Page 1

Wonder/land 92.4


Show your guild card and grab a pickup pizza for

$13.95 offer applies to large pizzas only

adway BroPIZZA 165 BROADWAY, NEDLANDS 9389 8500

OPEN 5PM - 1AM FRI & SAT, 5PM - 12 MIDNIGHT SUNDAY, 5PM - 1AM WEEKDAYS WWW.BROADWAYPIZZA.COM.AU

UWA GUILD WE WANT VOLUNTEERING YOUR OLD

PELICAN

Guild Volunteering connects UWA students to meaningful volunteering opportunities both on campus and in the wider community.

MAGAZINES!

Whatever you are passionate about, whether it’s environmental sustainability, animal welfare, homelessness or refugee issues, we are here to link you to changemaking organisations.

Why Volunteer? Make new friends

Learn and develop new skills

Improve your future employability

Guild Volunteering Services

Turn your passion into action

The UWA Student Guild wants to complete our collection (back to 1930) because there are gaps. If you, or your parents, or even your grandparents have One-on-one referralsaway to find your Personal development opportunities copies stashed – before you throw them away, please consider donating perfect opportunity them to the Guild Archive! Working with Children Checks Organised group volunteering excursions Volunteer job listings with over 200 nonPlease contact profit partner organisations

and Police Clearance Volunteer hours transcript recognition Guild Archivist,

the Melissa Hetherington for further information. melissa.hetherington@guild.uwa.edu.au

Drop into our office weekdays from 9am-5pm, ground floor, Guild Village or contact us:

2

+61 6488 2832 volunteering@guild.uwa.edu.au

fb.com/GuildVolunteering

6488 5891

volunteering.guild.uwa.edu.au


PRESI MILLI RILEY TORIAL TORIAL TORIAL

Hey everyone, What a coinkydoink of a theme as I just happened to watch Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass the other night. I am not imaginative enough to discuss any other themes, so why not share a few takeaways from the movie. 1. It’s better to overdress. Wear that outfit friend, and rock it. 2. You can’t change the past. Simples. 3. Like Alice, stick to your values, ambitions and dreams in life. If your ambition is to be a sea captain with a crew of sweaty sailors like Alice then so, be it. 4. Like the Mad Hatter, you may find yourself swept up in the fun & crazy times the holidays hold. The poignant reminder of the importance of family shines throughout the movie when the Hatter begins to lose his ‘muchness’. Make time to be present with your family.

‘Oh dear, oh dear! We shall be late!’ I take a watch out of my waistcoatpocket, then hurry on. You start to your feet, and burning with curiosity, you run across Oak Lawn after me, and fortunately are just in time to see me bury my nose into something. In another moment, you peek over at the object, never once considering how in the world you are to peal your eyes away again. You’re sucked into a vortex of words. Down, down, down. Will this never come to an end? Suddenly, thump! thump! You are not a bit hurt, and you jump up onto your feet. ‘Oh my feathers and beaks, how late it’s getting!’

5. The only thing worth doing is what we do for others. Connectedness is a theme that has become so relevant over the past year. Find a way to connect this incoming semester with those around you. It’s never too late to get involved with a club, volunteering or connecting more with our beautiful campus.

You find yourself in a long, low hall, with doors all around.

I’m going to end it there before it gets too mushy.

Welcome to Wonder/Land.

Can’t wait to have some company on campus again.

Outside one, you find a little magazine on a stand (which certainly was not there before). On the stand is a paper sign, with the words ‘READ ME’ beautifully printed on it in large letters.

So, you’ve arrived at university – welcome to the Wonder/ land. I mean it – uni really is a wondrous place, if you treat it so. A place where you’re not only allowed to think and explore in wild, wicked, whimsical ways, but encouraged to. Where you can, if you’re lucky, spend hours hidden in the stacks in Reid reading, or lying on the lawn daydreaming, or building some incredible machine in a lab. Where you’re given time and space – for a short, privileged fraction of your life – to share your opinions in class, to take bizarre electives, to follow the academic literature for your passion-subject right down the rabbit hole. So, there are more important reasons why the uni’s proposal to slash social sciences is a bad idea, but this one is often forgotten: uni should be about knowledge, learning, freedom, not just the job at the end. Love of your subject, and of knowledge, are ends in and of themselves, and will always set you up better for life than grinding out a degree to be solely ‘job-ready’. I want wacky, wistful Wonder/ land, not a factory fast track to the future.

3


Contents Wonder/land

ARTS

FILM

Thicc Boi Film: An Interview with Kaela Barker – Izabela Barakovska | Page 44

Dangers of the Wonder/land: Child Grooming in Coraline – Gabby Hardwick |

CAMPUS AFFAIRS

University Land Management – Aideen Young and Camila Egusquiza | Page 10 COMEDY

Cartoon Caption Contest – Holly CarterTurner and Kevin Nguyen | Page 8 McDonald’s: the Eighth Wonder of the World – Esha Jessy | Page 12 ‘September Never, Wonder/land Forever’ Charlie Mills | Page 59 DIVERSITY

Karrgatup/Kings Park: The Case for Dual Naming – Linc Murray | Page 30 Hollow Fantasy – Cleo Robins | Page 64 FASHION

Page 68

FINANCE AND ECONOMICS

Anarcho-Capitalism: A Wonder/land Story? – Max Kagi | Page 52 LIFESTYLE

UWA in Wonder/land – Courtney Withers |

Page 6

My Winter Glow Down – Megan Rundle |

Page 62

LITERATURE AND CREATIVE WRITING

Strange Days – Beau Davies | Page 9 looking glass – Ellie Fisher | Page 21 An Interview with Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth – Ellie Fisher | Page 22 The Magician’s Evening – Rachel DenhamWhite | Page 70 Peak Experience – Brendan Dias | Page 73

Best Fashion Moments of Netflix’s Queer Eye – Kaylee Cranley | Page 27 The Red Queen of Wonderland – Emma Forsyth | Page 67 The views expressed within this magazine are not the opinions of the UWA Student Guild or Pelican Editorial Staff but of the individual artists and writers. The Pelican team acknowledges that the UWA Campuses are located on the lands of the Whadjuk and Mineng peoples of the Noongar nation, the original and continuing storytellers and custodians of their lands. These lands were stolen, and sovereignty was never ceded.

4

How can YOU get involved? Join our Pelicreators 2021 Facebook group, or email the Editors at pelican@guild.uwa.edu.au


Cover Art by Pauline Wong MUSIC

Spirited Away by a Familiar Melody – Giles Chan | Page 50 Wonder/land: Activism in Music Writing – Vivienne Chester | Page 60 POLITICS

We’re All Mad Bro: Does Politics Turn You Crazy? – Maddi Broad | Page 14 The Land in Crisis – William Bake | Page 35 COLUMN: Politicontiki – Phoebe Levin |

Page 55

SCIENCE

Science Reads: Blindsight – Tony Li | Page 16 Science Reads: Mr Tompkins in Wonderland – Jesse Schelfhout | Page 19 SPORT

Take Me to the Promised Land – Nicholas Warrand | Page 28 TECHNOLOGY AND GAMING

E A S T S H A D E – Lux Alkazar | Page 40 The Last Phone – Ahmed Suliman | Page 56 ART

Wonderland – Hnin Ei Kyaw Win | Page 42 PHOTOGRAPHY

Parks on a Pedestal: The Water Garden – Ashley Browse | Page 38

Sub-Editors ARTS - Matt Bryan & Natasha Brandon CAMPUS AFFAIRS - Camila Egusquiza and Aideen Young COMEDY - Charlie Mills & Faisal Hamza DIVERSITY - Amman Bari & Cleo Robins FASHION - Emma Forsyth FILM - Amy Papasergio & Boa Antahputro ECONOMICS AND FINANCE - Brook Lewis & Charles Fedor LIFESTYLE - Courtney Withers LITERATURE AND CREATIVE WRITING Elena Perse and Ellie Fisher MUSIC - Jack Meakins POLITICS - Luke Barber & Maddi Broad SPORT - Nicholas Warrand & Lulu Suleski SCIENCE - Jack Logan & Paris Javid TECHNOLOGY AND GAMING - Ahmed Suliman Pelican Editors 2021 Riley Faulds & Millie Muroi Magazine designed by Xander Sinclair

For Pelican this year, we’re having an all-new ‘Pelican Plus’ section online for each issue. Wherever you see this little tech-whiz pelican, there will be illustrations, diagrams, further content or exciting ideas related to that page/section. Go online to pelicanmagazine.com. au to see all the bonus content for this issue.

5


UWA in Wonder/land: Your Personalised Campus Guide Courtney Withers is still bitter she wasn’t invited to SOUR Prom. Apart from having to recite the Jabberwocky poem in a Year Five assembly item (with a papier- mâché dragon head on, I might add), I haven’t really had much involvement with the world of Lewis Caroll’s Wonderland. However, just like The White Rabbit himself, I’m late for a very important date! — and that date is the deadline for this edition, so I’d better keep writing. Without further ado, and whilst playing some sort of dramatic Disney intro music (not sure why the ‘Na na na heyana’ Frozen song comes to mind), welcome to UWA in Wonderland™.

6

Having hayfever is sooo sexy #HotGirlSpring


The Pool of Tears

The Boiling Sea

Now, The Pool of Tears is created at UWA collectively by students in a few ways; doing the dreaded walk from Business School more than once in one day, getting to Campus Kebabs and/or IGA and realising that they are not in fact open, being chased by a peacock on your way to class, falling asleep in the sun on Oak Lawn and getting an extremely noticeable sunglasses tan, and of course, misreading the TurnItIn time for an assignment and having to cop the late penalty. The Pool of Tears increases throughout certain times of the year, namely in the exam period, so naturally it’s BYO canoe or boat to uni during that time.

Now, The Boiling Sea at UWA is of course our infamous moat that protects our tea party location. Just like a ‘floor is lava’-type situation, legend says that the water of the moat scorches the skin and is as painful as a thousand suns. This is probably why no one has attempted the moat-jump in quite some time, and not because you would most likely get escorted off-campus by Campus Security if you did so. It seems those smug ducks are the only ones brave enough to wade through this treacherous sea — you win again.

Tea Party We venture, next, to the Tea Party, which is of course the absolute chaos and mayhem that is Reid Library. Now, Reid fits the aesthetic of a tea party or ‘social catchup’, as no one has ever entered that library with the intention of doing any sort of work or study. It’s a place to gossip and draw on whiteboards to explain the events of a previous weekend, and it’s a place to speak as loudly as you possibly can so that no one else can hear themselves think. Maybe sprinkle a few food crumbs here and there and let your pungent food explode and line all the sides of the available microwaves, because hey, it’s a tea party after all!

The Outlands Ah, the Outlands. The outskirts of UWA. What you’ll find there is that at least someone has a brain; there’s an athlete, and a basketcase, a princess, and a criminal. Wait, apologies young Brian Johnson, I’ll put it in my own words. The Outlands is where you find yourself after there are absolutely no yellow student bays left in sight. You might end up copping a $70 street fine for parking over two hours, or pretend to be a Broadway Fair shopper. Whatever works for you, my friend. Good luck and God bless.

Olivia Rodrigo stole my driver’s license for identity theft - call 911

7


Black Forest

Whispering Woods

Of course our beautiful Sunken Gardens would very easily replicate the wonders of the Black Forest. Like this location, the Sunken Gardens is also a “dark forest where no light shines through”, which is why it’s perfect for brooding and contemplation. You’ll not only lose track of time here (remember, no light), but the moss-covered limestone will leave a perfect butt-shaped stain on your jeans that you’ll have to walk around with for the rest of the day.

Now, Whispering Woods at UWA is a hard one to get through without mastering a speedy Kath & Kim power walk. It’s also known as the area outside Reid during Guild Elections where ‘flyering’ is allowed. Even in the so-called ‘fast lane’, the whispers of those trying to get your attention for even a second to hand you an election flyer remains and haunts your dreams. I suggest constantly being on a phone call during these woods as a good way to distract the whispers from circulating in your direction.

Queen of Hearts’ Palace The Queen of Hearts’ Palace is another easy location to find on the UWA map because people won’t stop taking Graduation regalia photos and professional ‘arms crossed’ LinkedIn headshots in front of it. Yes, you guessed correctly. I’m talking about the Clock Tower and the Reflection Pond — oh, and let’s not forget about the infamous arches that encompass every Stock image of UWA to ever exist. Magical things happen at this palace actually. Looking into the pond, disregarding the plethora of duck shit, you’ll actually see the reflection of the Red Queen staring back at you — what fun!

8

Now that I’ve exhausted all the locations at UWA I can be bothered to think of, it’s time to scramble gracefully back up the Rabbit Hole. So bye bye for now, Wonder/land. Don’t fret though, because I’ll more than likely be back in The Outlands next week with a canoe in hand, that’s for sure.


Strange Days Beau Davies is a word nerd with lethologica

In the silence

The trees are dancing Nobody sees nothing

From the corner of her eye The river runs

Stops, is quiet

Everyone disbelieves

While the leaves float upwards Scintillating

The growing desert waits With sands unknowing

Somewhere, a bird does not sing They yearn

To forget to remember. Tears

Dry on tracks A hollow

Burnt out stump smiling Up at the moon

Moss damp & waiting Yesterday too soon

Redeemed & ancient In this land

We wonder.

9


University Land Management: The Stats on what UWA is doing for the Environment Aideen Gallagher is a final-year JD student reporting to you straight from quarantine

Camila Egusquiza is an overly anxious South American student, trying to make a career in journalism ‘Climate anxiety’ is a condition now officially recognised by the Australian Medical Association. Thankfully (or not, I am yet to decide) I now know that my persistent environmental existential dread is a nearuniversally shared experience. Whilst the turbulent era of snap lock downs and ‘Mark McGowan swooning’ has been a whirlwind distraction from the environmental emergency, it still pays to consider policy other than how speedily a premier can shut the border to NSW. Arguably, all organisations and institutions should be turning their mind to their individual contributions for the sake of greater cultural and social momentum. To keep you up to date, we will summarise UWA’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which is divided into five main points.

Biodiversity

UWA plans to enhance flora and fauna on campus to preserve and protect green space. To do so, they aspire to establish an ‘urban forest’. An urban forest is a collection of trees growing within a city, and to be considered as such the land needs to be at least 30% canopy cover. To achieve this status, UWA has committed to green landscaping, tree assessments, organic pest removal, and strategic design for all new campus developments. 10

Energy

Currently, UWA’s emissions sit at 38,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The university’s goal is to be an energy-neutral campus, which translates to net-zero emissions, by 2025. This is set to be achieved through “Initiatives based around the themes of energy efficiency, on-site renewables generation, and off-site renewables procurement.” UWA has also emphasised becoming a virtual power plant or microgrid, supported by distributed energy generation and storage.

Recycling and waste

The primary waste goals include an overall reduction by 10%, plus increasing the diversion from landfill to up to 70%, by 2025. The desired strategies are based on reduction, diversion, circularity, innovation and management. Some of the initiatives they plan to undertake include: • • •

Food waste reduction programs, such as OzHarvest Increased uptake of compostable packaging, especially to replace single-use Creation of a ‘circular economy’ index for the University (i.e. design and/or use

UWA? More like NWA amirite?


of reusable products) Collaboration with other institutions that focus on sustainability for research and innovation

Water

The university hopes to reduce total water use from all sources by 10%, plus reduce scheme water usage by 20%, by 2025. Such a reduction is to be implemented by establishing initiatives based around usage efficiency, collection from alternate sources, innovation, and management. This includes such things as collaborating with the school of environmental sciences, and better rainwater capture technology.

Climate resilience

When it comes to changes in the climate, UWA’s goal is to identify direct risks that could affect campus life and develop plans for action and accountability by 2022. The risks identified include reduction in total humidity, increased rainfall, and increased storm severity.

To address Perth’s changing weather patterns, “UWA has completed a Climate Change Risk Review identifying likely climate change scenarios and developed a risk matrix classifying specific risks.”

Action!

The action plan, following the assessment of the several criteria, is supposed to be considered within future campus planning and design. Being aware of the plans and strategies our university has set will not just help us to understand how to care for and protect the land we study on; it is also a mechanism for us to keep those accountable on notice, and to make sure that they are following through with their commitment to help build a sustainable future. All this information, and further reading can be found in the Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2020 document on the UWA website.

Make sure to fill in new UWA factory-university timesheets!

11


McDonald’s:

The Eighth Wonder of the World Esha Jessy is an avid fan of Oporto.

So, here I am. I’m lying in my bed and it’s 12 a.m. I’m listening to Frank Ocean and I’m in my feels for literally no reason at all. I just feel like turning on those god-awful Tik Tok lights I have and blasting ‘White Ferrari’. Don’t judge me, we’ve all been there. But my reverie is interrupted by the ding of a message on my phone. My mate is parked outside and wants to go on a Maccas run.

12

Edition Five - An/ti/dis/est/ab/lish/ment/ari/an/ism


This will be my fifth time today. McDonald’s is seriously underrated. From the basic cheeseburger with one slice of pickle, to the BTS meal and the fine-dining sticky tables. Maccas is a true heaven on Earth and here are ten reasons why I believe it should be the eighth wonder of the world. 1. It is the perfect place for a date. Who doesn’t love sharing a Big Mac, Lady and the Tramp style? And let’s not forget the intimacy of wiping the Big Mac sauce from the corner of your date’s lip. Mmmm...so romantic! 2. The history of the place is just fantastic. Did you know that Ronald McDonald is the reason why nightmares exist? He’s like a real-life Pennywise the Clown! 3. The MyMaccas app is such a great marketing tool. Like, once I got a token that said I could get twenty-five per cent off my order if I spent $40. How good! 4. The self-serve machines that never print the receipt are a great way to challenge your memory skills. 5. They are super sustainable. My dad used to work at a Maccas and saw his co-worker drop a patty on the floor and then proceed to put it in the burger, and that’s because McDonald’s doesn’t believe in wasting. 6. The bitterness of the McCafe coffee is scientifically proven to make everything you eat taste so much better. After a sip of it, your sausage and egg McMuffin won’t taste

like a dry piece of tofu in between bread - it’ll just taste like the shit coffee you drank. 7. The red and yellow colours of the McDonald’s sign are rumoured to be like a hypnotic sight to the eyes, so every time you see the golden arches, you feel like you have to go through the drive-through. It’s like real-life magic! 8. Maccas tables are the best place to put your gum if you ever can’t see the bin right next to you. 9. McDonald’s is the best place to start your health kick, because the quarter pounders are made with 100% real beef. Don’t believe me? Just look at the packaging. 10. The chai lattes are so good. I’m actually not joking about this one.

Now, on my fifth Maccas run, after breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and now dinner, I sit in the passenger seat of my mate’s car. I have $5 left in my bank account and am about to buy a small fries, knowing full well that I need to get petrol tomorrow, contemplating why the hell I am here yet again. Why am I spending money I don’t have, on food that I know is bad? Actually, it’s not that bad, the McFlurrys are really good. But I got no pickles in the cheeseburger I had for lunch. It still tasted good though. No, it’s fine, everyone loves Maccas, and I love Maccas, so it’s fine. Is it? No, it’s fine, just buy those goddamn small fries. Fuck the petrol, you don’t need petrol. Maybe I should just try Oporto. Nah, that’s stupid.

I’m late! I’m late! For a very important [Google Calendar Event]

13


“We’re all mad here”: Does Politics turn you crazy, or the other way around? Maddi Broad is an advocate for black jellybeans. It is no secret that in all levels of politics there appears to be a certain personality type that draws the limelight. You often hear people remark that “you’d have to be crazy” to pursue a career as a politician. In fact, when I tell people that my major is in Politics, they often ask if that means I plan on becoming a politician, with a slightly sceptical look on their face. When you think about extreme personalities in the political arena, it’s hard to ignore former US President Donald Trump. Certainly, every aspect of his political career made it apparent he was (at least a little bit) 14

mad. The increasing prevalence of populist leaders worldwide means we constantly see these larger-than-life personalities on the global stage; you only need to google ‘Boris Johnson funny moments’ to be reminded of this (if you ever have a major exam to study for, I’d recommend this). Domestically, we’ve had our fair share of memorable personality types within Federal politics. Pauline Hanson’s attention-seeking stunts come to mind here, and it’s hard to forget the sight of Tony Abbott biting into a raw onion – or worse still, his multiple appearances wearing only budgie smugglers.

Help! I ouija-board-summoned Lewis Carroll...


“EVERYONE CALLS ME CRAZY, AND I ACTUALLY AM.” - BOB KATTER

Only last year Bob Katter remarked to Sky News that “everyone calls me crazy, and I actually am”. Whilst in his case this may be a fair assessment, it poses the question of whether all politicians have to be at least a little bit ‘mad’. It’s fair to argue that not all politicians are mad in a Clive Palmer-esque manner. It is easy to look at Jacinda Ardern’s consistent composure, and remember Barack Obama’s level temperament as examples of this. However, it seems that no personality type in politics is ever really built to be successful. Even cool analysis and level-headedness can quickly become viewed by the electorate as aloofness. Politicians quickly become criticised for the personality traits which got them elected. There seems to be some degree of selfinflicted torture in subjecting oneself to a career in the political spotlight, where you’ll never be able to please everyone. Failure becomes increasingly likely the more successful you become. In our political climate, it is becoming rare to see politicians at the top survive even a full term, and whilst the pandemic has seen reasonable stability in terms of personnel changes, it isn’t difficult to remember the multiple leadership spills that defined AusPol throughout the 2010s. To accept this instability, and moreover be self-assured in your ability to withstand it, must take a certain strength of conviction, or

maybe (probably) just an overly large ego. If the power of politics does attract a certain personality type, it’s worth questioning why. There are thousands of articles (better researched than this) which give thoughtful insight into the impact of short election cycles, new media technologies, and globalisation on political success. The two-year electoral cycle in the American House of Representatives means that politicians are almost constantly running an election campaign. The continuous need to appeal to the electorate can lead to a precarious balancing of donors’ and constituents’ interests, and can often result in politicians being unable to effect the political change they had perhaps desired. We’ve also seen a rise in gimmicky actions that purely seem aimed at attracting headlines, and while Pauline Hanson and others of her ilk may have always been crazy, there’s no denying that the quest for a good sound bite or a viral TikTok appearance drives a decent number of public appearances. The combination of these external influences alongside a work environment that appears toxic at the very least, may suggest that these personalities are constructed in the political bubble, rather than drawn to it. Choosing a career where you have to sit through Question Time every day? That’s mad in my book.

...and he won’t stop twerking!

15


Science Reads What is Consciousness Good For, Anyway?

Tony Li once wrote a two-part article for the Mathematics Union that included the phrase “Tony Li, you monster” Blindsight cover by Tor.com with cover art by Thomas Pringle Year 2082: first contact. Thousands of alien drones appear in the sky, burning through the atmosphere in a spectacular fire show. In response, humanity quickly constructs an advanced spaceship, Theseus, and sends it off to investigate the source of the alien signals on the outer rim of the Solar System. When the crew lands on the alien base Rorschach, they capture two of its inhabitant alien ‘scramblers’ and waste no time in trying to extract information with the oldest and most powerful item in humanity’s tool box — “keep hurting them until you can distinguish speech from screams.” 16

This is the premise of the 2006 novel Blindsight by marine biologist Peter Watts. True to the ‘hard sci-fi’ genre, which emphasises the accuracy and logical coherence of scientific speculations, Blindsight comes with pages of notes and more than a hundred references to various scientific publications discussing topics related to Watts’ speculations — “to try and convince you all I’m not crazy,” as he puts it. In and around the plot, Watts offers us plenty of speculative world-building, and we catch glimpses of a prosperous but fragile human society on Earth.

North Perth is the new Kardinya. Think about it!


Science Reads - Blindsight

In the world of Blindsight, the proliferation of cybernetic and biological augmentations has meant that humans can become much stronger and more intelligent, if they so choose. However, many individuals still remain in the ‘baseline’ state, becoming increasingly unable to comprehend, communicate, and compete with the augmented superhumans. Many also voluntarily enter a reality simulation aptly named ‘Heaven’, a personalised paradise of their hearts’ desires, brain-in-a-jar style. ‘Heaven’ costs you almost nothing, but utilises the unconscious brain processes of its clients for profitable ventures. But even the most advanced augmentations fall short of the physical and intellectual prowess of the ‘vampires’ — an ancient predator and relative of Homo sapiens, only remembered in mythologies after their extinction at the dawn of human civilisation (an event owing to sheer bad luck; a fluke in evolution) and brought back through “the voodoo of paleogenetics.” Being dangerous predators, they are often locked in special cages by their ‘employers’ in conditions akin to slavery. The focal point of Blindsight, “the heart of the whole damn exercise” as Watts puts it, is his philosophical thesis on the mind: what if ‘philosophical zombies’ — hypothetical beings that behave identically to thinking, intelligent humans but lack any inner conscious experience — exist in our universe? Such speculation begins with the title of the book, which refers to the name of a real medical condition where a patient suffers from blindness not due to eye damage, but

due to brain damage that prevents visual information from reaching their conscious mind. As a result, their conscious mind cannot ‘see’ anything, however they still subconsciously respond to visual stimuli, such as by avoiding obstacles, without ever consciously knowing that those obstacles existed. This phenomenon poses a curious philosophical case; as it turns out, sensory information doesn’t need to enter the conscious mind to affect our behaviour. While it sounds strange at first, perhaps it’s much easier to accept the possibility that consciousness is not necessary for intelligence — especially in the age where A.I. has become the latest science buzzword. After all, it is still ridiculous to suggest that a machine-learning algorithm is conscious in the same way as a human, no matter how good it is at pattern-matching. We see many similar phenomena in humans — like how some sleepwalkers can perform complex tasks without any recollection after waking up, or how certain actions can become part of our ‘muscle memory’ to the point where even consciously thinking about them would only hamper our performance. While many scientists and philosophers over the ages have strived to learn more about the nature of consciousness, Watts’ interest is more pragmatic — what is consciousness good for, anyway? Citing a number of studies that show evidence of the possible costs and drawbacks of conscious thought and decision making, Watts explores this thought experiment in Blindsight: imagine a world where all the fairly reasonable premises outlined in those studies are correct…

There’s a portal in the 3rd-floor Reid stairwell. Be there TOMORROW.

17


Science Reads - Blindsight

And so, being less sentient, the vampires in Blindsight think rounds ahead of baseline humans, exploring far deeper into the logical trees of complex situations, when we can only take leaps of faith. They are also immune to all the bad decisions associated with hedonism; pleasure and pain are strictly limited to their evolutionary role as signals that inform about resources or danger. Hence, they also don’t enter ‘Heaven’ — there’s no point in it for them.

What is the preferable choice here? Either impending doom and certain death, or persisting as non-existent minds perpetually sleepwalking in the oblivion until the end of the cold and uncaring universe… If you are interested in reading more, Watts publishes his works under Creative Common; Blindsight is freely available on his website https://rifters.com/

Even so, the vampires still possess rudiments of self-awareness, and it is the arrival of ‘scramblers’ that comes as a revelation at last — they are completely devoid of selfawareness; all their intelligence and decisions are unconscious ‘blindsight’. Without the burden of self-reflection and conscious feelings, their intelligence carries them across the stars, all while humanity seems to have given up and retreated into a coffin. It’s humans, with their constant contemplation and navel-gazing, who have become the minority that strayed from the true path; an aberration unworthy of true intelligence. By the end of the novel, Watts has confronted us with a jarring dilemma: the self-aware and conscious intelligence of humanity is a fluke of evolution that’ll eventually doom us to the same fate as the dodos, and the only way to survive is to engineer the human brain to such a point that we become completely unconscious beings, philosophical zombies with intelligent behaviour but no conscious self.

18

“There’s a rake in my ute!” - Toy Story, but landscapers.


Science Reads - Mr Tompkins in Wonder/land

Science Reads Mr Tompkins in Wonder/land

Jesse Schelfhout fell asleep in a physics lecture but lacked the imagination to dream of Wonder/land Image cover art by John Hookham, published by Cambridge University Press. Alice is not the only one to have had adventures in Wonder/land. In a 1965 sequence of short stories written by theoretical physicist and cosmologist George Gamow, Mr Tompkins in Wonderland and Mr Tompkins Explores the Atom a bank clerk by the name of Mr C. G. H. Tompkins finds himself in strange places where the laws of physics are quite different to what we are familiar with. Much like Alice, Mr Tompkins finds himself stumbling through an enigmatic world where he, along with the reader, is introduced to some of the most bizarre predictions and observations from modern physics.

Don’t be scared off by the fact that this is a story about physics, as this book is geared towards those with only a casual interest in the subject. Gamow was a brilliant physicist, and his writing is charming, witty, and illuminating, as he explores the weird and wonderful world of modern physics and all its complexities through the eyes of a very ordinary character. The first part of the omnibus explores the strange consequences of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity on time, space, and movement, while the second part explores quantum mechanics, the structure of atoms, and particle physics. Through alternating scenes

The Vice-Chancellor hahahaha

19


Science Reads - Mr Tompkins in Wonder/land

of physics lectures by the Professor, and Mr Tompkins’ dreams when he falls asleep during those lectures, readers are introduced to physics concepts from both the perspective of a newcomer and of an expert, and so most readers should find that they are catered for. In one dream, Mr Tompkins finds himself in a city where the speed of light is just 16 km/h (rather than the usual value of about one billion km/h), causing a cyclist travelling near this speed to appear contracted lengthwise and to experience time passing more slowly — describing the so-called length contraction and time dilation from the Theory of Relativity. In another dream, readers (and Mr Tompkins) are also introduced to the concept of time dilation resulting from acceleration; a “a very old lady” addresses “a gentleman obviously in his forties” who has just stepped off a train, as her grandfather (you may have heard of something similar called ‘The Twin Paradox’). The Professor then explains the concept of spacetime curvature to Mr Tompkins in a manner so simple that a Flat Earther might accidentally discover that the Earth is curved. Mr Tompkins also explores what would happen if the laws of physics were slightly different. Here I must emphasise that the laws of physics in Wonderland are the same as on Earth, in the sense that they are described by the same equations. However, the book explores what happens when three of the fundamental constants in these equations are given drastically altered values, such as the effects of a much slower speed of light, as mentioned earlier. We learn that a change in the gravitational constant leads to a ‘closed’ universe of about 8 20

km in diameter, in which an object tossed in any direction will loop back after a short time. Turning from relativity to quantum mechanics, perhaps the less well-understood of the two topics, we learn that an increased value of Planck’s constant leads to a place where objects can be in multiple places at once or travel through barriers — so-called quantum tunnelling. The physics of the first half of the omnibus holds up well even some eighty years after its first publication. To my knowledge, there is no experimental evidence at odds with its theoretical underpinning – even the open questions about the large-scale structure of the universe still lack definitive answers. In contrast, there have been several developments relating to the second half of the omnibus since its publication. To identify a few, the protons (and neutrons) considered to be fundamental particles in Gamow’s time were found to be comprised of quarks, neutrinos are now on solid ground, and muons are known to be leptons (not mesons); these all lie in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Having been written in the forties, the stories are far from perfect in their representations of race and gender, with colonial and patriarchal undertones pervading the text. The version I read also contained a significant number of minor typographical errors which detracted from the flow of the narrative. Despite these flaws, there is a lot of enjoyment to be found in Gamow’s stories, both for physicists and muggles alike. I see opportunity for a sequel guided by a woman professor exploring some of the many great discoveries of the last 60 years, or even a version of Through the Looking-Glass – exploring what might be in the future of our own Wonder/land.

Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ officially killed fossil fuels


looking glass Ellie Fisher greatly admires the works of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. your lids shut and open with the precision of clocks. mechanical brain, mechanical heart. take a breath, ocean air. sharpened shoulder blades. tensed against the cold, you crawl into seams of unreality. there are dandelions in the crevices, the heavy scent of roses. the colours of the body spread on petals, textures folding ever inwards. thorns draw blood, bitter iron. pearls rope and glint, atheistic rosaries. you turn, breathless, squinting into sunlight. it is the colour of yellowed olive oil, a sacrament. the flat expanse of water, blue as a dead baby, falls like a knife across the eye. calm swallows on you, crystallising along your lips, your fingers. faces reflect, restless. unstilled and photographic. flickered skin, long exposure. with mathematical care, a riddle for a smile, you step into the long grass, that deoxygenated green.

21


‘Literature becomes a mode for registering loss’:

An interview with Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth Ellie Fisher greatly admires the works of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. 22


Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth is a Professor in English and Literary Studies at the University of Western Australia. He is the Chair of Australian Literature at UWA and the Director of the Westerly Centre. His research places an emphasis on the crosssection between literature, history, and the environment.

Ellie Fisher: To many students at UWA— especially English majors—who have been lucky enough to take your units, you’re seen as a rigorous yet kind academic, capable of going on fruitful tangents and engaging deeply with the wonder of learning. What do you think it takes to be a ‘good’ lecturer? Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth: Those are kind words – I like the emphasis you are placing on ‘wonder’ in this issue of Pelican. I think the first thing a lecturer needs to do is not to kill wonder. That is our Hippocratic Oath. One thing I learned over the years teaching literature, cinema, and television is that a good lecture is not a perfect lecture. I like to keep my lectures a little jagged. If a lecture is too smooth it tends to just sit there – like a nice vase or a Christmas ornament. I don’t want my students to fall asleep or nod their heads in agreement. The whole point of my lectures is to provoke the right kind of questions in my audience. I want people to think – what does Tony mean by that? The response I’m most looking for is: ‘Surely that can’t be right!’ – followed by a pause and a moment of doubt. It’s a fine line because I don’t want to leave people utterly perplexed either! But I find my own curiosity (my own sense of wonder) is my best and only guide.

I look for examples from the texts that are enigmatic, that cannot be readily explained. What I say to my students is – I wonder what that means? That is exactly where we need to start.

EF: You have one foot rooted in history, and the other planted in the literary sphere. How do you bridge these two disciplines, and the original moment which sparked your wonder in these subjects? THD: That’s a good observation. What I love about literature is the way that it asks questions and the way that it says things and dramatizes things that sit below the surface of the world. I also love language and the way that words can shock, confuse, surprise and delight us. But I am historically-minded in the sense that I tend to want to place things in time. Even when I teach present-day popular culture in ‘Narrative in the Digital Age’ or ‘Netflix: Cinema and Long-form Television’, I treat the present as a historical moment. I like doing both together – history and literature. I think history helps us understand literature and literature helps us understand history. But I also like using them against each other – to highlight the counterhistorical capacity of literature, and the way that this element of literature brings out the counter-historical dimension of history itself. How even in the most settled histories there are cross-currents and complications – this is why literary texts are fundamentally dramatic.

EF: You were recently appointed Chair of the new board of UWA Publishing. UWAP was under threat of being defunded and closed in

UWA - Pursue Impossible (by studying Anthropology)

23


2019, but has returned under the banner of being a hybrid publisher this year. Why is it important for the imprint to continue, and what do you feel you’ll give to your role? THD: The most heartening thing to emerge from the threat to UWAP’s future was a very strong community reaction. This took place at a national and international level, but most importantly it took place in Western Australia where people, young and old, made it clear that they valued UWAP. I’m delighted that UWA listened and has committed strongly to UWAP, emphasising its importance in telling Western Australian stories, and as a platform for community and scholarly discourse. At our first board meeting we approved four new titles for publication, and we are very much back in business. I think having UWAP is a real asset for our university – it’s one of the ways that people encounter UWA and in a concrete way see what universities can do, particularly in the world of letters and culture, which is a bit of an antidote to lives often lived at the mercy of numbers and dollars. But it was also a lesson for all of us – we need to support the things we love; we need to fight for them.

EF: One of your areas of academic interest is storytelling in the digital age. What is it about the digital wonder/land in which we locate ourselves in the twenty-first century which fascinates you? THD: While I was doing my PhD in the late 1990s, the internet appeared. There was no grand opening – we don’t celebrate Internet Day each year in memory of this event. In fact, at first it was like, is this it? What even is 24

the internet? The first big change was email, which seems so humble now but radically changed the way we speak and relate to one another. During semester, I get around 30 or 40 work emails a day. Then Google appeared. You might hate Google, but their search engine made the web work properly for the first time – you would type words in and bang you were there. I could have been a historian after all! Then social media happened, and step by step the internet’s emergence completely transformed the world. My seven-year-old son asks Google if it’s going to rain today. And yet … when I teach ‘Narrative in the Digital Age’ one of our major themes is loneliness and intimacy. It turns out for all its immediacy and connectivity, the digital age is one that makes us lonely. If my teaching has an ethical orientation it is to fight for authentic human experience. That sounds absurdly old-fashioned and essentialist, when people are talking about performativity and post-humanism, but there it is. For me, literature (and film and narrative television) are not really about escape, as is sometimes supposed, but about an urgent need to name things that are often not nameable. These stories give our confused interior feelings a dramatic shape. Another theme that emerged in the texts that I taught this year – TV shows like Wanda Vision and Tales from the Loop, and Charlie Kaufman’s film I’m Thinking of Ending Things – was the glitch. This is an example of how screen dramas are trying to isolate the way that the smoothness of digital technology – the erotic and utopian allure of the latest

I’m addicted to the free citrus on the side of the road


iPhone – is haunted by a certain kind of failure. Why is the malfunctioning robot so eerie? These are the kinds of things that fascinate me about the digital age.

EF: You’re the Director of the Westerly Research Group, which is a member of the UWA EcoPeoPle (Ecology, People, Place) research cluster. Can you tell me more about your work in this area— dealing with the Anthropocene, environmental history, and how humans’ relationship with the land is complex and multifaceted? THD: This is a long-standing interest of mine and comes out in various ways in my professional life. At the level of my research, I have been attracted to the intersection of literature and the environment. Like many things I do, this begins with a sense of contradiction, because literature seems inimical to nature. However many words we pile up, and however beautiful they might be, nature is completely oblivious – like the peahens in the Arts courtyard studious ignoring the peacocks carrying on. On the other hand, we are wrecking nature and we have to stop – i.e. we are in the Anthropocene and we are causing it. What can literature do? I think that first and foremost literature makes us appreciate what is there beyond us. In that sense literature replicates the otherness of the natural world. I know scientists like to understand things – God knows, I do too – but literature is about appreciating something without mastering it. It’s a different way of knowing. Along with the environmental historian Dr Andrea Gaynor, I am really excited we are

now offering a Minor in Environmental Humanities at UWA – the first of its kind in Western Australia. Andrea created EcoPeoPle at UWA and I admire her work a lot – she’s a brilliant historian. Part of that minor is my unit, ‘Writing the Environment’, and what we do in that unit is look closely at place – and place-based writing. I like to use local examples and the assessment involves a place-writing exercise where students write about a place that is near them – they visit it, they befriend it, and we all know that friendships are complex things …

EF: Your 2017 book, Like Nothing on this Earth, chronicles the history of the wheatbelt. You examine how the wheatbelt was created, not only through intensive clearing and environmentally damaging massive-scale agriculture, but also—perhaps more importantly—through creative writing. What are your thoughts on the importance of language and writing in shaping, understanding and framing landscape, especially in the context of Western Australia? THD: This book took me a long time to research and write, maybe ten years all up. The main epiphany I had was that the wheatbelt – which looks lovely at this time of year, with its chequerboard of green fields and lacework of residual bush – is not a place but an event. The event was the destruction of 90% of the natural world across a swathe of land the size of Britain and with the biodiversity of a tropical rainforest. This happened in the span of two or three lifetimes during the twentieth century. A century might seem long in human terms but is an eye-blink in deep time. I treated writers – from Albert Facey to John

Pick your nose and eat it - Boogie Wonder/land!

25


Kinsella and from Jack Davis to Barbara York Main – as witnesses to the event of the wheatbelt. In the book, I make the case – my book is the evidence – that literature is able to capture dimensions of this event that are not captured in other ways. Above all, literature becomes a mode for registering loss and a sometimes barely understood confusion about what is happening. Another important part of this book was that I decided at an early point that I was not writing this book just for other academics. In particular, I wanted it to be read by people who live in or have lived in the wheatbelt. After the book was published I gave talks across the wheatbelt – Northam, Wagin, Toodyay, Moora, York – and I was very humbled by the fact that people had read my 600-page book. They were not always agreeing with the sentiments of the book, and they told me so. But this experience brought home to me that literature did have a unique role – that it can make us see things in new ways, and help us to grapple with truly difficult and tragic things.

26

EF: Do you have any book recommendations which send the reader into wonder/land? What are you currently reading? THD: I am currently reading Laura Jean McKay’s The Animals in That Country, which is an Australian novel about a fictional pandemic. The disease that spreads through the country is called ‘zooflu’ and its most notable symptom is that once infected you become able to understand the thoughts of animals. It is all narrated by a hard-talking, hard-living grandmother who works as a zookeeper. I’m loving it. I’m also reading a book of poems by the Perth writer, and current UWA student, Emily Sun called Vociferate. It’s fantastic. There is nothing nice about it. It is trying to deal with contradictions. There is quiet rage in the poems as well as a terrible beauty. We hear so many anodyne accounts of how the world is, but what if the world was exactly how it appears in these poems? Broken, writhing, electric.


Best Fashion Moments of Netflix’s Queer Eye Kaylee Cranley is a fabulous fashionista who celebrates its iconic moments! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be familiar with the mental notation of your favourite characters’ outfits whilst bingeing your latest Netflix faves – and you’ll have outfit trends screen-shotted and written into your notes! For some, watching their favourite series is an escape from the everyday; for fashion lovers (myself included) it’s a different kind of guilty pleasure. Taking notes of carefully curated outfits from your favourite characters can spark inspiration for your everyday style or craft a bedazzling new look for your next event. Queer Eye is the perfect show for fashion lovers and worshippers of designers. Binge-watching in the name of fashion is real and I’m here to disclose the best places to go for your next inhome styling sessions and inspiration. Netflix’s reboot of the beloved franchise was sure to go off with a fashion-inspiration bang! The new ‘Fab Five’ – Tan, Bobby, Antoni, Karamo, and Jonathan – give us a range of looks through the progression of the series. They also help us to identify our own styles through the inspiring and empowering choices of others. Queer Eye style experts focus on relationships with men and women. They find people they can help inspire by offering advice on fashion, grooming, interior design, food, wine, and culture to people in need. In week-long transformations they change lives externally and internally, helping people to become their best selves. This feel-

good show won’t just leave you feeling warm inside; it’ll have you walking away with some newfound style inspiration. Fashion designer and entrepreneur, Tan France, is the show’s expert in all things fashion. Tan rocks tailored suits, coats, boots, sneakers – whatever he wants, really, as long as he is carefully curated from head to toe. His help in inspiring the wardrobes of others highlights the need to have a strong sense of self when styling and to use your clothing to express and bring confidence to your everyday life. Each of the Fab Five embodies an individual style. Karamo’s chic, casual styles usually mix jeans, baseball caps, and signature bombers. Bobby tends to go for classic styles and printed patterns. Antoni has a more edgy, street style. From dresses to heeled boots, and sequins to feathers, Jonathan does it all. His fearless and bold looks inspire us to break the mould of our stagnant wardrobes and try something outside of our comfort zones. Unapologetic and courageous, the show prompts viewers to free and express themselves through fashion. The Fab Five have an excellent sense of self and aren’t afraid to portray it through their individual styles. This show is so empowering and inspiring when considering what we can wear and how to feel confident in using our own sense of style and fashion as our arsenal.

The Lord of the Rings is less imaginary than the economy

27


Take Me to the Promised Land By Nicholas Warrand

The season of sport has just begun. Doesn’t matter what sport: cricket, hockey, footy – all that matters is that it’s begun. Oranges have been sliced, water bottles filled, parents gossiping away, and you’re raring to go. That first game back takes a while to get into: passes aren’t connecting, people don’t communicate properly – it’s a mess. Training next week is gonna be hell. But hey, you’ve somehow scraped away with the win! Trainings are in full swing - maybe an extra one here and there just to get the team going. Your Dad takes you down to the park to work on some things. You both know you’re shit but that’s okay, you can get better.

28

too big and strong and should never have been in this division – at least that’s what Mum says. There are a few games left in the season. You can still make it; you can still get there. One round left - win this game and you’re into the semis, lose and the season ends here. You’re not even at the big dance yet but boy, it sure feels like it. A good pass here, great defence there, and all of a sudden, you’re through! You’re calmer now for semis; there’s less pressure and this game is somehow the easiest of the season – it’s like they didn’t even want to be there, but you do. You can taste it. You can feel it.

Midway through the season and your team’s not looking too bad: won a few then lost that one because Erin went down south for no good reason. But overall, your team’s in a good position and you’re playing better each week.

Game day. For some reason your parents have bought your grandma down to watch. Your stomach does backflips. It’s that team: that one team you’ve struggled with all year, all past years, and you’ve been playing them every year now without a break.

You’ve now dropped a few games. One team demolished you because they were just way

The whistle blows and you’re off. The pace is faster, the team is meaner, your friends are

Number of letters in name = compatibility! Think Jim and Pam...


more competitive but more selfish. It’s neck and neck for the first half, both teams making mistakes and both teams taking the lead. At half-time your mum gives you a smile and a wave from the stands. You don’t wave back, you’re in the zone. Your coach says all they can to get you motivated, trying to keep the team up – but the umpire has other ideas. The second half is underway. And you’re benched. It’s bullshit, it’s not fair! You should be out there, not them. You can win this game, not them. You’re the best player on this team, and still, you sit. Five minutes go by and all of a sudden your coach calls your name again. It is your time. The rest of the game goes by as a blur. Players go this way and that and then… the whistle blows, the sirens sound, the game ends. Did you make it? Did you make it to the promised land?

Mum and Dad, Nebuchadnezzar and Amuhiar-of-Media!

29


Karrgatup/Kings Park: The case for dual naming Words and Photography by Linc Murray

30

Pelican and the author acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people as the Traditional Owners of the area discussed in this article, and pay respects to Elders past and present. This article has been developed in consultation with members of the Noongar community; however, it is important to note that Noongar words can have multiple spellings when reproduced in written texts. Furthermore, the ‘Kings Park’ area spans numerous locations with Noongar names; the names used in this article are not authoritative or exhaustive, and

have been selected in order to explore the concept of dual naming. For more information on Noongar names and spellings, the following sources may be a good starting point:

In the spring of 2020, I began a study of Karrgatup/Kings Park as a Sociologist. I came with an open mind, hoping to learn the positioning of the park within Perth’s social landscape. I walked the pathways, read the signs, spoke to parkgoers, and blew the dust off many historical documents in search of a social identity for the park. Before I began, I searched for guidance on how to approach my study, asking myself; who would provide me with the best advice to take on such a task? I turned to local Indigenous academic literature in search of an answer to this question, and came across this passage from Wooltorton, Collard, and Howitz:

“Unless one acknowledges the land is alive, and that it has comprehensible messages, one cannot cherish its voice. We are saying that this place-based practice of deep listening, sincere observation and accumulative, experiential insightful learning; of intentionally coming to know one’s place as the subject of profound love, will gradually facilitate capacity to hear, recognise and heed the voice of Boodjar [Country].”

South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council ‘A Sense of Place: Nyungar Cultural Mapping of The University of Western Australia and Surrounds’ – Leonard Collard, Linda Martin, Joshua Reynolds, Paulina Motlop

This quote acts as a guide for my study. It encourages me to slow my thinking and experience the park through immersion rather than trying to forcefully extract meaning from it. With patience I spend countless hours


observing, listening, and reflecting upon this special place. This is a story of Karrgatup – the place of spiders. SINCERE OBSERVATION AND ACCUMULATIVE, EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: AN EVENING IN THE PARK At first glance, all is well in 21st-Century Karrgatup/Kings Park. People are exercising, crafting social media posts, and sipping artisan coffee. In a relatively flat city, this modest mountain offers spectacular views of Perth’s CBD, the Swan River, and distant hills. The perfect backdrop for outdoor social life. An obelisk points to the sky, this memorial to fallen soldiers sits heavily upon the hill. As the sun sets the sky changes colour slowly, crossing the darker end of the rainbow spectrum before settling on the starry blackness of night-time. City lights become increasingly dominant. The names of mining giants burn at the top of the tallest buildings. The freeway produces a familiar roar, although it seems much louder when juxtaposed with the calmness of nearby bushland. To gain a deeper understanding of this place, I take the stairs down to the bottom of the landscape. The rain that falls on Karrgatup is filtered through its earthly body and flows into a sweet freshwater spring here. This is Goonininup. I remember learning that this is a resting place for the Waugyl, an ancient creation being that formed the hills and rivers of this country. I can feel the presence of greatness here in the depths of the park; the cultural significance of this sacred site endures. The night air is filled with energy. A raven perched in a nearby tree exclaims; “Ark… Aark…” with a melancholic voice. I sit by Mounts Bay Road on the south-eastern

edge of the park opposite the Old Swan Brewery and close my eyes. The sounds of cars whooshing past blends with the babbling of water from the spring, and the raven’s cries. My own memories of this place in 1989 come flooding back. The state government had decided to redevelop the dilapidated old brewery site despite strong opposition from the Indigenous community. In my mind’s eye I can see the crumbling buildings, their red bricks and rotting jarrah beams giving way to time. There are hundreds of protesters here, mostly First Australians, although there are quite a few non-Indigenous people here showing solidarity. Tents are spread out under the Moreton Bay Figs and campfires burn alongside the hopes of their creators. I can smell the smoke. Heavy construction equipment sits idle, deliberately pointed at its target in anticipation. Police watch the protesters as traffic slows to a snail’s pace. Our family car rolls through with me in the back seat, windows wound down, eyes wide open. I can hear some motorists shouting abuse at the protesters, others voice their support. One of the protesters is holding a sign: “ALWAYS WAS / ALWAYS WILL BE / OUR LAND.” Another protester looks at me and says, “The Waugyl lives here you know.” He points to the hill, slowly twisting his hand one way and then the other. Our car exhaust rumbles as we drive off. I open my eyes and it is 2020 again. The Redeveloped Swan Brewery and its manicured surroundings blush before me. History shows that the protesters were evicted from the site, some of them forcibly. I console myself by thinking that the protesters may have failed to block the redevelopment, but they had not failed to be heard. As I make my way back up the hill, I notice in the trees some of the spiders that give the park its name, spinning their webs of significance. As we all do. 31


DEEP LISTENING A few days later I return to the park with a single purpose: to speak to as many parkgoers as I could about what the park means to them. I spoke to a wide variety of people, some friends, some strangers, some Indigenous Australians, and some nonIndigenous Australians. Each conversation was different; however, most began with a sentimental retelling of good times in the park. There were whimsical tales of picnics, family gatherings, catching tadpoles, guiding visitors, lockdown escapism, and camping with friends. A large part of the park’s social identity can be found in these stories. There is no doubt that Karrgatup/Kings Park is a great place to relax, enjoy nature, explore, and socialise. But you probably did not need a sociologist to tell you that. There is, of course, a flipside to this whimsy - parkgoers also spoke of war, colonialism, protest, the discovery of human remains, and the attempted erasure of Indigenous history. There is great value in the green expanses of the park, however, as with the majority of human activity complexity, entanglement, and conflict are present elements of the story. This brings me to the central issue that this study has uncovered, that of dual naming. In my discussions with parkgoers, sometimes I would use the common name (Kings Park) and at other times I would use the Noongar name (Karrgatup). What I found in these two modes of presentation is that they generate quite different conversations. Asking someone about “Kings Park” was likely to conjure stories about picnics, café brunches, and socialisation. I do not seek to diminish the importance of these experiences; however, exploring these concepts amounts to little more than social commentary. Asking


someone about “Karrgatup” results in a vastly different conversation. An acknowledgement of Indigenous Australia is established from the outset. This plants a powerful seed of thought that the respondent feels compelled to address. In this situation parkgoers tended to speak of Indigenous history, bushtucker, spirituality, sacred sites, and cultural rituals. NonIndigenous parkgoers often approached these subjects with an awkwardness, telling me that they wish that they knew more about these things. This awkwardness can be attributed to the knowledge that Indigenous Australians have suffered greatly during colonisation. The subsequent will to learn represents a transfer of symbolic sovereignty, ‘handing the mic’ to our Indigenous compatriots. I sense in these nonIndigenous parkgoers a will to reconcile with uncomfortable truths and recognise traditional ties to our land through deep listening. HEED THE VOICE: THE CASE FOR DUAL NAMING Dual naming would raise awareness of Indigenous history and knowledge. If dual naming was considered, then a state-wide conversation would be entered into, paving the way for a new era of acknowledgement. This is how reconciliation is achieved, by having a conversation, reaching a consensus, and backing it up with meaningful action. Many would support the change; however, those who oppose the change would be welcome to continue using the name ‘Kings Park.’ Dual naming allows for such flexibility. Just as the mode of presentation influenced my conversations in the park, discussing the millennia-old name ‘Karrgatup’ would instigate similar conversations all over the state. I think the time is right for this move. The parkgoers that I spoke to all showed an appetite for such change and whilst my sample size was small, I sense that they represent the 33


zeitgeist of contemporary Perth. There would be opposition for many reasons and these opinions should be respected, dual naming represents a choice, not an obligation. Nothing is lost and so much is gained. The 120-year-old name remains, and the ancient Noongar name is included. Presenting the park in this way acknowledges its Indigenous importance and paves the way for a conversation on traditional knowledge and history. Uluru provides a comparable example of what can be achieved by dual naming. In 1993 the name was officially changed to Uluru/Ayers Rock and remains as such today. Despite controversy at the time, dual naming was applied, and few would argue against it today. Some naysayers remained defiant and continued to use the name Ayers Rock as a protest, although this faded with time. Fortunately, Indigenous names are more resilient. The name Uluru is now the common name for what is possibly the most iconic landmark in Australia. Uluru is more than a rock, it is a cultural homeland, an artistic cynosure, a natural wonder, and an Anangu treasure. To call it a rock is too

34

simplistic, to call it “Uluru” embraces its true nature. All of these claims can also be made of Karrgatup, just as Uluru is an icon of Australia, Karrgatup is an icon of Perth. After the period of controversy and awkwardness comes honesty, and this is my hope for the park. This is my hope for Reconciliation. This is my hope for Australia. Karrgatup is a powerful, ancient, and continuing Noongar name. The name Kings Park also represents a part of our history. Joining the two together would represent inclusiveness and raise awareness of Indigenous history and knowledge. The people that call Perth home have a special bond with the park, this is indeed a timeless tradition. We come here to relax, we come here to be with each other, and sometimes we come here to be alone. We have honoured it by sparing it from development. We have honoured it by commemorating our war heroes here. We have honoured it by bringing our visitors here. Now we can honour it further by recognising its history and embracing an old name. Karrgatup.

Art by Hnin Ei Kyaw Win


The Land in Crisis:

The Unsustainable Political System of The Land Before Time. William Bake (he/him) thinks he is ‘like George Orwell but cooler’ Art by Paige Bentley

The Land Before Time, for those of you uninformed about this behemoth of a film franchise, is a series of films set around a fictional – and possibly post-apocalyptic (no, I will not elaborate) – universe in which dinosaurs possess sentience. The first film entails the main character – Littlefoot – going on a journey to the ‘Great Valley’ after being quite brutally orphaned. The rest of the franchise’s fifteen films are all based around Littlefoot, his friends, and the adventures they have in the Valley.

35


I, being the unemployed bum I am, unfortunately had the time to watch all these films (there’s also a TV series but my supplies of alcohol ran out). I would urge anybody considering doing this not to – there are far more enjoyable things to do with your life (i.e. going outside, touching grass, etc.). What I found was that the entire political system of The Land Before Time (TLBT from this point onwards) is constantly on the edge of collapse, and in need of desperate reform.

Classifying the Political System

Responding to Crisis

This system is also consistently unable to properly respond to any sort of crisis. The fact that the children of the Valley are the ones who are routinely solving the constant crises speaks volumes about the organisational structure and governance in place.

The system is anarchist as it is not organised around central leadership. Instead, the Valley of TLBT is governed by individual families (hence Soi - Greek for family, and Krata/okracy - Greek for power) who make decisions based entirely on their own interests. At times we do get a hint of some sort of broader state, for example briefly in the eighth film, The Big Freeze, where an elder dinosaur is seen teaching the children of the Valley collectively in what resembles a public education system.

A perfect example of this can be seen in the third film The Time of the Great Giving. In it, the Valley’s waterfall is blocked and a water shortage takes place - a crisis that could be easily solved by sending out a team to find the bottleneck, unblock it and return. Instead, the entire film is spent with adults bickering and bursting into musical numbers about water usage and water rights, rather than solving the problem at hand. Eventually, it’s the kids who are the ones who have to solve the blockage and restore water, but not before a wildfire manages to pillage most of the Valley. While this fire is spreading through the Valley, disagreement about evacuation routes and muster points leads to the multiple families of the Valley being separated, leading to some of them almost dying.

The Valley also has an undercurrent of xenophobia and racism, with constant references made to the wall that protects and surrounds the Valley. Additionally, various racist remarks are made to other dinosaurs, such as the Tri-Horns (Triceratops) constantly telling their children to not play

This highlights one of the biggest problems with this system: no central governance means no central authority and no way to effectively coordinate and organise responses to crises. There are numerous examples throughout the series where adult inaction leads to their children having to solve problems, and where

For the ideology aficionados among us, I would describe the Valley’s political system as anarcho-soiokracy with nativist characteristics.

36

with dinosaurs of other species, or Littlefoot’s Mother telling him that the different species are supposed to keep to themselves. Hence, there are nativist characteristics.


these problems could’ve been overcome if they didn’t spend every film bickering. In the fifth film, The Mysterious Island, plagues of locusts come to the Valley, depleting the usually plentiful resources. In response, the Tri-Horns adopt a straight up socialDarwinist approach, saying it’s “every herd for itself ”. In the eighth film, when snow causes food shortages, it is the children who, while adults bicker about whose fault the snow is, are the ones who manage to discover hot springs and plants that ultimately solve the crisis.

to how the Tri-Horns seem to respond to every problem by adopting fascist tendencies. Even right now, with the current failure of the vaccine rollout, we see bickering between our politicians while people suffer. We like to imagine, in our liberal democracy, that the politicians or adults of our society know what they are doing, that they are doing what’s right and what’s best to solve the crises of our time. But are they really? Or do they too just spend their entire time just bickering? Are we, too, just another land in crisis?

A Brief Epilogue

The entirety of this political system is in serious need of a revamp and change. It will only take one crisis that can’t be solved by five children before the Valley faces devastation and societal collapse. But how different is our political system really? Constant climate strikes and protests organised by the youth in our country and globally remind us that it is in fact often the young who have to deal with the problems that should be solved by bickering adults. When one looks at our current government’s trajectory with continued climate inaction it feels perhaps we are not too far removed from the chaos of TLBT. The entire third film’s conflict about water seems almost too similar to the ongoing debates about water usage in the MurrayDarling river system in the east. The rise of populism in Europe and America is similar 37


Parks on a Pedestal: The Water Garden Ashley Browse is freezing his fingers off for sunrise photography.

The Water Garden, hidden within the Kings Park Botanic Gardens, is Perth’s secret little Wonder/land, with its sparkling waterfalls and alluring stepping stone paths and bridges, and even a tree-top walk with mesmerising views over the river and surrounding vegetation. Tucked away out of sight, you may have passed by many times without ever discovering it, but this enchanting garden is definitely worth seeking out. 38


39


EASTSHADE Lux Alkazar is seriously considering getting her driver’s licence sometime in the next decade.

My favourite – well, more accurately, my only – end-of-semester tradition is my resubscription to Xbox Game Pass. I set up my couch and coffee table with an array of blankets and snacks, get real comfy, and then groan upon realising that my Xbox needs to update. Every. Damn. Time. Twenty minutes later, my snacks are depleted and I’m finally perusing the game library. This month I decided to try Eastshade, an indie game released in 2019. I went in blind, and at the start I was pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy it. The graphics in the opening scene were a little underwhelming and the monkeys… honestly, I could write a whole essay about the emotional turbulence I experienced because of these monkeys. Due to the 40

first-person perspective of the game, you don’t have the privilege of knowing what animal your character is, but I just pray it’s not a monkey. I wouldn’t describe any of the animals in Eastshade as “cute”, but the monkeys are really something else. Upon seeing one, my housemate exclaimed “That is terrifying, what the hell are you playing?” But if you can move past that initial disturbance, once you arrive at Eastshade it really is quite beautiful. You play as an artist, who has travelled there as a promise to your mother, who in her final moments told you to visit the places she once loved and capture them in your paintings. The knowledge that your mission is to honour your mother’s memory, along with the music and ambience

If your unit has online lectures, you get a free Virgin Galactic flight.


Images courtesy of Eastshade Studios.

of the game, really sets the tone that this is something genuinely heartfelt. Eastshade is enriched with lore and mysteries, and unique and unexpected delights, such as hallucinogenic teas and lesbian bears. It may be deceptively simple at first, but there is so much to explore in the world, which is home to a huge collection of zany and whimsical individuals. And they really are individual; everyone you meet feels authentic and fleshed out. Nothing about this game is generic. Eastshade uses an energy system of “inspiration”, which you need in order to paint. It can be gained from books, music, natural wonders, as well as talking to the folks you meet, who give out tasks and share little wisdoms. The game isn’t particularly

challenging, and there is no way to fail or die, but your choices do sometimes determine which quests are available to you. There are a few bugs, and the endless running back and forth across the map can be a tad tedious, but overall, I found Eastshade to be immersive and almost therapeutic. It might just be the latest lockdown affecting me, but I was genuinely moved by several of the storylines, and some of the landscapes truly evoke a feeling of awe. I definitely recommend giving it a go if you’re a fan of the ‘cozy gaming’ genre and are looking for a wonder/land to unwind in, post-exams.

Did you know? Pelican invented the “Oxford” Comma!

41


Art by Hnin Ei Kyaw Win


Art by Hnin Ei Kyaw Win


Image courtesy of Ainslie McLellan. IG @ainslieface.

Thicc Boi Film: An Interview with Kaela Barker By Izabela Barakovska I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone willing to brave the challenges of analogue photography – its cost, its intricacies, inconveniences, and limited availability – all in the pursuit of creating unique, beautiful art that captures the timelessness of frozen moments. 44

Much like the sentiments that vinyl collectors proudly share over drinks on a night out, there is something fundamentally different about engaging with a timeless – some consider dated – artform.

The 24th Pelican Editor was my great-great aunt’s best friend’s 3rd cousin. Nepotism!


Unlike the mundane digital photography of my iPhone, analogue photography requires a bit more skill, patience, and careful consideration of what it is that you feel is worth shooting on one of your limited – and pricey - frames on your roll of film. Indeed, film photography seems to be more popular now than ever. My bedroom walls and Instagram feed are lined with compilations of film photos – the real ones and the filtered edits. They’re all a little burry, grainy, and chaotic; but, ultimately, perfectly curated, bold, colourful depictions of precious memories with my favourite people. From amateurs like myself to professional photographers in the Australian and international industries; analogue photography is undertaking an absolute resurgence over all the social platforms that my generation engage with day in and day out. Perth company, Thicc Boi Film (TBF) (@ thiccboifilm), originally caught my eye when I stumbled upon their Instagram page with its cute graphics, quirky name, and clever business model – film photography made available at the press of a button. Not a button on a camera, but on a brightly designed vending machine in Perth’s Raine Square. Like any good millennial, my response was to commit to a good Instagram scroll and see where this COVID blessing had come from; how Perth became host to an initiative that was the first I’d heard of this concept; and how I might actually better take photos with the point and shoot camera I had inherited from my parents, that they used throughout my childhood.

We organised a call with TBF cofounder Kaela and sat down to unpack, frame by frame, the story behind this intriguing start-up.

Izabela Barakovska: Tell us a bit about Thicc Boi Film as a company – what do you do, what’s the origin story, what’s your vision and mission. Kaela Barker: We’ve only just turned one, so we’re very much still in the start up stage. At the moment it’s just the two of us – James and myself – and we started out of COVID-19 and everything that happened last year. James’ background is in cinematography and film-making, and mine is in marketing. In retrospect, it seems very natural that this happened, but we were just both focussing on our own individual things. When COVID hit, everything was turned on its head; I was out of work for a few months, it was a rough time for everyone, of course. It made us re-evaluate everything. Film photography is ‘art as therapy’ for us. We’re both creative people and we love shooting as a hobby. Eventually we decided we didn’t want the year to be a complete waste and tried to take ownership of it. With the extra time we were given, we were shooting more and ended up directing more of our energy and time to that. In the beginning, it was to keep us sane, but it took off quicker than both of us had anticipated. Getting the vending machine out was a big process – kind of feels like a whirlwind now – and it’s hard to believe it was little over 12 months ago we started Thicc Boi. We still work two jobs each, and Thicc Boi is still our side hustle. We have big plans for it, and I’m sure this year is going to see it grow

Pelican Recommends: ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ by Blake Shelton

45


even more. I’m really excited for it. James’ mum actually owned a film lab when she was about his age. Thicc Boi Film feels like a rite of passage now – a full 360. We had both forgotten about it actually; it wasn’t until we told his parents we were launching TBF and had just visited Adelaide and seen the old film lab that we realised how cool and full circle this was. I handle the business side of things and James handles the stock and refurbishment of cameras. He has a natural talent for that, and I’ve been in retail and marketing for a while now. Neither of us thought that this is what we’d be doing right now, but we wish we had started years ago.

IB: Where did the name come from? KB: The name was all James and his friend Andy. It’s the product of a good night out with mates. The branding and illustrations are all hand drawn by our talented friend Mira (@atelier. mira) – and the hand-drawn illustrations are loosely based on what James looks like!

IB: What got you into film? KB: I haven’t been shooting for that long at all – James has been trying to get me into photography for years, but I always left that as his thing and focused on graphic design and art as a creative outlet. I studied analogue photography as an elective unit at university – and that involved learning in a dark room and the whole process from start to finish, which really interested me. I wouldn’t call myself a professional by any means – I’m definitely just an enthusiast. 46

James has been shooting, photography and cinematography, for well over a decade; analogue is another medium for him to learn to master.

IB: What do you say when asked ‘why film’? KB: Even when it came to finding our supplier for the vending machine, we really had to explain to them what our concept was because they’d never heard of anything like it before. Now it’s fun to watch people come through the vending machine and experience something new. We had a customer message us about these two older men walking past the machine that were taking photos of it and were so happy to see film wasn’t dead. They couldn’t believe that something like this was in demand today. That in itself summarises, “why film?” I believe every film photographer is invested in keeping it alive. Much like with any artform, you don’t want to see it die with the previous generation – that’s our motivation. ‘All things analogue’ is what we do, but ‘film for all’ is really our why – whether you’re just starting out like me, or if you’ve been shooting longer than I’ve been alive, we are about serving the whole community. It’s all about making this medium more accessible to all generations of film photographers. They all have a valuable place in the community. Putting a vending machine in Perth really shocked people – there’s an idea that Perth is very detached from the Eastern states and what’s going on, and we always seem to be the last to get anything. We wanted to speed that up for everyone and ultimately increase access to the medium.

The VC doesn’t eat Weetbix for brekky.


IB: How did the vending machine idea come to be? KB: A lot of it was about increasing that accessibility, especially during COVID and out of sheer necessity. We realised that our goal was 24/7 access because people who shoot don’t shoot between traditional retail hours. If you’re going out to a party, or going out really early to shoot sunrise, or whatever it is – you need that accessibility. It’s currently available 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. But also, for myself especially, when I was first going into camera stores in Perth there was an intimidation factor from typically the older men that run these stores. It’s off-putting when you’re not wanting to come off as stupid or ask silly questions – it was a barrier for me to want to pursue film photography. I knew that situation wasn’t unique to me. They are like gatekeepers in a way – the artform is from their generation, and there isn’t always that excitement about teaching the next generation so that film doesn’t die. If you’re unwilling to pass on the knowledge, then it’s bound to become lost. By having our vending machine and online platform, it’s such an easily accessible place to get film. You can ask those stupid questions, you don’t have to look silly in front of your friends or parents, or you may not have anyone to ask those questions to. We’re a place people can go, and our aim is to break down as many barriers as possible so people can keep or start shooting. The film community in Perth is incredible for the most part. Everyone is really

supportive, there’s organic photo walks that happen all over Perth, all the time, and it’s awesome to see that. Outside of that space, however, it can be hard. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you need to be able to have those conversations to learn more.

IB: Who is a film photographer you admire and why? KB: I fell in love with the story of Vivian Maier when I was studying at university. She’s a French photographer and shoots a Rolleiflex, which is also what I shoot – a camera that you hold down low (a waist level viewfinder), rather than up high at your eyeline. She wasn’t a professional photographer – her day job was nannying – but her artwork was found years after she passed when someone bought it in an auction. She was such a prolific shooter, but she was also a 6ft woman who managed to seemingly disappear in her street photography – and I was just very intrigued by her. She would take the kids out and shoot during the day whilst she was looking after them and had thousands of photographs that she’d taken – some of which are truly incredible. I just felt connected to her – she wasn’t a professional, she wasn’t a celebrated photographer in life, but she definitely had an eye for it, and her story really drew me in. She even got photos of a famous actress at a movie premier, and you just stop and think – how did a nanny get those? You can find the documentary, Film Finding Vivian Maier, here: http://www.vivianmaier. com/film-finding-vivian-maier/

The PROSH Director hates the Taylor Swift Society

47


IB: What are you most drawn to, to want to shoot on film? And what are your cameras of choice? KB: Me and James have about twentyplus cameras between us. James jokes that Thicc Boi started just so he could buy more cameras and wine. My favourite is a Pentax K1000 which was my first camera, and then the Rolleiflex that James gifted me. I also have a camera that my father gave me, a Canon T50 he travelled the world with. When I was young, we had all of these photographs in our laundry lining almost the entire wall from my parents’ six-month around-the-world honeymoon trip. I didn’t realise at the time, but those photos were taken on the T50 – so there’s a great deal of nostalgia for me there. James shoots a lot of medium format – he shoots a Pentax 6x7. He also never leaves the house without his Olympus XA in his pocket. In terms of what we shoot, it’s a lot of dayto-day life. I don’t know that I have a label really but I take a lot of street photography. We bring our cameras with us everywhere, and it’s really just about documenting our life. I’m really big on moments and memories, and we’re both pretty sentimental – we want to be able to tell stories with images. A lot of that nostalgia comes from the family photos we have, and we want to be able to slow down enough to appreciate everyday beauty. That’s something analogue photography can do that digital can’t. It’s about taking a breath and seeing your everyday in a new light. It was our therapy during COVID to do 48

that, and I would recommend it to any and everybody.

IB: What have been your biggest highlights and biggest challenges so far in starting a small business and in working within this industry? KB: The highlight has been the incredible response. There was such a need for it in the Perth film community, and we knew that because we – as photographers who were a part of that community – felt it. Everyone was so grateful, and we’ve had so much support since December when we launched the machine. As for challenges…there’s a lot of people in the scene, that’s for sure – especially given the rise in demand in the last few years. Sometimes it can feel like you are getting lost in the noise. But I think the biggest challenge across the globe for film photography now is that the suppliers can’t keep up. We are constantly struggling for stock – and that’s with everybody: Fuji, Kodak, they’re filling in orders from a year ago in some cases. Suppliers are really behind in terms of production; I don’t think they saw this resurgence coming. People are rediscovering film, and they just can’t keep up with the demand. That’s our biggest struggle right now.

IB: If you could collaborate with any brand, who or what would it be and why? KB: If James was here to answer that he’d have a running list! We’ve already managed to collaborate with a lot of local artists and local businesses. We have good friends at a lab here in Perth – who we only met through Thicc Boi – called Silver

The Girl Who Pushed Me Off The Monkey Bars by Stieg Larsson


Halide Studios. But we’ve also got friend photographers on board: local artists like Mira who did our branding illustrations for Thicc Boi, etc. Trying to cultivate a creative community is what we’re all about – it’s not about chasing the biggest brand names in film, it’s more about uplifting other small brands. Dubblefilm (@dubblefilm), for example, are a family-run business in Barcelona. To be able to get WA people this excited about a homegrown brand in Spain is exciting. Our aim is to work with more brands like that.

IB: What’s your best advice for someone looking to start with film, who may not know how to interpret the goodies within the vending machine? KB: We had a business mentor, and that was the biggest help for us. Every time we were like, ‘nope, too hard, it’s for somebody else’ and ready to give up, our mentor was truly invaluable. You have to hit the bottom at some point – a point where there is no other choice, an all or nothing situation – like the wall most of us hit with COVID, to really push you to focus and stay motivated on a project.

You can’t do it without hard work. If you are going to pull the trigger on a passion project, you do really need to hustle and make it happen. It doesn’t grow without cultivation, but there will be a point where you can employ other people and let other jobs go – but until then you still need to pay bills while you’re putting in the work to do what you love.

IB: Any insider tips on what TBF has in store for us for 2021? KB: More vending machines for Perth are in the works for sure. Our online store is the next step so we can reach more people and provide a better service. We also definitely want to up the community factor so that people have a space to come and learn more – whether that’s workshops with local creatives or collaborations, photo walks etc., we want to impart what we know and keep the community strong in Perth

In terms of the work-life, and work-passion project balance, we’re in the middle of our hustle right now. James works 6 days a week, and me pretty much the same. We are not yet on the other side, ready to give advice, we are still very much in the hustle. I know we have to find that balance before we hit burnout, but at the moment we have a lot of adrenaline behind us that we’re still going through the motions. SNAGS is a really cool and inventive acronym. Write for Pelican, SNAGS!

49


Spirited Away by a Familiar Melody Giles Chan is not a weeb.

50

Long stretches of meadow, emerald-green grass, a deep sky of azure. Geriatric mills made of crumbling bricks – barely standing. Pigeons. Deer. Rushing past from left to right. Your eyes try to find a steady point on the horizon to hold onto as the scene brushes past the frame of the window. You remember that you’re on a train – on your way somewhere. The sunlight seemingly switches off as you enter a tunnel.

Chihiro searches for answers from familiar characters in a half-remembered setting. She loses herself in this self-contained world of whimsical creatures and spirits. It could be a dream or it could even be a memory. The music doesn’t seem to want to give us an answer. Sweeping melodies carry us through the air, further and further away from reality – from any semblance of clarity – as if we had been rescued from danger. And indeed we have.

Evasive. Fleeting. What does age do to us? Where does she keep our memories? Memories of green taken away from us, leaving us in our fever dream of cars and skyscrapers. Vast digital corridors. Turn your back for a moment and the world has shifted around you. There is no respite in the future, only an ever-changing bridge that assembles itself with each forward step you take. We turn our heads to find the island that we have fled so far away from.

The composer of the film Spirited Away Joe Hisaishi has written music for nearly every Studio Ghibli film to date, compiling an impressive library of tunes to accompany the magical images put to screen, and this one is no exception. Spirited Away was made in 2001, twenty years ago – and the author of this article is willing to bet that a large majority of this magazine’s readership came into the world around that time and would have spent some time with Chihiro and her friends not long after.

Due to structural deficits, we are cutting the rest of the Pelly Facts...


Trying to recount this film now feels anecdotal because it was such a formative childhood memory (at least for this ailing millennial). Listening to the soundtrack is like flipping through a family photo album, coated in dust and worn down by time. Fortunately, however, the digital age brings with it certain caveats - one of which is the ability to perfectly preserve audio and to be able to listen to it anywhere. It’s like carrying a piece of childhood with us wherever we go and, in a way, this is the sentiment at the heart of Hisaishi’s music. I tried to analyse the harmony in ‘One Summer Day’, the piece that introduces the film’s leitmotif, and I really struggled (despite my aptitude as a C- student in Year Ten music). But I think this is sort of the point. Hisaishi shies away from typical chordal structures that involve major, minor, or even dirtier seventh chords. He uses a whole mix of notes that make them sound somewhat

indistinguishable. Ambiguous. They create a feeling of tension that is often never resolved. His music takes us on a soaring journey through the sky, except the clouds get in the way and they block our view – our destination is a mystery. Like Chihiro, we are left in a somewhat liminal space. We aren’t sure what we came here to do or even where we are. But the music does not intend to disorient or confuse us - quite the opposite. It wants us to remember. It paints a familiar portrait of childhood when things were simpler. When life was a game to be played and not a game to be won. For the time we spend watching the film we are spirited away to a place where we can look back fondly on a memory. Despite the melancholy, the feeling that things can never be the way they once were, we can always stop for a moment to cherish those memories that will always be with us.

...Just kidding, we took a pay cut and sold a third of the office instead!

51


Anarcho-Capitalism: A Wonder/land Story? By Max Kagi

It’s a strange thing, the economy. Since the dawn of time, humans have fought one another for possession of the world’s limited resources. As we have progress and growth, the arena has shifted to debate and the development of diverse theories on how we are to justly resolve the perennial problem of scarcity. 52

Like all good uni students interested in economics and politics, I began my fresher year thinking about how the economy and government should be organised, and how the status quo could be challenged. It was in that year that I devoted myself to a study of Karl Marx and his famous work

Why is this magazine called ‘Puzzles’? That’s the puzzle. Ha!


The Communist Manifesto, perhaps the most famous - or infamous - economic treatise of all time. I was taken by his proposition of the total abolition of private property and the consequent sharing of all the world’s resources by the community as a whole. I was cautious, however, of the proposition that a government could be trusted with the process of redistribution. Marx’s theories have been studied in exceptional depth for more than 150 years, and continue to provoke vociferous debate today. While Communism remains a well-known economic theory, far less considered is the ideology known as ‘AnarchoCapitalism’, a more modern concept and the arch-rival of Communism on just about every point of theory and practice. For those of you who have accumulated your fair share of late night binges on Reddit, you may already be familiar with the basic propositions of this theory - advocated by economists such as Murray Rothbard and David Friedman. While Communism is, in essence, predicated on the abolition of private property, Anarcho-Capitalism supports the abolition of public property. That is, all property would be privately owned and government as a whole would cease to exist. Goods and services would be allocated on the basis of supply and demand, down to the most basic and essential level, including civil protection, the armed forces, and even the law. Contracts would be drawn up between organisations to ensure cooperation where

necessary and fair play, though no higher power would possess the power to intervene. Taxation would be totally absent, and thus redistribution of wealth, and welfare itself, would cease to exist. This is a very far-reaching theory, one that even the staunchest Libertarians would struggle to imagine, let alone consider a feasible method of social and economic organisation. Proponents of the idea have emphasised the lack of motivation in government to provide goods and services at a high level of quality, given that they are not motivated by a profit proportional to their success, and that placing all government services on the market would allow for competition and the pursuit of higher standards. It is a fact that we, as a society, express endless frustration with the incompetence of our politicians and the bureaucracy of government services. It may thus be tempting to dream of doing away with it all, adopting a system of unadulterated economic and personal freedom. However, there are a multitude of holes in the theory, preventing any realistic belief that it could, or should, ever be implemented. The total rule of the economy on a supply and demand basis, as expressed by anarchocapitalist theorists, presupposes that all human beings are motivated solely by the desire to accumulate wealth. While this is true for many members of society, the desire for power and safety – the driving force of

UWA Wonder/land: O-Week is heaven, Guild Elections are hell.

53


politics – constitutes a significant influence in society, ensuring that a government of some sort would form under any conditions. Furthermore, basic altruism has its place as well, with certain members of society wishing merely to ‘do what is right’; these people are not highly incentivised by profit. While capitalists play an important role in society, theirs is not the only role, and their values cannot be generalised to everyone. The issue of stability is also critical, as it is impossible to imagine that an Anarcho-Capitalist society could truly remain functional. Defenders of the ideology believe that the market is totally self-regulating, and that government intervention of any kind is merely detrimental. However, there would be no free market at all if government did not intervene to prevent monopolies and unethical business activities, as society would risk falling under the power of a mafia-style kleptocracy. Unlike Communism, which has been implemented nominally, Anarcho-Capitalism has not even been attempted at any point in history. This is indicative either of its lack of ideological appeal to the masses, or its impracticality. The notion of a stateless society may give rise to the belief in a kind of absolute freedom; however, tyranny would be waiting right around the corner in this hypothetical 54

society. History has shown that almost any kind of attempt at implementing an anarchical form of social and political organisation will inevitably result in a power vacuum, with the vacant role of government inevitably being filled by some new power, generally worse than what came before. Anarcho-Capitalism would likely be no exception. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating thought experiment. More than likely, it was thought up by a community of free-market dreamers, who themselves were probably playing devil’s advocate. From my own reading into the subject, it has forced me to reconsider the roles and responsibilities of government within society, as well as the degree to which it should intervene in the market, and indeed people’s private lives as a whole. Between the two extremes of the Communist and Anarcho-Capitalist society, there is much discussion left to be had on where exactly our country should stand. For those interested in reading further into Anarcho-Capitalism, I recommend Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (1985) and David Friedman’s The Machinery of Freedom (2014).

Edition Five will be a four-page ad for mining companies. #Efficiency #Job-Ready


WE SATISFY YOUR TRAVEL URGES BY EXPLORING POLITICAL ISSUES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE!

Phoebe Levin is too complex to be summed up in a one-word bio

Nearly 300 kilometres up the river from Asunción (the capital of Paraguay), behind an entrance reminiscent (in placement only) of the Brandenburg gate, lies Nueva Germania – what was supposed to be the manifestation of a white supremacist utopia in South America. Settled in 1887 by Bernard Förster, his wife Elisabeth FörsterNietzsche (sister of Friedrich), and 14 families who passed racial purity screenings, the German settlement was free of Jews, but full of mosquitoes – which, unbeknownst to Förster and many anti-Semites it seems, are much more lethal). The settlers’ faith in their own ‘Aryan supremacy’ seemed misplaced, as upon arrival most of them died of starvation, disease, and malaria. Those who survived for the most part left Nueva Germania, leaving a small – mostly blood-related – group behind. Obviously, to preserve their racial integrity this led the constituents to procreate among themselves; yes, this means the residents were sleeping with their immediate family — a sure sign of racial superiority! The people who had stayed to follow Förster soon became disillusioned with the utopia he promised them, leading to his suicide in 1889 after abandoning the settlers, and

his wife’s return to Germany. The following century led to an assimilated and culturally diverse community; despite being the antithesis of what the Aryan settlers initially imagined it to be, it was, amazingly, what they had aimed at achieving all along – a true wonder/land. As time passed following Förster’s death, settlers realised that it was only through the generosity of the Paraguayan people (who were certainly not Aryan), and the information they bestowed on them, that they could survive. This included teaching them where to find fresh water and what crops to grow (manioc instead of German potatoes). This led to the assimilation of cultures with most inhabitants today speaking a combination of German and Guarani – an Indigenous South American language. While some Nazi sentiment has remained in the area – with rumours suggesting that the infamous Auschwitz scientist Josef Mengele escaped there following WW2 – for the most part, the community is a melting pot of cultures. The wonder/land Nueva Germania is today, as an integrated and multicultural community, is very different to the wonderland sought out by Förster and his disciples 134 years ago, but it is certainly much more palatable.

Bayliss Building has so much empty space. Like your brain haha

55


The Last Phone Ahmed Suliman is working hard to find new things to complain about.

In his 1992 magnum opus The End of History and the Last Man, political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously claimed that, as far as the competition of political systems was concerned, history had largely “ended”. He argued that the fall of the Soviet Union demonstrated that liberal democracy had won the day, and that no significant systemic innovations were forthcoming any time soon to pose a significant challenge to it. The exciting chapters of the history books were all but written. In the world of 2021 smartphone technology, history again looks like it might be ending. On face value, this may seem like an absurd claim. New smartphone models are hitting shelves on a weekly basis these days. The glamorous advertisements for the flagship devices from the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google are emblazoned everywhere, and many people you know (and perhaps you) are upgrading as soon as the telco contract permits. 56

Breaking: someone stole the oaks from Oak Lawn


“WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU NOTICED THE DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN A 60-MEGAPIXEL IMAGE AND A 120-MEGAPIXEL ONE?”

How much is really changing though? Truly new or revolutionary features have become particularly rare in mainstream smartphones. Instead, what has become far more common is cramming more capacity into existing hardware components until they generate a more marketable gigabyte or pixel number. Those upgrades might look snazzy on a promotional brochure or a YouTube ad, but they are rarely all that useful. When was the last time you noticed the difference between a 60-megapixel image and a 120-megapixel one? The vast majority of users will never fully utilise 8GB of RAM on a phone, let alone 16GB. Luckily, 32GB is just around the corner! The push to compete on specification statistics rather than innovative features has some detrimental side effects. For one, it has pushed up the cost of components used in smartphone internals, when they would be otherwise expected to be falling in price. Combined with global supply shocks in the semiconductor industry, this in turn results in keeping consumer prices higher than they really need to be. A preoccupation with hardware specifications also shifts the focus away from improving the usability and functionality of software, which has historically been less than optimal, particularly on Android devices.

When not focused on padding stats, the marketing for high-end phones tends to promote seemingly ‘new’ and exciting features like in-screen finger print readers or high screen refresh rates. In reality, these are nothing new, and have been around in niche product lines outside the flagships for years. In fact, what little innovation still goes on in the industry is happening within niche smartphones marketed towards tech enthusiasts, while the flagship market is left stagnant. Things weren’t always this way. Since the iPhone’s release in 2007 disrupted the smartphone world by normalising touch screens and raising the expectations of mobile multimedia, the competition to innovate has been fierce. The following years saw the creation of thriving markets for thirdparty apps, major improvements in battery technology, bigger screens and thinner bezels, and a revolution in mobile photography. These advancements were, in part, backed up and enabled by the emergence of 4G wireless networks, supplanting 3G networks that were optimised for text messages and traditional slow data traffic. The industry was moving at a breakneck pace, and consumers responded to that. In 2013, smartphone sales grew by an astonishing 40% on the year before. That would prove to be a high-water mark, not repeated since.

August 13 is Bring Your Towel To Class Day

57


So, what changed? The story is complex, but certain industry trends have pushed large smartphone manufacturers towards making conservative choices with their new releases. In this they are, in part, victims of their own success. As new smartphones sales soared, they became an increasingly dominant proportion of the revenue bases of retail technology manufacturers. The quarterly and annual sales results of those companies became dependent on the immediate success of each new major model released. This pushed them to become particularly risk-averse when designing their flagships, favouring easy wins and tried-andtested designs over ambitious devices that might flop. This risk-averseness isn’t entirely misplaced. The tech companies that did attempt to push the envelope in recent times haven’t fared so well. Previously innovative companies like Motorola, LG, and HTC have struggled to gain traction in the market, and have reverted to more traditional form factors and features. Chinese brand OnePlus did well for a while, but couldn’t break out of its niche mould without also adopting some mainstream product development habits. The future global outlook doesn’t look like particularly positive for many smartphone 58

manufacturers either. The COVID-19 pandemic hit both global supply chains and consumer demand, with sales figures declining sharply across all four quarters of 2020. Worse still, governments – particularly in the western world – are increasingly putting legal pressures on multinationals in regards to their tax and offshore manufacturing practices. In such an environment, it is unlikely that companies will begin to make radical changes to their best-selling products. I expect the pipeline of innovative features from niche and enthusiast phones to flagships to continue slowing down. It seems like a lose-lose situation for phone manufacturers: innovate and potentially risk a short-term hit in a competitive market, or maintain the current course and risk slow decline as average consumers get bored with new releases and stop upgrading regularly. It seems like the latter sentiment is prevailing, and may continue to for some years to come. I may be wrong of course, and there could a generational transformation to mainstream smartphones coming around the corner. After all, according to most scholars, in hindsight Fukuyama turned out to be wrong.

Every time a lecturer says ‘Um’ you can claim 5% credit!


‘September Never, Wonder/land Forever’ Charlie Mills is currently lost in the Reid Library stacks, please send a rescue team Over ten West Australians gathered in the city over the weekend, protesting an issue close to many hearts – Earth, Wind & Fire. The group marched down Hay Street, holding signs and chanting, “September never, Wonder/land forever.” What do they mean? It’s simple – they want to make Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1979 certified banger ‘Boogie Wonderland’ the band’s most popular hit, instead of what they deem as the undeserved holder of the crown, 1978’s ‘September’. Pelican editors recently met with protest organiser and self-described funk and disco expert, J.J. Beats*. Last year, Mr. Beats formed ‘The Funky Cool Cats’, which he described as “a collection of politically minded disco and funk enthusiasts.” “We have a simple dream, and we want to bring it to the people. Whenever we hear the funky guitar chords that form the opening bars of ‘September’, all we hear is injustice. Give me the loud brass, the driving drums, and funky lyrics of ‘Boogie Wonderland’, please.” When asked about the specific goals and motivations of his organisation, Mr. Beats seemed evasive. Instead, he seemed to delve into some pseudo-philosophical exploration of what is now a forty-two-year-old song. “The song starts, ‘do you remember, twenty-

first night of September.’ Well, I remember – the whole world remembers. But does anyone remember ‘Boogie Wonderland’?” he said. At this point, we did try to explain to Mr. Beats that whilst ‘September’ was an immensely popular song, so too was ‘Boogie Wonderland’. Mr. Beats became quite agitated. “‘September’ has totally eclipsed ‘Boogie Wonderland’. ‘September’ has over 850 million plays on Spotify, compared to ‘Boogie Wonderland’ which has a measly 220 million. I’m not saying ‘September’ is a bad song – all I’m saying is that next to ‘Boogie Wonderland’, it’s a big old pile of trash.” UWA Musical Historian Professor Sandra Michaels said of the protest: “to be honest, I don’t get it. Yeah, ‘Boogie Wonderland’ is a bop, but I don’t see the need to protest about it. I’ve always been more of a ‘Let’s Groove’ (1981) girl myself.” Despite its opposition, Mr. Beats’ movement appears to be gaining traction. “Our numbers are growing every day. The next step is marching on parliament house.” *EDITORS NOTE: J.J. Beats is actually named Tom Gordon, but for some reason he insisted we refer to him as J.J. Beats. It was either that or ‘DJ Disco’.

This uni needs a Late Assignment Submitters Support Group (LASSG)

59


WONDER/LAND: ACTIVISM IN MUSIC WRITING Now More Than Ever: Australian Music as a Transcendent Tool for Social Change. Vivienne Chester would really be much happier as a guinea pig. With the investigation into allegations of misogyny against Sony Australia ongoing at the time of writing, it is important to remember the ways in which music can transcend its production and produce positive societal change. Music has a unique ability to provoke emotions and encourage empathy in a catchy and palatable format – it brings people together! It is because of this that music is more than just a collection of sounds. Music is a force for change. Marginalised groups in Australia are using music to express themselves and bring issues to the forefront of the Australian cultural debate. Thelma Plum is a Gamilaraay woman whose song ‘Better in Blak’ has been certified gold in Australia – you’ve probably heard it being played on the radio. The song’s lyrics – apart from being catchy – serve to bring feminism and Aboriginal representation into the pop sphere in Australia. Plum, when asked about her motive to write the song, responded “there was absolutely no representation in mainstream media.” Brisbane based band Cub Sport also use music as a tool for social change. The band’s most popular song to date – ‘Come On Mess Me Up’ – has been certified platinum, and 60

came in at number 24 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2016. The band uses its platform to promote LGBT+ rights in Australia. Many of their songs – apart from being catchy – spread this message. After same-sex marriage was legalised in 2017, front-man Tim Nelson claimed that the song’s popularity had helped spread the message of equality across the Australian airwaves. A bit closer to home, Perth singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly made waves with her single ‘Boys Will Be Boys’, released in 2017 amidst the burgeoning Australian #metoo movement. The album in which ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ belongs is currently sitting on 5.5 million Spotify streams. On her bold feminist lyrics (such as “Boys will be boys/ Deaf to the word ‘no’”) and the enormous international impact they have produced, Donnelly stated, “being a feminist makes me accountable for how others are being treated, not just how I’ve been treated and how I want to be treated.” Modern Australian musicians are using their music as a medium to create social change, producing tracks that transcend their original form to become resonating statements of activism. However, this is nothing new. Australian music has a long history of protest

Dude! Where’s my Social Sciences Degree?


and social activism. Born in 1912, Peggy Glanville-Hicks was a hugely influential Australian composer who paved the way for women in music. Glanville-Hicks wrote several major operas and has a yearly address named in her honour. Through her music, this trailblazer was able to forge a path for women musicians in Australia. Jumping forward to the 1970’s, music was an essential part of the second-wave feminist movement in Australia. Helen Reddy’s hit track ‘I Am Woman’ proved that it was more than just a catchy tune when it was played at protests around the country. The 1970’s also saw the start of Australia’s Gay Liberation movement. An anthem for those involved that became popular on mainstream radio was Supernaut’s ‘I Like It Both Ways’, with the track’s suggestive lyrics bringing LGBT+ issues to the forefront of public consciousness. First Nations people have also been using song as a medium to promote issues such as land rights and equality, for decades. Music proved an effective communication tool for many artists because of the form’s unique ability to take difficult issues and make them palatable to a mainstream that could otherwise be quite resistant to these

messages. In 1985 the Warumpi Band released ‘Blackfella/Whitefella’, a resounding call for equality throughout Australia. They then toured with Midnight Oil, who produced perhaps one of Australia’s most iconic rock songs to date, ‘Beds are Burning’ – a track that recounts the abhorrent treatment of the First Nations communities they visited on tour. The enormous popularity of the track – as well as its catchy chorus – propelled the issue of equality into the limelight. Other songs from First Nations artists, such as Archie Roach’s ‘Took the Children Away’ (1990) and Kevin Carmody and Paul Kelly’s ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ (1993), have directly influenced Australian culture in the long term – culminating in events such as Kevin Rudd’s ‘Sorry’ speech in 2008. It is hard to believe that Australian culture and indeed Australian history would look the same without our music. As a form, music is more than just the act of writing and listening to a collection of sounds. It is a cultural and interpersonal exchange capable of creating shifts in popular culture. Music transcends its form when it is used as a force for change.

Will you Corymbia calophylla me?

61


My Winter Glow Down Megan Rundle is mentally stable again now that Love Island is back

I wore shorts today. Yes, it’s very cold I know, but both of my sweatpants were in the wash and what was I meant to do? Wear jeans when I’m lying down on the couch all day? Outrageous! So I wore my shorts today and I noticed two things. Firstly, I should own more than two pairs of sweatpants, and secondly, HOLY SHIT I need to shave my legs! Glorious they were, like two mammals warmly covered in a thick coat of fur. I’d never seen my leg hairs that dark before. I couldn’t help but stroke my newly fashioned legs. Not prickly at all, but soft and gentle. If anyone walked in, it would have looked like I was patting one of my cats, but I wasn’t. It was just both of my legs. 62

As I patted, I realised this was the start. The start of my very own ‘Winter Glow Down’. We’ve all heard of the ‘Summer Glow Up’, where one may lose weight, tan, dye their hair, and basically do anything to just look HOT. Trust me, I respect the grind but I’ve always wondered about winter. What about when our body goes into hibernation mode and we just disregard our appearances entirely? Well, the wondering must come to an end because I’ve decided that as a society, yeah as a SOCIETY, we should own our Winter Glow Down just as much as our Summer Glow Up. I used to think winter was a time to prepare myself for summer. Where I could work out in the freezing cold, just so I could look good for the thirst trap bikini photos I’d post in five

If I have to write one more Pelly Fact, I’m moving to Curtin.


months’ time. I was living for summer and wasn’t really living in the present. This winter, however, I did it a little differently. It wasn’t on purpose, but I completely let myself go. I don’t know about you, but this past semester I fully burnt out. I don’t even know what happened in it. I blacked out. Was last semester in 2021? I don’t know. My body was tired and I needed rest. After exams that’s exactly what I did. I watched a billion shows on Netflix, stopped tanning, slept a lot, made myself pancakes, and just did whatever the heck I wanted. I had completely forgotten my usual summer preparation process. This is where the patting the hairy legs part

comes in — I realised that I was in fact ‘glowing down’. I could literally see my body just letting go, and the cool thing was, I didn’t give a shit. Just chilling out for a season and letting myself get a lil’ ugly, was exactly what I needed to restart and calm down, rather than worry about how I’ll look in a couple months’ time when we actually start wearing shorts again. You know what, I was happy and hairy. Seriously, fuck Summer Glow Ups. This winter, glow the fuck down and just let yourself go. Take some time to rest on the rainy days in, and look after your body by letting it rest. I’m not even joking, my skin has actually improved by glowing down…wait, does that mean I’m glowing up? Maybe my Winter Glow Down is actually glowing me up after all…oh god, I’ve gotta restart this article.

If I have a single creative thought, I’m moving to Curtin.

63


Hollow Fantasy Cleo Robins

Is it possible for a brand to re-work their image if their entire business model is founded on patriarchal values? There are a few notable brands that people love to hate. Some are divisive due to their proprietors – like Elon Musk’s innovative and eccentric company, Tesla. Many people despise Amazon, too, for the disparity between its minimum wage and the wealth of its founder, Jeff Bezos. But lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret is a special, glaring case. Renowned for its annual lacy runway extravaganza, Victoria’s Secret shows and capsules were, until recently, size-exclusive and predominantly modelled by white women. The company’s lack of inclusion

64

has rubbed people the wrong way for several years and, recently, public distaste has taken a toll on the brand’s fortunes. In 2019, the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show was called off amid growing controversy over its lack of diversity, and last year, due to the havoc-wreaking pandemic, the company was forced to close 250 of its stores worldwide. Perhaps it was this misfortune, coupled with the realisation that trying to sell a fantasy perhaps isn’t all that realistic, that influenced Victoria’s Secret to announce that it would be completely overhauling its image. Victoria’s Secret revealed last month on Instagram that it had formed a new “VS Collective” of women

Next time you wanna complain about UWA, remember the moat!


‘ACCORDING TO VICTORIA’S SECRET’S FOUNDER, ROY RAYMOND, THE INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THE COMPANY DEVELOPED FROM THE “EMBARRASSMENT” HE FELT WHENEVER HE TRIED TO PURCHASE LINGERIE FOR HIS WIFE.’

who are trailblazers in their field, to serve as advisors and ambassadors for the brand. This seems to be a step away from the legacy of the supermodel Angels, but is Victoria’s Secret’s belated diversification enough to entice consumers back into the pink-striped fold? Looking at the company’s history, I would argue that it will be hard for the brand to divest itself of some seriously icky baggage. According to Victoria’s Secret’s founder, Roy Raymond, the inspiration for creating the company developed from the “embarrassment” he felt whenever he tried to purchase lingerie for his wife. He specifically wanted to develop a business front which made men feel welcome. When I read this quote from Raymond, I let out a guffaw of shock, but deep down his motivation makes sense. Only a company which was built on the excessive need for male dominance over female spaces could have produced the lollipop monstrosity that was the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. The first fashion show took place in 1995,

and was described by its overseer Ed Razek as an event of “self-assured strutting” and “voyeuristic pleasure.” The Victoria’s Secret fashion show only grew bigger and bigger after its inception, with its 2000 broadcast attracting two million viewers, and the advent of the internet spawning the opportunity for pirated viewing. The influence of the show throughout the 2000s and early 2010s was a great success for the Victoria’s Secret brand, but a detrimental event for the mental health and self-esteem of girls worldwide. I still remember discussing the show at school the day after it aired, pondering on the techniques the supermodels used to slim down their toned stomachs. I spent many hours Googling the Angels’ pre-show rituals, which ranged from fasting for hours, to foregoing water for the days leading up to the event. I am sure that many young girls went through similar experiences, trying to emulate the ‘perfect bodies’ of the Angels. Academics have also observed the way that Victoria’s Secret has contributed to the perpetuation of unrealistic body standards, and the lack of body diversity

A quick PSA: August is poetry month. This is a haiku!

65


was a key complaint which led to the cancellation of the show back in 2019. The Victoria’s Secret fashion show has also come under fire for its lack of inclusion of transgender models. In 2018, creator Ed Razek responded to questions about why the show did not include trans women in the Angels line-up by saying that the show was “a fantasy.” Razek was criticised for his transphobic comments and he stepped down the following year, but as one of Victoria’s Secret’s longest-serving creative directors, it is hard to see how his harmful views wouldn’t be shared by at least a large proportion of the company’s staff. While Victoria’s Secret’s new branding strategy includes swapping out a male-dominated staff for a predominantly female board of directors, sceptical consumers are likely wondering how far, and how fast, the changes will trickle down. I want to be optimistic about Victoria’s Secret’s about-face. It is heartening to see large corporations making an effort at inclusion, 66

but with so many doing so, Victoria’s Secret just seems to be jumping on another trend to save their business. When there are so many emerging brands popping up, like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, and even smaller Australian businesses like Hara the Label – who are not only reworking the definition of lingerie, but the word sexy too – companies like Victoria’s Secret seem rather superfluous. What is the point of buying from a brand which was built to uphold limiting patriarchal values, when I can buy directly from women who are creating their own garments, the way they want to? It is not enough to change the establishment by altering the brand image of existing companies. What is really needed is the dismantling of patriarchal power structures, and a redistribution of publicity to newer brands, which have been founded with the goal of diverse representation in mind. It seems the biggest fantasy that Victoria’s Secret has ever created, is the notion that a company which was created to epitomise male desire could ever serve the women it claims to empower.

YOU are MY Wonder/land xoxo


The Red Queen of Wonderland Emma Forsyth Johnny Depp’s quirky impersonations, Helena Bonham Carter’s booming voice set against the backdrop of Tim Burton’s carefully curated CGI – it’s Alice in Wonderland! The film would not be the film it is without those iconic costumes! Costume designer Colleen Atwood received her ninth Oscar Nomination for the film so we know there was no messing about in the style department!

The second step is the makeup: prosthetic forehead, eyebrows rising in grandeur to the middle of the forehead, and swathes and swathes of blue eye-shadow, somehow managing to simultaneously draw attention to and divert it away from the massive head. Let’s not forget those iconic red heart lips: a nod to the quintessential Red Queen brand this creation represents.

The most iconic outfit is definitely the Red Queen’s. Her concept was to defy all odds, go against the conventional concept of a Cards costume into something much more magnificent. Think Bette Davis as Queen Elizabeth I, with a sprinkling of Helena Bonham Carter.

The final step is Bonham Carter’s hairline pushed back to make way for that monstrous, red, curling, heart-shaped wig. Alone, the wig weighed three pounds which proved to be a challenge for the costume designer, as making the head too big (as required) made the neck disappear and the head roll on the chest. Thus, CGI was used to deliver the fully imposing effect of The Red Queen. Helena Bonham Carter’s head was enlarged to appear three times its usual size.

A costume this imposing and this iconic of course required all hands on deck. The formula for the Angry Red Queen included an Elizabethan dress complete with legof-mutton sleeves, nipped-in empire waist, high ruffle-style collar and gloriously juttedout skirt. Its imposing purpose is to make Carter seem larger than she already is – by using mountains upon mountains of fabrics. Ironically, both Burton and Atwood drew the same design for the costume; coincidence that it was the costume destined for such a villain?!

With Bonham Carter’s superb acting, our Red Queen is created in all her glory – a truly underrated costume and character who deserves our full attention for her impeccable style and imposing presence. Time to whack on the TV to watch Alice in Wonderland and take some style notes!

How do vegans bring home the bacon? BLUDGERS!!!

67


Dangers of the Wonder/land: Child Grooming in Coraline Gabby Hardwick is an English and Linguistics student at UWA. She spends her free time writing music and reading

When I say Coraline is my favourite film, people always ask me if it’s supposed to be for kids. The visual beauty of Coraline always drew me in as a child. Even now, it’s one of my ‘comfort movies’. The animation incites wonderment and still excites me enough to make me come back. The confusion around the potential status of the film as a PG ‘kids’ movie’ is based off the fear many people felt when they first saw it as a child, as well as director Henry Selick’s animation style which many associate with children’s media. I have maintained a love for the film over the years since its release, but my appreciation for the wonder/land created in the Other World in Coraline has evolved. I think what makes Coraline so uncomfortable for some is the idea that this wonder/land is a tool for the grooming and manipulation of the young characters. Coraline feels a sense of entrapment in her life of neglect and boredom, but the Other World gives her the experience she is desperate for, to feel wonder and excitement. 68

The Other Mother creates a world for children in which all their wishes and dreams are fulfilled. The children repay her as she steals their souls, marked by the sewing of buttons into their eyes. The child-like need for excitement and adventure is satisfied by a beautiful landscape of gardens, circus, and music. Initially, Coraline’s normal life could never compare to such a beautiful escape. However, the Other World traps vulnerable children, weakened by the harsh realities of life, into a world they think they want. To feel special, wanted and celebrated in the Other World is a new and exciting adventure. Coraline shows frustration towards her family. Her real parents consistently ignore her when she wants to spend time with them, and Coraline is scolded for the very curiosity that makes her an endearing, determined, and intelligent character. As a consequence of her neglect, Coraline’s curiosity and need for stimulation makes her vulnerable to a dangerous relationship with the Other Mother.

Harry Potter is wonder/ful, but Harry Potter is not.


The Other Mother – or ‘beldam’ – builds trust and close relationships with children with the intent of abusing them. Signs of grooming are evident: unexplained gifts, special gestures, and taking special interest in the family of the child. The very first gift is the doll made especially for Coraline in her likeness. Through the eyes of the doll, the beldam watches Coraline’s family issues unfold and intends to manipulate her when she is most vulnerable. The beldam pressures Coraline, wanting her to agree to the button eyes. She attempts to convince Coraline that it will all be worth it if she truly wants to leave her problems behind and finally feel excitement and wonder in her life. After all, the magical wonder/land of the Other World has endless possibilities. The garden of the Other World is shaped like Coraline’s face, with bright blue flowers planted as a tribute to her iconic hair. A perfect roast dinner is served to Coraline, and she can wish for the customisations of her choice from a magical chandelier and gravy train. A private circus show entertains Coraline, and an affectionate song

is written about her and performed by the Other Father. Coraline could not feel more celebrated by the time she realises that it’s all a trap. As a child, I interpreted the frightening nature of Coraline’s adventure as a cautionary tale. I was convinced that the movie meant I should be grateful for what I have, and to be careful what I wish for. But Coraline isn’t wrong to wish to escape from neglect and to desire the feeling of being valued. I now see Coraline’s relationship with the Other Mother as an allegory for grooming. The wonder I have always found in the Other World is understandable, as it was designed for me as a child. It is created to satisfy the inner child and to entertain the idea of what you could have. Coraline is a cautionary tale, sure, but the danger in it is not as it seems. The fabricated wonder/land manipulates children into adoring an escapism from boredom and neglect that will only keep them controlled by something else.

No offence, but you are looking really stylish today!

69


The Magician’s Evening Rachel Denham-White is still waiting for the Dune movie to be released

70

The multicoloured handkerchiefs had been pulled from the sleeve, the coin discovered hiding behind the lady’s right ear, the pigeons miraculously freed from their cage. The show was over. As the chattering patrons filed out of the sawdust ring, buoyed with incredulity and candyfloss, the magician carried his props back to his tent. It was at the very back of the circus; leaning haphazardly to the side, it bore a practically uniform pattern of patches and tears. It was old. Like him. It was worndown and close to useless. Like him. But it still served its purpose.

at your face through a slightly rippling pond. The image was still there, but warped: an almost familiar stranger.

The inside of the tent was bare but for a camp bed, a chair, a primus stove, and a table, topped with a small mirror. All eyes were instantly drawn to the mirror. It was a simple disc with a backing of wood and amber, blocky, even crude from a distance. But up close, it was clear this was no ordinary mirror. It did not seem to reflect, but rather distort, its surface smooth but surreuptitiously etched with whorls and spirals. It was like looking

He set the props down in a cluttered pile beside the camp bed. Instantly, the handkerchieves unfurled, spilling out over the ground. He cursed, and bent down to collect them. They were such flimsy things, but capable of sparking so much wonder in the right person. He thought of tonight’s audience, adults pushing to the front as eagerly as children. They were so desperate to believe, that they’d look past whatever lurid

The magician smiled. The mirror had been in his life nearly as long as the loneliness, but he still remembered the time before when his nights had been barren patches of black unmarked by dreams, when the wanting had been so damn strong. But then he had found the trinket in a tiny antique shop and they had been together ever since. They completed each other.

Binary Opposition Of The Day: indoor plants and dancing to a ringtone.


Art by Pauline Wong trick was in front of them and try to see the magic. He envied them. He was bereft of that naivety. Well, almost. He glanced towards the mirror, looked away and then glared back, hungrily. He could never resist. He sat down on the rickety chair, drew a candle from his pocket and set it on the desk. Like the mirror, the candle looked like something from another world; tiny designs etched into every square inch, the beeswax bound with ropes of herbs. He struck a match. The wick caught and flared to life, the air suddenly growing heavy with the astringent smell of thyme. A comforting smell. Homely, yet exotic. The magician sighed. The sigh subtly turned from a sound of exhaustion, to an exhalation of all his worries and woes. It was time.

Taking the candle in hand, he tilted it towards the ground. The wax ran out of the candlewick in a silky pearlescent stream, but then froze in midair, hardening into a small, white platform. The magician raised the candle. More wax trickled out, pooling on the platform and then shaping itself into a raised step. Then another. Then another. No matter how much the candle burned, the wax never seemed to run out. The steps were at knee-height, translucent, fatty-looking and smelling of thyme and oil. Now they reached chest height. The magician could not lift his arms any higher. He made his way onto the lowest step, carefully building the staircase as he began to climb up towards the ceiling. The magician rose through the canvas roof as if it were made of mist. He could feel the cold wind whipping at his face, but it did not bother him. Nothing could shake his balance. The steps climbed higher and higher, the staircase extending before him

Did you know? Palm trees are not trees!

71


adorned with dripping wax curlicues. He could see the lights of the circus but the individual torches and cookfires were no longer discernible, forming glimmering glowbugs in the obsidian night. He climbed higher. He was nearing the cloudbank, a layer of white and grey forming a pillowy blanket against the sky. Carefully, he raised his hands and swept away some of the milky air, adjusting the staircase to reach right up to the very top. But he did not need to worry. Once he stepped onto it, the cloud felt as solid as the ground so far below. Pure, unadulterated joy filled the magician’s heart. He wanted to scream, to tap-dance wildly across the clouds, to holler at the distant ground, to make himself heard. But he restrained himself. There would be plenty of time tonight. Carefully, he put the candle in his pocket and, straightening, whistled three quick notes into the jeweled sky. He knew they could hear his call.

down to meet him. They formed a sparkling ring, smiling coquettishly at the magician, inviting him to come closer. He spoke their names. Their smiles grew wider, their eyes brighter and their feet began to tap with anticipation. The magician walked towards his favourite and took her in his arms, her hair frothing about her face in a glimmering halo. Her smile was the widest of all. There was no music. One by one, they all began to dance. The magician smiled. The magician in the mirror, his face pale white against the charcoal night sky smiled too. The magician carefully lowered the mirror, and took himself off to bed.

One by one, they came to him. Each star carefully arranged her petticoats and glided 72

You can’t have your kilo of concrete and eat it too.


Peak Experience Brendan Dias likes all types of fiction (including non-fiction)

So, where are we going this time? To a mountain. You seriously want to climb a mountain? Yeah. Okay then, which mountain? Does it matter? Not really, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d still like to know. Well, since you asked… ********************************************************************** She stood motionless like that for just under an hour. Seemingly transfixed by some invisible scene playing out in front of her, she was utterly oblivious to the world around her. In the years to come, this place and this moment in time, her memory of it anyway, would be her sanctuary. Her place of peace. A place where the weight of the heavy boulder of existence would temporarily disappear, transforming her tiresome trudge into a palliative promenade. Standing there at the peak, she could see the clouds float by below her feet, reminding her that her world had been turned upside-down. White wind rushed past her face, drowning out any other sound. From the dark recesses of her oxygen-depleted mind, a fragment of a memory drifted

If you take 6 years to do a 3 year degree, you instantly become Editor!

73


slowly upwards, a strand of lint caught in a ray of sunshine, defying the laws of gravity, silently protesting against the very fabric of the universe. It was of another time when she had witnessed a force of nature as strong as this one. She had been swimming at the base of a thunderous waterfall, deafened by the crashing water raining down on her from above. She could scarcely think, yet she knew that this experience was more immense, far more disorienting. Her mind often worked like this, comparing different sensations, likening one to another, until all sensation had been reduced from its multitudinous range into one. A singularity. All emotion, thought, perception, all modes of being rolled into the one unified being that appears static on the surface, but just below is boiling, broiling, bubbling. Frothed into a beverage that should never be sipped. A single drop of which could send its drinker into a reverie so deep, so convincingly real, that to escape it would mean dying to one’s self. Living within it would mean living so intensely, so vibrantly, that existence itself would lose all meaning and collapse. Its contents would spill out in a haphazard, chaotic, patently unpredictable way. A way rife with beauty and ugliness, heaviness and lightness. Capturing a single hue would be equivalent to capturing them all, erasing any preconception of the whole being a composition of hues. Beyond paradox, beyond philosophy, beyond human notions of life and death her singularity exists, containing it all while appearing to contain none of it. A black hole that swallows a constellation whole, lucida first, yet remains itself invisible, unassuming. There was no choice left to her but to carry on alone. To complete the mission that had been assigned her. Descend the mountain, re-join civilization, and on her own live a life full enough for two. Now always with two voices, two wills, two often conflicting sets of values, two distinct identities. One calling her to adventure, the other following willingly. One daring to attempt the impossible, willing to lay his life on the line, the other content simply to be alive. But would there ever really be enough space in one for two?

74

Advertise with Pelican: give me £100 and my mum will spread the word...


guild elections NOMINATIONS OPEN MONDAY 2 AUGUST Nominations for positions on Guild Council in 2022, as well as for Guild Representatives to the NUS open at 10am Monday 2nd August. Nomination forms are available from our website and from Guild Finance (1st Floor, South Wing, Guild Village).

Nominations close: 12pm Friday 13th August. Polling for Guild Elections will be held on the week starting Monday 20th September. Please see website for more details uwastudentguild.com/elections. For students not able to attend polling booths, Postal Vote applications are available NOW on our website. Close of Rolls & Close of eligibility to register as Postal Voter: 5pm Friday 30th July. Applications must be received by the Returning Officer by 4pm Friday 17th September. Ballot papers will be mailed out to approved applicants and completed ballot papers must be received by the Returning Officer, Mary Petrou, by 5pm Thursday 23rd September.

75


Inside This Edition:

Politics in The Land Before Time - William Bake Karrgatup/Kings Park: Dual Naming - Linc Murray E A S T S H A D E - Lux Alkazar My Winter Glow Down - Megan Rundle And so, so much more...

2021 | Established 1929

Profile for UWA Student Guild

Pelican Edition 4 - Wonder/land  

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded