Viewport width =

Issue 9, 2018

Issue 09 Volume 81: Tight Ass Content

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

News

  • Tutorial Derailed by Man Who “Just Wants to Follow on From That”

  • Post-Cab Round-Up

  • Are Israel and Iran Sleepwalking to War?

  • Fairer Fares Fails to Mitigate Mount Street Marathon

  • Potential New Name for VUW

  • Updates on Kylie Jenner’s Baby

  • DJ Khaled Interview Proves Once Again That Men Ain’t Shit

  • Kanye “Free Thinking is a Super Power” West

  • Bloody Hipster Hell, It’s a Juice Bar Controversy

  • Trump’s America: A Stable Genius Makes a Decision

  • How Much Are Our RAs Getting Paid?

  • Features

  • Website-Cover-Photo3-01

    A Tight Ass Yogi

    As 2018 rolled around, I settled on three New Year’s resolutions. To get fit, be more sane, and less broke. I concocted a plan to combine all these goals in one: by signing up to free trial memberships for each yoga studio in Central Wellington. I was excited at the thought of becoming a leaner, […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo4-01

    Our Dying Right: Perspectives on End of Life Choice

    In 2015, Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales made news by petitioning for the right to a physician-assisted death. She was 41 years of age, with an inoperable brain tumor, and several months left to live. Shortly before she passed away, Lecretia’s husband, Matt Vickers, relayed to his wife that the High Court had ruled against them. Lecretia […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo1-01

    Halls: Lonely but Not Alone

    There are probably some people in this world who breeze through the end of high school and into university; people who seamlessly transition from living at home to sharing a home with hundreds of strangers. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that these people make up, at most, about 3% of your hall population. […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo2-01

    Manning Up: Personal Reflections of Masculinity in New Zealand

    CW: discussion of suicide It’s a winter’s night in Auckland, and three men are talking about their feelings in a spa. The air is full of words I never thought I’d hear. “I’m scared of failure.” “I’m unhappy with being myself.” “I don’t think what I do is good enough.” As the quiet conversation continued, […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo3-01

    A Tight Ass Yogi

    As 2018 rolled around, I settled on three New Year’s resolutions. To get fit, be more sane, and less broke. I concocted a plan to combine all these goals in one: by signing up to free trial memberships for each yoga studio in Central Wellington. I was excited at the thought of becoming a leaner, […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo4-01

    Our Dying Right: Perspectives on End of Life Choice

    In 2015, Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales made news by petitioning for the right to a physician-assisted death. She was 41 years of age, with an inoperable brain tumor, and several months left to live. Shortly before she passed away, Lecretia’s husband, Matt Vickers, relayed to his wife that the High Court had ruled against them. Lecretia […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo1-01

    Halls: Lonely but Not Alone

    There are probably some people in this world who breeze through the end of high school and into university; people who seamlessly transition from living at home to sharing a home with hundreds of strangers. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that these people make up, at most, about 3% of your hall population. […]

    by

  • Website-Cover-Photo2-01

    Manning Up: Personal Reflections of Masculinity in New Zealand

    CW: discussion of suicide It’s a winter’s night in Auckland, and three men are talking about their feelings in a spa. The air is full of words I never thought I’d hear. “I’m scared of failure.” “I’m unhappy with being myself.” “I don’t think what I do is good enough.” As the quiet conversation continued, […]

    by

  • Arts and Science

  • Synthpop with Virtual Vice & Hybrid Rose

    Modern pop music has evolved dramatically since the turn of the century, and don’t we know it! We can all recall the Spice Girls and NSync in their heyday as the pop kings and queens of MTV. A decade before them though, were musical innovators Eurythmics and Duran Duran, whose sound was something so contemporary that it completely changed the way that pop developed, and even to this day lays the foundation for up and coming electro-pop artists all over the world, and in New Zealand.

    One of these artists is Virtual Vice, a music producer and composer based in Auckland. His first EP, Sanctuary Runner, slam dunks you straight into those shimmering prom night moods with his first track “Black Rose”. The classic preppy synth notes mixed with punchy toms draws on both the old school and modern electronic music made popular by artists like M83 and Chromatics. With album art that evokes everything retro, Virtual Vice is an electro-pop force to be reckoned with. Keep an eye out for this guy as he woos you with his wistful synth wave tunes and glistening hooks.

    A bit closer to home is up and coming artist Hybrid Rose, Wellington’s very own electro-pop producer. Rose Valentina is the creator of a playful mix of songs starting from her first release, VIDEO GAMES. The energetic track says grab your Nintendo and immerse yourself in the world of nostalgic games and pixelated wonder — the perfect electronic homage to those forgotten times in front of a square hunk of a TV as a kid.

    Valentina’s full-length album COSMIC, released in April of last year, draws on a mix of modern pop artists such as Grimes and Kimbra, all the while paying tribute to that classic new wave sound present in songs like Forever Young by Alphaville. She does an amazing job of building tension, starting you off nice and gentle with minimal percussion, eventually dropping you into a carefully crafted mix of layered sounds as demonstrated in her songs “Mermaid Lovers” and “Mr. Blue Sky”. Hybrid Rose is doing it damn fine!

    At the centre of these artists is one very important thing — the synth.

    Hybrid Rose and Virtual Vice use the modular instrument to its full potential to evoke crazy scopes of emotion, ones which you didn’t even know you could recall from eras where your parents were rebellious teens wearing recently-made-fashionable Levi jeans. They create soundscapes of ethereal pads and sharp saws, pulling you into a world of discos and laser lights while you’re swaying from left to right in the middle of a crowded dance floor. Now, who’s ready to dip their toes into a warm pool of nostalgia?

    by

  • This is Not a Music Review

    Is this the end? Have we reached a colossal moment of oversaturation where nothing created has the capacity to sound truly individualised? Objects are only recognised in tandem with other objects, and without the former, we have neither. We can only identify space not through its appearance, but through the filling of the gaps.

    But maybe perception through comparison is the only avenue available to us, or certainly the most convenient. If we can only define objects by other objects, then we must first have knowledge of the first object to possess an understanding of the second. If you start with an artist’s most recent album, and ignore everything before, are you a moron? Probably.

    If we cannot perceive anything in isolation, what does that mean for your personal musical narrative? Possibly my review simply adds to the mathematical algorithm of ticks and crosses that makes up what is and isn’t music. How could you simply decide what taste is, and present that in any format to anyone and assume your opinion has any discretion over someone else’s thoughts and emotions? If I give something a bad review, will you listen to it to see just how bad, the same as if I’d given it a good review? What does the power of suggestion mean in an age when everything is simply a repetition of works before it, simply chopped and screwed just right to distinguish it from its predecessor?

    Nothing is bad or good in music, it simply is. Scores mean nothing. When we begin to understand this, a deeper appreciation of the beauty but also the end of music can be attained. How could I rate my interaction with you? My Uber rating is 4.97, does that mean I’m mostly a good person and approachable? I still lie awake thinking about that fucker that gave me a 4. Hopefully Janelle Monàe would be happy with an 4.2.

    by

  • On the Proliferation of Jewellery Exhibitions

    There’s something about the climate we live in that has caused a sprouting of contemporary jewellery exhibitions. It is often easy to detect trends in contemporary art practice and decode the conditions that have led to their proliferation. From the end of last year until the present, we have seen The Language of Things, currently on at The Dowse; I want to go to my bedroom but I can’t be bothered, of Lisa Walker’s work, at Te Papa Tongarewa; Hamish McKay with Lisa Walker, Karl Fritsch and Jan van der Ploeg; the Handshake series of events.

    Object making is often used to find form for something that cannot exist in a state rendered by the human body — something that our actions can’t convey in performance, that our language is fallible at articulating. However, it has become less important in contemporary art. The absence of an object in favour of occupying a particular time and space is something that artists turned to more frequently. The rise in exhibitions of jewellery seems like a very specific return to the object. The act of making something tangible can be linked to processes of ritual and healing, a way to unlearn and to relearn, and to produce a physical thing which can share the labour that has been put into it.

    Jewellery is not a traditional medium to work in; it doesn’t quite fit alongside painting or sculpture or photography. It is simplistic to say that art, in a very broad sense, is functionless (“art for art’s sake!”). This can be dismantled, but presenting jewellery as art transgresses this already, as there is an existing and discernible function of jewellery. There is an intimacy to it too, intended to be worn so close to the body, often given as a sign of emotional connection. In this way, jewellery can compress a complex concern or thought into a very personal object. This shift towards jewellery in current exhibition trends suggests that what we are grappling with is impossible to untangle in its full and complete scale; it seems predictable to say that the global sociopolitical climate is troubling, but it is also true. Instead of making the personal political, the political is made personal.

    In Hal Foster’s notes for Bad New Days, he recognises that the question we are asking about art now is “how does it affect me?” If the Big Question that we are challenging art with is such an individual one, it makes sense to respond to it in the equally individualised forms of jewellery: rings, necklaces, which should be worn and contemplated discreetly. To add further specificity to the resurgence of jewellery exhibitions, the illogical and absurd has lifted its head too. Lisa Walker’s necklace made of stuffed ducklings is a good example of this. The necklace is essentially wearable, in that it is able to be worn around the neck, but the grotesque choice of stuffed ducklings definitely negates this. Thus, we have these objects which present as jewellery, which are for the body, which have been confused by their use of materials that are repulsive to have near the body, or which the body cannot manage. And so, the increasing prominence of jewellery in exhibitions is acting as a reminder that, in our individual confrontations with the global, an artistic medium can be just as confused as we are.

    by

  • Best New Zealand Poems 2017

    Compiled by New Zealand’s Poet Laureate, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Best New Zealand Poems 2017 is an impressive collection that showcases the brilliance and extraordinary talent of 25 of New Zealand’s leading and emerging poets.

    While each poem is compelling and interesting, I have selected a few of the standout works to review.

    Liz Breslin’s cut-and-paste found poem, “The Lifestyle Creed”, is a wonderful subversive satire. She has conflated organised religion with the cultural religion of health and wellbeing, with the words taken from the Catholic Nicene Creed and nutritional advice from an Alzheimer’s blog.

    Another excellent poem is Jiaquio Liu’s “With Love”, which focuses on their struggle with religious education and fighting to find your identity outside this structure. This personally relatable poem feels completely refreshing, as the jarring line breaks and their impressive use and re-use of words and motifs feel modern and unique compared to some of the other poems in the collection.

    As a fan of her work before reading Best New Zealand Poems 2017, Hannah Mettner’s “All Tall Women” is a great edition to the collection. This poem has some of my favourite lines: “I stood in the back row for class photos, with the boys. Mum was always proud of this. As though all tall women are feminists.” Very relatable to this 5’10” lass.

    One of the more exciting poets on the rise is Emma Shi, and her poem “skipping dead insects across the ocean” is a raw and heartbreaking representation of the repression of the spirit. There is a great sense of tragedy when the poem ends and there has been no sense of escape or freedom.

    Chris Tse’s “Like a queen” and Louise Wallace’s “Ahakoa he iti he pounamu | it is small it is greenstone” are both brilliant poems from two of New Zealand’s leading poets, and each is a showcase of their brilliance and significance in the contemporary poetry scene.

    Gregory Kan’s poem “There is a house that we are in” is an absolute highlight and was my favourite poem in the collection. The poem is subtle yet expressive, as the feelings of passion and yearning between the two figures are so compelling and believable. Kan’s poem also has one of my favourite lines from the entire collection: “Where we fall to the bottom of our seventeenth century bodies.”

    With the collection being published online, there are also some audio recordings of the poets reading their poems. This added another dynamic to the overall reading experience, as the text on screen was more alive — you are able to hear the inflections, pauses, emphasis, and emotions behind the written words.

    There were some poems in this collection that were not to my taste, as I have always struggled to enjoy longer poems (largely due to a very short attention span). However, they were still enjoyable to read.

    The Best New Zealand Poems collections are always a treat to read, and highlight the majesty of the poetry scene in New Zealand, from the well-established power houses to the budding up-and-comers about to take the poetry world by storm. The 2017 collection is no exception, as it is a brilliant mixture of personal stories, dark humour, and an interesting and complex exploration of human emotion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading works from poets I already knew, as well as being introduced to new poets that I instantly loved and will read in the future.

    by

  • Glennridge Secondary College – Aunty Donna

    This Australian comedy trio are so absolutely stupid, it’s funnier than you’d expect.

    Having gone to their tour show in the 2017 Comedy Fest, seeing Aunty Donna for the second time was something I had been looking forward to for a while, and the pre-tour release of their album Glennridge Secondary College only added to the hype. Bangers such as Best Day of My Life, Chuffed, and the eleven seconds long Sometimes I Struggle to Finish Projects line their Spotify profile, along with their regularly updated podcast.

    The show was a compilation of all things high school that no-one enjoyed while there, but are hilarious when you no longer have to experience them every day. An example is a skit that consisted of Broden Kelly (aka Man Beast) standing stone faced in front of the audience, waiting for absolute silence, as would your deputy principal in any typical assembly. Lines were thrown at the audience such as “find your respect” and “it’s your lunchtime”. The simple genius of the act had the entire audience in tears laughing at a grown man looking incredibly grumpy.

    The trio makes a certain amount of effort with their shows in coming to New Zealand to reference local culture. One of the best received jokes of the evening was a long-drawn out roll call. “Man from Wellington” was responded to with a short beat poem about art and culture, and how “Wellington truly is New Zealand’s Melbourne”. The next name on the roll call was “Man from Wellington, when we’re in Auckland”. The reply was the ever so articulate “I’m a c**t!”.

    Aunty Donna is comedy that draws from the absurd, and is satisfying for those who enjoy suspending their own disbelief for the sake of a silly punchline. I get a real kick out of their shows. However, I find most of their YouTube content arduous and not that fun (with a few exceptions, namely Man Grieves Over Dead Wife. You Won’t Believe What Happens Next… and Two People Wear the Same Tie to Work). Seeing them live adds hype, and they save their best stuff for the live shows, so it’s a rewarding experience for someone who stays on track with all their content.

    This show was fantastic, but it doesn’t get a perfect review. There was a moment in the middle, in which I found myself zoning out, but it was short-lived. When another skit started they had me cackling with the best of ‘em.

    The guys themselves are awesome, and take the time to meet and greet everyone who can be bothered waiting in line at the end. They’ll make jokes, take a picture, and thank you for coming, and you can tell they mean it. They’re comedians, they’ll take what they can get.

    by

  • S-Town

    S-Town began the way I thought it would: small, conservative town in America, rumours swirling that a violent murder has been covered up, and the trusty, every-man narrator, Brian Reed from This American Life, there to lead you through the fray. As an avid Serial fan, I had high expectations and high scepticism of the plethora of true-crime-investigative-journalism podcasts that had sprung up in the wake of Serial’s success.

    But as I began episode one I found my concerns fading. I was hooked. S-Town, which I had doubted so intensely, had captured my attention.The story begins with a man called John B. McLemore contacting journalist Brian Reed and asking that he investigate the “crummy little shit-town” he lives in, in which he believes a man has gotten away with murder. According to McLemore, Woodstock, Alabama is rife with poverty, police corruption, climate-change denial, and child molesters. Listeners become familiar with McLemore from the very start, hearing his thoughts and opinions as he shares them over the phone to Reed. McLemore is certainly an eccentric, prone to long rants lamenting the terrible state of the world. In one of his rants he famously says, “we ain’t nothin’ but a nation o’ goddamn chicken shit, horse shit, tattletale, pissy-ass, whiny, fat, flabby, out-o’-shape, Facebook-lookin’, damn.. twerkfest… Ya know, Mr. Putin, please show some fuckin’ mercy. I mean come on, drop a fuckin’ bomb, won’t you?”

    In episodes three to eight, the focus of the podcast shifts away from the alleged murder, and Reed begins an intense, deeply intimate scrutinisation of McLemore’s life. His sexuality and sexual history, his struggle with depression and self-harm and the family disputes over his estate are delved into with a thoroughness so unabashed it was disturbing. Reed frequently encourages both the people he interviews and the listeners to speculate on the specifics of McLemore’s sexuality and relationship history. I found myself wondering if McLemore would have wanted his story to be told this way, but we will never know, because he was never asked.

    I couldn’t help but think about the ethics of putting such intimate details of a person’s life on show without their consent. Is it really right to place such sensitive details on display for the world to see? For people to consume as pure entertainment? To attract listeners to a podcast that makes money off advertisements? Should the life of a person, who was private and clearly struggled with depression and his sexuality, be made into a narrative — the most shocking parts of their life used as cliffhangers in a story? Honestly, I don’t think so.

    In writing this, a comment made about Serial several years ago came to mind. It was something the brother of Hae Min Lee (whose murder was the subject of Serial) said: “to me it’s real life. To you listeners, it’s another murder mystery, crime drama, another episode of CSI… I pray that you don’t have to go through what we went through and have your story blasted to 5 million listeners.”

    There is something about true crime stories that trigger our morbid curiosity. We want to hear things that will shock us, even better if it is something real. I get it. I listened to Serial and S-Town and they are riveting stories. McLemore was a fascinating, funny, smart, and troubled individual — he was quite a character, and Reed knew this would make a good story. Except now, after S-Town, a character is all John B. McLemore is, and all he gets to be.

    by

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

    Hey, I’m Emma, I’m here on a holiday from the film section for this issue. You’ll find your usual commentators across in the film section, and your regular scheduled programming will return next week.

    “This show will wreck your evening, your home life, and your day. Every single episode is nothing but dismay. Look away.”

    Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is a welcome absurdist respite in a world of shows that just make far too much temporal sense.

    Lemony Snicket’s mad oeuvre has finally been given the remake it deserves and I am loving it. The three Baudelaire children — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny — lose their parents in a house fire. As they’re passed around from guardian to guardian, an evil actor called Count Olaf tries to trick their caretakers into giving him the children, so he can murder them and steal their fortune.

    It’s a dark premise for what is, in all accounts, a pretty funny show.

    What time period are we in? Who knows! Sometimes there are horse-drawn carriages, but Count Olaf also talks about Netflix, so it could be far in the future, or in a past where we invented streaming television many years too early.

    The novels of ASOUE are a damn good read — a tad tangential, a tad lovelorn — but the television show finds the perfect balance between comedy and tragedy, making us feel bad for the orphans but also wanting to see more of Count Olaf’s maniacal plots.

    Count Olaf, a failing actor, is played by the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris, who brings a bizarre joy to the piece, spending a ton of time singing and dancing, as well as dressing up in absurd costumes. His troupe of actors also delight, with the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender and the Hook-Handed Man being a couple of my favourites.

    Our child stars also do not disappoint. Malina Weissman (Violet) and Louis Hynes (Klaus) are incredibly strong in their roles, considering how long they’ve been in the game. They’re endearing and inquisitive, and you can’t help but feel sorry for them.

    This show has eight episodes per season and every two episodes is used to cover one of the books. I think this is a great decision, as it allows us to get entrenched in these new, weird locales, and it stops the writers from cutting too much from each book to fit it into one episode. My favourite episode(/s) so far have been The Miserable Mill (Part One and Two). The Baudelaires get taken to a mill and put to work. Count Olaf reunites with his ex-girlfriend, Georgina Orwell, who is the town’s optometrist, and then masquerades as her secretary, Shirley (yes, Neil Patrick Harris does full drag and it is phenomenal), to try and steal the Baudelaires’ fortune.

    There’s hypnotism, a well-known Kiwi actor with a particularly heavy accent, lots of foe-yay, and far too many situations that children shouldn’t be put into. Seriously, any health and safety professional would have a coronary.

    A Series of Unfortunate Events might be utterly bonkers, but it is definitely worth watching. Seasons one and two are airing on Netflix currently, with a final season or two coming in the next year.

    by

  • Cloverfield Paradox

    For a moment, it was refreshing to be spared from a trailer for a teaser trailer for a full-length theatrical trailer, only to realise that JJ Abrams had pulled a fast one on us.

    In what was arguably a pretty game-changing marketing move, and only possible given Netflix’s accessibility, viewers of this year’s Super Bowl were given a 32 second teaser for the third instalment of the Cloverfield series, The Cloverfield Paradox. Not only that, but the audience were advised that the film would be available online in its entirety immediately after the game had finished. Apart from this effective piece of marketing, the movie had no other coverage and was kept largely under wraps. So to see a teaser for this unknown film, with a decent cast, interesting look and a solid franchise backing it, got us pretty excited. But it made no sense that this visually-intriguing sci-fi film wasn’t heading to the cinema like its predecessors. Unless of course, the film was bad. Which it was.

    In the end, The Cloverfield Paradox was a slapped together, baffling, poorly written sci-fi flick, that was ultimately a shadow of a series of much better films. It added little to the world in which these Cloverfield movies are set, and served to further confuse audiences as to how exactly the monsters (or whatever they are) ended up on Earth. To avoid once again getting angry and confused about this movie, and having to field questions from each other like “do you know what’s going on?” and “what are we even going to write about?”, we’ve decided not to go into plot-specifics. But as the film descended more and more into madness and we started to zone out, it gave us a chance to reflect on why this film was flying Netflix’s banner.

    The idea seemingly underpinning the film’s short and sweet marketing campaign was that Paradox was the movie we didn’t know we needed until we were told we needed it. In reality though, no one really needs this film; producer JJ Abrams clearly realised this, as he threw the film to Netflix to gain a far safer distribution deal and avoid what would have been a far costlier marketing campaign and likely a poor box office performance. The film’s intrigue was twofold: firstly, in its mystery, and secondly, in the fact that the mystery could be immediately uncovered. Yet, because the film wasn’t good, this type of marketing campaign makes us feel like we’ve been tricked and cheated into watching something we otherwise wouldn’t, rather than it being some ground-breaking reveal.

    Compelling visuals and sound give Paradox a few real moments of tension, sometimes evoking feelings of classic horror (even if entirely lifted from better films). But we aren’t watching this at The Embassy. No, we’re watching this at 90 degrees in bed at 11pm on a MacBook Pro with flux on. These moments are most likely squandered by your piss poor home theatre setup and you’d be a fool to think you’d get the same cinema experience — though really, you shouldn’t aim to experience it at all.

    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.

    Add Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Recent posts

    1. Turkish Red Lentil Soup
    2. Dragon Friends
    3. NZ Music Month
    4. Dear White People
    5. You’re Allowed to Watch Shit Films
    6. Flint Town: Season 1
    7. Sometimes It’s Too Cold to Go Outside
    8. Some Spicy AF Hot Takes
    9. Postgrad Informer
    10. Love Isn’t Real, Because You Aren’t Hard Enough
    Website-Cover-Photo7

    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