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The Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington

* salient.org.nz

Issue 19 Self improvement volume 1

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Salient Vol. 74

The Team

Editors: Elle Hunt and Uther Dean editor@salient.org.nz Designer: Dan Hutchinson designer@salient.org.nz News Editor: Stella Blake-Kelly news@salient.org.nz Chief Reporter: Natalie Powlesland natalie@salient.org.nz Feature Writer: Selina Powell selina@salient.org.nz Feature Writer: Zoe Reid zoe@salient.org.nz Chief Sub-Editor: Carlo Salizzo carlo@salient.org.nz Online Editor: James Hurndell james@salient.org.nz Arts Editor: Louise Burston arts@salient.org.nz Acting Chief Typo Assassin: Mikey Langdon

Contributors

Hayley Adams, Sally Anderson, Auntie Sharon, Mistress E Bathory, Michael Boyes, Alex Braae, Seamus Brady, David Burr, Barney Chunn, Tom Clarke, Jay Collins, Paul ComrieThomson, Johnny Crawford, Dave the Beer Guy, Martin Doyle, Asher Emanuel, Joe Gallagher, Ally Garrett, Adam Goodall, Jason Govenlock, Haimona Gray, Matthew Hardy, Ryan Hammond, Robert Kelly, Robyn E. Kenealy, Vincent Konrad, Sarita Lewis, Renee Lyons, Molly McCarthy, Callum McDougal, Haley Mortimer, Ollie Neas, Mariana Nicola, Sam Northcott, Angharad O'Flynn, Jessica Rapana, Mikey S, Ihaka Tunui, Sophie Turner, Edward Warren, Doc Watson, Daniel Wilson, Nicola Wood, and Ben Wylie-van Eerd.

Contributor of the week

Hayley Adams. First alphabetically, first in our hearts. When the chips are down, you step the hell up.

About Us

Salient is produced by independent student journalists, employed by, but editorially independent from, the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA). Salient is a member of, syndicated and supported by the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). It is printed by APN Print of Tauranga. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of those of ASPA, VUWSA, Printcorp, Flora MacDonald, Vinko Papillon Kerr-Harris, Stefan Koetsier, Anthony Smith, Jordan McCluskey, Harry Warring, Izzy Mooney, Alana Cruikshank, Alex Speirs, Dani Metin, Megan Kingdom, Brian Anderton, Lewis Kwong, and Josh van Veen, but we of Salient are proud of our beliefs and take full responsibility for them.

Contact

VUWSA Student Media Centre Level 3, Student Union Building Victoria University PO Box 600, Wellington Phone: 04 463 6766 Email: editor@salient.org.nz

Advertising

Contact: Howard Pauling Phone: 04 463 6982 Email: sales@vuwsa.org.nz

Other

Subscriptions: Too lazy to walk to uni to pick up a copy of your favourite mag? We can post them out to you for a nominal fee. $40 for Vic student, $55 for everyone else. Please send an email containing your contact details with ‘subscription’ in the subject line to editor@salient.org.nz This issue is dedicated to the $80,000 of public money that was wasted on one fucking penguin. I mean, cute is cute, but seriously? And, just so you know, just because we wrote seperate editorials this week doesn't mean that Mama and Pops are splitting up. We just need some apart time, sometimes.


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Issue 19 Self improvement

19 Self improvement The Regular Bits Editorial 3 Ngāi Tauira 6 News 7 LOL News 12 The Week That Wasn’t

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Overheard @ Vic

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Notices 43 Letters 44 Puzzles 46 Comics

All Over The Place

Faces to Deface

Back Cover

The Features CBT: Teaching Old Cogs New Tricks

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Representation & Recreation: The Role of Students' Associations

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Homewreckers or Hopeless Romantics? The Ethics of Being a Mistress

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Get the Fuck Over Yourself Incoherent Advice From A Self-Professed Failure

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The Joyousness of Wallowing

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The Happiest Place on Earth

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Winnebago Blues The Chore of Picking Up and Moving On

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UTHeditorial Uther Dean

Peas & Queues 32

About three months ago I realised that I was profoundly unhappy. Not just a little sad. Not a bit iffy. Profoundly sad. And this was not just a bad day or moment. I had felt that way for as long as I could remember. I just had never really noticed it. Well, that’s not true. I had noticed but I had thought it was normal. I had thought that that’s what the stress of life and school and work felt like. Like this big knot of heavy black sitting on your chest making every morning into a bad blur. Kicking each nervous moment into a chasm of despair. Quiet panic in public places. This was, of course, depression. But that’s not the important part of this equation. That is that I didn’t notice something was wrong for so long, because I just thought that’s how things were. The most nefarious part of all our little neuroses and sadnesses is not their actual effects, but the fact that by their very nature—they are inside our heads, and only we can see them or feel them—they separate us when, really, they should unite us. Because it seems like these feelings or moments seem like they are just happening to us, it is so easy to assume either that a) it’s normal and nothing to bother anyone else about, or b) it’s something that only happens to you. We need to realise that it is okay not to be okay, and that it is equally okay to ask for help or even just share. Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. You are never as alone as you feel you are—which is an incredibly easy thing to type or say or think, but it is a hard thing to actually believe or understand. When you read that sentence, something like “Except for me, I really am that alone” popped straight into your head. That is wrong. We are training ourselves as a society to find ourselves unworthy, to think that we are undeservedly stealing every moment of our lives. Worse yet, we are training ourselves to think that that is okay—that it is acceptable and normal to hate ourselves.

I Am Offended Because...

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Which is insane. And we have to stop. And, you know how we stop doing it?

Failure to Communicate

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We just stop. It’s hard but we can. We do deserve to be happy. We are worthy. All of us.

The 7th Inning Stretch

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The Columns VUWSA President 4 VUWSA Exec 5 Politics with Paul 14 Animal of the Week

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Ask Constance 32

Bent 35 Beer Will Be Beer

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Lovin’ from the Oven

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The Arts Music 36 Visual Arts 37 Games 38 Books 39 Film 40

...or maybe it’s just me, Uther Dean (40mg of Citalopram every morning)

Elleditorial Elle Hunt

I grew up on a boat. Elle Hunt (50ml of feijoa vodka every morning)

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Salient Vol. 74

Prez Col Seamus Brady president@vuwsa.org.nz vuwsa.org.nz facebook.com/vuwsa AN ARTIST'S IMPRESSION OF BRADY'S VISIT TO RAINBOW'S END

It’s that time of the year! Nominations are now open for the 2011 VUWSA Student Election. This is your chance to become a student representative in 2012 and help represent the student voice across Victoria. Head to our website, and you’ll find more information and a guide about all the roles and some more important information. The VSM Bill should be debated again this week in Parliament. The rest of this column will outline in a little more detail the issues I wrote about in an earlier column about the need for an enduring compromise on the issue. The British Conservative Minister for Universities said that “without [students’ associations], universities would be much poorer institutions.” His Government is now thinking about how they can strengthen the role that they play in ensuring Universities are responsive to students. Contrast this with our Government’s continued support for an ACT Party Bill that will end universal membership of students’ associations and remove the ability for students to ensure that there is a mandated representative organisation on their campus. If the institution decides it doesn’t want one—then there won’t be one. The only thing that John Key can muster on the issue is to promise to implement a levy which universities could use to replace students’ association services. Despite the fact he is confused about this new levy—it appears he doesn’t care how much you pay or for what, just as long as there is no democratic control over it. Unfortunately the debate on the Bill has been bogged down in an ideological quagmire. You are stuck between the extreme positions that get all the attention—compulsory membership that means some students must be members of organisations they don’t want to be, or the opposite approach which means there is no requirement to have student representative organisations at all, or any ability for students to ensure there is one. Evidently, the Government hasn’t really thought about this issue beyond a superficial agreement with the ideology of the ACT Party Bill. What they haven’t done is think about the role and purpose of students’ associations and how they can achieve their own objectives by empowering students to hold public tertiary institutions accountable. They haven’t even asked their own Government departments for proper advice.

Our national students’ association NZUSA, have been looking at ways to improve the current law—upholding the right to freedom of association whilst strengthening associations and ensuring you continue to get the independent representation, advocacy and services you deserve. In a nutshell, this is what they’ve proposed to National and ACT as a way to gain cross-party consensus and satisfy all sides of the current debate: • You would still become members of your local association when you enrol • You can opt-out at any time and without giving a reason • If you opt-out within the first four weeks of term, you would get a full refund of any association fees • Membership processes would be administered and promoted by the institution, rather than the students’ association • Associations would improve their governance and operations through a Code of Practice for democracy and accountability NZUSA has asked National to adopt a practical, enduring solution like this one. It’s a reasonable, win-win approach that has widespread support. Unfortunately, despite some individual support within National for allowing fair time for the sector to transition to the new system, the Government has so far dismissed this small practical compromise. You can make yourself heard on this issue by lobbying your local MPs and linking up with your local students’ association. Search ‘Demand A Better Future’ on Facebook and help make this issue too big a risk for National to support. I hope you had a great break. I did—I went to Rainbow’s End and the national Maori students’ hui. Only six weeks of term left!

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It's okay to not like things, but don't be a dick about it.

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Issue 19 Self improvement

Vice Prez (Administration)

Environment Officer

Daniel Wilson

Haley Mortimer

Welcome back to the final half trimester of the year. With exams looming and work on assignments no doubt becoming all-consuming, I hope you had at least some break these holidays. The end of the year is often very stressful, not only with uni but with financial, social and other obligations vying for your attention. VUWSA is here to help. If you need a hand with financial planning give us a call and we can arrange a meeting. If you want to get back some of the tax the Government took from you, send me and email and I’ll see what I can do. Every dollar helps. The team at VUWSA is here to help—always remember when you run into trouble we will be here, be it in academic disputes, financial help, or personal support. This Salient theme is Self-Improvement. As tempting as it would be (considering how much money people seem to make writing the books), I do not claim to be an expert in this field. I do, however, have some helpful hints to help just a little bit.

Education—the reason why we are all here. It has been said that higher education is everyone’s right. In a country like New Zealand, this right has never been questioned. It has taken recent changes to show students like you and me that scraping through high school and arriving at university clueless of future direction may not apply for the young’uns that follow. With recent changes to the student loan scheme, University isn’t just a place to stay warm. These changes mark a significant shift in the way tertiary education is viewed by society. But how much change is too much? Tertiary education, a frequent point of parental banter, is seen as a largely foreign concept. Job security “in their day” largely didn’t require a degree, and if one was to go to university, it was free! But, as we have created a world in which a degree is needed, education and the ability to gain it is vital. A degree to the modern student of today is not just what it states at face value. It has become a rite-of-passage along with what it encompasses. Although many nights at the infamous ‘Big K’ or not being able to afford toilet paper are laughed of as student colloquialisms, they are the experiences which help shape us. So as we all venture into the depths of the last part of the year, take every opportunity to make the most of what University offers. Never hesitate to ask what the University can do for you, knowing the VUWSA sits as your trusty companion and advocate for when it doesn’t. This month also brings with it the global action of ‘Moving Planet’—a worldwide rally to demand solution to the climate crisis. So note down 24 September to grab a bike, bus or get on foot and help the world move beyond fossil fuels!

1. Learn how to use the words ‘less’ and ‘fewer’. As Mark Nicholas, cricket commentator, once said “less coal, fewer sacks”. You should use fewer when referring to something that can be measured in discrete units (like sacks of grain or what have you). Use less when referring to non-discrete units (like that amount of coal). Once you learn this rule, you’ll see how often people make the mistake. Also, it is "just deserts", not "just desserts”. And when you say “I could care less”, please make sure you mean, on the list of things you care about, this is not at the bottom of it. If it is, then you couldn’t care less. 2. Watch TV shows like The Wire, Arrested Development, The Sopranos, Doctor Who and Boston Legal. They may not help your life, but they’re awesome. 3. Read Law’s Order by David Friedman. It is excellent. And while, on the subject of reading, Hitchens is not to be missed.

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Haley Mortimer environment.officer@vuwsa.org.nz



4. If you’re going to wear a suit, make sure it fits you properly. Nothing looks worse than a poorly-tailored suit. That is all the advice I have now. Stay safe Daniel Wilson avp@vuwsa.org.nz

* Thurs 8th Sept Sat 10th Sept 10.30am – 2.00pm Visit our fully furnished self catering flats available for second year and senior students. Ideally situated on Everton Terrace within easy walking distance of all campuses and city attractions with a cable car stop at the gate!

       

Summer accommodation also available. For more information and a Summer Application form, visit our web site at:

www.evertonhall.ac.nz or email us at everton@evertonhall.ac.nz or phone the Office on 04 472 0655

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Salient Vol. 74

Ngāi Tauira Note to self:

Be happy Ihaka Tunui

“Here is a little song I wrote You might want to sing it note for note Don’t worry, be happy In every life we have some trouble When you worry you make it double Don’t worry, be happy ….”

– Bobby McFerrin, 1988

How does one achieve the goal of self-improvement or happiness without being told by others to chill and be happy? First of all, self-improvement can come in many forms. Some people attend a gym and work out to achieve that six-pack others would like to have, whereas others surround themselves with positive people that speak into their life—and then there are those who do the complete opposite. They sit down and do nothing, moan about their lives being where they are If you want to improve now, and just complain on then look for help if how unfair everything is. News you’re struggling, read flash! Life never hands anything your readings and stop on a silver platter without a payment being made. Forget procrastinating about what the “world” is trying to offer you—you need to be like this person to be happy; you need to marry people like this to be satisfied; have a job like this to earn so much money; the car, the house, the woman. Enough! Self-improvement is not trying to go after what other people have but rather it’s about something you already have. Let us break it down. First we have “self”, so what does self mean? Easily put, you—no-one else but you. If you haven’t figured this much out, then, wow! Now let’s look at the word “improvement”—the advancement of something that is physically or mentally around us. If you are continuously searching for happiness via self-improvement but are constantly looking at others, then what happens when no one is around? Where, then, will the inspiration for improve-

ment come from? What about study? If you want to improve then look for help if you’re struggling, read your readings and stop procrastinating. This can make improvements throughout your studies, but the question is: with this improvement are you looking for short-term happiness or long-term? Is happiness something we pick up along the way or something we forget? Here is a thought—shouldn’t we be happy everyday regardless of the circumstances? Well probably not, but we should remain happy with the fact that when we wake we are still breathing, and if there is no chalk mark around our body then that’s even better. So many people look for happiness in others, but people will always let you down no matter how close they are to you, that is human nature. We are all flawed—no-one is perfect, even if the media tells you they are. What about health, you say? Eat healthy and stop eating for two. Without sugar-coating this: stop being a dog. Now happiness can also be found in faith—likewise:

“Oh, happy day (oh, happy day) Oh, happy day (oh, happy day) When Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) oh, when he washed (when Jesus washed) when Jesus washed (when Jesus washed) he washed my sins away!”

– Edwin Hawkins, 1967

Some people may criticise this without actually understanding the meaning behind it all. They will say: Yeah, I know, I’ve heard it all before. But I tell you this—knowing and believing are two different things. If you know, what actions have you taken to show others your understanding, have you put it into practice? Or do you feed off other people’s happiness by putting them down? And so I leave you with this. Where to start? First, start with changing your way of thinking, you can’t change anything if you don’t change that thought inside your head. Positive thinking starts now, not tomorrow.

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the news

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Issue 19 Self improvement

Edited by Stella Blake-kelly

Student loans

– You can run, but you can’t hide (anymore!) Jessica Rapana

The Student Loan Scheme Bill was passed under Urgency by Parliament on 17 August, giving the Government new legal powers to recall millions of dollars in overdue student debt from students and graduates. Passing with only the Greens and independent MP Chris Carter opposed, it gives the Inland Revenue Department the right to recall the entire loan and allow them to take defaulters to court. However, the Government is insisting it is not a “harsh” move, but rather will only be used to target individuals who consistently renege on their repayment responsibilities, when all other reasonable efforts have been exhausted. The legislation also introduced a series of administrative changes which, come 2012, will see further advancement in the online management of loans and an additional annual administration fee of $40. While these are welcomed by NZUSA, co-president Max Hardy says that new and increased loan administration fees mandated by the bill are an “unnecessary tax”, which will only make it harder for students to pay off loans and do little to ameliorate the growing student debt—due to hit $12 billion this year.

The original Bill contained some clauses which would see a shift from annual repayment obligations to pay-period assessments. Concerns were raised as to how it would have affected those students who worked more during the holidays and less during the term, because they would have been expected to make high weekly repayments due to having a ‘high’ annual income.

Concerns were raised as to how it would have affected those students who worked more during the holidays and less during the term However, in response to student lobbying and recommendations by the Select Committee, the original draft was amended to ensure exemptions are provided for part-time and full-time students in such situations. The Bill is part of a wider effort by the Government to recoup overdue student debt, mostly targeted at Kiwis living overseas who collectively owe about $183 million. A recent social media campaign and direct contact with wayward borrowers has seen overseas repayments rise 45 per cent compared to a year ago.

GP's ZD MP 4 U, VUW Alex Braae Victoria student and Green Party list candidate Zachary Dorner is attempting a unique strategy for the November general election. Dorner will be treating Victoria as an electorate in itself, as there are approximately 20,000 potential votes to be won. The Greens@Vic campaign will involve a weekly stall, as well as meetings and a gig at San Francisco Bathhouse. Dorner’s intention is to “have a conversation directly with students about what issues are important to them”. Younger voters form an important share of Green voters, with the latest Fairfax poll showing 17% of younger voters backed the Greens, as opposed to 11% overall. Dorner believes the Green Party has policies that will directly benefit Victoria students. One of these is a Private Members Bill currently in the ballot, which would create minimum standards for rental housing. “This would see the end of New Zealand’s crap flats, and save many a frozen arse in future” he says. Dorner is no stranger to campaigning for the student vote, having previously served VUWSA as Environmental Officer, as well as being the Green candidate for the seat of Pakuranga in the 2008 election.

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Salient Vol. 74

Academic Board? More like Academic Bored! AMIRITE? But seriously, shit's going down Natalie Powlesland

Proposed changes to a number of departments at Victoria University triggered significant debate at a recent meeting of the Academic Board. The meeting on 25 August saw one board member move motions relating to the Academic Board’s role at Victoria. The first motion sought to re-affirm the Academic Board’s role in decision-making related to the university’s strategic plan and the second moved that all future restructuring be discussed by the Academic Board in order to fulfil its statutory requirements. Following these motions, debate ensued reflecting the different interpretations of the Academic Board’s role in the Change Proposals which seek to disestablish academic positions in the Education, Philosophy and Political Science and International Relations Programmes as well as the complete disestablishment of the Crime and Justice Research Centre. Debate centred around the purpose of the Academic Board in strategic and academic decision-making. The Board’s statute states that it shall consider “academic matters, which are deemed to be: the academic consequences of the University’s strategic goals... [and] the academic consequences of changes to academic structures.” The member putting forward the motion stated that many consider the changes included in these proposals to be of an academic nature and involving substantial changes to programmes which would affect students. He argued it was the duty of the Academic Board to guide the University Council to allow it to run responsibly. VUWSA President Seamus Brady agreed and seconded the motion. Those opposing the motion argued that the Academic Board’s role is to consider the strategic decisions of the university. They argued changes in staff and academic focus occur continually and do not need to be discussed by the Board. They also emphasised that changes in the International Relations Programme, which will see a shift in focus to the Asia Pacific region, are in line with the strategic plan which the Academic Board has already approved. They stated that the purpose of the changes is to build the programme by enhancing the range of courses offered and emphasised that the changes will not remove any courses. But those in support of the motion argued that it is impossible to make staff changes without affecting students. Tertiary Education Union Organiser Michael Gilchrist attended the meeting. Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh said he would not set a

precedent by allowing a union spokesperson to address the board, but Gilchrist argued he was enrolled at Victoria as a PhD student and therefore was entitled to speak. Gilchrist accused the Board of making changes in the university’s academic direction under the justification of restructuring. He stated that interpretations of the change proposals are being used to form the basis of the recommendations and therefore these interpretations should be discussed by the Academic Board. Despite few members speaking in favour of the motions, voting was fairly evenly split over the issue as both motions were defeated by only a couple of votes.

Canterbury Uni Follows Apple Model, Cuts Jobs Stella Blake-Kelly

An internal document forecasting the University of Canterbury’s finances over the next ten years has proposed cutting 350 jobs, according to the Tertiary Education Union. With the prediction that student numbers will decrease by 13 per cent, the university has begun to review its courses and programmes in order to cope with a reduced budget. The cuts in academic, general and technical staff would take place over three years, and see an 18 per cent reduction in staffing numbers from 1947 to 1596. Tertiary Education Union national president Sandra Grey says the Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has not made enough effort to protect the university. “The university is an essential public infrastructure. It has a key role to play in the next year helping the city rebuild. It cannot do that without government support.” The union says no additional funding has been made available by the Tertiary Education Commission or the minister, which will see in a shortfall of $12-18 million next year.


Inaugural Chancellor’s Lecture— Professor Sir Paul Callaghan Victoria University of Wellington Chancellor Ian McKinnon warmly invites you to the inaugural Chancellor’s Lecture to be given by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan.

A prosperous 21st century New Zealand: educating for the new ‘Tiger Economy’ In his address, Sir Paul will outline what New Zealand needs to do differently to increase our prosperity and rapidly move ahead. What: Public lecture by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan When: 6pm, Wednesday 14 September Where: Wellington Town Hall, entrance off Wakefield Street There is no charge for this lecture but to secure a place email alumni@vuw.ac.nz or call 04-463 9665. Seats are limited so please register early.

“I am very pleased that we are able to offer a speaker of Professor Sir Paul Callaghan’s calibre for Victoria University’s inaugural Chancellor’s Lecture. This promises to be an insightful and stimulating public address and I warmly invite you to reserve your place for this lecture, for which there is no charge.”

– Ian McKinnon, Chancellor

Associated with the Wellington City Council Rugby World Cup Festival of Carnivale.


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Salient Vol. 74

Joyce had a good idea about Student Services Fees Woah woah woah, wait... he had a what? Is this a dream? Natalie Powlesland

Legislation passed under urgency in Parliament last month means universities will be unable to dramatically increase the amount students pay in compulsory student services fees. The Education Amendment Bill (No.4) aims to make the process of allocating service fees more transparent and allow student input. It will also give the Tertiary Education Minister power to direct how fees should be spent. “Compulsory student services fees have increased significantly in the last few years, and I am sceptical that students have seen a corresponding increase in services. These changes will ensure students have a greater say in what these fees are used for,” says Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce. The law allows the Minister to direct which services fees can be used for; make universities create decision-making processes involving students; and make them provide written statements for students which detail the spending on services. If the Minister is not satisfied that an individual provider is complying with the directions he will have the power to place a maximum limit on the amount they may charge for student services. Compulsory student services fees are charged by all universities. These fees are used to pay for services such as health providers, accommodation services and study support. At Victoria University, the Student Services Levy falls into this category. The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the changes. “It is essential that students have oversight over these levies. This is the best way to ensure that services are responsive to students and that levies are kept under control,” NZUSA co-President Max Hardy says. The Bill also establishes Education New Zealand as a new crown agency to promote New Zealand as a destination for international students. “International education is a vital part of our economy and we want to see that grow even further. The new agency is a key part of achieving this,” says Mr Joyce.

The Election Is Coming and It Needs Nominees! Are YOU the next Jezza Peters?! Stella Blake-Kelly The first stage in the annual VUWSA General Election is now underway, with nominations open for the 13 executive positions, University Council and Publications Committee representatives. Following constitutional changes decided upon at the VUWSA Annual General Meeting in August, the position of Vice-President (Administration) has been replaced by a Treasurer position. This year students will also be given the option to vote ‘no confidence’ for those standing for University Council and Publications Committee representatives. A new position of Vice-President (Engagement) was meant to replace both the Activities and Campaigns Officers, but it failed to be enacted at the AGM due to constitutional procedure. It is expected that this positional change will be in place for next year’s election. Students must be enrolled and a full financial member of VUWSA in order to serve on the Association’s general executive, and vote in the election. The nomination dates and polling week differs from those given in the VUWSA diary and wallplanner, with nominations closing at 4.30pm Wednesday 14 September, and polling taking place (online and at stalls) from Monday 26 September until 4.30pm Thursday 29 September. More information on how to nominate oneself, the positions, and guidelines for campaigning is available online at vuwsa.org.nz. For those for whom serving on the exec holds no appeal, VUWSA’s Publications Committee is also seeking to appoint a Publications Editor to oversee Salient in 2012. For more information, see page 18.

The positions Executive: Responsible for the strategic direction and governance of VUWSA, while working to further the goals of the association President

The propaganda: Why you should run, according to VUWSA

• Make a real difference to students’ lives and the University community

Vice-President (Academic)

• Add value to your studies

Vice-President (Welfare)

• Unique chance to learn extra skills

Treasurer Education Officer Welfare Officer

• Have some real responsibility (“We’re not kidding”)

Women’s Officer International Officer Queer Officer Environmental Officer Campaigns Officer Activities Officer Clubs Officer Publications Committee representative (2 positions) University Council student representative

How to

apply Check o u vuwsa.o t rg.nz for mor e detail s!


Issue 19 Self improvement

Masters is the New NZQA Making It Harder To Get Honours Into Uni

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Which makes Bachelors the new crayon doodle attached to the fridge by a lion-shaped magnet

Now you have to buy it a drink first Matthew Hardy

Gaining university entrance is set to become more difficult, with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) raising the standard for enrolment in tertiary education. The changes revolve around the credit accumulation process implemented in NCEA. Instead of the 42 Level 3 credits required currently, the admittance criteria will rise to 60 Level 3 credits from 2014. The changes have been welcomed by Universities New Zealand. “These changes will help to ensure the students achieving university entrance are better prepared for university study,” Professer Pat Walsh from Universities New Zealand said. However, NZUSA co-president Max Hardy says the increase in requirements follows an “erosion of access to tertiary education” which has reduced accessibility over the past few years. The range of subjects in which students can accumulate credits has also been broadened to include Religious Studies, Business Studies, Education for Sustainability and Home Economics. However, these changes shouldn’t affect the majority of students, as universities have responed to funding limitations by selecting students based upon a criterion more rigorous than that posed by the NZQA.

Nicola Wood

The amount of post-graduate study needed to gain a Masters Degree in New Zealand may be halved as universities attempt to increase profits from international students. Pat Walsh told Universities New Zealand's Committee on University Academic Programmes there is “no doubt” that the length of the New Zealand Masters programme disadvantages New Zealand universities in terms attracting overseas students. The suggestion that a Masters degree should only require one year— instead of the current two years—of post-graduate study like some programmes in Australia has drawn concern from unions. NZUSA Co-President Max Hardy said his organisation is taking a constructive role in the discussion, but is concerned that nobody will benefit if changes are made solely for the purpose of monetary gain. “It would be completely inappropriate for both domestic and international students to undermine the quality of our qualifications to get a quick buck from overseas students wanting a quick degree,” he said. The Tertiary Education Union pointed out there are already some one-year Masters programmes in New Zealand, and that cutting research time could undermine the academic integrity of thesisbased degrees. The union also questioned what implications such a change would have for the relevance of one-year Honours courses. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has not ruled out the changes, which are being considered by NZQA.

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Salient Vol. 74

Victoria Debating Society hog the Joynt

Win tournament, refuse to pass for another year Molly McCarthy Victoria University’s Debating society hit the jackpot during the semester break, winning the Joynt Scroll for a sixth consecutive year. Held this year at Canterbury University, the Joynt Scroll is the New Zealand universities’ prepared debating championships, and is competed for annually by Auckland, Otago, Victoria, Canterbury and Waikato universities. Other teams watched on green with envy as two Victoria teams debated the moot “That we should abolish all government restrictions and ratings on the content of entertainment media.” Victoria 2, consisting of Nick Cross, Duncan McLachlan and Holly Jenkins, took out the competition, with Victoria 1, consisting of Asher Emanuel, Richard D'Ath and Paul Smith, placing second. Victoria teams 3 and 4 placed 11th and 7th respectively. As well as first and second placings, Victoria blazed other areas of the tournament, with Smith winning Best Speaker and McLachlan highly commended. Smith was also selected for the New Zealand debating team alongside D’Ath, with Emanuel selected as a reserve. Judges Ollie Neas, Julia Wells, Cross and Jenkins were accredited at the competition. While Seb Templeton smoked the competition, winning the award for Best Adjudicator. Victoria University have consistently achieved highly at the tournament, with this year’s victory marking the Debating Society’s 47th win since the Joynt Scroll’s inception in 1902. Posting to their Facebook page, the society were blunt about their success, describing their winning streak as “Lance Armstrong-esque”.

PowerPoint gets Political .ppt could fade to black Molly McCarthy

The humble PowerPoint presentation may be banned in Switzerland if an up-andcoming political party gets its way. Formed in May this year, the Anti PowerPoint Party (APPP) are hoping to win enough votes to secure a place as Switzerland’s fourth largest political party following the National Council Elections in October. Founded by author of The PowerPoint Fallacy, Matthias Poehm, the APPP describe themselves as an international movement in the form of a Swiss political party. Their aim is to raise global attention to the issue of PowerPoint’s domination of presentations worldwide, which they argue are boring and expensive. “The APPP sees itself as the advocate of approximately 250 million people worldwide, who, every month, are obliged to be present during boring presentations in companies, universities, or at other institutions, and who had up to now no representation in politics. “We want that the number of boring PowerPoint presentations on the planet to decrease and the average presentation to become more exciting and more interesting. “The goal is to render people aware of the much better alternatives to PowerPoint. PowerPoint is like a disease. For a long time there has been a remedy for this disease around, but nobody knows about it.” The party suggest that in 95 per cent of cases the flip-chart has a “triple effect”, and that purchasing PowerPoint software costs the Swiss economy $2.5 billion USD each year. As well as earning global recognition through success in the elections, the APPP also hope to secure 100,000 signatures in order to carry out a national referendum demanding prohibition of PowerPoint during presentations in Switzerland. “Once 100,000 signatures have been collected, a big 'Anti-PowerPoint Party' (with internationally renowned DJs) will be held in Zurich for all members (probably at the Volkshaus).” Although based in Switzerland, anyone is able to join the party, which boasted 2052 members late last month. This is a far cry from the Social Democrats Party, who, with 32,000 members, currently hold the coveted fourth-largest party position. While membership is free, all members must buy a copy of Poehm’s book. More information and membership forms can be found at anti-powerpoint-party.com.


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Issue 19 Self improvement

c

y

Bla Bla Bla

Mis toatanllsees ex-girlfriend, y all good with it

‘Totally all good, ye Edward Warren

ah absolutely all go

od’

Marcello Rubini wa s caught short th is week when, in meeting, bumped a chance into Emma Furnea ux, a flame from passed. The two years enjoyed four minu tes of awkward, we conversation wh ll-meaning ile Rubini’s good friend Frankie Sto un-introduced. ut, stood by, The two made pla ns to meet again in the coming we for a "coffee". ek to "catch-up" When questioned by Salient Rubini maintained that never "involved in the two were like a sex, like, a sex way, you know or whatever", bu , romantically t amateur-histor ian and self-proc Stout asserted a dif laimed sceptic ferent account of the pair’s history. “He loves her! Yo u can tell! He wa s like, ‘oh uh uh uh nah I’ve been grea uh hey, yeah t, haha yeah uhhh totally’ like a chum I’m telling everyo p! Oh my god ne, he was all flu stered like a totall a library or whate y rude walrus in ver.” Rubini admits th at early on in their friendship he had attraction to Furn a minor eaux but that their relationship was "neo-platonic". totally "She was like to me , how like you mi ght have had a go everyone though od friend who t … was, like, or that they though crush on her, but t like, you had a now is more like to me like how … mate Claire? You you know my know how we’re lik e tight as but just that, totally, totall as mates? Like y cool, like a sister . But like a friend Absolutely nothing obviously. going on there ba ck then. Or now! yeah nothing’s ch Of course, anged, love that ch ick. But like, yeah eh?" the stammer , you get it, ing 21-year-old ev entually manage d to get out. At press time, Ru bini was getting ch anged and incessa flatmates if they ntly asking his thought that a sh irt was "too much time to shower, or " and if he "had would that even be too much, caus able to tell and th e, would she be ink that he had ov er done it and think or something", fol [he] liked her, lowed by a wildly awkward and ex laugh. cessively loud The pair are due to meet at 4pm at Duke Carvells tod too loud or busy bu ay, as it is not t not romantic, as he doesn’t "neces suggest a "date vib sarily" want to e".

Email snippets of life at Vic to editor@salient.org.nz with ‘Overheard’ in the subject line, or find Overheard @ Vic on Facebook

the week that wasn’t

Overheard in the library Student 1: “Hey man, what’s the time?” Student 2: “It’s almost lunch.” Rob Bertoni Student: “I felt absolutely disgusted paying for my music!” Diana Osavlyuk Victoria House Resident: “Fuck, my vagina has been leaking all day.” Laura Peacock Student: “Clearly I grew up in the ghetto, because I thought of using a coat hanger to get a chocolate bar out of a vending machine.” Tech: “Not the ghetto, because then you wouldn’t even need the coat hanger.” Caryl Alyssa Overheard on Study @ Vic Day Student on cellphone jammers in lecture theatres: “How am I supposed to text in class? How rude!” Michael David Arthur Bastin LAWS 123 tutor: “In order to be a child, he/ she must have parents. Who does this not apply to?” Student 1: “Orphans.” Student 2: “Hermaphrodites.” Olivia Benton-Guy Student 1: “I’ll just use a standard logo.” Student 2: “You know, every time you use a standard logo, a kitten dies.” Student 1: “Oh, you’ve seen that ad? It’s like every time you make a bad ad, a unicorn dies.” Student 2: “Huh? What? That doesn’t make sense, unicorns aren’t even real.” Shannon Wallace

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Salient Vol. 74

Suffering Stagnation Paul comrie-thomson, that is

The beginning of the mid-term break marked 100 days until Election Day, and during the recess we also entered the threemonth period regulating political propaganda; a significant milestone as we approach November 26. Despite the imminence of the election however, Labour continue to languish in doldrums. The latest Herald-DigiPoll survey has the opposition party at its lowest levels of support so far this term (31.5 per cent), with a Fairfax Media-Research International poll recording a far more significant slip to 25.7 per cent. Unsurprisingly the cracks in the Labour façade are beginning to widen. In a thinly veiled acceptance of the near-impossibility of defeating National, Goff suggested it would take something along the lines of “Ruth Richardson running the finance portfolio” to bring down the Key Government in 2011. Moreover, while bemoaning that “people aren’t focused on the issues”, Goff has had to once again reassert to media, with uncharacteristic irritability, that he will indeed be leading Labour into the next election. “I’m the leader of the Labour Party. I’ll be taking the Labour Party into the next election. You all know that. It’s about time people stop flogging that dead horse and just accept the fact.” The media’s inquiries derived from a leak that Phil Goff had offered to step down at a meeting with his front bench. Although as the NZ Herald’s Audrey Young has explained, apparently it wasn’t so much a case of fatigued concession. Rather, Goff had asserted that if anyone on the front bench had concerns with his leadership they should speak up. It’s clear that most, if not all the front bench accept the inevitability of a National victory in November, and those who harbour leadership ambitions are already working to position themselves for a post-election leadership contest. As John Armstrong argues, “The only motive for the leak would be to undermine Goff before the election campaign to ensure he loses.”

In an interview on The Nation, Shane Jones, who has been clear about his own aspirations, appeared to level the blame squarely with Labour’s finance spokesperson, David Cunliffe, pointing out that perhaps Cunliffe isn’t anything like the team player he professes to be. Denying the leak, Goff has asserted there is a price to pay for such behaviour: “Everybody in caucus knows that there is a rule of confidentiality. Somebody broke that rule. His name was Chris Carter, and he was expelled immediately.” However, I suspect that if the leak were found to have come from Cunliffe and Goff tried to eject him from the Shadow Cabinet, Labour would be looking down the barrel of a situation reminiscent of the Lange-Douglas power struggle of 1988-89, where Lange impelled Roger Douglas to resign his ministerial positions, only to have the Labour caucus subsequently vote to I’ll be taking the Labour return the Finance Minister to Cabinet. Party into the next As such, even with the election. You all know Carter-saga warning, Goff will that. It’s about time no doubt see any concerns over people stop flogging caucus disloyalty swept under that dead horse and just the rug this time around. Meanwhile, way across on accept the fact the other side of the political spectrum, ACT are also in a state of stagnation, despite some media interest surrounding the release of the ACT Party list, with its mysteriously unnamed third-place holder. Former ACT Party president Catherine Isaac is tipped to have had the seat held for her, but meanwhile, the lack of surety has come off as amateurish. More confusingly, sitting MP Hilary Calvert has been left off the list, which features only seven names from the 2008 list. Calvert has accepted this with an air of nonchalance—uncommon for an ACT Party MP—and a show of loyalty ACT doesn’t deserve, especially considering it was Calvert’s vote that clinched the leadership for Brash. Of course, based on current polls, even Brash doesn’t look like he’s going to cut it. With the party’s continuing abysmal performance, John Banks would be ACT’s sole MP post-Election, and only if he wins Epsom. Even in the party’s electoral stronghold, surely voters are starting to question the party’s validity, looking instead toward National. We can only hope.

*


CBT: Teaching Old Cogs New Tricks Zoe Reid

Cognitive behaviour therapy is based on the idea that people will progress better in therapy if they change their beliefs and responses to their environment. It has a large number of variants, but the generalised term is CBT or CT (Cognitive Therapy). This article focuses on this umbrella concept as a whole rather than any one specific variant. The focus of CBT is on the client’s beliefs, and how they apply those beliefs to events in their life. Essentially, the therapist aims to ensure the client’s actions and beliefs are optimally healthy—the person does not engage in ‘dysfunctional’ thinking. Dysfunctional thinking occurs when the beliefs you hold about the world distort reality, are unsupported by the evidence available to you or cause you to harm yourself/others, or feel distressed and immobilised. Dysfunctional thinking in general is seen to occur as a reaction to events in one’s life, as a part of the ABC model (see insert). During therapy, which is generally given a static timeframe of 3-12 months, the therapist and client will work together in an attempt to change the client’s beliefs, in the view that those beliefs are the mitigating factor in the client’s problems. The therapist will give the client

Most studies examining CBT compare CBT to taking psychiatric drugs for treatment, and in those cases CBT often will resolve the issue, and much faster than the drugs

15

The ABC model of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy A: Activating event: A friend passed me in the street without acknowledging me B: Beliefs about A: He’s ignoring me. He doesn’t like me I am unacceptable as a friend, so must be worthless as a person For me to be happy and feel worthwhile, people must like me C: Consequence: Emotionally hurt and depressed. Behaviour changes to avoid people generally ‘A’ does not cause ‘C,’ but triggers off ‘B’ which in turn causes ‘C.’ ‘C’ may also then become the ‘A’ of another ABC model (e.g. the person may infer, from their avoidance of people, that they are weak (‘B’) and put themselves down (‘C’). CBT is heavily focused on intercepting beliefs at point B to affect point C ‘homework’ and much of the therapy will in fact be self-directed—the client will attempt to address the situations in which they have trouble as they occur, outside of therapy, with the mental/emotional tools given by the therapist. CBT has similar rates of success as with other forms of therapy. It does not seem to reduce the risk of relapse in psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. What it does seem, from an outsiders’ perspective, to be useful for is for relatively minor personality problems which may cause anxiety or depression. It interests me that the perspective of most of those who practise CBT compared to those who practise other forms of therapy, CBT has a unique perspective by focussing on beliefs. Surely other forms of therapy also examine the beliefs underlying events, and discuss how and why the clients acted in a given situation. As a result of the popularity of, and diversion of psychiatric funding into CBT, it has attracted some criticism as there is little data suggesting it is more effective than other forms of therapy. Indeed, there is arguably little data suggesting any one form of therapy is more effective than others, but rather going to therapy is more effective than not going to therapy! Most studies examining CBT compare CBT to taking psychiatric drugs for treatment, and in those cases CBT often will resolve the issue, and much faster than the drugs, when it comes to mood or anxiety disorders. So, while CBT may not be leagues ahead of other forms of therapy, it is still an effective form of therapy. All in all, CBT does seem to be a very direct method of dealing with personal problems, if those problems are based on one’s beliefs. Because it involves very seemingly cold interpretations of how and why the client acts the way they do, coupled with treating the client’s life as a lesson they can give homework for, it may well be too direct for many people.

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Salient Vol. 74

Representation &

Recreation:

The Role of Students’ Associations Stella Blake-Kelly & Elle Hunt

With ACT MP Heather Roy’s Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill looking set to be passed by Parliament before the end of the year, 2012 will bring about radical changes for students’ associations. While the pros and cons of Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) have been debated in the media, less attention has been given to the role that students’ associations should play in tertiary education. If there’s no specific definition given of what form a students’ association should take, or what its purpose should be, how can students question the practices of their representative body? In part one of a two-part feature, Salient co-editor Elle Hunt and news editor Stella Blake-Kelly explore whether we, as students of Victoria University, need Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA)—and if so, why. Regardless of one’s stance on the matter, the cases for both Universal and Voluntary Student Membership make a bold statement about the purposes of students’ associations. While neither questions that when a person enrols in a tertiary institution, that person becomes part of a student community, the argument for Universal Student Membership relies on the idea that there can only be a strong student experience through a students’ association—and then, only if that association is Universal. But the VSM debate is further complicated in that it hinges on different interpretations of what a students’ association should be. Current legislation gives us no exact definition, so how do we know if ours serves us well? The ambiguous nature of students’ associations means that the concept can be interpreted to meet the different needs of different student bodies. While one association might focus on providing representation at an academic level, another might

prioritise ensuring students’ access to student-controlled or -directed services, such as student media and food bank initiatives. Either way, the emphasis of an association should be dependent on what its student body identifies as a priority. “Students’ associations do things because their students have asked for them to happen,” says VUWSA President Seamus Brady. “It’s always evolving—you can never achieve the perfect student experience, because students change.” Most students’ associations tend to focus on either acting as a voice for students, or as a service provider that supports the interests of the community. It’s reasonable to assume that a good association would achieve, or at least strive for, a balance between the two. As co-president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations and 2010 VUWSA President Max Hardy notes, both roles are important. “Students should have a say over their own education, and how a university is organised,” he says. “Institutions have a huge amount of power over students, so it’s really important that students have some independence for them to be able to protect themselves.” Hardy points out that VUWSA’s other functions, such as welfare services and Orientation events, contribute to a well-rounded tertiary experience. “These things are often linked to building a community, and about ensuring that students get the best out of their time at university.”

You can never achieve the perfect student experience, because students change Associations can achieve limited success without the support and respect of the tertiary provider


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I would think that the majority of students take it for granted that they are entitled to a good student experience at Victoria—that is, access to social, pastoral, sporting and access opportunities

Brady agrees. “It’s not just representation; that’s why [we] provide all these other services. There’s more to university than going to class.” In the past, however, students’ associations have prioritised a response to wider social issues, rather than academic concerns, reflecting the interests of students at the time. This reflects how a good students’ association is responsive to the needs of its body. “In the 70s and 80s, students’ associations were extremely political places, and very much focused on external, international, political affairs,” Hardy says. “There was a far smaller student population back then, and a good chunk of them were involved or interested in those issues. There’s definitely been a move away from that as students have become more interested in looking after their education and their own experiences at university— and more interested in having their association look after their interests.” But regardless of their focus, students’ associations can achieve little without the support and respect of the tertiary provider, and so a strong relationship between the two is fundamental. Both Brady and Hardy feel that VUWSA has succeeded in this regard in the past half-decade or so, although the former concedes that the success of the relationship is dependent on the personalities in question.

“[VUWSA and Victoria University] concedes that the success of the relationship is dependent on the personalities in question,” Brady says. “In recent history, we went through a number of years where the reputation of the association was under a lot of strain,” Hardy remembers. “The esteem with which people held VUWSA kind of plummeted, and that was a big shame.” Brady points out that Victoria “has its own priorities. “There’s always a tension, but Victoria has recognised VUWSA as an integral part of what it’s trying to achieve—a strong student experience,” he says. “So it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.” Victoria University’s Chancellor Ian McKinnon, who served on VUWSA’s executive as Men’s Vice-President in 1966, believes that this experience is as important as a good education, and that VUWSA contributes to achieving this balance.

“I want students to be very well educated so we really make a contribution to New Zealand society, but at the same time, I want them to be well-rounded, and [becoming] well-rounded actually comes from the experience and the opportunities that are available,” he says. “The student experience is a combination of the university and the students’ association working together.” McKinnon goes on to point out that because students tend not to deconstruct that ‘experience’ (no-one thinks in terms of O-Week ’11 making or breaking their time at uni, MGMT or not), VUWSA’s work often goes unrecognised. “I would think that the majority of students take it for granted that they are entitled to a good student experience at Victoria—that is, access to social, pastoral, sporting and access opportunities,” he says. “I suspect, though, that a lot of students wouldn’t relate that to VUWSA, so it probably doesn’t get as much credit as it should for its focus in those areas.” “A lot of the representative work that associations do goes totally unnoticed by the bulk of the student body,” says Chris Hipkins, Labour’s Rimutaka MP, former VUWSA president and VUWSA life member. “Representation doesn’t have a monetary value.” Regardless of one’s opinion of students’ associations, this is an important point. Few students reflect on, or engage with, their experiences at university in terms of the services and representation that a students’ association provides. The impact that associations have on ‘the student experience’ is difficult to evaluate, but it seems fair to state that the value of students’ associations exceeds the sum of its parts.

*

Next week, Elle Hunt and Stella Blake-Kelly will explore how VUWSA is contributing to the student experience at Victoria University. salient.org.nz


Salient Vol. 74

issue

17 august

08 20 11

1

74 03 14th volume

.nz www.salient.org

issue

march 2011

The Editor leads a team of paid and volunteer staff and has overall responsibility for Salient 2012, and the VUWSA Handbook Diary and Wallplanner for 2013. Applicants should have mainstream or student journalism experience, have excellent communication, leadership, budgeting and organisational skills, and some management experience. An interest in student issues, as well as national and international affairs is vital. Mac knowledge is preferable. Applications should include a CV, a cover letter outlining your vision for Salient 2012 and a portfolio of writing.

UNIVErSI magazine The student

of VICtorIa

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Applications are now open for Salient Editor 2012 (Publications Editor).

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Salient 2012

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Issue 17 The Arts

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21

march

2011

Applications close 5pm 16 September. All enquires to editor@salient.org.nz or (04) 463 6766. Job description available.


Issue 19 Self improvement

What’s it going to take to shape our world?

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In a world that is ever changing and faced with the challenges presented by a growing population and limited natural resources, we’re in need of specialists to help shape the future of tomorrow. Want to be part of the solution? Choose a specialist Lincoln University Postgraduate Degree in Master of Environmental Policy, Master of Resource Studies, Master of Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering, Master of International Nature Conservation, Master of Applied Science (Environmental Management, Generic or Transport Studies), or a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Resource Studies or Applied Science. What’s it going to take? You.

Learn more

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Salient Vol. 74

or

hopeless romantics? th

Disclaimer The term mistress is technically feminine, but due to the lack of a non-gendered word for this situation, it will be used throughout as an all encompassing phrase meant to classify a person who engages in a prolonged romantic engagement with someone who is already in a relationship. We didn’t create the English language. We just attempt to use it.

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Haimona Gray

“There is a good deal of debate about the importance of [Lady] Walston in Greene’s life. She clearly is the inspiration for The End of the Affair.”—The Telegraph’s review of The End Of The Affair by Graham Greene How Lady Walston would feel about such a remark is never broached in this review, nor is the importance of Greene in her life. She, like many men and women around the world and throughout history, does not fit comfortably into the narrative of their lover’s life. She is just a mistress. This is because the mistress is not seen as an important figure in the life of their ‘taken’ lover. Thoughts such as ‘surely if they were truly important they would be legitimised at some point by being made the sole benefactor of their lover’s love’ are common when discussing the other woman or man. But is this fair considering that most conventional relationships don’t work out either? What sin has this person committed other than to break the ‘Golden Rule’ of “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself ”? Should an adage be enough to stop someone from searching for happiness?

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Issue 19 Self improvement

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and seek revenge. They can be the most honourable form of mistress—after all, they are the ones who believe love can conquer all, but they are often unwilling to accept the place of part-time lover and have historically been known to take their revenge in the most public of fashions if their plan for formal partnership does not come to fruition. Historical example: Lady Caroline Lamb—lover, and eventual stalker of Lord Byron. While technically not a mistress—she was married, he was not—when the lover who has scorned you is compelled to widely publish poetry asking you to leave them alone, you classify in this category. Byron’s advice never got through to Lady Lamb, who published her own, increasingly public, increasingly troubling poetry demanding her former lover’s attention. She eventually died alone of drug abuse-related organ failure without fulfilling her potential as a great poet in her own right.

Realist

Desire vs. Reality The ethics of being complicit in an affair may be questionable, but within this subjectivity is wiggle room which casts it out from other types of ‘bad’ behaviour—to cheat is wrong, but to cheat for a noble purpose might not be—and places being a mistress in an ethical grey area. They are generally understood as being sub-optimal for the long-term future of a formal couple, but the mistress' emotions are as important as those of either member of the couple, and their presence merely highlights cracks already within the relationship. More often than not, the mistress is a scapegoat and a pariah, while the cheater has suffered a lapse of judgement and is excoriated, but forgiven— see Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant... not so much Tiger Woods. While it is simple to hurl blame on the mistress, if one is actually interested in discovering the flaws in a relationship and not just excreting bile, then it is fruitless. Mistresses are opportunists—sometimes in love, sometimes just in lust—and while being an opportunist is no virtue, being desired is no vice, and this is what all mistresses have in common. Mistresses come in all shapes, sizes, and types... but Salient can only be so long, so here are the two most polar types of mistress.

The realist long-term mistress is a common staple in history and literature. Far beyond the yearnings of the earnest type, they are understanding of their position in the life of their lover. They are loyal partners in crime, who embrace the part they play—or at least pretend to. However, they can also be the most fatalistic; their freedom limited by the relationship, and their power within the relationship hindered by mistresses being more expendable than their legitimised counterparts. Historical example: Madame de Pompadour—The Chief Mistress of Louis XV and Diplomat. Though blamed for several of France’s missteps in the Seven Years War, which cost her nation its claim to Canada, Madame de Pompadour’s achievements were numerous. She won the undying affection of influential friends, her devoted lover, and even enjoyed a cordial relationship with her lover's wife. She embrced her formal role as the “Mistress above all others”, and with this role she was given power only second to that of the queen, with far more ability to make back room deals— she held a greatly envied level of power in the diplomacy of her nation. But her life was not her own, and her role as Chief Mistress barred her from moving beyond the confines of her lover’s shadow. She too died young and wanting.

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What kind of mistress are you? Earnest The earnest ‘I can convince them to leave their partner’ type of mistress is by far the most dangerous of the two due to being the one with the highest hopes, and therefore greatest potential to become embittered

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Salient Vol. 74

Is it worth it? An interview with a mistress

In light of the moral uncertainty (though not immorality) and practical concerns, Salient speaks with a mistress about the challenges and meaning behind his role and their relationship. What leads someone to become a mistress? It began in the same way any relationship begins—we met through a mutual friend, there was chemistry, and we decided to play it out. When did you find out she was married? When she told me about her three children—Yes she has children, but they are not ours and they have no reason to know of me, all they need to see is that their mother is happy—which was early enough that I could have run for the hills without any issue. Clearly I didn’t. Why didn’t you? Love cannot be planned, but I think that it can be attained if you are open to it, even if the timing or circumstances aren’t right, and I grew tired of waiting for the perfect situation; while this may not be optimal, but it’s preferable to the single life of quiet desperation. And besides, my feelings for her are more important than being polite to a man I have never met so I agreed to continue seeing her. What are the requirements of, and expectations on, a mistress? Discretion, support, and affection. A good mistress isn’t looking for ownership of their partner, but rather a sense of sharing happiness. The [formal partner] may be able to offer financial support, but the mistress can offer honest support; I’m not going to profit from anything outside of the relationship so my caring comes from an honest, non-self interested place. What is the mistress' expectations of the other person? To be treated as they expect the other person to treat them. It can be easy for either side of the relationship to slip into taking the other for granted, as it is in any relationship, but this leads to animosity and distrust, which could lead to a revelation of the secret affair.

So these relationships require internal honesty, but not external? How is that sustainable? All relationships have secrets, sure this is a bigger secret, but just so long as those within the affair are honest with each other, the outside world doesn’t matter. My friends don’t judge my life, and I’d leave them out of it if they did. Have you ever been cheated on? Not that I know of, but probably. What I have learnt from friends that I have discussed this with is that cheating is very common, though people do not like to admit it. Over analysing the [ethical dilemmas] isn’t interesting to me. Do you not empathise with the man who wife you are having an affair with? Because I’m an enabler to immoral behaviour? <laughter>. No, I think I probably would like him if we were ever to meet, but I will not apologise for making her happy. What happens if this person leaves her husband and begins a relationship with you? I am under no illusions that this will happen in my situation, but if it did then I wouldn’t have ruined a happy relationship, but rather ended a failing one. However, the odds aren’t great for relationships which begin like that—you might be that one in a thousand, or you’ll silently freak out once you realise what you have done. Like the end of The Graduate? Yes! When you see the two of them look into each others' eyes with [bewilderment], and you can tell they realise what a monumentous decision they have made somewhat on the fly. That can be a hard feeling to move on from, and normally at least one person does not. What would your perfect relationship be like then? They don’t exist. I wouldn’t be talking to you if they did. People are fickle and what seems great today may seem cold and uncomfortable tomorrow. The world isn’t that convenient. Do you see the life of a mistress as a viable choice for others? It’s not something you choose, and not something I would recommend unless you are comfortable with the lack of ownership and amount of time spent alone. It takes a certain kind of person to deal with that as this is where affairs exist and blossom, and where their downfall all too often begins.

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Issue 19 Self improvement

Get the fuck over yourself:

Iadvice ncoherent from a self-professed failure Asher Emanuel

I’m not seven feet tall with bleached teeth and a microphone conspicuously attached to my jaw. My name isn’t comfortingly alliterative, and it lacks connotations of heartland values. Nor do I have a 14-step, colour-coded, pyramid-based plan to self-actualisation to present to you with an overhead transparency. But I do know what’s right for you. I know you’re not happy, not getting enough sex, under-skilled, and borderline friendless. You needn’t worry, though: so are most people, and it’s easily fixed. Follow this simple advice to become mercilessly awesome.

Social Life

You should never forget the past, particularly your old friends. Your best friends will always be those who share a common history (read: tragedy). You need people who understand where you came from, so that they can forgive you for being so useless now. Hunt out that kid who used to pull your hair in Year 4, and that guy who peed in your shoes in Year 9. These people know where you came from—namely, pink glitter jelly sandals and Lycra bike shorts (true story). Friend them on Facebook and rekindle the bond. On second thoughts, your old friends are holding you back. It’s time to cull the dead wood from your proverbial rose garden. Get out more. I hear the bookshop is a good place to meet new people. Find someone flicking through a Penguin Classic, and you can form an instant bond; all you have to do is adopt a suitably erudite/pretentious tone and say, “Oh, you like books too?” You might even be able to trick them into sleeping with you. Actually, friends aren’t good for your happiness. They’ll always be distracting you, or making you Hit the books less, and feel inadequate by comparison. the bong more. Sleep in Spend more time by yourself, stewing in your own juices. until midday. Celebrate Rage about how noone values calling in sick to work you and lay plans for revenge. Reflective solitude is good for with a bottle of gin the soul.

Studying and Working

Your student loan is probably in the multiple tens of thousands of dollars, but you’re taking a few art history and English literature papers. It’s time to take life more seriously. You need direction. Drop your quasi-intelligentsia papers and begin a Serious Career immediately: I suggest medicine, law or commerce. How else will you succeed in life? And get a part-time job, you lazy animal. Nothing provides a sense of direction like a good 10 hours a week spent contributing to the economy by wiping tables at McDonald’s. Further, the money you earn from your newfound productivity should be saved; God forbid you spend it on frivolous luxuries. That said, this is the only time of your life that you can get away with being outrageously lazy. Considering how you will feed yourself post-graduation is not worth the stress. Hit the books less, and the bong more. Sleep in until midday. Celebrate calling in sick to work with a bottle of gin. Rinse and repeat until you are happy.

Love

This is the prime of your life. You are mildly attractive, reasonably fun to be around, and not too impotent. When you turn 27, this will all be over. This means you must not just play the field, but plough it too. Spread your wild oats near and far. Sleep with as many people as possible. For those of you older than 20, realise that death is imminent. You are going to wake up one morning to find yourself senile and decrepit in a home for the elderly inappropriately entitled ‘Sunlit Meadows’. This might be acceptable if you have a predilection for bingo and staring out a window, but if not, you will need a spouse to shout at. Settle down as quickly as possible. Find yourself a partner now, before you become ugly. Be really nice for a year and lure them into marriage. Problem solved. My usual preference is to be as cryptic as possible, so as to maintain an alluring shroud of mystery. Normally this would preclude me from explaining the ‘moral’ of the article, but today I am feeling blunt. Fuck what other people tell you about happiness (especially me). Do what you like.

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Salient Vol. 74

The Joyousness of Wallowing Ollie Neas

Human beings like the idea of being happy. Yet we are all so miserable. We love ourselves, we hate our lives and, facing up to our rapidly decaying bodies and feebly incapable minds, we are all terrified that we will fail to live up to our self-imposed expectations before time runs out. All of us envisage how happiness will change this for the better. Happiness is different from that momentary joy that we experience every day while spying an amusing-looking child on a bus, for instance, or watching a video of a cat. Happiness is something greater; a promise of perpetual personal peace. The concept is suitably lofty and unspecific to form the completing piece in everybody’s life story. Happiness is our unifying goal. It appeals universally because it is intuitively unarguable; happiness is good. Human beings also want to be free. But it is this freedom that is making us miserable. Living a free life we everyday overestimate the impact upon our happiness of future events. More importantly, we overestimate how happy having made different decisions would have made us. Social psychologists call this the ‘impact bias’. Conversely, finding ourselves in unfortunate or irreversible situations, we create—or synthesise—happiness. Yet we continue to view happiness as a good to be found and, in fighting for it, we become fixated by our expectations, inevitably frustrated by our choices and thus unhappy. A well-known experiment effectively explains this existential problem. Some Harvard psychologists told students to take two photos, allowing them to choose one to keep while relinquishing the other. Half of the students were told that their decision was reversible; the other half were told the opposite. Over the following days they were tested for their satisfaction with their chosen photo. Those in the irreversible camp liked their photo a whole lot. They had synthesised happiness in an unchangeable situation. Those who could have changed their mind experienced dissatisfaction, continuing even after the opportunity to exchange it had expired. The nagging idea that they might have been more satisfied by choosing differently prevented them from enjoying the decision they had made. Despite this, the majority of students insisted their preference would still be to possess that opportunity to change their mind. We persistently want the ability to choose but it is this ability that is making us unhappy everyday. But we’ll be happy later. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. In viewing happiness as something to be found, we regularly—and knowingly—make decisions that make us less happy in the short term in order to maximise happiness in the long term. We do this our entire life. We devote hours to the traffic, days to the books and weeks to the office, continually deferring happiness, ever elusive, to a date that keeps slipping down the calendar. To many, it is the happiness promise that makes it all bearable; “One day... I’ll be

We become fixated by our expectations, inevitably frustrated by our choices and thus unhappy


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Issue 19 Self improvement

Let’s be rational;

happiness

is dull

There are truly happy people in the world. They form a small, subversive minority that, frankly, we do not like

happy,” we whisper alone. Woe is just the price to pay for the final reward. But if these happiness-deferring activities are life-long, when will we actually get around to being happy? Despite all this godforsaken misery, we are still told that we can be happy—and that we can be happy always. The burgeoning self-help shelves have long been filled with promises of happiness, reinforced by the countless fairytale endings of the screen and page. We all know that if we would only just go for more walks, take more baths, smile, meditate a little and send our positive vibes into the cosmic nothingness then we would be happy. These are the ‘secrets’ to happiness. Furthermore, with knowledge that we automatically synthesise happiness when stuck with a bad situation, there prima facie seems no reason why we cannot simply be happy. We’ve been told that happiness is possible and how to get there. But we refuse to listen. Perhaps we just don’t get it. Or maybe it’s about time we asked the question: is happiness actually what we want? This persistent denial must tell us something about our real desires. From all this glum talk, one could led to believe that absolutely nobody has realised happiness. This is misleading. There are truly happy people in the world. They form a small, subversive minority that, frankly, we do not like. Everything, to them, is all good. When you inform them of the ceaseless tragedy of your day-to-day existence they brush it off, telling you to not worry as things “always turn out for the best”. Well, no, they do not. My problems do matter. On some level, continual happiness suggests the presence of some unnerving emotional flaw; void of empathy and incapable of diverse human experience. Are happy people broken? Perhaps this is just uninformed cynicism borne of jealousy. But would we actually choose to be as happy as those characters if we had the chance? Consider this: if you had the choice to connect yourself to a machine that granted you continuous sensual and emotional pleasure for the rest of your life, would you choose it? Probably not. We lust after the choices afforded by freedom; that is what the photograph experiment earlier is most evident of. Perhaps the reason that we cling to this in the face of unhappiness is that we believe, deep down, that choice will be best at providing us with happiness ultimately. However, the guaranteed happiness machine shows that happiness, divorced of freedom, is intuitively undesirable. What is really important to us is not the happiness that may arise from choice, but the fact of that freedom to choose itself. The pursuit of happiness is what drives us to progress and tells us to keep going. Discontent provides us with motivation. We like to have happiness as an ideal, but it is the pursuit rather than the happiness itself that we most value. In realising this, we can place emphasis on what does matter. It means that we should not worry that we’re not happy yet. We must train ourselves to relish the plurality of emotions that make up the every-day of human experience. Try spending some time alone crying into a bottle of gin; it’s perversely pleasurable. And if you can’t afford a bottle of gin, well—don’t simply forget about it and be happy—be upset. But relish that misery. It is times like those that, in opposition, give meaning to happiness. As an unnecessary consolation, the past few years have seen a range of studies emerge that reveal the correlation between aging and happiness. The result: in spite of declining health and increasing proximity to death, we become happier from middle age onward. Maybe that’s no reassurance. In the mean time, a quick google search informed me of the ‘secret’ to mental wellbeing. And yes, I mean the actual secret. Balance out every one negative thought with three positive thoughts. There you go: you’re sorted. If the pursuit of happiness is more important than happiness itself, then it does not matter whether we get there. Let’s be rational; happiness is dull. You, for one, are better than that.

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Salient Vol. 74

Sophie Turner

Call it laziness, call it westerncentric, call it what you will, but the search for internal happiness has always sounded like a tonne of deep meditation on hard wooden floors to me. Taking heed of the World Development Report’s suggestion that a person’s geographical location is the most important determinacy of their welfare, I took up a less demanding pursuit: asking Google how and where to find the happiest places on Earth. Surprisingly, the answer wasn’t Disneyland.

The environmental movement needs to go to the top of the mountain and have a vision for what we want


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Issue 19 Self improvement

TED Talk guest speaker Nic Marks might be the guy with the answers for me. Trained as a statistician, but with the unkempt brown blazer and cheery disposition of a high school geography teacher, the man just looks like he knows how to find happiness. Indeed, it was Marks’ cheerfulness that kept us watching past his formulaic ‘I Have a Dream’ introduction. “People all around the world say that what they want is happiness,” Marks said. “This seems to be a natural human aspiration, so why are statisticians not measuring that?” In direct reaction to the traditional measurement of progress by Gross Domestic Product, Marks and the rest of the liberallyminded think tank at the New Economics Foundation developed a mechanism to quantify and measure happiness. The resultant Happy Planet Index promises “to measure that which makes life worthwhile.” Average life expectancy in a country combines with citizens’ levels of life satisfaction, and then this is measured against the ecological footprint of the country. As Mark says, “People should be happy and the planet should be happy. A happy life doesn’t have to cost the earth.”

Costa Rica Unexpected by many in the western world, the happiest place in the world in 2009 was Costa Rica, a country with a GDP of only $11,300 USD per capita. To endorse this, Marks references a recent Gallup social and economic analysis which shows that happiness is higher in Costa Rica than even traditional dominators such as Denmark and Switzerland. The cause of this result, Marks identifies, was the decision to abolish the country’s military in 1948. In its place, policy makers increased health and education to such an extent that they have one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America, and an average life expectancy that is longer than that of the USA. With nine of the top ten nations in the HPI in Latin America, Marks suggests, “The future might be Latin American.”

Bhutan I doubt Marks was intending to be taken literally when he quipped “The environmental movement needs to go to the top of the mountain and have a vision for what we want.” But a quick glimpse over Bhutan’s recent national policies shows it fits the metaphor. Situated high in the Himalayan Mountains between India and China, Bhutan keeps it old-world, dodging the free market in favour of promoting nationwide happiness. The story goes that when King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was given the throne at age 16, his principal commitment was to preserve Bhutan’s unique culture and religious heritage, ahead of modernising its economy; thus, the Gross National Happiness manifesto was born. The GNH index monitors levels of economic self-reliance, environmental health, the preservation and promotion of culture, and good governance—together, making up the four pillars of human happiness, as inspired by Buddhist thought. Bhutanese policies have not been without controversy, but what the Bhutanese lack in freedom—traditional dress codes and architecture are enforced by law, and smoking was banned outright in 2004—they make up in wellbeing. Literacy has increased from 10 per cent in 1986 to a present-day rate of 66 per cent; and as a last adherence to the four pillars, King Wangchuck voluntarily abdicated from the throne in 2006 in favour of democracy. “They resonate well, democracy and GNH. Both place responsibility on the individual. Happiness is an individual pursuit and democracy is the empowerment of the individual.”

New Zealand Despite best intentions to keep Bhutan distinct from the rest of the world, it appears that the philosophy of placing happiness at the centre of policy decision has caught on in the western world. Commissioner on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress Joseph Stiglitz advised that economies shift emphasis from measuring economic production to measuring people’s wellbeing, noting that an increase in economic transactions does not give rise to increased happiness. In New Zealand, the current Treasury has observed that GDP does not account for factors such as the gap between rich and poor, the amount of leisure time people have, or their quality of life. Treasury has suggested it will therefore shift the way it formulates its advice, signalling changes in the way we look at progress. One thing which geographers in New Zealand are currently looking at is subjective measures of happiness, finding that people’s trust in others, their feelings of safety in their neighbourhoods, and the extent to which people are heard by government bodies can combine to increase wellbeing. Further, recent research has shown that access to urban green spaces such as parks and town belts can add to quality of life. This is an important argument against the idea that economic productivity increases wellbeing: agglomeration may raise labour productivity, but as labour productivity increases, subjective wellbeing appears to decrease. New Zealand cities, with their relatively high amounts of green space per capita, appear well-equipped to promote happiness. Call it simplistic, or far-fetched or idealistic, but it seems that we can indeed blame the government for our resultant happiness. The countries examined above are united in both their resolve to increase wellbeing, and in their actions to increase literacy levels and environmental awareness. Of course, the difference between ‘wellbeing’ and ‘happiness’ must be noted; indeed, Marks himself notes that quantifying true happiness is nearly impossible. To be in Costa Rica, Bhutan or New Zealand does not guarantee you happiness, yet as shown above, these places do give hope to the possibility.

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References Morrison, P (2011). The Geography of Happiness [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from blackboard.vuw.ac.nz Marks, N (2010). The Happy Planet Index. Retrieved from ted.com/talks/nic_marks_ the_happy_planet_index.html Mustafa, N (2005). ‘What About Gross National Happiness?’ Retrieved from time.com/time/health/ article/0,8599,1016266,00.html

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YOUR STUDENTS’

ASSOCIATION


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Issue 19 Self improvement

Winnebago Blues

The Chore of Picking Up and Moving On

Doc Watson

physically My girlfriend had to d bash them pick up my hands an get me d to against the keyboar ction to this to write the introdu article. ms to

e never see example of how lif g where everythin s nt me mo There are u yo de leave you alone. pe im s ing irreparably or th times has screwed up so ble to continue. In ssi po im is it at th ely let so drastically mp ing co ct of your life is go y, when every aspe ices on Black Frida pr e lik g lin fal d an s er nk th, bo wi it — tsh ing ba t keep go g tendency to jus it. d hin be life has an annoyin ng alo g ces of you trailin without or with pie than most. I’m no re mo nd ou ar en ks Now, I’ve be I’ve had my knoc or anything, but ts to hit en em Carmen Sandiego ttl se ce or international div cci and bumps. From t exactly been Gu ia, my life has no em ka leu ay tod re he and runs to be t no other hand, I would yI by Gucci. On the at me. The only wa rew th e lif at th it d An e. tim th without all the sh on is wi pick up and move an wn do y nk have been able to sli a e lik out and crushed d he etc s str e ay tim alw yes, t. There is . But it levelled ou Aztec temple stairs you and becomes g din pe im ps ue sto a time when an iss history. emselves up and e can just pick th But to say someon e th Earth: it’s not ying turtles carry e, move on is like sa patience and tim es tak t happens. It en wh y nd something that jus ha selves seem to make them at can neither of which ere are people th th at, th of top On . fan e th er". s ov hit t it sh st can’t ge things that you "ju th wi s ck say there are some fu e lif how ft. Regardless of on it ck ba k That is equally da loo n ca we s a point where you, there is alway

It seems an apt

and deal with it as something that simply happened, not as an ongoing concern. Everything passes from present to past eventually. The issue is that in times of stress and despair, be it exam woes or family deaths, time really does seem to fuck with you. Either life will hook itself up to a car battery and leave you in the dust or throw its hands up and refuse to do anything at all. But no matter how strange the shift is, time moves linearly—excruciatingly so—and does not stop, slow or speed up. However much you want to fast forward that bad memory, you can’t. Accepting a change in life takes time, and the only sure-fire method is waiting it out until you are comfortable with the change. When this process naturally occurs—and with emphasis on naturally—then you can look back and retrospectively reflect on the experience. Any time before that and you are so caught up in bias, denial or grief that the result will only dig your trench deeper. But it’s in this state when the experience ceases to be a conflict and you can find closure. It could take months, years, decades— and you could bounce in and out of this stage like an indecisive guinea pig. But, eventually, you find you can observe and garner what good came out of the quagmire rather than the situation dragging you back into more doldrums. There are times when that moment seems non-existent. There are times when everything seems so dire that everything fizzles out and goes dark. But no matter your race, gender or creed, there is always an end to these emotional slums. Time doesn’t stop for you, so you shouldn’t stop for it. Picking up and moving on isn’t easy, but I’ll be honest. That moment of leaving that baggage behind is worth every second of endurance through the shit days.

There is always a time when an issue stops impeding you and becomes history

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Salient Vol. 74

This is Ben.

Salient and Vic ITS are going to

His Lucky him!


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Issue 19 Self improvement

A

SEA OTTER

Puss nimal Fact y not b cats are so eca frigh use they named tene d, bu are easily t they love because vagin a

DAVID BURR

Inhabiting the north-eastern Pacific Ocean is possibly the cutest of all marine mammals. Everybody knows the adorable faces and comically playful behaviour of the sea otter, but what else earns them the title of 'Animal of the Week'? Sea otters can dive up to 100 meters and close their nostrils and ears when doing so. Here, sea otters dig and overturn small boulders, hunting for and storing food in a small skin pouch on their chest. In this pouch, they also keep a unique rock, which they place on their belly and use for smashing shellfish open. Unlike most marine mammals, sea otters don’t need a disgusting layer of blubber to keep themselves warm. Rather, they have a lush coat of fur. In fact, their fur is the densest of any animal, with up to one million hairs per square inch. Sea otters have been observed rubbing their fur to squeeze out water and have even been known to blow air under their coat, allowing it to be waterproof enough to completely keep cold water away from their skin. The ability of the fur to repel water is highly dependent on cleanliness, as such sea otters have particularly supple skeletons, allowing them to groom every part of their bodies. Between 1741 and 1911, sea otters were extensive hunted for their fur causing populations to decline from 150,000-300,000 to as low as 1000 individuals. Don’t fret though. Global hunting bans have resulted in current populations being estimated at over 100,000. Sea otters tend to rest together in ‘rafts’ of 10-100 animals. Often wrapping themselves in kelp or holding hands to keep from drifting apart. In 2007, a YouTube of two sea otters holding hands got nearly two million views in two weeks. Too cute!

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Like Anim al of the Wee ko Faceboo n k!

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Salient Vol. 74

? estion sex qu Got a to ask Want usly and o m to y anon alient? Go r S fo in m it o .c see tance ned 15 s n o c ar ask ard-e ss, your h s of facele e . t minu sless fame pant

Mistress E Bathory This week I am handing my column over to my dear friend Mistress E Bathory, who has professional expertise relevant to one of the questions I was sent by you babes. If you want your question answered, don’t forget to send some more through before the year’s end—askconstance.com

Hi there Constance My boyfriend is into masochism but I really hate the thought of hurting him, even if it is for sexual pleasure. I just don’t want to be involved in anything to do with S&M (no offence to those who enjoy it). Could we perhaps substitute it for something else? Shelly Belly Hi Shelly This year, I entered the pro-domme world. This means my job is fulfilling the sexual fantasies of my clients. More often than not this involves providing physical pain, the client relinquishing control to me, and/or taking part in sexual acts that some people may deem ‘degrading’. Coming to this work after several years of being really active in sex-positive feminism and fighting sexual violence, I originally had a lot of interest in the role-play and gender-play side of BDSM, but once I had a sub (submissive) beaming at me every time I slapped him, pinched him, spanked him, pulled his hair etc., I realised how true it is that submissives are not experiencing conventional pain or humiliation. First and foremost, they’re experiencing sexual pleasure. In my workplace we’ve got a concept of ‘good’ pain vs ‘bad’ pain. Getting thrown over someone’s knee and spanked, for example, is a sting that I personally find particularly enjoyable, but nipple torture (for me) would be ‘bad’ pain. For someone else this could be completely different, hence the importance of having pretty clear communication.

Switching my mindset from one of ‘dommes inflict pain or control’ to ‘dommes get subs off by providing them with sexual pleasure’ was one of the first things I did in my professional career, and was key in me enjoying my work. I cannot emphasise enough that you should never allow yourself to be pressured into sexual activities that you do not want to do. It’s completely healthy to discuss and think about trying new things, and it’s great to consider the possibility you may be opposed to BDSM because of the stigma attached to it rather than the acts itself. Ultimately, however, participating in sexual acts that you don’t really want to be doing is not advisable. My advice to anybody in a situation like this is to talk with your partner as candidly and honestly as possible. Talking about sex is a really important part of a relationship, so create a time where you two can just spend the evening talking this out. Do some reading beforehand (I would recommend checking out babeland.com/sexinfo/howto/bdsm) and ask him questions about what he’s particularly interested in exploring as a couple. Talk to him about safe words and your limits and tell him (honestly but kindly) what you are uncomfortable with. Also something I’ve found happy in my personal life is a yes/ no/maybe list where you both discuss things you’d love to do, things you definitely don’t want to do, and things you may be curious about. Also remember there’s no such thing as an S & M ‘lifestyle’ that automatically absorbs all who experiment with power-play. I’d wager it’s safe to say that every day you leave the house you run into someone you would never guess is a raging deviant. What happens between you and your boyfriend can stay between just the two of you, and nobody has the right to judge you for sexual activity between two consenting adults. Yours lovingly, Mistress E Bathory

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Issue 19 Self improvement

Ally Garrett

Original Sin

with Auntie Sharon

I’ll admit—I’m a Green voter. Each election, just to be safe, I give my other vote to Labour. And I hate John Key. In my opinion, he’s a limp dick of a man with little nous about anything but how to make money. Though even that he seems more inclined to do for himself and his buddies, rather than for New Zealand. He’s flaunted democratic process with an arrogance not seen since Muldoon. The only thing he has going for him is the slick PR team who have helped him retain his glowing reputation as an everyman working for the good of regular Kiwis. Pffft. As much as it pains me to say it, I know there are Salient readers out there who disagree with my views. Not just on John Key, but how best to tackle the social and environmental issues facing our communities. Young Nats and ACT on Campus, I’m talking to you. I might even be talking to people who don’t give a shit about politics, but just think John Key is a really nice guy. Or people out there who are like, "Huh? I thought this was an advice column." My advice for all of you this week is: enrol to vote. I actually don’t care who you vote for—well, I would prefer you voted Labour/Green, but hey, that’s your choice—I just think you should vote. The issues at stake in this election are big. They affect a lot of ordinary people who really couldn’t care less about the pompous political manoeuvring and just want some assurances that they’re going to be able to feed their families and give their kids a decent education. Not to mention the damage that could be done by uninformed people who 'just feel like a change’, and vote for a move away from MMP at the referendum this election. So quit fucking around on Facebook and go to secure. elections.org.nz/app/enrol/ to check your details or sign up. Waiting for the bus? Call 0800 36 76 56. If you’re feeling really lazy. You can free text your name and where you live to 3676. You’ve got until the day before the election to do it, just get it done. Yay, Phil Goff! (C’mon, he’s doing his best.)

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Need some objective advice? Or want to change my mind about Donkey? Write to auntiesharon@ salient.org.nz.

I am a godless woman.  I’ve tried the whole organised religion thing—I went to a high school where on special occasions the prefects wore veils —but it’s just not for me. The closest thing that I have to a God is halloumi cheese in that I worship Him and make time for Him every Sunday morning. I ain’t got no religion but I believe that a person can commit acts of blasphemy. I might be godless, but trust, I’ve got morals. As well as all of that obvious abhorrent stuff (the animal cruelty and the rape and the racism) below are the five things I just don’t believe in.

Organised Fun

Games are activities for people who can’t hold a conversation. No, I don’t want to play cards.

Asking Me Which Street to Drive Down (If You’re A Taxi Driver)

One of my failures as a person is that I can’t drive. When I was sixteen renouncing parental offers of driving lessons seemed like a quirky idea, a rebellion. Now that I’m 23 that seems like the least rebellious teenage rebellion ever. If I’d gotten my tongue pierced at least I could take you to the airport. As a result of my teenage angst, I often find myself nestled in the leathery backseat of taxis, inhaling an aroma of air freshener and the many burgers which have gone before me. No, I don’t care whether we take Willis or the Terrace. I know nothing about roads. If I did, I would be driving instead of paying you ten dollars to take me home in the rain. I appreciate your concern, but please, can’t we just talk about the weather? Also, yes, I know I’m an asshole.

Charging Extra for Condiments

I’m sorry, but what? Fifty cents for barbecue sauce? A dollar for sour cream? TWO DOLLARS FOR HOLLANDAISE?  Do you want me to eat

Wiping your bum should hereby be referred to as a ‘toilet paper massage’. here or what? It’s not my fault that your food is so dry and tasteless that I need extra sauce in the first place. Seriously, If I were Jesus, and this was the last judgement, your restaurant would be going to hell.

Using the Word ‘Wipe’

EURGH. Even typing that word makes me want to die. It is the grossest of words. I would much prefer it if you could describe wiping the counter as ‘stroking it with a cloth’. Wiping your bum should hereby be referred to as a ‘toilet paper massage’.

Heating Avocado

Seriously, in my godless world a good avocado is as hard to find as the HOLY GRAIL. Finding the perfect avocado is actually fucking impossible—Dan Brown could write a book about it—and sometimes, no matter how many you squeeze, you can’t just get a good one (that’s what she said) (sorry). I actually just want to cry when I think about people locating those perfect avocados AND  HEATING THEM UP AND RUINING THEM. Cooking an avocado is like using Shakespeare’s manuscripts as toilet paper. Sacrilege.

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Salient Vol. 74

Recent science roundup!

Joe Gallagher

Excellent.

Ben Wylie-van Eerd

For today’s column I thought it would be nice to celebrate a couple of the recent successes in science from New Zealand and around the world. First up is a recent approval of a new drug to fight HIV. The drug, called tenofovir, is a vaccine. This means that it can help prevent you getting infected with the HIV virus in the first place—treating the disease once you have it is another job. The studies which led to the approval included almost ten thousand people in Kenya and Uganda, countries where HIV is a big problem, and found that those taking the drug daily had their chances of being infected with the virus reduced by between 62% and 73% compared to a placebo group. Earlier studies in different groups showed a 44% reduction. And that’s pretty big news! It actually represents a significant reduction in risk if you have exposure to HIV, and here’s the real kicker: the tablets are available for as little as twenty-five cents per tablet. That’s a price which could actually be achievable for a lot of people in poor countries where HIV is common. This story was interesting to me not only because it is a development which will save a lot of lives, but also because AIDS has been one of the most challenging medical problems for humans to solve for over two decades. That we have made a breakthrough in such a difficult problem is an encouraging sign for the state of medical science. Perhaps effective heart disease and cancer treatments aren’t such a pipe dream after all! My other story is another exciting medical breakthrough, this one made right here in New Zealand! Another unsolved problem in medicine has been how to effectively treat patients with severely damaged or underdeveloped intestines. Probably not something you think about every day, but your intestines are just as much a vital part of your body as your liver or kidneys – without functioning bowels you will die pretty quickly. Current treatment methods mostly are

intestine transplants—which are a very tricky operation with a high risk of complication—or intravenous feeding, which you would have to repeat every day of your life. The team from Christchurch Hospital’s Department of Paediatric Surgery, led by Dr Atsushi Yoshida and Professor Spencer Beasley, have developed a method to successfully grow functioning human bowel muscle cells. This could lead to artificially grown replacements grown from the patient’s own cells, and therefore have very slim chances of rejection. A much better treatment! What excites me the most about this story is seeing a discovery which will have such a huge impact on the entire world being made right here in New Zealand! Yet more proof that you don’t need to leave New Zealand in order to do world-leading science—which is good news for me! I find that keeping up with the latest research is pretty exciting. There’s always something new to learn, and it continues to give me hope that tomorrow will be better than today.

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Further reading: un.org/apps/news/story. asp?NewsID=39023&Cr=HIV/AIDS&Cr1= scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1107/S00038/ christchurch-hospital-researcher-close-tomajor-breakthrough.htm

Not more than week after two successive losses puts the All Blacks’ World Cup favourite’s tag into serious doubt, their integrity is called into question by the aptly named Mark Reason. The All Blacks are ‘cheats’, apparently. No tiptoeing around it. Cheats. The ‘C' word. According to him, our rugby team use off the ball tactics to open up holes and gaps in opposition defences. Sure, he may be wrong. He may be a grumpy Englishman. He may even be slightly jealous. But it takes balls to come out in a New Zealand paper and criticize the morality of our beloved All Blacks, so much that he may even have a point. In my opinion he’s added a crucial dimension to this World Cup campaign and caused a spark that has for a very long time been missing in our sport. For far too long the focus around this (or any) World Cup has been on making winners. Now, the question is: are we good winners? This World Cup will be an ideal time to look into this—the tournament will be unavoidable and will be watched by millions. The All Blacks will be desperate to win. The eyes of the world will be on the games and (according to Sky Sport) our camera crews have been attending some sort of bizarre sadistic boot camp in preparation. These off-the-ball incidents will be at our disposal in slow motion, high definition, even 3D. It is time to look at them. I mean really look at them. The New Zealand sporting public has lacked this type of scrutiny into our own performances in any sport—we’re quick to blame cheats if they cause us to lose, but hesitant to label our own heroes as immoral. We all remember that forward pass in 2007 that bundled the All Blacks out of another Rugby World Cup—that, in our minds, was cheating. When Daniele de Rossi dived to win Italy a penalty in South Africa last year, effectively sending New Zealand out of the tournament, he


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Issue 19 Self improvement

How gay are you Mikey S.

was a cheat. But Richie McCaw and Keven Mealamu holding down a defender for fourteen seconds? Gamesmanship. Shane Smeltz’s offside? Play to the referee’s whistle, boys. As anxious as the everyday fan is to concede that a New Zealand team or athlete was outplayed, they are doubly unlikely to admit that the Kiwi may have bent—or even broken—the rules. In fact, we even celebrate our All Black’s captain’s ability to bend the laws as one of his most valuable skills! Now, I don’t mean to side completely with Mark Reason here—I, too, believe that every side cheats or pushes the limits in some way. Not doing so would be stupid. We wouldn’t stand a chance. But I believe it’s time to start questioning where we draw the line between gamesmanship and cheating. At what point do we celebrate fair play over success? I daresay every All Blacks fan (myself included) would rather a win in October, than the consolation prize of being the only side in the competition that played to by the rulebook. But at some point, if we are to kick the cheats out of our sports, we need to step back and take a look at our own players objectively. He may lack what his name guarantees, but Mark Reason may just have thrown a bit of doubt into the minds of the All Blacks: somebody is watching.

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Many of us are attracted to, intimate with, or form relationships with people of a particular sex or gender. Labels like straight, lesbian and gay help us to form an identity of who we are in this big wide world. But these labels obviously don’t suit everyone all of the time. That’s why people have tried to develop continuums that identify the many shades of grey in our black and white world. Grey’s Anatomy gave us a scale of “one to gay”. United States of Tara gave us a scale from “Craig T. Nelson to the most queeny, flouncy, flaming homo in the land”. And revolutionary sexologist Alfred Kinsey gave us a gay scale of 0 to 6. In his extensive studies of the sex histories of thousands of Americans six decades ago, Kinsey found many people were attracted to or sexually intimate with both males and females during the course of their lives. He argued that a person’s average lifelong sexuality could be measured on a continuum between completely heterosexual (0) and completely homosexual (6), unless they remained asexual (x). Fritz Klein took it a step further. He tried to identify a person’s past, present and future physical orientations and emotional orientations on the Kinsey scale. He based this on an individual’s sexual attractions, sexual behaviours, sexual fantasies, emotional preferences, social preferences, lifestyle and identity. He proposed that we are oriented in multiple different ways in any moment and that those orientations change over time.

The big problem with Kinsey and Klein’s continuum is that it puts a male at one end and a female at the other. It fails to give a position to those intersex, transgender, third gendered and gender queer people who cannot clearly identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’. And it fails to consider how people may be quite separately attracted to certain gender performances and to certain secondary sexual characteristics. How each of us are physically and emotionally orientated towards others, socially and sexually, is way more complicated than some two dimensional model. Splitting the population into seven boxes, or forty-nine boxes, is just as arbitrary as splitting them into three boxes. Kinsey and Klein proved that people experience life beyond the confines of their sexual categories, and bisexuality is way more common than most people acknowledge. Ultimately, if categories are stopping us from making the most of our lives, we should be entitled to choose not to use them. You see, the world is like a rainbow. Not like the black-grey-white rainbow behind July Garland when she sang about courage to a guy that walked around in a lion costume, or the seven-crayon rainbow that you drew when you were five, or the 365-bit gradient rainbow you made in your first encounter with Microsoft Publisher. More like a rainbow of seven billion colourful, lovable shades of humankind. How gay are you? As gay as you say you are.

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Salient Vol. 74

Music

­­SPOTLIGHT ON

Paperghost, Craig Elliott & Timothy Armstrong at Fred's Barney Chunn

I had never been to Fred’s before going to see Paperghost, Craig Elliott and Timothy Armstrong, and I walked straight past it when I first arrived. When, however, I managed to locate the large building right on the footpath with a sign saying FRED'S outside, it was instantly enamoring. The room is warm and inviting and feels like somebody’s awesome lounge, well, maybe if that somebody lived in some sort of tiny castle or church but still—it feels like a space for bands to play in and be appreciated. Unfortunately my time-consuming inability to find where I needed to be led me to only see the last few songs of Timothy Armstrong. Those two songs, however, lead me to predict I will be attending the next Timothy Armstrong show. Craig Elliott was up next. What was instantly My first impressions were that noticeable was he looked like a mixture of Robin the strong vocals Pecknold and Mads Mikkelsen, and a foundation and sang like an Elliott Smith on melody that who had just run a kilometre or two. All of which endeared permeated the set me to him, and came together with a captive audience and the ingratiating setting to give his sparse, minimalist folk room to breathe. His subtleties were subtle, and his music and performance grew with an organic ease and comfort that made it seem like Craig and his cohorts were enjoying themselves, which in turn made everyone else enjoy themselves. Paperghost came up next, after I had a brief stint outside in an attempt to find some food (highly unsuccessful), which saw little change to the people performing. The music too maintained a low-fi, understated quality, though more effected and electronic. What was instantly noticeable was the strong vocals and a foundation on melody that permeated the set. He manipulated his sounds with a level of sophistication that the soundscape fitted perfectly with his songs and he carried them with ease. Though technical difficulties cut the set short, it was all thoroughly enjoyable.

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“Young, willing and eager” Marina Nicola

Even the most seasoned spindoctors couldn’t come up with something like this. The genesis of the superband that is St Rupertsberg reads like a scene from one of Jane Austen’s most whimsical works. The picturesque dell that precedes the grand, decaying mansion in a Wellington suburb forms the backdrop for the formation of Kate Whelen’s brainchild. Whelen set out with all intents and purposes to group together the most willing and able female musicians she knew into an “über girl band” that would rival the best of them. After whittling away the original 12 members to only the most devoted eight, they have played to festival goers at Campus A Low Hum, made appearances at several Wellington bars and even donned bowties in the style of cabaret mademoiselles, to serenade the crowd at one of their fundraising ventures. Despite this and the obvious potential they hold for success outside of the Wellington music scene, they exhibit a healthy awareness of the trappings of the superstar ambitions that many a New Zealand band hold. They are well aware of the fine balance that must be maintained between aspirations and appreciating their present situation, acknowledging that it’s “important not to place all your energy and focus on distant ideas of success in the future, because you can have goals in your mind but if you spent all your time driving in one direction and really going for it, you cant have that pleasure…” that is to say the satisfaction from playing a really good show or having someone call you “the most joyous band” they’ve ever seen. While this doesn’t rule out any future potential to showcase their abilities to an overseas market, they are adamant that it could only work if each and every one of them could commit to it. Certainly, underneath the diasporic element of St. Rupertsberg belies a mutual understanding and respect for each other, which aids their collaborative efforts, allowing them to pull together and add to each other's existing material to nurture and coax out the gems that are embedded in their collective consciousness.

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Read the rest online! You’ll also find Angharah O’Flynn’s article on I’m with You, the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s latest album, up on the website.


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Issue 19 Self improvement

ts

r Visual A

Cultural Cringe Vitriol Robert Kelly

This was going to be a review of Robin White’s new exhibit at the Wellington City Gallery. It was going to be demure and tasteful; all the eyes dotted and every tee crossed. Alas, despite my best intentions, it was not to be. On entry to the City Gallery I was informed that the entire gallery is currently only accessible to those who are prepared to cough up $10. This shocked me to my core as a regular visitor to the gallery, which is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust and funded heavily by the council, as generally it is free apart from special and visiting exhibits. My initial outrage at being asked to pay anything to enter MY public gallery softened into a wry sense of sorrow as I walked back towards the waterfront. Standing in my way was a colossal statue of a man effortlessly conforming to the golden ratio and 'Southern man' masculine stereotype while lifting a massive gold rugby ball towards the sky. This cultural monstrosity speaks to the heart of the issue at the gallery just next door in Civic square. The two images used to advertise the exhibit tread an elegant yet terrifying line between utilising the Dusky Maiden stereotype and just using images of Pacific Islanders in order to sell some kind of fucked up notion of a paradise in the South Pacific. It is absolutely no coincidence that this exhibition and the statue have just arisen in the two-month period leading up to New Zealand’s hosting of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. I am in no way attempting to attack the Cup, it should be quite a blast. What saddens me is the way we feel a need to construct a false image of our culture and attempt to rampantly market it to anyone who moves. The strangest example I have observed so far is the McDonald's ‘Pavlova’—“because it doesn’t need to be a special occasion to have a pav”. Well,I’m sorry, McDonald's, but yes, yes it does. To have an American-based company parade this kind of faux patriotic rhetoric is, in my eyes, deeply pathetic. Have we come to the point that the best way to advertise our cultural heritage and our current national identity is under the shadow of twin golden arches? All three of these instances in Wellington paint a picture of severe cultural cringe in New Zealand; a kneejerk response to the impending flood of overseas tourists that are about to inundate our shores. N.B. I don’t have a spare $10, and for a show created with a large portion of public money, I don’t expect to have to pay anything. The exhibit is probably amazing, I just couldn’t afford to see it; that in a way, is a review in itself.

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Sally Anderso

n

Wellington is a hive activity at the m of oment, whether inspire db spite of the app y or in roaching Rugby World C up, a there is plenty to nd see. Firstly, do your eyes a favour an d check out the Fiona Pardingto n photographic exhibition titled …Immortally Yo urs at the Suite Gallery on Cuba St which will ru n until 17 Septem ber. Pardington created the six pieces in Paris wh ile completing a Laureate Artistic Creations Proje ct with the Mus du Quai Branly. ee The lush floral su bject matter is captured by Pa rdington in an int imate and sligh dark nature. It m tly ay surprise the viewer to find ou that these bloom t s are actually fa ke silk flowers from the marke ts of Paris. Secondly, the Ne w Dowse Art M useum presents Knitted & Knotte d, an exhibition that for the next three mon ths will celebrate this institutions famous love of the daring and the craft. These two words that are do not normally go together, ye when you see th t e knitted Jesus, you will surely understand wh at inspires the Ne w Dowse to support artists that continue to surprise within the contempora ry craft world. Ru ns from 27th of August until No vember 20th. To counteract th e crochet and flo ristry, the National Portrait Gallery will suffi ce all your masculine sens ibilities with the opening of an exhibition that celebrates our national sport in portraiture. The Match, a collect ion a portraits of New Zealand ru gby players by David Matches takes a raw appr , oach to capturing players moments after they leave the fie ld in jubilation or battered and br uised. Admission for the first tim is $5 and can be e seen until the 16 October. Finally, if for som e reason you fin d yourself heading up to th e City of Sails be sure you check out the re-opene d Auckland City Gallery. The buzz that surro unds this opening rivals that over whatever Kate Middleton is we aring this week .

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Salient Vol. 74

Games

Confessions of a Sims Addict Louise Burston

The Sims, admittedly, is not the most exciting addiction on offer. Neither can you stand inside the smoking chamber at Mighty Mighty and inhale it, nor can you run the risk of it leading you down a sordid road which inevitably ends in dumpster habitation. Right? Don’t be so naive. I’ve been a Sims addict for the past sixteen years and, to this day, am in no way clean. My addiction began, as many do, in the rancid pit of youth that is the schoolyard. It was during those hazy days of the 90s that an object of awe and power entered the classroom; a computer (or ‘cumpooper’, as the less articulate so enjoyed calling it). Despite being deprived of the internet, dial-up or otherwise, this beige box of mystery was installed with Sim City 2000 and that, I’m afraid, provided me with a taste of the heady delights which power over virtual beings could bring. Although my classmates and I experienced joy in founding these tiny, gaudy cities and setting them up with infrastructure, economy and a plethora of public parks, there inevitably came a time when the civilisation’s harmony offended us. What we had so painstakingly created was too perfect: it had to be destroyed. Flood, fire and famine were sent to erase all evidence of our achievements and, sated, we would begin again. Fast-forward a few years and, having been deprived of all Sims-related activity for some time, I believed myself free of the urge to build, control and annihilate. Then Sims Life Stories was thrust upon me by some well-meaning relative. Within that brief exchange of “Merry Christmas, Louise—I hope it isn’t too much like playing with Barbie Dolls” I was sentenced to nights spent in front of a laptop screen filled with the lives of carefully constructed, aesthetically magnificent and blissfully happy characters. Their destinies were my responsibility and it was a charge which I was powerless to ignore. I have a rough idea of how many hours I clocked on that game, shackled by my own weakness and god-complex, but am too ashamed to reveal it. Suffice to say that the generations of Sim families under my care were experiencing more successful jobs and relationships than I was. A moment of terrible realisation came to me at 3.20am, while trying to balance one recently divorced Sim’s relationship with her estranged daughter and the demands of her business career, that I might have some sort of problem. With shaking hands and a heavy heart I removed the disk from my laptop, stowed it away in the case which once shone with such promise, and placed it in the kitchen draw labelled ‘miscellaneous’, which might as well be a black hole for all the luck you’ll have finding anything you place in it ever again. Despite not having touched Sims in the past seven months, and I have support people who can attest to that, I’m still an addict. The cravings never really disappear, you know? When The Sims Medieval became available earlier this year I nearly relapsed, and that’s something I’ll have to combat for the rest of my life. If any relative should offer you a taste of Sims at some celebratory family gathering then I urge you to refuse. Learn from my sorry tale because it isn’t at all like playing with Barbie Dolls.

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Issue 19 Self improvement

Books

Interview with... Jay Collins talks to John Hart about his latest thriller, Iron House You used to be a lawyer and now you’re writing thriller novels. Do they go hand in hand? It seems like there are many instances of lawyers branching out into this area. Why thriller novels for you? I never set out to write thrillers to tell you the truth. I just set out to write a story and they just sort of turned into that I guess because deep down I find that interesting. I really care about writing characters, it’s really fun to have the high stakes that peel away all of the façades that people put on and see what’s going to happen. An example I like to use is a shameless theft of a great quote from an Alabama writer named Joshua Jackson, who says “If you want to introduce your readers to the people you’ve built, put all of your characters into a locked room and set one of them on fire.” Which when you think about it is genius because somebody is going to try to kick down the door, somebody is going to freak out, somebody is going to put out the fire, but it is not till you put them into that type of situation that you see who they are and what they do. I would describe my books as character-driven thrillers, not because I have any literary aspirations but because I really enjoy building interesting people and putting them through their paces, and thrillers are a great way to do that. One thing that links all four of your novels is the rich and detailed characters that you create. Iron House is certainly no exception to this, with characters such as Michael and Julian, who are dangerous, but in Julian’s case also quite fragile. What is your process for creating characters like these? The simple answer is simple imagination and lots and lots of deep, uninterrupted thought. I mean what kind of person is going to be interesting enough to drive the type of story that you wish to create? In Iron House it is obviously a very hard charging story, it’s the most violent thing I have ever written. Most of my books are not like that and so I needed really specific types of characters to make that happen. The trick for me is really ‘what motivates them?’ If at the end of the book the reader is going to look back and say “I believe the character would have done those things”, which is not the same as saying “I would have done those things” but that character would have done those things. You really need to get down to the heart of what makes those characters capable of that type of action.

You talked about how Iron House is more violent than earlier works, but there is also the romance between Michael and Elena. Do you find it difficult to mix action and romance into a novel without compromising the essence of a thriller? I don’t find it difficult. It is always a question of proportion of course. What is interesting about Elena is that she is very specific in her role. She is the only truly innocent person in the story. In a story full of villains, conflicted characters and people who have done bad things, Elena is a pure soul. I really wanted a mirror against which Michael would have to view the person he has become. He would have to gauge the value of the man he In a story full of villains, was and so much of the story is not just about conflicted characters depth of the feeling and people who have the between these people done bad things, Elena but the manner in which Elena reacts to the truth is a pure soul about what Michael really is and the exploration of whether or not she can accept it. Can she move beyond it and still love him or is he lost to her forever because of the things that he has done? It gives the chance to provide additional tension to the story and you know whether or not it’s a thriller, tension has to be present or else it’s boring and flat. That is the primary thing, there has to be some tension, some question about what would happen with these characters and so it is maybe a more wholesome kind of tension in the book, as opposed to some of the more violent tension. Read the rest online!

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Salient Vol. 74

Film

THE GUARD Adam Goodall

When your brother’s an incredibly talented, successful playwright who recently made a much-fêted transition to the silver screen, it’s only natural to feel insecure. It’s even more natural to feel insecure if you got to Hollywood first only to shit out, say, Heath Ledger’s Ned Kelly—how do you pick yourself up after your brother bests you at your own game? Well, if The Guard is anything to go by, you don’t do it by nicking the best elements of your brother’s film and tacking them to a derivative buddy cop script like some kind of half-assed Lego house. The Guard is the debut directorial feature John Michael McDonagh, the Niles Crane of the McDonagh family (his brother, Martin, most recently wrote and directed the outstanding In Bruges), and McDonagh indelibly owes a debt to the “in-yer-face” theatre and cinema of his brother (among others). It’s there in the brusque, comically ignorant lead; the eloquent, bloodthirsty upper-class antagonists; the snappy, expletive-laden dialogue; the vulgarity; the irrepressible Irishness. Truth be told, though, The Guard does give hints of doing good by the legacy of In Bruges and Martin McDonagh’s many plays, largely thanks to Brendan Gleeson. Playing the “unconventional” Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a Garda in a coastal Irish village who indulges as many vices as he can, Gleeson is a sheer delight to watch. Not only does Gleeson nail Boyle’s broad, uncouth persona, he subtly draws out Boyle’s unshakable belief in doing right by the people around him, giving the character a human element that could have been easily lost among the drugs and the prostitutes. However, The Guard never rises above being a superficially entertaining genre exercise due to McDonagh's script. Aside from Boyle, the characters, most notably a trio of aloof, drug-smuggling villains, feel less like people and more like loose concepts slinging banter at each other. Furthermore, that banter doesn’t sparkle with any regularity, McDonagh dropping clichés and wordy one-liners that only serve to pad out the space between the genuinely funny exchanges. The Guard appropriates tired genre tropes without doing anything exciting or interesting with them and, while an agreeable way to spend 90 minutes, it ultimately finishes as it starts—an exhibition piece for Gleeson’s considerable skills and little else.

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SPACE BATTLESHIP

YAMAT0 Johnny Crawford

It is the year 2199. The Earth, a planet so lush and green in the 2170s, has been reduced to a ball of dry rock. This desolation has been caused—of course—by “radiation”. Earth’s only hope lies in the revered Japanese space programme—specifically the sexy crew of the Space Battleship Yamato. The world is counting on our heroes to retrieve a legendary MacGuffin that can be used to dispel the radiation from Earth, an action that—as we all know— will bring back the oceans, the forests and the non-Japanese earthlings. The only problem? The device is on a planet guarded by an armada of some really nasty aliens. Oh, and it may not actually exist. Space Battleship Yamato is a perfect example of how one’s expectations going into a film can shape their experience. By any reasonable measure, Yamato is a bad film. Set in a visually indistinct world realised with costumes, set-design and CGI that belong in an after-school TV show, it’s a failure aesthetically. The dialogue ranges from unspeakIt’s unaware of its ably silly, meaningless jargon to own ridiculousness sickeningly earnest clichés and and derivativeness, some worryingly neo-fascist glorification of Japan's past. unfolding with Furthermore, it’s unaware of a completely its own ridiculousness and derivativeness, unfolding with straight face a completely straight face. This super-seriousness is clear from the first ten minutes, the movie having the audacity to give an unidentified character an incredibly emotional death scene and expecting us to care. Then there’s the narrative recounted above, the kind of nonsense that can only come about when a terrible storyteller tries to condense a rich world into a single film. I’m unfamiliar with the manga and anime on which this is based but I’m sure it deserves better. That said, something astounding happened in the third act. The patrons of the Paramount, spoiled by Malick’s and Miike’s latest and unsure how to take this travesty, erupted into riotous laughter. Misinterpreting the pre-movie hype, I had been expecting a genuinely good film and had been equally bored and enraged from the opening scene. However, in Yamato’s Armageddon-esque climax, I couldn’t help but join in on the ironic appreciation. I’m not saying that one of the most expensive Japanese films ever made can reach the same level of unintentional transcendence of something like The Room, but when this comes out on DVD I might just rewatch it, drinking every time the camera dramatically dollies in on a character’s face.

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Issue 19 Self improvement

Theatre

On the UpsideDown of the World Michael Boyes

After receiving the unanimous stamp of approval from Auckland’s finest, Arthur Meek’s On the Upside-Down of the World has immigrated south to Downstage Theatre. From the personal writings of Lady Mary Ann Martin, Meek has created a superb testimonial to the early colonisation of New Zealand, with the vitality, beauty and humour for which he has become so acclaimed. Mrs Martin, a Victorian woman of good heart with an unfortunate disability, departs England for the brooding shore of New Zealand, where her husband—the nation’s first Chief Justice—awaits her. An extraordinary tale of self preservation, our heroine must learn An extraordinary tale a land, a language, a people, and herself. of self preservation, Laurel Devenie’s our heroine must portrayal of Lady Martin learn a land, a is as jolly as it is sombre, accompanied by the language, a people, quixotic Victorian curiosity and of herself. we may nowadays deem shrewd. She is clever, understanding, and infallibly British, maintained by an engaging tenderness and honesty. Devenie’s consummate presence on stage generously complements Meek’s diary-like text that is delivered in miniature anecdotes, stops and starts. It is therefore unfortunate that the stage itself cannot uphold what is an otherwise enchanting piece of theatre. Tony Rabbit’s intricate orchestration of steel ladders—four large panels shall we say, the two farthest back ascend heavenwards, as the front two incline towards each other, creating several A-frame passages parallel to the audience—while looking very impressive, are rarely used and essentially act as a means to fill a large stage. Their saving grace is the delicious pit of sand and stones in which they stand, adding contrast in texture and colour; an extended metaphor for the meeting of cultures and/ or generations, perhaps...? John Gibson’s sound design often serves to heighten the impression of an environment, but at times becomes all too intrusive or unnecessary. As Director Colin McColl writes in his programme, "it’s a great pleasure to be back showcasing two of the brightest young stars of New Zealand’s theatrical community". And this is very true. Arthur Meek and Laurel Devenie are powerful talents to be reckoned with, ‘nuff said.

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On the Upside-Down of the World By Arthur Meek 24 August—10 September Downstage Theatre

Chalk Tom Clarke

The self-devised piece now showing at BATS is the brainchild of Isla Adamson (winner of Standout performer at the Wellington Fringe 2010) and Josephine StewartTewhiu (winner of Best Performance in Theatre in the Auckland Fringe 2011), two superb writers who have already received critical acclaim for their previous show Ruby Tuesday. Isla and Josephine tell the story of a group of people in an Auckland retirement home where no one seems particularly at home. Nina Reihana has her bags packed to be taken back to her family, waiting for her nephew to come. She strikes up a friendship with the quiet Alice, a young girl who has come to get to know her dying grandmother, Mrs Lemon, before she passes. The Ja’mie-esque Karen steals from the residents and toys with high-strung Clint, who has created a stamp to brand all members of the Shady Meadows clan so they will never be lost. Heather, the Kath and Kim-esque manager, deals with Sukhdeep’s issues of racism from the guests while Glynn faces a visit from her 16-year-old granddaughter who

has come with her boyfriend and their newborn baby looking to cash in on their grandmother. Confined to a chalk square in the centre of BATS, the set is minimalistic and sparse; two red chairs are the only other adornments. This aids the quick-change style of theatre which, along with comically brilliant performances, details the characters. Isla’s and Josephine’s physicality and adaptation of the voices morphs them smoothly from character to character; especially in the inspired moment where Karen fondles Jason’s hair, two characters both played by Josephine. This charmingly clever play makes us look at the generation gap and consider the worth of rest homes for the elderly. The treatment of the residents to seem like inmates who can’t escape, whose lives are confined to a small chalk square, makes us examine the idea that these places shouldn’t be the resting place for the elderly who “come here to die.” Beautifully constructed and skilfully performed, this show was a delight to watch from its opening to its close.

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Chalk By Isla Adamson and Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu 23 – 27 August at BATS Theatre

Where my Monsters at? Louise Burston

This Friday night I’ll be donning a corset, downing a glass of confidence juice and fixing a pair of antlers to my head. This is not, I assure you, a weekly ritual for me. Monster Burlesque, a sensual spectacle of various delights, will be offering the opportunity for everyday folks to step into the infinitely sexy world of corsetry, teeth and claws.

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Monster Burlesque 8—10 and 15—17 September Paramount Theatre salient.org.nz


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Not the cordial —the island Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

will be

dave the beer guy

When I headed to Rarotonga for a recent holiday I expected a pretty grim beer scene, but my expectations were very misguided.

Upon arrival I learned that there are two breweries on the small island of 14,000 inhabitants—not a bad ratio. These two breweries were Cook’s Lager Brewery and Matutu Brewery, and I visited both. Cook’s Brewery is a recent addition to the island, being only 18 months old. Their equipment is top of the line, imported from the states. But suffice to say the beer needs work to match the quality of their equipment… Matutu, on the other hand, is a craft brewery doing some great things with close ties to Wellington brewery Tuatara. The Matutu brewery is actually the original Tuatara brewery, transplanted from a cow shed in Reikorangi on the Kapiti Coast to a shed in Tikioki on the South-Eastern coast of Rarotonga. Matutu founders James Puati and Eric Newnham spent months travelling to and from Wellington to work with Tuatara, study their kit and learn the brewing process. Then it was all packed up and shipped to Rarotonga. Four years old, Matutu make two staple beers: Mai Matutu make two staple beers: Mai Lager Lager and Kiva Pale Ale. I was astounded by the quality of beer and Kiva Pale Ale. I being made in such isolation. was astounded by the In a tropical climate such quality of beer being as Rarotonga, awash with pale made in such isolation lager, I was very happy to see a pale ale. Kiva Pale Ale is hopped with a blend of US-grown Centennial and NZ grown Golding hops, which give a floral aroma. Use of crystal malts give Kiva a rich, sweet flavour, and when combined with light hopping give the impression of an easy drinking English pale ale. In Cook Islands Maori ‘Mai’ means ‘come here’ or ‘bring me another’, a phrase I was using often with this beer. Thankfully Matutu Mai Lager isn’t an attempt to clone the popular but flavourless lagers mostly available on the island. It uses two of my favourite hops, Motueka and Riwaka, which turn it into more of a crisp, refreshing pilsner very similar to many being made by New Zealand’s best craft breweries. I’d recommend visiting the brewery if you’re ever in the area—Mai Lager unfiltered straight out of the tank is amazing. Of course these beers aren’t usually available in New Zealand, but I have learned that Matutu has been selected as one of two Cook Island businesses to be exhibited at the New Zealand business innovation showcase held at ‘The Cloud’ in Auckland during the Rugby World Cup. Matutu have commissioned a batch of Mai Lager to be brewed by Invercargill Brewery for the event, and if any is leftover it may make its way to Wellington. So keep an eye out!

*

If you have any questions about this week’s beers or any comments, please contact me at davethebeerguy@gmail.com or tweet at me @ davethebeerguy

Hayley Adams

Alarmed by the slow flurries that hit the windy city just a few weeks ago, my flatmates and I were feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. Our Aro Valley flat is poorly insulated and, heaters seeming like a far too expensive option, we warmed ourselves and our souls by throwing together a delicious chocolate self-saucing pud. The microwave options are so easy, but don’t be tempted! Put a little extra time into it and you will be greatly rewarded for lovingly baking that tasty treat in an oven. • 100 g butter • 1 C sugar • 2 tbs cocoa powder • 1 1/3 C flour • 4 tsp baking powder • 1/4 tsp salt • 2/3 C milk • 1 C brown sugar • 4 tbs golden syrup • 4 tbs cocoa powder • 2 C boiling water Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Melt butter in the microwave and then mix the sugar and cocoa powder into it. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Then add the milk. I like to use an electric mixer, which makes for a smooth, lump-free batter. Grease an oven dish. Something like an oven-proof casserole pot with a lid works best, but any oven-proof dish will work so long as the batter only fills 1/3 of the depth (or you will get overflow). Sprinkle/squeeze sugar, golden syrup and cocoa powder over the top, then gently pour over boiling water. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes. Serve with runny cream.

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Notices

Salient provides a free notice service for all Victoria University of Wellington students, VUWSA-affiliated clubs and not-for-profit organisations. Notices should be received by 5pm Tuesday the week before publication. Notices should be fewer than 100 words. For-profit organisations will be charged $10 per notice. Send notices to editor@salient.org.nz, with ‘Notice’ in the subject line.

19/9 – AIESEC 23/9 – Aviat Networks 30/9 – Parliamentary Counsel Office; TaxTeam 1/10 – Telogis 30/11 – Asia NZ Foundation; JET Programme Employer Presentations - check details/book on CareerHub:

Film Society Do you want a chance to watch a vast range of weekly movies with fellow students? Do you want to eat homemade popcorn while doing so?

6/9 – ASB – targeting all disciplines, 5.30pm 28/9 – Walt Disney World, 5.40pm 30/9 – JET Programme (Teach English in Japan), 1.00pm

Do you want to pay dirt cheap prices for it?

Careers in Focus Seminar - check details/book on CareerHub:

If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then come along to Film Society.

14/9 – Accounting – Working in SME Firms, 5.30pm

Thursday Night 6:30pm Room 203, 83 Fairlie Terrace

27/9 – FHSS – Careers with a BA, 5.30pm

This week, pay only $15 for a year’s worth of films (carrying through semester 1, 2012) or $2 for a single non-membership screening and watch Alan Parker’s rock operatic portrait of a tortured artist Pink Floyd the Wall. Film Society: All the cool kids are doing it.

Flatmate Wanted Large dble bdrm available in 4bdrm flat on the Terrace (Aro end). $167.50 pw + $28 expenses. 5-10 min to uni, town and Aro shops. Fantastic location!! Outdoor courtyard and garden, great landlord! Looking for a flatmate to join our social flat of 2 guys and a girl (age 20), who also enjoy downtime when appropriate. Txt/Call 0273104125 to come and view!!

Careers and Jobs 2011/12 Internships and 2012 Graduate Jobs: Applications Closing Soon (details on CareerHub careerhub.victoria.ac.nz): 9/9 – ASB 10/9 – United Nations 16/9 – NZ Defence Force 18/9 – Fonterra

Get expert advice from Vic Careers on:

Toastmasters!!! Wednesdays, 12-1pm, Room 218, Student Union Building Because communication isn’t optional, Toastmasters is a club dedicated to helping people practice public speaking in a fun and supportive environment. Everyone - no matter what your current public speaking ability – is welcome. Come along and see what Toastmasters is all about. Visit us online at vicuni.freetoasthost.info

Drinking getting you down? AA Student Meeting Every Thursday Student Union Building Room SU219 Noon email: aameetingstudent@gmail.com  

- what to do with your degree - how to put together a CV - what to expect at an interview - how to get a job Vic Careers: 463-5393, careers-service@vuw.ac.nz, 14 Kelburn Parade

Vic OE – Vic Student Exchange Programme Why not study overseas as part of your degree?! Earn Vic credit, get Studylink & grants, explore the world! Weekly seminars on Wednesdays, Level 2, Easterfield Building, 12.55pm – 1.05pm Coming up! Study on Exchange Exhibition – Sept 12th to Sept 16th, Maclaurin Foyer, Kelburn Campus Upcoming Deadlines: For Tri 1, 2012 exchange July 16th, (UC June 30th) Email: exchangestudents@vuw.ac.nz Website: victoria.ac.nz/exchange

itter! on Tw ! We’re tmagazine en @sali

Like Salient on Facebook ! 18 people can’ 68 t be wrong!

Visit us: Level 2, Easterfield Building Drop-in hours: Mon & Tues 9-12, Wed-Fri 10-12

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Letters Salient Letters Policy 2011 Salient welcomes, encourages and thrives on public debate—be it serious or otherwise—through the letters pages. Write about what inspires you, enrages you, makes you laugh, makes you cry. Send us feedback, send us abuse. Anything. Letters must be received before 5pm Tuesday, for publication the following week. Letters must be no more than 250 words. Pseudonyms are fine, but all letters must include your real name, address and telephone number. These will not be printed. Please note that letters will not be corrected for spelling or grammar. The Editors reserve the right to edit, abridge or decline any letters without explanation. Letters can be sent to letters@ salient.org.nz, posted to Salient, c/- Victoria University, PO Box 600, Wellington or dropped into the Salient office on the third floor of the Student Union Building.

m to ~

Send ‘e

.nz nt.org @salie / c t Salien y iversit ria Un o t ic V 0 0 6 x PO Bo n

letters

gto Wellin

Rory punched Hitler! It was awesome! Heres my question, and I know you guys feel me, when this damned Skynet law comes into force come September 1st where the hell are we meant to get The Doctor from?! Everyone who is anyone knows the second half of series 6 starts on the 27th August and I’m not sure I’ll be happy just seeing him kill Hitler, then having to wait near an eternity for Prime to show it here. Also, whats with River’s Madame Kovarian-esqe eye patch in the trailer? Oh dear...

to say that belief in God is following a ‘true north’ which defies the moral ‘swing’ that a secular- based morality system would be let down by. Whether or not an external true north exists, a lot of people follow secular theories (such as utilitarianism, or Kantianism) which inform morality- both of which, like religious belief systems, have their short- falls, but advocate “morally correct” ways of behaving. I am perfectly capable of treating others with respect without fear of either divine or earthly retribution. Still Not Convinced.

Arachnophobe so hysterical they emailed us twice! OH GOD WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!? I am currently screaming. I hope you’re happy. Sincerely, absolutely terrified from Kelburn *** The giant mechanical spider from Wild Wild West is the worst spider of all! Most spiders simply destroy innocence: that spider destroyed minds, souls and at least two careers.

Dear Salient,

I’m not sure how you plan to fit it into my house but if you do, I will scream. If you put it in your magazine, I will also scream but less loudly. Possibly into a pillow, so I don’t bother the neighbours.

I found this weeks article on how to have gay sex quite inappropriate. The magazine doesn’t need to have that smut to be interesting. This is not discrimination, I don’t want to see any how to have sex articles. It has traditionally been and should remain a topic that isn’t encouraged to discuss openly. 

Sincerely, Extremely worried from Kelburn

Keep it classy Salient! Zach

Oh yeah, this conversation is apparently still happening

Uh-oh! We’re caitlin trouble!

Somewhere South, the problem I have with Harriet’s feature is mainly that she seems to say that faith in Jesus will bring justice after death, so her view of morality has no bearing on people’s actions in this life. In fact, it seemed to actively discourage people from acting in ways which would either address their own injustice or bring about justice for others. It’s interesting that you seem to have conflated justice with morality in your response to me- the original feature didn’t even seem to advocate acting morally, it merely assured some sort of ‘justice’ after death as a reward for simply believing in the existence of Jesus. I think that it is dishonest

Dear Salient (in particular Elle, Molly and Stella) Soz I’m a bit late, but not having contact courses means I’m never around to pick up Salient. So imagine my surprise when flicking through Gaylient I see your exec rating - in particular the WRO’s. I find it interesting that Necia wasn’t given the lowest rating but was the only one to have her position questioned. The membership of Women’s Group does not define how well the WRO is doing and it’s unfair of you to suggest that it is not a valid position because Women’s Group itself is small. Women’s Group is a rep group and has its own exec - the WRO is there to assist


Issue 19 Self improvement

when they need it. It’s been a rep group since ‘09 and I spent last year trying to get it to be self sufficient so the WRO could deal with wider issues on campus and in the community (y’know, like the Queer officer and UniQ...). Unfortunately for Necia, a lack of organisation and commitment from the Women’s group exec means that she has to spend her time dealing with them and has less time to come up with her own initiatives Thanks for trivialising all the work Necia and I have done this year and last, though! P.S. If I were to get rid of any position, it’d be activities. What did Campbell, Alan Young and Guy Williams even do? Caitlin Dunham National Women’s Rights Officer New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations Te Roopu Ākonga o ngā Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa

Reply— Caitlin In our review of the VUWSA’s exec half-yearly work reports, we gave critical consideration to all of the roles. The impact and success of an individual exec member’s efforts is constrained by the reach and potential of their position, and our statement in our write-up on Necia that “it must be questioned whether Women’s Officer is worth retaining in the long-term” does not trivialise her (or your) efforts. Elle Hunt & Stella Blake-Kelly

Facts are fun! Salut, ma lettre-soif amis! Some fun facts for you: slugs have four noses, a 13-year-old boy in India produced winged beetles in his urine after hatching the eggs in his body,  the strike note of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is e-flat, New Zealand has more bookshops per head of population than any other country in the world, Lonely Planet thinks Wellington is one of the top 5 cities to visit in 2011... and I’ve never broken a bone in my body but I’ve had over 50 stitches. Au revoir :) PS: while sadly not delivered by owl, the surprise deliveries in my mail box from you have been most enjoyable- I really ought to return the favour.

It’s almost as if most of this country doesn’t even really care that much about rugby. I mean, it’s not like it’s evil or dumb or anything but... I mean... Did you see on Close Up last week when someone texted in to say that if New Zealand doesn’t win the Rubgy World Cup it will the population’s fault for not supporting them enough? That just seems crazy to me.

I am so over the Rugby World Cup.  Sad thing is that it hasn’t even begun yet. Sigh.

OMG OMG OMG JOE MCCRORY SENDED US A LETTER! Dear Editors, RE: FACEBOOK PLEA FOR LETTERS I have noticed that Salient’s last edition (the jauntily nick-named ‘Gaylient’) carried some enthusiastic coverage of the 2011 VUWSA AGM. This was good to see - and the official Salient Facebook page (no nick-name) followed this up by promoting the upcoming VUWSA election for next year’s student executive.

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you are defined by things in the surrounding environment (e.g. fashion, interests, subject you study) then the quote from Oscar Wild is relevant, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” If an art piece is a reflection of the artist, so too must we be a reflection of ‘something’. Are we simply a reflection of our surrounding environment/other people, or are we a reflection of something greater? You choose, but I believe we are a reflection of something far greater; God. You have to know where you come from to know who you are.

I cannot stress to the students of Victoria University how important this is. At Auckland University, we are stuck with voluntary student membership (VSM). The Government is planning to remove our right to have a vote and take this away. VUWSA, AUSA, and about twelve other students’ associations have been fighting this, ad nauseum, for the last two years. You may have heard about it before. The point of this letter then is to encourage you to stand for election to VUWSA, your association. You probably haven’t considered this – and you may not know anyone vaguely involved. Ignore these impulses. If you think students should be well supported at university while they study, and that they should fight back when bad things happen, you will be great. Students’ associations will have to make some big calls in the next year – VSM included. You may not realise, but despite being about twice the size of Vic, Auckland has half as many student services. It could happen to you! Try and stop it. Being the president of a VSM students’ association is like helplessly watching your best friend being beaten up by ACT MPs in the playground. Don’t allow VUWSA to be beaten up by the ideologues in ACT – run for the VUWSA executive and beat them up instead. It’s important to care. You get sixteen ticks in this election – fourteen more than you get in the general election in November. Use them

21st Birthday Package • Complimentary Venue Hire • Complimentary Projector + Screen • Complimentary Bottle of Bubbles • Complimentary Next Day Brunch ($80 value)

Yours sincerely, Corner of Manners & Willis St Joe McCrory PH: 04 385 1000 Email: info@perrettscorner.co.nz President Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA)

Web: www.perrettscorner.co.nz

The subject line of this was “Letter to the Editor - Know who you are.” So, uh, yeah? Identity is the most treasured commodity in life. If we know who we are, it doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, or if we have success or failure, if we know who we are we will always remain anchored in the midst of turbulence. When you hear someone attempt to describe who they are, you will hear them describe where they are from, what they do, or some of their personal characteristics, but no one can actually tell you who they are. If

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ACROSS:

DOWN:

1. Imagine (9)

2. Innocent (5)

5. Hurl (5)

3. Bland (7)

9. Indecent (7)

ACROSS:

DOWN:

1. EMBRACE

2. BUTCH

4. Perpetuity (8)

4. BUGGERY

3. ARRAY

10. A guide (5)

5. Walk (5)

9. TEETER

5. GENITALIA

11. Reside (5)

6. Curved (5)

10. GAY

6. ATTEMPT

13. Colourful (5)

7. Anxious (9)

11. SNAG

7. BANISH

15. Precise (5)

8. Adjudicator (5)

13. SIGNATURES

8. PERSONA

17. Yield (7)

12. Custom (7)

15. PURPLE

12. GIRL

19. Declare (8)

14. Pal (5)

16. WHEN

14. FREED

20. Altered (8)

16. Atonement (7)

20. REFORM

17. NORM

22. Financial system (7)

18. Molten rock (5)

22. REASON

18. AMID

24. Poor quality (5)

19. Copious (9)

25. DUDE

19. LOVE

26. Fatigued (5)

21. Continuum (8)

27. QUEER

21. OPPRESSED

29. Temperate (5)

23. Antiquated (7)

31. STEREOTYPE

23. DREAMER

31. Forthright (5)

25. Branch (5)

32. KISS

24. INSULT

32. Rubbish (7)

27. Symbol (5)

33. SEX

26. DAPPER

33. Boat (5)

28. Imprecise (5)

34. NATURE

28. UNFIT

34. Equipment (9)

30. Valiant (5)

35. GENDER

29. SEEK

36. NURTURE

30. CORNER

CRYPTIC ACROSS:

CRYPTIC DOWN:

1. Daydream about the dimensions of orange soft drink (9)

2. Nah, I have been gullible... (5)

5. Fling the other column boat (5)

3. Boring within a mouthful of identification (7)

9. Corn on some shoe-mender was spotted to be morally offensive. (7)

4. Enter before I thank you forever (8)

10. Escort us to that female! (5)

5. Put your foot down at red (5)

11. Settle on the failing grade of a spring (5)

6. One Spanish Doctor in a circle (5)

13. Clear six, six and five hundred (5)

7. Nervous for each half-turbo bed (9)

15. To be accurate, impose tariffs on initially every country (5)

8. Just until damnation, get everyone to form an opinion (5)

17. Give in to mucus before the first Christmas (7)

12. The usual kangaroo teenager (7)

19. Broadcast the professional calm around Iris (8)

14. Holly, friend of crickets (5)

20. A changed façade if I dominate (8)

16. Camp Marco makes an admission of guilt (7)

22. Wealth from the money company (7)

18. Γ is volcanic (5)

24. Like the ocean heap is stingy (5)

19. Abundant tin fell up (9)

26. Tired of the way to a back reply (5)

21. A range of spectacular trumpets! (8)

29. Serious is also berzerk (5)

23. Old curved structure ends in Jamaica (7)

31. Honest, it is Anne Sinatra! (5)

25. Balance on the super chrysalis (5)

32. Refuse a beggar (7)

27. Coin the correspondence sent from Barbie (5)

33. Paddle to aluminium studies overseas (5)

28. Being fuzzy is not quite in fashion (5)

34. The organisation of New Year’s chimera (9)

30. Bold bedroom avenue (5)

okay am trapped inside giant robot replica of my wife

really trying not to see this as metaphor hitler cupboard

answers

Puzzles


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19 - Self-improvement