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Issue 0, 2018

Volume 81 Issue 00 – Orientation

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News

  • Labour Does About Turn on TPP

  • 2017 Big Year for Sexual Assault Allegations

  • Architecturally Unsound – Masters Thesis Seriously Mishandled by Architecture School

  • Entire Act Party Caucus to Appear in Dancing with the Stars

  • Rent Increases Hurt Drug Dealers

  • Ex-Cyclone Coincides with Climate Change Conference

  • Pharmac Funds Truvada for PrEP

  • Fees Free Faces Criticism

  • VUWSA Submits on the Births, Deaths, Marriages Bill

  • Sliding into VUWSA President Marlon Drake’s DM’s

  • Features

  • Website Image_3

    Evil Empire

    What the Hell is Going On with Wellington’s Rental Crisis?

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  • Website Image_2

    Let’s Get Consensual

    Welcome to the week-long, booze-fuelled party with near-strangers that is O-Week. It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times, it’s everything in between. Chances are, you’ll find yourself at an O-Week party, bar, or nightclub, so if you’re new to Wellington (welcome!), or generally new to the night life, here’s the Salient guide […]

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  • Website Image_1

    8 People You’ll Meet in O-Week

      The Muse – The guy in your Philosophy 109 class who has very clearly never thought about anything deeper than a puddle drawn on paper, and yet never fails to find something to talk about. Conversations will be circular, and the evidence will be limited. The Attention Starved Artist -The girl who plants her […]

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    The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving O-Week

    It’s that time of year again! All the students are back in town, the bars are heaving, the streets are crowded, and the lines for the counter at Vic books seem to stretch for miles. Ah, O-week. When cheap alcohol flows freely – like the rain through the hole in the roof that your landlord […]

    by

  • Website Image_3

    Evil Empire

    What the Hell is Going On with Wellington’s Rental Crisis?

    by

  • Website Image_2

    Let’s Get Consensual

    Welcome to the week-long, booze-fuelled party with near-strangers that is O-Week. It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times, it’s everything in between. Chances are, you’ll find yourself at an O-Week party, bar, or nightclub, so if you’re new to Wellington (welcome!), or generally new to the night life, here’s the Salient guide […]

    by

  • Website Image_1

    8 People You’ll Meet in O-Week

      The Muse – The guy in your Philosophy 109 class who has very clearly never thought about anything deeper than a puddle drawn on paper, and yet never fails to find something to talk about. Conversations will be circular, and the evidence will be limited. The Attention Starved Artist -The girl who plants her […]

    by

  • Website Image_4

    The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving O-Week

    It’s that time of year again! All the students are back in town, the bars are heaving, the streets are crowded, and the lines for the counter at Vic books seem to stretch for miles. Ah, O-week. When cheap alcohol flows freely – like the rain through the hole in the roof that your landlord […]

    by

  • Arts and Science

  • How to Write an Album in 12 Hours

    I have a particularly good understanding of the theatre making process, but when it comes to writing an album, not so much. What if there was a way to combine the spontaneity of the music, with the display of theatre, and the collaboration of band members and audience alike? Oh wait, there is a show like that! It’s called How to Write an Album in 12 Hours!

    #HTWAAI12H is a devised Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) show directed by the multi-talented Liam Kelly, and I was fortunate enough to see it in January as part of the Victoria University’s Summer of 77 mini festival. Each hour, the band, The Undercuts, had to write and perform a song based on their own hourly challenges (i.e. drop a beat, swap instruments, create a song in silence, etc.), as well as material from the audience, which was then released on Facebook half an hour later by Oliver Devlin – amazing!

    One of my friends described the role of the audience as “actively relaxing” – I couldn’t agree more. It felt like we were in someone’s lounge jamming together (and I can’t really “jam”). The set had the band on a small stage and the audience had couches, bean bags, and pillows to sit on, and a food table in the corner. They had a “banana chair” for an audience member to sit in if they had an idea and the band wasn’t paying them attention. Their album cover was set up the opposite side of the room on an easel for anyone to add to its art.

    My favourite aspect of this show was its inclusion. The Undercuts and Kelly were so warm and welcoming, actively speaking to the audience to encourage suggestions. It didn’t feel like the band was making this music on their own – everyone in the room was making it and everyone was invested in it, which made it even more fun.

    I came to the hour of “phone”. The Undercuts called forth an audience member to ring someone and ask who they had a fight with most recently, and what the context of the fight was. We rang two people with the first audience member, and it went to voicemail. The next audience member called three people, all of the calls went to voicemail, but five minutes later she received seven texts. A comment was made about how we as a society might not pick up the phone, but will write a message later. A conversation started about the last fight she was in, which was more like someone going cold on her and freezing her out. Ghosting. And thus the song was sparked, my personal favourite.

    Each member of The Undercuts are extremely talented in their instrument, and open in their discussion with the audience and themselves. Zoe Joblin was simply bangin’ on the drums, and Pippa Drakeford-Croad, lead singer, is a lyrical genius with the pipes to fill Studio 77 and genuinely quite entertaining. Everyone should be proud of this show, and everyone, not just musos, should see this show!

    Each song was named with the audience, as was the album, One Night Band, which is available to listen to for free on Soundcloud (I downloaded Soundcloud specifically so that I could listen to them!).

    And the best part is that the show will be back for the Fringe Festival Sunday 11th of March from 12pm to 12am at Meow! Be sure not to miss this awesome experience!

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  • AUNTY

    I went in to AUNTY with high expectations. Winner of Best Comedy Auckland Fringe 2017, AUNTY returns to BATS after a sell-out season, “more outrageous than ever.” I wouldn’t quite go so far as to call it “outrageous” as the BATS team do, but I did have a laugh now and again. AUNTY is what you think it’s going to be, there’s ready salted chips, your cousin’s new boyfriend, and lots of family stories that should probably remain untold.

    The performer, Johanna Cosgrove, knows how to hold an audience. She also wants everyone to feel at home, which she attempts to do by asking audience members to join her on stage throughout the show. Our space is her space, we are told; we are “the whānau.” And in our family, there are “no scabs, no narks, and no traitors.” Cosgrove’s character created a pretty realistic family reunion. At points I was brought back to stories my dad has told me about his family, and the memories of aunties told by old friends.

    Cosgrove provided a small taste of the classic kiwi comedy, very much taking note from the Topp Twins and Billy T. And while it was funny, I wasn’t sold. It felt like pun after pun, and if you’ve not got a glass of wine in your hand, this sort of thing tends to drag on. Her jokes were funny, but they all felt like jokes, wanting a reaction each time. When I see a play, if I’m there to laugh, I don’t want these laughs to be forced my way.

    The method of storytelling was enjoyable, however. Each tale rolled smoothly into the next, with later stories making comedic references to stories told earlier in the show. Cosgrove’s loose, drunkenly physicality was amusing yet underused.

    I must say, the rest of the audience seemed to be having a really good time, as I frantically wrote notes in my 1B5. Perhaps it is the curse of the Theatre Student to become too critical when watching another’s theatre piece.

    Nevertheless, big props to Cosgrove, because no matter how trained you are, a one person show is a big deal. Regardless of my opinion of the show’s content, she definitely pulled it off.

    A good show to take your mum or dad too, or for a work outing. Provides genuine laughs and entertainment, but these laughs could also come from reruns of the Topp Twins or a Taika Waititi film in the comfort of your own home.

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  • An Honest Review of First Year Textbooks

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, will spend it all on textbooks.

    That’s right, trimester one is almost upon us, and all you lil first years will be starting your classes in a week’s time. You’ll also be sorting out what textbooks you’re going to need, and how much of your course related costs you can spend at Liquor King while still being able to afford them all.

    I’m an old crone and have been through four years of university already, so I’m well versed in the world of textbooks. So let me, your books editor and textbook guru, guide you through your upcoming purchasing with an honest review of some textbooks for first year courses, so you all know what you’re in for.

    ACCY130 – Accounting: Information for Business Decisions by Billie Cunningham: The chocolate bar calculator cover is pretty cool.

    COMP102 – Java Foundations 3rd Edition: Reading this book will mean you’ll probably make an enormous amount of money, but please don’t make AI, it is scary and the world has enough problems without hyper-intelligent killing robots.

    ECON130/141 – Principles of Economics 12th Edition by Karl E. Case: Do you love Rogernomics? Do you go bananas for Neoliberalism? Then this book is for you!

    ENGL111 – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare: Actually one of his best plays. Full of good bants, goofs, and lols. Selected Poems by John Keats: A sadboi writes good love poems then dies of tuberculosis.

    INTP113 – World Politics: International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century by Jeffrey Haynes: This book will inspire you to want to work for the UN or be an Ambassador, but in reality will help you get a job at MFAT.

    LAWS121 – Law Alive 3rd Edition by Grant Morris: Read this or you’ll die.

    MARK101 – Marketing Principles by O. C. Ferrell: An integrated and diversified education tool designed for maximum knowledge expansion of corporate enterprise linguistic patterns, and the ultimate how-to guide for becoming a yopro.

    POLS111 – New Zealand Government and Politics 6th Edition by Janine Hayward: Best read under a tree at Parliament, or over a pint at Back Benchers.

    PSYC121 – Psychology 8th Edition by Henry Gleitman et. al: Definitely more useful than Student Health’s counselling service.

    Any MATH, STAT, or QUAN book – I literally can’t even do basic maths so trying to understand and review any these books would be pointless. Honestly props to you for doing a maths course, good luck and Godspeed.

    Hopefully these mini reviews will help all of you wee freshers get pumped to do your readings… until week three and then you’ll give up. Good luck for your future studies and happy reading!

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  • Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 1: USS Callister

    4.5/5 stars

    Ranking among Black Mirror’s best, “USS Callister” provides viewers with a homage to classic Star Trek and the subversion of a once plausible hero. Spoilers ahead.

    Overacting and painfully overt grins dominate the opening of “Callister”, establishing an unsettling tone which remains strong throughout the episode. Featuring a crew of colourful space officers, led by Jesse Plemons as Captain Robert Daly, viewers are treated to a 1960s, Star Trek-alike space adventure show called Space Fleet.

    Back in the real-world, Space Fleet turns out to be a reality that Daly, the socially awkward and clumsy CTO and co-creator of an innovative gaming technology company, has created, unbeknownst to anyone else. It is revealed he’s using the DNA of co-workers to create versions of them inside his specialised, closed-off game, set in the universe of his favourite show – Space Fleet.

    Upon this reveal, the estimation of Daly as a quiet, unassuming nerd rapidly changes to seeing him as a sadistic control-freak who wants to be able to manipulate every strand of his game’s reality.  The reveal or “twist” in “Callister” happens far earlier than would usually be expected in a Black Mirror timeline, setting the tone for the episode and the stage for the true protagonist, Nanette (Cristin Milioti), the new staff member who has been brought into Daly’s construction. Within his game, Nanette and other members of staff serve as Daly’s crew; anxiously awaiting his arrival, ready to play the part of an undyingly loyal and adoring group of followers. In actuality, they are merely there to allow Daly to live out his childish fantasies, in which he fails to embody the teachings of an idealistic tv show but succeeds in rationalising the abuse of his crew.

    This episode of Black Mirror transcends previous iterations of the show by subverting a character who once could have been painted as a protagonist. The idea of a lonely genius gaining inner courage to overcome all those who have bullied him through clever use of his technology, eventually winning the girl and saving the day could have just as easily been played out in the 80s or 90s.. The reality in “Callister” is far from that. After being subjected to a miserable work environment all day, Daly retreats home to his chocolate milk, pizza and action figures, signifying a child-like mentality. Winning the respect and admiration of his peers is achievable only in his simulation.

    What is Space Fleet? … It’s a belief system, founded on the very best of human nature.” Daly recites moving speeches from the show to his crew while never truly understanding nor caring for the actual meaning behind the dialogue. For Daly, fulfilling his lust to be a beloved and respected leader, though never earning it, is enough. A villain whose motives we can understand and empathise with, to a certain extent, is far scarier than an unrealistic, one-dimensional monster; much like the one the Space Fleet crew attempt to combat in the game’s constructed reality. The episode then uses the game’s backdrop to launch into classic Star Trek fare – a crew defiantly overcoming the odds through intelligence, teamwork and cunning use of technology, albeit with a modern twist.

    “USS Callister” is space adventure at its finest. Black Mirror, as usual, delivers, leaving viewers with a welcomed sense of optimism, and its first fully realised villain.

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  • A Rough, Subjective Guide to Welly’s Music Venues

    In this year’s Salient music section, we’re gonna do a lot of the normal shit – we’re going to be talking about the important records of the year, the big events, and we’ll be conducting interviews with musicians. My main focus for the year, however, is to shine a light on our local scene. New Zealand has a rich and important musical history, and Wellington is part of it.

    To start the year, here’s a bit of a run-down on some of Welly’s best venues.

    The first venue I’ll mention here is San Fran on Cuba Street – my favourite spot in Wellington. Ever since my first San Fran gig – an O-Week Drax Project gig in 2015, which I have a somewhat foggy recollection of – I have been in love with this venue. Over the years, this venue has played host to many of the world’s finest acts, and over the next little while will host acts such as Mick Jenkins, The Underachievers, DZ Deathrays, and local legends such as The Datsuns, and The D4. Furthermore, San Fran is a keen promoter of the local scene, and last year played host to Eyegum Wednesdays – a set of free gigs to promote local artists. Some of my favourite musical memories of Wellington have been at San Fran (Peanut Butter Wolf and Vince Staples both spring to mind), and the intimate quality of the small-mid sized space makes for an ever-exciting concert experience. I’d definitely vouch for this as one of the premier venues in town.

    If that sounds appealing, Meow, located on Edward St, and Caroline, on Manners St, both fit the bill of the excellent small-to-mid size venue also. Both of these venues play host to a variety of independent acts (both from our local scene and wider New Zealand), and have pretty outstanding food and drink aspects to them. Whilst Wellington has been on the hunt for a mid-to-large sized venue to attract the bigger international acts for a number of years (and no secret has been made of this), I believe we really are spoiled for choice in terms of our more intimate club-like venues in the CBD – especially when factoring in The Hunter Lounge, on campus in Kelburn, and Valhalla, on Vivian St, in addition to the spots I mentioned above.

    On a similar vein, another of my favs is The Rogue & Vagabond, located on Garrett Street in the CBD. The Rogue & Vagabond regularly hosts live music – usually of the jazz/soul/funk variety in my experience, with many local acts – and throughout 2017 hosted record fairs for collectors in the region. In addition to this, The Rogue & Vagabond is one of many venues in Wellington that prides itself on its craft beer. Combine these features with the awesome outdoor space, and you’ve got a killer spot with great tunes. $2 Taco Tuesdays are always a good time too!

    I’ll admit to probably having missed a few venues in this list, and there’s a number of reasons for that. The most predominant in my mind, however, is that I’m really still discovering what Wellington has to offer musically myself – and that’s totally okay. My advice to the first-year music lovers is to get out there, get along to gigs at these venues, support your local artists, and find what you like for yourself. Get stuck in!

     

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  • A Brief and Incomplete History of the Podcast

    Kia ora and welcome to the podcast section! This is a space to chat about all things podcast related. This may include reviews, interviews with hosts, or any general discussion of this wonderful medium. If you love podcasts and have something to say about that then please do not hesitate to email us at podcasts@salient.org.nz. Contributors enable this section to cover a diverse range of topics, and better reflect the student voice at Vic.

    As a young, angst-ridden pre-teen I remember recognising the term ‘podcast’ and having only a vague idea of what it might mean. I didn’t understand the point of it all, and based most of my opinion off an unsubstantiated feeling that podcasts were ‘nerdy’ and one of the dud features of my iPod. It was a metallic blue iPod shuffle. I was cool back then.

    Fast forward a few years and here I am: someone who can no longer perform simple tasks without needing some people talking in their ear. “How did this all begin?”, you might ask. My love for podcasts began approximately three years ago, spawned by a fondness for the Bachelor franchise that was shared by no one I knew. I turned to podcasts to satiate my need for in-depth Bachelor-related discussion .

    However, podcasts have been brilliant long before I have been capable of appreciating them. What once was considered a niche medium, valued merely as an extension of radio, has now become a force to be reckoned with. I present to you:

    A Brief, Incomplete History of the Podcast

    2004: Podcasting in its first form is developed. August Trometer and Ray Slakinski create iPodderX, the first easy to use podcast software.

    2005: Apple launches iTunes 4.9 which allows users to download and subscribe to podcasts without additional software.

    2006: The commercial potential of podcasts is becoming recognised. The second season of The Ricky Gervais Show, found on Audible, is the first major podcast to charge listeners for episodes.  

    2011: The BBC observes that more than 8 million adults in the UK have downloaded a podcast. This was, at the time, higher than the number of people in the UK that had used Twitter.

    2013: Apple reaches 1 billion podcast subscribers.

    2014: Enter Serial: the true-crime murder mystery podcast that broke Apple records as the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads and streams. Serial pushed podcasts into the mainstream pop culture discourse.

    2017: The podcast section of Salient is launched by Annelise Bos!

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  • Universities in Film or, What University (Really) Isn’t Like

    The Old: The Riot Club (2014)

    1/5

    Take a bunch of wealthy boys, put them in an alcohol-fuelled situation, and give them absolutely no repercussions for their actions. What could go wrong?

    2014’s The Riot Club is a misinformed attempt at a cautionary tale. Two new Oxford College boys are invited to join the ‘Riot Club’ – an exclusive gentlemen’s club whose main goal seems to be terrible to everyone not like them. The majority of the film is set in a dinner venue where the boys get totally pissed, sexually harass the only women in the film, and fight the owners of the establishment.

    The issue with The Riot Club is that no-one is likeable. While we do have the new initiates to the club – Miles and Alistair – as some form of audience avatar, it quickly becomes impossible to distinguish them from the rest of the morass. Every member of the Riot Club is completely filthy, too wealthy for their own good, and despicable. There is no ‘save the cat’ moment, there is no reason to like them, they just exist as unsympathetic assholes with god complexes. They don’t even really get their comeuppance in the end, which is the only thing that would have been satisfying.

    It is very obvious that this film is meant to be satirical, that we’re supposed to look at it as some form of warning. However, the men in this piece have wealthy and/or important people as their parents, thus they avoid repercussions from their actions. Although this lack of a satisfying conclusion is probably quite accurate to real life, this film just plays out as a wealthy mastubatory fantasy without it.

    The New: Happy Death Day (2017)

    3/5

    Tree’s life will end. And end. And end. And end – at least until she finds a way to stop it.

    Take Groundhog Day, add a sprinkling of Legally Blonde, and some really ropey bits of dialogue and you’ve got 2017’s Happy Death Day.

    Tree, our heroine, is a bitchy sorority girl with nothing to prove. She goes about her day harassing people, sleeping with her professors, and causing trouble, until she is murdered that night during her birthday party.

    However, she wakes again that morning, doomed to repeat the same day over and over until she finds her murderer. Through escaped criminals, wild goose chases, and a creep in a baby mask, Tree grows as a person, and becomes someone that is easy to like.

    While Happy Death Day is a slasher film that is essentially bloodless, the humour and eccentricity of the plot make up for the lack of scares. It doesn’t take itself too seriously – which is helpful, considering the premise – and takes time to almost parody the ‘dumb sorority girl’ stock characters that we see in so many other horror films.   

    It’s a light horror movie that’s fun to watch, and while it may make you jump at times, it won’t leave you hiding behind the couch. Happy Death Day even gives us some half-baked life lessons at time – making friends with new people isn’t necessarily a bad thing, walking alone at night is inadvisable, and accepting food from your bitchy mates might be a bad idea.

    (I wouldn’t recommend murdering anyone in your first week of uni, though).

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  • Tender Consumption

    Tourist debris is a strange thing— both components are of an unfixed location. Debris, a

    disintegration of something left behind, and the tourist, who may only belong nowhere. One is only ever a tourist while displaced, yet conscious of it, and embracing this displacement. So, when he leaves traces of his presence, these objects escape their original contexts also.

    For Jade Townsend’s one night only exhibition at ENA, tourist debris is no longer the part that is left behind, but the part which remains. Townsend has collected discarded luxury swing tags from the VAT return area at Heathrow airport, as she herself passes through, and deactivated their commercial potential. It is the label as a concept that these items were originally purchased for (one buys Gucci duty-free because it’s Gucci, baby!), not for the physicality of a swing-tag. The removal of a single label is a reminder that consumption is a personal action, and individualises something that desires to remain a vast and homogenous whole.

    The Gucci swing-tag on its own is therefore a severed limb of luxury. Townsend has added beading to this tag, in orange and green, in beautiful seed-like rows. It is now more considered than what it was attached to. The tag is then integrated into a wooden frieze that she commissioned from a Balinese carver, who normally makes tourist souvenirs, asking them to interpret a staged image from her Instagram with a biblical narrative. The piece has been painted over by Townsend, with a gradient that travels from sickly yellow light when the good weather has lasted too long, to the purple of the thunder that follows. This is Garden of Gucci. It appropriates the aesthetics of paradise, of a consumer paradise. This is a place that is always intoxicated by the shiny and the new. Yet, as Townsend recognises in the descriptions of her works, each paradise gives way to the entrance to hell. To thrive in a consumer paradise is to accept condemnation equally, but in Garden of Gucci, consumerist cynicism is mediated by craftsmanship and tradition.

    The swing-tag has transformed again. With the absence of the cynical, we encounter it as a sentimental thing, no longer a signifier of something homogenous, but a thing of intimate and personal associations. Townsend has created a proposal for a tender form of consumerism.

    Accompanying Garden of Gucci, there is a stand of old Hallmark Mother’s Day cards, which she has reworked with sealant and aerosol spray cans. I am drawn to one in particular, Mum said I could get a job at Louis Vuitton one day if I learnt Japanese. It is these personal myths and associations with labels that make us care for them so much. It reminds me of my mother, who wears Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue every day because it reminds her of what she thinks Greece will smell like when she finally gets there. There is value in anything that facilitates some sort of hope. It is boring to be only critical of consumption, and so Townsend is doing the unexpected and the interesting, in sympathising with the reasons we buy things and why we have attachments to such objects, beyond any status that they may bring. Tourist debris, therefore, is not just debris of the tourist, but debris that is a tourist itself too, moving across and collapsing different social circumstances and geographies.

     

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  • 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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    Editor's Pick

    This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

    : Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak English, had decided