pelican. est 1929 Volume 88 Edition 6. Blue
Bryce Newton // Editor Ruth Thomas // Editor
Ben Yaxley // Lifestyle Editor Harry Peter Sanderson // Arts Editor Isabella Corbett // Fashion Editor Maddi Howard // Science Editor Mara Papavassiliou // News Editor Mike Anderson // Politics Editor Pema Monaghan // Literature Editor Ryan Suckling // Film Editor Tess Bury // Music Editor
The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practice their values, 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.
Harry Peter Sanderson // Cover Art // @pharoahsanderson Sophie Minissale // Inside Cover Art // @hsdproductions Lyn Sillitto // Design Emilie Fitzgerald// Advertising // firstname.lastname@example.org 2
I don’t like winter, but even so, I am always hoping for more rain. My sister bought an umbrella from the Co-Op Bookshop, it is big enough for two people and reminds me of a beach umbrella. My umbrella is small and green (I wish it was yellow), and I must strategically plan whether I want to stay dry, or whether I should prioritise my bag, which I often can’t close because I am carrying too much fruit. Yesterday in the supermarket, my sister and I saw an umbrella which looks like a sunflower when it’s open. When it is closed, it looks like a cob of corn. Every time I walk over James Oval after heavy rain, I wish I was into field recording. I also wish I wasn’t wearing white sneakers.
Ruth Thomas and Bryce Newton Pelican Editors 2017
Letter from the Editors
Creative writing residency: Arts and Crafts Hannah Cockroft
Sleeping In Jade Newton
It looks like
Shadow Play Tanner Perham
37 Home Nathan Tang 40 The Final Participation – Blue Sally Mulholland 46 Presidential Address Nevin Jayawardena 47
All My Friends Are Moving Out Marney Anderson
Harry Peter Sanderson
Inside the Artist Studio: James Giddy Lachlan Greenland
We Decide How Blue Some Blue Songs Are Nick Morlet, Tess Bury
Column Talk VI Harry Peter Sanderson
Album Reviews Clinton Ducas Sophie Minissale
22 Maison (Minion) Margiela: How Minions Revolutionised the Fashion Industry Isabella Corbett
Pack Up the Moon: Scene VI Nick Morlet
Corrective Retrospective: Genieve Figgis Harry Peter Sanderson 17
George and Jordan from Moistoyster Talk About Some Things Tess Bury Everything I “Know” About “Criticising” “Popular” “Music” Or I Ruin (Or Launch) a Perfectly Good Job Prospect Eamonn Kelly
24 Ten Blue-ish Beauty Products That You Could Try (If You Like) Antonia Papasergio 26 A Deep Dive into My Denim Collection Bryce Newton
33 V and Me Ryan Suckling
To GM, or Not to GM – That Is the Question… Maddi Howard Artwork by Danyon Burge
42 Be Nice to Small Animals Clare Moran
34 Chocbombs Taste Test: Windsor Cinema Ryan Suckling and Ruth Thomas 36 Rev Retrospective Ryan Suckling
Hobbies, Reviewed Rainy Colbert
Top 20 Best Blue Coloured Characters of All Time The Yiz
28 Woman of Substances: Jenny Valentish Tess Bury
20 GIRL DRINKS SO MUCH SPARKLING WATER YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS Skye Newton 21
A Hummus in Time Chunyi Monaghan
29 We’re Reading Harry Peter Sanderson, Bryce Newton, Ben Yaxley, Ruth Thomas 30 David Foster Wallace, Myself and the Infinite Bummer Eamonn Kelly 32 I forgot a book, this trip goes for six hours. Bryce Newton
Psephologically: Hare-Clarke Mike Anderson
44 Youth: A Voice for Change Lavinia Kailis
Arts and Crafts Hannah Cockroft I have never been particularly good at creating anything with my hands. My handwriting is quite bad. It has worsened over the years (it was very neat when I was in primary school, trying to con teachers into thinking that I was qualified for a pen license), and now has become an erratic scribble that fluctuates between cursive, and the other type of writing that isn’t cursive. I was never good at drawing or painting or Play Doh or freeform Lego building – things that required me to use my gummy, twitchy fingers to construct whatever I was picturing in my head. This was not necessarily because of the same lack of fine motor skills that affect my handwriting, though that does contribute some. It was mostly due to not knowing where to start when it came to making art happen. How to make the drawing of a carrot/man hybrid show up on paper. The picture could be there in my brain but I couldn’t translate it into anything else. Sometimes I couldn’t even come up with a picture in my head and would instead try to draw squiggles or paint different stripes and hope that something would sort of make itself visible within the mess. This is sort of like trying to make dinner by grabbing every ingredient from your pantry in alphabetical order and putting them into a pot, hoping that you end up with something that tastes like Spaghetti Bolognese. I prefer to have a recipe.1 My favourite art classes in primary school were the ones that had a step-by-step approach. “Mould your clay into a ball. Poke sticks into it. You have made an echidna.” I also enjoy doing those adult colouring books and giant dot-to-dot pictures that people like to get mad at for some boring reason. I took up sewing as a hobby some years ago. It’s a good hobby. Sewing patterns come with very precise instructions, which once you know what you’re doing you can selectively ignore without too much damage.2 Sewing also allows for a huge amount of creativity. You pick material. You pick bits and bobs to stick to it. You stitch different parts of different patterns together. Lots of fun. However, sewing can easily be an expensive hobby. You learn this the hard way. I once picked out a very pretty roll of cotton to make a dress from. The pattern of this dress was in French, which made it hard for me to understand. This also made me show the pattern to the lady behind the material-cutting counter, who insisted I need 3.5m of fabric. This came to a total cost of $126. I ended up only using half of the fabric for the dress, and used what was left over for a shirt (which somehow turned out to be able to fit a teddy bear without me realising until I’d already finished it), another shirt, and a bag full of rags to curl my hair with. The purpose of this anecdote is to say that sewing is fun but also a complete rip, and the only way that it won’t be a complete rip is if you make everything with that fabric with teddy bears on it for $6.99 a metre that your mum used for your school library bag.3 I find sewing therapeutic. This doesn’t make much sense because sitting down to sew usually means I’ll be hunched over for four hours pricking my fingers and swearing at a jammed machine that decides to constantly spew out bobbin thread. But I like making things. I like going through the steps and seeing it slowly look less like bits of fabric and more like one complete thing. The seams look wonky, but it’s finished, because there’s nothing left in the instructions for you to do.
1 2 3
This preference may seem like a metaphor for having order in your life, but it’s not. It can be if you want it to be, but I was just referring to making dinner and visual art. I am contradicting myself here. I was just talking about how much I like instructions and now I’m talking about ignoring them. I don’t have anything to add to this. If you do this, it will look great. There’s no reason to make clothes in any other fabric.
Sleeping In Jade Newton
It looks like You burnt my toast Faded pastel hair dye (that looked good today and will look bad tomorrow) Something ran in the wash and turned everything pink Things aren’t going to work out between us It isn’t breathing, but there’s no way to be sure I’m crying in the cinema (during movie trailers) I won’t see you again You need a cup of tea The banana I left in my bag for the last three days (I knew it was there but did nothing, and now we are here) That stain has always been there, but probably wasn’t once. Please don’t ask. Rain The unexpected love child of Marina Abramovic and Jeff Koons The cat vomited on the carpet, again Stuart Little was filmed in New York, but it was filmed in Perth Your chakras need realigning The blue of all the voicemails I’ve never opened An unidentifiable liquid seeping from a full rubbish bag onto the kitchen floor (it technically could be identified, but won’t be) We’re out of milk The bile from an exorcism Our horoscopes aren’t compatible Your plants are dying We’re going to need a bigger boat I won’t call you back A free wristwatch, but the shipping is astronomical You bought more sneakers even though you said you wouldn’t A millennial Everyone is using the tissues I bought Winter again A giraffe The dark rings around my eyes when I’ve not slept That makeup didn’t come off I’m never going to wear this again We aren’t on the same page The haggardly drawn in eyebrow of someone who’s had enough You’ve been cleaning again I have no friends in this tutorial, but it’s just that no one has sat next to me I’m angry It’s lost Blush is the only cosmetic you need Two faces, or maybe a vase? A problem with the hard drive I’m out of battery Your jacket There’s no more bagels, sorry You need to stop listening to this music I’m going to be here all day
Photography by Tanner Perham
Inside the Artist’s Studio: James Giddy Lachlan Greenland James Giddy loves to paint. The young artist has found a passion in the outdoors, and wants to capture the moments it brings to him. His wildlife murals are slowly starting to fill the towns of Western Australia, much to the enjoyment of the locals. He has completed works in Dwellingup, Jurien Bay, and New Norcia, along with international murals in South Africa and Indonesia. Giddy takes inspiration from en plein air impressionism, using natural light to capture the outdoors in situ. He finds the environment to be just as important as his animal subjects, using the settings as inspiration for the colours and shades within them. He explains, “you can’t see one without the other.” His ability to transition from outdoor works to exhibitions is a testament to the passion he has for painting. James’ studio is constantly filled with new projects, the use of space and subtle exploration of different textures evidences his unwillingness to rest in one style.
Column Talk VI Harry Peter Sanderson It was autumn. Simrin and I were at a party thrown by my friend Hemming, from Sweden, and his girlfriend, who was a ballet dancer, and visiting, and whose name I forget. I had been sipping on gin and tonics all night, and was feeling faint. I had gone and hidden behind a rosebush in a garden bed, resting on the frame of a white French window, recomposing my energies. A cool breeze swept over the lawn and onto my face, letting me deeper into the evening.
of lies about me. But what action could I take? The false impressions had been conveyed, and it would only be my sallow words against his. Presently, the two inside finished their conversation and removed themselves. Having given them time to depart, I hoisted myself through the window and sunk into one of the sofas inside. I was profoundly stirred, and feeling altogether blue. If you think people enjoy listening to those kinds of things being said about them, you’re wrong.
Just then, from indoors, I heard a voice I faintly recognised. It had the forceless, meandering pitch of a scoundrel. Unmistakably, it belonged to a young architect, with whom I had studied in column school, and whom was not invited to this party. Though I had no grudge against the man, I had never much liked him, and hadn’t seen him since we had sat listening to the same lectures on flying buttresses and pier-construction. Not wanting to be forced to a reunion, I straightened my jacket and got ready to step away.
I had been sitting there, wounded, for only a few minutes when Simrin entered. She noted that I looked upset. I affirmed her thesis, and in a few crisp words gave a résumé of the remarks made against me. ‘Oh’ she said, tuning into my dejection. ‘Well, it’s all nonsense. It is untrue, and if it is untrue, meaningless.’
That is, until I realised he was talking about me.
‘I suppose so.’
‘Yes, it was embarrassing really,’ he was saying to his companion, who I did not recognise but who looked equally as much of a scoundrel as him, ‘he was constantly mixing up his orders. Once he identified a Composite as a Corinthian before the whole class.’
There was a silence. Then she said: ‘But I know how you feel. Who steals my purse steals trash. It is something, nothing, was mine, is his, and has been slave to thousands. But he who filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.’
Well, I thought, this simply wasn’t true! While I had had to make pains to remember the orders of columns in my studies, I had never once made so fundamental an error of identification.
‘That was nice — yours?’ ‘No, Shakespeare’s.’
Inside, the barrage was continuing: ‘What’s more, the professor absolutely hated him. Took every chance to stop him monologuing, which he was constantly trying to do.’
‘Shakespeare said some good things.’ ‘I think he is very well regarded.’
This stung me, again being entirely false. I had had a great relationship with my professor, and in fact still did. Just that week I had met with her to discuss the possibility that she might oversee my writing a thesis on columns and columnimagery in the paintings of Jeffrey Smart.
Thoughts exchanged, Simrin left to find a bar. I walked back out into the garden. Hemming waved at me from the other side of the lawn. I smiled. Between us were a cast of our friends, all of whom I respected so violently it made me feel weak. They were a cast of curved, colourful columns drifting between each other in laughter and conversation, all joviality and rosy complexions.
‘Mmm,’ the coward inside continued ‘he was stuck roundly in the past. Often he would speak viciously on his belief that the three column orders were the only orders worth any appreciation.’
I didn’t deserve friends like these, and didn’t think I would ever have them. But then I did have them, for now, and what could hurtful words do to remove that? Simrin returned, sipping a gin and tonic, and handed me one.
This last lie was so shocking I had to hold onto the rosebush to steady myself. I had done no such thing. In fact, I had always been a vocal proponent of experimental forms of column. It had been the central argument of my final columndissertation.
‘Tell me about those sandstone columns with perforated centres you saw in Iran,’ I said.
So, there I was — lightly drunk and standing in a garden bed, listening to a boy from my school days let loose a barrage
And then she did.
Pack Up the Moon: Scene VI Nick Morlet HERMANN: Calling from offstage as HERMANN crosses backstage left, behind the backdrop, to backstage right. And your hair always grew so quick, I can recall that still. A good quality, left more chances for me to fuss over you with scissors. Thick and blonde as hay, but softer. Enter HERMANN, holding a gas lamp and wearing nothing but his kimono, open at the front. HERMANN is visibly distraught. His lips and arms are quivering with passion and sorrow, and he gesticulates drunkenly with whatever’s in his hand. First, he crosses to centre stage and sets the lamp down on a mantle, under a portrait of the young MR WICKOMDEN, DOROTHY WICKOMDEN’s father. You’d titter at me to make a rhetoric turn about portraits and aging. But aren’t I happy to see your young visage floating there, unseeing to my ravaged face, slumped shoulders, my wilted manhood. And like them, when I’d cut your hair, or in your later stages bathe and clothe you, I don’t even mind humbling myself, being of service here and now, tending to your feeble progeny. Muffled sound of glass breaking from offstage, audio of Japanese cicadas like from Evangelion fills the stage. Enter TOKUKO, wielding a short Japanese sword. She approaches HERMANN and plunges the sword into his chest, disembowelling him with a concerted tug. This occurs with little to no sound, save a breathy gasp from Hermann. TOKUKO then exits the way she came. After a brief pause, a woman’s bloodcurdling scream is heard crossing the backstage as before, the canvas of the portrait is slashed multiple times from behind. The lights fade. (End Scene)
Most art these days seems to either take itself too seriously, or try too hard not to. In the middle is Genieve Figgis, a relatively young Dublin painter whose work I once saw and thoroughly enjoyed. Figgis sticks largely to one subject matter — fictional aristocrats slicked in gloomy, melting colours. It’s whimsical painting, but there’s also something scary about it, like those women in Grey Gardens, or Edgar Allen Poe stories. Works like Living Room (2015) come at you with the dark tones of a Rothko, but marry them into something loosely figurative. It’s often as if you’re looking into an abstract painting and picking out things that look like people, without them actually being there. Tea-leaf art looking, like that scene in Moby Dick at the Spouter-Inn. To put her gothic ambiguity down to her Irishness would probably be too easy, because there’s something a bit parodical in the way she renders her figures. Works such as Self Portraits as Evelyn Nesbit seem to wink at you, as if to acknowledge how ridiculous it is that someone would be painting in the 21st century. Her take on Manet’s Olympia is equally humorous, putting a dumbness into the classical piece that Manet would probably have approved of. Figgis also shows a proclivity towards mirrors and sexual indecency that she may take from Manet, and Courbet. The wetness of her paint is impressionistic, but ultimately comes from Velasquez. In terms of her subject matter, you could probably pick any three dead white artists and generally name them her influences. The ways she ironises them, however, is without any precedent obvious to me. What she’s trying to say with her scenes isn’t entirely clear. Possibly, nothing. Anyway, it is barely important, since they are so good. At a time when we are repeatedly told painting is in a crisis, artists like Figgis are essential because with works such as Royal (2015) they show that, well, it isn’t. The point of this series is to highlight artists we believe are underrated. We haven’t had someone so deserving yet.
Corrective Retrospective: Genieve Figgis Harry Peter Sanderson
We Decide How Blue Some Blue Songs Are Nick Morlet and Tess Bury – Two people who do not claim to have synesthesia. Blue Boy – Mac Demarco: 2 out of 5 Winfield Blues (or Viceroys, whatever). Mac Demarco is deceivingly blue – it’s all peaches and cream until you realize there is blue everywhere, like a leaked pen. It’s all over your hands and has ruined your Mac Demarco pants, poser. Blue Monday – New Order: 1 out of 5 bad 80’s haircuts. Try and sing the bassline of this to your friends and it’ll really make you feel like a smurf! Blue Train - John Coltrane: 3 out of 5. ‘Trane could get pretty blue but he didn’t blow real blues. Not like Miles, baby! Blue Jeans – Lana Del Ray: 1 out of 5 hair twirls. This song is like a bottle of sparkly pink nail varnish – decidedly not blue. Blue (Da Ba Dee) – Eiffel 65: 4 out of 5 bada bee bada byes. The blue of our nightmares. Blue Jay Way – The Beatles: 3 out of 5 particularly blue acid trips. This song defies one colour – if it had to be visually represented by anything, it’d be a fractal, mannnnn. Or some shitty pinger lost under the couch of George Harrison. Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis: 1 out of 5. This song reminds me much less of blue than orange, the colour of my anxiety when I walk out the house wearing my suede shoes. Blue feat. Blue Ivy – Beyoncé: 1 out of 5 pregnancy photoshoots. Uggghhh… I can’t make fun of Beyoncé. Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton: 4 out of 5 BABY WANTS BLUE VELVET! A blue you feel when hiding in a cupboard. Pale Blue Eyes – The Velvet Underground: 3 out of 5 varicose neck veins. Oh Lou, so blue. My Blue Bucket of Gold – Sufjan Stevens: 200 out of 5 miserable, miserable concept albums. This song is like a profiterole filled with cream, but instead of cream, it’s sadness.
album reviews Time, as it must, wears on the soul. Something to Tell You, HAIM’s follow-up to their 2013 debut Days Are Gone, bears the scars of one or two failed relationships. Five years on, the Haim sisters have some regret and resignation to reconcile. The folk-rock and R&B influences from the first album remain, and are perhaps more overt than before.
HAIM Something To Tell You Review by Clinton Ducas
Creating a pastiche can sometimes yield an impenetrable mess if not done with skill, but HAIM are saved by their evident musical knowledge and training. The first few tracks sit firmly in the pop genre, unashamedly using catchy hooks and synth effects, including a liberal dose of gated drums. The synths form not only part of the melody but also suggest context, as on ‘Want You Back’, where crying seagulls close out. Fans of Fleetwood Mac would be forgiven for mistaking ‘You Never Knew’ as an unreleased track from Tango In the Night. With the acoustic guitar picking, synth arpeggios, and more than a hint of Christine McVie, the only thing anchoring it in the present is the modern production. ‘Kept Me Crying’, rhythmically similar to ‘The Wire’ from HAIM’s first album, shows some clear ‘80s R&B influence, particularly from groups like Cameo. The music for the rest of the album becomes darker, the lyrics concerned with disappointing lovers and the realisation that salvation comes from the self. The change is so great that the final track, ‘Night So Long’ sounds comparatively spare against the opening, the rapid-fire effects stayed in favour of a leaner contemplation of love lost. While HAIM’s classification as ‘alternative’ might bother some, the quality of this album deserves praise. Clearly rooted in pop, Something to Tell You is sophisticated enough to reward more than one listen. Clever production by Ariel Rechtshaid means it should played on decent equipment, and the careful arrangement and pleasant vocal harmonies make up for the fact that despite these merits, it is at times a predictable second release. Given the success of the first, and the continuing popularity of both Fleetwood Mac and nostalgia for the final two decades of the last century, HAIM have probably delivered their fans just what they want. . Personally, I was always under the impression that Jay Z was beginning to become kind of overrated, especially in the past couple years. Regardless, I am utterly floored by this album. This endeavour is arguably Jay at his most intimate, honest and unashamed. The thing that instantly swept me off my feet with 4:44 was the ear-grabbing almost skeletal production, sole courtesy of No I.D – the producer Jay Z collaborated with on the album. I found it interesting that there was only one producer on this album, but I think it added to the cohesiveness and focus in sound and tone. I loved the use of the chopped soul vocal samples smattered throughout the record, a highlight for me being the Nina Simone sample on ‘The Story of OJ’, a song detailing the realities of identity for black America.
Jay-Z 4:44 Review Review by Sophie Minissale
In the opener ‘Kill’, Jay Z perfectly sets the scene thematically for the majority of this album. Here, Jay effectively aims to destroy his ego, drag it through the dirt and bury it way under the ground. It lets you know that everything from here on out is going to be raw and truthful, almost a stark contrast to the ‘Big Pimpin’’ Jay Z personality. This idea is continued especially in the title track ‘4:44’, that serves as a response and sincere apology to his infidelity against Beyoncé. Despite this, there is some familiar territory explored here. Notably the track ‘Bam’, which features Damien Marley, in which Jay Z reflects on the importance of his ego and drive with regards to what he’s achieved in the industry. However, I don’t think this took away from the ultimate ethos of the album. I love how Jay Z discusses his family on this album. My favourite exploration of this is in the closing song, ‘Legacy’. Aside from the awesome production, the song gives off the vibe of being an ode to the Carter dynasty, and despite Jay Z’s mistakes that in the eyes of some, disrespected the name, he acknowledges the importance that his current “will” and legacy is going have on the future families within Carter lineage. This album has the feeling of Jay tying up his loose strings, almost like a career curtain call but without the definite finality. The groundwork of this album is solid, but the merit for this project isn’t in the fundamentals but rather in its humanity.
If you could be any other band in the world who would you be? Both (at the same time): Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.
Describe your music in three words? George: For God’s Sake. Jordan: Doctor Dre Dre.
I see you’re wearing a Shit Narnia t-shirt. Are they Shit or Narnia? What’s the verdict? J: Narnia the above-a. They just make good quality shirts. Horrible band, great clothing.
If your music were a food, what would it be? G: The airplane that guy ate in the Guinness Book of Records. Tell us about your new album. J: It’s fucked up G: Sam’s so proud of it that it’s almost creepy enough for me to forget how bad his breath smells in the morning. J: You know OK Computer, inside the booklet, go to page 3. G: You know what we mean.
The theme of this issue is Blue, what do you think of that? J: “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65. Had that on a single when I was 10. G: Blue waffle is my favourite photo on the Internet. Band name: what have you got to say for yourselves? J: Oops. George thought it was funny when he was young now we all have to live with it. G: Everyone thinks it’s supposed to be a vagina, then I tell them I just like the sound of the words, and they just go, oh yeah… J: Anymore questions? We have an interview with Triple J in 5 minutes.
What can people expect at your live shows? J: A bootylicious lead singer. G: And yes, it is all natural. J: None of that Nicki Minaj shit. But actually, a stank ass dirt hungry lead guitarist, an absent bassist (mentally, lights are on upstairs but no one’s home). George is up the back playing drugs. You can just see his nose. And some music. Some nice music.
Did you know Moistoyster can be anagrammed into Mister Sooty, My Tortoises, or Story Time So? G: Story time! No Mister Sooty, these are my tortoises!
What are your lyrics about? G: Our new song was written by Sam, and it’s called nothing. It’s about nothing. The chorus goes, “nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.”
You can find Moistoyster on Facebook, Soundcloud and Bandcamp.
George and Jordan from Moistoyster Talk About Some Things Interview by Tess Bury Photography by Beth Commons 16
Everything I “Know” About “Criticising” “Popular” “Music” Or I Ruin (Or Launch) a Perfectly Good Job Prospect Eamonn Kelly Some Jargon first: Music Criticism: Look, we live in a world in which Pitchfork, (a totally serious music journalism website that now holds an annual music festival populated by their own high-scorers), published a review of Jet’s 2006 album Shine On that was literally just a video of a monkey pissing in its own mouth, which arguably tanked Jet’s career. Music Criticism is basically just a pretentious term for “opinions about music”. Literally everyone’s a critic. Popular Music: a) Textbook definition is music that uses the “pop” formulae (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, outro) although this has broadened massively into: b) Music that is popular AND c) A derisive term used by people who listen to classical music/free-form jazz/[insert niche music genre here] exclusively to refer to music that isn’t the type of music they like, a refrigerator coughing into life at 2am can be considered popular music. E.g. my ( joke) review of my refrigerator waking me at 2am: Startling, certainly rousing, then quite a peaceful drone reminiscent of Sunn O))) (love you Stephen O’Malley): 7/10 Popular Music Critic: a) A person who judges the subjective quality of popular music. See also: Anthony Fantano, Piero Scaruffi, Robert Christgau, Chris Ott, anyone who writes for Pitchfork, you, me, and anyone with an opinion. It’s total bullshit in fewest words possible. Nobody knows anything about anything. What are the criteria by which a quality of a piece of music is judged. How are they ranked? Why are they ranked? Who decides these criteria? Is any given criterion superior than another, at any given time? What do the numbers mean? How do we describe the subjective value of a piece of music? These are the questions that run through my head daily because I’m anal retentive about this stuff and I can’t just “like” things, I need to be able to articulate why I like them in excruciating detail. There’s a famous quote about music criticism: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” There’s a fundamental disconnect between the heard note and the written communication about that note. I could tell you that The Velvet Underground And Nico revolutionised rock music in 1967 with their minimalist inspired soundscapes, abrasive guitars, lyrics about sex and drug addiction and cool sunglasses, but there’s still crucial information that is left unconveyed to people who don’t know that The Velvet Underground And Nico revolutionised rock music in 1967 with their minimalist inspired soundscapes, abrasive guitars, lyrics about sex and drug addiction and cool sunglasses. They haven’t heard for example, Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, which came out the year before and revolutionised music in terms of production and implementation of harmonies. Or perhaps they haven’t heard Bob Dylan go electric and in the process both blow everybody’s fucking minds and make a people very, very angry. Maybe you haven’t listened to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band enough times so that the very mention of the title conjures sounds and images. There’s no context given, and the music of The Velvet Underground And Nico seems less impressive than something more immediate like, say, Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy or Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly, which had massive, observable impacts on how hip-hop is produced today. To gain this context takes work, it’s a process that might take several years of listening to appreciate. But within music criticism there is a uniform phenomenon basically assuming that its readers have undergone this process. Don’t even get me started on rating systems. That shit is so arbitrary. What in pluperfect hell is the difference between a “6” and a “7” on a ten-point scale, what about a “2 and a “3”, and what do these numbers mean in terms of criteria? Robert Christgau, whilst really entertaining to read, uses bombs, letters and scissors to score his reviews, he’s been writing this way for over 30 years. Piero Scaruffi believes that there is no true perfect album, and so all his reviews are on a rating scale from 0-9.5, which is dumb because he uses a 6 far more than any of his other scores and he rates purely based on an albums experimentation with technology and sound. (NB: if you think experimentalism is necessarily good, listen to Twin Infinitives by Royal Trux, a “Scaruffi 9” [which is extremely high praise]). Both critics have valid things to say. Hell, even Pitchfork, even though sometimes they infuriate me, and as much as their scores form the bedrock of alternative music today and decide what deserves popularity, still have very valid things to say about music, and remain the single most trusted source of music journalism on the planet. But you also have valid things to say about music, dear reader. I suppose the moral of the story is that the opinions of critics (including myself) are just opinions, informed by their own taste and subject often to petty biases and prejudices, they can show you new music, but if you think it sucks you are allowed to think that it sucks. And for those that think music in general was better back in the days of yore, and wish to return to some prelapsarian ideal of rock or popmusic, I have bad news. There was as much shite music being released in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s as there is now. Real bottom barrel, soulless, artificial shovelware engineered by clueless suits with as little thought put into the music as possible, looking for a fat paycheck. Most of this music has been deservedly forgotten with time, especially the older stuff. Check out Davy Jones’ self-titled debut if you want an example, The Shaggs’s Philosophy for another… although everybody loves The Shaggs. 17
Hobbies Reviewed Rainy Colbert #12 - Laser tag For a long time in my head I’d feel a constant physical tension, as if there were something like the butt of a knife pressing against it. I knew the feeling was probably psychosomatic but having just finished an eight-month program, I wanted to believe I was cured. So instead of looking inwards, I began looking at the effects of Electro Magnetic Radiation on the body and mind – a concept introduced to me by a man in a reggae hat who wore three belts. From the pockets of his sagging pants, he withdrew a handful of rocks and crystals: fluorite, magnetite, lodestone – crystals said to neutralise the area from harmful EMF radiation. Having overheard his shouts to Siri a little earlier, I asked “What about your phone?” He took it out and pointed at the chunk of Quartz taped to the back. “With this one, I can still keep my phone down by the gecko, and I don’t get nothing. Future children? Healthiest children in the world. Nothing but athletes and Einstein’s I’ll bet.” Arriving home, I disconnected the Wi-Fi, switched off the microwave and pulled the plugs from our three Nintendo Wiis. I threw blankets over every appliance, unscrewed all the light bulbs and switched my phone to airplane mode. I even sent a letter to my dad in the mines asking if he could bring me home any geodes he dug up, but I later found out that the mailman doesn’t deliver underground. As the invisible knife began easing up its pressure, I started to notice the benefits of counter-EMF culture, however, as the knife disappeared my interest waned and before long I was back to my hedonistic 3G lifestyle. Having done no research of my own (because what am I? In high school?) I think I was only ever half-sold on the EMF-will-kill-you thing anyway. It’s like trying to believe in tarot cards, or vitamins, or an unfamiliar god you like the idea of worshipping because it’d be something to do but you can’t get past the abstraction. Doubts and commitment issues aside, running around in a dark room getting blasted in the goolies by high-powered laser beams does not seem like a healthy idea, whether you believe in EMFs or not. I wouldn’t have risked it, but I didn’t want to let down my friends, and besides, I reasoned, why would I want to bring kids into this dumb Abbott world anyway? If I were to come down with testicular cancer, at least I’d die knowing I had a fun time playing laser tag with my friends, and isn’t good memories like that what living your life is for? In one game, I came third place and for me that was a profound achievement. I’ve never come third place in any physical activity before, and let me tell you, looking up at that high score on the screen, I reckon I felt as much pride for those numbers as I ever could’ve had for my Einstein and Olympian children of the future, doomed to the realm of impossibility. #13 - Tech Decks Tech Decks were banned from my school after one student tried to fingerboard off the Greenmount Quarry – the most deadly jump in the hills. Authorities found his board the next day, lying at the bottom of the pit alongside with his battered hand and comatose body. He was lucky to have survived such a jump, but his middle and index fingers would never skate again. My first miniature skateboard was bundled with a can of tuna. I’m not sure why Greenseas linked the consumption of tuna to skate culture, but the little board was a breeze to ride. In the school playground, I’d mess around with it each day until someone stole it from my bag. But boy, when I caught the thief ... I slammed that open tuna can right down on his head, leaving him with a crop circle of baldness that would last a lifetime. But it’s cool, I caught up with him at The Bird the other day, and he actually uses the bald spot where the fish-oil burnt him to his advantage; gelling the surrounding hair upright in Goku fashion to form a kind of secret compartment within. This is how he smuggled three cans of Hammer n Tongs in to The Bird. The incident had left me with a lifetime of grief and guilt. Guilt for the grievous injuries inflicted on the boy’s scalp, and grief for the loss of my miniature skateboard, which had a cool yin and yang symbol on it. I asked him what became of my board after I’d hit him sixteen years ago. Looking solemn himself, he told me that on returning from hospital, he’d gone into his room and smashed it to dust; bringing the residue back to school in a little syringe and secretly injecting my asthma inhaler while my back was turned. “Is that why I had that lung collapse?” I asked. “I dunno,” he said, taking a long, deep breath. “It’s all in the past now, anyway right? Here, have a Hammer n Tongs.” Rid of the ghosts which had haunted our lives, we squatted from the bar staff and drank lukewarm beer; a celebration for the new free world.
GIRL DRINKS SO MUCH SPARKLING WATER YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS Skye Newton Things I would like to address before you begin reading this article: 1) I drink sparkling water as often as I feel ready for some reckless spending. Or the experience of drinking soda without any of the good stuff. 2) I’m aware I’ve missed out on some of the greats — Capri, Mangiatorella, Santa Vitorria: I’m sorry. I’m all about delivering, but most of this was sourced from semi-rural areas. Ok. Now you can indulge yourself in my opinions. Black and Gold Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Smells like nothing, as it should. Wow, definite flavour. I quite like it. Kind of reminds me of Mingenew or Geraldton tap water (but carbonated, obviously). Read: not bad, I’ll just go ahead and say it: Perth water is BAD. Second sip was kind of weird. Has a weird … I’m tasting dust but that might be the cup I’m using. Nakd. Luxury Artesian Water Has braille, nice touch. Hoping it’s more than the brand name. Bottled at “a source in New Zealand.” I like the bottle design. Smells like nothing. This didn’t fizz – lightly carbonated. It’s acidic, so you can tell it is mineral water. Nothing too exciting. Would I call it artesian sparkling water? No. Truscae I don’t trust this water already because I’ve had enough trouble trying to understand what its name is. Enticing but poor design. Smells like nothing. Almost lemony upon immediate taste, but leaves no flavour in your mouth afterwards. Not the type of introductory sparkling water you would want to use to get your self-respecting-non-carbonated-friend on the scene. Least favourite so far. VOSS — “Sparkling mineralised artesian water from Norway” Lot of hype about the non-carbonated version of this in my youth (last year) when I was in high school. Witnessed one breaking on the floor and it was shocking (though looking back on it now, it’s hard to tell if I was more taken aback by the point of impact or the perpetrator’s nonchalance about the entire situation. As if they drop VOSS bottles as a simple pastime). Unscented. I like the bottle shape, I can’t speak for everyone, but it fits well in my hand. Tastes almost artificial — like a plastic flavour. There is an odd indeterminable taste about this water when it first hits you. Perrier — “Natural mineral water fortified with gas from the spring. Captured at source.” Not fond of the colour of the bottle. Things it’s reminiscent of are olive oil bottles and the Freddo frog mascot. The strongest flavour yet. Offensive flavour. The most bitter tasting water. Antipodes — “Drink chilled. Drink Often. Drink well.” “World’s purest waters” I purchased this in Perth. Prior to that one of my associates described it as “the best sparkling water I’ve ever tasted.” Really hard to open, give me a minute. I really like the bottle — it’s the best looking, but it is very scary to hold. I’ve envisioned myself dropping it every time it’s in my hands and every internal projection of the glass shattering is just as devastating as the last. Also, very scary to pour. A good result in flavour regardless of the bottle’s inconvenience. The smoothest tasting water so far. Soft. San Pellegrino (affectionately referred to as san pelly, san pell, grino, etc.) I’ll be honest, I’m most familiar with this brand. When I was maybe 15 I ordered it from Dome as a joke and handled a single grimace-inducing sip. Now I drink the stuff like water. Ha ha ha. I keep sustaining this vice via the bottle shop across the road. The man that always serves me, who looks distinctly like he would be the nippers footy coach in an Australian movie, always looks disappointed. One day I might buy an alcoholic beverage and he’ll pat me on the shoulder and say, “good work, champ” and we’ll finally have the strong connection I seek. Anyway, this tastes good. After this experience, I think it’s fair to say I feel overwhelmingly refreshed. It’s like having a coke advertisement: a feeling; jarringly refreshing, kick you in the face in quick succession. I also feel as though I have accumulated a dangerous amount of carbon dioxide inside my body. Please do not light a match near me for the next 24 hours.
A Hummus in Time Chunyi Monaghan Good day, mon petite chefs! Today we will be making hummus. Now, this is MY hummus, so don’t come around here telling me I’m doing it wrong. I’m just trying to do you a favour; I know you’d love some hummus in your fridge. So, here are the ingredients. After you make this batch of hummus you should always keep these things in your fridge and pantry for surprise guests, parties, sandwich spreading or packed dinners. HUMMUS: 2 x 400g chickpea tins (the fatter the chickpeas, the better the hummus) PLUS, ¼ cup chickpea tin water (‘aquafaba’ if you were wondering). Alternatively, you may use olive oil here. Add as much as you like to get your preferred consistency. 2 x large garlic cloves (or more if you love garlic breath) 1 x juice of one whole juicy lemon 1 x teaspoon of salt 1 x tablespoon of tahini (buy it once, pretty much never buy it again – unless your friend smashes your new jar like mine did) CUMIN SEED OIL: 1 x heaped tablespoon of cumin seeds 2 x tablespoon olive oil (Olive oil is best here because you want the flavour. Do not let it burn the seeds or it will taste bitter) RECIPE: 1. Put all hummus ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (adding a little chickpea water first and then more if needed). 2. Taste and adjust lemon/salt. 3. Hummus is ready. 4. For the oil, heat the oil on very low and fry cumin seeds. Take it out of the pan when the cumin becomes fragrant. Top the hummus with the oil and stir. Tip: Make a big batch of hummus and put most of it away before adding the cumin seeds. This way, you can choose to flavour your hummus with cumin one day, paprika the next, more lemon, pesto, chilli and garlic, roasted red peppers, roasted pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds or fresh coriander. Stick to one topping though – don’t be overzealous or you will ruin it.
Maison (Minion) Margiela: How Minions Revolutionised the Fashion Industry Isabella Corbett I love Minions. I adore their squeaky little cries, pudgy fingers, and plodding cloddishness. If, in some dystopian universe, where Dune Rats were actually talented and Minions were tiny criminals, and they murdered Dune Rats, and I was called to the police station to identify which Minion gone done the kill, I would be able to name him. I could tell you if it was Bob, Kevin, or Stuart. Obviously, this hypothetical situation is made redundant as Dune Rats will never be so important to warrant assassination, and Minions are too pure to even think about taking another human life. The point is: I have invested some time in familiarizing myself with these adorable yellow freaks. I understand, however, that they are contentious figures, and many believe that they should stay within the confines of toy stores, Universal Studios, and Pinterest; that the only adults that like them either wear cat ears in public, or are called Judy and work in administration; and, most crucially, that Minions have no place in fashion. I am here to debunk these myths. Before you wag your wee fingers at me and say: “Isabella, I don’t care, Minions are stupid,” I know. Peter Coffin, who created these beautiful little beasts, has literally said that Minions are so dumb, that they could not possibly be girls. It is widely acknowledged and accepted that Minions are dim. This cannot be used as rebuttal to refute the dignity of Minions. You may also say, though: “Isabella, I don’t care, Minions are embarrassing, and will never be regarded as anything more than a shrill, jaundiced Tic Tac targeted towards children,” and this is where you are wrong. Minions are high fashion: Vogue said so. Yes, really. Vogue, specifically Vogue Britain, the most profitable publication in the United Kingdom, and often touted as one of the most influential and powerful fashion magazines on the planet, endorsed Minions. The company released a short video in 2013, consisting of a series of Minion-based interviews with globally renowned fashion figures. Alber Elbaz, the Creative Director of Lanvin for fourteen years, described Minions as “divine”, and stated “he likes to have lunch with Kevin.” Stephen Jones, one of the most radical and prolific milliners the world has seen, discussed how he enjoys drawing portraits of Minions in different contexts; relaxing in the South of France, flying to the moon, and jousting in the fourteenth century, for example. There is footage of the famed shoe designer, Rupert Sanderson, being interrupted mid-speech by a phone call from Bob, or possibly Kevin, screaming down the receiver in Minionese. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana say they listen to audiotapes in bed to learn this same language. They created a physical copy of the magazine with Stuart on the cover. Suzy Menkes, the International Editor for nineteen global editions of Vogue, sat down with a graphic designer and said: “Yes, please, I want the sentence ‘Minion Effort: Maximum Impact’ on the cover of Vogue Britain, and throw in ‘50 Shades of Yellow’ while you’re at it!” The prestige of Vogue Britain stems from the fact that it is more than simply a fashion bible: it is a reflection of the continually evolving chronicle of culture, translating the mood of the moment through visuals. During the Second World War, the magazine was given extra paper, as its success and aspirational allure was considered fundamental to fostering civilian morale. Fashion had symbolic value as a manifestation of tenacious spirit in the face of adversity. The brilliant Cecil Beaton shot the aptly named Fashion is Indestructible for the September edition of Vogue in 1941. A model stands amongst the ruins of Middle Temple in London, a monument destroyed by the Blitz; donning a tweed Digby Morton suit, her back is turned from the camera as she gazes at a plaque, which reads that the site had been destroyed before in the Great Fire, but it managed to rise again. The photograph encapsulates
the defiance of a nation that refuses to succumb to the ravages of war, and supports the notion that fashion, too, will persevere through crisis. Looking to 1993, Corinne Day shot the aspirant model, Kate Moss, for the March cover of Vogue; unadorned and raw, it signalled a stark rebellion to the excess of Eighties hedonism. The cover became synonymous with, and groomed the launch of the insurmountably influential and controversial trend, ‘heroin chic’, a grunge-inspired phenomenon favouring the languid, the rangy, and the ‘waif.’ It is impossible to deny the magazine’s impact. Some might say that, like Minions, Vogue has a niche brand of devotees: blonde; has a cupboard full of Diptyque candles; adores Gwyneth Paltrow. The Vogue reader and the Minions fan are diametrically opposed. Why, then, has the largest fashion conglomerate on the planet endorsed these beautiful little boys? The most obvious answer is sponsorship. In fact, the video is captioned as being ‘in partnership with Universal’. I would like to imagine that yellow and white defied adversity in the Vogue Britain office in Mayfair by sternly shaking hands to signal a deal, vehemently thinking they were going to rock the people to their core by introducing the most ingenious collaboration ever. They did. On behalf of the entire populace of the world, I can confirm that Vogue and Minions have left me quivering with sheer anticipation. No amount of money, however, can justify this partnership. Vogue Britain saw something in Minions: themselves. Vogue is a universally acclaimed and prolific brand, with its Didot-esque font being instantly recognizable. Similarly, blue and yellow are associated with the creatures; Minion Yellow even became Pantone certified in 2015. Vogue Britain is fluid, evolving with the changing pace of the world. It has remained an industry leader since its inception, standing as a defiant source of inspiration and aspiration. Minions, too, have captured the hearts of many: their reach is insurmountable. They have graced memes with captions like: “And The Lord Said – “Let there be Sexy People” and “Poof” Here I Am”; had their little faces slapped on every piece of stationery and banana-flavoured foodstuff imaginable; featured in a slew of multi-million dollar productions; inspired a bevy of makeup tutorials; and, finally, influenced the course of fashion. In 2015, an ensemble of London-based designers, including Rupert Sanderson, Giles Deacon, and Piers Atkinson, teamed to launch the Minions Bello Yellow Collection, bringing us satin court shoes, swinging shift dresses, and little bowler hats. In the same year, the internationally renowned arts and design college, Central Saint Martins, collaborated with NBCUniversal to create the Minions Collective, an immersive fashion showcase. Students were invited to design and create garments or accessories inspired by Minions, and dancers were to unveil these outfits in a live fashion-dance performance. The cult Japanese street-wear brand BAPE has released two Minion-exclusive capsule collections, in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Minions are fashion influencers and Vogue Britain was their enabler. As a society, I doubt we will ever understand the omnipresent power of Minions; we can, however, learn something from Vogue Britain’s endorsement of them. Due to the publication’s immense cultural weighting and global significance, the feature forces us to reconsider our relationship with Minions, and question their greater societal influence. Vogue has shown us that, not only can self-assurance be found in the most abstract forms, but also that brilliance can be carved from the most obtuse design. The one entity that has pervaded not only our lives, but also the fashion industry the deepest has been, essentially, a yellow bullet vibrator with steam-punk goggles. Is that not just papaya? (Translation: Minionese for beautiful.)
Antonia is a Textile Design student at RMIT. She loves The Bachelor (exclusively Matty J) and Chikitos with beans. Find more of her work on her Instagram @antoniapapasergio
A Deep Dive Into My Denim Collection Bryce Newton
In high school, jeans were my ultimate I don’t care about fashion fashion item. I considered myself as someone who did care quite a lot about clothing, thus I avoided this particular item as much as possible. Save for an ill-founded jegging venture, and another-ill founded black jean venture in eighth grade (I couldn’t see clearly through my blue-black scene fringe), I had avoided any real longterm interaction with jeans. Walk through (at a breaking-in-of-100%-cotton-non-stretch-denim pace) to my twenties, and I can’t get them off of me. But, so you don’t have to walk that slowly, I’m going to talk you through the jeans I have purchased and lived in for the past three years. Rollas West Coast (dark blue) This was the first pair of jeans I bonded with. Mid to high-rise (to this day I wonder how it could be one or the other) skinny jeans, with stretch. At this time in my life I was 100% okay with displaying my entire lower half in spray-on pants. Within a week, they were a semi-permanent fixture on my body (competing heavily at the time with a Gorman Mine Mine mini skirt, which I later sold on a buy-and-sell site). Prior to this, I was more of a shorts and skirts kind of person, and very much antipants; I had never felt the need to clad my lower body entirely in one colour. I bought these on a whim at Pigeonhole with my mum. She said you can dress dark denim up or down (I realised I am a full-time dressed down person, anyway), and I took them home. At the time I was convinced they photographed poorly, which wasn’t conducive to my Instagram aspirations; I wore them anyway. I was surprised how dependable a pair of pants could be and that I actually continued wearing them, even though they dug into my stomach when I sat down. Rollas Dusters (light blue) I already had jeans and didn’t need a safe starting pair. I had a strong interest in cuffed jeans at the time, and the 90’s mom jeans-esque fit of these encouraged that. I bought them at Atlas Divine and sweated profusely in the change room when finding the right size (does anyone else feel mounting pressure in the change room and begin stress sweating because of it?) I always like to bring in the sit-down test when purchasing jeans because it seems like an important achievable action, but I could not sit in these. The person who sold them to me said that they couldn’t sit down in their pair either, and that the denim would stretch (read: pain is normal). I sized down to reduce the gaping void at my waist and spent many a university tutorial feeling ill because the waistband was affecting my stomach’s ability to exist comfortably (to anyone in my Visual Arts tutorials: I WAS IN PAIN). Rollas Scorpions (black) My Mum got me these. Not really: she got me a leather One Teaspoon skirt and it didn’t fit me right. A pencil shape with no intention of being any other shape, and not ready to work with my body as a team. I went back to the store (Corner Surf in Geraldton – it always smells nice) and exchanged it for MORE JEANS. I know what you’re thinking: more Rollas? Well, we were on a roll, and they were always available during times of denim acquisition, a fate of sorts (the sort of fate where a brand is widely stocked). These have no pockets. They stretched over my hipbones and pointed them out when they were there, and then pointed them in when they weren’t. The sort of jeans you had to button at the waist and then zip your stomach into. These were the highest rise jeans I’d had to date, and they quickly faded. They showed my entire lower half and I didn’t appreciate them until I didn’t fit into them comfortably anymore. Babe: you were everything. Gorman Wildflower Jeans (floral) I wore these to graduation because I’m an A-grade jean-fiend. I thought I would look back on this with regret, but I’m still confident in my decision. I wore an Alpha60 apron dress to my second graduation (it was actually the version with a large patch on the stomach, so in time I may come to remember it as subtle Teletubby chic), and it was such a non-event that I felt bad my family had driven 400km to attend. These jeans are slim leg with the stretch of heated cheese, however they fit quite strangely. They are fine on the thighs and weirdly baggy on the calves. They would have fit better in a skinny leg style, but I guess that’s not how Gorman moves. Could have done with a higher rise too, but at least they looked nice with my “royal blue” accented graduation gown.
Rollas Eastcoast Flares (light blue) Another Atlas Divine purchase. Ostensibly one of the dreamiest pairs of pants I’ve owned, even though they’re difficult to pair shoes with. I tried these on three times before I purchased them, as the length of the jeans themselves was incredibly off-putting. The person selling them to me said they were too long for most people, and it was enough for me to take them home and stand on my partner’s parents’ table while his sister pinned and then cut the jeans where they should sit. These jeans had the perfect rise (well above the belly button), and felt like skirts for my legs (that were at the time so used to being closely clad in thick fabric). They were ideal, and made me feel beautiful with every wear. However, after a bad outfit worn to The Bird and a weird striped jumper and flared jeans combo I threw on in a rush to get to a creative writing class, I felt really down on these jeans through no fault of their own. We have been distant ever since. Neuw Paris Crop (dark blue) I tried to get rid of these on a buy-and-sell group because I thought they didn’t work with my body. They fit very snugly around the hip/butt/crotch area, but the wide cropped legs made me feel like a better person, a cooler person. It was a weird mash of putting these on and sometimes feeling hip, sometimes feeling confused. However, like all my jeans, I did love them. Nobody Denim Cult Skinny (black) I fucked up here, mates. These sat on my belly button, and as someone with a penchant for midriff sharing year-round, these were not right for me. Regardless, I was on the search for new jeans and I wanted to buy ethical denim. I do think Nobody jeans are very high quality, and extremely comfortable. However, when purchasing I was in between sizes and other than the mid rise (which I know is not right for me when my waist is much smaller than my hips, and in between these areas is not a place jeans should form boundaries on), they had the same problem as the Gorman jeans. They were strangely baggy around my lower legs and, even when cuffed, didn’t look right. I fucked up again when I cut these to fit better on my short legs, and somehow made them even worse. I wear these when I need a professional choice, which I think of as something that suggests nothing about me as a person. Levi’s Wedgie Fit (pale blue with ripped knees) I found out about this style after asking for help on Instagram concerning denim fits. I’d had a break from wearing jeans for a fair while (read: Summer Shorts Exploration), and needed some help from friends, acquaintances, online friends and people I have never met. These jeans are supposed to “hug” your hips and waist. A tight, intimate hug is an apt description for the pre-worn-in fit these delivered. The thing is, when you have disproportionate (feeling) hips and waist, most clothing items will close-friend-I’m-okay-sharing-body-contact-with hug your hips and someone-I-have-met-oncewho-is-approaching-me-for-a-hug hug your waist. I had to attain a belt (from my partner) for these to fit my waist. They also had to be worn in. If you’ve never worn in jeans, it’s like breaking in a shoe: just imagine the lower half of your body is a foot (sorry), with the same amount of fucking pain (but without the blisters and necessitated Band-Aid acquisition). I haven’t commented on them yet, but I liked the rips. My knees looked super tanned and I stared at them all the time with good feelings. I have put these away until I am ready to wear ripped jeans again. Alpah60 Goldie Jeans (blue denim) These are the best jeans I have ever owned. Unlike most jean experiences I’d had previously, these jeans weren’t so keen on shaping/enhancing/wrapping-up-in-cling-wrap any part of my body. These jeans fit on the waist and are loose throughout. I have very little else to say (feelings of overwhelming goodness aren’t allowing themselves to be realised in words), other than I have worn these for three weeks straight (neglecting all other lower body coverings). This weekend my Mum tried really hard to make me buy another pair of jeans (these exact ones in a different colour) so I would wear something else. I didn’t. Sorry Mum!
Woman of Substances: Jenny Valentish Tess Bury Jenny Valentish is a journalist well known for her stints in publications such as Dazed and Confused, Tank Girl, and JMag. She first began to self-publish at the age of 16 through her zine Slapper, and Woman of Substances is her ‘research-memoir hybrid’: her second booklength work after the acclaimed novel Cherry Bomb. If writing is Valentish’s primary passion, then music is her second. From the very beginning of the novel we can see how the UK punk scene influenced her heavily – Valentish grew up in Slough, a satellite town to London. She self-describes as a punk, and someone who not only loves the music but the people and movement within the scene. She is involved with several bands, and is a self-proclaimed groupie. However, unlike Cherry Bomb, Woman of Substances is an exploration of addiction and treatment, and music just seems to be the engine to pull her tale along. The guiding narrative is Valentish’s tumultuous life, beginning with sexual abuse at the age of seven, followed by extreme ups and downs throughout her adolescence and adulthood, and marked with heavy drinking and alcohol use. Being a psychology major and having grown up with addiction within my close family, this book instantly intrigued me. With respect to its psychology content – it mostly did not disappoint. Valentish is evidently well researched within the fields of addiction, and her firsthand experience is necessary to the book. If you are guilty of having ever selfdiagnosed, trawling through Wikipedia finding disorders with symptoms too relatable to be a coincidence, a lot of Valentish’s novel will interest you. This is essentially a woman’s journey through self-diagnosis. However, as any psych major or psych-interested individual will know, psychology is a shaky science, and several holes still exist in our knowledge of just how our brains work in relation to addiction (or in relation to anything, for that matter). At times, Valentish seems to just present a smattering of information, diagnostic terms and symptoms, which can leave the reader confused. I don’t believe this to be the fault of Valentish, however, it simply reflects the wide gaps in the field of psychological sciences. For instance, at times Valentish presents information that seems counter-intuitive and not well backed-up: ‘Low serotonin, for instance, causes higher anxiety and depression, but also higher libido.’ Statements like these obviously contradict what we know about low serotonin (which is traditionally associated with low libido), and leave you wondering if her diagnosis is too broad to have merit. However, there are some great insights offered by Valentish in certain respects: ‘… it’s actually very difficult to test for dopamine deficiency… dopamine checks are not readily available to the public. What would be the point anyway? If an individual could triumphantly claim that they undisputedly had dopamine deficiency and were to start their own DD fellowship, they would be blithely ignoring all the other environmental, psychological and cultural issues that will also have contributed to their substance use.’ The book, overall, is readable, and Valentish’s writing is entertaining and unique; the influence of her previous writing as a music journalist keeps the often-dry psychology talk upbeat and engaging. If you are looking for something that will accurately depict the state of research in fields of psychology today, with evidence that really backs up claims being made about how our brains work, then this book may seem a little airy and vague (and disappointing overall). It is a nice bit of pop psychology, a relatable tale of self-diagnosis, and an interesting glimpse into a woman’s struggle with addiction.
We’re Reading ‘A Heritage of Trumpets’ – Clive James Today I read a Clive James poem titled ‘A Heritage of Trumpets’. Like most of his poems it is written in tight rhymed verse, standing emphatically against the dominate formlessness of contemporary poetry. I really liked this poem. I think it is about jazz, and at one point he says, “The lawlessness, the skipping lilt of it”. I assume it is from his new collection, Injury Time, but I am not sure. The bookshop I go to didn’t have it in yet, so the lady at the desk had to order it for me. Clive James is probably going to die soon, and when he does Australia will lose the greatest writers it has ever had. Look out for me around campus, staring blankly into space. I’ll be very upset. Harry Peter Sanderson
Various Recipes Found Online I spend small pockets of spare time researching recipes for future cooking endeavours. When I do follow them, I read the listed steps on my phone, which is inconvenient because the screen keeps turning off and my phone gets marked with sauce and spices (often turmeric). Yesterday, my phone turned off mid-recipe and I had to continue without it while it charged (balanced hopefully on top of the coffee maker), fortunately past measuring ingredients and wading through temperamental cooking times. I placed a pan on high heat when the recipe asked for medium, and as I poured boiled potatoes in I watched them turn dusty and grey (and burnt) when they were supposed to be yellow. Recipes online do not have the same allure as a cookbook. There are rarely anecdotal stories (these are the main reason I read cookbooks), you do not get the feeling someone has compiled the recipes with purpose and bound them, and there are also no pages caked in flour (this is a reason to use a cookbook, because flour on your phone cannot be nostalgic). Bryce Newton Money for Jam – Daniel Pettiward When I picked up this dusty, coverless book from the now defunct Serendipity Books (40 years, rip) I had not expected to laugh as much as I did. Daniel Pettiward writes a satirical advice book on how to make it big as a comedic illustrator, without ever having to demonstrate talent, effort, or wit. The subjects of the ‘cartoon’ and the ‘joke’ are deconstructed to absurdity, written by Pettiward in a longwinded, ironic tone that mirrors his drab contemporaries. I am unfamiliar with the context in which he wrote this book (1940-50s Britain), and am ignorant of the cartoonists he satirises and snipes, but the examples shown are so effortlessly pompous and hilariously unhumourous, that I feel he predates the anticomedy movement by decades. Money for Jam manages to be biting, meta and self-aware without smugness – silly but educational in showing what not to do. I would recommend to fans of Kurt Vonnegut and Scott Mcleod’s Understanding Comics – and to any writer or artist who wonders with hopelessness, ‘how do I make this funny?’ Ben Yaxley The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes Ostensibly a portrait of the Russian composer Shostakovich, The Noise of Time is a lament to lives silenced by the bureaucratic machines in Stalin’s Russia. The truth of this tragic narrative is questionable and largely at odds with how Shostakovich lived his (apolitical) life. It is certainly easier to do as Barnes has done, and imagine a tortured soul fighting against an oppressive regime, than to try and accept a blinkered artist who was more concerned with getting his own music performed than with resisting the political reality he lived in. For those seeking a better understanding of Shostakovich, try listening to his symphonies and string quartets. Both the music and the book are worth indulging in. Ruth Thomas
David Foster Wallace, Myself and the Infinite Bummer1 Eamonn Kelly During the winter break, I participated in the annual “Infinite Summer”2 in which people all over the globe read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest for the first time. It took me roughly a month. During this time, my hair and nails grew, I got drunk three times and had a demon in my brain the following mornings. I applied for fifteen separate jobs, and walked at dawn through the freezing wind and rain towards Maylands station3. I missed a call from a hiring agent because I was too busy laying prostrate, head pounding with the force of a Japanese drum troupe, dehydrated to heck. I put the wheels in motion to start a band with a couple of my friends, and attended an improvisatory gig in Fremantle with a crazy drummer and a guy passing wind out a trumpet. I smoked like a fiend4 and scared myself when I smoked an entire packet of JPS Superkings in one sitting5. I consequently took up rollies. I missed a few doses and began to have myoclonic jerks6. I rediscovered the public library after several years estrangement. My mother went back on nightshift and slept through the day, and my father went back on dayshift. He and I stayed up all the night watching borrowed films. I lived in vectors between the couch, the computer, my smoking chair7 and the bed, reading. My sleep cycle fucked itself and then unfucked itself, I woke my sister one night at 11pm thinking it was the top of the morning, she threw her shoe at me, and it hit me in the face. Infinite Jest is a fantastic book. I don’t think you need some schmo with half an English degree telling you that, you have legions upon legions of more qualified scholars and critics that have said it in better words than me. It’s a book with a certain reputation. I am aware of the schema of the white dude who won’t shut up about Infinite Jest, I am aware of its meme status among certain people who use irony as a defence against confronting the reals. It’s a bit unfair, I tend to feel that a lot of people who use this book as the butt of a joke haven’t read it, and either want to give off the pretence of cleverness or insult it to be cool. Something about a quote-unquote difficult piece of literature8 turns people off, it may be the novelty of the footnotes9 or the fact that he wore a bandanna10. Infinite Jest is about a lot of things; like most thousand-page novels, it defies easy summarisation. There is a dysfunctional family called the Incandenzas. The patriarch has made a film so perfect that should anyone see it they will lose interest in everything else,
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With footnotes, because why not? It’s called Infinite Summer, but it’s a North American thing, basically I hate it when the northern hemisphere deigns to think themselves the centre of the universe by naming events after seasons. Thanks A- for letting me crash at your pad. Cigarettes, tobacco, I’m a good boy. “Smoking like a fiend” is a John Yaxley turn of phrase, credit where it is due. They come in packs of 20. I suffer from epilepsy, it is very well controlled, I take Epilim, it is an anticonvulsant. I don’t know how it affects my brain and should really be more knowledgeable about my own health. My mother and father read all my articles, and will no doubt be shocked to discover this, I hadn’t told them. Everybody say hi ma and pa Kelly. I have a smoking chair, it is in my backyard and it is very comfortable. It’s not nearly as difficult as people say it is. Three tips are to get a hardcover copy, use two bookmarks (one for the core text and one for the footnotes) and to not worry about the temporal organisation of the narrative, everything shall become clear in time. I quite liked the footnotes themselves, they allow you to say something within a sentence that cannot be said otherwise. There are some 390 footnotes, some of which are chapter length, they are essential to the text itself, you shouldn’t skip them, no matter how much you might want to. I mean, a marketable image is a marketable image. He stopped wearing the bandanna later on, probably because people kept talking about it.
dying transfixed and totally happy watching it on an endless loop.11 The film centres around a tennis academy where the Incandenzas live, a drug recovery house, and the efforts of Quebecois separatist terrorists to gain possession of and weaponize this perfect entertainment. From here DFW riffs on the role of entertainment in contemporary life, lacunae of communications and the inability for an individual to convey what they really mean to others, addiction,12 success, Cantorian infinity, tennis,13 irony and ironic detachment. It is profoundly funny and profoundly sad at the same time. It is a masterpiece. A fun fact about me is that the first thing I ever wrote for Pelican was a review of the 2016 film The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel as the man himself. Having read Infinite Jest, the terrible, uncanny valley irony of a David Foster Wallace movie existing hits me. David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008 after a lengthy struggle with depression. I tend to feel that part of the allure of David Foster Wallace’s writing, certainly now, is his suicide. There’s something captivating about a sad creative genius.14 People have a perverse interest in artists that commit suicide. Their final act becomes what defines them in the public eye, which is disrespectful and sucks a big ol’ tailpipe.15 It doesn’t help that his work often explicitly deals with suicide and depressive feelings, making it really easy to insert Wallace into his own writing.16 David Foster Wallace was a human being, he had the same petty struggles as everybody else. You shouldn’t read his work because he committed suicide, nor should you read it with the fact of his suicide on your mind, you should read it because what David Foster Wallace had to say is important, it is hard to do this, but you should still try. Wallace was one of the most compassionate and thoughtful authors alive during the 20th century, and one of his best works was a speech addressed to the graduating class of Kenyon College entitled “This is Water”, in which he outlines problems of empathy arising out of the mundanity of modern life. If you have twenty minutes, the entire thing is on YouTube. Infinite Jest is the kind of book that changes you. For the first time in a goddarn while I felt motivated enough to do anything other than sit on my laptop at home in bed. The book’s reputation makes it seem some unsurpassable mountain, but before I knew it I was standing at its summit and asking well what now. Give it a go, you might find yourself addicted.
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Known variously as “the entertainment”, “samizdat” and “Infinite Jest” Of all sorts. Lots of tennis. Of any kind. See also Sylvia Plath, Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain… One of the most beautiful in Infinite Jest: “The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” (on page 696 of the hardcover first edition).
I forgot a book, this trip goes for six hours. I’m on a bus and my heart is can of crushed tomatoes ready to be chopped, cooked and consumed. If my heart was a canned tomato in a Jamie Oliver recipe, he would advise you to press it against the pan, and break it up with a wooden spoon. The couple across the aisle have eaten almost an entire bag of rice cakes with no toppings they keep kissing, one of them, a girl, has a cold. The older woman in front of me has a manicure. In the window reflection, I can see her phone screen, she is browsing pictures of the sky. I thought she was taking photos of a large cloud, but I turn my head and see it is smoke from prescribed burning, all yellowed out at the edges like an old page. The same woman is reading an NW magazine with the cover rolled back, like a secret. She has told the man in front of her that she only takes five-star holidays, after he raised the topic of hitchhiking “on the cheap.” His hair is pale white and the most beautiful crop on this bus. He is wearing shorts when the bus stops for a break, I watch him approach other people, they don’t mind.
V and Me Ryan Suckling There’s a scene in the film V for Vendetta where the captured Evey is released into the rain. Her imprisonment of an unspecified length was orchestrated by V to test her allegiance, her will, and her determination to fight for him – in political cause and love. Someone I met recently told me how this very scene made it their “favourite film of all time.” I refrained from asking him how many and what sort of films he’d seen in order to make such a grand, declarative statement. In fact, I found his unabashed adoration of the film enticing, albeit one I couldn’t help questioning in my head. He spoke of the near spiritual rapture the scene performed for its audience, by which he meant himself. He expressed a similar sentiment when he indefatigably said that Chicago was “the greatest city in the world.” Have you been to every city in the world, I asked. The words fell out like rain on Natalie Portman’s forehead, her head bald and body straggly – a further metaphor for my social prowess. Luckily, he took my vertiginous words in jest and the conversation carried on without a hitch. I felt relieved. In a previous conversation I had with another person that night, I inadvertently implied he was possessive of his girlfriend. My efforts to expunge the social error didn’t work, and he slyly joined another conversation. I wasn’t particularly distressed over this, since he worked in a lab with chemical compounds and micro-organisms, and made tedious references to Myth Busters – the one blight of SBS. SBS’s online player is really good. The Nordic noir content is plentiful and consuming. In films, I recommend Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, the inimical Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter, Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa, and I Am Love with a steely Tilda Swinton. I didn’t ask my V enthusiast friend if he’d seen any of these, from which I then could indulgently lead the conversation to the future of American independent cinema, or the efficacy of historical narration in film. But of course I didn’t. I couldn’t. It seemed like this very V scene was holding him up, his words strung together in the hope of conveying even a semblance of its affect on him. I thought that surely he endured some personal crisis when he saw the film for the first time – a lover’s despair, suddenly orphaned like Evey perhaps, or some fetishized attraction to Natalie Portman – but his case seemed too well-reasoned, and not as emotive as those scenarios would permit. I didn’t think about this until a week after I met the chap. Dozily browsing for something to watch one night, the conversation came to me, and I had to try and convince myself that I actually had it. Recalling his shooting arms and lyrical voice like V pontificating to Evey. I rented V for Vendetta and was absorbed for the next two hours. I partly resented myself for giving into the suggestiveness of the whole thing. Like I was somehow bound through this encounter to watch this epic film of political anarchy and tortured love. Yet I couldn’t help feeling compelled by its sweeping romance of words and ambitions – scenes of V conducting a symphony of explosions, or toying with Evey’s loyalty by feeding her a lesbian love story scribbled on toilet paper. It has a dark, fairy tale quality lulling you into a dystopian world with all its Orwellian prophecies fulfilled. I’d seen V for Vendetta at least two times before this. I forgot how much I enjoyed it. It was somehow pushed to the back of my mind as more artful, perhaps pretentious films caught my attention. Films scornful or cynical of such overtly political themes. I think context has a part to play here. Released over a decade ago, I can’t imagine V popping up in cinemas today, calling audiences to become Anonymous agitators sworn against the absurdity of Trump’s America. Obviously it was made with Bush in mind, the writers were quite clear on that. Has political apathy got the final strangle-hold over citizens too swamped with information? Too removed from political reality? Recently, I saw an entire book dedicated to analysing Trump’s tweets. I felt slightly accused by V, poking his sword at my political dormancy; haranguing me for my disinterests and prejudices. But they are my talisman of selfhood – can I not stand at the precipice and hold my cultural thoughts against the tides of lobbyists, activists, gamekeepers committing me to causes I cannot keep up with? I wonder what my V friend would make of this, if I can call him that. Would he scrunch his brow and admire me for my self-analysis and transparency, or slyly join another conversation?
Chocbombs Taste Test: Windsor Cinema Ryan Suckling and Ruth Thomas Four Pelican editors and a close friend (and intern) travelled to the Windsor Cinema to conduct a comprehensive review of the Chocbomb menu. After discovering that HOKEY POKEY and SALTED CARAMEL were unavailable, we selected ten of the fourteen flavours on offer: Harry (BOYSENBERRY and CAPPUCINO), Tess (MINT and MACADAMIA), Ryan (RUM AND RAISIN and MANGO), Ruth (VANILLA and CHOCOLATE), and Skye (COOKIES AND CREAM and STRAWBERRY). HARRY: How do you eat these? I’ve never understood them as a movie food. TESS: They’re very heavy. And messy. RUTH: The chocolate coating makes them less messy than a normal ice-cream. TESS: I think the main reason I came today was because I can never afford to buy food at cinemas, so this was an amazing opportunity for me. My grandpa once took my whole family to see Avatar, we don’t get along with him and he tried to buy his way into our hearts. He spent $100 on cinema food. I got a massive slushy, and on my way to the cinema I dropped it on the floor and he said, “I’ll get you another one” and I was like “damn right you will.” HARRY: I’m not sure about the lolly on the top – it’s very hard, I think they do it for utilitarian purposes, to identify the flavours, which is sort of like a metaphor for society in a way. SKYE: Does it worry you that this is the cookie they use to indicate that it’s Cookies and Cream ice-cream inside? It’s a plain Arnott’s biscuit. HARRY: There’s a distinct lack of boysenberry in this – it’s more of a vanilla, with a streak of berry. I don’t want to be too negative. I like it. RYAN: You can definitely detect the rum. And who runs out of Salted Caramel? HARRY: Maybe something bad happened. RYAN: But if it’s their most popular flavour surely they’d just want to churn it out? SKYE: [Melted chocolate coating from the Chocbomb has fallen onto her pants]. This was a bad idea [she is referring to being here]. RUTH: This is what I worry would happen in a cinema. If you were on a date, you’d be like oh no. HARRY: I think movie theatres are bad places for dates. At least in the early stages. TESS: Same. I went on a date the other day. We went to Utopia (got bubble tea), went to Elizabeth Quay and sat there for a while, we went to the art gallery, then we went and played snooker. HARRY: That’s a really good date. RYAN: I want it on record that I’m the first to finish a Chocbomb. TESS: Well done! You get another Chocbomb. HARRY: I like the music they play here. Everyone be quiet whilst I Shazam this song. [Ryan begins tasting the MANGO Chocbomb. Harry and Tess also start tasting their second Chocbombs – TOFFEE and MACADAMIA respectively]. TESS: My whole body is telling me to stop eating, but my love for Pelican is telling me to eat more. This is every lactose intolerant person’s nightmare. HARRY: I’m taking a break. What movies are even on right now? A Trip to Spain? RYAN: That is not good. It’s shit [referring to the MANGO Chocbomb]. It’s so bad. It’s tropical. It’s like eating a sorbet. HARRY: What is toffee? Is it just sugar? It’s too hard to eat, it’s not happening. [A few minutes later, the ice-cream is more edible]. I don’t know if it tastes like toffee, it tastes more like coffee. I love coffee, but I don’t want my icecream to be coffee flavoured, that’s something only old people get. I like old people. The way they dress, their vibe.
TESS: I like when they are unreasonably rude, like “I don’t have time for this” because it makes me think I can be like that when I’m older. The Macadamia is chock full of macadamias, I’m surprised it didn’t cost more. It’s good. But Mint is number one for me, always. RUTH: Vanilla is good, but it’s not super creamy which makes it feel like there’s no flavour. TESS: I’ve never eaten against my will like this – it’s really weird. RUTH: We have to finish them because your perspective can change by the time you get to the bottom of the cone. HARRY: Can’t we just assume I won’t want it anymore? RUTH: Where’s the journalistic integrity in that? TESS: Call it: We Went to Luna And Ruth Forced Us to Eat Ice-cream. RYAN: Call it: How I Got Drunk Off of a Chocbomb. Just putting it out there: I interviewed David Stratton in this very spot and I was nervous. TESS: Did you buy him a Chocbomb? RYAN: No but he had his own Chocbomb – it was English Toffee. TESS: Imagine if you went to dinner at his house and Margaret was there and all they ate was popcorn and Chocbombs. HARRY: He’s a hero. I don’t know if I’m ever wowed by ice creams. I like Golden Gaytimes, but I feel like these pale in comparison. TESS: The Macadamia was pretty amazing. SKYE: Mine were pretty underwhelming. RYAN: I hope this doesn’t kill the Chocbomb experience for everyone. [Editor’s note: it did]. TESS: I’d rather go for the overpriced box of Maltesers. [Ruth begins eating the CHOCOLATE Chocbomb] TESS: Your face is saying: I don’t want to eat this anymore. RUTH: Yeah, chocolate makes me feel sick. HARRY: It’s going to be too rich. Can I try it? [Harry takes a bite of the CHOCOLATE Chocbomb]. This is my favourite one. FINAL RATINGS: TESS: 7/10 for both MINT and MACADAMIA. The experience: it’s really warm in here, nice lighting, comfy chair, pretty good. Sickness level, also a 7/10. Life in general is a 7 these days. It’s not bad, it fluctuates. RYAN: RUM AND RASIN: 8/10. MANGO: pretty disgusting, so a low 5. Overall, I do enjoy a Chocbomb over popcorn. HARRY: That first one (BOYSENBERRY) was a real flop, and the second one (CAPPUCINO), coffee and ice-cream, not sure if that’s a thing. Reminded me of the inside of a hot car. My mum used to eat ice-creams when we were on the road to the north. SKYE: Devastated. I rate the ice-cream (STRAWBERRY AND COOKIES AND CREAM) 5/10. Sickness 10/10. I’ll never eat another one again. Not even for money. RUTH: I wouldn’t pay for a VANILLA Chocbomb. Can’t even think about the CHOCOLATE one. Feeling 8/10 sick. I had a good experience last time I came here and tried the Banana Chocbomb. That was the first time I’d eaten a Chocbomb, and my expectations for today were high.
Rev Retrospective Ryan Suckling In July this year the Revelation Perth International Film Festival came to Luna Leederville and Luna on SX for its twentieth anniversary year. A celebration of independent Australian and international cinema, the program was rich and flowing with established and emerging talent. Here are some editorial favourites. Watch the Sunset (Australia) Ambitious and tense, this West Australian feature is filmed in one single shot, suspending the viewer with a cruel mix of anxiety and anticipation from beginning to end. Directed by Tristan Barr and Michael Gosden, it follows ex-criminal Danny (Tristan Barr) as he tries to reconnect with his former partner and child. It chillingly begins with Danny driving a drugged-up girl to a motel room, locking her inside to pursue his family. We are left wondering who this girl is as the camera closely pans the inside of the car, resting on Danny’s hands as he reaches for the gun on the dashboard. That afternoon in the small rural town his daughter is kidnapped by his former criminal company, turned to angst in his betrayal. The single shot follows him on his pursuit, towing his movements with an urgent closeness. The complete experience of linear time is strangely immersive. Watch the Sunset is a compelling technical and narrative achievement from emerging local filmmakers. Wiener-Dog (USA) Todd Solondz returns with the sickly dark comedy Wiener-Dog, a triumph of cynicism and human negligence. The innocent form of a wiener-dog is passed through different families and individuals of haphazard connection, each underlying the depths of human ridicule. There’s the indifferent bourgeois family with an affectionate boy intent on securing love and care for the dog. After feeding him a granola bar the dog has to be put down for excessive, ceaseless shitting, but is taken by the young veterinary assistant. She goes on a road trip with an estranged guy from her high school and bequeaths it to the guy’s brother and partner, who both have Down Syndrome. The water is very murky here and I imagine there were a few tut-tuts from the audience. Then we find wiener-dog with a flagging film academic (Danny DeVito), desperate to make studio success with his script. He’s loathed by students and his tenure is on thin ice. Finally, we arrive at the home of elderly woman (Ellen Burstyn) visited by her poor granddaughter and her new boyfriend. The wiener-dog is called cancer. Nana sits outside and is presented with multiple manifestations of her childhood self, all mocking her with alternative paths not taken. How she could have been kinder, more ambitious, a better lover and friend. Then of course there’s that notorious ending. King of the Belgians (Belgium/Netherlands/Bulgaria) A European satire of immense frolicking fun. Directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, it follows Belgian King Nicolas III (Peter Van den Begin) on his fumbling journey through the Balkans after a state visit to Turkey. On his visit, he’s informed of his country’s constitutional crisis and announcement of Wallonia’s independence. Him and his team are unable to fly back to their crumbling origins as a solar storm has halted all travel and telecommunications. In a sly deal to get back home, they agree to travel by land with British filmmaker Duncan Lloyd, who films the entire debacle. King of the Belgians offers both a satirical study of human incapacities and a richly comic portrayal of European identity, if such a thing exists. In fact, it is the very thing poked and prodded at. Central to its exploration is the vestiges of the old – monarchies, values, distinct identities – alongside a contemporary Europe amuck with proclamations of unity and core values. A compelling watch for a post-Brexit audience. Assholes (USA) Disturbing and freakishly up front. At points, this debut film from Peter Vack was unbearable to watch. Central characters Adah (Betsey Brown) and Aaron (Jack Dunphy) truly are assholes. It opens with Adah spewing her thoughts and feelings out to her therapist, pushing the very boundaries of what might reasonably be called self-indulgent. She soon finds her match in Aaron, her brother’s (Peter Vack) best friend, as they devote their sensibilities to each other in a toxic force of narcissism and self-interest. To celebrate their wedding, the newlyweds roam the streets of Times Square, with Aaron kicking and yelling at the crowds, they then have sex on a stage in front of onlookers gawking with cameras. A scathing critique of the excesses of millennial culture, the absurd radicalism of the characters can only be topped by the metamorphosis of actual assholes on their faces. It’s absurdist, visceral aesthetics similar to Cronenberg’s work as the audience lurches and writhes at their bodily torments and repulsive personalities. Assholes provoked an outrage I couldn’t help but see to its end.
Home Nathan Tang
3.1231211 We had a bookcase nearby. 3.12312111 I can only remember one book called “Stargazers” 3.123122 Our heads would be right next to each other. 3.1231221 We would look at the ceiling together. 3.1231222 He would read me Stargazers every night. 3.123122201 I had never seen a star at that stage. 3.1231222011 It is very smoggy in Hong Kong. 3.12312221 As I had no idea what he was talking about, he would give up and just tell me jokes. 3.1231222101 These jokes can be considered homophobic. 3.12312221011 We were very young. Please forgive us. 3.12312221012 The joke was replacing the ‘z’ in Stargazers with a ‘y’. 3.123122210121 Looking back now I do not understand how it is funny. 3.123122211 I would laugh until I fell asleep. 3.1231222111 I assume he fell asleep soon after. 3.12312222 It was the closest I felt to my brother. 3.1231222211 I miss that. 3.12312222111 I miss my brother. 3.2 My next room was my first room in Perth. 3.201 I had seen stars in Perth. 3.21 I had my own bed. 3.211 I would stare at the ceiling sometimes thinking about stars. 3.2111 Stargazers was on my bookshelf. 3.2112 The Battle of Gettysburg would be underneath my bed. 3.21121 I am not a Confederate. 3.22 I had my own computer in my room. 3.221 I discovered pornography at the age of 11. 3.2211 I discovered masturbation at the age of 11.1 3.221101 It was in the shower. 3.2211011 I would take long hot showers. 3.22111 My door had no locks. 3.221111 I got caught on numerous occasions. 3.222 I would go to therapy and stop watching pornography at the age of 15. 3.2221 I am not a pervert. 3.22211 I am sorry for the intense information. 3.23 I tried to hang myself at the age of 16 from the light in my room. 3.2301 My brother’s room was next to mine. 3.231 My brother saved my life. 3.2311 My brother made me swear not to try again or ever speak of it again.
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3.23111 I am sorry for the intense information. 3.232 I overdosed in my room at the age of 16Â˝. 3.2321 I am sorry for the intense information. 3.3 My next room had a curtain separating me from other people. 3.301 I think someone had pneumonia next to me. 3.31 My mother was next to me crying. 3.32 The doctor said I would have to go to a public specialist clinic. 3.321 My mother, my doctor and this doctor wanted me in a private clinic. 3.3211 My doctor had no admission rights to any private clinic. 3.322 I was scheduled to be transferred as soon as a bed was free 3.3221 Through the efforts of my doctors and my mother I would not be transferred. 3.3222 My doctor passed me onto another doctor with admission rights. 3.33 I was released and transferred after 10 days. 3.4 My next room would be in a clinic. 3.401 I would have many rooms in this clinic over the years. 3.41 I made many friends here. 3.411 Best people I have ever met. 3.42 I do not want to talk about it. 3.421 Talking about it makes me sad. 3.43 I miss them. 3.5 My next room is my current one. 4 I remember my family. 4.1 I see my mother daily. 4.11 She does not cry over me anymore. 4.2 I remember my brother. 4.201 He lives elsewhere. 4.202 He is looking for a career job. 4.203 He works all the time in his casual job. 4.21 We hardly talk anymore. 4.22 I miss my brother. 4.3 I remember my friends. 4.31 I remember my school friends. 4.3101 Some of them I go to university with. 4.3102 Some I have lost contact with. 4.311 I miss those school friends I have lost contact with. 4.4 I remember my university friends. 4.41 I see them quite regularly. 4.411 My current girlfriend was a university friend. 4.4111 She would probably hate reading this part. 4.41111 I will keep this brief. 4.4112 I love you. 4.5 I remember my clinic friends. 4.51 I only kept in contact with some. 4.511 I cry over it sometimes. 4.51101 It is not sad.
4.51102 Nor is it happy. 4.5111 It is cathartic 4.51111 I find myself in aporia. 4.52 I miss them. 5 I remember home. 5.1 I remember my bed 5.2 I remember my floor 5.21 I remember my bed is like my floor. 5.22 I remember my floor is unlike my bed. 5.3 I remember my books. 5.4 I remember stars. 5.41 I remember starts on my ceiling. 5.5 I remember The Battle of Gettysburg. 5.51 I remember I am not a Confederate. 5.52 I remember the snowy peaks of the mountain range that is my bed. 5.6 I remember my family. 5.61 I remember my mother. 5.611 I am still sorry for everything. 5.612 I am thankful for everything. 5.62 I remember my brother. 5.621 He is in my favourite childhood memories. 5.63 I remember my friends. 5.631 I remember my school friends. 5.632 I remember my university friends. 5.6321 I remember meeting my girlfriend. 5.633 I love you, Stephanie. 5.64 I remember my clinic friends. 5.641 I remember the fun we had. 5.642 I remember that I still miss them. 5.7 I remember everything I could say about home has been said. 5.71 I remember that everything that I cannot say about home cannot be said. 5.72 I am content to consign myself to silence. 5.721 This aporia. 5.722 This is cathartic. 5.8 I cannot write the definition of what is home to me. 5.801 I can only write the things I remember. 5.81 I cannot remember my home through words. 5.82 I remember my home in silence. 5.9 I remember I am loved. 6 Remember that you are loved. 6.1 You are being loved. 6.2 You have loved. 6.3 You are loving. 6.4 This is self-evident. 7 Everything that was needed to be said, has been said.
// The first instalment of this work featured in Edition five //
The Final Participation â€“ Blue Sally Mulholland
To GM, or Not to GM – That Is the Question… Maddi Howard Artwork by Danyon Burge Genetically modified (GM) foods have copped a lot of heat in recent years, particularly as the ‘indie’ organic cult began to regain momentum in our increasingly food-conscious communities. The debate over GM foods as supplements or replacements in our daily diets (especially in light of increasing global food security woes) has been passionately argued from both sides of the table. The ‘pro-GM’ party believes that production and cultivation of GM foods could provide a possible answer to food shortages worldwide and ease farmer concerns about reduced crop and livestock productivity resulting from a changing climate. The ‘anti-GM’ group argues that GM foods are too much of an unknown and could therefore pose health risks to consumers or prove environmentally hazardous for our delicate ecosystems. Below is a brief outline of the arguments for and against GM food, compiled from academic opinion and research. FOR 1. GM foods could be a way to ensure everybody on Earth has a daily meal. Foods could be genetically modified to produce more, tolerate pests, tolerate climatic conditions (drought, salt, etc.), produce greater amounts of nutrients, flower at different times of the year, etc. These changes could be capitalized to provide for people in all parts of the world, in all types of agricultural environments. 2. GM foods could rule out traditional farming methods (e.g. tilling soil) that currently have negative impacts on the environment. With herbicide resistant plants, tilling would become less important and more topsoil would remain stabilized by crop stubble in the pastures rather than becoming runoff into the oceans. 3. There is no evidence, despite individual product testing for allergens, toxins and chemical composition, that GM foods are dangerous to consumer health. GM foods undergo more rigorous pre-market testing than any other food sold in Australia (see The Conversation, 2014). Genetic engineering of food is replicating mutations and changes in the DNA of organisms that already occur naturally. It is a process of mimicry supported by advancements in technology. AGAINST 1. Genetically modifying the DNA of plants so that they are herbicide tolerant means that herbicides can be used more liberally and with less concern to their effect on crop health. Such freedoms could mean the use of greater amounts of herbicides on produce, and subsequently greater amounts of herbicide consumed by people. Herbicides are carcinogenic, and whilst GM foods as a product have not been proven to have long-term health risks to people, herbicides have. 2. Increased uses of herbicides or pesticides means insects or weeds residing in GM crops have greater capacity to become tolerant or resistant to herbicide and pesticide treatments. Resultant ‘superbugs’ resistant to herbicides could influence the functioning of ecosystems and compete with our native species for integral resources. 3. Cross contamination of neighbouring GM and non-GM pastures can have huge economic and legal consequences for originally organically certified (non-GM) farmers. 4. Consider potential economic and political effects of implementing widespread GM production – GM seeds are more expensive than non-GM, but the people who need them most (those in food crisis areas, e.g. salty areas of Saudi Arabia) cannot afford them. Additionally, countries that are able to produce more of a product at a cheaper, quicker rate (as per genetic modifications to increase yield, etc.) will have monopoly over others. 5. Genetic modification is an ethical/moral dilemma – just because we can scientifically/ technologically produce GM foods, should we? Is the environment this way for a reason? Do we have the right to make the decision to ‘mess’ with nature? I am yet to make up my mind about which side to back – both parties have arguments of merit. Ultimately, I don’t think the solution is as simple as picking a side; rather, an integration of opinions from both ‘for’ and ‘against’ parties are required. To allow the production of GM foods in Australia would call for a great deal of regulation at both producer and consumer levels. Additionally, agricultural scientists and geneticists would be under pressure to ensure that damaging side effects of genetically altered organisms do not arise; superbugs resistant to high levels of herbicide would be detrimental to our agricultural industry, and would cause economic and environmental havoc. The ideal scenario would be to adopt a humanitarian approach to the application of GM foods and use it to feed all people equally, rather than attempting to profit from the technology. We should capitalize on the scientific genius that allowed for genetic modification by appreciating the natural order of our environment and working with Mother Nature, as opposed to attempting to control and monopolize her. 41
Be Nice to Small Animals Clare Moran
Psephologically: Hare-Clarke Mike Anderson Most Australian States utilise very similar structures concerning how they elect their members, largely sharing a system in line with the Federal model. There are some minor differences between States, obviously with the number of members elected. Many allow for optional preferences, and in the case of Queensland and Northern Territory (yes, I know NT isn’t a State) some completely lack an upper house. Two very notable differences though, are those systems found in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. Both share a system adapted from the one used in the Senate, but remove the ability to vote above the line. This system is known as the Hare-Clarke electoral system. Hare-Clarke was named for Thomas Hare, an English political scientist who devised the Single Transferable Vote system (STV) we see a form of in the Senate today, and Andrew Inglis Clarke, a Tasmanian barrister, Attorney-General, and a Justice of the Tasmanian Supreme Court. Clarke is of particular interest, as roughly 2/3 of the Australian Constitution is in some way from his original draft. Described as a radical in his day, and being declared a communist by his opponents, it’s no surprise such a system was devised by him as early as it was. The system was introduced in 1896, before being fully adopted by the Legislative Assembly in 1909. Pausing for a moment from discussing Hare-Clarke, a rather unique facet of the Tasmanian system is that it’s upper house elects members preferentially, and its lower house under Hare-Clarke, a reversal to methods adopted by all other Parliaments across Australia. What baffles the mind further is the composition of its upper house. Most preferential systems render a two-party system; however Tasmania appears to buck the trend once again as the Legislative Council not only lacks major party dominance, it has also never been controlled by a single party. This may be in part because of the locally held view that the Legislative Council is not a “parties house,” with major parties rarely endorsing candidates. However much can be said about voter’s habits, where a strong independent focus appears to be ingrained, with major party candidates being beaten by one or more independents. Returning to the particulars of the Hare-Clarke system, it shares many similarities with the Senate’s STV model. Candidates must receive a certain share of the vote, a simple quota, this quota being the number of votes cast divided by the number of seats available. In the usual half Senate elections, this usually equates to roughly 16.6% of the votes cast. Votes over the quota are then distributed at a fraction of their original value (as it can’t be determined which votes elected them, and different votes will have a range of preferences, all votes are distributed as such). This last part is crucial in Hare-Clarke, as the system lacks an ability to vote for a party bloc. Hare-Clarke places a focus on individual candidates, meaning that voters must allocate their preferences in accordance to their own interests rather than the parties. This emphasis placed on voter agency is backed up by a ban on “How to Vote” cards being distributed outside polling places. One would imagine this would have two results, one in which voters engage more directly with their local politics (potentially explaining their independent focussed upper house), or one where voters simply “donkey vote.” Even if donkey voting was becoming a problem, both the ACT and Tasmania have incorporated another Australian (well, Tasmanian) electoral invention, the Robson Rotation (first used in 1980). Named for Neil Robson, a Tasmanian Liberal Politician, the Robson Rotation fixes the problem donkey voting presents, in which those at the top or far left of the ballot are given extra votes by the nature of a donkey vote numbering from that position. A system using the Robson Rotation will have each ballot with the candidates for a particular election placed in a different position. This results in the effect of a donkey vote being minimal if not nullified. This system may have prevented Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm winning a place in the Senate in 2013, as it was widely speculated his win was based on the name of the party, and it being placed before the Liberal Party on the ballot. While Tasmania has been the trailblazer with Hare-Clarke, having adopted it before the ACT even came into being, the ACT adopted it not long after being granted a Parliament. The ACT voted by referendum to adopt the Hare-Clarke system, leaving behind the potentially more experimental D’Hondt method (which is a story for another time), just 3 years after gaining self-government. The ACT soon adopted the Robson Rotation in 1995. The ACT is also notable in that it lacks an upper house, and therefore elects all its Territory Politicians based on Hare-Clarke. It appears we can thank Tasmania for a number of electoral innovations. I would personally like to see the Robson Rotation incorporated more widely, and seeing the impact it would have. Despite the 2016 changes to Senate voting, I believe it would have some level of impact on the result. As ever, if you change the way the votes are counted, you can change who is elected.
Youth: A Voice for Change Lavinia Kailis Youth represent a vast proportion of the state’s population, but they are too often dismissed, and excluded from policy making and the political process. We are called inexperienced and yet we are slammed for not taking part in important discussions. We are being berated with insults, and should aspire to do everything in our power to make our voices heard over the white noise of those who seek to speak for us without consultation. The YMCA have recognised this problem and have sought to empower youth to use their voice. I attended their Youth Parliament this year, representing Balcatta, and was the Youth Minister for Child Protection and Community Services. The Youth Minister for Women’s Interests, Taylor Watson, a standout parliamentarian, seized this opportunity and with the assistance of the State Member for Willagee, Peter Tinley, set up a youth advisory council. This council empowers youth to use their voice to influence political decisions. In recent years, Youth Parliament has directly impacted legislation in Western Australia. In 2015, the Juvenile Alcohol Consumption bill (a bill developed by Youth Parliamentarians) was created to combat harmful underage drinking through an educative approach, wherein the legal guardians of a juvenile over the age of 16 are permitted to supply their child with alcohol in their private residence, provided they do so responsibly and with proper support and guidance. This bill ended up helping shape legislation in our State Parliament. The success of this bill demonstrates how thorough youth can be when constructing and researching issues that matter, not only to themselves but to the whole state. This year the Women’s Interest Committee is looking to replicate the success that previous Youth Parliaments have had in affecting the legislative process. The Women’s Interests Committee devised a bill that would ultimately criminalise revenge porn. Revenge porn is the dissemination of pornographic images of someone without their consent, often (but not always) occurring after a relationship, or during an argument. It further sought to criminalise the sending of pornographic images without the receiver’s consent, thus providing a legal avenue for someone being sexually harassed over messages. The bill established a women’s helpline for those affected by revenge porn, providing a crucial support service. This bill passed the Youth Parliament with no opposition. This bill of immense importance is overdue, and should be enacted upon by our State Government. Youth are vastly underrepresented in politics, with politics being seen as the playground of old grey men in old grey suits. The energy and passion of Youth Parliament is refreshing. The unique perspectives and vision of youth represents where our state should be heading. Youth issues are largely ignored, and when they aren’t we find it’s only the old grey men speaking about us, rather than to us. We have a strength in our numbers, we should be pressuring government to respond to our voice and more of those who attended Youth Parliament. Call your local MP, talk to them about what issues matter to you. Platforms such as Youth Parliament will continue the fight to empower youth and ensure our voices are heard.
Presidential Address Nevin Jayawardena At the beginning of my term, I set out on a mission to help make UWA an institution that welcomes all and celebrates diversity. As the first coloured President of the UWA Student Guild, inclusion and diversity mean a lot to me. My parents moved from Sri Lanka to Australia many years ago, looking for a better life. Ever since I was born, we’ve gone back to visit the motherland almost every year. I realised early on how fortunate I am to be living in Australia and receiving an education from one of the top institutions in the world. Many young people don’t have the opportunity to receive a quality education and the support to make the most of life. This year has so far been an incredibly humbling experience for me, working in partnership with the University to continue making this institution more accessible, welcoming and supportive for all. It has been a privilege to support every student in some way and to help provide an experience that is literally life-changing. I look forward to what we accomplish over the remainder of my term as well as the years to come! Nevin Guild President
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Published on Aug 25, 2017