Lot's Wife Edition 2 2016

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LOT’S WIFE<br />


Urban<br />

Market<br />

The market that makes<br />

a difference<br />

10am – 3pm<br />

Wednesday 13 April<br />

Northern Plaza<br />

Monash Clayton campus<br />

handmade, homemade, vintage & upcycled goods<br />

l food l music l workshops<br />

monash.edu/urban-market<br />

BYO bag and cup<br />

What is Consent?<br />

When it comes to sex, consent is the most important part.<br />

In Victoria, consent means a ‘free agreement’, so for someone to consent they need to<br />

understand what they’re agreeing to, communicate their consent by words and/or actions<br />

the whole time, and be agreeing of their own free will, not out of fear or force.<br />

How can you make sure you have consent?<br />

• Remember, it’s your job to ask. Try asking, “Do you want me to…?” and only act if they<br />

say yes.<br />

• Pay attention to their body language, and make sure to stop and check in if they look<br />

uncomfortable<br />

• Never make or act on assumptions on what someone is agreeing to without asking<br />

them.<br />

• Remember that if someone is asleep, unconscious, or too intoxicated to make<br />

reasonable judgement, they cannot grant consent.<br />

Engaging in any sexual act, without consent, is an act of violence and a criminal act.<br />

For information, advice and support in a safe environment, contact the Monash<br />

University Safer Community Unit on 9905 1599 or dial 51599 from a Monash<br />

phone.<br />

The Safer Community Unit website also lists resources and links to external<br />

agencies http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/safercommunity/


Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> is entirely written,<br />

illustrated, edited and<br />

distributed by students,<br />

just like yourself!<br />

If you would like to be<br />

involved, we are always<br />

always always looking<br />

for new contributors and<br />

volunteers.<br />

Say hi anytime:<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Office<br />

1st Floor, Campus Centre,<br />

turn right at the MSA desk.<br />

Or drop us a line at<br />

lotswife<strong>2016</strong>@gmail.com<br />

Advertising inquiries:<br />

E: msa-lotswife@monash.edu<br />

P: 03 9905 8174<br />

About the cover artist<br />

Viet-My Bui is a third year<br />

Communication Design<br />

student. After graduating<br />

from uni with a law degree<br />

in 2012 and working a few<br />

years as a paralegal, she<br />

became deeply disillusioned<br />

by her job and decided to<br />

abandon it all for her love of<br />

art. She hasn’t looked back.<br />

Instagram: @vietmy.bui<br />


07<br />

09<br />

10<br />

12<br />

13<br />

14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

Rising out of Chaos<br />

It’s as easy as ABC<br />

The best years of your life<br />

Running at 601 percent<br />

Beware the night (exams)<br />

Fossil-free Monash<br />




19 How to break a city’s heart<br />

21 Patriotism: It’s un-Australian<br />

22 A leg to stand on: your myki rights<br />

25 The ‘Freedom Boy’ for Goldstein<br />

26 Behind bars: failures of the<br />

prison system<br />

28 Wot’s Life With Daria & Quinn<br />


35 Detecting a wiggle in space-time 43 The hunting ground<br />

36 Interview: Eric Thrane<br />

45 Death of an icon<br />

37 Ice, Ice, baby!<br />

47 April gig guide<br />

38 Components and competition:<br />

Apple’s pricing game<br />

48 Autumn Adventures<br />

40 We put the fun in funerals 51 A fresh look at reinventing<br />

the R-rated superhero<br />

41 Puzzle: Science Crossword<br />

52 No Capes<br />

55<br />

56<br />

58<br />

F.O.I – not for you and I<br />

Office Bearer Reports<br />

The Proposal<br />

Beware: the choice is yours<br />

Impossible Diplomacy<br />

BONUS<br />

30 Centrefold: Pull-out<br />

calendar and poster<br />

58<br />

Cut-out: How to fake your<br />

way through uni<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 3


DESIGN<br />

Timothy Newport<br />

Carina Florea<br />

Lisa Healy<br />

Natalie Ng<br />





Tricia Ong<br />

Jermaine Doh<br />

Rajat Lal<br />

Matthew Edwards<br />

Ishana Srivastava-Khan<br />

Maddy Luke<br />

Kinto Behr<br />

Kathy Zhang<br />

Mevani Amarasinghe<br />




Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> <strong>Edition</strong> Two<br />

April <strong>2016</strong><br />

© Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Magazine<br />

Level 1, Campus Centre<br />

Monash University<br />

Clayton, Victoria 3800<br />

Lachlan Liesfield<br />

Layla Homewood<br />

Melissa Fernando<br />

Amber Davis<br />

Audrey El-Osta<br />

Sarah Kay<br />

Published by Mary Giblin, Printgraphics, Mount Waverley<br />

As you read this paper you are on Aboriginal land. We at Lot’s<br />

<strong>Wife</strong> recognise the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples of<br />

the Kulin Nations as the historical and rightful owners and custodians<br />

of the lands and waters on which this newspaper is produced.<br />

The land was stolen and sovereignty was never ceded.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> condemns and will not publish any material that<br />

is racist, sexist, queerphobic, ableist or discriminatory in any<br />

nature. The views expressed herein are those of the attributed<br />

writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors<br />

or the MSA. All writing and artwork remains the property of the<br />

producers and must not be reproduced without their written<br />

consent.<br />

First things first. I fucking hate writing my editorial.<br />

I can never think of anything to write and I always leave it to the<br />

last minute. I don’t know how to be witty or entertaining, I only know<br />

how to creatively place obscure Simpsons references into my writing and<br />

curate an amazing holyshitourdeadlineisintwodays playlist. Therefore, for<br />

my editorial, I bring you a playlist that describes the Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> editing<br />

process from my perspective.<br />

A looming Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> deadline brings about many emotions.<br />

Ungodly amounts of stress and fear are two that spring to mind instantly.<br />

I don’t know if I’m the only one but copious amounts of noughties So<br />

Fresh hits sooth my troubles. So here’s my playlist, starting from sending<br />

the previous edition to print, to the content meeting at Sir John’s for this<br />

one, to finishing my editorial five minutes before deadline:<br />

• ‘Mr Brightside’ – The Killers<br />

• ‘Sunsets’ – Powderfinger<br />

• ‘Ignition’ – R Kelly<br />

• ‘Freestyler’ – Bomfunk MC’s<br />

• ‘Let’s Get It Started’ – The Black Eyed Peas<br />

• ‘SOS’ - Rihanna<br />

• ‘Wake Me Up Inside’ – Evanescence<br />

• ‘I Just Want To Live’ – Good Charlotte<br />

• ‘Lift’ – Shannon Noll<br />

For more information on Grand Funk, consult your school library.<br />

4 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Hello! Welcome to edition 2. This baby’s been basted and<br />

cookin’ for a while. To answer the question on none of your<br />

lips, NO I have not become an Amazon woman (please refer<br />

to image above if dazed and confused). In fact, it’s a hard life<br />

not being an Amazon woman and sometimes I feel a little lost,<br />

y’know? So to help me help myself on the slippery, slippery<br />

slope that I am already on, I thought I’d write a comprehensive<br />

to-do list (‘to do’ when I have the patience to follow a to-do list<br />

and feel like I can really ‘do’ it!).<br />

1. Devise wardrobe modelled off of Donna Summer and<br />

Cher circa 1970’s. Prepare yourselves for billowing fabric,<br />

possibly too much hair and liquid gold glittery goodness<br />

2. Get more sleep or alternatively, tattoo eyes onto my eyeballs<br />

so I can sleep during v. important business meetings<br />

that are yet to occur in my life but feel are imminent<br />

3. Stop saving so many stupid links on Facebook and just<br />

read the actual article, god dammit<br />

4. Drink less goon (*cough* Carina)<br />

5. Resort to Seeking Arrangements if all else fails, which<br />

may also lead to an upgrade from goon to champagne. May<br />

also result in having someone to talk to that legitimately<br />

believes I am ab fab. Will ditch if they become clingy and<br />

decide not to buy Moet.<br />


The bad news: if you think you’re not doing enough work,<br />

you’re probably right.<br />

The good news: if you think that, you’re doing better than<br />

the chump over there who thinks they’re on top of everything.<br />

Yeah, that chump. Stare at them. You know their secret.<br />

The semester’s started, and then stopped (thanks Easter),<br />

and now it’s back again! Did you know you’re a full third of the<br />

way through? Yeah, don’t worry, it flew past us as well.<br />

If you’re stressing right now, here’s my hot tips:<br />

• P’s get degrees. HD’s get internships, placements, and<br />

exchanges. If you don’t need the top shelf, don’t strain<br />

something reaching for it.<br />

• Video games can relax you, improve your reactions and<br />

problem-solving skills, and drain your wallet.<br />

• Try sleeping? Idk, it worked for me.<br />

If you’re totally chilled out right now, here’s my hot take:<br />

That’s it for now. Send your to-do lists (with love) along<br />

with weekly updates so I know that I’m not the only one flailing<br />

and failing in this world.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 5



Rising out<br />

of Chaos<br />

by Kate Mani<br />

Illustration by Carina Florea<br />

A flashback to our former self.<br />

Chaos. In the week leading up to a Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> printing<br />

deadline it may seem like the paper’s middle name.<br />

Well, not all that long ago it was.<br />

Undoubtedly the greatest keeper of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> stories<br />

is past Monash student, Pete Steedman. A former federal<br />

parliamentary member for Casey and Executive Director of<br />

not-for-profit company Ausmusic, Steedman reported for,<br />

edited and revolutionised both Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> and its predecessor,<br />

Chaos, during his time at Monash.<br />

“Monash had this incredible reputation of being<br />

radical,” he says. “When you sum it down…the only thing<br />

radical was what was coming out of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>!”<br />

The revolutionary nature of Monash student press<br />

reflected the environment into which it was born. Monash<br />

University was founded in 1958, the only new university<br />

at that time to ‘start up from scratch’, not evolving from a<br />

pre-existing TAFE or college. “That’s what makes [Monash]<br />

so unique,” Steedman says. “There was no peer group, no<br />

establishment, no ground rules, no laws, just fucking mud<br />

everywhere. You didn’t have anybody to lead you into<br />

university or explain anything, you created everything on<br />

the spot.”<br />

The paper students created was truly their own.<br />

During O-Week in 1962, a bold tabloid hit the Monash<br />

campus, Chaos. A world away from today’s glossy magazine,<br />

Chaos was first and foremost a newspaper. Highly political<br />

and controversial, Steedman recollects writing articles<br />

“attacking the coppers, attacking the university, attacking<br />

everybody.” Covering contemporary social issues from<br />

police brutality to the existence of God, Chaos was known<br />

for doing its research. “Chaos didn’t act as propaganda,<br />

it showed all sides of an argument,” Steedman says. Its<br />

capacity to generate debate and therefore influence students<br />

is what Steedman believes made it dangerous, as people<br />

were able to learn from it, trust it and adopt new ideas.<br />

In 1964 the paper was edited by a new team including<br />

Emeritus Professor Ross Fitzgerald, now an Australian<br />

academic, historian, writer and political commentator. The<br />

group “decided they were going to be…revolutionary” and<br />

the blank spaces where articles should have appeared in<br />

editions of their paper are a testament to this. “Because the<br />

printers wouldn’t publish some of their bullshit they left<br />

spaces and then published the articles in separate sheets,”<br />

Steedman says.<br />

It wouldn’t be the first time that the printers of The<br />

Age, who printed Chaos and then Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>, acted as a censor<br />

on student press. Further restrictions by this conservative<br />

printer in 1965 saw the editing team search for another<br />

company and discover a small printer in Waverley. This was<br />

one of the first printing presses in Victoria to use offset<br />

printing, then a modern technique whereby inked images<br />

were transferred (or “offset”) from a metal plate to a rubber<br />

blanket and pressed onto the printing surface. Always ahead<br />

of its game, in 1965 Monash also boasted the first colour<br />

student newspaper in Australia.<br />

Steedman was never put off by the university’s<br />

attempts to censor him. “I didn’t cop that [censorship],” he<br />

says. “I asked the uni what are you going to do about it?” But<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 7


“I never<br />

censored<br />

anybody.<br />

Everybody<br />

got a go.”<br />

Steedman’s refusal to keep quiet had consequences reaching<br />

further than just university disciplinary action. During<br />

later periods of editing at Melbourne University’s Farrago,<br />

Steedman received a ‘D-Notice’ stating he had threatened<br />

the defence of the country. The article in question, which<br />

was pulled off the printing press and denied publication,<br />

had been written by a welfare officer in the Northern<br />

Territory and discussed the way Aboriginals were being<br />

treated in the 1960s. “That article was harmless but I was<br />

served a ‘D-Notice’ by the Federal Police,” he says.<br />

As a child of the 60s, it’s no surprise that Chaos,<br />

soon to become Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>, reported extensively on the<br />

Vietnam War and conscription. The 1965 National Forum<br />

on Vietnam was held at Monash University and hosted a<br />

string of high-profile names, including leading anti-war<br />

figure Dr Jim Cairns and External Affairs Minister and later<br />

Governor-General, Paul Hasluck. The Forum was covered<br />

in detail in Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> by co-editors at the time, Phillip<br />

Frazer and Peter Moylan, but it wasn’t just students who<br />

did the reporting. Lecturers and university staff were often<br />

published in Chaos and Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>, such as senior politics<br />

lecturer Max Teichmann’s contribution to the conscription<br />

debate and economic lecturer Ian Ward’s article on Vietnam.<br />

But it wasn’t all politics. “The highlight of the year,<br />

which of course upsets people now, was the Miss Monash<br />

contest,” Steedman says. While photos of Miss Science, Miss<br />

Engineering and Miss Economics would not be accepted<br />

now, Steedman insists the some of the most prominent<br />

feminists of the day were crowned Miss Monash at some<br />

point.<br />

In 1964, Chaos was renamed Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> by the now<br />

prominent science fiction author and science writer,<br />

Damien Broderick. Supposedly a move to tidy up the paper,<br />

Steedman states “Damien had this thing about not looking<br />

back.” In the Old Testament, Lot and his wife fled the<br />

destruction of Sodom with God’s promise to spare them if<br />

they left behind their burning town without a backwards<br />

glance. Lot’s wife, upon looking back, was turned into a<br />

pillar of salt for not obeying God’s orders. While the new<br />

title suggested a fresh start, the paper’s content remained<br />

as radical as ever. In the first Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> edition, a front page<br />

report on an inquiry into police brutality in Sydney towards<br />

eight university students showed that the paper had no<br />

intention of backing down from questioning authority.<br />

According to Steedman, Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> gradually became<br />

less hard news and more “the youth package,” reviewing<br />

everything from music and concerts to fashion. “This is<br />

Barrie Humphries when he first started up,” Steedman says,<br />

pointing to an article promoting his stage act, Excuse I. “Mrs<br />

Everidge had just started,” Steedman notes. “Humphries<br />

invented her in the late 50s.”<br />

1966 saw the relationship between Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> and<br />

Farrago come to share more in common than just their<br />

status as university newspapers. As Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> editor,<br />

Steedman joined forces with the University of Melbourne’s<br />

Ian Robinson to create a highly controversial joint Lot’s<br />

<strong>Wife</strong>/Farrago edition. “That really upset [the students],”<br />

Steedman says. Pooling resources gave the publication the<br />

money to print more articles and develop more content.<br />

The front cover set the tone for an anti-Vietnam War issue,<br />

with a cartoon in which US president Lyndon B. Johnson<br />

confessed to “raping” Vietnam, but sought justification in<br />

that if he had not, Chairman Mao, portrayed on crutches,<br />

would have done so.<br />

While the original tabloids Chaos and Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> seem<br />

vastly different from today’s glossy publications, they share<br />

a similar ethos, allowing all students the chance to write.<br />

“I never censored anybody,” Steedman says of his time as<br />

editor. “Everybody got a go.”<br />

Despite evolving and differing political and social<br />

issues since those early days, there are certain student<br />

concerns which are unlikely to fade. “This was an article<br />

attacking parking,” Steedman says with a laugh, pointing to<br />

the faded, yellowing clipping. It seems there are some things<br />

about Monash life that never change…<br />

If you’d like to read past editions of Lot’s<br />

<strong>Wife</strong>, all the way back to 1961, check out<br />

lotswife.com.au<br />

8 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


It’s as easy<br />

as ABC<br />

by Nadia Dimattina<br />

Languages have been around for thousands of years,<br />

continually changing with the addition of new words<br />

and deletion of others. For a country that has such a diverse<br />

range of cultures you’d think that Australia would promote<br />

the study of languages in schools and universities.<br />

However, this doesn't seem to be the case. In order<br />

to bridge this language gap, it is very important to learn a<br />

second language at some stage in life and what’s better than<br />

studying a language at university?<br />

Monash University offers a range of foreign languages<br />

that students from any faculty have the opportunity to<br />

study. Whether it’s German, Spanish or Indonesian, learning<br />

a new language brings a long list of advantages. Here<br />

are my top 5 reasons why you should consider studying a<br />

language at university this year.<br />

1. Benefits the brain<br />

It has been shown through various studies that learning<br />

a second language enhances brain power. These studies<br />

have demonstrated improvements in both brain function<br />

and cognitive skills of bilingual speakers when compared to<br />

adults who speak one language. Bilingual speakers also have<br />

demonstrated improvements in general intelligence, planning<br />

and decision making, as well as better memory, focus<br />

and concentration. Understanding a new language is one of<br />

the biggest challenges for your brain, so don't forget that<br />

as you are learning new words or how to form a sentence,<br />

you are giving your brain a workout making it stronger and<br />

smarter each day.<br />

2. Increases career opportunities<br />

We live in a globalised country as many companies in<br />

Australia are reaching out to overseas and communicating<br />

with people from all around the world. Therefore, when it<br />

comes to choosing the best person for a job, someone who is<br />

bilingual is more likely to be preferenced as it shows a whole<br />

new area of expertise that will benefit globalised companies.<br />

3. Travel<br />

If you learn a foreign language it opens a new door of opportunities<br />

allowing you to travel to a new country and learn<br />

so much more about the language and culture. When you<br />

travel with the knowledge of a new language you don't stand<br />

out as a typical tourist due to having an understanding of<br />

the language itself as well as your surroundings. By travelling<br />

to the country of the language you have learnt, you<br />

greatly improve both your listening and speaking skills. So<br />

for those students who are currently learning a foreign language,<br />

make sure you get involved in overseas exchanges or<br />

Illustration by Jenna Oakford<br />

even living overseas for a period of time as it will definitely<br />

improve your abilities to speak another language as well as<br />

provide an unforgettable experience.<br />

4. Creating life long friendships<br />

Traveling overseas with knowledge of another language<br />

makes it easier for you to interact with locals and in doing<br />

so, you can create life long friendships with people from all<br />

different cultures. By making friends with people overseas,<br />

you can regularly practice the language with them and further<br />

improve your speaking abilities beyond the classroom.<br />

From experience, learning a second language allowed me to<br />

create new friendships with people in Japan and Italy and<br />

these girls have now become some of my closest friends.<br />

Having friends who live all around the world is a benefit in<br />

itself as it gives you the best excuse to travel in order to visit<br />

them and then see the country or city not as a tourist but as<br />

a local, making the travel experience even more rewarding.<br />

5. Learning new languages is simpler<br />

Once you have mastered one language, learning another<br />

language seems like a piece of cake. It is always simpler to<br />

learn a new language having already learnt one as you have<br />

already used the part of the brain responsible for language<br />

learning. Therefore each time you learn another language<br />

it just becomes easier as well as even more impressive than<br />

you can speak multiple languages.<br />

As a linguistic and foreign language student, I have learnt<br />

that studying a language is easiest during your primary<br />

school life as this is your critical learning period when your<br />

brain is still developing. Yet as you grow older, it slowly<br />

becomes more and more difficult to learn new languages but<br />

it’s not at all impossible. So, don't keep waiting to learn a<br />

new language. It may seem daunting at first, but it is a really<br />

rewarding experience with endless amounts of benefits.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 9


The best<br />

years of<br />

your life<br />

by Sophia McNamara<br />

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s<br />

holy ground. There is no greater investment”.<br />

- Stephen Covey<br />

o what are you studying?” the student in my halls of<br />

“Sresidence elevator asks nervously, breaking the ice.<br />

“Law and Arts. You?”<br />

“Engineering and Commerce”<br />

“Nice. We’re both in long degrees, huh?” I said back,<br />

thinking about how unfortunate it was for both of us that<br />

we’re tied down at university for 5+ years.<br />

As I walked to my class it got me thinking. Is it really so<br />

bad to be studying at university for five or more years? You<br />

know, they say the years you spend at university are the best<br />

years of your life. With all the stress of exams, all the stress of<br />

being perpetually broke, all the stress of spending a thousand<br />

dollars on a subject that you could potentially fail, are these<br />

years really so great?<br />

10 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Being a student<br />

is like a get-outof-jail<br />

free card.<br />

You’re allowed<br />

to be broke and<br />

eat junk food.<br />

You’re allowed to<br />

stay up all night<br />

completing an<br />

assignment in its<br />

entirety.<br />

University is a unique time of your life. I’m in my third<br />

year and I had to change my course twice before I settled<br />

on something I was finally happy with. For me, university<br />

has been a journey of self-discovery and growth. It taught<br />

me responsibility and independence, something I thought I<br />

had at high school but I hardly did. University, for me, was<br />

a gateway to moving overseas and experiencing something<br />

different to the familiar ground of New Zealand that I grew<br />

up in.<br />

I’ve been a waitress and I’ve been fired. In fact, I’ve<br />

gone through a handful of different jobs. I’ve learned how<br />

to make coffee, how to cater for a wedding, how to use the<br />

checkout register at McDonalds, how to sell suitcases and<br />

how to cook hamburgers; grounding experiences that I<br />

would never have been through if I wasn’t a student. I’ve<br />

been in overdraft multiple times, survived on two-minute<br />

noodles on numerous occasions, spontaneously spent my<br />

pay-cheque on flights to New Zealand the day before I left,<br />

and of course, spent money on clothes I probably didn’t<br />

need. But to me, those mistakes are okay. They’re okay<br />

because they happened throughout the journey of something<br />

much greater. And that’s the wonderful thing about<br />

university – it’s a long-term investment of knowledge,<br />

experience, discovery and growth. Making mistakes is okay<br />

because they happen as you acquire new skills and build<br />

yourself into something far greater than what you were to<br />

begin with.<br />

Being a student is like a get-out-of-jail free card. You’re<br />

allowed to be broke and eat junk food. You’re allowed to stay<br />

up all night completing an assignment in its entirety. You’re<br />

allowed to abuse caffeine because you have exams. You’re<br />

allowed to call your parents two days before payday and<br />

ask them for money. You’re allowed to get hopelessly drunk<br />

on Saturday night and spend all Sunday in bed recovering,<br />

only to stay awake all night again watching Netflix before<br />

crawling to your Monday 9am lecture in your old jeans and<br />

a hoodie. Do you think you could maintain such a chaotic<br />

lifestyle so successfully and free of judgment while working<br />

a 9-5 professional job?<br />

You are not working for another person or a corporation<br />

– you are working for yourself. These are years you can<br />

spend shamelessly focusing on no one but yourself, figuring<br />

out what you really want to do in this world. You can change<br />

your mind about what course you want to do but nothing<br />

will be wasted, because with every subject you take comes<br />

a new set of skills and new knowledge that you will take<br />

with you everywhere you go. No one is forcing you to do<br />

anything. You can take classes that really captivate your interest,<br />

and write essays on topics that really matter to you.<br />

You are the curator and sole author of your own<br />

future, and gosh, aren’t we so lucky to be in that position?<br />

Never again in our lives will we get three-month holidays.<br />

Never again will we have the opportunity to travel, the opportunity<br />

to try new things, to study different fields, to go<br />

on exchange and live in a different country, to paint our own<br />

destiny and be whoever it is that we might want to be.<br />

After spending the last two years being scared of the<br />

fact that I’ve tied myself down for 5+ years into a conjoint<br />

law/arts degree with honours, I think it is time to see these<br />

circumstances as nothing short of a blessing.<br />

See our inside back page for some tips and<br />

tricks for making through the daily grind.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 11


Running at 601 percent<br />

by George Kopelis<br />

Illustration by Amber Francis<br />

It’s fair to say Huntingdale station and the nearby 601 bus<br />

stop are rudimentary, and not as sophisticated as most<br />

other train station and bus interchanges. Lack of shelter at<br />

the interchange, poor accessibility, car parks and roads to<br />

cross would be bearable, if the actual service itself was up to<br />

scratch.<br />

But back to the bus interchange for a second. Weren’t<br />

we promised a nice shiny new upgrade that would solve<br />

all our woes? That was back in 2014, before the November<br />

State Election. The Victorian Labor Party promised $5<br />

million for the Huntingdale upgrade. In September 2015,<br />

Monash University said it would contribute $200,000 to<br />

this upgrade. An integrated bus, taxi, car and train interchange<br />

was promised to better connect transport links,<br />

provide shelter and improve safety.<br />

It’s <strong>2016</strong> now and we still haven’t seen any significant<br />

progress. The local Member of Parliament for Oakleigh,<br />

Labor’s Steve Dimopoulos, said on Twitter “planning work<br />

was well advanced” and a final design could be expected<br />

in June. Construction will begin later this year, with work<br />

to be finished by late 2017. Public Transport Victoria did<br />

not respond to queries regarding construction or proposed<br />

designs.<br />

One and a half years since the election isn’t a long<br />

time to wait, so let’s not point the finger at whichever<br />

party was or is now in power. It’s the lack of consultation<br />

and information that is more problematic, but the issue of<br />

upgrading some facilities is minor compared to the actual<br />

problem – the 601 bus service is not good enough.<br />

Monash does a survey of the 601 every March and<br />

August, and between 2011 and the March 2015, patronage<br />

grew by 74% and is now the busiest bus route in Victoria.<br />

More than 6000 Monash students use the route each day.<br />

But in that time, the service has never changed from a bus<br />

frequency of every four minutes.<br />

Back in 2014, Monash’s then Vice-Chancellor<br />

Margaret Gardner said the 601’s “existing facilities are<br />

already at capacity”. If it was at capacity two years ago, then<br />

that explains why the queue for the 601 stretches around<br />

the corner and up Huntingdale Road on an average day. A<br />

bus every four minutes in the morning and evening peak<br />

doesn’t cut it – students should not be stuck at Huntingdale<br />

waiting in line and missing classes because they can’t get on<br />

multiple buses in a row. With the car parking pressures increasing<br />

at Clayton campus this year, poor public transport<br />

services will only become worse if they are left neglected.<br />

12 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Beware<br />

the<br />

night<br />

(exams)<br />

by Jessica Stone &<br />

Daniel-Ffrench-Mullen<br />

For us at the MSA Education (Academic Affairs) department,<br />

Monday the 14th of March was a D-Day of<br />

sorts. That morning, a global email was sent out by the<br />

Monash Examination Services to inform students that<br />

this year, at Monash University we will have night exams.<br />

We spent a long time on StalkerSpace that day responding<br />

to a myriad of comments showcasing a wide variety of<br />

opinions on the changes. Now that the dust has settled,<br />

we think it’s worth outlining what the situation is and why<br />

the MSA is opposed to the introduction of night exams.<br />

What’s actually going on?<br />

Here are the basics of night exams: instead of the<br />

normal two exam sessions per day at Caulfield Racecourse,<br />

we will now have three. This third session (the night<br />

session) will begin at 6pm and finish (ideally) at 8:10pm.<br />

It will only be for two hour exams and Monash has stated<br />

that no one will get three in one day. Nor will anyone get<br />

a night exam and then a morning exam the very next day.<br />

We don’t as yet know if you can have a three hour exam<br />

in the afternoon session and then a night exam or some<br />

other soul/gpa destroying combination.<br />

Why is this happening?<br />

Monash say that night exams are being implemented<br />

due to overcapacity. Since the cap on places at universities<br />

was removed by the federal government in 2009 (in<br />

full in 2012) enrollment numbers have steadily increased.<br />

As such, there are more exams that need to be held at<br />

the end of each semester, and Monash says they’ve now<br />

reached the ceiling for the normal exam period. So now<br />

that Monash can’t fit more exams into the normal exam<br />

arrangements, something needs to give. Of course we entirely<br />

understand that Monash has to do something about<br />

the exam ceiling; we’re not unreasonable people. But we<br />

believe that making students sit exams at 6pm is not the<br />

right solution.<br />

So why does the MSA oppose this?<br />

There are three primary reasons we’re against the introduction<br />

of night exams. They come down to transport,<br />

safety and concentration.<br />

Transport: Monash University is not an American<br />

College where everyone lives in dorms. Nor is Melbourne<br />

a small European university town where everyone and<br />

everything is nice and compact. It’s a sprawling behemoth,<br />

with suburbs stretching over 50km from the CBD, and<br />

public transport is not up to scratch. Many students take<br />

huge routes of connecting buses, trains and even trams to<br />

get to uni each day, and for some it takes over two hours.<br />

So straight away, making students who are getting out of<br />

an exam past 8 o’clock travel two hours to get home is a bit<br />

harsh. Now maybe that wouldn’t be a big deal for some if<br />

all services were still running, but again this is Melbourne:<br />

they’re not. Most buses stop around 9pm. So if you get on<br />

a train from Caulfield station around 8:30, take a trip that’s<br />

over thirty minutes and then have to get a bus to get within<br />

walking distance of your house, you’re probably going to be<br />

left in quite a pickle, to say the least. Now for those of you<br />

reading this now and thinking, “But heaps of uni students<br />

go out at night and have to deal with the same transport<br />

issues anyway,” that’s true but there’s a difference between<br />

having to pay for a taxi home after you’ve decided to go<br />

out drinking, and having to pay for a taxi/suffer because<br />

Monash forces you to sit a night exam. It’s about who<br />

should bear responsibility: night exams are not a student’s<br />

choice so it’s shouldn’t be their responsibility to ensure that<br />

they can easily get home, and Monash can’t change the fact<br />

that many won’t be able to.<br />

Safety: There are more issues than just whether your<br />

bus runs at night, unfortunately public transport is not<br />

always a safe way of travelling, particularly at night. In fact<br />

crime on public transport has increased in recent years.<br />

Again, even though many students go out at night in their<br />

own time, we feel that when the university is making a<br />

decision that will impact students, it is their responsibility<br />

to ensure students’ safety. We know Monash would like to<br />

make it safer for students if they could, but they just can’t.<br />

And so despite good intentions, night exams simply can’t be<br />

done safely.<br />

Concentration: A lot of people have stated in our<br />

survey that they would struggle to concentrate at that time<br />

of day, particularly if they’ve had an exam earlier that same<br />

day. Even if you’re a night owl, think about it like this: the<br />

night exam time slot is dinner time. Think about how many<br />

people are going to be writing with one hand and noisily<br />

eating with the other, and that’s just plain annoying.<br />

What now?<br />

Whether you think we’re on the money, or completely<br />

out of touch, we want your opinion.<br />

Please fill out our survey on night exams by visiting<br />

the ‘MSA Education’ page on Facebook.<br />

And please feel free to contact the Education<br />

(Academic Affairs) Department at<br />

daniel.ffrench-mullen@monash.edu and/or<br />

jessica.stone@monash.edu<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 13


Fossil-free Monash<br />

Fossil Free Monash - you’ve seen the stickers around and<br />

wondered ‘what does that even mean?’ Well, it means<br />

a Monash that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels. Did you know<br />

that Monash has over $400m invested in various shares<br />

and companies, of which part is in fossil fuels? Our purpose<br />

is to sever the relationship between Monash, a university<br />

that prides itself on being ‘green’, and the industry that is<br />

most responsible for submerging Pacific islands, destroying<br />

glaciers and ruining ecosystems.<br />

Monash is currently creating an environmental, social<br />

and governance (ESG) policy that will influence its investments<br />

into the future. We met with them and they proposed<br />

to us that they feel they can create better environmental<br />

outcomes through engaging with fossil fuel companies rather<br />

than divesting from them. Divestment is symbolic; it’s<br />

about delegitimising the fossil fuel industry and removing<br />

their social license to pollute. Monash cannot continue to<br />

invest in fossil fuels when they are creating a systematic risk<br />

to our future - we cannot change the system by individually<br />

recycling or saving water, we need respected institutions<br />

to be the change that we want so we can get the change we<br />

need. We need leadership and brilliance - so far we’ve gotten<br />

‘take the bus’.<br />

Divestment has been deployed before, and to great<br />

effect. In the 80’s there was a push led by students to<br />

divest from South Africa to protest against apartheid. Over<br />

10 years $350m of investment was withdrawn from the<br />

country, with major institutions like Barclays Bank citing<br />

the campaign as the reason they divested. The campaign<br />

by Rhyss Wyllie<br />

Illustration by Georgia Braun-Hutchison<br />

even reached the U.S. Government, which enacted the<br />

Comprehensive Anti Apartheid Act in 1986. That is what<br />

divestment is about - it isn’t about the money, it’s about the<br />

power. The power to say ‘we won’t be part of this system,<br />

we won’t add legitimacy to it by participating in it, and<br />

we won’t be quiet about the destruction it wreaks.’ Our<br />

campaign at Monash is similar - their share of money in<br />

fossil fuels globally is a drop in the ocean, but imagine the<br />

pressure, the attention and the power that can be harnessed<br />

if a prestigious university like Monash washed its hands of<br />

fossil fuels?<br />

We’ve built our campaign from the ground up - it’s a<br />

grassroots movement based here, run by students and for<br />

students. We have support from 350.org, a global climate<br />

organisation, but everything we do is decided by us. We own<br />

our campaign and we invite you to become part of that ownership.<br />

We work with 4 other universities in Victoria, sharing<br />

skills, networks and capacity. Universities all over the<br />

world have divested, including Stanford, Syracuse, Glasgow<br />

and Warwick University, Monash’s ‘strategic partner’. In<br />

Australia, both the ANU and The University of Sydney have<br />

made moves towards divestment, however neither has fully<br />

divested. This semester, we are launching Flood the Campus,<br />

a national campaign of 6 universities aimed at escalating<br />

the fossil free movement in Australia. We’re partnering with<br />

our friends at Fossil Free Melbourne University (FFMU) and<br />

while we can’t give much away, we can guarantee it’s going<br />

to be big, and you’re invited!<br />

14 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


F.O.I. – not for you and I<br />

by James Temple<br />

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI) was one of<br />

the many legal and administrative reforms brought in<br />

by the Cain state government. Prior to this, the government<br />

was not obliged to disclose information about its internal<br />

operations to the public. The Act represented a step towards<br />

greater transparency, with the objective of extending “as far<br />

as possible the right of the community to access to information<br />

in the possession of the Government of Victoria and<br />

[governmental agencies].” 1<br />

It increased public scrutiny and debate over the operations<br />

of government and other major public institutions.<br />

Recently, FOI legislation has been used to inquire into travel<br />

logs of members of parliament and government officials,<br />

such as Bronwyn Bishop and Tony Burke. The scandals<br />

generated by the revelations of extravagant travel expenses<br />

being charged to the taxpayer, such as Ms. Bishop’s helicopter<br />

ride, reveal how important the Act is in holding politicians<br />

accountable. It helps to protect against corruption<br />

and the abuse of power in government agencies, by allowing<br />

ordinary people quick and reasonably low-cost access to<br />

information. Or rather, it should, were the Act adhered to as<br />

it were intended.<br />

In 2012, the former premier John Cain slammed<br />

consecutive governments for manipulating the legislation to<br />

avoid releasing documents and dealing with public scrutiny. 2<br />

Public servants and bureaucrats are adept at disposing of<br />

problematic requests: such requests are usually for documents<br />

that would reflect poorly on the agency, e.g. lists of<br />

donors to political parties, or the personal journal of George<br />

Brandis. The directive for a bureaucrat to reject a particular<br />

request can come from the highest positions of power, executive<br />

councils and even ministers.<br />

In 2010, the Office of the Australian Information<br />

Commissioner (OAIC), an independent body to report on<br />

how the public sector collects, uses, and discloses information<br />

was established. It is also to serve as the watchdog for<br />

the administration of freedom of information and privacy<br />

requests. Despite hopes of ushering in an era of greater<br />

transparency and disclosure of information, the office has<br />

been much maligned since its inception, and chronic reports<br />

of inefficiency and understaffing culminated with the<br />

Coalition’s decision to scrap it in 2015. John McMillan, the<br />

first information commissioner, commented in an interview<br />

that politicians “hate” freedom of information laws. 3<br />

He went further saying it’s “culturally acceptable, to<br />

thwart FOI requests” 4 and that the tone was set from the<br />

top, by senior levels of government. Political interference in<br />

requests to protect an agency from damaging its reputation<br />

is common, and application of the Act has been eroded in<br />

serving the interests of government, to the point where the<br />

original wording seems almost laughable. The Act stipulates<br />

that it must “be exercised as far as possible, so as to facilitate<br />

and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable<br />

cost, the disclosure of information.” 5 Clearly this attitude is<br />

not in keeping with the spirit of the legislation, but how are<br />

requests actually defeated, and is it legal?<br />

The short answer is yes, there are many ways the<br />

legislation can be manipulated or inappropriately applied to<br />

deny the request. In my own recent experience with Monash<br />

University, I have been on the receiving end of what I<br />

believe to be deliberate attempts to sink my request. In July<br />

2015, my request for a file list from the senior executive<br />

database was knocked back for being unclear, unironically<br />

signed off by executive services. This meant that the request<br />

could not proceed, because it had not been deemed valid,<br />

and consequently could not be appealed. To remove any<br />

doubt about the clarity of my request, I conducted some<br />

research and discovered the name of the database used by<br />

several key administration units, TRIM Context. I amended<br />

my request to seek a file list directly from TRIM, which was<br />

then to be refused under section 25A(6) for being an unreasonable<br />

drain upon resources.<br />

Sourcing the documents, from the executive services<br />

database with a print file list function, notifying me of a<br />

decision and actually printing the documents were part of<br />

what was considered too burdensome, despite all being the<br />

most basic requirements of the legislation. More research<br />

on the classification structure of the database allowed me<br />

to progress by narrowing the scope to only two fifths of the<br />

database, which was eventually accepted. In the only consultation<br />

I had with a member of executive services, I was<br />

advised to drop the request because it would never succeed.<br />

No effort was made by the University to provide me the resources<br />

I might need, even though the Act obliges them to.<br />

From my experience, Monash too, it would appear, does not<br />

follow the Freedom of Information Act in good faith.<br />

1<br />

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/foia1982222/s3.htm<br />

2<br />

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/foi-architect-blasts-political-interference-20121117-29j25.html<br />

3<br />

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/30/<br />

politicians-hypocritical-on-freedom-of-information-says-former-commissioner<br />

4<br />

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/01/governments-do-not-like-freedom-of-information-the-war-on-australias-privacy-and-information-watchdog<br />

5<br />

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/foia1982222/s3.html<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 15



Hey everyone! Hope you’ve had a good start to the semester and are taking it easy for the first few<br />

weeks back. I also hope you got the chance to attend the orientation festival and join a whole bunch of clubs!<br />

Our departments were out and about during the week talking to students about a whole bunch of key issues<br />

to keep an eye on this semester. One in particular is the Student Day of Protest coming up on April 13th. All<br />

of us have been very busy spreading the word about the protest, and I would love to see as many people there<br />

as possible. On April 13th students across Australia will gather together and march through the streets of our<br />

major cities demanding more funding for higher education. It’s a pretty amazing thing to be a part of so if<br />

you’re keen make sure you have a chat to an MSA rep for more details! Another issue that has kept me busy is<br />

parking. Last week I released a petition asking the university to ‘Fix the Parking Mess’. You might have seen it<br />

on stalkerspace or heard from a friend, but paying $400 for a parking permit and driving around for an hour<br />

in the morning trying to find a park is not what I would call fair. The university have also introduced a $75 fee<br />

for carpooling! If you think this is as ridiculous as I do make sure you sign the petition!<br />


Hey gang! I hope you’ve all well and truly settled into semester 1 and the university routine.We’ve been flat<br />

out here at the MSA, with O-Week and Members Week running in the first 2 weeks of semester. Orientation went<br />

smoothly and successfully – we had students piling in to join and engage with clubs and societies and to enjoy the<br />

freebies and live entertainment provided throughout the week. It was so wonderful to see students supporting their<br />

union, with MSA membership sales smashing those from last year! MSA Members Week, which ran throughout week<br />

2, was also a huge success! Current members reaped the benefits of joining their union with our free food events, twilight<br />

cinema, carnival and discount days. Hopefully plenty of others signed up when they saw some of the wonderful<br />

things that the MSA does to give back to students! I’d like to sincerely thank all of you divine beings who helped out<br />

during the week, sometimes without even being asked. It wouldn’t have been the week that it was without you


QUEER<br />

Well looks like we’re well underway for a big queer year, with O-week being a huge success and tons<br />

of new students in our midst, especially with our highly successful weekly events like the queer morning tea<br />

(11am-1pm tues) and Queer Beers (4-6pm wed). Our biggest gathering so far has been our Trivia Night where<br />

we tested the knowledge of students from across the board whose winners won rainbow garments and tickets<br />

to our Queer Ball but with my excellent cooking everyone was a winner. But our focus now has shifted towards<br />

Queer week in week 5, with many events planned like our coming out by candlelight, our guest speaker<br />

Sally Goldner from transgender Victoria, and our spectacular Queer Ball at Sir John’s Bar with a Cartoons and<br />

Comics theme. If there are any students who want to get involved we have a secret facebook page you can be<br />

added to by messaging our public facebook page: MSA Queer<br />


We’ve had a hectic few weeks organising and running events! Our three Free Food Mondays nights<br />

have been a major success, almost too good, with very good numbers coming out to appreciate our food.<br />

Massive shout out to all the Volunteers who have helped out thus far – literally couldn’t do it without you.<br />

That being said anyone who would like to help out during the semester join our MSA Welfare Volunteers<br />

group on Facebook. In Week 2 we also ran our Second Hand Book Fair, over the two days we had some record<br />

sales which helped over 70 students recycle their pre-loved books. Survival Week is next week in which we<br />

hope to run some interesting events and activities so stay tuned.<br />


After the success of Luna Park and trivia, MSA Activities is presenting a Boat Cruise! It’s TV and<br />

Movie themed thus come dressed as your favourite character or show and chill with us wink emoticon Tickets<br />

can be purchased at the MSA reception desk and they are very limited! We are also working on a few more<br />

event during this semester, and I know it’s early days but get excited! We are also providing free food every<br />

wednesday between 12-2pm on the Lemon Scented lawn. Come say hey and bring your friends! The more the<br />

merrier! Hope you’re all enjoying your first few weeks of uni!<br />


The Environment and Social Justice department has had a very busy start to the year promoting left<br />

wing politics on campus and getting involved in a number of important campaigns. As part of the #letthemstay<br />

campaign, we organised a snap protest outside the immigration and border security department which<br />

got national news coverage. On campus, we also hosted a political forum on the issue and a group photo to<br />

show support for refugee rights and demand an end to deportations. Check out our Facebook page ‘MSA<br />

Environment and Social Justice Collective’ for the results.Education is still under attack. The liberals want to<br />

cut 20% from federal funding to the higher education sector, which will translate to our degrees costing 20%<br />

more. Left wing students need to come out and defend education rights at the student protest Wednesday<br />

April 13. There will be free buses into the city for this so see you on the Menzies Lawn at midday. There's<br />

heaps more stuff we want to campaign around and discuss so hit us up on FB or pop by our office upstairs in<br />

the campus centre if you want to get involved!<br />


WOMEN’S<br />

Hello! So far this semester we have continued our weekly discussion groups (Wed 1-3pm), run afternoon<br />

teas (Thurs 12-2pm), attended the International Women’s Day March and hosted a movie screening<br />

to celebrate! But oh, we have so much more in store! We are now looking for delegates to attend the <strong>2016</strong>,<br />

Network of Women Students Australia’s conference, held at the University of Technology Sydney. It includes<br />

speeches from high profile women, workshops and panels on the different oppressions that face women<br />

and social events with opportunities to network. It will be held in the mid year break between the 11th and<br />

16th of July. To express your interest in attending contact the Women’s Officer. To raise funds for the trip,<br />

we will be hosting our annual fundraiser the Twilight Market on Thursday the 25th of March at 4:30pm in<br />

Wholefoods. There will be a bunch of stalls with lots of goodies, live performances, food, drinks and a raffle!<br />

So come down for a delightful evening.<br />

Just a reminder to all that if you aren’t receiving them already, you can sign up for our newsletter on<br />

our Facebook page to stay informed, join the Facebook group to interact with other students and as always,<br />

come on in to the Women’s Room on level 1 of the Campus Centre and say hi!<br />

The MSA Indigenous Department has been committed over the past several weeks to ensuring that<br />

Indigenous students as well as important issues surrounding Indigenous people are highlighted at Monash.<br />

This has taken the form of the National Close the Gap day, which emphasises closing the gap in Indigenous<br />

and non-Indigenous health. The day will feature guest speakers, entertainment and other valuable resources,<br />

which will assist people in understanding the issues at hand. In addition to this, the MSA Indigenous department<br />

has been successful in engaging new students and ensuring that events held have had suitable turnouts.<br />

Moreover, planning for the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) is already<br />

underway. These games provide the perfect opportunity to allow Indigenous students compete nationally<br />

in dynamic and engaging games. We look forward to assuring that Monash has a successful time this year<br />

competing and having fun. Overall, the MSA Indigenous Department has been focused in fulfilling our goals<br />

in creating a better atmosphere on campus that promotes Indigenous topics and helps engage students both<br />

socially and academically.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 17


How to<br />

break a<br />

city’s heart<br />

by Ovindu Rajasinghe<br />

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges<br />

Step 1: Use the tragic deaths of young men<br />

to create a public panic about young people<br />

going out and drinking<br />

Step 2: Introduce draconian lockout laws<br />

that restrict access to alcohol after certain<br />

times of the night<br />

Step 3: Watch as your city’s once-vibrant<br />

nightlife and live music scene is destroyed<br />

Does this formula sound familiar to you? It might well<br />

be, because it almost happened to Melbourne. In June<br />

2008, the Brumby government introduced lockout laws in<br />

inner-city Melbourne. Three months later, amidst massive<br />

public uproar, the reforms were abandoned.<br />

The NSW government introduced lockout laws of their<br />

own in November 2014, following a series of high profile<br />

one-punch deaths. A scathing piece by entrepreneur Matt<br />

Barrie criticising the lockouts, and Premier Mike Baird’s<br />

subsequent response, has recently led to an explosion in<br />

public debate about the lockouts.<br />

But what are the lockout laws? They refer to a suite of<br />

measures designed to restrict access to alcohol at licensed<br />

venues, so as to reduce violence on the streets. There have<br />

been various versions of lockout laws previously or currently<br />

in force across different Australian jurisdictions. The NSW<br />

lockouts prevent people within the CBD and King’s Cross<br />

precincts from entering licensed venues after 1:30am, and<br />

enforce last drinks at 3am. They also enforce a state-wide<br />

ban on takeaway alcohol sales after 10pm, crack down on<br />

licensees breaching conditions, and increase punishments<br />

for individuals causing trouble. However, the controversial<br />

part of the laws are the lockouts and last drinks.<br />

Opponents of the laws love to call them an example<br />

of Australia becoming a ‘nanny state’. I hate that phrase,<br />

because it suggests that the government has no role to play<br />

in regulating our private life to ensure equity and safety. The<br />

government is absolutely obliged to tax the rich to support<br />

the poor, or to force people to wear bike helmets to prevent<br />

head trauma. The question we must ask is this: can the restriction<br />

of our freedom be justified by the net benefit that<br />

we receive?<br />

Once you look past the spin and hysteria, it is clear<br />

that lockout laws, in Sydney and elsewhere, are an enormous<br />

public policy failure that have a limited effect in<br />

stopping violence, and immeasurably change large cities for<br />

the worse.<br />

The main benefit claimed by Baird and his counterparts<br />

is a drastic reduction in violence. It is correct that<br />

since the introduction of the lockouts in Sydney, assaults in<br />

the Kings Cross and CBD entertainment precincts have declined<br />

by 40%. However, foot traffic in these areas have also<br />

declined by 58-80% between 11pm and 4am. While violence<br />

has been reduced, this has been an obvious consequence of<br />

reducing the number of people in the area.<br />

Dr Jeff Rich, a senior public servant in the Victorian<br />

Department of Health, who advised the Brumby<br />

Government on alcohol policy, is unsure that, “alcohol related<br />

violence is a huge problem: it’s hard to work out what<br />

constitutes alcohol related violence.” Public alcohol related<br />

violence is, by nature, extremely visible. This violence<br />

generally involves young people. Therefore, it presents an<br />

easy target for populist governments who want to be seen<br />

as tough on law and order. It is simple for governments and<br />

police forces to restrict the liberties of young people, so as<br />

to win the votes of Herald Sun readers.<br />

Young people are an easy scapegoat for governments<br />

everywhere. With an aging population resulting in ever<br />

older, conservative and cautious voter bases, it is easy to<br />

portray young people as out of control and reckless, and use<br />

this image to justify crackdowns on their freedom. Let’s be<br />

real: the key stakeholder affected by the lockouts is young<br />

people. Young people make up the majority of people who<br />

are out on the weekend. Young people dominate crowds in<br />

live music venues. Our voices of protest against the lockouts<br />

are not being heard because of a power imbalance between<br />

generations. Younger generations do not have the same<br />

access to money and power as older people, and so our views<br />

and concerns are not as easily heard.<br />

The problem with only targeting violence in the<br />

streets is that it ignores other, more pernicious, forms of<br />

violence in our society. While statistical analysis by the<br />

NSW government shows that violence has not moved to<br />

entertainment precincts outside the CBD, the lockouts do<br />

nothing to stop people from punching on at house parties<br />

instead. As usual, women are also sidelined. Domestic<br />

violence, as well as sexual violence against women, occurs<br />

primarily in the home. Since it’s not as prominent as street<br />

brawling, and doesn’t win as many votes, governments have<br />

not responded to this problem nearly as drastically. Because<br />

law and order does not extend to invisible women being<br />

assaulted in the privacy of their own homes, does it?<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 19


It is simple for<br />

governments<br />

and police forces<br />

to restrict the<br />

liberties of young<br />

people, so as to<br />

win the votes<br />

of Herald Sun<br />

readers.<br />

Moreover, Rich is adamant that the government needs<br />

a serious focus on alcohol health policy, to achieve better<br />

acute and long-term health outcomes. “We need to encourage<br />

people to drink less alcohol, for health reasons, regardless<br />

of the violence. Unfortunately, the health concerns are<br />

not as visible as the rowdiness on the street.” This is another<br />

major problem with the government’s purported benefit: the<br />

hysteria surrounding lockout laws means that the incredibly<br />

important conversations regarding alcohol health policy are<br />

obscured by governments with perverse incentives.<br />

So we’ve established that claims of government and<br />

police are dubious at best. But what about the harms caused<br />

by the lockouts?<br />

The decimation of small business has been explored<br />

extensively in the media, particularly in Barrie’s essay.<br />

However, a city is not just its economy: the character and<br />

soul of the city is largely defined by its nightlife and culture.<br />

A city’s live music scene is particularly important for this.<br />

Baird’s incredibly patronising Facebook post described<br />

the effect of the lockouts as, “that you can’t drink till dawn<br />

any more and you can’t impulse-buy a bottle of white after<br />

10pm.” What Mr Baird does not understand is that a city’s<br />

nightlife is much more than the means for you to get gacked<br />

with your mates.<br />

A city’s nightlife is the beating heart of the city.<br />

The buoyant atmosphere when the streets are filled with<br />

revellers. The excitement of dancing into the morning. The<br />

wonder of exploring lanes and alleyways that are so changed<br />

from their daytime visage. These things are essential to a<br />

city’s culture. The entertainment industry cross-pollinates<br />

other aspects of our culture: food, music, art, sport. What<br />

various governments do not seem to understand is that for<br />

cities to be liveable, they need culture. Not state-sponsored<br />

growth plans and redevelopments, but organic, grassroots<br />

culture.<br />

An essential part of this culture is the live music<br />

scene. Venues that cater to live music feed the unique character<br />

of the city that develops through its local music. More<br />

importantly, it provides a means for small bands to form,<br />

develop, and grow. Without a vibrant live music culture,<br />

many budding bands would never get off the ground. Recent<br />

figures show a 40% drop in live music revenue, and the<br />

closure of several iconic Sydney venues such as Soho and<br />

Hugo’s Lounge. These venues have been bastions of Sydney’s<br />

culture for generations, and cannot easily be replaced.<br />

How does the situation in Sydney compare to<br />

Melbourne? In 2008, the introduction of lockouts was immediately<br />

met with widespread public protest, with strong<br />

backing by the live music industry, and venues such as the<br />

Toff. By contrast, in Sydney the opposition to the lockouts<br />

was initially sluggish and only began to convincingly marshal<br />

itself this year. What a difference this has made.<br />

In Melbourne, Premier Daniel Andrews’ government<br />

actively encourages a vibrant late-night culture. People are<br />

not prevented from going out and enjoying themselves with<br />

a drink, but are able to immerse themselves in a cosmopolitan<br />

and thriving culture. People don’t just go out to get<br />

fucked up. They are able to enjoy all night celebrations of<br />

culture such as White Night, night markets, and moonlight<br />

cinemas. Importantly, the Victorian government’s new<br />

public transport Night Network also facilitates safe and<br />

accessible travel for people who want to be in the city late<br />

into the night. Allowing people to safely enjoy themselves is<br />

what makes a great city.<br />

Stopping violence is imperative for governments<br />

everywhere. However, we need to recognise that violence<br />

does not only occur on the streets. We also need to look at<br />

the health effects of alcohol, rather than just the violence<br />

that it might prompt. According to Rich, “there are other<br />

ways of achieving [a reduction in violence], and these laws<br />

come at too great a cost at some people’s freedom... In<br />

Victoria, people curbed their behaviour without the lockouts,<br />

and violence also decreased.” What is needed is government<br />

and community led cultural change, rather than<br />

arbitrary controls on when and where we can have fun.<br />

The lockouts represent a cynical political calculus that<br />

looking tough on law and order will win over nervous conservative<br />

older voters. It is a clever ploy, and it has worked.<br />

In NSW, the lockouts enjoy majority public support. These<br />

dreadful laws will help to ensure Baird’s government is<br />

re-elected, but at the price of breaking Sydney’s heart.<br />

20 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Patriotism:<br />

it’s un-Australian<br />

by Claire Noonan<br />

Illustration by Ruby Kammoora<br />

f you don’t love it, leave”. This message, plastered<br />

“Iacross the image of a bold Australian flag, was sold on<br />

a men’s singlet in a Woolworths in 2014. Tasmanian MP<br />

Jacqui Lambi, reciting the Oath of Allegiance and dressed<br />

in a sequined Australian flag dress, expressed that same<br />

message. It was also stated by Neil El-Kadomi, a prominent<br />

Mosque chairman, after a 15 year old, radicalized by Islamic<br />

extremists, shot a man outside a Parramatta police station.<br />

While the motivations behind the sentiment may differ, the<br />

implication remains the same: those who seek to rectify and<br />

criticize issues within Australian society essentially have<br />

less of a right to be here.<br />

Th e fervour and rituals involved in many displays<br />

of patriotism seem almost religious in nature. Sing the<br />

national anthem, put your hand over your heart, pledge<br />

your allegiance. As a citizen, there is a social obligation to<br />

partake, with enthusiasm, in the rites of patriotism that is<br />

akin to the expectations of a church’s congregation. As so<br />

many who have attempted to reform religious institutions<br />

have been excommunicated from their communities, the<br />

disenfranchised public are told to ‘leave’ their homelands. A<br />

true patriot feels unquestioning affection and pride for their<br />

country and its perceived culture and ideology. Through<br />

patriotism, the successes of a country are emphasized, and<br />

its failures overlooked. But as ‘patriotic’ Australians, what<br />

do we have to be so proud of?<br />

Many argue that patriotism benefits Australian society<br />

by bringing people together through a shared cultural<br />

experience and sense of national identity. But the emotions<br />

of identity shouldn’t disallow the progress and tolerance<br />

that is a fundamental principle of democracy. Like many<br />

Western nations, we pride ourselves on the supposed<br />

‘freedoms’ and rights that are allowed to our people. The<br />

notion that the rights of all Australians are upheld and protected<br />

brazenly disregards the experience of impoverished<br />

Aboriginal communities, members of the LGBTI+ community<br />

who are not allowed equal rights, and the indefinite<br />

detention of asylum seekers that we are morally and legally<br />

responsible for.<br />

In a display of clothing-based ignorance similar to that<br />

of Woolworths, Aldi withdrew its Australia Day-inspired<br />

t-shirt design which stated “Australia Established 1788” in<br />

January of 2014. It is painfully ironic that one of the groups<br />

most marginalized and excluded by widespread Australian<br />

patriotism is our country’s Indigenous people. The mere fact<br />

that our nationally acknowledged day of celebration marks<br />

the day of the invasion of their sovereign land demonstrates<br />

the insensitivity and callousness of white Australia’s<br />

attitude towards the rights and interests of our Indigenous<br />

population. It is not enough to apologize, to obligatorily<br />

recognize the traditional owners of the land at the start<br />

of a school assembly, or to play a special game of football<br />

every year and call it ‘Dreamtime at the G’. How can we, the<br />

children of immigrants and colonizers, call ourselves proud<br />

Australians, until we ensure that the children of the rightful<br />

owners of this land have equal access to the opportunities<br />

and privileges that we possess?<br />

While contemporary displays of patriotism more<br />

often involve drunkenly waving an Australian flag while<br />

drinking a VB than dying for one’s country, the politics of<br />

patriotism is still just as much at play. Leo Tolstoy famously<br />

wrote in his essay ‘Patriotism & Government’ that “patriotism<br />

as a feeling is bad and harmful, and as a doctrine<br />

is stupid”. The xenophobic ideals that plague Australian<br />

society are informed by feelings of patriotism and national<br />

superiority, which have the capacity to exclude and marginalize<br />

groups perceived as ‘other’. The patriotic view that not<br />

only is our country and its way of life great, but superior to<br />

that of others, contributes to an environment of racial and<br />

cultural tension which dangerously mitigates our empathy<br />

for those who are not like us.<br />

It is not a sense of patriotic duty that implores<br />

Australians to help their countrymen in times of need, but<br />

human compassion. That duty extends beyond the people<br />

who live in the same country as you, or who share your skin<br />

colour, your religion, or your political beliefs. Within recent<br />

years, this discussion has been brought to the forefront of<br />

societal discourse with the refugee crisis. The scare tactics<br />

of the Abbott government, as well as media outlets such as<br />

the Herald Sun, misinformed and manipulated the general<br />

public into a false sense that the Australian ‘way of life’ was<br />

under threat. Supposedly our shores are being inundated<br />

by fearsome Muslim ‘boat people,’ who seek to ‘abuse our<br />

women’ and ‘impose Sharia law’ in Australia.<br />

As our own national anthem states, “for those who’ve<br />

come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share”. This<br />

is a lesson that the leaders of our country, as well as its<br />

general population, need to learn. Maybe we should start<br />

singing the second verse more often.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 21


A leg to stand on: your myki rights<br />

by Nicholas D’Arcy<br />

Illustration by Lucie Cester<br />

Is something rotten at the heart of Melbourne?<br />

Much has been written on the deficiencies of<br />

Melbourne’s myki ticketing system. However, the myki<br />

controversy has raised more serious issues regarding public<br />

administration in Victoria. The Victorian Department of<br />

Transport has come under legal criticism for its application<br />

of the absolute liability concept to myki fines.<br />

Dr Andy Schmulow is a former legal academic<br />

at Melbourne University and now Principal at Clarity<br />

Prudential Regulatory Consulting Pty Ltd. He referred an<br />

early myki infringement case to prominent Melbourne<br />

barrister Julian Burnside QC. Mr Burnside has since<br />

established a pro bono ‘flying squad’ of barristers and law<br />

students, who have helped over three hundred commuters<br />

fight their myki fines in court.<br />

The Department’s application of<br />

absolute liability.<br />

Absolute liability offences are crimes where a person<br />

is guilty regardless of their intentions. By performing the<br />

prohibited act, they are automatically guilty, regardless of<br />

whether they meant to do it or not. The terms ‘absolute’<br />

and ‘strict’ liability are interchangeable and both are used by<br />

lawyers to refer to this single concept.<br />

Mr Burnside described the common case of a commuter<br />

who receives a fine for not having a valid myki, and declines<br />

the option of paying $75 on-the-spot. The commuter<br />

is sent a routine letter by the Victorian Department of<br />

Transport, which sets out the increased fine of $223 and<br />

lists several payment options. If the commuter writes back<br />

and requests that the Department review the fine, they are<br />

then sent another letter. This letter informs the commuter<br />

that they must pay the fine because it is a crime of ‘strict<br />

liability.’<br />

In 2014 Dr Schmulow received his letter from the<br />

Department of Transport stating that his myki fine was a<br />

matter of absolute liability. He pressed the Department of<br />

Transport about how they came to understand that myki<br />

fines are crimes of absolute liability, and in response to his<br />

question, the Department cited the 2002 Victorian Supreme<br />

Court case Mounsey v Lafayette.<br />

In Mounsey v Lafayette, the defendant, Lev Lafayette,<br />

was approached by a ticket inspector on a Melbourne tram<br />

and failed to produce a ticket upon request. This was an<br />

offence under section 221(4) of the Transport Act 1983,<br />

and he was duly charged. He submitted that he had the legal<br />

tender to buy a ticket, but the ticket machine only accepted<br />

coins. At first instance, the Magistrate acquitted him under<br />

Section 221(2) of the Act. This section states that an individual<br />

can travel on public transport without a ticket, if they<br />

have taken reasonable steps to buy one before the journey,<br />

there is no reasonable opportunity to buy one during the<br />

journey and they intend to buy one at the journey’s end. Mr<br />

Lafayette’s assertion that he intended to buy a ticket at the<br />

22 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


What to do if you are unjustly fined?<br />

Mr Burnside advises commuters in this situation<br />

to write the Department of Transport a letter asking for<br />

CCTV footage of the Myki machine they purchased their<br />

card from. The commuter should also request the Myki machine’s<br />

service records the twelve months leading up to the<br />

incident, as well as any reports concerning functionality in<br />

the Myki system.<br />

Interestingly enough, Mr Burnside stated that the<br />

Department has so far been unwilling to provide this<br />

information. Mr Burnside said that if it came to a contest<br />

between the commuter and the ticket inspector’s accounts,<br />

the Department’s refusal to provide evidence would mean<br />

there would not be a conviction.<br />

end of his journey was held to satisfy section 221 of the Act.<br />

On appeal, however, the Supreme Court held that the<br />

existence of a coin only ticket machine was in fact a reasonable<br />

opportunity for Mr Lafayette to purchase a ticket during<br />

his journey. The court also held that Mr Lafayette’s intention<br />

to purchase a ticket after his journey was not enough to<br />

satisfy a defence under section 221(2) of the Act. During the<br />

judgment, Justice Nettle touched on the concept of absolute<br />

liability, stating that he saw no room in section 221(4) of<br />

the Act for a defence of honest and reasonable mistake. He<br />

explained that it would be excessive, given the defences<br />

already available under section 221(2). According to Justice<br />

Nettle, section 221 of the Act ultimately creates an absolute<br />

liability offence, while being subject to a statutory defence<br />

via section 221(2).<br />

Legal criticisms of the Department<br />

After receiving his myki fine, Dr Schmulow sent an<br />

email to Andrew Walker, the then head of the Department<br />

of Transport. This email expressed Dr Schmulow’s concern<br />

that ‘the Department of Transport is contending that certain<br />

legal conditions exist, when, in my view, they do not.’<br />

Dr Schmulow pointed out that Mounsey v Lafayette was<br />

decided in 2002, while the Infringements Act - the legislation<br />

currently governing myki fines - was passed in 2006.<br />

He informed Mr Walker that ‘a first year law student would<br />

have advised you that legislation trumps precedent.’<br />

According to Dr Schmulow, Mounsey v Lafayette is<br />

no longer good law. Dr Schmulow advised Mr Walker that<br />

in the case, Justice Nettle relied on section 221 of the<br />

Transport Act 1983 when he made his ruling. This Act was<br />

repealed and replaced in 2010 by the Transport (Compliance<br />

and Miscellaneous) Act 1983. There are no such comparable<br />

sections in the subsequent Act. Dr Schmulow stated that<br />

the relevant provisions are now contained in section 22<br />

of the Infringements Act. He said these provisions ‘clearly<br />

state’ in subsection 1 (b) & (c) that appeals against an<br />

infringement may be made where ‘special or exceptional<br />

circumstances exist.’ Dr Schmulow advised Mr Walker that<br />

if his reading is correct, an internal review would seem<br />

incompatible with the concept of absolute liability.<br />

Mr Burnside’s criticism of the Department of<br />

Transport is based on the way in which they have applied<br />

the doctrine of absolute liability. Mr Burnside concedes that<br />

on a ‘strict legal analysis,’ the relevant legislation can be interpreted<br />

as creating an offence of strict liability, as “I didn’t<br />

mean to” is not a defence. However, Mr Burnside asserted<br />

that the Department applies the doctrine in a misleading<br />

way; effectively telling commuters ‘we don’t have to prove<br />

that you did something wrong…. our assertion is enough’.<br />

This approach is predicated on the commuter having committed<br />

an offence, but the claim of absolute liability is made<br />

before a court, and it is the court that decides whether or<br />

not the commuter is guilty of fare evasion.<br />

Mr Burnside’s view of the Department’s misapplication<br />

of absolute liability is highly relevant when seen in<br />

light of his courtroom experience. Out of the three hundred<br />

commuters who have contacted his pro bono team, not a<br />

single one has had a myki fine upheld in court. According to<br />

Mr Burnside, cases that proceed to court are either dropped<br />

by the prosecution before the hearing, or result in the<br />

Magistrate finding the matter proved, but dismissing the<br />

offence. There have been over one hundred myki prosecutions<br />

withdrawn by the Department of Transport. This<br />

supports Mr Burnside’s view that the Department are using<br />

the doctrine of absolute liability to avoid legal arbitration.<br />

When forced to prove the commuter’s guilt in court, the<br />

Department has been wildly unsuccessful.<br />

Wider implications<br />

The collapse of absolute liability as the Department’s<br />

centrepiece strategy in court has implications for the myki<br />

regime. According to Dr Schmulow, the absence of absolute<br />

liability challenges the rationale for the 2013 introduction<br />

of optional $75 on-the-spot fines as commuters have a<br />

chance to win in court.<br />

Dr Schmulow stated that Transport Minister Jacinta<br />

Allan must abolish the on-the-spot fines, and set up an<br />

independent internal review panel to review myki fines. Dr<br />

Schmulow has written to the Department offering to take<br />

on the role of an independent reviewer pro bono, but so far<br />

has not heard back from them.<br />

Meanwhile, Mr Burnside’s pro bono team continue<br />

to fight on behalf of commuters threatened with myki<br />

fines. He is not interested in helping fare evaders, but has<br />

represented many defendants whose fines look like a ‘crook<br />

exercise.’ Dr Schmulow has commented on Mr Burnside’s<br />

team, stating: ‘If public interest lawyers are scoring three<br />

hundred out of three hundred, the way you are applying the<br />

law is wrong.’ The Department’s absolute liability argument,<br />

according Dr Schmulow, is ‘not the nature of a society based<br />

on rule of law.’`<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 23

24 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


The ‘Freedom Boy’<br />

for Goldstein<br />

By Julia Pillai<br />

Illustration by Julia Pillai<br />

Four hundred thousand buckaroos. That’s the yearly salary<br />

for the taxpayer-funded role of human-rights commissioner,<br />

a role with a five year term. I dunno about you folks, but<br />

if I were in such a role, I probably wouldn’t get wanderlusty. I’d<br />

stick around, and they’d probably end up giving me some cool<br />

catchy nickname for my role, like ‘Liberty Commissioner’. I’d<br />

make up a superhero-esque theme-song for myself (“Liberty<br />

commissioner, liberty commissioner, friendly neighbourhood,<br />

liberty commissioner…”) that I would sing to myself while<br />

fighting for human rights and kicking ass. It would go on for<br />

five years, and when my term would end, I’d be dragged out of<br />

my office screaming, “I’m the real Liberty Commissioner! This<br />

isn’t fair! I think I need to send a complaint to myself!”. But<br />

oddly enough, some people think differently.<br />

After only two years in his role of Human Rights<br />

Commissioner (where he was dubbed ‘Freedom Commissioner’<br />

by George Brandis), Monash alumnus Tim Wilson has resigned<br />

from the Australian Human Rights Commission to run for<br />

Liberal pre-selection in the seat of Goldstein. In other words,<br />

he has left a stable, highly regarded, taxpayer-funded job at an<br />

independent organisation with three years left in his term, to<br />

run for possibly being a liberal candidate (which is by definition<br />

partisan), so he could possibly be a member of parliament. Is<br />

that wacky? Maybe. Though in some ways, this may be pretty<br />

unsurprising.<br />

Prior to becoming ‘Freedom Commissioner’, Wilson<br />

was a policy analyst at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), a<br />

prominent right wing think-tank, that advocate mainly for<br />

issues such as free speech and other civil liberties. At this time,<br />

Wilson was also a member of the Liberal party, however when<br />

appointed as the HRC, he discontinued his membership. His<br />

experience in the IPA and prior Liberal party involvement clearly<br />

shows his political leanings, even if he wasn’t active in those<br />

groups at the time of his post as Human Rights Commissioner.<br />

As a commissioner, some saw Wilson’s views and position<br />

as controversial. When he was appointed commissioner, the<br />

role of a full time Disability commissioner was scrapped under<br />

the Abbott government’s 2014 budget. This lead to the resignation<br />

of Graeme Innes and resulted in Age Discrimination<br />

Commissioner Susan Ryan taking on the portfolio. With 37%<br />

of complaints given to the commission regarding discrimination<br />

on the basis of disability–a figure much higher than<br />

others–many in the disability community saw this as concerning.<br />

Wilson was also an advocate of the removal of section 18c<br />

of the Racial Discrimination Act, an act that forbids the use<br />

of language that will “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate<br />

another person or a group of people” on the basis of race,<br />

ethnicity or nationality. This view additionally placed Wilson<br />

firmly in the right.<br />

However what should be noted is Wilson’s relative progressiveness<br />

on LGBT issues, which sets him apart from more<br />

socially conservative sections of the Liberal party. As an openly<br />

gay man, Wilson has expressed support for same sex marriage.<br />

After a series of transphobic tweets appeared on Q&A in<br />

October 2015 regarding transgender Group Captain Catherine<br />

McGregor, Wilson showed his support for the transgender<br />

community, and called for a greater discussion on transgender<br />

issues in the Australian public.<br />

The district of Goldstein covers the suburbs of South<br />

Caulfield, Bentleigh, Beaumaris. Brighton, Cheltenham,<br />

Gardenvale, and Sandringham, and is a safe liberal seat. The<br />

current member of Goldstein, Andrew Robb, has decided to<br />

leave politics after serving the electorate since 2004. In the<br />

2013 election, Robb had 61.03% of the vote in two-party preferred,<br />

making his position stable. It’s unclear who will run as<br />

the Liberal candidate in Goldstein, so there is now an incredibly<br />

competitive race for liberal pre-selection.<br />

Wilson will be competing against some formidable<br />

opponents in the pre-selection race. They include Georgina<br />

Downer, the daughter of Howard government foreign minister<br />

Alexander Downer. Additionally, software developer Marcus<br />

Bastiaan and international relations expert Denis Dragovic are<br />

also running for the seat of Goldstein.<br />

So what are Tim Wilson’s odds? Monash politics lecturer<br />

Dr Nick Economou believes he has a chance. “Wilson is backed<br />

by party power-broker Scott Ryan. However, Liberal rules give<br />

the local branch members a lot of power over pre-selections,<br />

and the Brighton to Sandringham region is not one of Scott's<br />

areas of great influence.” As for Wilson’s socially progressive<br />

views, and how it will affect his chances in the electorate,<br />

Economou states his views are “not a problem for the seat, but<br />

Wilson first has to convince the local Liberal members, and I<br />

would expect the Liberal branch members of Goldstein to be<br />

very socially conservative. They may find Denis Dragovic more<br />

to their liking.”<br />

I spoke to Max*, a Monash student who lives in<br />

Goldstein. He says that he is not a Liberal voter and even<br />

though he thinks Wilson is likely to win preselection, his vote<br />

would not change. “Wilson is more socially progressive [than<br />

Robb] so that may even the playing field for progressive parties<br />

like Greens. I think more so it gives a chance for the smaller<br />

conservative parties, like Family First. Sadly as their policy<br />

would tend to stand out more, and perhaps be more in line with<br />

some more conservative Liberal voters, they could benefit the<br />

most. Assuming he wins pre-selection, I think Tim Wilson will<br />

win Goldstein. While I still won't vote for him, we could do a<br />

lot worse. If anything else, it would be good to have a member<br />

who is an advocate for same-sex marriage, and is openly gay.<br />

Hopefully he can bring some humanity to the Liberal Party.”<br />

Tim Wilson is taking a massive risk running for the<br />

fiercely competitive Liberal pre-selection in Goldstein. While<br />

being a well-known figure, there is every chance that he could<br />

lose in pre-selection. If that were to happen, what would be<br />

next for Freedom Boy? He may have sacrificed a more than<br />

enviable role in the human rights commission for nothing.<br />

* Names have been changed.<br />

Tim Wilson could not be reached for comment.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 25


Behind bars:<br />

failures of the prison system<br />

by Maddy Luke<br />

There is something very wrong with our criminal justice<br />

system.<br />

From a very early age, we’ve had it ingrained into us<br />

that naughty people who break the law go to prison, and that<br />

prisons make the problem go away. The strange thing about this<br />

notion is that it sees prison as an end, and not as the means to<br />

help an offender improve their behaviour. While we might like<br />

to think that putting somebody in prison solves the problem,<br />

in the case of minor crimes such as theft and drug use, it often<br />

just makes it worse.<br />

In an ideal world, an individual shouldn’t be going to<br />

prison more than once in their lifetime. If the system worked<br />

as effectively as it should, an individual would make a mistake,<br />

serve their sentence, receive some kind of rehabilitation and<br />

then come back into society with a new chance at life.<br />

Yet, in an age dominated by the political rhetoric that we<br />

should ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’, this couldn’t be<br />

further from the truth. It’s important to compare the reality<br />

of incarceration with the ideal world we perceive whenever a<br />

particularly bad one finally makes it into the slammer.When<br />

thinking about punishment, a few aims come to mind thanks to<br />

the rote learning of VCE Legal Studies: retribution, protection<br />

of society, and rehabilitation.<br />

Without a doubt, prisons serve a very painful retribution<br />

on offenders. Formally, they face a crippling isolation, as they’re<br />

cut off from the rest of the world, alongside a loss of liberty and<br />

privacy. There’s also the black mark on their record that heavily<br />

impacts all aspects of their life once they’re released.<br />

Informally, however, things get uglier. There’s a high<br />

prevalence of sexual abuse within prisons, initiated by inmates<br />

and workers alike. On top of that, there’s a distinct shame<br />

placed on offenders by workers. Studies show that females<br />

face this more harshly than males, almost as if they’re being<br />

punished for not only breaking the law, but for not conforming<br />

to gender roles as well. This creates an ‘us and them’ mentality,<br />

heightening the hostility between inmates and the workers who<br />

represent ‘the system’.<br />

Next, there’s protection of society. I’m half-half on this<br />

one. Obviously, prisons are damn effective at keeping offenders<br />

away from the population. It’s pretty hard to mug somebody<br />

when you’re behind bars, and as much as cartoons would love<br />

to convince us that freedom is as easy as digging through your<br />

cell wall with a spoon, I’m certain that reality paints a different<br />

picture.<br />

But there’s a reason I’m not sold on this idea, that prisons<br />

are the pinnacle of societal protection. While prisons are secure<br />

enough to keep an inmate detained for the length of their<br />

sentence, what happens once they’re released? This brings me to<br />

the final aim: rehabilitation.<br />

When 60% of current prisoners have already been incarcerated<br />

before, I can’t help but be dubious about how effective<br />

the rehabilitation programs within prisons actually are. In<br />

June 2015, the grand total number of prisoners in Australia<br />

hit 36,134. That’s 36,134 very complex, very different individuals<br />

that are trying to be rehabilitated. It’s simply not possible<br />

to take into account every person’s needs. Though there are<br />

programs available that focus on dealing with issues like drug<br />

abuse, is it really enough? The programs assume that every<br />

drug user faces the same experience, and this one-size-fits-all<br />

approach simply doesn’t work, as shown by the high rates of<br />

recidivism. Furthermore, inmate participation in some drug<br />

programs is limited due to a lack of funding. Just how are some<br />

inmates chosen over thousands of others to use this rehabilitation<br />

program? What test could possibly prove that somebody’s<br />

circumstances aren’t severe enough to get them the help that<br />

they need?<br />

26 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

Finding your<br />

feet in a rapidly<br />

changing society<br />

after you’ve been<br />

imprisoned is like<br />

trying to walk on<br />

water.<br />

It’s also very difficult to become the ideal, law-abiding<br />

citizen the government would like when your core social circle<br />

consists of other law-breakers. Looking at the situation realistically,<br />

putting a lot of antisocial people together and expecting<br />

their behaviour to transform into society’s ideal is a pretty<br />

ridiculous expectation. When considering the recidivism rates<br />

again, I’d argue that prisons are making more criminals than<br />

they’re ‘fixing’. The restrictive and outright abusive conditions<br />

of incarceration sets somebody back in terms of their mental<br />

and physical health. With rehabilitation programs already proven<br />

to be lacking, somebody is likely to leave prison far worse off<br />

than when they entered. How is this possibly going to reduce<br />

their chances of reoffending?<br />

Tying all this information together shows how ineffective<br />

prisons are. To begin with, somebody breaks the law. It<br />

could be any of us; between offences such as driving violations<br />

and casual drug use, these days I feel as though I know more<br />

law-breakers than I do law-abiding citizens. The offender is sent<br />

to prison, where they are likely to face abuse from those working<br />

there. This makes them develop a dislike for ‘the system’,<br />

heightened by the fact that their social circle now consists of<br />

other offenders. Through repeated contact with other prisoners,<br />

who they’d come to consider friends, they become desensitized<br />

to criminal activity.<br />

After being pushed through rehabilitation programs that<br />

aren’t what they need, or perhaps being denied them entirely,<br />

the offender’s sentence comes to an end. Release day rolls<br />

around, and suddenly this ‘rehabilitated’ individual is back in<br />

society, just trying to find their feet. But finding your feet in a<br />

rapidly changing society after you’ve been imprisoned is like<br />

trying to walk on water. Having a criminal conviction, particularly<br />

imprisonment, hinders somebody’s ability to survive. For<br />

one, in a world where most employers require a police check,<br />

this eliminates a lot of job prospects. The same can be said for<br />

renting a home; real estate agents and landlords don’t look<br />

favourably on ex-convicts. Even your typical, drunk university<br />

student who is likely to munt all over the carpet has a higher<br />

chance of success.<br />

Stuck with no money and no home, and with a new set of<br />

values that tell them that breaking the law may not be so bad, it<br />

would be enough to make anybody consider illegitimate means<br />

to achieve what they want. If somebody can’t get the bare<br />

essentials to survive when they’re doing the right thing, then<br />

maybe doing the wrong thing is all they have.<br />


I return to my earlier point; while it’s damn hard to mug<br />

somebody while you’re behind bars, the second you’re thrust<br />

back into society with nothing but a criminal record to your<br />

name, the story changes. Is society really being protected from<br />

crime in the long run?<br />

I believe that the prison system is largely working to fulfil<br />

the aim of retribution on offenders, which overshadows the<br />

other aims. With ineffective rehabilitation comes inevitable<br />

recidivism; hand in hand, this leads to an increased danger for<br />

society.<br />

Personally, I don’t believe that prison should be used as<br />

anything but a last resort, given that it serves to worsen the<br />

problem rather than solve it. Surely such an extreme measure<br />

should be reserved for only the most extreme situations, where<br />

it is necessary to get the offender away from society? In particular,<br />

I’m thinking about crimes such as murder, manslaughter,<br />

sexual assault and treason.<br />

But who is to blame for prisons being so well-liked as a<br />

punishment? I’m going to pin it on people’s fear, which inspires<br />

the ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric that we hear so much about leading<br />

up to an election. Ironically though, this movement should<br />

make us more scared. It targets the minor crimes of society,<br />

crimes committed either out of desperation or by complete<br />

accident. For the former, it leads to disadvantaged minorities<br />

dominating the prison population, such as Indigenous<br />

Australians and Torres Strait Islanders making up 2% of the<br />

Australian population, but 27% of the prison system.<br />

The question then arises of what could possibly replace<br />

the prison system, even just for minor crimes. Honestly? I don’t<br />

know for sure. Expanding the community corrections program,<br />

which keeps an offender in the community throughout their<br />

punishment, could be worthwhile. It’s far more cost-effective<br />

than imprisonment, and in terms of reintegration, is more<br />

effective, as offenders are still part of their community. This<br />

could prevent some of the hostility between offenders and society.<br />

However, it could be seen as the easy way out, and when<br />

it comes to public safety, it lacks the security of prison. Still,<br />

I’d be interested to discover what the community corrections<br />

program is capable of, if it were allocated more than the measly<br />

amount of funding it currently receives.<br />

Ultimately, I understand that sentencing is complex. This<br />

piece has only shown part of the story, and there are obviously<br />

many factors to consider, particularly from the perspective<br />

of the victim. Prison does remove an offender from society,<br />

and that’s sometimes needed; there are too many people who<br />

shouldn’t be allowed to walk freely among us that do. Having<br />

said that, victims surely cannot feel safe in the knowledge that<br />

the person who harmed them may break the law again upon<br />

release, and offenders themselves are often left with no other<br />

options.<br />

The current system is letting everybody down. Prison<br />

shouldn’t be the finale of the story; it should be part of the<br />

resolution that leads to a better end. The reality is that it’s not,<br />

and I doubt it could ever be.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 27

Wot’s Life<br />

with Daria & Quinn<br />

“In your opinion, what is the best kind of pizza?”<br />

D: The free kind.<br />

Q: None! Pizza is greasy and grease gives you acne. You don’t<br />

need that negativity in your life.<br />

“How do I make a statement?”<br />

D: A statement is a sentence that declares something, and<br />

doesn’t end with an exclamation or question mark. To make<br />

one, you – oh, you meant a social statement? Well, I heard meat<br />

dresses are getting popular.<br />

Q: The biggest statement you can make is not making a statement.<br />

Just try to blend in, while looking slightly better than<br />

everybody else. Trust me, trying to stand out in a crowd just<br />

makes you look desperate. This way, people will respect you<br />

for your confidence and cuteness, but if you don’t have either,<br />

it’s probably better that you don’t draw attention to yourself<br />

anyway.<br />

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and I’m getting<br />

kind of freaked out. Why am I here? What am I<br />

supposed to do with my time on Earth? What is my<br />

purpose in life?”<br />

D: Your purpose in life is the same as everybody else’s; to grow<br />

up, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids to please your<br />

parents before they die, and then watch your kids have kids before<br />

you die. You’re here to continue the incredible cycle of life.<br />

Q: Purpose? You mean, something more than striving to<br />

achieve the cutest look you can?<br />

“Do you have any motivational study tips?”<br />

D: Motivate yourself with the knowledge that getting good<br />

grades means you’ll get into college and out of your hometown.<br />

Q: You don’t need to study! If you date a guy from your class, he<br />

can help tutor you.<br />

D: By ‘help tutor you’, do you really mean ‘do your assignments<br />

for you’?<br />

Q: Don’t be silly, Daria, that counts as tutoring.<br />

Illustration by Angus Marian<br />

28 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

NUS Na<br />

Of Acti<br />

Menzie<br />

12pm<br />

Campaign Against<br />

Racism and<br />

Fascism protest @<br />

Fed Square<br />

Week 5<br />

Women's<br />

discussio<br />

Week 6<br />

Week 7<br />

SAS Pub Crawl<br />

Week 8<br />

ANZAC Day<br />

(University Closed)<br />

Exam<br />

Timetable<br />

Published<br />

Want your event featured in next month’s calendar?<br />

Email us at msa-lostswife@monash.edu

TEAR ME<br />

OUT!<br />

Mid Semester Break<br />

Ends :,(<br />

weekly<br />

n 1-3pm<br />

MSA Activities<br />

Cocktail Night<br />

MSA Queer Ball<br />

tional Day<br />

on<br />

s Lawn @<br />

MSA Activities<br />

Boat Cruise<br />

May already? Turn over for a killer<br />

poster by Harmony Wong!

A wiggle in<br />

space-time:<br />

detecting<br />

gravitational<br />

waves<br />


become gravitational waves. In the same way that there are<br />

troughs and peaks in the water waves, there are compressions<br />

and expansions of space-time as a gravitational wave travels.<br />

Any mass moving through space-time will produce waves as<br />

it does so, just like a boat in the ocean. These waves are space<br />

itself compressing and expanding.<br />

That should be pretty easy to detect, right? People should<br />

be getting noticeably shorter and fatter when a star goes supernova<br />

half a million light years away? Wrong. Because the effects<br />

of gravitational waves are so incredibly, unimaginably small.<br />

The change in height of a person is on the scale of tiny fractions<br />

of a proton. It seems almost impossible to even feasibly be able<br />

to measure such a distance; this is where LIGO comes in.<br />

LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave<br />

Observatory. It features two perpendicular lasers bouncing<br />

By Isaac Reichman<br />

back and forth within the 4km-long arms of the detector.<br />

Illustration by Sigrid Lange<br />

Initially the beams are perfectly in sync, but if a gravitational<br />

wave passes through the detector the beams become out-ofsync,<br />

as it compresses one of the 4km arms and expands the<br />

other. If the beams become out of sync, there is a variation in<br />

Over 100 years after its first publication in 1915,<br />

the light output.<br />

Einstein’s<br />

General<br />

theory<br />

Relativity<br />

of general<br />

and Gravitational<br />

relativity has<br />

Waves<br />

finally been<br />

– Isaac Reichman The output signal is then compared against theoretical<br />

completely verified by experimental evidence. But what was signals calculated using Einstein’s equations. Analysing the raw<br />

Over 100 years after its first publication in 1915, Einstein’s<br />

the final piece of the puzzle, why did his theory take so long to output<br />

theory<br />

signal<br />

of<br />

itself<br />

general<br />

would<br />

relativity<br />

be a nightmare<br />

has finally<br />

as<br />

been<br />

a tremor on the<br />

completely verified by experimental evidence. But what<br />

verify, and why should you care?<br />

other was side the final of the piece world of is the ‘loud’ puzzle, enough why to did be detected his theory by LIGO.<br />

take so long to verify, and why should you care?<br />

General relativity is Einstein’s interpretation of gravity.<br />

What was the smoking gun that proved gravitational<br />

To date, it is the most accurate and elegant way to describe the waves?<br />

General relativity is Einstein’s interpretation of gravity. To date, it is the most accurate and elegant way to<br />

complexity of the universe at astronomical and cosmological<br />

When two black holes are orbiting around one another,<br />

describe the complexity of the universe at astronomical and cosmological scales, and it does so in relatively<br />

scales, and it does so relatively (pun intended) simple terms. it is called a binary black hole system. After millions of years,<br />

(pun intended) simple terms. All of the burning balls of plasma and massive clouds of cosmic dust are<br />

All of the burning balls of plasma and massive clouds of cosmic this orbit can deteriorate, and when the two black holes get<br />

described in perfect detail by 12 – or rather 16 – equations that represent the dynamics of existence.<br />

dust are described in perfect detail by 12 – or rather 16 – equations<br />

that represent the dynamics of existence.<br />

close enough to one another, something interesting happens.<br />

They begin to orbit each other tightly, speeding up and warping<br />

space-time as they do. As their orbital distance contracts, the<br />

black holes emit massive amounts of their mass as energy in<br />

RR μμμμ − 1 2 RRgg μμμμ + ΛΛgg μμμμ = 8ππππ<br />

cc 4 TT μμμμ<br />

the form of gravitational waves. In the moment of merging, the<br />

At first glance, this would be absolutely terrifying to black holes are orbiting one another at the unimaginably fast<br />

At first glance, this would be absolutely terrifying to most people: all those subscripts and Greek letters<br />

most people: all those subscripts and Greek letters replacing speed of half the speed of light.<br />

replacing the more pedestrian FF⃗ = mmaa⃗ of high-school physics.<br />

the more pedestrian F=ma of high-school physics. But upon<br />

Once But they upon merge, closer a inspection, mass equivalent it reveals to about a rather three times<br />

beautiful simplicity. The left side of this equation describes<br />

closer inspection, it reveals a rather beautiful simplicity. The that the of our geometry sun is converted of the fabric into gravitational of the universe energy. and It’s how<br />

it ‘bends’ or ‘warps’. The right side describes how the matter<br />

left side of this equation describes the geometry of the fabric fitting that and energy it would within be the the first universe event to moves. produce This gravitational<br />

of the universe<br />

beautiful<br />

and<br />

equation<br />

how it ‘bends’<br />

allows<br />

or ‘warps’.<br />

us to understand<br />

The right side<br />

many<br />

describes<br />

how forming the matter nebulae, and energy the orbits within of the planets, universe and moves. even cataclysmic evidence of events such a like binary the black merging hole of system, black which holes. would Space have<br />

of the waves wondrous that we events could that detect, occur as it within is so ‘loud’. our universe: It’s also our star-<br />

first<br />

This beautiful and equation time are allows described us to as understand one the many same; of the components been of unable Einstein’s to detect fabric: using space-time. light astronomy Space-time as this is is made a ‘dark’<br />

wondrous of events the three that occur dimensions within our of space universe: – up star-forming<br />

and down, left and event. right, forward and back –and a fourth dimension of<br />

nebulae, the time. orbits What of the my planets, main man and Einstein even cataclysmic explained events with the above equation Einstein, using is that no gravity more than is simply a pen a and manifestation<br />

paper, was able<br />

like the merging of matter of black warping holes. space-time. Space and time are described to use mathematics to derive the secrets of the universe. His<br />

as one and the same – components of Einstein’s fabric: spacetime.<br />

Space-time<br />

ideas have not only had profound impacts on physics and the<br />

The merging<br />

is made<br />

of<br />

of<br />

two<br />

the<br />

black<br />

three<br />

holes<br />

dimensions<br />

is a perfect<br />

of space<br />

example of philosophy a cosmic event of science, that releases but have so enabled much humanity energy that to it grasp far<br />

– up and down,<br />

produces<br />

left and<br />

periodic<br />

right,<br />

ripples<br />

forward<br />

in<br />

and<br />

space-time,<br />

back –and<br />

i.e.<br />

a fourth<br />

gravitational further waves: than the we last ever unverified could have prediction without them. of general No theory is as<br />

dimension relativity. of time. What As of my February main man <strong>2016</strong> Einstein however, explained these waves with have well-known been discovered. or as accurate. It is now completely and unequivocally<br />

supported by experimental evidence. Where do we go<br />

the above equation is that gravity is simply a manifestation of<br />

What is a gravitational wave?<br />

matter warping space-time.<br />

from here? There are still plenty of unknowns in the universe:<br />

The merging of two black holes is a perfect example of from dark matter to dark energy. We may need a new theory in<br />

Imagine throwing a stone into a pond. The ripples travel across the surface of the pond transferring energy as<br />

a cosmic event that releases so much energy that produces order to understand them, but regardless, Einstein will always<br />

they go. Now we replace the water with space-time and the ripples become gravitational waves. In the same<br />

periodic ripples in space-time, i.e. gravitational waves: the last be among the likes of Newton: the giants, on whose shoulders<br />

way that there are troughs and peaks in the water waves, there are compressions and expansions of spacetime<br />

as a gravitational wave travels. Any mass moving through space-time will produce waves as it does so,<br />

unverified prediction of general relativity. As of February <strong>2016</strong> we stand to see further.<br />

however, these just like waves a boat have in been the ocean. discovered. These waves are space itself compressing and expanding.<br />

Imagine throwing a stone into a pond. The ripples travel<br />

across the That surface should of the be pond pretty transferring easy to detect, energy right? as they People should<br />

See<br />

be<br />

over<br />

getting<br />

for<br />

noticeably<br />

an interview<br />

shorter and<br />

with<br />

fatter<br />

Eric<br />

when<br />

Thrane,<br />

a star<br />

Monash’s own gravitational waves expert.<br />

go. Now we goes replace supernova the water half with a million space-time light and years the away? ripples Wrong. Because the effects of gravitational waves are so<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 35<br />

incredibly, unimaginably small. The change in height of a person is on the scale of tiny fractions of a proton. It<br />

seems almost impossible to even feasibly be able to measure such a distance; this is where LIGO comes in.

On the<br />

shoulders of<br />

giants<br />


By Isaac Reichman<br />

Dr. Eric Thrane, who lectures<br />

in physics at Monash, was part<br />

of the LIGO team that made the<br />

groundbreaking discovery of<br />

gravitational waves.<br />

We spoke to him about coffee,<br />

black holes, and the thrill of<br />

discovery.<br />

Photo supplied by Monash University<br />

Dr. Thrane, what is a typical “day at the office” for you at LIGO?<br />

I’ve spent only a couple months of my career actually visiting<br />

LIGO. I carry out most of my work at Monash University. In<br />

this respect, my typical day is probably similar to one at a<br />

company like Google or Facebook: I meet with colleagues to<br />

discuss strategies, I work on a computer to solve problems, and<br />

I consume a lot of coffee.<br />

What was the process that LIGO went through in order to ensure<br />

that the gravitational wave they detected wasn’t simply random<br />

noise or a misreading of the equipment?<br />

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and so<br />

the vetting of this detection was extremely thorough. The<br />

LIGO Collaboration (and our partners The Virgo Collaboration)<br />

wrote an entire paper devoted just to this topic. To make a long<br />

story short, there are no known detector artefacts that mimic<br />

the very particular signature of binary black hole system,<br />

and the fact that we see the same signal in two detectors on<br />

opposite ends of the USA very strongly suggests that it was<br />

astrophysical.<br />

Can you describe how it felt when you saw the results that proved<br />

gravitational waves?<br />

It was a roller coaster ride: excitement, disbelief, relief. It’s also<br />

important to point out that, at first, we didn’t know that the<br />

signal was real. It took weeks of detective work to gain confidence.<br />

Thus, the initial excitement was tempered with caution.<br />

Einstein has now been completely vindicated. Where does astrophysics<br />

and cosmology go from here?<br />

As a gravitational-wave astronomer, vindicating Einstein is just<br />

the beginning. With the first detection of gravitational waves,<br />

we are opening up a new window on the Universe. Now we<br />

can probe a side of the Universe we’ve never seen before. Who<br />

knows what we’ll find.<br />

How do you feel personally now that Einstein’s theoretical legacy is<br />

completed?<br />

It’s a source of pride to have any connection to Einstein. He’s<br />

such a towering figure in physics.<br />

To hear what gravitational waves<br />

sound like, scan this code!<br />

36 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Ice, Ice,<br />

baby!<br />

by Hashwina Vimalarajan<br />

Illustration by Lily Greenwood<br />

What would you do if you were given the rare chance to<br />

extend your life? Would you accept it, or would you<br />

deny it? Would you watch the Twilight saga all over again<br />

just to see how immortality works? Or would you just be<br />

baffled by everything that’s going on?<br />

These were some among the many questions running<br />

through my mind as I read about the scientific breakthrough<br />

of cryonics.<br />

Freeze!<br />

Cryonics is the science of human preservation at low<br />

temperatures. It involves freezing cadavers to extremely low<br />

temperatures so as to delay their decay, in hopes that they will<br />

be revived in the near future. Although this does sound like science<br />

fiction, there is much more modern actual science involved<br />

in the process.<br />

The preservation process involves taking a cadaver after<br />

it is legally pronounced dead, restoring respiratory function<br />

with a resuscitator and/or an artificial lung, and treating the<br />

patient with cryoprotectant drugs such as glycerol to minimize<br />

damage from the freezing process. The body is submerged in<br />

liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C, so all physiological,<br />

chemical and biological activity is arrested. It is then stored in a<br />

cryo chamber filled with liquid nitrogen and many other gases.<br />

This cooling procedure takes approximately 2 to 3 days<br />

for whole body patients and 1 day for neuropreservation<br />

patients, where only the brain is frozen, because you couldn’t<br />

give a damn about the rest of your body and also because you<br />

consider yourself pretty smart to be freezing your brain.<br />

The body is preserved until the time has come where<br />

advancements in medical science have progressed enough to<br />

cure the specimen of its various ailments or bring it back to its<br />

full vigor.<br />

Forever Frozen<br />

However, cryopreservation his hasn’t been easy because<br />

this entire process has had its own trials and tribulations.<br />

On one hand, you have enthusiastic go-getters, hipsters,<br />

celebrities, wannabe geeks and open minded millennials who<br />

are quite amazed and enthralled by this New Age innovation.<br />

Simon Cowell, Larry King, Britney Spears, Seth McFarlane and<br />

Paris Hilton are some of the celebrities who are already interested<br />

in freezing and retaining their bodies.<br />

There has been some heavy opposition to this cause as<br />

well. Theologists, biologists and certain religious, social and<br />

political groups around the world are rallying against it and<br />

petitioning to stop it. The real argument is amongst sceptics<br />

and evolutionary biologists, who tend to ignore the fact that<br />

this technique has been scientifically tested and proven with<br />

other animal species but find it hard to accept the possibility<br />

of revival of life in humans. It’s just common skepticism, but<br />

in a way, it is also a sort of fear. Nobody favors the concept of<br />

‘playing god’.<br />

Currently, cryonics is not a fully developed technique.<br />

While it is a scientific proposition which is in practice today,<br />

its feasibility in humans can only be examined using theoretical<br />

science. The theory may remain hypothetical regarding<br />

humans, but with other organisms, such as mice, it has been<br />

tested and proved. This instills in us, hope for the future. If this<br />

technique succeeds, in the future we could abolish diseases,<br />

cryogenically freeze damaged organs and regenerate them back<br />

to life, and finally stop saying YOLO ‘cause it wouldn’t make<br />

sense anymore.<br />

The way I see it, this whole plot is like one bad version of<br />

Frozen, where Elsa singlehandedly freezes her victims and tries<br />

really hard to bring them back to life. But hey, we all know how<br />

that story ends.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 37

Components and<br />

competition:<br />

Apple’s pricing<br />

game<br />

by Steph Siomos<br />

Illustration by Karla Engdahl<br />

In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, the co-founder of Intel, predicted<br />

that the number of transistors (tiny electronic<br />

devices found within phones and just about every other digitalized<br />

device that are responsible for regulating current or<br />

voltage flow and can also act as an on/off switch) in a dense<br />

integrated circuit would double every year.<br />

A decade later, he revised the expected frequency of<br />

doubling to every two years. So far, this prediction, which<br />

came to be known as Moore’s Law (technically a misnomer),<br />

has been vindicated by the triumphant march of technological<br />

advancement, and explains why phones, and everything<br />

else, are becoming faster. This increasing capacity is linked<br />

to another interesting feature – a decrease in price of components.<br />

As The Economist put it in “Beyond Moore’s Law”<br />

(2015), “the cost per transistor is almost inversely proportional<br />

to the number of transistors crammed in a chip.”<br />

This graph shows that over time the cost per transistor<br />

per Hertz (the frequency, or the number of cycles<br />

per second) has decreased steadily over years. Hence, it is<br />

getting cheaper and cheaper to produce a transistor. Today,<br />

it costs close to $10-19 to produce a transistor for every<br />

Hertz the transistor outputs, compared to $10-13 in 1995<br />

Essentially, as we build chips with more transistors in them,<br />

the cost of production should decrease. Yet, in the case<br />

Graph credit of Singularity University.<br />

38 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Apple’s price<br />

increase was not<br />

something that<br />

came from the<br />

mouths of CEOs,<br />

but rather the<br />

consequences<br />

of a competing<br />

presence in the<br />

smartphone<br />

market.<br />

of the (apparently) inimitable iPhone, the opposite has<br />

occurred.<br />

The first model to officially hit Australian shores in<br />

2008 was the iPhone 3G. The latest model, the iPhone 6S,<br />

was released late last year.<br />

A comparison between the 16GB iPhone 3G and<br />

the 16GB iPhone 6S shows that the 6S has 15.6 times the<br />

amount of RAM as the 3G, runs with a dual core processor,<br />

and is in fact 44% more expensive than the iPhone 3G.<br />

Wait.<br />

What about that Moore guy?<br />

Why is the iPhone 6S more expensive than the 3G<br />

even though it is theoretically cheaper to produce the 6S?<br />

Perhaps there is an economic explanation for this<br />

defiance of Moore’s Law. Can inflation explain the pricing<br />

difference?<br />

In 2008, $750 got you the new iPhone 3G. According<br />

to the Reserve Bank of Australia, in today’s economic environment<br />

that $750 item would now cost you $880. With an<br />

average annual inflation rate of 2.3%, the total increase in<br />

cost over the 7 years amounts to 17.4%.<br />

However, $880 is still less than the iPhone 6S’s $1079<br />

RRP. Maybe it was a combination of inflation and a change<br />

in demand?<br />

This could make more sense considering Apple’s market<br />

share has increased since the release of the iPhone 3G.<br />

In 2008, Apple held 8.2% of the worldwide smartphone<br />

market. At this time, Nokia held 43.7% of the smartphone<br />

market.<br />

Apple’s market share has increased to 13.9% in 2015,<br />

suggesting an increase in consumer demand. So what happens<br />

economically if more people want Apple’s products?<br />

Will the price of the iPhone increase or decrease?<br />

From 2008 to 2015, Apple has experienced an overall<br />

increase in demand for the iPhone.<br />

This can be tricky to understand, but put simply it<br />

works like this: an increase in quantity demanded can be<br />

caused by changes in price. An increase in demand overall<br />

typically originates from external factors like competitors<br />

or income. It is highly likely, that as substitutes emerged in<br />

the market (like the Samsung Galaxy series) and increased<br />

in prices, Apple’s demand and thus their prices increased.<br />

Apple’s price increase was not something that came from<br />

the mouths of CEOs, but rather the consequences of a competing<br />

presence in the smartphone market.<br />

The iPhone’s pricing may not be in strict adherence<br />

to Moore’s Law, but it is certainly making a bit of sense<br />

economically. If someone else enters the market with a<br />

comparable product, your prices are likely to go up. You<br />

need to advertise more, design better products and still sell<br />

to consumers.<br />

It is no secret that Apple has pioneered technological<br />

design. This premium design thus carries a premium<br />

cost – one that increases as the iPhone’s design evolves into<br />

something more complex and as competitors pioneer their<br />

own uses of different materials.<br />

The iPhone introduced many things to consumers.<br />

Who would think that people (at one point) would want a<br />

phone entirely made of glass? Could we have predicted that<br />

iPhones would make us want to game, search the web, edit<br />

photos and reply to emails from our pockets? Probably not.<br />

But for all that the iPhone has given us, it has not totally<br />

defied the current technological and economic rules of the<br />

universe. Steve Jobs may have been a mastermind, but he<br />

wasn’t that good.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 39


We put the fun in funerals<br />

by Tracy Chen<br />

Illustration by Julia Pillai<br />

It’s Easter, and although Jesus might have had the miraculous<br />

ability to resurrect, we’re not so lucky. Us mere<br />

mortals, who are decidedly less prone to coming back from<br />

the dead, have to explore some other alternatives.<br />

There’s the more traditional burial, a coffin or casket,<br />

and dirt. For the rich and important, maybe a mausoleum to<br />

rival the likes of the Taj Mahal. For more casual folks, maybe<br />

a sky burial instead. Typically a Tibetan Buddhist practice,<br />

which believes our bodies are empty vessels after death, a<br />

sky burial aims to dispose of our remains as generously as<br />

possible. In an act that’s reminiscent of Mufasa’s “Circle of<br />

Life” speech in Lion King, the body is left on a mountaintop<br />

to decompose, eaten by scavenging animals.<br />

Unfortunately, such practices take space, a commodity<br />

that we have precious little of in modern society. This<br />

explains the increasing popularity of cremation. The body is<br />

incinerated in a 1000 degree furnace, and if no explosions<br />

occur (due to untoward materials left in the body), the dry<br />

remains are pulverised and the ashes are neatly packaged<br />

and returned to the family to do with what they will. Done<br />

and dusted.<br />

Yet, there are more interesting ways to be kept<br />

post-mortem than in an urn. Companies will send a portion<br />

of your ashes, amongst others, into space where it can orbit<br />

the Earth for a few months before burning up on re-entry<br />

- all while being monitored on an app and livestreamed by<br />

loved ones.<br />

As for the rest, why destroy when you can create? Like<br />

a literal phoenix you can be reborn as the nutrients for a<br />

tree. Labs can personally extract carbon from your ashes to<br />

grow a diamond or even graphite. As a pencil, you could be<br />

the tools for the next Michelangelo... or you could be used<br />

to do maths homework.<br />

For the more scientifically inclined, science likes<br />

you in both life and death. There is of course, organ donation<br />

and donation to scientific research, but there are<br />

body farms too. Newly opened and hidden in a secret<br />

location in Sydney, researchers gather data on the effects<br />

of the Australian climate on the decomposition process.<br />

Entomologists observe the life cycles of insects to refine<br />

time of death estimates, and forensic scientists try to<br />

capture the odour of decay for police dogs to track. It’s not a<br />

glamorous process by any means, but it is for science.<br />

On the less gory side, science promotes self-love too.<br />

You can see your body immortalised in all of its beauty<br />

in the downward dog pose through plastination.The fat<br />

and water in your system is replaced by plastics and the<br />

preserved result neither smells nor decays. For a full-body<br />

plastination, it takes 1000 to 1500 man-hours. If that’s not<br />

flattering for the dead, I don’t know what is. Of course, the<br />

goal is to educate the public about health and anatomy, but<br />

a little after-death exhibitionism at a museum never hurt<br />

anyone.<br />

You might not choose to die, but you can definitely<br />

choose what happens after you die.<br />

40 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


1 2<br />

3 4 5<br />

6<br />

7 8 9<br />

10 11 12<br />

13 14<br />

15 16<br />

17 18<br />

19<br />

20<br />

ACROSS<br />

ACROSS 1. Type of radiation created by accelerating<br />

charged particles<br />

1. Type of radiation 3. An Australian created by accelerating born scientist charged who particles was<br />

awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on x-ray<br />

3. An Australian<br />

diffraction<br />

born scientist<br />

(Last<br />

who<br />

Name)<br />

was awarded a Nobel Prize for<br />

his work on x-ray 7. The diffraction force that (Last attracts Name) objects to the<br />

ground<br />

7. The force that<br />

9. Country<br />

attracts objects<br />

where<br />

to<br />

Albert<br />

the ground<br />

Einstein was born<br />

9. Country where 10. Einstein Albert Einstein is famous was born for his Theory of….<br />

13. Measure of electrical resistance<br />

10. Einstein is famous for his Theory of….<br />

17. Unit for measuring frequency<br />

13. Measure of 18. electrical Abbreviation resistance for Graphical User<br />

Interphase<br />

17. Unit for measuring frequency<br />

19. An English physicist who was President<br />

18. Abbreviation of the for Royal Graphical Society, User Interphase famous for work on<br />

motion and gravity (Last Name)<br />

19. An English physicist who was President of the Royal Society,<br />

20. Collection of multiple stars all clustered<br />

famous for work in the on motion same location and gravity held (last together name) by gravity<br />

20. Collection of multiple stars all clustered in the same location<br />

DOWN<br />

held together 1. by Capability gravity to perform work, measured in<br />

joules<br />

2. Einstein’s first name<br />

4. Wavelength of light Puzzle that is not by visible Rajat to Lal<br />

naked eye. Used as hospital diagnostic and in<br />

DOWN<br />

protein crystallography<br />

5. Field of science that studies matter and its<br />

1. Capability motion to perform of space work, and measured time in joules<br />

2. Einstein’s 6. first An name English physicist famous for theories<br />

on time, work in relativity and black holes.<br />

4. Wavelength (Last of light Name) that is not visible to naked eye. Used as hospital<br />

diagnostic 8. and A way in protein to measure crystallography the order in which<br />

events have occurred.<br />

5. Field of science 9. A recent that studies discovery matter confirmed and its motion Einstein’s of space and<br />

time prediction of ___ Waves.<br />

11. The name of the<br />

6. An English experiment/observatory physicist famous for theories that on helped time, work find in relativity<br />

and black holes. proof (last for name) the answer in clue 9 Down<br />

(Abbreviation)<br />

8. A way to measure<br />

12. Famous<br />

the order<br />

national<br />

in which<br />

park<br />

events<br />

in California.<br />

have occurred.<br />

9. A recent discovery 14. A substance confirmed that Einstein’s occupies prediction physical of space. ___ Waves.<br />

15. The person in clue 19 Across postulated<br />

11. The name<br />

the<br />

of<br />

3<br />

the<br />

laws<br />

experiment/observatory<br />

of….<br />

that helped find proof<br />

for the answer 16. in The clue event 9 Down that (abbreviation) is believed to have<br />

formed our universe.<br />

12. Famous national park in California.<br />

17. Energy transferred from a warmer<br />

14. A substance object that to occupies a colder physical one space.<br />

15. The person in clue 19 Across postulated the 3 laws of….<br />

16. The event that is believed to have formed our universe.<br />

17. Energy transferred from a warmer object to a colder one<br />


Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 41



The<br />

hunting<br />

ground<br />

by Layla Homewood<br />

Illustration by Olivia Rossi<br />

Content Warning: This article contains<br />

discussions about sexual assault and rape<br />

Sexual assault happens. On the street, in bars, in homes<br />

and for a lot of young people, it happens at their university.<br />

The Hunting Ground is a 2015 documentary which<br />

focuses on sexual assault and rape on American college<br />

campuses. Following numerous men and women who claim<br />

to have been assaulted on their college campus, The Hunting<br />

Ground has a central focus on the lack of support that college<br />

administrators provide during the traumatic experience<br />

and the arduous challenges these victims face from other<br />

students and, in particular, the university faculty.<br />

The film provides a great insight into how American<br />

systems deal with sexual assault, and raises issues that<br />

the students who are attacked face when coming forward<br />

about the assault. While there is a vast difference between<br />

America and Australia in regards to culture and the structure<br />

of tertiary institutions, the issues raised by the documentary<br />

remain prevalent in both societies.<br />

The Hunting Ground raises many key focal points and<br />

issues surrounding sexual assault with college students and<br />

it is clear that in the case of American colleges, where the<br />

documentary obtained its statistics and participants, the<br />

college's image was more important to them than the justice<br />

system. The Hunting Ground tears apart the colleges' process<br />

(or lack thereof) with reporting incidents of sexual assault,<br />

and shames institutions that actively prevent victims from<br />

prosecuting their attackers for fear of tarnishing the college's<br />

name.<br />

It was found that in some colleges when a victim<br />

searched how to seek help and guidance after a sexual<br />

assault, the college website and other information providers<br />

only offered support and advice in the case of being falsely<br />

accused of a sexual attack. The college deliberately made<br />

it difficult for the victims to access a support network and<br />

report the incident, all the while spending their time and resources<br />

helping those who were accused of being an attacker<br />

whether this accusation be true or false.<br />

Of course, it's not only in America that we can see<br />

sexual assault claims being silenced. An Australian survey<br />

in 2015, Talk About It, asked over 1300 participants about<br />

their sexual assault experiences and how their university<br />

and police departments processed their claim and supported<br />

them through the ordeal. While many respondents were<br />

pleased with their university's support network, the overwhelming<br />

majority were disappointed in the institutions<br />

which are meant to help them through such a hardship.<br />

Both the universities and police departments have<br />

failed to help the victims and achieve an appropriate outcome,<br />

and are guilty of victim blaming with a NSW student<br />

being "told I was simply drunk and it [the attack] wasn't<br />

worth investigating". A number of comments focus on<br />

the victim's feeling of uselessness and frustration in their<br />

inability to reach justice. A respondent in Sydney said, "I<br />

know that my rapist has since become a member of staff<br />

but I can't do anything about it" and the majority of cases in<br />

The Hunting Ground have a similar result with the attacker<br />

remaining free on campus.<br />

But aren’t things different here? Of course Monash<br />

says that it listens to all students equally and handles sexual<br />

assault claims with the utmost care, protecting anyone who<br />

is a victim of the horrible crime. Sadly though, I’ve discovered<br />

that Monash, like every other university, is predominantly<br />

concerned with itself.<br />

After speaking with a number of Monash students<br />

about their own experiences, every report made the same<br />

claim that our university swept the assault under the rug,<br />

and made little or no attempt to support the victim. One<br />

student was followed back to the Halls of Residence late in<br />

the evening following a night out. The man who was walking<br />

ahead of the victim repeatedly checked behind him to make<br />

sure she was still there and alone. She crossed the road several<br />

times, actions which the man mirrored, before calling<br />

campus security and hiding from the predator in a nearby<br />

car park.<br />

Security acted quickly to her distress call and, even<br />

though they did not catch the man accused of following the<br />

victim, clearly acted under a fine protocol. However, the<br />

issue lies with the members of residential staff and their<br />

inaction regarding the near assault. The victim noted that<br />

"there is evidently an underlying problem with the attitudes<br />

towards it [sexual assault] present in major figures in the<br />

uni" after she was accused of having had too much to drink,<br />

and told that she shouldn't have been alone in the first place<br />

by a senior member of the staff at her residence.<br />

Do we still need to be fearful at night? Do we still need<br />

to walk around like we're five year olds with a buddy system<br />

in school? Make sure you hold your buddy's hand! Don't let<br />

them wander off alone! I was once confronted by security<br />

while walking home in the dark being told, "It's pretty dangerous<br />

around here; you shouldn't be walking by yourself."<br />

"No, Mr Security Guard, there shouldn't be rapists out<br />

on the street."<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 43


“Everyone should<br />

feel safe enough to<br />

go the 500 meters<br />

back to their home<br />

without having to<br />

hold their car keys<br />

in one hand .”<br />

Okay, I know he was only looking out for me, but<br />

regardless, everyone should feel safe enough to go the 500<br />

meters back to their home without having to hold their<br />

car keys in one hand and 000 dialled on their phone in the<br />

other.<br />

Aside from university faculty departments dismissing<br />

claims and not taking victims seriously in their need for<br />

support and justice, both the documentary and survey focus<br />

on the location of sexual attacks, and how this relates to the<br />

university or college under scrutiny. While most assaults on<br />

students appear off campus in private housing and public<br />

locations, over 12% of assaults in Australia are at student<br />

organisation events where predators have a whole pool of<br />

new victims to pick and choose from.<br />

Another Monash student came forward about her<br />

assault that happened in O-week of her first year. At a<br />

Monash party (a party that still runs every O-week), where<br />

first-years, all other students, and sexual predators are<br />

welcome to attend, she was approached by someone who<br />

repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances. After mostly<br />

ordering water to drink all night, she began to notice feeling<br />

hazy, and knowing that she hadn't had enough alcohol to be<br />

drunk, realised that her drink had been spiked.<br />

She quickly turned to a friend and ordered a taxi home<br />

when her physical responses became so slow that she was<br />

unable to stand on her own or form a single sentence. She<br />

was carried back to her on campus home by a number of<br />

close friends who notified the residential team before deciding<br />

to call an ambulance.<br />

The following morning when the victim woke, instead<br />

of being assured that she was safe and that the university<br />

would make every attempt at justice, she was accused by<br />

residential staff members of heavy drinking and provocative<br />

or misleading actions towards her assailant. Even though<br />

the victim was certain of the attacker being the man who<br />

continually approached her, the Halls of Residence and<br />

societies who organised the o-week event failed to further<br />

investigate the claim, and dismissed the ordeal as a merely<br />

unfortunate evening, leaving the culprit free to attend more<br />

university events.<br />

Instead of trying their best at supporting victims and<br />

punishing the attackers, universities are putting their time,<br />

money, energy, and resources into ensuring that current,<br />

future and past students aren't aware of these assaults that<br />

occur all too frequently. This silencing of claims is a vital<br />

focus in The Hunting Ground that clearly remains relevant<br />

in Australia. It’s also abundantly obvious in both American<br />

and Australian cases that student organisation events and<br />

other money making schemes for the universities are not<br />

condemned for their high sexual assault rates. Instead of<br />

truthfully branding them as events where attackers can<br />

seek out prey and warning future victims, these instances<br />

of assault are left unaddressed so that the universities can<br />

maintain their positive reputation.<br />

It's all about the university's image. If potential students<br />

are aware of the immense rape culture at their dream<br />

institution, it won't be their dream any more. If alumni<br />

learn about how their classmates were accused of sexual<br />

assault, they won't donate. If the current students discover<br />

a predator in the class, they'll switch.<br />

There needs to be an even ground whereby all universities<br />

must accept any and all sexual assault cases with<br />

equality and empathy. These issues should not be dismissed<br />

on victim blaming or fear in the university being tarnished.<br />

If all colleges and universities administered the same policies,<br />

yes, statistics showing sexual assault among students<br />

would rise by a staggering amount and raise questions<br />

about rape and assault culture at the university. But this<br />

rise in statistics would only be a reflection of the truth, and<br />

encourage more men and women who are victims of such<br />

crime to come forward and further promote justice.<br />

Resources for reporting or discussing sexual assault:<br />

Life Line| 13 11 14<br />

Sexual Assault Report Anonymously | Download the app<br />

for free or report online at www.sara.org.au<br />

Monash Safer Community Unit | safercommunity@<br />

monash.edu<br />

44 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Death of an icon<br />

by Verity Norbury<br />

Illustration by Declan Trevv<br />

century has passed and life has flourished around<br />

A me. Thousands of people erupting in applause,<br />

‘Bravo! Bravo!’ they cry! ‘Encore!’ I am freedom, a flaming<br />

beacon of hope and passion; the key to ignite the soul.<br />

Now, the world is colder, only shadows, darkness looms<br />

as my walls crumble, and all that was flaming glory now<br />

turns to ash – death is imminent, breath escapes me as I<br />

wait my fate…<br />

The Palace Theatre is doomed to demolition if the<br />

Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) rules in<br />

favour of the premises’ new owner, Jinshan Investments in<br />

the trial which occurred in late February. The question is:<br />

will this magnificent building, an iconic symbol of theatre<br />

and music, rise from the ashes as argued by the Melbourne<br />

City Council and National Trust or become a distant memory,<br />

charred and dismembered, replaced by a hotel?<br />

It is a battle between tradition and change, performance<br />

and convention, musicality and the ‘chink chink’ of<br />

cash registers. Theatres in Melbourne are dying off, consumed<br />

by dull, conventional businesses. The Pram Factory,<br />

run by the Australian Performing Group, closed thirty years<br />

ago and is now a Woolworths. The Eastern Arcade, a former<br />

hub of nightlife and theatre in the early 1900s, also suffered<br />

a similar fate when demolished in 2008.<br />

If the Palace Theatre suffers the same end, an integral<br />

part of Melbourne’s past will be lost, and given our<br />

city holds few historical buildings, what remains should be<br />

preserved. The site’s origins trace to the lavish era of the<br />

Victorian Gold Rush, a pivotal part of the establishment of<br />

Victoria, whereby Thomas Mooney built the theatre along<br />

20-30 Bourke St. However, in 1911, the premises burnt<br />

down only to be rebuilt and named the ‘Palace’. The interior<br />

took on a whole new life when a new purchaser Benjamin<br />

Fuller in 1916 paid theatre architect Henry Eli White to<br />

make renovations consisting of a Louis XIV-inspired interior,<br />

complete with a marble staircase. Take away the Palace<br />

and these memories: those of an era where live theatre<br />

reigned supreme, where horse and carts were the preferred<br />

method of transport and people actually sent hand written<br />

letters to one another, they’ll be all but forgotten through<br />

the grey, stark walls of the present.<br />

The era of the depression saw the Palace renamed as<br />

‘The Apollo’ and used as a cinema. Indeed, over the next<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 45


What a tragedy<br />

would loom upon<br />

Melbourne if the<br />

theatre turns to<br />

ash... another<br />

loss of culture<br />

in the name of<br />

predictable, safe,<br />

savvy corporate<br />

enterprise.<br />

century, the premises would gain a whole series of names<br />

and identities. In 1973, as the world went through a cultural<br />

revolution, the musical Hair was performed and the cinema<br />

was again renamed ‘The Palace’. In 1987, the Palace flourished<br />

in a golden age when the site was converted into a<br />

nightclub, opened then by Molly Meldrum. It was, for twenty<br />

years, a successful music venue.<br />

So, is it only bricks and mortar then? This is the<br />

opinion of Jinshan Investments, who in 2012 purchased<br />

the premises for $11.2 million, with grand plans of turning<br />

the theatre into a 30-storey, 5-star hotel. However,<br />

these dreams were short lived as the now former planning<br />

Minister Matthey Guy denied the plans over an eighteen<br />

month battle. Jinshan conceded to build a seven-storey<br />

hotel.<br />

After the plans were announced to the public, the<br />

National Trust and Melbourne City council, along with ‘Save<br />

the Palace’, began rallying to prevent the building’s destruction.<br />

Jinshan began work on the theatre. The Imperial<br />

French inspired ceilings were plastered over, the amphitheatre<br />

slowly dismantled and the beautiful roman-inspired<br />

marble staircase jack-hammered, its remains found on a garbage<br />

tip out the front of the worksite. A mutilation indeed.<br />

In their ruthless conduct, the corporate giant has ignored<br />

the wishes of the public, the historical significance of the<br />

site, and the overall integrity of the premises.<br />

Now Jinshan argues the Palace has no heritage value<br />

and thus can be demolished.<br />

However, the National Trust and Melbourne City<br />

Council rightly claim that the building is something far<br />

greater than a material object, only valued by aesthetic<br />

qualities. They argue the Palace’s worth lies in its historical<br />

and social significance.<br />

Is this enough? Every building carries meaning: a past,<br />

present and future. The Palace is one that should withstand<br />

the years. Every stage show, theatrical triumph and flop,<br />

films, spilt drinks, missing props, dancing, and – above all,<br />

every person entertained and performer in their element.<br />

What a tragedy would loom upon Melbourne if the theatre<br />

turns to ash, like the Pram Factory and Eastern Arcade; another<br />

loss of culture in the name of predictable, safe, savvy<br />

corporate enterprise. To date, the ‘Save the Palace’ Facebook<br />

page has over 37,000 likes supporting the theatre’s existence.<br />

Evidently, the public want the building to remain. If<br />

Jinshan is successful, their plan is to leave only the face of<br />

the Palace mounted upon the entrance of the hotel. A shadow<br />

of its former, glorious self.<br />

In May 2015, the initial VCAT hearing occurred.<br />

However, a judgement was not made as Helen Gibson, a<br />

member of the Tribunal, owned a National Trust membership.<br />

The case was re-heard with a different panel, in the<br />

interest of justice and avoiding potential bias. Thus, the trial<br />

was pushed back another six months to the final week of<br />

February with the Palace crumbling, unloved, dejected and<br />

silent after so many years of life.<br />

Both sides have spoken. A decision should be handed<br />

down over the next few weeks. So, what happens if Jinshan<br />

loses? If the Palace remains, gutted of its interior, what<br />

will the premises’ future be? There is no use if the ‘For Sale’<br />

sign is erected on a part-demolished building site. However,<br />

there are prospective buyers – thus, options to secure the<br />

theatre’s safe journey through the next century.<br />

The State Government could purchase the premises,<br />

as they did in the 1970s with a fifty precent share in the<br />

Regent Theatre, as premier Dick Hamer made a heroic move<br />

to save the theatre. However, the State Government, in<br />

2013, declared they would not purchase the site. So, another<br />

alternative: the British based, Mint Group, who successfully<br />

guided Camden Palace Theatre in London through a<br />

2004 re-opening as a live music venue named KOKO, have<br />

expressed interest in buying the Palace and performing a<br />

similar renovation.<br />

Thus, if Melbourne City Council and National Trust<br />

are victorious from the secondary hearing, there is a potential<br />

resurrection for the Palace. From the darkness, may rise<br />

a new beginning, one to inspire the next generation of performers.<br />

Indeed, the damage caused by Jinshan investments<br />

could be repaired by a minute restoration argued by heritage<br />

expert, Anna Foley at the hearing. Therefore, if VCAT rules<br />

in favour of the Melbourne City Council, and National trust,<br />

there is a bright future for the Palace.<br />

Now, all we can do is wait. Have faith in the justice<br />

system, that the people’s voices will be heard.<br />

Or else, should Jinshan succeed, and demolish the<br />

heart of the Palace, the premises will become merely another<br />

commercial building, its uniqueness lost, the final theatre<br />

on Bourke St all but ash, resulting in the death of an icon.<br />

46 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


April<br />

gig<br />

guide<br />

by Layla Homewood<br />

Illustration by Karla Engdahl<br />

Like all other Melbournians, you're probably beginning to<br />

suffer from what can only be described as "post summer<br />

gig depression". The main cause perhaps boils down<br />

to attending too many cheap concerts in quick succession,<br />

only to be now left with too much study and work to even<br />

find out when your favourite band is playing next. But good<br />

news, children! We've found a cure for such a terrible illness.<br />

In order to revitalise your thirst for live music and ease that<br />

sadness, we've complied a quick list of cheap and free gigs<br />

in Melbourne for April. So, while we cannot help with the<br />

completion of mid semester assignments, we can at least<br />

help you in forgetting that they exist by having a sick time<br />

at the following events:<br />

Saskwatch<br />

Price: $17 | When: 8/4 | Where: The Corner Hotel<br />

This Melbourne band is back, with a massive tour for<br />

their third album Sorry I Let it Come Between Us, and this is a<br />

gig that you won't want to miss. You can bet that Saskwatch<br />

will bring a chill crowd with prime dance moves and vibes to<br />

match their relaxed, soul sounds. With dirt cheap tickets for<br />

this local band, you'd be mad to not snag one up quickly.<br />

Modern Baseball<br />

Price: $33 | When: 9/4 and 10/4<br />

Where: The Rev and The Corner Hotel<br />

This is a slightly steeper price, but for this band all the<br />

way from America, you can bet that they'll give it their all.<br />

We all remember their release of Your Graduation in 2014<br />

which dominated Triple J radio for a solid four consecutive<br />

months, and to see this live, along with the rest of their<br />

pop-punk tunes would be one hell of an experience. Ensure<br />

you wear comfortable shoes though, and prepare yourself<br />

for a bit of a mosh.<br />

Gang of Youths<br />

Price: $46 | When: 21/4 | Where: 170 Russell<br />

After their first show sold out well before they were<br />

due to play, Gang of Youths have graciously announced another<br />

Melbourne show. I know this isn't exactly considered<br />

a cheap concert to go to (we're all uni students here, trust<br />

me, I understand how many goon sacks 46 dollars can get<br />

you), but Gang of Youths just keep getting bigger and better,<br />

and before you know it, that $46 ticket will just get more<br />

expensive as their fan base continues to grow.<br />

A Secret Place<br />

Price: FREE | When: now until 30/6<br />

Where: Unknown<br />

Fancy a trip to a 1950s New York club, complete with<br />

an array of cocktails and live jazz music? Screw that $2000<br />

plane ticket. Grab whatever shrapnel you can find under<br />

the couch cushions, load up your myki card with it, and hop<br />

on the train to Bourke Street instead. You're only told the<br />

exact location of this exclusive joint when your booking is<br />

confirmed, and if you're on the guest list you can skip the<br />

entry fee. Only open to the public on Thursday nights this<br />

underground jazz club is a perfect way to spend an evening<br />

in style after a day full of mind melting lectures.<br />

The Night Cat<br />

Price: FREE | When: Fridays-Sundays<br />

Where: Fitzroy<br />

If music that you tend to hear on your way to uni day<br />

in and day out isn't what you want to actively seek on your<br />

weekends, maybe the Latin salsa and hip-hop at The Night<br />

Cat is what you need. Who's playing when varies from night<br />

to night, so you'll have to be sure to check what you're in<br />

for on the night you decide to go. But no matter who's on<br />

the stage, you'll be sure to have one hell of a boogie to some<br />

incredible, fresh beats.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 47


Autumn<br />

Adventures<br />

by Melissa Fernando<br />

Illustration by Elsie Dusting<br />

The autumn season is a great time to get out and about<br />

in Melbourne! Although many of us call this great city<br />

home, I’m sure a few of us really know how many great<br />

outdoor spots there are so close to us. The autumn months<br />

bring with them a relaxing cool weather perfect for outdoor<br />

activities as you won’t be too hot or too cold! So don’t be an<br />

[April] fool, March on down to these fabulous locations and<br />

you May find something special (see what I did there?).<br />

Cape Schanck<br />

Within an hour drive away from Monash Clayton,<br />

Cape Schanck is the perfect place to enjoy a little bit of<br />

everything. Throughout history, the coastline has been an<br />

important location, especially for Aboriginal Australians<br />

who gathered shellfish amongst other foods here for many<br />

thousands of years. The beauty and importance of Cape<br />

Schanck has not been forgotten today, as while it is a popular<br />

spot for tourist activity, most of the natural sights and<br />

beaches remain unspoiled by human interaction. Nestled<br />

into the southern-most point of the Mornington Peninsula,<br />

its uniqueness perhaps lies in its duality in terrain. While<br />

some areas of the Cape are covered in continuous sandy<br />

beaches, The Board walk towards Pebble Beach provide<br />

adventurers with the rocky ruggedness of this coastal area,<br />

with views such as Pulpit Rock, Elephant Rock and Castle<br />

Rock. The Cape Schanck Lighthouse built in 1859 is also a<br />

popular tourist destination with spectacular coastal views.<br />

There are also arrays of scenic walks to explore, with ample<br />

chance of greeting a kangaroo or an albatross. From monstrous<br />

sand dunes near its coastline beaches to uninhabited<br />

rock pools, Cape Schanck offers travellers the chance for a<br />

true adventure.<br />

48 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Peninsula Hot Springs.<br />

As the weather begins to cool, it’s only natural to<br />

want to feel warm again! Well, you can do so naturally at<br />

Peninsula Hot Springs in Fingal, Mornington Peninsula.<br />

Hot Springs like this occur due to the fact that centre of the<br />

Earth’s temperature is equivalent to the surface temperature<br />

of the sun and just like the sun, heat radiates outwards,<br />

and warms up any water sources with which it comes into<br />

contact. The pools and baths at this award winning location<br />

contain these natural thermal mineral waters and provide<br />

ultimate relaxation. This hot springs experience will set<br />

you back $35-40 for Bath House bathing, or $55-60 for the<br />

pricier Spa Dreaming Centre option. Keep in mind though<br />

concession prices are available. Depending on the day and<br />

time you go you may have to book online first so be sure to<br />

check the website for details.<br />

Trentham Falls<br />

Far away in the distant Daylesford area lies a spectacular<br />

waterfall tucked away from human activity. Trentham<br />

Falls is the longest single drop fall in Victoria which formed<br />

5 million years ago. It lies one and a half hours away from<br />

Clayton, North East of the city. The cooler months are a<br />

great time to visit waterfalls as the water supply is abundant,<br />

creating a wonderful flow, compared to the summer<br />

trickle. The steep cliffs block out the sweltering sun for a<br />

relaxing, cool shelter. The viewing point for the waterfall is<br />

about 100 metres from the parking destination, and despite<br />

multiple signs saying “NO ACCESS” beyond this point,<br />

many people still continue down the cliffs to the base of the<br />

waterfall for a soothing swim.<br />

Half Moon Bay<br />

Half Moon Bay, a crescentic-shaped beach only 30<br />

minutes from Monash is located in the suburb of Black<br />

Rock. Being only 350 meters long and quite protected from<br />

harsh sea waters, Half Moon Bay is a safe place to explore.<br />

This sandy sea shore is the perfect place for tanning, relaxing,<br />

fishing, swimming and surfing. The bay is surrounded<br />

by impressive cliffs, where divers are often spotted taking a<br />

plunge into the blue sea. If the scenery looks familiar to you,<br />

it may be due to the fact that the beach was often shot in<br />

everyone’s favourite 90’s children’s show Round the Twist.<br />

The beach’s charm was also featured in the classic Mad Max.<br />

Fruit Picking<br />

If you feel like doing something that does not include<br />

water then why not try fruit picking? Take advantage of<br />

the abundance of fresh fruit and veggies available at farms<br />

and paddocks close to Melbourne. Many find this activity<br />

relaxing and satisfying, and, of course, you get to eat what<br />

you collect! Although make sure you search each fruit picking<br />

farm the day before you venture out to ensure that the<br />

fruits are still in season.<br />

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm – Strawberries<br />

(Nov-May) 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge.<br />

Paynes Orchads – Apples (March – May) 372<br />

Bacchus Marsh Rd<br />

Blue Hills Berries – Strawberries (Nov-May) 27<br />

Parker Rd, Silvan Victoria<br />

Fairy Cove<br />

No fairies have been spotted (yet) at Fairy Cove,<br />

but the beauty of this isolated, serene seashore is enough<br />

to be wondered by. Hidden in the vast region of Wilsons<br />

Promontory lies a beach so secret that google maps doesn’t<br />

even register its existence. The trek to Fairy Cove includes<br />

a drive to the Darby River where there will be parking, and<br />

then about an hour’s walk on the Tongue Point Track to get<br />

to Fairy Cove.<br />

Lake Eildon National Park<br />

This national park is the furthest location on this list,<br />

as you will need two and a half hours to reach your destination.<br />

However, to make up for the distance, Lake Eildon<br />

provides us with a plethora of things to do at this versatile<br />

location. You can hire a houseboat and float across the<br />

dam, or decide take a swim or even water ski if you're lucky<br />

enough to have one. If fishing is your thing, get there early.<br />

And I mean early, like 6am early. If you’re in the mood for a<br />

naturistic walk with wondrous sights, attempt the Blowhard<br />

Summit walking trail, which should roughly take another<br />

2.5 hours. Once you reach the summit you will be rewarded<br />

with a spectacular view of Mount Buller in the distance.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 49


Deadpool:<br />

A fresh look at<br />

reinventing the<br />

R-rated superhero<br />

by Gazain Zia<br />

Illustration by Ceitidh Hopper<br />

Some of Hollywood’s box office successes over the past<br />

year have heavily emphasized their ability to appeal to<br />

a wide, family-friendly target audience. With this in mind,<br />

it’s no surprise that many big titles such as Guardians of the<br />

Galaxy, The Avengers and Star Wars rely on keeping their<br />

content PG. It not only allows younger, upcoming fans to<br />

view these movies, but also a large segment of the public<br />

to involve themselves into the culture and fan base that<br />

these movies have created. With the release of Deadpool and<br />

its heavily appreciated R-rating, a new stream of fans has<br />

emerged that Hollywood has yet to really take advantage of.<br />

The tale of a bloodthirsty mercenary with a penchant<br />

for juvenile humour, Deadpool challenges the previous trend<br />

of comic book heroes that seem so focused on appealing to<br />

the younger crowd, and potentially splits the demographic<br />

between them, and older die-hard fans.<br />

The idea of releasing a movie for one of comic book’s<br />

most entertaining characters was surely about appealing<br />

to a specific group. Fans of Deadpool were already familiar<br />

with the character’s dark humour and gory violence before<br />

the movie had even released. Using an R-rating was a matter<br />

of staying true to the character’s origins, rather than altering<br />

a story to allow for mass market appeal. It gave a sense<br />

of ownership to fans who knew exactly what to expect in<br />

the movie, along with allowing the director to play around<br />

with the film’s comedy without the limitations of political<br />

correctness. In fact, one of the biggest reasons this movie<br />

had been so anticipated was because fans could finally see a<br />

character that had no restrictions in his performance, and<br />

could play out as extravagantly as the script required. One<br />

of the drawbacks to any R-rated movie is the limited number<br />

of viewers your movie could have.<br />

Yet despite this, Deadpool has broken several box<br />

office records such as biggest R-rated opening weekend,<br />

and biggest opening weekend for a first-time director. This<br />

could indicate that by bringing a purely fan-focused film<br />

adaptation of a comic book character, viewers are left more<br />

satisfied. They are also left more supportive of movies that<br />

choose to go beyond the usual kid-friendly trend in comic<br />

book movies. Film studios have already experimented with<br />

R-rated comic book adaptations in the past, and produced<br />


some titles such as Watchmen, 300 and Sin City that have<br />

not been too memorable. While these movies did produce<br />

some impressive numbers and gained a fair amount of critical<br />

acclaim, their impact on the general public was limited<br />

because of their R-rated content, with their ability to create<br />

a fan culture (including demand for sequels, merchandise,<br />

and cosplay) could only go so far without being exposed to a<br />

younger generation of viewers.<br />

However, Deadpool has been enough of a success to<br />

possibly reinvent the R-rated comic-book genre early on in<br />

<strong>2016</strong>, and could potentially open up a new era of hero and<br />

antihero (I’m looking at you, Carnage) adaptations. This<br />

could very well be a trend that has already taken its course,<br />

as there has already been mention of a director’s cut edition<br />

of Batman vs Superman with an R-rating attached.<br />

Keeping a PG rating has also allowed these franchises<br />

to break into merchandising via toys, books, and costumes.<br />

This is a market that’s not as easy to be involved in as an<br />

R-rated flick. Another arguably more irritating factor is criticism<br />

from parents and other guardian groups looking out<br />

for their own children. It’s pretty upsetting that despite the<br />

maturity implied with every rating, there are still members<br />

of the public that look to shamelessly demand censorship<br />

and diminish the creative effort of movie makers.<br />

The most appalling example I’ve seen has been a<br />

petition by concerned mother Grace Randolph to release<br />

a PG-13 version of Deadpool that already has nearly four<br />

thousand signatures. “If there was a PG-13 version [young<br />

viewers]... could be superhero[es] rather than... super-villain[s]...”<br />

claimed Randolph.<br />

It’s scenarios like these that raise the question:<br />

When does the blame shift from the (openly specified)<br />

violence and graphic nudity in movies, to the clueless and<br />

unprepared viewer? There always seems to be a minority of<br />

viewers that publicly go against the content of controversial<br />

movies, and those in the R-rated genre are no strangers at<br />

being criticized by the disapproving eyes of the internet.<br />

Luckily, if done right, movies like Deadpool can satisfy<br />

enough fans and like-minded viewers to overcome any<br />

criticism from the unprepared. This movie has set an example<br />

for directors and studios. It’s a successful comic book<br />

adaptation that has taken a unique approach to storytelling,<br />

allowing Deadpool as a character to play to his fullest<br />

potential. Its R-rated antics have been accepted as a breath<br />

of fresh air, and it’s made a large enough impact that’s continuing<br />

to gain attention for its ability to break out of the<br />

PG loop and into the zone of R-rated performances.<br />

Despite all the backlash, a good comic book film<br />

should only be judged by its appeal to its fans and mastering<br />

the identity of a character that’s only previously been seen<br />

on paper. While most comic book franchises continue to<br />

remain loyal to the PG market, Deadpool has proven that a<br />

movie can still be successful outside of the norm so long as<br />

it remains loyal to its origins.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 51


by Clarissa Kwee<br />

Illustration by Natalie Ng<br />

The (Norse) Gods have truly blessed us for choice in source<br />

material for superheroes, and we aren’t shy about delivery.<br />

Since the release of X-Men in 2000, an average six superhero<br />

films have been released each year, meaning there have been<br />

64 major superhero films in the last decade, on top of hours<br />

and hours of small screen adaptations being consistently rolled<br />

out. Superheroes have become ingrained into everyday culture,<br />

with one of Comic-Con’s hallmarks being its cosplayers who<br />

dress as their favourite caped crusaders without shame. Clark<br />

Kent, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker have become millennial<br />

household names. But there are some who argue that the rapid<br />

influx of superhero media to grace our screens has run the<br />

genre into the ground. Even the noisy and dedicated comic-book<br />

fandoms cannot prevent these movies and shows from<br />

“cannibalising one another” (Dominick Mayer, Daily Dot); ‘Peak<br />

Superhero’ seems to truly be upon us.<br />

Though most superhero media shares the same bloodlines,<br />

the source material is chopped and changed to suit new<br />

mediums, and the tonal shift between each new franchise<br />

means there is literally something for everyone. On the small<br />

screen, Fox’s Gotham dabbles in the thriller-crime genre, CBS’s<br />

Supergirl adopts a plucky and heartfelt register, while ABC’s<br />

Agent Carter is a drama about spycraft in the forties. At the<br />

same time, 20 new superhero flicks are poised in the movie<br />

line-up until 2020. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has nearly<br />

swallowed the market whole, bearing resemblance to a golden<br />

goose that lays as many of its episodic, blockbuster eggs as<br />

possible, like an ‘annual TV show’. Meanwhile DC lumbers light<br />

years behind in terms of its commercial success, the transcendent<br />

rivalry between the two Goliaths coming to a head with<br />

<strong>2016</strong>’s Batman v Superman and the two Justice League movies<br />

hope to rival the gargantuan Avengers: Infinity Wars of 2018.<br />

The period up until 2020 may appease true comic-book<br />

aficionados, being peppered with out-of-the-box releases,<br />

like Aquaman and Dr. Strange. Or with remakes, including<br />

Spiderman being dragged into cinemas for its third rehash<br />

since 2000 by Sony. They say strength comes in numbers, but<br />

most of these heroes hold up both buildings and box offices on<br />

their own. At this point, aren’t there too many cooks in Hell’s<br />

Kitchen?<br />

In terms of both comic-book adaptations and modern<br />

remakes, the variety of content has plateaued superhero media<br />

into the same patriarchal universes, rhythmic execution, and<br />

disintegrating save-the-universe plots. Matt Zoller Seitz, from<br />

review site Roger Ebert is unabashedly cynical about the superhero<br />

deluge, a genre “where the imagination goes to drown<br />

itself”. Maybe he has a point. Our heads might not yet be fully<br />

submerged underwater, but our lungs are slowly filling with the<br />

string of special effects replicated per fight or flight sequence,<br />

ebbing numbingly into one murky digital sea. It seems like studios<br />

are merely trying to capitalise on the grand success they’re<br />

already experiencing. But despite big budgets, this media isn’t<br />

as invincible as the heroes it features. Early seasons of CW’s<br />

Arrow and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. received criticism for<br />

uneven tone, one ridiculed for its soap-operatic tendencies<br />

and the other for doing little but “Scooby-Dooing around the<br />

Marvel Universe” (Grantland). Grantland’s Mark Harris likens<br />

the superhero craze to a ‘tulip fever’, where the genre’s market<br />

is speculated to have no limits and continue to grow exponentially,<br />

so society mindlessly buys into the hype, with most<br />

superheroes being commodified as brands rather than original<br />

content. Every time a new Spiderman is cast, dolls have to be<br />

52 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


remodelled, and new video games have to be released. The horizontal<br />

convergence that spreads to other industries is almost<br />

limitless.<br />

But speaking literally, maybe we can’t say we have<br />

reached peak – which infers best – just quite yet. Despite the<br />

high-profile releases that much superhero media is treated to,<br />

sometimes the least assuming heroes end up surprising us the<br />

most (Guardians of the Galaxy excited very few people in its<br />

pre-production stages). For starters, Marvel and Netflix have<br />

buddied up to conceptualise a Defenders series; think of it like<br />

a gritty, streetwise Avengers-esque ensemble, only set in the<br />

big sprawling metropolis of Manhattan, New York. Only the instalments<br />

of Daredevil and Jessica Jones have been released thus<br />

far, but the latter in particular hints at the potential superhero<br />

media has to climb higher and darker than it ever has before.<br />

Daredevil is excellent in its own right, but Matt Murdock isn’t<br />

so dissimilar to his other cinematic Marvel counterparts in that<br />

he is a do-gooder trying to do right by the wrong people.<br />

Jessica Jones, on the other hand, is the quintessential<br />

anti-hero. Shows like the latter, in particular, are a paucity<br />

because they nix the genre conventions. Popular construction<br />

of superheroes features many hyper-masculine, philanthropic<br />

men in an array of costumes. Jessica Jones is a leather-jacketed<br />

angel forced to unfurl her wings; an unapologetically cynical,<br />

broken woman who can throw a man across the room, has outbursts<br />

of rage and self-medicates with hard liquor. Often the<br />

genre chronicles the transformation of an unassuming young<br />

boy into a hero; Jessica Jones can be described as a post-hero<br />

story, where she tried the whole superhero thing, everything<br />

went pear-shaped, and she left her dreams of valour at the<br />

doorstep of Hell’s Kitchen. The show is as open and frank as its<br />

eponymous star, refusing to be coy on the exploration of traditionally<br />

taboo media topics like rape, post-traumatic stress disorder,<br />

sexuality, and sociopathy. But Jessica is as far-removed<br />

from the role of a femme fatale (a role undertaken by equally<br />

enthralling villain Kilgrave) as can be. She’s an antihero, she’s<br />

broken and she openly ridicules caped costumes– and the world<br />

loves her for just being her. Even if she never gets her own<br />

Barbie doll, Jessica Jones is considered unorthodox as a hero<br />

for the exact reasons that make her a trailblazer in the genre.<br />

At the same time, the young, white, heterosexual and idealistic<br />

superhero demographic is slowly opening up to new faces<br />

that continually upend superhero norms. Luke Cage is soon to<br />

join Matt and Jessica to defend the streets of the Big Apple, as<br />

the first lead African American superhero on the big or small<br />

screens. Suicide Squad completely inverts traditional ‘hero’<br />

archetypes; the reason they become heroes is because they were<br />

villains first. And the Amazon Wonder Woman finally gets her<br />

own movie in 2017 after countless years being one of the best<br />

known figures on the DC stage. What Jessica Jones affirms is<br />

that because superhero media also hybridises genres, storylines<br />

aren’t only involved with supernatural origins, superhuman<br />

abilities or supervillain foes anymore; the earthly world can collide<br />

with the unearthly. We need to remember that qualifying<br />

‘Peak Superhero’ is more important that quantifying it. Some<br />

of the most poignant narratives to come out of the superhero<br />

genre are not the birds and not the planes, but those that are<br />

the antithesis of their name; the hero is not reliant on its super<br />

preface, and likely never will be again.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 53


Illustration by Karla Engdahl


The<br />

Proposal<br />

by A. Davis<br />

She dabbed her forehead with her napkin, sure that her<br />

hair would be like cotton candy by now, even just from<br />

the humidity radiating from her own scalp. Her pocket felt<br />

heavy as the decision weighed down on her. Hands shaking,<br />

she tried to fold the napkin and place it back on the table.<br />

He would be back from the bathroom any minute now.<br />

Every nerve in her body was on fire. Her heart beat violently<br />

against her ribs. Sweat glued her dress to her skin. She’d<br />

never quite felt this kind of stress before, but there was no<br />

more time for deliberation. She would have to choose.<br />

“What’s wrong, Ella?” Dan asked, his arms wrapped<br />

around her.<br />

“Nothing, I’m fine.”<br />

Dan snuggled closer, worried by her quick response.<br />

He placed a hand on her cheek so she couldn’t avoid his<br />

gaze. “Do you want to talk about it?”<br />

Ella sighed, “I just…” She paused, she wasn’t sure how<br />

much she could tell him without letting him know things he<br />

shouldn’t.“I just have a big decision to make.”<br />

He placed a small kiss on her nose. “You know you can<br />

do anything you put your mind to, right?”<br />

“I know… I’m just worried I might ruin everything if I<br />

make the wrong choice.”<br />

“Never,” He kissed her on the lips this time. “I will<br />

always be here to support you, no matter what.”<br />

Ella feigned a smile and rolled over, pretending to go<br />

to sleep.<br />

He said he would stay with her no matter what.<br />

She wasn’t so sure.<br />

Rain chilled her to the bone. Dripping, she entered the<br />

impossibly white store nestled between a designer clothes<br />

boutique and the café she’d been meaning to try for a while<br />

now, but never thought to go.<br />

“Long time no see, Ella.” The storeowner greeted her<br />

as she tried to avoid getting any of the displays wet.<br />

“How are you, Chris?” Ella asked, pushing damp<br />

strands of hair out of her face.<br />

“Good.” He replied, “I wasn’t sure you were coming<br />

back, you know.”<br />

“Are they done?”<br />

“Of course.” Chris reached down and pulled a small,<br />

black box out from under the counter. “Take a look.”<br />

Ella nervously took the box from him and opened it. A<br />

small gasp escaped as she gazed at the surreal beauty of its<br />

contents. They were so much more than anything she had<br />

imagined.<br />

Fidgeting with her cutlery, Ella dwelled on all the<br />

reasons why she shouldn’t do this, why she was making the<br />

wrong decision. She sipped her wine, awaiting his return.<br />

He returned from the bathroom, resuming his spot<br />

across the table from Ella.<br />

It was time.<br />

She stood up from her seat.<br />

Her knee collided with the table.<br />

“Ow…” She mumbled as she rubbed her developing<br />

bruise. The entire restaurant turned to stare at her, causing<br />

her cheeks to burn.<br />

“Ella! Are you okay?” Dan asked. His brow furrowed.<br />

Ella’s blush deepened.<br />

“I’m fine! I’m fine…”<br />

“Are you sure you’re okay? Did you need to go to the<br />

bathroom?”<br />

“No! It’s nothing…”<br />

Dan tilted his head like a puppy. Ella faltered. She<br />

couldn’t lose those warm, hazelnut eyes.<br />

Hesitating, she put her hand to the table to guide<br />

herself back to her seat, knocking a glass of red wine over as<br />

she did so. Tears stung her eyes. It was wrong, all wrong.<br />

“Ella, what’s wrong?” Those eyes again; full of concern.<br />

Ella knew what to do.<br />

Ignoring the other diners, the staff and the spreading<br />

stain over her dress, Ella moved beside Dan, her motions<br />

full of purpose now, not a hint of a second-thought. She<br />

dropped to one knee.<br />

“Dan…” Concern turned to shock, “Will you marry<br />

me?” Ella pushed the small, black box towards him and<br />

opened it, revealing two, beautiful rings.<br />

A silence fell across the restaurant.<br />

Ella stared into Dan’s eyes which appeared to be glowing<br />

with something. Was it… joy?<br />

Dan grinned. “Of course I will, Ella.” He stood up and<br />

pulled her up from the floor into an embrace. She relaxed<br />

into his arms. Relief slowed her racing heart and a sense of<br />

calm contentedness soothed her raw nerves.<br />

“Do you like your ring?” She asked.<br />

“It’s perfect.”<br />

They exchanged rings as the restaurant cheered.<br />

One problem still troubled Ella.<br />

“You don’t mind that I proposed?”<br />

He shook his head, “Ella, I want to spend the rest of<br />

my life with you. I don’t care which one of us had the guts to<br />

say that first.”<br />

The knot in her stomach that had been plaguing her<br />

for months finally unravelled.<br />

He had said yes.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 55

POETRY<br />

Beware: the choice is yours<br />

by Ed Jessop<br />

56 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

Illustration by Karla Engdahl


Impossible diplomacy<br />

by Justin Jones Li<br />

I<br />

’ve almost certainly been sent to die. We’ve already sent<br />

in tens of ambassadors, envoys, emissaries and diplomats.<br />

They never come back. And if I recall, there was always<br />

something not quite right about them. Wasn’t Jimmy<br />

accused of embezzlement that one time?<br />

Oh whatever. We’re past the gates to the city. There’s<br />

the embassy! It’s so good to finally see someone not wearing<br />

one of those creepy masks. The guards smile as we make it<br />

through. Is there something behind those smiles? Do they<br />

know what happens to our fine citizens?<br />

The carriage stops at the front door. I get out with the<br />

two local escorts who were keeping watch on me. They’ve<br />

still got those white discs covering their faces, with those<br />

pitch black slits for eyes and a thin smile painted on.<br />

One of my escorts knocks on the door. It opens.<br />

Another masked figure appears. We walk in.<br />

The locals lead me through the building. The walls are<br />

painted pink and decorated with little claw marks. I notice<br />

the smell of mint in the air. I think it might be soothing me.<br />

They lead me to a door with a smiley face painted on<br />

in black. Just like on their masks. It’s starting to take effort<br />

to breathe.<br />

The door opens on its own, and the locals usher me<br />

through. It leads to a corridor with open doors on either<br />

side. The locals gesture towards each one as we walk past. I<br />

think they’re letting me take a peek.<br />

I see skeletons on the floor. The ground feels like it’s<br />

being taken from under me. The locals hold me up, and they<br />

basically drag me along. My legs shake as they slide across<br />

the floor.<br />

More skeletons. What will befall me? What do these<br />

people want with us?<br />

I see an emaciated man lying on his belly. Life returns<br />

to my feet. I shrug off the locals and run back to the room.<br />

It’s Jimmy! Thin and exhausted, but unmistakably it is<br />

him. But why is he in this room?<br />

I take a closer look. Right in front of Jimmy is a white<br />

cat. He seems to be lifting his hand, trying to… pet this cat.<br />

I have to get out of here. I turn around to fight off<br />

my captors. Their mask and clothes fell apart, and two cats<br />

emerged from each set. They all meow at me.<br />

So cute! Why would I want to leave? Oh, I just want<br />

to pat them all! Hey, where are they going? Come here,<br />

kitty-kitty!<br />

58 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Illustration by Emily Dang

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