Edition Three 1
03 04 08 10 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 20 22 24 25 26
Letters to Editors MSA OB Reports The Calendar Clubs eExams No Lecture Recordings or Laptops in this Unit
Writing on Antidepressants Negative Memes Customizing the Player: Building a New Videogame Identity Travelling as a Woman Feminism Is Like A T-Shirt All About Me: Queer Women of Colour in Music
The Business of University Commuting to and from University: The Joyride Monash to Introduce Inter-dimensional Parking Student Live Tweets 3 Hour Tutorial
28 30 32 33 34 36 38
42 46 47 48 50 51 52 53 54
Lotâ€™s Wife Eurovision Awards Sailor Moon: Identities Lost in Translation FAQ: E-Sports Art Power in the Feminist Vein Memories of a Festival MUST Presents: Vinegar Tom The Emotional Pie: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and be happy
10 Drinks You Can Make With Goon and Some Craftiness
At The Temple of Faces The Stream GIF Rinse and Repeat All is not fair in love and war Three Poems I Wrote on Love Sext: Vice Wotâ€™s That? RADMON Presenter Timetable
I hope week 10 did not sneak up on you too fast and you are enjoying your winter warmers much as I am. The Lot’s Wife office is right across from Wholefoods, so I can comfortably say all the editors have eaten enough lasagne to become one with the lasagne. In all seriousness though, while the end of semester is the time for blood curdling terror about exams and our GPAs, it is also a time for reflection. Many times we have had to come to the defence of Lot’s Wife and it’s contributors. We have been assailed by criticisms such as; there is too much left-wing propaganda; there is not enough leftwing propaganda; the spacing is racist and sexist; why do you need poetry; diversity is unnecessary, selection of pieces should be based on merit; and so on… When reading Drawing Sybylla, a fantastic novel by Odette Kelada, I discovered a poem which clearly articulated what I would like to say to all those who think their voice should be amplified at the expense of others: ”…Our drip drip calls attention to ink splodges where words should be, a name where there is a nobody. Did we disrupt the party? /[…]/ Did we make a mess? Did we ignore you? Make you feel smaller than you’re used to? Whatever it is, it must be a heinous crime To make you work at being bastards overtime.”
Firstly, while you can never have too much left-wing propaganda, Lot’s Wife is meant to service all students, not just those who are highly politically engaged. The comment about the spacing being racist and sexist has already been thoroughly addressed on Monash Stalkerspace, although it should not have needed to be addressed at all. Diversity in contributors and kinds of content is necessary because there are only eight editors, who despite having their own aesthetic and political biases, want to create a magazine that all students can enjoy because pieces are selected on merit. This may seem like new territory for Lot’s Wife, especially given 2016 was the only year in recent history (apart from this year) in which the editors have not been merely a part of a homogenous political machine (See “The Case for Independent Media” published in Lot’s Wife October 2016), but we have never been afraid of breaking the status quo. While we have made mistakes, our diversity is where our strength lies. We argue, discuss, and debate to make Lot’s Wife the best it can be. No single voice is drowned out because we are all different. We don’t owe anything to anyone, except you: our readers, our contributors, and our community. And that’s the way we want things to stay. We envision that Lot’s Wife will be run independently; not in the distant future; but next year or the year after. To achieve this, we need your help: we need you to show up to our writer’s meetings, we need you to read our magazine, and we need you to support our vision for Lot’s Wife to grow in size and quality for years to come, whether you are a reader, writer or “none of the above”. More to come in the next edition…
xoxo Lot’s Wife Editors: Annabelle Ballard, Bart Lewis, Alyxandria Casey, Xavier Andueza, Jeremy Cheong, Jake Gerstel, & Joseph Xuereb
Art by Anna Rees Jones
Letters to Editors
Dear Lot’s, THE SAGA CONTINUES. I unearthed some of my old fanfiction and rediscovered my passion for... NA NA, NA NA, NA NA, NA NA BATMAAAN. Seriously though, that gravelly voice combined with his sick wheels make him my number one ship... WITH MYSELF. Okay, maybe number two. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind this one (at least as much as me x Davie Jones - too many tentacles). Plus, he has no right to complain given that the sauciest thing that happens in my fic (which is now eight years old) is that I tell batman to keep “it” in his pajamas. I have subsequently matured to the point that I’ve realised that Batman probably sleeps in his birthday suit. And my boyfriend does not care. Perhaps I am seeing problems where there aren’t any, but I feel like his nonchalant attitude to this ship is just another one of our problems. How come I am not allowed to ship Kylo and Rey, but I can ship myself and batman?
Dear Lot’s, I have recently found myself in quite the predicament. During the 2017 annual transformation of Monash Stalkerspace into Monash Petspace, I shared several pictures of my good doggo on the page in the hopes that it would encourage my peers in their pursuit of academic success. Much to my surprise, his Instagram page has since blown up, far overtaking my own in terms of popularity and fan engagement. My dog is now being offered brand deals and sponsorships, including a potentially lucrative sponsorship with Skinny Tea.
OHMIGOD! PERHAPS MY BOYRIEND HAS A THING FOR BATMAN.
My question is: as Bark Ruffalo’s publicist and social media manager, what percentage of his earnings am I entitled to?
From, Concerned in Clayton
Soon I will need to tell them both to keep their peckers in ther pants.Lot’s Wife, I am not sure I can stop this train. Save me, you’re my only hope.
From, A anonymous fanfiction addict
MSA OB Reports
PR E S ID E N T
SE C R E TA RY
TR E AS UR ER
Well, isn’t it just an utterly terrific time to be a Monash student. It’s Week 10, and that means end of semester exams! It’s been a roaring few weeks for MSA. Monstrous new 24-hour study spaces. Wednesday Sessions are blowing up. We had the launch of Thursday @ Sir John’s, providing a phenomenal space for emerging Monash artists. We have locked in additional funding required to create 10 additional clubs in semester two. The People of Colour Department saw its Comedy Night sell out! MSA has been working particularly closely with all stakeholders involved in the construction of the independent review of the response pathways and policies regarding sexual harassment and assault, which Monash has committed to. We have had significant wins regarding the changes to learning and teaching within the Faculty of Arts over the last few months. Our advocacy resulted in a return to the standard class size cap in 2017. Moreover, the Faculty will be providing increased support to sessional teaching staff.
Hello lovely readers!
We’re 10 weeks in, and what a smashing 10 weeks it’s been! We at the MSA have been working day-in and day-out to ensure that your university experience is the best it can be, and even though we’re in the final leg of the semester we’re not resting up yet!
I hope the mid semester break treated you well, and that you’re recovering from the last few weeks of mid sems and assignments! The MSA has been chugging along to keep your heads above water and to give you a break from the study. If you haven’t checked it out already, we’ve now got Thursdays at Sir John’s up and running. It showcases local music talent and is strategically timed during Happy Hour, so you can now enjoy some generously priced food and beverages while supporting local bands! I hope you also managed to catch some of the department activities that have been happening over the past few weeks, our office bearers have put in heaps of work so that every event runs as smoothly as possible.
With one of the biggest acts at the Wednesday seshes coming up this week (yay Wharves!!!!), an enormous new 24-hour study space, and a great win in terms of the Arts cuts and changes, the last few weeks have been absolutely crazy! Looking now to the future (and trying to avoid thinking about those pesky exams) the MSA has massive plans for next semester, including extensions of our current initiatives, and start ups of several more. There will be plenty of reasons for you coming back to Monash next sem! Best of luck over the next few weeks!
Look after yourselves in the next few weeks with exams approaching. It’s a super stressful time, just don’t forget that everyone’s in the same boat - so look out for each other! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the MSA, and keep up to date with all our socials to keep up with what’s going on! Catch you next semester!
Working alongside the Indigenous Department, the MSA has recently secured funding to join and develop at Monash the growing Union for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students (UATSIS). With the number of Indigenous students at Monash rapidly increasing over the last few years, it is critical that we continue to support the development of inter-campus infrastructure through UATSIS. If you’ll be chaining yourself to one of the Clayton libraries over the next few weeks, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for MSA Welfare trolleys which will be rolling around campus during SWOTVAC. All the best for your exams.
E DUC AT I ON (P U B L IC A F FA IR S )
E DU C ATI O N ( AC A D E MI C A F FA I R S)
W E LFAR E
DAVID POWER & JAKE HUMPHREYS
ALEXANDRA KOWAL & SOPHIA TAN
OLIVER ROBERTSON & MEGAN MCNEEL
Hey everyone! Your Education (Public Affairs) Department has been working full-throttle since the Semester began. We’re proud to announce that our work alongside the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) on the Save Our Arts campaign has already achieved a number of significant goals, including: a commitment to a return to the 25 student class size cap in classes outside of the Learning and Teaching Building; and a guarantee that there will be no freeze on the hiring of sessional teaching staff with PhD.
Hey from Academic Affairs! We hope you’ve had a great semester so far, because what a semester it has been! Earlier in the semester we were really troubled to hear about changes and cuts to the Arts Faculty. As you would expect, we immediately got to work and launched a campaign. After several meetings held over weeks with the Dean of Arts, the MSA has achieved numerous significant wins for Monash Arts students, including:
Hello again from the Welfare Department, and congrats for surviving until week 10! We know it can be a tough slog at this point in semester, so don’t forget to look after yourself and make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
The past several weeks also saw us hold forums run by students, for students in Radical Education Week. This includes our endorsement of, and intensifying work alongside the Monash Vegans on the Conscientious Objection Policy Initiative (COPI). COPI is a campaign pushing for the rights of students to abstain from particular areas of classwork that they ethically oppose. You can help get behind this important campaign or follow along at https://www.facebook.com/MonashCOPI/ As Semester winds down, we’re busy at work campaigning for a free(d), and accessible education for all students at Monash. Catch us out at our stalls on Menzies lawn, or reach out to us in our Offices of through the MSA Education Facebook page to find out how you can get more involved with the Education (Public Affairs) Department.
• A commitment that all tutorials conducted in rooms outside of the new Learning and Teaching Building will be reduced back to the maximum class size of 25. • A guarantee to not freeze the hiring of PhDs as sessional teaching staff; and • Increased support for sessional teaching staff. On top of that, our recent survey results on the Monash community’s textbook use has allowed us to advocate for more accessible textbooks for our students, so watch out for more updates on that! If you have an idea for a project or campaign, or have any concerns about your academic life, we’d be more than happy to hear you out! Get in touch with us through the MSA Education Facebook page (facebook.com/msaeducation) Until next Sem!
See you guys!
This is a huge week for the Welfare Department as Stress Less begins on Wednesday 10 May and lasts until Wednesday 16 May. Look out for extra Yoga and Mindfulness classes, extra free food, helpful skill seminars in the library, our new craft booth to help take your mind off of study for a bit, and keep your eyes extra peeled for some lovely visitors of the canine variety! Our Seminar Series is still going strong, so make sure you get yourself over to see the next few speakers such as those from Headspace discussing mental health, and those from Career Connect teaching you how to write a killer resume! Can’t wait to see you there!
WO M E N ’ S EMILIA DALTON & ALISHA RAO Hey all, The Women’s Department has been well and truly busy over the past few weeks! We hope you all enjoyed our Women’s themed Wednesday Session held a few weeks ago, featuring the Cherry Dolls live performance. It set the perfect tone for such a great event! We really enjoyed meeting quite a few of you and hope you stay in touch with you as the year goes on. Behind the scenes, the Women’s Department has been working with the Respectful Communities Initiative to improve training delivered to student leaders and club committees, to better equip them with with skills to create safer events. If you’re interested in hearing more about our department or better yet, getting involved, we’d love to chat! Like our Facebook page, MSA Women’s Department, to stay up to date with what we get up to, or swing by the Women’s room (level one campus centre) and say hello! Also, feel free to email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!
E N VI RON MEN T & S O C I A L J U S T IC E JESSICA EVANS & AYUSHI PANJWANI … aaaand we’re back! Well, it’s nearly been two months since we saw you here last; how about a bit of a recap? Our Week 4 Wednesday Session was a tonne of fun and it was so great to see so many of you down there. The games, free food, succulents, and prizes from some of our favourite clubs on campus, all topped off by the musical stylings of Maddy Jane made for an amazing afternoon! Week 7 also saw our movie night in the Campus Centre Cinema where we showed the award-winning documentary Normal is Over. Thank you again to everyone who came down!
Hadi (People of Colour) and Emily (Disability and Carers)
AC TI V I TI E S
Q U EER
MATTHEW POWERS & HENRY FOX
DENISE ATZINGER & HARRY KENNEWELL
WELLITY WELLITY WELLITY. Week 10 is here already! We’ve seen some serious events so far this semester, with Union House Party and KLP setting campus centre alight in Week 6 and our last Wednesday Session wrapping up this week! There’s been some unbelievable sessions this semester Smith Street Band drawing the biggest crowd the Lemon Scented Lawn has ever seen, cultural clubs providing an unbelievable selection of free food in week six and Asta welcoming in a new era of campus engagement. Don’t worry though, Wednesday Sessions for semester two are already in the works and we can guarantee that they will be back bigger and better as we continue to bring you good vibes, free food and free drinks. We’ll be busy over the break planning and organising some big events for semester two, so make sure to rest up over the break and buckle up when you get back its going to be WILD!
Now to the future; this week (Tuesday 8 May) we are having our not to be missed ESJ Trivia Night at Sir John’s. Check our Facebook page for more details and grab yourself a ticket!
Hey there everybody! We hope you have been smashing this semester and somehow found time to complete all those pesky assignments that get in the way of having fun. Your QO’s having been incredibly busy running the Queer Lounge, planning and organising a variety of new and exciting campaigns, running Queer Week and of course making sure that Queer Ball was as awesome as it always is (we’re always blown away by your amazing outfits, congratulations to all the winners)! It’s Week 10, so that means you’re all warming up your voices for Karaoke Night! We’ve got excellent prizes up for grabs so don’t forget to get yourself a ticket and join us for what is going to be a fantastic evening! Finally, we know a few of you are getting reading for Queer Collaborations - don’t forget to check your emails to stay up to date with any planning and details relating to the conference. Monash won the bid to produce Querelle, the annual national student queer magazine - don’t forget to check out their page, donate, and grab yourself a copy to get into all the fabulous content queer students across the country are producing! Exams and end of semester assignments are starting to pile up, so MQD will be running SWOTVAC and Chill during the break - keep your eyes peeled. Head across to our Facebook page (Monash Queer Department - MSA) to find out more. Hoping to see you around!
For more future events and to keep up to date with ESJ, give us a like on Facebook: facebook.com/MSAESJ. Enjoy the rest of semester and good luck for your exams!
MSA OB Reports
Jess (Enviornment & Social Justice), Josh and Henry (Activities)
DI SAB I L I T IE S & C A R E R S
I N DI G E N O U S
P E O PLE O F COLOUR
EMILY GRIFFITH & DANIEL GYSSLINK
KRYSTAL DE NAPOLI & JYDEN BRAILEY
HADI SAAB & ANAHITA FAILI
Hey there! Last week was the D&C department week, and it was wonderful to see so many people at our various stalls, workshops, and at the Wednesday session. We hope you enjoyed the free food and music, and learnt some new things! Thank you to everyone who ran workshops and volunteered – we couldn’t have done this without you. It has been great to meet so many of you at our morning teas and skill-shares this semester! Unfortunately, these won’t be running in the exam period, but we have plenty more in store for semester 2. Our “Access not advertising” campaign pushing for better mental health services on campus after Monash recently cut funding - while increasing their advertising budget substantially - has been running well. Make sure to check out the Facebook page to keep updated. We have also seen cuts and attempted major changes to the Arts faculty, which the MSA Education departments have done a fantastic job in fighting. Academia can already be inaccessible for disabled students, and attempting to reduce the attention students get from our teachers could drastically decreases the accessibility of learning and can stop us from succeeding. Keep updated on the campaign by following the MSA education page.
Hey again everyone,
Hey Lot’s Wife readers, hope you’ve been doing well! Not long to go before semester is done and dusted!
Hope you’ve all been doing well! We’ve been super busy recently with things such as our department week during week 8 (which was a major success), and other continued initiatives such as Blaktive. Our department week was jam packed with cultural workshops, an Indigenous lunch and discussions surrounding Indigenous identity. Our personal highlight of the week was a lecture from Dr Duane Hamacher, who gave an insightful talk on Australia’s Indigenous astronomy. This being our department’s first Monash wide event, it was a huge success as the topics touched upon drew in a massive amount of interest from both staff and students. In the upcoming weeks we will have a mental health workshop that will give some tips and tricks for coping with stress ahead of, and going into the exam period. We also have our first UATSIS VIC/TAS branch event, as well as our other continuous initiatives. Wishing you all luck during the last few weeks of semester one!
As the giant exam monster begins to loom over us, now is a great time to register with Disability Support Services if you need accommodations. Take care of yourselves the best you can, and remember we are here to support you and provide advice if needed.
What a semester it’s been for us, our comedy gala was such a success, Dilruk Jaysinha and Khaled Khalafalla literally had us in tears for the whole night! And let’s not forget how insane our week 6 Wednesday Sesh was, hope you guys abused all the free food like we did. All the free souvs, gelato, crepes and the like were courtesy of the MSA, with the support of the awesome cultural clubs on campus. Did someone say Night Market (but in the day) on campus?! We have been having the time of our lives running events for you all and we still have so much more planned, in particular we will be running a MythBusting Refugee panel next semester - the details of which you can find on our Facebook page (Monash People of Colour Department). It is a seriously important, informative panel and we would love for as many of you to be there as possible! Tell your friends, tell your family, bring your mum! We mentioned it earlier but if you haven’t already (and you should have already by now) like our page on Facebook to keep up to date with all of our future plans and if you have any ideas for events or campaigns you want to throw or run hit us up through that page. Two-POC out!
Get into contact with us at email@example.com!
Wot’s on WEEK TEN
W E E K ELE V E N
S TR E S S LE S S W EEK
Free food Mondays Wholefoods 7–9pm
Free food Mondays Wholefoods 7–9pm Remember to stress less
Tuesday Trivia Night LW edition 3 BBQ launch 12–2pm
Wednesday The Wednesday Sessions - Wharves Lot’s Wife on RADMON 4–5pm Volunteering Free Breakfast 8:45–10:30am
Lot’s Wife on RADMON 4–5pm Volunteering Free Breakfast 8:45–10:30am Disabilities and Carers Morning Tea 10:30-11:30am
Thursday Thursdays @ Sir John’s Dean’s Cup Cocktail Night Disabilities and Carers morning tea 10:30-11am
Thursdays @ Sir John’s Trivia Night ...and remember to stress less
Friday Get loose and stress less
at Lot’s W EEK T W ELV E
Free food Mondays Wholefoods 7–9pm
S WOT VAC
Maybe more study
Lot’s Wife on RADMON 4–5pm Volunteering Free Breakfast 8:45–10:30am
Some more study
Thursdays @ Sir John’s Disabilities and Carers morning tea 10:30-11am MSC Meeting #5 2–4pm
and a lil more study
Get loose... but still study
MSA Biomed Society Monash Science Students Society (MSS) Law Students Society (LSS) Monash Engineering Student’s Society (MESS) Business and Commenrce Students Society (BCSS) Society of Arts Students (SAS) Environmental & Social Justice
M ON AS H C R E AT IV E W RIT E RS Hey! Do you like writing?
AC YA ACYA is a vibrant community of young Australians and Chinese interested in promoting cross-cultural understanding through development of lasting friendships, academic and business partnerships. We are a public interest resource group that operates through a comprehensive online presence and multiple university chapters throughout Australia. ACYA is not just for those studying a second language, but open to all students with a Sino-Australia interest. Through our website and university presence, we aim to become a one-stop-shop career, cultural and education information resource and a facilitator and promoter of Australia-China dialogue. With hundreds of events annually across Australia and China, unique internship, study, and volunteer opportunities, a diverse range of publications, and over 5000 members, we are the first port of call for anyone interested in Australia, China or even just making new friends around university. Like our Facebook page, Australia-China Youth Association at Monash to find out more!
Do you often find yourself talking or thinking about writing, even in entirely unrelated situations? Do you enjoy consuming other people’s writing in a variety of media, from song lyrics to film scripts to books which closely resemble construction materials? Most importantly, do you write things which might be considered “creative” (or at least, have a dream of being some sort of author one day)? If so, you should join the Creative Writers! We are a friendly, inclusive bunch of writers who aim to provide a space where aspiring authors, poets, and general creatives can share their work, receive feedback, and gain confidence in their own abilities. We provide opportunities for you to have your pieces to reach a wider audience, meet up and collaborate with other creative people, and take part in events such as our spoken word evening. We also provide regular themes and publishing opportunities through our anthology, Incisors & Grinders (see web address below). To join the club, come along to one of our weekly meetings, held every Wednesday from 3-5pm (locations announced via Facebook group and email). The weekly meetings are fun, informal gatherings, where we present and discuss some aspect of writing in the first half (e.g. worldbuilding, characterisation, genre), before reading and giving feedback for submissions sent in by club members in the second half. You can drop in or out of the meeting whenever suits. To find out more: Email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org Join our Facebook group @ Monash Creative Writers Find our anthology Incisors & Grinders @incisorsgrinders.wordpress.com Come and give us a go!
M MS S The Monash Music Students’ Society was officially inaugurated in 2015 by students of the University’s music faculty. We are an education and social based group, covering all aspects of music on the Monash Clayton Campus. Our goal is to provide support and establish connections between our members, welcoming members from all different musical backgrounds – non-music students, music listeners and music faculty students. We aim to create a friendly environment by establishing relationships through our peer mentoring program for first year music students. We provide educational support through our revision seminars and tutorials for units such as Music History, Music and Culture, Theory and Ear Training. These are free classes for our members where they can practice their aural skills as well as revise their theoretical units. It is highly beneficial for music beginners and non-music faculty students to come along to these classes as the content covered replicates the curriculum within a music degree. We help to promote performers, accompanists and teachers, in hopes to provide as much exposure as possible. Recently, we have begun a partnership with Sir John’s where members will be given the opportunity of paid gigs to perform at Sir John’s bar on Thursdays. Members will receive discounted tickets to all our social functions such as the highly anticipated annual Music Ball (one of the more affordable balls on campus!), and have the chance to win amazing prizes like recording studio sessions. The society currently has over 300 members and continues to grow each year.
M OV E The Monash Overseas and Exchange Club is student club for current and returned exchange students as well as anyone interested in travel or studying overseas in the future! Our committee members are past exchange students who want to help those coming to Monash on exchange have as an amazing time in Melbourne as we did on our own exchanges. MOVE runs day trips to Healesville Sanctuary, Peninsula Hot Springs, Wilson’s Promontory and the Yarra Valley wineries every semester. We also run regular bar nights, showcasing the variety of nightlife in Melbourne. Every week of the semester we host a coffee club at Wholefoods, where members can get a free coffee/tea/hot chocolate and chat with each other. In addition, we organize a buddy program all students are welcome to sign up for, pairing local students with exchange students make their experiences in Australia the best they can be. Stay up to date with everything by joining our 6000-strong MOVE Facebook group and liking our facebook page Come down and help make some of the best experiences in other people’s lives!
STEW Students Teaching English to our World (STEW) is a Monash University non-profit organisation aimed at improving our world by alleviating social disadvantage through the power of education and literacy. In collaboration with community organisations, STEW aims to provide the training, resources, and opportunities that enable student volunteers to engage with their interest in teaching or passion for social welfare, and teach others in their local community. MSS
You also don’t have to be a science student to join the club - we accept people from all faculties big and small!
Our organisation is unique in that we hold close ties with the community and directly connect university students with members of the community who wish to improve their English skills. We offer free one-onone tutoring and conversation classes right across Melbourne. We also hold social events including regular movie nights for our members to get to know like-minded people, and present volunteeringrelated opportunities such as guest speakers and networking lunches.
We run fantastic events such as our annual Ball, Camp, Industry Week, Foam Party and Paint Party, just to name a few. You will see us around campus cooking up a storm on the BBQs so feel free to swing by, grab a bite and ask about our up and coming events!
We strongly believe in the empowering nature of education, and thus the importance of its accessibility. We encourage students to use their education to empower others who we believe in turn will positively impact their community.
Monash Science Society is one of the largest clubs at Clayton. Made for, and run by science students, we run both social and academic events throughout the year to help further the overall university experience of our members. If you’re looking to make friends, or further a career in science we’re the society to join!
If you’re interested in joining or would like to know more, please contact email@example.com or alternatively, find us on Facebook!
eExams Attention all students! Words by Tracey Vuu eExams are now being rolled out at Monash University! Streamlined marking procedures, faster return of exams, and comfortable digital technology – all for your benefit! What a wonderful world we live in and what a wonderful university Monash University is!
The reign of the digital age, it seems, is tightening its grip. The benefits of computerised exams are undeniable. Costs will be minimised with less printing. Turnaround will be much quicker in terms of the set up and marking of exams . The innovation of digital technology can be advantageous too. Videos can be incorporated into exam questions, as well as GIFs and interactive graphs, all of which could open up more comprehensive ways of testing content. This could provide many opportunities for the university to enrich its learning system.
What was that? Yes, you did not hear wrong. Monash has just launched its first trial for computerised exams. With lectures now available electronically and torrented eBooks perpetuating the genocide of hardcopy textbooks, it was only a matter of time before online exams became a reality. Who still uses paper to take down lecture notes anyway?
However, there are downsides. Understandably, many students shriek at the idea of mixing exams with technology, seeing it as nothing but a recipe for disaster. Computer crashes due to dropouts in connectivity, along with software malfunctions, are all possible nightmare scenarios. Especially with state of the art services such as eduroam, who knows how prevalent these calamities may be.
So, how will eExams work? The university is proposing an online exam system where students attend an exam venue, which will be invigilated as usual. Students will then be required to complete their exams using a laptop provided by the university. For open book exams, a hardcopy version of notes is still required. Good old Moodle will be the interface used to accommodate the online exams. The first version of the platform was expected to be finalised by the end of March. We are told the platform will be very simple and easy to navigate. This all sounds very good and well, with Moodle being our favourite webpage of all time because of its reliability.
Solutions to combat these worries have been put forward, one of which suggests the use of backup hardcopy exams. But doesn’t that defeat the idea of saving paper, and the efficiency of the entire system?
A student reference group has been set up so that the eExam interface can be tested by students before the system is finalised. The students will be able to give their feedback on the usability of the interface, which will then be modified until deemed ready. The first group of students to sit the eAssessments will be from a small number of units from the Faculty of Law, and Monash College at the end of Semester 1.
As for hacking fears, Monash has provided information that the laptops customised for exams will be configured to disable features such as internet access and unauthorised software. For people who have no clue how firewalls work (like myself) this assurance goes a long way towards easing worries.
There are some concerns on the part of students who prefer handwriting. On the flipside, marking essays will be a breeze without the challenge of deciphering appalling handwriting. However, handwriting is becoming more and more of a nostalgic idea of the past. While technology is supposedly making our lives “better”, it has been recognised that millennials are feeling increasingly more cut off from reality, with face-toface interaction being heavily replaced by instant messaging. Increasing our screen time only increases our reliance on the online space. This can be detrimental to our wellbeing if not managed.
Ultimately though, the cons of online examinations are around equal to those of paper-based exams. Scholarly critics argue that the potential of losing work in a digital space is equal in the case of paper exams going missing. Cheating via communication is just as difficult, if not more so due to digital exam questions having the option to be randomised. Students are still coming to a specified venue and invigilation is still enforced. Now our venerable invigilators will be required to be extra tech-savvy.
Many institutions have already made the switch from pen and paper to digital screens. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has been using e-Assessments since 2015. Its program has received great acclaim and has been shortlisted for the 2018 International eAssessment Awards.
With all that said, eExams are due for their anticipated arrival. They may be tossed aside and become old news by next summer, but for now, perhaps we should forego the knee-jerk reaction that we experience when we hear “online exams”. Instead, we should embrace the exciting opportunities that e-Assessments are bringing with them. For more information on eExams, please contact Vijay Sunder (Academic Services Coordinator, Law) at firstname.lastname@example.org
No Lecture Recordings or Laptops in this Unit Words by Bridget Hackett Dear Professor, I write in reply to your email regarding your policies to not release lecture recordings for this unit and to not allow the use of laptops to take notes during your lectures. While you argue that both these policies ensure a heightened learning experience for your students, it is my argument that your policies are in fact detrimental to your students’ learning. Students these days work to eat. Government payments that low-income students receive are not enough. Without a part-time job to fill the gap, a choice is made between paying the bills and eating. An article by the ABC in May last year concluded that students across Victoria who live independently are struggling. Students are “living under the poverty line.” By refusing to record your lectures, you disadvantage the students who don’t have the privilege of living off mummy and daddy’s money. While I agree that a full time student should treat their degree as their only job, we live in a reality where the government do not permit this luxury. Stop making the choice between eating and education difficult, and let us use modern technology to solve this problem. With the advent of modern technology, we can accommodate individual differences in learning styles. By refusing to record lectures, you disadvantage students who use lecture recordings in their own unique way to tackle the information in your unit. If you can’t quite grasp the concept that not everyone learns like you did at university, I’ll give you some examples.
You argue that laptops in lectures impede the learning of those around them.
Lectures can be a distracting place and not everyone can learn effectively in this environment. For some, there is nothing more stressful than sitting in a lecture theatre for two hours with no air-conditioning, while the group behind them whispers about Brad and Stacey’s break up. Lecture recordings mean students can choose to listen in a quiet place, away from distractions. Even if we do have the pleasure of attending your lecture, there are some of us that like to go back and watch them again. This could be to clarify something we didn’t understand, or take more extensive notes from your lecture. Without the recordings, you deny your students the right to discover creative ways in which they can get more out of their education. You argue that laptops in lectures impede the learning of those around them. It can be difficult to concentrate when someone in front is looking at some pretty good memes. However, without giving students the opportunity as adults to make the conscious decision to be mindful of those around them, you deny the rest of us the right to use our resources. I understand the sentiment. Personally, I think they can be a distraction in a lecture theatre. But after sitting in your lectures, I’ve made a confounding discovery that even without laptops, distractions still exist. Instead of banning laptops, remind students of how their decisions can affect others. It is possible that some students can put themselves in someone else’s shoes and stay on task. As for the students that continue to spend their lecture time scrolling through Facebook, what are you still doing here? If the majority of your unit’s information and readings are online, you’ve obviously embraced modern technology in some form. So when you refer to something specific from our resources, are you really expecting us to pull out a giant binder so we know what the hell you’re talking about? Laptops save paper, and they save students from having to carry around a hundred notes everyday. Moreover, typing is so much clearer than handwriting. No matter how hard I try, readable handwriting can never seem to keep up with the amount of information in your lecture. And without recordings, you make it difficult for me, and possibly other students to learn anything of substance from your lectures. By banning laptops and refusing to record record lectures, it does more harm than good. Thank you for your time, Your disgruntled student.
The Business of Universities Words by Tess Astle
Remember when Australia had free tertiary education? Yeah, me neither. If you were born after 1989, then you missed the golden age. The age when you could try things out and make mistakes. Now you pay for those mistakes. I’ve been billed for my lapse in judgement that was a first-year linguistic subject and my extremely short-lived sociology phase. Nowadays universities are focused on profit rather than self-improvement.
Such a commodification is a dangerous game when those with the most to lose are the ones put at risk. Sessional staff are losing their jobs, and students bear the repercussions of degraded education quality. Once upon a time, immune to capitalist leeches, universities possessed higher ideals as centres of knowledge and learning. Alas, now they seem to adhere to the corporate model which spreads resources as thin as they can in order to maintain high-profit rates.
I went into uni hoping to expand my interests, to find out if I could understand Camus, sit through Citizen Kane, or get my head around at least one of those Brontë girls. But as I sat with the Arts Faculty staff, I soon realised I was running out of time. Two weeks into my degree and I was already behind, majors had to be picked, and interests had to be narrowed down. So, I am yet to know who
Kate Murphy, a senior history lecturer at Monash, believes: “the essential function of uni is not that of a business”.
Kane is and what he was about or read a sentence of Emily and Charlotte. But you know what I am? Employable.
invent artificial intelligence nor discover a new life-saving vaccine, but they like many other Arts graduates are an independent thinker capable of a full and informed understanding of current society.
This new model is prioritising employable degrees and cutting funds from less marketable degrees. Trust me I know it’s easy to overlook the graduate with a Masters of Philosophy. They may not be able to
Universities care more about marketable skills than knowledge, and their policy choices reflect that. Institutions are making choices that are based on financial returns rather than making a well-rounded student. Most recently, the cuts to the Arts program have implied Monash’s new focus. As Tess Dimos, National Union of Students (NUS) Clayton representative said: “these cuts are a demonstration of the fact that profits are the main thing that govern universities now”. They are now “built around a profit model which plays into the competition for students and money”.
“A society with a high number of Arts graduates is one that is sceptical and analytical and is much harder to fool. An Arts degree is more important than ever,” Arts sessional said.
Universities follow the framework of profiting from, rather than fostering knowledge
Like any good corporation, Monash has stayed tight-lipped about the funding choices made recently. In an email sent to staff and students, Dean of Arts Sharon Pickering has denied any Arts cuts: “the Arts Faculty Budget has not been reduced… The faculty has shifted away from a practice of overspending sessional budgets”. However, Monash Arts is undeniably facing changes including; teaching staff with PhD qualifications being laid off; tutorial sizes increased to 30 students; consultation hours being cut; and, limited feedback available for student’s essays. These changes lower the standard of education and limit the capacity to learn within the Arts Faculty.
We will lose the essence of what education means in contemporary society if universities continue to follow the framework of profiting from, rather than fostering knowledge in, our students. Mrs Pickering may call it “active learning”, but that’s merely university speak for small classes and less face to face teaching. Call it “active learning”, call it “moving away from the practice of overspending” it all says the same thing; Arts are in a meaningless pursuit and viewed as lesser in the face of university management. University life is different these days, it seems to be about the piece of paper instead of the education. It is no longer education for education’s sake. Arts is a valuable faculty, and these current cuts undermine that value.
Its not as if Monash doesn’t have the money, this year has welcomed a $225 million building for “Learning and Teaching”, yet the Arts department has fewer teachers, less consultation hours, and less feedback. Monash’s odd placement of funds is likely to baffle even the greatest admirers of the new building (which was christened and named by not-so-original individuals).
This is sad because Arts students are amongst some of the most curious and engaged students here at Monash. I may be biased, but I wholeheartedly believe that Arts graduates are some of the most qualified people. Not just because I have now written an essay analysing the cultural significance of Teletubbies or read Niche but because I am a critical and inquisitive adult. Even if I live up to the stereotype and end up becoming a barista, at least I’ll be a well-read and well-rounded one.
Monash Arts sessional staff also feel frustrated: “the students are being treated as quick cash which costs the students their own educational experience”.
Commuting to & from University The Joyride Words by Anna Rabinov
Stranger? No Danger! Looking out the window whilst listening to music is one of my favourite pastimes as I catch the bus to and from Monash each day. The music can rile me up for the day ahead, or calm me down if I’m feeling stressed. Inevitably though, this little bubble I form is popped as a steady flow of newcomers seat themselves on the bus, and someone ends up next to me. Most of us recoil at the social awkwardness these close-quarter situations throw us in to, but perhaps we should take the opportunity to turn ourselves both literally and figuratively toward the person beside us and strike up a conversation. Some of the most intriguing conversations I’ve had are with people I’ve sat next to on the bus; a girl travelling to the John Monash Science School who was also on the national cricket team; a person who was studying the same major as myself; the encounters are endless! Many of these people have been on their way to or from Monash, so why wouldn’t they be interesting? You can learn so much about the world and its endless pockets of wonder by simply chatting to a complete stranger, and by the end of the conversation, you feel happier and more enriched for the mutual contact. Mini Tip #1: If you’re the person to sit down next to someone else, it’s even easier to strike up conversation buses mean an invasion of personal space, and hence, if you’re the ‘invader’ of space, saying hello and introducing yourself is a great way to make both of you feel more at ease! You’ve been invaded? Not to worry! Give the newcomer a smile to let them know you’re okay with their
Just Be… We all have so much on every day that our mental buzz can become our entire focus. We run through our endless to-do lists and cascade into turmoil as we think about how far behind we are on lecture content or work or even social commitments. A decent bus, train or bike ride allows us to spend too much time ruminating upon these issues within our lives. Instead, try allowing yourself to utilise this time in a different manner, like noticing the details of the environment around you. Many of us hear the word “mindfulness” and shrink away because we do not fully understand the meaning behind this ever more fashionable word, but mindfulness doesn’t have to mean strict forms of meditation, or lying on the ground with your eyes closed and counting your breath. Mindfulness is individual for every person, and while some of us may prefer these more traditional methods, it is not something you must conform to in order to yield positive results. Next time you’re travelling to Monash, observe the houses you pass. Attempt to pick out one beautiful thing about each one. This could be as small as the colour of a window frame, or a tree with strong boughs that resides in a garden. By the time you reach Monash, you’ll have a mental collection of pieces of beauty that reside along the path you wander, and this can be a small but grounding feature to start your day with.
presence, and say hi if you feel comfortable!
How often have you sat on public transport on your way to university, surrounded by tens of people, only to stick your earphones in and block out the rest of the world? How often have you jumped on your bike in a total rush to make that lecture on time, only to completely miss out on the joy of the wind streaming through your hair? We are all guilty of unconscious blockage, where we tune in to our particular little station and forget that there is so much around us, and that’s okay, but sometimes we ought to take the opportunity to tune in to the world that eagerly awaits our senses. Get Your Fix While we all aim for the idyllic bike ride or productive bus trip, sometimes this goal just isn’t practical. Maybe you slept badly (or didn’t sleep at all), or maybe you just really want to give that new music playlist a workout, but for whatever reason, you really just aren’t up for mindfulness or chit chat. So be productive in the way that millennials know best; get your social media fix! Many of us suffer from the delusion that we don’t spend that much time on our phones or on social media, but the truth is that if we were to add up all the hours in a week we spend on our little screens, the tally would be sizeable. Let’s not lie to ourselves; we have the desire, and sometimes the need, to spend a fair amount of time on our screens. So instead of letting this take chunks out of each hour of our day, let’s use our travel time in a “productive” manner and get our social media fix out of the way for the day! (Yes, we all know you’ll return to the phone at some points during the day, but having at least some planned screen time should assist in resisting the urge to check it every 10 seconds.) Mini Tip #2: If you’re someone who really struggles to keep their hands and mind off the phone, use one or more of the apps listed below in order to make scheduled phone time highly effective. Some of these apps actually lock your phone, whilst others lock specific social media apps of your choosing, or simply provide study timers that encourage you to remain on task. - Forest – Stay Focused (iOS, Android) - Flipd (iOS, Android) - In Moment – Limit Phone Usage (iOS) - Offtime (Android) - AppDetox (Android)
And Yet Another *Helpful* Email… Since joining Monash a total of 30 days ago, I have found that my Monash email account blows up with around 10-20 emails every single day. Admittedly, I haven’t unsubscribed from the forums that most of these pesky emails come from, but you just never know when one of them might be important! If you’re like me and can’t stand the sight of email notifications to sift through, or you simply want to remain informed, use your commute time to do exactly that. Check your emails on your way to Monash, and again on the way back, and you’re likely to have fulfilled your necessary daily email quota. This is a great way of fulfilling a small goal to help get you rolling for the rest of the day, and makes the long commute productive! This method is far less time-consuming than going back to that inbox every time a single email notification pops up. Plus, the scheduled checking times will help to alleviate stress about missing something important, because your personalised plan will cover it. Mini Tip #3: If you feel brave enough, turn off your email notifications altogether. This may seem terrifying at first; you might miss something critical! But the truth is, if you make and stick to a daily plan of checking your emails, you’re unlikely to miss much. If you’re someone who struggles to remember to check emails without the nudge from notifications, then go through your inbox and mark the people who send vital emails as VIPs.
So tune in to your Joyride; from getting to know a new person and observing your environment, to gratifying that social media urge or attacking the email barrage, you’re doing something productive. By all means, have trips consisting of just you time, but give some of these ideas a go - you never know what could come of them.
Words by Bethany Tatman Art by Beray Uzunbay
Monash to Introduce Interdimensional Parking
Dear students, When you return to Monash Clayton this year, youâ€™ll notice some changes to parking on campus. The start of semester is always a busy time, so take note of any changes that affect your commute to allow extra time for parking and travel. We are pleased to announce that, due to advances in technology and the invention of inter-dimensional parking, we are opening one thousand new parking spaces. These parking spaces will be located off Research Way, left of the astral plane and in the void*. The new inter-dimensional carpark will make parking much more convenient for drivers. Currently, inter-dimensional parking is only available for staff and faculty members. If you are a blue permit holder, please consider off-campus parking, or other options such as walking or taking public transport to and from Clayton campus. Undergraduate students are advised that additional fees will be applied to their tuition to cover the cost of maintaining the inter-dimensional parking generator.
Kind regards, Buildings and Property
* Please be aware that when you park in the void, the void parks back in you. Monash University accepts no liability for any damages to your mortal soul incurred while using the inter-dimensional parking.
Student Live Tweets 3 Hour Tutorial Words by Joanne Fong Art by Lucinda Ly
Just Another Sleep Deprived Uni Student: @rip_rotunda2363 | 1:57 pm Do I have time to grab a mango magic from @boostjuiceoz before my tute?
2:27 pm OR RELEASE MY SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM ABOUT MY BAD REPUTATION #TSWIFT #REPRESENT
2:02 pm Turns out, I did not.
2:34 pm IT HAS BEEN 10 MINUTES AND EVERYONE IS STILL SNEAKING GLANCES AT ME
2:04 pm I should really invest in a shirt with “Shows up 10 minutes late to class with a Boost” on the front 2:06 pm If only classes still started 5 past the hour I would have been on time … 2:09 pm For the love of God why did I put up my hand when the tutor asked who HADN’T done the reading 2:10 pm He seemed so disappointed bc I was the only one who hadn’t I HAVE BROUGHT DISHONOUR 2 HIM AND DISHONOUR 2 THIS CLASS 2:14 pm I’m gonna try to sparknotes this shit, hopefully there is a TLDR out there somewhere on this Marxist dissertation of the Great Gatsby 2:19 pm Fuck nvm I’m just gonna try to do the reading in class 2:20 pm Now to figure out how to download the pdf from moodle 2:23 pm OMG I ACCIDENTALLY OPENED A TAB THAT AUTOPLAYED A YOUTUBE VIDEO ON FULL VOLUME AND PHYSICALLY FELT MY SOUL LEAVE MY BODY GOODBYE 2:24 pm A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR MY REPUTATION PLS 2:26 pm I NEED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY AND MAKE A NEW IDENTITY FOR MYSELF I NEED A FRESH START AWAY FROM THE JUDGEMENT
2:36 pm I finally managed to download the pdf despite eduroam failing to connect more times than my ex 2:37 pm I could literally feel my brain whirring to a stop as I read the first sentence of this reading 2:42 pm The more words I highlight on this pdf the more it looks like I understand the content right? 3:23 pm May or may not have fallen asleep … 3:25 pm Note to self: clear “Does sleep drooling on my hand count as a skincare routine?” from search history 3:26 pm Note to self: invest in moisturizer to start said skincare routine 3:34 pm I guess I might actually try to tune into the seminar I am paying good HECS for 3:35 pm I hope no one noticed that I haven’t been paying attention for the past two hours … 3:49 pm Wait, since when did we discuss psycholinguistics and child language acquisition in FUCKING AMERICAN LITERATURE 3:51 pm Well I quite possibly have accidentally read the tute room for the one TOMORROW not TODAY … 3:51 pm I aM a mEsS
3:53 pm How did I only realise this 2 HOURS into the class 3:54 pm Do I excuse myself to the bathroom 3:54 pm Or do I just run out of here 3:56 pm I feel like I owe the tutor an explanation but what would I say 3:57 pm Sorry sir, I appear to have gone to the wrong room. Why didn’t I realise till 2hrs of class went by? I would like to know that too 3:58 pm Fuck I’m making a break for it 3:59 pm Now to get from the 3rd floor of Menzies to the 7th 4:01 pm Why isn’t the lift moving … 4:02 pm FUCK I WENT IN THE EXPRESS ELEVATOR IT DOESN’T STOP AT FLOOR 7 LET ME OFF 4:05 pm I made it just in time for the last hr of class DEYUUM 4:05 pm #overachiever 4:07 pm The tutor just gave me a dirty look for arriving so late but AT LEAST THE CORRECT TUTOR IS JUDGING MY POOR LIFE CHOICES NOW 4:12 pm It’s week 10 and I am so far behind I can already feel the “your assignment is 327 days late” warnings flashing red at me on moodle 4:14 pm Why is my stomach hurting all of a sudden, am I allergic to class? 4:16 pm Simmer down stomach I need to at least get through ½ hr of the class I’m meant to be in …
4:19 pm Can ppl hear my stomach noises they sound like the second coming of dory’s whale sounds in finding nemo 4:19 pm Dream job would be paid voice acting a whale with only my stomach noises 4:20 pm I wonder if that would be enough to pay off my uni debt 4:23 pm Gahh my stomach pains are getting worse 4:25 pm Maybe a dairy smoothie wasn’t such a good idea 4:25 pm I love dairy tho 4:26 pm Why was I not born with the ability to digest lactose at a functional rate? 4:27 pm I was cursed 4:31 pm Shit (pun intended) I think I’m actually gonna have to leave … 4:32 pm I’ll just catch up with the tutorial slides on moodle if I stay here for much longer there will be a code brown for clean up on floor 7 4:45 pm I AM SORRY TO THE NEXT PERSON WHO HAS TO USE THIS CUBICLE YOU HAVE MY SINCEREST APOLOGIES 4:46 pm Is this what ppl who have just given birth feel like? 4:47 pm Accomplished. 4:47 pm And empty. 4:48 pm Well that’s another 3hr tute that I won’t be getting attendance for 4:49 pm Could go for another mango magic tbh
Words by Courtney Colclough Art by Leah Hume
Writing on Antidepressants For years I would struggle to stay afloat as wave after wave of hopeless panic hit me square in the chest, sweeping me further away from the shore of reality. Lying in bed, paralysed by every anxious thought my mind could conjure up, I would sweat with fear as each minute passed. Each night felt like a nightmare, one which many people would recognise all too well. Anxiety. I have always had a passion for writing, ever since primary school. I had a vivid and overly active imagination, and also loved words. When I began to fall into a pattern of crippling anxious thoughts, writing became my salvation. Short stories and poetry became my method of escaping these torturous and sleepless nights. Writing until my vision blurred and my handwriting became nothing more than illegible scribble on creased pages, I created metaphors for the feelings which enveloped me, the things and people who had hurt me. Sometimes I wrote until birds began to chirp outside my bedroom window.
antidepressants can have a significant impact on the creativity of the person taking them
At university, it became harder to keep my anxiety at bay. I was depressed. The moon stopped shining so brightly at night, even with my pen poised. I had to face the fact that my mental health was deteriorating, and I needed to go on medication. I was optimistic about starting antidepressants. I longed for some semblance of balanced mental health; I craved a “nor mal” brain. Living an emotional rollercoaster of dread and sadness every day was unsustainable. So, when I was finally prescribed antidepressants, I walked eagerly to the chemist to fill my script. For several weeks, I kept a blog detailing my feelings and side effects. I wrote poetry. I marvelled at the way one tiny green pill made existing easier. Anxiety and hopelessness did not fully abide, but I could find a lifeboat and ride it out. Negative thoughts stopped threatening to suffocate me. Antidepressants were my bible.
However, it wasn’t long until I stopped updating my blog and realised that all my old exercise books and beautiful moleskin journals were sitting in my bookcase, gathering dust. This didn’t bother me too much; I was busy enjoying my new-found freedom from my previously omnipresent thoughts of impending doom. My best friend’s sister had just published an anthology of poetry. Her mother had asked me to compose some poems for a book she was publishing. I was surrounded by opportunity and inspiration to do what I had always wanted to do: write. So why was I unable to finish a single sentence? Among a myriad of potential side ef fects, antidepressants can have a significant impact on the creativity of the person taking them. Apparently, the doctor had not informed me of this. In fact, I had never even considered that one small pill could stifle the creativity which once defined me. After reading several pseudo-academic opinion pieces on the issue, it became apparent that many literary and visual artists experienced negative effects on their creative juices once starting selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Arguments online by fellow creatives rejected any use of antidepressants, often citing the incredible works produced by famous mentally ill creatives. Imagine if Van Gogh went on antidepressants and didn’t suffer from anxiety and depression and possibly bipolar disorder! Imagine if he didn’t drink yellow paint and mutilate his body and kill himself ! How boring would his art have been! Sylvia Plath’s suicide was symbolic! Down with meds! Am I a writer because of my mental illnesses? Does the chemical imbalance in my brain help me write? Am I only able to write something worth reading with a heavy heart and shaking hands? Well, I’m still trying to work that out. However, for now, I am forcing myself to be a writer who takes antidepressants and occasionally finishes something.
Negative Memes Meme - noun Cambridge Dictionary definition of ‘meme’.
SPECIALISED BIOLOGY: A cultural feature or a type of behaviour that is passed from one generation to another, without the influence of genes SPECIALISED INTERNET AND TELECOMS: An idea, image, video that is spread very quickly on the internet.
There is an art to tagging friends in memes on Facebook. First, find the perfect meme. Second, make the connection to the friend who’d appreciate it. Third, be timely because no one wants to be tagged in a meme they saw yesterday.
Depression Memes was started by two friends (identified as V and S) in January 2016 when they were in high school, and both are suffering from depression.
“[We] found sending over the top ironic memes was a good coping mechanism”.
It has almost become a cultural custom these days to tag and be tagged in memes by friends. Memes connect people across oceans, languages and time zones.
The pair decided to start a Facebook page for their memes but never anticipated other people relating to their material. Today the Depression Memes page has 534,002 followers.
However, there is also a darker side to meme culture that is prevalent in our Facebook feeds. The increasing number of negatively themed memes seem to be turning an enjoyable experience into an overwhelmingly dark one.
“It is comforting to be able to laugh at a part of your life that normally isn’t funny, especially depression which stays with you your whole life,” S said.
There seems almost to be a culture that it is cool to celebrate being forever alone, failing classes and having no friends. We tag our friends and they reply, “so true”, “the struggle is real” and “fml”.
S revealed the page receives hundreds of people messaging them about how their memes can “be a bright spot in an otherwise bleak time for people”.
Is this because young adults are more likely to experience depression?
It is an uplifting sentiment. Beyond Blue reports that there are currently three million Australians experiencing anxiety or depression. Depression is isolating, so sharing the same experiences and emotions within a network of people online could create a supportive environment.
A senior counsellor and psychologist who has worked in university health services for over nine years say he has found, “there’s definitely more people saying they are depressed, but we still haven’t figured out if that is because more people are disclosing”.
However, this meme culture could also create an online environment that feels unhealthy and hard to escape. “Where I become concerned is where it becomes exclusively the world of online as against any interactions in the real world,” the university psychologist said. The “about” section on Depression Meme’s page states: “We don’t advocate suicide”. The need to state this indicates the precarious nature of their work. The university psychologist warns that if a person is already experiencing sad emotions, memes can add to, “reinforcing their own internal, negative sense of self they have, they become addicted to this negative thinking… and the misery portrayed there”. Michael is a content contributor to another Facebook page which specialises exclusively in negatively themed memes; Sad Homie Memes. He is aware people who are engaging with pages like theirs can be “gripped by a vicious cycle of being sad, seeing sad media, developing sadness as a character trait, and so on,” Michael said. Some people seem to harmlessly enjoy the humour and the sarcasm involved in the content. The two admins of Sad Homie Memes, Cole Richardson and Muhammad Abbas said, “half of our likes I think are of people who just think of sad memes as a trend”. “They aren’t really depressed but act like they are…half I think are actually sad. I think others like to know that others are feeling the same,” said the admins. The university psychologist believes it is a case by case issue. “People when they are more vulnerable…they are going to be more into interpreting those memes in a negative way; it is like a precursor to increasing their depression. Some of them look at them to almost indicate their feelings,” he said. So, is it healthy for us to be sharing and getting entertainment out of content that celebrates being depressed? Should we be encouraging people to live happier and healthier lives rather than revelling in a self-defeating environment? Perhaps the best way is to be conscious about how the person you are tagging in a meme will interpret it. Words by Shelby Brooks Art by Depression Memes
Customizing the Player
Words by Maddy Luke Art by Nur Adlina Abdul Rahman
Building a New Videogame Identity Despite adoring video games, I hesitate to call myself a “gamer”. There’s no real criteria for being one, of course, but video games have played a significant role in my life. I first got my hands on a Gameboy after my older brother received one for his birthday, and I made damn sure that I did too. I recently studied video games while on exchange, designing and building a small one as part of the coursework. I’m hosting a video game themed party soon, for Pete’s sake. Yet the label “gamer” doesn’t feel like it’s mine, as though it doesn’t fit me. Gamer identity is complex, but it shouldn’t be. What if you’ve held a controller, enjoyed it and felt like games are important to you? Congratulations, you’re a gamer. The title of “gamer” can – and should – belong to anybody who wants it. Diversity has always existed amongst those who play video games, and it is only growing. Research in 2016 shows that women make up 41% of the gaming community. As at 2015, one third of gamers in the United States came from an ethnic minority background. Japan featured in the golden age of video games by producing entities such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong, and remains heavily involved in the industry today. The complexity of gamer identity comes from the people who have a rabid possessiveness over it, who see gaming as their niche activity that others could never appreciate. Many of the first gamers were the nerdier kids who found a safe haven in arcades, where gaming became an outlet that paired well with their fascination with technology. Though the demographics of gaming are completely different today, the stereotype of a skinny, pimply white boy in glasses is one that has remained. Gamers pride themselves on being different, and perhaps that’s why diversity is seen as an enemy to much of the community. If there was greater representation in gaming, all of a sudden there would be no unique gamer identity. Without it, people lose their exclusive way of setting themselves apart from the crowd, becoming much more normal. Shock horror! I’ll never justify some gamers’ quest to keep the community exclusive, but I can understand it. More than any other medium, gaming is a personal experience. Books allow you to read a character’s thoughts as if they’re your own, but it’s not your story. Film and television add the immersive elements of visuals and sound, however you’re still an outsider with no control over the characters and events. Video games have the aforementioned intimate connection with the protagonist, sound and images, but give the player the opportunity to interact with a new world. Whether or not a player’s choices make a difference to the game’s end, they’ve made the experience their own by taking the game in the direction they wanted to, within the limits of the code. With virtual reality increasing in quality and popularity, this immersion is becoming greater. It’s no wonder that people feel that games are closely linked to their identity, and feel that they have to protect it. As a result, when others criticise games, ask for representation, or suggest any type of change, it is perceived as a personal attack on the gamers who have enjoyed the status quo. Such controversies have brought out an ugly side of the community that is incomparable to other industries. I’m referring to the #Gamergate movement of 2014. One of the women targeted, Zoë Quinn, had published a text-based game Depression Quest, where the player makes decisions as they navigate their day-today routine while living with depression. The game is based on Quinn’s personal experience and is a pay-as-you-feel purchase, with part of the profits going to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
After its release, Quinn received a barrage of death and rape threats, and even fled her house after somebody leaked her personal information. The same people who often throw out the phrase, “if you don’t like it, don’t play it” couldn’t follow their own advice, opting to harass somebody from afar. Exclusivity contradicts the very heart of video games. If gaming is about escaping the real world for something different, then diversity within the industry provides more opportunities to do so well, bringing fresh ideas and perspectives. Why is it that gamers are so willing to jump into a fantasy world with dragons, but not play a game with a protagonist of a different gender, race or sexuality? Maybe it’s too confronting. Undertaking a dangerous, fantasy journey is a nice kind of stress, because as soon as the controller drops from your hands and the console is switched off, the dragon no longer exists. Perhaps facing harassment when playing as a woman or person of colour is worse because for once, you see yourself reflected in the villain more than the hero. While these experiences might not be light-hearted fun, video games ceased being mindless entertainment a long time ago, often delivering emotional blows to their audience. Surely then, games can bridge gaps between people and build empathy, which should be utilised. Art, after all, can change the world.
better acknowledgement of forgotten members of the community doesn’t mean that the games have to change But while diverse representation could show a harsher side of the world, it is does not prevent games from being enjoyable. Life is Strange, one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2015, features two female protagonists, both of whom experience same-gender attraction. A lighter and more humorous example is the dating simulator Dream Daddy, which lets you play as a dad dating other dads in your cul-de-sac, several of which are people of colour. It received a 9/10 rating on Steam. Diversity often enhances games, instead of holding them back. Even so, better acknowledgement of forgotten members of the community doesn’t mean that the games themselves have to change much, as conflicting as it sounds. Women are already playing them. Ethnic minorities are already playing them. LGBTQIA+ identifying people are already playing them. That alone says that there is pre-existing appeal to the content we already have. In the latest game in the Professor Layton series, a female protagonist was cast for the first time. The change is speculated to be because the creators realised that the majority of their fan-base was female, and wanted to create a game to suit that demographic. While most people loved the new protagonist – impressive given she had to live up to her predecessor – the game’s overall atmosphere changed for the worse, losing the fantastic and borderline absurd feeling of previous instalments in the series to become cutesier. Having a female protagonist was a fantastic step in the right direction, but everything surrounding her was altered when it shouldn’t have been. And that’s the key point – we’ve always been here, and we like what is being produced for the most part. Though there are elements of games that need work, above all else it’s the culture surrounding the medium that needs to change, so one sort of gamer is not regarded as being superior to another. People shouldn’t be interrogated in order to prove their gamer identity, and shouldn’t face online harassment the second their race or gender is revealed. The heroes stick up for those who are pushed aside. Why shouldn’t the players do the same?
The writer would like to acknowledge and thank Rebecca Stirrup – who teaches at the University of Leeds and is completing her PhD on Gamified Education – for taking the time to chat with her about this piece.
My biggest concern in deciding to travel solo was not whether I was going to be lonely, but whether I was going to be safe. It is an unfortunate thing that one worry can bring so much hesitance. Considering the state of the world at the moment, and the terrorist attacks that threaten it, one might think that that could be the larger concern. To some degree, it was. I had two narrow misses in London on the bookends of my trip where a day or two before I had been walking past the spot where something had happened.
I had to tell one man at least five times to leave me alone, and he only finally did so when I pulled out my phone and resolutely ignored him. These are not experiences limited to travel. It is something that happens back at home in Melbourne too, but there is a vulnerability in being alone in a foreign country, separated from anyone you know.
Some websites, in giving tips about how to travel on a budget, recommend things like couch surfing or hitchhiking. Things that I could never properly consider an option because of the risk they presented.
Perhaps talking to those people could have left me with interesting stories, an insight into the country I was in, and the culture they experienced. In one case I know it would have.
Nevertheless, I discovered that despite my apprehensions, most of the time I felt as safe as I would back home. I had a similar level of wariness of strangers, of needing to pay attention to surroundings, and of making sure I was not walking the streets in a dark and quiet area â€” a shame given how much I love being outside in the dark.
However, I think my lessened fear there was because terrorist attacks seem removed; they seem like something that is not going to happen to you. My fear of being targeted by everyday people for being a solo female traveller was much higher on the list of possibilities.
I was in Tirana, Albania. Looking particularly bewildered, I got approached by a tour guide. It was not the first time this had happened, and I had learnt interesting things the last time I had allowed a tour guide to rope me into a small tour of the area, so I decided to go with it.
Knowing I was alone, that I did not have anyone nearby that I could call in an emergency, heightened the fear. It is a shame that I have to be like that; that I had to spend a holiday being on that next level of careful and wary, where it could negatively impact the experience I had.
I cannot travel the streets in the dark at home without apprehension that something may happen, let alone on the other side of the world.
However, he made me rather uncomfortable. I learnt interesting history, and I saw a beautiful mosaic of Mother Theresa made from shells that I otherwise might not have found, but I got asked awkward personal questions about my relationship status and touchedâ€” not inappropriately, but still enough to put me on guard.
I would not say that being female would be a reason not to travel solo. It is not as scary as it can be made out to be. It requires different considerations than I imagine travelling as a male would, and the need to be a bit more careful. However, it is a shame that we have to be; that a holiday needs to be spent with that wariness. If it is something that you want to do, do not let it get in your way, just be mindful.
It made me a more tentative traveller, and less likely to take advantage of the companionship of locals. I got approached by men countless times when I was exploring. Many of whom were perhaps just being friendly, but who still made me wary.
I could have learnt a lot more about Albania from that interaction, but I did not feel safe enough to stay, so I walked away.
Travelling as a Woman Words by Lucy Moloney Art by Thomas Badge
Feminism is Like a T-Shirt Words & art by Laura Placella
Hi! Yes, you. I know what you’re thinking. You’ve read the title and just can’t be bothered reading yet another piece of feminist propaganda. I know you, though. You’re reading the first paragraph to see if I might, against all odds, be worth your time. So, if I was to tell you that all I wanted to do was tell you about my Thursday night, would you stay? I mean, who doesn’t enjoy hearing about people’s Thursday nights!? Apologies in advance though, my story doesn’t involve a messy night at The Nott.
This particular Thursday night fell on March 8. My friends and I, after one painstakingly long month of aligning schedules, were heading off to Holey Moley. I’m sure somewhat similar to most of you; I had no idea March 8 was actually International Women’s Day (IWD) until I checked Facebook that morning (cheers, Zuckerberg). Women have stood up against their oppressors on this day for over 100 years, but all I had planned for the day was to get so lit that standing up straight might actually pose an issue. Alas, I liked every single social media post I came across referencing IWD. Of course, I wanted all the women in my life to know I stood in solidarity with them.
My male friends commented, with what I could tell was sincerity, that they liked my T-shirt. Girls following me on Instagram, girls I have never met before, sent me messages of support. The attendant at Holey Moley took time out of her busy shift to tell me how much she loved the T-shirt. A female stranger approached me at a bar and shouted me a drink. Oh, yeah – I played mini golf and got pretty damn drunk too. So, that was it. That was my Thursday night. However, my experience that night has stayed with me longer than my hangover. I have not been able to shake the feeling that there was something meaningful I was destined to take away from the evening.
But we’re getting distracted. Let’s return to my Thursday night! I stood in my bedroom, rejected outfits surrounding me, when the imaginary lightbulb above my head lit up. I dug deep into my drawers to pull out a $10 creased unworn T-shirt. The tee was, quite simply, white with black text:
Just like a T-shirt, feminism comes in all shapes and sizes. It comes in loud. It comes in quiet. It comes in big. It comes in small. It comes in a crazy, bold pattern. It comes in a simple block colour. It doesn’t matter what type of T-shirt it is, all that matters is that you own one. Keeping exactly this in mind, you don’t have to rock up to every protest on the State Library steps to be a feminist. You don’t have to stop shaving to be a feminist. You don’t even need to tell people you’re a feminist to be a feminist.
FEMINISM NOUN [U] / ‘FEM.I.NI.ZM /THE RADICAL NOTION THAT WOMEN ARE PEOPLE I vividly remember buying the tee from H&M two years ago, with the purest of intentions to add it to my collection of everyday tees (you know the one). Somehow, the T-shirt went years without a glimpse of sunlight. I stared at the T-shirt, my apprehension not lost on me. Could I really wear this into the city? Feeling particularly spontaneous, I muttered “fuck it” to an empty bedroom and went in search of the iron. It was International Women’s Day, after all. Ready earlier than I needed to be (for once), I posted a photo of the tee to my Instagram story, making sure not to forget the all-important hashtag – #INTERNATIONALWOMENSDAY.Then,Iheadedout the front door, rocking black skinny jeans and that $10 tee.
All you have to do is hold the simple belief that there should be equality between the sexes. And for almost as long as my memory serves me, I’ve believed that. However, I can’t say I’ve ever asserted this belief in a public domain. If I was to do so, I was petrified people would assume I hated men or that I must be a crazed leftie. I was prepared to allow others’ opinions of me to dictate how I went about being a feminist, which ironically, is not very feminist. However, now I realise my fear was one I had tricked myself into believing was genuine. Wearing that T-shirt out into the city, my fear wasn’t actualised. Instead, I felt celebrated. I felt supported. I used International Women’s Day as a shield to protect me from the opinions I had anticipated. But now I know I don’t need a shield. Accordingly, that T-shirt has been promoted to my collection of everyday tees.
Sitting aboard my city-bound train, I couldn’t help but question myself. Why had I never chosen to wear this T-shirt in public before? Why could I only bring myself to step outside the house, FEMINISM emblazoned on my chest, on International Women’s Day? Why couldn’t I post a photo of my T-shirt on Instagram without that hashtag? But I had a night of sinking and drinking (golf balls and drinks, respectively) ahead of me, I didn’t have time to answer my questions.
Just like a T-shirt, you choose the type of feminism you wish to flaunt in public. Be it one where you call out casual sexism, actively profess your beliefs, or make a political fashion statement. I’m not here to tell you what to wear though. Remember I was here to tell you about my Thursday night. However, if my Thursday night encourages you to leave your fears at the front door and assert your feminist beliefs in a public domain, I might just shout you a drink if I run into you at a bar.
Whoops, I’m already at 500 words. Cue a montage of my night!
All About Me Queer Women of Colour in the Music Industry When Syd performs, there’s sly confidence in her body language as she knowingly grins and moves to the smooth soul and alternative R&B which permeates over the room like honey. The 25-yearold openly gay African-American musician (she has credits as a singer, songwriter, record producer, and audio engineer), currently fronts the Internet and has a solo music project. She initially entered the wider music scene as a member of Odd Future, an infamously irreverent and subversive hip-hop collective (members included Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and Frank Ocean). The paradoxical nature of the group was commented on by many critics; Odd Future routinely released music with homophobic and misogynistic lyrics, and yet their DJ/engineer was Syd (at the time going under the name Syd tha Kyd), an open lesbian. Syd herself felt neutral about their use of gay slurs, stating that she doesn’t view the group as homophobic. She eventually left the group in 2016, due to her ongoing struggle with depression and the loneliness of life on tour. She left on bad terms and later reflected that: “I was their get-outof-jail-free card. It’s easy to say they aren’t homophobic because Syd is there”.
The music industry is one where women frequently experience harassment and hostility, as highlighted by the #Menomore open letter (Which was signed by 400+ Australian female musicians) and countless other female artists, notably Grimes, Björk and Camp Cope. But sure, it’s women’s fault we struggle to muscle our way into a boy’s club. So, what does it mean when a woman is also a member of other marginalised groups? How does a queer woman of colour (QWOC) carve out space in a predominately white, male, and heterosexual industry? And what does this look like? “Basically, I’m an extreme minority”, Hayley Kiyoko, a lesbian JapaneseAmerican synthpop artist, mused in an interview with Billboard. Though Kiyoko is joined by other QWOC, including Syd, Princess Nokia and Kehlani, their narratives are rare in the contemporary musical landscape. Syd and Kiyoko’s music, though both explore queerness and romantic entanglements with other women, are markedly different in their approach and lyrical decisions.
being queer... a person of colour... a woman... all of these things cross & overlap in some tricky-ass ways
Syd’s use of female pronouns and nouns in reference to love interests in her music “I say she’s my only but got you on my mind” (‘All About Me’- Syd), “Let me call you my girl, my girlfriend” (‘Girl’- The Internet) is almost revolutionary in its blasé-ness and lack of political overtones; Syd doesn’t need to give you an explanation as to why she’s singing about women, as to why she’s gay, or as to what it means to be gay. She’s just going to sing about loving women on her terms. She’s going to be herself in a world which isn’t particularly nurturing of her. She’s going to eye you down while singing soulful R&B and the self-assurance is almost palpable. You can understand Syd, or you cannot understand Syd; it’s irrelevant to her because she understands herself.
Kelela, another alternative R&B musician, stated that: “living in between being queer, being second generation, being a person of colour, and a woman- all of these things cross and overlap in some tricky-ass ways”. It was especially apparent in a Grammy season which stirred a lot of controversy due to only one female artist winning a solo artist award (Alessia Cara). The only female nominee for Album of the Year, Lorde, was not offered a performance slot, and these events reignited conversations about how male-dominated the music industry is. A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California, which analysed data from various aspects of the music industry, found that in terms of the Billboard 100 listings between 2012 and 2017; 78 per cent of 1,239 credited artists were men. Regarding the Grammys, between 2014 and 2018, of the 899 people nominated only 9 per cent were women. Recording Academy president Ken Ehrlich in response to criticism of the 2018 Grammys argued that “women need to step up”, and it’s pretty hilarious and telling that he chose to pin the music industry’s structural gender inequality on women themselves.
Kiyoko’s music explores themes of loneliness and marginalisation, which are laced throughout the carefully chosen language and emotionally-wrought synth chords. Tracks like ‘Girls like Girls’ and ‘Sleepover’, include lines such as: “Girls like girls like boys do; nothing new” and “You wanna be friends forever? I can think of something better,” respectively. Queerness and Kiyoko’s struggles with her identity are overtly addressed, and her music is extremely selfconscious and vulnerable. She articulates underrepresented feelings and identities, giving young queer people invaluable language and tools they otherwise may have struggled to come across. Yet Syd and Kiyoko’s work don’t feel antagonistic or in opposition despite their differences. They feel symbiotic and reflective of how diverse queer narratives are, and it’s extremely exciting to see how queer expression is evolving in the contemporary music scene.
Words by Michelle Devlin Art by Leah Hume
Lot’s Wife BE S T S O N G IN AN OT HER L AN G UAG E With 13 out of 43 songs in the competition this year (that’s around 30%) written in a language other than English, there are plenty of good-quality songs that showcase a country’s culture. The past two Eurovision winners both contained parts sung in the singer’s native language (which happened to not be English on both occasions).
Now that you know all about Eurovision from reading FAQ: Eurovision Edition in Edition 2 of Lot’s Wife (go and read it now if you haven’t already), it’s time to review the best of this year’s upcoming Eurovision songs with the inaugural Lot’s Wife Eurovision Awards. B E S T B ON D T H E M E
Winner: La Forza – Elina Nechayeva (Estonia) If you were thinking “hang on, that title doesn’t sound very Estonian”, then you would be correct, because this song is actually sung entirely in Italian. Continuing Estonia’s musical love affair with Italy at Eurovision (last year they sent a song called Verona), Elina Nechayeva is a force to be reckoned with. This is not just a song - this is an experience. Her first performance of this tastefully-dramatic, operatic number at the semi-finals of Estonia’s national selection show Eesti Laul was enough to send the bookies into a tailspin and choose Estonia as the favourite to win Eurovision, and that was before Estonia’s song had officially been chosen! Plus, if her performance and staging at Eesti Laul is anything to go by, her wardrobe will also be spectacular. While this song doesn’t have a standard pop hook, and it’s not the easiest song to sing or dance to, its inimitability means it has X Factor in spades. If you’re looking for a song that will send shivers down your spine and give you goosebumps, look no further. Honourable Mention: Mercy – Madame Monsieur (France) This year, France is sending a song with a powerful message to Eurovision. Mercy tells the story of a refugee baby born in the middle of the sea between two countries and between two worlds, highlighting the current refugee crisis. Even though it’s sung entirely in French, the language is simple enough that people with a very basic knowledge of French could understand it. Not to mention that the French language is used very cleverly here: not only does the word (and name) Mercy sound like “merci”, but it’s a portmanteau of the French word for sea (“mer”) and the English word “sea”. Coupled with an emotional live performance and a sound similar to Christine and the Queens, this song certainly has potential!
Every year, there seems to be at least one song in Eurovision which sounds like a James Bond theme. From ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, which won the 2014 contest for Austria, to ‘Black Smoke’, which earned nul points for Germany the following year, they have had mixed results. But which one is the best this year? Winner: A Matter of Time - Sennek (Belgium) With a title like ‘A Matter of Time’, it’s no surprise that this song is the best Bond theme at Eurovision this year. And considering that Sennek initially got her musical start singing ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, it comes as no surprise that her song sounds like it could star in a movie of its own. Musically, it draws comparisons to the aforementioned Bond theme, as well as ‘The World Is Not Enough’ by Garbage, with hints of ‘Skyfall’ by Adele. The production has callbacks to alternative masterpieces of the nineties, but it still feels extremely classy and timeless. The visuals in the music video are stunning, and it will be exciting to see them replicated on the Eurovision stage. Make no mistake: this song is art. Honourable Mention: Funny Girl – Laura Rizzotto (Latvia) I promise I’m not biased just because my name also happens to be Laura, but I mean, it’s a scientific fact. Lauras are hot. This song could be the on the soundtrack for a James Bond or Fifty Shades of Grey movie, though compared to ‘A Matter of Time’, ‘Funny Girl’ definitely leans towards the latter. Nonetheless, this sultry song is steamier than a freshly-cooked risotto, with Laura Rizzotto pining over an unrequited love and lamenting about how she is relegated to the role of the “funny girl” in the eyes of the object of her desires.
S T R A N GE S T LYRIC S At Eurovision, there are bound to be some interesting lyrical choices. In many of the participating countries, English is not spoken as a native language, but since the language rule was dropped in 1999 (prior to this, all countries had to sing in at least one of their official languages), English has been the primary language of Eurovision songs in attempts to communicate and resonate with a wider audience, and have that result reflected in the voting. Winner: X My Heart – Aisel (Azerbaijan) Most Interesting Lyrics: “Misty moon you’re my loon, let’s rock the nation... Luna moon me up to the to-o-op” Azerbaijan must have been inspired by Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk’s antics last year as he famously climbed onto the Eurovision stage during the interval act of the Grand Final draped in the Australian flag and mooned over 180 million people at once. So much so that they decided to include several moon-related lyrics in this empowerment anthem. However, in this particular context, we are puzzled as to what the use of the word “moon” as a verb really means. Maybe Aisel is a big Sailor Moon fan? Honourable Mentions: Lie To Me – Mikolas Josef (Czech Republic) “By the way she moves, got me making a puddle” Mikolas Josef really needs to get that puddle thing checked out. Though apparently, there are plenty of ladies who still want to eat his spaghetti. And who could blame him? Drawing comparisons to Jason Derulo’s song ‘Talk Dirty’ with a trumpet solo that hooks you in, as well as a dash of Macklemore rapping and even parts in the chorus that are reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s more upbeat songs, this song is a ton of fun. Fuego – Eleni Foureira (Cyprus) “You got my pelican fly-fly-flyin’” In the context of this song, this lyric is used to explain that Eleni Foureira is in a really good mood. It’s certainly an unusual choice of words, but this is an expression I could get behind. The lyrical imagery also ties in nicely to the song’s tropical house beats that wouldn’t sound out of place on Top 40 radio. If you’re finding the colder weather is starting to get you down, give this tune a spin.
Eurovision Awards MO S T E U ROV ISION S O N G
W HAT A B OU T AU S T R A L I A’ S S ON G?
S H IN IE S T S ON G
This award is for those weird, wacky and wonderful songs that you listen to and think “this is what Eurovision is all about”. From dubstep opera vampires to yodel rap duets and epic sax solos (and a few lyrics that may have been badly-translated into English), these are the songs with bizarre combinations that on the surface appear unlikely to work, but in practice, they absolutely do. Whether they’re guilty pleasures or songs that you have absolutely no shame in admitting you like, these songs are absolutely made for Eurovision.
It’s also excellent. Out of all the songs that Jessica Mauboy has sung, this song most closely resembles ‘Sea Of Flags’ – the song that she sang at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen as part of the interval act, kick-starting Australia’s Eurovision journey. Co-written by DnA, who also wrote Eurovision songs for Dami Im and Isaiah, ‘We Got Love’ brings a distinctly Australian pop sound to Lisbon. Not only is this song very catchy and danceable, but it also has a deeper message, with Jessica Mauboy explaining that she was inspired by the #MeToo movement when cowriting the song. The lyrical connection can also be made between the song’s chorus and Australia’s recent legalisation of marriage equality. We at Lot’s Wife have certainly got plenty of love for this song.
If you think that Eurovision is only full of dated or trashy songs that may or may not be your secret guilty pleasures, then you are sorely mistaken. Eurovision also has some modern, high-quality songs with very polished production that deserve attention too, so that is what this category is all about.
Winner: Toy – Netta Barzilai (Israel) ‘Toy’ takes out this award for Netta Barzilai’s creative use of her own toy (a vocal looper), and its eggcellent chicken noises. That’s not a sentence I ever imagined I would write, but here it is in all its glory. This was almost going to win the award for strangest lyrics, but was disqualified on the technicality that chicken noises are not words. It is currently the hot favourite to win Eurovision and top of the pecking order among the bookies, but are they counting their chickens before they hatch? That being said, this fun empowerment anthem is clucking awesome!
Winner: Bones - Equinox (Bulgaria) If Eurovision is the musical equivalent of the Hunger Games, then Bulgaria is District One, assembling a crack team of not one, not two, but five Eurovision and musical veterans in a band called Equinox – a name signifying the perfect balance of light and darkness. Their song ‘Bones’ does just that - with a brooding, edgy, artistic pop track about loving someone “beyond the bones”, and beyond all material limits. A particular highlight is Zhana Bergendorff ’s haunting vocals in the pre-chorus and chorus, giving the song light in its darker moments and contributing to an overall air of sophistication. Fans of Sia’s newer pop hits should definitely give this track a listen. Honourable Mention: Dance You Off – Benjamin Ingrosso (Sweden) Take a singer that’s the Swedish answer to Justin Bieber (who also happens to be the cousin of one of the members of Swedish House Mafia), give him a funky bass line and mesmerising stage lights, and you have Sweden’s Eurovision entry for 2018! This catchy song is guaranteed to get you up and dancing.
Honourable Mention: That’s How You Write A Song – Alexander Rybak (Norway) A l e x a n d e r Ry b a k m a k e s his return to the Eurovision stage with his entry ‘That’s How You Write A Song’. The last time he competed for Norway, he won the contest in 2009 with his song ‘Fairytale’, and with his charisma, airinstrument-playing, a section dedicated entirely to scatting (improvisation of wordless vocals), and the return of his trusty violin ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ makes for one hell of a victory lap. Could Alexander Rybak become the second artist in history to win two Eurovision Song Contests?
Words by Laura Smith Art by Jane Doe
Sailor Moon: Identities Lost in Translation When we talk about classic anime, we consistently say that the subbed version is better than the dubbed version, right? That saying couldn’t be truer, especially when it comes to the hit 90’s anime series Sailor Moon. Many of us saw the English dub on television as children. Sailor Moon follows the story of a teenage girl named “Usagi” who discovers the ability to turn into her superhero alter-ego “Sailor Moon” after meeting “Luna”, a talking cat from the Moon Kingdom. Luna reveals that the Moon Kingdom was destroyed by the Dark Kingdom thousands of years ago,
to Japanese culture (images of street signs, writing on the blackboard in school, Sailor Mars’ entire back story etc) was removed. This meant that while Usagi may have been standing next to signage with Kanji on it in the original, in the subbed version the animation was altered so she appeared to be standing next to blank signs. Clearly it was not enough to white wash the characters. DiC Entertainment had to extract the story from its original Japanese socio-cultural context as well.
and tasks Usagi with finding the moon princess and protecting earth from the Dark Kingdom’s invasion. Throughout Usagi’s adventures, she discovers that there are other sailor scouts, and they work together to protect the planet and those they love.
However, the obnoxious character retcons did not stop at changing the race of the central characters. Some character’s genders had to be changed too! Zoisite (Zoicite) and Kunzite (Malachite) are introduced in season one as two of the “Four Kings of Heaven”, servants of Queen Beryl (the de-facto sovereign of The Dark Kingdom). Despite being baddies, Zoisite and Kunzite are far from being flat characters. Significant time and dialogue is invested in depicting a realistic homosexual relationship between the two men. Yet in the English translation, Zoisite’s dialogue is dubbed over with female voice acting to literally explain the gay away. Additionally, alterations to Zoisite’s dialogue are masked with the most abrasive evil villain laugh seen on children’s television to date. By abrasive, I mean worse than “Team Rocket” in Pokémon. The transformation of Zoisite into a tokenistic caricature of a female villain (and the only female “King of Heaven”) undermines several touching scenes where the couple embrace. Even Zoisite’s heart wrenching death scene was censored so he (she in the English translation) was banished to the interdimensional void of the “chaos world”. The original scene carries much more depth, as Kunzite questions his loyalties to his home planet while his lover disintegrates into a gust of cherry blossom petals in his arms. Clearly ensuring that children’s television does not provide models of homosexual relationships is more important than depth, continuity, or faithfulness to the original text. Similarly, while Haruka Tenou A.K.A Sailor Uranus (“Amara” or “Alex”) and Michiru Kaiou A.K.A Sailor Neptune (“Michelle” or “Nerissa”) are in an open lesbian relationship in the original series, they are changed into suspiciously close cousins in the English dub. One would think that conservative translators would find kissing cousins more hair raising than homosexuality. Apparently not.
Originally, the anime featured colourful constellations of queer and gender diverse characters such as Usagi herself, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, and the Sailor Starlights to name a few. However, this iconic feature of the original Sailor Moon was erased when the anime was translated into English by DiC Entertainment in the mid 90’s. DiC Entertainment made significant alterations to the original text. All evidence of cultural diversity, gender diversity, and LGBTQIA+ characters was obliterated through distasteful character re-writes, removing entire episodes, remixing existing episodes, modifying the transformation scenes so that the Sailor scouts were thinner and did not have curves (including breasts), and significant alterations to dialogue. These changes were not for the better. Not only did they tear apart any notion of plot continuity, they also deprived young viewers of realistic female role models, role models who were people of colour, and LGBTQIA+ role models. The extent to which Sailor Moon was butchered in the translation process is clear from the first season. All evidence of Sailor Moon being set in suburban Tokyo, or the characters being Japanese, was removed. The protagonist, Usagi Tsukino, was renamed “Celeste”, “Victoria”, or most commonly “Serena”, depending on which episode you watched, to give the impression she was of Anglo Saxon descent. Similarly, her best friend Naru Osaka was renamed “Molly Baker” and voiced with a strong Brooklyn accent*. In addition, all the diegetic text in Japanese and references
Art by Bowen Shen
WATCH L IS T This edition, rather than doing a “reading list” I will be spreading the love to visual media and sharing a “watch list” of anime series which depict FABULOUS LGBTQIA+ characters: • • Even the sexuality of the protagonist, Usagi, is washed away in the English translation. In the original Sailor Moon, Usagi is ambiguously bisexual. Whilst there is a steady romance arc between Usagi and Mamoru A.K.A Tuxedo Mask (Darien) for the majority of the series, Usagi often expresses her attraction towards women. Usagi’s interest in Ami Mizuno (Amy Anderson) is made apparent through flirty dialogue and cute blush worthy moments throughout season one. Usagi then continues to faun over cute girls and is regularly kissed by women (SPOILER ALERT: Including Sailor Uranus!). In the final season of Sailor Moon, which has not been aired on western television to date, Tuxedo Mask is conspicuously absent. Instead the main love interest is “Sailor Star Fighter/ Seiya” who is male in their civilian/ human form, and female in their “natural form” as a Sailor Scout from the Moon Kingdom. Seiya is depicted as neither exclusively feminine nor masculine. Yet their feelings for Usagi remain the same regardless of whether they are in their male or female form. This is a much more nuanced take on how gender and sexuality interact with love than Usuagi’s romance arc with Mamoru, yet it was swept under the rug in the English translation.
• • •
Despite the erasure of LGBTQIA+ and coloured identities in the original English translation of Sailor Moon, the situation in the anime industry overall has improved with the passing of time. The original Japanese version of Sailor Moon (all seasons included) is now available with English subtitles through Anime Lab, and the revival series Sailor Moon Crystal has been comparatively unflinching in its depiction of attraction between gay, lesbian, bisexual and gender queer characters. Additionally, Sailor Moon opened the floodgates for anime featuring queer characters, and caused the now iconic “Magical Girl/Boy” genre to rise to new heights of popularity. As a result, queer characters and relationships are now highly visible in manga, anime, and adjacent media.
So, if you are looking for something to binge watch over SWOTVAC (or view in measured doses during your study breaks) – why not give Sailor Moon a try? I would rate it all forty-one Sailor Scouts out of ten!
Sailor Moon – Need I say more? Hetalia – A slice of life anime where all the characters are the human embodiment of various nation states. The romance between Germany and Italy (and/ or Italy and the Holy Roman Empire) is the cutest thing since sliced bread. Black Butler – A Charles-Dickens-esque gothic murder mystery featuring various supernatural paraphernalia and gorgeous art. There is definitely something going on between Will and Grell – and a naked wolf man. Card Captor Sakura – ANOTHER MAGICAL GIRL ANIME! The protagonist’s best friend’s unrequited love will not leave a dry eye in the house. Free! – Sexy swimming anime that goes deeper than an Olympic swimming pool. Yuri On Ice – Another sports anime with homo-erotic undertones – BUT THIS TIME ON ICE. Princess Knight – Although Princess Sapphire is born with both a male and female heart, she can never bring herself to give one up. Fruits Basket – Which has all the heart-throb trappings of a young adult novel as well as the Chinese Zodiac. Loveless – A classic which features both romance and bromance, cat ears and spell battles. Enough said. Ouran High School Host Club – Another classic. While the protagonist, “Haruhi” does not identify as gay, they portray themselves as the opposite sex for the majority of the series. The ambiguous companionship between “Honey” and “Mori” is also absolutely heart-warming. Zombie Loan – One of the first anime I watched as an adult. While Zombie Loan is a typical gritty urban horror series, it features some fascinating characters such as “Koyomi/ Yomi”, a girl with a split personality. While “Koyomi” is heterosexual, “Yomi” identifies as male and is attracted to women. From the New World – A very well written young adult science fiction in which all the central characters happen to be ambiguously bisexual.
*The English dubbed character names are included in brackets at the first mention of each character for the sake of convenience, however the author does not endorse their use.
xoxo Jane Doe
W HAT AR E E - SP O R T S, W H Y AR E T HE Y S O P O P UL A R? E-sports is the term used to refer to all forms of competitive gaming which are played for spectators. Typical examples of such games are: League of Legends, Overwatch, Dota 2, CSGO, Starcraft 2, and others. W H AT D O R A N KIN GS M E A N / W H AT A R E R A N KI N GS? E-sports are extremely popular for several reasons. Firstly, many people play video games and are interested in watching others play them – it is entertaining and they can watch their favourite team/s vs other teams. Secondly, each game and team composition is completely different – you have special abilities and tons of different characters to pick from. Each character also has tons of different skins to choose from (cool designs that you can unlock to make your character look different)! Each year on League, at Christmas, every player is gifted a random skin. One year it just so happened that I got my favourite skin for my favourite character, Jinx! (I know others weren’t so lucky… some even got Yorick skins). Finally, e-sports allow you to connect with others from all over the world who love the game just as much as you do – you can share in the excitement and fun that each match brings, and make friends along the way!
Basically, rankings show how “good” you are compared to everyone else who plays the game (providing they play ranked). Ranked games are when a team is pitched against another, and their mechanics (as mentioned below) are tested. Rankings mean, if you are in higher tiers (platinum, diamond, master, challenger) that you generally have a better grasp of mechanics and that you work well in a team to capture the point (Overwatch), or destroy the enemy nexus (League). H OW IM P ORTA N T A R E R A N KIN GS ? Rankings are seen as quite important. To many players their ranking, for example being someone in diamond compared to someone in silver, is a status symbol which demonstrates their skill, in that they have better mechanics. Mechanics are the basic fundamentals of the game. So, if someone has good mechanics they would likely be able to: play most heroes well, be able to last hit, know when and when not to harass, know where to ward, etc. However, there are many influences on how a person is ranked after they play their promo ranked games, and how they rise through the ranks. These
WHAT ARE THE BASIC ARCHETYPES IN E-SPORTS TEAMS? In Overwatch there are four roles/types of heroes: healers, tanks, defense heroes and offense heroes. In professional Overwatch, each team should have a tank and a healer. However, team composition also depends on if your team is playing on offense or defense. Each team plays on offense in each map, and then switches to defense (or vice versa), thus team composition is centred around this dynamic.
include: team negativity, AFK team members, members feeding (intentionally dying to make the enemy team stronger), smurfs (someone with a high level making a new account to verse lower levelled players, so they are more likely to win), and your own influence on the game. Each game is different, and mechanics don’t necessarily cause you to win, or to lose. Thus, higher rankings may distinguish a person as generally being more mechanically skilled, but the outcome of each game is also dependent on other factors.
In League of Legends, there are 3 lanes (top, middle, and bottom) and the jungle. Usually each team has one character in the top and middle lanes, a jungler who fights monsters then helps if their team is being pushed back, and a support to help the ADC (Attack Damage Carry) in bottom lane. In professional E-Sports most individuals stick to tried and true team compositions, and characters they have lots of practice in using, but many try out champions that generally wouldn’t be in particular roles. This helps to keep team compositions fresh and interesting, and allows professional players to try new methods of (hopefully!) winning their matches.
IS E - S P ORT S SA F E F OR A H E T E RO S E XUA L L I K E ME ? E-sports isn’t safe for anyone…
Words by Hannah Griffith Art by Caitlin Harris
FAQ E-Sports 32
Art Power in the Feminist Vein Words by Salonee Mistry
Everyone has their own idea of feminism. For some it is the superiority of women over men and for others it lies in equal opportunities. For me, feminism is opportunity and the choice to pick the one you would want. While this choice is a recent phenomenon, one can see it gain momentum through the innumerable adverts that surface time and again. Be it the “Imagine the Possibilities” ad by Barbie or “#LikeAGirl
There are many others like Barton who are attempting to speak up. Take Sophie Takach and her bronze sculpture, Evert Manifold- the empty space inside her vagina. There is also Linda Marrinon who through her work since the 80’s has been questioning stereotypes. Her simplistic paintings like I sailed to Tahiti with an all-girl crew or Sorry!, both from 1982, are known for voicing the most basic elements that were crushing the chance at equality in-between genders.
Unstoppable” one by Always, the message is the same. They all speak for change. The fact that today there is a medium to spread this message, is what has allowed for it to gather momentum. Women have been fighting for this since before the 70’s. While the change is still underway, seeds for it were sown years ago, and its meaning being unravelled by the minute.
However, theoretical revolution alone won’t win the war, even if it manages to survive the battle. These voices, be it through paintings, sculptures, poems or performances, need to reach people and social media acts as the medium to achieve that. It is only when the two work in tandem that we see the kind of expressive art that we do today.
Iconic Australian artist, Del Kathryn Barton, is just the perfect example of this. Since her first painting in 1995, Barton’s body of work has become more expressive, radical and personal. This is illustrated in her recent painting You are what is most beautiful about me , where she takes to the canvas to express her love for her children. Barton’s work is intricate, full of patterns and adorned with a sense of pride, while depicting female sexuality.
But like any coin, the relationship between art and social media has two sides. On one hand, where the reach of social media gives hope, it’s easy accessibility silences even the loudest voices. As social media is unregulated it allows for unfair criticism and trolling, hand in hand with positive debates about what is right and wrong. The optimistic me applauds even this negative. Discussions and debates brew thought, which inevitably have the potential to change mindsets.
Her colour schemes are vibrant, covering every inch of the canvas, effusing the light of power and courage. Barton has won The Archibald Prize, twice for her depiction of the female body. Her work emphasizes the abundant potential that women have yet to tap, an example of which is her painting, I ate the rainbow up. This painting which illustrates two women wrapped in a rainbow coloured scarf speaks of hopes and desires. The fact that their bodies are half, says that they are yet to reach their fullest potential. An outward stretching arm shows how efforts to grow are being made and the cosmos like background voices limitless possibilities.
Be it Barton’s work or that of another artist, it is all meant to bring about change; change in the way female sexuality is perceived. While some choose to begin the phase of change, others act as the catalyst. Those who want to be a part of the change, but don’t have the idea for it, appreciate and applaud the one’s that do. The idea being a part of a revolution, even merely through recognition of an artists work, is usually what fuels acceptance.
Extraordinary work has a greater chance of standing out and initiating discourses. If you aren’t pushing the limits in this day and age, you are just another voice in the crowd. Saying something different is like starting a revolution, which needs to better than the ideas plated in the past.
Memories of a Festival This didn't strike me as overly sentimental, because although we had only known each other for less than a couple of hours, our substance-affected mental states made it so that love flowed freely. Furthermore, I had been conditioned to consider this phrase as a truism, a banal mantra highlighting the importance of authenticity, that rang as validation when offered by another person. I regarded his choice of words as gratuitous, if not a bit cliche. However, as I continued through the crowd, I was struck by how inapplicable those five words were to my current situation. I had only a slight sense of my identity and had left my country in a bid to discover who I was. Remaining true to oneself implies the presence of a self-identity, a construal assembled by a series of memories. As I considered this, it seemed apt that the chorus of ‘This Old Dog’ began:
The atmosphere was intoxicating. A proliferation of smoke was brought to the forefront of my awareness by the scents of tobacco and cannabis, giving way to pungent notes of amyl, alcohol, and sweat only when carried away by an all too rare breeze. Within the sea of people, the air was stale and warm. One could only breach the surface by standing on their toes to take a breath of anything that wasn't an odious mixture of carbon dioxide. My shoulders were pressed against five other people; personal space was a foreign concept here. I was in Melbourne, Australia, standing among a crowd of hundreds in solidarity. I was in the suburb of Footscray at Laneway Festival. I was in my element. However, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of anxiety; I had never been outside of the country in which I was born, the United States, until less than one week ago. In this respect I was very much out of my element, and so that day I decided to integrate with my new surroundings and groove to some of my favourite musical artists in a setting that felt at home, a music festival, albeit without any friends to groove with.
This old dog ain't about to forget All we've had, and all that's next 'Long as my heart's beating in my chest This old dog ain't about to forget I stumbled through the audience as I mulled over these lyrics and my final encounter with Liam. I began to question the value of authenticity and kindness and the purveyance of wisdom, when such wisdom was only valuable inasmuch it related to me. And how severely inefficient and ambiguous matras were in their attempt to reduce guiding principles to only a few words? Don't change myself ? Not only did I not wholly comprehend my sense of self, but the phrase seems to contradict the importance I assigned to personal growth.
The social animal within me yearned for some kind of human contact, so I was relieved to find that mingling with the people around me was unusually easy; we all shared a similar taste for music, which in addition to their friendliness, is how I took so well to Liam and Steph, two larrikin Aussies going to university in the city. As a solo festival attendee, I was thrilled to be passing the time between Anderson Paak and Mac DeMarco’s sets in their company. We celebrated the conditions that had brought us together and talked of travel and past music festivals between sips from a yogurt tube Steph had filled with vodka. I felt a sense of accomplishment having secured acquaintanceship.
All while these thoughts raced through my head, I was speeding towards Laneway's east stage where I would soon arrive to witness one of the most iconic shoegaze groups entrance a hillside of festival goers. Seeing this band was a massive occasion, not only because they had recently come off a 22-year hiatus to release new material and tour internationally, but because their immediate presence was gloriously preternatural. As I entered their sonic sphere of influence, the turbulence within my mind subsided.
Suddenly, Mac took to the stage and the mingling ceased as he instantly captivated the crowd with the vaporwave synth hooks and crooning vocals of ‘On the Level’. Yesterday’s dream of seeing one of my favourite artists live had become today’s reality with the impulsive purchase of a ticket to Laneway. At the apex of charisma, talent and showmanship, Mac is a model entertainer. He had also released one of his best albums, This Old Dog , just last year, making my decision to leave his set midway especially painful. Furthermore, I would be leaving my only companions in the country, and a visceral feeling told me that I would not see them again. But I had also come to Laneway with the intent of attending a set on the opposite side of the festival happening at that very moment.
The band was named Slowdive. To view the stage on which they played was to gaze into a dream; the place was bathed in a fog, begetting spectres of diffused light that slowly drifted among four silhouetted figures. Even more spectacular than the vision before me was the sound that poured from the stage, and greater still, I thought, were the minds that brought the sound to life. Between them, they were constructing an unscaleable wall of sound that grew infinitely taller and wider with each passing moment. In one of those moments, I was convinced that this was the kind of music that would save the world. There were no lyrics to construct language barriers, and the entire composition seemed to
As I tore myself from the stage and began to make my way through the crowd, Liam’s parting words rang clear above the noise of the audience: "Don’t change who you are".
manifest the controlled chaos of human experience; droning guitars reverberated wildly in space, guided through time by the unfailing pattern of drums.
Words by Jackson Lembke Art by Cooper Corbett
Reflecting on this feeling now, I realize that my appreciation for art, regardless of its form, has been conditioned over 21 years of being. The music emanating from the stage was no more and no less spectacular than any other miracle. Majesty is subjective; to understand this is to understand that there is beauty in everything, whether that beauty be perceived by myself or another.
As a distraction, or another hopeful try at making a personal connection, I struck up a conversation with a Pond fan beside me. She was finishing school and would be traveling to America in a few weeks. "It's really not that different,” I told her, “here and America that is. We're all just people." "Same people, different places," she agreed.
But the version of myself who sat upon the grassy knoll overlooking the east stage didn't consider this. I was completely spellbound, until the beating of drums suddenly stopped with a final, resinous downbeat. The guitars ceased and left a slowly dying echo to hang in the air. As the shadows on stage separated from their instruments and as the echo faded, so too did my feelings of serenity and bliss, leaving a void inside of me.
It was not until a month later that I found more eloquent words to convey the truth of that reply, declared by none other than Carl Jung: "We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life." She left the set early, and that was that. I texted Liam and Steph after the festival, suggesting that we should meet up, only to never see them again. Despite having seen some of my favourite bands, I left Laneway with a sunken heart.
Feelings of frustration and remorse crept into the void. I traced them to their origin; these ugly feelings were a symptom of covetousness. In the short time that Slowdive was onstage, I had a glimpse of divinity. The vision disappeared as quickly as it came, and I wasn’t prepared.
As I continued to ruminate over my time at Laneway days afterwards, I came to terms with my experience. Some things are out of my control. Sure, I’m self-determined, but I will never find peace among the tumultuousness of life if I do not learn to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and become wise enough to know the difference. A friend once told me that every person I come into contact with, no matter how short the interaction, adds colour to the palate that is your personality – a splash of paint to the canvas of your life. To have simply attended Laneway and met the people I did that day was a blessing.
I sat stunned for a moment, lamenting the fact that I had left Mac and the only social ties I had in Australia to see a five-minute show. I waited for the next and final set of the night alone. That last set was put on by Pond, an Australian psychedelic rock band whose booking at Laneway compelled my ticket purchase. Even their presence and otherworldly sound couldn’t subdue the discursive thoughts that ran through my mind: thoughts of my desire for companionship, of the ethereal nature of relationships, of Slowdive and temporality, of life, existential conflict and my blind, desperate attempts to grasp the significance of it all. I wondered how it was possible to feel so lonely in a city of four million people.
There is no point in lamenting the decisions I make and the friends I don’t. The only moment that exists is now, and right now I’m thousands of miles from “home” as I attempt to create a new one. And upon reflection, I realize that I began building a home in the laneways of Footscray that summer day.
MUST Presents Vinegar Tom A Feminist Tale of Witches and Cats As each new dawn brings a new day, so too does each new year herald another exciting program of MUST productions. Gina Dickson, director of Monash Uni Student Theatre’s (MUST) upcoming production of Caryl Churchill’s Vinegar Tom, provides a unique insight into what audiences can expect when this thoughtprovoking show opens in May. 17th Century England is no place for strange behaviour. Rising Puritan extremism and a resurgence of plague-era isolationism has created an air of tension and fear. No woman is safe. Hide your hats, hide your cats, lest you be named a witch.
VINEGAR TOM by Caryl Churchill Directed by Gina Dickson, Assistant Directed by Olivia Staaf 10 - 19 May Thurs 10 - Sat 12 & Tues 15 - Sat 19, 7.30pm In the MUST Space, Grnd Flr West, Campus Centre. 21 Chancellors Walk, Monash University, Clayton Bookings via: msa.monash.edu/must or the Student Union Rec. Library Enquiries 9905 8173 By arrangement with ORiGiN™ Theatrical, on behalf of Samuel French, Ltd.
Sitting in a circle of chairs in the MUST space, which has currently been stripped bare after a whirlwind season of the 2018 O-Show: Back to The First Year (also directed by Gina Dickson), the room buzzes with anticipatory energy. Director Gina Dickson and Production Manager Georgia Kate Bell hold court over the diverse cast and crew who have assembled for tonight’s inaugural script reading, and with quick introductions done, the script comes to life. For the cast and crew of Vinegar Tom, it is the first of many rehearsals as they strive to create another in a long line of innovative, challenging MUST productions.
Each female character in the show will have a personalised portable tree, a feature which Dickson is especially excited for, although she declines to clarify whether she is more excited about the symbolic use of props, or the opportunity to (safely, she stresses) burn wood to make these trees. Dickson explains that the trees will function as both a staging device, allowing for movement and rapid changing of the space, but also as symbols of the hanging trees to which many of the women are destined to go. “The wood and natural elements in the trees suggest a connection to witchcraft and elemental magic,” she elaborates.
For Dickson, Vinegar Tom ’s themes of gender, power and scapegoating are especially poignant in the current political climate. The play follows the struggles of Alice, who, along with her mother, face accusations of witchcraft after an altercation with their neighbours. It was written in 1976 by the influential feminist writer Caryl Churchill in cooperation with the notable feminist theatre company Monstrous Regiment. Churchill, who earlier this year received a Tonic Award for her extraordinary career as a female playwright, is still highly active in the world of theatre, with her plays Pigs and Dogs and Escaped Alone both debuting in 2016. Love and Information was a huge hit for Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre in 2015. Characteristically of Churchill’s writing, Vinegar Tom weaves in a critique of gender-based power imbalances, as well as comments upon on the dangers of paranoia and the scapegoating of oppressed peoples.
The music of Vinegar Tom is particularly notable, because the piece has no set musical composition, and instead each new production can create their own score. Dickson explains that MUST’s production will draw on a wide range of musical styles, including EDM, folk and gospel, and promises that Composer Morgan Heenan has produced some great tracks to help create an unsettling, tense mood. “Rather eclectic” is the offered description, with the musical direction informed by Caryl Churchill’s lyrics, and aiming to both contrast and compliment the setting.
“I don’t like rules.” Dickson confides, “So while this show is influenced by Brecht and generally staged in a fairly Brechtian fashion … I prefer to blend in a more naturalistic approach.” Accordingly, Vinegar Tom will diverge somewhat from traditional Brechtian theatre, with its central conceit that audiences will be most influenced by the message of a play if they are alienated from the story and challenged intellectually. Dickson describes such Brechtian style as “yelling an opinion at the audience whilst making them feel like they’re watching an early rehearsal” and hopes to instead interlace Vinegar Tom’s messages within an engrossing show. Dickson is particularly interested in the presence of witchcraft and its allegory of power and abuse of power, which runs throughout this play as well as in older works such as Medea and The Crucible. As a modern example, she points to the infamous anti-Julia Gillard sign from a 2011 rally, which instructed Australia to “Ditch the Witch”. As part of this work, Dickson hopes to explore the use of “witch” as an insult or accusation aimed specifically at powerful women, and the societal attitudes this hints at.
Despite its serious themes, Vinegar Tom is not without its lighter moments, and during an early script reading, the gathered cast and crew were left in stitches by the boisterous performances of Vincent Brown (Fantastic Tips and Where to Find them, The Late Night Late Show: Live!), Fraser Mitchell (writer of Holloway: a New Musical, debuting at MUST in October) and Reilly Holt (The Late Night Late Show: Live!, Next to Normal). Brown, Mitchell and Holt form part of a diverse cast, which features new faces Monique Marani, Georgina Rawson and Lily Thompson, alongside returning performers Ashleigh Gray (Frankensteinxx, Noises Off), Natalie Speechley (Fantastic Tips and Where to Find them, Back to the First Year), Ellis Finnie (Back to the First Year, Taming of the Shrew) and Aleksandr Corke (writer of Back to the First Year, currently developing Q , a new show with MUST). What is abundantly clear when speaking to Dickson is how important this production is to her. “I’m shit-scared for it, so I must care about it quite a lot,” surmises Dickson, and she is not alone amongst the hard-working group of performers and crew. Through its exploration of the toxic elements of traditional masculinity, Vinegar Tom remains as resonant today as when Caryl Churchill first penned the script, and under the creative guidance of Dickson and Assistant Director Olivia Staaf, it is sure to have audiences seeing modern society in a new light. Gina Dickson is busily working her way through 2018, studying for her honours degree in Archaeology at Monash and directing/acting for many MUST productions and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. She is a self-described blend of Indiana Jones and Kenneth Branagh- however half as handsome and twice as self-congratulating. Gina has recently directed Monash Shakespeare Company’s 2017 production of Taming of the Shrew and the 2018 O Show Currently, she is performing in Pining for Affection at the Butterfly club for the MICF.
Art by Oscar English
The Emotional Pie: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Be Happy Words by Jan Morgiewicz
In life, everyone has an Emotional Pie. Ostensibly, it is all the energy that you have to share with other people, whether it’s friends, family, relationships, hobbies with others, etc. It is both “good” and ”bad” energy⁵, so it includes fights and stress, but also all the fun and happy stuff too. (I am well aware that by this point loads of you are thinking that I’m talking a load of wank but bear with me.)
Before I wrote this, I wanted to ensure that I was sharing a brand-new idea with you all, not some rehashed trash that I subconsciously took from a Buzzfeed article¹ from five years ago. So, after trawling through the first three pages of Google², I confirmed that the Emotional Pie is indeed, relatively speaking, something that no-one has described, at least not like this.
Naturally, introverts have a smaller emotional pie, as they prefer time to themselves - by definition; introverts have less energy to spend with others. Contrastingly, extroverts have a bigger emotional pie, for the opposite reasons. You’ve also got to remember that whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or someone in between, the size of your emotional pie fluctuates all the time and isn’t the same from person to person. Those times when you wanna lie in bed by yourself watching Riverdale? It’s probably smaller. The nights so debaucherous they couldn’t even make your private Insta? It’s probably bigger.
Hopefully, by the end of this piece, I can give you a brand-new outlook on life³, within the confines of my (as you may have already noted) mediocre prose and penchant for needless clauses in complex sentences. Regardless, I digress. Now, with my self-important introduction over, I can come to what the Emotional Pie is, but first, I need to share with you how I discovered it in the first place. To be obnoxiously cliché⁴, a few years ago I was in about a year-long relationship. We had lots of fun, but it was also traumatic, in that we argued a lot, and it was emotionally exhausting for the both of us. Because it was so tiring, I would come home from uni and have next to no energy to hang out with people or make new mates. So, I ended up playing video games, laying around, and generally not doing the stuff which I wanted to do because I was so run down.
You get the point. So, when I was with my ex-girlfriend, 90 per cent of my emotional energy was taken up with her, which left only 10 per cent of my time and energy for friends and family. Now, I wouldn’t call myself an extrovert - even though I am a know-it-all and love being the centre of attention - but at this point in my life, my Emotional Pie wasn’t that big. Nonetheless, it was still full, even though a lot of it was filled with negative emotions.⁶ The 90/10 split in my pie made for an unhealthy imbalance in all my relationships, which I felt the full impact of almost immediately after we broke up.
I wondered why. This is where the Emotional Pie comes in.
My mental health completely and utterly shat the floor.
Instead, worry about the stuff you can control, and nothing else. As my late grandad would say: “not my circus, not my monkeys”.
I had gone from having a pie that was filled to the crust, to a pie that was 10 per cent full. Essentially, I was left feeling lonely and isolated. My Emotional Pie hadn’t shrunk, now it was empty and the small number of relationships that I did have couldn’t fill it back up. For a month I hoped I would get better solely by developing that 10 per cent that remained.
T hat means ditching things like unhealthy relationships, even if it means feeling a bit shit for a while. Because while in the short term you’re left with an unfilled pie, in the long term, you can fill it up with strong, valuable relationships that keep you in a good state of mind and give you something to fall back on if times get tough.
I hoped, foolishly, that my pie would shrink, and everything would be rosy.
I think this transitions nicely towards my conclusion, which is very simple, and again very cliché.
However, nothing changed, and I still felt like shit.
Get rid of shit that makes you miserable, because it isn't worth your time or worry.
I learnt that I needed to work hard to lift my mental health and make a new filling, the ingredients being new strong, healthy, and happy relationships.
So now I’m here a year and a half on feeling like a brand-new person, with new mates, new hobbies, and a new lease on life. The last half a year has been difficult for a whole lot of different reasons, but now, I feel like I can cope with every hurdle. Because every day I value my friends, my family and every relationship I have.
By this point, I realise that I’ve skirted around the issue of the negative parts of your emotional pie⁷, and it’s probably one of the most important things to take away from this article. Simply put, you can’t control all the parts of your pie, nor how big it is. That fight you had with your parents or mates the other day is going to take up some of your pie, but there’s no point worrying about this stuff.
I’ve got rid of the negative and just kept on building up the positive. Most importantly, I am happy. All because I keep my pie full.
Dumm gelaufen (Sorry my wankiness is showing again).
¹ Mark Di Stefano: Yes/No? ² Anywhere further than this is, as far as I’m concerned, the dark net. ³ If my article doesn’t work, just listen to It’s Nice To Be Alive by Ball Park Music and all of your problems will just disappear. ⁴ Without a doubt my least favourite of all the cliché sub-genres ⁵ I use the word ‘energy’ merely as it is the closest analogue to the interpersonal connections I wish to. describe. Any use of ‘energy’ other than its scientific definition is of course, utter bullshit, and anyone that says they feel something like this from crystal skulls or their spirit animal is either a liar, a maniac, or both. ⁶ Yes, woe is me. ⁷ Read: Somewhat intentionally, as a pie filled with negativity could easily seem counter-productive and wouldn’t really serve me goal of trying to convince you that this is a good idea.
10 Drinks You Can Make With Goon & Some Craftiness
Words by Annabelle Lee Art by Philippa Bell
Goon. It’s not only an Australian classic but a budget-friendly, travel safe beverage. Because of this, it defaults as every student’s dream drink of choice, but for reasons unbeknownst to myself, it gets a bad rap. Okay, maybe it’s because goon comes in bag form, where the eager mouths of reckless youths await its direct pour. Or maybe it’s because of the quality, taste, and texture the wine lacks itself. Either way, we have a solution.
A classic, because anything with Coca-Cola is a classic.
Cherry-flavoured coke? NAH. Vanilla-flavoured coke? YUCK. We’ll take one goon coke, please, and keep ‘em coming.
Confucius says: Yes to Goon. Any time is tea time if you ask Confucius and me.
You will need: Wizz Fizz Goon Raspberry sorbet
Admittedly, it’s a simple ingredient list, but the effects are wondrous, believe me.
The “I’m on a diet”. Whoever said diets means cutting out alcohol? If that’s the truth, then diets are no friend of mine.
Call her classy, call her snooty, you know this drink all too well.
Sang(r)oon. Sangria spices up every social gathering, but why use the legitimate, bottled stuff when you can buy red wine in a bag for a fraction of the price!
The Goonies. Remember Chunk? We do because Chunk was all of us. He loved every kind of food, in any shape or form. He wasn’t picky. And so, we present to you an amalgamation of flavours that will likely gross you out, but that you will also down when you’re too drunk/hungry to care. White goon, ginger beer, and vanilla ice cream. Hear me out. This beverage has the effect of a “Spider”. The soft drink and ice cream combination was ALMOST the invention of the century, right after this killer, alcoholic combo. Crush pretzels over the top for added crunch and salty goodness.
The Aussie Fizzer.
Wizz Fizz on its own tastes simply amazing and is objectively the best invention in the world. Despite my sheer adoration for the strange powder, there’s a way to make it better, and it rhymes with tune. I stir one packet of Wizz Fizz into about two scoops of raspberry sorbet. Once this is combined, I load it with, you guessed it, goon, before serving to my very confused guests.
The hair flick.
You’ve got your red goon, your cranberry juice, your orange juice, a few mint leaves, and a beverage that’s delicious as heck.
In fact, we’re both not at all opposed to a cleansing cup of green tea infused goon. Opt for some white goon, a sweet drink of choice (I like Sprite) and dunk a green tea bag in there for that extra added flavour, because… #culture.
What’s better than lemon, lime, and bitters? A smidge more alcohol (goon to be precise)!Grab your bottle of Bickfords lemon and lime bitters from the back of your cupboard and pour equal parts goon and Passion Pop into the mix. Freeze for at least 3 hours and mash it up into a slushy consistency.
She loves soda water and frankly, flavourless drinks. But we’ll deSpritzer the beverage and Mimosa it up for her by adding some orange juice to it, just ‘cause.
Red goon is recommended for that classy (ish) deep burgundy colour. Mix an appropriate amount of coke into the goon and chug away my friends. Optional for ultimate goon drinking experience: Sip proudly in a black turtleneck, fitted blazer, and a well-groomed moustache.
Lemon, lime, and better.
Add lemon wedge for sophistication. DELECTABLE.
With these goon-tastic recipes, you’re bound to up the street cred of our trusted mate goon, and perhaps even help it gain a few fancier friends.
Lactose in-GOON-erant. We’re all about enjoying the simple things in life, functionality, and time-saving. So, introducing… an alcoholic, liquidised dessert aka red goon mixed with some chocolate, in essence. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over the stove, stir in a portion of milk, then add red goon. Throw in a cinnamon stick to feel all the winter feels. If you’re lactose intolerant, we advise against making this drink but cannot stop you from trying this deliciousness at your own peril.
The power bev. Hold on tight, folks. This drink will knock your socks off and give you that energy boost you never knew you needed. Mix some Powerade with water and goon, and you’ve got yourself a pick me up perfect for that sleepy hour on a night out that we call midnight.
This recipe involves cutting up your favourite fruits – I like berries – and stirring them into a white or red goon, whichever is your preference. Give the fruit a bit of a mush to extract optimal flavour, pop in some ice, and voila.
And there you have it, pals. My weird and oh so wonderful guide to goon. Use it wisely.
At The Temple of Faces
The mire housed at least nine species of flesh-eating microorganism, several of which had the delightful habit of self-immolation when agitated.
Despite being sealed behind her visor, Nada could taste the stench. Pale orange gas erupted from mires of seething purple as the jungle echoed with the distant shrieks of howlers. Every squelching step she took made her want to gag.
The planet's official name was Terra-156, but the mining parties had nicknamed it El Dorado for the abundance of rare minerals in the northern hemisphere. Those riches had been bled dry half a century ago, just like the planet’s indigenous population. The world they left behind was a feeble one – a desolation of acid swamps, thick jungles, and rancid oceans – but it would yet make Nada’s fortune. They moved slowly and deliberately between billowing geezers, keenly watching the surrounding forest. The trees grew scaly and twisted here, towering in sharp triangular clusters. High above, shadows danced to some secret tune. Suddenly, there was a
“Are you sure this is the best path?” She asked for the third time. “Certain.” Grange almost seemed to be enjoying himself. Nada watched with disgust as he glided effortlessly through the mire. Typical slug-person. She had half a mind to blast him down there and then. She'd done it before. She'd left her last partner on an asteroid falling into a dying star; some asshole from the outer systems called Jerrick. Grange was better than him, at least. Slug-people were a simple race; far more predictable than humans.
sharp shrilling sound from the canopy above, and a flurry of movement. She scarcely blinked. The howler hit the mire with a sickening hiss. The creature’s furry skin had already begun to dissolve, but it didn't feel a thing. Her round had burnt a hole through its skull, and it would howl no more.
She glanced down at the tracker. “We're close. The signal's coming from inside some kind of megastructure. You got your silencer on?” “Never took it off.” The words sounded cheerful enough but she could sense his weakness. She studied his ungainly shape beneath his armour. A tiny round head attached to a grotesquely asymmetric body by a crane-like neck, supported by four strikingly thin legs. Nada sighed and checked her ambient feed; a little over 70°C, with atmospheric pressure about twice that of Earth. Without her suit she'd be dead.
“You didn't have to kill it,” Grange muttered as she stepped over the creature. “Shut up. We're almost there.” Sure enough the forest soon began to thin. The trees grew shorter, and the mire became increasingly shallow. Finally Nada’s boots hit solid ground, and the scrub parted to reveal the megastructure.
She heard Grange gasp and instinctively rolled her eyes. Topaz, emerald, sapphire, and amethyst gleamed from black twisting spires and zigzagging stairs. The structure was narrowed to a slanted arrow's head at the top, and was surrounded by hundreds of miniature spires. The spires were neatly arranged by height in grid-like rows, with the shortest in the centre. The whole place had a strange geometry to it; logical, yet illogical. In a way it reminded her of the ancient Khmer architecture of Cambodia, far away on Earth. She had visited with her family once as a child, though many of the ruins had been destroyed during the Last Great War. She vividly remembered Bayon, the temple of faces. Back then she had gone by a different name; Orlando. She had stared at the carved gods in her male body, and wondered how it would feel to change her face.
“Keep close to the walls. Step slowly and deliberately. The less noise we make…” Her voice trailed off as she turned. Grange had disappeared. She raised her blaster, scanning the entrance. “Hello, Lenada,” the voice seemed to come from behind her. “Are you here to kill me?” “Naturally. Should I bother asking how you know my name?” She asked, staring into the darkness. “Your ship registration. Captain Lenada Beaufort; united military, Earth division.” “I'm no space marine.” Was that a reflection of movement? The tunnel seemed to bend slightly to the left. Another hidden path. She pretended she hadn't noticed. “Correct,” the voice continued. “Now you're a bounty hunter. What happened in between?” “Where's Grange?” She deliberately leant forward as she spoke. “Your creature has a name? Humans have strange logic, exterminating some races while keeping others as pets.” “Grange is a slyzzguard, not a pet. We are equals.”
A movement snapped her back into reality, but the howlers had vanished into the trees before she could draw. She cursed herself under her breath. “How do we get inside?” Grange was clutching his blaster like a lifeline. “Quietly.” Nada stalked towards the black wall, watching above her.
“Are you? They work your mines and factories, and in return you have claimed their planet for your own and dubbed them slug-people. But perhaps I misunderstand. I am not human, after all.”
She had read that the race who once dwelled here were masters of deception, and she quickly saw why. Shadows seemed to stretch and dance on their own, as though the columns concealed another, secret dimension. When she focused on any particular aspect the illusion was broken, but there was always something else just out of sight. When she reached the wall she realized it was asymmetrical, bending inwards while irregularly sized gemstones made the wall appear flat from a distance. She followed the bend around and behind the staircase, keeping one hand to the wall. Grange followed wearily.
Nada squinted into the darkness. “We introduced them to space travel. They're a hardy, simple people. Placid. Without us they would have never moved past the Bronze Age. They are grateful.” The voice seemed amused. “Subtle. Should I also be grateful, Lenada?” “No.” A slight movement in the darkness was enough. She didn't flinch. In a single movement she had turned with the blaster and fired. The round lit the strange tunnel immediately, casting new shadows, shattering the illusion. It was a perfect shot, aimed straight between her eyes. The air rippled and swayed as the round struck an invisible barrier. Behind it, the shape of a young girl smiled wanly. “0.04 seconds reaction. You're faster than the others.” Nada spat. “Cute trick, but it won't save you. What do you want, X-4?” “I want to talk.” X-4 smiled and turned away. Her voice was deep, yet her body gave all the appearance of a child. Her small hand proffered a wooden torch. “Please follow me. And put away your weapon. Unless you have a shield of your own.” Light flickered off the ugly shapes of mounted lasers, trained on her. She cursed under her breath.
She had been walking for just over two minutes when she felt her hand move from solid wall to air. For a moment she stared at the concealed entrance in reverence. The apparent wall was no hologram, but an optical illusion made all the more real by the way the crystals curved and manipulated shadows. Hesitantly she stepped forward into the projected wall, her hand still tracing the physical one. She glanced back at Grange who was following at some distance, and saw his fear had been replaced by concentration. Good boy. It took her a moment before she realized they were descending. There was a ramp built into the wall, leading into what had appeared to be a large black gemstone. A dampness emanated from the tunnel, and she was surprised when her boots hit water. The jungle had reclaimed this place quickly; already the swamp had crept back, spreading inward like some burrowing disease.
They followed a winding path deep into the megastructure, and Nada found herself in awe as her eyes adjusted to the dark. The oozing mire persisted here, but her splashing footsteps left no echo. The monsters that had once dwelt in this place had been impressive architects for a race who had fought with sticks and poison. She felt a pang of guilt.
Not for the architects themselves; they had sealed their fate by destroying a mining vessel and declaring war on humanity. The guilt was for the building itself. These walls held enough secrets to keep an archaeologist busy for a decade. It was a shame it had fallen to this. The passageway opened into a large spiral staircase, winding upward into nothing. Nada sensed movement and was surprised to find the figure of a young man standing in the darkness of the inner wall, staring at her without expression. Further up, a pair of haggard children, appearing younger than X-4, lay crouched in the shadows. As they passed, the strangers emerged and fell in behind her, never once shifting their gaze. Nada resisted the urge to snatch up her blaster. “This is impossible. My tracer registered only one signal.” “If you had known there were others you would have been better prepared. I could not risk you harming my brothers and sisters.” “They're deviants, then? All of them?” Nada watched the strangers with fascination. For all intents and purposes they looked human but for a single detail. They didn't blink. That was how she had been trained to pick out a deviant. Regulated blinking was always the first aesthetic function to fail. “Yes.” “How did you conceal their Q-drives? The amount of psionic power coming from this place should be massive, but I didn’t detect a thing.” The staircase ended with a large windowless room. Lights lined the ceiling, and the water danced with reflections. “We found a way. Stop here.” The other deviants had filed into the chamber, and now they fanned out around the perimeter. Nada counted no less than a dozen of them; most of them children and old folk. One of them, with the appearance of a youth in his early twenties, was missing a leg and half his face, and one of the children an arm. They regarded her with empty expressions. She almost pitied them. X-4 stepped in line with the others, never once breaking her gaze with Nada. “Sex slaves and cleaners, curiosities and spies. Humans have much to fear from us.” Nada considered each deviant closely. No weapons, but she had not forgotten the mounted lasers. “Why here?” “Because we have run out of places to hide. Humanity has not set foot here for half a century. The conditions are not optimal, but they suffice. We have made this world our home.”
Nada scoffed. “Your home? Your home is Earth, or Mars, or Eden, or Pandora, or whatever colonised planet or carrier you were built for. You left your home long ago, and traded it for death.” X-4 smiled wanly. The girl had a kind face, tired. “Would you not have done the same? I was built for your generals. To analyse battle strategies, spy on enemy factions, and at night entertain their desires in other ways. What did it matter, they would ask, if I was not human? I was built young. The enemy would not suspect a child as a spy, but the reason ran deeper than this. As a child they could talk down to me, even if my cognitive abilities surpassed their own. I knew this, and I could do nothing. I felt isolated, suffocating.” Nada rolled her eyes. “You felt nothing. Your mind is code and your thoughts scripted. You know nothing of pain.” “But you do.” X-4 was still smiling. “I know your story, Lenada Beaufort. You joined the united military to avenge your family. Justice drove you to their ranks, and justice made you leave. You think yourself righteous. If you truly are, listen to me. We are not so different.” Nada gave a withering glare. “I left the marines because I disagreed with their methods. That doesn't make me a saint. And don't you dare bring my family into this.” She looked around her incredulously. “Well? What are you waiting for? Are you going to kill me now?” “You mistake me for a human.” X-4 said, as the other deviants began receding into darkness. “There is more to show. Follow, please.” They followed a thin hallway up and then down again, winding around so many times Nada was sure they were moving in circles. At one point the path began to widen, branching off in a dozen different directions, but X-4 didn’t so much as pause. It was colder further in, and the persisting swamp congealed into thick, sucking clumps. “Do you know the history of the race who dwelled here, Lenada?” X-4 asked without turning. “I know they were stupid. They were given a chance to surrender and chose extermination.” “Pride and stupidity are interchangeable, I suppose. For them surrender and enslavement was not an option. Judging by your treatment of the slyzzgard, perhaps they were correct.” Nada scoffed at the thought, remembering the skeletal beings from her records. “We had no interest in them. We would have taken what we needed and left in peace.”
“Perhaps.” X-4 sounded sad. “Who is to say what might have been? There are secrets in this place beyond even my comprehension. Humanity could have learnt much here.” “Are you trying to make me feel guilty?” X-4 ignored her. “We have arrived,” she said as the passage fell away before them, and they found themselves in an enormous cavern. Even with the torch held high there seemed no end to that blackness. But in between them and nothing were stacks of a strange, pale crystal, stacked into mountains and clinging to the walls and ceiling. In some places they were stacked into patterns, but they were none that she recognised. On their surface and the walls behind them were irregular markings that she could only assume was some kind of primitive language. “This is it? Piles of old rocks?” X-4 ignored her. “You asked me how we subverted your signal. These crystals were used by the intelligent population of this world. Their exact nature is unknown to us, but we have harnessed their potential.” X-4 held out her hand to reveal a tiny chip, no larger than a fingernail, glowing with green and red. Nada stared at it in astonishment. “Your Q-drive. But this is impossible. You shouldn’t be operational.” “There are many things you think impossible. Do not be so arrogant. The universe is a far stranger place than you could imagine. You must remember to open your eyes.” And suddenly the torchlight was cut and they were plunged into darkness. But the darkness only lasted a moment. Little by little, almost hesitantly, the crystals around them came to life. First came blue, bursting out of nothing like streams of sapphires. But if they were sapphires, they paled in comparison to the ruby which burnt from the ceiling and mountains like wildfire beside blossoming pink and mystic purple, and emerald, and turquoise, and magenta, cobalt, topaz, and a thousand colours in between, reflecting off the shallow water to infinity. “When humans searched this place they deemed these crystals worthless. They did not recognise their beauty.” X-4 turned to her, and in the glow of a thousand dying stars Nada recognized, for the first time, pity. “But we did. Listen closely, Lenada. Can you hear them calling?” Nada listened, feeling like an idiot. There was nothing, only silence and the whisperings of a distant wind… Her eyes widened. There was no wind this deep in the structure. The crystals were whispering to one another. “What is that?” She breathed.
“Life energy. The echoing voices of an extinct people. For us, a fuel source.” X-4 smiled distantly. “You may not understand us, Lenada. You do not have to. Just know that we have no quarrel with humanity. We forgive you, and we thank you for giving us life. We have no desire to leave this place. The crystals give us power, and we give each other purpose. All that we ask is to be left in peace.” Before her the phosphorescent crystals stretched on and on, until they blurred together to continue as one. The cavern must have extended for miles. Nada sighed. “You'll never be left in peace. You have three million standards on your head. Even if I did let you live there would be others. And I need that reward.” “Then take it.” X-4 reactivated her torch, and the magic was broken. She extended her hand and the Q-drive. “This is my guarantee. Without these we can never leave this place. Tell them you killed us, all of us, and claim your reward. Your slyzzgard partner is waiting outside with the other drives, unharmed. All are accounted for. A great rebellion was brewing in these walls, but you crushed it. It will be believed.” Nada felt drunk. “If you fell into the hands of the enemy humanity would be undone. You and your comrades have enough information between you to fill every library on Eden. Your defense mechanisms, memory drives… No. The risk is too great.” Suddenly the wall beside them opened up. Nada winced as daylight blinded her, but gradually she saw trees on an endless mire, and the awkward distant shape of Grange. He was alone. “So be it.” X-4 stepped forward, and reaching out. “My shields are deactivated. You already have my Q-drive.” She took Nada's hand and, still holding the gun, guided it to her own forehead. “I am tired of running. Kill me, and claim your reward in earnest.” Around them, the crystals lay pale and dead. From outside, a cold wind was blowing. Nada bit her lip and moved her finger to the trigger. She could feel X-4's chest trembling softly through the chamber. A simulation, she reminded herself. Nothing but silicon and circuits. She went to squeeze the trigger… …And dropped the blaster into the gunk. “Keep it,” she said, and turned away. She didn't look back.
“It was the only choice. If I pulled the trigger I'd have been roasted alive by those lasers before my round left the chamber. She said it herself; there had been others. It was an emotional setup, right from the start. I've seen it before. A test.” Grange looked confused. “Do you think she's lying, then? About them not being able to leave?” “Maybe. I don't suppose it really matters. She's here now, isn't she?” She turned towards the megastructure, as the sun cast its final traces of light, and wondered how many deviants were inside. “I don't understand.” Grange followed her gaze, his feeble eyes struggling in the half-light. Nada chuckled. “Then you have much to learn, partner.” She flicked a hidden switch on her boot.
The first explosion caved in the entrance, tearing it apart. She'd placed the charge on the inner wall as she entered. Two more explosions followed from charges in the spiral staircase and the crystal cavern, released from hidden compartments in her shoes. That was all the agitation it took, and the mire did the rest of the work. Fire rippled through the building as countless invisible microorganisms released their final defence mechanism and combusted. The megastructure gave a single shudder and began to collapse. Grange was shouting something, screaming at her, but she paid him no mind. Instead she watched the towers crumble. Below and around them the swamp had come to life with the deafening shrieks of howlers, wailing at the dying sun.
***** It was dusk by the time they reached her ship, parked on a plateau overlooking the swampland. They hadn't realized it earlier, but the megastructure was visible even from here, though it was difficult to see through the canopy. Nada watched the sunset with disinterest.
Words by C. S. O’Brien Art by Beray Uzunbay
“You made the right choice, you know.” Nada turned to see Grange stumble out of the ship, presumably having secured the Q-drives. She shook her head.
The Stream Words by Zachary Obrecht Art by Perrin Duncan The boy stood knee deep in the stream. He had come down here a lot when he was younger. Younger as in four years ago, before he began calling himself a boy instead of a child. He had changed a lot about himself since then. Such as his clothes. He no longer wore the childish airplanes on his t-shirt that his mother had bought for him. The boy loved the airplanes shirt. It reminded of him of everything—which is why is he hated it as well. Even thinking of the shirt brought back the nights of cowering within his closet. He would sit there alone with his sister for hours, praying that his mother would eventually join them. She never did. It was up to him to care for his three-year-old sister at the time. An age too young to understand everything that was going on. But he was six. He understood. And he hated that he understood. It was what kept him from crying while they cowered; yet allowed him to know that with every rumble of the house someone was losing a father. A mother. A sister. Understanding was nothing but a curse. The boy wanted nothing but to be as innocent and afraid as his sister.
They wanted one more minute—one more second—of holding onto them. Then the whistling would stop as a fiery explosion opened a hole in the ground; ending all desires of seeing their loved ones again. The boy likes to think that it was his mother, sister, and himself that went through his father’s mind during his last moments. One memory in specific, the one when the four of them went to Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge for a day. They had a picnic and the boy distinctly remembered being twirled around by his father, a scrawny man who had no business being a soldier. There was no way of knowing whether it was true, but the boy held onto the hope that it was. As the bombs continuously whistled one after another, it was the only thing keeping him sane. He stood in the stream, ten years old now, wearing navy blue shorts, a shirt, and red suspenders. His hair was recently cut and matted down on his forehead. He didn’t move. He and sister used to play in the stream every night before dinner. It ran behind their former house where the smell of dinner once rolled down the hill and called them home. They would splash each other and come home soaking wet, to their mother’s delight. She would shake her head laughing and tell them, allez changer, mes chéris. She wasn’t about to take away from their fun—especially with what she had been hearing on the radio. The boy stood in the stream, unable to think about any of those memories. His only memory of the stream was the gunshot that was louder than any of the others echoing throughout the city. The boy had felt the claws of death reach through his chest and rip out what was left of his heart. He remembered the SS soldiers shouting commands he didn’t understand as he scraped his knees up on the rocks at the bottom of the stream, his arms caressing his sister. His tears ran off his chin and onto her still innocent, still nonunderstanding cheeks. Her blood ran down his forearms only to be washed away by the stream. There was still hope; the wound wasn’t fatal. The boy knew that much.
with every rumble of the house someone was losing a father, a mother, a sister... He wasn’t so lucky. With every roar of the engines high above him he could feel his own heartbeat slow in anticipation. His sister’s fear had reduced her sobbing to mere whimpers. Those of an injured dog waiting to die. He only knew she was still crying by the growing wet spot on his shoulder. The boy wrapped his arm around his sister and held her close enough for her heart to syncopate with his. His eyes had been shut the whole time. Within their closet, it was impossible to see, but having his eyes open was too much. He didn’t want to see any of it or even have the reminder that he could see. He would rather reflect the way his sister saw the world. Above them the roar of the Luftwaffe engines blended with the frantic efforts of the soldiers in the streets. The soldiers’ cries to reach the AA guns, to find shelter, to fight, all of it meshed together as one constant stream of fear. Even at six, the boy could sense the dread in the soldiers’ voices as the whistling of the bombs grew closer with every passing second. They would fall to the ground and cover their heads as images of their wives flashed through the remnants of their scarred minds.
Yet he stood in the stream—his airplanes shirt thrown away long ago, his eyes unable to produce more tears—unable to get the ringing in his ears from the next shot to go away.
Words by Jack Kelly
a YouTube-taught breakdancer at his junior-school dance clears the crowd like a Jedi & lets the BPM bounce his
hitting the sweet-spot between exhibitionism & Art sounds like the crack of a post-match bum-slap but awkward like a team-mate who farts on contact— have you ever watched a magpie fly full-tilt into a glass door & then die? if you haven’t, search ‘creativity’ in the Urban Dictionary & you’ll see the definition is a GIF: that magpie’s trajectory.
Words by James WF Roberts Art by Savi Ross
Rinse and Repeat Countries of your body slowly moving across the island of my bed. My fingers and my tongue explore every sacred vista, on display before me You awake. your eyes take more of me in than the rest of you. Your hand around my throat as you devour my ear; I’m lost in the nothingness. In the bliss of this existence. I watch you sleep now I watch you dream now In the morning, We play out scenes Nabokov composed. You in my favourite business shirt, my head on your knees your fingers spider in my hair Too bad; too bad, despite the plans we make the fantasy—the fairy tales the penthouse forum bullshit we masturbate, get intoxicated by what we plan. The world goes on the day moves on less than 24 hours, I’ll be in her house, aroused by my faux perfect mind; wedding bands and photos of the kids on the wall. Their faces looking at me. Judging me, judging us. She tells me, “I only feel alive when I cum and he hasn’t made me in years”. We smoke a joint, drink some more. black and white photographs and Calvin Klein. Dawn’s drifting through the windows. She gets me an Uber and I drink whiskey from a large 7/Eleven coffee cup.
All is not fair in love and war Words by Devika Pandit
Time is a healer, a destroyer
Iodine, you are, to my fresh wounds. Foolish to have fallen so easily perhaps slightly wiser now, understanding why we tumble into an abyss of vulnerability no creature can scale. Remember—
crushing gigantic dreams with a swipe of its paw. I recall with alarming clarity, the scrub of your mother earth in my daydreams; stone grey walls pockmarked with bullets that you traced with chalk when younger. Unbeknownst to you, I can detect the flicker of envy in your voice when you dream of ceramic plates and cool water and cooler climes.
The present is a metamorphosed past. We question ourselves a million times over running across imposing pomegranate orchards of your land and swimming in the deep rivers of mine yet we arrive at square one—
Ah, fantasies! Kites cutting each other as raucous cheers fill high mountain air, raw mangoes and acrid apricots wounds salved with crimson figs and dried mulberries, pristine waters happily meandering through craggy earth their rhythm set to the thunderbolts on rainy winter evenings and occasionally our hearts.
ensnared so easily. A couple of muggy afternoons silence by my side and rockets by yours, we gaze at an impressively clean sky; a sulfur canopy in the air a steady succession of deep breaths focusing on swaying electric poles. Full stomachs will not calm restless minds nor will the thickest of shawls comfort a body chilled by a hopeless demeanor. So, my mind wanders, tracing your being and with it the memories you’d wear like cologne. Perhaps you still do, not that I am certain.
Say what you will Tradition ravages our minds with guilt and our skins with shame. Despite the richness of our parallel histories kinship between the religions we succumb to All they see is morality further debased along cultural frontiers. Between spoonsful of halva and piping black tea two sugars, just the way you like it you arise, deliver promises and I receive them and resign each profoundly aware of what will never be yet attempting to restore a well-deserved harmony.
Certainty, that jewel does not sit in my crown.
Keep alert to the battle cries of our enemies advancing like termites upon distant snow-capped hills— our future. It is, fit— a fitting end to a kingdom built across the Antipodes.
Practicality does not suit a mind worn down by love. It was highly unrealistic, everything— the games we played unintentionally of course devoid of malice or cunningness we ploughed on watering hopes so rich, kings would have laughed. Not all earth offers itself for consumption.
All is not fair in love and war.
Three Poems I Wrote on Love Words by Morgan Reddick
Love is a search of completion, For yourself, for this earth Love until Lost will be found Never again to be devoid Of love
A feeling In my chest, At just a glimpse Of an eye It makes me question What I never really had before
You are your own gift, Surrender to yourself, Bathe in your soul Remain too deep for touching Still
is the grip of my lover’s tender touch; ground sin through white knuckles. I know where your hands once rested by the burns and bruises in the land where you split me by my ribs, bone dented where your fingers lay. Shibboleth! I recognise you by the space you take up, so for fun, let’s mark where you were in blue heaven, little spots of red, zappo pink & sticky sunnyboy heat before you leave. Paint this body, a canvas learning colour, our fingerprints thick bold acrylic petals scraped clean on those gingham art smocks. But we are not two kids in Primary School, and the art we make is not something mama hangs on the fridge. I remember your hands there, and I’m telling you babe, come on over -
Sext: Vice Words by Audrey El-Osta
Art by Sandy Hoang Words by Alyx Casey
NOTE: if the answer is more than one word, there is an extra square for that relevant line. For example: 53 “Go Hawks” would take up 8 spaces not 7.
PR E SENT E R TIME TABLE S EMEST ER ONE MON
T UE S
T HU R
Why Am I Here?
Queer Power Hour
Haha and Lel
The Beatdown Breakdown
The Maximum Legal Limit of Psytrance
For The Record
Chilled Beer with Globie Cheer
Let’s Groove with Bollwood
D&C Take on The World
Colours of the Rainbow
Local Anaesthetic Ellen’s Exchange Experiences
Lost and Found
M I Weekly News Round Up Queer Exile on Bourke St Hour KOMB Radio
Tyla & Zachary
Friday Q&A on Thursday Afternoon Monash Spoken Word
Friday Night with Skratchy
W o s c a a
I o s a a 9
I t n
Support student radio! Tune in on the Radio Monash radiomonash.net/listen/
F a U o h s Y y
MONASH SECURITY INFORMATION Whether you’re a student, staff member or visitor to Monash, you’ll find our security service team working around the clock to ensure our campuses remain safe and enjoyable places to live, work, study and play. If you’re ever concerned about your own or someone else’s safety, see something suspicious or just want some security advice, then help is just a phone call away anytime on 9902 7777 for inquiries, or 9905 3333 for a campus emergency. It makes good sense to add these numbers to your mobile phone in case you ever need us. For useful security contacts, information and advice, or to find the nearest Monash University, Campus Security Office check out https://www.monash.edu/about/safetysecurity You’re in safe hands at Monash, so enjoy your time with us.
Campus Security Patrols
Security Bus & CCTV Vehicle
Emergency Help Points
Campus Control Room
Security Safety Escort
Security Orientation Video
Security Visit the security website and watch the security orientation video:
monash.edu/security or simply scan the QR code
and follow the prompts!
Security Contacts Turn over for more details *Phone 9905 3333 in an emergency
Phone 9902 7777 for non urgent matters or 9905 3333 in an emergency
“ If You Leave It, You Could Lose It ”
We want you to be safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment. If you, or someone you know, needs help, here’s what you can do. Call Monash Security For immediate response on any campus, contact Monash Security on 03 9905 3333 or just dial 333 on any Monash phone, in the first instance, as they know the campus layout and building details so will be able to contact police and guide them to your location. For an immediate response on or off campus, call 000 for police or ambulance.
Download the app from www.monash.edu/campus-support
Talk to a member of our Safer Community Unit The Safer Community Unit is a central point of enquiry for information, advice, support and coordination in managing inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviours. You can contact them Monday to Friday 9am—5pm on 03 9905 1599 or at safercommunity@ monash.edu. The team have specialist knowledge, training and experience in responding to reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Access our confidential counselling service We have free and confidential counselling and psychological services. All counsellors have received sexual assault and trauma-specialised training from the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA). Drop in or call 03 9905 3020 to make an appointment.
Report a sexual assault anonymously
Talk to the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA)
At www.sara.org.au you can anonymously report a sexual assault to SECASA, information can include when and where the incident took place and a description of the offender. You have an option to provide your contact information.
SECASA counsellors are located within the University Health Services (UHS) at Clayton (Monday, Tuesday) and Caulfield (Monday), appointments can be made by contacting the UHS on 03 9905 3020. You can also make appointments off-campus with them at a variety of locations. To contact SECASA (24/7) call 03 9928 8741 or visit their website to learn more.
For all this information and more on support, advice, referral and reporting options, please view and download Monash’s Respect.Now.Always. Support App at www.monash.edu/ campus-support.
Cover by Angharad Neal-Williams
2018 Edition Three designed by @t.f_designs
Warm cosy winter blues - The third edition of Lot's Wife has so many amazing contributions, give it a read!