Pelican 2016 Edition 7

Page 1

20 SEPT 16


1 9 2 9











Who says banks can’t be ethical? Student Banking

Join1 today and to say thanks we’ll put $202 into your account. and make a purchase on your UniBank Visa debit card within 28 days of opening your account and we’ll give you another $202!

Only four banks in the world are a World’s Most Ethical Company* – and we’re one of them!

We’ll look after you when you need it most, now and in the future UniBank is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Our student banking has been developed especially with you in mind, incorporating a range of products Limited, 2016youWorld’s Company. designed a to help during this Most busy andEthical exciting time in your life. Join the Bank that gives back to you and your community today and we’ll look after you when you need it the most, now and in the future.

Apply1 today Learn more or 1800 864 864

UniBank is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ABN 30 087 650 459 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238981. 1. Membership eligibility applies to join the Bank. Membership is open to citizens or permanent residents of Australia who are current or retired employees, students and graduates of Australian Universities, or family

UniBank is aofdivision of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited members existing members of the Bank. This banking package is available to you if you are a current full time student at any Australian University, and may be withdrawn at any time. Conditions of use – Accounts

and access document and charges brochures areresidents available online from any ofwho our offices. You shouldor read both of these documentsstudents before deciding open accounts access facilities issued by Teachers Membership is open and to Fees citizens or permanent of or Australia are current retired employees, andtograduates ofand Australian Universities, or Mutual Bank Limited. Any advice provided here does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation, or needs, which you should consider before acting on any recommendations. For further information family oforexisting members2.ofThe the Bank. The World’s Most Company assessment based upon the Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ callmembers 1800 864 864 go to Bank will credit an initial $20 intoEthical your Everyday account once opened.isAn additional $20 willEthisphere be credited into the Everyday account when you (EQ) make framework. a purchase with The Ethisphere® Institute is a global leader in defining and advancing standards of ethical business practices fuel corporate character, marketplace and business your UniBank Visa Debit Card within 28 days of opening your membership. UniBankthe is a division of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ABN 30 that 087 650 459 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238981 |trust 00955P-MAR-UB-0816 success. More information at: Teachers Mutual Bank Limited ABN 30 087 650 459 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238981 | 00955P-MAR-UB-0916




Hi fellow freshers! Being “old” has become part of my personal brand at UWA. Not that I am really that old, I’m 24, but I’m old compared to this year’s freshers who were in year 7 when I started at UWA. I also have a tattoo, which I guess is part of my personal brand. Not many people know about it because I really like wearing boots, but it’s on my right foot and is a little jigsaw puzzle piece with two “C’s” that make an “S”. My best friend Sonja (who lives in Norway) has two “C’s” that make an “M” for Maddie. We got them after our exchange to France in 2009. I thought I was pretty hardcore until I met my boyfriend Kaiden who has 6 large tattoos all over his body (like the Yakuza), which took hours and hours. Mine took 15 minutes. Anyway, this edition’s theme is “brand” and we have lots of them around campus. You will have noticed the new Subway and Boost stores opening in the Ref last year, the new Westpac opening in Guild Village this year and the new coffee brands we’ve rolled out in cafes over the year. But UWA is also about figuring out your personal “brand”. Not in a sales sense (although I guess, cynically, that what’s CV’s are), but in the sense of what you like and what makes you tick. What clubs match your interests, do you volunteer, do you help out in the lab doing research, are you always at networking events, are you always on Oak Lawn sipping your Rocketfuel coffee? Everyone is unique and there are so many opportunities and choices to match the diversity of students, so make the most of uni life and get involved! Use your time at uni to figure out your “brand”, and just maybe it’ll also help you get a job at the end.



I write this the night before we’re due to go to press. It’s when we get most of our work done, and in this particular instance it’s because I spent the day doing a video art assignment I left until the last minute. It took me nine full hours (with a pasta break) to finish, no one except my tutor will see it, and to be honest, I doubt I will ever use final cut again in my life. These are the things we’re here at uni for learning software that may or may not be tangentially related to our chosen careers, not (pah) elections or (pah) running magazines. It’s the education that counts. Now that elections are over maybe we can get back to that. I use the past tense a bit misleadingly, as at the time of writing elections aren’t actually over and we still have the worst week of all to go. Hi there, readers of the future, is it fucking sunny where you are? Are you having fun? Say hi to the future version of me, I can’t do that myself because I don’t actually reread these editorials. I don’t even really edit them. Once this week is over I’m planning on having a long bath - yes the longest bath of my life. It will go on for 6 hours, will have 12 bath bombs, and will be the most intense experience I or anyone else will ever go through. Yes once this week is over I may have hope again; hope for a better world; hope that I may avoid mild criticisms. x Hay



I am nothing without my shiny yellow hat. My shiny snapback cap with a blue crest which I bought at Atlas Divine in leedy last year at a sale. It was only $20. When I come home in the evening, I take off my hat. The scene is very private. I take it off like a person who is bald would take off a wig. I am not bald, but I don’t have a whole heap of hair (mum says this is because my dad didn’t want to cut my hair when it was a baby, so it never grew very strong and thick) so my hat helps in that way. It covers my sad, broken, mouse-brown wisps and also keeps my head warm. I get cold very easily. I know as well that I won’t be able to wear it for too much longer, and that is another reason why I wear it so much. Like knee-high socks, elite capwear is, I feel, an audacious entitlement of the young. I know this is a wrong and ageist feel to have, but still I do not want to be the sort of person who wears caps as a statement when they are thirty. Even if I still look thirteen, as I do now. I couldn’t tell you whether there is another like my cap. In fact I have never thought about this before. Thinking about hypothetical cap simulacra makes me anxious, in the way a Paul Jennings story makes you anxious. That kind of yukky, maggot-like paranoia that flops about in the pit of your stomach. I never saw an ad for my cap. It was just sitting on a table, amongst sequinned socks and shoes with enormous plastic bones on the laces. (I also bought the shoes.) If I could be the one to have placed an ad for my cap, it would have been something like this: 1 cap. Doffed by Apollo to Yeezy in 2011. Hardhat for cool cats. Carapace of stolen sun. x Prendy

Good luck, x Maddie




Hayden Dalziel

Alice Champalle *

Heather Blakey ᵒ

Ryan Suckling ᵒ

Kate Prendergast

Ashley Biddulph ᵒ

Holly Jian *

Samuel J. Cox ᵒ

Blair Vidakovich ᵒ


Hui Zhao *

Shannon Lively *

Bradley Leo ᵒ

Ishita Mathur ᵒ

Taylor Brown *

POLITICS Brad Griffin

Bridget Rumball ᵒ

Jacquie Pasich ᵒ

Tess Bury ᵒ

FILM Pema Monaghan

Caitlin Carr ᵒ

Tom Rossiter ᵒ

MUSIC Harry Manson

Callistah Goh ᵒ

Jade Newton ᵒ

BOOKS Bryce Newton

Cameron Moyses ᵒ

ARTS Samuel J. Cox

Christopher Spencer ᵒ

LIFESTYLE Thomas Rossiter

Clare Moran * Danyon Burge *

DESIGN Elise Walker


Diana Batchelor ᵒ Eamonn Kelly ᵒ

Xin Lan Xie *

Kate Prendergast *ᵒ Lilli Foskett * Maddison Howard ᵒ Madeline Sarich ᵒ Nathan Hugh Robért *ᵒ


Elysia Gelavis *

Nick Morlet *ᵒ

COVER ARTIST Shannon Lively (shlives)

Gabby Loo *ᵒ

Pema Monaghan ᵒ


Harry Peter Sanderson ᵒ

Prema Arasu ᵒ

Hayden Dalziel *ᵒ

Ruby Mae McKenna *

offer applies to large pizzas only


Janey Hakanson ᵒ

ᵒ Words

* Illustrations




Campus Spot


Is Green Is Good


Branded Art Page




Cultural Branding


‘I Gave Birth to my Mum’: a comic


Capitalism & the Car Industry


White Knights & Stereotypes


Interspecies Accusations


Brand: UWA Student














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.



Look Book: Branded

W H AT ?

UWA’s new branding


Ubiquitously floating as a nebulous manifestation around Crawley and UWA’s YouTube channel


Because YOU WA is all about YOU. There is no ‘they’ there is no ‘other’ there is no ‘I’ there is no ‘us’. ‘Thy’ doesn’t even stand a chance. The second-person personal prevails; through UWA, your identity and flesh-being are destined to envelop and become one with the Western Australian state; with vast, degree-certified powers of Knowing, you will soak into the land and fertilise the entirety of its wealth. You will become Gina Rinehart ironed flat to cover 2,645,615 kilometres squared. Backstory is, the concept originally began: ‘YO, UWA!’, as a misguided attempt to connect with the ‘hip, slangy youth’. But then someone got the kerning between the ‘O’ and the ‘U’ wrong, and when the board director saw it as YOU at the presentation, he got to crowing and harrumphing as he’d never done before (at Lawrence the Peacock in 2015, he’d merely hooted), so the marketing team went, uh, okay, yeah! What an idea! Shoot! Shucks! Hey guys, quick, churn some jerseys! Wrangle together some big ol’ bus ads! Round up some UWA students! We need their faces! We need to blow up their faces to ginormous proportions! Round ‘em up! Can we get the Segway girl? Can we kidnap her? No? Unicycling boy will have to do! Tell ‘em we’ll make ‘em famous! Heck, we’ll make ‘em stars!

Questions 1. Who was the biggest loser in the whole of Guild Elections?

5. Who are the new department heads?

2. Can we learn to love one another once more?

6. Are the pelican editors really lizard people as it said on the STAR website?

3. Who was the real winner, lurking behind the scenes? 4. What election promises were made regarding Pelican?

1. The rare striped egret was driven to extinction after the last members of the species had their habitat destroyed by excessive pamphlet production. 2. After bullets, there is no love on this earth that remains. 3. Guild Director Tony, who ritualistically sacrifices each newly elected dept. head to appease the blood god. a) That Pelican shall no longer have access to weaponry, b) that all remaining copies of pelican be destroyed and their ashes scattered to the four winds. 4. Nevin Jayawardena, who took over as head of all departments in a bloodless coup. 5. No. 6







s a young Indian girl growing up in a Western society, I often felt the pressure to conform to the stereotype of the model minority. This was compounded by the experience of being a migrant, and the expectation that comes with that to succeed. Although I met the expectations levelled upon me as a child, with hindsight I can see that this stereotype ingrained within my consciousness the idea that self-worth is restricted to quantitative measurements. It made me a perfectionist and a people-pleaser, which in turn gave me an intense fear of failure that adversely affected my mental health. The model minority myth, which casts young Asians as exemplary high achievers who put their family and careers first, is largely seen as a positive stereotype, but I’d argue that it does more harm than good. The myth – which has been internalised by a majority of Asians – leaves a deep emotional and psychological impact upon Asian youth and has contributed to high levels of emotional stress and depression which often goes untreated due to cultural taboos against seeking mental health treatment, silence and denial. The most alarming result of these mental health issues is suicide. The second leading cause of death for Asian American women between the ages of 15-24 is suicide, and one in six Asian American women will consider suicide in her lifetime. As for women like me, there is little data on depression and mental health in South Asian communities. However, it will come as no surprise to my fellow desi people that South Asian Americans had the lowest rate of utilisation of mental health resources.

The myth originates in a 1966 New York Times article by sociologist William Petersen, which praised Asian Americans as minorities that others should emulate. Firstly, this attitude serves to establish Asian people firmly into the subject of the minority and roots our experiences and achievements in the sphere of the Othered. Despite how hard we work, how quickly we assimilate into our countries as migrants or adopt Western attitudes, Asian people shall never be seen as the norm. This can be incredibly isolating to Asian youth who feel tangled between an Asian identity which pressures them and a Western identity which alienates them. The lack of complete belonging to either culture often leads to a conflict of cultural identity, which can be extremely harmful. Secondly, the myth divides communities of colour and specifically functions as a tool for anti-blackness. The idea that other racial minorities should emulate Asian communities serves to create divisions between people of colour and break down any notion of solidarity. While Asian people are constructed falsely as the model minority, black people are seen in binary opposition as the problem minority. There is no coincidence that this term was popularised during the Civil Rights Movement to create a narrative that equates hard work with success and removes past and present structural

barriers that inhibit black progress from the equation. In contrast to the model minority myth which pressures Asian people to conform, there are many stereotypes that force people of colour to play into respectability politics and work to deny the stereotype. This often leads to these people developing internalised racism which can make them reject their own cultural practices and behaviours and distance themselves from their culture. An example of such a stereotype is the thuggification of black people and latinx people. The idea that black and latinx people are violent criminals who are a danger to society is toxic and dangerous. It has led to racial profiling and increased rates of police brutality against these populations. Presidential candidate and human garbage can impersonator Donald Trump has taken this stereotype to a whole new level by saying that Mexicans are “rapists”, “lazy” and “steal our jobs”. Despite the fact that white rapists such as Brock Turner often receive lighter sentences in contrast to their counterparts of colour, Trump has perpetuated the stereotype of the dangerous and predatory man of colour who comes into white (i.e. respectable) communities to prey on white women. Furthermore, the irony of Mexican immigrants both being lazy and taking the jobs of White Americans is not lost on many. People have dubbed this phenomenon as the ‘Schrödinger’s immigrant’ – an immigrant who is simultaneously lazy and uneducated but also somehow skilled and experienced enough to steal jobs. To add to his outrageous and yet somehow acceptable overt racism, Donald Trump has added that black people are “living in poverty” and have “no jobs” and that by voting for him, their lives can get no worse. To me, this is a wild assertion to make since many black people are living in poverty due to systematic racism and white supremacist ideologies such as those perpetuated by Trump himself. His current opponent, Hillary Clinton, has been working hard to pander to black people by dabbing on Ellen and stating she has hot sauce in her bag but she herself has made anti-black remarks in the past which her campaign has tried to defend. During a 1994 speech, she called black people “super predators” while defending her husband and then President Bill Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which caused the incarceration rate of black people to skyrocket. The bill had a devastating impact on the livelihood and standards of


living of black communities. Unemployment rates increased to historic levels, especially amongst black men in their 20s. The politicians we support are a mere reflection of the majority they represent. The fact that Clinton and Trump have gotten this far in the race is telling of the racist ideologies that are prevalent and accepted amongst a vast number of Americans.

This stereotype has been rejected by certain groups of black people, but in ways that create further ruptures and divisions within the black community overall. These groups employ what is known as ‘respectability politics’ to create the idea of a ‘good’ black person and a ‘bad’ black person; policing their own numbers so as to conform to rather than challenge mainstream values. Coined by Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, a professor of Afro-American studies, respectability politics describes behaviours promoted by black elites to ‘uplift the race’ by correcting traits that are perceived as negative. In September 2014, a seven-year-old girl named Tiana Parker was sent home because her hairstyle was in direct violation of the school’s policy that prohibited children from wearing “unusual hairstyles” which stood in contrast to the school’s idea of a “respectful” learning environment. She was wearing dreadlocks. The idea that dreadlocks are dirty, unhygienic and somehow disrespectful has been perpetuated for a very long time. Even talented and successful black women such as Zendaya Coleman can wear dreadlocks to the Academy Awards and be told that her hair smells of “patchouli oil” and “weed”. Other examples include labelling certain names as ‘ghetto’, assuming black people who speak African American Vernacular English (AAVE) are illiterate and uneducated and forcing black women into the stereotype of the angry black woman. This brand of politics has also been readily embraced by white people as it creates a very convenient dichotomy that can be used to justify racist beliefs. Those who uphold respectability politics assume they work; that a person conforming to a set of stereotypes about how to be respectable will be exempt from racial profiling,

police brutality and systematic racism. Unfortunately, respectability politics creates no positive outcome for those who abide by them. Regardless of whether your pants sag, whether you have cornrows or whether you’re a respectable family man with a job, if you’re black, you are still in danger of being racially profiled and unfairly targeted. Furthermore, it is ridiculous that a hairstyle, attitude or a dialect can somehow denote whether a person is to be respected or not. Black people should be respected and not subjected to dehumanising and dangerous stereotypes regardless of how they express themselves. As a result of these harmful stereotypes, people of colour can often feel extremely tired of the way they are perceived in society and protective of the culture they belong to. Due to the persecution of belonging to a certain race, it can thus be extremely frustrating when white people steal, package and re-brand the culture of people of colour as their own invention. While people of colour are actively harmed by engaging in and embracing their own cultures, white people using and participating in them are often seen as trendy and cool. While black people are ridiculed for wearing locs, white people can walk freely seeing it as just another hairstyle when in reality, it comes with a history attached to it. Black feminists like Moya Bailey can coin important terms like ‘misogynoir’ and white women like Katy Perry can somehow get the credit for using it in a tweet. While AAVE is seen as a sign of the uneducated, Iggy Azalea can use it to rap and gain fame and money. While South Asian women are made to feel ashamed to walk out in their traditional garb, white women can wear bindis and be seen as boho and chic. While Muslim women are stripped on French beaches for wearing burkinis and have their hijabs forcibly removed, supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner can post ‘ethnic’ photos of themselves wearing hijabs on their Instagram accounts. The list goes on and on. While people of colour are negatively branded and stereotyped for their cultural experiences, the same experiences are up for profit and exploitation when it comes to white people. This is why stereotyping and its best bud cultural appropriation are so infuriating. The double standard leaves people of colour feeling seriously let down by the society we live in. It is time to make a change. If you’re considering stealing from cultures that don’t belong to you – check yourself. What you are doing is perpetuating harmful, racist stereotypes. Stop.



o we won’t make cars in Australia anymore. From what I can gather, Holden will be closing down all of its plant sometime next year. After making the decision, Holden rolled out adverts telling exasperated people, “We won’t be making cars in Australia, but we’ll still be making cars for Australia.” Somehow that was meant to soften the blow.

in 2007-2008. The GFC was a big collapse in the value of world markets. Markets are a special way of organising society so that people can trade all of the things they want to sell. Markets used to be actual physical places you could go to trade, and they sometimes still are, but markets are now largely conceptual, and exist only in special computer systems.

As far as I could tell, the workers making cars in Australia wanted to keep on going. They were proud of what they were doing. Hundreds of thousands of Australian workers will now be unemployed, and millions of dollars of car plant will lay idle and become scrap. It’s the same in the US. We now call the big old car manufacturing regions of the US the ‘rust belt’.

What lead to the GFC was the deregulation and expansion of global financial markets. Financial markets are special systems people access in order to trade money, because money is also a thing you can trade. Before, there were strict controls on what you could or could not do when you were trading money. You could only do certain things when you bought and sold financial products, and there were only certain financial products you could trade.

Isn’t capitalism weird? Both Australia and the US still have the capacity to make cars. We still have the plant ready to do so here in Australia; we still have the trained workers laying idle, ready to work; but we can’t seem to put the two together. Everybody already knows why. Money has gotten in the way of being productive. We can’t make cars here anymore because it is apparently not profitable to do so. But why should that matter? Why should we be concerned with making things in order to sell them? Why not make things in order to use them, to satisfy a need? The answer is that the entire world is run according to a system called capitalism. Capitalism is the world’s current system of political and economic organisation. A quick term you can use to represent this idea is the “mode of production”. Capitalism is the “mode” in which we satisfy people’s needs socially. Capitalism is a weird way of going about doing things. Normally you’d go and buy some object or service because you need/ want it—like some food, or a computer, or a movie. But capitalism isn’t oriented towards making things so that people can get what they need. Capitalism is about making things so you can sell them. These objects are called commodities. The idea behind capitalism is to sell commodities so that you can get as much money as you possibly can. The point behind doing this is to have so much money that you don’t really have to work anymore. When you have enough money, you can use this money to get even more money. By getting lots of money, you could be even more powerful, because with enough money you can make or do a great number of things.

But these controls were taken away. They were taken away because capitalists (people with capital) wanted to avoid having to deal with workers on their own terms. The people who make commodities are workers. They don’t own the means of making commodities, the “means of production”. Capitalists do. Because capitalists need a disenfranchised group of people to make them rich, capitalists are always in a struggle against these people over how hard they can work them, in order to sell the most commodities, to make the most money. During the 1960s and 1970s, workers waged a big wave of resistance against capitalists. They fought for better wages, and better conditions, and in the short term they won. But capitalists found an ingenious way to avoid having to deal with the difficulties of workers, and this was by turning to finance. They made it easier to speculate on commodities in the market. This means you could borrow money and gamble on what you thought was going to happen in the market. Borrowing money is called getting credit, and it’s a fantastic way to postpone having to deal with the immediate cost of producing commodities. Marx called the ability to get credit in financial markets the “abolition of the capitalist mode of production within capitalist production itself”. You can seemingly do anything if you borrow enough money and play your cards right. But take a look at what happened to the global economy after the deregulation and expansion of the global finance industry:

The idea is to make your money magically multiply. If you had a lot of money, you could put it in a bank. Banks will give you interest for your savings. This is one of the magical ways money can be turned into even more money. Imagine if you had enough money you could accrue interest on your interest. Wouldn’t that be nice? You’d be very rich. Money that you have that is potentially able to go through the magical process of growing and growing is called capital. This is a very strange way about organising the world. It’s a very back-to-front way of thinking. It lead to something called the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This was an event that happened



Figure 1. Global debt-to-GDP ratio, 2001-13

The first graph illustrates the amount of credit given out in the Australian economy. As you can see, there is an incredible increase after the 1970s. The Y-axis details the ratio between credit and Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That’s the value of all the commodities and services produced in the Australian economy. As you can see, the amount of credit now exceeds the entire Australian GDP. The credit exceeds 100%. This means more money has been lent out privately than the whole value of everything produced by the Australian economy. The second graph illustrates the ratio as a percentage between the amount of global debt and global GDP. You can find this graph in a 2014 article in The Telegraph. The type of debt measured here is both public and private non-financial debt. This means the debt of both governments and private companies. As you can see, the global amount of non-financial debt is more than two times the entire value of everything produced in the global economy. These graphs show that in order to avoid having to engage in a struggle with workers over the way the means of production were used, capitalists resorted to borrowing lots and lots of money in order to keep the process of capital “accumulation” going. By doing this capitalists were able to gain the advantage in the world system. The world capitalist system entered a new phase called “neoliberalism”. Capitalists were able to use their newfound money to both wind back and smash the collective union power of workers. They also began to sell off the public state services that workers had managed to establish. These state services were an attempt by the reformist leaders of unions to soften the inequalities and injustices that capitalism had on workers. But neoliberalism is nonsense. All that happened after the deregulation of financial markets was that everyone in the economy took on massive amounts of debt in order to keep commodity production going. Eventually, in 2007-2008, the bubble burst. The following is a graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It’s a special calculation of the value of all the top 30 company stocks on the Dow Jones stock exchange.

As you can see, the index lost half of its value in about two years. The huge bubble of debt-fuelled trading burst. There are more graphs. Try looking at the data on public and private debt over this period. Have a look at the growth rates of various national and regional GDPs. Also look at the global and national rates of inflation. The index above may have recovered its value and continued upwards, but this is being fuelled by a new return to the cycle of taking out credit, and going into debt. This is the logic of the current situation. We can now return to talking about the Australian car industry. Take a look at this graphical representation of some data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This graph represents the value of Australian automotive exports in millions of Australian dollars.

As you can see, there is dramatic collapse in the value of automotive exports around the time of the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-2008. The data set does not continue past 2015, but you can see that the value of car exports has never quite recovered to its pre-GFC levels. The GFC caused an economic phenomenon called deflation. The bursting of the crazy cycle of borrowing and lending on the world market caused the prices of Australian cars to drop. A key reason why the GFC caused deflation is that people are too deep in debt to buy cars, and companies that are also in large amounts of debt tend to try and get out of debt by making cars. Marx calls this over-production. The huge circus-act of the global capitalist class has cost Australia its car industry. I asked some rhetorical questions at the beginning of this article. Why aren’t we making cars because people need them? The answer is that there is a bizarre kind of rationality behind the way cars are produced in the world. Cars are produced for the efficient accumulation of capital. As we can see, this type of rationality is nonsense. It has led to the closure of a productive activity because an elite group of people wanted to remain in power. But what about the efficiency of needs? Why can’t we have a system geared towards making cars because they are useful, not because they’re a tool for making money?





hat’s in a name? Most things that exist at present have been named at least something; whether we’re talking the name of an animal, an object, or indeed a brand name such as Colgate or Kellogg’s. Ultimately, names help people question the singularity of certain things, to the point where they reach a concrete understanding of that thing and its attributes. Personal names, however, are a bit harder. They have always been a large part of our global culture; a way for people to convey personal identity, whether that be decided for them as a newborn or changed in later life. They can be shortened by friends, lengthened by angry relatives, or altered altogether to reflect the changes in a person’s story. They can also be compounded onto negatively; or erased altogether by slurs and stereotypes. The targeting of certain groups of people, most often minorities, with stinging nomenclature is counterproductive, and most importantly, harmful to someone’s own identity, integrity and personal expression. Examples can be drawn from the fictional hallways of tween TV, where popular, sexually liberated girls are bracketed and catcalled based on their sexual activity; to movies where LGBTQ+ side characters are mocked based on their relationships; to the streets of America (and most other western nations besides, including our own) where black and brown bodies are racially profiled on a daily basis. This has the compounding effect of altering how a person’s identity is viewed in both public and private spaces; threatening the person’s own sense of self for a stereotype-tinted ‘version’ of themselves; branded with the accompanying behaviours and personality expected of the slur. To quote prominent Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “[a] single story creates stereotypes; and the problem with


stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Slurs have been around for centuries, evolving as language, society and culture evolves. Yet those that are the most damaging carry within their connotations a history of oppression, violence and discrimination – and which are often therefore the vile arsenal of insecure white men. Such names are so powerful they can cause a person to involuntarily warp or change their identity to fit them; altering their behaviours and personality to fit others’ expectations of them. This is a process which is again glorified by today’s society; think of every movie trope where a girl is negatively branded as ‘sexually promiscuous’, and accordingly changes her style and behaviours, only to be a part of the male white knight ‘you’re beautiful as you once were’ dénouement.

Naturally, there exists a distinction between involuntarily changing one’s personality to fit the mould that accompanies a slur, and voluntarily taking hold of the word and using it positively to define oneself. This has led to some minority groups attempting to reclaim these pejoratives as their own – to take control of their meaning, challenge and undermine oppressors’ ‘ownership’ of language, and so empower their own identities and groups. Examples of this include the reclamation of racial slurs by minorities of colour, most notably African American collectives, and the reform of archaic labels used to denigrate sex workers. The process of reclamation takes time, with the ongoing aim to incorporate these ‘brands’ positively, defiantly, and often proudly into cultural and personal expression.

Reclamation of these personal ‘brands’ is not a simple one however, and comes with many problems and challenges. A (often deliberate) duality operates between the meaning of reclaimed slurs when used by and within minority individuals and groups, and as they exist in the wider social conscious. For example, the use of the term ‘slut’ among women at a SlutWalk is felt as empowering and a statement against patriarchal control of women’s bodies and freedoms of expression. Yet the use of the term outside of safe spaces – such as catcalls on the street or through online photo ‘leaks’/sexual harassment – can be destroying. Furthermore, the reclaimed slur in question may still hold its negative connotations and taboo outside of its targeted groups. In short, this is because reclaiming a term never results in the erasure of its past, but confronts this past and refutes its powers of hegemonic definition. Take Elliot Rodgers’ 2014 shooting spree in California, in which he killed six people and injured several others. Like many mass-shooters in recent times, he made his motives very clear – declaring that he had wanted to attack the “blonde sluts” who “rejected” him. “It’s not fair,” he said into a series of YouTube videos made prior to the spree. “I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me but I will punish you all for it.” Again, the use of the term may well be powerful when you’re amongst others who use the word positively/defiantly; but when it tumbles from the mouth of a warpedminded murderer, it returns with all the original force and meaning behind it. Reclaimed slurs are also routinely misused. Look no further than every second video on Vine or YouTube, in which (usually, but not limited to) young white boys attempt to use racial slurs as edgy nicknames or terms of endearment. Groups of colour have every right to use such slurs as positive terms, being common within the output of musicians,


actors and other creatives. In short, the power to reclaim or re-interpret a slur remains with the group/minority towards which it is targeted. Further complications arise over the fact that it is impossible to reclaim a slur on behalf of an entire minority group. To do so is no short of presumptuous and wrong-headed. For example, plenty of female-identifying people may not feel comfortable with terms such as ‘slut’, despite many others taking on the terms with pride, and as part of their sexual and personal identity. This discomfort may be due to their own attitudes or beliefs, or simply because of their own personal intersectionality, such as being a part of another minority or belief system. The issue came to the fore when a group of black female academics, authors and


community leaders penned an open letter to the organising committee of the original L.A.-based SlutWalk in 2013, asking for a rebranding of the event due to its inability to encompass all femaleidentifying participants, including participants of colour. “The problem of trivialised rape and the absence of justice are intertwined with race, gender, sexuality, poverty, immigration and community,” they wrote. “Even if only in name, we cannot afford to label ourselves, to claim identity, to chant dehumanising rhetoric against ourselves in any movement.” Black women, they continued, “don’t have the privilege… to call [themselves] ‘slut’ without validating the already historically entrenched ideology and recurring messages about what and who the black woman is.”

After the letter’s publication, most SlutWalk protests did subsequently change their name. The incident highlights one of the most prominent problems found within reclamation movements – their failure to accommodate intersectionality concerns. So long as these negative slurs, or indeed brands, are used, people will continue to be pigeonholed and profiled according to the stereotypes and expectations that accompany them. Regardless of the amount of proud reclamation occurring, people will still hold the powerful ability to condense a person down to a single element; or as Adichie puts it, a single part of a story not their own.




t is a Wednesday. Lunch time. I have just presented at my first conference and had a half hour break before the next session, which I want to go to despite having to leave halfway through to get on a plane. I race through Brisbane. Brisbane is the only city I’ve ever been to other than Perth – that and Geraldton, which I have always referred to in my heart and mind as a city despite what some people, and Official City Prerequisite Setters, may think. This city is beautiful and lush. I have just gotten into the wonder of house plants and was very delicately moving them from space to space in my house back in Perth, seeking the perfect lighting and being sure to keep them moist. What a time to go to Brisbane and leave the incredibly dry and arid Western Australia. Here I see monstera and philodendrons casually gracing sidewalks the least-tended and cared for plant space! – like regular yukkas and their weird red, hardy companions that I never learnt the name of, out of spite. It’s April, and it’s warm. I’m wearing the final item of clean clothing I packed, as I knew that if I gave myself options I would most likely die from indecision and possibly never leave my hotel room on time for the early sessions. On my back is everything I thought I had needed for a three-day Interstate Business Trip. I am sprinting to a comic book store because I desperately need a zine for the plane ride home. Not really of course - I have two Super Sudoku books on hand. But after two days in Brisbane and with nothing but a light sweat and an in-depth conversation with a pharmacist about pharmacy audits that the company is doing to get an edge on the competition to show for it, I decide some home-grown literature could be a good idea. The brief sojourn turns into a Tolkien trek: it is as if I have on a set of heelys, instead of the sensible shoes that actually adorn my feet. Yet I make it to the comic store, am offered a hallowed place under the air-con to cool off, and get out in record time. I even make it back to the conference to listen to some more people just absolutely nail public speaking. So I have a book, a zine, I have a bit of extra time. I make it to the airport in one


piece an hour early for fear of missing the flight. I’m having a great day. I have gone from strength to strength. The flight is an almost breeze. Not as fun as the previous flight, where I got to watch Ted silently on someone else’s screen because I don’t understand in-flight entertainment. But fun enough in that I had my reading material, a warm meal, and a window seat.

Now, this is my first interstate flight. I’ve been on a few domestic flights: this was not my first rodeo, kind of. But entering and leaving airports are truly magical experiences for me. There are so many rules and regulations that the airport has been designed to facilitate, with minimum actual direction; and you can learn so much about what is expected in different spots by just watching everyone else. The true fear in this setting is that questioning the process puts a red target on your back for security, and your ignorance highlights your false status as a national threat. Am I crazy? I don’t know. I just know I’ve never asked anyone in an airport about processes. I watch and learn. I thought I was pretty savvy up until I passed through the ominous ‘throw out your fruit before you go through these doors or quarantine gone get ya’ section.

witnessing the act could corrupt their assumed innocence. The dog has a bit of a sniff of my belongings and smiles at me again – an honest smile tainted with the true meaning of what attention from a dog in a vest actually means. No words are spoken, but I understand. The dog is sorry about its co-worker - this is just her standard response to any kind of interest the dog shows in anything at work. It has crippled its social life. Trapped in a yellow vest, there are no friends. Just the nose, and the scent of fruit as they pace these well-travelled, lifeless hallways. The dog longs for time spent outside the vest. Free from suspicion and fruity lies. Knowing this, I forgive it for its accidental accusations. The dog's colleague allows me to pick up my bag and leave the scene. She only knows the Way of the Nose. I can't take her protocol-following procedure personally. Shaken, I go to the nearest cafe and order a hot chocolate. Large, with extra marshmallows. Free from this moment in time, I can go back to my normal life. Get home. Sleep off this encounter as if it were a dream. But for the dog, there is no escape. Only longing, and hanging out for time outside the vest; waiting for retirement at the end of service; to settle down with a nice family, surrounded by good smells.

That’s where things turn south. I set foot in the Perth domestic arrivals section and smile at a cute quarantine dog. The dog smiles back and watches me walk past. I think, “What a day. A positive dog interaction.” But then the dog’s companion, or colleague as it were, turns to look at me and says, “Excuse me ma’am. Could you please put down your bag?” At this point I am a confirmed quarantine criminal to all passers-by, threatening the safety of our state produce. A ne'er-dowell, preparing to soil our soil with the writhing bodies of fruit disease and ill intent. They shade their children's eyes, for fear that merely




he ultimate peacocking of national pride, broadcast to millions of televisions around the world, occurred on the 5th August 2016. To those of you who caught the show, I hope you enjoyed it - the next display of its kind won’t happen again until 2020 in Japan. However, there was something that made this particular peacock special, that made it stand out from the other 30 peacocks that had come before it - and that was its host nation’s call to rally as a world, so as to bring about positive environmental change. The brand of this XXXI Olympics will be remembered as one that preached the conventional cries of sportsmanship, spirit and unity (and of course, the Olympics that made legendary the names of Simone Biles and Usain Bolt), but also as the first to identify and recognise that modern humans are not fulfilling their role as stewards for the sustainability of our planet. The decision by the Brazilian Olympic committee to admit their country’s share of responsibility came twofold. Amidst the pomp and spectacle of the Opening Ceremony, a video was broadcast bringing focus to the risks and consequences of climate change. Then there was the pledge to plant 11,000 trees in Rio – one for each athlete in this year’s games. Symbolic and small gestures respectively, and with hydroelectric dams and deforestation projects still ongoing in the Amazon, it can hardly be denied that Brazil itself is no golden exemplar on environmental policy (for the ideal nation, look up Costa Rica). Yet, that they put the issue front and centre was a bold move that demonstrated leadership at a time where leadership on this issue is sorely lacking. For years now, developed countries like Australia have turned their noses up and pointed the finger of blame at developing countries for tipping the earth’s climate over the so-called ‘point of no return’. This is based on the idea that developing nations are more likely to prioritise cheaper production methods (which provide higher gross earnings) over environmentally-friendly ones. Understandably for political leaders in such countries, feeding your population and ensuring growing economies are more pressing than lowering your carbon emissions (which often provides little short-term benefit). This is what makes Brazil’s pledge to take steps to protect the environment for future generations all the more admirable. This developing country is looking to reform its identity as a villain of the climate change debacle, and instead become its hero – and promising to do so in front of millions of people worldwide. The question then follows – if Brazil can organise itself to make a confident, policy-backed stance on reducing climate change, why can’t Australia? At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year, we among other developed countries were

tasked with guiding developing nations towards ‘greener’ practices. Yet here we are in the midst of 2016, with both sides of government lacking a clear stance on how we will mitigate and handle the climate challenges to come. With so many natural wonders of own already showing signs of damage (the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, for instance, was this summer made 17% more likely due to higher sea temperatures), we cannot afford to take a backseat on this matter any longer. As we stand to the rest of the world right now, our environmental policies are an absolute joke. Obama rightly felt the need to prod our policy-makers into action during speeches at the University of Queensland and the G20 summit in 2014, calling the youth of today to speak up and demand strong action from their government on climate change. In response, Turnbull (who arguably lost to Abbott in 2013 after alienating the Coalition’s conservative rightwing in his support of an emissions trading scheme) has pledged to only reduce carbon emissions by up to 28% on 2005 levels by 2030. A pretty measly number and pathetic effort when you consider that the European Union is pledging a carbon emission reduction of 40% on 1990 levels by the same year. To be clear, that’s 28 countries with a 508 million people population in the EU, versus one country and a 23 million population in Australia. Personally, I don’t want to be part of a national brand that is based on a Prime Minister who shies away from his commitments towards a sustainable future, and an Environmental and Energy minister better known as ‘Mr. Coal’. And don’t even get me started on One Nation’s ‘global warming is a global Nasabuilt conspiracy’ Senator Malcolm Roberts.





isten up, kid, because you’re about to get hit with some slick slick branding advice to make sure YOU make it here at the University of WA. First off, you need to buy a pair of straight-leg chinos from the internet. A pair of cream chinos tells everyone you’re not in high school anymore, and that you’re ready to study hard and reap the benefits of any social situations that might be thrown your way. Next up, you need to start wearing Ralph Lauren. Go to David Jones or Myers and ask the sales assistant where to find their Ralph Lauren shirts, then buy them. Be careful though – don’t waste your time looking at RL shirts if they don’t have the logo on the front. No way. You need that horse front and centre for any conversations or photographs you might have taken. Snapchat a selfie of yourself in your Ralph Lauren shirt. Send snapchats of yourself in your Ralph Lauren shirt to your friends and put it in your snapchat story. You’re going to want to buy a Daniel Wellington watch. Daniel Wellington is a high quality chronograph brand that tells prospective suitors your know how to shop. Buy a rose gold time-piece and tell anyone who asks that you appreciate the lightweight design. To match the colour scheme of your new watch, buy a pair of Sperry boat shoes. Buy a pair of brown leather Sperry boat shoes and wear them around, since they match your watch. For your eyes, you need to buy a pair of Tortoiseshell Ray-Ban Clubmasters. A little pricey at $200, but it’s well worth the sale. Get your parents to pay for them. If your parents argue they’re too much money, tell them your friend Ben from your marketing class has the same pair. Tell them they’re all you need right now. Tell them they’re an important brand: or was Ezra Koenig at the afterparty for the 2008 Independent Spirit awards not styling? Match your Ray-Ban Clubmasters with a light white Tommy


Hilfiger linen shirt and wear them around campus. If you think branding stops at clothing, you’re wrong. You need to recognise yourself as a brand. You need to realise your own personal brand. Mostly this involves the cultivation of a social media identity. There are some surefire ways to establish yourself. Post a photo of you in Europe in front of an Art picture. Post a photo of yourself looking at a Manet or a Pollock or a Picasso – some well-known artist. Also post a photo of yourself at a ball, smiling. Post a photo of a book or a coffee or even both.

Start following high-brand Instagrams. Follow Pressed Earth on Instagram. Recognise the power of a consistent and intelligent aesthetic. Recognise the artfulness of brand establishment. Understand the concept of status and the interrelation of status and branding. Yearn to increase your own status as well as the status of your own personal brand through the power of widely appealing and consistently aestheticised social media posting. Buy an Apple Macbook and upload pictures of it to your Instagram. Use your Apple Macbook as a symbol of status in your online presence. Your Apple Macbook says two things. One: I value good, forward-thinking design elements, and have the financial standing to take

on cutting-edge aesthetic technology as an extension of myself and my own brand. AND Two: I have the work ethic of a high-profile Japanese graphic designer, and this glowing Apple on the back of my laptop signifies I have the non-government education required to fulfil any task given to me. Get a pair of Beats headphones to plug into your Apple Macbook. Wear your Beats headphones around campus listening to music. When you aren't wearing them, put them around your neck so that they are still prominent. Buy Cherry Red Beats headphones so that they don’t wash into your clothes from afar, but so that everyone knows you are wearing them, even around your neck. Start considering status as an amalgamation of branding and personality. In all of your interpersonal interactions, proceed with the single goal of increasing NET status. Employ a vice-like grip when you shake another person’s hand, in order to assert yourself as an Alpha. Feel the confidence imbued in you by that rose gold Daniel Wellington chronograph on your wrist. Read Elon Musk’s autobiography. Ensure you speak with a loud and deep voice, and edge over your interlocutor in any given situation. Rhetoric is simply another sub-sect of branding. Always maintain eye contact as a sign of strength. Always use words of at least three syllables. Find more complicated synonyms for your whole vocabulary and begin employing them in conversation as a sign of status, intelligence, and power. Begin using your middle name when you introduce yourself to people. Use your middle name in order to add syllables to your title, and thus time on earth. This message is brought to you by Harry Peter Sanderson: Brand Baron of University Student Fashion and Culture. Follow him on Instagram @ColdPress_HotMess


NATHAN HUGH ROBÉRT Back when I was 12 I was had to take a few photographs for a holiday art project, I enjoyed so much I just haven't stopped. I draw my inspiration from classic street photography and artists such as Elise Swopes. Photography for me is a way to disconnect from daily life and explore my surroundings in a creative way. Instagram:








audi Arabia is one oil producer you will find people complaining about whilst dishing out dollar bills at their local petrol station. One in every seven barrels of oil consumed in Australia comes from Saudi Arabia, funding 70% of their government revenue. Australians once paid as much as AUD $1.60 per litre of oil whereas Saudi’s enjoyed a subsidised price of US $0.15 per litre. As an Australian living in Saudi Arabia for the past seven years, I believe that the tables have turned. The market price of oil has decreased by 70% and the Saudi government can no longer afford its previous flow of subsidies. Meanwhile, Australians are now more likely to be heard complaining about new pressing issues such as city parking fees or Kanye’s Famous video. An unprecedented Saudi government annual budget deficit of $98 bn confirms that it’s not just the desert that’s dry these days but the government’s coffers as well. So how will Saudi Arabia recover its lost fortunes? BY MAKING STOCK MARKET HISTORY Forget Apple or Microsoft, the most valuable company in the world is Saudi Aramco (Saudi’s state-owned oil company) and it’s about to make stock market history. The Saudi Arabian government recently announced that 5% of Saudi Aramco will be sold in shares. This constitutes the biggest initial public offering in history. The offering is part of a plan to inject new money into the country to spend on non-oil enterprise. Prior to the drop in oil prices, Saudi Aramco earned $180 bn per annum. Its nearest competitor, Exxon, cashed a mere $33 bn. For decades, Saudi Aramco’s unparalleled profit margins have fuelled national economic growth and sustained the authority of the royal family. Carving out a chunk of 5% for Wall Street brokers to squabble over is not to be taken lightly. It shows the lengths to which the Saudi Arabian government will go to relieve itself from falling oil prices.

women from driving, controlling their own finances and travelling independently. However, subsidies in education mean that women now constitute 50% of the country’s university graduates. Economically, they are a major untapped resource. Given the panic to quickly replace oil money, the Saudi Arabian government has recently announced plans to increase the percentage of women in the workforce from 8% to 30%. This rapid social change is a big deal for a country positioned as the centre of Islam. Basically, women’s employment issues are addressed - just not well enough to satisfy the United Nations or Amnesty. This is the ultimate compromise by a government that is trying to mitigate its budget deficit but also keep the conservative elite happy. Time will tell if women will receive further acknowledgement in exchange for their contribution to the Saudi Arabian economy. WILL IT WORK? In 2013, I vividly remember that weekly trip to the petrol station in Perth. As the price display dial ticked away with every litre consumed I couldn’t help but mourn the money that was haemorrhaging out of my student bank account. In 2016, it is not Australian individuals with this predicament but rather the entire Saudi Arabian nation. Money is bleeding out of the government’s savings faster than the sand from an unforgiving hourglass. The Saudi Arabian government have set an ambitious target to replace oil money by 2030. However, experts predict that the kingdom only has until 2020 before their oil money runs out. One thing is certain: in this race against the sands of time the Saudi Arabian government desperately needs its people’s support.

BY SHOWING TOUGH LOVE When it comes to government subsidies, Saudi Arabia has been in a league of its own. With a government budget once flowing with oil money, locals have enjoyed generous subsidies on everything from education to heating bills. A fallen oil price means that the sun is setting on the era of government concessions. Desert nights will be colder as Saudi’s see their heating bills nearly triple in price. Underqualified locals who once enjoyed high paying jobs will now compete as the government looks to attract more skilled expatriates to work and live in the kingdom permanently. Saudis will have to spend more while earning less. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lamented how “everyone in the Saudi Arabian kingdom has a dangerous addiction to oil money”. If this is true then the sudden revocation of subsidies will mean that locals may have to battle some serious withdrawal symptoms before emerging ready to contribute to economic growth - the Saudi Arabian government is betting on this. BY GETTING THE GIRLS ONBOARD It’s not international criticism that may force the Saudi Arabian government to address women’s rights but rather economic growth. The kingdom’s laws forbid





Golfing with U.S. Presidents WORDS BY KATE PRENDERGAST

utside of foxhunting, golf is hands-down the most borgy sport you can sign yourself up to. It requires not only private hired labour, expensive equipment and Hugo Boss pro-knit sweaters, but also vast tracts of land, and even vaster stretches of leisure time in which its players can putt, thresh and Happy Gilmore away. Not to mention all the cocktails and/or whisky fingers they have to slug with people called Jeremy and Diane at the club afterwards. Like cricket, golf is a gentleman’s sport – which translates into a game almost exclusively available historically to rich white men (“Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps” said Tiger Woods). Which perhaps says something on why so many US Presidents have themselves been avid players. A full 16 of the 18 US Presidents up to now have been mad about the sport. Before he contracted polio, Roosevelt was a champion. Father/son contests were common between G. Bush Senior and Junior (the first Bush was, as in all things but pooch portraiture and fearmongering, superior). Raegan kind of sucked. Clinton – who caddied as a kid at PG tournaments in Hot Springs – was a cheat. Surprised? He still likes to amble about with his dogs in search of lost balls in the woods bordering the private golf course near his home. “I take a little basket with me, and a tool to clean off the balls we find. I've got at least a hundred now," he says. “It reminds me of when I was twelve.” Woodrow Wilson – though no great talent – painted his golf balls black so he could play in the snow, and Gerald Ford was involved in an ‘incident’ which resulted in a bruised-headed spectator at the Vince Lombardi Memorial Golf Tournament in Milwaukee.

Ike for caring more about improving his handicap than doing better for the average honest worker, Kennedy found he had effectively straightjacketed himself from his passion. Although basketball is more Obama’s thing (there has been at least one book written on what it means and signifies, and there is bound to be more), he doesn’t mind a game every now and then. For this, he’s faced the heat. Take yourself – now – to the website An adorable little low-fi multimedia thing, it has a background collage of Obama (or “GOLFTUS”) on the green, and a counter which tells you how many days he has golfed to date (270, apparently – nothing on the 800 rounds Eisenhower played over his 8-year term). Over this are recordings of Obama declaring various ‘We will not rest!’s. Like “We will not rest until we build an economy that is ready for America’s people!” Or “I will not rest until the day that not one single veteran falls into homelessness!” And the clincher: “I will not until this well is shut, the environment is repaired, and the clean-up is complete!” It also has a full table disclosing the date and venue that Obama played, links to stories like “Obama Golfing Relentlessly on Martha’s Vineyard”, and a column titled “US Casualties in Afghanistan/Iraq Since last outing”. Pert, and vulgar. And hypocritical: in 2002, just after a suicide bombing in Israel, George Bush gave to reporters the staggering soundbite, made famous by Michael Moore docos and vines everywhere: “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive.” Now comes the confession: I’ve never watched a game of golf. I don’t intend to. But damn do I love the stories.

However, recent POTUS’s have been all too aware of the sport’s elitist, high leisure rap. To play at any time the US citizenry is hurting at the hip pocket or troops are dying overseas is seen as grossly out-of-touch, and an outrageous affront. It’s a symptom of the state of new media, which gives the public the lens to scrutinise and the megaphone to call out the private lives and habits of their leaders a lot more than they could do previously. Take JKF, who despite a bad back had a killer swing, and is often ranked best among the lot of them. Allegedly he did everything possible to keep his genius on the down-low. Having ramped up his electioneering campaign around tearing up Republican runner



Love and Hardship in Terence Davies’ Sunset Song WORDS BY PEMA MONAGHAN

Beware: I’m about to rhapsodise. Set before and during WWI, Terence Davies’ Sunset Song depicts the growth of Chris Guthrie (Agyness Deyn) from girlhood to womanhood in rural Scotland at the beginning of the 20th century. Scottish nationalism, modernisation, and feminism are ideologies and new frontiers that touch the Guthrie family – tentatively at first, yet increasingly as the film develops. Chris, a keen student, shifts between desire for the imagined England – which seems to hold the promise of better schooling and literature - and Scotland, the land she has grown up in. Here, she is surrounded by loving friends and family, and couched in a language (which I think is known as Doric Scots) she feels to be more beautiful and emotionally rich than English. It is worth noting that Terence Davies is an English director, and that the original novel Sunset Song is by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, a Scotsman. Davies is sensitive and critical about the colonial rule of England in Scotland, and any easy dichotomies between the two kingdoms are deftly avoided. Davies happens also to be curiously – and obstinately – invested in Sunset Song. He had pitched his idea for the film to the UK Film Council in 2000, but the body had refused to fund the project, with members considering it not on par with the kinds of American productions being churned out at the time. Angered, Davies gave an interview to the Guardian in which he was rather rude about the Council and the rest of the industry besides, calling them all “philistines”. For a long while afterwards, the director found it difficult to get interest in his projects. Yet he never let go of his determination to make Sunset Song. “There was something inside me that felt it was worthwhile,” Davies told the New York Times. “Perhaps films come about when you are mature enough to do them.” His patience has paid off, producing a film of visual splendour and wonderfully-wrought characters. Deyn is difficult to buy as a 16-yearold in school, but as Chris ages her performance becomes much more graceful. She has a really beautiful speaking voice and uses it very well, and her physical translations of joy are particularly striking. Peter Mullan is terrifying and sad as her father. Kevin Guthrie, however, as Chris’ lover Ewan, is the real star. He has an incredibly amusing and expressive face; he broke my heart all over the cinema floor. Dean and Guthrie had great charisma together, and watching them in love was affecting. Much of the music in the film is very simple singing, with choirs and soloists providing melody over action, dialogue, and scenery. At one


point, a large cast sing Auld Lang Syne, the most melancholic of songs, and it is very beautiful. ‘The Land’ (Chris’ term) is spoken of during the film as if it were a person. The cinematography also works to anthropomorphise it, with wide panning shots in various weather and climes. It works to articulate an intricate relationship between the Land and the people who live upon it, in which the movements of nature directly influences the moods and lives of its subjects. Costume choices enhance this, with actors appearing in garments that allow them to fade into the landscape – worn greens, browns, and plant prints. Though Chris deals with heartbreak in her family, as well as love and sexuality as a woman, her relationship with the landscape is the most enduring romance of the film. In an amazing piece of cinematography, Chris and Ewan leave their barn into the snowy blue night. They disappear wordlessly like spirits, recalling Chris’ thoughts on the impermanence of our days, and the seeming forever of the earth. In its depiction of technological advancement and mechanical modernisation in farming, the film invites a comparison between Chris’ understanding of her place in nature, and the new understanding of our relationship with it that humans are collectively having to acknowledge. Reading/viewing this colonial story in the present, it is hard not to think of the irreparable damage we’ve enacted upon the greater earth. Counterpointing the landscape’s majesty, the film captures a harsh existence. The Scottish peasantry of the time – servants of the land and battered about by English Imperial rule – was often a more gruelling one for women. Living in such an isolated community where the life you lead is determined by the men to whom you are attached comes with obvious sufferings, and Sunset Song doggedly portrays them. Women in the film, specifically Chris and her mother, are constantly deserted, hurt, and made servile by men. Chris’ mother’s life is ultimately characterised by her unending pregnancies, a condition that her husband will not spare her from as we are shown in scenes that are specifically coded as rapes. This parental relationship is imparted upon Chris and her brother too, as in the small house they share violence – it can be heard through the walls. Despite its parochial northern setting, Sunset Song translates something universal and fragile; the humanness of falling in love, working, raising a family, giving birth, eating, dancing, living and dying. From me, to Davies’ long-awaited adaptation: four stars.


FILM REVIEWS Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, and the films of Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureishi.

HIGH-RISE Director Ben Wheatley Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans & Elisabeth Moss As far as British films go, High-Rise emerges in well-trodden territory, making its 2015 stab at pervasive, ‘no-society’ capitalism; lighting its cinematic pitchfork in the shadow of a roasting Thatcher mannequin (note: not in film but routinely rehearsed in imagination). Directed by Ben Wheatley, this sprawling, fiery film seems like an uninterrupted extension of that ‘80s tradition (think Peter Greenaway), and its willful depiction of the excesses of Thatcherite Britain. Notable examples are The Cook, The

Laing’s induction into the building confirms the viewer’s anxiety. In speaking with guests at a party, the doctor uncovers the hierarchical nature of floor by floor living, where the elites reign on top and unchallenged. As an ‘esteemed’ professional Laing is ushered up the floors to meet the architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons), where he is faced with a pristine apartment, and a lush garden with a galloping horse. Finding myself at the cinema on a Saturday morning, the film’s sharp dips into dark comedy went straight over my dazed head. I do remember Irons’ cut-throat, humourless voice describing the building as a “crucible for change”. Visually, this film is a spectacle. Each sequence, or cluster of scenes, is spliced with a shot of the building, rising up against the backdrop of an ashy sun. The shots are precise and methodical, in juxtaposition to the chaos which descends on each floor. As Laing entangles himself in the finely wrought divisions of the floors, he bears The End, Bad Neighbors), and stars Frank (Seth Rogen), a hotdog longing to be ‘inside’ his girlfriend, hotdog bun Brenda Bunson (Kristen Wiig). All hotdogs in this movie just want to be inside these curvy buns, because that’s subtle innuendo, kids. They must resist the urge to escape their packages because they want to please The Gods (humans), so they can be chosen to go to The Great Beyond (the outside world) - though they don’t yet realise what we do to them once they’re in our homes.

SAUSAGE PARTY Directors Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan Starring Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Jonah Hill & Michael Cera Sausage Party is written and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, This is

At first I thought this movie was just going to be another foul-mouthed stoner joint from Seth Rogen and co. And it is this kind of movie for the most part. However, Sausage Party not only dares to push animation far beyond kidfriendly paradigms, but uses it as not-so-subtle relevant social commentary. Fundamentalist religion, the Holocaust, bible paraphrasing, abstinence, Judaism vs. Islam etc. – nothing is safe from Sausage Party, which consistently takes something controversial

Wilder is indifferent to his wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss) and his infatuation with the beautiful Charlotte (Sienna Miller) turns abusive in one scene. He is a lofty political idealist set on disrupting a corrupt system that privileges the few – and also a brutal misogynist. Along with Ann (Keeley Hawes), who is married to the architect, the female characters are politically marginal throughout the film, but all play a collaborative role in its fatal finale. Their role is passive in the midst of powerful men designing tall towers and orchestrating orgies of a wearying frequency. However - in an act of retribution against Wilder - the actions of Helen, Charlotte, and Ann mean a final indictment of the system; a system that could produce the ‘Iron Lady’.


Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) moves into an apartment block of staid concrete, greenless and dystopian in setting. In belligerent postmodern fashion, we are temporally lost and follow Laing with unease, not confident of our assumptions. It is a trick well-played throughout this ebb-and-flow soon to turn crash-and-dive of a film.

witness to a rising discontent, spurring a hotpot for anarchy. Richard Wilder (Luke Evans) – the irresponsible father turned documentarian – rails against top floor authority, yet is by no means our romantic hero.

Leaving the cinema, I was sure of one thing, and that was the need for a re-watch. High-Rise is a multi-layered, multifarious, unruly thing that isn't easily swaddled into a coherent picture. In fact, there were many times when I felt lost in its crescendo of debauchery, partying, and sheer brutality. It paints a dark picture, but like its homely antecedents, a necessary one. REVIEW BY RYAN SUCKLING

and uses food as a metaphor to analyse it. It actually works quite well, and elevates the material past the juvenile humour we have come to expect from the Superbad star. It is disappointing to find out that 80% of the movie is actually set in the supermarket and not in the horror kitchen seen in the trailers however. The movie still works, but the trailers are misleading. The real flaws are that it attempts to give our main characters heart, but squanders it on a climax which while extremely bold and left me speechless, slightly undermines the adventure we’ve just had. The R-rating is used to its fullest extent, but the constant swearing and graphic content gets tired after 30 minutes. While Sausage Party is quite shocking, and might divide audiences, its statements on the folly of humanity ring louder than its sex jokes. The film is a gross and guilty, yet witty, pleasure. REVIEW BY CHRISTOPHER SPENCER






t isn’t often that an artist comes along whose output is so perfect, so unimpeachably well-crafted, and so of-its-ownkind as Andrei Tarkovsky. Despite being significantly famous among film scholars, Tarkovsky is yet to gain any modicum of mainstream attention as others before him have done (Stanley Kubrick, Alejandro González Iñárritu [the Birdman/Revenant guy] and Nicolas Winding Refn [the Drive guy] being comparable examples). This may be partially because Tarkovsky does not communicate artistically in any conventional way; meaning isn’t spelled out for the viewer in concrete terms. Tarkovsky rejected the montage theory as proposed by Sergei Eisenstein, preferring instead to allow the viewer to interpret the images in front of them using only intuition. His films aren’t meant to be neatly interpretable; oftentimes they are deliberately obscure. They do however evoke powerful and confusing moods in audiences. Stalker is in many respects Tarkovsky’s best-known and most plot-heavy work, and forms part of a collection of different interpretations of a 1971 novella by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, ‘The Roadside Picnic’. ‘The Roadside Picnic’ and its various adaptations has something of an iconic status in Russian popular culture, similar to Harry Potter in English-speaking nations. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R videogame series is far and away the most popular incarnation of this mythos, though a pale imitation somewhat cheapened by the emphasis on gun violence (it’s still really good, go play it). The novella depicts the aftermath of an extra-terrestrial event that leaves the surrounding area uninhabitable and filled with strange and mystical space-time altering supernatural anomalies. The film is about the journey of three main characters into ‘The Zone’ to find a room that is said to manifest a person’s innermost desire. There is a scientist looking to measure the anomalies of the zone, an author looking for inspiration, and their guide, Stalker, a man who shows a great deal of respect and ritualistic fervour for the miracles and mysteries of the zone. It’s a neat set-up for heady philosophical discussion about faith, desire and the interaction between art, science and religion through the allegorical significance of the characters. To reproduce any of this discussion would be to suck the life out of the film: Stalker is such a subjective experience that to intellectualise it would be heresy. However, let it be known here that Tarkovsky is a deeply religious filmmaker, something that often put him at odds with Soviet censors (his film Andre Rublev, considered by many to be his most ‘challenging’ film and by me to be his best, was not seen in the USSR until 1971, a full six years after its completion, and after various cuts were made). Tarkovsky very much ‘takes the side’ of the Stalker, whilst also holding him under an immense amount of moral and existential scrutiny. Which – if you view the Stalker as an extension of Tarkovsky – is a tall order for anyone.


Stalker, it should be noted, is a very slow film. There is literally a point at which the central characters lay down in the mud and have a nap while poetry is read at you. The camera moves about with this oneiric quality, focusing in on the objectively beautiful scenery of the zone, heightened in scope by the muted colour scheme. As Slavoj Zizek says in his Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, one is made to feel the “drabness” of time; events, no matter how seemingly insignificant, occur outside of your subjective experience. Whilst slow, quiet, and long, the film isn’t ever dull if you allow yourself to be sucked into the visual. Stalker is devastatingly sad, exposing the inadequacies, hypocrisies, and pathos of its subjects in a way quite unlike anything seen before. One of the more well-drawn characters of the film is the Stalker’s wife, who is given just enough screen time to hammer home any potential lack of emotional depth. Her final monologue towards the end of the film is a Voight-Kampff test - if you don’t feel anything after watching it you are a robot. The film is divided into thirds denoted by the colour scheme used; the first and final third are shot entirely in sepia tone, as if to place emphasis on the mundanity of the Stalker’s everyday life. The home life of the Stalker is depicted as visual depression, sucked of any colour and with a slightly dirty edge to everything, made possible by Tarkovsky’s excellent use of visual textures. The second third, and ‘meat’ of the film, takes place in The Zone and explodes with colour in comparison. It is here that Tarkovsky’s use of texture and colour becomes achingly beautiful. Stalker, as well as Tarkovky’s entire oeuvre, is essential viewing for anyone aspiring to create. The entire thing is free on YouTube and in the public domain – you have absolutely nothing to lose.




Fun facts: like many other movies

about fashion in print journalism, the two main characters, Dick Avery and Maggie Prescott, were directly based on real life personalities – the fashion photographer, Richard Avedon, and Harper’s Bazaar editor, Diana Vreeland respectively. Twentieth Century Fox got in deep shit for this from Vreeland, who loathed the association between her and these characters. She reportedly walked out of a screening furious, telling her assistant the film was never to be discussed.


This film was basically a musical made specifically to feature the works of Hubert de Givenchy (and the talents of Fred Astaire/Audrey Hepburn, of course). The plot is absurd and clichéd but enjoyable nonetheless; it simultaneously parodies the fashion world while showcasing the endless possibilities it has as a dynamic, wearable art form. Clothes are more blatantly used to convey transformation in Funny Face than in any other movie I have seen: the contrast between Jo’s beatnik outfits (e.g. a black turtleneck matched with a potato sack-like woollen brown dress) and the couriered dresses of Paris are stark and memorable – all that the fashion house of Givenchy attempts to emphasise with every collection to this day.

As another bit of hot trivia, the wedding dress used in the final scene was controversial: while it was layered in the traditional A-Line style, the length of the dress proved problematic – it was just above the ankle. This is what daring design meant in 1957 – and for it, Givenchy received critical acclaim.

BELLE DE JOUR (1967) While its status as a cult film came from its provocative exploration of the psychology of sex and female erotic fantasies (apparently most people didn’t know BDSM was a thing until this movie came out), it’s VERY hard not to notice Catherine Deneuve’s clothing while watching this movie. Her entire wardrobe is custom-made Yves Saint Laurent (!!!!), epitomising the structured chic of the sixties at its best. Director Luis Brunel and Saint Laurent worked very closely to deliberately use sartorial items as a

means of symbolism. Each piece, timed with its respective scene, conveys a point in the protagonist’s sexual transition from Severine to Belle de Jour: a simple, monochromatic outfit is worn in the presence of her husband; at the brothel her attire changes drastically to a black patent trench coat with tortoiseshell glasses. The film emphasised the importance of clothing in characterisation, and in doing so, made real mouth-watering pieces that Sotherby’s can only dream of selling.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006) As well as its obvious allusion to branding in the title (and a surprise visit by Mr Valentino himself!), this movie shows an aged Meryl Streep at her best. Playing the bitchy, Anna Wintour-esque, Hermes-clad editor (stark parallels to Funny Face), this adaptation of the novel by Lauren Weisberger – previously an assistant to Anna Wintour herself – cuts down the often-romanticised fashion industry to what it really is in the most hilarious way: cutthroat, bitchy and conniving. Playing protagonist Andy, Anne

Hathaway also does a remarkable job in emphasising the transformative power of clothes over time (surprise, surprise), rerunning the overused caterpillar-to-butterfly scenario. … But the outfits! The timeless pieces! Anne Hathaway IN these timeless pieces, as styled by that-woman-whodid-the-outfits-on-Sex-and-the-City! If a combination of these aren’t enough for you to watch this movie, the knowledge of luxury brands you pick up by the end of the two hours should be.




1. CORY DOCTOROW - INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE: LAWS FOR THE INTERNET AGE Cory Doctorow’s book is an easyto-read and informed text; great for anyone interested in the way in which the internet has altered the playing field for businesses large and small, anyone who is interested in making a name for themselves in an online space, or even those who are just curious about the inner workings of these systems. It has excellent cover art, forwards by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, and costs less than twenty dollars. 2. CRISTIAN CAMPOS - JAPANESE ILLUSTRATION NOW This book is not only great for sprucing up the empty space on your coffee table/ bookshelf/life, it is also a great map of contemporary Japanese illustration. It showcases 100 highly successful artists, many of whom have worked with wellknown brands. Each artist gets a few beautifully typeset pages dedicated to them, showcasing several of their works as well as a short bio detailing well-known clients, their agency, where they’re based from, and even emails by which to communicate with them. It’s also just really pretty. 3. RAFFI KHATCHADOURIAN (FOR THE NEW YORKER) - WORLD WITHOUT END: CREATING A FULL SCALE DIGITAL COSMOS No Man’s Sky has attracted an impressive amount of attention. Matt and Alex talked about it at Breakfast. The creator Sean Murray spoke to Stephen Colbert. My friend struggled to track down a copy at Joondalup Shopping Centre (because a whole bunch of stores had sold out, not because the Northern Suburbs are a culturally devoid


desert filled only with the cries of migrant Englishmen trying to convince the local populace that soggy fish and chips are better. I mean, I’m not saying that isn’t true, but it was because No Man’s Sky hype even reached the place which some inner city Perthian’s discuss only in hushed, furtive voices. You must never go there, Simba). As a video game gremlin, I find this cool. Katchadourian’s article is in-depth and easy to read, and goes way back to Murray’s starlit youth on a million-acre ranch in rural Queensland. 4. @RUPIKAUR_ Rupi Kaur’s poetry is good, and comes from that hot, thoughtful, and weighty place just beneath your ribcage. Her Instagram is here because it is a great example of that rather morbid term ‘selfbranding’. Not only do you get access to her poetry for free, it’s also superbly organised and identifiable. I think social media is great for artists; it’s a way to reach people. It’s a way for your work to make contact with planet earth rather than floating around your bedroom and frightening you to death when you find it hiding beneath your tissue box. 5. 8-BIT FICTION 8-bit Fiction has a fairly simple yet novel concept. Each post is a screenshot from an old NES game, which is then run through MS Paint and given its own sometimes silly, sometimes sweet, and occasionally heart-wrenching text to accompany it. The clever folks who run it publish entirely online at 6. MONOCLE Monocle is one of those excellent publications that make you feel three times more productive by tucking it under your arm. I actually get that feeling from holding most magazines - but this one in particular, possibly because it’s always super heavy. Monocle is a great thing to keep tucked under your arm for a lot of other reasons. Split into five sections (Affairs, Business, Culture, Design, Edits), it does its best to produce a monthly informative snapshot of the

world. It’s a good thing to read for all kinds of inspiration and interests. It’s also really hard to finish in one sitting so I always feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. 7. @KIMKIERKEGAARDASHIAN I live in Perth so to be honest I still don’t really comprehend what Twitter is actually for, but I know this is one of the most brilliant accounts in existence. The bio reads “The philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard mashed with the tweets & observations of Kim Kardashian” and to be honest if you need anything more to convince you to read it I can’t help you. 8. ANDY WARHOL - THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL This compendium of autobiographical writing from the darling of pop art himself contains a series of thoughts, conversations, and the occasional a bit of abstract poetry. He discusses celebrities, advertising culture, love, death and some other weird stuff with a deep selfawareness and a sharp sense of humour that makes this book feel honest and lovely to read. 9. EMILY YOSHIDA (FOR THE VERGE) - WERNER HERZOG ON THE FUTURE OF FILM SCHOOL, CRITICAL CONNECTIVITY, AND POKÉMON GO There are a lot of things that are interesting about this article, and a lot of things that are really interesting about Werner Herzog, especially if you’re into film. But I place it here because it contains what is in my opinion one of the most wonderful pseudo-philosophical-sounding statements ever. Yoshida attempts to explain to Herzog the mechanics of the highly successful augmented reality game Pokémon Go. Clearly enraptured by the potential for drama, Herzog asks: “When two persons in search of a Pokémon clash at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente is there violence? Is there murder?” Recommended reading.


BOOK REVIEW JIMMY CORRIGAN: THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH CHRIS WARE PANTHEON BOOKS 4.5/5 This graphic novel is what I deem to be the perfect push for any fence-sitting comics-appreciator who wants to commit to a hearty, existential, and divinely-detailed book. The genesis of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth sprouted as a 1993 weekly comic strip in a Chicago newspaper. Published in 2003, it re-emerges as a semi-autobiographical story that explores the author’s distant relationship with his estranged father. The title is an instant poke at the 30-year-old protagonist, Jimmy Corrigan, who upon first impression isn’t an inviting or appealing character to be reading about. The man is awkward, timid and mildly pathetic. Throughout the story the reader is witness to moments of Jimmy’s daydreams bleeding into his reality; appearing as surreal visions that desperately speak of his desires and fears. This is a unique quality held by the graphic novel, where it seamlessly weaves The book’s momentum picks up when timeline crossovers become more intricate. Such timelines involve several generations of Corrigan men that can be likened to alternate versions of Jimmy – from arrogant failed father figures, to child-like, anxious Jimmy’s that

A well-sustained, emotional journey over 300 pages, Jimmy Corrigan is comparable to a feature-length movie. As a colour graphic novel, the mood-inducing subtle pastel palette gravitates the story closer to a world we recognise, despite its cartoon depictions. For any artists interested in dabbling a bit in comics too, I can confidently recommend this book as an absolute favourite of many. With its avant-garde comic’s techniques and compelling story, it is bound to inspire. Best snack pairing: Any leftovers microwave-heated to a temperature still containing a small percentage of negligible coldness.


distant episodes of the psyche and past into the current timeline.

The visual style of the book is precise, clean, and elaborately constructed, panel by panel. Ware’s inventive and architectural compositions are commendable, and encourage multi-perspective reading. While at first it isn’t easy to decipher the comic’s minute details, like any art becomes rewarding to gradually develop a deeper awareness and appreciation for the subtle things.

Gabby Loo read most of this book on the train and says it belongs in the ‘good kush’ of art.

are burdened by abandonment issues.






he new addition to the Harry Potter cannon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child slipped relatively quietly into the world, given the usual fervour surrounding a publication in the series. Children seemed to know, the kid’s bookstore in my town had an opening event at 7am, but adult lovers of the series seemed to wake slowly into awareness of its publication. I, somebody who has loved Harry Potter slightly more zealously than the average fan, who now still listens to it on audiobook when I am stressed or trying to sleep, didn’t realise that its release was imminent until the week before. Additionally, I work in a bookshop, and basically should have known. This must be due to a lacklustre advertising campaign. The meanest tweet from J. K. Rowling can still inspire hundreds of clickbait articles, so it seems insane that media publications weren’t reporting on the upcoming launch weeks beforehand. Then again, I don’t know what it was like before, when the series was still undelivered. I wasn’t reading the news; I would be marking the days off until a new book in more personal ways. On the morning of a release, my poppa would pick me up at 6am to line up outside Angus & Robertson. The last book in the series was released when I was 13, and I’m 22 now. The new text is a play written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Rowling. It was marketed as the new Harry Potter story, cleverly sidelining the identity of the actual w r i t e r

(Thorne), and in the shop I heard a lot of people picking it up and saying “Oh, it’s not even written by her”, clearly not deceived by the fact that Rowling’s name features on the cover in much larger writing than Thorne’s. Those people all bought it anyway, if a little reluctantly. They shelled out the $25 at Kmart, or $39.99 at the bookshop where I work, which is still not as much as the actual $45 retail price, and took home their huge gold and black book. The cover, aside from the subterfuge of Rowling and Thorne’s names, bears a little boy in a rounded nest with inked feathers that looks like a snitch. The boy reminds me forcibly of a baby cuckoo alone in the nest of a songbird. This is something like the clever layering of Rowling that we remember from the original books - details that hint to a larger sense of a character’s identity. The cuckoo, if you are unfamiliar, is a bird that will plant its own egg in another bird’s nest, and when the baby cuckoo hatches, it kills all the other children and subjugates the mother. Cuckoos are often associated with folklore of changeling children.

Albus Severus Potter, the protagonist of Cursed Child, sees himself as a sort of changeling. The son of Ginny and Harry, he describes himself as a loner and actively isolates himself from the family. Albus and Harry have a fractured relationship, Harry unsure of how he can connect to Albus, who is actually very like Harry was as a child: slightly egotistical, and convinced that he is different (though Albus begins to see himself as ultimately bad throughout the drama of the text). Albus struggles with Harry’s fame and sees his father as, not only a false idol, but a person who acts falsely, at least towards him. Harry can’t help exacerbating this division by grandstanding every time they attempt to communicate. Like the original series, this is a book that in many ways is a parable on parenting. In one of the better scenes Harry confronts the memory of Albus Dumbledore, represented in the portrait hanging in Harry’s office at the Ministry of Magic, on his poor fathering (towards Harry). Dumbledore cries, telling Harry, “I couldn’t see that you needed to hear that this closed-up, sticky, dangerous old man… loved you…”. This is one of only a few moments where Cursed Child, though it is mired in previous plot points, seems to deal in the real emotional material of the old books at all. Another is in the portrayal of Draco, one of the only well-written characters in Cursed Child. The play manages to offer insight into Draco’s difficult and conflicted identity, the most expressive moment being when he tells Harry that he felt jealous of his important friendships with Hermione and Ron. In the play, Draco is someone driven by loss and familial love. Unlike in the novels, he is the one outside of the establishment, which has become



Harry, Hermione, and their associates. Another strength of the play, it sets up a system in which nothing has significantly changed from before the second rise of Voldemort, only the vanguard is one that we trust. The institutions remain the same, despite Hermione’s desire to remain vigilant and open-eyed to stirrings of dark magic. It’s realistic, though it seems a shame. When Voldemort fell, the ministry was handed over to Kingsley Shacklebolt, a brave and wise man but a member of the old ministry nevertheless. Like always, the revolutionary governing body comes to resemble the previous one. It also seems reasonable that a child born of the hero would feel oppressed by that legacy, and revolt.


They’re going to be okay, right?


Hogwarts is a big place.


Big. Wonderful. Full of food. I’d give anything to be going back.

Ron isn’t a dad joke kind of guy. He’s funny, but kind of against his own intentions. He isn’t jolly, he isn’t sensitive. It’s like Thorne thought, “Ron is piggish. He likes food”, and so he made up a line about food. Ron’s liking food isn’t an isolated personality trait; it arises out of a multiplicity of factors, such as his need for comfort, his association of food with love, his family’s borderline poverty wherein good food was their experience of wealth. Most of the characters in Cursed Child are similarly shallow. They do things, but there is no real sense in their doing. It’s difficult to take because depth is already there for Thorne’s use, and he does such a poor job. Rowling’s great strength, aside from her incredible world-building, was her ability to write relatable, sympathetic, three-dimensional characters who were all idiosyncratic and individual. It’s horrible and grating to read Thorne attempting to write in the voices of

Further, the action becomes completely derailed. The initial point of conflict is the realisation on the part of the wizarding world that certain Time-Turners have been saved from destruction, and what’s more, have been improved upon, and could potentially bring back Voldemort and undo the last 16 years. This is kind of worrying; the Time-Turners have always been an unstable plot device, and, unsurprisingly, the use of them makes Cursed Child a messy read. The climax of the action is odd, implausible, and kind of dull. The action leading up to it attempts to present parallel eventualities, but doesn’t succeed in making the consequences feel realistically impactful for the characters. It is actually pretty depressing to read our idealistic, funny, brave heroes become kind of boring, tonedeaf adults. It’s all too real, as we, the children who grew up on Harry Potter, age ourselves (not yet into our forties, but still into the expectant responsibility of adulthood). I also don’t accept that people necessarily become duller versions of themselves as they grow up. Harry was always a sort of everyman upon whom greatness was thrust, but Hermione, so intelligent, fiery, and odd, and Ginny, so droll, quick, and luminescent? It’s a blow. Of course, it’s important to try and read the text as a play that is meant for performance. The scene descriptions are generally engaging, and seem more like Rowling than anything else in the play. “The wind whistles from all angles and it’s a fierce wind at that.“ And it is possible that with really good artistic direction that serves to build the world in a way that dialogue cannot, the play will be a sweet, enjoyable homage. I enjoyed reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was emotional for me, and I expect for a lot of people. Even though it hurt a little to see the expansive and hopeful world I knew to be reduced in this way, I still felt touched by the story. It helps that I’m pretty sure the money will probably go mostly to Thorne, and that Rowling’s share will go to her charity and the various others she supports. I would feel sick about it if it just seemed like a money grab. As a last note, I would like to encourage adult HP fans to listen to a podcast called Witch Please, which is an incredibly insightful deep feminist, queer, post-colonialist dive into the series. The academics who host the podcast criticise the text with affection and respect. Part of the joy of reading Harry Potter for me was deconstructing the mythology, historicism, and symbolism of the texts, and this podcast feeds that love as it examines the way imperialism, class warfare, industrialisation, and print-media (as examples) operate in Rowling’s books.


Despite this, Cursed Child fails. I say that with a lot of affection: I actually enjoyed reading it and I was moved by elements, but I think this is primarily due to my relationship with the previous texts. Albus is difficult to feel for. Although we know that feelings of alienation and being unwanted have made Albus sullen and reactionary, it’s difficult for us to really sympathise with him when we don’t have a sense of his interior life. His friendship with Scorpius, Draco’s son, is nice, and it redeems him somewhat. Knowing that someone like Scorpius, who is so likeable and peaceable, loves Albus, does make identification with him a little easier. The characterisation of the adults in the story, aside from Draco as noted above, was terribly disappointing. They are where it is most apparent that Cursed Child was not written by Rowling. They sound, and act, nothing like their original versions. Thorne has clearly tried to write them in the voice of Rowling, but they strike false notes. Ron is especially hard to take.

those characters. It’s horrible to miss Rowling’s deep wit and sense of the ridiculous.

I can’t bring myself to ascribe a number value to this book.




By the 1960's, classical music ('western art music' as in an academic context) had more or less completed itself. Formalised musical education in the early 20th century had rendered all the mysteries and esoterica of romanticism cognisant as an underlying compositional structure; chromaticism, tonal centres and advanced notation were pursued to such an extent that students were now facing a curriculum derived from the works of Bartok, Schoenberg, Cage. Structure and concept were preeminent to melody or meaning. Listen and try to enjoy Schoenberg's Drei Klavierstücke; then attend some MUSC3331 lectures, read up about atonality, serialism and the emancipation of dissonance, go back and work your way through impressionism, romanticism and the baroque, court an aged musical librarian and take your summers in Vienna and then you may *appreciate* Schoenberg's Drei Klavierstücke - but never in the hedonic, pleasure-seeking way one would expect to enjoy most other music. In principle, minimal music rejects this concept of classical music. It arose from a cadre of classically trained composers based in downtown New York who saw an exhaustion in their field of study and so sought relevance by balancing rich melodicism and consonance with an exploratory use of instrumentation, duration, repetition. Here I give a quick look at the works of the central figures of minimalism, and some recommended listening. TERRY RILEY

Though it has its roots in the experimentalism of the ‘50s and earlier ‘60s, minimalism as a genre was conceived on November 4th, 1964, at the premiere of Terry Riley’s In C. Less a score than a set of instructions, In C displayed such a degree of progressivism in its use of repetition and indeterminacy so as to lay the groundwork for what contemporary critics called the 'New York Hypnotic School'; seek out the Boiler Room performance on the 'tube, which lacks the pulse that I find somewhat intrusive on the rest of the piece sorry Steve. Before that point Riley had been active in the San Francisco Tape Music Centre, an early hotbed of electronic experimentation; particular from this pre-In C period is 1963's Music for The Gift, a jazz composition augmented with tape delay and deconstructive sampling. His later compositions made primary use of solo electric organ detuned into just intonation, where intervals between notes are determined by whole-


numbered ratios. In this modality Riley made some of my very favourite music, including 1972's Persian Surgery Dervishes, a totemic ragtime-raga that creates one of the few perfect fusions of Western and Eastern musical tradition: incomparable devotional improvisation. Furthermore he was one of few composers to have admitted to the use of drugs as inspiration, hallucinogens in particular, acid, psilocybin; I would whole-heartedly and overtly encourage listening to A Rainbow In Curved Air accompanied with these substances. Into the 21st century, Riley's collaborations with the Kronos Quartet are engaging if not quite so singular, Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector among others; more effectively Riley returned to his use of just intonation with the autumnal Harp of New Albion, which I'd recommend for fans of Debussy/Satie type piano music. Riley's improvised electronics were not entirely prodigious; his colleagues at the San Fran Tape Music Centre, Ramon Sender, Morton Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros in her early electronic period, worked primarily with early synthesisers to create rather spooky soundscapes that arguably incepted the genre of intelligent dance music, looking most of all at Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon. The most prominent composer in electronics prior to Riley had been Karlheinz Stockhausen, however I'd advise treading carefully here because, like Subotnick his music can tend towards the character of a full-bunga schizotypic breakdown (an excellent YouTube comment on his 1955 piece Gesang Der Jünglinge – “shit sounds like what Squidward hears when he goes to the future”). PHILIP GLASS

...Is a hack and I wouldn't give him the time of day. The less he's discussed the better -- his works are too shallow to provoke anything beyond pseudo-intellectual blather. He claimed to have started and ended minimalism, in the seven years between his gracing the NY downtown scene in 1967 and the completion of Music in Twelve Parts in 1974, but in actuality his real talent lay with marketing himself - positing his 1982 album Glassworks as "Walkman-suitable", which description makes something inside me want to prolapse - his insipid compositions score an exceptional large number of films, for example the catalepsising Koyaanisqatsi - contributing to the circling-the-drain referentiality of the late 80s and 90s by


appropriating everything from Kafka to Ginsberg in his operas - there's little else for me to say but to please, let any other composer inform your idea of 'minimalist' music.


Emerging from academia, Steve Reich‘s early acquaintance with the twelvetone technique of Schoenberg left him dissatisfied: he eventually found his home, compositionally, in the slowly shifting, offset harmony of In C, the original performance of which he attended. His early compositions were thus preoccupied with 'phase shifting', wherein two identical tunes or samples were played simultaneously with a slight delay increased at intervals in time, such that the sound 'phases' in and out; the most oblique examples being It’s Gonna Rain or Come Out, which within the musique concréte idiom phases a vocal tape loop to intense effect. In composition his Phase series foregrounds the technique to the nth degree, starting with Reed Phase in 1966 and in my opinion best used in Piano Phase as well as Six Marimbas (or alternatively, Six Pianos, released 1973); vast monochrome sheets of sound washing in and out, direct-seeming yet transverse to the ear, excellent incidental to running or meditation in my experience. Like that cum Glass, Reich's media persona heavily played into his status as a minimalist composer, which was largely deserved: some of Reich's pieces are thoroughly minimal, relying on rhythmic elements to the exclusion of all else; pieces like Drumming or Music For Pieces Of Wood. But his virtuosic subtly in reiterative development of a theme sets apart many of his works as impartially beautiful, Sextet (1984) or Music for 18 Musicians (1975) being prime of his works, and best starting places - a performance of 18 Musicians is coming up in September to be held in the Callaway Auditorium (!!!). Being as-yet not insane, few sounds give me an idea of synaesthesia but Electric Counterpoint of 1989 has an undeniable silver shimmer -- an ensemble of nine

Reich's composition has managed to remain more-or-less unique among composers, though his structured percussive sound has influenced a few releases, like 1978's Antico Adagio by Italian new-ager Lino Capra Vaccina. In more academic terms, he had furthered the precedent of orchestrated percussion set earlier in the century, pieces like Edgard Varése's Ionisation; moving forward to 1990, Toru Takemitsu's percussion concerto From Me Flows What You Call Time remains one of my pure favourites. Post-modernism is where you go once your medium is pretty well finished. The mid-20th century music landscape had been irreversibly diversified, industrialised means of dissemination had progressed to the point that music was no longer polarised by haves and have-nots; transcribed and oral; classical and folk music. In the post-modern age western classical music is just one of several aural modalities; jazz, rock, folk of every flavour clamouring for one's attention, and the minimalists were acutely attuned to this fact. To me, much of this music resounds as a statement of genre-awareness: virtuosic and intellectual music but yet attractive enough to the ear to capture the non-inducted audience to which (if it weren't already clear) I certainly belong. To critique western art music within the broader framework of music at large – this is one of the gifts of the minimalist movement.


Despite being a total scrub Glass probably had the greatest influence of all the minimalists on later classical music, using his ill-begotten influence championing both newer and older composers otherwise obscure. Moondog, or LT Hardin, was a blind hobo-viking whose highly rhythmic use of counterpoint melody echoes through Glass' music; he's like a white man that writes Native American dances - hear any of his albums, but especially More Moondog or Moondog 1969. Furthermore he brought his wholesome contemporary Arvo Pärt to the attention of US audiences. Thankfully distinct from Glass' style (debate continuing over whether Pärt's style should be considered 'minimalist' or distinct as his own kind of 'sacred minimalism', this being the kind of semantic squabbling that is the literal bread and butter of many musicologists), this Estonian cutie devised his own compositional technique, tintinnabuli. An admittedly minimal technique, using two voices, an arpeggiating triadic voice and a melodic diatonic voice, on show in pieces like Tabula Rasa or Fratres, both exceedingly lovely compositions.

electric guitars shifting and revolving like a shoal, incredible. To a greater degree than most other composers of the period Reich's later music remains quite original and vital; as an example, 1995’s Proverb for voices, vibraphones and organs seems an ultimately austere reflection on a life spent examining the minimal - "How small a thought it takes to fill a life".

PELICAN MIXTAPE 1. Frank Ocean - “Nikes” (Blonde) 2. Negativland - “Now” (Guns) 3. Iggy Pop - “Lust for Life” (Lust for Life) 4. Beck - “Soul Suckin’ Jerk” (Mellow Gold) 5. Belle & Sebastian - “It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career” (The Boy With the Arab Strap) 6. Unwound - “Nervous Energy” (Fake Train) 7. Leven Signs - “Drain Melsh” (Hemp is Here) 8. Frank Zappa - “The Duke of Prunes” (Absolutely Free) 9. The Pop Group - “Don’t Sell Your Dreams” (Y) 10. SOPHIE - “Lemonade” (PRODUCT)





Glorious Heights feels like a bright adventure tale, inconspicuously intertwined with dark lyrics and themes. This vibe is definitely aided by the album’s epic cover art - Montaigne, Slayer of Dragons and Triple J Unearthed Darling, standing on mossy cobblestones in a suitably knight-like stance. It helps establish her debut release as a sometimes jarring concept album, following the story of a failed relationship hidden amongst smart indie pop instrumentals. Quite simply, you almost feel as if Montaigne brings you on a journey of self-discovery after the end of a toxic relationship, moving from guilt and need towards a newfound independence. The opening eponymous track acts almost like an overture to this dichotomy - piano arpeggios and a layered choir dance around the generally upbeat tone of the album, with lyrics that describe the pain of a newly failed relationship (“I have spent glorious nights/ Waiting to be alright”). Recent single “Til It Kills Me” is again upbeat and filled with crisp piano chords and synth, but reflects on the toll of pursuing a dying love (“Everybody says that we get better/ Get better later/ We can keep trying till it kills me”). The standout moment of Glorious Heights comes when Montaigne abandons her trademark vibrato for a more vulnerable tone. “Consolation Prize” can be considered the turning point of the protagonist’s journey; in which they bitterly reflect on their own wounded self-esteem after a relationship. It is from this point that Glorious Heights tumbles into denouement – “Clip My Wings” (“You’re asking me to be kind to you/ Well that type of game takes two”) and “Lonely” (“I don’t want to see myself through you/ I just want to be far away”) describe a person regrowing, whereas “I Am Behind You” acts as a sparkling, stunning yet bittersweet epilogue. One of the most unexpectedly good albums of the year.

role model for the ages. Listen to Angel Olsen, then. I don’t care. Go roll up your smoke, put on My Woman and sit outside with your lover, reassuring her just who your woman is. This is the kind of album to get ready for the school dance for. Don’t forget who your woman is. But wait, backtrack -- something about siren songs, the underworld, oh yes! Being serenaded. If you have previously visited Angel Olsen alone in the night and tracks like "Unfucktheworld" or "White Fire" have illuminated your dreary feelings (perhaps tears over some so and so), then this album may be a bit too sickly sweet for your liking. It's a bit too much like that friend who’s just fallen in love and can’t stop talking about butterflies and rainbows and swears that every time she has a chamomile at 3pm it causes her to wake up waaaay earlier and more refreshed than usual and you’re just standing there, alone, like: I haven’t even met anyone even remotely eligible for at least three years, and have forgotten what the sweet caress of a human touch even feels like, much like how Angel has forgotten what despondency feels like. I mean, I don't wanna get you down, you just wanted to know if this album is fucking listenable, and of course it is: it was released by a record label and if anyone had the audacity to actually buy it, it would probably come in a shiny plastic case and maybe come with a sticker. If you're wanting to ride the wave of Angel Olsen cause she's like number 3 on your list of favorite artists if anyone asks you at a party, then yeah, buy the record, but if you're like me and just cruise YouTube and only listen to individual tracks that you feel resonate with u, then you may find this album will be disappointment city. Also: it’s like, big ups, mad respek, well wishes for the spirit world Claire Boucher, but this album gave me similar feels I had when Art Angels was released. Where is that sweet aloof bedroom producer, who I was fairly convinced was my twin flame, releasing songs like “Black Hair” and “Oblivion”, who I could relate to on so many levels? I can’t relate to pop stars that do perfume campaigns. Like, maybe one day a month, I can put on “Kill V. Maim” and have a good jiggle to it. But it doesn’t speak to me. Issues like ‘being a woman having enough talent to be in the music industry but having a hard time in the music industry’ don’t, like, speak to me right now. You know what speaks to me? Simple shit, like heartbreak, fleeting moments of joy from small occurrences in daily life, unrequited love. Basic human shit.


The word ‘salad’ gets tossed around a lot. But seriously, do you want to be serenaded by Persephone, the queen of the underworld? Well, don’t look here, no. But, did you ever like Dolly Parton? Heck, she’s a



Of Montreal started off humble enough as part of the Elephant 6 collective, colluding with Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples of Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control among others putting out Beatles-inspired psychedelia oddities during the ‘90s. After all of this time together, Of Montreal is one of the only bands out of those signed to Elephant 6 still active, and to say that they have


tried to distance themselves from this past is an understatement. Somewhere around 2001, Of Montreal got real glam, real fast, and with it came experimentalism; creating a sequenced and sequined romp through a kaleidoscopic world of not-ok on what is to be considered their best record Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, released to widespread critical and popular acclaim. There have been eight stand-alone releases in the interim, with various degrees of success in recreating this acclaim. Of Montreal aren’t really a band with much of a following outside of their die-hard fans, and it shows. Hissing Fauna created a particular sound and way of doing things that became somewhat played out after the first couple of follow-ups. This latest release Innocence Reaches sees them deviate from this formula somewhat (although admittedly, without fundamentally re-inventing themselves); with eyes off the band they have been given some licence to experiment.

The bones of a great album are here, they’re just marred by an over-emphasis on clean vocals and a flatness to the rest of the production, to the extent that the band sometimes feels like a boyband from the early 2000s (see: “A Sport and a Passtime”). It’s fun, it’s certainly not a terrible album, but it doesn’t do anything at all interesting. New listeners would be better served checking out Hissing Fauna, which is yonks better.

On their third full-length release, Attic Abasement further refine the sound present on their excellent sophomore effort Dancing is Depressing. There’s a drawl to the music somewhat similar to Sebadoh on albums like Harmacy or Pavement with Wowee Zowee. Granted, Sebadoh and Pavement left quite a profound impact upon independent music from the mid-90s onwards, so the point could be raised that not many bands in this particular niche don’t sound like them; but Attic Abasement manage to pull off the daggy charm of that era of indie rock whilst also possessing a previously unavailable layer of polish. They are no mere nostalgia curiosity peddlers, however. The band brings their own sound to the table, drawing upon the tradition of ‘slacker-rock’, infusing the sound with twee-pop and contemporary folk influences. Their sound is necessary as of this point in time, particularly resonating with the social dynamics we find ourselves in right now. What always struck me as the defining characteristic of the aforementioned bands is their talent and enthusiasm for songwriting and arrangement; the success of Pavement was certainly not contingent on their musicianship, as the band themselves will freely admit. Attic Abasement are amazing songwriters; a talent they showcased on Dancing is Depressing with songs such as “Werewolf”, “Problems Getting Numb” and “Change Machine”; songs which display their telling-it-how-it-is lyricism and deceptively simple instrumentation. Their songwriting ability on Dream News ain’t no slouch; whilst not as immediately appealing as Dancing is Depressing, the songs grow on you, offering the same emotional sincerity with a fresher outlook.


Innocence Reaches sounds like it has a clear influence in the recent spate of ‘hypnagogic pop’ from the likes of Ariel Pink -- a style which thrives on nostalgia for retro-futurism and analogue techniques of production. Of Montreal miss the mark a little by nature of the cleanliness of their production. It should not be understated that production ‘shittyness’ is a huge part of the appeal of this type of music; it’s what makes the effects used and the campy glam tolerable. It has something to do with the fact that in order for something new to pass off as something old it has to at least appear old; squeaky clean production is not the way to go. Appearing as if the music is of the age in which this style was the norm endows it with the nostalgia that makes it remarkable. It’s a bit like the musical equivalent of the film Pixels, although not so much bad as painfully average.

hearing of them in 2013 that I didn’t even know that this album had been released (in May) until about a week prior to writing this.

Dream News is to this date their most rock-centric project, differentiating itself quite starkly from their previous material in terms of energy and power. Quite a few of the songs presented here are comparable to those written by Bruce Springsteen or Titus Andronicus; songs that you would expect to hear mumble-sang by a barfly after being booted out of their favourite watering hole.


7.5/10 In an ideal world, Attic Abasement would be an accomplished and insanely popular success story for home producers, joining the ranks of Have a Nice Life/Dan Barrett/Enemies List Home Recordings, Car Seat Headrest and Alex G in emerging out of the primordial soup of Bandcamp and into public recognition. Unfortunately, the band seem to be lost in that soup (and do not be mistaken, it is a large bowl), unable to gain traction on the ground with their new legs. It’s telling then, for someone who has been following their output eagerly ever since first




Dr. Stefano Carboni, Director & CEO of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, spoke with Samuel J. Cox about our artworks.


n authority on Islamic art, Dr. Stefano Carboni came to Perth after 16 years as the curator and administrator of the Department of Islamic Art at the world famous Metropolitan Museum in New York. A Venetian with degrees from the University of Venice and the London School of Oriental and African Studies, Carboni has a specialist focus on Islamic glass and calligraphy. The 11th Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) is an art historian, author, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. Carboni was attracted to studying Islamic Art because living in Venice exposed him to artistic traditions that went beyond the European cannon. “Venice is a unique place with a lot of different influences. It is not only a Western city, but one which interacted with the Islamic and East Asian worlds for many centuries. The result today is a city frozen in time. Initially I was vaguely interested in the history of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and by my second year in college I was an eager student of Islamic art.” “My father was an art historian at heart, and when I was 13 or 14 the two of us went on an art history tour through Italy, visiting cities like Bologna and Florence. I was quite reluctant at first because I was all about soccer and the beach, but I very clearly remember every church, museum and piece of architecture we saw.” Now 58, Carboni says that “sharing that experience with my father was a formative moment in my life.” “That’s why, in one way, coming to Perth was a most difficult transition, because my interests in art history had to be set aside. I jumped into this with a long history as a curator and administrator in a very large museum, but nothing really prepares you for the moment you become the person who has to have the vision for the institution. No one can train you to be a Director, because you learn on the job.” Since his arrival in 2008, Dr. Carboni has been trying to make the art gallery more relevant to Perth’s changing dynamic. “The gallery needs to reflect WA’s people and its places, and that’s always a complicated thing to do. Art galleries, in general, tend to be traditional places that don’t grow and diversify - in terms of programs and the way things are displayed - at the same pace as the population around it. When I arrived from New York City, I thought this was a country town. It has changed dramatically since then! There’s been an influx of people - swelling the population and increasing diversity. The percentage of AngloSaxon Europeans has decreased and we need to make sure that the art gallery reflects these new changes,” Carboni says. “As a public institution, by definition AGWA suffers (as all of them do) from a limited budget. You always have to try and balance the ambitions you have for the gallery with your financial constraints. The State Government will never let AGWA die,


because it would be a political disaster, but they keep us on life support. I try to compensate by taking opportunities for sponsorships and partnerships to make up for the shortfall, but it means my daily preoccupations are running a fiscally tight ship, while dreaming of doing ambitious things on behalf of the people of Western Australia.” “The way we will present our collections going into the future is a discussion I keep having with the very tight group of experienced curatorial staff here,” says Carboni. “We want to create displays that are simple enough for everyone to understand the way they are organised, but are also sophisticated enough for those who want to go a bit deeper.” A collecting institution, AGWA has 17,500 works, of which only 2 per cent are on display at any one time. “When I arrived, the State Art Collection was on the upper floor and organised in a strictly thematic order with four main themes, including the concepts of home, place and time. To my mind, this was a problem because the general public didn’t understand this kind of setup.”

“The display seemed like a temporary exhibition, so people didn’t understand that these works belonged to the collection of Western Australia. In consultation with the curators, I decided to change from a thematic to an integrated chronological display which made more sense for the general public. We brought the collection downstairs and highlighted it in a very different way. We wanted to give a sense of belonging and an understanding that the people own these works. We changed the formal name of the State Art Collection to ‘Your Collection’, directly addressing visitors. This resulted in a better perception of what we do,” Carboni says. “Every exhibition that you put on display, if properly organised, has a story to tell, and important discussions can take place because of art in important moments in time. I was there at, and was very much affected by, September 11, 2001. At that time our department’s galleries in the Met were closed for refurbishment. It was unfortunate, because this meant at the time of 9/11, and for quite a few years after, we only had a small display of Islamic Art in the museum. We needed to positively communicate the relevance and importance of having a discussion on Islamic Art to our visitors, at a time when people



thought we were closed because we were afraid of putting Islamic Art on display,” says Carboni. “I was adamant we go ahead with an exhibition we’d planned that surveyed the great achievement of artistic glass in Islamic countries over the centuries. It was perceived as very high risk, but I was supported by my executive and Director at the time. In October 2001, three weeks after 9/11, it was presented. As I had expected, it was a beautiful show that let people find some solace and come to terms with the Islamic world in a more positive way than the terrible times we were living in.”

The Art Gallery of Western Australia is located in the Perth Cultural Centre, opposite the Urban Orchard. Open Wednesday – Monday, with a range of free public talks and daily tours, there’s no reason not to get to know your State Art Collection.


After eight years as the public face of AGWA, Carboni hopes he and his curatorial team have communicated that the institution

is not a stuffy place where they tell you what to see and how to feel. Though they certainly know the business of art, especially contemporary art, Carboni encourages visitors to form their own opinion and have their own responses.





love a good scandal! Be it Democratic National Committee email leaks, graphic love affairs with attractive interns, or deducing that guy’s high school girlfriend definitely isn’t real (you’re not fooling anyone). You can probably see why a musical about the Clintons is right up my alley. Scandal galore! Throw in some compelling conspiracy theories, a failed impeachment and an upcoming election, and this is bigger than when I was told that jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. I was lucky enough to discuss all things scandalous and musical theatre with the delightful Australian actress Clare Moore, who plays Eleanor Roosevelt (amongst many other characters) in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s upcoming satirical comedy Clinton the Musical. The Clintons and their spectacular narrative of betrayal, sex, power and politics have captivated the minds of the public for almost 15 years. With the story now rapidly progressing as Hillary eyes off the White House, I ask Moore what audiences should expect from the musical rendition of this infamous tale. “If they come expecting a political drama, they’ll be disappointed. This is high camp musical comedy. They should expect to laugh a lot; they might be shocked. When this scandal first broke you didn’t see it on the news, you saw it on late night talk shows because it was such juicy material! I’m not surprised it got turned into a musical,” says Moore. In what I interpret as a glowing

testament to the innate humour of the whole situation, Moore then starts laughing and adds, “If you can imagine the writers of The Simpsons making a musical about the Clinton era, this is what you get!” However, it’s not all laughs and cheap shots at Bill Clinton showing Lewinsky his cigar collection. “It does expose the corruption in politics generally, and the way that ambition no matter what that ambition is - is the driving influence of corruption. There’s a love story in there too. It touches on the intimacy of a relationship in high office. You can truly see the real challenges Hillary would have faced, and it has undergone some re-writes to focus a lot more on Hillary’s journey as well.” In its original conception, the musical was only a single act piece at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but it has seriously evolved since its debut 2012. After a successful sellout run on Broadway last year, the show will make its Australian debut in Perth, featuring a series of timely and well-adjusted re-writes. “Paul Hodge [who wrote the music and lyrics for the book he co-authored with his brother Michael Hodge] came to Perth earlier in the year and spoke with our director Adam Mitchell. They revised the work yet again to tap into that Australian sense of humour and because Hillary’s so topical at the moment. The email scandal gets a mention, and there’s even some scenes that point towards the Trump/Hillary rivalry.” However, it would be a dramatic overstatement to say this is a piece of

Photo credit - Brendan Hanson


pro-Hillary propaganda. Hardly any of the characters that populate the performance are free from scrutiny – “everyone is set up, no one is really spared in this. In fact Eleanor Roosevelt, one of my roles, is about the only person left with integrity in this show, and she’s dead!” Ms. Roosevelt, arguably one of the American public’s most loved historical figures, is written into the show because of her immense influence on Hillary. “Hillary is always comparing herself to Eleanor, saying that she’s ‘just like Eleanor’. The main difference between the two is that Eleanor had no political ambitions of her own, she was purely there to serve,” Moore says.

One of the most exciting and creative aspects of Clinton the Musical is that the role of Bill Clinton is actually written for two actors, representing the two conflicting ‘characters’ contained within the same man. One is the driven, loveable President who passed welfare reform and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement, who is portrayed by the equally adored Play School veteran Simon Burke. The other is a rowdy womaniser, known for his affairs and drunken escapades, played by comedian and Mix 94.5 radio host Matt Dyktynski. Moore suggests that this ‘dual personality’ might sound familiar to Australian audiences. “During Julia Gillard’s campaign the Liberals and the political Right were asking ‘When are we going to see the real Julia Gillard?’, ‘Which Julia are we going to get today?’, and all that sort of nonsense. It seems to be a rhetoric we have heard time and time again in Australian politics.” “This show intelligently introduces themes and asks questions that go deeper than just answering whether or not Bill had ‘sexual relations with that woman’,” says Moore. “You really see that inner struggle between ‘Saturday Night Bill’ and ‘Sunday Morning President’ – which is apparently what they would refer to him as in the White House. There were these two sides to him. He was genuinely a ladies’ man, but he was also genuinely passionate about social security reform and politics.”


Of course, it wouldn’t take a genius to guess that the show wouldn’t shy away from the debauchery of Clinton’s presidency. “Some of the stuff is so shocking in this show. It really pushes the boundaries of the whole sex scandal, but it’s all based on fact. In the deposition of Bill Clinton, they went into the most graphic detail about what he and Monica Lewinsky did: where she put her hand, where she put her mouth. It’s just horrendous. You wouldn’t believe it to be true, but these people are actually real!” And that’s exactly it – the people these characters represent in Clinton the Musical are at times so vivid in the real world, they almost write themselves. Moore faces an exceptional struggle, playing a plethora of different, surreal supporting roles. “It’s meant triple the work for me, as I’ve got about six different characters. I approach each and give them the same time, weight and value as if they were a main character. When I go off stage, I often leave one scene as one, and come on as another. In one song, I actually change roles within it! Ultimately if you do the work during rehearsals and you know the narrative arc it will show in the performance.”

With such a strong cast, full of some of the best performers in Australia, it’s not like she’s lacking in inspiration or support either. When asked about the hardworking, talented (and gorgeous) Simon Burke, Moore burst into laughter. “I had a teenage crush on him! I thought it’d be better just to get it out in the open from the very start, so I let him know that I loved him and then we moved on.” Hearing that, I couldn’t stop the blood rising in my cheeks and returning her contagious giggles. Moore was quick, however, to sing praises of Burke’s skills as an actor, beyond teenage crushes. “He’s got a wealth of experience. He certainly brings a lot of gravitas to the role, which is

Actor Matt Dyktynski - Photo Credit Robert Frith required, and he embodies that presidential air. On the flipside, you have Matt Dytynski who had us in stitches from the first read through.” Even from an outsider’s perspective, it was obvious in the way she gushed about her fellow cast members that they had become a close-knit family. “We bonded really quickly; there’s a great sense of camaraderie. Everyone’s supporting each other and everyone’s doing really great work, so that makes it easier.” After graduating from WAAPA in 2000, Moore followed in the typical footsteps of many performing arts graduates by moving to Melbourne. Recently however, she has come back to the Perth scene. She’s uniquely placed to comment on the growth in popularity of the musical theatre and drama community in Perth, especially how it compares to the established industry in Melbourne. “There is a big difference. Just the sheer scale of it – there’s so much more going on in Melbourne. Perth is changing though; you just have to look at how the Fringe Festival has grown. I just hope that


people start thinking, ‘instead of going to see Cats or Wicked at Crown Theatre, maybe we’ll go and see a smaller musical at The Blue Room’. There’s so little work for professional actors in Perth, you find that these independent theatre companies get quality, professional actors in their shows because that’s where the work is. Ultimately I would like to see people being a little more adventurous in their theatre outings.”


Whist I would be close to hyperventilation at the mere prospect of taking on such a wide variety of characters, Moore hardly seemed phased. As a graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), with almost 16 years of professional experience under her belt, it’s hardly surprising that she’s risen to the challenge with such enthusiasm and expertise. “I really rely on the voice and the body, and when you slip that costume on that’s kind of the final piece of the puzzle. I’ve had to make really defined choices about where each character’s energy is, even how they walk. Do they lead with their pelvis? Where does their voice sit? Not just in a register, but the placement in the mouth, the head, the nose? All that helps me to make those quick transitions.”

I can’t help but agree. Regardless of your inclination towards scandal, maybe next time you’re thinking about heading out for a movie, grab a ticket to the theatre instead. Take your fake high school girlfriend or your sexy intern, and I can promise you it will be well worth your time. Trust me, I spent 30 minutes giggling with an actress, and it made my week. Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production Clinton the Musical runs at the State Theatre Centre 27 August- 11 September.



Despite the fact that tattoos are quite permanent, they aren’t immune to the trends of the everyday. Removal options are varied, from laser to cover up to hacksaws – or perhaps you favour the sons of anarchy blowtorch method – but they’re definitely all painful and expensive. So why is it that so many of us let ourselves be swept up in the moment and get a tattoo of the equivalent of MS Publisher clip art? Perhaps it’s part of our iconoclastic culture. I’m not judging: I myself have a terribly executed finger moustache, copied from a Pringles container. Honestly, if you still like it, that’s all that matters. Deep meaning or joke, nobody else’s opinion is relevant when it comes to your body. But when you look at it, imagine that one day alien anthropologists will be categorising us from our Pinterest bookmarks of dot work mandalas, or our mummified skins featuring aloha butt monkeys…


Classic bicep arm band: easy to execute as simple lines or with depth and sun glints if you want that realistic Hakea Prison feel. Razor wire is extra hardcore. Who wore it best: Pamela Anderson Cultural appropriation offender most often chosen by males. Points if you know which culture you nicked it from. Similar to Celtic in look, except celts didn’t have tattoos so you are just ripping off their image, not a whole ritual. Wear at own risk.


Who wore it best: Robbie Williams C.A. most chosen by females. This one is my favourite, because quite a few tattoo artists have taken their revenge and purposely tattooed something else on unwitting customers. Of course, plenty of artist and customer duos have messed them up all on their own without knowing it. Easy when you don’t speak the language you’re copying from google image search! Best I’ve seen was a guy who thought he had ‘Mum’ on his neck, but it actually said ‘Karaoke’. See also: elvish and latin, although at least those guys are dead or imaginary, and only priests or nerds are going to snigger in the street at your translation errors.


Who wore it best: David Beckham


The Australian swastika, thus named for the way it helps you identify racist nobs in everyday life. Meant to signify a patriotic love for our country, I’m not sure if all the people with this could actually point the constellation out in the sky if asked. Who wore it best: Shannon Noll


Change extremely quickly, and are hated the most by tattoo artists by how small and difficult they are. You try dragging some vibrating needles through the skin of a jittery 19-year-old in a straight line while three people snapchat it. A list of the most popular includes: • bird silhouettes • single lines around your • infinity symbol • limbs • watercolour blobs/ • triangle • semicolon

unicorn poop Who wears them: Millennials, mostly




It’s almost sad to admit that in this age of social media, aesthetics are often more valuable than the content of your work. No industry knows this better than fashion. Suddenly designers no longer just have to update their brand every three months in time for fashion week, but have to maintain a constant online presence in order to keep their image competitive. Bring in the ‘Instagirls’, the generically attractive,social media savvy and fashion-forward models who come complete with millions and millions of followers. A brand’s success truly lies in these girls’ hands.


Many moons ago, actors were actors, musicians were musicians, models were models, and people with unjustified fame were royalty. Over the past decade, the latter has been expanded to include social media aristocracy – ‘celebrities’ who come with their own following.


Yeah, it started with the children of the wealthy reality TV stars of the 2000s. Yolanda Foster’s (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) two daughters Gigi and Bella Hadid emerged as social media ‘It girls’, who amassed a following as a result of their luridly opulent Hollywood lifestyles and associations with young Hollywood stars.


Their social media was intriguing because it represented such an aspirational youth. There’s no denying that both of them are good-looking girls, but it was the platform that social media gave them that created their brand appeal for advertisers.


By 2014, fashion designers were well aware of the fame and money associated with these girls, and that it was sometimes greater than their own. They realised that using these ‘It girls’ on their runways would draw attention (and therefore money) and reach more audiences than ever before. Suddenly, high fashion was associated with the idealistic image these girls represented.


The thing with this phenomena is that suddenly, fashion is removed from itself. No longer is a seasonal runway show an exhibition to be seen and judged by the critical eyes of the fashion business – the brand is idolised by people the world over. People appreciate the clothes based on the famous model wearing them, as opposed to the other way around.


Anna Wintour, I’m looking at you. Vogue was once an idealised portal for the common folk to gain access to the lucrative world of fashion. The September issue has been revered for decades as the most important issue of the year: bigger, better, with the cover star encapsulating fashion at that moment in time. Last September, we saw Beyonce grace the cover. This was widely accepted as a display of the growing diversity in fashion.


And then Kendall went and got it this year. This clearly demonstrates that fashion is heavily impacted by the emergence of the pre-packaged celebrity. I really respected the story that accompanied it though, entitled ‘The face that launched a billion likes’. It basically set out to explain that she was rocketed into fashion by her already existing fanbase. Designers have to get social media savvy in order to stay relevant, and people like Kendall, Gigi and Bella are the perfect medium for this.


Exactly. So over the last decade we have seen a complete revolution in the fashion industry. With the emergence of social media ‘It girls’, it has become a business with a greater breadth of appeal, and seen the incorporation of acclaimed individuals from many industries and backgrounds. Social media and fashion have fed off each other to the benefit of both; in today’s world of high fashion, you can’t afford to have one without the other.




Kendall (Jenner) was the same. She had this luxurious existence from years of her wealthy family parading their dream lifestyle around on TV’s Keeping us with the Kardashians, and suddenly a stagnant fashion brand like Marc Jacobs gets her on the runway in their fall campaign and their whole image is revived! The show is being talked about regardless of the clothes, Marc Jacobs is suddenly a brand the whole world wants because it has youth appeal.


It’s laziness on the part of the designers I think. Back in the day it was the job of the designer to take a girl and project an image out of her, incorporating the clothes. Now it is the designer buying an image which will project onto them. There is a real lack of creativity from modern designers; instead of cooking a meal from scratch, they are buying McCains.





iven our southern-most island’s chequered past of colonialism, cruelty, convicts and massacre, Tasmania is uniquely suited to be the location of the latest Australian thriller to premiere on Showcase. The Kettering Incident, an eightpart series in the style of Tasmanian Gothic, taps into this dark undercurrent in order to create a particularly disconcerting setting for its exploration of the genre. Focussing around the disappearances, 15 years apart, of two girls in Kettering Forrest, the cast grapples with the seemingly supernatural impact of the forest on the town of Kettering.

transitions consistently revert to shots of the landscape, which

Elizabeth Debicki (The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Night Manager) stars as Anna Macy, a doctor with a dark, if yet unrevealed past. Suffering extended blackouts and crippling migraines, Anna returns to her hometown of Kettering, which is still coming to terms with the disappearance of Anna’s friend Gillian fifteen years earlier. Her return is received suspiciously by the locals, for while some believe Gillian’s disappearance to be the work of the strange lights often seen above the forest, others suspect Anna was somehow involved. Only the town policeman and childhood friend Fergus (Henry Nixon) and Chloe Holloway (Sianoa Smit-McPhee), a local girl desperate to emulate Anna’s escape from Kettering, welcome her with any mix of enthusiasm.

Australian town, with its cosy streets and local shops populated by

the forest with the cast is perhaps the show’s strongest scriptwriting. While all town folk see it differently – from an economic lifeline to a source of painful memories – it ultimately leaves no-one untouched. The cinematography shines elsewhere, with the flickering service station sign or the weather over the local pub breathing life into the local setting. These shots maintain a masterful balance between offscreen reality and cinematic symbolism. Kettering could be any rural a close-knit community. On a different level however, the staging of the visuals almost always provides a hint of something deeper; of some hidden machination. This shooting is well-supported by an excellent soundtrack, which works to tighten the screws of narrative tension. The ambience of the forest in particular exemplifies this, as the sounds of the native flora and fauna clash with the confused stumbling of the characters though the undergrowth. The combination creates an uncomfortable sense of suffocation by the unknown; a claustrophobia that ensures that the viewers, much like the characters, jump at every broken stick or flapping bird. The

During Anna’s absence, the town has become host to a battle between the town loggers, whose mill teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, and environmentalists attempting to prevent the logging of the forest, with the conflict threatening to spill out into open violence. Mill owner Max (Damian Garvey) struggles to contain the more aggressive Craig (Ben Oxenbould), who increasingly resents Max for his attempts at negotiation with the charismatic Jens (Damon Gameau), who has set up shop in the forest treetops.

sounds accompanying the mysterious lights over the ridge feed

But this is far from the only issue simmering away under the surface. The appearance of Detective Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) seemingly mirrors an increase in the local drug trade. Gillan’s mother Renae (Suzi Dougherty), unable to come to terms with Gillan’s disappearance, seeks solace in a local ufologist, much to the chagrin of her sister Barbara (Sacha Horler).

comparable big budget productions on Showcase. The pacing is a

All the while the forest keeps watch, with the peak of Mother Sullivan’s ridge a looming presence in the background. Indeed, the landscape is the unlisted star of The Kettering Incident. Scene


gnaws at the characters in their everyday lives. The interaction of

back into this tension, as they manage to tread the line of sounding haunting without ever betraying definite terrestrial or extraterrestrial origins. Compounding all of this, the slow churning bass lines and keyboard melodies of Kettering’s score manage the difficult task of sounding otherworldly without falling into cheap sci-fi clichés. The Kettering Incident is somewhat more nuanced than other slow burn, as the audience can only hope to piece together much of the mystery at the same pace as Anna. It plays out similarly to a Scandinavian crime thriller, trading off fast-paced action for intrigue and at times almost unbearable tension. All of these factors come together to make a piece of great Australian drama, and one which evolves in a way audiences will struggle to see coming.





am astounded that NBC still exists.

Of any TV network, NBC has the worst track record of making good decisions and supporting their creators. It cannot maintain a good thing, and often only see its mistakes years down the line. But NBC also has some of the best luck in finding new programs: Cheers, Frasier, Friends, Seinfeld, Baywatch and JAG all aired on NBC. ‘The Biggest Loser Network’ (who we give thanks to cancelling 30 Rock in 2012), NBC has turned great luck and titanic shows into failure, and its current state is but a pale shadow of its former glory. Formed in 1926, NBC was the first major broadcasting company in the United States. NBC began life as an iconic broadcaster in the golden age of radio. For many, the transition to television programming was difficult, but NBC remained. Among the first to adopt the new technology, and airing Major League Baseball to great success, NBC slowly transitioned to full production of original programming, commissioning such icons of American television as The Man From U.N.C.L.E and Star Trek. But it wasn’t until the ‘90s that NBC got a taste of global domination. The megalith that was Friends erupted into homes; coupled with the Emmy-winning power of Frasier, NBC was undefeatable. But nothing works out at NBC forever. These mega-hits ran their course, and to follow them up – to retain the massive audiences that they had generated – NBC decided to create as many Friends-clones as they could churn out. When that failed, and desperate to keep the gravy-train chugging, NBC commissioned Joey. Remember Joey? I do. And so do masochists everywhere. The noughties were better, as NBC slowly built itself back to the top, or top-adjacent. Yet after immensely popular shows like My Name is Earl and Heroes, they then fired the head of programming Kevin Reilly in 2007, and began commissioning shows ‘straight to air’. No pilot. As it turned out, not such a great idea.

NBC is famous for cancelling excellent shows, or tweaking their timeslots to destroy them. Loving anything on NBC is an exercise in dangerous living. Star Trek is one of the most famous examples of this, cancelled after three seasons. This is still referred to as the greatest blunder in television history. NBC wanted to cancel Star Trek even before its third season. A fan-letter campaign ensured that it got another year, but instead of supporting it, NBC fired showrunner Gene Roddenberry and moved the show into the worst programming time it possessed: the ‘Friday Night Death Slot’. The ratings didn’t do too well after that, and cancellation followed shortly thereafter. More recently, Freaks & Geeks – a show that launched the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogan and Judd Apatow (look it’s not all good) – was cancelled after 12 episodes. Another fan led campaign ensured that three more were aired, but nothing escapes NBCs lust for destruction. NBC also cancelled Community – probably justifiably, but still. Actually that got Dan Harmon free and making Rick & Morty, so maybe we should actually be grateful there. But in a truly indefensible move, NBC cancelled ALF too. With its titular character captured by the government in the series finale (in a ploy so the executives would give the show another season), only to be never be followed up on NBC, TV viewers were left with a cliffhanger in ALF’s final episode. This was eventually resolved in a made-for-TV movie. That aired on ABC. Programming just in’t looking up for the network. SNL is wellpassed its glory days, and the network that passed on CSI (one of the most profitable franchises of all time) just aired the leastwatched Olympics of all time (despite the US’ incredible showing). Luckily, NBC is assigned the NFL, and these consistent viewing numbers are one of the few things that keeps the network afloat (putting aside the brief period between 1997 and 2006 when it lost rights to ABC). A network consistently behind its competition, last to innovate, but crewed by some of the luckiest executives to draw breath, NBC has left a trail of destruction in its wake. The forth horseman of the apocalypse is loose, Gabriel’s trumpet is blowing, Lucifer was renewed for a second season (On FOX but still). Hell is empty: all the demons are working for NBC.



NBC’s incompetence can be described through the infamous Tonight Show debacle of ’09. In 2004, Conan was promised that he would take over the Tonight Show once Jay Leno retired in 2009. But when the day came, Conan’s ratings were low and Leno was unwilling to step aside. As a solution, executives gave Conan the Tonight Show, and Jay Leno his own program at a much earlier timeslot (The Jay Leno Show). For a while, this half-assed compromise lasted, pleasing nobody. Then, with Conan’s ratings falling, Conan was pushed back to 12:05, and the Jay Leno Show aired in the time created. After this failed to satisfy either party, NBC finally bought out Conan’s contract. The whole ordeal was a

massive publicity blow to NBC. The hashtag #TeamCoco (Conan O’Brien) trended for weeks, and NBC was criticised heavily for their handling of the situation.




ony debuted the very first trailer for No Man’s Sky a full three years ago at their E3 conference in 2014. It was magnificent. Games journalists jumped right onboard the hype-train, using their platforms to excitedly tell their readers why this game, apart from all others, was so worth their time and attention. No Man’s Sky would finally be something new and different. The idea of a procedurally generated universe we can explore and make our own is a concept that just couldn’t be done on older games system, which finally seemed to vindicate the brand new (at the time) hardware in the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. That’s why journalists happily played along, hawking No Man's Sky for all this time. The excitement was real. Of course, game journalists will run with anything a publisher gives them; even if the individual writing about it wasn’t personally invested. That’s what games journalists do now. It’s a fucked up status quo where game publishers announce a game three or four years before it’s playable, and do anything and everything to maintain a constant level of attention and engagement with their audience. And games journalists are happy to play along being drip-fed new information over extended periods of time. Pretending that advertisements are breaking news keeps food on the table, and for respectable outlets like Polygon, this steady stream of reliable revenue is used to sustain more investigative or culturally significant critical writing. It’s a broken system. And No Man’s Sky is the latest victim. After years of anticipation, NMS finally arrived with a resounding “meh, it’s okay I guess.” The main complaint revolved around the dissonance between what was ‘expected’ and what was ‘delivered’. The expectations pegged NMS to be



the second coming of videogame Christ; one guy even paid $1,300 just to play the game a week early. The question became “who is responsible for creating this anti-climax?”. One could easily point to the enraged ‘fans’, who, because they have nothing else going on in their lives, deserve to feel disappointed for pinning all their hopes to a fucking videogame. While it’s tempting to make that case (and the obnoxious privilege that circulates through game culture is certainly very real and very shitty), I think the main blame should be reserved for Sony, who had no problem cashing in on an imagined game they knew they didn’t have.

No Man’s Sky is in many respects more a tech-demo or a ‘proof of concept’, as opposed to a ‘Triple-A’ videogame. It more closely resembles the Minecraft beta than a next-generation Mass Effect game. Yet, Sony’s marketing and general presentation of the game to their customers made it seemingly indistinguishable from Triple-A fare. Not only had it been in development for three goddamn years, but it cost a full-figured $60 at retail. They also let the lead developer be interviewed by Stephen Colbert, who described Sean Murray as a literal God. For comparison’s sake, Hello Games has only fifteen employees, whereas a first-rate developer like Naughty Dog has around three hundred. There’s a world of difference between what the latter can achieve in the same development time compared to the former. Sony presented them as equal experiences, which was irresponsible and dishonest. But let’s get back to this “broken system”,


because NMS is by no means an isolated incident. Game companies are stuck in a vicious competition, where their main currency is mindshare. Games have become so fucking expensive, and if they don’t break five million copies sold within the first two weeks, they’re considered a failure. We’re in this reality where Sony or EA or Ubisoft will announce a game way in advance, alongside a very tightly produced trailer to showcase it that’s not at all indicative of the final product. These trailers will claim to be capturing ‘real gameplay’, but they never ever are. Instead, it’s a pre-rendered cut made to look like the developers’ vision of their final product. The most notorious examples are Killzone 2, Watch Dogs, Star Wars: Battlefront and every single thing that comes out of Peter Molyneux’s mouth. Indeed, this expectation is so ingrained into our culture that even Bethesda, who generally do a pretty good job of treating their customers with respect, are able to get away with this deceitful behaviour. Competition for attention is what has created this rabid, intense hype culture. Desperate to outdo each other, publishers will lie through their teeth to score just those few extra weeks in the spotlight. Sony has done a real disservice to Hello Games and their loyal customers by propping up their little passion project with such lofty expectations they couldn’t possibly follow through on. But this will die soon enough. Gamers are a fickle bunch. Eventually they’ll just latch onto some new thing that promises the impossible, having learned nothing from the dozens of past disappointments. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. But hey, did you see that first trailer for Battlefield 1? That shit looks fucking dope.



138 Canning Hwy, South Perth

Food ............................. 4/5 Coffee .......................... 5/5 Decor ........................... 4/5


Since its opening in 2014, Sprolo has established itself as one of the main players in the ‘South of the River’ brunch game. Its success can be attributed to a philosophy focused on quality coffee accompanied by a distinctive variety of modern, Australian-inspired takes on Singaporean food. The current menu features Japanese chicken curry with dehydrated lotus root ($15) with rice that comes as cute onigiri. The curry is a warm winter lunch that I’ve had thrice in the past month. The laksa ($15) is another popular menu item. The Traditional Singaporean Breakfast ($13) is a prime example of how fusion food does not have to be cultural appropriation – it comes with toasted ciabatta, sous vide eggs and Sprolo’s housemade kaya – a decadently bourgeois take on the iconic staple of the postcolonial Singaporean and Malaysian kopitam. Other recommended menu items are the three cheese and chive smoked salmon waffle ($16.50) and the chocolate, cherry and raspberry waffle ($14.50), which comes with a house-made cherry and raspberry semifreddo, cherry and coconut crumble, dark chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis. The food menu changes seasonally; highlights of the past include pandan waffles and Sprolo’s take on Hainanese chicken rice, with the chilli and soy sauce served in cute pipettes. Blacklist Roaster – who also supply sister cafes Little Matcha Girl in Como and Blackbox in Subiaco – is on-site, and your coffee will come with beautiful latte art poured by experienced

baristas. Blacklist’s two main blends are the Forte (earthy, full-bodied cocoa, best as a milk coffee) and the Etude (chocolate and fruity notes). Two single origins are usually available and are chosen from Blacklist’s full range of single origin beans sourced from a range of areas. These are available on a tasting flight ($7) or as standard coffees, and all are available for purchase in 250g or 500g bags. Beans from Blacklist’s sister brand, Killer Bee, who do a darker roast, are also available to buy. Sprolo’s location on Canning Hwy is not on a known café strip (or near anything really) but the building itself is pleasant, allowing for a light, airy warehouse-style establishment with minimalist décor and an open kitchen with the roaster at the back and free parking to the side. The ‘deconstructed guitar’ wall art also happens to be a Pokemon Go gym (INSTINCT 4 LYF). Hit up Sprolo for their iconic Asian-Australian brunch and speciality coffee. The café is a testament to the often unnoticed – but significant in both number and impact – subculture of Southeast Asians or Australians with Asian heritage who have made their home in Perth. The modern takes on Southeast Asian dishes paired with cakes and sandwiches sourced from local bakeries, along with some of Perth’s best coffee, render Sprolo somewhat uncategorisable in terms of cuisine ‘type’. It’s brunch, but also something a bit special. Thanks, Gabe, for keeping me caffeinated. Happy Birthday Sprolo.







Yes: the coveted position of Pelican Editor and/or beloved tyrant is up for grabs once again. We wait with clear eyes, full hearts and a sense of dread that we have to clean the office for a new leadership to step forward, clamber atop the winged beast, and set it on course to new lands and greater heights.


• You love the magazine. You read it, you caress it. You keep issues in a stack under your bed. You want to see it grow and try new things; you want to make it as accessible and enjoyable to students right across campus as possible. • You will work hard to ensure that Pelican actively represents, showcases, and develops the talents of the UWA student body. • You care about the printed magazine and the flashy website equally. • You have written and/or illustrated for the paper within the past year. • You have a great command of writing and editing • You’re dope at communication – with the student community, with contributors, with media agents, and with industry professionals • You’re ridiculously organised (it’s a must) • A strong vision for the design, content, and overall look and feel of the magazine • Ideas about how to attract new contributors and keep existing contributors motivated and inspired • Ideas on how to get students to pick up and read Pelican. • Bonus points: Experience in writing, editing, co-ordinating, design/formatting software and art direction

If this sounds like you 1) fwoar, and 2) we want to hear from you! Even if you don’t think you meet all the specs, toss us an application anyway. Nothing to lose.


Pelican Editors (usually a team of two) are appointed by the Guild each year prior to November 1st and tasked with putting out eight editions over the course of the academic year. Candidates must have been Guild members for the last two years (or as long as they’ve been at UWA) and not have run in Guild Elections over the same period of time.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN APPLYING: • How will you get students to pick up, enjoy, relate to, and get involved with the magazine? • How you can ensure Pelican actively represents, showcases, and develops the talents of the UWA student body? How will you create an intelligent, positive magazine that demonstrates the best of what UWA can be? • How will you uphold the traditions of Pelican dating back to 1929?

APPLICATIONS MUST CONSIST OF: • A CV including references - due Monday 17st October 12pm in an email to and • A physical portfolio outlining in detail your vision for the magazine for 2015, as well as physical design mockups - due Monday 24th October, 12pm to submit to Madeleine Smith in the Engagement Office located in the South Wing of the Guild (the Guild Student Centre can provided directions if needed). You must also note your availability to attend the interview panels due to take place on the 26th October. If you have any questions about the position or would like more information, shoot a message to, have a chat to current Editors Kate/Hay, email, or stop by the Engagement Office. Have a punt at it!


Set yourself apart with a UWA postgrad degree

Postgrad qualifications have increasingly become the expectation of prospective employers in the global workforce. A long and successful career begins with a UWA postgrad. Because you’ll learn from experts in your field of study, you’ll make invaluable contacts in your industry before you even graduate. To apply for your postgrad, visit 48

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.