ISSUE 08 ‘after the flood’
EDITORS Mairead Armstrong Lachlan Bennett Sally Coleman Fiona Dunne Tessa Feggans Frances Mao Joe McKenzie Naomi Russo Zara Selman Hannah Story
CREATIVE DIRECTORS Sunyoung Hwang Catherine Lao
CREATIVE TEAM Minh Bui Patrick Forrest Ana-Clarise Rueda COVER IMAGE Ana-Clarise Rueda
ADVERTISING Stephanie King CONTRIBUTORS Antigone Anagnostellis Gina Baldassare Joseph Bautista Ruby Bell Lachlan Bray Lucy Faerber Max Grieve Whitney Higginson
Lucy Lester Damon Meredith Samuel Millsom Melanie Nicholls Emily Smith Angelo Risso Oscar Wills James Wilson Kristina Yenko
A WHOLE LOT OF WANG
WITH SUPPORT FROM Lyndal Butler et. al Spotpress Pty Ltd, Marrickville
Body Pump Grey’s Anatomy Freddo frogs Patrick Reid Soy chai Pink highlighters Mamak Pina coladas
EDITORIAL CALENDAR UTS DEEPER INSIDER GETTING DOWN WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE 11 A WHOLE LOT OF WANG 12 LETTERS TO THE TOWER 13 SOAPBOX 14 WHAT’S IN A BROADBAND NETWORK? 16 THE 2013 FEDERAL ELECTION CHEAT SHEET 18 SHOWCASE: KRISTINA YENKO 20 SONIC BLISS 22 WILL TO SURVIVE 24 GEN WHY?: OVERSHARING 25 STREET STYLE 26 ROADTEST: EXERCISE AT UNI 28 SHOWCASE: EMILY SMITH 30 DEFAMER 32 WHOSE PUSSY IS ON YOUR INSTAGRAM? 33 REWIND/ FAST-FORWARD 34 ON THE FRINGE 35 IS THIS SHIT ANY GOOD? 36 APOLOGISCOPES 37 BORED STUPID?! 39 SA REPORTS 4 5 6 8
Vertigo is published by the UTS Students’ Association Printed by Spotpress Pty Ltd, Marrickville Email us at advertising@uts vertigo.com.au for enquiries.
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 reproduced without the prior written consent of copyright holders. Vertigo would like to show its respect and acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Gadigal and Guring-gai people of Eora Nation, upon whose ancestral lands the university now stands. More than 500 Indigenous Nations shared this land for over 40 000 years before invasion. We express our solidarity and continued commitment to working with Indigenous peoples, in Australia and around the world, in their ongoing struggle for land rights, self determination, sovereignty, and the recognition of and compensation for past injustices. This is our disclaimer so we don’t get sued by nast y organisations or individuals. The contents of Vertigo do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Students’ Association or the Editors. This one is on you. 3
Rhabdomyolysis Mid-semester assignments Corrupted iPods Wild Turkey Migraines Sandwich duty Floods Getting caught in the rain
E D I TOR I AL Hello again, As we dive headfirst into September, the editors here at Vertigo have three things on our minds: the Federal election, those last minute mid-semester assignments worth a sneakily large proportion, and the glorious prospect of mid-sem break. As such, we’ve got an edition that should tick all the right boxes for you. First of all we’ve got a few articles to help you make an informed choice about who deserves your vote in the upcoming election. We’re all a bit sick of the smear circus of the election campaign, so Angelo Risso has whipped up a policy cheat sheet that cuts through the crap and shows you exactly what each party is offering. Damon Meredith explains why young people should care about each party’s broadband policy: not just so we can increase our download speed of Game of Thrones . And Lucy Lester looks at why winning the young vote has become a hashtag-heavy series of dad-jokes that just don’t make the leap over the generation gap. There’s also plenty to help you procrastinate for these last few weeks before the beautiful UTS non-teaching week. Mairead Armstrong takes up her pen to implore you to keep social media out of new relationships – because whose pussy is on your Instagram? We rewind to the good old days of Hugh Grant’s ‘90s heyday of floppy hair flicks and romantic bumbling, while Naomi Russo sends out the galaxy’s apologies: just don’t expect too much sympathy. The Vertigo Team isn’t ashamed to admit we’ve porked up a bit this year (call it long-term relationship weight), so we’ve roadtested the best ways to exercise for free at uni. Now we can truly say that we’ve put our blood, sweat and tears into this magazine (though maybe not so much the blood). It’s nearing the end of our time at the reigns of this dizzying publication, and we’ll be passing on the baton to a new set of editors at the end of the year. If you’re interested in becoming one of next year’s editors, come along to our briefing on September 5 at 5pm. There’s a lit tle something for ever yone inside these covers, to keep you sane through election madness and night-before assignment meltdowns And don’t forget to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any crazy ideas you’d like to see in print: we’d love to hear from you. Much love, Tessa and The Vertigo Team VERTIGO
C AL E N DAR
Monday 2nd September
Wednesday 11th September
Wednesday 18th September
8th Issue of Vertigo hits stands today
UTS Mind, Body, Soul Day 8am – 4pm @ City Campus
UTSpeaks: Fighting Fat Lecture 6pm @ Aerial Function Centre
Wednesday 4th September
Thursday 12th September
Friday 20th September
UTS Art Expo opens 9am – 8:30pm @ Various Locations
Cloud Control 8pm @ Metro Theatre
Horrorshow 8pm @ Metro Theatre
UTS Union Mascarave Dance Party 7pm – 12pm @ The Glasshouse
Friday 13th September
Saturday 21st September
Thursday 5th September
Rufus 8pm @ The Hi-Fi
OutsideIn Festival 2pm @ Factory Theatre
Sydney Underground Film Festival opens
Saturday 14th September
6pm @ Factory Theatre
Saturday 7th September Alison Wonderland 8pm @ Oxford Art Factory
Wil Anderson 7:30pm @ Enmore Theatre
Sunday 15th September Pole Theatre 8pm @ The Standard
UTS DEEPER INSIDER WHEN NEWS (OR A CRANE) BREAKS, TURN TO PAGE 6 FOR ALL THE CAMPUS NEWS, GOSSIP, AND DOWNRIGHT SLANDER THAT’LL LAST A THREE-WEEK PRINT RUN.
Union Board Affirmative Action Policy Hinges on Election Results frances mao
An Affirmative Action policy (AA) could be implemented on Union Board if no female students are successful in the upcoming elections. The current Union President, Nic Bentley told Deeper Insider, “The UTS Union Board has investigated on a series of occasions whether an affirmative action policy is needed. The Board has decided to see what the results of this year’s election will be.” Since 2011, there have been no female student directors on the Board. Although more than seven female students ran in last year’s election, all four directorships went to male students. The lack of equal representation has been a cause for concern amongst the board and the wider student body, sparking talk around the need for AA provisions. The Union Board hopes that it won’t have to come to that though. Bentley told Deeper Insider that in the lead-up to nominations, it specifically targeted potential female students to run for Board. Furthermore, the Union is doing “as much as possible” to promote the candidature statements of all the nominees – female and male. The Union Board consists of both staff and students and is responsible for the governance of all aspects of the Union and its activities. In 2013, three student directors will be elected to serve a two-year term
on the Board. Students have the opportunity to vote for a candidate using the online ballot box at www. elections.uts.edu.au. Voting closes Tuesday September 10 at 3pm. And the presidential hopefuls are... Once the popularity contest of Union Board elections come to a close, the race for the Union presidency (traditionally fought between the careerists and ladder-climbers) heats up. Outgoing president Nic Bentley is keeping mum on the subject, but out of the current crop of directors, it’s assumed that Rayan Calimlim and Akshay ‘Raj’ Kumar from Labor Right (Unity) will tilt for the top seat along with independent, Yannick Gachter, who is the likely frontrunner. Murmurings suggest that he has the backing of the Board’s staff executive, having been groomed by CEO Liz Brett to takeover in 2014.
Students Get Answers from UTS Council Lachlan Bennett
There will be no funding cuts to areas supporting vulnerable students such as indigenous students and students with disabilities in the 2014 UTS budget. Vice Chancellor Ross Milbourne made the announcement at the UTS Town Hall Meeting – an annual Q & A event where students and staff are invited to pose questions directly to the council about the plans and activities of the university.
“All I can say is that we’ve currently framed the 2014 budget and there have been no cuts to any of those areas,” Professor Milbourne said at the meeting held on August 14. Professor Milbourne’s comments were made in response to a question asked by Wom*n’s Officer Alison Whittaker who was concerned about how UTS would refinance its budget to cope with the government’s $2.3 billion cut to tertiary education. Although the budget is yet to be finalised, the Council said it would largely combat the cuts by delaying the refurbishment of some buildings like Building 2, and by looking at “income building measures”. The Council stressed though that the three new buildings of the Campus Master Plan would still open next year. SRC President Lyndal Butler said whilst the announcement was “quite reassuring”, it is important that students “keep [the council] to account to that because there’s no real certainty as to whether that support will remain in place or whether those students will still be supported adequately”. At the meeting, Professor Milbourne also restated his support for student protests against government funding cuts, however he did not rule out UTS permitting police on campus. The presence of riot police on campus at the University of Sydney has caused much contention, with recent protests dominated by stories of arrests, injuries and allegations of police brutality. Professor Milbourne said in the event of a protest at UTS, the university would rely on its campus security and police are by and large a last resort. The Council also fielded questions about the selection process for a
Blow your whistle baby, whistle, baby, let us know. Send your off-the-record tip offs to fr ances @ utsvertigo.com.au
new Vice Chancellor to succeed Professor Milbourne when he retires next year. Chancellor Vicki Sara revealed that both internal and external candidates were being considered at this stage.
FIVE ISSUES TO DECIDE THE ELECTION OSCAR WILLS
Politicians no longer have any excuse for not knowing what matters to students in the upcoming federal election, thanks to a survey conducted by the National Union of Students (NUS). The survey, which polled around 800 students from universities around the country, asked participants to choose the five issues they were most concerned about from a list of 12. The results revealed the top five issues were funding for high quality education, secure jobs and fair workplaces, humane treatment of asylum seekers, affordable housing and marriage equality. President of the NUS, Jade Tyrrell, told Deeper Insider she was pleased with the response. “This is a solid list of issues... it’s a pretty strong indicator of what students are thinking right now,” Tyrrell said. “We feel like students and young people have really been locked out of the room when it comes to policy discussions and their voices are not heard or considered properly.” Interestingly, some of the
issues that failed to make the top five included climate change and indigenous health. Despite this, Tyrrell doesn’t believe students disregard these other issues. “The students were asked to choose a top five; it doesn’t mean they don’t care about those issues, it’s just that they were asked to prioritise.” “Perhaps [indigenous issues] are not being spoken about enough in the media and perhaps the politicians themselves aren’t giving it enough time.” NUS’s next step is to encourage leaders within all the major parties to discuss these issues live with young people on the popular social networking site, Twitter. “We really need to see leadership on all these issues that were listed – at least the 12 [we identified in the survey] – young people need to have that conversation and start setting an agenda.”
UTS Introduce New “Career-Winning” Communication Majors Hannah Story and Zara Selman
The Facult y of Ar t s and Social Sciences (FASS) will drastically change the Writing and Cultural Studies degree in 2014. The Writing and Cultural Studies major will be dismantled and separated into a Creative Writing major
and a Cultural Studies major. Although the decision to split the major was made in response to student feedback, some students are concerned the Creative Writing major will be somewhat lacking if it doesn’t include a Cultural Studies component to form a foundation of understanding. However, Professor of Cultural Studies Anne Cranny-Francis believes that “students who are interested in both areas will still find a way to do some subjects in both”. “Both Writing and Cultural Studies wanted to give their students the benefit of a full program in their discipline and this seemed the best way to do it,” Professor CrannyFrancis said. Changes to the structure of the majors were first proposed in 2011 when graduating students voiced their concerns about the structure of the degree, claiming that they had signed up to a degree in Writing and were not offered enough practiceoriented subjects. As a way of ‘filling the gap’ former Dean of FASS Theo van Leeuwen introduced three writing-specific electives. One of these electives is now a permanent component of the new Writing degree, together with the three currently available Writing classes and two newly created classes. As part of the new changes, the existing Cultural Studies classes have been cut, replaced with six entirely new subjects. These changes will not affect students who are enrolled in the original major. Subjects currently available will continue to be offered through to 2016. New subjects may be offered as electives.
GETTING DOWN WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE Lucy Lester examines why the youth vote is so coveted by australian political parties, and what pollies will do to get them.
There was a time when politics wasn’t entirely dictated by short-term ploys to sway the electorate. There was a time when federal campaigning actually started eight weeks before the election, when strategising and sneaky ploys were saved for that direct lead up. Now, the weeks before the election are littered with the most petty, most painful and most prickly moves that politicians and their campaigners can concoct. The most cringe-worthy schemes these days are politicians’ attempts to win the youth vote. Watching an elderly statesman trying to connect with a nineteen-year-old is more unpleasant than tickling your cornea with a rusty scalpel. The dad jokes, the selfies, and the self-congratulatory tweets all exhibit just how obnoxious – and how truly out of touch – our supposed ‘representatives’ really are.
there are 1.4 million young people eligible to vote in the upcoming election. Half a million of those are not currently enrolled. Of those who are enrolled, some will make an informed decision, and some will agree with One Nation candidate Stephanie Bannister that Islam is a country, and a damn dangerous one at that. And a great proportion of the VERTIGO
youth vote will walk into a polling booth on September 7 and draw something that Mr Squiggle would be proud of.
We are the youth. We are rag-tag. Hear us roar. This bunch of young adults might be unpredictable, but they certainly aren’t inconsequential. Political stategists are refusing to repeat their past mistake of underestimating the impact of the youth vote. However, despite the fact that they’ve acknowledged its impor tance, their methods of winning it are somewhat questionable. Youth vote snatching becomes particularly concerning in instances when political parties do more than just enact mortifying publicity stunts, and actually deviate into tokenistic policy. For example, Kevin Rudd’s new National Office of Live Music (NOLM) and its $560 000 budget will take some of that money we freed up from cutting foreign aid and put it towards local events where roaming youths can get munted on a Saturday night. Personally I’d call that misallocation, but hey, if
you think propping up some jumpedup neo-Flume should take priority over giving Africans clean water, good for you. Rudd’s eagerness to use antiquated slang and to frequent stations like Triple J doesn’t seem genuine. He may walk and talk like a twitter-savvy Milky Bar Kid, and he may be designing the NBN policy to suit our need to illegally download Game of Thrones as fast as possible, but somehow it all seems a bit #superfake. Enough about Rudd. Even though his ploys seem fairly transparent, the schtick is working. His return was the impetus for 22 000 new enrolments for the Australian Electoral Commission. When I tried to google ‘Tony Abbott youth vote’, all I got were articles about Kevin Rudd’s selfies. So either Tony Abbott’s youth-directed policies don’t exist, and instead he has prioritised different demographics or overall inclusivity, or such policies do exist but are simply buried beneath a mountain of articles about KRudd’s selfies. Both options seem sad, the former indicating the frivolity of the policy makers, the latter indicating the frivolity of the electorate. Luckily for the politicians, there is a happy middle ground between cringeworthy fluff and hyper-directed cashflow like the NOLM.
fig 1. categories of youth voters
There is the potential for youth-targeted policies that are reasonable, appealing, and that will benefit society overall. However, the policies that already exist like this are either inadequate, or simply not publicised. To find that middle ground, it’s possible to divide the youth vote into three categories. The first is the majority of young people who are politically engaged on a minor level and will take the vote seriously when they get to the polling booth. The second categor y are the hacks: a small subset of young people who are viciously partisan and will hand out flyers until they are pried from their cold, dead, greasy paws. The final group is not really worth considering because the chances of engaging them on any level are quite low – these are the voters who will write 1, 2, 3, 4 in the boxes with no intention, or draw a dick. So to the first group: the voters, rather than the campaigners. According to polls, 87% of them believe they ‘aren’t being heard’ by politicians and policy
the ‘loyal hack’
makers. But what do they actually want? The most important concerns for rural youth were rent, unemployment and tertiary funding. Beyond that, both metropolitan and regional young people care about climate change and marriage equality. The fact is that their vote won’t depend on which candidate throws more money at live music, and they aren’t going to vote on the basis of a K-Rudd shaving selfie. They aren’t as vapid, or as fickle, as campaigners and strategists perceive them to be. The second group consists of the loyal hacks, a special breed that control the university campuses and will take any opportunity to chew your ear off. They care, to generalise, less about the tangible issues and more about personality-based politics. They care about the impact on the internal factions – it’s not whether or not the ALP is going to win, it’s whether or not the left or right faction will make gains. And to the final group – this kind of donkey vote isn’t necessarily a bad choice. I’m tempted to draw a big ol’ penis on there myself. I know, I know. People died so I could get that opportunity. Actually, I don’t think that’s quite the right way to put it. People didn’t fight and die so I could list the numbers or vote in the
the donkey voter
correct way. They died for my right to vote if I want to. As a person who has consistently read the newspaper every day and who lays awake at night trying to figure out which asylum seeker policy is worse, I think some of those ancestors might understand the reasons behind my rebellious action. I think both camps are just as bad as the other, so why give any of them my vote if it truly is as precious as a soldier’s life?
I don’t know if that old sense of honesty and integrity, in good times and bad, applies to either candidate. I don’t think I’m alone in mourning such a loss. I don’t care about the hack vote. I care slightly more about the dick vote, if only as a piece of rebellious expression. I care most about the rural young people who have to take gap years so they can pay to get to uni. I care about homeless kids getting back on two feet. I care about underprivileged kids who never got a chance, let alone a voice. And if there’s one thing I know none of us give a fuck about? It’s the fact that KRudd can’t shave for shit. 9
A WHOLE LOT OF WANG Frances Mao takes a look at the UTS union board’s (lack of) gender diversity.
The President of the UTS Union stood up to address the room. Facing him were his fellow board directors; the chosen and voted-for representatives of the student body. Also facing him was a whole lot of wang. Therein lay the problem. The UTS Union Board has seven student directors, each of whom are elected for two-year terms. The specifics of the scenario describing them above is fiction, but what isn’t fiction is the room full of boys, and the statistic that since 2011 there hasn’t been a single female student director on Union Board. No, that’s not a blip – it’s cold, hard fact. And yes, it’s 2013. Put simply, there has been no female student representation on the university’s premiere enterprise for two years straight. At the end of 2011, three new student directors were elected. They were all male. At the end of 2012, the same thing happened, only with four new male directors. It’s a tad facile to call it a boy’s club when the CEO of the Union is Elizabeth Brett, not Elliot Brett, and the non-student executive positions are evenly distributed between male and female staff, but it’s not exactly an Honi Soit cover either. So how did this happen? How did the female student voice become so muffled? Could it have been prevented? Perhaps, because unlike the University of Sydney Union, the UTS Union does not have an Affirmative Action policy (AA). Down the road, the students who run the university’s campus culture, the board directors and newspaper editors, are elected on the basis that there is an equal quota of male and female students. UTS thought that this was a safeguard it would never need. In the years leading up to and including 2011, the Board had three female presidents in five years. According to the 2011 President, Felicity Evans, this “exemplary record” is supposedly why AA has not been enacted, “because female representation has been strong”. That might have once been the case, but the recent paucity of female directors clearly suggests otherwise. Union reps concede that if the ‘troubling’ trend continues something will need to be done. Not that the Union is eyeing an AA policy with enthusiasm. The outgoing President, Nic Bentley, said he would only recommend AA if “it was clear that female students were facing severe difficulty in being elected”. Accordingly, “some sort of action” would be necessary if a female student failed to get up on Board again for the third year in a row. However, it might just be a case of too little, too late. According to the UTS Wom*n’s Officer, Alison Whittaker,
the board dragging its feet on implementing the policy is not only “embarrassing” but also indicative of its “reluctance to investigate and put in place appropriate counter-sexist mechanisms and accountabilities”. “The results of last year’s election necessitated this action and in my view are evidence enough to call for AA as part of this election. I see no reason that he would not delay it further if exactly the same thing happened this year,” said Whittaker. Both Bentley and Evans have faith in the current – arguably ineffective – efforts of the Board to support potential female candidates. It’s a support that is offered to the entire field of candidates running. The Board believes in getting up on your own merit, and that’s an ideal within which AA provisions sit uncomfortably. According to Bentley, “Even though a female student has not been elected to the Board in the past two elections, it is also apparent that the students that did get elected had the most prominent campaigns... being elected really depends on how hard you are willing to work to convince people that you’re the candidate to vote for.” In response, Whitakker says that kind of thinking shirks the Board’s responsibility to demonstrate equitable representation. “They place the onus on the individual to make huge institutional change with very limited resources,” “A key to sustaining marginalised representation is cementing targets so strongly into their institution that they are not impacted by the lull and pull of political and social circumstances,” she said. Whether the lull and pull of this year’s popularity contest/ Union Board elections will see a female candidate finally return to Board is anyone’s guess. There are several prominent female students running in this year’s race. Go online and check out each candidate’s statement. Vote for somone who isn’t the worst. Who knows, the future of AA policy at UTS may ride on it.
The voting period for this year’s UTS Union Board Elections ends on September 10 at 3pm. Students may vote for a candidate using the online polling booth at https:// elections.uts.edu.au/ . 11
LETTERS TO THE TOWER
JOSEPH BAUTISTA reclaims the lost art of letter-writing.
To the stranger who smiled at me, It was a soggy Wednesday when we crossed paths. You had no idea about the night-long struggle with Marxist Literary Theory I had just overcome, nor did you have any reason to. All I did was stumble in front of you in the grizzliest of states – pizza stains still across my shirt – when you were able to send my way the simplest of gestures. A smile. It was not your job to do such a thing. There was no ‘smile quota’ you had to fill. And the livelihood of your various illegal dependents did not hinge on your ability to do so. But you smiled anyway. I could try to quantify the profound effect it had on me, but I study writing and not neuropsychology, so instead I decided to write you a letter in an attempt to throw back that same feeling you gave me, this time through my measly words. That smile was electric. That smile was so electric it was like that one time Ash Ketchum hooked Pikachu up to a watermill to boost her electric shock to Zapdos levels of electricity – except it didn’t end in near-death and numerous counts of animal cruelty, so I guess it wasn’t like that time at all. It was still pretty damn cool when you smiled at me, though. You smiled at me with such clarity your irises seemed to say to me, “Hey, whatever it is you’re going through, whatever assignment it is that’s long overdue, none of it matters. We are all but tiny chocolate sprinkles on this skinny cappuccino VERTIGO
we call Earth; we’ll all be slurped up soon anyway” (apparently your irises are purveyors of fine coffee and weakly constructed metaphors). But I’m not letting that get in the way of my appreciation of you. Maybe it was the way the light fell upon your face that day, or maybe it was the kebab you handed me soon after, but I have yet to meet a stranger who is able to make me so happy in so little time. It was with utter piousness that you smiled at me that day. It is with the utmost respect that I thank you today. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it was the kebab. It was with flair that you wrapped up those juicy slices of chicken and beef into rolls of pita bread and it was with a surgeon’s precision that you found the numerologically correct ratio of meat to lettuce to tomato and onion. It was with compassion that you handed me my change. To the stranger behind the counter at the UTS kebab joint, I hope you find solace in the fact that I did indeed, ‘have a good one’.
Should smokers have rights? FOR
It was 20 05 and I had been forced by my then housemate to hand out Greens flyers in Newtown to the caring, unflinching mas se s . B ack then, I was q u i t e t h e politico, c hanting sl o g ans that f l owe d like a p o o r l y structured poem, “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! This thing that the government has done is outrageous and stuf f!” Feeling grog g y from a hard night ’s boozing and hardcore sex, I did what most environmentally conscious student activists would do in such a situation – I smoked like a chimney. I was chain-smoking to stave off boredom, tiredness and Christian Democrat volunteers (smoking is Satan’s breath you see). Passersby didn’t mind – they were just tr ying to get from c afé to c afé to continue th e ir m e r r y S at urday “ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY CATCHUPS DAHHHLING!” Enter anti-smoking campaigner and former Labor Member of Legislative Council Meredith Burgmann. “Put out that death stick immediately!” she said. I was shocked, af fronted even. Shouldn’t she be off somewhere being corrupt with the rest of the Carr ministr y? Even Peter Garrett looked stunned, but then, when doesn’t he? My response was terse but measured, “I was here first. If you don’t like it, go away.” She didn’t like that much, so off she went. In 2013 this is a common occurrence. When people don’t like something, they won’t go away. They feel entitled to stand there and demand that you change your behaviour because they’re uncomfor table. I say tough. Until they ban the sale of cigarettes, smokers should be allowed to smoke wherever they want, and before you get all health- conscious , consider the damage that cars or fast food do to us all, but we don’t ban them. Smoking may be noxious and make you nauseous, but frankly, if you don’t like it, just go away.
Our liberal democracy is based upon the principle t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s s h o u l d b e f r e e to choose to do as th ey wi sh , p rovi ding it d o e s n ’ t harm anyone else. If it does, the government’s re sp onsib ilit y i s to p rote c t th e communit y as a whole A c c o rding to th e NSW G ove r nm e nt , sm ok ing i s the leading c ause of preventable death in Australia. T hat ’s b e c au s e sm ok ing c ont ains har mf ul tox ins , 25 0 o f w h i c h a r e p r e s e n t i n s e c o n d h a n d s m o k e . The US Surgeon General estimates that people living with a smoker are 30 % more likely to develop lung c a n c e r. A s a c o m m u n i t y, w e ’v e r e a c t e d t o t h i s b y banning smoking i n e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , p u b s , c l u b s , restaurants, o n p u b l i c t r a n s p o r t , a n d p r e t t y m u c h any wh e re you f in d c hil dre n – inc lu ding your o w n c ar. In many ways , an outright ban is really the inevitable end goal of a slow process of eliminating the spaces in which you c an smoke. Some consider this “nannying” but really, can you think of any other c irc um s t anc e wh e re you have th e r ig ht to re l e a s e dangerous toxins into the air in a public plac e? The current bans have been ef fective and, along with a host of other restrictions on the adver tising of smoking, th ey ’ve b e e n c re dite d by th e C anc e r Council NSW as the cause of the decline in smoking rates – from 72% of men and 26% of women in 1945 to only 16.4% of men and 13.9% of women in 2010. It follows that a total ban could lead to even lower figures. B anning sm ok ing m ay not h e lp th e di e - hard 80-year-old who first lit up aged 10, but it would mean cleaner air for non-smokers and less temptation for those tr ying to quit .
when Australia heads to the polls on September 7, the National Broadband Network will be a major vote decider. Damon Meredith weighs up the options.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the name of the Labor Government’s plan to connect all Australian households and businesses to high speed broadband by the year 2021. Rather confusingly, the C oalition’s broadband plan is also called the NBN, but their policy is decidedly different. The NBN is a major election issue, but given that most of you already have access to the internet everywhere you go, you may be wondering why you – the average Vertigo reader – should care about the NBN? Why do we need to spend so much time and money building something that we already have today? The answer is: to be ready for tomorrow. Australia has the seventh highest number of internet users per capita in the world, with 72% of Australians using the internet every day. Our education, our jobs and our ever yday lives all increasingly rely on high-speed internet. Despite this, our internet speeds lag on a global scale. VERTIGO
Speedtest.net ranks Australia’s optimum download speed of 13.4 megabits-per-second (Mbps) as 48 in the world. C ountries with faster speeds include Uruguay, Andorra and New Zealand. Our upload speeds are even worse, ranked 95 at a measly 2.45 Mbps. For those of you who aren’t super tech-savvy, let me explain it in a way that ever yone can understand. Just say you were downloading the latest episode of Game of Thrones , not a crappy, pixelated version but the full high-definition pirated deal. We’ll say that the episode is about 750 MB. At our current top speed it would take just under seven and a half minutes to download. With either party’s NBN plans it would take one minute. If you wanted to upload that episode, it would currently take you 40 minutes, in comparison to the projected two and a half minutes using the NBN. Depending on how urgently you need to watch the
latest episode you might be totally cool with that time difference. But the real problem – and the real reason we need the NBN – is that on average, digital file sizes doubles every two years. By 2020, you’re not going to want to wait an hour to download that episode, so you can understand why we need to get the ball rolling. Thankfully, both the Government and the Opposition are commit ted to establishing an NBN. The main difference, or point of contention, is in their method of deliver y. Labor favours the faster and more expensive Fibre-tothe-Premise (FTTP) network, which involves laying an optic fibre cable to every household. The Coalition prefers to use existing wiring to connect houses to a Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) network. Labor (FTTP) Completed:
100 Mbps (12.5 MB per second)
40 Mbps (5 MB per second)
1000 Mbps download / 400 Mbps upload
Coalition (FTTN) Completed:
25 – 100 Mbps depending on distance (3.125 MB per second)
300 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload
With Labor’s plan, every house would be directly connected to their internet exchange by fibre. The Coalition would use existing copper wires and hybrid fibre-coaxial cables (called HFC and used for pay TV) to connect to a fibre network. A crucial difference between fibre (which is made of glass or plastic) and copper is its speed over distance. With copper wires, the fur ther away you are, the slower your internet will be. Fibre maintains the same speed over all distances, and is capable of delivering up to and above 1000 Mbps. The latest vectoring and bonding technology can only push copper lines to about 300 Mbps within a few hundred metres. This means the Coalition’s FTTN speeds are directly linked to how close you live to a node, whereas Labor’s FTTP will lead to a standardised speed across the country. Another difference between fibre and copper is the upload speed. The Coalition has refused to commit to an upload speed for their NBN plan, possibly because copper can only deliver around 10 Mbps. In contrast, fibre upload speeds are fifty times faster. So why does the Coalition want to use copper wiring if it is so much less effective? Basically, because a FTTN
broadband network will be a lot cheaper in the short run, about $20.4 billion. Labor’s FTTP will cost an estimated $37.4 billion. FFTP
Shadow Communications and Broadband Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, disagrees with Labor’s estimated pricing and instead is fond of saying a FTTP NBN is “going to cost taxpayers $94 billion”. Turnbull draws that figure from four assumptions: that revenue will be a third of what is expected, that a quarter of households will use wirelessonly internet, that the infrastructure will cost 40% more, and that the rollout will take four more years . These are valid assumptions, albeit worst case scenario ones. However, it should also be noted that Turnbull’s proposed FTTN network would require regular maintenance and use more electricity than an optic fibre cable, generating a multitude of hidden costs. Labor’s FTTP network would be entirely governmentowned, which is one of the reasons for the higher cost. Telstra will be paid $11 billion to transfer ownership of their copper wiring and progressively shut down their existing HFC cables. Optus will also receive $800 million to disconnect their HFC cables. As previously mentioned, HFC cables are used by Foxtel and other pay TV companies to deliver their subscription services. With Labor’s plan, premium television services would have to switch to the NBN. This has prompted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to speculate that News Corp (who owns Foxtel) views Labor’s NBN as a threat. Rudd has hinted this could be the reason behind News Corp’s clearly negative attitude toward the Labor party. However, the Coalition rightly identifies the main threat to pay TV as high-speed broadband, and points out their FTTN plan would actually enable it faster. Because they are using existing infrastructure, the Coalition says they could complete their NBN by 2019. Labor’s target has been pushed back until 2021, due to delays in the rollout because of disputes with sub-contractors. Overseas, most countries use a mixture of FTTN and FTTP technology. The general trend in Europe is moving toward FTTP, with the exception of Britain, while the United States has a mixture of both.
Ultimately, the creation of a National Broadband Network can only be a good thing. Either plan will give us faster internet speeds than ever before. The Coalition says we need a “fast, affordable, sooner NBN”. Labor says “do it once, do it right, do it fibre”. The choice is yours. 15
The ‘political expediency because Western Sydney’ solution
THE 2013 FEDER AL ELECTION
CHEAT SHEET beyond all of the spin and the gaffes, there are actually policy differences between the major parties. And although we know everyone votes based on policies and not prejudices, we had ANGELO RISSO draw up this neat summary of the differences anyway.
• #stoptheboats. Asylum seekers who arrive by boat will never live in Australia and will instead be sent to detention centres on Manus Island or Papua New Guinea for processing and resettlement. • The ALP increased Australia’s annual humanitarian intake of refugees to 20 000 last year; want to raise it to 27 000.
The ‘because straight out execution would really be inhumane’ solution • The inventors of #stoptheboats, the Coalition, will implement Operation Sovereign Borders, a military-led response to help “turn back boats where it is safe to do so”. They will even hire a three star general to run it. • Reintroduction and retroactive e nfo rc e m e nt of te mp o r ar y protection visas, meaning asylum seekers currently in the community will not be immune to this state of uncertainty, which strips refugees of their rights to education, family and travel. • Will reduce humanitarian intake of refugees to 13 750.
The ‘we stole Julia Gillard’s plans and then sacked her’ package • The Gonski reforms will provide an extra $15 billion in funding over the next six years to primary and secondar y schools. Baselevel funding per student topped up by ‘loadings’ based on disadvantage. • $2.3 billion in cuts to tertiary education system to fund Gonski agreement. Student Start-Up Scholarships will become another loan on top of HECS, and the 10% discount on upfront payment of tuition fees will be dumped.
The ‘we stole Labor's plan to neutralise this issue’ package • Has agreed to honour any agreement signed between the Federal and State Governments, and would match Labor’s offer ‘dollar for dollar’. • Will establish by 2014 a new two-way Colombo Plan, or exchange program between Australian students and students from the Asian region. Because Chinese bandwagon. • Scrapping the School Kids’ Bonus.
The 'bleeding hearts but hey we actually have a heart' solution • End compulsory detention for asylum seekers arriving by boat after health, security and other checks done on the mainland. Close all offshore processing centres. • An increase in Australia’s humanitarian quota to 25 000.
The ‘cutting education to fund education makes no fucking sense’ package • Strong supporters of the Gonski reforms, and will offer an extra $2 billion to the policy over the next four years. • Would reverse the $2.3 billion in cuts to the tertiary education budget. • And in fact increase higher education funding by 10%, costing nearly $1.5 billion over 4 years.
CARBON EMISSIONS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The ‘hasn’t this issue gone away already’ scheme
The ‘nobody mention Joe deBruyn’ policy
• Has axed the carbon tax in favour of a floating carbon price (an Emissions Trading Scheme) based on the market. • Reduce CO2 emissions by 5% of 1990 levels by 2020.
• Labor’s policy platform supports same sex marriage but offers MPs a conscience vote on the matter. • Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has publicly endorsed same sex marriage, and would put forward a same sex marriage bill within the first 100 days of a new Labor government.
The ‘we reckon we can win two elections in a row off this’ network
The ‘fuck science, fuck economics and fuck the future’ scheme • The abolition of a price on carbon, as well as the Mineral Rent Resource Tax (the Mining Tax). • The ‘Direct Action’ plan: Establish an Emissions Reduction Fund with the aim of providing (so far unnamed) incentives and subsidies for energy producers and businesses to reduce C02 emissions. • They will plant trees. Direct action, gaiz! • Abolish the Climate Commission and Climate Change Authority, as well as the Clean Energ y Finance Corporation. Because experts, pshht.
The ‘we got this shit covered but we’re a minor party' scheme • Net zero or net neg ative greenhouse g as emissions within a generation or by 2050. Binding national targets for each year. • Scrap $14 billion in subsidies from miners and end the diesel rebate.
The ‘nobody mention Malcolm Turnbull or Tony’s sister’ policy • The Coalition until now has denied its MPs a conscience vote on same sex marriage, but Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said any future decision to allow a conscience vote would be a matter for the Liberal party room. • Abbott personally opposes same sex marriage.
The ‘we were advocating this policy before it was cool’ policy • The Greens are strongly in favour of same sex marriage, and would implement legislation allowing the marriage of two adults “regardless of sex, sexuality or gender identity”.
• Continuation of the National Broadband Net work rollout . Under the NBN 93% of Australians will have fibre optic cables deliver super-fast broad-band directly to their homes. • The L abor Par t y has allot ted $37.4 billion to the implementation of the NBN, to be completed by 2021. However media reports have indicated the roll-out has occurred much slower than anticipated, putting this date in doubt. Still, if this amazing internet does eventuate, we might finally be able to compete with modern Asia. • Expensive but worth every penny.
The ‘relying on outdated institutions is how we roll’ network • Branded as an NBN that will be installed faster and at a lower cost to the taxpayer, the Coalition's policy will instead run fibre optic cables to the streets, before using the existing rusty copper wiring to connect to individual homes. • Promises 100 Mbps download speeds, which is up to 10 times slower than the Labor policy. • The Coalition’s NBN will cost about $17 billion less than the Labor model, and be up and running by 2019.
The ‘broadband policy makes dull placards’ network • The Greens have endorsed Labor’s NBN rollout program.
S H O W C A S E :
I am a Visual Communication student, and photography is more than just a hobby for me; rather, it is a transformative creative practice. My photographs have evolved as I have, maturing and changing as Iâ€™ve gotten older. I love shooting fashion because it is so full of energy, and is emblematic of youth, freedom and imagination.
The fluidity of fashion is inspiring to me; it’s all about the expression of peoples’ desires, emotions, futures and pasts.
ON I C BL I SS
radio dj mark ward a.k.a. Thee Sonic Assassin speaks to antigone anagnostellis about drunken speeches, the survival of live music and the magic of snail mail.
Mark Ward’s main task, aside from managing sponsorship at our very own 2SER, is working on ‘Sideways Through Sound’ – a weekly two-hour radio show with a particular focus on psychedelic music. But it’s not all that clear cut. “It’s more about a feeling rather than slotting into a pigeonhole and it certainly doesn’t pay attention to trends and hot new bands and whatever NME might be writing about.” Ward grew up in Manchester (when the ‘80s post-punk genre reached its peak with Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths) and has always had a hand in the music industry. For just over six years, he has called Sydney home and quickly became a regular at 2SER. “‘Sideways Through Sound’ is its own universe really,” Ward says. “Psychedelia is the touchstone of everything but what may sound psychedelic to me may not to someone else. So that in itself is a fairly loose genre… I guess musically it’s got a certain flow, it’s got a vibe to it which is not spiky, it’s not abrasive. But that doesn’t mean it is beige and
background either. It’s tried and tested: really good on a beanbag with candles and incense and a glass of red wine.” Speaking of wine, having enjoyed the free flow of red available at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia conference (the annual community radio awards) last year, Ward found himself on stage without a speech. “I didn’t want to be so presumptuous as to have a speech prepared so I was down in Melbourne at the CBAA. Of course, in the interim there was a free flow of red wine. So by the time category 17 or whatever for ‘excellence in music programming’ came around, I was rather wine-faced. All I remember was hearing the theme music to ‘Sideways Through Sound’ and a big cheer from the people I sat with and then I found myself walking to the stage, ‘Oh shit, whatever come out of my mouth next has absolutely got to make sense’… It got filmed and luckily it was okay. On the outside I was quite calm, on the inside I was like a bag of small white mice.” In all seriousness, Ward was grateful
for the award. “It was a real thrill to receive that. Industry recognised and that was huge, that was really huge and very flattering.” Following the win, Ward felt that it was time to take the show out of the studio and into the real world of his supporters. In June, ‘Sideways Through Sound’ took over Sydney’s Brighton Up Bar (on Oxford St) to celebrate the show’s fifth birthday. “Radio is so ethereal – it’s here and then it’s gone – so it was nice to do an event and give folks something that is a little more tangible.” Ward invited bands that already had a historic connection to the show, including Sam and the Bird, Devotional, Sister Jane and Psychlops Eyepatch, to perform on the night. “It wasn’t just a straight gig. It was live to air. Everything has to be a bit speedier. When the bands were playing, for example, the silence between songs is dead air and that on radio is really bad so you have to keep it moving. The energy in the room because of that was already lifted. The focus was really on representing the show musically and visually because obviously radio relies on people’s sense for the time. So it was kind of taking radio into an unusual environment.” This suggests that community radio is well and alive. In June the federal government announced $6 million in funding over three years to enable community digital radio to stay on air. Ward says the announcement made everyone at the station happy, and that it’s especially important for community radio outside of capital cities. “We’re kind of spoiled in the city – we get access to news from so many different platforms that you can kind of tend to take it for granted. Out in the country or back at Bourke it’s a whole different story. I think that’s where it would be felt most and not only by the stations but also the listeners because
a lot of the time they’re a lifeline to the world. It’s where people really rely on getting news and information and stories.” Although reluctant to say that the internet has improved working life, Ward says that it does speed up his crosscountry communications. “Certainly since MySpace, then Bandcamp and Soundcloud – and of course the necessary evil that is Facebook – it’s very easy to seek people out these days. I use the Internet a lot. MySpace was such a great tool at the time, it was one of a kind, and I made a lot of my first contacts through that.” He mingled with the Manchester hardcore punk scene and DIY ethic by making fanzines, DIY mail orders, and writing letters all over the world. “I think going back thirty years there was a bit of mystery and a bit of magic getting that parcel from Tokyo or Wellington or whatever it might be. Whereas now it’s easier, but at the same time it’s gone a little bit.” Ward believes that Australia has a particularly good setup when it comes to community radio. “The opportunity to get involved in radio [we now have] here in Australia is something that just isn’t available or wasn’t back then in the UK. Community radio has such a presence here in Australia and I think it’s really a case of if you’re passionate, you have an idea and you’re prepared to be dedicated and committed to it.
The very nature of it being volunteerpowered is that there’s always a requirement for new people to come in the door with new ideas and new energy and a new approach to making radio.” But of course, for Thee Sonic Assassin himself, it’s the music that comes first. “I just found that over the years music has been the constant in my life – everything else changes, comes and goes, but there’s always been music. I just can’t imagine life without music. I can’t imagine how dull the world would be if there wasn’t music in it. It soundtracks everything for me.” You can listen to ‘Sideways Through Sound’ every Wednesday on 2SER 107.3FM at 8pm.
~will to survive~ Max Grieve answers our questions about how Yura Mudang housing students survived the UTS floods.
photos by jordan sernik VERTIGO
yura students were undeniably the people most affected by this catastrophe. can you tell us what happened to you over the course of the floods? Explaining what happened at Yura Mudang is much like explaining war to an Australian toddler – it doesn’t care, and if it doesn’t want to know, then it doesn’t have to find out. Victims of the Ultimo Road Floods didn’t have the choice to ignore the war in this increasingly tenuous analogy. They just found out when Yura and McDonalds lost power in the offensively early hours of Sunday August 11. We were assured that we’d be allowed back in by 6am, so we spent the night in Building 10. It might have been dark back at Yura, but that couldn’t have been anything on the hours spent
under desks and on wheelie chairs, kept alive by biscuits and rationed milk, and awake by people who watched YouTube fails until the sun came up. We had found a collective nadir. What happened next has been described by many as “total bullshit”. Fruit was served for breakfast, then we were told that it would probably be another six hours, then we were given bacon sandwiches, then we were told it would be another nine hours, then we had sausage sandwiches, then it was dark again and they started sorting out hotels for people to stay the night in. Those who missed out on a room at the Novotel, where you had a TV and a pool and a view of Darling Harbour, stayed on mattresses on the floor of the sports hall, which is cool, I guess, just not in a hotel-y sort of way. It was all over by Monday. The lights
were back on, and we were set tling down to watch Australia snatch defeat from the jaws of a respectable draw in the fourth Test. Of course, then everything went black and we were back on the street by 8.30pm. “Damn this flood,” said one survivor. “Damn this infernal flood. It’s not even watery anymore and it’s still being a dick.” The floodwaters had indeed been non-existent since Sunday afternoon, leaving many wondering what the fuck was taking so long. Yura Mudang re-opened at midday on Tuesday August 13, and is now back in operation as a student residence on par with a minimum-security Scandinavian prison. It is currently powered by dogs on treadmills and potato batteries donated by local primary schools.
How did you keep your morale up? We were aware of unrest in Egypt, a civil war in Syria, crippling debt in Greece, and extreme pover ty across the African continent, but we hit some real low points after being locked out of housing at 1am in the early hours of Sunday morning. The promise of food was what kept us from resor ting to selective cannibalism, but when all you’re offered is a biscuit, or a banana, or two biscuits, morale does tend to take a dive. There were suggestions that perhaps by constructing, and then burning, an effigy of the UTS Tower we would somehow appease the God that had brought the floods upon us, but nobody could really be bothered. It was pretty late.
“forced to leave all our worldly possessions...”
how did people feel about leaving their homes and their life possessions behind? The power outage represented a fire danger, but there was a per vading sense of confusion in the early hours of Sunday morning. Why couldn’t we just go upstairs, agree not to muck around in the fire escapes and go to bed? Night is dark anyway – who needs lights to enjoy the dark? But if there was a fire, it wouldn’t be easy to get down to the ground with no power. Also, the toilets weren’t flushing, so there was that. That said, a Qantas jet airliner has never crashed. Over 970 planes leave the ground for Qantas each week, and each week 970 planes touch down more or less intact – what matters is that nobody has died on a Qantas flight since 1951. People feel pretty safe on Qantas planes. In this way, Yura Mudang is a lot like a Qantas plane. A fire alarm goes off somewhere in the building every couple of hours. There’s no smoke without fire,” people like to say. People are stupid – there’s also no fire without fire. Yura has a 100% record when it comes to the ‘days the building wasn’t on fire’, so when we were forced to leave all our worldly possessions behind, everyone was fairly confident that things weren’t going to burn up.
“mattresses on the floor of the sports hall”
How did it feel to return to Yura after your ordeal? Much like a criminal being released from prison after twenty years behind bars, many found it tough to assimilate back into a life at Yura Mudang. Real, constructed beds seemed foreign, food that wasn’t biscuits or bacon sandwiches did, at first, appear to be inedible. Clothes, for those of us who abandoned them at some point over the previous 72 hours, felt constrictive and wrong. We were all speaking with New Zealand accents. We came back so primitive and unrefined – we had been tested. Boys returned as men. Men returned as stronger men. Women returned as stronger women. We had come home, but home seemed different somehow. Yura Mudang hadn’t changed. We had.
What do you think is the best way forward after the trauma of the floods? Picture this. You’ve heard of Winter O’ Fest. You’ve heard of Live Aid. You’ve heard of the Concert for Bangladesh. Smash them all together, less the let-down that was Winter O’ Fest, and throwing in the thrill of a flood, and you’ve got Flood Relief 2013, a benefit concer t /five-day festival that will definitely be put on by UTS, with all proceeds going towards paying the bills for the hotels in which some flood victims spent a few nights. Is there any other way to go on?
? OVERSHARIN G Whitney Higginson asks the question we’ve always wanted an answer to: oversharers, what the fuck are you doing?
don’t post anything
no one cares
Whipped Girl Today my boyfriend tied my shoe. It was amazing! Love him forevs #love #boyfriend #theone #everyonelovesme #hessosweet #listentome no one likes this
Hair Freak gUys my hAiR loOoks fReaKin HECTIC !! shOut ouT to mY homEboy gAtsby fOr maKing dA bEsT HaiR gEl !! #yeahhhboy #igetdachicks #girls #woot no one likes this
No, really, what the fuck are you doing? Wait. Don’t answer that. Unlike Facebook’s ever inviting “What are you doing?” status box, that was a rhetorical question. And like most people in your friends list, I don’t care if you’re taking out an AVO on someone, or that you are ‘OMG soooo in love’ with your boyfriend of three weeks. I get it; when you are engulfed in narcissism it seems like a really fucking good idea to word-vomit all over your screen because Facebook gives the illusion that you have a constant captive audience at your fingertips. Suddenly you become accustomed to the idea that you are comparable to a D-Grade celebrity on The Voice because you have a few hundred ‘friends’ who are obviously DYING to know what you’re up to. Pro tip: they’re not and they’ll probably judge you. To overcome this, you need to remember that tapping on the keys of a keyboard and posting a status means you’re actually COMMUNICATING with people. Every time you post your innermost thoughts on the Internet, people will unfortunately, and inevitably, read it. To put this into perspective, please take a second to imagine standing in a crowded public space – like your lecture theatres in the first week of class (because why anybody voluntarily goes to a lecture after the first week is beyond me) or peak hour at Central station – and yelling to 532 of your closest acquaintances that you got into VERTIGO
the biggest argument ever with your best friend/sister/ brother/partner and life is really unfair and you don’t know what to do so you decide to share some really relevant yet indirect song lyrics. Or you say some really sarcastic and condescending things about that person. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I am addressing this because I feel sorry for you. And I feel that oversharers should be blacklisted from the internet, along with C omic Sans and any thing ending in Kardashian. To help you, I have compiled a short checklist of things you must ask yourself when posting an update on your life. This will determine whether or not the information you’re about to bestow upon the Internet is suitable for everyone to see: • Did it involve an orgasm? • Is there blood? • Did it involve the law in any form? • Is it contagious? • Did someone call someone a cunt? • Are there any illegal substances? • Are you currently drunk? • Is it about your child? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then please, stop posting shit online and reconsider your life choices.
spring has sprung and UTS’s latest fashionistas are in full sartorial bloom. SAMUEL MILLSOM picks the best of the bunch.
Roncisco is a Public Communication student who I would like to declare is ready to attack the day #makefashionnotwar. But seriously, he’s armed and ready for some style combat, although thankfully he didn’t mind me getting up in his proverbial grill to ask him about his outfit. It’s important to note that Ron is rocking some serious brands here: clock the River Island camo jacket paired up with the Zara palm front sweater #rainforestradness! Combine these pieces with a pair of sweet denims and some Adidas sneaks, and this dude is ready for some guerrilla warfare that will conquer any terrain. Roncisco has some threads that are as fun as his name, so we should all duck and cover for this style sergeant.
It may only be early spring, but Charlotte is giving a middle finger to the still chilly weather with a delightfully sweet summer dress. Charlotte is a Forensic Biology student who’s got some style chemistr y that ’s heating things up enough to eliminate her need for a jumper. She has the fashion formula down with a Stepford wife dress that does all the things a dress should do. Cinched waist? BAM! Slim scientist ahoy! Vertical stripes? KAPOW! Instantly taller! Charlotte has got a look that makes way more sense than any CSI episode, and just like a CSI Miami episode, is a flashback to the glorious days of summer. BAZINGA! That’s some style science for ya!
Yulia is a Russian rogue who shows that studying Accounting doesn’t mean that you have to dress like an accountant. I glimpsed her from the corner of my eye and I knew I had to get a closer look at her top – I mean, it’s leopard print, with an attachable fur stole, but wait – there’s more! It even has a detachable brooch! Keeping it monochromatic (#willow #filter) keeps this outfit from being OTT, but I love how Yulia can add on more layers as needed – just like a Babushka doll. Topping off the outfit with some sweet leather kicks and a textured black miniskirt, she’s got herself an outfit that will balance all the books. Yulia should totally be held accountable for this awesome outfit because it really adds up #checksandbalances.
EXERCISE AT UNI The Vertigo team put their bodies on the line to find out the best way to exercise at uni on the cheap.
It’s been a big year for the Vertigo Editors. Deadlines, long meetings and, more generally, the p re s sure of c re ating a f re sh an d e ng a g ing publication for 40 000 students ever y three weeks has begun to take its toll on our minds and, more visibly, our bodies. We tr y our hardest to be healthy, but when you’re staring down the barrel of eight pages of missing content two days before print deadline, its really hard to ignore the jumbo pack of M&Ms that is usually lying around our office. A s there is currently no rehabilitation program for M&M addiction available in Australia, we decided to look at the exercise si de of thing s . Pro b l e m i s , we are time poor, too broke for gym memberships and practically live at uni these days. Thus –
Mission: To determine the most effective forms of exercise that can be undertaken at uni using only objects that can be found around campus.
Swimming on Ultimo Road
BIKRAM YOGA IN THE OFFICE (OR ANY OTHER SUPEROVERHEATED ROOM)
UTS may not have its own aquatic centre, but it does have a burst water main on Ultimo Road. We brought our swimming c aps along on the Monday af ter the incident, keen to do some laps, but found no water at all. B u i l d in g 5 w a s c l o s e d too, so we couldn’t even check to see if maybe one of the lecture rooms had flooded. We could’ve had a dip there. Probably a good thing considering the electricity problems down Haymarketway. It was disappointing, so we got lunch at Mamak instead.
Fun Fact: the Ver tigo Of fice (CB02.03.24 for anyone who’d like to pop in for a visit) is ridiculously hot. We have a conspiracy theory that it’s the uni’s way of slowly wearing us down, their way of making sure that we are too sweaty and sleepy to write any hardcore éxposes on them. In light of writing this article, we decided that ins te ad of moaning about the heat, we should tr y to utilise our of fice’s balmy temperature for our new exercise regime. Bikram Yoga, for the uninformed, is yoga that is practiced in a room that is heated to 40 degrees. The office temp comes pret t y close to this. We did a few cheeky salutes to the sun and some balance poses. But we should have known, given that we can barely sit through a meeting in there without feeling lightheaded, that we wouldn’t last long. We spent the next half hour in child pose. Outside the office.
Sweat level: 0/5
Sweat level: 5/5 (duh)
Carrying a Desktop around uni
Stair Sprints on the Concourse
It seems almost every uni student think s they are sup er slick the se days , with their thin laptops and their thinner iPhone s . But if you want to tone up, and perhaps trim down, you should be looking for a h e av i e r P C . M u s c l e s h i r t s a r e coming back in everybody – so say goodbye to Macbook Airs and hello to a big ol’ chunk of computing hardware. Carr ying an old-school Desktop around uni may have attracted some looks, but our (s o o n t o b e) bulging biceps will be at tr ac ting even more. Our arms are really sore and we had nowhere to plug in our PCs, but at least no one will mistake us for the canteen lady.
UTS likes to spend your hard-earned c ash on thing s that were cool in the ‘ 9 0 s like roller rink s , melting ice rinks and middle-sized jumping c as tle s . It ’s all par t of comfor ting you because our uni looks more like a phallus than a me dieval c as tle . We overc ame our fe ar of public humiliation and s tr app e d on our rollerskates. Just like the next door neighbour who was gorgeous when you were 6 but now re semble s a doorknob, your rollerskating skills may be best lef t to hazy nostalgia. We glided our way to glorious gams and glutes.
We’ve all s e e n tho s e a d s fo r electroly te drinks. The ones where extremely fit and well-built national sporting stars leap up the stairs of empty stadiums, reaching the top – with only slight she en of swe at – by the end of the commercial. We figure d the s t air s le ading to t h e C o n c o u r s e i n t h e To w e r w e r e more appropriate for our fitne s s levels, they’re shor ter and ascend at a strange height (low and deep). Unfortunately, this means you have t o l e a p w i t h a n o d d k in d o f g a i t (imagine a pony bucking its way up those stairs), which, combined with w e a r in g l y c r a o n c a m p u s m e a n t our training session was fairly short and swe et (the swe et par t being the muf fins we indulge d in at the Concourse Café post-session).
Sweat level: 4/5
Sweat level: 6/5 (only on our feet though, thanks to dem shared shoes, mmmm)
Sweat level: 4/5
Result: We may not have six-packs yet, but we cer tainly feel a lot bet ter for at least having a go. And it didn’t cost us any thing, except perhaps our dignit y. No pain, no g ain, right? 27
S H O W C A S E :
EMILY smith Sneezing: An Extract
“Quick before my Mum gets home,” he said. And then I lost my virginity. There we were, two sixteen-year-old virgins in a single bed. I’ll never forget the smell of Lynx deodorant and old farts as he poked his way through. I tried to establish eye contact. I wanted to be assured that he was having the ‘fun’ he’d promised. But his face was fierce and focussed, almost like he was trying to stop a sneeze. And then he came and I was deeply, deeply disturbed. “It gets better,” my more experienced friends assured me. But six years later, I’ve had twelve guys sneeze inside me and I am more disturbed than ever. A few weeks ago I recounted the tale of my virginity to my roommates: Ellie, Megan and several cockroaches. We had been great friends for over a decade, just enough time to accept that they were much better looking than I was. I wasn’t ugly, just slightly less symmetrical: shorter, pastier and a lit tle bit fat ter. We were swapping sex stories, a common drinking ritual. Given our physical inequalities, my tales might not have measured up, but I compensated for my doughier physique with significantly lower standards. After three glasses of Golden Oak our conversation shifted from sexy to serious. “How are things with Tom?” Megan asked. Tom was my first ever problem-with-a-penis. Until I was 22 I possessed an indifference that allowed me to escape any romantic turmoil. I cruised through high school and the first year of uni skilfully avoiding any connection between my vagina and my heart. I was called apathetic, heartless, even a slut. I didn’t care. I was free of romantic complications. Until I met Tom. He was in my Global Politics class. Like a sex-starved moth to a red brothel light, my at traction to him was immediate. He was tall, had blue eyes and long sandy hair. I sat next to him and we talked about the American economy. I emerged from that class a changed woman. I never wore trackpants to uni again. I told myself it was a temporar y infatuation. In the Twilight movies, everyone thought they were in love with Edward until Jacob took his top off. Tom would be old news
when someone hotter came along. Unfor tunately, this was not true. His presence was like an allergy. Every time I walked into class my hear t would thrash like a caged parrot and my skin would go blotchy. Megan told me I had “love-hives”. She said the only cure was to pursue an emotional relationship. This was an issue; I’d solved most of my problems with casual sex and money borrowed off my parents. But alas, the universe threw me a bone to get a bone. Tom and I were put into the same group for an assignment. The only time I’d been so thrilled was when Centrelink increased my Youth Allowance. Af ter our last class Tom and I took a six-pack to the park and we hung out for the entire af ternoon. Normally, I would’ve attributed our healthy conversation to alcohol. But h e w a s g r a du all y m oving tow ard me. My hear t stopped beating. My body was telling me that I might as well die now because nothing could beat this moment. As he leant forward I questioned what he saw. Could Tom really be into me? I was fabulous, yes, but a man of this pedigree usually sought women with genes of equal quality. He star ted to run his fingers up my arm and toward my neck. My inner monologue stopped. “You’re really kinda pretty, you know.” Then he pulled my face forward and he kissed me. Tom took me out twice. Finally, I thought, the Harry Potter series won’t be my longest and most intimate relationship. After each date I indulged in fantasies of our future. After every phone call and Facebook post I was giddy. I got out of bed before my alarm and stopped getting angry with couples that blocked escalators. I even started to watch The X Factor without making fun of Ronan Keating. But if years of counselling hear tbroken friends had taught me anything, it was that this ridiculous elation was induced by the delusion that rejection wasn’t imminent. After our second date I faced the most painful, frustrating and common romantic dismissal. He didn’t text back. I had almost lost hope, but on the 18 th day of no reply there was a uni party down the road. Tom had checked ‘attending’ on Facebook four hours
before the event. I instantly regretted my solo Maccas run the night before. Nah fuck it, I like a mid-night cheesy, sue me. I’m not going to lie – the exact det ail s of th e p ar t y are unc l e ar. I remember arriving and joining my friends outside, sipping vodka and eating Doritos. I wondered when Tom would arrive; it was my last chance to woo him. I turned to ask my friend, Amy, if I had orange residue on my face. She was already talking at me. “When you going to get a boyfriend, Bonnie?” “What?” I replied, hoping she would immediately retract her question. “A boyfriend,” she said, eyeing the Doritos in my lap. “It’s been a while.” I snapped my fingers in her face like Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act III .
“bitch, pleeeeeeaaassseeee! Tell me how your ‘boyfriend’ is five years from now when you’re sitting quietly on the couch wondering how you could dispose of his body without the cops tracing it to you.” Of course I was too drunk to do this. Instead I gave her a death stare with the only eye I could keep open. I asked her if she knew if Tom was coming. “I don’t think he is. His roommate, Jeremy, is over there. He said Tom was taking some girl out.” When Kevin Rudd usurped Julia Gillard, I doubt she felt as betrayed as I did in that moment. “Bonnie, you okay?” Amy asked. I didn’t explain. I just poured myself another drink. My next memory was waking up in a stranger’s bed. Well, stranger isn’t the right word because the night before I got to know him ver y well. Twice. However, stranger seemed adequate because I did not know who he was or where I was. Regret crept through me and my head throbbed. This feeling is known to amateurs as a bad hangover, but I’ve been here enough to know it was much more serious. This was the selfloathing hangover, and researchers
are yet to find a cure. Oh god, I’d tried. The guy was dead asleep with his m ou th w id e op e n . Hi s h air y, chubby belly looked up at me. It jig gled with every snore, as if to say, “Yep you straddled this.” I wondered how we got together. I had no idea, I wouldn’t have known who he was if it wasn’t for his Coles name badge. I wouldn’t have been aware that I’d gone down-down on a check-out dude. Most impor tantly, I wouldn’t have known his name was Jeremy Williams, Tom’s roommate. And I wouldn’t have realised Tom was sleeping in the next room as I fucked his best friend. That moment transcended the self-loathing hangover. I got the sweats and my hear t pounded. I had never met Jeremy but Tom t alke d ab out him on our date s . T h ey g rew up to g eth e r, h e s ai d t h e y were “like brothers”. Oh god. My insides clenched, I’d never felt so ill. But I had to fight the paralysing regret and hatch an escape plan that would rival a slutty David Copperfield. I sat up, clutched a sticky sheet to my naked body and got my bearings. I was confident Jeremy was adequately sedated but I knew I had to get out quick . I spot ted my bra, wallet and dress. I could not locate my underwear, but you rarely come out from these situations without leaving a soldier behind. I swiftly put on my bra but when I dove into my dress I forgot the value of unzipping. As I pulled the dress over my head it transformed into a vice. The gold sequins became trapped in my rat nest hair, binding my lunch-lady arms up and against my head. I star ted to writhe like a suffocating salmon. In the next moment I finally understood my friends’ number one advice. “Always be prepared downstairs,” they would say. “Mow the lawn. Tame the dragon.” It was the first time Tom, the father of my future children, saw my love-making bits. I was blinded but I heard the door fly open. I knew Tom was standing, gawking. And there I was, a dress stuck over my head, wearing no undies with a full bush.
For over a hundred years now, Australian democracy has relied upon the will of its people to make rational decisions about the future of our country. Choices based
upon reason, logic, and what is best for future generations. But times have changed, and with a booming economy and a growing, better-educated population, it is
IN CLIVE WE TRUST: A DEFAMER EDITORIAL time to give in to the voices in your head that advocate wild, indiscriminate self-destruction. It is time to vote not with our better judgement, but with the sick curiosity that drives people to try DIY tattoos, compulsive lying and heroin. Vote not with hope for a brighter future, but instead with a staggering indifference to the legacy that we leave to future generations. Vote in line with the psychological forces that say “Make a video of yourself eating a tablespoon of cinnamon” and “I bet that’s not really an electric fence.” It is with this desire for wanton Defamer self-destruction that implores you to elect Clive Palmer as Prime Minister of Australia. Our country faces many challenges in the near future. The mining boom, which has driven our country for decades, is coming to a close and subsequently, a careful diversification of our economy has become necessary. Who better to lead this transition than an eccentric mining billionaire who is renowned for his ability to waste spectacular amounts of money on frivolous
NOW 98% FACT FREE
vanity projects? As a grotesque symbol of our poorly spent mining revenue, Clive Palmer is precisely the face that Australia needs to look towards when painfully trying to revitalise its manufacturing industry, while watching the profits of its mineral wealth fund Gina Rinehart’s attempts at poetry. We need to live in a country that builds things – but not just things, ridiculous things. Things like a life-size replica of the Titanic and an animatronic dinosaur park. To succeed in the decades ahead we do not simply need innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, we need to abandon the entire notion of a box and instead be governed by the capricious whims of our richest citizens. As climate change threatens the continued existence of life on this continent and as an increasing number of natural disasters take their toll on the environment, we need to be led by a man who thinks that Greenpeace is a CIA plot to undermine the Australian coal
THE DEFAMER industry. As our relationship with Asia becomes a defining factor of our growth as a nation, we need a man who once bought a football team in order to make more friends in China. We need leaders who do not confront reality, but rather disregard it entirely. The future is abundantly clear: it is not the Labor party’s outdated socialism, nor the Liberal party’s stuffy conservatism that will define Australia’s future. Our destiny lies with Clive Palmer’s unique brand of white-shoe populism and the broad assumption that there is no problem, great or small, that cannot be solved with sheer dumb luck. Thus, we strongly endorse voting for the Palmer United Party, for not only the reasons passionately outlined above, but also because our media baron boss has asked us to. In Clive we trust.
First the life-threatening and dignity-destroying crane disaster, now the floods that gush through our streets and send our housing students running for cover. Why do the Gods show no mercy for our humble institution? Last month UTS faced yet another challenge, one the team at Defamer thinks could only be the result of divine intervention. A burst water main led to the flooding of Ultimo Road, affecting the Haymarket Campus, UTS Library, and the Yura Mudang student housing units. UTS were forced to
Reverend Fred Nile would like you to know that he has reclaimed the word ‘bigot’. It belongs to him. He has written it down in his best handwriting, folded it up, and placed it in his top pocket. When I asked if I could see it, he said, “Oh, no. No one can see it.” The good reverend’s lair was a lot smaller than I’d expected, but still cavernous enough to qualify as a cave. “What exactly does ‘bigot’ mean to you, Reverend Nile?” “It means different things to different people,” the Reverend told me as he stroked his white cat. “But ultimately, I get to decide what it means.” I asked him what exactly this meaning was. He assured me again that the definition of bigot belongs to him, and that he wouldn’t have me or any of my liberal, muffin-eating, rainbow-hugging friends pushing my Oxford English Dictionary ways upon him. He said he was just trying to think of the children. “The children will probably want a dictionary definition too,”
Fred Nile writes. I told him, as I adjusted my monocle. “If it’s a question of being un-Australian, surely the Macquarie definition will suffice?” “Macquarie?” he scoffed. “I have read the Macquarie Dictionary front to back more times than I can count, and as such I have earned the right to interpret its contents as I see fit.” A ‘bigot’, he finally informed me, is not a person who has an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others. “A bigot is a person who is unquestionably better than everyone else.” “Like people who read books before the film adaptation is released?” “No.” Before I left, Nile suggested that I read the dictionary once more, to really understand the message of the earlier editions. “And then I will tell you what it really means because I am a bigot.”
REVEREND FRED NILE TAKES ON DICTIONARY
We apologise to any individuals, groups or organisations offended by the above attempt at satire. In no way are the actual contents meant to be taken as factual.
cancel all classes in Haymarket, while authorities were pushed to deal with complete blackouts and system failures. It’s times like these where we see the true strength and compassion of UTS students. The world has been closely following the ‘I Survived the Ultimo Road Floods’ Facebook page for live updates on the flood victims at Yura Mudang. Relief concerts, “candlelight vigils”, and inspirational flood survivor stories are all at the forefront of this public campaign. It’s rumoured that producers
POSEIDON GOD OF SEAS CURSES UTS WITH BURST WATER MAIN from Summit Entertainment are currently discussing a deal with UTS to turn the events into a major motion picture. Meanwhile, the floods have proved advantageous for some, with many students capitalising on the opportunity to engage in guilt-free procrastination due to cancelled classes and an inaccessible library. Why work hard to put off doing your assignments when a flood can do it for you? Why UTS is consistently being punished by the gods at this point remains unclear. Perhaps it’s retribution for thinking we’re better than other universities because we have a roller rink (we are though). Perhaps it’s bad karma for all those times we’ve collectively evaded train fares or illegally downloaded music. Or perhaps it’s to prepare us for an oncoming surpriseapocalypse – by which point we will be so resilient to disaster that UTS and its students will survive unscathed and begin a new generation of elementwielding super humans. Most likely the latter.
WHOSE PUSSY IS ON YOUR INSTAGRAM? Mairead Armstrong learns how not to Facestalk the person you’re bangin’.
So you’ve just star ted sleeping with someone? We’ve all been there. That delightful, undefined stage early in the relationship that probably (but unadmittedly) isn’t going anywhere. You’re not dating. You’re certainly not Facebook official. But he’s totally great and you’ve told all your friends about him and you like him so much it’s not even a turn off to you that he makes his own candles and sometimes dresses like a lad. But what are we then? And how can I coolly and calmly steer the casual encounter into something more like, I don’t know… true love? It’s a legitimate question. But one you should never try to answer within the realms of Facebook /Instagram/ Twitter/whatever-your-social-media-preference. Face-stalking your fuck buddy will never end well. In fact, all it does is raise more borderline-crazy-town, clingy questions then you had before. Like why haven’t I heard from you since Thursday? And why is it now 9:57am on a Sunday and you’ve uploaded a picture of a cat to your Instagram? You don’t have a cat. You have a dog. I know that because despite the fact that I’ve hated dogs all my life I suddenly have a keen interest in canines. It’s far too early for you to be hanging at a mate’s place... I mean I know you like to make the most of the day but who hangs before 10am on a Sunday? Nobody. And that definitely isn’t your house; that’s not your coffee table in the picture. But it is your hand, with a cat, on a Sunday, before 10am and I haven’t heard from you since Thursday so I can only deduct that this is your way of communicating to me that I might not be the only person you’re lighting those home -made c andles for b e c au s e W H AT E L SE COULD POSSIBLY EXPLAIN THIS EARLY MORNING PUSSY CONTAMINATING MY NEWS FEED? Then there’s the guy you hook up with once. Yep, once. It doesn’t go any further but he’s said he is definitely going VERTIGO
to call and you’re going to get a drink and he happens to be the brother of that rapper you’re in love with and this is probably as close as you’re going to get, right? That special moment shared together on the dancefloor of Oxford Art Factor y is going to be something we all look back and laugh at in twenty years time when you and I are blissfully happy but I also sorta still want your brother to write a song about me? Okay not quite. But hey, at least now we follow each other on Instagram: the per fect oppor tunity for you to see how cool and interesting my life is, even though that drink is looking less and less likely to happen. Yet you are quite clearly still alive because you keep uploading pictures of sunsets while failing to acknowledge all the really cute photos I happen to upload anytime I see that you are online liking things. Then suddenly we’ve been through an entire relationship and break-up without you knowing and – in a flurry of fury and rejection – I unfollow you. Now I know what you’re thinking… This’ll really get him. And perhaps it would, if it wasn’t for that Saturday night a few weeks later when – in a flurry of rejection and (mainly) intoxication, while simultaneously inhaling a pide, feeling like I’ve got the world at my finger tips like GOD I LOVE THAT YOUR PROFILE ISN’T ON PRIVATE – my fat, drunk fingers accidently re-follow. T h ey s ay s t alk ing ’s all f un an d g am e s until you accidently press the like but ton, but I c an s afe l y s ay it ’s a million times more embarrassing chucking the old unfollow/follow to the guy you made out with once. Truth is, being single is sometimes tough. But holy shit, finding someone you like is tougher. My advice if you’re digging somebody you just met? Get to know them, and only them, for as long as possible - and stay well away from social media.
REWIND/FAST-FORWARD because sometimes life needs a remote
‘90s hugh grant movies
movie adaptations of tv shows
When was the last time you saw a good romantic comedy that didn’t have a degree of brooding pessimism? This is one of life’s big questions that I increasingly find myself asking. The romantic comedies of our generation seem to view love as a brief distraction from the oppressive misery that is millennial existence. Silver Linings Playbook, Crazy Stupid Love, even The Notebook all seem to create their love stories in the manner of a Sylvia Plath poem. So what happened to make all our love stories so unhappy? I personally blame 9/11. Ever since 9/11 our culture has decided that we aren’t worthy of a quality rom-com that is unambiguously happy, because while you’re swapping looks of longing in bookstores and chasing taxis to the airport THERE ARE TERRORISTS SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD WHO WANT TO KILL YOU. Case in point is the lack of formulaic, but magical, Hugh Grant movies made since what could only be described as the pinnacle of the genre, Notting Hill. Hugh Grant used to be the floppy haired, slightly daft beta-male that all pale introverts (myself included) dreamed of becoming. He gave guys like me hope because, as much as his bumbling awkwardness made him initially unattractive to the woman of his dreams, it took only a flick of his floppy hair and a bespectacled look of earnestness and BAM, they liked him just the way he was. It didn’t matter that he essentially played the same character every time – it was just so warm and reassuring, much like a Clinton presidency. Then 9/11 happened and he became a douchebag. Thanks Osama. Luckily, because of technology and stuff, we can revisit these glorious cinematic depictions of love conquering all (the girl being famous, a close friend dying, and an unexpected pregnancy – just to name a few instances). So I implore you, fellow secret rom-com aficionados, don’t waste your money buying movie tickets to the next Channing Tatum or Zac Efron offering. Instead, hit up iTunes for a far superior viewing experience, in large part propelled by everyone’s ex-favourite British leading male. I dare you not to get a little choked up.
You know how there are friends who you love but can only be around for a certain amount of time before they piss you off? That is precisely the kind of relationship I have with TV characters; when I spend time with them I want it to be within the format of the show, following an established set of plot devices. Every time I watch The West Wing/Grey’s Anatomy/SVU I know that I am going to get forty minutes with a bunch of smart fictional people and my enjoyment of the show comes from that understanding. This is why I cannot stand movie adaptations of T V shows: I am seeing familiar characters in an environment that I am uncomfortable seeing them in. It’s like seeing your nan at a rave. I say ‘your’ nan because my nan would be awesome at a rave (she also reads Vertigo, hi Nan) but for most people the experience would be unsettling to say the least. Because of Hollywood’s reluctance to actually produce anything original there was a boom in the past decade of making movies based on TV shows: Sex and the City, The Simpsons, Starsky and Hutch, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Dukes of Hazzard, Get Smart, The Inbetweeners. Here’s the thing, they all sucked. It didn’t matter whether or not the show was current or old, or even if the TV show was good, the movies all sucked. But thankfully this trend was overwhelmed by recycled action hero movies, which are arguably better. But if you ruin Arrested Development for me, Hollywood, I will never forgive you. Exceptions: The South Park Movie and the upcoming Veronica Mars movie
JOE MCKENZIE 33
ON THE FRINGE the sydney fringe festival is on again, giving sydneysiders a chance to flex our cultural muscles, writes LACHLAN BRAY.
When you think of fringe festivals, Sydney is probably not the first place that springs to mind. Sydney’s cultural prowess is often overlooked, in small part due to the widespread doctrine espoused by Melbournites: namely that we’re all backward corporate oafs, unlearned in the art of, well, arts. However, this month we get to stick our proverbial finger up at all those Melbournites sitting on their cultural high horses, because we have our very own fringe festival happening. The Sydney Fringe has been operating in its current form since 2010, and will run from September 6 – 29 this year. In spite of its infancy, it’s creating a strong presence as a cultural extravaganza in the inner-city suburbs. During September, the suburbs on the fringe of the CBD will be overrun by per formers setting up shop for three whole weeks. Sure, it’s no Vivid, but to be perfectly honest I can only look at colourful lights displayed on the Opera House for so long. Fringe actually offers us something; it’s the largest alternative arts event in New South Wales that focusses predominantly on visual and performing arts. The festival hosts performances and exhibitions covering visual arts, film and digital ar ts, stand-up comedy, music, theatre, cabaret and dance, so there should be something to tickle even the most alternative of tastebuds. Sydney’s perceived culture deficit has, in large part, been bolstered by the fact that its music scene is slowly disintegrating. Mid-level venues have been closing their doors with frightening regularity. The recent fall of the Annandale Hotel, and other venues like it, has had the obvious effect of limiting the space in which new talent can per form and be suppor ted. For tunately, Fringe is doing its bit to reinvigorate these dying venues: pubs, bars, galleries, theatres and warehouse spaces are now up for grabs for artists of various calibres to put on their shows, with over sixty venues registered in the inner west and Surry Hills/Darlinghurst precinct. So, why is this good for you? Well because, unless you’re a first year from the North Shore, you probably live in and around these suburbs, meaning an explosion of culture right at your doorstep. The Fringe also revitalises urban spaces by reappropriating previously disused buildings, such as the old Newtown School of Arts building that’s being converted into a bar and performance venue for the Festival. VERTIGO
The Fringe offers something for ever yone; whether you’re into gender-bending burlesque, nine-piece gamelan orchestras playing the entire discography of Radiohead, or more traditional forms of art. There should be something to float your cultural boat. And most importantly it’s accessible, particularly for the financially conservative uni student, who only has funds for baked beans, mi goreng and Coopers Green longies. Most ticket prices range from ten to thirty dollars. You never know, you might even spot the next big thing before they make it, with the likes of Stephen Fry, Tim Minchin and Tom Ballard all making their debut at similar fringe festivals. The Sydney Fringe gives all us Sydneysiders hope that people still enjoy going out and seeing live performances. Maybe, just maybe, there is a space for soon-to-be-graduating arts students in a world where zombie films and vampire TV shows actually sell.
mY PICKS zombie reggae party, (musical jamboree) eliza’s juke joint, sept 13 how to rate your music collection in 36 000 easy steps (comedy) the loft, uts, sept 29 decadence (drama) the tap gallery, darlinghurst, sept 9-15
Is this shit Any GOOd?
freud’s last session
The Newsroom is generally agreed to be a disappointment to ever yone, chief among them Aaron Sorkin diehards, journalists, and those interested in protecting the good name of HBO. But – come in close now – if you dig around there’s a few of us who actually unironically enjoy this show. We’re more than halfway through Season 2 and so far, it’s been an improvement on the shaky first season. It’s still idealistic as hell, but what else do you expect from the man who gave us President Bartlet and a dramedy featuring a sports show that forgot to be cynical about professional sports? We start with Will talking to a lawyer about a story that Newsnight got wrong, with the season looking back at the year leading up to that point. So what’s been happening in 2011, you ask? Well, Jim and Pam – sorry, Maggie – still haven’t managed to get their act together, probably because they’re so busy producing the news ‘The Right Way’. This is despite Don having broken up with Maggie at the end of last season. Sorkin is a master of the protracted office relationship, having found creative ways to keep Josh and Donna apart for seven years, so of course the breakup leads Jim to skip town to cover the Romney campaign and Maggie to hightail it to Uganda. Meanwhile, Will is still on his mission to civilise and refuses to tell Mac that he’s in love with her, so not much has changed there either. He’s also being pressured by the network’s mother and son executive team to stop his ranting against the Tea Party. In a show all about news though, the most newsworthy thing of all is that Don and Sloan have become the most interesting characters on this show and need more screen time.
Freud’s Last Session is the psycholog y/ar ts student’s perfect philosophical match-up, placing the infamous psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud (played by Henry Szeps) up against the brilliant professor C.S. Lewis (Douglas Hansell) - of Narnia fame - for a tête-à-tête just weeks before Freud’s death. The debate blossoms with colourful velocity: from the existence of God to farting in Paris, and on without pause to war, relationships and euthanasia. It is intellectual and it is moving and it is truly funny. The characters are lively; there is a dry wit running seamlessly through the dialogue in spite of the seriousness of much of the subject matter. Freud and Lewis are in many ways cleverly juxtaposed characters. The atheist and the Christian. The writer of fiction and the doctor. They psychoanalyse one another, examining both Lewis’ relationship with his best friend’s mother and Freud’s refusal to let his oral cancer be the blade that kills him. Their to-ing and fro-ing is like a philosophical dance, and they use the stage remarkably well – there is no stagnancy to the performance, in spite of it being a two-man show. I left the theatre unsure who had come off the better, who was the more convincing, but the tally-up came down to the wire. I did think, however, that Lewis’ arguments for the existence of God were much more reasonable than my school scripture classes ever were. Leaving the theatre, I kept wishing Freud and Lewis had really met in Freud’s luxurious book-lined office on the day Winston Churchill announced Britain’s entry into the war. But in the place of this historical truth we have this delightfully witty imagining, and given the voracity of the debate and the characters, perhaps that’s for the best.
Spring cleaning is all well and good, but maybe it’s time you come clean about something you’ve done. Astrologist Naomi Russo passes on the galaxy’s apologies.
V IR G O
C A P R I C OR N
23 August – 22 September
21 December– 20 January
20 May – 21 June
Sorry that your star sign is Virgo, which sounds like a bad high-school nickname meaning ‘virgin’. The galaxy wants you to know that we take partial responsibility for your seeming inability to get anyone to ‘like like’ you. But that recent bad date is all on you.
Sorry that your star sign is twins when the only person you feel identical to is a fictional character in a book. Sorry the author didn’t write you into the story even after you sent them subtly threatening fan-fic.
L I B RA
A Q U AR I U S
22 September – 23 October
20 January – 18 February
21 June – 22 July
Sorry that a tampon brand stole your star sign – that must really kill your groove. But hey, think about those actors who are cast as ‘the ugly friend’ in soap operas and teen dramas: aren’t you glad that’s not you?
Sorry that and your romantic life isn’t more exciting and your partner only calls you when the internet isn’t working. Perhaps you should move to England, where they are planning to make the internet obsolete. Or at least your partner’s interest in it.
Sorry your birth coincides with the cooler months of the year when everyone wants to stay indoors and no-one wants to ‘have a wild night out’. You should know that your short birthday dress/shorts/underpants gives you unsightly goosebumps. Buy some stockings.
S C OR P I O
23 October – 22 November
18 Febuary- 20 March
22 July – 22 August
We have nothing to apologise to you for. Scorpio is a badass star sign because it sounds like scorpion and those motherfuckers are fierce. We apologise to your mother, however, because she gave birth to you in the stickier months – as if your conception wasn’t sticky enough.
Sorry you have to go back to school/ uni/work right around your birthday. It’s still your own fault for insisting on ‘doing something with your life’. The galaxy wants you to know we’ll forgive you if you take a sickie or ten. You deserve it.
S A G I TTAR I U S
AR I E S
22 November – 21 December
20 March– 19 April
Apologise to your mother. She had better things to do all those summers ago than walk around getting sweltering hot in those hideous maternity clothes. That said, she still loves her baby-belt for when she goes to the all-you-caneat buffet.
Sorry you were born around Christmas so you only ever get one ‘combined’ present and no one is around for your party. Sorry you never keep New Years resolutions because they coincide with your birthday binging. No one keeps those though, so you can thank us for your ready-made excuse.
Sorry you don’t like your legs or your nose or your eyebrows. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that at some point your unique look was very much in vogue. The universe thinks you’re beautiful, even if that’s just because they find it hard to keep up with the trends.
Sorry that just like Leo you’ll never get an Oscar, or an Emmy, or even a Participation Certificate from your local gym. The universe gifted you with heartthrob good looks: that’s all you get.
*Taurus won’t get no apologies from the universe. We are sick of your bullshit.
bored stupid ?!
UTS STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION NOTICE OF
To be held on all campuses Between 21 October and 23 October 2013
Monday 2 September 2013 nominations will open to currently enrolled students for the following positions A President A Secretary A Treasurer A Postgraduate Officer to be elected by and from postgraduate students A Women's Officer to be elected by and from women students An Overseas Students' Officer to be elected by and from students who hold an Overseas Student Visa An Australian Indigenous Officer to be elected by and from Australian Indigenous Students 10 Student Representative Councillors 7 delegates to the National Union of Students Vertigo Editorial Team
BROADWAY CAMPUS To be elected by and from students whose primary place of study is Broadway Campus: A Convenor, A Secretary and 10 Campus Committee Members A Women's Officer elected by and from women students whose primary place of study is Broadway MARKE TS CAMPUS To be elected by and from students whose primary place of study is Markets Campus: A Convenor, A Secretary and 10 Campus Committee Members A Women's Officer elected by and from women students whose primary place of study is Markets Campus KURING - GAI CAMPUS To be elected by and from students whose primary place of study is Kuring-gai Campus: A Convenor, A Secretary and 10 Campus Committee Members A Women's Officer elected by and from women students whose primary place of study is Kuring-gai Campus Nominations must be submitted on the prescribed form which may be obtained from the Students' Association office at Broadway. (Ph. 02 9514 1155). Candidates statements and photographs (to be published in Vertigo) must be submitted with the nomination forms before the close of nominations.
NOMINATIONS CLOSE AT 2:00PM MONDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2013 NOMINATIONS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS TIME Nominations may be received at the Association Office on each campus on Monday 23 September 2013 from 12 noon to 2pm OR alternatively, may be mailed to reach the Returning Officerâ€™s postal address no later than 2pm Monday 23 September 2013. POSTAL VOTE APPLICATIONS stating name, student number, contact address and reason for requiring a postal vote must be received by the Returning Officer before 2.00 pm Monday 23 September 2013 Christine Kibble Returning Officer 0409602962 POSTAL ADDRESS: The Returning Officer, UTS Students' Association, PO Box 123 BROADWAY NSW 2007 Email: email@example.com 39
S A R E P ORT S
Hello hello, Here we are almost at mid-semester feeling the trepidation of impending exams but also grateful that the first lot of assessments are out of the way. Here at the Students’ Association we’ve been feeling much the same, with the first big campaigns out of the way, and us looking forward to real action for the rest of the semester. Our f ir s t we e k b a c k s aw th e Unl o c k Your Vote c ampaign. Through this c ampaign we were able to help students enrol to vote, update their information and to have their say on the issues that matter to them in this election. Kevin Rudd spoke of bringing young people back into politics so we were able to let him know all the reasons why the youth are engaging less and less with political discussion. We were also a par t of the National Day of Action against the ter tiar y education cuts announced by the government in April. Student protests and demonstrations are vitally important to hold our leaders to account, and to raise our voices in opposition to these at tacks on our universities. While our education is under at tack politicians have been busy using asylum seekers as a political football. I know you might not think it’s my job to care about refugees , but we have to remember that the issue is more close to home than you might think . Bipar tisan suppor t for such an inhumane policy on refugees emphasises the fact that there is widespread mi sinfo r m ati o n in th e c ommunit y ab out a s y lum s e e ke r s . Fo r thi s re a s o n we have b e e n sup p o r ting actions by the Students’ Association Ethno-Cultural C o ll e c tive an d A nti - R a c i sm C lub to p rote s t th e inhum an e ref ug e e p o li c i e s an d b et te r info r m th e community about asylum seekers who are travelling to Australia by boat. Something else I’ve been working on is the Future of Work initiative. This is a wide -ranging initiative aimed at changing the way we approach learning ab out th e wo r k p l a c e to b et te r ref l e c t th e wo r k environment. The graduate job opportunities of today look ver y different to twenty years ago: most fields are very competitive, many professions require work experience or internships, and insecure work such as casual employment is on the rise. Especially in the creative professions, you are often expected to work for free or very little pay to gain experience or a por tfolio. It’s a bit of a dog-eat-dog world out there,
and a lot of the time the best jobs go to the people who can best sweet talk themselves a better deal. It ’s my priorit y to prepare you (and myself ) for the harsh realit y of the current workplace, but also to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Your rights at work should be respected and the only way this is going to happen is for us to learn exactly what our workplace rights and entitlements are. I think it is important we find out more about the union movement and how unions , like the Student s’ A ssociation, are here to protect your rights to fairness and accessibility in your work or study. Remember, your Student s’ A ssociation is here to help you. We work to improve educ ation qualit y and student welfare at UTS, providing ser vices to assist you in your day-to-day studies. If you’d like to become more involved in the Students’ Association, come and see us on level 3 of the Tower opposite our Secondhand Bookshop. See you on campus soon! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LYNDAL BUTLER President, UTS Students’ Association
S A R E P ORT S
WAZZZUUPP!!!! I’m sorr y, I apologise for that, I’m really tired, but I blame that entirely on the National Day of Action we all just survived (can I get a high five… anyone?). If for some reason, you managed to stay under that rock of yours and missed all the action I could tell you a little bit about the general yelling and screaming, the chants that involved swearing (I’m such a rebel), and how annoyed ever yone was when we stopped traf fic for a bit, BUT, you could read about that in the Herald or the Telegraph or maybe The Australian . I know, not exactly journalistic royalty, but, hell, you’re currently reading the back pages of Ver tigo , so cut your smug hipster bull. Anyhoo… so, the election…. that’s a thing. Enrolled yet? If not, well, don’t tell too many people, registration is closed (look how helpful and relevant I am). For those of you that did enrol, wow, go you good thing, and exercise that democratic right to vote…. for one di s g u s ting l y slimy ar s e ho l e ove r anoth e r. But fo’ re al, you should vote . And I know, I’m being re ally p e s simis tic , and ye ah, Rudd or Abbot t , not exac tly inspiring. BUT. Where do you live? Who is your member? Perhaps you live in an area with a not totally crap candidate? It’s possible, maybe… I could continue this rant, but it’s almost lunch-time and you don’t give a damn (dude, I can’t afford to lose one of my readers, if you leave now you’re taking at least 10% of my fan base #needy). The point is do some research. Find out who’s running in your area. What have they done? What are they going to actually do? Ignore the Murdoch papers and Rudd’s tweets, talk to people, ask questions and make your vote an educated vote. We ended up with these clowns because too many people switched off politically, now we’re going to have to fight for quite some time to get sensible, responsible and practical politicians to exist in this country, let alone lead it. Also, if you aren’t aware, I often inform people as to why and how shit’s fucked. WELL, have I got news for you. So ITAS (Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme) is a thing was a thing is only a thing if you fulfil specific and arbitrar y criteria without appeal. Basic ally it entitled every indigenous student to two hours of oneon-one tutoring per subject per week at $35 an hour as provided by the Federal Government. UTS, with all its genius, jacked up the price to $85 an hour with the hope of attracting better tutors. They are now surprised
to find that they don’t have the budget for it and cut the whole program (except for first year students and those who apply specific ally for a means test and inter view process). To tr y and unfuck that a lit tle bit, the Students’ Association is temporarily putting together a one-onone tutoring support program while we don’t have ITAS. This is in the consultation stage. To be involved if you are an indigenous student in this consultation, please contact me. In the meantime, we are lobbying hardcore to get it back. In other news DAGS (Disability Action Group) has been revitalised at the Student s’ A ssociation. This means we once again have a functioning collective for all students with any t ype of disabilit y and full-time carers. If you’re keen on getting involved you can find the Facebook page or email me and I can add you to relevant mailing lists and event pages. Much fun shall be had by all. Email: email@example.com
LUCY BONANNO Education Vice President, UTS Students’ Association
C OLL E C T I V E S
What would you do if you found out that our government is subsidising a company with a track record of human rights violations who is also profiting from the destruction of old growth forests? Outraged and disgusted? Unfor tunately, that is exactly what’s happening. Ta Ann is a Malaysian multinational logging and timber corporation which has a proven record of human rights violations against the indigenous population of Sarawak , Malaysia. Since 2006 this same company has been wreaking havoc on the awe-inspiring forests of Tasmania . Not only has our government allowe d this toxic, unethical corporation to cut down our native fore s t s , it has ac tually be en paying them to do so. Ever since Ta Ann began operating in Australia, the government has been subsidising them, with the latest subsidy adding up to $28 million. You should feel outraged and disgusted. At this stage you’d be right in asking, “But wasn’t a forest peace deal to stop the destruction of Tasmania’s amazing forests recently signed?” To which I must answer, “Yes it was. However, as is increasingly the case in our neoliberal world, the agreement which was signed is basically a ploy to quiet the voice of dissent and to allow these destructive companies to reign supreme over our environment.” The Australian Student Environment Network, of which the UTS Enviro Collective is a member, joined forces with veteran Tasmanian forestry activists in July and embarked on a road trip through Tassie forests. We par ticipated in a range of actions to highlight the ongoing destruction of Australian forests by unethical multinational corporations. The fight to save Australia’s precious forests is heating up, so come along to the Enviro Collective to find out how you can get involved.
The Welfare Collective has developed hugely over the past year. Our central goal is to ensure the health and happiness of students attending UTS. As the Welfare Of ficer, I believe that the C ollective has begun to address these issues for students through a variet y of avenues. Our Facebook page has regular updates to keep you in the loop about fun activities around the university, as well as healthy living suggestions and lifestyle tips. The Education Action Group, coordinated by Lucy Bonanno, has also been working in collaboration with the Welfare Collective to address welfare issues for students; the informal discussions encourage freedom of thought for all students attending. We are currently developing new workshops that address the day-to-day problems and frustrations that university students experience. Lucy and I are focussed on creating new ways for student s to voice their opinions about their personal experiences at university. We believe that if students are invited into a welcoming environment they will feel comfortable about discussing their wants and needs while here at UTS.. We encourage all interested students to join the Facebook page and come along to the Education Action Group/ Welfare Collective meetings.
UTS Enviro Co-convenor
UTS welfare officer