pelican. est 1929 Volume 88 Edition 7. Soft
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.
Marney Anderson // Cover Art // @botticellibitch Jorge Luis Fonseca // Inside Cover Art // @420udl Lyn Sillitto // Design Emilie Fitzgerald// Advertising // email@example.com 2
I am writing to you on the first day of Spring. My grandfather told me it would rain today, and I didnâ€™t believe him. I bought an umbrella with me anyway, red and white, and belonging to my mother. It began to rain as I walked out of the house, soft against a backdrop of sunlight. Small rivers of water moved with me, past fruit trees heavy with mandarins, and past ground dwelling fruit (soft and furry, and fallen). I thought of the man I see practicing golf most mornings, how on the mornings I donâ€™t see him, I see his golf clubs in a repurposed pot by the door. How there are golf balls on the lawn across from his, unclaimed and settling into the grass. I thought of how I should not have chosen today to wear shorts. I stepped in a puddle and my shoe filled with water, my socks are still damp. And then I thought of you, and began to write. Ruth Thomas and Bryce Newton Pelican Editors 2017
Letter from the Editors
Creative writing residency: Drizzling Hannah Cockroft
Sad Mickey Gabby Loo
It’s too hard
Nervous System Consciousness Sally Mulholland
32 No Junk, No News Skye Newton 40 Thoughts on a weaker day Selina Bell 46 Guild President’s Address Nevin Jayawardena
Harry Peter Sanderson
10 Inside the Artist Studio: Paper Mountain Ruth Thomas
HARSH NOISE! Eamonn Kelly
Finland Without Sibelius William Huang
Column Talk VII: what we care about when we care about columns Harry Peter Sanderson
Corrective Retrospective: Peter Mendelsund Ruth Thomas
Album Review Nick Morlet
Taking 5 With New Nausea Tess Bury Photography by Amber Bateup
13 Pack Up the Moon: Scene VII Sophie Minissale
Arcade Fire: Everything Now Clinton Ducas
The Quasi-Definitive Soft Serve Study Jorge Luis Fonseca
20 Hobbies Reviewed Rainy Colbert 21
My Neighbour’s Bedroom Window Is Across from My Bathroom Window: I have been washing my hands for half an hour Bryce Newton
22 GIRL REVIEWS SO MANY HOUSEHOLD SURFACES YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT Skye Newton 23 Radio Rat Clare Moran
24 Blake Ellis Isabella Corbett
28 We’re Reading Eamonn Young, Pema Monaghan, Gabby Loo
26 Fashion Cannot Campaign for a Feminist Future When It Still Perpetuates an Exploitative System Isabella Corbett
29 End of Lease Jade Newton 30 Hardback or Paperback Clinton Ducas, Sophie Minissale, Tanner Perham, Ruth Thomas, Gabby Loo, Prema Arasu, Ben Yaxley, Mike Anderson, Eamonn Kelly, Pema Monaghan, Skye Newton
33 A Beautiful Exchange Ryan Suckling
36 Post-Game Press Conference: The Science Edition Maddi Howard
34 Soft Cinema Clinton Ducas 35 Intimate Parts Julian Coleman, Jorge Luis Fonseca, Cindy Shi
Transforming Environmental Activism into a Social Media Construct Maddi Howard
38 Hard Water: An Interview (And How I Will Increase the Longevity of My Iron) John Murphy 39 Hey You, Are You Ready for Birds Clare Moran
Psephologically: D’Hondt Mike Anderson
43 Soft Power Kylie Matthews 44 Words with Lisa O’Malley Leah Roberts
Drizzling Hannah Cockroft I don’t like winter weather. Not how we have it here, with the days switching between sunny and gloomy by the hour. It’s an in between winter. Wishy-washy. If you wear a jumper and a coat in the morning then you’ll feel sweaty in the afternoon, and they won’t fit in your bag, so you endure it. At home, I feel too hot wearing my hoodie, but my feet and hands are always cold. Even if I wear socks to bed I still tuck my legs up so that my feet don’t feel so far away from the warmth of my belly. The cold isn’t what bothers me, more the lack of commitment that a Perth winter has. I wish our winters matched the severity of our summers. I would love to go outside and be sure that I will feel the cold on my nose all day. I would love to be able to buy beanies and scarves and know that my money wouldn’t be better spent on movie tickets or new knickers. I like seasons that fit their illustrations in picture books. Summers with people at the beach, the sun in the sky wearing sunglasses because he hates the look of himself. Autumns with dead plants and brown stuff. Spring with flowers and other things. Winter with lots of snow and knitwear. Perth winter can’t get it right. I don’t mind missing out on snow (from my one experience with snow it’s pretty for about a day and then it goes brown and slippery and becomes 30% dog wee), but I wish I had more opportunities to rug myself up in layers of wool without cooking my insides. Even in the warmer weather, catching the sniffles at least twice each winter seems inevitable. Spending 15 minutes in the rain without a jacket is all I need to get that tickling feeling at the back of my throat, and then I’m done for. No amount of vitamin C tablets can bring me back from the edge. No amount of garlic in my pasta. It’s over. I will have to endure blocked nostrils and sore eyes for the next 38 weeks. I want to eat chicken soup, but it seems like no people in real life actually make chicken soup for sick people. I think chicken soup is a fake meal invented to sell books to teenage girls. Perth winter stops you from doing winter things, as well as other normal stuff. In Perth winter, it’s too wet to go for a walk. But it’s not cold enough to go tobogganing. It’s too windy to wear your flippy skirt. But it’s not cold enough to go ice fishing. Our winter doesn’t want anyone to have any fun either way, unless you enjoy standing under a grey sky with rain drops on your glasses with damp hair that makes you look sweaty, doing nothing particularly interesting or exclusive. The only thing I enjoy about winter is being inside. My favourite place to be is in my bed, hearing a storm outside. I get excited when I hear a storm starting while I’m lying in bed, it is my favourite thing to fall asleep to. I’m exactly where I should be.
It’s too hard To read your handwriting I’ll try again tomorrow To find true happiness To read their lips from here To just see you To stop buying soda water To hide my feelings any longer To stop sweating To stick to this moisturising routine For me to wake up To act chill To find an honest mechanic To maintain this banana collection To find a deodorant I can trust When you don’t laugh at my jokes When you keep playing NBA2K17 Because I keep spending money on Tap Tap Fish To stay out of debt To stay inside when the sun is out To open this jar, we should eat something else To bear When you are STARING AT ME To go somewhere You obviously over cooked it To deal with your shit To be happy To be everything at once But maybe it’ll work if you put it in the microwave For me right now To concentrate when you keep talking So don’t ever ask me to do this again But that’s because you never practice your scales To pay attention, your eyes are distracting And I will never get it right Without you Now that you’ve taken off my training wheels To beat you when you cheat at monopoly To scan something at Reid library To stay angry with you To start To wake up at that time Get the hammer
Photography by Sally Mulholland 9
Inside the Artistâ€™s Studio: Paper Mountain Ruth Thomas Hidden above a coffee shop on William Street, Paper Mountain is an artist run initiative supporting emerging, experimental and contemporary artists. Run by a dedicated team of over 15 volunteers, and almost entirely self-funded, the space is home to over 20 artists, organisations (Beau Est Mien), events (Spoken Word Perth), and Festivals (KickstART and Fringe World). Founded in 2011 by four arts graduates who needed a space to work in, collaboration and community has remained a key part of Paper Mountainâ€™s ethos, with its gallery, studio spaces, and Common Room used by artists to create, curate and present their work. You can find Paper Mountain at 267 William Street, and online at papermountain.org.au
Column Talk VII: what we care about when we care about columns Harry Peter Sanderson Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
legitimate stance to take), should understand that the addition of new columns into the columnic canon only enriches the form. Diversity strengthens the substance of the whole, and makes us view the old orders in a new light.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘As Kingfisher’s Catch Fire’
Similarly, spurious is the notion that columns perform the function of holding something up, and that any column not able to hold weight is not a good column. Nonsense. The column has always been about art, not utility. Take the Colosseum. Here arches are used to provide upward thrust and hold the immense weight of the arena. If you look closely, you will see that there are Doric, Ionic and Corinthian ringing around the arches. However, their tops do not hold anything, but are rather held up by the arches. Aha! In 70AD, columns were used ornamentally, to decorate rather than to sustain. Vitruvius would have understood this very well, and it goes to eviscerate any argument that the column unit be kept traditional.
In Column Talk for the past nine months, I have stressed the importance of the three classical orders. These are, briefly, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian order. The Tuscan and Composite columns, on which I have written only briefly, bookend these main orders. Collectively, this quintet forms the art-historical foundation of all subsequent columns, and thus column criticism and column talk. But – and if I can stress only one point, let it be this – these primary orders are the basis of columns, not their entirety. This idea is very important to me, and I hope to expand on it here. There is a school of thought which holds that since columns were given foundation by Marcus Vetruvius Polio in his treatise De Architectura, we should only ever examine them within his boundaries. Columns, they argue, are limited to these five orders, and anything outside of the stone framework is not a column and should not be talked about as such.
Anyone who says that columns must be limited to the primary utility of the first three orders has never been in love, or has never seen a column, which is two ways of saying the same thing. I would encourage them to travel to the Parthenon. Standing there at the top of the cool acropolis, all earthly concerns fade away. It does not matter whether they are Corinthian or Doric, or long or short. The column wants to stand, and to stand for others as pure structural monolith. The column above all wants to exist, and there is nothing more beautiful in architecture, in art, or in life. It wants to be, to bell forth itself, and as Hopkins notes, there is nothing more powerfully human.
Like all views, this view is legitimate. But it is wrong. We should let ourselves be guided by Vetruvius, undoubtedly. But to let ourselves be limited by him is illogical. He wrote his work 500 years ago, from a perspective dominated by Western thought. Vetruvius, for example, had no knowledge of the Eastern Solomonic column, with its delicate weaving. Are we to say that this is not a legitimate column, despite its design predating those of Greek antiquity?
When it comes down to it, the column can’t be limited to the first three, five, seven, or twenty orders, because the column is ever-evolving. Those fundamental orders remain pure, but are expanded by additions which make them greater than they once were. Columns embody a creativity that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand new columns to say that they disrespect any of the past orders. By variating the monolithic form, they show they do respect them, respect them so deeply that they seek to find fulfilment for themselves. It would be a tragedy to exclude them from one of civilisation’s oldest institutions.
To further assume that Vetruvius would have rejected columns designed after his time is to create cultural fiction. The man was a polymath, and would have been open to the new architectural ideas that have flourished since. Indeed, he might have predicted them as inevitable. Human triumph and catastrophe are as certain as death and taxes. WWII, the Moon-landing, Fukushima, Universal Suffrage. These moments in our history have called for new forms. Digital columns, columns made of brick, columns of gelatine, upended columns, columns facing outwards, columns of light – sometimes, no columns at all. The more columns, the more voices, the better. Quality will always be upheld by the court of public opinion. If new columns do not pass the critical test, they are not meant to be. But they should be given the chance to express themselves without restriction.
John Ruskin said “Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts – the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. But of the three, the only quite trustworthy one is the last”. I would agree, and add only that within that book, the chapter on columns must be the most essential. And it is the most essential because it is still being written, is written every day, is written by us. We have a very powerful chance, now, to write it honestly, openly, and with love in our hearts. And we should do so, for in the end we are all the same column. And we are only as good as we treat each other.
Anyone who says that any newer form of column will somehow contribute to the degradation of the fundamental three orders is plainly wrong. Even those of conservative taste, who prefer the original three orders (an entirely
For those with voyeuristic tendencies there’s pleasure to be had in reading defunct blogs in retrograde. Start with the newest post, the one that acts as the last word from the author to you, and work back through years of words and pictures to their timid beginnings. Shared words unedited, unfiltered (and at times undecipherable), a constant teasing out of something within until the platform becomes redundant and is left. Peter Mendelsund’s blog Jacket Mechanical (defunct since 2014) ends with the publication of his book COVER, a compilation of his work as a Book Jacket designer. His oldest posts (circa 2008) are Tumblr-like shares of design inspiration – a single image occasionally accompanied by a line of text, sometimes a link. Over the years he begins to share his own work. As a self-taught designer, Mendelsund landed a job (through a friend of a friend) as a junior designer with Chip Kidd and John Gall, after deciding that the reality of a career as a concert pianist was financially untenable. In the 15 years since switching careers Mendelsund has designed over 1000 covers, most notably for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the works of Martin Amis, and redesigns of the collected works of Kafka, and until recently was the Associate Art Director of Knopf (an imprint of Random House). Mendelsund’s covers have a clear preference for abstract imagery and strong typography, but always with reference to the text itself. His colours are beautiful. His approach is to try and translate the feeling of what it’s like to read that specific book. Of the actual design process, he says: “I read the manuscript. That is the first, and obviously most important step. And at some point during the reading experience, something from the text – a scene, character, image, object, metaphor – will emerge as a possible candidate for a cover image. This “something” should be able to serve as an emblem for the manuscript, taken as a whole. If this cover idea is good enough, I then make a million versions of it, in multiple media, with various typefaces et cetera, and when I have one cover that I like, I wrap it around a book and place it face out on my shelf. I live with it for a while, and, if I still like it after this period, I’ll take that one cover to an editor, or author, and say, “This is a thing I made.” The nature of applied arts is that they primarily serve their subject (the book), and good aesthetics will often not win out over commercial pressures, but the balance between the artistic and the commercial is negotiable. A good cover will create a want in the prospective reader, whilst doing justice to the text it encases. The jacket of Mendelsund’s own book COVER is a thick transparent plastic (for the bibliophile fetishist in all of us) and coats a photograph of a plain red book, a blank slate. The cover worked on me when I saw it in Oxford St Books (in Leederville) – I opened it, flipped through, have constantly thought of it since, and if I had the money I would’ve bought it. That was the first time I knowingly encountered Mendelsund’s work, and it was a perfect case of the physical informing the digital, for it led me to his blog. I’m ever grateful that in a time of instant publishing and unpublishing, Mendelsund’s blog chronicling his early works and thoughts have been left intact, unaltered, for trawlers of the internet to find. Of course, the greatest pleasure comes from finding his work, on your own personal bookshelf, already living there, with you. Designs loved, and now known. The digital informing the physical.
Corrective Retrospective: Peter Mendelsund Ruth Thomas
Pack Up the Moon: Scene VII Sophie Minissale The war has ended. MONTY is preparing to return home to his life previous to the war. His things are packed in a modest, brown suitcase which sits beside the door. His bed is made and everything is very tidy, as if to cleanse it of the past. TOKUKO’S kimono is folded on the desk, and the song she and MONTY slow-danced to is playing, except this time it’s at the proper speed. MONTY, wearing his uniform, is sitting on the end of the bed. The song comes to an end and the record player’s needle clicks off the record. MONTY sits in silence. There is a knock at the door and PRIVATE COPFKO enters hesitantly. PRIVATE: Monty, the ship back to your home awaits. MONTY: I understand. PRIVATE: I assume you’ve heard. The Commander asked me to check up on you. I just wasn’t sure if… MONTY: Yes, Private. PRIVATE: How are you? MONTY: You eventually learn to pick your battles. However, I’m not sure if I chose the battle this time, or if in this instance, it was out of my control. PRIVATE: Things often are out of our control, Monty. MONTY: Not in my experience. PRIVATE: What makes you say that? (Monty doesn’t answer) PRIVATE: I see. It seems the girl from the paper store has… MONTY: I don’t think I’m the only one here who needs to learn to pick battles, Private. PRIVATE: As you wish. I’ll tell the rest of the fleet you’ll be ready soon. Please do hurry. MONTY: Thank you. PRIVATE COPFKO leaves the room. MONTY pauses for a moment before he takes one of TOKUKO’S kimonos off the desk and carefully puts it in his suitcase, under a few of his other things. He fixes the creases in the bed sheets and packs away the record player. Finally, he locks the case back up, puts on his red beret from Sc. 3 and leaves out the door. (End Scene)
HARSH NOISE! Eamonn Kelly Harsh noise music is a surprisingly diverse niche in the world of weirdo music spheres, and the genre can be (roughly) broken down into three varieties (though, bear in mind, there’s also a lot of cross-pollination between the three distinctions of harsh noise). 1. Firstly, there’s your pure white-noise ear-hurty type, embodied by your Merzbows and your Otomo Yoshihides of the world ( just think: layer upon layers of feedback and distortion – like Sonic Youth on crack). 2. Secondly, there’s the distinctly different “machine goes ping” vibe, provided by your Sachiko M, and your Ryoji Ikeda variety; which can also dubbed as “Onkyo” or “EAI” (Electro-Acoustic-Improvisation) by real go-getters of the harsh noise scene (who, as a word of caution, also have real objections to this kind of music being labelled “harsh-noise”). 3. Third and finally, there’s your “smashy-smashy break stuff” vibe of your Gerogerigegeges (reported to translate to “Vomit Diarrhoea Shit Shit Shit” from Japanese), and your Hanatarashs of the world. This stuff is sort of just people trying to play music but also trying to destroy their instruments at the same time. Ascribing a unifying artistic statement to the output of these disparate artists finds that the artistic statement behind harsh noise is essentially uncomplicated. Harsh noise does not exist for “enjoyment” or intend to be “pleasurable listening”. Rather, it aims to make a statement about the form and sound of music itself. To simplify things: the baseline requirement for a piece of sound to be considered music is that it possesses at least some form of melody. Well, harsh noise laughs at your melodies. In this way, harsh noise isn’t music, it’s sound (it does what it says on the tin). So, we may be left asking: Why on earth do people listen to it? The answer is complicated. The easiest subcategory of harsh noise to explain is the “smashy-smashy break stuff” variety. The bands that most notably associate with this strain (Hanatarash and Gerogerigegege) also form part of a subgenre called ‘Danger Music’. These bands are still identifiable as “bands” in that they have studio releases and do live performances, but their music is so far beyond the veil of what could be considered sensible and radio-friendly equipment destruction that they make Death Grips look like children. Their live shows are literally hazardous. Hanatarash are infamous for their venue destruction (one time lighting a Molotov cocktail on stage, causing around $9,000 US damage, another time driving a bulldozer into a venue), whilst Gerogerigegege, on the other hand, are bizarrely sexual with their onstage antics. One of their members known only as “Gero 30” was an exhibitionist, and would masturbate on stage. Gerogerigegege are known for their seminal live album Tokyo Anal Dynamite which is seventy-five songs of noise with “1-2-34!” being screamed repeatedly like some alternate-universe Ramones tune. Hanatarash, on the other hand, mutated into The Boredoms during the mid-80s, which is far nicer on the ears. Explaining the “machine that goes ping” type of noise is a bit more difficult. This type of music often takes the form of pure tones and sine-waves that occasionally intersect and cause lovely little reverberations that melt the wax in your ear and cause it to feel kind of tickly. This music is preoccupied with the physical traits of sound itself rather than its usage in expression. By its very nature this type of music is an experimentation, testing the limits to which sound can be pushed. People generally tend to have one of two reactions to this music, the first is a deep anxiety, the second is a profound relaxation. Which category you fall into is entirely subjective and you won’t know until you listen. Both are, in my opinion, equally compelling reasons to listen to the genre. Check out Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo Yoshihide’s Good Morning Good Night if you want a start. And so, we come to Merzbow and others of his ilk, which is by far the hardest to explain. This stuff physically hurts to listen to, and it will blow your speakers. This kind of music is the analogous to ultraviolence; it is both figuratively violent in content and in its form, being able to hurt you. There’s no ambiguity here, this music is out for your jugular. But this is the one side of the attraction: there is no more extreme expression of angrytype emotions in any other type of music, and if it’s fear or misanthropy you want to hear then Merzbow will do both for you. On a last note: whilst these distinctions of white noise music may seem all roughly similar to you, it’s important to note that there are satisfying patterns (I’ll refrain from using the word melody here) to this type of music. You have to focus to see them, but they are there. And on the other side of this allure, is that this music ironically tends to be head-clearing music for a lot of people if you turn it down. Purists would scoff at this use of white noise and tell you the louder the better, but listen to me: Your ears are important and should last a long time, tinnitus and hearing loss is not worth it, turn the bloody volume down.
Finland Without Sibelius William Huang The composer Jean Sibelius left a lasting print in history. ‘Sibelius’ is a popular music composition program, while the Sibelius Academy is the musical branch of the prestigious University of Arts in Helsinki. His face was on the markka, the prior currency of Finland, and he held a pivotal role in establishing Finland’s musical and political independence. However, being the first international composer of Finland, people idolised him to the point where his contemporaries saw neglect. Until recently, Jean Sibelius has not been the best Finnish composer, he has been the Finnish composer. But Finland without Sibelius still bursts with good classical music, and here are a few prime examples. Einojuhani Rautavaara 9 October 1928 – 27 July 2016 Some Major Works: Symphonies 3, 6-8, Cantus Arcticus 12 Concertos (3 Piano Concertos), 2 Piano Sonatas Start With; Piano Concerto 1 or Symphony 7 (Angel of Light) If you were to stand outside Perth Concert Hall on the evening of a WASO performance, and ask people walking out to name a Finnish composer other than Jean Sibelius, Rautavaara would be one of the first names to come up. He underwent several stylistic developments, beginning from a dissonant, serial standpoint and maturing as a mystical, neo-romantic composer. In his later compositions, he also combines styles using pastiche. Uuno Klami 20 September 1900 – 29 May 1961 Some Major Works: Piano Concerto 2 (For Piano and Strings), Hommage à Haendel, Karelian Rhapsody, Kalevala Suite, Revontulet / Aurore boréale (“Northern Lights”), fantasy for orchestra Start With: Hommage à Haendel or Kalevala Suite Uuno Klami was one of several composers working while Sibelius was alive, and surprisingly he fared well due to his strikingly unique style. In pieces like the Second Piano Concerto or the Homage to Handel, a darkly impressionistic style runs through the music. Other pieces, like the two mature symphonies, have sections of faster, percussion-laden passages slightly reminiscent of Spanish music. As a result, Uuno Klami’s music is immediately rewarding for its distinct textures. Aarre Merikanto 29 June 1893 – 29 September 1958 Some Major Works: Six Pieces (for Piano), Juha, Pan, Ten Pieces for Orchestra, 3 Symphonies, 9 Concertos Start With: Six Pieces (for Piano), Ten Pieces for Orchestra While Aarre Merikanto’s wikipedia page describes his father Oskar Merikanto as ‘the famous Romantic composer’, Aarre Merikanto is almost certainly more influential, and arguably more worthwhile to listen to. As one of the most recognised Finnish modernists, with a strong Romantic upbringing, his music is occasionally challenging but always rewarding. In pieces before 1920 his strong handle on tone and texture can be heard, but following 1920 his music acquired a distinctive, complex tone, which occasionally bordered on darkness. Selim Palmgren 16 February 1878 – 13 December 1951 Some Major Works: 5 Piano Concertos, Numerous Piano Miniatures, such as Snowflakes, Raindrops and Nocturne in Three Scenes and May Night Start With: Snowflakes, Nocturne in Three Scenes or Piano Concerto no. 2 (The River) Selim Palmgren is often described as ‘The Finnish Chopin’, and when one hears his piano miniatures, it’s very easy to see why. His solo piano music is light and unburdened, with great clarity, and its tonality sometimes brings Chopin to mind. His piano concertos, on the other hand, are powerful and require strength to play. Magnus Lindberg 27 June 1958 – Some Major Works: Ablauf, Kraft, EXPO, Clarinet Concerto, Souvenir Start With: Ablauf or the Clarinet Concerto Magnus Lindberg is one of the foremost Finnish composers today, and like his teacher Rautavaara, he has absorbed and undergone several styles in his composing. Initially, with works like Ablauf, his music was concerned with manipulating the way notes and chords sounded (their timbre), using electronics. In Kraft, Lindberg harmonises chords of up to 70 notes, which requires incredible skill. Lately, his music has shown greater emphasis on tonality, which was a direction that Rautavaara tended towards as well. Unlike Rautavaara, Lindberg has maintained his interest in electronics. Esa-Pekka Salonen 30 June 1958 – Numerous Major Works (Most recent is the Cello Concerto) Start With: The Violin Concerto or Cello Concerto (alternatively, listen to his versions of the symphonies of Sibelius or Mahler) Esa-Pekka Salonen is a celebrity composer, and since the 1980s has enjoyed a wide career spanning conducting to composing to performing. While he’s more well known as a conductor, and began his career as a French Horn player, his list of compositions is prodigious. He is the principal conductor and artistic advisor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 15
Arcade Fire: Everything Now Review by Clinton Ducas Improvement with each album is something not many bands can do. Difficult enough for those with a barely recognised first release, it’s even harder when your first LP was one of the highest-praised issues of 2004. With Everything Now, Arcade Fire’s latest album, the slide from rock greatness, sadly, continues. By the very nature of the band’s early success, whatever it did next was always going to be judged with high expectations. Release strategies are not usually the stuff of musical criticism, but the campaign for Everything Now speaks to the album itself. Not satisfied with the usual dropping of hints to journalists or a tweet indicating work afoot, Arcade Fire set up a Twitter account in the style of a Russian spambot. Called ‘Masha S’, the account tweeted in both English and Cyrillic, sometimes with fake news-style formatting, and quoted with approval Arcade Fire’s other promotional account ‘Everything Now Co’. Everything Now Co’s Twitter biography refers to it being a corporation offering ‘infinite content’. If all this seems needlessly arcane, hold on. Allegedly available for a short time, was a $109 fidget spinner, one part of which was a USB flash drive containing a digital copy of Everything Now. Shortly after going on sale it became unavailable. The band’s official Twitter account also issued a statement from Everything Now Co specifying a dress code for an upcoming Arcade Fire show in Brooklyn. The dress code was quickly amended to be ‘whatever you want’ and cast as a dispute between the actual band and its fake management company. There are two possible explanations for this. One is that Arcade Fire is alive to the methods of modern media and exploited it to build tension and anticipation for the album itself. The other less charitable explanation is that the band knew it needed more than just the variable quality of the music to attract and retain attention. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle: Arcade Fire wanted to make an album that commented on contemporary society and decided to conduct a campaign to enforce the musical themes. What it ended up doing was irritating fans and causing everyone else to wonder whether it had lost the plot. The plot of the album, such as it is, revolves around this thesis: we’re all distracted, unhappy, and drowning in information. The opening track, Everything_Now (continued), pulsates with a synth beat over Win Butler’s weary vocals about making it home from ‘everything now’, as though the present were an assault from which we might seek refuge. These 46 seconds of music have six writing credits. The title track, one of the most coherent on the album, is marinated in disco. Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter has had a clear influence, as have Pulp’s Steve Mackey and Portishead’s Geoff Barrow. It has some serviceable lyrics, reflecting on the emptiness of consumerism and the breakdown of familial relationships. The problem is that this sort of thing has been done, and done better. One of the album’s lowest points is the split track Infinite Content and Infinite Content, each part of which is about a minute and forty seconds long. The first is one of the closest encounters with rock on the whole album, yet Win Butler yells little more than: ‘Infinite content, infinite content / We’re infinitely content’. The second track is lyrically identical, but supported by a relaxed country melody. Again, there was an opportunity here. A thousand bloated think pieces on the relentless pace of content production and consumption cry out for a witty musical counterbalance. Arcade Fire, perhaps trying to make some obtuse point, misses its shot. The best track is ‘Electric Blue’, and it may be no coincidence that it is the least like the rest of the album. There is a danceable beat and lots of spongy synth bass, together with some ascending scale keys very much in the Daft Punk style. Régine Chassagne’s falsetto floats over it all, delivering lyrics that offer some of the subtlety and cleverness lacking elsewhere. Later, ’Put Your Money on Me’ hangs together well as a catchy amalgam of some Kraftwerk-style synth effects that pulsate steadily behind Butler and Chassagne’s vocals. Everything Now is far from a bad album. Taken individually, the highlights are perhaps a little underwhelming, but are better together. The problem with this album lies in the band’s overall tone. There is an art to subversiveness, one that requires a delicate touch, with more allusion than blatant declaration. Eschewing subtlety in favour of being painfully earnest, the lingering impression is one of a band having tried too hard when it should have gone for ease. Not that the band appreciates criticism; shortly after Stereogum published a lukewarm pre-release review, Arcade Fire set up an identical website called ‘Stereoyum’ that stated the album would eventually be seen as clever. As it stands, Everything Now shows an Arcade Fire eager to leave Funeral receding in the rear-view mirror. As a premise, Everything Now shows promise. Its shortcomings lie in the execution, both marketing and musical. No band worth hearing produces the same album with every release, and it would be ridiculous to expect that of Arcade Fire. What could be expected, though, is something more than the obnoxious and condescending final product.
album review Avery Tare: Eucalyptus Review by Nick Morlet
Eucalyptus is the latest album from North American recording artist Avey Tare, member of psychedlia leg-ends Animal Collective. It’s a tasty slice of free-floating psych-folk electro-accoustica and safe to say, has been occupying me for a couple weeks now. Stylistically, Eucalyptus sits between the last Animal Collective release (the live EP Meeting of the Waters) and their earlier freak-folk material. Indeed, fans of Feels and Sung Tongs who’ve coasted along their rocky shoals of every album after that will find comforting tides here, relieved (as well as the rest of us AnCo fans) after their last two trash albums. Believe me – this album is really something quality. For those familiar with their whole back catalogue (and to those not, you may as well start up your googling here) you’ll find a few new techniques and instruments with this release – most notably a surprise collaboration between Eyvind Kang’s horn arrangements and Susan Alcorn’s slide guitar. Also popping up is Angel Deradoorian on vocals (check out ‘Season High’ – some of the most transcendent moments for sure), which add the cherry on top of it all. Thus, where this album really excels in my mind is how the otherwise familiar AnCo sonic palette of acoustic guitars and squelchy synth ambience is spruced up with these new sounds; going from ‘In Pieces’ to ‘Selection of a Place’ makes this most apparent. Looking at it song-by-song, this album opens with a pair of wishy-washy compositions: ‘Season High’ and ‘Melody Unfair’, which set the tone excellently (Americana through a post-millennial cone haze) harkening back to those mid-2000s AnCo releases (as well as bandmate Panda Bear’s more folkish albums). The middle part gives way to some sound collage/drone stuff, with the upbeat track ‘Jackson 5’ breaking it up with some ecstatic island vibes. Following on from that the album takes yet another left turn with ‘DR aw one for J’ and ‘PJ’, which have some of Avey’s most explorative vocal performances to date. The remainder of the tracks vacillate between the abstract and the emotional, with a continually inventive approach to composition. Commingled with each style is a strong undercurrent of found maturity and nostalgia, as well some lysergic ruminations on the nature of life and home (‘Coral Lords’ and ‘Selection of a Place’, particularly). Closing the album wonderfully is ‘Since You Left Me’, which packs the feels as far as you can imagine. Eucalyptus is among the strongest releases from the Animal Collective since *that* album and their post-2000s notoriety. I’ve loved, and love, most all of their related group and solo outputs for years now, I’ve literally built friendships upon a shared love of this music; but I could probably impartially recommend this to any follower of psychedelic folk or experimental music. Get this on and stare at the freakin’ ceiling. Or better yet, the epic visuals to be found at aveytare.com.
When did you start making music? When I was 14 or so I wrote this real dumb song called “Rose tinted glasses” and it was really just about the phrase ‘rose tinted glasses’, it was dumb as heck.
Did you know that New Nausea can be anagrammed into “Sauna Ween”? I didn’t, I guess I had never really cared to know such pointless information.
What inspires you to write? It’s all really about processing shit. I write mainly to work something out or memorialise an experience. Sometimes I will get my head around something that is bugging me by writing something about it. Sometimes I just feel a drive to capture something that happened… I dunno, I guess it’s actually an extension of journaling, really.
Do you like the band Ween? Never listened to them but my mate Axel has a tat of that spiky head logo they use so that’s good enough for me to not think bad, unsubstantiated thoughts about them. Have you ever been in a sauna? Only on the oculus rift sooooooo, no?
Describe your music in three words. Sentimental couch-fi.
What gives you nausea? Smug interviewers.
What’s the “softest” music to you? Joanna Newsom, have one on me. Which isn’t to say it’s soft, mind.
What other bands are you in? Ho, ho, ho, my favourite topic.
Do you have any releases? To my unending frustration, no. There’s some videos on YouTube, though.
Where can we find you? Nelson Street, South Fremantle. Or y’know, like, Instagram and Facebook.
Tell us about the best band you’ve supported. Oof… ah, either Stella Donnelly or Jacob Diamond, I think. Both are stars. Like, I know that sounds weak when I say it like that, but seriously, both are going to someday reach the number of people they deserve to reach and have the adoration of many, many, many of them.
Taking 5 With New Nausea Music editor Tess Bury caught up with local heartthrob Albert Pritchard, AKA New Nausea, to find out how he started making music and what makes him do it. Photography by Amber Bateup
Hobbies Reviewed Rainy Colbert #14 - Sustainable Smoking Smoking may be harmful, but it does not have to be. My backpacker friend Francais has recently turned me on to artisanal cigarettes, which, he says, are not only better for your health, but better for the environment too. Francais grows his own tobacco along the Maylands riverside. To get to the plantation, you have to tread through yucky marshland, home (unfortunately), to a flock of unruly ibis. The birds will often latch onto your belt with their dreadful claws and peck holes aggressively into your garments until they grow tired. It is a frightening journey, but once you get a puff of that fresh, fresh smoke, the pilgrimage is well worth it. The Boat Cops patrolling the Swan River are another thing to be wary of. It is always best to have a friend on lookout when tending to your plants. One time, Boat Cops caught whiff of Francais’ plantation, and no doubt would have found and destroyed the crops had an ibis not flown past, (which when flame grilled, is a Boat Cop delicacy). Nevertheless Francais, frazzled by the near disaster, began to take extra measures in securing and camouflaging his tobacco plants. Francais’ parents own a vacant Nile-side property in the heritage part of Egypt. He flew over there not long ago, to take a workshop in the Ancient Egyptian art of paper making; harvesting the native papyrus reeds, and learning to cut, layer, soak and mash them into thin strips of authentic handmade paper, perfect for rolling. The reeds were brought back to WA, and integrated into the Swan River ecology; serving a dual purpose to surround and hide his illegal crops, while providing high quality, inexpensive and organic papers for those who like to roll their own. When choosing a brand of filter, don’t buy the trash they sell behind the counter. A single grain of puffed rice will do the job perfectly, and this can be bought in bulk from any Coles or Cloud 9. Cereal brands such as Lowans and Abundant Earth have puffed their rice to suit all kinds of smokers; whether you’re ‘slimline economic’, or an ‘indulgent big chunker’ like me; I go for KidsCare Rice Wheels, for they have the widest diametre. “Do not go in for that tres mal Kellogg crap” Francais tells me. To smoke sustainably is to take a stance against big brand hegemony, and “you don’t want to blow your hard-earned francs on Rice Bubble, no?” A main drawcard for many sustainable smokers, is the guaranteed reduction of their annual carbon footprint. Dropped on the ground, a regular cigarette butt may take a thousand years to decompose, whereas an artisanal cigarette butt, made from natural resources, will be gone in a day; food for a lucky bird, or some ants. By knowing their butt is going back to the earth, the sustainable smoker can litter without guilt, more likely to enjoy that instantaneous sense of pride and importance that comes with dropping your spent cigarette on the ground. Like Lance Armstrong placing his flag on the moon, to improperly dispose of your waste is to shout: “Hey world. I was here. I existed.” And who would dare take that feeling away? Update: Under Sections 28 of the 1901 Excise Act ‘forbidding the intentional production of tobacco without prior obtention of a valid producer’s license’, Francais was arrested by Boat Cops last weekend. Hiding amid gigantic eggs in an ibis’ nest looking over the marsh, I watched, crying, as gas-masked Boat Cops torched the plantation, causing irreparable damage to the undergrowth of the Swan River’s wetlands. My head spinning from the concentrated nicotine blaze – each inhalation equivalent to a pack of Rothmans – I could not imagine how it must have been for Francais, caught out there alone in the deathly smoke. He did not escape, collapsing somewhere out there in the burning papyrus. Tied by Boat Cops to the back of a jet ski, his body was hauled off to Penguin Island, to be buried in an unmarked grave. While I know how to do it, I have not had the guts to take up tobacco farming again. The hobby is associated with too much grief, and I have resorted to smoking Nicorette infused tea leaves instead; anything but that trash they sell behind the counter, right? Francais’ cunning resourcefulness, environmental awareness and artisanal lifestyle will never be forgotten, and will inspire me always. In celebration of his life, I shall be lighting up each Friday night, in the marshes behind the Maylands Boat Shed. Come join me if you want. Francais, shine on, you crazy diamond.
My Neighbourâ€™s Bedroom Window Is Across from My Bathroom Window: I have been washing my hands for half an hour Bryce Newton I had my period then, and when I got home, saw blood on the toilet seat. And, convinced, told you, I did not know where it came from.
I went to Melbourne, and someone, a friend, perhaps not (we are not that close, how to know?) asked how it was I told him there was a lot of vomit on the streets I did not tell him, that I remember picking my way through it, taking a wide berth like I do with bandaids (so often I see them each day, plastered flat on the pavement and turned more stuck with each tread).
Did you see my hands then? I could not hold your hand, because you were not like me. There was a right way, to be clean. I had thought. And you knew. At a music gig, last year I looked down at my hand, holding a beer. Covered in blood. I had stretched it too much when I took the glass.
Last year, when it was worst, I did not tell anyone I had OCD. So busy I was, bundled in bed and waiting for you to get home I learned not to move, for ten hours, to touch nothing and wait sometimes in a chair but mostly, just in the bed where you left me, most mornings, with a bagel (the breakfast bagel) from Tenth State. A few bites.
It was hard, to go to the doctor my mum asked I love my mum. And I went It is not easy to go there. My dad was there with me, my home town is small and everyone knew him. I love my dad. The doctor, came close, and patted me on the shoulder.
Each shower I took went for hours, I am still unsure, how to wash my body. I was afraid of the towels I would drip dry in winter, looking out the bedroom window and feeling faint.
Each time I went (she said I had to go back) She pressed her hands On my shoulders While I looked at a plate on her desk full of breadcrumbs.
I tried to stay close with you, breakfast at Little Way but a woman coughed, too close, and I had to get rid of my wallet and wash my hands (you would not understand).
She gave me a prescription. I was afraid of that too.
GIRL REVIEWS SO MANY HOUSEHOLD SURFACES YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT Skye Newton I’m at a point in my life where I spend a lot of time laying down, exhausted, on the floor. If you too are at this stage, it’s a good time to start reviewing objects around you. GREY IKEA COUCH Moderately soft (so on theme). A bit grossed out. I might go wash my hands after this. My housemate often tells me to move to the end of the couch so they can fully extend their legs, and I am still told I take up the most space. This is not my go-to item for softness. 4/10 for the texture that reminds me of compact grain bread (except I can comfortably watch TV while sitting on it). HOUSE PLANT LEAF Look, the first thing I want to comment on isn’t the softness, but that this is an essential piece of the lounge room landscape from the view of the (aforementioned) couch. You can’t miss it. Can I also mention this plant continues to thrive, even though my Mum is the only one who waters it, and she doesn’t even live here. She visits (on average) around five times a year. I’ll be honest, this is quite rubbery. I don’t ever want to touch this again. 2/10 not the worst thing I have ever touched. WOODEN FLOORBOARDS IN LOUNGE ROOM Good sound quality when tapping nails. Could make a nice ASMR titled ‘TAPPING MY LOUNGE ROOM FLOOR FOR FIFTY MINUTES’. This is probably quite dirty. Smooth, but not soft. Clearly a hard surface. Ha ha. 7/10 because I like timber. FADED, SOMEWHAT STAINED, CURTAIN I touched this because I thought it would be soft, and I am quite disappointed. It’s a weird texture, almost embossed fabric. Maybe I’m bad at describing things. I’m quite tired. 1/10 but it gave being soft a good shot. CARPETED STEP Not enjoying this. It’s not soft. There’s a weird, almost itchy feeling from this. Different to the feeling in my own legs when exercising because the blood capillaries aren’t strong enough. I’m not strong enough … anyway, this isn’t about me. 0/10 for bringing back bad memories of this morning’s six kilometre walk my sister made me accompany her on with the promise of seeing dogs at the dog park. A Claremont dog owner gave me an ANGRY look because I didn’t have a dog. The best part of the experience was one street from my home when I got to pet a cat called Clyde.
Clare Moran @more_ankles 23
Blake Ellis Isabella Corbett caught up with fashion student Blake Ellis to talk about his graduate collection, “three-piece suit wolf of Wall Street ballers”, the brilliance of Marco Pierre White, and everything in between.
He considers Marco Pierre White the Greatest of All Time, and has a mean culinary palette, but don’t be fooled: Blake Ellis can design just as extraordinarily as he can cook. Whilst food fosters a major role in his life, having told himself upon graduating high school he would become a famous chef, fashion is his first love. With a primary goal to “make cool shit”, he succeeds: his work is steeped with emotional fragility and substance, informed by textured knits, abstract proportions, traditionally tailored garments revisited through the lens of contemporary womenswear, and the contrast of mundane corporate existence and Wall Street-esque grandiose. His inspirations come from oppressive institutional structures, like asylums, prisons, and schools that have a certain strictness reflected in their dress codes, as well as society, and the myriad of interpersonal relationships, both good and bad, that form its basis: “I usually like to start with something like an argument or a theory, something that has as little visual aid as possible,” he says. “I then branch out with my interpretation of the idea, usually by trying to contextualize it within a historical period, and just go from there.” His graduate collection explores the complex relationship between human and emotional intelligence: the former, IQ, is our intellectual prowess, and the latter, EQ, our emotional capacity. Each body of the collection examines persons with varying ratios of EQ and IQ, like the American mathematician and Nobel Prize winner, John Nash, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The garments are as poignant and subtle as they are brash and durable, akin to the juxtapositions found in the human mind. After all: with a personal style described as “Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles becoming a private forensic, and then going undercover as a mid-thirties guy at a Yankees game,” it comes as no surprise that Blake exudes unique talent. Find more of Blake’s work on his Instagram: @blaekwon Photographer: Chris Luu Model: Tayla Pickering
Fashion Cannot Campaign for a Feminist Future When It Still Perpetuates an Exploitative System Isabella Corbett Feminism in fashion is rarely intersectional: racism is rife, with the industry favouring Western-European ideations of beauty; models endanger their health to maintain their ‘fashion normative’ bodies; the commodification and appropriation of minority culture is commonplace amongst designers; transgender, non-binary, and disabled persons are routinely excluded; and garment workers, most of whom are women, are forced to work in cruel conditions. How can the exploitative system that abuses women attempt to imbue a feminist rhetoric in its work? Eighty percent of garment workers globally are women; favoured for their nimble fingers and strong eyesight, they are forced to work unreasonably long hours in dangerous conditions. In 2016, Sisters for Change and Munnade released a report disclosing the atrocities women garment workers in Karnataka, India, are victim to. One in every seven women has been raped or forced to commit a sexual act at work, whilst one in fourteen has experienced physical violence. Eighty percent of workers report that their health and safety are at risk due to hazardous working conditions, and one in four feels unsafe at work. Eighty-nine percent of workers did not formally report the sexual harassment or abuse to factory management or the police out of fear of repercussion. Of the cases that were reported, action was taken against perpetrators in just under four percent of incidents, with no criminal charges brought in any. An estimated seventy-five percent of garment factories have no functioning grievance mechanism or Internal Complaints Committee, as required by law. These statistics are from respondents in only one region of India. Estimates suggest that over forty-five million people are employed in India’s textiles and clothing sectors, and between sixty to eighty percent are women. The evidence is resounding: the fashion industry needs stronger bodies of accountability and control. Fashion Revolution is a body comprising various industry leaders, including designers, academics, writers, policymakers, and more. Their goal is to tackle this global issue by unravelling the structures of the fashion supply chain to ensure greater transparency for brands, stakeholders and consumers. Transparency is integral in encouraging scrutiny and vigilance: with further clarity, we can better understand and ameliorate the abhorrent conditions garment workers are forced to work in, as well as the environmental devastation caused by the industry. In 2017, Fashion Revolution released the Fashion Transparency Index, a review of major fashion brands’ practices. The report found that whilst many brands are transparent about their suppliers, supply chain management, and business practices, they remain mute about their tangible impact on the lives of workers in the supply chain and on the environment. This is exacerbated by inconsistent standards for disclosing environmental and social issues, allowing brands to reveal only select information. Several brands, including Dior, published absolutely nothing at all, shrouding their processes in complete mystery. When Maria Grazia Chiuri joined Dior as creative director in 2016, the appointment was revolutionary – as the first woman to take charge of the prestige house, she aimed to rejuvenate the brand with a surge of modernity. Her debut Spring 2017 collection saw a stark departure from the full-skirted, white-gloved elegance reminiscent of the New Look, with tarot-card imagery embroidered on tulle dresses and skirts, oversized quilted visors, and futuristic lace-up knee-high boots. The most sought-after and recognizable garment of the collection was a humble T-shirt with the slogan ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, the title of a TEDx Talk by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The speech went viral: Adichie was praised for her discussion of the complicated discourse surrounding modern gender roles, weaving stories of her past experiences battling sexism with complex historical
theory. By urging us to unmask the systematic misogyny steeped in cultural and social practices, we can strive for greater gender equality and representation. Whilst well intentioned, Chiuri’s homage to this notion is grossly hypocritical. Despite donating a portion of sales from the now infamous T-shirt to the Clara Lionel Foundation, created by Rihanna to help fund education, health, and emergency response programs across the globe, the house of Dior fails to uphold values and procedures indicating ethicality and social equality. As evidenced in the Fashion Transparency Index, Dior is not a transparent brand: its factory working conditions, treatment of garment workers, and environmental impact cannot be assessed, and thus guaranteed to be moral. The most obvious irony, however, came on the catwalk, with only nine of the sixty-four models being women of colour, and zero being plussize, disabled, or transgender. According to Chiuri, we should all be feminists: only, however, if your feminism is exclusive to thin, white, able bodied, cisgender women and could potentially support the mistreatment of under privileged garment workers, the majority of whom are women. Fashion Month has long celebrated the white and slim body, with dismal rates of diversity; many casting directors consistently choose all white or overwhelmingly white line-ups, with tokenistic casting of genderqueer, plus-size, and disabled persons, as well as models of colour. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Vetements and Balenciaga has only used one model of colour in the five collections he’s designed, and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons has not employed a black model on the runway in over a decade. In Fall 2017, brands like Junya Watanabe and Undercover didn’t cast a single model of colour; this season, however, was the most diverse ever. New York Fashion Week saw each show contain at least a single model of colour, whilst twenty-eight percent of the models that walked in London were non-white, as were twenty-six percent and twenty-four of those in Paris and Milan, respectively. Whilst indicative of progress, these statistics also stand as a stark reminder of how much further the fashion industry has to go to achieve greater inclusivity. Its barriers of exclusion are slowly breaking; with Somali-American teenager Halima Aden walking for Yeezy Season 5 and posing for the cover of CR Fashion Book in a hijab, disabled model Kelly Knox opening for Teatum Jones at London Fashion Week, and transgender model Hari Nef gracing the covers of Love Magazine and Elle UK (amongst editorial work and being one of the faces of Gucci Bloom, nonetheless), change is apparent. One cannot help but wonder, however, if this shift to greater diversity is honest, or simply a one-off occurrence fuelled by public pressure. Dior is only one of many brands endeavouring to make social equality a brazen trend: N-P-Elliott slapped “INTERSECTIONALITY” on a jumper for Spring 2018, and Acne’s Fall 2015 collection included sweatshirts, knits, and scarves boasting phrases like ‘RADICAL FEMINIST’ and ‘WOMAN POWER’. Whilst successful in generating revenue and commercial praise, they fail to aid in tangible progression. Gender equality, diversity, and ethicality are not fads, nor should they be commoditised: they should be inherent in our lives. The fashion industry must understand that actions speak far louder than words, and the world will start listening when it begins to practice what it preaches.
We’re Reading Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon I have several Thomas Pynchon books on my shelf, waiting to be read, purchased long ago (I’ve taken to affectionately calling him Pinecone – his books are large and intimidating). Mason & Dixon is the first one I have seriously tackled; it hasn’t let his reputation down so far. Written in 17th century styling, Mason & Dixon follows two historical English astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, on a hallucinatory, globetrotting journey filled with bizarre incidents and eccentric characters. It is raucously funny. When in a school library to begin work as a tutor, I was reading Mason & Dixon in a corner booth and began to audibly laugh, the teenagers, who were still working because it was 3pm and not 3:15pm, noticed and gave me a look the quality of sour milk. I didn’t care. If you feel like cracking open an 800-page book, then give it a go. Eamonn Young Fen – Daisy Johnson Fen is a collection of slippery short stories set in the marshy landscape of England’s Fenlands. The protagonists of the stories, young women for the most part, are grappling with the oddness of sexuality and pubescence, oddness that presents as semi-erotic obsessions with their departed brothers, or transformations into wet animals that swim and crawl away into dark lakes and woods. Three women of a sort of mythological man-eater species, find that Fen people taste different: are indigestible and almost poisonous for the outsider. This speaks to a theme of the collection: that Fen people are significantly connected to their landscape, are made from the mud of their environs. This is a great collection in one of my favourite subgenres – complex female-centric appropriations of folklore and mythology. It is very good rain-reading; I highly recommend. Pema Monaghan Beverly – Nick Drnaso Think CPR dummies mixed with human consciousness, unnerving circumstances, and David Lynch hidden somewhere. Welcome to Beverly. I first stumbled upon this book when the original cover artwork was listed for sale on Tumblr. It’s an alluring isometric design that introduces the estranged cast of Beverly in Drnaso’s restrained, clean drawing style, and muted palette. The six vignette stories stem from Drnaso’s personal history of growing up in the “bland friendliness” of Midwest America. These stories all subtly intertwine as they explore notions of suburban mediocrity, fear and repression. For example, ‘Virgin Mary’ follows a story about a high school girl who was allegedly abducted by an unidentified Middle Eastern man, causing racism and paranoia to consume the community. Alternatively, in ‘Lil’ King’ we witness the sexual anxieties of Tyler, who suffers from a form of OCD called Intrusive Thought Syndrome, a disorder where you have morbid thoughts that are beyond your control. The explicitly anxious visualisations in this story resemble the surreal, and dream-like sequences evident in Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth. Drnaso’s practice has been influenced by Ware in the way he cartoons with a precise simplicity, and an unassuming plainness that amplifies absurd and tragic moments in Beverly. It is understandable that Drnaso took four years to complete this piece of comic literature, for he refers to it as his “first book … everything before Beverly can be considered an exercise or student work”. This is a promising debut from an artist that knows how immerse their readers. Gabby Loo
End of Lease Jade Newton Laying on the floor Of a loungeroom shell Using data that my dad paid for Watching people make Moroccan tiles Overestimating my ability to lay here latent energy Stays latent in the basement of my body It’s a hobby To stay stationary down here Looking up at unexplored Opportunity For you, maybe Save me from my Sedentary hell Just me in my Loungeroom shell I wear it well, On my back As I stare at the other side of this little flat Sugar soap hit Vacate date slip Slipped my mind Now I Lean here in a corner I prepare to warn her Don’t Check the tracks These windows never had my back As I hosed them, water Pours forth flowing Sensibly, unexpected Unintended tenant Check in, checking, checked in This small stream Uncouth company Not for me I’m aware that Subletting’s illegal but I never planned this segue so I’ll grab the mop.
Hardback or Paperback Hard cover. More durable than paperback and has a nicely solid feel in the hands. I am quite ambivalent about the utility of jackets, though, which seem to bow and/or become ratty far too quickly. Hard covers also carry the authority of an earlier age of publishing, reminding the reader of the weight of history more than a paperback can. Clinton Ducas Paperback. I like the way it feels on my fingers and I find they fit in my bags easier. Dust jackets also annoy me. Paperbacks also help with second hand book shopping, as often the most worn covers have been read the most, and therefore give some indication they’ve been read and re-read more often. At least in my experience. Sophie Minissale Paperback. Because I like to be able to read in bed without the fear that I will fall asleep and die from a head wound inflicted by a weighty hardcover slipping from my sleeping hands. Tanner Perham Hardbacks; they age well and if properly cared for show minimal signs of use. Some people like the dogeared wrinkled pages of battered paperbacks, but I suspect those same people also buy their jeans pre-ripped and bulk buy record collections on eBay, and I can only conclude that their appreciation of a book’s history is purely aesthetic. I imagine they use their ‘old’ books as objects for interior decoration, and not as living, breathing, printed worlds. All books that are read show signs of use, and I am of the opinion that if you are too impatient to let a book age with you, and show its use with small and entirely natural imperfections, then perhaps you are more interested in being seen as a reader than actually being a reader. Why else have a book that looks as though you have read it 20 times, when in fact you have read it once, but took such bad care of it that you dropped it in a bowl of minestrone soup (hence the brown stains and the strange smell). I will concede that some books receive that level of love, but in a collection of hundreds (as I imagine yours is) these re-read books are undoubtedly in the minority. I shudder to think of some inauthentic readers craving the used look so much that they spend a choice hour or two deliberately inflicting signs of wear on books by kicking them around in dirt. I simply cannot condone the wilful destruction of a book. But regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, you can prolong a book’s health by storing all books in a temperature controlled room with adequate air circulation (mould is a serious issue). Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as the UVA and UVB rays will degrade and stain the paper. If possible use gloves when reading to help minimise the damage your grubby and acidic fingers will do to the pages. Ruth Thomas Hard cover for: 1) Books that are big and thick (e.g. textbooks). 2) Comics and art books, because it’s nice to have a solid beginning and end to pictorially orientated work. Paperback for everything else, because I can’t help but fold that spine over for easy reading in bed. Gabby Loo
I only read books printed out on recycled A4 paper and stapled together. Prema Arasu Paperbacks because when they get beat up you don’t feel as bad. Usually when a fiction book is hardcover and $29.99, I know it’s trying to compensate for not being very good. Plus, you have the issue of the jacket slip: do you take it off when reading, to avoid it slipping down the cover and getting bent? But then if I place the limp jacket on my floor or bed, I accidentally crush it and that’s worse. I prefer to not have these problems, and I am trying to become less materialistic by letting my worthless paperbacks get as effed up as they need to be; often with scummy dog ears that have been used to clean one’s fingernails at some stage, ice cream wrappers and dental floss wedged in the pages as place makers. I think I only draw the line at leaving the book facedown though on the bathroom floor. That’s gross. Ben Yaxley Okay weird opinion here. I like both paperback and hardback books. Hardbacks are excellent to have and own, but I always get protective of them. Paperbacks aren’t as nice to look at or hold, but you can pretty much toss them around without much worry (I still worry, because I love my books). So, I often have multiple copies of some books, one in paperback to read on the go (and to lend out), and a hardback to collect and read only at home. I think if I had to decide, I’d give the nod to hardback, just because I prefer the look and feel. Plus, some of my favourite books don’t have paperback copies (or at least not ones I know of). You know what! What happened to the good old days when we could have multiple volumes of the same book? Mike Anderson Paperback, they’re way cheaper and won’t disintegrate if you know what you’re looking for (a glossy finish to the cover, thicker paper, a flat spine). The only reason you should ever buy hardcover is for books of a thousand or more pages, where the cover of a paperback legitimately will not support the tome’s girth. Picture: my never touched copy of War and Peace. Note the pre-bent spine. Eamonn Kelly PAPERBACK. Represents a democratisation of READING. CHEAPER. Reminds me of novels serialised in newspapers a la Charles Dickens. For the people. Hardbacks look terrible with other books. Further, I will not fuck with trade paperbacks (the big ones released on first printing), as they are truly representative of the capitalist money-stacking goals of Penguin et al. Also, may I add, that Penguin has betrayed its own ideals. It was designed to be a cheap, quality alternative. Now black penguin classics range up to $40, and they are made of terrible, terrible stock. Other good things about paperbacks: Eamonn, you could tear that War and Peace in half for easy travel. Also, they generally have better cover designs. Pema Monaghan It doesn’t matter. I’ll destroy it if it’s not mine. Skye Newton
No Junk, No News Skye Newton
A Beautiful Exchange Ryan Suckling “It is the saddest night, for I am leaving and not coming back.” So begins Hanif Kureishi’s 1998 novel Intimacy (Faber and Faber). It’s a short novel dedicated to Jay’s tortuous last night at home before he leaves his partner and two children. From evening until the next morning, his thoughts and memories are recalled and tragically spliced through his normal routine: giving his two sons a bath; sitting in the living room watching their innocent faces; having a tedious conversation with his partner Susan. In 2001, French director Patrice Chéreau made a film loosely based on the book, and other stories by Hanif Kureishi. It got a lot of attention; with its explicit sex and French sensualism it did the rounds of the European film festivals, winning the Golden Bear for Best Film at Berlin. There are many substantive changes in the film compared to the text, as is customary with adaptations. The opening credits reference the ‘works’ of Hanif Kureishi, rather than this specific short novel. Parts were drawn from the short story ‘Nightlife’, collected in Love in a Blue Time. It is clear that there are other stories at work, stories separate from the text of Intimacy. At least semi-biographical, the novel was seen as a device through which Kureishi came to terms with leaving his own family home. Accordingly, in the novel Jay is a screenwriter and adaptor of literature to Hollywood studio – ‘pap’ he calls it. Similarly, Kureishi is an established screenwriter and filmmaker, with films The Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and London Kills Me (1991) to his name. In Chéreau’s film, Jay is manager at a London bar, and was a musician in his vague past. In the opening scene, the camera hovers unsteadily over Jay’s body, tracing the tangle of his leg around a sheet and the innocent, foetal-like positioning of his body. It’s precedent for the rest of the film, where the camera dallies around a character, all too reluctant to face them. In the sex scenes, it feels right, as Jay and his Wednesday lover Claire scramble to get close. In other scenes, it feels messy and slightly irritating. David Stratton thinks of Chéreau as a mediocre director, who should go back to where he came from – the theatre. The year the film was released (2001) Kureishi wrote a piece on relinquishing his material to Chéreau for Prospect Magazine. It’s a striking piece of writing – intimate just like his literature, a glistening rumination on creative collaboration. Ultimately, Kureishi’s involvement was casual and intermittent, spent mostly getting to know Patrice and figuring out his sensibility. They met for the first time in London in the late 90’s and talked about all sorts – literature, politics, relationships. Kureishi recalls a “gentle, unpretentious” man “willing to be amused”. Marking the turn of the century, he goes on to note the changing political milieu of that damnably rehashed phenomena of ‘late capitalism’. Without going into the travails of post-modern theory, Kureishi speaks of the bodies of his characters, the “culture of disgust and shock” that nurtures them into specimens of meaninglessness. He writes of the “terror of communication” which besets Clair and Jay’s weekly encounter. In modern politics of the body, desire, and sexuality the film and novel ask “to what extent are people disposable? What do we owe each other?” Claire is a fascinating character – simultaneously absent and desperate. She arrives at Jay’s house every Wednesday afternoon for silent, voracious sex. Then promptly leaves. One day Jay starts following her and is led to a pub with an annexed amateur theatre. Here, Claire is an aspiring actress with her mouthy, chubby husband Andy, who attends all her performances. Jay slyly befriends Andy. In the novel, we only hear of Nina, a young girl steeped in drugs and sex. It forms part of Jay-the-screenwriter’s search for intimacy at a great expense to his emotions and stability, all too often evoking a great sense of shame. In his Prospect article Kureishi wrote: “I can’t help wondering whether sexuality is better written than filmed.” It’s something I’ve often wondered. There is the question of filmed sexuality nearing the pornographic, but beyond that film often fails to render the intimacy gained or withheld from characters. The audience remains detached from the unending coil of internal frustration writing can render in an instant. In Kureishi’s novel every page contains a lacerating reflection, such as “There are perils in deep knowledge”, and “The fact that I have struggled with the same questions and obsessions, and with the same dull and useless responses, for so long, for the last ten years, without experiencing any increase in knowledge, or any release from the need to know, like a rat on a wheel”, get to the core of his insatiable cravings. They bring him to the precipice of abandonment. In a shortened, republished version of Kureishi’s article for the Guardian, his piece was retitled “Our Beautiful Project”, indicating something shared and exchanged. Indeed, it was a project they shared, yet each medium dictates different affects, providing a lasting exchange on human intimacy in a century of “impersonal, fastidious despair”.
Soft Cinema Clinton Ducas It is now impossible to live a life of linear consumption. We exist in different points across time and space; while we are physically present at a point in time, fragments of our being persist elsewhere in places we cannot touch. A Twitter feed, for example, contains its own temporal rhythm. The real world meets it at certain points, but the two intersect less than they digress, like two sine waves running at different oscillations. Understanding the effects of new media on our understanding of narrative is the project Lev Manovich, a Russian-American academic, undertakes in ‘Soft Cinema’. If Silicon Valley has its way (and why not?) every aspect of life will be either mediated or augmented by technology. Manovich sees the meeting of software, architecture, and cinema as creating new methods of understanding narrative structure, and by extension, ourselves. Stories have been the preferred technique for conveying information between human beings for millennia. These stories – whether oral, written, or visual – drew their structure from a linear narrative. It is a structure we have heard countless times, one with a clear beginning, middle, and end. So familiar is it that deviations from the accepted form are not universally acclaimed. Take ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books; they don’t line Dymocks’ best seller shelves. Cinema throughout the twentieth century followed the linear narrative, a phenomenon Manovich believes was a result of cinematic production techniques. A reel of film can run in only one direction to be comprehensible, and the stories in those films all flowed in that one direction. The scripts were written that way, the editing was done that way, and the various components bound together as a linear whole. Every event in the film was chosen by the scriptwriter and director working together; there was no agency for the viewer, and no deus ex machina that wasn’t deliberately inserted. Manovich sees this linear, calculated form of cinema as a parallel of the assembly line. Mass production, he argues, became the default view of the world. The assembly line requires linear movement, each component added and fixed in place in sequence to create the final product. As the computer changed our modes of being, Manovich suggests, so it changed our understanding of life. Storing the vast quantities of data we generate requires databases. Manovich sees the database as oppositional to the narrative, in that the former is capable of retaining information about the world in lists, without apparent order, while the latter follows a familiar cause-and-effect formula. In Manovich’s Soft Cinema exhibition, shown first in 2002, databases of video clips were used to create an example of his vision. Each clip, shot by Manovich himself in various locations, contained metadata with information on such attributes as location, brightness, and contrast. This was read by an algorithm which chose certain clips to play in windows on a screen. By virtue of the metadata, each clip was related in some way to the one it followed and the others with which it was shown. The narrative, such as it was, revolved around the idea of a ‘global city’ created through ‘layers’ of space and time. Art installations are all very well and good, but where does this leave cinema? Manovich would have us rejoicing at the birth of a new cinematic language. He sees narrative and the database merging into a new form of filmmaking, one that is shaped by the very tools used to capture and edit the raw images. These tools are already absorbed into the general culture; terms such as cut, copy, and paste are no longer confined to word processing. Indeed, the computer is now so firmly embedded in filmmaking that it is no longer remarkable. So commonplace is it that we use a database of clips every time we create our own short films on our phones. This isn’t quite Manovich’s point, though we are moving in his direction. As indispensable as computers are in film creation, however, we still crave the human element. The vision and artistic skill of a great director who chases the perfect shot, or the scriptwriter whose instinctual feel for the rhythm of a story still moves us in a way that a set of metadata tags cannot. Even with something as mundane as Instagram, a bad clip from a friend is more meaningful than a slick production from someone we’ve never met. Perhaps the time is not yet here. Perhaps, in a decade hence, this article will look quaint in its naïveté. Most articles on technology do. A great algorithmic leap might be close at hand, one that will combine the data harvested by Zuckerberg with our shopping habits to funnel an unprecedented cinematic experience, algorithmically tailored just for us, straight into our retinas. It’s not an outlandish idea. Entire films, quite convincing in their reconstruction of the real world, are now made on computers. The combination of database and narrative Manovich is waiting for might be one that uses the ancient structure with electronic clothing; a relationship that satisfies our desire for a story with our need for progress. Software culture, steadily ascendant for years already, is not retreating. In the future, all cinema could be soft.
Intimate Parts “It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; – it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.” – Jane Austen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Lovesickness is the affliction that describes negative feelings – physical and emotional – associated with unrequited love. Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind imagines there is a treatment for this. In this surrealist, rom-com sci-fi film (Charlie Kaufman’s screenplays should be a genre of their own), central character Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) takes up the services of Dr Mierzwiak. He decides to cure his lovesickness by having all memories of his relationship with Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) erased. The science doesn’t check out, and neither is it supposed to. Let’s just say the procedure involves ‘scanning’ Joel’s brain while he is incapacitated, and ‘zapping’ away every memory he shared with Clementine. During the procedure, Joel is inside his own head having second thoughts, chasing from one memory to the next, and grasping at each moment with Clementine before it is wiped. As he chases from moment to moment we can piece together a map of their relationship – a glance, a joke, holding hands, fighting. In its meta-deconstruction of the usual linear romantic narrative, the film explores an honest intimacy. Every time I watch it I am reminded of how all my close relationships are built up of these moments, bringing them into focus and allowing me to appreciate them for what they are. Let’s hope I won’t be needing the services of Dr Mierzwiak anytime soon. Julian Coleman Her (2013) Spike Jonze’s Her, a retro-futurist film, deals with Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a disconnected, depressed man working at BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com. In this not so distant future, technology is such a driving force that it has effectively moved to the backseat, so integrated with our lives it is barely thought of as a distraction. Everything is seamlessly connected as smart houses and phones blend with the character’s surroundings, becoming part of every shot without ever being directly in sight. Theodore’s invasion of other people’s privacy (as socially acceptable as it may be) establishes him as a man longing for affection. His line of work, albeit bizarre, fits perfectly with his character and allows for an immediate distraction – one that keeps Theodore in a recurring cycle where his life appears to be anything but fulfilling. The film’s eponymous character Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), is a Siri-like entity that serves as Theodore’s OS and lover. Their relationship takes off in what is anything but a conventional romance which questions the very concept of intimacy. Theodore, although virtually unable to be physically close to Samantha, becomes more engrossed and connected to her than anyone in the real world. Alternatively, the film features flashbacks showing Theodore’s previous relationship with his then wife. Scenes focusing on their sex-crazed, mostly kinetic relationship, pivots the film towards the physicality involved in romance. At the centre of Her is the question of not “who we love” but “how we love?” The fantastic storytelling in Her goes hand in hand with the visual style of the film. Most apparent is the backdrop of the story – an outlandish, yet subtle, landscape that is earthly, pastel Los Angeles. Here, raised walkways are filled with pedestrians glued to their handhelds, with barely anyone interacting with each other, and all exhuming disconnection. Jorge Luis Fonseca Lost in Translation (2003) In Sofia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation, lonely strangers Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) spark a connection at a hotel bar in Tokyo. Bob is an ageing American actor shooting a ludicrous Japanese whiskey commercial (‘For relaxing times, make it Suntory time!’), for which he is painfully self-aware. Nonetheless, it provides him with the opportunity to distance himself from a failing marriage. At the same hotel is young Yale philosophy graduate Charlotte, also questioning her marriage of two years to a successful photographer (Giovanni Ribisi). This, coupled with Charlotte’s quarter-life crisis, leads her to a greater sense of loneliness in a crowded and vibrant modern city. Coppola’s screenplay, the soft lighting, and the gentle, buzzing ambience of Tokyo creates a unique sense of intimacy between the two. Their growing fondness of each other throughout the movie is held together by Bob and Charlotte’s undeniable chemistry, and an unspoken understanding of each other’s troubles. Their relationship never feels lecherous or creepy. It is in fact the opposite: warm, generous, and comforting. Their intimacy isn’t powered by lust or pressured by any expectations. It is best expressed in a scene where they lie on a bed together, confessing their inner-most fears. There is no accidental grazing of hands, and not even an almost moment where something could have happened. The scene nevertheless blurs the boundaries of their relationship. Are they friends? Something more? Regardless, Coppola’s screenplay distinguishes Bob and Charlotte from the standard issue friendship-turned-dalliance trope by purposely choosing to film the scene on a hotel bed – the typical setting for the beginnings of an affair. Ultimately, there is no grand romantic gesture, nor does the film offer much closure on the future of Bob and Charlotte. Yet the ending is just as it should be – honest, unassuming, and most of all, real. Cindy Shi
Post-Game Press Conference: The Science Edition Interview by Maddi Howard Each week AFL coaches face a post-game press conference. Usually they are asked a number of questions which are pretty much the same from the week before. It gets a bit dry sometimes. For this edition, I thought why not do what the AFL sports journalists seem to do, and just copy down the questions asked at the most recent coach press conference? I asked two of UWA’s science research students to talk about their very important, and very science-y projects by the way of answering some of the most common questions that AFL coaches receive. Interviewees: Matthew Vear (MV) and Mozza (M) Respective teams: Hydrogeology and Microbiology How do you feel the team is currently performing? How is your preparation for finals coming? MV: Having just completed an honours and research project looking at the chemistry of a protected saline lake up in Cervantes, called Lake Thetis, it is apparent how pivotal the impacts of chemicals in groundwater are at the moment. Perth’s groundwater demands are increasing with the increasing population, and with increasing population we are putting more stress on mineral sectors and the environment. So, managing ground water and surface water availability and condition in the wake of growing environmental resource demand (crops), mineral demands (mining), aesthetic demands (parklands, greenspaces) is becoming more and more crucial. M: Yeah nah, look the team is on the up. We’ve had bit of a humdinger against the Golden-Staph’ers which knocked the lads around. But we got some newbies out in the field trying their best and undercutting their offensive capabilities. We’re staying cool, calm, collected and stuff. I myself am staying laser-like focused on our next match against the Escherichia cold-ones – gonna crack ‘em open come next Sunday. What are the biggest challenges to beat in order to start hitting the club goals? MV: We have to balance all stakeholders with growing urbanisation and mining practices. We need to produce more oil, gas and minerals but at what cost to the environment and possible detriment of drinkable groundwater and general groundwater supplies. M: Time. It’s a constant race against the clock to get everything ticked and crossed by the last siren. Everything you’re dealing with is alive and wriggling so it can be helter-skelter trying to marshal those pups all together. Do you think your stars are stepping up to the plate? MV: Dr Ryan Vogwill re-defined how we view Perth’s drinking water in relation to the Gnangara Mound, he was my thesis supervisor and reason for moving to hydrogeology from geology. Dr Steve Appleyard has always been and continues to be front and centre with groundwater and environmental regulations, while Dave Thomas, with Chevron, continues to ‘control the field’ when it comes to NAPL (non-aqueous phase liquids). Also, Prof. Andy Whiteley remains pivotal for matters involving biotech in Environmental Diagnostics and Clean Up. M: Yeah look it’s hard to go past B.J Marshall, he’s the star ruckman and never afraid to suck it up and get on with the job. Consistent performers definitely Sully, Kibbo, Bzdyl “The Drill”, and Bulldog. Yeah solid. What’s the plan for the rest of the season? MV: I hope to expand my knowledge and techniques and carry it into future employment lined up at the end of this year, to make the most of the opportunity. M: Stay away from the big barney’s we’ve got coming. Keep on the offensive and ensure that no other bugger drafts our players and turns them against us. Have you got anything to say about contract renewals? Will you be at the club next year? MV: I hope to work with mining practices and there impacts and use of groundwater and work closely with issues relating to groundwater contamination, soil remediation, and groundwater management. M: No comment. There’s a beach in Canada with me name on it.
Transforming Environmental Activism into a Social Media Construct Maddi Howard Posting holiday snaps on your social media accounts is not only good for your ‘like’ rate, it could also be good for the environment. New research into the relationship between social media use and environmental action suggests that the growing world of social media could be utilised to benefit some of our most at-risk environmental regions. Social media encourages expression of individual thought, spreading of ideas, and global connectivity – things that scientists need to tap in to, to get important research out to the masses. If used appropriately, environmental bodies might be able to capitalise on the engrossing characteristics of various social media platforms to educate and engage the public on pressing environmental issues. The rise in popularity of ecotourism holidays is one such way social media could be used for environmental good. As more people book on to ecotourism trips – diving on the Great Barrier Reef, trekking up Nepalese mountain ranges, or skiing in the icy Nordic nations – the number of social media posts made at those environmental hotspots increases. Scientists can then use the data from Instagram images, hashtags, and comments made on Facebook posts to determine a relative reading of the health of the ecosystem. For example, say I take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, and end up posting an image of the coral reef to Instagram. Accompanying this image is a GPS point, a comment with hashtags like #coral, #diving, #turtles and a timestamp. The social media post tells scientists what was located at the GPS point – coral and turtles, providing information on these species’ distributions. Additionally, scientists can tell from the hashtags what activities were occurring and potentially affecting that part of the reef (e.g. scuba diving), and the uploaded photo provides the opportunity for scientists to analyse and observe reef health from their computers. Suddenly a seemingly meaningless holiday snap becomes invaluable for monitoring efforts. We could use social media in this way to help report on the state of ecosystems, and inform on how climate change and recreational activities might be impacting on the environment. Another reason to tap into social media, is that it is so widely used by a whole host of demographics. A single post has the potential to be seen by thousands if not millions, depending on its level of appeal. The number of people using social media has never been greater, and for campaigners and activists to ignore the power of social media in enacting change is to miss out on a major opportunity. Consider for example, the #binthebag campaign – a huge movement fuelled by social media platforms, to promote public involvement in environmentally friendly alternatives to daily plastic use. The campaign was able to gain traction state-wide in an extremely short amount of time, and generate enough public support and subsequent pressure to see real change enacted in our supermarket chains. By 2019 there will be no single use plastic bags available at Coles and Woolworths outlets across WA, thanks in part, to the social media effect. Social media cops a lot of flak, it is often written off as a mere space for millennials to inflate their egos via posts of ‘duck faces’ and pictures of expensive smashed-avocado breakfasts. It has been attributed as being a menace of society, responsible for the rise of cyber-bullying and depression in our schools. But I think that there is potential for social media to be used for good. Perhaps it could even help us help the environment. Social media connects people from all areas of the globe every day, so why couldn’t it be used to help connect those same people to their duty to the environment?
Hard Water: An Interview (And How I Will Increase the Longevity of My Iron) John Murphy Recently, my Nan told me not to use tap water to fill up the water reservoir on my iron. I listened to her, mainly because she handed me a plastic water bottle found in my home that neither of us could recall the owner of. This advice made me concerned for the future of my iron, and like most people would, I outsourced a scientist (to save on data) to answer some questions in relation to the topic. Hi, thanks for talking to me today. No problem, I’m really tired. But I think I’ll be able to fit you in, especially when there’s an electrical good at risk from hard water. I really need to do some more research. I have never heard of hard water before, or associated water with a feeling (other than a smooth mouthfeel, a term used in some artisanal water marketing). What is that? First of all, hard water should not be confused with heavy water. Are you reading this off of the internet? No, this is off the top of my head. Okay. Back to it, hard water, firstly, should not be confused with heavy water. Heavy water is your standard H2O, however the hydrogen contains a neutron in the nucleus, therefore doubling the mass. This hydrogen is called deuterium, and the added neuron effectively makes the atom twice as heavy. Hence the name heavy water. Heavy water has it’s uses in nuclear power plants to slow down neutrons used to split atoms. It was made famous in WWII when a troop of Norwegian soldiers blew up their own dam to stop German soldiers from accessing the water (that they were trying to use to develop their nuclear weapons program). This protection changed the course of history. Okay, back to hard water? Hard water is not entirely hard. It’s as soft as your everyday H2O (in terms of feel). However, it has a much higher mineral content. Think calcium, magnesium and iron ions. These ions can react readily to form an insoluble (generally) white substance. This buildup can get much worse when you have an environment with a higher temperature, such as your iron, kettle (or perhaps shower head). As you heat up water it evaporates, leaving behind ionic (solid) minerals. So how does hard water occur? If it’s coming out of taps, isn’t it your everyday H2O anyway? Well, no, not entirely. Western Australia has much harder water than other states in Australia. This is mainly due to the large amount of carbonates (sandstone or limestone) and minerals in the aquifers we take source the water from. Interestingly enough, this high mineral content has become a fad in the water marketing game, with water brands saying that it’s beneficial to drink alkaline water whilst undertaking physical activity. In my opinion, the pH of the water is not beneficial, however the high mineral content could reduce cramping. Oh yeah. How is your soccer team going? No comment. If you’ve been using hard water in your kettle or iron, will this affect the electrical good in the long term? Should I be considering a new iron purchase in the near future? It can affect the use of your product in the long term. Calcium build up (which can occur when using hard water), can stain your clothes (think of the typical bore water stains you see on buildings) and can reduce the life of your devices. I recommend using distilled or filtered water (ideally filtered water as you can reuse the same container to get the same result). Concerning new iron purchase, that’s a personal decision. However, if you see large brown stain marks on the heating element of the iron, possibly yes.
Clare Moran @more_ankles 39
Psephologically: D’Hondt Mike Anderson As raised in the previous edition, the Australian Capital Territory used the D’Hondt Method prior to changing to HareClarke in 1992. While D’Hondt seems unlikely to be implemented in Australia on a large scale any time soon (Australia tending more towards the Single Transferable Vote (STV) models) it is the most popular method when implementing a party-list selection system. It can however be implemented in many different ways, with some using electorates, others implementing it alongside an electorate vote (this method being Mixed-Member Proportional). The system itself is more prominent in Europe, however an almost identical system, the Jefferson method, did arise in the United States in the 1790’s. The Jefferson Method, named for future president Thomas Jefferson, was introduced following Washington’s Presidential Veto on the Hamilton Method (yes THAT Hamilton). This method was then approved to be used to determine how many in the US House of Representatives each State would receive. Ultimately this method hasn’t been maintained for apportioning seats in the US. Rather humorously the Hamilton method was eventually used after the US briefly used the Webster Method, but again ultimately all were supplanted by the Huntington-Hill method. The US has used Huntington-Hill since the 1920’s. As interesting as all the minor differences between these methods are, they are decidedly not the topic we are here to discuss. We start with who D’Hondt was, Victor D’Hondt was a Belgian lawyer and mathematician, living in the mid to late 1800’s. He laid out the method for the purposes we see it applied now for party-list elections, unlike Jefferson which was envisioned only for the purposes of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives. Seeming the method has been adopted in some form in more than twenty countries, including his home country of Belgium, one would have to consider the method to have been quite successful and persuasive. Now that we’ve talked about a similar method and the bloke who laid the method out, let’s talk about how D’Hondt allocates seats. D’Hondt is described as a “highest averages” method of selection. D’Hondt takes the total number of votes for a party, then divides that by the number of seats already won +1. Therefore, a party receiving 10,000 votes and having already won three seats will receive the quotient 2,500, which is then used as that party’s vote share to determine who receives the next seat. This is seen in the equation Quotient=(total votes)/(current seats won+1). If there are five members in a district using D’Hondt then we can create a grid for each party and their quotients after each member. The five highest quotients will be awarded a seat. Of the multiple proportional systems available, it is one of the less proportional models, however any proportional system is better than a majoritarian system. This is due to its slight favouring of major parties; some modifications of the system do correct this favouring of major parties. However, the slight weighting to major parties may be why it is one of the more prevalent proportional systems, as most parties act to protect their own interests of getting elected to government. There are different applications of D’Hondt, an example coming from one of this author’s favourite European countries, Estonia. Estonia applies D’Hondt through twelve multi-member electorates. Each electorate has a different number of members elected from it, based on population, and has no single member electorates meaning it is not mixed-member proportional. Estonia also institutes two kinds of voting: quotas or thresholds. Individual candidates may be elected if their vote share meets a simple quota, but parties must reach at least 5% nationwide to receive a seat. The UK uses D’Hondt for some of its legislatures, and previously elected members to the European Parliament via this method (Northern Ireland however uses STV). It’s unlikely this will continue, as the UK is expected to leave the EU post Brexit. However, a case that is likely to continue is Scotland’s use of the system, in which it is implemented under a mixed member proportional system. The Scottish Parliament is elected with a mix of members elected under first past the post in single member electorates, and multi-membered regions in which D’Hondt is used. This tends to create a parliament with roughly proportional allocation of seats for parties to their vote share. Northern Ireland takes a rather novel approach to D’Hondt. While their parliament is elected via STV, Ministers are appointed via D’Hondt. This is done by applying D’Hondt to the total number of members elected to each party, with the parties selecting which of their members takes the department they have won. They then of course have the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, each holding equal power despite the names, who come from the largest Unionist Party and the largest Republican Party respectively. This is all due to the power sharing arrangements within the Good Friday Agreement, which do results in a rather interesting case of a forced coalitions, rather than the more commonly seen voluntary. D’Hondt, despite being the most popular form of party-list voting, isn’t without its problems, namely the favouring of major parties. Of course, this all depends on what your preference is when it comes to the makeup of government, coalitions of multiple parties? Or those dominated by a few major parties, propped up by minor parties. I personally prefer the slightly more minor party favouring Sainte-Laguë method, but that’s a different method for a different time.
Soft Power Kylie Matthews Politics details two approaches to power. “Power” is loosely defined as the ability to get what you want. In the international community, there are two ways to achieve this: brute force (hard power), or diplomatic means (soft power). Hard power is the kind traditionally seen in history: military conflict utilised to bend a foe into submission. Examples include... well, basically any state-to-state conflict that you can think of, be it fifty years ago or a thousand years ago. Say your neighbour won’t turn their music down at 3am on a Saturday morning. If hard power is turning up with a baseball bat, yelling at party patrons and busting the windows of your neighbour’s Mercedes, soft power is making a phone call and politely asking them to turn it down. In a post-Cold War century, the world is yet to collapse inward in mass conflict involving numerous countries. State-on-state conflicts are decreasing and hard power is gradually becoming outdated with countries resolving issues through legal or diplomatic avenues. Even major powers like China and the US stay their military, opting to use diplomatic means to resolve tension. Logically, this makes sense: war is mutually damaging, condemnation from the international community exists in the form of trade sanctions, and formalisation of alternatives like the United Nations have come into effect. The US is a prime example of soft power, and achieves this by being a major power that countries want to befriend and trade with. It’s the difference between being the huge muscle-bound bully in the playground, and being the good-looking, charismatic kid in school. The end result of a request might be the same, but it’s much more pleasant to be asked politely. If diplomatic means are the first option, and military force is a last resort, the rung below it is nuclear war. Critically, nuclear war has not occurred because of the “if you bomb me, I will bomb you” potential, no-one wins a nuclear war. Disarmament has been encouraged by pressure from citizens and insistence from the international community at large, exemplified by international legislation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. Unfortunately, disarmament of nuclear weapons has been a slow process. Everyone has nuclear weapons. Country B promises to disarm only once Country A has. Country A doesn’t want to give up their nuclear weapons and be vulnerable whilst Country B gets to keep theirs. Nuclear disarmament remains the ultimate goal, though notably Russia, the United States and China all have nuclear weapons but, since World War II, have (so far) not used them in conflict. Of the nine countries on the record as having nuclear weapons, North Korea is the most vocal and aggressive. Since 2003, North Korea has signed agreements with China and the US respectively, committing to ceasing nuclear weapon development. This has obviously not come to fruition, with North Korea continuing to engage in missile testing to this day. North Korea has been firing missiles and threatening the United States for decades. The real question is, why did this situation seem to escalate? Three answers: In July 2017, North Korea announced it had successfully developed nuclear weaponry capable of reaching mainland United States, Kim Jong-Un has accelerated current nuclear programs (and threats to use them) since his ascension to power, and that Trump’s administration has been equally aggressive in its response. For decades, North Korea has blustered against a rational United States. In the past, Washington has responded with calm rhetoric. Promising aid (Clinton), threatening sanctions (Bush), and “strategic patience” (Obama). The three options come straight out of the soft power handbook. This is in stark contrast with President Trump’s promise of “fury and fire”, reinforced by the US ambassador to the UN promising the US is “prepared to use the full force of its capabilities”. Has the US abandoned the soft power option here? Admittedly, the strategies engaged by Trump’s predecessors have been fruitless in halting North Korea’s nuclear weapons development. Trump has maintained military force is a last resort, though his statements (read: Tweets) continue to agitate situations. There is significant concern that tensions may escalate further if the US proceeds with a planned large-scale joint military exercise at the Korean Peninsula with South Korea. While a North Korea-US conflict wouldn’t be the first state-on-state conflict in the 21st century, it would be the first with potential nuclear weapons usage since World War II. At this stage, such a conflict has existed as a worst-case hypothetical for decades. I am certain the world would prefer it to remain hypothetical for many more.
Words with Lisa O’Malley Leah Roberts sat down with Lisa O’Malley, the State Labor Member for Bicton, to talk about what motivates her, issues facing young people, and the state. LR: What led to your entry into politics? Lisa O’Malley: I tend to view myself as being an accidental politician. I came from a background of community activism, it’s part of my DNA. My mum was part of the P&C, she was a big fundraiser for my four brothers scouting and football clubs. Once my eldest went to school, I followed in my mum’s footsteps and became involved in the P&C first, in a fundraising role, then as the President. I campaigned for Palmyra Primary, which is over 100 years old, to have air conditioning. I did this with an 8-week-old baby in a sling. We lobbied at parliament and had independent Janet Wellard (who was the Local Member at that time) pass a grievance motion to the then Education Minister, Mark McGowan. It’s rather funny that I’ve come full circle, I now sit in a WA Labor Government led by Mark McGowan. Next were the Barnett Government’s cuts to education. I, along with other local P&C members, formed parent action group (SOS) ‘Save our Schools’. Through this, I came into contact with Simone McGurk, the member for Fremantle. Simone has had a huge influence over me and my journey from community activism into organised politics. In late 2013, I found myself with SOS working alongside education aligned unions as part of the ‘Putting Our Kids First’ campaign. I took my community activism to the steps of parliament, where I spoke to a crowd of thousands. At the end of 2014 the Perth Freight Link was announced. My friends, and members of the community received letters saying their houses would be resumed. I got in contact with Simone and got involved in the ‘Rethink the Link’ campaign. I later ran for local government in 2015 for the city of Melville, who supported that project. This experience reinforced my belief that even small changes can have a great impact on people’s lives. At the end of 2015 the WAEC announced the new electorate of Bicton during their boundary redistribution. My initial reaction was disappointment that Simone would no longer be my local member, I hadn’t really put much thought to it beyond that. State politics had never been on my radar. After a great deal of thought, I decided why not? What led you to choose Labor? My decision was value driven. The conversations I had with local Labor MP’s, their strong work ethic and commitment to their local communities was another factor. I discovered that WA Labor’s enduring values matched my own and that was a great political fit. Labor embraces so many different aspects of society now, whether you’re a CEO, small business owner, or an EA in a school. Fundamentally the party connects to the community. What influences you? My influencers are health and prevention. I lost a brother to suicide in 2014, almost three years ago, I have my own experience of ill mental health, my family is pre-disposed to it. I see young people taking their lives, it’s just too much – that is clearly a heavy motivator. I feel this sense of responsibility, to use the position and the opportunity I have, making a difference in that space. What reforms would you like to see? Good local government is critical, it’s our grass roots. We will be conducting a review into local government, how they invest and influence our local communities I’d like to see greater level of accountability and transparency. I definitely want to see reform there. The community has largely been removed from the process, and their involvement diminished, I want to see reform on that.
The Human Rights Commission recently released a report on sexual assault and harassment at Australian Universities. Do you think the State Government can act to improve the situation? Ultimately, it’s a whole society issue. Simone McGurk is the state’s first Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, it has been identified as a priority area by the government. It’s changing the societal norms, university is a microcosm of society. They reflect the culture of the wider community. We made a huge step forward to that. There is a briefing coming up on the issue. There will be policies that will be developed and there is a large commitment by the government to these issues. Speaking of culture, do you find Parliament to be a ‘boys club’? I grew up around blokes, I worked with them, I’m not intimidated by the male environment. I will probably have quite a different perspective to other women in parliament. I grew up with 4 brothers, I worked in the male dominated fitness industry. When I walk into parliament I am not intimidated by the male environment I know I bring a point of difference to the Parliament, I know I can mix it with the lawyers and career politicians. If I see others feeling intimidated I will do what I can to help, I’m not afraid to stand up. I know there will be amazing female parliamentarians who may struggle to achieve what they otherwise could because of the combative environment. I feel it’s important that women support women. There needs to be a greater level of respect in the chamber. If the situation occurred when you would have to choose between supporting a policy that would benefit the whole state but be potentially damaging to your electorate – would you support the policy? In Government, we need to have policies that benefit the whole state, where there is potential for negative impact in the electorate that can be challenging. There will be opportunities elsewhere and it’s important to maximise those whenever possible. What advice would you give university students finishing university and trying to enter the job market? Will the government give any sort of hope to university students? Our government has a strong commitment around local jobs. We are committed to helping start-ups and small business. We don’t want to see our youngest and brightest go to Melbourne or Sydney or New York, we want them to have jobs here. It will take time to evolve, developing industries beyond what we currently have. I would say to any young person, find your inner entrepreneur, try to think outside traditional employment. No successful business ever really happens by just one person. I guarantee you, look at your university cohort, there are the creatives, the number crunchers, those who can market. It can be applied to any career. We are supporting innovation in the workspace. What do you think personally are the biggest issues facing the state currently? Jobs and the economy. There are challenges in the energy market, we need to be proactive and elongate our vision. It comes down to jobs and improving the economy. What are your future aspiration in politics? I want to do what I can with my skill set to best support the team, the party, our state. I am happy to take on opportunities as they came. Also working hard on winning my seat again, and supporting my community, that’s my number one priority!
Presidential Address Nevin Jayawardena Hi everyone! In this month’s edition, I want to feature our PRIDE department! PRIDE provides support and information for LGBTQIA+ students. They also run regular social events aimed at promoting visibility on campus and raising awareness to LGBTQIA+ issues in the community. The department has done a lot over this year and recently we celebrated PRIDE week that had a number of installations and events. One particular focus at the moment is the plebiscite for marriage equality. Guild Council recently passed a motion where we reaffirmed our stance on social, economic and educational equality for LGBTQIA+ students. We also condemned the Federal Government’s postal plebiscite on marriage equality whilst reaffirming our support for the legislation of full marriage equality in all Australian states and territories. The way the Federal Government has handled this is pretty shit. However, it’s important that students and young people in general, submit their ballot paper and that we ensure our voices are heard. Whether you are affected by this or not, it is important to not give into political apathy and that we do what we can to affect a change in legislation that will change the lives of many. Do the right thing. Vote YES
Nevin Guild President
Get involved with Pelican! Pelican Magazine is written by students, for students and we’re always looking for fresh new faces to join our publication, so if you can write, draw, or edit come find us in our office above the Ref - we’re heaps friendly and definitely want to meet you.
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How it works The sought-after position of Pelican Editor is up for grabs once again.
2) You will work hard to ensure that Pelican actively represents, showcases, and develops the talents of the UWA student body
Pelican Editor(s) (usually a team of two) are appointed by the Guild each year prior to November 1st and tasked with putting out eight editions over the course of the academic year. Candidates must have been Guild members for the last two years (or as long as theyâ€™ve been at UWA) and not have run in Guild Elections over the same period of time. They must also be enrolled as students for 2018. Pelican can be edited solo or as a duo. If applying as a duo, youâ€™ll need to demonstrate how youâ€™ll divide up the workload and handle differences that might arise.
3) You will be passionate about the printed and online magazine
Important things to consider when applying:
4) You have written and/or illustrated for the magazine within the past year demonstrating creative flair and a desire to innovate
How will you get students to pick up, enjoy, relate to, and get involved with the magazine?
How you can ensure Pelican actively represents, showcases, and develops the talents of the UWA student body? How will you create an intelligent, positive magazine that demonstrates the best of what UWA can be?
What it takes 1) You live and breathe Pelican magazine. Making the magazine the most wanted and needed magazine on the UWA campus.
5) You will need to have great writing and editing skills 6) You will have outstanding communication skills - with the student community, contributors, media agents, and with industry professionals and use this to ensure different viewpoints are sought and represented 7) You will need to be highly organised and have strong time management skills adhering to deadlines
- How will you uphold the traditions of Pelican dating back to 1929? - How will you maintain a politically unbiased approach to issues on and off campus?
Applications must consist of:
8) You will need to have a strong vision for the design, content, and overall look and feel of the magazine
- A CV including references - due Monday 16th October 12pm in an email to marketing@guild. uwa.edu.au and firstname.lastname@example.org
9) Can produce ideas about how to attract new contributors and keep existing contributors motivated and inspired
10) Ideas on how to get students to pick up and read Pelican 11) You MUST be an enrolled as a student for 2018 12) Bonus points: Experience in writing, editing, co-ordinating, design/formatting software and art direction
If this sounds like you we want to hear from you!
A physical portfolio outlining in detail your vision for the magazine for 2015, as well as physical design mock-ups - due Monday 23rd October, 12pm to submit to Danielle Browne in the Engagement Office located in the South Wing of the Guild (the Guild Student Centre can provided directions if needed).
You must also note your availability to attend the interview panels due to take place on the week commencing 23rd October. If you have any questions about the position or would like more information, shoot a message to email@example.com, have a chat to current Editors Ruth and Bryce, email firstname.lastname@example.org. edu.au, or stop by the Engagement Office.
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