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– deal breakers –








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Deal Breakers cover by Kimerly Luo

Issue 4


Editors Sambavi Seermaran Rachael Versace Katie Kendall Christopher Quyen James Wilson Cameron Hart




Meet the Editors


‘It wasn’t Me, It was You’: Different Types of Ex’s


How many ways are there to be feminist?


Piracy Whack a Mole


Save our festivals

June Murtagh Allison Bermingham Gabrielle Rawlings




Modern Banishment




Geeks in all their Glory



Creative Directors Ting He Rose Wallace McEwen Designers Joy Li Angela Tam Brian Nguyen Collette Duong


The Social Status


Five Artists You Probably Don’t Know But Should


25 Ways to Ensure Quality Service


‘Mitey Moonshine


No Bake Oreo Cheesecake


Zucchini and Feta Fritters


I Saw a Man as I Blinked, He Started to Melt


The Queen Mary Celeste


Vertigo Serial: Beyond Life and Death


Poetry Showcase


Art Showcase


Photography Showcase

Cassie Ciccarelli Matthew Harrington Bec Lourey Contributors Allison Bermingham Christopher Dinh Freddy Phillpott Gabrielle Hyde-Smith Gabrielle Rawlings Kate Gogolewski Olivia Costa Oliver Morassut Raveena Grover Rebecca Zhuang Regina Su



Tristan Winter Vail Bromberger

Vertigo is published by the UTS STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION Email us at for advertising enquiries

Design Contributors Cover Image Kimberly Luo

Eden Lim

Chloe Gracie Alya Higgens

Lina Lindberg Jasmine Mijares


Copyright and Acknowledgement of Country

Vertigo and its entire contents are protected by copyright. Vertigo will retain reprint rights; contributors retain all other rights for resale and republication. No material may be produced without the prior written

Your second semester of uni often feels as if it’s the beginning of the end. The academic year’s conclusion is so close we can taste it. For me personally, it tastes like baked cheesecake and expensive champagne – sweet, and oh so satisfying.

consent of the copyright holders. Vertigo would like to show its respect and acknowledge the Tradition Custodians of the Land, the Gadigal and Gurring-gai people of the Eora Nation, upon whose ancestral lands the university now stands. More than 500 Indigenous

It’s time to repeat those painful ‘ice breaker’ activities with the same awkward acquaintances from semester one. Whether you tanned in Europe,

Nations shared this land for over 40, 000 years before invasion. We express our solidarity and ocntinued commitment to working with Indigenous peoples, in

subscription, I can assure you, I have no interest in knowing anymore. I will say though, if being a Vertigo editor has been good for one thing, it’s having a unique response every time I’m asked“Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.”

Australia and around the world, in their ongoing struggle for land rights, self-determination, sovereignty, and the

If you’re anything like me, your attention in class has already started to waver, and the procrastination period has begun. I don’t know if you agree,

t h a n k yo u s

room has never been cleaner, my planner never so organised – and that

you don’t, you’re lying. No one likes people in general that much. We take a

Deadline Extensions Dry Socks Free Samples Good Tips Staff Discounts Thesauruses Double Shots

us snap, and explore the online traumas of those very relationships. From geeky glory to psychic skeptics, we’ve got everything covered.

fu c k yo u s

I’m a cynical person. Occasionally, I just can’t stand people in general. Then sometimes, when they produce content such as what we have in this issue, I realise they’re not all bad.

Wind Graveyard Shifts Poor Time Management Eftpos Minimums Body Odour Public Bathrooms

of creative submissions, we’re focusing on our showcase, and displaying the fruitful results of good old, back-to-uni procrastination.

Hopefully after reading this issue, it becomes clearer to you what you actually do despise in a human being. It’ll make it a lot easier to weed out the hopeless cases. Molto amore, Gabrielle and the Vertigreats




Meet the Editors Gabrielle Rawlings

Rachael Versace

Sambavi Seermaran As the saying goes, it’s the smallest things

For me, a major deal-breaker is an obvi-

In plain and simple terms, if your personal

that matter in a relationship. You can meet

ous indifference towards animals. Over

hygiene is not up to scratch, don’t even

someone who has a kind heart, a great

the years, I have theorised that the way in

enter the same vicinity as me. Yes, it’s

sense of humour and… the worst smelling

which one interacts with animals is a clear

understandable that everybody sweats and

feet. You can work around those things.

indication of their disposition, and their

occasionally let’s off an unpleasant body odour – but if you don’t understand the

Sometimes. Like, I once knew someone who referred to himself in First Person

boyfriend is a prime example of this; he not

concept of a daily shower and deodorant,

Plural whilst texting. I vacillated between

only refused to pat my pet puppy, but also

you have no chance in gaining any positive

being very patient, attempting to ignore it,

asserted that ‘If you can drop-kick it over a

attention from my general direction. If

and then shuddering whenever I got a text

fence, it isn’t really a dog.’ We didn’t quite

I can smell you before I see you, that’s a

from him. Referring to yourself as “Us” is

work out.

deal breaker.

terribly unsensual.

Allison Bermingham

June Murtagh

Christopher Quyen The most important rule at a house party

I’ve always been a little out of touch with

Apart from the usual bodily smells or acts

should be to respect the house. Don’t

the youth. And not in a “let’s wear vintage

of stupidity, my biggest deal breaker is a

break anything, don’t chunder over the

sweaters and listen to The Smiths on vinyl!

person’s ability to incessantly talk about

cat. So when your friend vomits all over

Haha! So retro!” kind of way. More like

themselves. Now, I’m happy to listen to

the toilet seat and you really have to go,

“what was that internet-y acronym you

what you have to say but if you somehow

consider that a shitty situation.

just used, and how can I make sure it is

forget that you are talking to a person and

never heard again?” My deal-breaker is the

not your mirror then I’m afraid you just

overuse of popular slang. “Bae”, “YAS!” and

aren’t the one for me.

a one-way ticket far, far away from me.



Issue 05

What’s your biggest deal-breaker? James Wilson

Cameron Hart

Katie Kendall My biggest deal breaker is inconsistency. I

While I’ve always tolerated arrogance, bad

You know when you’re chatting to a friend

don’t care if we only talk once a week, or

metaphors, and monolingualism, I won’t lie

of a friend or maybe someone you’ve been

we talk every hour, so long as you aren’t

and say these aren’t big problems for my

set up with and you get this feeling that

constantly changing your mind about how

potential future romances. However, my

they aren’t being particularly sincere? For

much you care. That and anyone who hates

only make-or-break deal is that my ana-

me, that’s my deal breaker. Fake people.

dogs can literally not come within a metre

conda don’t want none unless you’ve got

“Oooh! I love that new movie” “Your hair is amazing!” “You’re mediocre in bed,

of me ever. and commits totally to his new diets and

James!” All instances of fakery. You know

if there’s no carbs/gluten then he’s just

while it might boost your Klout score, to

going to get upset and he won’t be feeling

everyone else you just come off as a bit

it which means I won’t be feeling it, and

of a tosser. Next!

we’re kind of a ‘package deal’, understand?

Ting He

Creative Directors

Rose McEwen

Meet the

Straight up, people who like inappropriate

It’s just such a huge deal breaker when

typefaces (particular mention to comic

people trying to seduce me don’t have

sans, mistral, hobo or papyrus). I went on

an inheritance of at least 2.3mil. Or when

a date once with a person that had the

they own less than three yatchs.And don’t

audacity to say that if I were a typeface I

get me started on people who don’t have

would be comic sans as I was ‘charming

their own 10 bedroom holiday house in the

and quirky’. I deleted his number from

Whitsundays. My standards are pretty low

my phone shortly afterwards.

but I like to give people a chance you know?


Issue 04

Features 07 - ‘It wasn’t Me, It was You’ 10 - How many ways are there to be feminist? 13 - Save our festivals 15 - Psychics 16 - Modern Banishment 20 - Actorbation 23 - Geeks in all their Glory 27 - ABC



Issue 05

‘It wasn’t me. It was you’: Different Types of Ex’s by Kate Gogolewski In the immortal words of Taylor Swift: “nothing lasts forever”. Relationships for many people come and go as time passes. People who were close for years can become bitter enemies in the space of a week, and lovers who were once inseparable suddenly become a distant memory. While the loss associated with an ex is not something anyone wants to mull over, it’s strange how often the ‘ex pattern’ seems to resonate world wide. Running the risk of sounding like something from a cosmopolitan article, the following is a short list* of categories that ex’s often seem to fall into:





1. The Nemesis The worst of all ex’s. Sometimes, as a relationship comes to a close, all the little things that annoyed you about the other person, all the harsh things they have said to you over the course of your relationship cumulate into a great big ball of anger. Perhaps the last words you spoke to each other were so harsh that even the olympian gods quaked in fear. Perhaps your other half cheated on you, you wanted monogamy, they wanted something else. Whatever the reason, your ‘once-other-half’ becomes ‘The Nemesis’ ex, someone you wouldn’t be averse to having an epic Western-style showdown with if you ever ran across them in the street.

2. The Friend Acknowledged as the best, yet quite possibly the hardest ex to achieve, ‘The Friend’ is a coveted position. Your romantic relationship with them has faded, but the platonic love of friendship still remains. Easiest if the breakup is mutual and both parties part on mutual terms, ‘The Friend’ ex becomes more difficult when the breakup is one-sided - only able to be categorised as such when both parties come to the realisation that perhaps they work better without the romance.

3. The Lost One of the more unfortunate ex’s, usually heavily influenced by long-distance relationships, ‘The Lost’ is an ex that remains a memory tinged with sorrow and or regret. Sometimes, two people grow apart simply because they lose each other in the space of separation and time.

4. The Duck and Hide Awkward ex’s are usually defined by a heavy amount of avoidance, hence: ‘The Duck and Hide’. Perhaps the relationship ended shakily or the regret of your breakup was that you should never have gone out with them in the first place, rather than you regret how it ended. The ‘Duck and Hide’ ex is uncomfortable at its best.


Issue 05


5. The Bod They have a rocking hot body, but zero personality. Pure and simple. You didn’t work out for whatever reason and never again would you consider entering a relationship with them…but you’re not necessarily totally averse to a quick snog in the corner of a mutual friend’s party.

6. Celebrity Ex (it happened once in a dream) The one type of ex that perhaps all people can relate to, the ‘Celebrity Ex’ remains a fond memory (or not so fond when you grow older and realise, no, Freddie Prinze Jnr was not as attractive, NOR as good an actor as you remember him). The ‘Celebrity Ex’ signifies a growth

8. The Best Friend for Never

in character, personality and general taste. Your type

This ex is unusual. It is not romantic, but perhaps the

suddenly upgrades from that member of the original Hi-5!

heartache of ‘The Best Friend for Never’ is the most

to Tom Hiddleston and while it comes with a twinge of

poignant and tragic of all. Purely for the reason that

bitter realisation, you end up feeling all the better for it.

everyone has experienced it. The loss of a best friend, whether to distance, argument, or simple loss of contact is the ex that nobody wants to have. But everyone will at one

7. The Ex That Never Was

point or another.

This is the wistful ex. ‘The Ex that Never Was’ is the one that got away in a sense, you were never officially together, but there was something there, some possibility

Whatever the reason, whatever the result, whatever the

that was never fully realised before for whatever reason,

deal breaker: Breakups can be messy, relieving, regretful

you mentally broke up with them and you moved on.

and/or sad. They also can be non-existent: Not everyone needs romance. But what remains is that every loss of someone close is tragic in its own, unique way.

*In no way does the writer of this piece presume to know the complete list of ‘ex types’ (due to a general lack of extensive experience) and in no way is she trying to state that all ‘ex’s’ are stereotypically the same. Just in case someone tries to sue her.




how many ways are there to be femisist? A Deconstruction of the Western Lens

Raveena Grover

For many of us, 3rd wave radical feminism may seem like the be all and end all of all feminism. We have choice; we get to reveal our body as we please through sexual or physical liberation, we get to choose any career our heart desires and we can break traditional molds by refusing to bear children and participate in motherly fortunate and less educated. We’re pushy, angry, and aware, and we let nothing stand in our way, least of all the patriarchy. However, just the same as we value our choice and liberation, we often fall into the trap of criticising other women who choose be feminist in other ways. So, the question for us to consider is - are there other ways to be feminist?

feminism is about choice. Whether that choice be to wear a bikini or a full-body suit to the beach, whether that be to adhere to traditional social practises or ignore them, whether that be to fast in the name of God or to push religion aside. All in all, it comes down to choice. So why do so many of us feel this uncomfortable itch when women choose to follow practises we see as close-minded? Most of us cannot see beyond choice that has been constructed through western privilege. Thus, choice in our minds doesn’t apply to the feminism exhibited by traditional roles of the third world woman.


The feminism third world women bring to the table can differ so greatly from ‘real’ feminism as perceived through a Western as being a part of the patriarchy. Feminism unfamiliar to Western feminism is commonly seen as non-progressive, lacking in integrity and being hypocritical in nature. Why would someone choose to forgo a regular day of eating for the sake of praying for the longevity of their husband’s life in the name of religion? Isn’t that what the patriarchy wants us to do anyway? The answer to this isn’t a simple yes or a no, but rather something that can only be determined when a person’s choice comes into consideration. Often, when we think about the third world woman, we automatically place the terms ‘oppression’ and ‘lack of education’ alongside with the character Western feminism has constructed. But really, what is more liberating than having the choice (and discipline) to participate in a religious ritual such as fasting, which one believes in with one’s whole being? Although many traditional practises exhibited by third world women were constructed by the patriarchy, it is not the history of the practise but the act of consenting in liberation to following it that makes it feminist. Affects of colonialism continue to linger in the form of racism, discrimination, dissonance between eastern norms, and western capitalism viewing elements of eastern cultures and ‘others’ as commodities (exemplified by cultural appropriation), as the west has been built on the exploitation and slavery of the third world. The separation between white feminism and intersectional feminism has lead western feminists to see unfamiliar cultural practises extreme and unnecessary.

Issue 05





Another important point to consider is the fact that so many Western practises were built on the same patriarchal foundation, yet are still practised by women in Western society today without criticism. A woman chooses to wax their body? Well great, that’s solely the woman’s choice. Western feminism doesn’t drag the woman down for waxing their intimate region, whether that reason is for self or someone else’s pleasure. Through white and western supremacy, Western women are innately conditioned to see the ‘other’ as weaker and failing to apply to the same principles, even though getting a Brazilian Wax is probably just as painful as voluntarily not eating for a whole day. In the name of religion, culture and tradition, third world women embody a feminism that is just as liberating and consenting as Western feminism. Though not all practises may make sense to Western feminists, all practises must be respected, as must all third world women be respected. Not every third world woman is oppressed and not every Western woman is liberated. In order to achieve the utmost balance we can in this society, emotional education and respect towards other cultures is imperative. Increased insight into the world of intersectional feminism and exposure to eastern norms will create more of a space for western feminists to respect and understand the differences between cultures and therefore allow space to view eastern norms without prior judgment. It is our choice whether we perceive the ‘other’ as less and fall into exhibiting white feminism, or whether we exhibit feminist integrity and respect the other’s [feminist] choice.

Artwork: Cassie Ciccarelli


Issue 05

By Freddy Phillpott You’re standing a few rows back from the stage, ankle-deep in sludge, absolutely thrashing loves, and oh man. Holy mother, it is a high. Everyone chanting the same lyrics, out under the gorgeous Southern Cross. Pure elation. This is the essence of an Australian festival. So why aren’t they more successful? The festival landscape is changing in Australia, and we better recognize this before it’s too late. Since the 1970’s, this country has seen music festivals boom and bust, and only recently have we seen the unfortunate folding of Harvest, Pyramid Rock, and Parklife (all VIC based), as well as Big Day Out and Peats Ridge calling it quits. Even Future Music found itself in deep mud. The fact that I could simply rattle so many names off suggests an over-saturation of the festival market – perhaps therein lies the problem? As an avid music lover, I am calling out to my Vertigo-reading, head-banging musical heathens… Join hands. Take up arms. Save our festivals with me.





Recently, I attended the famed Byron-based Splendour in the Grass, which to my pleasure was so much more than the music. No, I’m not talking about that naked guy rolling around in the mud either. Splendour represented the people of Byron – local food vendors catered (shout-out to Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts), crafters and artists were featured, their goods on sale to the public, their works shared to create the ideal atmosphere. It was

Quite often, the biggest deterrent for a festival is the mean, old

a true community event.

price tag, and I agree - it is daunting. However, if you look at howmuch you’d pay to check out your mate at the OAF or for a

By attending and supporting festivals, we are supporting Australia.

headliner at the Sydney Entertainment Centre… it quickly adds up.

We are getting behind local bands who might get the chance to

If you only see 4-5 big acts over a three-day festival, you’ve pretty

shine to unsuspecting audiences – imagine your garage band gets

much made your money back.

a call up one day cause the 1:30pm nobody-slot pulled out. No one really cares, but people are still gonna be drinking and rocking out

Rumour has it, it’s even good for your health! If you hadn’t caught

to your tunes! From there, it’s just a springboard to headliner.

on yet, music typically leads to dancing, and dancing is essentially the best form of exercise. Tech company Withings recently

Furthermore, we’re increasing the tourism appeal surrounding

revealed studies showing that festivals are kilojoule burners, with

Australia… why aren’t people already travelling to Splendour like

an average moshhead dropping north of 37,000 KJ’s over a three-

they do for Glastonbury or Coachella*? We have a similar caliber

day stint. If that’s not good enough, think of how cleansed your

of acts, and even better beaches. It seems simple enough. Support

skin is going to get, slipping over in all that mud!

our festivals, support our economy, totally a logical assumption, right? I know it seems cliché, but you will meet the craziest kids, some So, why aren’t we forking out our hard-earned cash? Are we

of whom will remain your friends for life.You’ll share the most

becoming more sensible? Probably not. But with rental prices

memorable experiences - particularly if you’re camping, and it

at a record-high and a generational sense of wanderlust, it’s

rains, and you haven’t showered in days, and your friend can’t get

easy to understand why our wallets are staying in our pocket.

her foot out of her gumboot at 3am in the morning so you have to

#PutOutYourWallets #BronwynBishop4eva you regret. Come on Australia. Let’s get behind our artists, our food trucks, and our arts and crafts industry. Let’s support our rural towns, let’s pump up the tourism, let’s come together for some of the best weekends of our lives**. Because why wouldn’t you? #preachover *I’m not kidding myself, Coachella owns us. **I promise I don’t work for Tourism Australia, I’m just really enthusiastic about festivals.


Issue 05


Psychics Oliver Morassut

Psychics. Are they human? Evidence would have you believe, yes. In that case‌ Why do we listen to them? Psychics belong to a rare section of life which contains things believe, but this brings certain questions of integrity and ethics as Bigfoot, Area 51, Political integrity, and this author’s sex life.

in the grass. Probably more than usual.

want and make an educated decision, however. ability as a way of allaying that fear.




What you need to know about the Government’s proposed allegiance laws Beattie Tow




Issue 05

You have probably heard of the new

ii. Is convicted for terrorism offenses:

Allegiance to Australia Bill 2015 that has

If a person has been previously convicted

been proposed by the Government - but

they could lose citizenship, despite it being

what is it, and what does it actually entail?

in the past. It does not take into account

Essentially, the bill was put forward on

any previous punishment, age at the time,

the 24th of June, and proposes to replace

circumstances or scale of involvement.

the terms in which the ‘renunciation and cessation of citizenship’ takes place,

iii. Engages in ‘certain terrorist conduct’:

from if ‘you serve in the armed forces

This is perhaps the most controversial

of a country at war with Australia’, and

section of the proposed changes. Vaguely

substituting it with if ‘you engage in

worded, the bill states that a personal

various kinds of conduct inconsistent with

can have their citizen revoked if they

allegiance to Australia’.

‘act inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia’. ‘Certain terrorist conduct’

If you are still reading this article after

covers activities such as the use of

that sentence that was both vague and

explosive or lethal weapons, providing or receiving training in preparation for a

Now, you can probably imagine how the

terrorist action, facilitating or participating

rest of the bill itself sounds.

in terrorist action, or recruiting and

In essence, the citizenship of an Australian

into account the scale of involvement

dual-citizen can be revoked if:

or intention. For example, a person who

i. A person serves in a foreign army at war

damages Government property or makes

with Australia or in a terrorist organisation:

an overseas donation that unknowingly

This one is fairly self-explanatory and

ends up in the hands of a terrorist group

similar to existing laws, with the extension

could be liable to having their citizenship revoked.

so, a person will immediately lose their citizenship starting from the moment the




In the words of Tony Abbott following the

create a system open to bias and exploitation,

announcement in June, it is ‘a modern

stating that “It is unlikely to work, it’s

serving, marriage, and sexual exploitation.

form of banishment’. Peter Dutton, the

certainly unfair”.

UNICEF argues that the bill’s stance on children should be reviewed to consider

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, claimed in June that the bill

Not only would the Minister have the power

the best interests of the child. The

was to ‘address the challenges posed

to strip a person of their citizenship before

exceptions to this policy are if their parent

by dual citizens who betray Australia by

they are proven guilty, but also have the

has died, or if one parent is an Australian

participating in serious terrorism related

power to make exceptions based on his

national. In the report, UNICEF pointed out


judgment. While the Minister has assured

that ‘revoking a child’s citizenship under

them that Government lawyers will advise

any circumstances is inconsistent with the

At a time of heightened fear from terrorism

him in the decision-making process,

rights of the child’.

overseas and in Australia, paired with the

this has not reassured the ALA. Craven

ongoing debate over immigration, it is

maintains that ‘it is not the executive in our

It is clear that if this bill is passed it would

understandable that many may want the

system of governance to assume the role of

be in violation of basic civil rights, and

Citizenship Act 2007 changed in order to

judiciary, and that’s what it looks like’.

allow for Minister Dutton to undermine the law. Whether you believe that the

deal with modern threats. However, there are many groups who have argued against

Another issue with the bill that has been

measures proposed in the Allegiance

the bill due to its unconstitutional nature.

raised is the stance it takes with children. If

to Australia Bill 2015 are necessary, or

a person is convicted and stripped of their

if you believe that it is an extreme and

To begin with, the power to strip one’s

citizenship, the Minister retains the power

unconstitutional way the solve the problem

citizenship would lie with the Minister,

to also revoke the citizenship of their

-like myself (was I too obvious?) – hopefully

rather than go through the legal process

children, despite whether they had been

this article has given you some insight into

of trial and sentence. This has caused

involved or not. Naturally, this does not sit

the debate without you having to read

outrage with legal groups such as the

well with humanitarian groups.

pages of political and legal jibber-jabber.

Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), who have pointed out that there would be no fair

A report that was released by UNICEF in

investigation or review of evidence before

July pointed out that even if the child was

the person is convicted. ALA spokesperson

directly involved in terrorist activity they

and constitutional lawyer, Professor Greg

were most likely forced due to safety,

Craven, argued that the proposed bill could Often, children are recruited into these




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Actorbation Tristan Winter

“I just feel like as an actor, when I’m acting,

something I’ve never really liked to engage

when I’ve truly embodied the character

in. In a sense, this kind of discussion is like

and I am 100% in the scene, it’s like I don’t

masturbation, for you are doing it to please

even exist anymore. I am just a blank

yourself and you alone. However, with this

canvas and the universe is channeling this creative energy through me. That’s why I

competition and discussing your craft.

do what I do and that’s why I want to be an actor. No, that’s why I AM an actor. Actors,

actors because what starts out as doing

to me, are above doctors and nurses.

English or New York accents to each other

Acting heals. Acting soothes. It’s the purest

for fun turns into a fierce accent-off,

form of creation. I’d like to be known as

where one actor must prove that they have

a great actor rather than a movie star, but sometimes both can happen. I mean look

other because they studied with a certain

at Johnny Depp. I would jump for joy if I

teacher. Sure, I can engage with them for

ever won an Oscar, but the nomination

a short period of time, but there’s only a 5

would be enough. Ya know?”

minute window there. After that, I’m out.

He was talking to me with such conviction.

“God. My agent put me up for this KFC

Such passion. But what he didn’t realise

commercial the other day and I’m like,

was that I had checked out 10 minutes

C’mon, I’ve been auditioning for features

prior and all I was hearing was a light,

all year and now you give me this bullshit.

buzzing sound reminiscent of a dial tone.

It’s so unfair. I’m an artist and I can’t work

Actor Wank Talk, or Actor masturbation, is

with this dry material” he protested. I’m


Issue 05

sorry, but if you have 2 IMDB credits and

at him. This was my opportunity. I could

an ALDI ad under your belt nothing should

talk about myself, create a segue and soon

be below you at this point in time. Brad

enough I would be out of this conversation

Pitt did a Pringles commercial, Naomi

and I could focus on getting the hell out

Watts did a Tampax commercial and Kim

of here.

Kardashian did a sex tape. You’ve got to start somewhere!

“Who? Me?” I said. “Well, I’m a student at UTS and I work at Dendy in Newtown…”

He managed to chain smoke cigarette after cigarette and each one disappeared

“Oh my god!” he shrieked. “No way! I love

into his lungs like magic. I was quite surprised

the Dendy! I go there all the time. You know I’ve applied there so many times. There was

amongst all the talking he was doing. I

a time where I was applying once a fortnight

studied him as he had these realisations

and I heard nothing. How did you get a job

about the acting world and his own personal

there? I’m surprised they hired someone

creative satisfaction that he thought to be

with a beard. Do you get free movies? Can

so original and unique, when truth be told

you get me a job there? Please get me a job

what he was talking about was about as cliché as a group of English tourists sitting

because I love movies and I’m an actor”

singing “Wonderwall”.

You’re an actor? I didn’t realize because you haven’t been talking about that the

At this point I was more focused on the fact

whole time or anything. And just like that!

that I had a small stream of urine running

The conversation was on him again. This

down my leg. I have a weak bladder, see.

conversation was about as thrilling as

So I require a few more shakes than other

having my balls crushed by an elephant.

guys. However, that must have slipped my

I needed an exit and I needed it quick. I

mind in the bathroom due to the mixture

locked eyes with my friend and tried to get her attention but she, too, had just

from this mini-Hollywood I found myself in.

engaged in a conversation with an actor and was making a beeline towards the

“So what do you do with yourself?” he

Sangria to celebrate her survival.

asked. I stopped for a second. Could it be? He is asking me something about me?

“Save yourself” She mouthed to me from

He asked! I looked around and then back

across the room. I looked around the room



of there. He pulled his phone out and started showing me photos of his most recent production of “Romeo and Juliet”. Apparently what separated this production of ‘RoJu’ from the rest was that the actors were wearing different hats to express the character’s internal struggle. Deep. “I actually have this video of a Shakespeare production on my phone.” I said. “It was a production done in… Uganda... And a horse played Juliet. I’ll just go get my phone and then I’ll show you. Gimme a second” I’m out! I’m out! I said to myself. He nodded whilst he looked at stills of himself in tights as Romeo. “I think I might go to the bathroom”. “Cool man! I’ll wait here for you” he said as he went through photo after photo of himself. Traumatized, drained and distressed, I waddled over to my friend and sat next to her. She turned to me. “Want to go smoke in the park and never come back to this place?” she asked. Without hesitation and without a word I grabbed her by the hand and led her out of the party. We moved steadily and did not make eye contact with any of the vultures for fear of them jumping on us and feeding off our pure souls. With hindsight, no one actually would have noticed us slip out because the amount of narcissism in that house could have sunk a ship or killed a cow. We sat about who we DIDN’T want to be and we both agreed that was enough wank for the night. And the year.





Issue 05


in all their glory Gabrielle Hyde-Smith

As geek and nerd culture become more and more mainstream, fandom behavior is being adopted by the masses. This year marked the 48th year of the San Diego Comic Con, the world’s biggest event. Pop culture conventions are held all over the world, and are becoming more frequent in Australia. But it is not solely the celebrity guests, exclusive vendors and unique panels driving people to these conventions; the cosplayers themselves are the most visually appealing aspect of any pop culture convention! Cosplay – the literal abbreviation of costume play, involves people dressing up as their favourite characters from pop culture. Whether it be from movies, books, TV shows, comic books, anime, manga, games or art, cosplayers are dedicated to bringing their chosen character to life. Often this means spending hours, sometimes weeks, creating costumes from scratch by sewing, gluing, painting or whatever skill is required to acquire every correct detail. Others spend any money they can spare purchasing the costume, ensuring a level of professionalism.

with my sister, putting together a Wonder Woman costume, despite




lacking the skills and materials to make it

stay on. To my absolute amazement, despite support from all the convention goers. People Woman, calling me Diana and asking questions about my private jet. Other cosplayers, including other Wonder Woman cosplayers, approached me to complement my costume, constantly asked for photos. Let’s just say my ego that day was pretty high. But the best part of cosplay was yet to come.

Australians doing the exact same thing that

forums and Facebook pages, attend private cosplay functions, and help friends work on their cosplays.

community where we don’t have to force our friends to stay to the end of the Marvel movies or silently squeal with excitement when we see a Deadpool trailer. Everyone understands the power of fandom and how much it can mean to an individual. No one looks at you weird because you own 42 wigs and spent your Friday night playing Witcher. Everyone understands and everyone accepts.


Issue 05


armor, a blonde wig over my brunette hair and holding Thor’s hammer. My nerves event, knowing that in any other normal

immediately felt at peace. Hundreds of people surrounded me, the majority also in

alone but enjoying the nerd world with my nerd pals.

culture, events are frequently held in Sydney, with the biggest of these being Supanova, Smash, Oz Comic Con, Eb Expo and Free an etiquette when approaching cosplayers. We love having photos taken! Never be afraid to approach us and politely ask for one (unless we are eating). Never take photos of us whilst we are eating, sitting about our costumes! Ask how we made them or where we bought them. But never criticize or correct the costume. Finally, there is philosophy in cosplay that anyone can cosplay anything, regardless of age, colour, size, gender, height etc. Never be judgmental about someone stepping out of their comfort zone to become a character they love. Cosplay isn’t just about the costumes or the

it ago whatever way you can. Hope to see you at the next convention! Hyde & Seek Cosplay Artwork: Eden Lim

Want to be an editor in 2016? Attention all aspiring editors! Here's your chance to take over Vertigo next year. More information at


Issue 05

Rebecca Zhuang The following is an article written for, but not at all limited to, the ABC readers of Vertigo. No, not readers who are still learning their ABC (which, for the sake of obtaining a degree, is hopefully none of you), but rather ABC - the acronym for ‘Australian Born Chinese’ - or, in other words, those individuals who have Chinese ethnicity but have been born and/or raised in Australia. You might’ve heard some other similar terminology like ‘Oreo’ (brown on the outside, white on the inside) or ‘banana’ - yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Anyway, the article isn’t about the lingo and labels of ABCs (I’ll use ABC for all intents and purposes) - but rather, their experiences.





Being born in New Zealand, I can’t technically call myself an ABC but I’d rather not anyway. I am simply, an Australian with Chinese ethnicity - nothing more and nothing less. The things that have inspired me to write this are my own there are not even close to half the amount of Chinese people residing in Sydney) and how, in retrospect, the subtle racism, backhand comments and snide remarks about being Asian affected my psyche and sense of self. It’s fascinating growing up in an Anglo-Saxon dominant community. There’s a point where suddenly you realise that you’re different from the other kids. There’s a point where you realise that your friend’s parents subconsciously (or consciously) treat you differently from the other kids. There’s a point where you realise that your teacher’s appraisal at your dictation quiz mark is not because you’re an ace speller, but rather, your understanding of the English language has genuinely surprised to them. And, growing up, there’s a point where you realise that when the boys in your grade admit that you’re a ‘hot Asian’, it’s not because they consider you attractive against the criteria of being an individual, but rather they consider you attractive ‘for an Asian’. In fact, that statement ‘for an Asian’ had never affected me as much as it should’ve. I’ll admit, I prided myself on being called a


Issue 05

‘hot Asian’… I thought it meant that I’d ‘made it’. I wasn’t the geeky,


In fact, working at a pub brought these kinds of subtly racist comments to the forefront of my daily social interaction. I’d have

cool. I was accepted. I was, somehow in my mind, closer to being

patrons come up to me and congratulate me on my English being so

Anglo-Saxon and just like everyone else.

good in which I’d smile nicely and tell them that it really should be

In retrospect, I was only kidding myself.

bar and ask, ‘Where are you from?’ in which, I’d reply ‘Newcastle’ to have them look at me quizzically and repeat, ‘No… but where

The statement ‘for an Asian’ has more implications than meets

are you from?’

the eye. There’s an inference that ‘the Asian’ is a second-rate citizen; that the criteria for meeting a certain standard on this

So obviously I’m aware of these patron’s intentions and where

scale is vastly different from the universal scale of being human.

they’re coming from. However, the intrinsic racism within society

The statement implies a vastly different creature, a vastly different

remains to be an issue. The widespread and often subconscious

being, and some sort of monster diverging from the norm of human.

belief across society which positions different ethnicities as inferior and/or superior to another acts as a vehicle for oppression.

You might think that I’m exaggerating or thinking ‘Jesus, don’t take it too seriously’. But let me tell you, growing up with the constant

So really, this article is just food for thought and has hopefully

reminder that you’re different in the eyes of nearly everyone you

made you reconsider the racist dialogue that is accepted within

know and/or care about is an enormous extra load for a kid, who

society without a second thought. This article is simply aimed for

just like everyone else, is just trying to make sense of their being.

you to take a second to consider and realise that the smart Asian in your class may not be intelligent simply ‘because they’re Asian’ but

Anyway, now, I’m nowhere close to being ashamed of who I am, my

because they are a human being. It’s aimed for you to take a second

ethnic background or scared of standing up for myself. However,

to consider and realise that the person walking down the street is

what truly upsets me are the constant racist interactions I endure

not ‘hot’ at an ‘Asian standard’ but is attractive because they are a

and continually endure within my day-to-day life - those of which

good-looking human being.

are either a) malicious and intending to wound or rather, b) subconscious, socially ingrained, subtle racism.

Artwork: Angela Tam


Issue 04

Student 32 - The Social Status 34 - Five Artists You Probably Don’t Know But Should 36 - 25 Ways to Ensure Quality Service 39 - ‘Mitey Moonshine’ 40 - No Bake Oreo Cheesecake 41 - Zucchini and Feta Fritters



Issue 04

2015 marks 25 years of student media at UTS! commemorate 25 years of Vertigo. some of the best articles of the last 25 years.



The Social Status Vail Bromberger

Illustration by: Chloe Gracie

Student Life



Issue 05


I joined Facebook when I was in year nine. Initially, it wasn’t overly

hopes evaporate before their eyes. Either that or vicariously

used by my peers (MySpace was still in its heyday) and thus, I

live through the photos and posts of their internet relationship.

didn’t use it in any meaningful capacity. But as time went on, and as we all know now, it stood out as *the* social media platform to

“No Cyril, I do not wish to marry you” one rarely had to contend

use. For people like myself, who were not remotely savvy with the

with such an explicit stab in the heart.

customisation options on MySpace, we claimed this as a victory for those supporting the simpler way. But attending an all girls photo of a delicious looking brunch, usually accompanied with space – clear cut relationship statuses.

generic hashtag (#yum), the post-breakup relationship status change to ‘Single’ can always somehow seem sad, but incredibly

As The Social Network explained, knowing ‘who is dating who’ is

captivating. Our private relationships become a dramatic series’

all part of the social experience, and for most people that use

for our peers to follow.

Facebook regularly, at whatever age they may be, dating features somewhat in their life. Up until the era of Facebook, dating existed

We are obliged to comment on our newly ‘single’ relationship status’ with smile emojis - at the very least – lest we be pitied for

friends with someone, or spoke to them regularly, you may have

our failed relationship. Either that or hide our newfound status entirely. Social media has expanded our relationships from two

were absent for this sharing of information, there was always an

people, to all of your 781 Facebook friends. Your relationship

air of mystery.

status becomes your social status.

“Did you hear?! I heard so-and-so is going out with so-and-so!”

More than a few times, I’ve witnessed the awkward comment-

“I thought they just hooked up at <insert social event>?”

conversation between a kind hearted friend and a newly minted

“Nah, I heard from <this person> who heard from <that person>.

singleton, where the latter must indicate that, no, amazingly,

It’s legit!”

they will carry on.

tionship trajectory. Seeing the couple everyone is ‘shipping’,

tub of cookies and cream.

transition from the ‘it’s-not-a-date’ date photos to the milestone status change of ‘In a Relationship’, will usually garner a like from

Has Facebook changed the dating game? Without a doubt. Was

even the most cynical of internet trolls.

it for the better? Who knows. In the meantime, I’ll be Facebook

Then, those lost few souls harbouring unrequited feelings for a member of the newly happy couple, can watch their romantic


Student Life

Five Artists You Probably Don’t Know But Should Allison Bermingham

1.Pvris Pvris (pronounced Paris) are an alternative rock band hailing from the Lowell, Massachusetts. Their unique alternative pop rock tracks, combined with lead singer Lyndsey Gunnulfsen’s amazing vocals, create a powerful and sometimes haunting sound. The group not only performed at the 2015 Alternative Press Music Awards, but also received the award for Breakthrough Band. They released their debut album ‘White Noise’ in late 2014 and had their cover of Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ featured on Punk Goes Pop Favourite Song: My House 2. Issues This band certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are looking for something a bit heavier with a unique mix of hardcore screams, electronic beats and pop vocals, then this is the band for you. Established in 2012 by Michael Bohn and Tyler Carter, the band is still relatively new compared to bands of their calibre currently breaking through the scene. Their self-titled EP gained great success in 2014 and was closely followed by their acoustic album Diamond Dreams which took the top hits from Issues and turned them into the perfect songs to sing along to on the long bus rides to uni. Favourite Song: Never Lose Your Flames



Issue 05

3. Hands Like Houses Hands Like Houses is an Australian rock/post-hardcore band that hails from the good old ACT and has been around since 2008. Their experimental rock sound is hard to pin down, and the release of their new single ‘I Am’ - a slightly heavier the release of their upcoming album ‘Dissonants’. These guys have something for everyone to enjoy, with a mix of acoustic and slightly heavier songs to get you excited. Favourite Song: Shapeshifters 4. The Pretty Reckless Did any of you wonder what happened to Gossip Girl’s Little J? Well, she grew up to become the front woman of a hard rock band. Completely shedding her good girl image, Taylor Momsen is unforgiving, with vocals powerful enough to create tracks that are so dark and angry, they force you to question every sin you’ve ever committed. Their second studio album ‘Going to Hell’ debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200. When listening to their music, just remember that Momsen was the young girl who played Cindy Lou in the Grinch (mind blown). Favourite Song: Just Tonight 5. D at Sea D at Sea - a.k.a Doyle Perez - is an Australian artist originally from the Sunshine Coast. Rising to fame on YouTube, this artist is for everyone (including your grandmother). He has a distinct sound, largely thanks to his ability to take heavy songs such as Parkway Drive’s ‘Carrion’ and Thy Art is Murder’s ‘Reign of Darkness’ and turn them into acoustic works of art. His smooth vocals are nothing but extraordinary, and shine through his tracks. His most recent EP ‘Anchors & Diamonds’ took a more electronic approach to his sound, but still let his trademark vocals shine through as the focus of the tracks. Favourite Song: Enough


25 036

Student Life

Ways to ensure Quality Service Gabrielle Rawlings

When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out for meal, grabbing a coffee, or having a slap on the pokies, you can always count on someone being there to attend to your every need (according to their job descriptions). Your hospitality servers are more than just people, in fact consider us your paid slaves. We love hearing all about your life as we multitask and complete our required duties. But there are still those who go the extra mile, and just inspire us to do the best job we can. So, here is a list of 25 things you should do to ensure quality service by your waiter, barista and/ or gaming attendant.* Disclaimer: This article is riddled with heavy sarcasm.



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Issue 05

Leave your chairs untucked. We love a good obstacle course. Test our math skills by using a $100 note for a $7.35 purchase. Place a custom order. The menu is only a suggestion. Rip up your drink coasters and use them as confetti Leave your hyperactive children with us – we’re basically your free ba bysitting service. Bring us a bag full of coins to change into notes at the busiest time of day/night. Oh – and your bra cash. We love your warm bra cash. Eat half your meal before you decide you don’t like it, and ask for a re fund. The customers feedback is always valued. Click and whistle at us to get our attention.

guessing game for us. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Leave gum. Everywhere. We treat it like a treasure hunt. Change your order after it’s been processed and paid. Yell out your order to us while we’re serving someone else. Assume everything we tell you is a lie and a conspiracy (which it is). Take all the complimentary mints. Hang around after the venue has closed – this is a particular favourite. Call us pet names based on our physical traits. Sit at any table you desire, regardless of reservation signs. Wait until you get to the counter, only then can take your time to decide what you want to order. We love the extra quality time you’re spending with us. Test our balance and bump us while holding plates and full trays. Tell us if you don’t like our attitude. We’re always looking to improve and please. Take the frustrations of your life out on us. Page for our service after we’ve walked past you. The extra walk back is great exercise. Assume we have control over everything in the establishment, including all price and venue changes.

Notable mentions go to rearranging the furniture without letting us know, sitting at dirty tables, despite the available clean ones and just blatant rudeness. Follow this guide and any employee in hospitality will happily tell you the one thing we have all learnt from this industry. We fucking hate people. * Vertigo cannot guarantee that by following these suggestions you will not have your drink spat in, your cutlery dropped or your food arrive cold.


Opening times: Opening times:

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Tuesday

10am - 4pm 10am - 4pm 11am -- 4pm 8pm 10am

10am - 4pm Wednesday 11am - 8pm Thursday To make an appointment with a lawyer, UTS Student UTS Student email, Legal Services Legal Services To an appointment with a lawyer, call make 9514 2484 UTS Student UTS Student or, building CB01.03.15 email Legal Services Legal Services call 9514 2484

or visit building CB01.03.15

Free legal advice service forservice UTS students Free legal advice for UTS students

Free le

Free legal advice service forservice UTS students Free legal advice for UTS students

Free le

Opening times:

Opening times: Tuesday

Opening times:

Wednesday Thursday Opening times: Tuesday

Tuesday 10am - 4pm Wednesday 10am - 4pm Thursday 11am 8pm Tuesday 10am -- 4pm Wednesday 10am - 4pm Thursday 11am - 8pm

10am - 4pm 10am - 4pm 11am -- 4pm 8pm 10am

10am - 4pm Wednesday 11am - 8pm Thursday To makewith an appointment with a lawyer, To make an appointment a lawyer, email, email, To an appointment with a lawyer, call make 9514with 2484 To an appointment a lawyer, call make 9514 2484 or, building CB01.03.15 email or, building CB01.03.15 email call 9514 2484 call 9514 2484 or visit building CB01.03.15 or visit building CB01.03.15



Issue 05

Gabrielle Hyde-Smith Recently, shocking reports spread like soft butter on the toast that is the Australian media that Indigenous communities were using vegemite to make moonshine. It’s of no surprise to any one that this turned out to be false. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little tipsy from Australia’s favorite yeast-extract spread! Here’s how to make your very own ‘Mitey Moonshine. Before you begin make sure you have your hipster jar as an alternative to a glass. For true hipster feel use an old vegemite jar that you have rinsed out thoroughly beforehand. Add to jar: • 2 parts bourbon • Lemon juice (squeezed from half a lemon) • 1 tsp of sugar • Smidge of vegemite Place lid on jar and shake thoroughly to blend the ingredients Add 1 part Soda water Drink until you feel like your one happy little vegemite, as bright as bright can be. (Not recommended to enjoy for breakfast, lunch and tea)

Artwork: Joy Li


Student Life

Allison Bermingham Possibly one of the most delicious, indulgent, perfect

3-4 packets of Oreos


3 tablespoons of butter 500g of Philadelphia Cream Cheese 200g of thickened cream (whipped)


½ cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 3







Issue 05

Zucchini and Feta Fritters Allison Bermingham

I have a strange obsession with zucchini. I love that you can cook it in so many different ways and that it goes well with so many other delicious foods. This recipe combines my love of zucchini with my love of cheese, particularly feta cheese. So, here is a quick and easy recipe for delicious zucchini and feta fritters.

6 zucchinis 200g feta (Greek works best) 3 eggs (lightly whisked) herbs and spices to taste olive oil (to fry)

1 4

Grate your zucchini into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Once all grated, lay zucchini on paper towel and pat dry, returning them to the bowl.

Place fritters on a plate covered in paper towel and place layers of paper towel and foil between each batch. Make sure to reheat oil between each batch.

2 5

eggs and any seasoning you like (I would recommend some dried basil, salt and pepper).


Heat your oil over a medium to high heat in either a fry pan or pot, making sure the base of the pot is covered. Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the pot, pressing for around 2 minutes on each

Serve your fritters with dinner

side or until golden brown and

or even as something to nibble

cooked through.

on at a party.

Artwork: Collette Duong


Issue 05

Showcase 43 - I Saw a Man as I Blinked, He Started to Melt 46 - The Queen Mary Celeste 49 - Vertigo Serial: Beyond Life and Death 52 - Poetry Showcase 54 - Art Showcase 57 - Photography Showcase



Issue 05




I saw a man and as I blinked, he started

The sun sequestered his hair from his skin

to melt.

and his skin from his sweat and his sweat from the air. The drops came thicker and

Little spheres of sweat huddled in the

faster, like the round, fat raindrops that

curve of the deep circles under his eyes.

fall from sad, grey clouds on a humid

The strands of his hair began to liquesce and slither slowly from his scalp to his neck

atmosphere, a part of him was carried in

and down his shoulders.

the wind and through the air I breathed; I could feel him melting as I watched.

The sun had split itself and determinedly held my gaze as I squinted at him. I could

His skin pricked with tiny bumps as his

feel sweat gather on my forehead, but out

hair trickled down his back, between his

of solidarity let it slide down and drip from of his spine, which guided the liquid down to stay as still as I could, while I watched a

to the ground. It ran slowly and steadily

man melt.

and pooled at his feet, a murky puddle of a person.

I tried to focus on the droplet of sweat that had caused a tiny splash on my lip and now

He looked at me with a look I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know.

trailed down the side of my mouth. I could taste it; salty and dry and cool, as the air swept the liquid from the salt, parched and

unfurled slowly and oozed to the ground.

crystalline against my warm, wet breath.

He was now half his size. He had been reduced to the ground, his right cheek

I saw a man and he was melting. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if he knew it then.

resting on the earth.




Issue 05

I saw a man and he was melting. He knew

matter, blurred into a water-coloured

my skin swirl across my face. I opened my

this was his end.

mess. I didn’t know if he was solid or liquid,

mouth and tilted my head to the sky with

I think he was somewhere in between. I

an outstretched tongue. I could feel the

He opened his mouth as if to cry out or

waited for something to happen. I thought

sun steady in the sky but I ached for rain.

laugh or breathe, but his lips began to

maybe he would evaporate into the air, or

I thought of his eyes. Eyes that I last saw

quiver and started to dribble slowly off his

soak into the earth, or coagulate into a pile

in tears . I breathed in and tried to hold

chin. The raw pink of his cupids bow was

of being. But he just stayed in-between

onto all the air I could. I felt a shiver spread

the last to move. It made me sad to think

here and there.

across my body and then a rush of warmth up through my spine to the back of my

that he could never kiss anyone ever again. I saw a man and he had melted


I stared at the puddle on the ground,

I saw a man and as I blinked, he started to

and thought about the earth and life and


with them. I wanted to look into his eyes.

everything – all this, and here was a man

I saw a man and as I blinked, he started to

I moved closer. His body gave out into the

who couldn’t even die. There was no death


But then I realised he couldn’t do anything ever again. He cried and as the salty boats sailed down his cheek, his eyes were swept away

left to be had. I’m not sure if the world had the ground. But I knew he was still crying.

run out or if heaven and hell were full and

a mirage.

I saw a man and as I blinked, I started to melt.

My eyes crinkled in the sun as he became but there he stayed. And I couldn’t move him. But I couldn’t leave him. The closer I moved towards him, the more unclear he became. As I stepped, the

I once saw a man melt.

ground shook and sent ripples through him. He had become an assembly of

I started to cry and I felt the colours of illustration by: Lina Lindberg





Artwork: Jasmine Mijares / Oweeo

It was about four in the afternoon, mid-July, with the sun casting

umbrellas sticking out of them. A short cruise around the South

sparkles on the wash and a clear outlook in a cloudless horizon. I was wearing my button-up beige uniform, lanyard swinging from

folk to earn a few freckles, entangle themselves in tan lines. Anyone

my pocket, odd socks falling down beneath hoiked-up black slacks,

who comes on a cruise comes to relax, take it easy, stick their feet

knees shining with wear and tear, hair pulled into a tight bun and

up and pull their shades down. They came to unwind. To be able

heavy foundation. I was neat, clean, exhausted and apathetic, and

to walk just a few meters or so to the elevators which would take

I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything a bar-tender on a cruise liner ought to be. I was ready to shake a few cocktails and get the

shower recess and expect someone with a working visa to replace

party started.

it with a new one.

People came onto the ship ready to get loose. They came with lei’s

I was among the staff who had been shifted on back to back

around their necks, towels draped over their shoulders, sarongs

contracts for the past few years. I hadn’t stepped onto dry land

tied around their waists. Their water bottles practically had little


Issue 05


touched it. Deck privileges meant that I hadn’t been out in the open air for a while either. We were all sitting on goldmines of pay, not that we ever saw it, or got a chance to spend it. By this stage, sleep was currency.

deck was where they dropped the bass, dubstep style for the nightclubbers. “Oi, canniva White Rabbit, love?” “Yeah, gimme two Cascade Martinis, will ya?” “Shottttss!” They’d wave their cruise cards in our faces without so much as a hello, and after we shook their drinks and took their money, we’d melt back into the wall until the next round. One day, a couple of bar staff, a few gals from the medical team, guys from the gym and spa quarters and some room stewards got together, for a catch-up and a gossip. It was rare that our timetables ever met up like this, what with people working night shifts, day shifts and all. We sat down in crew quarters, our throats wet after a few drinks. “Haven’t really been measuring nips, ya know?” one girl snorted.

just before the pre-dinner drinks, then the lonely hearts, then the party all night. I did my bit. I slipped a couple of relaxants in a few

“Pfft, I haven’t even been putting out fresh towels, just been

drinks, the stronger ones, like Long Island Ice Teas, where the lime

hanging up the old ones ay!” wheezed a room steward.

could mask the bitter with sour.

“Can you believe that I’ve been administering relaxants? On a

The next day, I noticed a lot of balding men sitting in the bar, brows furrowed, glassy-eyed, by themselves. I didn’t remember that

through the tropics!”

being part of the plan, so I asked one what he wanted to order.

“I didn’t even know relaxants were a thing.”

“I… I don’t know. My wife, she usually places an order for the both of us, but she’s, she’s just not, well I don’t know really.”

And that’s where we got the idea.

So I warmed a glass and gave him a scotch, to which he just slid

That particular shift began as usual, at four in the afternoon,

me his card to swipe. Same story, from all the other men- then




buffet was still served, but the food mostly went down into crew quarters so we could eat the leftovers. The passengers dialled for room service.

disembarked. The local taxis were climbing the fence to rip a fare off a passenger, but the only people who got off just meandered to the nearest white sand, lay down their beach towel and soaked in the sun. No souvenir postcards were sold, no duty-free alcohol was declared, no vendors were haggled, no taxis were chartered.

I remembered that the guys in the sauna and massage room on

Day eight was the scheduled Captainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Degustation, but due to

deck two had added relaxants to the steam, and to the massage oil too. It was half price Ladiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Day. These men were nothing without their better halves. They were at a loss. I recommended they unwind, to have a couple more of my special cocktails.

By early day nine, the speed of the ship slowed to a gradual crawl.

Day three, the hotpants gymsters stopped going to the gym, because their muscles protested before they even looked at a set

and unwinding in an eternal paradise of stunning weather. Heart-

of weights. The sunrise Tai Chi group on the open deck had found

beats slowed, breathing slowed. When we left them, they were

their Zen. The origami groups folded because the silver-haired

alive, just living in a bubble of calm. After that, I suppose the fatal

scrapbookers decided that a thousand paper cranes was enough.

side-effects got to them- you can only sit for so long until the blood pools in your ankles, or your muscles freeze. You can only

through the ship, but it echoed through empty corridors. The

lowered a lifeboat into the drink and lapped our way to land.





50 “Top-dwellers!” The creatures surrounded Ovid and his companion. There was nothing in his readings that described monsters like this. They looked human, but fragments of technology seemed to have taken over parts of their bodies.

removed and replaced with some form of circuitry. A motherboard outlined their innards and a pair of jumper cables hung from their bottom ribs. “The alien has a battery on his suit! Let’s eat!” shouted one of the creatures, pulling out a jumper cable. They closed in on him, their eyes glazed with an insatiable hunger. Ovid told the woman to run back to the Underground to get help. They exchanged a look and then she was off. Ovid turned back to face the top-dwellers. “Wait! Wait! Stop!” shouted Ovid. A hooded man emerged from the pack, raising a hand; with this, the top-dwellers backed away. He removed his hood to reveal a robotic skull, its brain encased by a platinum parietal. “What do you want?” asked the man. Ovid’s mouth ran empty, his breath heavy with fear. Then an idea infected his mind. These creatures want energy! “I have a spaceship… Its battery has enough power to last up to twelve lifetimes.” “Augustus, don’t listen to him! He’s


a liar!” shouted the rest of the topdwellers. “No, it’s true! Back on my planet, all our energy is from the sun! My spaceship’s this ship all my life! You want energy, right? It’s got more than enough energy Augustus took Ovid by the wrist. “Take us to your ship.”

The horde stormed the spaceship’s doors. Those at the back of the throng of their comrades demanding to be let through. In a world where everything was for the taking, waiting was almost alien to these creatures. Ovid lead the pack into the ship’s sanctum, its battery. When the interior top-dweller, Augustus stood up on a nearby table as if it were a pedestal and raised both his arms. A silence fell upon the top-dwellers, and Augustus cleared his throat. “Tonight we have found Nirvana!” shouted Augustus. A revelry erupted within the vessel, and every top-dweller sunk to their knees and howled. Augustus joined in with the festivities before commanding their silence once again. “I know some of you have been running empty since The Disaster. That some nights we had to consume our loved





ones to keep on going… but after tonight, those nights of raiding old relics for batteries and power outlets are over! We will be alive once again… We will live… We will live!” Like a choir, the top-dwellers joined in with Augustus’ chant. “We will live,” droned from each of their lips as they all reached into their stomachs, past the the pair of jumper cables hung from their bottom ribs. Then, one-by-one, they clipped their jumper cables onto the ship’s battery. Their bodies twisted and contorted back and forth. An uproar

With everyone distracted, Ovid sneaked past all the top-dwellers to the exit. When he reached the door, he shut and locked it tight behind him and removed a compass-like device from his pocket. screen lit-up to display the words: START VEHICLE. Ovid swiped left.

“Ovid?” Ovid looked over his shoulder. It was the woman, Scout and the rest of the Underground. Her face had grown soft, there was a quiver in her eye. He swiped left again at the screen.

to see a red button. On Ovid’s planet, everyone knew there was no other realm beyond black holes – only limbo. So rather than slowly aging towards death, sometimes it was better to self-destruct your ship with the touch of a button.

“Why are you still here?” asked Ovid. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question,” she replied. “Sorry. What I meant was… why do you choose to live through malnutrition or bad health to continue to live on this… this desolate wasteland? What’s so great about Earth?” The woman became unresponsive. Ovid looked down at the screen of the device

then he hesitated. He was no hero. Did he really want to kill all these topdwellers? Could he live here on Earth? Was it too late to turn back now? He thought one last time about home, his friends, his job and all that he would leave behind. “I don’t live to enjoy Earth, Ovid. I live for the people of the Underground. The people I love.”


Zachary Blue


Wardrobe Malfunction. For you wonder what to wear today, Pick up your Honesty and try it on.

Easier to shed that coat,

For you wonder what to wear today, Pick up your Conviction and try it on.

For you wonder what to wear today,

Proud, honest and true,




Waves. They rise over the horizon,


Crystal Castles.

The Last Train.




Angela Tam

Photography by Elizabeth Hung



Issue 05

Second year design in visual communications student

Using mix of illustration and typography, Angelaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work evokes a playful and lighthearted tone. Inspired by overheard comments, food, lyrics and multi-media techniques, her work aims to visualize a punny imagination. Instagram: @_drawntoyou





Issue 05


Louis J O H A N S O N

PHOTOGRAPHY @ louisjohanson





Middle Head Wave

Long Reef


Issue 05


Mount Wellington Tasmania

Palm from Afar

Contribute to Vertigo

Artwork: Brian Nguyen

Hello fellow UTS students! We’re the 2015 Vertigo editorial team, and we’re looking for contributors for our magazine and newspaper.

it to

Vertigo is the student publication of the University of Technology, Sydney. And in 2015, we’re looking to keep Vertigo awesome by keeping the magazine you all know and love and by also introducing a regular newspaper for current affairs.

subeditor, designer)

What can I contribute? We want your help with investigative reporting, feature writing, 4. What experience do you have? design. What does being a contributor entail? Being a contributor means getting to know us, expanding your skills, getting your name in print, and much more! Vertigo 2015 is all about ambition, and we want your help with anything and everything. We’re very excited to work with each and every one of you.


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50%, then to p u e v a s d Buy an k even! Resell to brea




Profile for UTS Vertigo

Issue Five - 2015  

Issue Five - 2015