THE VOICE OF MASSEY UNIVERSITY STUDENTS : ISSUE 02/ 2013
EX-CONVICTS TATTOO DEBATE THE ‘C’ WORD EUTHANASIA
2013 CONNECT WITH US FACEBOOK.COM/MASSEYUNIVERSITY TWITTER.COM/MASSEY_UNI
FEATURES 14 Trying to Go Straight: Ex-Cons v. The System
18 Bachelor of Arts: BA or BS?
20 A Choice to Die with Dignity
24 The Lows of Legal Highs
26 Way Up High in a Tree
31 Photographic Feature: Maximillian Scott-Murray
36 Thinking About Inking
40 The Flat Facts: Flatting Horror Stories
42 Mills & Poon: The Adventures of Dick Hardy
46 Journey into a Sex Store
48 The ‘C’ Word: An Anatomy
52 Interview: Stringing Lines with Tahuna Breaks
Interview: Dave Rennie on Leadership
EDITOR Morgan Browne email@example.com (04) 801 5799 ext. 62136 ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Sean Walker firstname.lastname@example.org (04) 801 5799 ext. 62064 ADVERTISING & SPONSORSHIP Jacob Webb email@example.com (04) 801 5799 ext. 62067 LOCAL CAMPUS REPORTERS Albany – Tasmin Wheeler firstname.lastname@example.org Manawatu/Extramural – Yvette Morrissey email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Morgan Browne, Yvette Morrissey, Tasmin Wheeler, Brigitte Masters, Jordan McKay, Hannah Douglass, Guy Saker, Dick Hardy, Charlie Mitchell, Yasmine Jellyman, Shaun Mawdsley, Jared Lanigan, James Buckwell Masefield, Callum O’Neill, Allan Werner, Paul Berrington, Tayla Rea, Claydan Krivan-Mutu, Jae Hee Lee, Tara Mascara, Billy Bunfingers, Jessica Frank, Anna Tubrum, Nicole Canning ILLUSTRATORS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Maximillian Scott-Murray, Brodie Nel, Ash Nel, Graham Frost, Jacob Sparrow, Patrick McDonald, Hamish Fraser, Siobhan Clarke, Iain Anderson, Geofff Deathigan, Sean Walker. Publisher massivemagazine.org.nz ISSN 2253-5918 (Print) ISSN 2253-5926 (Online)
Disclaimer: The views, beliefs and opinions reflected in the pages in MASSIVE magazine do not necessarily represent those of Massey University, its staff, Albany Students’ Association (ASA), Massey University Students’ Association (MUSA), Massey at Wellington Students’ Association (MAWSA), Extramural Students’ Society (EXMSS) or the MASSIVE editor.
ISSUE 02/ 2013 E d i to r i a l Hello again from your student magazine, and welcome to our second issue this year. You are, by now, probably feeling the push to start your first assignments and study for tests. Here’s how MASSIVE can help – number one stop at procrastination station, baby! Pick up a copy (which you’ve clearly done, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this) and find out that a magazine actually has many uses other than just for ‘being read’. For one, you can use it for cradling injured birds or for rescuing praying mantises. You can stand it up on a table and hide behind it. You could even use it as an excuse: replace the old escape-from-unwanted-creep-talking-to-you-“Gotto-take-this-call,-sorry,” line with “The new MASSIVE magazine just came out, gotta read it, sorry.” You could use it as a plate or a bowl. Hell, you could probably even eat it! MASSIVE will take no responsibility for unpleasant taste or dining experience, however. Since issue No 1, MASSIVE has ventured to the world record-setting of the World’s Largest Waterslide, where our reporters had dummy runs with our new ContourRoam2 cameras. We have been arranging giveaways (check out the giveaways in the ‘In Short’ section), and we have been - like true journalists - living up to the disliked and annoying stereotype, harassing more people for interviews to further benefit your reading experience. We had a huge response from our last issue – from students, lecturers, and the public alike. The comments we have received were as diverse as each story embedded between the pages, ranging from expressions of disgust at Dick Hardy’s antics and differing ideas of how we should balance our journalistic content with our entertainment and opinion features, to the reactionary enjoyment of the ‘new’ MASSIVE and the appreciation of our talented photographer’s photo feature.
Thanks for your continuing feedback – we can only be as well catered to your desires by your suggestions and votes of interest. We’re proud to represent you, but you have to tell us how we can best achieve that. Every letter and comment received is greatly appreciated, because our first and foremost intention is to be your magazine, which you love picking up and contributing to. Thank you also for your contributions. I’d like to use this space to commend and make special mention of reporters Yvette Morrissey, Tasmin Wheeler, and Claydan Krivan-Mutu, who work hard to provide opportunities, assistance, and entertainment for those wanting to be involved. A special mention must also be made of Sean Walker, our designer, who is so modest that he is going to be appalled at this commendation. Sean practises his skills silently and beautifully to bring these stories to life which would otherwise be merely words on a page. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce the stories in this issue. ‘Trying to Go Straight: Ex-Cons v the System’ reveals the incredible story of how two prisoners managed to undertake tertiary qualifications – one from Massey – from behind prison bars, and the obstacles they felt they faced during this period. ‘A Choice to Die with Dignity’ delves into the euthanasia debate and how it could affect us. ‘Way up High in a Tree’ is a creative writing piece, representing the creative capabilities from the Expressive Arts/English School. MASSIVE also showcases a brand new photo feature, this time, from a Massey student’s enterprise to post-war Sri Lanka. Enjoy. Until next time, Morgan Browne MASSIVE editor
Come get some Free stuff facebook.com/MASSIVE.magazine Twitter: @massivemagnz
L.O.T.M. WHAT WOULDN’T JESUS DO? Dear Massive, It took me a lot of courage to write this letter. My pastor urged me to write it after I caused a scene at our daily sermon by sobbing hysterically into the Holy Blood and staining our most treasured crucifix. I am a first year student at Massey Albany, and I have enjoyed my first week immensely. My strong beliefs have generally been respected by the other students, which I am grateful for. Admittedly, I was thrown into a sack and tossed down the O-week waterslide multiple times, but I have been repeatedly taught that many will respond to truth with violence. I eagerly tore into the first issue of MASSIVE, hoping desperately not to be offended. I didn’t make it very far. I notice one of the zombies on the cover is wearing a WWJD wristband. This is deeply offensive. Though Christ was technically a zombie, the gospels make no reference to cannibalistic behaviour on his part, and to imply that killing Steve Maharey is something ‘Jesus would do’ is very hurtful. Flicking through, I was confronted with a picture of a male’s willy, a story about rejuvenating a girl’s no-no place, and a story by a pervert named Richard Hardy, which I couldn’t even read because I lost consciousness part way through from shock and distress. This sort of content is wildly inappropriate for a university attended by people of all faiths and belief systems. I want you to know that my congregation burned every copy we could find, and we’d like to thank you for making your magazine so flammable, because the fire it produced was truly spectacular. Only God can save you. I hope you know him. SNAKE CHARMER Dearest Massive, I am in a quandary; do I assert myself or maintain a distance? The opportunity that is present on this campus is something of a godsend in many ways, however animalistic and basic that may seem. Strolling about this
campus, I go about my business but constantly have to stop myself from gawking at the lovely young women who flit about like a beautiful hummingbird among the Gardens of Eden. I see many an Eve, but will they have me as their Adam? Can I rely on the idea that though I am no snake, that I can convince them to pick the forbidden fruit? Sincerely, Nom nom nom. MEDIUM RARE COLONISTS found to be bad taste Dear Editor, So I refer to the story about gun safety. I am highly disappointed that the writer said that Maori were cannibals; the way it was worded made it out to sound like every Maori back in the day was a cannibal. Huge generalisation. That’s like saying that every Asian is a bad driver. On a more positive note - I am loving the new direction and design of the magazine! Phew. Makes me aroused when I’m reading it. Also, tell Guru that he is the man and that he needs to do an article about queefing. Sincerely, Non-people eater
EVERY LETTER WINS! All letters receive a prize courtesy of MASSIVE magazine. This month, it is Red Bull energy drink, and the letter of the month wins a whole 24 x 250 ml cans pallet! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange collection of your prize. 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.
SLACKER WHINGES ABOUT COFFEE Dear Editor, I would like to make a complaint! I have not one, but two 8am starts on the Albany Campus and yet the Coffee van man doesn’t open till well after that! What is a caffeine addicted girl to do! Honestly he makes the best coffee on campus and now my hand is forced to find other means. I would like to protest against the unnatural 8am starts forced upon those of us who clearly chose University because of the lax lifestyle! Sincerely, Albany Coffee Fiend
Massive IN SHORT
MASSIVE IN SHORT THE BIGGEST TOPICS, SMALL.
WORLD’S BIGGEST WATERSLIDE Tasmin wheeler On the weekend of February 23-24, if you were lucky enough to be part of the 2000-plus thrill-seeking adventure loving junkies, you would have experienced the 650 metres of awesomeness that was made to be ‘The World’s Largest Waterslide’. The slide, created by Jimi Hunt and Dan Drupsteen, founders of the charity “Live More Awesome”, was made simply with plastic matting, duct tape, and tent pegs in a dug-out crevasse on a west-Auckland hillside. MASSIVE was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the pre-event media day, slide, and our ContourRoam2 cameras came in handy when we used them on head mounts. A couple of dummy runs later and we had some seriously sick footage, memories, and battle bruises to beat. Hunt and Drupsteen came up with the idea last year while brainstorming for a fundraiser.
Drupsteen says:“We were toying with a few ideas, we knew we wanted to be ridiculous whatever the fundraiser might be, and then we just sort of said - we should build a slide, a really big slide.” The slide is 300 metres longer than the world’s previous longest and is believed to get people up to 80kph. It’s on a private farm in Waimauku, north-west of Auckland, and was open to the public for only two days. Drupsteen hopes for more next year. “We hope to next year put on the same event but on a wider scale for hopefully, fingers crossed, a bit longer than this year”. Adventure-seekers at the event ranged from 16 years of age to senior citizens, from naked people to those in extravagant costumes. The event, which raised $94,747, had two key objectives: to raise awareness of depression and to
show people that fun hobbies or sport mixed with healthy eating, sunshine, and good friends is a recipe for happiness. Live More Awesome aims to help people with depression get through without anti-depressives or other drugs and medication. The waterslide build was for Hunt and Drupsteen, both of whom have suffered depression, to share how they have found their way out of the black hole by talking about it and minimalizing the load. They hope to use some of the money raised to create more awareness and help more people. Other attractions on the day were two smaller two slides, a soapy soccer pitch, live music, food, nonalcoholic beverages and other games. The weekend was a success with no disasters reported and just a bunch of people having a good time with some other ridiculously cool people.
STUDENT PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF UNDERMINING OWN STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION YVETTE MORRISSEY A student President has been accused of undermining his own association’s Orientation by promoting events at a rival bar, at which he is employed part-time. Steven Christodoulou, the Massey University Student’s Association (MUSA) President at the Manawatu campus, handed out flyers advertising “Empty Vessel (EV) Orientation 2013”, which was held the first week of semester one and was not affiliated with the Orientation week organised by MUSA. He also broke Massey rules by promoting a commercial entity on campus without permission. Christodoulou agrees he “handed some out at the bar”, where he is a duty manager, but denies doing so on campus. However, when MASSIVE approached several different students with a photo of Christodoulou and a copy of the flyer, they confirmed he had given them copies while they were on campus. Massey’s Communications Director James Gardiner said commercial entities were required to have permission to promote their products or services on campus. “I don’t know whether Steven gave out fliers –
I’m told he did – but he definitely did not have clearance to do so from the campus registrar or anyone else that I am aware of. Under the circumstances outlined, I cannot think of any reason why we would have consented to that.” MUSA Manager Dave Broderick said Christodoulou’s actions in running a separate Orientation event from MUSA was a “huge conflict of interest”. But Christodoulou said he did not run the Orientation event the flyers were promoting. “That would be a huge conflict of interest,” he said. However, MUSA Events Manager Pauline Karam said Mr Christodoulou did organise ‘EV Orientation 2013’. Broderick said last year MUSA’s Orientation week made a $5000 profit. This is year it incurred a $6280 loss. Some students said they thought the MUSA O-week, held at The Royal hotel, had the drink specials advertised on the flyers and left when they found they were at the wrong event. A male student, who attended both O weeks, believes
the success of Mr Christodoulou’s event impacted negatively on MUSA’s orientation event. “Students were so hungover from cheap drinks at the paint party event on Thursday night that only 15 showed up to the Bizarre Ball on Friday. Full buses from Massey would come up and drop five people off and take the rest to the Empty Vessel. They were pumping.” The student was angered by Mr Christodoulou’s actions: “If he is going to be that stupid, he doesn’t deserve his position.” The MUSA President is paid honorarium payments for the work he does for MUSA. “I see absolutely no reason why someone would screw over their own organisation. And for what? A few beers and a bit of money. A President should support his association.” Other students also appear to echo these sentiments, expressing their beliefs that Mr Christodoulou should tender his resignation.
Massive IN SHORT
MENTALIST – MENTAL OR MAGIC?
RED BULL COLLECTIVE ART
Ample doubts weighed heavy on my mind when the socalled ‘Mentalist’, Robert Haley, contacted us explaining of his magic and mindreading talents. “I would love to meet with someone from MASSIVE and perhaps even show them what I do,” he said. Sitting at the computer, one could only be sceptical of someone who claimed to be able to read minds. But, naturally, human intrigue and curiosity overpowered doubt and I met Haley on a Tuesday morning in a popular Wellington social joint. Childhood remnants of intrinsic fascination of the supernatural and the magical battled with my basic body language communication theory knowledge, which could only be assumed as what ‘mind-reading’ really is: that’s if you don’t believe in magic. Haley started off with what could be described as a ‘standard choose a card’ trick. I did the obliging participatory check of the deck, the shuffle and the draw of the one card – No 5, black of spades. His eyes fixed on mine, Haley promised he could guess what card I chose if I imagined and envisaged the card in my head. “It’s black,” he said, startling me a little. “Clubs … no, spades.” Surely he won’t guess the number, I thought, and I better work on my poker face. Probability doesn’t have much weight with that many variables. “It’s between 3 and 6,” he said. “5. Number 5, black of spades.” I must say I was a little stunned. More so after his next mind-reading/magic exercise, which saw him correctly predict that I would select a 20c coin and flip heads, out of a possible 50c, 20c and 10c and all with a heads or tails variable.
“It’s a little bit of reading body language as well as magic,” said ‘New Zealand’s Mentalist’, who I found to be warm, enlightening, and charismatic. “I can’t say much more, as I don’t want to give away my secrets!” It seems that Haley has impressed many, with the ‘Mentalist’ performing for and charming big audiences throughout New Zealand and Australia over the past couple of years with his previous show, Mind Reader. He is now focusing on Elixir, a new show which premiered in Melbourne last year. With Elixir, he offers extraordinary experiences and potential super-powers to those who are able to interact with him on stage. Elixir is on from March 21-28 at BATS Theatre in Wellington, and Friday 26 April at the Hawkins Theatre in Papakura, Auckland, with ticket ranging from $10$18 per person. Tickets can be purchased from http:// bats.co.nz (Wellington) and http://hawkinstheatre. co.nz MASSIVE also has two double passes to give away – one double pass for each show (Auckland and Wellington). To enter, email editor@massivemagazine. org.nz with I BELIEVE IN MAGIC in the subject line, and your name and contact details in the text. The winner of the Wellington double pass will be drawn and notified on March 20 and the winner of the Auckland will be drawn and notified on April 20. If you believe in magic, take delight in going along to Haley’s show this month. If you don’t, I strongly suggest attendance and participation anyway – you never know what could take place.
Red Bull Collective Art has taken New Zealanders by storm, giving students, up and coming artists and designers the opportunity to be a part of the world’s largest single continuous piece of art. The project which began on March 11 takes the principle of ‘Cadavre exquís’ and brings it to life in the digital world. Cadavre exquís is a collaborative creative technique first introduced by Surrealists around 1925. It is a method by which assortments of words or images are collectively assembled. This is done in sequence, where participants are able to see the end of the previous person’s contribution before adding their own creation. Within a two week period, students who have signed up before March 11 have chosen a four hour timeslot to complete their work. They simply download their template and are free to use any format they like to work on the image such as Photoshop or Adobe, including freehand, before their image is scanned and uploaded. Eventually their work along with thousands of others will be displayed in local galleries around the world. Seveso (Italy) and SuperBlast (Germany) are just two of the well-known guest artists invited to be a part of the global project. With activations in 85 countries, participants are joining them to share a common interest; to create something and share it with the world. Participants are invited to become a part of an innovative global project, inspired by artists contributing before them. The heart of Red Bull Collective Art is the website www.redbullcollectiveart.com. The website will allow global interaction across the project. Check it out for more details.
EXTRAMURAL STUDENTS: CONTACT COURSES 02–14 April Therese MCCREA Welcome to all new and returning students to 2013. My name is Thérèse McCrea and I am the EXMSS (Extramural Students’ Society) Contact Course & Events Coordinator. During semester break times at Massey Manawatu (Easter, June/July Mid Year and Aug/Sept Study breaks) EXMSS operate a help desk on the Palmerston North campus for the duration of the break. The EXMSS Helpdesk usually operates from the MUSA Lounge (adjacent to the dining hall) but for the Easter contact course we’ll be elsewhere – venue still to be confirmed. The desk is open seven days a week, MonSun 8am – 5.30pm, and provides the following: A luggage minding service (during desk hours only) so you don’t have to lug about your books and belongings! Directions to directions to courses and classrooms Assistance with general enquiries Campus & city maps Information about the Massey Gym- EXMSS has negotiated a discounted ‘casual rate’ for extramural students attending the Massey gym when on campus only $4 per student per visit. EXMSS Survey. A “services” survey each contact course period and use the information to lobby the University on behalf of our students. These are available
at the helpdesk or online at: http://exmss.org/contactcourse/rate-your-contact-course Local transport information and timetables. Although Extramural Students don’t get free bus travel on the local buses, as the internal local students do, you can get a reduced rate by showing your student ID card. During the semester break time only, EXMSS will be providing transport to get you from the campus to the airport, bus and train stations and this booking is done at the desk. We are currently negotiating with a new transport service and the information with be confirmed in the coming days. If you’re on campus at anytime from April 2 – 14 do come and visit. Outside the semester break time we warmly welcome you to visit us at the EXMSS office – Level 2, The Student Centre, above Bennetts bookstore. Come up the stairs/lift and turn right at the reception desk and follow the corridor to the end of the building where you’ll see our sign. On behalf of the EXMSS team I wish you all the very best for 2013 and look forward to meeting some of you at the desk! Keep an eye on our website www.exmss.org. nz for information on transport and the venue for the Easter break. firstname.lastname@example.org, x 81184
MASSIVE LOVES GIVEAWAYS Win a double-pass to ‘Tuborg Sounds On the Oval’ on Saturday March 23 in Auckland plus a $20 Hell Pizza voucher! ‘Sounds On’ features The Black Seeds, Home Brew, Katchafire, Tahuna Breaks, Tiki Taane and much more! Email email@example.com with SOUNDS ON in the subject heading with your name and contact details in the text to win! Entries close Thursday 21 March at 5pm and winner will be drawn and notified via email and MASSIVE Facebook on Friday 22 March.
Win a whole pallet of Red Bull energy drink! That’s 24 x 250 ml cans; almost enough for a whole month! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with RED BULL GIVEAWAY in the subject heading with your name and contact details in the text to win! MASSIVE has three pallets to giveaway. Entries close Monday April 1 at 5pm and winners will be drawn and notified via email and MASSIVE Facebook on Tuesday April 2.
Proposed fee rise riles students YVETTE MORRISSEY Some students are not impressed with Massey’s bid to the government to increase student fees by 8 per cent next year. The increase is aimed at education, humanities, and social sciences papers, which all have considerably low fees in comparison to other universities. MASSIVE asked students on our Facebook page on their thoughts about the proposed increase: Graedon Pakeha said: “Great move by the institution to ensure their students are drowning in even more debt than they already are. After all, what’s $10000 more to a $48000 loan?” Ben Thorpe (Massey at Wellington Students’ Association President) said: “If an institution wants to provide better services, more conducive learning environments and the learning resources to ensure more successful students, then isn’t raising fee’s a good thing? I also offer the fact that Massey’s fees are substantially LOWER than other Universities.” Isabel Luseane said: “ If these fee rises mean we will definitely get jobs that will pay off the fees after we graduate then yeah, all good. But it’s already hard enough to pay off a student loan.” According to Universities New Zealand, fees for the papers targeted stand between $4647$5722 for 2013. Universities are usually only allowed to request fees to be raised by 4 per cent, however in exceptional circumstances they may request an up to 8 per cent increase. MASSIVE intends to uncover more research for next issue.
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
ALBANY LO C A L N OT I C E S
WHAT IS THE ASA? Orientation week is the time of the semester when you make yourself known, especially if you are part of the students’ association executive. It is the one time of the semester you can be sure to have a number of curious and anxious students wanting information about what is happening around campus and what the university has to offer. Albany Students’ Association (ASA) did not offer this assistance and anecdotal evidence would appear to indicate that they failed – massively. ASA is made up of a team of executives who are also students, and who are there to make life better for students. During O-Week, there was a sandwich board outside the ASA building telling students to “come upstairs for your free orientation bag”. This board was put there not by anyone from the executive, but by office staff Penny Lyall (ASA Advocacy) and Jacqueline Adams (General Manager) - the two ladies who seem to be keeping the ASA afloat. There was nobody walking around among students with a clip board signing people up to ASA. There was nobody telling students what ASA is and what it can do for the students. Not even on clubs day was there anyone telling students about the ASA, although outside parties, as well as Te Waka, the Maori/Pasifika Students’ Association, were doing this. However, ASA President Stephan Van Heerden was spotted for the first time during O-Week working for another club collecting sign-ups. He was allegedly being paid for his time signing up members to Uni-Games. When asked if he was being paid by other organisation for his work, his said: “I haven’t been paid yet”. The most concerning part about the ASA’s lack of presence during O-Week was the fact that it is currently having elections, nominations for which opened on March 11. There are a number of vacant positions on the executive that need to be filled. When Van Heerden was asked how students who didn’t know about the ASA could get this information, he said: “There will be an email sent to all students who have volunteered their information to the ASA regarding the elections”. Considering ASA was nowhere to be found during O-Week, it would seem an opportunity was missed to
connect with students. Those who read the sandwich board and went up to the ASA office to collect an orientation bag were asked for their information there. Van Heerden told MASSIVE that ASA had planned to put all its energy into the night-time events during orientation. When asked how successful he felt the evening events were, he acknowledged that “they weren’t that successful. They were very quiet - that comes down to this campus being a lazy and apathetic campus”. Let’s hope for the sake of the students on the campus that the new vice-president and executive put more time into awareness and assistance for students. After all, their main functional areas are those of advocacy, representation, and provision of student-related services. Perhaps it’s time they reconsidered their catchphrase ‘students helping students’. O-WEEK ALMOST SUCCESSFUL Huge efforts were put into orientation week this year by the university which had Student Life Coordinator Sarah Francis organising all daytime events. The week was jam-packed with activities, sponsors, entertainment, free products and a DJ playing tunes from 10am to 2pm each day. New and returning students had plenty of opportunities to have fun over the week, although few got involved with what was on offer. Third-year student Sandra Partridge said “this was definitely one of the better orientation weeks put on by the university,” despite complaints of no free sausage sizzles this year. Over the week, the weather was fine, people were happy, and there was generally a positive feeling around campus. Massey Albany isn’t a big party campus, so student involvement and culture does seem to lack. However, the general response from the daytime activities was that people had a laugh and there was something for everyone – a success that Francis should be proud of. The evening events were not as much of a success, with few turning up the Ferguson campus bar and the biggest event ‘Boom Stack’ selling just 21 tickets. Two
members from the Albany Students’ Association (ASA), Hal Smith Stevens and Tayla Rea, put a lot of effort into the evening, but had a disappointing outcome. For Orientation Week next year perhaps ASA could collaborate with Francis and Student Life for an improved result. Albany gets creative The newest arts venture on campus is a theatre lab for all creative people. Dr Rand Hazou wants all students across all academic fields to take part in this exciting venture. With the facility provided by Massey, it is up to the students to make the most of this tool and get creative. Dr Rand is very excited about it, and it seems students are, too. Rachel Adams, who is taking part in a Fringe Festival play “Spring Awakening”, is excited to have this new lab. She says: “It’s great that Massey has invested in this idea. There are plenty of creative students on campus who have been waiting to have a class like this”. There is also talk of a drama club starting up. If this is something you might be interested in, why not take it upon yourself to get the ball rolling. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION There have been many opportunities over the past few weeks for students to get themselves onto TV. A TV show called Neighborhood had a film crew on campus, capturing university goers for the show, which is on Sundays at 11am on TV1. The 35-part series explores different neighborhoods in New Zealand and shows our universities’ cultural diversity. There have also been castings on campus, with the company Storyboard looking for 50 people to star in a new television advertisement for Massey. Students had their headshots taken and filming took place on March 12. Keep your eyes on the screens and look out for our campus on TV.
Massive Local notices
MANAWATU LO C A L N OT I C E S
SHAKING IT ON CLUBS DAY Sumo wrestlers, roller-skaters, fire-breathers, stiltwalkers and the Harlem shake: all were part of Clubs Day. February 27 marked the day where students could commit or recommit themselves to one of the 66 clubs that had a stall on concourse. Club Development Officer, Gemma Lindegren, said that Clubs day was a success with at least five stands by 8.30am and then within an hour the “concourse was full of stands and activities” despite the fact that clubs day was from 11am to 2pm. “Semester One Clubs Day is always so much fun because everyone is hyped up and full of optimism for the New Year. Plus, we had fantastic weather.” Due to the great weather, clubs day saw the Cancer Society Club members going up and down the concourse giving out sunscreen, and even with sunscreen, those manning the stands saw tan lines forming before their eyes. The hot sun did not help the young Labour party who were giving out cupcakes and Jaffas for free. By noon their Jaffas had changed from red chocolate balls to a red coated chocolate sauce and the icing on their cupcakes became capable of redecorating. Then at 12.30pm two students in sumo wrestling suits started off the Harlem Shake. As the music built up the concourse was soon full of booty shakers and spectators all enjoying the beat of the Harlem Shake music. The video clip of the shake can be found on the Massive Magazine website at www.massivemagazine. org.nz As lunch time progressed the two sausage sizzle stands became very busy with the students wanting to enjoy a classic kiwi BBQ in the amazing weather. Miss Lindegren said last year there were a total of 2800 formally registered club memberships and she hopes this semester will have even more.
FIRE CLUB If you are on the lookout for extracurricular distractions that will help you get through the Massey year and have a fascination with fire, this club could be for you! The Massey University Fire Club (MUFC) is a group that shares a passion for fire performance and circus skills. They meet on Tuesday nights at the Event Centre and practice a wide range of circus skills, such as fire poi spinning and fire breathing. Considering the nature of fire and its tendency to burn people, the club has a big focus on safety. Training and supervision from senior club members is given to all new ‘spinners’ and there are non-fire alternatives. Glow poi lit up by a psychedelic rainbow of LED colours are great to use when building spinning skills as students can increase their confidence with the moves before graduating to fire. They also put on group performances for events around the Manawatu and in the Greater Wellington region. The MUFC president, Beth Wood, is looking forward to meeting new members. This is her third year with the club. “People should join MUFC because it’s great way to expand your horizons, teach you a whole bunch of new skills, meet some amazing (and slightly wacky) new friends who become like a family, and just have some really good memories.” The club is planning to run workshops this year with students who would like to have a go, and are introducing an end of year prize giving this year to acknowledge members with the greatest creativity (Creative Flare Award), those who have made the biggest contribution to the club (Stoking the Fire Award) and the biggest fail award (Fallen in the Fire Award). The club also puts on group performances for events around the Manawatu and in the Greater Wellington region. If you are interested in joining, contact the President at email@example.com Jae Hae Lee
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WELLINGTON LO C A L N OT I C E S
A window into indonesia through films and music Wellington audiences will gain an intimate insight into modern Indonesia through a festival of music and films over the first two Sundays in April and May. The film festival eveningsv(first screened on Sunday March 3) which still have screenings available on April 7 and May 5, are a collaboration between the New Zealand Indonesia Association and the gamelan orchestras based at Te Kokī New Zealand School of Music. Live gamelan music, traditional sounds of Indonesia featuring instruments such as xylophones, drums and bamboo flutes, will be performed as a prelude to the screening of three award-winning films by Dutch filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich: Eye of the Day (2001); Shape of the Moon (2004) and Position Among the Stars (2011). In these documentaries, Helmrich follows three generations of a single family in Jakarta, Indonesia, from the days before the fall of Suharto in May 1998 through to 2009. New Zealand School of Music events coordinator Stephen Gibbs says the camera neither comments nor judges but rather acts as a window into the lives of Rumidjah, the family’s Christian matriarch, the two Muslim sons and a granddaughter in a film which offers a personal and close-up look into modern Indonesia through a single family. Preceding the screenings, one of the gamelan orchestras based at the School of Music, which is jointly run by Massey University and Victoria University, will perform a range of traditional and contemporary music. Some of the proceeds from the event will help fund a tour by the gamelan orchestras to Indonesia in July, Mr Gibbs says. They will tour cities in Java and Bali including the International Gamelan Festival in Yogyakarta where they have been invited to perform a programme of new works by New Zealand composers. Each of the concerts and film screenings will be held in the Adam Concert Room on the School of Music Kelburn Campus, through gate 7 off Kelburn Parade at Victoria University. The evenings will start at 6pm and a light supper will be served following the film.
Tickets can be bought online through www. eventfinder.co.nz or by contacting members of the New Zealand Indonesia Association or the Gamelan ensembles. Seating is limited and remaining tickets will be sold at the door. CRANE DOES HEAVY LIFTING ON CAMPUS It was an early start for a work crew from Arrow International and sub-contractors Whakatiki Engineering, who spent Saturday putting in place two giant steel frames at Block Four as part of earthquake strengthening activity on the Wellington campus. The heavy lifting was carried out by a 350 tonne Titan crane that lifted the two 13m high K frames from entrance B over to the other side of Block Four to be installed opposite the library and by student central. Arrow International site manager Wendy Jacob says a challenge with the project, due for completion at the end of March, has been working around on-going Massey operations including an active summer school programme and student orientation. FASHION WEEK WIN BEARS FRUIT The Westpac Young Designer Competition at 2012 New Zealand Fashion Week was quite a triumph for the Massey Fashion department and its students. Two of the three finalists were recent Massey graduates, while the winner, Jack Hill, was a third year student. Included in Hill’s substantial prize pack was a summer internship at renowned fashion house Zambesi, where he received mentoring from widely acclaimed menswear designer Dayne Johnson. Hill describes it as a ‘great experience’, and has nothing but appreciation for the generosity that Johnson, and the rest of the Zambesi team, showed him in regards to being giving of their time and knowledge. Hill’s experience was made all the better by getting to spend his internship at Zambesi’s brand new headquarters/design-to-production facility in Auckland. But it seems that admiration between Massey fashion students and Zambesi is now mutual. Impressed by the
work of Hill and others, the attitudes of Massey staff members, and the facilities provided to students at CoCA, Zambesi and Massey are now working towards an expanded relationship. The first tangible example of this collaboration will come in the form of a small Zambesi fashion show in Wellington next month. Five Massey students will work as assistants for the show’s producer, NZFW producer, Marissa Findlay. The invitations for the show are being designed by Massey students, and will be produced using the cutting machines in the Fab Lab. Massey photography students will shoot the event. A number of senior Massey fashion students will also receive invitations to attend the show. MAWSA communications manager, Mike Ross, who has been involved in facilitating the show, believes that there is a lot for Massey fashion students to be excited about. “The Massey Fashion department have always been respected by the New Zealand industry, and provided good internship opportunities for their students. What we’re trying to do here is expand on those relationships to ensure that the benefits of this mutual respect flow as freely as is possible. Zambesi is a world-class fashion house, ran by very giving people. There is an enormous amount our students can learn through working with them.” Michael Smuth
CLUBS FEED Wellington enjoyed a vibrant clubs day March 6 revealing a surprising amount of clubs on offer on campus. Many students took advantage of the opportunity to meet like minded people and get to know a few more faces on campus. But for those who missed out due to classes, lectures or just not looking at any of the posters around campus or nursing a heavy hangover, don’t worry you can still join up to many of the clubs on offer.
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Massive Local notices
TRYING TO GO STRAIGHT: EX-CONS v. THE SYSTEM Do convicted criminals deserve a chance to undertake tertiary study from behind prison bars? Brigitte Masters investigates and asks some ex-cons how they beat the odds – leaving jail behind with a tertiary qualification.
What do a recently released murderer and New Zealand’s biggest drug importer have in common? Most would say a conviction and time behind bars. Others would say they have unwarranted freedom or an undeserved second chance. Yet ex-cons Dr Paul Wood and Justin Rys would say their commonality lies in redemption through education and drug rehabilitation. Both men undertook educational programmes from providers outside prison and pursued drug rehabilitation on their own accord. They both claim their decisions to improve their lives were not supported by the Corrections Department despite policy to the contrary, and surprisingly say this sort of behaviour is not out of the norm. Beyond the reach of normal civilisation, hidden away in the stark depths of an unforgiving prison cell, about 20,000 people experience what life is like behind bars each year. Unfortunately, a majority of prisoners decide to not pursue an education inside prison to better themselves for when they are released. But there are some who see education as an escape route from their long, miserable days of gloom. This story of two young, drug-addicted convicts, who turned their lives around, reveals how they made it to the greener side of prison walls as reformed men. But their stories cannot be told without reference to the frustration, pain, and struggle they felt while trying to break free from their own mental prisons in order to better themselves. They had battles with the Department of Corrections. Despite trying to find redemption to escape from a life of continuing crime, they felt Corrections put multiple roadblocks in their way. Still hurting from the recent death of his mother, Paul Wood murdered his drug dealer at the young age of 18. It happened after Wood couldn’t pay for his morphine fix. His drug dealer demanded that payment be to watch Wood and his girlfriend have sex. After a dispute surrounding the compromise erupted, the night ended with a bloodied and dead drug dealer and a murder charge and imminent life in prison for Wood. The first few years of incarceration were a marijuana fog as he tried to escape from reality. Every day he would smoke a joint in the yard with his fellow prisoners, and he says Corrections never attempted to put him or the other prisoners in a drug rehabilitation programme. He says that instead of helping prisoners fight their addictions, Corrections punishes them. Sitting in the corner of a small café in Wellington city, a now-confident Wood freely
offers answers when asked about the support systems Corrections has in place. “I wouldn’t say Corrections supports you at all in terms with coming off drugs. I would say Corrections punish you if you carry on using drugs while in the system. I am not familiar with any sort of support programmes.” He was moved from Rimutaka Prison to maximum-security in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo because of his continued drug use. After a few years of doing nothing but living in a continued drug haze, he decided he wanted to try tertiary study after being convinced of the benefits from fellow prisoner and double murderer John Barlow. Wood found an interest in psychology because he wanted to see what made the other prisoners tick. But his interest had to be put on hold after he says he spent 10 months trying to get prison staff to enrol him at Massey University. After endless efforts and long-lost days of frustration trying to convince the guards he had a right to study, his dad ended up enrolling him. “It was completely outside of the prison – it had nothing to do with them. This is what happens in Corrections a lot of the time. They have this systemic attitude that saying ‘no’ is the best answer at all times.” He devoted over 60 hours a week to his new addiction of education and after he passed his first two papers he decided to leave drugs behind and focus all his attention on education. “When I did my first two papers I was getting high all the time. When I passed them that was a real turning point for me because I didn’t expect I’d pass them.” As well as Corrections making no attempt to enrol him, he says they did not support him during his study. He eventually learnt who to give his library books to after receiving many late fee fines, and always gave his dad his completed handwritten assignments otherwise there was a chance they would end up in the rubbish bin. Wood completed his Master’s degree while he was in the violence prevention unit. He says his case officer and unit manager both went to the prison manager for permission to have a small celebration because no one had ever made it as far as he had. He says many people overheard the prison manager’s response, and he is still amazed by her attitude today: “No! Who gave this guy permission to study to that level?” When MASSIVE asked Corrections for a response to this, they said: “This is an alleged comment made by a former employee of the department so we are not in a position to make any comments on this.” When MASSIVE asked the communications department at Corrections what their policy on prisoners studying was, they said we
“it is no use if you’re locked up behind a door all day not being given the support you need to battle your drug addiction, or given the treatment to help your heart keep beating.”
should “refer to the information in the most recent annual report on the website”. Their latest annual report contains this: “We work with offenders and their whänau to address offenders’ drug and alcohol problems, to increase their literacy and numeracy skills, and to help them get a job. We provide them with interventions that address the causes of their offending to help them live law-abiding lives.” Another ex-con who desperately tried to jump education hurdles is Justin Rys, a former body building champion, money launderer, and New Zealand’s biggest drug importer. He says he also had similar troubles with Corrections and how they handled unusual requests. And, to make things worse, Rys’s complications were life threatening. He says Corrections staff told him he wasn’t allowed to do any study, which he did not take lightly, and he says he told them: “This is rubbish, I am trying to further myself by doing something positive!” After months of battling the prison staff to approve his study, they finally gave him the okay. However, he says that a few months later Corrections said there was no way he could study at a tertiary level due to the fact that he needed a computer and they were not prepared to go to that length. “I had to write to the regional manager, and about four months later it was finally approved.” He eventually gained a Diploma in Management, Business, and Marketing. Despite this educational success, he struggled to get by after receiving the news that he only had one year to live due to a weak heart, the direct consequence of abusing the Class B drug Fantasy for many years. “I had a huge, bad addiction, that’s for sure, and I would probably be dead already if I didn’t get caught. But in saying that, it is no use if you’re locked up behind a door all day not being given the support you need to battle your drug addiction, or given the treatment to help your heart keep beating,” says an emotional Rys. He suffers from sleep apnoea, meaning he loses breath when he sleeps at night. His lungs close up and he’s in constant danger of suffocating. To help prevent this risk, he uses a machine that pumps oxygen into his lungs when he sleeps, but even so, there’s no guarantee he’ll wake up in the morning. One night the machine stopped working and he woke himself up in an asphyxiating fit of frenzy. In distress, he immediately told the prison nurse, who he claims ignored his cries for help for nearly three weeks. It wasn’t until his lawyer took it to the media that Corrections sent him to hospital to receive a new machine. When asked about this incident, Corrections emailed MASSIVE a simple statement saying: “The department does not comment on the health and management of individual prisoners.” Their most recent annual report says “we ensure that the diverse needs of prisoners are responded to and we respond to their various mental and physical health needs”. And the battle didn’t end there for Rys. He knew that once he arrived in prison he was no longer infallible or bulletproof, and that he needed real support in battling his excessive drug addiction. Yet any sort of rehabilitation programme was out of the question for him because his classification within the Corrections system wouldn’t allow it. In the end he decided to pay for his own drug and alcohol counsellor, Roger Brooking, but the head of the prison banned him from visiting. “They said I wasn’t allowed to pay for my own counsellor, and again, once it made the media the prison manager gave in and Roger was allowed to come in and help me help myself,” says Rys, who is still clearly angered by the ordeal.
MASSIVE asked Corrections the following; “is it true that Corrections won’t let prisoners pay for their own drug and alcohol counsellor? And if so, why is this?” The response, attributed to Karen Petrie, Regional Manager, Corrections Services, Lower North, was, “Prisoners can access their own health care provider but they must pay all associated costs. Any visits by specialists or leave required to attend treatment outside prison must be approved by the prison manager. The Department is currently expanding the range of alcohol and drug interventions across the prison system beyond that provided by Drug Treatment Units. The aim of this Strategy is to ensure that prisoners with an identified alcohol and/or drug problem have access to the appropriate level of treatment.” Brooking, the author of the book Flying Blind - how the justice system perpetuates crime and the Corrections Department fails to correct, expressed irritation, not only with the way Corrections acted towards Rys, but also at their on-going behaviour towards all prisoners. He visits prisons regularly and says the way Corrections treat criminals is a very short-sighted approach. “The way I describe it is like having a hospital with no doctors or nurses. The department put obstacles in the way for prisoners. “To [Police Minister] Anne Tolley’s credit, the Government is putting more money into programmes to help prisoners,” says Brooking. But he is concerned it isn’t going to be enough support to help prisoners battle their underlying issues of ignorance, drug and alcohol addictions, and lack of education. Rys says the programmes that Corrections do run are “the inside joke of prison”. Paul Wood agrees that although the programmes are increasing, they need to be focusing more on educating prisoners. “I think what Corrections do with the specialist units are fantastic, but what I’d love to see is them have a dedicated education unit.” The now very professional and influential Wood, who uses his lessons to bring successful change in others, feels that education has pulled him out of the dark gloomy hole he was living in. He hopes that in the future, Corrections will stop putting barriers in the way of prisoners, because he feels education has the power to free others, just as it freed him. “I can’t speak enough about what education has done for me, personally. The root word for educate is to lead out of darkness, and that’s what it’s done for me.” MASSIVE asked Corrections to respond to the specific issues raised by Paul Wood, Justin Rys, and Roger Brooking. This is what we sent them: 1. What is your policy on prisoners studying? 2. There have been claims that some prisoners have been banned from studying. Is that true? Why would that be? 3. What does Corrections do to encourage prisoners to study? 4. Would Corrections rather let prisoners rot than do something meaningful to improve themselves for when they are released? 5. If MASSIVE could provide examples of some prisons banning prisoners from studying or putting impediments in their way would this be investigated? 6. How many prisoners are deemed to suffer from drug and/or alcohol programmes? 7. How many prisoners have access to drug and/or alcohol programmes? In line with Corrections’ responses earlier in this article, it will come as no surprise that all the department could come up with was that they could not comment on the management of specific prisoners and that all information that was requested could be found in their most recent annual report online. Corrections? You be the judge. Illustrated by Hamish Fraser
Bachelor of arts: BA or BS? Despite the fact that many university graduates who hold a Bachelor of Arts are struggling to find employment relevant to their degrees, they don’t blame the institutions that put them in this position. The public, on the other hand, are calling for universities to take responsibility. Hannah Douglass reports.
Picture this: you’ve just graduated. You owe nearly $40,000 in student loans and have been living on the smell of an oily rag for the past three years. You’re ready for the money to start coming in from the job you expected to get after getting your degree. The problem is, no one will employ you. Your Bachelor of Arts is no longer enough to guarantee you a job, after all the work it took to get it. You have two options: you can either find any old job that will pay you the minimum wage, doing meaningless tasks with little or no career prospects; or you can go back to studying, dig yourself thousands of dollars deeper into your hole of debt and get a qualification to make you more employable. It’s a bleak choice. Laura Badcock has done the latter. After completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Classical Studies with an English minor in 2011, she decided to do a post-graduate Diploma in Communication. “Part of the reason I went on to do a post-graduate qualification in a different field is the employment situation – I don’t know that a BA is enough [to find a job] at this point,” she says. Though it may seem like three years of study wasted, she disagrees. “A BA teaches ways of thinking critically, analysing and writing, which I’ve come to think is relevant and useful in a workplace, more so than majors in many cases.” The choice to take up a BA wasn’t a difficult one for her. “It’s what I’m good at – I’m not good with sciences, didn’t have an interest in a business degree, and I didn’t want to take up a trade. It’s also what I enjoy and liked learning about in high school.” Having left school at the end of Year 12 with NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance, Badcock making life-altering choices at just 17 years old. She admits she wasn’t really ready to make such a big decision. “I didn’t look into the future as much as I could have. I was thinking about studying for its own purpose and its own merits, not employment prospects … Nobody ever suggested to me that [a BA] may not be useful for entering the workforce.” She is not alone in this view. Ailsa Malcolm, the mother of two university students, agrees. “At 17 or 18, the majority of kids have no idea what they want to do with their lives,” she says. One of the issues in New Zealand is the expectation placed on a lot of high school students to go to university either straight from school or not long after. Because of this, a number of BA students are doing their particular degree “just because”. She says teenagers think “in the here and now – they don’t think further down the track”. Massivemagazine.org.nz
Daughter Beth, 23, is a recently graduated and currently employed physiotherapist student, while Hannah, 20, is in her second year of a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English. Malcolm admits that one of them is “possibly” more employable than the other in New Zealand’s current job market. “Beth had lots of trouble getting a job after she graduated because [physiotherapy is] so specialised, but I think it will be more difficult with such a general degree, like a BA, but the job market in New Zealand is really hard for everyone at the moment.” Along with other members of the public, she believes universities should cater their intake to all degrees around the state of the current job market. “Maybe the criteria should be tougher, too, like what Auckland Uni does, but maybe they need to lift their criteria even higher. The universities need to be more responsible.” However, students and graduates from various areas of study don’t agree. Laura Badcock understands the problem stems from the fact that “entry-level jobs for BA graduates – particularly in a specific field like History – are going to people with more experience who are also unemployed. I think there are also higher levels of BA graduates than there are jobs available.” Malcolm’s eldest daughter, Beth, compares her degree to her sister’s. “People with degrees like mine have a specific job at the end and so the purpose and usefulness is very clear. BA’s and other degrees that don’t have an allocated job at the end require people to be more creative with how they use them.” A number of her friends started a BA degree when they started university, but she can name only two who graduated. “I think the vast majority of people who started BA’s just didn’t finish them. Maybe they lost interest, I don’t know. I do know that both the people who got BA’s left the country to teach English in Korea, though.” She laughs that universities should rename a BA into “something teaching related, because that’s all anyone ever seems to do with it”. At the other end of the spectrum to our BA graduates is first-year Bachelor of Commerce student Andrew Staples. He did not achieve University Entrance in Year 13 of high school, so he took a two-year break from studying. Enrolling at university above the age of 20 doesn’t require the student to have University Entrance. Staples’ key motivation for tertiary education is the “hope that with it there will be more chances of a job after leaving uni with a degree in accounting … also, jobs got with it have a tendency, in my opinion, to be a higher paying job”. His view about degrees and employment differs from the other students. Though he thinks it would be “a good idea” for universities to assume responsibility for the
problem, based on the job market situation, “the job market can alter too quickly for effective altering of degree intake.” His suggestion is to subsidise degrees in relation to what jobs were available most commonly at the time, to encourage people into particular fields. But again, the same problem exists. “People could find that they are doing a degree that, in a few years when they are done, the job that it was subsidised for no longer exists.” So why is the Bachelor of Arts still being offered so prolifically? “Money,” Staples puts it bluntly. “It’s a business entity concerned with surviving. The uni doesn’t care about what happens when you are at uni, what you are studying or after.” However, it may not be as much of a cold-hearted world as we may think. Massey University has this year set up an “Externship” programme which, as Career Development Adviser Paul Fitzmaurice puts it, is “helping students to make the connection between university study and the world of work. It is particularly suited to students who have come to university straight from high school and not had much work experience before they finish their degree”. The programme works as a middleman between students who are eager to get some experience before graduating, and businesses which would be interested in taking on students to work for free. Though it is currently primarily targeting Bachelor of Communications students, Fitzmaurice is confident that “the Externship programme is suited to any qualification”. “Every university now realises the importance of engaging with industry for the sake of assisting their students and graduates to find work,” he says. Victoria University is also taking notice of the situation. In the surveys it has conducted since 2005, 28 of the 41 Classical Studies graduates whose information has been published on the website were not employed in jobs related to their careers in any way at the time of the survey. The results are similar across a range of BA majors, while results in the fields of Communications and Sciences are markedly more positive for graduates. Just seven of the 30 Chemistry graduates listed are not employed in a job relevant to their degrees, for example. Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, Head of the School of Humanties disagrees with comments not in favour of the Bachelor of Arts. “The comment that a BA is no longer enough to guarantee a job misunderstands both the past and the present. No bachelors’ degree, or even a higher degree, has ever guaranteed a job. Employers are not generally looking for a ready trained expert, more often than not the training in specifics occurs
on the job. It is capacity they are looking for. Leading New Zealand business Robert Jones has long argued that a good BA is better than a commerce degree as the graduates know how to think, communicate and perhaps most importantly to learn. I couldn’t agree more.” Professor Taylor continued, “The skills acquired in a good BA are very fitting to the modern employment context. They are transferable, transportable and globally in demand.” The evidence is clear: a BA is not the most useful of degrees in terms of finding employment after graduating. But this is not to say that BA students should just give up on their degrees and find a minimum wage job, as the widely known “Bugger All” stereotype would suggest they do anyway. Even a BA is better than no Bachelor degree at all, suggests a media release from Statistics New Zealand. According to their research, tertiary graduates generally earn more money than those who do not have a tertiary qualification. Ailsa Malcolm agrees whole-heartedly: “Aside from law, dentistry, medicine – that sort of thing – it doesn’t actually matter that much what their degree is. It shows that they’ve committed to three to four years of study. It says a lot about their character.” What is Massey University’s take on the Bachelor of Arts program? Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, Head of the School of Humanities, comments below; “Generic degrees such as the BA and BSc are about training in skills and knowledge that are transferable to a multiplicity of contexts. They have never served as a specific trade training qualification, nor should they. They are about lifetime skills and competencies such as analysis, synthesis and communication. These serve graduates in a wide range of context; hence there is no simple job outcome from a BA. This is because it equips for a multitude of employment contexts. The BA equips students very well for the modern employment environment where the only certainty is that a person will change careers a number of times during a working life. The notion that life long career decisions are made at the age of 18 or 20 is even more mythical now than in the past. Students with BA are well equipped for such a context because the skills are so transferable and adaptable.” Illustrated by Graham Frost
A CHOICE TO DIE WITH DIGNITY With the ever-increasing modern technology in hospitals, patients are able to be kept alive against all odds. But who decides to turn the switch off and how does this differ from doing it in your own home? Jordan McKay reports on New Zealand’s heavily debated euthanasia laws and what organisations are doing to change it.
Let me paint a picture for you: Your mother is very sick and spending countless hours moving to and from the hospital. She isn’t happy, but you’ll do anything to keep her alive. This has been going on for years. She’s constantly tired and nauseated from all the drugs she’s receiving. She pleads for you to end her life. What do you do? The current laws in New Zealand mean you have no choice if confronted with this situation. Voluntary euthanasia is illegal despite a number of attempts to reform the law. Aucklander Rosemary Mott, a longtime multiple sclerosis sufferer, decided she had had enough of the illness taking over her and her husband’s life. With the aid of her husband, she committed suicide and died peacefully in her Orakei home on 28 December 2011. Rosemary’s husband, Evans, was described as a “hero” by his lawyer, who said the assistance of his wife’s suicide was a “courageous” act. On 13 September last year, in the High Court at Auckland, Evans Mott was discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting suicide. In 2003, NZ First Deputy LeaderPeter Brown, made a move to legalise voluntary euthanasia. This would allow a person who was terminally or incurably ill to request assistance from a medically qualified person to end their lives in a humane and dignified way, after medical and psychiatric assessment. The bill, however, was voted out 60-57 later that year. These days, following a number of high-profile cases, support is growing. A recent Horizon poll found that more than 63 percent of Kiwis supported the move to legalise euthanasia. A Massey University Department of Marketing mail survey of 1000 people asked this: If a person has a painful incurable disease, should doctors be allowed by law to end the patient’s life if the patient requests it? 73% said yes. Longtime advocate for voluntary euthanasia and the President of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand, Carole Sweney, was in court the day Evans Mott was discharged without conviction. She was moved by the immense support he had that day in court, was “appalled” at the charge of assisted suicide, and believes justice was served that day.
“Suicide is not illegal. It is, therefore, strange and a waste of limited police and court resources to prosecute Evans Mott for assisting his wide to commit a legal act,” says Sweney. If Mott did break the law, does that still make him a criminal? Does he deserve to be locked up? Let’s imagine voluntary euthanasia was legal, and Rosemary Mott approached her GP, pleading her for a way out. Evans Mott would no longer have a criminal record and both members would have got what they wanted. The End of Life Choice Bill, proposed by Maryan Street, is the most recent political move to change the current euthanasia laws. This can be directly related to the Evans and Rosemary Mott case. The bill’s general policy statement says the bill seeks to provide a law that prevents such convictions from occurring when the request for medically assisted death comes from the express will of the person suffering, and aims to promote compassion and the preservation of human dignity. If the bill is passed, people who are suffering from a terminal or incurable disease may seek a medically assisted death from a certified practitioner. Local GPs will feel immense pressure if voluntary euthanasia is legalised. Dr Jocelyn Heard, who has an extensive background in medicine, is openly against the movement to change the law. She wonders how it would be enforced, and believes that politicians need to be “awfully careful” before considering such a move. “What is impossible to determine, across the board, is how ill is too ill to be allowed to be euthanized,” Heard says. She believes that recent advances in palliative medicine has meant the suffering from patients with terminal, or incurable diseases is minimized and she says the majority of her patients were looking for a way to extend their time with loved ones rather than looking for an “easy way out”. “The only patients who have tried that line on me have been quite understanding about the fact I won’t risk my registration being taken off me to satisfy their wishes. I’ve never actually had anyone in their final days who want their life shortened. Palliative
“Suicide is not illegal. It is, therefore, strange and a waste of limited police and court resources to prosecute Evans Mott for assisting his wife to commit a legal act”
care is now so good that few people are in much pain at all in their last days, and most cling to life when they realise there’s very little left.” With the extent of control that doctors have over whether or not a patient with a terminal illness dies, and the accurate prognosis available to patients, it would be easy to assume that euthanasia is already occurring in hospitals. Last year, Prime Minister John Key shocked medical professionals when he told NewstalkZB that euthanasia is being practised by medical professionals in New Zealand. The comments sent shockwaves across the medical industry, sparking anger from doctors such as Heard. “I think there is a subtle but significant difference between hastening death, and deciding it’s time not to prolong life,” Heard says. The fact is that euthanasia is already occurring throughout New Zealand, but it is not the decision of medical professionals, rather it is patients themselves. Passive euthanasia is currently legal. A clause in the Bill of Rights Act 1990 gives an unambiguous right to refuse medical treatment. Heard has patients who know they can be admitted to hospital for further treatment who decide not to take that course. Increased public support for the legalization of voluntary euthanasia has run parallel with a decrease in severity of sentences handed down by the court in assisted suicide cases – from the three years’ imprisonment given to Dr Chris Simpson for the death of his ill wife in 2002, to no conviction given to Evans Mott who assisted with the suicide of his wife under similar circumstances to Simpson. Both Heard and Sweney agree that the focus of the End of Life Choice Bill should be that of death with dignity. Sweeny is adamant that this can be achieved through a change in law, allowing terminally ill patients to seek medical advice to end their own life. Heard advises, however, that politicians tread carefully when supporting the law change. “To me, death is the last life event to be naturalised. The movement to get childbirth out of doctors’ grip, back to the patient’s own control, is totally opposite to the wish to put death in doctors’ hands. I think the focus needs to be on dying with dignity.” Sweney urges everyone to read the bill carefully and to note what she believes is the most important word in the bill – choice. “It is important now that MPs know what their constituents think.” The End of Life Choice Bill is currently in the members’ ballot box and could be drawn at any time. It is obvious that there is vast public support for the euthanasia laws to be relaxed, but it is important to remember that if they are changed it opens the possibility of abuse of voluntary euthanasia. Illustrated by Patrick McDonald
THE LOWS OF LEGAL HIGHS Due to the stimulant abilities of legal drugs and the belief that personal safety is ensured, one in five New Zealanders have tried them. In many cases legal highs are short term and controllable. But, as with any substance, dangerous and harmful effects are not off the cards. Nicole Canning talks to two Massey students who experienced the adverse effects first hand, and asks: just how safe are legal drugs? Maddie’s* Story I never knew that a substance sold over the counter at local dairies could hold the power to unlock the darkest corners of my mind causing me to question the reality of the life I live. As I sat and watched four mates smoke legals from their home-made buckey they call “Kiwi ingenuity”, I anticipated a night of good vibes. Having tried drugs in the past I assumed the combination with the bottle of wine I had consumed was going to be harmless. I assumed wrong. Things in the room began to move, my friends’ voices muddled into one, and I lost the connection between my feet and the floor. As I clung to the walls in an effort to stay upright, I was overwhelmed by the fear of losing control. Holding on to the edge of a short fence is the last memory I have before I fell unconscious into the dark confines of my own mind. Corrupted by the legal high illusion, my mind trapped me in a place with no beginning, end, or means of escape. Other than the winding pain I felt as I imagined my body tumbling, turning, and falling, I was paralysed and have no recollection of being carried inside and placed on the couch where I later found myself. I dropped into a state of limbo where I lost complete recollection of reality. I was nothing more than a mind occupied by a loud continuous, “BAH BAH BAH,” and bizarre patterns of blue, pink, purple, and yellow that merged and moved in and out of one another. The mood became so dark that I was convinced I had died and limbo was my afterlife. As the drug wore off and my brain began to function, my name was repeatedly yelled inside my mind, forcing me to make a connection to the life I forgot existed. I then surfaced back to reality; although it hardly felt like reality at all. I sat on the couch wrapped in a curtain convinced that nothing was real, and struggling to recognise the faces in the room. “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I’VE JUST BEEN!!” I yelled, overwhelmed with panic and trying to come to grips with where my mind had just taken me. I then vomited my entire stomach into a well-lined beer box, began to drink water, and demand the physical touch of others. I couldn’t feel my own hands stroking my hair but I could feel the hand of someone else holding onto mine and this was incredibly reassuring. I repeatedly asked questions about the time, and about my name, occupation, and preceding events because I was so unsure of which life, this one or the one in my mind, was real. But every response sounded like a riddle and I wondered if time was even passing, or if I was just reliving the same moment over and over. Waking up the next day was like being told your dream was real, and it wasn’t until the following evening before my body stopped having tingles and my mind could accept what had happened. Legal highs are psychoactive drugs which mean their primary role is to tap into the central nervous system to alter the mind and mental processes. Since 2008 when legal highs became BZP-free, the most common ingredients include caffeine, citrus aurantium, and geranamine. Although the strength of these drugs is supposed to be less intense, they do still tend to imitate the likes of Ecstasy and LSD, and range from legal to illegal, caffeine to methamphetamine. They produce temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness, and behaviour, and can provide stimulant, euphoric, and hallucinogenic effects. In a study conducted on legal party pills, users outlined these three effects as a positive association to the drug and the main reason for consumption. In addition, Massivemagazine.org.nz
they commented on the key negative effects, most of which were physical or centred on a bad ‘comedown’ period. They include vomiting, tiredness, and dehydration, having a sore and shaky body, and being tense, angry, withdrawn, and paranoid. It was only the more drug-experienced participants in the study who truly recounted unpredictable effects. The study also examined user knowledge regarding the safety of legal highs. Like Maddie, the majority of participants admitted to taking legal drugs with alcohol despite recommendations not to. They believed the ‘herbal’ title gave connotations of a less harmful and chemically enriched product. Lastly, they considered legal drugs to be relatively safe due to their legal status, widespread availability, and a belief that they would not be available if their safety had not been proven. Despite this, legal drugs in New Zealand have not yet had their safety proven. The Government is currently processing legislation to have legal drugs clinically tested on humans and to impose penalties for any drugs sold that have not undergone the testing process. The testing will look for toxicity levels, adverse effects, and mental health impacts. It may also help to explain what happened to Alex when he was completely sober and took the legal drug AK-47. Alex’s* Story I had my first hit at 9pm and it started as a great buzz. My head rushed and it felt like the world was moving around me. Having done other legals before, I thought I knew what would happen. By 9:15pm I was really high, and dancing around pretending I was Sugar-Ray, the boxer. As soon as I felt everyone knew I was high it creeped me out and I began imagining myself as the guy from the drinking adverts being out in the rain. I even felt the rain hit my skin, yet it was a perfectly clear night. After that I tried to sit on the couch and “get rid” of the high as it engulfed me. I felt as if my eyes froze for a minute of two while everything else continued around me. The music began to pound in my head and I screamed at my mates to turn it down. The high escalated and I blanked out, only the music got louder. Sleepless by Fume was playing – a fucking scary song to listen to when you’re high. From there all I had were my thoughts, it felt like a couple of hours trapped in my head with Windows Media Visualizer. My thoughts got darker and I felt every sense erupt at once. I wanted to cry, pee, and scream out in pain, only I couldn’t. At that point I thought, “This is it. This is the end of life; we just think for infinity, we just have to occupy ourselves FOREVER!” I am not a believer in life after death, but it really did make me think otherwise. I began to come right and think straight as soon as I woke, but it was the scariest night of my life. Although it would be foolish to expect students to steer clear of legal drugs, it would not be foolish to insist that they follow dosage recommendations and adhere to the safety precautions. The mind is a powerful thing with an ability to transport people to unimaginable places. The most foolish mistake a student can make is to believe that even a harmless legal drug could not strip away all levels control and unlock the darkest corners of the brain that no one wants to visit. *Names have been changed. Illustrated by Siobahn Clarke
WAY UP HIGH IN A TREE This story is an exemplary piece of creative writing from the Massey English and Expressive Arts school. Written by Guy Saker.
Every night he would come over to talk to me. We would talk about all kinds of things, me and my friend Jake. He was a good listener. No, he was a great listener. I never had to watch my ‘P’s and Q’s with Jake: the way I dressed, the way I acted, the way my long hair would sometimes look like 100,000 anorexic travellers who had no sense of direction, some even trying to head back to their roots. My favourite, the way he didn’t care if I fell all round laughing when he never got the joke. I guess everyone wants someone like that to hang out with. We had this connection, Jake and me, almost telepathic, I think it’s fair to say. There were times when we did things simultaneously, like looking up at the night sky to the moon and the lights of the fallen; sparkling the same way they had for millions of years before looking back at each other with knowing appreciation. Jake understood better than me what it all meant. He could trace his ancestry way beyond my Celtic roots, beyond the Greeks, beyond the Egyptians, beyond even the first light of human history. He and his people lived and died by the ancient god in the night sky beaming down upon his nocturnal world; mine too, I guess. Yeah, Jake was my mate alright, the best I ever had really. Boy, did we talk some shit. Perhaps that’s not entirely accurate. I talked most of the shit, while he listened. I’d tell him about my life, trying to make sense of it all, warmed only by those Queensland nights on the Gold Coast. In the evenings he would emerge from his rooted timber home to have breakfast under the night sky, munching on food I had left out. He loved takeaways, a regular of ours. Apples were also a favourite. I never forgot to leave one out before I crashed out. In spite of this, just like me, nothing seemed to make him permanently happy. Part of this was boredom, the curse of all routine that falls short of becoming ritual. I introduced a bowl of walnuts on to the menu. To this day, I swear he would go into ecstasy over those nuts. Each night, before heading out, I would get in the mood by having a beer sitting in the deckchair under the moonlight. Jake would join me, sitting in his squirrel posture, his bushy tail moving like a feather duster as he crunched on the walnuts. After he had devoured one, his eyes would dart around wildly then freeze. Suddenly, out would come a squeal as if he had just had an orgasmic experience. He would immediately grab another feverishly devouring that, then another. His teeth moved at such a ridiculous speed that I wondered if it was wise to keep refuelling his engine. One impatient look from Jake was all it took to reload the bowl. The nuts had become such a treat that it didn’t take long before Jake would leave the apple, wait until I emerged from my bedroom, then put on an Oscar-winning performance. I got the nuts. If I was not up at his eating time he would deliberately get noisy outside my window. If crashed out on the sofa after failing to make it to my bed, he would somehow find his way inside to check to see if I was okay; at least okay enough to get to the nut jar.
I would always get up to join my best friend. We even composed songs together when I pulled out my guitar, even if his vocals were an acquired taste. Whatever we did, our long evenings would end when the morning light was close by. Jake always headed home long before I searched for my shades or drifted to the bedroom to lie down, staring up at the ceiling until my intoxicated imagination settled down. Sometimes I wondered if the drum inside me might stop beating to end the rhythm of my life. I don’t know why this thought never bothered me the way it should have. Perhaps it was because I was already dozing off at the wheel that steered me through each day. It was not unusual for me sleep all day, waking up well into the night. At other times I would be in a daze half asleep, half wide awake, just as the last rays from the sun were slashing their way through the trees like light sabres. It appeared almost spiritual, well, at the very least pretty cool to look at. Jake and I didn’t really believe in any of that stuff but we talked about it, mulled it over as you do, just in case, if you know what I mean? It always made me wonder why we human beings can’t just let go of all that life-anddeath bullshit. I had been stalked by ghosts all my life. Living was far more scary than dying. Anyway, why be so afraid of losing something already lost? Funny, but it never seemed to be an issue for Jake, either. I envied the way he was so at peace with himself. His life was so uncomplicated. Home, food, water, shelter, having fun – these were the only things he cared about, I thought. I guess that’s why we were such good mates; we both loved the same thing - escaping, way up high. Then something strange happened. I woke up late one evening to discover he wasn’t in his usual spot on the deck table. The apple I had left was still there. This had never happened before. A large exterior light about three metres up off the back deck lit much of the native forest trees that caressed the garden. I looked across scanning his favourite timber giant: no sign, not even a sound. It was not like him to miss our regular meeting. Then I spotted him. His head bobbed up from behind the trunk. He was high, very high. After sneaking a peak at me, he bolted further up the tree scampering across another branch before coming to a stop. He turned his head, staring back at me with his night eyes giving off that spooky glow. “There he goes like a meal on wheels”, a tree python would probably say. He was pretty safe. I hadn’t seen a snake in my backyard for over a year. I noticed he had some leaves clutched in his hand. He had slept far too long, that’s for sure. “Perhaps a narcotic was in the veins of the leaf ”, I would think to myself, as I watched him scamper back down one of the arms of the tree. The first night he missed our meeting I didn’t think much of it. As usual, I went out. The following evening the same thing happened, except the food I had left out was gone. He was easier to spot this time. I found him kicking back on a branch that overhung my deck eating more of those leaves. He was keeping his distance. I still hadn’t
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Sometimes I wondered if the drum inside me might stop beating to end the rhythm of my life. I don’t know why this thought never bothered me, the way it should have. Perhaps it was because I was already dozing off at the wheel that steered me through each day.
figured out why. Suddenly, he raced up the branch, slammed on the brakes, making his ears erect, listening for sounds disguised in the air. His nose began to sniff the air frantically as if he had just picked up an amazing forest perfume. He started bobbing up and down on his hind legs, rotating his bum clockwise, then anti-clockwise, fanning his backside with his tail as if dancing to music that only he could hear. Of course, I had seen Jake having fun high up in the trees many times before – but this was different. Had he completely lost the plot? My best mate was having a personality morph. I called him to come over, even asked him if he wanted a beer. I thought I had his attention with this offer. I was mistaken. In an instant he was on the move again, with great urgency. He was having a ball scampering around the trees, sniffing everywhere. Maybe I was just jealous. At one point, he clawed his way up the vertical trunk, stopping under a branch to snap his head back around, eyes glazing down at me. He paused, before disappearing into his home again. By the third night I was beginning to miss him. True, he was still there. I could see him, at least when he wasn’t hidden by the darkness. He still kept his distance. I missed our conversations. I missed my best friend. At least he was having fun way up high, away from the real world down below. It was a good place to be. When I looked up, I would try to imagine all the things he could see, that I couldn’t. A few days later I crept outside to see if I could catch him unawares. I spied him. There he was, off his tree, sitting in the garden just near the edge of the deck. He was chewing on some rather strong smelling buds. I sat quietly watching him eat. He was on another planet, totally oblivious to the world around him, as if he’d forgotten all the forgetting. I wished I knew his secret. After a while, I was sure I could see smoke wafting from his rear end. The resin smell was unmistakeable. I tried to focus my eyes. I wish I hadn’t. Steam was coming out of his tiny ears as if he had become one of those novelty teapots with a fury warmer over the top. Even his tail was curled up like a spout. All I needed was a cup. I began thinking to myself, “What was my best friend turning into? Was he in fact an alien who could mimic his world?” I wanted to go and help him, to grab him, make him come back to the Jake of old. I looked up at his home. It was the first time I had noticed it. The problem was right before me, a giant timber bong thirty feet high. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? Holy crap, my best friend was living in a giant fucking bong all this time but I was too shagged out to notice! So that’s where it all started. That was why things had changed. So now I knew. Why couldn’t I see it? Searching the many blow pipes that spread like tentacles from the trunk off the bong, I discovered to my horror that Jake had found a new friend as well. I had been dumped. Dumped by an alien novelty teapot, living in giant bong, dancing his ass off all night long, sniffing the air, getting high up a tree! Yep, I missed Jake. I missed him waking me up at night to share a snack while I talked about life. I missed writing songs together. I still remember even now how we
used to share a laugh all through the night, until the moon was ready to pass the baton to the sun. It seemed he never missed my company. Not ever. I continued to watch him running amuck with his new friend over the next few weeks. I never forgot to leave food out every night. Sometimes the apple would be half eaten. Occasionally Jake would try to get close. When he did, he would screech at me as if he was not happy about something. I couldn’t figure out what it was. To this day I have never forgotten that sound. On a Friday night in late spring, I was driving home in the early hours of the morning through one of Queensland’s notorious tropical downpours. I was nearing my house when, from out of nowhere, an animal bolted across the road through the beam of the headlights. I slammed hard on the brakes. It must have been instinct. The car snaked across the wet road before coming to an abrupt halt. After collecting myself, I slowly got out of the car. It was only then that I saw him. On the side of the road was my friend Jake. He was staring up at me through the pouring rain with a look in his eyes I had never seen before. He was soaking wet. I smiled. A sense of relief flooded through me. I had missed him. He was okay. All of a sudden, he started screeching hysterically, jumping up and down. At first I thought I was just hallucinating. I slowly looked down at the left front tyre. Blood was running down the bald rubber. Just underneath the front bumper were two bodies. A mother possum, with her baby still clinging to her back, both lay dead on the road. I looked back at Jake in horror. So now I knew. Jake’s new friend up the tree was his girl. I had killed her. I had crushed his child, killed his best friend, his real family. I don’t remember how long he kept screaming at me, only that I slumped down in the gutter in shame with my hands over my ears trying to shut him out, trying to find that world inside my head that I always escaped too. Not this time. Not even the rain could drown out Jake’s screams or wash away what I had done. Then, just as suddenly, he stopped. I took my hands off my ears, slowly turning to look at him. His expression had changed. It was no longer accusing me, no longer full of anger and hate. It was far worse than that. I had seen it before – not from him. His expression was one of a friend who had finally given up on me. We stared at each other for a long moment. The heavy rain was hitting his face hard. His gaze never blinked. Not once. I began to feel there was something more hidden behind those wise ancient eyes, something I had missed all along. In that moment I realised I had been wrong. All that stuff about life and death wasn’t bullshit after all. Jake ran the gauntlet of life just as I did except, he had no choice. I guess sometimes we never see what others see, way up high in a tree. Illustrated by Iain Anderson
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PARADISE/ LOST MASSIVE PHOTO FEATURE: MAXIMILLIAN SCOTT-MURRAY
Continuing our monthly showcase of Massey University Photographic talent Massive now brings you some work by Maximillian Scott-Murray. Maximillian has travelled much since graduating with Bachelor of Design (Honours) and this, entitled ‘Paradise/ Lost’ is a photo feature from his trip to post war Sri Lanka. “I’m interested in the relationship between fine art, Photographic representation and social commentary,” he says. “These scenes are from an exploration through Sri Lanka, where I was intrigued by current social changes brought on by a post war climate.” Check out his tumblr for more photography: whiskyeyes.tumblr.com
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massive photography feature: Maximillian Scott-Murray Paradise/ Lost
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THINKING ABOUT INKING Many of us make that life-long decision to mark our skins with tattoos. These tattoos might represent cultural history, or may be meaningless. At a young and naïve state, do we really consider the consequences of how this will affect us in the workplace? Tayla Rea elaborates.
Every week, without fail, a picture of someone’s new tattoo pops on my Facebook news feed. It could be a meaningful quote on ribs, a star behind the ear, or perhaps a new sleeve. There is no question that tattoos are peaking in popularity with our generation. The question is why? And what consequences will they have? Are our careers going to be affected by our tattoos? Are we rushing to get them without thinking? Young Ink Six years ago I walked into a tattoo parlour with cash in my hand and not a single sane thought in my head. All I knew was that I was getting a tattoo and, because I was leaving New Zealand, I wanted it to, in some way, represent this country. At the time I didn’t know if there was an age restriction for tattooing. A Target investigation in 2010 found that there are, in fact, no specific laws or legislation saying what age a person has to be before they can get a tattoo. Local councils have bylaws of age restrictions, but there is no ‘set in stone’ law. Tattoo parlours such as Western Tattoo in New Lynn set their own rules by requiring people under the age of 18 to have parental permission. At the time, I would have argued that at 16 I was mature enough to get a tattoo. I would have fought to the death to maintain that I knew fully what I was doing. So there I was, without the knowledge or consent of my parents, making a lifelong decision. At that time, 2007, tattoos were not common with people my age. This has changed. Young people now more than ever have a growing attraction to get tattoos. According to a poll by UMR Research in 2009, New Zealand has the most tattoos per capita: one in five people have one. I would argue that since then that ratio has increased. Vaga Faalavaau, a tattooist from Western Tattoo, says that in the past three years “a lot more younger people are getting tattoos, and the tattoos are getting bigger”. This demonstrates that the influx of young people between the ages of 16 to 25 getting tattoos is in some way caused by the changing, more accepting, attitudes of New Zealanders. Furthermore, it is considered to be ‘in style’ if you have a tat.
Last week in Hamilton, the International Tattoo and Art Festival attracted thousands of tattoo enthusiasts. New Zealand is gaining a reputation around the world as a place to get inked, with The Lonely Planet Best in Travel List 2013 claiming New Zealand as the second best place in the world to get a tattoo. The Worth However, just because you can get them, doesn’t mean you should. I’m sure we all remember an infamous Trade Me auction that happened last year when Lower Hutt Woman Tina Beznec auctioned off a 9X9 cm space on her bum for a tattoo. The winner of the auction was Calendar Girls, a strip club. Now Miss Beznec will forever have her bum branded (though she did also get a lifetime membership to Calendar Girls and a wad of cash). Also last year, Flava radio station in Auckland ran a competition to get their brand on someone’s butt in order to gain tickets to the Raggamuffin festival. Rushing a decision to get a tattoo is never a good idea. Vaga Faalavaau says young people should “definitely do their research on what they want as well as the artist. It’s there for life. I have seen a lot of crappy jobs and people coming in for fix-ups. Make sure you are 100% about it”. Nobody wants to be 75 with a Gangnam tattoo – or do they? Massey student Rachael Cox says “I don’t really want one [tattoo] because I have such a low pain tolerance and because if I regret it, I’m basically stuck with it unless I pay out to get it removed. She continued: “Tattoo parlours are popping up all over the place and it seems like the ‘in’ thing to do. It’s like a new trend.” It’s trendy and it’s accessible. Another student, Felicity Heaven, takes a contrary view that “as a new range of nicer tats and nicer work has filtered through the system, some of the younger people are wanting to show their personalities through art”. For many people, tattoos are about identity and conveying something that symbolises themselves.
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The Meaning Confirming your identity through art is a nice notion. However, one trend that disturbs me is that of tribal/Maori/Polynesian-inspired tattoos that have no meaning to some of the people who have them. You see them, the ‘wannabe Zyzz types’, at the uni gym often. They are there lifting weights, and admiring their own reflections. What bothers me is that there is no connection to the tattoos, no understanding of where those symbols and lines have come from, and no respect for an ancient tradition. Most designs have been chosen off the internet for their suitability in making the person look cooler. According to Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Maori moko has been going through a resurgence since the late 20th century as a reassurance of Maori Identity. For Maori and other Polynesian cultures, tattoo traditionally symbolises mana and status. Having grown up with both Maori and Samoan heritage has meant I have witnessed the painful process that occurs during tattooing after you earn your ta moko or pe’a. Tattoo as a symbol of cultural identity is a lasting tradition. A West Auckland police officer, who asked not to be named, says that “In the New Zealand Police, tattoos that show, like my sleeve, are welcomed. Because it shows a connection to Maori and Pacific cultures.” The Workplace This leads to another issue. In one workplace, a cultural tattoo may be welcomed, but in another it may not appropriate. How will that star behind your ear affect your potential employability? My father, the business manager of a freight company, once told me something that stuck with me. He said that though he has tattoos himself, he would not hire someone who had visible tattoos. According to him they don’t fit into a corporate organisational setting. What about in other workplaces? Two years ago, Claire Haupini filed a complaint against Spit Roast Catering Company when they asked her to cover up the tattoo on her forearm. She claimed it was discrimination against her cultural tattoo. The judge ruled that there was not enough evidence and that there was a rule for all employees, so no direct discrimination had taken place. The case was thrown out. In many workplaces, tradition sticks and the policy is to cover visible tattoos, though we could be seeing a change in this too. If more people are being tattooed then in the future when we are CEOs and business leaders, surely this will change some of the old stigma about tattoos in workplaces. The Consequence What is more important: the instant satisfaction of being able to post on your Instagram a new tat, or the gratification that you will get to your 80th birthday knowing you went without the Playboy bunny and with the symbol that has more significance to your life? If you can invest in a tattoo then it is worth investing in your future and thinking about the design, about how it may affect your career, and how it may affect your personal life. It may be cool now and ridiculous later. Tattoos aren’t necessarily bad, but lack of forethought means you can be stuck with something for a lifetime that means nothing to you. Illustrated by Brodie Nel, Sean Walker
My father, the business manager of a freight company, once told me something that stuck with me. He said that though he has tattoos himself, he would not hire someone who had visible tattoos.
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The Flat Facts: Flatting Horror Stories Flatting. For some, the beginning of adulthood, moving in with friends, moving in with new people, forming friendships, going to uni, working, being your own person and taking responsibility for yourself. But what happens when that magical flatting picture of cooking meals together, sharing the bills and hanging out together all turns horribly wrong? Yasmine Jellyman asks Massey students for their stories.
The flatting horror stories always come pouring out of every nook and cranny of our skeleton-no-insulation-flats. Picture this: Everything is going fine until someone decides to move out which makes the rent more expensive for everyone else, until the room or “closet size space” is filled. Then there are the people who leave dishes piled up for days, leaving that one person always doing it or having to re-do dishes because someone was never taught how to do it properly. Mild food poisoning from dirty dishes anyone? There are the people who leave rotting food in the fridge and cupboards for weeks on end or leave leftover food in their bedroom. Over summer. With closed windows. YUM! Then there are those times when you’re retrieving food to cook for dinner, to then finding out that one flatmate helped themself to the food that was clearly labelled with your name. Those flat mates who are out for themselves and never contribute to the purchase of communal items, like toilet paper. The flat that turns into a brothel and you drew the short straw of the room with the paper thin walls and get to listen to the flat special of doing the nasty. Having a crappy landlord who turns up unannounced for inspections or perhaps maybe the worst: not getting your bond back quickly, or at all, so you can afford your next flat. Here is a look into some people’s flatting horror stories: Daniel, 20 said, “There was mould growing everywhere. Even Damp Rid couldn’t work fast enough. One of those Damp Rid things that normally take three months to fill was filling up every three weeks. The bathroom was essentially a rainforest because when you are living in a household with six others and only one bathroom, it is permanently in use. The entire bathroom was rotten because of mould damage. Also the washing machine didn’t work for five months so we had to resort to hand washing clothes.” Rachael, 21 has many tales to tell. She said, “I had a bitch living upstairs acting like our mother, coming downstairs to tell us to turn our music down at five in the afternoon because she is trying to live her life normally. Not to mention telling us to stop laughing so loudly because it was disturbing her. She then Facebooked my flatmate telling her she was getting the landlord around so she could fix this whole “mess” and her and her boyfriend could go back to living normally. Also living in a flat with seven people is never ideal especially when it’s all girls. Let’s start with one of the girls who had a room that constantly smelt like something died in there. Another one constantly had to yell across the flat to another friend. And don’t even get me started on everyone trying to cook at once!” Darryl, 23 said, “Things in my old flat got pretty out of hand when it came to practical jokes. I can’t remember how this started but someone farted on someone’s pillow, then someone put a used condom in someone else’s bed. Another guy jizzed into someone’s cereal. Someone put up a note saying that one of the guys was cheating on his girlfriend then that person set the note on fire and left a burn mark on the door. In the house next door there was no food apart from a loaf of bread and the bottom
of the shower was completely black apart from two spots where your feet would be.” An anonymous student had a bit of a smelly situation. She said, “My ex-flatmate had the worst body odour imaginable. He would shower but I don’t think he ever used soap and he would leave brown stains and awful smells all through the shower. The smell that would come from his room was gag-worthy. He never washed his sheets or clothes which added to the smell. He left dirty dishes in his room meaning that there would be less and less dishes for us to use especially if we had people over. He would also leave takeaway rubbish, food and bones from chicken in his room and with his room locked up during the day in summer, the smell was just disgusting. In the end he moved out and we got a much better flat mate.” Nick, 25 had a landlord go into liquidation. He said, “It was pretty shit as the bank who took over his [landlord’s] assets tried to mess with our lease. They tried to get us out ASAP. We ended up having to go to the Tenancy Tribunal. They [the Tenancy Tribunal] honoured the original lease even though the agreement wasn’t between us and the landlord anymore. They let us stay till the end of tenancy but the bank wasn’t happy about it. It did take a while to get our bond back though.” The Tenancy Tribunal is described as being a Court that makes decisions about problems that landlords and tenants have been unable to settle themselves. It is part of the “justice system”. But is the Tenancy Tribunal all that concerned in creating justice for students? Consider the fact that if a landlord or a tenant wants to make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal, they will be charged a fee of $20.44. Now, that seems like a small price to pay, but for some students, that is really expensive. A decision is made after hearing both sides, in accordance to the Residential Tenancies Act. Both sides are then given a copy of the decision that they have to obey. Are students really considered in this, or is the government trying to protect big corporations and siding with them? And if you do win, is your landlord really going to honour what the Tribunal decides, even if it is required by law for them to do so? Only having first-hand experience with the Tribunal will answer that question. Flatting is risky. Sometimes it will be great and sometimes it will be so bad that you move out within a matter of weeks, whether it is the people there or the flat itself. There can be situations where you don’t know who you are going to be living with, but if that happens then try make the most of it, work out any problems you have within each other to try and make your flat a better place to live. If there are problems with your landlord that you just cannot work out, the Tenancy Tribunal is there for that but be prepared to pay a fee and wait a while for a hearing, because most likely there are going to be many people in the same boat. And those awful flatmates that seemed cool at the start? In some instances, I guess you can say that you don’t really know someone until you live with them.
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MILLS & POON THE ADVENTURES OF DICK HARDY: SEXTING SEXCAPADES With the girl from last month’s story nowhere to be found, and new opportunities left, right and centre, Dick Indulges in other means of enjoyment. WARNING: do not read if you are easily offended or do not wish to be extremely turned on.
After the previous edition of my story in MASSIVE, I was disappointed not to hear from the girl I met over the New Year. Thoroughly expecting her to get in touch with me and reigniting what we shared I found myself a little frustrated as the first week passed at uni. Fortunately I needn’t have worried too much. Recently, a strange thing has been occurring. There was a woman in one of my classes who I had shared quite a few papers with before. We had talked a little bit, but in my new class for the semester, she was the only familiar face and so we found ourselves sitting together. I realised that I was being more than friendly to her and was perhaps being flirtatious. Now the reason this is strange is because this woman is probably ten or more years my senior. Not only that, I’m pretty sure she has kids. Yet there was something undeniably attractive about her. She would wear tight jeans or professional looking skirts and I often found it hard to keep up with my note-taking when her generous cleavage was hovering so closely. She always seemed to want to talk about me and find out what I was doing. She was always very honest with me; she wasn’t like one of those mature students who would sit up the front and have a million questions for the lecturer. She would joke with me about what a stiff the lecturer was and how the girl who always put her hand up was stealing her stereotype. I couldn’t help but laugh at that one! One time in class she asked me if I had any girlfriends. I told her I wasn���t really a relationship kind of guy. She smirked at me as if I was a naïve child. Eventually we got to talking about what we like to do in our spare time. And so it emerged that we were both avid squash players. ‘We should play some time,’ she said. I agreed thinking it only a polite suggestion, not one to be taken up. ‘How’s your Saturday looking?’ she asked. She was apparently quite serious. ‘I could do Saturday,’ I said with a smile. So a few days later I was standing next to a woman, much older than myself, all ready to play squash. She was wearing a tight sports singlet and shorts and I realised I didn’t know how to treat her. As a friend? An equal? An elder? Her behaviour to me had only been positive so far so I decided I
might treat her as I would treat any other girl. Albeit with a little more restraint. We began hitting the ball around, and we decided to have a game. She was surprisingly good and laughed whenever she made me run for the ball. I began playing deep, hard shots that made her run in front of me. When she was too slow to get there I would give her a playful pat on the bottom with my racket. She would glance back at me as if I were the devil but there was always a smirk that threatened at the corner of her lips. As we dipped and dodged around the court, I kept brushing past her and at one point I turned quickly to chase the ball only to graze noticeably past her breasts. I played on as if nothing had happened but I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like holding those big, soft mounds. Half an hour passed and we were both dripping in sweat. I suggested we go and refresh ourselves. She agreed. ‘You’ve got a nice, powerful stroke,’ she said once we were off the court. ‘Thanks, you were playing some really tight shots there too.’ I laughed at her and pointed out the sweat marks that her boobs had imprinted into her singlet. She swatted at me playfully, hitting my stomach. ‘Oo, got some abs under there aye?’ she teased. It sounds silly, but her touch was enough to get my adrenaline surging. Suddenly, I wanted to ravish her then and there. ‘Come on, let’s get out of here,’ she said. We walked outside and she began walking to her car. I wanted to drag our encounter out so I walked a little slower but she just kept walking away from me. ‘Well, thanks for the game,’ she said almost hurriedly. ‘I’ll see you in class yeah?’ And with that she got in her car and drove away. I couldn’t believe it. My testosterone was pumping through my body and she had left as if she couldn’t wait to get home! I drove home, horny and confused. Later that night I decided to txt her. Hey, thanks again for the game today, you weren’t as bad as I thought you’d be ;). Then I sat waiting for a reply, nervous that I might have scared her off with my flirtatiousness. Finally she replied at around 10pm, Hey that’s alright, it was fun. Sorry about rushing off.
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Later that night I decided to txt her. Hey, thanks again for the game today, you weren’t as bad as I thought you’d be ;). Then I sat waiting for a reply, nervous that I might have scared her off with my flirtatiousness. Finally she replied at around 10pm
I replied a little too quickly. Yeah, why was that? I was a little disappointed. Now I knew I was being a bit forward but I was sure she had been coming around to my slight advances. Again there was a delay in reply, and it wasn’t til almost 11.30 when my phone beeped at me. To be honest I was getting a little flustered lol. I cringed at her txt language but I felt instant elation at what she was implying from this txt. I wondered how dangerous it might be to let her know how I was feeling but when it’s late at night and you’re as aroused as I was, your critical thinking becomes impaired. I decided to go balls to the wall (excuse the pun) and let her know what my intentions were. Well if I’m being honest, I got a little flustered too. I find you very attractive. The worst part about sending a risqué text is the wait after you send it. Your heart beats rapidly while you wonder if the recipient is going to blow you off or blow up at you for being a big sleaze ball. Sometimes you really can’t win with women. After the longest seven minutes of my life, a txt came through. Her txt was much more forward than I had expected. I want you. Basically over the next half an hour or so, we shared compulsory foreplay txts: I’ve always had a secret crush on you; You seem so much more mature than other guys your age; Are you sure we should be doing this?; I’ve thought about you a lot lately; This is probably so wrong but I want you; I’m not looking for a relationship (from her); I’m not either, but it drives me crazy just thinking about touching you right now. And that’s where the txting became serious. Keep talking like that and I’m going to have to go and use the shower head on myself. I was so turned on that a beautiful lady, much older than myself, could be so dirty. Little did I know, I had barely scratched the surface. If I was with you right now I would kiss you all over, starting at your ankles and moving kiss by kiss, up your legs. Oh shit. My hand is between my legs right now. What else would you do? I squirmed in my bed as I pitched a tent at her erotic txt. Still txting with one hand, I slid my hand beneath the covers and began to stroke myself slowly in an attempt to relieve this pent up tension.
I would kiss deep between your thighs, light and teasing, and then move on higher, to your fantastic breasts. I would flick your nipples with my tongue until they were straining for my touch. Then I would lick all the way to your ear. As I was txting I began to stroke faster and faster. I want you so bad. I want your tongue between my thighs and I want to see that big bulge between yours. I just about lost it at that. Suddenly I wondered if I could push my luck. I’m so horny for you, send me a picture to keep me going until I see you? Still with my hands beneath the sheets, I waited in anticipation. I had very little expectation that she would actually comply with this request but I was rock hard at the thought that she might. A few minutes later she replied. I couldn’t open the message quickly enough. She had sent me a picture and never before had I been so aroused at a poorly lit and blurry photo. She had taken a photo of her hand delving very obviously deep within her sexy, lacy underwear. I decided I only had enough time for one more txt. You are so incredibly sexy! I am rubbing myself right now looking at your photo, next time I will have to swap my hand with yours. I am going to make you forget what a shower head is! It was a weird txt to send but I was too horny to care. I put my phone down and began to really go at it. I pictured her playing with herself in her bed, thinking about me. I pictured her gorgeous, sweaty breasts from the squash court and imagined her mature, experienced hands all over me. It didn’t take long before I exploded all over myself and the bed, her smirking face in my mind. I cleaned myself up and checked my phone. There was one txt from her. You are too much for me to handle, you just about made me wake up the neighbours! I’m just about asleep now sexy young man. I cannot wait til next time. Night x. I sent off a goodnight txt and lay back in my bed, tired but elated. I could not believe how quickly events with this woman had escalated. I don’t know what’s going to happen next time we meet but I will make sure to keep you updated. Until then, Dick Hardy. firstname.lastname@example.org Illustrated by Jacob Sparrow
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Journey into a sex store What quirky and questionable objects would you find if you ventured into a sex shop? Jessica Frank discovers.
Sex isn’t often something that is discussed in everyday life, and going into adult stores isn’t considered an everyday chore for most members of society. The thought of porn, sex toys and skimpy lingerie can leave us feeling a lil’ naughty and isn’t often talked about without a case of flush cheeks. In light of this, I went for a wander into a valley of adult stores hoping see what all the fuss is about. Because I have never set foot in an adult shop myself, you could say I was going into this experience very virgin-like, and could only base my initial opinion on what I had heard from those around me. Consequently, my mind had painted a picture of a seedy store that reeked of sweaty men and the racing hormones of horny experimenters – a place of devilish desires where only the lowest of the low ventured. Though overly dramatized, I’m sure these sorts of images are not far from many people’s minds when they think of the sex industry and adult stores. Although I did not feel I shared the opinion of the masses, and I considered myself to be a generally open-minded type o’ gal, I couldn’t help but feel a prick of embarrassment. Until a few months ago, I wouldn’t be seen dead buying a single pack of condoms and would pawn off the duty to my significant other. It seems silly to me that I would feel this, and I didn’t and still don’t fully understand the giddy feeling I got as I pulled into the car park of each store. Upon arriving at each store, it was clear that the shops were in places that were removed from the general shopping region. Both Peaches & Cream in Takapuna and Glenfield stood amid mechanics, hardware stores, and industrial real estate. Barbarella’s also found itself nestled behind large warehouses, hidden away and unnoticed by the general public. With the back-door nature of the locations, I was definitely nervous to take my first step inside. I mentally prepped for the shady/dark atmosphere, cheesy porn soundtrack and the hooded old man in the corner. Each store had walls filled with smaller-than-small outfits for both women and men. Leather, latex, and lace, nipple tassels, G-strings and garter belts, ranging from generic nurse to full on dominatrix. As I looked around it was definitely apparent that the market was directed more towards women than men. Most of the lingerie was for the female body and from what I could see on the adjacent wall, the rows and rows of different style vibrators and dildos were shaped and produced for the innate pleasure of women, including but not limited to devices with fake tongues that simulate oral sex. There were sections that appeared to mimic a sex dungeon with full body harnesses, whips, bondage ropes, nipple clamps, anal beads and butt plugs. Dildos on the wall were modelled after successful porn stars and others seemed too big to go anywhere inside a woman or a man (the great American challenge – look it up!). It was all very surreal that in a time when parents can still teach their children to be ashamed of sex I was standing next to a stand piled with flesh lights and a stack of boxes holding various parts of women’s bodies for those who enjoy realistic (and expensive) masturbation. Speaking of expensive masturbation, porn DVDs are pricey! With titles such as Missionary Impossible, Pimp My Ride and Nail Me Inside, and Titty Creampie 2
being $30-plus I would say that one better get their money’s worth otherwise that is one over-priced orgasm! Following my wanders around the stores, I went to suss a bit of info from the ones who have heard and seen it all when it comes to the world of sex. The first employee I talked to was lavishly adorned with facial piercings and had black/pink hair framing her face. Despite her confident appearance she looked as undoubtedly nervous to talk to me as I was to her. After the initial awkwardness lifted she did say some interesting things about her job: “It’s not often that people come in to purchase the big scary things that you hear about. It’s usually more women coming in and leaving with some of the smaller vibrators.” This was surprising to me due to the great amount of “big scary things” scattered around the store. When asked about her views, she said only that she was now “completely de-sensitised” and that she doesn’t ask questions, she only answers them. The same was for the hippie style, half ponytail-wearing employee from the Peaches & Cream Takapuna store. He told of how, not unlike the Glenfield store, the majority of clients were women looking to buy smaller items, such as bullet vibrators. “There are definitely more women coming in. Basically if you look around, there are more things here for a woman to buy – the market reflects its consumers.” When I asked about his personal views on the industry his answer was simply, “completely casual – it’s all about making the customer feel comfortable without passing judgment, and it’s not that hard when I’ve seen it all, it makes sense.” As I walked out of the store, I realised that this did make sense. I considered whether if sex was a more openly discussed topic in our society that like many other things in our generation, we would become de-sensitised and the stigma associated with the topic would eventually fade away. The last place I visited seemed to again reaffirm this point. The owner of Barabarella’s was an older man and, due to the stereotypes developed in this industry, I did find it a little out of place. Nevertheless, he spoke of how “these sort of things have been ‘round for hundreds of years, the only difference now is that they are cleaner, more informed and safer than ever” – which I thought raised a very good point. “As long as the shop looks bright, it’s female friendly, non-judgmental and enough space is given, then there isn’t really much difference between here and a pharmacy – if they had the ‘gutso’ to sell some of our products.” Maybe he was right. By the end of my little adventure, I guess you could say that I was feeling a little bit silly. Before I began writing this piece I thought I may make it a bit of a piss take, ask the employees about the biggest dildo they’ve sold and their weirdest customers. But it wasn’t the dreadful journey I thought it would be, and the things I had heard about these stores were far off par. I found that it was normal to feel embarrassed about certain curiosities, but it wasn’t, however, necessary. Although I don’t see myself becoming a regular of these sort of stores, I do hope I have managed to open a few eyes and maybe piqued a few people’s curiosity. And if I have, the owner of Barabarella’s has offered a 10% discount to Massey students if you show your ID – for all you kinky guys and gals out there! Illustrated by Ash Nel
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The ‘C’ Word : An Anatomy Swear words are considered by many to be utterly taboo in the grand scheme of society’s everyday language. Are Kiwis leading the surprise revolution towards a less hateful vocabulary, or are we just a bunch of c**ts? Charlie Mitchell sheds some light. WARNING: contains language that may offend some people.
If you’ve been alive recently it is highly likely you’ll be more than familiar with certain aspects of the Harry Potter series. The avalanche of teenage angst, the suspiciously dangerous boarding school, the occasional outbreak of wand wavy shenanigans - it’s all breathtakingly commercial to the extent that we might never see anything like it again. But it’s also kind of fun and relatable in a generally inoffensive way, which is why J.K. Rowling has a hotel-sized house (and deservedly so). But when you look past the surface pleasures of the official books/films/videogames/ clothing line/stationery/prophylactics that have sprung from the series, you can begin to see some of the socially conscious parallels Rowling has drawn with real life - the Eugenics-driven politics pushed by the Nazi-esque Death Eaters, the quasi-anarchistic distaste for the bureaucratic Ministry of Magic, the whole homo-erotic ‘coming out of the closet’ thing - which are all very neatly tied up, wrapped in a bow, and easy to understand. One of the subtler ideas, however, is actually very interesting, and seriously questions one of the arbitrary truths of the way we interact. You may recall the almost obnoxious inability for anyone in the wizarding world to say the word ‘Voldemort’, instead replacing it with ‘you know who’, ‘he who must not be named’, or simply by sobbing quietly and nervously urinating in their robes (this one’s implied). Only the truly brave and the socially oblivious have the ability to utter the word ‘Voldemort’, which, to the reader, is pretty inane and silly. The fact that I’ve thrown the word ‘cunt’ in the middle of this sentence is likely to be shocking for some. It’s one of the few words that can truly be used as a weapon which can cut right through somebody and cause true offence. It is the ‘Voldemort’ of the muggle world, and only the brave will use it. To an inquiring mind, the special status of certain words is an odd little phenomenon that becomes progressively more arbitrary the more you think about it. There is nothing inherently offensive about the structure or the aesthetic value of the word ‘cunt’. It’s actually quite a nice word when divorced from its nasty context. It starts with that hard, powerful ‘K’ sound that explodes from the back of the jaw, then skips straight to the soft plosive, that little tap of the tongue behind the teeth. You can
stress the beginning, the ending, or both; you can ease it out of your mouth or deliver it like a shotgun blast, and it sounds powerful any which way you say it. All in all, it starts hard, ends soft, and is over very quickly – like most good things.Of course, the value of words are determined by the context of their usage, not by how fun they are to say (except, maybe, for words like ‘flapdoodle’ and ‘flibbertigibbet’, which are so fun to say that they exist as something of an exception to this rule). The fact that ‘cunt’ is fun to say does not excuse it of its frequently misogynistic usage, nor justify flippantly tossing it around in any context the speaker pleases. The history of its usage is a mean cocktail of hatred and fear specifically targeted towards women, which is evident in the fact that it has no male equivalent. We can see this mirrored in other tabooed words: ‘nigger’, for example, has no ‘white’ equivalent, nor does ‘faggot’ have a ‘straight’ equivalent. This suggests that the words with the most power to devastate arise as a means for society’s most powerful group to verbally exert their power over others. Of course, in modern-day New Zealand, the word ‘cunt’ is becoming increasingly stripped of its vulgarity, and its usage is almost alarmingly commonplace. Is this a good thing? Do tabooed words serve a function, or are they an anachronism in a generally more introspective, tolerant society, where using these words strips them of their power? It’s a head-scratcher alright, and there’s no easy answer. The first documented usage of the word ‘cunt’ in modern English has been traced to 13th century England, where ‘Gropecunt Lane’ was a popular designation for a town’s red light district. It followed an unimaginative but common naming convention where streets were named after their most common function: Baker Street, Fish Street, Swine Gate, and so on. Gropecunt Lane, of course, was where men would literally go to grope. It’s difficult to know if ‘groping a cunt’ was a questionable euphemism for sex, or something far more literal. Thankfully, the specifics have been lost to history. ‘Cunt’ could also be incorporated into people’s names: there are records for men named John Fillecunt and Robert Clevecunt, occupations fortunately unknown. Regardless, the first regular usage of the word in English didn’t set it up for great things and set a poor precedent for the future of the word.
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The status of ‘cunt’ from here on out is tricky to ascertain. Prior to the 14th century, it seemed to be used primarily as a descriptive, passionless term for a woman’s vulva (side note: ‘vagina’ typically refers to the internal structure of the female sex organ, where ‘cunt’ refers to the external part of the sex organ. The word vagina derives from the latin term for ‘sheath for a sword’ - as you can see, the casual objectification of woman has a painfully long history). Chaucer used the word “queynte” somewhat liberally in his famous Canterbury Tales, which presumably suggests that the word had yet to become stigmatic (or that Chaucer just didn’t give a shit, I suppose). Shakespeare, was slightly less brazen about using it, often nesting it in wordplay only the most eagleeyed 16th century peasants could catch (example: Hamlet offers to lie in Ophelia’s lap. She says no. He asks her if she thought he was talking about ‘country matters’, country being pronounced ‘cunt-ry’). The term ‘cunny’ was also occasionally used as a softer, more acceptable derivation after it had gained its social stigma: “That honey has a fine cunny”, may have been a popular declaration of interest for a man courting a woman in the 17th century. We can see that ‘cunt’, once literally slapped on to a sign in the street, quickly became a word only the most horn-doggery of writers would use ( James Joyce was particularly fond of it - his personal letters contain dozens of instances of its usage, including this unfortunate sentence: “Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly.”) In the modern era, the status of ‘cunt’ exists on a very wide spectrum. Some (particularly in the USA) deeply fear it, and go to great lengths to avoid hearing it. In Australia and New Zealand, it has become a synonym for pretty much anything positive - we’ve all heard someone referred to as a ‘good cunt’. This diversity is an anomaly in the internet age, where cross-country communication usually irons out these sorts of differences. Telling an American you and a bunch of other ‘cunts’ got ‘cunted’ last night will likely inspire confusion and perhaps a silent prayer and a comforting grasp of their crucifix.
This all ties into a recent phenomenon known as ‘reclamation’, where traditionally offensive words are being stripped of their power. This can be accomplished by saying the word so often that it becomes banal and everyday, or by altering its connotation entirely. Almost every deeply offensive word of the past has undergone a reclamation of some sort in recent times by using both of these strategies: ‘nigger’, often pronounced phonetically as ‘nigga’, is commonly used as a term of endearment in black communities and no longer denotes racial subjugation or racial superiority. It’s used inclusively as a self-identifier for people in a community; it retains its definition, but has a positive connotation. Likewise, ‘punk’, ‘queer’, ‘nerd’, and ‘bitch’ have all been used as positive self-identifiers, and have become so ubiquitous that sometimes we don’t even consider their hateful origins. A lot of society’s hateful rhetoric is disappearing and there don’t seem to be any words taking their place. Now we are left with ‘cunt’. The fact that it’s considered so vulgar hardly suggests an inclusive society. What does it say about us if our most offensive word happens to allude to the female sex organ, specifically the part that manufactures pleasure? As New Zealanders, we have a proud history of progressive values in the international community: universal suffrage, economic freedom, and extremely low levels of corruption are just a few. Now we have ‘cunt’. We’re the Harry Potter of the international community, oblivious to the stigma of ‘Voldemort’, proudly declaring it when others wince in fear. We should reject the idea that an offensive word should be synonymous with a sexual organ, because we are not a repressed society, and we shouldn’t demonise anyone within it. So call your mum, your pastor, your lecturer, or whoever it is you value in your life, a cunt - it’s a great word, after all.
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STRINGING LINES WITH TAHUNA BREAKS With Tahuna Breaks’ new album Shadow Light coming out on March 22, Jared Lanigan and James BUCKWELL Masefield have a chat to them about their lives and music.
Tim and Marty from Tahuna Breaks show up at the bar looking as unlikely musicians as is possible. Dressed in business attire, with suitcases in hand, they step forward to greet us. While shaking hands, we puzzle over the realization that these two, at the forefront of all good funk, roots and dance music in New Zealand, earn their keep in an office, “The real way,” as Tim suggests. But of course, artists, despite what some may think, lead lives away from their art. It’s been awhile since Tahuna Breaks graced our ears with their particular brand of funky art. We asked them about why they came back, what we have to look forward to, and why Marty (singer) is unarguably the best dancer in the group when he’s feeling limber. And why their most popular ever online music video got to be that way - on a porn site.
Welcome back, Tahuna Breaks. You guys took three or four years off since the last album, is that right? Marty: Yup, probably since ‘09. We recorded Black, Brown and White at the end of ’08 then released it towards the end of ’09, so if you count it as the last time we were in a studio, four years. Is it very hard to do the day job as well as writing and touring? Tim: Oh, it takes its toll I suppose. At the end of the working day, you’ve got to go away and practice and come up with new tunes. Probably more so for this fullah [indicates Marty] ... he’s got a family and that. Marty: Yeah it’s just finding the time, fitting everything in. Although I suppose it’d still be challenging to do something creative even if I had all the time in the world. I might be moaning about writers block and whatnot. It is what it is, you just gotta box on! How did your beginning sound compare with what it is now? M: Oh, you know, just a different degree of shitness really [laughs]. Na, it’s bigger, and we find it to be more engaging for the audience - as opposed to it being an indulgent instrumental thing. We just wanna get people excited and having a dance. You are known for your live show and I know that the new album is taking a bit
more of an electronic focus. Does the new sound translate well into your live set? Is it difficult to play live? T: Oh, it’s had its challenges! I reckon once you’ve conquered how to play the stuff it’s actually a bit easier, at least from a drumming perspective. I think where it becomes difficult is for the sound technician [laughs]. He’s gotta mix it all together and make it sound good. In terms of how it sounds, I don’t have the luxury of being able to watch us. M: As long as there’s not too much booze [laughs]. What’s the creative process like with so many people? M: It’s like doing anything within a group environment. It can be long-winded and it can take not much time at all. You just have to try and carry each other’s favour and get everyone on the same page ... it’s generally a long process [laughs]. T: You’ve got to be weary of the ‘too many chiefs, not enough Indians’ thing, aye. It sort of helps when you’ve got a couple of people leading it and then they take it so far and then everyone adds in their bits here and there. I don’t think there’s any magic solution to it. Every album’s been different in terms of how they’ve come about, but this one’s been especially challenging because instead of just jamming it out, it’s been more a case of doing it on the computer, getting a feel for where the songs are going and then taking it from there. It’s been a different process for us but, then again, every album has been. You traditionally wrote and recorded in a storage shed whereas with this album you’ve recorded in hotels and each other’s houses and all sorts. Why was this? T: Yeah, I think for the last album, Black, Brown and White, we’d literally just rehearse, play live shows, come up with ideas, then jam them and jam them again. We’d get songs to the point where they would be ready then we would get in the studio for probably a week together to play live and record. We’d then come in the next week and add a few more over-dubs and that would be it. Whereas this time round we’ve been using producers overseas, sending files back and forth, developing songs, growing them, and layering them. Because of the electronic nature of it, where we recorded stuff didn’t matter a whole lot. So you could do it in a hotel or in a lounge - it was okay as
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“We once hired this massive campervan, piled the entire band into it and toured coastal Australia. Everyone was double bunking up on top of each other and we had all the music gear in with us. It was a bit like Tetris every time you had to find your way to bed”
long as you just nailed everything down nicely. You have UK house act ‘Crazy P’ on board as producers. With a producing name and a reputation like they have, they were bound to bring some change. Did you have it in mind that you were gonna do more of an electronic thing when you teamed up, or did it just eventuate that way? T: We made the conscious decision ‘OK, where are we gonna go with the band. Historically we’ve been all over the show: playing all sorts of styles. We thought ‘Let’s focus on what works, what we enjoy playing, and what we get the best feedback from’ and that happened to be more of the dance stuff. We thought if we’re going to do that we’ve got to do it properly and we need some guys on board who are going to help us towards the best that we can do. And because we had a relationship with Crazy-P we thought we may as well ask them and they were keen! M: They were just the best fit. Like Tim said, when you play live you tend to evolve. You just wanna be an ‘up’ band all the time. You end up reconfiguring your old songs and making them more upbeat. It’s what we enjoy playing and playing live is probably a strength of ours. We just wanted to make everything fit and be more cohesive. Crazy P were a good fit because they’re into that House/Disco kind of mold. T: They also have a live element so they understand we’re a live band as well. They produce music but have a band component so were empathetic towards what we’re doing. Like Marty said: a good fit. We’ve got a bit of a pop quiz for you guys. Tim, we’ll start with you: what is your least favourite question to be asked in an interview? T: Never actually thought about that. You, Marty? M: All of you ask shit ones! [laughs] All right, cheers Marty, we’ll stick with Tim’s response. This next one’s for you, though. What has been the most awkward/embarrassing moment in the band? M: A lot of things can start off awkwardly but finish okay [Tim and Marty crack up knowingly]. I think back to Australia where we played this little shitty little RSA-like venue. We were doing this gruelling tour down the east coast of Aussie and there was this nudie night and we were playing at this place and that was awkward. People were seated at tables and there were kids coming in.Yeah, so that was awkward from the start – everyone’s sort of cocking their heads and looking at us... Tim, I was gonna ask you your least favourite question to be asked, mate, but you managed to avoid that so I guess you win this round. T: Yay I finally won something!
Marty, we’ll go back to you: have you ever wanted to punch a fan in the face? T: Well, I could answer this but it’s Marty’s turn so ... [laughs] M: No. No I’ve never wanted to. Can we go to Tim, then? T: You couldn’t call this guy a fan. But how Marty handled the situation was pretty classic. I’m thinking of Waihi years ago. We had a guy at the front of this tavern and he just kept saying ‘play some Rolling Stones’ constantly, over and over, and Marty just softly sings “You can’t always get what you want”. This dude was being really abusive and when Marty sung that he just swore his head off and walked out [laughs]. M: Yeah it felt like giving someone the fingers – in song form. Tim, have you ever dropped ‘Tahuna Breaks’ into a conversation to pick up a girl? T: Never. What a genuine bloke. T: There is one member of our band who certainly has. What’s his name? [sarcastically to Marty] M: You want his nickname or his real name? The old nickname ‘Creep’ comes to mind [laughs]. T: There’s probably one of the band who should drop the name a bit more [Marty and Tim crack up, knowingly]. Not naming names? T: I don’t wanna get quoted for it! The bonus round is for Marty. It’s a yes or no: are you or are you not an ex-detective? M: Nah, I’m a current beat detective. I detect beats. T: You know that plug-in? I’ll record something then the ol’ ‘beat detective’ comes along and just makes sure it’s all in time! The third album from Tahuna Breaks Shadow Light is out on the March 22. Can you sum up what it is, in a nutshell? T: It’s a new direction for us. We’re trying to replicate more of the live energy, focusing more on the dance side of things. I guess we’re trying to achieve more of a representation of what we play live and how we play live. It’s a case of keeping ourselves interested and motivated and just keeping things fresh. M: We’re coming to grips with new technology and embracing that. You’ve got a couple of slick sounding remixes on the album. Have you done that in the past? M: Yeah the last album actually had a Crazy-P remix on it. That’s how we sparked up that relationship there. And there’s another remix out there of Giddy-Up by A-skillz.
It’s quite cool, I listen more to the remixes now! Tell us about the video for Giddy Up, did it get banned on YouTube? Yeah, that was interesting, we chucked it up on YouTube and it got banned so we thought fuck it, let’s just put it on a porn site! Let them try getting it taken off a porn site! And it got 70,000 views in a night. Our favourite part is Marty’s head bobbing there and winking. M: Yeah I’m holding a cock at one stage and when I saw it I was like ‘mmm yeah okay’, so maybe I should’ve policed the making of the video a bit more [laughs]. Honestly, I didn’t have a thing to do with it. I just bowled up at the start and they said we’re gonna do something of this kind then we all went our separate ways until we saw the final product. T: Yeah, James Winkle [band member] took care of the video side of things and also Leah [animator]. She did an amazing job on the video – it was in her hands for 7 or 8 months; it was a big task. Then it was all done. The whole band sat down with our families and we played it and, mate, you should’ve seen the jaws dropping. They then turned on the lights and someone stood up and asked if there were any questions. There was a brief silence before I raised my hand and said ‘How on Earth do you think we’re gonna get this on TV’? And she said ‘No, that’s the brilliance of it’! And I was like ‘ohhh shit’ [laughs]. Who’s the dancer in the group? Cos’ you got that James Brown funk goin’ on. Who’s the one always busting out the funky chicken? T: Can’t be me mate, I’m on the drums [evasively]. M: Well I’ve been known for a variety of moves. It all depends on what kind of shape I turn up in when we start touring! If I’ve got a few weeks to get up to dance fitness ... I had been known to do the odd ‘splits’ a couple years back but the knees will go out on me now bro. T: And you feel the stage move when he does it too aye like “Ooh better watch those cymbals...” M: The old knee-drops were good, too. Just whatever you feel in the moment, aye, you can never plan these things [knowledgably]...depends what you’re on. [laughter] What about touring? Had any crazy experiences on the road? M: We once hired this massive campervan, piled the entire band into it and toured coastal Australia. Everyone was double bunking up on top of each other and we had all the music gear in with us. It was a bit like Tetris every time you had to find your way to bed [laughs]. But it was good. It was all about the struggle. You often couldn’t find where your shoes were so you’d just find the pair closest to you, take them, then grab someone t-shirt.
Have you ever considered jumping into music with both feet? T: Personally, I wouldn’t. It doesn’t appeal to me. It’s an interesting game but, for me, it’s always been something that’s a bit of fun to be had with your mates. The thing is that you’re at the mercy of the market: at any point you might fall out of favour and New Zealand’s so small. If I was to turn fully to music and rejected a career, then in five years’ time I could turn up as this washed-out musician and then it’s ‘Well what do I do now?’ So for me personally my career’s been key and this is the fun. The music’s like a bonus: something to look forward to. M: The image of the classic artist who is penniless and struggling doesn’t appeal to me. I like my comforts! [laughs]. It can be hard enough to live as it is: that’s just the reality of it. T: It means it gets hard to balance work and play but we’ve made it work for the last seven or eight years! Does your family make up a lot of your inspiration for song writing? What’s that process like? M: As far as song writing goes, I just let things come naturally. For a lot of our songs, within the first five minutes of jamming we will have come up with the chorus lyrics and the hook and then it will grow from that as you keep playing it. I could arguably put more thought into it at times but I’ll just let it flow naturally. I suppose with some songs I find myself thinking “Ah how am I gonna phrase this?” but mostly it just flows. A true musician’s answer. T: It’s a shame we did this at 12 o’clock and not 4 o’clock! Then there’d be more of these! [indicates beer]. Suppose we’ll get back to earning a dollar ... the real way! Shadow Light takes an electronic, upbeat approach and includes the hit singles Smooth and Moves. They’ll be touring the brand new tunes as well as all of their classics on the dates below. Tickets are available from TicketMaster.co.nz and RealGroovy.
TAHUNA BREAKS NZ TOUR Saturday April 13: Wellington, San Francisco Bath House Friday April 26: Tauranga, Brewers Bar Saturday May 4: Auckland, Powerstation
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DAVE RENNIE ON LEADERSHIP If you haven’t heard of rugby coach extraordinaire Dave Rennie, well, where have you been? If you dislike rugby, or know as much about it as Yvette Morrissey does (nothing), fear not – this article is not riddled with ruglish (her term for rugby-speak), it’s an article about leadership and one man’s journey of how he turned a team of underdogs into champions.
Dave Rennie’s history in rugby is impressive, including playing 59 games as a centre for Wellington, coaching the Manawatu Turbos for six years and taking them to the final championship, and winning the 2012 Super 15 title at his first go at coaching the Chiefs. He spoke at his Woolshed tour in Rongotea last year, and I managed to pick up some nuggets of wisdom. Business students – tear this out and keep it tucked neatly in your back pocket. Everyone else, no matter what career you are studying towards, read on and discover the secrets of successful leadership. Surround yourself with hard-working, good buggers The first thing Dave mentions about coaching a winning team is that having the right people is key. When asked to coach the (then dwindling) Chiefs team in 2012, he knew he needed guys with character. He called Wayne Smith, whom he describes as “one of the best coaches in the world” and convinced him to be his assistant. When it came to selecting the players, Dave and Wayne agreed their players needed to be “hard-working, good buggers.” If they didn’t know the players well, they spoke to those who knew them, and asked about their character. They wanted players who were selfmotivated, accountable for their actions, natural leaders, and players who could use their tank for the full 80 minutes. “Overall,” Dave says, “we wanted players who strived to get to the next level. We wanted guys who aspired to get into the All Blacks.” Aaron Cruden, the No 10, was one of these players who Dave says “was the first to stand up if he hadn’t done something right and take responsibility.” Aaron’s also an All Black. Coincidence? I think not. People development In his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership, New York Times Bestselling Author John C. Maxwell says “People Development wins championships”; a technique used heavily by Dave. “We had one-on-ones with every player every week. Pretty much what happens is the boys set goals, and then they’d play. Afterwards they would evaluate their performance around their goals, and look for strengths and weaknesses. Then they’d re-set their goals, and go about their training week.” They also had relationship meetings, and break the team down into smaller groups where each of the groups had a leader. Positive reinforcement also helped: “The very first day [of training] we explained why we picked them.”
Understanding the importance of community engagement Dave noticed, when coming into the Chiefs, that they were disengaged from the community. He also said many of the Chiefs were in the papers for the wrong reasons (imagine your worst night on the turps being splashed all over the media, topless photos included). “The boys [the Turbos] in the Manawatu were fantastic getting out into schools, working with various charities and their sponsors. There was a disconnection with the Chiefs, so we made it a focus in our training. We went out to Waiuku to train in the sand dunes and engage with the community at the same time. We invited the community to run up the regional park hill with us, and then had a group photo at the top.” The Chiefs players hosted training sessions with local kids, where they had to plan and run the sessions, then evaluate them. For Dave, it was more engagement than an artificial handshake and autograph. Another concept Dave came up with to encourage engagement was to make the team hitchhike to their training session. They were sorted into teams of two and had to make the three-hour journey to Ohope. Clearly Dave’s strategy was working, because 13,000 people showed up in the pouring rain to support the Chiefs when they played their next game against the Blues. “People said because we won a few games that was why we got a huge following, and there’s some truth to that. The media were against us. 13,000 people showed up to our game verses the Blues. I reckon these people showed up because we went right across the region and did a lot of work out on the streets. A lot people saw the boys doing hard work, and they respected them because of that.” The team also got behind causes such as partnering with Waikato police in the Kia Kaha anti-bullying campaign. Embrace culture Dave says he put a lot of focus on “historical Maori stuff.” “It certainly wasn’t rammed down their throats, but we wanted to have something that had personal meaning. We had a look at what the Chiefs stood for and why we were called the Chiefs.” Each of the players was given a marae to research, visit, and report back on. They went to Maori battlefields, and related things back to the Maori King. The Chiefs logo
“Sometimes the guys needed a clip around the ear, sometimes they needed a cuddle.” had been around for 17 years, so they researched who invented it and what it meant. They even gave him a name - Jeff the Maori, and drew him legs. Dave talked about the Whatanoa Gateway, or carved entrance, at the entrance to the Waikato Stadium. Some players knew the history of it, most didn’t. “There used to be an old pa site out there [Waikato Stadium], and when the warriors would go to war they would touch the whatanoa on the outside to draw courage from those they had lost before them.” The Whatanoa Gateway was unveiled at the stadium in 2004, and now symbolises the commitment to the sport of rugby. Dave says some of the guys didn’t touch it when they ran into the stadium, but for those who did, it gave them the driving force they needed. The team also invented their own haka, which Dave says was an excellent teambuilding exercise and brought the team closer together. Interestingly, Dave chose two captains for the Chiefs: Liam Messam and Craig Clarke. He says they balanced each other out. “Liam is very inspirational, passionate, and loves the Chiefs jersey – the boys follow him. Craig is measured, very calm, impeccable off-field, and deals with the ref really well, so by marrying those guys together they’re a good fall for each other. It may not have worked for everyone, but it was the way to go for us.” The two coaches were invited to go through clips of the previous game and report back to the team on what went well and what they needed to work on. Dave said it was important to have leaders in the team, because “sitting in the rugby box, you can’t really do much”. The same can be said for any business. You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘when the cat’s away the mice will play’. That can be applied to business as well. You want to create leaders in your team, so when you aren’t there, you know that the job will get done. “We created a culture where the guys love turning up to work. They’re prepared to work hard for each other, and through that, you get results.” More wisdom from Dave: “Sometimes the guys needed a clip around the ear, sometimes they needed a cuddle.” “You have to earn the right to wear the jersey”
ASK A GURU S E N S UA L A DV I C E – G U R U C L AY DA N My boyfriend wants me to stimulate his bum. I’m nervous. What should I do? We’ve been together for three years now, our relationship, sex-wise, is below normal, and both he and I want to spice it up. Is this the right way to spice things up - for me to shove my pinky in his bum bum? No holds barred on this question. Boom. Straight to it, go your boyfriend for wanting to spice up the sex life. Without (safe) sex, relationships can crumble. First, let’s talk about the anatomies of each gender. We all have a thing called the G-spot. Some claim that women have two, the clitoris and one located internally, two inches in, and feels like a walnut kind of. This is true, but on some woman, the G-spot located internally is never to be found. With stimulation of either of these parts, orgasm can occur. This is good for females as both these G-spots are located where penetration and the art of sex occurs. However, for men, the G-spot is located up in bum. It’s his prostate, and when stroked and prodded, boom, happy and sleepy times for the man. However, for the heterosexual man, access to this hole is usually prohibited. So, Guru researched to find out whether it is something that should be introduced to the bedroom. Guru found via Google that it is completely normal, and several heterosexual couples do it. The whole thing is, though, do you want shit on your pinky? And how do you go about doing it? Do you gently insert it with plenty of lube, or go in for the kill and do it dry? So many questions – a lot of which you are going to have to find out yourself. Experiment. As long as he wants your pinky up his bum and you want to put your pinky up his bum, go hard. Wash your pinky, otherwise it will be stinky.
It smells, Guru! HELP! I went to town last weekend, hooked up with this babe, took her back to mine and made the sex with her. I went downtown and nearly died. Why do some vaginas smell!?!?! I’m keen on this girl, how can I tell her it smells, and not make it smell the way it does? Oh no. Code fish. Vaginas are wonderful things. Penises go in them, babies come out. So you can expect with all the things that the vagina goes through that it is going to work up a sweat and maybe become a little odorous, just like balls. They get sweaty, and smelly. So it all comes down to hygiene, or she may have a medical condition, of which Guru cannot help you even though I am magical and God-like, and she may have to see her doctor. If it is hygiene, I can help. How far in the relationship are you? By the sounds of it, maybe too sexes in, which means that feelings are bound to get hurt if you tell her. What you need to do is suggest she clean it somehow. There are several ways of doing this: 1. Say, “Hey girl, wanna be cute and shit. Let’s shower together”. Her response will be, “Yes please, baby boy”. Then, when you get in the shower, shove that sensitive soap down there (too strong or anything like that and you’ll fuck up the PH balance of her fanny, and boom – things get worse). Scrub away gently, pretending that this is one of your erotic moves. Rub in circles; you could almost make cleaning her vagina sexual. Hose it off (with the shower head, not your pee), and boom – clean vagina. 2. If she isn’t into showering together, suggest going for a skinny dip. This is fun, sexual, and the perfect time to clean it for her. Jump into the sea with some body-wash and grab a shower loofer and play, ‘clean
each other’s privates’. Play that game, and boom – clean vagina. 3. If that doesn’t work, grab a gas mask, some air freshener, and bite the bullet. Or you can always tell her it smells funny, and ask her to give it a clean herself. People don’t like to stink, so I’m sure it would make her happy to know that it does smell and that by giving it a decent clean, it won’t. Clean your vagina, don’t be a whiner.
QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS I masturbate and frequent red-tube easily over twice a day – to the point where it hurts, but feels so good. Help! You probably are addicted to porn, so block that shit. When you feel like having a tug, take a deep breath, count to 10 and then breathe out. If you still feeling like jerking the gherkin, do it again. Porn addiction is a real thing, and you need to go talk to your doctor about it. A casual tug is perfectly normal and healthy, but it shouldn’t be a 3-5 times a day thing. Or, find a partner. You’ll find that you’ll stop wanking, and start fornicating, and the amount of times you’re allowed to do this is up to your partner. Too much jerking off and your willy will fall off. I love rough sex. I’m talking scratching, biting, pinching, and hair pulling. Is this normal? Yes. Nothing better than walking away with battle scars for both parties involved.
THE CULINARY ADVENTURES OF BILLY BUNFINGERS F O O D – B I L LY B U N F I N G E R S I must apologise for my following review. It was scrawled hastily on a used segment of toilet paper with invisible ink. It may not seem as measured and objective as my last review, but I hope it will reflect my unfiltered passion for the subject at hand. My latest assignment was a difficult one. I arrived at the city’s hottest pizza bar, desperate, anxious and aroused at the prospect of savouring one of their toasted miracles. I must admit, I have a soft spot for pizza; it often causes my hardened culinary sensibilities to lapse, and make my knees tremble in ecstasy as its fumes waft down the fleshy crevasses of my tender face and into the cavernous, musty depths of my earthly carriage. Unfortunately, I have a trespass order issued against me for every Dominos and Pizza Hut store in the South Pacific, so the temptation of a new pizza haunt proved overwhelming. I staggered inside, inhaling the scent like a cokeaddicted Bloodhound. I paused at the entranceway, partially to contain my excitement (which was slowly
but surely manifesting itself in my crotch), and partially because my arm fat had entangled itself in the security system next to the door frame. Oh Lord! Oh my, oh Heavens to Betsy, I had floated into a spectacular dreamscape, where ribbons of sauce slashed the air, and a cornucopia of meat lay together in a blasphemous but sensual gangbang of pleasure! I attacked the menu with feverish eyes, whimpering with a quiet, erotic pleasure, like a dirty old man in the bathroom of a Lollipops Playland. I constructed every hypothetical bite in my mind’s eye, felt every sexual jolt through my iron rod as I imagined my gnarled and tremulous teeth piercing the crispy layer of pepperoni, slow dancing with the sweet but gluggy texture of that mayonnaise swirl, French kissing the Italian sausage with my engorged tongue, which is rampaging through this orgy of pleasures exorcist style, detached and feverish and so in love with everything it touches! Oh save me, baby Jesus, for I am about to sin. I blacked out. I awoke to the syncopated rhythm
of a police car’s lights, piercing through my tired eyes. I looked down; a pizza box, mangled and limp, lay dejectedly before me like a car crash victim. The officer reached to put my greasy hands in chains, but they didn’t fit. As the officers went to retrieve elephant shackles from the nearby circus, a frenzied montage played before me. In a fugue state, I had snatched a pizza from a customer’s hands and sprinted for the door, cramming it into every orifice I could reach. I recounted the intensity of the flavours; an overwhelming dash of garlic, married with the tender spice of chilli; the smoky bbq lattice, so heady in the mouth and the anus, offsetting the bitter onion.I had been captured after a staff member walked after me in pursuit and detained me. A solitary tear trickled down my eye as the officer squeezed me into the police’s official horse float; it was an ephemeral rapture, a fleeting revelry, and I would never taste such perfection again. Pizza: 3 stars
A MEAL TO FEED THE FLAT FOR UNDER $20: CREAMY SPINACH BACON PASTA R EC I P E – YA S M I N E J E L LY M A N Serves: 4 Time to make: 15 mins Total cost: $18.71 / $4.67 per serve. (Remember you will only be using about half the pack of pasta so can be used to make another dish and also barely any of the cornflour. Of course, this cost will be lower if you already have cornflour). This recipe is super delicious as well as being high in calcium and low in fat. This recipe is simple to make and is great for people on a low budget. It is also a great dish to take as leftovers to uni or work the next day. What you will need: 2 ¾ cups of penne pasta 1 bunch of spinach, washed and trimmed 225g of lean bacon, trimmed and sliced 4 spring onions, sliced 375ml can of light evaporated milk 3 teaspoons of cornflour
Costs from Countdown as of 20/02/13 Diamond penne pasta 500g pack - $2.26 (most bags of pasta are around this price) Fresh Zone Spinach 400g pack - $4.99 Kiwi 100% NZ Shoulder Bacon 200g - $3.49 Fresh Produce Spring Onion Bunch - $2.29 Nestle Carnation Light and Creamy Evapourated Milk 375ml - $3.99 Edmonds Fielder’s Cornflour 300g box - $1.69 Instructions: Step 1: Cook penne following packet directions. Drain. Return to saucepan. Steam spinach in a separate saucepan (or microwave) until tender. Squeeze out moisture, chop and add to pasta. Step 2: Meanwhile, cook bacon in a frying pan for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 more minutes.
Step 3: Combine 1/4 cup evaporated milk with cornflour. Add to bacon with the remaining evaporated milk. Stir until mixture thickens. Add pasta and spinach to pan and stir until heated through. Serve. TIP: The easiest way to steam spinach is to clean it and put it into a large pot so the spinach isn’t crowded. Then add about 2 tablespoons of water at the bottom of the pot. Put the pot on a low heat and cook gently for 5 minutes until the spinach is bright green and limp. Variations Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta, bacon and cornflour. Add whatever you want or have: chicken for more meat, cheese topping, vegetables etc. For vegetarians remove the bacon and add other vegetables. Pumpkin is a great one in this dish.
INTREPID IN INDIA T r av e l – A N N A T U B R U M If inner peace and serenity is what you’re hoping to achieve on your pilgrimage to India, be sure to hit up the north. While other places we travelled to were constantly chaotic, the north had a tranquil feel. Surrounded by the monstrous and magical Himalayas we visited the ancient cities of Dehradun, Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Haradwar. We were based in Dehradun for six days and hired a driver during this time, which cost us 3000 rupees or roughly NZ$65 each. I know, right, ridiculously cheap! We day-tripped up the mountains to Mussoorie, an old village built into the hills. Rickety houses, clothes-laden washing lines and bustling markets lined either side of a bumpy, narrow road occupied by cars, scooters, donkeys and people carrying large loads on their backs. The people looked less Indian and more Chinese. They wore patterned ponchos and beanies as the temperature dropped the further up we went. We trekked around the mountains (okay, we walked) and were met by pantswetting views of snow-capped Himalayas.
Rishikesh, or ‘The Gateway to the Himalayas’, is acknowledged as the Yoga capital of the world, where glorious mountains and the holy Ganges provided us with the perfect setting for expanding our minds. We did not do any mind expanding, however, and instead participated in the more therapeutic activity of eating. A German café perched on a cliff overlooking the Ganges provided a perfect lunch spot. We were massive curry feen’s, but as a pack of sweet-toothed women deprived of cake there was no resisting the allure of a cabinet choc-a-block with apple pie, chocolate croissants, and other tasty morsels. We sat on the balcony in the sunshine vigorously munching on a selection of treats. Two blonde Swedish girls sat next to us smoking and drinking fresh juice. We discussed our adventures and the difficulties of being fair-haired females in India. I think my favourite thing about India is it’s mystique. Indian culture is comprised of so many elements. A long, rich history entangled in mythology … all of these things make India magical, and travelling around the country
feels as though you’ve stepped inside a story which takes place in another world outside of time. Something I’ve never experienced anywhere else in the world. My top tips if you’re thinking of traveling around India are: First, GO TO INDIA! I can talk at you about it till the meandering cows on Delhi’s dirt roads come home but you really need to experience it for yourself. Secondly, India will pick your world up and flip it around, maybe a few times. So select awesome people to learn, laugh, and adventure with you! Thirdly, take hand sanitizer because it’s never fun to have the runs! (especially when the facilities available include a hole in the ground and no toilet paper.) Avoid looking monkeys in the eye and also having peanuts in any form (biscuits, Snickers etc.) around them, unless you enjoy the idea of being attacked by a hostile primate. And, lastly, go to India with an open mind and an open heart.It sounds laaaame, I know, but the best part of traveling is learning about other cultures and immersing yourself in them. DO IT!
BURNT AND BROKE B e au t y O N T H E C H EA P – TA R A M A S C A R A
Hello fellow broke beauty lovers! This month I’m sharing a beauty tip for boys and girls! Yes, boys … don’t be too cool for school. Live life on the edge a little and dare to read on … Has anyone else out there been enjoying the sun way too much? According to weather experts we have had the driest summer in more than 50 years! Awesome for our souls but not so much for our skin. Although the sunshine and clear skies are gratefully welcomed by my desire to bake myself in the sun, my skin is not bloody happy at all. Not bloody happy, I tell you. We have all been there when we sizzle our skin too much and then suddenly look like we have some type of skin disease. But let’s be honest – it happens to the best of us and especially with our dangerous sun here in New Zealand. I’m talking about peeling – disgusting peeling and patchy skin, it’s gross! This was me two weeks ago and, despite my efforts of moisturizing morning and evening,
I just couldn’t stop the disaster running its course. So I began to research a way to revitalize my skin! The first big tip I will give you is this: as tempting as it, is DON’T peel your skin! It will make the situation worse and sore, plus you will start to look like a Friesian cow. Tried and tested, this recipe gets the tick of approval from me: _ cup of raw sugar _ cup of olive oil Method: Mix sugar with olive oil and create a paste. Rub on your body in the shower or bath in circular motions. Rinse and gently pat dry your skin. And wha-la! Your skin will feel soft and silky from exfoliating the dead skin cells away. Although you will probably still look patchy, your skin will be smooth and
hydrated. And if your skin is hydrated it is less likely to be dry and that’s what causes peeling. This recipe can be used all year round and isn’t helpful only for when you have burnt yourself. It’s good to love your body and give it treats like exfoliation and some hydrating. If you feel like treating your skin even more, add a couple of drops of essential oil into your normal moisturizer. I love lavender because it relaxes me. Essential oils will give your moisturizer an extra element and make your skin feel amazing! I do give caution here that if your skin is prone to break-outs maybe you should skip the oil from your moisturizer. It’s so important, girls (and boys), to nourish and pamper your skin - you shouldn’t take it for granted. Over to YOU! xoxo
playcycle 4: the new generation rises G a m i n g – C A L LU M O ’ N E I L L , A L L AN W E R N E R They have, however, shown off the new controller, If you’ve been following the gaming industry over the which seems interesting. There’s a touch pad, similar past few weeks or so, then you won’t be at all surprised to learn that Sony unveiled the fourth iteration of the in design to the PS Vita’s rear touch panel, except it’s on the front, an integrated ‘move’ light allowing for mighty gaming thing known as the Playstation, last month. If you are one of the few gamers who is surprised depth-detected motion gameplay. The ‘start’ and ‘select’ by this, then you should really consider getting an buttons are gone, replaced by ‘options’ and ‘share’. It’s a internet connection installed under your rock. little sad to see the old stalwart of controllers pass, but This new generation of consoles comes as hardly a let’s be honest, when was the last time you used ‘select’ surprise to us non-troglodytes, the current (seventh) to actually select anything? The addition of the ‘share’ button seems like an interesting change. We’ll have to generation of gaming consoles has had a longer run than wait to see whether it does anything beyond spamming any generation in recent memory. Gaming franchises have come to their conclusions, ideas are played out and Facebook friends with messages. Sony also revealed new network features which seem desperate developers are scraping by, creating fourth quite interesting. You are now able to stream gameplay titles in trilogies. Sony has actually revealed a surprising amount about video straight out of the console. Supposedly a friend the console, aside from not showing anybody what the can also take over for you, controlling the game while it is being streamed over the internet. Although why box actually looks like, or the price, for that matter. anyone would actually want to use this feature is beyond EB Games are charging $900 for pre-orders but it’s likely to change. $900 for a console in today’s economy me – if I can’t do something in a game I’m not going to get one of my friends to complete it for me so they is just unrealistic; we don’t think Sony can get away with can brag about it. And, given the general crappiness anything over $700.
of internet connections in New Zealand, it is unlikely any of these features will actually work. It takes my PS3 five minutes to connect to the Playstation Network. I can’t imagine ever streaming out of the thing. The PS4 apparently has a new chip dedicated to networking, but I hardly think it will be enough to do anything on my sub-10 Mbps internet. The games revealed for the system seem as uninspired as ever, very pretty-looking but otherwise dull ‘manshoots’ and sequels to games that we’ve seen before. We’ll have to wait until after the console actually launches to see whether developers take the new console as an opportunity to innovate. We still don’t know what Microsoft are up to, either. They could have something even more impressive up their sleeves. But as it stands, the PS4 had an impressive reveal – a new generation of consoles is just around the corner. Sony have done the brave thing and defined that for us, now we play the waiting game to see what this means for us.
SPIELBERG HONOURED, A NEW HULK BURGUNDY RETURNS F I L M – Pau l B e r r i n gto n Now that the Oscars are out of the way, the focus on film returns to Europe and the festival circuit. While becoming a commercial beast in its own right, the Cannes Film Festival has managed to avoid pandering to industry tastes, instead selecting films for competition that remain idealistic and arty. This year’s event, which starts in May, will feature Steven Spielberg as head of the jury which awards the coveted Palme D’Or, among other prizes. He is said to be thrilled at the honour, saying it was an “honour and a privilege” to be selected. Given that Lincoln was largely snubbed at the Oscars, it’s a boost for 66=year-old director, and Cannes organisers said his work cut across a broad spectrum, “between entertainment films and serious reflections on history, racism and the human condition”. Next up, Spielberg gets back to the entertainment film with Indiana Jones 5, due to begin shooting in June. Mega-producer Harvey Weinstein has been behind some exceptional projects in the past few years, the
most recent being Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook. His ability to produce the blockbuster can be in little doubt, interesting then that he has acquired the rights to Salinger, a documentary about the notoriously reclusive novelist J.D. Salinger, writer of the classic Catcher in the Rye. Weinstein’s interest in the film is said to be a hunger for an Oscar he hasn’t won before, Best Documentary, and the buzz around Salinger has been building since TWC paid $2 million for exclusive distribution rights. Buffy creator Joss Whedon had one of his best ever years in 2012, making the best superhero film in The Avengers, and also writing the most subversive horror film in Cabin in the Woods. Already booked in for The Avengers sequel, Marvel are understandably keen on him directing as much of their output as possible, and rumour has it he is set to take his talents to the Incredible Hulk. Given that few have succeeded when bringing Marvel’s Jekyll & Hyde to the screen, Whedon has a real
challenge on his hands. On the plus side, Mark Ruffalo’s take on the Hulk was the best yet, and if Whedon can keep him on board we could be in for real treat. While there are still a few months before we see Will Ferrell return to one of his most loved roles, as Ron Burgundy, the signs are good that the Anchorman sequel might just be worth seeing. John C. Reilly is rumoured to have been cast, with the talented character actor seemingly a perfect foil for Ferrell. The two have worked together before, on Step Brothers, which was a slight misfire, yet after his recent public appearances as Burgundy, Ferrell looks determined get this film right. It’s entitled Anchorman: The Legend Continues, and Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, and Steve Carell are all part of a large ensemble cast, suggesting a great platform for a few good laughs.
JIM BEAM HOMEGROWN JARED L ANIGAN Jim Beam Homegrown was held on Wellington’s waterfront on Saturday 2 March; a music festival of prime New Zealand music, as exemplified by its name. It was a surprisingly scorching day, particularly for Wellington, and Katchafire were first up on my schedule. The Katchafire boys elated my mood as a combination of horns, smoke and an impassioned crowd rendition of the line Shine Eyed Girl met my eager eyes and ears from within the Dub and Roots tent. After a spot of skanking to other Katchafire classics, I found myself a little dried up but very probably second-hand stoned as I made the 10-minute hike along the quayside to see Midnight Youth’s final showing with singer Jeremy Redmore. Entering The Jim Beam Rock stage to the bluesy-alternative number Benjamin being belted out by Redmore and co was a welcoming call. Crowd favourites All on Our Own and The Letter ensued, with Redmore orchestrating mass sing-alongs from the bittersweet audience. As they lined the front of stage for a final bow there was a strong sense of closure, but one mixed with a distinct anticipation of what might come next for the Aucklanders. Walking in the sweltering heat I passed the pop/hiphop stage to the sound of Savage eliciting a very rowdy ‘cha-hoo’ from the crowd as he performed his hit Wild Out. I couldn’t help but echo their sentiments happily as I passed on by: Homegrown had thus far exceeded my expectations.
ElemenoP followed at 5.40 with what was a truly nostalgic part of the day. Countless classics were sung out by singer Dave Gibson who could be heard to be his usual silky best when the crowd wasn’t drowning him out entirely in their flawless efforts to remember every lyric from pop-pearls such as Fast Times in Tahoe, Verona and the massive Everyday’s A Saturday. At 7pm, Kora smashed out their notoriously epic live performance on the Dub and Roots stage, with Francis Kora filling in on lead vocals for his unfortunately absent brother, Laughton, without missing a single beat. I’d seen Kora live twice on previous occasions and without it being intuitively possible they seem to have gotten better every time. If there are music-loving Kiwis who haven’t seen them live I’d suggest those heathens have their passports revoked until their sins are redeemed. After sprinting back to the Rock stage, my efforts were rewarded with the joys of I Am Giant performing their final two songs Purple Heart and Neon Sunrise. Arguably the most innovative and exciting band to have come out of the New Zealand rock scene in recent years, they took only two songs to cement this perception with a hauntingly unique vocal performance from Brit singer Ed Martin and frenzied energy from his equally renown Kiwi band mates. Following an agonizing choice between seeing Shapeshifter and Shihad, I stuck around the Jim Beam stage to witness my childhood heroes unfalteringly
remind all present why Shihad are the undisputed heavyweight champions of New Zealand rock. Even when playing relatively unknown tracks, Jon Toogood (singer) had every punter present raptly engaged, be it either by his supreme ability to spontaneously get a reaction out of a crowd or by his intense eye contact he made with select people as he swayed deliriously and pumped out riff after kickass riff. Their superiority in live performing was also manifested in their speedy transitions between songs and contrasts drawn between numbers, such as the stripped-down acoustic version of Run (movingly belted out by all) and the all-out auditory onslaught of My Minds Sedate. Homegrown 2013 truly did deliver. There were, however, discrepancies, one of which should be mentioned in the hope that such a positive music event can be improved on into the future. Stages are arranged by genre, and by having most headliners play at the close of the evening, clashes predictably occur. Having to choose between Shihad, Shapeshifter, and Concord Dawn really just speaks for itself. All in all, though, Homegrown is a remarkable testament to the quality of Kiwi music and how underrepresented our artists are on the international scene. Kia Ora Wellington.
FARCRY 3 HANNAH DOUGL ASS I’m not normally a fan of first-person shooters (FPS). I’ve spent way too much of my life playing games such as Legend of Zelda and Mario Bros to ever fully adapt to being a trigger-happy gun wielder. I still get flustered in the Halo series whenever I see an enemy charging me down with a death wish only the Covenant could possess, and lose all coordination with a ranged weapon. Give me a Gravity Hammer, though, and we have a different situation. While Farcry 3 is still a FPS, I don’t resent it like I do other FPS games. It’s not the uncomfortable family dinner where you’re scolded simply for breathing. It’s more like the puppy frantically lapping at your heels, just begging for attention. The scenery on Rook is attention-seeking to the point that I have to stop every now and then and just look around because it is just so damn pretty, and because I’m standing still for more than 3.49 seconds I get mauled by a Komodo dragon. Or a tiger. Or, you know, a friggin’ Cassowary. Those things are brutal for birds that look like the result of a wild night between an emu and a peacock.
What aren’t so brutal, strangely, are the slave traders that kidnapped Jason Brody and his “buddies”. I’m still contemplating the possibility that some of them are friends with him solely because of his father’s money and his more attractive older brother, who takes one of Vaas’ bullets to the face much too early in the game to be acceptable for an army grunt. Especially when his younger, less survival-savvy brother manages to not get shot. You more or less sneeze at them and they’re kneeling on the ground just waiting for you to take that headshot. Considering that the only way I’ve managed to kill a tiger is to run it over with a 4x4 and then hit reverse to run it over a second time, this seems like following the storyline is for the less able players. Much in the same way that turning down the difficulty below normal is like saying, “You know what? I didn’t need those balls of mine anyway. You just go ahead and keep them safe so I can go make you a sandwich.” I’m yet to discover any glaring flaws in the game, so I have to conclude that it’s fine. Probably even good.
FARCRY 3 4/5 PLATFORMS PS3, Xbox360, PC
ARGO PAU L B E R R I N GTO N It’s not that Ben Affleck’s multiple award-winning Argo is in any way a bad film – in many ways it’s slick and entertaining. Yet there is also the sneaking suspicion that it isn’t as good as the sum of its parts, and finally comes across as a contrived imitation. It’s 1979, and in support of the recent Ayatollah Khomeini-led Iranian Revolution, students and militants overrun the US Embassy in Tehran, holding 52 American hostages for 444 days. In the heat of the moment, and with only minutes to decide, a group of six escapes into the streets, finding refuge in the home of Canadian ambassador. Once knowledge of the escape reaches Washington, CIA agent Tony Mendez puts a plan into action for their rescue, much to the bewilderment of his superiors. The daring plan involves scouting locations for a fake movie, with the six escapees posing as the film crew. As Mendez moves closer to completing the elaborate deception, the Iranians begin to suspect that not all the hostages are accounted for, setting up a race against time to bring the six Americans home. Affleck’s films generally shine with a gloss of quality on the surface, and Argo is no different, being both wellpaced and featuring the likes of Bryan Cranston and John Goodman in an excellent ensemble cast. Yet after deeper inspection, and with the gift of hindsight, Argo
just isn’t as good as it first seems. Placing himself in the role of charismatic Mendez doesn’t help, with Affleck’s performance wooden and featureless. The direction also reeks of cliché, resembling the blueprint of William Friedkin when a little more Scorsese or Coppola might have helped, and finally equalling little more than imitation. On the plus side, the script is exceptional, Chris Terrio (Heights) enriching his characters with superb dialogue, and creating a well-paced and often thrilling plot. If the film stumbles a little after the first act, it builds nicely to suitably riveting climax, making the most of the source material. Perhaps it is picking holes a little, but then shouldn’t we apply our most critical eye to the film that achieves the most. If Argo is supposedly the best Hollywood can deliver, then surely it should judged as such. They simply did films like this better in 70s, with auteur-like directors given the freedom to push commercial filmmaking to an artistic zenith, and able to apply their own distinctive touch. That is the most notable weakness in Argo – the lack of identity. Affleck’s signature is hard to identify, and his vision often seems like it belongs to someone else. For that reason the film stumbles, lacking any true heart and soul, unable to really draw you in, and only saved by the fascinating true story it documents.
ARGO (2012) 3/5 Director Ben Affleck Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John
Goodman, Alan Arkin
DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY C A L LU M O ’ N E I L L I went into DMC Devil May Cry thinking I’d get a mediocre hack and slash game, made worse by an arrogant prick of a protagonist who I’d want to defenestrate at any given moment. After about 30 seconds of intro-cut scene, I threw those notions out the window. Dante, the game’s protagonist, born of a demon father and angel mother, is that pretentious douchebag I had expected. But he matches the rest of the game’s balls-out insanity so perfectly that I couldn’t help but find myself enjoying his terrible puns and attitude problems. The majority of the game takes place in ‘limbo,’ a demonised mirror of reality, or something along those lines. Really, it’s just an excuse for the developers, Ninja Theory, to let their imaginations run wild and design some of the most creative, insanity-fuelled levels they can think of. A nightclub in limbo becomes a pulsating mess of colour and sound, lasers form pathways as the background throbs in time to the game’s Combichrist soundtrack in an orgasm of light and sound. It’s all such a surreal experience and it’s really what makes Devil May Cry such a fantastic game. This is, of course, without even mentioning the fantastic combat. Dante switches as effortlessly between his arsenal of demonic and angelic weaponry as an LA police officer
does between his donut and his pistol. This creates an incredibly smooth combat experience that allows for a lot of creativity; you won’t be banging out the same two combos again and again as you tend to do in other games of the genre. DMC’s combat does, however, give you the genre-expected power fantasy, and it’s fantastic. Whipping your way from enemy to enemy, wiping out entire waves without your feet hitting the ground, is an incredible rush. With new weapons and abilities paced excellently throughout the game, the combat never feels stale. Something must also be said about the complete lack of quick-time events. It was a refreshing break from the frustrating button-mashing generally expected of the genre. Most of the action climaxes that would normally be handled by a QTE are instead part of DMC’s gameplay. Being able to put my controller down during cut scenes and actually enjoy the excellent performance capture, instead of worrying that I would need to hit the B button a billion times to stop Dante from tripping over and dying, was a treat. DMC Devil May Cry is an invigorating reboot of a series I thought was buried for good. It does some fantastic things with level design and the combat is sublime. But really the game is just crazy, and I love it.
DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY (2013) 5/5 PLATFORMS PS3, Xbox360, PC
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