run, rabbit creativity, compassion, craft, culture and community.
universe & everything
â€˜There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
‘There is another theory which states that this has already happened.’ Extract from ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’, Douglas Adams
Run, Rabbit Issue 2 Life, the Universe and Everything
Editor Anna Angel Copy Editor Stephen Smith Art contributors Anna Birchall, Vanessa Chan, Emily Devers, Peter Fong, Kyle Pearson, Rachela Nardella, Claire Perini Editorial contributors Michelle Allan, Kyra Bandte, Issy Beech, Jayde deBondt, Kaya Ra Edwards, Charlotte Guest, Lauren Payne, Mark Piccini, Michael Wayne Many thanks to nasa and vintage printable for the use of their public images. Run, rabbit magazine is run solely out of love. Please enjoy and pass it on ...
Welcome to our second issue! While both the concepts of ‘everything’ and ‘the universe’ are near incomprehensible to me, there’s a certain joy in pondering the ins, outs, and whys of our little pocket of life. There are more questions than could ever be asked, and we don’t have all (okay, any of) the answers. But, we can certainly help you celebrate the small things and the beauty of our world, with a bit of inspiration and creativity along the way. If you really need an answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, I point you to Douglas Adams. His solution to the riddle, presented in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? 42. And why on Earth not? Many thanks to our brilliant contributors who have offered their time and creative talents, and enriched this project with their voices. We’ve featured some of them over the page, but we wish we could have fit them all in! Until next time, Anna xx
Claire Perini is freelance Illustrator and typographer under the name Write On! Designs, and the creator and mastermind behind The Lightbulb Lounge Room. She first established herself on our eastern shores studying a Diploma of Commercial Arts at CATC in 2009, specialising in the art of typography and illustration. However, an independent business mind saw the young creative wanting to pursue her passion for the arts in a more self directed capacity and her motivations led her to securing a gallery space in North Bondi where she could dream big. With a sizeable handful of inspiring friends and a boatload of ideas, Claire opened the doors to The Lightbulb Lounge Room to a curious public in April 2011. The concept was centred on the idea of building a place where artists could come together to create, network and to generate a supported creative community, which would foster opportunities for emerging talent to be recognised in the wider creative commercial arena.
Issy Beech is a make-shift writer with almost zero higher education, a weirdly sincere Facebook addiction and a pretty serious relationship with her bed. She admires Andrea Gibson, Lena Dunham, William S. Burroughs and Luke Davies.
At 20 years of age, Jayde deBondt is currently living on the Gold Coast attending Bond University. Although she’s studying journalism, she has a burning desire to eventually write and publish her own children’s books. She’s an outdoors person, and often draws inspiration from her childhood on the family farm in Victoria. Jayde believes writing is an art, and feels honoured when others read and enjoy what she’s written.
Rachela Nardella is 20 years young and the splendour of youth, colours and the world around us is what she strives to capture. Rachela is searching for things that fuel her imagination, amongst an equally healthy obsession with all things cat related and earl grey tea.
Kaya Ra Edwards grew up in Byron Bay NSW, and moved to Melbourne to study writing in 2010. After having an existential crisis in the most clichéd way possible by dropping out of university and working at McDonalds, she travelled South East Asia and found her feet again. Kaya moved to Brisbane in 2012 to study writing (again!) at QUT. She loves tea and glitter and her boyfriend’s beard. Kaya has previously been published in Young Writer’s Showcase, and Voiceworks.
Mark Piccini is a thin chain of islands swallowed by extreme tidal conditions once or twice every decade. The lengthy, fractured narratives produced by the inhabitants of the archipelago, extolling the anguish and hopelessness of their situation at the mercy of nature, are considered curios. The inhabitants of Mark Piccini do not enjoy long walks on the beach. The island chain received an honorary degree in Creative Writing out of sympathy for the stoic inhabitants abysmal plight.
Instead of four, Wellington-based photographer Anna Birchall is now 16, but this is the only picture she could find where she wasnâ€™t batting away whoever was taking the picture. She decided very early on she was more at home behind the camera.
Kyra Bandte is a coffee-drinking, secondhand-book addict who studies creative writing at UOW. Though she enjoys writing short stories and poems, she has been known to dabble in non-fiction, blogs and newspaper articles. Her favourite colour is green and she likes overcast skies.
Vanessa Chan is a self taught artist with a penchant for all things kooky and macabre. She draws as much as she can in her free time while holding a full time job in a publishing company. She adores animals and reckons she has all the makings of a potential crazy cat lady. She is currently working on illustrating a childrenâ€™s book of poems.
Michelle Allan is a 22 year old emerging poet and writer based in Melbourne. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Psychology at Melbourne University during 2012 and is currently planning to undertake a Masters in publishing and editing. When she's not writing, Michelle enjoys reading comics and spending time with her dog, friends, and family.
200 drawings 200 days Peter Fong, a talented young illustrator from South Australia, recently undertook a mammoth challenge: a drawing a day for two hundred days. We asked him to pick out a few of his favourite creations from the project. #145 “He had been wishing so hard while in his egg to be a bird. Close enough! Best of both worlds. Turtles look like they’re flying when they’re swimming, flapping their fins and all. I decided to make it real.”
#115 “Chinese New Year means lychee eating time. I love lychees.”
#5 “This was the 5th day of the project. I was excited starting it.”
#70 “I like hermit crabs and the idea of something carrying its whole home around where ever it goes.” #14 “I named this creature Quattuordecim Maximum. It has a short and colourful life of only 14 days. On reaching its 14th day, its head explodes. ‘Quattuordecim Maximum’ means 14 maximum in Latin.”
#90 “I stayed at a beach house over New Years. Colourful happy times, as showed through the drawings, too.”
#177 “My laptop’s hard drive had broken down and I hadn’t backed up anything, so I was stressing out. I sent it into a repair shop and they were able to retrieve everything and replace my hard drive. Such relief. A very happy moment in my life.”
#139 “I just like this piece.”
www.peter-fong.com Check out his drawing a day project at www.peterpatterpeter.blogspot.com.au
old wives’ tales revisited
n this myth-busting edition, we look at the expression “when life gives you lemons”. If you believe everything you read, there’s a lot more that can be done with them than just making lemonade. Some are timetested (lemon as an air freshener and hair bleach), and some seem a little less plausible. ANNA ANGEL tried out the pick of the bunch.
Stop hair grease?
Soothe sunburn and cleanse skin?
Make dull things shine?
Hair is a funny thing. We want it to be shiny and luscious, without any excess oil or, on the other side of the spectrum, being too dry. No wonder we’re willing to do ridiculous things that go against our better judgement, like putting lemon juice in our hair. I heard if you shampoo and condition but find your hair greasy at the one day mark, a rinse of lemon juice before conditioning will even it out. These kinds of beauty tips come with warnings that you shouldn’t go out into the sun directly afterward because your hair might lighten, FYI. My hair is normally oily at the roots within 24 hours of washing, and like all of us with limp, soggy hair, I would love to only have to wash it every two or three days. I really wanted this to work, and gave it a whole fortnight – which may not be enough for any conclusive proof – and found it was a dud. It did stop the oil from coming through so quickly. So, it’s actually living up to its claims, which is more than I can say for the tens of blatant lies I came across (see: contraception). However, oily hair is not normally greasy at the ends. In fact, they can be quite dry. So I don’t need lemon juice soaking up the good and bad oils in my hair and leaving me with an all-round straw-like consistency. Maybe it’ll provide a good balance for those with a more even hair condition? Let us know if you’ve found it works for you.
Lemon is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the word ‘soothing’. You’re red raw, burnt and aching from a day in the sun. What you really need is something acidic to throw over your burns.
Most people don’t spend an awful lot of time complaining their pots and pans aren’t sparkling, but sometimes you just want nice things. If you’ve got some old rust buckets, apparently lemon juice will bring them back to standard. I was most excited to try this one because of the application method: cut half a lemon, sprinkle bi carb soda on the fleshly part, grab the base and start scrubbing! If we were rating on a scale of how fun it was to clean the pans, I’d give it a solid nine out of ten. Because you don’t have to extract the juice, it saves on time and mess and as a bonus you look hilarious rubbing a lemon directly onto your kitchen wares.
GRADE: Plausible, 5/10
While I couldn’t bring myself to get sunburnt for the purposes of this test, I did try out a DIY cleanser. A mix of a quarter cup lemon juice to two cups water felt nice and fresh on my skin, but did dry it out a little. Given lemon’s use as an acne fix, this might be a good homemade trick for when the pimples flare up. I also read that when cleansing with lemon, you pour the juice on slices of cucumber and rub them over your face. That was not pleasant at all, and I dropped the cucumber slice so many times it probably made my face dirtier. Sticking to the water solution seems like a simpler, less frustrating method. If anyone has tried out lemon juice as sunburn relief, please let us know how it went. For now, we’re going to stick to aloe vera. Works a charm every time.
But does it do anything? Yes. That could be mostly or wholly attributed to the bi carb soda, but I think the combination was what kicked in the shine: the juice acts as the liquid to activate the bi carb, and does its own acidic tricks on the side. Just rinse and dry, and you’ll be the envy of probably no one, but you’ll have shiny kitchen silvers. This also works for taps, doorknobs, the kitchen sink and any other chrome, brass or stainless steel surface.
Grade: Pass, 7/10
Protect from cats?
Keep rice from sticking together?
We have a 'no judging' policy, so I tried to test this one without questioning what kind of sick individual wants to ward off cats from their front lawn. Imagine: a neighbourhood feline approaches, steps over the lemon barrier and yelps, retracting its paw as if scalded. WHO WANTS THIS? I'm going to assume someone who loves birds and wildlife, or maybe just keeps a prize-winning garden and cats can't read the 'Keep Off the Grass' sign.
I’ve never made rice that didn’t stick together, and not in the yummy ‘sticky rice’ kind of way. If this worked I was going to give myself a pat on the back for finally being able to produce a food staple adequately. Then I remembered it wouldn’t be me that did it, but the lemon juice. Damn.
Make food last and stay pretty?
Yes! Hear that, fast food outlets? You don't need crazy chemical preservatives with numbers for names when you have nature's best age-defier. These babies also taste fantastic, so there's no hassle adding a few drops of lemon to any salad dressing (goodbye, wilted lettuce!) or dip. Whereas, where can one buy preservative 216, and what exactly is Propylparaben going to I tried this with the regular absorption method (adding do to my lunch? Anyone? two tablespoons of lemon juice to the boiling water before putting in the rice) and it seemed to help the Adding lemon to freshly made guacamole will prevent Once I moved on from this, I set about spraying a line end consistency. I then found out the same principle the avocado from browning, or you can rub a dab on of lemon juice across the garden. The assistant to this can be applied to olive oil, or even vinegar. cut apples or potatoes. I did a completely unscienexperiment was George, who hates me on a regular tific test, and found the apples with a small amount day and did not want to cooperate with my shenaniSo, okay, you don’t need lemon juice for this but of lemon juice rubbed on them lasted about twice as gans. Eventually I coaxed him over the line by offering maybe you can save on a bit of oil? Maybe you could long without softening and browning. my affection, holding out my arms for a hug. He bolted put a bit more in and make lemon flavoured rice? Am directly across the invisible barrier, so I can only asI clutching at straws here? Listen: if you were makThis is impressive, but I always thought lemon only sume this is a fail, unless his dislike of lemon was just ing rice incorrectly like I was, use this to pretend you worked aesthetic magic. Then I tried what I call the inferior to his desire to get away from me. That's actu- were doing the right thing all along, but now you’ve ‘lettuce reviver’. Soaking wilted lettuce in ice cold ally not too unlikely, so let's call this plausible. discovered you prefer using lemon. People will be very water with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice for a halfimpressed. hour will actually bring it back to crispy life. (Though Side note: I read a few slices of lemon in kitty litter nothing beats fresh.) will stop the stink, and given lemon’s air-freshening properties, I’d believe it. If they are both true, this is a So, lemon won’t keep a burger in shape for three Grade: Pass, 6/10 cruel thing to do to a cat that just wants somewhere years, but it will make food stay fresh and aestheticalto empty its bowels without fear of citrus. ly pleasing for a while - say, long enough for a picnic and that's not too shabby at all.
grade: Plausible, 3/10
grade: Pass, 9/10
CONTRACEPTION? Look, I'm generally happy to take one for the team in the name of research, but I think we're all a bit too smart for this one. It doesn’t matter who tells you Cleopatra used half a lemon like a citrus-fresh birth control ring and it worked just fine for her. Although, FYI, I hear she did. Just don’t do it, because you will get pregnant. And die.
Grade: Fail, 1/10
how to make (easy) vegan lemon sorbet YOu will need: 1 cup of boiling water 1 cup of brown sugar 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice Finely grated rind of two lemons 1. In a saucepan, stir the water and sugar until completed melted. Let it all cool down.
2. Add the lemon juice and rind. Don’t worry if the rind is lumpy - it’s meant to be! If you don’t want any textured pieces, add the rind when melting the sugar and strain before cooling.
Honourable mentions include half a lemon in the fridge eating up any bad smells, lemon juice in the wash brightening your whites, and lemon juice sprayed on the windowsill helping keep unwanted ant visitors away. How nifty!
3. Pour the mixture into a plastic tray, and freeze until it’s partly hardened. This can take up to two hours. Fluff the mixture with a fork or whisk until it’s fluffy, and return to the freezer until completely frozen. 4. Scoop out the mixture and run it through your food processor or blender until smooth. This will give it a lovely texture ready for scooping. At this point you can eat it right away or refreeze. 5. Enjoy! Come on, it’s not too cold for a bit of sorbet, and if it is, wear gloves. Still concerned? Pour a shot of vodka over a scoop or two and stop complaining.
neu mantra E
mily Devers lives to create, collaborate and coexist with those who care about quality and soul. Her practice ranges from illustration to live painting, tattoo and photography (on a good day). Since creating and exhibiting as a Brisbane artist, the content of her work has been heavily driven by a search for balance. These three works are from the ‘Neu Mantra’ print series, which has been developed from original illustrations. “I enjoy using black ink on recycled brown paper, because I believe in letting the simplicity of the materials amplify the content of the design. Each work is developed from traditionally sacred Tibetan symbols, and represents a fragile balance of negative and positive energy”. Emily is currently working on a number of projects, including an exhibition which will include recent illustrations, paintings and installations.
You can find her work at www.daily-make.com
yes, virginia words by anna angel image by anna birchall
s we age, some of us grow up. Weâ€™re told this process involves the draining of imagination and the depletion of wonder. For many suffering this awful affliction, it can be cathartic to stoke the fire of imagination in younger, less jaded minds.
In 1897, Francis Church, an editor at The New York Sun, received a letter from an eight-year-old girl with a simple question. Is there a Santa Claus? He could easily have ignored the letter, but Church must have sensed an opportunity to stoke at least one fire. He replied. Below is an excerpt from the editorial that ran September 21, 1897.
“… Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight…” This editorial was as loved as it was subject to its own sceptics. Doubters wondered how an eight-year-old could have thought to write such a letter in the first place. Would a child refer to her playmates as ‘my little friends’, as Virginia did?
It hardly matters, but most doubts were quashed when Virginia O’Hanlon stepped forward as the author. What matters is the effect it had on readers. How touching it is to know a small statement – even a lie – could reinstate the status of the world as an inherently good place for one impressionable mind. While this is a matter of childhood wonder and faith, it is not necessarily a matter of religion. Regardless of personal belief, every one of us needs to be playful sometimes, and to engage in a bit of make-believe. Virginia went on to become a teacher and a school principal, before passing on in 1971. Her letter and Church’s response form a legacy that’s still felt well over a century later. Why does this particular untruth hold so much value? It is not just an issue of whether or not there’s a Santa Claus. If there were a Santa Claus, just think what else might be possible.
Caloundra house Russell and Rosalie Gale tell Anna Angel about their life running a unique art venture on the Sunshine Coast.
osalie and Russell Gale share a lifelong love of art and collectables, gardening, and good food and wine. They combined their passions when they opened an art gallery with homemade dining, vineyard area and cottage garden on site in December of last year. Caloundra House is tucked neatly away from the main drag of the Sunshine Coast city itâ€™s named for. You enter through the front garden, taking in the greenery and most likely bumping into the artist-in-residence. Their model sees artists work on site during their exhibition period and manage their own sales, allowing for a face-to-face connection between buyer and artist.
Indeed, the space feels closer to the hills of Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast’s hinterland, than it does to the busy beach front. The pair put a whole lot of love into the space every day to keep the cogs turning; they do all the gardening, cooking, service, and general back-end business themselves. The hard work doesn’t They’ve hosted interstate and international artists, but seem to put a damper on their spirits. As a visitor, you Caloundra House primarily aims to promote local art. feel like you’ve stepped into the garden of a friendThe pair believe the local art scene is chasing the tail of-a-friend. No question is too small and no smile left of Australia’s better-known art hubs. “The Queensland unreturned. art scene is still growing and very active, although it doesn’t have the depth of Melbourne or Sydney,” Rosalie says. “With many artists moving to the Sunshine Coast for the climate and the tourist development over recent years, Queensland is quickly catching up and will be able to stand against the best.”
Russell studied art “back when boys weren’t supposed to paint”, and has previously owned farms and vineyards. This background stoked a love of quality food and wine. Rosalie worked on the remote Elcho On a visit, you might find craft or woodwork, sculpture, Island for over five years within the mobile health service. Both have developed personal collections of art painting or photography gracing the walls. While the and other collectables. artists rotate on a flexible schedule, what will never change is the offering of simple, good quality food and wine. The Gales use recipes from their grandmother’s Ultimately, it’s a strong sense of community that makes them so dedicated to promoting all the things era, and serve vineyard fare using produce they’ve they love –good old-fashioned food, the local art sourced fresh. scene, and terrific service – in their area. So if you’re “The concept is unique in Queensland, if not Australia ever in Caloundra and decide to head to ‘the local’ after a swim, perhaps forgo the pub and check out a in a CBD area,” Rosalie says. truly local affair.
Life in a nutshell
The best things in life are: a passion for the garden and all things beautiful, life, good friends, good food, good wine, sharing it all with other people. We never really own anything, only have it on loan to make the world into a better place. We enjoy sharing our garden, home and food with others. What the world needs now is: love (to use the Beatles’ terminology) and plenty of it, coupled with honesty, passion and understanding.
night lights images by Kyle Pearson
â€œThese works are an experimentation within the photographic medium, and the plethora of opportunities the interaction of the lens and light affords. Utilizing long exposures and varied light sources, I control the light as much as possible to generate new images and realities that only exist once the shutter closes. These final images allow me to effectively control exactly what the viewer sees.â€?
Sunnybank By Kaya RA Edwards
hen my Taiwanese friend Chapei first gushed that Sunnybank was “the most awesome place” and did I want to come next Sunday, I said yes, not knowing what I was in for and picturing some Lynchian suburb of manicured lawns and, hopefully, something else more exciting. It was definitely more exciting, and my failure to recognise the name ‘Sunnybank’ is tribute to the fact I am a newcomer to the city of Brisbane: most locals will recognise the cheerful name given to this southern suburb where, according to journalist Tony Moore, the population is made up of Taiwanese and mainland Chinese migrants. Sunnybank has a somewhat iconic status in Brisbane as an example of the best Asian-Australian collaboration has to offer, and it stands in the eyes of many as testament to the kind of all-embracing society and diverse culture we can aim for in Australia.
I was surprised to find somewhere that resonated so similarly with memories of my Asian travels, as my unnybank is largely regarded to be Brisbane’s primary experience of Asian culture in Australia had ‘true Chinatown’ – its main shopping mall, Sunny- been framed by the Westernised ‘packaged-culturebank Plaza, representing for locals and visitors alike, experience’ offered by such tourist-traps as the Chinaa more contemporary vision of authentic Asian culture towns in Sydney and Melbourne. than Fortitude Valley’s Chinatown which was built in 1987. Chinatown possesses a somewhat stereotyped aesthetic (complete with pagodas and giant stylised archways) that caters to a romanticised Western ideal of Asia. Comparatively, David Ip of the University of Queensland believes “... new Chinese settlement in the Sunnybank district of Brisbane employs almost none of the clichéd, and of course contemporaneously vacuous notions of ‘the East’ which historically circulated in the West”.
I recognised this authenticity when visiting Sunnybank Plaza as it was, for me, refreshingly familiar; I recalled the malls in Thailand I regularly visited to escape the raging Bangkok sun in early 2010. I visited Sunnybank with four friends, and we experienced almost-tropical heat before slinking past a popular ramen shop and people happily munching on Mos Burgers (of the famed Japanese franchise) and into the icy air conditioning of the mall. The occasional Coles or Hoyts dotted between displays of Chinese pottery and steaming pork buns were some of the only things to remind me I was still in Australia.
By looking at the recent history of Asian cultural presence in Brisbane, however, we can see how racial acceptance has improved and a more inclusive and colourful multicultural society has been strived towards. In the 1880s, community paranoia about the influx of hard-working Chinese immigrants fostered a view of them as ‘job stealers’, while oppression was practiced against them on social and governmental levels, according to one paper by David Ip. Then in WWII, American GIs situated in Brisbane began to request previously-denigrated Asian food. As Ip has documented, the process of GIs introducing Asian food to their Australian girlfriends and mistresses then filtered into the community to create a general broader acceptance of Asian presence in Australia.
In contrast to the thriving Asian community I observed a slice of whilst munching on a takeaway container of seasoned rice, chilli pickled cabbage, crispy chicken and a tea egg, until the 1980s Brisbane’s Asian population was fairly small. It was only in 1972 that Australia’s Labor Party swept into power to tentatively introduce the first immigration quota from Asia. Four years later, the first ‘boat people’ from Vietnam reached Australia and in 1988 journalist Russell Spurr wrote “things have not been the same since”. Asian culture has continued to swell Down Under with over eight per cent of our population today being of Asian descent, and locally, south Brisbane bears the fruit of this climb towards a hopefully eventual cultural utopia. Chinese since the 1980s especially “... brought with them ideas, skills and capital to initiate certain impetus to reshaping (sub)-urban forms” (David Ip).
“My primary experience of Asian culture in Australia had been framed by the Westernised ‘packaged-culture-experience’ offered by such tourist-traps as the Chinatowns in Sydney and Melbourne”
n my mind, the road to a more multicultural society is paved with curiosity and fear of the unknown, but paired with a willingness to have expectations and opinions challenged. In Growing Up Asian in Australia, a collective work by Asian-Australians, Francis Lee recounts being a schoolboy in his autobiographical piece ‘The Upside Down Year’. He recalls the fear he felt about Australia, a place where “... winter became summer … they kicked a ball in the shape of an olive and threw a stick that came back … a real upsidedown world.” I can relate to that sense of cultural dissonance on a shallower level; my friends and I followed that distinct smell of bamboo pickles into an Asian supermarket where the narrow aisles and shelves boasted lotus roots, tinned quail eggs, and sour plum candy. At six feet tall I felt in-the-way and confused by the strange items on display, but then this was what I came for – to see something new, to partake in a culture that was not my own but is so generously offered as a part of the wider community of Brisbane I now belong to. I purchased a block of radish cake from the cashier who greeted me with ‘ni hao’ without looking up; this, for me, really drove home the idea of Sunnybank as a slice of authentic Asia, where Western tourism is not the catered-for demographic.
Trekking back through the mall we stopped at ‘Papa’s Pancake’ where a greying old man cooked us small cakes filled with sweet taro and custard. His daughter served us and I asked her where they had learnt to make the ‘che lun bing’. She conferred with her father in Mandarin before telling me, “Papa learnt in Taiwan”. He nodded astutely, still cooking, while the girl and I shared a smile in recognition of the stereotypical seriousness of his older generation. In that moment, she became the bridge between my culture and his, and remembering it, I think of author Alice Pung’s words: “Usually, it is the second generation that accumulates enough cultural capital to be able to put their parent’s experiences’ into words.” And so it is like this, generation by generation, we progressively move ever-closer to a more all-embracing and culturally diverse Brisbane. Sunnybank concentrates a selection of Asian cultures that contribute to Brisbane’s growing multiculturalism. After all, as recognised by authors James Jupp and John Nieuwenhuysen, “Australia is amongst the most cohesive and harmonious societies on earth, based on stable institutions, high living standards, economic expansion and isolation from zones of conflict”. What better place for communities such as Sunnybank’s to thrive and contribute to the evolution of culture?
world burn Lauren Payne and Anna angel check out some classic apocalyptic film offerings and report their findings just in time to save the planet, or at least your boredom.
Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) Director: Stanley Kubrick
Mars Attacks! (1996)
La JetEe (1962) Director: Chris Marker
Director: Tim Burton
It’ll only take you 28 bleak minutes to watch this simply produced French post-apocalyptic film. You’ll be A film doesn’t have to be political to resonate, and it Mars Attacks! is pretty self-explanatory. Aliens from glad you did, because it paved the way for respectively doesn’t need to be clever to be entertaining, though it Mars attack Earth. two of the most acclaimed and grossing Hollywood certainly helps create a classic on the scale of Stanley This is not your regular Tim Burton film. When you Kubrick’s satirical masterpiece. What this piece does think of a Burton film, you probably think of macabre films: 12 Monkeys and The Terminator. Here, shown almost entirely in still black-and-white so well – what any good apocalypse story will do – is humour and outrageous sets and costumes. Mars tap into real anxieties, unravelling them before our Attacks! is actually very bright, but I will say there are photos, humankind is forced to live underground after a devastating nuclear war. Scientists experiment with eyes. Kubrick explored Cold War era fears of what the some elaborate costumes (Sarah Jessica Parker’s hydrogen bomb could mean for humanity in a very silver hoop dress). Jack Nicholson plays the US Presi- time travel, with the aim of sending subjects to different time periods that may hold the key to humanity’s dark, hugely funny way. dent, and though he tries his best to make peace survival in the present. This piece has a jarring and The longevity of Dr Strangelove, many decades afwith the aliens, they seem set on destruction. The emotive end, and is a must-watch for all apocalypse ter such terrors were all but forgotten, is no doubt language barrier is definitely no help. As the film progenre fans. equally attributed to quality comic performances and gresses, main characters are killed by the aliens, so Terry Gilliam states explicitly his much-loved 1995 the timelessly sharp script provided by Kubrick, Terry we don’t develop much of an emotional connection, Southern and Peter George. Peter Sellers took on meaning their deaths don’t really affect the audience. sci-fi 12 Monkeys borrowed its core concepts from La Jetée, but most people still seem to overlook the fact three leading roles, nailing the tone of each character It’s surprising though, that one of the survivors turns the studio bought the rights to recreate it as a fulland arguably defining his spot as one of the greatest out to be (spoiler) Tom Jones. Yes, I said Tom Jones. length film. This doesn’t diminish 12 Monkeys at all, comedic talents of the century. It’s a very light hearted film and definitely makes fun really, and how can it when Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis Here we find hapless world leaders, egos the size of of the idea of an alien invasion. are key players? Given the new special effect techRussia and the now iconic ‘Doomsday Machine’ playnologies, and the extra time to develop the story, it’s ing against each other in the world’s greatest waiting Type of Apocalypse: Aliens attack Earth. a well-deserved classic in its own right. 12 Monkeys game. The violent and often sexual humour may suck- Plausibility: This is very unlikely to happen but who er punch you, but this is no cheap shot. Nuclear anni- knows if aliens really exist? They may not be on Mars, has an effectively enigmatic ending all of its own – just look number of hits for ’12 Monkeys ending’ on hilation has never been so funny, and it may never be but there are still many planets yet to be explored. Google. again. LP Type of Apocalypse: Nuclear war in La Jetée, virus in Type of apocalypse: nuclear warfare, ‘Doomsday 12 Monkeys. Machine’ Plausibility: Both are somewhat believable. Plausibility: Relatively high (in comparison to zombies). That’s what made it so effective.
On The Beach (1959)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Director: Stanley Kramer When On the Beach begins, fans of Banjo Paterson and Australiana will feel a sense of pride as Waltzing Matilda opens a film featuring Fred Astaire. Everybody loves Fred Astaire! On the Beach is set in Melbourne and centres on young navy Lieutenant Peter Holmes (Astaire) and his very new work colleague, Dwight Lionel Towers (Mr Gregory Peck). Towers has landed his submarine on Australian shores because there is a radioactive gas cloud – which killed his family – engulfing the Northern Hemisphere. Holmes becomes worried his family will be affected, leaving him with a horrible choice: either protect them by forcing them to kill themselves once the radiation hits, or stay with them and die an excruciating death. Aside from the depressing plot, the movie is actually quite funny. Classic Australian humour features throughout the movie, and it offers a good chance to crack up at the many British and American actors attempting to imitate Aussie accents.
The Night of the Living Dead (1968) Director: George A. Romero
Director: Philip Kaufman
We’re not going to debate zombie movie fanatics by calling this low-budget cult classic the best zombie Matthew Bennel works at the Health Department in apocalypse film of all time, but we can safely call it San Francisco. He’s in love with his co-worker Elizathe ‘original’. Radiation causes the dead to reanimate beth (Brooke Adams) but unfortunately for him, she and even being an All-American good kid can’t save has a boyfriend. Once the boyfriend begins acting you, in this $100,000 production. The gore was so strangely, Elizabeth seeks out Matthew to see if he explicit for the age that it was lumped in with a wave can tell her what’s happening to him. There’s your of exploitation films being made at the time, but when chance to be a hero, Matt! re-released a year later, the film began gaining tracInvasion of the Body Snatchers is an eerie film betion. Whether it was the use of unknown actors, a cause instead of the aliens flying to Earth in large stark and realistic black-and-white filming style, or just shiny spaceships, they invade you from within. When Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) discovers a presumably the close ups of zombies eating guts and limbs; something struck a nerve. The undead are now a big busidead body on one of his wife’s massage tables, we ness, and we can thank Romero for bringing them into discover something otherworldly is happening. This is a remake of the 1956 original, which I applaud the mainstream. The trilogy this film spawned makes for an interesting for the originality of its wonderful twist ending. The only thing I would change would be Matthew’s roman- movie marathon. You bring the radiation (lime) punch; tic timing. You don’t kiss a girl when she’s scared and I’ll bring the eyeballs (gobstoppers). If you don’t think you can sit through that much, at least watch the truly hiding in a closet! That’s just plain silly. horrific, spectacularly solid second offering: 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. The sequel ignores the massive time lapse, and kicks off only a few months after the Type of Apocalypse: Aliens duplicating humans into original ends. Bonus round: cheesy spin off Children emotionless entities. Type of Apocalypse: A large gas cloud poisons the air Plausibility: Just because they didn’t arrive in space of the Living Dead (2001). and makes us breathe in toxins. ships doesn’t mean they still can’t get to us. Be afraid, Plausibility: After recent events involving nuclear Type of Apocalypse: Zombie. be very afraid. power plants, I think the film is plausible even if some Plausibility: If it wasn’t possible, why did the idea scientists may disagree. become so popular in Hollywood? LP LP
Idiocracy (2005) Director: Mike Judge Painfully average army officer Joe, and prostitute Rita are frozen in time in a Human Hibernation Experiment. They were only supposed to be frozen for a year, but after the officer running the operation is arrested, the pair instead awake 500 years in the future. In this film, the future looks bleak, as the human race has become less intelligent, ignorant and lazy. We live in a world filled with mountains of garbage and our doctors are too simple to treat the diseases we are likely to contract. In this time, humans can only understand slang terms, so when Joe tries to communicate with people, they canâ€™t understand him. The apocalypse does not actually happen in this film, but because of the state of the earth, you know itâ€™s not far off. The movie itself relies on a lot of toilet humour (think Beavis and ButtHead) but aside from that, it shows what might actually happen if the human race becomes too lazy to go to school and put rubbish in the bin. Type of Apocalypse: Man becomes dumber and lazier, until our planet is buried under mountains of rubbish and we will likely all die from disease. Plausibility: This actually could happen. Everybody freak out!
from where Iâ€™d rather be images by Rachela Nardella
Travel to the
end of the world by anna angel
t may not be likely the abrupt end of the ancient Maya calendar actually signals our forthcoming demise, but itâ€™s interesting to think about. Would you really be that surprised? There are no less than three Friday the 13ths this year. How unlucky can we get and still survive? We sure love to ruminate on our grand exit. How would it happen, would it hurt, and would we all look as gorgeous as Kristin Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Melancholia as we go toward the light? If we can fantasize about end times, surely we can also aspire to watch the world crumble from a dream location. Here are our top picks for end-of-the-world travel. You can use the possibility of an apocalypse as an excuse to blow those savings on a last minute plane ticket, or just dream on with the rest of us.
rotorua and taupo
e normally don’t like to add fuel to fires, but as we approach the end, we all get a little reckless, don’t we? A number of doomsday predictions in recent times -- most of which were from Family Radio’s Harold Camping -- have cited New Zealand as the first place to go bang. We don’t know what they did to deserve the earliest wrath, but if you’re going to go up in a storm of flames and blood you may as well be able to say you did it first. Even if our neighbours didn’t go down first, the geothermal activity in areas like Rotorua would make for a wonderfully majestic final sight. The earth simmers and hisses like a cauldron below you, the steam rises and one of nature’s greatest curiosities is on display. The air smells mineral where the forces are active, and steam pools, geysers, mud pools and beautiful lakes formed from thousands of years of volcanic activity provide a suitably overwhelming visual. This is a breath-taking experience on an ordinary day, and the landscape will leave you impressed by the inner turmoil and tremendous pressure of the ground we stand on.
If you’re not yet convinced this is the hottest (oh yes, we went there) place to watch it all burn, consider one of Rotorua’s best known and most savage geothermal areas, which goes by the name of Tikitere, or Hell’s Gate. This sacred Maori site, home to the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere, is perfect for those under no illusions of getting in with the big guy. You only have to travel minutes from the centre of Rotorua to catch the action, and there are a few other spots you can safely get up close. In Wai-O-Tapu you can take in the striking colours of the ‘champagne pool’ (previous page) and in Taupo you can walk the Craters of the Moon - abound with fascinating mud craters. The unique geothermal properties of the mineral water and mud have long been harnessed for their health benefits within Maori culture. Most of the top five geothermal areas in New Zealand will have spas where visitors can soak and scrub in the naturally heated water, or cleanse with mineral-rich mud. So instead of stressing over all the horrible things that are bound to ensure, why not treat yourself one last time? You deserve it. We think it might be just as invigorating to see these wonders with your own two eyes. If you’d prefer to go out with a bit of adventure, perhaps consider bungy jumping in Lake Taupo, or taking on the Kawarau Bridge jump. If a crazy jump or sky dive is something you’ve always said you’d do one day, why not save it for your last? The landscape might be picturesque, but it’ll be all the more beautiful for your screaming.
onsidering the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu stand 2,430 metres above sea level, it’s hard to believe the site was only known locally until it was ‘discovered’ in 1911. How American Hiram Bingham could claim to have discovered something that was already known to many Peruvians is beyond me, but let’s say he ‘shared it with the outside world’. The construction of Machu Picchu began in the 15th century. Much restoration work has been completed over the last century, but it’s clear the site was abandoned before completion (believed to be thanks to the Spanish Conquest).
The exact purpose of the estate is unknown, though archeologists believe it might have been an estate for the then Inca emperor, Pachacuti or a kind of mountain getaway for upper class Incas.
Many scientists and conservationists have expressed concerns that continued interest has put the site in This UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the Cusco region a compromised position. It’s hard to know how much of Peru, is certainly deserving of the mounting tourist longer the structures can withstand the pressure of interest that’s been heaped on it in recent years. The thousands of curious visitors. Machu Picchu could site is awe-inspiring architecturally and culturally, and suffer similar degradation to other heritage sites - bethe surrounding mountainous forest doesn’t hurt, ing loved to death. We’re certainly saddened that either. The actual size of the estate is hard to grasp tourism has seen the surrounding areas built up with for those who haven’t seen it - there are over 140 resorts, restaurants, and even helicopter pads, but stonework structures remaining, set in distinct quarit’s natural to want to see something so mysterious. ters. Most of our attention is heaped on the Spiritual How did the Incas construct these buildings on such a District. There you’ll find the Intihuatana Stone, which steep terrain? Was the Temple of the Condor really a works as a sun dial, the Temple of the Sun and the place of worship, or one of torture? Room of the Three Windows.
If the world was to end come December, you could trek through the ruins without any guilt of contributing to structural pressure. Hooray! Even if it didn’t, there are measures in place to ensure we don’t leave too large a footprint on this wondrous site. For example, local Government has put a cap on the number of visitors allowed through each day, though at 2,500, it’s not exactly exclusive. Imagine trekking the Inca Trail (a four day trip), and arriving at the Sun Gate to watch the sun set on the Earth as we know it. Alternatively, it’s a (steep) one-and-a-half hour walk from Aguas Calientes, with regular bus shuttles available. Before human history is wiped out forever, discover our amazing past. You might even find yourself wondering if these relics could even survive the apocalypse. Here’s hoping.
chase the aurora borealis
he aurora borealis, or the northern lights, present a spectacular phenomenon whenever they come out to play. The 2012/13 winter season is predicted to bring especially intense light shows, as the elevenyear sun cycle reaches its peak. This all means that if you’ve always wanted to catch the lights, now is the best time unless you fancy waiting another decade or so. And who knows if you’ll even be around then? Okay, the peak will last a couple of years, but don’t you want to be spontaneous? These auroras are caused by the collision of atoms and energy-charged particles, and occur in the ‘auroral zone’, or 10 to 20 degrees from a magnetic pole. Unscientifically speaking, this occurrence causes green, pinkish or red lights to appear on the horizon. Very unscientifically speaking, they are truly mystical. It’s always a gamble when you set out to chase the lights. Most tours won’t guarantee a sighting, but if you go at the right time and the right place, you can definitely increase your odds. Let’s start with the place. Prime viewing is yours to be had across Scandinavia, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Siberia and Alaska.
Arguably two of the best spots are Tromsø, Norway, and Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. When observing from Kangerlussuaq, you have a 99 per cent chance of a light show between November and March. From most observation areas, there’s a good chance of catching them anytime between September and March, from roughly six pm to one am. Tromsø is one of the most easily accessible observation points, but Jukkasjärvi in Sweden is home to the first Ice Hotel, which is pretty damn cool (he he he). Depending on your budget, you can join a photography tour travelling across multiple sites, or one that
will provide you with a buzzer to let you know the aurora borealis is a go. Even doing this on the cheap is a sure-fire way to bring your existence to a fitting climax. If you’re really short on cash you can take in a similarly breathtaking show from the aurora australis - the southern lights. These lights come from the South Pole, and we’re lucky enough to be able to observe them in Tasmania and some areas of NSW. While rather infrequent, there is an alert service available. Who knows? We might be treated to them as a parting gift.
erforming any investigation at all into the Maya long count calendar that supposedly predicts our doom will reveal it doesn’t end, at all. The calendar merely moves into a new cycle – like the turn of the millennium. The truth here is much more boring than the idea of a lunar cycle prophecy thousands of years in the making. Luckily, it’s about the least interesting thing about the Maya civilisation.
History fanatics might want to celebrate our probable continued existence by seeing first hand where and how this rich and diverse ancient culture (that didn’t at all think we were going to cease living) lived. There is bound to be a bit of activity at Maya sites like Chichén Itzá on December 21, when the calendar supposedly ends.
To get the most Maya for your moolah, you’ll want to head to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Home to shirtless holidaymakers chasing the alcoholic’s resort lifestyle in Cancún, there’s an abundance of natural There might be a party; there may even be some beauty and the echoes of the Old World here, still. nerves and some shrieking. My guess is there will be Perhaps the most famous of all Maya relics is Chichén more curious amateur historians than doomsayers, Itzá (pictured). The ‘time temples’ found here are though. Hopefully. fascinating and wonderfully telling of the astronomical advancements of this civilisation. Expect a crowd: If you really have a sense of comedic timing, you this is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, might like to visit on December 22, just to rub it in the after all. Slightly less busy, but every bit as wondrous faces of those who were adamant the end was nigh. is the ancient city of Calakmul. The ‘Snake Kingdom’ was vast, prosperous and archeologically
advanced. Home to multiple pyramids, and a myriad of other buildings – many of which are still being restored – the site is often hailed as the grandest of all Maya discoveries. Better still, these ruins are surrounded by lush rainforest and home to an array of wildlife. Archaeologists have discovered many relics, jewels and curiosities at Calakmul, some of which are now on display in the Yucatán city of Campeche. There are too many Maya sites of note to list here (across Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador) but the dedicated can join tour groups that snake their way across the civilisation’s unbelievable reach.
star light, star bright, first star i see tonight ... by anna angel
he universe (multiverse?) is immense, wondrous, and often breathtaking. A telescope in the hands of a child becomes a pathway to an imagined world of aliens and chrome-coloured futures. But hereâ€™s the secret: the wonder never truly goes away. We might stop expecting to see little green men when we point our telescopes skyward, but what you can see will have you falling in love with the vast expanse.
stronomy can be discarded as something too technical, challenging or even boring for the average sky gazer. The equipment is expensive and it takes time to learn the ropes. The whole field can seem a bit esoteric at first, but there’s really no need to be shy. Many astronomy clubs across Australia and the rest of the world open their doors to dabblers. You don’t need a telescope, and there are passionate amateur astronomers more than willing to show you the tricks of the trade over a steaming cup of coffee. A great launching point is to check out your local amateur astronomy group. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, wait for a public observation night, or visit a planetarium for a cheap (most likely free) way to test the waters.
Sydney Observatory is a brilliant facility where New South Welshmen can watch the skies any night of the week, but it’s best to check out their monthly Sky Guide beforehand, to aid your excursion. In Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society holds public viewing nights for only a few gold coins on the first Friday of each month, and the Astronomical Society of Melbourne is so welcoming to beginners that they call themselves ‘Australia’s friendliest Astronomical Society’.
Get out into the night air, look up, and you’ll see this isn’t a closed field. When you strip it down, the field of astronomy is just inquisitive-minded dreamers coming together to take in the bigger picture. It has a history as long as ours, and a place in almost every culture. Many of Australia’s Aboriginal cultures had a strong Brisbane Astronomical Society holds free observarelationship with astronomy, which you can read more tions at Mt Coot-tha each month, on the Saturday about here. With only our bare eyes, we can find the closest to the First Quarter Moon. The specific dates are on their website. Given the viewing from Mt Coot- man in the moon, the emu in the sky or the canoe tha is spectacular even without 20/20 vision, you’ll be over Orion. in for quite a treat. The Astronomical Society of Tasmania holds an open night twice a year, with observa- … I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tions and the chance to chat to leading astronomers. tonight. For keener observers, they run an annual introductory astronomy course over three nights. The next course is tentatively set to run over three nights in October, and is open to complete beginners.
donâ€™t get cross,
stitch by anna angel
n the days where even the sound of your partner’s chewing makes your blood boil; on the days when you get a speeding fine meant for someone else; the days when your family asks where your life is going, how do you get through it? I work through the anger one stitch at a time. Recently, I created a cross stitch tapestry to swear off unwelcome home invaders, dedicating one stitch to each customer I’d ever wanted to flip the metaphorical bird to during my time in retail. You can stitch a simple swear word or embroider a crude gesture, if that will make you feel better. And it will. There’s no better catharsis for The World is Out to Get Me Syndrome than perverting a ladylike crafting tradition until it has a potty mouth and a tongue in cheek.
Cross stitch is a craft after my own heart – once you get the hang of it, it’s like playing connect the dots or paint-by-numbers, and a lot simpler to pick up than some of those shmancier, more heavy duty crafts. (I’m looking at you, quilting!)
No one knows this better than Julie Jackson, who began Subversive Cross Stitch after she found the perfect escape from her boss – stitching an f-bomb smack in the middle of a delicate cross stitch creation. If you think you might be a candidate for some stress relieving crafty goodness, you can download Jackson’s PDF prints here, or buy kits with instructions. I used her ‘Get Lost’ pattern and embellished with my own touches and rookie errors, just to make the sign especially (un)welcoming.
You can even turn your own designs and photos into cross stitch patterns for free online, so you really have no excuse not to get stitching. Unless you’d rather just take to a punching bag. That’s fine, too.
If you’re not harbouring much anger at all (and good for you) I bet your walls could still use some kitsch. Another fantastic resource for those who have mastered the art – and anyone willing it give it a red-hot go – is Antique Pattern Library. This vast collection houses free scans of some divine designs for all kinds of pattern work. There’s art deco and floral, lace and German oddities.
How to make a scarf, Mittens and beanie ...
from an old jumper
his is an super easy winter project for those who canâ€™t bear to throw out cuddly, cosy jumpers that have seen better days. Instead of being left out in the cold when you part ways, simply redistribute the warmth. You can get one beanie, two mittens and a loop scarf from most adult jumpers. Winter crafting has never been so accessible to those who canâ€™t knit. Reclaim the season from the clicking needle clutches of yarn bombing and tea-cosy making; this is your time!*
You will need:
For the scarf:
This will make a loop scarf, and can be as thick as you One old jumper. Anything will do, but something with a like. (Okay, it’s limited also by the size of the jumper, pattern or cable knit is best. but we’ve got a fix for that!) Scissors Needle and thread or a sewing machine 1. Cut the arms off the jumper and set them aside. Additional: 30 cm of elastic, ribbon for decoration
For the beanie: This is where a cable knit design on the bottom of the jumper comes in handy. 1. You can either grab another beanie and rip off the measurements or guesstimate at the size of your noggin. Cut a matching half circle an inch larger than your decided measurements from both sides of the jumper, using the bottom of the jumper as the beanie rim. 2. Place the pieces together with the outsides facing in. Stitch around the edges and flip. 3. You can add a few stitches to hold the rim up and add a contrasting ribbon, or just wear it in a classic style. Go crazy with your bad beanied self!
2. Assess what’s left. Even after taking out a beanie-sized chunk, you should still have a band of material from the waist and chest area. 3. Cut a rectangular shape across the middle, keeping both sides of the jumper together. Stitch around the cut edges. 4. If your jumper was small, you might not have enough to form a bulky loop scarf. In which case, copy the above steps then cut open one of the side seams. Cross one length over the other so it forms a ‘x’ shape, and stitch together in the middle. Affix a button, flower, pom pom or anything else you can think of over the stitch.
For the mittens: This is our favourite part. You’re going to want those sleeves you set aside earlier. 1. Starting from the edge of the sleeve, assess how long you want your mittens to be. Here comes the fun part: turn the sleeve inside out and place your hand (and whatever part of your arm you want to be covered in mitten warmth) on the sleeve. Draw around it, leaving half an inch of extra wiggle room. Repeat on the other sleeve. 2. Cut around the mitten shape, leaving an inch all around. Stitch along the edges taking care on the fiddly thumb area. 3. Flip the material the right way around and try it on. If you find the bottom sleeve of the jumper was stretched, it might slide down. In this case, you’ll need to stitch a band of elastic to the inside to keep it nice and tight. If your stitching shows through, simply stitch a ribbon on the outside to cover it up. No one will ever know!
You don’t have to make all three (or any of them – we’re not craft dictators), but if you do, please send us a picture of you wearing them all together so we can coo over your matched set. Especially if you make a miniature version for a child. That would almost be too much. Please don’t send pictures of that. * Winter will probably always remain a time for knitting, no matter how hard we try to be included in the fun. We don’t resent this fact as much as it probably now seems we do.
Life on the shelf Gin
Gin got its start as an ineffective remedy for the Black Death, and similar concoctions were sold to cure all kinds of ailments. The spirit went on to build a sour reputation for itself in London as a killer, life ruiner, abortionist, and lowlife, before being prohibited, and eventually regulated.
Rum has a long history as a trade product on seemingly every quarter of the world, even in Australia. The drink was a prized possession in Colonial New South Wales, and well, we haven't stopped since.
Ethyl alcohol, juniper berries.
Sugarcane by products, molasses, ageing.
Allegedly Drunk by:
Allegedly Drunk by:
Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Earnest Hemingway, drunken sailors.
Lime, cucumber, tonic, dry vermouth.
Also Known as: Motherâ€™s Ruin.
Lime, pineapple juice and coconut cream, a peg leg.
Also Known As: Barbados Water, Kill Devil.
A new take on Aztec traditions, tequila became the first factory product to be made in the state now known as Jalisco, in the 1600s. Mexican laws specify restricted areas that can officially claim to produce tequila.
The origins of vodka are contentious, and we don't want to upset anyone. Let's just say it's another spirit that was used, in a less alcoholic state, as a medicine. It was a Polish or Russian creation that was never meant to be flavoured ‘peanut butter and jelly’.
It was a happy accident whisk(e)y evolved from the raw drink it once was to the refined spirit we know today - the miracles of the ageing process were allegedly discovered by someone desperate enough for a drink to try a long-forgotten brew.
Made with: Made with:
Distilled blue agave.
Ethyl alcohol, water, grains, potatoes or fruits.
Fermented grain aged in a wooden barrel.
Allegedly Drunk by:
Allegedly Drunk by:
Allegedly Drunk by:
Lime and salt, itself.
Itself, mostly anything else.
Coffee, cola, mint, sweet vermouth.
Also KNOWN AS:
Also Known as:
Also Known As:
Nothing, if it's real tequila.
Water of Life.
There’s enough debate surrounding the spelling without confusing it even further.
Reading ‘Book of Imaginary Beings’ by Jorge Luis Borges Words by mark piccini Illustration by Vanessa Chan
had never read Jorge Luis Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, a book-length publication omitted in my Collected Fictions edition. However, I understood — as gut reaction or whim, and testament to the veracity of Borges’s imagined creatures — the Fauna of Mirrors. I had glimpsed the Fish of the Mirror before it was described to me. It was a shard of ice in my glass, a boorish metaphor in my mind. You grab a jug of water pushed back in the fridge, skirting the edge is a length of ice that barely juts against the liquid. It doesn’t stick in your mind. The ice disappears completely into the whole, cool drink. The opposite happened to me. The ice was there, and each glass I poured seemed to carry a shard. Jorge Luis Borges is following me. I don’t know which of us has given chase. I know he is there and I know I am right to acknowledge it. Someone I love explained it to me. Once you acknowledge something it becomes uncanny — that is, it keeps appearing (reappears). Whatever it is you’ve acknowledged might have appeared anyway but this time it sticks. The Fish of the Mirror, Borges says, will be the first to appear, to betray depth in our hitherto innocuous, utilitarian mirrors. The Fish — so called because it will glimmer and flit, briefly — will add an irrevocable dimension to our reflections. The same can be said of ‘coincidence’: moments that jar our ordinary, linear lives. All of a sudden something becomes a seed. Jorge Luis Borges has come to sow seeds in my mind; he himself has become the sunset that pushes itself into the ocean and harkens return. Borges was a prolific thinker, therefore he’s a threat to the barely conscious — subconscious, even (I’ve found) — things we understand: the many predicaments that are life, and that take from it in equal measure.
I guess I’m more inclined to these repetitions than most people. Most people are more measured than me; their minds are like a city from ground level, where every street and sidewalk ends but not perceptibly so. My mind, I think, is a coiled spring with bends wrought to a circumference, and all the unseen energy of that struggle. Seen from above a spring is circular and pointless (unlike the others’ cities). These circles, traversed without end, are labyrinthine in the truest sense of the word. Labyrinths obsessed Jorge Luis Borges. With startling eloquence he has shown me my predicament. I am addicted to creating parallels at once vertiginous and narcissistic. I am convinced there exists a sort of intellectual black hole, its event horizon announced by an idea beginning to articulate itself across every form of communication. The perfidious idea will become the meaning of everything and, it will seem, nothing: as inarguable as the air we breathe. I have read everything I can find by Borges since my troubles began. I believe the fleeting ice in my chilled water and depth beyond the aggressive façade of my reflections is Borges’s way of showing me the point of no return. I do not know what I am being warned against. If you too have seen the Fish of the Mirror, felt the uneasiness of it, then please do not hesitate to contact me. My details are attached. Borges said, “in advance of the invasion we will hear from the depths of mirrors the clatter of weapons”. Listen carefully.
firstname.lastname@example.org PO BOX 3596, Brisbane, QLD, 4000
a week as a pig Words by Jayde deBondt Image by anna birchall
am interrupted. She cackles so hard and so close to my face I can see her tonsils warble. Her breath is putrid, a pungent cocktail of garlic, cigarettes and alcohol. I try to remain still. Itâ€™s difficult as sweat has started to trickle down my furrowed brow. It rests on my top lip and I resist the urge to flick my tongue out and taste its saltiness. My eyes are sagging, the left blinks uncontrollably. I stay the same and the woman, bored with me, decides to cross the road. I did not dare to breathe before, but now I greedily gulp the air around me. The woman disappears in the sea of umbrellas and coffee stands, but already there is a new pair of beady slits, staring full of judgement and malice.
he pink fluffy suit begins to pull at my sides, weighing me down. My aching bones creak with each sloth-move I make. My curly tail dangles between my legs, hitting each thigh as I trudge up that awful hill, and I wonder what this week has in store for me. It has only been three hours and I’ve already had enough. Exaggerated stares at the “silly bitch” wearing a pig suit, old men joking I resemble their wife or mother, school children pulling my ears and laughing at my snout, if only they could put themselves in my hooves. Wearing a pig suit for a week is meant to be fun; a little bit of a laugh. Already I feel I’m wrong, already I know this isn’t going to be the week I intended. I long to retreat back to my room, run home and sleep. No-one can bother me there, well except me. Pity, it’s only four and I have another class. Fifteen pairs of eyes watch me enter the classroom. I can tell they’re all wondering why I’m dressed as a pig, but they’re not game to ask. It’s almost like a silent game of truth or dare, only no-one’s yet agreed to play. Finally, Ginger-Ninja manages to fumble upon the courage to ask. “Why are you dressed like a swine?” I don’t want to tell her the real reason; it’d ruin the fun. “Oh, it’s a political statement,” I say. Her upper lip stiffens, and her eyes widen. I don’t think she is satisfied with my answer but she doesn’t ask me any more questions. Instead she puts her head down. I shimmy past her to take my seat and notice her hands quiver although she tries so hard not to move. I’ve made an impact.
t’s day two. Maybe today will be different. No, I know today will be different. As I brush my teeth in the bathroom, one of the girls from my block walks in. “It’s so hot out today, you’re going to be bacon,” she says. I can’t help but laugh. I can do puns. But she’s familiar, and where I’m going to eat breakfast, everyone is a stranger. I begin to walk quickly, and the quicker I walk, the less uncomfortable I feel. I glance at people when I pass them, they’re smiling at me. Still, I keep up the pace. I pass a young couple; they must think I am out of ear-shot as I can hear them whisper about me. “She’s gutsy to do that.”
a first aid kit. Several people are frowning. The man with the grey hat and lazy eye snickers. “Go back to your fucking sty.” The do-gooders turn against the pig. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I am cowardly, maybe I am smart. “I will,” I say as I get up to leave. Fast walk, jog, run and then sprint. I can’t get away fast enough. I am out of sight, but the woman is still on my mind.
I agree. I am. What nice strangers. I begin to slow down; people seem to be embracing my outfit. But I realise people have stopped staring at me – something else has caught their attention. Behind me, a woman has fallen out of her wheelchair; she must have hit the curb awkwardly. I didn’t even hear her fall. At least fifteen people run to her aid. They’re like seagulls fighting over a chip. I join the crowd of do-gooders. I overhear a man with a grey hat and lazy eye suggest lifting her. An older lady in a blue blouse doesn’t agree. They squabble for a while before another man interjects. The woman just sits there, blood gushes from her knee and tears run down her right cheek. “Can I get you anything?” I ask the woman. She gives me a faint smile. I look up and ask someone to get
t’s day five. I call a friend to see if she will come with me to the shopping centre, but she isn’t available until two. It’s 10.00am, I need to go now. I’ve spent the last three days in hiding; I’m desperate for supplies, namely deodorant. I get in the car and I begin to feel very hot. Too hot. My heart is pounding so loud my ears are ringing from the sound. I rev my car before changing gears when I pass through the round-a-bout. Other drivers stare through their windows, but then again maybe it’s just my pig head. I park awkwardly; this stress is really getting to me. Maybe I should just wait until two? No, it has to be now. I drag myself out of the car and trudge into the shopping centre. My head is down, but I can still feel onlooker’s eyes burning into the back of my pig suit.
As I get closer to Coles people barely seem to notice me. I look around to see what interests them more than me; a group of special needs children, and their carers. I don’t stare; they already have enough people gawking at them. And then there’s a yelp, and a child is tugging at my arm, he’s punching my belly. “You’re my pig now, you’re mine,” the boy puffs, as he tries to drag my rigid body back towards his group. If people didn’t notice me before, they do now. I try and tell the boy I’m not a real pig, I’m just pretending. Wrong thing to say. Punches become hysterical thrashes. The other children begin to stir, I’m helpless. The carer comes. She’s yelling but I can’t hear what she’s saying -- something about me being stupid, but it’s all background noise. I’m just trying not to cry; nobody can have the satisfaction of making me cry. It’s not their fault though, it’s mine. I manage to make it back to my car, where there’s no stopping the tears. I just want to go home, but I’m hysterical. I can’t breathe properly, oh God I can’t breathe. Suddenly there is a frantic knock on my window. It’s a blonde woman; she’s middle-aged and a little bit chubby. “Pig, Pig are you ok?” she says. I am not a pig. I’m a person, a real person. My fists clench tightly together. My body becomes stiff and I slowly turn my head to face the woman. I stare at her directly in the eyes and look at her for what seems like eternity. The tears are gone, only anger remains. She begins to back away slowly. I want to shout at her, scream at her, but my lips feel as though they’ve been super-glued shut. I want her to know I have a name. I want her to know I hate her.
t’s day seven, and the clock has struck 12 pm. My week as a pig is over, and I’m not relieved. I lie in bed and try to sleep, but I can’t. Either my sheets are too sticky or my air conditioner is too loud. My thinking begins. It’s endless. Who am I? A kid pulls my tail when I’m not looking; I almost topple backwards. Little shit. I’m twelve now, we do partner dancing in sport class. The girls get to choose which boy they want to dance with. I already know who I’ll pick, I have to run fast though, I don’t want to be stuck with the left-overs. There are always three leftovers; the worst one to get is fatty. He smells and his face is covered in pussy spots. Does he even shower? The race begins, I pick who I want. As I walk to the dance floor I look back and fatty along with his two side-kicks are making their way to their chairs. They’re frowning.
I’m not a bad person. We were just kids. I never said anything mean to anyone and I was always polite. I volunteer, and study hard. I have lots of friends. I am interrupted. My room is dark, but I can still see the shadow of a pig’s head facing me. It’s watching me, smiling.
thirteen by Issy Beech
nees knocking together nervously, our wet childish lips squealing delights of the afternoons. We’d guzzle ham and salad sandwiches and pool our coins together for a saccharine swag of confectionary our mothers would never have sanctioned. Our wandering limbs preceding us as we wore our uniforms in a deep, adolescent languor interrupted only by visceral fits of giddy laughter and loaded whispers. The browns of our legs and our noses, and hair up high and sloppy, we’d blur together in packs like wolves, smelling of concentrated coconut or Lipsmackers, smacking our lips. Rooms scattered with tampons, glittered stickers, posters of boys ten years our senior, girls we’d have died to look like, and floors speckled with empty chocolate wrappers and magazine lift outs, torn out sex and love columns (two topics which at the time we knew very little – if not nothing – about), and an excessive rainbow of hardened nail polish. Our clumsy lips would press against one another in spasms of teenage obsession, and our awkward hands would wander. Neither was more experienced than the other, the only thing forcing us onwards was the hot, hard air around us, and the lingering legends of our friends and their progressions. My hair would fall on his shoulders, and his anxious hands would find the groove in my waist. I’m not sure if were taking pleasure, or simply pressing on in order to cover new ground. Those feelings seem so distant, so ancient. Back when pink cheeks were humiliation and not hotheadedness; when our skirts were covered in crumbs and an afternoon ice-cream was a window to our budding sexuality; when the only way to express love was to scribe a soul-bearing, glittering love note. When our dreary day-to-day rituals didn’t smother our spirits, though they won’t tonight.
lighting the corridor by Kyra Bandte For Mark double-shadow on the wall when the light hits right the sky turns yellow through a paper-roll telescope / see his silhouette projected dusk reclines on the horizonâ€™s belly watch the slow exhale of oranges and fleshy pinks cast a line out cast a shadow on a string tie it up from the ceiling dangle down and make a double-brother on the wall.
mulch by michelle allAn
hen we first arrive it’s a jungle. There’s no logic to the plant life; everything is scattered wherever their seedpods happened to fall. The trees are tall, ageless, blanketing the sky, hiding the sun. For the first few months, we focus on the grass roots. I revel in the dirt, constructing houses for the tiny green plums that have lost their grip. We pull out endless ivy, unrelenting miniature trees, and dandelions with strong single roots. As the dirt collects under our fingernails, the chaos begins to subside. My father is in a white t-shirt, with a little sailboat embroidered on the chest. Bent over a shovel, chopping up the earth, his ripped blue jeans expose his knees to the dirt. Heat hangs in the air and I can see beads of sweat form on the back of his neck as he works. “Dad,” I say. He takes a break, driving the spade down so it stands without the support of his elbow. “Yeah, Shell?” I am his first mate and this is our ship. “Which ones are we planting first?” He takes a moment to think, as I fumble with the maracas. “The silver beet, what do you reckon?” Crouching on a plank of wood in the middle of the miniature field, I watch with wide eyes as he drags his finger, creating a tiny trench. There’s a scraping sound as I rip open the paper, bringing the seeds back to life. The sound takes me back to a photograph: bright plastic sandals, daggy clothing. I stoop over the tunnels and carefully leave a trail of crumbs. With a sweep of his arm, he buries them.
It’s freezing, but I’m outside, enacting the lives of the fallen plums. I move them, speak for them, and etch on their faces with twigs. I dig a shallow swimming pool with my hands but its thirst will not be quenched. The mud drips down the sides until it reveals a root jutting out beneath the surface. I pull at it and it comes loose. A cold, ornate key rests in my palm and I gaze at in wonder. “Shell?” I jolt in surprise and the key is lost momentarily amongst the rust coloured topsoil. “What are you doing?” my dad asks as he leans against the plum tree. He’s wearing a thick maroon jumper with the occasional hole. I pick up the key to show him. He joins me on the ground, crossing his legs to sit, still a giant in my presence. We talk about things we’ve found in the garden: bottles, pegs, a statue of a tiny man sitting on a pair of barrels. When my imagination begins drift into magical places, he winks, “I bet it unlocks something around the house.” Jumping up, I try the first door I come across. The metal key twists in the hole, useless. The next door is completely painted over but I jam the key against the impression of the hole, a pathetic tap-tap-tapping echoes down the empty entrance hall.
With practiced movements, I scale the tree, clambering onto the roof of the carport. The metal creaks underneath my weight and I begin to fear I am outgrowing my oasis. Beneath me is my father’s work car: dark, clean and very corporate. It doesn’t belong. He is branded on our dusty, white Mazda, initials gleaming on the number plate. Slowly I lie down on the warm corrugated iron and rest my head in my hands. The sky is almost completely blue, only a few white strands drift in my peripheral vision. Lazily, I watch as they journey to another state. I hear the slamming of the fly screen door, so I raise my torso with the help of two bruised elbows. My father comes down the front steps in his gardening uniform, the little sailboat paddling through a wisp of sea foam. “Shelly,” he calls to me. I wave. He smiles back. “I’m not sure you should be up there,” he pauses, “I think the carport might be getting a bit old to have you climbing all over it.” He watches me scramble to my feet. “I know,” he sympathises. Once he leaves, I consider staying where I am, but decide there’s no point delaying the adjustment. I approach the fig trees out back. I can see they’re heavy with the evidence of summer: the first is stocky with green baubles of fruit, the second, a skeleton hand clasping at brown teardrops. The limbs of the first are thick and welcoming, cool unlike the roasted metal shadowing the dark blue beast. At the point furthest from the garage, I find a sturdy branch that hangs out over the violets growing in the grass below.
With a bit of effort, I clear away some of the smaller branches until I have a perch I can lie back on. A dark brown key hanging around my neck slips to the side and swings with my feet as I begin to drift in and out of daydreams. Suddenly I feel a weight on my foot, tugging me down. I sit up in panic and cling to the spindly branches around me. I hear a gruff chuckle. “Taking a cat nap were you?” my father asks. I relax as soon as I realise it’s him, and swat playfully at his retreating hand. I stand at the window rugged up in two jumpers. A fire is crackling behind me but the house is still cold. I tug mindlessly at the chain around my neck. The key is warm from my skin. Behind the glass, the trees have dropped all their leaves, creating a graveyard over the plants below. It starts to rain, and soon it’s pouring down. I try to convince myself it’s good for the broccoli, just a few days from harvesting, but am consumed by selfishness. All I want is for the sun to shine down and roast the concrete; keep the lizards warm. My father stands up from tending the flames and comes over to stand next to me. “It’s really coming down out there,” he says. He glances at the key I’m twirling between my fingers. “I was thinking about picking up some new drippers for the fruit trees out back.” I interrupt him. “Gone soft have you? Can’t bear standing out there in the cold with the hose?” I jibe. He swipes jokingly at the back of my head and our faces crack. “Garden Centre, then?” he says. “Do you even have to ask?”
haven’t grown as much as my brother, but standing on my tiptoes is enough to pluck the prize from the tree. I juggle it in my hand as I walk down the driveway towards the front lawn. The grass is freshly mowed; my father has moved on to trimming the hedge. He’s on the ladder with a pair of shears, attacking the overzealous greenery. He waves when he sees me, his little embroidered boat bobbing, and then goes back to the task at hand. I stumble up the short, steep hill and collapse into relaxation. Carefully I peel off the outer layer of the fruit. I have no idea what it’s called, but I’m sure he does. I bite into the flesh and drink in the sourness that sends a jolt down my spine. In no time I’m licking my fingers clean, berating myself for not picking a second. It’s another warm summer day. On my back, the top level of the house protrudes from the right and I watch in a sway of motion sickness as the fluffy white clouds drift over and on. All the while in the background, there’s a clipping of the hedge trimmers.
The lawn is rebelling. It’s covered with the tall stems of dandelions. Without them, I doubt there would be much greenery. In the morning, after the sun comes up, they all open, revealing their yellow hearts to the world. It’s almost beautiful. The cubby house is tucked in behind the bare oak tree, gathering dust, next to the boundaries of bluestone. The camellia on the porch is dead, eaten by snails, and the rosemary bush has turned to tinder. I look longingly at the fig trees half hidden by the hedge. I don’t know it now, but next week they will be hacked from their resting places, two giants ripped down by the next owner’s suburban dream of a pool. Instinctively I grasp at my throat. There’s no key; lost to the grass on a dateless day. It’s a part of the house I didn’t want to leave behind. The new garden is a desert, lost amongst the tightly packed suburbs. After we’ve hauled in our furniture, mint sprouts, running wild without any nurturing. The scent seeps through my bedroom window, soothing my nerves. Clover begins to canvas the pale brown soil and two silver beet plants spring up to provide shade for the dog. I trim and water them as they go to seed, but one of them dies off and is removed from the curb the following Monday. The single silver beet doesn’t slow with age and soon it’s taller than me. Eventually I dress it in tinsel and baubles. My brother is embarrassed, but my mother is amused. My father says he misses me as he installs fake grass on his balcony in the city.
the art of weaving a tale BY ANNA Angel
o you catch yourself thinking in catchphrases of 140 characters or less and struggling to make extended conversation? I do. I don’t know when I changed, but I used to love to tell stories. I still love to write them down, but get me in front of people and I freeze. I’ve lost the art of storytelling; of spinning a spontaneous narrative. From folk tales to salons, the spoken word has played a pivotal role in human history, in the development of culture and the spread of information. Have many of us gone backward in this particular skill set? The pace of digital communication commands our tales fit into ironclad structures or else be served a backhanded ‘tl;dr’ (too long, didn’t read). In person, we simply don’t have the time, or a willing audience.
New York’s The Moth is a series of live storytelling events that’s been running since 1997 and working to combat our culture of clipped conversation (alliteration!). There’s only one catch – the stories must be true. The intimate stage events proved so popular, they’ve since expanded to a radio segment, and online platform allowing potential speakers to pitch and share their stories on the website. The live show is still the main fare. What else could see you as simultaneously vulnerable and enriched as standing before strangers and sharing something real? Not an anecdote you thought the Twittersphere might appreciate, not a polite back-and-forth banter. Your own pain, embarrassment, love, joy or secret. Happily, Brisbane literary journal Stilts has recently launched a biannual live storytelling event inspired by The Moth. Yarn invites audience to come and hear a story, or swallow their nerves and share their own. There’s hope for a new breed of folk legend, passed on in whispered tones as you leave the bar and find your voice again. It doesn’t have to be on a stage, or even in front of an audience. Just stretch those vocal chords, forget table conversation, and share a killer story with your friends. The whole story, not just a status’ worth. www.underthestilts.com www.themoth.org
how to save a life in 30 seconds You can save an actual life in less time than it takes to listen to that song by The Fray that played at the end of Grey’s Anatomy’s first season finale called How to Save a Life. Here’s how:
1. Give blood. If it’s your first time, this may well take longer than the promised time frame,
but given the pay-off, we think it’s worth a whole damn afternoon. Visit www.donateblood.com.au to find your nearest collection centre. You’ll get a nifty card with your blood type on it, and hopefully enough good karma that someone will send blood your way should you ever need it. This is a triplekarma score, too, because one donations helps three patients. Nice!
2. Register as an organ donor. This one really does only take thirty seconds, and you
won’t even notice they’re gone, we promise! Just fill out your details online, and alert your loved ones of your decision (or make it Facebook official). www.donatelife.com.au
3. Get a best buddy. A farm buddy, that is; we know you can make friends all on your own.
Edgar’s Mission rescue abused farm animals, and care for them at their 60 acre sanctuary. We don’t expect you to do that (do you even have 60 acres?), but if you have half a minute, you can sponsor an animal all of your own and not only save a life, but keep one happy and safe. Visit www. edgarsmission.org.au to find your new best friend.
4. Cast a net. One of the most effective charities in the world does one of the simplest things:
distributes insecticided mosquito nets. Against Malaria’s method is proven to help prevent the disease; it saves lives. It’s not the sexiest charity gift, but 100 per cent of your money goes toward stopping unnecessary deaths. A fiver buys and distributes one net -- what hard working spare change! www.againstmalaria.com.
calendar girl By Charlotte Guest
Each member of my family has their own calendar 1. We also have the family calendar 2. Then there is the show calendar 3, the android calendar 4, the university diary and the yearly planner 5. No one advertises their availability like me.
1. This is where we spread out our respective to-do lists so we feel like busy, busy people. My square for today boasts “return DVDs”, Mum's has “shopping” (we're talking groceries), and Dad's has “golf”, like every other square of his. 2. The family calendar is a collective work. It stores the more significant occasions we feel the other house mates should know about. Today is blank. In three squares time the calendar says “Charlotte’s Birthday”, which translates to “I remembered”. The main problem with the family calendar is that it’s incomprehensible. Mum appears to write in code: someone please tell me what “ZZCC” could be - it happens every second Saturday. This Tuesday something called “WASD” is going down. Dad’s hand-writing is frankly appalling. Tomorrow he is off to what looks like “Bork Bifant”. 3. A number of people buy us calendars too special to use. They masquerade as personalised, bottom-of-your-heart gifts, but the fact they come from borderline forgotten relatives and acquaintances makes them reek of desperation. “What do they like?!” “Um, time?” Obviously, it’s the thought that counts, and seeing as we also ship off calendars to those in our outer circles, these show calendars come and go in a comfortable mist of mutual nonchalance. 4. The calendar in my phone is a notch above the others in one important respect: the reminder. 5. The yearly planner is basically a humbling-device - a big, poster-sized statement to remind you anything you do this year will have rather weak ripple-on effects.
sydney story factory
hen Dave Eggers opened innovative youth creative writing and literacy organisation 826 Valencia in 2002, fronted by the Pirate Supply Store, he couldnâ€™t have known how influential it would become. This style of running project-based writing labs and workshops within a uniquely creative space has spread across the US, the UK, and now, to Australia with the opening of Sydney Story Factory. Cofounder Catherine Keenan tells us what drives the not-forprofit, volunteer-run organisation.
It was pretty direct, actually. I watched the TED Talk by Dave Eggers talking about 826, and I just thought it was so good. I think he has done a lot to show people how much you achieve philanthropically, and what a difference you can make. I sent it to my friend Tim [Dick]. I’ve got two small kids, and Tim comes from a family of teachers. He came back and said, ‘we should do something like that here’.
We started work last January. Tim is a lawyer, so that’s helped with the legal side of things. Because I used to be the literacy editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, we started with writers, really. We asked a lot of writers if they’d be interested in helping us and they were all so supportive. Then we put the board together, and that’s how we met Robyn Ewing who’s our education guru in all of this, and has been pivotal in working out how we’re going to do it, and how we’re going to evaluate it.
Robyn Ewing has done research that shows people from minority cultures can often feel excluded from the education system because it can tend to focus on one mainstream culture. If you leave school at three in the afternoon, and you go home and speak another language until you return in the morning, chances are it’s going to make you less confident in your writing.
We started asking around, because we thought originally maybe someone had already done it here, but no one had. As we went along, we talked to teachers who were worried about a lack of space for creative writing and lack of space to do it themselves, and they were very positive about the idea. It has been modified because Australia’s different to the US; our needs are different. At 826 they have a very strong homework help program, which we don’t do because other people already do that and do it well.
We launched at The Sydney Writer’s Festival last May; that was when we launched the concept and kicked off our fund raising drive, and pilot programs. We sprung to five different programs last year in schools around the Redfern area.
Because we give kids one-on-one or small group attention, it can be less intimidating to experiment with language or even to write things down. You’re not having to present to a large group. We found when working with kids for whom English is not their first language, that just sitting down and talking to a tutor for an hour was really beneficial for their language in terms of developing their confidence.
Another big thing we did in the beginning was to visit a lot of people in the area; people who were involved in literacy or worked in Redfern, just to see what they thought and get their input.
I think there can be a sense that creative writing is a) for grown ups and b) for different kinds of people. This is just a way to say, ‘it can be you’. You can write a book, you can do this.
In August last year, I took six month’s leave from the Herald and officially began working for Sydney Story Factory as Executive Director three days a week. I’ve now resigned from the Herald and am working here indefinitely.
“We booked a room at the Alexandra Hotel thinking it was just going to be us and a handful of friends who we could force to come along. We had 200 people turn up.”
We have been very lucky to get great support along the way. We held a team meeting in April last year because we thought we should get some people to help out, and we booked a room at the Alexandra Hotel thinking it was just going to be us and a handful of friends who we could force to come along. We had 200 people turn up. A lot of them knew about Dave Eggers and what he’d done, and said ‘great, anything remotely like that, I’ll help’.
We have had a great reaction from the kids, and that’s been really heartening. At the end of every class, we asked for feedback from the students, their parents, the teachers and the volunteers. It was particularly positive from the teachers. All of them noticed that their student’s enthusiasm and confidence for writing had increased. The students were also really positive, and you could see it.
At the end of all of our programs, you end up with Our volunteers are very diverse. They range from their something that you can hold in your hands and be late teens to their 70s, and they come from all around proud of. With some, it was a newspaper they made, Sydney. A lot of them work in the creative industries or books they wrote with a beautiful illustration on somehow, in publishing, journalism, or something, the front, and a photo of the author on the back and but then a lot of them don’t. I think a basic belief in a blurb about them. The first time we did that, and the importance or enjoyment of creative writing is they got that book and they held it, you could see they probably at the heart of it. And I think it’s fun. It’s fun were kind of stunned and really proud of it. We place and it’s not really onerous. You can volunteer for us if a big value on that finished product. It’s not someyou’ve got an hour a month, you don’t have to commit. thing you wrote that gets lost, it’s something you can take home, put on the shelf and show your mum and dad.
The Martian Embassy Gift Shop
When they kicked off the Pirates Supply Store at 826, it was absolutely just to comply with zoning laws. Once they’d done it they realised first of all it started to make money, which was a good surprise, and secondly when you go there it’s a really amazing and interesting place for adults or kids to just hang out. It gives the place a different feeling.
It’s really nice to do something different and to be learning different things all the time. I’ve never done anything like this in my life, and that’s kind of good for you I think. I have to write a lot of policies and fill out applications – quite boring things, but then I also go in and teach kids and that reminds you why you do the boring things. We have all these people who are happy to help us and get involved, and that’s really rewarding.
As it is, we have around 600 people who’ve asked to volunteer, but with the best will in the world, most people work during the week and that’s when we’ll need most of our volunteers. When we open we’ll also be running programs on a Sunday, so it’s often easier for people to volunteer at those times. You need a vast pool of people to make sure that you can cover every Monday afternoon or every Thursday morning, so we would love more volunteers.
You have to walk through that shop to get to the centre, and when the kids go through there it puts them in a different head space where these weird things are possible, and you realise that the rules are slightly different and you can do things here that you might not think you could have done at school. It adds another layer to make it different to a regular afterschool tutoring program. All the products will be in tins, and ‘Made on Mars’ will be the brand. There’ll be things like Martian sunscreen -- SPF Factor 5000, tins of teeny humans, crop circle starter kits, and ‘my first abduction’ kits. The idea is that they’re an imaginative joke, and they’re a way of donating to our cause that’s fun.
“When the kids go through there it puts them in a different head space where these weird things are possible, and you realise the rules are slightly different ...”
You can donate to us, and that’s fantastic but due to the laws of tax deductibility all we can do is send you a note saying ‘thank you’. If you become a member it means the first fifty dollars is not tax deductible, and for that fifty dollars you get updates on what we’re doing, a really cool looking membership card and a discount in the shop, and occasionally we invite you to events that we’re having. It’s a way of being more engaged with what we do.
For more information on Sydney Story Factory and the wonderfully creative people who are involved â€“ from architecture, to tutoring, to creating their fantastic promo video â€“ visit www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au.
Images: Matthew Rivera and Delia French in a Sydney Story Factory workshop (pg. 66) and the end result (left).
bin diving for art BY ANNA Angel
few months ago Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art hosted an exhibition of minimalist Matisse sketches called Matisse: Drawing Life. They converted their bar space into a luxurious drawing room, and asked visitors to create their own sketches from the inspiration around them. Pencils scratched, muses were found, and when it was all over people were too embarrassed to take their creations home with them. In the end, the majority went in the bins provided. Reaching over the bin for a pencil, I spied a gorgeous silhouette looking up at me. Manners say you should never go through other people's rubbish, but it was too tempting. I pulled out handful after handful of sketches visitors had dreamt up, drawn and discarded. There were self portraits, crude drawings too offensive to publish here, still life, and more than a few boobs. I absolutely loved getting this (possibly illegal) glimpse at art no one was ever meant to see. If you're from GOMA, or drew one of these sketches: I'm sorry. I just loved them too much to leave them. Is 'finders keepers' an excuse? Either way, here is a selection of the findings.
THE RUN, RABBIT GUIDE TO 'THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY’ by anna angel
he Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which we’ll just call The Guide from now on to save time) has had more reincarnations than Prince. Douglas Adam’s The Guide began as a six-part sci-fi comedy radio series that ran on BBC radio in 1978. Adams’ quirky tale was commissioned for a second series, broadcast in 1980. Things developed pretty quickly from there. So let’s back up a little.
We’re now used to the relentless multimedia cross promotion of books, films, video games and Happy Meals, but for its time, this clean media sweep was quite novel. The Guide soon spawned three more novels (‘a trilogy in five parts’), stage shows, computer games, and three comic books published by DC. What made these adaptations unusual is that Adams had a hand in producing all of them.
The Guide opens on Arthur Dent’s white bread English existence. His house is about to be demolished without warning, and he is suitably upset. Instead of providing comfort, his friend Ford Prefect tells him actually, the entire planet is about to be demolished to “make way for a hyperspace bypass”.
Adams had expressed interest in producing a radio series from the third book, Life, the Universe and Everything in the 1990s, but the project didn’t get off the ground until after his death in 2001. The final three volumes were adapted to radio and broadcast on BBC in 2004 and 2005. Also in 2005 came the Hollywood (yet still very British) adaptation. Stephen Fry provided the voice of The Guide, as Adams had apparently always imagined it.
Ordinary in these scenarios, it would be up to Dent to say something silly like, “not on my watch”, and to begin plotting to save Earth. Instead, Dent and Prefect – who is actually an alien writer for an electronic guidebook to intergalactic travel called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – find themselves on a hijacked spacecraft with some very colourful characters and the planet is promptly eradicated. In 1979 Adams wrote a book adaptation of the first series, adopting a brilliantly blunt tone and a vast scope that managed to pale all human events, while still championing our tendency to frivolous emotion. The second series was soon novelised, too, and the first series developed for TV.
n 1998, Adams founded a website called h2g2, intended to simulate the Earth section of The Guide. The idea of an interactive hub of information that was kept up-to-date in real time by actual users seemed almost impossible then. Now we call it Wikipedia. Today the site is a treasure trove for fans, with original entries written by Adams still available, and every conceivable question you might have about any of The Guide incarnations answerable. He wrote on tea, brochures and hangovers with characteristic humour. Fans write on ear surgery and attempt to fill in every other detail of life on Earth.
The website is maintained by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving Adams’ legacy by promoting literacy and the sharing of ideas. Today, fans carry towels on May 25 – two weeks after Adams’ death – in memory of a remarkable section of The Guide that suggested a hitchhiker should always know where their towel is. “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have... any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with,” Adams wrote in the first novel. Why does this intergalactic adventure still inspire so many? Well, it’s funny for one thing, and clever for another. Imagination can conquer up all kinds of universes, but The Guide speaks to our own, and of our place in it. For his part, Adams said of its success, “All I know is that I worked very hard at it... I suspect that the amount that people have liked it is not unrelated to the amount of work I put into it”. We don’t like to debate with the purists on the best way to enjoy The Guide. We’re happy for you to read the books, watch the movie simply to catch Zooey Deschanel’s stunning eyes, or dig up copies of the original radio series. Just enjoy it, and don’t forget your towel.
how to get the most for your give
hen we tighten our belts, charities are often the first to suffer. If weâ€™re giving less money, or just giving to fewer causes, itâ€™s more important than ever to see solid results for our dollar. It can be difficult to figure out exactly where to invest your hard-earned cash, especially when met with the smiling faces of charity workers wielding clipboards in the street; each ready to sign you up, and each with a cause that seems just as worthy as the next.
ne of the most popular methods of picking just one charity out of many is to go with what seems to stick out from the crowd and linger in your mind. This makes sense in many ways, but also increases the chance of giving to a charity that’s got more people in their marketing team than they have on-the-ground workers, or lots of expensive air time and therefore less cost-effective results. So how can we measure a charity’s success? First, ask if they’re aiming for something tangible, and if they’re transparent in their methods. An organisation calling for world peace may have a great underpinning mission, but in order to achieve anything real, measurable steps need to be mapped out and action undertaken. Sometimes the smaller an organisation’s scope is, the more successful they are in meeting goals. Second, ask if they’re cost effective and ethical in their spending. Every charity must disclose (often in small print, hidden well off the main pages of their website) their spending and financial health for each year. It’s up to you whether 30 per cent of revenue directed into administration is too much, but it’s always worth looking into. Ethical standards are a very personal thing. For example, some are okay with a charity directing a percentage of aid funds into religious teaching, others aren’t, but it’s often something you have to ask directly to get a straight answer. If the charity works in international aid: do they have measures in place to ensure they aren’t culturally intrusive or insensitive? What other organisations and bodies is the charity tied to? Do they meet your ethical standards?
If you’re wondering how to find out all this information without hiring a private investigator, thank your lucky stars for Give Well, an organisation dedicated to getting the most philanthropic bang for your buck. They provide a simple list of questions you can direct to any charity you’re considering donating to, or even volunteering for (time is money), tailored to the field they work in. For example, you might ask an international disaster relief fund to walk you through their last disaster response. Did they publish a fund raising target? If so, did they stop collecting donations upon reaching it? Do they assist with long term reconstruction? A conservation charity, on the other hand, should be able to tell you their plans for all land purchases, their future targets and priorities. If there’s not a singular issue close to your heart, both Give Well and the similar Charity Navigator provide independent analysis of many international charities. You might find a well rating organisation there that both tugs your heart and inspires you with their stringent fiscal responsibility. For an Australian focus, visit Philanthropy Australia, who provide their own guide to giving, and a list of local charitable organisations. Charity databases Give Now and Auscharity are also worth a look as a reference point, but given their uncritical eye, always ask your own questions. Your thirty bucks a month can probably stretch a lot further in the right hands. www.givewell.org
Maurice Sendak remembered June 1928 - May 2012
“ ... Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him - and it was still hot.” ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, 1963
ver his celebrated career, author and illustrator Maurice Sendak redefined what it meant to write for children. The bulk of his work was in illustrating the writing of others in his fantastical style, but the stories he spun were nothing short of ground-breaking. Sendak wrote of loss, illness, defiance, aggression and nearly everything else convention said children books shouldn’t touch. Children, it was thought, needed happy stories with nice, neat endings. Sendak didn’t believe in censoring tales for little ears, and said, “if it’s true you tell them”.
Recalling the almost grotesque creatures of WTWTA and the controversial In the Night Kitchen, clearly he had not lost his touch for melting the fantastical with haunting reality.
Sendak was exposed to loss at an early age, and confined to a sick bed for much of his youth. His own experience perhaps informed his complex understanding of childhood, as well as opening him up to the imaginative escape of reading. Sendak believed children were constantly battling frustration, fear and anxiety, and, “it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things”.
Sendak became known for his dry sense of humour and blunt manner. He may have said he liked children “as few and far between” as adults, but he respected them in a way most of us forget to. He kept a collection of letters from young fans, and replied to every single one. A favourite was from a kid who’d sent a particularly wonderful hand-drawn card, which Sendak replied to with an original illustration and a note, “Dear Jim: I loved your card”. Jim’s mother wrote to Sendak. “Jim loved your card so much he ate it”. To Sendak, the highest praise didn’t come from parents and critics. It came from his readers.
After seeing Disney’s Fantasia at the age of twelve, Sendak decided he wanted to become an illustrator. While Sendak did find much success as an illustrator of children’s books, he was known mostly for his own titles; Where the Wild Things Are, which shook up the children’s literature world when first published in 1963, In the Night Kitchen, and Chicken Soup with Rice, amongst others. In his first self-written and illustrated children’s book in three decades, 2011’s Bumble-Ardy, Sendak told the tale of an orphaned pig (his parents were eaten) who throws himself a birthday party.
In his final years, Sendak spoke openly about his fifty-year relationship with psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn, who passed away in 2007. He later said Glynn’s illness, and the trauma they both went through, was the catalyst for breaking his long silence and writing Bumble-Ardy.
Reflecting on his eighty-odd years in a 2011 interview, Sendak said, “I have nothing now but praise for my life”. He continued: “I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” Sendak, too, will be sorely missed.
Letters to the editor
solar system by Michael Wayne
Dear Neptune, Hi from the FRONT OF THE LINE! Dear Pluto,
Too bad about getting disbarred!
Try to look on the bright side, though - you were only considered a real planet for 76 years, which isn’t all that long in your scheme of things.
Dear Venus, Please turn down your bright lights!
Raoul Blex, COSTA RICA
We have light pollution laws in our neighbourhood, and you’re in flagrant breach of them. I can’t get to sleep! Varg Vargssen, NORWAY Dear Mercury,
When are you going to move out? You’re old enough now to be out on your own, but still you insist on staying here.
I have to say it worries me that giant red spot hasn’t cleared up yet. That’s what, nearly 350 years it has been there?
I’ll have to start charging you board soon. I know you think you’re hot stuff, but nobody likes a mummy’s boy.
As my mother always said: if you don’t stop picking at it, it’ll never get better.
Jean Bastige, FRANCE
Dear Uranus, I feel bad for you that people always laugh at your name. I know how you feel. A. L. Butts, age 8, NEW ZEALAND
Dear Earth, How are you? It’s been a while since you’ve been in for a checkup. I’ve noticed you’ve had a few more quakes lately than usual, I can give you some TUMS if you’d like. Dear Saturn, So you finally got hitched!
The good news is that oil buildup on that skin of yours seems to have cleared up; you’re looking much drier now!
Dear Mars, Aren’t you sick and tired of all the fiction surrounding your life? The lies; the innuendo; the rumours spread just to sell some papers?
Now, when are you going to get to work on giving me grandchildren?
The problem is you’re too much of a recluse. It lends you this As far as your complaint of a rising temperature, you’ll forgive mysterious air that causes people to believe anything they hear about you. I would hate it if I were accused of harbouring me if I’m a little sceptical - I’ve heard that one before. Your extremities are still chilly so that’s a good start. If you’re really little green men every second week. that concerned, the only way to know for sure is by taking your temperature rectally, so I hope you’ve still got that hole in your I think you should release a tell-all and cut the grass of those phonies trying to use your good name to make a buck. ozone layer down south.
Hugs and kisses,
Take care of yourself,
Your pal, Deimos
PS. Tell Phobos I said hi.
That ring looks mighty fancy; he must have spent all of five minutes picking it out.
a free education By Anna Angel
e’ll concede there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there should always be such thing as a free education. Unfortunately for most, it doesn’t usually work out that way. Some of the world’s top universities are going a (tiny) way to rectifying this, by offering short courses online for absolutely zero dollars. For your zero dollars, you can access an international community of fellow learners, top notch resources and gain new skills and knowledge. If it all sounds too good to be true, well ... it might be, but if there’s a catch we haven’t figured out what it is yet.
Coming soon is the much-anticipated Edx, a not-forprofit collaboration between Harvard University and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which will offer courses from both universities for free. This will be a great solution for anyone who wants to say they’ve studied at Harvard without having to sell a kidney.
If you don’t have the time to undertake an entire course, the library of Ted Ed, where ideas are packaged into short, punchy educational videos, is ever at Already open is Coursera, which lists courses from your disposal. Moreover, you can ‘flip’ the video after Princeton, Stanford, Michigan and Pennsylvania uniwatching, turning it into a finely curated lesson you versities. Study topics range from pharmacology to ge- can share or test yourself on. Educators can add their nome science, to sci-fi fiction and Greek and Roman own material, and easily share content with their stumythology. The platform continues to grow. dents.
Even better, all the material - from some of the world’s greatest minds - is available for free, even if you’re not a student or a teacher. How does life begin in the deep ocean? How did James Watson discover DNA? How does a child learn language? You’ll just have to watch. This is the new guard of open learning, and it means if you have an internet connection, the time, and the passion to learn, nothing can stop you.
www.edxonline.org www.ed.ted.com www.coursera.org
Run, Rabbit wants YOU! Got something to say, show or tell? Our third issue will be themed ‘Home and Away’. We’re on the hunt for art, photography, fiction, essays, and anything else you can see fitting in these pages that addresses the theme. What’s with Aussie soapies? Does voluntourism actually help anyone; if you leave home can you ever truly go back; is a man’s house his castle; how do you host a dinner party anyway; and why isn’t homelessness a hot button issue anymore? If you have the answer to any of these questions, stories of travel and home, or something off-topic that will blow us away, we’d love to hear from you. The deadline is September 30 for pitches, and October 31 for complete submissions.
www.runrabbitmagazine.com @runrabbitzine www.facebook.com/runrabbitmagazine
Published on Jul 2, 2012
Welcome to our 'life, the universe and everything' issue. Inside you'll find healthy doses of creativity, culture, craft, community and comp...