12.03.2024 Views

Lot's Wife Edition 6 2016

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

LOT’S WIFE<br />

— EDITION SIX —


Career Focused<br />

Master Degrees<br />

Science and medical science<br />

Take your talent to the next level with<br />

an RMIT postgraduate degree in clinical science.<br />

RMIT’s new Master of Nanotechnology and Smart Materials will equip<br />

you with specialist knowledge and advanced skills in the application<br />

and research of nanotechnology and new materials.<br />

The Master of Biotechnology and Master of Laboratory Medicine are<br />

industry accredited and lead to opportunities in diagnostics, pathology,<br />

food technology, pharmaceuticals and clinical microbiology.<br />

Commonwealth supported places are available for the Master of<br />

Biotechnology and Master of Laboratory Medicine for Semester 1, 2017.<br />

> Postgrad Info Session<br />

Tuesday 18 October<br />

4.30–6.30pm<br />

RMIT Storey Hall,<br />

342 Swanston Street<br />

www.rmit.edu.au/postgraduate<br />

CRICOS: 00122A<br />

RTO: 3046<br />

RMI0043_Uni_Student_Mag_Ad_Lots_<strong>Wife</strong>_140x200_FA.indd 1<br />

12/09/<strong>2016</strong> 4:42 PM


CONTENTS<br />

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

written, illustrated, edited and<br />

distributed by students,<br />

just like yourself!<br />

If you would like to be<br />

involved, we are always always<br />

always looking for new<br />

contributors and 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 />

My name is Monica Hunt and<br />

I’m currently in my third year<br />

of studying Arts/Visual Art.<br />

My practice is heavily improvisational,<br />

and thus often<br />

leads to abstract imagery. I<br />

don’t let my mind interfere too<br />

much with my image making,<br />

I let the pen do the work so<br />

to speak.<br />

You can find my art on<br />

Facebook: Ismonia Art<br />

Instagram: @ismonia<br />

Twitter: @ismoniart<br />

STUDENT<br />

08<br />

11<br />

13<br />

15<br />

16<br />

18<br />

20<br />

SCIENCE<br />

CREATIVE<br />

SOCIETY<br />

23<br />

25<br />

26<br />

28<br />

30<br />

31<br />

39<br />

40<br />

I want to believe<br />

Up all night to get lucky<br />

47<br />

49<br />

41 Electrons are the creepiest<br />

particle<br />

50<br />

42 Procedural generation in No 53<br />

Mans Sky<br />

44 Living in a dematerial world<br />

54<br />

45 Science Crossword<br />

56<br />

60<br />

Inhospitable conditions<br />

Survive the summer<br />

FABSOC spring <strong>2016</strong><br />

Multilingual Melbournians<br />

Interview with MCJAF<br />

The case for independent media<br />

Office bearer reports<br />

Photo essay<br />

Transition to earlier<br />

61 the memoryboat<br />

62 How to remove the training wheels<br />

63 An experiment in understanding<br />

64 CIty adopted<br />

66 The things we like<br />

Positively paradoxical<br />

The #hashtag movement<br />

Good for you<br />

We need to talk about Lionel<br />

Politics in trenches<br />

Wot’s Life with monorail man<br />

CULTURE<br />

Cartoons find their serious side<br />

Wonder Woman<br />

A beginners guide to film<br />

photography<br />

Pon pon pop<br />

Some of the best podcasts<br />

BONUS<br />

06 Contributor thankyou<br />

32 Results of MSA elections<br />

34 Centrefold: Pull-out<br />

calendar and poster<br />

Pattern by Natalie Ng<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 3


EDITORS<br />

Timothy Newport<br />

Carina Florea<br />

Lisa Healy<br />

DESIGN<br />

Natalie Ng<br />

SUB-EDITORS<br />

STUDENT<br />

SOCIETY<br />

Tricia Ong<br />

Jermaine Doh<br />

Rajat Lal<br />

Matthew Edwards<br />

Ishana Srivastava-Khan<br />

Maddy Luke<br />

CARINA FLOREA<br />

SCIENCE<br />

CULTURE<br />

CREATIVE<br />

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

October <strong>2016</strong><br />

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

Level 1, Campus Centre<br />

Monash University<br />

Clayton, Victoria 3800<br />

Kinto Behr<br />

Kathy Zhang<br />

Mevani Amarasinghe<br />

Lachlan Liesfield<br />

Georgina Lee<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 />

After the release of our first edition at the beginning of<br />

this year, Tim, Lisa and I sat in our office and wondered how the<br />

hell all our stands in the campus centre and Menzies had been<br />

emptied within a day. Our first suspect was that the cleaner had<br />

taken all the copies available to build some sort of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

paper fort or they just really really liked our science crossword.<br />

But as the year went by and our copies kept flying off<br />

the stands and our community of writers, illustrators and<br />

everything inbetween kept on growing, it became clear that<br />

people were picking up and reading our magazine and thats all<br />

we can really hope for.<br />

I am so proud of every single person that contributed and<br />

helped out and it’s been absolutely amazing getting to work with<br />

so many talented and hard working people.<br />

In the lead up to the printing deadline, we’re getting<br />

kicked out by security for staying in the building for too long so<br />

I will be quick.<br />

Thankyou and lots of love.<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 />

4 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


TIMOTHY NEWPORT<br />

LISA HEALY<br />

Wow. Wow wow wow.<br />

We made it. I mean, we as in editors, illustrators and<br />

writers, made it to the last edition. You’ve still got three weeks<br />

of class and who knows how many exams left, but hey! At least<br />

you’ve got this mag to see you through.<br />

I just want to personally thank all the people who made<br />

this happen, especially my sub-editors (Amber, Sarah, Audrey,<br />

Kathy, Ted and Mevani), our designer Nat, and our infinitely<br />

patient printer Mary. We would have literally exploded without<br />

you guys.<br />

It’s been an insane year. I think <strong>2016</strong>, like many of us, got<br />

screwed over by Allocate+: all the elections, natural disasters,<br />

and celebrity deaths got crammed into one year.<br />

If this has been a tough year for you, I want you to take a<br />

moment to breathe.<br />

In.<br />

And out.<br />

You’ve made it this far, and if you power on for another<br />

two months, holidays and all the sunburn and casual work that<br />

comes with them will be here. Brace yourself.<br />

Summer is coming.<br />

It’s been the best of times, it’s been the blurst of times.<br />

The curtains are closing and the lights are dimming so I’ll hustle<br />

with my thank-yous and good-byes.<br />

Firstly, thank you to our forever radiant contributors - Lot’s<br />

would have looked pretty dull without your presence.<br />

Cheers to all our gorgoeus sub-editors - your late-night edits<br />

meant the magazine actually had content.<br />

Thank you to the beautiful Nat. To quote Delta Goodrem circa<br />

2003, we would have been “lost without you” and the magazine<br />

would have missed out greatly this year without your touch (and I<br />

would have far more bald patches on my head from all the stress).<br />

To Maddy, Ovi and Tara - you’re the shining stars that we wanted<br />

the rest of the university to see twinkle. Lot’s may not be in your<br />

trusty hands, but never forget how amazing you are and that you<br />

have so much talent that the world has seen and will continue to<br />

see.<br />

To Tim and Carina - I don’t know what to say but thank you.<br />

You’ve made it one hell of a ride; it has sometimes been on cruise<br />

control, other times veered terribly off course, but we made it out<br />

alive. I feel utterly blesssed to have met and worked with you both<br />

(also, thanks for putting up with my daily anecdotes and incessant<br />

chattering. Also, dicks n shits, hacks n cracks).<br />

Bless all of the beautiful people who I have crossed paths with<br />

this year and who have made this experience what it is.<br />

And to Lot’s. I am so honoured to have edited your pages this<br />

year. I hope we were worthy enough and served you well. (Long live<br />

Ado/Edith).<br />

I’m gonna miss ya Lot’s. It’s been nice knowing ya.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 5


THANKYOU<br />

During our last proof reading session, we gathered as many<br />

contributors as we could for one last group photo. However,<br />

this is only a fraction of the students who have contributed<br />

throughout the year so we’ve published the names of<br />

A special thankyou goes out to Nat who is a legendary<br />

designer, amazing colleague, and huge nerd. We would<br />

have exploded by Feburary without you.<br />

everyone who lended a hand.<br />

We’d like to thank each and every one of our writers,<br />

illustrators, designers and anyone who helped out this year.<br />

Lot’s would be nothing without every single one of you and<br />

we are so glad to have worked with such a lovely bunch of<br />

people.<br />

6 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


A. A. Kostas<br />

Abdul Marian<br />

Alisoun Townsend<br />

Amber Davis<br />

Amber Francis<br />

Amelia Chin<br />

Anna Zhang<br />

Anagi Wickremasinghe<br />

Andrea Duval<br />

Angus Marian<br />

Anastasia Goutzoulas<br />

Audrey El-Osta<br />

Basia Mitula<br />

Ben Neve<br />

Brian Shih<br />

Brittany Wetherspoon<br />

Ceitidh Hopper<br />

Christina Dodds<br />

Claire Noonan<br />

Clarissa Kwee<br />

Chris Allen<br />

Dan Carter<br />

Dan Podbury<br />

Daniel Ffrench-Mullen<br />

Declan Trevv<br />

Devika Pandit<br />

Dilan Fernando<br />

Ed Jessop<br />

Elizabeth Bridges<br />

Elisie Dusting<br />

Elyse Walton<br />

Eliza Stribling<br />

Emily Dang<br />

Emily Holding<br />

Emma Simpkin<br />

FABSOC<br />

Gazain Zia<br />

Grace Wang<br />

George Kopelis<br />

Georgia Braun-Hutchinson<br />

Grace Frarccio<br />

Genevieve Townsend<br />

Harley McDonald-Eckersall<br />

Hashwina Vimalarajan<br />

Isaac Reichman<br />

Ishana Srivastava-Khan<br />

Ina Lee<br />

Jake Kirk<br />

James Temple<br />

James Quintana Pearce<br />

Jasmine Walter<br />

Jasmine Duff<br />

Jermaine Doh<br />

Jemma Cakebread<br />

Jena Oakford<br />

Jennifer Worthing<br />

Jessica Lehmann<br />

Jessica Stone<br />

Jessica Suares<br />

Julia Pillai<br />

Justin Jones Li<br />

Kathrine Mitula<br />

Kathy Zhang<br />

Kate Mani<br />

Karla Engdahl<br />

Kapil Bhargava<br />

Kinto Behr<br />

Kiowa Scott-Hurley<br />

Lachlan Liesfield<br />

Layla Homewood<br />

Lily Greenwood<br />

Linh Ngyen<br />

Lucie Cester<br />

Lucy Moloney<br />

Maddy Luke<br />

Manon Boutin Charles<br />

Matthew Edwards<br />

Melissa Ferndando<br />

Mevani Amarasinghe<br />

Michael Wilkinson<br />

Monica Hunt<br />

Nadia Dimattina<br />

Natalie Ng<br />

Nick Bugeja<br />

Nicholas D’Arcy<br />

Ninad Kulkarni<br />

Olivia Rossi<br />

Olivia Parry<br />

Oliva Walmsley<br />

Ovindu Rajasinghe<br />

Rachael Welling<br />

Rajat Lal<br />

Rhyss Wyllie<br />

Richard Furguson<br />

Rose Boyle<br />

Ruby Kammoora<br />

Ruby Muller<br />

Sarah Kay<br />

Sa Pasa<br />

Sarah-Grace Chedra<br />

Sachetha Bamunusinghe<br />

Sasha Hall<br />

Sian Mann<br />

Sigrid Lange<br />

Sophia McNamara<br />

Shannon Ly<br />

Stephen Encisco<br />

Steph Siomos<br />

Stephie Dim<br />

Sasha Hall<br />

Stefan Boscia<br />

Shivani Gopaul<br />

Tara Hellwege<br />

Tracy Chen<br />

Tricia Ong<br />

Verity Norbury<br />

Viet-My Bui<br />

Writey McWriteface<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 7


STUDENT<br />

Inhospitable<br />

conditions<br />

By Richard Ferguson<br />

Illustration by Elsie Dusting<br />

I<br />

f you’re reading this, you’re most likely a student. And if<br />

you’re a student, there is a good chance that you have, do<br />

or will work in the hospitality industry while studying. Along<br />

with retail, it’s one of the few feasible job prospects that can<br />

be accommodated around full-time study. And it can be a great<br />

experience: meeting people who you otherwise never would<br />

have, prolonged post-shift drinking sessions in which stories<br />

are shared and life lessons taught. I personally found this to<br />

be the case, especially in my twenties. I learned a lot from the<br />

opportunities I’ve had working as a waiter and a barman, and<br />

have many fond memories. However, this same industry is<br />

one where systematic worker exploitation and wage-theft is<br />

endemic. Many will know what I’m talking about: not having<br />

penalty or even base award rates paid, setting up or closing<br />

outside of the nominal shift hours, managers taking the lion’s<br />

share of tips, or worse still, owners taking tips for themselves<br />

(a particularly grey area in Australia where tipping is not well<br />

established).<br />

And it’s really hard to know how to feel about all of this. Is<br />

this fair practise? The generally accepted position is that there<br />

are unwritten rules for working in hospitality, which is that it’s<br />

often for cash payments below the award wage, without super<br />

payments, with each establishment having its own system of<br />

divvying up tips at the end of some period of time. Of course,<br />

this situation is most often completely opaque; it seems to be<br />

the case that none of this is discussed, you figure it out when<br />

you receive your first pay or you quietly ask a workmate when<br />

you’re polishing glasses. But the general justification for this<br />

dynamic seems to be that everyone accepts that turning a profit<br />

in hospitality is really, really hard and they simply can’t afford<br />

to pay the full-wage to staff. This is the regular industry argument<br />

against the validity of having to pay penalty rates in the<br />

evenings, on weekends and public holidays. This argument is<br />

easy to understand and get on board with. But it’s also a fallacy:<br />

it’s not a legitimate business practise– legally or morally– to<br />

base your business plan in part around wage theft. This was,<br />

as I’m sure many of you are aware, a major preoccupation of<br />

the twentieth-century. While I’m sure many restaurant owners<br />

wouldn’t recognise the practise in this way, this is in effect what<br />

it is.<br />

There is another dynamic at play: these jobs, casual jobs, are<br />

precarious by nature. There are very few protections for casual<br />

workers and those in hospitality are generally regarded as disposable.<br />

As Noam Chomsky outlines: “If workers are insecure<br />

they won't ask for wages, they won't go on strike, they won't<br />

call for benefits; they'll serve the masters gladly and passively”.<br />

It’s not that the cafe down the road is in the same league<br />

as Monsanto in terms of evilness, but the sum is that you can<br />

either accept the unspoken agreement or remain unemployed.<br />

Without meaningful income protection or universal income<br />

scheme, most will take the job. You have little choice. Like I<br />

mentioned, it’s hard to know how to feel about this. You might<br />

8 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


STUDENT<br />

see the job as transitory until your degree is finished and not<br />

care so much. On the other hand, you might be so grateful to<br />

have a job that it feels rich to want more (ie. the minimum<br />

wage). In any event, this situation is so entrenched that the devaluation<br />

of hospitality staff is reproduced by those staff themselves<br />

towards others. I’ve heard workmates in the past say<br />

that we weren’t worth the penalty rates, that we didn’t deserve<br />

them. Once an oppressive force manages to have its oppressed<br />

thinking contrary to their own best interests, something is seriously<br />

wrong. Let’s remember: the minimum wage as outlined<br />

has been determined by an independent body as to what one<br />

needs to be compensated considering the work being done, the<br />

time or day it’s being done, and the costs of living in Australia.<br />

So, why feel bad about wanting the minimum wage?<br />

Having long-since left an employer who grossly and systematically<br />

underpaid their staff, I came to this conclusion: that I<br />

worked hard, that I did the work and that I should have been<br />

paid for it. After undertaking some investigation as to where<br />

I stood, I approached my former employer. I must say, I was<br />

terrified. I dispassionately pointed out the “mistake” in my pay<br />

and requested that it be rectified. And they did. While there is<br />

this weird “mutual agreement”, there is a legal one detailed on<br />

Fair Work website. At the end of it, I received what amounted<br />

to almost 11% of what my total pay should have been. Can you<br />

imagine landing your first job after uni, signing a contract, and<br />

receiving your first pay 11% less? You would point out the discrepancy.<br />

That’s a significant amount to not be paid, especially<br />

when you’re on the minimum wage. In my case, I must admit<br />

to feeling underwhelmed after it all. I had hoped that as well<br />

as seeking some personal retribution, that this business owner<br />

would reconsider their practise, or even just feel ashamed. But I<br />

feel that systematic wage-theft really is a part of their business<br />

plan, into which they account for one employee every five-years<br />

putting their hand out. Whatever they had to pay me, and the<br />

time spent to reconcile the situation pales compared to the<br />

thousands saved from all the others.<br />

It doesn’t have to be like this. My position is this: if you<br />

engage with staff in a meaningful way from the start, your<br />

business will reap the benefits many times over in comparison<br />

to what’s involved in undercutting them. I say this because it’s<br />

happening where I work currently. Once I was taken on, the<br />

owner took the time to sit with me, outline what they expected<br />

of me and what I could expect of them. Not only did he outline<br />

my pay, he even printed out the relevant award for me and<br />

told me whom to contact if I thought my pay was not in line<br />

with it. This is best kind of managerial manipulation: I now<br />

feel like I want to do well for them. By focusing on their actual<br />

business activities instead of what they can get away with from<br />

their staff, I’d hazard a guess that they will be more profitable<br />

than spending all the time and energy in manipulating their<br />

staff and constantly retraining due to higher staff turnover.<br />

By humanising their staff rather than treating them as an<br />

Working as a waiter and a<br />

barman, and have many<br />

fond memories. However,<br />

this same industry is one<br />

where systematic worker<br />

exploitation and wage<br />

theft is endemic.<br />

input of production, by recognising that we are different to the<br />

fridge or the meat slicer, they will get more out of us. To those<br />

of you who are under the unspoken agreement, I urge you to<br />

investigate your rights and claim what’s yours. If we continue<br />

to accept this paradigm then, like the workmate who says we<br />

aren’t worth the minimum wage, we inadvertently reproduce<br />

the devaluation of ourselves and support this exploitation. If<br />

you don’t put a value on yourself, no one else will. The more of<br />

us who reject it, the less tenable the situation becomes.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 9


10 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

STUDENT


STUDENT<br />

Survive the summer<br />

By Rachael Welling<br />

Illustration By Elizabeth Bridges<br />

T<br />

he end is nigh. The semester is slipping away through<br />

our fingers like salty tears shed after getting back your<br />

mid-sems. You know what that means? Four mercilessly long<br />

months of holidays, bookended by the twin dreads of results<br />

release and O-Week. It’s a black hole at the end of a car crash of<br />

a year. But don’t fear, I’m here to fill that hole.<br />

Wait, no not like that.<br />

1. Find A Job<br />

Finding a job is certainly the most ‘productive’ way to waste<br />

four months. You could be a Christmas Casual, except that<br />

most places have hired theirs by now (but really, you wouldn’t<br />

be reading this if you had your life sorted, would you?) Or you<br />

could be an intern: get paid to feel inadequate when normally<br />

you’d be doing that all day, every day, for free. Or you could<br />

also sell yourself – that’s right, your skills. Tutor, paint, mow<br />

lawns, walk dogs, or whatever else people are willing to burn<br />

money for. Here’s the thing though: it’s a giant scam. Most jobs<br />

require you to show up. Some are even full time. Yeah you’re a<br />

‘full-time’ student, or whatever, but a job is literally full time.<br />

You can’t watch that shit online, alright. You have to leave your<br />

room, you have to shower. I mean, the obvious upside is money,<br />

career development, building networks, and office gossip, and<br />

maybe even some office hookups. But is it really worth it? Is<br />

your dignity already that far gone? Is it?<br />

2. Work On Your Personal Brand<br />

So maybe you don’t have a job, or suck too much to find one<br />

(i.e. the truth). Well now is the time to work on your Personal<br />

Brand TM . Get a LinkedIn, spend hours on your profile, and get<br />

those sweet, sweet connections. What happens next? Who<br />

knows? You have to let that LinkedIn page marinate, alright,<br />

for at least twelve hours. Once it’s done who knows what will<br />

come out? Maybe a job offer, maybe new connections, or more<br />

likely, random spam and nothing else. Is you profile pathetic<br />

and pitifully short? Upskill! Learn to code, all the cool kids are<br />

doing it. Get a CodeAcademy account and spend two hours<br />

making a text-based adventure game in Java. What? What do<br />

you mean you aren’t suddenly earning buckets of dosh in your<br />

own version of Sillicon Valley? Are you even trying? No wonder<br />

you’re unemployed.<br />

3. Go Outdoors<br />

It’s literally summer. You can’t complain about shitty<br />

Melbourne weather, you can’t moan about having assignments<br />

due, you can’t even say you don’t have enough money because<br />

most things that are outside are free. Parks are free, beaches are<br />

free, even some food is free. In fact, most things are free if you<br />

don’t get caught*. Alternatively, just mooch off your friends.<br />

If you have a mate with a pool, have a pool party. If you have a<br />

mate with a pool but he doesn’t like you that much and would<br />

hesitate to call you a ‘mate’, just don’t tell him about the party<br />

(pro tip: don’t have the party when he’s home). C’mon, we’re all<br />

students here. If you can’t think of innovative ways to do things<br />

on the cheap, what are you really doing at university?<br />

4. Watch TV<br />

There is also the option to not go outdoors and instead<br />

watch TV shows about people who do. I don’t need to explain<br />

this; Australians are literally the most prolific pirates in the<br />

world. Four months is probably enough time to watch the<br />

entire Australian Netflix library, or the entire American library<br />

if you have a sneaky VPN. Yes, that is a challenge.<br />

5. Existential Crisis<br />

Am I doing the right course? Should I study more? My GPA<br />

is fine right? Am I going to find a good job? Get a good house?<br />

Do I even want a house? Will I ever find the one? Will I ever<br />

find ‘the one’? Do I actually like my uni friends or do we only<br />

hang out because failing any real conversation we can just<br />

moan ‘OMG Uniiiii’ at each other repeatedly? Should I drink<br />

less? Should I eat better? Am I OK looking? I’d be fine with OK<br />

but am I even OK? Am I a good person? Does anyone like me,<br />

really? (Repeat ad infinitum.)<br />

6. Literally nothing<br />

This is what you will do anyway. This is what we will all do.<br />

Embrace it. Lazy isn’t a personality flaw; it’s a lifestyle.<br />

So now you have six activities to fill the void: work, upskill,<br />

mooch, binge, weep, exist. Now you can make the most of your<br />

summer. Now you can grow as a person, as an adult, in the ever<br />

changing journey of the ‘best years of your life’. Or you know,<br />

you can not do that. Which do you think is more likely?<br />

*I don’t actually advocate stealing, alright. It’s just an option. This is<br />

all about options.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 11


STUDENT<br />

FABSOC<br />

Spring <strong>2016</strong><br />

<strong>2016</strong> came and has almost passed as quickly as the return of<br />

choker necklaces and the rise of designer sneakers. This optimistic<br />

year saw FABSOC surge in popularity, through developing<br />

a notable social-media presence and hosting a variety of<br />

popular events which sought to embrace and share the popular<br />

norms of youth fashion culture.<br />

The most notable event was our Careers Night Expo,<br />

which saw distinguished speakers from Myer and L’Oréal give<br />

valuable life-lessons in marketing. The event was packed out,<br />

with over 100 eager attendees ready to learn the handy tips<br />

and tricks of the trade, earned through years of hardwork and<br />

moving up through the ranks of corporate and retail workplaces.<br />

Attendees expressed their joy over receiving an enticing<br />

FABSOC welcome pack, which included freebies that were predominantly<br />

fashion/style related, and some FABSOC members<br />

were lucky enough to win significant giveaway prizes, including<br />

designer watches, swimwear apparel and fashion accessories.<br />

Our ‘Street-style snaps’ held every week by our creative photographers<br />

on campus has continued to remain popular with<br />

university-goers, and proved excellent for generating hype,<br />

spreading fashion enthusiasm and providing an original platform<br />

to allow students to spark their own creativity and gain<br />

inspiration. It surely cannot be a coincidence that Monash has<br />

lately experienced a surge of suave and trendy students flaunting<br />

their fancy flannels, furry fleeces, flashy flares and frisky<br />

footwear, frequently found in fifty flawless fabrics, fashionable<br />

as flamboyant flamingos, with no floral frocks, felt fedoras and<br />

flaky flip-flops in sight.<br />

In September, we organised a clothing swap event in collaboration<br />

with VGen as a way of raising awareness about unethical<br />

practices such as using child labour to manufacture clothing.<br />

The event was a big hit, allowing attendees to freshen up their<br />

wardrobe looks through the ethical exchange of recycled clothing,<br />

at no cost whatsoever!<br />

As fun as <strong>2016</strong> has been, the next year presents an exciting<br />

challenge. FABSOC wishes to continue to promote the<br />

expression of students through fashion, stressing individuality<br />

and creativity. Our goals are to inform the student population<br />

of ethical fashion, and to provide important fashion-related<br />

career information. Every member of the committee has played<br />

an integral part in organising and activity-planning, and we<br />

will continue to host fun and innovative events. Our journey so<br />

far has been rewarding, but <strong>2016</strong> has not yet come to a close,<br />

so keep a look-out for more fashion events to be held soon this<br />

semester!<br />

See you there, and bring on the trends of 2017!<br />

From top left to right:<br />

Cindy Zhu<br />

Engineering , 4th year<br />

Jacket: assc<br />

Jumper : overseas<br />

Pants: uniqlo<br />

Shoes: Lacoste<br />

Bag: Boo<br />

Glasses: overseas<br />

Amy Tran<br />

Commerce/Science<br />

Top: ASOS<br />

Cardigan: Temt<br />

Skirt: ASOS<br />

Boots: Betts<br />

Arman Saffar<br />

Arts/Law<br />

Jumper: Gant<br />

Chinos: Topman<br />

Shoes: Ara<br />

Watch: Daniel Wellington<br />

Bag: Tumi<br />

Chris Tricker (Left)<br />

Arts and Law, 2nd year<br />

T-shirt: H&M<br />

Jacket: Levi’s<br />

Jeans: Calvin Klein<br />

Shoes: Converse<br />

Ryan Pola (Right)<br />

Visual Arts and Education,<br />

3rd Year<br />

T-shirt: Target<br />

Jeans: Dior<br />

Shoes: Uncut<br />

Love, the FABSOC team!<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 13


STUDENT


Multilingual<br />

Melbournians<br />

By Emma Simpkin<br />

In late August of 2015, Laura Blackmore hit upon an idea<br />

that was to be later picked up by Disney and be applauded<br />

across Melbourne. The Monash student was studying her<br />

Masters in translation while living at Berwick campus when she<br />

had a vision of starting a blog dedicated to showcasing what she<br />

most loved about Melbourne - it’s linguistic and cultural diversity.<br />

Laura, the Language and Cultural Ambassador for Disney<br />

Australia and New Zealand’s ‘Dream Big, Princess’ campaign,<br />

recounts the beginnings of her Facebook page, Multilinguals Of<br />

Melbourne (affectionately nicknamed MoM).<br />

“I had the idea and then thought, ‘how can I do this?’. I went<br />

to tell my roommates and they were sleeping so I had to go to bed<br />

thinking about every detail – I don’t think I slept at all that night!”<br />

Multilinguals of Melbourne promotes language and cultural<br />

diversity by sharing the stories of everyday people who learn,<br />

speak and breathe multiple languages. The stories and accompanying<br />

photos Laura publishes to her wildly successful<br />

Instagram, Facebook and blog have been likened to those of<br />

Humans of New York founder’s Brandon Stanton. And for good<br />

reason.<br />

Laura’s approach to sharing the experiences of multilinguals<br />

is firmly focused on the authentic, often unmentioned realities<br />

of living in a multicultural city through the lens of individuals<br />

who speak, live and breathe multiple languages. At the time of<br />

print, Multilinguals of Melbourne has represented over 20 nationalities<br />

and 37 languages, with Laura’s posts reaching a peak<br />

of 12, 000 view shortly after its recent one year anniversary.<br />

MoM’s stories are equally challenging, touching and<br />

eye-opening. When asked if she ever prompts interviewees or<br />

knows what she’ll ask someone about, Laura admits she never<br />

goes into a meeting with any angle.<br />

“It’s always varied, I can never pick how a conversation will go…<br />

So I never have questions prepared. I’d rather let someone share<br />

openly and MoM be a space for that.”<br />

MoM’s first subjects were Laura’s multilingual roommates<br />

(who shared 10 languages between them) and later expanded to<br />

include numerous members of Monash language clubs, ACYA,<br />

Monash Radio and Mango Languages. Laura herself has been<br />

asked to speak at yLead’s Social Impact conference and was<br />

recently featured in Disney’s ‘Dream Big, Princess’ campaign<br />

as one of three Australian women who are inspirations to their<br />

community.<br />

“What I love about this project is how it creates a community.<br />

People I’ve interviewed are my friends or have become my friends<br />

through sharing their stories.”<br />

The beauty in the Multilinguals Of Melbourne initiative it’s<br />

open-hearted inclusiveness. Laura’s own disillusionment with<br />

the academic pressure and competition in learning languages<br />

at university strengths her resolve to never ask the individuals<br />

she interviews to need to meet a standard of fluency to fit the<br />

multilingual criteria. Anyone who speaks, studies or learns<br />

more than one language, regardless of if they’ve been speaking<br />

it for one day or ten years, can be interviewed.<br />

“My own language-learning journey was strained but that’s why<br />

I’m so passionate now.”<br />

What officially constitutes a language or culture is often<br />

defined by politics. In allowing interviewees to speak out about<br />

their culture, MoM infuses a realism and understanding that<br />

has made Melbournians of all backgrounds sit back and take<br />

note.<br />

So what’s next? According to Laura the next step for MoM<br />

is a print magazine but in the meantime, Multilinguals Of<br />

Melbourne will continue to grow as Laura’s success attracts<br />

more individuals hoping to share their experiences.<br />

While you’d be forgiven for believing Australia only has<br />

one official language, Laura Blackmore’s, Multilinguals of<br />

Melbourne is setting the record straight and righting misconceptions<br />

of Melbourne as a city with only one language and<br />

culture, one interview at a time.<br />

If you speak or are learning more than one language and<br />

would like to share your story, you can contact Laura<br />

Blackmore via the Multilinguals of Melbourne Facebook<br />

page at http://facebook.com/multilingualsofmelbourne<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 15


Twirling, twirling<br />

If you’re ever on the Lemon-Scented Lawns on a Monday night,<br />

you might have some questions, like Why are there so many jugglers?<br />

What the heck is that rope for? Is that hula-hoop on fire?<br />

The Monash Club of Juggling and Firetwirling has long been<br />

one of the strangest sights on campus, but they’re also one of the<br />

most welcoming clubs. Maddy Luke managed to get Anthony<br />

Embleton to sit still for five minute to chat about his experiences<br />

in our local circus.<br />

How did you get involved with MCJAF?<br />

I found out about it through Host Scheme Camp, where we<br />

actually get most of our members. It’s good exposure.<br />

Is there something unique about this club that makes people<br />

more inclined to join?<br />

I think a big part about it is that it’s super inclusive, which is<br />

why jaffys go for it. You know, it’s one of the first experiences<br />

they have at uni and it’s with people who are just open and<br />

brilliant and who accept just about anything. It’s the kind of<br />

thing that most people wouldn’t normally think to try so we try<br />

to be as accepting as we can.<br />

Do a lot of people come into MCJAF with prior experience<br />

with juggling and firetwirling?<br />

A few people do, but those are usually people who have already<br />

been doing it and then realise ‘oh, we have a club for it.’ Like,<br />

for me, I came into it with absolutely no experience, and just<br />

loved it, and kept going.<br />

I’m guessing this means you have some kind of training?<br />

Because everyone in the club pretty much started from the<br />

beginning at the club, everyone is willing to teach anyone new<br />

things. First week of every semester, we usually have our beginner<br />

workshops going on, so people can try anything, and it’s<br />

a super friendly environment. Anyone that wants to learn the<br />

thing can ask somebody and they will teach them the thing. But<br />

really that’s true throughout the year.<br />

16 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Are there any mid-year events for people who want to join<br />

them?<br />

People can join at any time. We have our Jams every Monday,<br />

where you can rock up, see if you like it, if not, well, then it’s<br />

not your thing. But yeah, like I said, anyone’s happy to teach<br />

at any time, so just rock up and do what you want to do, and<br />

there will be somebody there to help you. Everyone plays with<br />

their toys, learns new tricks, practices. A lot of it is just people<br />

hanging out because there are some good people there.<br />

Every four weeks – so every four Mondays – we have a Burn,<br />

that usually involves free pizza, so ‘come down for free pizza’,<br />

and yeah, we provide the fuel for people to basically do<br />

everything they’d be doing every other week, but with fire. We<br />

run events like workshops off campus, bounce days, things like<br />

that. But basically we just… any good thing that we think is<br />

relevant, we put on.<br />

We have performances throughout the year, not at the club, but<br />

people from schools or small businesses that want to put on a<br />

fete or something with a circus-y vibe will ask us to perform,<br />

which is a great opportunity for anyone that wants to give it a<br />

go. Then there’s the Variety show, that’s our show. People in the<br />

club put on some incredible acts for anyone to come and see.<br />

Is there a particular selection process for that show?<br />

We have our performance coordinator, so that’s one of our committee<br />

roles, and basically, it’s completely open. Like I said, we<br />

are an accepting club, and anyone can put forward a performance,<br />

it’s not just ‘you have to be good enough.’ The only real<br />

criterion is that you actually have a performance ready in time.<br />

Do you have any big events coming up towards the end of<br />

semester?<br />

We have our end of year camp coming up, after end of year<br />

exams. Camp is one of the big ones and we have a lot of stuff<br />

going on; workshops running throughout the camp, fire both<br />

nights, and at the end we have a renegade show, which is just a<br />

small show at the end of camp that doesn’t need any preparation.<br />

It can be as simple as ‘look at this new trick I learned.’<br />

It’s a great way for people to support everyone else with what<br />

they’ve been learning.<br />

Obviously it’s called the Monash Club of Juggling and<br />

Firetwirling, but it’s not just limited to those things, is it?<br />

Oh God no, I yoyo! Like, I literally just had a performance where<br />

I did nothing but yoyo – I’m the only one who does it at the<br />

moment, but the president also started which is great. Really,<br />

it’s any kind of skill toy, or even just any kind of skill that needs<br />

practising. We even have somebody who’s just started dancing<br />

lately, just because it’s a fun place to practice it.<br />

Yeah! What’s the most unique one you’ve seen?<br />

Ha, I feel like my yoyoing comes to mind, shameless self-plug.<br />

Though one of the more recent ones has been a guy that’s<br />

started whipping. Um… that one may… we try not to annoy<br />

people around campus with that one too much, but that one’s<br />

been pretty cool. [At the Burn] he had a giant fire whip, aw that<br />

was great. We have some acro people, which is pretty cool. It’s<br />

a circus club, so a lot of people feel it’s out there, but for us it’s<br />

started to feel normal.<br />

Are there many members of your club who don’t take up any<br />

of these activities, and are just there because they enjoy<br />

watching other people and being there for support?<br />

That does happen more often than I was expecting when I<br />

started, but the general trend is that eventually they’ll get into<br />

something and keep going. You see a bunch of people standing<br />

around and doing fun things and trying not to hit themselves<br />

in the face and go, ‘Oh, I wanna try that, can I learn this basic<br />

trick? Oh cool, I learned this one, now I wanna learn this next<br />

basic trick’, and keep going.<br />

Thank you for all this! Any parting words?<br />

It’s not a club that requires dedication. Anyone can come at any<br />

time. It’s not like a martial art or a dance or something, where<br />

other people’s learning is dependent on yours. Everybody is<br />

learning what they want at their own pace, if they even want to<br />

learn anything. Otherwise, it’s just a fun atmosphere. It’s the<br />

kind of thing where you can just come down once, try, never<br />

have to see us again.<br />

Although, of course, you’d want to see us again.<br />

Nice! So maybe those people who didn’t get ready in time for<br />

the variety show can perform their tricks there?<br />

It’s not just that, it’s just a good way to encourage people to<br />

not feel embarrassed about the things they’re doing. I’ve seen<br />

bigger applauses for people getting really basic tricks for the<br />

first time than someone you’ve seen for ages with tricks you<br />

can’t even comprehend.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 17


The case for independent media<br />

It’s a special privilege to edit a magazine. A privilege we have<br />

been honoured to receive this year, and a responsibility we have<br />

not taken lightly. In keeping with our ideal of fair and honest<br />

reportage, we have refrained from using our position to sway,<br />

influence, or endorse any particular views. However, we believe<br />

the following is too important for us to stand idly by.<br />

With the MSA election week come and gone, and the campus<br />

centre rid of the multi-coloured t-shirt chaos that is student<br />

politics, we wanted to discuss something you may or may not<br />

have noticed: a handful of students in purple shirts.<br />

This year, there was a new ticket on campus, a group of<br />

independent students contesting the Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> Office Bearer<br />

position, going up against the Goliath that is Go! (Go!liath, if<br />

you will), who have held the majority vote in the MSA for the<br />

last 11 years. With them, they brought an interesting proposition:<br />

one of student media breaking free from the hands of<br />

student politicians, and being held by experienced writers and<br />

long-standing contributors to Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>.<br />

A bit of background: we, the current editors, were approached<br />

by the 2015 editorial team last year to run for the<br />

position. We were deemed by them to be the best fit for the<br />

role, as all of us have been highly involved in the magazine,<br />

and experienced enough to handle the workload of running an<br />

entire publication. We were excited with the possibility ahead<br />

of us, however we were told in no uncertain terms that we had<br />

to run with a political group, the aforementioned Go!, in order<br />

to claim the position.<br />

Naive and unaware of Go!’s history, we each paid the compulsory<br />

$75 tithe in order to run on their ticket. We donned<br />

our blue t-shirts for that one, dreaded week in semester 2, after<br />

which we managed to win the position (as the Go!-sponsored<br />

candidate has nearly every year). It was a hellish week (even<br />

toilet breaks had to be approved by the campaign manager), but<br />

we survived it, and looked forward to our upcoming year.<br />

In <strong>2016</strong>, we put our (figurative) blood, sweat, and (literal)<br />

tears into this magazine, establishing a community composed<br />

of Clayton and Caulfield students, and working towards<br />

achieving a cohesive and well-established framework, through<br />

which talented writers could be published, and where emerging<br />

writers could be supported.<br />

Early into our tenure, we all almost immediately expressed<br />

that we did not want the following year’s editors to run with<br />

Go! or any political group in order to receive the office. We believed<br />

that the traditional method, ie. running with the major<br />

party, was too easily abused. Candidates with political affiliations<br />

could (and would) use the position to fight their partisan<br />

battles, and restrict publication of dissenting voices.<br />

In the first edition of this year we published an article that<br />

spoke of a motion passed by the Monash Student Council<br />

(MSC) - in which Office Bearers and student representatives sit<br />

- over the summer, to remove the position of Finance Manager.<br />

In response to publishing this, we were told by a member of<br />

the MSA Executive that if we were to publish anything of this<br />

nature again, we had to run it by them first, as criticism of the<br />

MSA was seen as “divisive”.<br />

With this in mind, we moved our attention to other student<br />

issues that are equally as important but were not related<br />

directly to the MSA, lest we get pulled up again. Articles that<br />

critiqued the way Monash University has responded to sexual<br />

assault on campus, issues surrounding a lack of gender-neutral<br />

toilets on campus, the need for a people of colour department<br />

within the union, the relationship Monash has with Woodside<br />

Petroleum, and the controversy over the introduction of night<br />

exams were all featured within our pages this year.<br />

These were all issues that deserved an equal amount of attention,<br />

yet we still felt that we could not critique the MSA and<br />

student union and actions carried out from within. Throughout<br />

our time as editors, there was always the fear that the edition<br />

would be pulled from the stands or shredded and that is not<br />

something we wanted to subject our contributors to.<br />

When election season came around again, we tried to negotiate<br />

with Go! for an independent partnership, where we could<br />

make a recommendation, and then Go! would support them<br />

as independents, as they did with the Left Action ticket for the<br />

Environment and Social Justice department. This suggestion<br />

was rejected out of hand, so we instead suggested a team that<br />

we thought Go! should run, as had happened with us.<br />

Go! seemed amenable to this situation, until the last minute,<br />

running instead their own team, of which only two out of<br />

four having had any experience with Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> and none with<br />

editing experience. They did this without any consultation with<br />

our team, causing them significant distress, as they had been<br />

repeatedly reassured that Go! would run with them.<br />

Upon Go! rejecting our recommended candidates, we were<br />

faced with a choice. Given the behaviour of the Go! representatives,<br />

and our own past experiences, we had little interest in<br />

supporting their claim. So once again, we donned our shirts<br />

for election week, but this time they were purple, representing<br />

something we believed media should be: independent.<br />

Whilst we did not win, we put up one hell of a fight, winning<br />

almost 1000 votes, a remarkable feat for a ragtag team of<br />

underdogs that formed in just over a month. Unfortunately, Go!<br />

won all positions in the union, except one that is controlled by<br />

Left Action. Due to this outcome, we have significant concerns<br />

about the transparency and accountability of the student union<br />

and the role student media should be playing in this.<br />

18 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


There have been issues that have occurred in the past that<br />

your student publication should have been reporting widely on<br />

but weren’t. We feel this is because political factions constantly<br />

dominate Lot’s and bias and a lack of transparency become<br />

rampant.<br />

Over the years, unprofessional and, we believe, unethical<br />

acts have been perpetrated by members of the MSA, most<br />

of whom are from Go! and many of which maintain ties and<br />

affiliations with the Australian Labor Party (ALP). Whilst it is<br />

completely fine to have your own political leanings, it is problematic<br />

when situations arise when it can interfere or influence<br />

the use of student money. In 2015, $50,000 was approved by<br />

MSC for a campaign called ‘Australia Needs a Brighter Future’,<br />

whose aims were to fight and oppose attacks towards tertiary<br />

education. The PR firm that this campaign was linked with,<br />

Essential Media Communications, has strong ties to the ALP,<br />

with several key staff members connected to the party. As<br />

reported in Honi Soit, University of Sydney’s publication, this<br />

spending was not transparent with the campaign having done<br />

next to nothing since.<br />

In 2015, members of the executive - while campaigning<br />

for Go! - destroyed an independent student publication called<br />

Grotty. An article was published in September that critiqued<br />

the wages of staff within the MSA. Thus, 150 copies of Grotty<br />

were taken from Wholefoods and destroyed by being turned<br />

into paper chains that were then placed in offices and displayed<br />

at a Go! fundraiser. This was followed in election week by Go!<br />

campaigners throwing shredded copies of the issue over campaigners.<br />

Writers and editors of Grotty, as well as their friends,<br />

were powerless to stop their magazine from being publicly<br />

denigrated. We believe these actions displayed last year are an<br />

abhorrent example of not only a lack of respect toward students<br />

and their work, but also contempt towards independent<br />

media that critiques the union. How ‘progressive’ are members<br />

of our union if those who speak out are silenced, and silenced<br />

in such an appalling fashion?<br />

Farrago, University of Melbourne’s student newspaper, is<br />

currently an unattainable dream for Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>. Prospective<br />

editors are determined by a rigorous pre-selection process,<br />

where the current editors and the Media Collective, a body of<br />

students who have worked on the magazine throughout the<br />

year, vote on next year’s editors. They then run on a ticket<br />

called Independent Media during the elections and it is rarely<br />

contested, as the other tickets see the benefits of this.<br />

The current Farrago editors believe that this transparent and<br />

fair process benefits the newspaper, “by not only providing a<br />

political grouping, but also by ensuring the most experienced<br />

members of the Media Collective at UniMelb are in charge of<br />

running Farrago and Radio Fodder”. This is certainly not always<br />

the case at Monash Clayton.<br />

All we desire is for Lot’s to be independent of the union. The<br />

position doesn’t hold a vote on Monash Student Council and<br />

one can only assume it is because we are to be an ‘independent<br />

body’ that reports on the occurrences within the union, rather<br />

than have a vote on what occurrences actually take place. But<br />

how can we be a beacon of independence when one political<br />

group has their fingers in nearly every pie, including our own?<br />

We have felt pressure throughout the year to not publish<br />

student’s work that has critiqued actions within the MSA, in<br />

“Throughout our time as<br />

editors, there was always<br />

the fear that the edition<br />

would be pulled from the<br />

stands or shredded and that<br />

is not something we wanted<br />

to subject our contributors<br />

to.”<br />

fear of a similar response to what happened to Grotty. In fact,<br />

right now we are fearful of what will happen to the very publication<br />

you are reading. We are caught in a situation where our<br />

right to free speech is threatened to the point that we are fearful<br />

to print. Our contributors’ do not deserve any sort of action<br />

that devalues and disrespects their work. We value their art but<br />

we also value freedom of speech and we believe we should not<br />

have to compromise one in order to have the other.<br />

The real question that should be asked here is: why are you<br />

so worried about being critiqued? What have you got to hide?<br />

You are a part of a $5 million body that is meant to be representative<br />

of the students and also possesses a large amount<br />

of student money. Your business is the student’s business.<br />

Transparency is key; in fact it is necessary for an organisation<br />

to function healthily. And media – the fourth estate – is the<br />

body that is meant to facilitate that transparency and hold<br />

those in power to account. So why are you so scared of the<br />

media not being completely on your side?<br />

But, to you the reader, it doesn’t have to be this way; students<br />

can have their say, they can vote differently in student<br />

elections. They can find out what is happening themselves: get<br />

involved in the union, go to MSC, see what is actually happening,<br />

participate in departments, be in the room where it<br />

happens. Think about what your union can do for you because<br />

right now it might not be doing that at all. If all else fails, follow<br />

our lead and put your name on the ballot next year.<br />

Disclaimer: This article is no way commenting on the MSA as a<br />

whole. We are critiquing the actions of some of the student elected<br />

representatives of the union that hold Office Bearer positions.<br />

Honi Soit article on ‘Brighter Futures’ campaign: http://honisoit.com/<strong>2016</strong>/02/ghost-campaign/<br />

MSCs regarding ‘Brighter Futures’: http://msa.monash.edu/<br />

MSA/files/45/45ec83a6-ef62-463e-b801-ff37a022641d.pdf<br />

Grotty issue that was destroyed: https://grottycommie.files.<br />

wordpress.com/2015/09/grotty-issue-6.pdf<br />

MSC regarding Grotty incident: http://msa.monash.edu/MSA/<br />

files/54/545d1cad-9457-4eda-974d-d73337dff4af.pdf<br />

Post about Grotty incident: https://<br />

www.facebook.com/MonashWholefoods/<br />

photos/a.513224158799115.1073741837.347398725381660/820354374752757/<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 19


OFFICE BEARER REPORTS<br />

MSA PRESIDENT ABBY STAPLETON<br />

Hey Monash friends! Hope study stress hasn’t got you down, we’ve been fairly busy here at the MSA.<br />

Over the next few weeks we will be officially launching the workers’ rights advice service! As well as the<br />

free legal service available to all Clayton students. You might have seen the MSA banner at the most recent<br />

National Day of Action on August 24 th ! All the departments here worked hard to ensure that there was a big<br />

Monash contingent at the protest, this included putting up posters, banner drops and numerous stalls and<br />

lecture bashes. Last Thursday there were quite a few of us from the MSA who attended the CUB rally in the<br />

city. Carlton United Brewery recently laid off 55 workers and then attempted to re hire them at 65% less, so<br />

remember to boycott CUB! I have also been busy planning the MSA awards night which will be a joint collaboration<br />

with the Academic Affairs department. That’s all for now, hope you all have a great semester!<br />

TREASURER MATILDA GREY<br />

We’ve made it midway through semester 2! It feels like a milestone. An achievement. And one that has<br />

crept up on me unnoticed until I sat down to write this report to realise how far we’ve come together. I<br />

suppose it shouldn’t come as a surprise given how busy we’ve been in the last few weeks! We’ve organised and<br />

run a third National Day of Action, which saw an awesome turnout of students on the streets of Melbourne<br />

CBD on August 24. Some of us have also been participating in actions to support 65 sacked Carlton United<br />

Breweries workers; remember to boycott their products at your parties! I’ve also been working hard to organise<br />

and kick off the budget process for 2017, and to divest the MSA reserves. Ciao for now!<br />

SECRETARY GLENN DONAHOO<br />

After much successful promoting and work around the National Day of Action on August 24th, I attended<br />

the protest at the State Library to stand against the Liberals continuing attacks on higher education. The new<br />

MSA website plans are looking great and is set to be up and running in time for enrolments next year, making<br />

the website much more accessible and easier to use that the old one. The constitutional changes I have been<br />

working on in collaboration with other departments and collectives will have been voted on by the time of<br />

publishing. Hopefully they have passed and we will now be able to introduce a People of Colour Department<br />

within the MSA, which is very exciting. If you have any issues during the upcoming exam period make sure<br />

you come and see one of our amazing student rights officer. And as always, if you have any suggestions on<br />

services or campaigns we could run, please send me an email at glenn.donahoo@monash.edu<br />

EDUCATION (ACADEMIC AFFAIRS)<br />

The final NDA of the year wrapped up in style on the 24th August with a great turnout and speakers including<br />

Van Badham and Roz Ward. We have also closed our nominations for the MSA Teaching Awards for<br />

Semester 1 and nominations for Semester 2 will be open for the next few weeks. We are also gearing up for<br />

the review into night exams in November, where hopefully we can ensure students aren't left in the dark<br />

with issues around exam timetabling. We hope to have served you well as you <strong>2016</strong> Education (Academic<br />

Affairs) Officers, and thanks for being awesome! Stay golden kids!<br />

EDUCATION (PUBLIC AFFAIRS)<br />

The Public Affairs Department has been hard at work building for the August 24th NDA and we had<br />

the privilege to help lead the march with members of the People of Colour Collective. This tied in with our<br />

campaign and the referendum to introduce a People of Colour Department in the MSA. This is an exciting<br />

opportunity for the MSA to join in with other student unions to represent students of colour on our campus.<br />

We have loved working with the PoC Collective and hope to continue the work of the Collective into next year.<br />

And hopefully you guys have enjoyed having us as your Education (Public Affairs) Officers!<br />

DISABILITIES & CARERS<br />

20 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


OFFICE BEARER REPORTS<br />

QUEER<br />

We’ve crossed the halfway mark of the semester and already it has been jam-packed with queer goodness.<br />

Following the ‘Loud and Proud’ performance night in week 2, we immediately started preparing for Queer<br />

Week and getting potential candidates ready for the 2017 queer officer position.<br />

Queer week was an absolute blast, a ton of workshops were run such as ‘queer people of faith’ and<br />

‘interracial dating’ as well as our autonomous groups meetings. Returning this queer week were some crowd<br />

favourite events like ‘coming out by candlelight’ where people share their stories, our pancake BBQ this time<br />

featuring purple pancakes for wear it purple day, and capping off the week was Queer Ball at sir John’s with a<br />

futuristic theme.<br />

Now things are winding down, but we still have plans for the semester like our upcoming marriage equality<br />

rally on 14/9 and SWOTVAC and chill to name a few. If you want more info, or would like to be added to<br />

our secret Facebook group email msa-queer-l@monash.edu or the public MSA Queer page.<br />

WELFARE<br />

The Welfare Dpizzle has just been doing their thang. Free Food Mondays is still running at full capacity –<br />

serving on average 150 people per week. Special shout out to our beautiful Vollies who put up with our continual<br />

stress and poor banter. Gravity were unable to run Yoga during week 6 due to terrible weather conditions<br />

however we hope that the rain rain will go away and come again on another day other than Tuesdays (Keep an<br />

eye on the MSA page for the next event and registration link). And lastly, we’ve been brainstorming ideas for<br />

the upcoming R U OK Day happening on Thursday the 15 th of September (Wk 8). Welfare will have a Friendship<br />

Tent set up in the Northern plaza filled with crafty activities for you and others to enjoy whilst having a chat.<br />

Asking your friends if they’re okay okay is an importany conversation which a lot of us don’t do regularly<br />

enough. So make sure next time you see your BFFLs ask and listen! Remember that Monash has excellent<br />

services to help with any issue (Contact us for further information if needed).<br />

Until next time – Timbo n Brendo send hugs and kisses to you all!<br />

ACTIVITIES<br />

What a year it’s been! <strong>2016</strong> has been amazing in the Activities department! We have two last events<br />

for students which are Oktoberfest and AXP! Get your ticket to Oktoberfest, the craziest night of the year<br />

with wench and lederhosen outfits, live german band, free unlimited food and alcohol all night - what’s<br />

not to love?! AXP is the classic send off, get rid of those exam blues and welcome in the summer break!<br />

Can’t believe the year is nearly over, the Activities department wants to thank everyone involved this<br />

year, all other MSA departments, volunteers and of course the students! Can’t wait to see you all next<br />

year for even bigger and better events!<br />

xoxo activitiesgurl<br />

ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE<br />

Remember that monash academic who was facing deportation with his family because his son was autistic?<br />

Well, we ran a huge campaign to stop their deportation. We got hundreds of students involved in a solidarity<br />

photograph and hundreds of staff to sign our open letter to the immigration minister. And the best bit is we<br />

won. Thanks to the public outcry and the mass support from the monash community, we were able to make a<br />

difference. We extend our deepest gratitude to everyone that got involved in the campaign.<br />

We’ve also been busy bringing anti-racist politics to campus. We held a free screening of ‘Chasing Asylum’, a film<br />

about the torturous offshore detention centres. We took dozens of students to a rally to support the indigenous riots in<br />

Kalgoorlie. We co-hosted a meeting on the Black Panther Party too!<br />

For the rest of the semester we want to keep holding left wing forums and promoting progressive campaigns<br />

on campus so chuck us a message on facebook if you want to get involved @ ‘MSA Environment and Social Justice<br />

Collective’.<br />

WOMEN’S<br />

Good golly, how time flies! To close out our semester we will be looking into getting DISSENT, our<br />

own zine published, and continuing our support for the Human Rights Commission’s national survey<br />

into sexual assault in universities. We will also be continuing smaller events in the department including<br />

discussion groups and are looking into a larger social event with other departments. We are also<br />

going to be doing work to help usher in next year’s Women’s Officers (Nikola &amp; Shreeya) and gathering<br />

feedback from the instalment of the content warnings. As this is our last Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> report for the<br />

year, we’d like to thank everyone for a lovely year; we have been challenged, learnt so much and made<br />

so many connections, and for that we thank you all, you have made us stronger and better humans.<br />

INDIGENOUS<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 21


SOCIETY


SOCIETY<br />

Positively<br />

paradoxical<br />

By Amber Francis<br />

Illustration by Lucie Cester<br />

cw: discussion of sexual assault in the<br />

abstract, misogynistic and whorephobic slurs<br />

“Sex positivity” is a movement about undoing the stigma<br />

around sex. It means different things to different people, but<br />

broadly, it’s the idea that all sex is positive if it’s consensual<br />

and practiced safely. It’s about affirming agency and freeing<br />

people from judgement. Education is an important tenet of this<br />

ideology, including information on consent and safe sex, as well<br />

as encouragement of experimentation, casual sex, polyamory,<br />

queerness, and kinks. This ideology is part of many feminist<br />

and queer rights movements, because while stigma affects<br />

everyone, women and queer people have their sexualities<br />

particularly shamed and policed, and the demand on men to<br />

be virile and sexually active is often couched in misogyny and<br />

gender essentialism.<br />

That all sounds pretty great, so where’s this movement going<br />

wrong? We all ought to be free to have as much or as little sex<br />

as we’d like, and a movement about education and eliminating<br />

judgement is crucial, given today’s society and our history.<br />

The problem is, it’s impossible to have a movement about<br />

eliminating judgement which simultaneously proclaims sex to<br />

be ultimately good. That is a moral judgement. When you say<br />

that all safe, consensual sex is positive, you leave the question:<br />

why would anybody not consent? Sex positivity is intended to<br />

give people freedom to abstain should they choose, but disliking<br />

something inherently good becomes absurd. Sometimes it’s<br />

phrased as “sex is potentially positive” but often this important<br />

distinction gets lost. It needs to be actively emphasised.<br />

Though it goes against the movement’s aim, sex positivity<br />

directly feeds into the society-wide virgin/whore dichotomy.<br />

Throughout history and across multiple cultures, women have<br />

been trapped between being seen as too prudish or too sexual.<br />

Usually the virgin is the “good woman”: loving, chaste, concerned<br />

with motherhood and family. She’s wife material, the<br />

kind of girl a man can bring home to his mother.<br />

But she’s boring, repressed, passive, and unattractive. On<br />

the otherhand, the “whore” is the temptress, the femme fatale;<br />

she’s sexually available and hot, but not a “good woman”. She’s<br />

dirty. She’s slutty. She’s saucy. She’s the “other woman”, the one<br />

men cheat on that good wife with.<br />

The assumed default changes throughout history.<br />

Sometimes, women are assumed to be naturally passive and<br />

uninterested in sex, needing to be coaxed into it by men, and a<br />

sexual woman is a deviant. At other times, women are assumed<br />

to be naturally promiscuous, and must be kept rigidly under<br />

control to protect their purity. Meanwhile, men are cast as the<br />

helpless victims of women’s seductive charms; or slaves to their<br />

own sexual urges kept in check by women’s resistance; or the<br />

active, confident party without whom sex would never happen.<br />

Obviously the population doesn’t divide cleanly into any category;<br />

these are stereotypes. Often, all these attitudes are held<br />

at the same time, in a dizzying paradox of sexual mores. But it’s<br />

a pervasive dichotomy. It results in women being called sluts<br />

just for being attractive or having large breasts. It feeds into<br />

ableism; physically disabled women, deemed “unattractive”, are<br />

desexualised and assumed virgins, while mentally ill women,<br />

deemed “crazy” and “out of control”, are hypersexualised. It<br />

feeds into homophobia; the stereotype of “lesbian bed death” is<br />

related to the idea that, without men, women cannot maintain<br />

sexually active lives.<br />

The morals assigned to sex tend to the puritanical “sex is<br />

dirty, virginity is pure” side. But in more “permissive” periods,<br />

such as the sexual revolution of the 60s, the Roaring 20s, and<br />

various art movements throughout time, this gets somewhat<br />

reversed, and the “chastity is boring, sex is fun” aspect becomes<br />

more important. This is often deliberately running against the<br />

grain of tradition, since the desire to be progressive is powerful<br />

as well. At the same time, sex appeal is very much tied up with<br />

a lot of other values, including beauty, health, desirability, selfworth,<br />

and love.<br />

Sex positivity, like the other sexual revolutions, attempts<br />

to alleviate slut-shaming, and show that there’s no shame in<br />

sex. However, it renews the idea of chastity as repressed, and<br />

promiscuity as desirable and liberating. It suggests that all that<br />

holds people back from enjoying sex and having lots of it is the<br />

stigma. If sex is ultimately good, not having sex is bad. Not<br />

wanting sex means that something’s wrong. While it’s absolutely<br />

not what the movement intends, those who are trying to<br />

pressure others into sex nevertheless use it to argue that sex<br />

and sexual liberation are positive. Why would you refuse? Are<br />

you repressed? Are you frigid?<br />

Further issues behind sex positivity are some of the messages<br />

used in education campaigns. In particular, slogans like<br />

“Consent is sexy”. This slogan aims to rebut notions that asking<br />

for explicit consent would “ruin the mood”, by reminding<br />

people that checking consent is a positive part of the sexual<br />

experience.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 23


SOCIETY<br />

But it’s hard to hold much nuance in three words, and<br />

numerous problems have been identified. Firstly, since consent<br />

- sexy or not - is compulsory, this framing misses the point<br />

and reduces consent to a fun extra. Secondly, this directly links<br />

“sexy” with “good” and “important”; sexy is used as an unqualified<br />

positive (again, an issue for sex positivity overall). Thirdly,<br />

if consent is sexy and won’t ruin the mood, does that mean not<br />

consenting will ruin the mood? Many activities can come under<br />

the umbrella of “sex”, and people must be free to refuse some<br />

even if they’re keen for others. And people might not want to<br />

have sex, but still have a good time together. Not wanting to let<br />

someone down or ruin a fun mood is already a pressure behind<br />

much unwanted sex.<br />

Sex positivity is often taken further; namely, it’s often<br />

claimed that there is no such thing as non-consensual sex. Sex<br />

is fundamentally consensual, and if there’s no consent, it’s<br />

rape. If sex is good, then there can’t be any such thing as “bad<br />

sex”. Sex is loving. Sex is ethical. Sex is without shame. Sex is<br />

consenting. If it wasn’t, it wasn’t sex. The old no true Scotsman<br />

argument. No nuance, no overlap.<br />

This is absurd. Imagine if this argument was applied to the<br />

“safe” part. It isn’t sex unless you’re on birth control! No condom?<br />

Not sex! There’s no such thing as unsafe sex! Worse than<br />

absurd, it’s harmful.<br />

Many rape survivors don’t initially realise that what<br />

happened was assault or identify it as such. There are infinite<br />

reasons why. They might have been coerced; they might think it<br />

wasn’t “bad enough”; they might be in denial. They might never<br />

call it rape, even if it is a so-called “textbook example”. People<br />

need this ability. Of course, many survivors want to keep their<br />

assault separate from other sexual experiences, and do this by<br />

using distinct labels; that’s also important. No single approach<br />

will suit everybody. Many activities are regarded as sex by<br />

some people and not by other people, and rape is one of them.<br />

But campaigning for rape to never count as sex is dangerous.<br />

Narratives around sexual assault are incredibly limiting and<br />

shaming already. We don’t need extra levels of labelling and<br />

scrutiny for survivors.<br />

Even besides sexual assault, the movement’s quest to prove<br />

that sex is ultimately positive ignores lots that simply isn’t. It<br />

doesn’t have to be assault to suck. Perhaps someone’s not into<br />

sex at all, but felt they should give it a shot. Perhaps someone’s<br />

been assaulted previously, and this unavoidably affects all their<br />

sexual encounters. Perhaps someone has vaginismus or something<br />

else which makes sex difficult or painful. Perhaps some<br />

partners like completely different things and they’re trying to<br />

compromise. Perhaps someone’s using sex to self-harm. There<br />

are infinite ways to enjoy sex, and as many ways to not. They’re<br />

not all “experimenting”, and won’t improve with practise. It’s<br />

usually acknowledged that survivors and those with disabilities<br />

or other medical conditions might not want sex; but this still<br />

implies that, were it not for that “deficiency”, everybody would<br />

want and enjoy sex.<br />

“If sex is ultimately<br />

good, not having sex is<br />

bad. Not wanting sex<br />

means that something’s<br />

wrong.”<br />

Some people are asexual, some just aren’t interested. We<br />

need to work as actively to tell people that it’s okay to not enjoy<br />

sex, and that we don’t need the mediocre “bonding” experiences<br />

we’re told are integral to normal healthy relationships. We<br />

can work with our partners and the people in our lives to create<br />

mutually beneficial relationships, however we want those to be.<br />

There’s nothing inherently negative about sex, and the<br />

seemingly inescapable stigma needs challenging, but there’s<br />

nothing inherently positive about it either. It’s imperative for<br />

sex positive movements to maintain this distinction. While sex<br />

is demonised, it’s also hopelessly entwined with desirability,<br />

beauty, and love; these are ideas which need to be challenged<br />

alongside slut-shaming.<br />

Like other activities and hobbies, there are ways to go about<br />

it that are respectful, kind, and loving; there are also rude,<br />

unsafe, and abusive ways. It’s all sex. Not everybody is into it.<br />

Not everybody wants to be into it. People need education about<br />

consent and safety, but honestly, the world has had enough of<br />

assigning moral value to sex.<br />

24 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


SOCIETY<br />

The #hashtag movement<br />

By Sachetha Bamunusinghe<br />

T<br />

he fact that I’m writing this article is a testament to how<br />

far technology has become involved with our lives. 20<br />

years ago people would have referred to ‘hash’ as that button<br />

on their block phones, or the legendary hashbrown (still is).<br />

However now, the hashtag has revolutionized the way we communicate<br />

about world issues. World issues are serious issues<br />

that affect real people in the real world. So how has typing your<br />

opinion on social media become an important role in advocating<br />

world problems? Is the #hashtag movement a call for<br />

the new generation of discussion, or is it rather, a call in only<br />

discussion and no action?<br />

An important advantage of hashtag activism is the ability to<br />

increase awareness about global issues. As social media allows<br />

us to connect with people from around the world, advocating<br />

an issue can be done with a click of a button. A notable example<br />

is #ALSIceBucketChallenge which involved participants pouring<br />

ice water on themselves to increase awareness of Motor Neuron<br />

Disease. This hashtag campaign spread awareness about the<br />

disease and how there is ongoing research for the causes and<br />

for a cure. Additionally, the #ALSIceBucketChallenge generated<br />

an increase of donations for many ALS organizations to<br />

research the disease with approximately US$220 million donated<br />

in 2014. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge encompasses the<br />

power of social media in spreading awareness of what would<br />

have been a lesser-known health issue, and to instead, increase<br />

charitable donation and awareness worldwide. The power of<br />

hashtags allows us to advocate these issues to our community<br />

so they are informed and aware of how they can take-part at<br />

any level and contribute.<br />

Another advantage of hashtag activism is the inspiration<br />

to create change, and to discuss important ideas with others.<br />

A hashtag that is close to home yet encapsulates values that<br />

are universal is seen through #iwillridewithyou. This hashtag<br />

sparked discussion after the siege in the Lindt café in Sydney,<br />

as there were reports of Australian Muslims fearing to ride<br />

public transport in Australia. The hashtag allowed people to<br />

pledge their support to ride public transport with those who<br />

wear religious attire, to help them not fear racism in public.<br />

This great campaign created a sense of unity around Australia,<br />

as Australian Muslims felt safer in their community as Mr<br />

Malas states in an ABC interview “it’s very positive and just<br />

makes you feel you are not alone in this”. The hashtag #iwillridewithyou<br />

illustrates how a community who may feel divided<br />

and disadvantaged can instead unite and create a more harmonious<br />

Australia. Additionally, #iwillridewithyou has sparked<br />

online discussion about why this is an important issue and how<br />

racism by the few is not tolerated in our multicultural society.<br />

It is evident that hashtag activism in the technological world,<br />

can pledge our support and drive for positive change in the real<br />

world.<br />

However, in light of these positives there are certain<br />

limitations that should be noted, one of which is how successful<br />

outcomes from hashtag activism is not guaranteed. For<br />

example #BringBackOurGirls was formed after the abduction<br />

of 276 school girls by a Boko Haram-led militant Islamist group<br />

in Nigeria. It is believed that the girls were abducted for forced<br />

sex slavery, a horrendous issue that is becoming prominent in<br />

marginal areas. The hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was recognized<br />

by well known figures such as U.S First Lady Michelle<br />

Obama, who assisted in driving more awareness of the issue.<br />

However two years later many of the girls are still missing,<br />

resulting in increased pressure for International Governmental<br />

organizations to undertake appropriate action, and further<br />

increase funding for school programs in Nigeria. Another<br />

movement that highlights failed elements of hashtag activism<br />

is #Kony2012. This hashtag was used to raise awareness about<br />

a violent militant movement led by Joseph Kony, who was<br />

known to use child soldiers in Uganda. Although this sparked<br />

discussion in 2012 and campaign videos were seen millions of<br />

time, Kony is still currently free. Many say that the #Kony2012<br />

campaign was one that was too focused on making impactful<br />

films, rather than finding practical solutions. What does this<br />

say about hashtag activism? Is it really making a difference in<br />

solving world issues?<br />

These are just a few points about hashtag activism and<br />

its role in discussing world issues, but there is also intensive<br />

research conducted by many so do check it out. Hashtag movements<br />

have the ability to spark much needed discussion around<br />

the world. Although, are we so congested in social media that<br />

we dismiss taking further action in real life? Would we rather<br />

advocate behind the safety of our screens? Whether you believe<br />

the #hashtag movement is effective or not, it is certainly<br />

becoming a point of discussion and will continue to be so in the<br />

future.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 25


SOCIETY<br />

Good for you<br />

By Harley McDonald-Eckersall<br />

Illustration by Amber Francis<br />

26 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


SOCIETY<br />

Content warning: This article contains<br />

discussion about body isssues and eating<br />

disorders<br />

A<br />

familiar conversation: You ask someone – friend, lover,<br />

acquaintance, family member, etcetera – if they would<br />

like to share some delicious item of food with you, only to be<br />

greeted with the increasingly common phrase, “Oh I shouldn’t,<br />

I’m trying to be good”. How many of you have been a part of<br />

such a conversation in the recent past? I’m guessing that if we<br />

were in a classroom right now, there would be a sea of hands<br />

raised in agreement. But what does this perception of food<br />

and health mean for us as a society? Are we really at the point<br />

where we judge our morality on how physically healthy we are?<br />

Doesn’t that seem kind of messed up?<br />

These days we are bombarded with the idea of conscienceladen<br />

eating, with phrases such as ‘guilt free’ being plastered<br />

across everything from pasta recipes to ice-cream and moral<br />

labels such as good, bad, naughty and virtuous being used<br />

to refer to what we choose to put into our bodies. The health<br />

industry is one which seems to constantly be trying to guide<br />

us towards a perfect lifestyle, offering us “superfoods” and<br />

informing us how much exercise we should be doing, what we<br />

should and should not be eating, and why the way we want to<br />

live is just not good enough.<br />

More and more we are being conditioned not to accept our<br />

intuitions about our health and to instead follow the guidelines<br />

of the latest study or celebrity fitness blogger, who we are<br />

led to believe understands our bodies far better than we ever<br />

could. Simultaneously, our trust in our own senses and needs is<br />

degraded, while we are flooded with a barrage of conflicting information.<br />

At the end of the day it seems that no matter whose<br />

advice we follow there will be someone else telling us that we<br />

are doing it wrong. This leads to the conclusion that there must<br />

be a “right” way to be healthy.<br />

Can anyone see what is missing from this insidious perception<br />

of individual health? That’s right – the individual. What<br />

our health industry seems to be largely missing is the fact that<br />

health is immensely personal and is not something a one-size<br />

fits all mentality can be applied to. When wellbeing is moralised<br />

individuality is eliminated, leading to a widespread disassociation<br />

of personal needs and desires, an effect which can have<br />

extremely dangerous outcomes on mental health and identity.<br />

As a person who is struggling with, and recovering from, an<br />

eating disorder, I have seen this disassociation first hand in an<br />

eating disorder ward at one of our local hospitals. As a direct<br />

result of messages from the media and the internet, I have<br />

experienced in myself – and I have seen in others – a complete<br />

What our health<br />

industry seems to be<br />

largely missing is the<br />

fact that health is<br />

immensely personal and<br />

is not something a onesize<br />

fits all mentality<br />

can be applied to.<br />

loss of trust in physical sensations, with my needs only allowed<br />

to be fulfilled when they are endorsed by someone else. Desires<br />

and behaviours are labelled as good or bad, based on the latest<br />

piece of information read or heard.<br />

No doubt these are extreme cases, but they are not as<br />

far removed from the norm as one may think. In fact, this<br />

obsession with, and moralisation of, health is so prevalent that<br />

it has even spawned its own unofficial diagnosis: orthorexia<br />

nervosa. It seems that general beliefs about food, exercise and<br />

health are blurring with mental illnesses, with even perfectly<br />

healthy people’s consciences prickling when deciding to watch a<br />

movie instead of going to the gym or to enjoy a piece of ‘guilty’<br />

cake at a friend’s birthday party. While health is undoubtedly<br />

important it is also holistic, and encompasses more than just<br />

the physical, unquestionably linked with wellbeing and –<br />

crucially – happiness.<br />

When how we choose to go about achieving our own<br />

personal version of health becomes the focus of morality and<br />

judgement, we run the risk of losing sight of what our real<br />

needs are and how we can achieve them. While there are people<br />

who may want some professional guidance to achieve optimum<br />

wellbeing, for the most part we are the ones who understand<br />

what health feels like for us and what we need to do to function<br />

at our best. So, next time you or someone else goes to refuse<br />

something they want because they are ‘being good’ perhaps<br />

take a moment to question whose concept of good is being<br />

considered. Is it really yours?<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 27


We need to<br />

talk about<br />

Lionel Shriver<br />

By Linh Nguyen<br />

‘White people create the dominant images of the world<br />

and don’t quite see that they thus construct the world in<br />

their own image’<br />

Richard Dyer, ‘The Matter of Whiteness’<br />

the teacher reads snow white<br />

the teacher reads snow white<br />

the teacher reads snow white<br />

in our fairy tales<br />

my daughter will scar herself<br />

with household bleach tonight<br />

crying mirror mirror on the wall<br />

erase this face as black as night<br />

Maxine Beneba Clarke,<br />

Melbourne Writers Festival, Opening Night<br />

Address, 26th August, <strong>2016</strong><br />

I am hopeful that the concept of “cultural appropriation”<br />

is a passing fad …<br />

Membership of a larger group is not an identity. Being<br />

Asian is not an identity. Being gay is not an identity.<br />

Being deaf, blind, or wheelchair-bound is not an identity,<br />

nor is being economically deprived.<br />

… I would argue that any story you can make yours is<br />

yours to tell, and trying to push the boundaries of the<br />

author’s personal experience is part of a fiction writer’s<br />

job.’<br />

Lionel Shriver,<br />

Brisbane Writers Festival, Opening Night Address,<br />

11th September, <strong>2016</strong><br />

I<br />

’m tired by this. I’m exhausted. I have nothing new to say<br />

that many others haven’t already said before me.<br />

By the time this article reaches you this controversy will<br />

most likely be yesterday’s news, yet the debate at the centre of<br />

it remains as pertinent as ever.<br />

Don’t know what I am talking about?<br />

This year, Lionel Shriver was invited to give the opening<br />

address at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Shriver, always the<br />

one to bait controversy, went against the festival’s rosy-bland<br />

theme of ‘Community and Belonging’ to deliver an incendiary<br />

keynote address on ‘identity politics’ and ‘cultural appropriation’.<br />

Many people walked out during her speech, one of which<br />

was Yassmin Abdel-Magrid, who—in a blog post that went viral<br />

and was subsequently published on The Guardian—described it<br />

as ‘a poisoned package wrapped up in arrogance and delivered<br />

with condescension’. Countless think pieces have sprouted up<br />

in response. In writing this, I’m in danger of adding noise to an<br />

already deafening room. Yet, the spectacle surrounding Lionel<br />

Shriver’s inflammatory speech has tapped into an issue that is<br />

raging at the heart of our collective consciousness.<br />

For Shriver, the primary injustice of our literary culture isn’t<br />

the erasure, the silencing, and the marginalization of “minority<br />

or disadvantaged identities” (her words, not mine), but the<br />

militant climate of ‘political correctness’ that a privileged, widely-published<br />

and internationally-celebrated white writer like<br />

her faces. She uses her platform to bemoan the push toward<br />

inclusive representation, stating how the presence of transgender<br />

and queer characters in TV shows such as Transparent and<br />

Orange Is The New Black is just another ‘fashionable exercise’<br />

in tokenism. She takes shots at the criticism levelled against<br />

her depiction of the single black character in her new novel.<br />

But most of all, she ridicules the ‘hoo-ha’ surrounding issues of<br />

‘cultural appropriation’ in art and fiction, namely, when a white<br />

writer speaks for, and writes from the perspective of, a person<br />

of colour.<br />

Underneath all her misplaced racial ignorance and self-importance,<br />

there lies a genuine question—are there limits to an<br />

artist’s imagination? How do writers create and relate to stories<br />

outside their own experience and identities, particularly when<br />

they are positioned in a place of power and privilege? How do<br />

we represent other lives? Lionel erases all nuance to the discussion<br />

when she immediately attacks from the defensive, and<br />

mocks the legitimate critiques that people have raised.<br />

Let’s take a recent example from Monash. Earlier this year,<br />

MUST put on a show that involved, among other things, a<br />

white student dressing up and performing as his Chinese<br />

alter-ego. Many in the Monash Women of Colour Collective felt<br />

this to be a prime example of yellow-face, another incident in<br />

the long history of white people performing as Asian stereotypes<br />

(See: Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s).<br />

To give the benefit of the doubt, let’s say that this performance<br />

was intended as a sincere homage to Chinese people and<br />

Chinese culture, et cetera et cetera. However, the idea that you<br />

can put on an ethnic or racial identity as a costume is inherently<br />

offensive, and to do so echoes the racist tradition of minstrel<br />

shows. While this may not have been the artist’s intention,<br />

cultural products are not created in a vacuum.<br />

Lionel Shriver champions the idea that ‘fiction writers have<br />

a vested interest in protecting everyone’s right to offend others’.<br />

She utilizes the common trope of ‘political correctness’ as<br />

a form of totalitarian censorship, eroding her inalienable right<br />

28 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Non-white children<br />

grow up in a culture<br />

where, in the stories<br />

and narratives they<br />

receive, they don’t see<br />

themselves reflected.<br />

to freedom of expression and speech. As Junot Diaz remarked:<br />

“note the contradiction: Shriver’s right to appropriate should<br />

not be questioned, by our right to question that appropriation<br />

should be condemned”. Shriver sees herself as an outlier, an<br />

‘iconoclast’, defending an unpopular opinion in the face of<br />

righteous moral indignation; but in essence, Shriver hasn’t said<br />

anything that we haven’t heard countless times before. A cursory<br />

glance at the comments section will show that many, if not<br />

most, share her views. Lionel Shriver isn’t in danger of being<br />

silenced – her speech has garnered a blizzard of attention, and<br />

is circulating with immense traction. Lionel isn’t speaking from<br />

the margins; she’s pontificating from a seat of power.<br />

Indeed, coverage of Shriver’s Speech eclipsed that of<br />

Maxine Beneba Clarke’s powerful Opening Night Address at<br />

the Melbourne Writers Festival, two weeks before. Maxine, a<br />

Melbourne writer of Afro-Caribbean descent, chose to address<br />

‘the unsung narratives, the stories ignored, the stories beneath<br />

our feet…the worlds often absent from our national literature’.<br />

Two festivals, two incommensurable opening night<br />

addresses.<br />

Maxine affirmed how integral narratives and stories are to<br />

one’s world view and self-perception: ‘‘Story is how we say: ‘We<br />

were here.’ ‘We existed.’ ‘This is how it was.’’<br />

She asks: ‘What do we seek story for, if not to encounter<br />

worlds different from our own, as well as interrogate the one<br />

we exist in?’<br />

Maxine draws attention to the fact that non-white children<br />

grow up in a culture where, in the stories and narratives they<br />

receive, they don’t see themselves reflected: ‘some Australian<br />

children learn very quickly that literature is a landscape they<br />

do not belong in, that books render them invisible. That their<br />

stories are not important’. (if you want to make a human being<br />

into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of<br />

themselves – Junot Diaz)<br />

As a first generation migrant, I can attest to this experience.<br />

Although as a child I was an avid reader and consumer of literature,<br />

in the fictional universes I encountered, I discovered that<br />

– bar one or two exceptions –I didn’t exist. On TV, in films, in<br />

music; I didn’t exist.<br />

It wasn’t until university that I discovered a term for this<br />

exists: symbolic annihilation.<br />

Symbolic annihilation encompasses two things: firstly, it’s<br />

not seeing yourself represented in culture; secondly, it’s only<br />

seeing yourself being denigrated, reduced, eroded, infantilized<br />

—in essence, only seeing yourself through someone else’s<br />

terms.<br />

In my five years studying literature at this tertiary institution,<br />

I can count the number of texts I have studied, written by<br />

a person-of-colour, on my fingers.<br />

The ‘Academy’ is overwhelmingly white. The culture industry<br />

is overwhelmingly white. Stories are uniformly depicted from<br />

a white perspective. Racialized images are uniformly created<br />

from a white perspective.<br />

(If the producers of racial imagery do not interrogate their<br />

perspective, then they may simply recreate the imperial gaze—<br />

the look that seeks to dominate, subjugate, and colonize.’ bell<br />

hooks)<br />

Yes, I believe that writers can and should step outside their<br />

own experience and inhabit other people’s skin. Fiction can be a<br />

place of radical identification and radical empathy.<br />

Yet:<br />

Co-opting someone else’s voice is an act of violence. Putting<br />

on someone else’s skin is an act of violence.<br />

As an artist, you can choose to engage in that violence. But<br />

don’t suggest that this act is without cost.<br />

Own it. Own that violence.<br />

Understand that you are implicating yourself in a colonial<br />

and imperial tradition.<br />

Know that narratives, that words, that language itself —<br />

they are not neutral, not innocent.<br />

Know that culture cannot be divorced from the material<br />

conditions of the world we live in. Know that stories come with<br />

histories.<br />

More than anything, be conscious and critical of the culture<br />

you consume.<br />

* My title is inspired by this brilliant essay:<br />

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jennybagel/they-pretend-to-be-us-while-pretendingwe-dont-exist<br />

‘They pretend to be us while pretending we don’t exist’ by Jenny<br />

Zhang<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 29


SOCIETY<br />

Politics in trenches<br />

By Julia Pillai<br />

In response to Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech, all nine<br />

Greens senators walked out of the senate in a move that<br />

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale described as “reaching out<br />

decent Australians” by speaking out against racism. However<br />

this action by the Greens, much like Pauline’s speech itself, has<br />

caused controversy.<br />

The speech, and the response to it, summarises the problems<br />

between the left and the right. While the statements made by<br />

Pauline range from ridiculous, defamatory, untrue, and likely<br />

to incite hatred, the action by the Greens did not do anything<br />

to remedy that issue. If anything, it may have had the opposite<br />

effect. It may have proven in the eyes of Hanson supporters<br />

that the Greens are ‘latté sipping, elitist socialists’, out of touch<br />

with the increasingly disillusioned working class. This has led<br />

to far right groups making ridiculous claims of bigotry that<br />

are seemingly unable to tell the difference between historical<br />

and systematic oppression based on identifiers that cannot be<br />

altered or chosen by individuals, and are expressed by people<br />

simply wishing to oppose opinions that other people choose to<br />

have.<br />

I was *inspired* by a Junkee Video of with a overtly hipster-ish<br />

bearded tattooed guy talking about how getting news<br />

through social media has led many people to be in “echo chambers”.<br />

In order to save myself from my friends socially progressive/liberal/centrist-to-left<br />

opinions (over the last few months)<br />

I have forced myself to do the following:<br />

1. Follow The Australian on Facebook<br />

2. Actually read these articles… past the headlines<br />

3. Read the comments… and occasionally actually comment.<br />

Like most Facebook comment threads, the ones in response<br />

to The Australian are all fairly feral, illiterate and horrifying<br />

and likely to make you think horrible things, like “Socrates was<br />

right democracy is a terrible idea”. Yet other than an increase<br />

in misanthropy, it’s been an experience. And viewing both sides<br />

has led me to this conclusion:<br />

The right love to troll. The left adore calling out.<br />

While there is certainly scope for real criticism on many issues,<br />

the foot soldiers of the right never takes that opportunity.<br />

Instead, it opts for ridiculing the issues, creating straw men and<br />

making intellectually deficit claims. They fail at every level to<br />

understand what they are discussing - they know that they hate<br />

‘political correctness’ but have no real understanding of what<br />

that means, or the actual purpose of what that is.<br />

The left, on the other hand, have strangely similar problems.<br />

While much like how there is space for criticism on issues,<br />

there’s certainly a legitimacy in calling out problematic actions<br />

or statements. Yet the foot soldiers of the left too often call<br />

out individuals, rather than actions and opinions. “What that<br />

person says is illegitimate because they (the person who said it)<br />

are/racist/sexist/queerphobic, etc.”<br />

Politics is personal, and on both the left and the right,<br />

individuals feel hurt and disregarded. They also feel genuinely<br />

terrified. Whether or not we think that these feelings<br />

are legitimate, both sides *feel* oppressed, and in some cases<br />

they are. The feeling on both sides is that the other side is not<br />

willing to educate themselves about their issues or struggles,<br />

and not willing to take measures to reconcile. This is also true.<br />

Preaching to the converted does not solve any issues. It only<br />

digs our political graves.<br />

30 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Wot’s Life with Monorail Man<br />

Illustration by Christina Dodds<br />

What do you do, exactly?<br />

I've sold monorails to Swinburne, Deakin, and RMIT, and,<br />

by gum, it put them on the Times Higher Education World<br />

University Rankings!<br />

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth<br />

Like a genuine, bona fide<br />

Electrified, six-car monorail!<br />

What'd I say?<br />

Monorail! But I hear those things are awfully loud?<br />

It glides as softly as a cloud!<br />

Is there a chance the track could bend?<br />

Not on your life, my jaffy friend!<br />

What about us brain-dead slobs?<br />

Just drop out! I’ll get you cushy jobs.<br />

Were you sent here by UniMelb?<br />

No, good sir, they need my help!<br />

I swear it's Monash's only choice,<br />

Throw up your hands and raise your voice!<br />

Monorail!<br />

What's it called?<br />

Monorail!<br />

Once again!<br />

Monorail! But our parking system is messed up and<br />

broken...<br />

Sorry, ma’am, the Chancellor has spoken.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 31


RESULTS OF ELECTIONS<br />

Counting of votes cast at the <strong>2016</strong> MSA annual elections has<br />

concluded, with election results declared. The number of votes<br />

for the referendum is listed first and then the first preference<br />

votes received by each candidate by position is listed below<br />

that.<br />

Referendum<br />

For the referendum question:<br />

“Do you agree to the proposed amendments to the MSA<br />

Constitution including the addition of<br />

Radio Monash as a division, the creation of the People of<br />

Colour department, the removal of<br />

the Committees from the constitution and the changes to the<br />

Queer and Disabilities<br />

departments?”<br />

2,601 students cast a vote in the referendum out of 30,414<br />

students on the electoral roll.<br />

• 2,105 students voted for the resolution to be adopted.<br />

• 397 students voted against the resolution being adopted.<br />

• 99 students cast an informal vote.<br />

The referendum question was declared to be carried.<br />

Environment & Social Justice Officer<br />

Jasmine Duff & Tess Dimos Go! 1808<br />

Naish Gawen & Jasmine Shirrefs Grassroots 706<br />

Informal votes: 87<br />

Women’s Affairs Committee<br />

Jessie Lu Go! 852 – 1st Elected<br />

Emily Jiang Go! 9 – 3rd Elected<br />

Gellie Cano Go! 6 – 4th Elected<br />

Eleanor D’Ambrosio Scott Go! 13 – 5th Elected<br />

Emily Griffith Grassroots 213 – 2nd Elected<br />

National Union of Students Delegates<br />

Abigail Stapleton Go! 1365 – 1st Elected<br />

Matilda Grey Go! 19 – 4th Elected<br />

Jessica Stone Go! 15 – 5th Elected<br />

Nicholas Virgo Go! 15 – 6th Elected<br />

Tess Dimos Left Action 527 – 2nd Elected<br />

Jasmine Duff Left Action 21 – 7th Elected<br />

Lauren Karas Grassroots 312 – 3rd Elected<br />

Any queries in relation to the above can be directed to me at<br />

msa.returningofficer@gmail.com.<br />

Electronic copies of the multi-member count sheets are available<br />

from the MSA upon request.<br />

Gavin Ryan<br />

Returning Officer<br />

23 September <strong>2016</strong><br />

0409 757 504<br />

msa.returningofficer@gmail.com<br />

Editors of Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

Robert Staunton, Emina Besirevic, Nicholas Bugeja &<br />

Sophia McNamara Go! 1565<br />

Ovindu Rajasinghe, Madeline Luke & Tara Hellwege 956<br />

Informal votes: 95<br />

Monash Student Council General Representative<br />

Eve Ward Go! 1548 – 1st Elected<br />

Sasha Brady Go! 28 – 2nd Elected<br />

Benjamin Caddaye Go! 12 – 3rd Elected<br />

Eleanor D’Ambrosio Scott Go! 17 – 4th Elected<br />

Elizabeth Jackson Left Action 362 – 5th Elected<br />

32 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 33


SUN MON TUES WED<br />

2 3<br />

4 5<br />

9 10 11 12<br />

O<br />

C<br />

T<br />

O<br />

B<br />

E<br />

R<br />

16 17 18 19<br />

23 24 25 26<br />

30 31


THURS FRI SAT<br />

1<br />

6 7 8<br />

O<br />

C<br />

T<br />

O<br />

B<br />

E<br />

R<br />

13 14 15<br />

Designed by<br />

Lucie Cester<br />

20 21 22<br />

27 28 29<br />

November already? Turn<br />

over for an illustration by<br />

Olivia Parry


36 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


SCIENCE<br />

IT MEANS THEY CARE?<br />

Relationships, be they partners, friends or family, can be a great<br />

part of life, but sometimes behaviours that we can brush off as<br />

someone 'just showing how much they care' can actaully be<br />

harmful or dangerous. Relationships should be about equality,<br />

respect and open communication. These are some red flags you<br />

should look for before or during any relationship.<br />

MONASH<br />

SAFER COMMUNITY UNIT<br />

T: +61 3 9905 1599<br />

E: safercommunity@monash.edu<br />

monash.edu<br />

Try asking yourself:<br />

• Do they show extreme moodswings, saying that they'll love you<br />

forever then getting angry and saying they hate you?<br />

• Are they expecting you to make big, unreasonable committments to<br />

them very early in the relationship?<br />

• Are they possissive, jealous or manipulative? Do they try to stop you<br />

from seeing your family and friends or spread lies about you to them?<br />

• Are they controlling of your behaviour, such as dictating where<br />

you go, what you can wear or even what you can eat?<br />

Never date someone out of pity and trust your instincts. If these<br />

behaviours sound familiar, the Safer Community Unit can help.<br />

For information, advice and support in a safe environment, please contact the Monash University Safer Community Unit on 9905<br />

1599 or just dial 51599 from a Monash phone.The Safer Community Unit website also lists resources and links to external agencies<br />

http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/safercommunity/<br />

Adapted from Surviving Stalking (2002) by Michele Pathé


SCIENCE


SCIENCE<br />

I want to believe<br />

(but the math says no)<br />

By James Quintana Pearce<br />

Illustration by Eliza Stribling<br />

Almost a year ago, civilisation was shattered when citizen<br />

astronomers prepublished a paper on arXiv titled:<br />

Planet Hunters X. KIC 8462852 - Where's the Flux? What originally<br />

appeared to be a tepid report of a tedious astronomical<br />

phenomena detected by the Kepler telescope between 2009 and<br />

2013 soon became the subject of global gossip and speculation.<br />

KIC 8462852 (now known as Tabby’s Star after the lead<br />

author of the paper) lies roughly 1,400 light years away in<br />

the constellation of Cygnus, the swan*. The paper reported<br />

“aperiodic dips in flux of up to ~20\%. The dipping activity can<br />

last for between 5 and 80 days. They concluded that the most<br />

likely explanation was the passage of a family of exocomets or<br />

planetesimal fragments in front of the star.<br />

That would have been fine, if the boffins had left it alone.<br />

However, Professor Schaefer from Louisiana State University<br />

examined half a million photographs of the sky taken between<br />

1890 and 1989 and found that the star had been dimming<br />

consistently over that hundred years.<br />

Not to be outdone, a grad student at CalTech published a<br />

study showing that the dimming of the star was even more<br />

excessive than that. Over the first thousand days of the Kepler<br />

mission, Tabby’s Star dimmed at 0.34% (twice as fast as over<br />

the period looked at by Professor Schaefer) then dimmed by<br />

more than 2% over the next 200 days, and then steadied out.<br />

As the authors wrote: “No known or proposed stellar phenomena<br />

can fully explain all aspects of the observed light curve.”<br />

So, what explanation does that leave? That’s right: Aliens.<br />

As Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University,<br />

said: “this looked like something you would expect an alien<br />

civilization to build”. The idea was that the dimming was caused<br />

by an alien civilisation building a Dyson Swarm, which is a large<br />

number of objects orbiting a star and capturing its energy, such<br />

as solar powered space stations with vast solar panels.<br />

Don’t worry, maths proves that it’s not an alien<br />

megastructure.<br />

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains about 100 billion stars.<br />

That’s a whopping big number. While we don’t know how many<br />

alien civilisations there are in the galaxy, Frank Drake once<br />

proposed an equation to estimate how many we could detect.<br />

He argued that the number would be equal to the average<br />

rate of star formation in our galaxy multiplied by the fraction<br />

of formed stars that have planets, multiplied by the average<br />

number of planets per star that has planets that can support<br />

life, multiplied by the fraction of those planets that actually<br />

develop life, multiplied by the fraction of those planets bearing<br />

life on which intelligent, civilised life has developed, multiplied<br />

by the fraction of those that have developed communications,<br />

multiplied by the length of time over which such civilisations<br />

release detectable signals.<br />

That’s a lot of things to take into account, but the important<br />

thing is to notice how many of those are fractions. Most stars<br />

seem to have planets, but very few of those planets would be<br />

capable of supporting life. They have to be the right size, with<br />

the right components, at the right distance from the star.<br />

Even those planets that could support life don’t automatically<br />

generate it - as far as we know life has spontaneously generated<br />

exactly once, even though other planets in our solar system<br />

have been capable of supporting life in the past. So I think it’s<br />

safe to say that only a small fraction of planets that can sustain<br />

life actually develop it.<br />

How many planets that have a genesis event actually go on<br />

to develop an advanced civilisation that we could detect? The<br />

formation of eukaryotes and multicellular organisms is not a<br />

given, and most life events would stay at the primordial ooze<br />

stage. If intelligent life develops, but finds itself on a planet<br />

without an easy fuel source or without many metals, it’s not<br />

going to get very far.<br />

I won’t put any numbers in here - you can play with that -<br />

but it’s safe to say that for every star that contains an advanced<br />

civilisation building a Dyson Swarm, there are hundreds of<br />

millions - or even billions - of stars that are just doing their own<br />

thing based on non-living processes. Remember, Kepler only<br />

looked at 145,000 stars.<br />

So any time we detect an irregularity, no matter how<br />

difficult it is for us to come up with an explanation that fits<br />

its peculiarities, the chances of the cause being alien civilisations<br />

rather than astronomical processes is in the order of 1<br />

in billions. If we found a strangely behaving star every day we<br />

would, on average, have to look for hundreds of thousands of<br />

years before we found a peculiarity that was actually the result<br />

of aliens.<br />

This argument applies to everything regarding aliens. If a<br />

strange craft floats down before you one lonesome night, and<br />

a little green man with silly antennae on his head struts up<br />

and down in front of you making “meep meep” noises, it’s far<br />

more likely that you ate the wrong mushrooms than that you’ve<br />

made inter-planetary contact. If this craft came down in a city<br />

and thousands of people saw and took photos and videos and<br />

posted them to instagram, it is statistically far more likely to be<br />

a hoax perpetrated by Russia or Coca Cola than alien life forms<br />

popping over to say “hey gurl”.<br />

*Of course, everyone missed the obvious “Black Swan” pun. This is because news<br />

organisations keep firing sub-editors.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 39


Up all night to get lucky<br />

by Hashwina Vimalrajan<br />

Illustration by Christina Dodds<br />

W<br />

e've all been in that situation before. Hands on head,<br />

clock ticking on one side, papers scattered all over,<br />

caffeine or energy drink on one end, table lamp on the other<br />

and a bleak computer screen with the words ‘'DEADLINE DUE<br />

TOMORROW'' right in front . And cue *panic attack*.<br />

As university students, we’re all extremely prone to pull<br />

the eventual all-nighter now and then. Some of us do it most<br />

of the time and emerge victorious 10/10 (I suspect witchcraft<br />

involved with this), but with most, it’s usually just rushing<br />

to pass or achieve an average mark. We're well aware of the<br />

consequences associated with our decision of pulling an<br />

all-nighter but why do we still do it? Well, science states and<br />

proves that when the human brain is subjected to any severe/<br />

intense form of stress and or pressure, it chooses to take the<br />

quickest route and carry out the said task as soon as possible.<br />

This is simply a survival mechanism. The response enables the<br />

human brain to quickly react to life-threatening situations. A<br />

semester paper due the next day or an impending exam, etc.<br />

would be the precise definition of a life-threatening situation.<br />

So, as much as people advise us to get seven to eight hours of<br />

sleep, we're somehow going to deny that suggestion completely,<br />

respond to our hormonal and physiological changes and<br />

jump on to the bandwagon to complete what's thought to be,<br />

a ‘'successful all-nighter''. Procrastination here is the mother<br />

of all evil and most definitely one of the factors aiding the<br />

attempt of an all-nighter. Now, as an avid procrastinator myself<br />

I can confirm that the guilt and panic does not kick in until<br />

the very last minute; that no matter what task big or small, it<br />

just somehow decides to get delayed by itself (or the universe<br />

conspiring against it) and if there was a rehabilitation centre<br />

for this disease, I would willingly admit myself to it. I say this<br />

as I rush to write this overdue article. Guilty as charged. Once<br />

procrastination comes into play, the situation all goes downhill<br />

and we're trapped into what seems to be a time crunch filled between<br />

caffeine and a computer screen. In this small time frame<br />

where we work tirelessly trying to finish our task and when we<br />

take the irrational decision of not sleeping, what do you think<br />

happens to your brain?<br />

Well first and foremost, your hormone levels rise. Cortisol is<br />

a stress hormone and as stated earlier, since your stress levels<br />

are already high, deciding to stay awake the whole night makes<br />

it rise even more resulting in a decrease in memory, bone<br />

density and lowering of immunity. Another two hormones that<br />

mess things up are leptin and ghrelin which regulate appetite.<br />

In individuals who lack sleep, the body tends to produce less<br />

leptin and more ghrelin making you feel constantly hungry.<br />

Safe to say, if you're trying to lose weight or be healthy don't<br />

even TRY to attempt an all-nighter. Secondly, your thalamus<br />

goes haywire. The thalamus is an essential component of the<br />

vertebrate brain and controls consciousness and alertness<br />

.Without this functioning properly, the human mind loses its<br />

ability to recognize faces and facts. This can be linked with the<br />

popular ideology that an all-nighter doesn't actually help you<br />

retain information, but rather forget it and that your prefrontal<br />

lobes get tied up. Working memory is divided into four subsystems<br />

and all of these are connected to how well your frontal<br />

lobe works, and this takes a hit when you don't sleep.<br />

Now that you've been enlightened about the biological consequences<br />

of an all-nighter and will still do it anyways, here are<br />

some alternatives you can choose to follow:<br />

1. Switch from caffeine to fruit. Eating an apple has been<br />

scientifically proven to keep you more awake than consuming<br />

a gazillion amounts of decaf.<br />

2. Read and read and read. Rereading the material during<br />

the daytime, and then sleeping on it, helps encode that<br />

material into your long-term memory whereas if you<br />

study all throughout the night, your brain will have difficulties<br />

recalling the necessary information.<br />

3. Chuck out the energy drinks and hit the gym instead.<br />

Exercise has scientifically be proven to boost your mood<br />

and give you more energy due to the mood-enhancing<br />

chemicals that are pumped out when you exercise. So in<br />

between breaks, squeeze in a squat or two to pump up<br />

some of that energy.<br />

4. Stay cool (literally). When the effects of your sleep<br />

rhythm start to chime in, it signals your body to sleep<br />

by making you feel colder. Resist the urge to turn up the<br />

heat and layer down.<br />

5. Vicks it up. A lesser-known trick for an extra boost is<br />

found in Vicks Vapor Rub. Since it is a drug containing<br />

menthol and camphor, it tries to stimulate your senses<br />

and keep you awake.<br />

40 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


SCIENCE<br />

Electrons are the creepiest particle<br />

By Basia Mitula<br />

Electrons. Tiny, little, smaller-than-microscopic things<br />

that people tend to forget exist when going about<br />

their day to day lives. You learnt about them in science class.<br />

They have something to do with electricity. And they’re<br />

EVERYWHERE.<br />

You probably are quite familiar with these concepts. But<br />

have you ever considered… just how creepy they are?<br />

The key to their creepiness lies in quantum theory. Quantum<br />

theory, by definition, is weird. As many famous physicists have<br />

said in varying different ways: “if you think you understand<br />

quantum mechanics, you really don't”. Electrons as quantum<br />

particles act in weird ways. Weird and kinda creepy ways…<br />

One of the first things you learn about if you do quantum<br />

physics is the double slit experiment. There are two tiny tiny<br />

slits in a wall, and something gets aimed at the two slits which<br />

then may or may not change the path of this ‘something’ which<br />

we then detect on the other side. Now, we can do this with an<br />

electron gun, shooting one electron at the two slits at a time.<br />

After doing this quite a few times (after all, repetition is a vital<br />

part of science!) what do we detect on the other side?<br />

…<br />

…<br />

…<br />

A wave interference pattern!<br />

Yes. That’s right. If you thought an electron was as simple<br />

as a particle, you would be wrong. In this situation it acts like a<br />

wave! What’s weirder, is that only one electron is going through<br />

the two slits at a time. It’s almost like it somehow goes through<br />

both slits at the same time and interferes with ITSELF. Like,<br />

what the hell is an electron anymore? Do you know? Because I<br />

sure don’t.<br />

Now we’re going to change the experiment a bit. We want to<br />

see exactly what’s going on at the slits, so we’re going to put a<br />

detector on one slit to tell us when an electron goes through it.<br />

That’ll settle things, right? We repeat the experiment exactly as<br />

before, using the electron gun to shoot one electron at a time<br />

towards the double slit. We look at the results and blink (a bit<br />

at them) in surprise. This time there is no interference, nothing<br />

more than a completely ordinary pattern as would be created<br />

by a particle. So that begs the question: Why does adding a<br />

detector completely change the results of the exact same experiment?<br />

How does the electron ‘know’ that there is a difference<br />

between the two? How can it be a wave in one experiment, and<br />

a particle in the other? What actually is an electron?<br />

Time for round 2. There’s this thing in physics called<br />

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. One aspect of this principle<br />

is that it is impossible to predict where a quantum particle will<br />

be at any point in time. It’s possible to predict where it’s most<br />

likely to be, but not where it definitely will be. This means we<br />

have no idea where electrons are most of the time. Can we set<br />

up a detector saying when they’re at a certain point? Sure. But<br />

when that electron leaves that point we have no idea where in<br />

the universe it is. Theoretically, it could be at the other side of<br />

the universe. (That’s very unlikely, but the fact that the possibility<br />

exists is pretty cool and/or creepy, depending on your<br />

opinion.)<br />

This is how Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment was<br />

thought of. The idea is that an electron is in a contained area. If<br />

the electron is in one half of this area at a certain time, a poison<br />

is released into a box with a cat in it. If the electron is in the<br />

other half, no poison is released and the cat will be fine. There’s<br />

a 50/50 chance that the poison has been released, and we have<br />

no way of knowing if it has or not before opening the box with<br />

the cat in it. So the argument is, if we don’t open the box, the<br />

cat is in a superposition, being both dead and alive, and only<br />

opening the box will force the cat to be one way or another.<br />

Kinda weird, right?<br />

Here’s another weird thing. The electron is being held back<br />

by an energy wall. It just doesn’t have the energy to jump over<br />

that wall. The poor electron :(<br />

So what’s an electron to do?<br />

Have you ever tried walking through a wall like the wizards<br />

do to get to Platform 9 3/4? Did it work out? Most likely your<br />

answer is ‘no’. (If your answer is ‘yes’ then please do write<br />

about it for Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>. I want to read all about it.) It is an<br />

accepted fact. People just can’t walk through walls. That’s why<br />

the ability to do that would be ‘magical’. Now, electrons live in a<br />

different world than us. A world so tiny, the ‘magical’ becomes<br />

‘normal’. What would you say if I told you that under the right<br />

circumstances electrons can barge right through that energy<br />

wall that was holding them back? That they can transmit<br />

information instantly from one electron to its partner which<br />

is faster than the speed of light? That people have successfully<br />

teleported electrons? Yes, that’s right, the quantum world is<br />

literally magical.<br />

If you’re not creeped out by now, let me leave you with a final<br />

thought. Since there is a small probability that an electron could be<br />

anywhere in the universe, why can’t it be possible that every electron<br />

in the universe is actually the same electron, but everywhere at<br />

the same time?<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 41


SCIENCE<br />

Infinite worlds:<br />

procedural generation<br />

in No Man’s Sky<br />

By Rachael Welling<br />

Early August saw the release of the much anticipated No<br />

Man’s Sky, a space exploration survival simulator from<br />

Hello Games, billed on being almost entirely ‘procedurally<br />

generated’. There are around 18 quintillion planets for players<br />

to visit, or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 to be exact – all with<br />

their own unique landscape, climate, flora, fauna, perils and<br />

spoils, and all of it essentially created by an algorithm (or two).<br />

The term ‘procedurally generated’ was bandied about a lot<br />

during the game’s development, often as the game’s main draw.<br />

Not as often, however, was the term explained. So what exactly<br />

is procedural generation?<br />

Starting at a definition, procedural generation is the creation<br />

of content using an algorithm, with an algorithm essentially<br />

being a set of rules and parameters used to take an input and<br />

turn it into an output. Long-division is an algorithm. Baking<br />

a cake is an algorithm. Googling something sets in motion a<br />

web search algorithm. The types of content that can be made<br />

using procedural generation vary widely: numeric, visual, audio,<br />

text-based, among others. In videogames, procedural generation<br />

is typically used for generating game environments (terrain,<br />

textures, map layout), encounters (how AI will act and/or<br />

react to your actions) and loot. Loot generation in particular is<br />

one of the more common examples of procedural generation in<br />

videogames. Say every time you open a box in a game, you get<br />

a cache of items. Naturally there needs to be a list of items you<br />

can receive; procedural generation doesn’t create from nothing,<br />

it needs inputs. So when you open the box, you might receive<br />

a completely random list of items, defined by an algorithm<br />

that picks items randomly, or you might receive items based<br />

on some parameters: your skill level, your class, the items you<br />

already own, or how ‘rare’ different items are. Both of these<br />

scenarios are ‘procedural generation’, and just two of the many<br />

types of procedural generation used in No Man’s Sky.<br />

Lead developer on No Man’s Sky and co-founder of Hello<br />

Games, Sean Murray, was hesitant to call his work on the game<br />

‘programming’, as he and his team weren’t ‘creating’ the game<br />

42 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


SCIENCE<br />

in the traditional sense, but rather the rules and recipes that<br />

would create the game’s world. First thing’s first, the galactic<br />

map. An input number (or ‘seed’, apparently the phone number<br />

of one of the developers at Hello Games) is used to kick off a<br />

pseudorandom number generator, which plots the position and<br />

stellar classifications of the stars in No Man’s Sky. The coordinates<br />

of each star becomes the next input, and an algorithm (or<br />

two) takes it from there. Star coordinates determine orbiting<br />

planet number and location, planet location determines planet<br />

terrain and climate, and climate determines the type of flora<br />

and fauna. That first input – the phone number of a (probably)<br />

overworked London game developer – creates an entire<br />

universe, and creates it the same way for each player. This is<br />

why that first generator is ‘pseudo-random’. In order to avoid<br />

melting the average gaming console, No Man’s Sky essentially<br />

generates a portion of game universe in real time based on player<br />

location (as opposed to constantly generating and keeping<br />

track of all 18 quintillion planets). Because of this, it needs<br />

to generate each planet the same way each time, otherwise<br />

there would be pure, actual chaos as planets and entire star<br />

systems completely changed with each revisit. This highlights<br />

an interesting caveat in the use of procedural generation; it is<br />

never truly ‘random’, and often governed by many many rules<br />

to make sure the output of the algorithm is at the very least<br />

coherent.<br />

Make no mistake, a vast amount of programming went into<br />

making No Man’s Sky an actual game as opposed to a dynamic<br />

and needlessly vast screensaver; things such as the user<br />

interface, the story, the physics, and the mechanics all needed<br />

a designing hand. Procedural generation simply handled the<br />

rest. And even then, the algorithms themselves needed a<br />

heavy amount of design. There need to be rules in place to<br />

stop No Man’s Sky’s algorithm from generating ten thousand<br />

planets around one star, or planets populated by 1000ft tall<br />

trees, or fish without mouths. Some of these rules can be fairly<br />

straight-forward, for example, imposing hard limits on certain<br />

parameters. Other rules relating to the generation of in-game<br />

flora and fauna are slightly more complex. To avoid generating<br />

creatures that look like they’ve come straight from God’s fever<br />

dreams, ‘silhouettes’ as they were dubbed by Sean Murray, were<br />

created by Hello Games for different types of fauna. There is a<br />

‘fish silhouette’ for example, with a basic fish skeleton and fish<br />

bits that the algorithms and mutate into something unique<br />

- assigning limbs, shapes and textures at random. Animation<br />

and behaviour is then assigned on top, for example large,<br />

horned or generally more mutated creatures are inherently<br />

more aggressive*. Similarly, the trees and plants on each planet<br />

are generated using L-systems, fractal equations that mimic<br />

organic structures. It is important therefore to distinguish the<br />

use of procedural generation in videogames as guided randomness.<br />

Where game design is architecture, procedural generation<br />

is gardening.<br />

It’s worth mentioning that No Man’s Sky received mixed<br />

reviews. The game currently sits a 71/100 critic rating on<br />

Metacritic. IGN called it ‘amazingly big, but too often poorly<br />

designed’. Videogamer UK somewhat scathingly described it as<br />

‘an ocean of stars, a thimble of possibilities’. We just detailed<br />

how immense and complex the procedural generation in No<br />

Man’s Sky is. If No Man’s Sky was criticized for being ocean wide<br />

and pond deep, what was the point of all that work? This brings<br />

us to why procedural generation is used. Procedural generation<br />

excels at creating a large amount of content, and making the<br />

content entirely unique, but not necessarily interesting. For<br />

a game about space exploration, a big world waiting to be discovered<br />

is a huge selling point. This was the selling point of No<br />

Man’s Sky. Since the game’s release it has become clear that this<br />

was also the only selling point.<br />

Therefore the final question about procedural generation<br />

is whether or not it can truly replace good game design. In an<br />

interview with IGN, Sean Murray snorts that when he looks at<br />

a planet in No Man’s Sky, he doesn’t see the mountains, he sees<br />

‘the maths’. Many of the game’s critics however have called that<br />

‘maths’ dull and repetitive (as maths often is). Regardless, No<br />

Man’s Sky is a technical achievement that manages to procedurally<br />

generate an entire universe. Hopefully in the next iteration<br />

of the space exploration mega-game, someone will figure out<br />

how to also procedurally generate fun.<br />

* My partner recounted the story of a particularly aggressive goat-like species he<br />

encountered in game, which he subsequently named Goatouttahere. The wonders<br />

of space exploration, everyone.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 43


SCIENCE<br />

Living in a<br />

dematerial<br />

world<br />

By Abdul Marian<br />

The other day, amidst my regular schedule of procrastination,<br />

I stumbled upon an article that talked about something<br />

called dematerialisation and the unique effect it’s having on the<br />

world’s resources. If you’re unsure, dematerialisation refers to<br />

the process of converting material resources into electrical or<br />

digital equivalents. This is being undertaken by many companies<br />

and businesses; making the move from paper records and<br />

shares certificates to digital ones. Many aspects of our lives<br />

have already switched formats; our dictionaries, alarm clocks<br />

and contact lists are probably all digital now.<br />

Likewise, the particular article claims that the resources<br />

19th and 20th century economies were reliant on becoming<br />

obsolete nowadays. Paper is one example, not only are we now<br />

storing more and more records digitally, we are also sending<br />

mails and reading books digitally. This has led to an overall<br />

decrease in the need for and hence production of paper and<br />

similar resources in the U.S., according to The Breakthrough<br />

Institute. Similarly the sharing economy has also been contributing<br />

to the increased optimization of resources and decrease<br />

in superfluous resources. Many sharing apps and websites<br />

have allowed those who have cars, couches, rooms and other<br />

spare items to lend them to those who don’t. This is the kind of<br />

economic and social change that proponents of globalisation<br />

and digitisation have been heralding since the creation of the<br />

Internet. Despite an increase in the number of mouths to feed<br />

and bodies to clothe, the demand for certain resources hasn’t<br />

followed thanks to an increase in the efficiency of the usage of<br />

those resources.<br />

The concept of dematerialisation is often touted as an alternative<br />

to the problem presented by Thomas Robert Malthus.<br />

Malthusian theory or philosophy identifies that a society with<br />

a finite supply of food and an exponentially growing population<br />

will eventually destroy itself. Malthus had conceptualized various<br />

equilibrating restraints that would prevent such catastrophes,<br />

namely celibacy and delaying marriage. Dematerialisation<br />

offers an alternative to this outcome by saying humanity<br />

could possibly increase resource usage efficiency to a state of<br />

ephemeralization. Buckminster Fuller coined this heady term<br />

as doing "more and more with less and less until eventually<br />

you can do everything with nothing". We are currently seeing a<br />

trend towards this, as transport, computers and entertainment<br />

devices all seem to be getting more powerful and taking up less<br />

physical space.<br />

Obviously there are problems with dematerialisation, its<br />

scope and its translatability. Unfortunately most of the development<br />

and study of dematerialisation is happening in the<br />

U.S. To some extent, there is an expectation on other countries<br />

to match the U.S. in rates of both production and dematerialisation.<br />

There’s enough diversity even amongst developed<br />

countries to show we will not all develop at the same rate and<br />

with the same outcome. One of the major shared economies in<br />

the U.S. is the car sharing community that has been responsible<br />

for a supposed decrease in the need for individual cars. As<br />

we all know, however, car-sharing services like Uber have not<br />

taken off quite as smoothly here and in other countries. If small<br />

things like this can change the effectiveness of dematerialisation<br />

in developed countries what about other countries, where<br />

infrastructure and technology are not as well developed? It’s<br />

an even bigger challenge to bring developing countries to the<br />

same level of technological production as the U.S. and others.<br />

Do countries that are worried about internal wars have the<br />

luxury to concentrate on dematerialisation and its associated<br />

costs, whose benefits may only be enjoyed in the long term?<br />

Jesse Ausubel states that historically, the world has never been<br />

at the same level of wealth or consumption as it’s number one<br />

consumer; consider Imperial Rome or 19th century England.<br />

This has been for a number of historical, geographical and<br />

political reasons. This rule still applies today and should be<br />

considered when talking about bringing different individuals<br />

and groups up to the same level as other countries.<br />

An important side effect of the globalisation process,<br />

one that is not always emphasised, is its potential to further<br />

increase the divide between poor and wealthy individuals and<br />

nations. Those who are able to access high-speed Internet and<br />

mobile tech are now able to lead the charge in dematerialisation<br />

innovation, while those who are not are left to straggle behind<br />

with the expensive, non-renewable resources of yester-year.<br />

As the U.S. is shutting down coal plants and pushing to find<br />

new-renewable sources of energy; other countries like China<br />

and Japan continue to open new ones. Japan for example has<br />

had to completely shift its economical focus from nuclear energy<br />

to coal and other resources after the events of Fukushima<br />

in 2011. What is evident is that different countries are all at<br />

different stages in development. It is even more important<br />

that we acknowledge these different stages as not necessary<br />

all part of one timeline leading to a common goal. In this case<br />

an increase in resource efficiency through the same means of<br />

dematerialisation as western, industrial nations.<br />

We really do need to something about the resources we<br />

use; we need to find (or engineer) the cheapest, cleanest and<br />

renewable resources. These advances that are helping us use<br />

less of certain resources are a great step forward. What remains<br />

to be seen is how different countries around the world adapt<br />

these ideas to their own situations; so that everyone can reap<br />

the benefits.<br />

44 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CROSSWORD<br />

1 2 3<br />

4<br />

5 6 7<br />

8 9<br />

10 11<br />

12 13<br />

14<br />

15<br />

16 17<br />

18<br />

Across<br />

2. Person trained for travelling in space<br />

4. Constellation depicting a hunter<br />

6. Small space object usually with a tail of<br />

dust or gas<br />

9. An object orbiting a planet, Earth has one<br />

of these<br />

12. Arrangement of stars forming a shape<br />

14. The first animal to orbit earth was a…<br />

16. First man in space (Last name)<br />

17. Second largest planet in our solar system<br />

18. Large piece of space rock orbiting the Sun<br />

ANSWERS AT LOTSWIFE.COM.AU<br />

Down<br />

by Rajat Lal<br />

1. Relating to outer space or the universe<br />

3. First man on the moon (Last Name)<br />

5. Name of two space probes launched at the<br />

same time – the furthest known man made<br />

objects travelled in space<br />

7. The act of transforming another planet to<br />

make it more habitable<br />

8. This former 9 th planet in our solar system<br />

was downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006.<br />

10. Name of the first manned craft that<br />

landed on the moon<br />

11. Largest planet in our solar system<br />

13. Cloud of dust and gas in space<br />

15. This planet is often referred to as the red<br />

planet<br />

17. The star closest to Earth<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 45


CULTURE<br />

All grown up: cartoons find<br />

their serious side<br />

By Maddy Luke<br />

Illustration by Christina Dodds<br />

Spoiler alert for Season 3 of Bojack Horseman and<br />

Season 2 of Rick and Morty.<br />

If you told me a year ago that I’d be crying about a cartoon<br />

set in a world where animals and humans (mostly) co-exist<br />

as equals, and features a washed-up celebrity horse struggling<br />

with his self-worth largely due to the pressures that come with<br />

fame, I’d have laughed. But nope, here I am mourning over<br />

season three of Bojack Horseman – the strangest thing though,<br />

is that I’m laughing about it too.<br />

Perhaps I’ve only taken notice as I’ve come into adulthood<br />

myself, but it seems that adult cartoons which don’t just feature<br />

explicit jokes are an emerging trend. Obviously, crude humour<br />

still exists – which I have nothing against – but a Family<br />

Guy style of comedy no longer permeates all adult cartoons. In<br />

a surprising turn of events, there is actually some well thoughtout<br />

content!<br />

Urgh, Maddy, I hear you say. Do you honestly have to force<br />

a deep meaning on everything? Can’t you just take the show at<br />

face value and leave it be?<br />

Perceiving that adult cartoons exist purely for comedy simplifies<br />

them. These days, cartoons often explore societal issues<br />

through their story arcs or characters, or call on the audience to<br />

pick up on hints that foreshadow epic plot twists.<br />

In the most recent season of Bojack Horseman, the audience<br />

sees Todd struggle with sexual relationships. He exhibits clear<br />

discomfort when faced with sexual situations, but when he is<br />

asked if he was gay, replies:<br />

“I don’t think I am, but… I don’t think I’m straight, either.”<br />

(Todd, S03E12)<br />

While the show doesn’t outright use the term ‘asexual’, the<br />

connection that many asexual viewers have with Todd’s experience<br />

is significant enough. The fact that the show even brings<br />

up that attraction goes behind ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ is a massive<br />

step for television in itself.<br />

Bojack Horseman also acts as a critique on Hollywood<br />

culture, showing the darker side of the glamour from the perspectives<br />

of the celebrities trapped in it. Using the unfamiliar,<br />

animal world as the setting indicates to the audience that they<br />

are about to see things from an entirely new perspective, which<br />

couldn’t be closer to the truth. From season one, Bojack’s struggle<br />

with self-worth has been treated as a core tension between<br />

himself and other characters as he begs for their affirmation:<br />

“I need you to tell me it's not too late. I need you to tell me<br />

that I'm a good person. I know that I can be selfish and narcissistic<br />

and self-destructive, but underneath all that, deep down,<br />

I'm a good person and I need you to tell me that I'm good."<br />

(Bojack, S01E11)<br />

In the case of Rick and Morty, you can very easily take it as<br />

a silly show about a ridiculous scientist and his grandson. Still,<br />

if you want to obsess over the possibilities of the Many Worlds<br />

Interpretation that the show frequently makes use of, you<br />

can. The internet is swarming with theories, from questioning<br />

whether we follow the same Rick and Morty every episode,<br />

to wondering whether Rick is originally from the universe we<br />

assume. The subtle (though potential) foreshadowing of many<br />

cartoons makes them a mystery waiting to be unraveled, but<br />

again, only if the viewer cares to try.<br />

However, sometimes the serious side of adult cartoons can<br />

be a bit of a hit and miss, leaving us with an unintended impact.<br />

In the season one finale of Rick and Morty, the ‘meaning’<br />

behind Rick’s catchphrase ‘wubba lubba dub dub!’ is revealed,<br />

and… I’m not sold.<br />

“In my people’s tongue, it means, ‘I am in great pain. Please<br />

help me.’” (Bird Person, S01E011)<br />

While I disagree with Morty’s retort (“Rick’s not that<br />

complicated, he’s just a huge asshole.”), Bird Person’s line does<br />

nothing to convince me of Rick’s emotional baggage, which is<br />

better explored in other episodes. It felt like a bit of a cop out,<br />

especially since he often uses the phrase to celebrate. To me,<br />

the explanation is the funniest part of the episode, for all the<br />

wrong reasons.<br />

Some adult cartoons, like Bojack Horseman, are overt<br />

with their core messages, making for an emotional journey.<br />

However, others are not so clear. Rick and Morty can be taken<br />

either as a fun, casual watch, or an epic adventure for the viewer<br />

if they care to examine the potential clues. Cartoons are not<br />

simply a medium for comedy but are used in diverse ways to<br />

impact their audience.<br />

Still, it’s sometimes nice to just use them for a laugh, and the<br />

best part about these shows is that you can. Only, in Bojack’s<br />

case, you’re often laughing through tears.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 47


WONDER WOMAN<br />

By Jessica Lehmann<br />

Illustration by Natalie Ng


CULTURE<br />

The character, or rather caricature, of Wonder Woman is<br />

fraught with questions and dichotomies. Is she a representation<br />

of a strong, liberated female embodying feminist<br />

ideals, or rather a representation of the regression and repression<br />

of women that still permeates in this day and age? A movie<br />

adaption of Wonder Woman will finally be released in cinemas<br />

in 2017. Coupled with increasing social commentary on female<br />

role models for youth, an analysis of the history of Wonder<br />

Woman is timely and insightful.<br />

It is generally accepted that the creator of Wonder Woman<br />

was a man, William Moulton Marston. His own back story<br />

sheds light into the conflicted and backward society of the<br />

1930s that was in need of a female icon. One could argue<br />

Wonder Woman was this icon, a bridge between first wave<br />

suffragette feminism and second wave 1970s women liberation<br />

feminism.<br />

Wonder Woman’s creation was inspired by the women in<br />

Marston’s life: his wife Elizabeth Holloway, and ex-student<br />

Olive Byrne whom he lived in a polyamorous relationship,<br />

with “love making for all”, Holloway later said. Both Olive<br />

and Elizabeth were strong women; Elizabeth being a qualified<br />

lawyer and psychologist (a rarity in those days), and Olive a<br />

staunch feminist, the niece of Elizabeth Sanger (the woman<br />

who first coined the term ‘birth control’ and founded Planned<br />

Parenthood in the US). The metal bracelets worn by Wonder<br />

Woman are modelled on those worn by Olive instead of a<br />

wedding ring, depicting the commitment Marston had to Olive.<br />

And the crucial decision whether the new superhero would be<br />

male or female was made by Elizabeth, thus making Wonder<br />

Woman a collaborative creation by a polyamorous family.<br />

Marston’s own academic theories focussed on matriarchy<br />

and masochism. These theories are realised in Wonder Woman<br />

with continual references to ropes and chains and Wonder<br />

Woman repeatedly tied up in the comics. Wonder Woman’s<br />

golden ‘Lasso of Truth’ is modelled on another invention of<br />

Marston and Holloway (though she was never formally credited<br />

for) – the polygraph. Apparently during studies with the lie<br />

detector, Marston found women to be typically more truthful<br />

and reliable.<br />

"Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new<br />

type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world" Marston<br />

wrote, and the masochism depicted merely reflected the emotional<br />

and social chains women were victim to in reality.<br />

Wonder Women first appeared in the December 1941<br />

issue of ‘All Star Comics #8’. She has an alluring back story<br />

a ‘la Superman. Her alias is Diana Prince, and she hails from<br />

a paradise island populated by immortal female amazon<br />

warriors. She left after rescuing and falling in love with Steve<br />

Trevor, an American airman, to fight against the evil axis forces<br />

and promote peace, justice, and women’s rights. How these<br />

women came to live on Paradise Island is explained by Wonder<br />

Women’s mum Hippolyta in the character’s debut comic, “In<br />

the days of ancient Greece, many centuries ago, we Amazons<br />

were the foremost nation in the world In Amazonia, women<br />

ruled and all was well”. However, men conquered and made<br />

women slaves. “The Amazons escaped, sailing across the ocean<br />

to an uncharted island where they lived in peace.” Wonder<br />

Woman was not conceived but born out of parthenogenesis,<br />

Queen Hippolyta carving her daughter out of clay (truly women<br />

doing it for themselves.)<br />

Wonder Woman was super strong, fast and wielded weapons.<br />

She’s intelligent, impervious to harm, and could fly in her<br />

invisible airplane. The influence and forward thinking nature of<br />

Wonder Woman is truly astonishing in the context of her creation,<br />

an era where women were heavily restricted – she even ran<br />

for president, which is only now becoming a reality. Included<br />

in the original issues of Wonder Women, with Marston at<br />

the helm, was a regular feature, “The Wonder Women of<br />

History”—a four-page centrefold, containing the biography of<br />

a woman of achievement. Wonder Woman was also a founding<br />

member of the ‘Justice League of America’, and is often thought<br />

to be an equal to Batman and Superman – some even argue her<br />

strength is superior to them.<br />

After Marston’s death in 1947 the feminist ideals of Wonder<br />

Woman drastically changed. Robert Kanigher was hired as writer<br />

(despite Holloway requesting the role) and Wonder Woman<br />

was degraded to the secretary of the Justice League, no longer<br />

employed in roles that may threaten the patriarchy but instead<br />

as a babysitter, fashion model, a lonely-hearts newspaper advice<br />

columnist, and a movie star. In the 1960s Wonder Woman<br />

even lost her powers all together and regressed to being Diana<br />

Prince, a trendy fashion boutique owner in Greenwich Village.<br />

The empowering centre fold column was replaced with wedding<br />

information - representing a patriarchal view of the aspirations<br />

of women.<br />

Wonder Woman popped up again in the 1970s in the<br />

pioneering feminist ‘Ms.’ Magazine, but was largely ignored in<br />

favour of other superheroes- (to date there has been no solo<br />

female superhero blockbuster). Next year this changes with the<br />

release of the first part of a Wonder Woman movie trilogy.<br />

Looking back on Marston’s press release for Wonder Woman;<br />

“to set up a standard among children and young people of<br />

strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that<br />

women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence<br />

and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions<br />

monopolized by men” because “the only hope for<br />

civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality<br />

of women in all fields of human activity”. One can ask, has<br />

the equal world pioneered by Wonder Woman been realised?<br />

Certainly not in Australia. Women make 83¢ for every $1 a<br />

man earns, mothers spend twice as many hours looking after<br />

children compared to fathers, and domestic and family violence<br />

is the leading preventable cause of death, disability, and illness<br />

in women aged 15 to 44. It’s a wonder you would want to be a<br />

woman. But maybe, just maybe, with strong role models such<br />

as Wonder Woman, the next generation may be able to break<br />

free of the chains of patriarchy and live in paradise.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 49


CULTURE<br />

A beginner’s guide to film photography<br />

By Shannon Ly<br />

F<br />

ilm photography can be unpredictable in a way that is<br />

both terrifying and liberating. However, it is a rewarding<br />

experience when you are able to achieve the tone, look, and feel<br />

that many photographers try to replicate in digital. Whether<br />

you’re just getting into photography, moving over from digital,<br />

or you’ve inherited some old cameras from your grandparents<br />

and don’t know what to do with them, this is a practical guide<br />

to shooting the most common film formats and where to get<br />

them processed.<br />

SHOOTING FILM<br />

35mm<br />

Probably the cheapest and most accessible way to start<br />

shooting film. This was the standard back in the day, so 35mm<br />

cameras can be found everywhere, ranging from cute ‘90s<br />

point-and-shoots to fully manual SLR cameras. If you don’t already<br />

have one, have a look around flea markets and op-shops,<br />

or buy one on Gumtree. Save yourself the frustration by doing<br />

some research, inspecting the camera if possible, and making<br />

sure that it has been tested. There’s nothing worse than wasting<br />

rolls of film and losing valuable photos because the shutter<br />

doesn’t work or the film can’t wind properly on the reel.<br />

If you’re wondering which colour film to buy, start off with<br />

consumer-grade 35mm such as Kodak Ultramax or Fujifilm<br />

Superia. These are often sold in multi-packs, with 24 or 36<br />

exposures per roll, and provide consistent results, useful for<br />

when you’re learning how to use a new camera. For black and<br />

white, you can’t go wrong with Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X. Both<br />

films have good latitude, making them very forgiving if you<br />

accidentally over or underexpose your shots. There are also<br />

chromogenic films such as Ilford XP2, which allow you to shoot<br />

in black and white but can be processed in C-41 chemicals like<br />

colour film.<br />

After you figure out how your camera works and what kind<br />

of results to expect, there is a multitude of professional-grade<br />

and specialty films to experiment with.<br />

120<br />

With a much larger negative size, photos shot on 120 usually<br />

retain more detail and are more suitable for enlargements.<br />

However, the stakes are a lot higher – a roll of film will only get<br />

you 12 or 16 frames, depending on your camera.<br />

As with 35mm, you can buy an SLR, but there is also the<br />

option of a twin lens reflex (TLR) camera, which has one lens<br />

for the viewfinder and another lens below it for exposing the<br />

negative. The waist level viewfinder in TLRs can take some<br />

getting used to, as the glass screen shows a mirrored image,<br />

and it can be disorientating trying to move left to compose<br />

right (pro tip: swivel your body, not the camera). That said, once<br />

you get the hang of it, you can take some killer mirror selfies,<br />

Vivian Maier-style.<br />

Instant<br />

Now, as it was then, instant film is the life of the party.<br />

There’s nothing quite like clicking the shutter, watching a photo<br />

pop out of the camera and waiting for it to magically develop in<br />

front of your eyes.<br />

Instax, made by Fujifilm, has been around since the late<br />

1990s and is the easiest way to get into shooting instant film. If<br />

you’re looking to shoot legitimate ‘Polaroids’, you’re out of luck:<br />

Polaroid stopped making the original instant film back in 2008,<br />

but a company called The Impossible Project makes film that’s<br />

compatible with existing Polaroid cameras. Fujifilm also used to<br />

produce ‘peel-apart’ film, which you could shoot, pull out of the<br />

camera and then ‘peel-apart’ to reveal a positive and negative<br />

image. This has recently been discontinued, but if you manage<br />

to get your hands on the last remaining packs, it’s worth trying<br />

out.<br />

DEVELOPING FILM<br />

Standard ‘negative’ colour film can be taken to any photo<br />

lab in Melbourne which still processes film. The majority of ‘1<br />

Hour’ photo labs have closed down or switched to digital, but<br />

there a few camera stores such as Michaels and digiDIRECT in<br />

the city where you can buy film and get your rolls processed.<br />

There is also an indie photo lab, Hillvale, which literally runs<br />

out of a garage in Brunswick. Just be aware that black and<br />

white usually costs more to process than colour, and it can be<br />

very expensive to process dying formats such as transparency/<br />

slide (E-6) and APS film.<br />

For a more DIY approach, it is possible to buy the chemicals<br />

needed to develop your own black and white film at home:<br />

Vanbar in Fitzroy stocks these, as well as some Australianbased<br />

eBay stores. It takes a little more effort on your part, but<br />

is a fun and very cost-effective way of shooting film.<br />

Hopefully, reading this guide brings you a step closer to<br />

picking up a camera and taking photos. You never know what<br />

you’re going to get when it comes to shooting film, but that’s<br />

what makes it so interesting. Take your time, don’t be afraid to<br />

experiment and most importantly, enjoy the process. Happy<br />

snapping!<br />

50 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CULTURE<br />

Changi Airport, Singapore. Taken on a Hillvale Sunny 16 400 film on an Olympus Trip 35<br />

Jongker Walk, Melaka, Malaysia. Taken on Ilford HP5 400 film on an Olympus Trip 35<br />

Photos by Angus Marian


CULTURE<br />

By Clarissa Kwee<br />

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges<br />

‘J<br />

-Pop Princess’, ‘Oriental Lady Gaga’, ‘International<br />

Kawaii Ambassador’, ‘Harajuku Cinderella’ – all these<br />

titles have been bestowed upon one lady. Sometimes, her songs<br />

precede these epithets that dot the digital sphere; she’s known<br />

as the Invader Invader, Candy Candy, and PonPonPon girl too.<br />

But her name is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and she’s a pioneer of the<br />

“nu kawaii” movement sweeping the globe.<br />

As a twenty-three year old millennial who’s conquered a<br />

music scene all on her own, one can only imagine how surreal<br />

the experience is. But despite her astounding success, her humility<br />

is laudable. “All of those names are a big surprise to me,<br />

they are fun! However, it is not really my purpose to be called a<br />

certain way. I do what I do, because that’s how I express myself.<br />

I love horror and grotesque, sometimes up to the point of being<br />

traumatised.”<br />

Authentic Kyary is cute meets quirky meets colourful, but<br />

the most curious feature about her kawaii style is that it is<br />

often infused with creepy images, in fact, if she could add one<br />

more adjective to the mix, she says it would be “poisonous”.<br />

Take her song PonPonPon, which has accumulated almost 100<br />

million views on YouTube; its music video features the singer in<br />

a nursery box set adorned with toys, faceless dancers, floating<br />

organs, skulls, and an extra eyeball or two. Bubble-gum pop<br />

might not be traditionally pestilential, but she’s right about her<br />

music’s certain contagion factor. Kyary’s sweet, bright register<br />

pans smoothly over electric guitar riffs and synth-spiked tunes,<br />

employing simple hooks that are repetitious, and infectious.<br />

Coupled with jarringly bright music videos, each song plays out<br />

like a mini hallucinogenic pipedream that invites chibi anime,<br />

Lady Gaga circa 2008, and Where The Wild Things Are in equal<br />

measure.<br />

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how young Kyary is, and<br />

behind all that show business is just a girl at the age normally<br />

considered to be a hazy, in-between time to fumble for a grasp<br />

on security, success and adulthood. While most twenty-three<br />

year olds have just graduated university, preoccupied with<br />

getting lost and finding their place in the world, she’s already<br />

sitting on top of it. But even the greener side of the grass has<br />

a view. Had she decided to lead the life of a non-celebrity, she<br />

would have become a dressmaker, because she loves fashion; or<br />

a nursery teacher, because she loves children. She too reflects<br />

on how different her life could have been. “When I started this<br />

business, I was not expecting to be this successful. I was suddenly<br />

so busy, shocked, and nervous about what was going on.”<br />

Kyary says, “What I would tell my old self is how busy it would<br />

be, and how hard sometimes it is.”<br />

But Kyary’s diligence and ambition have undeniably allowed<br />

her to reap the fruits of her hard labour. Kyary’s success overseas<br />

is demonstrative of a cultural paradigm shift. PonPonPon<br />

debuted at No.1 on the US iTunes electronic chart despite the<br />

absence of foreign promotion, she recently bounced from country<br />

to country on the KPP 5iVE YEARS MONSTER WORLD<br />

TOUR, and has 6 million collective followers on social media.<br />

Yet scrolling through the comments, the only answer users can<br />

provide to the questions, “Why is this video so bizarre?” and<br />

“What am I watching?” is “Welcome to Japan.” The meaning of<br />

that ambivalent greeting? Even Kyary isn’t quite sure.<br />

“I am not sure of the reason why I am sort of accepted<br />

overseas, however I can assume that my fashion and music<br />

videos are received as an extent of Japanese anime characters,<br />

perhaps. I feel this kind of art form is rare and very Japanese.”<br />

Western fascination with Japan’s idiosyncrasies can be seen<br />

as both a blessing and a curse, and it cannot be denied that, at<br />

least partially, interest in Kyary can flow from the initial surprise<br />

of her audial and visual disjunction. But it’s also no secret<br />

that Japanese pop culture is universally endearing for a number<br />

of different reasons; ‘weird’ is a word people use to defend<br />

themselves against forces of the unfamiliar, or the unknown.<br />

‘Weird’ might cause some to leave, but it undoubtedly makes<br />

others curious, exploratory, and want to stay. Indefinitely. And<br />

Kyary welcomes them with open arms.<br />

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu celebrated the 5th year since her debut with<br />

her first compilation album, ‘KPP Best’, released in May <strong>2016</strong>, and<br />

is currently on her ‘KPP 5ive Year Monster Tour’, which stopped in<br />

Melbourne in June <strong>2016</strong>.<br />

Rapid Fire Answer Time with Kyary Pamyu Pmayu<br />

1. Favourite English word?<br />

Hello.<br />

2. Biggest pet-peeve?<br />

Bad planning.<br />

3. Weapon of choice in the apocalypse?<br />

Enchantment.<br />

4. Last movie you watched?<br />

“The Danish Girl”, 9/10.<br />

5. Any phobias?<br />

Bugs.<br />

6. Are you an early riser or a night owl?<br />

I would say a night owl.<br />

7. Do you believe in ghosts?<br />

Haven’t seen one yet.<br />

8. Food you could eat for the rest of your life and never get sick of?<br />

Plum.<br />

9. Given the opportunity, would you rather star in a romantic comedy<br />

or a horror film?<br />

Horror movie.<br />

10. Go-to karaoke song?<br />

“Joy” by Yuki.<br />

11. Do you have any pre-concert rituals?<br />

Brush my teeth.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 53


CULTURE<br />

Some of the best podcasts you<br />

(probably) arent’t listening to<br />

By Linh Nguyen<br />

Illustration by Angus Marian<br />

There is a brave, bold new world out there in the land of<br />

podcasts. This ‘new’ media format had its moment in the<br />

cultural zeitgeist when, in 2014, NPR’s true-crime show Serial<br />

became a hit phenomenon, popularizing the form and bringing<br />

in mass audiences in unprecedented waves. What’s unique about<br />

podcasts as a medium is that it seems to sit comfortably between<br />

the analogue and the digital, tweaking a traditional format –<br />

the radio – with that of online distribution and subscription<br />

channels. The mutability of the form allows for a proliferation of<br />

podcasts to flourish, ranging from well established media outlets<br />

(such as NPR, ABC, BBC, etc.,), to independent and grassroots<br />

podcasts that cater to a more local and niche audience.<br />

So, as a self proclaimed podcast ‘connoisseur’, to guide you,<br />

I’ve curated a completely arbitrary list of some of my favourite<br />

podcasts (in no particular order):<br />

54 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CULTURE<br />

1. THE NEW YORKER RADIO HOUR<br />

Hosted by: David Remnick<br />

Release: Weekly<br />

Why Should I Listen? If you’re already familiar with the tone<br />

and style of the New Yorker’s print and online publication, their<br />

podcast definitely won’t disappoint. Each episode goes for –<br />

you’ve guessed it – an hour, and covers about three to four stories,<br />

ranging from news stories, politics, art, and pop-culture,<br />

and interviews with the likes of: Donald Trump’s ghost-writer;<br />

Paul Simon, Lena Dunham, George Saunders.<br />

Where to start: Episode 44: Russia Then and Now;<br />

Episode 39: The Gawker Sex-Tape Blow Up<br />

2. LA REVIEW OF BOOKS RADIO HOUR<br />

https://lareviewofbooks.org/av/<br />

Hosted by: Tom Lutz, Laurie Weiner, and Seth Greenland<br />

Release: Weekly<br />

Why Should I Listen? An offshoot of the online literary publication,<br />

The Los Angeles Review of Books, the LARB podcast is<br />

a more irreverent and playful beast than its online, (and rather<br />

high-brow) predecessor. LA based authors, artists, filmmakers,<br />

and critics are regular guests on the show.<br />

Where to start: 15 July: Bullsh*t; 5 August: Ghettocide<br />

5. LONGFORM<br />

https://longform.org/podcast<br />

Hosted by: Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, Evan Ratliff<br />

Release: Weekly<br />

Why Should I Listen? A podcast about ‘the stories behind the<br />

stories’, Longform is a series that mediates on the craft of longform<br />

journalism and non-fiction writing. Each episode centres<br />

around a conversation with a particular writer about their<br />

process and how they approach their subject matter.<br />

Where to start: #97: Ta-Nehisi Coates; #144: Cheryl Strayed<br />

6. MONACLE 24: THE URBANIST<br />

https://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-urbanist/<br />

Hosted by: Andrew Tuck<br />

Release: Weekly<br />

Why Should I Listen? A show about ‘what makes cities work<br />

– or fail’, The Urbanist examines cities around the world, how<br />

they are designed, how people live in them, and what the future<br />

of the metropolis will look like. If Urbanism isn’t your thing,<br />

Monacle 24 have other shows including: Culture, The Foreign<br />

Desk, The Cinema Show, The Globalist, and many more.<br />

Where to start: Episode 253: Why so Moody?; Episode 239:<br />

Mapping the City<br />

3. THE RE-READERS<br />

http://www.therereaders.com/<br />

Hosted by: Sam Twyford-Moore, Dion Kagan, Steph Van Schilt<br />

Release: Fortnightly<br />

Why Should I Listen? For some local voices, hit up The Re-<br />

Readers, a literary and cultural podcast based – right here! – in<br />

Melbourne. Each episode looks at three ‘topical’ stories in<br />

the world of arts, writing, and culture, and the re-readers trio<br />

are often joined by a host of notable Melbourne writers and<br />

cultural critics.<br />

Where to start: August 19: MIFF Special; June 1: Scorsese<br />

Exhibition and Arts Funding Cuts<br />

4. BBC IN OUR TIME<br />

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl<br />

Hosted by: Melvyn Bragg<br />

Release: Weekly<br />

Why Should I Listen? A clever show about clever things, BBC<br />

Radio’s In Our Time is a discussion series committed to exploring<br />

the ‘history of ideas’. Each week Melvyn invites three of the<br />

leading academics on a subject to discuss and debate, and topics<br />

fall under the categorizes of Philosophy, Culture, Religion,<br />

Science, and History. Learning is fun!<br />

Where to start: Plato’s Symposium; Einstein’s Relativity; The<br />

Invention of Photography<br />

Podcasts are a flexible and fluid medium, and they’re constantly<br />

evolving. I’m sure there are many, many great podcasts<br />

that I’ve failed or forgotten to mention—and that’s okay! Go<br />

forth and find them, or just go and listen to Serial again! Season<br />

three is coming out in 2017, and I, for one, cannot wait. In any<br />

case, happy listening, and enjoy.<br />

Honourable Mentions include:<br />

• The Writer’s Voice: New Fiction from The New Yorker<br />

• The Partially Examined Life<br />

• The Poetry Magazine Podcast<br />

• The New York Public Library Podcast<br />

• Granta<br />

• Slate Political Garbfest<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 55


CREATIVE<br />

Photo Essay<br />

By Shannon Ly<br />

56 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CREATIVE<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 57


58 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong><br />

CREATIVE


CREATIVE<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 59


CREATIVE<br />

Transition to earlier<br />

By Isaac Reichman<br />

Fulfilment of basic satisfactions,<br />

Asking quietly for skilled distractions<br />

While we ‘ponder’, much more maliciously.<br />

Answer the question posed by the city skyline;<br />

Buildings supine in the broad light.<br />

By the harbour,<br />

By the pier and boardwalk.<br />

Never steer towards the cheap talk,<br />

Towards the neon fireflies<br />

And ten thousand paper doves<br />

In the flooded gutter.<br />

We rise above this fog of doubt<br />

In packets of mud-soaked trousers<br />

Stained with time and the sins<br />

Of conscience on an empty mind<br />

We cannot even hope to heal<br />

Unless we ‘ponder’ much more meticulously<br />

Unbutton our shirt collars<br />

Roll up our shirt sleeves<br />

And feel our heart beat<br />

As Nietzsche preached<br />

To kill the non-existent god<br />

That we made a deal with<br />

Because we guessed they were real, and<br />

Because in exchange for false happiness<br />

It received existence<br />

But it was us who received neglect<br />

So now every fear must die<br />

Then we can resurrect<br />

Beneath this rotten outer shell,<br />

Is but the ringing of a bell around<br />

Our true necks<br />

That are pale and unweathered<br />

Shirt collars and scarves to protect our feathers<br />

From the solar wind<br />

As a lonesome earthling on mars<br />

Banished for the same sins<br />

That we find on both sides of the rind<br />

We are still standing in line<br />

In line to withdraw more and more and<br />

Possess less and less.<br />

60 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CREATIVE<br />

the memoryboat<br />

By Ed Jessop<br />

Mosquitos replace the flies and buzz the fluorescent arrival of a spotlight moon, illuminating a scoop of rustlined soil, once bed to<br />

a river and now to a figure - a figurine: of Outback, tired bones, and eyes of loneliness.<br />

He sinks down to his knees, alone in the sunken channel but for the shifting boat beneath him, tripping him up whilst it bobs on<br />

the current - a persistent storyteller uncrossing and crossing its legs, clearing its throat, eager to begin.<br />

The night is still - clear but for the moon - yet his ears are drowned in the lapping water at the boat, the happy chaos of the<br />

shearing shed, the finishing chink of a mended fence-post, and the calf his youngest daughter had called Maisie - her first lows<br />

and her last.<br />

The wind picks up, covering him with a fine duvet of dust, while the minnows bite at the bait he offers them - scars, lost stares<br />

and the twisting of a wedding band around his ring finger. He doesn’t seem to notice the rising water, now at his knees, now at his<br />

waist, pulling him further under with each passing thought.<br />

In the bed he dreams of schoolbuses, home, Christmas heatwaves, bushfires, brumbies, of her, of their children, of singing them<br />

nursery rhymes together until they fell asleep - her favourite being The Owl and the Pussy Cat, of teaching them to swim because<br />

she always wished she’d been brave enough to learn, and regretfully didn’t.<br />

Struggling to breathe, he falls from the boat, onto hands and knees, gasping for air as water streams down his cheeks, only to<br />

remember that there is no water at all. There is no water at all anymore.<br />

He stands up, and for a short while he stumbles down the embankment, only to arrive suddenly at a stop. The spotlight fades<br />

and a few stars peek out, curiously. He vanishes amongst ghost gums and shrubbery, the only shape now visible being a freshly<br />

painted white cross, dug deep into the earth and laid bare beneath the moonlight.<br />

The air has grown thick with dew and dawn by the time he walks free of the trees. Having left his final anchorage to rest on the<br />

shoreline, his step is lighter as he follows a trail back to the farmhouse and his family. Feeling the suns warmth on his skin as it<br />

momentarily shares its sky with the moon, he smiles to himself, thinking of pea-green boats and Bong-trees and almost expecting<br />

to see a bush pig run by, with a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, with a ring at the end of his nose.<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 61


CREATIVE<br />

How to remove the training wheels<br />

By Manon Boutin Charles<br />

N<br />

o matter how happy or sad we are, we all have that idea<br />

of the person we wish we were, but are not. Maybe a<br />

thinner version of yourself? One who would start working on<br />

their assignments more than two hours before the deadline?<br />

Maybe your ideal twin would travel the world? Stop overthinking<br />

everything about their relationships, or just clean their<br />

room more often?<br />

Most of the time, you’ll have to admit it, you already know<br />

what to do to become that person. Just - fucking - do it. Stop<br />

eating cake all day, stop procrastinating, go to the gym. Easy to<br />

say, I know.<br />

Many years ago (but not that many, to be perfectly honest),<br />

I was a child wishing to be this other child who knew how to<br />

ride a bike without training wheels. How to become this other<br />

(better) child? Nothing easier: just remove these wheels and<br />

go. Just do it. Just stop being scared, just stop overthinking it.<br />

Just go. But I didn’t want to. I was going to fall, for sure. It was<br />

going to hurt, obviously. I was fed up with those scabs on my<br />

knees. I was ashamed because my friend Ann could already ride<br />

without training wheels. I was scared of being ashamed; and<br />

ashamed of being scared.<br />

I never learnt. For many years, I had been that girl pretending<br />

I didn’t like to cycle that much. Didn’t like it, didn’t want to,<br />

had a super nice book to read - just go without me. And one day<br />

it hit me straight in the face; I remember that abandonment, I<br />

still feel it in my face. All those lovely days, all those sunny rides<br />

I had been missing. All those private jokes I couldn’t understand<br />

because I wasn’t there. I was determined to learn, but I<br />

had no idea how to achieve that. Then one day, one of my cousins,<br />

eight years older than me, who had no idea I didn’t know<br />

how to ride a bike, asked me if I wanted to go with him. I was<br />

around twelve and (of course) I had a massive crush on him: he<br />

had perfect blonde hair and was more mature than all the other<br />

boys I knew. I said yes with heart-shaped eyes before my mind<br />

had time to say ‘Wait. Fuck – you can’t actually do that’. Before<br />

I understood what was happening, I was on the seat, right food<br />

on the pedal, left foot on the ground, and so scared I felt my<br />

heart beating from the tip of my hair to my toenails. I remember<br />

that my little sister gave me that look – worried beyond<br />

belief. She didn’t say anything but probably knew it all: I was<br />

in big trouble. I suddenly remembered one piece of advice from<br />

a movie, or a dream, or a book, or anything: ride as fast as you<br />

can. Not sure it was a good advice: maybe I had even made it<br />

up. I think I fell once, but I told my cousin there was a thing on<br />

the road, and it went fine. I am not sure I had ever felt so scared<br />

before, but it was also a relief. I thought “Really? All those<br />

fretful years for that?” I felt ridiculous, relieved and actually<br />

pretty great. I could feel the air toying with my hair, the tears<br />

beading in my eyes - just so they weren’t too dry, the fresh wind<br />

engulfing me in a very hot summer day. My heartbeat, so loud,<br />

as if it was trying to recreate the sound of my steps if I had<br />

been walking instead. I fell in love with speed and going fast.<br />

Ten years later, I am finally able to rationalise my fears… haha,<br />

nope, just kidding. If I was an animal, I would be the most<br />

yellow-livered chicken in the coop, the weak one which looks<br />

kind of sick and lost. I remember how the same story happened<br />

again with motorcycles (ultimate fear - too ashamed to admit it<br />

- try anyway - love it) and many other things. A weird mixture<br />

of fear and excitement. A weird mixture of fear and excitement.<br />

Just the awareness that I had defeated a phobia was incredible,<br />

stirring. There is nothing like the feeling that you just overcame<br />

one of your greatest fears.<br />

Just. Fucking. Do it. It’s worth it.<br />

62 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CREATIVE<br />

An experiment in understanding<br />

By Isaac Reichman<br />

Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong> | 63


CREATIVE<br />

City Adopted<br />

By A. A. Kostas<br />

64 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges


CREATIVE<br />

The Things We Like<br />

By Justin Jones Li<br />

I<br />

t was one of those lazy, stay-in days, where there were no<br />

commitments and no expectations. Sunday afternoons<br />

afforded the greatest liberty, including the freedom of phantom<br />

shackles to the couch, before which the latest season of Couples<br />

Simultaneously Renovating and Cooking burst forth from the<br />

TV. Arnold lay on his side, with his chest leaning on the arm of<br />

the couch. Deborah’s arms were wrapped around his waist; her<br />

legs were tangled in his.<br />

“Hey, do you want to do that thing we did last Sunday?”<br />

asked Pamela.<br />

“One moment.” Arnold tried to shrug Pamela off him long<br />

enough to sit up, but succeeded only in sitting up. “What<br />

thing?”<br />

“You know, the one where we take off all our clothes.”<br />

“We take off our clothes to do a lot of things.”<br />

“Huh.” Pamela brought a finger to her chin in contemplation.<br />

Arnold took the opportunity to wriggle around with one less<br />

arm binding him. “Yeah, you’re right. Now I don’t know how to<br />

describe it, but it felt really good.”<br />

Arnold had enough degrees of freedom to pick up the remote<br />

and turn off the TV. He turned to face Pamela directly. “I<br />

honestly don’t remember what we did.”<br />

Pamela broke her gaze and started scratching her head.<br />

“Damn it, I can see it in my mind’s eye, but the words just aren’t<br />

coming to me.”<br />

The remote found itself in Arnold’s grip again, and he<br />

mused, “It’ll come back to you. I’ll just put this back on for a<br />

while.”<br />

He felt a slight tug at his other wrist. Arnold turned his head<br />

to look at Pamela, but her eyes were turned up to the top right<br />

corner. Her mouth was slightly open and emitted a quizzical<br />

hum.<br />

“Can I kiss you?”<br />

“Sure.”<br />

Pamela brought an arm around Arnold’s neck, and pulled<br />

him gently towards her. She introduced his lips to hers. Soft<br />

against soft, each pair of lips were a cushion for the other. After<br />

two rounds of parting and joining, Pamela changed up the<br />

game, pressing rigid bands into Arnold’s mouth.<br />

For his part, he put his weight behind his jaw. Pamela<br />

pushed him back into equilibrium, and once the two of them<br />

were upright, opened her mouth to give and receive. Their<br />

tongues slid about on each other, knocking against teeth and<br />

gums indiscriminately.<br />

“Ow.” Arnold quickly retreated from the kiss.<br />

“Is everything ok?” asked Pamela.<br />

“I think you bit me.”<br />

“I’m sorry. Do you want to stop?”<br />

“Nah, it’s fine.” The cogs in his head began to turn. “Actually,<br />

I don’t think I’ve shown you how to bite me properly. Mind if I<br />

demonstrate on you?”<br />

“Sure.”<br />

Arnold cupped Pamela’s head in both hands, and gently<br />

caught her bottom lip between his teeth. He applied a measure<br />

of force and stopped when he met a certain resistance.<br />

“Like that, but harder.”<br />

Pamela grabbed his jaw and pinpointed her target. She<br />

closed in on Arnold’s bottom lip and delivered an electric pulse<br />

that flooded his body with the spark of life. His eyes rolled back<br />

as everything opened up: every muscle, every fibre, every cell.<br />

He made his way onto his back. Pamela followed him. She<br />

gave him another hit. He pulled her in so that she could share<br />

in his vibrant joy. Feeling only the faint aftershocks of her<br />

blessing, Pamela needed to direct her partner in a language he<br />

could understand.<br />

“I want to feel you up a bit.”<br />

“Go ahead.”<br />

Pamela moved her hands down Arnold’s sides to his hips.<br />

Arnold responded kind, shearing the weight of the world from<br />

her back.<br />

“Do that again.”<br />

Arnold’s hands traced loops around the length of Pamela’s<br />

torso, each time rubbing excitement into her skin. She pushed<br />

Arnold’s legs apart with her knee, and she occupied the space.<br />

Her hands took on their own opinions, travelling to Arnold’s<br />

waist, and there they dug in and dug a little lower.<br />

Arnold’s hands moved more deliberately to divine her<br />

intentions. They moved past her waist and his fingertips flowed<br />

under her jeans. There they met a lacy material.<br />

“Did you go to work this morning wearing lingerie?” asked<br />

Arnold.<br />

“Yeah, it makes me feel sexy. That’s how it works, right?”<br />

Arnold shrugged his shoulders. Pamela laughed, then she<br />

kissed him.<br />

“Oh, about that thing I want us to do… Take off your pants.<br />

I’ll do it on you first.”<br />

66 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>


CREATIVE<br />

Illustration by Olivia Parry


68 | Lot’s <strong>Wife</strong>

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!