pelican. est 1929 Volume 88 Edition 4. Girl
You’re so great. You’re doing a good job. Next time I see you, I’ll say this to your face.
Ruth Thomas and Bryce Newton Pelican Editors 2017
Letter from the Editors
6 Creative writing residency: Sour Memories of Busselton Fun-O-Rama Hannah Cockroft 7 Faces Ben Pronk 8
Iâ€™m tired of being told
9 Las Meninas: portraits of family Harry Peter Sanderson 10 Crossing the Line: 11 Years of Animal Crossing Skye Newton 46 Presidential Address Nevin Jayawardena
Harry Peter Sanderson
12 Pack Up the Moon: Scene Four Harry Sanderson
14 How to Make the Most of Bandcamp
17 Luxury Tax Skye Newton
15 Pelly Asks Stella Donnelly: What Are Your Top Five Albums? Stella Donnelly
38 Girls on Film Interview Bryce Newton
13 Column Talk III Harry Peter Sanderson
16 Naomi Robinson from Mosquito Coastâ€™s Top Five Albums Naomi Robinson 31 World Order Debbie Choo
40 Nowhere to Wear It Jesse Wood, Bryce Newton, Ruth Thomas, Tess Bury, Skye Newton
22 A Lament to the Bad Apps I’ve downloaded in the Past Julia Martini
27 Femme Fatale: The tale of the sexually deceptive Australian Hammer Orchid Maddison Howard Artwork by Cathy Howard
34 Dance Films That Changed Ma Lyf Rachel Thomas
23 Lana Rothnie: Professional Gamer Interview by Jesse Wood 24 Viewfinder: Franko Illarda Franko Illarda
28 We Can Be World’s Best Here Maddi Howard
36 Cinema Re-view: Luna Leederville Bryce Newton 37 Raw and Her Cannibalism Ryan Suckling
30 Hobbies, Reviewed Rainy Colbert
18 Play Things Hannah Cockroft
32 Free Eats in and Around Canningvale aka Suck City Eamonn Kelly
19 A Confusing Day in Our Family History Pema Monaghan
42 On the Dog That’s on The Grog Jacob Broom
33 Girls Eats So Many Condiments You Won’t Believe What Happens Skye Newton
20 Through the Subway 21 We’re Reading Edward Kammann, Bryce Newton, Harry Peter Sanderson, Pema Monaghan 26 Mental Health and Reading Habits Ruth Thomas
43 Perspectives on Women in Politics Leah Roberts 44 The Moon: Who on Earth Owns it? Kylie Matthews 45 Talking Affirmative Action Ella Fox-Martens
Sour Memories of Busselton Fun-O-Rama Hannah Cockroft I keep a cardboard box under my bed that is filling up with homewares and kitchen supplies for when I move out. I have martini glasses, embroidered tablecloths, measuring cups, a cocktail shaker, three egg coddlers, and an old tea set that was given to my granny during a cruise to Indonesia she went on when she was around my age. Each piece has a hand-painted orange and gold dragon wrapped around it; the teapot and milk jug have ceramic dragon heads for spouts that elegantly vomit out the liquid inside them. When you hold each teacup up to the light and look inside, you can see the shadow of a geisha’s face. I also have four hip flasks in this box. I used to draw designs for my future house. Some of the rooms were a cinema, a pasta factory, a helicopter pad (not actually a room, very much an exterior feature), and one of those multi-level playground labyrinths that you would go to for your friend’s 6th birthday. It was at one of those sorts of places that I lost my first tooth, because I nosedived into the rubber floor. I lost my second tooth when I bit down on a chicken drummy. To return to my original thought; I’m not sure if those sort of places exist anymore, probably for good reason, because it was near impossible to go backwards, so if you couldn’t defeat an obstacle then you had to cry in this net-encased prison, 15 metres in the air (3.5 metres) until some unimpressed worker would carry you out, and you got your snot on your nice party shirt. I also wanted to have a room in my house like the one that Mia gets in Princess Diaries
2 when she goes to Genovia and has the big walk in wardrobe with all the remotely opening and closing draws. Very cool. I’m hoping to move out of home within a year or so. I would like to live somewhere with an oven and two toilets, but I feel like that might be asking too much. I also don’t know which friends I will move out with, because all of my friends that haven’t already moved out are happy at home. I am not unhappy at home, but I would like to have a room that allows for a bigger bookcase. I would like to live in my own home because then I wouldn’t have to clean the hotplate every time I cook, because I think it’s redundant to clean a hotplate when you are going to cook on it again later that evening. It’s a once-a-day job. I don’t want to design my own house anymore; I’d rather live somewhere old, with ceiling roses with peeling paint and an avocado and flamingo pink bathroom that was renovated in the seventies. I would like the ceiling of one room to be covered in those multi-coloured light bulbs that hang off of the patio beams at your great auntie’s house. I would find an old cabinet at a verge collection, and fill it up with all the tea sets that I get given. In my bedroom I will have all of my postcards on the ceiling and a whole wall set up as a bookshelf. I will ask for a pasta machine for my birthday.
Faces Ben Pronk
I’m Tired of Being Told to pull my socks up. that I look tired. by my sister that she is cooler than me, I already know. not to walk on the grass. that I need to exercise more. I need to get out of bed. I’m too young to understand. I’m too old for this kind of behaviour. to listen to this band. to watch something on Netflix. to calm down. don’t you have someone you can talk to about this? (no, that is why I am talking to you). I’m a picky eater. to try being happy. that “you’re really quiet.” to care less what people think. I’m overreacting. that we only take cash here. to wait two weeks for an appointment. to please hold. that it’s my cousin’s birthday. that my neighbour went through my drain again (and I am not allowed to put chickpeas down the drain anymore). that I’m bleeding. that I’m your best friend. that you want to eat Grill’d. to stop wearing your jeans. that if I exercise and eat better my mental health will improve. I am aware. advice on my research topic which you know nothing about. I am the expert. that my psoriasis has cleared up. Stop talking about my psoriasis! to smile. that I don’t need to worry about my body. I swear too much. that I haven’t gained weight, I HAVE. that my hands are soft. that I need to dust my plants. that my shirt is on backwards - it was a purposefully style note. that you’re talking to me. I am trying not to hear you. to sit up straight MUM. to stop acting weird. I wish I could. that strobing is the new contouring. I just learnt how to contour, my sister had to teach me over Skype. that my bed is uncomfortable. how much I smell, I know and I try really too hard to make sure I don’t. how much you like avocados.
Crossing the Line: 11 Years of Animal Crossing Interview by Bryce Newton Skye Newton has been playing, living, weeding Animal Crossing for 11 years. Here, we get to know more about the AC lifestyle. Bryce: Not everyone has chucked this Old Favourite into a NintendoDS and experienced a feeling some people would call, joy. Can you talk us through the game, on the whole? Skye: Yeah alright. Animal crossing is an open world rpg where you get to experience governing a small town populated by inconsiderate animals as mayor. In a lot of ways, it reflects real life and in a lot of ways if you’re going to make me explain this more it’s going to affect my self-esteem. Negatively. The age rating is 7+. Do you have a favourite animal crossing villager? I have multiple favorites. Usually I get attached to the ones who leave, you know. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. Erik left most recently. He was a deer. Did you know him very well? How long did he live in your town? We were best friends. Literally, I maxed out on our friendship on the game. I sent him a lot of letters. What do you mean by maxed out? I got the highest possible friendship on the game. It means that he would send me gifts and letters at random, sometimes ran up to me asking if he could give me a nickname. Like “cool guy.” Do you find this to mirror your real life friendships? No. What are your favourite parts of the game? (Weighty exhale). I couldn’t pinpoint one aspect of the game. You have to appreciate it as a whole, and a hole. It sucks you in. I haven’t gotten out for the past eleven years. You’re only eighteen, so that’s a fair chunk of your life so far. Ok then. I already know that this is only the beginning of a lifetime. To clarify, my lifetime. When did it all begin? When I was seven. It’s had me in its clutches for years. My DS was a cutting edge brick. It still is. I haven’t really considered the amount of time I have been playing this game. Could have gone pro by now, but instead I’m living in a house my friends aren’t impressed by, and I’m still paying off my mortgage to Tom Nook. Looking back on it now, I didn’t have any teen romances, but I did have Animal Crossing. Sorry this is getting a bit personal, let’s get back into talking about the game. I did not come here for your life story. What do you think of Animal Crossing: New Leaf (ACNL) compared to Animal Crossing Wild World (ACWW)? New Leaf has definitely lowered my appreciation for ACWW based on graphics alone. They also added a fish bucket of new features, so. However, a lot of animals lost their bite. They used to be really mean and you can tell they toned it down. This wavered the authenticity for me a little. Now I just have to rely on real life insults to get a kick out of being alive.
So ACNL over ACWW? Can’t say I’d pick up ACWW again. But maybe one day I’ll pick it up and say “ha, ha. This classic.” Somewhere very far into the future.
Hey we haven’t talked about your house, other than that your friends are disappointed by it. How do you feel about the space? How does Happy Home Academy (home design rating) feel about it? It’s a place I haven’t put that much time or effort into.
As a player myself I actually found it hard to swap over to the new game. I thought this interview was about me to be honest.
Wait, so what have you been doing then? Isolating myself. I’ve been on the island (a separate destination to the town, my town). Collecting beetles at night. Returning. Waiting day by day until a lazy camper enters my town so I can exploit them and make millions of bells (AC currency), through playing a game they like to call “guess what I want to eat.” Risky business, if you get it wrong, you lose a lot of time, money and any semblance of happiness you might have grasped on to.
Ok. OK. Ugh, so what kind of relationships do you have with the townsfolk and their inability to contribute to town projects? Not a very good one, though each time I do complete a project, I like to select the Mayor speech of “onto the next project,” and in my head, I am laughing. Very slowly.
Do many Animal Crossing players visit your town? No.
Do you find your responsibilities in your Animal Crossing town affect your life and other commitments? Sometimes, yes. The obligation to do something for my town comes in waves. I mean tidal.
In the future? No. I’ve seen your town before. Really full on look. What’s up with that? Talk me through it. On a creative scale, I often have really specific visions. AC is the only platform in which I can fulfill them. The hours that go into flower breeding, tree purchasing, and town project construction are really rewarding. I don’t know when the obsession with landscaping began. I’m studying architecture.
What are your thoughts on Tom Nook? He has come a long way. I own a small figure of him which many I know has simultaneously been admired and disgusted through peer evaluation. You never know 3D until it’s actually 3D. Do you understand? How was your dinner? That’s not AC related.
Has your gaming experience changed as you moved from primary school to high school and now university? Or just as you age in general. Primary school: leisure. High school: stress relief. University: coping mechanism for mental health.
There’s a lot of options when it comes to style. Does the fashion mean anything to you? Yeah. But it’s not my whole world. Do you care what your villager looks like? Yes. Though I’m not aiming towards replicating myself in them. I like pink or white hair. Jinbei shorts. Sandals. A straw hat. A shirt of my own choosing. Bandaids or lemon slices are optional. I don’t change my look for anyone. New villager, same look.
What do you write in your animal crossing letters to other villagers? Snippets of my subconscious, lyrics, sometimes words I pick up in conversations. Brochures, magazines, books. It was a couple of years in I realized you didn’t have to write an entire letter or make actual sentences to receive a reply.
What is your favourite activity in the game? I don’t have one. I don’t gain any enjoyment from doing the activities fishing, bug catching, felling trees; it’s all mind numbing. I only get enjoyment from the results.
Bleak. Ok thanks.
Pack Up the Moon: Scene 4 Harry Sanderson A serialised chronological theatrical piece written extemporaneously and collaboratively by Pelican writers. Interior, night. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN stands looking out of a window in what the viewer can only assume is a spacious mansion. At the other edge of the cavernous room HERMANN bends over, stoking a real fire. The sounds of a billowing storm can be heard outside. On a record player, the Frank Sinatra version of ‘there will never be another you’ plays. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: Stoke faster, Hermann. The smoke is barely getting into my lungs. HERMANN asphyxiating: Yes, mam. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: And fetch me another martini, man. This tastes like a delayed airship. HERMANN, bowing in shame: Forgive me, madam. I have transgressed.
HERMANN runs weeping out of the kitchen. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN, turns back to look out the window, breathing hard. Just then, a towering antlerless cow emerges outside. It stands there, looms, rather, in the middle of the garden. It is golden grand an otherworldly. Presently, it walks on. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN turns back to face the room. HERMANN returns wearing a self-adorned dunce hat and a white tuxedo, which he equates with the status of shame. He attempts to remove vodka from the carpet with a dustpan, like a simpleton would. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: I apologise, Hermann. I am not myself. Ever since Monty left for the war I have taken on such a reasoned anger. I am experiencing the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of those pitiful peasant-farmer figures in Berthe Morisot pictures, standing sober in a grain field with no future or past. HERMANN looks around: But we aren’t in a grain field, mam. Come to think of it, you have never been in a grain field sober. I have, when young. I would go and stay for weekends in the North with my Uncle George. He would sometimes sing to me of… DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: Oh, never mind your uncle George, Hermann. HERMANN: No, Mam. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN, apologetically: Save him for the short story collection you’ve been working on, eh? HERMANN: Just as you say, mam.
There is an uncomfortable silence. HERMANN: Do you think about the future, miss? DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: Oh yes. I’ve thought seriously about the future, Hermann. And I do not think it will continue very much in the vein of our immediate past.
The roaring fire in the background begins to rise and consume the mantle. Plumes of thick black smoke drift up over the stage. Neither DOROTHY WICKOMDEN or HERMANN seemed concerned. For reference, it is a bit like the burning house scene in that Charlie Kaufman film with Phillip Syemour Hoffman, where Phillip Seymour Hoffman is not concerned. HERMANN: You’ve thought about Mr Lawrence returning? DOROTHY WICKOMDEN: I have the whole thing scripted, Herman. He will walk in through that door.
DOROTHY WICKOMDEN gestures to the door. HERMANN walks out of it and immediately walks back in, now dressed in a grey boating suit, holding a large valise, and sporting dark circles under his eyes. DOROTHY WICKOMDEN, turning to look at him: He will say something about being a poor man, covered in dust. And then he will run before me and bend his ear. And I will whisper heavenly labials in a world of gutturals. And It will undo him.
Column Talk IV Harry Peter Sanderson Chopsticks are columns; they might not seem like it, but they are. They are a strange sort of column since, in most cases, they are square at their base and round at their top. How should we sort this column into one of the columnic orders? In its simplicity, it is closest to a Doric or Tuscan column. But it is barely Tuscan, since it has an irregular progression, and is not used to hold anything up. The Chinese largely refrained from using the column as an architectural device, content to deploy it as a culinary vehicle. For their buildings, they preferred large sweeping roofs which sit atop steady brick walls. Occasionally you see an ornamental Huabiao column, but these are barely structural. The focus in China is on breadth, as opposed to the western preoccupation with verticality. Multi-inclined ornamental roofs are supported by internal beams, making the column largely irrelevant. Chinese temples are all curved lines. Oh, what’s that? You don’t think the chopstick is a column? Well then turn the page. This is my column, and I can write about what I want. I can write about Chinese food or architecture. In fact, I have to; it is the job of the columnist to express themselves clearly and honestly. I can write about anything. It doesn’t even have to be column related. I can write about Columbia or Colombo or George Columnabris if I want to. I met George Columbaris once. I was in Melbourne to see a girl named Hetta, from Finland, who was undertaking a semester of study there. We were at dinner at The Press Club, George Columbaris’ flagship restaurant in the city. We had finished everything and been talking for a very long time. He was sitting at a table in the corner, and as we left we walked past him. He looked up and said how was the meal. I said the service was good but the scallops were a little dry. He paused then said what do you do then? I said I study English. He said you think you’ll find a job with that? I said probably not. He said well, why don’t you start cooking scallops as a fall back, then you can make sure they’re exactly the right consistency in the future, you pretentious little prick. There was an uncomfortable silence. He was sitting across from Eric Bana. He said this is Eric Bana. I said I liked you in Mary and Max. Eric Bana said thanks. Then he looked up at the ceiling and there was another long silence. Hetta said well we should be going. George Columnbaris looked at me and said sorry under his breath. Eric Bana gave us a sympathetic smile. Hetta and I walked home, and later that night we kissed under a large Morten Bay fig tree. The last memory I have of her she is cast in a silhouette, waving goodbye from the doorway of her house. In De architectura Vetruvius wrote that beautiful girls looked like Corinthian columns, but he was wrong. She was all curved lines, like a Chinese temple. She also felt sacred and distantly incomprehensible. What’s that? A girl cannot seem like a Chinese temple? Well, no one asked you.
How to Make The Most Of Bandcamp By the Ghosts of Music Editors Present and Past Bandcamp is the crème de la crème of online music stores. Anyone can upload tracks, name their price, add merchandise for sale, include hidden tracks, be supported by fans, display tour info and more, all in the one page! Because of this, it’s pretty much the go-to choice for independent musicians, most of your favourite underground artists are probably on there. But, such a massive amount of content it means that it can be hard to just “pop in” and find something you like. So, through years of practice, we’ve formulated a few handy hints to make it more manageable. 1. Be a fan Make a fan account and follow artists. This way, you can show your support by writing reviews like “listened to this in the bath. Favourite track: surrender taco” and you’ll get emails when they release more stuff. If they’ve released it through a label, you’ll get e-mails notifying you whenever the label releases stuff, which is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how much you like that label. You’ll also get unlimited streaming of releases you’ve purchased on the Bandcamp app. 2. Be a creep The good thing about making a fan account is that you can also follow other fans that have nice tastes in music. You’ll get e-mailed whenever they buy something, which is weird and wonderfully creepy. 3. Dream big Bandcamp’s wish-list function is one of the best ways of keeping track of music you find or get sent but can’t afford right that moment. There’s no greater feeling than getting a big pay-cheque when you’ve got a stacked Bandcamp wish-list and going absolutely hog wild with the Buy Now button. 4. Free shit & charity sales Various bands and labels run pay-what-you-want Bandcamp sales either yearly or in response to specific charity drive etc – I would recommend Run For Cover Records’ yearly pay-what-you-want sale for catching up on North American emo/pop-punk/ twee, or like ultra-prolific Melbourne Screamo band Diploid, provide all their music in this name-your-price format on a permanent basis. 5. Buy discographies Another handy feature offered by Bandcamp is the ability to purchase bands and labels whole discographies at a discounted price – a boon to those used to comprehensive discography torrents but hurting from the loss of torrent sites or looking to give the artists they love greater support.
Pelly Asks Stella Donnelly: What Are Your Top Five Albums? Local legend Stella Donnelly spills on her top 5 albums of all time. Keeping in mind the theme of the issue is, ahem, girl. 1. Jenny Hval // Apocalypse Girl This album is the closest thing I’ve ever heard to someone’s body and mind in song form. Her ability to create sounds that make me think ‘fuck, if ovaries had voices that’s the sound they would make,’ accompanied by lyrics like “and I grab my c**t with my hand that isn’t clean, am I loving myself now? Am I mothering myself?” To me, Apocalypse Girl is a beautiful and powerful protest against patriarchal views on how women should behave. Fave song: Take Care of Yourself 2. Patti Smith // Horses Patti Smith ticks the same boxes as Hval does for me with poetry meeting music. When I first listened to Horses I was immediately aware of how revolutionary her stuff would have sounded back when she released it. This classic album opened a window of possibilities in my mind for how music can be made. Which then, of course, led to a tragic fortnight of absolute obsession over everything Patti Smith has ever created. I didn’t leave my house for two weeks while I read both of her books Just Kids and M-Train whilst googling pictures of her and almost booking flights to fucking Naples, or wherever she was due to tour, just to see her in the flesh. I have since calmed down and got a grip on my life but Horses will forever be a top album for me. Fave Song: Kimberly 3. Hiatus Kaiyote // Tawk Tomahawk Nai Palms’ voice spills out some of the coolest notes to accompany the chords that she plays. This album was super visual for me and maybe it’s because I was watching a lot of anime at the time but I couldn’t help but feel a Miyazaki-esque theme carried throughout it. Fave Song: Tawk Tomahawk 4. Divide and dissolve // Basic I only just heard this album last week and I played it through twice and sat there staring at the wall. This Melbourne based drone-doom duo have managed to build a wall of sound with just guitar and drums (save for a few epically haunting tracks that incorporate the clarinet). Fave Song: Black and Indigenous 5. Oosterbanger // Purge Demos “MY LEGS AIN’T SELLING SHIT.” This line and this whole EP is delivered with such aggression and self-awareness that it shook me a little bit when I heard it. Ellen Oosterbaan, previously the front woman of local legends Catbrush, has created a sound that is rough as guts and that’s exactly how she wanted it, a bad ass guitarist with a badass voice and she is so mad that it made me mad and will probably make you mad. Fave Song: Fuck Decorum
Catch Stella’s new EP “Thrush Metal” on Bandcamp and Spotify.
Naomi Robinson from Mosquito Coast’s Top 5 Albums 1. Todd Rundgren // Disco Jets Todd Rundgren is this eccentric guy from the 70’s who used to wear big heels and makeup. He wrote this album as a spoof disco piece but it’s so amazing – the melodies and keyboard changes are beautiful. 2. Ariel Pink // Before Today Sounds like psychedelic dream pop. 3. Serge Gainsbourg // Melody Nelson Serge is a French song writer from the 60’s. He was famous for his controversial and witty lyrics. 4. Melody’s Echo Chamber // Melody’s Echo Chamber A French musician’s debut album. Beautiful and haunting. Sounds a little like broadcast. 5. Beastie Boys // Paul’s Boutique One of the most sample happy albums of all time.
Luxury Tax Skye Newton @ocean_themes
Play Things Hannah Cockroft Our house sits in a room with yellow walls Inside another house We are brittle and fragile Some of us are missing our shoes Warm hands hold us Pose us Pick up our teacups for us and put them to our lips Tuck us into wooden beds at night The front walls open us so she can look in And we look out To see this other house The real one that we live in A babushka doll of homes And within we sit and wait to be a reflection Of what this child sees in the outer shell A mother in the bathtub and a father in the den And a tiny working piano in the attic Tiny is relative Sometimes she forgets to sit us around the kitchen table And we go hungry.
A Confusing Day in Our Family History Pema Monaghan I was born on the day my parents were married.
and make me a milo. Easy sympathy.
My mother wore a navy blue dress, and held a little white posy.
My mother did not have sympathy for me
My father wore a suit.
They took photos against the red brick of
She was busy
my grandparents’ back wall.
feeling so sad
Only the Monaghans and the celebrant attended,
my mother’s family live in India.
And I don’t think they could fit
any of dad’s friends.
It’s a pretty small garden. My dad was busy After lunch,
learning how to cook.
the water broke.
He learnt chicken pasta.
And they rode to the nearby maternity hospital:
Which is pasta
And boiled chicken.
I imagine, anyway,
no one has ever really told me.
But we ate it.
My parent’s are divorced -
I used to know
not amicably -
that it wasn’t my fault,
so the day of their wedding is
but I am older now,
no ones’ favourite topic.
and I know that it was, at least incidentally.
I knew it wasn’t my fault, no one had to tell me, though they did.
I was born on the day that my parents were married.
But sometimes I pretended
If I had not been conceived,
that I thought it was,
I doubt an Australian man
because it was a neat narrative,
would have flown
and because it made more sense
an Indian Tibetan woman of twenty-two
than my other feelings.
away from her family and her life.
“If I hadn’t been born that day!”
She was the baby.
I had just to say something like this
She has never grown up.
and my nonna
I am a grown up.
would tuck me in
I can accept it.
through the subway leaden shoulders lead the way home again through the old subway the Moon shone bright tonight confused with the streetlights it was quiet all the way through the trees. moving like a grey shadow my heart orbits in Space: thereâ€™s no signal out here, my outline shifts in shapes. my words hit a dead end and hung vacantly in the air now my mouth is full of stones like a river run dry. the sky rolled upwards shuttered the world in dark blue every time I heard footfalls, running, I hoped it was you.
We’re Reading The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson If you read fantasy novels, you’ve probably encountered the problem that there seem to be two kinds of story: worlds so complicated and alien that the most important part of the book is the glossary, and then Lord of the Rings – A Slightly Different Imagining. While both have their fans, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is a much-needed fresh take on the fantasy genre, a fun, intriguing, easy to read story that has something every reader will enjoy, without a boring reliance on cliché. Set in a desolate, hurricane swept world, The Way of Kings follows a handful of soldiers and slaves trying to survive a bloody war against a strange species,and a noble family trying to prevent civil war. Sanderson’s storytelling balances well written characters with absorbing worldbuilding. His hallmark “hard magic” approach to fantasy makes wizards an interesting and complex part of the story. His usage of magic does not result in the destruction of narrative tension by solving everyone’s problems with a convenient, previously unmentioned spell, in the way that so many authors do. Not only is The Way of Kings an amazing novel on its own, it ties into the Cosmere, a mysterious shared link between all of Sanderson’s fantasy novels. Fans of more complex fantasy worlds will love looking for the subtle clues as to the nature of the Cosmere and what it might mean for future novels. Edward Kammann The Girls – Emma Cline I bought The Girls by Emma Cline from Diabolik bookstore. I’d been searching for it since summer, perhaps. The kind of searching that doesn’t end when you find the book, only when you are mentally prepared to part with the money for it. I wish I’d bought it sooner, summer would have been the perfect time to read it so I could feel in tune with the characters and their sunny lifestyle, instead of being indoors and propped up in my bed by three cushions. Not that I didn’t feel in tune, Emma Cline has a masterful grasp on being a woman, on growing up. The novel follows protagonist Evie during her adolescence, and her run in with a cult, moving between present day and the ever-present pull of the past. Cline’s novel talks about sexuality and our mundane, often passively cruel, human interactions with bleak honesty that was refreshing and sad. I saw parallels in my own experiences, and post reading felt like I knew myself better, I felt more settled in the world. The Girls is one of the best things I have ever read. Bryce Newton King James Bible – Multiple authors I am currently reading the Bible— ever heard of it? This book is one of the best books, since it encompasses most all other books written after it. If you read this book then you can understand all the references poets and painters make, and also you get to know God better (God is real). It is by finding the freedom to know God that you may experience total inward solitude. Anglicanism is pretty much the only form of religion that gets things exactly unequivocally correct, however in reading this you do get insight into some of the thoughts of the Kabbalists and Gnostics, be they misguided. I am reading a translation of the Old Testament in Yiddish, but if you can’t speak Yiddish just read it in English. It is more or less the same storyline. Harry Peter Sanderson The Idiot – Elif Batuman I recently finished Elif Batuman’s The Idiot: a clever, funny, kind, and eminently readable (a compliment) book. The Idiot is a novel in which a young person realises that relationships and experiences are rarely satisfying or meaningful in the way that you expect them to be. Wikipedia states very firmly that it is a bildungsroman. Selin, the protagonist, does not learn things in the way that we expect of a character engaged in their story of maturation. She makes the same mistakes over and over; consciously, introspectively, sadly. Batuman said, in an interview with the LA Review of Books podcast, that she no longer recognises the young woman in the novel, despite the enfolding of many of her own experiences into the story. I, however, do recognise that idiot. Selin’s confusion, hurt, and sometime numbness, have all figured acutely in my own (ongoing) maturation process. Unlike the traditional bildungsroman, Selin does not end the novel much wiser than she begun. She’s still herself, she’s just had more life. Highly recommended. Pema Monaghan
Perth, arguably the epicentre of the zeitgeist on the Australian continent, is losing one of its brightest stars to the ever-looming threat of competitive gaming. Lana Rothnie, a renowned perthonality, has decided to give up playing live music to make a living wage. Age of Empires 2, an 18-year-old game, is experiencing a renascence and cashing in on this has proven quite lucrative to some professional players. Competitive matches can fetch winners prizes of upwards of 500 dollars. In 2014, the largest Championship ever had a prize pool of 120,000 dollars. Needless to say, Lana was keen to get started. Lana managed to squeeze us in for an interview between killing peasants and urban planning topography. Jesse Wood: what’s your favourite civ in Age Of Empires (AOE)? Lana: Portuguese What’s your “strat”? I love extending the game after all your team mates have died until the opposite team gets mad. Favourite match type? I like to play chop trees. All you start with is a boat and three villagers, and you have land covered in trees. When you land there’s no space for a town centre, so you have to chop trees, drop the wood and chop more trees ‘til you have enough space for a wood mill so you have somewhere to drop the wood. What order do you build things in? The food place and then you need houses. Bodies of water are a crucial factor in any map they feature, what’s your general approach to dominating the sea? Boats are terrible, and by the time they’ve turned around to shoot someone they’ve already been shot down. Favourite unit, aesthetically and professionally? Jesse are you going to ask me about my music career. Preferred tactic? I like to pretend I’m not in a team and then team up anyway and fool everyone. Also, sometimes if all you have is lots of villagers and you have nothing to lose you can make the villagers fight but only on some teams. That’s real life, that would be us if we went to war, just little villagers trying to fight big guys. What’s your reputation like on the professional circuit right now? Got any beef going on with other players? I have beef with everyone, ‘cause in Australia the ping is so bad (meaning the internet is bad) and you can’t get into any games. I am doing ok on the pro circuit, just got to keep my head in the game and keep the stress down. How does AOE2 rank in comparison to other “eSports” games you have played? I played Dota for about 20 minutes and nearly died in real life from stress. So far AOE2 is my favourite, but I am yet to play CIVILISATION. Thanks for talking to us today Lana. Was this the interview, weren’t you going to ask me about my EP? Thanks Lana. …ok.
To follow more of Lana’s gaming journey, find her @annalrothstein
LANA ROTHNIE: PROFESSIONAL GAMER Interviewed by Jesse Wood
Viewfinder: Franko Illarda Iâ€™m influenced by photographers like Lewis Baltz and Aaron Siskund. I explore the notions of self in the context of Modernist Perth. See More of Frankoâ€™s work on his Instagram @frankophoto
Re-enter the World Ruth Thomas You couldn’t move. In bed, alone, and the day passes by. Arms too heavy, head too heavy, so just lie there. Just continue to exist. For today that’s a win. And repeat. You’re beyond wanting food. You think of fading, and it seems possible, probable, and not too terrible. In any event you can not move. Sometimes your body moves - it curls in on itself and everything heaves with silent screams and tears, and always there is that ache. In your head thoughts repeat, again, and again, and time passes. You know this is a bad place, but now that you’re in you don’t know how to get out. Then maybe one day things are a little lighter. Maybe one day you get a call and maybe you answer it. Maybe one day you can and do say to someone, “help me, just a little” and then things start to change. You talk to people, because they talk to you. You start to move and slowly you feel the atrophy lift from you legs and hands. The looping thoughts are interspersed with other thoughts. You continue to cry, but that’s of course because of the ache and the empty inside. That’s still there. For a long time it’s there. And then one day it’s not. You won. You lived. Things are familiar. There are thoughts you like. Yes to smiling, yes to eating, yes to walking in the sun. Yes to letting people help. Yes to reentering the world. Yes to relearning to be yourself. You remember bits about yourself, from before the time when you couldn’t move. You remember that you liked walking in the rain. You remember that you liked rainy days. You remember that you liked watching the rain from your window, with a blanket around your shoulders - the more rain the better - it made you feel like a witch or something, something good. You remember that you liked drinking tea. You remember that you liked drinking tea whilst reading a book. You remember that you liked reading books. You know it’s been a long time, years even, since you read anything. You can remember in those bad days trying to read book in hand page open eye on page but nothing. Eyes would not move would not read the words and you didn’t know why they just wouldn’t and that freaked you out. Another thing you could not do. But you do remember a time before the bad days. Things were different. Books were your thing. They were your pride and you would call yourself a voracious reader. A booklover, a reader proper, whatever. Books devoured. And loved. And craved. Read for understanding, and escape. Three a week, one a day, depending on how much time you could steal. That was you. Always. Before the bad days, that was you. Now you’re relearning yourself. 400 odd books are still in your room. You kept buying them after your stopped reading them. Why hasn’t the hunger come back? Why aren’t you craving them like you used to? They look dead. Slabs. An obligation. Three a week, one a day seems like a lot, and it used to feel so easy. Where do you even start? An unknown? An old familiar? Maybe something even an idiot could get through? Pick one, open it up, turn the page, turn the page, and then there’s page one. Read. It feels like work. It’s not easy anymore, that’s not you anymore, it’s not the same. Why does this have to be hard too? Everything else is hard everything else is not easy and relearning is effort real effort why this too why can’t this be normal? Before the bad days they were a way out a safe escape a part of life that was fine. Why did this too have to go? Remember you won. Remember you lived. Remember that’s what matters. It will get better. Of course it will be slow, you lost years remember. Books were a comfort. They shouldn’t be a pressure. Forget three a week, one a day. Pick one book. You have time. Read it slow. Read the page twice if you need too. Take a break. Make tea. Read another page. Read more tomorrow. You’re trying to be kind to yourself, like people say you should. The first book you finish is /The Island of Doctor Moreau/ a skinny book. A silly book. Probably better as a movie. But it’s done. Then you read /Paper Girls, Vol 1/. A graphic novel, so maybe it doesn’t count, but maybe it does. Then nothing for a while. Then /The Earthsea Quartet/ and in this you remember what it was like to read with addiction. In this you enter your secret reading world. A successful escape. Remember it. Then /The Edible Woman/ which was weird, but good. Then /The Wings of the Dove/ for which there is nothing but love. You’ve found your secret world, and you go there like in the days before the bad days. Living is getting easier. Reading is getting easier. You’re almost a person proper now. It’s been a full year since you reentered the world. You say: please don’t count the books. You don’t count the books. Easy.
Femme Fatale: The tale of the sexually deceptive Australian Hammer Orchid Maddi Howard Art by Cathy Howard Female wasps are below-ground dwelling, flightless beings. For a male wasp to mate with a female, he must be guided to her location by release of attractive pheromone. Upon arrival, he will land atop the female and grip her tightly by the sides. The Australian Hammer Orchid has capitalized on this mating behaviour, developing an extremely specialised structural form to ensure its pollination. Hammer orchids have a flower lip shaped like a female wasp, which is attached to the end of a hinged arm. By this design, they can mimic the appearance of a female wasp, whilst also producing a scent that very closely resembles that of the female’s mating pheromone. Male wasps are consequently drawn to the Hammer Orchid flower, and hoodwinked by the plant’s clever structural engineering, grip onto the ‘decoy’ wasp – thinking it a live female. The momentum of the fast-flying male causes the hinge to flip over towards the orchid, hammering the attached male into the pollen centre. The result is a freshly pollinated Hammer Orchid, and a confused male wasp who flies away from the flower both sexually deceived and unsatisfied.
We Can Be World’s Best Here Maddi Howard 2005 Australian of the Year, co-discoverer of ReCell (a.k.a “Spray on Skin”), and mother of six, Dr Fiona Wood, talks to Maddi Howard. As I am buzzed into the Burns Unit at PMH, I feel a wave of anxiety rush through me. Standing on the heavily bleached hospital floor, I feel overwhelmed by the hubbub of beeping machines, and conversing nurses dressed in scrubs and hairnets. I am amidst a sea of medical specialists, surgeons, dedicated to saving the lives of their patients – at PMH, these are ‘tiny humans’ who have come for treatment from all corners of WA. Heading up the team who will provide this care is super-scientist, Dr Fiona Wood. She welcomes me into her office in a once broad Yorkshire accent, now tainted by 30 years of residence in Perth. Upon first impression, I pin Dr Wood as someone who knows her accomplishments, acknowledges her invaluable contributions to science, and accepts her bounty of awards and accolades, but is not pompous about them – rather, she exudes humbleness, and quiet confidence. As Director of Burns at Royal Perth Hospital and (then recent) co-developer of sprayon-skin technology, Dr Wood was perhaps one of the best-prepared people to handle the early-millennial emergency that was the aftermath of the Bali Bombings in 2002. Of the 28 patients that were sent from the impact zone in Bali to Dr Wood for treatment in the wake of the bombings, 25 survived. This was partly a result of the hard work of Dr Wood and her plastic surgery team, and partly due to the innovative ReCell technology that Dr Wood had on hand. ReCell was special because it “was the first real exploration of using single cells as a way of delivering messages to the wounds to say ‘heal’”. Ultimately, it meant that patients could be treated with skin grown over a matter of days and then have it sprayed on, rather than be treated with skin grown over weeks that was then grafted on. Spray on skin meant less remnant scarring and quicker response time to burn wounds – crucial factors in the survivability and recovery success of burns patients. The success of the ReCell technique was resounding, and resulted in Dr Wood receiving Australian of the Year in 2005, for her contribution to medical science and innovation. Dr Wood has now commercialized ReCell, signing over her intellectual property to the Fiona Wood Foundation – a move that meant whilst potentially less people could access the treatment at lowest cost, Dr Wood and her colleagues would be guaranteed regular funding for further innovative research, “without being at the mercy of competitive grants”. Dr Wood maintains that the foundation has been hugely influential in ensuring ongoing research over the years, referring to it as “the vehicle through which money is allocated and directed to researchers.” She goes on to say that the foundation royalties “mean that we’ve been able to support an enormous amount of research not just around cell-based therapies…we have a philosophy that every intervention from the point of injury will influence the scar wall for life. So therefore, we should be active along the continuum. And so, we’ve been active in first aid, in community education, in pre-hospital care, intensive care, nutrition, exercise science and psychology, as well as the basic science, as well as population health. And the foundation has facilitated that, it has been absolutely fundamental in getting us to where we are now.” When asked about where the money would go for her next research project, Dr Wood detailed her interest in the interaction between pain and the nervous system. “The skin is a receptor. We know that if we are burned here, the nerve supply will be changed here and so the brain changes. And so understanding how the brain can drive healing is a really big interest of mine. I’m hoping to be able to heal without scar, and without the functional compromise. Regeneration, not repair.”
I was curious about where this interest in medical research had come from – Dr Wood was a plastic surgeon by specialty, and a great plastic surgeon at that. So, I posed the question to her - why not just be content as a highly competent, highly paid plastic surgeon? What is driving you to engage in medical research? It turns out Dr Wood is very passionate about research, explaining that she has “always been interested in the potential of science and technology – what is it? What’s cutting edge? What’s new? I like to explore what is different and what is new because I think that is where we can improve. I think that as clinicians and as leaders in health, we have to strive to always do better. So how can we strive to always do better, if we don’t engage at some level in research? I have to engage with the exploding advance in technology and information and science out there because I owe it. It’s a duty in my head to the people I treat. Otherwise, if we weren’t doing this then we would be still kind of, with leeches. Medicine changes, it evolves. We can be world’s best here. We don’t have to be the recipients of information, we can actually add to that body of knowledge. And that’s what I think is exciting, that’s what gets me up in the morning. How can I connect with knowledge? How can I extrapolate ideas?” It is reaffirmed in my mind at this point, that Dr Wood has real visionary character. She is a big believer in hard work and grit, putting your head down and getting to it, is the path to greatness. I asked her what advice she would give her university-agedstudent-self, “the best advice I had, I think consistently, from my dad and mum was to get up in the morning and enjoy what you do. And if you do that you’ll be ahead of the game. And so you have to go out and find what that is, it’s not going to drop in your lap. Underpinning that is that there is no substitute for hard work, possibly not a popular view, but you get out what you put in.” As a role model for scientists and medical students nationwide, Dr Wood is held in high regard for her achievements and advancements in burns surgery. However, perhaps this respect for Dr Wood is even greater for up and coming female scientists, who are regularly warned about the gender inequalities and associated complexities of being ‘a woman in science.’ I asked for Dr Wood’s opinion on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) movement – a current hot topic in academic and sociocultural circles, concerned with increasing the female representation in these STEM fields. Dr Wood argued that her headspace is that “life isn’t single sex”. She believes that whilst there might be some traditional beliefs and connotations about female vs male behaviour and capabilities, in the case of research and problem solving, “having bits of both is useful. I think that’s really the bottom line. You need a spectrum of opinions and personalities coming to the table to give you the best solution that will then apply to a spectrum of people at the other side.” To reinforce this refreshingly simple perspective on the matter, Dr Wood told me of a time she was asked ‘do we need to make surgery a career for women?’ Her response was apt and to the point – “we make surgery a career for people”. As I left the echoing corridors of PMH that day, I was no longer feeling anxious or overwhelmed to be amidst the everyday heroes that fight for the lives of young children in the Burns Unit. Rather, I was inspired, and gracious to have had the opportunity to interview such a prestigious surgeon. A surgeon whose footprint on the medical scene in Perth (and indeed worldwide) will undoubtedly be scribed forever in the history books, but also in the lives of the thousands of people who are experiencing less of pain, and more of life, thanks to Dr Fiona Wood’s hard work.
Hobbies, Reviewed Rainy Colbert #9 - Bush Gymnastics Most normies are too scared to do anything cool when they visit. They’re too worried ‘bout getting snakebite, or crushing bug houses, or disrespecting the land; but the way I see it is, as long as you’re not littering or setting things on fire, the bush is the one and only place you can be yourself and have fun. Inspired by Jack Black in The School That Rocked, I borrowed some kids from a local school and took them on a bus out yonder, aiming to help them reconnect with our natural environment. The school thought it was a brilliant idea – “yes, it’s time for the iGen to stop thinking about eCards and start thinking about ecology”. I devised a fun new youth programme, Bush Gymnastics, a crash course in engagement with nature. I can’t give away all my tips, but some of the activities we covered were: - Running real fast and trying a big jump over a grass tree. - Smashing dead branches and twigs off a tree with a big stick. - Climbing big rock mound, finding loose flat one the size of your head, tossing it up in the air and watch it shatter its shards all over the other rocks when it hits the ground. This isn’t vandalism, because: 1. It turns the big rocks into small rocks, which people like more. 2. No government or organisations own rocks just yet. 3. Its preparation for the next activity - Sticking googly eyes onto the rocks and nuts, turning the bushland into a place of life and magic. All in all, the day was a positive experience. We got some exercise, made some bush art, debated Bush-Ethics with the park rangers. I felt very proud at the end when, handing all the students back their machines, one shook his head and said to me: “Keep the Nintendo, mate – I could keep jumping over this log forever.” #10 - Archaeology I trowel through the dirt, waiting for my shovel to upturn anything of value. So far I’ve had no luck, my finds pile consisting of a slashed-open battery, a couple broken pegs and an old, deflated exercise ball. I conclude that there is nothing left worth finding in our backyard soil. Nothing but bottle caps and stupid rocks. Contemporary Archaeology is a tough gig. With most of our planet’s treasures already locked behind museum glass, it’s hard not to get demoralised by the lack of stuff left to find. And for the little we have left remaining? Well, you have to compete with all the other soil-hogs to get it. Mitch, a previous tenant, once discovered a tiny plastic baby hidden under our floorboards, looking to have laid there since the fifties, and later a weather beaten Tazo of Crash Bandicoot, and the scorched and severed doll-head of Mrs. Shrek. I knew it’d take me some serious digging to compete with any of those finds. Hope arose when a glimmer of light caught my eye beneath the asbestos shack. Crouching down for a better look I discovered a small tin kettle, primitive in design and slightly rusty, looking to be over a hundred years old; the billy a drover might’ve used to sterilise the river water. Although it might’ve looked cool in our house, I worried my city-friends would find it a bit pseudo-retro and excessive. Plus, we already had a perfectly good kettle that my mum got from Target. I threw it back under the house and heard a heavy metallic thunk as it landed against something heavy. It was a large rusty can, unlabelled and unopened. Curious, I shook it about to guess it’s contents – peaches? syrup? Hard to tell from observation, so I brought my shovel down on the can with such ferocity and strength that as the metal pierced and buckled, a torrent of black sludge sprayed from several sides, splattering the neighbour’s Colourbond fence and soaking my best pair of jeans. Rats! The vegemite-substance that crawled down my legs had the scent of Premium 95 and the viscosity of PVA glue. I couldn’t tell what it was. Tar? Paint? Nah, motor oil – the stuff that coats little seals and doesn’t wash away without violent scrubbing, but also the stuff that gets you rich if you sell it to other countries. After ‘oil’, one man’s oil is another man’s early retirement.
Hobbies Reviewed will continue next issue. Visit pelicanmagazine.com.au/hobbies-reviewed/ for the extended archive.
World Order Debbie Choo On first inspection, WORLD ORDER appears a group of unsmiling Japanese office workers. Indeed, in comparison to cute K-pop male idols, the group are hackneyed and banal. Beneath the surface, however, they harbour surprising talents. To experience their art is to understand WORLD ORDER as a J-pop hurricane of robotic dance and introspective lyrics, who embody everything life-affirming about postmodernism. Through their innovations, they transcend the label of mere music group, and reach the level of holistic contemporary artistry. In my opinion, they are entirely underrated.
WORLD ORDER debuted in 2009 as ‘Mainly’, the brainchild of retired martial artist Genki Sudo. Perhaps the most well-known of their songs is MACHINE CIVILIZATION, which was released in 2011 after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. In song’s notes, there an English language message: The world won’t change on its own. We do change one by one. That makes the world change. The darkness just before the dawn is deepest. So, we do rise up together to greet the brilliant morning truly coming for the human beings. WE ARE ALL ONE This sombre tone, tempered with hope, characterises WORLD ORDER. As is clear from Sudo’s message, the band celebrates both the individual and the larger group. In their music videos, suited and bespectacled band members engage in dances which are carefully synchronised, but retain individual spirit and idiosyncrasies. They expound the idea of the individual not only existing within the group, but thriving because of their membership. This message is perhaps more relevant now than it ever has been. Eight years after their debut, WORLD ORDER continue to astonish. Their single ‘SINGULARITY’ was released in March of this year, boldly self-sampling its title from the lyrics of ‘MACHINE CIVILISATION.’ The video for ‘SINGULARITY’, filmed in Nagoya, partly features the female members of Japanese idol group SKE48. SKE48, like AKB48, are known for their enormous popularity amongst idol otaku in Japan. By their inclusion of SKE48, WOLD ORDER was not only paying homage to their musical influences, but making a larger comment on inclusivity. It is not the first-time WORLD ORDER has referenced otaku culture. Previously, they featured AKB48 members in the video for their song ‘HAVE A NICE DAY’. In ‘SINGULARITY’, however, the female idol group joins in the dance of WORLD ORDER to a more significant degree. In the inclusion of an all-female group, their message of synergy and diversity is boldly enforced. The video declares that otaku culture should be normalised and even celebrated as a conduit of harmless joy during mundane, corporate culture. Why do WORLD ORDER deserve more attention? Because they subvert traditional Japanese values of unquestioning conformity, and are somehow both comical and thought-provoking. They rely on musical ability and movement rather than physical appearances, and, most importantly, let you dance the robot while looking hip, cool and J-pop.
Free Eats in and Around Canningvale aka Suck City Eamonn Kelly 1. The local Woolworths offers free fruit to people with kids to keep ‘em quiet while walking around the shop. Turns out nobody will question a twenty something eating an apple walking around so long as they have a basket full of goods (that they don’t intend to buy). 2. Supermarkets throw out a shocking amount of perfectly fine produce, like vanilla custard or the loaves from that morning. You have to be at peace with your inner scavenger. Diving through bins for food takes courage, if anything it’s fuckin’ punk, it’s spitting in the face of the bourgeoisie life lovers that can afford to buy nice things, like meals. If one finds you in this state, look deep into their eyes and say something piercing like “you did this to me” it’ll be funny, trust me. There was probably one of your ancestors that fought a vulture to eat a lion’s sloppy seconds, just saying. Consume what you find in a day, otherwise you’ll get the shits. 3. There’s a cherry tree in someone’s front yard. Ended up staking out the place for four hours until the owner left. Then climbed up there with bucket and secateurs. Problem was I got too greedy; the guy came back before I finished up and started yelling at me. I fell out of the tree, spilling fruit everywhere. I banged my dang elbow. 4. You can fish in the ponds down at the park. Do it at night because there’s lots of people with dogs and kids around yeah. 5. Canningvale is famous for its invertebrate life. Simply hang out a bug zapper and you’ll have mosquitos the size of dragonflies and spiders the size of dinner plates, perfectly cooked and ready for the eating. 6. Bakers Delight/Brumby’s still does samples: go nuts. I went in there with a target bag myself. 7. You can go down to the Amherst Library and covertly rip the spines off some of the old leather books. Boil them in water at home and apparently, you have a nourishing meal. I mean, Werner Herzog once ate his leather shoe – can’t be that bad for you, right? 8. Cacti are edible but I wouldn’t bother. 9. My neighbour isn’t very good at trimming their plants. There’s an olive tree and a passionfruit vine still dropping their wares on the pavement. Turns out eating a raw olive is pretty yuck, but the passionfruit is very nice. 10. It’s a regular thing to eat snails and slugs from the garden. If you’re fine with being infested with demon parasites that will both suck on your brain and turn you into something resembling the dude from The Lord of the Rings who has the word of Sauron spoken in his ear by a creepy pale guy with yellow teeth, I’d say go for it man. Andrew Zimmern says it’s good eating. Do not use salt, it’s cruel mate. 11. On the subject of Andrew Zimmern, I saw a documentary on YouTube in which he went to Ireland and found some fossilised, thousand-year-old butter in the bog in the boondocks of Dublin town, which got me thinking, what else can be buried and slowly fermented over the course of several years in a temperate environment rich in carbon until it is semi edible. Basically, what you want to do is get all the half-used condiments in your fridge, Devondale Butter (Dairy soft, the best kind), Salsa, Hummus, French Onion Dip, Barbeque Sauce, and bury them in a burlap sack in a safe location that you are sure is not going to be touched by property development (maybe your back yard). After a long enough time (let’s say, 10-20 years) dig them up again and enjoy premium fermented goods. It’s not technically free because you had to purchase the condiments in the first place, but I’m certain you could get great returns selling the stuff to a sucker rich enough to buy twenty-year-old butter. That or you could just spread it on toast. 12. Canningvale is situated on top of and around swampland, which means that when it rains the parklands sink into the ground and a large pool of shallow water accumulates. This draws frogs. One time my cat ate a frog and the only reason I found out about it was because she yakked in my bed whilst I was sleeping. One cannot describe the horror felt at waking up to a cat retching and discovering the quivering Lovecraftesque mound. Aside from this, frog’s caviar is also edible, a delicacy, in certain parts of the world.
GIRL EATS SO MANY CONDIMENTS YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS Skye Newton Look, I’m fresh off eating half of a donut and it wasn’t even a good one. I need to get my life back on track and out of this gutter. I approach the fridge. Condiments are apparently for adding flavour — but what if they’re the ONLY flavour you put in your mouth? Can they stand on their own. I eat condiments by themselves so you don’t have to. QUINCE PASTE: BEERENBERG FAMILY FARM “Quince paste” sounds scary. Smells like tomato sauce, but more sour. Consistency of thick jam. It is thick jam. Tastes intensely sweet, but also kind of vinegary. I wouldn’t eat this like I used to eat butter. From the tub. With my bare hands. Neat hey. Not sure what this is for. [I am informed by my scribe that its intended use is as a condiment for cheese boards.] 5/5 for bougie use. Me everyday. SANDWICH PICKLES: SWEET MUSTARD I like the brand. I like that there is pictures of cauliflower. Has the consistency of a runny jam. I smell it intensely. It smells a lot like vinegar. I like it in small portions, I could eat this by itself. The tiny crunchy bits are mysterious (if you don’t look at the ingredients). 5/5 but maybe not on a sandwich. TOMATO CHUTNEY Specific and limiting serving suggestions (“use with your BBQ or on a meat pie” — not sure how well spreading tomato chutney on your barbecue would go but then again I’ve never tried, and I’m a pretty negative person.) I note the picture of a ninja star moving towards a tomato on the front. Inappropriate and unclear symbolism. If you saw this without the jar you’d go “ah! This could be anything! This could be… anything.” Smells like tomato sauce. WOAH. REALLY INTENSE FLAVOUR. Kind of tastes like barbecue sauce. There are chewy bits of tomato skin, but it’s not unpleasant. I wouldn’t eat this by itself. Or by myself. 3/5 for ambiguity. MUSTARD: CLASSIC YELLOW Really not looking forward to this. The packaging reminds me of Twinkies. I’ve had them before and they taste like chemicals. Doesn’t help it says “America’s favourite mustard.” I don’t use mustard on my hotdogs. Hard to get out of the bottle, but we made it. Smells like curry powder, looks fake. Wouldn’t trust it with my secrets. Pungent tasting, and I’ve only had a teardrop amount. Tastes like onions and vinegar — not in a pleasant way. 0/5 on the whole. SWEET CHILLI SAUCE I only eat this with wedges, not spring rolls. Ridiculous consistency considering it’s served in a glass bottle. Impractical. Consistency reminds me of saliva. I like the chunks of chilli and the colour. Smells like nothing. Tastes delicious, sweet with a bit of heat. A thick drink, but would not drink it. 5/5 to be enjoyed again. FOUNTAIN CHIPOTLE BARBECUE SAUCE Euch. Reminiscent of grease. Farm grease for tractor use. I’m going to pack some next harvest just incase. Intimidating colour and residue around bottle means a bad first impression. Looks ridiculous to try and put on a food item. Okay. Same consistency as tomato sauce. Ugh. Burnt my tongue a tiny bit. Oh, it is two chillies hot. Two out of three, which is the maximum according to their chilli scale. Left a burning sensation and an unpleasant flavour. If this was applied to my food without my knowledge I would be very angry. Probably wouldn’t continue being friends with whomever served it. They would be a TOXIC PERSON. 0/5 but 5/5 if considered as grease TOMATO SAUCE Been eating it all my life. Only thing that gets me is the stuff left on the nozzle. Not much left in this bottle. Bit tricky. Went all over my clothes. Like someone sneezing on you or drying their hands violently — can confirm the artificial reproduction of this event in sauce bottle form is equally tragic. And I’m covered in sauce! Like a pie. Can’t smell anything, kind of creepy. The taste? Classic. Reminds me of quince paste (now a classic go-to flavour in my mind), meat pies and tomato sauce. Not for individual use. Feed it to your children. 5/5 for conditioned enjoyment. Now I’m going to go enjoy a nice nap in a bed that isn’t mine. Eating condiments takes it out of you.
Dance Films That Changed Ma Lyf Rachel Thomas Dance has always been a big part of my life. I started dancing when I was 3, beginning with ballet. I remember getting ready for my first class dressed in a pink leotard and skirt, with my hair in a bun and wearing what I thought was the most special pair of shoes I had ever seen: my first pair of ballet pumps. The class was amazing – there was music, freedom, dancing and so much fun that I forgot about everything else. That class was the first of many, and kicked off my love for dance. My love for dance continued as I tried tap, character, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and Spanish. Almost twenty years later I’m still dancing and still loving it. Dance films played a big role in inspiring me to continue dancing and explore new styles of dance. I could watch dance and be immersed in it at any time in the day, and without having to buy a ticket for a show. I could re-watch dance sequences again and again, and learn the routines. Dance could take me away from my current situation and life stresses and into a world where these things didn’t matter. Dance films also provide the added benefit of amazing costumes, fast-paced dialogue, drama, romance, comedy and multiple worldwide locations all rolled into a 90 to 120-minute film that you can enjoy in your pjs at 2am on Sunday morning – what’s not to love? Here are what I believe to be the best dance films out there that changed my life and will change yours too. Centre Stage “I am the best god Damn Dancer in the American Ballet Academy – who the hell are you? Nobody”- Maureen Probably the first proper dance film that I ever saw, and in my opinion still the best. You’ve got a love triangle, killer dance scenes, and some super serious on-screen drama. Centre Stage follows a dozen young dancers who are beginning their training at the fictitious American Ballet Academy with the hope of receiving a spot at the end of the year in the prestigious American Ballet Company. The dancers encounter physical, mental and emotional challenges along the way to achieving what they all want, but only a few can have. The montage scenes of the dancers warming up for class and putting on their pointe shoes is one of my favourite scenes of all time, and certainly made those painful first weeks of breaking in my own shoes that much easier. But the best thing about this film is the final dance showcase - from the moment Cooper Neilson rides his motorbike onstage as Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel’ plays, to the 28 fouettes Jody does in red pointe shoes, you know this dance sequence is going to be as far away from Les Sylphides as you can get. I basically know the entire script off by heart, and continue to watch it at least a couple of times a year because IT IS SOOO GOOOD. A must watch for all dance lovers. The Red Shoes A classic old-school ballet film. It was made in the 40s and before the wonders of torrenting were revealed to me, finding a copy of this film was hard, but is so worth it. The Red Shoes tells the story of Victoria, an aspiring ballerina torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love. Under great emotional stress, Vicky dances in the production of The Red Shoes and must choose to pursue dance or love, a decision that carries serious consequences. This film is dramatic, intense and you become very emotionally invested in it. The dancing and the film production work so well together making such a great dance film. The sets are amazing and the style encompasses so much of what I love about old films and dance. This film can
be weird at times, with surreal dance sequences, but that is what makes it so perfect. Watch this and you will be drawn deeper into dance. Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses A fun animated film about dance. This film is perfect for audiences young and old. I used to watch this film whenever I was sick and off from school because it has the ability to transport you to a different world. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is a Barbie movie (even though I can’t see how this would), or that it is animated – the dancing in this film was actually performed by dancers and was then animated to be used in this film. Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses is based loosely on the fairytale The Twelve Dancing Princesses and is about twelve princesses who live with their widowed father and find comfort in dancing. When their aunt is invited over to help raise the princesses she has another agenda wanting to become queen, and attempts to break the princess’s spirits by banishing everything they love – including dancing. The film is very enjoyable to watch, and is actually quite funny. But be warned – you will not be able to get the music out of your head. Is that really a bad thing? First Position A more realistic look at the dance world and what it takes to make it. First Position is a documentary following six dancers ranging in age from nine to nineteen who prepare and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, a competition in which dance schools and companies from around the world scout for new talent. This film is raw – it captures the hard work these dancers put into pursing their dream and how this work sometimes pays off, but often doesn’t. You see the pain, tears, heartbreak and sweat that goes into dance everyday for these individuals. You also see the determination, aspiration, and commitment that these dancers have, which is truly inspiring. Billy Elliot A film about an unconventional way of entering into dance that is powerful and ultimately heartwarming. Billy Elliot is an 11-year-old boy in Northern England who one day stumbles upon a ballet class during his boxing lesson. Within a short time, Billy finds himself immersed in dance and demonstrating an amazing raw talent for ballet. This film is about dance and ballet; it is about strength, power and hard work. I love the way this film portrays ballet as something athletic and powerful, contrary to what people often associate with ballet dancers, or dancers in general. A great film for anyone interested in dance or not, but anyone who watches this will leave with a new-found appreciation for dancers, especially male dancers. An American in Paris A Broadway dance film with lots of singing, colourful costumes and great dance sequences. Perhaps one of the more well known movies I have mentioned, An American in Paris follows Jerry Mulligan who has come to Paris to become a painter and falls for Lise Bouvier. Together they enter into a world of romance filled with lots of dance. The opening dance scene with Lise and her colourful ballet costumes is an all time favourite of mine. This film is fun and fast-paced. It has probably the greatest variety of dancing, and least amount of ballet in it – would be good to start off with, especially for someone who already loves musicals or who is new to the world of dance film.
Cinema Re-view: Luna Leederville Bryce Newton I’ve fallen in love at Luna Leederville before. Whenever I walk into the place, it looks into my eyes (because it is a place and not a person, it can be looking into me wherever I look) and tersely mumbles “formative relationships.” Luna Leederville is red like the inside of a bag coated with a lidless lipstick, or your knee when you’ve cut yourself and didn’t notice blood moving between the inside and outside of your body. Unlike either of these scenarios, there are also strange wire columns everywhere. Or rather, the suggestion of columns, and the angry smell of popcorn asking to be eaten. The ticket buying experience was lacklustre, like a shoe yet to be shined. The person who served me wasn’t keen on conversation and neither was I, perhaps they were letting me stand back (a few steps from the counter) and take it all in. Giving me some time to understand the scenario, where I was and WHO I was at all. The magnetic letters and numbers offering their insight into film times brought me back to Earth and onto the plushy red carpet beneath. I went to the cinema with four people this time, myself included to help make up numbers. All three of my companions purchased choc tops which I always think of as a bold move, but was apparently normal for them. I purchased a large popcorn because I wanted an experience. I also angrily grasped a large Pepsi with the cold clammy hands of someone not averse to drinking that much Pepsi. There weren’t many people here on a Monday night, and that made the cinema feel like a palace, with a sweeping staircase and bins that weren’t overflowing (talk about OPPORTUNITY TO DISPOSE OF WASTE). Four people was a bad decision, it’s hard to keep track of everyone and one of my companions, my sister, keeps eating my popcorn. Even though it is a large, I feel angered by her ever-present greed. And my own concerning not sharing. Are we all just terrible people? We walk through the cinema down the shadowy path to Cinema Three. Like most times, it is not yet ready and we sit in a slightly more formal but also slightly more relaxed seating area. There is a strategically placed (AND NATURALLY OCCURING) spider web contributing to the vibe of the place. Spooky. I thought there wouldn’t be a cheese platter here, but there is. And you can get a San Pellegrino for $5. I can’t see how big it is because a man walks in and orders the “easiest coffee they can make,” which seems wild to me. I stopped listening so I’ll never know what it is. We are in Cinema Three so I feel angry. Cinema Three is the shoe box of cinemas. Cinema one is like, a whole entire room. Not a room just for shoes. I am a shoe. In a snug fitting shoebox. This cinema is messy, if someone had a high traffic loungeroom and careless friends it might end up looking like this. The room narrows as you look forward and I feel at one with the screen. There is only one entry, it is also the exit. I wonder if everyone here is thinking about what they would do if that one door was to suddenly become off limits, wondering if we could collectively claw through the purple material walls to the world outside. The person sitting next to me (a person that I came here with) lets me eat some of their ice-cream. It is spearmint and in my mouth, it is icy and green, if I were to look. Studying the innards of the choc top, there are ripples of chocolate sauce which is mildly impressive. My sister, two seats down exclaims at a cinema appropriate volume, I turn to her and she is waving her choc top (without the choc, so really just a ‘top) in my face. IT IS HOLLOW. My counterpart comments that it was vanilla ice-cream in the first place, so maybe she was already disappointed. I want her to take it back and show the cinema staff the murky void but she refuses. I think they put in less effort with this flavour (understandable) so I can only advise you to steer clear. Unless you’re wallowing in disappointment already. The large popcorn is large, but lacks warmth. Just a bucket of nothing much, like an actual bucket that is empty. An emotional trailer starts playing and I want to cry but the lights are still on.
Raw and Her Cannibalism Ryan Suckling Julia Ducournau’s French horror film Raw proves to be a deeply unsettling encounter. Lead character Justine (Garance Marillier), a devout vegetarian, begins her studies at veterinary school, and on her first night is plunged into the youthful, hedonistic rituals of the school’s elders. Known as ‘Rush Week’, the fresher students endure a week of frenzied parties and harassment at the hands of the elders. Justine is forced to eat a rabbit’s kidney to ensure safe passage through to peer acceptance. Her sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf), an elder, coerces Justine into eating the meat. What ensues is a crazed night of scratching at her skin, her rash-covered body in shock from forbidden consumption. From this, Justine develops an insatiable desire for meat and flesh, and is found one night by her roommate Adrien (Rabah Naït Oufella) eating raw chicken from the fridge. Cannibalism is no stranger to film. Yet, what it is in the hands of a young female director is altogether different and unique. Despite the film’s stylistic play with flesh it refuses to stray from Justine’s tortuous journey through a place unaccepting of her cravings. Her virginity, or as she puts it ‘deflowering’, is in constant reference throughout the film. It alludes to not only the pressure to conform within any clan, and all too often a male-driven one, but to the unacceptability of her ravenous, consumptive desire in any form of intimacy or sex. In her first time with Adrien, who is in fact gay, Justine resorts to biting her own arm, maiming herself for blood rather than try his bare neck or arm.
Raw can be seen as an unflinching and bloody investigation into forbidden female sexuality. It’s perhaps this richly symbolic sub-text that keeps the film within its own reigns, securing its place as a thoughtful, conceptually complex work in a genre given to simplification and excess. Ultimately, the film isn’t really a horror. That’s not to say it isn’t fiercely disturbing, with scenes of aggressive biting and flesh eaten to the bone. But interestingly, it provokes and toys with situations and reactions concerned with observing a young woman give in to her desires, and take charge of her own body. Marina de Van’s in My Skin and Lynne Stopkewich’s Kissed pursue similar themes of impinged and suppressed female desire. Yet, to argue that cannibalism is essentially a metaphor for something else, something more palatable, is likely to detract from it surface thrills and mislead the viewer. What is indisputable is that Justine’s sexuality is central, but to engulf the entire film with its social significance takes from its clear, unabashed taboo: cannibalism. In a sense Ducournau is raising this historically forbidden phenomenon to the audience to ask what it takes to make a monster out of a person, or more aptly, what’s the body of thought behind perceiving the actions of a person as monstrous? Justine’s restraint is not shared by her sister Alexia, who kills and feasts on Adrien during the night. Justine finds her by the fridge dripping with blood. Alexia is detained for her actions, kept from a world intolerant to her ravenous desires. Her cannibalism. Maybe the best way to see the film is as a multilayered probing into what is unmentionable – part analogy, part perversity.
Girls On Film Girls On Film is a photography project created by Ebi Coniglio and Mia Walton. Bryce Newton speaks to them to find out what inspires their work and what it’s like working with your best friend. Why did you start Girls On Film? Ebi: I started Girls On Film during high school, almost as a form of rebellion, wanting to escape from the clutches of Year 12 ATAR photography and make my own film works. I hated being told what to take photos of, and I especially hated taking photos on a digital camera so I thought why not do my own thing, my own way. Although hard in the beginning (being an amateur film photographer, having to get to know my cameras and getting to know what looked good), Girls On Film is flourishing. I now have a great partner who I can collaborate and share with in our great visions. What is your inspiration? E: Everything we see basically! Being very observant people we take a lot of inspiration from what’s around us, whether it’s the sunset through the trees or a cute vintage house. It helps us shape what we create and how we want it to be seen by others. Mia: We also share a love for and take a lot of inspiration from the 60s and 70s, as our everyday fashion often revolves around those two decades. Our own personal style definitely sparks the creativity for a lot of our shoots, but our model of choice and their own style is always our biggest inspiration. But, scrolling through Instagram or watching a good movie helps too! Your Instagram features multiple (photography) series. What is the process of creating each one? M: We either have an idea already forming and choose a model that we can envision working well in that situation; or we dedicate the development of our ideas to a model. Once that’s all sorted, we dig up some inspo pics, compile a heap of clothes from all over, and get shooting!!! Have you both always been interested in photography? How did you get into it? M: I was initially more of a visual arts girl, as I was in an arts program all throughout my high school life. During that time, I discovered the wonders of film photography and started obsessively documenting my life on film. It was kind of a hobby we both had, taking photos of each other and our outfits every time we went out, and eventually it just kind of happened. E: My interest in photography started in Year 8 where I used a film camera for the first time in school and had to learn to develop and print my own photos. I remember it being super cool and intriguing. Also, getting to make new and creative friends, my passion for film photography grew from there as they pushed me to understand film and the beauty of it. Do you have a favourite series so far? E: By far my favourite series would be Sweetheart, it’s just so romantic and surreal. It looks so staged and that is what makes it. It’s so over done in the most perfect way, I love it. M: For me, it’s Suburbia (coming soon, or maybe it’s already out by now. Who knows?). The colours are just utterly perfect to me. Do you plan to include an increasingly diverse set of models in your future work? E and M: Yes, that is definitely something we are hoping to work on! Previously we’ve stayed within our comfort zone by using models who are also our close friends, but as we grow, we are always looking for new and inspiring models. Our shoots are all based on the model and their personalities and interests, and when we find someone intriguing we will work to create something with them. As long as our work represents the beauty of a woman and her individuality, it’s something we’ll be proud of. Because women are the focus of your photography, it is inescapably linked with the representation of women. Does this influence the planning of your work? E and M: As feminists, we are constantly influenced by our own beliefs. We take pride in empowering the women we work with through concepts that directly relate to them, and we hope that this approach encourages girls everywhere to not be afraid to step up and represent themselves the way that they truly want to. Whether it be through fashion or not. I love that you are best friends creating things. Does this relationship make it easy to work together? E and M: Definitely! We’re both so likeminded and similar in terms of our opinions, that disagreements are hardly an issue. Our friendship takes away the overwhelming ‘business’ feeling, yet we’re still able to be productive together. We can’t imagine doing it alone, or with anyone else. We bring out ideas in one another that would have remained hidden if we only had ourselves to work with. What are your plans for the future? Where can we see more of your work? E and M: Although we haven’t thought too far ahead into the future, we do want to become more known amongst the Perth art scene. We’re also super interested with working with clothing brands, as we recently did a shoot with @dofofficial, which was super fun! The idea of an exhibition has been discussed, it’s terrifying, but it’d be great to see how locals react to the pictures in person, rather than the limited perception we have over social media.
Find more of Ebi and Mia’s work @girls.onfilm 38
Nowhere to Wear It.
I am worried you’d be able to see my underwear through this dress, or whenever I feel like wearing it, I have my period. Which seems dangerous and like I don’t trust my own body. I think this might have been a wedding dress. – Bryce Newton
When I’m not spending time behind a pile of chairs, I’m walking to the bakery, to Woolies, and past national geographic. I don’t have any pants or short-shorts with running sports fitness tights that would go with this combo. I’m naked from the waist down right now and someone took my pants, if I leave cover it will be a federal offence. Help me. – Jesse Wood
Pink velvet – to touch is simply a feeling. Indescribable. It makes me cry. Everyone should at some point in their lives experience this form of phosphorescent joy. I know that on the day I finally wear this dress I’ll fall into a tumultuous affair with a boy named Tobias from which neither of us will escape, nor survive. I wait. – Ruth Thomas This shall is made from fox fur and has 20 fox tails at each end. It was passed down to me from my grandmother, from a time when fur was associated with wealth and not female Disney villains. It makes me look like Lucille Bluth and feel like a murderer — as I wear it I hear the tortured screams of the baby foxes saying, “this is not fantastic… this is not my idea of fantastic AT ALL.” – Tess Bury
I got this coat from a second-hand shop in Bindoon for twenty bucks. “What a steal,” I thought at the time, already knowing what I was in for. At what occasion is it appropriate to wear a floor length faux fur coat? My funeral maybe. I ended up keeping it in a place where I could admire it and have easy access to it so that, in private times, I could wear it for leisure. There are stains ALL OVER this coat and I’m still yet to take it to the drycleaners. – Skye Newton
On the Dog That’s on The Grog Jacob Broom If you haven’t heard of Clive Palmer’s social media extravaganza by now, you are (perhaps mercifully) out of the loop. In mid-February this year, the billionaire mining magnate-turnedpolitician began to post surreal ‘poems’ to his Facebook and Twitter profiles. All who saw this expected his Verification Ticks to blip out of existence, assuming he’d been hacked, but they stubbornly remained, confirming Palmer himself was behind the posts. This was further proven by Palmer posting videos of himself talking in the same, stilted syntax as his posts were written in. Over the course of the next two or three weeks, Palmer was an Australian internet sensation. At the time of writing, he sits at 107,221 likes on Facebook and 71,252 followers on Twitter. Palmer’s posts quickly lost their allure for many, especially when they began to include ham-fisted political commentary and plain-flour meme templates from mainstream pages. But the fever had already taken; Palmer’s image was dramatically altered in the media and in the minds of young people. He went from yesterday’s Trump-ish political failure to today’s meme legend, and in 2017, this has been the most interesting thing about him. Those who follow boring news may have noticed that Palmer’s social media escapades coincided with the Federal court case on the liquidation of his company Queensland Nickel, which left around 800 refinery workers jobless. The liquidators, FTI Consulting, claim that Palmer shadowdirected the company with his nephew Clive Mensink and that Palmer used it to bankroll his other businesses and the Palmer United Party. Mensink is now an international fugitive, refusing to comply with orders to give evidence on the collapse of Queensland Nickel. Most news outlets did not connect these two happenings, even if they reported on both. While people are consuming Palmer’s social media content, they are either not seeing the news about Queensland Nickel at all, or are viewing it through the filter of their new perception of Palmer as a decent jokester who couldn’t be doing anything too shady. In this way, the public image of Palmer departs more and more from ‘billionaire mining magnate encased in scandal,’ a generally unfavourable position, and moves toward ‘meme poet’. I argue that the Palmer case is an example that demonstrates a more general argument about social media and public consciousness: that social media is not the great equaliser of free expression which is it so often touted to be. True, Facebook and Twitter provide a platform for anyone who signs up, but these platforms were not created equal. Individuals and groups in positions of power automatically generate followers without doing anything; they exist in public consciousness irrespective of social media. Social media then becomes a mechanism for speaking to the public without a journalistic or critical filter, allowing for the active shaping of public image in ways which suit the poster’s agenda. Trump’s election victory is an example of this. Using Twitter, where he enjoyed an enormous following prior even to nomination for the Republican candidacy, Trump could speak directly to the public without ‘fake news’ fact-checking, disputing the validity of mainstream media and positioning himself as the only unbiased truth-teller. In this way, social media acts as a rhetorical tool of those in power, and the idea of it as a horizontal playing field on which ordinary people have lively debate must be reassessed. Despite what I humbly expect would be surging support from young people, Palmer has opted to disband his political party, stating that politics in 2017 is different to 2013, when he ran for parliament. His direction from here is unclear, but what I think is clear is that this is a man who wants to stay relevant, and who will employ media tactics, however wacky, to do so. The lesson for us social media consumerists is this: be critical and sceptical of powerful people on your newsfeed.
Perspectives on Women in Politics Leah Roberts When I was growing up I didn’t dream about sport stars or musicians, I looked up to politicians. I was the kid that not only knew who the Prime Minister (PM) was, but also all the members of cabinet. When Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female PM I was genuinely excited. I didn’t particularly like the way in which she became PM, I would have much preferred her coming in through an election, but it made me start to think – maybe I could be Prime Minister. When Julia gave a speech introducing what Labor’s plan was for 2011 the media response appalled me. It made me realise that if you’re a woman in politics you would be treated differently to your male counterparts. I opened the West Australian to a double page spread detailing that our PM had changed her style – she got glasses and a haircut! (ground breaking stuff). I was furious when I read this. I remember telling my mum, I didn’t care what she was wearing I wanted to know about the speech and her party’s policies. I went on to say, “but if she was a man that never would have happened, can you imagine the media doing this to John Howard or Bob Hawke?” From then on, I have realised just how the media talks to and about female politicians. I started to notice the questions of “what does your partner do?” “how does he feel about this?” “why don’t you have kids?” all being directed at Julia. All these questions instead of asking about her about her policies. The more I paid attention to it, the more obvious it became. This type of scrutiny laid upon Julia Gillard was incredibly frustrating to watch. I think it’s extremely important that media questions politicians on their policy, it’s crucial to ensure accountability. I saw what the media criticised her on, it wasn’t for her policies (which is fair game), it was comments that related to her gender. The fixation on how she became leader was incredible, did Kevin Rudd get the same treatment when he did the exact thing that Julia did? – no. If the media treated her did in the same way they treated Rudd then it would be different. Recently in America we all saw the drama unfold over Hilary Clinton email scandal. What she did was wrong and she shouldn’t have done it, but why was it when it happened to Mike Pence, nothing happened? The Republican campaign was centred around Clinton’s email scandal, and how she should be imprisoned and barred from running for President. But when it emerged that while Governor of Indiana Mike Pence had discussed sensitive information over his personal email account – everyone seemed to brush it off. The media didn’t make a fuss as I honestly thought they would, especially when we look at how the media responded to Clinton. Nobody said he should be barred from running for Vice President, much less imprisoned. It’s hard not to assume gender plays a role as both situations are so remarkably similar. During the Icelandic election the only female candidate, Halla Tómasdóttir, also faced her own struggles. I would highly recommend watching her TED talk, titled “It’s time for women to run for office”, in which she details the difficulties she faced. She details the comments made by the sitting Icelandic President who was considering running for another term as President but pulled out of the race because of the infamous Panama Papers. Indeed, he stated that now there were two qualified men who could fill his shoes running for office. She detailed the troubles of getting enough air time in the lead up to the election. Though I will add that the Icelandic media didn’t make any comments about her clothing (what a win!) Hearing her experiences made me sad because this was in Iceland, one of the best places in the world for women! Since 2010 Iceland has been rated number one in the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index, half of board members of listed companies are now women, while 65% of Iceland’s university students and 41% of MPs are female. Other policies including their parental leave scheme which encourages more men to take a longer paternal leave has seen women go back to work quicker and back to pre-child hours. I can only hope in the future women politicians will get treated the same as men. That doesn’t mean never to scrutinise them, no. I expect those women to get criticised on the policies and speeches that they make, not for the clothes they wear, what their partners do, or if they choose to have a family.
The Moon: Who on Earth Owns it? Kylie Matthews International law can answer a lot of odd questions. Today’s question is about the Moon: who owns it? The answer to this depends on who you ask. If you ask the United Nations [UN], they will say no one can own it. The UN also has an established branch called the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (if that isn’t code for Men In Black, I don’t know what is). There are in existence five ratified treaties covering different aspects of outer-space exploration. These treaties cover a range of space-related issues, from registration of objects launched into space, to liability if a space object causes damage to another country’s equipment or personnel. Some law schools even offer courses on space law. Imagine introducing yourself as “Space Lawyer” at your high school reunion. The treaty relevant to our question is the “Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies”, or “The Moon Agreement”. Seventeen states are party, including Australia. The Moon Treaty covers several aspects of outer space exploration. It forbids any state from claiming sovereignty over celestial bodies, including the moon. It bans the altering of the moon’s environment and stipulates states must take measures to prevent contamination. The treaty also establishes that all states have equal right to conduct scientific research on the moon. The problem is, the United States [US], Russia and China are not party to the treaty. Enough countries have ratified the Moon Treaty so it has entered into force: it is now international law for those countries. The treaty is not currently binding to the nations who are not party to it. However, the longer it stands, the more likely it is to set a standard for the wider international community as custom law. Reluctance to sign stems from Article 11 of the Moon Treaty, which states: “The Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind and the harvesting of those resources is forbidden except through an international regime established to govern the exploitation of such resources when it becomes feasible to do so.”
In the US, companies Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources are already established exclusively for outer-space mining activities. On the moon, large deposits of helium-3 and titanium have been discovered. So, if they don’t agree with the UN, who does the US think the moon belongs to? In the US, there are domestic laws covering space exploration by its citizens, which are enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA]. The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 establishes that citizens cannot launch vehicles into space without permits. The idea seems laughable now (oh yes, let me just nick into space with my backyard rocket ship), but I’m sure if someone had told the Wright Brothers about the now feasible two-hour flight from Sydney to London they’d have laughed just as hard. In 2015, the US passed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which covers mineral extraction on celestial objects by US citizens. Essentially, the law states that resources on celestial bodies do not belong to anyone until that resource is in one’s possession, and celestial bodies don’t belong to anyone at all. This is in the same way that you don’t own either the ocean or all the fish in the ocean, but you own the ones you do catch. This is in violation of Article 11 of The Moon Treaty, which states only an “international regime” can extract these “resources”, though neither of those two terms have been defined by the UN. So what is the alternative to the current Moon Treaty? One option is a legal framework similar to Antarctica, where no nation owns it but all are free to conduct scientific missions there. Another is law like the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and how it defines rights to open waters. There are issues with both of these suggestions. There is, however, a third authority on moon sovereignty whom we can ask. Ask an American man named Dennis Hope, he will say Dennis Hope owns it. In 1980 Hope wrote to the UN, claiming sovereignty over the moon. He never received a response. Hope bases his claim on the fact that the Moon Treaty states no nation can make a claim on the moon – it says nothing about individuals. This hasn’t stopped Hope. He now makes a living selling tracts of the moon. His clientele includes the Marriott and Hilton hotel chains, and former US Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W Bush, and Ronald Regan. He has since established a sovereign nation (the Galactic Government, of whom he is president) to protect the interests of the 3 million moon property owners. The nation has a currency (deltas, backed by the helium-3 on the moon), a flag and a constitution. One would think establishing this sovereign nation would violate his legal loophole based on the individual, but Hope has explained that the Galactic Government is not a part of the UN, and therefore not bound by its treaties. He is currently trying to get deltas recognised by the International Monetary Fund. So the question of who owns the moon? Technically no one, but also maybe Dennis Hope. The good news is, you too can own some of the moon, for just 19.50 USD!* *Total $34.50 after Galactic Government tax and postage & handling of deed.
Talking Affirmative Action Ella Fox-Martens Affirmative action [AA] policies have always been a contentious subject in Australia, despite their obvious merit. Part of that is due to misinformation and ignorance. AA is not ‘taking jobs away’ from white people or men, yet that is a strangely popular idea that seems to exist among the public. A quick browse of the comments on the Guardian’s Facebook page, deeply depressing as they are, confirms that tall-poppy syndrome is alive and well. Any hint of positive discrimination is immediately shouted down, and the beneficiaries of AA are dismissed as entitled and lazy. ‘If you want a job,’ people say, ‘then just work hard and you’ll get one’. But it’s not as simple as that, especially in the political system. Australia is not a completely merits-based society. There has always been, and continues to be, systematic oppression that prevents women and other minorities from being represented. There have been some attempts to combat this bias, with Labor’s pledge to have 50% female MP’s by 2020, by use of a quota system. It’s an admirable idea, but better executed in theory than practice. In 2016’s federal election, for example, it was overwhelmingly women preselected for hard to win seats. Herbert and Longman in Queensland, and Cowan in WA were all very marginal, and are now held by women. It’s a neat way of getting around the quota, and it limits the benefit that AA can have politically. Truthfully, issues like marginal seat preselection greatly lessen AA’s impact, and can work to reduce representation in parliament. This goes double women of colour, who face both institutionalised racism and sexism. It’s clear to anyone who researches even a little, we need more women in parliament. Affirmative action needs to be strengthened, not weakened and dismissed. You only need to look to Rwanda to find positive evidence of AA’s influence. Ravaged by the 1994 genocide, Rwanda emerged from its civil war as a ruined and poverty-stricken country. The country seemed poised to descend into conflict and political corruption. Yet just 22 years later, and Rwanda is Africa’s second-best economy. Life expectancy has grown by over 14 years, literacy rates have risen, and Rwanda’s health care improvements have been cited as “one of the most dramatic the world has seen.” The country’s crime levels are low, and standard of living is amongst the highest in Africa. Driving these achievements is a government that is organized and dedicated, and one that has an effective AA system. Since 1994, it’s been stipulated that at least a third of MPs must be women. This quota requirement prioritised the role of women in leading Rwanda towards success and recovery. This requirement has been exceeded, and 64% of Parliament is female, making it the country with the best political representation of women in the world. It’s not a perfect system. The President and other prominent leaders are still men, and old patriarchal system is still prevalent, especially in rural areas. There are many issues to be addressed, such as suggestion of coerced voting, proposed changes to the constitution, and everyday discrimination. Women still struggle to be heard in Rwanda, but AA has given them an opportunity to be represented. Just recently, in fact, Rwanda became the first country to prosecute mass rape as a war crime. Despite the ongoing fight against systemized oppression, Rwanda, a tiny developing nation, is making great strides towards gender equality in the political system. Far from ‘giving away’ jobs to undeserving people, Rwanda’s AA policy has provided an avenue to deconstruct gender roles and allow the population to cooperate and heal together. It’s a lesson Australia should be taking notes on. We regard ourselves as progressive and equal, but the vitriol we sling at female politicians prove otherwise. From the infamous sexist jokes the Liberals had at the expense of Julia Gillard, to disparaging attacks on Jacqui Lambie’s appearance, even to comments on Penny Wong’s hair. It’s all evidence that sexism in politics is still here today. The vicious hatred directed towards AA is only a reflection of that, and it’s why those policies are needed so badly, and why they need to be extended and strengthened. 32% is not good enough. We need to ensure women aren’t just preselected for hard to win seats. We need to extend AA for at least 50% of preselection’s in safe seats are for women. We should be striving for better, not sitting back and claiming that everything is fixed because we had a female PM four years ago. As it happens, Rwanda has called for an end to its affirmative action policy. Not because the people think it’s discriminatory against men, but because it’s simply redundant. So many women have been voted into Parliament that the quota doesn’t need to be enforced anymore. Rwandan women have truly transformed their country, and are now looking to the future with confidence that their government can, and will, represent them. As for Australia, despite our wealth and privileges, we have a long way to go.
Presidential Address Nevin Jayawardena Ayubowan friends, The Guild is always busy coming up with new ways to support UWA students. Given that this month’s edition is “GIRL” I thought I might feature the Women’s Department! The Women’s Department advocates for the interests of women identifying students at UWA. They have been and will be working on a number of initiatives that include the Lighting on Campus survey, an audit of bathrooms, a sexual assault policy reform with the University, raising money & supplies to expand the sanitary products available in the free pantry, and recruiting mentors for the Women’s Mentoring Programs with the Faculty Societies. The Department has also already introduced free SelfDefence classes, hosted social events and had the University commit to releasing the UWA specific stats from the Human Rights Commission survey! The department also advocates to the University on individual cases to ensure fair and equitable access to education for Women on and off campus. If you want to learn more about how the Guild represents you, and how we have increased the quality of our education at UWA as well as the student experience, read my Weekly’s, go through the Guild website, or even my Prezitorial’s in this very magazine! Sincerely and with affection, Nevin email@example.com
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