Hi, how are you?
Editor-in-Chief Stamatina Hasiotis Illustrators Stefani Josée Layout Stamatina Hasiotis, Alexandra Grosvenor (pg 28, 29) Introducing Menagerie, Shisha & the d ’Urbervilles, Oliver’s Army, Annie Nguyen, Véra Ada, Lana Adams, Christopher Arblaster, Stefani Josée, Connor Tomas O’Brien, Rugiyya Gasim, Rose Thomas. Cover Image Véra Ada Logo Designs Connor Tomas O’Brien Want your work to be included? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org We ’re always looking for content so get e-mailing, yo!
Pencil Lover is produced by the editor with the help of other amazing people, and then released sporadically. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the permission of the editor. Respect.
E D I T O R’S N O T E
Welcome to the very first issue of Pencil Lover! If you’re reading this it means that you bothered to pick it up, which really means you have an interest, however vague, about Adelaide and its special people. So, thanks!
With pencils I write, draw, sketch and scribble. My lens is the pencil for my photos, my keyboard is the 21st century ’s pencil. I wrote these lyrics with a 2B. Good things can happen with pencils: crazy sketches on napkins can become mouth-dropping artworks, illegible scribble on bits of paper can become the basis for the greatest story ever told— melodically or otherwise, and grabbing the closest camera around to snap something really cool can capture a unique moment eternally (see above for reasoning for cameras being related to pencils). Most of what is in this publication somehow involved a pencil. It might sound really crazy to draw parallels between something so insignificant, like a bit of wood and graphite to something like a photograph, but from little things, big things grow. And that’s what this publication is all about – nurturing the small and special group of local creatives so that it can grow, develop and prosper into the greatest thing since pencils with erasers attached to them. Support Adelaide creatives because they deserve it. Motor on, Dudes.
Shisha & The d’Urbervilles
Interviews Annie Nguyen (double feature)
Photoessays Véra Ada
Fiction and Otherwise Smells Like Zine Spirit
Illegal File Sharing and The Future
Image: Stefani Josee
Well, I think youâ€™re alright.
Menagerie The Recipe for Tasty Music
Sitting at a non-descript café in the central markets, sits Maximillian Hardy, 19, the brains behind relatively new local band, Menagerie. For the last four years he has been recording in his bedroom, by himself, making musical smoothies; sometimes it’s with ice-cream and sometimes it’s with yoghurt. Tasty. Now, Maximillian Hardy, along with his comrades constituting Menagerie, is setting to hit Adelaide ’s live music scene, smoothies and all. The beginning is all so humble, attending Maryatville High, the mecca of music focused schools, Maximillian found himself to be “ostracised from the music community”. “I didn ’ t like classical, although I did like jazz, I quietly sat in the shadows doing my own thing, which wasn’t bad, and so I learnt music theory, for which I had a huge passion...” he says, occasionally brushing his fringe back. And so he began recording alone is his bedroom, “I ’ve always recorded in my bedroom by myself, because I hate having to do things with people, it ’s stressful, like people in the studio, so I built a studio in my house.” Maximillian continues to describe his recording habits as consisting of a lot of drafts 7
and re-drafts, working with bass, reverb and echoes, a lot of crazy electronic stuff and making weird noises. Dreamy. “I always start lying in bed or walking home really drunk and I come up with this idea and it will be stuck in my head and it will bounce around and become 20 different things and will be like funk or like 50s swing and then it will turn into something completely different and I won ’t be able to remember where it came from, and then see the finished product and not remember how I got there in any way.” At this point, Will, another singer in Menagerie, takes a seat at the table. He is soon revealed to be the general go-to guy. If you need something, you go to Will. Maximillian admits he’s the girlfriend of the band, “I ’m very needy... I ’m always asking things, and it’ s too much, [the other members] need their own time...but it’s so hard for me to translate what I like and the ideas I have into words, or like I ’ll say something...and it won ’t...for instance, this sentence...is going, it’s hard to describe the creative process but it ’s a bit like making a smoothie: I put in bananas because I really like bananas and strawberries are good too and for some songs you put in the ice-cream, or for others you put in yoghurt, like the healthy days, so some songs are healthy and some songs have a lot more ice-cream.” Giggling at his culinary delight of a metaphor, Maximillian elaborates: “Ice-cream is kind of happygo time I guess, yoghurt ’s more like therapy.” Maximillian ’s smooth(ie) sounds have attracted the attention of American/Russian label ‘Amdisk, ’ however, he was reluctant to give his music to them. “They kinda freaked me out because I didn ’t want my music to be stolen, so I backed away, probably a bad move but, oh well.” The attention by this label passed on a revelation to Maximillian, “when I realised that people actually like listening to my music sometimes, I was like well maybe I should take this more seriously, and so last year was dedicated to writing an album, and that ’s done I guess, but it’s not released anywhere really.” What kind of music can one expect Menagerie to play? Maximillian reveals his penchant for Jazz and 30s jazz, similar to the stylings of Django Reinhardt, but can also enjoy modern beats, as his cover of Gwen Stefani ’s ‘Sweet Escape ’ would suggest . “I also like popular things like Arlo Guthrie, The Mommas and the Poppas, The Beach Boys, (he loves harmonies) Cold War Kids, The Middle East, anything good, which is kind of diffuse but I can enjoy any kind of music.” Rather than providing a verbose description of Menagerie ’s music, it would be well worth you, oh avid readers, to mosey over to their glorious soundcloud (see end of article for link). This way, you may now establish a sense of familiarity, which should hopefully motivate attendance at Menagerie ’s future gigs. Our conversation then digresses to 8
Menagerie play at the Jade Monkey, 2011.
The Adelaide music scene, “Maybe people aren ’t ready? I mean there ’s always good music coming out of Adelaide, “maybe if it was made to cooler than it actually is then more people would do it because that seems to be the thing that people like to do: think things are cool and then go do it. Like how everyone has single- speed bikes (fixies)...my bike has 29 gears, it’s like 29 times less cool. I think people should act cooler, so then people think they are nearly as cool as they think they are, which hopefully will be cooler than they actually are and make them to come to their gigs.” Like a legion of super hipsters? “But they won ’t ever get anything done; they’ll just talk about it.” “Maybe if there was a festival every other month, and it would be more of a thing.” Yes! More of a thing, following the footsteps of The Beatles and playing on rooftops - shoving local music down down Adelaideians throats? “I like writing music and playing it...I don ’t really like shoving things down people ’s throats, but if someone opens their mouth, I ’ll put something in there (not meant in the fullness of its implications).” “Some local bands are really good, like Our Husband...Jimmy and the Mirrors. There ’s a band called Popy Jane, they ’re awesome and I love them.” 9
“I like writing music and playing it...I don ’t really like shoving things down people ’s throats, but if someone opens their mouth, I ’ll put something in there.” As time goes by, the seats at this non-descript café in the central markets are starting to take their toll; Maximillian ’s occasional brushing back of the fringe is becoming more frequent, and the interviewer’s questions are running thin. It must be asked though, what kind of future is in potential existence for Maximillian and his Menagerie? “I could write scores for pornos, because I mean it’ s a good industry...I could pursue music or, drive trucks, but hopefully not—I ’ve seen some scary films about truck drivers. I don ’t really need to make money, I could eat stuff off the ground...become a hatter, actually that sounds more likely, my dad was a hatter. So I guess that ’s where I’ll be in 5 years: playing music, making hats and eating stuff off the ground but not driving trucks.” In this writer ’s opinion, the Adelaide music scene is pretty freaking amazing. There are some utterly fantastic bands available to shove things down our throats, all we have to do is fling our mouths open and let those local beats reside happy there. Otherwise, the musical excellence of Menagerie will force Maximillian to eat stuff off the ground in roughly 5 years time! checkout: http://soundcloud.com/menagerie-1/tracks 10
Oliverâ€™ s Army On their way!
Oliverâ€™s Army is a group based around having a good time on stage and writing songs that people can take home with them. Its core is comprised of my twin brother Todd and I (Ryan), we do all the writing/recording and then we have the support of Adrian Plevin and James Pounsett (formerly of Jupiter Lead) on Bass and Drums and Ryan Hutcheson (formerly of The Temps) on Keyboard for our live shows. Todd and I started spitballing ideas when I got back from living over in Canada, so I guess the band officially started in late 2008, but we only really started playing regularly after we were able to find members in early 2009. (Lincoln Spalding on Bass and Sam Billinghurst-Walsh on Guitar, from our earlier project 'Avedis' and Shayne Tarling on Drums.) I guess you'd call us Indie-Folk-Rock similar to bands like Band of Horses or Augie March, but then we like to get a little epic at times also. The EP is going great in the live arena! Like most of our music, it's designed to transfer well live with a lot of energy on stage, but also is something you can sit at home with a nice glass of red and reminisce on the day with. We recorded and mixed the whole thing ourselves, mainly for monetary reasons but also because it's 11
nice to have creative control over the finished product. Basically wherever I could find a quiet room I would set up my laptop and some mics and off we went. The drums we recorded and my dear friend Sanso Xtro's (check her out! www.sanso-xtro.com) house/studio in the Barossa Valley and the rest at random back rooms and bedroom's around SA. It's kind of interesting because although it sounds quite cohesive and 'tight', the whole thing is multi-tracked, just one layer on top of the other, everything played by Todd and myself. It's got a lot of that Alt-Country/Folk influence that rubbed off on me whilst living in Canada, mainly the Toronto Alt-Country scene, but also has a lot of our mixed influences shining through on it, anything from Pearl Jam to Sigur R贸s. I don't feel it's a 'hit's' kind of EP, but more of a 'grow on you and enjoy live' kind of EP. Some of the tracks and quite progressive, so you have to give them a chance to affect you, listen to the lyrics and find the stories behind them. Our next move is to keep getting on bills with other artists we love and respect, and to start getting out into the wide wonderful world of ours! We plan on heading overseas in July, to the UK, Europe and Canada. We're looking into a grant through Arts SA to help us find the adventure. And then as soon as we return we're looking to become regulars around the east-coast scene. Just get interstate as much as possible and start to build the fan base outside of Adelaide. We really believe in our live show, and we can't wait to take that on the road as we feel it's our most effective way of getting people interested in our music. Basically just keep writing and spreading the love!
www.oliversarmy.bandcamp.com www.youtube.com/oliversarmytheband www.facebook.com/oliversarmytheband
Shisha & The d’ Urbervilles Tom Waits on fire! Sat at the humble dwelling known as the Exeter’s Beer Garden, were Stephen (Slippery) Johnson and Elliot (Revolver) Zoerner, two-fifths of Adelaide ’s answer to a youthful Tom Waits: Shisha and the d ’Urbervilles. Stephen uses his energetic interpretive dance, reminiscent of Nick Cave himself to front the group and Elliot is the drummer, keeping the rhythm for this renegade group of youngsters, who are currently etching the foundation for a big-old mark in the Adelaide scene. “One of the first reasons that Shisha came together was because Noah and I had a love for Tom Waits. Now we ’ve got a Nick Cave / Bad Seeds / Grinderman kind of style,” says Stephen, rolling his tally-ho ’s. “We were going to be a Tom Waits vaudeville circus band and our guitarist, Noah was one of the people in that and was one of the people who started it with me.” Starting off as a rather folky band, with an acoustic guitar and a banjo, Shisha’s direction changed after Elliot joined. “Elliot joined on drums and we got a bass player and we changed our sound a lot, there was going to be a trombone player, and it didn ’t really work after two rehearsals so we decided to take it back to the basics. We got Milton our banjo player, and we did our first gig, where Elliot our drummer played at that – at the Jade Monkey. We ’ve gone from a folk band to a sort of blues, grungy band,” continues Stephen. Actually, trying to describe their sound, seems to be a bit of task for them, “it ’s not blues, and it’s not folk and it ’s not rock, it’s not grunge, it’s somewhere in between I think,” Elliot mentions. “Sleazy, sort of, I don ’t know – distorted sleazy rock, a bit bluesy, rustic sort of...I can ’t even explain it,” adds Stephen, tapping his cigarette, ridding excess ash and flipping his lighter all with impressive co-ordination. Elliot continues, “I think we ’re still trying to find our sound – what we sound like as a band. Each of us probably has a slightly different idea of what we want to sound like as a band, so each of us 13
just needs to come together and form a more cohesive idea...Stephen doesn ’t have any musical training but he ’s a really good actor and has that stage presence that just really works with us. And then there ’s Noah, who ’s played in a lot of bands around Adelaide, so he knows a lot about being in a band. And then we ’ve got Jack who is sort of a sleaze-man, he ’s was in this old punk band, is a self-taught guitarist, but he just picked up bass and played for us. Milton ’s been in a lot of bands, he ’s into a lot of that hard-core, metal kind of stuff, and then I [Elliot] do music at uni - classical stuff, so it ’s just a really different combination of people.” “The thing with Shisha is that we all have different music tastes but we all like the style of music that we are doing now – we’re still working on it – but we ’re all happy,” adds Stephen. For a band that has been on the scene for about six months, it all sounds very impressive and optimistic. “We ’ve had lots of offers to record but I reckon that we ’re not really ready for it yet – we haven’t got enough quite yet,” says Stephen, lighting another cigarette. “Getting a recording out is part of the five-year plan, getting an EP out. We’re getting close to it.” Six songs constitute the Shisha and the d’Urbervilles repertoire, for now, along with the Paul Kelly tune, Deep Water and the Bad Seeds ’ Harden all the Way. Constructing a Shisha track is rather intriguing, “It ’s a big collaborative point and comes together at certain points,” Stephen says. “Basically, I ’ll write the lyrics and then our banjo player will help me out and make it flow a bit better, usually. And then our guitarist will come around and write the riffs, and then everyone adds on top of that.” “It ’s always collaborative because Steve doesn ’t have any musical training, which is really good in some ways because he doesn ’t think about it as much, so he just thinks about the lyrics and the sound in general (more instinctive) and then Noah, or I or Milton, try to turn that into a song that works musically,” chimes Elliot. The most important question, perhaps is how are these tunes carried out live? Apparently you can expect shirtless and drunk people – and that ’s just the crowd! In the band you can expect loudness, a bit in your face, but in a “nice way.” Nice or otherwise, you can expect megaphones, enthusiastic moves from the lanky frontman, a banjo player, some fine tambourining from their drunker tambourine player, Alan ‘The Animal’ Sheldon and other shenanigans that, say, if one were to have one too many a scotch and close their eyes, you’d swear you were at a Tom Waits gig. With ‘Tom Waits on fire ’ having been one of the reactions to their live shows, they must be worth a viewing. 14
“The thing with Shisha is that we all have different music tastes but we all like the style of music that we are doing now – we’re still working on it – but we’re all happy.” - Stephen Johnson.
“We get a pretty decent crowd - it ’s never been a shit crowd... There ’s a group of people that come to a lot of gigs in Adelaide, and they come to pretty much all of our gigs... we ’ve got ties with a lot of bands – Julia Farr because Noah plays for that band as well. That ’s the interesting thing about the Adelaide scene is that you look at all the bands and a lot of them have the same people. Shisha, in a way, is kind of different because we have other people...” says Stephen. According to Stephen the Adelaide scene does need some work, but it is definitely a really good scene. There are lots of bands out there: Bearded Gypsy Band, The Aves, Julia Farr, Systemaddicts—they’ve all got some really good stuff. As does Shisha and the d ’Urbervilles. In fact, Stephen and Elliot stand by their band so much, that they have this pressing message to deliver: “we are a band and you should come see us.” Can ’t really argue with that, can you?
Fancy them on Facebook! 15
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Image: Stefani Josee
ANNIE NGUYEN Digital / Traditional Artist
Can you describe what kind of artist you are? The artwork I do tends to be quite varied and a lot of different styles, I ’m influenced pretty much by everything that surrounds me and I tend to draw as I feel. I don ’t have a particular style yet because I ’m constantly learning and trying to develop it and experience as many different things I can and draw it as I feel.
What’s your medium? I started being into art by doing a lot of digital work, but I found that my real passion lies in traditional painting. A couple of years ago I started painting with acrylics and found that I just really love being able to smell, touch and feel paint, rather than just looking at a screen. Although I do love digital artwork, I love both traditional and digital painting. I ’m mainly obsessed with textures and colours.
What would you say is your signature technique? I think colours and exaggerating things like body proportions. I find that I tend to exaggerate things such as necks and hands depending on the character. It ’s usually just adding little twists - though everything is in proportion, there ’ll be something like long necks or long hands... > 18
...my PJ Harvey piece was one – I started her out quite normal but I chose to use a facial expression where she was midway having finished one note and starting another note, so she has half-eyelided eyes. As I was drawing her she was quite thin, so I decided to give her big hands but quite a skeletal figure.
Tell me about some of your projects that you’ve done. My most recent piece is ‘Snowdrop ’ , is a mixed-media film which incorporates live action film with digital animation and throughout the digital animation I ’ve included painting textures - that go throughout the whole film. My main idea was to combine 2D digital art and 2D traditional art and trying to merge those two, trying to find a line between them.
Do you want to continue in that direction, mixing the two together? With Snowdrop, I started it because I needed an idea for my honours project and it just made sense because I had so much passion for both – traditional painting and digital painting. But as I was working on it, it wasn ’t where I wanted it to be, so I definitely want to continue merging the two. When I was researching there was an artist called Alexa Meade, who uses real people and she paints on top of them and Joan C Gratz who directed Mona Lisa descending a staircase, which was a clay painting, and so she did clay paintings on screen and made all of them move. The most recent one she ’ s done is Puffer-Girl, where she combined clay painting with digital elements.
What influences your ideas? I find that I need to be drawing in order to be quite happy with my life – I find that if I ’m upset about something then drawing it will release that tension. Anything I see. PJ Harvey: she was a really big part of my life at one stage. Another piece, ‘My Androgynous Twin,’ explores cross-genders, because a friend of mine at the time had some difficulty with being bullied - just trying to break-down stereotypes, because being Asian, a lot of people tend to stereotype me and have general assumptions about me, whereas I ’m not like that at all, and so I try to show that in my work. It’s definitely personal. I believe that you should do art for yourself, because if you do art for other people it’s no longer a personal thing and you ’re removing yourself from your work. I am influenced by the outside but I interpret it in my own terms.
left: Dazzle, bottom right: Dazzle
What are some of the themes that you mainly explore in your work? Seeing something, on the surface, and looking deeper and seeing something else. For example there ’s this one work that I ’ve done called ‘Dazzle ’ and it looks quite abstract, but if you look closer there ’ s a person in the image and just because
there ’s so many patterns over it, it ’s hard to see. Most people will look at a work and just skim it and not really notice the details and not really see what ’s behind it. A lot of ‘genderbender’ things, so I draw effeminate male, I like quite androgynous characters.
To view more of Annie ’s work, see anfollis.wordpress.com or, anfollis.carbonmade.com.
SNOWDROP The “Artsy” Film At 22, artist Annie Nguyen has created what would potentially be one of the most amazing short-films. Using her on unique blend of digital art and traditional textures, her film ‘Snowdrop ’, which she wrote, directed and produced is amazing – visually, musically, artistically, digitally and the storylines are superb. “There was a joke at the start of the project, that the working title was ‘the “artsy” film ’, so in terms of genre, it’s definitely dark humour – there’s a lot of dark humour...serial killers are definitely not loving but it was another view, that they ’re still human and they still do love.” explains a shy Annie, her eye hidden under her sweeping fringe. “There ’s a theme of visual appearances not being what they seem, which is what a Snowdrop does.” She continues, “A Snowdrop is a flower that blooms at the end of winter, in the Northern Hemisphere. Some florists won ’t stock Snowdrops because they’re considered bad luck and the other thing is when they ’re on the ground they look like a corpse, and that just really worked with the film – it sounds innocent but it isn ’t really... the idea of visual deception.” Snowdrop sends chills down your spine – it’s pretty sick, rather, it ’s pretty and sick, beautiful and cringe-worthy. From the elements of cannibalism and the slicing, stabbing and poisoning, there is still the message that everyone, even murderous cannibal types, need somebody to love. This forms the basis of the striking features of the film – the storyline and the artistry. “Snowdrop has two narratives going through it: one is the story of an artist who is absolutely infatuated with his fiancée and everything he paints is for her. The other story line is the story of two serial killers who fall in love with each other and they have a daughter and eventually at the end, you find that those two storylines merge and are related to each other.” The storylines accompany a song that was written by one of her friends, “it was also based on serial killers and I was always into timing animations. Also having no dialogue and just the song, meant that I could be more metaphorical with the imagery rather than saying the cat went down the stairs and showing that exactly.” 23
The pièce-de-résistance of the film, really, is the imagery, textures, animation and the beautiful result of mixing the two. Sipping her peppermint tea, Annie explains that Snowdrop is a mixed -media film which incorporates live action film with digital animation. “Throughout the digital animation; I ’ve included painting textures, so textures that go throughout the whole film. My main idea was to combine 2D digital art and 2D traditional art and trying to merge those two, trying to find a line between them.” “It ’s definitely what I’d like to see more of because there are definitely limitations to textures and digital art – computer generated, flat images, and there ’s nothing like being able to paint traditionally and feel with your hands, it’ s that extra sensory function – being able to touch. So, it’s definitely unique, it hasn ’t really been done before. I don ’t think there ’s actually any other film that mixes them, the textures that I do anyway. I just wanted to see it done and blended because...[T]exture is something that you can ’t capture in digital art and I try to capture them and put them in a digital realm.” Annie discussed that her technique was the culmination of experimentation in her earlier years of flash animation. “It was something I ’d done years ago when I was working with flash animation and that was raster images and flattening painting textures and finding a way to use it in flash animation. So that was just something in the back of my mind. When I started applying it to Snowdrop, we were pretty much doing it as we went along and if it didn ’t work, it didn ’t work and we ’d try something else.” Annie is currently attempting to enter her film as part of various film-festivals. You can preview Snowdrop at: anfollis.carbonmade.com.
If I were a man and you a dog, Iâ€™d throw a stick for you.
Image: Christopher Arblaster
Véra Ada Just over 4 years ago I picked up a camera and have been experimenting with the medium ever since. Other than doing a term of traditional dark-room photography in year 9, I’ve never properly studied it, so I suppose you could say I’m self-taught – although I do ask for advice from my mother as she has worked in several photo-studios. My photos are not deeply conceptual, nor do they hold some sort of hidden meaning –they’re just moments I choose to make permanent, both on film and in pixels. Quite often what drives me to take a photo is something that’s happening right in front of me, making me reach for whatever is nearby. My pictures are basically both a variety of both planned and spontaneous instants (although when they’re planed I use very minimal direction). The photos I’ve submitted are all black & white dark-room prints, as lately that’s been my biggest focus. There’s both 35mm and 60mm shots, and some double exposures.
Lana Adams I started getting into photography in high school. I was coerced into taking a black and white film class with a friend and fell in love. I’ve been taking photos ‘seriously’ for just over a year now, committing myself to analog. I get inspired by new sights and sounds, new environments and landscapes—especially nature. This is a selection of some of my favourite photographs, which both mean a lot to me and aim to capture the way I try to remember things. I take photos for myself, but I hope when people see them they respond in some way as well.
Christopher Arblaster I take pictures in order to identify with the world around me, and to feel that the world identifies with me in turn. I take picture to make others look how I feel: sometimes deliriously happy, sometimes desperately unhappy, but always beautiful. My photo-essay shows friends in periods of doubt, self-reflection, and uncertainty.
The book, the page, the line, the word, the letter.
Smells Like Zine Spirit Words, Connor Tomas O’Brien
It’s a bit weird, when you think about it, that there are now established zine stores in so many Australian cities. There ’s Adelaide ’s Format, Canberra’s Little Beats, Newcastle ’s Bird in the Hand – and, of course, Melbourne ’s Sticky, granddaddy of the scene and antipodean zine-culture centrepoint. It’s an odd time for a DIY self-publishing renaissance. We ’ve heard it, over and over, seen it printed in great big capital letters (most often in the larger, more selfassured magazines): PRINT IS DEAD. Over the course of 2009, Gawker.com published regular instalments of ‘The Great Magazine Die-Off ’, a feature mourning the passing of an improbably huge number of newsstand glossies. Over the course of 2010, meanwhile, publishers set their sights on the iPad, hoping to suckle the figurative lifeblood from Apple ’ s technological teat. And yet, as the market for mainstream periodicals shrinks, and as mainstream publishers rush headlong toward the 9.7 inch touchscreen, there’s a countervailing tendency for some students and artists (and vegan Marxist anarcho-feminists) to step back, return to paper and scissors, and begin self-producing their own little magazines, in limited qualities. Gemma Nourse, the 21 year-old co-manager of Canberra ’s Little Beats zine distro, suggests that young creatives are frustrated with the limitations of electronic publishing. In an age in which culture is “free”, infinitely reproducible, and packaged in chunks of bytes, a return to tangibility – when everybody else is stumbling vaguely in the opposite direction – is a political move. “People are getting sick of the internet, and TV, and everything being fast-paced and focused on instant gratification and quick fixes,” Nourse says. “I think there could be this movement within our generation to return to zines, and letter writing, and cooking food – you know, things that are beautiful, small-scale and take a bit of time.” Nourse notes that the act of producing a zine, or even simply purchasing a zine, “makes people feel like they're a part of something, a member of a community.” 43
Blogs create community, too, but the ties are weaker because readers rarely reimburse bloggers directly for their work. Handing over a couple of dollars for an illustrated zine about unicorns (Bastian Fox Phelan ’s ‘Unicorn: for people who like unicorns ’), for example, represents a tangible vote of confidence in the writer and their work. Token price-tagging represents a low barrier to entry to the zine community, and creates an economy in which work is valued. It’s interesting that the rise of zine culture over the past few years has come as a response to the perceived failings of the internet economy: in particular, the failure to establish an online payment model rewarding small creators. In fact, it ’s a fitting turnaround, because the initial rise of the web was responsible for obliterating interest in zines during the late nineties. No wonder, really: in August 1999, Pyra Labs launched Blogger.com, and by 2005, there were over fifty million weblogs in existence. It began to seem ridiculously quaint to go through the trial of designing, printing, binding, and distributing your own paper publication when you could publish your thoughts immediately to a savvy online audience. The blogging revolution was led by precisely the same kind of self-documentarians who would’ve previously engaged in creating zines. A decade on, the tide has once again shifted. Increasingly, there ’s a perception that much of what is posted online should be regarded as cultural detritus. There ’s too much on the web (the global tweet counter is clicking through the tens of billions), and too much of it is junk (tens of millions of those tweets are devoted exclusively to Justin Bieber). There ’ s also something inherently alienating about the medium – all of us sitting alone in our bedrooms, staring into the coruscate glare of our LCD monitors. Sure, the internet’s great, but it ’ s not the universal panacea we once thought it would be. We ’ve had it banged into us from an early age: new media will destroy the old. Perhaps now we ’re coming to a more grown-up realisation that old doesn ’t necessarily mean outmoded. A realisation that old media not only can, but will, co-exist with the new. We ’ve got our iPods in back pocket, but we still listen to the radio. * The first question to ask, if you ’re considering creating a zine, is this: what can I offer a reader in print that they can ’t get online? If you ’re printing blog entries onto A4 paper, you ’ve misunderstood the medium. Susy Pow, who manages Bird in the Hand, a zine shop and distro operating out of Newcastle, tells me that zines are becoming increasingly ‘artsy’, because “inventive covers and carefully crafted content doesn't transfer to the internet very well.” 44
While fifteen years ago, the aesthetic was ‘create a master, sneak it into work, jam the pages one-by-one under the black and white Xerox, and slyly crank out as many copies as you can before the boss realises what ’s up ’, those zines tended to look very samey – and, frankly, very nut-jobby. A good zine might be hand-bound, decorated with fabrics, or printed on heavy or unusual paper. Zinesters are taking risks, pushing the medium forward, their original publications serving as a flip of the bird to those who believe that nothing new can be done with paper.
A particularly popular zine series, You, is distributed (weekly) in the form of letters in envelopes, addressed to the reader. On a single day, we might receive dozens, hundreds of emails – terse, rushed, and rife with errors. What we don ’t receive much of nowadays are long, sprawling, hand-written missives that demand our sustained attention and are capable of jerking tears, provoking fits of giggles, and pushing us to modest metaphysical recognitions. You harks back to a (perhaps imagined) time in which written correspondence was slow and meaningful – a time in which you could, entirely earnestly, refer to yourself a ‘Man of Letters ’. Says Pow: “The demographic of zinesters I've been meeting read zines as a quiet, contented, digestible interaction with the zine-maker, which is vastly different to other aspects of their lives like busy jobs and over-stimulation on the internet.” Another example: a couple of years back, in the lead up to the zine fair component of This Is Not Art (Australia’s largest DIY culture festival, which takes place in Newcastle annually), interested parties were asked to participate in ‘Target: 168 ’, an event in which zinesters were given exactly 168 hours to produce an original work to sell or distribute at the fair. (To prevent ‘ cheating ’, creators had to include proof of date: a photocopied bus ticket, supermarket receipt, torn-off corner of the daily paper).Following the fair, participants were individually mailed bulky manila envelopes containing the zines of all others involved. For participants, these envelopes will serve as veritable time capsules: long after the popular social networking sites collapse (leaving users ’ photographs and throwaway tweets relegated to the virtual trash heap), these zines, yellowing deliciously with age, will remain available for the perusal of friends, children, grandchildren. I ’m an unashamed, Kindle-toting geek, but even I recognise that you simply couldn ’t replicate ‘Target: 168’ in the present online environment. Pow refers to herself as a ‘Twitter fiend ’. She updates the Bird in the Hand Twitter account (twitter.com/zinedistro) every couple of hours: advertising new stock, interacting with current and potential customers ( ‘thanks for yr order Tom. It's so appreciated ’), and venting personal frustrations ( ‘Newcastle has no yum cha to speak of. I am constantly disappointed ’). She ’s no technophobe. And yet, a recent tweet can leave one with no illusions: “Who needs a Macbook,” asks Pow, “when you can type away on a cursive typewriter!?”
For more of the writer’s treats check out www.connortomas.com.
Illegal File Sharing and The Future Words, Rugiyya Gasim
The author acknowledges and understands that media piracy is a crime in no way endorses it in this essay.
File sharing software such as BitTorrent has made media piracy more accessible to the public. Labelless DVDs and photocopied VHS covers have now all been replaced by the simple and user friendly internet, where with the simple click of a button, is all one needs nowadays to commit a copyright infringement, possibly resulting in a very expensive lawsuit. However, the casual and immediate nature of media piracy makes it difficult to take infringement seriously. BitTorrent allows its users to upload and download files that have been uploaded by other users from a link on a website using the file sharing software. The file is not stored on a server, but is downloaded from other users who are downloading the file and can only be downloaded if someone is uploading them. That is, if A uploads a movie, B can download it, and will also be uploading his copy of the same movie at the same time. Thus, C can download from both A and B, whilst also uploading his copy to other users. Hence, a pressing issue arises for the owners of the rights to the media being pirated – who is legally responsible for copyright infringement? Is it the software user who downloads and uploads the illegal file, the creator or distributor of the software, or the internet service provider? In previous cases involving similar software, such as Kazaa, the files were stored on a server and it was clear that ‘the authorisers provided the “means” of infringement’. However, the file-sharing nature of BitTorrent makes it difficult to pinpoint the party at fault. In 2009-2010, film producer Roadshow Films Pty Ltd along with 34 other producers sued internet service provider, iiNet for authorizing illegal file sharing. The case concerned the BitTorrent software in particular. Consequently, I will discuss the outcome of the case and what it means for internet users. > 47
Roadshow argued that by providing an internet service and not monitoring user activity, iiNet had “authorised” its users to use BitTorrent and illegally share files. Comparisons were made to previous cases such as Cooper and Moorehouse, and it was argued that the two should be expanded in order to find the respondent, iiNet, liable for infringement. In Cooper, Universal Music sued the owner of a website, which provided links to illegal music. The Court held that by making the material available to the public, the owner of the website had authorised infringement, even though he himself had not directly breached any copyrights. What was more intriguing was the fact that the internet service provider was found liable because, as part of their arrangement with the owner of the website, the ISP had received free advertising space on the website.
Moorehouse concerned a University which had provided its students with free, unmonitored access to photocopiers. The Court held that a person who has control of a means of infringement, authorises infringement by providing that means to another person, whilst knowing or reasonably suspecting that the other person is likely to use it in order to infringe copyright, and not taking any reasonable steps to limit use to non-infringing uses. That is, because the University had granted unmonitored access to photocopiers in a library – a place filled with copyright material – they would have reasonably suspected that a person using those photocopiers is likely to use it to infringe copyright. After all, what else but copyright material could the students photocopy?
In Roadshow v iiNet, Roadshow wanted to expand the two above cases in order to find iiNet liable. That is, even though iiNet had not themselves breached copyright, they had granted access to copyright materials by way of providing an internet service, and thus authorized copyright infringement.
The Ruling The judge in Roadshow v iiNet held that iiNet had not infringed copyright. By providing an internet service, iiNet had not necessarily provided the “means” for infringement of Roadshow’s copyright because internet could be used for both infringement and non-infringement purposes. 48
The other issue was that even if the provision of internet access were found to breach copyright, it does not necessarily mean that the 35 parties suing iiNet would be affected. This reduced their claim. The judge argued that this case is different to Cooper and Moorehouse discussed above because in the above cases, the use of the service resulted or was likely to result in infringement. For example, in Cooper, the website had only copyrighted material. Therefore, anyone who had access to it would likely infringe. In Moorehouse, the students were granted access to photocopiers in an environment which was almost completely comprised of copyrighted materials. The above reasoning results in liability or blame being shifted from the internet service provider to the software itself – BitTorrent. The judge also commented that because iiNet had not ‘created the “means” to infringe copyright” – they only provided internet access and not the file sharing software – iiNet were under no obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent the infringement from occurring. This included termination of services, the judge concluding that termination would “also prevent that person or persons from using the internet for all the non-infringing uses to which the internet may be put and to which they have contracted with the respondent and provided consideration”. What does this mean for Internet users – the appeal On the 24th of February 2011, the case was taken to appeal by Roadshow in front of the Full Federal Court of Australia in an attempt to overturn the decision made by the initial judge. The appellate court, which consisted of three judges (as opposed to just the one judge in the initial case) upheld the previous decision, 2:1, that iiNet was not liable for copyright infringement. However, this does not conclusively decide the place of internet service providers in Australian law because the judges did not rule out the possibility of internet service providers being liable for copyright infringement. Although the reasoning of the two judges differed, they came to the same conclusion. In summary, the appeal holds that in order for an internet service provider to be held liable for infringement of copyright, factors including the following must be considered: the nature of the relationship between the alleged authorizer and the person who has breached copyright; what steps they could have taken in order to prevent the infringement from taking place; and whether or not the alleged authorizer took reasonable steps to prevent the user from breaching copyright. The internet service provider needs to do more than merely provide the service or facility used to breach copyright in order to be held liable for authorization. 49
The fate of illegal file sharers is still undecided in Australia. It is clear that the law finds it difficult to navigate in the sophisticated and technologically advanced area of intellectual property law, however, it is also clear that there is an effort to create a system to deal with such issues. Ultimately, it is unlikely that the legal system is the most efficient way of dealing with these issues â€“ illegal file sharing has been prevalent for years and this is one of the few times that an internet service provider has been sued in Court. But what would happen if iiNet had been found liable for authorisation? Could this mean an increase in prices for the user, or the adoption of a stricter and harsher policy by the service provider? It is uncertain whether internet service providers will be able to cope with the burden of monitoring and keeping up with the use of internet by its millions of users. The other issue would be whether people would stop buying large amounts of data if downloading is limited. The obvious answer is to make downloading legal and this is becoming more and more commonplace with the introduction and widespread use of legally downloadable content through iTunes and similar service providers. If there is a positive shift toward this trend it is likely that the issue of illegal downloads will become insignificant and internet service providers can take a sigh of relief. The future of Australia is literally in the downloader â€™s hands.
References: See Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd and Others v Sharman License Holdings Ltd and Others  FCA 1242; (2005) 65 IPR 289
Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited (No. 3)  FCA 24 Universal Music v Cooper  FCA 972 (14 July 2005)
University of New South Wales v Moorehouse  HCA 26 See also Case: Universal Music v Cooper (2005) Australian Copyright Council <http://www.copyright.org.au/news-and-policy/details/id/1813/>
Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited (No. 3)  FCA 24,  Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited (No. 3)  FCA 24, 
Non-fiction Faultless By Rose Thomas Ulrich Reinhart yanks at the stiff collar of his grey-green jacket. It is a new uniform, pressed, starched, and absolutely unwearable. He stretches his arms out to the sides and feels the strain against his back. He fastens the buttons and feels the pressure grip his chest. Ulrich fumbles the last button under his chin and moves to check his reflection in the mirror. In the dim lamplight, his Kommandant bands stand out starkly. On his right breast pocket blazes the Iron Eagle, proud and soaring for the fatherland. On the left shines his first and second class Iron Crosses. Decorated, yes. Debonair, hell yes. But damned uncomfortable. The birthday party is set to start in thirty minutes, but no one ever arrives on time because punctuality is unfashionable. Most guests arrive thirty minutes late, already well on the way to drunkenness without the help of their hosts’ cellars. And it’s worse since reports of the Soviet advance reached Germany. Now the officers get drunk with a fierce determination that has progressively cleaned out every host’s cellar in the area. Ulrich’s is the last. He lights a cigarette and moves to the open window. The glow of the cigarette tip complements the bloom of red in the east. That’s what this party is really about - not Ulrich’s birthday celebration, or German pride, or even simple frivolity. The party is a diversion from the truth of their flashing, fading world outside. The officers will look to the east and pretend they’re watching fireworks. But everyone will know it spells the end. Ulrich flicks the ash from his cigarette into the ashtray and frowns as most of it tumbles over the side. It settles on the polished mahogany of the dresser, leaving behind black singe marks. He wipes it with the scarred palm of his hand and ignores the needle-points of pain. “Herr Kommandant, your shoes?” Ulrich’s Jewish serving boy loiters at the door, awaiting orders. His face is small and dirty, engrained with the filth of the camp, but is otherwise faultless. A flash of anger seizes Ulrich. He picks up his Mauser C96 and clicks the safety off to make his point. “Put them here. And leave.” The boy rushes forward, wide-eyed, to place the shoes at Ulrich’s feet before scurrying back to the door. “Wait,” Ulrich barks. “I want some brandy. A bottle.” The boy turns, looks cornered. These are not his usual orders. “For Christ’s sake, boy, some brandy. From the kitchens, or the cellar, or wherever the hell you people ferret it away.”
The boy runs. Ulrich sighs in disgust and drops the pistol back onto the window ledge. He does not particularly hate the Jews as do his fellow officers, but nor does he like them. They are good for working out his finances, good for cleaning and mending his shoes and scrubbing mould from his bathroom tiles, but that’s it. Aside from these menial tasks, they are worthless. Out in the living room, music begins to play, Edith Piaf warbling through the appalling speaker of the old gramophone. Ulrich violently stubs out his cigarette, and nearly burns his fingers in his irritation. How in the hell is he expected to entertain his fellow officers and their women with such an inferior presentation of music? Ulrich stomps into the living room and slams his fist straight onto the spinning vinyl record. The music cuts out and the servants jump. The dark-haired boy, now with the brandy bottle in hand, stops dead in the doorway. “I don’t think,” Ulrich hisses, jaw tight with anger, “that the officers of surrounding camps are obliged to entertain with such horrendous gramophones.” Which is true - it was Kurt Wunsch’s birthday party not two weeks ago, and he had entertained with a superb portable gramophone until five the next morning. His servants dart looks between them like a pack of trapped rats. With the Soviet invasion of Poland, their numbers, always too many, have risen to plague proportions over the weeks. And with the emptying of Polish camps comes the congestion of German camps, so that Ulrich’s is now a teeming quagmire of diseased Jews. Ulrich raises his eyebrows at his servants. “So, find me a new gramophone in thirty minutes or you’re smoke by morning.” He yanks the bottle from the boy’s hands and backhands his dark head for the hell of it. Glowering, he strides back into his room and slams the door behind him. Jews. Ulrich takes a quick swig from the bottle, grabs his comb and proceeds to aggressively perfect his side-part. His curly hair makes it difficult because it never goes the way he wants it to, and because he is in a foul temper, tonight it is no exception. The one good thing about his hair, he reasons as he meticulously flattens the curls at the nape of his neck, is the fact that it’s blond. A pale, shining, very attractive blond. Not many of the officers of surrounding camps can boast the same; they all have dark hair, or grey hair, or no hair. Not that it matters when it comes down to it, Ulrich muses. If something isn’t right, then it simply isn’t right…
“SS Kommandant Ulrich Reinhart. Here to see Fraulein Sabine Langbehn.” Ulrich rocked back on his heels, awaiting a response from the scrawny receptionist at the Berlin Lebensborn front desk. He felt good today, content with life. They were winning the war, he was on leave from his camp for a week, and his first child had just been born. He didn’t bother restraining the smugness tugging at his lips. The future of Germany was in safe hands. The receptionist gave the expected salute, but her expression was tense. Ulrich’s smirk deepened; he enjoyed the effect he had on the lower classes. “Herr Kommandant, please wait here.” This was not the response Ulrich had been expecting. He had been here twice before, and never had he been made to wait in the reception area. “I am the father,” he argued as the woman backed out of the reception room. She bowed her head apologetically. “I would like to see my child,” he continued. But he was talking to the greenpainted walls; the receptionist was already gone. Ulrich slammed his hands down on the desk. In the stillness that followed, the sound of infants crying inside the Lebensborn was clear. Their hollow wails echoed along the sterilized corridors to Ulrich where he stood in the reception area. With nothing to do but wait, he glared around him, eyes flickering to the framed photographs of Himmler cradling faultless German children. The photographs were black-and-white, but the babyish smiles on their smooth faces were obvious. Ulrich glanced upward to the familiar Lebensborn banner, draped behind the reception desk. ‘The Wellspring of Life,’ it broadcasted in black and red letters. Underneath, it announced that ‘every mother of good blood should be holy to us’. Ulrich, despite his recent temper, nodded wisely at the banner, secure in the knowledge he’d done his part for the fatherland. Footsteps clacked down the hallway and a sturdy nurse appeared. “Herr Kommandant Reinhart?” She saluted, her face impassive, almost imposing. “I’m the Head Nurse Gerde Deschler. I’d like you to step into my office. There is something we need to discuss.” Ulrich swore under his breath. “Nurse Deschler, I came here to see my child.” Nurse Deschler nodded. “Yes, Herr Kommandant, but there have been unforeseen complications-” “Which bed?” “Excuse me?” “Which bed is Sabine Langbehn currently occupying?” The nurse looked at him steadily, arms folded. “I’ll see my child first, then we can talk,” Ulrich muttered, pulling his jacket off the chair.
He strode past the nurse and made his way down the corridor, ignoring her objections. He found Sabine in bed seven. She was lying groggily against the pillows, her hair in tangles, skin waxy. He couldn’t believe she was the same stunning blonde he’d slept with nine months ago. Ulrich found he could not touch her now. Instead, he searched for a bassinet. Sabine watched him, her gaze blank and heavy. “Where is he, Ulrich? Where is Franz?” Her voice was raw and defeated. In the opposite bed, a woman was singing brokenly to her newborn baby. A stony-faced nurse stood guard, her hand tight on the woman’s shoulder. Ulrich’s eyes skipped between them. Then the nurse reached for the baby and the woman’s answering shriek rang inside the ward. Ulrich understood; the nurse was trying to take the baby away. The beauty of Himmler’s adoption programme. He turned back to his own problems and gripped the cold iron of the bed. “Sabine, you had the child. You should know where he is.” She looked at him, not releasing him from her sad gaze. “They took him away, Ulrich…” “Why? He didn’t die, did he?” “He was alive. I heard him crying.” Sabine tilted her head and reached out to him, fingers shaking, but Ulrich turned away and Sabine dropped her arm, defeated again. Her face crumpled and she turned her cheek into the pillow. “Herr Kommandant Reinhart,” Nurse Deschler had caught up with him. She gestured warningly with her head for Stuttgart to follow, and when they reached her office, she closed the door and faced him with a hard expression. “I could have spared you that confrontation with Fraulein Langbehn if-” “Just tell me where the hell my son is.” A sigh. “Kommandant, your son is gone.” Ulrich clenched his fists. “But I signed the form. My child was not to be adopted out.” The nurse’s eyes flickered away. “He was not adopted out.” “Then what?” Ulrich shouted. “Your son had a cleft lip, Kommandant,” the nurse said calmly. “Now, I have been discreet. As few people as possible know of the defect in your son’s genetic makeup. The problem has been taken care of. You need not worry.” The nurse strode to a shelf, where tins of powdered infant milk were piled one atop the other. She took one down and placed it on the desk in front of her. She had already moved on to her next task.
Ulrich could only watch her in silence. He could not move. His son? He would not believe it. Not his son. How in the hell...? From where he stood inside the nurses’ office, he could see out into the wards. Sabine lay in his line of sight, still crying pathetically in bed seven, her wrist now pressed against her eyes. He could see the pinkness of her upper arm, the pale curls in her armpit. Ulrich’s lip curled. It had to be her. His family tree was faultless. There was not a Jew, a gypsy, a gay, a communist, a mentally or physically disabled person in his entire genetic history. God knew what plagued her genes. Well, he knew now. Harelips, he answered darkly. “I’m sorry, Herr Kommandant,” Nurse Deschler said, her voice echoing in Ulrich’s ears. “I feel compelled to inform you that it was carried out with the utmost efficiency.” Ulrich realised the nurse thought he blamed himself. He glared at her to let her know otherwise. “If that is all, Nurse Deschler, I believe I’ll be going now,” he said coldly. The nurse nodded. Ulrich turned to leave, but he stumbled against the desk, upsetting a teacup. It shattered beneath his hand and cut his palm. The sudden pain made him hiss, but he held up his other hand to refuse the nurse’s help. With trembling fingers he yanked out the shard of china and pressed his hand to his lips to stop the blood. “Herr Kommandant Reinhart?” Ulrich shook his head, wiped the blood from his mouth, and straightened. Next time he would simply have to choose a sounder recipient to better Germany. When he left, he did not say goodbye to Sabine…
The party has been underway for an hour, and everyone is well on the way to total inebriation. Ulrich thanks God for that, because the servants had not located a better gramophone and he is achingly self-conscious of the silence leaking into the drunken chatter. He is prepared to wait a few more minutes for the emergency gramophone, but after that... “Decent party, Reinhart.” The balding Kommandant of a neighbouring camp swings past with a platinum-haired whore on his arm. He raises his port in salute. “And happy birthday, Reinhart. Forty-five now is it?” Reinhart. Forty-five now is it?” Ulrich takes a sip from his own glass without returning the salute. “Very humorous, Wilhelm. Thirty-five. Twenty years younger than you and in a far better position.” He taps his Iron Cross with the rim of his glass and attempts a superior smile.
“There’s no music, though, Reinhart,” another officer whines, a young man with the glory of Germany fading from his eyes. “Nothing to dance to.” “Pity about the smell, too,” Kurt Wunsch splutters, spraying the cleavage of the girl he is with. “Bad wind from the east tonight.” Ulrich chuckles grimly; the smell of disease and smoke reminds them of what they are drinking to forget. How inconvenient. “Well? Close the windows, Reinhart,” Wunsch prattles on. “And start up that damn music!” He nods vigorously to himself and bustles off to refill his punch glass. Ulrich is left alone to contemplate the failures of his birthday party. The smell, the eastern skies, the lack of bloody music. He’s been reasonable. He’s given those Jews an extra hour to find something and yet here everyone is, shuffling their feet to the tune of drunken voices. He spies his serving boy holding a tray of canapés by the empty fireplace and looking dwarfed by the adults around him. His hair has been side-parted and his face scrubbed so it’s clean and smooth. “You, boy,” Ulrich snarls as he seizes the child’s arm. “Where in hell’s name is my gramophone? I asked for it over an hour ago! Get it now, you little shit!”
Ulrich Reinhart sits on the window ledge of his bedroom and smokes a cigarette with shaking fingers. He is watching the flickering red glow of the Soviet advance as it burns brighter and darker, then flashes with the brilliance of shellfire. The wind tousles his hair and flares up his cigarette. It smells of diseased camp and metallic gunfire, but Ulrich takes regular swigs from his brandy bottle and tries not to think about it.
His mind wanders regardless; to the overcrowded Jews, to the doomed war, and inevitably, to the elimination of his son. Ulrich doesn’t like to think of that twisted abomination as his progeny, but he finds they are shamefully linked. Because, even though it was undoubtedly Sabine’s fault, the superior quality of Ulrich’s genes could have redeemed that child’s face. Ulrich finishes his cigarette and flicks it out the window. He is in the midst of lighting another when the familiar crackle of a gramophone drifts to him. He freezes, too stunned to react. His servants surely did not start up the same gramophone. Waiting for evidence, he lets the cigarette burn down in his fingers
Then – there it is. The appalling crackle of Edith Piaf’s J'entends la Sirène. Ulrich is up before he knows it. Intending to threaten at gunpoint if need be, his hand closes around the Mauser, and he storms from the room. He barrels past his guests, gun drawn, and spies his serving boy through the crowd, little hands poised damningly over the gramophone’s needle. The boy without the harelip looks up, his little black eyes taking in the gun, and then – something Ulrich isn’t expecting – the boy smiles. A nervous, inherent reaction to the pistol in his face, the boy’s lips draw upward in a terrified grimace. It is enough. The smoothness of the boy’s face and the easy curve of his lips bait Ulrich into not just threatening, but acting. The gun goes off. Ulrich watches the boy slide to the ground amid the stunned guests and can’t quite decide if he’s done the world a favour. Blood streams from a hole in the boy’s forehead, but his damned smiling mouth is still untouched. Still faultless.
Youâ€™re so great
ÂŠ 2011 Pencil Lover Magazine. 60