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WHY NO PORN? {7} KONY 2012 {9}


WORONI The Australian National University Newspaper Since 1948

President resigns

Undergrad president Fleur Hawes forced to resign after being academically excluded from the ANU VICTOR WHITE

ANUSA President Fleur Hawes has resigned following her academic exclusion from the University. Ms Hawes resigned at 5.05pm on Monday after learning of the failure of her appeal against her exclusion. Ms Hawes was academically excluded after she breached rule 14 (1) of the ANU Academic Progress Rules. “A student undertaking undergraduate coursework who fails more than 50% of the unit value of the courses attempted in a semester (including a session) of enrolment in his or her award program is considered to have failed to maintain a satisfactory standard of academic progress in the award program. “ She had failed a majority of subjects in two semesters, though the semesters were not consecutive. The two semesters were her first semester in 2009 as well as the final semester of 2011. Regarding her exclusion Ms Hawes stated, “the University had a lot of options other than exclusion. The decision was their discretion.” The Academic Progress Rules state that the Academic Progress Committee can make a number of findings, from recommending the suspension of a student, to reducing their coursework or seeking support from academic staff or something as general as “[determining] other strategies as appropriate”. Ms Hawes only learnt on Monday the 5th March that her appeal to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lawrence Cram had failed. Her appeal to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor was only on the basis of procedural grounds. Professor Cram had the option of either accepting the findings of the Education Dean (Tim Beck-

ett) or setting aside the findings of the Education Dean and asking him to reconsider the original decision. On Tuesday 6th March Alice McAvoy approached Vice-Chancellor Ian Young asking him to suspend the sentence, allowing Ms Hawes to remain a student whilst a fuller appeal took place. The Vice-Chancellor declined on the basis of legal advice. Asked what she thought would be the impact on ANUSA Ms Hawes responded “As much as this will be a difficult and challenging time for ANUSA, I am confident that executive, led by Alice, will handle it maturely and effectively, whilst always ensuring the best outcome for students.” As a result of the academic exclusion, Ms Hawes is no longer a student, and as such, can no longer be a member of the Students’ Association. It is not the first time that a sitting President has had to resign. In 1995 the then President Hamish McPherson resigned for similar reasons. The academic exclusion is made more controversial by the fact that there are extenuating circumstances surrounding her failure in Semester One 2009. Woroni, on the basis of legal advice, is waiting for permission to publish the full account of these circumstances. Had her 2009 semester one results been set aside, Ms Hawes would not have been in breach of the Universities policy, and subsequently would not have been academically excluded. Acting President Alice McAvoy stated that she was “disappointed by the University’s decision, particularly because of the effect that it would have on the association.” She also went on to say that “at a lot of Universities, you must be a current student to stand for election; you do not have to be a student during your term, allowing the President to defer their studies whilst they focus on students.” The resignation came as a surprise to the ex-

CANBERRA GETS WET Huge rainfall over the past see weeks saw Cotter Dam overflowing, a swollen Sully’s Creek & some dangerous antics. {P16}

NO. 3 VOL 64 MAR 15

ANU Students’ Association offices // Inset: Fleur Hawes

ecutive of ANUSA who, up until Monday the 5th March, had been unaware of Ms Hawes’ battle with the University. A University spokesman responded to Woroni’s request for comment with “The processes for consideration of any student’s academic progress are well-established and transparent. A student’s personal academic record, including their involvement in matters of academic progress, is maintained by the university as private and confidential. Public comment is not made about the records of individual students.” As per the ANUSA constitution, VicePresident Alice McAvoy is currently act-

ing President whilst Education Officer Tom Barrington-Smith is acting Vice-President. Elections for the position of President take place from Monday the 19th March through to Wednesday the 21st March. Current ANUSA Treasurer Dallas Proctor has announced that he will run for the Presidency. In a note explaining his decision, Mr Proctor said that he wished to “finish what we [the ANUSA executive”] started. He said that by electing a current member of the executive, ANUSA would not have to “sacrifice [its] momentum”. As Woroni went to print, this newspaper was unable to confirm any other candidates for this position.




How is your house? Last year, ANUSA carried out a comprehensive review of student accomodation at the ANU. This week, Woroni looks at pastoral care in halls, colleges & lodges.

SHAN-VERNE LIEW Raw data from the 2011 ANUSA survey, ally satisfied with the training their SRs had largely on consultations conducted as part summarised in an upcoming ANUSA Hous- received. Additionally, the report recom- of last year’s Housing Review, also cites 2011 ing Review Report, makes strong recom- mends a gender and sexuality SR portfolio in ANUSA Survey data and prior peer-reviewed mendations on pastoral care at ANU research into Higher Educaresidences. tion. The report comments on % of respondents 40 The report suggests that students ANU’s residential experience, 35 were generally satisfied with pastoral life in residences, student ficare, but points to worrying student nance and international stu30 statistics and argues that improvedents. 25 ments must be made to senior resiThe ANUSA Housing Re20 dent (SR)-to-student ratios as well as view, which took place last 15 to SR accountability and consistency. year, comprised a series of 10 The quality of pastoral care proviopen consultation sessions sion was not uniform between resibased on a discussion paper 5 dences, says the report, drawing on drawing from past survey Poor Excellent raw data from the 2011 ANUSA data, reports and discussions Very good Good Adequate Survey to show that resident satisfacbetween ANU and ANUSA Halls Colleges Lodges tion was generally higher at privately representatives during 2011. owned Colleges than at ANU-adminThere may, however, be limiHow students rate their accomodation istered Halls or at UniLodges. tations in this ANUSA Survey This variation between residences data. In a separate summary is broadly consistent with other Housing Re- each residence. report, ANU Statistical Services stated that view responses, according to the report. Woroni obtained an advance draft press the survey data was “broadly representative The Housing Review report also makes the copy of the Housing Review Report, which of the survey population based on residency, recommendation that SR-to-student ratios be is scheduled to be released within the next and study level”, but slightly over-represented standardised across all residences at ANU to few weeks. The 11,000-word report, based by female respondents. no less than 1 SR for every 30 residents. “Respondents in several residences with significantly higher SR-student ratios sometimes reported that they found regularly interacting with their SR more difficult”, states the report. The appendix of the report cited consultation responses from students who said they felt that “the ratio affects the quality [of care] they [SRs] can provide”. The report states that these comments were more frequent from students and even past SRs residing on floors with 90-100 students. Housing Review respondents in a few residences also said the quality of their SRs sometimes varied between floors. In response, the report recommends “a more comprehensive performance evaluation system…so residence administrations can better monitor each SR’s performance”. Housing Review respondents were gener-

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EDITORIAL BOARD Angus Minns Uma Patel Tom Westland Victor White Nakul Legha Lisa Visentin Zid Mancenido Liv Clark


Marie Ngiam Shan-Verne Liew Richard Keys Gareth Robinson Vincent Chiang Jess Millen Farzaneh Edraki Ben Henschke Tasman Vaughan Fergus Hunter

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Lena Karmel Lodge opens MARIE NGIAM ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, together with Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh and ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young, officially opened the newest ANU student accommodation, Lena Karmel Lodge on Tuesday 6th March. The latest addition to the three existing UniLodge accommodation buildings will house 550 students as well as provide a small gym, a cafeteria and conference facilities. Similar to ANU’s Warrambul Lodge and the Laurus Wing at Ursula Hall, Lena Karmel Lodge, which is located at the City West Precinct, and forms part of the ANU Exchange, will be supported by the ACT and Commonwealth governments through the National Rental Affordability Scheme. To that end, the Chief Minister declared that Lena Karmel Lodge delivers “an affordable accommodation option at a discounted rent of at least 20 per cent below the market rate. This means that studying in Canberra remains an attractive option for current and future students”. Dr Leigh echoed these sentiments. “Significant additions of student accommodation are not only important to the ANU, but also bolster Canberra’s reputation as one of Australia’s leading cities for obtaining further educations”. “Education is Canberra’s second largest export, and these extra beds mean we can continue to attract and educate Australia’s future workforce, while freeing up rental properties for other Canberrans”, he added. Minister for Housing Brendan O’Connor said that Lena Karmel Lodge was part of the Gillard Government’s $4.3 billion investment to increase the supply of affordable housing across the nation through the National Rental Affordability Scheme. “The Gillard Government recognises that people are struggling to find rental properties around Australia”. “That’s why we are helping to build 50,000 new rental properties nationwide, allowing households to save thousands of dollars each year in rent”, Mr O’Connor said. Perhaps the only thing that marred the official opening was the string of fire alarms besetting residents since officially opening its doors to residents. Woroni understands that fire alarms went off on at least six occasions within the past week while on the day of the opening itself, residents were treated to an unexpected fire alarm at 4.30AM

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NEWS// 3


ELECTORAL REFORM Students’ Association investigates electoral reform CAM WILSON

Confessions of a Senator BEN HENSCHKE

While one senator admitted to violent tendencies, another came clean about past indiscretions concerning animals as both struggled for media attention in the midst of Labor’s bloodbath. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Independent Nick Xenophon, both of South Australia, spoke on February 28th at Politics in the Pub, an event jointly hosted by the ANU Debating Society and the ANU Students’ Association. A late sitting in the House of Representatives prevented the attendance of two other invitees, Liberal MPs Wyatt Roy and Greg Hunt. In the absence of political enemies, the two senators were free to indulge in autobiography and the odd bestiality joke. After a stint as a lobbyist for Amnesty International, Senator Hanson-Young entered politics due to her anger over the Howard Government’s treatment of asylum seekers. Infuriated by then-Immigration Minister’s sporting of an Amnesty pin when his party treated asylum seekers as though they “somehow threatened our sovereignty”, she confessed to a brief renunciation of her party’s pacifism. “I just wanted to pull out the pin and poke him in the eye”. Senator Xenophon, a former Young Liberal, started his political career after a meeting with a problem gambler. During his time as a solicitor, he took on a client who had suffered a brain injury and had spent $30,000 of his emergency superannuation on poker machines. This encounter bred such distaste for poker machines that he took the issue to the South Australian Legislative Council election in 1997. He was elected, and his “No Pokies”

platform became so popular that his ticket drew over 20 per cent of the primary vote in the 2006 election. Both senators entered Federal Parliament at the 2007 election and gained the balance of power. Along with an unusual influence over policy, Senator Xenophon’s election brought with it some unexpected baggage: a (largely self-cultivated) reputation as a “lover” of animals. The day before the 2007 election, he campaigned through Adelaide’s main shopping precinct with a mule by his side to underline his claim that even if required to “look like an ass” he would work like a mule to represent the state. Once in Canberra, upon hearing that the ACT Government had recently outlawed bestiality, he joked within earshot of a prominent journalist, “There goes my weekend!” In the midst of an alleged smear campaign by Clubs Australia against fellow anti-gambling campaigner Andrew Wilkie, he assured Melbourne radio host Jon Faine that the only compromising photographs of him are quite innocent. “It was just one goat” he joked. When asked what policies the senators might share with a prospective Abbott Government, Senator Hanson-Young pointed to the Coalition’s $2.7 billion paid parental leave scheme. That said, she would be willing to bet that the leader of the Liberal Party “won’t be Tony Abbott at the next election.” While agreeing with the Opposition Leader on anti-dumping legislation, Senator Xenophon would not be drawn into leadership speculation. Clearly, he is not a gambling man.

The ANU Students’ Association (ANUSA) is in the process of investigating ways to reform student elections. Following recommendations by the 2011 probity officer, Angus Heslop, there have been a wide range of proposed changes to the electoral system. These reforms range from reducing or removing paper from elections to dealing with harassment claims towards students standing for election. In response to this document, the Students’ Association hosted a reform consultation to review the claims and to have students add their own. With representatives from the current ANUSA, past ANUSA candidates, and students, each of the recommendations were discussed and new ones added. Student elections at ANU have long been the subject of much scorn. Some students claim that reform is necessary to improve interest in what is increasingly viewed as a disruptive and unimportant activity. ANU student Tamsyn Caruso said: “I try to avoid Union Court when elections are hap-

pening because I don’t like being hassled by student politicians”. Despite the ire, ANUSA elections are some of the best-attended students’ association elections in universities around the country. In the past, the University of Melbourne has received just 600 votes from their upwards of 40,000 student base. ANUSA, however, regularly gets 10% of the undergraduate students voting. ANUSA General Secretary Tara Mulholland stressed during the consultation that these changes are to increase engagement with real issues and remove the stigma surrounding student politicians. One student emailed a proposed reform stressing the need for engagement which went so far as to suggest removing all coloured t-shirts as one way to focus on student issues. Consultation on this issue is still in progress. If you would like to attend a meeting or to have your say, contact Tara Mulholland at for more information.

Undergrad research journal launched MARIE NGIAM

Befitting ANU’s stellar reputation for research, the latest volume of the Undergraduate Research Journal was launched on Wednesday the 7th of March. Held at the newly opened Lena Karmel Lodge and overlooking its rooftop garden, the launch was marked by speeches given by newly-appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Marnie HughesWarrington, Project Coordinator Dr Dierdre Pierce and Editor Michelle Almirón. In her speech, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, who is former Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at Monash University, commended the authors for their commitment, passion as well as talent for research, taking care to comment on the originality of each and every one of their works in the journal. She also reflected on recent ANU Nobel Laureate, Professor Brian Schmidt’s early career trajectory at the ANU during his 20’s. She recalled his amazement at how ANU offered such breadth and flexibility in terms of what research he could carry out as a PhD student. The journal comprises of three editors, Michelle Almirón, Rachael Eddowes and Shaun New, all of whom are ANU postgraduate students as well as Project Coordinator Dr

Dierdre Pierce and Project Assistant Aditya Chopra. Although it was only established a few years ago, the journal has steadily garnered the attention of undergraduates, resulting in over 100 submissions for this edition alone with 11 entries selected. Editor Rachael Eddowes pointed out that “The AURJ is one of many opportunities for ANU undergraduates to jump-start their research careers”. “It’s been inspiring to see not only the commitment and enthusiasm of this year’s authors, but also enquiries from undergraduates hoping to submit their work in 2012”, she added. When asked how they felt about having their work published as an undergraduate, author Brendan Forde responded that it was “an honour to be published in such a wellproduced journal, alongside writers of such talent and capability. Everyone should be really proud of what they have achieved”. “The AURJ is an incredible opportunity for undergraduates. It was an enjoyable experience that gave real insight into the world of academic publishing that we aren’t regularly exposed to”, fellow author and Woroni editor Zid Mancenido added.

COMMENT// 4 If at first you don’t succeed, give up and go to UC OWEN HORTON

Please sir, may I have some porn? ESTELLE HORNABERGER

Throughout O-Week and within many other ANU activities, we have sex thrown at us. Free condoms, free sexual help lines, free sexual games. There are challenges to get with someone from every college in a week and to get with hot tutors. There are giant inflatable penises and there is certainly no frigidness whatsoever where sex is involved. University students love sex. People come to university to gain a degree in not only law, but in sexual experience. Boys become men and leave their college bedposts with so many notches; it looks as though a beaver attacked it, which, in the crudest possible way, many a beaver did. Which is why, as I was browsing my Internet late the other night, I was shocked to find that porn was blocked by my lodge Internet provider. Not only that, after conferring with a few other concerned friends from different colleges and accommodation providers, I found that they too had the same issue. We have been used to having it blocked in our boarding schools and our day schools, places where a duty of care, young age, and a lack of independence are in play. But why are our colleges and lodges taking the liberty of blocking pornography from our computers? When some of us are living in our own

self-contained apartments, the guy down the hall has a new girl over every night, the girl next door just ticked threesome off her college bucket list and sex is so copiously thrown at us during our independent university life, why is its purest form, pornography, removed from our reach?

“Sex is so copiously thrown at us during our independent university life, why is its purest form, pornography, removed from our reach?” Is it because people download too much of it? Have colleges noticed that with the more porn sites they block, the bandwidth

used decreases exponentially? Is it because colleges want their students to be out getting real action rather than sitting at home wanking? Is it because they got sick of the drains and bins getting blocked? Is it because no one was getting any work done? Or is it just hypocrisy, stopping those who want to have some alone time with their own crown jewels and a computer? Unfortunately for the bandwidth argument, the ANU sharing network, Chaotic Neutral, has allowed the sharing of media and content to be impossibly fast and impossibly easy for university goers. People are still getting off without a significant other, Johns is still being accused of harassment, and people are still leaving university just as corrupted as ever before. So my question is, is it for the college’s own sanity that they block this pornography? While they advocate sex, giving out their free flavoured condoms and tasty lubricant, do they deliberately avoid the Internet history that would astound them otherwise? What is it about pornography, in a world full of sex, sleeplessness, alcohol and occasional study, which makes it so distasteful to our colleges and surely it isn’t just blocked because it was a catalyst to blocked drains?

Want to write for Woroni? The deadline for submissions for Edition 4 is Wednesday 21th March

After getting a 44 in Dynamics of European Business, I am forced to consider the consequences this failure will have on me into the future. Particularly, this mark makes me question whether it is fair that I would have received a more positive transcript, an indication that I am more intelligent, by never attempting to study the course in the first place. Instead I tried, I failed and I will have that mark standing out on my transcript from now on. My angst is not directed at the fact that I failed and will have to repeat the course. I accept that I have lost $800 of my own fault, and if I don’t complete the course in my second attempt I will not be allowed a third. My issue is with the fact that my university is marking a stone dunce on my record to inform my future employers of my failed attempt. Logically, my 44 should be nothing but beneficial on my transcript. Whilst it hasn’t served to contribute towards my degree, I will probably know more about the Lisbon Strategy then Johnny Actuarial next to me. Yet my university will tell my employer that I am a student who couldn’t commit, and invites interview discussion time as to why this was. Those who have witnessed their marks fall short of 45, know it will result in a resounding and eternal N imprinted on their transcript. A demoralising reminder of failure and of thirteen weeks of a wasted academic semester. Whilst it is largely true that a fail is the result of a lack of study, this still does not make the system fair. A clinched 44 isn’t exactly the same reflection of academic skill when you are studying Advanced Econometric Modelling 8014 as opposed to Introduction to the Novel 1008. So is an N really a true academic reflection of a student who may take two attempts on a particularly narky subject, but gets there in the end? Or those that couldn’t get their applications for special consideration through Terry Embling, notoriously the most ruthless and intermittent granter in the College of Business and Economics? I say that when a student passes his subject then slap it on a transcript, a hearty nod to a student who knows his geography. If he fails, simply do not put it on. An indication that he does not receive the ANU’s recognition, and will not until he goes back and does it again correctly. We are told from kindergarten, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”; an expression to alleviate the shame of failure and pick us up from when we fall. The consequences of a student’s failure should be the time they spent, however great or small, in studying for that subject, as well as the $800 they forked out. Yet they will be engraved with an expression that spits in the face of our preliminary education and states that trying and failing is worse than not trying at all. Therefore, as I approach my semester of studying Advanced Macroeconomics, a subject with a 20% fail rate and a 30% pass/ supplementary rate, I consider following the approach of some of my fellow students who have nightmares about the dreaded N. Study the equivalent subject part-time at the University of Canberra, and transfer the credit over for an easy D.

COMMENT//5 “The industry heavies are firmly being told to stop crying poor and be prepared to pay a fair share of taxes on the massive amount of personal wealth they are extracting from the Commonwealth ”

Clive Palmer takes the bait JOSH DABELSTEIN

Treasurer Wayne Swan and mining magnate Clive Palmer’s bitter exchange has left the sensationalist mainstream media, and stupid people on both sides of politics, no more or less hysterical than usual. Swan’s essay in The Monthly entitled “The 0.01 Per Cent: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia”, runs with Occupy movement rhetoric in a bold bid not only to draw attention to billionaire activists like Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart, and Andrew Forrest, but also to divert attention from Labor’s shit fight. The essay is more a political tactic than a political manifesto. If Bernard Keane labelled Tony Abbott as Politician of 2012 based on his success as a political brick wall, Swan deserves some political kudos for playing Palmer like a panpipe. The language of class struggle is cleverly used to appropriate global concerns with wealth distribution to an Ore-stralian context. Swan opens with, “The rising influence

of vested interests is threatening Australia’s egalitarian social contract.” Class is used as both a political tool and as a reference point to his more party-aligned audience. This double-pronged attack attempts to resurrect some of Labor’s lost credibility in the eyes of middle Australia, and cleverly baits the Clive Palmers of the world, or more specifically the national treasure himself, into peacocking. Clive Palmer’s automated response article, “Wayne Swan knows nothing about me, or our democracy” (The Age March 2nd), plays perfectly into the hands of those seeking to establish the real priorities of the mining heavyweights. Palmer writes, “The Labor Party has lost respect for the rights and needs of individual Australians…” The key words there being “individual Australians”, like himself! Swan was very clear in pre-emptively combating this predictable drivel. “Of course, rewards should be proportionate to effort,

recognising the hard work and entrepreneurship that create wealth and employment. We should not seek pure equality, but we do need to combat the types of disparities in opportunity that damage our society.” He attacks “the billionaires’ protests” against the mining and carbon taxes as having been “ferocious and highly misleading campaigns”, with a distinct absence of facts (a quick google search on mining industry advertising campaign spending will do). The industry heavies are firmly being told to stop crying poor and be prepared to pay a fair share of taxes for massive amounts of the personal wealth they are extracting from the Commonwealth. Clive Palmer’s response to the Rudd government’s Resource Super Profits Tax was that “real negotiation is should we have a tax or shouldn’t we have a tax”. Palmer claims to not be the voice of the mining industry despite being one of a handful of Australians whose opinions are con-

stantly forced upon the public. He has a loud voice and even his own moon (“Forrest”), but he is also a major LNP donator. Palmer has the audacity to go so far as to say that “it would be far better for the Treasurer to face the truth that he personally doesn’t know how the economy works.” Australian tycoons are accusing Euromoney’s world’s best treasurer of 2011 of inciting “class warfare”. Swan’s language will read as unprecedentedly frank to the average Australian given perceptions surrounding this governments’ commitment to commitment. It parrots those “Labor values” we’ve seen demonstrated less and less in recent times, while beckoning readers to question the legitimacy of the political platform that Australia’s super-rich are occupying. But most importantly, it beckons Clive Palmer to do what Clive Palmer does best: carry on like a mining magnate.

OUT & ABOUT// 6 Photo by Liam James


Boycott food for thought HEIDI CONGDON

Bravely attacking the idealised image of environmental harmony that we tend to purchase with the organic label, Tom Goldie declared that he was “boycotting” organic food in the previous edition of Woroni. However, Goldie’s claims that organic agriculture “makes it more difficult for the impoverished to feed themselves” and his insistence on GM, pesticides and mechanisation as the answer to the global food challenge ignore how our food systems really work. Considering wider elements of the food system, organic agriculture does have a positive role to play in securing our food future. More than half of the world’s poor live in rural areas. To ensure the impoverished are fed, agricultural systems need to support poor farmers. It is expensive for farmers in developing nations to access genetically-modified crops, artificial fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. In the event that they follow this path, a dependency cycle is established as these tech-

nologies degrade the land, leading farmers to rely on artificial fertiliser inputs bought from large corporations. This means a greater proportion of what we pay for food goes to the corporations producing agricultural technologies, and less to the producer, unless there is a rise in food prices. Conversely, farmer field schools in developing countries such as Vietnam have enabled poor growers to increase their yields by adopting some of the principles of organic farming. Maybe it’s over-the-top to imagine flowing rivers and happy peasants when you eat organic rice, but you can picture farmers with greater autonomy, safety and access to food who leave the land in a better condition for future generations. Goldie’s other key reason for boycotting organic food seems to be “the increasing scarcity of wilderness areas”. This environmental concern is recognised by the organic industry. For a “certified organic” label to be put on

food sold in Australia, production must adhere to standards set by certification bodies such as the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA). BFA standards explicitly target the issue by requiring five per cent of each farm over four hectares is set aside for trees, bush or native grasslands. Whilst significant, land availability is not the only challenge in feeding the world both now and into the future. The scarcity of fossil fuels is another challenge that comes to mind. Gomiero, Paoletti and Pimentel’s 2008 compilation of energy efficiency data for a range of food production found that organic produce is usually 15-45% less energy intensive than conventional produce. Finally, two of the greatest environmental concerns we face today are climate change and biodiversity loss. Organic agriculture handles these problems much better than the alternatives. It promotes biodiversity through its focus

on crop diversity - often as a pest management strategy. When it comes to coping with climate change, organics again outperform non-organic counterparts. Long-term trials have shown that organic crop yields are more resilient to climatic variation, because their soil carbon content is typically higher. This means that organic agriculture will be even more important to food production in the future. An agricultural system that delivers a greater proportion of profit to the world’s poor, reduces pollution and fossil fuel dependence, protects biodiversity and offers greater resilience to climate change sounds like something we should support. Organic does not offer all the answers, but it undeniably has a role to play in ensuring food security. As Tom himself highlighted, we can create change not just from what comes out of our mouths, but also from the food we put in them.

Stratfor: needs more source ELISE THOMAS

For once, Andrew Bolt may be right about something. Following the exposure of former Nationals Senator Bill O’Chee as Stratfor’s prolific Australian source CN65, Mr. Bolt wrote ”If O’Chee is Stratfor’s highest source in Australia, I’m not very impressed.” Far from exposing private intelligence company Stratfor as a ‘corporate CIA’, the Wikileaks dump of 5 million private emails seems to showcase not the length of Stratfor’s reach but the lack of it. With a few notable exceptions (including the purported US indictment against Julian Assange), much of the information gleaned from Stratfor’s sources is trivial and publicly available to those willing to look hard enough for it. Many of the emails are nothing more than analysts forwarding media reports and news articles to one another. Wikileaks obtained the documents from “hacktivist” group Anonymous when it broke into the company’s servers in December last year. Anonymous was not only able to access the 5 million emails but also the names, personal details and credit card numbers of thousands of Stratfor clients and subscribers, including ANZ bank, Westpac, BHP and high profile individuals such as Malcolm Turnbull. Anonymous claims it was able to steal such vast amounts of data because Stratfor did not bother to encrypt it, something which Stratfor’s CEO later shamefacedly admitted to be true. Such disregard for security would be alarming – if the private intelligence company had any genuinely sensitive information. The emails reveal that up until 2009 Stratfor did not have an organised network of paid sources, and instead relied on information offered in return for Stratfor subscriptions. As Stratfor’s Kamran Bokhari noted, ”there are limits to the quantity and quality of intelligence (that can be obtained)” in this manner.

That source CN65, Bill O’Chee, is given an A rating and is described as being ”well-connected politically, militarily and economically,” gives some insight into the quality of Stratfor’s sources. Former Senator O’Chee was last year labeled as ‘the political dead’ and his most recent venture into politics was as campaign manager for the unsuccessful LNP candidate in Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley.

So far his most exciting revelations include the well known fact that there is systemic corruption in the Chinese mining sector and that Wayne Swan is ”the most appalling grub you have ever met”. Perhaps his only significant intelligence coup was the revelation of increased US military presence in Darwin before it was announced during Obama’s visit in November last year – something that was already being

widely reported on in the media at the time. If Mr. O’Chee’s information is typical of Stratfor sources, the real concern is not the private intelligence company’s pernicious influence, but that so many international players appear to take it seriously. Much like Cablegate, Wikileak’s release of the Global Intelligence Files is a storm in a teacup - more insult than injury.


Kony 2012 Lisa Buffinton on the good, the bad and the hype of the social media activism phenomenon Social media has been abuzz this week with the posting, tagging and sharing of links to ‘Kony 2012’, a short film (or very long commercial) made by the American non-government organisation, Invisible Children. It was produced to raise awareness of the atrocities committed by Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and to raise the public profile of the NGO itself. The film is creative, compelling and touching. As a testament to that fact, millions of people on YouTube alone have watched it. Joseph Kony is at the top of the International Criminal Court’s Most Wanted list. He faces charges of crimes against humanity including, but not limited to, the conscription, training and use of children as soldiers in the LRA. With the aid of celebrities, public officials and people power, Invisible Children hope to “make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.” Bringing Joseph Kony to justice is a worthy aim: he is a bad, if not the worst, specimen of human being. However, some pretty darn ugly questions over the NGO’s integrity threaten to undermine the cause. There is the accusation that the film’s portrayal of the situation in Uganda is disingenuous. ‘Kony 2012’ failed to mention that the US administration’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) has previously tried to hunt down

and capture Joseph Kony. Not only have they failed to capture him, but their Kony-related operations were the catalyst for reprisal attacks by the LRA. The film also suggests that Joseph Kony is still in action in Uganda. The fact is that he is not – and hasn’t been for over six years. While his exact location is unknown, it is believed that he and the LRA have been driven out of Uganda by the lesser of two evils: the Ugandan Defence Forces, themselves accused of human rights abuses and war crimes. Clearly, the film’s feel-good nature masks the complex realities at play in Uganda and the American effort to capture Kony. The cultural undertones of the film’s message also risk undermining the integrity of the cause. The film’s motivations bear an uncomfortable parallel with ‘the White Man’s Burden’: a ‘civilising’ rationale for intervention in foreign affairs. As Chris Blattman, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Economics at Yale, commented in 2009 regarding the organisation, “The [saviour] attitude pervades too many aid failures, not to mention military interventions. The list is long.” So, should they have been more politically correct? Perhaps, because there’s nothing more awkward than that moment when you’re called a white colonialist. But realistically, if they went for the ‘soft’ approach their idea would not have the implicit ‘quick solution’ that is so engaging and exciting, and

they could appear feeble, white middle-class hipsters. Also working against Invisible Children and ‘Kony 2012’ are suspicions surrounding the legitimacy of the organisation itself. Prospective donors might care to examine its financial and corporate governance record. Last financial year (2010-2011) Invisible Children spent $8,676,614, yet only 32% went to direct services. In addition, an independent monitor of charities in the US, Charity Navigator, has rated Invisible Children only two out of four stars for transparency and accountability. The lesson from this is not peculiar to the Invisible Children case: be smart about how you donate your money. At least they are fairly open about what they offer: filmmaking for public advocacy of social justice issues. They leave the building of schools and infrastructure in Africa to other, more specialist NGOs. Invisible Children is not a model organisation, but the cause of bringing international war criminals to justice is legitimate, and the group has done more for public awareness of the issue than Bono, USAID or AusAID could ever hope to achieve. The hype hides much of the reality, and ‘Kony 2012’ should be taken with a big lump of salt. The solution that the film advocates is not new, but, understandably, Invisible Children do not want such a personal project to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket.

Muammar Gaddafi

It is over a year since the social media platforms now synonymous with the Arab Spring revolts became an integral part in shaping the ongoing media coverage of the revolutions. Understandably, much of the debate centres around the extent to which Facebook, Twitter and the like assisted in organising the protests and communicating news of government brutality. Perhaps a more pressing issue is not so much the role played by social media in the Arab Spring but rather how it is now being used by government authorities to discredit the very protesters who relied on such tools to generate support for their cause. The most obvious case in point is Bahrain. The only Arab monarchical state to have faced widespread revolt and also effectively oppressed its dissenting masses, Bahrain’s government has embarked on a social media blitz. As Al Jazeera’s Listening Post reported recently, Bahrain has moved from an oldschool shut down of independent domestic and foreign media to a public relations offensive. In particular, it has established a heavy presence on Twitter with at least five official government accounts and many more public figures also promoting Bahrain as a country that is open, peaceful and, most importantly, democratic. Of course, that is one of the great paradoxes of social media. It may have a democratising effect but, as in the West, such tools can be used just as easily by governments as citizens. In the case of Bahrain, what complicates things further is the use of Western PR firms to create these social media campaigns. It is no secret that the Bahraini government, with



Muammar Gaddafi I am not such a dictator that I would shut down Facebook. I will merely imprison anyone who logs onto it.


Muammar Gaddafi Democracy meants permanent rule.

Social Media: Double Edged Sword? Social media is seen as having been a vital tool in the Arab Spring uprisings, but as Gareth Robinson discovers, it is also being used by authoritarian regimes as a new propaganda machine.

plenty of petrodollars to spend, has brought many of the big US PR firms into the country to overhaul its damaged image. It only takes a quick search of the United States Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to find a list that includes several of Washington’s well-established media firms including Joe Trippi and Associates which counts among its former clients, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and unsuccessful US Presidential candidate, John Edwards. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of the Bahraini government on the Joe Trippi website but details of the nature of Western PR groups involvement in Bahrain can be found in the FARA database. One of the most revealing documents is a letter sent to Joe Trippi in July 2011 from another PR firm, Sanitas International. Attached to the letter is a contract outlining a strategy to, “Provide strategic council, media relations and reputation support to The Information Affairs Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain”. While the letter does not explicitly state what role social media was to play in the firm’s media strategy, it only takes a quick look at either company’s website to see that the use of social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is an integral part of their business model. Social networking, like the old school media of television and print, can therefore be seen as reflecting one of the greatest flaws of contemporary democracy: that money allows for the manipulation of communication to preserve power. You only need to look back ten years to see that veiled propagandising through creditable media platforms, is a process developed not by Arab dictatorships but

by the democratically elected government of the USA as it invaded Iraq. Joris Luyendijk, a former Dutch foreign correspondent who covered the war, offers in his book People Like US one of the frankest analyses of modern media propaganda. He describes how American broadcasters created a nationalistic tone to the coverage because communications consultancies recommended that such an angle would increase ratings. With a level of journalistic intent this conventional media propaganda can be exposed but as governmental PR breaks into the realm of social media such scrutiny becomes much more difficult. Academics who support ruling governments, such as that of Bahrain, can establish a presence on Twitter with little authoritative attention given to their origins or intentions. Grassroots Facebook groups encouraging opposition to rebellious protests can be created in minutes with no way of telling who is behind it. As a result, it becomes a responsibility of digital citizens to determine the motives of these untraceable social media accounts, a task that can never fully reveal the complexities and motivations of these proxies in the war for public support and legitimisation. In a way then, social media platforms are highly indicative of both the faults and virtues of Western democratic society. However, when these communications tools are utilised by non-democratic governments in the Middle East and elsewhere they create manipulative campaigns that work against the very democratic aspirations that social media has become renowned for achieving.

Nice touch

Forget super-crisp true-to-life high-definition 3D TV sets. The future lies with our sense of touch. If you’ve ever used a Rumble Pak for your Nintendo 64 controllers, or set your mobile phone to vibrate, you’ve already experienced the concept of “haptic feedback”. The word “haptic” is derived from the Greek verb “to touch”, and the next two years are likely to see a huge increase in the amount of “touching” being incorporated into technology. Receiving some sort of physical feedback from a device is an old concept. Light aircraft used to have vibrating weights in their controls to warn pilots of various problems. Arcade games and more modern consoles incorporate appropriately timed lurches and rattles so you can feel your spacecraft exploding around you. Smartphones don’t just vibrate when someone calls you; they offer almost unnoticeable buzzes as you navigate menus and scroll through lists. The world of haptic feedback is already alive in our existing technology, but thanks to companies like Senseg and Immersion, the technology is about to reach a whole new level. Senseg has developed a coating that can be applied to the touchscreen of a phone or tablet that allows users to feel textures, shapes and ridges. Demonstrations of the technology have seen stunned interviewers stroking a standard iPad screen and claiming they feel a stone wall, velvet, sandpaper, corrugated cardboard, even individual ball bearings that roll around as they’re touched. The effects are almost unbelievable, and the technology is equally incredible. The coating Senseg has created is ‘piezoelectric’, which means it has the ability to turn electrical energy into physical movement. The vibration of the coating is undetectable to users (the coating itself moves a maximum of about one micrometer, a hundredth of the width of a human hair), but the electrical charge created on the surface interacts with the user’s fingertips, turning the computercontrolled friction into the illusion of texture. Integrating this level of haptic feedback into smartphones, tablets and computer screens will open doors for app developers. Onscreen keyboards could be designed to feel like physical keyboards. Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja could become even more addictive if users were able to feel the squelch of the fruit (or pig) as they played. There are some less frivolous applications for Senseg’s haptic feedback, too: Braille on tablets and smartphones for the visually impaired, or fine-tuned physical feedback for surgeons performing keyhole procedures. Japanese researchers are looking into the possibility of combining haptic feedback with holographic projectors, creating a three-dimensional world with which users can physically interact. With Senseg’s technology expected on the market within two years, it seems likely that the digital world might eventually become as tactile as the physical world. Another reason never to log off on your computer? We’ll have to wait and see.


COMMENT// 10 Asphalt You caress the horizon With refined finesse Statue of perfection Balanced : a renegade of destruction descending Quiet pavement Bends to the grind Gravity falls away around you-Glide past , unmoving Aura of perspire stains the air ( watching in solitude , fossilised my bones become the cobblestone gutter ) Noxious twist , turn Kinetic connection Kinetic distraction. – AMANDA TAPLIN

Mis-Chifley Library Check: sets up a two time glance, Cautious of theft to a digital wallet, Stand: a confirmed confidence to proceed, Survey the landscape, locate the target Move: a silent race among eager feet, Scouraging as cockroaches to the light, Wait: join the congregation in solemn ceremony, Suspicions, mistrust and jealousy abound... The printer is jammed. – DAVID CHUN

Never Let The Distance

somersault the unicorn gallops in splendour across the field of exotic delights enchanted forest beckons within to the silent secrecy of the little people of the wood, traversing the avenue of sanity majestic charms in ecstasy o v e r b a l a n c e d diagonally on the bridge, and hop stepping stones to hues of pastel in lust, revel. then vibrant green, inebriated gnomes dance head over thighs, knees, heels-no regrets. delicacy, propriety, nothingness. – AMANDA TAPLIN

Now gently close your darling eyes And bid the day a sweet good-bye. No ambience at all should be But breaths that, soft and rhythmically, Are drawn between your sliding lips. Now loose the hold of mortal grip And gently from the tether slip; Till body from the soul unbinds And freely flies its earthly ties. Now in this dark, where thoughts can see, You make this slow discovery: Though distance is to flesh unkind, There is no distance in the mind; No space – but thoughts that freely move – Not always straight, but always smooth – Through pasts that were and futures not; Through Lifes and Deaths and Histories; Through stars that rise in heat and flame; Through worlds that end with much the same; Through measures great and measures small: The mind will pass through one and all. No limit will your thought define, But Everywhere and Everytime. Now turn your mind to this blue Earth – Where somewhere, too, I turn to you – And find me out with careful search. You’ll notice that upon me sits Your absence like a heavy mist; And all that I might try and do Cannot replace the loss of you. Then pass yourself through such a prism That sheds your colours variously In loving hues down here on me; And slowly let me taste and feel Your thoughts perfume this languid air. Then like a bud inhaling spring, Each breath of you to me will bring Forgetfulness of all my cares; Till I’m dissolved in joyful ease, And come to you upon the breeze.


Art & Culture

Cinnamon Challenge: Tom from Outback series powder Manthe sneezing cinnamon Andrew Babington Alex Orme 2011 2011

LIFE & STYLE// 12 the whos, wheres, whens, & hows of what’s kicking in Canberra.

ART-IS-AN BREAD Friday, 30 March Canberra Contemporary Art Space Free (unless you want to buy bread)

DON’TS FOR DANCERS 14 – 17 March Canberra Theatre $27 + bf I love when dancers try to imply that they’re doing more than just dancing— that they’re plumbing into the depths of our souls and asking the deep questions like: is life better when we live within the rules? We’re not sure that acclaimed Australian artists Nerida Matthael and Nicole Canham are going to answer (we’re not sure they’re even going to be able to ask the question; aren’t they going to be too busy playing and dancing?) but we’re definitely going to find out.

What a great word-play. This is less art and more “what the hell” but we’ll call it art because that’s what art is all about. There’s a guy named Robert Guth who bakes bread. He then trades the bread for other things. Arty things. (On that note, food for thought: what would you trade for a loaf of bread...?) Now he’s auctioning all the arty things. And his bread. (There’ll be free kebabs and donuts if you don’t like bread.)

SNAKADAKTAL Thursday, 22 March Transit Bar $12 + bf

ASIA-PACIFIC WEEK 8-13 July Crawford School, ANU Applications close 25 March

Aery synths; shimmering sounds; vocals that are all up in the air; it’s dreamy indie pop. These kids are beautiful and they’re just getting started. Between all the editors, at least five of us have a crush on a band member. We’ll see you there, jostling to get into the green room, groupies.

This isn’t something we’d usually note but we’ve gotten in trouble for being too obscure and underground. To rectify this, we bring you an event that is aboveground and includes the most populous race on earth. It’s on again this year, still student-run, still bringing together some of the most knowledgeable and impressive people working in and on the region. Apply now!

OUT ON THE TOWNIE Saturday, 31 March Two Before Ten Cafe $5 if you want to enter your bike This is like a dog show for bikes. No kidding. Two Before Ten are hosting a beauty contest for “best bikes in the categories of - Best Recycled / remodeled, Vintage [pre 85], Handmade, Off-Road / BMX, People’s Choice, Best bike of the day”. I have no idea. Then again, Canberra has enough wankers and it’ll be a good show.

o s s e r p s E i l l e n a g i B

The perfect coffee. Delicious traditional Italian food. Gourmet cakes.

Biganelli Espresso on Level 5 Music School: the best café on campus.

SKATER Until 2 May National Portrait Gallery Free

Nikki Toole has gone around Australia and taken photos of skaters. (No seriously, that’s it. It’s the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a bunch of people standing, facing the camera, and looking melancholy or pensive.)







Gotye, why do I hate you so? Gus McCubbing looks deeper into his hatred for Australia’s favourite Wouter... This article was originally going to have some tongue-in-cheek title along the lines of “Gotye has to Gotego”, or “Gotye: Hopefully soon to be someone I used to know”. All I knew was that every time I heard the cheeky introduction of the xylophone in his “Somebody that I Used Know”, I felt like slitting my own throat. For the last year it has had a ubiquitous presence and seemingly incessant desire to be heard, worse than anything “Activate!” could muster during the student election period. I developed something of a paranoia of the hit single as I’d heard it blaring when I was walking around college or civic, on my car radio and even on Virgin Blue following touchdown—leaving me no means of transport to escape it. People have feared witches, Communism and climate change, I feared “Somebody I Used to Know”. My hatred for Gotye and his single became so intense that when asked what exactly I disliked about his song—aside from the fact that it had obviously been overplayed —I felt intellectually incapacitated, just like the usually eloquent and perfectly articulate Othello after he loses his shit: “Blood! Blood! Blood!” Thus forms the basis of this article: Gotye, why do I hate you so? Only with concentrated introspection would this question be answered, incidentally revealing more about myself than Gotye. My initial reasons for this vendetta were

mainly obvious ones and become increasingly less convincing. First, I thought, he has a ridiculous name which sounds really pretentious. Gotye, his stage name, is indeed quite difficult to pronounce, as well as being completely unheard of in Australia. His actual name is Wouter de Backer, something which would appear equally exotic to Australians, leading me to

“Gotye represents an abstract concept to me, which like Communism or global warming, makes me think the world is going to end.” wonder why he thinks he needs the name Gotye to attract attention. Wikipedia would then inform me that “Gotye” is loosely the French equivalent of the Dutch “Wouter”, which is Walter in English. Belgians speak French as well as Dutch. To my disappoint-

ment it made perfect sense… My second pet peeve was the simplicity of his lyrics. ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ is just another break up song—Kimbra was mean to him, and now Gotye is sad. Then someone said the same thing about The Cure. I died inside, but realised that pop music doesn’t require enlightening lyrics for it to stake some sort of legitimacy. Finally, and quite desperately, I argued that the guy has a silly haircut. In an objective sense, Gotye does have longer hair than the average adult Australian male. But this just makes me sound like a bumbling curmudgeon. Over time however I developed a more technical argument, which I maintain. This argument is that as an artist, Gotye is very limited. Sure he can play a thousand instruments, but there is no obvious musical progression from his second album, Like Drawing Blood to his most recent, Making Mirrors. Indeed, the two albums’ respective hit singles, “Heart’s a Mess” and the notorious, “Somebody I Used to Know”, are, despite the five years between them, basically Coke and Pepsi to me. Whilst bands like this die a quick death: Jet, Taxiride, Alex Lloyd and The Fratellis to name a few. They need not be despised, only endured. Yet still I wondered why I voiced my hatred for Gotye so much more passionately than my hatred for Justin Bieber and Chris Brown.

It appears that my loathing Gotye derives from my thinking his immense acclaim is completely undeserved. For instance, no one over the age of fourteen actually thinks Justin Bieber or Chris Brown are talented musicians. When they are enjoyed by the more discerning listener, it is only as a guilty pleasure, much like occasionally eating whipped cream straight out of the nozzle, despite normally maintaining a balanced and highly nutritious diet. Gotye, however, is enjoyed without guilt. Beyond this, he is not simply just another mediocre artist who is vastly overrated. Having twice won the Triple J album of the year, it is safe to say Gotye is the current pin up boy of the alternative radio station. As a result, he came to epitomise my general distaste for modern day Triple J hits. Looking through the Hottest Hundred lists from its inception in 1993, I much prefer the chart toppers up till about 2002. These pitch the likes of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Radiohead, The Vines, and Jebediah against the likes of Hilltop Hoods, Muse, Ben Lee and The Killers. In conclusion, whilst he isn’t particularly musically dense, Gotye in no way deserved the fierce denigration he received from me throughout the past year. It was not his choice to be played incessantly. He just represents an abstract concept to me, which like Communism or global warming, makes me think that the world is going to end.


How high can you go? AVRIL BAKER

London, home to fashion icons like Oxford As well as being fashion essentials, heels Street, Topshop, Kate Moss, Mayfair, Notting can be truly menacing items. Ever seen a timHill and now the UK Institute of Physics. ber floor after a group of stiletto-clad ladies Scientists from the institute have developed have traipsed over it? I don’t know about you a formula for determining how high the heel on your shoe should be in any given social situation. This is a question that has plagued women for time immemorial—height vs visual appeal, comfort vs practicality. These decisions can take valued time away from preparation for an evening out on the town. The heel formula, developed by Dr. Paul Stevenson, calculates the optimum height of a heel by inputting data about the height of the shoe as well as sociological factors such as experience in wearing heels, how recently the shoes were in fashion, amount of alcohol consumed, cost and—my personal favourite—the ‘p’ factor, which allows the user to input their probability of ‘pulling’ in said shoes.

but when I was at school there was always a sceptical about the possibility of this until I story doing the rounds about some unfortu- saw the consequences of a heel stomping on nate bystander in thongs that had their foot my poor cousin’s foot. So what is it that makes heels such a deadly punctured by a heeled monster. I was a bit weapon? When we take a step, the first point that pressure comes down through is the heel. If you take the stiletto for example—the average base of which is similar in size to a thumbtack—then there is only a very small point through which the wearer’s entire body weight connects with the floor. When we walk normally in flat shoes our total body weight is spread out across a much larger surface area. The pressure being exerted through the heel of a shoe is the reason why, come Melbourne Cup, our heels sink ever so slowly into that soft green grass. So next time you’re having a night out in heels think about the physics at play when deciding how high to go and watch out for exposed feet.

Hair one day, gone the next ERIN SCOTT

Full steam a-Radiohead

GUS McCUBBING Radiohead and New Order grace our shores again, but will they arrive all washed up? New Order, the synth-pop phoenix which arose from ashes of Joy Division, possess in Blue Monday, amongst countless other dance hits, the most sold 12-inch single of all time. The altrock giant that is Radiohead have produced a swathe of incredible albums, most notably OK Computer. This had lead them to become the most influential band of the last twenty years, putting them up there with the all-time greats. Despite such massive acclaim, our sunburnt country has not been blessed with their presence since 2002 and 2004 respectively. At the time of writing, New Order was in the midst of their Future Music Festival sideshow tour, whilst Radiohead will play in November. They say that absence only makes the heart grow stronger, and it seems that the bands’ managers know this all too well, forcing this writer to part with over two-hundred dollars to see the both of them. Whilst I always expected eternal happiness would come with a hefty price tag, I can’t help but feel that my

devotion has been somewhat exploited. Furthermore, securing tickets was one of the most stressful occurrences of my life. Secret presale tickets appeared out of nowhere to be sold in minutes before Ticketek jammed when the real deal went on offer. This left dejected thousands who failed to obtain tickets, and who must now place their destinies in the unforgiving hands of scalpers or else live out their lives in the knowledge that they could have seen Radiohead in Australia. It is also uncertain that New Order and Radiohead will play able to perform at the standard that they achieved at their peak. Both bands have clearly aged significantly and in the case of New Order, now sport a reshuffled line-up, missing original bassist and co-founder Peter Hook. I fear therefore that this occurrence may be the modern day equivalent of The Beatles’ 1964 world tour. Back then, the lads from Liverpool busted out four half-hour sets across the nation, sending Australians into paroxysms of Beatlemania, without really providing an experience to match.

In a society obsessed by appearance, hairstyle is undeniably intertwined with identity. My ‘curly top’ has seen many strangers surpass the standard handshake and opt for a head pat. My experiences of small talk rarely include the topic of weather; instead I am more accustomed to discussing my family tree (“So...are you part African or something?”). Could it be that hairstyle alone is enough to dictate a person’s social experiences? After all, hair is highly indicative of many things, for example one’s gender and sexuality. In Western culture, longer styles are widely considered to be innately feminine and shorter styles masculine, a trend reflective of the ‘men hunt, women gather’ society of the past. It is believed that Roman warriors first popularized the short hairstyle. It gave their enemy less to grab for and improved visibility when swinging their swords. After conquering much of Europe, their short hair became a symbol of power, discipline and masculinity, and its practical nature has since transcended the ages. For the traditional woman, longer hair did not impede on homemaking duties or breastfeeding. As such, a well-kept long style instead became characteristic of female refinement, self-pride and good health. This heteronormative gendered rationale has been preserved by modern media and is fervently projected onto today’s society. So why is it that many modern gay women choose to wear the short and historically

masculine hairstyle? Being a lesbian does not definitively render you endlessly practical, so perhaps they feel more comfortable aligning with a heteronormative men’s look. Or is the trend a protest against societal attitudes regarding what is considered an attractive female appearance? By revealing so much about us, hairstyle, by extension must definitely hover over our social interactions and dictate how we assess one another. Just because we aren’t conscious of it doesn’t mean we don’t relentlessly size each other up from the top down. So what if you don’t have control over your locks? Take away a woman’s hair and stereotypes run rife. “If she’s not racist, perhaps she’s dedicated to bootcamp?” or “Ooooh! She’s gone ‘G.I. Jane’…maybe she’s gay?” or “She is pale - it must be cancer.” Whilst recent history gives potential to all of those predictions, surely someone unfortunate enough to actually be undergoing chemotherapy shouldn’t have to add ‘baldheaded speculation’ to their list of problems. Hairstyle can definitely be eye-catching but, for those healthy enough to have it, realistically, it is just hair. Of course, there is only one way to truly find out whether a hairstyle dictates your social experience.

Erin has formed a team for the Leukaemia Foundation’s annual ‘Shave for a Cure’ in aid of cancer research, and is keen to involve more people. Spread the word, and shoot her an email at


ART SCHOOL “...And through order comes a sense of visual honesty,” he said, without a hint of irony. Which is ironic, of course, because everything else about him screamed irony. The perfectly styled ‘unkempt’ haircut, the fashionably unfashionable Kathmandu down jacket and the work boots which – judging from their pristine appearance – had probably never seen a day of work. This is was a design arts student in his element. Welcome to the ANU School of Art. Please leave your expectations at the door. The design arts have always had a stigma associated with it. Unable to shake the tortured artist stereotype of Van Gogh and the like, the image of a visual art student has twisted into a caricature figure with greasy hair, clothing that wouldn’t look out of place in a sepia photograph, and a surly and cynical attitude compounded by their choice of chemical enhancement. This mythical creature is be prone to flights of passion, nights of frantic working, con-

trasted against weeks of angst-ridden inertia. An artist is born an artist, can only exist as an artist, and will die (probably young and unfulfilled) as an artist. The underlying assumption is that art cannot be taught. That it is not a skill, but rather a character trait, and that any academic study is trying to define the ineffable. Enter the ANU School of Art. As I wandered around the School of Art end of year graduation exhibition, I was dumbfounded by the amount of talent on display. Without a doubt, the output of work by

EGGBEATERS We like to assume that we are so cleverly original when it comes to finding solutions to world-encompassing problems, like climate change, nuclear apocalypse and egg beating. Living sustainably is much easier than one would suppose, and far less work than maintaining dreadlocks or showering with a bucket. Let me assure you, many of the answers already lie within easy grasp: try, for instance, your grandmother’s kitchen draw. Behold the simplicity and brilliance of the hand-powered rotary egg-beater! What a fabulous delight of cogs, wheels and satisfaction. What pure poetry of motion it is to froth and flurry those egg whites, to whisk and whir the cake batter! Who do we have to thank for this glorious innovation? A clever chap from 1884 named Willis Johnson, an African American inventor from Cincinnati, Ohio. His patent’s description described his wondrous device as capable of

mixing and beating “in a most intimate and expedious manner”. Humanity, long before the advent of electricity, managed to spur their ingenuity to the cause of practical purposes such as cake making. Putting aside the belching black smoke of Victorian manufacturers and their nimblefingered orphan workforce, they were a simple and completely sustainable way to forever whisk and whir in the kitchen. And indeed so, the rotary eggbeater revolutionized the kitchen, relegating the wooden spoon to being an implement purely for the purposes of corporal punishment. So what can we learn, from the rotary eggbeater? We can learn that it’s not necessary for every conceivable device known to man to come with batteries or a power cord. We can learn that before you save the world, with desperate measures, you only have to open your grandmother’s drawers (that is not a double entendre) for the solution.

RACIAL CAULDRON A few years ago, when I was a fresh undergraduate at the University of Queensland, I had a housemate from Tanzania. Before I met my Tanzanian housemate, all I knew about Tanzania was the beautiful Kilimanjaro portrayed in pictures. In fact, all I knew about Africa then was what the Western Media had portrayed. Africa was a place filled with beautiful landscapes, safaris and people plagued with poverty and AIDS, who are often in need of foreign help. This is without a doubt what many people who are not in contact with African culture think as well. I was naturally a little stunned when my Tanzanian housemate spoke to me in perfect English, and listened to Black Eyed Peas and Queen, just like me. Throughout my undergraduate days at UQ, and subsequently over the last two years at

ANU, I came across as a surprise to many when I introduced myself as someone who originally came from Singapore. I had people commenting that I speak English really well, and who were shocked when I told them that English is an official first language in Singapore. Others were unable to identify me as a Singaporean because I do not communicate in Singlish. Then, there were a few others who told me I am unusual for a Singaporean because of the very different topics I tend to talk about. What struck me through these experiences was this: most people had assumed that I communicate in Singlish and chat about a certain set of topics upon knowing that I am a Singaporean. That is something that I am uncomfortable with. This single story of a Singaporean creates a stereotype that unfortu-


CAM WILSON this cohort equalled that of any other faculty. The plethora of mediums – all masterfully wielded – showed the diversity of human expression. These ANU students had produced work that would not be out of place in any large-scale exhibition. In fact, many of the works were actually purchased, showing that the produce was also commercially viable, as well academically-based. After visiting the exhibition, I have found a certain appreciation, even if I still lack understanding. These individuals might not cite clinical research or include complicated equations, and they may be producing sculptures or woodwork, but they – like us, the non-artistic masses – work towards a defined end-goal, with set guidelines and intended results. For some, this may sap the magic out of art, but there should be an appreciation of the hard work these students invest. Art is meant to evoke an emotional reaction, and doing so is not an easy task.


One of the biggest mistakes people, especially guys and first years, make when trying to win over a partner is to declare their deep love or something equivalent. Your best bet is probably the opposite. Only in very rare cases, usually in high school, will two people come to care deeply for each other before one asks the other out. What’s more likely is that one person has a fair crush on someone, who in turn thinks the proposer is worth a proper inspection. After a few ‘dates’ the crushee will decide that the crusher is worth getting intimate with long term. In such situations it is crucial that the crusher approach delicately. Come on too strong and the crushee might think you a BARNABAS OLIPHANT-ZURIEL nutter. Even more probable is that they will think you are in so deep that if they give you a trial period and discover incompatibility, you will be deeply hurt and/or become a nutter. By consequence, they will decline from the outset. As an example, when I first arrived at university, I crushed hard on a delightful drama student. Influenced by such lies as Dawson’s Creek and Sex and the City, I assumed that girls wanted honesty and deep love. I came on a little strong; she baulked. What people, girls especially, typically want, especially in the early years of university, is a partner who gives off a deep, meaningful, exciting vibe, but who is actually safe as a house and very easy. This is why philistines wearing tight jeans often do quite well for themselves. They may not have read a book, but they give the impression that they have feelings. The rule of thumb is to never let on that anything is a big deal. This is the origin of “coffee?” Coffee is harmless. It is usually taken during the day-time, so unlike ‘a drink?’ there isn’t even the prospect of a speedy withdrawal to the bedroom. Coffee allows the individuals involved to do some reconnaissance. They can assess compatibility, screen out lunatics, and get an initial indicator of monetary genJASMINE ZHENG erosity. The no big deal rule applies throughout the nately paints an incomplete view of a person. courting process right through to the propoThese encounters are what novelist Chim- sition. As far as your crushee is concerned, amanda Adichie calls “the danger of a single you’re just a harmless, fun person looking story” – the danger of thinking that people for some harmless fun. Who would say no to have a single narrative. For instance, if you that? People who are only open to the oppohave grown up in Singapore, your narrative site approach are naïve nutters whose mothwill be the same as your neighbour. We often ers convinced them that the world is pink and make myopic judgements of people, based on who read too much Twilight. If someone is the very little we know of them from a sin- known to only respond to propositions ingle story. It is often a habit to make sweeping volving eternal love, steer clear. generalisations about a lot of things and to Remember that even people who want to pigeonhole people. see the skeletons in your closet don’t want Over the years, what I realise is that if you to see them straight away. Falling into a retake time to listen to the stories everyone has lationship is also much more fun and sexy to tell, everyone has different facets. Stories than explicitly putting one together. Getting and not a single story make up who we are. someone to understand that you’re ‘proper When we stop pigeonholing people and start keen’ on them is a matter of maintaining eye listening to their stories, there is a lot more contact a little longer, and maybe touching we can learn from the people around us. them lightly on occasion. Stow the sonnets and serenades.

OUT & ABOUT// 16

Sullys Packed to the Rafters LISA VISENTIN

With conditions unusually moist for the dying days of Summer, a weeklong deluge of rain saw Sullivan’s creek transformed from a stormwater drain of stagnant sewage into a rampaging river of white water rapids. Delighting in the swollen and the frothy, and never ones to forego an opportunity for college glory, a horde of hooligans from John XXIII College descended upon the rapids in a flotilla of rafts.

Accompanied by an eclectic collection of inflatables and a ragtag team of cohorts from other colleges and halls, the regatta departed from Willow’s oval, capturing the attention of ANU bar patrons as they revelled in Thursday afternoon happy hour. A crowd of cheering onlookers amassed at the Union Court bridge before following the rafters as they were propelled down stream. A wealth of photographic evidence

was snapped by the iphone-savvy crowd, as well as a youtube video that achieved enough virality to make national news in three states. The stepping-stones near the Law School became the unofficial finish line as participants were hurled down a precarious waterfall of debris, dirt and department store trolleys. Understandably, ANU security demanded an immediate end to the tomfoolery. The incident also drew the ire of the Univer-

sity administration, leading to a visitation of Johns College by Chancelry kingpin, Professor Elizabeth Deane. Some marvelled at the ability of the university, after a week of persistent wetness, to find an original way to rain on the undergrad parade. However, given the recent drownings, concerns by the SES regarding the safety of participants were well-founded.

OUT & ABOUT// 17


Over the last few weeks, some lucky first year ANU students were among the first to experience the inaugural ANUSA First Year Faculty Camps. Thanks to the generosity of the Colleges in which the students were enrolled, camps went ahead for the Colleges of Science, Arts, Asia-Pacific, Law and Business and Economics. All but the former were held over the first weekend of March, while Science Camp took place on the preceding weekend. The camps were considered a wonderful success by all involved, particularly the first years who got a taste of what exactly it is to be an ANU student, and more specifically, an ANU student who studies a particular field. They formed friendships that may last their whole lives or at least a semester of shared lectures. Some even found love. Such a grand display of intra-disciplinary bonding occurred through all of the standard camp activities, including but not limited to: awkward ice-breakers, canoeing, high ropes courses, archery, board games, friendly touch

and soccer games, trivia nights, and evenings at the country pub. Supplementing the recreational activities were, of course, the requisite academic chats and dispensing of helpful tips and advice from the later year mentors, who were all selected on the basis of their engagement and experience with their Colleges. Their help definitely contributed greatly to the smooth running of the camps, with their reward being able to attend the first year camps that had not existed for them. The only disappointment of the weekend was Woroni’s failure to follow through in their commitment to attend and run sessions at Science, Commerce/Economics and Law Camps (except for the International Law Society who also failed to attend Law Camp) Any treatment of the camps cannot, of course, exclude mention of the force of nature that is Alice McAvoy, Vice-President of ANUSA. Corralling her team of Faculty Representatives, she masterminded and coordinated the camps. Without her, not only would they have not taken place, but they would not have even been on the agenda. We would like to thank her and all others who were involved – each camp had an amazing time. We’d love to tell you more, but what goes on camp stays on camp.



Streetlight Named Desire Streetlight Parade Live at Phoenix The Streetlight Parade ignited the Phoenix last Thursday night, illuminating the bar’s signature gloom with a fresh, vibrant take on indie pop. Major chords, upbeat lyrics and catchy, soaring guitar riffs gleefully bounced off the walls of a venue generally dominated by shoe-gazing and shyness. And it was at this same venue, seven months ago, where I was lucky enough to wander into the band’s first-ever live performance. Hyped, energetic and perhaps running purely on adrenalin and pre-gig butterflies, the band had an absolute ball. Their tangible joy at performing their music live and their endearing, goofy stage antics immediately captivated the Canberra crowd. At night’s end, an encore was in raucous demand. With the band’s debut setlist exhausted, half-remembered lyrics and scratchy versions of guitar-licks were shouted out across the room before the band happily obliged, launching into a blasting rendition of “Climbing Clouds”, already a crowd favourite. Self-assured and completely at home onstage from the get-go, The Streetlight Parade have only added to their charm and appeal since their first live appearance. Thursday’s set-list, bookended by their early songs, was now rounded out by two more original tracks, showcasing greater lyrical depth and innovative instrumentation. Although much of the band’s attraction lies in their playful live performances, their music speaks for itself, captured on the self-titled EP released late last year. “You And Me In The 60s” opens the debut release, instantly introducing listeners to the band’s innate flair for catchy guitar licks and grooving bass and drums. The track features a funky guitar solo amidst an edgy instrumental break-down, stooped up on distortion and wah-wah effects that pay homage to the psychedelic wailing of Jimi Hendrix. But it is “Climbing Clouds” that lays claim to the title of the band’s stand-out release. The lead and rhythm guitars play beautifully in tandem to create soaring, lush melodies punctured by a set of punchy, gutsy vocals. On this track, the band’s songwriting ability is astounding, with every instrument melding to form a readily accessible pop song. In fact, I challenge anybody not to fall in love with the opening guitar riff immediately; you’ll be whistling it in the shower for days. Since their humble beginnings in August, The Streetlight Parade can already boast a performance at Foreshore after winning the festival’s Sound Search competition last November. A new, up-and-coming act on the Canberra music scene, try to catch one of their gigs around the city – it will be the highlight of your week.


Lit up by a day of rare Canberra sunlight, Art, Not Apart brought visual artists, musicians, face-painters, food vendors and curious wanderers together in NewActon Precinct last Saturday. The events aimed to celebrate the process of creating art, and featured live painting, market stalls, short films, live graffiti, interactive artworks and live music. The area was a flurry of activity; around every corner there was another artist doing his or her thing. On Central Stage, we heard beat-boxing from The Joe Oppenheimer Band, found ourselves mesmerised by the swaying hips of Brazilian samba dancers, and listened to the musical talent of the Canberra Symphony String Quintet. Art, Not Apart is the brainchild of David Caffery, a Philosophy Honours student at the ANU. “Art is not just viewed, art is lived,” commented Caffery. “It only gains force if the person who views it also lives it.” Unlike

a gallery, Art, Not Apart displays the artwork from start to finish, involving the view in its creative process. Abyss, a Canberra-based street artist, was one of the participating artists at the event, and appreciated the diversity of the art on show. As an artist who usually works under the cover of darkness, he said that the experience of painting in plain view of others was a very different experience. A few metres down the path, small kids (and some bigger kids - these authors included) were queuing up to have their faces painted by Mira Melaluca. Having just completed a Psychology degree, Melaluca is interested in the therapeutic power of art. “I’m really interested in colours and chakras,” she said. “The sensation of painting on someone’s skin is very personal and the different colours you wear shapes the way you seem to other people.” The way in which Melaluca unapologeti-

cally acknowledged the power of art was a common theme of the day. At one point, a girl was painting a sombre portrait on a pane of glass beside the string quintet, who were playing Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”. Pretentious? Yes. Beautiful? Definitely. It would be all too easy to dismiss the day as an artsy wankfest, but that misses the point entirely. This kind of event is most enjoyable when all skepticism is thrown to the wind and the artistic talent on offer is embraced whole-heartedly. Caffery and his team’s efforts demonstrated Canberra’s potential for a thriving, and evolving arts scene. Or at the very least, a chance to have your face painted like a tiger for a day. Art, Not Apart was one of the events on show as part of the You Are Here festival, running in Canberra from 10 March to 18 March. For more information, follow You Are Here on Facebook.



Proudly faithful Pride and Prejudice Canberra Repetory Theatre Directed by Duncan Ley

Despite the persistent rain lashing at the doors of Theatre 3, the Canberra Repertory’s 3rd March performance of Pride and Prejudice opened to a full house, notably lacking in students. This was a shame because the performance was uniformly charming. The play was a delightful romp through Austen’s most famous work, admirably condensing over three hundred pages into under two hours. Pride and Prejudice’s witty banter, with which it was evident the majority of the audience were intimate, was as fast and fresh as when it was first penned and unburdened by any misplaced solemnity or archaic pronun-

ciation. The cast swept the audience from uproarious laughter to spellbound silence with ease. Standout comedic performances were given by Helen McFarlane as Mrs Bennet and Sam Hannan-Morrow as both Mr Bennet and Mr Collins. Apart from the odd stumble over Austen’s dialogue, no fault could be found with any member of the cast, from Lachlan Ruffy as a simply adorable Mr Charles Bingley to Katie Doney as a respectable and at times pitiful Charlotte Lucas. The set design that incorporated the covers and pages of books into its structure was inspired. The production also referenced some of the best features of the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, much to the delight of many female audience members. The 1995 BBC miniseries was, of course, the elephant in the room. Better know as the adaptation featuring the Colin Firth “wet T-shirt” scene, it is credited with sparking the Jane Austen craze that we currently find ourselves in. The play neither disregarded the fact that fans of the series could probably quote the majority of its dialogue, nor favoured parroting it over seeking an original interpretation. So whether you were a die hard “Janeite” or just fancied giving the old girl a chance, Pride and Prejudice was hilariously funny and highly enjoyable, and certainly the most fun to be had on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Canberra.


A pretty safe bet

Safe House Directed by Daniel Espinosa 115 minutes, rated M. The action flick genre is typically as formulaic as a recipe for your favourite cake. Take at least one beautiful A-list Hollywood actor, add a car chase, mix with some intrigue and finish off with a sprinkling of American morals. However, as with your favourite cake, it can be improved dramatically by the little additions to the basic layout. Safe House, directed by Daniel Espinosa, didn’t stray from the recipe and in doing so made a stock standard action flick. The beautiful A-list Hollywood actor is Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds’ character, Matt Weston, is hoping to be transferred from his job as a CIA safe house operator in Cape Town to Paris in order to be with his beautiful French girlfriend. However, when the mysterious CIA defector Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is brought into this safe house, things begin to go awry. The safe house is raided and Weston becomes responsible for

the safety of Frost and ensures that he remains in custody. Director Daniel Espinosa has ticked all the boxes of a classic action film. There are car chases, double-crossing gorgeous women and exotic locations. This is combined with the Bourne trilogy-style shaky, handheld camera shots to increase the tension. All of these technical elements are well put together, but there is nothing groundbreaking about this film. “Good” but “not great” is really the only way to describe the film. The acting was solid, the shots were standard and the plot was fair. In all honesty solid, standard and good are really the best way to describe the film in its entirety. Nothing was awful, yet nothing was amazing. This film, like a good recipe has all the basics to make a decent and enjoyable experience. However, Safe House is the sort of cake that you have at the local café, rather than as a treat an expensive restaurant.


You can find more of Scotty’s reviews at

What a brilliant week My Week With Marilyn Directed by Simon Curtis 99 minutes, rated M. Chronicling the true story of Colin Clark’s week spent with Marilyn Monroe, My Week with Marilyn should essentially be his story; of course, it’s not that at all. A boyish-faced Eddie Redmayne steps up to the task of playing the aspiring filmmaker and writer Colin Clark, who will do anything to get into Hollywood. Mostly unknown, except for appearing in a few minor roles, Redmayne’s baby-faced features but surprisingly deep voice make him perfect as the naïve twenty-three year old Clark, who lands a job as the third assistant director during the filming of the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl. My Week with Marilyn captures the adventure of being caught in the glamour of the film industry as Clark learns life lessons from his brief romances with Monroe and Lucy, the film’s wardrobe assistant, played by Emma Watson in her first minor role. As for Watson, she is now a woman, not just Hermione. As a newcomer, Redmayne is supported by modern British classics Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench. Branagh rightly plays the classic film star of the film’s era, Sir Laurence Olivier. Despite the uncanny similarities in their looks, Branagh’s boisterous personality shines through, as usual; he comes across as slightly overbearing and domineering in the role. Dench is lovely as always as Dame Sybil

Thorndyke, creating a motherly figure for both Monroe and Clark. Dominic Cooper loses his British accent to play Monroe’s agent, Milton H. Greene, and Dougray Scott makes an appearance as her aloof husband, the writer Arthur Miller. The real gem of this film is, without a doubt, Michelle William’s portrayal of the one and only Marilyn Monroe. Her blue contact lensed eyes are enchanting and beguiling. Every stare at the camera draws you in, much like the real Marilyn did. Williams truly embodies Monroe; a subtle sexiness seeps through her performance, both in the actions of her body and huskiness of her voice. Williams sings and dances on top of acting, she also gained several kilograms to enhance her curves. While she exudes the sexuality of a mature woman, Williams captures Monroe’s childlike façade, anxiety, depression and loneliness that she suffered behind closed doors. At first, the film seems like just another biopic. But as it develops, the film presents itself as an underrated classic. The all-British cast (bar Williams) is a quaint change of scenery from the usual all-American blockbusters being churned out. Williams is undoubtedly the stand-out star of this film. Her interpretation of Monroe is raw but skilfully subtle, and as a true actor or actress should be, she is no longer Michelle Williams. She is Marilyn Monroe.




Spicier than thou? Spicy Ginger 25 Childers St, Acton

There is a tendency on the part of some “gourmets” to deride MSG as an evil, tastedestroying additive that leaves one with a hangover. They are wrong. When deployed in reasonable amounts, it gives Chinese food a bit of oomph. At Spicy Ginger, a Chinese restaurant next to UniLodge that’s been kicking round for years, MSG is friend, not foe. The next day’s hangover did not outweigh the extremely well-priced, delicious food and friendly, if a little brusque, service. We arrived at around eight-thirty and had to wait a while to be seated in a half-full restaurant. I took it as an opportunity to examine the décor, which bridges the gap between the magnificent splendour of 1980s pink chairs on powder blue carpet and the utilitarian aspect of a cheap Asian takeaway joint. This is a good sign. Good Chinese restaurants are always daggy. A regional focus on Sichuan is also a clear plus. Spicy Ginger, unlike many other Chinese restaurants, does not try to make every well-known dish from anywhere in China just to please gwailo tastes. Having said that, I think the chilli level in the food was lowered a little for us. My lips were left disappointingly un-numbed by Szechuan pepper. The hot and spicy chicken

with bullet chillies was an especially mild incarnation of a classic. Apart from the chilli level, though, the dish was delicious. It had a complex, dry spice marinade and the chicken was juicy without being oily. The steamed Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce was fine, as that dish always is. Blandness is a common hazard here. Note to self: make a more interesting, Sichuanese order next time. In any case, perhaps due to some MSG, that marvellous chemical additive, the broccoli provided a serviceable accompaniment to the meat dishes. Our final dish was some braised pork ribs with chilli and vegetables. This was by far the highlight of the night. The pork was tender with rendered fat, and the sauce had a little more complexity and flavour than that of the chicken. We had three dishes shared amongst three people and couldn’t finish them. Spicy ginger may be slightly more expensive per dish than Shanghai Dumpling across the road, but it is a cut above in generosity and flavour. Without alcohol, it was significantly less than $20 each. For food this good, that is seriously cheap. My advice: Stick to the Specialties menu and don’t forget to up your electrolytes after you’ve ripped into the MSG. The hangover’s worth it.

these characters are insecure but hopeful, angry but disarmed. They are frustrated and jaded, but also innocent and afraid. These may not be grand narratives, but every story is electric. A woman feels her relationship with her son fracture as they murder her abusive husband, Johnny Cash struggles with his obsession for impersonating himself and Miss Scarlett from Cluedo enlists the help of a private detective. Zoe Coombs Marr offers “Genesis 19”, which is formatted to mimic the Bible and retells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in what can only be described as a pornographically explicit manner, with photographs to match. This is, perhaps, not a book to read in public – at any juncture, the little old lady who

glances over your shoulder on the bus could be hit with an eyeful of nudity, or



Blizzards of lizards, blasphemy & buttsex The Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories edited by Pip Smith Before launching into a series of whirlwind tales that touch on debauchery, murder and madness, The Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories offers a quick explanation of its origins by way of introduction. Starting as a small group of Sydney writers who met every month in a crumbly Newtown flat to share their short fiction, Penguin Plays Rough is dedicated to celebrating imagination, stylistic experimentation and fresh talent. Over time, their numbers grew to around a hundred members as comedians, poets, actors, musicians and contemporary artists joined the foray, spinning their own slant on the short story form. Visually eclectic and thematically bold, The Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories transforms the experience of a short fic-

tion night into a hardback book. Red-inked illustrations, strange photographs and unconventional fonts sprawl across the pages. One story, documenting the hip-hop career of a prawn, is set out as a Wikipedia page; another, lamenting the loss of innocence in the internet age, has been hand-written on scraps of paper and scanned, scribbles and all. The collection is so visually interesting that simply flicking through the pages is a pleasure. The stories themselves range from the humorous to the brutal. Some leave you unsure of whether to laugh, cry or vomit. They do not fall into the category of high literature; in fact, these stories highlight the grittiness of human life. Thrown into all kinds of times and places,

FUCK screaming out from the page in giant letters. If you have very strict ideas of what constitutes great fiction and the nineteenth-century is your favourite literary age, you may struggle with this collection. However, if you’re looking for something unusual that is raving with imagination and honesty, The Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories is for you. Also, it comes with a weird and wonderful poster. Win.



Dr Lasse Noren, Researcher, Solid State Inorganic Chemistry

Andy, Business Administration

Dr Lasse, Solid State Inorganic Chemistry

Jacqueline, Sculpture Lecturer

Roseanna, Photomedia

William, Acturial Studies

Vanessa, Finance

For more Campus Style, check out


Lex, Arts/Law

Woroni will be scouting Union Court on Thursdays

Yasmin Masri Nakul Legha


SPORT// 22

Paying the Price of Life on a Pedestal MURRAY ROBERTSON

I watched the cricket over the summer and was amazed at the assortment of retired players Channel Nine churned through in commentary and other roles. Michael Slater, Mark Taylor, Ian Chappell and co. must be having the time of their lives: interviewing their mates, still in the spotlight even after their decorated careers have all but faded into history. These men will be able to dedicate their lives to their sport, churn out a couple of books and reap the financial awards. Ricky Ponting, as a champion player and Captain of Australia, will be feted for the rest of his life, his words given sacred status, and his thoughts on any topic will be discussed and dissected. Is this justifiable? It is Australia, more so then any other country, that elevates its sporting heroes to a holy status.

It is the poisoned chalice of professional sport. As a society we place our sporting stars on a pedestal and then wait for them to either become deities, à la Steve Waugh and Pat Rafter, or to fail – fail so that we can drag them down into the depths of public loathing. Think Wayne Carey and Todd Carney. With AFL and Rugby League, in their respective fishbowl states of Victoria and New South Wales, any discretion is immediately front page news and given extensive radio talkback and air time. The handling of Todd Carney by the NRL was disgraceful, and numerous fingers were pointed: it was the media’s fault, it was the clubs’ fault. Unfortunately, everyone failed to remember that what was at stake was not the image of Rugby League but rather the life of a very young man who, like thousands of young

men his age, has a problem with alcohol. Ben Cousins is the analogous basket case in the AFL world: he endured the ignominy of having a drug addiction exposed to the entirety of Australia. Imagine having the darkest part of your personality shown to millions of people, allowing them to judge and form opinions. Such immense public pressure makes problems nearly impossible to fix. It is a wobbly pedestal upon which our sporting heroes must balance: go too far off the beaten track and they will topple; stay on it, and a comfortable, sporting icon life beckons. Would Michael Slater be grinning out of the TV in a ghastly shirt if he had been exposed as a drug addict? Or if he had been unfairly singled out, would his success in his sport have justified his flaws?

Was it not a young Ricky Ponting who was put in jail very early in his career for a late night scuffle? Ponting was given another chance, yet it took years for him to earn back the public’s respect. The clubs of Todd Carney and Ben Cousins must have had an inkling that their star players had an addiction problem: yet both players were in their prime, with Cousins captaining the Eagles to a premiership and Carney winning the Dally M award. We as a nation idolise our sporting heroes and their feats on the field, and in doing so we think of them as invulnerable, flawless and perfect. And our heroes start to believe it too. Cousins recently, and publicly, relapsed into drug addiction again. I wonder how flawless he feels now.

himself, and changing the tactics is something that just can’t be rushed. It might be difficult and very demanding at times but how can the rewards be reaped if there is no end product? Building a team takes time, and everyone knows that. Well... everyone apart from a certain Russian owner. Pep Guardiola of FC Barcelona won silverware in his first season as manager, but he made a heap of changes to the original team and was able to mould it as his own. He also had close relationships with his players. Villas-Boas, unfortunately, did not have the chance to do that. Andre Villas-Boas should take all the blame for Chelsea’s recent demise. He did not have

a good relationship with the original players, with many of Chelsea’s stars disagreeing with his managerial methods. Frank Lampard admitted that he had “the hump” for the new manager and stated that his relationship with Villas-Boas was “not ideal”. It would’ve been tough for Villas-Boas to assert his authority and develop a team when the players simply do not want to play for him. Many Premier League managers have already voiced their disappointment with the sacking of Villas-Boas. Sunderland manager, Martin O’Neill said, “You don’t get very much time these days and I genuinely couldn’t be more disappointed. I feel for him.” Even Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his dis-

may at what had happened. “The lad’s been under pressure but what you need in this job is time.” For Chelsea, players win games, but managers lose them. With seven different managers entering and leaving Stamford Bridge since the Jose Mourinho era, the big question is this: Who will risk taking the position of being the new Chelsea manager? There are many rumours and speculations about the man that will rise up to the challenge, but will Abramovich just end up adding another scalp to his already impressive collection? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Is Villas-Boas to blame for Chelsea’s woes?


A familiar feeling engulfed all Chelsea fans and in fact, all Premier League fans when Andre Villas-Boas was unceremoniously dumped by Chelsea FC after less than a season of being their manager. Villas-Boas’s assistant Roberto Di Matteo is now acting in the position, making him their seventh manager in six years. The Blues owner, Roman Abramovich, certainly likes to sift through his managers. The event happened shortly after a lacklustre performance by the Blues that resulted in a 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion. This was a continuation of Chelsea’s poor run of form. They have won only one out of their last seven matches, which has seen the team drop out of Champions League qualification to fifth place. Villas-Boas brought a lot of hype into the West London outfit when he joined them at the beginning of this season. He had brilliant credentials at FC Porto in Portugal. In his first year as manager there, he led the team to four major titles. To add to that, the team was undefeated in the Portuguese Primeira Liga with only three draws. Sure, you could argue that the Premier League is a big step up from the Premeira Liga, but Villas-Boas definitely had a lot of potential, and many teams were afraid of the prospect of Chelsea with him as the manager. Let’s take a moment and look at the one of the most, if not the most, successful managers in the world, Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United. He did not win his first major trophy at Old Trafford until his third season, but now look what he’s done with the team. He has developed the Red Devils into one of the top clubs in Europe with winner’s medals from every major trophy possible. However, he had something that Villas-Boas did not have: time. The position of manager takes time, something that Villas-Boas was not given. Moulding a team that has been playing with each other for years, one which he did not develop

Almost The Back Page


HOROSCOPE Mystical brown man Nakul Legha looks ahead at what the year holds for you... Aries (21st March - 19th April) Your life will continue to be made difficult by the fact you are not an ethnic minority. But keep persisting against years of positive discrimination because casual employment in the lucrative fast food services sector is on the near horizon. You will feel a yearning for the great outdoors. However, do not erect your tent on an incline if camping. It will make for a restless night’s sleep consumed by oddly realistic nightmares that you are gradually sliding down a rugged cliff face. Speaking of slippery slopes, your love life is desperately due for a craggy rock or soft outcrop to halt your rapid descent in standards very soon.

ONEOAKCOALITION Welcome to our campaign...

Hi there! I’m still Nakul, and you’re still a bad person who doesn’t care about poor people. But that’s okay, because boy have we got some campaigns lined up that’ll alleviate the white man’s burden from the most burdened of white men! Unfortunately, last week’s initial awareness raising awareness campaign has hit some hurdles with everyone suddenly focussed on some town called Uganda and some warlord guy who runs a childcare centre or something? Anyway, it’s pretty selfish of the dude to take all the limelight promoting his adventure trekking summer camp for wayward teens when there are real important issues like awareness to be made aware of. To add insult to injury, we discovered our Lufthansa flights to The Africa to cure The Poverty would not be paid for by OneOakCoalition. Devo. But never fear, wait till you see our range of branded KeepCups and 100% organic cotton hoodies, on sale at your nearest socially responsible corporate entity!!!

Unfortunately, Tom was unable to contribute to his campaign diary this week as he is currently travelling to flood ravaged Northern NSW to raise money from displaced residents for the drought affecting the Horn of Africa.

Woroni responds to Honi Soit’s declaration of war. In the frenzied moments of delivering crisp copies of our newspaper, Woroni learned via tweet that Honi Soit (Sydney University’s student newspaper) had declared war on our honourable media establishment. The declaration of war was proclaimed in size 12 Comic Sans, the only text-type left in the shop and available for purchase – at no cost. The written attack came after no provocation, except the constant pursuit of journalistic integrity, for which Woroni makes no apology. Indeed, the attack was a complete surprise to the soldiers of the Woroni distribution room, who were forced to drop their bundled papers and pick up their pens, a weapon reported to be mightier than any sword. The recent release of perfectly crafted newspapers had left us unprepared for the essentials of war, a vulnerable state our enemy had counted on. After an audit of our resources it became obvious, there was only one solution – a draft. The compulsory recruitment of troops was thought necessary but nonetheless controversial and after further deliberation it was ruled unconstitutional, immoral and full of spelling errors. And so, dear reader, we are asking for your help in the fight against injustice. Read your Woronis loudly, publicly and repeatedly. Cause a scandal for us to report on. Do not be afraid to expose any person who dares to utter the words “Honi” and “Soit” consecutively. We did not ask for this war but make no mistake, grammatical or otherwise, we will fight and we will triumph over the dishonourable Honi Soit.


Dear Aunty Flo, What is the best way to find my soulmate? I’m a 25-year-old woman who’s been single for years, and I feel like time is not on my side. Regards, Desperate Dear Desperate (and I can’t help but think that’s not your real name, is it?), Settle down! Your twenties are no time for commitment. Instead of looking for Mr Right, you should treat yourself to a steady stream of Messrs SweetBut-Simple, Messrs Questionable-ImmigrationStatus-With-The-Concrete-Buttocks and Messrs Can’t-Spell-My-Name-But–Leaves-His-Credit-CardLying-Around. Just look at poor Princess Diana (we exchanged letters for a while, until she accused me of seducing telling her Charles that his face resembled a melted chocolate Easter bunny). When I was in my twenties, I renounced the quest for domestic bliss and travelled the world. In Buenos Aires I tangoed with Alejandro; in Istanbul I devoured Turkish delight with Mehmed, and in Reykjavik I got back to basics with a man whose name I could never quite pronounce – there were about twenty consonants for every vowel and my gag reflex wasn’t quite up to the last syllable. When I’d had my fill of foreign entertainment, I returned home to Australia, where I discovered that there is an almost endless supply of vaguely pleasant males of about thirty years of age who are looking for a strong woman to teach them how to floss. Play the waiting game, Desperate. Demographics are on your side.

Got a quandary you’d like Aunty Flo to solve? Send a little letter my way at!

Dear Gzorgax,


Down here on Earth we’re tired of this damn Stop Kony 2012 thing. I don’t know if you have Internet fads like this on the planet Gliese 667 Cc, but people here are fed up with this flash-in-the-pan, emotionally manipulative, awareness campaign about Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. If there’s one thing we hate it’s lame-arse memes; and no meme is lamer than one about something as lame as children’s faces being mutilated and their parents being killed in front of their eyes. Lame. Basically this activist dude called Jason Russell made a video about a deranged Ugandan warlord called Joseph Kony. The video has excellent production values and is both distributed via social media and about social media — the medium is the message, which is a popular 20th century cliche. Unfortunately the script of the film is riddled with cliches even more banal and the narrative of the film works mainly as an exposition of the self-indulgent director’s relationship with his cute, but precocious five year old son. Anyway, even you have Facebook now, so I’ll post the link on your wall. The film’s message is so simple that even said precocious five year old with the annoying face can understand it. Still, you’re probably wondering precisely why people are so affronted by a successful effort to alert the Western population to the existence of a man who induces sexual slavery and possibly even cannibalism. Well, all I can say in this missive is that, luckily, the West has learnt from repeatedly being sucked-in by simplistic narratives from despots. After only a few hundred million resultant deaths in the last few millennia, we’ve now arrived at a stage where most of us are deeply sceptical about claims to truth. Ironically, this same incredulity means we are unlikely to let something like a humanitarian attempt to help Ugandans with their own problems with megalomaniacs go past without it being thoroughly critiqued by jaded commentators. It doesn’t help Russell’s cause that he has a bit of the true-believer, glazed-eye look about him. But he is also a man who has successfully created a viral video, in an age when people do little else other than try to make viral videos. Most of these videos fall away and we are left with those that have been unnaturally selected by the webosphere for their excellent cats and superb auto-tune. To have cut through this morass and have people learn, however facilely, about a psychopath tyrant, is impressive — but annoying for fans of Shit People Say. Russell once said in an interview: “If Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Bono had a baby, I would be that baby.” There are many horribly inhumane things that can be done to children and Joseph Kony has explored many of them. But even a man accused of such crimes as enslavement, pillaging, rape and inducing cannibalism has not yet been accused of the base act of inflicting both Bono and Oprah on the same child. So you’ll see that the 27 minute Youtube video is lacking in that doesn’t account for Ugandans’ agency, the problems with the Ugandan military, or of the ethics of intervening in another culture’s problems. Which brings us to the overwhelming question, Gzorgax: would it have been better for Ugandans that this video hadn’t gone viral? You know the answer to that and you’re 22 light years away. Yours earthily, Jamie.

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Woroni: Edition 3, 2012  

Edition three of the ANU Student Newspaper, Woroni.