Week Six April 18
Toying with Lives The shocking use of police Tasers
The Easter Show: Why we return year after year
The rise of indie electronic artist GRIMES
A-Leagueâ€™s problem with billionaire bankrollers 13
3 4 8 9 10
Rebecca Saffir creates some drama
A wrap-up of the staff cuts protests, with James O’Doherty and Dr Tim Anderson
Ben Brooks refuses to ride the monorail
Cale Hubble and Patrick Morrow make a pilgramage to the 2012 Atheist Convention
Avani Dias speaks to the Canadian electronic artIst on new-found fame
The Third Drawer
Toying with lives: time to rethink the taser? Eleanor Gordon-Smith reports
Michael Koziol gets trapped and grows old in IKEA
Walking around on broken legs with Bluejuice
20 Tech & Online
Rob North really wants to play big-boy games
Richard Withers discovers the unicorn of the sea
22 The Sandstone Report
Mature age student Tracey gets a new nickname
What should we call this?
Honi dips and dabbles in drug legalisation and same-sex marriage
QRReader App is free for iPhone
Silk Road: where ‘www’ stands for Wild Wild Web
FREE, registration required
Professor David Guest, from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmen, a food scientist & chef, discusses the growing chocolate industry’s impact on political and social stability. Plus there will chocolate tasting at the conclusion of the talk!
CosSoc is teaming up with BeatThe System for a sci-fi themed night of music and fun. Come out in style whether with the fair hair of a Lannister or the vile mug of a Klingon all are welcome. Two free drinks and a glowstick upon arrival.
The 2012 Archibald Prize 31st March - 3rd June, Art Gallery of NSW,
Sirens Big Band 9pm, The Mac Hotel, FREE
Adult: $10 Concession: $8 Member: $7
This all-girl big band will be performing their own brand of world, reggae, gypsy infused jazz. Playing every Thursday in April, the band provides a night of great entertainment..
Keep. Tell. 7pm, The Cellar Theatre, $5, $4, $3, $2
International Museum Day
Jamrock! Reggae Club 9pm - 3am, Hermann’s Bar, $15 entry at the door, 18+
Due to popular demand Jamrock! the home of reggae in the inner west, is moving back to the original neighbourhood.
Rebecca Saffir, SUDS VP 2011, BA ‘11
The Back Page
Dear Honi Soit,
Editor in Chief: Connie Ye Editors: James Alexander, Hannah Bruce, Bebe D’Souza, Paul Ellis, Jack Gow, Michael Koziol, Rosie Marks-Smith, James O’Doherty, Kira Spucys-Tahar, Richard Withers Reporters: Rafi Alam, Ben Brooks, Adam Chalmers, Matt Clarke, Michael Coutts, Fabian Di Lizia, James Ellis, Eleanor Gordon-Smith, Flora Grant, Cale Hubble, Neha Kasbekar, Brad Mariano, Patrick Morrow, Virat Nehru, Rob North, Hannah Ryan, Che-Marie Trigg, Joseph Wang, Lucy Watson Contributors: Dr Tim Anderson, Avani Dias, Nathan McDonnell, Sam Molloy, Vivienne Moxham-Hall, Nathan Olivieri, Cameron Smith Crossword: Ghoti Comics and Cartoons: Erin Rooney Cover: James O’Doherty Advertising: Tina Kao and Amanda LeMay firstname.lastname@example.org www.src.usyd.edu.au / www.honisoit.com 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, Jeremy Leith, Leo Nelson, Astha Rajvanshi and Max Schintler. 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.
Mahler Combined Concert 7:30pm, Sir John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW, $20 Adults/$15 concessions/$10 Access
Witness the raw energy, talent and passion of 100-plus young instrumentalists coming together to perform this exciting work. In a rare event the orchestras from Sydney Uni and UNSW join forces to create something magnificent!
The Beards 8pm, Manning Bar,
Access $12.75 + bf/General $15 + bf
Forming as a joke to play a single show in Adelaide, the entirely beard-based band have gone on to become underground legends of the Australian music scene.
N MO S TUE
With 50+ actors performing in over 20 pieces across two weeks, Keep. Tell is a compilation of scenes, monologues and prose from both SUDS writers and contemporary playwrights.
The CosSoc Sci-Fi Party with Beat the System Thursdays ft. Dan What (Melb) 6pm, Hermans Bar, $5 Access/$15 non Access
See portraits of Australian identities such as David Gulpilil, John Wood, Father Bob Maguire, Boy and Bear and Missy Higgins.
Honi’s Guide to what’s on THU
The Chocolate Crisis 5:30pm, Eastern Avenue Auditorium,
23 26 27
I’mma start some drama, you don’t want no drama
All Day, All museums, Various Established in 1977 this is a worldwide celebration of museums! So head out to one of Sydney’s many wonderful museums.
Diana Doherty & the St Lawrence String Quartet 2pm, City Recital Hall, Conc $64 As one of the best oboists in the world, Diana Doherty does more than merely play her instrument; she makes it dance. Definitely a highlight for any music lover.
Drag Tues, 7:30pm, Hermann’s Bar Free for Access/$5 non-Access
Hosted by the fantastical, dangerous duo P i c kr Fancy Piece, featuring an array of queer performers, bound to make your scandal sensors tingle. Includes a free drink and free nibbles. Presented by the University of Sydney Union Queer Event Coordinators.
I write to express an indignant mix of frustration, disappointment, sadness and confusion regarding your notvery-funny SUDS ‘satire’ in the Week 4 Edition. The main thrust of the argument here, as far as I can make out, is that SUDS is insular, inaccessible, incomprehensible, corrupt and probably not very good anyway. As someone who spent more time in the Cellar Theatre over the four years of her degree than in all of her classrooms combined, I feel both qualified and compelled to disabuse you, and your readers, of any such notions. Your first contention, that SUDS is ‘cliquey’ – i.e., impossible to get into, somehow exclusive and terribly elitist – can be easily dismissed with a quick examination of statistics. In 2011, only one Cellar Slot out of 12 was directed by someone who had done so before. Three out of twelve were in their first year. In fact, there were three student written works, two devised works, a collection of Australian scenes and short plays, a Shakespeare (no Nazis, but some Lady Gaga), two works from contemporary British playwrights, one from a contemporary American playwright and an adaptation of an American novel. To try and trace a SUDS ‘style’ is a futile exercise, because SUDS’s programming is entirely dependent on what its members offer up and then what they vote for. It leads to a selection of plays far more diverse than anything you’ll get on Sydney’s mainstages. Your second contention, which seems to run something along the lines of “No one sees SUDS plays because they’re pretentious and impenetrable” frustrates in a twofold fashion. Firstly: some of us (and my hand is firmly in the air here) actually like pretentious and impenetrable things. We’re university students, for God’s sake; is it so much to ask that the work we create may on occasion work your brain in a similar but hopefully more pleasing fashion than your tutorials? I have seen things at SUDS that made me feel and think differently than I did before about life and about art, and I probably only paid two dollars for the privilege. But hey, I get it – not everyone’s up for that, and sometimes you want to spend your two dollars on a night of solid, linear storytelling. Anyone who was lucky enough to see Maddie Miller’s recent production of The Importance of Being Earnest, or Ellana Costa’s 2011 production of The Underpants, would know that SUDS members are more than capable of serving up strong text-based productions. Some of these things are more popular than others. I’ve seen casts perform to audiences of two. I’ve seen casts perform to people happy to stand through the show because there literally wasn’t a butt-space of floor left.
Then you really go in for the kicker, with your assertion that Executive members ‘rig’ votes. That hurts, Honi. That really fucking hurts. Because being on the SUDS Exec – like being on any Exec – is a labour of love that comes with far more responsibilities than it does rewards. SUDS is an organisation that prides itself on its democratic structure – it’s what sets them apart from most other student theatre organisations in the country, who are run by professional external Artistic Directors. To preserve the integrity of that democratic structure, many executive members actually choose to abstain from voting in show proposals at all, and there are a variety of Constitutional measures in place to reduce the risk of having meetings ‘stacked’. And yeah, before the humour police come after me – I get it. It’s satire. It’s not a news piece. It’s not about any specific show, or person, or whatever. But you know what, Honi, it is. Because your editorial team, like so many before you, have fallen into the too-easy pattern of brushing SUDS off, putting them down and grinding them under your rather oversized boots. In the week that you ran that piece, not a single other mention of the real, actual work being done by the society was mentioned. No mention of the fact that at that very moment a show written by a student, directed by a second-timer and performed by people who between them had had everything from zero to too many years of SUDS experience was being performed nightly in the Cellar. It’s bad enough when Honi wastes page space writing about productions at the Sydney Theatre Company or Belvoir – thanks, we can read all of the newspapers, and all of the onliners, and all of the blogs for that – rather than discussing the excellent work that student performers across a bunch of societies do, but to actively lampoon that work in the laziest, most hackneyed fashion is just pathetic. I would have rather read 800 words of brutal but meaningful criticism of our play than the extraordinarily unhelpful 300 words you offered up. The only thing I can take away from this is your suggested production of Pigmalion which, frankly, sounded fucking brilliant. Thanks for the inspiration, and for reminding me that there is nowhere so lonely in Australian cultural life as anywhere other than the bottom.
Darlington posterers on board against Michael Spence’s salary cuts.
Appreciating Pyrmont’s soul
Edwin Montoya Zorrilla, Law IV Mr. Koziol, I refer to your article in the Week 4 edition of Honi. I find its byline, “attempts to colonise the good people of Pyrmont”, most fitting, as it nonchalantly embraces an attitude to the locals quite similar to that which Captain Cook must have adopted with the natives. I must surmise from the lack of variation in tone in your article that you made these observations while travelling at no more than 5.34km/h, that is, at the average walking speed of a Sydneysider. It is such mere inertia that holds the average Sydneysider back from appreciating their wonderful city. One has to be in motion to take it all in. What about the fact that Pyrmont is the most frequented thoroughfare for cyclists travelling from many parts of the Inner West to the city, such as myself on days when I feel I can pull off turning up to social gathering reeking with sweat (which is to say, most days)? Also, as any practitioner of the ancient art of parkour would know, Pyrmont’s soul, and full of soul it is, lies in its distinct architectural idiosyncrasies, such as the swinging ladders near the water for one to swing on, the various gratuitous sandstone slabs for one to jump across and their triangular peaks, and the awkwardly placed monuments for one to vault past. Shame on you for staying in your ivory tower of a stool at the Gallon bar, and not venturing forward into the urban wilderness that awaits the more adventurous!
It doesn’t stack up
Alex Dore President, Sydney University Liberal Club To Honi Soit, Last week you reported on moves by ‘Liberals’ to stack out the Economics Society. In doing so, you unfairly besmirched the only campus Liberal Club. We know from first-hand experience how damaging stacking is. We have a zero-tolerance of such activities, and I will revoke the membership of any person found to be complicit in such an act. Last year the Sydney University Liberal Club was the target of a failed, but well-publicised takeover attempt by the Conservative Club. Despite my efforts, the individuals instigating the stack were not reprimanded. The activities of last month tarnish the reputation of the C&S Program, and I hope that the USU will take appropriate steps to reprimand those involved this time around.
Fe e d
hon isoi @gm t2012 a il . c om
t goes undisputed that the University of Sydney Union is a great enabler of student life at this university. Its commercial services and Clubs and Societies program have prospered in the face of voluntary student unionism, where other institutions have been less fortunate. There is every incentive for students to join the union: for a justifiable fee, they will derive a huge benefit. It is heartening to see such significant investment in the constructive provision of an unrivalled student experience. However as a business first and foremost with profit considerations like any other, the Union’s financial position and decisions are a matter of public interest. Unlike student representative groups there are limited channels via which Union members and stakeholders can demand accountability. There is no reason why student members ought not be made aware of the negotiations that determine how the fees they pay will be spent, and by what token of reasoning their elected representatives undertook those decisions. Greater transparency can only serve in the interests of student members’ understanding of the workings and function of their Union. It is with this in mind that we publish details of leaked communications amongst the Union’s board of directors. The information in page six’s Honileaks pertains to decisions that were made during negotiations over the distribution of the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) - an $11 million pool of students’ money. The information concerning the board originally become available to Honi in March, but was unable to be published due to the threat of legal action. As detailed in the confidential email, the board’s decision to ‘extend an olive branch’ to other student organisations is commendable. As such, we are perplexed by the consequent attempt to redact information that reflects their goodwill. This newspaper is positioned to query any intentions to prevent the release of information in the public interest. The concept of independent criticism should not be relegated to aphorisms and abstractions, and this newspaper will continue to defend its position to hold student-affiliated organisations to account where justified, against any vested or censorious interests. This week we have included an extra four pages of content. The sections to which we have allocated these pages, Campus News and Spotlight among others, have demanded that our paper be flexible to accommodate a greater focus on issues and events pertinent to our readership. While the ‘Stop The Cuts’ rally appeared to be a culmination of direct action, it is anybody’s guess as to the outcome of the University’s decision. It will be interesting to follow the effectiveness of student activism, should it presumably continue in as demonstrative terms, in an age which could well come to be defined by change through vocal opposition. Connie Ye
Honi Soit wants YOUR contributions Contact us at email@example.com
Campus News Weekly News
Easter talks lack spirit of debate
Nathan McDonnell is unimpressed by campus religion To mark the Easter long weekend, two separate Christian-Muslim debates were held before mid-semester break between the Muslim Students Association (SUMSA), the Catholic Society of St Peter (CSSP) and the Protestant Evangelical Union (EU). Whilst all the speakers exhibited admirable devotion to their faith, the level of discussion was sub-standard at best. It was a sectarian brag-fest, a clash of flag-waving institutionalised dogmatisms. The speakers were more interested in retreating behind the familiar walls of their religious institutions and pacifying their insecure card-carrying membership with ideological opium while flinging cheap shots at each other. It was like Pharisees playing tennis. The back-and-forth of no consequence saw debate going in Sisyphean circles over abstract theological questions and irrelevant issues of scriptural accuracy. At their ancient origins, both Christianity and Islam preach a political universalism and a demand for egalitarian economic justice. They ought to remember these ideals if these two religions are to remain relevant in what they practice.
Lukewarm reception to MyUniversity website release The government’s aim for transparent tertiary education has attracted a cautious optimism, writes Adam Chalmers On April 2, the federal government finally released MyUniversity – a website where visitors can compare different universities and university courses, and find important information about tertiary education in Australia. According to The Age, Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans said the website would “help drive universities to lift performance and quality”, as the MySchool website aims to do for primary and secondary education. The website compares statistics in three ways: • By university (e.g. enrolment numbers, staff-to-student ratio, staff demographics, etc.) • By course at each university (e.g. overall satisfaction rate with IT, number of Arts applicants, number of part time domestic Law students, etc.) • By university campus (e.g. whether each campus has a pool, free parking, number of sporting facilities, number of computers, etc.) Plans to build the website were first announced in 2010 at the annual Universities Australia conference. MyUniversity is being marketed as a twin to MySchool, a government website which lets students, parents and teachers analyse data from schools
She was selected after the Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships, which were held in Penrith at the start of March. The Elite Athlete Program scholarship holder was the highestranked female across the three selection events.
Reception has been mixed, but overall an air of cautious optimism surrounds the website. National Union of Students president, Donherra Walmsley, told the Sydney Morning Herald, “we are pleased to see vital information such as student staff ratios and campus services included on the website”. But the organisation would “like to see a greater level of detail provided in both these areas,” she said. Head of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, welcomed the greater transparency within the university community, but had concerns about the website’s accuracy. ‘’We don’t believe the website is there yet, particularly in relation to attrition rates, staff-student ratios, the entry score cut-off search function, course mapping and searchability,” she said earlier this month. When MySchool was first released it drew highly negative reactions, with the
Olympic Swimming Championships in Adelaide. Three swimmers, Prue Watt, Katrina Porter and Sarah Rose were chosen for the Shadow Squad for the Paralympics to be held in London in August.
The majority of team announcements for the 2012 Australian Olympic team will be made at the end of June, but athletes competing in boxing, canoe/ kayak slalom, sailing, swimming and taekwondo have already been decided. University of Sydney student Jessica Fox secured the only Australian spot available for women in slalom at the London Olympics and will compete in the women’s K1 event.
across Australia. Users can compare measurements for each school, including its average NAPLAN results and socio-economic status of parents. Both websites are spiritual successors to the FuelWatch and GroceryWatch websites promised by the ALP as one of their 2007 election policies.
Another student and Elite Athlete scholarship holder, Hannah Buckling, has been included in the Australian water polo squad preparing for the 2012 London Olympics. It is unknown whether she will make it to the Olympic events as the final team will be cut from 17 to 13 players in June. At the end of March, the Sydney University Swimming Club had 17 athletes compete at the 2012 Australian
Last Saturday marked the first round of the Sydney Rugby Union Premiership competition. Sydney University played local rivals West Harbour with the Grade teams playing at home, and the Colts playing at Concord Oval. The match in the First Grade featured the White Ribbon Cup, a joint initiative between the Inner West Domestic Violence Liaison Committee (IWDVLC), West Harbour and Sydney University.
spotlight: staff cuts
Update: university A thousand voices denounce staff cuts Honi Soit’s James O’Doherty reports on a momentum-shifting march managers tweak were called. On Wednesday April 4, at 1pm, research output something special happened. Sydney Professor Duncan Ivison, the Dean Dr Tim Anderson revisits the academic output of Spence et al.
The MyUniversity website homepage
principal of Victoria’s top-performing school calling it a “crock” because it inappropriately lumped students of the same school into the same socioeconomic status group. But with time, the website was refined to address these issues. Similarly, it is hoped future versions of MyUniversity will be more comprehensive. Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor, Greg Craven, called MyUniversity a “useful tool” but reminded people it was not the be-all and end-all of University analysis. “What really drives university selection is word of mouth. It’s not this sort of data ... this thing [MyUniversity] will feed into that conversation, but it’s not going to replace that conversation in a million years.”
Adam Chalmers is on Twitter: @Adam_Chal
The team from Sydney University was defending the title after winning last year’s inaugural event. On the day they convincingly defeated West Harbour 49-19. Results: 1st Grade Shute Shield: Sydney University 49 defeated West Harbour 19 2nd Grade Colin Caird Shield: Sydney University 29 defeated West Harbour 10 3rd Grade JR Henderson Shield: Sydney University 21 defeated West Harbour 12 1st Grade Colts: Sydney 34 defeated West Harbour 27 2nd Grade Colts: Sydney University 38 defeated West Harbour 7
In the last edition of Honi I wrote an article saying that the University of Sydney’s top three managers did not meet the minimum standard of ‘research outputs’ required of others. Academic staff have been targeted for dismissal for ‘not pulling their weight’ as academics, and ‘more than three’ research outputs in an ‘assessment period’ of a bit less than three years have been demanded without any prior notice. Based on the top three executives’ own publication lists, plus a little extra research, I said that none of the current Vice Chancellor (Michael Spence), Provost (Stephen Garton) or Deputy Vice Chancellor Strategic Management (Ann Brewer) met the research output criteria they had set for others.
University showed the country that students can still protest like they used to. Chants echoed across Eastern Avenue as hundreds of students marched, first to the quad and then in to the office of the Dean of Arts. The police were even called. Just like old times. More important, however, was what they were rallying against. Huge numbers showed up on Eastern Avenue to speak out against the staff redundancies proposed by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence. The ‘Stop The Cuts’ rally organised by the newly-formed Education Action Group (EAG) and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) drew from a large support base, inciting students of all faculties and backgrounds to march in solidarity for their teachers.
Well, it seems one of them does. Stephen Garton updated his academic page on March 19, and that now shows he produced 5 or 5.5 outputs in the designated ‘assessment period’. He now passes.
At its greatest, around up to 1300 students and staff showed up in support, according to the EAG. A large number continued in the march to the quad to send Dr. Spence a decisive message. It seems the message was lost on the Vice Chancellor, though, as the Provost and the VC himself were among University staff overseas at the time.
Stephen Garton updated his list after my criticism. VC Michael Spence has not updated his list since December 2010, and DVC Ann Brewer does not seem to have a profile page which includes publications.
With megaphones and PA systems, the EAG and NTEU explained the situation to students in the simplest terms: why the cuts were happening, what they represented, and how they could protest these involuntary redundancies.
Clearly there is some sensitivity to the accusation that these managers are playing double standards, and that their own academic status might be slipping.
After filling almost a quarter of the quad with students speaking out against University stringency measures, Freya Bundey from the EAG made the call for the crowd to “occupy the Dean of Arts” for his complicity in the cuts.
Equally, their poorly maintained publications lists suggest that none of this ‘gang of three’ felt their own publication output might be in question. Can we take it as read that none of these ‘leading academics’ were subject to the review process? Dr Tim Anderson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Economy Correction: Dr Anderson’s previous article should have stated Prof. Stephen Garton’s research outputs as “2.5 or at best 3” instead of “2 or at best 2.5”.
Prof. Ivison took to the megaphone and addressed the gathered EAG members, in the face of sporadic interjections. He said the real problem is the cuts to universities by the Gillard government. “Opposing the cuts just means displacing them somewhere else,” Prof. Ivison told the rally. In face of calls for Prof. Ivison to join the protest against the VC himself, he responded: “I’ll support any motion that supports higher funding from the government.” But the Dean would not be drawn into support for the Stop the Cuts movement itself. Prof. Ivison closed his address to the group by describing the issue as complex. It’s not a matter of buildings versus staff, he said, as the staff needs good buildings in which to function. “The simple slogan of ‘Stop The Cuts’ is not good enough,” he said.
“This is not what I signed up for,” she said. “We deserve better.” NTEU Sydney University Branch President Michael Thomson cited facts showing university administration had their economics wrong: they anticipated a loss in funding that will not occur, he said. In a well-reasoned speech prior to setting the rally in motion, Graham McCulloch, NTEU General Secretary announced that teachers at Sydney University will be free to engage in protected industrial action against unfair dismissal from June. If the Vice Chancellor doesn’t pursue different means of cost-cutting before then, he may be facing a much larger administrative problem than student protests and office-occupations. He may find he is left with a university with no staff left to cut.
James O’Doherty is on Twitter: @jmodoh
In an action of questionable legality, around 40-50 students made it inside the faculty office itself. Interactions with administrative staff got heated, coming to a head when an EAG member fell off a desk she had mounted (in the face of a staff member’s strong objections). She was allegedly pulled by a staff member, causing her to fall, but these claims could not be verified. A fire alarm sounded, seemingly in an attempt to evict the students, and police
Sydney University crucifies opposition Michael Koziol witnessed debating victory in Canberra
of Arts, faced the full force of the rally when he arrived to diffuse the situation. Initially flustered by the intrusion, Prof. Ivison later agreed to present his perspective to the group – on the proviso that the occupation remained peaceful and only lasted for an hour. The few police that had arrived eventually dispersed, having been allegedly called off by University staff.
It seems that for the EAG and the NTEU, though, ‘Stop The Cuts’ encapsulates the university administration’s ideology of profit over education. At the outset of the rally, SRC President Phoebe Drake appealed to the emotions of displaced staff and disaffected students in her fervent speech: “I am appalled that a profit margin means more to this university than a student’s education,” an impassioned Ms Drake said.
The University of Sydney Union confirmed its position as the world’s leading university debating society, winning the 2012 Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships, affectionately known as Easters. The tournament, held at the Australian National University in Canberra during the mid-semester break, from April 1014, was won by USU3: Tim Matthews, Michael Rees, and Steph White.
rates” (or, in short: that we should kill people before trial).
They defeated the University of Queensland in the grand final, negating the motion: “That vigilantism should be a defence to criminal charges in jurisdictions with extremely high crime
Easters consists of six preliminary rounds of debating, followed by a series of knockout finals. 16 teams can “break” to the octo-finals, but under
Tim Matthews was also crowned the fourth best speaker in a tournament with over 300 speakers from all over Australia. Daniel Farinha, from USU1, was the best novice speaker and the third best speaker overall. Seven of the top 15 speakers at the tournament were from the USU, and nine of our 10 teams ranked in the top 30.
Staff cuts rally on Eastern Ave , April 12; below, occupation of the Arts Dean’s office.
tournament regulations, no single institution is allowed to break more than three teams. Were that cap nonexistent, seven of the final 16 teams would have been from the USU. Eleanor Jones, former USU Director of Debates, said: “It’s good to know that not even a ridiculously unjust institutional cap can stop us from dominating the tournament.” Australia is a global giant in this sport and the standard of debating at Easters is famously high. Motions from this year’s tournament canvassed issues such as monogamy, banning circumcision and paying Australia’s neighbours to take refugees.
Campus News HONI Tab
HoniLeaks USU Board candidates line up as nominations close, while the SRC maintains its usual farce, writes Kira Spucys-Tahar Third year International and Global Studies student, John Harding-Easson has confirmed he will run for a Board directorship. Mr Harding-Easson is currently a member of the executive of the Politics Society and involved with the United Nations Society. None of this is as significant as the fact that he will be backed by the numbers of the Labor Right faction, Unity, and run by State Labor Convener, Todd Pinkerton. After some uncertainty, Hannah Morris has confirmed she will be a candidate in the upcoming elections. Rumour has it her slogan will be along the lines of “Get hands on with Hannah!” and her campaign colour the tried and true yellow. Both ‘Boom’ and ‘Rhys Lightning’ ran successful campaigns with that hue. Current Board Director Rhys Pogonoski has confirmed his involvement in the campaign. Mr Pogonoski also indicated he would have a hand in a possible campaign by second year Advanced Arts student Felix Donovan. Fellow current Union Board Director and Honorary Secretary Jacqui Munro is also rumoured to be involved with Mr Donovan’s potential run. The Grassroots/Greens on Campus group, who supported current Board Director Astha Rajvanshi in her bid to get elected last year, will be running Tom Raue. Current Vice-President of the Students’ Representative Council, his campaign manager is fellow Green and SRC Welfare Officer Rafi Alam. One name being dropped all semester has been Robby Magyar. The former President of the History Society had been courting both sides of Labor in order to assist a possible campaign. Mr Magyar was in attendance at the Board’s future candidate information session and arrived with a posse of at least six others. Robby Magyar has been asking for support from his friends in a variety of circles, but it remains to be seen whether he will throw his hat in the ring. Popular among fellow Union Board Directors, Brigid Dixon has approached Commerce/Arts student Sophie Stanton to run this year. The Vice-President of consulting society 180 Degrees, Ms Stanton said if she ran it would be as an independent rather than with a faction. Despite many feeling the death knell has sounded for the concept of a ‘college candidate’, 3rd year Arts student and senior at St Paul’s College Nick Coffman looks set to run. Mr Coffman confirmed he had been approached to contest an election by no less than three Board Directors; Zac Thompson, Jacqui Munro and fellow Paul’s boy Shane Treeves.
Union Board Candidates
University of Sydney Union Board Director applications closed on Wednesday 18 April just as Honi Soit hit stands. It remains to be seen with 100 per cent certainty who will run, but this year five candidates will be elected and it looks to be a diverse field.
Conflict among the Liberal factions has led to many names being thrown about in the race for a Union Board position. Zac Thompson’s favoured candidate Harry Best was cast aside after it was discovered he is not a member of the party. Most likely to run now is the ‘wet Lib’ Vale Sloane. The third-year was seen at the information session with rumoured campaign manager and fellow Liberal Sam Murray.
ODDS ON last-minute union board candidates
A breakdown of how the Student Services Amenities Fee will be distributed among student organisations
bob brown $1.02
Sydney Life Fund
Student’s Representative Council (SRC): 12%
a resurgent tom lee $2.10
michael spence $2.54
Sydney University Postrgraduate Representative Associate (SUPRA): 8% Cumberland Students Guild (CSG): 3%
USU Sydney Uni Sports & Fitness (SUSF): 36%
nick dennis’ bicep $11.39
craig thomson $29.60
Unviversity of Sydney Union (USU): 30%
Sydney Life Fund: 11%
one direction $32.22 ------------------ben tang $549.39
The ‘Sydney Life Fund’ was created to fund projects that boost students’ participation in “co-curricular experience”.
SRC - Representing You?
Aside from being a misnomer for ‘Additional Funds’ which are being channelled back into student organisations anyway, here’s the further breakdown of the fund.
At the April 4 meeting of the 84th Students’ Representative Council, it seemed everyone was ready for the upcoming mid-semester break. With the popular Internet meme ‘Nyan Cat’ screening in the background on projector screens everything ran rather smoothly, until it was time to discuss the Motions on Notice.
The life fund equates to almost $1.15 million.
*The USU did not request any funding from Sydney Life Fund.
Two new portfolios were added to the already extensive list of office-bearer positions within the organisation. This seemed counterintuitive given previous indications from councillors of a need to cut the bureaucracy within the SRC. There was much confusion around the need for the two Student Housing Officers and two Residential College Officers. The college proposal in particular gained much attention with one councillor calling them “privileged, closed-off communities”. In spite of the heated discussion at times, both motions were passed. After the meeting Honi Soit discovered this was due to a pre-arranged preference deal signed by the factions before last year’s Representatives-Elect meeting held in December. While such deals are not unusual, it seems farcical and pointless for representatives to spend hours debating the relative merit of proposals when, despite any possible personal misgivings, councillors will inevitably vote along factional lines.
Don’t pay full price for textbooks... buy them at SRC books.
Sydney University Radio taken to new level Sydney University is stepping up its campus radio, writes Fabian Di Lizia
Student run campus radio is being taken to a new level this year with the Sydney University Radio Group (SURG) unveiling that it aims to broadcast for 13 weeks in semester two. The SURG executive is working diligently and is close to starting a 13 week online stream and four week broadcast during the Verge festival. SURG, part of the USU’s Clubs and Societies Program, has long been leading on campus student radio. The group was formerly a niche society broadcasting for brief periods in makeshift studios. With the advent of the multi-million dollar radio studio in the Holme Building a range of new possibilities have since opened up. A proposal was lodged to the USU and the University this year by the SURG executive. Both parties have flagged that they are happy with the proposals and work being done by SURG. Consequently, they are likely to support a 13 week online stream and four week broadcast during Verge – an unprecedented goal. A battery of work is being completed by the SURG executive in order to launch the stream and broadcast in timely and organised fashion. Compulsory seminars for SURG members are being run in order to allow them to gain insights into the intricacies of running radio, from defamation to presentation. There is still time for those aspiring to have a radio show to take advantage of this opportunity. Members are more than welcome and can sign up at any seminar. Email firstname.lastname@example.org , or join the group on Facebook (“Sydney Uni Radio 91.5FM”) for more information on how to get involved.
• We buy & sell textbooks according to demand • You can sell your books on consignment. Please phone us before bringing in your books. • We are open to USYD students & the public NEW Location! Level 4, Wentworth Building (Next to the International Lounge) Hours: Mondays to Fridays 9am - 4.30pm Phone: (02) 9660 4756 Email: books@SRC.usyd.edu.au Search for text books online www.src.usyd.edu.au/default.php Call 02 9660 4756 to check availability and reserve a book.
Australia21 Roundtable Report
Vivienne Moxham-Hall on being involved with the drug reform initiative The launch of the Australia21 report ‘The Prohibition of Illicit Drugs is Killing and Criminalising Our Children’ dominated the news cycle when it was released on April 2 and reignited the debate on Australia’s ‘War on Drugs’. Sitting in the Sky News interview booth on national television that day, I realised - it is our generation that will see these changes, and our generation that needs to fight for sensible drug reform. On Friday 3 February a group of expremiers, health ministers, health experts and two students, including myself, gathered at the University of Sydney for a roundtable on Australia’s current drug policy. We had an agenda to follow, but we more or less made our own. The day began with the past Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery stating his desired outcome: all drugs legalised, taxed and regulated. Admittedly there was some hesitation around the table, but by the end of the long day of discussion, he had almost everyone agreeing that it was the best way forward. The Health Minister in the Fraser government, Michael Wooldridge outlined the problems with the heroin trial that was going to be launched when he was minister in 1997. The trial was an evidence-based policy that was going to be introduced to evaluate the effectiveness of prescription heroin as a means of treating heroin dependence. A lot of heroin users today tend to fall into the aggressive cycle of addiction, to which only the criminal justice system is recourse.
efforts to control illicit drugs; 93.8 per cent of this was devoted entirely to law enforcement. They found that there were no clear results or expectations for an activity that cost their country almost $500 million every year. By contrast, Portugal, which decriminalized drug use in 2001, has actually seen a reduction in drug-related harm, problematic drug use and criminal overcrowding. Brian and Marion McConnell, who lost their son to a heroin overdose and subsequently established ‘Families and Friends for Drug Reform’ were also present at the roundtable. While Marion didn’t tell her story to the whole panel, I was privileged to hear it later on. The stereotypical ‘druggie’ is never the real thing. The McConnells’ son was a university graduate, just like all of us will be: he had prospects and aspirations and a beautiful life ahead. He was intimidated by the police practice of riding in ambulances with overdose patients and threatening to come to their houses. There is something wrong with a policy on drugs that intimidates people, ruins their lives and ultimately kills them. These people could be your mates, the girl in your Tuesday tutorial or someone you always bump into on the bus. What of the question of reform? There are many options; de-penalisation of use and possession, decriminalisation, legalisation or civil penalties, but everyone at the roundtable agreed that anything is better than our current policy. It needs to change.
RIP: The Greens
Rafi Alam says goodbye to Bob Brown’s career, and questions where the party will go next A flood of ‘shock!’ news reports, soul-searching panel discussions, and onthe-bandwagon substandard interviews with the ‘Average Joe’ hit the presses last week. Bob Brown had resigned from Parliament and as leader of the Greens. You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking he had died, but he is alive and kicking - though some say the party he worked so hard to build might not be, after 2013. Bob Brown’s persona as a humble, radical environmentalist led the Australian Greens to 10 parliamentarians (including one in the House of Representatives). It was the greatest success a third party has achieved in Australia. He was the figurehead of a national movement that is comprised of autonomous states and local groups; Bob Brown acted as a facilitator between the different components of the Australian Greens and a public not used to a decentralised and federated political party. Christine Milne has taken his place as Leader of the Australian Greens but, unlike Bob Brown, she has never been centre stage or in the spotlight. It can be argued that Bob did the party a disservice by not making the transition from himself to her less abrupt. Although Ms Milne was also involved in the protests of the 1980s, Bob Brown’s charisma – one that replaced bombastic sloganeering with a monotone of reason – eventually became the image of political environmentalism. His major contribution besides envi-
ronmentalism is that he broke through the pervasive homophobia of political Australia. He was the first openly gay politician in parliament – he recounts the days he “could not go up the street without getting abused”. Things have changed now, with politicians such as Penny Wong in the higher echelons of the Labor Party. But in the 1980s, being openly homosexual whilst fighting corporations, mining, forestry, war, and state authority was at least courageous, at most revolutionary. So now that Bob Brown is gone from politics, what will happen to the Greens? Some say the cohesion of the State Greens will fall apart, while others suggest it will strengthen now that for the first time there has been a leadership change. But some point to the bad timing of his retirement: this will definitely have an impact on votes, as many Australians inaccurately believed that a vote for the Greens meant a vote for Bob Brown. Voters will either stick to the Greens, flock to the Labor Party, or shift allegiances entirely, affecting preferences and quite possibly dethroning the ALP. The end of Bob Brown as Commissar/‘the real prime minister’ may mean the end of the ALP-Greens political alliance. What the effect of Bob Brown’s resignation will have on federal politics is yet to be seen. All that we know is that parliament has lost one of its most controversial, influential, and trendsetting politicians to the realm of retired statesmen and intellectuals.
Former Premier and now Foreign Minister, Bob Carr commanded attention when he detailed the amount of resources that went in to the prohibition drug law reform. He was frustrated with sniffer dogs spending precious time tracking down marijuana users at railway stations.
“How many of you are happy?” asked one of the speakers, and almost the entirety of the 4,000-strong audience clapped, cheered, waved, or let out triumphant whoops. The speaker was P.Z. Myers, the famous biology professor behind the blog Pharyngula, and the crowd had gathered for the 2012 Global Atheist Convention, which was held in Melbourne last weekend. And the atheists had every reason to be happy; between open buffets of fresh sushi and oysters they were served up some of their favourite intellectual heroes, including A.C. Grayling, Peter Singer, Leslie Cannold, Dan Barker, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and more. Although the moniker of ‘Biggest Ever Gathering of Freethinkers’ was nabbed by the Reason Rally in March, when 20,000 people gathered in rainy Washington D.C., the Global Atheist Convention was still a historical event. The line-up reads like a hit list of influential atheists, and the audience loved it. With a responsiveness that would leave any university lecturer green with envy, they applauded every significant point and gave standing ovations to their favourite speakers. People cheered, whistled and whooped, and some weren’t afraid to boo or yell out “shame!” at appropriate moments.
Taking canapes left me with no Catholic guilt, nor Anglican impulse for charity, nor zen rejection of earthly desires – and why should they? I was enjoying the fruits of free thought. The people were like-minded and my hunger for duck pancakes was a physical desire which I had every intention of sating.
Let the most ambitious public transport we ever had die in peace, writes Ben Brooks A first class flight from Sydney to London with Qantas works out at 80 cents, per kilometre, per passenger. A cruise along the same route aboard the Queen Mary 2 (38 nights) in the presidential Queen’s Grill suite costs less than $2.80 per kilometre. And a USD$20 million, twelve day ‘tourist’ flight to the International Space Station costs $2.50 per kilometre orbited.
business class public transport. At its launch, door attendants milled around in suits broadcasting pedantic hygiene regulations to well-dressed diners and partygoers. Now sporting short sleeves and fluoro vests, they usher in hoards of aquarium enthusiasts. It didn’t particularly invigorate the Darling Harbour precinct either, and within a year, ticket sales were half that predicted.
For $5, however, the Sydney Metro Monorail can – at its farthest – take you 800m, line-of-sight, from your point of departure. This makes it one of the most expensive forms of transport on and above the planet.
Yet in qualitative terms alone, riding Sydney’s white elephant is a disappointing, empty experience. My own expedition confirmed many of the usual criticisms. During forty weary minutes of incessant circling, fewer than twenty passengers embarked: two families of American sightseers, four Asian tourists, three Veolia janitors, one family from
Cale Hubble would now like to be referred to as CL Hubble
Many attendees were hoping for protesters and they weren’t disappointed. Scenes outside the convention centre on both days – first involving a small cadre of evangelical Christians, then one of Muslims – proved that respectful dialogue in pursuit of common ground and with a full appreciation of our shared humanity is still, sadly, a rarity. The angry religious men were surrounded by hundreds of angry atheists in a joint demonstration of humanity’s apparent love of a fight. Slogans meaningless to an atheist like, “You need Jesus, you need the sinless saviour!” were met by insults such as, “Fucking get raptured already, will ya?”
political diversity that exists in the atheist community, the tacit assumption – backed up by the vocalisations of the audience – was that those present were committed to small ‘l’ liberalism. A majority (but by no means all) appeared to hold progressive stances on gay rights, abortion, and euthanasia. However the topic that got by far the loudest responses was education; atheists are clearly passionate about changing the way scripture classes and the school chaplaincy program work in Australia.
Back inside the mood was (slightly) more demure, with speakers covering a remarkable range of topics. A.C. Grayling’s softly-delivered argument for the ejection of religion from the public square was immediately followed by Lawrence Krauss bounding on stage to explain the entirety of contemporary astrophysics in his charismatic Canadian-American accent. Peter Singer spoke about the fruits of cultural progress in the West just before Leslie Cannold pointed out how far we have to go, explicitly calling upon those present to become an “effective fighting force” for political change in Australia.
Inevitably, there was religion-bashing. The Roman Catholic Church fared the worst, with Sam Harris’ comment that it is “nurturing an army of child rapists” probably being the most polemic; our own Cardinal George Pell received more snipes than Jesus; creationists got a fair beating; and the jury was split over whether religious moderates were enablers or allies. The only religion visibly represented in the crowd was the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Bobby Henderson’s parody religion begun in 2005 to challenge creationism in Kansas schools. I spotted at least two devotees, clearly identified by the colanders sitting proudly atop their heads. Others had FSM lapel pins, and a man wearing a FSM headpiece was blessing people at the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night.
And what kind of change? Although numerous speakers recognised the
The most notable theme of the convention was, however, a pursuit of a positive
Protesters at the Global Atheist Convention
stance for atheism; an exploration of how atheists can contribute to a common discussion on how to live fulfilling lives, both as individuals and in societies. Both A.C. Grayling and Richard Dawkins spoke of a need to reclaim ‘spirituality’ from religion in the form of an appreciation of the natural world. Sam Harris spoke of how “atheism doesn’t offer real consolation” in the face of death, and offered a heightened awareness of the present moment in response. P.Z. Myers spoke of a respect for truth, autonomy, and community being the sign of a good atheist. In these ways and others the atheists were trying to go beyond antitheism and find new grounds for morality, community, and fulfilment. Everyone laughed when ex-preacher Dan Barker said: “All you people are going to hell.” At least we’ll be in good company.
Patrick Morrow gets evangelical about irreligiosity
A Ticket to Nowhere
Atheists claim, “We’re people too!”
A gaggle of secularists, a school of humanists
When the Auditor General in Canada reviewed their drug policy in 2001, there was an estimated $454 million spent on
Born in a 1980s fit of techno-futurism, the 3km circuit has failed to deliver on its lofty aspiration of transforming
A Celebration of Reason: 2012 Global Atheist Convention
out of town and, surprisingly, one legitimate commuter. But he was an anomaly rather than the rule. In our discussion, it emerged that he caught the Monorail every day or two thus saving, according to subsequent Google Earth analysis, less than 450m of strenuous ambulation to work. The space age design does not conceal the Monorail’s obsolescence either. Cabin interiors are of a lesser quality than the Millennium Cityrail trains, and at one point the driver, Shirley, somehow stalled the engine (there was much frantic key turning). As you trundle sedately around the track at a stately 33km/h, overtaken by medium density traffic, you regret not having taken a bus, a ferry, a taxi, a submarine, The Bounty, or any of
Take me to the skies: The Sydney Metro Monorail
the more exotic vessels past which the Monorail indifferently slides. Long bereft of executive status, deceived by its purported benefits, we sympathise with the good people of Springfield. And well might we demand that the track be torn down. But where would any city be without a white elephant? Watching the Monorail meandering through Pitt Street gives us pause for thought, to remind us of what could have been, had trains taken to the skies and not into Hades. It is a hopeful, if refreshingly absurd, reminder that public transport need not be dingy, unappealing and lacking in vision. Let the Little Engine that Thought It Could live out the rest of its frustrated days in peace.
A “scepticism” seems an apt collective noun for atheists, but I am sure there are those who would sooner suggest a ‘condescension’, or perhaps an ‘arrogance’. Whichever you please, this weekend saw the congregation of sufficient heathens to cater for all three. At its Friday opening in 2010, the Global Atheist Convention had an attendance of 1500. But by its conclusion on Sunday the number had risen to 2000. Last week, April 13, the day on which Christopher Hitchens would have celebrated his 62nd birthday, the Celebration of Reason commenced to the applause of twice that number. The diversity amongst those gathered inspired hope. By Sunday afternoon, I had sat next to an outspoken octogenarian, a man with no fewer than twenty piercings, a very attractive woman, Richard Dawkins, and a Kirribilli Hotel waiter. This diversity was emulated by the speakers. Dawkins wanted to reclaim
intelligent (moral) design, whilst Sam Harris gave what was to my mind, the first tenable account of how to deal with grief as an atheist. But beyond the usual suspects, the convention invited comedians, musicians and entertainers to prove a sentiment which reinforced a good deal of what was said by those who gave formal talks, namely that godlessness is not reserved for scientists, or professionals, or philosophers, or any other brand of esoteric academic. Jim Jeffries was poignantly offensive, Ben Elton was British, Tom Ballard was endearing and Catherine Deveney was not nearly as inane as her obsessive, compulsive Q&A tweets make her out to be. The fallen cavalier Hitchens was fittingly eulogised. A selection of his most acute remarks were accompanied by moving statements from Krauss and Dawkins, and an inaugural memorial lecture from Geoffrey Robertson was as politically relevant, witty and rousing as Christopher himself could have wanted. While the audience lamented once more the loss of one of our age’s greatest ironic minds, the woman who took his vacant seat was up to task.
The addition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali was welcome. While no replacement for the felled fourth horseman, she was well described by Sam Harris as the “fifth pillar” of New Atheism. Though she lacked Hitchen’s braggadocio, she made up for it with earnest acuity. Her young, female Somali presence was welcome on a panel of old, white men. While many of the speakers focused on the need to compel a moderate society towards scientific literacy and secular philosophy, Hirsi Ali instead warned of the threat that Islamic fundamentalism posed in the Western world, tended by white guilt and compromising liberalism. Atheism, secularism, humanism and irreligiousness are on the rise in Australia, and “no religion” is the fastest growing denomination in the Western world. On Q&A last Monday, the poll at the program’s conclusion indicated that 76 percent of Australian respondents did not think that religious belief was a force for good in the world, unsurprisingly. The post September 11 world is one which will in future be typified by a rational criticism of all forms of faith, and an embracing of reason entirely. More than lives were lost in the falling of the Twin Towers – organised religion unwittingly signed its death warrant too.
A recurrent theme was what the speakers felt the end game of the godless was. It was a society in which a lack of belief was taken for granted amongst the intellectually honest, and where the term “atheist” would be as much necessary as “antiastrologist” is today. While Dan Dennett observed that religion has been forced to change more in the past century than in the past two millennia, its eradication is still a battle. Despite this, it was hard not to walk away with a spring in one’s step. The whole experience was, as ever, best described by Hitchens with this thought which summarises just what the convention was all about: “the discussion about what is good, what is beautiful, what is noble, what is pure and what is true could always go on – that’s the only conversation that’s worth having. Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.” The Global Atheist Convention of 2012 was a landmark in the new atheist movement. The godless movement is a great and growing one, with good reason.
Fight Club: The Royal Easter Show
Brad Mariano loves the muster
James Ellis hates fun Crowds at the Easter Show baffle me. How can so many people year after year consistently fail to learn from last year’s mistake? For those of you who have somehow thankfully avoided the experience, let me set the scene for you. Imagine a seething mess of mindless bodies intermittently gorging themselves on putrid meat (on a stick), with flesh blistering (from sunburn). At least a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t have an exorbitant entrance fee nor would it feature endless queuing. Now every time I bring up my objections, those perverted few who enjoy the experience give one of two supposedly indefatigable reasons - the showbags and the animals. “Where else could you get such delightful treats and hilarious novelty items as in a Royal Easter Show showbag?!” they exclaim, with a telltale idiotic grin spread across their face. What about Woolworths? Or Coles, Aldi, 7-11 or your local corner store for that matter. With a lot less time spent waiting behind drooling hordes. As for the animals, if I wanted to spend quality time with a blow-dried, strangely self-assured cock or a cow marinating in its own faeces, I would go to the Law Ball. The Easter Show is really just a music festival without the music, and I would rather be the middle segment of the Human Centipede then ever have to attend again.
My first point would be that the Easter Show has a sideshow involving pigs diving into a pool, so your argument is invalid. But I’ll indulge such philistines as yourself with other reasons why it does not, in fact, suck. Here are three: novelty foodstuffs, woodchopping contests, and a stall selling glowing paraphernalia named the ‘Rave Cave’. And even if you were curiously impartial to pizza-in-a-cone, alpha male pheromones and glow sticks, the Show is one of the best opportunities for one of our oldest and most noble professions, the carnie, to shine, so don’t be such a rube. The Show combines the leisure and pleasures of a Brave New World for cashed-up-bogans with the tokenistic and romanticised nostalgia and longing for our agrarian and simpler past that we in the middle-class pretend to harbour. I also must defend the two great tropes of the Show from such vicious attacks – I dare Mr Ellis to take away the laughter and glee on a young child’s face as a nearby bovine animal spontaneously defecates, not to mention all other animal lulz the Show has to offer. And the assertion that showbags are somehow easily accessible, or dare I say it, quotidian? I’ve never come across the variety of Yuppi and Trolli confectionary in the “real world”, and you’ll find a James Ruse alumnus in the Faculty of Arts before you find that most treasured of all Easter treats, the Bertie Beetle, in a Woolworths.
Size does matter
A lot of babble over three little words
Virat Nehru ponders the penis
Lucy Watson tracks the parliamentary inquiry into Adam Bandt and Stephen Jones’ marriage equality bills
I recently received an email. It said, “Do you have a big penis?” And I had to confess, I didn’t. But I must add, I also have 85 kilos to thrust it with. One of my friends recently asked a rather intellectually tantalising question. He asked me whether I knew the plural of the word ‘penis’. I confessed that I never got the chance to think of a penis in couplets or even triplets for that matter. I’ve always thought of a penis as a singular entity and have never concentrated to make enquiries about anyone else’s penis barring mine own, thus the need to know the plural of such a word was redundant. Yet, I was enlightened by my friend when he proudly uttered, as if he was explaining the magic bullet theory that killed JFK: “it’s penes. You wouldn’t have thought it would be that, would you?” This got me thinking. I was obviously not giving penes the due recognition in popular culture that they deserved. If a person is compelled to search the plural of such a word and use it as a trivia question to boast about the extent of his ‘general knowledge’ then there must be more to it than meets the eye. I guess part of the problem is the hype around sex. It’s become so glamourised through TV shows and movies. I mean, not since the ‘pot’ sale at Bunnings has something promised so much and delivered so little! Also, the playing field is not even. One sex can fake it, while the other can’t. Ladies, you have a clear advan-
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the queers want to get married. What essentially equates to a change of two or three words in one small piece of legislation has created, to use one of Kevin Rudd’s preferred phrases, a “shit storm”. Not pictured: Virat Nehru
tage here. You see, we guys have a big ‘tell’; we can’t hide it even if we try to fake it. Our water pistol starts going bonkers and on top of that we make that really ridiculous face as if we’ve got irritable bowel syndrome or something (guys, you know what ‘face’ I’m talking about and ladies, how can I ever thank you? Thank you for keeping our secret for so long). But I have questions. For example, ladies, I want to know: who teaches you how to ‘fake’ it? Are there coaching classes? Are there awards given out? “And the best ‘fake’ goes to…” Most importantly, the first time you faked it, were you completely unconvincing? “Oh, you really have me in the turning scheme of things. I’m a bad girl… Who’s my fatherly figure? Take me you, you… homo sapien!” But size will always matter until closure on some of these issues is reached. After all, there is only a small difference between kissing ass and actually licking it, and we should be aware of that difference. Don’t you think so?
Time to bite off the hand that feeds it
Health union investigation shows the ALP must rid itself of unhealthy union influence, writes Fabian Di Lizia Damning findings. Once again the labour movement and consequently, the ALP, face credibility issues. You know you’re in trouble when the current national president of the HSU agrees with Liberal MP Eric Abetz, who said that union members should feel angry and deserve an apology. But mainstream media outlets have missed the main story. At present, unions comprise 50 per cent of the delegation to ALL ALP conferences even though only around 18 per cent of Australian workers are union members.
“I am not a crook!”
In its 140-page investigation in to the Victorian branch of the Health Services Union (HSU), Fair Work Australia (FWA) found no less than 30 breaches of the law or union rules. Union officials failed to lodge financial records and often signed blank cheques to office managers. Some officials will face civil charges in the Federal Court and face up to $2,200 per breach.
The ALP must look introspectively at the unwarranted union activity within its own structures in order to reform effectively. The corrosive culture in the HSU is very much present in the ALP and will only be reformed when unions relinquish their undue influence within the party. The current place of unions in the ALP significantly disenfranchises rank and file ALP members. At conferences, supposedly “participatory democracy” supposedly occurs, the real deals are done behind closed doors by the union bosses. As was shown to be the case in the HSU, the powerful at the top of the tree simply use members as numbers, profiting from their fees and their vote on conference floor. HSU members rightfully vented their
anger this week at feeling disenfranchised and cheated. Bosses had no accountability to their rank and file – they made financial and political decisions that were against the benefit of their members. In the ALP, while there is no widespread evidence of the misuse of funds, the factional structures shored up by union numbers at conference, ensure that certain members are ignored or drummed out of democratic processes. A key step to reform for the ALP will be to remove union influence considerably and hence take power away from factions (which are shored up numerically by unions) and give power to the rank and file. Former ALP prime ministers Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd have both called for a removal of union influence. Hawke stated earlier this year that the ALP had to “recognise the facts of life” and realise that unions have smaller memberships than in the past and this should be recognised by the ALP. Kevin Rudd savaged union bosses and their factional influence in the ALP at last year’s national conference and said lessening their influence was a key step to party modernisation. Key ALP strategist and Rudd supporter, Bruce Hawker, also chimed in on union influence in the ALP.
He suggests that when the ALP will only democratise once it is forced to seek financial support from rank and file members as opposed to unions. Hawker suggests the ALP will have to allow for internal democracy to be given to the rank and file to encourage them to contribute financially. The long time mainstream social democratic party in Germany, the SPD, has gone as far as allowing its members a vote for all leaders of the party. Giving individuals a greater say will give them a reason to financially contribute and also feel better esteemed about the policies and leadership of their party. Hawker points to the National Democratic Party in Canada. A decade ago, the party had nine MPs when it decided to allow members a vote on the party leadership and reduced union influence from 50 per cent to 25 per cent. The empowerment of the rank and file meant that it grew to a membership of 100,000 and now has 103 MPs. The answer seems obvious. The ALP has a chance to engage with new segments of the community and leave behind the union influence which has been so constrictive in modern times. Find Fabian on Twitter: @the_rovingeye
Australia’s drug denialism
Sam Molloy thinks we should inject a little more thought into our policy-making
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon recently rejected calls for the decriminalisation of petty drug offences after the release of think-tank Australia21’s report on drug policy, claiming: “we don’t really have a lot of good evidence that this would improve the situation”. The ‘War on Drugs’ launched just over 40 years ago by U.S. President Richard Nixon is now widely believed to have failed. The Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report in June 2011 indicating that between 1998 and 2008 alone, global opiate consumption increased by 34.5 per cent; cocaine by 27 per cent and marijuana by 8.5 per cent to 160 million tonnes annually. This is despite the billions of dollars spent and thousands of people locked up for petty drug offences every year. Australia’s attempts haven’t been much better. In 1997, then Prime Minister John Howard launched the ‘Tough on Drugs’ program. Today, less than 3 per cent of marijuana users are caught while 400 Australians die every year from causes related to illicit drugs. Meanwhile, those who have had the courage to back away from the ‘war’ have proven that shifting responsibility for the treatment of addicts from the criminal justice system to the healthcare system is the best way to reduce the harms of drug consumption. Portugal decriminalised the possession of drugs for personal consumption in 2001. Five years later, petty crime related to drug use had fallen, the number of deaths related to heroin and methamphetamine use had halved, while the number of people receiving treatment for addiction had more than doubled. Portuguese police have also been able to redirect their focus toward preventing the importation and distribution of drugs instead of targeting smalltime users.
the example provided by jurisdictions such as Portugal and WA show that decriminalisation and the offer of health services is not just a viable alternative, but a much better way of reducing the harms of drug use and addiction. In October 2009, David Nutt, Britain’s top scientific advisor on drug policy, was ruthlessly condemned for publicly mentioning the awkward fact that marijuana, ecstasy and LSD are less harmful than alcohol. The question then is why our political leaders seem so eager to quash any suggestion of even having a discussion about drugs. Ms Roxon and the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, were too keen to deny the substantial contribution of the Australia21 report.
This shouldn’t be a big deal. Two people want to get married in a secular environment, why does Old Man Government care? Shouldn’t he care more if some of his people can’t marry? Isn’t discrimination a far more important matter than a bit of that crazy little thing called love? Currently, the House of Representatives has a survey on their website, acting as a public inquiry into the proposed amendments that will allow ‘Adam and Steve’ to become husband and husband. As of the most recent count, dated April 5, 57.5 per cent of the 100,000 or so respondents said: “Yes, Adam and Steve can put a ring on it.”
a lot of time devoted to legal babble around the wordings in the bills. “Does ‘two people’ then mean two brothers can marry? Where do we draw the line?” Here’s an idea: how about introducing the word ‘unrelated’ and boom, incest is ruled out. Call me ignorant, but how is this difficult? There was also a good two and a half hours devoted to religious and family (read: Christian) groups. We live in a democratic society, so religious people have every right to give their two cents, but when Church is separate from State, it makes no sense that their reasoning, based on religious teaching, should count for anything. The simple fact is that hetero people get to marry, a privilege that excludes queer people for no other reason than their sexuality. That’s discrimination, not anti-religion. Discrimination is something catered for in our constitution, religious teaching is not – or at least should not be.
This out-of-hand dismissal seems bizarre considering several newspaper polls have recently shown that a majority of Australians support the decriminalisation of marijuana. Hell, even Alan Jones is on the public record in support of reform. The problem for politicians is that suggesting drug law reform is to risk being labelled ‘soft on crime’, a death knell that has sounded the end of many a career. And as Ms Gillard so ably showed, saying “drugs kill people, they rip families apart, they destroy lives” gives the media a nice little sound bite to play on the evening news as well. Another problem is that Australian police receive an estimated $740 million every year to pay for extra officers and equipment to combat drug use. No police force would be happy to let that money go, as shown by the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by several American police unions in 2010 fighting against California’s Proposition 19 that would have legalised marijuana.
Closer to home, in 2004 Western Australia introduced a scheme replacing criminal penalties with administrative ‘warnings’ for marijuana possession. Since then marijuana use has actually declined. Despite this, last year the Barnett government reintroduced criminal penalties for possession, claiming contrary to evidence that use had spiked after the de facto decriminalisation.
Which is why Australia21’s report is significant. The report has kick-started a serious debate with its endorsement by two former Premiers including the current Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, two former federal health ministers, a former commissioner of the federal police and a string of health experts. Let us hope that those politicians harbouring sympathy for a healthier approach to drug regulation use this opportunity to end the taboo on discussing genuine drug law reform.
Compared to the abysmal failure of harsh penalties to discourage drug use,
Find Sam on Twitter: @s_molloy
57.5 per cent. That’s a clear majority. That’s higher than the majority that the Coalition has over the ALP in the latest Nielsen and Newspoll polls. So, if you think it’s a sure bet Tony will be PM in 2013, it’s even more certain that Penny and Sophie will be able to tie the knot. There’s been an awful lot of fuss and fanfare over what is really one of those #firstworldproblems. It seems like everyone has an opinion on marriage equality. Oddly, those people who never intend on marrying a person of the same sex often have the loudest opinions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an issue I want to fight for; I want to get married just as much as I don’t want my cereal to go soggy, perhaps even more. I just think that changing those two or three words in the legislation is a simple fix that will make 57.5 per cent of people very happy, 100 per cent of people able to move on with their lives and deal with bigger issues, and 42.5 per cent momentarily upset before they remember IT’S NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. At the parliamentary inquiry into the amendments on Thursday, there was
The core argument of the Australian Christian Lobby and FamilyVoice Australia was that marriage, as defined by Christian values, was for the preservation of the next generation – for the conception and care of children. Maybe two people of the same sex couldn’t start a family 50 years ago, but now, thanks to a little thing called science, it’s possible. Science has also made it possible for a hetero, infertile couple to have kids – yet they were always able to marry. MP Adam Bandt, who introduced one of the amendment bills, reminded the Christian lobbyists of an important point: “You know, this [same sex marriage] isn’t going to be compulsory. Heterosexual couples will able to continue to marry and procreate...this isn’t going to affect them.” In the words of the rowdy gentleman who sat behind me: hear, hear. Now, can we all move on?
You can take the marriage equality survey at: http://www.aph.gov.au/marriage
Anything is possible in the wild wild web
Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin - they’re all easily accessible on the Silk Road. Our anonymous reporter investigates how it works to the original source of the illegal traffic. Many Tor relay volunteers have been incorrectly arrested and charged in recent years for appearing to be generating traffic to illegal websites. Despite the precarious legal position of being such a volunteer, there are still many operating and the Tor network continues to function.
Tuesday last week, two blotter squares of LSD arrived in my apartment’s mailbox. The name on the envelope wasn’t mine, but I did buy them and have them delivered to my house. I did so from the comfort of my desk chair using Silk Road, an anonymous online marketplace that caters to many illicit tastes. I could have just as easily purchased marijuana, MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, any of a variety of prescription and other illegal drugs, firearms, forged documents, amongst others. Silk Road is not a secret community in the sense that anybody with the right tools can access and use it. Its user interface is like a simpler version of eBay with seller feedback scores, back and forth communication between buyer and seller, categories, and a search bar to help you find what you are looking for. It’s not like Silk Road is in the underground either. Over the last two years it has attracted significant attention in the mainstream media and even from the Senator of West Virginia.
anonymity of the servers hosting the website (in terms of their physical location), and anonymity for the people who visit it. Users of Tor have the source and destination of their internet traffic effectively masked by bouncing it through a network of volunteer computer relays. Encryption is used in each relay bounce to ensure that the active relay knows only the identity of the previous and the next step for the traffic, but no other parts of the chain. Anyone can partake in the relay network including eavesdropping authorities but they cannot trace the path of relays
The physical location of Silk Road’s servers are hidden because they are not accessible via familiar URLs (e.g. www. facebook.com), but through cryptographic bread-crumb trails along the Tor relay network back to the physical server. These are called ‘hidden services’, and their addresses are often very hard to remember - Silk Road’s old hidden service URL was http://ianxz6zefk72ulzz.onion/index.php (note that that address will not work if you enter it into your web browser - you must be accessing it through Tor). Tor is a free, easily procured and preconfigured software package available for all popular operating systems. The combination of Tor’s hidden services and anonymous browsing is sometimes collectively referred to as the ‘Deep Web’, probably because its content is not visible in normal search engines, but also quite possibly because of its murky content. It is a useful tool for many brands of criminality besides the Silk Road kind, and is very popular
among child pornography distributors. The second key technological component of Silk Road is the Bitcoin - a secure, anonymous payment system. Bitcoins are digital signatures that represent currency. In theory they work as a currency because they are both hard to forge and easy to transfer (much like a banknote). There are no account numbers, BSBs, or names involved in Bitcoin transactions - only long digital addresses that anyone can quickly and anonymously produce on any computer running the Bitcoin software. Even though every single transaction is traceable, there is still no way to physically locate or identify a person involved in a transaction from their Bitcoin address. Developed in 2006, Bitcoins have received a huge amount of media attention due to their potential for misuse, namely money laundering and drug dealing. Bitcoins can be purchased with ‘real’ currency at any one of the many Bitcoin exchanges operating on the internet. Silk Road is not the only site of its kind currently operating in the ‘Deep Web’. It is not the first, and it will not be the last. Silk Road is, however, the boldest, most public step yet in a both disturbing and exciting trend towards a truly free internet, empowered by cryptography, beyond the control of any government or organisation.
One of the most interesting facets about Boucher is that she’s an electronic solo artist fighting to make it in a largely male dominated industry. As Mark Richardson wrote, the people that REALLY loved Boucher’s most recent album Visions were female, and he didn’t think this was much of a coincidence. Boucher puts these gender stereotypes down to pigeon-holing. “People will scream out ‘you’re so cute’ while I’m on stage and it can be so patronising. I grew up around brothers and I’m usually the most masculine one in a social situation but I guess no matter what you do, if you’re in the spot light, you’re gonna be labelled.”
“I’m only just getting into the spotlight and trying to get used to it. Like this is the first time I’ve been home since October and now when I walk around people see me and know who I am … I’ve been getting the ‘druggy’ label a lot though and I’m starting to get a little sick of it.”
The first of these tools is Tor, which provides two key components of Silk Road’s continued survival: both the
Let’s be honest, I’m no different, especially when you’re Skyping the so called “hottest bbg in the indie scene right now”. I was concerned with the little things – my hair, the top half of my body that could be seen on camera, and the backdrop of my room that needed to look good in an I’m-nottrying-to-impress-you-but-trust-me-I’mcool kind of way.
G R I M E S
Avani Dias discovers the woman behind the indie scene’s emerging it-girl
But Boucher admitted that this is what happens when people know you.
The answer to how such a blatantly illegal service can continue to operate with so much attention is a curious ensemble of online privacy tools, all fundamentally relying on the same cryptographic principles that make your online credit card payments and internet passwords secure.
It was a sticky Friday morning and Charles was in his office, feeling elite. It was not an elated elite feeling. It was a less frequent but more odious “everybody hates me” elite feeling. Unfortunately, everyone did hate our protagonist. Not only was he beginning to comprehend his staggering unpopularity, but he was also bored. This month’s Senate meeting had taken place last week and now he wouldn’t have anything to do until May. He’d finished watching the last season of Passions yesterday. It was
s the saying goes, you can’t compare chalk and cheese. This is exactly why Canada’s newest indie darling, Grimes, is causing so much hype. If the world is chalk, Grimes is the cheese. And more than this, there is the clear lack of fuck she gives for her cheese-ness. Everything she does, she does in her own inimitable way. From her shaving-mishap haircut, to her incomprehensible ‘deaf person with melody’ voice, everything just works. When it comes down to it, Grimes is hot shit because she has willfully embraced her oddities. Yet when I spoke to her one on one, my initial intimidation broke down. Claire Boucher, the girl who we all know and love as Grimes, is just as concerned with how everyone sees her as anyone else.
lonely in his ivory tower. He turned the pages of his newspaper desolately. “Unions,” he muttered, catching an unsightly glimpse of an HSU story. “Tsk!” His eyes latched on to another headline, which seemed to stroke all his erogenous zones simultaneously: ‘AUSTERITY MEASURES IN GREECE’. It was as if he had an on/off switch and the newspaper had reached over and turned him on, because he was turned on. Just to clarify, he was horni.
Charles had been making tough decisions lately – whether to have the foie gras or the oysters for lunch, where he should part his hair, and how frequently to mention his time at Oxford. Comparatively, the decision to take a bat at work was fairly easy. He scurried into his en suite and sat down on his diamond-encrusted toilet. He tossed aside the old copies of the student newspaper he’d been occasionally using as toilet paper (just by the by, this was the closest contact he’d had with students in quite
some time – and that’s the way he liked it) and greedily grabbed his nasty little stimulant of choice: the 2012 University Budget. He began to stroke his member (nicknamed PhDick) faster and more feverishly as he frantically flipped the pages: cost-cutting…surplus…reduced expenditure!!…reduction in academic staffing!!…redundancy..!!!&#$> ** He finished furiously, and so did this week’s edition of Horni Soit.
I was expecting Boucher to rock up to our Skype interview probably late, and still tripping balls from the night before. But her recent airport drug stoppage in Houston, Texas, on her way to her SXSW shows seemed to be very unsettling for her, and actually rather misconstrued by the media. “That was fucking ridiculous. I was so scared, they completely strip searched me and were accusing me of having drugs. Like saying that because I have a band I must have drugs. I was in the airport for over 24 hours and I hadn’t even smoked weed in, like, three days but they just kept telling me I smelt like it.”
like not sleeping, or fasting, because it puts you into a whole new state of mind and I guess that has influenced my music. When I was recording the album I fasted for a few days and I was able to stay up for over 24 hours and I did the most work I’ve ever done in that amount of time. I think that everything I do seems to be like an extreme version of whatever it is.”
Surely, it would scare anybody, but is this drug-fucked image everyone knows as Grimes just an exaggerated internet scandal? She threw me a little offguard when asked about the influence of substance on her music. “I mean, I do take drugs occasionally but not that often. I do like being in another facet of life though. Like, I enjoy doing things
As the conversation continued, the
that picture of me making out with [indie musician] Pictureplane on Hipster Runoff.”
way, but at the heart of things there is still the concern of caring about what everyone thinks.
“I think that website has it in for me. It’s not really what you want your parents looking at and it definitely sucks when they call me up all mad about being unprofessional.”
You look at females in the indie music industry these days and you get shamwow artists like Lana Del Ray, who have created themselves to succumb to a scene. At the opposite end there are bands like Death Cab for Cutie or The Shins, who at one time had something revolutionary going on but are now deemed by the internet as any old indie band.
Boucher’s public persona is definitely striking, but one-on-one, the perception completely dissolves. Here I was
Everything I do seems to be like an extreme version of whatever it is.
devil-may-care artist that blogs, broadsheets, and fashion magazines have created turned out to be a very exaggerated version of the real Boucher. What struck me the most was that her parents’ opinions seemed to affect her as a person more than anything. She had just returned to her hometown of Montreal after a long and crazy United States tour. Mamma and Pappa Grimes seemed to be quite a topic of conversation: “I lived with them for a while as soon as I got home but that time definitely expired. They do like my music though which is always kinda nice to know. It’s weird when they see things about you on the internet like
expecting someone brimming with whimsy, but instead I met a 24-year-old girl; rather down to earth, and just coming to terms with the concept of fame. The fame that brings David Byrne of Talking Heads to your shows. When his name came up, Boucher was absolutely ecstatic, like an excited little puppy. “The tour in America was fucking insane. David Byrne being there was crazy. I kinda wish I knew he was there before the show... but if I did, I probably would’ve been really nervous.” So it turns out Grimes isn’t as grimey as the internet says she is. She is individual and peculiar in the best kind of
Featuring heavily in mainstream things like The OC or Garden State doesn’t do much for your indiecred. All of these things were once cool because they had something different going on, but now everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. As a result, reinvention seems inevitable to a point where it becomes fake and forced. This is how society works and right now Boucher is in the initial stages of that process. I don’t know if everyone will start trying to become like ‘Grimes’ - but let’s be honest, they probably will. Here’s hoping, though, that Boucher keeps her integrity and she can continue being the tastiest cheese while the chalky world admires her from afar. Avani is on Twitter: @AvaniDias
Feature likely to be tasered in the first place. The fact that tasers kill people with heart and lung problems also affects Indigenous people – who are twice as likely than their Caucasian counterparts to experience chronic heart and lung problems. In light of the revelation that more than 20 per cent of Taser deployments have been against Indigenous people, this is understandably problematic. More gruesome still is the second way Tasers have been known to kill. Like most electric devices, Tasers can ignite flammable materials. Hair and skin are fairly flammable. In 2010, according to WA Aboriginal Legal Service’s Dennis Eggington, several Taser attacks on Indigenous people included a man who was tasered between the eyes and caught on fire.
death can spark a movement. When life is extinguished so early and needlessly, people pay attention. Trayvon Martin and Mohamed Bouazizi taught us that, Roberto Curti is going to teach us that. His death sparked calls for inquiries into Taser practices and corporate regulation. But this is not the first premature death, and ours is not the first inquiry into Tasers. Back in 2008, Robert Dziekanski was killed by a Taser in Vancouver, launching the Braidwood Public Inquiry into Taser use. Taser International CEO, Tom Smith, appeared at the inquiry and conceded that “the use of Tasers is not risk-free.”
“excited delirium”. Excited delirium is a state of nervous-system elevation that can lead to death – it is not a term found in any medical dictionary and it is not recognised by the American Medical Association. Almost all recorded cases of a death from “excited delirium” have occurred after Taser use. It may well be that excited delirium causes death – but it also looks a lot like Tasers are the only cause of excited delirium. Aside from this justification, Taser International has also been involved in the hassling of doctors who testify against their product. Dr. Zian Tseng, a San Francisco cardiologist and electro-
Shooting to kill: Time to rethink the R Taser? The recent death of a Brazilian student stunned by a Taser has failed to change perspectives on Tasers as non-lethal alternatives to guns, writes Eleanor Gordon-Smith
oberto Laudisio Curti died shortly before sunrise after he had been sprayed with capsicum spray and tasered. He was 21 years old, having come to Australia from Brazil to study English, and he was suspected of stealing a packet of biscuits.
Curti is at least the fifth Taser-related death in Australia. In June 2009 Antonio Galeano, from Brandon, Queensland, died after he was tasered 28 times when police responded to a disturbance at his girlfriend’s house. Our more retributive cousins in the United States are already streets ahead. According to Amnesty International, police use of Tasers has contributed to over 500 deaths in the US. Among that number is the case of Kelly Thomas. On 10 July 2005, the parents of 37-year old Thomas knew they had no choice but to turn off their son’s life support. Thomas was a diagnosed schizophrenic living on the streets of Fullerton, California. Five days earlier he had been tasered, and then bashed to a pulp,
Three barbs lodge in the victim’s skin and discharge about 50, 000 volts ... every muscle in the body contracts, causing temporary paralysis, terrible pain, and in almost all cases an immediate collapse followed by twitches and exhausation...
by uniformed officers of the Fullerton Police Department. Witnesses say he was tasered five times before the vicious assault began. It is difficult to know for sure whether the repeated electric shocks impeded his body’s ability to withstand and recover from the beating, but it seems possible.
Before any further discussion about the merits of Tasers, it’s worth clearing up the facts. First, “Taser” is not a term for a weapon. It is the patented, trademarked product of a company called Taser International Inc. – a NASDAQ corporation with an average annual income of US$102 million. In its early days, the Taser was known rather more untidily as the “Advanced Taser Electro-Muscular Disruption System”. Taser International Inc. is the Microsoft of the stun gun market – only, Microsoft before Apple got good. Theirs is the only stun gun worth having. Stun guns work by pressing a pair of electrodes against the victim’s body such that an electric circuit is created. Before the Taser, stun guns followed a model somewhat like a cattle prod; a police officer would have to be in close proximity to the victim, at maximum arm’s length away. Taser revolutionised the market by attaching the electrodes to long, plasticcoated wires, and discharging those wires with pressurised carbon dioxide. Thus was born the first long-range stun gun. Tasers can be used from almost 20 feet away, trumping any competitor for usefulness in a raucous crowd, or when a suspect flees the scene. Once the Spiderman-tendril electrodes have hit their target, three barbs lodge in the victim’s skin and discharge about 50, 000 volts. The current can continue for as long as an officer holds down the trigger. This level of shock warps the functioning of the central nervous system. You’ll have seen the cartoonified version on Family Guy, and it’s not that far from the truth – every muscle in the body contracts, causing temporary paralysis, terrible pain, and in almost all cases an immediate collapse followed by twitches and exhaustion.
Tasers – in the registered trademark sense of the word – are now standard equipment to most police forces in Australia. They’re carried on weapon belts, in patrol cars, and in some states private security guards can carry a Taser. They are, notionally at least, meant to be deployed by officers to protect people from violence. Before the Taser, the procedure in the face of a violent suspect was to use “lethal force” – a police-speak euphemism for a bullet, discharged very quickly from a handgun. Tasers are now used as part of policing in every Australian state. Taser use in NSW rose 1000 per cent between 2008 and 2010. So they’re a ‘non-lethal’ weapon. A non-lethal weapon, as Institute of Public Affairs Research Fellow Chris Berg put it, that kills people. Curti was not the first and he will not be the last. What is it about Taser use that makes it lethal? Any kind of exposure to high-voltage can cause cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to a heart attack, or ventricular fibrillation, which leads to cardiac arrest and/or death. Anatomically, it’s not unlike being struck by lightning. The problem is that some subjects are more susceptible to these health consequences than others – and it’s very difficult to identify on sight who’s likely to be at risk.
Police officers in five different US states have filed lawsuits against Taser International claiming they sustained serious injuries after experiencing Taser shocks during training. Among their complaints were heart damage, strokes, multiple spinal fractures, hearing and vision loss and neurological damage. There’s a third group more likely to experience long term harm from tasering: the mentally ill. It’s common for people with cognitive or behavioural disorders to resist instruction – of any sort, not just from the police. This is a problem when “failure to comply” is deemed just cause to deploy a Taser. No police officer can tell at sight whether failure to comply is the product of intentional disobedience, or a failure to understand and reason at an adult level. A five-year study in Victoria found 85 per cent of Taser victims suffered a mental illness. Any weapon used against non-compliers is open to this problem of deployment: consider the implications when involving a weapon which, despite labels to the contrary, kills. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the nameless statistics, but a young person’s
O’Farrell said of Curti’s death: “I say to any country and to the citizens of any country, Australian law is rigorous, Australian law is independent of government interference and Australian law, 99.99 per cent of the time, gets it absolutely right.” That statistic is questionable in its accuracy, but more concerning is the fact that Curti’s painful death has not dampened NSW police plans to acquire a new, extra powerful, “double shot” Taser, which allows for rapid fire without the need to reload barbs. It can truthfully be said that Tasers correlate to reduced violent crime. Across the board, rates of violent crime are down, resistance of arrest is down, disorderly conduct is down, and violence towards police officers is down in every state that uses Tasers. But correlation does not necessarily equate to causation.
All stun guns, Tasers included, have been described by The United Nations Committee Against Torture as “a form of torture that can kill”. This seems to be recognised by those in the business as well as leftist civil libertarians. A memorandum from the US Army discourages shocking soldiers with Tasers in training. The memorandum stated: “seizures can be induced by the electric current,” and said that “given the potential risks” the weapons ought not to be used in training.
Taser uses here that we’ve seen in the last few years - almost inevitable that we will see more deaths caused by police Taser use,” Shoebridge said. But Liberal O’Farrell government expresses no such reservations, not even in light of this recent killing by a non-lethal weapon.
Moreover the question is not whether they quell crime. For guns, too, quell crime. The question is whether they are truthfully a non-lethal alternative to handgun use.
A young person’s death can spark a movement. When life is extinguished so early and needlessly, people pay attention.
But this is a company; it has stocks, shareholders, and laws to abide by. How does it deal with the implication that its product kills? It is unsurprising that Taser International does not accept this fact. Taser International needs police forces and governments to regard its product as an alternative to lethal force. If it turns out that it kills, it loses market share.
physiologist, once testified that any healthy person could die from a Taser attack, provided the jolt came to the right part of the chest. Tseng said that when he made his research findings public, Taser International contacted him to ask him to reconsider his statements to the media, and offered to pay him hefty grants in return.
In 2008, Taser International successfully lobbied a US judge into issuing the order that the word “Taser” be removed from the autopsies of three men, who all died after being shocked with the stun gun. The action was described by the then-president of the National Association of Medical Examiners as “dangerously close to intimidation”.
These questions on a global scale undoubtedly warrant answers, but back in NSW, a young man is still dead, and this decidedly lethal weapon is still billed as the opposite.
The company has also been a driving force behind the introduction of the term
Will the politicians move on this? It’s unlikely – although David Shoebridge, a Greens member of the NSW Legislative Council, has called for Taser use to be suspended. “It was really - with the number of
It has already been mentioned that Taser use in NSW rose 1000 per cent between 2008 and 2010. The salient point here is not just the size of the increase, but what that increase’s impact has been on the other weapon habits of police. The dramatic increase in Taser use has not led to a comparable reduction in the use of handguns. For Tasers to provide an alternative to lethal force, they have to be used in situations where previously handguns would have been – yet handgun usage has remained static pre and post the introduction of Tasers. Tasers control crime, unquestionably. Yet perhaps what makes them even more dangerous than guns is that they discriminate in terms of harm, with the already victimised and unwell more likely to die from an encounter with a Taser. And for a non-lethal weapon, Tasers kill a lot of people.
Eleanor Gordon-Smith is on Twitter: @TheRealEGS
An inquiry into Taser use in Western Australia found that the risk of death increases “when a Taser weapon is used on the young, the elderly, people with an existing health condition, drug users and the mentally ill”. The risk also increases when the subject experiences a high level of adrenaline saturation – as might be considered likely in subjects being pursued by armed police. One obvious problem with this arises. If you’re full of alcohol and drugs, you’re more likely to die from being tasered, because your heart and central nervous system are already jacked up. But if you’re full of alcohol and drugs, you’re more likely to resist arrest and less likely to be subdued quickly by non-violent means – and therefore more
The Third Drawer
The Third Drawer
Talk of the Town
days. When I was of that unfortunate age where one gets dragged along on parental shopping excursions, its stores were plentiful and even trendy, which is some feat for a furniture outlet. Then the outlets disappeared, the advertising dropped away, and the Rhodes megastore became somewhat mythologised. Was Rhodes the suburb named after Rhodes the scholarship? Perhaps we’ll never know. If they have anything in common, it’s their inaccessibility. The enclave of Rhodes which borders on Sydney Olympic Park (oh, out there!) has ironically few roads leading in and out of it, forcing traffic into long and narrow queues upon either entrance or escape. It’s a by-product of satellite suburbs, designed to sustain themselves as communities but almost always failing in that aim. At least by any decent definition of community which warrants a degree of identity, atmosphere and vibe. Rhodes doesn’t commit the sin of being mansion-filled sprawl, like so many of Sydney’s contemporary developments. It’s thoroughly modern and metropolitan, with apartment blocks that aren’t depressingly identical in the Huxley-esque way that so many Asian cities build. The paint is still fresh enough that the whole place resembles a diorama of itself. The centrepiece around which Rhodes has settled, tying it reluctantly back to its middle-class suburban reality, is the shopping centre. Unremarkable and small though it may be, it does boast one of Sydney’s two IKEA megastores. It is difficult for me to gauge how universal the IKEA brand is these
Contrary to design conventions, you cannot see an IKEA product from the store’s entrance. There is no indication to the wayward passer-by of what lies within. There is simply an escalator and a small stand housing paper slips and pencils. This is the order form on which you record the particulars of your desires; you can collect the flatpack boxes from the corresponding aisle in the massive warehouse downstairs. From the second you step off that escalator, it is clear what’s going on. You’ve reached the fourth circle of marriage, which traditionally progresses as: engagement > wedding > honeymoon > IKEA. It is illegal to enter an IKEA store as a single person. That’s not unreasonable: single people don’t buy furniture. After all they buy bath salts and silly candles to liven up their soulless studio apartments. Hand-in-hand, parents and parentsto-be saunter around the various displays trying out beds, playing with cupboards, and gawking at lamps. The IKEA showroom is an unending series of rooms: kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, from which you can pick and choose any number of components. The dreamboat customer walks through the store and just buys three whole rooms. Around me, petty arguments are being conducted in a variety of languages. Some Germans are disagreeing about the colour of a rug while a
By Neha Kasbekar
Chinese couple are bickering about the number of drawers in a bedside table. It’s a veritable melting-pot of ‘working families’ and ‘real Australia’ – the major parties should give up on television and just advertise here. Contrary to expectations, the place was not overrun by lesbians. I was forewarned by some of my contemporaries that the “grinds” (the official collective noun, I’m told) would be out in force, hunting for unassembled furniture or clients in need of a renovation. The crowds were stunningly hetero-normative; this is no Bunnings. Once you’ve completed the circular showroom journey, you head to the downstairs ‘marketplace’ where pallets of disposables await. Crockery, cutlery, linen and ‘storage solutions’ are all in abundance here. It takes another half-hour to navigate the shuffling and indecisive crowds before you emerge, prematurely triumphant, at the real engine-room of this whole operation – the warehouse. The modus operandi of IKEA, in order to provide a happy medium between price and quality, is the flatpack box. Whatever you buy, you build. It will not be delivered by a chain-smoking truckie, but painstakingly assembled by you and your renta-hubby mate whom you coaxed over under the pretence of beer. I breezed through the warehouse and past the checkouts, where fatigued shoppers lean against trolleys full of cardboard boxes and stare despondently at their credit cards. There is one more pit stop to make and that of course is the famed IKEA restaurant. It exists presumably to provide the requisite sustenance for a 10-hour consumption tour-de-force.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way: you’re not going to be able to drop this excellent Ndongan noun into conversation very much at all. Then again, the sheer precision involved in giving a name to this experience warrants a solid 5th-place ranking. Meaning “the urinary problems caused by eating frogs out of season”, ‘oka/shete’ makes for a far more impressive, Bear-Grylls-worthy medical diagnosis than anything we’ve got going.
You certainly wouldn’t dine there for the ambience or the taste, but with $5 meatballs and $2 breakfast on weekends, you could make the case that it exceeds the basest of expectations. This fine establishment even appears on ‘Eatability’, whose reviewers lauded it as ‘better than plane food’.
There is also a café selling take-away Swedish food, which, offering hotdogs and donuts, bears an unfortunate resemblance to American food. There is also a range of breads, jams and mulled wine, reminding us of why the term ‘Swedish restaurant’ is deservedly unheard of.
On my way out I pass a large ball-pit where you can dump your children, if only more people would. I think I’ve worked it all out, though, which is of great relief. It’s about the search for perfection, you understand. In a big and complex world full of people with small and insignificant lives, the décor of a room can be an important vestige of power. To that end, IKEA offers a bounty of almost limitless choice. And as these low-altitude aspirants go about building their perfect little lives, with perfect children and perfect love, it’s no surprise they might seek out – however silly the notion might be – a perfect home. Michael Koziol is on Twitter: @michaelkoziol
Lucy Watson irritates her followers
“What do you have to do to get locked out?” I ask. “Oh, post like 100 tweets in an hour or something.” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
I hurriedly play my last letters and grab my phone. The time? 10:37pm. It begins. I should pause here to extend an apology to all my [few] Twitter followers. My tweets were neither intelligent, nor inspired. They weren’t even terribly interesting. My third tweet? “Wearing insect wings #sexy”. My fourth? “Trolololololol #poo”. My seventh summed up the first six nicely: “I don’t have many structured thoughts at the moment.” After spending the first 14 minutes of the challenge live tweeting my fairly mediocre evening (“Ran into Ellie in the doorway #lol #doorway #Ellie”), my 39th tweet was inspired: “Wings are caught on the door #damn”. This prompted my 40th, “I’m free! #KONY2012”, and so began the rather ridiculous idea of adding #KONY2012 to the rest of my tweets. Naturally, none of them had anything to do with #KONY2012: “There’s an upside down esky here #KONY2012”, “#KONEY-
ISLAND #KONY2012”, “Just realised I misspelt Timberlake #KONY2012”. At tweet 71, 26 minutes in, I lamented “I wanted to do it in twenty five minutes #KONY2012”. Tweet 74, “That took too long to type” was quickly followed by “Oops forgot to #KONY2012 to the last tweet #KONY2012 that’s better #KONY2012”. It’s safe to say that by now, almost everyone hated me, myself included. But I could only get worse, and so decided to mention strangers in my nonsensical tweets. Tweet 108 at minute 37 (WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN LOCKED OUT YET?) read: “@BiggBooty_TRUDY there’s a snake in ma boot! #KONY2012”. Tweet 113: “@ BeholdDeeenster retweet good sir! #KONY2012”. Mentioning strangers soon became too time consuming. My posting speed had slowed from roughly three per minute to closer to two and a half. So I stopped, and instead continued to live
tweet my evening. Tweet 119: “Locked out #KONY2012”. Tweet 120: “Whoa wrong room #KONY2012”. At 11:20, 43 minutes after I began, I tweeted “Just pumping my guns #KONY2012”. Tweet 127 followed closely behind. “Nomming a cashew #KONY2012”. It wouldn’t post. An error message, saying something along the lines of “Error: Your tweet could not be posted right now. It has been saved in your drafts” appeared. I tried again. Same message. I tried a new tweet, “IT’S TIME TO DANCE TO KELIS! #KONY2012”. Same message. SUCCESS! I had been locked out. It took 126 inspired tweets in 43 minutes, averaging almost three tweets a minute. I was only barred for a measly two hours, after which I finally got to tell the world I had been “Nomming a cashew #KONY2012”. Sorry, Twitter. #KONY2012
Che Marie Trigg went bobbing for apple ciders
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: TWITTER LOCKOUT It’s Saturday night. A few friends and I are enjoying an average evening playing gangster Scrabble and watching bad 90s pop videos on YouTube. In between Mandy Moore’s “Candy” and a friend playing the word “srzli” (the definition of gangster is interpreted very loosely here) the conversation turns to Twitter. Another friend says, “I follow this really annoying girl, and she keeps posting about how she gets locked out of Twitter for posting too much. And then she posts so many complaints about it that she gets locked out again. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.”
Foreign Language Words
Michael Koziol went west of Leichhardt and found the lesbians lacking
Bakku-shan is the Japanese neologism for the disappointing experience of seeing a woman who is roughly a 10 from the back and a 3 from the front. ‘Hold up,’ you say. ‘Isn’t that a little sexist for an addition to a list so esteemed and scientifically rigorous as this one?’ Yes, but so be it. (Farewell, Propriety. ‘Would you know my name, if I saw you in Heaven’.)
This one goes out to all the over-protective parents. In my case, my panoptic, ever-suspicious Indian mother who is so needlessly distrusting of all my opposite-sex relationships that she could only have modelled her views of social dynamics on Avril Lavigne songs (default assumption: “he was a boy; she was a girl. Can I make it any more obvious?” Frankly, yes.) ‘Iktsuarpok’ perfectly describes my mother’s mindset during my late nights away from home, referring, as it does, to the feeling of anticipation that leads you to obsessively keep peering outside to check if anyone’s coming.
Kummerspeck (German) You know those nutrition-obsessed reality TV shows where obese contestants are heartlessly savaged about their weight, almost as though if the words were even remotely minced or sugar-coated, they’d straight-up pork the words down too? The tough-love approach makes me wonder why some contestants don’t just stealthily over-eat under the stress and put on even more weight. Turns out the Germans have a word for it: ‘kummerspeck’, meaning the weight you put on after emotional over-eating. In literal terms: “grief-bacon”.
Pilkunnussija (Finnish) It’s the Finnish equivalent of pedant (a person who adheres rigidly to book knowledge without regard to common sense) but the literal translation of pilkunnussija, “commafucker”, far surpasses the English variant in beauty and succintness. A deserving goldmedallist since it’s both creative and satisfying to say, even if it does leave you at the mercy of that one guy who texts you with, “how r u sxc?” and you inevitably reply: “It’s a good question: how am I sexy? Wherein doth sexiness lie? Probably a combination of genetics, contemporary aesthetic norms and substance abuse of Dove products if I had to venture a guess.” You comma-fucker.
Soundtrack to: The worst house party ever Matt Clarke had a pretty shit time tbh
‘Sober’ – Pink For some reason you thought it would be a good idea to drive to this party. I mean it’s all the way on the North Shore and you have work the next morning! Turns out this was not such a good idea. Someone has loaded the iPod with Skrillex and you’re completely sober to hear it. This is going to be a long night.
‘Who Are You?’ – The Who Get used to asking this a lot, because you don’t know anyone at this party. You arrive with your friend who promptly disappears for the rest of the night leaving you to make awkward small talk with strangers.
‘Teenagers’ – My Chemical Romance When your friend said that their ‘housemate’ had invited some people, you didn’t realise that housemate meant ‘younger brother.’ This is a particularly depressing moment when you realise you’re spending your Saturday night with seventeen year olds who are drinking red wine out of plastic cups. Hang in there.
‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ – Sophie Ellis Bextor Things really start to get weird at this point. Janie looked like she was having such a good time until she went all crazy and starting shooting people. I mean, what the hell?
‘Leave (Get Out)’ – JoJo
Bulmers Widely available even in the seediest of establishments, Bulmers is to cider what Tooheys New is to beer. Not unpleasant, yet not at all remarkable, it will scratch your cider itch but there are others that will do the job better. It is akin to soda water with a dash of apple cordial, rendering it quite dull and leaving no aftertaste. I thought maybe I was being unfair, so I polled my cider drinking friends, and found that they all agree: Bulmers is overpriced and tasteless. Recommended only when no other choices are present. 4/10
Five Seeds Speaking of Tooheys, Five Seeds is the cider produced by said beer brand. To put it plainly, there is no way this should be as ubiquitous as its beer counterpart. As I sipped upon the pale gold drink in Manning Bar, each sip became harder to swallow. Perhaps my expectations were too high as the bartenders were wearing Five Seeds shirts- surely they wouldn’t endorse this injustice to the cider name?! But then as the distate in my mouth grew, I realised it was because Five Seeds cider tastes like petrol. So much so that it’s lucky the campus is now smoke-free, because if Five Seeds drinkers were to exhale too heavily near an open flame they would burn their face off. 2/10
Monteith’s Hailing from across the ditch, this New Zealand cider proves that Kiwis can produce something other than sheep - and do it well. Each sip of Monteith cider is like taking a bite from a fresh, crisp, juicy apple. One minor problem, however, is the smaller sized bottles than the other ciders- more on par with a Bacardi Breezer than its cider peers. But Monteith proves size ain’t everything and impresses with its delicious golden goodness. Monteith’s does its country proud. 8/10
Rekordelig Cold nations sure do know their cider. Far and away the greatest cider this amateur reviewer has tasted, Rekordelig is perfect to warm up on cold winter evenings or cool down on sweltering summer nights. Sweet and tangy, Rekordelig never gets to be too much and always satisfies. While it comes in a plethora of flavours: Strawberry and Lime, Pear, Mixed Berry and Apple and Blackcurrant, the traditional Apple cider tested for this review proved to be delicious and tangy despite the lack of exoticism displayed by the other flavours. 9/10
It’s time to do something you should have done a long time ago. You can hear the vague sound of police sirens in the distance, and Janie’s running out of targets. It’s time to leave. Seriously.
Culture Vulture REVIEWS: film
A Dangerous Method
It is eleven years since this “punkhop/ downtempo hip hop/ska-tinged pop/pounding disco” Sydney five-piece decided to call themselves a band. As much as they’d like it to have been a rosy ride, it has been a wave of success, tears and sweat (there’s always sweat involved with these guys). But now, three studio albums later, Bluejuice have set a unique and admirable mark on the Australian music scene. Not because of their unique lyricism or their revolutionary musical genius, but their ridiculousness that transcends their iconic live shows and their comical video clips. HS: The live shows are my favourite thing about Bluejuice. How do you get people straight into the crowd at your shows and feel the need to start dancing? There aren’t many bands that have that effect on you. SY: That’s definitely one of the aims of Bluejuice. To get people dancing. To get people singing. To get people clapping. Just get people feeling as though they’re actually in the show. That’s really the aim of Bluejuice, to blur the line between us as performers and the audience so people can have a great night out and be able to forget about their lives for a little while. And bringing energy ourselves is the first thing, and then having decent songs. So, good song writing helps! HS: The songs are definitely important. So how do you go about choosing sets? SY: We’ve got three albums behind us so there’s definitely a lot to choose from. We do like to mix it up though: we’ll sometimes just randomly play a track from one of our old LPs or something and it’s really cool when you can see people dancing along and knowing the tracks. But there’s obviously the regulars that we love to play – ‘Vitriol’, ‘Broken Leg’, you know what it’s like. HS: You have so many gigs in a short period of time, do you ever think to yourself “oh no I really can’t be bothered doing another one tonight”?
Nathan Olivieri gets psychoanalytical-lytical
SY: Not ‘can’t be bothered’. But you certainly start to feel exhausted or tired or whatever, but it’s obviously not always easy to get up and do a show. But by the same token you know what you’re there to do and you definitely try and go out there and own that moment and make sure people leave happy and wanting to come back.
The latest film from David Cronenberg, whilst a departure from his trademark penchant for gore and carnage, nonetheless retains the deep reflection on the human condition which has come to define his filmic canon. Therefore, while the film may lack the stylistic tendencies typical of Cronenberg’s repertoire in centring on the relationship between two of psychology’s forefathers – Freud and Jung, we are traversing somewhat familiar terrain here. The disappointment, though, lies in the particularly dull and drab execution of an idea that had significant potential.
HS: There’s always the support band. Who has been a really fun band to tour with? SY: Oh man, so many good bands. The Jezabels were so much fun. Yves Klein Blue were a blast back in the day. HS: Okay, any bands who are sluts for groupies? Name names. SY: [Laughs] Just between you and me the boys from British India don’t do too badly with the ladies! HS: SCANDALS. Has being in a band ever helped you get laid?! SY: [Laughs] Okay well let’s just say that the stereotypes that people have of guys in a band are totally correct. So yes, it has definitely helped me get laid. HS: Oh I’m totally impressed. Is this what you thought being in a band would be like? Do your inital expectations meet up to what it’s actually like? SY: Obviously you change and grow as a person overall so I guess everything kinda changes. Especially when you’ve been doing it for eleven years it’s a lot of hard work – especially in terms of staying relevant and in the public consciousness and writing good stuff is a continual process…I sort of fell into Bluejuice. I never ever envisaged being in music. Even as a kid, I did like performing generally so comedy seemed to be a more logical leap because I like to laugh, and it seems that I can make other people laugh as well. Music was never really on the target list, it just sort of happened. HS: Well now that you are in it, do you see yourself doing anything else in the future? Do you see Bluejuice as an indefinite project? SY: I don’t think anything is particularly indefinite. So in short, no. Very few
Flora Grant got her dictionary out for Andrew Denton’s new show
her facial contortions slightly overplayed. Rather than insightfully examining the origins of psychology, the film apathetically glosses over her treatment, providing the bare minimum to imply her improved condition. This is where the film begins to lose its momentum.
Avani Dias chats with vocalist Stav Yiannoukas about the unexpected path of music, groupies and his Greek mum Sweat, dancing, amplified images of grandmas making out, dancing and even more sweat. These are the things you can expect from a Bluejuice gig.
Jake Stone and Stav Yiannoukas
people are in a band or are performers for ever. So there’s definitely a life beyond Bluejuice but when that will be I don’t know. HS: How have your family been reacting to Bluejuice as a whole? SY: Well they’ve had a long time, eleven years, to deal with the idea ... but at the same time my mother is shocked. Because, as I said, I never really chose music so it was definitely weird for her. But at the same time she’s obviously proud otherwise she wouldn’t call her friends and literally read out websites to them because she’s too slow to type it on the computer and she’s only recently learnt to use the internet. So she’ll literally read out the URL of the website for them to vote in the Hottest 100 or something.
She’s like [puts on Greek accent]: “www dot” and it’s so slow it’s painful to actually write down these websites. She’ll call and do it to me for other things. HS: Do they come along to your shows and stuff? SY: Yeah they’ve come along to shows and stuff before. It’s obviously weird for them, it’s not exactly a typical thing for a 60-year-old Greek woman to be going to see gigs and stuff. But it’s what I do, so she’s supportive in her own strange way. HS: Let’s end with a token end-ofinterview question. What’s next for Bluejuice? SY: After the company tour, we’re doing Groovin’ the Moo and then there’s talk of terrain both locally and internationally from there.
The film revolves around Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a patient suffering from severe mental trauma. Psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) implements the newly formed ‘talking cure’ of Sigmund Freud, delving into Spielrein’s repressed childhood memories of sexual molestation and abuse. The subsequent reformative success of this treatment not only draws him closer to Freud (Viggo Mortensen), but also closer to his patient and into the web of a tantalisingly puzzling affair. A Dangerous Method begins promisingly enough. The hysteria and physical rigour embedded in Knightley’s portrayal of Spielrein is haunting from the opening scene, though some may find
The problem lies primarily in its formulation. Taking place over roughly a decade, the unfolding of the film proves irksome; each period of the plot ends just as it feels like it is truly beginning. The pacing hinders any real ability to involve ourselves with the characters – we receive a scarce amount of material to work with emotionally. Hence, the remaining plot derivation, Jung’s and Spielrein’s affair, lacks any real impact upon an audience that does not care enough about the characters on screen, rendering much of the action decidedly pointless. This is a great shame, considering the primary trio of actors give deeply measured and refined performances. Knightley deserves praise for excelling in an incredibly challenging role. The fantastic Vincent Cassel’s wry and daring psychiatrist Otto Gross injects some much needed interest and depth to the film, though for not nearly long enough. The scenic shots of Jung’s Zurich and Freud’s Vienna are also stunning, though not even their beauty can redeem the cinematic negligence unfolding within their surrounds. Cronenberg had the great potential to fashion a compelling film, though the finished product is disappointingly lifeless. The material, and subject matter, is one which deserved better treatment and fleshing out, as opposed to the skimming over it seems to receive here. If only the film lived up to its title, perhaps we would have seen a more invigorating offering.
Question: what is a Black Russian? Though it may sound like a particularly hipster coffee (“Black Russian and a polenta cookie to go thanks”), it is in fact a large black shaggy dog bred in the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. If you enjoy this kind of linguistic trivia, then the new show from Andrew Denton’s Zapruder’s Other Films, Randling, will tickle your fancy. Teams of contestants compete over 27 weeks, attempting to answer word-based brainteasers and puzzles Denton throws at them as host. The cleverest duos will make their way through to the finals series, ever closer to the Randling trophy. The programme has a game-show structure, with each round presenting a unique literary task. In one round, reminiscent of the inimitable Balderdash, as contestants must guess the true meaning of an obscure word, given two possible definitions. In ‘State of Origin’, contestants guess the origin of famous phrases like ‘I’ve got a frog in my throat’ (from a medieval treatment for thrush, in case you were wondering). In another round, players make words out of famous people’s names, but the words must relate to the person. So for ‘Senator Bob Brown’, you get top points for ‘stoner’, but none for ‘babes’. The tone of the show is a cross between QI and Spicks and Specks, although it sadly doesn’t quite capture the intelligence of the former, nor the easy-going humour of the latter.
requiring the players to reason their way to the most likely answer. Contestants include political commentator David Marr, Rockwiz host Julia Zemiro, radio host Merrick Watts and journalist Annabel Crabb, so you may expect some acumen and brainpower to be put in to the answers. In many cases, however, the contestants don’t use logic or knowledge to whittle down the answers, but rather seem to take a stab – occasionally comically, often just awkwardly. Denton, too, seems slightly uncomfortable in this setting as quizmaster. It lacks the bravado and control needed for this livelier format rather than his usual interviewer role. The ABC is attempting to distinguish Randling through strongly characterising the teams and emphasising the competitive elements of the show: the audience is encouraged to barrack for one team and follow them through to the finals. The teams trash talk (rather politely) between rounds and there’s even a post-match interview. Randling is clever and fun, if inconsistent. Audiences will enjoy it for the trivia and the competitive format but may lose interest in the time-killing monologues between question and answer. It airs in May at 8.30pm Wednesdays. The timeslot, once championed by Spicks and Specks, drew an average of one million viewers each week. This will inevitably encourage comparisons between the two quiz shows. Whether Randling can match that success remains to be seen.
The questions are too obscure for the contestants to know the answers,
Ravaged by the sands of time, this is Barnesy at full height.
Jack Gow develops the blues at Bluesfest Easter. It’s a time of chocolate, community and crucifixion. That is, if you’re into that kinda thing, otherwise, it marks an annual pilgrimage of ageing babyboomers to a modern day Golgotha in an attempt to resurrect their youth. And lo, I said, Bluesfest has risen.
been more successfully eroded than a Gold Coast shoreline.
Now in its 23rd year, Bluesfest has become a staple of the Australian festival circuit, albeit a distant and predominantly middle-aged one. What started as an intimate, indoor festival held in an Arts Factory with a line-up of only fifteen bands exclusively playing the blues has transformed into a corporate behemoth held on a purpose-built outdoor site with an eighty-eight strong motley crew of musicians, headlined this year by none other than Aussie cock-rockers Cold Chisel. I think it’s safe to say, this is no longer the domain of the Deep South.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s still a whole lot to love about Bluesfest like seeing Led Zeppelin’s very own John Paul Jones (start sentence again, get the pun, continue) play alongside the hoboking of contemporary blues Seasick Steve and Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale. Or hearing the owner of the ‘Corn on the Cob’ stall openly reassure a fellow hippy in a cheesecloth dress that “although I don’t have any dope to sell today, tomorrow I can get you as much as you need” whilst making me an orange juice is enough to warm the cockles of even the most stoned heart. Plus, as he showed, the decidedly older crowd means fullstrength drinks, usable portaloos and laxer security – presumably because noone’s going to OD on pingers at Skrillex.
Which is exactly what I miss about the festival. I’ve been to nine Bluesfests now, count ‘em nine, and what once defined this festival and made it great, namely its distinctive focus on blues music, has
However, this ageing audience also had its downsides with a smoking ban at all stages attempting to stymie everyone’s further enjoyment of ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ and designated areas for fold-up
chairs creating a silver-haired sea of the seated dead. These anachronistic crèches were only bested by the fact that every man and his middle-aged dog seated there had unanimously decided to wear fedoras, as if trying to deny their baldness in the face of all else. Social dynamics aside, what really matters at any festival is the music. While this year’s line-up included some truly great acts, it was a telling sign that of the ten biggest drawcards, only Buddy Guy was left to carry the festival’s generic namesake. Even if I’d had high expectations ‘the Chiz’ would have been a disappointment. Their only redeeming feature being that Barnesy doesn’t yet need a zimmer frame, though his voice could certainly do with one. While G3, Joe Satriani’s guitar-nerd wet dream, was just one never-ending self-indulgent solo with a backing band so bland that they couldn’t possibly detract from the shredding. And though Ziggy Marley had his moments the fact that the crowd only visibly lifted when he played one of his
dad’s songs left me wondering, was this love or nostalgia that I’m feelin’? By contrast, Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve who was also playing, proved that the children of famous musicians don’t always end up riding the coattails of their progenitors, with his melancholic rendition of ‘Maria’ leaving nary a dry eye in the house. In the end though, Rob Hirst, legendary former drummer of Midnight Oil and current drummer of Australian blues stalwarts The Backsliders, captured the zeitgeist perfectly when he quipped: “Holy moly it’s a blues band at Bluesfest!” In the name of commercial success and catering to the ever-expanding audience that brings with it Bluesfest will continue to look to big name, mainstream acts to fill the crowds and their coffers. Robert Johnson may have sold his soul for the blues but it seems that Bluesfest has sold its soul in spite of it.
Action-Reaction Tech Features
Seeing the future
Science gets down and dirty
Joseph Wang peers into his liquid crystal ball to give you a glimpse of the future of display technology Augmented reality glasses Within the next few years How do I get onto the Quad roof? Where is the acoustic sweet spot in the Seymour Centre? Vegeta, what does the scouter say about his power level? These Google Project Glass questions will finally be answered when companies begin to release these new technologicallyenhanced glasses. The most prominent of these is Google’s ‘Project Glass’, which was officially announced in April. Google’s initial prototypes feature a “clear display that sits above the eye.” A demo video released online shows the glasses integrating voice command support, giving visual cues like directions and alerts (eg. weather, calendar, messages), and even supporting video chat. In February The New York Times reported that the product would be released by the end of the year, but Google has said that this is unlikely.
Flexible displays Estimated 2012 Broken screens will soon be a thing of the past with the introduction of filmbased bendy displays. Samsung is set to release their flexible AMOLED displays, dubbed ‘Youm’, sometime this year, with mass production expected to begin this quarter. These are claimed to be “thinner, lighter and unbreakable” and could find potential uses in smartphones and tablets. LG is also set to launch their flexible products soon, with a 6-inch e-paper display that can bend up to 40 degrees, ready to release in e-readers as early as this month.
Samsung prototype: Flexible displays
Ultra Definition Televisions Late 2012 onwards Not satisfied with “Full HD” 1080p televisions? Fear not, for the next bump
in the resolution of your home TV is coming soon - that is, if you have the space. LG is planning to introduce its new 84-inch 3D UDTV (Ultra Definition Television) in the second half of this year, sporting a “4K” resolution of 3840 x 2160 – that is four times the picture detail of Full HD. The uses of this at the moment are still questionable, however, with broadcast TV and Blu-ray both currently limited to 1080p.
Backlit and colour e-paper displays Just announced/Late 2012 In recent years, ‘electronic paper’ displays have been popularised by e-book readers, including the Amazon Kindle. These reflect light like normal paper, rather than emitting light like a conventional digital display, resulting in much better outdoor visibility. One current limitation of e-paper is the inability to light up the screen for reading in the dark. This may soon change though, as a rumoured front-lit ‘E Ink’ screen could arrive in a Kindle or Nook later this year. The current generation of black and white e-paper displays may also be nearing an end, with colour e-paper displays (E Ink Triton, Mirasol) beginning to gain traction over the next few years.
Holographic displays Eventually From the early beginning of science fiction, projected images have long been anticipated as a means of communication and interaction. This vision is one step closer to commercial reality, with Microsoft working on ‘Vermeer’ – a ‘touchable’ 360-degree Microsoft hologram display holographic display. Like the mirascope optical illusion toy, it uses parabolic reflectors to project a small, floating 3D image in mid-air. In conjunction with an infrared sensor or Microsoft’s Kinect, users can interact with the image by touching it. A demo video shows a person using their fingers to knock over a virtual tower of blocks and spin a projection of Earth. This research is still in development and it’s unlikely that we’ll see a finished product soon, but who knows – one day you might be able to call in remotely to that Jedi Council meeting.
Joseph Wang is on Twitter @jowoseph
Rob North investigates the latest developments in the R18+ video game classifcation debate in Australia
There’s a litany of psychological papers indicating a link between violent content in games and aggressive Misclassification: Games like Grand Theft Auto have been behaviour in children and at given MA15 classifications in Australia risk adults. But there are an equal number of studies which I wouldn’t be alone in saying that the argue the contrary, criticising the exterAustralian Government’s conservative nal validity of such papers and regardstance on videogame classification is a ing the link as a mere correlation rather little backwards. Despite vocal criticisms than causation. One such study found and claims of overzealous censorship, that while violent video games may in Australia remains the only Western coun- fact increase aggressive behaviour, such try without an adult classification for videogames prevent violent activity, as videogames. At the moment the highest would-be offenders are otherwise preocclassification for videogames in Australia cupied by gaming. is MA15+, with any game exceeding this There’s also the argument that violence classification being refused classification is merely an intrinsic part of human and thereby banned from sale. existence. Is it too naïve to consider ourGranted, things are changing. Last selves more passive and ‘modern’ than month federal legislation permitting an our predecessors? R18+ classification passed through the I believe the modern day Plato, Karl House of Representatives, and is lined Pilkington put it best: up to head through the Senate. However “Violence has always been about, the public remains divided, and strong innit, like cowboys and Indians; they opposition persists. didn’t have Playstations and Tupac then, The central argument against an R18+ and there was still violence… Even Dinoclassification is that excessively violent
saurs; look at them. They caused a lot of trouble.”
Children and Violent Games The average age of the Australian video gamer is 32-years-old, and 75 per cent of Australian gamers are aged 18 years or older; the market is distinctively adult. Yet the fact remains many children play games intended for adults. It’s widely accepted and assumed that parents buy young children games of an adult nature. Videogame journalist and pro-R18+ classification lobbyist Tim Colwill believes that “violent video games are in the hands of children right now.” In an interview on BBC Radio 1, Grand Theft Auto series developer and publisher Rockstar Games said “If you’re a parent and buy one of our games for your child, you’re a terrible parent. We design games for adults because we’re adults.” Mr Colwill said that an R18+ classification would be the “single best move” in keeping violent games out of children’s hands. “The introduction of an R18+ rating will ensure ID checking when games are purchased and correctly inform parents that this game is unsuitable for children,” he said.
Misclassification The banning of video games is a rare occurrence. In fact in the last twenty years, only about twenty games have been refused classification and thereby banned. This means many games regarded as R18+ in other parts of the world are entering Australia under an MA15+ classification.
James O’Doherty soils himself in the search for carbon storage
Game on: R18+ video game legisation gets closer to reality and sexualised content in videogames, an intrinsically interactive medium, is conditioning a generation of Australians for aggressive behaviour. Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) spokesperson Lyle Shelton believes that “we’ve gone as far as we need to in terms of gratuitous violence and dangerous violence in computer games.”
FrEAKS OF NATURE
The Australian Law Reform Commission recently ran a survey on attitudes towards high level content in MA15+ and banned games. The results showed that participants weren’t particularly bothered by games which had been refused classification – Mortal Kombat (2011), which has been refused classification three times for its high level violence, ranked among the least offensive. Funnily enough Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009), a game available in Australia under the classification of MA15+, was found to be the most offensive and comparable to violent tortureporn films such as the R18+ Hostel (2005), an obvious case of misclassification of both Mortal Kombat and Modern Warfare 2. Australian Christian Lobby spokesperson Lyle Shelton agreed that games are misclassified as MA15+, and that the ACL “can see the merit in having an R18+ classification for games.” However Mr Shelton reiterated that the ACL would oppose the classification of previously banned games under an R18+ rating.
Spotlight: Michael Atkinson • Former South Australian AttorneyGeneral Michael Atkinson, notorious in the gaming community for his opposition to an R18+ rating. • Famously told ABC TV’s Good Game “I feel that my family and I are more at risk from gamers than we are from the outlaw motorcycle gangs who also hate me.”
Dr Capon worked with researchers from CSIRO and Gettysburg College. His experiments tested different ways of reimbursing landholders for the storage of carbon in their soil.
Farmers and industry can now be reimbursed for helping reduce atmospheric carbon levels through sustainable practices, after the launch of a new soilcarbon trading pilot. University of Sydney students, with Dr Tim Capon (Research Fellow in Agricultural and Resource Economics), participated in testing the pilot, to define the best incentives for farmers to store carbon in their soil.
Through means of established contracts, a landholder predicts how much carbon they will sequester – either through specific actions, or through their end results – and are paid accordingly. The project works through a proposal system – like an auction – where a government agency accepts bids from landholders, promising a certain level of sequestration for a certain level of reimbursement. At the centre of the experiment was the question of whether action-based contracts or results-based contracts were more attractive to landholders. “For action-based contracts landholders will
Launched in the NSW Lachlan catchment, the program is a joint project of NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the Office of Environment and Heritage, and Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (with funding from the NSW Catchment Action Program). The soil carbon pilot establishes an industry-based market for carbon reduction, where landholders are rewarded for the reduction of greenhouse gasses.
get paid for adopting a particular action – a certain payment,”Dr Capon said. “For outcome-based contracts…they will get paid depending on how many certificates (representing a quantity of soil carbon sequestration) they actually end up producing - an uncertain payment.” “We found uncertainty negatively affected the willingness of people to participate in the auction,” he said. “Also, risk-averse people initially submitted higher priced offers but were out-competed by the less risk-averse and risk-preferring participants.” The experiments helped pave the way for the project to be established in the field, where landholders have been given options of actions-based, results-based, and hybrid contracts. Of the 300 farms available to participate in the Lachlan catchment, 26 made applications for carbon reduction tenders. Elven farms were accepted for the project, and will begin working to reduce atmospheric carbon levels through the work of Dr Capon and University of Sydney students.
Richard Withers recently discovered that unicorns do exist, just not on land The narwhal, also known to many show-off scientists as the Monodon monoceros, is a toothed whale that is easily distinguishable by its elongated left incisor that protrudes out from its upper lip like a tusk. Conveniently known as ‘tusking’, narwhals will tussle together in what is one of the most placid and painstakingly boring exhibits of fencing you will ever likely see. Despite the tusks (2-3 metres long) initially proving a daunting sight, they are predominantly used for little more than what is suspected to be either a weird mating procession or a somewhat uninspiring display of superiority amongst males.
James O’Doherty is on Twitter: @jmodoh
Boom or bust for struggling clubs?
Michael Coutts wonders whether billionaires are creating as many problems as they solve to sacrifice their time, future careers, and (to some degree) even their health to represent their club and country. The professionalisation of sport changed that dynamic completely. Today, there is only one thing you need to run a sporting club: money.
Fans and players were left distraught after Newcastle Jet’s owner, Nathan Tinkler, withrew the club’s licence last week
Like most university students, I despise rich, overly powerful white men. That sentiment only intensifies when the men in question are smug, clinically obese wankers like Nathan Tinkler who ruin sporting clubs. Yet as much as I hate men like him, the sad reality is that professional sporting clubs in Australia need more of them.
Nathan Tinkler, above centre, has borne the brunt of criticism from frustrated Newcastle fans this week.
For those out of the loop, let me catch you up: Tinkler purchased the Newcastle Jets, an A-League club, in late 2010 at which point he committed to maintaining the club until 2020. After clashing repeatedly with the Football Federation of Australia (FFA), he lost interest in the project and handed back the club’s licence to participate in the competition last week.
Thus, for many sporting franchises in Australia the only way to survive is to rely on the financial backing of tycoons and magnates, like Tinkler, who are willing to invest in the club until it becomes sustainable. Given the length of time that this may take, it is virtually impossible for any other stakeholder to prop up fledgling clubs. The question then, is how do we cope with being dependent on obnoxious billionaires for the survival of sports clubs like the Jets?
Australia has always had a proud sporting tradition. In the past, this tradition has been built on passion and commitment, with individuals willing
Most obviously, tighter regulation of ownership structure is required. Instead of owners being given a variety of financing options, such as incremental payment
of licence fees or being able to inject funds through loans to the club, owners should be forced to pay all contracts and fees in full and upfront at the time of purchase. If someone like Tinkler buys a club and commits to bankrolling it until 2020, they should have to honour that promise in a legally binding way that doesn’t disrupt the competition and harm the reputation of the code. Under this system, Tinkler’s loss of interest does not ruin the club, because it already has the bulk of funds necessary to continue operating. Of course, there is a downside. Sporting clubs would become an even less attractive investment than they already are, deterring wealthy backers significantly. Though responsible owners would come forward, they would most likely do so in far fewer numbers. That said, given a choice between a smaller, sustainable ALeague and a larger, shambolic competition, I know where my vote would lie. Whatever decisions are made surrounding the ownership of clubs, the interests of fans and clubs should be paramount; being dependent on rich, white men should not mean that they are at their mercy.
Michael Coutts is on Twitter: @MD_coutts
Even Sir David Attenborough is yet to work out the exact meaning of this strange ritual. Considering the lack of conclusive evidence, it may well be a long time yet before we are made aware of its true purpose. Roughly one in every 500 or so male narwhals will dual-wield tusks due to an anomaly in which their right incisors, usually insignificant in size, will partner their left and become a force to reckon with. Traditionally, narwhals have been harvested for meat and ivory over thousands of years by Inuit people situated near the main hub of narwhals in Northern Canada and Greenland. Inuit people legally hunt the whale for its subsistence, eating its meat, skin and organs while treating narwhal blubber as a delicacy. Even narwhal bones are used in the construction of tools. Along with Inuits, narwhals have attracted the unwanted attention of polar bears and packs of killer whales, possibly the most terrifyingly efficient hunters in the sea. Despite multiple threats to their continued existence coming from common predators, narwhals are one of the most vulnerable Arctic marine mammals to the perils of climate change.
The Sandstone Report
SRC Help Special Consideration - Avoiding a FAIL in the case of sickness or misadventure
WE are the 99%! with Artemis ‘Stop the Cuts’ Dreamcatcher
ail mindless bourgeoisie! (Sydney University – Eds.) Before I begin to berate you for your unthinking acceptance of oligarchic hate-crime (capitalism – Eds.), allow me to congratulate my fellow comrades from the Alternative Action Left Education Action Collective on our defiant protest to ‘Stop the Cuts’! Whilst the protest may not have reached the level of anarchic rebellion I, Artemis ‘How do I carry all these molotovs?’ Dreamcatcher, expected, it was nonetheless an inspired demonstration of the untrammeled might of student activism. Sure, we may be yet to actually affect any real change to the corporate politburo that rules over this ‘university’ with a mercury fist but that is immaterial. The only thing that really matters is that we, the Left Alternative Action Alternative Alternative, got to have a march, make some banners, yell at people and, for one glorious moment, pretend like it was 1968 again, back when we actually mattered. Not
that I expect you ignorant swine to have noticed, servilely hunched over your ‘readings’, doing your ‘work’, blindly shuffling towards the abattoir we call ‘society’ like so many corporate toadies before you! No, I wouldn’t expect you ideologically-stunted lemmings to have known that we staged the most important rally since the Freedom Rides! Despite the initial confusion over how best to ‘occupy’ the Dean of Arts, and with a vote for sodomy only narrowly defeated, we stormed the building! Once we’d cleared the bottleneck that had arisen from too many of us trying to rush the office at once and untangled the mess of dreadlocks, body odour, and placards that resulted, we set up about occupying. Once inside we quickly realised that there were too many of us to comfortably occupy the Dean of Arts office so we took a vote on how best to occupy given the circumstances. After another narrow loss to sodomy, we stormed the admittedly less symbolic,
but definitely roomier, Admin Office! There was consternation amongst the collective that perhaps the power of the occupation had been somewhat weakened by this turn of events, but I assured them a victory is a victory is a failure to achieve what you actually meant to and in the process disrupt some of the few people purely concerned with student welfare. Needless to say, while the process was a resounding triumph in the name of student activism, it is not enough! We must escalate! Which is exactly what I, Artemis Dreamcatcher, am going to do! Although the original ‘Stop the Cuts’ campaign was purely focused on boycotting the establishment of Just Cuts in the Wentworth Building as it would undermine the Dreadlock Collective’s free ser-
What if I am sick for an assessment or examination? Is there any way not to get a fail?
One day my pretties, one day...
vice, we, at the Socialist Left Alternative Left Action Action, now plan to oppose ALL cuts on campus! No longer will we tolerate the kitchen staff cutting our food, people cutting in line, the groundskeepers cutting the grass! No we will stop all the cuts from haircuts to paper cuts! Remember comrades we are the 99%! Education is brainwashing! Money is Rape! VIVA LA REVOLUCION!
College Cultcha with Damo ‘Donger’ Thomson
Well I got good news for youse, turns out me dad smoothed things over with the Old Boys and got my suspension at Col-col lifted! So the Donger you know and love will be back punching rumbos and getting looooose from next week! But before then I thought I’d tell all youse what us sick cunts get up to over midsem break. Only boring cunts stay at college this week, so me and the boys headed out to Ripper’s farm out in Canowindra to cause some mayhem out in the country. The other agriculture lads were all going on a ‘uni excursion’ for ‘extra credit’, but fuck that! We all piled into Ripper’s Hilux to cut some serious piss at the annual Canowindra Easter B&S (Bachelors & Spinsters – Eds.) bash. It’s a long drive out to Ripper’s place, so we figured we’d drain a case or two before we left. Since he was doing the first shift, Ripper only had a six-pack before we left ‘cos he’s a pussy.
You know what old Dong-dong says: don’t drive drunk, drive ratfucked!
Anyway, after the five-hour drive, we arrived at the farm, and had some time to kill before all the birds arrived and the real fun began. So we decided to honour an age-old tradition at college and do a rum-off to loosen up before the party! Strictly for only the biggest PCLs, a rumoff is where a bunch of lads destroys a bottle of Bundy each before heading out to track down a missus. Ripper was the last to finish his, so as punishment we drove him out to the dam and threw him in and left him there! We all pissbolted back to the house and it took him 4 whole hours to make it back! Poor bastard almost drowned! The look on his face when he saw the four of us playing beer pong with his 16-year-old sister was priceless! He was pretty fucked up though, so we though it’d be best not to tell him that after we got her to skol four Cruisers, she vomited on herself before macking on with Jimbo. Hilarious! At about 7, we drove over to the community hall to have a bit of a reccy and see if the party was kicking off yet. People were starting to arrive – there’s
a strict dress code at the Easter B&S bash – the lads wear their best RM Williams, Polo dress shirts and Akubras, and the ladies all wear the best gowns they can find in their mum’s wardrobes. ‘Best dressed’ always goes to the bird that can get the most vomit on her mum’s ballgown – the prize is a few bottles of In the morning Rip-rip just pushed her out the tray and bailed. Passion Pop, so us lads She showed her appreciation by compicked the best looking ladies and tried ing back with us and drinking in the tray to help them out, so they’d share their of Ripper’s Hilux. Luckily for Ripper, winnings at the end of the night and he was the first to call dibs, so he was we’d hopefully get lucky. pretty happy with it all. When things It was the first time this one sheila had were winding down, Davo thought he’d been to the B&S ball – she was friends help old Dong-dong back to me swag. with Ripper’s sister at Canowindra High We started walking back to leave Ripper – so she was blacked out by 9 o’clock! to it in the tray of the ute, but not before Me and Davo reckoned she needed some Davo yelled “Oi! Get your rat out!” help to win the best-dressed, so we took it in turns to boot on her when the prizes were about to be announced. With Davo and the Donger on her side, it was no surprise she won.
Good chat from Davo, and great chat from Ripper for getting her there, eh. Cheers cunts!
with every mature-aged student ever
want people outside of our tutorial thinking we were close. So I guess that’s the thing with nicknames: you don’t get to pick them. I’m just happy Q hasn’t grown bored with me yet. I swear I’d go crazy without him, having to deal with Roger, the other mature age student in our course, without assistance, 24/7. While I couldn’t tell you for sure, I think Roger has grossly misinterpreted a few events that took place while we were working together on a video assignment. In particular, a phone call I made to him at 10.20pm the night before our work was due. “There’s only ever one reason
a woman calls at that hour,” he said, then winked at me. Ugh. The only reason I was calling was to ask him about the whereabouts of his part of our assignment. I told him earlier that week he should email me his work the night before it was due and I’d submit it for the both of us. I knew that Roger, courtesy of being a student at the most modern university, had his own email account. I wasn’t sure, however, whether he knew how to use it. I made a point of finding out. “Yes, yes, not a problem” he said… As it turns out, Roger thought I had asked him to “mail” me he his work,
You can apply for a Special Consideration. Go to the website for your faculty and download the application form. See your doctor (or if yours is not available, any doctor) and get your Professional Practitioner’s Certificate (PPC) completed. This needs to be on the same day that you are sick and should not be backdated. Unfortunately this does mean that if you are very sick you cannot just stay at home and wait until the next day to go to the doctor. Your doctor should also give a brief description of the things that you are unable to do, eg, attend university, leave bed, sit up for longer than 10 minutes, etc.
What if I am sick for the supplementary examination or every assessment in a subject? Is there any way not to get a fail? YOU SHOULD NOT GET A FAIL – assuming you have documented why you could not attend/complete each assessment and successfully applied for Special Consideration, as outlined in the policy.
which he did, just one day before the assignment was due. He didn’t even express post it. The assignment is now four days overdue. Thank heavens for Q, who took it upon himself to convince our tutor that it would be discriminatory to punish such (and I’m still a bit upset about Q using this word) “old” people for their technological ineptitude. I don’t quite understand how this worked. I thought you had to be black or homosexual to get discriminated against, but I’m not complaining. Funny old place university,
Even though it’s still really early in the semester I still feel that I’m heaps behind. I’ve got more assignments due than I know how to deal with. I’m starting to feel really stressed and finding my studies are suffering even more – it’s a vicious cycle. Can you give me some ideas that will help me?
Dear Busy, This is the time of the semester when many students start to feel the pressure of assignments being due. Deal with each of those aspects one step at a time. Talk to your tutor now to see if you can arrange an extension. Talk to someone in the University’s Health Service (Level 3, Wentworth Building) or Counselling and Psychological Services (Level 5, Jane Foss Russell Building).
If you have a valid PPC, and the doctor has assessed that you are severely affected or worse you should almost certainly be granted special consideration. Be aware that you do not have to provide more details about you condition if you would prefer to keep that confidential. Remember that Special Consideration is for a temporary illness, misadventure or exacerbation of a long term illness. It is not for long term illnesses per se. That should be dealt with through the Disabilities Unit.
What is the policy? If they reschedule your exam and assessments, but you are too sick (for example) to attend any again, and you apply for special consideration each time and your applications are approved each time, you should not receive a “fail”. Instead you should be awarded a DNF grade. A DNF is a Discontinued, Not Fail. Compared to a Fail (or Absent Fail or Discontinued Fail), a DNF is good for your transcript and good for your Annual Average Mark and good for your Weighted Average Mark (WAM).
SO if you can’t do any of the assessments in a subject this semester, or in the future, and you have successfully applied for special consideration EACH TIME, then check that your mark is recorded as a DNF. You should also apply to have a refund or recrediting of your fees. Ask at the faculty office or the SRC for the appropriate forms.
email@example.com Phone: 9660 5222
For undergraduate Sydney Uni Students
And she fucking did!
I’m not old...am I?
reetings from Tracy, or should I say, ‘Trace’. That’s what my everplayful gay friend Q has started calling me. I’ve never had a nickname before and I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have picked something as mischievous as ‘Trace’ myself - I suggested ‘T’, but Q said he didn’t
YOU SHOULD NOT GET A FAIL – assuming you have documented why you could not attend/complete each assessment and successfully applied for Special Consideration, as outlined in the policy.
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
• • • • • • • •
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
Immigration Advice Tenancy law Credit & debt Discrimination & harassment Traffic offences Criminal law Employment law Credit and debt
• • • • • • •
Administration (gov) law Victims compensation Consumer complaints Domestric violence Insurance law University complaints and more ... please ask us
Students’ Representative Council, University of Sydney Level 1 Wentworth Building, Uni of Sydney 02 9660 5222 | www.src.usyd.edu.au | ACN 146 653 143
The Learning Centre runs free courses for time management. This can help you get your uni work under control while still having a social life. Check out their website at http://www.usyd. edu.au/stuserv/learning_centre. They also have online resources for you to work through in your own time. It’s all really commonsense stuff but makes a real difference when you follow it. If you’ve done all of these things and still can’t cope with your workload you might like to talk to an SRC caseworker about the possibility of withdrawing from a subject. This may attract an academic penalty, but you can at least check out what your options are. A final word of caution, when students feel pressured they can sometimes be less vigilant about referencing and proper paraphrasing when they write essays. If you know that you are cutting corners it is best to get help before handing your essays in. Talk to a lecturer, the Learning Centre, counsellor or SRC caseworker and ask for help. This is better than putting in an essay you know is not up to your usual standard and then being found guilty of plagiarism Abe Abe is the SRC’s welfare dog. This column offers students the opportunity to ask questions on anything. This can be as personal as a question on a Centrelink payment or as general as a question on the state of the world. If you would like to ask Abe a question send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Abe gathers his answers from experts in a number of areas. Coupled with his own expertise on dealing with people, living on a low income and being a dog, Abe’s answers can provide you excellent insight.
SRC President’s Report
Education Officers’ Report
Phoebe Drake is a One Directioner. Possibly. Welcome back after the mid-semester break! It’s been a busy past few weeks for the SRC with the draft contract for the SSAF still being finalised, the biggest rally since VSU over the staff cuts, and many meetings. I’ll discuss one particular meeting, a working group, on Academic Honesty, later in my report where I’ll look at Turn It In and what it means for students at Sydney University. First, however, is the SRC’s Honours Survey and the future of Honours both in Australia and at Sydney University. Honours Survey This year the University is starting a conversation around Honours and whether it provides a worthwhile experience for students. With many other universities making a move to abolish Honours, the question of its relevance remains. Personally, I am very much in favour of retaining Honours, because I believe it gives students the choice, in an equitable environment, to add an edge to their degree. Recently, I made a presentation to the Academic Board where I discussed the student perspective on Honours and the fact that many students enjoy the choice of an extra year. Additionally, because it is a component of the undergraduate degree, Honours places are Commonwealth Supported, which means that you can place the cost of your Honours year on your HECSHELP loan. A move to replace Honours with a postgraduate model raises many issues around equity, whilst taking away a choice many students value. Indeed, many faculties, place particular importance on an Honours year and encourage students to pursue this option. One student I spoke to said, ‘whilst I have pursued a career in law, my employers so far (a Supreme Court
David Pink and Sam Farrell don their Kremlin stars in support of the NTEU
Judge and a law firm) have informed me my honours degree in history was pivotal in their decision to hire me because they believed it equipped me with superior research and writing skills and it illustrated an ability to work independently.’
Welcome back from Easter break; that magical time of semester when you realise that you have done precisely no work up until now, and subsequently spend most of the week devising new and innovative ways to integrate giant chocolate eggs into your assignment.
Here in the SRC, we believe that this is not a discussion just for the committees and faculty boards, but a discussion that needs to be had within the student community. We think it’s crucial that you should have your say and let us know what Honours means to you, so that we have as many students as possible participating in the discussion.
Whilst we’ve been busy with this important task, the National Tertiary Education Union at Sydney has been back in a process of consultation with the University over the staff cuts. A few weeks ago, this report proclaimed that we here at the Education Department of the SRC would commit ourselves to a long term relationship with analysis. Recently, there have been some key developments in the staff cuts arena and we believe it necessary to present the numerous facts that have arisen, even if in contrast to the rest of Honi it paints us as the world’s most absorbent funsponges. The NTEU took their case against the job cuts to the Fair Work
Over the next few weeks the SRC will be running a survey on the future of Honours at the University of Sydney. So if you have an opinion on Honours, thinks it’s worthwhile, or adds something extra to your degree, you should let us know. So please take the time to fill in our short survey, it has less than 10 questions and you can write us essays, or dot points. The link below will take you straight to our survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ CVSRDJZ Turn It In A move last year from Academic Board will see the introduction of Turn It In across all faculties within the University by Semester Two. Whilst many students from the Business School, in particular, will already know how it works, it will be an interesting, and possibly confusing, time as staff and students learn how to use the plagiarism detecting software. The working party on which I sit is in the process of developing a set of principles to inform the use of Turn It In by unit coordinators and faculties.
The purpose of Turn It In, is to deter from plagiarism and provide education on Academic Honesty. Information on Turn It In and your rights as a student, will be provided in your course outline at the beginning of each semester. There is notable concern, however, for situations in which staff are not adequately trained or informed as to how exactly the software works. Consequently, it falls to the faculty to ensure that all staff using the software, understand for example, what a high or low plagiarism score means. This is because the score does not directly equal the amount of plagiarism and, whilst a high score may be unacceptable in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, it could be reasonable in the Faculty of Engineering where formulas and specific descriptions are required in the assignment. After all, there are not always more than one way
to express an idea, object or solution and it will be upon the lecturer to use their judgement wisely. Another concern is whether a student’s work will be stored in a global or local database. Whilst the work is not stored in it’s original form, but more as a type of code, the global company, Turn It In, actually makes a profit from having students’ work on their database and, for this reason, and several others, I am of the view that it is more appropriate for a students’ work to be stored in a local database rather than global. If you have any concerns over Turn It In and what it means for you, feel free to email me at: email@example.com Phoebe Drake is the SRC President
Women’s Officers’ Report
Kate O’Brien and Annabel Osborn aren’t sure you read these by-lines and quite frankly, neither are we Women’s Collective already has some great campaigns and events planned for this semester. To start with we’re running a campaign on safety on campus and also planning a women’s performance night. If you identify as a woman and are interested in being involved please come to collective at 1pm in the Women’s Room, Holme Building. Safety on Campus Campaign In 2010 the National Union of Students (NUS) conducted a survey about the incidences of sexual harassment and assault on university campuses across Australia. The result revealed disturbingly high rates of rape and other forms of assault, for example, 17% of respondents had experienced
rape. As a result NUS developed a ‘Safe Universities Blueprint’. Women’s Collective is working to develop a USYD response to this blueprint that will aim to make campus a safer place for women. Our response will deal with improving security on campus, raising awareness about the issues and also working on improving reporting methods and counselling services. Women’s Performance Night Collective has decided to run a women’s performance night on campus to showcase the creative talents of women because women are still grossly under-represented in most areas of the performing arts, even on campus. We hope to have singers, dancers, poets, actors, comedians and any other kind
of performer. All profits from the night will be donated to charity. If you’re interested in helping with the organisation, production or performing please email usydwomenscollective@ gmail.com. On top of this we have plans for a campaigning workshop to be held on campus, a Collective dinner, a feminist discussion panel and our nonautonomous discussion group is running as usual on Monday nights at 5pm in New Law Annex Seminar Room 442. We are also preparing for the Women’s edition of Honi Soit, which will be published in Week 8, we’ll be calling for submissions soon!
Reminder about Week 5 Collective As most of you are aware, this Wednesday 4th April at 1pm students and staff will be rallying on Eastern Avenue to stop the staff cuts that are threatening the standard of education at the university of Sydney. Collective usually meets at this time, however due to the importance of this event we decided that we will go as group to the rally instead of having a meeting. If you’re looking for us we’ll be wearing our ‘This is a what a feminist looks like’ t-shirts. Hope to see you all there!
Kate O’Brien and Annabel Osborn are the SRC Women’s Officers
For more information about the SRC, visit: www.src.usyd.edu.au honi soit
Australia tribunal a few weeks ago and experienced some success. The arguments presented to the tribunal revolved primary around the breaching of ‘consultation’ provisions within the NTEU staff Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. In a nutshell, the Agreement stipulates that the university must: (a) engage the NTEU in consultations with senior level management (b) take the arguments, counter proposals and comments into account (c) if these submissions are not incorporated into the change proposal, the university must provide reasons . The NTEU challenged the validity of the process of negotiation and, as a secondary line of argument, contended that reasons beyond a reiteration of the university’s financial position were never provided to staff. Although the university acknowledged receipt of 368 submissions from
the NTEU requesting further consultation to express opposition to the change plan (and a range of counter proposals), the closest semblance of analysis or evaluation has been published on the dedicated website, where management noted the ‘lack of any viable alternatives’. Fair Work Australia concluded that these consultation provisions had not been fully complied with beyond the University treating them as ‘tick a box’ exercises. Good work, USYD. The mode of consultation in which the university has engaged also calls for aspersions to be cast upon whether these are genuine redundancies. Undoubtedly, when departments such as Anthropology lose the majority of their lecturing staff, there will be a reduction in the amount of units offered, and, as befits and defines a genuine redundancy, the roles of redundant lecturers will not be filled by their remaining colleagues. However, there are several instances
where the teaching or administration responsibilities of a redundant staff member will become the province of other academic staff. Perhaps the most salient example of this ‘fake’ mode of redundancy can be seen where two or more academics coordinate and deliver content for a particular unit of study; when one of these relinquishes responsibility by virtue of being made redundant, the university will expect these units to continue as normal. There is now a requirement in the latest round of consultations for the university to consult specifically with the immediate colleagues of those affected to consider implications for academic load. This is a step in the right direction. But the university shouldn’t have needed Mummy and Daddy at FWA to explain the concept of procedural fairness. David Pink and Sam Farrell are the SRC Education Officers
General Secretary’s Report
Tim Matthews found time to file this report in between winning Easters, and celebrating winning Easters Two weeks ago the SRC had its first Council meeting of the year and your elected representatives were in fine form. We discussed matters ranging from the administration of the organisation, to the staff cuts issue, and other campaigns that we will be running this year. We have another meeting coming up, and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about what to expect and how to get involved.
What is ‘Council’? The SRC’s Council (Dear English Majors, please forgive the tautology…) is comprised of 33 elected student representatives. It is the ultimate governing body of the organisation, and debates matters ranging from internal administration, to issues with the University and national policy.
What happens at a council meeting? Broadly speaking two things happen at Council. Firstly, all of your elected office bearers present and are asked questions about a monthly report on their activities. Typically, office bearers will discuss campaigns that they are running, meetings that they have had, and provide a factual summary of any relevant recent events. Secondly, Council debate and deliberate upon different issues. Always passionate and well researched, these discussions determine the SRC’s stance on a variety ofpolicy issues.
Can I come? Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it. The SRC has open and transparent Council meetings because we believe
that as many students as possible should be involved. You are able to come along and listen, to speak to a motion, and even propose your own. No intense background information is required to participate, and if nothing else attending council is a good way to get informed.
Why should I? The most important reason that I believe you should join us at Council is because your elected representatives are always after direct feedback and input regarding the operations of the SRC. You have a fantastic opportunity to hold to account those who are representing your interests on and off campus (and some of whom, I should add, you are paying!). You have a stake in each and every one of these activities, and so we welcome your input.
Secondly, as a deliberative body Council discusses issues that directly affect your education. What do you think of new campus infrastructure? How is the quality of your education? Are your assessment policies too harsh? Bring along your grievances and air them in an environment where people are guaranteed to listen and engage! The next Council meeting is Wednesday May 2 – and they happen monthly. You should add it to your diaries, and come along to join the conversation about your education. Tim Matthews is the SRC General Secretary
Welfare Officers’ Report Brigitte McFadden thanks you for smoking Smoke. Free. Campus. No smoking on campus? Surely this is a positive step that reduces second hand smoke inhalation, forces a culture of smoking off campus and forces smokers to stop smoking? Right? Wrong. In this report, I will discuss a few of a large number of issues that the Welfare Officers have with this move by the university. Firstly, a major problem with this new ‘campus law’ is the marginalisation of socio-economically disadvantaged students. Smoking is a practice commonly taken up by individuals who are not informed about the dangers of smoking, individuals who live in an environment where smoking is the norm, or who are peer pressured into smoking in their early years. These
people are people we should be aiming to EDUCATE not OSTRACISE. Secondly, there are a number of studies that suggest that femaleidentifying individuals are more likely to be negatively affected by a ban on smoking. Stress (that may have come about through sexism and general pressures that female-identifying students face), social identity issues, and body image problems (smoking is commonly seen to be an easy way to lose weight) are a few of a number of pressures women face that may be agents in their reasons to smoke. Additionally, a problem arises when women have to leave campus late at night (after a social event or studying) to smoke. This increases their risk of assault and gendered violence.
Why is the university punishing a practice that many people of marginalised backgrounds have taken up without full agency? Forcing these students to leave the campus grounds to have a puff will not stop them smoking, it will only further marginalise them it’s an addiction after all. Thirdly, the argument that it reduces the amount of passive smoke we breathe on campus and is therefore beneficial to our health is ridiculous. I’m not suggesting we should allow smoking indoors or in covered areas (this is an obvious health issue), but in an open, outdoor area, this passive smoke is inconsequential in terms of health risk. According to the logic of the University, we should ban cars because they emit carbon monoxide that can cause adverse health effects when inhaled.
If you would like to know more about this new ‘initiative’, please email the Welfare Officers at welfare.officers@ src.usyd.edu.au, and if you’re pissed off by all of this, get in touch with the university and let them know you don’t support it. Also, stay tuned, because Rafi and I will not stay silent about this degrading and marginalising move by the university against many, already, marginalised students.
Brigitte McFadden is an SRC Welfare Officer
Lecture Notes The Quiz
The Back Page SUDOKU
1. 2. 3. 4.
How many countries feature the letter ‘x’ in their name? 1 KB is equal to how many Bytes? What is the square root of the number 441? The acronym ‘SAG’, when in reference to Hollywood’s Annual SAG Awards, refers to what? 5. Who is the only cricket player to have scored 100 international centuries (including One-Day International and Test matches)? 6. Who produced the famous oil on canvas painting, Starry Night? 7. Who is a central character in Homer’s Iliad and the hero of the Trojan War? 8. What is the capital of Finland? 9. Who stars as Tony Soprano in the HBO TV series, The Sopranos? 10. What does the cast of the films, The Royal Tenenbaums, Donnie Darko and Sixteen Candles, have in common? 11. What is the largest sea-dwelling herbivore? 12. After the separation of Oasis in 2009, what is the name of the first studio album that has recently been released by former frontman Noel Gallagher? 13. How many seats did the Queensland Labor Party win in the 2012 Queensland state elections? 14. Which A-League side was removed from the competition last week after their owner Nathan Tinkler withdrew the club’s licence? 15. ‘Hg’ is the official abbreviation for what element? 16. In what year was former Beatle John Lennon shot and killed? 17. Who is commonly associated with the invention of the phonograph? 18. What famous novel begins: “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York”? 19. Along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, who was the third rock and roll pioneer that famously died in a small-plane crash in Iowa on February 3, 1959? 20. Which two Scandinavian countries were invaded by KenKen tips: 1. Numbers can not repeat in any row or column. Germany in World War II? 2. The puzzle is split into boxes called “cages”. Answers below
12 = S of the Z 9 = L of a C 200 = D for P G in M
MISSILE that actually works. Contact: Kim Jong-un
T U N Make as many words out of the letters above, always including the letter in the centre. 11 = Fair enough. 21 = Getting there. 30 = And you made it!
14. Top prize is a knave with marijuana (7)
Go around low singer, swallowing extreme yelp (6)
15. Nay, go back after Barbie’s friend from Africa (6)
4. Horrendous anal vicer at festival (9)
16. Impish music O’Hives rearranged (11)
DOG looking for new loving home that won’t subject it to name based humor. Contact: RSPCA
OBJECT looking to be sold to buyer by seller for goods and/or services.
BIRTHS VENUS, entered the world at 148 pounds 2 ounces riding a giant clam. MARRIAGES
LAWYER Must be tough Experienced in assault Willing to lie Female preferred Contact: M. Newton
COUSINS, swingers, serial divorcees, convicted wife beaters, Kim Kardashian. But not gay people, because that would demean the institution. DEATHS
GIRLFRIEND Must be tough Experienced in assault Willing to lie Female preferred Contact: M. Newton
ENTIRE North Korean missile programme. ADULT SERVICES
FOR RENT ONE Broadway musical. BOY. Don’t get the wrong idea, this is a child slave I’m advertising not some weird sex thing. Get your mind out of the gutter. You make me sick. PERSONALS Dr Wiltam wishes to inform a Mrs Pensworth of 41 Grantham St., Annandale that her Herpes tests came back positive. We’re not sure you’re quite grasping the meaning of personals Doctor?
WANT LONGER LASTING SEX? Our expert scientists, utilizing cutting edge physics and a low earth orbit, can increase your relative time in the sack by up to three billionths of a second. Guaranteed! PRIVATE TUITION Free private tuition by a master of diction in preparation for submissions in the poetry competition. Contact: Theodor Geisel Tuition available in IT recruitment and white-collar corruption. Contact: A. Demiralay
TRAGEDY! The family of Robin Gibb would like to assure his many fans that although the feeling’s gone and he can’t go on, he is trying his best to keep stayin’ alive. RETRACTIONS I would like to retract my unscripted comments about the Jewish people being intellectually inferior. What I had meant to say was that they’re all a bunch of ignorant shepherds who wouldn’t know the Son of God if he came down to earth and died for their sins. Sincerely, Cardinal G. Pell We would like to retract last weeks comment reguarding V.C. Michael Spence, that “the 49-year-old V.C.’s overzealous cutbacks, corporate attitude and poor management of finances is destroying the University from within”. He was in fact 50 at the time of publication. We unreservedly retract this week’s corrections section, and apologise to those affected. CORRECTIONS We would like to correct the last statement, we were in fact meant to say that we are retracting the retractions section. Apologies.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. HELPING DISADVANTAGED WOMEN GET ON UNION BOARD SINCE 2006.
18. Disgusting place follows headless Bob (7) 19. I nod erratically for Norse god (4) 20. Concealed template – a unique level hill (7)
8. Guess tea times mistakenly (8)
21. A container sent back for an Indian king (4)
12. Confusing loan trying without being aware (10)
PR OFFICER, must be prepared to work overtime. Female preferred Drinker compulsory Contact: St John’s College
17. Son flipped half of 25, stupidly tried glucose-free food (2,5,4)
7. Gutted experts: the media love coffee (8)
11. Achilles’ weak point is to improve, we hear (4)
CHARACTER development, coherence and any intelligence at all. Contact: The Hunger Games
MAN, must be discreet about aformentioned masculinity. Contact: Feminism
3. Sad type of cheese (4)
10. Dog from Berlin? (6,8)
LESS ironic building. Contact: Department of Architecture
BRRAAAAINNS Contact: Zombie
2. Organ that goes at the end (8)
9. Continent for feud, centrally, with Cluedo weapon (6)
SOLID gold desk. Will pay with profits left over from staff cuts. Contact: M. Spence
TECH-STARTUPS. Name your price. Definitely not part of a gimmick to boost our share price later in the year. Contact: Facebook
13. Possible mincer possibly can’t be squashed (14)
6. Napoleon and a Penguin reveal their temper or sins (8)
DOG, answers to No-one.
1. Gab doesn’t start awful date that subsided (6)
5. Rapper first excites 1001 backward gents (6)
25 Logies! What the fuck? The ABC can win now? Really?! Contact: Channel Seven
INFORMATION leading to the arrest of the man from the preceding advertisement, who clearly let his dog loose in order to tell that horrendous joke. Contact: RSPCA
Clues are given in alphabetical order of their solutions, though not all letters are used. Place them into the grid jigsaw-wise, however they may fit. Solutions starting in the same square share a number.
Uses erotic manipulation for favours (10)
3. In the upper left-hand corner of each cage is a target number and a mathematical sign indicating how the numerals within a particular cage interact to produce the target number.
CREDIBILITY, parliamentary seats, anything at all. Contact: Queensland Labor
22. Bummer! So do me with it in, and literally so (8) 23. Fencing for a small pun (9) 24. Leo horribly lost in toy (7) 25. A drug and America’s hidden country (6) 26. Be a rival turning fickle (8)
Answers The Quiz: 1. Two- Mexico, Luxembourg 2. 1024 3. 21 4. ‘Screen Actors Guild’ 5. Sachin Tendulkar 6. Vincent Van Gogh 7. Achilles 8. Helsinki 9. James Gandolfini 10. They all feature siblings in the cast - Owen and Luke Wilson (Royal Tenenbaums), Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko), Joan and John Cusack (Sixteen Candles) 11. The Dugong 12. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds 13. Seven seats 14. Newcastle Jets 15. Mercury 16. 1980 17. Thomas Edison 18. The Bell Jar 19. Buddy Holly 20. Norway and Denmark Brain Teaser: 12 Signs of the Zodiac, 9 Lives of a Cat, 200 dollars for passing go in Monopoly
Students’ Representative Council The University of Sydney
i n u t a s t gh i r r u o g n ti c e t o r P C R S i n U y e Sydn
! R 0 5222 6 E 6 9 B r o M p o E h C Books OME A M C Office, SR
BEC Join in
C stall, SR
-Week SR person at O
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS Support & Advocacy
• Centrelink • Academic Appeals • Discontinuing/Withdrawing • Show Cause • Exclusion • Tenancy • Fee Refunds • Harassment & Discrimination • International Students • Plagiarism & misconduct
Free Legal Advice
• Referrals • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity • Employment law • Minor criminal matters/traffic offences/ fines • Victims of violence • Debts
The SRC’s operational costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney.
SRC Books - Buy your textbooks cheap!
• Buy & sell your textbooks • Search for books online SRC website Wentworth Level 4 (next to the International Lounge)
$50 emergency loans for students in need
• Honi Soit weekly newspaper www.src.usyd.edu.au/honisoit • International Students Handbook • Orientation Handbook • Counter Course Handbook • Growing Strong - Women’s Handbook
Student Rights & Representation
SRC Representatives are directly elected by students each year to stand up for students’ rights on campus and in the wider community. Find the SRC at...
Level 1 Wentworth Building (under City Rd footbridge) Ph: 02 9660 5222 www.src.usyd.edu.au If you are at another campus, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students’ Representative Council The University of Sydney BECOME A MEMBER! Join in person at O-Week SRC stall, SRC Office or SRC Bookshop phone 02 9660 5222
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS Support & Advocacy
SRC Books - Buy your textbooks cheap!
• Centrelink • Academic Appeals • Discontinuing/Withdrawing • Show Cause • Exclusion • Tenancy • Fee Refunds • Harassment & Discrimination • International Students • Plagiarism & misconduct
Free Legal Advice
• Buy & sell your textbooks • Search for books online SRC website Wentworth Level 4 (next to the International Lounge)
$50 emergency loans for students in need
• Referrals • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity • Employment law • Minor criminal matters/traffic offences/ fines • Victims of violence • Debts
ASK US ABOUT
The SRC’s operational costs, space and administrative support are financed by the University of Sydney.
E C I O V R U O Y YOUR SRC
• Honi Soit weekly newspaper www.src.usyd.edu.au/honisoit • International Students Handbook • Orientation Handbook • Counter Course Handbook • Growing Strong - Women’s Handbook
Student Rights & Representation
SRC Representatives are directly elected by students each year to stand up for students’ rights on campus and in the wider community.
Find the SRC at...
Level 1 Wentworth Building (under City Rd footbridge) Ph: 02 9660 5222 www.src.usyd.edu.au If you are at another campus, email: email@example.com