20 MAR 16
S I N C E
THE GAME OF
WIN OR RE-APPLY
SEOUL SEARCHING STUDENT LIFE IN SOUTH KOREA
YOU TOO CAN YOUTUBE
NASTY, BRUTISH AND EXPANDED
NO LIFE OR 9LIFE?
THE ETHICS OF ATARI
FOR YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE
1 9 2 9
ROLF DE HEER MARC FENNEL
JEFFREY JAY FOWLER
ISSUE 2 ISSUE
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MA DDIE M U L H OL L A N D
What a wild first couple of weeks (back) at UWA. Whether you’re new to uni and navigating your way from the Stirling Highway bus stop to the Business School (or for maximum difficulty points, the General Purpose building), or you’re returning to a new group of freshers who still look like they haven’t had 10 all-nighters in the past month already, it’s good to have you (back). All-nighters might be wild, especially now that food and drink is allowed in Libraries, but the Guild has a heap of even wilder things going down. Props to you if you’ve already navigated the jungle that is Unit Guides, deadlines, Blackboard and CAS. If you’re feeling a little left out in the wild to fend for yourself, make sure you reach out to your Faculty Society and the Guild Education Council (email@example.com). If you still have time on your hands, or just need a lunch-time activity, check out the themed weeks (EnviroFest, Fringe Festival, Women’s Week, Welfare Week) – all on Oak Lawn and all wild fun. Pro-tip: Head to Oak Lawn 1-2pm on Tuesdays and Fridays for Common Lunch Hour. There’s never a shortage of exciting stuff happening! Into partying? Wednesday Student Nights are where it’s at. You might even meet your next Tarzan, Jane or pri-mate. The new cocktail jugs are sure to give you a wild time, and make sure you try the new burger bar. Trust me on this. Until next edition, stay wild and free. If you ever want to chat, my email inbox is open: firstname.lastname@example.org. x Maddie
H AY T O RIA L
H AY D E N DA L Z I EL
I remember the start of semester in my first year, not very well after all the Pelican hazing rituals but well enough to remember that I felt like I’d finally found a place to grow into something of an ideal self. After a gap year mostly filled with depression, getting way too into Metalocalypse and being a Thom Yorke-obsessed wanker, university was a return to actually feeling like life was going somewhere. Unfortunately that somewhere is being an unemployed finearts graduate but that’s a problem for future-Hayden. It was a good time, I was desperate enough for something to do that I actually attended all the O-Week lectures. At O-Day, after signing up for both Zoology and Jazz clubs I happened upon a humble tent. I was drawn to it by the artful pairing of export cans, peacock feathers and wanky philosophy texts emblazoned on the magazines. Even though Pelican was the club/ department (what are we?) most prone to insect swarms, leg wounds and general deprivation, it seemed like the only really decent place at uni where writers and artists came together. It was also due to the fact that there was a boat hijacking and goon first-aid at the very first peli event I ever attended which helped seal the deal. It was messy. If you one day choose to join us in our dank office I can’t guarantee you’ll be involved in boat hijackings, if anything I hope you’re not, because that was last year, man. Pelican’s constantly changing and really this year we’re more about roof exploration, live music and putting shirts on statues. Come help us with that, maybe you’ll do some writing for us too, maybe not. There’s a chinese curse that goes “may you live in interesting times” and we sure feel cursed (in a kind of quite pleasant way) right about now. That’s a long winded way of saying “be our friend and have an interesting time.”
P R E N D IT OR IA L
KAT E PRE NDE RGA S T
The first semester for 2016 has begun. Parking ticket officers have been spotted in the pit: the Dusty Tire Halcyon Age is over. UWA Confessions is touched with the naiveté of the newly-enrolled; older students who ingest words only in rage, laugh at the posts, hurt and remember. The percentage of freshers who become lost on campus and are never seen again is expected to rise to 7% – up 5% from last year due to the embarrassing circulation of a wildly misleading Campus Map, as published by a certain ill-reputed student paper. The Koi Pond and Reid moat – drained of their brown liquids over the summer – have been re-filled. But ducks are still spotted standing still and alone at the shaded base of trees, frightened, angry, brooding murderous thoughts. Hayski says they think the clamour of the student bodies erotic, but I find in it only overwhelming madness, overwhelming disorder. Looking out from my office window I see that Oak Lawn has become a decaying plain of rotting waste, with the infinite folds of Subway six-inchers – sweet chili sauce-congealed and cheese-fled – scudding across the withering grass like the latest discarded UWA degree. At noon each day, the young wade through and into the midden to congregate there, laughing at the Drumpf extension for Chrome, and weeping for they do not know what ‘positive gearing’ means, and have an assignment on it due in two days. It is then also that EMAS descends upon the people and lays to them claim – with monstrous black machines they screech and bloop their baseness, their monotony. It is not that I hate the university. I love it. But I love it against my better judgment. x Prendy
THE talent EDITORS
Adam Smith ᵒ
Holly Munt ᵒ
Ruth Thomas ᵒ
Bella Morris ᵒ
Jade Newton *
Sam Goerling ᵒ
Brad Griffin ᵒ
Jasmine Ruscoe ᵒ
Tom Rossiter ᵒ
Bridget Rumball ᵒ
Jaymes Durante ᵒ
Wade McCagh ᵒ
POLITICS Bradley Griffin
Bryce Newton *ᵒ
Jessica Cockerill ᵒ
FILM Jaymes Durante
Catherina Pagani ᵒ
Joseph Creese ᵒ
MUSIC Harry Manson
Caz Stafford ᵒ
Kacper Szozda ᵒ
COVER Alice McCullagh
BOOKS Bryce Newton
Clare Moran *
Kate Prendergast *ᵒ
INSIDE Clara Seigla
ARTS Samuel J. Cox
Danyon Burge *
Laura Wells *
LIFESTYLE Thomas Rossiter
Dennis Venning ᵒ
Leah Roberts ᵒ
Eamonn Kelly ᵒ
Lilli Foskett *
Ed Smith *ᵒ
Matt Green ᵒ
Gabby Loo *
Natalie Thompson *
Harry Manson ᵒ
Patrick Bendall *
Harry Peter Sanderson ᵒ
Pema Monaghan ᵒ
Hayden Dalziel *ᵒ
Prema Arasu ᵒ
Holly Jian *
Reuben Wylie ᵒ
DESIGN Elise Walker
ADVERTISING Chelsea Hayes
offer applies to large pizzas only
PELICAN EDITION 2 : VOLUME 87 WILD REGULARS Editorâ€™s Notes
Higher Education You Could Be Doing
Wild Art Page
Is Green, Is Good
Latte Art Through The Ages
Interview with Marc Fennell
Perth Gigs of 2017
The Game of UWA
GET INVOLVED! ~~all students welcome ~~
Above the ref! Post to M300 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009 WA
The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practice their values, languages, beliefs and knowledge. The views expressed within are not the opinions of the UWA Student Guild or Pelican editorial staff, but of the individual writers and artists.
SPOTLIGHT ON CAMPUS SPOT Pelican
Look Book: Wild
W H AT ?
The Zoo Food-for-Poo Garden
Near James Oval, beside the carpark
W H AT ?
Perth Zoo is a notorious poo-peddler. Gliding smellily up to any institution with reasonably well-kept grounds, it offers to barter ripe exotic offal in exchange for leafy greens to feed to its animal keep. When approached by the Menagerie Barons themselves, UWA groundsmen (despite knowing deep down that the tendered poo was little more than ‘soil conditioner’) set about planting a beautiful garden near the James Oval carpark. It flourishes there today with leafy acacias – its raison d'être invisible to the casual passer-by. When the zoo’s vast fridges grow bare, and the beasts (elephants, giraffes and tree kangaroos in particular in this case) look into the eyes of their masters and mindspeak “alternative catering please”, the zoo’s khaki-clad denizens roll northward, the waft of their shitty gift preceding them. As Horticulture Supervisor Jamie Coopes has stated– UWA is “a pretty popular source for the zoo” – a constant supplier, they manage the grounds all year round. This is especially true for the December period. Feel proud, students, in the knowledge that your university has given an elephant his Christmas dinner.
Questions 1. Will someone take this large wooden chest out of my room?
5. How do I put out a fire?
2. Who are these folk coming out of the chest, are they here for good clean fun?
6. Can I leave now? I am in extraordinary circumstances.
3. What was the name the sanskrit-speaking peoples of the indus valley gave to the greek colonists coming from the west in the Hellenic Era?
8. This fire is getting mighty hot…
4. Really these chest folk, will they leave me alone?
7. How many tinnies can you fit down a whale shark’s guzzler? 9. (burning noises)
1. No, it is heavy and weighted down with mighty mighty magics. I put it there. 2. They are unclean in their ways and come not for fun, but for sneaky reasons. The chest folk are angry and they have come for you my old friend. 3. The Yavanas, or alternatively, “those weird pink fuckers.” 4. No they will not, as I said, they are not here for good clean fun and they will fuck you up. 5. Do you have any fire blankets? I see you don’t as the chest people have instead used them as loincloths. Maybe this would not happen if you did not anger the answerer? 6. No you may not, your time has come, continue the asking. 7. That’s more like it, only one tinnie will fit down the guzzle hole before the leviathan chokes. ‘Tis a small guzzler built only for krill. 8. That is a statement, you have failed in your task and I’m turning up the oven. 9. Hmm. 10. Call me on 0499213023 if you want to be Pelican’s new asker. 6
PERTH FACT WE’RE ALREADY IN A SEPARATE COUNTRY CALLED “WESTRALIA” BUT IT’S STILL IN BETA TESTING
HIGHER EDUCATION COURSES YOU COULD HAVE ENROLLED IN WORDS BY KATE PRENDERGAST
o, you’ve signed yourself up for a Communication Studies course – with a few broadening philosophy units in there (because university years are ‘thinking years’) – with a dream of graduating in 2018 and getting hired as Rupert Murdoch’s ghost-tweeter by 2020. First off: you realise that PHIL1002 - Introduction to Critical Thinking won’t absolve you of your ignorance or necessarily justify your new moustache and suede caban jacket, yeah? Secondly, do you know that these are the most crucially serendipitous years of your life? Years you should hold and cherish and lavish with $12 Tav potato skins? Years where you make awkward approaches to admirable strangers whose napes you have been caressing with your eyeballs these first few weeks of semester, who will inevitably later become your most trusted and best of friends and car-poolers? Who will swim out with you at gloaming into Matilda Bay waters and ply you with trail mix and loving care when you are in the deepest, most hellish throes of some assignment on whether the new Facebook ‘reactions’ are expressively damaging? Thirdly (and this is the important one) you do realise, yeah, that you could be doing better. Right? Right. Sorry. Consider the higher education providers below and their respective courses. Take stock. Reflect. Make some life choices. Seek unlikely. TRUMPIVERSITY FOR INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MEN MOTTO: It’s Terrific! DESCRIPTION: Founded in 2005 as Trump University, with a name-change ten years later to The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative after NY found it "misleading and even illegal" to suggest course completion would award legitimate college credit, the institution was revived in 2017 as ‘Trumpiversity’ following the conservative candidate’s successful nomination to US Presidency. All allegations of impropriety against the institution were at the same time dismissed, and all lawsuits dropped. From an online-based course, it upgraded to a hologram streaming service, with the tycoon’s own disembodied lips and long, slender fingers appearing in your very home or office to teach “smart investors” how to do business and not be weak. How to know the right people, and forget who they are under questioning if they turn out
to be the wrong people to know. How to use words – how to use the best words. And finally, why the Trump brand is so successful, and how not to look at his beautiful daughter. (Free diaries are given away with an image of his daughter on the cover). Trumpiversity certification is mandatory under federal law for all those who want to play the US stock markets. The sign-up fee starts at $9000. POPULAR UNITS: TRUMP1001 – Corn Wiggery; TRUMP1002 – International Diplomacy for Chumps; TRUMP1003 – Look At My Presidential Penis; TRUMP1004 – Negging; TRUMP1005 – Get Rich Fast: Inherit! GRADUATE TESTIMONIAL: “I will not be taking class action! A+ rating! What a penis! Not a scam!” (Nb: suspected automated response). ASH KETCHUM’S ANIMAL HANDLING SCHOOL
MOTTO: Gotta Tag ‘Em All DESCRIPTION: Reformed Trainer Ash – newly released from a 15-year jail sentence for the inhumane treatment of animals resulting in 10,489 faintings and innumerable injuries– has opened up the public an ‘Animal Rearing and Handling School’ in Nevada. With direct supervision by Animal Welfare authorities, the classes are held in the tone of didactic repentance, during which Ash ruefully beats his fist into his red cap, and orates heavily on the patent cruelty of forced breeding programs, impossibly small enclosures for would-be wild animals, and the making of lucrative profit off of violent competitive animal sports. Guided tours are given through the Great Basin National Park, whereby wild animals appear and are taught to be merely appreciated rather than burned / drugged / shot through with pointy leaves / hunted / claimed. EVEN IF IT’S ARCANINE. POPULAR UNITS: None. GRADUATE TESTIMONIAL: “Very dull.” WERNER HERZOG’S SCOUNDREL FILM SCHOOL MOTTO: All Is Pain DESCRIPTION: After the forced closure of his ‘Rogue Film School’ on account of legal difficulties, illustrious German filmmaker Werner Herzog – undeterred in his vision for higher, bleaker education – opened his second school in a makeshift wooden building on the Midland Railway Heritage Trail in
March 2016. At the ‘Scoundrel Film School’, censorship is authorized, participant number is capped at 53, and personal technology is banned. Laptops shall be hurled out windows; to tweet is death. All classes are conducted on foot. No filming is permitted; no student hand is to touch a camera during the 3-year duration of the course, conducted randomly and infrequently. Delinquency encouraged, and on graduation day, the main building shall be burned where it stands. POPULAR UNITS: BP078 – Forgery; BIO1666 – Getting Away with Animal Cruelty on Set; HOSP3017 – Boiling, Broth and Boots; PHYS0001 – Now We Walk Across Blasted Regions for 10,000 Kilometres You Sons of Sissies GRADUATE TESTIMONIAL: “This course made me fit for nothing except growing accustomed to foot sores and nurturing contempt for Federal and International law. Recommend.” RICK SANCHEZ’S RIGGITY-RIGGITY REKT DIPLOMA MOTTO: *Uuurp* DESCRIPTION: Conducted over 100 years, at the end of which a soggy scrap of hastily-ripped notepad paper is given in halfhearted semblance of approved certification, interdimensional traveller and sick scientist Rich Sanchez teaches kids to, uh, you know, know things. Lots of things. In their little peanut brain. Successful applicants are kept in a large holding pen with a bunch of Mr Meeseeks on a planet made entirely of nipple hills. They stay there until Rick needs them for something. POPULAR UNITS: uhhhhhhhhhhhh GHSLD10355: learning things, making your…get your mind working, get it working kid, get it…just don’t be Jerry GRADUATE TESTIMONIAL: (All graduates now deceased).
MIKE TYSON’S SCHOOL OF MINDFULNESS MOTTO: Respectfully Conquer People and their Souls DESCRIPTION: Mike Tyson speaks softly on how to be mindful. POPULAR UNITS: MIKE1001: Mindfulness GRADUATE TESTIMONIAL: “I am more mindful now”.
PERTH FACT PERTH ZOO IS WELL KNOWN FOR ITS ORANGUTAN BREEDING PROGRAM BUT LESS SO FOR ITS ATTEMPTS TO BREED DROP-BEARS
#justcolinthings WORDS & ART BY ED SMITH
People who own things: beware, you may soon be breaking the law. A rally was held recently outside Parliament House to protest the state government’s proposed Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill 2015. The Bill was introduced by Attorney General Michael Mischin last year, and has been widely criticised for its vague wording and dubious legality. Effectively, if passed, the amendment will make it illegal to “make, adapt or knowingly possess a thing for the purpose of using it, or enabling it to be used, in the commission of […] the physical prevention of lawful activity". A particularly worrying feature of the Bill is that it removes the presumption of innocence from those who are suspected of “preventing lawful activity”, allowing police to detain people based simply on “reasonable suspicion” that they might “intend to use a thing”. Penalties extend to $24,000 in fines and up to two years’ jail. The Bill has just passed through the Legislative Council, and will be debated in the Legislative Assembly in the coming days and weeks. Addressing the crowd of several hundred people, state Opposition Leader Mark McGowan promised to fight the Bill, and should it pass, repeal it if Labor form government at the next state election. Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren lauded the efforts of those who have managed to protect Western Australia’s natural environment through peaceful protest, and questioned whether these battles would have been won had this legislation existed five or ten years ago. She noted that this rally was the largest held so far to oppose the Bill, and stated that the Greens, along with Labor, had stalled debate in the Upper House for as long as they could in order for the movement opposing it to grow. Addressing the crowd, Ms MacLaren asked anyone who brought a thing along to get it out and hold it up for the media. This request was met with rousing applause and the triumphant brandishing of umbrellas, flags, banners, signs, skateboards, puppets, plush toys and household appliances, all of which could quite realistically become illegal
to wield in public by next week. Never before have I seen a large plastic spoon raised valiantly in the air as a symbol of civil disobedience.
There is no inherent morality in authority; just because someone has the power to do something, and even if that something is a “legal” action, it does not make it morally excusable or just Kate Davis, speaking for the Community Legal Centres Association, addressed the legal ambiguities of the bill, and the authority it gives police to arrest people without any proof of intent to commit any crime. She also highlighted the opposition to the Bill from such esteemed organisations as the United Nations, who flatly condemned the legislation earlier this year, stating: “if the Bill passes, it would go against Australia's international obligations under international human rights law, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression as well as peaceful assembly and association”. Even after being presented with these worrying aspects of such a poorly worded and possibly-international-humanrights-infringing Bill, some may say “well, it still only applies to protesters, and they’re all radical lefty hippie bleeding hearts who want to stand in the way of progress”, before presumably running over an old lady in their sports car on the way to the business factory where they have a very important government-subsidised corporate lunch to attend. But I dispute that viewpoint unequivocally. Without protesting and acts of civil disobedience, women would not have the right to vote, indigenous Australians would still be counted as “animals” in the census, we would certainly not have affordable healthcare, an eight-hour working day, or even a minimum wage. There is no inherent morality in authority; just because someone has the power to do something, and even if that something is a “legal” action, it does not make it morally excusable or just. Probably the most charismatic speaker at the rally, Father Chris Bedding from the Anglican Social Responsibility Commission, reminded the audience that sometimes you have to break the law in order to the right thing. This has been proven throughout history time and time again. To find moral ambiguity in legal actions, one need only look to the current shitstorm surrounding the (entirely legal) deportation of children from this country, and the (apparently legal) subsequent torture and mistreatment of those children. Or simply remember that many things that
PERTH FACT THE “FACELESS MEN OF THE LABOR PARTY” ARE ACTUALLY THE WATER CORPORATION
are legal today were illegal in years past, and remain illegal in many other countries around the world. There are ten countries in the world where I would legally be put to death for my sexuality. One thing that has always struck me about protests is the almost tribal way that groups come together, each bearing the colours of their particular interests. At any given protest you are likely to see red (various socialist movements), green (the Greens, surprise, surprise), maybe purple (the NTEU), perhaps black (anarchists, or just the post office Goths if they got lost and wandered into the rally like lost sheep, poor things), or blue (lots of unions like blue. Nice strong colour). The scene is beautiful in its chaos and rowdiness, like medieval levies gathering to fight for their respective lieges, banners held high, united by a common goal. But in this case, their lieges are not highborn nobles, they are instead inspired by humanist values and ideas. The common goal is not to kill someone for their headwear and then put it on someone else, but to improve society, fight injustice, bring attention to issues that are so often drowned out by the voices of those in power. At this rally, the feeling of solidarity was truly in the air, as each group was there to fight for their right to fight; no cause was left out or off-limits. Banners supporting environmental, social, moral, and workers’ issues flew side-by-side. It’s pretty hard to dispute the argument that political apathy is rife in today’s world, where making a political statement involves arguing with strangers over the internet and putting a French flag filter over your latest club selfie. People are right to be cynical about the effectiveness of hashtag activism, so often associated with phrases like “1 like = 1 prayer”, and seemingly inspired more by narcissism than compassion. But just because these platforms typically promote egocentric inflation, it doesn’t mean that they are totally useless at effecting change, and it doesn’t mean that other avenues of political involvement are closed off. Before attending the rally at Parliament House, I wrote an email to my local federal MP, Alannah MacTiernan. I’ve supported Ms MacTiernan through her career in state politics, and I voted for her during the last federal election. I’ve even met her once or twice,
People are right to be cynical about the effectiveness of hashtag activism, so often associated with phrases like “1 like = 1 prayer” but I very much doubt she’d know who I am. Writing to express my concern over the ALP’s stance on asylum seekers, and in particular the party’s refusal to censure Peter Dutton’s claims that children are deliberately self-harming in order to gain entry to Australia, I let her know that unfortunately the ALP no longer represents my interests in federal politics, and I can’t in good faith support a party that I disagree with so strongly on this issue. I sent my email at 9:10am, and received a 300-word reply at 11:57am. While the response was still towing the party line, it was also personal and familial, and responded directly and clearly to issue I had raised (and was also interestingly CC’d to Mark Scott, the managing director of the ABC). This isn’t the first time I’ve directly contacted a politician, and it’s not the first time I’ve received a genuine response.
As much as our instincts might tell us otherwise, politicians are actually human beings. They have real interests, fears and anxieties, and can be influenced and swayed on issues when faced with resistance or strong arguments. The interviews and rallies you see every day on the internet and on television are often happening just down the road from where you live. The petitions you sign online are presented in parliament and give weight to the moral authority of the argument they support. Many people say they “don’t care about politics”, as if they expect their privilege to extend forever. Others are not so lucky to live in such a position, and must fight do protect what rights they have slowly wrung from those in power. If you want to help make the world a better place, all you have to do is get involved. If you think your voice will not be heard, you are mistaken. The one thing that politicians fear the most is losing an election. While Barnett can push his draconian Bill through the state parliament if he wants to, no party will support legislation that will see them voted out of office. By protesting, we undermine the authority of ruling governments to act unjustly, and we hold them to account for their actions. The right to peaceful assembly is one of the most effective rights we have to create positive change or resist morally abhorrent actions, and it is up to us to defend that right. The government has the numbers to push the legislation through, but since April last year, the movement to resist this legislation has grown tenfold, drawing support from around Australia and the world. If you don’t want to be arrested for possession of a thing, I implore you to kick political apathy in the dick and get out there and protest.
PERTH FACT THE ONLY PERTH GUILD CLUB WITH MORE OCCULT CRED THAN CURTIN RAP CLUB IS PELICAN
F O T SUI
UR P E
GNARLYNESS WORDS BY REUBEN WYLIE ART BY CLARE MORAN
The Bird Man flew and the young guns knew true skating was afoot. With corks and kicks he made landed tricks in a bowl of pale blue. This month I was in Sydney for a bit and for a few days searching for something to look at other than Manly Beach, my dank youth hostel bunk bed or more colonial architecture. When the advert for what appeared to be a fiendishly wayward skateboarding competition caught my eye, it was also cheap to go to, so off I went. Upon further examination I realized this was no minor session, but instead the annual Bondi, Vans Bowl-A-Rama. It is Australia’s most fiscally significant skateboarding event with the largest pool of prize money. It also attracts the greatest names in vertical skateboarding. They include Tony Hawk – the Birdman – who defended his Master Class Title this month with a solid victory over runners-up Pat Ngoho USA and Sydney’s own Renton Millar. Choosing between the younger pros and the old legends I decided to take in some old school skating and went to the Master Class semi-finals on Sunday the 21st. The more competitive Men’s and Women’s ‘Pros’ divisions would have been good, but I wanted watch the legends of shred before the Bird Man falls of his perch and starts pushing a Zimmer frame
around the bowl. The contest I did see however, was the best possible incarnation of the true anarchic skateboarding spirit. Bowl-A-Rama takes place at the Bondi Beach Skate Park, which looms elevated over the sand and with panoramic views of the surf. Everything of the park other than the 12-foot bowl was buried under scaffolding and podiums. Sydney’s tumulus weather had shifted from the staunching humidity of the previous day. Instead, hopping off the bus from the city centre I was battered by wind and rain.
The commercialization of skateboarding has been considered a long-time threat to the anarchic street spirit of the sport. Walking around the event complex scoping out the scene, I was followed by a metallic sounding commentary booming out of the stages internal P.A. system. A cheesy Californian was reminding the small crowd of spectators who had arrived early of the power of positive thought and not to go “nelly” on him. The weather did in fact clear and that night I itched terribly from the surprise sunburn I acquired. The commercialization of skateboarding has been considered a long-time threat to the anarchic street spirit of the sport. Many fear that the rise of large corporations into the skateboarding merchandise market will result in professional skateboarding becoming more centred around showboating competitions as control of the skating industry leaves the streets. Says pundit Lurper, writing for Junkem mag: “Instead of inefficiently, creatively, and collaboratively creating skate videos, skaters will efficiently and competitively enter into the highly predictable, standardized, quantifiable, and controllable world of megacontests.” Vertical skating has been the style most heavily criticized in terms of abandoning the original spirit of skating in favour of commercialized competition. The criticism is mainly due to the fact that it revolves around the constructed skate parks, not the ever-changing city environment of the street. This criticism continues to be flung at the vertical skate world even though street skating owes its existence to the evolution of Vert skating in
PERTH FACT NEW AT MAYLANDS IGA: THE BLOOD OF A FIRSTBORN CHILD
the 1970s, when the “ollie” was first invented. It is also the case that street skating itself has, in the previous decade, become thoroughly commercialized – party to a multitude of competitions including Street League which is comparable to the X games in the Vertical world. What I saw at the Bowl-A-Rama master class was in no way uncreative, predictable and non-gnarly. Instead, skaters regularly mixed up their sets to personally challenge the previous performance, creating an atmosphere of internal competition between the athletes. It was gratifyingly clear they go out of their way to outdo each other’s personal tricks, where a larger score may have been achieved with a more reliable set run. In one instance this took the form of a hand plant grudge match between all those in the top five of the contest. This was the whole purpose of the master class division. A calculated effort by the competition coordinators to maintain an atmosphere of skating that was more reminiscent of the original skating mantra, the pursuit of gnarliness. It would be impossible to expect the under-25-year-olds in the pro division to forsake maintaining competitive performance, and the favour of their sponsors, to maximize risky creativity. Their careers are so young,
WORDS BY KATE PRENDERGAST | ART BY BRYCE NEWTON
fluid, fragile and dependent on consistency. Only the veterans whose professional careers are largely over are fit for this task. Tony Hawk, whilst trying to ensure he won the contest, was visually superb. Unloading an arsenal of aerial manoeuvres in each set that one would only think possible in one of his video games. His 540-degree corks in particular were a paramount performance, which none of his competition attempted. All the while he followed his personal creed of expanding the known world of gnarly skating whenever possible. So was Bowl-A-Rama rad? You bet your nelly ass.
+ Long-haired server might be there. HELLO ELFIN TRESSES GALORE
- Risk of hair strand in sub
+ MIGHT move down a belt size (but increase one through cookies)
- MIGHT move down a belt size (A+ to cushioning)
+ 5 VEG A DAY DONE + They have a special deal $3 600mL Coke bottle deal + Doughy MSG aroma wafting on Oak Lawn
- Ham appears as shaved off from moist mole-rat - Bastardized delicatessen; food vats are sad wells of would-be good stuff - Guild has a special $2 600mL Coke bottle deal (VANILLA COKE TOO)
+ YUM MEATBALLS
- Doughy MSG aroma wafting on Oak Lawn
+ Exudes ‘New Yorkian’ ‘I’m-in-a-rush-but-stillgood-to-myself’ vibe
- My pickle: Will my sandwich artist judge me if I say “gherkin” instead of “pickle”
+ Great with Boost Juice I’ve heard !!!!!!! + A wilted lettuce trail is the new ‘follow me, beautiful stranger’ signal
- Corporatization of the university with a fast food chain: basically McDonalds for the health-conscious - Will the Guild Kebab profit go down ?? - Face of store is a paedophile
PERTH FACT PUBLIC ART PLANNERS ARE CONSIDERING A BRONZE OF TROY BUSWELL’S NOSE DOING A BIG SNIFF
MISS ENGINEERING WORDS BY SAM GOERLING ART BY LAURA WELLS
Do this for me: picture a drilling engineer. Are you seeing a man? I wouldn’t hold it against you if you were. But ask yourself: first, why this is, and second, does it have to be this way. Yassmin AbdelMagied, finalist for Young Australian of the Year and a supervising drilling engineer takes us through the rig landscape and considers how headway can be made to reduce the resident gender disparity in the industry. A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN OFFSHORE OILRIG ENGINEERING SUPERVISOR Hours before the sun has even contemplated rising, the night is interrupted by the piercing persistence of an alarm clock. A woman begins moving about in the dark and installs herself at a desk. For Yassmin Abdel-Magied, the ungodly hour of 2:30am constitutes the beginning of a daily three-hour report writing session. This is followed by a series of meetings plastered one on top of the other. A lucky crevice between meetings allows for breakfast and provides sustenance until 9am smoko marks the conclusion of the morning’s work. Abdel-Magied continues the day outdoors, supervising until 4 o’clock. An afternoon sojourn finishes at 5:30pm for the night shift, which brings more meetings. It’s not until after 9pm that she can finally allow her eyes to close and let her consciousness drift away from the oilrig – an industrial platform in the middle of a desert sea. THE COMPOSITION OF THE INDUSTRY (GENDER, AGE) Abdel-Magied is a part of the tiny 11.8% of women who have successfully steered their career into the engineering sector. This statistic represents the qualified engineers in 2011 either employed or actively seeking employment in the sector. However, a considerable disparity is apparent between states, with the ACT taking the lead and Tasmania dragging at the nation’s heels with 13% and 8.4% of women represented respectively.
At the age of just 24, Abdel-Magied is also one of the young women making headway in the industry. The latest data from the Australian Census shows that women engineers are on average almost five years younger than their male counterparts – 37.1 compared to 41.9 years of age. INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS In her four short years working in the industry, Abdel-Magied has noticed the increasing employment of women in her field. At her current job with a major oil and gas company in Australia, three out of four of those hired at the time were women – including herself. Target-setting is one motivator for small but significant change – with the company where Yassmin works aiming for 20% of their engineering workforce to be women in the future. They have furthermore made mandatory unconscious bias training sessions for their employers in order to overcome the singlesex dominated psyche of the past. It is an old-era mentality that Abdel-Magied is highly aware of, and comes face-to-face with on a regular basis. At a three-weeks training program for drilling engineering, “any time any of the lecturers would be talking about someone they would be like, ‘the drilling engineer he…’ or ‘the person he…’”– to which Abdel-Magied continually added “or ‘she’”. Her passion for addressing unconscious bias as a component of achieving greater gender equality is deeply engrained in her. She is pleased to be working for a company that has begun taking steps to achieve greater gender equity. However, these foundational steps can be built upon. After raising the topic of unconscious bias and gender diversity, Yassmin sees the next challenge in positioning these topics and issues so as they resonate as relevant to those drilling on the rigs. "It’s finding a way to make all this extra stuff that they may not value straight-up relevant to them and show them why it adds value. And that is a more difficult conversation to have." Between the previous two censuses in 2006 and 2011 the gender composition of the industry has made some headway towards equity reform. The number employed in the engineering field, known as the demand for engineers, has grown to a much greater degree for women as it has for men in this time; 7.8% as opposed to 5.3%. This was reflected in the proportion of women in engineering rising 1.2%. In terms of employment status there was a slight overall shift for both genders from full-time to part time employment. Women were already overrepresented in part-time employment and this proportion has continued to climb. Over this same period, the overall unemployment rate in engineering rose. Women still having almost double the unemployment rate of men in the industry; 6.2% compared to 3.1% for men in 2011.
PERTH FACT WHALE SHARK TOURISM CANCELLED AFTER LOCAL MAN FEEDS THEM TINNIES
GETTING WOMEN INTO ENGINEERING While a gradual increase in the proportion of women in engineering is evident, this has corresponded with the small increase in the supply of women engineers – supply referring to those employed or actively seeking a job in that field. To put it more simply, currently there simply isn’t the depth of supply to increase demand. While statistics are changing slowly, a sizable shift will not occur without adjustments from the grass-roots upwards. For Yassmin Abdel-Magied, many paths have aligned to facilitate the almighty trek she has had to undertake to make it into the industry.
The lack of female engineers acting as role models presents another hurdle for girls and young women in seeing themselves in such a profession Flashback 15 years, and she recalls the controlled gush of water after changing a broken bathroom tap at home. For her, this was a simple and not unusual experience; but one that not all girls have when growing up. It was activities such as this that enabled Yassmin to see the work that they were characterized under as “as accessible to me as my brother.” There are many components of a child’s upbringing that will facilitate them in being able to conceive all professions as possible regardless of whether they have traditionally been dominated by a particular sex. Parents’ attitudes is one of these, and Abdel-Magied draws attention to the significance of adult carer perceptions. “A young daughter may want to play with Lego all she wantsbut if her Dad says ‘ah darling, are you sure you don’t want me to get you a Barbie doll?’ or something like that. That will sit in the back of her mind for a really long time.” She suggests buying non-gendered gifts and stresses that “when kids are really young never say, ‘oh no that’s a boy’s game’ or ‘that’s a girl’s game.’” As a high school student Yassmin had never met a female engineer. The lack of female engineers acting as role models presents another hurdle for girls and young women in seeing themselves in such a profession. Yassmin encourages more female engineers to step out and help fill this void by visiting places like schools to lead the way and kick the trend.
advanced maths and physics. Subsequently, at a university level this gender disparity is astronomical, with the proportion of female domestic students both commencing and completing bachelor or post graduate degrees in those fields at 15.3% in 2011. One thing that Yassmin gratefully identifies and attributes her career progression to is having had “really amazing sponsors”. Mentoring and advice were invaluable to her, and she urges others “not be afraid to ask for stuff.” KEEPING WOMEN IN ENGINEERING Even past tertiary qualification, the gender gap continues to widen in engineering. Another major disparity that has been identified is the retention rates within the industry. This is the difference between the supply and the number in engineering occupations. Again, this is significantly lower for women than men- 47.1% and 62.6% respectively. Even among the other women that Yassmin studied with at university, a large number of them aren’t working in engineering anymore. Many women after the first 5-10 years end up leaving, often for a variety of reasons. One of which Yassmin identifies is that engineering “is not an easy career to have a baby at the same time. In the sense that when you’re making a mark and running a big project you’re in the twenties, early thirties bracket and that’s usually when women want to have babies.” However, even when this is not the case, women may still be discriminated against because of employer assumption. “They think that she wants to have a baby at that age so they will pre-emptively not offer her work. I know an example of when a boss said to a friend of mine ‘don’t worry about getting full time, you’re going to want to have kids soon anyways’. So that immediately disadvantages you… all those little things add up.” KEEPING A LEVEL HEAD With all this in mind Yassmin Abdel-Magied can still take a step back and say, “try not to think about it in an ‘us versus them’ thing, because it’s not about that. Yeah there are challenges, yeah there’s cultural change that is needed… People ultimately have the same needs and desires. So something I find interesting about working in the field is guys like talking to me. They may not necessarily know how to deal with me as a supervisor but they like talking to me because I’m interested in their life story, I’m willing to have a conversation. I’ll listen. Ultimately the toughest guy on the block still just wants to feels like they’re valued and they’re worth something.”
Already by Year 12, males outnumber females 3:1 in both
PERTH FACT QUOKKAS' SMILES HIDE AN INNER STRUGGLE
STYLE ICON With his ponytail And his Bintang singlet And his gaunt Amphetamine haunted face
His style And his bad taste His Egyptian ripoff tattoos He got done in Bali Names in wings across his chest Remember Beth? What a rack
His empathetic mournful words And emphatic backtracks His jaw that clicks And grates and grinds And throbs with pain that Sends him wild Keeps him up all night Thinking and tweaking and Dimming the lights
He feeds his dog twice Cries and turns on the top 40 Plastic rap and cars exploding Fixing cars and never talking He'll never talk again He goes onto Facebook And blocks all his friends Gets a new ute Gets a new girlfriend
WORDS BY BELLA MORRIS
PERTH FACT HEY MED STUDENTS, WHY NOT STUDY ANATOMY AT THE GNANGARA PINES?
ART BY GABBY LOO
PWF WORDS WITH THAT GUY MARC FENNELL, NOT NECESSARILY THAT MOVIE GUY INTERVIEW BY DENNIS VENNING
lthough most known as Triple J’s ‘That Movie Guy’ film critic, Marc Fennell – also popular for his work on SBS’s The Feed – doesn’t want to be put into a wholly celluloid-wrapped box. Having a speaker’s slot at this years’ Perth Writers’ Festival, he talked with Dennis Venning on broadcasting politics, Scorsese as film critic, and how the ABC is letting us down when it comes to representing the true crosscut of our society.
Facebook video. I know that sounds like an odd thing for me to say but I think the way Facebook have introduced autoplay video into people’s lives is sort of a game changer in terms of television consumption. So my show, more people are watching it on Facebook than watching it on YouTube – in some instances more people are watching it on Facebook than watching it on TV. That’s a huge change in the dynamic and I’m keen to see where that goes.
Dennis Venning: Do you have any history of radio stuff? Where did you come from, what’s your origin story?
Do you have critic idols? How does criticism contribute to the world rather than just being people saying, well this is shit – how do you do criticism well?
Marc Fennell: My super hero origin story? Um, literally it all starts in community radio. So I was seventeen years old, and I walked into a community radio station in my hometown of Sydney; they basically taught me from scratch – everything. So, how to write a good hook to get people interested, how to progress a story forward. I wouldn’t be anywhere without community broadcasting – including wouldn’t have a wife, because we both started at community radio together. So it’s an incredibly important part of my particular upbringing. I’d be screwed without it. On that subject of your identity, how much are movies a part of your identity at this point? How much are you just that movie guy? Yeah it’s interesting, because I think it’s the thing that I’m probably best known for – [It’s the thing I knew you for] – It’s funny because it’s a two minute thing that I do that ends up reaching the most amount of people. And that’s lovely and I love it and I care deeply about getting that two minutes or so of radio right because I do everything – I write it, I produce it, I mix it. But I guess the thing these days where my brain goes to more is interviewing people. I have lots of different jobs; I like to be very busy, I like to do lots of different things. However long I choose to keep doing Triple J, film will always be a part of who I am.
You know who my favourite film critic of all time is? Martin Scorsese. So Martin Scorsese made a film, a little over ten years ago called My Voyage to Italy. And it’s just him doing this very personal guided tour through the birth of Italian Neo-realism and the renaissance of Italian film. It’s the most perfect example of how to do broadcast film criticism because he uses clips, he demonstrates; he shows you moments and goes “look at this moment, how they do this!” That actually is one of my favourite examples of using the medium. Most criticism, certainly the criticism that gets taken most seriously is written criticism either on the web or in print. I’ve written two books, but in my heart I’m a broadcaster and I like being able to use all the tools to communicate an idea. What I’m finding interesting at the moment is people who do video essays – so people doing essays about the visual aesthetic of Wes Anderson for instance. Written criticism? I used to love Ebert, Roger Ebert. He wrote in a very conversational but analytical, not aggressive, accessible manner. A lot of film critics are so desperate to write for other film critics, to write
Gotcha. On that then, what are the media things that do excite you outside of film – what are the big things you care about both in terms of consumption but also production? In terms of my day to day, The Feed on SBS is a huge part of my life – so it’s every night, live, 7.30 on SBS2 – like, it’s live TV that I do every night. And the thing that I want to be able to do is turn it into the show you go to for the best interviews with the most interesting people. It’s a nightly news show and we do lots of, you know, fun takes on the news. But the core of it is, it’s a show about people. In terms of consumption, I know this sounds kind of weird but I’m really interested in
PERTH FACT MOST OF THE CORPSES IN THE GNANGARA PINES ARE FROM ADVENTURE WORLD
to impress other film critics and be part of that conversation and I find it aggressively boring. And I have friends who are film critics, but there’s a certain way they talk to each other. It’s dripping in references and … ugh fuck off [laughs]. My next question relates to diversity. So you’ve said you’re interested in specifically multicultural diversity. Where are we at, and where do you see the Australian broadcasting industry and society going? Yeah it’s not working out great – I’ll be honest with you. The thing that’s really disappointing for me is actually the ABC. I don’t expect commercial media to go out of its way to represent the full diversity of Australia because it’s not one of their primary goals – but I do expect the ABC to do it. I say this as an ABC employee; I think the ABC has done a particularly poor job of demonstrating what Australia looks like. You know, on the main ABC TV schedule Monday, Tuesday, any night that Black Comedy isn’t on you’re struggling to find somebody who isn’t white, and look, I’m half white and this isn’t me whinging about a job. I’ve had plenty of jobs at the ABC and Ten and SBS and I’m not whinging about it for me. I went for a wander down Northbridge this morning and I saw a wild amount of ethnic diversity and then I turned on my national broadcaster and it’s not there; and that should be one of their jobs. It’s about representing different political attitudes. There are always ways we can do better and there are always ways we can be tweaked but I will say one of the areas that I feel most, I guess, just sad and disappointed about is that the national broadcaster hasn’t done a better job of that. On a lighter note – are you really not tired of talking about comic book movies? Are you really happy to talk about them until the cows come home? It depends. I think Marvel have a pretty solid strike rate with engaging blockbusters – so much better than I ever would have predicted really. Even their most bland movie still has a sense of humour. I think that’s the thing that gets them over the line. Like, the stories of most Marvel movies are kind of shit. Even Deadpool right – okay it’s a Marvel FOX film so it’s not even core Marvel – but Deadpool is a beautifully structured, very funny version of a not-very-interesting story. It’s like, guy goes and gets revenge of a mad scientist: that’s the whole plot. Their execution of that is really great but the core story – and same goes for The Avengers and Thor and all – it’s a bit shit. There’s nothing surprising in the narrative. That said, these are very entertaining popcorn movies. I’d just like it if they were popcorn movies that were sort of about something – that would be nice.
How can you justify rating something with a ¾ star rating like you did for Deadpool? That’s reprehensible. It is, and do you know what, I fucking hate ratings. I never did them on FBi [radio station], I never did them on The Movie Show, the only reason I did them on Triple J is because Megan Spencer did them before me. I should’ve canned them from the beginning and I’ve been trying to diminish their impact ever since. Like, numbers to evaluate art? To evaluate entertainment, numbers to evaluate an emotional reaction. It’s stupid, it makes no fucking sense. I’m a decade into doing this and it’d be weird to just drop it now, but god I’d love to because I fucking hate star ratings. I really fucking hate them. If I write another book, that’s what I’m going to call it. I just… I hate them. I really do. That’s fantastic. My final question, which gets you a bit of a plug for your book, [Planet According to the Movies] is looking at the world as a bunch of film locations. What does that do to the way that you think about reality? Does it kind of affect the way you see the world? It’s interesting because the film is less about place than it is about culture. So yes, obviously we do look at how film uses physical locations – but it’s more about the people and the society and the culture that inhabits that place. That’s the more powerful element of the story. It’s about how culture changes movies and how it changed the popular culture that we always knew; and how different cultures have infiltrated what is now mainstream popcorn movie-making. When you start thinking about movies like that, thinking about where certain kinds of visual languages and tropes and genres started, that really does change the way you watch movies because most filmmakers are smart people. Whether you like their films or not they care about what they’re doing; they’ve usually studied it and watched it and they kind of know where they’re coming from. So when a filmmaker, good or bad, chooses to employ a trope that they know comes from somewhere, they’re making a choice to kind of access an emotion of something that they’ve seen before. I find that that daisy chain of experience and culture and people really interesting because you can learn a lot about people through the things that they love, the things that they’ve chosen to replicate. And that again is the other side of film criticism that I think is interesting that you don’t get to do on a week-by-week basis with whatever movie is out. You get to explore a little bit about how we’re all connected through popular culture.
PERTH FACT THE SOUND GUY HAS HOPES AND FEELINGS
PERTH GIGS OF 2017 WORDS AND ART BY HAYDEN DALZIEL
When a failed time travel experiment from the future caused a man to appear impaled on the Pelican staircase railing, he used his last dying strength to hand us a package. In that package was a single copy of X-Press from the future, allowing us to peer beyond the veil of time into next year’s gig reviews.
SKY BONG (@THE ROSEMOUNT) Sky Bong are a force of nature and tonight’s show made it abundantly clear why their rise to the top echelon of the Doom scene has been so meteoric. After touring in the states and gaining more than five fans, Sky Bong have been brought back home by Life is Noise to show us their signature brand of relentless droning and hunnic grunts. Their opening (and closing) song, Single Note For 3 Hours literally blew apart my face and caused massive internal bleeding in the rows behind me. While many so called “fans” were hospitalised, I had the pleasure of staying to listen to the end of their set, where frontman Tamerlane Steve stopped his Tuvan death chant and started ripping cones as I lapsed into unconsciousness. The night was a blessing. BY REECE NUTBUSH
INDUSTRIAL HIP-HOP PENIS (@ AMPLIFIER CAPITOL) Groundbreaking U.S. experimental Hip-Hop act IHHP confused a lot of folks tonight. Maybe it was the fact that they refused to play in person, and maybe it was the fact that they instead opted to send a projection of a penis whose urethra was animated to begin singing “Bleh bleh bleh bleh blah blah blah blah” over a series of white noise samples. The mysterious group has in fact done the same thing at every show booked in the last year, leading some to think that the penis isn’t animated but is instead a sentient hip-hop genius writing songs of its own accord. Either way, I thought this show was fucking intense and truly cutting-edge. BY BRYONY LANTANO
TOLLWAVE (@ CANNING HWY) The Tollwave boys brought us something truly intimate and unique tonight as we were invited to sit in the middle of Canning Highway while they held up traffic trying to charge all the drivers an entry fee. The songs were short and sweet, such as opener My Girlfriend Left Me On Tonkin Hwy and the hit singles Hitting the Tinnies on Great Eastern Hwy and My Girlfriend Left Me ‘Cause of My Drinking on Roe Hwy. Eventually everyone got move-on notices but it was a ripper of a night while it lasted. BY IBEX RIFFIN’
WE WISH WE WERE FROM ALABAMA (@THE MOON) To be fair, WWWWA might have had their moment a few years ago but this gig was pointless. It was whiny, self-serving indie folk trash. The percussive banjo riff of Please Please Buy My Airfare was unnecessarily abrasive and deeply disturbed my efforts to order some haloumi. The wheezy violin whine of I’m Not Putting On An Accent Fuck You made my girlfriend break down into tears and leave me on the spot for subjecting her to such a show. Fuck you WWWWA. BY ANGRY MCDONNEGAL
PERTH FACT REJECTED MUSEUM SHOWS: “ROADSIDE BONGS OF ALEXANDER HEIGHTS”
THE GAME OF UWA
ART BY HAYDEN DALZIEL
Danyon Burge is an artist/illustrator from Perth who is currently completing his fine arts degree at UWA. Constantly searching for new connections in our visual language, he works with paint, clay, computers and occasionally playing cards, but ink on paper is his bread and butter. With these simple tools he aims to transmit the otherworldly and imaginative as intensely as he can. Although he isnâ€™t averse to any potential source of influence, he is particularly inspired by book illustration from the Middle Ages and classical music from the twentieth century. You can see more of his art on his Facebook page, DLB (facebook.com/danyonleviburge) or send him an email at email@example.com
WORDS BY JESSICA COCKERILL ART BY JADE NEWTON
istorically, native plants were hard-pressed to appeal
that we produce,” says Digby. “From
to a Eurocentric palate, often considered ugly,
when you do a pollination it
unfriendly and untamed.
takes about seven years until
The plant development program at Kings Park is trying to change that. Digby Growns, the program’s senior plant breeder, and his team are constantly creating new varieties to suit both conservation
that plant can be released commercially.” Digby is a patient man though, and doesn’t mind the wait.
concerns and the aesthetic goals of gardeners. “We want our
“I do everything from pulling
local flora better represented in our gardens,” Digby says.
weeds and potting up to evaluating
Native plant varieties require less water and nutrients, which
contracts,” he shrugs.
is of great benefit in a state where water is scarce and algal
Because Kings Park doesn’t have a
blooms infamous. They also provide habitat and food to native
commercial-scale facility, they partner with local nurseries
fauna – crucial in increasingly fragmented urban landscapes.
like Benara, as well as interstate and international partners, to
“Through the breeding process, we combine one parent which
disseminate their plants.
has beautiful attributes with another parent that for example
“The commercial nurseries pay a royalty back to Kings Park for
might be more tolerant of low water,” explains Digby. “The
every plant sold, which mostly goes back into the operations of
progeny will be better adapted to grow in people’s gardens,
the park. Although, making money isn’t really the main thing.
with altered soil types and altered water regimes.”
The primary driver is getting plants into peoples’ gardens.”
He also mentions that without an aesthetic appeal they simply
Once a variety is developed, clonal methods allow hundreds of
wouldn’t have the same success.
identical plants to be produced, ready for sale. Then all they
“That is why a big part of the breeding process goes into long flowering, larger flowers, and disease tolerant varieties.” To develop new varieties they use cross-pollination (fertilizing plants sexually), or somatic fusion (reducing two plants down to two cells, then forcing the cells
need is a nice sentimental name to seal the deal. Digby chooses not to get involved with the naming process, letting the commercial nursery devise titles that will be well-received by the public.
together using an electrical current). Digby says that ornamental breeding
which have a variety of different traits hidden in their genes, so when interbred their progeny express a range
features. “We discard about 99
Envirofest is the UWA Student Guild’s annual festival of sustainability. This year’s offerings include the Bike Dr with FREE bike maintenance to attendees as part of WestCycle’s Bike Week, a chance to make your own recycled art, and to see robots used by UWA researchers to monitor turtle numbers at water pollution. Where: Oak Lawn When: 11am-2pm, 15th March 2016
per cent of the hybrids
PERTH FACT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO MAKE DMT FROM ACACIA TREES BUT CAN YOU MAKE CRACK FROM YOUR DAD’S LAWN?
A MODEL CITIZEN… WHEN CONVENIENT WORDS BY JASMINE RUSCOE ART BY NATALIE THOMPSON
ustralia has a long and complicated relationship with the United Nations. On one hand we’re a founding member and the 12th largest budgetary contributor. Over the last 70 years we’ve sent 65,000 troops on UN-led and sanctioned missions. On top of this, we’re seeking election to the Human Rights Council in 2018, and to the Security Council in 2029. And yet on the other hand, we seem to ignore almost everything they tell us. Most recently, Premier Colin Barnett rejected the UN’s calls to withdraw an anti-protest bill currently before the Western Australian Parliament. Along with domestic groups including the Greens and Unions WA, the UN has voiced concerns about the law’s vague terminology and its exclusion from the presumption of innocence. The Premier dismissed these concerns on the grounds that Australia is “not some despot country in Africa,” and that therefore, Australian protestors need not fear that their rights will be abused. Needless to say, protestors – especially human rights activists – are not convinced. Mr Barnett’s comments are not the first of their kind. Around this time last year, then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated that “Australians are sick of being lectured to by the UN,” about our asylum seeker policy. These ‘lectures’, spanning decades, warn that conditions in offshore detention, as well as our detention and resettlement policies themselves, contravene our human rights commitments. Organisations such as Amnesty International and the Australian Human Rights Commission have validated the United Nations’ concerns, but they too are largely ignored and dismissed. This could be accredited to the stubbornness of the “stop the boats,” policy, except that our intake of UN-certified refugees from camps around the world is also notoriously low. Last year, Australia unexpectedly announced an additional intake of 12 000 UN-certified refugees to help with the Syrian crisis, but according to the Refugee Rights Action Network, we’ve only taken 20 so far, and it could be next year before we take any more.
Asylum seeker policy is not the only bone the UN has to pick with us. Other highlights of the ‘Lecturing Australia’ series include inaction on racism, Islamophobia and LBGT+ rights; the Northern Territory Intervention and ongoing over-incarceration of Indigenous Australians; and a lack of commitment to renewable energy targets. We might get some points for our stance on Syria, which became more accepting of a diplomatic solution late last year, but we are staying vague: Australia supports an “internationally unified” response, but the UN is not the only pathway to that. The United States is still determined to militarily intervene as part of its War on Terror, and just as with Iraq in 2003, they are seeking a “coalition of the willing” in the face of UN disapproval. If past military action by Australia is anything to go by, we will probably be part of that coalition if it ever gets off the ground - UN be damned. All this is not to say that life in Australia is in fact on par with that in the poverty-stricken dictatorial warzones and failed states to which Premier Barnett alludes, nor is it to say that we should blindly obey the United Nations in all things. The UN is not without flaws: for example, its entrenched power structures ignore rising powers such as India and Brazil, and marginalise numerically superior African and Asian countries. For these reasons and others, including hypocrisy and a lack of enforceability, some commentators argue that the UN is, if nothing else, irrelevant. They suggest that, as a sovereign nation, Australia can do whatever it wants, and it’s just too bad for the rest of us if what it wants doesn’t match up with the meaningless bits of paper we’ve chosen to socially construct as untouchable. To those people I would say the UN is not irrelevant to the people it tries to save and give voice, such as asylum seekers and Indigenous peoples. The UN is not irrelevant to history, as a lasting if imperfect monument to global political cooperation. Most importantly, the UN is not irrelevant to Australia itself. We want to be accepted. In fact, we expect to be accepted, we even expect to be praised. Clearly, we put stock in their ideals and authority. We’ve signed documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture, and we’ve even ratified them, a separate process, because that’s how committed we like to think we are. And yet, when we have a policy that clashes – for example, the Malaysia Solution – we remove internationally recognised human rights law from our own, instead of changing our policy. The United Nation’s rules and structures may be imperfect, but there comes a point where Australia has got to start putting our money where our mouth is instead of biting the hand we expect to feed us.
PERTH FACT AN ANONYMOUS RUBBER-ARTIST WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN PAUL JOHNSON BUTT PLUGS
SEOUL SEARCHING IN SOUTH KOREA SOUTH KOREA AND ITS STUDENTS WORDS BY JOSEPH CREESE
he 21st century is often talked about as being the 'Asian Century.' This is a term that is constantly thrown around by politicians, the media and policymakers to describe the importance of the booming Asian economies – in particular China – to Australia’s future. Despite this, in Australia knowledge of what it is like living in one of these hubs is nonexistent. Although Asia is far closer to our shores than Europe, Australians by and large know very little about countries that are not only vital to Australia's future but the future of the world. It was because of this that when the opportunity arose for me to go to Seoul on a study abroad trip to Sungkyukwan University, I was quite eager to have the chance experience Asia as a student and not a tourist. Being a student was great, because I actually got to meet and make friends with many Koreans my age and learn about what life was like living as a student in one of the ‘East Asian Tigers’ –so-named for their dynamic and fastgrowing economies. For students, life in Seoul is a combination of eating fried chicken, drinking Soju (the Republic of Korea’s national alcohol), and studying. University represents a ‘wilderness’ of sorts – a space carved out between the never-ending nightmare of high school and work in Korea’s highly competitive business community. In this space, young South Koreans have the time to individually express themselves and learn about who they are. Sungkyukwan is located in the district of Hyehwa, a vibrant hub of everything it means to be a student in Seoul. Neon signs adorn the buildings in Hyehwa, while K-pop echoes out of the many shops onto the streets, giving the place a feel of constant activity. Korean students are abundant in Hyehwa, enjoying the many foods Korea has to offer, drinking until the small hours of the morning, and hiding from the cold while at the same time enjoying drunken karaoke in one of Seoul’s many ‘No-RaeBangs’. However, weighing on the minds of many young Korean students is the inevitable end of this phase of life, and their entrance into the workforce. The hyper competitive nature of South Korean society in which 90% of Koreans attain a tertiary qualification means that younger South Koreans must prepare themselves for a working life in which 12-13 hour days are the norm. They must set their sights high, hoping to gain the maximum reward from their years of hard work at high school, and university, by landing a job at one of the ‘Chaebol’.
Hyundai are renowned worldwide for their products. Having gained momentum in the post-Korean War political economy, the Chaebol began as government subsidized and often familyowned businesses, integral to Park Chung Hee and his military regime’s economic modernization of South Korea. What is concerning is that today the Chaebol have an unprecedented amount of influence in South Korean society and government. To put this into perspective, the course I undertook while in Seoul was at SKKU University – an institution which receives funding from Samsung. One of the courses I took was lectured by a high-ranking corporate officer and member of Samsung’s upper management. On the first day he introduced us to Samsung, explaining some of its noteworthy achievements. The fact that Samsung accounted for almost 17% of the total economic activity in South Korea was one of the standouts, along with some anecdotes relating to Samsung’s involvement with Vietnam. Our professor explained that in Vietnam, Samsung accounts for so much economic activity that when in South Korea the president of Vietnam meets with the president of Samsung before meeting anyone in the South Korean government. Alongside this in 2008 allegations surfaced that key members of the South Korean government had in the past accepted bribes from Samsung in return for future promised high-ranking governmental positions. Three cabinet ministers resigned, and the president himself was implicated. As such, young Koreans at university are torn between two desires – on the one hand, they wish to enjoy their time as students, discover a bit about themselves, hoping to change the political workings of the country they grew up in. At the same time however, the overwhelming competitiveness of South Korean society means that the allure of working for a Chaebol is hard to resist. In a society in which power over the political process is given to those with wealth, Korean students will remain constantly pressured to navigate the wilds of their youth carefully, in order to ensure that when they graduate university they are ensured a place in a Chaebol, so that they may still discover and express themselves in a system which affords true voices to the rich few.
It is important to note here that South Korea is less of a democracy than it is a plutocracy – a state controlled by a wealthy few. In this case the wealthy few are the ‘Chaebol’, meaning wealthy clan or faction. A couple of the Chaebol are even household names outside of Korea – Samsung and
PERTH FACT ONCE THE BOOM ENDS LET’S DEFECT TO THE PRINCIPALITY OF HUTT RIVER
A LURCH TO THE RIGHT? THE POLISH QUESTION
t’s safe to say that Poland has suffered through a great many catastrophes in its history. Poland was occupied by the Swedes in the 17th and 18th centuries and dismembered by the Russians, Prussians and Austrians not once or twice but three times. It finally achieved statehood once more in 1919, only to be invaded, occupied by the Nazis and Soviets, liberated, and forced to endure Communist dictatorship. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, Poland has taken to democracy better than some of its former Eastern Bloc neighbours. However, a new crisis now looms. When I first visited Poland in October last year a parliamentary election was occurring and the predictions were favouring a victory for the Law and Justice Party (PiS is the Polish acronym) led by Beata Szydlo in the Sejm (Polish parliament). The predictions were correct and the PiS regained government after eight years in opposition to the Civic Platform (PO). Despite running younger and more progressive candidates at the presidential and parliamentary elections, soon after the victory, Jaroslaw Kaczynski – a co-founder of the party – re-emerged as unofficial leader. Kaczynski started PiS with his twin brother Lech and in 2005 they won the presidential and parliamentary elections, with Lech becoming President and Jaroslaw Prime Minister. Following Kaczynski’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency in the aftermath of Lech’s passing in a plane crash in 2010, it was assumed that he would not have much more to do with PiS. He however remains the leader of the party, and such hopes have since been quashed. PiS campaigned hard on a promise to return Poland to being a lawful state based on Christian and Polish values. The reality has been very different. Legislation has been passed by parliament with major changes occurring in the middle of night during holiday seasons. Kaczynski has been
WORDS BY LEAH ROBERTS & BRAD GRIFFIN ART BY CLARE MORAN
quoted as having nothing but contempt for the Constitutional Court labelling it “the bastion of everything in Poland that is bad.” During the Christmas season, the Polish Sejm also passed laws effectively paralysing the Constitutional Court. The changes stipulated that 13 of the 15 judges had to be present on any vote (when it used to be 9) and any decision required a two-thirds majority (when it used to be a straight majority). Additionally, all cases must wait 6 months to be heard. With both president and Sejm control, PiS now has sway over both the legislative and executive branches of the Polish government. As the Constitutional Court is no longer able to act effectively, this gives PiS a worrying amount of power.
This confused mix of authoritarianism and western capitalism is typical of former Eastern bloc nations that are still struggling to come to terms with their past I was in Poland during Christmas when I heard about these seismic changes. Christmas is a major holiday in Poland with it being celebrated over three days. On December 29th and 30th PiS passed legislation in the middle of night which granted them complete control of the public media and civil service, as well as tax changes on banks and the age at which children go to school. The vulnerable members of Polish society have reason to fear, with Polish liberals labelling Kaczynski and PiS “Putanistic” in their approach to society and culture. PiS, being strongly Catholic, are opposed to any form of marriage equality, and have views on abortion that would please the most conservative of US Republicans.
Many historians, including British Pole Adam Zamoyski describe the recent political changes in Poland as being a return to Soviet-style methods of authoritarianism and economic policy, mixed with a vaunted sense of nationalism and WWII martyrology. This confused mix of authoritarianism and western capitalism is typical of former Eastern bloc nations that are still struggling to come to terms with their past. He argues that the election of PiS was a reaction to the previous eightyear rule of PO, and that Polish citizens are not happy with the rapid power grab that PiS has made. He refutes the claim that Poland has “lurched to the right”, and claims that their election was a protest vote against PO. Lech Walesa, Poland’s beloved leader of the Solidarnosc (Solidarity) movement and first President of post-Communist Poland had grave fears about the direction of PiS. Walesa claimed PiS has acted “against Poland, against our freedoms, achievement, and democracy”. It is only hoped that the Polish Constitution can bear the strain placed upon it and democracy is upheld. With another parliamentary election four years away the people have no way of controlling what the government can do. There are fears are that PiS will continue to gain power and potentially stop all elections.
24PERTH FACT TIM WINTON IS STARTING HIS OWN DINGY FERRY SERVICE ACROSS THE SWAN. THE COST IS HAVING TO LISTEN TO HIM READ THE TURNING AGAIN.
THE WILD, WILD WEST... EAST? CHAOS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA
WORDS BY BRAD GRIFFIN ART BY PATRICK BENDALL
hile the global community is transfixed on the horrors of war in the Middle East, China has continued its quest to expand its influence in Southeast Asia at the expense of the US. The growth of China’s economy has been matched in equal measure by its ambition. After centuries of decline, division and ruin, it is no secret that China is returning to a position of power in the world, and it now seeks to assert that power. The South China Sea Dispute is not new, but the most recent developments have brought renewed focus to the region. In the last few months, the completion of Chinese bases in the Spratly and Paracel Islands have allowed for the deployment of surfaceto-air missiles – a very real threat against increasingly agitating flyovers by US forces – including by infamously deadly B-52s. Recently, Australia has also conducted similar flyovers in a show of solidarity with the US. The two island groupings in question, the Spratlys and the Paracels, have rich fishing grounds and oil and gas deposits – a vital and important bargaining chip in this era of energy interdependence. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea typically grants 200 nautical miles from coastline as bring part of a nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone. These atolls, reefs and islands are much further than 200 nautical miles away from the PRC. Furthermore, they are almost all within the EEZ’s of Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. The Convention also states that sub-sea structures such as reefs cannot be claimed as territory granting EEZ privileges, and that building structures on them does not alter this. China has ratified the UNCLOS, but is undeterred and claims a 12-mile no-fly zone from any of these structures. The continued building of bases and stationing of this advanced military hardware is being done with the intent of establishing an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) around their claimed territory. Though it is highly unlikely that the Chinese would ever
shoot down a US warplane on a cursory flyover, the mere existence of the bases and weapons within those island groupings de facto claims them for China. In addition, China has also constructed deep-water ports and high-powered radar facilities. Until recently, China would not have dared act so brazenly. For 70 years the US has dominated the international order in Asia. Its preponderance after victory in the Pacific War and stalemate in the Korean War, as well as the US-Japan Mutual Defence Pact ensured that it watched over a period of prosperity, though it was not always peaceful. Until recently, no Asian nation sought to challenge this dominance. Perhaps this is why the US has been caught so off-guard. After pulling out of Iraq in 2011, Obama promised a ‘pivot’ toward Asia to meet the growing Chinese threat. That feels like ancient history. The great problem with the rise of China, relative retreat of the US and the complicated and contested territorial claims in the South China Sea is that Asia lacks a regional body to deal with these sorts of disputes. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has proven itself to be utterly worthless in terms of negotiating an amiable settlement. The power structures in Asia are simply too chaotic to impose rules and restrictions and govern in the same way that the European Union does. China’s immense power in comparison to its neighbors skews the rulebook. Additionally, the reliance on the US of the Philippines and Taiwan to back up their foreign policy puts extra strain on their strategic partnerships. For how much longer will Southeast Asia write diplomatic cheques that the US can’t cash? This is indicative of the anarchic nature of Southeast Asian international relations. Partly in response to the US’s inactivity and a growing urge to assert itself against an increasingly confident China, Japan has experienced some important changes. Last year Shinzo Abe’s dream of altering the interpretation of Japan’s constitution to allow for service overseas was realized. This has wrong-footed many Southeast Asian nations that still vividly remember Japan’s march of conquest during the Pacific War. If they distrust China, they distrust Japan even more. It is likely that China will continue to slowly cement its claim to these disputed islands despite the protests of its neighbors and of the US and Australia. There are no diplomatic means by which China can be swayed from this path. It is a matter of national honor, and has become symbolic in their struggle to wrest hegemony from the US over Asia. In a confrontation over the Spratlys and Paracels the US has much more to lose and thus will continue to seek to avoid drawing red lines to check China’s ambition. The US must be content to cede a little room to the new kid on the block.
PERTH FACT PERTH NOW STAFF GET ANXIOUS WHEN SPEAKING IN ANY OTHER TENSE BUT THE PRESENT
AN INTERVIEW WITH ROLF DE HEER INTERVIEW BY (LEGEND) JAYMES DURANTE
On a swelteringly hot day in 1991, a cargo plane descends from the skies and lands, randomly, at a makeshift airport in Meekatharra, WA. The mesmerized townsfolk gather around the mysterious aircraft. The doors open, and out steps Miles Davis, the legendary musician who changed the face of jazz in the 20th century. He plays a set for the gathered crowd and then flies away, never to be seen again. This inspires a lifelong passion for music in John Anderson (Colin Friels), who, twenty years later, embarks on an international pilgrimage to track down his idol. The film is Dingo, directed by Rolf de Heer, the award-winning Aussie filmmaker whose credits include Bad Boy Bubby, Ten Canoes, The Tracker and Charlie’s Country. It was Davis’ one and only feature film performance, a stunning fact considering it was a local production partially shot in a Western Australian remote community. On the film’s 25th anniversary, and on the eve of the Australian premiere of Miles Ahead — a new film about Davis’ mysterious hiatus in the mid-70s directed by and starring Don Cheadle — at the Perth International Arts Festival, Pelican Magazine spoke to de Heer about the film and WA’s unique relationship with Miles Davis. For Australians living remotely or rurally, or even for us down here in Perth, there’s something about the script for Dingo that’s quite poignant. It’s about having grand designs for life but being at such a cultural or special remove that you can’t fully realize them. Is that something you thought about when you considered the script and made the film? I never think like that. You don’t think thematically about your projects? I don’t think thematically at all about anything I ever do and in fact I actively avoid trying to think like that. Because if I start to think like that I start to try and make things happen in that way, and I start to contrive stuff. I liked the script
a great deal — it moved me. I thought it was funny and I thought it was poignant, a good word to use, and that’s all it took. And I thought I could make a good film out of it.
see you in New York then”, and hung up the phone. So I had to change all my tickets, and it just went on and on and on, and I never did see him again until he got off the plane in Meekatharra.
Miles Davis is terrific in the film, and it’s his first and only feature film role. Was it written with him in mind?
That beautiful scene at Meekatharra airport where he steps off this cargo plane and plays for the townsfolk of [fictional town] Poony Flat —
Not at all. He was the last cab off the rank. The script existed for many years and there were a number of other people who were considered. That’s strange, because there are a number of similarities between Miles and Billy Cross, his character — the stroke, the reclusiveness. It just happened that way. I mean, it wasn’t re-written for Miles. That was all in the script when Miles was not the remotest consideration. And in fact, Miles was offered to us by the same broker in America [Hillard Elkins] who had initially put us into contact with Sammy Davis Jr., and, you know, my first reaction was, “For fuck’s sake, forget it. He’s gonna be impossible.” But of course, its one of those things where I knew that if I said no, the film would probably no happen, and it might very well happen with him. What was your first encounter with Miles like? That’s a long story, and it’s a great story, really, because it was shocking. It was just shocking. It’s epic, because it’s about flying in different continents and about being told to be here, and then being told to be there, and then after this epic journey finally getting to see him, and 45 minutes later, after having studiously avoided talking about the script, he said, “Okay, okay, we’ll meet you for lunch then on Monday.” I agreed. So I rang him and he said 12 o’clock. I rang him at 12 o’clock and he said [adopts Miles Davis impression] “Sorry, I’m going to New York.” And I said, “What?!” He said, “Yeah, I’m about to go to the airport.” I said, “Miles, I’ve travelled halfway around the world to see you.” So he said, “Guess I’ll
Obviously not the plane he got off when I saw him, because he got off a passenger plane [laughs]. That scene is beautiful — it’s sort of surreal and dreamlike, and it’s got a really tactile, sweaty quality. You really can feel the temperate climate. How many days did it take to shoot that sequence? We had three days with the plane, but there were all sorts of catastrophes with it. We had a little terminal building that we’d build, but when the plane first arrived, it gouged up the runway and wouldn’t park where it was meant to park. It was turned around and a kilometer away from the main terminal. So we lost the first day. The second day he did come closer, but he didn’t park in the right spot anyway. So by the time we were on the third day we were behind. They had a freight run that they had to do, so they had to take off at a particular time, and we hadn’t quite finished enough to cobble it together, and he had to take off. But we wouldn’t get off the plane. The pilot was yelling at us, “Get off my fucking plane!” “Yeah, just a minute, just a minute, just a minute.” [laughs] Amazing. Yeah, it was. And then we lost some stuff in the lab as well and that made things difficult. For me, the sequence is as good as it could be under the circumstances, but slightly compromised by both the shoot and what had happened in the lab: a spool came off the rails and ruined a number of shots. So we were behind the 8-ball from the beginning. Did Miles just fly in and fly out for those three days?
PERTH FACT COLIN BARNETT’S THING IS AN OFFENCE. IF HE WOULD PLEASE NOT PARADE IT ON LATE-NIGHT TRAINS, I’M SURE WE’D ALL APPRECIATE THAT
No, we shot a couple of other things with him. A couple of musical performances and something to do with a caravan, I think. He was just here for a week, I know that much. Or five days. Three of that was the plane, plus some other bits and pieces. I don’t want to mischaracterize him at all, but he did have a reputation for being quite difficult and belligerent. The new film Miles Ahead, which I saw yesterday, takes place very much in that earlier phase of his career, where he did go off the rails. So what was he like to work with, both as an actor and as part of the film crew? He was very cagey for the first couple of days, because you can imagine an Australian film crew. They were respectful, but they’re not gonna fucking lick his boots. Whereas a French film crew would. The French film crew were practically trembling in front of him. It was a big thing for them. He wasn’t sure whether people were taking the piss or not, but in the end he figured that there’s something genuine here, and I got on very well with him. There’s another long, long, long story, but I did get on very, very well with him. Part of the way through the shoot in France, three or four days into that (there was a
total of two week with Miles), his manager said, “You don’t know.” I said, “What don’t I know?” She said, “I’ve been with him for eight years, and I’ve never, ever seen him remotely this good, this well-behaved. At the end of the two weeks in France he was, not bereft, but he was truly sorry it had come to an end, and when I went back to America to record more music, and saw the cut of the film, we were talking about doing another film together, because that’s what he wanted to do. And it was not going to be a music film at all, but we were simply talking about doing another film. It was a Louisiana bayou type film, you know? But he died, so that never happened. Did he and Colin Friels get along? Yeah, quite well. He admired Colin’s trumpet miming — that he’d got as far as he had — and he was very careful to look at Colin as an actor and to try and learn from him. They got on very well.
did see a final print. He sat in the back corner of the theatrette, with his jacket over his head, and gradually and gradually he peeked out from under it, and by the end, half his face was exposed. So he was sort of looking at it by then. He was very, very nervous about his own performance. But, as you say, it’s good. Look, he has some great instincts, he also — his brain was, by then, there were aspects of it that were scrambled. So he found it very hard. There’s a complete mixture of stuff in there from Miles. Some scenes where he just got it, absolutely got it, the whole time. Every take, long stretches of dialogue in one shot. Other scenes are completely cobbled together from what appeared to be drivel coming out of his mouth, and everything in between. So he was enigmatic to work with, to say the least. But, you know, we got through it, and we got through it well enough.
Obviously, Davis died in September 1991, shortly before the film came out. Did he get to see it? Yes, he did. I can’t remember whether he got to see a final print or whether he got to see — no, I think he did. Yeah, he
PERTH FACT "LABOROMO AND LIBERILETTE" WILL PLAY AT THE DOLPHIN THEATRE ON MARCH 29TH, FROM 1:02AM – 1:05AM. ONLY THE PEACOCKS WILL WATCH
FILM REVIEWS as a fixer, ensuring things run (relatively) smoothly. Things quickly go awry when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) the star of Capitol’s main production, the biblical epic Hail, Caesar! is mysteriously abducted and held to ransom, and it’s Mannix’s job to find him. In the meantime, Mannix deftly maintains the reputation of a studio beset by a seemingly endless wave of trivial public image disasters, including an actress pregnant out of wedlock, a pretentious director upset by the studio’s casting decisions, and a pair of nosy gossip columnists. Comedy ensues.
HAIL, CAESAR! Directors Joel & Ethan Coen Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich, Tilda Swinton (twice!), Ralph Fiennes, Frances McDormand Hail, Caesar! is the Coen brothers’ first outright comedy since 2008’s Burn After Reading, and very much follows in the same off-kilter tone of absurdity and paranoia. Set in 1951, the film focuses on fictional Hollywood studio, Capitol Pictures, whose head of production Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) works behind-the-scenes
THE END OF THE TOUR Director James Ponsoldt Starring Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Joan Cusack, Mickey Sumner
In what might be the silliest film they’ve made, the Coen brothers send up the Golden Age of Hollywood at every opportunity, and it has to be said the film’s premise is a thinly-veiled excuse for them to spoof the various genre flicks that the 50s studio machine churned out. Just as Mannix patrols from one film set to the next, the directors flit between instantly familiar filmic backgrounds, taking in a melodramatic Roman epic, a lavish costume drama, a cheesy Western, and tightly choreographed synchronized swimming and dancing numbers. Each segment is heavily filtered through a nostalgia-tinted lens, and ... it’s just a lot of fun. In particular, Channing Tatum
This is not a film about David Foster Wallace’s work. You don’t have to have finished Infinite Jest to watch or understand it. The End of the Tour is a film about Wallace, for sure, but it’s much more focused on the person and the perceptions surrounding the person than the ideas he created. Now, quote me as someone who has a copy of Infinite Jest sitting on their bookshelf awaiting time to be freed to read it; his prose is fantastic and the acclaim he received for Infinite Jest is well deserved. For that reason alone, you should watch this film – it’s an excellent introduction to the kind of substance that Wallace put in his books. This film is essentially a feature length dialogue between Wallace and then-Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg). Jason Segel performs arguably the strongest performance of his entire career, inhabiting Wallace’s facial
steals the show as the film’s Gene Kelly caricature, with a truly impressive dance sequence that had me grinning like an idiot. Within the Coen brothers’ filmography, it’s probably closest to the aforementioned Burn After Reading in terms of structure, tone, and intention, in that the plot isn’t so important as the constant flow of gags. And although I generally have serious problems with superfluous celebrity cameos (see: the dreadful Zoolander sequel), here it’s clearly done in service of the comedy, with huge stars playing against type in generally unflattering depictions of Hollywood excess and delusion. Once again the Coens convinced Clooney to play the idiot, and he plays it well. There are a couple of problems, though. The main kidnapping plot is sort of a MacGuffin in that it doesn’t really seem to go anywhere before abruptly solving itself, and the film jumps across various subplots without ever following them through. However, it has to be said this is probably intentional. All in all, Hail, Caesar! is probably a second tier Coen bros. flick, but this still puts it way ahead of other formulaic Hollywood comedies. REVIEW BY MATT GREEN
tweaks and vocal idiosyncrasies (for the most part) to a tee. The screen chemistry between Eisenberg and Segal is also great; the whole film is like being privy to an especially saucy conversation between two dudes on a bus somewhere. This is a very difficult film to talk about in terms of story because it is so ideologically heavy from Wallace’s perspective – there is simultaneously a lot to spoil and very little to spoil. This is a character study, though; very little in the way of rising or falling action and climax occurs. However, if you pay attention to the discussion, you may be divinely inspired to pick up a book.
PERTH FACT PERTHONALITY: 10% MASTURBATION, 90% AFFECTATION
REVIEW BY EAMONN KELLY
WORDS BY JAYMES DURANTE
In Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years, a revelation from the past undulates through time and, over the course of a week, rocks the foundations of a once-sturdy marriage. Kate and Geoff Mercer, portrayed with a powerful restraint by stalwart British actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, plan their 45th anniversary party as they come to terms with the recent discovery of Geoff’s ex-girlfriend’s corpse in a Swiss glacier, almost half a century after her tragic death in a skiing accident. Although 45 Years has mostly been evaluated with comparison to Haigh’s previous work in a queer milieu
(2012’s Weekend and the HBO series Looking), it’s the way time operates in this latest film that draws a clear comparison to the work of Italian modernist director Michelangelo Antonioni. In Antonioni’s La Notte, marital disintegration is accelerated: over one night, a stylish bourgeois couple (played by Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau) bare witness to the emptiness of their affluence, and with it the lie at the heart of their conjugal vows. They separate at the beginning of the film, each drifting through Milan as Antonioni evokes their discontent (call it ennui if you must) through landscape and narrative inertness. The film culminates at a stylish party, where Mastroianni seems to openly admit, at least to himself, his lack of fidelity to Moreau, who does little to defend it. The film ends, tragically, in a desperate
attempt to revive their forgotten passion. In 45 Years, the sparks of romance still flicker quite vividly, but Geoff’s reticence to reveal the full extent of his past relationship sends Kate inward into psychological investigation. The past (Geoff’s undisclosed youth) and present (their renewal of love for each other after forty five years of marriage) unfold simultaneously in a devastating palimpsest, but the film itself is filled with quotidian detail. Antonioni’s modernist classic and Haigh’s dissection of British virtue and restrain share a narrative complexion: nothing really happens, at least not on screen, but with the passing of time, everything changes.
A regular column in which a Pelican writer pits a current release against a classic. This issue, Jaymes Durante considers the case of 45 Years vs. La Notte.
CULT CORNER WORDS BY HOLLY MUNT
I DRINK YOUR BLOOD
stepping into one of the group’s sacrifices. Beaten and doped up on LSD, he’s sent on his way. Where the film truly earns its place in the exploitation canon is after Sylvia’s ten-or-so year old brother seeks revenge by injecting blood from a rabid dog he shot into meat pies sold from his family’s bakery, the only place to eat in town, to the hippie cult. What follows, in saturated tones and to a great industrial score, is gore-laden low-budget horror of the first order, as unhinged as its rabies-infected, acid-tripping characters. Limbs are lopped off, heads roll, blood spurts and mouths froth. A true gem of the grindhouse era.
"Let it be known sons and daughters that Satan was an acid head. Drink from this cup. Pledge yourselves. And together we'll all freak out!" A tongue-in-cheek Reefer Madness for the acid crowd, David E. Durston’s I Drink Your Blood (commercially retitled from the much better name Hydrophobia, despite the fact that there is not a second of blood-drinking) follows a multi-racial group of Satanist hippies led by the terrific Bhaskar Roy. Crashing in a small, largely abandoned mining town, the group are confronted by the shotgun-armed local veterinarian and grandfather of Sylvia, a girl raped off-screen after
TRIVIAL TOP FIVE: FRESHER FILMS
A beginner's guide to uni life through five films set on-campus.
THE GREAT BEAUTY
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
DAZED AND CONFUSED
Jep’s debauched 65th birthday party, which opens the film.
Boozing it up with the jazz age literati, Fitzgerald and Dali amongst them.
Party at the moon tower! Cue Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Tuesday’s Gone’.
NEXT STOP GREENWICH VILLAGE A bohemian utopia, until Shelley Winters joins the party and ignites a Freudian fever dream.
PERTH FACT THE ELIZABETH QUAY FOUNTAINS ARE POISONED BY THE PARK’S OWN BILE RISING IN DISGUST OF ITSELF
THIS BLUE NEIGHBOURHOOD WORDS BY BRIDGET RUMBALL ART BY HOLLY JIAN
he other weekend, I was sitting in front of my television watching the Grammy Awards unfold from across the other side of Los Angeles. The ceremony was damn uneventful; however, in between Kendrick Lamar’s stunningly powerful performance and my rapping along to every word from Hamilton, two musicians slipped onto the stage almost unnoticed – Tori Kelly and James Bay. Both have a popalternative vibe; both were nominated for Best New Artist and both were previously ‘discovered’ through YouTube. Now, the performance was by no means bad – just boring – yet social media was aflame, blaming the lacklustre performance on the duo’s online origins and lack of ability to perform in the real world. This begs the question – is the spontaneous discovery of artists through social media decreasing the quality and individuality of the industry? And what happens when a hidden gem of a musician simply doesn’t want to be discovered? YouTube, as a social media platform, is ridiculously big. Launched in early 2005, it has steadily become the go-to arena for a different type of entertainment that isn’t limited to the fourth wall of TV and cinema. Bloggers are able to talk directly to the camera, intimately beaming into your home; live-streamers are able to review and capture gameplay; and most importantly, musicians are able to upload videos of themselves creating content. By uploading their own songs
or covers, aspiring musos are able to take advantage of YouTube’s directness and somewhat ‘prove their talent’ onscreen. For most, these videos get a hundred views from family members; however for a select few, they can cause viral stardom. Tori Kelly herself is an example; others include Justin Bieber and Troye Sivan, all of whom were ‘found’ through homemade YouTube videos and are now musical superstars. Of course, there are two sides to finding new talent through social media platforms. On one hand, this modern process is vastly more efficient at finding ‘hidden gems’ – people who have incredible talent, that wouldn’t otherwise be unearthed. Not everyone in the world is equipped with the industry knowledge or connections to score a record deal at a major agency; hence, there is theoretically an untapped salt mine of talent outside the scope of what would be generically accessible or marketable. However, because of the normality of these performers, they often have zero idea about stage presence, operating physical instruments or performing a setlist of songs longer than ‘that one Birdy cover that got them famous.’ This leads to a decrease in both originality and quality of musicians that become popular – despite all the talent they promised online, their overall ‘package’ usually falls short in reality (a la Bay and Kelly).
express permission. It’s often the case that fans will upload videos of a musician’s performance, which will gain viral status and catch labels’ attention. James Bay falls squarely into this category; footage of a dingy open mic gig made its way onto the Internet, after which Republic Records execs took notice and signed Bay the week later. Ed Sheeran’s story is similar - after a few failed LP attempts, his small following uploaded footage of his busking routine, which caught the attention of Asylum Records. These types of videos generally gain status as a function of view counts and popularity, as opposed to indie musicians going viral as a result of their discovery by execs. The fan-bases of both Bay and Sheeran were key to ensuring their success, with their steadily growing online followings proving to record labels that they have the popularity to be marketable. What rawer form of market data than straight from the market itself, dictating their wants and needs via social media interaction? But this leads to a further problem – what if these musicians don’t want to be discovered? What if they’re completely content busking as a side hobby, or performing on underground circuits without contract? Being unwillingly thrust into the limelight by viral fame can often have psychological consequences, with many avoiding such opportunities for fear of ‘selling out’. Popular contemporary cellist Zoe Keating is the perfect example, refusing to accept recording contracts and remaining somewhat elusive despite her growing fan-base. Closer to home, artists utilise incubators such as Bandcamp to build a cult following whilst maintaining a grassroots approach to recording and releasing music, as opposed to pushing for social media notoriety. Ultimately, who knows where the music industry will sit in ten years’ time, and in whose hands it will rest – just be assured that such hands will be quick across both types of keyboards.
Sometimes, the YouTube discovery process can occur without the musician’s
PERTH FACT ALL PERTH HILLS ARE THE LAND’S EROGENOUS ZONES. TO CLIMB IS TO CONSUMMATE
PR-Less WORDS BY EAMONN KELLY
people start with.
Sun City Girls was a three-piece band of weirdos from the Arizona desert consisting of brothers Richard and Alan Bishop and drummer Charles Gocher, formed in 1979 and officially disbanded after Gocher’s death in 2007. Aside from being one of the strangest and most diverse bands I’ve come across, their discography is fucking massive, with 20 main studio albums, most of which are double albums, plus 33 (known) cassette tapes, EPs and live albums. It’s quite frankly amazing that they never ran dry creatively. Their output oscillates between formless mushes of sound and very well structured, occasionally coherent songs, as well as an assortment of sea shanties, spoken word passages, beat poetry and free improvisational psychedelia similar to when Animal Collective still did drugs, but we’ll get to that. It’s difficult to nail down a particular ‘sound’ for which this band is known purely because of the diversity of their output. A defining characteristic however has to be Richard Bishop’s virtuoso guitar playing. Their brand of surf rock is decidedly modern, mixing distorted vocals, detuned guitars, groove heavy drums and bass guitar to create swirly magic. It’s probably proto slacker rock; if you in any way like Tame Impala, DIIV, Wavves, Mac Demarco or even Pavement, you will love this band (DISCLAIMER: Sun City Girls is nothing like any of those bands). Sun City Girls frequently mixed their ‘sound’ so to speak with elements of non-western traditional folk music. These worldly influences are hardly appropriation however, as they exude a profound reverence and understanding of the musicology of everything they pay tribute to. Still, the band was aware of the critique so often levelled against them, as Alan Bishop told The Wire: "Tradition is not about slavish imitation… the last thing I want to see is a bunch of fucking white guys playing Javanese gamelan proper... they are being disrespectful because they are not evolving the situation. They are not rolling the dice. They are copying, just following somebody else's rules." What Sun City Girls did was take the sounds of this music and then contextualise it inside their parameters. They did not appropriate, they innovated. Sun City Girls is a band that you outright need someone to introduce you to. They are a real bona-fide music nerd’s band, and one you will get weird looks for if you end up showing anyone. So without further ado, here are the three albums I recommend
#2. SUN CITY GIRLS
Torch of the Mystics (1990) Torch of the Mystics is probably not the most ‘accessible’ album that Sun City Girls ever produced, but it is nonetheless a good place to start; treading ground somewhere between Sonic Youth in 1988 and Elephant 6-like psychedelia (that’s an article for another day). This album is catchier than herpes; Jennifer Lopez fans should get a kick out of “The Shining Path”, in itself a cover of Bolivian club banger “Lorando Se Fue”, featuring Americans trying to sing Spanish, badly. It is my strong suspicion that the majority of this album was improvised; it would make sense as most of the songs sound like jams of songs in their early stages. “Blue Mamba” is perhaps my favourite example, as the lyrics consist of the Bishop Brothers wailing, occasionally remembering to utter the words ‘blue mamba’. They have some ideas insofar as direction - there is clearly structure to this improvisation, and they do their best to emphasise this. Dante’s Disneyland Inferno (1996) 1996 was a particularly weird year for Sun City Girls who released two equally cohesive, equally good, equally weird double albums. A brief caveat for people first listening to this album: there is some pretty offensive shit said here, but there is a difference between the band actually believing it and characters that are created by the band believing it. Sometimes the subject matter is so over the top anyway as to be considered ‘funny’ in a shock humour kind of way; it’s not like hur dur 9/11 is funny guys – they clearly put effort into writing the lyrics. Dante’s Disneyland Inferno is like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, a loose-knit collection of nursery rhymes, sea shanties, beat poetry, avant garde folk rock and mouth sounds in general, but utterly cohesive and complete in this madness. The whole thing is supposed to take place in this absurd territory outside of time (Hell maybe?) filled with casual sacrilege and sleazy lounge bars. One of the most disturbing, yet hilarious recordings of all time, it’s cosmic shit man, and it’s my absolute favourite album. Kaliflower (1994) Back to less nebulous ground, Kaliflower can be viewed as an extension of the wizardry found on Torch of the Mystics although this time rehearsed and comprehensible. Don’t get me wrong, they still love their yodelling and traditional folk fusion, here dabbling mainly in noise rock, Southeast Asian folk and Tibetan throat singing. Despite being more palatable and cohesive than Torch of the Mystics, with this album you still get a healthy dose of the brain-melting weirdness that would be found on Crossdressers and Dante’s Disneyland, as they break into a 16-minute live improvisational track with “The Veritable Uncle Tomba”, complete with textured bass work and more strange mouth and throat noises. This is a very good album that is very indicative of their sound.
PERTH FACT LAST WEEK, A MAN WAS PLUCKED TO DEATH BY A STOLEN UKULELE. SERVES HIM RIGHT
KANYE WEST, THE LIFE OF PABLO [GOOD MUSIC] WORDS BY HARRY MANSON ART BY GABBY LOO
subject of the thing, it’s the whole thing. Yeezus was ostensibly this, yes - but at least there West was playing to an audience, triumphantly redefining his celebrity image one step further with each meticulously crafted song. Pablo only ever leaves Kanye’s impenetrable kinesphere for quick stints; tantric stunners like “Waves”, “Ultralight Beam” and “Real Friends” are basically the only signs pointing towards some kind of emotional goal. The rest is a cacophony of post-gospel melodrama, obtuse chopping and screwing, obtuse singing about screwing, and little else. The most telling track here is “30 Hours”, which had it been given the proper nurturing might have turned out to be one of West’s most profound moments. It appears as a cool song in every sense. A filtered vocal sample provides a strong enough backbone to begin with. The loops may be unwavering and unpolished but Kanye paces himself right, even conjuring up Andre 3000 seemingly at will only to have him mumble the chorus. But then the second half falls into West just hyping himself up over how nice the instrumental turned out, staggering around his words like Morty Smith and eventually receiving and answering a phone call. That would have actually happened in the studio. You can practically see the waveform selections and record button on the screen in front of him. In that moment, Kanye is really no different to DJ Khaled, dropping phrases like ‘Madison Square Garden’ and ‘Ultralight beams flowing’ like he’s holding his phone to his face, exclaiming into Snapchat from a treadmill. He’s talking to himself; reminding himself of something, some feeling, but he might be the only one who’s ever had it.
WHICH / ONE / 10 The Life of Pablo is, in a sense, a Kanye West album from the year 2016. The same Kanye West who fathers children with Kim Kardashian. The same Kanye West who had hundreds of people lining up on Murray St in our very Perth the other week hoping for a shot at buying shoes he designed while he was on the other side of the planet, like, luxuriating or something. As tantalizing as it is to try decrying him, West is the most far-reaching musical pop culture figure the digital generation has seen. You already know this: his defining attribute is the way he takes raw and compared to his award-show peers - human pride in his cultural vantage point. For most of us, that part-fabricated, all-celebrity iconic soup marinates his entire identity, and unfortunately for The Life of Pablo, any alternative interpretation you could try scooping out of his actual music still stinks of it. Let’s think back to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At the time of release it seemed like the most memetic, context-dependent piece of music nameable; but underneath the timely exterior was some seriously smart and appealing pop songwriting, sampling and textural stuff. I mean, your dad could probably enjoy it if you didn’t tell him it was Kanye. Every song was a complete, realised statement regardless of the overtly topical power-tripping it dealt with. But on Pablo the power trip isn’t the
The Life of Pablo is not really an album. It’s an impromptu DVD commentary track about music that Kanye West hasn’t actually made. Maybe if released hot on the trail of Yeezus this kind of unabashedly meta self-reflection would make sense, but it’s been three years. This is the really weird thing about Kanye: he’d like us all to think that he’s producing work operating on some kind of deeper emotional level than any of his contemporaries, when the only readable subject matter in his music is (besides walled-off introspective proverb, tiresome misogyny and graphic depictions of fucking) his own career. The music is now its own emotional core. If West was to eventually put his remarkable production skills towards making something truly removed from celebrity current affairs then his boisterous claims about his own cultural provisions might feel justified instead of just quirky. After Pablo, Kanye’s present innovation is his shameless inversion of the roles of the art and artist in his designated cultural space. Kanye West: The Idea is the art we are sold and his album is ambassador to its surroundings; the retrospective interviews, the news journalism and the social media uproar. In order to get any sliver of a reaction out of this music one would need only to think that’s a good thing. 6/10
PERTH FACT THE MMC STAFF ARE ACTUALLY NOUGHTIES INDIE ROCK STARS (NO, REALLY)
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE PAINTING WITH (DOMINO) REVIEW BY EAMONN KELLY
PRINCE AT PERTH ARENA REVIEW BY JAYMES DURANTE
There are few situations in life to which dropping everything and emptying your bank account is an appropriate response, but a surprise Prince tour is certainly one of those times. Revealed barely a week before he took the stage at Perth Arena, Prince’s A Piano and a Microphone Tour promised the slinky purple king’s first ever visit to Perth, performing in the round unbeholden to his customary theatrics. Any speculation over Prince’s ability to entertain a crowd on his lonesome was immediately thrown out the window when, to open his show, he launched into I Would Die 4 U, from 1984 classic Purple Rain. The crowd — as is their obligation — erupted into hysterics as Prince, shrouded in darkness and surrounded by candles as though he was conducting a séance, spet two hours steam-rolling through hits and deep cuts from his expansive back catalogue with the kind of glee unexpected from a performer of his age and experience. Prince
There was something particularly special about this show, though. I saw Prince in 2012 for his arena spectacular (also announced on short notice) at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, and although one of the greatest nights of my adult life, it felt like Prince performing at his broadest commercial appeal. Here, stripped of all the glitter and spectacle, and curating his setlist on the go (from small a computer embedded in his piano), his first Perth show felt unique and personalized, and, despite the capacious venue, intimate. Oh yeah, and he rode to and from stage on a fucking bike. That’s Prince in a nutshell.
Animal Collective have been together for about 16 years now, and the band might be running out of steam after having produced some of the most diverse and sonically interesting music of the last decade. In many ways a continuation of Panda Bear’s thongo-phone synth work that can be found on Person Pitch and Panda Bear vs The Grim Reaper, Painting With is a pretty safe offering from the band. Each album in the discography of Animal Collective has its own ‘sound’ (read: gimmick) and the sound for Painting With seems to be call and response vocal melodies and harmonies. The vocal harmonies, while complex, do start to get old quickly. The album feels like an over-correction from Centipede Hz; while the latter sounds cluttered because of the over-emphasis on instrumentation, Painting With sounds incredibly thin because of a lack thereof. This is not a good thing – Animal Collective are known for their catchy yet incredibly complex songs. Overall, it can be said to be a standard, cohesive pop album; but the band needs to do something entirely new. Merriweather Post Pavilion was after all released in 2009 and they haven’t strayed far from that sound, only simplified it, ever since.
was cheeky, charming and a smidge amatory, making laconic quips between jaw-dropping displays of keyboard bravado and a fair share of butt wiggling, with the audience (who obliged his every command like a North Korean army) in the palm of his nimble little hands.
QUILT - PLAZA (MEXICAN SUMMER) REVIEW BY BRYCE NEWTON
5/10 Plaza by Quilt is the ideal psychedelic pop for putting on at a dinner party (or a time when you find yourself engaged in talking but would prefer to do it over a specific sound rather than in silence/ sounds of nature because really who is holding dinner parties and if you are can I come?) due to the fact it won’t take away from the conversation – at all. The latest release from Quilt is one of the least offensive music offerings I’ve ever heard, at times slightly reminiscent of The Kinks but without the frenetic energy and fullness of their sound. In taking away this energy, Plaza becomes something to listen to in a backyard, maybe not while driving if you’re prone to road fatigue. What I did find impressive about this album was the fact that all featured vocalists (it alternates between male and female vocals) are very skilled. Some bands that employ this technique are unable to deliver and are at times prone to leaving you sitting through an album either having moments of nostalgia for prior vocal sounds or with your hand gravitating towards skip. Not the case here – this release is teeming with seamless harmonies, akin to watching a pod of dolphins majestically journey forth into transcendence. In the company of others, Plaza can quite easily fall into the trap of passive listening and rendered background sound. To fully appreciate this album, I highly recommend you listen to it either in the company of quiet friends of few words or in a space of solitude. It is the foundation of prior silence that facilitates an ability to forge a state of immersion necessary to really understand this release. If nothing else, this psychedelic pop album provides easy listening like smooth peanut butter – so don’t listen if you (figuratively) prefer the crunchy nut version of the brand.
PERTH FACT IF YOU MADE A COMPOSITE IMAGE OF ALL THE CITIZENS OF PERTH, MARTY FELDMAN WOULD APPEAR FROM THE PIXELS
WORDS WITH CATHERINE LACEY INTERVIEW BY PEMA MONAGHAN ART BY BRYCE NEWTON
I wanted to talk to Catherine Lacey as I had read her book, Nobody is Ever Missing, last year and thought it very affecting. I feel that it’s hard not to identify with Elyria, the protagonist, who experiences a madness and sadness that is so relatable, even in its extremity. Elyria has left her life in New York - her life with her husband, nice apartment, doorman, successful job - to sleep in potting sheds and on sand dunes, to hitch around a lonely and dangerous country, to suffer condescending warnings from women she rides with and indecent amounts of self-assurance from men. Everyone she meets wants her to give something of herself to assuage their desires for community, participation, and happiness. I know what Elyria’s trying to do in making her escape. When you’re making the stencil for a lino-print you use a curved blade to excavate around what you want to print in block colour on the page. Elyria’s trying to do that for her mind so that she can feel she exists as this filled in circle that lives by itself in a clean void. It’s difficult though because little flecks of linoleum keep falling into the void and damaging the cleanliness. A lot of the women who pick Elyria up from the side of the road warn her against hitchhiking, “Stay away from those men”. In these cases most of them have hitched in the past and have a conviction that the roads have become more dangerous since then. Only one lady seems to understand the thrilling feeling of travelling alone and doesn’t reproach Elyria for it: an irascible old woman sitting in a comfortable armchair. In addition to her novel, Catherine has published fiction and non-fiction in Granta, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The New York Times, Guernica, the Paris Review Daily, The Believer, and elsewhere. PEMA MONAGHAN: This is my first real interview, so I’m CATHERINE LACEY: Awesome.
Pretty nervous. I used to do them a lot. Don’t be nervous, believe me I have flubbed interviews in a serious way, and then checked back with the writer later, and they were like, “oh, I didn’t even notice!” [laughs] Well, I wrote loads of questions, obviously, but we’ll just see how they go. So, I wanted to know, first of all, how are you? I’m doing great! I’ve been in a really busy period for a while and I’m getting to take a little bit of time off before coming to Australia tomorrow, and just with my husband in California where he’s from, and had a great day at the beach. I am doing excellent. So, do you live in - you don’t live in California? No, I live in Brooklyn. What do you do in Brooklyn, what’s it like? I’ve never been to America. My pattern for the past year or so now that I’m not running a bed and breakfast part-time has been just working mainly at this coffee shop in my neighbourhood every morning, and I don’t ever get on the subway. I read a lot, and occasionally do readings, and there are a lot of writers in my neighbourhood. Because, you know, all the publishers and stuff are in town so there’s a lot of writers and people in publishing in that neighbourhood, so it’s kind of - it just feels like you run into people at the coffee shop I work at. It must be good having such good writing community where you are. Because we don’t have much of one here actually – especially for emerging writers. Yeah, it can be really hard. I kinda feel like I found the majority of my writing community online. About 2007 and 2008 I started writing for this literary blog that’s really tiny. We don’t keep it up anymore, but everyone was writing full essays really just for each other. Most of the people I didn’t ever
meet, or I don’t know that well; I knew them just in their words and from the conversations that we were having and reading the same books. So you can really make a community wherever you go. I’m starting to realise now that I don’t have to be in Brooklyn for that. It’s nice to have friends that are writers, but I don’t feel so attached to being there necessarily, or at least not all the time. I think that making community is really an important part of figuring yourself out as an emerging writer or as a younger writer. But you can make it wherever you want. Okay, I’ve got some questions about your book actually. Okay [laughs]. I was thinking that the bits where Elyria seems most quieted in her mind are when she’s gardening at Werther’s? I guess she doesn’t really describe [her] thinking at all [during those passages]. So I have this quote - I’m gonna quote you back to you: I was a thing with particular use: pumpkin-vine waterer, bean-stalk trimmer, tomato root-coverer. I was suddenly essential. The pumpkins would shrivel without me. The tomatoes would die of thirst. The summer would have sunned them dead. I guess I was thinking here that she’s saying that she enjoys or appreciates the feeling of being necessary to something’s survival, and yet she’s always arguing with herself that that’s what she wants least, some other living being’s need for
PERTH FACT EVERY TIME YOU TAG ON TO TRANSPERTH, A CYCLIST EXPERIENCES A LITTLE TICKLE IN THEIR KIDNEYS
her care. Right. Like a dog or a baby or a person that needs her attention. Yeah, but then, plants don’t talk to you. You can just, you know, keeping plants alive … it wasn’t a really conscious decision but you’re totally right, I hadn’t really thought aaaa about it but every time she’s kind of really with nature she kind of relaxes a little bit… and like, doesn’t think about herself as much. Everybody needs to take care of something, or be connected to something and even if you’re in a place where that’s hard that need is still going to be there. So if you stop taking care or caring about anyone, or anything else, then it will figure out a way of still manifesting. Yeah I felt like she’s sort of worried about not being wanted for herself, because she doesn’t really know herself. But the plants – they only really need manual labour and that’s sort of a pure way of being. Right, they don’t need her in any particular way. Yeah, just her body.
just wondering, as a human, what does it mean to be simple? Yeah, I remember that line. Do you know Clarice Lispector? Yep.
It’s…if you’re asking for that, it’s like asking to be a stranger from yourself, because we only really think strangers think like that. Because everyone we know, we know to be difficult.
Right, there is like a power dynamic too. I think that the parts where she is looking back at her relationship with her husband, she hates how he has all this power over her. And this emotional power of being older, this power of how he thinks that he knows her and she doesn’t like the way that she senses him owning her. I think that she just imagines that having a child or a dog or anything would just be another version of that. And there’s something about just being with plants where there’s no question of a power dynamic. They’re totally different. Yeah. Existences. They don’t even really have an existence. Yeah, I was thinking that she talks about being simple, being ‘the simplest woman’ and, I was
There’s this awesome David Foster Wallace quote about how, I mean we all think that… I could almost pull it out, I might actually have it handy. I’m gonna allow myself a few seconds to see if I can find it. I put it on these notes that I keep nearby. Oh, yeah, this is it! We all have little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dogs yawn, the timeless sigh of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg,
But everybody has it, this sensation that no one else has ever felt this before and I’m alone in this feeling. I love that quote, I just keep it around. Which book is it from? I think it’s from Infinite Jest. Which I haven’t read. I’m not sure how I came across it. No. Well, I guess it’s very highly quoted [laughs]. I haven’t read it either, but I was thinking about starting. I don’t know, I just - I have sort of the reverse problem to most people where I kind of find it hard to start reading men [laughs]. I feel like I did it a lot as a kid, and now I have done it enough. Yeah, I feel like I’ve just decided to start reading gay men, or men of colour. And anytime I’m reading like a male voice, to try to make it at least that? I mean there’s lot of straight white men that write great stuff too, but – I don’t know, it’s just the way that path is so well worn that we should be questioning it.
She’s this Brazilian writer – they’re translating her now and she’s getting really popular. She has this short story called ‘The Smallest Woman in the World’ and I think I had read that shortly before writing that or I was reading that at the time – but I mean, they’re two different questions. The Clarice Lispector thing is kind of like [the character is] wanting to negate herself down; wanting to make herself the most compact that she can be as a value. And I think Elyria, because she is not simple, she kind of fetishises it, and is trying to be this thing that she’s not. But what that would be for her would be not questioning what she’s doing and not being driven wild by these really boring questions, of what should I do today, how should I feel. I think, in her mind being simple would be that she wouldn’t be asking those questions anymore. I don’t really think that’s possible.
the minor-D lament in the vacuum’s scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartener feels at his mother’s retreat. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we. Solipsism binds us together, J.D. knows. That we feel lonely in a crowd; stop not to dwell on what’s brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd.
Have you got any advice about writing, or living or anything? As an ending the interview question? Oh. I don’t know, I guess, just protect the time of day that you know that you work best. Protect those hours. And don’t be so sure you know what you’re working on. Don’t commit until it’s really done, until its already taken shape. You’re not working on a book of poems until you have 30 poems that you’re happy with, and even then, maybe you’re not. Those notes for a novel that you’re working on. That actually might be the start of a nonfiction book. I think keeping things more uncertain is probably better.
PERTH FACT UWA SECURITY GET VERY LONELY DURING THEIR NIGHT WATCH. ONLY THE THOUGHT OF A MRS MAC’S PIE CARRIES THEM THROUGH
BOOK REVIEWS AHEAD OF US DENNIS HASKELL (FREMANTLE PRESS) 10/10 There are a lot of things that we don’t talk about in our daily lives. Thoughts and feelings that we turn away for any number of reasons – maybe they hurt us or make us think beyond our comfortable Netflix-and-sofa train of thought. That’s where Dennis Haskell comes in with his latest poetry anthology, Ahead of Us. From the outside Ahead of Us is so thin and nondescript that it belies the depth within. Sure, the faux Polaroid and the cracked writing on the cover look a little tacky, but they do add to the sense of nostalgia and washed-out melancholy that courses through the book. It foreshadows the pain and ache carried by our mundane lives that we often ignore. When you think of renowned poetry it’s hard not to think of florid rhythmic meter about love, war, or even nationalism. But when I read Haskell’s work, I know it is truly great poetry. No one else can give peeling carrots and sitting in oncologists’ waiting rooms a tender meditative gravitas. Every tiny dust motes and lost hair are elevated to the importance of mountains. Highlights for me were the touching poems about his wife’s cancer – full of hope and eventually heartbreak, but even more so his earlier poems: pieces about everyday life, travel, moving through the motions of a regular existence. The soft moments with another or alone that you only notice once in blue moon. I fervently wish I could capture each of those moments and savour them. With this anthology you can. Recommended reading snack: Coles brand biscuits (late at night with a loved one) Caz Stafford wishes there were more tender moments in her life
STILL LIFE WITH TEAPOT BRIGID LOWRY (FREMANTLE PRESS) 7/10 Still Life is an autobiography that intersperses poetry, fiction and memory between advice on the subjects of creativity, writing and memoir. Lowry’s favourite instrument in delivering this advice is the list. She makes lists on just about anything, and they offer an easy method of structuring her writing from one topic to the other whilst maintaining interest in the variety of ideas she catalogues. The charm of the book comes from Lowry’s outstanding recounts of conversations and experiences, often outrageous, which do a good job of easing before reading the tragedies she’s suffered and witnessed. It is a greatly varied autobiography – its coherence in covering poetry, memoir and advice being the greatest feature. Where the seamless line draws short is at the convoluted subject of writing. These sections are full of self-evident statements with no challenge and no surprise. Lowry says to write every day, to write honestly, to “write with every ounce of your being”, to eat well and be energetic and healthy. What she doesn’t talk about is voice (writing for the Internet for example), genre, or any actual facet of literature itself – only habits for writing literature. This is salient because she never forgets to mention which books of hers are bestsellers. The weakness of the writing section is the fault of Lowry’s reliance on the list structure; she simply extends it to making paragraphs on the items of a list, isolating assertions easily dismissed rather than connecting statements that would otherwise reinforce each other to deliver a unique point. The chapter on memoir is a contrary example that is more rigid and specific. There she gives credence to the idea that one needs to exaggerate and filter to catch a reader’s attention. Lowry also effectively describes how memoir has to enable meaning while managing the tension between reality and fiction. Still Life with Teapot is just the sort of thing to have on the coffee table (mostly still, and next to a teapot)—not the bookshelf. Recommended reading snack: Grapes. Take one, take another. Then leave them to finish another time. Kacper Szozda is coming to a cinema near you.
PERTH FACT ELIZABETH’S BOOKSHOPS LIKES A LOT OF OUR FACEBOOK UPDATES. WE DON'T KNOW WHY
PELICAN @ PERTH WRITERS’ FESTIVAL SESSION: Common Threads: Mireille Juchau and Gail Jones hosted by William Yeoman HAM-HANDED OR HAPPY LISTENING? Ham. Gail Jones thinks it is both amusing and intelligent to be rude about young writers and younger people in general. She speaks about the so-called ‘degradation of language.’ She forgets that language has never been fixed, that words change their meanings and usages all the time. Mireille Juchau does not say much, because Gail Jones does not give her the opportunity. William Yeoman bobs his head up and down like a bobbing-dog. TAKEAWAY?
SESSION: Seven Good Years: Etgar Keret hosted by Michael Cathcart HAM-HANDED LISTENING?
Listening to Etgar Keret, an Israeli author known for his short stories and work for This American Life and The New Yorker (only my two favourite stateside checkpoints for quality stories), was most definitely a happiness. Talking on and around his new memoir Seven Good Years – written with audacious colloquial in Gods-own Hebrew, and on time between the birth of his son and the death of his father – Keret evinced himself to be a mousey-featured man of warmth, humour and intellectual grace. Roaming nimbly across topics, he talked on war, history and parenthood – delving into his conflicted support for his home nation’s compulsory military service (“it is those who do not want war who should fight”); how he educated his son on the Palestinian plight by setting up ‘checkpoints’ within his home; and the affirmative experience of his brother using the first story he ever wrote to pick up dog leavings. Rich responses. But that the audience was treated to them owes little to the orotundly gauche interlocutor Michael Cathcart from Radio National, who self-importantly swung home-brand hams in all directions with failed ‘quips’ and inane rejoinders. Git. TAKEAWAY I need to re-locate to the episodes where Keret has a segment on TAL. Also, the ABC needs to up its radio game. BUY THEIR BOOK OR PASS THE BOOKSHOP Buy it. And then lend it to me please. I will return it after seven years.
A headache. BUY THEIR BOOK OR PASS THE BOOKSHOP?
Something light yet nourishing, which also makes you choke up a little. Eggplant Panini with extra spinach perhaps. WORDS BY KATE PRENDERGAST
SESSION: We Need To Talk About This: Stan Grant, Jane Caro and Lindsay Tanner
IF IT WAS A SANDWICH: WHAT’S IN IT? I am not putting Mireille in there because she barely featured in the event. The sandwich is white, flavourless TipTop Yeoman bread and Gail Jones salt free ‘healthy’ peanut butter. It tastes gross and very bland.
HAM-HANDED OR HAPPY LISTENING? Happy wouldn’t be the right word. But weighty,
WHY WAS I SO OFFENDED BY THIS? At the event, Jones told a story about some young women conversing on the train. She said that as she listened the girls had used the term ‘like’ twenty times in five minutes – “I counted.” This really irritated me. They could have been talking about anything, but clearly she had not actually been listening to them: only tallying in her head and summarising them because of the way they spoke. To me this indicates a lack of interest in other people. Surely a tendency to reduce people like that is a greater literary crime than that of (alleged) irony. WORDS BY PEMA MONAGHAN
I have already bought both their books because they are texts for a unit I am doing this semester. I have not yet read the Juchau one, but I have read half of the Jones and begrudgingly I admit that I do not NOT like it. I have had to put it away for a little while because I get so annoyed when I look at it.
IF IT WAS A SANDWICH: WHAT’S IN IT
substantial stuff. Cathartic. TAKEAWAY: Probably more than the central conceit of the session that we don’t talk about difficult things like race, mental illness or xenophobia; the point that we collectively need to think about what the other person is hearing when we do clumsily attempt to have public discussions on these topics to actually affect change and hit home. BUY THEIR BOOK OR PASS THE BOOKSHOP? Go buy Stan Grant’s Talking To My Country right now. He’s quickly becoming Australia’s Ta-Nehisi Coates – essential reading. Skip Lindsay Tanner’s fictional debut. IF IT WAS A SANDWICH: WHAT’S IN IT? The equivalent of one of those club sandwiches with the lot. Best Tacitus quote butchered by Lindsay Tanner? He stumbled around it but eventually got close to “it is human nature to hate the man whom you have hurt.” WORDS BY WADE MCCAGH
PERTH FACT IF THE GLOWING ORB ABOVE SCITECH EVER WENT OUT, WE WOULD BECOME 8% STUPIDER
WORDS BY CATHERINA PAGANI
unning until mid-June at the Western Australian Museum, A History of the World in 100 Objects is a wonderful, ambitious exhibition showcasing a historical overview of the relationship between humans (and early human ancestors) and the earth over the last 2 million years. 100 objects have been selected from the collections of the British Museum, and the combined significance of the individual pieces represents a summary of human history. The exhibition is comprised of nine sections, representing various time periods and the overarching themes that characterised the societies within them, bringing us right up to the modern day with the inclusion of a credit card. At a preview of the exhibition in early February, I spoke with several key figures involved in the project including the exhibition curator Dr. Belinda Cerar, who currently manages the collection of Romano-British antiquities at the British Museum. Dr. Cerar explained that the project began in 2007 with a radio series and book. Upon the release of these three years later they began planning the exhibition. Dr. Moya Smith, the Head of Anthropology and Archaeology at the WA Museum, rightly observed that “it’s an incredibly brave concept to tackle a history of the world”. Dr. Smith believes the preeminent message the exhibition seeks to communicate to its audiences is “the extraordinary capability of humans to develop
The World of Our Making (AD 1800- Today) Mixed medium – gifted antennas, acrylic paint, aluminium, 2011 CE, Western Australia, © Western Australian Museum
[and] seek beyond themselves. It raises peoples’ consciousness about the ongoing nature of the human quest for identity, for survival and for knowledge. That thirst is what drives us and makes us human.” Dr. Cerar elaborated upon this, saying that the collection is intended to encapsulate “the constant themes and the universal connections that can be seen in cultures all around the world, in whatever time. People have the same recurring concerns, the same shared sense of humanity. For example, some of the earliest funerary objects convey the same fears and concerns people have about death even today, and you can relate to them still on a very direct level.”
some of the earliest funerary objects convey the same fears and concerns people have about death even today Dr. J.D. Hill, who was involved in putting together the original BBC radio series and book with Neil MacGregor, graciously obliged my childish request that he point out his favourite objects in the exhibition. Amongst them was the Hoxne hoard pepper pot from around 400 AD. The pot, shaped to represent a woman’s head and upper torso, has three remarkable ‘settings’ beneath it - as a modern pepper shaker does - such that the shaker can be opened fully, closed, or to allow the spice inside to be finely distributed when shaken. Dr. Hill also highlighted the books of Katsushika Hokusai’s images. Hill said the Japanese artist, best-known for his work The Great Wave off Kanagawa introduced the word ‘manga’ as it is used today. If anyone is interested, I suggest a quick Google image search of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife as Hokusai’s piece of erotica is famous for the tentacles it features. Turning to the side, we pondered a hand-woven piece from Afghanistan, its dusty colours depicting people, appearing to the uninformed observer an old traditional rug. After letting me stare at it for a while, inspecting the faces, Dr. Hill pointed out that the border of the design depicted a trail of military tanks. The grim realities of war, suffering and the modern world cut suddenly through my simple and oblivious admiration for the craftsman’s handiwork. In Dr. Cerar’s belief, telling a history through objects rather than through textual sources ensures the cultural diversity of the exhibition. “We wanted from the outset to get a very good spread of global cultures. Those that are very familiar, like the Romans, the Egyptians and the Aztecs, and also those that people may not have even heard of before but that were actually quite powerful. For example, we included a selection of Moche pots. The Moche
PERTH FACT THE PERTH CACTUS IS SECRETLY FILLED WITH THE JUICES OF ITS MAKERS. IN OCTOBER 2029, IT WILL BLOOM RED, FLESHY FLOWERS
were one of the first organised states in Peru, but the culture didn’t leave any textual sources so all we have are artefacts.” There are numerous items that aren’t linked exclusively with
The unassuming tea set becomes far more sinister when considered in a context of exploitation and suffering one culture or another, but rather illustrate the process of globalisation, linking continents and countries. Pointing to a Victorian era tea set, Dr. Cerar said “it’s such a familiar thing so you don’t really think twice about it. However, the processes that would have had to happen to get all the necessary elements are worth considering. The tea came from China - which led to 2 wars
Encounters and Connections (AD 1500-1800) Bronze and brass, early 16th–19th century, found in Nigeria © Trustees of the British Museum The exhibition encourages audiences to consider the extensive processes behind each object, and the broader significance they all hold. Towards the end is a jersey of the London-based, Russian owned football club Chelsea. However, the jersey is a fake, manufactured in Indonesia and sold in Peru. Increasingly, as we are brought to the modern day, the pieces show a world becoming closer and more entwined, but also the disparity between lifestyles and conditions. Leaving the museum and unable to stop smiling, I awkwardly tumbled back into my own reality, having to acknowledge the full day of work ahead of me. Weak-kneed and awed, I hurried into the nearest bar and downed a pint. My dorky grin returned between gulps, testament to the marvelous exhibition and the inspirational figures responsible for it. If you have the opportunity, I can only hope you embrace the chance to indulge in the wondrous collection. A History of the World in 100 Object’s is the last exhibition to be hosted at the Western Australian Museum before it closes to undergo renovations (reopening in 2020), and it certainly represents a beautiful conclusion to the state’s museum as we’ve known it.
A History of the World in 100 Objects runs until June 18 at the WA Museum in the Perth Cultural Centre. Tickets are available on the museum website and at the museum Ticket Counter.
The First Cities (3000-600 BC) About 2500 BCE, Shell, lapis lazuli, red limestone, gold and bitumen, Iraq, © Trustees of the British Museum between Britain and China- and from the plantations in colonised India. The sugar came from plantations in the Caribbean that were worked by slave labourers from Africa, and the milk came from industrialised farming in the countryside! The global scale of everything that happened to get tea, sugar and milk into that little tea set is quite phenomenal.” The unassuming tea set becomes far more sinister when considered in a context of exploitation and suffering, and my initial mental image of an elegant woman daintily sipping is eclipsed by the historical reality.
PERTH FACT WHEREVER HE GOES, STEPHEN BEVIS IS ALWAYS SURE TO FOLLOW HIS NOSE
AN INTERVIEW WITH JEFFREY JAY FOWLER BLACK SWAN THEATRE COMPANY WORDS BY RUTH THOMAS IMAGE BY ROBERT FRITH
graduate of WAAPA and NIDA, Jeffrey Jay Fowler started making waves in Perth’s theatre scene when his solo show A History of Drinking won The Blue Room Judge’s Award in 2009. Since then he has begun collaborating with 6 other Perth theatre-makers as The Last Great Hunt, racking up awards and making a reputation for itself as one of the more exciting companies around. Now the Associate Director at Black Swan State Theatre Company, Fowler runs the Emerging Writers’ Program, and most recently directed Girl Shut Your Mouth, part of a double bill called ‘LOADED’ that the Company presented during FRINGE WORLD Festival. Having enjoyed Black Swan’s first production of the year, I spoke with its director to find out how a play this memorable and raw came from our State theatre.
I got out of uni I was really scared of networking and I thought it was really fake. I thought it meant I had to pretend to like people that I didn’t like, or give my card to people – but you realise that the simple fact is you’re not going to bring someone into your rehearsal space unless you trust them. So if you haven’t networked, and if you don’t know people, they’re not going to take a chance on you.
How hard is it for young playwrights to get their work on a stage in Perth? I feel like in Perth there’s nowhere to go after The Blue Room and I think that gives Black Swan a responsibility to create opportunities for West Australian playwrights to move up – and that’s where the Emerging Writers’ Group comes in. When we start the program I say to the writers “I want you to write something that will provoke audiences”. I also think things like networking are absolutely vital. I remember that when
Speaking of classics - this year there’s no Shakespeare on the program, in fact in the last five years there was just one play (As You Like It in 2014). Is this a deliberate move away from the classics? Programming is a lot about the right time to do a show, and that’s a lot about the right actors being available. A play should have relevance to what’s going on in the world. For example, ‘Angels in America’, though written in the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 80s, seems really relevant now. The stigma around HIV has changed so much, and it almost feels that with drugs like TRUVADA we’re coming to the end of HIV. So ‘Angels in America’ becomes a revision of where this disease came from, why it was terrifying, and how people dealt with it. It’s an epic work that literally has angels falling from the ceiling, and to do something so bravely theatrical is really exciting.
So, why is the State Theatre Company presenting a show during FRINGE WORLD Festival? It seems a bit out of place. I have to admit, ‘LOADED’ didn’t feel like a Fringe show – it didn’t have that dirty, ‘get your furniture in your friend’s car and get to it the venue’ kind of thing which is how Fringe shows feel to me. For Fringe performers, there’s a lot of freedom because audiences don’t expect bells and whistles. But when the State Theatre Company enters the Fringe arena there needs to be something really ‘Fringe-y’ or risky about the production for it to make sense.
just destroyed it instead of slightly tinkering with it. I think being a theatre director is like being an interpretive artist, and though I thought the production was great, and the acting wonderful, I don’t think I’d be as true to a classic like that again.
Last year you directed Noel Coward’s play Blithe Spirit. Now, I know you like to tinker with scripts, often continuing to develop them as the production goes along and sometimes even into the play’s actual run. With a classic like this did you approach it any differently? Whilst Blithe Spirit is a classic, it’s not very well known. I found the original version of the play incredibly misogynistic, so I went into the production making the women very strong and Charles very weak, and in fact modifying the ending. But if you don’t know what the original ending was, when you watch the new ending you don’t even realise it is a reinterpretation. I think I was scared of breaking the play, and I should’ve
Someone said a very odd comment to me yesterday when I was talking about wanting to do ‘Girl Shut Your Mouth’ again – they said “oh, but you know we rarely do new works again – we do classics again and again.” However, the classics began as new works, and you have to do keep performing them to make them the next generation of classics! I think that continual reinterpretation of a script is actually what strengthens it – not just the script itself, because scripts can always be edited, but strengthens the communal knowledge of a script. The best thing for a script is for it to have multiple interpretations of it floating around.
PERTH FACT COLIN BARNETT IS BUILDING A ZIP-LINE FROM HIS HILL MANSION TO HIS FAVOURITE PLACE FOR PROFITEROLES
PIAF REVIEW: HOME WORDS BY GABBY LOO IMAGES BY TONI WILKINSON
Towering white structures stand on a stage before a crowd of 50,000 in Langley Park, and the summer air is buzzing with anticipation. The question on everyone’s lips: Will this be as good as ‘The Giants’ were in 2015?
Beginning with a Welcome to Country, the silence that followed
Minchin’s heartwarming performance of “It’s Not Perfect” set the tone for the concluding procession of children holding illuminated, house-shaped lanterns to the sky. It may sound a little cheesy, but from these final moments it rings true that ‘HOME’ gazes into a culturally aware future that acts to strengthen fragmented relationships within our shared land. It envisions a hope that we can foster a sense of belonging for those who come from near or far without exclusivity. ‘HOME’ is inarguably one of the most emotive and significant of the festival’s openings. Rather than importing a pricey international act and skewing an Australian fable to go with it, it looks directly to the land’s traditional heritage. To the wealth of collective artistic talent that lies within our multicultural community of local performers and creators. This one-off, captivating public performance marked an unforgettable night for Perth (the first and last time I’ll say that this year), and the thrilling beginning of the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival.
PERTH FACT ALANNAH MACTIERNAN WATCHED YOU BUY DRUGS FROM THAT STORE IN HIGHGATE LAST WEEK
The Perth International Arts Festival launched with a prodigious and energized opening that promised a big, bold adventure in the program to come. The 90-minute theatrical experience was compelling and dedicational. From the spirited Welcome to Country led by Dr. Richard Walley and the 14 clans of the Noongar nation, to the intimate live sand art of Indigenous landscape by Wongi artist Josie Boyle, it was pleasing to see Indigenous experience and storytelling embedded into the performance. It was evident that the director Nigel Jamieson and Walley, a Noongar elder and artist, had worked collaboratively to present the audience with an enriching historical journey, central to which was a sentimentality about what we know to be ‘home’. The cinematic visual art of artist Zoe Atkinson was projected the length of the 60m set and transformed the shared stage into an outdoor, moonlit spectacle. Her hand-drawn animations and digital collages made the opening seem a multi-dimensional installation of art and performance.
was unexpectedly pierced by garage rock band The Drones as they charged into “I Don’t Ever Want to Change” with raucous and deafening volumes. The atmosphere intensified as the screeches of the guitars were partnered with bright, satirical animations of colonial men; absurd Western characters that rode geese below a banner reading ‘Flourishing State of the Swan River Thing’. The notable graphics and violently loud performance strongly characterised white colonisation, and would have certainly given the stunned audience food for thought at a quieter time. From there, the night proceeded through a sentimental timeline of 40,000 years of culture, with songs and stories performed by the stellar line-up of home grown talent that included Kim Scott, Ernie Dingo, The Waifs, Tim Winton, John Butler Trio, Shaun Tan, WASO and Tim Minchin.
TWO NINE LIVES WORDS BY BRYCE NEWTON ART BY JADE NEWTON
first realised I was dangerously addicted to 9Life (Channel Nine’s latest lifestyle channel) when it stopped working on my television. I looked sadly through the channel guide with the utmost sorrow, my hand able to flick through channels only through the jerky trembling of despair. Disgruntled, I settled on Grand Designs like a second rate sandwich, and with the first taste I knew that it wouldn’t fill me the way my former love was able to. Like anyone else, not feeling a significant amount of appreciation for Kevin McCloud as a human being felt unnatural. A show I had appreciated throughout my childhood was cast aside, and my heart swelled with dissatisfaction. I didn’t want classical viewing, or aesthetic genius. I was changed, man. Kevin McCloud couldn’t make me happy anymore; I’d moved on. Five minutes later, with TV capabilities restored 9Life was back on and my hands were functioning normally. For those of you not fortunate enough to spend an extensive period of time immersed in this channel/lifestyle I have selected the crème de la crème, the best of the Favourites box for you to feast on (in some cases, slim pickings). HOUSE HUNTERS House Hunters is a show which makes you feel at home while it finds other people homes. Very homely. It is a beautiful homage to the American dream/persistent demand: granite countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances. Sure, there are times during the show when you wonder whether watching the constant stream of people giving up their dreams -and budgetsis really worth it, but it is. On my first viewing of the show I was sceptical: how can people buying a new home be as exciting as refreshing Instagram for half an hour? Post-watching: I realised it was all in the interactions. Watching House Hunters is like a crash course in a
couple’s relationship: who is willing to compromise? Who really wants the granite counter top? Do these people actually love each other? Is all chemistry strictly off screen? House Hunters keeps you on edge, constantly questioning whether these people should be in a relationship, let alone buying a house together. If you’re in the mood for serious drama and emotion; disguised in the form of a house-buying venture then this show is for you. Best paired with a bag of yoghurtcoated sultanas (I had cranberries but I want you to learn from my mistakes), and the readiness to feel accomplished when people break their budgets and give up their dreams to bag themselves a place to live.
FIXER UPPER I watched Fixer Upper on a whim (the kind of whim where you accept fate and your subsequent future when you’ve already been watching 9Life for four hours). Once you get used to the Southern charm (is it charm when you’ve seen someone who’s pet name is Bud eat a cockroach?) the show follows Chip and Joanna Gaines restoring homes throughout Texas to showroom quality. Fixer Upper always starts with our hosts presenting couples with three homes (seriously what is it with people only having three choices? Are these shows modelled on the success of Happy Meals?) that they are adequately apprehensive about. Following this, the homes are restored and redecorated and ready to make people feel fulfilled. I have often found I spend a majority of the
‘home reveal’ wondering where these new home owners were going to store their own decorations and books when their home had been fully decorated for them. Perhaps in a back shed, symbolic of their old pre-professionally decorated life? After an adequate (aka 8 episodes) amount of viewing soon you’ll want your own wife to start saying, “I’m proud of you Bud,” before you even have one. If nothing else, tune into this to sit through a man making as many jokes as possible because there is no one there to stop him. Recommended snack for this show is the water bottle that you opened four hours ago and forgot to drink because you were all-consumed by what now constitutes your existence. Stay hydrated, reach for the plum (now reached peak malleability) that has until this moment has taken up permanent residence in the fruit bowl. It has not been paying rent there. Wait for someone to return home or rescue you from this stupor. I hope that these reviews have birthed an uncontrollable interest and unquenchable thirst for 9Life. Don’t be fooled by the house owning/building heavy reviews, 9Life features an abundance of other TV shows which should soothe your need to be a homeowner. Finally, always remember that watching 9Life is a great substitute for being accosted with all your online pals’ “Japan Trip” Facebook photos, a channel you can turn to when you need respite from the heat and a dose of design. A place to park when you need to hear a property seller ask buyers: do you use the kitchen? And you need the buyer’s to answer, “no, but it’s nice to have a good one.” May all your counters be granite, your summers be sweltering and may you be endowed with the sense to turn the TV off when you’ve been watching the channel for so long that they begin to air repeats within 12 hours.
PERTH FACT IF YOU SHOT AN ARROW INTO THE TARGET LOGO, THE STORE SHIMMERS, DISAPPEARS AND BECOMES DAVID JONES
TOOTHY PICKS Food .............................. 4/5 Décor ............................ 3/5 Service .......................... 5/5
The Wild Duck Restaurant
35 Hampden Road, Nedlands
WORDS BY PREMA ARASU
Based on several experiences within the last few years, I have always maintained that the Wild Duck on Hampden road (about a fifteen-minute walk North from main campus) does one of the best de-gustations in Perth. $105 pp for six courses or $155 with matched wines. The food options change seasonally, however the Crispy Skin Duck Breast remains a constant feature – the menu plays to its strengths while maintaining flexibility, modernity and temporality. Before the first course, an amuse bouche of watermelon and goat’s cheese was served, predictably, in Chinese soup spoons. By the time a food-styling trend like this has departed fine dining and has made its way into low-quality office party function-room canapés, it is time for the better restau-rants – i.e. Wild Duck – to move on. Disregarding presentation, the carefully balanced flavours and mouthfeel of the amuse bouche were an excellent introduction to the likewise summery and deli-cate courses to come. The Pumpkin Soup is paired with Highgate Sauvignon Blanc, Malborough, New Zealand 2013. It came with crumbled Persian feta which complemented the ripe, sweet pumpkins superbly. I am 99% con-vinced that they used magic pumpkins, because this was the most incredible soup I have ever tasted. It is available on the A La Carte lunch menu ($14.50) as a main course served with bread. I guess this is my life now. The Crispy Skin Duck Breast is paired with Feudo di Morro, Pinot Nero Noir, Italy 2013. Wild Duck is the place to go for duck cooked in the French style.
I highly recommend this to anyone unfamiliar with duck as a food item or who has only previously had Chinese roast duck. Duck meat has a partic-ular, gamey flavour and is oilier than other poultry due to the subdermal layer of fat; in other words, keeping the skin on is important, and Wild Duck’s crispy skin is on point. It is served with a light red wine jus which adds just a little complementary sweetness, unlike the traditional Canard à l’Orange in which the caramelised orange can often overpower the duck’s inherent flavour. Instead, small cubes of poached pear are served on the side along with creamed peas and carrot puree. The Choc Orange dessert is paired with Pinnochio Moscato, Crittenden Estate, Victoria 2014. Chocolate délice, orange jelly and white chocolate ice cream are artfully scattered on a board. Wild Duck’s food is virtually faultless, but there is a lack of identity in the cohesion of the degusta-tion experience as a whole – the cuisine is designated as French yet it seems to lie somewhere be-tween Modern European and Modern Australian, and not with confidence. If food is art, this art does not have a sense of self. Innovation, rather than adherence to expectations, is what makes an outstanding fine dining experience. If you’re on campus and feeling fancy during lunch hour, make the worthwhile walk to Hampden road for pumpkin soup and duck. I am unable to comment as to whether Wild Duck obtains their specimens from the UWA campus.
WHY KRILLIN FROM DRAGON BALL Z IS SECRETLY A FASHION DESIGNER WORDS BY SAM WILSON | ART BY DANYON BURGE
In the world of poorly-conceived cartoon universes from the 90s, which allow their now adult fans to create elaborate theories to fill in plot holes, no universe is so much so as Dragon Ball Z. For instance did you know that the loveable loser Krillin has a secret double life as a fashion designer? Trust me, the evidence is solid.
Every time Krillin shows up in his civvies he is wearing clothing branded with his own name, or the name of his master. This is not the cloth-sack he trains in but real factory-mde clothes. His name is
Following Krillin’s example, many Dragon Ball Z characters have suspiciously distinct custom clothing, often with their name branded on them. It’s almost like they have a friend in the industry. In one case Vegeta – a character Krillin doesn’t trust – wears a pink shirt with the words ‘BADMAN’ written on it.
Firstly we don’t know what the lead characters do in the years between fighting flying muscled bad guys with lasers. Everyone else appears to live hermetically, going out into the wilderness and living off the land. But Krillin seems to live in the city somewhere. So what is he doing? How does he provide for himself? In dozens of movies, sequels, and spin-offs this all-important issue is never addressed.
even sewn into the material. The only time he isn’t wearing his own name on his clothes, he’s rocking a full white suit and Stetson hat. Two things are clear from this a) Krillin makes bold fashion statements b) Krillin is fabulously wealthy.
Is Krillin trying to tell us something?
PERTH FACT DAVID JONES’ LOCKER IS AT THE BASE OF EVERY STORE, WHERE ALL EX-MANAGERS GO TO DIE
ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3: WILD®! WORDS BY HARRY PETER SANDERSON ART BY LILLI FOSKETT
he RollerCoaster Tycoon series was a king amongst early 2000s PC simulation games. Created by Chris Sawuer, published by Atari and licensed by Six Flags, the game invited players to design, construct and maintain their own amusement parks in order to increase their theoretical business acumen and make steady virtual profits. After RollerCoaster Tycoon became the best-selling video game of 1999, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (2002) and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (2004) built on the original concept to cement the series as an institution of interactive Tycoon business media. Each main release of the game, as well as their concomitant expansion packs, was greeted with extreme praise from both fans and critics. Like all empires, however, the RCT franchise eventually imploded. On the 18th of July 2005, Atari and Sawyer announced the release of the expansion pack RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild®!, which was to be the final iteration of the game released for the PC, and effectively murder their streak of success. Though much has already been written of the historical collapse, I intend to briefly revisit Wild®!, and discuss the circumstances surrounding its inadequacy.
The game’s problems went further than a simple lack of rollercoaster centricity The central conceit of RollerCoaster Tycoon® 3: Wild!® was to introduce the Zoo to the theme park experience. Players were to build animal enclosures and earn revenue from shows or demonstrations involving captive animals. It was promoted by Atari as “something far beyond what players normally expect from an expansion pack”, and in a sense they were correct; the project was overly-ambitious, critically polarising, and altogether inconsistent with the game’s design. Previous expansion packs such as Loopy Landscapes® (2000) and Wacky Worlds® (2003) had complimented the first and second major releases through subtle innovations in gameplay. These were dynamic addenda to the central original works. With Wild!® Atari lost sight of the expansion pack as an ancillary institution, and instead tried to establish it as a hermetic being. In an attempt to appeal to a younger audience and engage with an affection for animals, the brand over-extended themselves, and lost sight of the giant rollercoasters and reverent capitalist mindset that made them so successful. For the first time, fans were confronted with a game that was not about the joy of amusement parks and their management, but about nature and animal-human interaction. Wild!® was too radical a deviation of concept – a repudiation, rather than an expansion.
The game’s problems went further than a simple lack of rollercoaster centricity. In choosing the Zoo as their feature element, Atari had committed to the untimely advocacy of an institution under serious social scrutiny. There were easilyformed connections between mass-incarcerations in the US as well the rise of poorly run detention centres for the growing numbers of global asylum seekers. Coral Hull and WA’s own John Kinsella had drawn lines between Zoos and refugee camps in their 2000 collection ‘Zoo’. Wild!® seemed oblivious to any such contemporary brutality – its press release encouraging players to “test out their tranquiliser dart shooting prowess to recapture an escaped animal!”. Moral concerns surrounding the Zoo as a literal organisation were also an issue. Wild!® came to be seen as a mirror of all questions surrounding animal commodification. Should we consume cows’ milk if we are unsure of the circumstances in which it was extracted? Should we be comfortable eating lobster if it is boiled alive for our own gustatory pleasure? Is it right to trap an animal for our viewing enjoyment? The ethical ambiguity surrounding such issues was reflected in Wild!®’s lacking financial performance.
PERTH FACT THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO BUY FARMER JACK’S CABBAGES
The game was, moreover, structurally unsound. The idea of wilderness had fundamental and irreconcilable oppositions to the digital system which was the program’s base. The entirety of the RCT franchise revolved around basic grids, algorithms, and finite permutations. Attempting to introduce animalistic entropy into such a system resulted in a distasteful conceptual discordance. This was a dreadful intimation of the paradox of organic existence in the digital age – players were forced to confront the machine and its inability to truly translate the tactile world. Savagery was neutered once reduced and filtered through a system of digital imaging, and the game began for the first time to seem anomalous and insincere. And yet for all these problems with the game, and the others I do not have the space to discuss, perhaps we should give Atari the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the structural and ethical issues weren’t oversights by the creators, but in fact their incisive statements, intended to provoke. Could it be they hoped to draw attention to the problematic cultural fascination with the Zoo, in the mode of Kinsella and Hull? Wasn’t it with their encouragement that the player disengaged with the passive
entertainment of a video game and questioned the very idea of a virtual prison? The park goers, in the end, were never any more wild or ‘free’ than the animals they purported to observe. The parks themselves had strict delineations, unimpeachable by the average player, who were themselves limited by the border of the CRT monitor through which they perceived the activity. Perhaps Atari sought to encourage debate surrounding animal imprisonment and international border delineations, as well as questioning of the very idea of a ‘tycoon’; whether it can exist, and whether the capitalist ecosystem of an amusement park (as an allegory of the larger consumerist society we inhabit) is any less of a prison than a petting Zoo. I’ll admit, all this is unlikely, but maybe it’s easier to pretend there was intent behind Wild!® than confront the lacklustre mess of ideas it presents on the surface. I can rest easier if I let myself believe Chris Sawyer threw away Atari’s flagship series of PC gaming with at least the intent of asking the player a question: Can anything really be Wild!® anymore?
NIGEL THORNBERRY: WHO DOES HE THINK HE’S FOOLING WITH THAT MOUSTACHE? WORDS BY THOMAS ROSSITER
ir Nigel Archibald Thornberry is a world famous documentarian, living in the jungle with his family. But Nigel Thornberry hides a dark secret, one that warps everything we thought we knew about The Wild Thornberrys. Nigel Thornberry is the Loch Ness Monster. ‘Nigel’ travels the world, taking great pains to point out all the animals people could be watching, were they not searching for the Loch Ness Monster. Nigel runs a documentary series that goes in search of (and finds) the yeti, cryptids, and several forms of magic, yet it is never even suggested that the ‘family’ might visit Loch Ness. They do come close once, in the 88th episode, when the family goes to visit Nigel’s birthplace. Scotland.
the ocean and fool everyone into believing it is human. This isn’t as implausible as readers may think, Hilary Clinton has been doing it for years. In Nigel’s case, rumour has it that there exists a never-aired Wild Thornberrys film, called: The Wild Thornberrys Go Mythical. In it, a young Loch Ness monster learns to crudely imitate human speech, and suppress its desire to ‘smash’ things, it falls in love with a beautiful young filmmaker, and, adopting a family along the way, overcomes (most of) its speech impediment to become a world famous documentarian, in the style of The King’s Speech or Forrest Gump. The film was never aired, some thought that Tim Curry couldn’t convincingly play ‘underwater’, whilst others insisted that the whole idea was too far-fetched for viewers to believe. And so the secret origin of Nigel Thornberry never aired, and his inuniverse periodic demands for salt water, never explained.
It’s actually surprising Nigel’s humanity isn’t questioned more often – he hardly looks human, with ears that jut at a nearperfect right angle (clearly fins, for steering through the cold waters of Loch Ness), dinner-plate teeth, chin jutting like the British occupation of Gribraltar, and the nose. Unbelievably held aloft by Nigel’s pencil-thin neck, the Nose is likely some
evolutionary holdout, formed by centuries of inbreeding or perhaps some kind of nose arms race between the isolated creatures within the loch. Cunningly concealing his blowhole, the nose is girded by an equally fearsome moustache; likely used for mating rituals, to intimidate rivals, or perhaps as a buttress to shore up that superstructure of a nose. The moustache, itself terrifying, must conceal something far, far worse. I guess now we know why Donnie is always screaming.
It is easy to wonder how this got started, how an aquatic creature could emerge from
PERTH FACT A GIANT SINKHOLE RESEMBLING THE VC’S HEART IS GROWING BENEATH CAMPUS. AAAAAANY DAY NOW
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