LETTERS & NOTICES
PSC : ONE OCEAN
THE UGLY SNEAKER DRAWN IN
THE VINES OF NOSTALGIA
MY ROMANTICISED OASIS
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Editor Kii Small firstname.lastname@example.org
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Contributors Te Aorewa Areta, Max Nichol, Alice Mander, Michael Turnbull, Jessica La, Sulani Liua Helg, Alex Walker, Callum Turnbull, Taylor Burns, Sophia Katsoulis, Nina Weir, Finbarr Mccarthy, Tom White, Sally Ward
TO THE WINDOW TO THE FALL In June, we saw Mike Hosking call Chlöe Swarbrick “naïve” because of her view of the cannabis reform. “Wait until you have kids,'' he told her, because apparently she doesn’t really understand how the cannabis reform is going to affect the country. Just a month later, The Taxpayers Union called Youth Parliament a waste of money and time. A disparaging rhetoric that left the youth of today bamboozled and feeling all types of ways—no Rich Homie Quan. Mike Hosking has a family of his own. In 2004, Salient named him one of the people this world go probably do without (a little harsh, but student journalism isn’t all that perfect). In fact, his oldest spawn is 18. Naïve or not, we got our own teenager and gave him a shot at curating the feature articles and choosing the themes this week. Daniel and Elijah from Hutt Valley High couldn’t get to us in time for print day, but Nicholas (from St Bernard’s) has been with us for the entire week. Have you ever dropped a law student into a room with four 24-year-old chain-smoking engineering graduates, full of Marlboro Reds and no windows? You ever watch someone get onto the balcony of Siglo, totally unaware they are without their friends, looking lost as fuck? We basically did that to Nicholas, with no remorse. He survived to tell his story:
the Salient staff meant entering a realm detached from the rest of the world. Thankfully, this week‘s issue focused on the theme of Nostalgia. A theme like Nostalgia invites ambiguity. It can be as simple as déjà vu or as comforting as a pair of ugly sneakers. The features included in this week’s issue are packed with personal perspectives of Nostalgia, so I won’t waste this editorial speaking on a topic that the issue covers so well. Instead, this editorial will focus on what one learns working aside the Salient staff. Trust me, you learn A LOT. Everything from how to lay out a magazine, to how copious amounts of coffee leads to a vaping addiction. You can never really understand how much work goes into producing a whole magazine, until you witness the process—a stressful process that begins weeks before the issues are distributed for your reading pleasure. But if pressure creates diamonds, then communal stress creates a family. And that is what your talented team at Salient are: a big, overcaffeinated and occasionally serious family. Like any family, you're bound to have weird cousins (the News department). The ones that come to the office way too early with weird haircuts and brightly coloured shirts. I’m blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this family this week. There is no doubt that an experience like this will age until it’s… nostalgic.
I have never felt more grown in my entire life than this week. I was that kid who got left in charge when the teacher left the room. Being blessed to gain experience working alongside
Kii Small & Nicholas Lindstrom
WOMEN IN TECH Tickets for VUW Women in Tech's annual conference WITcon are on sale now, at only $10 for students!
Send your notices to firstname.lastname@example.org
With a bunch of industry sponsors and a stacked line-up of talks about STEM diversity, postgraduate study, API design, marketing strategies, data storytelling, effects of climate change on a bacterial scale, and decolonisation of digital solutions—this is not an event to miss. A great learning and networking opportunity for all students, particularly those studying engineering & computer science, science, design, and business.
ASYLUM SEEKERS EQUALITY PROJECT Asylum seeking policy is not only a global and national issue, but a local one. Come along to ASEP’s second event of the year, to hear Mayor Justin Lester speak on Wellington City Council’s initiatives relating to this paramount issue.
When: 21 August Where: Memorial Theatre, Student Union Building https://witcon19.lilregie.com.
Date: 5 p.m., Aug 15 2019 Location: Old Government Building Common Room
Dear Salient, I walk from the Kelburn campus to Fairlie Terrace on my way home and I walk past the groundskeepers (anxiety-inducing). BUTT I also walk past all of their cigarette butts on the ground (and don't have the guts to say anything).
Send your letters to email@example.com
They are littered all throughout the gardens and all in the gutters in the area, but also all around Vic.
Because one cigarette butt contaminates an entire 200 liters of water, I think something should be done to educate not just the groundskeepers but all of the smokers. I hope that if they knew the impact, they would stop being butts and dropping all of their butts.
There were no crosswords, sudokus or puzzles in last week's Salient.
Thank you for putting the time into reading my spiel!
Fund us at the link below you troglodytes, or get off our dicks.
News. MONDAY, 12 AUGUST 2019
Abortion Reform Bill Introduced Following Decriminalisation March
A Bill to modernise New Zealandâ€™s abortion laws has been introduced to Parliament. Justice Minister Andrew Little announced the Bill would remove statutory testing for women not over 20 weeks pregnant, allowing a woman to self-refer to an abortion service provider. A health practitioner would only be required to approve abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant. This Bill also removes abortion from the Crimes Act, proposing it be treated as a health issue. The government opted for none of the three options recommended by the Law Commission, instead choosing a more conservative version of the commissionâ€™s Option C. Campaigners last week, pictured, called for the adoption of Option A. Photo by Hannah Powell.
Multiculturalism: Rabeea Inayahtullah is Running for Council JOHNNY O’HAGAN BREBNER (HE/HIM)
Rabeea Inayatullah: Porirua City Council Northern Ward There’s no doubt Rabeea is passionate about her home city. Throughout her interview with us, she consistently brought up the importance of Porirua and its people, and how they created the person she is today. From her parents and grandparents, to her schoolmates, to her Islamic faith. Her passion was supported by clear values and priorities, of which compassion, active representation and engagement, and multiculturalism were the most prominent.
Not only would Rabeea be committed to this kind of council representation, she’s also keen to maintain and even expand it. She already has ties to the PMC, but she called specifically for a council representative on the Ngāti Toa executive. Her hope would be to build the existing relationship, as well as facilitate discussions between the iwi and the council. Rabeea’s calls for developing these “key partnerships” came up as a key part of a lot of her policies, especially with mental health, climate change, and communitybuilding. Mental Health Rabeea thinks Porirua City Council (PCC) is “doing a pretty good job” with mental health in the city, especially following the establishment of the youth mental health pilot.
Unfortunately, Rabeea was light on specific policy details in a number of areas we asked about. But this isn’t her own fault, as we interviewed her earliest, well before any sort of formal campaign launch. So if you think she sounds a bit light on detail, check out her campaign page in the box at the end of the article.
However, she thinks there’s definitely more to be done, “I’m not necessarily happy [with the status quo...] there’s areas for improvement.”
In the meantime, have a gander at her thoughts below.
One area brought up in the interview was around loneliness and isolation within communities. A key solution for Rabeea was encouraging community events like markets, food truck enterprises, and other small local initiatives. “Local events help a lot in the smaller suburbs, because you’re recognising your neighbour,'' she said.
Representation: Youth, Māori, and Multiculturalism It was apparent that representation and engagement with marginalised groups in the city is a key part of Rabeea Inayatullah and interviewer Peter Rabeea’s platform. She made it a feature McKenzie gagging for a coﬀee. of her one-minute pitch, saying youth representation is “critically low” in the city, with 40% of the population younger than 25 but no such A central part of this is the council’s facilitation of these events councillors. She also promoted herself as both a voice for Asians and “reaching out” to communities in general. When asked about and immigrants in the city, which she considers is lacking on the possible apprehension for council events from Porirua residents, council at the moment. Rabeea was clear on the responsibilities of councilors—“actually reaching out. Because if you want to be on council and you want to Her enthusiasm for representation also extends to multicultural prove yourself to people, you just have to go there… I don’t think representation, and is reflected in her role as a Porirua Multicultural there’s any way to work around that.” Council representative. Her time spent on the PMC, and as a member of the Parramatta Residents Association, impressed upon On mental health more generally, she is enthusiastic about the her the importance of city council representation in community possibilities of collaborative work from councillors; “If council groups. She recalled Mayor Mike Tana’s role as a PCC rep on the works together and we’re genuine and want to make a change, we PMC as one of the most effective methods for issues to be relayed actually have leaders that care about the city and its people, then to council and then resolved. Having councillors at the residents having those people on council come together [...] I think we can association’s meetings had similar effects. achieve a lot.”
Housing and Living Costs Rabeea was more than clear on her key policy to improve the lives of those less well-off in the city—before Peter could finish his question on living costs, she had answered, “living wage, definitely.”
Climate Change Like most people who aren’t boomers, Rabeea is keenly aware of the threat of climate change. “Our generation is going to be dealing with the reality of climate change and our kids are as well,” she said.
Porirua City Council has already announced its intention to make itself a living wage council by—and this is important—Rabeea’s birthday next year. And again, while Rabeea sees this as a good start, she wants to make sure it’s rolled out as far as possible. Within council, she wants to make sure all those working for council, including contractors and other indirect employees, are paid a living wage.
And while she acknowledges she hasn’t “delved too deep” into a number of the policies available, she thinks the current strategy is a “good first step”. That current direction, which has a focus on consultation, fits naturally with her broader platforms. She also sees the role of central government as essential to climate action. She believed the central government was doing a decent job on the issue, and wants councils to make sure they’re following up on it. “If they can do it at a national level, then we should do it at a local level.”
However, she’s not averse to pushing the campaign beyond just council. The first step, to Rabeea, is straightforward but she believes effective; “actually using our voices makes a huge difference. Really pushing and urging council to address these things.” She cited the work of two Aotea College students who campaigned, successfully, for the PCC to declare a climate emergency to illustrate.
The Campaign Rabeea is not running on a party ticket, instead she’s running a “low-cost” campaign with the support of a network of friends and family. Although not her favourite past time, she says she’s “pretty good at budgeting”, so she should be able to pull it off.
On housing, specifically, Rabeea was also happy with the start the council has made on its two new housing developments. However, she expressed concern about the existing infrastructure, about whether it could handle the development itself and the increased number of houses at the end. After a Parramatta Residents Association meeting, she doesn’t think this is being addressed enough and would push for it on council.
She also acknowledged the work of the Take Back the City campaign, all the young people supporting her, support from her old schools—and of course, her four sisters, who “don’t have a choice”. To The Haters Rabeea’s plan if she doesn’t win was also expected, “holding them accountable, [and] working with them”. She plans to continue her work on the PMC and residents association, as well as her mentoring at the Islamic Centre. But, like her competition Josh Trlin, she says “if one of us gets on, that’s a win for all of us.”
More Stuff: Full interviews available online. Keep an eye on the Salient website and Facebook page. Look up Rabeea for Porirua Northern Ward on Facebook for updates and more info. Young Matt Show: Discussing the candidate of the week every Monday, 6–8 p.m. http://salient.org.nz/fm/ Salient TV: Promo-ing the candidate of the week every Thursday. www.facebook.com/ salientmagazine/ Enrol for elections at https://vote.nz/ or at the VUWSA offices. It’s literally the same map as last time.
We Nerded Out at Festival for the Future SOPHIE DIXON (SHE/THEY) AND JOANNA LI (SHE/HER) Festival for the Future, as the name implies, looks forward into how our communities and country could tackle some of the biggest challenges facing us today. The key concerns? Just the usual: climate change, inclusion, the economy, and wellbeing. Over 1200 attendees came from all around New Zealand and the world to hear about the unique path Aotearoa is on, and the urgencies that we, specifically, face. Keynote sessions, panels, workshops, and stalls combined to inspire—and, at times, induce information overload. Andrew Barnes, creator of the four-day week, was a keynote speaker. His initiative covers all the key areas, looking to create revolutionary solutions to jolt us out of the 9–5, five-days-a-week grind. He told Salient he is “passionate about helping the amazing young people […] and how we can create a sustainable and stable workplace for them”.
mobilise people for the upcoming local body elections (remember to enrol to vote by Aug 16). Climate activist Sophie Handford, panel speaker and winner of the Impact Award for Climate (also sponsored by the festival), emphasised that hearing from the speakers and connecting with other delegates was “hope-bringing and empowering”. Unfortunately, the festival was less than accessible, especially for those who are likely to spend the most time in the future, and those most vulnerable to it. Tickets sat at around $250, though many of these were given away for free to young leaders, such as Youth Council members. However, this placed an emphasis on those who already had access to these avenues to be given a ticket—ultimately excluding many marginalised communities.
Other keynote speakers included Finance Minister Grant Robertson, Mayor Justin Lester, and All Black TJ Perenara.
Nevertheless, it was an inspiring two days, and a reminder of the continuing and constant work required in creating change. As neatly summed up by Grant Robertson:
Workshops included an exploration into Te Ao Māori, and how to
“The future never comes, it’s always tomorrow.”
Telling People with EDs to "Just Eat" Doesn't Work JAMI KERRIGAN (SHE/HER) CW: Eating Disorders (AN)
but one that has many facets; including the genetics of the individual.
Last month saw the publication of the very first genetic study on anorexia nervosa. The study, by Nature Genetics, outlined what some of the possible contributing factors to the eating disorder may be.
Salient spoke to Hannah Hawkins Elder (PhD in Clinical Psychology, focusing on theoretical explanations for eating disorders). She pointed out that the publication—while very important—is also implying “very clearly that psychology, and metabolics or biology, is very separate”.
Nearly 17,000 individuals diagnosed with anorexia nervosa contributed their DNA to the study, 500 of whom were from New Zealand. Over 50,000 genomes were used as control samples (for comparison). The results showed genetic correlations with other psychiatric and metabolic disorders, meaning that certain genes and chemical reactions can significantly predispose someone to the development of anorexia. These factors are independent of BMI, thus suggesting that a low body weight should not be the only characteristic used to identify those with anorexia nervosa. The outcome of the study hopes to “further encourage a reconceptualization of anorexia nervosa as a metabo-psychiatric disorder”. The study concludes that the “critical direction for future research” is to stop thinking of anorexia nervosa solely as a psychiatric illness,
In the case of a medical condition, she says, “You go to a doctor and they fix it, somebody else is doing the work. Whereas in psychology, a client has to play quite a big agential role in their treatment.” By re-classifying anorexia as more of a medical rather than psychological condition, “People are being cast as spectators of their own life, their own internal emotional life… That [those with disorders] don't have a say in it.” Eating disorders, Hawkins Elder concluded, are “such complicated disorders… It is very tempting for people to try and find a simpler way to understand them [...] but the problem is when you do that you’re losing knowledge, depth and detail, which limits our ability to actually help [those with eating disorders] effectively.” If you, or someone you love, is engaging in disordered behaviours surrounding food and/or exercise, you can visit www.ed.org.nz/ or Mauri Ora services to find out more.
Ihumātao, its Whakapapa, and Why It Isn’t Mana Whenua v Outsiders KELLY MITCHELL (SHE/HER) In multiple settlements from the 1990s, The tribunal found that although the Settlements Act was itself valid, every confiscation under it breached the law—by both failing to provide evidence there was rebellion within the areas, and by unnecessarily confiscating uninhabitable areas of land.
800 years ago, tāngata whenua of Ngāti Mahuta, Te Ahiwaru, Waikato-Tainui, Te Ākitai and Te Waiohua started settling at Ihumatāo. The fertile land is considered to be one of the first to hold a thriving gardening and cultivation scene in Aotearoa. The land holds numerous wāhi tapu, including a number of lava cave entrances which hold urupā (burial grounds). In 1863, the government passed the New Zealand Settlements Act, and confiscated land at Ihumātao to punish support for the Kīngitanga movement.
In 2010, the same Te Waiohua collective established Te Ākitai o Waiohua Iwi Authority, and was granted government mandate to settle Wai 8 so far as it relates to them. This was to allow potential for other mandates as there is overlapping whakapapa from multiple Tāmaki hapū.
In 1869, the land was sold to private Pākehā land owners, the Wallace family.
For this reason, Wai 8 has never been fully settled. No iwi or hapū has an exclusive ‘mandate’ to negotiate over Ihumātao.
In 1985, Ihumātao mana whenua through the Te Waiohua iwi collective, lodged the Wai 8 Tribunal claim. It discussed the confiscation of Ihumātao land. At the time, the tribunal was prevented from ruling on claims occurring before 1975.
In 2007, the Manukau City Council intended Ihumātao be added to the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. This attempt was thwarted in 2012 when the Wallace family, still private owners of the land, sought to have the land
Co-founder of Save Our Unique Landscapes (SOUL)’s Pania Newton speaking at Ihumātao in front of police. Updates from Ihumātao are regularly updated on the SOUL Facebook page. Photo: RNZ
re-designated so that housing might be built on it.
Ihumātao, have stated that the deal fails to represent the consent and approval of all mana whenua.
The case went to the Environment Court. Multiple Ihumātao mana whenua, including The Makaurau Marae Committee and Te Kawerau a Maki, opposed the change but lost the case. The Wallace family offered to sell to Manukau, but the council could not pay the price they wanted. In 2014, the Auckland City Council rezoned the land as appropriate for a Special Housing Area (SHA) because of its proximity to the Auckland CBD. This makes building houses on the land cheaper, and reduces many legal obligations, ‘fasttracking’ it for development. In 2015, Pania Newtown—along with her whānau— established SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscape), opposing the rezoning of the land. Pania and her cousins all whakapapa to the land through multiple mana whenua ties: Ngāti Mahuta, Te Ahiwaru, Waikato-Tainui, Te Ākitai and Te Waiohua. Through the campaign, many councillors have announced regret for the decision, believing they were ill-informed in making it. However, an established SHA can only be changed by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development; currently that minister is Megan Woods. In 2016, the land was sold to Fletcher Residential for a rumoured $19 million, on the condition they would develop it under the SHA scheme. As a 56% overseas-owned company, and because the land has wāhi tapu, the company by law had to prove to the Overseas Investment Office that it would bring benefits to New Zealand above and beyond that of any local firm, in order to allow them to build under the scheme. They argued their capacity to build a lot of homes quickly and cheaply, which was appealing given the Auckland housing crisis.
In February 2019, Fletcher announced that for a good offer, they would be open to selling. In July 2019, the NZ Police began evicting mana whenua off what the law says is Fletcher’s “property”. This was when the issue began to gain the profile it has now. 2019: A Summary Land was confiscated illegally by the Crown in 1863 and sold to Pākehā settlers, who owned it for 150 years. They chose not to sell to the council to maintain for the public good because the price offered was too small. Instead, they sold to Fletcher— who, last year, lost $660 million—and has an interest to build hundreds of cheap and condensed houses on the outskirts of Tāmaki for profit. Auckland has a housing shortage and wants land to build on, so the council and government approved the build. The city has 39 golf courses, 14 of which are Auckland Council-owned. Only 4% of Auckland's population are registered golfers. Te Kawerau a Maki, five representatives who were offered a place at the negotiating table with Fletcher, took the opportunity to try to make the best of a bad situation. They have ended up being incorrectly referred to as the exclusive mana whenua. Powers to intervene? The government says they can’t step in over ‘iwi mandates’ but one does not exist. They say “Treaty settlements are full and final” but one never happened. They recently agreed to spend $113 million on the America’s Cup. They have an interest to protect open land in the fight against climate change.
Fletcher also began negotiations with the board of Te Kawerau a Maki, one of the many Tāmaki hapū with whakapapa to Ihumātao. Fletcher’s had no obligation to negotiate with any iwi group, but sought out Te Kawerau a Maki as a means to boost their claim.
They stole the land illegally per the Treaty and its own law, and thus it was sold illegally.
The five trustees of Te Kawerau a Maki, without the support of Makaurau Marae Committee nor other mana whenua (in particular Te Waiohua), negotiated a series of houses to be put aside for their hapū, as well as a ‘buffer’ of free land around the site.
They have a Public Works Act with which they can buy back the land. That’s the one they use to cut off corners of high school classrooms for highway roads.
They allowed a failing company to cut legal corners and blindly gave it permission to build on it.
While the deal would mitigate the effects of development on the land at Ihumātao, SOUL and the Makaurau Marae Committee, who are also mana whenua and kaitiaki of
After aggressive police action at Ihumātao on the night of August 5, in which police separated frontline kaitiaki from the main group, supporters of the Protect Ihumātao campaign gathered outside Parliament the next morning. Each speaker emphasised the importance of community. One proclaimed, “the power within is stronger than the power we are told to fear”. Photos by Nicholas Lindstrom.
Eye On the Exec NICHOLAS LINDSTROM (HE/HIM) Your favourite news column, Eye on the Exec, took a break for a bit, but please don’t worry—we’re back, and our eye has been kept firmly upon the VUWSA Executive. The two latest meetings took place on July 18 and August 1. We’ve prepared a summary of all the best bits to spare you the rigmarole of attending a meeting yourself (which you can actually do).
Wellington School of Business and Government. The exec discussed the anger around lack of consultation about the school’s name change, following the contentious re-brand of the wider university. With this many name changes, it seems like the university is either going through a rebellious teenage phase, or a mid-life crisis. Given the amount of money being thrown around, it’s probably the latter.
Proposed Change of Location for Candidates Forum During the July meeting, the executive discussed changing the location of the candidates forum, from the Hub to the Hunter Lounge. The forum is a chance for candidates running for the 2020 executive to state their case for election. Insiders indicated the location change reflects everyone’s love of a cold, flavourless Castle Point jug, especially with a side of “votefor-me-I’m-a-lawstudent” speeches. Nominations for elections open on Aug 12 and closes on Aug 26.
Let’s all just be glad that Salient isn’t the student magazine for the University of Wellington. Submissions for #itooamvic The #itooamvic c a m p a i g n launched this year is still accepting submissions to be a part of the video series. At the August meeting, the executive discussed the latest submission to be apart of #itooamvic. The video series aims to highlight the diversity of the university community and also to give a voice to minority groups on Rhianna Morar recently resigned as VUWSA’s WVP campus.
Stress-Free Study Week/ Re-set Week The August meeting included a ‘review’ of Re-set Week, and student favourite ‘Stress-Free Study Week’. Re-set Week, formerly known as Re-OWeek, was a chance for VUW students “to re-set and re-focus for the trimester ahead”, rather than just a sequel to O-Week. The week of student events was labelled as a positive change by the VUWSA executive. Based on this year’s success, Re-set Week could soon become a regular fixture on the university’s annual calendar.
Rhianna Morar Resigns VUWSA Welfare Vice President (WVP) Rhianna Morar has resigned from her role. Rhianna first started at VUWSA in March of 2018. During her time as WVP, Rhianna worked to address the needs of RAs in the university’s halls of residence, as well as promoting campaigns like ‘Thursdays in Black’. The Wait is Over campaign, which aimed to improve mental health support for students, was perhaps the biggest campaign Rhianna led during her time as part of VUWSA.
June saw the return of ‘Stress-Free Study Week’. The week is meant to provide “all that you need to keep calm in the lead up to your exams and big assessment hand-ins”. However, the executive agreed it could have been better and the week lacked one key component: Puppies.
Rhianna is now moving on to begin research on the Treaty of Waitangi jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law. She wishes all the best for the remaining VUWSA staff and encourages them to “continue to be bold and question everything!”
Victoria Business School Name Change The Victoria Business School has changed its name to the
Rostra’s Hot Takes: VUW Rebrand (yay) Hot Takes is a section where, every two weeks, Rostra (PolSoc’s very own publication) sends out a question to the masses for their takes on them. Rostra gives us three to publish and keeps the rest for their own website. This week, the question was, “Should we still be debating the university brand change in 2019?” Keep an eye out for Rostra’s fortnightly Hot Take question on the PolSoc Facebook page. If you’re interested in writing for Rostra, contact them through firstname.lastname@example.org Welcome to Wellington, Wellington - Hamish Dick Here, in Wellington, we have one of the finest educational establishments that Wellingtons all over the world have to offer: Wellington University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. We’ve tried our very best to make the name as clear—and unique—as possible. We wouldn’t want any poor student to stretch their brain too hard trying to work out where Wellington University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand is. (It’s in Wellington, New Zealand, by the way. The clue’s in the name.) We know the importance of branding here at Wellington University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. There’s just no way you’ll confuse us for any other university in Wellington, New Zealand. (If you do, please let us know. We’ll have to think of a new name.) As a result, here at Wellington University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, in windy Wellington, New Zealand, we are a very much student-centred university. Of all universities in Wellington, New Zealand, named Wellington University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, we come out #1 for student health and wellbeing, #1 for student academic satisfaction, and—that’s right—even #1 for student career prospects post-graduation. It’s welly simple. Why would you choose anywhere else? Victoria? Don’t know her.
Narcissism 101 - Luke Redward Should we still be debating a brand change? Obviously not. This is the flag issue all over again. It’s simply Guilford trying to create a legacy for himself. While an enormous waste of time, it is also a waste of limited resources the university doesn’t have. Every year we are allowed to visit a counsellor less and less. Courses are being dropped due to underfunding. All this while we spend monumental amounts of money on a name change that nobody wants. Grant, the university rejected your bid for name change. Local Members of Parliament and past alumni have rejected your bid for a name change. The Minister rejected your bid for a name change. Get the message. Vic Belongs to Us - Lars Thompson We don’t care if others put claim to the name around the world, we don’t care if it is not optimal for an algorithm—it nonetheless is part of our cultural identity as students of this university. I am the Editor of Rostra Victoria, a name we chose to represent us and embody our identity. Here, however, I write as a student, from how I feel intuitively. I am nostalgic for a time when it was not brutally obvious that "consultation" was to gain our assent for appearances' sake. When I could hope our University Council saw us as shareholders not commercial assets. The air of arrogance that radiates from senior leadership right now is toxic to any meaningful dialogue around inequality and injustice, because there is no trust anymore. Real issues around bigotry and wages exist at Vic still in 2019, and I know the attention the ‘brand change’ gets appears to distract from these problems. What it highlights is that we are only listened to when convenient. If we allow this to be true, reform will only happen when it is convenient for them at the top. We call dibs–this is ours.
GETTING TO KNOW THE STUDENT POPULATION
WHAT AR E Y OU N OSTAL G I C FOR?
N ICKELO D EON OR D I SN EY CHAN N E L ?
WH AT ’ S S O M E T H I N G Y O U R E A L LY WA N T E D A S A KI D , BU T N E VE R GOT?
WH AT D O Y O U W IS H Y O U C O U L D F O RGET ?
WH AT ’ S S O M E T H I N G F R O M THIS YEAR YOU THINK Y O U ’ L L BE N O S TA L G I C F O R ?
JANE, 20, BA
NICHOLAS, 17, NCEA LEVEL 3
1. What Now
1. Spending time with animals. Whenever I go home I really enjoy that.
2. A pair of Warehouse slide-ons.
2. Singing talent.
3. Ja Rule's part in Fyre Festival.
3. When I became a teenager and started feeling insecure.
4. Nickelodeon (it's got my name in it).
4. Neither, films from the 60’s.
5. Working with Salient.
5. Hostel life.
BROOKE, 20, BA
GEORGIA, 20, BA
1. When I had money.
1.Lemon meringue pie.
2. A cello.
2. Nintendo DS.
3. A decent chunk of high school.
3. High school.
4. Disney Channel.
5. Coming to uni and seeing friends every day.
5. 2019 Salient.
MIRIAM, 20, BA
MAISIE, 19, BA
1. Looney Tunes.
1. Choc bars.
2. Sky TV.
2. A dolphin.
3. My second boyfriend.
3. High school was good. Intermediate? Yikes.
4. Nickelodeon. 5. My friends.
5. My holidays.
“I was watching SpongeBob earlier and it reminded me of the white pretentious hipsters in Wellington” - @dayamusgraves
FILMS, FETISHES, & FEET HA ND-PIC KED AN D S UN DRIED
“Older, vocal NZIFF audiences continue to baffle me... like the man next to me who, when a cow was shot in the film we were watching, turned to his friend and said: “he shot the cow”” - @george_fenwick
BY EM M A M AGUIRE
“i watched a french film at city gallery and nearly attempted to pick up an attractive older man at the bus stop #nziff is making me cultured” - @vape_dab
“There is a sweet summer romance blossoming between two 40year old divorceés at my gym and naturally i have been observing it progress from afar like any average 22year old who never gets dick and has to live vicariously through the actions of her elders. A very normal thing to do” - @kendraaaleighh
“If I was in Bella Swan's position I would simply get double teamed by the jean-shorts werewolf and the mormon vampire as it is the only logical solution.” - @alldogsaredead
“To work out your videosgame protagonist name... you don't, it's John Videosgame, a grizzled 30-something white man with brown hair, a gruff voice, and something terrible happened to his wife/someone close to him. No, you don't have a choice, only resignation.” - @CaseyExplosion
“there is nothing more off-putting than someone who describes themselves as a "cinephile" except maybe someone who describes themselves as a "sapiosexual" in this essay I will” - @_yrmother “Seen on Willis St this morning: a parking warden stepping into the road to direct traffic so that Mittens could cross safely. #priorities” - @newimprovedtom
“Yo if anyone needs to find a bunch of people with loud coughs, they're all at any theatre show I'm working on, acting in, or in the audience of.” - @maxyapsey
“they had a problem with the new air nz safety video today, & when the staff apologised for having to do a manual safety demonstration there was an audible sound of happiness from passengers, like we’d all been spared the usual brief glimpse into hell” - @davidfarrier
“When everyone gets to Area 51 there's just going to be a giant mirror because we were the aliens all along.” - @PtruePteresa
When I was young, I wanted a pair of And1s. Specifically, I was 12, and I wanted a pair of “And1 Streetball Mids”; by all accounts a functional basketball sneaker, but a shoe with all the ugly elements of your dad’s New Balances yet none of the paternal charm. As if a shoe designer in Soviet Russia gained a surprising amount of consumer traction with 12-year-old boys who wore sweatbands and three-quarter pants. Of course, Mum told me no. And only part of her firm resistance was the impracticalities of giving her 12-year-old son a pair of shoes solely used for basketball. The rest of it was her own accurate sense of taste; that these shoes looked like if someone had reimagined the lovable-but-hideous Toyota Hiace as a shoe. But I could not be helped, could not be dissuaded from my dream of wearing a pair of minivans on my feet. No fashion advice could convince me against my desire to be the freshest, fugliest, kid on the block. But despite its obvious flaws, despite its proving that beauty really is skin deep—I look back at the “And1 Streetball Mid” with fondness; a certain comfortable melancholy. My days now are enjoyable but nowhere near as exciting as they were when I was wearing rubber marshmallows on my feet. Every now and then, certain pairs of shoes catch my eye—big, chunky, white things that wouldn’t be out of place sold next to a pair of John Bull workboots. But they’re not sold at Blackwoods. They’re on the shelves of places like Area 51 or Good as Gold where all the staff look too bored to serve you and where you’re unsure if the clothes are for sale, or meant as decorations. And they’re worn by stick-thin white girls rather than slightly overweight tradies. And they’re sold for $400. Four hundred dollars! Yes, dear readers, these are not the wearable Toyota Hiaces of old. These are Hyundai Imax utility vans. These are LDV G10 Cargo vans. We are in a new age; the age of the high-fashion ugly sneaker. Designers have figured out the way to our 12-yearold boy hearts and it is through uneasily sincere sneakers, worn by Instagram influencers with just the right amount of sartorial irony. These shoes were made for walking. And they sure as shit will walk. With a pair of stupidly expensive socked feet in them. Your socks were how much? What does Supreme even mean? We should have seen this coming. For close to four years, the masterminds behind fashionable sneakers have been successfully mining the treasure trove of nostalgia, hidden away in our hearts and minds, with careless abandon. On February 4, 2015, the Yeezy Boost 750 “dropped” (which is what people say when a popular shoe brand releases a new model, but no one’s actually dropping them, in case they get scuffed) and rival retailers leapt into action to capitalise on the stylistic gold rush.
They are logging companies, and we are the Amazon rainforest, and they are slashing and burning every ounce of nostalgia in our bodies to belt out yet another tune that plucks at our heartstrings. But goddamit if it isn’t impossible to turn away from the sound of a sweetheart’s song and turn your face once again to the crooked smile of a pair of oversized Nikes. Just like that, you’re a fool in love again, and Fila has turned your feelings into dollars. We are all fools in love, and that’s the thing. A 2012 study by the Journal of Consumer Research titled “Nostalgia: The Gift That Keeps on Giving” stated that nostalgia fosters a sense of social connectedness and increases our sense of empathy with one another. We might all be searching for a bygone era and longing for a bygone lover (And1, was it something I said?), but we can at least find solace in each other. This is translated into trends, and, to the collective delight of our fathers, we end up wearing sensible (but hideous) shoes out. And1 was never at the cutting edge of shoe design. It’s doing even worse now, and a visit to its website gives me all the secondhand embarrassment of when you go on Facebook and your high school ex has joined a megachurch and is leaving one-star Yelp reviews for Mexico Food & Liquor cause she doesn’t understand the concept of tapas. Good for them, but oh my, have things changed. And1 may not command a huge market share the likes of Nike or Jordan. But so help me God, it does in my heart. There’s something about the white Nubuck upper with “And1” stamped across the ankle; the blue sole, with “And1” again in baby blue; and the memories of preteen boys wearing ¾ length sateen mesh shorts and headbands, that makes me want to sing “Whole Again” by Atomic Kitten. You might know it; join in with me: Looking back on where we first met (Frontrunner New Plymouth) I cannot escape and I cannot forget (And 1’s devil may care, “what-the-hell-put-a-logo-ona-toy-car-and-call-it-a-shoe” charm) Baby you’re the one (That my mum couldn’t understand the attraction in) You still turn me on (Like a high school sweetheart) You can make me whole again (Like a lost shoe reunited with its pair mate). Let’s try again, And1. For old times’ sake.
Michelle also sells prints of her art online, but it took a considerable amount of confidence for her to do so. “Lots of really lovely people have been saying they really enjoy my style, so I decided to open a little online store so that they could purchase or commission some of my art.” Charis has considered commercialising her fanart, or taking commissions, but the time and investment in marketing which this requires is daunting.
I watch her dark eyes, her pale face. She wears a dark blue shirt studded with silver marks. Across her chest, a leather strip with bells of different sizes. She could have walked out of my imagination, out of the pages of my favourite book and onto my wall. Next to her, held also by Blu-Tack, is another pale, darkhaired girl. She, too, wears blue and bells, but her eyes are closed, and she cradles a small white rabbit. This art lives on my wall, and it is derived from Sabriel, which has been one of my favourite books since I was 13.
While fandoms may differ for different artists, the reason for creating is the same: “Fanart is active, fluid, transformative work, and with that comes the benefit of having an externally established universe already available to play with. That universe becomes a shared language between people who already know who these characters,” Michelle told me.
One of these pieces—the one with the rabbit—was painted by one of my best friends from school, Charis Crider. We fell desperately in love with the characters of various YA novels, swapping books, dressing as characters none of our peers recognised for costume days, squealing (or “squeeing”, in fangirl parlance) over girls with swords and boys with kingdoms to inherit. For presents, we would give each other fan-related things—a hat with symbols from Sabriel crocheted on, friendship bracelets in the colour of our favourite book covers. We would stay up late browsing fanart and discussing our favourite characters in books. As I wrote this article about fanart, I remembered who I was then: a person who forged friendships in fiction. Charis lives in the US now, but I called her to talk about fanart, fandom, and why she makes art.
Charis and Laya cited the same reasons for being compelled to make fanart—it is good practice to work with other people’s worlds, and it involves them in fictional universes they care about. Laya also enjoys promoting under-represented stories with fanart, particularly of less popular or independently published books with queer characters. She has a thread of lesbian book recommendations on Twitter, and includes a picture of the main character(s) for each one. This makes the characters stand out more and helps to promote the books.
I also talked to Laya Mutton-Rogers and Michelle Kan. Laya, a freelance artist and creative who graduated from Massey, makes zines and webcomics. When I talk to her, she has a mushroomshaped pin holding up her hair, and a pendant of a bell (from the Old Kingdom Chronicles) and a clear cicada wing hanging around her neck. Michelle, an independent filmmaker and author who graduated from Victoria, makes parkour videos and wears hanfu (the traditional dress of the Chinese Han people). This is to say that both Laya and Michelle are extremely cool people, and I was glad to have a reason to get to know them beyond Twitter. Both Michelle and Laya are particularly active in making fanart of Critical Role, a livestreamed Dungeons & Dragons game with voice actors. Laya also made the other one of my Sabriel art prints.
The creative process for fanart tends to start with notes: “I generally get a feeling for if I’m going to do fanart before I read the book, so I basically screenshot any character description,” Laya says. She usually makes art for books that don’t have much fanart, and can draw a character in a single sitting—a few hours—although she’s trying to space it out more. There is, inevitably, hypersexualised fanart. I have seen things I can’t unsee. The worst of hypersexualised fanart was perhaps epitomised by a book subscription book for the YA/NA series A Court of Thorns and Roses. In August last year, the Bookish and Stuff subscription box, advertised as NSFW and 18+, included sexually explicit fanfiction, fanart of naked characters (with a towel over their genitals), and (lemongrass-scented) soap in the shape of a dick. Book Twitter, a sphere which I am unfortunately rather involved in, could not function for days. Takes ranged from ‘soap is not supposed to go in your vagina’ to ‘it is a violation of intellectual property to sell fanfiction’ to ‘the soap was black, and the character was not and that is #problematic’. It was a wild time, and the publishers of the book (which does feature explicit sex scenes, but is published by a children’s publisher) moved quickly to disassociate themselves from the box.
Whatever you like, there is probably fanart for it. There are alarming amounts of K-pop fanart, and Marvel fanart, and podcast fanart—the list goes on. Fanart is a crucial part of most fandom ecosystems, and it’s frequently commercialised. Laya sells her art on Society6, as well as her own store platform (layaroseart. com). However, she makes much more money from selling her art at conventions such as Armageddon, where people come especially to buy fanart.
Art as a visual medium, often emphasises the physical appearance of characters. Comments on art posted online are often variations on ‘hot’ and ‘handsome’. Of course, sexualisation and idealised bodies are hardly unique to fanart. Inevitably, cultural phenomena, like sexism and porn, carry over into the world of fanart.
“There’s such a massive fandom and Critical Role themselves put the art in their show,” says Laya.
When I ask Charis and Laya about the dicksoap incident, they both laugh. Laya acknowledges that sexualised fanart— including ‘self insert’ fanart, where a real person is drawn into a scene with a fictional one—is “definitely a thing”, although it is very much on the periphery of her fandom communities, and she has never drawn it. Charis says that with some characters, already hypersexualised in the original, sexualised fanart is inevitable. “You have some choices where the [character’s] designs are already hypersexualised [so in fanart] you see them designed that way all the time.” While she may swoon over certain book characters—when we were younger, we definitely had conversations about our ‘book boyfriends’, who were fictional and so much more approachable and sensitive than the louts at our school—she doesn’t consider sexual appeal when she makes fanart. “Some characters are very close to you as a person…you don’t want to [sexualise] a friend!”
Fanart is very rarely of the scenery described in video games or books. It is also usually not abstract. Instead, it is the characters that compel fan artists to adopt fictional universes and create within them. “A technically good plot with flat, boring characters can be insufferable, especially so if they all follow the same white bread cookie cutter mold. Diversity amongst characters, in their personalities, backgrounds and convictions, make for more realistic and emotive storytelling,” Michelle says; this is what draws her to Critical Role. Charis is also drawn to particular characters, but tries to evoke the overarching atmosphere through her fanart. For the Old Kingdom Chronicles, it is the “broodiness” she is drawn to. “I like the dark colours and still having the magic in it; it’s kind of creepy.” It is the characters that anchor the atmosphere she’s trying to evoke.
Fanart is occasionally accused of not being “real” art, and just piggy-backing off another creator’s success. Charis differentiates her fanart from original art. Fanart, she says, is good for practice: You take someone else’s world and “put your own spin on it”. Laya says that when she knows that people are already interested in a world, she is “more likely to post a half-finished fanart thing [online] whereas with original art, there’s no timeline I could post it on.” Fanart is also useful to show to employers, to show that she can work fast, and with other people’s ideas. The flood of fanart seems in many ways like a new phenomenon, but fanart has old roots. Much of Renaissance art could be considered Bible fanart, and some of the most famous works of Western art have been inspired by literature—John Everett Millais’ Ophelia, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ Oedipus and the Sphinx. While practice and commercial potential motivate Laya, Michelle, and Charis to make fanart; the chief reason they do it is that they love what they draw. Michelle has been making fanart as long as she can remember, and currently makes fanart for Critical Role, in particular. Having followed Critical Role since it began, the show is “very personal,” she says. “Fanart for me is as much “narrative aftercare” as it is a way for me to give back to the cast. I get to illustrate moments that happen in-episode as I see them… it feels so good and worthwhile.” Fanart, Laya says, anchors her to the characters she loves. When the story ends, there is still art to be made. Laya and Michelle, who are friends, will tag each other in pictures they draw of their favourite Critical Role character, and join art challenges together.
While she “doesn’t do it for attention,'' she has gotten about 1000 more followers on Twitter since she started drawing from Critical Role.
Listening to fan artists reminds me why I, too, used to make fanart—watercolours washed over quotes from the books, covered with crude silhouettes, because I couldn’t draw faces. It was an absorption into a fictional universe, the sense that any creation was a gift to the fandom and to the creator, even if it wasn’t any good. I fell in love with characters, and I didn’t want to write about them, because they already had so many words, and I was saving my words for definitelynot-autobiographical stories where biracial teenagers had to make choices that seemed significant at the time, but might not matter so much later. My fanart was not good, but it made me glad, and connected me to communities of people who loved the same things I did. Now, I read fewer books. The multi-coloured embroidery I once had on my e-reader case, spelling out ‘fangirl’, has been replaced by a plain floral cover. The books still live on my shelves, though, and when I read them, I remember who I used to be: the girl who wandered through many fictional lands, and found solace in pages and adventure. I’ve been wondering why I keep fanart on my wall. I might try to be cool now, pretend to care less about novels and movies and the characters who help me understand myself, but fiction has never stopped beckoning. When I came to uni, I left my family, my friends, and my bookshelves. Leaving was both grief and relief. I lost the continuity of people who knew who I was when I was thirteen and had bangs and a tendency to walk into poles while reading, and instead met new people who had less context for understanding how I had become. But I still care about fiction, and the narratives I found there: people who fell on their feet, embraced their identities, and found friends they never would have expected. The fanart reminds me of this: I am never lost when I do not love stories alone.
It was a Thursday evening and I was an Oriental Kingdom virgin. The warm and familiar smell of a kitchen at work hung in the air. With its relatively cheap prices, and food that never fails to taste like home, Oriental Kingdom has since become one of my favourite food spots. This particular Thursday was my first time stepping into the welcoming, homely seating area. That was when it struck.
The parallel universe theory is an idea straight out of a Jordan Peele movie, minus the sadistic murders. It’s not even a theory or a hypothesis, it's more like someone’s attempt to explain déjà vu. The ‘theory states that déjà vu is the result of millions of parallel universes, in which millions of parallel versions of us exist (sounds a tiny bit far-fetched, if you ask me). According to this theory, all of us are inexplicably linked to the parallel version of us. So déjà vu can be explained by a parallel version of us doing the same exact thing at the same exact time as us, creating the unnerving feeling that we’ve done this before.
I suddenly felt exactly like a naughty kid going to the principal’s office; I’ve been here before. It was the distinct fleeting wave of nostalgia that only two-thirds of the population will experience. As a person who hates surprises, I detest the way that déjà vu can just pull up on you out of nowhere. The term déjà vu is French and translates to “already seen”... you see, even the name exudes an air of smugness. In reality, déjà vu is merely nostalgia's version of Vine. The now-archived video content app is now remembered fondly by the Millenial and Gen Z kids who grew up with it. And just like the seven-second videos made on Vine, déjà vu is an encompassing but extremely short experience, with little to no context, that leaves you with way too many questions to answer: Have I been here before in a past life? Why now, and why here? Is déjà vu just a glitch in the simulation?
There is only one minor problem with a parallel universe theory’s explanation of déjà vu: There is zero factual or scientific evidence for this theory, though I don’t think the people invested in this theory care about that at all. Still, it is kind of comforting to think that there might be someone in one of those millions of universes who has had to live out the same cringe-worthy moments that I had. Once again, I am sat outside Oriental Kingdom. My head is spinning from a week reading a fuckload of scientific theories; my only solace being found down the rabbit-hole of internet conspiracies dedicated to psychology. What conclusion did I come to after the rigmarole of trying to find answers to the question;
I decided to make it my mission this week to answer at least one of these questions. I thought it would be intelligent to start with, ‘What is déjà vu?’... Boy, was I underprepared for the results of my Google search. I was bombarded with everything from scientific hypotheses to detailed accounts of paranormal experiences.
‘What is déjà vu?’ I really only came to one conclusion: No one fucking knows.
Science provided a various array of explanations for déjà vu. One theory is that déjà vu is a mismatch in the brain's neural pathways. This could be a result of the brain struggling to make whole perceptions of the world around us with only limited input, the same way the brain can create detailed recollections from a familiar smell.
As much as the megalomaniac/pantomath in me hates to admit it, we will probably never have an answer about any of the questions that déjà vu produces. Maybe it’s supercilious of us to want (or even need) an answer to the mystery of déjà vu. After all, the percentage of people who experience déjà vu is equal to the percentage of American Millennials who believe the earth is round.
Déjà vu might be the result of sensory information “by-passing” the brain’s short-term memory and reaching the long-term memory. This may create that fuzzy, unnerving feeling that we’ve experienced a completely new event before. Alright, now forget science for the remainder of this article, because here comes a juicy conspiracy theory about déjà vu the government probably doesn’t want you to know about.
We should just be grateful that we are blessed with this rollercoaster ride of nostalgia. Just like shooting your shot at someone you think is out of your league, it’s probably best to not overthink it. Déjà vu is probably just a glitch in the simulation anyway.
Jordan Peat, Nostalgia, Digital I
Illustration, 297 x 420mm, 2019
Lofa Totua One evening, after everyone has sprayed their legs and arms with Aeroguard for the tenth time, all my people will be gathered under an open fale, their stomachs and hearts full. The sun will be sinking, the sky alight with fierce fire. The ocean will be peaceful, less than 50 steps away our group. The air will be charged with hope, laughter, and Vailima beer. My cousins will be there from across the sea—one strumming a guitar, the familiar melody of an old love song: "Sau ou Moe", a favourite. Everyone will be a beautiful golden brown, noses peeling, skin glowing. Natural and our own. Our signature wavy hair will be thick with salt and sand. Someone—probably me—will then turn on Samoa’s favourite duo and we will dance to see who is more graceful. Or maybe just for fun, who knows. At a certain point, everyone will respectfully give in to the quiet that spreads, first amongst the elders and then to our parents, and so on. Any restlessness or unnecessary anxieties will evaporate along with daylight. I will breathe it in deeply. The scent of earth, the smoky aroma that still lingers after the long process of the umu. Embracing. The sweetness of frangipani, the comforting scent of coconut oil, in our hair and on our skin. The salt of the ocean and gentleness of the evening air. First a shaky female voice will lead, and then others will follow in various tones. Lifting as one in gratitude, in praise, in love. I hate the cold. When it’s winter here, my skin dries up and loses its natural shine. Sometimes I think—maybe it would have been better off if we hadn’t migrated here. Our skin. Our opportunities. Our surroundings. The way we live. The land of sour milk and honey that no one wants to eat. Have you ever been homesick for a place you’ve never been? Longed for a moment that you can visualise so strongly in your head—but have no record of? I think about the Motherland often. I paint this moment often, as a mural; a giant wall dedicated to what should be my life’s greatest memory. The wall projects every detail. Only to have it removed by the government of life, repainted with the selfish persistence of now. Today. And the never-ending list of things to do. The idea of visiting home is far on the horizon. We’ve never had a family holiday. A proper one, where we all come together and take a break—especially from Auckland’s ridiculous traffic. So much time sitting in traffic lights. Before school, after school, to early morning trainings and meetings, late-night commutes and weekend tournaments—all the while MAI FM on lock, and later, Mum’s old-school mixes when our radio finally broke down. Black Beauty really went the distance for us. Mum coined the name of her baby Holden, insisting her horsepower was the reason why she lasted so many tournament road trips and our crazy schedules. She brought us from North Shore to West Auckland on some days, and from Mt Wellington to the city on others. When my mind wasn’t on the tasks that lay ahead or engaged by the soothing harmonies of 90’s RnB boybands, I became invested in a romanticised tropical oasis in my head. Growing up, my family would take turns, usually in pairs, visiting aiga in the Motherland or in Australia for the odd important occasion—weddings, funerals, graduations. But never a proper family holiday. We would be outside all the time, as nature and each other’s company were all we could afford. And needed. Chicken nibbles with Nana at the local park, Long Bay Beach trips with half the fridge packed in the boot, random train and bus rides exploring wider Auckland. Games with random kids at the park, lemon Frujus from the dairy on the corner, and the garden hose—our very own outdoor shower. Unlike a normal shower, routine and confined, these outdoor showers were a summertime thang. Softer than rain, freeing. What I imagined the islands to be like.
Back-to-school saw young me being dropped off by her grandparents. This was before college, and before the painful commutes. Papa was known for his road rage; the school zone didn’t mean much and neither did the mothers in their massive black tanks who tried to overtake him. Most days, he would be outside at least an hour before the three o’clock bell, park secured and ready to get out of the after-school mess. Arriving at school, my nana’s parting words would always be the same: encouraging obedience, and in some ways undermining the power of my own voice—“Always listen to the teacher.” Sharing circles, show and tell, and storytime. I remember in primary school coming back from summer holidays—even the regular two-week breaks—to a classroom of kids with braids from Fiji. Detailed accounts of Movie World, a trek in the middle of some faraway jungle or sights of New York’s cityscape. Family holidays. I remember taking it all in with wonder… And yet my heart always returned to the same hope, already fixed on what my own dream family holiday looked like. As I got older, the idea of a family holiday fell off the table. Each year would roll around and I would still secretly hope for the same dream, until I reached the senior years of high school. I tried my best to accept our situation and our financial means. Some days we would stay home because we couldn’t afford petrol or bus money to get to school to “listen to the teacher”. My tolerance for my surroundings grew weary. Ungrateful even. The sameness of Three Kings and tired Auckland’s buildings, awkward and ugly,became unbearable. Where I live in Central Auckland is on the line. Our mail says that our suburb is Mt Roskill, but we live off Mt Eden Road and behind Three Kings park. Three very different suburbs. The proximity between all three would make you think they would be similar. When you drive down my street and up the one next to it, the line slaps you in the face. ‘Hello! I’m here,’ it says. State and owned. Fences, hedges, privacy. Some basic pieces of wood chucked together, or no fence at all—no privacy. There’s a house on the other street that was selling a few years back, advertised as ‘Tropical Oasis’ or some shit, boasting your typical grammar school zones, prime central location and links to a vibrant neighbourhood—whatever that means. All it took for it to be a tropical oasis was a frangipani tree. Throughout my childhood, my house had at least five hibiscus trees, an avocado tree, an apple tree, lilies, orchids, a banana tree, a bountiful taro patch, and my Papa’s vege garden. Nurtured by my nana’s arthritic hands, our oasis was lovingly cared for over the years. State or owned, I guess the land we occupy in Niu Sila is all stolen anyways. It’s not our, soil but our roots have been planted here. This realisation was made only after I took flight. Being separated from my nest has challenged the idea of what really makes home “home”—especially as a New Zealand-born Pacific Islander and proud descendant of migrants. Instead of an increased longing for the place that has housed myself, my grandparents, various cousins and aunties and uncles, my mother, my sister, guests, and long-lost relatives… I feel even more separated. The question planted itself and grew from the back of my mind—if not here, where? In my dream, we are on time. Tropical Oasis yes, but not perfect like the way Papa mows his lawn or the straight trimmings of Mama’s overgrown hibiscus branches. Paradise is unkept, free-flowing and abundant, drowning in heat and moving through time on its own terms. Island time. Not an escape but rather a history book, the stories in the divisions of land and the health of water. Every aute and pua, every stream and natural garden with a purpose. In all its abundance, a gift—honoured and preserved in the actions of preservation and stewardship. In the action of love. Home.
Be inspired TAKE A CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP AS PART OF YOUR DEGREE OR TO DEVELOP YOUR WRITING TRIMESTER 1 COURSES 2020
CREW 255 CHILDREN’S WRITING
CREW 254 SHORT FICTION WORKSHOP
Renowned children’s author Whiti Hereaka will allow you to explore different forms of writing for the pre-adolescent child and begin to develop your own clear voice.
(Fridays 2–5 pm)
Award-winning short fiction writer, Pip Adam, will offer ways to advance your short stories through writing exercises and intensive workshopping.
(Mondays 4–7 pm)
CREW 350 WORLD-BUILDING WORKSHOP (Fridays 2–5 pm)
Elizabeth Knox, internationally acclaimed author of many novels, will convene this advanced creative writing workshop for writers interested in long-form narrative (especially speculative fiction and fantasy).
CREW 351 TELEVISION SCRIPTWRITING (Thursdays 4–7 pm)
Dave Armstrong is an experienced and award-winning television writer. He will convene this workshop involving the study and writing of television and web series scripts, including series drama, sitcom, soap, animation, and web series
CREW 354 LONG-FORM FICTION (Mondays 10 am–1 pm)
This advanced creative writing workshop, convened by Pip Adam, is a practical course for committed writers who wish to produce long-form fiction (10,000+ word stories).
APPLY NOW FOR TRIMESTER 1, 2020 Applications close 1 December 2019
To find out more about the creative writing courses offered by the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, go to www.victoria.ac.nz/modernletters or email email@example.com
Pip Adam to convene new Long-form Fiction Creative Writing Workshop (CREW 354) Acclaimed writer Pip Adam will convene the new Long-form Fiction workshop (CREW 354) in Trimester 1, 2020. Pip has a book of short stories that won the 2011 NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction, she was an Arts Foundation new Generation Award recipient in 2012, and her second novel, The New Animals, won the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
CREW 354 is an advanced creative writing workshop. It is a practical course for committed writers who wish to produce long-form fiction (10,000+ word stories). Through the workshopping of each other’s fiction and the close reading of published literary texts, students will explore aspects of craft and writing practice for longer-form fiction or sustained pieces of work. Readings by Ursula LeGuin and Will Storr are touchstones to investigate aspects such as point of view, and how to sustain a narrative.
Whiti Hereaka to convene writing for the Young Creative Writing Workshp (CREW 255) Whiti Hereaka is a graduate of the International Institute of Modern Letters Master of Arts in Creative Writing (Scriptwriting, 2002) and writes for children and adults across media. Her adult fiction includes a novel, The Graphologist’s Apprentice, and she is the co-editor of Pūrākau an anthology of Māori myths retold by contemporary Māori writers. Her books for young adults include the time-slip novel Legacy, a novel about the Māori contingent in WWI, and the acclaimed novel Bugs. She has also written stories for the School Journal, and is a script writer for Pukeko Pictures’ animated TV series The Kiddets. She has mentored emerging Māori writers for Te Papa Tupu—an incubator programme run by the Māori Literature Trust.
Whiti Hereaka writes: ‘Writing for the young is a great challenge for the writer—young readers are among the most discerning; they see right through pretence. Writing for the young is also rewarding for the writer—young readers are passionate about the works that they love. “This course encourages you to write engaging work for young readers— work rooted in their life experiences, not from the misty nostalgia about that time in our own lives.”
NĀ TE AOREWA ARETA
UNDER MOUNDS, SUBMERGED IN WATER Let’s escape. The more discussions that there are about a future ascent to Mars within the next 20 years, the further down my eyes travel. I don’t have a desire to go upwards, instead my ngākau cries out for what is below, for what existed, then.
I no longer wish for time to slow down or go faster—if death was to ever walk up to me in the street and tap me on the shoulder, breaking the news that it was time to go—it would be fine. I’d lie in Papatūānuku’s arms for eternity, rather than leave, having planted nothing but sickness and hurt. When those rockets begin their ascent, I’ll take a trip back to my whānau’s urupā and sit, just watching them rise and vanish.
There is a vivid urgency to find an escape route up into space, to discover new places that human life will be able to inhabit. But in the process, we will be leaving behind all that we’ve ever known. Leaving something behind—that is the part which grasps me the most. Can a person be intangibly tied to the earth?
If a rocket to Mars was to leave today I would give my seat away, to her, to him Whoever they may be, I will wave to them, staring up, squinting my eyes, before closing them. I’ll return back to where we have existed, here upon the soil and sink my toes in, just enough to feel close to you. I will never leave you behind, my friends, my whānau, my surroundings When I descended from the womb, you gave me a vision to look up to, a place to belong to. I’ll touch, I’ll soothe what is left here, no matter how much we’ve changed you, I still love you. I’ll stay here forever, I’ll miss them when they go, but what I know is— You were here all along, yesterday, the day before All those years ago. I’d like to take a rocket back in time, when time was still clear But the reason I am here is to breathe in what is left, what remains here. Let this everlasting nostalgia cocoon my soul and bring me back down Under the mounds of dirt I will go, submerged in water, escaping the final blow of our hands. Only then will I go, back in time—my bones to your bones, hei whakatakoto i te ngākau.
Archeology is a fascinating field; the realisation that the past can be hidden for so many centuries beneath the ground is exhilarating. For Māori especially, the vital knowledge that can protect and preserve our future as indigenous people may instead exist deep within the earth—not away from it. Many of our native artifacts still rest today, untouched and kept cocooned by the embrace of our earth mother, Papatūānuku, and will most likely stay that way for a while. Perhaps the spiritual and physical realms of my culture have overcome my thoughts, but descending beyond the layers of plants and soil is what I yearn for most. When my nana died back in 2014, It became transparent just how important time truly is, as did the bittersweet nature of aging. Every year up to that point, I had craved extra mileage upon my mortality, purely to reach the more independent stages of life—the freeing, the rebellious, romantic, whatever getting older could give—but these thoughts overshadowed the deeper whakaaro. As one’s age progresses, it is time which is exchanged in return—my nana would get older, as I did too... until all of a sudden, time just comes to an end. But within the midst of loss, she had left, having planted a kākano—a seed; it was a sense of clarity.
DREAMER: Ok so I had rectal cancer. I have no idea how I knew specifically it was cancer of the rectum because there was no other reference to my bumhole but here we are. I remember lying on an operating table as they cut open my chest, I remember bracing myself for it to hurt big time but I didn't end up feeling anything. When I saw my friends they asked why I couldn't play hockey. I lifted my shirt and was like bro I have rectal cancer look there's a gaping surgical hole in my chest. Like, u know those contraptions that dentists put in your mouth to keep it open? That was in my chest it was an open hole I was walking around like no bro I cannot play sport my insides will fall out. I remember I was lying in a sickbed it was a bunk bed and I was watching my dad supervise this dude cutting down a tree, this dude was on the ground so idk how he was doing it but he was cutting the tree in sections from the top down, and I remember flinching as one big ass log branch thing only JUST missed him and then whabam the next one impaled him through the chest. Dad was telling me to call an ambulance but idk I called 999 instead and just showed dad my phone like I tried to call an ambulance but it says 999 so idk man idk what to tell you. DIAGNOSIS:
water. It’s everything you’re aware of that’s falling to pieces, while you continue scrolling the gram looking for the next viral moment to comment on. Your dad supervising the tree cutting is a calling to arms, a “fuck you” at the generations that came before us, who failed us, by watching the world go to shit while they gathered incomes and bought houses and cars and jet skis, and smiled and said terribly inaccurate things like “it’s not so bad”. But it is that bad. The reason the “dude” cuts from the top down, while standing on the ground, is a hat-tipping to the idea that trying to fix things from a place of not knowing or understanding won’t fix a fucking thing. It’s the natural answer to people enforcing ignorant views from a dumb, distant place. You, with your strangely warped body, watch from the bunk bed, in an attempt to shield yourself from blame. It’s a farce. You’re telling yourself you’re without power, that you’re still a child, but hell if you can write this crass dream and send it into the world then you’re ready to use less water, bring your own bags to the supermarket, and stop using UberEats to get a meal when you’re fucking hungover. The hole in the chest that’s linked to your arsehole means at least that much.
Dear dreamer, Okay. Sheesh. Well, the holes you so fondly describe, one down below, and one in your chest, symbolise fear. The anus in particular represents guilt, shame, and a lack of selfworth. The impaling of the poor tree-cutter reiterates this. I’m going to go out on a limb here. Despite the colloquial retelling of the dream, you’re actually weighed down, depressed even, by the world outside your window. That murderous tree is all the trees being sliced down to boost Brazil’s struggling economy, it’s the hundreds of thousands of thirsty people in India, who no longer have any drinking
And then there’s the calling of the authorities. Let’s face it. No one can save us now. You know that. The man was dead in an instant, as we all soon will be. The reason you dial 999—the opposite to 111, and the reverse of 666—is filled, almost suspiciously, with meaning; as if you thought about this dream afterwards and added in a dash of content, so your subconscious is seen as textured and nuanced. Who am I to say that it’s not? As for where to now, well I’m afraid I’m stumped, holey dreamer. I’ve no advice to give. There’s nothing that can be done to save you.
The entire concept of this column is really an extended exercise in nostalgia. It came about as a side project for my Master’s thesis, which likewise explores the history of Salient. My thesis, in turn, came about largely by accident. I’d always enjoyed Salient’s mix of talented, passionate writers; dumb shit-posting; and, at times, absolutely half-baked takes. When it came time to write scholarship applications for my Master’s and I needed a topic, I recalled the relationship I’d developed with Salient over the last four years. I don’t remember much of the substantive content Salient published when I started at Vic in 2014. One thing stands out though: The editors for that year posed completely naked for a photo accompanying one of their editorials. It was an obviously provocative student stunt, but it was also a vehicle to make an earnest statement about body positivity. As an impressionable first-year student, this felt like what university being a student was meant to be all about—defy convention, do dumb stuff, but make it ~political~. That visceral thrill of going to a cool university with a cool student magazine where the editors get their dicks out lost some of its sheen over the next few years. But looking back, some of the best, most affecting pieces of writing I’d read had emerged— raw and sincere—from Salient’s pages. I wondered if anyone had written a proper history of Salient. They hadn’t. I wondered if writing about student media for a year would hold my interest. I thought it probably would.
As the world’s leading historian of Salient magazine (heavy is the head that wears the crown) I spoke to a lot of people who used to contribute to Salient, or to their own university’s student media. Whether they contributed to Salient a few years or a few decades ago, they were excited to share their memories, to be reminded of forgotten beefs or political triumphs, and to reminisce about hours wiled away in a grungy office in the Student Union Building. Even people who didn’t write for student media remember reading it. Pretty much uniformly, these people seemed genuinely stoked that I was writing about Salient and the rich archive of events charted in its pages. A lot of Master’s theses sit largely unread and underappreciated on the shelves of the library. I assumed that mine would join them. Writing about the history of student media is pretty niche, after all. It’s heartening to think people might actually want to read this history born of fourth-year nostalgia, and a looming scholarship deadline. Better still if they think this history is interesting, or even important. Because after writing thousands of words about Salient, I’m convinced that student media is important. Not all the time, to all people. But there’s very few places where pretty much anyone can have a crack at putting together a magazine and getting their writing published if they want to. In providing that space, Salient has launched the careers of countless journalists and writers. In a media environment starved for resources, this kind of openness makes student media special. I guess now that I’m moving on after five years at Vic, I am feeling a little nostalgic, after all.
I’m tired. I can’t seem to get any of my uni readings done, while everyone around me seems to be completing them just fine—colour-coded notes and all. I can’t answer emails, which I have left unopened in my mailbox for more than a week—the thought of even thinking about a response causing me both anxiety and guilt. I don’t seem to have time for coffee dates with friends unless it’s really late at night. Menial tasks are causing me stress and even writing this is causing my chest to clench. Burnout comes out of the internalised concept that we should be working all the time, because that is what we have been told to do, either implicitly or explicitly. I never thought I could be burnt out because I never thought I worked hard enough. So, I worked harder. And harder. And harder. Sick? Going to the doctor can wait because I have to study. Friend wanting to catch up? They will have to wait. I fear that if I don’t work myself into the ground, I may become the ‘lazy, good-for-nothing’ disabled stereotype. So sometimes I push myself beyond what is necessary and, honestly, what is healthy. It’s hard for disabled people to navigate an able-bodied world that’s not built for us. I try to fit the mold instead of just accepting that I am disabled, and that is ok, and that the world should make room for us—not the other way around. Being part of a minority itself contributes to burnout. Usually, I’m pretty stoic. I will be angry if the lift is broken, but I will clamber up the stairs anyway. I have the energy to smile at people, or at least stare at them defiantly, when they gawk at the way I walk. I have the energy to deal with the anxiety of not knowing whether something will be accessible, and I have the energy to show up anyway. But, those things can take a toll. And honestly, right now?
I just don’t have the energy. I feel really bad about it. I feel bad that I didn’t attend that tutorial because the thought of telling my tutor that I can’t do some of the activities makes me feel sick with anxiety. I feel bad that my anger about the broken lift has turned into tears. I feel bad that I stay at home instead of going to a party because I can’t get up the stairs and accepting help is still hard for me and it’s too much to deal with today. On top of that, I feel bad that I can’t do my readings and that I can’t reply to emails and that I can’t get this article in on time and that I can’t do everything. Stoicism, anger, and advocacy all take energy—and I’m running out. Talking and writing about ableism to able-bodied people is also exhausting. Especially when their response is always, “Wow, that’s shit. I never thought of that.” I live through ableism every day; I don’t have the privilege of never thinking about it. It’s exhausting when people awkwardly and politely nod, clearly bored with the conversation about the broken lift. Why can’t you get angry with me? Why can’t you slam your fists on the table and yell with me? I try to educate, but at the end of the day,they just don’t get it. I guess what I want to say is that I—and you, my lovely disabled reader—have to cut ourselves a break. Living with a disability is not hard because of our physical condition, it’s hard because the world disables us and yet we have to stay afloat. As a disabled person, showing up is a political statement. It’s okay to tap out. Some days, we need to put ourselves first and foremost. It’s not selfish, it’s not giving in, it’s not even “self-care”— it’s just survival. Peace out, look after yourselves, blast your heat pump for five minutes. You deserve it. xoxoxoxox
MAURI OR A
Looking back on where we’ve come from helps us to understand who we are today and who we’ll be in the future.
It is rolling fields and little lonely country churches. It’s baked bread and red tablecloths. Sometimes it’s a sound, but usually, it’s a smell. It could be a moment, a day, or even a year. Whatever it is, it always makes me think of home.
Take a moment and think about where you’ve come from—reflect on your actions and the places and people that got you to university. It is both an accomplishment and a privilege to be here.
Nostalgia can be a beautiful thing; a temporary timewarp, transporting us back to those happy moments which made our youth.
Research shows that thinking about all the good things that make us who we are—our strengths, support networks, and past successes—can help us develop our our self-efficacy. That is, our belief that we can succeed at a task. It is also important to have a ‘pathway’ to reaching your goal. This path isn’t a one-way street, but a complex roadmap with alternate routes for when obstacles arise.
It’s also sneaky... A simple bowl of budget pumpkin soup can take you away from wearing three layers in a damp Kelburn flat. Suddenly, you’re right back at the family dining table, you got 100% in a spelling test, and your parents are ecstatic. Ice cream is definitely on the cards. But the fog eventually clears...
According to some researchers, having the confidence to achieve goals and knowing how to achieve them are key components of hope. Hope, in turn, is linked to greater academic achievement, creativity, and problem-solving skills; and less depression and anxiety. Some circumstances are beyond our control and opportunities can feel hard to come by, but there are things we can do to feel a greater sense of self-efficacy and build hope: Practise being mindful of your body and emotions. Observe what you are feeling, and put it into words. Naming the experience will make it easier to identify any underlying belief that may cause the reaction. If that belief isn’t constructive, try replacing it with a more positive thought.
You’re on dishes, you recently lost essay marks for misspelling your lecturer’s name, and there is no ice cream. It’s important to reflect on these moments. University is all about progress; we’re all here to focus on our future, so the past is often subordinate to the daily needs of this essay or that party. It’s easy to disconnect from those experiences that made us who we are. So it can be a real sucker punch, and kind of depressing, when nostalgia hits. Sometimes it’ll make you feel shit about your current situation, and maybe more than a little unsure about where you’re heading. This isn’t always a bad thing. It can keep you in touch with those values and moments that made you who you are and force you to reassess your goals.
Some of our negative beliefs about ourselves are so deep-rooted it can be hard to change them. If you think ‘I’m not good enough’ each time you make a mistake, that can be a difficult belief to change. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and speak to yourself with the same compassion you would to someone else.
It can also be a driving force. Our past is part of the roadmap that shapes our future. Nostalgia presents little signposts and moments of retrospection that pop up, seemingly randomly, to nudge us in the right direction. So keep looking back, and keep yourself on track.
You don’t have to have it all figured out. Take it one day at a time and remember the path isn’t just a straight line.
PS C : ON E OC EA N
SULANI LIUA HELG
For me, it’s Nana’s pancakes, thin and oiled well. That distinct moth-y smell of her closet and scary wallpaper. Movies from DVD cases after careful selection made on a heavily stained carpet video store. The “All That” Nick. The tingling between my shoulders from being wrapped in a tight cocoon of cheap Chinese mink blankets. The siren bikes along Swanson Road. The dirty plastic bakery tassels that greet and bid you farewell.
Nostalgia. We’ve all experienced it before. Whether it's reminiscing about trading Pokémon cards in primary school, or gazing at photos of old friends who have since spread across the globe, nostalgia is how we fondly look back on times that have passed. Every time I bite into an iced animal biscuit (which is less often than I would like!) I’m suddenly transported to an era of Sticky TV and scooters.
It’s the glow of 5 p.m., that’s the colour of recollection.
But nostalgia isn’t always so linear. Sometimes we miss the present before it’s passed, feeling a swirl of anxiety and longing for the moment that we are still inhabiting. This is called anticipatory nostalgia and it’s something I’ve been experiencing this year.
Defined as a sense of longing or yearning for the past, ‘nostalgia’ derives from two Greek words: Nostos which means ‘homecoming’, and algos meaning ‘pain’. I also read somewhere that one can become seriously ill from missing home. Passing the halfway mark of the year, I feel like that volleyball Wilson, adrift in this thick swell of missing home. Ironically, I miss all the things I used to complain about.
Anticipatory nostalgia is like hanging out with a friend that you know is moving country at the end of the year. It can be hard to simply enjoy the present on its own terms; instead, you are constantly aware that the time you spend together is finite and soon these moments of life will become a memory.
Blasting radios from grey skylines with red headlights became Café Polo coffee cups, clinging in satisfaction against their ceramic saucers (mean cookies, though). I’ll forever miss video store trips. I miss waiting to be squashed on the 4:30 p.m. Henderson to Massey bus. I even miss the little grumpy lady who drove it.
This is my last year leading a wonderful student wellbeing team and facilitating a peer support group. Both have been sealed onto my heart for years, and the prospect that these are my last weeks with them is sometimes difficult to think about. I catch myself already nostalgically reminiscing about “the time I was leading SWAT”... and yet that time is still happening! This can be dangerous, as it can prevent me from simply enjoying this moment of life in its own right. Recognising that I’m experiencing anticipatory nostalgia often allows me to ground myself back into the present.
However, without moving, I would’ve stayed unchallenged and stationary. I know that without these nostalgic hues that surrounded this confused little girl, who simultaneously dressed for all four weather types—I wouldn’t know all that I do now. I wouldn’t feel that much closer to my grandparents than I do now, who reworked their entire lives in the hopes of furthering opportunities for their children. Oceans away from familiar sands, but creating homes away from home as a greater investment.
For some of you, this is your last trimester of university. This is the end of a multi-year journey filled with memories and people and growth. For others, this is the start of that journey. It’s clear that nostalgia affects all of us and can be a positive force in our lives. However, it’s important to recognise anticipatory nostalgia when we feel it. It’s important to keep living in the moment.
Supreme Club & Gold Awards Recognising outstanding contributions across cultural activities & clubs
If you, your club or someone you know has had some great achievement, nominate them for an award! The Supreme Club & Gold Awards will be held 3 October at The Hunter Lounge, Student Union Building, Kelburn Apply at vuwsa.org.nz/gold-awards by 5pm, 6 September. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Coronas in the back of your dad’s ute waves that taste like Sundays spent between your thighs a mumbled promise you forgot 2 Do you remember the boy who taught you how to swim? 3 The waistband of borrowed shorts cuts into my hips, you’re there in the water beckoning me to jump we’re in the changing room hands get lost, found, lost again sweaty palms grip each other like brothers or friends or lovers You motion for me to hurry up I want to yell out, words caught in my throat 4 How can you articulate something that isn’t real 5 the day after we kissed you shaved your head laid your bare chest across my skin and asked me if I had ever prayed before I’ve prayed to women with lilac-coloured lips and I’ve prayed into a stranger’s bedsheets as his body exalted mine but God could never paint my mouth like you regrowth will come before the Fall the tide will hide our lies, our names not your shame Amen, Amen, Amen 6 the dawn whispers that it’s getting late I can’t see straight you grab my hand somewhere out there is a horizon
Send your limericks, elegies, and odes to email@example.com
F ILM SPY KI DS 3 - D: GA M E OV E R REV IEW: C A L L UM TU R N BU LL
“I NEVER EVEN GOT HER EMAIL AD D RESS”/5
In 2003, my mum and dad’s friend took me to see Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. She has Alzheimer’s now, so I doubt she remembers that much about the viewing experience, but I do.
However, the aforementioned star-studded cast may be the reason why SK3D: GO is possibly the ugliest-looking film ever made.
The cast and crew of the Spy Kids cinematic universe (SKCU) astounds me upon reflection. It’s directed by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Until Dawn, Machete), and stars Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Danny Trejo, Selma Hayek, George Clooney, and the homie Steve Buscemi, to name a few.
The film uses every technique in the ultra-awesome-summerblockbuster 3D movie textbook to try to distract you from the fact that the CGI in this movie looks like 8-bit dogshit. This genuinely came out nearly a decade after Jurassic Park. I’m not joking when I say that the graphics in the Miniclip.com flash game for this film were on par with its cinematic counterpart. How’s that for nostalgia?
The final entry in the most illustrious trilogy of the 21st century, our story follows Junie Cortez as he traverses through virtual reality to save his sister Carmen from Sylvester Stallone. (I realised only when I got older that Stallone was actually playing a character— four, in fact! The more you know.)
Despite this, Steve Buscemi jumping off a flying pig asking if “somebody called in a loon?” is the single greatest thing to come out of 2003. The ensemble scene it accompanies far outweighs any similar scene from other cinematic universes of note.
Junie, who is joined by a rogue’s gallery of rowdy gamers, battles through sky-high raceways, lava-surfs with grandpa, and fleetingly hangs out with Elijah “We could only afford five minutes of screentime because its 2004 and Lord of The Rings exists” Wood. It’s a romp of an adventure from start to finish. Little-known fact: Ready Player One is actually a Wattpadsourced fan fiction spinoff of this absolute thriller.
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over is ultimately an allegory of family. Whether we’re talking about your weird uncle that looks a hell of a lot like Cheech Marin, or your dad’s work colleague who produced some of the most iconic TV comedies of the early 00’s... Family is the people you surround yourself with, that stick with you, that embrace you—simply because you’re you and they wouldn’t want anyone else.
M US IC
HON E ST TO W H OM
MUS IC FO R SAXO FO NE & BASS G UITAR
REVIE W: TAY LOR B U R N S
R EVIEW: S OP HIA KATS OUL IS
Grey Lynn's finest release their third project Honest To Whom. This comes off the back of their 2017 sophomore project Evil Adventures & Happy Thoughts, which featured the greatest bar of all time:
The genre of avant garde jazz may come loaded with a pretentious stigma and cause a general “???” reaction. However, taking the genre to experimental heights need not necessarily be inaccessible.
I star in the movie and I does the stunts Put the honey in the pussy, I'm a buzzy cunt Said she want some Manu in that So I popped a Manu in that.
Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes’ Music for Saxofone & Bass Guitar is essentially chill beats to study to, with a refined and cleverly crafted flair. The seven-track album takes a purist form of jazz and turns it on its head with heavy use of loops and lo-fi beats. Despite sticking to a consistently smooth flow and energy, there is a subtle variety through the length of this album that keeps things engaging. The Sams are clear masters on their respective instruments—they navigate up, down, and around scales effortlessly. Effects and loops are used curiously and expressively, particularly on the sax, almost as though someone was honking on multiple horns at once.
Honest To Whom moves away from the lo-fi production and slick flows the pair are known for, substituting this with hard trap beats and choruses you can sing along to on a Saturday night. Eno's production reminds me of the underground sounds of the early 2010s, such as Injury Reserve and Psymun. And Manu flexes his vocal versatility with catchy singing and faster flows. For me, however, Honest To Whom is missing the whakapapa that separated Manu from the rest of New Zealand MCs trying to be American rappers. A few songs are lost in the ripples of the lo-fi hip-hop sea. Manu's wavy and lucid flow, paired with tight 808s and heavy synths, leaves me debating whether I should open a bottle or roll something up. On "Get That Cash”, he opens the first verse with "pulled up what's the plan of attack, rolled up three blunts got more in the back". Between the thunderous baselines and loops of field recordings, I want ins on their plan. Then comes the chorus—"go ahead homie get that cash." I find myself in a dilemma. My little sister pops out from behind her plate of old El Paso and asks why not both. (Cue mariachi music.) But, Honest to MF Doom you will be satisfied, whatever your preference is. Whether you're a purist, mumble rap fan, a Boomer, or a Millennial, there is something on this project for you. Favourite songs: “That One”, “Tick Tick Tick”.
The tones of both instruments are often hard to pin down, where the sax unexpectedly drops to a baritone register and the guitar delves into qualities of a stand-up double bass. Riffs are held together by subtle, almost unnoticeable beats, often consisting of aural sounds or clicks like high-brow beatboxing. What creates the maximum chill factor is the use of ambient synths and samples that hum in the background like machinery, adding more texture to the experience. My personal favourite track is “IRISH”, which really showcases a serene dexterity on the bass that mellows out into a sweet, atmospheric delight as the song pans out. Regrettably, I do not possess a wealth of jargon to describe what’s going on here, but I do recommend this album to those earnestly looking to spice up their listening repertoire.
FAS HIO N O B SE SSE D W I TH TH E 2 0 0 0 S
R EVIEW: NI NA W EIR
I can’t explain why I’m so obsessed with 2000s fashion. Maybe it’s because I never owned a Bratz doll. Maybe it’s compensation for the fact that I never got the free lipgloss that came with a Girlfriend magazine, only reading them when someone smuggled them into our cabin at Year 6 camp. Maybe it’s purely for anthropological reasons; trying to understand why our species was so obsessed with skinny scarves during the decade. I could waste many an hour reminiscing over red carpet photos from that happier time where bootcut jeans worn under a dress was a valid formal outfit.
Thanks to celebrities like Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid, who are 16% woman and 84% cheekbone, tiny sunglasses are the biggest thing in eyewear. I love an impractical accessory as much as the next girl, but giving yourself neck cramp while trying to block out excessive UV through your miniature cat-eyed shades just ain’t it. Like the switch from skinny to wide-leg jeans, it’s time to return to the oversized round sunglasses as worn by a hungover Paris Hilton circa 2003. I’m a huge fan of anything that adds some Sharpay Evans to my life while simultaneously cutting down on eye makeup application time.
Nothing summarises 2000s style better than sunglasses. Celebrities all over the fame spectrum, from Guy Fieri to Destiny’s Child, knew the value of self-expression through eyewear. Search the red carpets, rap videos, and time-stamped family pictures from New Year’s at Kaiteriteri 2006, and you’ll find this accessory in its many yet equally horrific forms.
If what you look for in eyewear is virtually no optometric benefit, coupled with a shape that screams “LMFAO is my most listened to artist on Spotify”, then boy oh boy have I got the style for you. Shutter shades—first made famous by Kanye in his “Stronger” music video, living on through the tail end of the 2000s by everyone at intermediate who bought them for house-colour wear on Athletics Day. I doubt we’ll be seeing a resurgence of this style anytime soon. Not only were they hideous, but they were always made from the same plastic as the cutlery you get given with a Pad Thai at Capital Market, and I’d like to think we’re in a better place environmentally than we were in 2009.
The fashion industry loves to recycle trends (ironic, considering when it comes to other forms of recycling, it pulls a Mariah “I don’t know her”). So, I’ve compiled a list of all the shades of the noughties and my recommendations on whether you should be raiding the boxes at the back of the garage to find them. The 2000s were the decade of bling: on your flip-phone case, on your velvet tracksuit, and obviously on your sunglass lenses. Hearts, stars, or butterflies—if it was a popular tramp-stamp, it was cool to have on your sunglasses. Start practising your pronunciation of “Swarovski” now because if Cardi B’s manicures are any way to predict accessory trends (which they definitely are), no festival outfit this summer will be complete without some sparkle on your eyewear.
Nothing says nostalgia like the wrap-around sunglasses bought by your dad at a Shell station—reminiscing on the tantrum he threw when the lens popped out of his $7.49 investment. These glasses have obvious comedic value, featuring in more Vines than I could name, without revealing how much time I waste watching Vine compilations. But could the wrap-around redeem itself and become more than just the accessory of choice of R&V lads? Despite attempts from capital F fashion brands like Vetements to bring these back, I can’t see it happening. Though if the scooter resurgence is anything to go by, never say never.
B OO K MISE RY
R EVIEW: FINB AR R MCC A RT HY
What is scary? Stephen King has a few ideas. A heinously zombified obese woman, shedding flesh as she claws her way toward you? To take another example from The Shining, perhaps a tidal wave of blood gushing down a corridor gives you the heebie-jeebies. Disgusting? Wicked, shocking, evil, and vile? Yes. But realistic? Perhaps not. To me, this realness—the idea that this could really happen, makes something scary. Let me backtrack. Stephen King’s Misery subjects the reader to a first-person account of author Paul Sheldon’s horror, his misery. Following a near-fatal car crash, Sheldon is dragged from the wreckage by the seemingly heroic (and evidently strong) Annie Wilkes. A bed-ridden Sheldon is initially grateful as Wilkes cares for him. Did I mention Wilkes is Sheldon’s biggest fan? Her fanaticism makes him a tad uncomfortable, but he’s alive. How can he complain? Well, here’s another slice of serendipity: Sheldon has just penned the concluding chapter in a saga of steamy romance novels. Suffice to say, Annie disapproves, and his stay in Wilkes’ quaint home abruptly goes from that as a patient to a captive. Demanding a rewrite, Wilkes becomes increasingly violent and manic, revealing her obsessive true nature. What makes this story different from a generic slasher? You probably felt the sarcasm dripping from my plot summary. I think even King would concede that the series of events which found Sheldon lying in Wilkes’ bedroom were unlikely. However, let’s look at the substance of the story, the interaction between captor and captive Paul Sheldon, who is now more than a little uncomfortable. The introvert’s worst nightmare. We’ve all met people that make us uncomfortable. It could be that 40-something-too-old-to-
still-be-at-the-club-year-old guy who won’t take a hint. Despite my charmingly optimistic worldview, I’m not so naïve to think these people aren’t out there. The extreme end of this spectrum manifests in violence. As a sobering reminder, The Voice star Christina Grimmie was murdered by an obsessed fan in 2016. I take Misery to be a cautionary tale. I’m not saying women or mentally ill people are most likely to inflict violence. Nor am I saying that “all men are trash” and that we should stay inside. But King has effectively taken something real and frightening, and manifested it in the extreme. Of course, violent obsession is not always the logical conclusion of common discomfort. But this fear is real. King has masterfully exaggerated this fear for horrific purposes without sacrificing the realism that breeds this fear. The novel isn’t perfect. The way in which events happen to Sheldon is annoyingly unrealistic and a little self-indulgent. Sheldon as an author embodies King to an extent, and there’s no way that the King/Sheldon hybrid could be at fault in any way, right? It’s all Annie’s Fault, and Sheldon is a victim at every turn, the male “Mary-Sue”. I thought that if King could include a gratuitous, under-aged orgy in his novel It, he would allow the character reflecting him here to be just a bit more flawed. But what do I know? Sheldon’s perfectionism and the novel’s moments of suspended disbelief (which aggravatingly undermine my theme) aside, I enjoyed this novel. It draws upon very real social fears, exacerbating them into a terrifying scenario in which one can’t just connect their Airpods and walk away. If you fear no mortal and prefer more fantastical screams, then perhaps this one won’t affect you as much. However, if you’re bored of Insidious-style jump-scares, I’d recommend embracing Misery.
P ODCAS T D AVID TE NNA NT DO E S A P O D CAST WI T H … REVIEW: TO M W H I T E
for that. Instead, the listener is included, brought into the circle; a (silent) third person in the room.
David Tennant, for me, will always be DI Alec Hardy complaining about something and calling out to DS Miller “Mee-lahr! Mee-lahr!” He wasn’t my Doctor (mine was Matt Smith) nor was he memorable to me as Barty Crouch Jr; it was his role in Broadchurch that I really got to see him. I really got to liking him. David Tennant is great.
But… David is too nice. My major problem with this podcast is the content of the conversations, and this isn’t a boon for a conversational podcast. The guests are mostly actors, who mostly want to talk about themselves; David not only lets them do so, but actively and ceaselessly encourages them to. While, of course, the clearest topic of such a podcast is going to be the life of the guest, I think I was hoping for something different here; that David could have talked with his interviewees about things other than how they became a famous actor and what it’s like to be… a famous actor.
In fact, it seems that everyone gets to liking him—so much so that nobody actually has a bad word to say against him. There’s this really cute video on YouTube of DT (as he is affectionately known) receiving a National Television Awards Special Recognition (honestly, it’s so wholesome—his reaction is the best). They play clips of his colleagues talking about him, and sure, they’re supposed to be saying good things, but there is not an instant of pretense in their unanimous affection. By all accounts, David Tennant is one of the nicest, sweetest people in the acting world.
Given the length of the episodes (approx 45–65 minutes), I think it could have been less of a constant hagiography and more of a deep dive into interesting issues. So when Krysten Ritter says something like “I felt like Jessica Jones actually reached people in a meaningful way in their lives”, instead of using this as a lead to talk about Krysten’s knitting venture, they could have, I don’t know, addressed the issue that she plays the first female superhero Marvel has ever introduced as a lead.
So when I saw he had a new podcast, I was excited to listen to it. It was pretty promising—Olivia Colman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jodie Whittaker, and Sir Ian McKellen are his first four guests. And David proved to be as genuinely “lovely” (he likes that word) in conversation as in reputation. He’s able to connect so well with every guest because he is such an easy person to talk with. He wants to listen to his guest—and not every conversationstyle podcast host is like this.
David tries to make humans out of actors, to make them relatable and accessible. The problem is, they already are. His guests have a lot of fun and clearly enjoy the casual chats (Olivia Colman has her dog with her, Jennifer Garner’s in her pyjamas) and I enjoyed the good vibes, but if not for my love of David Tennant, I’m not sure I would have kept listening.
It helps that most of David’s guests in the first series are his costars and friends. This could have made for it being something of a club, inaccessibly buried in in-jokes, but David is too good
F OOD NIC NAC NO M ORE
R EVIEW: S ALLY WA RD
Is there anything more universally nostalgic than a bag of lollies? Sure, you’ve got fairy bread and soft serve, but nothing so diverse and individual as lollies.
to impress me. There’s even a quiz on the internet, ‘What kind of lolly are you?’ Apparently I’m an M&M; I project “an aura of fun wherever I go” (thanks BuzzFeed).
I had a caregiver, Janet, who took me to the dairy on Gloucester Street everyday after school with a dollar in my pocket, felt like a million. The thrill of carefully curating perfect sugary dreams brought on the afterschool high after a hard day of handball. I’d choose two of each—apricots, sour worms, caramel jerseys, peaches and cream, tangy fruit sticks, spinning tops, sour hearts, sour spiders. 5c a pop! Can’t get anything that cheap anymore. (Remember the 5 cent coin? Had a tuatara on it!) That’s 20 lollies for $1, thank God my adult teeth weren’t all in.
Nic Nac’s is closing down, and with it, a portal into childhood and my study-free stress week coping mechanism. There is no other lolly shop like it in town. They are award-winning; ‘Best Dairy in Wellington 2018’. The supermarkets are stocking some shit I’ve never seen before, and their milk bottles taste off-brand. At Nic Nac’s, I relish the weight of that steely scoop in my hand, all the edible colours of the universe, ready to bag up. What brings me the most joy is the reminder that I am both an adult and a child. There’s no one over my shoulders telling me “that’s enough”; I can keep filling up until I’m ready to walk away, accepting the inevitable stomachache, because yes, I will be eating them all that afternoon. Simultaneously, I am five years old, heart soaring at the sight of confectionary, overwhelmed by choice, a bounce in my step as I leave. I might trade you for a rainbow strip but don’t touch my caramel bon-bons.
I remember my dad’s face shedding years when he found aniseed wheels at a specialty sweet shop. Is there anything more disgusting? To him, they tasted like road trips and rewards. He got a bag, ate two, then left them to disintegrate in the glovebox. And my grandparents always had boxes of Cadbury Roses (no guarantee of freshness, probably from last Christmas)—we were allowed one in the afternoon.
Nic Nacs is closing its doors on Aug 15 after 15 years of service to the people of Wellington. Dina and Mahersh have been running the shop together and have worked every single day except Christmas. Dina said she’s looking forward to a holiday.
It’s fair to judge a person by what they choose at a pick ‘n’ mix— great first date option, by the way. Weed out the weirdos. Don’t trust a person who gets Warheads. Those are the ones wrapped in a neon warning sign that give you locked jaw, gooey centre. A person eating those is trying to prove they can handle citric acid at astronomical levels as well as the apocalypse. There’s nothing attractive about a blue tongue—eat a chili if you want
Thank you Nic Nac’s.
GET OF F OU R C O LLEC T IV E DICKS
THIS OR THAT
1. Lil Jon or Young Jeezy? 2. Pokémon or Digimon? 3. Gameboy or Nintendo? 4. Nikelodeon or Disney Channel? 5. Neopets or Club Penguin?
GOOD NEWS POP QUIZ 1. How many trees did Ethiopia recently plant within 12 hours, breaking world records? 2. After previously being bullied, what did a sixyear-old boy ask his mum to make for him for his first day of school? 3. At 107 years old, what does an American woman say her secret to life is?
1. Part one of the lyrics to this puzzle's song (1,4,3,1,4) 9. Take responsibility for (3) 10. Author of the fable that gave us the phrase 'sour grapes' (5) 11. Hand-crafted, like some... spring water, apparently? (7) 12. Part two of the lyrics (2,6,1,3) 15. Songwriter McCartney (4) 16. Any member of Abba; root vegetable (5) 18. Songwriter Lennon (4) 21. Part three of the lyrics (3,4,3,2) 25. Word in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution that causes a lot of disagreement (7) 26. Zip; zero (5) 27. Actress Green or Mendes (3) 28. Song this puzzle's lyrics come from, subtitled 'This Bird Has Flown' (9,4)
1. Country whose only coastline is about 40 km on the Persian Gulf (4) 2. Fledgling's home (4) 3. Realm; New York skyscraper (6) 4. Drowning in (5) 5. Amaze; stun (7) 6. Like dining that isn't al fresco (6) 7. Last-ditch, unlikely effort (4,4) 8. Bothering; frustrating (8) 13. Group of twelve at the Last Supper (8) 14. Hero who appears on the cover of the most expensive comic book in history (8) 17. Fight over a championship belt, say (7) 19. Part of an elk's rack (6) 20. Company whose 'Prime Day' is often an opportunity for its workers to strike (6) 22. Company who buried a whole bunch of 'E.T.' game cartridges in the desert in the 1980s (5) 23. Choral part between soprano and tenor (4) 24. Garden building; dispel (4)
1. More than 350 million (353,633,660 to be exact) 2. A t-shirt that said, “I will be your friend”, to help other kids who have been bullied. 3. Staying single and eating Italian food.
WORD OF THE WEEK: "MEMORY" TE REO MĀORI
maumaharatanga NEW ZEALAND SIGN LANGUAGE
PICK YOUR POISON, SUDOKU LOVERS EASY PEASY
F*CK YA LIFE UP Puzzle 1 (Very hard, difficulty rating 0.80)
Puzzle 1 (Easy, difficulty rating 0.36)
7 6 2
Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/sudoku on Wed Jul 10 05:18:35 2019 GMT. Enjoy!
Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/sudoku on Wed Jul 10 05:17:53 2019 GMT. Enjoy!
POKÃ‰MON COLOUR ME IN
S L I GHTLY L ESS SAVAGE T HAN YO UR CO -S TAR APP
LIBRA Look after yourself like you would look after a tamagotchi. Want yourself like you wanted that tamagotchi. Put the same amount of effort into your life like you did when you made a whole-ass Powerpoint to prove to your mum why you should have one.
I MISS ONE DIRECTION. Didn’t we all believe they would see us from the 102nd row back at a show on the Up All Night Tour 2012 and sweep us off our feet? Go sweep someone off their feet— surprise them with something nice!
Moshi Monsters!! Nintendogs!! Webkinz!! Check up on your friends: online animated animals or the real life ones—you choose. Don’t forget to look after yourself while you are taking care of others. You is smart. You is kind. You is important.
Have a 2007 Britney moment: Fuck societal standards. Just go for it. Stand on top of Mt Vic naked and scream your lungs out. Make this whole slog matter.
Can you feel the love tonight? Feel it a lil bit more! Dial up the heat a bit, but sustainably! Fuck someone(s) before the climate crisis fucks us all and let your rollercoaster of emotions mellow out this week.
Uni getting you down? Well, at least you aren’t losing Mathletics races. Remember how they really used to get you going? Light that passionate fire again.
Cut those toxic people out of your life by printing out the lyrics to “Gotta Go My Own Way” and dragging them to K Bar. Breaking free is crucial to living your best life.
So no one told you life was going be this way. How ya doin’? Check in with yourself. Get out of 2nd Gear. Make you a priority (but not how Ross made himself a priority and fucked everyone else over— especially Rachel, she deserved better.)
You’re gonna be cold, pale, and your eyes will always be changing colour this week. See a doctor. Take some Vitamin C, buy some fancy tissues that have eucalyptus in them, and drink honey lemon ginger. Before this sets in though: Relish breathing through your nose, you lucky fuck.
Help the bad parts of 90’s fashion come back into style. Embrace your flaws like people embraced really really low-rise jeans and crop tops that first-years think look cute. Sweater vests aren’t going to help you. Ask your landlord for better heating.
This week is the week you will be able to perfectly recreate GirlGuides Minis—the best biscuits of all time. Flex your baking prowess, and ask the person you’ve been meaning to out with a sweet treat.
H20: Just Add Water was made for you. You’ve got the power if you just believe. The world is your oyster. Put on your favourite Disney theme songs and have a dance party.
For the 2020 student executive
Think you have what it takes to be on the VUWSA Exec? Nominate yourself today! Nominations close: Monday 26 August 4.30pm.
Find info about the positions and nominations forms at vuwsa.org.nz/elections