Lucknow Spaces – 16 Two Serious Head Injuries in the U.S. of A – 20 Blue Cod Journeys – 26 To Gram or not to Gram – 28
EDITOR'S LETTER 3 NEWS News 4 Politics 9 Opinion 10 Sport 11 *News* 12 Informative Distraction 13 LETTERS & NOTICES 14 FEATURES Lucknow Spaces 16 Two Serious Head Injuries in the U.S. of A 20 Blue Cod Journeys 26 To Gram or not to Gram 28 CENTREFOLD 24 COLUMNS Presidential Address 32 VUWSA 32 Super Science Trends 33 SWAT 34 NT: Te Ara Tauira 34 Environment 35 The International Angle 36 REVIEWS Books 37 Drink 38 Films 40 TV 41 Music 42 Podcast 44 ENTERTAINMENT Horoscope 45
Editor's Letter Broaden your Horizons on Travel others. Maybe it’s the Cat Show. Maybe it’s going to the District Court and witnessing the shit that goes on there. I mean it when I say that the different people we should interact with to “broaden our minds” is right here. I went camping with a friend up in Kaitoke, and we met this guy who lived in a van and told us about his 20 year meth addiction and his prison time and he got real excited when he learnt my friend was a government worker. He asked her lots of questions because when else would he meet a government worker again? I was surprised because we were just outside Wellington, and isn’t every second person here working for the government? But then my friend told me that was the first time she’d met someone who had gone to jail so there you go. Different circles. The fact that we don’t interact more is fucked up. Have I mentioned hitchhiking yet? Great stuff. I’m a fan. Doesn’t cost a cent, which appeals to my inner cheapskate, and you get to talk to a wide cross-section of society. While I won’t pretend it’s a safe thing to do (that time when my ride ripped a bong going 110 down the highway); you do tend talk to people of all social demographics. The only common denominator for a ride is they’re willing to pick you up. I’ve gotten CEOs, numerous Catholic priests, social workers, tourists who barely spoke English, labourers, old people, young people, big families tiki-touring, etc. You get the idea. So. Travel broadens your mind. You don’t have to be rich to travel. Go forth. LOUISE LIN Editor
You know what people say about travel. “It broadens your mind, you’ll become more learned and generally a better person. Everyone should travel.” But, we’ve debunked that one, right? People are saying “the thing is, only middle-class and rich people can afford to travel. By saying that ‘you become a better person when you travel’, you’re saying that rich people, by virtue of being rich and being able to afford both plane tickets and time off work, are more wise or worldly or whatever, which is unfair and classist. People mostly go travelling cos it’s fun, and to layer extra meaning on how it’s ‘educational’ is just so typical for rich people to justify their behaviour. Besides, there are plenty of other ways that are just as good for opening your mind. Try reading a book.” I kinda agree and kinda disagree with both those arguments. Here’s why. Travel can broaden your mind. But the part that’s mind-broadening isn’t the getting on or off the plane. Nor is it the moment you see the Eiffel tower with your own two eyes. It’s when you interact with people who are different from you, and you learn that people can exist in different realities, living lives and doing things unheard of in your world. And no, reading a book is no substitute for being face to face with difference. Sorry. Words on a page can never replace Real Human Interaction. And I got good reason to think that learning about difference, and other cultures, is a good thing. We fear, therefore hate, the unknown. I remember watching BBC’s series on “proud racists”. The Proud Racist interviewed said, very proudly, that he’s never had the misfortune of meeting someone who wasn’t white. I can’t guess all of his motives, but I really do believe he would have had a different mindset if only he went out and, ahem, travelled, a bit more. But the thing is, we got some sort of idea in our head that “travel” means plane tickets to Europe, or South America, or Bali at least. But c’mon, that stereotype gotta budge. All travel means is going from the familiar to the strange. There are different places a plenty without having to board a single plane. Within Wellington there are hundreds of different social subcultures which are home to some, and exotic to
P.S. I heard there was a rumour going around that Salient’s doing a Free Speech issue this week. Unfortunately, all our themed issues get planned months in advance so we didn’t have time to jump on that particular bandwagon. Rest assured I’ve got hectic *opinions* on the topic and at the very least you can expect a fiery editorial right here this time next week. 3
The News MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
Mould and Roaches in University Hall LOUISE LIN
Mould on the ceiling of Taryn's bathroom
Students’ Association, said that she has received multiple complaints from international students about substandard living conditions at uni halls. “The accommodation provided to international students is not up to the standards they were promised,” she said. Rainsforth Dix, Director of Campus Living at Victoria University, said that the outgoing residents are responsible for leaving flats in a clean condition. However, the University sends in commercial cleaners if after an inspection the flat is “not clean enough for new residents”. Uni Hall residents are also struggling with long wait times before their complaints are dealt with. Taryn has cockroaches living in her flat. “When I saw [the first cockroach] I was home alone freaking out,” she said. Rainsforth said that when a maintenance job is logged, high priority jobs get attention “within an hour” and low priority jobs “may take five days”. However, this claim doesn’t live up to students’ experiences. Taryn’s complaint was neglected for two weeks after she logged her maintenance request. She was “super annoyed”, enough to make a public Facebook post. She said “the next day there was someone here”. Taryn’s bathroom ceiling is also coated in mould, a problem the previous tenants from Tri One had already logged. There are two broken heaters in Elle’s flat, logged over a month ago. They still have not been fixed. Rainsforth said the University “works hard to provide accommodation that it is the best it can be”. She said the University believes “the systems and processes we have available to remedy issues for students in accommodation mean that we act in a prompt and good faith way”. Ravethi disagrees. She said that more often than not, the University implicitly tells international students to “bear with it”, as responses to complaints can “take a while”. She believes that there are insufficient resources dedicated to the maintenance of the accommodation provided. “Currently, it seems like the University has a 'if it’s not broken why fix it' attitude,” she said. “But as seen in this case, the system in place clearly has errors, so I would say it’s high time they fixed it.”
Cockroaches, mould, and broken heaters are just some of the things international students have been welcomed with upon moving into their University Hall residences. Nick Rosenberg, an exchange student from Hawai’i, said when he arrived to his new home, “it didn’t seem it was really prepared at all for people”. “A lot of it was really messy. The floors were definitely not clean and neither were the walls. I found half a joint under my bed. My bedding wasn’t washed either.” There was a “shit ton” of glass in his garden in the wrong recycling bag. The university threatened to fine the flat if they didn’t sort out the glass. Uni Hall differs from other halls, in that it’s a series of selfcatered flats. There are RAs who are expected to visit once a week, and power and electricity is supplied. The marketing for the hall said it is “suitable for international students” and 86 percent of the residents are international. To live there costs $270 a week, which includes electricity and wifi but not food, on top of a $150 activity fee and a $120 administration fee. When Marie Kepp, an exchange student from Denmark, moved into her room, she was horrified to find mould on the walls. She asked to be moved to another room in the house, only to find that every room in that house was in the same condition. The house “was also very filthy”, with “dirt and a dead fly”. “I don’t think it’s okay to put exchange students, or any students, to stay in a house full of mould,” she said. “I can’t imagine this happening in Denmark. It’s like, what the fuck? It’s not good enough.” Taryn Gangi, an exchange student from the US, said her kitchen was “disgusting” when she arrived. “There were crumbs everywhere and all the dishes in the cabinets were all covered in food.” In addition, the rubbish, which included a bloody tampon, hadn’t been taken out. When Elle Ryan, an exchange student from the US, first moved in, it was raining. “My window was leaking so it was all wet and damp and my heater didn’t work.” “It’s just a lot of us being left with other people’s messes and having to deal with it,” said Georgia Carroll, an exchange student from England. Ravethi Jeyakumar, President of Victoria International 4
MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
The Naming Game ANGUS SHAW
the arts department. Why would a University waste our money on this, which is just really a marketing campaign. I mean it might make some people feel better.” Felix Griffin arranged the event as he believed that students did not previously have enough of a forum to express their views on the name change. He said that the University should abandon their plans on the proposition until stakeholders had an adequate opportunity to assert their views. He called on Guildford to make note that “Victoria is not his property to give away”. The Filipino, Cambodian, and Taiwanese Student Associations have come out against the name change. ‘“While we submit that change is a vital part of the human experience and this name simplification in its core is not necessarily a bad thing, we disagree with the rationale behind such change,” said Buklod, the Filipino Student Association. The Cambodian Student Association said, “we believe name is the identity of a place or a person. The current name has a long history and has produced many well-known scholars and professionals around the globe”. Yan Ma, a former international student who now works at Victoria, told Salient that the University had discounted the views of international graduates like herself when they proposed the change. “Victoria is a bit of a home away from home. So I have a lot of feelings for the old name,” said Ma. However, she said she could “understand” the reason for the proposal. Following community opposition to the name change, the University has re-opened the call for submissions about the proposal. Feedback now closes on 27 August, and the final decision date has been extended from 27 August to 24 September. Feedback can be sent to “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Students opposed to the Victoria name change made their voices heard outside Vice Chancellor Grant Guilford’s office last Tuesday. The “Stick with Vic” Protest was held on 7 August. About 30 students, alumni, and staff members gathered in hopes of publicly addressing Guilford with their concerns. One of the attendees of the protest, Catherine Reynolds, said she was troubled that students had such a short amount of time to express their concerns. “I feel like it’s been a very one -sided moved on Grant and the senior leadership team’s part. I feel like this [the protest] is the one of only ways to have our voices heard, because we haven’t had opportunities to do that on the way.” Guilford rebuked the claim that students didn’t have enough time to voice their thoughts, telling Salient at the forum, “We were left confronting that 99.5% of people weren’t concerned or somehow didn’t get engaged… So what does it mean when 45,000 people don’t engage? … Well it certainly means people were not anxious enough to get off their chuff”. A petition against the change has gathered over 5,000 signatures. In response to the backlash, Victoria has held several public forums. Three forums were held last week, including a draft forum for students, held at Rutherford house last Monday. Guilford said the groups who did engage gave "huge" support in favour of the name change. According to Guildford these groups includes the council, the marae and the local iwi, the trustees, the librarians, and the stakeholders (i.e. relations throughout Wellington just as public servant groups and other unis). Another Vic student, Jordan Milburn, said that he attended the protest because he thinks the University’s name Victoria is worth protecting. “It disrespects the name but also defunds buildings, defunds
Images of protesters against name change. Photos by Benji Hartfield
MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
Marlon the MVP Brings Back the Number 18! EMMA SIDNAM students, saying that the current 18e timetable “"doesn't reflect the real timetable of a student". Massey and Victoria students were upset when Metlink slashed the route’s faithful hours of operation. In 2015, when the GWRC originally proposed to cut the 18, VUWSA made a campaign to keep the route, which resulted in the retention of 18e during peak hours. Marlon said, “after some conversation with GWRC, Daran Ponter, and lots of feedback from students, it was clear that the loss of the Number 18e all day service was a loss for our community”. At the meeting, the GWRC councillors admitted that there were “lots of things” wrong with the buses. As well as reinstating the 18, they also agreed to start fining bus companies if they weren’t up to standard, to review the the timetables and capacities of core bus routes, as well as the timeframe for making changes. To the joy of many, the GWRC voted to reinstate the 18 at the meeting. The council admitted that the bus problems won’t be a simple fix, but it’s a start. Marlon said “this shows that students are starting to be seen as a serious part of the region, and that when we voice our concerns they are heard". A Council spokesperson said that they were unsure of when exactly the bus would be reinstated.
The number 18e bus
The No. 18e “Campus Connection” will soon start operating during off peak hours, after a decision made by the Greater Wellington Regional Council. On 8 August, members of the public along with city councillors filed into the Sustainable Transport Committee meeting to air their grievances. VUWSA president Marlon Drake went and presented to the GWRC on behalf of the
Kelburn Campus Library Lifts Let Students Down LAURA SUTHERLAND Victoria University students and staff are approaching two years without lift access to the university’s main library, leaving some to wonder if they will ever be fixed. As of 31 July, the University estimates that two lifts will be operating between floors three and seven by the end of September 2018. Previous targets aimed for May. This does not restore full access to the upper levels, as the third floor will still only be accessible via the stairwell. Currently, the University estimates that all lifts will be fully restored by the end of December 2019, three years after they were first damaged. Both lift shafts at Kelburn’s Rankine Brown Library have been out of order since the earthquakes of November 2016. While the first and second floors are accessible by lift via the Hub, floors three to nine can only be reached by the stairs. Students unable to access these floors can request items via an online form, which are delivered to the Glass Room three times daily. CanDo President Lilli Street said the book retrieval service “can be a timely process” for students using mobility aids. They also pointed out that these students can’t access the J. C. Beaglehole Room, the university’s collection of archival and heritage materials. “The J.C. Beaglehole room does not loan its resources to students to take home,” said Lilli, meaning items cannot be accessed via the retrieval service. Stephen Costley, Victoria’s Director of Property Services, said the delays can be attributed the complex nature of lift
repairs, saying it requires careful staging and a solution that allows contractors to work safely in and around the lift shafts while keeping the building operational and causing minimal noise and disruption for staff and students. When Salient inquired about the costs of the repairs, Costley said, “The University is currently working on an insurance claim for these and other earthquake repair works in the Rankine Brown Building and is unable to disclose the cost of the works at this time”. 6
MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
Students to Protest in Hope that "The Wait is Over" HARRY CLATWORTHY culture where we can talk honestly and openly about how we feel. We have a community that cares, and this campaign will show that”. The VUWSA team have created a “The Wait is Over” banner which allows students to add written messages of support and hope. The banner is also a place for students to voice the changes they want to see for mental health in New Zealand, “whether it be a policy, a change in how we see mental health, or just having a society where we talk to each other”.
VUWSA has started up a new mental health campaign, “The Wait is Over”, in response to the mental health crisis and the gaps in support for students. “The issue is waiting times,” said VUWSA president Marlon Drake. “The solution is more funding for our student counselling services.” They are planning a protest on Parliament Lawn next Wednesday 22 August at 12pm. Marlon said this new campaign’s ultimate goal is to provide a platform where students’ and young peoples’ voices can be heard in the discussion on mental health. Marlon told Salient that one of the key goals of the campaign is to secure public funding for tertiary mental health services. “This would free up university funding, including levy money, which could then be used for wellbeing initiatives.” According to People's Mental Health Review spokesperson and psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald there has been a 60 percent increase in the amount of people needing mental health services in New Zealand since 2009. Students appear to have been particularly afflicted in the recent mental health crisis. The Kei Te Pai? report released by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations stated that over half of students have considered dropping out, and a significant number of students experience stress, anxiety, lack of energy, and depression. The report stated that 33% students waited two weeks or more to see a counselor on campus. Statistics of self harm incidents and suicide attempts in Victoria University’s halls have more than doubled in the last five years, from nine incidents in 2013 to 20 incidents in 2017. However, the campaign’s goal goes beyond public funding. Marlon said that “most importantly, our community needs a
Where to Get Help • Free call or text 1737 anytime for support from a trained counsellor • Safe to Talk (sexual violence) - 0800 044 334 or text 4334 • Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) • Youthline (for youth) – 0800 376 633 or free text 234 • Outline (LGBTQIA+) – 0800 688 5463 • Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) • Healthline – 0800 611 116 to talk to a registered nurse • Samaritans – 0800 726 666 • Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 • Anxiety New Zealand 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY) • The Lowdown NZ (for youth) — free text 5626 or visit thelowdown.co.nz
Lack of Sexual Assault Policy Leaves Students Feeling Unheard JESS POTTER statute. The University also does not have a direct complaint process or guideline. It has one mention of sexual misconduct in its staff policy. Pam Thorburn, director of Student Academic Services at Victoria University of Wellington, stated that sexual violence can be addressed through the Student Conduct Statute, and that they take a survivor/victim lead approach to responding to disclosures of sexual violence. Additionally, information and services can also be found on the University webpage and through the office of Student Interest and Conflict Resolution. Nonetheless, in this case these measures did not stop the tutor from teaching young women after the discovery of their wrongdoings, including the two victims, and it is unknown as to whether the tutor is still teaching. VUWSA President Marlon Drake states that VUWSA is in favour of a sexual harassment policy to be put in place, as “it is important that all students know their options, and have the confidence and ability to access the support they want to”.
Voiceless, powerless, and unheard. That is how two students at Victoria University of Wellington have felt after making a sexual misconduct complaint to the University against a postgraduate tutor, who continued to study and teach in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences after the findings of misconduct. The chemistry tutor allegedly groped females, made sexual comments, and followed them home. The two females complained in February of the sexual misconduct, with the University offering the students sessions of restorative justice with their alleged harasser. After declining this offer, they heard no more from the University about the issue and process of discipline, while their tutor remained in their teaching position. Provost Professor Wendy Larner has stated that the University takes allegations of harassment seriously, and that a number for formal measures had been put in place. However, Victoria does not have a stand-alone sexual harassment policy and does not explicitly list sexual misconduct in its student conduct 7
MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
A Random Education Institute in Palmy Increases Their Student Services Fee by 50% TAYLOR GALMICHE
“Students are able to speak to us at any time over concerns they have. We are very proud of the services we offer our students,” said a spokesperson from IPU. A person on the Student Council last year recounted the socalled consultation. They said that the meeting “was less of a consultation process and more a ‘this is what is going to happen'". They said every student council member present at the meeting spoke against the fee increase. “We also stated clearly that the majority of students would greatly disapprove of the increase in costs, which from what I have heard is what has happened.” Prior to 2017, IPU had no Student Council. IPU said that “students were given every opportunity to respond via email submission and student meetings. The consultation process and fee report are available on our website and disclosed to the Ministry as per the Direction”. Multiple IPU students told Salient that they would like a better understanding of where their money goes, feeling blindsided by recent uncertainties about where the student services fee is spent. Love pointed out the the university isn’t following the the Ministerial Direction on Compulsory Student Fees, which exists to hold universities accountable in the use of compulsory fees for student services, specifically domestic students. The services must fit within one of the categories defined by the direction: advocacy and legal advice; careers information, advice, and guidance; counselling services; employment information; financial support and advice; health services; media; childcare services; clubs and societies; sports; and recreational and cultural activities. IPU outlined two fees which do not fall into the direction’s categories: IT Services, and a free bus service. The students are expected to pay the new fee in April 2019, the start of IPU’s next academic year. IPU students have not given up the fight. “We will try to contest it as much as possible until then,” said Love. IPU only responded to a few of Salient’s requests for comment.
The students of Institute of the Pacific United (IPU) in Palmerston North are challenging the Institute’s Facility Fee proposal that will raise the student levy 57% for domestic students and 35% for international students. The Institute was founded in 1990. It mainly educates international students. Only 10.7% of the students are domestic, and 52% of students are Japanese. 420 students attend the institute in total. There is one Bachelor’s Degree you can graduate in: Bachelor of Contemporary International Studies. Currently, their compulsory Student Services Fee for domestic students is $700. The Institute plans to raise this fee to $1100. International students currently pay $1150 for their student services fee, which will be raised to $1550 in 2019. In addition, Japanese students must pay an extra $1,378.02 for “overseas outreach services”. According to a survey conducted by the IPU Student Council, the majority of current international students are against this change. Student Council members are vocally opposed to the increase. Student Council President Joseph Love said that the over 50 percent increase “just seems too extreme of a change”. According to IPU, part of the extra money international students pay goes towards support services, visa support, and assistance translating important documents. However, according to the survey, 34% of international students stated that student support staff had never communicated with them. 19.2% said that they’ve been contacted once a semester. 73.1% of students surveyed have stated that they did not receive assistance for translating services, and furthermore, they were responsible for finding their own translator. “If the Student Service Levy is going up, I would like to see improvement either within the service or the facility,” said international student Taiga Yamaguchi. One student, who prefers to stay unnamed, said “If IPU increases the fee, I will definitely quit here”. IPU states that the fees were consulted with previous Student Council executives and students. Current students are complaining that they were not consulted about the increase. 8
Politics MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
Political Round Up Nurses Accept Latest Pay Offer In a battle of negotiations that has lasted months, nurses have accepted the fifth pay offer put forward by District Health Boards (DHBs). Nurses accepted the offer on the 7 August, and it will be the most significant pay increase the New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO) has seen in a decade. The offer also promised placement of 500 extra nurses to counter the staffing shortages experienced in hospitals. The 30,000 strong membership of the NZNO voted by a “significant majority” to accept the offer in an online vote which closed last Monday. Government’s Finances Possibly Under Threat The Treasury warns that its finances might be under threat, but the Government says that we’re not in crisis. Original forecasts made by the Treasury before Budget 2018 showed that there would be stronger growths, but this has slumped because of a weaker housing market, a lack of business confidence, and a possible trade war. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern downplayed the claim. She pointed to an ANZ survey which showed that business’ activity will remain unchanged. "Confidence is often reflected by whether or not there is change going on and yes, there's a new government and there is change. The alternative ... is that we sit and allow housing speculation and migration to continue to be the basis of our economic growth, that's not sustainable." National Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams said that these predictions were “extremely worrying” and that job growth has fallen by 60%. She also said that the Treasury’s findings were not real economic indicators about GDP growth, with other sources saying that the economy is stalling. Winston Peters’ Meetings in Singapore Winston Peters has returned to New Zealand after successful bilateral talks with foreign representatives in Singapore. North Korea was high on the agenda for Peters, and he stated that the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula was in the processing stages, when he conducted talks with his Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho.
This comes two months after historical talks were made between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Peters talked with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about steel imports from the United States. He reiterated concerns about the tariffs on steel imports and how they might affect the economy in the long term. - Thomas Campbell
The Party Line Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealanders "were not hostile to free speech" but were "hostile to the views" of the two far-right Canadian activists, Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. Should the government have the right to limit "diverse" views for what they deem to be "offensive" or "hate speech"? Explain. VICNATS The Government should absolutely have the power to refuse entry to any person that will spread hate speech. However, any Government should be cautious about what they define as hate speech, and what instead is offensive speech. There is a fine line between the two. The risk is that the Government is overzealous in its approach, and its it desire to protect the public from hate speech simply limits free speech instead. - Grahame Woods
ACT ON CAMPUS It's a sad day when we can't even let someone else voice their opinion without silencing them entirely. While I personally don't share the views of the two Canadian speakers, they should have the freedom to speak, equally it does not mean we need to give them a platform/venue. The venue that they were set to speak at cancelled and that is fully within the owners right to do so. The real free speech tragedy this week is the barring of Dr Don Brash from speaking at Massey, a publicly funded university. The excuse of “hate speech” and “security concerns” were given as justification and that's not good enough. Brash was invited to speak by students about his life in politics and should have the freedom to do so without being shut down by the Vice Chancellor of all people. Young Act will always stand up 9
for free speech and diversity of ideas. The Government, including Government funded universities, should not get to limit free speech on what they deem to be appropriate unless that speech impedes others’ rights. Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas should resign. - James Allan
VICLABOUR Let’s not start putting offensive in quotation marks. If someone finds something offensive, it probably is.
Yes the government should have the right to stop racists who are also transphobic and Islamaphobic from spreading their thoughts. If two white, cis, hetero people are travelling around settler states to encourage other whites to protect “their” culture and “their” country then yes, the government should have the right to limit that discourse. This free speech discussion has currently just been white people worrying about having to think about how their words will affect those around them, for the first time in their lives. Minority groups have always been doing this, worried about how their speech will be perceived and ensuring what they say will be in line with the dominant culture. As soon as your free speech encroaches on others’ rights, there is a need for limitation. Until minority groups have the same political and social power as whites, the state should intervene when free speech incites violence against those without an equal voice. - Teri O'Neill
GREENS ON CAMPUS Yes the Government should have the power to shut down hate speech. Free speech is a quintessential part of any democracy but it is not an absolute. We already have limits on free speech. You can sue people for defamation and threats, and incitement and cyberbullying are crimes. We do this because we value the protection of the vulnerable in society against racism and hate speech. Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux profess beliefs that are racist and this is a view unacceptable for New Zealand. We should not give them a platform to stand on to profess their outdated beliefs. So yes the Government should be critical of cynical views that blatantly profess racism against the values of diversity we have in our own country. - Conor Bryant
Opinion MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
Weathering Signs on Global Warming CALUM STEELE
series of infernos is charring Europe. Greece in particular suffering the worst wildfires since the Second World War, with over 90 people have been confirmed dead and several are still missing from a flash fire which engulfed a seaside resort near Athens.
more frequent and stronger storms and longer periods of drought forecast to affect various parts of the globe. We can look just across the ditch to New South Wales, where the entire state was officially declared to be in a state of drought on Wednesday 8 August.
An unprecedented heatwave has descended on Britain, turning “England’s green and pleasant land” into a dusty heat bowl, and is seeing numerous small-scale fires sweep through otherwise picturesque farmland, causing millions of pounds of damage.
These volatile climate patterns really shouldn’t come as a surprise to people. Such warnings have been coming thick and fast from experts for some time now, despite ignoramuses like Mr Trump et al. peddling claptrap conspiracy theories like global warming being a myth invented by the Chinese.
Moving on to our American friends, California itself has experienced the worst fire on record, with officials stating that it will likely continue to blaze away until at least next month. So far, the “Mendocino complex fire” has charcoaled 290,000 acres, destroyed 70 buildings, and forced thousands to flee before the flames. On top of this, several slightly smaller fires burn across the state, with the “Carr” fire killing at least seven and destroying over 1,500 buildings.
The Economist has weighed in on the current debate. In sobering terms, they outline how the ongoing battle against climate change appears to be less than optimistic, not because it is a hopeless cause, but simply because countries are not doing nearly enough to combat it, in spite of the Paris Agreement.
New Zealand has dispatched several contingents of Kiwi firefighters to help the Americans try and reign in the numerous destructive fires crackling away. There and several more Kiwi firefighters being sent to Canada to learn firefighting techniques for when the dry summer months roll around to our side of the globe. Yet people still ask how these apparently disparate events are linked. The answer is quite simple: climate change. As we continue to burn record amounts of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, and continue to pump billions of tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the climate will slowly but surely warm up. As numerous scientists have repeated ad nauseum, this will cause more volatile and unpredictable weather, with
But what does this all mean for New Zealand? After all, European and American problems can seem rather far removed from our little island paradise. But New Zealand, despite its small population, is still a relatively bad offender when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, principally from our dairy industry. While New Zealand may be an island, it is not an island unto itself, and the effects of global warming will affect us just as much as others, with damage to our wildlife and ecosystems, rising sea levels putting coastal communities in danger, and the other myriad negative effects of a changing climate all playing their part to make our lives miserable.
Sport MONDAY 13 AUGUST 2018
Rugby at the Ends of the Earth KELLEN FARMER
teams. However, World Rugby is vowing to attend to what have traditionally been smaller market nations. The inclusion of a Japanese team in Super Rugby was just the beginning of a huge investment into the Asian market. Since then, World Rugby gave Japan the 2019 Rugby World Cup to bolster popularity and interest in that region. The hosts have not disappointed; according to World Rugby, Japan are in the top 10 fan-grossing nations in the world with 14 million fans.
ast week, the NBA took their game to South Africa to showcase some of the world’s greatest basketball athletes in front of a packed Pretorian crowd. It was a fantastic spectacle. Fans were treated to global stars in their own backyard. The NBA has made it no secret that they are trying to grow the popularity of the sport, having scheduled games in places such as China, England, Japan, Israel, Brazil, and Mexico. The tour was a huge triumph in its bid to grow the global fan base for the sport.
But it isn’t just Japan that has shown a huge increase in interest. World Rugby stats show that other small markets are growing their fan numbers as well. Fan-bases in emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, and USA have increased by over 50% since 2013. Asia, North America, South America, and Africa have the fastest growing fan bases with 112.5, 52.8, 38.2 and 32.7 million respectively. All this adds to an incredible global fan base increase of 24% in just five years.
Having seen the NBA extending their reach, I was inspired to write an article about how World Rugby is taking the sport into the furthest corners of the world in order to grow its global popularity. Rugby is a complex sport. It boasts as being the only sport in the world that you have to pass backwards in order to go forward. The longest rule book since the Bible is constantly changing, making it difficult to learn quickly. Even now, the biggest rugby fans are often left scratching their heads as to why a referee has blown for a penalty. This may be why only New Zealand, Georgia, and Wales claim rugby as their national sport. However, it seems the sport isn’t slowing down in its attempt for global growth.Yes, we know there are other tier one nations that are formidable opponents when the All Blacks take the field. For example, the Six Nations Tournament, including England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, and Italy, is arguably the toughest international tournament to win outside of the World Cup. South Africa, Australia, and Argentina joined New Zealand in the Rugby Championship, the Southern Hemisphere's answer to the former tournament.
World Rugby has also invested a lot of resources into growing the World Sevens format of the game. Recently, the stars of World Sevens took center stage in San Francisco, where over 100,000 fans attended. Research showed that emerging market growth is being driven by the shorter form of the game. World Rugby is seeing huge success in this field as the highaction, fast paced, and easy to understand game is resonating with the younger, more casual fan. Since the Rio Olympics in 2016, 16.8 million new fans have shown interest, something World Rugby is hugely delighted about. In the same continents highlighted before, there has been a rise of 63% fan interest inspired by the shorter form of the game. So although rugby may have a long way to go before it attracts the same volume of supporters as football, it is clear that World Rugby is intent on delivering the game to places which have been deprived of it in the past.
Outside of these teams, and overlooking the odd upset, the other 20 teams who complete the world rankings don’t offer a huge amount when they get their chance against the top 11
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The Lifsticle (Lift Listicle)
serious problems facing the student body as a whole, seeks to change the name of the university to make it all better, because prestige, that’s why. • Able-bodied Kelburn students and staff have developed better calves than any team of athletes in the country thanks to all the stairs Spicy hot takes on what the world will look like when the lifts are up and running again: • Every New Zealander will have been Prime Minister at some point • Jacinda Ardern will be gone from this plane of existence; only her great teeth remain • After taking advantage of an overlooked constitutional loophole, Vladimir Putin will be President of the United States • Brexit will still be going nowhere fast • In a shock turn of events, The ACT Party will take home 100% of the vote and David Seymour will be made Prime Minister For Life after he threatens the nation with a Dancing With the Stars return • What was once Victoria University of Wellington will have changed its name for the 451st time; the boys in marketing were sure this time that The Prestigious University of Prestige in Wellington (Prestige Central)™® would move up to 84th in at least one international ranking survey • Hell freezes over. Sinners find the snow quite refreshing after the runaway climate on Earth
LIAM POWELL When the library lifts first broke: • John Key was PM • Jacinda Ardern was just a popular backbencher with great teeth • Barack Obama was President of the United States • Brexit was new, but going nowhere fast • The ACT Party was floundering in the polls • The University promised to have the lifts up and running as soon as possible Since then: • New Zealand has had no fewer than four (count them) different Prime Ministers • Jacinda Ardern has moved from backbencher to party deputy to leader of the Opposition Prime Minister to not Prime Minister and back to Prime Minister again. Her teeth are still great • A former reality TV star, ardent admirer of Russian autocracy, and one-time pee enthusiast is President of the United States • Brexit has gone nowhere fast • The ACT Party has floundered in the polls • The Vice-Chancellor, noting the lack of access for the disabled in the academic heart of the university, and other
Club Fatigue Begins to Hit Student Body
Power Outages at Pip BIMON SRIDGES An unseen messenger request sent by the Vice Chancellor to an electrician meant that the power outages at Pipitea Campus went on long enough for classes to be cancelled, Vic Book employees to go on another strike, and for students to smoke entire packs of durries. The apprehensive paragraph from Grant Guildford’s phone to Vic electrician Al Bebak was sent at 4:00pm Friday. This was almost one hour after power was restored to the rest of the Wellington CBD. His Swedish secretary told Salient that it was unusual for Guildford to move out of his area of expertise and comfort zone to try and get first-hand information about the issue from a bottom feeder worker. He sent a messenger request to Mr Bebak saying, “Good Afternoon, I heard that we R in a Spot of Brother (sorry bother LMAO) Power-Wise, can U confirm 2 me if U can fix this because I do not want to have to pay for thicker wires as well as a name change”. The electrician Al Bebak, stated that he did not get the message request until he clocked out the same day, recounting that the Wi-Fi had been out because of the power outage. “He straight up shouldn’t have messaged me while I was at work, I don’t have carry-over and I really can’t afford that shit.”
SHANTI MATHIAS “Club fatigue” is making its mark on campus, as students who got over excited and signed up for four or more society’s at the Clubs Expo realise that they do not have as much time as they thought they did. One suffering student is Bill Yang. “I haven’t seen him for days,” said Jenna Khat, one of his flatmates. “I think he’s part of the Debating Society, Ultimate Frisbee, Tree Climbers Association, the Rock Collecting Group, and the Taiwanese Students’ Association.” “He’s having a good time, but I’m not sure how much work he’s doing,” said another one of Yang’s friends, Deirdre Fuseini. “He never comes to biology lectures any more, because he says that climbing trees is a bigger priority for him.” By waiting patiently by the Rec Centre, Salient was able to see Yang for several seconds, as he ran in for his yoga club. Taylor Lamond is in a similar predicament. “I think they’re feeling challenged by all the clubs they’re in,” said their friend Rahul Bhatia. “But like I said, I haven’t seen them for days. Aikido drumming and racewalking take up most of their time.” “Club fatigue is a legitimate problem,” said Iris Andrade, a spokesperson for Mauri Ora. “We’re starting a support group for those afflicted: it meets at noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays.”
Updates on Kylie Jenner's Baby Don't her call Kylie Jenner’s baby. Stormi Webster has her own accomplishments, she's not just Kylie Jenner’s daughter. Too often do we define celebrity babies by their famous parents alone, when we should be celebrating them for their own baby achievements. However Salient will not be, as we still do not give a fuck about this baby. 12
Week in Tweets POWERING DOWN
On the (continued) bus issues —
On Winston’s reign as Acting PM coming to an end —
“just had my first bad experience with the new bus system! it feels nice to be included” — @stuartfdrake
“it's Winston's last day as PM so expect him to fulfil all of his voters' wishes e.g. banning daylight savings, subsidised Werthers and making it illegal to not visit your grandparents” — @brendankellol “can't believe winston peters is going to legalise weed today” — @stuartfdrake On Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux’s visit — “I dislike Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux with a passion but I'm worried if I saw them in person I'd involuntarily retreat into my passive Kiwi instincts and say something like "so how are you enjoying the place so far?"” — @bennettmorganHT
On the Republican Senate candidate whose penchant for Bigfoot erotica was exposed this week — “oh so liberals get to have a whole movie about wanting to fuck a fishman but as soon as a nazi wants to get rawed by bigfoot suddenly there's a problem??????” — @kamilumin “Excuse me but Bigfoot would absolutely not fuck a Nazi. He's a gay and a bear and he's in a steady relationship with his boyfriend, the Chupacabra, and they both hate Nazis. Those are just the hard cryptozoological facts.” — @DoilySpider On the horrifying Wellington powercut last Friday —
“A sad day for powerstations in NZ today. Broken ones in Wellington, and ones of full of racists in Auckland” — @ joshwlkr
“Given the powercut we opened up our @NZParliament emergency kit hoping for chocolate. But sorely disappointed” — @RAZwaan
On the (continued) name change issues —
“So many bewildered public servants wandering the streets looking for a pub to service their Friday long lunch needs. Kia kaha. Stay strong. #WellingtonHasFallen #PowerCut” — @ AWHape
“Look we can’t let wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters be embarrassed by being at a uni with a stupid name” — @BenThomasNZ
1. Which country became the first in South America to legally ban the commercial use of plastic bags?
1. The bridges depicted on Euro bank notes were fictional until they were built in 2011.
2. Simon Bridges made an awkward mistake when, in a recent interview, he accidentally called Paula Bennett what?
2. From 1908 to 1940, Sears sold mail-order homes that came in 30,000 pieces to be assembled.
3. Two elderly men escaped from a nursing home in order to “rock out at a heavy metal music festival” in what country? a)France b) Germany c) Italy
3. Mike Tyson once attempted to bribe a zookeeper to let him fight a gorilla.
5. A 6.9 magnitude earthquake that killed 105 people and injured more than 236 others recently struck which country?
8. The Joanina Library in Portugal has a colony of bats living inside to protect the books from insects. 9. In 1953 the Indiana Textbook Commission attempted to get references to Robin Hood removed because of its communist ideology. 10. From 2000-2013, horses caused more deaths in Australia than venomous animals.
5. Plants can be albino. 6. Universities in Finland award PhD students with a top hat and a sword.
World Facts by Courtney Powell, Week in Tweets by Emma Maguire & Quiz by Alister Hughes
Quiz Answers 1. Chile 2. Paula Benefit 3. b) Germany 4. a) Massey University 5. Indonesia
4. Don Brash is the most recent figure involved in the ongoing debate over restrictions being placed on free speech after being uninvited from a speaking event at which university?
4. In 2005 Australia attempted to ban security staff from using “mate” in Parliament House, but it only lasted 24 hours.
7. Since 1987 Samuel L Jackson has starred in at least 2 films a year.
Letters Send your letters to email@example.com
Send your notices to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Editor, My friend and I have recently finished reading ‘Uncooked Chicken Served in Boulcott Hall Not "Safe, Nourishing, & Inviting"’ Written by Angus Shaw in the Salient Issue number 16, volume 81, titled: ‘Matters of Illumination.’ We both found the reaction of first years, living at Boulcott Hall, to be fucking hilarious. So much so that we consider it to be: “Meme of the Week”. We both thought that those poor students, paying $385 for a bit of uncooked “KFC-style… chicken”, got what they paid for. Only a scam artist would be able to charge you $400 for $2 rip off KFC and form a type of “hype” about it. We’re looking forward to reading about the ill-fortuned “Country Style Chicken” night and the “Texas Rib Styled” sausages on bread dinner. Regards, Two Homeless Guys With A Fuck Load Of Freedom (and yes, we know how to use e-mail) (P.S. We get KFC style chicken AND illness from the rubbish bin outside the business)
VUW Women in Tech VUW Women in Tech (VUWWIT) is running a conference on Monday 27 August in SU MT228. WITCon is a conference designed to bring students and industry together to discuss technical and social topics surrounding STEM. We're sponsored by Flux Federation, Catalyst IT, Pik Pok, PwC, and Xero. Seven speakers, a Q&A panel and a Happy Hour at the Hunter Lounge. Get in quick! Tickets are on sale NOW: https://witcon.lilregie.com/
public exhibition Featuring personal contributions from students and staff, photographs, and interactive exhibits about why we must work together to ensure every New Zealander has access to life-changing learning opportunities wherever they chose to study. OPENS: 9AM TUESDAY 1 AUGUST 2018 EXHIBITION RUNS FROM 14 - 17 AUGUST 2018 IAN MCKINNON ATRIUM RUTHERFORD HOUSE VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON
VUWSA is now hiring next year’s Salient editor/s. The job starts in January 2019 and is a paid position of 40 hours per week if one editor, or 20 hours each if two. The job entails putting the magazine together each week of trimester, liaising with contributors, managing a group of paid staff and volunteers, and engaging with the student body. If you’d like to get a more detailed job description, email email@example.com. Applications should include a cover letter outlining your vision for Salient ‘19, your CV, and a portfolio of your written work. Send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for applications is Friday 7 September at 5pm.
LUCKNOW S PA C E S SHANTI MATHIAS
Lucknow greets me grey and greasy. It is the end of October 2017, and I sit on the platform of the train station, using my data to read an email from Victoria University. This feels like it should be significant: finally, I know where I am going next year. But I am distracted by my location, the many people around, the rats skittering across the train tracks, the texts from my friend trying to find me.
our family for holidays for the last few years, lives just around the corner with her husband; I am to eat meals with them every second day. I lay my thin foam mattress on the floor, set up a water filter, and meet the family I’m renting the room from. There are four children: Ifra, Aarif, Abdur, and their older sister who speaks her name so quietly that I don’t hear it. After the third time I ask, still not catching the word, I give up, and live with an anonymous neighbor. This is the first of many questions I am not brave enough to keep asking, and I am still ashamed. The room is narrow, but I have a lot more room to myself and light than them; most nights, six people sleep in the back room.
Lucknow is a city in north India, the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Were UP a country, it would be the seventh most populous one in the world. Lucknow has around 3 million people. It is autumn now, and air pollution makes the sun a distant orange disc, decidedly inaccessible. I am here to live in a slum. Unlike most people who live in slums, I have chosen this. I am on a gap notquite-year, and I have already travelled in Southeast Asia for a month, gone tramping, done an internship, and some volunteering. I still have two months before I’m going to leave India, and this is how I have chosen to occupy myself. I want my choices this month to be acts of meaning, distilling an indefinable more into my life. It is to be the most dislocated (in all senses of the word), and possibly the most beautiful, month of my life so far.
Even in these tight conditions, most families make space for animals. My family has two inquisitive goats and, as I discover the first time I venture into their room, a number of parrots. The exact quantity fluctuates from day to day: one morning there are three parrots, and in the afternoon ten, then down to eight by the end of the week. I slowly figure out that they have a side business in parrots: I am often asked if I want to buy one for only a hundred rupees ($2). The mother complains to me often about the parrots’ high mortality rates, and how she wants to sell them before more die; I refrain from pointing out that this probably has something to do with keeping ten parrots in a 30cm³ cage in a dark room.
I pick up my heavy backpack, find my friend, and we ride a succession of rickshaws to where I will live for the next month. She shows me around: I have a small brick room in the corner of another family’s house, accessed by a practical slat of wood as a bridge over the open sewer. My friend, who has come to visit
Most days, I go to my internship, creating resources for a sexual health and rights organisation on the other side of town. Work is more like “work”: I sit 16
View of Lucknow
in the sterile corners of an office, sipping chai, proof-reading documents, and tweaking designs to brochures, in between writing angsty emails to people I love, watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine compilations, and browsing VUW’s course finder, my imagination creating futures from small certainties.
After I unlock my door I usually lie on my bed for half an hour, reading articles I’ve downloaded or applying lotion to my mosquito bites, walls a necessary isolation from the intensity of the space beyond. Then I open the doors, and children from the house where I’m living and their neighbours trickle in. Some are too shy to do more than peer around the door while others prance in and ask me to entertain them any way I know how. Their parents are making food, or at work, or otherwise too drained by the world to engage with their children. They ask me to sing for them, and I try to sing songs from Moana or Into the Woods. They usually stop me, saying that I’m not that good at singing, which is fair. Then Abdur wants to tell me about a movie he’s watched, or Ifra wants me to look at her exercise book, where she has carefully written the letters, in English, of words she doesn’t understand. We colour patterns together with my pencils, or draw mehendi on each other’s palms, or do each other’s hair.
I am living here, not visiting, and so I learn my own route across town, catching a succession of rickshaws trucks, called tempos. I learn the rules: if there are two people on each side of the shuddering vehicle, I sit on the side with more women. If one person gets off, you’re allowed to slide back, claim more space for your hips, but not to switch sides. The worst space to sit is directly behind the driver, where the vibration of the engine and heat is faintly nauseating, but not so much that you remember to avoid it. When my tempo arrives at the nearby bridge, I spring from the enclosed space and walk along the road, air pollution like the most bitter notes of burnt caramel. I cut though a yard where men hammer screens and poles from long pieces of bamboo. There are always children around: many of them do not go to school. Apparently Aarif used to work in a sweatshop, but now he flicks spinning tops against the packed dirt of the alley with his friends.
Outside, their sister watches, sifting rocks from lentils, or washing the dishes in yellow water. I invite her to join us, but she always says no, never even crosses the threshold into my room. She seems to be responsible for much of the housework: their dad, when he’s around, lies on the bed watching the tiny television in 17
Lucknow Spaces his underwear (if there’s electricity, that is). I wonder if her parents have banned her from interacting with me, and I’m not brave enough to question further.
and future beyond this place, and ignore the children knocking at the door, asking for something as simple as conversation or a song. I find it difficult to concentrate on being here, absorbed by my own preoccupations, drawn into the world beyond by my phone. I do not know what way is the right way to be, to be here.
I want to find some people my own age, and my friend introduces me to some teenage girls who live nearby. Their house is a distribution centre for cheap nylon bags, branded with the logos of sweet shops and tailors. They sew the bags themselves, or pass the fabric on to their neighbours. When we arrive, they shove the piles of fabric aside, and ply us with chai, but they’re distracted by another friend who has come to visit. Her headscarf is tied in a different and fashionable style, and they discuss it at length. As this is a Muslim slum, I wear a headscarf when I’m outside, and a long kameez at all times. I say nothing, but watch closely, and copy the style on my commute the next day, the scarf covering everything but my eyes. I feel safe like this. I feel, in the spaces between breaths, that I could belong.
But going places makes me feel productive, and so I wake early on some mornings and venture into the world. My legs are always twitching and restless: here, it is not normal for women to exercise outside, so all I see is the same spaces, again and again. A kilometre away is the British Residency, where several hundred British people and their Indian servants cowered for seven months during the events of 1857, variously known as the Mutiny or the First War of Independence. The place was quickly abandoned when relief forces arrived. Today, the plaster has peeled off the walls, leaving bare bricks riddled with cannon holes. There are lengths of sparse lawn, space that is inaccessible even to people who live nearby; Ifra, Abdur, and Aarif tell me that they’ve never come here.
I have chosen to come to Lucknow, and I want to make that choice more significant by doing something. I am perpetually haunted by the idea that being here is not enough: I need to be writing a novel, working on Hindi exercises, learning local history. I want to be selfish, to focus on my own goals and ambitions
I see a specially marked hole, where a cannonball hit the wall after killing an eighteen year old English
Trafiic in Lucknow
Goats in Lucknow
British Residency, Lucknow
girl and find myself crying. No eighteen year old, colonizer or otherwise, deserves death by cannon fire. I wander around the complex, finding couples cuddling in dusty moats and behind chafing columns; India has little private space for such activity. There’s a comfort in this tangle of other people’s history, a distraction from my flickering thoughts. The Residency is close enough to where I live that I return several times, craving the warm clarity of brick against my dense aloneness.
birth, leaving a puddle of placenta on my doorstep. I cradle the goat kid, damp and trembling, her heart a flurry against my palm. There are various conveniences to living in narrow spaces. Just two steps outside my alley is a tiny shop, selling off brand chocolate bars and single sachets of shampoo. I get to know the grandmother who is always there, fingers wound in knitting. Sometimes, I go and sit next to her, knitting a sock of my own. She asks me little questions, the same ones each time. Where do I go each day? What do I eat? How did I get to know my friends who live here? I choose my answers carefully, containing my life in the words that I know and the concepts she can understand.
One morning, I decide to come to work late, walking instead to the botanic gardens. Torrents of middle aged Indians chug around a looped path, their cars clogging the road outside. Most of the more interesting plants are inside locked greenhouses, but I wander around, watching workers spray leaves so they look less grimy. Despite this, it still feels like a sanctuary, and I find a tree to sit beneath, where I read a book and write. I extract stubborn sentences from my fingers, thinking of the person I am going to become when I am not in this place. As I write, I am anywhere, not lost in the unrelenting realities of where I have chosen to come.
Every day, when kids come to see me, they ask when I’m leaving and when I’ll come back. I tell them the time and date of my train, but I don’t have an answer for the second question. I don’t know what I want the answer to be. I am halfway here, and the rest of me is planted elsewhere. So I hold small goats, and watch kites skitter against a grey sky, and greet my neighbours, and try my inadequate best to occupy this very particular space in the world. Every time I answer, I make a choice. “Maybe,” I tell them.
I return from work one day in the middle of November to find that one of the goats—my least favourite one, who never wanted to eat my tea bags — has given 19
Two Serious Head Injuries in the U.S. of A DANIEL SMITH
I was in Las Vegas, Nevada, when I got the second serious head injury of the tour I was on. The first had happened in some concrete hole in the ground DIY venue at the wrong end of Echo Park, Los Angeles. We were playing our set like we would back home; as raucous and fucked up as the sound system would allow. The LA indies had come along to see some pretty guitar bands, but when we got on stage, we were anything but pretty. Guitars squealed in dissonant feedback, drums grabbed the tempo and beat it within an inch of its life, bass rumbled in the gut punching lower register of the stomach, synth contorting in tandem with the vocal melody, which I screamed, ripping my vocals with the strain.
some fresh air, because next thing I remember I am sitting on the curb, looking at a street light thinking, wow this is a pretty weird part of Avondale. The second serious head injury occurred when we were staying in a dirtbag hotel located on the old Vegas strip that has been dead for like 30 years, although the nauseating neon lights donâ€™t know it. Old Vegas is just as greasy as the new one, except a little less effort has gone into covering up the sleaze. We were running around the strip, jacked up on the last of the cocaine as well as a few 1-gallon cans of vodka and strawberry RTDs called Strawberitas. Slimy old men with swollen eyes stood on the sidewalks in gangs of twos and threes dressed as babies, pirates, medieval knights, or other such schtick, waiting for a wayward tourist to get too close to them so they could grab them, gruffly force them to take a photo, and extort the unlucky passerby for money. Stages lined the streets where Elvis, Eagles, and Smashmouth tribute acts played loudly to crowds of people trying to dance away the fact that they lost a small fortune in the slots. Instead of a sky, the entire street is covered in a gigantic canopy, onto which is projected the lyrics to whatever trashy pop classic is being blasted at any given moment, karaoke style, in case anyone wants to sing along.
The crowd was not into it. The venue was pretty full, but the front rows had backed away fearfully from the stage to compress along the rear wall, leaving a couple metres of open concrete floor between us. Somehow, I got it into my ethanol addled head that to further the joke the set was becoming, I would need to up the ante. That ante was my performance. It was upped by my dolphin diving straight into the concrete floor. I managed to do it about 3 times before I landed on my head and cracked it open. I remember standing up and falling over again. Someone must have taken me outside for 21
Two Serious Head Injuries in the U.S. of A Because this is the greasy end of Vegas, casinos have to do more to try and pull in cash-fodder. Our casino’s advertising gimmick was for the gambling tables to be topped with women dancing either naked or getting pretty close to it. We drank another Strawberita and thought that it would be a good idea to put the entire tour’s profits so far ($42 USD) on the slots. We lost. Another thing I had lost at that point in time was my brother Lachie. I was vaguely concerned because last thing I remembered was that he was talking about going to a 24 hour tattoo parlour to get some flash done. I also realised that I had lost my friend Cam. I figured those two would be together and keeping each other out of as much trouble as is possible.
year-old male might imagine nurses wear, and they taunt you into ordering much more than you can eat [although as shrewd operators, Cam and I did not fall for this]. The waitress/nurse’s reasons for trying to tempt customers becomes apparent when someone doesn’t finish their meal and a ritual ensues. The man is brought to a stage at the centre of the restaurant where he is bent over a leather and metal contraption, his hands cuffed to the floor and his ass up in the air. The waitress/nurse who was waiting on his table then steps up to the platform with a red paddle and spanks his ass five times, while the rest of the diners count down the smacks. One particularly brazen customer, upon being spanked, started tauntingly rolling his eyes shouting, “is that all you got?” His waitress/nurse/ dominatrix was so enraged by this haughty arrogance that she wound the paddle up behind her head and swung a brutally hard spank on this guy’s ass. No word of a lie the paddle broke in two, one end flying across the room to land on some other table with a smash. The crowd applauded.)
Blink. I’m back in the hotel room. I was inside, and Reuben was on the outside of the room wanting to get in. I had the bright idea to lock him out of the room and goad him with calls of “what’s the password”. The hyperactivity of the narcotics made me quickly tire of the tease, but they also made Rueben extremely quick to anger. Just as I was opening the door for him he let loose a mighty kick that swung the door back and hit me full on the face. I fell back on the stained carpet and lay there for a full twenty seconds before attempting to get up. Immediately a Cronenberg-esque lump started swelling out of my head, bleeding. Reuben, immediately converted back into the sweetheart he is when he isn’t locked out of rooms, was all over me with hugs and kisses and “I’m sorry”s. The chemicals in my body meant that I didn’t feel much pain at the time. I kept saying, “I’m not crying because of this, it’s just the shock”.
Looking shamefaced at the discharge, I immediately wanted to dispose of the evidence. I stood up and tried to flush but I didn’t hear a sound. I reopened the toilet lid, saw my vomit and gagged hard. I grabbed the lever on the side of the cistern that controlled the flush and tried pulling, pushing, lifting, cranking, slamming, slapping, but nothing could engage the action which would dispose of my vomit. I decided that a broken toilet in Las Vegas was no match for a bit of Kiwi ingenuity and I lifted up the ceramic lid of the cistern. Smash. Fuck. I thought I had balanced the heavy lid on the edge of the toilet, but it had slipped off, shattered on the floor, white shards cascaded across tiles to the dripping shower cubicle.
Later that night it all hit me at once; the coke, 3 gallons of Strawberitas, too many menthol cigarettes, and the second serious head injury in one week. I needed to throw up. I climbed out of bed as quietly as my inebriated body would allow, trying not to wake Lawree who was in the bed next to me. The toilet was lit by a red bulb that accentuated seeping wet grime spots on the walls and ceiling. The floor was filthy with other people’s scum. My knees crunched as I knelt in front toilet bowl. The vomit was so red from the light and Strawberitas that I first thought it was blood, but blood doesn’t contain pieces of the burger you ate 4 hours prior.
From the bedroom I hear Lawree shout, “Hey man, you all good in there?” “Yep, all good!” “You sure? What was that smash.” “Uh, I think I broke the toilet.” “Stop stressing man, we can fix it in the morning.” We didn’t fix it in the morning.
(Unnecessary Narrative Digression: I brought this burger with Cam from a place called “The Heart Attack Grill” and the experience deserves a few notes: you have to sign a form before you enter that waives your right to sue them. The waitresses are dressed in what a uber-horny sexually-pent-up porn-obsessed fourteen22
National List MP Based in Wellington I’m a Vic Grad. Met my husband at Vic. Debated for the great Vic debating society. Sang the Exponents’ “Victoria” at Uni games all over NZ. Despite my nostalgia, I kept an open mind. But the case for a name change does not stack up. It’s not my voice that matters: it’s yours. The University must listen to you and so must the Minister of Education.
If you’d like to #StickWithVic, make your view known. I’ll be sticking up for you in Parliament. 04 817 9338 nicolawillis.co.nz NicolaWillisMP email@example.com
#StickWithVic Authorised by Nicola Willis List MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Benji Hartfield, Rubbish bag in Rome, January 2018, photograph, 1864 × 2785
Benji Hartfield, Rubbish bag in Paris, January 2018, photograph, 1864 × 2785
My family and I did a roadtrip of the South Island in memory of my grandad when he passed.
So it was, that Dad knew the way south of Invercargill, from a tiny shearing town where he grew up called Nightcaps, to Ophir, another tiny shearing town in Otago. Upon arriving in Nightcaps, Mum profoundly declared it as the “ass end of the Earth”. There’s a common theme there, and that’s manual industry. That industry is the raison d’etre for civilisation; without that industry, the town has no purpose. Most of that industry died out, or regressed in the 80s/90s. And it is in this era, “post raison d’etre”, that we as New Zealanders now find these towns.
We called it the “blue cod trip.” You see, Grandad always waxed lyrical about the taste of blue cod, obtainable only in certain parts of New Zealand. The blue cod trip went from Invercargill to Christchurch to Nelson — my Dad and I did the same journey two years earlier, to bring my grandad’s car up from Invercargill when Nana passed. But I napped the whole way that time, put to sleep by the lullaby of freezing air conditioning and staying up late texting my year 11 girlfriend. She also dated two of my friends. That relationship didn’t last. But the hazy memories of a New Zealand summer did. I’m not sure if we were going anywhere in particular on the blue cod trip, but that wasn’t the point. You’re not supposed to. You just follow the route.
Therefore, when you’re travelling in New Zealand, you need a purpose. Lest you too become a relic of days gone by, your sign faded and paint peeling in an old town off SH45 in Taranaki long since devastated by mass dairy capitalisation. Manaia. Kaupokonui. Waitara. These are all names of towns you wouldn’t recognise unless you’d grown up there, and even then could be forgiven for leaving as soon as possible.
There’s a cross stitch in the laundry at home, and it says “the road to a friend’s house is never long”. Neither is the route unfamiliar. You don’t need a map, you know the route.
SH45 has been colloqiualised by people as “surf highway 45”. There are world class waves all along 26
Blue Cod Journeys the Taranaki coastline; growing up, I was spoiled for choice. Despite the obvious quality, we’ve never had an international surf competition, the locals are prone to pooing on the windscreens of out-of-towners, and warding backpackers off their farm land with the end of a shotgun.
for local unemployment would be huge. Waitara still features market gardens and plant nurseries, but in more recent times has made a name for itself after being the site of a shootout between rival gangs for control of the “not-pot” highway, where “not-pot” is sold. A Stuff article said, “fear for safety after gang shootings not felt by everyone in Waitara”.
Manaia. Home of Yarrows Bakery, “the bread capital”. Capital of what, I’m not sure. It could be Taranaki, but bread isn’t really of such provincial significance to warrant denoting a particular town as the bread capital. We do not travel in convoy to Manaia to get our bread.
Of course, none of this is really remembered. When you speak about Waitara, all people say is, “there was a freezing works there once”. Waitara is, as my law lecturer put it, just another small town in the middle of nowhere. One of those places akin to the setting of a Ronald Hugh Morrison novel, where the road workers all sport massive beards and no PPE, stare at you as you enter the town, and stare at you as you leave. There are no residents on the streets, but you can hear a motorbike for miles in the distance, till the braaap draws nearer and the rider shoots through, no helmet or shirt, just a pair of league shorts and battered meatworks gumboots. There we are again, manual industry.
Kaupokonui. There’s a small holiday camp, complete with rickety swing bridge over the Kaupokonui stream, and pensioners who sit outside their caravan all year round drinking red wine and smoking Rothmans. There are enormous hills of sand bordering the beach, and as you cross into the sand hills there is a sign saying: “BEWARE OF WILD CATTLE IN SANDHILLS” The town is vaguely apocalyptic, the type of place where a resident might have a hidden bush hut, too many rifles, and a marijuana plantation. Marijuana. These tiny towns from last century are a drug production dream. The methamphetamine in Taranaki is the purest in the country, come one come all, crackheads and common people, we might have signed the execution warrant for oil drilling in the region but at least we still have the semi-precious stone industry.
If these small towns are lucky, State Highway 1 passes through them, something to look at fleetingly through car windows. If they are unlucky, they are missed by State Highway 1, and no-one would know they existed unless they had a reason to visit. Which no-one does, unless they are visiting a friend. Dad knew the route, from the “ass end of the earth” to the tip of Te Wai Pounamu, because the knowledge was hereditary. In his last days, my grandad had a conversation with another venerable pensioner, my friend’s grandad. Bernie MacKenzie, farmer and former All Black. He lived all his life in one of these small towns in Taranaki, Kaponga to be precise. My grandad lived his whole life in a small town in Southland: Nightcaps or, the “ass end of the earth”. The two had a conversation about what they thought was the same place. Their memories intertwined, painting a picture of different towns that were at once the same. And it was, for though they were referring to different characters, different events, a different instance of the time when my grandad’s boss tapped on his window at 5 in the morning, “Eric, Eric, wake up the sea’s perfect”, and they caught 40 blue cod that day, before there were MAF limits, and they had so much everyone in Tinkertown had fish for dinner even the Māoris and Mrs Fielder and she had a tribe of kids — anyone observing the conversation would see they both knew what they were talking about. They both knew the routes to their friends’ houses, and regardless of where that road goes, it won’t be long.
Waitara was once called the “garden of the Pacific” by a settler brought to poetry by the sight of lush growth on the banks of the river. This land was of course confiscated, after a series of events that would become known as the Land Wars. This was a civil war, an event of such magnitude and consequence, of characters such as Wiremu Kingi, Titokuwaru, Te Whiti, and Tohu, and vivid expressions of 19th century life such as the Māori stealing the British cannon overnight and then offering to sell it back to them the next day. You’d think there’d be national recognition of it and extensive local commemoration. But at the battle sites sit moss-covered, beaten up old heritage trail markers. The site themselves are scrubby paddocks, strewn with rubbish and sheep poo. This despite the scars still scored in the earth of the sap line, trenches dug for miles and months on end to reach a pā site, only for the Māori to abandon it at the last possible moment. There was a freezing works at Waitara in the 90s, shut down during a price war between competing meat producers. We studied it in competition law, where the works were declared as “only a small contributor, and their removal wouldn’t have large ramifications for the North Island meat market”. Instead, the consequences 27
Interview by KATIE MEADOWS Photograph by EMMA HALL-PHILLIPS
To Gram or not to Gram Is your destination Instagram-worthy?
SAM MYTHEN It was a travel journal written by my dad in 1985, recording the journey he and my mum took in a Ford Escort van around continental Europe, that made me wonder about the ways in which we now use Instagram to capture and share our life adventures.
be printed out and put into a big red leather album, that 7 year old me would soon discover. Snuggled between their arms, I listened and looked as they told me all about their travels. You see, as young adventurers, wanting to discover things about ourselves and the world around us, we’ve always taken photos to capture these special moments of travel. We’ve always wanted a way to be able to look back on those momentous times and share them with the people we love.
During their travels, methods to get in touch with those back home were very limited. A pay phone call and a few postcards per month were their only links to friends and family on the other side of the world. The internet was non-existent. “Google” was a term not yet invented. So my parents relied on paper maps, travel books, and a whole lot of luck to figure out which direction to take, and where to find the best places to eat and explore.
But now Instagram is changing the way we travel. We aim to collect moments, not for the purpose of a desire to explore and remember, but through a desire to curate a wanderlust inducing feed. It appears as if people are getting more gratification from the likes their shared photos receive, than from the moment of discovery itself.
The only handheld aspect of their journey was them holding each others hands, as they strolled along foreign shores and streets, discovering hidden treats. 90% of each day was spent exploring. The other 10% of a day was spent reading books, chatting, and listening to tapes.
With an average of 80 million photos shared each day by over 500 million active users, Instagram is quickly becoming the most popular social media platform. An increasing amount of these photos are of people sharing their adventures and travels, in turn inspiring others to seek out these beautiful places and attractions and share their own photos too.
A film camera, with a precious amount of film rolls, was the only way they could capture a moment. So only the special places were recorded… eventually to 29
To Gram or not to Gram Technology allows us to share how we are interacting with the world with a much larger and more diverse audience, and because of this Instagram is quickly turning once-hidden gems into viral sensations. People are clambering and queuing just to get a picture taken at this newly iconic “must see” place.
But what is the reason behind this mad desire to share, like, and scroll? Is there a science to it? After a few hundred emails sent out to almost every psychology lecturer in the country, I gathered some answers…
We once used to want to go to attractions to admire them. Now we want to just photograph them and share this with the world. To collect places and tick them off a list. Travelling is losing meaning.
To start off, we use social media for two main interrelated psychological reasons. Sam Stronge, from Auckland University, says one is connection. As it says in its name, social media is inherently social, it enables us to connect with other people, whether they are strangers or our closest friends and family. It’s a tool of connection like nothing we’ve seen before. The closest thing to it back in the day would have been writing to a pen-pal in another country, says Matt Crawford from Victoria University. Now it’s become normal behaviour to use Instagram to form communities, stay in touch, and make us feel like we belong to something. We can get instantaneous feedback and connection from friends and followers all over the world. Niki Harre, also from Auckland University, said that many people enjoy the flow of social media, as it allows a state of open engagement for constant connection. It makes us feel alive and a part of something. Sharing a photo and getting a like is us showing we have something to offer to the world and it’s wanted.
Why do we use Instagram?
The growing desire to do this is having many controversial negative effects. Take the 15th century ruins of Machu Picchu. There used to be a limit of 2,500 visitors a day, enforced by Peruvian tourism authorities under the government’s initiative, and at UNESCO’s request. However, with the advent of social media, it’s becoming a more popular destination. This limit broken in 2014 with 1.2 million people visiting that year, regulations unable to hold the tourists back. People on the other side of the world are seeing grand Machu Picchu on their phone screens, sparking within them a desire to visit there too. Another famously Instagrammed place, the Greek island of Santorini, is becoming drowned by the amount of cruise ship visitors — so much so that they had to cap visitor numbers too.
Stronge said that the other psychological reason behind Instagram use is self-presentation. It is human nature to care and worry about what others think about us, and so we are all motivated to present ourselves in a positive way. Social media provides a useful platform to fulfil this desire. Crawford said posting is away to express ourselves and tell the world: “This is who I am.” He noted too though, that this posting for self-expression involves a certain level of impression management. We want to be liked; that’s why we post things that we hope will make us look good.
Iceland is becoming popular too. In 2016, the number of American tourists to Iceland outnumbered the entire Icelandic population. And what comes from all these travellers, is thousands of more photos, shared with the world, inspiring more people to visit these places. New Zealand’s natural beauty is also feeling the effects of tourists flocking to the ‘gram. In 2015, the tourism board in Wanaka invited numerous social media influencers to visit and share their stories online, with the hashtag #LoveWanaka, in what’s known as an Instameet. The following year, Wanaka saw a 14% increase in tourism in the area. Data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment showed this to be the fastest tourism growth in New Zealand, and a large reason for this was because of the power of imagery shared on Instagram. A typical Wanaka photo shared on Instagram is the tree in the middle of the lake. This tree is in fact New Zealand’s most photographed tree; there are 20,000 posts on Instagram of #thatwanakatree. However, signs have had to be put up now, warning people not to climb the fragile tree that grows within Lake Wanaka’s waters. People wanting to take a selfie with the tree were damaging it beyond repair.
Sharing photos of our travels and life adventures clearly links to these two motives of connection and self presentation. Crawford pointed out that we get to share our lives with family and friends who are not in these moments with us. It’s a generous and open impulse to share our experiences with others, said Harre. Plus the desire to be liked and connect with others means we post photos in order to show that we are exciting, fun, adventurous, and outgoing; “I am a fun person doing fun things in fun places.” What keeps us addicted? What keeps us drawn in and addicted, said Harre, could be the randomness of likes. They aren’t predictable, so after posting a photo we’re more 30
To Gram or not to Gram likely to always keep checking our phones to see if a post has drawn the attention we are hoping to see. Crawford noted this variable interval reinforcement schedule could motivate an obsessive checking of your phone.
Is using Instagram healthy for the world? Fear of missing out is a big driver to behind the need and want to see these popular places that people are sharing on Instagram, said Stronge. Harre said people want to be where the action is, especially young people, as this an extremely important time in our lives where we are growing, finding our identity, and seeking new experiences. Crawford noted that going to these popular places is also about connections; “oh look we’ve both been to the same place.” These places become trendy to go and visit. Social norms and trends are very powerful as we tend to conform to them in a relatively mindless manner, he said.
Crawford said receiving likes and comments from shared photos links in to the reward centres of the brain, sparking the activation of dopamine. Getting likes feels rewarding, and the brain likes this, so it seeks to get that reward again and again. This can be different for different people though. Furthermore, Todd Jones from Victoria University said that outside of likes and comments on Instagram, people may not receive many other positive comments about themselves. Instagram is a system that provides an opportunity to compliment and get compliments in return, also producing dopamine. How many compliments have you given today in person versus through commenting on posts online?
Final thoughts Instagram is a marvellous tool. It allows us to create a visual journal of our lives and to express ourselves. In an increasingly urban world, where we are trapped inside all day typing away in front of our laptops, it is becoming more important than ever to reconnect with nature. Instagram is inspiring us. Through looking at photos of people travelling and exploring, we are inspired to make some memories of our own.
So is using Instagram healthy for us? Crawford said there is neither a yes or no blanket statement. It all comes down to how we use and approach it, and how it impacts on the non-online parts of our lives. Stronge said that if you’re using it positively — posting photos of your life and connecting with others — then you tend to feel positive emotions from it.
But the challenge is to use Instagram to present your honest, raw, and real self. Get lost in your own beautiful life rather than getting lost living in others highlight reels. And when you are out there exploring and adventuring, be prepared, and respect the places you travel to. Leave only footprints.
However, if you use it passively, and end up scrolling through your feed, you tend to feel more negative emotions. According to Stronge, this is because you’re only looking at what other people are doing, and rather than engaging and making connections, you are only engaging in social comparison.
Something I try and do more often than not these days is to leave my phone behind in the car when I’ve reached my adventure destination. If I know the view will be pretty I might take along my old film camera instead. With the knowledge of only having a few precious takes on the film, rather than a mass of expendable storage on my phone, I find myself looking for the little beautiful things in my surroundings and capturing these. I capture sweet candid shots of my friends rather than staged portraits. The desire to constantly check my phone dissolves, as I find myself becoming lost in the moment.
Of course, there’s the Instagram trend to post only the good things too, so it’s very easy to feel like your life is average compared to others. Rather than connecting, people then feel disconnected, not good enough, and lonely. Harre says she felt Instagram can be overwhelming — like being at a shopping mall where you are surrounded by options and you don’t know where to look.
This is something I dare you to try. Rather than always taking the indoors out with you, how about putting the phone aside. I think, rather than looking at a scene through your screen and wondering about how to take that perfect Insta worthy shot, we could choose to travel mindfully, just like our parents would have once upon a time.
Similarly, Crawford said if your self-worth ends up becoming dependent on the numbers of followers that you have and the amount of likes you receive, Instagram use could be problematic. Also, if you’re hooked to Instagram a majority of your time — posting selfies and photos of your every waking moment — it negatively disrupts your ability to engage with the actual people in your life, work and studies. At the end of the day it all comes down to moderation.
So I dare you to leave the phone behind. Just sit back, enjoy the company and enjoy the beauty of the moment, for all we really have is now. 31
This week’s theme is travel. Travel is a cool word, it’s something that everybody wants to do in some way. It’s the most natural instinct we have. We can travel to the movies for that feeling like we’re going to an event, or we can travel to Europe and chill in a new city. I think it means something different to everyone. Man I love it. Here’s what it means to me.
Last week Ella and I went to attend a talk by the Irish Honorary Consul-General, Niamh McMahon, about Ireland’s experience with abortion reform. Since 1861, abortion has been illegal in Ireland, as for centuries in Ireland, there has been little separation between the Church and the State. In 1983, pro-life activists became worried that the Irish Constitution didn’t do enough to protect the lives of unborn babies. This eventually led to the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland, which effectively gave equal rights to the mother and unborn child. Niamh recalled a number of horrific stories that occurred in Ireland in the 80s and 90s. Women could not get an abortion in Ireland, and were forced to extreme measures to avoid shame within their communities. Those who could afford it would travel to the U.K. to get an abortion – a practice still happening today. Some women even killed their babies following birth to avoid the shame and stigma. A catalyst for change was “Case X” in 1992. A 14-year-old girl became pregnant as a result of rape by a neighbour. She was not allowed to get an abortion in Ireland, nor was she allowed to travel to the U.K. for an abortion. However, the Supreme Court ultimately decided the girl could travel to get an abortion after it was revealed the girl had suicidal thoughts. The case caused an immense stir in Ireland. On 25 May 2018, Ireland held a referendum asking voters if they wanted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, and allow the government to legislate on terminations. A convincing 67% of people voted yes, and 33% voted no. There is a Bill currently going through Parliament that will allow women to terminate pregnancy up to 12 weeks, “no questions asked”. In NZ, abortion is legal in situations where the pregnant woman faces a danger to her life, physical or mental health, or if there is a risk of the fetus being handicapped in the event of the continuation of pregnancy. In all other circumstances, abortion is considered a crime in NZ. It is ironic that Ireland will soon have more progressive abortion laws than NZ. Something to think about?
My mum is from Vienna, Austria. This means two things: 1. English is her second language, so she can’t understand me when I talk too fast. 2. She has family and friends back home, so there’s a reason for us to visit. When I’m at work daydreaming of travelling, or wondering where I’ll go next as I go to sleep at night, no matter where I plan to go, my imaginary route will always take me through Vienna. Many of my friends get sick of me talking about the city because I am absolutely obsessed with it. Before Sunrise is in my top 5 romance movies, because it’s set in Vienna. Every time I hear the words “Billy Joel”, I chuck on his song “Vienna” just to hear those immortal words, “Vienna waits for you”. I even have an obsession with the city’s beautiful public transport system (trust me, it’s amazing). But it isn’t just the beauty of the buildings, the arts and history within them, and the food of the place. It’s because over there is my moma, my opa, my auntie, and my cousin who is only about a month younger than I am. I spent New Years of 16/17 on one of its inner city rooftops, and even though I’ve only been there a few times throughout my life, it always feels I’m going to my second home. Often in New Zealand we talk about whakapapa. When I think of who I am, half of me lives in Vienna, wandering the streets, waiting for my next visit.
Four Legs Bad, Six Legs Better?
produce a pound of beef, whereas it takes only 15m2 to make a pound of crickets. and mealworm flour is a relatively easy way to accommodate insects into your baking.
In South America, there is an insect called the vulture bee that, instead of eating nectar or pollen, has evolved to eat rotting meat. They then vomit any meat they ingest as a protein-rich goo for their larvae. Basically, they are bees that make meat honey.
Although it has lead to a few charming innovations, my personal favourite being protein chips made of cricket meat (appropriately named “Chirps”), I’ve never been truly convinced that insect farming will catch on as an large-scale industry. The main reason being that no-one knows how to farm insects to scale, especially in developed nations. Not to mention you would have to invent or update legislation with regards to quality control, toxins, and allergy information.
Chances are, upon hearing this you’d be thinking “Is it good and how do I try some?”, and you would not be alone. A few months ago I posted this to a “Tell me an interesting/weird fact” thread on Twitter, and almost all of the responses were people positively salivating at the prospect of meat honey. My tweet made the rounds to the tune of about 480 retweets and 1800 likes, gaining further reach when the QI account did their own vulture bee tweet and cited me as their source (#humblebrag #ifitsaboutbeesdoesthatmakeita #bumblebrag), leading me to witness even more people salivating at the notion of a new protein-rich breakfast spread or a tea sweetener.
The better “insect switch” articles examine the inefficiencies of large-scale industrial agriculture in favour of a modest albeit initially disgusting alternative. It’s a discussion always fascinated me on principle, but as far as I can tell, the conversation hasn’t meaningfully advanced since the first time I’d heard of insect farming in 2014. From what I’ve observed, it’s more of a slow news day item than an sustained movement, an excuse to get hapless reporters to eat a fried locust on camera, buoyed with a headline about how eating bugs will save the world or a “grub” pun (I like to think I treat you better than that, reader, that’s why you get Animal Farm references).
After the initial elation of going mildly viral wore off, I dreaded becoming complicit in some new hipster food craze, especially in an era where we’re one billionaire throwing Back to the Future II in the Bluray player away from getting hoverboards. But the meat-obsessive comments did remind me to check on a trend I’ve been following on and off for a few years now: farming insects as a new source of protein.
Maybe my vulture bee experience made me a little bitter over how easily people will leap to the prospect of fitting more meat into every meal, so long as it’s from something already familiar to them. But chew on this: did you know the legally acceptable amount of insect limbs or segments per jar of peanut butter is 30? I may never be convinced that eating bugs isn’t for the birds, but if cricket butter winds up sparing me from meat honey, I’ll take it.
The suggestion of insects as the alternative to traditionally farmed meats like beef and poultry has gained occasional media traction for the past halfdecade. The main thrust is that insects like crickets and mealworms are more efficient to farm since they use up significantly less land and water to produce meat than cows or chickens. It takes 200m2 of land to 33
NT: TE ARA TAUIRA
The honeymoon period is now over, and we’re back into the swing of Trimester Two. As the workload increases, being conscious of our well-being matters all the more.
Te Herenga Waka
Despite the initial hype, the beginning of my university experience was one of my loneliest experiences to date. Despite being surrounded by people all the time, in lecture theatres and the halls, I felt isolated in my world of readings and assignments. At the time, I felt like I was only one feeling this way. Now that I’m on the other side, with the luxury of hindsight, I can see that experiencing loneliness at university is a part of many students’ lives, yet hardly anyone talks about it. Perhaps because this lonely feeling is never straightforward, and once you feel it, it’s hard to tell anyone that you feel this way. This loneliness can be crippling, as everyone has a need for some sort of meaningful human contact; it’s a key way in which we ground ourselves. For me personally, it got better when I joined a degree specific association. Weekly without fail, we meet to play sport, and share lots of laughs. It’s a time where we can forget about the stress of academics and enjoy each other’s company. We are a small community of friends, within a vast university. I acknowledge this past loneliness publicly, so others can take comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone. So, I urge you all to take that first step, no matter how difficult it may feel. Reach out to a friend for a catch up. Join that club you were interested in. If that club doesn’t exist, take the opportunity to create it. I hope you see that there is a community and a place to belong out there for you too.
Being Māori at university is not easy. You go to your classes, your tutorials, do your assignments, get graded. You are judged by the words you put on the paper, and then branded with a letter. You’re respected as an individual, not as a culmination and representation of your whānau, your marae, hapu, or iwi, even if you are. I expected this, we expect this, as although this is our whenua, our land, we become accustomed to operating and navigating in a Pākehā world. We don’t have a choice, if we want to “succeed” here. I remember vividly my arrival on my first morning of university. Walking from The Hub, vibrant, fast, loud, and crowded with people. There are large windows and intrusive concrete walls, grey floors, tables and chairs, made to look inviting. I traverse zebra crossing — looking down at my feet, white, grey, white, grey… My whānau is here, and I’m hurriedly pushed to the front of the wāhine. “Kia tere!” The loud speaker rings in my ears. Then comes a call, a kuia, calling us forward. I walk apprehensively, and look up. Standing over us with great mana and dominance, the wharenui, meeting house. Its bright red carvings piercing, their glimmering pāua eyes watching our every move. “Te Tumu Herenga Waka”, is her name. A pitching post for waka, canoe. A name I’m told later refers to the students who come here to pitch their waka during their studies, only to unhitch when they’re finished, to return home. A temporary home, a guardian. After the formalities, I enter the whare. I touch the carvings on the walls, each a different tīpuna, ancestor, and iwi. My fingertips meet every crease and crevice of the walls. This is a special place, a tapu place, where important things happen, where people are created and made, where people are home. 34
IN OUR DANICA SOICH
Stamets. He’s the world's leading mycologist. Paul believes that mushrooms will save the world — and with good reason too. Mushrooms are a solution to septic waterways. Planted around water, they have the power to filter through pollution, including E.coli. White rot can remediate soil contaminated by oil spills. In an experiment conducted by Stamets, various mounds of soil were doused in oil, and mycelium was added to some. The myceliated samples were light brown, sweet-smelling, and bursting with mushrooms. Insects came to eat the fungi, and their larvae attracted birds, who deposited seeds. After nine weeks, the pile was covered with flourishing plants while the other pile was dead. Stamet is currently using mycelium to tackle radioactive contamination at Fukushima. That’s right, shrooms can eat radioactive waste. The company Ecovative has leveraged the power of mycelium to make packaging. Mycelium eats agricultural waste and creates a solid matrix in any trained shape. It takes on the same properties as polystyrene — fire and water resistant and very strong. Unlike plastic, mycelium does not depend on the extraction of fossil fuels, and is biodegradable. Mycelium goes further than just replacing plastics. Its corrosive power can be used to consume toxic and persistent plastic. In 2012, Yale researchers found a rare mushroom hidden in the Amazon (Pestalotiopsis microspora) that was capable of breaking down polyurethane, the main ingredient in modern plastics. Since this discovery, Livin Studio has harnessed the fungus to revolutionize food production, while disposing of our otherwise indispensable mistake. By coating plastic in fungus spores, the fungus devours the plastic and fruits a perfectly edible mould. I believe that the intelligence that we are chasing in AI is already present biologically beneath our feet — though we don’t fully understand it. Perhaps before all else we should munch a handful of shrooms. Some cosmic contact may initiate the perspectival shift necessary to take mycelium seriously and find our future in fungus.
Shrooms to save the world Fungi is a fuzzy rotting peach. It’s a ring of toadstools sprung up one morning on a dewy lawn. It’s rich, living, slightly pungent. It's the rhythm of growth and death. Fungus-like forms colonised land 6 million years ago, long before plants. Fungi (apparently pronounced fun-ji) are more closely related to animals than to plants, which perhaps explains why they dislike the same pathogens as us. It’s because of shared biological distates that we can harness antibiotic and antiviral medicine from fungus. Penicillin for example, is a blue-green mould. The healing properties have been shown to extend to cancer and dementia. Like an apple on a tree, mushrooms are the fruit of reproductive mycelium. Kick a rotten log over and the webby white fuzz you’ll see is mycelium. This is the vegetative, root-like structure of fine threads. Mycelium is omnipresent in almost all soil, finely celled and out of sight. Each trail of cells is structured in an interconnected, complex arrangement. It sprawls in a pattern that resembles the internet or the neurological network. A mycelium mat is the largest organism in the world. A single honey fungus in Oregon, one cell thick, is woven under 2,385 acres of forest. Mycelium is an intelligent and responsive system, responsible for energy cycling in ecosystems. By breaking down matter, the threads turns things into biologically accessible nutrients and soil. Fungus is the guardian of the forest. In a performance of soil magic, trees use mycelium as an organic information sharing system. Stressed and deprived trees will send out signals. In response, mycelium transports supplies, such as water, carbon, and nitrogen among the ecosystem. Fungus is also deeply in tune with the health of an ecosystem. When something is amiss in a forest for example, fungus will ravage the weak or diseased trees. It breaks down the debris to rebalance nutrients in the soil, and ensure a stronger forest will regenerate when the time is right. The most ardent evangelist of mushrooms is Paul 35
The International Angle PHUONG ANH NGUYEN
Untold Airport Stories
had at least 8 hours of good sleep. Let me tell you, sleeping on the plane is pretty much an impossible task. You’ll be randomly woken up by a screaming baby, or the pain in your neck will gradually paralyze you.
Perks of flying back and forth oh so many times over the last two years: a collection of odd but amusing stories. Cons: too many to name. My flight back to Wellington right before the break ended was excruciatingly long. It took me three days and two nights to finally arrive in Wellington. Let’s just say I could’ve booked my flights better. It was still a trip that consisted of overly entertaining incidents.
The only thing worse than the horrible (yet still edible for god knows why reasons) food would be the lack of company. I remember secretly hoping to be seated next to someone with whom I can hold a conversation with, but I always end up with people that either avoid eye contact with me or people that genuinely just aren’t down to befriend strangers on the plane.
Flight 01: Hanoi – Guangzhou I had an eight-hour wait at the Guangzhou airport. “WeChat” was the only app I had access to. I had about ten contacts on the app and only two responded (half-heartedly) to my cry for company. The wait resulted in me leaving totally random and embarrassing messages on my friend’s WeChat, leading to a rather awkward conversation where I had to assure him that no one was in fact trying to kidnap me.
Flight 03: Auckland – Wellington In Auckland, I was planning to head into town, but I obviously didn’t think things through as I had two large suitcases with me. My phone was also running out of data and it was getting way too late to plan out a city trip, so the possibility of me roaming Auckland went down to zero. I stayed at a slightly dodgy backpackers in the middle of nowhere. It could have been a backdrop for one of those cheap horror movies, frankly speaking. I survived the night, and bid goodbye to Auckland without many regrets.
I dropped my ticket somewhere down the line and only realised when I was queuing in line to board my flight. A thousand possibilities of what was about to happen flashed in front of my eyes and none of them had me arriving in Wellington according to plan. Luckily someone had handed in my ticket. I boarded my plane and continued with my journey.
I touched down in Wellington around noon, thinking of the next time I will be up in the air again. Physically I was there, but mentally I was still floating up in the air somewhere.
Flight 02: Guangzhou – Auckland I slept throughout the entire flight except for the two times I had food and the two hours I spent watching the old classic Roman Holiday. You might possibly think I 36
BOOK BOOKS TO INSPIRE YOUR TRAVELS REVIEW: LAURA SOMERSET
Berlin Now: The City After the Wall by Peter Schneider
I struggled to find time to write this article, because I’m moving back in with my parents this weekend. I recently spent all of my savings on tickets to Japan and then, upon checking my bank account, promptly bid my flatmates goodbye. Although this experience proves that I am unqualified to dish out financial advice of any kind, it lends me a certain credibility in compiling this list of books.
Anyone who’s anyone is in Berlin right now. Trust me: I took a music studies paper in first year, and I also have two tattoos. In this non-fiction ethnographic account of the city, we hear how Berlin became the hub of youth culture today, with tales from the 1970s artist movement to the emergence of the rave scene. Any trip you might be planning to Europe would be wasted without a stopover in the German capital.
Books can endlessly feed your travel-hungry mind. When your bank account is low and your feet remain firmly on the ground rather than in a plane bound for South America, reading can keep the wanderlust at bay.
Sanshirō by Natsume Sōseki We’ve all seen Downton Abbey. Victorian-era Europe is old news, but what do you know about 1800s Japan? When naïve Sashirō migrates from his tiny hometown to Tokyo for university, he encounters a city grappling with modernism and burgeoning western influence. The book depicts life in Japan during an era of rapid urbanisation, but is also a coming of age story. Sanshirō must now navigate an unfamiliar metropolitan world of scholarship, politics, and romance. Sōseki’s lyrical and introspective prose is the icing on the cake.
Then, when you manage to bankrupt yourself by booking a trip like I’ve done, it’s crucial to use all of your luggage allowance on unnecessarily large novels. It’s rare to find a long stretch of time that you can dedicate to reading just for the sake of it, and travelling provides the perfect opportunity. If you’re a solo traveler and feel daunted by eating in restaurants alone, take a book. A lone traveler eating a bowl of ravioli is sad and desperate, but a lone traveler reading a book over the same ravioli is sexy and intriguing. Multiple encounters with beautiful strangers have been initiated by their questions about what I’m reading — this tip is legit.
How (Not) to Start an Orphanage by Tara Winkler Westerners volunteering in Majority World countries (let’s stop saying “developing”, please) can get problematic as fuck. Save yourself a case of white savior complex and read this book before you book your next trip to build houses in Vietnam. Written by a Australian woman who started an overseas orphanage before realising she was helping to disenfranchise entire generations of children, this semiautobiographical book should be required reading for anyone who wants to use their travels to better the planet.
Finally, when you arrive back home, rereading the books that you read while you were away is like smelling the same Lynx bottle that your ex used to use: get ready for nostalgia. When I was a homesick 15 year old exchange student in Madrid, I bought a copy of The Great Gatsby from my local bookstore. Now, every Christmas, I reread it and remember curling up by the heater with a plate of Roscon from the bakery next to my apartment.
DRINK DIY ALCOHOL RECIPE: TOM HALL
I would also describe ethanol as a poison; it is metabolised into acetaldehyde which is toxic to humans, and it’s dehydrating effect on the brain is damaging as well. 12,000 years of history says we don’t care.
For humans, drinking the product of some rotten apples is an original sin. We’ve done it for millennia, and it’s one of the coolest chemistry experiments you can run in your own bedroom. 2L Hard Apple Cider 1.5 kg cored and chopped Granny Smith apples - $3.00 Or 1L apple juice (try to get an unpasteurised 100% juice kind) - $4
Over the years, humans have fermented fruit into alcohol in many different ways. In this recipe I’ll describe two techniques, which will lay out the fundamentals of producing alcohol at home. The first is a standard home brew recipe for an apple cider, and the second is a “farmhouse” variation.
Tap Water 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon of yeast
With wine, most of the sugar comes from a fruit like grapes, apples, pears, or plums. Technically all ciders are a type of wine, so the recipe today is also for a weaker apple wine. Using a fruit instead of just sugar is the first step to take to make a nicer alcohol. The next steps are about having a sanitary brewing environment.
2 x empty 1.5 litre bottles 2 x balloons 1 x jar (optional) 1x string/cloth cover for the jar (optional)
With both these recipes you are likely brew a cider which is 5-7% alcohol. I would recommend that you taste test a small glass for strength before you start chugging back the bottle. But First, Sanitizing Everything that comes into contact with the liquid of the brew must be sanitised. You can buy food grade sanitizer from a brew shop (which is usually iodine based so you could also use Betadine antiseptic and rinse your equipment after sanitising). This is to prevent bacteria from growing in the brew, which will be the biggest effect on the flavor of your cider. You don’t want the yeast to have to compete with other feeders as well.
How does cider work? A basic alcohol brewing recipe really needs three things: water, sugar, and yeast. Yeast is a single cell fungal organism which feeds on the carbon from carbohydrates. It uses enzymes to break down carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Usually the bulk of the alcohol produced is ethanol, which is the substance which makes you feel drunk. Some of the alcohol produced is methanol, which is poisonous, and there are cases of moonshiners who go blind or die when they have consumed too much. The moonshiners distill their alcohol, increasing the concentration of methanol to dangerous levels. Luckily methanol is produced in such small amounts when you are home brewing that you’re extremely unlikely to get methanol poisoning.
Standard Home Brew If you are starting from a fruit base, core your apples and chop them into small chunks. If you have a juicer or a blender, this will come in handy, as we are looking to make a puree of the apples. If you don’t have a blender, stewing apples in a small bit of hot water will help break them down more. When they can be mashed by a fork into a puree, then they are ready.Then add the puree evenly to the two bottles. If you are starting from a fruit juice base, just add your room temperature fruit juice evenly to the two empty bottles. Add enough water to create a mixture of 2l of cider. I have recommended that you use bottles which are slightly bigger than you’ll need so that you don’t have to worry about pressure as much. Add a 1/2 a teaspoon of yeast and 1/4 a cup of sugar to each bottle to get the fermentation started. Place a balloon over the top of the bottle and prick a hole in the top of the balloon. Over time the balloon will inflate with carbon dioxide and this will allow the pressure to escape. It will also prevent any air from entering and contaminating the cider. This is the most important step to this whole process as if you simply cap the bottles, they are likely to explode and make a big mess. Find a warm and dry place to store your bottles. Yeast works better in warm temperatures so the hot water cupboard is always a safe bet. After 2-3 weeks the yeast should finish feeding on all the sugars and the fermentation will be done. This will mean that the cider stops bubbling. If your cider does not bubble or bubbles very little, this means the yeast isn’t working hard enough. Adding more sugar or keeping it in a warmer place should help the yeast get to work. If you wish to have a strong brew, this is a good time to add more sugar to the cider and let it ferment for longer. This will also make the cider taste sweeter, if that is your preference. After fermenting, your cider
will be alcoholic. Unfortunately it will probably taste like your tongue when you’re hungover. It is ideal to leave it for 1-2 months for the flavor to mature. If the cider has stopped bubbling for a long enough time (1 week or so) you can safely cap the cider without causing an explosion. It’s always a good idea to release the cap once a week, so that the pressure doesn’t build up. Farmhouse Variation This recipe has all of the same ingredients as the first, except for the yeast. Rather than add yeast to the cider, the farmhouse brewing technique takes advantage of the natural yeasts which exist in the apple juice and the air around us to brew the alcohol. This means that instead of one specific colony of yeast, there is a diverse range of yeasts feeding on the fructose from the apples. This will give every brew of cider a unique taste. If you’re using a fruit juice base, it’s important to get unpasteurised juice so that the yeast can grow. The first step is to find a 1L jar with a wide opening where you can store your apple juice when it is collecting yeast. Sanitize the inside of the jar before adding your cider. Pour in the 1L cider. Place a clean cloth over the opening of the jar, and some string or rubber band to secure it tightly. Leave the jar in a warm, dark, and undisturbed environment for about a week. Each day take it out to stir it with a clean spoon and keep track of the yeast growth. When the cider is developing yeast, it will bubble and foam with carbon dioxide. You can tell when the yeast has properly developed when it bubbles steadily rather that having the first several bubbles. When that happens, mix the fermented juice with the 1/2 C sugar and enough water to make up 2L liquid. Evenly separate the liquid between your two 1.5L bottles with the prepared balloon tops. From here it is exactly the same as a regular cider: wait 2-3 weeks for it to ferment and then 1-2 months for it to mature. As long as it’s not rancid smelling or looks too disgusting to even touch, then it’s drinkable.
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FILMS NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PART 2 (WE SAW MORE FILMS.) REVIEW: EMMA MAGUIRE & MONTY SANSOM
Minding the Gap A documentary about 3 men and their transition into adulthood, shown through incredible time lapse footage. This film delves into the escapism of skating, the impact of the character’s abusive/absent fathers, and how they each face a challenging facet of growing up. While the first and third act of this film is well constructed from different sources of footage, the middle does tend to drag, which could be read as emphasising the repetitive and directionless period of adulthood. - Monty
Let the Corpses Tan This Belgian neo-western crime thriller is a meticulously crafted masterpiece from beginning to end. This film utilises every cinematic trick in the book to create this hyper-violent, highly stylised world. The entire soundscape was done in post-production, with every crinkle of leather and gun shot exaggerated in the final cut. The visuals pay clear homage to French New Wave crime films and spaghetti westerns, through zooms, framing, and slick editing, with the 16mm grain lending to the retro aesthetic. Despite the violent content, this film is iconic and a demonstration of the potential of cinema. - Monty
The Miseducation of Cameron Post In early 90s Bible Belt America, being gay is one of the worst things in the world. Cameron Post is caught in a cinch with her girlfriend and unceremoniously shipped off to conversion therapy. Jarring corporatized faith and off-tempo humour combine to make a piece that is unique in its portrayal of queer relationships and living. Though it would have been nice to have a more satisfying ending, Post is an soothing balm to the one-note depression of more mainstream queer films. - Emma
Climax This French psychedelic horror was certainly a series of choices. Not sure that it could be called a film, but there were definitely some choices made within it. Contains self-harm, suicide & graphic violence. - Emma Mandy Don’t let the arthouse tint fool you on whether this is a Nicholas Cage film at heart, this...is... a FUCKING NICHOLAS CAGE FILM! A somber look at the domestic life of Red (Cage) and Mandy living in the woods, soon turns into a psychedelic, medieval/ rockinfused rollercoaster filled with animated sequences, graphic intertitles and Cage calling a cultist a “vicious snowflake”. The tonal shift works in Cage’s favour as it provides the actor with material to flex both his humane and animalistic muscles. Truly one of the Cageist performances. - Monty
The World Is Yours A comedic and thrilling portrayal of the Parisian underworld through a host of colourful characters including a conspiracy-obsessed Vincent Cassell. While it blends all the different characters together in this winding heist flick, the lavish lifestyles cover up the neat deus ex machina of an ending, giving everyone their comeuppance and wrapping up the protagonists’ goals in a nice idyllic bow. - Monty
Wildlife Paul Dano’s directorial debut focuses on the poignant portrayal of a crumbling marriage in small town 1950s Montana, with their son as the onlooker. Each family member attempts to adapt to this new chapter of their “wild life”, be it through rebelling, maturity, or just trying to get by. The character journeys are excellently captured through the cinematography, and it almost feels like a documentary. - Monty
El Angel This stylish portrayal of the baby-faced serial killer in 1970s Buenos Aires only scratches the surface of the psychosis of its pro/antagonist. Carlitos Buch (Ferro) oozes charm from the moment he swaggers onto the screen, and he carries this self-assurance through to his kills and final moments of freedom. Well selected shots and slick sound editing. - Monty 40
TELEVISION DEPARTURES REVIEW: NAVNEETH NAIR
Departures started in 2008 as a show about two friends at a crossroads in their lives, making the decision to pack their bags and travel the world for a year. Scott Wilson hosts the show with his childhood friend Justin Lukach, while Andre Dupois directs and films their adventures abroad. The show was conceived while Andre and Scott worked on another travel show, and realised that it didn’t accurately capture their “feelings” while they travelled. This focus on self discovery, and overcoming physical and mental obstacles while abroad, distinguishes Departures from other travel serials.
budget, with the pair avoiding popular tourist hotspots in favour of more genuine perspectives of each nation they visit. Over the course of their journey, they interact with locals, form long-lasting friendships, and experience the smaller, more beautiful features of the countries they visit. The pair possess a child-like charm that reminded me of my own travel experiences, and the excitement of being in a different environment. Whether it be hiring rickshaws in India for the purpose of jousting or playing hide and seek in the abandoned city of Ghadames, the show is a serving of wholesome fun that keeps the focus on the optimistic, brighter experiences that life has to offer.
When I started Departures, I was dejected and disgruntled with the state of my life and more widely, the state of the world. Departures didn’t necessarily solve any of the problems that I was fixating on, but it did make me feel better. This is partly in thanks to the genuine spirit of adventure, awe, and curiosity with which Scott and Justin experience each country. At its most basic, they’re two very average white dudes experiencing different cultures. They tread the line of being ignorant travellers who are stunned by the existence of other cultures and how “different” they are. Referring to Scott and Justin as a couple of privileged frat boys is an easy criticism to make; there are whole episodes in the first season where the pair border upon being disrespectful tourists in a foreign country. There’s something to be said though about their willingness to learn and throughout the series they become genuinely better individuals. By its final season, having travelled all over the world, the pair are much more appreciative and seasoned travellers, taking respectful and learned approaches to foreign traditions and culture.
Despite its budget, Departures cinematography is both awe-inspiring and real. The show depicts each country through the pair’s eyes, wandering through gorgeous vistas, cultural landmarks, and welcoming locales. Departures does touch on the difficulties that people face in their respective countries, but it generally approaches the world through inquisitive and optimistic eyes. While this isn’t groundbreaking videography or documentary-making, the show aims to capture the magic present in the travelling experience. After watching Departures, it’s hard not to feel like packing your bags and setting out for an overseas experience. Beyond travelling the globe, the show inspired me to generally appreciate what our environment does have to offer. It instilled a desire to go outside and explore what I could access immediately in my own backyard. Sure, Departures doesn’t tackle any serious issues, but it’s a wonderful catalyst for adventure and a reminder of that nagging itch to travel.
The charm of the show does come from the averageness of the pair. They represent that innate desire present in all of us who wish to travel, to escape our current situations, and take in everything the world has to offer. Unlike other grandiose travel shows, Scott and Justin’s experiences of the world are on a tight 41
MUSIC INTERVIEW WITH THE BETHS REVIEW: JOSH ELLERY
The Beths have gained a lot of hype in the media of late – especially in Rolling Stone and Stereogum, who have been raving about the re-release of 2016’s Warm Blood EP and the band’s latest singles. To celebrate the release of their debut full-length album Future Me Hates Me, I sat down and had a chat with Elizabeth Stokes from The Beths, to learn a bit about the band, their sound, and their influences.
J: Yeah, like bringing the influences of things they’ve learned from studying different types of music and genre, and applying that to other music right? That’s totally cool. E: Yeah, I think Auckland’s quite a special scene, I really like it a lot. Anyway, it was a couple years after jazz school, and I was playing trumpet because that’s what I’d studied, and doing a bit of teaching, but I wanted to get back into songwriting which is what I used to do in my high school band, and you end up recruiting the friends who you play in different projects with, and we just started jamming, made some demos and that’s kinda how the band started. We worked out what we wanted to sound like, and it took maybe even two years of us jamming and playing until we had anything like an EP out. We weren’t really rushed, but I think that meant the EP felt quite settled, like we’d decided on a sound.
Josh: Tell me a little bit about The Beths, in terms of how the group started and got to where it is now? Elizabeth: The Beths have been around for a few years now, and I mean, we’ve all just been fixtures of the Auckland music scene since we were all in high school playing in our high school bands. We all ended up going to jazz school as well – me, Jonathan, Ivan, and Ben. The Auckland music scene is pretty small though, and so you can’t really make a living as a jazz musician, which I think works out well for the scene because you end up with all these people who love music and end up playing in people’s bands and making music of lots of different kinds. Making notjazz music basically.
J: Like an established sense of identity to start with? I think maybe sometimes you find with bands, and it might be a local thing, but you hear groups going gung-ho into the first project and they kind of iron things out as they go. I definitely feel that on the Warm Blood EP, cohesive sense of identity there for sure. 42
Interview with The Beths E: That’s good to hear! I also respect it’s quite exciting as well when you start a new project and immediately record it, I think there’s exciting about that as well. It’s just not what we did!
E: Yeah totally, I think you’re right. I really like the way that guitar music, and pop-punk, has come back and that the torch is being carried increasingly by women, particularly in this kind of rock guitar music with people like Courtney Barnett and Snail Mail or Charley Bliss and stuff. It’s not exclusive to that, but I really like that it’s taking these sounds... it’s not reinventing the wheel making guitar pop music, but it’s just with new stories because they’re being told by people it wasn’t being told by necessarily before.
J: Different approaches to end up at releases huh. Anyway, new album’s out on the 10th (Future Me Hates Me), you guys must be fizzing to get that out. How long have you been sitting on, or working through, the material for that one? E: I was writing some of the songs back when we put the EP out, or even when we were recording the EP, so it’s quite a long collection. The most recent song, was written last year, the last song on the album... But most of the songs we’d already played live, and we’d already kind of worked out the kinks. We recorded it in Jonathan’s studio on K Road... and he records and produces us, and does a great job.
J: Yeah, there’s this wonderful female-driven indie scene coming through, and a lot of the music coming out through that lens has been awesome. I guess it’s proving that “guitar music” isn’t dead, despite what everyone wants to say... E: Yeah, I think “rock and roll” carries connotations... sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and that carries zero appeal to me...
J: There’s benefits to having an in-house producer I guess, you can shape it entirely how you want to have it right?
J: I totally agree! E: The aesthetic of that is just so dated I think.
E: Yeah, we get a lot of freedom which we’re really lucky to [be able to] take our time a little bit, which can be a double-edged sword because it means you end up taking too much time [laughs]... but it’s not like “we’ve got two weeks in the studio, we’ve got to finish the record...”, they gave us the luxury of taking our time with it, like the way that maybe a bedroom produced record would, but with a bigger space and nicer microphones.
J: Nice to give it a facelift in that sense then, we’re better than that. E: I feel like rock music used to be cool, but now it’s a nerdy music kind of. It’s not a cutting edge, “cool” thing, which is where I feel comfortable, definitely comes with being kinda nerdy, that’s where I like to live.
J: Tell me about some of the influences for the new record, be that musically or otherwise. What shaped the way you wrote and composed the material?
J: I agree! I like these musics that sit on the margins a bit, it’s comforting for lots of people. Anyway, what does the rest of this year look like? Touring?
E: I’m such a sponge, in that I can listen to each song and pretty much remember what I was listening to, and I wonder how much I’ve stolen [laughs]. I mean, during the process of writing this record – which was over the course of two years or something – I was listening to a lot of Alvvays, and also a lot of New Zealand bands I really love, like Hans Pucket.
E: Yeah! We’re coming back to New Zealand! We’re playing at The Other’s Way, and then going over to Australia and doing a tour and then coming back to New Zealand and doing a tour, which I’m really excited about. J: I’d be super keen to see you guys! Also The Other’s Way is a super cool festival.
J: Alvvays seems like a cool one, there’s some similarity there. There’s this awesome wave of poppunk bands coming through the indie scene at the moment, and so I was wondering how much that has to do with where music was a decade ago you know, I remember growing up and hearing that sort of music in a mainstream sense, and so I wonder if that has a role in the resurgence of that style in an indie sense. I was curious more than anything!
E: It’s really fun! I get to play with all my friends, like Wax Chattels and Hans Pucket and Miss June... it just feels like a nice homecoming to be able to play with all local bands, and all my friends, on K Road!
Future Me Hates Me is out August 10th through Carpark Records, and keep an eye out for their live dates later in the year.
PODCAST PODCASTS ON POP CULTURE REVIEW: HANNAH PATTERSON
It’s really hard to use the term “pop culture” without sounding like a dick. But, for lack of a better term, it must be done. People who read the podcast section (who are you? are you out there?), please consider this a warning/ don’t hate me lol.
woman in drag. Although I did thoroughly enjoy this episode as an avid Drag Race fan, I found later episodes of Unpopped to be extremely hit or miss. Often the conversation is dry and never really moves beyond surface level discussion (eg. a long talk about how Instagram is used).
I like talking about pop culture. I like thinking about pop culture and engaging with it too. By pop culture I just mean the stuff/content/people/things that are widely popular and prevalent at this current moment. One could say that the Kardashians are a big part of pop culture now. Or Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs. Or Frank Ocean dropping a new album. (All of these things are highly important to me and you should know this).
Keep It! is a pop culture podcast that I heard about through some pretty positive online reviews. It describes itself as “at the intersection of pop culture and politics at a time when we’re obsessing over both”. This podcast is quite casual, it seems to rest heavily on the personalities and dynamic of the hosts. Also I still haven’t really worked out who the hosts and guests are and why I should really care what they think — maybe you have to listen to lots of episodes to get attached to their banter? It errs on the explanatory side of things, and seems to be more of a run-down of current events than anything super insightful.
It is easy to spin that well-told tale of “popular” content as part of some lower-level form of culture — meant only for mindless entertainment, and devoid of any real value or insight. I must respectfully disagree. Lots of weird, fascinating, and telling things happen in the realm of pop culture. I think it is worth exploring, so I turned to podcasts.
Still Processing Lastly, but my absolute favourite, is the New York Times podcast Still Processing. Hosted by Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, two culture writers for the Times, the podcast tackles a different cultural phenomenon, event, product, or just general topic each week. The best part of the podcast is how Wortham and Morris are unafraid to put broader societal issues, such as racism and sexism, at the forefront of their discussion. To them, pop culture is always political, and hearing them take on topics in this critical way is refreshing and thought-provoking. Topics include how to negotiate Kanye’s role as both a pop star and a politically problematic figure, the frustration from the queer community around Rita Ora’s song “Girls”, and two great episodes discussing the experience of being Asian-American in the current cultural landscape. 10/10 because this podcast continuously opens my
I have been on a search for the pop culture podcast that gives me everything I need — humour, insight, relevance. Basically, I just need some generally good convo that lets me think about the Kardashians and feel truly enlightened at the same time. I will now share with you my findings. Unpopped I started my journey with the BBC’s Unpopped — their very first episode is dedicated to RuPaul’s Drag Race and it is a banger. The host, Haley Campbell, and a few guests jump into a conversation about the phenomenon that is drag, and the impact and significance of a show like Drag Race. The episode goes from a discussion about the use of language in the show, to a history of drag and queer communities, to looking at the controversial topic of cisgender 44
Horoscope Brutally honest & highly accurate readings from the stars above.
Aries (March 21 - Apr 19) Rather relying on your meaningless degree for income, stock up on Vic merchandise and sell it in 10 years time — the only thing us students really get from the name change.
Libra (Sep 23 - Oct 22) Want to get politically active? Start with a petition to the clubs in town to play Lift Yourself by Kanye, you’ll be doing us all a favour ;) we want that scoop di whoop back.
Taurus (Apr 20 - May 20) Bored in that ten minute gap between lectures? Engage in “Fuck, Marry, Kill” — Lecturer Edition. And no Grant Morris can’t be all of them, let the poor guy live.
Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 21) When feeling the four week dip, set some time aside for yourself for a candlelit evening with the only love you need in your life — Salient ;).
Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21) A rub a day keeps the doctor away, or a quick visit to Student Health does the trick too, make your free appointment today!
Gemini (May 21 - June 20) *Car salesman slaps new Wellington bus service* — This bad boi can fit so many pissed off Gemini.
Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 19) Don’t trust people who drink black coffee, that’s shits so rank anyone who puts themselves through that every morning is not to be fucked with.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22) Looking for a fun creative story idea? How about Vic Deals actually being used for deals and not outdated normie memes — let those sleeping doges lie. Leo (July 23 - Aug 22) Top tip: Get Tinder, seduce a sugar daddy, get him to pay for a fancy ass flat next year. Saves you the stress of living in an overpriced shit-hole where you can’t even afford to blow your nose on tissue paper.
Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18) As the temperatures start to drop to your GPA, make sure to be popping them vitamin Cs more than those DBs. Pisces (Feb 19 - March 20) Sleeping through your alarm clock? Smash up the road outside your house, so that construction workers will wake you up at 7:30 on the dot every morning. Problem solved!
Virgo (Aug 23 - Sep 22) Really feeling the cold? Take a trip to the ice skating rink! You’ll inevitably spend half your time face down on the ice, which will make the air outside feel as toasty as the 2 minute noodles that make up your entire diet.
Note: words must be at least three letters long, and cannot be proper nouns, abbreviations or contractions. Eh: 20 Wow: 30 Wtf: 40
ACROSS 7 Fate or destiny. Just deserts? (5) 8 Fruit with pastry. Just desserts? (5,4) 10 Robe, robe, robe you bought, from Nagasaki... (6) 11 ...Alpha Phi, Omega Psi, female fraternity (8) 12 Instincts just like a (good!) mother (8) 14 Sounds specifically like Santa's stipulation (6) 16 Wellington feline is deeply affected, moved even (cryptic) (7) 18/15D Father of Wellington walks from Lambton to Boulcott (7,5) 21 Take it back to the beginning! Regards, Gale (6) 23 Conditions might apply for this pint-sized star (8) 25 See 9 Down 27 Henson creation. See also: Nick Smith (6) 29 Stormy nailed Don for a flower (cryptic) (9) 30 "Please Sir, I want some more of this Dickensian foodstuff" (5)
DOWN 1 Indonesian island of the gods (4) 2 Can't help but shoot blanks (8) 3 Disciple lost pea soup. It was quite the supper! (cryptic) (7) 4 Office work for top Catholic leaders ecclesiastical, religious, into Christianity a lot (cryptic) (8) 5 Home of the Battle of Thermopylae MVPs. All 300 of them. (6) 6 Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs were all part of this generation, Daddy-O (4) 9/25 Marvellous alumnus continues RNZ exodus (4,8) 13 Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Dragon Ball, et cetera (5) 15 See 18 Across 17 Heath Ledger played this lovable rogue/ murderer in the 2003 film of the same name (3,5) 19 Ruru. Its order to the deli won't be halal. (8) 20 Large ship, now long gone, all at sea (cryptic) (7) 22 Hold up the answer (6) 24 Domesticated Breakfast presenter (4) 26 Hero from Greece, cuts through grease (4) 28 All tied up, they oddly envied no one (cryptic) (4)
Last Week's Answers Across: 8 Yeti, 9 Adele, 10 Ahem, 11/32 Danteâ€™s Peak, 12 Clueless, 13 Sturgeon, 15 Advice, 17 Dynasty, 19 Das Boot, 22 League, 24 Mattress, 26 Guilford, 28 Israel, 30 Paua, 31 Rough. Down: 1 Beta, 2/16 Victoria Cross, 3 Lassie, 4 Fencing, 5 Remutaka, 6 Pavlov, 7 News, 14 Thyme,
18 The Doors, 20 Bar graph, 21 Amadeus, 23 Galway, 25 Tai chi, 27 Utah, 29 Et al.
The People to Blame EDITOR Louise Lin DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR Ruby Ash NEWS EDITOR Taylor Galmiche SUB EDITOR Sally Harper DISTRIBUTOR Danica Soich CHIEF NEWS REPORTER Angus Shaw FEATURE WRITERS Shanti Mathias Daniel Smith Cavaan Wild Sam Mythen NEWS WRITERS Emma Sidnam, Laura Sutherland, Harry Clatworthy, Jess Potter, Thomas Campbell, Calum Steele, Kellen Farmer, Liam Powell, Bimon Sridges, Shanti Mathias CONTRIBUTOR OF THE WEEK Danica Soich
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Horoscope by Ashley Parker, Boggle by Joanna Li, Sudoku by Nathan Hotter, Crossword by Scurryfunge, Larrikins by Anton Huggard, Horoscope illustration by Zoe Gillett