Issue 20.04 July 2012 | www.unilifemagazine.com.au
olidays are over. How depressing. But uh, uni is back, and that’s also fun, right? While I’m sure everyone had a good break, it’s business time once again, so we’d like to offer a friendly welcome back to continuing students, and an even friendlier (but not too friendly, that would be weird) welcome to new students. Just as a heads up for anyone who’s reading our mag for the first time, WE NEED CONTENT! Take an interest in your student magazine! If you’re keen to write, email Head Editor Catherine.Moore@ unisa.edu.au, or check our website at unilifemagazine.com.au.
Now without further ado, between the covers of this issue you’ll be finding out about the Friend Zone from a guy’s and girl’s perspective, getting the low-down on polygamy, pondering the mystery of the Aussie bogan, and partaking in a semi-debate about the positives (lol what?) and negatives of South Australia’s transport system.
If you’ve got any questions about timetables, courses, or programs, head to Campus Central, and they’ll sort you out. Questions about student life? Life in general? Head to the UniLife office for enlightenment. Oh, also, it’s not too late to join a club! Visit unilife.edu.au/clubs for more info.
‘Til next time,
At the risk of sounding preachy, we’d like to offer you some advice. It’s the start of a new semester, so take your time, slow down and ease yourself in. We all know the first few weeks of a new study period are pretty tame, but sadly the days of tranquility will be numbered. Use them to explore your campus and meet new people; we promise you’ll find something/someone interesting. Due largely to holiday times, this issue is a bit of a mixed bag. Lack of uni meant lack of uni events, and also a lack of contributors (though we love the ones who did send us content). Therefore we decided to fill our pages with whatever was offered.
Also this issue, prepare your mind, body, soul, and wallet for a psychic experience, join the debate on religion, feel sick after reading about the Chocolate Crawl, and find how the KI trip went.
Cat, Tom, Sam and Sean. As always, many thanks to: Writers, illustrators, photographer and our sub-editors.
President’s Message 02 The Friend Zone (Guys) 03 The Friend Zone (Girls) 04 Dessert Bar Crawlin’
My One-on-One with a Polyamorist
Kangaroo Island 12 Calendar 16 Horrors of the H 20 18 P.T. Pride 20 The Bogan Within 22 A Uni-Going Atheist’s Guide to Religion
Psychic Ted 26 Magic at Mawson Lakes 28 Sleepy City No More 30 Cosplay, You Say? 32
Cover art by Zezette Lindqvist Visit www.unilifemagazine.com.au Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @unilifemagazine UniLife Magazine is an affiliate of UniLife Inc. Published 23/07/2012
SSAF. What’s the Deal?
k guys, you would’ve noticed that you have to cough up $260 out of nowhere at the start of this semester. Money you could have spent on the things you probably don’t need but make you feel good or bad whatever the case may be. It now goes to the Student Services Amenities Fee, and if you haven’t been reading up about it on unilifemagazine.com or going to the UniLife Forums, then I guess you’re a little bit lost about the hole in your pocket. So to help clear things up, we sat down with UniLife President Melissa Davies to talk about it. What is SSAF? SSAF stands for Student Services and Amenities fee which is legislation that was passed by Commonwealth parliament (not the university) in October last year. In 2012, all UniSA SSAF-applicable courses are charged at $7.31 per unit, up to the maximum of $263. What has SSAF got to do with students? It means the university will have to charge us (the students) a compulsory fee to support things that are of a non-academic nature starting from Study Period 5 2012. What is SSAF’S purpose? The purpose of the SSAF is to increase campus culture and to improve the student experience at university. Is this good or bad news for students? UniLife and I believe it is fantastic news for students! Many studies show there is a direct correlation between time spent on campus and grades.
The more time you spend at uni, the higher your grades! Also, involvement in nonacademic activities builds social skills that make you more employable. We are also hoping the fee will stop students from dropping out of uni. Is UniLife getting any of the money? UniLife will be receiving a portion of the money, which will go towards increasing campus culture. Everything we receive will go straight back to the students in various forms. The UniLife student reps that you voted onto the UniLife board will be talking to heaps of you and asking YOU what YOU want the money to be spent on. Where can you find more information? If you want UniLife to provide more services with your SSAF money, make sure you let the university know by visiting a UniLife office or talking to your campus rep. If you want any more information, type in ‘SSAF’ on the UniSA website.
Writer: Paul Bidmeade
Friend Zone – A Guy’s Perspective
o man wants to hear the ‘F’ word come out of an attractive female’s mouth. “I really like you…as a friend.”
But I’m here to tell you why being in the friend zone can be a good thing. You always have a wing woman.
Dinner parties require dates. Couples will sit on opposite sides of the table, eating food off each other’s plates, playing Pictionary and charades, and I’ll be the awkward loner having to join a team of three. Now I love charades, Pictionary and most importantly, food, so I don’t want to miss out on going to something that combines them.
As much as your mates like to think they’re the best wing men, having a female on your side has obvious advantages.
You always have a relationship counsellor.
When your lady friend approaches another girl in the bar and comes out with Barney Stinson’s famous pick-up line, “Have you met Ted?” the recipient may find herself intrigued, and actually may want to meet ‘Ted’.
Why waste your money when all you have to do is call a female friend to talk about your dating dilemmas?
There haven’t been any psychological studies on why this occurs, but I think it’s because women trust the judgment of their sisters.
As fun as it sounds being a Casanova and pulling a different girl every night, most of us are eventually going to want to settle down and start a family.
Couples therapy costs up to $250 per session.
A possible wife?
You gain a caring and nurturing friend. A woman can become your best friend. Friendships between men and women often have a greater openness and honesty than their same-sex counterparts. You always have a plus one for dinner parties. At 21, I haven’t really reached the stage where my weekend plans include dinner parties. But as more of my friends start to get into serious relationships, I can see more dignified plans on the horizon.
So stop playing Céline Dion’s ‘All by Myself ’ and connect with the woman you have formed a close bond with over the years. Your solid friendship will ensure a happy marriage – you’ve been able to stand each other as friends for so long, after all. If it’s good enough for Monica and Chandler, it’s good enough for me. As life continues to pass us by at this frantic pace, we often take for granted the connections we make with people. It is now more important than ever to cherish the friendships we make.
Friend Zone – A Girl’s Perspective
nrequited love is a bitch and has been since the dawn of time. From Cervantes to Sarah McLachlan, the sting of one-way desire is a nigh universal experience. Nowadays, it’s commonly referred to as that curious social trope – the Friend Zone, a metaphysical distance at which a hopeful lover is held by the object of their desire. Refused any further advancement, they languish in this dark wasteland, desperately hoping their loved one might have a sudden change of heart and run into their arms. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable analogy. The passive-aggressive accusation in it is palpable – how dare they keep me here, the Friend Zoned cries, how dare they give me something as paltry as their friendship when I deserve so much more! Friend Zoning is the thwarting of a ‘natural’ journey from acquaintancehood to friendship, and then to romantic and/or sexual entanglement. To the Friend Zoned, friendship is failure. Is that healthy? Is that the attitude you want your friends to have to your companionship, affection and trust? It gets even uglier, as so many things do, on the Internet. The archetypal Friend Zoned is a man, ‘friend’ to a woman, who doesn’t see him as a romantic prospect. The passive-aggression generally devolves into outright misogyny. Ironically, these men often proclaim themselves “nice guys” – hapless victims of terrible women who exploit them for emotional intimacy and support, then refuse to reimburse them for these services with their bodies. Because that’s how relationships work for men, right? You trade boring crap like “human interaction” for the commodity that is sex? Relationships are a battle in which the woman fights to keep the sex/intimacy ratio low, and the man fights to keep it high. Friendship is the ultimate defeat – all intimacy, no sex. Remember, men: if you’re friends with a woman, you’re letting those bitches win. But women can love unrequitedly too. And somehow, the female Friend Zone is not as common a trope in fiction. The cause is hard to nail down. I suspect it has something to do with that underlying patriarchal assumption that for a woman, pure friendship is the ultimate victory and not to be bemoaned at all. The glorious benefits of a relationship (they have to listen to us talk about our feelings! Triumph!), without having to trade any sex for the privilege.
Writer: Lucy Haas Artist: Alexandra Stjepovic-burgess
Because as we all know, ladies, the less sex you have, the better. Otherwise, we’d be sluts – and then how will any man ever want us again? (But you’d better have just enough so they don’t call you frigid! What on earth would we do without society to police our sexuality for us, right girls?) There’s actually a universally simple solution to the ‘Friend Zone’. It’s called ‘human language’, or ‘being a goddamned adult’. And, contrary to what pop culture is apparently willing to admit, your gender doesn’t change a damn thing about what you need to do. You tell your would-be lover exactly how you feel. Because until you do that, they don’t know – and no, I don’t care how much you’ve batted your eyelashes or flexed your abs or whatever newfangled courtship rituals the kids are into these days. You use your words. You get the message across without ambiguity, and then you find out how they feel. Congratulations! You’re now out of the Friend Zone. You’re in a much more adult place, having a mature discussion about your feelings with a potential romantic partner. If they like you back, great! If they don’t, now you know. Either way, you now have the power to get on with your life. Maybe don’t see them for a while so you can recover and refocus your romantic lens to more distant horizons. If for any reason you can’t tell them, then don’t tell them, fine. But own that choice. Do what you have to do to get past them. It sucks, but so does wallowing forever in the mud of self-pity like an angsty hippopotamus. The ugly secret of the Friend Zone is that nobody but the ‘victim’ has the power to get out. Even God himself can’t make somebody fall for someone they don’t love (as we learned from Jim Carrey’s excellent documentary, Bruce Almighty.) The Friend Zone is your self-imagined, self-inflicted punishment for being a coward about your feelings. Grow a spine and get out of there because once your battered heart has healed, guess what? You’re friends with someone awesome. P.S. Friendship is not a consolation prize.
Photo manipulaiton artwork by Zezette Lindqvist (left and right)
Dessert Bar Crawlin’: Delicious Adventures in Nausea
s much as we want to deny it, pub crawls are an essential aspect of university culture. Most uni students don’t go three months without tagging along on a pub crawl, with bruises, stories and headaches galore to show for it the next morning. And it’s no wonder considering every social, sporting and even academic club has an annual pub crawl. It’s a go-to icebreaker. Increasingly, however, people are looking for an alternative to this long-held, proud tradition. Preferably, an alternative that doesn’t end with staggering down Hindley Street at 3am looking for your shoes – and your dignity. With the recent popularity of dessert bars in Adelaide, could a Dessert Bar Crawl fit the bill? Owner of Devour, Quang Nguyen, said local dessert bars’ individuality offer a viable alternative to pub crawls. “What makes Devour unique is its playfulness. There’s a lot of play and deconstruction.” Nguyen said it’s the social potential of dessert bars that makes them so popular. “It’s good to have a place to hang out that isn’t a restaurant or a bar.” There are some key similarities; all of these places are social, kind of expensive and can leave you throwing up in a gutter.
But in our scientific analysis of the matter (i.e. we went to a bunch of dessert bars and ate things with people), we discovered that there are also important differences. Our journey began in Prospect, at Devour. With the creative display of unbelievably delicious food, it’s easy to understand why Devour is one of the most critically acclaimed dessert bars in Adelaide. Devour has a tranquil atmosphere, so if you’re looking for a place to sit and chat without the deafening roar of dubstep, this might be the place for you. (Particularly if you’re partial to well-presented chocolate fondants and peanut butter ice cream.) Next we headed to Chocolatree in North Adelaide, where we feasted on all things chocolate. With a clatter of cutlery that could almost pass for dance music, Chocolatree’s vibe was much more bustling than Devour’s. At Chocolatree, the desserts were enjoyable, but the hot chocolate was their real specialty. We would thoroughly recommend the fantastic Butterscotch Blondie. At this point, we feel that we should also point out that if you’re not sharing your desserts, it’ll probably end badly. Like, seventeen-tequila-shots badly. The Aviary, in Norwood, was our third and unexpectedly final destination. It was casual with a quirky atmosphere. Unfortunately by this point, certain members of our party were looking a little green so we decided not to continue.
Writers: Jamie Bowd and Paige Mulholland
Weâ€™re starting to wonder if throwing up is a prerequisite of university social life. But if one has to hurl it should be because of the mouth-watering flourless chocolate cake or flower pot dirt, which is better than it sounds. Two important lessons were learned that night. Firstly, unless youâ€™re incredibly lucky (or unlucky, as the case may be), there are limits to how many desserts you can physically consume. Secondly, dessert crawls are fun, and a good way to socialise without alcohol or expensive cab fares.
Realistically, nothing will replace the pub crawl. Heinous t-shirts and two dollar vodka shots will always have a place in our hearts. Yet for those seeking a more intimate, relaxed, chocolatey atmosphere, we thoroughly recommend Dessert Bar Crawls; your liver will thank you. Your waistline, however, may not. Disclaimer: We accept no responsibility for any resulting food comas, diabetes or crimes committed while on a sugar high.
My One-on-One with a Polyamorist
“Polygamy is illegal in the majority of Western countries, though in some Asian and Middle Eastern regions, the concept is quite common, if not expected.”
offee with a polyamorist is not your everyday occurrence. Now let me just point out this wasn’t a date or an interview for partner number whatever, but a chat with a good friend. Many people frowned upon my liaison with this person or had various questions to ask. Yet most of us know people who cheat, flirt with others or live by the philosophy ‘kissing doesn’t count’. Perhaps polyamory and polygamy aren’t far out of place in our pluralist society; if we’re allowed to have multiple religions, several political beliefs and identify with different cultures, why can’t we have more than one partner?
Writer: Brodie Paparella Artist: Nicky Irvine
For those of you who aren’t tainted by the Arabian Nights concept of one man and his harem of wives, a ‘polyamorist’ is a person who engages in multiple relationships and a ‘polygamist’ is someone in multiple marriages (think Big Love). Contrary to popular distaste, all parties usually know each other and emphasise safety and understanding in their relationships. Polygamy is illegal in the majority of Western countries, though in some Asian and Middle Eastern regions, the concept is quite common, if not expected. This trend is linked to Christian scripture, a long-time denouncer of polygamy, and the “sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman” has continued to be the Christian conservative’s answer to this matter. Back to me and my latte, polyamory itself is not restricted by law, but my friend hints ‘if this were true, then everyone would be doing it’. This issue is topical for two reasons: Firstly, polygamy is the main defence for opposing equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian people. The logic is if we let two consenting adults marry who aren’t man and woman then all hell will break loose (….), and secondly US presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a charismatic man who happens to be a Mormon. The polygamy stereotype haunts the Mormon community as its religious teachings are not opposed to the concept. Some may even think, given Romney’s background, he might be ‘hiding’ other wives and children, affecting his chances at the next election.
My coffee date explained to me that polyamory is the ability to express oneself in numerous ways. In the past, strict traditions and social roles thrived in a monotheistic, mono-curricular, mono-occupational culture. Today, some people reject the belief one person can completely fulfil the needs of another person. Those who are pro-monogamy might choose to talk about the concept of intimacy through complete commitment and compromise. However, my friend told me sacrificing one’s own desires for the sake of society and propriety is a carryover concern from a world without the internet or Christina Aguilera’s ‘Stripped’ album. In Western society, people are far more comfortable with flaunting their sexuality and the global village is too big to be worried by the tradespeople not doing business with you because of your reputation. Our world has changed to such a great extent that the old-hat concept of relationships should be scrapped, and an individual’s right to make the rules for their personal interactions acknowledged. The fact is that for the most part a person is not characterised or summarised by their intimate life, in the same way a person is not by their lack of it. Perhaps polyamory’s problem is simply the way we react to it, and the way we talk about it in such a titillating and taboo way. I’m sure in a closed-eyes poll most people would say they’re envious of the sexual fluidity and romance that polyamorists feel. As for the rest of us? Well if you ask me, just getting one partner is hard enough!
So when did this all become other people’s business? 11
â€œWe ended up planting about 25,000 trees that day. Pretty awesome effort if I do say so myself.â€?
Kangaroo Island – The Lowdown
ead Editor Catherine Moore went to UniLife’s Kangaroo Island Tree Planting Festival to plant what she’s butchered from constant printing throughout her student life. This is her story.
Writer: Catherine Moore
DAY ONE: I rocked up at the Adelaide Bus Depot and found I was the only one there. Panic attack! After calling the office and finding out if I had the right destination, I settled for a coffee and waited for people to trickle in. It was then all aboard for two hours to get to the ferry. Ah, the ferry. What a topsy-turvy 50 minute adventure that was! You couldn’t walk straight and some of those who put on a brave face saying that they wouldn’t chuck, did. I was one of the lucky few who were not swayed by the rough seas to regurgitate my watermelon Mentos and coffee. By the time we reached the KI shore it was starting to become twilight, so we hopped back onto the bus to journey on to the Homestead where we were staying for two nights. Some slept in bunk beds, others (including myself ) in tents.
So for the rest of the night I rocked out to Wham! (the only music there) and played a drinking game with students using Austrian cards, which were odd because they started at 6. I then decided to brave the elements and went to bed.
You’re meant to share your tent with another person; my tent buddy, though, scored a bunk on arrival. Even though I was offered a bunk as well, I decided to rough it out in the constantly pouring rain and ankle-deep mud. But to sleep in the freezing cold I was either going to have to eat heaps (like you do at Christmas until you’re sleepy) or consume alcohol – both of which were provided in abundance throughout the trip.
DAY TWO. No hangover. Heh. I was, however, freakishly cold so I went to have a shower. The shower was gloriously hot, but the water literally attacked you. It hit you like stinging needles and meant you either wanted to get out quickly to save yourself, or stay in there because you didn’t want to face being nakey in the cold too soon. 13
Eventually with the threat of no breakfast, I scrambled to the common room to consume food. (At some point during the morning I procured a bunk and so I was now a bunk bed camper.) After brekkie, bunk bed campers were ushered onto the bus to our tree planting destination. The tent people would be coming later. Our lovely bus driver got lost on the way but we found our destination at the end of a long muddy road. (Thank God I bought gumboots!) From 9-5 we planted trees on muddy/rocky ground. It was tough, I’m-going-to-be-incredibly-soretomorrow, work. Tent people came eventually, and then they disappeared around 3pm to go for a hike somewhere to pitch their tents. We ended up planting about 25,000 trees that day. Pretty awesome effort if I do say so myself. Afterwards, we came back to some glorious food made by UniLife staff, chilled by the fire and then went to bed. DAY THREE Day three was a mad pack-up, before we toured around the island sightseeing.
Our first stop was Remarkable Rocks, where people tried to guess what the formations looked like. I think the most popular definition was by Sooti, our travelling pseudo-mother. It had something to do with Prince William’s genitalia after his marriage. It was later redubbed ‘Sooti’s Remarkable Cock’. Next was Admiral’s Arch, another rock formation. There we saw seals and seal pups, and I may have been a little trigger happy with my camera, especially at our last destination Sea Lion Reserve - where you could stand just 10 metres away from them. Finally we went back to the ferry and then home. My glorious bed of blankets never looked so good. THOUGHTS? What made the trip so enjoyable were the people. Yes, you’re doing something good for the environment, but it’s who you’re with that makes it that little bit special. The best thing is you don’t need to know anyone – just go and you’ll fit in fine. I’m in my last year at uni and this is something I wished I paid a little more attention to because knowing what I know now, it’s worth every cent and sore muscle.
July/August 2012 M.
Try Karate at Magill 6pm
26 Ladyhawke at HQ
The Academy re-opens
The Academ Acoustic Se (3-6pm ever
Think youâ€™re funny? Open mic nights @ Rhino Room (every Mon)
Adelaide Int Guitar Festiv
National Campus Band Competition starts @ The Academy
- Remember to enrol in your subjects - And remember to check the UniLife
Adelaideâ€™s Psychic Expo (Golden Grove Arts Centre, 10am start)
my ssion ry Thurs)
- SALA Festival starts - Academy Band and DJ Night (every Fri)
International Student Business Society - ISBS HK Chapter Basketball Championship
UniSA Open Day (City West Campus)
ternational val starts
by August 3, or get out of them by August 31 (or youâ€™ll be charged). Magazine and UniLife webpages for an updated list of upcoming events.
veryone knows it; Adelaide’s public transport system is bad, really bad. I have been using public transport since I was about eight. When I lived in Sydney, one of the main problems was the termination of trains, which forced you to wait until the next service was running. In Adelaide, buses are the main problem, with one in three running late according to recent State Government figures. I use public transport to get to uni, work, social events, volunteering – you name it. My biggest public transport gripe, though, is with the H20 bus that I catch to and from uni. This bus travels from UniSA Magill to Paradise Interchange and it never runs on time. Usually it’s around 10 minutes late, but it’s regularly double that after 3pm. It’s a familiar story for Magill students; you’re sitting on the bench in front of Murray House and a bus is pulling up. Is it a H20? Nope, it’s the B10, which terminates two stops down.
Another bus appears two minutes later, this time with a ‘Not in Service’ sign. Then another B10 bus pulls up followed by two more ‘Not in Service’ buses. And let’s not get started on those so-called ‘Special’ buses. I have sat alongside many other students waiting at the bus stop, getting more and more frustrated, constantly checking our phones and glaring hopefully down the road. (Editors: Spare a thought for students catching a bus in town during peak hour). As of July 1, more than 80 bus timetables were updated to allow increased travel time for certain routes. Fare prices also went up, which irritates me even more. Why pay for bad service? Buses are consistently late, some don’t even bother showing up and it’s not uncommon for drivers to have no clue where they’re going.
I’ll never forget when my driver turned around to ask the passengers which street he had to turn onto. Really?! Why aren’t GPSs installed so drivers actually know where they’re going? Clearly some have not had adequate training before getting behind the wheel. Those annoying new ticket machines only add to the frustration of commuters. They’re basically the same as the old machines, but instead of putting the ticket in horizontally through the front, you put it in vertically from the top. Not that hard, right? Or at least that’s what I first thought. While providing initial amusement, the amount of times people (often the elderly) struggle to put their ticket in the correct way is now just aggravating. And soon these ‘new’ systems will be replaced with ‘brand new’ ticketing technology. Instead of validating a ticket, you’ll scan a rechargeable card much like the PayPass credit system.
Other countries have been using this technology for years. So you’re probably thinking – if I’m so annoyed with public transport, why don’t I just buy a car and drive? Good point. I’m saving up for one at the moment, and can’t wait until I can choose when and where I leave from. However, public transport is a crucial part of any city and state. What message are we sending to potential visitors? “Come to Adelaide! Our transport will get you to your destination late every time.” Don’t get me wrong, I like using public transport. It’s great when it works, and is often a lot cheaper than having to find and pay for parking in the city. But I’m one ‘Special’ bus away from having a go at some clueless bus driver. Let’s hope all this money the government is spending to fix public transport isn’t going to be for nothing. I’ll be waiting to see if it is, probably at the bus stop too.
’ve never really been one to get on a soapbox about rights issues, but today I’m going get my Braveheart on and stand up for the persecuted – Adelaide Metro. They’ve served me faithfully for more than 10 years (shout out to my parents for never picking me up or dropping me off at school), and while it has meant that I’m nearly 22 and still on my Ps, I have no regrets. It’s also instilled substantial loyalty; I say no to busbashing, train-trashing and publictransport-protesting.
Your bus driver is a person too. They take a lot of shit from other commuters who complain about bumpy roads and two minute delays, and they don’t need you berating them. Shut up, sit down and enjoy being chauffeured around.
Blah blah blah they put ticket prices up every six months blah. Suck it up – it’s cheaper than petrol. AND you’re doing your little bit for the environment. Embrace your inner hippy and put down those keys.
Public transport allows time for introspection, daydreaming and Facebook stalking. You get to watch the hills roll by (geographically permitting), appreciate the little things, etc. etc. You also get to observe frustrated drivers, fuming in the gridlock, as you whip past in the bus lane waving like the Queen from your high perch.
Commuting takes the stress out of finding a park. No need to worry about reversing, slip lanes, clearways and crashing into inanimate objects/cars/ hipsters on brakeless fixies. Public transport is the saviour of bad drivers.
For all the haters out there, I want to put some things into perspective. -
Your bus is five minutes late? That’s five minutes you don’t have to be in that tute. Five minutes you don’t have to be at work. Fail proof excuse.
The new ticket machines are not going to ruin your day. It’s not hard putting your ticket in vertically rather than horizontally.
It’s easy to use the railway station’s turnstiles. Don’t blame Adelaide Metro for your ineptitude.
Writer: Lucy Ahern Photo: www.sxc.hu
Sneaky pre-drinks for the time poor. No inspector is going to ask to check your Pepsi Max bottle. Just sayin’. Oh, responsible consumption of alcohol is encouraged.
Forgot your iPod? No problem! One of your fellow commuters will happily provide some musical entertainment for you. Maybe they’ll treat the whole carriage to dulcet originals, or just press play on their flip phone and share the everpopular Hilltop Hoods with you all.
Riding public transport allows time for a whole range of activities that would otherwise be dangerous when operating a vehicle yourself. These include: the study you’ve left till half an hour before your tute, eating fries without spilling your Coke, and my favourite, sneaky perving on other commuters (I’m not alone, the Facebook group ‘I temporarily fall in love with people on public transport’ has more than 76,000 likes). I’ve always imagined that one day a dark, mysterious stranger will look up as he boards the bus, Metroticket in one hand, battered novel in the other, and our eyes will meet; he’ll sit down on the worn tartan seat across the aisle… ANYWAY.
If the chance to meet the love of your life isn’t enough, there’s also the opportunity to interact with a wide range of interesting folk. While some may be a touch on the eccentric side, embrace this as a snapshot of Adelaide’s community. The items people bring on to the bus are a constant source of entertainment, and you’ll be privy to some of the most amusing and often racy conversations you’ll ever hear. Recently, a passenger on Magill’s B10 route (represent) was spotted boarding with a kitchen sink. Won’t see that on the road now, will you? And I’m not the only one with a predilection for public transport. A quick google highlighted the existence of like-minded individuals worldwide. Melbourne brought us Welovept.com.au, London’s tube system has its own t-shirts, tea towels and key rings, and recently the National Theatre of Scotland presented a ‘Love Letters to the Public Transport System’. This adoration is global. But my final point, which I think is the perfect summation of the enjoyment encapsulated in public transport, is contained in but two words: stretchy bus. I rest my case.
The Bogan Within
he other day, while I was eating a Balfours meat pie in my friend’s Lexus, I burned my tongue. “Crikey, what a bloody joke,” I mumbled incoherently, trying not to dribble any gravy and miscellaneous chunks on the cream leather. I was about to take a swig of Farmers Union Iced Coffee to try and ease the pain when a loud, booming voice entered my mind. “You’re a bogan” it stated. “NO, I couldn’t be! I’m not!” I tried to subconsciously argue. “What even IS a bogan?” I continued. “What makes someone a bogan? Are bogans even real?” Eventually the voice grew tired of my questions and buggered off, but for rest of the supremely comfortable Lexus quality ride home, my brow remained furrowed. “Strewth,” I thought to myself, “What the bloody hell is going on?” In the following days, I began picking up on my erratic borderline bogan behaviour. I went and watched drag races, I developed a love for Chopper Read and I ate a Chiko Roll and loved every second of it. I even scored a bargain at the Elizabeth shopping centre, and tried to end a couple of sentences with the word ‘mate’. Slowly but surely, something was happening to me. Something unexplainable. I decided to research the word ‘bogan’. Wikipedia (this isn’t an essay, so deal with my wiki referencing) defined a bogan as an “unkempt, slack, messy person or redneck”, but I wasn’t satisfied. I decided to hit the streets in search of the truth. To find out what was happening to me, I needed to do some research.
The first person I spoke to was my mum’s friend Moira, who lives on Victoria Avenue. Moira’s a top sheila, and coincidentally the most unbogan person I know. I asked her what she thought a bogan was. She replied: “I don’t know, I guess it’s more about attitude than anything.” She continued, “I think it’s kind of a carefree state of mind. Even though it’s not all about money, it seems to come from…,” she paused, “…lower socio-economic areas. Can I say that?” she half-laughed, half-grimaced. “I think it’s about values. And it would stem from your parents, definitely; how you’re raised. I suppose it’s a bit of a culture, really.” My next stop was Salisbury East, where I interviewed Ben, the son of another family friend. “So what is a bogan?” I asked. “Uh, I’m not sure,” he laughed. “Maybe I’m half bogan.” When asked what makes someone a full bogan, Ben launched right in with: “An appreciation for all things Aussie.” “Such as?” I asked. “…cars, sports, booze, um…actually I don’t know,” he laughed again. “It’s an Australia-wide thing,” he said. “And yeah, it probably has something to do with the area you live in. It’s to do with appearance too, like how you dress and all that. Most bogans are really daggy.” “Not so many ‘true bogans’ around the city,” he added. Driving home, I was upset. Had I discovered nothing? While Moira viewed bogans as a culture, detached from monetary issues,
Writer: Samuel Smith
Ben saw bogans as people who liked cars and footy. After my interviews, I asked other people what they thought the term ‘bogan’ meant. Results were largely unhelpful. The two worst responses: “That chick whose baby was stolen by a dingo” and “Omg I dunno, like, um, poor people?” After some serious soul searching, I realised one thing. Boganism is subjective. The bogan is part of contemporary Australian life and seems to represent a weird sense of freedom. I’m not saying I want to go out wearing a Dada tracksuit, smoke weed during the day and call people the C word, but hey, if we take our judging hats off, I think we can learn a thing or five from the bogans around us. Sure it’s fun going shopping on King William Road, and dining at snobby restaurants with names that sound like exotic diseases, but you know what other things are fun? McCain oven pizzas, sacks of goon and Aussie V8s. We live in a society where it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. Screw definitions and social stigma, do whatever the hell you want and if anyone labels you a bogan, tell them they’re a bloody idiot (mate).
“I’m not saying I want to go out wearing a Dada tracksuit, smoke weed during the day and call people the C word, but hey, if we take our judging hats off, I think we can learn a thing or five from the bogans around us.”
A Uni-Going Atheist’s Guide to Religion
arlier this year, prominent contemporary philosopher Alain de Botton toured the country to promote his latest work, Religion For Atheists. In the book, renowned atheist de Botton is critical of modern secularism and says atheists could learn something by appropriating some of religion’s features. His arguments are particularly relevant given Australia’s declining religious belief. 2011 Census figures show 22 per cent of Australians identify themselves as nonreligious, up 7 per cent since 2001. Of those who weren’t religious, 28 per cent were aged 15-34.
“He (de Botton) argues universities merely explain what occurs in nature, whereas religions teach us to appreciate it.”
One of de Botton’s criticisms hits close to home for students. He says universities – which symbolise secular society’s rigid pursuit for truth and reason – should be complemented by religion to help further promote wisdom, instead of merely disseminating facts. De Botton says universities dispense information without explaining the value of that information to our lives or existence. He argues universities merely explain what occurs in nature, whereas religions teach us to appreciate it. We, as students, tend to stress too much about our academic performance and how it affects our future job prospects, often ignoring our emotional wellbeing and relationships as a result. The importance of work and careers in today’s capitalist society are stressed to us daily, but de Botton says religion can act as a ‘counterbalance’ to this by enforcing structure and order in our lives. According to de Botton, everyone wants to be ‘nice’ and ‘caring’, but due to the pressures of everyday life, we often forget to be. Religion, he says, instructs us to be good and think of others, especially on certain days. Christmas is a perfect example of this. It creates a warm and compassionate atmosphere, which we sometimes fail to display elsewhere during the year.
Writer: Matteo Gagliardi
Of course, a critique of de Botton’s view would be you can’t just ‘pick and choose’ which parts of religion are acceptable and which aren’t; many think it’s all or nothing. Atheists often criticise religious zealots of hypocrisy by ‘picking and choosing’ the teachings of their faiths they wish to accept, and disregarding those they don’t. However, it is precisely this sort of attitude towards religion that de Botton thinks atheists and non-believers have the luxury of adopting. Whereas religious affiliates would struggle to take on this attitude with hard-line religious convictions (for example, it would be implausible for a Christian to accept the New Testament but reject the Old Testament if he or she were to believe the whole Bible were the ‘Word of God’), atheists are free to use it due to their lack of belief.
So if you are an atheist and consider religion as man-made, you are able to look at the buffet of teachings religion offers and see if there are some you like and others you don’t, and choose accordingly. De Botton says the awful parts of religion are well-known and obvious to him. But once he accepted these, he asks – what can we atheists use, or even steal, from religion to benefit ourselves? He suggests a number of things, and if you’re interested in what they are, I recommend you read Religion for Atheists.
From de Botton’s perspective, once you start to look at religions as works of humans – and not the word of a god – they become just another cultural convention, another construction of mankind’s wisdom, at which point it becomes reasonable to find religions’ best moments. We do this, he says, with all other aspects of culture. Whether it’s the music we listen to, the books we read or the TV episodes we watch, we still accept there are other artists, authors and shows we don’t like out there.
e called himself ‘Ted’ – half-blind, his milky white eye stared at me while his gnarled hands plucked a tarot card from the deck. “Interesting,” he muttered, flipping over the card to reveal…well, I can’t remember exactly. I think it had a guy with a sword sticking out of his chest on it. See, this was back in January. I found myself at a psychic expo sitting opposite an elderly gent with a cheeky grin, trying to impress a girl who asked me to tag along with her. Yeah…don’t ask. Ted later assured me the bloke-impaledwith-a-sword-card didn’t mean death; in fact, he managed to convince me I’d win a competition in June instead. Well, June came and went and I won bugger all. Refusing to believe Ted’s prediction was wrong, I sought out the man who promised me untold riches. I found him at the Burnside Ballroom psychic expo giving a reading to a pair of young women, who were hanging onto his every word. For 35 bucks a session, I didn’t blame them. Once Ted lost his connection with the spirits (they only work for 30 minutes at a time), the reading was over and the girls left with puzzled expressions on their faces. What mysteries Ted divulged I don’t know, but it didn’t matter, I was seeking my own answers. Unfortunately, my introduction was met with a blank stare – Ted had no idea who I was (insert psychic pun here).
Remembering a prediction he made seven months ago seemed out of the question. No matter, I guess I ‘won’ a few things in June, sport matches and the like, so I was willing to give ol’ Ted the benefit of the doubt. Besides, with more than 50 years’ experience, I figured he could enlighten me in the ways of the clairvoyant. “I’ve been doing this for half a century,” Ted began, “I’m pretty straightforward – I call a spade a spade, I don’t do airy fairy stuff.” Ted saw his first spirit when he was 18, six weeks after his father died. “My dad appeared to me as clear as you do now, scared the shit out of me,” he laughed, “Dad said ‘You’re doing a good job Ted’ and whoosh! Off he went.” When his mother passed away, Ted joined local psychic groups and honed his technique before creating the ‘Psychic Exploration Association’ in the early 80s, which held the first psychic day in Adelaide.
Writer: Tom Angley Artist: Lisa Davidson
However, rival spiritualist churches shunned the group: “Our first speaker was the initiated high priest of witchcraft, Tim Hartridge, and the church didn’t like that but we told them to go hell,” Ted explained. “We had UFO groups, Orange People and Hare Krishina who gave talks that went against what the church taught.” When the association finished a decade later, Ted left his tarot behind and travelled around Australia, working in motels. “But I got fed up with that because I put on too much weight, so I came back here doing private readings,” he said. Today, Ted is a regular fixture at the fortnightly psychic expos held locally, with a loyal group of followers who keep coming back. “I believe I give them the truth, but a lot of what I say they already know themselves, they just want somebody to confirm it.” Ted doesn’t just flip cards for a living, though. Much like our very own Ghostbuster, Ted goes out to people’s homes and clears them of ‘lost souls’.
“I went out to one house where a couple had a young daughter who they thought was possessed because she heard voices,” he said. “I had a good talk to the girl and her family, played one of my CDs, put them in a circle and cleared the place of energy.” While Ted wouldn’t reveal what the CD contained, he told me he only asks for petrol money when clearing houses of spirits. Ted paused momentarily, perhaps sensing my scepticism. “Look, everybody’s psychic. You’re a psychic – it’s just a matter of getting used to it. You probably put it down to intuition or coincidence, I’ve just been lucky enough to develop my psychic ability.” When I asked him if he considered himself Adelaide’s top psychic, he quickly shook his head. “I don’t think so, how do you gauge it? Is someone who writes ‘Psychic of the Year’ the best psychic, or someone who’s booked six months in advance? I just do what I do.” Despite his popularity, Ted isn’t afraid to point out his flaws; he can’t predict death, for example. “I haven’t got the ability, no clairvoyant does. There’s only one person who has that knowledge and he’s not here on earth, he’s up there somewhere.” Ted pointed to the sky, and smiled broadly. I don’t think he can predict the future, but it’s definitely been an entertaining day. Check out adelaidespsychicexpo.com for upcoming expo dates. Ted will be expecting you… 27
Magic at Mawson Lakes “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
magine working in an environment where technology and ideas are original and groundbreaking. Imagine learning from a person whose innovation and dreams are set to change the world we live in. Would you believe me if I told you this was happening at our own university? At the UniSA Mawson Lakes campus, there is a room in the D building where people are making history. Dr Christian Sandor and his students are researching and experimenting with Augmented Reality (AR) in their ‘Magic Vision Lab’. Founded in 2009, the team’s vision is to “enhance human vision with computer-generated graphics and amplify human intelligence worldwide.” Impressed? You should be. You may be forgiven for thinking the lecturer with a PHD in computer science sitting opposite me is a grey haired, mad scientist waffling on about theories and other scientific jargon – but the opposite couldn’t be more apparent. Dr Sandor is young and passionate about what he has created as the Magic Vision Lab’s director. He’s also the world’s leading expert in AR. This technology has multiple uses. Say you find yourself at a battlefield site and have your iPhone handy. Using Dr Sandor’s app, you can see a re-enactment of the battle through your phone. High school history field trips could have been almost bearable. But it goes so much further beyond this. Dr Sandor is developing technology millions of people can use by creating a design environment that enables people to see and touch virtual objects. The psychological aspect of Dr Sandor’s work is also fascinating. In creating a setting where those wearing the AR helmet could see their own hand on virtual ‘fire’, some people felt warmth and even smelled smoke.
Writer: Libby Parker Photos: magicvisionlab.com
“Out of 20 participants who took part in the controlled experiment, 20 people who had never heard of the experiment, six of those felt heat,” he said. This amazing display won best demo at the 2011 IEEE Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality; it really does have to be seen to be believed. Dr Sandor is currently working on a vision that helps reduce the anxiety suffered by stroke victims. Once complete, a person can wear the AR helmet and see their paralysed limbs working flawlessly. Sandor believes a stroke victim who can see full movement of their body has more incentive to continue with their rehabilitation. AR may also be used in medical school, where students could perform virtual autopsies as learning tools, or in laboratories for virtual dissections. Dr Sandor clearly wants the Lab’s findings to help people, but he realises the need to keep things simple. “There are two types of researchers: very technologically oriented researchers, and ergonomics researchers who care about making things very usable and easily understandable,” he said. “My mission statement is to bridge this gap between technology and psychology.” The possibilities of AR are endless, as is Dr Sandor’s enthusiasm for his work. “I like to do fun things,” he said. “My feeling is if these systems get cheaper, they should be in every home, every classroom. “My vision is that everybody can see and touch virtual objects on a worldwide scale.” The Magic Vision Lab is a glimpse of the future, and it’s happening right here at UniSA. Learn more at magicvisionlab.com.
Sleepy City No More
e, in Adelaide, have sat and watched our friends move to Melbourne or Sydney, Brisbane or Perth. “You’ll visit, right?” we ask. “Of course, Melbourne is only an hour flight! We’ll be back practically every week!” they respond. At first, they visit, but then their trips become less and less frequent. Eventually on your trips interstate, you start to wonder – why don’t I leave too?
Yet it seems only recently that our dreary, ‘pissant’ town is at risk of becoming exciting. The Adelaide City Council’s revised development policy is almost complete. Plans to redevelop Adelaide Oval, the riverbank precinct, Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga (which sadly isn’t funded yet) and the new RAH are all on the horizon, not to mention Rundle Mall’s proposed revamp. With $30 million earmarked over the next three years (starting from the 2012/13 budget), expectation is high.
Writer: Robert Slape Photo: rundlemallmasterplan.com
The Rundle Mall council-led renovation is headed by Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood. A self-described “urbanist and futurist”, Mr Yarwood said the need for redevelopment stemmed from the mall’s loss of prestige. He wants to make the city “more relevant for more people” and to instill “a culture where people want to spend more time”. For many, town can be a busy, stressful experience, so it’s unsurprising residents prefer to shop locally. With the right mix of entertainment and activities, though, people could be encouraged to spend more time simply enjoying our city. “It’s about moving beyond building place to actually providing content,” Mr Yarwood said. Shops are essential, but a wealth of social interaction is also important. Enlivening the laneways off the mall, creating new performance areas and generally making Adelaide a pleasant, smoke-free environment will help persuade people to visit – and stay in – the city. When I asked Mr Yarwood how students could benefit, he jokingly replied, “I don’t care about students.” He later admitted that “traditionally, [students] have not been catered for”, despite half of the city’s daily users being under the age of 30. However, Mr Yarwood acknowledged the need to improve this. He cited the proposed tram stops along North Terrace and expanded pedestrian crossings to the uni district as two examples on how the council plans to “re-activate” the area for young people.
renaissance of Renaissance Arcade). This will be coupled with an expansion of the bike network into, and around, the mall. Laneways will likely thrive with the creation of new licensed venues and eating destinations, but Mr Yarwood stressed the importance of diversity. “It will be more than just generic pub and clubs. It will be a night-time economy with live music, clubs, bars and different types of music,“ he said. The big question is – can our little sleepy town handle all this excitement? “Progressive urban policy understands these things are all complementary,” Mr Yarwood said. He emphasised improving Rundle Mall and offering shops better “amenities…with genuine hustle and bustle”. You don’t have to come into the city just to shop, eat, drink and then get the first bus out when you’re done. Relax, stay a while, see what’s going on – please, the Lord Mayor insists. Mr Yarwood said the plan is ultimately about attracting people who don’t usually bother making the trip to town. “We want them to enjoy the city, be a part of its vibrancy and encourage them to live here,” he said. So next time one of your friends comes back from Sydney, or Melbourne, or Brisbane, wherever, tell them to watch this space.
Furthermore, Charles Street will become a pedestrian zone and have more restaurants, cafes and bars (to complement the 31
Cosplay, You Say?
k, I have a confession. I like to Cosplay. For years I went to the Anime and Video Game Convention in awe of the designs showcased on the July weekend, and it is one event I do not miss. But it was only until last year that I gained the courage and motivation to create my own Cosplay outfit – an Umbreon from Pokémon.
Writer: Catherine Moore
There was even a self-defence day held by a member who is great with martial arts, to help people learn how to protect themselves from over-enthusiastic huggers at conventions! Why do you Cosplay/dress in Elegant Lolita? I dress in Lolita, I’m a Lolita designer for the Sugar Freedom brand and own a Lolita clothing store in Adelaide called Tokyo Hardcore. The style is my hobby, my passion and my career, and it makes me happy because it lets me express myself and be a princess. With Cosplay, I co-promote an event called Neko Nation. It’s an anime/gaming club night where people can come and party in Cosplay, and have another place to enjoy their hobby.
Since AVCON is happening this month, I thought to get in contact with a group called the Adelaide Cosplay & EGL (Elegant Lolita) Club! I found them at unilfe.edu.au/ clubs. I contacted Saccharine Darling, one of the club’s members, for a little Q&A. What is this club and do you have events? The club is incredibly active. My partner and I are part of similar clubs all over the country on Facebook, and this is hands down the most active and fun of any of them. There are regular events like beach days, Nerf wars, picnics, movie nights and karaoke, and they actively encourage new members to come along and meet people. It’s a fun, safe place for people to discuss their interests and get advice.
Having these interests makes my life way more fun and enjoyable, and I’ve met and made a lot of friends because of it. Do you often make your costumes from scratch? How long has it taken you in the past? Some people buy them, some people make them; it depends. Different people enjoy their hobbies differently. Some love the act of making them and being able to express their creativity, while others lack skills or prefer to buy them because they enjoy being the character. There’s a lot of flexibility in how people can express themselves that makes it a lot of fun. To get involved, go to the unilife.com/clubs page, or you can find them on Facebook.
Published on Jul 21, 2012
Holidays are over. How depressing. But uh, uni is back, and that’s also fun, right? While I’m sure everyone had a good break, it’s business...