THE VOICE OF MASSEY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS : ISSUE 01/ 2013
THE BLUE ROSE
Save Sa ve you ur wa w ll l et e & the e wor o ld d
AC A C Pla asttic cs
S m Si mp ply y Bre ewi wing ing g
FEATURES 14 The Price of Beauty
16 Are You Safe at Work?
18 Doped, Drunk & Drugged Up
20 Compulsory Summer Contact Courses
22 The Great NZ Gun Debate
24 Get Ready, Get A Chainsaw
28 Jet Setting to Better Income is No Escape
31 Photographic Feature: Lance Cash
36 The Negative Ontology Of Modern Videogames: A Short Film Starring Zynga as Itself
42 Behind The Blue Rose
46 Mills & Poon: The Adventures of Dick Hardy
ISSUE 01/ 2013 E d i to r i a l
EDITOR Morgan Browne firstname.lastname@example.org (04) 801 5799 ext. 62136 DESIGN & LAYOUT Sean Walker email@example.com (04) 801 5799 ext. 62064 ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIP Jacob Webb firstname.lastname@example.org (04) 801 5799 ext. 62067 CONTRIBUTORS Morgan Browne, Yvette Morrissey, Tasmin Wheeler, Jayne Grace, Charlie Mitchell, Logan Carr, Shaun Mawdsley, Blake Leitch, Yasmine Jellyman, Jimmy Jansen, Dick Hardy, Nicole Canning, Claydan Krivan-Mutu, Callum O’Neill, Elizabeth Beattie, Amie Broxton, Billy Bunfingers, Tara Mascara, Abigail Leggett, Paul Berrington, Sophie Francis, Jae Hee Lee
ILLUSTRATORS & Photographers Lance Cash, Brodie Nel, Graham Frost, Jacob Sparrow, Sean Walker PUBLISHER massivemagazine.org.nz
ISSN 2253-5918 ISSN 2253-5926
Welcome to the new university year. If you’re new to Massey, welcome; you made the right choice in selecting the provider of your tertiary education! It has been said that Massey students are more intelligent, better looking, and considerably more fun than other students. If you ask any past or returning Massey student, I’m sure they’ll agree. Welcome also to your student publication MASSIVE magazine. This is another reason why you’re in the right place – MASSIVE is the only student magazine in New Zealand that covers three cities. Our 30,000 readers are spread between Auckland, Palmerston North, and Wellington, and we are proud to represent the student culture of Massey University, being the voice of students from all ages, backgrounds and interests. MASSIVE also echoes the sentiments of the past and returning Massey students – you can caress each page lovingly and squeeze the paper folds during long, cold nights, because MASSIVE thinks you’re quite intelligent and not so bad looking, either. After an incredibly successful initiation into the world, it will be MASSIVE’s second birthday this year which puts us in the ‘terrible twos’. It has been screamed by sleep-deprived mothers that the ‘terrible twos’ is the worst time of the child’s upbringing, with the baby beast running amok, causing havoc and destroying everything in its wake. Others may say that the ‘twos’ are when the little creature learns and tries new tricks, develops an imagination and starts to express itself. Bearing this in mind, the content reflected in this issue is the uncovering of new stories with tiny tastes of quirky quips and diversity to inform, inspire, and invoke thought and laughter. In this issue we give you a rundown about what is happening on each campus during Orientation and where you can go to get help and have a good time. The main features include workplace safety, student loans, the zombie apocalypse, NRL star Shaun Johnson, and Facebook games, with enough sex, laughs, and scandal on the side to tickle all of your fanciful desires. Dick Hardy (our resident horn-dog) returns
with more salacious sexcapades, and you can count on Guru to continue answering those pesky questions that you have been fruitlessly trying to self-diagnose with Google. The MASSIVE team has been working hard to bring you the whole MASSIVE experience, where we aim for bigger giveaways, an upcoming MASSIVE TV reportage, and more ways for you to get connected. Because this is the first issue of 2013, we aren’t like pre-cum juice from the tomato sauce bottle, but are (like the pre-sauce) paving the path for the awesome content that is yet to come. This content comes from you. MASSIVE is written by students for students, and it is our goal to help you get your work published and your voice heard. Whether you’re an budding journalist, film critic, photographer, illustrator, or businessman, or you are just interested in contributing in any way, MASSIVE can help you get there. It is a bit of give and take because this little beast still needs your involvement and tasty morsels to continue growing. Feel free to contact me anytime and we can suss out how you can join the team. Likewise, contact me if you have any suggestions, questions, feedback, or thoughts. Have a wonderful first few weeks of semester – MASSIVE encourages you to get involved in campus life as much as possible – who knows what sexy specimen is in that cool pet rock club or what sort of benefits come from reading or writing in MASSIVE? Until next time, Morgan Browne MASSIVE Editor
Find us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/MASSIVE.Magazine or follow us on Twitter @massivemagNZ. This is where you’ll find all the free stuff !
MASSIVE welcomes letters of all shapes and sizes. They should be preferably emailed to email@example.com although they can be dropped into any students’ association office. The Editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or just plain bastardise them and will refuse any that are in bad taste or defamatory. You may write in anonymously. EVERY LETTER WINS! All letters receive a prize
courtesy of MASSIVE magazine. This month, it is a 250 gram bag of Peoples’ Coffee. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange collection of your prize.
WE NEED TO EAT TOO Dear Editor, I wish to express my thoughts regarding the new menu options at Tussock Café at Massey Wellington. Whilst in the university over summer (groan), I noticed the new menu board up on the wall behind the counter and as a strict life-time plant only chomper, I am beyond ecstatic to see the new range of meatless options available. After also being an avid reader of your publication, I read several negative stories regarding the unnaturally high prices of items offered in Tussock. Although the prices may still be higher than the average debt riddled student can afford, the varietal range of offerings has seemingly improved monumentally. Good on you, Tussock – may fellow plant chompers rejoice! Sincerely, Vegesaurus Rex SPITTING RAGE OVER RUDE YOUNG STUDENTS Dear Editor, I would like to put forth my feelings on the happenings of university lifestyle. As what one may call a mature student, I am flabbergasted at some of the filth that occurs during my hours of study. After I completed one of my summer school lectures recently, I walked out of class to find two boys with strange haircuts (my niece said something about rats
tails?). Disturbed enough at the new wave fashion, one of these boys proceeded to cough up sputum and spit it on to the grass nearby! Following this horrid display, I promptly went to the boy and explained the ‘no spitting’ warning signs found throughout the campus. It was my intent to educate, but clearly his was to simply insult. After I explained, both boys laughed in my face before the individual that spat his spittle said to me, and I make no lie, “Sorry grams”! They then walked off laughing! This absolutely alarmed me for a number of reasons, but I shall keep this short. Firstly, there was no respect for the signs laid out by the university. Second, there was no respect for their elders. Third, there was no respect in their apology. In my day, respect was everything. Now it seems that modern ways of life are disintegrating the very civility of our being. I am appalled and disgruntled. Sincerely, Once again, I am appalled. And disgruntled MASSIVE (BEING THE OPERATIVE WORD) Dear Editor, As a long time non-reader of your publication, I have a bone to pick with you. I work out. A lot. Like, three times a day. I often see your magazine littering the entrance to the gym, fluttering in the breeze as people step around it, hoping it will just leave us all alone. Every time I step over it, I notice the title. MASSIVE. In bold, obnoxious caps, it loudly declares my greatest insecurity and spits it in my face. For a man, I am not vertically gifted, nor do I have a strong, natural base of musculature. Because of this, I am less likely to be the CEO of a company, less likely to have a beautiful girlfriend, and less likely to be highly regarded by my peers. I have come to terms with this - after all, it is society at fault, not myself. Despite my unfortunate genetic circumstance, I happen to be in excellent shape, and frequently urge others to respect their bodies and pursue the physical limits of their personal carriage. Herein lies the problem - the title of your publication, MASSIVE, simultaneously celebrates sloth and mocks the genetically impoverished. It alienates those who are small, by mocking our inherent inability to large, and celebrates those who can be large, most of whom
are obese. Why is it ‘good’ to be massive? So good, in fact, that you named your little magazine in the hopes of aligning yourself with the word? A person’s a person no matter how small, said the great poet Dr. Suess - if you weren’t too busy slinging filth at the un-statuesque, you would perhaps consider the Doctor’s message, and make a concerted effort not to grossly offend everyone who doesn’t fit your pre-conceived notions of ‘goodness’. I’ve never read your magazine. I never will. It hurts too much, honestly, to know such hatred and exclusion can be cast out with a mere title - I shudder to think of the rampant, vile acrimony contained within its pages. I’ll concede that Massive is an appropriate title for your publication in one respect - it is a Massive waste of everyone’s time. Sincerely, ‘Dragon’ Holyoake
No response from students’ association Dear Editor, I am a Massey student from Wellington. I have just moved to Auckland (transferred to the Albany campus) and wrote to the Albany Students’ Association in December (on Facebook) to ask about student accommodation for when I moved up. I never heard back and had to take a chance and try find my own place when I moved up, which was difficult and stressful. As I was new to the city, I wanted to stay close and in the uni managed buildings. To be honest, I was kind of disappointed because, in the past, I regularly contacted the other uni affiliated Facebook pages and received a reply within a day. It was always nice to have help and guidance with such matters and I expected a reply when I went out of my way to contact them directly. Since it was December, I understand that people were away on holiday, but the message came up with ‘seen’ and the time that the user of the Association page saw my message. To think that they saw my message and blatantly didn’t bother to reply or help me out really pisses me off. For the sake of ruining people’s opinions of the Association, they better get their act/s together and their social media use in check. Regards, Pissed off
Festival pler Sam DOWNLOA
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MASSIVE IN SHORT THE BIGGEST TOPICS, SMALL.
MASSEY LECTURER CAUGHT WITH OVER 10,000 PHOTOS OF NAKED BOYS Yvette Morrissey A former Massey lecturer who was in court over possessing more than 10,000 photos of nude boys was a popular lecturer with students and staff. Neville Keith Honey, 61, even won an award in 2010 for excellence in teaching, having taught genetics at Massey for 29 years. On January 22 in Palmerston North District Court he was fined $5,000 and sentenced to 15 months’ intensive supervision on charges of possession of thousands of images of young naked boys. The Manawatu Standard reported from court that Honey claimed he didn’t realise his collection of nude photographs was illegal. The newspaper reported that the police search of his home in September 2011 found 90 CDS and DVDS locked inside a chest, and 40 more in
a writing desk. The disc contained 10,043 images, while another contained 324 movies. The newspaper reported Judge Jennifer Binns as saying that the material was mostly of young naked boys. MASSIVE spoke to students who had encountered Honey during their time at Massey University before his resignation after semester 2 last year. One said “he was nice enough, knew his stuff but he was pretty quiet.” On feedback website Review It, one said Honey’s paper 203.203 Human Genetics, was “AWESOME - one of my favourites over the many years of study.” Another said Honey was “the best lecturer I had in my entire degree – honest. He was one of the reasons I kept going with genetics. Anyone in our institute will
agree with how good he was at teaching.” Massey University became aware of his offending last year, said External Communications spokesperson James Gardiner. “We’re not aware of any suggestion that any of the offending occurred within the Massey environment.” Honey is not allowed to access the internet without permission from his probation officer during his sentence and is now also undertaking counselling. According to The Manawatu Standard, defence lawyer Peter Coles said none of the images contained boys engaged in sexual activity, and Honey’s offending was the least serious of its type and ‘‘clearly not a matter for a prison sentence”.
WANTED: Adrenaline Junkies for Extreme Film Making Applicants should live life on the edge. Whether you’re into boarding the biggest hills, surfing the biggest waves, sluicing down the sickest slopes or something else that will just look damn cool from first person perspective, we want to help you film it! Contour has generously provided MASSIVE Magazine with a range of ContourROAM2 cameras to capture student’s stunts, hi-jinks and mad-skills in action. These cameras are full HD 1080p, come fully loaded and can shoot quality video that will capture every moment in glorious detail. But capturing the detail always comes down to having the right mount. Contour have also provided us with a huge range of mounts and cases so whatever you’re into, we can make it happen. Send us an email (email@example.com) with your idea for a uber cool video, we’ll get the cameras out and make it happen.
KEY FEATURES Locking Instant On-Record Switch – No power button, no problems. Simply slide the Instant OnRecord switch into its locking position to ensure you shoot exactly when you’re ready. Waterproof without a case – The ContourROAM2 sheds bulk by working underwater without an extra case. Minimalism is a good thing. 60fps – They’ve bumped up the frames per second to 60 when shooting at 720p for super slow motion video. Low-profile design- Less is more. Contour cameras have won numerous awards for their stylish, yet functional, low-profile design. The ContourROAM2 is exceptionally designed and lightweight. Versatility – Whether snorkelling, snowboarding, or tearing up single track, the ContourROAM2 is ready for any adventure. It is compatible with every Contour-
mount giving you unlimited angles. The 270° rotating lens means no matter where the camera is mounted, you’ll always get a perfect, level shot. Laser Alignment – Get the correct angle any time with the built-in laser level. Long Battery Life – Shoot up to 3.5 hours of footage. The Instant On-Recordswitch means there is no standby mode. The battery is only in use when shooting, giving you more bang per charge. MicroSD Card Included – Comes loaded with a 4GB MicroSD card so your camera is ready to use right out of the box. Vibrant Colour options –Style matters and color can make or break your look. Match your kit, or bring in a little contrast by adding a ContourROAM2 in one of three colors: red, blue or traditional black.
NOtice of massey council election for student members The Massey University Council will be holding elections in April for the three student positions on the Council. There will be elections for an internal student member, a distance student member and a Māori student member. All students enrolled at Massey on March 22 will be eligible for nomination in one of the three categories.
Nominations will be called for on March 4 and must be received by the Reurning Officer by March 22. Voting will be online from April 3 until closing on April 21. Students will be sent emails about the nomination and election process, initially at the time nominations are called for, with follow-up when voting starts and a reminder before voting closes.
Massive IN SHORT
18 Again: How Tight Are the Facts? Nicole Canning The age-old sport of sex is riddled with judgments, rankings of best to worst, biggest to smallest, and tightest to loosest. Like any sport there are tactics involved. These range from finding an opponent, to deciding on what positions and moves to play, with each factor contributing to an overall ranking. Nicole Canning takes a look into the new product 18 Again and questions the lengths females will go to in order to achieve a higher score. Produced by an Indian pharmaceutical company, 18 Again is a vaginal rejuvenation cream with the ability to tighten a woman’s vagina. At $160 a bottle it also promises to increase sensitivity for maximum orgasmic pleasure, reduce dryness, prevent odour, and above all, enhance female empowerment. The combined effect of these features is marketed to make a woman feel like she is a virgin, “being touched for the very first time.” This reference to virginity seems like a questionable desire, though, with one student admitting “I wouldn’t want to be like a virgin again, that was awkward enough the first time”. The honest truth is, for many students, virginity wasn’t that long ago (in the grand scheme of life). A worldwide sex study conducted by Durex in 2007
showed the average age for virginity loss in New Zealand was 17.8 years of age. While current students may admit they were a lot younger than that, some being 14 or 15 and convinced they had found love, it is unlikely that the space of a few years is going to create drastic changes in the nether regions. In addition, even those females who enjoy fisting, have gifted partners, and an active and exciting history should still reap the benefits of youthful sensational sex. Research suggests that the main reason for vaginal looseness is childbirth. Of the females interviewed, all admitted they would consider using ` after they had children if they noticed a change in the bedroom. As for now, however, they all hoped and felt that their bits were still firm and juicy in all the right places. The students questioned also mentioned that their decision to use the cream would purely be for sexual pleasure and not some delusional attempt at female empowerment. One male student said he wouldn’t be opposed if his girlfriend used the cream because it would make sex “better for her”. At such a high price, buyers should expect this cream to deliver its many miracles. The website obviously provides a number of positive female testimonies. However,
there is little response beyond this about whether or not the product actually works. The majority of media relating to the cream is concerned with the absurdity of the idea in the first place. It seems that any student who is particularly convinced they are ‘Lucy Goosey’ has a handful of cheaper and not so revolutionary options available. By Googling “kegel exercises”, females can learn all about tightening and relaxing the vaginal muscles - much like a workout for your hoo-hah. They can also try old wives’ tales like squirting lime juice up there, or they can take up pilates because that is known for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, which are most at use during sex. This all sounds like a little too much hassle for the sake of a simple score. In the same way very few females expect their other half, fuck buddy, or one-night stand to whip out a penis enlarger, there is not a lot of expectation for females to be tighter. Admittedly, tightness is desirable but at this age it should also be inevitable. After all, hasn’t the sport of sex always been about not what you’ve got, but how you use it?
Fresher Five: Fact or Fiction Nicole Canning Despite shifting out of home, taking on an incredibly large workload, and changing life as they know it, university students fear something far worse: the muffin top, beer gut, double chin, and the wobbling arms that go hand-in-hand with gaining the Fresher Five. As student confessions and hypodermic media escalate this fear, Nicole Canning takes a deeper look at the truth behind the Fresher Five to uncover that it lingers on a fine line between fact and fiction. The term ‘Fresher Five’ refers to the five kilograms of weight that university students are believed to gain in their first year of study. This weight gain is said to stem from a sedentary lifestyle, combined with an increase in alcohol and fast-food consumption. Graduate student Hannah Horgan attributes these exact factors to her university weight gain. “You don’t eat normally like you would in school, for example, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, you tend to graze more, and eat shit food because it’s cheaper. Then, on top of that there is the copious amount of drinking that you do, and most would rather spend time socialising than going to the gym.” Among the students MASSIVE spoke to, many agreed that their weight gain continued into their second and third year of study and was not a ‘fresher only’ concern. They all also associated their Fresher Five weight gain with the same causes. In addition to those mentioned above are the factors of evening snacking (often in the form of a late-night run to McDonalds), dieting attempts, perceived stress which leads to comfort eating, and the limited food options that come from living in the halls. Third-year student Suzanne Sandridge blames the hall’s food. “The food is so awful that you go out and buy takeaways, or you load up on bread and don’t eat the main stuff on your plate.”
In a meta-analysis of research conducted on the Fresher Five, these same issues were identified as predictors of weight gain, and did prove to contribute in some way. However, student testimonies and proven causes aside, lecturer in human nutrition Dr Jasmine Thompson says the Fresher Five is a myth. She argues that its name alone is equivocal because research shows that weight gain for home leavers is not specifically a student issue, and any weight gain that does occur is nowhere near 5kg. “Students gain, on average, 1.7kg in their first year at university, compared with non-students who gain on average 0.2kg, and while statistically this looks like a difference, clinically it’s not one,” Dr Thompson says. In addition, she notes that alcohol and unhealthy food consumption is more worrying in terms of nutritional and basic health, rather than weight gain. Instead she says that lifestyle change can attribute to the small weight gain that can take place. “For many students this is their first time away from the family home and the first time they have to think about buying and preparing food.” The combination of limited time and money leads students to fast, cheap, and convenient options. The media’s emphasis on the Fresher Five is also a worrying concern. One study showed that knowledge of the Fresher Five created a placebo effect. Some students were so convinced that they were going to gain weight that they believed they had, when in fact they hadn’t. The emphasis can also cause students to attempt dieting, especially with females because they are often more susceptible to fears of weight gain. Dr Thompson believes dieting is one of the worst responses a student could have to the Fresher Five. During late teens and early 20s, the human body is still developing peak bone mass and total skeletal growth, and bad dieting habits
can cause concern in this area. With dieting also being a factor that can lead to more weight, Dr Thompson urges to students to “forget about worrying about weight”. However, for students who are still genuinely bothered, Dr Thompson provides the following suggestions: ▶▶ Although accepting your body is easier said than done, don’t diet. ▶▶ Overall, try to develop good and healthy habits. ▶▶ Ensure that your food choices outside those provided through resident living are healthy. For example, keep crackers, fruit, and nuts in your room as a late-night, or study-break snack. ▶▶ When buying fruits and vegetables, shop in season and buy them from a farmers market because they will be more affordable. ▶▶ Be sure to exercise or participate in physical activity. Not only is it good for you, it is also a good stress release. ▶▶ Be sure to eat before a big night on the town, and remember to keep everything in moderation. After all, it is not what we are drinking, but how we are drinking. Currently, the Fresher Five lingers on the fence. As it gets towed one way by student advocacy and media input and the other way by experts and research, it seems like only a matter of time before it will fall and land firmly in one court. Until then, the decision lies with the individual. It lies with those who choose to believe it and approach university with a cautionary mind. It also lies with those who would rather forget it, and embrace every little curve knowing it came as the result of a wild year.
MASSEY STUDENT’S PRODUCt DESIGN MAKES THE CUT MORGAN BROWNE Devon Briggs is a Massey student who is heading into his fourth year honours in Industrial Design. A fan of skating and drinking beer, he’s your typical student. However, his cutting-edge design of Credit Card Cutlery, inspired from a university brief, has set him up for success and creating a business of his own. “I had two gap years and didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he says. “I worked in an auto parts shop and built a car from scratch. I didn’t know what I was doing but I thought, hey I’m actually pretty good at making things.” In his second year of university came Credit Card Cutlery, a cutlery set that folds up into the shape and size of a credit card. It’s stronger than standard disposable cutlery and is made for continued usage. The leading piece in the set is the fork. It’s made of polypropylene, the same material used for plastic milk bottles. “Everyone in the design building said that’s the sort of thing that’s going to pull you out of university,” Briggs said. And it seemed they were correct. He went on to win the Chamber of Commerce Gen-i Breakthrough Business Award in 2012 and has since been learning the necessary business skills to market his product. “I got an email inviting me to these awards for breakthrough business ideas,” he says. “The only reason I got in there was my business plan, because I set out exactly what they wanted. The others had this amazing design and product but they didn’t know how to sell it.” He has been pitching his product on one-day websites and has had “quite a lot of interest”. He has also found suppliers and manufacturers to supply and print his cutlery sets after lengthy research periods. Briggs says he has found it hard to get his product off the ground outside of university walls. “It’s definitely been a bit difficult, a bit of a drama at first, because I was initially told that Massey owns 70 percent of our designs. It was a struggle because I wanted to take my design further but was unable to.” Lyn Garrett, from the Massey Industrial Design School at the College of Creative Arts (CoCA) says he is surprised to hear of this. “The intellectual property and ownership of student generated work by undergraduate Massey students belongs solely to the student and Massey has no claim to their work.” Aware of possible student/university ownership confusion, Garrett says that historically when the design school was Wellington Polytechnic, they did have ownership rights over the students’ work. “This policy existed so that if students got ripped off by clients, the poly-
technic would deal with the situation, not the student. Although there was a grizzle over ownership rights, it was for a good reason. I have sat down with clients and students in meetings and there hasn’t ever been a problem with a student wanting control over their work. There also aren’t a set percentage of ownership rights, from my understanding.” Briggs, who spoke with Massey intellectual property professionals, managed to clear the misunderstanding and now has rights over his work. “I didn’t realise that the university owns our designs and inventions. I guess they’d say if it came through us, we’d want some money or some recognition.” With the all-clear to go forward, Briggs pursued the expansion of his design, but not without difficulty. “It took six months to find the only company in New Zealand that could print non-toxic ink for food-grade use.” Non-toxic ink is used on the cutlery so users can’t get sick if they are ingested. After he found suppliers and manufacturers, he knew he needed to do some research. “I talked to business people, such as the owner and CEO of Hawke’s Bay Office Products, Bruce Hurst. He said that it was a really cool idea and should be pursued. I then talked to people from city councils, branded the business name, and registered for tax.” Surely this was a large and uncertain step for a university student with limited practical business experience? Briggs agrees. ‘I don’t really know what I’m doing but I’m figuring it out as I go. I’m slowly but surely coming along.” So what does business involve? “I thought businesses would be more structured than this, but I’m finding information from all over the place. It’s all about who you know in business. If someone knows someone, you’re instantly in the door regardless of your background.” This isn’t the case for Briggs, who credits his simple design for its success. “All of my designs are simple yet thoughtfully and well designed. Lego is perfect in my eyes, I love that stuff. It’s manufactured in half a second and costs a quarter of a cent to make, but is made in billions. If you’re making a quarter of a cent a billion times over, you’re in the money. You’ve just got to be able to sell it”. Business students and friends have been an instrumental tool in his learning. “A marketing degree would come in handy. I’ve found heaps of people who want to be sales reps, so I think I’ll just stick to industrial design.” Part of his plan has been establishing a target mar-
ketplace – festivals. “Festivals and catering companies could print their barcodes and advertising onto it. You don’t have to buy disposable cutlery and people have an incentive to keep them”. Credit Card Cutlery has been recognised overseas, with a company associated with UKTV calling Briggs to place a bulk order of the product. When asked about the lifetime guarantee of Credit Card Cutlery, he is uncertain but optimistic. “I’ve never seen anyone throw them away. I’ve still got the first one I’ve ever made, which was a year and a half ago.” Although the design has been well received both nationally and overseas, critical responses from the public have concerned possible hygiene risks associated with the product. Luckily, Briggs has the answer and has his pitch well down. “Polypropylene repels everything, including some printing inks, which helps. It is also dishwasher safe, but mostly I just wipe mine off with a napkin, as none of the food sticks to it anyway’. He attributes the proper market research of the forks to the time around the business awards, when everyone at his table used them for dinner, and seemed to be blown away by their simplicity and practicality. “One of the problems was one lady who didn’t want to use hers again – she wanted a new one for cleanliness. That was the biggest market research. My friends use them all the time so I’m always hearing new responses from that.” Briggs says his mum is his main support and helps him out significantly. “At the awards there was heaps of champagne and I got a little drunk beforehand. They called my name out and I was like, ‘shit, I’m drunk’ – so I stood up and thanked my mum with a slurred voice and sat back down.” So what is the future for Credit Card Cutlery? Briggs says there’s plenty to look forward to. “I have a few other things I’m designing, but this is my simplest one and I’m all about the simple designs. Make money without working (laughs). I’ve done heaps of work leading up to this. The guy who designed the tomato sauce tomato bottle, he must be doing so well right now. He’s probably sitting on a beach in Tahiti drinking cocktails! I’ll need to make packaging if I’m selling them in stores”. And the best thing about Credit Card Cutlery? “Unconscious satisfaction when I pull it out. So simple with such big use.” Check out Credit Card Cutlery and other designs by Devon Briggs at www.devonbriggs.com
Massive IN SHORT
ALBANY LO C A L N OT I C E S
CLEAN HONEST O-WEEK First year studying at Massey Albany? Orientation week at many universities is the drunk, expensive, dangerous, reckless, but yet for most, the best week of the semester. For Massey Albany, it is a little different. On the Albany campus is seems that clean and honest fun is preferred. For this reason, all experiences of O-week have come and gone with little thought and without leaving any wonderful stories or memories. However, this year it seems that the university has put much effort and time in for the students in an attempt to make O-week more fun and memorable, with the intention of creating more of an atmosphere for the students. Student Life Co-Coordinator Sarah Francis has been working on the week’s day-time events. Francis has been securing sponsors, freebies, music and everything else in an attempt to make Orientation week as fun as possible for the new and returning uni students. All daytime events will be happening at student central (which is the area below the new building) between 10am and 2pm. Kicking off the week is a beach party on Monday 25. Tuesday 26 is all about games with day-time games taking place at the Student Amenities Centre with a quiz night to follow in the evening. One of the poten-
tial best events of the week is Market Day which is on Wednesday 27, where students can find a bargain amidst a variety of stalls . Thursday 28 is all about Kiwiana, celebrating it in style with a Festival Day and some live performances. Mr Lynley, a Massey University student, said “last year’s Orientation week sucked - we pay so much to come here and the most we get is a free sausage on some stale bread. This year all I am asking for is more cool people around with a few more things going on”. Whilst Francis has been busy with day time plans, the Albany Students’ Association have been arranging for some night time activities to take place at the campus bar, The Ferguson. The ASA have an event planned each night with their main event ‘Boom Stack’ on the evening of the February 27. A positive for our campus is that we have an on campus bar which leaves it is up to the students to create the atmosphere and use what the university is providing them with. With the work attributed to this Orientation week, it is fair to say that it has the potential to be better than those of the past. Let’s see how theweek rolls out and hope for the best outcome.
New Year, New Changes If you were at summer school over the summer holidays not only did it suck, but all the perks of an on campus café to ease the pain of being stuck in the library and not spending your days at the beach were made all the more worse. This is because there has been no café. No coffees, no Red Bull, no Monster energy, no junk food. Even though they don’t really do anything productive for your health, they do help you get through the day. Just having the option there makes it okay and somehow gives you the strength to get through those everlasting readings and awful assignments. Yes, if you spent some of your summer days during summer school here you know what I’m talking about. If you are wondering why this happened it is because our previous corporate contractor Absolute Catering went into liquidation. This is exciting news for our campus, however. Thanks to Commercial Operations Manager Rod Grove, the university has secured Mozaik Café (which is currently also located on Constellation Drive, Silverdale and Orewa) to fill these vacant spaces. Café Browse in the library reopened on the January 29 and the cafeteria in student central reopened on the February 11. “The students can look forward to a variety of services Mozaik will be offering us,” said Groves. As well as introducing a new menu to us, the managers at Mozaik are genuinely interested in making the punters happy
and are encouraging feedback and suggestions. Mozaik’s number one goal is to please the students. Memet (one if the directors from Mozaik) said “we don’t see this as a money making opportunity, we understand the dynamics of a business and know that without the customers we will not succeed”. Groves and Mozaik have held, and will continue to hold focus groups in relation to the cafes and their menus, to make sure they are on the money with what the students want. “For the first time in a long time we are dealing with a non-corporate business who is a family based company” says Groves. This makes things a lot easier. “For once it’s not the cafes telling us - we know what the students want. They are asking us what we want and what the students want”. This is a breath of fresh air that Mr Groves is ecstatic about. Memet, a very humble yet passionate Turkish man says “we are so grateful for this opportunity - we don’t want to let anyone down and we plan on giving the cafeteria a Mozaik feel and hope to create an atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy your time at Mozaik”. For any of you who feel the same way as I did last year and hated what was on offer from the cafes, feel free to have your say and put your requests in. You never know what might happen.
TASMIN WHEELER CAMPUS REPORTER It’s that time of year. Where summer holidays come to a screeching halt…lazy days spent in the sun with no cares, endless days rolling into warm summer evenings where anything is possible and there aren’t any limitations. Then, in an instant, it is all over and reality starts to slowly set in. Do not fear dear readers… MASSIVE is here to help you! My name is Tasmin and I am your new reporter on the Albany campus. Whether you are a spring chicken only beginning your new found academic life or if you are returning for more, MASSIVE will strive to bring a smile to your face, provide you with some interesting reads, inform you on what’s hot and what’s not on and around campus, give you the inside scoop on tricks and treats and always attempt to give every Albany student a voice in the magazine. This is our magazine and I hope to find talented people who want their stuff published. If you are a great story teller, did something magical recently or know of something cool about to happen, come and talk to me. You can find me at the ASA office. I’m always looking for people to talk to so come and say hi. In our Albany local section, I will deliver to you important news and issues, but need your help too. I hope you enjoy the bits and pieces we have in store for you and I hope to see your smiling faces soon! Your new Albany Campus Reporter, Tasmin Wheeler firstname.lastname@example.org
Expires 16/02/2014 | *Conditions apply. Call 09 414 0844 or check out albanyrecreation.ac.nz
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WELLINGTON LO C A L N OT I C E S
Volunteer expo 13th march Calling all Massey Wellington students! If you haven’t already made good on your New Year’s resolutions, now’s the time to start. On Wednesday 13th March, the annual Volunteer Expo is going to be held in the Pyramid from 11am to 2pm. At the volunteer expo, there is something for everyone, no matter what your major is or how far into your degree you are. Not only is it a chance to do something for those less fortunate, give back to your community or help those without a voice, it’s also a really good way to get involved and “be the change you want to see in the world” - as Ghandi so famously said. (Not to mention the fact that volunteering work looks primo on your CV.) With around 25 different organisations attending the event, this is a really worthwhile opportunity to scout some work experience which could even turn into paid work if they like what they see. Without sounding too parental, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future and acquire useful skills that could help you along the way. The thought of unpaid work may not appeal to all, but think instead about the knowledge you’ll gain and the life experiences you’ll have, which could put you that one step ahead when applying for jobs once you’ve graduated. Volunteering also lends opportunities of meeting and networking with people who make a difference, leaving you filled to the brim with inspiration. It’s also nice to know if you were ever in a situation where you needed help or support, these groups and organisations are the ones there for you - so pay it forward. Keep an eye out for Volunteer Expo posters soon to be popping up around campus, or for more information check out the volunteering page on the Massey website. Flatting in wellington – avoiding the pitfalls You’ve got yourself a great new flat and it’s all good? It might stay like that and… it might not. Flatting with others can lead to the best and worst of times. The Citizens Advice Bureau usually hears about the worst of times. Over the years, we’ve worked with clients on a range of flatting issues, from scarpering flatmates who leave unpaid bills and no contact details to disputed versions of whether leaving flatmates need to find a replacement in order to get their bond back. We have two key pieces of advice for anyone going flatting – know your rights and sign a written flat-sharing agreement that spells out the ground rules.
Your rights depend on whether you are a tenant (you have signed a tenancy agreement with the landlord) or a flatmate. Tenants’ (and landlords’) rights and responsibilities are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. If issues with landlords arise, tenants can call the Tenancy freephone 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62) for advice and go to the Tenancy Tribunal for resolution. Before you sign a tenancy agreement, make sure you understand it and have inspected the property with the landlord). The agreement should include details on the type of lease (fixed term or periodic); amount of rent and bond; and how much notice you need to give to end the tenancy (when you want to leave). Landlords must lodge bonds paid by tenants with the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for safekeeping until the end of the tenancy. If you are a flatmate (not listed on the tenancy agreement), your rights are less clear-cut. You are not covered by the act and you can’t use the tribunal to resolve disputes or the Tenancy freephone for advice. This is why we advise all flatmates to sign a flat-sharing agreement with the designated head tenant. The agreement should include: ▶▶ How much rent and bond is to be paid and what happens to the bond at the end. ▶▶ Rules about pets, friends staying, keeping the house clean and sharing the bills. ▶▶ How much notice (written) must be given to end the agreement (to leave or be asked to leave) and whether there are any other requirements, such as finding a replacement. We’ll be at Massey Wellington on 27 February with heaps of information about flatting and tenancy -flatting agreements, booklets on your rights (and responsibilities) and people to answer questions. Look out for the Yellow CAB banner. O-Week Continuing for Six Massey Wellington Students’ Association’s (MAWSA) approach to events and cultural life in Wellington differs significantly to those of other students’ association and universities around the country. As the city’s most frequent sponsor of music events, year-round, Massey Wellington’s Orientation marks only a step-up from business as usual, rather than the be all and end all of campus’ social programme. Reflective of their position in the Wellington music scene, MAWSA have teamed up with the city’s top promoters and venues to deliver an Orientation programme that aims to offer some-
thing for everyone. MAWSA’s President Ben Thorpe says “with 30 events, on and off campus, we really hope that no student will come away too disappointed”. With international acts like Black Sun Empire, Gold Panda, Mick Harvey, DJ Yoda, Lunice, The Prototypes and Calyx & Teebee, along with nationally recognised acts like Minuit and @peace, coupled to local legends like The Fried Chicken Sound System and Alphabethead, emerging Wellington talents like Louis Baker, Estere and many more, it would appear that MAWSA are not taking any chances with their base covering. “With Easter being so early this year, we thought flag just organising an Orientation Week. A six week festival seemed like a lot more fun idea!” Thorpe said. Discounted tickets to all Orientation Festival shows are available from the MAWSA office. CLUBS FEED Semester one Clubs Day 2013 is looking as exciting as Armstrong’s first step! With Massey Wellington’s incredible increase in clubs this year, there is going to be plenty of activity on campus. Wednesday 6 March will see various Massey Wellington clubs out and showing you what they’re about, gathering you in to their folds and competing for your vote on who has the coolest table set up. As well as an opportunity to join up with a bunch of awesome clubs students can also sign up for Uni Games where Massey competes with other universities in numerous sporting activities. Clubs day will be happening between 11am-2pm at The Concourse (between COCA and block one). There will also be an opportunity to meet MAWSA’s Clubs Development Officer, Anna Hobman, so if there’s no club you’re interested in, you can start your own. “There’s heaps going on for Massey Wellington clubs this year and heaps of clubs to choose from. The second half of 2012 came with an increase from 9 -17 clubs and we’re still growing,” said Hobman. To seal the deal, students will also be able to hang out in the sun (here’s hoping), listen to some cool tunes, eat some free, freshly sizzled sausages and cool off with Huge!’s free ice cream. Massey’s latest club ‘Massey Surf ’ has just purchased 2 brand new boards which are available for hire at a very low cost. If you’re interested in joining Massey Surf, come check them out at Clubs day or email email@example.com.
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YVETTE MORRISSEY CAMPUS REPORTER Welcome to 2013! I hope you all made it to the new year with style (i.e. not hurling over the side of a hay bale...not mentioning any names). I am excited to be back this year as the Palmy campus reporter, and I am even more excited to take on an extra role: extramural reporter. This means I now have an office (yay), and get to bring all of you extramurals and mixed moders the latest news. I am always floating around the MUSA building, so if you are new to Massey, feel free to drop by and introduce yourself (we sometimes have cookies). Remember, MASSIVE is the voice of Massey students, which means you can have your say. So if anything is bothering you (or making you happy, it can’t always be doom and gloom) who ya gunna call? Uh…me. This month I got up to some interesting stuff. In between planning my trip to Bali in June, I have been researching and uncovering new stories for you. We’re also on the lookout for new writers, so if you can string a together few sentences, drop me a line. Another thing, make sure you check out massivemagazine.org where you can find bonus articles, videos and old PDFs of Massive. Stay cool Palmy. Your campus (and extramural) reporter, Yvette Morrissey Yvette@massivemagazine.org.nz
A, B, C, D, O-Week! The big “O” will kick off the first semester with a scream for Palmerston North Massey students. Running from February 22 to March 2 and featuring General Lee, Savage, Sanka and DJ LSD, Orientation week 2013 will entertain. O week starts with Market day on the concourse on February 22 from 10am till 2pm. Here, free condoms and pens will be given out, banks will offer interest free
A CLUB FOR WRITERS accounts and other businesses will explain how to get student discounts with them. On Saturday, one of New Zealand’s top rappers, Savage, will be performing alongside DJ Sanka at the Toga Party. Starting at 8pm till late, students are invited to gather together wearing sheets and/or curtains for a night of great music and drinks. You can purchase tickets at the Massey University Students Association (MUSA) office for $25. Warning, the Toga Party contains drunks in limited clothing, beware of nudity. On Monday when you stumble to class, make sure to keep hydrated and remember the basics: a pen and paper. Then for Wednesday, it is back to the concourse for Clubs Day. This is the day when students will have the opportunity to sign up to a variety of Massey University clubs and societies. One of which is MASSIVE MAGAZINE , so make sure you find us and sign up, we are always looking for new writers and contributors for the magazine. Following the commitments made on Clubs Day, Friday night will entertain you with the Bizarre Ball. Starting at 8pm, this is where students are invited to get creative and dress up as whatever they want while enjoying a live concert. This year DJ General Lee and Sanka will be performing so be sure to be there. Tickets are $25 from the MUSA office. The last event that will end a packed O week is a night in town, March 2, for a beach party at The Royal. Located on the corner of Taonui and Cuba St, the Beach Party will start at 8pm and go till late. DJ Sanka will again be your host alongside DJ LSD. All party-goers are advised to dress in swim wear as it is a beach party theme. Tickets cost $25 and they can be purchased at the MUSA office. If students would like to attend all three events, Musa offers an O week passport with a discount. This allows you to attend all gigs during O week for only $60 and this can also be purchased at the MUSA office. For more information on O week visit the MUSA office on the concourse upstairs from the MUSA shop, or search “MUSA events” on Facebook. Jae Hee Lee
Writing can be a lonely journey, so why not join a club that allows you to meet with other writers, write, and share your ideas? The Palmerston North Writing Group (PNWG), formed by Massey journalism student Yvette Morrissey, meets fortnightly on a Sunday to write and share their work of all styles and genres while also sharing a snack or two. Formed in October 2012, Yvette and a few of her poetry class friends “missed writing together in class”. This led them to gather and write while sharing ideas. Now this has developed from a gathering into a club like atmosphere where occasionally they have guest speakers. These guest speakers range from local authors to poets but they hope to expand this to writers around New Zealand and overseas. The PNWG is not yet an official club at Massey as they are waiting for ten members to join before affiliating. “We accept writers of all backgrounds- script writers, non-fiction writers, poets, erotica, and writers that just write for fun.” said Yvette. Those purely interested in reading are also encouraged to join because the PNWG has a book club. Non-Massey students are also welcomed. There is no joining fee but members will be expected to give up a little of their time to fundraise for the club. This is to ensure the club can afford to have professional guest speakers’ travel to Palmerston North as well as paying for prizes in competitions to come. Yvette has many plans for the club including putting on live readings in the MUSA lounge, bringing scripts to life through performances, and helping to get members’ writings published. Being part of a writing group is a great way to receive support from other writers, learn and most importantly write. So join and enjoy the company of writers like yourself. For further information visit the PNWG website at, www.pnwritersgroup.weebly.com, or email Yvette at firstname.lastname@example.org Jae Hee Lee
Ecowars Pumps up the Heat in Palmy Calling all student warriors to battle, Ecowars is back for 2013 with a hefty load of prizes up for grabs! Learn how to save your wallet while you save the world by entering your flat in the eco-friendly competition held in Palmerston North, where each team learns new ways to reduce waste and conserve energy. This year there is $15,000 worth of prizes (and no, that’s not a typo!). The winners receive a grand prize package of eco-friendly appliances, including a fridge/ freezer, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, and bragging rights. The runners up will take away a mystery weekend package. There will also be plenty of spot prizes along the way. The competition kicks off in March with an ‘Amazing Race’ themed launch in The Square. Throughout the
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competition, each team attends six workshops learning how to live more ecologically. This new knowledge is taken back to their flats for implementing, earning them points in the competition. Flats will be judged on activities such as beer brewing, composting, making homemade cleaning products, water quality, recycling, and chair upholstery. The flats are equipped with video cameras to post vlogs about their journey. Public votes on the Student City website also have a say in choosing the winners. Last year the competition attracted 7 entries. The winners were The Playful Priests. Spokesperson Chrissie Morrison says this year is going to be the biggest and best yet:
“We’ve had interest from students already and had more sponsors approach us this year. We are also creating a Bible of information needed for competition participants, including workshop information, recipes, and the best practice for sustainability at home” An electronic version will also be uploaded on to the Student City website for the public. An awards night will be held in May, featuring other prizes such as most improved, most innovative, and most entertaining flats. So if you want to save money, win some cool prizes, and learn how to live more ecologically, register your flat at studentcity.co.nz
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THE PRICE OF BEAUTY Just how far will we go to obtain the perfect physique? Self-image and identity issues from Hollywood and societal pressure can cause some of us to take drastic measures in our desperation. Yvette Morrissey investigates the drug New Zealanders are illegally importing into the country to lose weight.
Paul, like most other guys, always wants to look his best. After being teased throughout high school for being overweight, he turned to the gym and with a bit of work and a lot of repetitions, he turned his once flabby physique into muscle. He idolised bodybuilders. He spent his spare time watching videos of them on You Tube. He bragged to his mates about how much he could lift. Every day, he would shovel protein into his body. His daily protein intake consisted of four protein shakes, 12 eggs, and a cocktail of supplements that promised to make him stronger, faster, and ultimately more attractive. The attention he started getting from women pumped his self-esteem, but only temporarily. He soon became obsessed with having the perfect body. He considered taking steroids like many of his bodybuilder idols, but then he heard about a new ‘wonder drug’ taking the fitness world (and Hollywood) by storm. He became fixated with obtaining this drug. One week later a package arrived from Hong Kong. Hidden discretely inside a package of candy was a foil packet. Inside that was the ‘wonder drug’ Clenbuterol. We live in a society that is obsessed with appearance. Men now have to compete with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Daniel Carter, and gone are the days where curvaceous women are fashionable. Today, advertisements of thin women and muscular men are promoted as the ideal and normal body shape, and both will do anything to fit into this ideal. The fight to be thin has resulted in unhealthy acts such as drug abuse, binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. Diagnosis of anorexia in New Zealand shows girls as young as 11 years of age have battled the disease. Given these statistics, it is not surprising that New Zealanders are turning to a drug that has been said to be behind Hollywood’s size zero models. What is Clenbuterol? Clenbuterol, commonly known as ‘Clen’, is a drug that is used to treat inflammatory airway problems in horses, such as asthma. It works to relax the muscle around the airways so the horse can breathe more easily. Clenbuterol is also used to decrease contractions of the uterus. It is available by prescription only for use to treat horses in
New Zealand, USA, Australia and the United Kingdom. Farmers have been known to feed Clenbuterol to their stock to help increase meat production. Feeding the drug to animals destined for food production is illegal, and cases of Clenbuterol poisoning through eating contaminated meat have been reported, most namely in several outbreaks in Spain from 1995-2000. Farmers have also used this drug to dope their show animals to increase their chances of winning championship ribbons. Although Clenbuterol use in humans has only been recently documented by the media, the drug has been favoured by bodybuilders for decades because of its ability to make users shed weight fast. It is also effective for increasing strength and muscle size. Because of this, Clenbuterol is often mistaken as a steroid. It is actually a stimulant drug (otherwise known as a beta-2 adrenergic agonist) that has some of the same affects as adrenalin, such as an increased heart rate. Clenbuterol is on the sports World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances, and has recently made headlines via sports stars caught using the drug to enhance their performance. One of the most public examples was when Sharks rugby league player, Reni Maitua tested positive for the drug in 2009. Maitua was immediately suspended and given a two-year sanction following his plead for a re-test on a B sample which again, tested positive. Clenbuterol is popular in sports players because it increases aerobic capacity, alertness, and helps transport oxygen around the body more efficiently, thus making the player able to last longer on the field. Other top athletes banned due to positive testing to Clenbuterol include American swimmer Jessica Hardy, who was tested at the US trials in 2008. She claimed she unknowingly ate contaminated meat, and was suspended for one-year. Tour de France winner Alberto Contador also tested positive, and was stripped of his 2010 title and received a two-year suspension. Athletes caught using the drug usually face a twoyear ban, and a second offence can result in a life ban from their sport. For fear of athletes accidently digesting the drug, China banned its athletes from eating meat in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games help in London. Over 52 per cent of meat products in Beijing exceeded the drug test standard, in tests that were conducted.
The Dangers of ‘Clen’ Users of Clenbuterol will often experience headaches, hypertension, tremors, muscle cramps, insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness. They may also sweat profusely, feel much too hot, have dry mouths, and (worryingly) have difficulty breathing. The long term effects of Clenbuterol are less well understood, however a recent experiment has shown heart problems are associated with use of this drug. It has shown to cause cardiac hypertrophy (enlargement of the ventricles in the heart) which can lead to high blood pressure. This is concerning as one would wonder if these heart problems could cause a significantly early death in someone that uses Clenbuterol comparatively to a non-user. Scientists at the University of Melbourne in Australia conducted tests on laboratory rats, giving them dosages of 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. They then tested these rats against drug-free rats. Initially, the drugged rats had some positive changes. The rats formed larger muscles than the Clenbuterol-free rats, and their anaerobic energy production increased, enabling the rats to increase muscle mass during short, intense exertions. However, after just four weeks, they found three extremely negative changes; the rats were unable to maintain their normal aerobic intensities whilst the drug-free rats did, they suffered from noticeable cardiac-cell degeneration and the hearts of the rats increased dramatically in comparison to the drug free rats. The scientists found the increase of size was due to the infiltration of collagen fibers into the heart walls, rather than an increase in muscle cells in the heart. This increase of collagen stiffens the heart, which may lead to problems such as cardiac arrhythmias (fast, slow or irregular heart beat) and a decrease in cardiac output. It was also found an overdose of Clenbuterol can result in a stroke. The scientists concluded that “in spite of its popularity, Clenbuterol is a potentially dangerous drug which offers very few positive effects for either the power or endurance athlete.” For a drug that has such dramatic effects of muscle mass and weight, the long-term negative effects outweigh the advantages. However, this information will not stop
some users from taking it. Sadly, the pressure and desperate desire to be ‘beautiful’ seems to be just too strong for the users to consider the severe health risks, and they are prepared to risk their lives for how they look. Making its way to New Zealand Due to people like Paul* who are desperate to attain the perfect physique, Clenbuterol is now making its way to New Zealand. In 2012 60ml was seized by New Zealand customs, with the number rising to 100 pills seized in 2011. There has already been one case where a detective was caught illegally importing around 600 pills from an eastern European country, and having them delivered to his own station. This is the most common way for dieters to get their hands on the product (the overseas black market) and it comes with many risks. The pills ordered may only contain a small amount of Clenbuterol (if any) with the remainder of ingredients unknown to the buyer. The labels and dose buyers receive may not be consistent, therefore increasing the risk of overdose. Some buyers may even be so desperate to lose weight that they overdose by accident. Sadly, the messages we receive of what constitutes a ‘normal and desirable’ body are so far from reality that people are now reaching for this drug, and its use is increasing. A lack of clear research into the effects of this drug is one of the main causes for concern for Clenbuterol users, but it is clear from the research conducted that Clenbuterol has a negative effect on the heart. What is even more concerning is that people are still turning to this drug to lose weight and gain muscle, without really knowing what effect it will have on their body. *Paul is a student at Massey and his name has been changed in order to protect his identity.
ARE YOU SAFE AT WORK? Small and big businesses approach their trade differently. What is possible for a company with over 100 employees and an international clientele isn’t the same for a three person team operating from a rural township. However, are there differences in how they handle health and safety? Who are we safer with? Jayne GRACE investigates.
When Monday morning rolls around, there are very few of us who bounce out of bed and eagerly head off to work. Unfortunately, no legislation exists that says being at work must be enjoyable. But there is legislation that says being at work must be safe. The New Zealand Labour Group, formerly the Labour Department or Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), have page after page of health and safety regulations. Most of them go unnoticed until there is a workplace incident. Take for instance, Pike River. At the time of the initial explosions in 2010 there was an outpouring of public grief at what most New Zealand media outlets were calling a “tragedy” and a “disaster”. Our hearts were with the visibly distraught Peter Whittall as he spoke compassionately of the trapped miners. But in 2012 the Royal Commission report revealed that there were “inadequate” health and safety practices in place, and Whittall faced criminal charges as a result. As a nation with a somewhat blasé attitude toward rules, regulations, and general ‘PC bullshit’; we have to wonder if this ‘she’ll be right’ attitude we’re so proud of might mean that health and safety isn’t being taken as seriously as it needs to be. Perhaps, as one small business employee said, “Ringerbinders full of OSH shit is all well and good in massive government businesses and stuff, but it’s a whole other ballgame in a small local business.” Regardless if a business is classed as small, with less than 20 employees, or large, with more than 20, they are subject to the Labour Group’s health and safety regulations. These vary by industry. Recent Labour Group research shows that, on average, three people die each week as a result of workplace accidents. Seemingly, the deadliest workplace is the farm. The Massey campus at Palmerston North has many students working in farming who may not be aware of the high levels of risk associated with their workplace. But small businesses in the city have seen their share of disaster, too. In January last year, an employee at the small Tauranga restaurant Volare on The Strand got stuck in a pasta maker and suffered bone fractures ands tissue, tendon and nerve damage. So whose responsibility is it to make sure that you’re safe at work? As students, sometimes we have little choice in selecting places to work – we have to take what we can get and hope it’ll be enough to cover the monthly cellphone bill, or those jeans from ASOS that you didn’t really need but have already put on the Visa. Still, we want to be safe at work, and come back home in more or less the state we left in. Does safety all come down to whether you work for the big man or the little
one? Should we be turning down work at the local takeout joint just because they don’t have the thick health and safety manual that McD’s does? Martina Battisti, Deputy Director of the New Zealand Centre for Research into Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (NZSMERC), says that small businesses often feel it is harder for them to uphold health and safety regulation because they lack the financial, human and time resources that big companies have. But she says regulation is specific to industry, not size. “You have to employ the same practices if you have three staff as if you have hundreds.” The Labour Group requires businesses to uphold a range of specialised regulations, from having an incident book on site in which all minor to major accidents are recorded, to making sure that on building sites, bags of cement mix are carried by a minimum of two people. So, if you sustain a paper cut and borrow a Band-Aid from the first-aid kit, the Labour Group wants you to write it down. If you have a bag of cement that is just the right size to tuck under your arm, the Labour Group still want to see you and another person shuffling awkwardly together across the forecourt. The problem seems to be that not every employee is aware of the regulations. A survey of students and working professionals, conducted on social media, showed that 39% were not aware of basic policies such as where the emergency exits at work were, regardless of whether they worked for a large or small business. Battisti agrees that it isn’t always appropriate or practical for small businesses to teach staff their health and safety procedures in the same way a larger business might, primarily because of the resource divide. “Large businesses have quite formal procedures, whereas small businesses may just rely on communicating informally with their staff.” When asked if an informal approach is any better or worse than a formal one, Battisti is cautious: “They can be very effective for a small business with different policies in place.” She says a lot of small companies she researched would discuss issues such as health and safety over Monday morning coffee, or other such informal learning environments. Research conducted by NZSMERC in 2009 defines formal learning as organised and structured learning events. In contrast, informal learning is experience based, action-oriented, individualist, and “enhanced by pro-activity, critical reflection and creativity”. One small business which uses this kind of informal approach is family-owned
retail business Turner’s Gifts and Luggage, in Feilding. Owned and managed by Shane Turner, it has operated from the same site in the rural township since 1956. It employees four mature staff, and hires several students as casual workers over the busy Christmas period. Turner proudly reports that the business has “never” had a workplace accident and accredits this to his informal approach to health and safety procedures. “I have good working relationships with all my staff. If they have health and safety questions, they know they can bring them to me any time. “To a certain extent, I also rely on good old-fashioned common sense. For example, I keep a fire extinguisher by the staff fridge in the break room. They see it every day, so could locate it quickly if needed.” Turner says it’s a two-way street. He puts required safety equipment in “sensible places” and expects staff to “take notice”. Jabies Doner Kebab shop in Bulls is another small business with a similar approach to health and safety. Supervisor Jessie Walker began working at Jabies when she was a student at Massey in Palmerston North, and can recall her training period in detail. It included tours, food handling, kitchen preparation, and first-aid training. “But if we’re ever unsure,” she says, “we can ring the boss. Tracy is always on call, but if we couldn’t reach her then we call Andy [her husband].” Big businesses have a different approach to health and safety. It’s less about face-toface communication and more about procedure. Gemma Swan, a student at Victoria University, was an employee of international maths and English tutoring franchise NumberWorks’nWords for five years. She started at the Kapiti centre then transferred to Kilbirnie. These branches are both in the Wellington region, but are owned and managed by different people. Swan says she was amazed at Kapiti’s dedication to health and safety. Tutors received a month-long induction period which covered procedures such as evacuation, earthquake, fire, and first aid. “We then refresh this material four times a year at tutor training evenings. A big part of this training is ‘what-if ’ scenarios.” She says they also had two procedures manuals, one which stayed on site and the other they could take home. “So if you ever forgot where the fire extinguisher was you could just go look it up.” When talking about the same health and safety procedures at the Kilbinie centre, Swan was frank.
“They’re the same business so they’re supposed to do all the stuff Kapiti does. But I never got told where I could find a floor plan, or fire extinguisher. I asked the boss, but he never got around to giving me an answer. “I mean, I found them under my own initiative. But stuff like first-aid kits shouldn’t be left to chance like that.” Swan now works for another big business, Wellington City Council, at their Kilbirnie Recreation Centre. “We have so many health and safety procedures here! Every i is dotted and t crossed. We’re given manuals, tours, quizzes, maps, written and verbal refreshers … it’s all done by the book.” Swan says safety is a No. 1 priority. “There are skateboards, scooters, bikes, rollerskates … which all have the potential to be a health and safety nightmare, but it’s not because the regulations are so tightly followed. “When I started at the Rec Centre there was three months of training. During training the boss daily made time to ask, ‘hey Gemma, can you tell me how you’d lead an evacuation?’ or how I’d fill out an incident report.” She says her boss “drilled these things into us so hard we were, like, ‘go away, we know how to do it.’ But now I’m very confident I know what to do in any situation. Even now, when he leaves for the day he still instructs staff to call if we have any worries.” There seems to be a trend emergent in New Zealand businesses that is not distinguishable by size or formality. The consistent factor in those with good health-and-safety practices is employers who have hands-on approaches and employees who actively listen. Open-door policies and welcoming questions seem to be universally successful tactics, regardless if they’re used by a big business or a small one, or if material is taught over textbooks instead of cappuccinos. Yet, as Turner says, it’s a two-way street. An employee is still responsible for taking some initiative and engaging with given training. Swan summarises it best: “At the end of the day, I care about safety. And I want to work for people who do too.” As students, we might have to take work where we can get it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be conscientious employees and keep catastrophes such as Pike River at the forefront of our minds. Because unless we take a more proactive approach to safety, she won’t be right – she’ll be wrong, dead wrong.
DOPED, DRUNK AND DRUGGED UP How do you keep safe when you go ‘out on the town’ with your friends? Jimmy Jansen, a Massey student nurse, observes the risks associated with drug and alcohol fuelled nights in New Zealand and reflects on how young people can stay safe to avoid danger.
Shortland St is probably the worst representation of emergency healthcare I have ever seen. Not only are the plotlines completely ridiculous (Chris Warner should have died years ago), they simply do not award sufficient kudos to the real slaves of the Emergency Department. Those people are heroes. A round of applause for the workers of the E.D. - for I could never do it. Having worked there once, on a Saturday night, I have never been more convinced that young adults have a preoccupation with self-destruction. Are we just stupid? Or do we honestly believe we are completely indestructible? Unprotected sex, drinking ourselves into oblivion then ditching each other in town, driving drunk, taking drugs - are we mad? Don’t get me wrong, when I was but a little first-year almost every transaction on my credit card had an alcohol percentage of 20 and above. But should student lifestyle really be this risky? Working as a student nurse in the hospital, I daresay I have seen my fair share of humanity at its stupidest. I have had patients who have tried to fly, some who are so unbelievably smashed they spray from both ends, and others who have done the ridiculous on a quest for sexual gratification (like the guy who lost a vegetable in himself ) – and ALL of them on the younger side. As far as unhealthy risk-taking goes, the crown jewel of my nursing experiences involves a drag queen and a miscellaneous pink powder …
Everything was pink. Pink hair, pink sequins, pink rhinestones, pink lipstick, pink eye-shadow, pink nails, and pink vomit – even the tracks of powder down his upper lip from nose were pink. As a gay man, I have seen many a drag queen in my time, yet as a nurse (well, a student nurse) I had never seen one in that capacity. Going from completely immaculate and glamorous, and “darling” this and “fabulous” that, he was
a mess of ruined makeup, torn organza, and was completely drug-fucked. He couldn’t even speak. For hours he moaned, slurred, and spewed pink (presumably cranberry something) everywhere. Eventually, he came down from whatever high he was on enough to tell me what he had happened. “I snorted some shit from this guy I met at the club,” he groaned. “What was this shit?” I asked. “Fuck, I don’t know, it was free though,” he replied. “I didn’t know the guy and he was totes ugly but he was buying me drinks all night.” Now, I am far from being conservative, but even I was appalled. As the conversation continued he explained that the bag of pills was not entirely free as he had to “put out” in the bathroom. “Did you use protection?” I asked, knowing full well the answer would be no. According to this obvious genius, condoms were a “hassle” and a “waste of time”. “The withdrawal method is totes legitsies,” he tried to tell me. Speaking on behalf of not just my nursing knowledge but from common sense in general, I can quite violently state that the withdrawal method is certainly not “legitsies”, what with HIV (Aids) and other sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) easily transmitted between sex, whether the male pulls out or not. Whoever said policemen have the best work stories has clearly never worked in a hospital. Though I am sure that this level of complete and utter foolishness is not common (particularly among Massey students), I began thinking about all of the drunken people I have seen staggering the streets at 2am, all of the dilated pupils and erratic behaviour I have had to avoid on the dance floor, all of the young women I have seen
in the latest fluorescent belt they call a “skirt” walking home alone, and all of the proud anecdotes of people’s unprotected sexual legendary. As a young person, I refuse to believe that we are just stupid. So why is it that we live so dangerously? And how can we protect ourselves without being nanas? Strangely enough (or maybe not), I found some interesting explanations in a selection of parenting books and forums written by anxious and overbearing parents (apparently they DO understand us). As I expected, biology does play a significant role. Though we may feel completely grown up (in my case, I feel old at 22), our brains keep growing until around the age of 25. How does this affect risk-taking and rationality? First off, reasoning, critical thinking, and self-control is controlled in the prefrontal cortex which actually develops slower than the amygdala, the emotional core, responsible for mood, emotion and primal urges. So during our teenage and early adult years the amygdala has a lot more clout. This explains why young people are so emotional and so completely horny all the time! Biology, however, is not everything. Psychology also has a hand in the madness that is youth. Uncertainty, egocentrism, and obsession with self-image are all to do with the identity crisis every teenager is famous for. Self-doubt (even if it is laced in arrogance and false confidence) associated with identity development leaves us far more susceptible to peer-pressure. At risk of sounding like a patronising high school teacher, it is safe to say we are easily influenced by our peers, even if we don’t realise it. I remember looking after a patient who was convinced it was okay to play chicken on the motorway because his mates were doing it. While I am sure he must have reconsidered when the surgeon had to take out a chunk of his skull, it was a little too late for self-
control and reason. Do not underestimate the power of peer pressure. Finally, planning horizon theory can also be applied to human thought processes and decision-making. A planning horizon refers to a person’s capability to look into their future and make plans – even if that plan is as simple as getting out of bed tomorrow. Psychologists suggest that the younger a person is, the shorter the planning horizon is. Put simply, as you get older you begin to think things through and the attitude of “it’s fun right now, let’s do it!” diminishes. While we go about making grand plans for our lives (I wanted to be a movie star or marry Prince Harry), we often refuse to look into the realistic future and so we ignore obvious hurdles and consequences, thus throwing ourselves into precarious situations. Considering all of this, I can’t help but wonder how any of us have lived. As we finish high school and attend university we are released from our parent’s grip into a dangerous world. While there are morons among us, most of us young whippersnappers still have some sense. Sometimes we just lack the capacity to rationalise situations and recognise our own vulnerability. And sometimes we refuse to look into the realistic future and plan – like me, cramming an hour before an exam (as I’m sure many of you can relate to). The next time you feel that maybe you have had enough to drink, perhaps you have. And maybe that guy checking you out at the bar is not the love of your life. Maybe that little bag of pills he offers is best left alone, and maybe you shouldn’t walk home alone or let your friends do the same. We students certainly know how to have a wild time, but let 2013 be a good year; when a crazy night out is just fun, when none of us end up the emergency room and none of us have to learn the hard way.
COMPULSORY SUMMER CONTACT COURSES Extramural papers often have mandatory contact courses. With the added time and expense, is it really worth it? Amie Broxton gives her thoughts.
The words “contact course” under an extramural paper blurb make every student slightly queasy. Just the idea of having to fork out extra cash is annoying. As a student, money is reserved for the important stuff: beer, petrol, and rent. Summer school papers are notorious for contact courses, and in the panic of needing to take something so you can keep that lovely free money coming in over summer, you sign up for a paper with a compulsory contact course in Palmerston North. If you are based in Palmy, it’s not a big deal, and even Wellington isn’t too far. But if you’re based at Albany, it’s a five-day course with a seven-hour drive either side – and that’s only if you drive yourself. If you have to bus it’s a ridiculous 10 hours either way. Then there is the hassle of having to sort yourself out with some accommodation and organising for your home life to stop revolving around you, be it work, kids, partner or that raging social life. Then there is feeding yourself for the duration, and all of this has to come out of the pocket money that StudyLink pays you. It’s not easy: a week’s pay from StudyLink won’t even cover the accommodation. And all this so you can spend five days staring into a stranger’s eyes, making stupid sculptures, crawling on the floor, and having no idea what you learned at the end of it. The first assignment comes and goes. Your ‘holiday’ in Palmy inches closer. The dread of such a lame adventure consumes your thoughts. Why did this paper have to have a compulsory contact course? The prospect of seven hours in a car is daunting. If you’re lucky you have an iPod that actually works or a smart phone that hopefully isn’t dying. So what are you going to do for seven hours? It’s a long way through some boring towns, and not much hope of splitting things up. If you’re lucky you manage to hook in with a couple of other people heading down for the same course. It is a small bonus getting to split the cost of travel and accommodation. A room three ways is cheaper than trying to go it alone. But even the prospect of splitting some bills (and, let’s be honest, splitting the cost of anything is the student equivalent to Rainbow’s End for a whole day with unlimited junk food to a kid) doesn’t outweigh the down side – having so many hours to travel means that your five-day contact course turns into seven. A whole soul-sucking week. Sitting at your computer saying good-bye to Facebook on Sunday morning before heading out, the sense of dread is replaced with full-blown separation issues. After all, the second week of January is normally dedicated to BBQ’s, beaches, and beer, not contact courses.
The seven hours is long but there is one magical stop at the Powder-keg in Ohakune. I pay $12 for a cold cider that would normally cost $6 from a bottle shop. It’s worth it – every last drop holds a little more of my sanity together for the remaining hours in the car. Needless to say the arrival in Palmy is less than magical, and as you step out of the car and shuffle into your room the realisation hits: three adults in a tiny unit with a total of four rooms. You offer to take the single bed in the kitchen and don’t know why. But after one night on it you have some buyer’s regret. It’s a solid brick, but it’s only for a week, you’ve been on benders that lasted longer and in those situations you’d slept on the floor! The first day is easy compared to the rest, 10am till 7.30pm. The start of the day is filled with all the useless information about being open and accepting of everyone else there. There is even a moment where I wonder if this is a test of endurance – the room is unnaturally hot and there is no air con. You’re then asked to throw your weight into the floor and beat your own body with your fists. Then a brain-turning two-hour discussion about where ideas come from, which is about as informative as watching the hippos at the zoo on a hot day. After that you’re asked to pick two electives for the afternoon. But they give you only five minutes to read the blurbs and pick what you want to do. You have to fight to get them. In my first elective I was asked to make a sculpture out of the contents in my bag. It consisted of a water bottle with some colour pencils attached and the liquorice from the bottom of the bag. Then I had to “admire” other people’s sculptures, return to my own and find three body positions that speak to my sculpture, and then I had to do some free writing about the sculpture and the movements. I felt like a right raving Muppet. But it gets better, we were then put into groups of four and asked to create a piece with one of each of the movements, the word Blue, a movement in sync, and a line from each person’s free writing. It has to be a minute long. I panic, how can I make a performance piece from all of that in 10 minutes? I thought mine was pretty bad, but it’s mildly better than some of the others. Dancing is the next elective. It’s called Primal Awareness, so it’s more of a bodymovement class and it consists of an hour and a half of moving around the room in small groups trying your best to mimic the person who is leading. Sometimes with these group activities it really comes down to the people in the group. If they really don’t want to be there, then the group is going to struggle.
Tuesday is that strange mix of comfort in knowing how the day will start, and unease knowing that you will magically end up in groups of five or so for the assignment due to be performed on Friday. However, you still have one more elective to muddle through - an hour and a half of what can only be described as a free writing session with a few different prompts. After that, some magic happens and within 10 minutes you’re shifted into the four different disciplines and the 10 minutes after that you’re in your groups of five. Wednesday is a blur, due to the mix of lack of sleep, a brain full of crap, and not enough Red Bull. All you know was that it was 11pm before you got back to the motel. You had gone off into your little groups at 11am and worked on your performance right through till 10.30pm with a few stingy breaks mixed in the middle. Basically, you smacked your heads into the floor until you had a small idea. But after playing around with it and actually working on it, your tutor told you it wasn’t good enough – great characters, great idea, but the story is awful. So you started to play around with the idea again and by about 3pm you started to have an actual story come through. Thank goodness, everyone was starting to worry. You wake up Thursday morning hoping it’s Friday, but it isn’t. What a disappointment. You even began wondering if this paper is just some cruel joke. There seems to be a lot of fluffy crap, awkward moments with strangers, and breaks wrapped around very small nuggets of actually helpful information. You day-dream over your coffee that it’s only a normal three-day contact course, because dreams are free. You’re also informed over breakfast that you screamed in your sleep. Twice. Embarrassment level is off the chart as you barely know the people you’re sharing with. However, no time to dwell as yet another crap-tastic day of making prolonged periods of eye contact with strangers awaits you. Thursday follows Wednesday with the added fun of a tech rehearsal: 20 minutes of standing around while the tech guys sort out the lights. And by the time you’ve presented your week’s work on Friday you’re so absorbed in the bliss of eating a piece of cake for your performance that you almost forget that you have one line and when to say it. After it’s over, you’re so happy that the entire week is behind you that the two-hour rundown flies by. I am so tired by Friday evening (the only day of the week that has ended before 5pm) that even though the sun is shining and there is a pool, I can’t even be bothered getting changed, just shoving my feet in.
The final night isn’t any better than the first night and when you’re cramming your crap into the back of the car on Saturday morning you’re over it, over Palmy, and over contact courses. You don’t even want to think about the fact that there is still one more assignment due for this paper, and basically that assignment is a rundown of what you think you have learnt on the course. But it’s done. You’re not sure you learnt anything and this is a whole week that your brain is going to blank from your memory like some bad dream. Seven days that have cost almost as much as it cost to take the paper, it’s crazy. You have learnt that you have no desire to live in Palmy. All of your mates in Auckland have spent the week sending you photos, captioned “wishing you were here” but really it just feels like they’re rubbing it in. Because of the way Massey works, extramural papers are just a way of life. Just about everyone has had to take one to make up the minimum four papers in a semester. This summer was no different, forced by what was available, to take an extramural paper with a contact course. This isn’t the first one with a contact course, but it’s the first one that has been 100 percent compulsory. Most of the time, if you can’t attend the contact course for an extramural paper they just ask you to “prove you can show the difference between A and B”, which, if you have read the course material, is as easy as pie. In fact, you would have had to have read the assignment description wrong to miss it. So is there any real point in doing contact courses? In the case of the above example, yes, but only because it has an assessment due at the end. However, it could have been a lot better planned. There were too many breaks, they were way too long, and some of the information was over-worked. Pack more useful information into the time available and let us go home early. Chill time at the end of the day makes for happy students. For instance, there were four disciplines to choose from, yet only three elective spaces to give them a go, and more than four hours of time wasted on breaks. Clearly someone hasn’t thought this through. Also, if they are going to have contact courses at Palmy in summer when the campus is pretty much empty, then maybe the accommodation on campus could be free, or at least a lot cheaper than it currently is. After all, we are students and five days where we have to pay for rent at home and accommodation in Palmy is a pain. But no matter how bad this week was, it could have been worse … it could have been a week without beer!
THE GREAT NZ GUN DEBATE The gun debate of 2012/13 has been one of the most heated discussions in recent history. The impact of horrendous gun violence in the US has already changed a great number of laws and challenged their Second Amendment. Blake Leitch delves into how this can affect us in New Zealand and what happens if a gunman enters Massey University grounds.
Primarily as a result of the Sandy Hook shooting in December, the Obama Administration has acted on the need for stricter firearms control to reduce the possibility of such events as mass homicide. These include mandatory universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and limiting magazines to 10 bullets. These all seem relatively sensible. We don’t want dangerous firearms in the hands of dangerous people, assault weapons have no place in civilian hands, and you don’t need more than 10 bullets for a defensive pistol or hunting rifle. Even though we are worlds away from the US, New Zealand is amid a gun debate of its own. Granted, we don’t have anywhere near the amount of gun violence as the US, but there are controversial policies in New Zealand that are being brought back into prominence. After all, we don’t want to see another mass shooting in Aotearoa. Guns in Godzone New Zealand has a history of gun violence. The Maori culture has a history of cannibalism, while the British made a point of taking their newfound territories by force. When the two cultures first collided, chaos ensued. While the majority of mass death casualties occurred during the Musket Wars, there was somewhat of a peaceful period following World War II. This state of peace would all but continue until the 1990’s. During the late 20th century, there would be a total of six massacres, including the much-publicised Bain family murders. However, there has not been a single mass killing since the Raurimu Rampage in 1997. Since then, New Zealand has been commended on having the “most pronounced decline in firearm homicide over the past two decades”, according to a 2010 article in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. A recent commentary by Dr Thomas Sowell on The Guardian’s website said: “Countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand, and Finland.” He continued: “Guns are not the problem. People are the problem – including people who are determined to push gun control laws, either in ignorance of the facts or in defiance of the facts.” And he finishes: “There is innocent ignorance and there is invincible, dogmatic and self-righteous ignorance. Every tragic mass shooting seems to bring out examples of both among gun control advocates.” So, let’s do away with ignorance. These are the simple facts and numbers. The facts in numbers Between 2000 and 2009, Statistics New Zealand reported a total of 73 gun-related homicides, and from 2000-2007, 354 gun-related suicides. In 2007, Aaron Karp claimed in the Small Arms Survey that there were 925,000 guns in New Zealand, and in 2009, the Police National Manager of Operations, Tony Massivemagazine.org.nz
McLeod, said there were about 1.2 million. This shows that the ownership of guns has increased. As at 2010, Statistics NZ reported there were 223,000 licensed gun owners. In 2012, the NZ Herald reported that “Sir Thomas Thorp’s 1997 Review of Firearms Control in New Zealand is still quoted: 100,000 held by unlicensed owners of a total of 700,000 to 1 million.” If we assumed that each average licensed gun user had three guns (some will undoubtedly have a cache of more but others will have none) that still leaves a quarter of a million guns unaccounted for. It is not required in New Zealand to register all guns, just users of guns. That makes estimates of gun numbers wishy-washy at best. New Zealand has more registered gun owners per capita than both Australia and the UK. A TVNZ report in 2010 said between 1800 and 2000 guns were owned by police. The same report mentioned a desire to gain more guns for police. A 2011 report said more than $18 million worth of small firearms and ammunition were imported into New Zealand every year. In 2003, gun control campaigners Philip Alpers and Connor Twyford suggested firearm smuggling in New Zealand was low, although the NZ Herald said in November last year that hundreds of illegal firearms are seized each year in police raids. There was even a year where more than 1000 illegal guns were seized. The facts of law The Arms Manual of 2002 gives a few explanations on New Zealand gun laws. A firearms licence, which is valid for 10 years, can be “issued to any fit and proper person” 16 years or over. Most importantly, the possession of firearms in New Zealand is considered a privilege, rather than a right. One has to wonder just how someone is classed as “fit and proper”. If a person is under the “immediate supervision of the holder of a Firearms Licence”, he or she does not need a licence. But unlawful possession of firearms can result in a penalty of three months’ imprisonment, a $1000 fine, or both. This is the same penalty given to those dealings firearms to unlicensed persons. A licence-holder may apply for an endorsement permitting restricted weapons in a number of mostly restrictive scenarios. However, one of these scenarios is for when “a person to whom the pistol or restricted weapon has special significance as an heirloom or memento”. In saying that, one condition of endorsements is that the weapon is made inoperable. Being in possession of or dealing restricted firearms to unauthorised persons can result in a three-year term of imprisonment, a $4000 fine, or both. Anyone who owns a vehicle or premises on which a firearm is found is deemed in possession unless sufficient proof can be provided.
Safety on campus? What about closer to home? Albany Students’ Association (ASA) President Stephan van Heerden says gun violence and relevant emergency procedure is not something the ASA “has had to personally plan for”. It’s a bit disconcerting that a student association isn’t the first port of call for students over such matters. I was pointed in the right direction for information, but were something horrific to actually occur, I would find comfort in the knowledge that those elected student bodies could still lead in such an event. But Van Heerden said that “if requested we would provide feedback and possibly sit in as a consultant body along with the university when they formulate such plans”. He concluded: “I’m sure that the university has a piece of relevant policy that applies.” Actually, Massey University does have a Firearms Policy, and it was reviewed less than a year ago. Unfortunately, the sole purpose of the policy “is to control the carrying or discharge of firearms on University property”. Furthermore, all the policy states is that “Persons using a firearm must, in addition to the University permit, also have a Firearms Licence issued by the New Zealand Police.” There are dozens of emergency policies, procedures, and programmes that can be found through the Massey University website, but there is nothing specific in regards to gun violence. Van Heerden pointed us in the direction of Cathy van der Vyver, the Regional Health and Safety Adviser at the Albany campus, but it was Doug Pringle, the Health and Safety Manager for all of Massey University, who responded. Firstly, he mentioned the firearms policy and then a Massey University web page giving advice to staff and students. That advice says people should run, hide, or find the webpage “if attacked directly”, as well as calling campus security and police. He then said that “Gun violence is one of the considerations in the university emergency preparedness programme.” If we assume he means the University Emergency Response Plan, then we can certainly feel safe. This plan outlines what happens in different kinds of emergencies (determined by risk and size of effect) and explains what happens in each case, as well as delegating emergency-specific roles to campus and university staff. I asked Pringle if he thought this is something that students should focus on. He responded: “In my view, due to New Zealand’s strict gun laws, it’s not something that students need to focus on – be aware of, yes, but most probably more need to focus on natural disaster and adventure tourism preparedness.” It’s a fair case to make that New Zealand is probably more susceptible to natural disasters than to gun violence, and it’s quite likely that going overseas has a high-risk value. However, it is difficult to agree that New Zealand has “strict gun laws” when somebody can get away with illegally handling a weapon and paying only a $1000 fine.
From the Top Police Minister Anne Tolley is unequivocal when asked if she thinks New Zealand laws needed to be tightened around individual firearm registration and if that would improve the crime rate even further. “We always keep a close eye on gun regulations, and when changing any such laws there has to be a balance between public safety, legislation, and common sense. “No one has made a case to me for further law changes, but firearms users must always take into account the dangers involved and be extremely vigilant around their own safety and the safety of others. “By registering owners, we are able to keep track of their weapons. But criminals will never register ownership or their weapons – so only good police work, not increased regulations, will keep the public safe from these people.” Surely this is a good reason to register firearms while still in the hands of the dealers. If criminals do not register their weapons, but their dealers do, then it is that much easier to locate culprits. Granted, there will still be those dealers that break that law, but at least it lowers the threat that much more. I asked the Minister what she thought about arming police, especially considering the recent deplorable attack on Constable Perry Griffin in the Waikato seaside town of Kawhia. She said: “I think we have got the balance right at the moment. This Government made sure police have access to firearms in their vehicles as a tactical option. “However, I don’t think there is any appetite in New Zealand for the police to routinely have guns on their belts.” One must wonder if New Zealand would be even safer with guns in the right hands. The debate continues The debate on firearms will always be a heated one. After all, the United Nations claims that it is a human right to have security, a human right to life (whatever life that may be), and that it is a human right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community. If it is a human right to have security, does that mean security by our own hands? Does that mean security by those we entrust? It is a human right to live your life but that does not include the ability to take someone else’s. I for one would feel a hell of a lot safer if the simple act of registering individual weapons came into play. There isn’t really an argument against it.
GET READY, GET A CHAINSAW What skills do you need to have during a Zombie Apocalypse at Massey? Defence Studies Master’s student Shaun Mawdsley offers advice, tactics and strategic information in choosing your best Zombie Defence Group in order to survive.
We are all aware that the 21st or 22nd of December last year was supposed to be the end of the world as we knew it (I can’t remember which date exactly as I was drunk at the time). I’m talking, of course, about the Mayan Doomsday. What you don’t actually know, because the media didn’t tell you, is that it was not so much a Mayan Doomsday as it was the Zombie Apocalypse. Think about it. Everything seems all good. I mean, no asteroids have fallen, Elijah Wood has not been selected to join the lucky few under a mountain, Morgan Freeman is not the President, NASA has not launched a space shuttle mission to intercept some near object, a limo driver has not driven through the streets of LA while the buildings disappear into the depths of hell … no, I tell you! All lies! Nothing like that has happened. The world is as it was. Or is it? According to all-knowing zombie analysts, especially noting the recent events in Florida, the bible of zombie apocalypse believers, Dawn of the Dead and so forth – the Zombie Apocalypse does not occur in one single world-changing event. Everything may appear normal but the zombies and their virus have been steadily spreading from the source of origin, Northland, and slowly gravitating towards centres of high population. (Also remember that the zombie virus will spread from Northland down. Why you may ask, do I say ‘Northland’? The people of Northland require less mutation to become zombies, as their genetics are already predisposed to the zombie characteristics, and therefore the zombie virus requires less genetic mutation - I mean have you ever been to Kerikeri?) Because Auckland houses the largest population of all New Zealand cities, reason suggests that we’re fucked. As the North Shore has the highest population density in New Zealand, students on the Albany campus are double-fucked. Combine those two pieces of evidence with the fact that universities usually have the highest concentration of people in one place … well, we better phone Schwarzenegger, Stallone , Statham, Willis, Norris, and Seal Team Six, because we haven’t got much hope in hell of getting home alive if the zombies start coming this way. Now, as Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and all the other action heroes are unlikely to heed our call for assistance, we better find ways of surviving this thing ourselves. I’m talking about Zombie Defence, people! Bearing in mind that I’m a master’s student in Defence Studies at Massey, I feel I have some information that may just save your life while on campus. At the Albany campus, zombies will most likely approach from Gate 1, slowly making their way up the road attacking the time-tardy students who normally leave their cars all the way down at that far-end car park near the traffic lights. Idiots! You should have gotten to Uni earlier, and thus saved your arse from a gruesome zombierelated death! Much the same will happen in Palmy. The horde will proceed up the highway and
turn left up Main Drive. Although the reserve along University Avenue will provide some cover for smug students who cycle to class (this isn’t Europe!), at this early stage, the best weapon you have is speed – get the hell out of there! The zombies will outnumber you and it is unlikely that you’ll have a weapon with sufficient weight, sharpness, or killing radius. And I don’t expect anyone to be carrying hand-guns to Uni (please don’t, this isn’t America), so any tactics with firearms is left out of this article for now. (I will make an exception for our Russian students, as they consider it a cultural tradition to own and operate firearms.) Next, the zombies will proceed to Massey Contact and Administration at the Albany campus. In all likelihood, Massey Contact will be a most horrid scene. Just picture it: the beginning of semester, all those international students standing in a line that stretches to the entrance door unaware of what’s happening around them because they don’t understand the words coming out of the intercom. The zombies enter, the international students panic, making for the nearest egress, but their numbers work against them. Too many internationals make for the door, they block the entrance and the zombies commit to their brutal task - ripping, tearing, and gnawing away at the insides of those poor English-language-deficient international students. The same is likely to happen in Palmy - the International Office will be the first building attacked. I don’t hold much hope for survivors, as the friendly staff as the International Office will try and ‘talk’ to the zombies, believing them to be exchange students from South America. The nutritious remains of the international students and the overly zealous and friendly staff will keep the zombie horde occupied for a time, thus giving the rest of us the opportunity to make good our escape. Be wise and timely in the selection of your Zombie Defence Group, as they may be your only means of survival, and subsequently, the last people you see. You must be ruthless and realistic in your selection. You need a self-sufficient group with a wide-range of useful skills. Psychology majors are useless in this situation because zombies don’t have any time to chat about their problems, dammit! A nursing student is extremely important: they already know the best ways to kill anyone in your group who could become infected. Defence Studies students are vital as they will have studied how to manoeuvre a group of people in battle. Students with sports-related majors are a great asset, as they are usually gym rats or fitness freaks, making them physically your best option. Unless you are stuck in a lab, most science majors will provide no benefit in the short term, although genetics students may be able to find a cure if they have their equipment (not likely). Also, try and find the groundskeeper or campus maintenance staff because they will know where to find the best Zombie Defence weapon - the chainsaw. Once your group is selected (which will probably be impromptu as you’re running for your lives) the best bet is to head for higher ground. The rougher and steeper the MASSIVE FEATURE
route, the better. The decaying zombies are plagued by the early stages of rigormortis, and their limbs cannot adjust to the angled demands of stairs. This should be enough incentive for all those with half a brain to head towards the library and the Atrium, at Albany, or the Social Science Towers, Library, and Vet Tower in Palmy. In Wellington, it’s windy as fuck anyway, so hopefully the zombies all blow away before they reach the campus buildings. Upon reaching the uppermost level of your chosen building, barricade yourself inside the room. There should tables, chairs and multitudes of books, especially in the library. These objects can be used to construct obstacles. If you have an engineering student in your group, as they should be able to construct some complex fort-like structure in no time. (Also note that the nerds (and certain international students) in the library will most likely be eaten because they will be fixated on their computer screens and listening to loud music, therefore distracted from the emergency calls to head for cover. We should mourn their passing, as their sacrificial bodies will give us time to make good our escape up the stairs.) Make booby-traps with the material available, placing them above doors or in areas where the zombies are forced to bunch up. This creates ‘dead-zones’ for our half-brained friends. If you decide to set up a ‘book booby trap’, find books that are heavy! I’m talking about those big motherfuckers that practically break your arms while walking to class. Everyone knows that those things are basically bricks with ink in them. Additionally, the writings of Jane Austen, Rush Limbaugh, historian Norman Davies, and Geoffrey Chaucer are particularly useful, as their works will undoubtedly put the undead to sleep. If you cannot get to a building in time because the zombies have blocked the entrance, head into the nearest woods or forest. Although you may not think this to be a good idea, the forest is probably better than being atop a high building. The forest provides ample cover from the zombies because most of them have restricted vision due to having at least one of their eyes missing. And, if you cover yourself with mud (much like Arnold in Predator) you should be able to pass by unnoticed as your scent will be masked. Additionally, flora and fauna will provide you with sufficient food and shelter to last a few days. I’m especially thinking of the stream down behind the Study Centre. This will probably be one of the few times that you actually wished you had been in the Scouts.
Once in the forest, the zombies are unlikely to catch you, the reason being that their fine and gross motor skills are extremely undeveloped because their limbs are stiff and their brains rotted-through by the virus that afflicts them. So unless you are super ‘unco,’ the forest affords greater potential protection than the library. That said, however, most science students (mathematicians/engineers) and arts students (history/philosophy majors etc) should probably stay clear of the outdoors, as statistics tell us that they normally fall within the category of ‘unco’. For example, mathematics students will be hopelessly lost in the forest because they will have to find the mathematical probability of left or right. Moreover, engineers will try to make sense of everything they come across - they seem unable to admit that sometimes things cannot be deconstructed. Although they like to declare otherwise, engineers cannot survive if they cannot understand why something happens. Once you have barricaded yourselves within your fort or have found a suitable locale in the forest, be prepared to fend for yourself. Even though you are in a group, there will most likely be one bad apple - he/she should be the first to be consumed if supplies run short. If, for some reason, you are required to move your position, get the fat person in your group to be the decoy; their weight and general physical tardiness will draw the zombies away from you. Before long they will tire, trip up, and be devoured. The resultant distribution of weight from your fat friend’s carcass in the zombies’ now full stomachs should slow them down for a while, increasing your chances to move or get more supplies. Ultimately, your chances of survival depend on the people in your group. You must work together to survive. Unless you are an ex-SAS member (another reason why Defence Studies students should be sought-after in your group) it is unlikely that you will survive for an extended amount of time on your own. The best advice, dear readers, is to say that those of you who are prepared stand the best chance of survival. So the next time you’re walking around campus and spot what you believe to be an exchange student from South America or someone from Whangarei, don’t just think “Oh, that’s what they all look like over there.” No. Act and act quickly: your life and the lives of other people depend on your actions from that moment forth.
JET SETTING TO BETTER INCOME IS NO ESCAPE Many tertiary education students have no option but to get a student loan, buT most are not aware of the consequences of not paying it back. Are we leaving our loans behind when we leave New Zealand? Yasmine Jellyman investigates. After spending years at university earning a degree, the top goal upon graduation for many students is getting a job in their chosen field. Often that means going overseas. By working overseas they can earn a lot more money than they can in New Zealand. However, look at studying and getting a student loan – the extra cash every week and the $1000 “course-related costs” which you use for alcohol, food, and simply anything that isn’t to do with university. It feels like free money to you, doesn’t it? It might feel like it, but that’s where you are wrong. Wrong! It is absolutely not free. The Government has been cracking down and chasing up the $12.9 billion owed from student loans. That is predicted to hit $20 billion by 2022. Students who fly off to work and travel overseas with huge student loans are not escaping them. They are expected to make regular loan repayments unless they opt for a three-year repayment holiday. They forfeit interest-free provisions when they go overseas, taking on 6.6 per cent interest annually. Some of them owe more than $200,000. In June last year, New Zealand’s top student-loan debtors could have paid for the training of five dentists at Otago University, at a cost of $57,700 each, and still had cash left over if they were still in the country. Or they could have paid for twice the $123,806 training cost for a pilot at Massey University’s School of Aviation. Instead, most of them are living overseas while owing the taxpayer a collective $2.9 million. It is not known if the top 10 debtors are paying off their loans, but it has been revealed that they are all males aged over 28 and each has a loan balance of more than $290,000. If they moved back to New Zealand and began paying back their loans at the minimum repayment rate of 12 percent, it would take around 57 years on today’s average wage. If they are still alive, they would all be more than 85 years old. Here are some facts from government records about student loans. As at 30 June 2011: some 621,000 people had a student loan with Inland Revenue, half of all student loan borrowers owed less than $11,880 (the average loan balance held by Inland Revenue was $17,276), the median repayment time for those who finished study in 2006 was expected to be 6.7 years. New Zealand-based borrowers have a median repayment time of 5.2 years. In addition, as at March 31 last year there were 99,783 borrowers living overseas, comprising 15 percent of all borrowers. Overseas borrowers owe 22 percent of the total loan balance). A survey of 1022 students conducted in February last year, as reported in The Dominion Post, showed that almost one-fifth planned to leave New Zealand once they have completed their studies. And when that happens, the investment made by the government into their tertiary education ends up returning no benefit to the New Zealand economy. Finance Minister Bill English has been quoted as saying that “it gets reported, mainly because it blocked the traffic, but who’s listening? Most people actually think the students got a pretty fair go and they should count themselves lucky that they’ve still got interest-free loans and get on with it because, you know, get your training finished and get a job and start contributing”. He said it was important not to overengineer the education process, because 60 percent of people ended up in jobs that had nothing to do with their qualification. Massey University Albany Students Association president Stephan van Heerden challenged Mr English, saying that graduates could be taking any job they could get, simply to pay off their debt, and others were heading overseas for the same reason. In May last year, New Zealand University Students’ Association President Pete Hodkinson said students felt “targeted” by the Budget. Massivemagazine.org.nz
“What is not fair and reasonable, and what this government doesn’t want to accept, is that the loan repayment threshold kicks in below the poverty line for our graduates who shouldn’t be forced into paying for the private benefit of education, before that benefit is realised”. He said there were “some nice touches” in the Budget, including a boost to science and research funding but that was at the expense of a “devastating blow” to the accessibility of tertiary education. “Institutions will be glad to see at least a degree of investment, [but] students are furious that they’ve been handed the bill at a time when knowledge and intelligence are key to developing the nation’s future.” The Dominion Post also quoted Hodkinson as saying that the situation was likely to worsen, with massive amounts of debt, higher university fees, a weak employment market, and too many students training for the same jobs. Revenue Minister Peter Dunne was also quoted as saying the Government is tracking down as many overseas borrowers as possible. A programme targeting 1000 Australian- based borrowers was launched in 2010, and has been widened to nab 57,000 borrowers over the next 2 1/2 years - mainly in Australia and Britain. He also said that the growing number of overseas debtors, who took three times as long as student debtors in New Zealand to repay loans, had come under scrutiny in the past five years. “There has been a culture that’s built up ... that this is a free hit, you borrow for your education, you graduate and you clear off overseas and then basically you can get away with never repaying your loan. It’s not good enough to say because you’re an overseas-based student you’re simply absolved of your obligations.” So what is the Government doing to collect student loans from overseas borrowers? It has a range of initiatives planned. They include: ◊ Emailing, writing to, and, in some cases, texting borrowers about approaching repayment dates. ◊ Advertising both in print and online about keeping loans on track. ◊ A dedicated initiative based on commercial debt recovery practices. This is focused on defaulters in Australia and the United Kingdom and includes using private sector debt collectors and online media campaigns to track borrowers, discuss payment, collect debt take legal action in the most serious cases. The Government also now has the power to recall loans (that is, to require immediate payment in full). Non-payment will result in legal action. The results will be used to determine what further overseas debt activities it will undertake. ◊ All borrowers going overseas must tell Inland Revenue, and must provide a contact person in New Zealand if they apply for a repayment holiday. ◊ Current penalties for non-payment are 0.843% per month on the amount overdue. After all of this, in the 2010/11 tax year, Inland Revenue collected $690 million, of which $89 million was from overseas-based borrowers. It’s clear that most students have loans but do not consider the consequences. Every year they sign contracts that state they will pay them back. Going overseas is not going to stop that. Students need to realise that in a few years’ time that money will have to be paid back. Is the consequence of high interest, debt collectors asking for your loan repayment in full, and watching your back at the airport when you come back to New Zealand worth it? If these loans aren’t paid back there’s the likelihood of court cases and convictions. Wouldn’t it be easier just to pay it back?
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FOR JAMES HANSEN’S GRANDCHILDREN MASSIVE PHOTO FEATURE: LANCE CASH
MASSIVE prides itself on reflecting and sharing all talents embedded in the
Massey student body. This photo feature aims to demonstrate the highest quality of photography produced by talented and creative Massey students. Each issue, MASSIVE will endeavour to bring you images from skilled photographers to inspire and be enjoyed. This is the world how they see it. If you wish to see your photos in this space, please contact the editor. Lance Cash’s digital photographic montages seek to challenge typical perceptions of photography and consider wider ethical concerns. His debut solo exhibition For James Hansen’s Grandchildren, first exhibited at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, is a series of digital montages constructed entirely out of photographs of the water cycle, such as clouds, rivers, ocean, lakes and rain. Cash seeks to challenge typical practices of viewing photography, and to also develop new digital photographic techniques. ‘They may not remind everyone of photography, as they were originally created purely as technical experiments, but they are made out of photographs and they are designed to be representative of the water cycle.’
He argues that the way audiences engage with his dislocating works parallels how New Zealanders interpret and engage with the water cycle. ‘New Zealanders are so deeply dependent on natural processes such as the water cycle, yet we are so incredibly detached and naïve about our actual relationship to the water cycle.’ The title of the series is a reference to the book Storms of My Grandchildren by James Hansen, American NASA and climate scientist. Hansen’s book explains the consequences of climate change, such as the heating and acceleration of the water cycle resulting in more extreme weather events and changes to our water supply. ‘It’s quite bizarre that we still carry on business as usual practices, despite the fact that through emitting fossil fuels, we are actually changing how fundamental natural processes such as the water cycle function.’ When asked why he created these works, Cash said that ‘I didn’t start making these experimental works because I was frustrated about climate change; I made these because I was bored of typical photography. I wanted to make something new, exciting and really experiment with the enormous range of opportunities that digital technology brings to photography’
massive photography feature: LANCE CASH
FOR JAMES HANSEN’S GRANDCHILDREN
MASSIVE photography FEATURE
THE NEGATIVE ONTOLOGY OF MODERN VIDEOGAMES: A SHORT FILM STARRING ZYNGA AS ITSELF Facebook games – are they stealing your time, your money and your self-worth? Charlie Mitchell crawls through a river of shit and comes out still covered in shit: an official review of Zynga’s Cityville.
It’s 2am on a Saturday. My fellow 20-somethings are burning through the night in a blurred haze of hedonistic bliss, vigorously embracing the ephemera of their youth. The celestial dust of a roaming comet showers the night sky - a rare, aesthetically triumphant cosmic event for this curious little planet. Meanwhile, I’m noodling over a complex moral crisis: should I spend several of my hard earned Facebook bucks to buy ‘energy’, a virtual commodity required for me to continue playing Cityville, or should I prostitute myself to my Facebook friends (which would also grant me enough energy to continue playing but would likely be akin to a public pants-shitting on the poor life-choices scale). The motives behind the desire to spend real money on something I don’t particularly like are powerful and complex, and perhaps beyond the scope of this particular article. Whatever the case, I am now quietly waiting the 53 seconds required for me to finally collect imaginary rent from the imaginary little cocksucker who lives by the digital train station in my digital city (which, incidentally, is unfortunately named Pimptown). Like many people, I struggle to name things when placed on a strict time constraint, and tend to fall back on rampant douchebaggery when my creativity fails. I am not presently bothered by this, because clicking things in this game provides a visceral satisfaction for my easy-to-please brooder. That’s why Facebook games made a trillion dollars last year. After all – they make the arbitrary act of clicking highly gratifying. How they accomplish this has required the successful coalescence of a century of behavioural science, the entire history of the games industry, and a single person’s ruthless desire to convert someone else’s lunch break into a swimming pool for their seaside mansion. Though the equation is complex, the end result is rather simple: I lose $2 on a game I don’t like and a significant lump of my self-worth. This likely sounds like the longest sustained First World Problem since the horrifying Marmite famine that is ravaging the nation. But my brush with the psychological tyranny of Cityville, though degrading, has allowed me to peer into an increasingly important aspect of the modern experience. Specifically, that some of our entertainment isn’t even slightly entertaining and we’ll throw money in its general direction for the privilege of not having to play it.
The explosion of social gaming has unmasked some of the deeply entombed bedrock of human behaviour, and the grizzled, mangled face is an ominous sight to behold. The capacity for the human mind to engage in acts of self-immolation, as exhibited through my fleeting moment of weakness, reveals an inherent deficiency within the structures of the brain where I convinced myself that I was enjoying my own self-sabotage. This thought briefly flickered through my mind as I flapdoodled about my moral crisis. I was fully aware that I wasn’t in a thrall of ecstasy as I impassively watched some digital people erect the Pimptown Museum of Natural History. But my chimp-like instincts won out as I marched onwards to my quarter life crisis, because that whimsical little post office wasn’t going to hire its own stamp licker (this isn’t a metaphor, unfortunately). Social games made upwards of six trillion dollars in the last year. You probably have one in your pocket. You almost certainly have one in your house. They are the product of a postmodern society groaning under the weight of its enormous media output – an integral component of our tab-driven web-grazing habits, in which we inhale media like enormous blue whales feasting on plankton by the trawler-load. We might give these games a quick little gander when we’re on the toilet and we’ve already read the back of the shampoo bottle a hundred times, but we are unlikely to stare at them all day (except for those people with staggeringly poor self-control, which unfortunately includes myself ). Hundreds of millions of people have absorbed social games into their everyday lives, which is why it’s extremely important that we consider their influence. After all, if diseased, hissing, mutated babies popped into existence and started following us into the toilet we would likely do some tests or something. As the above metaphor should indicate, I am not in the corner of social games re: their existence. I think most of them are computer viruses whose sole purpose is to latch on to host bodies and propagate through a web of uncomfortable social interactions. They’re pretty, decorous and whimsical, and they present an agreeably utopian vision of harmony through their aesthetic. But the process of playing them is like being sentenced to hard labour, where the only way to escape is to rat out your friends and get them dragged into forced captivity with you. MASSIVE FEATURE
Don’t get me wrong: these people are brilliant. I imagine they sleep on piles of Harvard degrees and trash bags filled with money, and perhaps justifiably so. They are also evil. Not necessarily in the way puppy-kickers are evil, more a banal, everyday sort of evil.
Personally, I’m quite thrilled I don’t live in North Korea, which is why I resent the fact that some of our most popular entertainments try to simulate the experience. You have most likely heard of Zynga, the money printing factory responsible for games such as Farmville, Cityville and Mafia Wars. They are the precocious poster child for the video-games-as-addictive-substance craze that has lurched beast-like across all spheres of screen based interaction. There is a reason why Zynga’s games inspire such rabid addiction – because they’re carefully designed to do so, employing mechanics derived from the malevolent tag team of psychology and economics to engage players into compulsion loops where mundane actions are both rewarded and habit-forming. We can also thank the field of behavioural science, whose on-going ability to decode and unravel the neuroses of the human mind lead to increasingly sophisticated techniques of grasping consumers into a virtual headlock. Don’t get me wrong: these people are brilliant. I imagine they sleep on piles of Harvard degrees and trash bags filled with money, and perhaps justifiably so. They are also evil. Not necessarily in the way puppy-kickers are evil, more a banal, everyday sort of evil, like how KFC releases the Double Down in eight-week increments, restricting supply to increase demand, which inspires the weak-willed peons such as myself to froth at the mouth in an MSG-riddled haze any time I see two pieces of chicken parallel to each other. Come to think of it, KFC and Zynga probably employ the same roving band of psychologists. Both companies expertly intersect economics and psychology to inspire a fervent adherence to their products. Certain Facebook games, though, are society’s most devious distillation of this effect. The overwhelming majority of people who play Farmville or Cityville pay precisely zero dollars for the privilege. They are ‘free’ games, after all. Of the 230 million people who play a Zynga game every month, only 2.2% (about 5 million people) contribute revenue to the company by buying virtual goods. Of those 5 million, 20% are known internally at Zynga as “Whales”, a term borrowed from the casino industry to identify a person who spends extraordinary amounts of money. These ‘Whales’ spend an average of $1100 each annually (with some spending upwards of $10,000). Apparently the biggest, fattest whales receive gifts from Zynga, and some even directly correspond with CEO Mark Pincus. As a group, Whales are the single biggest contributor to Zynga’s revenue stream. So what becomes of us free users, who play the game only because it’s shiny and it’s Monday and we’re plagued with fuckarounditis? We are the Japanese fishermen, recruited to help Zynga harpoon their valuable Whales (purely for scientific purposes, obviously). Though these games are ostensibly free to play, all users invest some form of currency into the game. The most important of these currencies are Time and Media
Value. Ideally for Zynga, the time we invest into the game will become actual money. In Cityville, for instance, you eventually reach a point where one of the three ingame currencies (money) becomes impossible to acquire without either spending real life money or advertising the game to your friends. By this point the game’s mechanics have its claws in you – they have implied the possibilities of expansion by allowing you to unlock a huge number of buildings, but prevent you from using them by restricting the supply of currency (scarcity, once again). This becomes something of a breaking point where a free user becomes a paying user, and is the single most importantly constructed moment of the game. The other currency is Media Value, which is the most cloying, virus-like aspect of these games. The existence of a popular game works like a forest fire, blazing across your social sphere. An anecdote to illustrate: one of my 60 Facebook friends, Howard, has poor social skills, and frequently invites me to play a death squad of games with questionable titles such as Margaritaville, and Journey of Jesus – The Calling. I have sent many libellous messages to Howard, most of which involve me relating my plans to throw bags of rancid garbage at his mother if he doesn’t stop. Unfazed, he continues to assault me with requests to play Bonerville (which I’m pretty sure isn’t even a real thing), because the impetus to advertise the game to your friends is deeply encoded into the mechanics of the game and is vital to its continued existence. As you play a social game, you will no doubt be frequently accosted by an urgent pop-up asking you to share whatever menial action you’ve just performed. For the particularly sophisticated games, you may be able to receive a valuable in-game commodity by requesting ‘help’ from a friend, who will receive a reward of their own for ‘helping’ you. Neither person loses anything through this social transaction because they both receive a reward without losing anything of their own, making it silly not to do so. This Swine Flu-esque style of proliferation is like whaling with a fleet of carpet bombers: you can’t not hear about these games, or be actively pressured by your friends to play them. The only value you (a free user) provide Zynga by playing the game is your ability to tell someone else about it, someone who will hopefully join the two-and-ahalf percent of people willing to drop a couple of space bucks on a virtual lampshade. Effectively, we’re all a bunch of Captain Ahabs, looking for that White Whale. The relentless fragmentation of media is dangerous – we have all probably felt ‘over-entertained’, where we are subsumed into the daily pursuit of The Single Most Entertaining Thing I Could Be Doing Right Now, which inevitably leads us to skim through the abyssal drone of lesser media, absorbing fragments of the world without fully absorbing anything. This is what social-game-makers prey upon. They are one of the few groups of artists who aspire to be lesser media. They don’t try to ascend above the noise, they try to be the loudest thing out there. They’re the guy with the vuvuzela
The explosion of social gaming has unmasked some of the deeply entombed bedrock of human behaviour, and the grizzled, mangled face is an ominous sight to behold.
at the table tennis tournament, desperately trying to hold a glimmer of your attention in the most obnoxious way possible. They lacerate the mind with inanity, leading the chorus of the drone like an overly enthused conductor. The whole thing is just rotten, really. The social games industry is like a mean parody of video games – a postmodern stunt to expose the zombie-like passiveness of entertainment consumers. Games like Cityville and The Sims Social and the first Farmville are completely infantalising, and telegraphed to the extent where the player has no ability to make serious decisions or exert any autonomy, because doing so would lead them away from the carefully designed breaking point where a free user becomes a paid user. They are most definitely not ‘free’. The currency you pay may not be tangible, but it has an abstract value far more important than money. But let’s put some balloons up at this pity party. A game like Angry Birds, where the player can engage with the game in a massive number of ways, including the capacity to control minute movements to create virtually infinite outcomes, has curiously prospered alongside the social gaming tidal wave, despite being its very antithesis in regards to game design. It brings to mind the simplicity and fluidity of Super Mario Bros, where the method of play is deeply felt, an intuitive extension of the player’s reflexes, not oppressively banal and dictated to you by a weird little girl who inexplicably commands you to do things. As the putative creepy step-father of the social games cabal, Zynga no doubt receives a flurry of helpful suggestions disguised as threats of violence from the concerned public. They have certainly played the role of gruesome, hatchet-wielding zombie freak in this particular article. But perhaps some sympathy is due. Since its initial public offering in late 2011, Zynga’s stocks have plummeted in value by 83%. Early this year, it shut down 11 of its games as part of an elaborate cost-cutting measure. Weeks later, a non-Zynga game topped the social games chart for the first time in recent memory, pushing the messianic Farmville 2 into second place. Personally, I’m not polishing my cleats to tap dance on Zynga’s decomposing corpse just yet; there are a number of talented individuals in their employ, after all, who create polished, sophisticated, and thoughtful products, and who do not deserve to lose their jobs. They are not profoundly damaged, nor are they malicious – they were likely enveloped into Zynga’s black hole of a bank vault and coerced into working on projects that just happen to be creatively bankrupt and slightly evil. However, the slow-motion collapse of Zynga creates an interesting semiosis for an observer of the casual gaming industry. Mobile devices are in the process of snatching the casual gaming throne from Facebook and are also acting as arbiter of meaningful, sophisticated videogame experiences, which have led companies like Zynga to flail as their monetisation strategies quickly become unsustainable at roughly the same rate a factory of impoverished Asian workers assembles a fleet of new iPads. Importantly, the game that dethroned Zynga from the top of the social games chart (Candy Crush Saga) is a mobile game. The transition from Facebook gaming to mobile gaming has the potential to inspire a landslide of innovation, and will hopefully prove that videogames don’t have to be defined by the hideous compulsion loops of Cityville which caused me so much grief – they can be fun, meaningful and cool in the way truly special videogames can be.
BEHIND THE BLUE ROSE With its strong promotional campaign across a range of mediums, you’ve by now – unless you stay clear of technology – surely heard the hype about TV3’s new show The Blue Rose. With the premiere of the show having just hit our screens, Logan Carr caught up with co-creator and writer Rachel Lang and lead actress Siobhan Marshall to have a chat about the show, their respective careers, and the New Zealand television industry.
Created by Rachel Lang and James Griffin, The Blue Rose is a murder mystery that runs over 13 episodes. Set in Auckland City, it follows office temp Jane (Antonia Prebble), who takes on a new post at an inner city law firm. She soon discovers that the PA she is replacing – Rose – died under mysterious circumstances. Rose’s former best friend – Linda (Siobhan Marshall) – quickly enlists Jane in her quest for the truth. Together they recruit the IT guy and the lady from payroll and form the Society of the Blue Rose. RACHEL LANG INTERVIEW While you might not be familiar with the name, odds are that you’ll certainly recognise Rachel Lang’s body of work. With more than two decades of experience as a writer, script, and story editor, Rachel is one of the top drama creators in New Zealand. Early in her career she spent three years working on Shortland Street, before co-creating and writing the awardwinning New Zealand drama series Outrageous Fortune. She and fellow Outrageous Fortune co-creator James Griffin have since created The Almighty Johnsons and are again at the helm of the upcoming series The Blue Rose. Rachel also co-created and co-wrote – alongside Gavin Strawhan – comedy/drama series Go Girls, Nothing Trivial, and This is Not My Life, helping further establish herself as New Zealand’s Queen of Drama. You’ve become one of the most successful screenwriters in New Zealand. Describe (briefly) how you got to this point. Work. Luck. Accident. I started out as an actress and I found that unemployment loomed (laughs) so I did a journalism course. After that, I ended up working as a script editor in television. Then my big break was going on to Shortland Street when it first started. You’ve now been in the industry over two decades. How have you managed to have continued success over time? By working with good people. One of the great things about working on television is that it’s quite collaborative so I tend to work with somebody else, which makes it easier because we can bounce ideas off each other. Writing is a job that requires a lot of self-motivation. How do you stay motivated to create? There’s always a deadline, there’s always a schedule. If you’re working on a show ��� and it’s going to be shot – there’s a time frame. If you don’t write it within that time, there’s going to be a whole lot of people standing around with nothing to do – so that’s quite motivating (laughs). Your new show The Blue Rose premiered on February 4. How did the idea for the show come about? It’s sort of a longstanding joke that we – me and James [Griffin] – have had since Shortland Street that the world is run by “the conspiracy of receptionists” (laughs); and Massivemagazine.org.nz
they’re a lot more powerful than they appear. For example, they can choose to pass on your message and what they pass on. That idea was combined with the fact that often within organisations; people who aren’t perceived as “important” usually know a hell of a lot. So we took that and ran with it. With the success of your past shows, how much pressure do you feel in creating something new? Do you worry about how it’ll be perceived in relation to previous work? I used to worry, but now I worry less because I know in the end it’s in the hands of the audience and the network. Once I’ve made it and it goes on air they’ll either like it or they won’t. I make it a general policy to not read reviews (laughs). At that point it’s too late anyway, and if one television critic likes or doesn’t like it, it doesn’t matter. In the end, you have to have your own opinion and think “Have I done the best that I can do given the time and resources that I had?”, and if you can answer “Yes” to that, you can lie down happy. You seem to have found a winning formula. In your opinion, what makes a good story or show? Well, there’s no one size fits all. Different people respond to different things. I like it when an idea has a seam behind it, or something that I’m interested in exploring. It’s also good if you have characters who are struggling to attain something. New Zealand is a country where the predominant myth is of the “little battlers”, and that works well here. But I don’t consciously make up shows to that formula – there isn’t a winning one. If there was, everyone would be doing it (laughs). Once you’ve created something, how hard is it handing it over and surrendering control? Does it ever turn out like you pictured in your head at the time of writing? Ah, the secret is that I don’t surrender control (laughs). I’m a noted control freak, and fortunately the big shift in the time that I’ve been writing is that creators of the work have a lot more influence and involvement in the work. I usually work with directors, designers, music people, and so on, and that’s another fun part of the collaboration process. Because of that collaboration, I think part of our job as writers is that we clearly communicate the idea. I’m visually illiterate, but I like working with those guys and trying to finding a way for us to translate the ideas into something visual. Describe your typical creating/writing process. Do you have a typical routine or structure in creating a screenplay or storyline? There are various stages to the work. One is coming up with the idea in the first place. That’s usually done with just me and another writer, and then – once we’ve got a commission – we normally open it up to a team of writers who we work with. Then we kick around ideas, and most of the time we’re rude and disgusting (laughs). After that, we start blocking out stories for the series. The Blue Rose is different, though. Usually with a comedy/drama series we’ll put up a big piece of paper on the wall and block out character arcs for the whole series so we know where our characters and stories are going to go. But doing a murder mystery is a completely different process where you’re
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not relying on character shifts or relationship shifts in the same way, you’re actually trying to build your clues as to “who did it”. It’s a lot more functional and difficult. That was a new process for me. For all the young writers with budding screenplays or ideas out there, what are your tips? I think it’s useful to watch and read a lot of other people’s work and get experience taking criticism – that’s a very hard lesson to learn. And keep reworking. It’s also good to think – if you want to be a commercial writer – what might entertain people. I think the trap a lot of new writers fall into is that they’ll write something that will be miserable and gloomy and someone commits suicide or someone’s being abused – I mean, you may have something important to say but it’s probably not the first time it’s been said, so think about how you can make it more fun and something which you would go see yourself. As a university magazine, I’m sure some of our readers out there will want to know: how easy is it for graduates to get into the industry? How does it compare with overseas in terms of accessibility? It’s hard anywhere. The New Zealand industry is very small so there aren’t a lot of jobs, but at the same time people are quite open and generous with their time. So it’s relatively easy to get, for example, an intern position in New Zealand; and if you are personable and hard-working you can go a long way. The difficult thing is that there are too many courses for film and television for the number of jobs in the industry – but I think it’s easier here than anywhere else to get in. The competition overseas is absolutely massive. Now that you are an established writer, how has the process of getting your work onto the screen changed from when you were trying to make it? I know the people at the networks well, so it’s easy to get the opportunity to pitch an idea. Having experience and being an old fart is quite good in that way (laughs); but at the same time there is a hunger for new ideas. Most of the networks and production companies will look at an idea if you send it in, and a lot of companies have good Massivemagazine.org.nz
guidelines on how to do that. If you’re a complete unknown, they will tend to take you more seriously if you’re working with a production company or a producer – but really, a good idea is a good idea. Everyone’s looking for something fresh. What are your goals for The Blue Rose? Any plans for a second season? The New Zealand film industry is interesting because if the show works they’ll order another one; if it doesn’t, they won’t. They don’t worry about what might happen next until it happens. Everyone’s surprised to hear this, but with Outrageous Fortune we never knew if there’d be another season. The funding model here means you have to reapply each time, and you have to have the backing of the network to get the money. So we’ll see what happens. SIOBHAN MARSHALL INTERVIEW Most New Zealanders will recognize actress Siobhan Marshall from her time as Pascalle West on Outrageous Fortune – a role that saw her nominated for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress at the 2008 and 2009 Qantas Film and Television Awards. Throughout the early days of her career, she performed in numerous amateur theatre productions. She kick-started her on-screen career with an appearance on Shortland Street, and has also appeared in the kid’s show Amazing Extraordinary Friends, Sing Like A Superstar, and recently made a guest appearance on The Almighty Johnsons. The Blue Rose sees her reassuming a lead role – opposite fellow Outrageous Fortune star Antonia Prebble – and playing the character of Linda. You’ve become a household name in NZ. When did you realize acting was what you wanted to do? And how did your family support what’s often perceived as a career for “dreamers”? I’ve wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember, so it has been a natural thing. As for my family’s reaction, well I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer (laughs) so I guess they thought that that’s what I was going to do. They were pretty supportive. You are now a television star, but your background is in stage theatre and
The New Zealand film industry is interesting because if the show works they’ll order another one; if it doesn’t, they won’t. They don’t worry about what might happen next until it happens. Everyone’s surprised to hear this, but with Outrageous Fortune we never knew if there’d be another season.
in the early days of your career you appeared in a variety of amateur theatre productions. Why the shift from stage to screen? More money in screen (laughs). And I enjoy it more. I enjoy stage as well, but I like the whole process of making a television show, or anything for the screen. I like that there’s a big crew and that it’s a big collaborative project. You’re starring in the new television series The Blue Rose and playing the character of Linda. Tell us a bit about her. She’s a really tough character, and loyal to all her friends. She is Rose’s – who is murdered – best friend, and that loyalty makes her determined to find out who killed her. She is also physical and pretty direct. I don’t view her as a typical Kiwi – she’s more of a New Yorker (laughs). She also rides a motorbike. Speaking of that, you had to do some basic motorbike training to prepare for the role. Did you go through any other mental or physical preparations? Physically, I did 30 straight days of fitness training to gain additional confidence and strength because Linda is a strong character. As for the mental side of things, I usually spend a lot of time thinking about a role before I go and do it. I also meet with people who remind me of that character and take bits and bob to incorporate into the role. The screen industry is perceived as being full of ups and downs. What’s your advice for staying level in the industry and not getting too low or high? Make sure you have other things going on, and do not have acting as the “be all and end all”. Have lots of friends and family around you who are grounded and keep you grounded, and get used to the rejection that comes with acting and know that it’s not personal. In an interview Cameron Crowe did with Emma Stone, he referenced something he’d heard Martin Scorsese say about how people become frozen in the time when they become successful because they become successful for being that person at that time. Then they have to really fight in order to grow past that. Because of how successful Outrageous Fortune was, have you found it hard to move past the role of Pascalle?
Yes and no. I got a bit stereotyped when I first came out, but I expected that so it was okay. I keep my personal life separate from my professional one, and I had lots of other things going on apart from acting, so that kept me moving forward and growing as both an actor and person. What actors or actresses do you look up to? Lately, Jennifer Lawrence – I think she’s amazing. Have you seen her latest film, Silver Linings Playbook? It’s stunning. Yes, I did. It’s awesome, and she’s great in it. One of her best performances. Speaking of performances, do you have any moments that stand out as the best and worst of your career so far? I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve done so far – that’s a bit of a crap out answer (laughs). Complete this sentence: Hardest part of being an actor for a living is… … the instability. Not knowing when your next job will be. If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing? I have no idea (laughs). I ask myself that all the time and I have never come up with anything, so I’m thankful I made it as an actress. How easy is the acting industry to get into in New Zealand? There’s not a lot in New Zealand, it’s pretty small. So if you really want to do it, then go for it. But if you only sort of want to do it and want to do a lot of other things too, then maybe try those other avenues instead (laughs). What are your personal goals moving forward? Continue to act – here, internationally, wherever, I don’t really mind. And be happy. You can catch episodes of The Blue Rose weekly on TV3, Mondays at 8.30pm
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MILLS & POON : THE ADVENTURES OF DICK HARDY Last year in MASSIVE, Dick Hardy teased thousands of you with his tantalising tales of erotic stimulation. This year, he returns and brings romance and raunchiness to have you screaming for more. WARNING: Do not read if you are easily offended or do not wish to be extremely turned on.
Fellow Massey students! So begins a new year full of possibility, excitement, and lust! Massey students, from my experience, are very social and interesting people. Not like those boring, studious Auckland and Victoria Uni students… And so I would hope you all had a New Year’s night as stimulating to the senses as my own! Let me explain. For an unrivalled New Year, I chose to reside at the appropriately festive Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne. There’s something unforgettable about the atmosphere at R’n’V. Falling drunk in the sunshine, falling in and out of conversation with strangers, and falling in love with the people around you. Three days into our experience, I had mostly been enjoying the good people, sunshine, and tunes. I had had a few sneaky pashes but I hadn’t yet met a girl to really pique my interest. At Rhythm, the quality of girl you meet often consists of drunken young girls who like to throw themselves at you in a manner that does little for my urges, and the more mature girls from the R20 campsites who know how to pace themselves but wear less revealing clothing. It seems that the older the girls get then the less provocative they like to appear. What a façade! I was content this year to spend more time with the music and my friends than with any seductresses. So, by night three I had only shared first base with a few girls who hadn’t been able to hold my attention for long. Unencumbered, I made my way to the stages in a halfintoxicated stumble with a group of my boisterous friends. On the way there, a group of attractive promo girls called out to us to partake in a moonhopper race. I couldn’t think of many things more inviting at that time in my state so I enthusiastically accepted. My friends, however, went on to the concert and I told them I’d find them in there. I mounted the rubbery orb amid a few other determined volunteers. I looked across and caught eyes with a girl who had been camping near us. She looked at me with a grin and I knew I had to beat her. The promo girl counted down and, as she got to one, the girl lunged forward on her hopper. I sat in admiration for a moment as her generous bosom bounced toward her face each time she moved forward. Snapping out
of my sleaze, I bounded after her with an ungainly enthusiasm. Leaping in an awkward diagonal to get closer to her, she reached the turning point of the race and turned to face me on the return trip. She burst out laughing at my efforts to catch her and bounced toward me. In an uncoordinated effort to get out of the way, I bounced into her hopper and she shrieked good humouredly as she tumbled off the hopper and on to me. We fell backwards in a heap of laughter. That was when the magic of R’n’V hit me; as she lay on my chest, we both paused and looked into each other’s eyes. As corny as it sounds, it was desperately romantic and I smiled nervously at her to convince myself not to fall in love right then and there. “I was winning before you got in my way, you know,” she assured me. “I think you were just taking out your biggest threat,” I countered. “You can get off me now, you know,” I laughed. She mocked offence but stood up with a grin. I only wanted her off me before she started to feel another big threat which was beginning to emerge. “Well you owe me a frisbee and drink bottle now,” she said as she motioned toward the winner receiving the prizes. “How about I do you one better,” I offered and, collecting my balls, I took her by the hand toward the Scrumpy tent. “Wait! My friends!” she cried, but I pulled her away and let her call out her goodbyes. In hindsight, it was lucky she was so good natured and was laughing, otherwise her friends may have not been so permissive! But, like I said, the magic of R’n’V allows for the usually socially unacceptable. I took her to the Scrumpy tent and, squeezing in the queue, I showed the staff a small Scrumpy bottle I had consumed earlier in the day. In return they asked what I would like written on a t-shirt. “Do you trust me?” I asked her. “Not at all!” she laughed. “Wise, but how boring!” I turned to the staff and whispered what I wanted typed on to the shirt. In no time, it was printed on and, making sure she couldn’t see what was on it, I walked up to her and slipped it into her small bag. I pressed myself close
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Three days into our experience, I had mostly been enjoying the good people, sunshine, and tunes. I had had a few sneaky pashes but I hadn’t yet met a girl to really pique my interest.
to her and held both of her hands. “Now if you promise not to look at what the shirt says until the New Year, then I’ll let you keep it,” I told her. “Deal?” She looked at me curiously but then smiled. “Ok then, mister mysterious, it’s a deal!” I bought us drinks and we made our way to the Rhythm stage and found the hammocks on the hill overlooking the stage. Sitting next to each other in an empty one, I took a good look at this stranger who I had somehow found myself with. She had on a large black singlet which she was using as a dress. It was open at the sides to allow a generous viewing of side boob. Long, sun-kissed legs extended from this and swung us in our hammock. “So ...” she said a little awkwardly, “what in all the world should we talk about?” I laughed off her shyness. “Tell me something interesting,” I told her. “I’m so sick of polite conversation, ‘Hi, how are you,’ ‘Oh I’m good thanks,’ blah blah blah. Tell me something new. Something you would usually never dare to tell anybody.” I stared at her hard, wondering how well she would accommodate my request. She chewed her lip as she was thinking and I leaned further back in the hammock to admire this stunning creature. She was gorgeous. Who knows how deeply my judgment was impaired by the alcohol. “Well,” she began. “I heard somewhere that you’re most creative after 10pm. When everything is quiet, and most normal people have gone to sleep. So most nights, after 10pm, I paint. Sometimes for hours.” “What do you paint?” “You’ll laugh if I tell you.” “Hurry up, I only have one life, which isn’t enough to go chasing after answers.” “People. Naked people. Beautiful naked people,” she laughed at herself. Then she pulled out her phone and showed me a photo of one of her paintings. I looked at her a little in awe. The painting was amazing, incredibly realistic, and more than a little provocative. Suddenly I leaned in, overwhelmed by the music from the stage, the euphoria that R’n’V evokes and this incredible girl next to me. Our lips met and she kissed me with as much restraint as alcohol allowed. Which wasn’t much. We sat kissing and talking in the hammock for what felt like hours. Six60 and P Money came and left and finally, during The Presets, the countdown to the New Year started. 10! 9! We stopped talking and she grabbed my hand. Looking into my eyes with a startlingly erotic gaze, she slid my hand slowly up her leg. Not breaking eye contact, she pressed my hand beneath her dress and between her legs where I could feel the heat against her underwear. 8! 7! Following her lead, my fingers pressed hard against her with a teasing rhythm. Leaning close to me in the secluded hammock, she then slid her hand down my pants to find my bulging vine. 6! 5! She began rubbing me back and forth inside my pants and she moaned toward me as my fingers worked their magic. 4! 3! 2! 1! And as the crowd burst into cheers, we kissed, our bodies grinding against hands and the pleasure they were bringing. The cheering drowned out our noises, but we didn’t care if we were heard anyway. Feeling bold, I unzipped my pants and let her pull my manhood out to face the music.
She stroked me hard and fast and I pulled her panties to the side to immerse my fingers in her honey pot. She moaned into my mouth and bit my lip. “I’m going to paint you, beautiful boy. I’m going to paint this,” she whispered. And as she said it, the fireworks exploded above us and, silencing my ecstasy into her neck, I exploded in her hand. She slowed to a stop and looked at the mess all over her hands in amusement. “Happy New Year,” I smiled at her and we burst out laughing at what had just transpired. Then I pulled her in front of me and lay us down together so her back was facing me. I slid her underwear down to her feet and nestled her silky smooth behind into my deflating member. Reaching around with both hands, I hooked my thumb slowly back and forth into her G spot, and with my other hand I teased the smooth outside of her mound. I always had to wonder if girls were so vigilant as to shave while at R’n’V or if some of them simply grew hair slower than others. Either way, my manhood began to wake back up and was soon pressing into the crease of her amazing ass. Noticing my renewed enthusiasm, she began to rock more vigorously against me and I began to gently hump her back door. Barely able to control herself now, she whimpered in pleasure as I stimulated her from both directions. “Put it in,” she suddenly whispered. “Fuck my ass!” I just about lost control at her sudden dirty talk but responded by pressing firmly against her. It was extremely tight and I only managed minimal penetration but she began bucking frantically against me. I felt her pussy walls contract on my thumb and her ass tensed on my cock as an orgasm began to seize her. “Oh fuuuuuck,” she moaned and I watched in delight as her toes curled up and her whole body convulsed. I glanced quickly around and I could feel a few people’s eyes on us but at that point I didn’t care. Overwhelmed by arousal I thrust again against her tight hole and felt myself explode for the second time that night. She turned her head to me and we kissed again. “That was amazing,” she said and I hummed my agreement. Exhausted, we lay in the hammock for a while after that, enjoying the music and each other’s company. After our lusting had subsided slightly, she looked at me and said, “You know, we should probably go and find our friends.” “I suppose you’re right.” We said our goodbyes and finally I watched as she disappeared into the crowd. I smiled as I remembered the shirt I had left in her bag. I looked for her the next day briefly but she must have left early and I never got her number. So if you’re out there and you have a Scrumpy shirt which says, “Happy New Year beautiful stranger,” then send me an e-mail so you can get in touch with me! And the sponsors of R’n’V can feel free to hook me up for all of their free advertising. I hope you all had an amazing holiday and let’s get excited for a whole new year of parties, people and pleasure! Until next time, Dick Hardy Got an itch to scratch? Are you the girl in his story? Email Dick Hardy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MASSIVE Entertainment FEATURE
KICKING IT OFF WITH JOHNSON The 2013 NRL season is about to kick off. Logan Carr catches up with Warriors star Shaun Johnson to talk about his career so far -Warriors fans, and the 2013 season.
Shaun Johnson, the New Zealand Warriors’ halfback and one of the rising young stars of the NRL, is quickly establishing himself as one of the best playmakers in the game. In 2011, he burst on to the scene with a standout rookie NRL season in which he helped guide the Warriors to the Grand Final and was named the Warriors’ Young NRL Player of the Year. He followed that up with a solid campaign in 2012 that saw him make his international debut for the Kiwis in the Anzac test. You’ve already accomplished a lot in a still young career. How does it feel to be having so much success at only 22? It’s all pretty amazing. Growing up as a kid, it was always a dream of mine to play in the NRL, and the fact that it all happened so fast still feels surreal. When I initially came into first grade, I couldn’t really believe it was happening. It was a very cool experience to go through. In your Kiwi debut you scored an 80-metre intercept try. Describe that feeling of putting on a black jersey for the first time and scoring in your first test. That was a special moment for me. What made it even more special was that it was in Auckland, at Eden Park. I was raised in Auckland so all my family and friends were able to come out and watch. To me, representing your country is the pinnacle of rugby league, and while we didn’t get the win, I got through the whole match and that was an unforgettable moment for me. You’re quickly becoming one of the best young players in the NRL, but growing up, league wasn’t your only love. You also played touch rugby and Aussie rules (representing New Zealand in both), and played rugby union in your high school’s First XV. When did your affection shift predominantly to league and you realized “this is what I want to do”? I think my love for league was always there. Growing up, I never wanted to play for the All Blacks, but I always wanted to play for the Warriors and the Kiwis.
Right throughout my childhood years it was always rugby league. The only reason I went to rugby union was because all my mates played it, and where I’m from league wasn’t a huge thing. As for Aussie rules, that was just a hobby, a new and different challenge for me and it really helped my kicking game in league. But the two sports I always loved were touch and league. Few players have had to deal with as much expectation as you. Several years ago, Andrew Johns – one of the legends of rugby league – said “I haven’t been this excited about a player in a long time”. Former NRL commentator Phil Gould described you as the “New Benji Marshall”. Those are some big accolades. How have you handled the pressure of living up to them? The pressure has been tough to deal with at times. I’m lucky because I’ve got the right people around me – that makes it easier. My family is always there for me and I’ve got good friends who don’t let me get carried away with it all. I think last year, more so than the first year, I really felt the pressure of backing up that first season I had in 2011. Going into 2012, a lot of people talked about second-season syndrome and hitting the wall. It didn’t affect me to be honest and I think I dealt with it well, especially earlier in the year, but with the way our season went, people started to use that as an excuse for the way my performances were going. You just have to deal with it, though – you can get brought down to earth very fast in the NRL, so you’ve got to push it to the side and get on with it. The Warriors have some of the most devout fans in league (and in all of sports) – what’s been the coolest or weirdest fan experience you’ve had? I haven’t had too many weird or crazy ones (laughs). So no marriage proposals? Or anything along those lines? No, nothing like that. I don’t think young girls like me (laughs). Even now I find it unreal that I get recognised in the streets or when I go out at night. A lot of people ask for a photo and that sort of thing. That’s enough for
me; I don’t need anything weird or crazy – especially since I consider myself a normal 22-year-old. I’m still getting used to it all. The Warriors were criticised last year for perhaps not being fit and mentally tough enough during the back end of the season, and the team’s secondhalf collapse led to the firing of Brian “Bluey” McLennan. Now with a new coach – Matthew Elliott – in place, how are things changing? Has there been a renewed focus on fitness and the mental side of the game during pre-season training? There have been a lot of changes. Not only on the football field, but also with what’s happening within the club. The club’s gone through a big overhaul after the obvious disappointment of last year. They’ve put all the right things in place for us to have a successful season. Pre-season’s been tough but, talking about that mental strength, we’ve really been tested this pre-season and it can only benefit us down the road. I can honestly say that we’ve been pushed to the limits and had to be pushed through them at times. Every pre-season you’ve got to look at things to improve on and the areas we struggled in last year are getting looked at, but so are a lot of other things. Describe a typical pre-season fitness session. At this stage there’s a lot of ground-base fitness. In the pre-season you do a lot of running to get a lot of time on your legs. Our typical fitness session at the moment would be focused on legs. A lot of “down, up” stuff. We’ve got Ruben Wiki with us now, and he’s making us do a lot of burpees and leg crawls. That’s mixed in with all your skills sessions that you do while you’re at the stadium. James Maloney – your halves partner last year – will be suiting up for the Sydney Roosters this season. Thomas Leuluai is expected to fill his boots. How are you dealing with the change and the added responsibility? It’s going good at the moment. To grow as a player you’ve got to keep moving forward and accepting new
The pressure has been tough to deal with at times. I’m lucky because I’ve got the right people around me – that makes it easier.
challenges, so I’m embracing it. I’m quite lucky as well because I’ve got Thomas stepping in next to me, and he’s an experienced player. He’s won a World Cup, and won several competitions over in the Super League and we get along well. Which team in the NRL do you find the toughest to go up against? They’re all pretty tough, mate (laughs). The thing I’ll say about the NRL is that there are literally no easy games. You can’t look at the schedule and point at one game that you’d class as an easy game. All the teams are tough to play. Who do you regard as the best player in the competition? It’s hard to single one out because there are so many good players, but if I had to go for one, I’d probably say Cooper Cronk – for the pure fact that he’s so drilled and accurate in everything he does, and he’s a great halfback. Which players’ games – past or present – do you try to study and emulate? I don’t study anyone’s game in particular. There are players’ games you can take bits and pieces out of, but the game is always changing so it’s hard to go back and watch a game from, say, Andrew Johns in the late ‘90s and try and compare it to what we do now because the game’s so different. I do sometimes look at other players, like Cooper Cronk and [ Jonathan] Thurston, but for the most part I try to create my own sort of style. You’re currently under contract with the Warriors until the end of the 2014 season. Do you think about joining other teams? No. I’m really focused with what’s happening at the Warriors, and I’m really happy at the moment so I’ve got no reason to leave. League great Darren Lockyer has previously opened up in interviews and admitted he partied too much as fame went to his head. How do you stay grounded with your early success? I’ve got good people around me, and I don’t take anything for granted. I realise how lucky I am to play
rugby league as a job. I’d be playing the sport regardless if I got paid or not. The Rugby League World Cup is on later this year, and while the Kangaroos have bested the Kiwis the last few years (with the notable exception being the 2010 Four Nations Final), New Zealand are the current holders of the Cup. How much do you think the New Zealand team has closed the gap with the Aussies? Massively. We seem to peak in the big tournaments, like the Four Nations and obviously the World Cup, but in the one off tests and end-of-year tours we used to fall flat. Now, over the last couple years, we’ve really closed the gap. The game I played in was pretty tight the entire time, and we genuinely thought we were in with a chance to win. Then again late last year, we were up in Townsville and it was a close game again. We were right there, and we’re heading in the right direction. What’s your advice to any aspiring NRL players out there? Just keep believing. Playing in the NRL was always a dream of mine and I never really thought it would happen. You always think it only happens to special players who are born with “it” but the truth is it can happen to anyone who is willing to work hard enough and believe they can make it. What are your goals for the 2013 season and beyond? Firstly, play good, consistent footy for the Warriors. I want to bounce back after the disappointment of last season. Secondly, be part of the World Cup squad that goes to England at the end of the year. Those are my two main focuses.
Position: Halfback Weight: 92 kg Height: 179 cm (5 ft 10 in) Date of Birth: 09/09/1990 (22 years old) Place of Birth: Auckland, New Zealand
The Warriors opened their pre-season on February 9 v Titans @ Gold Coast. They kick off the regular season on the road March 9 v Eels @ Parramatta
JUNICA Junica (Nik Brinkman) has been firmly cemented in the New Zealand music scene as a talented composer with a reputation for balancing heartfelt emotion and technically proficient musicianship. With the recent release of his critically approved album Celebration, fans were treated to Nik’s first solo endeavour. Elizabeth Beattie chatted to him about his music and plans for the future.
Nik Brinkman first “made a connection to music” at 11 years old. His musical appreciation stemmed from his parents’ record collection before he discovered music was a way in which he could express himself at a young age. Years later, Nik is still just as connected to music. He “makes music every day” and views that process as “a form of therapy”. His most well-known song is perhaps his 2011 hit, Living in my House ft. Pip Brown (Ladyhawke) which was No. 1 on the New Zealand Top 40. His music is about breaking the mundanity of life. “It’s just day-to-day things, relationships, dealing with the routine, and how to make life interesting, that’s why I do music – (to) try to express myself in other ways,” he says. “Music has always been the most natural thing to do that for me.” In his music this struggle between the abstract emotional centre of his songs verses the wellconstructed, perfectly contained pop melodies are what makes him individual, and songs like And it hurts encase this dynamic perfectly.
“I always do the music first and leave the lyrics and melodies to the end. I never start with a theme. It’s purely based on the song and how it resonates with me. The biggest rush comes when you’ve been working on something for a few hours and it all comes together. “The other thing I like about music is that it lasts forever. Once you record something it’s set in print forever – you can make it public or you can hide it. Another thing I like about it is it documents a certain time in your life, just like a photograph or a painting.” Celebration documents a number of different experiences for Nik, including travel, and collaboration. “I went and did a bunch of songs with people in LA, Stockholm and London and did 20 demos or something … some of it didn’t work that well because it was a teamup with the wrong style for my music, but overall the experience was really good. I got a whole bunch of demos, came back here and put some aside. I did end up using about four or five for the album. That whole trip was such a great experience it was good to put them on the album too.”
In addition to putting together a band for some live performances and directing a new music video, Nik has again been collaborating and been creating more music. “I have been working on a lot more songs. I’ve actually been working with Peter from [Swedish indie rock band] Peter, Bjorn and John. He’s helped me out with some stuff at the moment … He’s really good and supportive and really good to bounce ideas off. I just want to keep doing more projects and more collaborations.” In the meantime, Nik is happy to stick with Junica: “I want to evolve the sound for different albums. It does seem like a good outlet for me. I kinda want it to be quite diverse too, change with different albums. At this stage I don’t feel like changing again in a hurry.” Celebration is in stores now.
featurin and an epic Easter f inale TBA!!!
On ati r t n O ie e f
GOLD PANDA (UK) // BLACK SUN EMPIRE (NL) // MICK HARVEY (NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS/AUS) // CALYX AND TEEBEE (UK/NOR) // DJ YODA (UK) // LUNICE (CAN) // MINUIT // THE PROTOTYPES (UK) // @PEACE // LOUIS BAKER
FRIED CHICKEN SOUND SYSTEM // TOTEMS // SUPPER CLUB SHAKEDOWN // ESTERE // CTFD // MANTARAYS // KAMANDI // RIDGE JAGGERS WITH OZONE & YOUNG PRETY // ALPHABETHEAD // D DOG // CYNIKAL // BLACK CITY LIGHTS // DRAX PROJECT // DJ SPELL // STICKY FINGAZ // MAREK // AGITATOR // DAM G // FEAR // YVNALESCA // NIKITA THE SPOOKY & A CIRCUS OF MEN // JMC // BEAT MOB // SKINNI // DELUXE // BLACK WINGS // FREDRICK CREW // #4CHAINZ // CYPHER // FOREST SPIRITS // TITS MAGEE // GOLD MEDAL FAMOUS // RED SKY BLUES // MOHANZ // B-LO // STONYA // DROP // EARTH IS OUR SPACESHIP
on Visit us
ent ! v e tings PLUS GIVEAWAYS, ARTSHOWS, MARKETS & BBQS ps Hea lis And 30th . ar feb 20th -m
JOEL FEAR FRESH MEAT, RAW TALENT A B I G A I L L EG G E T
It’s 2013. We did it. Some of us graduated, the world didn’t end and we finally had a half decent summer. I look to this year with more zeal than ever, carrying with me the remnants of significant learning curves discovered in the past annum and the beautiful memories of those gone before us in 2012. Felicity Wren, an extremely talented and gorgeous Massey photography student, was one of the first people I ever wrote about in this section and through her passing it has helped me realise and further my own stigma of how important it is to appreciate our peers and give kudos where kudos is deserved. It gives me even more drive to go out there and meet those students who need to be exposed for their talents, so Fliss, this column is for you now. Onwards and upwards, this next year should reveal a flurry of new talent to show for this section. Enjoy brothers and sisters.
It’s official, The Fear is here. I’m a sucker for Joel’s work to be honest. Its fresh, innovative and a sick way to immortalise some of the craziest and raddest ongoings in Wellington’s scene. I first came across Fear’s video edits through some friends on Facebook and was struck but the ability that these edits had to make you excited about art and music in a way that is removed from static imagery yet integrated at the same time. Living in Wellington for the past three and a half years, I can whole-heartedly say that these videos encapsulate what it is like to be a young kiwi adult living in the eccentric capital. According to the man himself, he makes “… little edits based around an event or project from various artists, musicians, idiots and geniuses...basically anyone who is motivated and has some interesting/ bizarre ideas.” On previous projects, he’s worked closely with the dynamic duo Brynn Chadwick and Denelle Macdonald as well as the highly respectable Andrew Steel and Shannon Rush. All of which have made for some insane collaborations of a seriously high calibre. In terms of influences, Fear lists Harmony Korine (screen
play writer of Kids, 1995 and director of Gummo 1997) and early Videograss snowboard films as a driving factor in his work. The medium of video can lead to some pretty crazy and volatile situations (I’m looking at you here Kim Kardashian) and Joel can recount a particular time in the artistic process where things took a turn for the weird. He was “attempting to film a shoot for Shannon Rush in the small hours of Sunday morning on Castle Point Beach. I’m not exactly sure what happened but I ended up on the other side of the camera, stark naked with a few others and things got real weird real quick. The whole weekend was actually pretty unusual but at the time it was standard practice, good wholesome fun.” After that, I’m sure there are going to be plenty more great stories to tell the Grandkids as well as proving the energy and enthusiasm that can only be attributed to videographing. Future projects for Joel include “working on a vid promoting the EP release of a local Wellington band The New Brides and some supersecret stuff way down the track…”. I can’t hardly wait to see what this year will bring for the Fear.
Get your AT Tertiary ID Sticker on your Student ID Card... and you could receive discounted travel on trains and selected buses and ferries. 1. 2. 3.
Check AT.co.nz/tertiary to see if you are eligible. If so, visit your tertiary institute to get an AT Tertiary ID Sticker on your Tertiary Student ID card. Youâ€™ll need this to obtain your tertiary concession discount for trains and selected buses and ferries. Actual discounts vary by operator and ticket type. Discount available for eligible, full-time tertiary students. Visit AT.co.nz/tertiary for more information, terms and conditions, eligibility and applicable services. Discounts are off the full adult price for an equivalent ticket or travel product. Receive discounts off the adult single trip cash fare when you have a tertiary concession loaded on your: - AT HOP card for trains and selected ferries. Ferries include: 360 Discovery, Belaire Ferries, Pine Harbour Ferries and Fullers Group, excluding Waiheke Ferry Services. - Purple HOP card for use on Waka Pacific, Go West, Metrolink, North Star and LINK services (excluding the Inner LINK). For details on loading a tertiary concession to your AT HOP card, visit ATHOP.co.nz. If you have a purple HOP card for use on the bus services listed above, visit MYHOP.co.nz
Receive discounts off the full adult price for an equivalent ticket or travel product when you purchase any operator discount tertiary pass. These include ferries listed above, plus Birkenhead Transport,Howick & Eastern Buses, Urban Express, Pacific Tourways and Ritchies Transport. If you are a regular user of public transport and use operator discount tertiary passes you may, at present, find it better to continue using those products. Remember to have your Tertiary Student ID card with your AT Tertiary ID Sticker with you when you travel in case of inspection. Tertiary concessions must be obtained prior to boarding and are not available on single trip paper tickets or cash fares.
For more information visit AT.co.nz/tertiary or phone 09 366 6400 @AklTransport
I THINK SHE LIKES MY PINGING ASK GURU
This is where all the juicy shit is. Each month we will answer your questions via Formspring.me/ massiveguruz Kia ora and hurro to all my fellow humans, I am Claydan Krivan-Mutu, columnist and Guru for MASSIVE. This column that I write for hopefully fulfils your needs and pleases you both emotionally and physically. Here’s a short little blurb about me, which I hope you take the time to read, cause I am going to be your next Prime Minister baby, and don’t worry, I won’t fuck up this country like the current governing party (sorry to the people who like National). I am from Masterton, a small hillbilly hick town an hour away from Wellington (I recommend going there if you feel the need to get stabbed), and I currently go to Massey Wellington in my final year of a Communications degree. I like a good coffee and pretty girls. Che Che, Claydan. xoxo
Q: Guru! I hope your holidays went well. Over the break I met a girl at RnV. I met her on the NYE, and we danced the night away. Then she came back to my tent and we had sex. Amazing drunk sex. Afterwards, I got her number and we parted ways in the morning. Everyday since we have been texting, and it just so happens she lives in the same area that I do. It’s getting a little serious now and I want to make it official – how do I do this? A: Kia ora! I hope your holidays went well too. That’s great that you got some at RnV (obviously grinding and pinging attracts the ladies aye ;-). Kidding, don’t do drugs). First things first, let’s explore the meaning of a relationship. A relationship is a commitment between two people, a verbal agreement to remain monogamous or, in other words, to only have sexual relations with said person. So by entering into a relationship, you have to abide by that rule, so no sexing other girls. If you are willing to forfeit that – then you my friend, are ready for the relationship. Secondly, finding the right time and place. It’s all about when you do it. I asked my girlfriend out while
lying in bed early in the morning. We were being cute and shit, and guru and girlfriend woke up at the same time. I looked in her eyes, she looked in mine, and I said, “Will you be my girlfriend?” That’s far cuter and more likely to score you more brownie points than, “Hey girl, will you be my bitch?” or “Fly hunnay, you be my girl now shawty”. Unless you know she is a straight up thug, in which case: go hard. So you can be extravagant and pop the question while fine dining at Logan Brown, you can ask her while you’re drunk and dry humping the shit out of her on the dance floor, or you can ask her while on a leisurely stroll – just whatever you do, don’t ask her through the cyber world; you aren’t 12 anymore. Thirdly, enjoy the relationship. Every moment you are with your partner brings you a moment closer to love (so corny and cringe-worthy I know, but #YOLO). Remember, safe sex is good sex (a condom does desensitise your willy, but a STI can make your willy fall off – you choose).
trying your best to seem like a natural flawless beauty who wouldn’t dare wear makeup! (I did). However I was faced with a dilemma…being a broke ass student I couldn’t afford treatments, facials or those silly expensive products. A beautician friend told me that my skin needed microdermabrasion – which costs hundreds depending on how many treatments you need. That was clearly out of the question. So she told me to try a at home recipe - baking soda mixed with water creating a paste which is then used to exfoliate by rubbing in circular motions. I used the mixture on my face daily and in the space of just one week I saw a huge change.
For one, when I looked in the mirror I didn’t look so bad. My skin had become brighter and dramatically smoother, it was soft and breakouts were at zero – I looked healthier and fresh without makeup. The baking soda itself was in mum’s pantry at home so I didn’t spend a cent on this beauty regime! So go on, try it – you may be surprised at how well it works for you and for some of you, well you are probably that percentage of girls we hate because everything about you is so perfect. I now like to think of myself as a natural woman! Look out for next issue as I’ll bring you a new tried and trailed cheap beauty idea to refresh yourself. Now, it’s over to you! XO
Wanting more of a Guru fix? Questions are answered weekly and will be posted to MASSIVE magazine’s Facebook page : facebook.com/MASSIVE.magazine
BEAUTY ON THE CHEAP TA R A M A S C A R A Having a bad skin day and can’t afford Clearasil with your stingy student finances? Never fear because Tara Mascara is here! Over the summer holidays, I decided I wanted to go make up free. This was a huge challenge for me as one; leaving the house without makeup is unheard of. Two; without foundation my skin appeared blotchy and downright gross. Three; my face was a different colour to the rest of my body…a disgusting ghostly white! And four; as sad as it is, make up makes me feel better (sigh). So I decided that I would embark on a wee adventure given that most days in summer are spent at the beach
THE CULINARY ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUNFINGERS B I L LY B U N F I N G E R S I arrive to my latest assignment sweaty, irritated, and mildly horny. Just hours earlier I had been officially appointed as MASSIVE’s chief suburban bakery correspondent after I was discovered crawling through the industrial sized trash heap outside the student’s association building. After failing my Health Sciences degree within the opening seconds of the first class, I thought my illustrious career in cuisineicism was over. I mean, suburban bakeries are my only solace from the vile, spitting masses, who have called animal control on me dozens of times in the past week. I sincerely hope my thoughtful, critically nuanced analyses of New Zealand’s finest suburban bakery related cuisine will deliver a monthly bukkake of pleasure for the readers of MASSIVE, as I navel-gaze through my psycho-sexual addiction to the immense splendours of immaculately crafted bakery food. So I arrive, flustered and aroused, to this suburban bakery. What do I see? Do. Nut. Donut. What a glorious word! From afar it veers perilously close to
‘do not’, but oh how it screams DO! DO! when my soft jowls envelop its heavenly contours. Strike me down Lord, how can a petite sphere of ecstasy embrace the delights of the cosmos, the infinities of taste and comfort and delight encoded in every grain of sugar, every molecule, every atom! Donut, how I love thee you have rescued me from the shrieking abyss of hunger and longing, pulled me up with the firm grasp of your doughy hand and wrapped me in the warmth of your tender embrace. The question of the ages, “Is it better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all?” has finally been answered with a heroic, triumphant YES!, goddammit YES, YES, YES!, I scream. My swollen heart, clogged with a lifetime of culinary victories, a veritable orgy of sugar and cream and custard, kneels before you with an abyssopelagic humbleness, begging you to grace its valves with the heraldry of your celestial touch! But oh my, the parade of pleasure has only just begun. A layer of whipped cream, that holy trinity of butterfat, air and the instrument of pleasure
known as a whisk, shares with me a knowing glance as my teeth gnash towards it with a violent, thunderous conviction. The thick, white liquid dances through my teeth and down my welcoming throat and my eyes roll back as a guttural cry departs my body. I have been seized by a higher power, my body delirious with delight! The urge to weep, to fall down and weep at the beauty of it all is inhumanly strong, only obstructed by the rolls of fat that have swallowed my tear ducts like I swallow this donut now - uniting us for eternity in this heinous, vicious world, surrounded by our bubble of utopian, corpulent love. Do you hear me, world? I will transcend above you, rise into the stars and seize my eternal throne, for I have finally grasped in my warm, chubby hand the impossible quality that humanity has strived for millennia to achieve - absolute, true, unconditional love! Donut: 3 stars
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SUPER BOWL TRAILERS, TIME TRAVEL and oscar hopefuls F i l m C o lu m n – PAUL B E R R IN GTON
Almost bigger than the actual game, Super Bowl’s half-time entertainment features live performances, expensive commercials, and movie trailers for the next crop of blockbuster entertainment. Super Bowl XLVII proved no different with a comeback performance from recently scorned Beyonce, alongside advertisements with movie-sized budgets, and trailers for the likes of Star Trek - Into Darkness, Iron Man 3, and World War Z. Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a U.N. employee who must save the world from the latest zombie franchise, World War Z, which is directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace). The trailer, while brief, displays the sort of epic scale and dialogue – “China’s been taken over” – which is bound to get fanboys excited. But I have to admit that the thought of fast zombies and an earnest central performance by Pitt has me more than a little sceptical. Both the latest Star Trek and Iron Man instalments look a lot better, with the latter providing a thrilling new scene involving John Stark saving passengers falling
from an airliner, and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) looking set to be a formidable enemy to both the USS Enterprise, and Captain James T. Kirk and co. Christopher Nolan looks to have decided upon his next project, following on from mega-hit, The Dark Knight Rises, he and brother, Jonathan, are collaborating scifi epic Interstellar. The film was originally going to be directed by Steven Spielberg, before he moved onto Robopocalypse – surely they’ll rethink the title of this!?! The plot involves time travel, and theoretical physics, making it easy to see why the Nolan’s were attracted to it. Starring Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine, this one is still in the early stages, but let’s hope it end up more like the Dark Knight than overwrought mess that was Inception. The Oscars have become more and more commercial every year since the first awards in 1929, and now stand as much for profit-making as they do artistic merit. The expansion of the amount nominations in the best
picture category in 2009 has allowed for some unlikely entries in recent years, and the likes of Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild and even Quentin Tarantino’s crowd favourite, Django Unchained, are likely to simply make up the numbers yet again. Predictably, Argo and Lincoln are clear favourites, but some on the rumour mill have been suggesting Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, could be a dark horse, and certainly looks a decent chance at the best director gong. Jessica Chastain’s naturalistic turn in Zero Dark Thirty deserves the best actress award, but she faces a stiff challenge from Jennifer Lawrence, while there is little doubt about who’ll receive the Oscar for best actor, with Daniel Day-Lewis pretty much guaranteed his third Academy Award. Seth McFarlane seems completely inappropriate when considering the stale humour usually delivered by the likes of Billy Crystal - which could make for both an extremely funny and no doubt offensive ceremony.
What’s to say games that are backed even ship at all? $1.1 million US dollars may sound like a lot of money, but in game development it’s hardly anything. That’s enough money to keep a small developer chugging for six months. The first really big Kickstarter success story, the ‘Double Fine Adventure,’ wound up getting 3.36 million US dollars pledged towards it. However even with that much larger than anticipated budget, according to the latest episode of their documentary, Double Fine’s wallet is beginning to wear thin and the game doesn’t seem anywhere near completion. Another problem plaguing kickstarted games is their communities. Asking a community for their input in certain aspects of the game is a noble gesture, however it undermines the artistic integrity of the entire game. At what point does the game cease to be a creation from the minds of the developers and instead become an amorphous blob designed for mass appeal? This is a problem that has plagued Minecraft, a game with a very
vocal audience of thirteen year olds. It has gotten to the stage where the developers, Mojang, can no longer make any significant changes without the tween boys rioting. Kickstarted games have a similar problem. Gamers that follow a game from its early stages of development, as was possible with Minecraft, feel a certain sense of ownership over the game. This can hinder developers wanting to make changes, as angering their community is the last thing they want to do. Like them or not, kickstarted games are here to stay; these are just a handful of problems that have popped up over the past year. We need to get smarter with our wallets and think before telling the developer to “Shut up and take my money!”
KICKSTOPPERS G a m i n g – C a l lu m o ’ n e i l l Kickstarter took the gaming world by storm last year. The idea was for consumers to shove their fistfuls of cash directly towards developers making games that would never get off the ground if funded traditionally. Lately, it has become a bit of a toxic dump full of discarded, pus-bubbling limbs for game ideas and rotten excuses to get a little bit of extra money. Kickstarter was always a shifty thing - pledging money towards something that may not even become an actual thing always seemed dodgy to me and with games it’s even worse. The typical dev cycle of a game is longer than two years from conception to completion. By the time games reach the end of the cycle, they become radically different products from the ideas initially pitched. Budgets run thin, compromises need to be made, and features chopped entirely in order to get games out the door. This is why Kickstarter rubs me the wrong way; you’re paying money to support a rigid idea, when game ideas are anything but.
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DJANGO UNCHAINED PAU L B E R R I N GTO N Once the coolest writer in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino seemed to get a little flabby around the edges after Kill Bill, losing the knack for slick dialogue and the brilliant use of character that made his earlier films so addictive. While still indulging in the blatant sampling of other films, and managing to confuse the past with pure fantasy, Django Unchained is an incredibly entertaining film that easily bounces from spaghetti western to historical drama within the space of a scene. It’s 1858, and a group of slaves is interrupted by one Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a German dentist and bounty hunter on the trail of the Brittle brothers. One of the slaves, Django ( Jamie Foxx), reluctantly admits that he knows the men, and after an altercation with his keepers, is freed by Schultz. The two men form a bond and soon Django is helping Schultz take out his duties while being trained as a gunfighter, tracker and gentlemen. Eventually they are led to brutal plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who holds Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and show interest in Candie’s Mandingo fighting trade as a disguise to win her back at any cost. Candie’s sadistic and loyal house slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), suspects the men aren’t what they seem, bringing about a climax as over the top as you’d expect from a Tarantino film.
The ensemble cast, and in particular the class of DiCaprio and Waltz help the film remain incredibly tense and thrilling even in the most absurd moments. Dr. Schultz is in many ways a contrived character, yet Waltz brings an authenticity to the role, allowing his ‘buddy’ relationship with Django to stay believable and entertaining. It is also great to see DiCaprio in a supporting role, given the freedom to indulge in a little overacting, and bringing the malevolent yet charming, Calvin Candie to the screen with some flair. If anything the character of Django is a little underwritten, yet Foxx does all he can with the role, and in the end it is this understatement that allows the final scenes to function, as Django gets his revenge. The real star of the show here though is Tarantino - whose only crime is to cast himself - and the sheer energy he brings to the screen. It’s like watching a bunch of tremendously entertaining ‘B’ movie scripts thrown in the blender to create one epic freak out. The violence is intense, some of the ideas even more so, and around every corner lays a new plot strain or character, recalling the set pieces of Sergio Leone, and the emotional realism of William Faulkner’s writing. Django Unchained is thrill ride from start to finish, a crowd favourite that deserves to be, and easily the best film Tarantino has made in the last decade.
DJANGO UNCHAINED ( 2012 ) 4/5 Director Quentin Tarantino Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz,
Leonardo DiCaprio, and Samuel L. Jackson.
LANEWAYS FESTIVAL SOPHIE FR ANCIS Laneway Festival on Monday 28 January 2013 was held at Auckland’s Silo Park. A mostly whole-day festival, it kicked off at midday until its completion at 10.30pm. A better day couldn’t have been had, with picture perfect weather to roll out the summer vibe. Getting through the gates was a breeze compared to 2013, where an hour had been spent lining up and waiting in the scorching sun . Soon after entry the beautiful sounds of Policia could be heard, but unfortunately due to the standard admin one must complete when arriving at a festival;
going to the toilet, lining up to get a coupon to buy a drink, having a quick look through the markets etc. I didn’t get to see Policia’s set. Laneway Festival was bigger than past year. Attendance was at 6000 compared to 5000 in 2012, but it felt like more in the blistering heat. Luckily, there was also considerably more shade this year to shelter. The music for the day really started with Of Monsters & Men, who played a really powerful set in the blazing sun on the main Mysterex Stage. Alt-J came on a bit later and delivered an amazing live show. They played most of their tunes off their debut album An Awesome Wave and really showed why they are one of the most unique bands of recent times, being described by a few critics as the next Radiohead. Their incredible sound resonated from the stage and the crowds love was apparent when they sung their hits ‘Breezeblocks’ and ‘Fitzpleasure’. Shortly after Alt-J finished, there was a bit of an issue with the bars running out of beers and cider. This then eventuated to only bourbon sales, to running out of alcohol completely. It was ridiculous & pretty embarrassing for the organisers & frustrating for us attendees. It was a H2O affair after that. The food options (pizza, hotdogs, Thai and Turkish) were extremely varietal and were a real highlight of the festival. Back into the music and next up was Flume who were playing in the same spot as SBTRKT last year, the playground stage at the
very back of the festival. SBTRKT were a standout last year, so there were high hopes for Flume to replicate that memory. Flume delivers the kind of music expected from a seasoned music professional, not a 22 year old newbie from Australia. His electronic sound mixed with hip hop with a range of different vocalists creates a dance floor that you want to be a part of. Half way through his set the sun began to set behind the stage, which was visually incredible to be a part of. It’s safe to say he didn’t disappoint. The headline of the festival, Tame Impala’s psychedelic rock sound reminded us all why we brought our tickets. Jay Watson on drums was the standout with his intense solos which seemed to be the centre of the band’s performance, which really showcased his talent. “Half Glass Full of Wine” was a highlight of their set. Nicolas Jaar ended the night with his electronic, deep house sound which included a live saxophonist & drummer. It was a good way to end the day with his changeup of slow then fast beats, although his downbeat music was a bit too heavy for the crowd at times. Nevertheless, you can’t deny his talent at using a bunch of different sounds to create music that delivers with intensity. Laneway 2013 - apart from the lack of alcohol after 6pm, I give you a tu meke & a thumbs up. It’s the kind of festival where you know you’re in the presence of watching the next big thing in music and that’s not something to take for granted.
THE MASTER C H A R L I E M I TC H E L L
THE MASTER ( 2012 ) 4.5/5 Director Derek Cianfrance Starring Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is one of the most confounding, mysterious films to have emerged from the Hollywood machine in the past 12 months. It concerns Freddie ( Joaquin Phoenix), a withdrawn, impulsively violent ex-Navy soldier who finds himself drawn to the charismatic charms of Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), the extremely convincing leader of a new age semi-cult transparently inspired by Scientology. The two become inextricably attached as Dodd’s cult, ‘The Cause’, gains momentum, and further pulls Freddie into its bizarre web of Freudian psychotherapy and sci-fi escapism. The details of the plot, however, aren’t particularly important. At times it doesn’t appear to have a plot at all, drifting between disconnected moments with a virtual shrug of its shoulders. Despite its heavily charged, potentially lawsuit-like premise, The Master doesn’t assert a moral position on any of its inflammatory themes, instead pondering them from a considerable distance. This rampant non-commitment to the shady goings on is an essential part of the film’s overall ethos; it’s like a cinematic Rube-Goldberg machine, slowly knocking down the conventions of Hollywood cinema by refusing to lead the viewer down a particular trail of thought, or to use the structural qualities of cinema to contrive an argument. It could be called a ‘hang out’ movie - you’re free to take it all in, look around a bit, put the various pieces together and make whatever conclusion you want, because the film’s ideas are not prescriptive, thus allowing a liberal range of interpretation. This is crucially aided by the breathtaking, immersive clarity of the images (which
were shot on 65mm film, providing greater detail than the standard 35mm), which grace the screen with an overwhelming flourish of colours and simple, elegant camera movements. Each shot is immaculately staged and designed - you could take any frame from this film, put a nice border around it, and toss it onto your wall. The performances by Joaquin Phoenix, who is quickly proving himself to be this generation’s go-to actor for any character that can reasonably be described as a ‘hot mess’, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (this generation’s go-to actor for basically anything else) are absolutely fundamental to The Master’s quiet but brutal potency. They are the reason it can get away with its lack of plot and its ideological idleness. The monstrous depths of their characters, which go largely unprodded by the narrative itself, are quietly brought to the surface through the nuances of their performances. No film in recent memory befits the term ‘character study’ than this one - Anderson uses the plot to push the two leads together, and they do the rest. The Master is an extremely difficult film to describe, because its pleasures are largely located in the things it doesn’t do. It’s this big, sprawling, lumbering thing, completely floaty and aimless, but it holds a potent, volcanic emotion at its core that Anderson wisely observes from a distance. For all of its structural radicalism, there is something acutely relatable about The Master; it shows deeply damaged people grappling with their worst impulses, emotions that are realised with incredible intensity. It’s probably the most difficult film Hollywood will produce all year, but it’s also likely the best one.
BLUE VALEntine E l i z a b e t h B E ATI E
BLUE VALENTINE ( 2010 ) 4.5/5 Director Derek Cianfrance Starring Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
When Dean (Gosling) pulls out his ukulele and serenades high-school sweetheart Cindy (Williams) with the song “You always hurt the one you love” he is unknowingly predicting the couple’s future dynamic. Blue Valentine portrays Cindy and Dean, a couple who passionately fall in love and equally as passionately fall out of love. Cindy has never experienced love before and seems destined for a lifetime of deadbeat partners until she meets Dean who crowbars his way into her life, battling her shyness and cynicism with romance and light-heartedness. The pair’s differences seem unimportant until more complex events unfold, leaving an impact on their relationship forever. In this love story, spanning years, Blue Valentine captures the intimate realities of a couple’s personal experience falling in love and documents their evolving selves without being preachy or feeling like a “cautionary tale.”
Director Derek Cianfrance balances raw emotional passages with light-hearted moments of sweetness which highlights the natural chemistry between Gosling and Williams. The acting is utterly superb, not overplayed, and both actors disappear into their roles completely giving authenticity to the intense and complex love story. This film is a tug of war expression of raw emotion, light hearted flourishes and heart-breaking realisations. The film is equally depressing and romantic. Documentary style, nostalgic and filmic, Blue Valentine is an honest life journey following one couple. Blue Valentine offers no simple solution, it only tells a truthful, meaningful story that leads the viewer to draw their own conclusions and ponder the concept of a “happily ever after.”
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