Pelican 2016 (87) Edition 6

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20 aug 16


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Hello avid Pelican readers, I am glad to be here again on your page, back for another edition of bad jokes and unsubtle Guild-plugs. This edition’s theme is Mythic. In my writer’s block I had to ask my (marginally more creative than me) Guild Council for ideas to write on. Unfortunately they didn’t deliver quite as well on this as they do on their election policy, but I got the following suggestions: - The myth of affordable housing; - The myth of the ‘friendzone’; - The myth of fashionable croc-wearers; and - (Dare I say it) The myth of Pokemon-Go aficionados with friends. Luckily for you I have decided to theme this prezitorial with approximately none of the ideas above, and am instead opting to bust some myths you might have about the Guild! Myth: The Guild only does clubs and cafes. Myth Bust: The Guild does heaps, including having fifteen incredible portfolios that create communities, run events and advocate for all different student demographics, interests and needs. These are: the Postgraduate Student Association, International Students’ Service, Education Council, Societies Council, Public Affairs Council, Environment Department, Welfare Department, Sports Office, Residential Student Department, WA Student Aboriginal Corporation, Pride Department, Mature Aged Students Association, Albany Students Association and the Access Collective and Ethnocultural Collective. You can get in touch with them through Myth: It’s hard to get involved in the Guild. Myth Bust: It’s definitely not. There are Guild committee positions open every March, there are clubs and volunteering, we do surveys and focus groups, plus the departments listed above, and more! You can always pop into the Guild Student Centre to find out more. Until next time.



This is the third last (antepenultimate!) edition of Pelican. In the fourth last (preantepenultimate! Who needs an English degree?) I talked about the need for a broad anti-racist movement among students, and little did I know there were others going about organising that very thing. Hopefully in the coming months we will be holding talks about the state of racism in Australia, hosting speakers and continuing to publish your excellent articles on the subject (the increased number of submissions we’ve received on such subjects is really something worth mentioning!). Anti-racism was once a mainstream issue amongst students, and we hope it becomes one once again. Semester has started for real now, I actually write this as I sit in a lecture on renaissance cathedrals, listening to a lecturer with a (somewhat sexy) european accent that’s hard to pinpoint. His shoes also look like they’re really expenno too. As you can tell, not much of the information is getting through to me and the accent is making it hard to write this editorial. Have you also been inappropriately attracted to lecturers based on accent and footwear? Write to us at Pelican. We can’t guarantee your anonymity though and to be honest you might end up as some shit quasi-bnoc like us. Hell you might end up as an editor too one day (writing for us is a gateway drug to editorship). My mind drifts over to something the lecturer is saying about how medieval Italians would start building cathedrals without any idea about how to finish the upper levels. Dumbasses. Aside from being the only fact I will actually remember from this lecture, it makes me think of Pelican (many things do, usually it’s a pelican flying overhead). We’re building the lower levels here but come December someone else is going to come along and build something up above (we hope). It’s time to start thinking about it - go on, think of the power (an office!), the wealth ($431.67: a number I have memorised from the amount of times I’ve shouted it into centrelink’s reporting line), the new friends (mostly tav staff) and the fame (instant minor bnoc status!). When you think about it only a fool wouldn’t edit pelican. x Hay

x Maddie



The University gods had condemned the Pelican to inhabit the base of a mountain – a deep, underworld trench where few things tread. Wings outstretched and gargling softly into its flaccid throat sac, the great bird lay half-buried beneath the mud and scattered stones. Its fine plumage – once the colour of cream – was now dirtied and wet. Extraordinarily vain, and with a great love of dancing, such stagnation was perhaps the worst fate the gods could have dealt. Opinions differ as to why the Pelican was cast down into the trench. If one believes some Student Guild election hacks, it is because it threatened to again forswear rich white chauvinists from gaining future seats of power – which tradition had cushioned for them their rightful claim. It is also said that the Pelican had strayed too heedlessly in the craft of meme-making. The meme is a form which the Paul-God had decreed a blasphemy; in the past, the art had provoked in him a great and unfathomable rage. Then there is the rumour that the Pelican slapped PJ in the face with a wet fish. Over and over. A juicy wet fish. Slap slap slap. The mountain in which the Pelican lay wedged happened to be the very same mountain upon which Sisyphus laboured with his rock. This was very unfortunate. As the workman grew smaller and smaller – very fit and quite jolly from all that aerobic exercise – climbing higher and higher towards the mountain’s summit, the Pelican’s dread grew. It was only a matter of time before the boulder would roll back down the hill again, shattering its mended bones anew and crushing its spindly beak. You can be assured that throughout this whole time the Pelican was very, very lucid. Yet, as Camus writes, there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn. Flipping one crooked feather as best it could, the Pelican continued – for all of its wretchedness – to dream. It dreamed of the October prom. It dreamed of a big beautiful Pelican lover. It dreamed of fish. One must imagine the Pelican to be doing okay. xx Prendy Prendy




Hayden Dalziel

Ben Yaxley *

Holly Jian *

Michael O'Leary ᵒ

Kate Prendergast

Bradley Leo ᵒ

Holly Munt ᵒ

Pema Monaghan ᵒ

Bridget Rumball ᵒ

Ishita Mathur ᵒ

Pia Fucile ᵒ

Caz Stafford ᵒ

Jade Newton *ᵒ

Ruby Mae McKenna *

Christopher Spencer ᵒ

James Cooper *

Ryan Suckling ᵒ

Clare Moran (more_ankles) *

Janey Hakanson ᵒ

Scott-Patrick Mitchell ᵒ

Danyon Burge *

Kate Prendergast (tenderhooks) *ᵒ

Tess Bury *ᵒ

Eamonn Kelly ᵒ

Laura Wells *

Ed Smith ᵒ

Xin Lan Xie *

Lauren Turnbull *

Yosra al Alwadi ᵒ

SECTION EDITORS POLITICS Brad Griffin FILM Pema Monaghan MUSIC Harry Manson BOOKS Bryce Newton ARTS Samuel J. Cox LIFESTYLE Thomas Rossiter

DESIGN Elise Walker

Ellie Glen * Elysia Gelavis Frederick von Jorgenborf ᵒ Freyja Tempest ᵒ Gabby Loo *ᵒ


Harry Manson *ᵒ Harry Peter Sanderson ᵒ Hayden Dalziel *ᵒ

offer applies to large pizzas only


Thomas Rossiter ᵒ

Leona Mpagi ᵒ Lilli Foskett * Louise Denholm ᵒ Maddison Howard ᵒ Mark Acebo ᵒ


Mark Anthony ᵒ Matthew Ewan Green ᵒ Matthew Maltman ᵒ

ᵒ Words

* Illustrations




Campus Spot(s)


Is Green Is Good


Mythic Art Page


FEATURES Swipe Right on Mythie Beasts


Gossip Goddess


Healy’s Hair


CLENCH: A zine about sexual abuse


Mental Illness Taboos


Black Lives Matter




Shower Dream Comic










Arts 37 Lifestyle


GET INVOLVED! ~~all students welcome ~~

Above the ref! Post to M300 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009 WA

@PelicanMagazine @pelicanmagazine

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.




Whispers comingle on the wind; settling into their agreements, they coalesce into rumour, embiggen into exquisite possibility – and, for no better reason than they may as well, at last take on the alias of plausible myth. For you here, I offer up the tastiest of mysteries that my little birds have brought back to me; have dropped at my feet, their little juicy gossip crumbs, clutched mid-air by scooping little beaks as they spray from the mouths of friends and the Soon-Not-Alive to scatter cryptically beside the stone oblong I have yet to succeed in opening, though efforts towards this end torture my every waking hour, knowing, as I do, it somehow contains the mystery of the two men astride the same bicycle who came peddling slowly down the Oak Lawn pathway the other week, raucously singing ''You've Got a Friend in Me'' into the otherwise silent dark. Oh beauteous mystery! # There is a sex shower on campus. It is unknown whether this is a) a sexually frustrated shower that gets unbearably moaningly shudderingly horny whenever a luscious bod gets inside it or b) a routine sex rendezvous where two people – possibly more – go and get wet and have sex or stand under a closed faucet dry and have sex, according to their preference and fetishes and predilection for getting wet in the all-over-body sense. Allegedly, “to find the shower you have to be taken there, presumably to have sex with your guide”. Keepers of the secret and guardians of the way are implored to share their ken before they leave these hallowed grounds: it must not be lost, lest the sex shower vanish out of time and memory forever. # “There's this one room up the top of the Arts Faculty that you can access by a dingy staircase next to an elevator. It's got a smoke detector hanging by a wire right in front of the door, there's a shitload of dust and a boiler but I used to hide alcohol there when I needed to hide alcohol.” – Anon. # Dorothy Hewett – feminist, writer, and UWA English student from ‘44 – is alleged to have scribed a poem about losing her virginity on Oak Lawn, “or maybe it was that bit in front of Reid behind the bushes”. With lines from other verses like “Smelling his male sweat / and the cigarette smoke drifting / waiting for him to pull over / into the scrub and take me” (‘Sex on the Farm’), UWA should be proud of the saucy old commie. Onya, Dot.


the control of the Nazi Government”. One kindly Reid staffer was able to locate for me such a book – a 1933 odiousness entitled Was ist arbeitdienst? Was soller? by Muller-Brandenburg. It is located in the Special Collections on the second floor of Reid. “There is no list of titles that I am aware of and no way of identifying these books other than to physically look on the shelves for German language books mainly published in the 1930s,” says the staffer. # The Reid Library is a sanctuary to Nazi filth. And – as suppression of filth could in some debates be called censorship, and the horrors of history must be confronted to prevent both their repetition and the creation of a citizenry of mollycoddled ignorami – perhaps rightly so. It was Dr. Hans Pollack who happened across the government-produced propaganda seeding the shelves in early 1945, with Hitler’s war still raging. Pollack, himself of Jewish heritage, had fled his homeland Vienna in the early thirties to escape persecution. Rather than demand the books removal, he asked instead they be excised from the shelves and grouped separately in an easyaccess wedge of evil, possibly under a new “Foul & Iniquitous Ideology Collection”. At this, the Library Committee convened, conversed, and after some deliberation, decided “best not”. Their belief, 19 April Committee Minutes reveal, was that segregation would set an “undesirable precedent” which could see the carving out of other offensive sections by members of staff. They took action instead by inserting a note of explanation in the front pages of the books, which reads: “Published under


“Some are held in Special Collections but certainly not all of them.” As to how the books got there in the first place? The University Archives traces them back to a Melbourne bookshop, but then points the finger to the Carnegie Foundation, who bought them and donated them to the University. “Evidently under a misapprehension” of what the blazes they were doing. So you’d hope.

# Allegedly, the UWA Clock tower was supposed to be some 20m higher, but the University ran out of money midway through construction. #Talltales?

amongst staff and enmity between man and beast. This culminated in nothing less than cold-blooded murder. From an article taken from the Daily News, dated 28 November, 1983:

# In 1975, two peacocks were gifted to the University by Mr. and Mrs. Brodie-Hall; a pair who evidently thought their enormous iron ore wealth could be invested most auspiciously into Higher Education via birds. Caged for two weeks, the peacocks were then released to scuffle vainly about the Great Court, yet swiftly and stubbornly took roost in the rafters and lawns of Arts. In the decades following up ‘til now, the prissy squallers have sown discord

“The plot thickens at the WA University, where there are powerful pro and antipeacock forces preparing for battle. The case against the peacocks resident at the university is that the love call of the peahen sounds like a tone-deaf soprano being tortured. A few days ago the intensity of feeling over the matter was highlighted by the discovery of the corpse of a peahen, with an egg lying beside it, in a corridor of the Arts building. Two members of the Chemistry

Department conducted an autopsy on the bird which was found to be hit with a blunt instrument and strangled.” # There is a tiny Venus of Willendorf – that iconic paleolithic statue of a voluptuous woman &/or fertility goddess – ensconced somewhere about Guild Village. Made, like its original, out of Oolitic limesone? Used, as is speculated about the original, as a ‘masturbation aid’? We look forward to finding out. # There’s a glitch in UWA Second Life which lets you take control of the VC’s avatar and let him have a good wank.


Look Book: Mythic

Questions 1. What’s the difference between a Hippogriff and a Griffin? 2. How many death has the Nannup Tiger caused?

4. How many mythic cats are attacking travellers around Perth at every given time?

3. What satanic symbolism is contained within the Belltower?

5. What is the origin of the dropbear myth?

1. One is an eagle crossed with a horse, the other is a politics editor. Ha. 2. About 3, most were lost during the last Camp Doogs or it could have been a bad patch of pingas, happy camping folks. 3. It is modelled off satan’s penis. 4. According to my research, at least 5: The Dwellingup Panther, The Jarrahdale Cougar, The Kojonup and Nannup Tigers and the improbably large cat of Baldivis. 5. The tree jumping antics of “Mad Dog” Adrian, a billionaire mathematician and cycling enthusiast from Belmont. PERTH FACT ROCKET FUEL IS A CULT RUN BY DISCREDITED STUDENT POLITICIANS



Whether through books, films, fireside stories, or MMORPGs, most of us familiar with a whole raft of mythical creatures - from unicorns to krakens, dragons to werewolves. Yet there is an all-too-often unsung caste of mythical beasts who work just as hard as the rest, but never get to bask in the glory of a Hollywood blockbuster. Here at Pelican, we’ve decided to shine a light on this issue of minority representation among supernatural beasts, and profile a few of our favourite hidden gems. Since many were pretty elusive and might have eaten our pancreases had we approached them for direct interview, we instead went to Humpr – a popular dating app for magical creatures –to get a feel for who they are, and what they’re into. These are their screenshots. Name: Tsuchigumo Home: In the mountains of 14th century Japan Body type: Face of an oni (ogre or troll), body of a tiger, arms and legs of a spider My ideal Sunday: I’m a bit of an introvert and like to just hang out in my mountain retreat admiring the serenity and countryside. I’m into arts and crafts and spend a lot of time working on intricate web designs. My biggest flaw: My friends sometimes say I’m a “moody artist type” just because sometimes when people stumble into my webs I kill and devour them. You should message me if: You are an art lover who is into nature and who respects personal space. Name: Llamhigyn Y Dwr Home: In various swamps and ponds throughout Wales Body type: Giant frog with bat’s wings, no hind legs, long tail of a lizard Biggest ambition: I adore traveling and would love to traverse the swamps and waterways of the Mississippi, sampling all the ‘local’ foodstuffs ;) Favourite album: ‘The Poison’ by Bullet For My Valentine ;) You should message me if: You love fishing ;)

Name: Ichneumon Home: Ancient Egypt, but you might sometimes find me in ancient Rome and Greece Body type: Giant mongoose Biggest achievement: I once killed a dragon by first covering myself in mud for camouflage, then leapt inside its mouth when it came close. I ripped its belly open from the inside. This is also how I hunt crocodiles and giant snakes. No big deal. What do I live for: I’m very driven and career-focused. People often think mongooses are like otters, and that really bugs me. I’m not otterist but you have to admit if they spent less time playing and swimming around they would get a lot more work done. I mean, sure they’re cute but how does being cute contribute to the economy? I kill fucking dragons. Without me there would be chaos! You should message me if: You are down-to-earth, mature and ambitious. Not interested in time-wasters. Name: Peluda Home: Medieval France Body type: Porcupine the size of an ox Goals for this year: Retribution for being turned away from Noah’s Ark. Yes, I know it was a long time ago, but literally everyone else was allowed on and it you can call me petty if you want but the only thing that has kept me going over the years is my burning desire for revenge. Favourite hobbies: I like to shoot my poison quills out at fleeing peasants or strike them with my tail, crushing their spines. Sometimes to mix things up I’ll jump in rivers and kick the water out to cause floods. You should message me if: You also hate humans and want to see world end but can’t wait for Trump to be elected president.




Hey there Upper Greek Siders, Gossip Goddess here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Olympus’ Elite. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there would be no gossip without secrets. Everyone has secrets, and it is my job to reveal them all. They say that two can keep a secret if one of them is dead, but lovelies, I’m not going anywhere. So, here is my pick of the top ten dirtiest secrets of the pre-history pantheon:

ZEUS may seem like our beloved Sky Father on the streets, but he really does put that thunderbolt to good use in the sheets. With one hundred and fifteen recorded lovers and less-than-safe sex practices, it is no wonder he has turned to pederasty. Just make sure these dalliances can at least grow a beard first Z – don’t want to go down the Catholic Church way…

APOLLO seems so sweet and innocent, doesn’t he? God of Music, Art, Healing, and also blessed with the power of prophecy. However, he doesn’t always use his role as an oracle for good. Ever heard of the Oedipus complex? That whole situation could have been avoided if Apollo hadn’t intervened. Maybe our little Sun God is going over the dark side after all…

HERA has got the long-suffering wife act down pat, but don’t let Z’s infidelity make you feel too sorry for her, ‘cause this gal has a mean streak. Ever wondered why her own son, Hephaestus, is crippled? Also, H & Z may be connected by something other than marriage – sources say they’re actually brother & sister! That would make meeting the parents a little more awkward…

DIONYSUS is a deity who will never be tamed. The God of Wine and Mystic Ecstasy, did something happen in his past that turned him into the patron God of AA? It turns out Little D has some mummy-issues, or rather, other-mummy-issues. D was born out of Zeus’ infidelity and spent most of his life hiding from the wrath of Hera. Forced to dress up as a little girl, constantly on the run, he was even transformed back into a child once he reached adulthood – no wonder he turned to the vine for comfort.

POSEIDON is our God of the Sea, however he doesn’t share his ocean love with the land or its lubbers. Constantly creating earthquakes, a little sea horse told me he’s also not afraid to set a sea monster on any fool who’s done him wrong. ATHENA our Goddess of War really is a boss ass bitch, but what made her this way? My sources tell me it all started when she was born. Whilst still in the womb, Zeus ate her pregnant mother, but that wasn’t enough to kill Athena. Nine months later she was released from Zeus when Hephaestus opened Zeus’ head with an axe! Athena sprung out, fully grown, fully armoured, and fully pissed. APHRODITE: the Goddess of Love, or should I say, Goddess of Lust. Whilst currently married to the God of Fire, she hasn’t let that stop her from having as many lovers as she pleases, with both Gods and men alike. Just be careful you don’t get burned little A. HERMES is a God who’s not afraid to cause a bit of trouble. Cunning and clever, he acts as a messenger, moving freely between the worlds mortal and divine. Also, he’s quite prone to saying a bit more than he’s supposed to…

HADES is our infamous God of the Dead. Already living in Hell, there’s not much I could say that would make his life any worse. As for his little wife Persephone, she likes to pretend she was tricked and abducted into the underworld, but we all know she craves cruelty and is no less ruthless than H himself. Also it seems that in Hell, the terms ‘wife’ and ‘niece’ are interchangeable… ARES is our God of War but he’s more known for his murderous savagery than actual skill. In fact, even though he has fought with Athena the Goddess of War on many occasions, he has never once come out victorious. What a time to be a woman! So there you have it – the top ten dirty secrets from our Olympian Deities faves. Think they could start an Upper Greek Side war? Babes, it never stopped. You know you love me. XOXO Gossip Goddess






he myth of Matthew Healy has many tantalising facets. For the sake of focus and topical bordering, his physiognomy is of primary interest here. In full knowledge of what may appear to be a facetious remark, I add another layer of specificity: his hair. To clarify, I do mean the mop on his head. There are many hairy areas to explore, all of genuine interest. Like the Ethics of Getting a Brazilian (Wax), the Politics of Dowsing your Pubes in Peroxide, or the Milieu of Trimmed Methodical Masculinity. I would hate to mislead. At the time of writing, it is the end of July, and I have spent no less than half of my holidays listening to The 1975. In the process of catching up to where the rest of my generation was over two years ago – with the release of their 39-track album – I’ve become enamoured with Healy’s hair. His hair has a mythology, and I intend to follow it, just as Barthes followed the Franciscan, “unkempt hair” of the Abbe Pierre. In his short essay – “The Iconography of the Abbe Pierre” – cultural cryptologist Roland Barthes sets out to analyse the physiognomy of the Abbe (his haircut, his beard) in order to identify the

signification it offers, and to examine the mythology the public unquestionably buys into. Matthew Healy’s hair is practically Dionysian, possessing a grape-like volume and flow. Its dangling tentacles make fingers twitch and palms sweat. His hair is a sign of rock stardom, an orchestrated mess signalling his chaotic lifestyle; Burroughs-on-tour is his mimetic mantra. That warm greasy plume sustains his throbbing image. An image steeped in back-stage snorting, front-ofhouse snogging (British for making out), and where the admonishing cries of the manager never cease. He is the master of long black curls, and maker of the gothic hipster. I know, by knowledge of simple genetic predisposition, that I will never have Healy’s hair. My genotype commands straightness (of hair), and strongly advocates for a light brown colouring – of the flattering mouse variety. Under generational pressure, I begrudgingly let my hair grow out, hoping for a tight, top-heavy quiff; or even a ruffled nestlike artifice. In the end I’m singularly comparable to a middle-aged lesbian. At nights I croon over YouTube videos of Healy careering the stage with his jet black, curly follicles of pure rock star devotion. His teenaged fans crawl towards him, busting cheeks with their elbows, and collecting skin under their fingernails. They reach for the stage with only one wish in mind: to seize a strand of dead goodness. With which they will entwine with their own, in a closelybound lock of hair, just as Lord Byron fussed over the relics of his love. In an interview with MTV, Healy explains – in his melodious North English accent – his band’s radical position in pop culture, where he’d rather be playing to a crowd of screaming teenaged girls than


an assembly of “crusty, liberal, North Londoners”. Upon hearing these words, a stark vision emerges before me. I’m in my mid-thirties, sitting on a cushioned wicker chair in my conservatory in Camden. I am routinely sipping on a cup of peppermint tea (with saucer!), and reading the latest issue of The London Review of Books. I gently place my cup on a nearby ottoman, and start mulling over the fascinating contents of the long essay before me, “Modernity and the Legacy of Millsian Utilitarianism”. I begin to inspect a struggling tomato plant, when I catch my reflection in a shady patch of glass, which somehow compels me to caress my bald head. Perhaps my desire to acquire Healy’s hairy mythology is simply a bout in wishful thinking; or a crazed, burning envy as befits the brink of madness. Perhaps it’s the frontiers of English obstinacy that separate us. I’m from Berkshire (the south), where the people sound like they’re constantly sucking on a bit of toffee; who stammer ‘sorrys’ around you, but call you a ‘cockshite’ behind your back. In my town of birth, Windsor Castle stands nearby – keeping Her Majesty cloistered within its gloomy walls – where the shrieks and yells of Glastonbury are out of earshot, and rightly out of mind. Barthes – in conclusion to his deconstruction of the saintly signs of the Abbe – expresses anxiety over the appearance of charity as incongruous to “the reality of justice”. Perhaps Healy’s mythology is just as questionable as the Abbe’s. As he tosses his hair and flays his arms, perhaps his only desire is to abandon this riotous venue, situate himself in a leather armchair, and a read Forster novel. Meanwhile, I will grow my girlish hair down to my hips, and take centre stage.


THE FALL the leaves were shed months too late and I saw the stark uncomfortable truth he said "what did you expect" I read somewhere that men destroy because they cannot create life.



CLENCH is a zine of work around the issue of sexual violence and coping with its aftermath. Its first issue is coming out this September. For more information, visit them on Facebook: Clench ~ Launch.

S.C.R.E.W. Week - an event about sexual and relational health - is week five of this term. Head to the UWA Student Guild Women's Department's Facebook page to learn more.






hildren aren’t affected by mental illnesses – all of their mood swings are just part of growing up. People with from schizophrenia are violent and unpredictable. Mental health problems are caused by character flaws and weak personality traits, and with a little bit of effort, individuals affected can snap out of it. There’s nothing you can do for someone that is suffering from a mental illness, and people are simply ‘born with it’. These statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Yet, the majority of the public have a very similar mindset when it comes to these preconceived notions. How is it that we are so misinformed about something that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), affects close to 400 million people across the globe? Usually when a person hears the words ‘mental health’, their imaginations tend to go awry in a somewhat wayward direction. Depression. Schizophrenia. Bipolar Disorder. General Anxiety Disorder. These, like many other mental health conditions, are difficult to talk about. They are enveloped in shame, vilification and stigma, with the people who have them often experiencing ongoing fear of being labelled as different.

One of the biggest obstacles for a person trying to recover from a mental illness is confronting other people’s (misguided) negative attitudes. When they see their condition portrayed in denigrating, overblown ways on-screen and in print, this becomes even more difficult.

These unfounded myths exclude individuals from our communities. Furthermore, they act as yet another barrier on the road to recovery for people that are (more often than not) suffering in silence. This may very well account for why, of the 400 million people mentioned above, only 20% actively seek treatment for their illness/es.

Let’s take a look at Jasmine’s story. Jasmine was a regular (in the classic sense of the word) middle-class girl living in the countryside. She had never experienced racism, bore witness to discrimination based on sexuality, nor known anyone that had to cope with extreme circumstances.

How is it that an entire population that is constantly acquiring more knowledge through huge advancements in science and medical research – and with the internet making this information more accessible than ever before – are still so misinformed on such a prevalent issue? Well the media doesn’t help, now does it. The news, TV shows, movies, and social media all work to shape our worldviews and perceptions with their sensationalised, shocking and sometimes downright fictitious stories about mental health. A recent t h r e e - month study on how mental health issues are portrayed in TV shows found that out of 74 television shows that dealt with topics surrounding mental health, 33 instances involved violence towards others, 53 of them illustrated self-harm, and the most commonly referred to mental health condition was depression. The study found that 63% of the references to mental health in these shows were in “pejorative, flippant or unsympathetic terms”.


Case in point: let’s talk about how the media deals with schizophrenia. Television dramas like Criminal Minds and movies like Shutter Island are exceptionally good at skewing our views on schizophrenic people and their aptitude towards violence. Contrary to these characterisations of the disorder, the National Institute of Mental Health states that most people with schizophrenia are not violent – in fact, the most violent crimes to date have never been committed by a schizophrenic individual. Though the risk of violence is greatest when psychosis remains untreated and furthermore decreases substantially with treatment, a schizophrenic person is more likely to harm themselves than anyone else.

Mental illness isn’t a choice, nor is it a fleeting condition. They can create distress, angst, desolation and are every bit as real as any other medical condition.

In her mid-to-late teens Jasmine fell ill, causing her to miss a substantial amount of a Year 12 school term. “Very quickly I became fed up and cross that this was the hand that I’d been dealt. I couldn’t understand why it was me that was unwell, why it was me missing out on school.” Jasmine was forced to drop several course selections, and in the end, could only proceed further with maths. Soon however, she lost interest in maths too and couldn’t be fussed to do much of anything at all. “Staying at home watching Friends was a much easier option,” she says. Slowly, Jasmine started feeling like she was losing her sense of self. She loved school and unlike most teens at that age, considered it her “home away from home”. “That’s why it was so strange when I actively started skipping school to sit alone in my bedroom with nothing but a TV for company.” Jasmine developed agoraphobia, and the anxiety that had been a constant presence throughout her life was now “in complete control”. It took close to nine months for Jasmine to get the diagnosis of depression. When she found out, it was a relief. There was a name for what she was feeling and how she was


acting. She wasn’t a freak. She wasn’t alone. Jasmine has been in a constant battle of dual control with herself, battling between being a happy, bubbly, excitable, lover of life, and a sad, bored, uninterested, anxious, empty shell of a person. Though she fell ill in high school she believes “it wasn’t anything that I shouldn’t have been able to handle. That’s why I believe that some people will always have a depressive tendency, and why it’s not always due to hardship.” She had a great bunch of friends and a supportive family network but “despite this, all it took was a gentle push for my angel to fall down, and depression take over”. “So often we are told that those that suffer from depression have a deeper rooted problem. We are programmed to expect anyone with depression to be victims of bullying, financial issues, abuse, sexism, racism and trauma – but that isn’t the case for everyone.” Though medication is far from the only solution for depression – often treatment comes as a custom suite of different approaches – in Jasmine’s case she was prescribed an antidepressant known as an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). The drug works by increasing the amount of serotonin (the chemical that some researchers regard as being responsible for maintaining mood balance) in your brain. This improved Jasmine’s mood, which in turn enabled her to start therapy to overcome her anxiety. She compares her battle with depression with her grandfather’s health condition, diabetes. Where he controls his chemical imbalance with insulin, she controls her chemical imbalance with serotonin. At 19 years of age, Jasmine is able to control her depression, and can even write about it – as she did for the youth mental health website Young Minds, from which this account is taken. She concludes with: “I ask that not all depression sufferers are treated like damaged goods. This is who I am – get over it.” There are many ways you can help an individual with depression. However, asking why and speculating over ‘worst case scenarios’ that may never have taken place isn’t the most practical approach to take. Simply because sometimes there is no why or when, does not make their experiences any less valid. Moreover, even if there is a ‘root cause’, knowing this may not help with recovery – which lies more in the future than in the past. We may not all be cut from the same cloth, but we all bleed red and our individual trials and tribulations (no matter how big or small) are very real. Denying, trivialising or dismissing depression are among the worst things you can do. Being on the other side of the fence, people can sometimes feel powerless as to what to do in order to help. Unfortunately, this regularly leads to either no action being taken, or wrong moves being made. For friends and family members of an individual with a mental health disorder, to be a supportive ally it is imperative that you recognise and accept the disorder, whilst maintaining a sense of normalcy between yourself and the individual in question – because in the end that’s what most of these individuals are striving

towards: normality. What’s more, with depression as the leading cause of disability across the globe, and around 1 million adults each year being diagnosed, depression is normal – unfortunate as that may be. Be open to having a conversation with them about how they’re doing, though try not to force it – if they’re not ready to talk, that’s also okay. But don’t stop trying and never give up on them. If they do want to talk, address the topic frankly, rather than skirting around it. Be inquisitive. Educate yourself through these conversations, as well as through reliable information sources as a further step towards developing an understanding that goes beyond the superficial. Just one of the many good information sources is Australia’s own Black Dog Institute – founded in 2002 by former Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who did much to break the taboo and silence surrounding mental health by going public with his own struggles with depression after having to stand down for three months from his job because of them. The social and internalised stigmas around mental health are arguably the root cause of the huge misconceptions floating around our communities, both locally and on a global scale. This leads to a lack of understanding from the most important and trusted people in the life of an individual that has a mental health disorder. This can leave them with feelings of detachment, isolation, and inevitably, shame. Setting aside the discrimination, this stigma prevents people who genuinely need help from seeking the treatment they need. Their health starts to deteriorate, their symptoms worsen, and their hopes for holding out for a better tomorrow dwindle. Debunking the myths about mental health is a vital step towards getting rid of this stigma. This doesn’t mean you have to jump onto your soap box or stage a protest. If someone says that all people with schizophrenia are violent and dangerous, and you know this not to be true (which, if you’ve come this far you definitely should!) then don’t stand in silence – correct them. If a disparaging remark is made about a person suffering from a mental health disorder, “instil a no tolerance policy and educate them”. These may seem like small inconsequential acts, but one small act by 100,000 individuals like yourself is no longer one small act, but a far-reaching movement. Just over five decades after publication, the passage from Ken Kesey’s novel still rings true: “But what you want are the reasons for the reasons, and I’m not able to give you those… Guilt. Shame. Fear. Self-belittlement. I discovered at an early age that I was—shall we be kind and say different?... And I got sick. It wasn’t the practices, I don’t think, it was the feeling that the great, deadly, pointing forefinger of society was pointing at me—and the great voice of millions chanting, ‘Shame. Shame. Shame.’ It’s society’s way of dealing with someone different.” - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest





he chants rang the streets of Ferguson, Missouri following the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August 2014. The black experience in America is a unique one where parents routinely teach their children how to appear non-threatening, non-suspicious and non-killable. In a world where we are taught innocent until proven guilty, black people do not have the privilege to be seen as harmless and must prove their innocence, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. The worrying pattern where police officers shoot first and ask questions later has emerged in recent times, highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. And perhaps this pattern has always existed, but due to the advent of social media and the lightning fast dissemination of news via platforms such as Twitter and now Facebook live, it certainly is easier to identify nowadays. The Black Lives Matter movement began following the death of 17-yearold Trayvon Martin in February 2012, after the black youth was shot, unarmed, by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Trayvon was then posthumously placed on trial for his own murder while Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder in July 2013. Three black queer women – Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi – are responsible for the creation of the viral hashtag which sparked a sociocultural movement that aims to fight “virulent anti-black racism that permeates our society”. Black Lives Matter has also been supplemented by various other social media movements. #SayHerName was a notable hashtag which was coined by the African American Policy Forum (AAFP) in February 2015, and aims to highlight the gender specific ways that anti-black police brutality affects black women, specifically queer and trans black women. The AAFP found that the death toll of black women in custody “continued to rise in 2015 with the killings of Alexia Christian, Meagan


Hockaday, Mya Hall, Janisha Fonville and Natasha McKenna”. And the list of names continues to rise with deaths of women like 29-year-old Jessica Williams, killed earlier in May this year by San Francisco police – despite the fact that she was unarmed and was not driving towards the officers when she was shot. In recent times, the use of social media as a platform for activism has been criticised as simply being a symbol for social change but not a method of real, tangible progress. Black Lives Matter has defied these labels and planted itself into the American psyche as a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps the difference is that it seeks to bring the digital revolution into physical spaces. #BlackLivesMatter is not just a guise to garner online attention, but a way to spread information, organise protests and memorialise the victims of police brutality.

But while the movement seeks to humanise the victims, mainstream media has worked hard to justify these killings. Following his death, Michael Brown was thuggified, subjected to post-mortem media violence and, as a result, became a symbol for the unjust treatment of black people both in life and death. His death was explained away by evidence showing he stole some cigarillos from a corner store. Trayvon Martin was demonised, with the media obsessing over the fact he had tattoos, had smoked weed and had gold grills. Do we get to decide who deserves to live simply due to their body art and use of recreational drugs? Do thieves and drug users deserve to be shot and killed in the street by way of extrajudicial executions by our police forces?

Do black lives really matter? In 2015 alone, 346 black people were killed by the American police. Although this number is greater for white people, when adjusted for population demographics, black people were three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people. 98% of these incidents did not end with the officer being charged with a crime. There are several key pieces of information which can be discerned from these statistics. Firstly, there is an obvious racial bias and black people have a higher likelihood of experiencing violent interactions with the police that lead to death. Secondly, there is a lack of accountability when it comes to these deaths. If black lives did matter to nonblacks, then we would not see such disproportionately violent treatment of black people especially in relation to other racial groups. One of the many reasons behind this is the antiblack stereotype of black people being easily angered, brutishly violent and dangerous. As a result, black people are more prone to be victims of racial profiling. On July 20 of this year, a social worker named Charles Kinsey was shot by the police in Miami while he was trying to pacify a 23-year-old autistic man. When he asked the police officer why he was shot, he was given the unsatisfying answer, “I don’t know”. On July 15, 24-year-old Patrick Mumford was tased within 38 seconds of cops encountering him. They were searching for a different black man named Michael Clay and despite Patrick’s protests that he was not the man they were looking for, they continued to tase him. They only checked his wallet after the fact and thereafter posited that the tasing occurred due to Mumford’s refusal to show his ID, despite their body camera footage providing evidence to the contrary. The anti-blackness double standard is particularly easy to see when you look at the differences in how white criminals


or suspects are treated by the police. On July 7, William Bruce Ray was simply arrested by Wake County police despite pointing his shotgun at oncoming traffic and even firing his .22 caliber pistol at responding officers. In contrast, Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy, was shot by police in Cleveland Ohio on November 22, 2014 because someone mistook his toy BB gun as a real gun. They didn’t even stop to check if the gun was real. This is, after all, America: plastic guns are part of the average kid’s standard toy box. Neither of the two police officers were charged for his death, despite the fact that Tamir wasn’t guilty of a crime.

make them above the law. If a police officer makes a mistake or perhaps even a deliberate choice which leads to a loss of life then that police officer should be held accountable for their actions, just like other civilians. No individual has the right to special impunity. Simply firing the officer, shuttling them to another department, or relegating them to a desk

And it’s not just comparing and contrasting individual cases which demonstrate this racist trend. A recording between two NYPD officers – Michael Birch and then captain Constantin Tsachas – in August 2012 was recently made public. In the recording made by Birch, Tsachas continuously tries to tell Birch to target “male blacks” despite Birch’s assertions that it would be correct to target everybody.

In any other profession, this kind of ‘punishment’ would be completely unjustified. Imagine if a bus driver drove above the speed limit and crashed the bus, killing the children on board. It would be unacceptable to the public if he were simply fired or transferred to drive a different bus in a different state. We would want him to be formally charged and then punished for his actions. Why, then, does the same procedure not apply to police officers who brutalise and murder people, specifically black people? Do black lives not matter enough for their loss to be seen as a serious offence?

The default criminalisation of black bodies has led to a system where trigger happy police are ready to shoot to kill in order to protect themselves from illusory dangers created by irrational and prejudice-driven fears. But this behaviour is not something we should expect from our police officers. Being a police officer is a dangerous job but it is a job that officers sign up for. Their first order of duty is to protect civilians; to minimise violence and promote social harmony. They need to be thoroughly prepared and adequately trained for the types of danger which they may face in the streets. If they must shoot in the result of extreme danger, they should have the skills to shoot to incapacitate and not to kill. And even then, using a gun against a member of the public should be a last resort – not the first choice. The lack of accountability in the above cases, and so many others, is hard to stomach. It is impossible to believe that it is morally correct to shoot and kill a black person 98% of the time. In our society, the police function as a way to maintain law and order and to protect the general public – but that does not

job is not punishment enough. In fact, it is white privilege, blatantly in play.

Before I go further, I want to acknowledge that as a non-black person of colour, I do not face the same level of racialised violence as black people. I also wish to acknowledge that many Asian communities – whilst undeniably suffering from racism and various forms of post-colonial and structural oppression themselves – are far from rid of noxious elements of anti-blackness too. In November 2014, a black man named Akai Gurley was killed by ChineseAmerican police officer Peter Liang who was then convicted of second-degree manslaughter. Over thirty protests were planned across America as Chinese people said the killing was accidental and not an abuse of power. It is important to note that while white police officers do not get charged for their anti-black crimes, Peter Liang, a person of colour, was charged and sentenced. But instead of pointing out the double standard present, protesters asserted that Peter Liang was not guilty

at all. All police officers, regardless of race, should be held accountable for violent crimes against members of the public. Instead of advocating protecting officers of colour, it would have been better to say that all police officers should be charged including non-black people of colour. Change is slowly happening. Last month, Perth held its first Black Lives Matter protest where black and Indigenous voices were centralised and listened to. Asians for Black Lives – a Twitter and letter campaign which enables the younger generation to speak to elders about targeting anti-blackness in Asian communities – has started gaining momentum in the USA and Canada. The Black Lives Matter movement is largely global and politicians worldwide have started to listen to black voices. But this change is far too slow. How many black lives will need to be lost in order for change to occur at a greater rate? How many more black people will be turned into hashtags? It is a sad world where the names of murdered black people cannot fill an 18-metre tall rectangular cube at a Beyoncé concert. So I ask once again, do black lives really matter? The answer to this questions is that yes, black lives do matter and should matter. But due to the years of anti-black racism and violent institutionalised brutality and mistreatment, black lives are not being treated as they should be: with respect and the same level of care as non-black lives. So far, 160 black people have died in America as a result of police brutality and misconduct in 2016 and we are just over halfway through the year. How many more lives will need to be lost for the community as a whole to take action? And to those who respond to the movement with the facetious response of “All Lives Matter”: stop derailing the conversation. Until black lives are treated with the same level of respect and value as others, then and only then will the phrase become something other than a lie that privileged people tell themselves, whilst they turn a blind eye to the everyday atrocities that black people face.




Our treasured campus has been home to not just homo sapiens and ibis terriblus, but also the Phasianidae family’s povo cristatus. The Indian peafowl has become enmeshed in the mythos of UWA, and I will now explain how they are responsible for some of the legends you may have heard whispered in the halls, late in the evenings of study weeks, by caffeine-crazed students inhabiting the red couches in Reid library…




Ibis > Peafowl

Old mate bluey would have beat the ibis in the annual bird boxing battle last summer, but a raven bribed a lorikeet judge who called bluey out for fowl play. This year an independent escaped exotic eclectus parrot takes over and we hope for a fairer contest.

2B pencils are critically endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list

The list is slightly influenced by the fact that 2B pencils are considered delectable by peafowl and are now almost extinct in the trade world. Global stocks have been diminished by recent late-night Amazon purchases. A library staff member with a millinery hobby is being investigated for involvement in a recently discovered stationery stockpile.

UWA wants to take all our money, fire all the staff, give us all shitty degrees and claw its way up the top 10 university list

The VC is doing all of this to recoup the money from one peafowl’s recent expensive trip to Atlantic City. When asked what the money was doing in Atlantic City, he replied “Recirculating”. He has since been confined to a sofa in the Pelly office, hugging a cushion, occasionally shouting “Damn the man, save the empire!”.

Vodka, blueberry and lime daiquiris are an excellent slushy choice

Terrible lie. Peafowl just like to sit in the trees outside the tav and watch the pretty blue green vomit leak out under the walls and laugh at your imminent ascites. Call your hepatologist soon.




f you had chamomile in your tea this morning, a ginger tablet to quell your queasiness on the bus ride to work, or slept with some lavender under your pillow last night, then you’re a participant in the cultish rise of herbal remedies in today’s modern medical world. Big questions circulate around why ancient, perhaps outdated, herbal treatments from the old world are generating such popular attention in a new world equipped with professionally trained doctors and surgeons, and technologically advanced medical tools. What is it that is so wrong about the modern medical method that causes people to refer back to the old ways of herbalism? Some might argue that it’s purely financial based reasoning. For years we have relied on the counsel of doctors and medical professionals to govern our health and well-being, often doling out considerable wads of money to solve our ailments by means of new technologies (think CAT scans, vaccines, operating theatres). For example, the average cost of an appendectomy in Australia in 2010 was estimated at $5,800 in an article by The Australian, whilst a caesarian with no complications puts new mothers back $8,000. Procedures such as these generally require at least one night’s stay in hospital which, depending on the faculty and level of insurance cover, would incur extra costs for the patient. This kind of money few of us have lying around, and it is not unusual for people to find themselves in debt after a visit to the hospital – whether this visit be the result of something as natural as childbirth or the complications of ageing, the result of an accident, or a ‘health scare’. Another concern about the modern method is that of superbugs. Growing in number and resilience, superbugs are a direct response to antibiotics advances. A result of the overuse and over-prescription of antibiotics to common, minor health problems, these drug resistant bacteria are currently baffling the medical industry, which battles against them in something of an ever-escalating chemical arms race. However, whilst the professionals go to work on finding an answer for this unexpected side effect of technological progression, increasing numbers of the public have begun to doubt their singular reliance on just one method for their health and well-being needs. Herbal remedies offer an alternative solution to dependence on mainstream medical practice. Extensive in countries of the Old World (e.g. China, India, Greece), plants and herbs were used across a host of domains including in religion, cultural ceremonies and in healing. Herbal treatments are marketed as being gentler on the body

and offering natural supplements unlikely to cause adverse side effects that involve considerable recovery time. Herbal remedies also have an advantage over modern medicines in that they have centuries’ worth of proof that they work well, providing the consumer with peace of mind about what to expect. The matter of limited knowledge and uncertainty that comes with new inventions of cures or treatments is minimised. Example applications of herbal medicine used frequently in today’s society: COMMON COLD Modern treatment: Vitamin C tablets to support the immune system, Strepsils or similar throat lozenges for sore throat, Codral or similar tablets for clearing sinuses and stopping runny noses, Cough syrup or similar for a cough. Herbal treatment: Citrus to support the immune system, lemon/honey/ginger root tea for sore throats, eucalyptus or tea tree oil for clearing sinuses, peppermint and coconut oil salve for a cough. INFLAMMATION AND MUSCLE SORENESS Modern treatment: Voltaren gel or tablets, Dencorub cream, Difflam or similar anti-inflammatory tablets, Ibuprofen or similar, warm Radox bath. Herbal treatment: Turmeric tea, aloe vera gel, white willow bark tea, lemongrass, peppermint oil, chamomile tea, and cayenne rub. Many modern medicines are plant-based or include herbal material in their composition (eg. morphine, penicillin). As such, there is undeniably a place for herbal medicine in modern day practice – not as a replacement, but as a complement. It is extremely unlikely that a cancer survivor today would have overcome the same illness centuries ago with the aid of only herbs and plants; there is a reason that the average age of death is higher today in Australia than it has ever been before. The technologies available to us today far surpass those available in the old world, but that is not to say that we cannot learn from the herbal remedies of folklore, and incorporate the knowledge of these ancient communities into our modern ones.




he 2016 election has seen the return of Pauline Hanson, the founder of One Nation, an anti-Islamic and anti-multiculturalism group. With her recent rise to as the Queensland senator, Australian Muslims have reported a rise in attacks against them. Pauline Hanson’s rhetoric has her supporters believing that they are ‘protecting’ Australia from terrorism by opposing Islam, and shouting derogatory terms like ‘rag head,’ ‘terrorist’ and ‘towel head’ at every passing Muslim woman and man with a hijab or beard. It is clear that she and her followers are halting Australia’s progression and setting our country back many years. Hanson’s followers are made up of Anglo-Australians, who have founded groups like Reclaim Australia and True Blue Crew, who say that they are “ProAustralian groups, against Islamisation, open border policies, refugees, asylum seekers and the left wing.” With their support, she is growing bigger and bigger within the Australian political scene. With many news outlets discussing her, and even endorsing her views – as was the case when the ‘famous’ Sonia Kruger from Today Extra Nine Network supported her proposed ban on Muslims – the voice of the Muslim community is becoming increasingly hard to hear. One of the many things that I have realised about Hanson and her supporters is that they suffer from the worst case of selective hearing. Every time they want to bring more hate to Islam, they mention the recent terrorist attacks such as the Lindt café siege, the Brussels airport bombing, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the Nice attack, or the beheading of the 84-year-old French priest in his church. These are



all unfortunate events and many of the Muslims that I know have prayed and cried for the victims and their families.

number of Hanson’s supporters from the True Blue Crew and Reclaim Australia group.

However, Hanson and her supporters never mention that the majority of the recent ISIS attacks have been on Muslims. These attacks disrupt any sort of peace that they may have in their countries. In 2016, ISIS executed a bombing at a police camp in Egypt, a bombing in Turkey in Sultanahmet Square, a bombing in Indonesia, a bombing in Syria which was targeting Alawite locals, three bombings targeting Yemeni military checkpoints, a bombing in an Iraqi soccer stadium, a bombing in a Kazakhstan, a gun attack in a Bangladesh café and two car bomb attacks in the Karradah district in Baghdad. The latter killed over 300 people on the last few days of Ramadan. This list hardly comes close to covering other ISIS bombings against Muslims this year.

As a Muslim-Australian who was born and raised here, it is pretty annoying to see how many racists are trying to get us out of our own country and telling us that we don’t conform to the ‘Australian way of life’. According to the national anthem, the ‘Australian way of life’ means sharing “boundless plains” with everyone, even “those who’ve come across the seas” – which would include Muslim migrants too.

The True Blue Crew and Reclaim Australia group constantly point fingers at average peace-loving Australian Muslims, claiming that we are ISIS supporters and that we have the same mentality as jihadists. They disregard the fact that many Muslims are dealing with their loved ones being killed in the Middle East, and in Australia, they’re dealing with people who think that we are the cause of all the havoc. I wonder whether they know how hard it is for some people to deal with being placed in the same category as the people who kill their families overseas on a daily basis. On the 30th of July 2016, the Australian United Against Bigotry and Racism group organised a rally against Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson and her antiIslamic ideology. I was so happy to arrive at the scene of the rally and see that the people fighting for our peace and comfort were double, if not triple, the

My parents, like many other immigrants, came to Australia in 1995, because they were seeking a better future for their children, away from Saddam Hussein’s bloody dictatorship. When they came here, they spoke broken English, yet despite that and the loss of some family members and friends under Saddam’s ruling, they did everything to make us feel comfortable. My parents found a private school for my older sisters, made sure all their fees were paid, and that we had a decent-sized house, and food and drink in our fridge at all times. They worked harder than ever, in jobs that they deserved – and like most of the other immigrants with ethnic backgrounds, my parent’s citizenship was well earned. On behalf of all the strong and motivated Muslims in Australia, I am going to say that despite our occasional discomfort at your hateful, racist and anti-Islam remarks, we are not going anywhere. We have as much right as anyone else to be living peacefully in Australia. And finally, the Muslims are not the terrorists in Australia, Pauline – the only people terrorising others on a daily basis are you and your supporters.



Braddock’s Law: A Bill of Responsibilities for the 21st Century? WORDS BY MARK ACEBO ART BY KATE PRENDERGAST


he boxing world is familiar with the story of James Braddock, famously known as the ‘Cinderella Man’. Braddock was an upcoming star in the 1920s boxing scene. However, after losing to Tommy Loughran for the 1929 light heavyweight title, his career took a turn for the worse. Previously a top contender, he was reduced to fighting in small clubs with rowdy audiences. Crowds and newspaper writers made fun of him. He broke his only good hand – his right hand, and lost money from failed bank investments due to the onset of the Great Depression. Braddock searched for any kind of work to support his family. He would walk almost five kilometres to the docks to find any work as a dockhand. If he did not find one, he would walk a further three kilometres to New York to find any kind of work at all. Cinderella Man held out for as long as he could, but the bills got to him. Property owners kicked him and his family out of their apartment so they had to live in a small basement. Braddock reluctantly put his name on welfare rolls sponsored by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. However, he did not see the welfare money as a handout – he saw it as a loan, and carefully tracked his payments. Braddock eventually met Joe Gould, a fast-talking fight promoter who took pity on him. With Gould’s help and brutal fight camps, he secured matches, and to the amazement of everyone, started winning. True to his word, he took his name off the welfare rolls, and paid back all of his welfare money. In 1934, he managed to get a fight with the reigning heavyweight champion Max Baer. Though fight analysts saw him as a 10:1 underdog, Braddock stunned the audience by beating Baer and winning the heavyweight belt.

Us millennials demand so much free stuff that we do not know how to pay for it and how much we can sustain it. “But the rich will pay for it!” says the young sociology student who just saw Soderbergh’s Che. You can only pluck feathers from the goose so much until it starts crying or doing something terrible. Young radicals continually discover new ‘rights’ that people are entitled to. How about a bill of responsibilities instead? The Parliament can call it Braddock’s Law and embed it to the constitution. Individuals and companies alike need to take on more responsibilities and not shy away from them. They must confront the reality of society and see the terrible cost of consumerism, globalisation, and the corrupt versions of free markets around the world. Governments could also learn a thing or two from Braddock and should stop declaring wars and then leaving the bill to future generations unable to adequately take care of injured veterans. Braddock’s example of responsibility, of eventually taking payments but then paying it back, is one that all of us, and big banks especially, can learn from. How are we to progress as a society when we continually pass the buck onto someone else? The buck-passing cuts across different sectors of society, but is most heavily witnessed and felt at the big end of town. Perhaps this is why many people are so afraid of freedom: it rudely and directly brings men and women with their own responsibility for their own actions. Will the 21st century James Braddock please stand up?

Contrast Braddock’s story to the failure of the US big banks on 2008. After gambling on risky subprime mortgages and creating a housing bubble, the market collapsed. Courtesy of the American taxpayers, the Bush administration was called on to enact a US$700 billion bailout of the industry. After ripping off America’s citizens for years, the banks had the nerve to compel to government to give them money after their golden boat capsized. It seems like the official policy of the big banks is socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor. Have the big banks learned their lesson? It seems like the only one they have is voting ‘yes’ to higher CEO pay and further distort-, sorry, ‘liberalisation’ of the market. Never mind that a proper free market do not have lobbyists and special interest groups that continually move the goalposts. It is not just companies, either. Certain sectors of society want even more money and welfare from the government to fix their problems and fund their ‘passions’, which mostly consist of egoistical projects which do not add a percentage of improvement to the lives of everyday working class Australians.




“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers,” spoke Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles, in an effort to cast doubt on Roman foreigners. Read today, some twenty centuries later, it sounds an awful lot like something Senator Pauline Hanson might say, begging the question of historical connectivity. Historian Plutarch was interested in such incidences of similar character, comparing twenty-three pairs of great figures in his 1517 work Parallel Lives. For all his profiling however, Plutarch never compared two figures of the same name, thus making the Paul/Pauline split something of a novelty. Spiritual onomastics – the mythic study of names – suggests such a feature might be significant, since people with the same name happen to be very more than likely to share in other qualities. As such, we can benefit dearly from examination of the myth of Pauline’s Pauline source, and how the two figures might reflect one another. To start, an oratory self-awareness marks each character. “I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge”: the words are Paul’s, but the sentiment could just as easily be Pauline’s. What Paul lacked in natural rhetorical ability he made up for with high energy and enormous intellect. One thinks of Pauline – her essential bewilderment, soft-spot for partial sentences, and how she manages to coat her speech in crooning violence; delivering spirit-stirring parliamentary diatribes in just the style of the illustrious young apostle.

then he might as well have been a heathen. Pauline needed no such conversion, having been true to God from the day of her birth in 1954. Before he was westernised as Paul, Paul the Apostle was Saul of Tarsus. Pauline was never Sauline, and would be appalled at the change. She was borne in the small town of Ipswich, settled in the 1820s, formerly belonging to the Warpai tribe. She has never been to Tarsus, which is quite far east. I cautiously assert that Paul would have been a touch too dark for Pauline’s liking. Both have been described to have “red florid” features – applying to Pauline’s hair, but Paul’s face by the Latin version of the Acts of Paul and Thecla.

Paul and Pauline further share a tense relationship with Islam. Sunni polemics describe Paul as deliberately corrupt, attempting to lead the Prophet astray. Most Islamic theologians today outright reject his Epistles as authoritative scripture. Pauline, in turn, has been outspoken on the ‘threat’ of Muslims. Her onethousand-five-hundred-word exegetical treatise (and policy sheet) on the religion, curtly titled ‘Islam,’ faces similar disapproval – but far greater scorn – from wider community.

Even post-conversion, the true value of Paul’s writings to the way of Christianity can be challenged. In the 16th century his word was used extensively by Martin Luther in forwarding the Protestant reformation. Arguably, this opened the floodgates of denominationalism, therefore weakening the Christian Empire. The fluidity of the Faith post-Luther can be said to have precipitated religious over-tolerance, and allowed the alleged ‘influx’ of Muslims which so concerns Pauline today.

Both figures are passionate crusaders for Christianity. Pauline fights tirelessly to maintain Australia as a ‘Christian Nation’, and ensure the safety of White Australia. Paul, equally devout, sought to convert Romans to the Way, and is the assumed author of 14 of the 27 New Testament books. Both have, in their own ways, suffered for their mission and cause. Paul found poverty and reproach; Pauline is not foreign to the latter. Scott Morrison (while bearing no onomastic relation to root -Paul) speaks of the Hanson view: bigotry is alive and well in the anti-Christian sentiment. Pauline is made demon, but in her antiphony with the Apostle finds herself improved and approved.

Has this exercise been fruitful? Perhaps not. Treasured UWA alum Tim Minchin and his atheist ilk will tell you the scriptures are false, and insist any attempts to draw historical comparisons between biblical and contemporary figures is a waste of paper. And yet the absurdity surrounding Hanson as a public figure perhaps arouses some of the same mythic stuff that makes up the study of spirituality. The Good Book is no more false (or true, or mythic or absurd) than what we casually refer to as absolute reality. The cycles of Paul exist as much as the policies of One Nation do, in that history will inevitably become myth, or no more verifiable than myth. Pauline stands an allegorical challenge, firehaired and fire-breathing, of as yet unwritten Australian History. Watching her now, you realise what a credible human presence Paul is on the page.

As for differences? Pauline is glaringly more pious than her Paul-ine progenitor. According to the New Testament, Paul was actually involved in the persecution of early followers of Jesus. Not until he was struck down by a vision of Jesus on a jaunt to Damascus did he convert, and this wasn’t until the year 31. Up to






ith the rise of such polarising figures such as Donald Trump and the return of Pauline Hanson, one might be both scared and confused as to how figures like this rise on the platform of racism and petty nationalism. Yet similar figures can be seen to have been delivered by the public into office across history. What yokes them together is their success in constructing, either intentionally or unintentionally, a cult of personality. Of course, the most glaring examples of this come from Hitler’s rise in Germany and Mussolini in Italy. Even today however there are some very obvious, and some more subtle, examples of cult of personalities being forged, from North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Hitler’s rise was engineered both through a personality cult as well as the careful exploitation of events, which helped him promote his image and attack his enemies. For instance, the collapsing economy during the Great Depression was used by Hitler and his party to attack foreign nations and the democratic institutions of the Weimar Republic. ‘All good things led to Hitler, and all Hitler things led to good’ was the message hammered home by Nazi propaganda. This carried through such that the reoccupation of the Rhineland was a show of Hitler's daring leadership, and the annexation of the Sudetenland, Hitler’s military genius. The power of this cult grew to such mythic scale, high-ranking detractors within the Nazi party were powerless to remove him, and Allied leaders understood that an assassination would only lead to his martyrdom. Any failings of his were recast as either the lies or failings of his nonsupporters. Such scapegoating continues to this day – Holocaust-deniers still exist, and the fact that Hitler’s military didn’t win the war is put not to his poor judgement, but the weakness of his generals. A key characteristic of a personality cult is the ability to shift blame. We see this in Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson, both in their directly blaming of minority groups

(as Senator Sam Dastyari said in Q&A to Hanson – “first it was the Aboriginals, then it was the Asians, now it is the Muslims”) or more indirect blaming of those whom they believe are merely pandering to minority whims. This division of ‘us’ and ‘them’ creates a climate of division and distrust, such that those feeling alienated and disaffected from the mainstream culture are more likely to cling to the more radical rhetoric put forward by such figures. These demagogues create myths, lies and slander, and direct it at ‘the enemy’ in order to grow their own power bases on the fear and disenfranchisement of the citizenry. When people are angry and afraid, the will look for someone to blame – and it is easiest to blame those at the margins, more ‘visible’ – and hence targetable – for their differences.

The Italian Fascist party controlled its presentation carefully, always ensuring Mussolini appeared to be the powerful leader the cult demanded. Media was banned from reporting his birthday and illnesses (mirrored in reportage of Cuban and North Korean leaders), so as to continue the idea of il Duce’s youth and god-like health. They would leave the light on in his office even when he was asleep to present him as the tireless martyr, working ever towards the betterment of his beloved nation. They also evoked the heritage of the Roman Empire by using the Fasces (a bundle of rods with a projecting axe blade, used as a symbol of power for Ancient Roman magistrates) both as name and emblem to tie them to grandeur of the

Empire and Consuls of antiquity. Similarly, Mussolini’s invasion of North Africa was a deliberate resurrection of the Punic Wars, undertaken to claim lands that were “rightfully” theirs. Putin’s term as President of Russia and current Prime Minister has seen him made into media icon as a real ‘Man’s man’. Freely churned out in vast, memeable quantities are images of Putin out fishing shirtless, going hunting, working out, and other such archetypally masculine activities. This is much like Mussolini’s selective presentation, who proclaimed participation in many sports and pastimes that exuded power and prestige. Putin has also harkened back to the Soviet Union and Stalin, using Stalin’s own cult of personality to strengthen his position and consolidate his image as leader no less commanding than Stalin was seen to be. This recalling of Soviet imagery also allows him to recall the division between East and West and so legitimise an expansion of Russian land – evidenced with the taking of Crimea, as both a reclamation of old Soviet land and an attack on Western nations. Such conquest also enables a show of Russian might, creating strength and unity among the Russian people. We can see that cults of personality are certainly not a relic of the past, and to recognise this is the first step in combatting them. When you hear these ‘inspirational speakers’, fact-check them. When you see articles reinforcing stereotypes or negativity, fact-check them. If you find they are flawed or just pure myth, don’t leave them unbusted – bring that message to the people, let them know. Not only must we dispel these fictions, we also have to create a more equitable and accepting society. Those who feel disenfranchised need to be listened to and supported – to do otherwise it only to feed the cult of personality. We must unite together as humans, not buy into division, and support those that feel disaffected by the current political climate lest the cyclic cult of personality continues unchecked.





arold didn’t comprehend time anymore. He could not estimate how long he had been incarcerated; he knew no neither day nor night, only darkness. Since that rather choppy afternoon at Cheviot Beach, Harold had no idea where he was. After first waking he thought he had napped, and was still waiting for his eyes to adjust when he became aware that something was wrong. Very wrong. Zara was nowhere near; he was in unfamiliar surrounds, and the darkness, oh the darkness. Panic crept in, slowly at first, then in a torrent, gripping his heart and lurching his stomach. He grappled wildly around him, unsure if he was blind or simply in pitch-black. He called out, at first to Zara, and then to anyone, anything. There was no reply. Soon came the confirmation of his confinement: his senses identified the sound of a series of shifting locks, followed by blinding light. A human-shaped figure loomed, uttering things in a tongue he had not heard before, and clattering on the floor a meagre meal that he could not see – only touch, taste and smell. Fumbling madly about for the paltry rations, he knocked over the cup of water he had been given. Twenty-seven such meals he counted since waking after his dalliance on Cheviot Beach. Yet what this meant in days, he could not calculate – sometimes the meals came frequently; sometimes he went hungry so long that his stomach ached with terrible pain, and his head throbbed for lack of water. Hugging himself, he could feel his ribs cutting more and more into his arms – he was getting thinner. His cell was roughly nine by nine feet, roughly hewn into rock. He was not in luxurious accommodation. Harold knew not why he should continue on. He had given up hope of seeing Zara again, or Marjorie of the spicy-hot legs. Oh poor, sweet Zara, you did not deserve such dishonesty! In the dark, he screamed for her forgiveness. He didn’t care about the war anymore, or the commies, the ALP, the rats in his own ranks, anything. He no longer cared about life. But he cared about Zara. It was for her that he would not give up; he knew that in his place, she would not. It was whilst quietly contemplating their wedding day that he heard the door open again. Clenching his eyes shut and cowering in the cell’s furthest corner, he braced himself for the influx of light that his eyes, sensitive as they were due to deprivation of light. “Get up, Australian PM,” a voice said in an accent that Holt could only presume was Indochinese. This was the beginning. Oer the next few months Harold Holt, captive of the North Vietnamese Army, was taken on an extensive tour of North Vietnam. He visited vast cities and tiny hamlets; all devastated by US air power. He saw civilians burnt, houses destroyed, mothers weeping, and children with thousand-yard stares that seemed to see into his very soul. He saw it all. His captors treated him well, providing him three meals a day and a mattress every night. He also learnt of their doctrine. He learnt about Ho Chi Minh and the revolution that was still ongoing in Vietnam. He knew all of this


history. He knew about the Japanese, and the French, and the US – but never like this. He read Mao; he began to pick up bits of Vietnamese and converse with his captors. Accompanying him always was an NVA soldier, who referred to himself only as ‘Ngo’. Through his travels and conversations, in broken Vietnamese and broken English) with Ngo, he grew an appreciation for Vietnam, its people, and its struggles. Gradually, he began to see the error of the US-led military efforts in Vietnam. When he confided this to Ngo, his captor looked at him and said: “It’s time”. Ngo blindfolded Harold, assuring him that it was for his own protection. Harold trusted him. He was the one friend he could rely on. Together they journeyed for a day and a half, with Holt bundled for the most part in the back of an old jalopy. Gathering bruises as he was bounced along the pothole-ridden roads, Harold once again contemplated his relationship with Zara. He wondered what she was doing now, if she had moved on. He felt as if he were now in a different world, in a different dimension. She didn’t feel real anymore. When they finally arrived at their destination, Ngo led Holt to a chair and removed his blindfold. The room which appeared before him was dimly lit, with stone floors. A figure smoking a cigarette slouched in the corner, partially obscured by the shadows dominating the room. “This is him,” Ngo said in Vietnamese. The figure stepped forward and after a moment Holt recognized him – Vo Nguyen Giapp, Ho Chi Minh’s second in command. “You are going to help us, PM?” Giapp asked, taking a long drag of his cigarette. “I- I have seen much of your country, and your people,” Holt said shakily. “I understand the wrongdoings of my government’s policies, and those of America. I-” At that moment Holt’s speech was interrupted by a sharp whistling sound. Seconds later, the roof caved in. Noise and chaos raged, before all went very, very dark. Holt woke covered in bits of cement and soaked in blood. He couldn’t move his legs. He went to pat them and discovered to his horror that his right leg had been shorn off. He thought of Zara once more. Then all went dark. The ‘oh I am now dead’ kind of darkness.



FILM REVIEWS upon a sincere love of musical creativity, and the power of emotive storytelling through song. It has a fairly mediocre coming-of-age plot; the protagonists sticking it to the high school bullies, jamming out with an amateur pop band, and performing stagey attempts to get the girl.

SING STREET Director John Carney Starring Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor & Mark Mckenna From John Carney, director of Once and Begin Again, Sing Street is yet another film to draw

Sing Street takes place during Ireland’s recession, as we follow the survival of 14-year-old Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) in transition to an inner city public school. Here he crosses paths with his fellow misfit band mates, and the muse of his songs, Raphina (Lucy Boynton), a character that heavily exudes the ‘manic pixie dream girl’ persona. Songs such as "Drive It Like You Stole It" and “To Find You”, tailored for the film by lyricist Gary Clark, complement the perky, heartfelt, and memorable 80s soundtrack. During the screening I went to, the film’s moments of straight-up awkward teen business seemed to grab the audience (particularly older viewers) at their funny

totally re-energised the spy thriller and forced other, larger, franchises to grimly sip their martinis, and take a long hard look in the mirror. Case in point: the Bourne movies exposed 2002’s dire Bond flick Die Another Day for what it really was – an act of selfparody of Austin Powers-level proportions. No wonder they called up Daniel Craig and started from scratch.

JASON BOURNE Directors Paul Greengrass Starring Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones & Alicia Vikander As far as blockbuster franchises go, the Bourne trilogy really is a cut above the rest. Robert Ludlum’s Cold War novels seem to have been tailor-made for the post-9/11 world of faceless terrorism, mass surveillance, ‘enhanced



and widespread paranoia. Director Paul Greengrass’ use of gritty, shaky-cam realism


But do we really need another Bourne movie? The original trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum) is tight and self-contained, and Matt Damon was famously reluctant to return to the franchise without Greengrass at the helm. And the less said about 2012’s Damon-less The Bourne Legacy, the better. Full disclaimer: I haven’t seen it – but let’s face it, neither have you. Jason Bourne sees Damon return to his breakout role alongside an impressive cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Riz Ahmed, and Vincent Cassel. The film’s rather bland title hints that the focus will be rather more personal than the earlier films, with the titular hero resurfacing to uncover secrets about his past. Bourne spends the film country-hopping across Athens, Berlin, London and Las Vegas, all the while avoiding the clutches of vengeful CIA Director Bob

bone. Personally, I was a little unconvinced by this depiction of the 80s, finding that the





Street misaligned with the film’s context and ultimately disrupted the immersive experience of the story. Added to this is a strange meeting of styles at the end of the film, as the last scene shifts into a sudden, borderline fantasy pop music video experience. The conclusion is puzzling; a getaway dingy caught in a shoddy CGI storm does not sit well next to the film’s mainly naturalistic style. Despite these oddities, Sing Street’s talented cast manage to deliver a uniquely upbeat twist on a story we’ve all seen before. I’d advise you to avoid the trailer if possible: it's best to go into the film with an appetite for laughter, and nothing else. REVIEW BY GABBY LOO

Dewey (Jones). And, of course, nothing is as it seems. This is probably the slickest film of the franchise; the action sequences are tense and well-coordinated. However, whereas the earlier films were always ahead of the curve when it came to themes of government surveillance, this instalment feels like it’s playing catch-up. Plotlines involving murky social media ethics and thinly-disguised imitations of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden are all thrown into the mix, but are ultimately underdeveloped. Actors like Riz Ahmed and Vincent Cassel are wasted in undercooked minor roles, and Tommy Lee Jones’ CIA Director Dewey comes across as ludicrously evil – more focused on catching Bourne than, y’know, stopping actual terrorists. Meanwhile the film’s climax sees it veer dangerously close to Fast and Furious territory, as Bourne and Cassel's unnamed assassin careen across Vegas in a high-octane car chase seemingly cut-and-pasted from another movie entirely. Jason Bourne is a movie being pulled in too many directions, by too many loose plot threads. Finally, it just feels a little passé; the audience knows that our present reality is far worse than the world depicted on screen.



THE LEGEND OF TARZAN Director David Yates Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou & Jim Broadbent The Legend of Tarzan reboots Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic ‘man versus nature’ story of a young Anglo-Saxon man raised by apes in the deep African jungle. This iteration of the text sees Tarzan – now ‘civilised’

SUICIDE SQUAD Director David Ayer Starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtenay, Cara Delevigne, & Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje In the trailers, Suicide Squad comes across as a fun and edgy superhero film, following in the same vein as Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy – brighter and simpler than the grim whirlwind of Batman v Superman.

Alexander Skarsgård (Tarzan/ John Clayton) and Margot Robbie (Jane Clayton) are both solid in their roles, while Christoph Waltz plays the slimy and villainous Leon Rom very well. Samuel L. Jackson is however horribly miscast as a well-spoken and level-headed American envoy who has little impact on the events of the plot. An actor known for his screen energy, in Tarzan, Jackson is mostly monotone, philosophical and subdued. Visually, the film is dominated by Snyderesque colour grading, which washes out the bright colours of the African jungle in favour of a brooding grey. Furthermore, the film’s CGI is downright awful for a $180 million picture, causing a frustration during key climactic scenes. In both its narrative and visuals The Legend of Tarzan borrows from

the dark superhero epic craze, ultimately making it feel rehashed and unoriginal. It is also badly pitched; the ‘light’ M rating (PG13 in America) serves as a middle-of-theroad option, appealing neither to families nor those after a dark thriller. Colonialism is featured prominently throughout the film, with slavery and the destruction of the natural environment paramount to the plot. Despite this, the film arguably tries to distance itself from the inherent racism of its source material. This is not only unfortunate (with race-relations at the forefront of conversation), but also culture-blind. To make a film that is uncritical about the suffering of millions of black Africans through the eyes of a white man – who is moreover ‘king’ of black territory – is to consolidate colonial myths and forfeit on the modern responsibility to challenge them. Were people really itching for a big budget Tarzan movie? Did this already problematic story really need such a weak revival? Whilst the end result isn’t awful, it is hard to recommend it to any particular demographic. REVIEW BY MATT MALTMAN

However, the premise was shaky from the outset. To have villains teaming up to take down evil, rather than heroes, was a risk audiences were never guaranteed to buy.

have great chemistry with each other, and

In its first half, the film works well. Setting up all of our bad guys in visually flamboyant intros, we meet our eccentric troupe of freaks and criminals: Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Boomerang (Jai Courtenay), Enchantress (Cara Delevigne), and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).

often, begging the question of why he’s

At exactly the halfway mark however, the movie falls apart almost completely, settling for a faceless villain army and a generic doomsday plot. Too much happens too fast, and the scenes jump from flashbacks to the present, back and forth. The result is nauseating. As the movie goes on, we find our standout characters easily, with others either underused or misguided in their motivations. Deadshot, Harley Quinn and El Diablo have the most development, the biggest cut of screen-time, and the best scenes in the movie by far. Will Smith and Margot Robbie


and under his European birth-name John Clayton – return from London to the land of his childhood. Where previous renditions of Tarzan have been mostly aimed at children, favouring a camp and lighthearted tone, this film is notably grittier. In doing so, it marches in step with Hollywood’s new habit of remaking existing works of fiction with darker themes for more mature audiences.

Jay Hernandez has the best acting moments. Jai Courtenay’s Boomerang is fun to watch, but he’s useless in a fight and runs away there. And this a question I ask the rest of the Suicide Squad: why are they there? The fact is, writer-director David Ayer spends too much time trying to explain who these characters are and why they are doing what they need to do. As a result, the film fails to deliver on fluent storytelling and consistent character development. Ultimately, Suicide Squad suffers from the same problems as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman – misleading trailers and too many cooks in the kitchen, with the end result being less than the sum of its parts. Trying to be DC’s big bang that will right them on a course of hits, and for whatever the behindthe-scenes reason, Suicide Squad turns out to be just being a messy, average superhero movie. REVIEW BY CHRISTOPHER SPENCER






Myths of Life Perpetrated by Disney Films.









People will be able to tell when you lie by involuntarily bodily growth. Well, so far my ankles have never swollen from untruths. From fluid retention, yes.

There are only two lives for a woman domestic slave and princess. There is only the house of your father and then the house of your husband. But could not Cinderella have left and become a salaried scullery maid?



The monarchy is naturalised by the myth that royalty is in the bloodline; the truth will out, the sword will out.

Children are special, and will be protected from life by grown-ups until they are ready for it. But lovely magical ladies do not often rescue lonely children, especially ones being tortured in off-shore detention facilities.

The stories of black people are valued by capitalism. However, to make them more palatable, they must be represented as cartoon animals.






uring the period of modernity in Western Europe, the ambitious woman artist had to negotiate a challenging liminality – producing work that was both avant-garde, while at the same time holding onto her respectability. For the bourgeois woman, respectability was the most valued component of her existence. Most known female artists of the period were women of the bourgeoisie – white, middle to upper-class ladies. Berthe Morisot, a nineteenth-century painter of the original Impressionist school in France, was of this class. Morisot famously painted predominantly domestic scenes - artworks set in ‘spaces of femininity’. She is included in Griselda Pollock’s seminal essay on women artists in the public sphere during the period of Modernity, wherein she argues that women artists painted ‘feminine’ scenes because, due to their class and gender status, they were not permitted in the ‘masculine’ public spaces. In ‘Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity’, Pollock argues that “to enter such spaces as the masked ball or the cafeconcert constituted a serious threat to a bourgeois woman’s reputation and therefore her femininity”. Caroline Champetier’s Berthe Morisot (2013) privileges Pollock’s perspective; there is no setting within the film that is not domestic or domesticated, with each scene taking place in one of the characters’ homes or village neighbourhoods. The only exceptions to this rule are the visits of the Morisot sisters Berthe (Marine Delterme) and Edma (Alice Butaud) to the


Paris Salon; a space that sits uncomfortably on the fence of public and private. Berthe Morisot depicts the eponymous artist in what is known as a künstlerroman, portraying Morisot during an extended period of artistic growth. The film is selfconsciously feminist and the dialogue strays into heavy-handed demonstrations of Morisot’s unconventional ambition. Perhaps lines like “Mother is right; I am a highly strung woman who rejects marriage on the pretext of being an artist” are losing something in their translation. Substandard script aside though, the structure of the film ends up failing to bear out its own feminist ideals. The first scene moves the sisters from a heaving train platform to the Salon, where crowds push to see the risqué Edouard Manet painting ‘Olympia’. Though they often visit the Salon to sketch, the women are reminded of the liminal respectability of their being there (despite their own paintings hanging alongside Manet’s in the ‘M’ room) when a man in the crowd dispatches them, telling them that “it’s not for young eyes”. This chiding banishment reminds the viewer, as well as the sisters, that a bourgeois woman at this time of fluctuating social rules had to be ever-vigilant about her social image. On display here are two types of private life made public through art. There is the subaltern, dangerous life of the sexualised woman painted by a man; a private life and sexuality literally exposed, as in ‘Olympia’. The model of a painting like this would likely be perceived as living an immoral existence. On the other hand, the bourgeois woman was

expected to find this world totally alien. She had a private life of drawing room activities, house-calls, children, reading. Morisot hung domestic scenes – depicting moments of tenderness and moments of boredom – alongside portraits of naked, public women. When she dissolved those boundaries, she did something revolutionary. Because of the focus on the domestic, we are presented with a version of history from the perspective of bourgeois women – of civil war as well as art history. However, the hastiness of the plot undermines the value of this perspective. The film rushes through a full eight years of Morisot’s life – from the beginning of her association with Manet, to when she is obliged to relinquish her passion for him (as it’s represented in the film) for her marriage to his brother. This portrait of an artist is therefore bookended with the meeting and losing of a man. The film itself constantly draws attention to the way that the fictionalised Manet patronises Morisot’s art, casting her as a muse only. Yet the closing scene shows Morisot being painted by him again, rather than creating herself. For all its feminist overtures, the film ascribes a significant amount of Morisot’s development as an artist to her relationship with Manet. It is not that these two roles - muse and creator cannot coexist in one person, but rather that this film claims to value Morisot as an artist, while it structurally privileges her work as a model.




Mythical personalities and the inflation of ego can happen within any genre; there are instances of supremely glorified artists in every niche of the music industry. However, the biggest examples currently occur within the rock, Top 40 pop and rap/hip hop genres - arguably the three largest sectors of general music consumption overall. Most of the time, this is a self-constructed personality, in which the artist will create a version of themselves that fits in with the style of music they make, or the illusion they wish to give to fans. The late Prince kept a mysteriously cool exterior which matched well with his funk sound; Freddie Mercury was the flamboyant leader of a similarly flamboyant arena prog-rock behemoth, despite being a quiet man in downtime. On a smaller

scale, face-painted musicians in angrylooking heavy metal bands often turn out to be the kindest, most open people in the world, whereas commercial pop princesses can be caught up in a circle-jerk of white feminism and ‘girl squads’ (looking directly at you, Taylor Swift). In addition to these self-styled personas, artists also experience personality projection from fans and critics alike. After releasing an incredible album or bursting onto the international scene, a musician may quickly create a fanbase which has certain expectations of the artist based on their music. Sometimes musicians can fall into these expectations, letting their fanbase’s projected ego become a part of pop culture – take Kanye or Noel Gallagher. At other times, they can choose to resist them. Talented musicians that ascend to god-tier status will inevitably be placed on a pedestal by fans and critics; whether they adopt the personality-based expectations that outsiders force upon them is another question entirely. One of the quintessential instances of this projectional combo of both fan and self-illusion comes alongside the concept of boybands. Specifically formulated groups of young men are assigned personalities by executives – the cute one, the brooding one, the sexy one – and are expected to dress and behave accordingly (whilst keeping within the group’s PG-13 rating, of course). These assigned personalities might be completely disconnected from their own, yet to promote the group’s ‘diversity’ and be able to cater to a wider fanbase of (mostly) teenage girls, each member has to embody this mythical personality 24/7. Think of One

Direction, *NSYNC, the Beatles; on an even bigger scale, think of South Korea’s mass manufacturing industry of K-Pop boybands like Super Junior and BIGBANG. Posters on tween walls promote a vicious cycle in which fans develop further expectations of how members of their favourite boybands should behave, sing and perform; which, when coupled by pressure from musical execs over years of performing, creates the perfect storm for an insanely toxic environment.


t this point, it’s a given that the music industry is filled with big personalities. Key milestones such as the ‘creation’ of classic rock and roll, the growth of Motown and the underground – and subsequently above ground – spread of punk rock gave birth to notable musicians with extravagant personalities; whether that be through a big-hearted exterior, or an infamously rebellious aura, that either themselves or their fans have projected. However, it’s often extremely hard to distinguish the myth from the legend; there is a severely blurred line that separates how much of a musician’s outward personality is actually themselves, and how much is a larger-than-life illusion put on for show to please a fanbase or to sell records. Music consumers are no less complicit in this creation and perpetuation of myths than the artists – sometimes leading to destructive and explosive consequences when the facade breaks.

Again, breakaway members from groups often cite the immense pressure they were under to uphold a mythic personality, and the poor mental health such a dichotomy has caused over time. A modern example is ex-1D member Zayn Malik, who famously was the first to leave Simon Cowell’s group early last year. His (tweeted) reason for leaving and signing a solo contract with RCA was that “it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who i really am! #realmusic [sic]”, as well as endless touring and the pressure of keeping his private life out of his public one. This, he believes, has led to his diagnosis of severe social anxiety and consequent fear of live performance. Any way you cut it, upholding an onstage and in-public persona for the length of your musical career is as tiring as it is unhealthy, both mentally and physically. It pays to remember that musicians are just humans too, with internal personalities that may match or differentiate from their external musical style. It’s virtually impossible for anyone to be a myth – at best they can only be talented people on a pedestal, extraordinary ego to boot.



refreshingly ambitious instrumentals which Q rides relatively well, but without taking risks. I’d love to hear him come further out of his shell on future projects.


8/10 You’re trapped in a small, dark room and the air is thick and humid. Thoughts of last summer and the scent of her long, red hair are on your mind (how is it so soft?) I mean, R. Kelly would be proud of this album. He doesn’t even have no chill, he just does what he wants, like the random guy dancing at the corner of the party. But boy… does he dance well! I bet he uses oatmeal soap to wash his body and remembers to put spirulina in every smoothie. He’s bioluminescent; my friend told me so. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants. He does what he wants.


6/10 As a pretty avid fan of Q’s 2014 Oxymoron, a release that kept on giving with humble hits and repeated listens, I approached Blank Face LP with expectations that were not entirely met. What the album gains through a star-studded roster of up-and-comers such as Vince Staples and Anderson .Paak (yes laawd) as well as veterans E-40 and Kanye West (ok ok ok ok) is concurrently lost through its disorganised structure. Coming from parent label Top Dawg Entertainment, the home of Kendrick Lamar & Ab Soul, which prides itself on conceptually unique projects, it was a shame that Q was unable here to extend beyond his increasingly uncharismatic ‘dope-dealing’ motif. In the dynamic industry of contemporary hip hop where YG, another West Coast gangsta rapper, can present a contentious “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” single, it is no longer sufficient to many fans of the genre for a trailblazer like Q to resign himself to one-trick lyrics – what this record fundamentally lacks is thematic diversity. Perhaps the most telling example of Q’s creative drought comes in the form of the LP’s title track, which finds Q completely eclipsed by contributions from feature artist Anderson .Paak, who is definitely one to watch (seriously, see him at Listen Out this September). Production on the LP is handled by everyone from Sounwave to Tyler the Creator, resulting in some



Attention freegans! You might have thought that six-pack of purple Gatorade was a good score, but the dumpster diving angels haven’t blessed you like they’ve blessed Marc Rebillet of Dallas, Texas. He found an unreleased, unpolished and unclaimed album allegedly from everyone's favourite folk-pixie, Sufjan Stevens. Aptly entitled Stalker, the lo-fi piece runs for 16.5 minutes in total, and is comprised of tracks like "I Know Where Your Kids Go To School", "U Kan Wrun But You Kan’t Hyde" and "I Got A Good View From Where I’m Standing". Nobody is quite sure if this is a legit find or a sham that cometh from the folk lord Stevens himself, but the proof seems to be in the 4-day-old-but-still-good-I-swear-it-came-from-the-bins-of-thefancy-health-food-store-up-the-road-pudding. Tracks such as "Keep All The Mace Inside" feature the unmistakable airy, gentle vocals of Steven's, and as a record label representative said in a statement released concerning the album: “Like any great musician, Sufjan writes a ton of music. 99 percent of it is unreleased for whatever reason. Sometimes you just have to trust the smurfjam." (Yum.) And trust in the smurfjam we do, because it sounds like something that real jam turns into once it’s ripened in a woolies bin for a few days. If I’m gonna be honest, I'd say give this album a spin if you're a die-hard Steven's fan who’s likely to find comfort in knowing that even Sufjan himself recorded some real crap before the beautiful music we came to know and love. Even the record label stated that "If it was in the trash, it was there was a reason." Hey, we all gotta start somewhere.




Despite its festive, communal exterior and all-star guest list spanning everyone from Danny Brown to Biz Markie to Father John Misty to Royal Trux’s Jennifer Herrema, the album is best suited to intimate listening, for reasons as plethoral as its number of samples. Could-be bangers like “Subways”, with its carefree groove, are instead used as diegetic parts of the Wildflower world, playfully tossed in and out of the foreground through a whole lot of high and low-pass filtering that makes it difficult to actually dance to. Almost every track is framed around unending field effects and dialogue. It’s a musical story about parties rather than music for parties. Even “Frankie Sinatra”, the album’s most realised pop song, is too comfortable in its own unfitting skin to ever become an uncontentious hit. They may keep the same hypersensory presentation, but The Avalanches seem generally more assured and coordinated than they did back in 2000. Where Since I Left You was a highly cohesive hour-long selection of skiffly schizophrenic repetition, Wildflower boasts an Olivia Tremor Control-esque willingness to constantly and seemingly randomly play around with its own pacing. The lines between songs are now quite thick — they more often than not contain distinguishable and relevant poetic ideas. Many of the tracks involve extended periods of ambience and world-building, and this greater amplifies the impact of moments when rhythm is allowed a place at the forefront. It’s clear from the block-colour album artwork: there’s simply more room for contrast here. Mercury Rev’s lead mutineer Jonathan Donahue appears on three of the songs, and they show off arguably his most effervescent vocal presence since “Bronx Cheer” (“tell her I don’t care“) way back in 1993. “Colours” is psychedelia itself, seeming pastoral and varnished without having to go get the guitar out. Donahue exudes curiosity over the sound of memories overlapping with a plaintive contentment. “Kaleidoscopic Lovers” makes its mark painting an image of comfy bedtime divinations churning with borderline perversions. “Harmony” is instantly remarkable, a universal tribute to sound and friendship. The fact that this song has been written and released is something to be glad about. Conversations on the nature of shared feelings are far more rewarding than arguments. “Harmony” is proof.

The last five minutes of this event unveil the depressed monologuist David Berman, here in the background all along, a conductor of everything, orchestrally and electrically. The track, “Saturday Night Inside Out”, chronicles its namesake phenomenon, the thwarting existential force that sometimes shows its face when you’re trudging around with fellow midnight souls on the back end of a house party you just know you’ll be internally harping on given two and a half weeks. It’s the spitting image of what weekend escapism and romantic nostalgia mean in the 21st century and the album’s most essential cut. If there’s anything worth questioning here at all, it’s that the album deals with such extroverted subject matter that it being a highly personal experience makes me feel that there’s some height it hasn’t quite reached. A handful of the tracks I haven’t mentioned are cheesy to the point where their potential to unify uncertain social situations is shattered. If this was avoided, Wildflower could have been downright venerable, an icon for all of us internet children to freely fall back upon on weekends and holidays. Still, music that explores positive emotions in a meaningful and consistently evocative way is rare. The Avalanches have succeeded the most at remaining timely, retaining their crowded, multigenerational aesthetic, showing awareness of the uglifying decoction that’s been our society during the sixteen years it’s taken, and still coming up with music that convincingly embodies happiness.


The truest moments happen all at once, like fireworks offset by flying monster trucks, or sitting on a sunny desert cliff flanging a guitar at a cutie’s side, or being a kid blowing bubbles underwater in the deep end of the pool at Bold Park. Little things worth bragging about to yourself later on. The initial hearing of Wildflower sits among these deceptively confined experiences. It is an audaciously cinematic soundtrack fitting nothing in particular – but its sweeping synaesthetic kaleidoscopes can crop up your deepest, unrealest teenage dream-memories. This right here is the ultimate unshareable ode to the open road, bureaucracy’s mighty absence, a bird’s-eye view of youthful fun’s lifelong imprints.

PELICAN MIXTAPE 1. Howard Shore – “Evenstar” (The Two Towers OST) 2. The Flaming Lips – “Race For the Prize” (The Soft Bulletin) 3. Lindemann – “Skills in Pills” (Skills in Pills) 4. Built to Spill – “Made Up Dreams” (Perfect From Now On) 5. Michael Hurley – “Hog of the Forsaken” (Long Journey) 6. Kommunizm – “Stop the Rolling Stones” (Let It Be) 7. Heldon Third – “Cocaine Blues” (It’s Always Rock and Roll) 8. Richard Dawson – “Black Dog in the Sky” (The Magic Bridge) 9. Current 93 – “The Descent of Long Satan and Babylon” (Thunder Perfect Mind) 10. Tim Buckley – “Love From Room 109 at the Islander” (Happy Sad) 11. The Microphones – “Great Ghosts” (Live in Japan) 12. Boredoms – “Zutto” (Vision Creation Newsun) 13. Sun City Girls – “Charles Gocher Sr.” (Dante’s Disneyland Inferno) 14. Popul Vuh – “Aguirre I Lacrima di Rei” (Aguirre) 15. Shakira – “Hips Don’t Lie” (Shakira)




Mizutani apparently cut ties with the Japanese Red Army in the mid-70s, although it is yet to be definitively confirmed whether or not he was associated with them at all. You know all that I know now. Happy searching.

Being a fan of Les Rallizes Dénudés is testing on your patience for a number of reasons. Most of the band’s material comes in the form of obscenely priced live bootlegs and archival compilations featuring abandoned studio recordings. There are over 60 bootleg releases, most over an hour in length, all of them apparently approved by the band’s reclusive lead singer Takahashi Mizutani, a man who hasn’t been active in any form since 1997; nobody even knows if he is still alive. The facts; Les Rallizes Dénudés were a band that started in 1962 as a ‘musical theatre group’, although the band’s earliest known activity was in 1967 around Kyoto University with a number of abandoned studio recording sessions. It should be noted at this point that Mizutani, very much the band’s leader, was incredibly dissatisfied with these recordings, preferring instead the atmosphere and heat-of-the-moment charm that only a live performance can provide. The band would revisit the studio in 1980 once more after a drastic change in sound – only to again abandon the recordings (the 1980 sessions are collected in the 4-disc boxset Mars Studio 1980 if you are interested). During the late ‘60s, the band became associated with a militant communist political faction known as the Japanese Red Army. In 1970 the bass player for the band, Moriaki Wakabayashi, along with a number of Red Army members wielding katanas and a bomb, hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351, taking 129 hostages. They flew to South Korea, dropped the hostages off at Seoul Airport, then hightailed it to North Korea, where they were granted amnesty and have been living ever since. It appears as if this event drove the band underground, as the bandmembers (especially Mizutani) became paranoid that their ties to this political would bring government scrutiny. Certainly the band was not welcome at most venues due to their political affiliations.


’77 Live is not the reason as to why this article exists however. It’s Double Heads, Les Rallizes Dénudés’ five hour bootlegged box set. Collecting the now legendary live sessions at the (now closed) Yaneura Shibuya in Tokyo from 1980-1, Double Heads offers a more measured, cleaner-around-the-edges sound than ’77 Live. Les Rallizes Dénudés still delivers on the earthshattering, coma-inducing noise front, however this time it’s entirely intentional. All that is present on ’77 Live is present on Double Heads, plus a couple of (very good) lesser known cuts like “White Awakening”, “Field of Artificial Flowers” and “Fantastique”. Obviously five hours of music is a tall order for anyone to accept, especially when the majority of the list are tracks that you will have already listened to (especially towards the end). For those willing to sit through it however, Double Heads offers the most rewarding experience in their discography. I certainly wouldn’t be hard pressed to make the argument that it offers one of the most rewarding experiences in all of music. Listen to ’77 Live, fall in love with it, give it a good month, then when you are ready, sit down somewhere and throw Double Heads on and don’t move until it’s over.




The band’s sound is characterised by free-form improvisational lead guitar, as well as repetitive instrumental passages and sessions very reminiscent of The Velvet Underground during the early part of their career as an Andy Warhol sponsored project. Les Rallizes Dénudés were also pioneers of the effects guitar, drenching the lead in delay and reverb years before Kevin Shields ever picked up a Fender. ’77 Live captures a performance of the band in Tachikawa city during their prime, in all of its no-fi splendour. This album is considered by fans to be their best work, a collection of seven of their best known tracks performed by a then quartet of profoundly talented musicians. It begins with the band’s signature track “Enter the Mirror”. Delayed guitars bleed in from the tape hiss at the start, kicking off an eleven-minute jam of seismic proportions. Bass guitar saunters around the track with a buttery smoothness, and the drums provide the wellneeded structure for it all. The listener is then segued perfectly into “Night of the Assassins”, channelling Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him” with an infectious bass riff that may or may not constitute plagiarism. “Night of the Assassins” off of ’77 Live is the most sublime example of the psychedelic free-form freak-out jam that I have come across. The following five tracks collected feature some of the finest instrumentation in all of rock music. Mizutani playing lead guitar splits the sky with his feedback, producing solos so lively and rich with energy, they reach across time.


1. ESSENTIALS OF GREEK AND ROMAN CLASSICS: A GUIDE TO THE HUMANITIES - MEYER REINHOLD It is difficult, as a reader, not to become lost in the labyrinth of Greco-Roman allusion that constitutes all writing post the Greco-Roman period. Reinhold’s survey of classic myth is an absolutely ‘essential’ publication for the student of modern life. The handy manuscript familiarises said student with all names and numbers necessary to negotiate, note and criticise any mythicallyinfluenced text. 2. LAZARUS RISING - JOHN HOWARD

4. SHELLEY’S MYTHMAKING - HAROLD BLOOM Harold Bloom’s doctoral dissertation on Percy Bysshe Shelley is not so much a good look at Shelley’s mythopoeia as a good look at Bloom. In 2016, the Leviathan critic is on his last legs. He touts a record of extraordinary publications, three of which (Genius, Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human, and The Anxiety of Influence) are objectively perfect, and beyond reproach. His current, familiar character is furious and certain, and in reading his earliest publication it is interesting to see a less developed, less confident Bloom. This book is the ur-myth of the critic above critics, and a picture of the man before the curtain. 5. THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS - ALBERT CAMUS Albert Camus was a very sharp dresser, and very charming too. This essay is very famous, and probably required reading. It is very cheap in most book stores, but beware: it has very little to do with the actual Sisyphean Myth, which is more comprehensively covered in Meyer Reinhold’s book (see above). The struggle is enough to fill someone’s heart.

3. EROSION - JORIE GRAHAM Jorie Graham pairs mist and psychic fortitude. Erosion is a collection of infinity songs, largely unrhymed and projected in extraordinary technicolor detail. Graham on Graham: “Myths had a very firm grip on me, as did the Odyssey, later the Iliad. All this mixed up with the

6. THE MYTH OF THE SIX MILLION - DAVID LESLIE HOGGAN This work, written by a Harvard educated historian, is the Holocaust denier’s bible. Peter Baldwin called it "a massive and bizarre critique of the course of American history from a racialist and wildly anti-

Semitic perspective.” It remains popular among neo-fascist groups. What is there to say about such a book? Any section sampled produces a profound and visceral feeling of disgust, and a reminder that hatred is more than just a crime. 7. MANUAL DE ZOOLOGÍA FANTÁSTICA (BOOK OF IMAGINARY BEINGS) - JORGE LUIS BORGES Borges encourages the reader to dip into the pages of this book at random, just as one plays with the shifting patterns of a kaleidoscope. He provides a catalogue of mystical creatures, including a Carbuncle, a Celestial Cock, a Heavenly Cock, a Lamia, a Lemuri, and a Manticore. Borges is best in his essays, of which this fantastical book is the polar counterpoint. 8. GARDENING MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS - CHARLES DOWDING


John Howard is Australia’s greatest Prime Minister, and perhaps our greatest person. This volume of autobiography is mythic not only for its biblical title, but in that it contains such power as to transcend any tangible rubric of critical measurement and become legendary. We should cherish every instance where greatness is made plain. Howard’s writing is unpretentious, reflecting a straightforwardness of heart. He expresses such an adoration of Australia, and such a pride in having been allowed to lead it, that should bring a tear to the eye of every sensible citizen. Clive James wrote the book was an educational text for showing how far you can get in Australian politics by balancing the books and saying what you mean. I wholeheartedly agree, but would add the book is a central text in the factual myth of our greatness as a nation.

poems of Ronsard and du Bellay… It was great joy to feel one was being allowed to make one’s poem be the waking dream that participates in the dreams of all the others. Thus myth.” History and secret is sewn in every hem of the collection, to soothing effect. Recommend.

Conventional gardening wisdom is difficult to question, even when it is misguided and contains many contradictions. In this tour de force, Dowding dispels common horticultural rumours and seeks to set new standards for gardening practice. A fascinating but practical book that will save the seasoned gardener time and give the new gardener even more of a lustrous heart. 9. MYTHOLOGIES - ROLAND BARTHES Barthes attempts to de-construct several ‘mythologies’ orchestrated and sustained by the bourgeoisie. He writes, for instance, that the child’s toy is a tool for the corruption of innocence, and the shaping of young minds towards functionality. There are over 30 essays, all very dense. I did not finish the book; it was not entirely for me.





possession is an irrelevant thing : you shall hear me in your blood : i am that drum thrumming, fear up


bubbling : the tune i hum is captivation

I’m at a house party and despite the wide array of dairy and potato procured goods on offer I can’t help but think about books. Sure, I’m sitting next to a bookcase so perhaps this train of thought isn’t so off-track. Perhaps I’m just looking for some casual thoughts on the weekend, perhaps the bookcase is an old friend offering support to some close pals I’d like to call my favourite novels. Heck, this isn’t even my own bookcase. I make eye contact with some sci-fi classics the only way I know how to make eye contact with inanimate objects lacking eyes. I place my own eyeball onto the book (I stop at one book after some mild irritation). I’m suddenly worried and I can’t tell if I’m influencing the atmosphere of the party but people seem to know to leave me alone. I’m worried about a book I let someone borrow. You know the deal – lend a book to your friend to bring you closer. Cement ties. Nothing can really bind a tie like cement. Now, weeping softly into a monogrammed handkerchief that isn’t mine, and interested in why book-borrowing continues to be a common practice in Perth, I interview individuals affected by the common myth that lending a book is in any way a practical life decision.

: better run, baby, run this is what we call a hunting : i haunt your dreams as some kinda prophesy, foreboding from odin : listen, the gods can speak to us humans, & they say : better run, baby, run & when it's just you & me, a jubilee shall be sung, firework flowers exploding : where will you turn : behind is a landscape of your own


demise : ash scatter, fly

“I give them back eventually”

: a cross across the sky

What is your initial reaction to a book being lent to you?

, that is the truth & that

Excellent. I will not have to return this novel anytime soon. I begin to question when I will get around to reading it, and further begin to wonder where I am going to keep it. I try to keep them in relatively safe places. But if things get hectic I can be a bit more careless. Books in cars, couches. I recently lost my own wallet in a compartment of my bag for a month if that provides any insight.

is the lie, & that is the path that i can spy, & it sings : run, baby, run - SCOTT-PATRICK MITCHELL

This poem was one of three winners in the poetry section of the recent Creative Writing and Poetry club (CWAP) write-off, under the theme ‘The Pursuit’. CWAP is UWA-affiliated, and was formed to help writers to hone their craft whilst at the same time provide a great chance to interact with like-minded others. To find out more and get involved, visit their Facebook page at <>.

At what point does borrowing a book feel like wholly acquiring a book for keeps? The second it gets into my hot little hands, Bryce. [I study the interviewee’s hands to confirm the accuracy of this statement – though small, I refrain from checking the temperature as I do not have a thermometer for precision.]


How many books have you acquired through this method, and have you begun to read any of them at all?


I’ve lost count, probably because I never counted them in the first place. Yes. So now for the steak dinner special question (the exciting question): why have you not returned them? Sometimes it’s because they’re lost. Sometimes I decide they are mine and I will not give the book back for a very long time. Until it’s so long that when I do give it back it feels like I am lending them a book and the cycle repeats itself. To keep you updated I’ve recently been lent three books. I personally have never lent anyone books and I do not plan to do so in future. People can be very irresponsible.


INTERVIEW WITH PERSON HOUSING BOOKS “I give them back eventually” What is your initial reaction to a book being lent to you? Excellent. I will not have to return this novel anytime soon. I begin to question when I will get around to reading it, and further begin to wonder where I am going to keep it. I try to keep them in relatively safe places. But if things get hectic I can be a bit more careless. Books in cars, couches. I recently lost my own wallet in a compartment of my bag for a month if that provides any insight. At what point does borrowing a book feel like wholly acquiring a book for keeps? The second it gets into my hot little hands, Bryce. [I study the interviewee’s hands to confirm the accuracy of this statement – though small, I refrain from checking the temperature as I do not have a thermometer for precision.] How many books have you acquired through this method, and have you begun to read any of them at all? I’ve lost count, probably because I never counted them in the first place. Yes. So now for the steak dinner special question (the exciting question): why have you not returned them?


Why did you lend it to them in the first place? You can always wish your friends could become book readers. Have you ever made the effort to get the book back despite awkward interactions required? Yes. I got it back the year afterwards. It was almost theft. I just took it home. I still feel slightly bad. How do you feel when you look at a bookcase devoid of books you’ve lent someone? Well actually, I don’t really read books a second time. I only find myself searching for books when I want to lend them to someone else. So I suppose it doesn’t even matter. Maybe I am trying to be a library service for cult authors. Trying to find additional life purpose through lending. I’m tired. I leave the interviews impeccably dressed and drawn – a smattering of freckles I’ve hand-formed with a permanent marker makes me seem approachable and counters the harsh pant-creases I’ve perfected. I push my glasses back onto my face and my vision is obscured by a smudge of chocolate only a Daim bar could procure. People who borrow books know it will go wrong, yet they can’t seem to stop giving away their prized (or at the least, purchased) possessions. I can’t stop thinking about Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey which I’ve recently lent to a friend. And ‘recently’ refers to months ago. We’ve barely made contact since and I can’t help but feel that the initial few months of friendship were founded with the aim to acquire this specific novel. The fact we had a heated disagreement (in winter as well) has nothing to do with the ceased communication.


Sometimes it’s because they’re lost. Sometimes I decide they are mine and I will not give the book back for a very long time. Until it’s so long that when I do give it back it feels like I am lending them a book and the cycle repeats itself. To keep you updated I’ve recently been lent three books. I personally have never lent anyone books and I do not plan to do so in future. People can be very irresponsible.

weeks you come to a decision. The friend has either followed protocol and dropped all other responsibilities in order to maintain your friendship or they have painted a new cover on the novel and hidden it under a loose floorboard next to a half-eaten Daim bar.

“I have lost a lot of good books” When you let someone borrow a book what are you thinking about? I am thinking about whether they will enjoy the book. If they enjoy the book we will be able to have a discussion about it. Discussion leads to the possibility of mutual opinion and from this, bonding. A lot of the time this doesn’t eventuate but it’s a dream I hold onto initially. There’s no other way to live. At what point do you begin to worry about whether you’ll get the book back and if you’ve made a bad decision? Within the next two









A slow starter, this Swedish-to-English translation of Fredrik Backman’s international best-seller turned out to be a real heartwarmer. Backman pushes the well-loved themes of self-discovery and finding friends in unusual places, and in doing so, creates a comfortable and easily digestible plot for his readers.

Are you stuck choosing between books about the impending apocalypse and books about vampires? Well, Justin Cronin brings you an apocalypse caused by vampires in his series that began with The Passage and ends with this somewhat dense page turner: City of Mirrors.

The construction of such a unique set of characters was impressive. From those as innocent and gender-fluid as young Ben, to the mostly intoxicated and generally wants-to-be-helpful Somebody. The development of such diverse characters, and their interactions with the initially awkward and somewhat unlovable protagonist, Britt-Marie, allowed the reader to explore a complex collection of personalities and social circumstances that we might – or might not – meet in real life.

Upon first glance, it doesn’t look like the most serious book. The icy blue reflective detailing makes me think that this book might have a deep connection to Sparkle Motion instead of being a gripping realisation of how the remainder of the world will deal with the complex legitimate and illegitimate economic structures that arise in the vacuum left by blood-sucking, well, bloodsuckers.

As the reader follows the experiences and inner thoughts of BrittMarie through the novel, they are urged to check judgmental tendencies and self-question. It was the use of blunt yet neutral language specifically that forces the individual to ‘fess-up and ask the big questions, as Britt-Marie did. Questions such as: what path our life is headed down, how we perceive ourselves, and how others might perceive us. Whilst the novel was a little disjointed and occasionally frustratingly simple in composition, this can perhaps be passed off as a translation flaw rather than a fault in authorship style. A potential flaw that is, after all, easily overshadowed by the warm fuzzy feeling at the completion of a novel rife with friendship, football, and recognition of inner strength by both protagonist and reader. Recommended reading snack: Snickers bar, halved and shared with a resident rat. Maddison Howard is searching far and wide for a polka dot party dress.

Fans have been waiting a long, long time for the resolution of this trilogy, with rumours about Cronin heading towards a movie before this gritty gem hit shelves. They have been definitely rewarded with this risen-from-the-ashes frontier fable even if the main character struggles to educate the rebuilding masses who think classics like Moby Dick might be a step too far. I will admit that Cronin does struggle somewhat with the presentation of female characters. He seems to feel the need almost ‘prove’ their strength by making them survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by the vampires. Is this really necessary? None of the male characters are forced through graphic rape scenes to legitimise their place in the narrative. And really, weren’t crazed vampires enough of an enemy in the first place? Even though this is rumoured to be the last book in this series, there are a number of parts in this novel that seem to hint that there should be more to see. Will they rebuild civilisation? Will they continue to rebuild the scraped, barren earth? Will female characters continue to have to suffer to be respected? The questions continue, as the series may. Recommended reading snack: Best suited to a Bloody Mary or two. Caz Stafford is updating her diary with the dates for the upcoming apocalypse.






he Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery is currently home to the Mowaljarlai Vision and Voice: Legacy of a Bush Professor exhibition, an archival collection documenting the prolific life and work of David Mowaljarlai. Mowaljarlai, who passed away in 1997, was an artist, statesman, philosopher, activist and teacher. Given Mowaljarlai’s ability to transcend vocational boundaries, this dedication to his life and work could sit just as comfortably within a museum as it does within an art gallery. Mowaljarlai was a Ngarinyin man of the Brrejirad people, whose traditional country lies in the Roe River area of the West Kimberley. He is remembered as a seismic force within his community; pivotal in the creation of the first Ngarinyin language dictionary, he fought fearlessly for land rights for his country, helped found the Kimberley Land Council, was the instigator of the Ngarinyin Homeland Project for self-determination, and was a strident advocator for the return of Aboriginal skeletal remains and cultural material from foreign museums. Mowaljarlai also embodied a force for conciliation, dedicating his life to the promotion of kinship, union, and education within the broader national and transnational community. Notably, along with Hannah Rachel Bell, Mowaljarlai established the Bush University – a project that aims to educate visitors about his country and promote “two cultures together, side by side, into a co-cultural future”. He also found time to act as a cultural interpreter, inviting academics and filmmakers to admire sacred sites, including his Wandjina rock ancestors. It was his hope that “If we share the stories of our country with gudia (whitefella), then they will have our country in their hearts as we do, and they will understand and love it, and never damage it.”

Mowaljarlai Vision and Voice: Legacy of a Bush Professor provides a glimpse into this life. The exhibition is comprised of a small portion of 12 boxes of documents and artworks, approved for display by Mowaljarlai’s family. Gifted to the Berndt Museum by friends and long-time colleagues Hannah Rachel Bell and Jutta Malnic, the boxes are still in the process of being curated. Although the current d i s p l a y is small, the thoughtful curation of works allows Mowaljarlai’s essence to gratify the space.

Mowaljarlai’s works in the Vision and Voice collection were all created between 1992 and 1997, and document the evolution of Ngarinyin law from Dreamtime to present. A multidisciplinary artist, Mowaljarlai’s ambit extended to include paint, ink, and charcoal – all of which are on display here. iPads occupy the corners of the room and allow viewers access to more detailed records of the stories associated with the works, creating a collaborative interface between traditional practice and modern tools. Much of the other material on display commemorates through documentation the man himself. Some of these works are consciously constructed recordings or portraits, yet many are listed without an artist and appear to be portrayals of everyday life captured by family and friends. Although the artists may not have originally intended or expected these photos to grace the walls of an art gallery, they provide access to beautifully candid moments.


This sharing was evidence of Mowaljarlai’s determination to keep traditional culture and heritage alive. Educating himself in several languages, he went on to translate the traditional stories and concepts of his community, doing the same for neighbouring communities too. In recognition of Mowaljarlai’s achievements and influence, he was invited to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 1997 to share some of these stories. Other recognition includes a 1991 Aboriginal of the Year award, and induction into the Member of the Order of Australia in 1993.

The room is dark, with only the works and their labels illuminated from above. This organisation allows focus to be isolated and facilitates an atmosphere whereby the viewer can engage in stoic reflection.

It is clear in the sharing of these moments and works with the public, Mowaljarlai can continue to educate, advocate, and promote his culture for many generations to come. Mowaljarlai Vision and Voice: Legacy of a Bush Professor will be on display at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at UWA from 23 April - 17 September 2016.




Over the April-July period, the exhibition HERE&NOW16: Gen YM ran at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, curated by UWA Masters graduate Hamida Novakovich. Featuring diverse works by nine young Muslim artists, it dealt with themes of childhood, heritage, identity, and alienation within the context of modern Australia. During its run, posters advertising the exhibition were found vandalised. A number were defaced by a message denouncing the works as sacrilegious, with the rest torn down. “Art is very clearly forbidden to Muslims,” the message read. This was followed by a (misspelt and misquoted) passage from a hadith: “The makers of these images will be punished, and it will be said to them, Bring to life that which you have created.” The identity of the individual behind the attack is unclear. “It was just silly,” Novakovich said. “They were trying to use our own religion against ourselves. That person is not an Islamic juror.

How do you interpret these acts of vandalism, and what was your reaction? Abdul-Rahman: Abdul-Rahman: To me, it wasn’t a particularly surprising occurrence. Unfortunately whenever an image or idea that specifically discusses Muslims in any way is given a public voice then there is an inevitably negative reaction that always accompany the welcoming and supportive responses. There is a section of society that seems to be committed to resisting the idea of Muslims being a part of the Australian cultural landscape. It’s really disheartening to see their opinions being increasingly legitimised by divisive political agendas that support their brand of xenophobia indirectly and in some cases very directly. This particular vandalism was especially insidious in its attempt to use Islamic language and ideas to attack the exhibition, although the perpetrators obvious misunderstanding of some very basic language made it pretty clear the attack was coming from non-Muslims. These acts of vandalism coincided with a firebomb that was placed outside of a Muslim School in Thornlie. It demonstrates that the Islamophobic agenda goes far beyond words and criticism.

My reaction to that message was that someone wasn’t happy with the assertiveness and the authentic voice of Muslims – in whatever form – and found that a threat.” The university chose not to respond to the incident, nor notify the UWA community or public. Upon request, LWAG’s Chief Cultural Officer later provided a statement. Two of the artists featured were brothers Abdul Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, both highly-acclaimed and on the rise within the Australian arts industry. It was Abdul-Rahman’s ‘Practical Magic’ installation that was featured on the posters, and it was Abdul who shared a photograph of the vandalised material via Instagram. With LWAG’s assistance, we were able to catch up with both brothers to discuss the incident, as well as the warped views of Muslim people currently on the rise in Australia and elsewhere, and the importance of resilience against such attitudes.

disturb people, but the people who are disturbed by it are also disturbed about my name. There is not much I can do about that. None of the work is particularly controversial, but that doesn’t matter. Just the mention of Islam or Muslims upsets a certain type of person.

Gen YM’s curator has said that being Muslim is now almost a “political term”. Abdul-Rahman, you have also added to this, remarking that the Muslim identity as defined by the media and society carries

with it associations which “have very little to do with you”. Can you expand on this? Abdul-Rahman: What we see in the media and through television and entertainment on every level should never determine how we regard ourselves, but it sure does have a massive impact on how other people will regard us. When Muslims are discussed, and we’re being discussed consistently, it is nearly always in the context of extremism, violence and some sort of conflict. It would be great if people talked about Muslims in terms of the people they know who might just happen to be Muslim rather than throwing around catch-phrases like a show reel of bad guys. I can tell you with absolute assurance that the idea of violence and incompatibility with ‘western’ society

Did you anticipate the exhibition would draw controversy, and perhaps incur even worse attack? Abdul: Honestly I hadn’t thought much about it. I thought it had the potential to


'Reclaiming Territories' - Abdul Abdullah


has never been a part of my world or the world of any Muslim I know. It’s as simple as that. By and large violence is a global industry and we should be criticising every aspect of that. I think it’s easy to forget when people talk about Muslims it includes me, my family and many people I know and love. If somebody looks at me and my family and thinks of terrorism then the problem lies with them. I just can’t respect that mentality. Currently, 70% of all refugees worldwide are Muslim. How do you think Australia’s prevailing xenophobia and Islamophobia are linked – particularly when it comes to the government’s bipartisan support of indefinite offshore detention? Abdul: This requires a pretty substantial response, but basically there is a definitive history of powerful people vilifying and marginalising dispossessed and vulnerable people so they can continue to invade, exploit and suppress those people. Make them the bad guys and you have license to do what you want to them.

Recently we’ve had influential TV personalities such as Sonia Kruger – and afterwards endorsing her views, KerriAnne Kennerley – advocating for a ban on Muslims entering Australia. Pauline Hanson is even advocating for a royal commission into Islam itself, and a ban on new mosques.

In what ways is this extremely prejudiced language impacting on an emotional and political level Muslim Australian communities? Abdul: The Australian Muslim community is under siege. Sonia Kruger and Pauline Hanson feed the narrative. Being a Muslim in this country means you feel unwelcome and under threat. Abdul-Rahman: Personally I’m very confused about why people like Sonia Kruger have a voice on political issues, I kind of thought that you needed at least a rudimentary understanding of what you’re talking about to be taken seriously. This goes back to the idea that Muslims are only talked about in negative terms, entirely forgetting that 23% of the world is included in these blanket statements. This is not a discussion – it leaves people like me with nowhere to go and it’s very difficult to believe that people actually feel threatened by a Muslim walking down the street. I understand the power of language and the broad appeal of these celebrity figures that influence public opinion but I don’t want to let it affect me. The worst part is that I have the privilege of not being particularly recognised as a Muslim man in public – the backlash, violence and vitriol is overwhelmingly felt by Muslim women and girls who are often more conspicuous. It’s amazing how brazen some people become when confronted with a woman in a scarf minding her own business. What we see on television is a grab for ratings that has a direct effect on what people experience on the street and that is unfortunately nothing new. One person’s advertising dollar is another person’s mum being spat on again. Thanks for that Sonia. I don’t even want to talk about Pauline Hanson.

What do you think are the most pressing challenges faced by young Muslim artists today, and how could these challenge be better addressed by the industry and/or government? Abdul: Honestly in my experience the most pressing challenges faced by young Muslim artists today, apart from all the racist bullshit they have to put up with, are cultural ones. Muslim communities in Australia are largely migrant ones, and often as a result of conflicts overseas. Art and creative expression often isn’t a priority for communities who are working hard to establish a real sense of autonomy and agency. Making art is a privilege, and one that can quickly fall to the wayside when you’re burdened by a lot of other troubles. Abdul-Rahman: The most pressing challenges facing young Muslim artists today are the same challenges being felt by the arts sector as a whole. The entire arts industry has been assaulted by some of the largest funding cuts ever seen in Australia in the last few years. The government is more than happy to subsidise fossil fuels and mining interests to the tune of billions of dollars yet the miniscule amount being spent on facilitating the cultural output of this country is seen as dispensable. This includes all of the arts from music, acting, dance, writing and visual arts; everyone from Gurrumul Yunupingu to Fiona Hall to Nicole Kidman have benefitted from a government supported system. We will feel the effects of this for a long time to come and while I would never equate this with our brutal policies towards asylum seekers, it’s a part of the same disregard for people with less power that seems to characterise our government at every turn.



Abdul-Rahman: Every single Muslim country in the world has suffered under the effects of colonialism and the ongoing effects of post-colonial geo-politics and resource-driven conflicts. Here in Australia there is a belief that we don’t have a stake in the humanitarian cost of wars, although we like to raise our little flag and throw pebbles with the big kids, lest we forget and all that. The current refugee crisis is not a Muslim issue, it’s a humanitarian one and our government’s belligerent cruelty in the detention and torture of human beings seeking legal asylum is indefensible, immoral and will have long term costs to Australian society as a whole. We have a moral obligation to share the wealth and privilege of this country, a wealth and privilege that was stolen from the original occupants of this land in the first place. It’s the least we can do. It hurts us all to be complicit in the actions of our government and I think that talking about issues of Islamophobia and Xenophobia pale into insignificance when we’re talking about the detention, murder and torture of men, women and children whose only crime was to flee violence.

'Practical Magic' - Abdul Abdullah


Emerging Perth artist James Cooper presents his first solo exhibition, BLEND 43, on September 21st exploring heta-uma (bad-good) within contemporary drawing and painting. Looking towards anti style and fringe graffiti subcultures and their recurring themes of appropriation and avoidance of skill and seriousness, Cooper produces amalgamations of collected imagery and popular culture channeled through a naĂŻve aesthetic.

Instagram: @blend.43




rasier is the Greatest of All Time, and I can prove that categorically. Okay maybe not categorically; but at the very least, emotionally. First, Frasier shattered the long-running record for most Emmys won (29 to the Mary Tyler Moore Show), scooping up 37 in its eleven-year run. Only Modern Family ties with its record of winning five of the awards consecutively. Frasier would have the last laugh though, when in 2066 he shot all other forms of television into the sun. As was its right. The rise of Frasier as a geo-political power was unexpected for people who weren’t fans of the show, but anyone who heard the man talk was unsurprised, particularly once their subdermal mind-controlling brain implants kicked in, activated by the phrase: “Sherry, Niles?” Frasier did the incredible from a writing point of view, in that it took and improved upon an already excellent TV Show (Cheers), making it both more successful, and more critically acclaimed. He would later do the impossible, from a basic-understanding-of-the-universe point of view, when he ascended into heaven and returned with an eerie glow and laser eyes. Frasier put a quick-twist on the classic sitcom formula, crushing its competition with writing multiple cuts above the rest. Always a step ahead of the competition, Frasier later put a quick twist on the United Nations when he made multiple cuts into the Earth’s molten core.

The acting in Frasier is also consistently top-notch. Kelsey Grammer’s character in Cheers was initially supposed to be unlikable – its writers giving Grammer the lines of an out of touch academic, pompous, arrogant, and utterly full of himself, the writers even put him at odds with the main character, Sam. But audiences found Frasier both hilarious, and deeply sympathetic (I mean, come on, he’s only hurting fucking Sam). Frasier was a great character on a great show, in fact, the only show now airing on television. The surprising chemistry between John Mahoney (Crane senior) and Grammer (who first played Frasier and is now GodKing of all he surveys) form the bedrock of Frasier. It is, no question, a sitcom cliché: down-to-earth ex-cop father moves in with fussy socialite psychiatrist. But somehow, Frasier transcends its contrived foundations. The whipcrack of its writing as characters spar verbally, the genuine warmth that seemed to emanate physically when they would interact. And of course, Mahoney and the chair.


Somehow, characters maintain their integrity through 11 seasons. Frasier in season 1 is still recognisably Frasier in season 11. It is the case with so many sitcoms, that– since they must use so many storylines, and the same characters in 100 episodes (if it’s successful and they’re lucky) – characters inevitably devolve from wellrounded ‘people’ to ‘characters’ to ‘caricatures’– zombified concepts made up of season call-backs and a few over-the-top traits. Not to be confused with the virus that scourged America’s East Coast in 2079, which actually turned people into zombified caricatures of themselves. Frasier was so good, it has spilled into other programs; surreptitiously, its legacy endures. Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons is famously played by Grammer, and later, when they emerged from that magical place that all Simpsons episodes come from, Sideshow Bob’s family was also played by the cast of Frasier. The Cult of Frasier rose on the back of the salient point that there is really quite a lot of anger and hate in the world. And all that evil is due to one fact: the end of Frasier. We, as one, must rise and DEMAND that the Frasier team return for ceaseless and continuous seasons of Frasier. Until all our bodies decay, until the suns go out. When the last motes of light fades into nothing. Then, truly, no one will know what to do with those tossed salads and scrambled eggs.


No episode of Frasier ends sadly. Each closes with a unique kind of heartwarming reminder of t h e ‘important things in life’, yet is played

with a deftness, and a humour, that keeps everything from devolving into an afterschool special. Even when character’s lives are on the rocks, life never fails to look up before the end. Often, the problems remain, too large to be solved in 23 minutes, but never without hope. Frasier is the diametric opposite of Seinfeld, and a perfect antidote to the pessimistic shows of today (You’re the Worst, Always Sunny etc). BoJack Horseman would be a total alien in the world of Frasier; a creature to be pitied but not understood.




restling is weird, man. There are certain things the spectator must ignore in order to be able to get full enjoyment out of it. As any purveyor of amateur circa 2006 YouTube videos can attest, wrestling is objectively fake. Anyone who sincerely believes otherwise needs to re-evaluate their perceptions of ‘fighting’ – human bodies are incredibly fragile and fairly unequipped to suffer repeated punches to the head and/or torso. Here’s the thing though: fans of wrestling are in on the act. And there’s a strange joy to be had in becoming invested in the ‘story’ of wrestling; having an appreciation for the athleticism at play in the actual wrestling, and also being aware that all of it is catered to entertain you (but also ignoring that). Still, it’s not as if everything is played with a wink and a knowing glance to the camera like some Joss Whedon film; there’s a strange sincerity to it all. Professional wrestling is like theatre, with characters and ‘plot’ but with significantly more throwing of human bodies and flippy manoeuvres. Yet, staged though it is, wrestling is far from a bloodless or bruise-free sport – the athletes take very real risks. Watch Mankind v Undertaker at King of the Ring 1998; understand that Mankind broke several ribs, a wrist, several of his teeth – even took thumbtacks to the back. Wrestling operates under what’s known as kayfabe, which is a difficult word to define accurately. Kayfabe refers to the presentation of staged events as legitimate; it’s like a fourth wall in theatre, but not quite. It’s more when the audience is aware that the wrestlers are playing characters, and willingly buy into the myth. Kayfabe is something that the fans have to themselves acknowledge, stepping back from the ‘action’ to realise that it is entertainment, and should therefore be approached just like any Hollywood action film. This is what allows fans to become emotionally invested in the ‘story’ of wrestling. It’s why the breaking of Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Winning Streak at 21-0 at WrestleMania 30 in 2014 hurt – because from a kayfabe perspective, The Streak had an enormous amount of importance placed on him, both by the company and the fans. One way of understanding kayfabe is to examine Andy Kaufman (yes that Andy Kaufman, the SNL guy, Taxi actor, and perfectly obnoxious performance artist of the ‘80s) and his feud with WWE Champion, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. As part of his mockmisogynist villain wrestler act, Kaufman dubbed himself “InterGender Champion of the World” and would challenge women from the audience during his stand-up acts, promising a thousand bucks, his hand in marriage and more if they could beat him. (Mail sent in from women responding to his taunts has since been


compiled a book called: Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!.) Says Syracuse University Pop Culture Professor Bob Thompson on Kaufman’s asshole prototype: "The reason he's still remembered is he took that idea of being a despicable bad guy and he took it to a whole new level…This was a character, probably more than any I can think of in American popular culture history, that within seconds of hearing him open his mouth, you really wanted to hit him in the face." The brouhaha eventually caught the attention of The King, who in 1982 would challenge Kaufman to a bout on live television in Lawler’s home city of Memphis – and win. The drama didn’t end there but culminated in the famous Letterman interview five months later, in which Lawler slaps Kaufman – still in a (fake) neck-brace – right out of his chair. There is footage remaining of Kaufman’s match with Lawler on YouTube. If you watch the crowd reaction to Kaufman getting squashed, they are all jumping out of their seats with joy when Kaufman gets his long-overdue comeuppance. What happened here is Kaufman played a ‘heel’ (bad guy) to Lawler’s ‘face’ (good guy) – and they played them so well and on such a public scale, ordinary members of the public with no clue of the sport of wrestling came to see Kaufman get beaten. They came because they knew they were in for something incredibly entertaining to watch. Kaufman revelled in kayfabe throughout his career, applying it to his comedy with grade A dedication. As such, he maintained the illusion of bad blood between him and Lawler right up until his untimely death at t h i r t y five. Whilst his performance in the ring was definitively part of kayfabe and therefore staged (Lawler has since stated that he and Kaufman were very good friends), Kaufman was so good at it that events from his life (like his death) are still speculated on as part of an elaborate joke.


What you have with watching professional wrestling is a continuous timeline of intersecting narratives, driven by the creative team at each respective promotion. One thing that is essential to keep in mind is that each company will do what is best for business. That’s why John Cena wins all the time – he’s literally made out of children’s money. For the longest time during from the ‘90s until very recently, ‘what’s best for business’ translated into excessive machismo – big dudes with muscles, edgy booking, and shock value. Like, for example, the time Stone Cold Steve Austin was run over by Rikishi in a parking lot on behalf of Triple H. What kayfabe made out to be an attempt at murder was actually just an excuse to sideline Austin, who was at the time was needing neck surgery after being on the wrong end of a piledriver at a previous wrestling event.

actual literal god in an anything goes bout, and win (Vince MacMahon & Shane MacMahon vs Shaun Michaels and "God", Backlash 2006)? Where else can you see one man beating up on another in a supermarket filled with terrified (and unaware) onlookers, utilizing all the

The hype machismo culture of wrestling is thankfully changing – for WWE at least, which was years behind other promotions in terms of political correctness. On their way out are the dick jokes, mean-spirited sexism and making fun of disabilities; and to replace these, a policy of trying to keep the entertainment familyfriendly, and a serious attempt at offering fans a women’s division that isn’t horribly sexist. Watching wrestling under the awareness of Kayfabe is a surreal experience. Some of the ‘narratives’ make absolutely zero sense when applied to the real world. In what universe do two people have to competitively climb a ladder to win the custody of a child (Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio, Summerslam 2005)? Or find an example of the head of a company and his son wrestling

foodstuffs available to him ('Stone Cold' Steve Austin vs. Booker T, SmackDown 2001)? All of these things WWE apparently thought were perfectly reasonable to book.






oJack Horseman can most simply be described as a cartoon about a washed-up talking horse who was a sitcom star in the 90s. When the first season arrived on Netflix in 2014, it was met with mixed reviews. Basing their evaluations on the first six episodes, critics decided it paled in comparison to similar comedies, such as Archer or Bob’s Burgers. But to place BoJack Horseman alongside such cartoons is to encourage a very shallow comparison that undercuts the true emotional gravitas of the series. And this isn’t to dismiss shows like Archer and Bob’s Burgers as trite or unsophisticated – they are very witty and highly entertaining. But to paraphrase John Mulaney, it’s like comparing lobster and skittles – they might be your two favourite foods, but they are still best considered separately.

For many years, cartoons sat quite comfortably in the realm of children’s television. During the 1990s, they began to be marketed towards teens, and when Adult Swim launched in 2001 a range of bizarre, surreal and absurdist comedy followed, pioneered in shows such as Sealab 2021 and Metalocalypse. While it is typical of cartoons to fit the model of a ‘series’ - a group of independent and self-contained stories - BoJack Horseman is in every sense a ‘serial’ - one story told in multiple instalments. This is the mistake critics made in reviewing just the first episodes of BoJack, and one that is reflected even today on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which reports an overall rating of 56% for season one, while seasons two and three both receive overall ratings of 100%. I’m reluctant to call BoJack Horseman a comedy. The show has been praised for


its accurate portrayal of depression not just a kind of sadness, but as crippling anxiety, self-doubt and hopelessness that pervades all waking (and sleeping) hours. If it weren’t a cartoon it would be too depressing to put on television. When we left season two, things appeared to be looking up for our eponymous (anti) hero, but as season 3 unravels, so too does BoJack’s life. Again, it seems that whatever the achievements, accolades, or recognition, happiness can only ever be fleeting - it cannot be sustained. In words that may seem all too familiar to sufferers of depression, BoJack states: “I have poison inside me. I destroy everything I touch. I have nothing to show for the life that I’ve lived and I have nobody in my life who’s better for having known me”. Above all else, BoJack Horseman is a show about relationships; how we both present and open ourselves to others, while still reconciling our sense of self with our own past. That these relationships unfold in a world where an anthropomorphic Labrador hoards spaghetti strainers and co-owns a taxi company with an allfemale orca driver base only serves to highlight the depth and profundity of such affairs. Surrealism, from its earliest iterations in the 1920s, has been about revealing the true nature of thought and reality. Rather than obfuscate, the surreal nature of BoJack Horseman reveals the true absurdity and superficiality of modern life. The idea of a teen pop idol having an abortion on live television almost seems almost too close to reality – but what if that teen idol is a dolphin called Sextina Aquafina? Why is a cartoon penguin any less real of an identity than the persona I assume when I go to work

every day? We each perform as a myriad of characters when we go about our lives – we obscure and hide ourselves, create new personalities and new voices to cover any essence of truth, terrified of accidentally revealing ourselves to strangers. But true connection with another person can only be achieved by first accepting the vulnerability that comes with such revelation. For those like BoJack Horseman, whose sense of self has no solid foundation, existence is precariously balanced between isolation, rejection, and self-destruction. Fans of the show were probably like me, on Netflix hitting ‘refresh’ as the clock ticked over to midnight, Pacific Standard Time on July 22. For those who are new to the show, start from the beginning, but stick it out and reserve judgement until at least the end of the first season. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.



Ribs & Burgers

24/140 William St, Perth


Objectively speaking, pork ribs are one of the single best gifts to ever touch humanity’s tattered gaping maw. A good, hearty stack of ribs is one of life’s few and fleeting instances of total and unconditional panacea, one of the simple pleasures that casts flickers of bearability on the ceaseless agony of existence. I love ribs. I love all ribs. I once inhaled a stack at a deep-south Americana food truck at the royal show, and openly wept while the theme to Deliverance played on a rusted loudspeaker. It’s still my most vivid and pleasant memory of adolescence. Naturally, the discovery of the aptly named Ribs & Burgers, nestled in an inconspicuous corner of Globe Lane just off William Street, pierced through my consciousness with scalding revelatory fury, and I was transfixed. I made my pilgrimage to this meaty mecca on a Saturday night during the dinner rush, filing through dense throngs of fellow rib and burger enthusiasts, trembling with palpable anticipation at the prospect of unhinging my jaw and annihilating a thick slab of perfectly charred pig flesh. I ordered the largest and most expensive serve of pork ribs on the menu because I am a FUCKWIT who CAN’T READ and didn’t see the reasonably priced rib burger which is obviously, OBVIOUSLY the thing you buy from a place called fucking Ribs & Burgers. Alas, we all must live with our regrets. The Saturday evening crowd was swarming through every nook of the spacious restaurant, so I don’t fault the kitchen or waitstaff for the agonising crawl of drawn out food-preparation. I

just sat silently at my table, sipping from my glass bottle of coke, and reflecting on the bounteous ribs I was about to receive. When the food did finally, mercifully, arrive it was smaller than I had expected. Barely enough to fill a regular man, let alone the bottomless pit that lies in my stomach and dominates every aspect of my life. A disappointment, considering the exorbitant pricing, but only a slight one. When I took my first rapturous bite into the hunk of honey-glazed pig, I noticed it was cold on my tongue. When I inspected the gaping wound in the pork, its insides were the appetising salmonella pink of a froststruck nose. I flagged down the waiter and told him my meal was cold and undercooked, fully expecting an argument, but pleasantly surprised when he apologised profusely and took my food back. I was less delighted when it came back a minute later, glistening with an oily microwaved slick, and just as cold as it had been before. Some battles are simply not made to be won. The ribs tasted like ribs, and the honey BBQ sauce tasted like honey BBQ sauce. As I ate the ribs I thought “This is what it feels like to be eating ribs” and that is what I continued to think until I was no longer eating ribs. Later that night I went home and spent two hours on the toilet violently retching in the throes of food poisoning. All in all, it was alright. 4/5 stars.






GUILD ELECTIONS: POSTAL VOTE APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN Polling for Guild Elections will be held on the week starting Monday 19th September. For students not able to attend polling booths, postal vote applications are now available on our website, under Information for Voters. Applications must be received by the Returning Officer by Friday 16th September, 4pm. Ballot papers will be mailed out to approved applicants and completed ballot papers must be received by the Returning Officer by 5pm, Thursday 22nd September. WEBSITE: CONTACT: The Returning Officer, Mary Petrou: or


Set yourself apart with a UWA postgrad degree Postgrad & Honours Expo Wednesday 21 September 2016, 4-7pm Bayliss Building and surrounds


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