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Issue 11, 2014

The Money Issue

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News

  • iPredict, you predict, we all predict

  • Student Politicians Respond to Budget

  • Campus digest

  • Improvements to Rental Properties Warranted

  • THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH

  • Budget

  • Features

  • Increasing Interest/Inflating Hopes

    Nobody really knows what monetary policy is nor do we understand how it works. Resident political commentator Jade D’Hack explains why it is important and the ways it affects our lives.

    by

  • Cash Money

    I mean, yes, it sucks that we are all in bajillions of dollars of debt, and yes, probably all the money that we do have should go on important shit like text books and paying off our credit cards and stuff, but sometimes I can’t help getting a little bit YOLO about it. Life is for living, money is for spending, maybe happiness is more important than financial security?

    by

  • Inequality from the Left

    There’s an important phenomenon at work in the global economy at the moment, little-noted amongst all the mainstream noise. While inequality within countries is, broadly speaking, increasing, inequality between countries is decreasing.

    by

  • Glassjar

    Back in the day, every flat would have a bench-top glass jar that everyone put money into and that all of the expenses were paid from. Nowadays, however, flats are far more savvy and have replaced the bench-top glass jar with internet banking and automatic payments…

    by

  • An Interview with the Chief Economist

    Duncan and Cam chatted to Girol Karacaoglu, the Chief Economist of the Treasury, and the man who controls the levers of power.

    by

  • tppa

    A TPPAin the arse?

    Jordan McCluskey takes a look at the hazards of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

    by

  • Inequality & Poverty

    This year’s election campaign will focus on inequality in New Zealand, and which party will do best to address it. For all the noise, it doesn’t seem anyone in the debate is saying much apart from buzzwords. Duncan and Cam asked some questions to get to the heart of the issue.

    by

  • working hard hardly working

    Working Hard, or Hardly Working

    The WINZ experience is far worse for those society views less favourably. What happens when we’re no longer protected by the safety net of a student loan?

    by

  • funancial

    More like FUNancial literacy

    Do you ever get anxious and stressed and avoid thinking about things because you don’t know that much about them and you’ll never be an expert so why bother?

    by

  • Increasing Interest/Inflating Hopes

    Nobody really knows what monetary policy is nor do we understand how it works. Resident political commentator Jade D’Hack explains why it is important and the ways it affects our lives.

    by

  • Cash Money

    I mean, yes, it sucks that we are all in bajillions of dollars of debt, and yes, probably all the money that we do have should go on important shit like text books and paying off our credit cards and stuff, but sometimes I can’t help getting a little bit YOLO about it. Life is for living, money is for spending, maybe happiness is more important than financial security?

    by

  • Inequality from the Left

    There’s an important phenomenon at work in the global economy at the moment, little-noted amongst all the mainstream noise. While inequality within countries is, broadly speaking, increasing, inequality between countries is decreasing.

    by

  • Glassjar

    Back in the day, every flat would have a bench-top glass jar that everyone put money into and that all of the expenses were paid from. Nowadays, however, flats are far more savvy and have replaced the bench-top glass jar with internet banking and automatic payments…

    by

  • An Interview with the Chief Economist

    Duncan and Cam chatted to Girol Karacaoglu, the Chief Economist of the Treasury, and the man who controls the levers of power.

    by

  • tppa

    A TPPAin the arse?

    Jordan McCluskey takes a look at the hazards of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

    by

  • Inequality & Poverty

    This year’s election campaign will focus on inequality in New Zealand, and which party will do best to address it. For all the noise, it doesn’t seem anyone in the debate is saying much apart from buzzwords. Duncan and Cam asked some questions to get to the heart of the issue.

    by

  • working hard hardly working

    Working Hard, or Hardly Working

    The WINZ experience is far worse for those society views less favourably. What happens when we’re no longer protected by the safety net of a student loan?

    by

  • funancial

    More like FUNancial literacy

    Do you ever get anxious and stressed and avoid thinking about things because you don’t know that much about them and you’ll never be an expert so why bother?

    by

  • Arts and Science

  • Visual AIDS

    Pretend you haven’t been all year and indulge me for a second longer. I’m going to start with an anecdote. In the 1930s, there was a dog, an Airedale Terrier, who used to roam Wellington’s harbour. He was well known to the sailors: he would greet them when they docked, and sometimes accompany them as a stowaway. His name was Paddy the Wanderer. On the first floor of the museum I work in, there is a life-sized model of Paddy. He’s a real hit with kids. And kids, in their unending, insufferable curiosity, are always interested in finding out where Paddy is now.

    Paddy died on 17 July 1939.

    I guess what I’m trying to say could have been said another way, but children tend to respond to stimuli in an unmediated, visceral way. The museum is inextricably linked with death.

    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first New Zealander to die from AIDS-related complications. To commemorate, The Film Archive is displaying 30, a moving-image exhibition, until 14 June. Curated by Gareth Watkins, the exhibition comprises three hours of clips from the archive’s collection, played across several screens in the gallery space. The clips are divided into seven sections: Journeys, News, Artistic Response, Remembrance, Stigma, Self-Esteem, and Prevention.

    Maybe it’s easier to comprehend crisis from a certain remove. AIDS, it seems, belongs now to someone else, either long ago or far away; not eradicated, so to speak, but no longer worthy of our urgent attention. What the exhibition does best is to illuminate the insufficiency of this narrative. In the News section, AIDS between 1984 and 2006 transforms from dreaded unknown to cause for complacency. Most striking is the familiarity of the vernacular used towards the latter part of the presentation. In the last eight years, we seem to have reached a point of stasis.

    In terms of art history, we tend to associate AIDS with a certain fury, a kind of unity: according to artist Neil Barlett, “we knew who the enemy was.” In 30, this is manifest in Douglas Wright’s Elegy. In black-and-white, Wright mimes self-destruction, stumbling, shaking, disembowelling himself. His lithe figure an emblem of every young body made old in months.

    In Jordan Wolfson’s video Raspberry Poser, which was recently on display at David Zwirner gallery in New York, animated HIV viruses dance around the screen, hearts burst from condoms, superimposed over images of SoHo – once the site of pandemic, not a gentrified idyll. An animated figure disembowels himself. Later, a disembodied voice (presumably Wolfson’s) speaking in dialogue: “Are you rich?” “Yes.” “Are you homosexual?” “No.” Jordan, as it happens, is not gay. His work, however, often adopts a particular queer aesthetic, towards which he adopts a consistently flippant attitude. “I’m just making these things,” Wolfson recently said in a recent interview with Helen Marten, in reference to a set of lobster claws decorated with gay porn. “But it’s funny because people will assume that I’m gay or that I’m secretly gay.” Wolfson, it seems, is attempting to operate in a post-identity context, in which these distinctions have become obsolete, and thus the iconography associated with them become common cultural property. Were I more generous, I’d describe Wolfson as anachronistic; for the sake of brevity, I’ll call him a shitstain and move swiftly on.

    John Walter’s response to this stasis is perhaps more nuanced. His installation Alien Sex Club will open at the University of Westminster’s Ambika P3 next year, and is an attempt to use architecture as a tool for HIV-transmission prevention. According to Hyperallergic, the project “looks to design a ‘cruise maze’ full of paintings, drawings, sculptures, performance pieces, music, video, hospitality, fortune-telling, and rapid-HIV-testing centers.” In a similar way to 30, Walter’s intent seems to be to reignite a stalled conversation through the proliferation of images.

    If the museum is where things, like Paddy, go to die, it can also provide a short reprieve. 30 is comprehensive, poignant, at times quaintly moralising – Health Department advertisements from the mid-1980s flagrantly endorse monogamy as a prevention tool. It doesn’t point towards any answers in terms of how we should deal with the question of AIDS as historical trauma, and what implications that has for how it should exist in the present. What it does is overwhelm, and in doing so it offers a holistic approach to how we have talked about AIDS, how we do now, where language has failed us in the past, and where language continues to fail us. In an interview with the sister of “New Zealand’s first AIDS victim”, a particular longing is discussed briefly: something often unsaid, she hesitates to say it at first, and stutters when she admits that she wishes AIDS “were as easy as cancer.”

    by

  • Cannes Festival

    Kendall Jenner seems to think she is welcome at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. As the less-famous sibling of a family of reality-TV stars, who also thinks wearing Topshop to Met Gala is acceptable and who flunks a five-second introduction at the Billboards, the plentiful photos of the model taking photos and eating lunch along the south coast of France is somewhat tarnishing the Festival’s arthouse origins.

    This mainstream infiltration is appearing in the movies themselves. Channing Tatum’s attendance is surprising considering the last time he grabbed the public conscience seemed to be with no clothes on. Yet over the past few weeks, he has been radiating sophistication gliding down the red carpet for, not a Magic Mike sequel, but Foxcatcher, where he stars alongside a substantially darker-than-normal Steve Carell in a film which explores the tragedy of the beta-male. Still not sure if I should be disappointed at the presence of suit, or save the negative energy for the lacklustre Grace of Monaco. Regardless of quality, Ryan Gosling directed Lost River; therefore, it will be good on the basis of sheer attractiveness.

    The slow erosion of the festival’s boy-club traditions is, however, admirable, with a female majority on the jury for the first time in five years. The only female director to have won the ultimate Palme d’Or prize for The Piano, Jane Campion presides as President of the Jury, collaborating with Sofia Coppola and Leila Hatami. To abide by the trends in coverage of the festival and provide some fashion commentary, the blue suit is refreshing, while Coppola doesn’t apparently know how to smile. Yet the presence of these strong and outspoken women who aren’t afraid to hit up the patriarchy (see Campion’s press release) will hopefully strengthen and continue.

    In the meantime, hopefully more celebs lose interest for the sake of the festival’s integrity. Lindsay Lohan tweeted she was overwhelmed; a good start?

    by

  • Ghost Stories by Coldplay [Review]

    3.5 Stars

    Coldplay is a classic on my ‘Chill’ playlist, but I was uneasy about this album following the pop catastrophe of Mylo Xyloto in 2011. I was pleasantly surprised.

    With this album, Coldplay tried to make their music for the mass market, while also returning to their original style. You can hear the pop influences in the background of most of the songs, as electro ambience and beats swell through the choruses. The album is pretty depressing, which isn’t surprising after Chris Martin’s breakup with his wife of 11 years, Gwyneth Paltrow. Most of the songs reflect his heartbreak over the separation, and it is clear from the first song how Martin is handling this sudden and bewildering change in his life, with lines like: “I think of you / I haven’t slept / I think I do love / I won’t forget.” ‘Midnight’ has a haunting beauty to it, with processed vocals and an ambient synth background that makes you want to curl up under the covers.

    As a big Coldplay fan, my heart goes out to the wreck of a man that Chris Martin seems to be right now. The whole album feels extremely intimate, but Martin keeps the lyrics vague on details, keeping it all easily relatable. Although the album is about devastating heartbreak, it ends with optimism in the form of ‘O’, showcasing Coldplay’s old acoustic style with Martin’s classic falsetto and the plea for unconditional love. This album feels like a turning point in Coldplay’s career and although it is not nearly as amazing as their early albums, I look forward to what the future brings for the band.

     

    by

  • Tom’s Lunch by The Phoenix Foundation [Review]

    2.5 stars

    This EP is surprising for two reasons. Firstly, no one expected The Phoenix Foundation to release new music so soon after Fandango (April 2013), especially since they have a tendency (like so many other New Zealand bands) to take years producing work.

    Secondly, the music is happy. Like, summer-road-trip-all-you-need-is-love happy. Admittedly, the first time I heard Tom’s Lunch I felt underwhelmed, but then I realised that I didn’t want to drown myself in a swimming pool of organic low-fat yoghurt, as I usually want to when listening to this band.

    Synthesisers and fast beats complement quirky lyrics, suggesting that the musicians are wanting to alter their usually dreary sound. The new vibrancy of the EP might also be partly attributed to their new drummer, Chris O’Connor. Particularly on the track ‘Fiscal Pickle’, O’Connor displays special affection towards his snare drum, giving the song a distinctive ‘80s vibe.

    Even more exciting for the band (and for their music) is the fact that two of the tracks were produced by David Fridmann, most famous for his work with MGMT and Tame Impala. Fridmann’s love of vocal effects and reverb perfectly compliment The Phoenix Foundation ‘sound’, which already consisted of densely warped vocal lines.

    So far, so good, right? Well, no.

    Tom’s Lunch shows impressive versatility and experimentation from a group that is a bastion of contemporary New Zealand music. But within the global spectrum of experimental soft rock, this EP is disappointing. Essentially, it is a tamer, more cautious version of the niche currently occupied by Arcade Fire. While they might have a decent NZ hit with ‘Bob Lennon John Dylan’ (excellent title, I know), this selection of tracks will likely have little or no impact on the music world.

     

    by

  • The Train to Paris by Sebastian Hampson [Review]

    3 / 5 stars

    A twentysomething Art History student at Vic, temporarily in Paris, writes his first novel about a 20-year old Art History student, on his way to Paris. Said student, Lawrence Williams, encounters a dazzlingly mysterious older woman who introduces him to the glamorous ways of the world with brutality and insouciance. That is, the fictional student does. The real one, we presume, was too busy writing a novel, and wishing to be swept off his feet by a dazzlingly mysterious etcetera.

    A general aura of wish-fulfilment hangs heavily about the text, made awkwardly obvious in the regular compliments of Élodie, the vaguely defined etcetera, to our charming naïf – or is that naff? – of a hero. And so on and so forth. Glamour is not what it seems. “His first tailored shirt” is described in detail, as are flowers and lots of alcoholic beverages. Our hero wills himself “not to let any tears show.” Other people’s credit cards go zip-zip. Cigarettes burn out in ashtrays. The virgin ceases to be a virgin. And so on and so forth.

    It was only occasionally that I found myself humming ‘This Charming Man’, but the general ambience of Morrissey circa 1983 abides. Ill-defined glamour and its rejection, solipsism, a general desire to see the good things in life but an inability to partake – but, unfortunately, to continue the Smiths theme, I was bored before I even began.

    There is no central impetus to the novel, no certain spark. We all know how this story’s going to end. (Actual quote: “I can never stay in one place… rest assured that you are the only person who ever understood me.”) This might not be a bad thing; but nothing replaces it. The characters don’t manage to become independent of their plot functions. Lawrence perhaps has to be subservient to Élodie. But Élodie is thin, very thin, and never quite manages to become real. Her omniscience deprives her of any interest, her devilries are dull, and her seductions are boring, though the dialogue has an occasional tautness.

    The prose falters: flat and heavy, it is overburdened with adjectives and light on the signification. As Élodie says, “Oh darling. You really do paint things so simplistically.” Here, for example, an elegantly-varied cigarette – a very tame vice – has to stand in for all the glamorous wickednesses in Paris:

    “Resigned, I took the white stick and pressed it to my lips. It was as if I had inhaled a mixture of burnt tar and ashes. I coughed, but tried to subdue it. Élodie took the smouldering torture device back. It left a crude aftertaste.”

    Lawrence rejects something boring Élodie offers. The prose hangs as heavy as the cigarette smoke, then resorts to childish over-emphasis. And none of it really means a thing.

     

    by

  • The Residents [Review]

    From first entering the space, this performance from the students of the NZSD is entirely enthralling. The set, from first glance, holds the creative and practical potential of mysterious entrances and exits, as well as being beautifully constructed and painted. The lighting design throughout is also cunningly crafted to direct the audience’s gaze to the appropriate space. As such, whatever it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in its support of the drama of each section of dance.

    As the dancers emerge from the deep dark, their costumes, designed by Jane Boocock and Donna Jefferis and constructed by students, are strikingly elegant and beautifully made, setting the scene for this bizarre performance – outside of any specific time or place. And so the magic begins, holding a little bit of something for everyone is terms of the variety of style and pacing. Highlights choreographically include Paige Shand’s ‘In the mood’ for it’s pure energetic brilliance and style, and Amanda Mitrevski’s ‘Line’, for it’s complexity and stunning metaphorical depth. ‘Born Under a Bad Star’ choreographed by Roymata Holmes, also had some beautiful statements to make about anxiety and depression, and was skillfully performed.

    The most striking routine was Eliza Sander’s ‘Pink!ish’, during which two male dancers perform an intense and complex choreography while keeping their mouth’s constantly in contact. As it came to a close, I was left with an image that defined the experience of falling passionately in love. On this point, throughout the performance I was thrilled to see pairings between same-sex partners. These relationships were not exoticised or eroticised, and worked beautifully; it is wonderful to see this level of openness and equality in a show.

    Although all of the dancers put on a compelling and highly skilled show, highlights among the second-year crop were Latisha Sparks, Jacob Edmonds and William Keohavong, whose particular attention to expression and enthusiasm made them electric to watch. The most striking performer for engagement with and energy towards the audience was Felix Sampson, who captured the spirit of so many different genres and eras with charisma and commitment.

    Among the student choreographers, Tessa Hall, James Wasmer, Roymata Holmes and Eliza Sanders captured the crowd’s attention with devastatingly strenuous solos and beautiful pair-work, although once again, these are the highlights of an incredibly strong cast of dancers.

    While my guest searched for a structured narrative, I found several themes around affection prevalent, which was enough to guide me through the performance in a linear fashion. This performance captured the joy, anxiety, total infatuation, control, and potential abuse involved in human relationships, and even though the pieces were individually choreographed, this overarching intensity and profundity was gracefully achieved.

    My only criticism of The Residents can be put down to opening-night jitters – it is vital that dancers backstage and to the sides of stage recognise that they are still visible to the first rows, and as such must remain still and quiet. Other than this, it was a wonderful mix of styles and pacing, and the skill and stamina of the dancers made for an awe-inspiring and highly engaging show.

     

    by

  • The Residents [Review]

    From first entering the space, this performance from the students of the NZSD is entirely enthralling. The set, from first glance, holds the creative and practical potential of mysterious entrances and exits, as well as being beautifully constructed and painted. The lighting design throughout is also cunningly crafted to direct the audience’s gaze to the appropriate space. As such, whatever it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in its support of the drama of each section of dance.

    As the dancers emerge from the deep dark, their costumes, designed by Jane Boocock and Donna Jefferis and constructed by students, are strikingly elegant and beautifully made, setting the scene for this bizarre performance – outside of any specific time or place. And so the magic begins, holding a little bit of something for everyone is terms of the variety of style and pacing. Highlights choreographically include Paige Shand’s ‘In the mood’ for it’s pure energetic brilliance and style, and Amanda Mitrevski’s ‘Line’, for it’s complexity and stunning metaphorical depth. ‘Born Under a Bad Star’ choreographed by Roymata Holmes, also had some beautiful statements to make about anxiety and depression, and was skillfully performed.

    The most striking routine was Eliza Sander’s ‘Pink!ish’, during which two male dancers perform an intense and complex choreography while keeping their mouth’s constantly in contact. As it came to a close, I was left with an image that defined the experience of falling passionately in love. On this point, throughout the performance I was thrilled to see pairings between same-sex partners. These relationships were not exoticised or eroticised, and worked beautifully; it is wonderful to see this level of openness and equality in a show.

    Although all of the dancers put on a compelling and highly skilled show, highlights among the second-year crop were Latisha Sparks, Jacob Edmonds and William Keohavong, whose particular attention to expression and enthusiasm made them electric to watch. The most striking performer for engagement with and energy towards the audience was Felix Sampson, who captured the spirit of so many different genres and eras with charisma and commitment.

    Among the student choreographers, Tessa Hall, James Wasmer, Roymata Holmes and Eliza Sanders captured the crowd’s attention with devastatingly strenuous solos and beautiful pair-work, although once again, these are the highlights of an incredibly strong cast of dancers.

    While my guest searched for a structured narrative, I found several themes around affection prevalent, which was enough to guide me through the performance in a linear fashion. This performance captured the joy, anxiety, total infatuation, control, and potential abuse involved in human relationships, and even though the pieces were individually choreographed, this overarching intensity and profundity was gracefully achieved.

    My only criticism of The Residents can be put down to opening-night jitters – it is vital that dancers backstage and to the sides of stage recognise that they are still visible to the first rows, and as such must remain still and quiet. Other than this, it was a wonderful mix of styles and pacing, and the skill and stamina of the dancers made for an awe-inspiring and highly engaging show.

     

    by

  • About the Author ()

    Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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