editorial Here is a list of things that are still, •
The surface of the Koi Pond near the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre
Eliza’s arms in the Swan River, no matter how windy it is
You, when you see your HECS debt for the first time
Any progress on more parking options at UWA
For this print issue, we’ve collected moments of stasis for you. This mag is filled with fragments of reflection, the instant before the inward breath of realisation, the stillness
in the seconds before traffic lights change from red to green. We’ve also got the crackle, that static of ideas stumbling into each other and sparking something new. There’s a lot brewing here. Put the kettle on and have a little read. We’re wondering in this issue, what happens when nothing does? Where is there delicious tension? What is the slow burn of August 2018? What does unrealized potential even taste like anyway? This issue is an ode to stasis. It’s a breath of stillness before the madness of semester is upon us again. And it will be madness. In amongst trying to find a park, procrastinating study and navigating campus, remember we are here for you. We’re your voice to yell into the void, or write a list of alternatives to parking at UWA, like going to ECU. Find us in our office above the Ref or on the internet. Big love, Josh and Katie
Static. Lacking in movement, action, or change. That’s what Google told me. Now, you’re thinking – here we go, Megan’s on her soapbox about the student movement again. Well, you’re bloody right – good work! Things stay static when people don’t take action, make change or join the movement. Did you know the student movement successfully secured student eligibility for the National Rent Affordability scheme in 2012? Or how about that time we said a big f-u to the government for trying to uncap and deregulate uni fees in 2014? Yeah good stuff, hey.
Not your thing? Get involved anyway – there are so many different things you can contribute and so many things other students are doing that you can share, support and promote. Do it for you, do it for me, do it for your friends, do it to make friends even – just do something! Don’t stay static, get Guildy ya mugs! Megan Lee
Right now, we’re campaigning for a lot of things including – national reporting frameworks for universities around sexual violence, against the changes to myHealth Record and against the governments proposal to cap the amount of HECs you can have. Interested? Get involved with the Guild Women’s Department, Welfare Department or Education Action Network. 3
contents Pelican | Vol. 89 Ed 4 | July 2018 STATIC
COVER ART BY ETHAN BLACKBURN
FEATURES 12 – TAKING VOLUNTEERING TO A NEW AGE
COMEDY 08 – REAL CAMPUS NEWS Hugh Hutchison 24 – 12 RULES FOR LIFE THAT LOBSTERS
Alyssa Shapland 19 – I DON’T WANT YOUR PITY Laura Bullock
WOULD REALLY LIKE IF THEY COULD
20 – CONVERSATION WITH QUINN EADES & ANNA POLETTI
33 – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HARVEY MILK
Stephen Hawkins 54 – PERSPECTIVES ON INDIGENOUS HISTORY
FASHION 34 – FASHION-‘BACKWARDS’: SIZE-DIVERSITY STAGGERS ON THE RUNWAY Susie Charkey 38 – FASHION GOES FAUX Marusa Livk 39 – FASHION ADVICE YOUR MOTHER MAY NOT BE PROUD OF Frances Harvey
Ishita Mathur 63 – RECIPES FOR STASIS Tegan Ridgway
FILM 26 – INTERVIEW WITH CLAYTON JACOBSON Finnian Williamson 30 – HOW HARVEY STAYED HIDDEN: DECADES OF STATIC IN A MOTION PICTURE WORLD Cindy Shi
BOOLADARLUNG - Pelican The Pelican team acknowledges that the UWA campus is located on the lands of the Whadjuk and Minang people of the Noongar Nation, who are the original storytellers and spiritual and cultural custodians of their land. This was stolen and never ceded. We’d like to especially thank Len Collard from the School of Indigenous Studies for sharing the Noongar word for Pelican with us, booladarlung, which will appear on the cover of all issues of Pelican this year.
JOSHUA CAHILL & KATIE MCALLISTER PELICAN@GUILD.UWA.EDU.AU
SUSANNAH CHARKEY & FRANCES HARVEY
FINNIAN WILLIAMSON & CINDY SHI
RACHEL HOLLICK & LANEY SHIRLEY
VANESSA KARAS & ASHA COUCH
SOPHIE MINISSALE & JORDAN MURRAY
CAITLIN OWYONG & MADDISON HOWARD
MATTHEW MALTMAN & ANDREW MCDADE
VISUAL ARTS EDITORS
GRACE HUFFER & KARL SAGRABB
40 – GRAD MARKET TIPS FROM THE
44 – I THOUGHT ABOUT KANYE WEST
COMMERCE KID WHO DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THE F#*K HE WAS DOING
TODAY Jordan Murray
IGNORE WHAT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN FOR 50 000 YEARS? Catherine Stirling
47 – STILL GOT THE JACK
42 – THE GIG ECONOMY AND THE PRECARIAT Daniel Kingston
POLITICS 18 – CALIPHATE: A REVIEW Cormac Power 28 – NOT THE ELECTION COVERAGE
LIFESTYLE 14 – THE CULT OF BUSY
YOU WANT, BUT THE ELECTION
SPORT 49 – AN AUSTRALIA WITHOUT AUSTRALIAN RULES Joshua Aiyathurai 50 – THE CHANGING FACE OF INTERNATIONAL SPORT Matthew Maltman
COVERAGE YOU DESERVE
Ava Cadee 15 – TO LABEL OR NOT TO LABEL Libby Robbins-Bevis 48 – DR SABOTEUR OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE
56 – THE COWARDLY LEYON OF LIBERALISM Bradley Griffin
THE WRITING PROCESS
16 - WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?
VISUAL ARTS 10 – INTERVIEW WITH ETHAN BLACKBURN Grace Huffer
36 – THE ART OF STATIC
52 – DEAR DAD 60 – COLLECTION OF STATIC POEMS Connor Brown & Asha Couch
23 – FROM DOWN THE ROAD Maddison Howard 58 – HOW MUCH LONGER CAN SCIENCE
The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land, and the Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practice their values, language, beliefs and knowledge. The views expressed within are not the opinions of the UWA Student Guild or Pelican Editorial Staff, but of the individual writers and artists.
Ethan doesn’t understand why Carly Rae Jepsen hasn’t toured Australia yet.
Xander designed this magazine. Please send cake.
Hugh wrote the entirety of our first issue, SLOW.
Grace is currently trying to perfect the art of scone-baking.
Alyssa is an Arts graduate, Crohn's warrior, occasional writer and volunteering wizard.
Ava has cried in every single movie she has ever seen
Libby is a gay history major who doesn’t know what she’s going to do with her degree, but thanks for asking.
Lisa uses Facebook quizzes as family therapy, hoping to discover which iconic Aussie snack she is.
Cormac spent the last month in Iran instead of writing his thesis and has zero regrets.
This bad bougie butch doesn’t want your able-bodied pity.
Ishita is finally getting her writing groove back and it feels fantastic!
Finnian studied film at ECU. Make of that what you will.
Cindy is an ex-Junior Masterchef auditionee. Yep that’s it.
Stephen think there’s nothing better than a movie and sleeping for 12 hours.
Susie is patiently waiting for the day clogs will be cool again.
Karl spends his life in books and art to avoid reality.
“I’m not a fashion freak”
Frances is a grandma at heart.
Daniel is a commerce graduate turned arts student, who enjoys tea and English romantic poetry.
Luke is a UWA grad and self-confessed flog currently hustling in wealth consulting.
Jordan can’t fight this feeling anymore.
Patrick Roso only shows up to tutes for the participation marks.
Jaimi is an honours student, and likes tea a bit too much.
Joshua wishes he could be more like his brother.
Matthew enjoys writing in the wee hours of the morning, much to his sleeping girlfriend’s dismay.
Brad is a ye olde Pelican fan, political enthusiast and lapsed True Believer.
Connor is a sometimes writer and language enthusiast, despite a bad habit of using questionable punctuation.
Asha has a lot of things she should be doing but all she really wants is a chai and a nap.
Maddi is a bush walker, stress baker and green tea enthusiast.
Catherine likes her humour dry and her coffee decaffeinated.
Tegan is finding a marinara recipe for Katie’s date night.
How mint are these people? You’re mint too! You should write for Pelican. If you’ve got a really specific idea for a piece, check out the contents page for the contacts of our groovy subeditors. If you just want to find out a bit more, or aren’t too sure where your piece would fit, floss Josh and Katie an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also definitely like Pelican on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter and pop up to the office above the Ref for a cuppa at some point. 7
Third Year OGC Candidate Hands Over Last Remaining Shred of Dignity to STAR Party Leadership “If I could still feel human emotions, I think I would be embarrassed.”
Entire Caucasian Population of UWA Flees to Greece, Croatia over Semester Break “The only thing whiter than the serene summerhouses lining the Aegean Coast is my Instagram feed.”
Revelation: Prodigal Son’s Return From College Reveals He’s Just Not That Prodigal “All he does is masturbate, play Fortnite and chain-smoke,” said Mr. Evans, 62. “He hasn’t gone near the piano since he’s been back.”
Exam Results Prompt Local Student To Pursue True Passion, Nangs “Last year it was poppers. This year it will be nangs. If first semester ECONS honours go as expected I’ll be diving headfirst into meth.”
real campus news Hugh Hutchison
College Student Attempts to Scrape Together Something Resembling a Personality Over Winter Break “But UniHall is like my family,” said one outgoing student, set to spend the next six week milking cows in rural Bunbury with her actual family.
Chinese Exchange Student Succumbs to Western Degeneracy, Swaps Filial Piety for Daddy Dom Fetish “Forget 爸爸, I’m all about 大大 now.”
“I’m Glad That’s Over,” Says Blissfully Unaware Fresher “Wait, I have to do five more of those? And that’s just for my Undergrad? Holy shit, that can’t be right, are you sure?”
Local Finance Major Relieves Long Term Sex Drought By Shooting Out a Fresh Load of LinkedIn Requests “The human touch means nothing to me now. Besides, girls will be clamouring to network with me when I’m in an overworked, underpaid graduate position.”
Exam Results Indicate that Repeatedly Applying for The Chase Australia Under Different Pseudonyms is Not a Suitable Replacement for Revision “The breadth of knowledge I claimed to possess in my application apparently related more to chronologically listing Brownlow Medallists, rather than contract law.”
Mature Aged Student, 56, Enjoys Formative Years at University
UWA Student Misses One 950 Bus, Decides to Go Ahead and Skip Seven Hours of Class “I’d like to say that I’ll catch up at home, but realistically I’m going to sit in bed passively refreshing my Instagram feed and reading about conspiracy theories until it reaches a socially acceptable time to start drinking.”
Western Australia to Secede from the East Coast, Albany Campus to Secede from Crawley “Honestly, I doubt they’ll even notice we’re gone,” said Perth, about Canberra, and Albany, about UWA.
Local Pick Up Artist Decides that Yes, Now is the Time He Should Share His Thoughts on What Women Can Do to be Safer “This is going to go down really well.”
“I just feel like I’m really coming out of my shell. I’m planning to use the tax write-off from my investment property to go do peyote in South America.”
Ethan Blackburn, Sinking Piss, 2017
Interview with Ethan Blackburn
Ethan Blackburn, Untitled (footballs), 2017
What could be more static than a photograph? Photography itself is an indexical medium that captures a moment in time and preserves it in stasis. Unlike a painting, photographs are records of subject matter, rather than mere representations of it – similarly to how a footprint in the sand is an index of the presence of a person. Ethan Blackburn spoke to Pelican about using photography as a powerful medium through which he creates still-life images that explore contemporary Australian masculinity. Grace Huffer: To start off with, could you please talk a little about your photograph, Sausage Fest, on the cover of this issue of Pelican? Ethan Blackburn: Sausage Fest comes from a broader series that aims to investigate and critique Australian masculine identity. Using symbolism and icons associated with the Australian male, I aim to subtly question notions of hegemonic masculinity, raising concerns about certain hypocrisies and ideals that I deem problematic. Regarding the theme of stasis, my still-life images are devoid of movement, having been completely decontextualized, creating a unique space in which we can reflect and reconsider traditional ideals regarding masculinity. For example, Sausage Fest is representative of contradictory aspects of the Australian masculinity, such as the encouragement of homoeroticism through lockerroom culture and the simultaneous subordination of homosexual men. GH: By their nature, photographs are always already snippets of visual information removed from a wider context outside of the edges of the photograph itself. I am reminded of this by the crisp, stark backgrounds of your masculinity series in particular, in which objects such as crushed Emu Export cans and cling-wrapped sausages appear against a sanitary light wood and white background. Could you please talk a bit about why you de-contextualise these objects, and the technical processes through which this is made possible? EB: Still-life photography gives me an opportunity to micro-manage every detail of an image – such as lighting, choice of object, and composition. This allows me to nearly completely determine how the viewer reads my images. Whilst my images do de-contextualise the objects featured within them, these objects are loaded with connotations informed by the viewer’s cultural context. They stand in place for wider cultural values, in this case values of masculinity in Australian society. For instance,
cans of beer are symbolically loaded, representing the link between drinking culture and the Australian masculine identity. The crumpled nature of the cans represents the damaging effects of both drinking and oppressive masculine ideals. However, it is not my aim to attack masculinity, rather to open it up for questioning. For instance, the positioning of the stacked cans represents the support systems and camaraderie men build through drinking culture. GH: In your masculinity series, the physical deconstruction of some of the objects photographed, such as crushed cans or torn footballs, has a particularly strong impact. How is this physical deconstruction linked to your attempts to question masculine ideals, and are what are some of these ideals that you deem most problematic? EB: My treatment of the objects in my photos can be read in several ways. In the case of the footballs, I am simultaneously representing my own critique of the Australian hegemonic masculine identity and the damaging effects of toxic masculinity through the destruction of the football. I aim to reveal the hidden underbelly of the Australian masculine identity that is strongly perpetuated by the media and AFL culture. By tearing, cutting and slicing the balls, I am revealing the fragile nature of this masculine identity and creating a visually jarring image, encouraging the viewer to question ideals they may have accepted as the norm. Some of the ideals I deem problematic include the heroising of the heterosexual, able-bodied alpha male, whilst subordinating other forms of masculinity and encouraging men to remain stoic whilst discouraging men from expressing their emotions. GH: What are some of the themes you have delved into in your artistic career so far? EB: Masculinity has been a recurring theme in my practice. I would like to investigate it further as a potential Honours project. Whether I continue to develop still-life images or something else entirely is still up in the air. Other than masculinity, I completed a series last year investigating Perth’s complex relationship with serial killers. Inspired by my aunty, Estelle Blackburn’s own involvement with Eric Edgar Cooke, I aimed to present a hypothetical and disjointed narrative of a serial killer operating in Perth. Combining procedural still-life imagery, landscapes, portraits and found footage stills, a murder or series of murders is subtly hinted at. It was my intent that each viewer connects the dots to form their own narrative, tapping into a simultaneous fear and fascination of serial killers. Interview by Grace Huffer 11
Taking Volunteering to a New Age By Alyssa Shapland
YOU LOOK THROUGH THE DOOR AND SEE A SMALL FRAME, THEIR WHITEKNUCKLED HANDS GRIPPING THE CHAIR WHERE THEY SIT. IN THE HOURS BETWEEN MEALS AND VISITS, THEIR WORLD IS STATIC. They are trapped in time, far from places and people they once knew and no longer able to run to somewhere nicer. When you come through that door and enter that world, new energy is transferred to the room. That space is now full of flickers of laughter
and smile-shaped sparks. While other people see a grandparent, old and frail, you see what they have told you about their lives before this nursing home. All they need is someone to talk to them and relive that time she taught the Shah of Iran to fly a plane, or how he was a dancer, singer, artist, parent, fighter. They are hiding more experience and knowledge in one slipper than you will ever imagine. However, in spite of all this, the elderly are one of the most isolated groups in Australian society today. I would like to invite you for a moment to remember your grandparentsâ€™ house. Bring back that memory of being too small to see over the kitchen bench to see what they were making you for lunch. Listen to the sound of the indicator in their car as they drove you home from school or off to a new adventure. Smell your favourite dish on the stove and hear the familiar tune of the radio and the chuckle of your grandmother when you told her stories from school. Remember their footsteps and the time you got your finger stuck in the tap. You will have different memories to me, but they will all have that vivid
sense that you were only just there. For so many people, their grandparents were so important to their childhood. When we were vulnerable, they were there for us. Now it’s them that need our help. It’s a scary time to be an older person in our community today. Cuts to aged care funding have meant that there are less places in nursing homes and in some cases have meant that couples that have been married for more than 50 years are separated. They have seen so much technological change throughout the years that they now are going in droves to seminars to learn how to text, skype and connect with their grandchildren and extended family. Every day we hear about older people being taken advantage of or falling victim to scams. They are so precious to us and have given our communities so much that I think it’s time we meet them in the middle. During our time at university, we are often encouraged to seek out volunteering positions, whether that be to bulk up our resume or to get experience in the field that we are hoping to eventually work in. These opportunities are invaluable and they help you to add an entirely different perspective to your studies. I’m sure you have seen memes about your ‘grandma friend’ – the one that’s super friendly and bakes a lot but is also in bed by 8pm? I’m going to invite you to find yourself a real grandma friend. In nursing homes all over Perth, they are calling out for people to come and spend time with those older people that don’t have anyone to visit them. In the Netherlands, a nursing home started a program where university students were given free rent in exchange for spending time with the elderly residents of the home. While it would be amazing to be able to do something similar here, we can still do our best to reach out to the nursing homes around us and see what we can do to help.
one language or will have relatives that came from countries across the oceans. They have traditions and amazing stories to share with you about the challenges they faced when they came here and what they missed when they left. I cannot even tell you how much you can learn from these amazing people. I volunteer twice a week with the elderly. I studied Italian at UWA and so I visit people who grew up in Italy and then made their homes here. It’s a fantastic way to practise your language skills and to learn new things and also for them to be able to reconnect with something familiar. They have been practising their English for decades. Even if you don’t speak a language other than English, they appreciate the company more than anything. They all have so much to share. They will show you their gardens, their traditions, their photos, their food and all the dreams they had at your age. Struggling to work out what you want to do with your life? They have already lived through making those choices. By meeting someone who has experienced so much, you might discover more than just a potential career – you’re making a friend. Each personality is so warm and so beautifully different. I help run games at a nursing home in Balcatta once a week and every time the familiar faces fill me with joy. They can be perfectly presented or brimming with rebellious laughter. They tell wicked stories and hide snacks in their cardigans. They are everything I want to be when I am older and I am so grateful for the opportunity to just spend time with them. While the technology may have changed, the hearts remain the same.
You may not know this, but around a third of people over 65 in Australia come from a different cultural or linguistic background. Many of them came from cultures with really big families that spent a lot of time together and were very close. However, many chose to come to Australia and other countries in the hope of being able to make a better life for their families back home. Over time, they made Australia their home, but much of what they remember and hold dear is still very far away. Australia is very multi-cultural and that means that many of you studying now will speak more than
The Cult of Busy Ava Cadee
2018’s hottest cult is ‘busy’. We are obsessed with being busy all the time; ‘busy’ becomes a go-to response or a default excuse in any social situation. It’s a badge of honour- we’re supposed to be capable of squeezing in full-time studies, a job, a social life, eight hours of sleep and still have time to do a sheet mask for some ‘self-care’. I get itchy when I feel like I’m doing nothing. Shouldn’t I be busy all the time? Busy means success, right? Maybe I’m just really bad at time management or I’m addicted to being a ‘Yes Man’, but I can’t help but think that feeling like there will never be enough time in the day all boils down to the glorification of being busy, busy, busy. I think part of the reason that busy-ness has become such an ideal state is the link between being busy and being successful. It’s believed that the reason that successful people – people who have made it are so successful is that they are too busy grinding to have time for anything else but work. Whilst there is some part of truth to this, grunt work and driving yourself into the ground isn’t the sole factor in whether someone is ‘successful’ or ‘worthy’. Oprah takes time to eat her lunch in her garden every day - and if she’s not at home, she finds a garden to eat her lunch in. And she’s freaking Oprah! The other factor at play here is distraction- if we’re so busy, we don’t have time to think too hard. It can be a little bit terrifying to be alone with our own thoughts. When was the last time you sat in a waiting room without staring at your phone? It feels uncomfortable to just be sitting there without a distraction, but it is unrealistic to expect we can always distract ourselves from being understimulated or over-stimulated, for that matter. On top of that, our lives move so quickly, especially online. It can easily feel like we are doing less than we actually are. When our brains are racing at such a rapid speed, we are constantly thinking ahead and it can seem like we aren’t keeping up. But we have set keeping up at such a high bar, that you’re probably
doing more than you think. That doesn’t mean we need to obfuscate all responsibilities or throw our to-do lists out forever, but overloading for the sake of distraction can have serious problems. Busy-ness can quickly turn to a panicked feeling of overwhelming stress. It’s a familiar pattern- your upcoming assignment stares guiltily as you press ‘next episode’ on Netflix, taking on any and all distractions until you end up frantically typing up said assignment until 11:58pm. It feels terrible; and there’s some science behind that awful drowning feeling. When we’re stressed and super busy, our fight-or-flight responses stay constantly “on”. This can affect our sleep, our moods and even our immune system. It is physically impossible to be able to do everything at once. It’s kind of a hard thing to come to terms with, especially because it seems like everyone around us is always doing the most. The reality is, just like you, they can’t help but say they are ‘sooo busy’, even if they’re feeling burnt out or unproductive.
To label or not to label? Libby Robbins-Bevis
We really enjoy labelling ourselves and each other, which makes sense. How else can we better understand a person if we don’t know where they ‘fit’. Overtime the LGBT+ community has seen an increase and change in the labels people use to describe their sexuality and sexual experiences. The increase in celebrities coming out as bisexual, pansexual, queer, or simply not-straight in the past few months have seen a resurgence in the debate over labels, identity and the fluidity of the way that members of the LGBT+ community define themselves. In April, singer and actress Janelle Monáe came out as pansexual. At first the Dirty Computer singer had alluded to being bisexual, but after reading about pansexuality, said “Oh, these are things that I identify with too.” Monáe’s announcement caused backlash on Twitter, and across other social media platforms. Some due to the lack of knowledge on pansexuality, and some because they saw it as a misunderstanding of bisexuality and inherently biphobic. To clear some things up, pansexuality is defined as attraction to all genders, bisexuality has been defined as attraction to your gender and to other genders – not necessarily all. I get it, it’s confusing, but it’s ok. Sexuality and gender are confusing. Bisexuality and pansexuality fit under a very similar mould; the idea of being attracted to more than one gender. The idea that a person identifying as pansexual is biphobic or a misinterpretation of what bisexuality is – as something exclusionary of non-binary and gender diverse identities – is regressive. Pansexuality grew from people not being comfortable with identifying as bisexual, feeling as if it doesn’t relate to their experiences, because not all experiences are universal and cannot be packaged into one easy to digest box.
Monáe’s experience of changing how she identifies mimics many of those within the LGBT+ community, especially in the early stages of questioning and experimenting and discovery. Trying to find a word to describe your attraction to people when you’ve spent your pre-teen, teen and even adult years believing you can only experience one type of attraction can make it difficult to get the word right on the first try. If you’ve never had to go through a sexual/gender identity crisis I’m going to help you understand a little bit. Say you try on one pair of jeans and straight away you know they don’t look right, but jean shopping is hard and finding the perfect fit can take a while. So, you try on another pair, and they look better maybe even close to perfect. You buy them, happy that you found jeans that you like. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, both through trying to find jeans and figure out my sexuality, is that what you see in the change rooms doesn’t always correlate to what feels and looks right day to day. So, you go back, try on more options, until you finally find the perfect fit. It’s a long analogy, and no, finding the perfect jean doesn’t carry the same weight as coming to terms with your sexuality. But I think it sort of works. A person’s sexual identity isn’t stagnant or static. It’s confusing, complex and evolves, and the mere idea that we can label a person’s sexual experience and attraction into one word is kind of absurd anyway. Labels also develop and evolve as our understanding of sexuality, gender and attraction change. At the end of the day while we must be able to understand the history of LGBT+ labels and terms, we must also recognise how they’ve evolved, and respect that not everyone is going to be able to identify with them.
GROWING UP THE CHILD OF ANTI-VAXERS.
Won’t Somebody Think of
Lisa Longman 16
I was raised by anti-vaxers. I spent months battling avoidable diseases and the long term after effects, had a sister who almost died of meningitis and a cousin with permanent brain damage from a childhood bout of measles. Anti-vaxers are never from third world countries, they’re never advocating from orphanages of young children with polio-twisted limbs. They speak from societies where widespread vaccination has almost eliminated the consequences of their actions. I can’t discuss this issue calmly and rationally because I see anti-vaxers as a threat; as the people who caused me harm. But they see me in the same way. Vaccination sceptics have their own heartrending tales of families injured by vaccinations. They have valid concerns surrounding the influence and reach of pharmacy lobbyists. Concerned about what they’ve experienced, they advocate for safety and informed choice. In their eyes, all medical research and advice is suspect due to funding links to drug manufacturers. Governments are allowing an ‘unavoidably unsafe’ product to be mandated under pressure from Big Pharma. Professional, reputable-looking websites lay out the findings of independent studies. All they are seeking is a fair representation of both sides of the argument. Their most effective arguments are the suggestion of a large under-reported safety debate in the medical community, and that studies have not been done on the long-term effects of the vaccinations, their individual components or their administration schedules. A reasonable request; one which ignores the fact that multiple, long-term whole-population studies have been done on the vaccinations, with no causal
the Children? links found to any adverse reactions. Approval of vaccines can take up to 10 years: before vaccines become available to the public, they’re tested on thousands of people who participate in large clinical trials. Once released for use, they are still subject to regional and national surveillance systems that report adverse events following immunisation. A yearly summary is published in the journal Communicable Diseases Intelligence which is freely accessible via the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website. This process uncovers issues, such as allergic reactions to vaccines grown using egg proteins, and allows further modification. This is not a dangerous, unregulated system, but one with thorough safety checks. Vaccination sceptics credit the reduction of communicable diseases to improved access to safe water, medical facilities, improved sanitation and education, ignoring the fact that polio was eradicated in India, because the vaccine was additionally taken door-to-door rather than just provided at hospitals, eliminating access issues. But none of that matters. Government-issued facts, expert medical opinion and scientific research has no validity for a vaccination sceptic. All of them can be discounted by the assertion that huge profits are being made through vaccinations. And those invested interests are engaging in widespread, international suppression of evidence. Watching a large needle head towards your chubby infant’s leg, trusting that the 23 ‘toxic concoctions’ they receive in their first year will be safe, is terrifying. Yet 93% of Australian parents vaccinate despite their concerns, a number that has remained steady for years. Of the 7% of Australian parents who are not currently vaccinating their children, half are due
to practical barriers. The government could reach its 95% vaccination target simply by focusing on increasing accessibility. Less than 3.5% of Australian children remain unvaccinated due to their parents’ refusal. So why is so much attention payed to this tiny, vocal minority? Social and traditional media host flame wars where both pro- and anti- advocates act in harassment, doxxing, nuisance reporting and misinformation, both maintaining that the risk to children excuses their extreme behavior. Arguments rage over freedom of speech versus harm minimisation. There is no middle ground, no discussion, no questioning. You are for or against; a threat to children or their champion. A study by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance found that between 2005 and 2014, 23 children died in New South Wales from diseases that could have been prevented by available vaccines. Diseases brought in by travellers rage through unvaccinated communities. In response the government has created policies banning unvaccinated children from attending daycares or their parents from receiving benefits. All of which pushes anti-vaxers and their children further into the extremes and isolates them in fringe communities. Trust in government and mainstream media continues to fall while social and fringe media rise as the population’s main source of information. So, no matter which side of the debate you are on, the conversation always ends in a financially-motivated conspiracy theory – and nothing gives a conspiracy theory more validity than a government mandate against it.
- A REVIEW
The New York Times ‘Caliphate’ 18
Rukmini Callimachi has been following and documenting the rise and fall of ISIS for the last few years. While headlines have followed the narrative we all know, Rukmini has been busy digging through their trash. Analysing permits, bank statements, sign-in sheets, fines, arrest records and volumes of documents left behind as the group slowly lost territory, she has been reporting on life on the ground under ISIS rule. Caliphate is the fantastically produced culmination of that work. You need to listen to it. In saying that, you’ve probably stopped thinking about ISIS. I know I had. What was made out to be the biggest threat to the world a few years ago has since faced a sharp fall from fame. With a shrinking territory on the border of Iraq and Syria, they have gone the way of the litany of terrorist organisations before them as part of a growing alphabet soup of groups who got their hands on far too many Kalashnikovs. No one cares anymore. So why make a podcast about them?
Caliphate gives an incredible insight into what makes organisations like the Islamic State tick. From interviews with former members of ISIS sitting in Iraqi prisons to foreign fighters who ultimately regretted their choice and fled back home, this podcast provides an incredibly fresh take on what is important to understand about terrorist groups like ISIS. Rukmini details how the strict bureaucracy of the Islamic State meant that, in many ways, it governed more effectively than the Iraqi government. Put simply, people care more that their bins are being collected than they do about big issues of democracy, human rights and secularism. The work done in producing this podcast is at times hard to appreciate. At a time where good journalism is derided as worthless and part of the “failing New York Times”, it is almost jarring to hear the incredible work that goes into the words we listen to
and read every day. Rukmini casually talks of her deep connections in the Yazidi community when unravelling the horrors of sex slavery, and the incredibly detailed verification work put in to shedding light on fuzzy details in the story of an ex-foreign fighter would make anyone want to be a journalist. Beyond the incredible content that Caliphate brings to the table, it’s an extremely accessible podcast. You can jump into it without any knowledge of Middle Eastern politics, as important tensions are consistently explained throughout. In saying that, it still gets at the heart of serious radicalisation issues that plague governments and experts around the world. The 10-episode series finishes up not with a ready-made solution to these issues, but rather a seriously challenging conclusion that points to the true complexity of the challenge that ISIS and their ilk pose.
CALIPHATE IS THE BEST PODCAST OF THIS YEAR AND EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO IT. IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, I’LL MAKE YOU A CUP OF TEA AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU’RE COMPLETELY WRONG.
I Don’t Want Your Pity Growing up deaf, I had many well-meaning friends telling me, “I want to be an audiologist because of you”. It’s a nice sentiment, but they had no understanding of the Deaf community and our complicated relationship to oralism (speaking as opposed to using sign language), hearing, and the audiology field. Every year I am in the audiologist’s office at least twice. One to finetune my hearing aid and re-map the frequencies and volume if needed, and one to finetune and check my cochlear implant. Every year I sit in the waiting rooms – a standard bunch of chairs and children’s toys, walls lined with brochures advertising a huge array of assistive hearing devices. Hearing aids, personal loops, extra loud phones, and more. Posters on the wall boast about the ‘gift of sound’, and depict children and elderly folks laughing in the sun or chuckling around a table at a dinner party. There’s always a muted TV on the wall with subtitles, playing a loop of short documentaries and testimonials of deaf people using assistive hearing devices. All these videos placing a disturbing emphasis on the importance of using hearing aids to fit into the hearing world that often doesn’t accommodate us regardless.
While it is easy to say that deaf/hard of hearing people don’t have to go to an audiologist if they don’t want to, it is easier said than done. The reality is that deaf people are socialised from a very young age to be raised hearing, and actively penalised in a variety of ways if they choose not to do so. Furthermore, those who are born deaf often have their autonomy and agency about their personal medical decisions stripped in a paternalistic fashion, and are pressured to get cochlear implants. Most aren’t even allowed to know about the alternatives available. Here’s a fact: the vast majority of audiologists and admin staff are hearing, don’t know or care for sign language, and refer to deafness as an ‘impairment’. This means the paternalistic pattern of imposing onto deaf people the ‘right’ way to be deaf continues through childhood into adulthood, forming an inescapable vacuum where the deaf person never feels the need to seek out and form a meaningful relationship to the Deaf community. Especially if they’re not even aware of its existence. This kind of audiology perpetuates the notion that the deaf person must put in all the effort and resources on their end to enable communication with the hearing world. Hearing people (including audiologists), are very often not willing to learn sign language for their loved ones purely for reasons of convenience. Here’s another fact: the government provides subsidised/free hearing clinic services and hearing aids up to the age of 26. And another: deaf people are not given full access to sign language from birth, as the only language that is wholly accessible to them. Interpreting costs are very high, and difficult to organise. I’ve been alive almost 21 years and this shit doesn’t change. Hearies, you gotta do better.
PM: Do you think it is important to have LGBT+ only spaces for art and literature? QE: It is essential that spaces for LGBTIQA+ voices that explore lived, embodied, experience in text and art exist. When we read these texts, our bodies absorb them. Our bodies find strength and love in connection to other bodies. Our bodies teach us about desire, about imperfection, and most importantly, about difference. AP: I am interested in the use of the “we” and the “our” in this answer: are you imagining spaces where genderqueer people do not have to respond to the need to educate non-queers about their experience? QE: Absolutely. I am imagining spaces where we speak (let our bodies speak) to each other. We already do this (and have done this throughout LGBTQIA+ histories) on the dance floor, in private parties, during play—I’m talking about queer kink/ BDSM spaces here but also all the other kinds of play we do: circus, performance, bent and fringe drag, genderfuckery, silent discos, festivals…
quinn eades & ANNA POLETTI The following is a conversation between the editors of Pelican Magazine, Quinn Eades, and Eades’s friend, colleague, and collaborative writing partner Anna Poletti. Photo taken by Amanda James 20
One of the privileges of growing up in the seventies and eighties with queers – I had a single lesbian mother and many other queer carers and friends around me – was that I learnt how to connect with my body to other bodies. There was this big yellow bus that got driven around Sydney by circus dykes in the eighties (many of the lesbians I grew up with preferred to identify as dykes, in order to pull language out of the mouths of homophobes, and to lace this language with love), and we’d find it in a park and learn how to juggle, stilt walk, tightrope walk, tumble, and be-in-connection with other queer bodies. My body remembers this. It knows what a utopic queer space can feel like, and it wants more. We are at a flashpoint in culture where gender is on the agenda, constantly. Digital platforms like YouTube and online TV streaming services have changed the game. We have Transparent and Sense8, Laverne Cox smashing it out of the park on Orange is the New Black, a thriving online community of trans and gender diverse YouTubers, and a sudden and very focussed interest in trans memoirs. And of course the #MeToo movement, ongoing conversations about toxic masculinity, institutions putting up signs for all-gender bathrooms, and language continuously morphing
to meet the changing needs of trans, non-binary, and gender diverse folk. Last night I watched ‘the trans episode’ of Queer Eye (the 21st century reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy). The new fab five went to visit a trans guy named Skyler, who lives in a little house with walls covered in queer memorabilia. I was worried about watching, because friends had found the Queer Eye hosts upsetting in their language choices and in the ways they had responded to Skyler’s top surgery. But then I read an interview with Skyler, who talked about how hard the cast and crew worked to learn this place, and turned on the TV. So I watched with my lover, arms around myself, late on a Saturday night. I sobbed at the end, for all of the resonances. I sobbed for the way Skyler looked at himself in his first suit, (I remember the day my partner took me to buy a suit. I had been too frightened to go alone – I have hovered outside menswear shops and not been able to step through their doors for most of my adult life. We spent two hot hours in a dressing room at Myers while a very lovely salesperson ferried ties and shirts and shoes to us. The feeling of filling the shoulder width of a blue pin striped suit. A beautiful greenblue tie. Such bliss.) For Jonathon teaching me about how to shave, for Skyler’s beautiful femme flatmates who couldn’t get their hands off him, for Todrick Hall flirting outrageously and Skyler flirting right back. I had never seen anything like this on a screen before. My whole body said yes, that’s me: despite age differences, geographic location, the way that lives hold so much complexity, and the way that the story of one body/life can touch, deeply, another body/life halfway across the globe. PM: What does it mean to you to win the Mary Gilmore prize? QE: There is a famous quote from Don Marquis about poetry books: Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo. This is what I decided would happen with Rallying. I had no sense of whether it was good work or not. I was worried it was too simple, or too abject, or too dark, or just TOO (much, open, wanting, aching,
desiring, raw…). When Toby Davidson read out the judge’s report I wept (there’s me crying again) because three incredible poets saw what I was doing on the page and said yes, this. Since winning the award I have had a sense that Rallying is being read, which is what poetry loves: to be read, to be held, to be imbibed and savoured and carried. This book might still be a rose petal waiting for an echo, but it joins many other falling petals, and winning this prize tells me it has found a home. AP: It seems fitting to me that you’ve won an award named for a utopian socialist, and that Rallying has found a home this way. I say this because your writing has always seemed to me to involve a considered leap of faith that certain things are worth saying, and saying well. QE: I love meeting readers, and I am meeting them more and more often. I was raised on feminist utopian literature–thank you to The Women’s Press–and I think that utopian sensibility lodged in me, deeply. Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time is a work I come back to again and again. As is Ursula Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, Starhawk’s The Fifth Sacred Thing, and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. I think that when people read lyrical text, that text is absorbed, and it becomes part of the embodied self. It lives on in tissue and blood and grey matter, in the hands that hold the book, in the thick chambers of the heart. So when Rallying was rejected six times (there was one acceptance in there but the publisher lost the funding necessary to go ahead), I almost gave up. Older and well established feminist poets and writers who I’d met over the years at open mics, poetry slams, conferences, and during my PhD at La Trobe University (Ros Prosser, Pam Brown, Marion May Campbell, Sari Smith, Jill Jones, Kate Lilley, Anna Gibbs, Susan Martin, Catherine Padmore, Susan Thomas, Donna Lee Brien, Francesca Rendle-Short, and Robbie Latham to name just some of them, and I give you this list in the hope that you will read their writing) held me during the years I tried to find a home for Rallying. They told me to keep going, read my drafts, and Pam Brown wrote me a letter of commendation and told me to send it to Terri-ann White at UWA Publishing. I had waited sometimes for nine months between publishers to get a response. But Terri-ann replied within the day, and sometimes I still can’t believe this book has been published. If you are finding your way with getting work
Interview Authors: Ishita Mathur & Asha Couch
published, remember that every time we read our work we are publishing with the voice. Our words are nestling in/to other bodies. We are being read. If you can’t find a home for your work, make a home: make a zine, read it at an open mic, take up space in the vast, complex, and layered place we call the internet. Push your texts out in whatever way you can. There is room. We need you. PM: How has your experience of parenting changed since you transitioned? This collection presents a challenge to the different narratives of motherhood. Why is it important to challenge these narratives? QE: Everything and nothing changes about parenting when a body is in-transition. I am still intransition/becoming – I don’t think I am on my way from one sure place to another sure place. So yes, the kids call me Mama and he in the same sentence, but the kids also ask for cups of milk and snacks and need snuggles on the couch and conversations about stars and the Adani Coal mine and what protest looks like and a drum kit to practice on and this new awesome app that’s only $4.99 so… Everything and nothing changes. UWA Publishing is about to release a book called Dangerous Ideas About Mothers and I have a chapter in it called ‘Being a Boy Mama’. The institution of motherhood is a capitalist juggernaut and an affective minefield for anyone who doesn’t fit the Hallmark version of ‘Mother’. We need to open up conversations about ‘Mothers’ and ‘Fathers’: what these terms contain, and how they interpolate us into vice-like structures and behaviours that limit how we raise our children. AP: Your first answer and this one are an important reminder that queer families are not a future prospect, but are a part of Australia’s past and present. You wrote a lot about this in your columns for The Lifted Brow in the lead up to the postal survey on Equal Marriage. What are legacies of the public debate that led up to that vote in your mind? QE: The legacies of the Yes/No postal survey are significant and ongoing. Yes, there are many people who are thrilled to have their partnerships recognised in Australian law as a marriage, and I will always support those who choose this path (my partner asks me to marry them often and I always say yes, because it titillates and delights me), but many of us are wounded by the ways that homophobia and transphobia came to us in our homes. Our ability to parent our children was attacked. We were told we were sick and dangerous.
In our homes. This is significant because often (but of course not always) queer homes are the one place where we can build a strong sense of safety. Friends had hand-delivered letters in their mailboxes telling them they were not welcome in the street they lived on. A friend of a friend was bashed twice during what Turnbull referred to as ‘a respectful conversation’. A very close friend was working in an inner-city high school at the time as a diversity officer and was overwhelmed by how many LGBTIQA+ young people were seeking her out because they were suicidal. My response to this was to write, and write, and write, and The Lifted Brow were with me every step of the way. The result of this writing was a seven piece series titled ‘I can’t stop crying…’ which the then online editor of TLB, Justin Wolfers, edited and published with the greatest respect and care. These pieces will be published by Brow Books in November this year in an anthology I am co-editing with writer and academic Son Vivienne titled Going Postal. A collection of conversations from voices that fall between the cracks of YES and NO, the book includes digital art, cartoons, letters to the editor, tweets, blog posts, and opinion pieces. In many ways it is an ethnography of a community wound, a way of remembering, and a document that we can carry forwards into ongoing work for social change.
Quinn Eades and Anna Poletti met at a Contemporary Women’s Writing Association conference in 2014 and fell in love with each others’ heads (yes, sapiosexuality is a thing). Over the last four years they have had many conversations about the politics of life writing, queerness, experimental and hybrid writing, and genderbent high art drag queen Sasha Velour (winner of Season 9, Ru Paul’s Drag Race). Their friendship survived Anna’s move to Utrecht University (thanks, interwebs) and they recently published their first piece of collaborative writing in a/b Autobiography Studies, titled DystopiAbromović, which responds to a performance initiated by Marina Abramović using bodies of the public in silent performance.
From down the road Maddison Howard Does a cherry tomato bought from Coles, taste as sweet as one home grown? How does a sprig of rosemary plucked from a windowsill garden, compare to that snatched off a supermarket shelf and hurriedly crossed off a shopping list? Does the elderly lady at the Woolworths check-out bid you ‘good day’ as sincerely as the lady handing over your farm-fresh veggies at the weekend market? Will tonight’s summer vegetable pasta dinner taste like summer vegetables, or will the hint of limp, storage-stressed zucchini overpower your palate? As a food-lover and amateur cook, eating is a popular pastime of mine. Whilst admittedly not a successful home veggie grower, I have watched a sufficient number of MasterChef episodes to know that using flavoursome, fresh ingredients is half the journey in creating a tasty ten-out-of-ten dish. On MasterChef, judges fill air-time talking about the fresh, ingredients that local farmers have provided for the day’s cooking contest. With Coles as a major sponsor of the show, I’m not entirely convinced that all the foodstuffs are coming off the farm neighbouring the studio kitchen, but I’m picking up on the message to support farmers and buy local, regardless.
Local organic farming was the only type of farming in existence pre-20th century, after which time technological advancement allowed for food to be grown faster, harvested in greater abundance, and made greener or redder or plumper to attract the consumer’s dollar. The idea of only eating what was in season, and only buying what was needed, became an old school of thought. The local milkman became redundant as major dairy factories began supplying sterilised supermarkets in bulk. Redundancy also struck the local butcher, baker, and fisherman who were outcompeted by produce imported from all over the place and made available in shopping centres for lower cost. Food shopping became a mechanical and lonely experience, with people disconnected from not only their local producers, but also the enjoyment of picking out fresh and flavourful food. Today’s older generation commentate the lack of basic human interaction in the modern world. In our techno-centric, device-driven society, the ‘time is money’ attitude predominates over traditional social graces and interactions. Food shopping was once a social experience, an opportunity to interact with your local farmers and barter with your neighbours. Now, you can order a week’s worth of food online and have it dropped to your doorstep, without even talking to a check-out-chick. In 2016, Lifeline conducted a loneliness survey which reported that more than 80% of Australians think that our society is becoming a lonelier place. Could we combat these feelings by upping our face-to-face time and developing real relationships? Maybe the food shop could once again become an experience, rather than a chore. Perhaps we could talk to the local farmers at the weekend markets about starting our own backyard veggie gardens and the tips and tricks to grow seasonal produce with patience, rather than fertiliser. Maybe a community garden or a barter system for swapping homemade goods for fresh home-grown produce could result from such a conversation? Certainly, a local shopping experience is more rewarding than one that concludes with you being beeped at by a hostile self-serve machine when weighing your bag of trans-continental apples.
12 Rules for life
THAT LOBSTERS WOULD REALLY LIKE IF THEY COULD READ An Antidote to Chaos Hugh Hutchison
Stand tall with your pincers outstretched. This is how you assert dominance in lobster culture.
Pursue pseudo-science that affirms your political beliefs, not what is intellectually challenging and shatters your fragile dogma.
2. Helping others is difficult. Take care of yourself, and if someone else really needs your help, picture them having your face.
8. Tell the truth – have you been harassing female journalists on the Internet again? Don’t lie.
Make friends with people who like the same hackfraud “””philosophers””” as you. Pseudo intellectualism acts like lubricant in a circle-jerk.
Assume that the person you’re listening to probably doesn’t give a shit about your skewed world view that is informed almost exclusively by conspiracy videos on Youtube and/or TheRedPill.
4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who you would be if you were leaving on: Train A) to Dallas travelling at 186 km/h or Train B) travelling a shorter distance at 152 km/h.
5. Do not let your larvae do anything that makes you dislike them.
6. Clean your room before you shit in anyone else’s bedside table.
10. When speaking, ensure that you use the fewest number of words to convey what you are saying, albeit, not at the expense of your articulateness, nor the sanctity of your speech, but rather to deliver your thoughts to the listening audience in a way that is both profound and expedient.
11. Baby lobsters don’t know what they’re doing, let them fucking skateboard.
12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street. This is how you establish dominance hierarchies and assert your role as the alpha lobster man lobster amidst a sea of cucks.
Clayton Jacobson is one of the most relaxed and friendly guys I’ve ever met, which makes him all the more interesting given he’s just directed Australia’s darkest and twisted comedy in recent years. Having been in toiled away on his own projects since his hit toilet-plumber-done-good Kenny in 2006, Jacobson’s back behind the camera for Brothers Nest, a tragicomedy which follows Terry and Jeff (played by Clayton and Kenny himself, Shane) as they plot to kill their step-dad in the middle of country Victoria. I sat down with Clayton to talk crowd-pleasing pizzas, perfectionism and working in a fake police station. Finn: Australian movies have a rough trot when competing with big studio films. What would you say about Brothers Nest stands out compared to, say, Jurassic World?
Clayton Jacobson Finnian Williamson
Clayton: (laughs) That’s a hard competition. It’s like we have two arenas. They go, in this arena are the monster trucks, fresh out of Hollywood and it’s going to cost you X amount of dollars. And in this arena, we’ve got the Australian tricycles. But that’s going to cost you the same amount. And you go, it’s a bit of a no brainer. Sure, we ride a great tricycle, we do some things you’re never going to see on a monster truck, but that’s the problem. We can’t compete with those types of budgets. Having said that, in the last few years, Hollywood has greatly changed and whereas once there was this middle ground, that’s all moved to television. The theory now in Hollywood is you can either do a big tentpole movie which is 100 million, or you’re doing a 5, 6 million dollar film. But yes, it is hard to compete. But for Brothers Nest, what would you say about it that stands out? I’m just hoping at the end of the day it comes down to story. And we went to a lot of trouble to make sure the film had production value. That nothing on screen would give you a sense of its budget. And I’m hoping we pull that off. I think it looks great. The location we made absolutely sure that it was as big a character as any other character in the film. And they’re the sort of things I think we as Australians do quite well. What you say about story is like what you did with Kenny. That film had a tiny budget, relied on story and an iPhone now would have better quality than whatever you shot it on then. Yes. What you asked is one of the biggest questions we’ve got in this country and that’s because of the nature of how we get films made. There are so many cooks that get brought in, so what I think makes a
film unique is the vision of whoever’s helming the film. Their own personal take on the script and the elements that they’ve brought to the story….y’know, our favourite films are usually directed by fairly unique directors that we can all talk about. Scorsese is a pretty interesting sort of fella. Their films haven’t necessarily been made by a committee. What I always say is, if you wanna to order food to please twenty people, you’re eating pizza. And we make great pizzas, a lot of the time. But I often feel we shave off the rough edges, and the things that make a film personable and unique are what could make someone upset or throw someone off. The nature of how we develop films in this country is that we’re all trying to adhere to norms that will bring about a successful film, but the truth is that it’s such a mystery. What will make a film successful or not…. the question at the end of the day for me, is what will I like? I can’t answer what you will like. I just know what I like. But what I trust is that if I like it, I’m not that unique, there’s gonna be someone out there that likes it too. And we have trouble with that here, because we don’t just have the numbers. In America, there’s 300 million people, there’s going to be an audience for the most obscure films. But here, that’s not always the case. We can’t afford to take as big a risks and we’re always looking for government support. So along with that comes the mandates, the ticking of boxes. I’ve spent so long having to convince people that the instincts I’m having towards a story feel right to me. And I clearly have not been very good of convincing them of that, because the only time I’ve got to make another movie is when I’ve stepped out of the industry and gone back to how I did Kenny . And that was eleven years ago. I even had a Hollywood producer ask me, after South By Southwest (the indie film festival where Brothers Nest premiered), something really interesting. He said, “I don’t mean to offend you, but why are so many Australian films so comfortable”? He used the word comfortable. I thought that was really interesting, because it implies a safe bet. So I think we just have to encourage greater risks. And just because one film did really well one year, it doesn’t mean every film should follow that path. That was a particular set of ingredients and circumstances that made that particular film unique. We’ve got to encourage the film-maker that’s working on their own concoction. So you went to film school in the 80’s, and used editing as a way to get into the film industry.
Where you’re at now, with Brothers Nest, what advice would you give to yourself looking back? I’m very hard on myself. I am a perfectionist and I push myself to the brink, every time. The negativity about that is you can set the bar too high for yourself. As a result, I hung back in the shadows for a good ten years. I was afraid of directing because I didn’t want to reveal myself I wouldn’t be good at it. It’s that thing, “I’m assuming I’m going to be good at it, so I don’t want to shatter that illusion”. But with editing I got to watch how directors work, and I’d try and recognise myself in other directors behaviours. I said to myself “I’m never going to make those mistakes that other directors make, but I’m certainly going to borrow from their successes”. And what happened was I went out and invented 400 hundred other mistakes I’d never seen them do. You’ve just gotta be on the floor doing it to know whether you’re doing it well or not. I don’t necessarily regret that, because the films I’m making now come from the fact I’ve lived a bit of a life. And between Kenny and now, I’ve worked on a lot of scripts with writers an producers and I’ve got to see what works in development and what doesn’t. You acted in last years series of Top of the Lake (starring Elisabeth Moss), which is directed by auteur Jane Campion (director of The Piano). What was the most memorable part of that experience? It was really interesting to be a player in her world. Human beings are kind of pathetic and funny creatures, and a lot of what we do is very silly and comic, but can also be incredibly tragic and alarming and tragic. What I loved about her work, and it’s a thing I like to do as well, is when you have those two things collide. She’ll go from a scene that’s quite funny and frivolous to one thats dark and foreboding, and it creates this whole other energy. You’re not being taken by the end and walked through this tonal shifts. They’ll just hit you hard in the face. So a lot of the lessons I learnt were more structure and story. But the biggest lesson I learnt would be the joy of how you prep a set for actors to express themselves and give them the freedom to show off. Jane went to a lot of trouble for this and we spent an entire day with the cast in a police station roleplaying with actual constables. She was sending in different constables to bitch and bemoan about the other characters and to talk to me about their personable problems. It was so interesting to me, giving me all this back story and juice about the role of running a police station. I loved it. It was a great experience.
As Semester Two approaches, UWA students are turning their attention towards the exciting world of electoral politics. Party alliances, political intrigue and preference deals will be on the table for the second half of 2018. STAR and Launch will be duking it out across campus, to see who can get the most out of their Uniprint budget. But we don’t give a shit about that. After spending most of this year deeply immersed in the Liberian presidential election, we’ve decided to team up to give you our hot, unwanted, uninformed opinions about four of the spiciest upcoming presidential elections.
Maldives – September 2018 President Abdulla Yameen (Incumbent), Mohammed Nasheed (Opposition) Cormac: Look, the opposition guy (Nasheed) coming back is really good and really positive for the Maldives. But given that he was almost disqualified by a rigged court ruling, I think him being a candidate at all is a win for Maldivian democracy. Unlikely that he’ll get anywhere though, I think he’ll be out in the first round. The current president has basically removed everyone who posed a serious threat to him and it’s unlikely that any opposition candidate is going to be able to resist his purge of the political and legal system. My hot take is that there’s pretty much no chance which is sad, but there are some positive signs that the Maldives will get there some day! Hugh: I got confused and looked up the Moldovan election instead. My demonyms are getting very rusty. There are apparently parliamentary elections being held in Moldova this year, how exciting! As for the Maldives, I don’t know how to spin entrenched corruption into a pithy one liner. I predict that it’ll go to a second round against Nasheed, but the incumbent will use his control of the judiciary to
rig the second round decisively in his favour. Does anyone even know where the fuck Moldova is? Is it an island? For just two dollars a month you can help Moldova stop sinking.
Pakistan – July 25th 2018 Shehbaz Sharif (Pakistan Muslim League), Bilawal Bhutto Zadari (Pakistan Peoples’ Party), Imran Khan (The Pakistan Movement for Justice) Cormac: The only prime ministerial election we’ll be covering. In 2017, the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on charges of corruption, and was recently sentenced to ten years in prison. Crazy times. His party, the Pakistan Muslim League, has nominated his brother, Shehbaz Sharif, as its candidate and is surprisingly currently leading the polls. Surprising because his brother literally just got put in prison for being corrupt. The investigation into just how corrupt Shehbaz was threatens to undermine their chances of returning to power. This whole election is a bit of a mess to be honest. However, I’m going to be a bit sceptical of the polls here and say that in spite of the likely prospect of another Sharif family victory, there are positive signs in favour of popular cricketer and celebrity Imran Khan delivering an upset. [Note from Cormac] “When I had finished my nuanced political evaluation of the upcoming Pakistani election, I looked over at Hugh’s computer. He was reading the Wikipedia page for the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. Make of that what you will.” Hugh: Man, Dev Patel’s gotten way more attractive in the last few years.
Hugh Hutchison & Cormac Power
Not the Election Coverage You Want, But The Election Coverage You Deserve 28
Georgia – October 2018
Cameroon – October 2018
Shalva Natelashvili (Georgian Labour Party), Zurab Japaridze (Girchi), Sandro Bregadze (Georgian March)
Paul Biya (Incumbent), Joshua Osih (Social Democratic Front)
Cormac: Because this election isn’t until October, many candidates haven’t declared yet. However, it’s pretty safe to assume that all the parties in the ruling Georgian Dream coalition will nominate presidential candidates, given that this coalition is basically falling apart. This is also the last direct presidential election in Georgia, as they’re going to be switching to a system of proportional representation which is exciting. The current president, who is not contesting this time around, vetoed the constitutional changes set to scrap the direct presidential system, but they passed regardless. Whoever Georgian Dream (the leading party of the coalition) declares as their candidate will most likely be the frontrunner, but there’s still a lot of antagonism towards the current Georgian Dream government. It’s not a done deal, but I’m thinking that whomever they nominate will most likely bring it home. The former Prime Minister Ivanishvili might pick up the nomination if he gets back into politics but all remains to be seen.
Cormac: The guy in charge of Cameroon has been in power since 1982. He’s not straight up rigging all the elections, like there are multiple parties, but I think he’s basically rigging it enough that it’s a done deal. To give some context, after Mugabe went down this guy (Biya) is now the longest serving leader in Africa. There were term limits in Cameroon, but thanks to a handy constitutional amendment in 2008, those aren’t going to be a problem anymore, how convenient! One interesting development is that he requested that the elections be postponed until next year because of unrest in Cameroon’s Anglophone population. They predominantly vote for the opposition party. The predominantly English-speaking south of Cameroon is so disenfranchised that they tried to split off and create their own state of Ambazoni. Biya has capitalised on this violence to try delay the election. Regardless of whether or not the election happens on schedule this year, it’s hard to imagine Biya losing, despite the widespread tensions.
Hugh: We were in Georgia last week, and we played a game of beer pong with this massive Georgian dude who may as well have been Robert Patrick in fucking Terminator 2. The man hardly missed a shot. I’m talking like a good ten seconds spent lining up each turn. He did seem like a bit of a Nazi though so maybe that’s a good sign for Girchi, the hard right party. Later we caught a taxi to the Turkish border and our driver got pulled over for talking on his phone while driving. After the cops drove away, he flipped them off and yelled out “fuck you!” apparently the only phrase he knew in English. This was the clearest show of support we saw for the Black Lives Matter movement while we were in Georgia, indicative of massive political polarisation between the left and right. That being said, I’m an ALP stooge so I think the Georgian Labour Party will snatch this one.
Hugh: Why is DJ Khaled running as the main opposition candidate in the Cameroonian elections? Look Joshua Osih up and you will see what I mean, the resemblance is fucking uncanny. Do Osih supporters know that their presidential favourite has collaborated with artists like Justin Bieber, Jay Z and Drake? Do 11 million people follow DJ Khaled on Instagram because of his outspoken support for free and fair elections in Cameroon and a return to rule of law? I’m backing Osih because as we know, All He Do Is Win.
How Harvey Stayed Hidden Decades of Static in a Motion Picture World Cindy Shi
Here’s an understatement: Harvey Weinstein was a powerful Hollywood mogul. By co-founding the production company Miramax, and later the Weinstein Company, the 65 year-old’s net worth amasses to approximately $300 million, with over 300 Academy award nominations, and critically acclaimed films including Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, and Good Will Hunting. With his name being mentioned more times than God in Oscar acceptance speeches, one could easily regard Weinstein as the Hollywood mogul. However, today the name Weinstein is synonymous with sexual assault and predatory behaviour. The Weinstein Company is stained by the numerous rape allegations made against its founder, while anyone who was once considered within Weinstein’s inner-circle scramble to distance themselves as far as humanly possible. He has been fired from his company; his wife has filed for divorce; his brother and Miramax cofounder - Bob Weinstein- has abandoned him; and he has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. For all intents and purposes, the former kingpin of Hollywood has been permanently exiled. From a distance, this seems like a victory for not only the women involved, but also for women and the way they are treated in the film industry as a whole. Perhaps this has set a precedent for future cases involving powerful men abusing women in the film industry- or possibly any other industry for that matter. Perhaps the hard and fast fall of Harvey Weinstein’s name and everything associated with him has paved the way for systemic change in terms of how the industry deals with women speaking out. But then we must realise that Weinstein’s fall from power was in fact not swift at all. Extensive and completely career damaging, yes- but how many decades has it taken to reach this point? With Weinstein exposed, much of the film industry has come forward and admitted that the nature of his actions was Hollywood’s ‘worst kept secret.’ From directors including Quentin Tarantino; to actors like Matt Damon and Russell Crowe, who, in 2004, were instructed to help ‘kill’ a potential story on Weinstein by vouching for the mogul. High Fidelity screenwriter Scott Rosenberg has expressed remorse for his lack of action, ‘Harvey was nothing but wonderful to me…I reaped the rewards and kept my mouth shut’. In other words, people knew, but nothing was done about it. Skepticism in how much Hollywood will change moving forward is deepened by the fact that women in the industry have been speaking out against their sexual abusers for years, but no such
Weinstein-esque reaction has ever been afforded to them. If anything, the sheer scale of Weinstein’s crimes, which spans decades, only brings to light the horrifying extent to which Hollywood not only breeds sexual predators, but also the lengths to which it will go to protect them.
So how exactly has Harvey Weinstein managed to avoid drowning in a sea of allegations, for the past twenty odd years? 1. A culture that refuses to listen The women speaking out against Weinstein are not the first wave of people to accuse powerful figures of sexual assault in the film industry. No- throughout the decades, the subjugation of women sexually, culturally, and economically has been treated by Hollywood as a disturbing and uncomfortable truth that desperately needed to be kept under the rug. But a film tycoon like Harvey Weinstein and the outpouring of 50 plus serious allegations made against him are too much for even Hollywood to contain, so instead, the industry has changed tack and responded in the opposite way in which it has always done- hold the predator accountable for his actions and strip him of any footing where he might find reprieve. Their actions are a desperate attempt to upkeep the image of a progressive safe haven for creators and artists, not sexual offenders— ‘sexual assault? That’s Harvey, not Hollywood!’ Ironically, this kind of damage control is exactly like the actions Weinstein persistently employed. This type of ‘I can’t be a sexual predator, I support feminism’ strategy is embodied in his support of several initiatives for women in film; his public campaigning for Hillary Clinton; and funding a position at Rutgers University in honour of Gloria Steinem- as though these actions would throw the public off his scent. With the 100 plus men who have now been exposed through allegations of sexual abuse since the exposure of Weinstein, it certainly seems that Hollywood is expunging itself of its sexual offenders, declaring that all forms of sexual misconduct will be dealt with swiftly and severely. It certainly seems that way with how entertainers Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K have been treated. The ‘Weinstein Effect’ seems to be in full swing and the landscape of Hollywood is hopefully, genuinely changing. But one can’t forget that last year Casey Affleck was the face receiving accusations of sexual harassment, yet went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor- quite literally the highest prestige an actor in Hollywood can receive. Before that, there was Woody Allen- accused
of paedophilia and molestation by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, yet he continues to make films with relative impunity. Then of course, there was Roman Polanski, a convicted, two-time child rapist, who was later awarded the Academy Award for Best Director in 2003 to a standing ovation. Why is it that these men are allowed to not only continue working, but continue to be celebrated by the industry? Perhaps the sheer number of women and A-list status of Weinstein’s accusers, like Angelina Jolie, made it impossible for Hollywood to ignore like it did with men such as Affleck, Allen, and Polanski. More optimistically though, could it be that the industry has finally ditched the archaic sentiment of tolerating the artist’s abuse for the sake of the art? The sad reality is that the type of progress we’re witnessing with the ‘Weinstein Effect’ is very often inconsistent: not all predators face their consequences, nor are all women’s voices heard when they speak out. Victories won by women are restricted to those who have the resources to demand them. Even then, women who speak out are faced by a culture that awards and honours their abusers, In a post “Grab her by the pussy” world, speaking out seems more daunting than ever.
over women are more susceptible to feelings of humiliation and embarrassment. When the women they seek to tyrannise show even a sliver of agency, it registers as a punishable offence. Despite evidence of sexual harassment recorded during the sting operation, the District Attorney’s office ultimately decided to not press charges. His power over the legal sphere and the tabloid industry in combination with an infinite number of employees at his beck and call rendered him almost untouchable. Almost. Despite his many attempts to silence Rose McGowan, an actress who was ready to expose him as a rapist, his complicit ring of employees were not able to stem the cascade of accusations against Weinstein that came once McGowan had opened the floodgates. Weinstein’s team had assumed that his powerful relationships across industries would easily be able to discredit or cover up any individual woman who spoke up- and in that sense they weren’t completely wrong. What they underestimated however, was that collectively, these women would be powerful enough to not only dismantle his carefully built empire, but ensure he will never be able to rebuild from the ashes. Goodbye, Weinstein
2. A well oiled ring of complicity Two years ago in a New York hotel room, Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez wore a police wire while meeting Weinstein. After repeatedly being groped by Weinstein the previous day, Gutierrez had contacted the N.Y.P.D, and returned to the hotel, ready to expose him. The recording reveals Weinstein pleading with Gutierrez to come into his hotel room, to stop making a scene in the hallway. When she continues to tell him she is uncomfortable and asks him why he touched her breast the previous day, he becomes angry, “Now you’re embarrassing me,” he says. Author and feminist Bell Hooks notes that men who enjoy exerting power and dominance
The downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the domino effect it has had on other sexual offenders in the film industry is without a doubt historic. Whether or not this marks the beginning of a comprehensive, systemic change in Hollywood’s attitude toward women and power abusive relationships remains to be seen. In an enraging, ironic sense, the very industry that helps shape society’s view of women has protected individuals who abuse their power to keep women repressed. The Weinstein affair showed us that being heard is the first step in systemic change, but Hollywood’s response to the information they hear is what will truly threaten the structural impunity of powerful men with unlimited resources.
The Life and Times of Harvey Milk Stephen Hawkins
Harvey Milk may be a name that is unfamiliar to a lot of young people nowadays, especially here in Australia, but in the United States he is a figure that symbolises pride and courage in the face of institutionalised discrimination and hope to the LGBT+ community. He was born in 1930 in Woodsmere, New York. In 1951 he joined the U.S. Navy and served as a diving instructor during the Korean War. Following his discharge in 1955, Milk moved to New York City and took a variety of jobs, including public school teacher. In the 1960s Milk befriended a group of gay radicals in Greenwich Village who taught him about the burgeoning gay rights movement. During WWII the U.S military discharged thousands of gay men because of their sexuality and many of these men moved to Castro Street in San Francisco, transforming it into the heart of the gay community. Milk moved there in 1972, and opened a shop called Cameras on Castro on the famous street. The gay community in California were constant victims of hate crimes and homophobic abuse at this time, with little to no legal protection afforded to them by the government, and regular assaults by the police. Milk got involved in the local gay activist movement to try to improve life for LGBT+ people in the Castro, and in the late 70s became acquainted with the woman who would become his greatest opponent, Anita Bryant.
the conservative senator, John Briggs, to create the Briggs Initiative. The Briggs Initiative was a law introduced to the California state ballot which sought to remove all homosexual teachers from public schools, and to allow the firing of any school employees that spoke of homosexuality or homosexuals in a positive light. Harvey Milk was outraged by this vile attack on the gay community and decided to run for City Supervisor, transforming his camera shop into his campaign headquarters. Milk rallied the community to support gay rights and defeat the initiative. He went all around San Francisco giving speeches, campaigning for equality, educating people on homosexuality, and marched in one of the first Gay Freedom Day Parades urging people to come out of the closet. That year he was elected City Supervisor and a few months later defeated the anti-gay initiative. Milk would only be a politician for a year before he was gunned down by a former colleague. Harvey Milk once said that “a life without hope is not worth living”, through his tireless activism he gave hope that everyone would be able to live in world that cherished equality. For this, and many more reasons, he is a true hero to the LGBT+ community.
In 1977 Anita Bryant, the former Miss Oklahoma beauty queen whose name would become synonymous with bigotry and homophobia, launched the ‘Save The Children’ campaign which successfully led to the repeal of a law that had forbidden discrimination of homosexuals in jobs, housing and public accommodation. Anita’s overwhelming success led her to team up with
’sdrawkcaB‘ Size-diversity staggers on the runway
This year’s Fashion Weeks brought us many new looks: transparent trench coats, urban anoraks and “pussy power” bags. But, what is really troubling is the ‘look’ that has remained the same. For an industry driven by recurrent change, it’s a paradox the fashion world’s not keeping up with social change. 2018 exposed that fashion on the runway is still a domain reserved for the anatomically straight-sized. The Fashion Spot diversity report for last season revealed an appalling imbalance of female body shapes on the runway. Although, catwalks are evolving to become more racially and LGBTIQ inclusive, models that fall beyond traditional sizing standards continue to be relegated to Targetcatalogues. “Plus-size” model appearances on the catwalk plummeted from previous years, accounting for a measly 1.1% out of all New York castings. Paris Fashion Week only had three “plus-sized” models step on the runway, whereas London and Milan saw zilch. This may not sound alarming, but given the fact that the average Australian woman wears a size 14-16, whilst in the industry “plus-size” begins at size 10 – it’s clear we’ve got a crisis. Furthermore, this representation seems to be way out of balance when you consider the fact that approximately 1% of the population meets industry requirements. No, nothing is wrong with a size 6 models’ body. What is wrong is that we exclusively see these body shapes at fashion shows. Models on the runway
should reflect society; all body shapes and sizes should be given representation. Otherwise, young girls will look at their ‘role models,’ see no one like them and mistakenly believe something is wrong with their own bodies. The ever-growing epidemic of eating disorders has made us well aware of the damaging effects that disproportionate imagery has on women’s self-image. We are now more attuned to embrace body-positivity and value size-acceptance. Ever since “plus-size” model Ashley Graham featured on the cover of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated in 2016, size-inclusivity also finally became media mainstream. The fashion industry too has the potential to be a revolutionary voice in the body-positivity conversation. Yet, it continues to perpetuate the notion that only “one-size” fits fashion. What we should be seeing by now is models in the array of beautiful body shapes that exist. Better yet, models of different body builds, skin colours and abilities. Size-inclusivity affects everyone. Body image is a universal struggle. Why is the fashion industry so averse to social change? Take for instance, the size hierarchy in fashion. This is pretty much embodied in the terminology of “plus-size”. The negative connotation associated with “plus” reinforces the abominable sentiment that there is a ‘right’ size and bigger bodies aren’t ‘normal’. Size-inclusivity has declined on the runway since 2016, implying that some brands are no longer casting “plus-size” models. This either reveals that any revolutionary change fizzles out in fashion. Or implies that brands manipulated
noihsaF the movement’s commercial potential at its height, then discarded the models. This is ‘tokenism’ at its finest. Real size inclusivity means bringing the models back again and again. Actual size inclusivity means #droppingtheplus size label. Genuine size inclusivity does not involve casting one size 10 Caucasian model in a show full of size 4 models and calling it progress. This is exactly what Alexander McQueen did this year in a show with its first “plussize model”, Betsy Teske. No, authentic change is incorporating all body shapes and sizes on the runway, naturally, and calling it normality. The lack of the diversity on the runway exposes static notions of what attractive bodies look like. This isn’t about ‘skinny bashing’ or saying only curvy women are ‘real women’. We need to question the industry’s portrayal of only one body type and recognise that all bodies should be accepted on the runway. The catwalk should celebrate the unique beauty of women’s bodies in all its forms. Fashion should be empowering for curvy and straight-sized people. From a consumer’s perspective, a worthy label should present clothes on people like ourselves. Show us what the clothing looks like on the average women, a size 14, and maybe then we’ll want to wear it. No one is too ‘fat’ for fashion. Fashion is for everyone. It’s time the industry became truly fashionforward and embraced models of all races, abilities and sizes.
To think of static is, for me, to think of the figure in the infamous Wanderer Above the Sea of Mists (c. 1818) by Caspar David Friedrich (1774 – 1840). The figure is paused atop a rocky promontory, surveying the swirling oceans of cloud below him, stopping to decide what his next move might be. Some scholars believe he is stopped because he has come to the end of his journey – he has reached the pinnacle (and some view this as the representation of the triumph of human achievement); he has reached the summit, as it were. This figure, paused in contemplation for whatever reason, is the perfect example to think of static with regards to artworks. The perfect example to stop yourself before a piece and observe, to remain static while the piece washes over you. More on Friedrich later.
The Art of Static Karl Sagrabb
Pausing like this in an art gallery or museum is frightfully uncommon. Individuals may profess to love art, and to be blown away by the experience of seeing a collection of masterpieces in such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), or the Musee du Louvre, to name but a few. Yet a study undertaken by Lisa and Jeffrey Smith in 2001 demonstrated otherwise. Typically, visitors would not spend more than 27 seconds looking at a work of art: the median figure was 17 seconds, while the longest time spent looking at a painting was 3 minutes. The pair replicated the study with a larger sample size and more artworks in 2016, finding near unchanged results. This kind of brief encounter with artworks, short looking as opposed to slow looking, has been widely reported, and some studies have shown that gallery goers spend as little as 6 to 10 seconds looking at art. Books are published about the value of slow looking, particularly at artworks, about the inherent value in deep observation and the time spent just looking. Titles like Christophe André’s Mindfulness: 25 Ways to Live in the Moment Through Art (2014) emphasise the role of art and lengthy observation in meditation. You might find the phenomenon of brief looking attributed to the zeitgeist, to use a quite nasty word, of narcissism and shortened attention spans due to the frightful horrors of social media. Indeed, Professor James Reed published a book in 2017 titled Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell, directly in response to the “culture of distraction.” However, even prior
to the age of the smartphone and the impact of digital consumption on attention spans, evidenced by the study in 2001, viewing artworks in art galleries was a brief, perpetually truncated affair. Smith and Smith concluded that “a [museum] visit is not characterized by long looks at a few works of art; it is characterized by brief looks at many works of art.” Let us invoke Marx here. These studies demonstrate that is art is not the celebrated vessel of truth, knowledge, purity, and transcendent experience, as visitors claim. Instead, art is quite clearly a commodity, and a visit to an art gallery is an act of consumption. It does not matter that most gallery goers do not purchase the pieces on display; they rush through the institution, consuming as much as they can, and the selfies are the receipts. The question becomes, then: can we bring ourselves to spend longer looking at any one painting? Isn’t there some kind of law against going to art galleries and spending your time with only a couple of paintings? As an art history student, will they not take away my degree if I were to visit a major art gallery and not view all the big names? Can we not just sit and observe, allowing details and intricacies of any given work to reveal themselves with time? The striking nature of the colours used, or perhaps a previously unseen daub of paint, tucked away in the corner, that changes everything in the way you might perceive the work? The texture of the brushwork? The miniscule detail; a figure hiding in plain sight whose expression speaks to you. This is hard, though. As we sit, just looking at one artwork, a distinct discomfiture seeps into us. It is as if the artwork challenges us, threatens us, as we sit looking. Our mind wanders, we can’t focus on the work for more than it seems the average gallery goer who has not paused in an attempt to unlock the painting’s secrets. We have seen all we think we might see, what else is there? It is hard, but it is worth it. Close looking reveals the personal value an artwork might hold for us, why we might identify with one work but not another. For instance: Friedrich. He was a Romantic painter and themes of mysticism and spirituality are often, and accurately, attributed to him. As a Romantic, Friedrich painted on the cusp of the greatest change in European history – that of industrialisation and the onrush of modernity. For some scholars, The Wanderer is a depiction of the end of the road for humanity; the figure has come to the end of his natural explorations and subsequently the age of
communion with and appreciation of nature is over. Indeed, the Romantics, as a group of artists and poets, bemoaned the increasingly rationalised and industrialised nature of society; they were concerned with reconnecting people with nature and the visual or literary depiction of emotive experience. The Wanderer is oftentimes read accordingly – as a bleak outlook on the future of humankind. Now instantly recognisable, with a composition endless replicated in the design for posters of major motion pictures, The Wanderer has a rather complicated history. Friedrich’s work was forgotten by his contemporaries and critics following his death in 1840, yet his fame picked up again in the early 1900s when a critic was rummaging around in the stores of Friedrich’s Norwegian contemporary Johan Christian Dahl (1788 – 1857) and organised a retrospective exhibition in 1906. Yet Friedrich’s legacy has since been marred by the Third Reich’s appropriation of his works for the cause of National Socialism. The Wanderer was one such piece, representing for Hitler the strength and power of the ideal German man in the face of the abyss – an abyss that represents both an identity crisis within Germany and also the turmoil that Europe, and the world, would be thrown into. Courage in the face of such terror! Critics, even until the 1990s, refused to forgive him this fact. Yet this piece is a hallmark of Friedrich’s oeuvre, an emblematic composition, the true nature of which is only revealed in slow looking. For we might accept the typical scholarly interpretation of the piece as the journeyman at the end of the road, and whatever comment this might make upon Friedrich’s contemporaneous setting; or as a depiction of the Romantic artist (for the figure is presumed to be a depiction of Friedrich himself) in contemplation of Sublimity. Yet upon close looking, really close – or rather, really slow – looking, something becomes clear. That figure, he seems rather familiar. He and I both look upon the sea of fog, gazing into space similarly; it is like looking at a reflection of myself looking (give or take the nineteenth-century German dress). It takes a moment, a long moment, several long moments, to realise that he is me and I am him. This figure, known as a Ruckenfigur, acts as a doppelganger – he is my entry into the painting and is me in the painting. Not everyone will have the same reaction or realisation in the face of this painting, and this is exactly the point. I urge you, if you are going to an art gallery, and you see a painting you like, stop and look. Really look. Allow yourself to remain static. You’ll be surprised at what you might see.
Fashion Goes Faux The fur coat, featured in every fall/winter runway since the 1920’s, left consumers drooling at the chunky piece of mink, a symbol of wealth and class. However, it seems activist’s attacks on fashion’s pelt clad elites, have had a lasting effect on the industry. Designer brands, from Versace to Gucci, are moving away from the cruel practice of using fur in fashion. Fashion’s new beloved word, FAUX, is a term depicting an animal fur look-a-like, made from synthetic fibres. But is the faux fur solution any more progressive than protesters throwing a dead racoon on Anna Wintour’s lunch plate at the Four Seasons? Vogue Paris, one of the most influential voices in the fashion world, has famously stated “the fur you wear will reveal to everyone the kind of woman you are” in a feature entitled “The Fur Story of 1929”. This feature innocently featured an homage to faux 38
fur in their August 2017 issue where they claimed ‘Cruelty is Out. Cruelty-Free is in’. Shamefully, only the short-term cruelty of animals is now ‘out’. Whereas the long-term suffering of the environment these animals live in, and the effect of artificial materials on humans that comes with fake fur, are still ‘in’. Although arguably inhumane, the desire for a fur coat does not cost the Earth in terms of sustainability. As fur, being a natural material, is biodegradable. Faux fur is mainly made of artificial materials such as acrylic and polyester, which is essentially plastic woven into string. This means last season’s faux fur will take hundreds of years to decompose, if that. No better than any plastic bag. Even if fashion’s new ethos is that fur is immoral and barbaric, going faux still perpetuates the idea that cruelty is acceptable. Would you hang up a fake bear carcass on your wall, and assure your friends it’s only a fake, you just thought it worked well with the beige sofa and actually really love animals? The fibres used to replace animal fur are created synthetically and processed using carcinogenic chemicals. Polyester and acrylic are processed from petrochemicals which has been linked to many cancers. Not only is the fibre itself toxic but finishing chemicals and artificial dyes are added to get fur-like colours and a soft finish. The consumer’s skin, being the largest organ of the body, will breathe in some of the chemicals potentially causing disease. And when these fabrics are tossed away, the chemicals are then reintroduced to the environment as well as the plastic. In fact, the Environmental Science & Technology Journal revealed that each piece of clothing containing polyester introduced 1900 micro-particles of plastic into our oceans and rivers. Not only does faux fur pose a serious environmental problem but also a human rights problem These toxic chemicals and vapours pose a serious threat to already exploited workers who breathe in the vapours from chemical dyes in countries such as Bangladesh, India, and China. Faux fur doesn’t eradicate suffering, it only passes it one from one species to another. If you want to show you care about living things, opt for something that isn’t their skinned fur or a replica of it, maybe a woolen jumper? It is cruel to wear animal fur, but don’t be fooled into thinking faux fur is the holy grail. One thing we can all do is invest in clothes that will last longer. Try natural fibres like cotton, cashmere and linen. They will not only feel and breathe better but they will also look better. Let’s be honest the pimp look is OUT.
Fashion let’s talk Advice condoms, Your tampons Mother &May pads Not Be Proud Of
The debate surrounding the cost of sexual health and sanitary items is happening worldwide, at varying speeds. Last July, Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free sanitary items to women on low income. Similarly, Ireland and Canada have stopped taxing sanitary items. Yet, there are still countries like Malaysia, where even the suggestion of removing the ‘tampon tax’ prompted laughter in Parliament.
FASHION ADVICE THAT WON’T BREAK YOUR BANKAustralia ACCOUNT, FROM Currently charges a 10% ‘luxury’ Goods and Services Tax on women’s sanitary items, YOUR FASHION MOTHERS but not on products like Viagra, condoms and FRANCES AND SUSIE lubricant. While the tax exemption on condoms is
understandable and important, especially following the LGBTQIA+ the Dearlobbying Fashionof Mothers, I’mactivists a brokefollowing boy that needs AIDS crisis, it’s incomprehensible that the same help for a date night exemption has not been provided to sanitary Welcome dude, we have your back. The age-old products such as pads and tampons. advice for a date night seems a bit passé these days, doesn’t it? A dinner and a movie date is rare at the For those unaware, in Australia: tampons cost moment, with you young ones favouring bizarre anywhere between five to eight dollars for a pack of themed bars and underground gigs where you 16-32, pads are around six dollars for a pack of ten can’t even talk to one another. Regardless, you’ve and condoms around six to ten dollars for a pack got to look good for whatever strange date idea of ten. Which doesn’t seem like much. But to put you’ve come up with. A blue dress shirt and chinos things into perspective a woman will use around is actually a bit risky for a cute date (no one wants 9,120 tampons (or pads) in her lifetime, and as for to look like a Young Lib with a stick up their ass). So Viagra… I’ll let you decide. I would suggest something a bit more fun that can be dressed up or Idown. A patterned shirtfrom with black Being no expert, gathered the opinions jeans can be worn with sneakers or dark boots, friends overseas to understand what they thought taking youcost to indoor mini golf or a beer tasting about the of tampons, pads and condoms. evening. Everyone should own these wardrobe Emily Gibson from Texas, USA had some thought staples, butcomments if you’re inabout a pinch, shirt from provoking theborrow health acare system a mate! and taxes on sanitary items.
Frances Harvey Aleisha Sleight
“Regular tampons cost four USpatterns dollars Dear Fashion Mothers, howto doseven I clash per box of 32 whereas 18 organic tampons without looking like a fashion disaster? are six dollars. What most women don’t hot realise regular Oh my darling, do we have some tipsisfor you. tampons have chemicals that can react badlyonly with Pattern clashing seems like a stylistic choice people… condoms are anywhere from seven to for the brave, but it is a remarkably simple feat eight to dollars pack of 10.” achieve.for It’sa all about the size. If you start pairing tiny polka dots with an enormous geometric print, shit Ms. Gibson expressed concern over taxing sanitary will invariably hit the fan. If you want to pair florals items, that women, “are taxed on menstrual with stripes (great choice by the way, it’s a solid supplies but not with food, [however] having a look) they must be of similar proportions. Large bold period is also a necessity.” The cost of sanitary items stripes with oversized floral print, small thin stripes is not necessarily a big issue for the majority of with tinier florals. Like we said, simple. But watch women, but can greatly affect the minority being, out for colours! Just because a bright red tartan and “a huge problem with homeless populations and soft pink floral have the same pattern proportions, women in prison.” does NOT mean it goes well together. Be brave and clash those patterns, but do it well. Ms. Gibson also touched on a related issue about accessibility to sexual health products. “Birth control is not accessible to everyone, we Dear Fashion Mothers, is a University ball a chance don’t have a universal health care system here… To for me to relive my Year 12 glory days? get birth control I need to see a gynaecologist first High is behind you Dollars] honey, leave that way. whichschool is at least $100 [US and Iithaven’t A university ball is way less socially constructed been able to afford that, also on top of that paying and therefore a way better timeisto letdoable.” loose and for birth control every month… not have some good old-fashioned fun. Do you have to bring a date? No! Do you have to wearfor anMés actual Perri Thompson, student and journalist ball gown? No! Do you arrive in a limo? Please Econmia in Barcelona, Spain, told me tampons and don’t. Fashion-wise, wear whatever hell condoms are aroundyou fivecan Euros and pads arethe about you like. No one is going to give a rats ass if you’re four Euros. When it comes to criticism of sanitary wearing sass & bide midi or a Zarasuggested maxi. Cocktail items in Australia, Ms. Thompson that in dress or ball gown, blazer and chinos or full-blown health centres, “tampons and pads should be free.” tux - you do to you, mywomen friend. Use to wear Particularly help whothis arechance on student something fun that’s too formal for a 21st, and too budgets or who are struggling financially. fun for a funeral. Find a unique op shop dress to really out. Lastly,stand Kat Brockwell, living in Berlin, Germany told me a pack of 16 tampons cost €1.95, eight pads A uni-ball a condoms chance foraround you to €3.50legally €9. get Ms. drunk €4.90 andis six and have abelieves good old boogie without having Brockwell the cost of sanitary itemsyour in teachers creepily watch you from the sidelines. Letin Germany is, “much cheaper even when you factor loose pal, lest you lose your youth forever in the the exchange rate.” depths of uni stress. wIt’s comforting that in Australia the stakes are significantly lower for men and women, compared to underdeveloped countries. The United Nations and Human Rights Watch, for example have both linked menstrual hygiene to human rights. Here, we have an incredible health care system and various support centres, which means that women can still work, go to school and everyone has a range of options to practice safe sex.
Grad Market Tips from the Commerce Kid
Who Didn’t Know What The F#*k He Was Doing
Business School Student Starter Kit: •
RM Williams Boots
New MacBook (Pro, of course. Daddy’s buying after all.)
UWA Keep Cup (For Topped Up Long Maccs Only)
ECOMS Membership (Because if you can’t pull a root at the ECOMS Ball, then there’s no luck for you buddy)
A Father Who Knows Twiggy
An Appreciation for Leo Langa’s Manly Moustache (Grr baby, grr)
If you didn’t have a sense of self-entitlement before, you do now. After all, you’re in the Business School baby. You’ve made it. However, the time has come or will come for you to leave the comfort of the Biz School café and get a real job. For those like me who didn’t know his Wesfarmers from his EY, never fear, there’s still time and you’re NOT alone. Here are my top tips for navigating your way through the anxiety ridden maze that is the grad job market – and not becoming the Business School wanker that everyone despises at parties. (Yeah you know him. The one with the quiff drinking red wine? Yeah, him - what a wanker).
1) Don’t Spend Time Kissing Ass, Pursue Your Own Projects Sipping on your first champagne while attempting to make small talk with some disillusioned industry exec is a waste of time. Period. Quit trying to push yourself forward, they won’t remember who you are and no, they do not want to connect with you on LinkedIn, fuck off. What people want to hear about are the projects you’ve been working on what apps you’ve been building, if you’re involved in any start-ups, if you’re working on any FinTech. See the difference? The conversation will start to flow and become more of a natural discussion of two interested parties rather than an awkward suck-up fest. Emphasis on authenticity here. People want to know that you can walk your own path and have something of value to offer them, not that you’re just another UWA thot trying to get somewhere.
2) Engage in Uni Clubs & Organisations; But Remember, Everyone’s There for The Same Reason You Are Graduate employers always ask how you engaged with extracurricular activities during uni, and getting involved in clubs like SMIF, ECOMS and The Consulting Society are great, don’t get me wrong (I mean, some of the above clubs are solvent, some not, but hey). Just remember, anyone who says they are there for any reason other than to build a profile and boost their CV is a liar, so don’t feel bad when you do the same. Better yet, think outside the box and prove your dedication to your career by getting involved with organisations external to your studies where you can apply your learning. Think charities, community organisations and start-ups. This is where employers see a real demarcation between good candidates and great candidates. Show that you can apply yourself outside of the university comfort zone and make a difference in the real world.
3) Top Grades Mean Zero, Experience Is Key If you haven’t learned already, the smartest people don’t get the best jobs. The people that get the best jobs are those who are the best connected (don’t hate them cos you ain’t them). A HD average is great, but so is Leo Langa’s moustache, and we all know which one I’d rather see. The two things that matter to potential employers are learned experiences and a strong network of authentic connections (see points 1 & 2). Time and time again, the people
who land the ‘great’ grad jobs have put their most embarrassing jobs on their CVs, like flipping burgers at Maccas. This shows two things: you’re not too proud to tell them who you really are, and most importantly, you know how to hustle. Make sure you can effectively communicate the value of something you learned from a situation you were involved in, good or bad, and how this makes you a stronger candidate than the next. In my experience, the best way is to do this by telling recruiters a narrative about yourself. Everyone likes a fairytale (aka started from the bottom now we here). Get creative.
4) Do Internships and Unpaid Vac Work if you can See point 3. Find an internship to complete in your penultimate year. You’ll be hard-pressed without one in the cutthroat grad market. Plus, it’s a learned experience (see what I did there?!). Everything you do adds value to who you are. Even if it is a short term unpaid internship. It’s tough, but a great life lesson. Just make sure you’re always working on achieving your dreams, not somebody else’s.
5) There is No Such Thing as an Amazing Grad Job, Keep Sight of the Big Picture Final Years get hung up over grad jobs, and I get it. Every waking minute of the last three to five years of your life has led to this moment. But our fixation with getting that perfect grad spot in Sydney with Deutsche or Goldman is utter crap – perfection just doesn’t exist. At what point do you value your life over your work? At what point is ‘who you are’ more than simply ‘what you do’? You’ll likely work 16-18 hour days, for okay but not equal remuneration. You’ll retreat home for a power nap before being back in the office for a 7:30am presentation, all the while making coffees for your boss to show your commitment. It sucks, I know. But it’s all supposed to get better at some point, yeah? Wrong. Find what makes you tick. If it’s spreadsheets and calculations, then go right ahead and sign your life away. But if you’re like me and most people who want to leave this world a better place than we found it, go and pursue what it is that makes real change in the world, then create a job out of that. Simple.
The Gig Economy and the Precariat Critics argue that the recent increases in independent contracting equates to exploitative working practices. The principal concern has focused around ‘platform services’, companies such as Uber and Deliveroo, which connect customers requests with the services of independent contractors in industries where companies would normally employ their own workers for the same purpose. Western Australia has recently shown the largest increase in usage of platform services in the Australia. In December 2017, Roy Morgan, a market research company, released a report showing that within the personal transport industry traditional employment is on decline, in the preceding three months 23.9% of West Australians reporting travelling by Uber compared to 19.6% using traditional taxi services. Liberalisations of employment law starting in 1997 at the end of the Labor accord period, have coincided with a greater desire for labour flexibility. Capital naturally sees flexibility as advantageous for efficient economic allocation, but the trend towards flexible employment is driven not only by capital but also labour, which desires flexible arrangements of work. Workers because of the changing social structure and values has led to more people desiring flexibility to facilitate better work-life balances. Flexibility can help achieve better work-life balances, so what is the concern? The concern arises in that independent contractors lack the common protections under employment law. The Australian labour market consists of roughly four types of work: full-time, part-time and
casual employment, and independent contractors. In full-time and part time, the employee has relative ongoing job security with the employer responsible for providing work, superannuation, leave entitlements, and protection from unfair dismissal. Casual workers are employees that are paid a higher hourly rate for not having a these minimum protections, in contrast independent contractors are not considered employees consequently and receive no increase in hourly rates and no protections. The impact on labour The impact on labour, however, is controversial, some are expecting a new social class to emerge, through insecure working conditions. This is the view of Guy Standing, an economist at the University of London, in his seminal book ‘The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class’, he divides independent contractors into two groups proficians and precariats. Proficians, he says, are well paid freelance workers who are usually professionals or consultants, who have developed proficient skills. Consequently, they have moderate bargaining power, and can minimize the risks of labour insecurity and use flexibility to their advantage to structure the work-life balance they desire. Precariats, are described as the opposite, they are those with insecure, short term, precarious income or employment, arising from having either undeveloped skills or underemployment. Consequently, they do not have a large bargaining power and so flexibility is often structured to benefit the contracting company.
The precariat, a life of unstable labour and unstable living The concern for the precariat is that they are involved in work, often personal service, which has few career progression and has no protections; they lack financial capital, income security, and training opportunities, preventing them being able to transition out of their circumstances. As an independent contractor they forgo all leave entitlements, superannuation, and predictable income, but, without the marketable developed skills of the proficens. Anecdotal stories have indicated that for some this has meant a decrease in standard of living below the minimum wage. Guy Standing, suggests that the situation of the precariat is a reversal of all seven forms of labour security identified by the United Nations International Labour Organisation. 1. Labour market security Opportunities for adequate income-earning. 2. Employment security Legislative protection against unfair dismissals and adverse treatment. 3. Job security Ability to practice a particular form of work with from protections from skill dilution within the economy. 4. Work security Safe working conditions, occupational health and safety regulations, limits on working time, and leave entitlements for illness or accident. 5. Skill reproduction security Ability learn and practice skills, and participate in training. 6. Income security
Solidarity with the precariat Not all independent contractors are disadvantaged by contracting out their services but it is important to remember that there are those who are adversely affected by the ongoing changes in the labour market. Overwhelmingly those of middle socioeconomic status who are frequent users of platform services such as Uber can have a significant effect on the outcomes of those in precarious work. When using platform services consider the following ways in which solidarity may be had those in precarious or insecure employment: 1. Evaluate whether the service that is provided is consistent with a liveable income. Show caution in contracting labour in conditions that is insecure and open to financial exploitation. 2. Be cautious in contracting with businesses that are contracting work in conditions that are unsafe or open to exploitation. Independent contractors working for companies such as Uber Eats do not have enforceable occupational health and safety standards in the same way employees do. Be conscious of where and what time you are requesting services. 3. Develop a relationship with an independent contractor. Developing a relationship with a particular contractor is a way of improving their income-earning opportunities and reduces the transactional nature of platform services. 4. Report ‘sham contracting’. If you see a company providing services through Independent contractors, but that company treats ‘independent contractors’ as employees, through significant control or exclusivity of trade, consider reporting them to the Fair Work Ombudsman, it may be an instance of exploitation through where a company is fraudulently forcing employees to be ‘independent contractors’ to avoid paying employee entitlements.
Assurance of a liveable and regular income through having adequate actual, perceived, and expected income. 7. Representation security
Having enshrined in laws the ability to represent themselves individually and collectively bargain with a right to industrial action. Seven forms of Labour Security, abridged from the ILO Socio-Economic Security Programme
I Thought About Kanye West Today Jordan Murray
If you haven’t listened to Kanye West’s Ye just yet, here’s the bottom line: it’s not good. In the span of 20-minutes— the same amount of time it took Pusha-T to rap to the tune of hundreds of esoteric drug references on the luxurious Daytona— Kanye can barely rise above unrepentant, demented observations, saying nothing too pleasing. He wears MAGA hats. He’s in an open relationship. Both things said better before, or not said at all. In part, this lack of style speaks to the album’s supposed intent of articulating Kanye West as he now is; terrifying, unsettling, and prone to biological weaknesses. It’s difficult to get over that vulnerability that arises, though, especially as mental illness was was the only theme tactfully articulated on Kanye album’s prior. Ye, however, is not tactful. It is frustrating. Take its curious flaws in stride, and you’re left with words that impart a mental health narrative unparalleled in Kanye’s catalogue. Consider “Yikes,” the album’s ‘banger.’ There’s no crescendo, no
escalation; bluntly, he starts the song by rapping about how, ‘Shit could get menacing, frightening, find help / Sometimes I scare myself.’ And then he lets it all out: experiments with DMT, usage of 2C-B, fear of Lisa Ann, and manic, disassociate episodes. He warned that shit could get frightening, and it does, letting out a possessed howl towards the end and proclaiming to be a ‘superhero.’ It’s very embarrassing to listen to, but makes sense in the context of his most unapologetically unappealing album yet. It’s obsessed with its own obsessions; enthralled with itself, because it wants to get just that much deeper into Kanye West. “I Thought About Killing You,” its opener, defines this sort of expression. Kanye takes around 90 seconds to make a plain, clear statement of his thoughts, expressing himself in a way that feels genuinely relieving as a self-confessed, un-medicated depressive. I’ve transcribed and edited the prose of the song as follows;
The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest. Today, I seriously thought about killing you; I contemplated premeditated murder. I think about killing myself, and I love myself way more than I love you, so, today, I thought about killing you. You’d only care enough to kill somebody you love. Just say it out loud to see how it feels. People say, “Don’t say this, don’t say that,” [but] just say it out loud, [and] to see how it feels. Weigh all the options, nothing’s off the table. I think this is the part where I’m supposed to say something good to compensate so it doesn’t come off bad, but sometimes I think really bad things; really, really, really bad things. See, if I was [sic] trying to relate it to more people, I’d probably say I’m struggling with loving myself because that seems like a common theme, but that’s not the case here. I love myself way more than I love you, and I think about killing myself. So, best believe, I thought about killing you today.
Kanye West performing in Boston, Massachusetts on the Saint Pablo Tour, photo by Kenny Sun 2016
As an obsessive, depressive thinker, “I Thought About Killing You” is the first time I have ever felt vindicated or justified. For most of my life, people have shared with me their love for music and the feeling of ‘being’ that comes with a relatable lyric or song. I never felt like anybody wanted to talk about the dark, empty chasms that the mind can fall into simply out of boredom. There was never anything romantic about OCD, despite my years spent obsessively preoccupied with sex, violence, and my own health as if there were some moral imperative to it. Kanye West owns that shame and guilt like good sneakers; he spells it out cleanly that, that sometimes, he ‘think[s] really, really, really bad things.’ I’ve been waiting all of my life for someone to tell me they do that. If you don’t have OCD, you’re probably familiar with the popular depiction of sufferers as faucet checking, retentively tidy worriers (all things that are true, but exaggerated). The truth is more gruesome and worrisome to articulate. As an obsessive thinker, one learns to become unwaveringly apprehensive at all times. Couple that with an overactive, inwards looking mind—say, one conscious of every thought no matter its content or importance—and what you have is a mind that is not only shackled but also weighted down by its own bizarre obsessions. Most people know that thoughts are harmless. Most people can organize their thoughts and their actions and define themselves as a person, not the inexplicable thoughts found in the far corners of their mind. As an obsessive thinker, when you’ve trained your mental energy inwards, that’s not obvious; the nonstop, distressing cabaret of self-loathing lingers always in your periphery, reminding you of shameful sexual impulses and actions of violence that, whilst unlikely, are entirely possible. Kanye West, imparting those fears to his loved ones, wants to assure them as much as himself that he only thought about killing them and himself today. I deeply empathize with his discomfort and shame in doing so. It’s difficult to underrate the empathetic impact of a song like this. The most analogous comparison to OCD up to now would have been the Ludovico Technique, as dreamt of by Burgess in A Clockwork Orange. Of course, in A Clockwork Orange, the patients exposed to this aversion therapy had commit crimes, and in turn provoked debate about whether or not they deserved to feel the internal tension and misery of violent thoughts. Obsessive thoughts however do not follow so clearly, however. There’s no explicable reason why an obsessive thinker must obsess about the
possibility they might reach for the nearest, sharpest utensil, and drive it into the skull of anyone in the vicinity. It just happens, and as it happens, it causes the sufferer to feel distress that is far greater than an innocuously defined ‘thought.’ For Kanye West, anxiety arises when he considers that he might act on stray thought that comes to him in his darkest moments; he loathes thinking that he might murder his wife or children, but he’s presciently aware that nothing is certain. It could happen, and that’s enough to disturb and distress him. All he wants is acceptance, verbal confirmation that though these thoughts are disturbing, they are thoughts, not actions. He wants his loved ones to know what he’s thinking because he loves them, and because he wants them to assure him that they love him, too. However, if you’re unfamiliar with OCD—or, simply don’t care to empathize with Kanye West— you might think that he needs to be committed, if not for his own safety, than for others. I disagree. Celebrities get like this, just like the rest of us. They think frightening, menacing things. I think frightening, menacing things. Importantly, though, we are not the things we think. To that end, Kanye invites criticism when he acts; when he provides support, tacit or not, to Donald Trump, or Candace Owens. Truthfully, though, it can be difficult to separate the real actions of Kanye West from the mental flaws and instabilities he desperately tries to articulate to his listeners (especially if it appears that blaming those chemical flaws is just an excuse for his behaviour). Kanye West will never be easy. When he’s wrong— as he often is on Ye—he deserves criticism and interrogation. When he’s profound, vulnerable, or otherwise brilliant—as he is on “I Thought About Killing You”—he deserves empathy and discussion. As a sufferer of the latter, that is what I can and will accord him.
Angus Young performing at Manchester Apollo, photo by Harry Potts 1982
any further ado, all talk of retirement silenced as the opening chords to the latest hit struck the crowd like an artillery barrage. It was late 2015 and I had paid bloody good money to have the privilege of filing into that decrepit oval. Even if it was just to have AC/DC inflict me with permanent hearing damage during a three hour set filled with songs old enough to be my parents. Later, as I waited for the ringing in my ears to subside, I marvelled at how someone could get away with serving up exactly the same stuff for over four decades.
Still Got the Jack Patrick Roso
Excitement was in the air as the eager crowd slowly snaked its way into the decaying grounds of Subiaco Oval. You could see people old enough to have watched Bon Scott sing with The Valentines leading their middle-aged children with grandkids. They meandered in tow over to the merchandise stands, who were making a killing flogging overpriced shirts to the three potential generations of fans. By all accounts, the wheels were starting to come off AC/DC’s rock and roll train. With their drummer in jail, lead singer openly complaining of going deaf and the irreplaceable rthymn guitarist hospitalised with dementia, you couldn’t help but have the sneaking suspicion that this tour was paying for their medical bills and retirement funds. “We’ve got the basic things kids want. They want to rock and that’s it” stated AC/DC guitarist Angus Young in 1979. The roars from the current crowd confirmed that this was still the case some forty years later, the balding figure of a small schoolboy bounced onto the stage and bowed to the adoring, screaming masses. A stage hand scuttled out to hand the aging figure his iconic guitar and without
I eventually realised that you can’t be accused of innovation if you haven’t updated your sound since the dying days of the Malcolm Fraser Government. The trick to being timeless lay not in moving with the times, but in remaining static. Not even the death of a lead singer can derail the elegant simplicity of playing the same five power chords at volumes loud enough to wake the dead. Angus Young once observed that “I’m sick and tired of people saying that we put out 11 albums that sound the same. In fact, we’ve put out 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” From the Whitlam Dismissal to the rise and fall of One Direction, the band has unashamedly been putting out the same ‘70s style blues rock music. You’ll never see them release a concept album and those bagpipes on Long Way to the Top are as innovative as their musical arrangements get. Hell, even KISS does ballads. AC/DC are the Coca-Cola of rock and roll, with unchanging stasis the selling point. Open up a can of Coke or an AC/DC album and you know exactly what you’re going to get. It’s a little bit like paying to see the Encino Man play guitar but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a world where Metallica once did an art rock album with Lou Reed, you can always take comfort in knowing that some things will never change. It doesn’t matter that over twenty musicians have played with AC/DC over a period of forty years. Led Zeppelin came crashing down harder than the Hindenburg Disaster after the loss of a mere drummer, The Doors failed to stay ajar after Jim Morrison and we won’t even speak of The Grateful Dead. What other band can survive so much change and yet still sound exactly the same? Forty years on, AC/DC are as static and timeless as ever . When asked about where they wanted to be after a live show in ‘76, the band stated through then lead singer Bon Scott that “We just want to appeal to everyone and get rich quick”. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
DR SABOTEUR OR:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Writing Process Jaimi Wright It is a truth not universally acknowledged that a writer who feels as though they are in dire straights is often in the company of an inner saboteur, and I feel this is not talked about often enough. When you’re reading a good piece of writing- I mean a really good piece, one that sings as you read it- it’s important to remember that all you see is the finished product. And trust me, writers don’t just sit down and think to themselves “I’m going to write an absolute banger today”, then just sit down and do it and reward themselves for this complete zinger afterwards with a piece of jam on toast. Sure, we writers do eat a lot of toast, but good writing doesn’t just manifest itself out of pure unadulterated wishfulness; it’s hard work. Often we don’t remind ourselves of this, and this can sometimes make the writing process feel disheartening and lonely. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes writing feels satisfying and electric, like minty breath on a winter morning. But in order to start looking after our writer’s souls we also need to talk about when writing is not as brilliant, and why that’s okay. So here is what I offer you here today. A bit of therapy from a tale of woe and redemption so we can come together and understand the writing process better; and a tiny self-care manual, so we can commiserate, deal with the dreaded saboteur monster, and look forward to how gratifying and magical writing can be. For me, my saboteur decided to visit at the beginning of my Honours year. I wasn’t completely certain how much was expected of me, and I found myself perpetually unsure of everything I was doing. Then the saboteur moved in, uninvited, taking up a lot of space, a whirlwind of negativity, and refused to clean up after itself. When I was writing it would stand behind me, breathing down my neck, its finger over the backspace key. Occasionally it would tut and mutter under its breath something like, “Terrible sentence; just to be safe, you’d better burn the paragraph.” It got to the point where I was so down on myself, I would find myself switching between
two tabs on my browser: Imposter’s Syndrome? 10 Signs That You Have It and What is the minimum amount of sleep a 22 year old needs to function? I tell you this because I feel I need to dispel two myths: that writing is easy, and so is being in your own head all the time. Being harsh on yourself isn’t great, but know that a whole lot of us feel it too; you’re absolutely, definitely not alone. Many of us have found solutions - some small, some large - about how to deal with that nasty saboteur, so that bit by bit we can begin to get rid of them. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few of mine: 1)
Drink green tea
It may seem silly, but I’m a lot calmer and more like the person I aim to be when I drink green tea. Maybe it has leprechaun tears in it, I don’t know; all I know is that green tea is the chicken soup for my soul. 2)
Take it an inch at a time
Difficult when your saboteur is asking you to destroy your entire paper and just go to bed, but try and break down your paper into the tiniest increments possible and tackle those little morsels one a time. 3)
Talk to each other about your saboteurs
A large part of the problem is that for writers, especially at university, this is just not talked about. We are taught how to footnote and if it’s okay to use the Oxford comma, but below these nuts and bolts the mental health and process of writers has so far been off the table. And it’s no use hiding it under the carpet, I mean, I swear to sweet baby Jesus if I hear fake it until you make it one more time… Anyway, what I’m trying to say is if we help each other understand this as a common state of mind, it will be a whole lot less mind boggling to comprehend and solve. And lastly, as much as you can, be kind to yourself because you are worth it and so is what you are writing. Because, believe it or not, the world is a whole lot better for having your creativity in it.
What if Australian Rules football had never been invented in the first place, or at the very least was abolished tomorrow. How would that effect the rest of our varied, and more internationally recognized sporting landscape? Watching Australia get knocked out of the World Cup in Russia, as depressing as it was is completely understandable. The amount of quality sporting talent, of natural athletes who can kick a ball far, and jump high and run fast is sucked away by the lure of the AFL. Every time our Rugby Union team gets pumped by the All Blacks, one can’t help but wonder what would happen if we had some of the fastest AFL midfielders making up our backline. Australian Rules is only played by a few other countries around the world, and not taken hugely seriously overseas. Furthermore, the game has very limited international reach and clearly has little intentions of wanting to be spread to a world stage. At this point, one may question whether therefore that Aussie Rules is more of a harm to the Australian sporting landscape than a feature. If it inhibits our ability to grow outstanding sporting teams that can compete in games like football and rugby union, that are more internationally recognized and help our standing in the international sporting communities. If it prevents us from growing and keeps us static. One only must look to the USA for an example, they have directed only minimal attention away from their domestic sports to Rugby Union and yet it was enough for their team to grow at a scary rate. They too are a nation that cares deeply about their sports and if they focused outward on games that are played more internationally they would be more of a powerhouse than they currently are. Australia is no different, we are a sporting nation, sport is so deeply engrained within our culture from a youth level. It all depends on how we direct that energy, and whether we’re pushing it in the right direction. What would Australia be like without Australian Rules?
An Australia without Australian Rules
Having our own league that is indigenous to Australia obviously has large benefits to our culture and our identity as Australians. Foreigners may not understand it, but ‘footy’ is something that Australians take very seriously and trying to explain it unsuccessfully to English migrants has arguably become a right of passage. Obviously, we love the game with it being our most watched and attended professional domestic league. But one must wonder: what if?
There’s something unique about how Australian’s view sport. We’re able to jump from cricket, to footy, to state of origin to even the tour de France. We’re unique in our ability to keep concentration on many things at once. It’s not uncommon for our eyes to dart from screen to screen on a Saturday night from game to game. Our interest in various footballing codes went so far for us to invent our own in the mid 1800’s to keep cricketers fit during winter. A game that became known as Australian Rules.
As the largest, most viewed and attended sporting event on the planet, the FIFA World Cup unfolded bringing drama, excitement and many late nights, the International Cricket Council (ICC) quietly confirmed that one of the biggest changes in International Cricket history was about to unfold. The ICC had decided to reduce the number of competing nations in the Cricket World Cup down from fourteen to ten, a cut which resulted in test nations Ireland and Zimbabwe, as well as up-and-comers Scotland and the UAE, to fail to qualify for the tournament. Paradoxically, but no less controversially, FIFA (The Governing board for International Football) had decided that their tournament would increase in size by fifty percent in 2026 to 48 nations, a move which would require, bizarrely, teams to compete across 16 groups of three. It’s not just cricket and football that are changing, other major sports such as hockey, rugby union and basketball all either are enacting or pondering changes to the size of their greatest international competitions. Now I know, reader, what you’re thinking. Why do I care about the size of international sporting tournaments? Why do I care about sports administration? Yes, it’s true that sports administration, much like most forms of administration, most of the time is really boring. But it’s also really important. It’s important on an individual level for individual teams and fans: as a larger FIFA World Cup means Australia now has 3 spots to aim for to qualify, making our run to the tournament easier, for instance. But it’s more important on a macro level because of how it defines the narratives and stories we tell about sport itself.
Joseph Campbell theorized in his magnum opus, A Hero With a Thousand Faces, that all stories are the same. Your protagonist may look different but the journey they go on and the internal struggles they have is basically the same as any other plot. There is some adversity which is overcome. And while this is largely applicable to literature, it’s arguably even more so to sport. Sport is basically just the same narratives, stories and values applied across different contexts and in different games. How many times have you heard of the following? •
The young up and comer with a point to prove.
The disadvantaged underdog overcoming the complacent top-dog.
The one person who carries the rest of their team on their shoulders.
A Superb team that embodies excellence and hard-work.
The hard-worker overcoming tremendous adversity.
The brash, arrogant player who wows us with brilliance on the field, but we can’t stand off it.
And therefore how we manage and conduct major tournaments matters. Because before a ball is thrown, or kicked, or bowled we have already have constrained the narratives that could occur purely by how the sport is structured. Our ability to see the underdog beat the odds is contingent on the underdog being in the tournament in the first place. This thus, becomes the tradeoff of how we structure our sport. Do we want more teams in the competition, at the cost of integrity, quality and brevity or do we want less teams at the cost of diversity, development and opportunity?
The changing face of International Sport: WINNERS ARE DECIDED AS MUCH OFF THE FIELD AS ON IT.
Having a larger world cup means we are less likely to get a Ronaldo vs Messi match up, or a PakistanIndia Cricket match, and we’d probably see even less major NBA all-stars compete in an already snubbed Basketball World Cup. While narratives of inclusiveness and diversity are important, don’t discount how much of sport is about rivalries and excellence and demonstrations of human skill and temperament. These narratives and values stem all the way down from the peak of the international game to representative sport, youth sport and social sport. Is sport about representation, fairness and everyone having a fair go, or is it a Darwinian survival of the fittest?
THIS TENSION IN WHAT WE VALUE ABOUT THE GAMES WE PLAY STEMS AND FLOWS THROUGH EVERY AVENUE OF SPORTING CULTURE, FROM THE PARENT WHO PUSHES THEIR KID TOO FAR WHEN THEY JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN, TO THE BLOKE WHO TAKES TUESDAY NIGHT MIXED NETBALL FAR TOO SERIOUSLY. It’s why professional players get tunnel vision and suffer from mental health problems. This is why how our international games are run is important, because it informs the dominant narrative about our games, it defines what we believe we should take away from sport.
world cup has the same amount of say as a team like Brazil who has won it five times. This has upset European and South American teams, who going off past performance and world rankings, are already underrepresented in the FIFA World Cup and will continue to be so even after expansion. In contrast, in cricket countries like India, Australia and England hold a disproportionate amount of power compared to smaller nations, which has the allows them to shrink their game for their own benefit. Money, aside from being the root of all evil, is the other major factor in deciding how international tournaments should be run. Obviously, more games result in more revenue and more money, which would be an argument in favor of expansion, but on the other hand it means that bigger nations could get knocked out earlier. A nation like France for example could be out of the 2026 FIFA world cup in just two games. In fact, in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, India (A nation of a billion people) got knocked out after just three games, and their early exit cost the tournament millions and millions of dollars in advertising revenue. This was a major factor for shrinking the 2019 Cricket World Cup, as it guaranteed India a massive 9 games at minimum which will be watched by literally hundreds of millions of people. All things considered, it’s still completely bizarre that the biggest sport in the world is making an active effort to expand their major tournament and piss off established giants in the process while the second largest sport in the world is doing the exact opposite. And we should care how these processes end out, because it determines the narratives that will shape our favourite games in the generations to come. We may never see an underdog story in the Cricket World Cup again, like we may never see a group stage game again between two large nations in the FIFA world cup. And yet we are no closer to deciding what narratives we want to see both on the field and off it.
Of course, there are the other two issues on the table, bureaucracy and money: Bureaucracy played a huge role in FIFA’s choice to expand to 48 teams. Under the new FIFA constitution, each nation has exactly one vote, meaning that a team that has never qualified for the
Dear Dad 52
I know it’s been a while. But I just wanted to say that I forgive you. It’s hard, not being able to see your family for so many years. Hell, 13 years of long distance is crazy – but I guess I was too idealistic, or selfish, to understand it at the time. I must’ve been living in my own world, a perfectly curated bubble where nothing could be shattered. I just hadn’t realised how fine a thread we were walking on. One single misstep, and it would all come crumbling down. You know, thinking back to that day, I wonder how I hadn’t saw it earlier. I can almost laugh at myself, for how stupid I was. A cheating dad? A broken family? No way that could be us. There was just no way. Maybe burying myself in all those books fed my romantic notions of true love and chivalry, shutting me out from the reality that existed right in front of me. God. I wasn’t even young anymore, but I still wanted everything to fit into the fairytale land up in my head. It was shock I felt first. A numbing pain that crawled up my body as I handed your phone back to you, your sudden anger fuelled by the realisation of what I had seen. One message. One photo. And my brother looking at me from across the table, oblivious to the transaction that sealed my lips shut and clawed at my heart with its long nails. I didn’t say anything to anyone. Not to my little brother, still so unaware and carefree. Nor to my sisters. I didn’t want to be the one to tell them. And my mum? I thought I was protecting them, pretending that I knew nothing. I swallowed it, pressed it down until I nearly choked, thinking that if I forgot, forced myself to forget, it would pass. A few months later I came home to mum crying, and it was the uncontrollable, ugly crying that I had never seen before. Go away! Leave us alone. I was disgusted. How could someone who didn’t even live with us, care for us, change the very fabric of our world? I’m sorry I shut you out. I didn’t want to take sides, but to me, you were the villain. If mum could do it, why couldn’t you? Like I said, I was naïve. Misguided. Blind to the hardships of a romance forced apart. Perhaps I didn’t realise you could still love her, whilst you were with someone else. Perhaps it was a slap in the face that I hadn’t wanted. But I just want to say that I understand. I understand now, what it would have been like for you, miles away from your family, slaving away to keep them happy, seeing your children change at the blink of an eye, not even recognising them because they grew up so fast. I understand why you would say with so much conviction that my favourite colour was purple, even though that was my favourite colour when I was 6, not 8. I know now how hard it is to be just an incorporeal presence, a figure that came and went, more so than a dad who should be there. But couldn’t. And I’m sorry that it took me so long to forgive you. I just hope you will forgive me too. Love,
Perspectives on Interview by Ishita Mathur
Dr Robin Barrington is a Badimia Yamatji woman from the Murchison region of Western Australia and has been an educator for 30 years, teaching across secondary, vocational and tertiary sectors. Her research interests focus on Indigenous perspectives in history. She is a lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University.
You’ve been involved in the education sector for 30 years, and you focus primarily on Indigenous perspectives in history. Why is it important to centre these perspectives in our schools and universities? 30 years ago, I was teaching social studies to high school students in Broome and I remember thinking that it was a very one-sided view of history, and it wasn’t ours. The perspectives on Indigenous Australians’ history were Western, anthropological and limited. I completely ignored the textbooks in use at the time and created my own lessons as a Yamatji person growing up in towns around the Murchison and Gascoyne regions. What is important when it comes to education is the diversity of perspectives. Without generalising too much, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples do share the history of colonisation in this country even though we’re very diverse in terms of language, cultural practices, and the way we view the world. And these perspectives must be included alongside Western perspectives. If you could design a high school curriculum that took Indigenous history into account, what would you include? The history of Aboriginal peoples and their significant roles in agriculture including the wheat and sheep industries need to be acknowledged and taught. Importantly, Indigenous perspectives and their sophisticated knowledge about managing the environment in a sustainable way must also be included in the curriculum. The way our stories interconnect with all elements here in the environment isn’t based on trying to modify the Earth but to care for and live within it. The history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples taught in schools has often been limited to one of huntergatherer societies. Teachers in schools need to go beyond this aspect in their curriculum and view
Aboriginal people and culture as diverse, complex and dynamic. In terms of designing the curriculum, we also need to focus on the massive contributions made by Indigenous people in a whole range of fields whether that’s as leaders in literature, art, healthcare and medicine, law, education, politics and much more. There are a lot of marvellous resources written today by community members, elders, and people from all backgrounds. In any curriculum, there should be a base point that they showcase the achievements of significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all walks of life. For example, in politics there is a long history of political advocacy by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Just something as simple as that would go a long way – and it is as important for Indigenous students as it is for non-Indigenous students to know about Indigenous history, knowledges and culture. And I say knowledges because there’s more than one knowledge. In the 30 years you’ve been working in this profession, have you seen change in the way people have begun talking about Indigenous history and narratives? In the education system and the national curriculum, there have definitely been improvements in including Indigenous knowledges and perspectives. By and large that is because it has been made a cross-curriculum priority. At a university level, a lot of professions and industries are now insisting that students graduate from university being able to work in culturally safer and competent ways with Indigenous people. There’s definitely a movement in that regard. However there is still much more that needs to change in the broader community and media; there are still stereotypes unfortunately and very limited views that are negative.
Indigenous History In 2015, you published your thesis about “Big George” or Jaal – a Yamatji figure. Who was Jaal, and why did you choose this figure to research? Initially I started out by exploring photographic representations of my Yamatji ancestors. There were no written records. There were no birth or death registers going back to many thousands of years to consult. A lot of the oral history has been lost through colonisation and that’s in large part with the 1905 Aborigines Act and the 1944 Citizenship Act making it a condition of citizenship not to speak your own language or associate with other Aboriginal people apart from immediate family. It was very difficult to pass on oral history and language. That was my experience. It was very difficult to get my grandmother, mother and aunties talking about my family history. So in part it was trying to understand my own history but also I was looking at the ways Yamatji people were represented in various texts such as newspaper reports, police reports, medical records, scientific anthropological reports and essays. Then I found a most compelling story. Jaal was quite a controversial and most feared figure on the Murchison. He was a contemporary of Jandamarra and he was known to the police, and arrested many times. There were two systems of law on the Murchison, and elsewhere in Australia, and there was constant conflict around pastoralists and miners moving into the Murchison and dispossessing Yamaji of their country, forcing them to live in camps and reserves, and live off them for no wage except for a few rations, blankets, tobacco, and so on. I chose him mainly because his story was so fascinating. I felt as though following his journey through the archive, I could tell other people stories. And that’s exactly what happened. I was able to return that person of history to the Yamatji community and to members of his family. The way he was represented was very one-dimensional; he was described in very negative, stereotypical language. My research showed him as a father, an uncle, a brother, a son, and altogether a much more complex person than was represented in the media.
You’ve done work in researching the violent institutional racism that resulted in Lock Hospitals in Australia where large numbers of Indigenous people were imprisoned on the pretext of venereal disease. This history is left unremembered – why do you think mainstream Australia refuses to acknowledge its past? I don’t why there’s a lot of fear and anxiety in Australian society in acknowledging some of the darker aspects of our history. I can only comment to say that when I teach this very hard history to nonIndigenous students, the first thing I often need to do is break through barriers and defences of feelings of guilt and shame. It’s about acknowledging Aboriginal people’s trauma and their courage and resistance in the very face of it. When we try to teach this history it’s important, as is with any other history, to say we’re not talking about Aboriginal people as victims. That’s far from the case because although Aboriginal people were forced into a situation over which they had very little control, they didn’t sit back and take the situation lightly. This year’s NAIDOC Week theme was “Because of Her, We Can!” Can you tell me about the women in your life that have inspired you and supported you? I have very strong Yamatji women role models in my life. My mother was only 11 and a half years when she had to leave school. She had a primary school education but she was forced to leave to support the family. Her first job was as a cleaner in the Morawa Hospital ward. When her father was killed, she was only 17 and she had to take over his role. She had to learn how to plow a field, harvest wheat, pack it into bags, put it into trucks and drive those trucks. She did all this as well as working part time jobs at the local hotel just to provide for the family. She’s always been a very strong and independent woman. Her mother Grace, my Nana, was an excellent horsewoman and as a young woman travelled out all along the Rabbit Proof Fence because they were sandalwood pullers. They were just really strong women being able to survive in the bush and look after their children when their husbands died. Obviously they had knowledge of the bush, and knowing where the bush tucker was. These and other Yamatji women in my life are my significant role models.
The cowardly Leyon of Liberalism
Everyone who’s taken a first-year Political Science unit (POLS1101 with Mark Beeson eat your heart out) is made acutely aware of Liberalism. That much-vaunted political philosophy upon the shoulder of which Western society lay. “Give me liberty, or give me death!” cried Patrick Henry in 1775. “You should stop shagging men!” cried David Leyonhjelm in 2018. Compare the pair. One spoke boldly and eloquently in defiance of oppression, while the other is a hypocritical bigot, using liberalism as a cudgel to browbeat those who do not align with his own narrow view. Leyonhjelm’s comments against Sarah Hanson-Young in the Senate chamber this week are merely the most recent in a long run of despicable quotes. His consistent “free speech” defence is bullshit, cowardly, and hypocritical. This political shit-storm began when David Leyonhjelm was “offended” by a comment that Sarah Hanson-Young made that not only can he not recall, it was not aimed directly at him, or anybody at all. Leyonhjlem responded that she should “stop shagging men” and in later interviews on Sky, made reference to “rumours” about Hanson-Young’s sexual activity. In any other workplace, this would constitute sexual harassment and defamation, but because he’s a Senator, and a Liberal Democrat Senator at that, it’s free speech. This man slut-shamed a female Senator, and as a result laid bare his views on women. How can one advocate freedom of speech under the banner of liberalism, yet deny a female the free use of her own body? In an interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in the midst of the Banarby Joyce affair, he articulated that a person’s sex life had nothing to do with their performance in Parliament. What I’m sure he meant to say was that it has nothing to do with a man’s performance in Parliament. This example is indicative of the hypocrisy that lies at the very heart of liberalism. The problem with just taking POLS1101 is that it gives many (and I am talking mostly of the privileged classes here) the idea that they have the right to think, say and do whatever they please, so long as it does not ‘harm’ others (thanks, JSM). Where this all starts to go awry is when it is learned without empathy, and hence
phrases like “I wouldn’t be offended if they said that about me” start to rear their ugly head. Ah yes of course, wealthy white man in power, you don’t see why it might harm an individual or community, so you should be free to say it. You don’t see the harm it causes because you don’t experience life through their eyes. This is Leyonhjlem’s issue. Since the European Age of Enlightenment, liberalism has been used by those in power to entrench their power structures in a more palatable way, to pacify resistance. It has also been marked by hypocrisy. The Founding Fathers of the United States were primarily slave-owners. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” did not apply to the AfricanAmericans who were worked to the bone, or the Native Americans whose land they stole. Australia’s equivalent hypocrisy was the now-defunct s.127 of the Australian Constitution, discounting Indigenous Australians from the census, in addition to our dark history of ‘blackbirding’ and north-west pearl divers. Unfortunately, the American view and conception of liberalism and freedom of speech too-often creeps into the Australian context. And why not? We have a shared language, culture, and similar political and legal systems and institutions – why should liberalism be any different? Well, like many differences between American and Australian spelling (jail vs. gaol, anyone?), it is bound to confound and frustrate. The differences between our systems and culture run far deeper, to the roots of our individual political systems. The USA has a Bill of Rights which entrenches, among other things, American citizens’ right to freedom of speech. Australia’s constitution does not make any explicit reference to the protection of freedom of speech, leaving it rather ambiguous. Rather, the High Court has upheld in several cases that the constitution merely implies freedom of speech. As a result, Australians’ right to freedom of speech is largely outlined through precedents in Australia’s common law, meaning that it can evolve over time with the nation. David Leyonhjelm’s retreat to “Nah it’s free speech bro” is a reflection of this hypocrisy. His belief system informs his use of liberalism, when it should be the other way around. It’s like the annoying kid who would say “barlies” during a game of chasey, intent that his interpretation of what constituted “barlies” was the only correct one – even though it constantly shifted depending on what they were next to at
the time. Shifting goalposts is an age-old strategy in argumentation, from Plato’s struggle against the Sophists, through to the demagogic commentators on Fox and Sky News today. That’s the problem with trying to attack a philosophy, especially one as broad and open to interpretation as liberalism. However, the fruitlessness of such attacks does not make using it as a shield against criticism, as Leyonhjelm has, any less pathetic. Leyonhjelm himself has quite a history of being unaccountably offended by the words and actions of others when they actually affect him. The type of liberalism commonly espoused by Leyonhjelm (and cretins like Mark Latham and Alan Jones) is one that places ultimate value on the “freedom of speech”. The problem is that unfettered speech can and does harm individuals and communities. It can incite hatred and, in the case of Leyonhjlem’s comments against HansonYoung, use sexuality as a weapon against someone because of their gender. Leyonhjlem’s hypocritical view of liberalism leaves us to beg the question: at what point will the cognitive dissonance swirling around in Leyonhjelm’s peanut brain simply become too much, break free of its confines, and explode all over the Senate chamber? He’s not a liberal at all. He doesn’t fight for equality. He only wants the right to say whatever he wants, and to not be criticised for it.
THE GREAT THING ABOUT AUSTRALIA’S BRAND OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS THAT WHEN SOMEONE IS ACTING LIKE A DICKHEAD, WE HAVE A RIGHT TO CALL HIM OUT ON IT.
How much longer can science ignore what
Indigenous people have known for 50 000 years?
A 2017 article in the Journal of Ethnobiology brought worldwide media attention to the Black Kite, a common bird of the Northern Territory. The findings were widely reported because they showed the birds behaving in a novel manner, picking up burning sticks and dropping them some distance away to start more fires, then feeding on the escaping insects and lizards.
and that they were actually dispersed by Aboriginal people who brought the seeds with them and planted them. A Dreamtime story recorded by Carl Strehlow in 1895 said that, “the Gods from the high north brought the seeds to this place a long time ago”. Astonishingly, science had confirmed a spoken ‘myth’ which has been handed down through generations since the late Stone Age.
Subsequent articles questioned why science routinely dismisses Indigenous knowledge as mythology or spirituality, and therefore not ‘scientific’. Many were surprised by the scientific method confirming a story which was assumed to be a myth, however this was not the first time this had happened in Australia.
Until such findings came to light the scientific consensus was that 500-800 years was the maximum length of time that memories could survive in oral traditions. Myths sounded fanciful and childlike to western scientific ears and were vigorously suppressed by missionaries who thought them the work of the devil, ignorant of the fact that the key function of Aboriginal myth and ceremony is actually to pass down essential knowledge in a memorable framework. Storytellers deliberately included redundant information, weaving in elements to make the myth more memorable. These embellishments could later be dropped off in the mind of the learner without losing the key message such as, “Don’t go to that place” or, “Don’t eat that plant”.
In 2012 a genetic study of palms in Palm Valley in Central Australia confirmed an Aboriginal story at least 7000 and possibly 30 000 years old. The small population of palms was thought to be an isolated relic of a forest that covered Australia when the climate was much wetter. Genetic comparison with palms in the northern tropics showed that the Palm Valley species became isolated much more recently,
Confirmed events passed down in Aboriginal history to date include sea level fluctuations 7 000 years old, a tsunami from 600 years ago, stories about rock paintings of megafauna that have been extinct for 45 000 years, and volcanic eruptions which occurred more than 10 000 years ago. Science has confirmed the factual basis of Aboriginal observations of variable stars and meteorite impacts, generating entirely new fields of fusion sciences called ‘archeoastronomy’ and ‘geomythology’ respectively. The scientist who authored the Firehawk paper describes his scientific field as ‘ethno-ornithology’, or the study of cultural bird knowledge. The western bias toward written knowledge is a self-authorised argument used to deny the accuracy of oral traditions. This is despite evidence that Indigenous people have survived on this continent for 50 000 years by gathering and transmitting an unprecedented body of knowledge about the geography, climate and ecology of the land, and accurately passing it down through a holistic paradigm of Law, art, story, ceremony and song. Holism itself is perhaps the defining characteristic of Indigenous world views and what makes them fundamentally different from the western paradigm. While western science seeks to define reality by its absolutes – the particle, the cell, the atom – holistic systems see all parts of reality as being connected on a continuum or spectrum with two, three or four poles creating a framework. The Noongar view of creation as part of Boodjar (land), Moort (family) and Katitjen (knowledge) defines everything that exists as an intimately interconnected combination of these three aspects. Other Indigenous sciences are based on four points of the compass, or the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Combinations of polar qualities can create complex metaphors of correspondences which emphasise relationships rather than absolutes. Unfortunately, the elemental system became the basis of the western scientific method when Aristotle disregarded the crucial issue of relationships, thus kicking off the western obsession with finding out what ‘things’ actually are, rather than how each part of the whole relates to each other. The western paradigm is unique among historic knowledge systems in that, “The Western culture is the only culture in the world – perhaps the only culture the world has ever known – that argues for the non-existence of any dimension or reality that
the senses cannot perceive.” This is clearly at odds with human experience since subjectivity is part of being human. Unfortunately, in its current format the scientific method can only turn a blind eye to subjective phenomena. Confirmation of the facts and methods of Indigenous history and Law challenges the argument that Indigenous science is not truly scientific. Despite the evident ability of the scientific method to develop technology and medicine to a very high level, the system as a whole is incomplete. Western science is non-inclusive since the scientific method cannot be applied to subjective knowledge, which it renders either as soft science or not science at all. What is excluded as trivial is essentially the knowledge of how to be human.
INDIGENOUS CULTURES ARE NOT PRIMITIVE VERSIONS OF SOCIETIES THAT DID NOT EVOLVE AS THE WEST DID, BUT SYSTEMS WHICH EVOLVED IN A SEPARATE WAY, without taking “a deviation from basic human perception.” This perception of the world as one system is the cornerstone of modern ecology and essential to the idea of sustainability, or “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Fusing western methodologies with a holistic worldview would mean that solutions can be modelled on existing science, rather than needing to find answers from scratch. Perhaps getting both systems working together could be our best chance to get the Earth moving forward (or back) to a harmonious society which is fair and sustainable.
static poems 60
PASSION FLOWERS By Connor Brown I wake on Sunday to the cold clarity of June, and passion flowers trailing along the window. May I have your body? Would you like my blood? The sheets are cold. What of the sheep? Out there, in open paddocks draped in nothing but mist, rain that never came, the blue emptiness aboveonly dirt below. When will the grass again become green? Not long now, in this lovely white room. The passion flowers climb up the water tank, spread towards the road. The eucalypt by the kitchen is dying. But the passion flowers are strong, in sandy soil such as this And I will rise again when they offer me fruit.
REACHING ARCADIA By Connor Brown What remains of the family is on the table. Since 1967, pinafores and primrose perfume, the broken watch on scored wood. They were here when the leaks were smallerand the organ still billowed out from beneath the stairs, before the reflection of the eaves in the still annex water. The ceiling in the downstairs bedroom has now collapsed. The stream-bed, once the stairs, has dried for the summer. The historian stands at the door, here to record precious dreams in journals and moulded maps, lean straight line, red to Kalgoorlie or the inland sea. The historian crosses himself cathedral ready and strides into the hall, now a shallow pool, Bureau legs rotting in brown water and photographs fast fading. The coats on the wall, reduced to rags. The historian dares not disturb the water, and so remains still; watching ripples reveal what is hidden in the orange tiles and the wooden panelling, peeling wallpaper warning of bones in the brickwork, begging not again to be buried behind restored wood which will eventually rotrevealing all for good reason.
STONES By Asha Couch I have a suitcase full of fears As heavy as Very large stones With which I can build Nothing of my own, Except a wall. I leave a nice Wide space Between the ends of my toes and the tips of yours; I never let them touch When we kiss. When you ask about That suitcase which I bring with us Everywhere we go, Full of the things that I won’t talk about, I take from it a stone. I place it at our feet. I do not breathe a word. I’ll do this every time you ask; It’s no easy task To carry around these fears But I’ll persevere Till all the stones are on the ground, Stacked up between our feet, Nice and right and tight and neat. Fear tessellates with fear. This is my stone wall And I don’t know how tall It really is because The only way I ever Learned to measure Was by arm’s length; The very same way that I hold you. There is so much Air between our chests And in our lungs And on our tongues, In the breaths of words that don’t quite make the distance. Take, for instance, This stone wall; How can stones so small Build up to this?
With the cooler months upon us, it’s time to use those rainy days indoors as an opportunity to cook up some nourishing, warming meals. I love to spend a Sunday afternoon cooking up a storm; there’s something almost meditative about dicing up a few carrots and celery sticks. You do your mindfulness and you get the added bonus of an awesome meal. You can make up a soup and then freeze it in batches for when you’re running short on time and UBER eats is too pricey and that tin of baked beans isn’t going to cut it. Winter is as good a time as any to make sure your eating well and looking after yourself, adding extra veg to your meals can help keep those colds at bay. As soon as I start to feel lethargic and run down, I turn to these trusty few vegetable packed recipes to give my body that extra boost of vitamins and minerals.
Recipes for stasis
With food sustainability being all the craze it’s time to start saving those food scraps that often get thrown to the bin. Over a few weeks, collect the ends and peels from carrots, celery ends, mushroom stalks, the stalks of parsley, onion ends, garlic leftovers. The rule is no brassica vegetables (those lovely greens that we despised as children such as the humble broccoli and cabbage) in stocks as they make the stock taste bitter. With all these scraps just chuck them in a bag and keep them in the freezer until you have collected roughly three cups worth of veg. Bought stock often has preservatives added sugars and salts so making your own is a great way to be in control of everything that goes into your future meals. Once you’ve tasted homemade stock, you find it hard to turn back! the health benefits of making your own is precisely what the body needs in the cooler months. The extra vegetables add a hit of fibre, great for digestion and for the gut. If you haven’t been able to collect the veg scraps just dice up four carrots, four celery sticks, two onions, five mushrooms, a leek and four garlic cloves.
VEGETABLE STOCK •
A handful fresh parley chopped (use the stem) or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
2 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves (squash them slightly so they infuse easier by using the flat side of the knife and pushing down)
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano chopped or 1 tsp dried oregano
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Optional, 2 kale leaves shredded without centre stem
Optional but great is to squeeze the juice of half a lemon in
Salt and pepper
3 cups mixed frozen vegetable leftovers or fresh veg 5 cups water 1 fresh onion 1 carrot
Fresh herbs of your choice - I recommend a good handful of parsley, three bay leaves and sprigs of thyme fresh herbs! I recommend a good handful of parsley, 3 bay leaves and 3 sprigs of thyme Place the vegetables into a large pot over on the stove. Add the herbs and the extra onion, garlic and carrot, then cover with the water. You can add more water but the stock isn’t so flavoursome, so I tend to make it as strong as possible. Bring the liquid mix to the boil and turn down to a light simmer. Allow to simmer away for about four hours or longer if needed, you will notice the colour of the water change to a deep brown and if you test taste it should have a nice gentle vegetable flavour - the longer you leave it the stronger it gets. I start this in the morning and allow it to simmer almost the whole day while I’m home, or turn it off if you’re heading out and pop it back on when you get back. You can season it with salt and pepper if you want. Once the mix has cooled down, drain the liquid through a sieve and discard the vegetable chunks. Pour liquid into a container or bag and freeze for a later date.
CHICKEN SOUP Nothing beats a classic chicken soup (the ultimate flu food) in the cooler months and I tend to find the methodical process of chopping the vegetables rather therapeutic. Not to mention the aromas from the soup cooking off over the stove in an evening is complete bliss through winter. INGREDIENTS
2-3 chicken thighs or 5 chicken drumsticks
Onion or a leek
2 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
1 large carrot
2 celery sticks finely diced
1 potato cut into cubes
1 small zucchini diced
Optional, but I highly recommend 2 bayleaves
Other optional veg: kumara, turnip or a tin of cannelloni beans METHOD Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place chicken on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Use your hands to coat thighs evenly. Place in the oven for about 30 mins or until cooked through. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan and drizzle olive oil in. Finely dice onion and fry off until cooked through. Add garlic and carrot and fry off lightly. Then place the potato, celery and other vegetables if adding and the herbs. Coat the vegetables in the herbs and make sure they are heated through. Now add the stock and bring mix to the boil. Once at boiling point, dice up cooked chicken breasts and add to soup mix, also pour in any remaining juices from the tray for that extra chicken flavour. Now’s the time to add any softer veg such as the zucchini. The trick with this soup is to allow it to cook for a while so that the flavours can evolve, I recommend about an hour to simmer away. I add the lemon juice and kale after it’s had some good time to simmer. Oh, and add a good grind of salt and pepper give it another five minutes for the kale to soften. Once it’s ready, serve and enjoy!
BROCCOLI SOUP WITH A KICK
VEGO AND VEGAN BUDDIES
This is my go to easy quick soup. Its filled with greens but has a bunch of flavour thanks to the curry powder. So don’t stress it does taste amazing even if it looks more like a detox meal than a winter comfort. I love any soup served with a fresh slice of sough dough
This veg packed dish is a great go to for my vego and vegan buddies. •
1/4 butternut pumpkin chopped into chunks
1 small or half eggplant cut into rings and then into quarters
1 red capsicum cut into chunk sized pieces
1 leek or onion diced
2 small broccoli heads or 1 large, cut the florets off from the stem
1 zucchini diced
2 zucchinis, diced
150 grams of mushrooms quartered
1 potato, diced
2 tins can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup vegetable stock
5 cups of vegetable stock
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 handfuls of spinach (optional)
zest of a whole lemon
salt and pepper to season
handful chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoons dried
handful chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional but adds a great flavour)
season with salt and pepper
Place your pot on the stove over a medium heat. Add a a drizzle of olive oil and lightly fry off the onion until softened. Add curry powder and stir so it coats the onion. Add the potato for a minute or two to allow it to soften slightly to coat it with the curry powder. Now, add the broccoli and zucchini. Stir to combine before pouring in the stock. For a lighter soup, you can add an extra cup of stock. Bring the mix to the boil and then lower to a gentle simmer. Leave for 20-30 minutes or until the broccoli and potato have softened. Turn the stove off, season with salt and pepper and if you’re adding the spinach, throw it in now, and leave the soup to cool down. Once cool, blend the soup to a smooth consistency. You get such a sense of satisfaction from blitzing smoothies and soups. Reheat and serve!
Heat olive oil in a deep sauce pan or pot and throw in pumpkin, cook for a minute. Add the capsicum, eggplant and zucchini, fry off for another minute before pouring in the tin tomatoes and stock. Season the mix and cover with a lid, then bring to a gentle simmer and leave for 35 minutes. Once vegetables are becoming fragrant and soft, add the parsley, basil, lemon rind, mushrooms, balsamic, and the chickpeas. With the lid removed, allow to cook away for a further 15 minutes or longer if needed. Add water if you want more liquid to your mix. Do a taste test and season further if you need to or add more balsamic or herbs. Serve with either brown rice, steamed greens, or as accompaniment to a meat of your choice. I do find this dish freezes well which is a handy mid week go to. Its best to let meals defrost slowly overnight in the fridge as this is the best way to get them back to their original state.
Â We need to get our act together and show this titan of the industry the respect he so richly deserves. A seat for Giamatti is a seat for Italian Americans and Rhinos everywhere.
PELICAN urges you to check our petition for more details. 66
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