts for FredSoc’s annual Trivia Night The Fred Hollows Foundation is one of the most recognisable Australian charities. The Foundation works to keep the vision and work of Fred Hollows, ophthalmologist and 1990 Australian of the Year, alive – to eradicate avoidable blindness throughout disadvantaged countries worldwide, as well as within Indigenous Australian communities. The Fred Hollows Society of Sydney University (FredSoc) was founded in 2009. What started as a small but devoted group of members has steadily grown to be one of the most active humanitarian groups on campus. The club’s unwavering purpose since its inception has been twofold – firstly, to have students volunteer at the Foundation’s main office in Rosebery, performing a range of tasks essential to the daily operations of the Foundation that otherwise would require vital funds and time away from the Foundation’s work. The second is to hold events on campus where members can meet, eat and drink while raising awareness and donations for the ongoing work the Foundation does. This year FredSoc has been holding fundraising barbeques every fortnight outside the Chemistry building, which has so far raised over $500. For the last three years, its marquee event has been the annual trivia night. In 2010, the society was lucky to have radio
Students Society) and John HardingEasson (Together for Humanity).
personality Adam Spencer, who had been personally touched by Dr Hollows’ work, as host. In 2011, it was The Chaser’s Chris Taylor who made us laugh, think and for one special girl on crutches, swoon. He will be returning as host again this year and tickets will be selling fast. The event will be on Monday May 7 at 6:30pm, as part of the University of Sydney Union’s Humanitarian Week. In tables of six to nine people, on offer will be free pizza, drinks and more questions than you can poke your answer stick at. There are $600 dollars worth of prizes on the night, and all proceeds will go to the Foundation’s worthy cause.
Get Involved When: Monday 7th May, 6.30pm Where: Manning Bar Cost: $15 w/Access, $25 w/o. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order tickets, or alternatively they will be sold outside Manning this week. Join the Fred Hollows Society of Sydney University on Facebook to find about with its other events and regular volunteering
Campus News HONILEAKS All your university gossip, rumours, allegations and revelations with Kira Spucys-Tahar
Notes on a SUPRA Scandal
tion Officer Tim Scriven. They are going up against a ticket of eight candidates run by Sharangan Maheswaran under the ‘SupraNova’ banner.
The Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) is experiencing dramatic political upheaval with the first contested election in six years to take place in late May. Originally, registered students were due to receive postal ballots on Monday April 23 with elections to take place this Friday May 4. But on April 27, following complaints made to the Returning Officer over the eligibility of candidates it was advised there would be no formal announcements regarding the election schedule until the disputes had been resolved. On April 29, it was announced that the election had been postponed by near to a month, with polls set to open on May 28 and 29. Calls for online voting were rejected. SUPRA is run by postgraduate students to represent their interests within the University, akin to the SRC. Elections take place to decide the 20 general positions on the Council with five equity positions decided separately. Executive positions are negotiated from within the council. There are two main ‘tickets’ running in the upcoming elections, despite the lack of above the line voting. ‘Postgrads for Postgrads’ is a collective of 17 mainly left or centre-left leaning individuals. The Presidential candidate is Angelus Valentine Morningstar, who left the position of Sydney University Law Society Queer Officer in 2010 amid allegations of misconduct. This is also the ticket of current SUPRA Treasurer and Educa-
Honi Soit has been made aware of allegations that the Returning Officer has potentially been acting improperly. All official correspondence names the Returning Officer as Ema Esteves, but candidates say they have received phone calls from someone called ‘Phil’ in relation to the election rules. Sources allege Ms Esteves has allowed someone else to act on her behalf on several occasions. When contacted, Phil informed Honi that he is Ema’s husband and the operational manager and spokesman for her business. He denied any conflict of interest. “Those nominations only went in two hours before close,” Phil said. “We had no opportunity to get back to them. The nature of the checks that needed to be done meant it took time to contact the university to get a response.” The Returning Officer ruled that candidates James Flynn, Kieran Walton, Brigid Meney, and Kerry Chen were all ineligible. There is an avenue for appeal to the Electoral Legal Arbiter, which Mr Flynn indicated he would pursue. Brigid Meney and Kerry Chen were disqualified from running after it was decided they did not meet the guidelines for what is considered a ‘postgraduate’. Ms Meney is enrolled in a combined BA/Masters of Nursing degree. However given she had not completed all undergraduate units at the time of enrolment, she was still deemed an undergraduate student. In relation to Ms Chen, it was ruled that while graduate medicine requires an undergraduate degree, it is not considered a postgraduate course. However
these details were not made clear to students by the university. Each candidate requires two valid nominators to be considered for the ballot. As Brigid Meney was the second nominator for both James Flynn and Kieran Walton, they too were disqualified from the elections. “I want to challenge it just to say Kieran and James had no idea I was not eligible. I had no idea I was not eligible. It’s all very vague,” Ms Meney said. According to Tim Scriven, previous administrations have found it difficult to find people interested in running. “We’ve had elections but they haven’t been contested. There were too few nominees in relation to positions,” he said. “Because it hasn’t happened for six years, this took us by surprise.” Mr Scriven expressed concern over the composition of Mr Maheswaran’s ticket. “In the past, SUPRA has been a more deliberative space, not formed by factions but individuals who run. The one worry I have about their ticket is that there are eight JD students, when we’ve got people from ten different departments or faculties. It’s concerning in terms of diversity.” Mr Maheswaran responded: “We’re not just eight JD students, we’re from several faculties. One in two of ‘SupraNova’’s candidates are international students. People are more than their degree title.” According to Mr Maheswaran, Council failed to appoint an Electoral Legal Arbiter until well after elections started. “It’s spurious the way this election has been held,” he said. “All our personal information has been the subject of scrutiny by the ‘Postgrads’ because they are current office bearers. There has
been a significant conflict of interest in having those same individuals assist the Returning Officer.” “No matter the result, I will be asking the Vice-Chancellor to exercise his reserve powers and investigate breaches of electoral regulation and conflicts that have plagued this election,” Mr Maheswaran said.
ODDS of UNI smoking ban extending to: $2.30 No Bikie Colours $3.98 TASERS FOR CAMPUS SECURITY $7.21 quad gargoyles replaced with CCTV $46.02 CLOSING DOWN of bull Magazine $46.03 CLOSING DOWN OF HONI soit $77.79 CRAIG THOMsON APPOINTED USU election R.O. $401.16 Orwellian Police State
Cumberland looks to SSAF to keep services alive The satellite campus just manages to make ends meet, finds Michael Koziol The Cumberland Students’ Guild would have folded if not for the $725,186 in funding it was allocated under the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), its Vice-President Paddy McNamara has said. The Guild, which is the chief provider of on-campus services at the Cumberland campus in Lidcombe, decided to remove its $199 annual membership fee when the SSAF was introduced. The SSAF is a $263 per annum contribution to nonacademic services which all students must pay, introduced by the federal government last year. Mr McNamara said it wouldn’t have been ethical to ask students to pay any more. “They shouldn’t have to fork out extra to get what we believe they deserve.” The decision to eliminate a membership fee was made well before
the Guild knew how much it could receive from the SSAF pool. The final breakdown, announced last month and published in the April 18 edition of Honi Soit, was the result of a long period of negotiation between university administrators and representatives from student organisations. This year the Guild will receive $326,186 in base funding and a further $399,000 from the Sydney Life Fund. “That was the minimum amount of money that we needed to logistically keep our doors open with that many members, without charging for memberships. We would not have been able to operate [without it],” Mr McNamara said. But neither would Cumberland students have been prepared to pay an additional fee beyond the SSAF, according to Mr McNamara.
“That would not have flown. That’s just a dynamic that’s unique to Cumberland.” The Guild primarily looks after food and drink, student welfare, CPR, campus life, and the Cumberland gym. With its current financial injection it hopes to replace the gym’s leaking roof, replace its floor, and install air-conditioning in the food hall. It also has to provide extra services with no increase in staff. Last year the Guild had 850 paying members; now it is automatically open to the 4000 students who attend Cumberland campus. Three full-time staff and two dozen casuals run the operation; its four-person board of directors is elected at the end of each year and serves a 12-month term. The distribution of the SSAF budget will be renegotiated next year. Mr McNamara is confident the Guild will stay afloat, and expects to work with
The Cumberland campus in Lidcombe
other student organisations to find savings, as is the expressed goal of the Sydney Life Fund.
News Review WAR ON TERROR
One year on: creating the next Osama bin Laden The war we can’t call a war, lives on, writes Felix Donovan
rogue nation with no respect for Islam and no care for Muslims.
Exactly one year ago today (if you are reading this on publication day), President Obama boasted: “Justice has been done.” On May 2, 2011, a team of elite Navy Seals entered the compound in Abbottabad where Osama Bin Laden was living and shot him in the head. That the Pakistani government had evidently been complicit in hiding the most wanted man in the world didn’t seem to trouble Washington beyond the annoyance of having to alter the strategy of the raid. That lack of concern spoke of a broader American misconception of why Bin Laden held such a murderous hatred of the United States, and why that hatred was shared not only in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan where tribalism and a resistance to modernity dominate, but also in bustling urban centres like Karachi, Cairo and Sana’a. That misconception informs US defence policy today, and creates terrorists who harbour Osama-like visions of, as he ominously told Robert Fisk in 1997, turning ‘the United States into a shadow of itself’. Osama Bin Laden didn’t hate America because it was free (though, if he did, Bush’s Patriot Act would have been a very effective counter-terrorism measure). 9/11 was not a strike against women’s liberation, or capitalism, or democracy; it was, by his own admis-
America’s continued unqualified support for the despots who rule the Gulf Peninsula, its military and diplomatic aid of an increasingly shrill and aggressive Israel, have encouraged many to see America as aiding and abetting, with insouciance, the violence and abjection of the Middle East.
A woman walks past the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed
sion, retribution for American foreign policy in Arab lands: troops in Saudi Arabia, support for Israel and sanctions on Iraq. Terrorism against the US was commendable, in Bin Laden’s mind, ‘oppressors who subject the Arab nation to aggression ought to be punished.’ That is not to say we should also celebrate the terrible crime against humanity that was committed on an overcast September morning in 2001, as many on the European left and throughout the Muslim world did. Instead it’s important to recognise that American
actions - not American values - were the contributing factor that galvanised al Qaeda to commit those atrocities in 2001. A year on, the President who touted ‘a new beginning’ in American-Middle East relations has brazenly ignored what radicalised Osama Bin Laden. The foreign policies Obama is pursuing lead to an obvious outcome: more Muslim youths seeing the United States as a belligerent hegemon rather than a benevolent one; viewing it as a rapacious, warmongering, oil-robbing, Arab-killing,
While drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen may make sense to a Pentagon official, they don’t to a Pakistani whose just seen one of their family members in pieces, or one of their countrymen lying dead in the wreckage of a building on the news. In the end, it is that Pakistani who matters for it is he who may decide to strap a bomb to his chest and walk into Times Square. Bin Laden’s death was an American victory in something that we’re not supposed to call the war on terror anymore. But the US should take the other easy and more lasting victories by renouncing its maladroit Middle East foreign policy and retreating from those thankless deserts. If it doesn’t, the win America scored a year ago will be very fleeting indeed. For the actions it continues to carry out will create the next Osama Bin Laden all too soon. Twitter: @FelixDonovan1
All’s fair in love, war, and politics; but not education?
The provision of special considerations for HSC examinations have raised the ire of some, but privilege doesn’t lead to preference, writes James O’Doherty It is uncanny just how much power the HSC seems to assert over some, even when high school is long forgotten. On Saturday morning, an article from The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) appeared to unearth the latest case of ‘privileged overachiever seeking special considerations’. This time, however, it was four years after the fact. A University of Sydney medicine student has lodged a complaint with the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, saying her disability of wrist cramps was not adequately catered for. She claims she didn’t reach her full potential, and couldn’t show what she knew. Just what marks this student achieved are irrelevant, but for posterity, she received a UAI of 99.95 (when a perfect score was still available). Immediate stereotypes of a ‘privileged overachieving private schoolgirl’ dominated social media. It is another episode in the serial discourse of the publicprivate school gap. Do students from private schools systematically ‘play the system’ more than students in public schools? The article of the past weekend is the latest effort, but won’t be the last from the SMH and others. This story is not one of public vs private. Regardless of outrage on social
media, we should not be confused about what has happened here. Yes, the story of a high achieving student complaining about marks on a hundredth-of-a-percentile level seems petty at best, and bitter at worst. But this is not the story, not this time. This time, we are faced with a student who believes her disability was not adequately catered for. Why should she have a right to complain, four years after the fact? Why should she have a right to complain when she is studying one of the most sought after, prestigious courses in the country? Well, the student in question gave the SMH our answer: “you want your disability to be sufficiently addressed with special examination provisions so that everyone has a capability to communicate what they know in the HSC examinations, otherwise it is not a fair test of your knowledge.” The UAI is not the only mark in question – the student also maintains her HSC subject marks do not adequately represent her full capabilities at the time. The jury is still out on the reasons behind this appeal. Regardless, the reasons are not what is important. Whether it is a late attempt at CV stacking, or a bona fide attempt at reforming the
system, it brings into question the Board of Studies’ disability processes and the way they are perceived. Burying the hatchet four years after the fact seems prudent; a fact lost on some, although administrative appeals processes do tend to drag on. Marks and rankings set aside, the Board, and the media, need to appropriately address students who believe they are beleaguered by disability. In any case, the old shibboleths of privilege and obsession must be avoided, not perpetuated. The fact is this: there is nothing in the private school system unavailable to those in public schools to help students receive special consideration. Teachers in all school systems are often unsure of what to do when a student is suffering under a disadvantage. Often it falls onto the student themselves, or onto concerned parents. The schooling system, for better or worse, is not as involved as populist opinion likes to think. The outcry when privileged, overachieving students seek special consideration or complain about marks is another example of the tall poppy syndrome that we in Australia hold so dear. The student’s reasoning aside, this belief is offensive, and it is just wrong. If a student wishes to apply for special
consideration, it is their right. It is up to the Board itself to assess these claims. The last – and arguably most pertinent – question raised by this article is that of computers in HSC exams. When students need to effectively go into fast writing training to be able to transmit all their knowledge, we must move to the use of computers in these examinations. Hand cramps are common: handwriting is no longer our primary mode of study, or communication. Rightly or wrongly, the HSC places immense pressure on its candidates. To fail to give them every opportunity is just wrong, and forcing digital natives to scratch out their knowledge with pen and paper is increasingly anachronistic, and unfair. Surely, then, it is time to rethink the computer in exam situations. James O’Doherty is an Honi Soit editor. Twitter: @jmodoh
Op-Shop Feeling the love for the ‘hate media’
He’s a man who has saved many newspapers, and he may yet rescue them again, writes Michael Koziol announcement, every script, every press release through the filter of: “how will the Murdoch press react?”
How great is Rupert Murdoch? Well, not if the task is being subtle or biting his tongue. But if it’s a newspaper you want run, there is no better. There is certainly nobody with deeper pockets, or higher spirits. Hell, maybe he can buy us out, and Honi Soit can finally become the full-colour daily it deserves to be.
Perhaps the most interesting admission The Man Himself made at Leveson is the degree of his editorial influence in tabloids such as The Sun. “If you want to judge my thinking,” he said, “look at The Sun.” For a reference point closer to home, it’s not unlike The Daily Telegraph, although certainly more rambunctious. The Sun remains the home of the Page Three Girl, something unlikely to ever grace the pages of Honi Soit.
He’d probably consider it. He’d love the irreverence of Honi, its capacity to bulldoze sacred cows, and its firm anti-establishment roots. The occasional brutish leftism of student media he could probably live without. The chronic unprofitability…wouldn’t bother him. For all the things fairly or unfairly said of Murdoch, one element of his character is undeniable: he loves newspapers. He said these exact words while being probed by Robert Jay QC at the Leveson inquiry in London. But anyone who has studied Murdoch’s career, even superficially, would quickly realise his enduring, romantic, admirable love of the form. The Australian has run at a huge loss for years. The Times, the United Kingdom’s newspaper of record, hasn’t made money in decades, including since Murdoch purchased it in 1981. In 2007 News Corp handed over $5.6 billion to buy Dow Jones and snap up The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch has a print-
ing press on his luxury yacht to ensure instantaneous access to his beloved New York Post and The Sun. In the News Corp empire, loss-making newspapers that shareholders would gladly ditch are kept alive by the profits of other business units. The question is often asked in Australia: why should Murdoch be allowed to control 70 per cent of the market? But an equally important question is whether anyone else could produce newspapers here at all. There are some regrettable side-effects of his fiefdom, to be sure. That a city
like Brisbane is a one-newspaper town that being the Murdoch-owned Courier Mail - is a disgrace. The global power which he undoubtedly weaves – this being the subject of much of Robert Jay’s questioning – must have an impact on the decisions politicians make, even if he doesn’t make specific demands. Murdoch strenuously denied ever having asked a Prime Minister for anything – and he’s right. He doesn’t have to ask. The federal government may privately seethe about the ‘hate media’ but you can bet their strategists funnel every
But the Leveson inquiry has pitted everything I love about Murdoch against everything I hate about the Establishment (including the Justin Hemmes’ toff-den). Murdoch was charming, light-hearted, nonchalant, and committed to the cause of publishing. His interrogators, conversely, came off as petty, barrow-pushing, desperate nerds. For what it’s worth, they were probably right about everything. But oh, how they lost the game. Perhaps I’m a sucker for the lovable rogue. Perhaps I’m just rebelling against my media degree; four years of inculcating Murdoch as evil incarnate. But I also love newspapers, and a friend of them is a friend of mine. Michael Koziol is an Honi Soit editor.
Only the truth will set you free
Religion and reason simply don’t mix, writes Felicity Nelson In 2008, a scientific report by three European academics claimed that the percentage of atheists in a country positively correlates with the national average IQ. A review of 43 papers written since 2002 found all but four showed a significant negative relationship between education and religious belief. These findings do not mean that all religious people lack intelligence. It simply shows that with a higher level of critical thinking comes the ability to question inherited beliefs and the freedom to make up your own mind. By encouraging freethinking and rational enquiry, education furnishes minds with an intellectual toolkit capable of forging a strong case against religion. At the heart of academia is the premise that nothing stands without evidence. In science, truth comes only from careful observation and manipulation of the physical world. In the humanities, logical argument and proof is no less important. The central pillars of scholarship are at odds with the religious worldview, which prioritises faith over reason. Education allows us to jump outside the limits of our own imaginations and study the constellations of ideas that fill human history. Humanities expose students to powerful thoughts that move beyond the realm of religious teachings. Famous atheists such as Marx, Nietzsche, Russell, and Hume spring from textbooks at university like beacons of reason. Ideas such as secularism, liberalism, feminism,
and international law are regularly examined by students as intellectual treasures of modern Western society. An education in any field of science introduces theories that directly contradict religious teachings. Galileo’s geocentric model of the solar system and Darwinism are two obvious examples. The main problem with organised religion from a rationalist perspective is that it simply oversteps its authority. If monotheisms proposed a simple hypothesis, such as the existence of a non-interventionist deity outside our universe, it would be difficult, and possibly impossible to prove wrong. However, organised religion tends to come with a lot of baggage. Sacred texts contain clearly false descriptions of the world and questionable historical narratives. The moral teachings of religions like Catholicism and fundamentalist Islam are ridiculously outdated. Traditional religions just claim too much turf that belongs to other areas of knowledge. With every new intellectual discovery, religion has to flip-flop and loses some of its credibility. As the world’s population becomes more informed and better educated, we can expect to see a sharp rise in the number of people who have shunned a commitment to traditional religion. Studies conducted in the U.S. have indicated that irreligion (atheists, agnostics, and humanist) grew at a faster rate than any religion in the last decade. 18.7 per cent of Australians ticked the
‘No religion’ box in the 2006 census. We now have a Prime Minister who is openly atheist; an unthinkable prospect for most of our history, although Bob Hawke might have admitted to being agnostic under duress. In the academic world, there has been an obvious decline in the salience of religion. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins makes the point that as few as 7 per cent of members of the Royal Society (a prestigious community of scientists in the UK) believe in a personal God. This trend towards less religion in society is countered by the strong political voice that religious communities still have in many countries. One survey of U.S. Members of Congress recorded less than 1 per cent as being openly nonreligious, compared to 16.1 per cent in the wider community. It is almost impossible to be elected as President without a religious affiliation; Mitt Romney’s success as the Republican primary candidate shows that even Mormonism beats atheism (surprising though that may seem). Atheists are the inevitable consequence of our freedom to choose between a set of available ideas and to unlock the mind through access to higher education. Atheists don’t have all the answers. As Richard Dawkins says himself, all sensible atheists are actually agnostics who are at least 90 per cent sure that God is highly improbable.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The rest of the world may be catching up to Vietnam, where more than 80 per cent of the population identifies as having no religion.
However, it is human nature to make, and live by, convictions, even though they may eventually be proven incorrect. Not everyone can be satisfied by questions without answers. We should be celebrating atheism as a natural by-product of our free society. The emergence of non-theists as a significant group indicates progress towards the ultimate goal of a well-educated population that has acquired the level of critical thinking required to be truly free. Felicity Nelson went to the Global Atheist Convention on behalf of Honi Soit. But she won’t be going to heaven.
The Third Drawer
ROAD TEST: Retro VIDEOGAMES Erin Stewart would definitely beat your high score Tetris In Tetris, one must guide a series of blocks which consist of four squares, rearranged to make different shapes and fall within a grid. Each time a horizontal line of the grid is filled without gaps, the line disappears. The game ends when the blocks overflow the grid. Tetris is essentially a metaphor for life. The longer you live, the faster it gets; and you know in the end you’ll be defeated, regardless of how great a player you may be. Add to this the music and design of Cold War-era Russia and nihilism seems to be the only culturally appropriate response. More dangerous still, is the practice of watching over the shoulder of someone else playing Tetris. The frustration created by such an activity has led to many murder-suicides over the years, not to mention great amounts of petty whinging. Tetris is now ubiquitous – you can play it on any platform from your high school graphics calculator to facebook.
Pac Man In Pac Man, the player guides the main character, Pac Man, around a maze. The level is won when Pac Man eats all the pellets of food in the maze. Yet, things are not so easy. The player must ensure that Pac Man avoids running into ghosts, who take away one of his lives. Pac Man only has three lives, so avoiding ghosts is quite important. However, when Pac Man eats a cherry, the ghosts try to run away from him because cherries allow Pac Man to eat the ghosts as though they are mere pellets, for a limited time. Despite its charm, Pac Man offers little in the way of backstory. Why do the ghosts want to kill Pac Man? What property of cherries exactly make yellow circles able to eat otherwise deadly ghosts? How did Pac Man get into this mess in the first place? Shouldn’t he be helping Ms. Pac Man out with the laundry instead of trying to collect pellets in dangerous mazes? Ah, the mysteries of life. Pac Man was originally an arcade game, though in 2010 it was featured on Google’s homepage. So many people played it that an estimated 4.82 million hours were wasted in productivity.
Donkey Kong In Donkey Kong, the player guides a little man named Mario (then named ‘Jumpman’) through an industrial wasteland in which a large monkey throws barrels around. This would result in the imminent death of Mario, were it not for the fact that he is able to jump over the barrels. Despite the bizarre scenario, there is a clear aim here, which is to save a girl named Pauline who has a high pitched squeal and is obviously not enough of a feminist to save her own damn self. This game is both fun and clockable, and the reason why, back in the day, those giant, monochromatic Game Boys were totally worth playing.
Super Smash Brothers Alongside Mario Kart, this game is still a favourite at the house parties of those who grew up in the late ‘90s and have managed to keep their Nintendo 64s intact. In this multiplayer game, the group chooses a location somewhere in the sky (for instance, a space ship in the sky, a garden in the sky, a castle in the sky etc) and the players guide the characters to punch and throw explosives at each other. A character dies whenever it falls into the abyss that is the sky, or whenever it has suffered so much abuse that it can no longer stay on the platform. Violence as a thriving institution in our society, as well as the player whose character dies the least, are the winners. The best part of the game is that you can pick from a host of characters; some from hit ‘90s TV show, Pokémon, as well as other classic Nintendo personalities, including The Legend of Zelda’s ever-likeable Link and, of course, Mario.
Pinball In the words of The Who, ‘He’s a pinball wizard/He has such a supple wrist’. In order to achieve this revered and totally rock-and-roll title of ‘Pinball Wizard’ the player must go to the local arcade (or find a Windows 98 computer) where they insert a coin into a machine that looks like a coffin mixed with a mouse torture device. The machine is slanted downwards and has flippers on the bottom that the player can manipulate. The upfront payment of one coin covers the cost of three balls which the player launches into the machine. The more the ball bumps obstacles, the more points the player gets. But the player must be careful! If the ball falls past the flippers, it is lost forever. Play continues until no balls are left. If Happy Days is a reliable source to go by, having Pinball skills renders one lauded as king in perpetuity throughout the universe.
Sonic the Hedgehog If you ever want to ask people on the street, ‘can a hedgehog be badass?’ know that the answers you may yield may be in the form of facial contortions – a raise of the eyebrows, a squint of the eyes, a twitch of the mouth. They may answer in the negative. But the truth is that, yes, a hedgehog can be badass and Sonic is proof of this. In this game, the player controls the movements of Sonic in collecting a bunch of emeralds through a series of levels. This is much to the chagrin of evil Dr Robotnik, who would have liked to have used the emeralds somehow in his quest for world domination. The real appeal of the game is the movements of Sonic, which are fast-paced and often involve mad tricks with springs. The game isn’t so easy though. The player has to navigate Sonic through a series of checkpoints within time limits and must try to avoid bottomless pits and giant spikes. This game works well to dispel all of the long-held assumptions people have about hedgehogs.
Frogger Frogger incorporates all the fun of crossing the road, with all the danger of crossing a very busy road. In this game, the player guides a naïve frog through several lanes of oncoming traffic. Even if you have been crossing the road by yourself for years, this is no easy feat, particularly since in Frogger reality there does not seem to be any standard speed limit. But the fun does not halt once the frog successfully crosses the road. After this stage, the frog is then set on the task of crossing a river, something which hardly sounds ambitious for an amphibian, but is actually surprisingly challenging. The river has lily pads and logs moving along it. If the frog jumps onto a lily pad or log which then moves off screen, he dies. Strangely, if he lands in the body of water, he also dies. One wonders why in the name of all that is Darwinian, one would want to stop such a feeble creature from dying, but then again, the frog has four lives, which does affirm its ability to survive for a long enough time to breed.
The Third Drawer The sample sale: quelle horreur or quelle hooray?
PATHWAY TO A MAJOR IN
Elodie Cheeseman hates girls in amoeba-print circus pants I’m standing gingerly in a curtained holding pen, eyes shying against the flickering fluorescent lights. Bodies jostle in the stifling heat; I’m sweating like a gladwrapped quiche. Stripped down to my underwear, I clutch at my clothes, my few remaining shreds of dignity… and the sole reason that I’m semi-naked in a basement at 8am on a Saturday – the impressive pile of designer garments that awaits me. Sample sales. They are the thing of dreams; the thing of nightmares. The thought of exposing oneself in a communal change-room is enough to strike fear in the most stalwart of souls. There are the greedy garment-grabbers who scour the racks for anything that might fetch a good price on eBay, and are wont to swoop in on anything you don’t physically chain to yourself. Keep your gaze withering and your elbows sharpened to deal with these harpies. Worse are the girls whose interest in fashion seems born of their model-like figures. They preen self-indulgently before the changeroom’s only mirror, think bras are an unnecessary encumbrance (and make you aware of this as they shimmy pendulously into croptops designed for prepubescent meerkats), and exhibit self-esteem proportionate to their bust-to-waist ratio. High-waisted, amoeba-print, taffeta harem pants that would make anyone else look like a clown who couldn’t locate the facilities after a badly-catered birthday bash somehow seem to exaggerate their lithe limbs and swathe them with an air of sartorial insouciance: ‘I wear these because I can’.
Over the years I’ve been to some real shockers. Many seasons-old Shakuhachi stock apparently smeared with the contents of a Kardashian’s makeup drawer (more like Shock-uhachi-zing!), ostensibly pristine dresses that have literally fallen apart in my hands (not even my quip to the salesgirl that ‘Not all is as it seams’ could ameliorate my disappointment), sample dresses with hems less even than a convention of prime numbers… Cases of buyer’s remorse are also frequent (note the ‘no-returns policy’). Something about the herd of hysterical women all vying for the same garment, and thought of leaving empty-handed after trekking to Rosebery on a Saturday morning before most people have hit the hay, convinces a girl that it’s a good idea to buy a jacket that neither fits nor is appropriate for anyone but Hoedown Barbie. So why go? Why imperil your selfesteem and your credit card? The answer is breathtakingly simple. Because finding a dress that you love, made of beautiful material and an inimitable designer cut, renders all the bad sample sale experiences negligible. Wearing this beauty and knowing you paid less than 20% of its retail price? You’ll feel as smug as a girl who can pull off amoeba-print circus pants. Sample sales are advertised in newspaper Style sections, and websites like missyconfidential.com. Sign up for email notifications on designers’ websites. Go early, prepare yourself for the crowds… and wear decent underwear.
SPENCE STUDIES This exciting major gives you all the skills you need to reach your goal of being Vice-Chancellor.
VCC 1001: Academic Gown Posing Oh the photo ops you’ll pose for as a VC! This program will teach you the ins and outs of gown posing as well as gown prancing, gown flaunting and the less acclaimed but extremely complex art of gown urination.
VCC 1102: Staff management A key component of Vice-Chancellor administrative work is engaging in a warm and positive relationship with your staff. This normally involves firing them en masse and thus most of the course time is devoted to teaching the production of lay-off videos.
VCC 2003: Defence Against the Dark Arts So when the do-gooders come for you, you’ll already know what spells they’re going to use.
HSTY 3001: The Despots of History This course presents the fascinating history of every major megalomaniac from Caesar to Stalin. See where they went wrong and how they lost their grips on power. Learn from their mistakes.
VCC 3006: Union Theft Not that this is something you’ll need to do. But this course will leave you totally prepared for the inevitable time when you don’t need to do this.
VCC 4001: Taking Flack from Student Publications Because let’s face it, whatever you do they’re going to be dicks to you about it.
Where aren’t they now? Dave Mulligan loves Kenan, Kel, and orange soda As a kid I loved the show Kenan and Kel. The two stars, Kenan Thompson and Kel Michel, were like father figures; teaching me everything I needed to know on how to grow up in the hood of inner-west Sydney. For those of you not fortunate enough to grow up with this show, Kenan and Kel was a Nickelodeon sitcom during the late 1990s which focused on the antics and adventures of Kenan Rockmore and his dim-witted and orange-soda-loving friend, Kel Kimble. The show was immensely popular and along with The Amanda Show was a fixture of the Nickelodeon line-up throughout the 90s. The show was eventually dropped in 2000 as the two stars grew out of their on-screen characters but the proceeding careers of the two is a depressing insight into the harsh world of former child stars. Following the cancellation of Kenan and Kel the two briefly went in to film together; starring in Two
Heads are Better than None and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. However, the two really parted ways in 2003 when both auditioned for Saturday Night Live and Kenan was accepted but Kel was not. Kenan Thompson has since become a Hollywood heavyweight. Now entering his ninth season on Saturday Night Live, he is a weekly addition to the popular television show and estimated to be worth $5 million US. His television success has also led to numerous film appearances including his recent casting as the voice of ‘Greedy Smurf’ in the animated film The Smurfs, and he can next be seen in Rob Reiner’s upcoming film Summer at Dog Dave’s with Morgan Freeman. His past projects have include starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a Plane and the comedy Wieners. Kel Michel, however, has been considerably less successful. Following his rejection from Saturday
Night Live, Kel then also turned to film where a number of lowcost productions saw his career slip even further. Two of the most notable of which included the films Clifford’s Really Big Movie and Honeydripper both of which received poor critical acclaim and had very low budgets (Clifford’s Big Movie was created and produced for just $70,000). He was briefly cast as the host of a dancing show Dance 360 in which contestants competed for $360 and an Xbox but poor ratings meant this show lasted only one series. Over the past few years, Kel has resorted to a
Oh look at me, I’m better than you, Kel
number of smaller roles in theatre productions and appearances at Comic expos but now is rumoured to support himself and his family by owning and operating a number of Wendy’s restaurants outside of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Aiming high: the brightest bongs of our generation
Bongs just aren’t what they used to be, writes Ludwig Schmidt It isn’t really possible to separate the love of bongs, from the love of specific bongs. One only grows to enjoy smoking bongs through each bong that one becomes acquainted with. There are times when I’ve had a cone purely to spend a bit of time with old Rambo, my own favoured bamboo bong. As these steady friends are being slowly illegalised (thanks Victoria) and made harder to purchase, a new industry of custom bong makers has finally arrived in Australia. The opportunities are now quite endless; no longer is a vortex bong the coolest shit out, you can carry around what looks like an IV drip which continually dutches a gas mask, you can buy instruction manuals to build them out of lego, or even an N64 controller which has a cone piece instead of a joystick. The following are the best bongs I personally have encountered. I encountered them across four continents, and over the last two years. Get thinking, and help the rise of custom bong culture in our own sweet country. 5. The David Bong: Sighted being smoked in an opium
bar in Shanghai, this beautiful, one foot high replica of Michelangelo’s iconic stature had a cone piece where his penis ought to be, and one pulled through his outstretched hand. It seemed much of his body was hollow, making the chamber pretty huge, best used with party pieces. Masonry skills required. 4. Sex Doll This strangely life-like, yet small, sex doll wraps its legs around your neck. Her mouth serves as a cone piece, and you squeeze her throat while drawing on it. The stomach inflates right in front of your eyes, then when you release her throat you’re able to empty the full chamber through her vajayjay. Amsterdam… 3. Menora My personal favourite for sentimental reasons. Eight of the candles serve as cone pieces, while the one in the middle protrudes out serving as a mouthpiece. There is a small Star of David on the base which one presses, igniting a small jet lighter on each of the cone pieces simultaneously. To be used strictly for mystical/meditative purposes .The Parisian Jewish Quarter.
2. M16 Probably the most enjoyable bong to use in the world. You place the but of the rifle on the floor and put the barrel in your mouth. When you pull the trigger a jet lighter lights the first of five cone pieces sticking out of the magazine. When pulled again it moves along a small rail to the next one. The guns chamber had been made water tight, meaning it is also the bongs chamber, and the gas storage is where the lighter gas is kept. Enjoy literally shooting up. Hong Kong. 1. Taxidermy Awkward, heinously strong, and deeply disturbing, the Taxidermy Dog bong is never the less the deserving number one bong. I have no idea how it worked internally; neither did the man who claims to have made it. All I know is that you the cone piece was inside the Jack Russel terrier’s mouth, his belly button served as a shoty, and, with his tail sticking in the air, you suck through its arse. The dog’s name was Geoffrey, so was its owners. Soho, London.
Last night was... perplexing Last night was a miracle in logistics. I bumped into a girl I had a casual fling with a year or two ago, and, though I only saw her for a few minutes during the night, decided to call her when I was running out of other options. She said she was on the way home, I should meet her there and we would smoke a doobie. All sounded good to me, and so I set up shop on her back porch. She let me in about fifteen minutes later, evidently having arrived through the front. We went straight to her room, lit the doobie as promised, and proceeded to get to the point. I heard some stomping down stairs; she said her housemate must have just got back from overseas
and she would be right back. Unphased I attended to the largely neglected joint while she went down for a chat. I was pretty mellow and time passed quickly enough but she was gone for probably half an hour or so. When she got back everything went as I hoped it would, but I woke up later in the night to find myself alone in her bed. Thinking little of it, I went back to sleep. When I woke in the morning I was still alone, and went downstairs. There was nobody there. I went to the bus stop where I found a very good friend of mine looking a bit the worse for wear. I asked him what he had got up to last night, and he told me he had been at Steph’s house. I asked which
Steph. “The Steph we bumped into last night dude”… “No you weren’t you liar, I was at Steph’s house, don’t try to claim that”… “What the fuck? Where?” … “In her bedroom obviously”… “Christ, I was in the spare room – I swear to God”. He laughed at me for being so desperate that I slept in her bed alone while she was with him in the spare room, but stopped laughing when I asked him what he thought she had been doing during her prolonged absence. “She said her housemate got back from overseas, she was chatting to him.” Unfortunately not, she was riding me…
The ‘Cunt’ Monologues: The Final Frontier?
Is there anything more satisfying than the vitriol of calling your enemies a ‘cuntpuncher’? Jacqueline Maley, debating the use of the word in the Sydney Morning Herald in March, doesn’t think so. In a household when the utterance of even ‘crap’ and ‘bugger’ would entail swift reprimand, musing over the power of ‘cunt’ seems ironic. The C-Word, however, has garnered considerable attention in the media of late, as the last bastion of the pottymouthed delinquent. What’s so special about ‘cunt’, and why does it offend us so? The age has come where no fucks are given when even the most aggressive profanities are printed in books, pronounced on television or shouted in movies – except ‘cunt’. Is it a question of patriarchal hegemony, whereby the word’s emphatic power comes from the unspoken power of female genitalia, and the ingrained perception of the vagina as symbolic of male castration? Or is it simply a question of linguistics – with two plosives of ‘c’ and ‘t’ acting as gratifying bookends for the delightfully powerful ‘un’? The answer, it seems, is a mixture of both. ‘Cunt’ hasn’t always been such an unspeakable word. It seems that sometime between the 12th and 13th centuries, English speakers shifted from acceptance to aversion. It was, of course, never seen in polite society; but we can’t expect too much. If we skip elegantly past the Enlightenment, Renaissance, two World Wars and at least three waves of Feminism, we reach the present day: where Inga Muscio is trying to reclaim the word as a symbol of female empowerment. Responsible for a book entitled ‘Cunt’: A Declaration of Independence, Muscio contends that the word is a power symbol: while women are oppressed, so will the C-word. Quintessentially feminine, but of questionable etymology, ‘cunt’ seemingly holds the title of the worst word in the English language. If it was merely a question of phonetics, why is ‘cock’ so tame in comparison? Cock holds a special place near the top of the profanities list, sure, but no use of cock will ever broach the offensive domain of the ‘cunt’. It seems this comes down to different linguistic representations of female genetalia in the English language. In a society dominated by androcentrism, it is unsurprising that ‘cunt’ has become such a violent word. Similarly, with the increasing power of feminist discourse, it is also unsurprising that the violence of the word has been reduced, as society increasingly rejects this patriarchy.In the end, the role of ‘most offensive word ever’ must be held by something. The fact that ‘cunt’ holds this title is unsurprising, given its connotations to unspoken femininity and the patriarchal beliefs therein. In terms of the power of its profanity, the question remains as to why ‘cunt’ has the power it does. This column does not attempt to answer this question. The question here posed, though, is this: will anything replace ‘cunt’ as the last taboo?
Profile In between rehearsals for the Australian Ballet Company’s upcoming production, Onegin, senior artist Reiko Hombo spoke with Kira Spucys-Tahar
he art of ballet requires unimaginable strength. The grand-pliés, pirouettes, jetés and arabesques of dance choreography all demand an incredible level of mental focus and physical capability.
After years of dancing in Japan, at age 13 Reiko began to think more seriously about ballet as a future career. Deciding she needed to attend a national ballet school to progress, but without such a facility existing in Japan, Reiko auditioned via videolink for the Australian National Ballet School in Melbourne. At just 15, Reiko moved by herself to Australia. “For the first six months I was homesick everyday,” she says. “I couldn’t speak any English.” She picked up the language quite quickly, but it took almost a year before she felt comfortable. “It was hard to be away from my home but I’m glad I did it. And I’m glad my parents let me do it,” she says. Life at ballet school formed a rigid routine. “They want to make you a professional so they are very strict with technique.” There are five ranks within the Australian Ballet Company - Corps de Ballet at the beginning then Coryphées, Soloists, Senior Artists and Principal Artists at the top. In 2006 when she made her debut with the ballet Giselle, Reiko was chosen by the director to get a solo in the pas de deux (a performance duet with a male and female dancer). “It was very special,” she says. In 2008, Reiko was nominated by the artistic directors and principal dancers of the company for the Telstra Ballet Dancer Awards. Reiko said it was “an honour” to be nominated by her work colleagues as it was “not just about how good you are as a dancer, but also your work ethic.” As part of the experience Reiko took part in media activities and promotion of the company. After four years, Reiko was promoted to soloist. This was a “big, huge step”, she says. “Lots of people end their careers within the Coryphée, so I was already very happy as a soloist. It’s a very busy rank because you’ve got your solos and also your group work.” Now a Senior Artist, Reiko is pleased she gets to focus on her principal solo section role. “I’m so happy; I couldn’t thank my directors enough!” The regime for maintaining a ballet
Reiko Hombo began dancing at age five after walking past a ballet studio in the local shopping centre with her mother. “I saw all the little girls around my age in the pink leotards and I said, ‘I want to do that!’” she recalls.
The Butterfly Effect dancer’s physique sounds gruelling. There is a 75-minute core ballet class at 9am every day, six days a week, focusing on basic classical technique training. Then there are rehearsals for anywhere between three to six hours, depending on the difficulty of the ballet. The dancers also partake in swimming, Pilates or yoga depending on their body types. Performances of each show run six nights a week, usually finishing at 10pm.
“To perform in front of my parents, I couldn’t be any happier,” Reiko says. “They put in all this time, money and effort and I’m happy to show them what I do now.” A talented dancer, Reiko finds traditional technique “relatively easy.” But she finds ‘adage’, which is a slow dancing quality, more difficult. “I wouldn’t say it’s a struggle, but I want to improve it.” In the upcoming production of the ballet Onegin (pronounced on-yaygen), Reiko will have the opportunity
When one of the other dancers couldn’t go on, Reiko was thrust into the spotlight. ‘I knew what I had to do’.
Reiko admits she used to go out clubbing when she was younger, but now at 24-years-old, “I just want to go home and rest,” she says. Despite the tough routine, Reiko loves ballet. Her favourite role was in the titular part of Madame Butterfly the tragic, emotional story of a Japanese geisha. Initially Reiko was the ‘cover’ dancer, an understudy in the ballet world. “I was honoured to even have that role,” she says. When one of the other dancers couldn’t go on, Reiko was thrust into the spotlight. “I knew what I had to do,” she says. Her parents came from Japan to watch her show in Sydney.
to perform a pas de deux adage, which is “out of my comfort zone.”
Onegin is considered the crowning achievement of choreographer John Cranko, widely regarded as a master of the story ballet. His adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel, set to the music of T chaikovsky, is set to be a triumph of dance. Reiko will perform the role of Olga alongside Daniel Gaudiello in the role of Lensky, Olga’s fiancé. “He’s one of my favourite dancers, and he’s my friend as well. He’s someone I look up to,” Reiko says. “I danced Madame Butterfly with him so we have a good process. He’s such a good partner.”
Outside of ballet, Reiko loves spending time with her friends. “I’d say I’m a social butterfly,” she says. “I have a ‘Melbourne family’. They’re very close to me, I think partly because the mother is also Japanese.” This is Reiko’s ninth year in Australia and she says, “I’m finally building friendships outside of ballet.” Reiko also really enjoys cooking Japanese food from her mother’s recipes – “a lot of Asian cooking”, she says. “With dancing we use all our energy so it’s important to eat properly.” Being part of the Australian Ballet Company means Reiko is often away from home in Melbourne, for around five months a year. As part of the company’s 50 th anniversary celebrations this year they will be going on tour to New York. “I don’t mind the travelling,” Reiko says. “It’s exciting because I’ve never been to America.” Now that she is a Senior Artist, Reiko wants to take on challenging, new performances. “I hope to be cast in more mature roles so I can grow my artistry,” she says. “I just need to take care of my body and keep going for as long as I can.”
Onegin is at the Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House, until May 21. See: australianballet.com.au for more information.
They’re the self-appointed guardians of our streets, patrolling the suburbs and fighting crime. Rob Morrison embarks on his own adventure to become a real life superhero.
t is something straight out of Hollywood. A man emerges from jail to face the cameras, black and gold body armour poking out from behind his pinstriped suit. Everybody knows him as Phoenix Jones, leader of Seattle’s vigilante group, the ‘Rain City Superhero Movement’. But now, after being arrested outside a nightclub for pepper spraying a group of troublemakers, his reputation lies in tatters. He has only one option. He removes his mask. “I’m Phoenix Jones. I’m also Ben Fodor. I also protect the city. I also am a father, I also am a brother. I’m just like everyone else.” This is his Oscar speech. He looks straight down the camera’s barrel.
The exact number of real life superheroes protecting the planet is unknown, but the highly selective World Superhero Registry - an online organisation that supports and monitors superheroes - places the number around 720. Its website contains the profiles of these superheroes, legal advice, ‘how-to’ tutorials, and a hero support centre for those who may need their wonder-belt serviced.
“The only difference is that I decided to make a difference and stop crime in my neighborhood and my area. I intend to keep making that difference. The charges were false.” As if directed by Spielberg, the former mixed martial arts fighter rips off his jacket and throws it to the gutter. Replacing his mask and assuming his best pin-up power-stance, Phoenix Jones issues a call for Seattle’s citizens to join him on Saturday night, to help clean up the stench of the city. Then, with a swoosh of his cape, he’s gone.
In awe, I watched Phoenix Jones’ highlight reel on YouTube, and cruise the profile of Angle-Grinder Man, who frees cars from the tyranny of
What many don’t realise is that Phoenix is but the tip of a much bigger iceberg.
illegal-parking clamps. My inner seven-year-old piped up: “This is your chance!” Fascinated by this world of capes, secret identities, and innovative use of work-shop tools, my mind raced. I needed to know how legitimate this group was. Could I fulfill my childhood desires? What would it take for me to become a superhero?
TRAINING AND DEVOTION
DANGER WOMAN, who states and capitalises her name at every opportunity, was born Betsy Goodrich. Betsy has Aspberger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. DANGER WOMAN, on the other hand, has the super-powers of heightened focus, attentiveness, and memory skills, which she claims she uses to help the police force of Atlanta.
Donning the black dress of a Japanese Warrior, Dark Samurai is highly trained in Haidong Gumdo (Korean art of the Sumarai), is an expert in Aikido (the Way of Peace), and is an avid fan of Family Guy. He is the first to enlighten me in the way of the superhero. “Superheroes are more diverse in their ways of fighting evil than the average civilian is at what things they do during the day,” he says. But, wielding his Katana and Wakazashi (Samurai swords), Dark Samurai acknowledges all superheroes have one thing in common: “All believe in opposing the many different types of evil; crime and apathy being chief in that list. Most superheroes are extremely devoted to this cause.”
When DANGER WOMAN speaks it is clear it is DANGER WOMAN who adopts the personality of Betsy, not the other way round. “Betsy is so cute, innocent, and naive, because of the fact that she has Aspberger’s Syndrome,” she says. In her electric blue jumpsuit and ‘DW’ branded cape, DANGER WOMAN truly views the world through her mask. Sitting with her dogs, who are collectively referred to as ‘the Danger Force Pets’ and can communicate with humans through their super-collars, DANGER WOMAN explains nonchalantly that she also possesses powers beyond her Aspberger-induced abilities. “Well, I do have super strength, the ability to fly, hyper-fly, and group-fly, special energy blasts and bolts, ultrasonics in my voice…and my special weapon, The Danger Karaoke Microphone.” But throughout our interview it becomes clear that it is not DANGER WOMAN’s ability to fly which is her most impressive trait. DANGER WOMAN is incredibly passionate about defending the rights of disabled people. DANGER WOMAN says she once battled former Governor of Georgia, Roy Barnes after she claims he called her a “prozac addict” violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. According to DANGER WOMAN, she demanded an apology but was instead attcked by Barnes in a tank he had sourced from a nearby army base. DANGER WOMAN managed to escape, but says she had the last laugh.
For most of us, becoming a superhero stays firmly in the realm of our childhood, or perhaps nowadays as an odd sexual fantasy. We remember tying each other up and swooping in, undies exterius, to save our anguished damsel from the clutches of evil Dr Nosex, the arch-nemesis of BigBanana Man, or something equally innocuous. But for the community of real-life super heroes, this is not just fun and games; it is their life.
“Of course, Roy Barnes did e-mail me and profusely apologized to me for what he did to me. But then, the media found out and it caused a serious international incident. Of course, he did get fired by the voters and was voted out of office…it was because of me that he got in hot water.”
Ecliptico, a 35 year-old crime fighter from Virginia, expands on Dark Samurai’s ideas. Concealing his identity by wearing a motorbike helmet, he explains: “They sometimes even feel like the mask they wear and the costume they don are during the day, and the one they use at night is their real identity.” To join this league you have to BE a superhero.
Although none of these events could be verified, one thing is for certain: if I was going to be a superhero I’d require passion and a cause.
SACRIFICE The infamous Master Legend patrols the streets of Orlando at night in his 1986 Nissan Battle Truck, protects himself with a battle helmet and his signature silver and black armour, was gifted his superpowers of strength and speed by a dead voodoo queen named Marie Laveau, and has a history of alcoholism. Unlike the rest of the superheroes I’ve met, Master Legend is dark and mysterious. Rather intense, he rarely provides more than two sentence answers. What is your real message? I am trying to expose the reason why there is so much trouble in the world and
about metaphysics. So, why is there so much trouble in the world and how does metaphysics come into it? Metaphysics will be the weapon of the righteous against the Illuminati. The Illuminati are the reason for every bad thing you see. How are the Illuminati responsible for every bad thing? What things do the Illuminati do? They are the richest people in the world who want a one world order and slavery. How do you plan to expose them? I have been doing it a little at a time.
I became well known in other countries even before America. I have made myself world-known setting the stage for my plan. What is your plan?
can,” he explains. “I was badly abused and vowed that as soon as I got strong enough I would fight evil as a masked man. I have been providing for myself since I was 15. I have no family.”
But I wouldn’t get an answer to that question. Master Legend stopped speaking.
“My entire life is consumed by being a superhero and most people don’t understand it.”
People close to Master Legend admit he has drunk excessively in the past and has struggled to maintain relationships. There has been tragedy: his girlfriend died of a heart attack after - he claims - a doctor gave her ‘bad medicine’.
Master Legend is now five months sober, and runs his own property maintenance business, though he admits times are tough. It appears being a superhero comes at great personal cost. This path could be a lonely one. You could be isolated forever, a torn soul. At least that’s what I thought until I met Tothian and ShowStopper.
But his superhero path was laid out much earlier in his life. “At a very young age I found some comics in a garbage
LOVE Being the spouse of a superhero must be hard. The constant worry, the never ending superlatives, and the knowledge that you never quite compare to their need to fight evil. But there is one way to solve this problem: if you’re engaged to a superhero, become one yourself. Tothian and ShowStopper are both reverends by day, but by night, they prowl the streets in their combat boots keeping their fellow New Yorkers safe. Only ever referring to each other by their superhero names, both are visibly excited about their upcoming wedding.
“The plans aren’t complete yet, but we’re planning a small wedding,” ShowStopper says. “We’ll invite some good friends, in a church, and Master Legend to marry us.” It turns out Master Legend is also an ordained reverend. ShowStopper starts to list the guests on her fingers: “…Lunar Veil and Dark Wolf, Thanatos and Lady Catacomb, Phoenix Jones and Purple Reign, The Eye and his wife, I can’t remember them all, there are so many.” I’d always wondered exactly what a superhero wedding might entail, but then ShowStopper answers my biggest question. “We plan to get married in our suits, me modifying a dress to look more like my suit, and the guests will be in
their suits as well. We’re still working on the plans.” After speaking with Tothian and ShowStopper I felt like I’d completed my reconnaissance. I’d gone deep into the world of the superhero. I’d learnt that to be a superhero you need training, a uniform, a name, devotion, passion, sacrifice, and love. It was time to see if I had what it took to be formally invited by Kevlex to join the World Superhero Registry; to see if I had the metal of Entomo or the poise of Black Arrow, the strength of Motor Mouth, the drive of Captain Ozone, the
Master Legend snow shoveling ability of Polar Man, or the unimaginativeness of a superhero named Superhero. My moment had arrived.
A HERO IS BORN myself to do 20 situps as well. Devotion, check. My friends had invited me to the movies but tonight I wouldn’t be going. Sacrifice, check. I had work to do.
I admired my reflection. The light bounced off my shined combat boots that matched my black tank top. My billowing army pants, buffed shoulder pads, and reflective aviator glasses established an intimidating presence. I gazed at the mirror. A kickass looking superhero glared back. Uniform, check. I did some pushups. Training, check. I was feeling sore after that and wanted to sit down. But I pushed
Beginning my final preparations, making sure I had everything I’d need, I went through some of the hero names my good friend DANGER WOMAN had suggested. ‘The Daring Brave Kookaburra’ or ‘The Riley Koala Bear’ just didn’t quite have the punch I was looking for. As I picked up our first aid kit, it slapped me right in the face. The perfect name. It was written right there on the box. Opening the box I got a paper cut. God, I hate paper cuts. Passion, check. I was ready. I knew this would be a thankless task but someone had to do it. I passed the threshold of my house and entered the foreboding night. I was lov-
As I’ve found, being a real life superhero is not easy. You have to make sacrifices to do something you really believe in, only to be ridiculed, labeled as crazy, and outcast by the society you protect. But I feel they represent something far greater than just adults playing dressup. Consider this statement, if you will, which appears on the World Superhero Registry website: “I am the Dark Guardian and I have been dubbed what the media calls a Real Life Superhero…I use the iconic essence of comic book superheroes to make a difference, inspire others, spread a positive mes-
ing this. Love, close enough. I’d been patrolling for an hour when I saw them loitering outside the video store. There were six of them and one of me. Although I looked fearsome in my new gear, that wasn’t going to stop these guys beating the kryptonite out of me. “Who the f**k are you?” snarled the one with the Gucci fanny pack over his shoulder. I planted my feet. Our eyes locked. When I spoke it was with the power of a thousand megaphones.
had disabled them. My impervious-toridicule glasses were doing the trick. “Do any of you require a BandAid?” The howls intensified. If there had been a threat, I had extinguished it. These youths would not be causing any trouble tonight. I continued on my way, knowing I had what it takes to be a superhero.
“I am THE AMAZING ELASTOPLAST…and I am a superhero, fighting crime and minor abrasions! Why are you hanging around outside this video store?” My powerful words caused the six youths to fall to the ground. They rolled about, kicking with laughter. I
sage, and call attention to issues in my community. There is a hero in everyone and if we would let it shine we would live in a much better place. I am working with other real life superheroes to help make a bigger difference.” Despite my own commitments to the cause, three weeks after my superheroic exploits I have not yet been contacted by the World Superhero Registry. In my research, however, I did find another organisation: ROACH – The Ruthless Organisation Against Citizen Heroes. It is an online-organisation of supervillains. The threat of defection is ever-present.
Culture Vulture USYD comedians dominate at the Sydney Comedy Festival Jack Gow gets serious about comedy “I’ll tell you what I told everyone else, it’s not murder unless you find the body, so bring a hat!” is what Carlo Ritchie tells me to expect from his show at the Sydney Comedy Festival. Performing alongside former Usyd Theatresports host, Steen Raskopoulos, their powers combine to make improvisational comedy duo The Bear Pack. Two of the founders of weekly campus comedy night Project 52, Raskopoulos and Ritchie aka Sexy_hotding19 and chessmaster_sexytext, are but some of many ex and current Sydney Uni students performing at this year’s festival.
The Bear Pack Fri 4 & Fri 11 May at 10pm, $15.
on to do sold out shows at the Sydney Fringe Festival and tour nationally. She describes her show, ‘Hello! Friendly!’, as “definitely a thing that is happening”. Fri 4 - Sun 6 May at 7pm, $15.
Tue 8-Wed 9 at 9.30pm, & Sun 13 May at 7pm, $15.
Genevieve Fricker: Has your boyfriend locked in her basement.
Michael Hing: Technically, doesn’t hate all white people, he’s just annoyed that they seem to own everything and go about it an unapologetically obnoxious way.
James Colley: “Life is filled with amazing things like love and ice cream, and terrible things like famine and Nickelback.”
Tue 1 - Fri 4 May at 9pm, $15.
Genevieve Fricker Since making the 2011 Raw Comedy finals, musical comedian and former Arts student Genevieve Fricker has gone
SAN CISCO MUSIC PROFILE
‘Welcome to the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Existence’, the first solo show by James Colley has had to have two additonal shows added as the first rapidly
recorded ‘Rocketship’, our first song. A few months later we played our first gig, way down in Denmark, south of Perth. We had a name change and it all sort of went from there. HS: When was the moment when you guys thought you might be onto something big? JD: I don’t think we ever knew we were onto something big actually. The first time I think I ever thought “wow, we’re actually getting somewhere” is when we made the Triple J Hottest 100. Before that it was all just for fun. HS: So tell me about that day. Did you expect ‘Awkward’ to do so well in the Hotest 100?
ith their kooky call-response single ‘Awkward’ hitting number seven in Triple J’s Hottest 100 last year, Fremantle based four-piece, San Cisco are rapidly climbing the indie-pop ranks with their catchy hooks and carefree lyrics. Paul Ellis caught up with vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Jordi Davieson. HS: So, for no particular reason, have you met any cool people? JD: Yeah we’ve met heaps of cool people. Josh and I went to this songwriting camp in Sydney, we didn’t even know what to expect. We met lots of cool producers from LA and London. You meet amazing people every trip. HS: Have you had the chance to meet any of your own music idols? JD: Yeah I met Tyler, the Creator at
Current Theatresports co-host and 2012 Arts Revue director, Bridie Connell is competing for improvised comedic glory and state pride in the 2012 National Theatresports Finals, despite being from New Zealand. Sat 19 May at 8pm, $38.
Joint founder of Project 52, stand-up comedian and serial uni drop-out Michael Hing, describes his show, ‘An Open Letter to Rich White People Concerning Their Role in the Downfall of Civilization’, as: “an hour of personal jokes and stories about racism, inequality and probably cocks”.
The Bear Pack Improvises with Friends: “Because the pyramids where built for something... Please come?”
sold out. The current Verge Festival co-director, 2011 Science Revue director and P52 regular, “reads letter to his one year old niece about the world as he knows it and she doesn’t”.
Big Day Out and Washington the other day. People you’d never see in real life HS: What’s next for San Cisco? JD: We’re going into the studio in July and we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do. We’ve got four tracks. We’re thinking we might either record a couple more for an EP or go all the way and make an album. HS: What were you doing before the band formed? JD: Before the band started I was just doing the solo thing, playing around Freemantle, our home town, then I got Josh to play with me. Around the same time, I was jamming with Scarlett and I won some recording time. I figured we’d record a song properly with a band, and so we got King George together (what San Cisco used to be called) and we
JD: I wasn’t expecting it. I was putting my money on number 41. I thought that wouldn’t even happen. HS: Has that success been hard to follow? JD: No, because ‘Awkward’ is a simple song. We’ve written songs that, personally, I think are a thousand times better - ones we’ve spent so much time on. I just don’t know how people are going to receive them because they might want more simple, poppy songs. I don’t think you can really look at ‘how can we follow that up’ because otherwise you just freak yourself out. HS: Who are your main influences? JD: We all listen to very different music. Nick and I listen to a little bit of hip-hop and Scarlett listens to quite a bit of rock. Josh likes really new sorts of music, like Neon Indian and things like that. I think that’s why when it comes
Bridie Connell: “Shakespeare meets flying dragons meets gangsta rap”
together, that what makes it all work because we’ve got very different musical interests. HS: So you’re doing Groove in the Moo? Where else can we expect to see you? JD: Yeah, we’re doing a couple of side shows. I think we should do some under age shows because there seems to be no underage shows coming up. But I think that’s what the kids want. We did an underage one in Perth and it was one of our best shows because everyone was so excited. HS: What did you listen to growing up? J: Both of my parents are jazz musicians so I grew up listening to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Herbie Hancock. Davide Bowie and Lou Reed where also always on CD player. I think the influences of our music just depends on what we are listening to at the time. In the beginning it was the Beatles and Bob Dylan. These days it’s The Strokes, The Drums, Gorillaz and Smith Westerns.
HS: Which bands do you admire? JD: Tame Impala. The way they have had a steady climb to the top is something we have always tried to follow.
HS: What are some new Aussie bands our readers should keep an eye on? J: The Preeches, The Jungle Giants, Tin Pan Orange and of course Snakadaktal! San Cisco are playing in Sydney, 8pm Wednesday May 9th at The Standard. $17 + bf
Culture Vulture Fashion crisis! What goes with mortar board?
Dr Anna Boucher, academic sartorialist, offers her advice on what not to wear under your gown Okay, I know what you are thinking – academics know nothing about fashion, and shouldn’t be trusted on these important topics. Those of us who think corduroy jackets with arm patches are cool (did I mention, comfortable?) and perhaps even have some kind of retro appeal, should clearly not be listened to about sartorial quandaries. Before you dismiss outright the fashion potentials of those who wear funny hats and gowns, remember that Miuccia Prada has a PhD in Political Science. But I digress. Spending many hours on the stage in the Great Hall watching students graduate has given me ample opportunity to contemplate the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of graduation-day fashion. A niche market, sure, but a seemingly important category of dress code. In fact, it is puzzling that it is left out from Marie Claire Fashion Director, Nina Garcia’s book What to wear for every occasion: Look Book. She who advises with such skill on topics as diverse as fishnets, lipstick and miniskirts has nothing to offer on graduation days. Obviously I need to come to your assistance. First a bit of context: remember, that graduation day photo will be on your
bookshelf for decades to come. Your children and grandchildren will look at it. Do you really want to ask yourself year after year: ‘what was I thinking with that 12 cm red platform heel’? So even if right now it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it will be in the future, when you inevitably look upon your Sydney University day photos with fond, slightly teary eyes. I wouldn’t want to be gendered in my analysis, especially as the tailored men’s suit is all the rage for women on the catwalk of Paris right now (see recent photos of Miranda Kerr). So take from this what you will. Suits: Suits can be worn by guys or girls. If worn, they should have a sharp, smart line and fit properly. Nothing better than a tailored, well cut suit on either sex. Both parts should match. Make sure that the little button hole on your academic gown hood is attached to your shirt, not drapped over the side Tarzanstyle. Jeans in light colours: Don’t go there. Stick with suits, or a dark pants option, as discussed. Cleavage: Please, avoid revealing it.
Nathan Olivieri on the superhero film seven years in the making
Seamless cross-over between each film was vital, with many central and supporting characters making cameos across the suite of films to ensure continuity remained intact, whilst Avengers coscreenwriter Zak Penn was involved in script supervision on each of the ‘prequel’ films. It is a mammoth undertaking in cinema: luckily for Marvel, the project seven years in the making definitely doesn’t disappoint. The plot of the superhero film is often tediously weak, though it can be forgiven in this instance as it simply serves as a narrative expedient to assemble the champion team. An interstellar portal transports Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the villainous brother of Thor, to Earth with eyes on a galactic takeover. Cue Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), as the head of peace-keeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D., going into crisis mode and assembling his crew of stalwart superheroes, including master assassins The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), as makeshift defenders of the planet.
Lacy/silky undergarments better suited to the boudoir: Double avoid, especially when combined with the above. Shoes: You wouldn’t want to trip in front of the Vice Chancellor, or down the stairs of the Great Hall, would you? Perhaps some elegant or preppy flats over those 10cm green stiletto heels? Sandles: No way! Trainers: Okay so former Foreign Minister of Germany, Joschka Fisher, wore them when sworn in as the first Greens Minister of the Bundestag. But unless you are trying to make a political statement, probably best to avoid. When in doubt, a sharp white shirt and a skirt/pants in a dark colour is the best way to go. A special piece of jewelry or cufflinks can give that individual touch, or draw attention to some family tradition. That might sound boring and even a bit suffragettist, but if there is one day when you want to channel Virginia Woolf aesthetic, surely it is your graduation day?
Don’t forget your undies
And remember, we are very proud of you on your graduation day, whatever you wear! This is Dr Boucher’s personal opinion and does not reflect any fashion policy of Sydney University.
The Avengers has been the precious baby of Marvel Studios for quite some time. Green-lit in 2005, a painstakingly long-term plan was set in motion to develop individual movies for each of the central characters to establish audience familiarity. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, though Edward Norton starred in the original) were rolled out first in 2008. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) subsequently followed in 2011.
Not for puritanical reasons. It is just, unfortunately, the academic gown yoke does not work wonders for it, nor is it appropriate for such an occasion.
Director, and superhero-culture tragic, Joss Whedon has constructed a film which is not only visually superb, but eminently watchable as a piece of entertainment. Set pieces are meticulously constructed and flawlessly edited: technically, it is brilliant. The use of 3D undoubtedly enhances the experience, though the pestering effects of ‘brain strain’ still hamper throughout the lengthy sitting of close to two and a half hours. The emerging trend of the selfreferential superhero film also facilitates some cleverly formulated throwaway lines and banter between the clashing egos – it is anything but straight-laced, and the humour propels the film along after what is an unusually slow start. There is something oddly compelling about watching superheroes battle as a collective: it is an innately satisfying premise. The players each command the screen with gusto, and the tandem battle sequences are majestically shot. The values of selflessness and the familial are blatantly established by Whedon, though with a film of this magnitude little is left to subtlety. This is, of course, the underlying problem with the superhero genre: bombastic overtness. There is so much inherent meaning to be derived from the superhero figure, yet it can get lost in explosions and special effects. The recent Batman films are an exemplar of perfecting the balance, and The Avengers is admittedly a notch below these. That said, as far as comic book films are concerned, it is certainly a significant cut above the rest.
Nathan Olivieri writes a film review blog: www.fortheloveofgoodcinema.blogspot.com.au
Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls
Justin Pen enjoys some introspective blues They’re the sort of the folksy, blues band you’d expect to see playing at a sparsely-lit, unoccupied saloon halfway through a particularly slow Wednesday. So, how is it that Alabama Shakes, a dusty four-piece (from the even dustier Alabama town of Athens) would manage to sign a deal with indie stalwart Rough Trade Records, and embark on a mostly sold-out European tour? Alabama Shakes’ sound isn’t exceptionally aggressive save for a few choice tracks. Instead Boys & Girls relies first and foremost on their lead singer’s rich, soulful yet grating vocal timbre. Zac Cockrell (bass) and Steve Johnson (drums) bring meaningful backing beats through their bass and drums, respectively; however, the instrumentation tends to take a backseat to Brittany Howard’s distinctive voice - sometimes harsh, yet (paradoxically) sometimes soothing. Heath Fogg’s contributions on guitar never quite take the lead but his blues-rock licks in ‘Rise To The Sun’ and gentle ambience on the eponymous ‘Boys & Girls’ make clear he’s a man with a light, but very effective touch. More Janis Joplin than Joan Jett, Howard grounds her vocal tumult in punchy lyrical minimalism. She kickstarts the anthemic album-opener ‘Hold On’, warbling “Bless my heart, bless my soul / I didn’t think I’d make it, to 22 years old.” Her voice sounds aged and finer for it, like a weathered whiskey. It’s a couplet that may appear, or in the hands of a less mature singe, as premature angst; though Howard’s voice carries with it soulful sympathy. Indeed, this is hardly the only contradiction on
the album. Zipping by at only a minute forty-seven, ‘Goin’ to the Party’, sounds like a fantastic B-side from one of Kim Deal’s solo albums. A mostly lonely, plucky guitar riff flanks Howard as she mutters, “you gotta take me back, ‘cause I’m still somebody’s daughter.” Meanwhile, three tracks later on ‘Be Mine’, she expresses a feisty, confrontational side; “If they wanna fight / they done started fucking with the wrong heart.” She’s vulnerable but refuses to be a victim. My main gripe, however, with Alabama Shakes is that despite the richness of their musical roots, they lack the substantive elements that really defined Blues as a movement, not just a genre. It’s unpolished in a good way, but effortless in a bad one. Amps buzz and crackle but without the undertones of social or political disenfranchisement that even John Mayer occasionally tried to tap into (think: ‘Waiting on the World to Change’, and not ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’), Alabama Shakes are a band with a lot of heart, but little direction. But hell, they’re a bunch of twentysomethings looking inward rather than outward and that’s gotta be something worth treasuring in this day and age.
The Cloud War: Google Drive versus Dropbox
Christopher J Browne compares the popular jock with the freshman in the consumer cloud storage platforms war Google, after years of rumour, has finally launched its own cloud storage offering - Google Drive. Anyone who has a Google account will be able to access Google Drive, however until it is rolled out to all accounts you may have to register your interest through the site and wait in a queue (generally for no longer than a day or so). I have been a longtime Dropbox user, so is Google’s late offering going to be enough to convince me to switch teams?
an issue - only 2% of Dropbox users run Linux. Dropbox’s desktop client offers a number of advantages over that of Google’s. The icon offers detailed information about the current status of the synchronisation (the current file being synchronised, and speed of the transfer), whereas Google’s offers only the
Collaboration and online tools comparison Both Dropbox and Google Drive allow users to share folders with each other in order to collaborate on projects or to simply send a friend some files. Google Drive is a clear winner in this regard - while both services allow sharing,
The basics All cloud storage services serve a few basic common purposes: they provide a way to backup your files in the case of a data loss, and a way to access files while away from your home computer. Both Dropbox and Google Drive are accessible through an online interface, and using downloadable tools and apps they can synchronise your online backup with folders on your computers or mobile devices. Files dropped into these special folders on your desktop are automatically uploaded and made available to all your linked devices.
Desktop and mobile synchronisation tools comparison Dropbox offers desktop clients for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, while Google Drive falls slightly short with only Windows and Mac OS X clients. For the average user this is probably not
types including Photoshop (.PSD) and archive (.ZIP, .RAR) files can be previewed in the browser without needing any special software installed.
Storage space and value for money Dropbox offers 2GB of free space, with up to 16GB available through completing certain tasks such as installing one of their apps or referring friends to the service. Google offers 5GB for free. Dropbox clearly wins here, however the paid storage space upgrade options are far more cost effective with Google Drive - Dropbox is four times more expensive.
The conculsion total number of files being transferred. Another great feature of Dropbox is the LAN sync - any computers that are on the same local network (e.g., your home PC and your laptop) will send files to each other through your home network, rather than over the Internet. This is a lot faster, and saves a lot of bandwidth. Google Drive does not currently support such a feature. Google Drive also falls short in the mobile device department; currently only an Android app is available, with an app for iOS devices currently in development. Dropbox offers apps for Android, iOS, and Blackberry.
Google Drive provides more fine-grained controls on how folders are shared. Folders can be set as read-only for example, so you can share your files for someone else to view without worrying about anything being altered or deleted. Google Drive ties in directly to Google Docs, and if you were a previous user of Google Docs you will see all of your existing files in your Google Drive. Documents can be edited live in the browser, without needing to be downloading to your computer first. They can also be edited by multiple people at the same time. Even more impressive is Google Drive’s ability to show previews of a large number of file types - up to thirty
Google Drive offers some great features not available elsewhere that should definitely worry competitors. That said, at present Google Drive does feel a little new, and not in a trendy way, but in an awkward slightly unfinished way. Features that are present in other offerings such as Dropbox are conspicuously absent from Google Drive, which is surprising considering that Dropbox has been around since 2008. The small amount of free space may also turn away adopters of the service. This very well may change as it becomes more popular, as it did with Google’s Gmail, and hopefully as the service develops we will see more features added.
3 Billion Dollars: what makes a game studio worth so much? Jeff Wong investigates the Steam behind Valve, one of the must successful video game studios in history Valve game developers eventually turned on their brain-bulbs and realised that Steam would be a brilliant way to provide players with an online marketplace to digitally purchase games without leaving the comfort of their swivel chairs and the warm embrace of their pocket-pizzas. Steam also provides a brilliant entrance for younger indie developers to gain a huge audience of potential customers; frequent ‘Steam Sales’ allow users to purchase game bundles at a reduced cost to get new devs some spotlight, and in total there are over 30 million people with an active Steam account.
Valve founder Gabe Newell on the roof of his Washington offices.
So here’s the thing - video games are the fastest growing form of entertainment, outranking visual arts, film and television. For example, Activision and Blizzard, two major game studios, have generated nearly $16 billion US dollars in revenue since 2008, a figure that is still rising. Another of the leaders in PC gaming is Valve, the company behind the online gaming marketplace and multiplayer server system, Steam. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “but Jeff you knowledgeable bastard, what exactly is the ‘x-factor’ that provides Valve with the cutting edge that puts it above the rest?” Why I’m glad you asked that, strangely aggressive reader! The jewel in Valve Corporation’s crown is its ‘virtual distribution network’, Steam. Originally created back in 2002 to streamline patches and other updates to their games, the
Nowadays, the Steam platform dominates the PC market, providing a quick, easy and safe way for people to buy games and play with their friends, standing up to other providers such as Origin (Electronic Art’s platform that serves the Battlefield 3 community) and Games for Microsoft Windows (which does… something). Simply put, comparing other companies to Valve’s Steam system is like comparing a gnat to Jupiter. But some of you are saying, “well hold on there, Jeff, aren’t Valve’s in-house developed games the contributing factors to Valve’s ongoing success in everything?” You can bet your left pectoral they are lopsided reader! The main boon that Valve has over other gaming companies is that it has a direct hand in development as well as marketing, seeing as it controls its own virtual distribution through Steam. Alright, now it’s time to get a bit deeper here. On the business side of things, Valve has always been a private company, and has never even amused the thought of outsourcing itself. This
is most clearly summed up within the first page of the Valve handbook for new employees, “Valve is self funded. We haven’t ever brought in outside financing. Since our earliest days this has been incredibly important in providing freedom to shape the company and its business practices.”
ing to $20 million US today”. Valve also had a 100 per cent increase in purchases of Team Fortress 2 after every update, which is supplied directly through Steam as well. Staying on the subject of Team Fortress 2, introducing the ability to gift items increased sales by 71 percent as well.
Here’s the crux of the situation; when a company as big as Valve is privately owned and worth approximately $3 billion US, it holds no duty as a public company (such as Nintendo or Microsoft) to cater towards its shareholders and grow perpetually by churning out periodic content. Because of the privatisation of Valve, it is not governed by what the stocks say and doesn’t commit to business decision based on their growth or decline in the public arena.
And, the infamous ‘Steam Sales’. Cutting the cost down for certain games for short periods of time has worked phenomenally. In 2009, a weekend deal was offered which allowed users to purchase Left-4-Dead at half price which showed a 3000 percent increase in sales. Valve themselves have analysed these figures and produced these following numbers: “A 10 percent price reduction creates an increase of 35 percent in income, while a 25 percent discount gives an increase of 245 percent. 50 percent discounts create average increases of 320 percent, while a price slash of 75 percent off will push income up by 1470 percent.”
Look at other companies and their success. Activision’s Call of Duty, a public domain, has been forced to annualise the games release in order to maintain a consistent consumer base and satisfy demand. On the other hand, Valve’s Half-Life: Episode 3, has been called for by their fan base almost immediately after the end of Episode 2, but it has been mysteriously absent from Valve’s release table. Whilst the demand for it is infinitely growing, there isn’t a worry that dragging out the release will greatly harm them financially. But where are they getting all their funding if it’s purely private? As I mentioned earlier; in-house control of development as well as distribution. According to Gabe Newell’s (Valve Managing Director) keynote speech in 2009, “since 2004 there’s been a 100 percent year on year growth of Steam users lead-
These numbers have been referenced by Joe Martin of Bit-tech.net, who finishes with, “The single most impressive figure though is that one (unfortunately unnamed) third-party game saw an increase in sales of 36,000 percent in a single sale weekend. Wow.” Phew. So there you have it, a small insight into why Valve manages to be so successful. Now all we have to do is wait until Half-Life: Episode 3 is release. Then we can all ride narwhals to Jupiter and play with the space- faeries. Jeff is a regular game blogger: pressxtolivelife.blogspot.com.au
Action-Reaction SCIENCE FEATURE
“Do I look gay in these genes?”
Zara Jackson-Martin discusses the science of sexuality Originating from a rural area steeped in Catholicism meant that coming to terms with being homosexual wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. However amidst conflicting social influences and the challenge of coming-out, science has been my life raft. Understanding and exploring the biological mechanisms behind sexual orientation has helped to reassure me that despite being homosexual I’m just as ‘normal’ as the next person and that my sexuality is so much more than a ‘lifestyle choice’. Given the sheer scope of research on sexual orientation, I’ve chosen to stick to a few key areas of interest in the relevant literature. Beginning with a theory known as the Fraternal Birth Order Effect. Several dozen studies, including a British meta-analysis of data from over 16,000 participants, have found that older brothers are associated with homosexual orientation in males. This may seem like a rather outlandish claim but we’re talking about quite a substantial increase in probability; specifically an increase in the chance of being homosexual of approximately 33% with
each subsequent elder brother. If you have no elder brothers the probability of you being gay (as given in the meta-analysis) is low at 2%, however this jumps to 2.66% with your first elder brother and 3.54% with your second. In order to make sense of this correlation it is necessary to understand the Maternal Immune Hypothesis. In 1996, Canadian researcher Anthony Bogaert hypothesized that the Fraternal Birth Order Effect was a reflection of the progressive immunisation of some mothers to male-specific antigens. Our immune system is designed to attack pathogenic cells that do not exhibit our own genetic code. However, fetuses also exhibit foreign DNA. Luckily mechanisms exist to prevent the maternal immune system attacking her fetus meaning the only immune cells that are able to cross through the placenta from mother to child are antibodies in order to prevent disease. This is where our problem begins with male H-Y antigens. H-Y antigens are thought to be involved in sex-typical traits in males, and the presence of the H-Y antigen means that with each subsequent male fetus the maternal immune system is able to mount a better immune response through H-Y antibodies. These anti-bodies can cross the placental barrier and affect sexual differentiation in the fetal brain, partially preventing the fetal
brain from developing in the male-typical pattern. Perhaps the best example of this theory in action was conducted in laboratory mice by Singh and Verma who immunized two groups of female mice to H-Y antigen by injecting them with male spleen cells. When the male offspring of these females matured to a sexually active age only ten per cent mated with females, compared to 100 per cent of the male mice in the control group. A strange side effect of androgen is that it influences the ratio of the length of your 2nd and 4th digits. Males exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens show a smaller ratio of 2nd to 4th digits than females who experience much lower androgen levels on average. However this was not true for all females. Lesbians prove to be an exception with smaller, more masculine 2D:4D ratios than heterosexual women, whereas gay and heterosexual men did not differ significantly. The likely reason for the lack of difference in men, is that regardless of sexual orientation they are exposed to significant androgen levels during development, whereas females are not usually exposed to androgen except on a very small scale. In other words small changes in androgen make large changes in development. Given that testosterone production begins at around six weeks
of gestation, this can be considered the beginning of a critical period in women in the development of sexual orientation. Now for a look at genetics: homosexuality and indeed sexual behavior in general are notoriously hard to study from a genetic perspective because of confounding social factors. However science has been given one great opportunity to look at both genetic and environmental factors: twins. As monozygotic twins have both identical DNA and prenatal conditions and dizygotic twins have different DNA but the same prenatal conditions, through comparison researchers are able to disentangle the effects of genes from other epigenetic factors. This is exactly what one Swedish team set out to do in 2010. They took 3826 pairs of twins, and set out to examine sexual orientation. What they found was astounding. By comparison of monozygotic and dizygotic twins their model suggests that up to 35% of same-sex sexual behaviors were related to genetic factors in men and around 18% in women, whilst the remaining factors are most likely epigenetically based.
Goodes holds a place among the greats This has been a journey worth reliving, writes Richard Withers It’s difficult to go to a Swans match these days and remain ignorant of the consistently-terrible puns plastered across a sea of red and white banners signalling the territory of Sydney’s cheer squad. A perennial victim over the past 14 years (you’ll find a ‘We’ve Got The Goodes!’ banner without fail), Adam Goodes avoided an onslaught of horrendous puns when he was suspended for what would have been his club recordbreaking 304th game at the Sydney Cricket Ground in round four. Instead, Goodes waited a week and travelled down to Tasmania last weekend to celebrate the feat in the lonelier confines of Aurora Stadium for Sydney’s round five clash against Hawthorn. Rising to the occasion, Goodes orchestrated Sydney’s revival against Hawthorn in his milestone match. After a quiet beginning, Goodes sprung into action in the second half, kicking three goals to inspire the Swans to overturn a 20-point half-time deficit and run out 37-point victors to continue their unbeaten start to the season. Whereas Goodes has been at the peak of his powers over the past decade, his success is derived from more than natural ability and he recognises that it’s something he has had to earn. “That first year was a real eye opener for me, to know what was required to be a professional athlete,” Goodes told a packed press conference on Friday at
the SCG. Goodes’s career began at the end of 1997 when the Swans drafted the talented Indigenous youngster, granting him the opportunity to join his cousin, the silkily-skilled Michael O’Loughlin, at the club. When Goodes received a congratulatory phone call from O’Loughlin after his drafting, it was the first time he was made aware that they were related. “That was a pretty special moment, to actually find out that I had a cousin waiting for me up in Sydney and here I am sitting in front of him 15 years later actually beating his club record,” Goodes recalled while sitting alongside O’Loughlin. “It’s really nice to be able to share [this moment] with Michael,” continues Goodes, the godfather of O’Loughlin’s daughter Taya. The strain of moving away from family at such a young age is a common dilemma for AFL players, with a draft system that involves interstate relocations on a large scale. Goodes was no stranger to such pressures, moving from rural Victoria and into the heart of Sydney upon his completion of high school. “I knew that there was something bigger out there for me and I had some great role models here for me. I had Mick O’Loughlin, Troy Cook and Robbie Ahmat, so I really felt like I was part of something. I had family back home
but felt like I was part of a new family at the Swans.” Despite not debuting until 1999, Goodes exploded onto the scene by winning the AFL’s coveted ‘Rising Star’ award in his first season. The award was the first in an illustrious array of achievements; earning selection in the Indigenous Team of the Century, winning two Brownlow medals (in 2003 and 2006) as the competition’s stand-out player and winning the premiership with the Sydney Swans in 2005. Goodes is now the Sydney Swans’ Cocaptain, one of the competition’s most distinguished performers on the field, and one of its most admirable ambassadors off it. It’s fitting that Goodes, the evergreen Swan who looks far from finished in his 14th season playing senior football, would be the one to surpass O’Loughlin’s record (303 games for Sydney) in the match against Hawthorn. Both interstate draftees, the pair have left their imprint on football in Sydney, with their work and achievements on the field matched only by their efforts to foster reconciliation off it. As founders of the GO Foundation (Goodes-O’Loughlin), both spend con-
siderable time promoting the engagement between Indigenous and corporate Australia. Their aims are focused on establishing an improved understanding and awareness of Indigenous communities in Australia by those in the non-Indigenous business community. Despite still going strong at 32, questions are undoubtedly going to be asked over the longevity of Goodes’s playing days. “I still think I can improve as a player… if I’m not here to get better, I’m just making up the numbers,” he says. “I really believe that we have a great opportunity at this football club to win another premiership while I’m still here… I know how good this group can be.” After the 2005 premiership success ended a 72-year premiership drought, last weekend’s emphatic win over Hawthorn is the best sign yet that Sydney and Goodes have every reason to believe that another premiership could be waiting just around the corner. Call it a swansong if you must, but there may yet be a memorable final chapter in this career.
The Sandstone Report How to be a hipster 101 with @thatfuckin’hipsterguy™
Were you not part of the cool group in high school? Feel like you’re just not ‘fitting in’ at uni? Always wanted to dress like you’d been assaulted by St. Vincent de Paul but just didn’t have the confidence? Why not become a hipster! Becoming a hipster is a rite of passage for all Arts students at Sydney Uni. Not only will you need 96 senior credit points to graduate, you’ll also need a fair-trade slouch beanie, a pouch-a-day rollies habit and an ironic moustache – that includes you ladies! But where to begin? The most important thing to remember about being a hipster is that it is entirely superficial. You don’t actually have to know anything about that band you lied to your new (!!!) uni friends about seeing the other night at GoodGod, so long as you look the part! First things first, get a piercing. Nothing says “I want to be different but exactly the same as those other people being different” like a good ole’ piece of metal in your face. Ear piercings are for losers, unless of course you’re willing to get spacers, but remem-
ber, being a hipster is about creating a thin subcultural veneer to hide your true self behind, so you may not want to risk permanently disfiguring yourself when the time comes to move onto whatever the new fad is. To be on the safe side, get a nose piercing. They’re gender neutral, alternative but not too alternative, and they give you a plus ten fixie ability! Which brings me to stage two. Buy a bike! In an ideal hipster world we’d all be getting around on fixed-gears but let’s be honest they’re fucking impossible to ride. Don’t worry though - once again I’ve got you covered! If you want all the style with none of the substance, ride a single-speed! To the untrained eye they look exactly the same as a fixie but with the added benefits of having breaks and not requiring you to pedal whenever the wheels are in motion. Safer and slower! Now when you freewheel along Eastern Ave you can wave at your new (!!!) uni friends safe in the knowledge that your forward momentum won’t see you riding headlong into a campus security officer.
Stage three! No segue! So indie! Taste is to hipsters what Mecca is to Muslims – a chance to all dress the same and pretend to read a Penguin Classic over a three-quarter double-shot Bonsoy piccolo latte. Don’t like coffee? Well you do now! As you sit on the Law Lawns with your new (!!!) uni friends suggested topics of conversation include: how you haven’t even started working on that assignment due yesterday (note: you’ve actually completed the assessment and handed it in on time); how much you’ve been getting into (insert band name here) that no-one else has heard about (note: you haven’t heard about them either, you made them up!); how you go out all the time but you don’t actually enjoy yourself because Sydney’s nightlife has become so shit (note: you don’t even know what ‘nightlife’ means, you assume it’s something to do with nocturnal animals!) But that’s only the start! Being a hipster takes constant time and apathy. Next time we’ll cover everything from the subtle art of the top-heavy haircut to
My Art-History coursework continues to constrict my creativity in ways unimaginable. My tutors insist on discussing so called ‘modern art’ but focus so narrowly on the easel. “Easy way out”- I whisper as the roll passes around. So I will take this opportunity to show you some images that would broaden the coursework in my classes.
1 hours ago / 32,274 notes / reblog
My chest tattoo is actually just whiteboard marker...
how to get the perfect amount of cuff. But for now budding hipsters to be farewell and remember: the mark of a true hipster is to never, ever, ever admit that you’re a hipster.
ARHT1002 - Modern Times: Art and Film
Your coursework is simply a tortured repetition of years past. Where is the present?
4 hours ago / #realitybites/ reblog
5 hours ago / #openthemind / rebog
#thegap ARHT2618 - French Art, Salon to Post-Impressionism
ARHT2612 - 17th Century Art: Royalty and Riches
It claims to cover the ‘study of avant-garde spaces’ but misses the most tortured and beautiful of them all.
Comparative analysis lacking. Bring me the sovereigns of today.
1 hour ago / #thegap / reblog
3 hours ago / #yourgrace / reblog
4 hours ago / #realitybites/ reblog
These crazy kids!
with every mature-aged student ever
friends, It’s Tracy again, your ‘Mature-Age’ student reporter. I must apologise in advance if this report seems a little rushed, I’ve just been completely weighed under with assignments. Just as one is finished, another is due. It doesn’t stop! I hear these young folks in front of Taste Baguette, talking about going to this person’s party, that person’s housewarming, so-andso’s ‘Theatresports’ grand-final (a type of play, Q says). It makes me so confused. Firstly, how do all these people know each other? Is there some sort of co-
curricula they all do together? Maybe it’s debating, I hear that’s popular. Secondly, between readings and assignments, how do they possibly have the time to go out so often? I guess I can’t really comment. Despite both having a 30per cent weighted essay due three days later, last week Q and I went on a ‘bender’; my very first. It all started when Q insisted I went with him to a ‘Greens on Campus’ annual general meeting - or AGM as the hip kids call it. Apparently the club needed another ‘female-identifying’ person on the executive to meet the Union’s Clubs and Societies - or C&S as the hip kids call it - regulations. At first, I refused on moral grounds to be a part of a club that claimed that someone who is not actually a woman could ‘identify’ as one, until Q told me if I didn’t join he would tell the other ma-
Roger you randy toothless old bastard!
ture age Media Communications student, Roger, I had a crush on him. After the meeting, we all walked briskly to a ‘staff cuts’ rally. On the way there I tried telling my new club about how there was an economically rational
reason for the cuts, which is something I had overheard my husband saying at dinner once. Everyone looked at me as if I had just told them Jesus wasn’t the Son of God! I couldn’t believe it. We got there and for the sake of not disappointing Q, I joined the march, with the plan of escaping as soon as we went past a library. But before I got the chance, I was pulled aside by a bulky student in a pink top who asked if I was one of the members of staff in danger of losing my job and if so, could he interview me for the union magazine The Bull. I told him I was not a member of staff and that even if I was, I would not do an interview for a competitor of Honi Soit, the paper I write for nearly every week. He called me a ‘hack’ and walked away, which is to date probably the nicest thing anyone but Q has said to me since I started. Yours in maternal love, Trace.
SCAMS: How to Avoid being tricked
So you think you can’t be scammed? Well we’ve heard that before. A scam is a trick to take your money directly or indirectly by getting your personal details. There are new, imaginative scams being hatched everyday. They even target low income earners like students and come in many forms including mail, e-mail, telephone and door-to-door. Fake websites can easily be set up to look like the real thing. Giving your personal details to anyone should be handled with a large degree of caution. For example, how many websites have you supplied with your name, address and date of birth in order to win a competition? Some of the more recent scams have included lotteries, sweepstakes and competitions. Some are obviously fake, like the Nigerian millionaire dying scam, but some are very subtle, like the competition to win a new Nokia phone. Some scams involve government departments like the tax department asking you to confirm your tax file number so that you can claim your lost superannuation. Some involve people pretending to be from a large computer company offering to help you rid your computer of viruses. Banks have very strict rules about how they identify you to speak to you. However, they do not seem to be so strict about contacting you and asking for your details. Ask who they are and find the number yourself. Do not give any details, no matter how incidental, until you are sure of who they are. According to the Australia Houses of Parliament publication a typical phone scam involves a caller claiming to be
large telecommunications or computer company, such as Telstra or Microsoft. Victims are told they need to get rid of viruses and should provide the caller with personal details and remote computer access. The cyber criminals can then access your credit cards, bank accounts or superannuation, or use your details to establish false identities.
• Don’t open unsolicited emails.
Mobile phone ring tone offers are another potential type of scam. For some once you sign in, you can never sign out. This will lead to huge phone bills.
• Never click on a link provided in an unsolicited email as it will probably lead to a fake website designed to trick you into providing personal details.
Health and medical scams may offer products or services that will cure your health problems or offer a simple treatment. Often these cures and treatments do not work.
• Never use phone numbers provided with unsolicited requests or offers as it probably connects you to fakes who will try to trap you with lies.
Follow these golden rules to avoid being scammed: • Don’t respond to offers, deals or requests for your personal details. Stop. Take time to independently check the request or offer. • Never send money or give credit card, account or other personal details to anyone who makes unsolicited offers or requests for your information. • Don’t rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence from independent sources (not those provided with the offer). • Never respond to out of the blue requests for your personal details. • Always type in the address of the website of a bank, business or authority you are interested in to ensure you are logging into the genuine website.
• Don’t reply to unsolicited text messages from numbers you don’t recognise. • Always look up phone numbers in an independent directory when you wish to check if a request or offer is genuine. • Don’t dial a 0055 or 1900 number unless you are sure you know how much you will be charged. If you are scammed contact the NSW Fair Trading online through Lodge a complaint, call 13 32 20 or in person at one of our Fair Trading Centres. For more information, visit www. scamwatch.com.au
email@example.com Phone: 9660 5222
For undergraduate Sydney Uni Students
I hope you can help me with a problem I have with Centrelink. I am in my third year of my medicine course and I am on an Austudy payment. Even though I didn’t receive anything while doing my Science degree, they say that it counts towards the amount of time I’m allowed to study and my payments will run out in the middle of the year. Is this true? And if so, what can I do? Doctor in Trouble
Dear Doctor in Trouble, Centrelink should know better. The basic formula for the “maximum allowable time for completion” of your course is the normal length of your course plus the length of one subject. For example, for a Bachelor of Arts course that would be 3 years plus 1 semester. For a medical degree that would be 5 years plus arguably 1 semester (sometimes 1 year). In any case, the time that you took to do the Science degree does not count because it is part of THE way to gain entry into the Medical degree. If it was not necessary then the time spent on that course would count. If is confusing for you please contact SRC help to clarify your details. Abe
SRC HELP at Satellite Campuses:
FREE legal advice, representation in court and a referral service to undergraduate students at The University of Sydney.
We have a solicitor who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin & Japanese
Cumberland: Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Library
Conservatorium of Music: Thursdays, Room 2125, level 2
• • • • • • • •
NEED a Justice of the Peace? Our solicitor will certify documents & witness statutory declarations Appointments Phone 02 9660 5222 Drop-in sessions (no appointment needed) Tuesdays & Thursdays 1pm-3pm Location Level 1 (basement) Wentworth Building, City Road, Darlington
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Dentistry: Fridays, Room 8, Level 8, To make an appointment or just ask a question: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 9660 5222 / 0466 169 664 skype: srchelp
Please note that times may vary without notice.
SRC Reports SRC President’s Report
Phoebe Drake: the aroma of berries, spices and leather is rich and penetrating without being too profound So if you have an opinion on your time thus far at university, the National Union of Students would love to hear from you! Whether it’s ranting about your class size, highlighting whether you receive adequate feedback or just ticking the box that applies to you, it will form part of the broader view and understanding of the student experience at universities.
NUS Quality Survey Until May 30, the National Union of Students (NUS) is running its quality survey, which seeks your opinion on Australia’s tertiary education. Importantly, it is unique in that it is the only student run quality survey in Australia and canvases the thoughts, experiences and circumstances of thousands of students from both universities large and small. The survey is conducted every two years, and is vital in identifying issues that are both campus-specific and widely experienced. Additionally, the information gathered helps shape the campaigns and lobbying that comes from the National Union of Students. The survey covers many areas, including: • Class size and attendance • Facility quality • Teaching availability, assessment and feedback • Course and support resources • Campus life, and; • Overall satisfaction
The SRC is encouraging all students to fill out the survey and you can find the link online both below, and on your MyUni login page. Add your voice to the thousands of other students, and let us know about your experience at university! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ NUSQualitySurvey
Increase Funding to Universities - Petition! In addition to the Quality Survey, the National Union of Students is also running a petition, calling on the Government to increase the amount of funding for higher education. With the 2012 budget due soon, there are rumours that the education sector will see cuts across the board in a bid to deliver a surplus this year. Considering universities have been underfunded for years, meaning overcrowded classes, poor facilities and the move of degrees to a postgraduate level, one can hardly argue that cuts to funding will have any considerable benefit for
students, staff or the sector overall.
on your time at university.
At Sydney University in particular, insufficient base funding has contributed to the laying off of staff, students sitting in lecture theatre aisles and a deteriorating condition of laboratory equipment.
This week the SRC, combined with SUPRA, are giving students and staff the opportunity to formally lodge their opposition. At Jane Foss Russel, Manning and Fisher on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 1st and 2nd), a ballot will be taken on the issue of staff cuts.
These are all very good reasons for you to sign the petition. It is time we saw an increase in the amount of funding delivered to universities. Let the Government know what you think by signing the petition at the link below. http://www.change.org/petitions/ federal-treasurer-increase-fundingto-universities
Staff Cuts Referendum This semester we have seen one of the biggest rallies since voluntary student unionism (VSU). As students and staff spilled down Eastern Avenue, the message could not have been more clear: cuts to staff, both general and academic, might solve the financial issue within the university, but they will not solve the broader issue whereby all students deserve an education that provides a high standard of teaching and learning. Additionally, in a deregulated system, more students are at Sydney University this year than ever before. Concerns over class sizes, student staff ratios and the amount of time it takes to receive feedback from your tutor are all legitimate, especially given the impact this can have
Everyone is entitled to vote, but you must bring along a current student or staff card. The purpose of this is to give you a chance to voice your dissatisfaction, and demand a better education at Sydney University. If you’re interested in helping out with the campaign, get in touch with either the Education Officers, or myself. My email is email@example.com
Women’s Honi And also, get excited for next week’s edition of Honi Soit - Women’s Honi! This is an exciting opportunity for women to get their ideas, stories, photographs, articles (anything!) in print! A proud tradition of the SRC and Honi, Women’s Honi is printed every year and welcome debate, discussion and commentary around a number of issues including, but not limited to, the meaning of feminism, women in leadership, women in sport, literature and film reviews and much more. Phoebe Drake is the SRC President
Welfare Officers’ Report
Rafi Alam: lingering aroma, with lasting body. Features downy levels of mocha, black cherry and currant flavours. Hi! Brigitte and I in the Welfare Department have been working hard at coming up with awesome ideas to publicise the welfare issues students have, as well as coming up with practical solutions to a lot of these problems. The SRC budget is being confirmed next week, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about some of our plans for the year ahead.
Free breakfast One of the main functions of the Welfare Department is to hold a weekly free breakfast for students. It’s been a bit slow to come, but starting from Wednesday May 2nd (today, I guess) it’ll be on. We’ll be under that shelter part in Gadigal lawns. The free breakfast program not only highlights the fact that a lot of students don’t have the time to eat breakfast (due to distance issues) or can’t afford it, but it’s also an opportunity to give you info on some of the things the SRC is up to, as well as provide tasty meals! If you’re reading this on Wednesday morning, come to Gadigal lawns!
Clothes swap/survival centre The SRC wants to make a survival centre where students can rock up and
get free things like pre-packaged foods, exercise books, pens, linen, etc. This will be hard to do since our office is tiny and being screwed over by the university with regards to SSAF wasn’t also the best step. In lieu of this (fingers crossed it’ll happen!), we’re going to hold a clothes swap next semester to highlight student poverty, contribute to a sustainable way of living, and giving students a good opportunity for a better wardrobe, maybe.
Chill-out/relaxation room One of our biggest projects, working with the Disabilities Officers, is a chillout room for students with disabilities – specifically mental disabilities. They have been used in universities from Monash to colleges in the United States, and have a proven track record of aiding in student welfare by providing a space from the hustle and bustle of campus life to relax and chill-out. This would be a positive step for students with schizophrenia or at-risk mental states, personality disorders like borderline, neurological disorders, and autism, just to name a few. Whether or not this would be autonomous/safe space or open is yet to be decided, but from my perspective, most students already have a lot of places to relax and unwind, so
this would serve a different purpose for a different group of people. We will be negotiating with the university or the union for a safe space for students with disabilities soon.
Community garden A community garden is a project similar to the chillout room. A community garden has been proven to help students with mental illnesses or atrisk states to overcome their symptoms. It’s also a good open place to relax, pick up a fun new hobby, add to the beauty of the university, and get fresh food. Similarly, the SRC will be talking to the Union or university about this.
Services The SRC provides a bunch of amazing services like free caseworkers and a free lawyer (like, seriously, these are so useful – come in next time the university gives you a parking fine for no good reason) but I think we should expand on these. One example of a service we had in mind was First Aid training and Mental Health First Aid training (MHFA trains you to understand how to handle precarious situations including someone’s suicidal behaviour or panic attacks). Another thing we want to provide is self-defence training. Also, STI checks on campus
Rafi Alam and Brigitte Garozzo are the SRC Welfare Officers would be great! The SRC is the most appropriate organisation to provide these kinds of services, so lets do it!
Miscellaneous Running out of space here so: legal information session (your rights, in activism, housing, etc.), Centrelink information session, getting safe needle deposit boxes in bathrooms, and a Welfare handbook – all hopefully coming up soon. Next time: talking about how you can get free photocopying without rorting our libraries, and a website where you can dob on your boss and find out which employers suck!
For more information about the SRC, visit: www.src.usyd.edu.au honi soit
SRC Reports SRC Vice-President’s Report
Tom Raue: a smooth and racy vintage with passionate fragrances of blackberry and cassis For those that don’t know, the senate is the supreme governing body of the University of Sydney. It meets eight times a year to discuss important staff appointments etc etc etc.
This week I’d like to tell you what’s shit about the university senate. Unfortunately that topic would take up a whole edition of Honi Soit, so I’ll focus on one of the salient problems – a lack of staff and student representation. Our education officers touched on this issue in a previous edition of Honi Soit, and I’d like to expand upon their report.
Of its 22 members, 12 are elected by relevant constituencies. That’s one undergraduate, one postgraduate, four academic staff, one non-academic staff member and five alumni. Before I get onto the positions that aren’t even elected, let’s look at this makeup. Does it fairly represent the university’s stakeholders? Spoiler alert – no. Students make up the vast majority of this university’s population, and are greatly affected by senate decisions. In a real democracy, students would have the most representation. There are less staff than students, but since their livelihoods depend directly on the university, they
deserve representatives, though the ratio of four academic staff members to one general staff member is problematic. Then there’s the alumni, who have no place in the senate. Their time at uni is over. Decisions should be made by the people affected by those decisions. But what about the rest of the Senate? Six senate fellows are appointed by the state minister for education. This system of appointment rather than election encourages nepotism and corruption. Instead of having the university’s interests at heart, these people are indebted to the state government and the particular politicians that appointed them. The interests of the university often conflict with those of the government, and with the interests of political parties. These six appointed positions should be scrapped and replaced with more elected
students and staff. A few senate fellows are elected by the rest of the senate. In effect this means that the powerful personalities and groups in the Senate can increase their influence by appointing people with similar interests. So these positions should also be elected from staff and students. Who does the senate work for if not students and staff? Who is best suited to represent the interests of students and staff? If you ponder questions like these for even a moment, I assume you will come to the same conclusions as me. The SRC acts outside of the university administration as a lobbying body, so its influence is limited. For real student representation, that means reforming the whole university, starting at the top. Tom Raue is the SRC Vice-President
General Secretary’s Report
Tim Matthews: fresh aroma, with suggestions of vanilla and oak. Fast Rules’ that the University sets forth in passive aggressive MyUni updates – there are always ways around it. HOLD ON! Don’t jump for your nearby copy of the University rules and procedures (everybody has that, right?), the SRC can absolutely give you a hand! There are a bunch of SRC services that can make your appeal easier, your academic transcript prettier, and your life better.
I hope this isn’t news to you, but last week marked the last date to ‘Discontinue-Not-Fail’ (DNF), from one of your subjects in most Faculties. That means that, from now, if you wish to drop a subject it will be marked as a ‘Fail’ on your academic transcript. If that did surprise you… soz. However, like most of the ‘Hard and
The SRC employs a whole bunch of caseworkers who, for five days a week, can help you with your academic woes. These are people who know the University rules better than anybody else going around and will be more than happy to give you some guidance and advice. Their sage-like wisdom extends beyond academic matters as well – if you need help with Centrelink, tenancy, visa issues, disability services, or help finding an external counselor at an affordable
rate, they’re all over it. Our Caseworkers can be found in the SRC offices, on Level 1 (dungeon level) of the Wentworth Building. It’s best to book an appointment by calling 9660 5222. Demand for the SRC’s casework services is higher than ever. In 2008, the SRC’s caseworkers say 761 individual students. Last year, that number was 1105, despite a 10 per cent cut in the SRC budget. This year, the SRC will be looking to hire an additional caseworker, to provide support at Nursing and SCA as well as Camperdown.
Departments/Advocacy The SRC is always interested in looking for ways to help the University understand how their special consideration and assessment policies affect students. If you feel as though you have been disadvantaged by the DNF policy, or any other policy relating to your course structure or assessment, then
that is something that we want to know about. The SRC has regular meetings with the University, including the highlevel Senior Executive Group Education Subcommittee, and would be more than willing to relay your concerns. Moreover, if the issue causing you to DNF is based on disability, discrimination or disadvantage, the SRC’s office bearers are all happy to have a chat to you about those particular areas, and what can be done to improve the University. The SRC’s services are (if I do say so myself) friggen fantastic – a lot of students just don’t know that they are able to take advantage of them. Come down to the office and see how we can help you! Tim Matthews is the SRC General Secretary
International Student Officer’s Report
Ronny Chen: an everlasting finalé, favouring caramel, chocolate, licorice, and roasted fruits.
A Taste of Democracy A few weeks ago I attended my first ever SRC meeting. Coming from a country like China where people are locked up for decades simply for speaking up, it was my first democratic meeting and was an eye-opening experience. Truth be told, in the first half of the meeting my thoughts concentrated on what the plural of the word “penis” should be, and lesbianism. But at some point I started listening to what people were talking about and pretended to care. That was when I noticed there was a discussion about the staff cuts. Of course prior to the meeting I had heard people organizing rallies against the cuts, but
I hadn’t been paying attention to those guys. However, being discussed in a parliamentary manner made it sound so serious. And apparently, there was going to be a plebiscite about it. At that point it seemed to me that everyone was against the cuts. So I couldn’t help but wonder: if everyone appears to be against it, why can’t it just stop? Isn’t that what democracy is all about? And so, after the meeting, I talked to a few of my friends and apparently they all had opinions about it but were previously too cool to talk about it. And after that I went on to talk to a few random international students, and the results were surprising and, more importantly, consistent: most of them don’t care about the academic staff,
since they don’t even know who these people were going to be. But they were all supportive of the cut of non-academic staff. As a matter of fact, one of the students that I talked to said, and I quote: “I think they can export all the administrative staffs in my faculty to some other countries. I mean they don’t do anything and they aren’t helpful at all when I talked to them. Plus outsourcing probably means I can pay less.” And it dawned on me: democracy is not what one hears at a meeting. It’s not about handling what “appears to be” but it’s about expressing what everyone ACTUALLY thinks. Democracy is here because each single one of us is different, and we have different opinions on almost
everything. And it is democracy, that we can scream at meetings or write on the ballots to let people hear our crazy ideas. At this point the plebiscite is just right around the corner, and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage each and everyone of you to vote in that plebiscite, whether you’re an international student or not. If you have an opinion, say it. If you are too cool to care, say it. If you like or dislike something, say it. Because that, my friend, is democracy. Ronny Chen is one the SRC International Student Officers
Lecture Notes THE QUIZ
1. After the continent of Antarctica, what is the largest desert in the world? 2. Which of the following is an official language of Switzerland? A) Italian B) Polish C) Austrian 3. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since”, is the opening line from which famous novel? 4. Due in cinemas in November this year, what is the name of the 23rd and latest Bond film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond? 5. The Roman numerals MDXV are equal to what? 6. In what year was George Bush senior elected to the presidency of the United States? 7. El Camino is the most recent album released by which rock duo? 8. Which Greek God, along with Greek goddess Iris, was a herald of the Gods who delivered messages to humans? 9. How many countries have names that start with the letter ‘V’? 10. “This confession has meant nothing”, is the final line from what film? 11. Which of the following planets is the smallest? A) Earth B) Mercury C) Venus 12. How many players (excluding substitutes) does a water polo team consist of? 13. Who wrote the novel, Tender is the Night? 14. Who composed the classical piece of music, ‘Nutcracker’? 15. Verminophobia is the fear of what? 16. In what year during the 1950’s did Melbourne host the Summer Olympic Games? 17. Panthera Tigris is the scientific name for what animal? 18. Who are the four superheroes that combine to form the Avengers in Marvel’s new comic-book film, The Avengers? 19. Who came up with the painting and drawing style that KenKen tips: 1. Numbers can not repeat in any row or column. was called pointillism? 2. The puzzle is split into boxes called “cages”. 20. How many French Open Grand Slam titles has Spaniard 3. In the upper left-hand corner of each cage is a target number and a Rafael Nadal won? mathematical sign indicating how the numerals within a particular cage Answers below interact to produce the target number.
24 H in a D 1 W on a U 57 H V
R A A Make as many words out of the letters above, always including the letter in the centre. 7 = Well done. 16 = Half way there. 30 = You can’t just make 3 letter words.
1. Repeatedly utilise scheme behind limitless cover (7)
1. Reveal Jim Morrison’s band are gay in a field (8)
5. Disease corrodes in metal (7) 9. Warm bear cuddles detective (5)
2. Former girlfriend pretended to be vulnerable (7)
10. Sort fronts for 25s (9)
3. Lend ruined ruins (10)
11. Exotic babe (solver) can be seen (10)
4. Bonus chewing gum (5)
12. Sadly, 6 is touched (4)
5. The family Von Trapp all in good hiding, which is atrocious (9)
14. Communist herring? (3)
6. Sadly, 12 is not right (4)
15. Badly 23 (10)
7. Get rid of old Greek island (7)
18. Unquestionably impervious? (10)
8. Start trying on vests, changing on the small screens (2,4)
20. How old is a Melbourne paper? (3) 22. Brave (4) 23. Utopian and badly 15 (10) 26. Arrive at the footnotes by mistake (3,4,2) 27. Do well at spreadsheet software (5)
13. Endlessly fill your old boat, which needs a clean? (10) 16. Remedies are stationed at sea (9) 17. I finish off scale at home for hallucinogen (8)
28. Priests become fairies (7)
19. A fifty-fifty way: appear extremely full of celebrities (3-4)
29. Zombie Jesus festival can finish in Asia? (7)
20. The Report (7) 21. You and me in Lincoln’s mistreatments (6) 24. Horrendously inane musical (5) 25. Hidden if on the baptism bath (4)
Answers The Quiz: 1. The Sahara desert 2. A - Italian 3. The Great Gatsby 4. Skyfall 5. 1515 6. 1989 7. The Black Keys 8. Hermes 9. Three – Vanuatu, Venezuela and Vietnam 10. American Psycho 11. B - Mercury 12. Seven - six outfield players and a goalie 13. F. Scott Fitzgerald 14. Peter T chaikovsky 15. Fear of germs 16. 1956 17. The Tiger 18. Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America 19. Georges Seurat 20. Six Brain Teaser: 24 Hours in a Day, 1 Wheel on a Unicycle. 57 Heinz Varieties
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Contact: Smeg Cookware.
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John Sharp is pleased to announce that his phone is now engaged. Is that because you rang us to tell us that John?
THE next Hitler, potentially. They don’t look so cute now, do they?
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FROM THE FUTURE VAULT...
n a vindication for fatalists everywhere, Sydney schoolgirl Sophie Delezio has met her Waterloo, struck by yet another moving vehicle while being wheeled across the Cumberland Highway at Westmead inside an iron lung. In her already weakened state, she was no match for the 160-tonne Mack Truck, which swerved fractionally too late to miss the eleven year old. At this stage, it is unclear why the girl’s father, Ron Delezio, had chosen to wheel the iron lung across this busy stretch of highway without utilising the nearby pedestrian lights. He was today unavailable for comment, but was spotted leaving the QBE Life Insurance building in Martin Place yesterday evening. Sophie entered the national consciousness in 2003 when a car crashed in to the Roundhouse Childcare Centre in Fairlight, leaving her with burns to 85 per cent of her body. In 2006, she was hit by a car while crossing the road in Sydney’s northern beaches. Magazines at the time referred to her as the “unluckiest girl in the world”, although there are still those who claim that title belongs to Jennifer Anniston. She is survived by her father Ron, her mother Carolyn, and her brother Mitchell, who will release a charity single in Sophie’s memory, a cover of the Boyz II Men classic, ‘End of the Road’.
SATIRE ALERT: The above story is satire. Under no circumstances should you infer that it is true.