Togatus. October 2011 FREE! Kate Holden . Dan Deacon . Twitter Revolution The Jezabels . Walking Around Tasmania 1
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Photo by Rosie Hastie
FROM THE EDITOR Alexandra Gibson “It's a great thing when you realise you still have the ability to surprise yourself”, said Lester Burnham in American Beauty, and in honour of that, this issue we look at your ability to surprise yourself. This ability in human beings is often the key to retaining faith in humanity; no matter how rigid the initial belief or how stubborn the denial to see another’s perspective, every person can have a change of heart. I am reminded of this by my 82-year-old grandmother, a woman from a generation I would argue has had to endure more extreme changes in attitudes than any other. She has an intense faith in religion (she once gave a stranger a bible as thanks for helping with a flat tire) and yet I have some of the most interesting and open-minded conversations with her than anyone, including the pros and cons of living with a partner before marriage, our differing views about religion and even same-sex marriage. In the last few years, we have seen the first African American President of the United States elected, Australia’s first female Prime Minister and more recently, the Tasmanian House of Assembly became the first in Australia to formally support same-sex marriage. This decision came from a State where up until 1997, it was a crime for adult men to engage in homosexual sex in private. Therefore, this issue, we celebrate your ability to be affected by your fellow man and embrace a new perspective.
and prostitution, where she continually compromised her norms and values, until she surprised herself by eventually pulling herself out and recovering. Ella Kearney takes us through her perception of the status of love these days and Rosie Hastie has captured it on film. That and some other recognisable emotions, behaviours, faces and places around Hobart at night. Seeing this is the October issue, we are previewing the upcoming Falls Festival and appropriately have interviews with The Jezabels, Regurgitator and America’s Dan Deacon. As well as this, Togatus is supporting Tasmanian band Tiger Choir (featured in the last issue of Togatus Magazine) to win a slot at the Marion Bay Festival and it all comes down to you! Head to www.fallsfestival.com.au and VOTE for them! If Tiger Choir get the most votes, Togatus gets to give away FOUR VIP PASSES to our readers! We’ll be featuring the band throughout the month of October at www.togatus.com.au and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. So please show your support and win a VIP pass! www.fallsfestival.com.au
This issue, Bec Chrichiello talks to UTas students Mona and Samin, who have both left their home country Iran to pursue an education in Tasmania. Both have had to adapt to many changes in Australia and it may surprise you to learn which have been the most challenging. It may also be interesting to see what they have to say about their home country, as they have found so many people know so little about it. This issue our profile subject is Melbourne-born writer, Kate Holden. From a conservative, middle-class background, this Melbourne University student made the assumption that her powers of control would allow her to try heroin. This choice led her to enter a world of addiction
Alexandra Gibson I would never say never, unless there was a kindergarten kid with a tattoo gun. 4
Illustration by Sam Lyne 5
CONTENTS 2 / Letter from the Editor 6 / Contributors 8 / Kate Holden 14 / Liquid Love 16 / We Don't Ride Camels 19 / The Jezabels 22 / Inbetween Days 30 / Dan Deacon 32 / Regurgitator 34 / A Day In Hobart 38 / Getting To Know Your Meat 42 / Twitter Revolution 44 / Walking Around Tasmania 47 / Charlotte Sometimes
Photo by Rosie Hastie 7
CONTRIBUTORS DESIGNERS Stacey Armstrong I would never eat Vegemite, unless I was stranded on a desert island.
Ami Cason I would never eat a tomato, unless it was souped, in which case I would actually drink it.
Armstrong, p. 47–48
Cason, p. 1, 14–15, 30–31
Hayley Francis I would never ride a bike up or down Mellifont Street, unless I could defy the laws of physics.
Jacky Ho I would never get to sleep, unless you sang like Jigglypuff. Ho, p. 4–5, 16–18, 38–40
Francis, p. 42–43
Sam Lyne I would never willingly ingest radioactive material, unless I was assured I would gain super-powers.
Jemima Phelps I would never shave my moustache, unless it was absolutely necessary.
Lyne, p. 2–3, 6–7, 22–29
Phelps, p. 19–21, 32–33, 44–46
Eloise Warren I would never break a silence, unless it meant improving it. Warren, p. 8–13, 34–37
FEATURE WRITERS Fabian Brimfield I would never trust a man with a beard, unless that man was Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
Sophie Clark I would never attack anyone with chloroform, unless the situation really called for it.
Thomas Friend I would never wag my tail, unless I was a dog.
Jessica Hancock I would never defenestrate anyone, unlessâ€Ś actually, there are a considerable number of circumstances under which I would defenestrate someone.
Rosie Hastie I would never use a toilet other than the third on the left, unless it was occupied.
Max Ireland I would never make a mum joke, unless I was positive the mum in question was alive.
Ella Kearney I would never vote for the Liberal party, unless I was at gun point.
Hannah McConnell I would never listen to a Justin Bieber album, unless I was strapped to a chair.
Photo by Rosie Hastie 9
KATE HOLDEN Caitlin Richardson Kate Holden tells me a story. “You go into the Underworld, and you‘re given various different kinds of conflicts to work through. It’s a combination of the qualities you had inside yourself — your gifts, and a little bit of help from various kinds of people who turn up along the way and then at the end, you come through transformed. You come back out into the light.” Dreams and poems, stoned oblivions, bruised arms and bloody needles, sweaty encounters in strange cars and alleyways and fragranced brothel rooms. Guilt and despair, humour, bewilderment, hope. It’s all there with the intimacy and honesty that Melbourne based writer, Kate Holden, tells her story. Her literary debut, an autobiographical novel In My Skin follows Kate’s journey from Melbourne university student to heroin addict and sex worker. Her second book The Romantic: Italian Nights and Days charts her experiences in Italy after getting clean and her quest for recovery and forgiveness. Both have earned her critical and popular acclaim. In My Skin has been published in over ten countries and been shortlisted for numerous national awards.
In Kate’s style, I decide to be up-front throughout our interview. “I’ve actually never done an interview before,” I say tentatively. Kate responds with a gush of support. “I haven’t done that many interviews, being the interviewer, and I know I’m always hugely nervous, and my mind goes blank and everything. It’s a bit intimidating, I know. “I’m really relaxed,” she adds so kindly that I’m suddenly assured, “So don’t you worry.” While her stories are bold and racy at times, Kate is unashamed of her portrayal of her own vulnerability. I am aware that Kate is often defined by the accounts she shares in her books. In the current Griffith Review, Kate talks about the difference between her past and present, writing and living. “People don’t really know me. You know, that’s the person I was then and it’s only a part of the story of course, and the person I am now is different.” 10
Kate is only 39-years-old, but she speaks with the quiet wisdom of someone who has overcome many challenges. In Her Skin began as part of a professional writing course at RMIT, the university where she now lectures in Creative Writing. Using her own true-life experiences, Kate created a compelling, classically formed narrative. Her books celebrate life’s natural architecture — the patterns, symmetries and tumultuous terrain of real human experience. Kate has always been imaginative. Growing up in Melbourne’s suburbia, her childhood was filled with stories about unicorns and dragons, secret lairs and ancient spells. Kate was a shy child, and books provided an alternative world. Later, as an adolescent, Kate hid her insecurity under bravado and black clothes. When l ost and heartbroken, books remained a faithful escape. In these early accounts, Kate’s character is complex and fallible. Familiar. I tell her the book felt really relatable. “Lots and lots of people say they can really relate to the start of In My Skin,” she says, pleased. “I’m really satisfied with that, because it means I did what I wanted to do, which was to say ‘look, I’m not 11
extraordinary, or freakish, or more damaged than anyone else and this is what happened with me.”
book brings to light this impossibly squalid life and how fathomable it is that anyone can end up there.
With a dizzying awareness, the book resonates the feeling of being close to the edge. In her early twenties, Kate moved into a share house in St Kilda. Kate blossomed in the vibrant bohemian scene. She found other dreamy souls, romanced poets and arty students. She joined a band and completed her honours thesis on the wild and passionate Anaïs Nin.
“A lot of the time, it’s actually very intelligent people who end up on heroin, and I think part of the problem is that you think you’re too smart to get addicted.”
Kate’s world was colourful and idyllic, until heroin was introduced. Surrounded by a rockstar aura, heroin was frightening, but alluring. “Heroin especially appeals to people who are very introspective and often very imaginative, creative, dreamy people.” It promised another fantasy world for Kate. “I thought ‘oh heroin, it’s terribly dangerous, but obviously I’m not going to get really stuck into it, I’m just going to experiment’.” Kate’s decision to try heroin was eerily straightforward. Her boyfriend had tried it, and she wanted to experience something new. Glowing with exhilaration and chemical rush, fear melted away. Kate was in command, but the rules she set herself quickly disappeared. “When I started using I set myself all these kind of thresholds, like, ‘I won’t borrow money to use’, because it was only about $25 a go at the start. Then the day came when I did borrow money, but I was like ‘well I’m going to pay it back tomorrow, so it doesn’t really count’. And then I wouldn’t. I’d say I wouldn’t miss out on doing something that I’ve organised just to do heroin. But then I did.”
Smart and newly graduated, heroin addiction was not where anyone expected to find Kate at age 23. Many people are terrified by her book because of this, especially parents with teenagers. “They find it very frightening, very disturbing, because they think, ‘Kate’s parents did everything right, and were loving and supportive and tried to raise her with great self-esteem and yet this still happened. If that doesn’t protect your child, then what does?’ “I don’t really have an answer for that,” she says. While Kate might not understand the inner workings of who she was back then, she hopes to describe the feeling of being surprised by where life takes you. “The story is about precariousness, but also about how you just follow your nose. “[When living with an addiction] you’re constantly running on this state of terror. Literally running to try and get another few hundred dollars together and get 'hold of the dealer and waiting for the dealer. So you’re flat chat. More than a full-time job, it’s a full-time life, just feeding your habit.” Driven by such powerful needs, I wonder if it’s possible to see beyond the next hit. Is there any space left to imagine a future?
Anaesthetised by the drug, there were only brief moments of clarity.
“It was hard to have hope,” Kate says slowly. “But there was never any time to stop.
“I remember just walking into the kitchen one night, quite early on and seeing my face in the reflection against the dark night outside. I looked so lost and that really shocked me… I knew things were skidding way out of my control, but I had already got up a lot of speed, as I headed down the slide, so it was really hard to pull-up.”
“There’s a momentum involved in that, but there’s also this kind of bloody-minded determination to survive. I think people don’t know what they’re capable of until they get there. You don’t exactly choose to turn your life into a wasteland, but I think at the same time, you have to take responsibility for what you’re doing.”
Piece by piece, Kate’s world collapsed. She ended up living in a decrepit boarding house, with little more than her boyfriend and the addiction they shared. Kate’s
Kate is certain that stopping was her choice alone to make. “The only person who could do that was myself,” she says. 12
"…the first time I worked I only did oral sex and it really wasn’t a very big deal. I thought, ‘well I might’ve done this at a party, but this time I got paid’.”
Kate spent five years as a heroin addict. Throughout this time she made many attempts to get clean. Failing made the agonising process all the more difficult. “I absolutely know that there were many years when I could not stop doing it. You know, it wasn’t a question of being weak or stupid or selfish. My level of fear around stopping was so great that I simply could not do it. And I did try, I mean I tried and I tried and I tried. “This is also what I think people don’t understand about addicts — they’re constantly trying to stop… There were times when I would give up stopping, and I would just let myself go and it was such a sense of sweet relief to think, well I’m powerless. I just have to go with it.” When Kate became a prostitute, it was an easy decision to make. She needed the money, but also believed it offered her a chance to retain her integrity. “I kind of went into it really thinking ‘this is the best thing I can do, because this way I’m not going to hurt anyone else’, and that mattered to me a lot. So I saw it as a kind of solution.” From the beginning, desperation threw her right into the deep end — working on the street in St Kilda. Even so, her first job wasn’t as bad as she thought. “I was nervous. My little heart was banging away, but it wasn’t really a big deal. And frankly, I’d been a pretty normal uni student and I’d had casual sex with people, so the first time I worked I only did oral sex and it really wasn’t a very big deal. I thought, ‘well I might’ve done this at a party, but this time I got paid’.” It wasn’t always so easy. Raised to value feminist ideals and studying feminist theory through university, Kate had initial fears about becoming a sex worker. Her preconceptions of the industry — sexism, oppression and exploitation — were fulfilled on numerous occasions on the street. Kate describes many grotesque encounters. It was a hellish world in many ways, but Kate’s situation improved when she left the streets and started working in legal brothels. This meant she was enfranchised as a subcontractor, in a legal profession, which gave her a new perspective. “I found that it was really an experience of opening up questions about how men and women relate together. It’s complicated because I was doing what a man asked me to do, but he was paying me, and I had the right to say no.” 13
Managing her addiction demanded intense self-interest, but sex work gave Kate an opportunity to reach out to others. “I got a lot of very shy guys — young, old, middle-aged — and they were nervous and looking to me for reassurance and I could give them that. I found that really powerful that here I was, such a fucked up person with such a fucked up life, but I could actually make someone else feel calm and good. That was really important to me.” Kate acknowledges the exploitation that some sex 'workers endure, but in her own experience the work gave her confidence and a sense of empowerment. All along the way, Kate found herself surrounded by strong women. “I don’t think I would’ve described any of them as victims and I don’t think they felt like victims. Most of them were there purely by choice — for the money. It’s a good job and we were protected in lots of ways. “I certainly get very annoyed with feminists who would say that I was first of all oppressed, and then secondly, so stupid that I didn’t realise that I was oppressed.” In an article for Meanjin Magazine, Kate talks about her former profession with an immense sense of pride. “I did feel like I was helping people. Lots of working girls speak about this part of the business [and] you feel a sense of great privilege and dignity doing it. Especially if you feel like you’re this complete pariah in society in every other way, as I did as a heroin addict.”
fake names, you take all their clothes off and you get such an opportunity for intimacy.” Sex work made Kate realise “that there’s nothing so terrible about being vulnerable”. This understanding gave her the courage to write an honest memoir. Recently a man wrote to Kate to say he had just found out that his sister-in-law had become a sex worker because of reading Kate’s book. “I don’t really know what to say to that! “I get letters from lots of people who’ve been sex workers, and some of them just say ‘your story is just like my story and I found it really valuable to see it represented’.” Men who visit brothels also write to her. “They seem to feel like they still have to be very secretive about what they do, and yet they go off, most of these guys, and have a really good relationship with the women [in the brothels] and respect them a lot. “The brothels were quite a safe place, where you could talk about things and do things that you might not be able to do in the outside world. And I guess that’s how I see my memoirs as well. In between the covers is a place I can put things and trust that the other person, the reader or the client, will respond sympathetically.” Speaking out has empowered others, but it has also helped her heal.
Kate also expresses sympathy for her clients and says that on many occasions her work was about much more than sex.
“It’s nice to help people out, because people have helped me out, a lot,” says Kate.
“I discovered so many very lonely men, who were just so isolated and really didn’t have anywhere else to find that kind of intimacy. There are a lot of men who go to brothels and say they just want to have sex — because they want to get rid of tension or they just like orgasms or whatever — but I think so much more of it is about physical contact. Babies like to be touched; adults like to be touched too.”
“Certainly for me, the really important thing was to keep my sense of dignity and treating other people with respect… Ultimately, I think it was because of this that I kept some kind of ethical existence. I could end up still respecting myself at the end of my time on drugs.”
Kate laughs, “I guess it’s not only them wanting comfort, because I wanted it too. I’m shy, I don’t like taking my clothes off in front of people at all. I found it incredibly moving, this experience of being naked with someone else who was also naked and both of us were vulnerable. One of the great privileges of sex work is that you have these two people and you put them in a room alone, under
After years of slaving to addiction, In My Skin ends with Kate’s recovery and her departure to Italy. This is where her second book The Romantic: Italian Nights and Days begins, as Kate tries to integrate back into society and navigate through the relationships she encounters in the confusing context of reality. “I think both of my books are about people trying to do the right thing and trying to find their heart’s desire and 14
Profile. often getting it wrong, or going in the direction they didn’t expect, but hoping and wanting to trust.” Kate’s trajectory follows a similar path to the Greek myths and fairytales she loved as a child and that continue to give her so much comfort . “When I was a junkie on the street, I wasn’t particularly thinking about the hero’s journey. I was just following my nose and it took me through all these different transformative experiences, because that’s how life works. Myths and fairy-tales have taken the form that they have because they are such good descriptions of what a life might be like; the magic transformations that happen to people.” Kate’s words are gentle, but firm. “Those classic stories are like that because that’s what human experience is.” Photos by Darren James
Caitlin Richardson I would never eat a cockroach, unless I was offered $50 by Mike Whitney from Who Dares Wins. 15
LOVE Ella Kearney
What did Zygmunt Bauman mean when he spoke of “liquid love”? Ziggy was talking about a symptom of modernity, whereby “…relationships are perhaps the most common, acute, deeply felt and troublesome incarnations of ambivalence”. He suggests that we are desperate to relate, yet wary of the state of “being related” and particularly of being related “for good”. So modern relationships are transitory, fluid and somewhat plentiful. This reminds me of Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and a Half Men*: never fully committing to one person, always on the look out for the new and improved model, i.e the chick with the biggest cans. Of course, that whore of Babylon needs rehab. For some people (one in every ten thousand) staying with one person for the majority of your life will be possible. These rare people happen to stumble across one another at a relatively early age and stay in love forevz. When all the intensity of the first few months of meeting wears off they still wanna make da babies. For everyone else, a collection of loves is likely – some will exhaust you, some will invigorate your soul and some will pull their pants up really, really high and do “hot poses” to make you laugh (these ones are the best). So where abouts are we at right now? “I’m not alone, it’s just a silly phase I’m goin’ through” “Hi there, it’s Larry from the Census. You will die alone. Forget what I said in the paragraph above…” As much I hate Larry, he’s right. ABS stats are showing that singleperson households are on the increase. Hell, I live alone and I’m 23. Sometimes I talk to myself when I wake up “What’s Ella going to do today?” I also call people on Skype who live about 5 minutes away and leave them up on the screen while I do things. So with more and more people living alone comes more and more loneliness. Real Dolls (those wax dolls which you can customize to suit your tastes: dense pubic hair please!) will undoubtedly become best sellers. “Hey, I can’t make it to stretchalates tonight, Celine (wax doll) wants to watch the box set of Frasier AH-gain.” We’re all gay We’re all gay – I don’t care what you say! No one is completely heterosexual. Most men, for example, no matter how ‘blokey’, will find it hard to say they would never pash their ultimate male idol. If Kelly Slater was 16
offering you a little kissy action, I know you guys would say yes. I just know. Women tend to be far less backward about coming forward (literally). The girls that don’t admit to ever thinking about getting freaky with another girl are the same girls that use pillows to create a barrier between their boyfriend and themselves during sleepy times (yes, that does occur). No more letters or flowers When was the last time you got a love letter? Emails and social network sites have killed the hand written letter. My last one was from a 65-year-old man who started visiting my workplace at an alarmingly frequent rate. It had a congealed chocolate toffee attached to the outside and included a poem that made no sense whatsoever, one line included, “Emerald tiger eyes of the jewel who
did not know…” Yes, I remembered the poem, it was my only love letter in a long time. Girls love love letters. A letter is about 50 billion times better than an email. If you are vying for a lady’s attention send her a beautiful letter. This is easier than it sounds. For those who struggle don’t underestimate the power of an acrostic poem. It seems boys have stopped buying their girls flowers because they think it’s cliché or corny (or they can’t be f’d). JESUS CHRIST, don’t you guys know the power of flowers? Not on a first date, but after the third. Don’t be shy player: Flowers = nakey time. *Two and a Half Men is the worst show in the world.
WE DON’T RIDE CAMELS Bec Chirichiello Their lives are divided between two countries. They live in Tasmania and study at UTas, yet they hail from Iran — the Islamic country George W. Bush described as the “axis of evil”. Today, I am meeting with Mona and Samin, two students who bridge that divide.
As Samin explains, Baha’I shares many core ideas with Islam. “We believe that the Baha’i religion is the latest one at the moment, [but] religion is continuous.” In other words, as times change, there is a new prophet and updated moral rules. For example, in Baha’i gossip is banned, and subsequently, partisan politics.
Mona is an Iranian international student who has spent the majority of her life with her family in Abu Dhabi. She speaks perfect English with an American sounding accent and is very direct. Studying her final semester of Business, she has a bob and wears an outfit that is well put together.
When the family were ostracised because of their religion they fled Iran. It was a hard trip to Tasmania.
Apart from the United Arab Emirates and Iran, Tasmania is the first place she has visited. “I was a bit hesitant to go to any other country. I had this fear of ‘how am I going to do it, how am I going to fit in?’” she says. Samin is a young Baha’I Iranian. His dark hair is short and he has a casual sense of style. Unlike Mona, Samin came to Australia as a refugee. When he and his family arrived in Sydney, he didn’t speak any more English than, “hello, how are you?” Samin and his family are all Baha’i, a minority religion whose followers are systematically persecuted in Iran. Under the Islamic regime they’ve been marginalised, imprisoned and attacked. When Samin finished school he was denied entry into university and blocked from getting any kind of government job. At this point I’m feeling slightly ignorant, and ask what Baha’i followers believe.
“When we decided to move to a third country, you are still not sure, your life isn’t very stable. You don’t know if the United Nations accepts you as a refugee or not. [Regardless] you have to move, you have to just throw everything in a bag and go forward.” His family fled to Turkey to wait for the UN to process their application as refugees. “We had a very hard life in Turkey, but when they accepted us, and when we moved to Australia, I think we found a new world and a lot of opportunities. When UTas accepted me as a student, I felt like ‘I am a person as well, I can study’. That was a really good time for me.” Both Mona and Samin had to deal with culture shock when they moved to Tasmania. Australians have some interesting labels for people, Mona says. “When I was in Abu Dhabi, for example, I never knew what a hippy was. My friends would go, ‘oh that guy is a bogan’. ‘What the… who? What? What do you mean by bogan?” “There are so many different types of people and groups in Tassie, so that was something that I really had to learn along the way. I did have a bit of difficulty trying to 18
“In Tasmania people have zero knowledge about Iran. I have been asked, “Do you travel between places in your city by camel or horses?”
understand people’s mentality. The culture that’s going on here, it’s really hard to grasp. It’s different point of views about things and different ways of how things are done. Coming to Tassie, it was like oh my god, what do I do?” She says she found people were friendly which helped a lot. The second challenge for her was figuring out the education system. “Our education system is completely different back home. We don’t have anything called referencing, we don’t have much essay writing. I had to learn all those, so that was a big challenge because my mission here is education, this is why I am here.”
“People actually have everything — top cars, money. Some people do struggle because of the economy and how the President has messed that up. Putting that aside, you’ve got really rich people, good suburbs, really nice houses, and food.” Samin adds, “[Iran] is actually a really nice place for tourists, because there is some really nice hospitality from Iranians.” Mona reciprocates.
When I ask about how they think Tasmanians perceive Iran they both suck in air and laugh.
“There wouldn’t be any problems. It’s such a tourist place; we do get lots of tourists. Iran is a huge country. One corner of Iran is completely different to another and they all have different stories. North is like Tassie, some parts are even prettier than Tassie. We have different dialects within our language.”
Samin says that in Sydney it wasn’t too bad, but some people here have some strange ideas.
What about the things Iran doesn’t have, like stable politics? Mona describes how big the 2009 protests were.
“In Tasmania people have zero knowledge about Iran. I have been asked, “Do you travel between places in your city by camel or horses?” He laughs.
“It was the Green Movement, the second movement since the Islamic regime. There was election and fraud. Overnight, ten million of the votes went from the opposition to the current President. People went into the streets the next day when they found out. People got shot, people got killed, and people got taken to the police station just because they voted.
Mona is also grinning. “I was out clubbing one night, typical Hobart thing to do, and I had this guy come up to me and be like, ‘Wow, where are you from?’ I go ‘Iran’ and he is like, ‘Is that part of India?’ And I was like, alright mate, good to talk to you, I’m going.” Mona paints a picture of Iran that is really different to the one I imagined. “It’s a beautiful country. We have so many historic sites, ancient culture. It’s just politics and media that are making people think really badly about Iran.
“I know a few people who actually got killed during the protests, or got tortured, whipped and what have you. The only sort of media that they could use was Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. That’s why you can find all the YouTube videos, anyone can type in ‘Iranian protest 2009’ and it will all come up.” Mona says that mainstream media was censored. 19
Interview. “Even radio stations, let’s say BBC Persia. They were giving signals from Iran to BBC Persia to censor information about the protest. Once they started talking about the protests they would just stop, and the TV would just go off or switch to something else.” Samin adds, “[Then] they banned Facebook. YouTube is also banned, and most of the news websites are banned. You cannot communicate with the world.” He says it’s not only the media being watched. “Mobile phones are being checked all the time. If you talk on the phones about the protest you will be arrested within a few hours.” Mona is still an Iranian citizen and travels on an Iranian passport, which does limit her travel options. “As far as I know, with an Australian passport you can travel to about 140 countries and with the Iranian passport, only around 40 countries.” Samin interrupts, “it’s less than that.” As part of being accepted as a refugee here, Samin is now Australian. Mona explains that as an International Student she will struggle to stay.
out their dressing skills.” Samin begins his answer saying, “Australian girls are really easy.” I look at him in shock. “I’m going to explain it! They accept other cultures easier than the Australian men. They are more open-minded. They are really beautiful, pretty, hot.” Much better. Through the interview our discussion has rolled from tragedy and serious politics to fun and laughter. With typical confidence, Mona says, “It’s been a roller coaster since day one. The one thing I love about living here is you’ve got nature and city life. But for me, leaving home has helped me realise so many things by being independent. It’s definitely made me enhance my personality and perspective about different things.”
“As a refugee the whole journey is tough and affects the person, but once you get your foot to Australia everything is ok. As an immigrant, everything is difficult. It’s easier to get here, but life is hard. Money is so much — I pay international fees which is almost double of what Australians would pay. On top of everything, the immigration process is a roller coaster as well, and a number of non-refundable fees need to be paid.” She urges Australians not to take their country for granted. “We have to go through so much because of a country that is politically corrupt. So one thing that I will tell people is not to take their government for granted.” After our serious discussion, Mona says that I should ask a fun question. So I ask: Aussies — hot or not? For the first time I struggle to get a straight answer. Mona tries to answer diplomatically, saying she doesn’t go for a nationality, then she gets honest. “I think there are some Australian men out there who just don’t give a shit. There is just such a boy thing going on and when they see a girl like me who has come from a different culture, they suddenly get all interested and then they start questioning things. Some of them wonder if it would be a tough ride being with a girl from a different culture, or whether their life would be more interesting. “For me, I’ve found it hard. Australian guys, some of them really just look dodgy. They just really need to sort
Bec Chirichiello I would never eat a scorpion, unless I had been reincarnated as Bear Grylls. 20
THE JEZABELS Max Ireland Max: You have been going from strength to strength since you started out in 2007. What were your expectations early on? Sam: We signed up for a band competition back then not really knowing what we were getting ourselves into. It turned out that we went alright in the band comp and then thought we might start taking it a little more seriously. Now we are here and I don’t really know what happened in between (laughs). We wanted to play shows — that was our biggest thing. So when the group originally came together how did you to start making music? Heather and Hailey had been playing music for a long time together. They grew up together and I knew them slightly because we grew up in the same area on the north coast of NSW. We met at uni so it was the three of us for a while and then I met Nick at the Café at uni and he was playing in a cool band that I didn’t know of. We started talking and I was like “Do you play the drums?” and he was like “Yep”, then I asked if he wanted to play in our band and we tried it and it worked. That’s the story. You play guitar in the band. There is something really unique about The Jezabels in that you have
no bass player. Does that mean that you have to pick up the slack? When we first started it took us a while to find out how our sound was going to work, because me and Heather used to both try and compensate for the lack of bass because it’s such a big part of the rhythm section. Now Heather does it mostly by herself. She has two electric pianos and her left hand is the bass. So we sort of do have a bass player, it’s just Heather will play the two parts. Which is good for me, now I can do the fun stuff instead of boring bass lines [laughs]. You’ve had a really busy couple of years, particularly over the last year. I’ve gone back and looked at all the festivals that you have. While you guys were backstage at this year’s Splendour in the Grass, were there any fan moments for the band? Any bands playing at the festival that you guys had been looking up too for a while? It was actually quite amazing. I grew up in Byron so I used to go to Splendour all the time. It was really funny I used to be obsessed with Gomez and they played on my 18th birthday which is July 20 [around the time of Splendour] and I lined up for about four hours to get their signatures one day and then this Splendour I just had a ten minute conversation with them backstage. You have a huge national tour and international dates coming up. The dates are gruelling going back to back covering metro and regional areas. Are there any techniques that you guys use to stay sane and keep out of each other’s hair? We don’t so much. If Tegan and Sara, who we toured with, have a show the next day, they won’t have any alcohol 21
on their rider. We have up until now taken tour as a fun thing and haven’t really done anything as extensive as that, so I think we are going to have to start using some techniques otherwise we won’t be able to make it. The first three recordings for the band were EPs. What appealed to the group about the format? After the first two EPs we thought that we would do another EP, because firstly, they are cheaper to make and we are independent. It’s so much cheaper, because the time is so much less in the studio and we can afford that. Also when you are at a show selling CDs or online you can get an EP for about nine dollars. It’s really good for our fans as well that they can get our music for cheap. So the EPs are Dark Storm, The Man Is Dead and She Is So Hard all have a really unique sound. You used the same producer for all three EPs is that right? Yep, Lachlan Mitchell he’s our man! He’s amazing! The release of your first full length album, Prisoners is just around the corner. What can we expect? I think it’s just an extension of Dark Storm, but with a deeper variety of song types. You can go further away from the norm on an album, because you’ve got so much more room. We had such openness in what we wanted to write for this album, so the songs are almost random, but it does sound really together as well. All the EPs have a slightly different sound, even from song to song. Does everyone in the band have a unique style of music that they’re into? We are totally four different people in regards to music. There are a few bands that we do all like, for example The National or Arcade Fire. We’re not obsessed with them, but other than that, if we are in a tour van we actually don’t put music on because no one really likes each other’s music [laughs]. We are about as different as you can get. At the moment, Gillian Welch has my favourite album — sort of folk country music, Nick’s into metal, Heather into classical and Hailey likes 80s pop, so it’s a pretty different make up.
Gomez played on my 18th birthday and I lined up for about four hours to get their signatures and then this Splendour I just had a ten minute conversation with them backstage. jumping in lingerie. Do you think that it’s the water making these people do crazy things or your song? [Laughs] Well, maybe it’s a “chicken or the egg” question. Water is essential for having a good time, but that song does strangely fit that scenario quite well. That was the first major ad that we had done and we were a bit iffy about it to begin with but then thought “oh well, it’s water so it cant be that bad [laughs]. Actually, there is a scene in the ad where it seems like there is a little bullying. The nice looking blonde girls do something to the Goths and we were going to turn it down, because it looked like bullying, but then realised it was all tongue in cheek. You guys are also doing a date in Norway in Oslo, so there is a good chance you might see all of these things just spontaneously happen. If people are enjoying the water and hear the song at the same time I just have no idea what’s going to happen… [Laughs] Exactly! We may have a crowd of men and women in lingerie! Which would be funny. Maybe that’s what they do over there to our music. You are also doing shows around Australia with a couple in Tasmania, including The Falls Festival over New Years. We don’t drink Imsdal water here so we probably won’t be stripping down to lingerie. What should fans expect when they come out to the show? We are working really hard on the production of our shows. It will be a step-up from what you have seen before with hopefully as many new songs as we can fit in there. It will be refreshingly new! Photos courtesy AAA Music
Just mentioning those genres you can almost see them coming together to make your sound. Yeah I think so. Just through a bit of digging on the Internet I found that your song “Easy To Love” featured on a commercial for the Norwegian water company Imsdal. In the commercial there are spontaneous haircuts, hitch hiking, horse riding and cliff 22
INBETWEEN DAYS Sobriety betwixt shenanigans. Rosie Hastie spent a couple of weekends drinking around Hobart to get a snapshot of the moments when people pause to swallow their intoxicated happenings.
Togatus. Rosie Hastie 27
DAN DEACON Thomas Friend
Thomas: “Drinking Out of Cups” is one of my favourite YouTube video’s. Wikipedia tells me that you didn’t make ‘Drinking out of cups’ on LSD, although whenever I show someone this video they say “Oh yeah, would be funny on acid”. Was Wiki right? Was it your intention to give it a crazy, acid fuelled vibe? Dan: I had no intention of that when making the audio. I'm glad people like it, but it’s disheartening to have something you create be short changed and passed off as an acid-trip. Overall it’s not a big deal, but it’s caused me to grow to resent the piece, which is a drag. I wish people like it for what it is, rather than trying to figure it out or justify it with some fake story about acid. I've never done acid and most likely never will, because of the negative stigma it’s brought to this video. Are you coming to Australia solo? This will be the first tour to Australia with the ensemble. It’s also the first tour with the new, condensed ensemble. I'm really excited about it. You obviously don’t suffer a lot of writers block with eight albums already completed in your short life. Why so many different record labels? I think a lot of American artists self-release or do lots of small releases on as many small or DIY labels as possible to help spread the word to as many different places as possible. My records with Carpark Records in the States were my first records that reached a mass audience. Before that most of it was very word of mouth. Does being from New York help with creativity and individual identity within the music world? I grew up on Long Island, which is a weird place — very different from how the rest of the world thinks it is. They think of New York. It’s strip malls, dudes [who are] into cars, working-class people mixed with rich spoilt people,
and it’s so close to the city that anyone who wants to escape easily can. After going to college in Westchester Country, NY — not on Long Island — I moved to Baltimore and started an art collective with some friends called Wham City. Baltimore and Wham City were, and are, 100 per cent the fuel to my creativity and individual identity within the music world. You have played a few festivals over the years now, have you ever heard of the Falls Festival? Yeah! I'm really excited about it. A summer New Years Eve is fucking insane to me! I can't wait! Can you give the audiences a snippet of what to expect during your set at Falls? Nope! I actually have no idea. The ensemble and I start rehearsals soon. The future will unveil this horse with no face. What is your favourite festival and why? [New Zealand’s] Camp a Low Hum Festival. It’s fucking sick. The best ever. It’s hard to explain in a few words. It’s like a pure glass of cold water in a desert. It’s the eye in the centre of your hand that’s been winking at you all night. It’s a cool dog wearing shades. It’s fucking fun. How are you feeling about coming to Tasmania? I'm a long time fan of Taz and Dizzy Devil, hopefully they come out. I know they are really busy, but it would be sick to meet them. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Tasmania is one of those places that doesn't seem real. It’s like a fantasyland. I can't wait to go there. It’s unreal. I don't even understand how it’s happening. Am I making any sense? Sorry if these answers make no sense I'm on acid. Just kidding. Compilations seem in vogue at the moment. If you had the opportunity, who would you like to 32
collaborate with? Werner Herzog and Eiffel Tower. In all honesty, Val Kilmer and I have started a "1000 year collaborative dynasty". Does it get lonely being a solo artist with no one to pitch ideas or simply play tunes with? I enjoy being a solo artist. I still work with a large group of people, even though I perform solo. Being in a collective and living in a city like Baltimore makes it easy to bounce ideas and to develop thoughts into reality. I live with some amazing people in my house, the band Future Islands, Ed Schraders Music Beat and the signer of Double Dagger live with me in a house in Baltimore. It’s a rad place. Also, my friend Bob and I have weekly meetings where we talk about concepts, performances, etc. Also, I have two rad interns that I am super pumped on and my producer, Chester Gwazda, is like that light that the beautiful Elf Queen gives to Frodo.
You seem to play a lot of festivals, do you prefer this over your own headline shows? No, I like them both for different reasons. Festivals are exciting because so many people are hearing and seeing the music for the first time. Headlining shows are fun because the people there are super excited and ready to rage. Both are super fun. Can you explain the track title Breast Cake/Penis Sleeve to me? You know, winter in the centre of the moon. If you had to do a cover of anyone, preferably a favourite, who would it be? “They Might Be Giants”. Photo from carparkrecords.com 33
REGURGITATOR Hannah McConnell Hannah: How has the Annual Sail Tour been so far? What have been the highlights? Ben: The tour's been really great. It's been really good timing for everything, like doing the record really quickly and getting the Triple J vote thing. Oh yeah, the Hottest 100 Australian Albums of all time, congratulations! Number 10, that's awesome… B: Yeah, so it's kind of nice timing with that and the shows have been well attended and we've had really fun shows. We really like the songs on the new record so we've been playing a lot of them, we've been playing like eight, nine or even 10 songs off the record. It's been really great fun. You guys have recorded albums in some interesting places… Tu-Plan was recorded in Thailand, Mish Mash was of course created in the Bubble in Federation Square, and Love and Paranoia recorded
in Brazil. How does recording a record somewhere a bit different add to the creative process? Quan: It's really about methodology for us I think. I don't particularly take in the environment I'm in too much, it's more like having that discipline, having that set time where you're not distracted by outside influences and often when you put yourself in really difficult positions that's all you really need. The bubble was hard… we only had three weeks. We had to do it there, so you just focus. And with our new record we only had three weeks to do the whole thing and mix it and write it and produce it ourselves and we just put our heads down and did it. Are you pleased with the reception that your new album, SuperHappyFunTimesFriends has received so far? B: Yeah, I think it's been good. Q: Everyone's been quite nice about it yeah. No one's said “ah it sucks!” 34
Interview. B: I really like it actually. Q: It's definitely been the best we've done for a while. B: I think this is the best album we've done. Q: We're not just saying that because we're talking about the latest album, it is our best one in a long time. Our last one sucked big time! [Laughs] B: Yeah we didn't like really like the last album. Would you say that you prefer to play more intimate gigs than music festivals where it's a huge crowd? Q: Well there are different perks. I mean festivals are really easy. Particularly somewhere like the Big Day Out, it’s just a really easy show for us, we can just relax and play a really short set. B: It can be a real buzz, but I think it's just harder to connect with the crowd. I probably prefer the small punkier gigs. Q: Yeah I wouldn't ever describe our band as like a stadium rock band, put it that way. We aren't that great at that sort of thing I don't think. Over about a thousand, I get a little lost. I feel a little bit too away from the feeling of the crowd. Regurgitator have been around for 17 years now… Q: Oh Jesus. Do you think you're going to be like the Rolling Stones and go on forever? Q: [Laughs] No… I don't think so. But I mean, while it's still fun, sure. And while we're not falling apart it's cool. But it is a challenge. B: I think it's cool with this band. I think if we just did one style of music, if we were just a ‘middle of the road’ rock band or something, doing ballads or something, we would have become bored ages ago. But because we do whatever style we want, we challenge ourselves a lot. It keeps it interesting. As well as doing other projects like doing scores for films or whatever and we do have big breaks between records. It's more manageable if we're not suffocating each other. Q: I think it's pretty healthy for us to have a sense of humour about what we do as well, we don't take it that seriously. It's almost like a pleasant hobby that we do… that also keeps us in wages and doing exercise, keeping us active. B: We're pretty fucking lucky really. Q: And none of us have fallen by the wayside either… in terms of drug addiction, we're pretty healthy.
though it's the first time we've ever been here, and I get really excited about it. Q: He has a really bad short-term memory. And I have a really shit long term memory. B: So together we're one person. One functional person. Do you play “Polyester Girl” at every gig? B: We've only just started playing it again. Q: We stopped for a long time. B: We didn't play it for like ten years. So you're back in Tasmania again in a few months for the Falls Festival and you'll be playing Unit in full, is that correct? Q: Yeah from start to finish. There's quite a few songs we've never played, or just once or twice off that record. Will you have to practice before then? Q: Oh yeah. B: Yeah, we'll have to practice. Q: Yeah we'll have to actually learn the songs! B: It's so weird going back over old songs trying to learn them, because you just don’t remember how to play them at all. But then again, we've forgotten how to play the songs on the new record as well [laughs] and that was only a couple of months ago! Q: This is the memory thing again…
Does it feel like 17 years? B: Time's so weird, because you can look back on all the things that have happened, but every time I go to Sydney, or a different town — like Hobart — sometimes it feels as 35
a day in hobart
Luke Bowden If you're a student at University, which in most cases if you're reading this you will be, then one thing you should have a lot of time for — or make some more time for — is free time. With that said, here are some of the favourite hidden treasures around Hobart that I used to indulge in (and at times to the detriment to my degree, over-indulge in) when I was a student. This guide is also fiscally conscious, so I've decided to stick to a $50 budget for the day. Pigeon Hole: Pigeon Hole Cafe Golbourn Street, Hobart Located in Goulburn Street, an ant-piss away from Hobart's CBD, is Pigeon Hole. Owners, Jay and Emma seem to subtlety get everything right: The space is intimate enough so you don't have to shout to be heard, the menu concise and the coffee extremely good. The menu has breakfast offering Eggs en Cocotte with prosciutto, soused onions and spinach [pictured] and a range of panini's that have been baked that morning by Jay. His bread — baked off-site, using a woodfired oven, organic flour and non-commercial yeast agents — is pretty amazing stuff and deservedly priced at $6.50 a loaf. The All Organic stall down at Salamanca Markets recently purchased 50 loaves from Jay, which sold-out almost before the sun came up. The next week they doubled their order, same result. Hill Street Grocers and The Wurtshaus also stock it through the week.
Op Shop: The Unicorn Opportunity Shop Lincoln Street, Lindisfarne (The entrance is a set of stairs next to a Chinese restaurant) I'm a self-professed op-shop aficionado. No doubt my housemate will deliver me a scathing tongue-lashing for revealing this hidden gem to the entire UTAS populace.
In my opinion; a good op-shop should never be tidy; sparsely lined racks of 'selected pieces' should always be avoided at all costs. Boxes of unsorted clothing squeezed under clothing racks is a dead giveaway you've found yourself in a good op-shop. Take a note of the volunteers working the counter — like the adage of red wine goes, the older, the better. The Unicorn Opportunity Shop in Lincoln Street, Lindisfarne ticks all these boxes, then some. The Unicorn is ridiculously cheap, so I could be forgiven for being rather perplexed when I went this time and noticed a sign at the entrance "Everything Half Price”, below another which read "Free Books". If you're into retro clothing and into paying next-to-nothing for it, then the Unicorn is going to become your best friend. I visit the Unicorn on this trip to find a suitable outfit for an upcoming tweed ride [dress in tweed, get a bike, ride to pub, drink pub dry]. I managed to snaffle a tweed jacket, drab olive woollen undervest (like the one your old science teacher wore) and a pair of corduroy slacks for the grand sum of $13 before discount. That left me with with a meagre $6.50 to hand over and walk out the door, although not before grabbing a couple of books, gratis, on the way out.
Knopwoods: Knopwoods Retreat Salamanca Place (Opposite Retro Cafe) Christian, the sole chef at Knopwoods, produces a constantly changing menu of great dishes at even better prices. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't know Knopwoods Retreat does lunch, for they only serve between 12–2pm weekdays. Even if you frequent Knopwoods, you may be unaware it even has a kitchen and you'll be forgiven for that as well, because it’s smaller than the fridge which holds the beer — no shit. If you are down there on a balmy summer's day and there's 30–40 people eating around you, remember one guy [Christian] is turning out all those meals single-handedly. Today, the menu offers pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower and chickpea dahl with rice and pappadums or mustard crusted salmon on puy lentils with garlic jus — both $9.50. 37
If you are down [at Knopwoods] on a balmy summer's day and there's 30–40 people eating around you, remember one guy [Christian] is turning out all those meals single-handedly. These are not small dishes either; while Christian is to my knowledge unbeatable at Scrabble, the term "portion control" doesn't seem to be part of his vocabulary. If you can't make it down for lunch, Knopwoods puts on the best chicken wings in Hobart on Friday and Saturday nights during happy hour (6:30–7:30) and in keeping with the theme of this article, guess how much they are? Not a penny.
Mona: Museum of Old and New Art Morilla Estate I work two evenings a week at the restaurant, Garagistes. Weekdays, the clientele consists heavily of interstate and international tourists, many of whom have come exclusively to Hobart to visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). This cultural Mecca is the largest privately owned art collection open to the public in the Southern Hemisphere and includes many Australian and international icons such as Sidney Nolan, Brett Whitley and artists who like to make moulds of chocolate cast from the remains of suicide bombers. If through your inexhaustible stupidity (a valid vilification) you haven’t visited MONA yet, you’re an idiot. It’s been open since January, it’s free, it’s a 10 minute drive/ $15 return ferry ride from Hobart and categorically, the most generous gift bestowed to this city and state by a single individual [David Walsh].
Women's Association) ladies and hence I've grown up on a diet of delicacies from there. If there was a frequent shopper program at the C.W.A store, I contend that Mum would have enough points to become a majority stakeholder. I assume my Mother frequents it so often because the C.W.A ladies donate a lot of the proceeds of sales to important charity causes and because they are the longest running women's organisation (70 years) in Australia. I go there because it’s cheap. If you're a sweet-tooth, then the C.W.A store will be heaven. It’s crammed with cakes, slices and other preserved edibles, which are cooked at home by 30 or so C.W.A members. I envisage that most of the delicacies for sale are prototypes, as those ladies trial and error and tinker with their cake recipes in rehearsal for the big dance — the annual Bream Creek Show’s cake competition, which no doubt the ladies from C.W.A have had a vice-like grip on since its inception. So grab a cake or slice, like the six chocolate cupcakes I picked up for five dollars [see photo] and invite five other friends round for afternoon tea.
Budget: Pigeon Hole (Breakfast and Coffee) = $14.50 Unicorn Op shop = $6.50 Knopwoods (Lunch and Beer) = $15.50 MONA = Free CWA Store = $5.00 TOTAL: $41.50
The newest exhibition, Utopia Now is now on. If you've ever been to Big Day Out or any music festival for that matter, watch Angelica Mesiti's, Rapture (Silent Anthem) and if it doesn't move you, there's something wrong with you.
Photos by Luke Bowden
Country Women's Association: Country Women’s Association Gift Shop Elizabeth Street, Hobart At my parent's house, there always seems to be some form of cake or slice purchased from the C.W.A (Country
Luke Bowden I would never get a tattoo unless it was of something I loved more than myself. 38
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR MEAT Claire Todd Just like babies aren’t found in a cabbage patch (although that episode of Round the Twist almost had me convinced), meat isn’t conjured up in the cold section of Woolworths. It has a story that every meatist should know (nonmeatists are of course more than welcome to read on as well). It’s not pretty at times, but knowing where your food is from and how it’s been treated is important. This is so because there are ways to be a healthy and responsible carnivore. Otherwise, it helps when talking to foodies: “Oh yes that grass-fed slow roasted Wagyu was divine!” So consider this Beef 101: you’ll learn some basics and if nothing else, you’ll take away the difference between scotch and eye — and even how to cook it up to impress the missus. Cows grow up in pens or on farms. The happiest (i.e. tastiest) cows will be found on farms where they are given roaming rights to pastures-aplenty. This freeranging method of farming is far better than conventional feed-lots, according to Gerard, who owns Organic Food Farm in Nichols Rivulet, south of Hobart. “If you grow organically the flavour is going to be better than anything else,” says Gerard. He farms according to the season and only raises cattle when there is enough grass available. He doesn’t use fertiliser or drench the cattle, which leads to a scrumptious bit of steak. Organic may be synonymous with hippy to some, but this way of growing cows is better for them, us and the land. “Adapting them to a system that’s as natural as possible is important, which is nutritionally good and is also
really good for the soil,” says Gerard. After a time spent frolicking amongst the daisies of the lush Huon Valley, Gerard’s cows are sent fat and happy to sale yards and ultimately, the abattoir. This is the part we give to our conscience and say “Do with this what you will — but preferably bury it deep in the back.” As demonstrated earlier this year in Indonesia, abattoirs can be ghastly places where livestock meet their end scared and uncomfortable. When footage revealed exported cows being tortured by abattoir workers, public sympathy overflowed and prompted the Australian government to rethink live export laws. It wouldn’t have been much of a surprise if half the meatists who saw the footage crossed over to Team Vegan, but owner of Cradoc Hill Abattoir, James Lord, says that, if anything, the issue has helped the industry by forcing people to reconsider their meat. “There is greater interest in the abattoir because of how it operates. It is low stress and we kill properly.” James, who unlike your average 26-year-old decided to buy a small-scale abattoir a couple of months ago, insists on low stress to the very end. “When stressed, all the adrenalin starts pumping throughout the body. It makes the meat go tough. So you need to not stress them out when they’re being slaughtered. We handle our stock quietly, we don’t use dogs or electric cattle prods. We walk them slowly. We spend an extra minute or two walking them up. We shoot or stun, so it’s instant death,” says James. Before being given a tour of the Cradoc Hill Abattoir that sits amidst the foggy hills of the Huon Valley, I summoned all my toughness, banished thoughts of lambs skipping in fields, and didn’t eat much. Thankfully, the nightmarish 40
Feature. scene of blood-drenched hooks, rancid stench with a one-eyed butcher didn’t materialise. Instead, the surfaces sparkled, livestock pens were warm and spacious, and employees friendly and professional. Every stage of preparation is systematic and meticulous — even dead animals are treated with care. This is a serious set-up determined to bring back local produce to a market that often buys elsewhere. “To just get steak out of the packet from Victoria or Queensland is far more disjointed than knowing the farmer and having an understanding of things,” says James. “It’s been very easy for us to lose touch of where we get our food from. But people are realising now there are better ways to do it.”
Humans have been eating fresh meat, particularly of the cow variety, for a good while now and will probably keep doing so unless Spam makes a comeback. Just like we’re encouraged to buy hormone-free chicken and organic vegetables, quality beef that comes from a welltreated cow seems to be the way to go. It might seem slightly more expensive and time-consuming to some, but considering there’s a whole industry working damn hard to serve our meatist tastebuds, everyone should seek out a good bit of beef at least once. And with happy cows all over the state, you won’t need to look far. So without sounding like an ad for Tourism Tasmania, we have it all here and you should be grabbing it with both hands and throwing it on the barbie.
Without driving to an abattoir every week, how do we go about sourcing the good stuff? Why, your local butcher of course! There’s something about a butcher shop: the freshly carved, plump-looking meat is lined up neatly and just screams, “Take me to your oven!” The smell is delicious in a strange vampirish way and standing behind the counter is usually a friendly man in an apron. He knows his stuff and can trim up a bit of porterhouse in no time. James Bracken of Greens Quality Meats in Sandy Bay is one such man. He also assures the meat at the butcher can be customised to suit budgets and is free from excess fat and various other yucky bits often found in supermarket cuts. James suggests scotch fillet (from the shoulder) for flavour, eye fillet (inside muscle of vertebrae) for tenderness and a rack of lamb at 180 degrees in the oven for half an hour for date night. He says students should know coming to a butcher is probably just as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying at the supermarket. “For the same grade eye fillet, you could buy it cheaper with us,” says James. Bonus points for Greens, who will be introducing student discounts very soon. Still can’t comprehend paying more for a bit of beef than you would for a meal at McDonald’s? Never fear. There are ways to keep up your protein, iron and calcium intake without breaking the piggy bank. Foodie extraordinaire and star of SBS’ Gourmet Farmer, Matthew Evans, says if you’re on a student budget, cured meat is the way to go. “It seems expensive, but a little bit can go a long way,” says Matthew. He says a couple of sausages can feed a few and by squeezing the guts out of one you get a flash pasta sauce. Of course, Matthew is very much on the ‘buy local’ bandwagon and genuinely believes we have some of the yummiest produce in Tassie. “The lush pastures mean animals have a bountiful diet and aren’t stressed which means there is heaps of flavour.”
Claire Todd I would never light up unless you turned me on. 42
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TWITTER REVOLUTION Fabian Brimfield We all had a Myspace account at one point. In fact, many of us still do. Our old profiles lurk somewhere in the back alleys of the Internet, huddled next to Hotmail and Yahoo, with a bottle of cheap sherry wrapped in its paper bag. Occasionally, a Google search will accidentally stumble across one and scoff at it, before going to a hot and happening party hosted by everyone’s friend, Facebook, with DJ Youtube on the decks. We would have taken MySpace out the back and shot it way back in 2008, if only we could remember the password. So it embarrassingly lingers, occasionally shouting lines from your assumed buried past, like “you used to wear eye shadow to school!” So what happened? Where did the relationship go sour? Well, we all grew up and Myspace couldn’t quite keep up. Our new found maturity saw us taking to status updates, non-customisable pages and a more minimalist blue and white design. When we all met Facebook, MySpace’s true colours began to show. It started to look like an annoying 15-year-old emo brat wearing too little clothing. Facebook was more about sharing, than showing off. However, the process of growing up continues and a similar evolution has started. Google+ has come to the party and is starting to trash-talk Facebook. They’re telling us that Facebook can’t be trusted, and with a few recent security scandals, who are we to disagree? Cue Twitter. Twitter is more like the amateur political commentator, who only drinks doppio skinny lattes and rides a fixie bike. The difference between Twitter
and the rest of them, is that services like Facebook and Google+ are evolutions of each other, slowly adding more features and integrating while trimming the fat that their predecessor left.
…things are always far more interesting when they come from a celebrity's mouth. Cameron Diaz: “going to the shop, lol”. Fascinating. Twitter, as many smarter commentators than I often like to point out, is a revolution. I know it’s hard to believe that a service that only lets you type 140-characters at a time can compete next to the photo-uploading, game-playing, video-sharing behemoths like Facebook, but already Twitter has been credited for ousting leaderships, breaking news quicker than CNN and causing civil uprisings all over the world. Just ask Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak. The best Facebook has been credited with is creating a few red faces when last Saturday night’s photos are uploaded, and a Hollywood blockbuster, Social Network. However, unlike more learned social network commentators out there, I believe our fascination with Twitter has more to do with Lady Gaga than mobilising civil insurrections. It used to be that when a celebrity had an online presence, it was strictly vetted and controlled by their publicist or media team. Now, they have a direct link to their fans and followers. They can ‘talk’ to their fans directly and things are always far more interesting when they come from a celebrity's mouth. Cameron Diaz: 44
“going to the shop, lol”. Fascinating. While Justin Beiber may not be able to overthrow an oppressive Libyan regime, he does have an army of 12-million 14-year-olds. So powerful is the celebrity tweet that Stephen Fry has the capacity to bring down nearly any website if he tweets about them. This is usually followed with an “oops, did it again” tweet as if to brag about his three million strong follower base. Though celebrities are by far and away the most followed subset of people on Twitter, companies and corporations are starting to get in on the action as well. When the recent Chilean volcanic ash cloud that delayed hundreds of flights in and out of Australian cities, it was far more likely to get a useful response from the Virgin or Jetstar Twitter accounts than waiting two hours on a telephone. Similarly when I was overcharged on my phone bill last month, I was able to sort it all out with Optus over Twitter!
Twitter is like the amateur political commentator, who only drinks doppio skinny lattes and rides a fixie bike. So what am I trying to say here? Yes, Twitter is almost entirely made up of celebrities describing how their farts sound, freedom fighters trying to topple dictatorships, and over-opinionated arts students. BUT the technology breaks away from the mainstay formula of the big social network giants like Facebook, and Google+ by being more simplistic and restrictive. So if you’re interested in a communication platform that has the potential to stick around longer than Facebook or Google+, then give Twitter a whirl. Image by Hayley Francis
Then of course there is ‘TV Tweeting’. When Masterchef is on TV, my Twitter feed becomes inundated with tweets like “OMG HAYDEN IS SO HOT #MASTERCHEF”. When Q&A is on, my Twitter feed gets flooded with poorly formed political commentary. The difference being, is that poorly formed political commentary can sometimes make it on TV. 45
WALKING AROUND TASMANIA Jessica Hancock “It is acknowledged even by all the rival colonies that of all the colonies Tasmania is the prettiest.” – Anthony Trollope, 1873 Tasmania is an island bounded by pristine beaches and dramatic cliffs, dotted with rugged dolerite mountains swathed in native flora and winter snowfalls, hoarding some of the last temperate wilderness remaining on earth. So, to say the least, it’s worth exploring. And the best way to see most of the isle’s natural attractions is by bushwalking. There are walks in Tasmania for all levels of fitness and experience, and the landscape offers everything from waterfalls to alpine peaks. There is a plethora of information about walking in Tasmania, but here are a few of my favourites.
Mt Field National Park, 1½ hour drive north-west of Hobart This National Park offers a day walk out to the spectacular Russel Falls, but the real highlight is the 4.5 hour return walk along the Tarn Shelf. An enormous ledge of small, alpine lakes, it is also one of the best locations to see fagus (Nothofagus gunnii), Tasmania’s only deciduous tree, and has one of Tasmania’s two ski tows (the other being Ben Lomond).
Tasman Peninsula, 2 hour drive south-east of Hobart Heralded as the new Overland Track, this proposed walk will encompass the dramatic southern coast of the peninsula when it is completed in two year’s time. But, to see the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere before everyone else does, Cape Raoul (5 hours return), Cape Hauy (4 hours return) and Cape Pillar (overnight) comprise all the Three Capes in separate walks.
Walls of Jerusalem
Walls of Jerusalem National Park, 2 hour drive south-west of Launceston Though this could be attempted in a single day, the Walls really demand at least an overnight walk to be truly appreciated. An uphill hike brings you to the Central Walls: an enormous natural amphitheatre of Jurassic dolerite peaks rising above alpine tarns, their Biblical proportions Christened appropriately.
Freycinet National Park, 2–3 hour drive east of Hobart or Launceston Clichéd… but still immensely satisfying, this 3 hour return stroll brings you to the beautiful Wineglass Bay, 46
Feature. overlooked by the granite figures of The Hazards. This beach has been voted as one of the world’s top ten, and with such a short walk, a picnic (including some of the fine local namesake) this can be a superb way to spend an afternoon.
Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park, 2–3 hour drive from Hobart or Launceston Tucked behind the four-lane highway of the Overland Track is this magnificent jewel of Tasmania. Parks recommend a day walk into the Labyrinth (4–5 hours) to avoid environmental impact, with a base in the fairytale forest of Pine Valley 4 hours walk from Narcissus Hut, accessed via ferry across Lake St Clair. The Labyrinth itself is an elevated plateau of alpine lakes and more fagus, dominated by the encompassing peaks.
Tips: - Be prepared, which in Tasmania means packing for the potential of cold and wet weather. - Research a walk before you go (a good starting point is the Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania website). - Check the weather before departing, and tell someone where you are going! - To borrow gear and walk with fellow university students, join the UTas Bushwalking Club firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: Tasmanian University Bushwalking Club
CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES Sophie Clark These days New York-based singer-songwriter Jessica Poland is best known by her moniker, Charlotte Sometimes. The whimsical connotations of this name, however; starkly contrast the many personal struggles she has faced during her life. This contrast is also reflected in her song-writing, and Poland, 23, acknowledges that her experiences have deeply impacted on her music.
dance grew and in the high-pressure atmosphere and the sport’s extreme emphasis on physical appearance, her condition only worsened. After discovering a passion for playing the guitar at age 14, Poland begun on the path towards a musical career, spurred on by the discovery of a creative outlet for her emotions that was not as focused on her appearance.
“I think darkness will always play a big part in my writing. I am equal parts sweet and dark, and I have a lot of darkness in my background, but what shines through in my music is my innocent heart.”
“Music has filled all the gaps and holes in my life. When I was going through my eating disorder I really looked to music to heal my wounds. So often those suffering eating disorders don't want help and often feel the only thing that's in control is exactly what's out of control. Music was a way for me to deal with all these intense feelings I was going through while I was recovering.”
Having been adopted as a child, Poland was first introduced to her birth mother when she was 13-yearsold. Around the same time as this, she began a struggle with anorexia nervosa. Her interest and involvement with
In 2004, Poland, a New Jersey native, signed with the New York based Crush Management team. However, this major development in her career also signalled the beginning of another significant personal struggle. 49
So often those suffering eating disorders don't want help and often feel the only thing that's in control is exactly what's out of control. Poland was shocked to learn that her ill health at the time was the result of Idiopathic Condylar Resportion, an incredibly painful condition that led her to undergo serious facial reconstructive surgery. “Suffering from Condylar Resorption was not fun. I thought my nose was getting bigger and I was getting an over-gap in my teeth. Then I realised my face was moving backwards, the bones in my jaw were disintegrating, causing pain and an abnormal look, [which led] doctors to think my jaw could fracture at any moment — not so good for a singer. I was devastated.” Despite the pain she felt during this time, Poland says she is ultimately thankful for the experience. “It has made me such a tough chick — I can handle anything. I am so lucky I had an amazing surgeon that fixed me up and now I don't have it anymore. No more pain, no more worrying! And now I hope I can help other young women suffering from it by giving them hope and an awesome surgeon to call!” Following the success of her facial reconstructive surgery, she continued to strive for her dream of forging a professional music career. Poland eventually signed with Geffen Records, a label owned by Universal Music. In 2008, she released her debut album, Waves and The Both of Us, as Charlotte Sometimes. In the wake of the album, Charlotte Sometimes landed in the annual “Top 100 Bands You Need to Know List” released by The Alternative Press and this led to an exhaustive touring schedule. Despite the critical acclaim received by her debut album, Poland eventually separated from her record label and management team, frustrated by her stressful experiences within the music industry.
In 2010, she also began working with a new full-time band, including guitarist Michael Reid who has also worked alongside Regina Spektor. When I talked to Poland she was working hard writing and recording new tracks for her most recent EP, The Wait, which was released in August this year. Poland is extremely enthusiastic about The Wait and is excited about having the opportunity to share her new songs with fans. She believes The Wait reflects a more mature side to her song-writing, perhaps demonstrated by the cover art, photographed by Carl Timpone, depicting a pensive Poland flanked by tearful Sirens clad in ethereal pink dresses. As well as working hard to promote her latest EP and working on new songs, Poland has begun to work on a project called Sophie+Jessie with her friend and fellow singer, Sophie Dupin. “Sophie is one of my best friends. We met about a year ago and just hit it off. We are currently running Sophie+Jessie as a writing/production team. We write songs for other artists and help them find their sound. It's a blast.” Lastly, I ask Poland if she could explain a little about her eye-catching tattoos and their significance. “I love tattoos. I have an airplane one which is for my Pop. He was a pilot and it reminds me to be the pilot in my own life. Then I have one that says ‘Charlotte’… well, duh — and I have another that is from a Postal Service song, called ‘Brand New Colony’. I love that song and it reminds me of idealistic love — and to not settle for some loser!”
However, in 2010, she entered the studio once more and recorded a brand new EP Sideways. Poland released free tracks online as a way of saying thank you to her fans for their continued support. Poland tells me the fan reaction to Sideways has been overwhelmingly positive, “They all really loved it. My fans are awesome and stick with me through all my changes and I am full of gratitude for that.” 50
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Tasmania University Union Student Magazine / Quarterly Publication. 52