In this issue of PENTHOUSE, we explore power in its many manifestations. The first thing we did was pick up the phone and call the Nomads – their reputation precedes them. You see them on the news, the police aren’t particularly fond of them, (ok that’s an understatement), and they’re generally pretty hard to miss – Harley Davidsons, tattoos, club patches and towering physiques. We sat down with the boys to find out what the fuck they actually do. There is power in institution. For this month’s Feature we stepped inside one of the most notorious prisons on the planet – Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, once home to the US’s most hardened crims. The Report takes us to one of the most beautiful places in the world: Papua New Guinea. It’s an untouched paradise home to some of the last remote tribes on Earth, but it’s also the centre of a devastating power struggle. There is a conflict on our doorstep, a slow-motion genocide taking place, and no one is talking about it. Charles Waterstreet’s column takes us into the underbelly of Sydney’s past, as he explores the rise and fall of empires, in the quest to control your liver. As per usual, we’ve got babes galore, incredible photography, an interview with NRL’s golden boy commentator Andrew Voss, and heaps more. Enjoy.
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88 DAVE KAI PIPER
13: THE DEBRIEF Offbeat news from around the world.
28: MAN OF THE MOMENT: KIM JONG-UN Is North Korea’s supreme leader capable of mass destruction?
31: GAMING Lies and deception: the dark side of eSports.
32: POLITICS: THAT’S NOT FUNNY! Is political correctness threatening comedy?
34: STUDIO SERIES Photographer Marcin Biedron with model Marcelina Zawadzka
42: THE INTERVIEW: THE NOMADS Are they flaunting the law on fast bikes or did the ‘outlaws’ get a raw deal?
50: ALCATRAZ ‘The Rock’ was the end of the line for even the most hardened criminals. We get an inside look at life inside the prison from some of the few remaining survivors.
56: IN FOCUS: JOAKIM KARLSSON A series of stunning babes from the Swedish photographer.
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69: HIGH LIFE
Dress well, drive fast and then kick back and soak it all in over a brandy.
102: REPORT: WAKE UP AND LOOK AT THE MAP Ben Bohane takes to the jungle with the West Papuan guerilla resistance.
112: Q&A: ANDREW VOSS All things rugby league with legendary Fox Sports commentator Andrew Voss.
118: TECH: SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP The new social media platform where you can say (almost) anything you want.
120: WOLF OF WATERSTREET The Hemmes and the Ibrahims: two families who shaped Sydney’s nightlife.
128: SHOOT: COUCH TIME One quiet afternoon, Thomas Agatz and a beautiful brunette.
134: PHOTO FEATURE: FLATLAND A mind-bending journey with photographer Ayuda Buyukta.
142: OPINION: BETTINA ARNDT Controversial men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt on the frontline fighting for a fair go for men.
THE TATLER CLUB This month we attended the Tatler Club to celebrate the launch of the Darlinghurst Arts Club: a new, exciting performance space in the heart of Sydney’s Kings Cross. The evening began with a wine-tasting from Adelaide-based winery Tommich Hills, followed by a night of entertainment, food and more wine courtesy of Mr Riggs. The Darlinghurst Arts Club will begin holding events from September onwards. Keep an eye out. Photography by @_thinkdirty_
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DEBRIEF 28: MAN OF THE MOMENT Is North Korea’s tyrannical leader drunk on power?
31: THE DARK SIDE OF ESPORTS Are virtual weapons turning teens into gamblers?
42: INTERVIEW: NOMADS Bikes, outlaws and lawsuits
WHAT W E ’ V E LE A RNT
I’LL BE BACK USSIAN engineers have taught a humanoid robot named F.E.D.O.R (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) how to shoot guns with both hands. The intelligent android’s ultimate objective is to travel into space to help on rescue missions, which has led many to question why the hell it needs to know how to fire a gun. The creators of the space-bound bot claim that accuracy with pistols improves motor and decision-making capabilities, and — despite obvious appearances — they are not trying to create a Terminator. In a weak attempt to allay people’s suspicions, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin took to Twitter to announce his country’s achievement. “Robot platform F.E.D.O.R. showed shooting skills with two hands,” he wrote. “We are not creating a
CONDOM CLOGGERS TWO common things can’t be flushed down the toilet under any circumstances: tampons and condoms. It’s fairly common knowledge. However, it seems that nobody passed this on to the owners of one Austinbased massage parlour. Juan Wang and her husband, Joseph Emery, were recently busted for running an illegal
prostitution racket after their building’s drainage pipes were found to be clogged with hundreds of condoms. The real estate agent who made the disgusting discovery tipped off local police, who launched an investigation into the establishment. Wang and Emery have been arrested and charged with criminal activity and
Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields.” Incidentally, this is exactly what somebody who was creating a Terminator would say. Besides knowing how to fire guns, the definitely-not-a-Terminator can use keys, screw in light bulbs and even drive a car. This new technological development comes just a month after warnings from Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, that robots could potentially rule the world within a few centuries. With the advent of Russia’s guntoting robot, perhaps this day will come a lot sooner. Any reports on whether the automaton will be programmed to speak in a monotone Austrian accent have yet to be confirmed.
money laundering. Only two days before the real estate agent tipped off the police to the potential dodgy dealings of the business, Wang was stopped at the airport attempting to board an international flight to China carrying US$30,000 in cash. She claimed the money was for a medical procedure and that it came from her business, Jade Massage Therapy, despite her stated yearly income
being only US$20,000 per year. The couple didn’t appear to be very good at covering their tracks. Not only did they clog the hell out of their pipes with tonnes of used rubbers, but police were able to quickly link the massage parlour to illegal prostitution via a number of advertisements posted on backpage.com, which featured photos of women, a list of services and Wang’s phone number.
FACEBOOK WANTS TO READ YOUR MIND AS if it isn’t already creepy enough that Facebook uses its endless stockpiles of data to feed us weirdly specific ads about colon cleanses and divorce lawyers, now — according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg — the social media giant is developing technology that can read your thoughts. WTF? At F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, the organisation announced the development of a new brainto-machine interface that will allow people to communicate thoughts directly into a computer, enabling users to send text messages, silently, in real time. This pioneering development comes from Building 8, Facebook’s secretive hardware R&D division modelled on the enigmatic black-budget military research agency Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It’s an interesting development because brain-machine interface technology was heavily invested in years ago by DARPA when it was headed up by Regina Dugan — who is the current head of Facebook’s Building 8.
At the conference, Dugan jubilantly asked the crowd, “What if you could type directly from your brain?” and then proceeded to show a demo of a woman typing eight words per minute, straight from her mind onto a computer. Dugan believes that within the next few years this technology will allow us to communicate silently with our phones and computers at a rate five times faster than we can type. Of course, typing fast texts isn’t the full extent of this technology’s capabilties. Thoughts could be instantly transmitted from one person to another, overcoming language barriers. “You may be able to share your thoughts independent of language: English, Spanish or Mandarin, they become the same,” Dugan said. Looking even further into the future, this technology has virtually limitless applications — there’s potential here to transform the way we communicate forever. Is this a really cool idea or the end of privacy as we know it? It’s impossible to say at this stage, but according to Zuckerberg, the future is closer than you think.
NUGGETS FOR CARTER A TEENAGER from Reno, Nevada, has ignited a Twitter storm in his quest for a year’s supply of free chicken nuggets. Carter Wilkerson began his pursuit innocuously enough, tweeting at US fast food franchise Wendy’s and asking, “Yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?” The Wendy’s social media team, which is a combination of in-house and external employees, told the hungry teen that it would take 18 million, a comically high, practically unattainable number of retweets. This didn’t stop the young man from appealing to the twittersphere for help, which for some inexplicable reason responded en masse. Over the last few months Wilkerson’s tweet, which reads: “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS,” had more than 3.5 million retweets, making it the most circulated tweet of all time, overtaking Ellen DeGeneres’s 2014 Oscars selfie. Apparently, the internet community really
wants this kid to have his chicken nuggets. Other historical tweets that Wilkerson surpassed include Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election tweet, “Four more years,” which has now been bumped to number four, and Louis Tomlinson’s tweet about fellow One Direction band member, “Always in my heart @Harry_Styles. Yours sincerely, Louis,” which is now in third place. Quite frankly, we’re glad that a young man’s yearning for nuggets is now considered more important than whatever it is that One Direction has to say. And as for Barack Obama – well, it goes to show that in the internet age, political messages don’t rate nearly as high as ridiculous requests for chicken nuggets. The real winner out of all this? Wendy’s, of course. But Wilkerson is getting a slice as well. For one, Wendy’s actually gave him the lifetime supply of nuggets. Hopefully he stays in shape though, because he’s
been offered everything from a potential date with a Victoria’s Secret model to a free holiday from United Airlines (although he might want to reconsider that one). He deserves everything he gets in our opinion. His dedication to a dream of an endless supply of nuggets is truly inspirational. Who said the youth of today doen’t have goals? PENTHOUSE
GEARS OF PORN NAVY Chief Special Warfare Operator Joseph John Schmidt III is leading an interesting double life. By day, he’s a highly decorated member of the elite US Navy SEALs, an inspirational community leader who gives pep talks to children with special needs and a recruiter for the elite Naval Special Warfare teams. By night, he transforms into Jay Voom, male porn actor and star of at least 29 adult films, including Apple’s Smashing Lap Dance and Strippers Come Home Horny from the Club. What’s more, Schmidt is happily married — to porn megastar Jewels Jade. The couple has shot a number of films together for Jade’s porn website and film distribution service. There are also videos that feature Schmidt with two other triple-X stars, Mena Li and Ashden Wells. Obviously, the Navy isn’t too happy about this. But Jade, who has been married to Schmidt for 17 years, insists that high-ranking Navy officials have known about her husband’s second job for years. How could they not, she argues, after they invited her to the commandos’ Coronado campus to sign autographs when she was named a 2011 Penthouse Pet of the Month. The official military rules are quite strict on these kinds of shenanigans. Active and even retired service members must seek permission to engage in work that might negatively affect the public perception of the armed services. Schmidt had not sought the relevant authorisation for his work as a male porn star — although we can see why he probably didn’t bother. In a statement to the press, Captain Jason Salta said, “We have initiated a formal investigation into these allegations. There are very clear regulations which govern outside employment by [Naval Special Warfare] personnel as well as prohibitions on behaviour that is discrediting to the service.” Even if top brass had been quietly condoning his moonlighting gig, Schmidt, who is just eight months from retirement, faces an investigation that could affect his rank and pension.
PR EXERCISE BLOWS UP IN ADIDAS’S FACE THE Boston Marathon is probably the world’s most famous road-racing event. Some 30,000 competitors descend on Massachusetts each year to run alongside the best long-distance runners on the planet. It’s considered by many to be the pinnacle marathon event of the year. It’s also somewhat infamous as a result of the horrific Boston bombing attack that took the lives of three people and injured 260 more back in 2013. Given this history, many have taken issue with a congratulatory email distributed by event sponsors Adidas, that read: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.” Ouch. Too soon, Adidas. The message was most likely an oversight by a (now probably unemployed) digital marketing intern. Regardless, the internet community reacted with the fury and outrage we’ve all come to expect from an anonymous group of people with a Twitter account. After getting a social media bitch slap, the Adidas marketing team rapidly distanced itself from the blunder. In a statement to TIME, a spokesperson for the athletics company apologised for the poor choice of words. “We are incredibly sorry. Clearly, there was no thought given to the insensitive email subject line we sent Tuesday,” the statement read. “We deeply apologise for our mistake. The Boston Marathon is one of the most inspirational sporting events in the world. Every year we’re reminded of the hope and resiliency of the running community at this event.” In the face of such widespread public outcry, it’s not surprising that they ran for the hills. But is Adidas really innocent here? Of all the words they could have written – among them, the obvious: finished, conquered, complete, beat — somehow they chose “survived”. Whoever approved the correspondence was probably fired for the mistake – but, hey, at least they went out with a bang.
STUDY CONFIRMS CATS ARE NICE ACCORDING to a recent study from Oregon State University, published in the journal Behavioural Processes, there is evidence to suggest that cats are nice. Yes, we’re sceptical too, but read on. To confirm the hypothesis, researchers tested which object cats most prefer to interact with and found they like humans even more than they like food. The study, undertaken to clarify some misconceptions about cats (apparently everyone thinks they’re dicks), had some surprising results. Using 50 cats from both homes and shelters, the cats were deprived of food,
toys, animals and people for a few hours. Researchers then introduced stimuli in the form of human socialisation, food, scent and toys to determine how they would respond. What they found was that immediately after being deprived, cats preferred human socialisation to any of the other categories. The findings suggest the furry little bastards actually prefer human interaction to food and are indeed social creatures. “Increasingly, cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex
RAPPER DIVES INTO OCEAN AFTER $600 SEAFOOD MEAL IN what will go down as an original take on the ‘runner,’ one man has bolted from a Queensland restaurant after knocking up a $600 bill of seafood and booze. Terry Peck (pictured), 33, of Labrador, Queensland, ordered the massive meal at Omeros Brothers seafood restaurant, then refused to pay. Instead he bolted for the door, ran down the street and jumped into the ocean. The plan, though bold, was ill-conceived. Police officers on the scene followed him into the surf on the back of jet skis and arrested him. He was charged with one count of stealing and two counts of serious assault. Peck, who also goes by the stage name 2pec, was already on parole, but despite the judge’s astonishment at the size of the restaurant bill, she still granted him bail. “My God! By himself?” She exclaimed when told the bill amounted to $621.30. The receipt reads two lobsters, a baby octopus, 21 vodka oyster shots and some Coronas.
socio-cognitive and problem-solving abilities,” the authors wrote in the paper. “Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable. This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for. “We have found that 50 per cent of cats tested preferred interaction with the social stimulus, even though they had a direct choice between social interaction with a human and their other most preferred stimuli from the three other stimulus categories.”
BAN ON IRISH BUTTER SPARKS FIGHT
EUROPEANS GET IN THE SWING OF THINGS A SWINGING craze is sweeping across Europe. A new survey by Victoria Milan – a dating website for married people looking to have an affair — asked 4,907 of its active female members from swinging couples across the continent about their swinging habits. Couples from France are most likely to swing, with more than one-third of married and attached couples living it up in the swinger community. Norway follows just behind France with 31.5 per cent of adventurous couples getting in on the swinging action, and just over a quarter of couples in the Netherlands have enjoyed opening their bedroom door to other couples. Fiery Spanish lovers are the least likely to let other couples join them in the bedroom, with only one-fifth saying they would welcome the opportunity to share their partner with others. 18
The top 10 countries that swing are: France, 33.8 per cent; Norway, 31.5 per cent; Netherlands, Denmark, 27.5 per cent 26.8 per cent; Finland, 26.7 per cent; Belgium 25.2 per cent; Ireland, 25 per cent; Sweden, 23.8 per cent; UK, 22.2 per cent; and Spain, 20.2 per cent. When it comes to swinging, just over 30 per cent of women admitted they love sharing their bedroom with other couples and, surprisingly, they don’t keep it anonymous, saying they are most likely to swing with couples they are already friends with (47.7 per cent). Nearly one-third (27.3 per cent) say they indulge their fantasies with couples they meet online, while almost onefifth (18.8 per cent) invite couples they have met casually into their bedroom. Just 6.3 per cent like to keep things close to home and will swing with their neighbours.
WE know the Irish love a fight, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise — but over butter? When visiting family in Nebraska, Jean Smith collects as much Kerrygold Irish butter as she can carry. Unfortunately for her, it’s illegal in her state of Wisconsin, which has very strict rules on what constitutes butter. “We bring back 20 bricks or so,” Smith said. Each morning, she notes, she places a tablespoon of the Irish-made butter into her tea. “It’s creamier, it doesn’t have any waxy taste, and it’s a richer yellow.” But the law, dating back to 1953, requires butter to be rated on various measures — including flavour, body and colour — by the federal government or people licensed as butter and cheese graders with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Jean and her friends disagree, and filed a lawsuit challenging the antiquated law, arguing that the people “are more than capable of determining whether butter is sufficiently creamy, properly salted, or too crumbly.” Wisconsin’s grading scale dictates that the highest-graded butter must “possess a fine and highly pleasing butter flavour.” Graders might describe butter as “crumbly,” “gummy,” or “sticky,” and its colour as “mottled,” “streaked” or “speckled.” Failure to adhere to standards could see you convicted of selling unlabelled or ungraded butter, fined between US$100 and US$1,000, and sentenced to six months in jail. “If I couldn’t get Kerrygold, I would use other butter,” Smith said. “It just doesn’t taste as good.”
ANTS CARRY WOUNDED COMRADES BACK TO BASE SOLDIER ants that are injured during raids can alert fellow members, who then carry them back to base, New Scientist reports. The Megaponera Analis, a species found in subSaharan Africa, is a specialised predator that feeds exclusively on termites. Groups of 200 to 500 ants venture out to raid nests — first, large ants called majors break open the nest, then smaller ants called minors rush in to kill and retrieve termites. However, termites are also fierce predators with big jaws, and ants are often injured, losing limbs in the process. Instead of being left behind, they’re picked up and carried back to the nest to recover and return to battle. But how? When injured, the ants appear to release a pheromone produced in the mandibular gland. When the nest mates detect it, they will pick up their wounded comrades and carry them home, where they are able to recover in safety.
Speaking of injured ants: “At first they kept tripping over, because they thought they [still] had six legs,” says Erik Frank at the University of Würzburg, Germany. “Inside the nest they were safe to adapt and change their locomotion. It was completely new and unexpected.” The idea of ants helping their comrades isn’t so remarkable, says Sara Helms Cahan at the University of Vermont. “Ants do many things that could be considered helping. But this type of behaviour — where individuals are cared for after they’re injured — is a new element in the arsenal of ant-helping behaviour.” Under these circumstances, the behaviour makes a lot of sense, she adds. “We often think about ants as being kind of like trees with leaves: every individual doesn’t matter very much because there are so many of them. But if you have a small colony, that’s actually a pretty important investment.”
SHE’S STILL TEXTING...
TOY STORY FREE EVERYONE deserves a good orgasm, right? But as you might already be aware, there are some women, who for a variety of reasons, have trouble achieving that toe-curling glory, either with a partner or by themselves. Recent studies out of the American fertility and family guidance institution Planned Parenthood suggest that as many as one-third of women have trouble reaching orgasm when having sex. Now, many may be ready to blame the blokes here. For a long time it’s been popular to bash selfish guys and lazy lovers – but there’s definitely more to it than that. Introducing “Sexy Liberation,” a company founded by three female software developers looking to share that famous “O moment” with women all around the globe. Based out of the States, they are creating a ‘buzz’ through their latest initiative to provide lipstick vibrators, butt plugs and vibrating cock rings free to women (or men) around the world. Yes, absolutely free. Jannet (last name withheld for privacy reasons) is one of the leading ladies behind the project, and she suggests that many women aren’t getting to know their bodies intimately due to ingrained cultural attitudes surrounding female sexuality. “Women across the globe receive cultural messages that encourage them to put others’ needs before their own. Women’s sexual enjoyment and wellbeing matter. That’s why we do what we do.” “A woman who knows herself sexually will feel more confident talking honestly with her partner about her needs and desires,” reads the company website. “If you are a woman in a relationship that is having trouble getting off, we are here for you.” This female trio may not be Jesus Christ, but it sounds like they’re definitely about to e second coming. We couldn’t re sup tive. t be
NOT SO RIGHT DATE NIGHT ONE man has decided to sue his date after taking offence to her texting habits. Brandon Vezmar, 37, of Austin, Texas, is asking for $17.31, the price of the movie ticket to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2., after his date repeatedly texted during the film. According to a petition filed in small claims court in Travis County, his 35-year-old date “activated her phone at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.” “It was kind of a first date from hell,” he said. About 15 minutes after the movie began, Vezmar claimed his female companion started texting on her phone. “This is like one of my biggest pet peeves.” Vezmar asked her to stop, but she refused. And then, with all the social grace of pissing in the popcorn, she left the theatre, never to return. Vezmar, who had gotten a lift with the young woman in question, was stranded in the cinema and was forced to sleep in the candy bar, huddled next to the popcorn machine for heat. All right, it probably wasn’t that bad, but he at least had to call a cab to get home. The decidedly shitty date said that Vezmar had called to ask that she pay him back for the movie ticket, but she refused because, “He took me out on a date.” Tough break, man.
WILL YOU DIDGERIDOO ME? A PORN company has been accused of racism and cultural insensitivity after producing a gay porn film featuring a didgeridoo. Didgeridoo Me opens with a man being awoken by his housemate playing the traditional instrument. Understandably, he’s not happy with being woken up, and proceeds to stick the didgeridoo where the sun don’t shine. What follows is a good old-fashioned gay romp, but as you probably could’ve predicted, there has been furious backlash. “Wow, porn actually managed to cross a line – incredibly disrespectful to
the Australian Aboriginal communities,” one Twitter user wrote. Another added: “So no one is going to mention the fact that this is incredibly racist and culturally offensive? Don’t laugh, get angry.” But seriously, what object that fits into someone’s ass hasn’t already been there? Are you really going to get offended by this? And anyway, surely you could throw that offence aside for one of the best lines ever heard in an adult film. “Oh yeah. I’ll didgeridoo you in the ass.” We’ll just leave it there.
GET THE PICTURE
MAGINE a massive multiplayer version of Microsoft Paint where anyone, anywhere in the world can collaborate. For this project, Reddit Place gave Reddit users the chance to paint a tile every five minutes, forcing users to work together if they wanted to create anything that didn’t resemble a big mess. More than one million Redditors painted more than 16 million tiles, with over 90,000 users simultaneously viewing the canvas and placing tiles. Here is the end result. How many cultural references do you recognise?
KAITLIN DODD THIS is the first time we’ve featured Kaitlin in the magazine, but we’re sure it won’t be the last. At only 19 years old, she has a long career ahead of her. When asked how she feels about being on a cover so early in the game, she told us she was very excited and honoured. With an attitude like that, we know we’ll be seeing more of her in the future. Photographer: Diana Melfi Model wears: Superocean Héritage watch by Breitling, Diamonds by Musson Jewellers. Location: Scuderia Graziani, Aston Martin DB5
D OW N LOA D
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES OF JOINING THE WEALTHY ELITE?
103 New York
WHERE ARE THE BILLIONAIRES? NUMBER OF BILLIONAIRES AROUND THE WORLD 85 Moscow
775 Europe 714 Asia
609 North America
82 Hong Kong 40 Africa
34 Pacific 72 London
WHAT ARE THE ODDS? ...OF BEING BORN A BILLIONAIRE IN:
...OF BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS? Y Combinator provides seed funding to hopeful start-ups – their results say:
1 / 586,206
1 / 957, 419
1 / 4,117,647
1 / 6,158,263
1 / 29,250,000
Odds of your business being accepted for funding
Latin America and the Caribbean
Overall odds of success
With 100 million start-ups estimated to launch globally every year, only 500,000 succeed.
...OF MAKING IT RICH THROUGH CURRENT TRENDS? FELIX KJELLBERG Web-based comedian and producer Net worth: $12M With close to 40m YouTube subscribers and 10bn views, Kjellberg – known by his online alias ‘PewDiePie’ – sky rocketed in success via sites such as YouTube and Twitch, posting videogame ‘Let’s Plays,’ Vlogs, comedy shorts and commentaries. His net worth is now around the 12m mark – not bad for having fun.
RESERVOIR DOGS 25 YEARS ON WENTY-five years since its release, Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature Reservoir Dogs still ranks as one of cinema’s great crime capers. An inventive, violent and dialogue-heavy take on the heist genre, the film is a cult classic heavily influenced by a host of lesserknown crime films. The most obvious is Ringo Lam’s high-octane Chinese heist flick, City On Fire. Action legend Chow Yun-Fat portrays an undercover cop infiltrating a criminal crew, with the script featuring a bungled robbery culminating in a Mexican standoff, echoing the entire plot of Reservoir Dogs. 1974’s The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three – not to be confused with the hammy John Travolta remake – is another classic featuring crooks with colour-coded nicknames hijacking a New York subway. The suspense is palpable throughout, with Robert Shaw’s calculating Mr Blue clearly inspiring Harvey Keitel’s Mr White. Tarantino’s love of old cinema shines through with a number of black and white film noirs from the 50s impacting his film work. Stanley Kubrick’s racetrack heist The Killing uses flashbacks to illustrate a failed robbery, while Kansas City Confidential has a similar pace and feel. The infamous ear-cutting sequence (you’ll never listen to “Stuck In The Middle With You” the same way) is a violent nod to the torture scene in the little-seen The Big Combo. Despite the obvious influences, Reservoir Dogs is a highly original cinematic masterpiece that helped pave the way for a new type of crime flick while laying the foundations for Tarantino’s long and remarkable career.
TARANTINO’S TOP 5
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Tarantino tackles the war genre with this highly stylised flick featuring Brad Pitt in career best form.
PULP FICTION An enthralling flick intercutting a number of story arcs spliced with violence and pop culture references, starring a host of famous faces.
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Tarantino’s second Western plays out during a snowstorm as a cast of colourful characters attempt to kill each other.
KILL BILL 1 & 2 Uma Thurman’s ‘The Bride’ takes revenge on those who left her for dead in this martial arts epic.
RESERVOIR DOGS The film that started it all, Tarantino’s take on the heist genre is still his defining moment.
AUSTRALIAN PSYCH-ROCK ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE F you’ve listened closely, you’ll have noticed that over the last few years a mass of high-quality established and emerging artists have torn onto the Aussie psych-rock scene, treating local audiences to an explosive range of phenomenal acts that fall under the everexpanding psychedelic-rock umbrella. Like any trend in the music world, the movement can be traced back to a handful of pioneers – and in Australia, you can’t mention the Aussie psych-rock scene without mention of Tame Impala. Frontman Kevin Parker’s brand of dreamy-groovy psychedelic-rock not only blew us away,
but detonated the world’s collective mind when he released the Tame Impala EP back in 2008. Paul McCartney’s a fan and Mark Ronson called them his “favourite rock and roll band,” and Parker has even been likened to Lennon. Multiple ARIAS and a Grammy nomination later, Tame Impala is just the tip of the Australian iceberg. Before Parker and the boys hit the scene, we had the likes of Wolfmother, The Vines, Gerling and The Church, just to name a few. Formed in 2010, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard have released nine full-length studio albums since 2012. To say they’re prolific would be an understatement. Their earlier
albums were a blend of surf music, garage and psychedelic rock, and as they continue to mature there’s no sign of slowing down. 2017 promises to be the year of the King – they’ll be serving us up four studio albums. Yes, four fucking albums in one year. (Whatever these boys are on, can they send it our way?) With the likes of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala, The Babe Rainbow, The Murlocs and a host of other Aussie rockers exploding on the international stage, it’s fair to say that our home-grown talent is leading the charge in the worldwide psych-rock revival.
GE T YO U R E AR FILL WITH THESE AUSSIE ROCKERS
BLANK REALM ILLEGALS IN HEAVEN
JOHN STEEL SINGERS EVERYTHING’S A THREAD
Strange rhythmical music from Brisvegas. Expect motorik grooves.
The six-piece from Sunny Queensland are reminiscent of a never-ending summer.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD ODDMENTS
Aus psych-rockers doing the international rounds.
TAME IMPALA INNER SPEAKER
This is straight-up rock ‘n’ roll with a psych twist. Some of the best homegrown around.
M AN OF THE MOMEN T
KIM JONG-UN HILE tens of thousands of airport-goers shuffled around him, travelling to various destinations from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kim Jong-nam was likely unaware that he was being tailed. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had ordered a hit on his half-brother, and it was about to go down. Since 7.30am that morning, six assailants – four North Korean men and two women – had been waiting for him in a restaurant in the airport terminal. Just short of 9am, as Kim Jong-nam made his way through the terminal, he was approached by two women. They brushed past him, touched his face and hurried off. Twenty minutes later he was dead. Rewind to 2011, when following his father’s death, a chubbyfaced Kim Jong-un first became supreme leader of North Korea. Despite a lack of political or military experience, he was named the head of the party, state and army. The tyrannical dynasty that had gone unelected in five decades continued to rule. North Korea has always been a thorn in the side of the West. The country pushes the boundaries of weapons testing time and again and is accused of everything from manufacturing and selling illicit drugs to human rights violations – but never has the threat of a nuclear crisis loomed so large. Armed with a cache of weapons capable of mass destruction, Kim Jong-un is positioning himself as a man to be feared. Earlier this year, the beady-eyed Jong-un claimed North Korea “can tip new-type intercontinental ballistic rockets with more powerful nuclear warheads and keep any cesspool of evils in the earth, including the US mainland, within our striking range,” levelling a thinly veiled threat at America and its allies. These jabs have only escalated after North Korea’s most recent weapons test. Coming days after South Korea elected new prime minister Moon Jae-in, Jong-un once again flexed his muscles at the international community with a successful test of a newly developed ground-
to-ground intermediate ballistic missile, which could have devastating consequences if used in an attack. Despite constant warnings from other world leaders to halt North Korea’s weapons program, Jong-un is defiant, seemingly enjoying taunting his enemies and keeping them on edge with regular tests of North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Belligerent in the face of his American oppressors, basketball fan and Swiss cheese afficionado, Jong-un appears drunk on power. But on closer inspection, this is a man fuelled by paranoia and fear that his empire is crumbling. As the world frowns upon his actions, his own people are beginning to question his leadership as food shortages and a lack of healthcare create mounting problems. Jong-un’s answer is to limit the information his civilians can access, while using fear tactics to keep them in tow. Don’t forget this is the man who ordered his half-brother killed for speaking out against his reign – despite the fact he hadn’t set foot in the country for years – and had multiple high-ranking officials murdered for treason, despite a lack of evidence. He’s even gone as far as threatening to abduct Western tourists and use them as hostages if America decides to attack. These clearly aren’t the actions of a sane person. At best he’s a deluded madman with a lust for power and control, at worst, a comic book villain with sociopathic tendencies, looking for the slightest provocation to attack his foes. Either way, his threats haven’t gone unnoticed on the international stage. President Donald Trump has declared North Korea a “flagrant menace” and urged “far stronger sanctions” against the nation for its nuclear weapons testing. Even Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have expressed “mutual concerns” about North Korea’s actions. Unhinged, egomaniacal and armed with an arsenal of weapons ready to deploy at the slightest irritation, Kim Jong-un may just be the world’s most dangerous man.
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THE DARK SIDE OF ESPORTS HE clock ticks down. Olofmeister has 30 seconds to defuse the bomb before he and his team are blown to hell and lose the round. He moves toward the bombsite, slowly, lest his enemies detect him. Each corner he approaches, he peeks around knowing exactly at what angle to hold his crosshair, so when he does see an enemy their head is in his sights. Ten seconds; he needs to break cover and make a run for the bomb. The crowd hangs onto every movement. This is the world of eSports, a multimillion dollar industry fast on the rise. From your kid’s nerdy friend’s basement to multiple thousand-seat arenas and multi-million dollar prizes, it’s a sport where gaming geeks are transformed into celebrities, earning big bucks from lucrative sponsorship deals. The sport generated a whopping $493 million in 2016, with market researcher Newzoo predicting it will hit $1.1 billion by 2019. It’s the height of nerd prestige, so it was only a matter of time before scandal rocked the boat. Recently, Valve (the studio responsible for CS:GO, a first-person shooter where teams of five battle it out) introduced virtual decorative weapons, known as ‘skins,’ that could be acquired in the game and sold for real money. Problems arose when gamers began reselling skins for inflated prices and gambling with them on tournaments and casino-themed websites. The introduction of the cash trade had started something
big. Within two years of its introduction, the number of people playing CS:GO had grown by 1,500 per cent. But the method by which users ‘bet’ on skins largely resembles a slot machine. In an article titled “Virtual Weapons Are Turning Teen Gamers into Serious Gamblers,” Bloomberg explores the CS:GO skin betting scene, where virtual weapons are being used as a digital currency through a range of websites that “actively promote Lotto as a gambling service, including to minors.” YouTubers Trevor ‘TmarTn’ Martin and Tom ‘ProSyndicate’ Cassell have a combined total of more than 10 million subscribers, many of whom are minors. They are big on the CS:GO skin betting scene and would regularly promote a major betting site, CS:GOLotto.com. Nothing was majorly amiss – until it was recently revealed that they also owned the website. If they own the site, they can control the outcome of every bet and fake results to make promo videos. And because there’s a liquid
market to convert each gun or knife back into cash, laying a bet in skins is essentially the same as betting with real money. Not only is this highly immoral, to use the words of popular YouTuber Ethan Klein of H3H3, it’s “shady as fuck.” We now have a gambling site that children can access being promoted by owners who haven’t disclosed their clear conflict of interest. The pair have now been added to a class action lawsuit against various companies involved in selling and gambling skins, with the scandal ensnaring many top eSports teams. So far everyone involved in the fiasco has remained relatively unscathed. Valve has attempted to crack down on skins gambling sites, while Martin and Cassell have taken different paths since the incident. The case is still waiting to be brought before the court, but prosecutor Jasper D. Ward told PCGamesN.com earlier this year “we feel good” about a positive outcome, one that would change the landscape of gambling on eSports forever.
M ATC H F I X I N G : T H E B I G G E ST S CA N DA L TO H I T E S P O RTS
This has become a huge problem in eSports since the money started rolling in. One of the largest outrages occurred in South Korea after nine professional players, an organised crime syndicate and a journalist were implicated in throwing games during a Starcraft 2 tournament. Two League Of Legends teams were also disqualified for collusion a few years back after agreeing to split the winnings no matter who won, while former world champion Hyun ‘Life’ Lee allegedly threw a match in the KeSPA cup for around $70 million – much more than the prize money on offer.
THAT’S NOT FUNNY! COMEDY IN THE AGE OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS BY SEAN BRUCE AVE Chappelle is the latest (but definitely not the last) comedian to realise that making jokes in 2017 comes with a strict set of rules about what’s okay to joke about, and what’s absolutely off-limits. Back after a 13-year self-imposed exile, Chapelle released two brandnew comedy specials on Netflix to a downpour of negative criticism from his fans for the off-colour jokes he made.
The widely-loved comedian ‘crossed the line,’ by cracking jokes about Caitlyn Jenner (gasp!) and homosexuals, instead of doing material about stupid white men, or whatever ‘woke’ pet topic Twitter users and Buzzfeed writers demand he do. It was so rude of him. He should have known better than to have created material that he wanted to do. It’s 2017, if we wants to be considered #wokefam, he better get with the agenda. Political correctness and comedy have always had a complicated relationship, and I think it’s about time to admit it: they’re just not working out. I’m not the only one who thinks this way either – plenty of comedians are wary of how overly sensitive politics threatens their work. Sarah Silverman, a comedian who has herself ‘crossed the line,’ said in an interview about Bill Maher’s recent use of “nigger” in one of his jokes, that, “If something’s not someone’s cup of tea, they want to ban it.” People aren’t saying “‘that’s
wild, unfiltered comedy (ie something that might actually be funny), we’ll end up, in the opinion of Chris Rock, with “Safer, gooier stand-up.” But before we go on, let’s look at one example of criticism Chappelle received for his performance. It’s not the only example, but it’s indicative of the general sentiment from a certain segment of the left. “I was SALIVATING for the new Chappelle specials. It had been 12 years. I knew his stuff had been problematic before. I was hoping for growth. But Chappelle’s material was homophobic and transphobic and involved rape culture. I’ve grown too much not to speak up about it now,” said one online social media user. Instead of, “what a crappy piece of entertainment,” it was “problematic”, “transphobic”, and promoted “rape culture.” Ouch. Is she sure she wasn’t watching a Westboro Baptist Church meeting by mistake? Back when Silverman used the word “chink” as part of a joke, Guy Aoki, a Japanese-American civil rights activist admonished her very publicly, casting her as a racist and concluding: “If you don’t do satire correctly, you run the risk of making people actually believe what you’re saying.” This idea is at the heart of the debate for being more ‘politically correct,’ but if examined closely it has some very sinister
CHAPPELLE IN PARTICULAR WAS FAMED FOR HIS PERFORMANCE OF RACIAL DYNAMICS BETWEEN BLACKS AND WHITES IN AMERICA not for me’, they’re saying ‘that shouldn’t be for anyone.’” She concludes soberly that, “Your opinion can’t be policy.” Silverman is on the mark. Comedy is subjective: no one knows what makes something funny. The point of comedic art – and it is an art, just like writing or painting – is to provoke, probe and ultimately make us laugh. Running comedy through the lens of political correctness is pointless, and worse still, it threatens free artistic expression. Obviously, online-critics aren’t petitioning that Chapelle be thrown in jail, or that new laws be drafted to prohibit comedians being offensive. But they don’t have to: There are different ways to control speech. Instead of calling it bad comedy, or an unfunny joke, online critics use words like “problematic,” and “hateful,” over-politicising humour and leading performers to police themselves: It has a chilling effect on free speech. If you don’t think this is true, look at Chapelle’s nervous self-awareness while he’s on stage. Thirteen years ago he wouldn’t have thought twice before bursting into a racially charged rant. Now he spends half his set-up explaining himself, just to cover his arse against the inevitable backlash. Which is shit, because instead of getting
undertones. It’s the already discredited notion that violent video games affect kids, making them more aggressive, or that the video nasties of the 1980s would lead to an uptick in violent acts — the idea that certain sections of the population are incredibly suggestible and they should have their media landscape carefully cultivated for them, lest they get any strange ideas. Comedians inevitably gravitate towards social commentary. Chappelle in particular was famed for his performance of racial dynamics between blacks and whites in America. He was also well-known for crossing the line (his bit about a baby selling weed in the ’hood is among the finer moments in stand-up history) – but people didn’t seem to care because he was always hilariously on point. It’s no surprise that his new material draws on some of the most prominent contemporary social issues – LGBTI rights. Did he ‘cross the line’ with some of his jokes? Probably. Hopefully. Do we need to scrutinise his performance, scanning it for insensitivities and political incorrectness? No. Or else we risk losing one of the last refuges of unfiltered creativity, which would be really shit. So please, next time, if you don’t like it, just change the channel.
WTF IS S WITH H PC C! Comedians are naturally wary of political correctness and its impact on comedy. Here’s what a few comics have said on the topic: JOH HN CLE EESE: “If it’s okay to make jokes
about Swedes and Germans and French and English and Canadians and Americans, why can’t we make jokes about Mexicans? Is it because they are so feeble that they can’t look after themselves? It’s very, very condescending there.” SCO OTT CA APUR RO: “Everyone’s boundaries are different, thank Goddess. If we all agreed, nothing would be funny. If at least parts of the crowd aren’t shaking or angry by the end of my set, they haven’t got their money’s worth and I feel a bit dirty, like I’ve let down the contingency of cantankerous, crabby, clarifying comics by smothering myself in sticky, gooey kindness.” He concluded that “comics shed light. We’re as necessary as a light bulb, yet harder to replace.” JIM NORT TON: On the public downfall of a fellow comic: “In his rush to be funny, he had broken what has become the new golden rule in American public life, which is to never say anything (or, God forbid, joke about anything) that may be deemed even remotely offensive or upsetting by any segment of the population for any reason.” DEN NNIS MILLER: “Laughter is one of the great
beacons in life because we don’t refract it by gunning it through our intellectual prism. What makes us laugh is a mystery – an involuntary response.” JERR RY SE EINFEL LD: “There’s a creepy PC thing out
there that really bothers me.”
OLISH-NATIVE Marcin Biedron kicked off his photography career in Frankfurt am Main, Germany back in 2002. Since then he has worked with some of the most beautiful models in Europe on a range of high-end commercial and lifestyle shoots. His work is definitely unique. He says he wants his photos to tell a story – to not simply be “empty images.” We think he captured that idea perfectly in this shoot, which features the stunning Marcelina Zawadzka. Check out his instagram @marcinbiedron
M OD EL : M ARC EL INA ZAWADZK A
09/17 UNDER COVER MARCIN BIEDRON
THE NOMADS MOTORCYCLE CLUB HAS BEEN RIDING ON THE RAZOR EDGE OF AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY FOR NEARLY FOUR DECADES. PENTHOUSE MET WITH SOME OF THEIR MAJOR PLAYERS TO GET A GLIMPSE AT OUTLAW LIFE. INTERVIEW BY SEAN BRUCE PHOTOGRAPHER NATHAN HARMOND
UTLAWS. Criminals. Thugs. There’re lots of names thrown around when describing Australia’s bikie community. Whatever you want to call them, they’ve been around for decades, never straying too far from the media spotlight. “According to strict biological definition, members of bikie gangs are in fact human,” Tim Blair of Sydney’s tabloid newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, begins. “Humans deserving of human rights don’t generally kill other humans, as is the way of our bikie community.” But not only do they not deserve human rights, according to Blair, the Nomads leader Simon Tajjour should also have the right to a pulse “eternally denied.” Which sounds a lot like he's advocating for the death penalty. But then moral panic and hyperbolic media accounts are an ongoing theme in stories about Australian motorcycle clubs. Of course the sorts of things most commonly associated with motorcycle outlaws – guns, extortion, murder, beatings, drug deals – haven’t exactly lent themselves to forgiving media portrayals. They aren’t darlings of our political establishment either, whom recently introduced severely restrictive consorting laws, making it illegal for bikies with prior convictions to associate with other club members. But still our fascination with bikies remains. There’s something we love about them, whether we admit it or not. The primal rumble of the Harleys, the leatherclad men who ride them, the colourful patches and the 'no-fucks-given' attitudes. Theyve freed themselves from the cubicle farms, the 9-to-5 grind and client meetings that dominate the life of the average deskdwelling suburbanite.
After dwelling at our own desks, we thought it was about time to look into this motorcycle menace and meet some of the players behind the scenes of one of Australia’s most notorious outlaw motorcycle clubs. Tarek Mansour, the National Sergeant at Arms of the Nomads, with a number of associates, along with their lawyer, agreed to meet us and talk about the outlaw life. Not knowing what to expect as they rolled down into a non-descript alleyway in Sydney’s Surry Hills, bike engines roaring, we were met by four large, but genuinely pleasant dudes. Not the sort of guys you would fuck with by any stretch, but nonetheless, friendly. We sat down for a few hours and talked about the law, corrupt pollies, police thuggery, and life in general on the inside of a motorcycle club. Here’s a list of the main players in our interview. For the sake of clarity, we used the symbol N when all members agreed on a message. TM
J R DS O N
Tarek Mansour: The National Sergeant at Arms (known as T or Big T) Jaz: President of Sydney Chapter Robert: Vice President of Sydney Chapter Daniel Smith: Regular member of Sydney Chapter Omar Juweinat: Lawyer for the Nomads Motorcycle Club Nomads
Sarge, but then every chapter has its own Sergeant at Arms. How did you get involved with the club? TM: My cousin’s been in the club for 17 years; he joined when he was 20 or 21. I’ve been part of it for just over 10. [Tarek’s cousin is Sleiman ’Simon’ Tajjour, the National President of the Nomads]. What’s your experience of the club? TM: It’s a brotherhood. We’re there for each other – especially when one’s in the dumps or is out of work, we’ll help in any way and contribute. It’s being a brother in every aspect of life, whether it’s for good times or bad times – we back each other no matter what. Bikie gangs were traditionally made up of white Australians. That’s changed a bit now... TM: Our club’s multicultural and we all get along. We used to have a swastika on our patch and we voted and took that off. Back in the ’60s when we started, it was a white supremacist club, but now we’ve got Aboriginals, Lebanese, Islanders, Bosnians – we’ve got everything. And we respect everyone: Christians, Muslims, atheists. We get along because we’re all Nomads. There are a lot of new clubs out there and they don’t seem to have a lot to do with motorbikes. Is motorcycle culture still a big part of the club? TM: Absolutely, 100 per cent. No bike, you can’t be a member. It has to be a Harley-Davidson, or it has to be English or American made. It’s a rule that started
IF YOU JUST CAME UP TO ME ON THE STREETS AND SAID TO ME, ‘I WANT TO JOIN,’ I’D SAY, ‘SEE YOU LATER.’ HOW DO I KNOW YOU'RE NOT A COP? How did the Nomads start? TM: It was established in 1968 in Sydney, and we’ve spread over into three, nearly four states in Australia. It all started out as a group of blokes who used to like riding and drinking. What role does the National Sergeant at Arms play within the club? TM: If a member’s got a problem or we’ve got an internal conflict, we deal with it. If we have an issue with another motorcycle club, then I’ll go sit down and talk to the National Sarge of that club to resolve it in a peaceful manner. There’s one National 44
back in the early ’90s in America with the Hells Angels, one of the first clubs. Why not Japanese? TM: Have you seen Japanese bikers? Have you heard of Japanese bikers? [laughing] You’re allowed to own them and ride them in your own time, but not with club colours. So you’re Sergeant at Arms. How are relationships with the other clubs? TM: They’re alright. Is it something that’s getting better now that there’s a lot of pressure being placed on motorcycle clubs?
TM: No one wants headaches anymore. We’ve all got one archenemy, a common enemy – which is the government at the moment, with these laws. Which laws are you talking about in particular? TM: Consorting. We’re not allowed to ride together, we’re not allowed to have clubhouses, we’re not allowed nothing no more. We’re not allowed into pubs with our colours or even associate with our colours most of the time. So what you guys are doing now is illegal? R: We’re consorting, yeah – well, if you’ve got a criminal record. Three of us don’t; he does [points at one of the members in the room]. So if we do, we’ll all get warned with consorting. O: Consorting laws are historic laws – they’ve been out for a very, very long time. But there were amendments made to them, particularly after the rise of bikie conflict, and particularly the rise of conflict after the airport massacre between the Comancheros and the Hells Angels. In effect, the law says that you can be charged with consorting if you associate with convicted offenders. You get three warnings – if you ignore the warnings then you would be charged with consorting. [Sleiman] ‘Simon’ Tajjour, Tarek’s cousin, quite properly challenged the legislation in the High Court and said what the government’s doing is not only unconstitutional but it infringes the right of the freedom of political communication. In other words, by stopping person A and person X talking together, you’re stopping them from dealing with one another on a lawful basis, notwithstanding the fact that they’re bikies or whatever. But the consorting legislation has been a problem because it’s seen an influx of people being charged, processed in jails, in police stations… enormous taxpayer dollars are being wasted on a piece of legislation which frankly doesn’t achieve a means to an end. Do you think the consorting laws have been misused? How have they affected your life? DS: I got charged with consorting, and someone got a little clip of me coming out of the cell and that ended up on the news, and I lost my job because of it. It was on social media but they took it and put it on the news. Everyone at work saw it. I was working at Coca-Cola. Boom – fired me straight away. TM: The coppers ring up our work. They basically give you a choice: leave the
LEAVE US ALONE, WE’LL LEAVE YOU ALONE. FUCK WITH ONE OF US, WE WILL FUCK WITH YOU. 46
club or lose your livelihood. Jaz lost his job and was out of work for a while, but that’s what the brotherhood’s about – we helped him get through that time. The police are bullies – thugs on the street. I’ve had them tell me that their colours are better than mine. They look like a gang, and they’re all big, aggressive, ’roided up blokes. So it’s safe to say you don’t get along with the cops much? TM: Can’t stand them. I’ve been door knocked for five weeks every night. They come to check up on us. Really, what I’m doing is sitting at home with my wife and two kids. Is this impacting on your family life? TM: It’s stressful. One time they came and my mum walked outside – because once I see them on the intercom, I don’t talk to them. She asked, “Is my son in trouble?” and they said, “No,” and she said, “What’s he doing wrong?” and they said, “Nothing.” So she asked them, “What do you keep coming here for?” and they said, “We fear for your son, as he’s got a hit on him.” But there was no 48
hit; it’s just something to say to my mum. My mum’s an old lady. She’s not 100 per cent healthwise. The stress that caused her – she was in bed for two days thinking that I was going to get knocked one day. Why do you think they keep harassing you guys? N: To take the attention away from whitecollar crime. That’s what we all believe. And when the media or politicians come out and say, ‘They’re crooks, they’re associated with crime, they’re thugs, they’re extorting people,’ do you believe that reputation is unfair? N: Of course it is. There’s good and bad in everything in life, whether you’re a bikie, a politician, a lawyer – everyone does good and everyone does bad. You can’t paint us all with the same brush. If I asked you to present a different narrative to the media, what would you say? N: To get fucked [laughing]. Considering the pressure, do you understand why a lot of guys might leave the club?
TM: Not really. I find that they’re the weak ones. That’s not brotherhood. I’ve been told by the police if I leave they’ll stop harassing me – but no. And if someone does leave? TM: He leaves. There’s two ways of leaving: on good or bad terms. There’s certain drugs we don’t tolerate in the club. You can’t use methamphetamines. You can’t use heroin. You sleep with another member’s wife or his girlfriend, you’re out. You hit another member, you’re out. And you have to leave your bike behind if you leave the club. Sleeping with another member’s wife? You must get dealt with pretty heavily… TM: I won’t get into that. What if I wanted to become a member? TM: You’ve got to know someone to get in. We won’t just take a Joe Blow. And you’ve got to come around and hang out before you join the club. If you just came up to me on the streets and said to me, ‘I want to join,’ I’d say, ‘See you later.’ How do I know you’re not a cop? So you get vouched for – then what?
TM: You have to prospect for 12-months minimum. What does that entail? TM: Let’s just say respect! [laughing] It’s a lot easier now than what it was back 10, 12 years ago, because back then we had the clubhouses, so you were doing bar duties, standing at the gate letting people in, going to Maccas, picking up members, dropping off members – where now, it’s really jackshit. And when you’re in, what’s the social side of things like? TM: A lot of alcohol, food, women, strippers, topless waitresses. It’s a boys’ party. Before [consorting laws], it was every week. Now it’s a lot harder. But when we did have clubhouses, every Friday night from 7:30pm we would party and you had to stay there till midnight – but no one would want to go before midnight anyway. You’d stay until 6am the next day, if not later.
some point. But it’s individuals within the club. Things happen every day that aren’t even bikie-related but the media or the government say are bikie-related. We’re just scapegoats, that’s all. You could go to commit a crime right now and because you’ve hung out with us, all of a sudden you’re a bikie associate. You’re now officially Nomads associates [laughing]. They allege that we are committing crimes and whatnot, but none of them are members. Even if it’s an ex-member, he could be someone who was in the club and been kicked out or has left on his own terms, but they’ll still put him down as a Nomad. In Muswellbrook there was a raid on a clubhouse – what were the cops looking for? TM: Explain this to me: our clubhouse got firebombed. We got raided. How does that work out? They found alcohol in the fridges and they took it saying that they
THE POLICE ARE BULLIES – THUGS ON THE STREET. I'VE HAD THEM TELL ME THAT THEIR COLOURS ARE BETTER THAN MINE. - TAREK MANSOUR, NATIONAL SERGEANT AT ARMS
Sounds pretty wild… TM: I wouldn’t call them wild – fun. But it depends what your definition of wild is. [laughing] In the private room it gets wild. What’s the ’private room’? TM: It's for members only… and women (laughing). And where’s the money to do all this come from? TM: As members, we give $50 every week to the club which goes to the food, the waitresses, the strippers. When we had a clubhouse it used to pay the rent, electricity bills, everything. Your cousin Simon, the National President of the Nomads, said, “We deserve human rights, and everybody in Australia deserves human rights.” A journalist for the Telegraph replied that, “Humans deserving of human rights don’t generally kill other humans, as is the way of our bikie community.” How do you respond to that? N: Obviously he has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s stuck in his office from 9 ’till 5 and he’s got no clue. Every club’s gone through violent periods at
didn’t have a permit to sell alcohol there. So if that’s the biggest crime they’ve got on us, congratulations. When there is criminal activity within the organisation, how do you guys deal with it? R: We don’t know of it. See Dan over here; if he wants to do something illegal, we don’t tell him to do it. We’ve got no part in it. It’s his choice. You guys are in an outlaw motorcycle club. Do you feel like outlaws? TM: I just feel like a normal Joe Blow. That’s right, I’ve just got my colours on. I just feel like I’m part of a group that loves to ride bikes and hang out. Can you understand why some members of the Australian public would see you as intimidating? TM: It’s because of the way the media portrays us. That’s why you’re frightened of us. We won’t fuck with anyone that won’t fuck with us. Leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone. Fuck with one of us, we will fuck with you. Nine times out of 10 the public love us everywhere we go. They take photos of our bikes
– sometimes chicks even jump on the back and come for a ride. They want to go for a ride with high heels and short skirts! Whoa yeah, now that’s fun. There have been past incidents though. At the airport a few years back, and there were reports of bikies running drugs, extorting businesses – things of that nature. R: If you look at the statistics, any club member that’s done anything wrong – whether it’s Nomads or any other club – who’s doing time, you’ll find that 99 per cent of [those incidents] are not actually club-related violence or charges. It’s always been outside the club. Just because they’re wearing a vest, doesn’t mean the whole club is doing it. DS: A lot of things happen, like, just personal issues. For example, I had a tumour and I was on chemotherapy – I rebelled. I got crazily drunk and got into a fight and was charged. Nothing to do with the club. But when I was going through that stage, the club was helping me, looking after me. R: And Centrelink wouldn’t give him anything. DS: Without the club I might have bloody necked myself – who knows? I was going through my hardest days and the club kept me mentally stable. I was sleeping on the street for a bit, because I wasn’t that solid. All the boys were saying, “Well, come stay at my house, come stay at my house, come stay at my house.” I couldn’t go there because of the consorting rule – it’s a fucking joke. R: All they want is for us to bow down. Today when you leave, could you be arrested? DS: I could go to jail. Ultimately, have the consorting laws disrupted activities? TM: No, they haven’t. We’re all still in the club. We’re actually growing. Now, you look at it in Queensland – they brought out laws where you will get charged for wearing any club gear, whether it’s a hat, a ring, anything. Anything with a club logo on it, you will get charged for it. I was reading on the internet, a bloke from a different club had a ring on and he was sitting in his own car. The police pulled him over and told him to get out of his car. Once he got out of the car, they charged him for having a club ring out in public. But he was sitting in his own car. He wasn’t in public – they made him get out. And that’s going through the courts. PENTHOUSE
INSIDE ALCATRAZ VISIT ALCATRAZ ISLAND IN SAN FRANCISCO’S BAY AND THE EXPERIENCE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU. HERE, WE MEET THREE PEOPLE WHO LIVED ON THE ISLAND THAT WAS HOME TO THE US’S MOST HARDENED CRIMS BY MICHELLE HESPE
’M holding onto the bars of the first cell in what is known as B block at Alcatraz Prison. The cell is 1.5 metres by 2.7 metres and has a small sink with cold running water, a single bed and a toilet. There are no doors, and the cells face one another in long corridors, so the men incarcerated there could see one another sleeping, pissing, shitting and doing what little else they were permitted to do. The cells in D Block are bigger, but prisoners there were confined for 24 hours a day, and it’s so dark you can’t see your own hand in front of your face. The voices on the Alcatraz audio tour (that few can resist doing) are those of former inmates. I listen to their stories and laments, hear the riots, crims and guards running, shouting, the slamming doors and keys being pocketed. And every now and then I hear what the inmates caught on the breeze back then — laughter, music, and the torturous sound of women’s voices drifting across the bay from San Fran. Today, the tales of Alcatraz are also kept alive by the ‘Alcatraz Alumni,’ former crims, residents and guards who lived on Alactraz Island and who visit the millions of tourists that flock to the place, to shed light on some of the many questions.
THE GUARD: JIM ALBRIGHT After 26 years spent working in five prisons, Jim Albright retired. Like most of the remaining Alcatraz Alumni, now he’s something of a celebrity, as he was (as the name of his biography clarifies) The Last Guard Out. He escorted the last inmate off the island on March 21, 1963. When Jim lived and worked on Alcatraz in the early 60s, it was home to anywhere up to 300 prisoners, and no media was allowed anywhere near it. So during its operating years — 1934 until 1963 — people were scared of the place. The public knew that the worst of the worst prisoners in the system were locked up there, but it was a mystery to most. And for the prisoners, Alcatraz was the end of the line, as apparently there was no way to escape from it. Even if you managed to escape the building, you’d drown in the freezing San Fran Bay before you swam the two kilometres across to the city. PENTHOUSE
Jim was 24 years old when he landed his job on Alcatraz, and he learned a lesson right from his first day on duty. “Treat everyone the same and don’t trust anyone,” he says. “There was no mistaking it, the prisoners would kill you to escape if they had to.” Alcatraz was originally built to incarcerate mobsters in the 20s and 30s such as Al Capone and anyone with notoriety, because out there, they couldn’t benefit from having access to media. “On Alcatraz the inmates treated them like any other inmates, whereas in other prisons they were treated like big shots, like royalty,” he says. A question that Jim, and every one of the Alcatraz Alumni, gets on a regular basis, is the core of one of the great crime mysteries of all time. Did the trio that famously escaped Alcatraz in 1962 survive? Brothers Clarence Anglin and John Anglin, and Frank Morris were never found. The men placed realistic-looking dummy heads made out of papier-mâché and human hair from the prison barber shop in their bunks so that they’d be counted before lights out, and stitched together stolen raincoats to create a raft. Today they’d be in their 80s, and there are still many people who believe they are alive in South America. “If one or two of them did survive, they would’ve turned themselves in by now, as they’d be so famous,” Jim says with certainty. “They’d be able to sell their story and live really well off it. There were stories of a body seen floating under the bridge after the escape, but it was gone by the time they got to it, probably eaten by sharks. I don’t think they made it.” Alcatraz was known as being a place that was not created to fix men, but to break them. “Alcatraz was the end of the line for them,” Jim says. “You broke the rules in other prisons and that’s where you end up. So it was the ones who everybody had already given up on in there. Most of them didn’t even get visitors, as by that stage in their lives even their families had given up on them.” Anyone who has spent any time on Alcatraz will get to thinking: Are people born criminals or do they become crims? “I think we are all born equal and it’s a learned thing,” says Jim. “It’s what you are taught that makes you who you are. You have to look at the homes that those guys came from: single family homes usually with only their fathers, and often the families are already in crime. Crime is normal to them.” Today Jim and his wife are in their early 80s with grandchildren in their 20s. “On the 75th anniversary of Alactraz, when the kids were 13, the whole family went out there,” says Jim. “We slept in the segregation cells and I wore my uniform. Every minute, someone would stop me and ask a question, or get an autograph or a photo. That’s when my grandson said: “Grandpa! You’re famous! We went to Disneyland and that was neat, but this is awesome!” Today Jim and some of the alumni travel around the US, doing talks at schools and at various events, keeping the history of Alcatraz alive. “A million people visit Alcatraz every year to see where we lived and where the inmates were held,” says Jim. “My wife and I feel proud to be a part of history and that we can do something to preserve it.”
THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER: JOLENE BABYAK When it comes to Alcatraz, Jolene Babyak has to be the most knowledgeable person on the planet, as she’s interviewed scores of people associated with Alcatraz to write her five books. She regularly visits the island, where she signs books and answers questions posed by visitors. During the 50s and early 60s Jolene was among the 75 or so children living on Alcatraz because their fathers worked at the prison. Arthur Dollison was Jolene’s father, and he managed the prison’s work programs as the director of prison industries, and, most notably for many, was in charge the morning of the famed 1962 Alcatraz escape. Through the years of research and after hearing so many first-hand accounts of life on Alcatraz, Jolene has a unique perspective that borders on the academic. “Neglect is the most obvious commonality when it comes to the upbringing of the men incarcerated on Alcatraz,” she says. “Poverty, poor nutrition, early deaths in the family are also some common factors with the inmates. The first three years of someone’s life sets them on a path, and once they are on that path of crime, the same things happen over and over again. It usually never stops.” Jolene also notes that today mental illnesses, learning difficulties, personality disorders — which were often undiagnosed in those days — were also contributing factors to delinquency leading to crime and imprisonment. One of the many inmates that Jolene has researched who supports this theory is Billy Cook, who murdered six people and was eventually executed in a gas chamber. His father was an poorly educated worker in a lead mine, and when his mother died, Billy’s father left the children to fend for themselves in an isolated log cabin, only occasionally bringing them food and water as means for their survival. “It’s possible that Billy had neurological damage, perhaps from lead dust that may have been on his father’s clothing, because later his killings seemed to reflect a chaotic mind,” explains Jolene. “He kidnapped a family of five and forced them to drive more than 2,000 all over the southwest (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and back to Missouri) while he was armed with a gun. In a moment of panic, while in the car, he shot the father, and when the children became alarmed, he shot and killed everyone. He then dumped their bodies down a water well.” Despite living next to a maximum-security prison, Jolene explains that Alcatraz was a “safe and wonderful” place to grow up. “We were very protected and no one was ever hurt. There was a boat every day that took ten minutes to cross over to San Francisco, and we felt like the special ones, living there.” In the late 1970s, Jolene began working on a book about family life on the island. That led to later books about the prisoners Today Jolene’s book Breaking the Rock is getting new generations interested in Alcatraz and its incredible history. “It’s a great way to get kids interested in reading,” she says. “Lots of boys don’t like reading, but they’re fascinated by Alcatraz, and the escape stands out because it is still a mystery.” Jolene applies her knack for sociology and neuroscience to back up her belief that the legendary trio behind the great escape didn’t
ALCATRAZ WAS THE END OF THE LINE FOR THEM, JIM SAYS. YOU BREAK THE RULES IN OTHER PRISONS AND THAT’S WHERE YOU END UP.
THREE THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ALCATRAZ ISLAND AL CAPONE PLAYED THE BANJO IN AN ALCATRAZ BAND
One of the first prisoners to be locked up on Alcatraz was legendary Chicago mob boss and gangster Al Capone. Capone had it easier in other US prisons because he’d bribe guards for preferential treatment. Alcatraz broke him. “It looks like Alcatraz has got me licked,” he told his warden. Capone became so cooperative that he was allowed to play the banjo in the Alcatraz prison band called the Rock Islanders. THE ‘BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ’ HAD NO BIRDS ON ALCATRAZ
Robert Stroud (aka the Birdman of Alcatraz) served 17 years on Alcatraz for manslaughter and the murder of a guard, but he didn’t have any birds while there, as depicted in the largely fictitious 1962 film starring Burt Lancaster. Sentenced to solitary confinement for life, Stroud studied ornithological diseases, wrote and illustrated two books and raised birds in his Leavenworth cell. But he had to give them up in 1931, and had none when they moved him to Alcatraz. SOME INMATES REQUESTED TO BE SHIPPED TO ALCATRAZ
Anyone who spent time on Alcatraz will tell you that the terrifying reputation was largely created by Hollywood, and that it was safer than most prisons as men had their own cell and so were less likely to be killed or sexually assaulted by other inmates. The food was the best of any prison in the US (to avoid riots) and well-behaved prisoners could watch monthly movies and had access to a library of 15,000 books and magazines. So some prisoners asked to be sent there. PENTHOUSE
make it. “Even if they did make it across the bay, they’d need some kind of support, and those kinds of guys don’t create bonds with people,” she says. “Frank Morris was in ten foster homes from the time he was six months old until he was 13. Which means no one wanted to adopt him. From 13 to 35, he was never out of prison more than 2 years — accumulatively. All this means that he was largely incapable of bonding with people and incapable of staying out of prison without trouble. It’s not a good pattern for an escapee who wants to remain undetected” Jolene believes there’s something that some of us have, that ensures we make it through life largely on the right tracks. “Insight is missing from people who have personality disorders or, often, mental illnesses,” she says. “And if you don’t have insight into your predicament, like so many Alcatraz prisoners didn’t, it’s difficult to change your behavior. — like so many of the guys who were locked up on Alcatraz — you may go through life not knowing that there’s something wrong. So you can’t fix it.” Jolene tells the story of one more former inmate to illustrate her point — Bob Luke. “Bob has been out of prison for 50 years now,” she says. “He told me how he was sitting on the bleachers at Alcatraz one day, and he could smell freshly mown grass from a lawn near the penitentiary. He knew he wanted to get out of there and be around nature. That was the moment he realised that it wasn’t everyone else’s fault that he was where he was. He realised that it was his fault. That’s his ability to have insight. He’s a great example of a man who changed his ways. He got out and worked in the recreational industry – fishing, boating – and he met a wonderful woman. He made a life for himself outside.”
the kids who visit Alcatraz are the best – they ask penetrating questions. They want to know about the blood, the murders, the escapes. They see me as a rock star but I tell them this: I am not the hero. I don’t want to glorify what I did, even if it was fun at the time.” Bill gets the ‘great escape’ question a lot too. “Did they or didn’t they make it?” “They spent a year planning that escape and they didn’t tell anyone, so there’d be no snitching. Anywhere where you have desperate men, you have snitches, you see. But they kept it all quiet, made the tools, created the dummy heads. It was all very clever, and the patience they had over a long time was impressive. So if they made it, they wouldn’t tell anyone. They’d keep their plan going and keep their heads down, as what they desperately wanted was their freedom. So maybe they did make it.” Bill laughs at the fact that people on the outside thought of Alcatraz as one of the most dangerous places in the US. “Yes, men would kill if it meant freedom, and you did have to watch your back, but Alcatraz was not a dangerous place if you knew who to mess with, and who not to mess with. There was more danger back then in a bar in San Francisco!” Another misconception that many people have is that Alcatraz prisoners were stupid thugs. “I heard that when they did IQ tests, they found that some men’s IQ at Alcatraz was really high,” Bill says. “The first clue I had about that was seeing bunches of raggedy convicts playing bridge. There was poker too, but bridge was the main game, and it’s a complicated game that requires wit and patience. Some guys in there were more educated than the average person on the outside.” Bill’s view on whether crims are born or made through experience is different to Jim’s and Jolene’s. “You can choose to not be a criminal,” says Bill. “Everyone chooses what is best for him or her in life, and they make those choices and changes because of who they are. They work out what gratifies them. I think I would have been a criminal regardless of how I was raised. I think it’s in my DNA. My brother was a Baptist minister, after all! Being a crim is all about the fast money, the women and the lifestyle. They don’t want to wait. They want things immediately, so they take ’em.” Bill is quite philosophical these days. “I had a lot of fun — the money and the many girlfriends made it enjoyable. But you have to know what prison life does to someone to understand. For most criminals it’s much easier to surrender to the system, surrender to the bells,” he says, referring to the bells in prison that chime to announce things such as dinner and yard time. “That makes life easier. All you have to do is surrender, and once you do that, you gain some sort of peace. You can sort of take it easy. When you get out, you have to hustle and work again, and you’re uncomfortable, but when you surrender all responsibility, life is easier.” Millions of people will always continue to descend upon Alcatraz, drawn by curiosity and a mystery that hangs above the concrete island like a fog. Did they make it? We’ll only ever know if the escapees come forward, and that’ll be the story of the century.
BEING A CRIM IS ALL ABOUT THE FAST MONEY, THE WOMEN AND THE LIFESTYLE. THEY DON’T WANT TO WAIT. THEY WANT THINGS IMMEDIATELY
THE PRISONER: BILL BAKER William G Baker (aka Bill) is now 80 years old, and he’ll tell you straight up that he spent 30 years of his life in prison. “But that’s OK,” he says with a chuckle. “’Cos I’ve spent more than 50 years of my life as a free man.” Bill has been a car thief and a jailhouse rioter, and because he was an escape artist who managed to escape from other prisons, at 23 years of age in 1957 he was sent to Alcatraz. The island didn’t change him, though. In fact it gave him an education that further served him as a criminal, as over his four-year incarceration another inmate taught him how to write counterfeit checks. After Bill got out he continued his ‘education’, and mastered the art of fake payrolls and corporate checks, learned bank routing numbers, and even how to get around magnetic ink. “I loved it,” he says. “And it was such great money. I’d still be doing it if technology and my age didn’t put me out of business! And the only bad part of it was getting caught. But you learn from your mistakes, and I got better after learning what not to do. And the people putting me away learnt from my mistakes too!” he says. Bill got out of prison in 2011, and now he returns to Alcatraz every week promoting his book, Alcatraz 1259. “Fifty years ago, those tourists wouldn’t have given me the time of day. Alcatraz turned things upside down in that sense,” he says. Now Bill works eight, sometimes 13 hours a day, signing books and talking to folk. “I sometimes sell 300 books a day, so that’s close to $1,800 a day! I meet people from all over the world and 54
W W W. 6 6 6 P U R E VO D K A . C O M
09/17 IN FOCUS WITH JOAKIM KARLSSON O 56
VER the next few pages you'll see a selection of stunning babes from across a few of Karlsson's series. And while he may be from Sweden, known for its blonde, blue-eyed beauties, he had a different place in mind when we asked him where to find the world's most beautiful women. Read our interview with Joakim if you want to know where they're hiding.
HERE did you grow up? I grew up in a small town in Sweden called Varnamo. How do you describe your job? Inspiring, interesting and sometimes hard, but very fun. What makes your work different? Many photographers now focus too much on equipment. I try to keep it simple with less gear. My retouch and workflow is also simple and fast. I achieve my look and style on the camera. The locations set the mood and colour tones. When people ask “What do you do?” how do they react when you tell them that you shoot the most beautiful women in the world for a living? [Laughs] I usually just say that I’m a photographer. When I show them or tell them more they often say I’m living the dream. And I guess they’re right, – I do live the dream. Where are you currently in the world? I’m currently in Switzerland for a workshop. I'm planning a trip to Australia later this year. I travel all over the world for shoots, workshops and to do private courses with photographers. Which country has the most gorgeous women? Ukraine. That’s where the most beautiful women I know are from. Do you have a girlfriend? I have a wife. I got married six months ago. How do you meet your models and what do you look for in them? Mostly through contacts and recommendations, and social media. They also contact me. The more famous you get, the easier it is to find models. What’s the most memorable shoot you’ve ever worked on? When we were chased by the police for shooting nudes in Sri Lanka. We had to run with the model half-naked from the location and drive away on a motorcycle. It was fun when I think about it now, but in that moment it was scary. As this is the Power Issue, what are your thoughts on power? First thing that comes to my mind is my work. I like the women in my photos to look powerful and strong. I try to portray them this way, especially because I shoot nude photography. For me it’s more sexy this way. When the girls looks insecure and weak, it’s not very interesting.
“I LIKE THE WOMEN IN MY PHOTOS TO LOOK POWERFUL AND STRONG. I TRY TO PORTRAY THEM THIS WAY.” - JOAKIM KARRLSON
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HIGHLIFE 70: HOLD ON TIGHT White knuckled at the wheels of this year’s most powerful vehicles
78: HER NAME WAS BRANDY... Brandy: not just for your grandad, or 90s rappers. It’s this winter’s hottest drink
82: MADE TO MEASURE Your guide to suiting up and looking your best
P OW E R D RIV E
BUGATTI CHIRON AVING already set the standard for eyeball-popping power with its widely acclaimed Veyron, Bugatti has now gone one step further and created a vehicle so over the top in output it’s almost impossible to believe. The US$2,400,000 (that’s over 3.6 million Aussie dollars) Chiron puts out 1479 BHP, gets 0-100km/h in less than 2.5 seconds and tops out at 420km/h (its top speed has been capped ‘for safety reasons’ — go figure).
PHOTOS: BUGATTI MEDIA LOUNGE
STATS MAN UFACTURED: 2017 0 TO 10 0 KM/ H:
2 . 3 SEC
150 0 HP @ 670 0 RPM
420 KM/ H
PORSCHE 911 GT3 HE release of the Porsche 911 GT3 didn't go well initially. There were engine fires that left early owners a little hot in their seat. Porsche was forgiven, but then it emerged on the internet that the GT3 would only be sold with an automatic transmission, and the purists were ready to walk. It was heresy of such startling magnitude that people started looking elsewhere. Then, last year, Porsche did the thinkable and merged the GT3’s RS’s 500-hp engine with a manual gearbox, named it the 911 R, and in no time it was sold out. Thanks to the interest in the manual 911 R, Porsche decided it was a good idea add a manual transmission to the GT3, and here we are four years later, and everything is alright in the world. Take your pick of two gearboxes in the form of an updated version of the seven-speed dual-clutch unit,
and a newly developed six-speed manual gearbox (like it’s even a choice), and step inside the naturally aspirated 4.0-litre classic flat six-cylinder powerplant and give it a squirt, because this thing likes to run – fast. 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds should give you more facelift than Caitlyn Jenner, as you dial your way to a top speed of 320km/h while dodging swathes of eager onlookers, keen to get a closer look at that German rocket. The 911 GT3 is available to order now, with first Australian deliveries expected in the fourth quarter of 2017. It will be priced from $327,100 plus on-road costs. STATS MAN UFACTURED: 2017 0 -10 0 KM/ H
3.9 SECON DS
36 8 KW (50 0 HP) AT 8, 250
320 KM/ H
$ 327,10 0
FORD MUSTANG HE return of the Mustang last year was a polarising affair but welcomed by fans for the fact it retained the DNA of the vintage ponies of the past. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it looks fast, it feels fast and – surprise, surprise – it’s damned fast. But it’s not just the fact that it goes quicker than a pack of Oreos at a Weight Watchers meeting, hitting an impressive 0 –100km/h in 4.3 seconds, or that it puts out a whopping 435 horsepower – these are things we’ve all come to expect from our favourite pony. It’s the added control. The Mustang was always an untameable beast, but now if you choose to drive auto, you’ve got the option for a 10-speed automatic transmission, featuring directacting hydraulic controls, designed for optimum ratio progression and efficiency – meaning you can finally reign in this animal with super accurate upshift and downshift capabilities. The cornering on the ’Stang has also been noticeably improved by the addition of the MagneRide dampening system. Once only available in the Shelby GT350 models, Ford has extended this luxury to anyone who gets their hands on the 2018 Mustang. Sensors on the Magnetorheological
PHOTO: MEDIA CENTRE
Shocks (try saying that one three times fast) adjust all four corners of the vehicle independently, providing massively improved handling around those tight bends. These are all great new additions to an old classic, but for us, the most interesting enhancement is the Active Valve Performance Exhaust. Remember we were talking about control? Well, now you can control how loud, or quiet, you want that signature Mustang rumble to be. You can be a quiet and polite neighbour, if that’s your thing, or crank it up to full, so it sounds like a ’Stang should, with all the hallmarks of a noisy Yank. STATS MAN UFACTURED: MID 2018 0-100KM/H:
4. 3 SECONDS
4 35 BHP
UN KN OWN
AUDI S4 QUATTRO POWER PURCHASE
WITH A DEALER PRICE STARTING AT $112K, YOU CAN EXPECT TO PAY BACK A SHADE
FINANCE A CAR
NORTH OF $120K IF YOU MAKE MONTHLY REPAYMENTS OF $5040 AT A RATE OF 7.49%* OVER TWO YEARS. STRETCH THAT TO SEVEN YEARS AND YOUR MONTHLY
O you wanna be a gangsta, but your wheels ain’t fly? Unfortunately, X-zibit isn’t here to pimp your mum’s old shitbox, so it might be time to consider other options. While prioritising a dope wardrobe, weekends away and dinners in fancy restaurants with pretty girls is important, we all hit an age when a decent set of wheels is requisite to the highlife. One hiccup? Nice cars are expensive, and you’ve probably not cracked that corner office (yet). Financing a car can be an easy way to get yourself behind the wheel of something sweet (with the pussy magnet already installed), without having to save for years. While debt can be a bit of a daunting prospect, we’ve broken down the stats on what you can expect to pay, how it works, and whether or not playing now and paying later is suited to you.
REPAYMENTS BECOME $1720, BUT YOU’LL END UP FORKING OUT CLOSER TO $145K.
MERCEDES AMG C63 CONVERTIBLE WITH A DEALER PRICE STARTING AT $197K,
> You’re going to pay a fair whack more. The price you pay for driving off the lot without technically owning the thing is a fair lob of interest, and the longer your finance term, the more it’s going to be.
YOU’LL BE PAYING BACK AROUND $212K
> A bank loan won’t necessarily be cheaper than a dealer’s. Dealer loans are very common these days, and given the amount of debt they finance through the big banks, they can offer very competitive interest rates.
WILL BECOME $3005, BUT YOU’LL END UP
IF YOU MAKE MONTHLY REPAYMENTS OF $8820 AT THE SAME RATE OF 7.49%* OVER TWO YEARS. WANT TO GO FOR SEVEN? YOUR MONTHLY REPAYMENTS COUGHING UP OVER $252K OVERALL.
> Remember that a new car depreciates in value the second you drive it off the lot, so consider buying something second-hand if you plan on upgrading in a few years’ time and want that extra resale saving. > Still live within your means. If you’re on $80K, you don’t want to be paying off a Porsche, even if you can technically make the repayments because you live at home (and sort that out too, mate). > Remember that the more expensive the car, the pricier the upkeep. You might be able to make the repayments, but can you fork out north of $2K every time she needs g Insurance is also a massive a service and oil change? or luxury cars. sting fo
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA THE BASE MODELS START AT $241K, WHICH MEANS OVER TWO YEARS AT 7.49%* YOU CAN EXPECT TO PAY OVER $260K (ALMOST $11K A MONTH). OPT FOR A SEVEN-YEAR TERM AND YOU’LL PAY $3700 A MONTH, BUT END UP SPENDING CLOSE TO AN EXTRA $70K IN THE LONG RUN, WITH TOTAL REPAYMENTS TOPPING OUT AT AROUND $311K. YIKES. *RATES ARE VARIABLE, ALL STATS FROM NRMA
KUSTO M TEC H C LU TC H LEVER AN D B I LT W E L L G R I P S .
MODIFIED GAS TANK WITH AN ALUMIN UM POP-UP CAP.
CUSTOM ENGINE , AIR POD FILTER AND SPARK RACING EXHAUST
HOOKIE BLACK MAMBA
F you’re in the business of turning heads, then get your head around this custom café racer by German custom specialists, Hookie. Using a 1973 Honda CB550, the Dresden-based workshop repurposed the classic workhorse. The bike’s sleek and clean blacked-out profile is full of striking detail: under the steel body, lies a black engine, paired with an air pod filter and spark racing exhaust. The slick, steelbodied café racer has looks to kill and accessories to match. The motor has been completely rebuilt, the suspension overhauled, the body fitted with custom fairings and the gastank modified with pop-up filler cap and motogadget Motoscope. You’ll have people chasing you just hanging to check it out – good thing it's fast. B R I D G E STO N E BAT T L A X T I R E S & REBUILT DRUM REAR BRAKE .
POWER DRIN K
HER NAME WAS BRANDY... RANDY gets a bad rap. Whether it’s the perception that it’s an old man’s drink or the fact that daggy 90s rappers flaunted it like it was going out of fashion, we think it’s time to turn that on its head and give it a go. “Brandy is for everyone,” says Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern co-owner and beverage enthusiast Charlie Lehmann. “It's just like whisky or tequila, they all have cheap and expensive in their range. Just thank fuck it's not vodka.” One of our favourite yet lesser known tipples here at Penthouse is the occasional balloon or two of the good stuff, so we thought it was about time we introduced you to the wonderful world of this elusive spirit and its siblings.
Charlie Lehmann is co-owner at Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, a debaucherous dungeon of dungarees, babes, burgers and brandy, in all their respective glory. You can find him probably sober-ish at 199 Elizabeth St, Sydney. ramblinrascaltavern.com
MARTELL XO A GREAT PLACE TO START, MARTELL HAS BEEN PRODUCING SOME OF THE BEST BRANDY IN THE WORLD SINCE 1715, AND IS ONE OF THE OLDEST COGNAC HOUSES IN EXISTENCE. THE XO IS A CLASSIC EXPRESSION OF WHAT EXTRA OLD COGNAC SHOULD BE, WITH A SUBTLE BALANCE OF SWEETNESS AND HEAT ON THE FRONT PALATE, GREAT MOUTHFEEL AND A LENGTHY FINISH. AT AROUND $250 A BOTTLE, IT WON’T BREAK THE BANK.
BRANDY FACTS: • Cognac is a type of brandy, favoured for its colour, taste and heritage. • Cognac is named after the town whence it originates, in central France. • Brandy is made from distilling white wine, ideally aged in oak casks from Limousin.
ST AGNES XO GRAND RESERVE 40 YEAR OLD
• It’s controlled by strict appellation laws, making the production process and distribution more expensive than other spirits.
THIS ONE’S FROM OUR VERY OWN BACKYARD, IN RENMARK, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, NO LESS, AND IS ONE OF THE BEST SPIRITS THE COUNTRY PRODUCES. 40 YEARS IS A BLOODY LONG TIME FOR A BRANDY, AND THE $750 PRICE TAG IS REFLECTIVE OF ITS SUPREME QUALITY.
• Brandy can be made anywhere, but Cognac must come from... you guessed it, Cognac.
THIS IS ONE FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION (PROBABLY A 40TH BIRTHDAY, DUH), OR IF YOU WANT TO SERVE SOMETHING LOCAL TO YOUR INTERNATIONAL GUESTS
• Rappers seriously love this shit. Like, really love it. • Charlie’s recommended serves (“Big, boozy drinks that’ll smack you on the ass!”):
REMY MARTIN LOUIS XIII
> Brandy & tonic: “Good way to start — it’s a banger.”
AND ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS OF ALL TIME. BACK WHEN TOM CRUISE LOST HIS BET TO BRYAN BROWN IN COCKTAIL, A BOTTLE WOULD SET YOU BACK US$500 (ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPT). NOW IT’S AROUND THE A$3500 MARK, A PRETTY PENNY FOR SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO GET YOU SAUCED. TRY IT AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME.
> Vieux Carré: brandy, rye whisky, sweet vermouth, DOM Benedictine, Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters > Sidecar: brandy, Cointreau, lemon, sugar
ARMAGNAC & CALVADOS ARMAGNAC Similar to Cognac in that it’s made from grape spirit, Armagnac is brandy’s dodgy uncle, who always rocks up late and doesn’t mind a bit of a party. On a Wednesday. At 10am. Where Cognac is refined and elegant, using only the ‘heart’ of the spirit before ageing, Armagnac producers deliberately leave a small amount of the impurities from distillation to give the final product more character and depth. Generally considered more rustic, it’s a connoisseur’s drink, with warm, earthy characteristics and a lot more spice on the finish than Cognac. “It’s a proper boy’s drink. Cognac is elegant but Armagnac lets you know that you’re having a fucking drink,” says professional sommelier and avid drinker Max Gürtler. Delord is the biggest name in Armagnac, and the 1963 vintage is the best place to start. While they release much cheaper expressions and non-vintages too, this example is about as good as Armagnac gets and is a fantastic demonstration of what flavours you can get from a lengthy ageing process. At $340, you can do a lot worse. Alternatively, ask your waiter next time you’re in a fancy restaurant CALVADOS If Armagnac is brandy’s dodgy uncle, Calvados is its hot daughter. Like, really fucking hot. Made from apples and pears in Normandy, it’s as fragrant a spirit as you’ll ever meet and might be the most delicious shit you’ve never heard of. It’s also not too exxy, making it a necessary addition to your liquor cabinet. Seriously. Get a bottle now. This 2000 Domfrontais vintage from Victor Gontier is made with at least 30 per cent pears, making it a lighter, slightly sweeter spirit than Cognac or brandy. Victor’s dad François was the bloke who pioneered the ‘Domfrontais’ appellation, and this was their first release under this label, which is somehow still available. Ripe pear, poaching spices and a lengthy finish make this a veritable delight. “Drink it neat, drink it all fucking night,” says Max.
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MADE TO MEASURE
EO of George & King, Joel Deakin, offers some words of advice for guys wanting to get their suit right. Don't be swept up in trends when it comes to one of the most important things in your wardrobe. Do your research and most of all, know your own style and wear it/rock it with confidence. What do people forget to ask when having a suit made? Clients neglect to ask how to care for their suit. When a suit is made from pure wool like ours, it needs to be looked after to increase the longevity of the garment. DO: Invest in a good clothing brush and give your suit a good brush after each wear to remove any debris. A common myth is that you should dry clean your suit after each wear, this is not true, three to four wears is fine. DON’T: Put your suit in the washing machine no matter how tempting.
What are your most popular cuts and requests in suits recently? Our clients tend to want to create a slim line silhouette. The most common request is a jacket that shapes the torso area, tailored to the chest and narrowing down to the stomach. The European style of suit is the most popular. The jacket cut is close to the body, often single breasted with two buttons. Recently there has been a growing trend in clients ordering the 1940’s style three piece. A single breasted 5 button vest, with longer square cut three button jacket paired with pleated trousers with cuffs. This type of suit tends to be tailored in a casual fit, which is a more traditional cut. This style hangs looser on the body. If you could have one suit that suited most occasions, what would it look like?
The charcoal three-piece suit. The John Gage or the Carioca Suit. Charcoal is a great colour and from a style perspective can be matched with a variety of shirt and shoe colours. For Work: Lose the vest and wear with a light blue, pink or lilac shirt, as this softens the suit. Wear with a dark brown shoe. In the Evening: Opt for the full threepiece suit. For a more formal occasion wear with a crisp white shirt, bow tie and black shoes. Though remember, when it comes to dressing for a formal event, it is more about the garment’s, fit than the colour. If a suit fits you well it will ensure that you look the part at any event. What is one of your favourite all time looks in suits? The James Bond Goldfinger. The grey windowpane three-piece suit is tailored
SIX SUIT SITUATIONS: • Suit to get laid in: Your Birthday Suit • Suit to get a business deal over the line: The Pinstripe Navy. It exudes Power and Authority • Suit to impress a potential employer in: Double Breasted is always a talking point as it is not that common. Choose a plain fabric. I would recommend a dark grey/rich navy. • Suit to win a woman's heart: A three-piece windowpane suit. Wear it with confidence. • Suit to wear to a family or friend's wedding: Nothing too bold. Stay away from bright blue. Choose a Herringbone – go with a slight pattern as you need to distinguish yourself from the groom party. • Don’t wear a black suit – save them for funerals.
DO’S AND DONT’S
» Modern Black Tie
FORMAL WEAR IS MORE ABOUT FIT THAN COLOUR. IF A SUIT FITS YOU WELL IT WILL ENSURE THAT YOU LOOK THE PART AT ANY EVENT
by Anthony Sinclair; classic and timeless. What is the best way to match a tie, suit and shirt? The majority colour of the shirt should be the minority colour in the tie. Use the suit colour as a guide when choosing your shirt and then match your accessories. Example: A dark navy suit with a light blue striped shirt and mustard tie with hints of light blue. What do you think women look for when they see a man in a suit? A well-fitting one. An expertly tailored suit that fits a man well is a huge turn on. Women can spot a poor-quality suit a mile off. To cuff or not? It is appropriate to wear cufflinks to a formal occasion and to work if required. Though remember cufflinks are not necessary for informal occasions. Ensure you have a range of shirts in your wardrobe, some with French cuff and some with button up cuffs.
DO: Dress in a black tux but go with a peak lapel instead of the traditional shawl. It is more modern. Wear with a white shirt with pleating. DON’T: Wear a neck tie. Neck ties are for work not for formal events.
» Modern Cocktail DO: Choose a patterned fabric, embossed or with a slight print. The Italian range Vitale Barberis Canonico do some outstanding patterned fabrics that look great when paired with a satin peak lapel. Choose side tabs on your trousers. Opt for a no-vented jacket. It’s modern and it slimlines the body. DON’T: Wear your old work suit with a bow tie – people will notice. PENTHOUSE
It’s not the 80s anymore, so just say no to the gridiron shoulder pads. But if they’re too narrow, you’ll look like the Hulk when he gets angry (and you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry). If you’re a buff dude, don’t think that a tighter fit will show off your hard work. Get your tailor to match your build.
For a powerful look, broad peak lapels are the only way to go. A more classic approach would employ a slimmer, notched collar (think Don Draper), and is your best bet if you need to keep things conservative. If you have broad shoulders, get big lapels to match.
Traditionally they would be horn, but many options are available. A three-button jacket should only be buttoned from the middle button — this can be hard to pull off, though. A tuxedo jacket should have only one button. A day-to-day suit with two buttons is a classic, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go for a double-breasted option with six buttons (two functioning, not one — it’s not 1993 anymore, mate). CUFF
You want it to sit about a centimetre above your shirt cuff when standing naturally. Make sure you ask for working buttonholes too and keep the last one undone. This is a subtle way of showing the world that your suit has been tailored. WAIST
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ETTING a suit tailored is one of the great joys of life as a bloke, and also one of the most daunting. Whether it’s a new job, wedding, or you just want to look fly at the races, it’s something we’ll all come across at some point and you really, really don’t want to cock up. Here’s how to get yourself in some custom-made clobber without looking like a peanut.
This is down to personal taste, but slanted pockets with the addition of a ticket pocket on the right is a nice touch that’ll set your new suit apart from the pack. If you’ve ever wondered why they come stitched together, it’s to retain form and shape, but can easily be put to use if needed. HEM
The front of the hem should just clip the front of your shoe, with the back of your trouser sitting above the heel of your shoe. For a nice finish, ask for a cuffed trouser leg.
One of the best things about a well-tailored suit is that you won’t need a belt. This not only looks better, but you can wear any shoes you like without having to worry about matching them, so opt for side adjusters instead of belt loops. A good tailor will leave extra fabric inside the seat so alterations can be made for when you put on a few kegs over Chrissie.
P OW E R CEO
PHOTO: PAUL HENDERSON-KELLY
JOEL DEAKIN What made you decide to create George & King? A conversation with Sam about his new wardrobe. Our story started in an office at the cross section of George and King Street, Sydney, with a very well-dressed colleague back at work from his overseas holidays. Sam was wearing a superb jacket and a well-fitted shirt. It isn’t often that male colleagues will compliment another’s wardrobe, but they did so on this occasion. A conversation with Sam about his new wardrobe swiftly evolved into complaints from others present about the difficulties in finding quality suits and shirts that fit – while remaining reasonably priced. George & King was born out of sheer amazement at how difficult it is to buy a suit off-the-rack that fits, is genuinely well-made, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Custom tailored clothing is often thought of as a luxury that few can afford. So, a lot of men settle for suits bought 'off-the-rack' and end up paying top dollar for suits that don’t quite fit. After canvassing some friends and family, we quickly confirmed what should be the fundamental principle of our business: “To offer quality suits, which fit well, at a good price.” What does George & King do differently? Care. Our fittings are by appointment only. The reason for this is that we get to know our clients. Not only are we offering a premium custom clothing service, but we pay special attention to our client's likes and dislikes. We get to undertand how they feel about their body, so we can hide the bits they do not like and show off the bits they love. We feel confident in recommending looks to them and build a relationship with our clients. We do not just sell masterfully crafted garments, but we ensure that our clients need’s are met and we make it personal. What do you love about your job and line of business? Seeing a person transform when they pick up their suit. A well-fitting suit can change a man’s demeanour and how they view themselves. It means they can walk into a room and exude power and authority. It makes me happy to see them happy with themselves. It is great that George & King can ensure that every man can look good in a suit. We provide a premium product but not at an exclusive price.
A well-fitting tailormade suit by George & King
A WELL-FITTING SUIT CAN CHANGE A MAN’S DEMEANOUR AND HOW THEY VIEW THEMSELVES. IT MEANS THEY CAN WALK INTO A ROOM AND EXUDE POWER AND AUTHORITY
P OW E R A D D - O NS
THE FINISHING TOUCHES WRISTWATCH: Choose one that matches your look and your needs. A leather strap is generally favoured over a metal bracelet if you’re wearing a suit. Avoid anything too blingy, as it won’t slip under your cuff, which ruins the way a suit will sit.
POCKET SQUARE: With countless ways to fold one of these, they’re one of the easiest ways to spruce up a blazer or suit jacket without getting too formal. Keep a few in different colours and textures and make sure the pattern never matches your tie.
SOCKS: Probably the only thing that doesn’t have to match the rest of the outfit, on the condition they’re in direct contrast. Get something loud and expressive, or stick with neutral tones that match the rest of your look.
RINGS: One or two subtle rings look great. That one with the skull on it you got on Schoolies week? He’s gotta go. Also applicable if it’s been made solely for the opening of beer bottles.
BRACELETS: More in vogue lately is a simple bracelet to be worn with a watch. Match the tones of the watch band and keep it minimal. No, this is not permission to dig out that leather cuff you bought at a Linkin Park concert 12 years ago.
TIE: Most guys ruin a great suit by trying to play it safe. There’s nothing wrong with neutral tones and simple colours, but if you’re peacocking at a Denny Crane level, a quality, thick fabric and well-practiced double Windsor knot is what’ll make the difference.
CUFFLINKS: One of the best ways to be expressive when you have to dress up is to get your shirts with French cuffs and wear cufflinks. Opt for quality, muted metal finishes and simple designs. These will never go out of style.
SHOES: Not all shoes work with all suits, so take heed when you’re picking out which pair to wear. Simply put, a black suit calls for black shoes, charcoal suits can be worn with dark brown or black shoes, and a blue suit calls for brown or tan shoes.
f u opt for a belt, make sure it matches your sho n both material and colour. This is one sartorial errors blokes make and it of the iggest i ruins l the other hard work you’ve put in, so keep it in check.
SUNGLASSES: Getting this right depends on two things: the clothes you’re wearing and the shape of your face. Square jaw? Round frames, my friend. Round face? Get yourself something more angular.
09/17 BLACK AND WHITE DAVE KAI PIPER HEN Lily May asks if you want to come over for a coffee and to and bring your camera, you do just that – there’s not much else to think about. The long story behind this shoot is quite a dull one. Lily had in fact asked if I could help with a computer problem she was having, and I kindly offered to help. As the computer was doing some resetting and I was trying to fix the problem, we had some time to kill, so we got out the camera and went to work. Come to think of it, except for the computer, it sounds like the plot for a 70s porno...
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INFORMER 102: CONFLICT IN WEST PAPUA There’s a genocide on our doorstep, so why is no one talking about it?
112: ANDREW VOSS The legendary NRL commentator talks shop with Penthouse
144: OPINION: BETTINA ARNDT Bettina Arndt makes the case for men’s rights
WAKE UP AND LOOK AT THE MAP UNTIL WEST PAPUA IS FREE, AUSTRALIA’S RELATIONSHIP WITH INDONESIA WILL ALWAYS BE TROUBLED WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: BEN BOHANE NSIGNIFICANT rats.” These were the words used by Indonesia’s Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu in January this year to describe low-ranking Australian soldiers training elite Indonesian Kostrad troops at a military base in Perth, who had uttered the great unmentionable — an independent West Papua. “The point is to keep a good relationship between the countries. Don’t let insignificant rats disrupt the relationship between countries. That’s not good,” Minister Ryacudu told media amid the fallout in Jakarta. The Australian Defence Force lieutenants had likely mentioned it in the context of possible planning scenarios and in keeping with a military approach to examine all situations and contingency plans. But the mere mention of this forbidden territory was enough for Indonesia to halt all military communication with Australia for a time.
Why the sensitivity and what the hell is going on there to warrant this latest upheaval between the two countries? Truth is, the West Papuan struggle has bedevilled the relationship — and will continue to. Indonesia still tries to hide what observers have a called a “slow-motion genocide” of the indigenous West Papuans, as it induces poor migrants from densely crowded Java and Sumatra to ‘transmigrate’ to West Papua, similar to what the Han Chinese are doing in Tibet. As mainly Christian and animist Melanesians, West Papuans are Pacific islanders with little connection to the rest of Muslim Indonesia, which annexed West Papua through a fraudulent “Act of Free Choice” in 1969 overseen by the United Nations (UN). It was, in fact, the UN’s very first decolonisation mission, and it was a farce. The UN, with US connivance, allowed 1,024 hand-picked Papuans to vote for integration with Indonesia, on behalf of a population approaching one million. Most Papuans were expecting independence, as the Dutch had promised them, by 1970. The story of West Papua is a long and sorry one, and until now perhaps the great untold story of our region. It was one that drew me in many years ago as I was covering other conflicts in Australia’s neighbourhood, in places like Bougainville, the Solomons and EastTimor.DuringWWIItheseislands were the scenes of vital battles in the defence of Australia, and we relied on the “fuzzy wuzzy angels” not just at Kokoda, but also across Melanesia, including West Papua. Its capital was called Hollandia before today’s Jayapura, and its strategic value can be suggested by the fact that after US General MacArthur had directed the Pacific War from his HQ in Brisbane, his next headquarters in the island-hopping campaign against Japan was in Hollandia. The basic lesson for Australia out of WWII was that anyone who wants to fuck with us, fucks with New Guinea first. We still need to pay attention here. I did three trips with OPM guerillas (Organisasi Papua Merdeka
— Free Papua Movement) in their Southern Command (Fly river), Northern Command (Bewani mountains) and Central Command (Nduga highlands) during the 1990s and 2000s. Incredible trips, trekking with highland guerillas and avoiding Indonesian National Armed forces (TNI) patrols, in one of the most remote places on Earth. It is an ecosystem second only in size and biodiversity to the Amazon basin. It is the only place I’ve been in 30 years of reporting, ranging from Afghanistan to Fiji, that is so remote I had to explain what a camera actually was. In the mountains above Freeport I danced a war dance in the rain and felt incredulous at the gulf between a space-age mining project grinding gold over the mountain below and being with some of the last Stone Age people on Earth. Here they wear penis gourds and ass grass, live in huts and survive off their gardens. They share in no fruits from mining, but suffer encroachment by the mine and atrocities from the Indonesian military. Some tribes here did not even know they were part of Indonesia until a full 10 years after the annexation. They were some of the most incredible experiences of my life, and the Papuans’ vulnerability haunts me still. They told me they preferred to fight and die and live on as ghosts than surrender to Indonesia. If this is all sounding a bit personal you might be right: I’ve lost a few friends there over the years, including my mate, filmmaker Mark Worth, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2004. It shits me that I can’t visit his grave in Jayapura or investigate his death after getting banned from Indonesia myself in 2002. After landing in Jakarta from LA to interview Indonesia’s most famous writer, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, I was held at the airport for four hours and interrogated by military intelligence before they frogmarched me onto a Qantas plane and deported me. I was labelled a “terrorist” (GPK, or “security disturbance person”) on the front page of a daily newspaper because I had dared to report on
INDONESIA STILL TRIES TO HIDE WHAT OBSERVERS HAVE CALLED A “SLOWMOTION GENOCIDE” OF THE INDIGENOUS WEST PAPUANS
T H E LO NG F I G HT FOR INDEP ENDENCE
Some 10,000 years ago West Papua is populated by Melanesian people.
West Papua formally colonised by the Netherlands.
The Republic of Indonesia gains independence.
West Papua declares independence and raises its new flag – the Morning Star.
After a period of dispute with neighbouring Indonesia, control of West Papua is handed to the UN.
Control of West Papua is handed to Indonesia.
After years of resistance, West Papuans are given a vote for independence, called the Act of Free Choice. The vote is rigged after 1024 people were chosen to represent a population of one million and coerced into voting to stay part of Indonesia.
Formation of armed guerrilla group, the OPM (Free Papua Movement).
The Act of Free Choice is denounced by the peoples of West Papua, who reaffirm their independence in the face of oppressive Indonesian rule.
The charismatic President of West Papua is assassinated by Indonesian soldiers.
The National Committee for West Papua or KNBP is formed to advocate for West Papuan independence.
KNPB chairman Mako Tabuni is killed by Indonesian police, while many others face lengthy jail sentences of up to fifteen years just for raising the West Papuan flag.
West Papua’s tragedy continues with ongoing reports of villages being burnt, Papuans being arrested, tortured and shot and the beautiful natural wilderness being devastated by logging, mining, agricultural and biofuel interests.
Ben Bohane in West Papua
the hidden wars of Maluku and West Papua. Do you know what was particularly infuriating? Flying out after the interrogation, tired and strung out, I was asked by a Qantas hostie if I wanted a drink, so I replied yes, double whisky and soda thanks. She returned five minutes later and said, “Sorry, Captain’s orders — because you have been deported we cannot serve you alcohol.” Oh, the indignity! I tried to explain that I am no criminal but have been deported for political reasons but she smiled sweetly and moved on. I was about to go ballistic but calmed myself, took two sleeping pills and knocked myself out lest I create another international incident. Australians these days think globally, not regionally, as we once did. We are pretty complacent about what goes on in the immediate neighbourhood, but recent peacekeeping operations in the region should reveal the underlying strategic truths of our ‘hood’. As Mark Worth, a great raconteur who was born in PNG, used to implore: “Wake up Australia and look at the bloody map.” His documentary Land of the Morning Star remains the best introduction to a conflict that has taken more than 200,000 lives on Australia’s doorstep, wilfully ignored by successive governments in Canberra. West Papua remains the territory that dares not speak its name. While our politicians talk about human rights abuses across the world from a safe distance, there is little concern for our immediate neighbours in West Papua, suffering in the most significant conflict of our region, mostly off the radar. Right now there is much talk about the rise of China and how its ascendency will affect Australian security, but this is a new thing. Since the 1960s, Australia’s literal frontline has always been the PNG-West Papua border, which Indonesian soldiers regularly cross with impunity since it is 800 kilometres long and mostly unpatrolled. Back in the 1960s, after President Sukarno invaded West Papua and called it Irian Jaya, he began calling PNG “East Irian” and Australia “South Irian”. At the time it was Liberal government policy under Robert Menzies to support the Dutch in their preparations for an independent West New Guinea, just as Australia was preparing PNG for independence by 1975. Today, Indonesia continues to ban foreign media and NGOs from operating there, in an attempt to keep it dark. But the explosion of social media and growing solidarity from across the Pacific has made this a situation where Australia looks seriously out of step with its Pacific neighbours, usually succumbing to Indonesian pressure and no longer defending the Pacific as it had done before. While Australia and Indonesia were busy patching up their latest blue, Vanuatu led a delegation of seven Pacific nations to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, asking for a UN investigation into the situation in West Papua. When I cast a gaze across the whole Asia-Pacific region, it is amazing to realise how open all these countries have become despite various conflicts and regimes. Yet there are two glaring exceptions. One is North Korea. The other is West Papua. That should tell you something. Look at the map: New Guinea island, the largest tropical island
in the world, hovering above Australia like a giant prehistoric bird. The head of the cassowary is West Papua and for some time I have come to believe that the battle for New Guinea is double or nothing — either West Papua gets independence to keep it and Papua New Guinea part of Melanesia, or the whole island of New Guinea will become subsumed by Indonesia. Which is, unsurprisingly, keen to hold onto the land and fabulous resources, including the world’s biggest gold mine in the Amungme mountains, run by US company Freeport McMoRan. The generals in Jakarta want to keep Indonesia unified and keep their fiefdom in West Papua, where they can profit from timber, prostitution and drugs away from public scrutiny. Indonesia might have become a democracy after the fall of Suharto, but there is no democracy in West Papua. Just a jungle war fought between bow and arrow tribal warriors and the Indonesian military, land theft, and the highest poverty and HIV rates in all Indonesia. Not long after Indonesia cut defence ties over the great unmentionable of West Papua, it was revealed that Indonesia’s TNI were training militants from the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a gang that uses Islam as a cover for its various extortion rackets. Seems it is outrageous when Australia even mentions a free West Papua, but okay for Indonesia’s military to be training Islamic combatants. I once found myself in a Jakarta nightclub in the late 1990s, awash in girls and ecstasy (the drug trade in Jakarta’s clubs is usually supplied between rival police and military dealers), when suddenly an FPI gang burst in, harassing the girls and patrons, beating up people and shaking down the club owners who obviously hadn’t paid their protection money on time. It became a tense situation where several well-known Australian correspondents and I had to run into the women’s toilets and climb out a back window to escape. Today there are jihadi cells operating across Indonesia, including West Papua, where they claim they will help the TNI defend the “sovereignty of Indonesia.” There are fears of a surge in ISIS-related terrorism ahead, as their caliphate falls in the Middle East. We face another East Timor scenario where proJakarta militias terrorise the local Papuans to prevent support for the growing independence movement. One day, Australia may be forced to act there. Unless Indonesia radically changes its brutal policy in West Papua, growing international diplomacy and outrage may outmanoeuvre Jakarta and West Papua could well follow East Timor to become independent. History is ultimately with them. China is a wild card — what would Australia do if China began supporting the West Papuan guerillas, the OPM? Before we rush to make enemies of China, it is ironic to think that with the US retreating into isolationism, who is to say that China might not emerge as an ally to help defend the Papuans — and Australia — from Indonesian aggression and Islamic terrorism? We are in a topsy-turvy world where alliances are fluid and Australia’s best (only?) option is to be clear-eyed about our interests and be prepared to defend our immediate neighbours — and thus ourselves. In doing so, we remind a new generation of Australians that in all the questions about national identity, we are a Pacific nation first and foremost. If only we had leaders who could say so.
PHOTO: TOMENG / MARTIN-DM
IT IS THE ONLY PLACE I’VE BEEN IN 30 YEARS OF REPORTING, THAT IS SO REMOTE I HAD TO EXPLAIN WHAT A CAMERA ACTUALLY WAS
LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR WHY ARE WE SO APATHETIC ABOUT THE ‘SLOW-MOTION GENOCIDE’ OF WEST PAPUA’S INDIGENOUS POPULATION? BY STEPHEN CORBY
RE we, as Australians, good neighbours, or are we the racist pigs of the Pacific; right behind you if you’re white like us, but happy to leave you to die in a ditch — or rot on an island — if you’re not?
Take a minute to consider how other, smaller but sometimes more populous islands in the region probably see us, with our human rights law “detention centres” (a Nazi piece of work, if ever there was one, and rightly damned by the United Nations), our flamehaired, half-witted politicians preaching hate (“We’re being invaded by Asians/Muslims/autistic kids”), and even our more sensible leaders suggesting we need to stop immigration so we can all buy cheaper houses. It’s fair to say we look selfish, stupid and completely
without giving the people who lived there a say. And that on the eve of this bloodless, morality-free handover, two West Papuan politicians crossed the border into the then Australian-administered territory of Papua New Guinea, calling for independence and asking for the chance to plead their case with the UN. Not only did the Australian government refuse to help, but in an agreement reached with the Indonesians we detained the men, and any other political activists who dared to speak out, in a little place whose name you might recognise: Manus Island. Today the West Papuans have become an ethnic minority in their own country, while Indonesia has benefited from multinational corporations sucking out the natural wealth from the ground.
HOW MANY AUSTRALIANS EVEN KNOW ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THIS AREA’S PEOPLE? uncaring about what others in the region think of us, nor about what’s going on with them. In the case of West Papua, not only one of our closest neighbours but a strategic stronghold that, if history tells us anything, stands between us and any invading force, we must look cold and cruel. How many Australians even know about the plight of this area’s people, or the fact that its indigenous population is suffering what’s being called a “slow-motion genocide”? Try to imagine what would happen if Indonesia — a brutish country that makes us look like Buddhists by comparison — were to announce it was annexing the north island of New Zealand and declaring all its people to be, henceforth, Indonesians with funny accents. Sure, we’d still be able to ski in the south, but what of the peace-loving, sheep-bothering farmers of the north? Would we just leave them to it, because we’re too damn scared of the Indonesian government to dare annoy them? Not bloody likely, because Kiwis are white, and quite a bit like us. Consider that in 1962, the UN, with our agreement, allowed Indonesia to take control of West Papua,
Despite plenty of evidence of the torture and murder of indigenous people by cruel authoritarian rulers, our dear old Tony Abbott told the Indonesians he admired what they’d done to “improve the autonomy and the life of the people of West Papua.” No, he really did. And we continue to let them get away with it today, not just because no-one in Australia cares enough to force our politicians to do otherwise, but because we are intimidated, even cowed, by the might of Indonesia, and we let the bullies get away with it. Political strategists would call what we’re doing “wise”, and indeed the Australian Defence White Paper of 2013 made it very clear, stating that “Australia’s strong partnership with Indonesia remains our most important regional strategic relationship, and the partnership continues to deepen and broaden in support of our significant shared interests.” Apparently our shared interests include leaving a whole nation of people to wither and die, while we turn a blind eye. Frankly we’re pretty shit neighbours, unless you happen to be Indonesian. I wouldn’t invite us over for a barbecue.
NIP AND TUCK A NEW TREND IS ON THE RISE THAT INVOLVES AUSTRALIAN WOMEN CUTTING INTO THEIR VULVAS TO LOOK ‘NORMAL’. BUT ARE THESE SURGERIES NECESSARY, AND WHAT, OR WHO, IS DRIVING DEMAND? BY JOANNA HALL ’M too fat. I’m too short. I’d be happier if I were skinnier, taller, had straighter hair, or a smaller nose. Does any of this sound familiar when it comes to your significant other? Many women wish they could change something about their appearance, and we have a bad habit of comparing ourselves to others. Whether it’s Gisele Bündchen’s long legs or a co-worker’s perky breasts, there’s always an asset we’d rather have than our own. In recent years we’ve become increasingly concerned about another, more intimate body part, that’s not so easy to compare – the vulva. A growing number of women are jumping to the conclusion that they’re not normal ‘down there’ and opting for painful, and sometimes risky, surgery to fix it. Labiaplasty, also called vulvoplasty, reshapes and removes the excess skin of the labia minora, the smaller lips on either side of the outside of the entry to the vagina, which makes things look neater and more ‘tucked in.’ It’s one of several surgeries surging in popularity in Australia, with the official number tripling in a decade. If you’re thinking: ‘Why would a woman do that? Isn’t it painful? Couldn’t something go wrong? Surely it’s expensive?’ The answer is yes on all fronts. Dr. Catherine Boorer is a specialist plastic surgeon in Sydney who has been offering labiaplasty for 15 years. “Twenty years ago it was hardly heard of,” she says, “but in the last few years the demand for labiaplasty has definitely risen. I’m performing around one a week.” Besides a small number of women experiencing chafing or physical pain from a protruding labia, Dr. Boorer says many are having the surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. “There are women who don’t like how they look down there,” she says. “They feel self-conscious, and are embarrassed to have sex because of it.” Dr. Boorer says the most common age group for the surgery is between 18 and 30, with a very small number in their teens, and some women in their forties who are getting their stretched labias back in shape post-childbirth. Medicare data says 1,588 rebates were linked with labiaplasty procedures in 2012-13, compared with 774 almost a decade ago, but the true figure is likely to be much higher with many women having private sector surgeries. The question remains: Why do we feel that our lady bits don’t stack up – enough that we’re prepared to go under the knife? Dr. Frances D’Arcy-Tehan, a counselling psychologist and clinical sexologist in Geelong, became aware of women’s genital anxieties
while working on her PhD. She asked women to take part in an online survey about genital image and cosmetic surgery, and found that 20 per cent of sexually active Australian women do not like the appearance of their labia, and have problems in the bedroom as a result. Improving its appearance doesn’t come cheap either, with the price tag for labiaplasty ranging from $2,500 to over $6,000. And things can go wrong, especially if the labia is left too short, or sculpted in a way that results in permanent discomfort or pain. “The main risks include stitches splitting, bleeding, infection, an over-reduction of the skin, and scarring,” says Dr. Kohout, a plastic surgeon. “But these should all be minimal, and overall complication rates are relatively low.” Does labiaplasty make women happy? Results from a study by the School of Psychology at Flinders University in Adelaide, published in December 2016, found that while women are largely satisfied with how they look, the surgery doesn’t always improve their general psychological wellbeing, or their intimate relationships. “There’s another misconception that the surgery improves sexual pleasure,” says Dr. D’Arcy-Tehan. “The labia minora is a highly sensitive sexual organ and plays an important role for sexual response, but labiaplasty has the potential to destroy an erogenous zone. It doesn’t improve pleasure.” Hannah Smith* describes her 2016 procedure, which she had for cosmetic reasons, as “the best thing she’s ever done.” The 32-year-old from Sydney had plenty of exposure to real-life examples of the female form working as a receptionist in a strip club, and considered having the surgery for years. “I didn’t like the way I looked,” she says. “I saw girls on stage at the club, and thought how neat and tucked in they looked, and I wondered why mine wasn’t like that.” Post-surgery Hannah was surprised by the male reaction. Most had never heard of labiaplasty, but they also wrongly assumed she’d had the surgery “for a guy.” She believes that men don’t care about how we look down there. “My partner didn’t think I needed the operation, and afterwards he said it made no difference to him sexually,” she says. Dr. Boorer agrees. “The majority of women I see are making informed decisions for themselves, not because a boyfriend or husband told them to,” she says. “They are doing it for themselves, and to feel more confident about their bodies.” *Not her real name.
WHETHER IT’S GISELE BÜNDCHEN’S LONG LEGS OR A COWORKER’S PERKY BREASTS, THERE’S ALWAYS AN ASSET WE’D RATHER HAVE
Q & A
A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN AS SOMEONE WHO LIVES AND BREATHES RUGBY LEAGUE, ANDREW VOSS SOUNDS LIKE HE’S BEEN COMMENTATING THE FOOTY SINCE 10 YEARS BEFORE HE WAS BORN. PENTHOUSE ASKS WHAT HE’S REALLY THINKING WHEN HE’S AT THE MIC BY SEAN BRUCE
O ask your average eight-year-old young rugby league fanatic what he wants to be when he grows up, and he’ll tell you he wants to be like his heroes, Johnathan Thurston, James Tedesco or Jarryd Hayne. He wants to be an unstoppable prop, a fullback, or the captain that leads his side to victory. Andrew Voss, legendary Fox Sports NRL commentator, on the other hand, wanted to call games since he first heard Rex Mossop’s voice fill the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. But then again, as he unashamedly admits, he’s a “weird fish.” Some of the most creative, inventive and downright strangest calls have come out of Vossy’s mouth, so we tend to agree (but hey, why not call the middle of the field the ‘hey diddle diddle’?). He’s got a new book out called Stuff You May Have Missed, in which he opens the lid on his own considerable experiences of the game of rugby league, as well as some of the moments from his early life that led him down the strange path that allowed him to do what plenty would consider a dream job: talking shit about footy and getting paid for the privilege.
a controversial commentator, was massive in my world, and then I had my father die when I was eight. I figured rugby league became such a big part of my life because it gave me somewhere to belong. I can’t remember ever grieving the death of my father — I know that sounds a bit hollow but I honestly can’t and I don’t. But rugby league was something adults liked, and here I was just a kid and I threw myself into it, knowing about it so I could talk with adults about it. It made me feel older than I was. It’s a little deep, but I think some self-examination made me realise these things. How did you get your first break? Back in the day you wrote to radio stations, and I turned in a little cassette of a phantom call of a game that I’d done — you know, five minutes off the top of my head — and most of the time, in fact all of the time bar one, I had no reply to it. It was a fellow by the name of John Brennan at 2UE who responded to me. I was probably 16 years old and he said, “That’s really good. You show great potential. Stick at it. All the best for the future,” and that’s as far as I got. But he must have passed my letter on to another bloke there, Peter Bosley, who was an around-the-grounds reporter. He rang me and said, “Well, come along to the football games with me,” so, as a 16-year-old, I went out and sort of kept stats and got a little glimpse of what it was like. I thought, ‘Wow, this is what I want to be doing. I want to be coming along, watching rugby league, talking about it and getting paid for it,’ but it would be another five years before I got to the next step.
THE FIRST TIME I EVER CALLED A GAME ON CHANNEL 9, KERRY PACKER HEARD IT AND SAID HE NEVER WANTED ME ON AIR AGAIN
First of all, what can we expect from your new book? Stuff You May Have Missed was the title of a segment that I did on The Footy Show back in the day. What started off as just a collection of stories from years of my working life in the media, and specifically involving the sport of rugby league, became a bit more of ‘Andrew Voss: the life story.’ I ended up covering right back to the very early days as a kid and explored things like when my father died when I was eight and how I fell in love with the sport. What do you think influenced you to pursue a career in commentary from such a young age? Honestly, I would tell people from the age of seven or eight I was going to be a rugby league caller; it’s what I wanted to do. At the time a bloke called Rex Mossop, who was quite
Do you have any horror stories like Fatty Vautin’s live “fuck it” on debut? In the book I wrote a chapter that goes under the name of ‘Salamigate’, and to talk to you about it, I’m probably breaking my own promise that I made in the book because I never wanted to talk about it again. In my time at Channel 9 I did a PENTHOUSE
game down in Canberra. I had a little snack before the game of salami and some biscuits with some plum paste and thought nothing of it. But then during the first half of the game, it hit me like a freight train — the sickness — and I didn’t know which hole it was going to come out of. So I ducked off for about 90 seconds. We’re talking winter in Canberra. We’re talking single-figure temperatures with toilets way down the end of the grandstand — cold cement cubicles, and I was heaving. I was driving the porcelain bus and somehow made it to halftime. That’s the only game that I had to bail out. I want to move on from it so let this be the last time I speak about it, because in the book is the last time I ever write about it: Salamigate, Channel 9. Speaking of Channel 9 and Fox Sports, are there any technical differences in working for the two organisations? In my time at Channel 9, right at the top of the tree was Kerry Packer, who took a very active interest in rugby league. The first time I ever called a game on Channel 9, Kerry Packer heard it and said he never wanted me on air again. And I’m forever indebted to Kerry Burns, the boss of sport at the time, who said, “No, give the kid a chance. You know, he’s OK.” I look back on that now and think how good it was to have a boss so far up who took an interest in the game, and who could also relate to the viewer who was watching out in the south-west of Sydney on a 33-centimetre screen. He said, “You’ve got to call more names.” So, at Kerry Packer’s request, we altered our style on Channel 9. On television you don’t normally call so much. Kerry Packer said, “Identify who the tacklers are a bit more like a radio call,” so we did. What’s your favourite analogy or metaphor for something in footy? Oh, well…
What about the voice acting you did for the Rugby League videogame series? In that, you basically sit in a studio the size of a phone box for three days straight, screaming your tits off, and you have freestyle sessions where you’ve just got to throw in commentary lines. I’m exploring the points of my brain, trying to come up with a hundred different ways to describe a tackle and to describe a player’s appearance when he gets angry, and I end up at the point where I’m saying, “Well, he’s got a head that’d get him out of jury duty.” Do you have any ideas for a new NRL-related TV show that you’d like to host? 114
PHOTO: ROBERTO DURAN
You’ve come out with some crackers in the past. I’ve been described as a weirdo. Phil Gould, legend of rugby league, writes in the book that I am a weirdo, and there’s certainly no legal action pending. When I’m calling my mind can just wander. I can remember sitting in a Chinese restaurant in the build-up to a game, and I’ve got kids and they always go over to the fish tank where the crabs are. I’m thinking, ‘Oh gee, how sad is he? This poor crab,’ and the kids are tapping on the glass. Anyway, later that week I was calling a game and it just came out in commentary when a team was struggling and they were now down by 20 or 30 points. I said, “They’re in as much trouble as a crab in a fish tank at a Chinese restaurant.” That just came – I had no plan to say that but this shit is in my head.
YOU BASICALLY SIT IN A STUDIO THE SIZE OF A PHONE BOX FOR THREE DAYS STRAIGHT, SCREAMING YOUR TITS OFF
Belgian waffle at Piggabeen Sports Oval with Brad Tallon PENTHOUSE
VOSSY’S TOP STADIUM FOOD PICKS Watching the game isn’t the only enjoyable part of going to the footy. While rubbery hotdogs and meat pies with a heart colder than your ex-girlfriend’s are standard fare, sometimes you can score yourself some first grade nosh.
Belgian waffles at Piggabeen Sports Field at Tweed Heads “With Chantilly cream on top – just fantastic,” , says y Vossy. y
Mini donuts in Auckland
A Hotdog from Wollongong in ’93
“They’re a trap for young players,” who can be tempted into downing a bag or two pre-match pre match.
“The only hot dog I’ve had that was edible,” says Voss who says that most stadium buns taste like “old oty socks socks.”
It has to be away from a panel. Maybe it’s time we did a show about rugby league’s dark secrets. I think if we lifted the lid on all the stories that have happened, I’d say probably only 10 per cent have made the press and have horrified people. I reckon we could probably dig out another 90 per cent that have never been heard — could make quite a show. But I don’t want to host that. Let someone else do that. Who would host it then? Probably John Hopoate. You know, a rugby league philosopher and a bit of a problem child, Hopa would be my choice. You get to make one more corner post rule change; what is it and why?
have a second team in New Zealand, I think a second team in South-East Queensland and I really think a team in Perth, but then again I’m not the one paying the bills and trying to spread the money around. What about player’s off-field antics; could they be holding back the game at all? I think we go way over the top in reacting to off-field incidents, but it does do damage. I’m not naïve, I’m not saying it doesn’t, but I do think we go over the top. On one hand you do have to be firm, and you’re trying to set standards and what have you, but on the other hand, I think you have to be a realist and be compassionate; you’ve got to help some of these blokes. Some of these young blokes live in this false world. Some of them haven’t had jobs, they’ve come out of schools, we pay them as
WE PROBABLY NEED TO PISS OFF THE SCRUM ONCE AND FOR ALL BECAUSE IT SERVES SO LITTLE PURPOSE
Are there any moments you wish you’d called? I would have loved to have been alive when the famous St George Dragons won 11 straight premierships. To call some of those old matches of the day at the SCG – you see the crowd figures (70,000) and you think, ‘Wow, how good would that have been?’ And to be set up on the sideline, like I usually set up a card table, and call the football there at the SCG, I’d love to go back in time to be a part of some of those events. What do you think is really holding rugby league back, in terms of popularity and expansion? I think it’s the clubs, if anything, that hold back the game in some way. It’s a catch 22. They’re so important to the success of the game and the popularity of the game, that if we’re going to expand they can’t be selfish. I honestly believe we should 116
stars and they don’t handle things all that well. So what’s your opinion of this new good-behaviour fund that’s aimed at cutting down scandals in the league? I can appreciate where they’re coming from but you’ve got to get the full story; you can’t take reactionary measures. I have learnt the story ends up very different to how it started, and that’s happened in so many cases. If there has to be action taken, take it, but if it doesn’t, make sure you come out and publicly declare the innocence of the player, because I think some blokes have been hanged along the way for things that are minor. One last question. Who is the greatest player of all time? First of all, I’d say it’s an impossible task to compare eras. The way the game is played has changed so much. But of what I have seen I’m now comfortable in calling one of the current players, Johnathan Thurston, the best I’ve seen. I think he’s a sensational player, the competitive nature of him: he backs it up with skill, he stands to defend at the front line and he’s incredibly popular to boot. He’s a great character, he’s a goal kicker, a point scorer, he’s won Grand Finals, he’s the whole package – so I’m going to give Johnathan Thurston that one.
PHOTO: ROBERTO DURAN
Wow, yeah, the corner post — that’s going to be written on my tombstone. Well, we probably need to piss off the scrum once and for all because it serves so little purpose. We either fix it up or we get rid of it. So I’ll campaign to get rid of the scrum. I think it has become such a farce that it just serves no purpose in rugby league.
Young Andrew Voss as a Souths fan
SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP THE GLOVES ARE OFF IN THE INCREASINGLY POLITICAL BATTLE ABOUT FREE SPEECH ONLINE BY SEAN BRUCE OUNG entrepreneur Andrew Torba is creating a online media storm with his Twitter-like platform, Gab, on which you can say (almost) anything you like, without being banned or silenced. While other social media companies have gradually introduced antihate speech policies, Torba has taken a different approach. He argues that, “Hate speech is subjective and an excuse for censorship,” and removing ‘hateful’ content infringes on people’s right to free speech. The catalyst for creating Gab came after a number of Twitter users from the “alt-right” (a loose group of conservatives who are known for their opposition to feminism, Islam and immigration) were banned from Twitter for “hateful conduct.” The most widely publicised Twitter exile was professional troll and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who was permanently banned from the site after a number of his followers rained abuse on actor Leslie Jones, one of the leads in last year’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Milo wrote
a scathing review of the film, which led to a large number of
like “politics”, “entertainment”, “news” and “sports”, and — as long as you don’t share illegal pornography, dox anyone or make realistic threats — you can say pretty much anything you like. Most notably it lacks any guidelines on “hate speech”, which other social media sites have implemented. Unsurprisingly, the platform hasn’t been received all too well by the wider online community. For instance, Apple refused Gab’s request to its App Store because it featured “pornographic content” (incidentally, so do many social media sites, including Twitter and Reddit), and Torba claims that financing the project has been difficult. He believes there is something of a conspiracy to undermine his site from Silicon Valley venture capital firms that he claims are politically opposed to the alt-right. From the Gab blog: “The global elite and far-left are in allout panic mode over the rise of populism… Silicon Valley and the global media elite have realised that the people are rising up and using their own tools against them to expose the truth and to fight for freedom, sovereignty and national
HE CREATED A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM WHERE PEOPLE WOULDN’T BE BANNED FOR VOICING POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE OPINIONS Twitter accounts directing racially charged tweets at Jones (an African American), who then left the platform, stating that the attacks had gone too far.
There was outrage on both sides. Some people thought it was too little, too late, on behalf of Twitter. On the other hand, fans of Milo thought he was being unfairly censored. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had this to say after the incident: “People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.” Torba is a self-professed “alt-righter” – he supports Donald Trump, loves Milo and considers himself something of a champion for online free speech. He created Gab as a social media platform where people wouldn’t be banned for voicing offensive opinions. It works similarly to Twitter, but with a 300-character limit as opposed to 140 and an upvote/downvote system that filters popular content to the top of users’ feeds. There are different channels to browse
identity among other things.” But for all his championing of free and open dialogue, Torba has so far struggled to get a diverse range of users on board. The top posts on the politics channel are unanimously anti-Muslim, anti-immigration and proTrump. There are ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theorists, images of medieval crusaders draped in American flags and celebrations of the Mexican border wall construction. Oh, and the company logo bears a striking resemblance to the alt-right mascot, Pepe the Frog. Its website says, “Gab’s mission is to put people first and promote free speech online. All are welcome on Gab, and always will be.” That may well be true, but at least for the moment, Gab is undoubtedly only the home of Trump’s deplorables. Gab is still currently in Beta stage. It’s a top 9,000 website in the United States and it is rapidly expanding. According to reports from Gizmodo and Wired, the site has about 140,000 users, and new users must join a waiting list of 400,000 to gain access to the platform.
THREE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS YOU’VE LIKELY NEVER HEARD OF (FOR GOOD REASON) Beyond the obvious big players in the social media scene like Twitter and Facebook, there are several smaller platforms that have risen from the digital ether, catering to strangely specific niche demographics.
LINE FOR HEAVEN: Facebook just isn’t holy enough for some devotees to the Lord and Saviour JC. Line Up for Heaven is a bit of weird one obviously. It’s designed specifically for Christians to interact by completing a series of tasks that bring the user “closer to heaven.” The activities include giving other users “blessings” and confessing sins. The more tasks completed, the closer the user gets to ‘The Big Cheese.’
REMCLOUD: No, it’s not a social media network based on a shared love for American 90s alt-rockers, R.E.M. Instead it’s a place for users to upload their dreams – in written form, of course (we’re not quite at the point where our dreams can be uploaded directly via USB). Other users do the same, then they comment and offer advice and interpretations based on what’s been provided.
GALAXY2: Beneath your everyday web experience exists an enigmatic
dark world known as the deep web. Shrouded in mystery, it’s on this expansive underground section of the internet that criminal activities like drug trades and illegal pornography rings thrive. There’re also a few social networks, including Galaxy 2. Although it’s inaccessible to your average internet denizen, Galaxy boasts an active user base as large as Facebook and Twitter.
THE WOLF OF WATERSTREET
A TALE OF TWO FAMILIES ONCE THERE WERE TWO GREAT SYDNEY FAMILIES VYING FOR CONTROL OF YOUR WALLET AND YOUR LIVER: THE HEMMES AND THE IBRAHIMS. THE LOCKOUTS HAVE KNOCKED THEIR ONCE GREAT EMPIRES OFF TRACK, BUT THE BEAT GOES ON BY CHARLES WATERSTREET
T must have been the noise of a passing car. I swear Sean said “the powder issue,” yet the ears hear what they want to hear. But indeed it is the Power Issue, so where better place to discuss one of the oldest rivalries this city has ever endured. Sydney, before the ‘Great Lockout Disaster’ that ripped the heart out of the city and sewed it surgically into the Inner West, where it softly beats without bouncers and neon lights, was truly a tale of two families. Sydney had two faces, suiting the essentially fickle nature of the city. On the one hand, the smiling, relaxed Justin Hemmes, with his tell-tale European tan that barely pales before he returns to the Northern Hemisphere to renew it. Son of business-minded hippie parents who imported enough cheap cotton and batik to build a fashion industry, when black money was not only legal, but compulsory; young Hemmes is the Great Gatsby of the CBD. Hemmes changed its texture from linoed pubs to polished floors, creating and catering for different classes on different levels of the original Hemmesphere. One yearned for access to the legendary fifth floor, where topless beauties served silver trays covered with lines of Bolivian marching powder, Blue Label Johnny Walker flowed freely and orgies were more likely to break out than fights. Pride and the price of membership stopped me at the door more than once. On the other hand we have John Ibrahim. The son of poor Lebanese migrants, John single-handedly (although heavily armed and with flair beyond his stare) rebuilt Kings Cross from the ruins left by the departure of the Bayeh brothers, who were whisked off to jail in the wake of the Royal Commission. Everything John touched turned to gold, although the shelf companies that ran the clubs went broke under the enormous weight of rent, debt, and other expenses — sometimes called ransom — never entered in the books. Booming clubs died and rose from the ashes with new licensees and bouncers without clipboards, giving more work to the Samoans than any church ever did. Fat became the stock in trade of every black-suited bouncer, who recognised everyone by their tattoos. Drugs seemed to be so constantly available that the next step would have been
vending machines. Similarly, black money funded both the fashion and nightclub industries, like oil fuels the GT-striped Fords and RAV4s weaving their way down the great black line of toothpaste known as the Parramatta Road towards the Cross, and the nightlife lit by its backstage leader, John Ibrahim. The misled public made up their collective minds on rumour and gossip proffered by word of mouth or The Daily Telegraph, each as reliable as the other. Justin in a white powdered hat was the goody-two-shoes. Conversely, John wore his black hat like a five o’clock shadow. And despite all evidence to the contrary, Rene Rivkin did move out of the Embassy in Double Bay voluntarily, Rogues changed hands after too many visits by bikers in town for underworld conventions, and bullets flew through the plastic tits of girls at DCM. The hitmen were worse shots than Peter Kocan with a .22 rifle. John Ibrahim stays at the Cross. He now steadily builds up a fortune on buying the sudden bad turns of fortune at Porky’s, the world-famous Love Machine, Bada Bing and other harems swept away in a tsunami of sand by Barry O’Farrell, who couldn’t look a gift bottle in the face and say no. Then the Christian smiling salesman, ex-banker Mike Baird left before the vulture venture capitalists picked apart the ideally located carcasses of Sydney’s once iconic nightspot. Lockout felled the twin towers of Hemmes and Ibrahim like jets driven by terrorists, and a new, fresher Sydney emerged with pockets of festivities on the fringes. Star City was immune through vast sums of funding, forever vaccinated by the poker machines and Baccarat tables populated by Chinese multimillionaires. Sydneysiders mourn the city of self-made men, two men who by sheer force of will, wits and muscle, created structures out of powder, by powder, for powder. A powder that now blows in from South America on every boat, in every container, inside every passenger wearing body bags to disperse among the suburban oases of franchised outlets, beyond the Lockout, beyond the fists of one-punch laws, beyond imagination, in warehouses in Marrickville where sex doesn’t need a pole to dance, or a stage to parade.
LOCKOUT FELLED THE TWIN TOWERS OF HEMMES AND IBRAHIM LIKE JETS DRIVEN BY TERRORISTS
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
THE INSANE DANE WAS THIS BRILLIANT MATHEMATICIAN AND ASTRONOMER THE ORIGINAL SUPERVILLAIN? BY SEAN BRUCE ANISH astronomer Tycho Brahe was one of the best-respected scientists of his generation. By the time he died in 1601, he had disproved Aristotle’s theory of an unchanging celestial realm, coined the term nova (as in supernova), and created the foundations for Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. Most astonishingly, he managed this without the use of a telescope, which wasn’t invented until seven years after his death. But for all his genius, Brahe was a madman. He spent a good deal of his life living in a gigantic castle full of hidden passages, trapdoors and a dungeon, along with a psychic dwarf and an alcoholic pet moose. And honestly, that’s just the beginning of this crazy Dane’s weird life. He was born into Danish nobility around the mid-16th century, about halfway between Denmark’s wild Viking past and its current civilised present. Then, when he was only two years old, his wealthy, aristocratic, mad childless uncle kidnapped the young Brahe to raise him as his own. For what it’s worth, Brahe’s father eventually got his son back and forgave the uncle. At the young age of 13, Brahe entered university, where he became obsessed with astronomy and mathematics. Through his observations of celestial events during these early years, he realised that most of what had been laid down by his predecessors was way out of whack. So he set off to create an accurate record of how planets and stars move throughout the cosmos — a feat he achieved with stunning accuracy. But it’s Brahe’s bizarre private life that was truly mind-blowing. For instance, one evening while at a wedding reception with a bunch of fellow maths geeks, he got into a drunken argument with one of the guests over who was the better mathematician. Because he was an arrogant arse, Brahe drew his broadsword and challenged the man to a duel — which he consequently lost when his opponent lopped off his nose. Evidently his swordsmanship wasn’t as good as his maths skills. Of course, Brahe wasn’t about to live the rest of his life without a nose, so he composed one from gold, silver and brass alloys and fixed it to his face using wax ointment. From that point on
Brahe had a metal nose, which I think we can all agree is pretty damned awesome. After he became one of the first people to witness a supernova, Brahe pretty much proved that the universe was in constant motion as opposed to being fixed, as was previously thought. In a single stroke, he blew 2,000 years of scientific thought out of the water and turned the astronomical world on its head. The King of Denmark took notice and commissioned Brahe to construct an observatory on an island off the coast of Copenhagen. It was there that he built Uraniborg, the ‘Castle of Urania’. The place was pure madness — featuring six towers, a laboratory, two libraries, a torture chamber, an army of astronomer henchmen and secret passages that could only be accessed by moving certain objects that doubled as levers. Brahe spent his time in this supervillainesque island lair uncovering the secrets of the cosmos — and getting shit-faced. He became infamous for the massive booze-fuelled parties he held at the castle. These gatherings would involve plenty of drinking, the occasional fight and a soothsaying dwarf court jester named Jepp who lived under the table. On top of that, he kept a 350-kilogram, boozed-up moose that would run around entertaining party guests until it died falling down some stairs in a drunken stupor. A tyrant and a madman, Brahe was known to throw people he didn’t like into his personal dungeon without a trial or any regard for the law. But he was also a genius who designed and calibrated the most precise astronomical instrumentation of his time. The body of work he left behind was eventually taken up by his star pupil, Johannes Kepler, who used Brahe’s discoveries along with the newly invented telescope to come up with Kepler’s laws of planetary motion — a foundational tenet of modern astronomy. Myth has it that Brahe died from poisoning, which is only half true. He actually died after holding his pee for too long while out on a bender — this turned into a bladder infection that eventually killed him. Brahe was immortalised 50 years after his death by his colleagues, who named a gigantic lunar crater in his honour.
09/17 COUCH TIME THOMAS AGATZ T
HE weather outside is cold and miserable. How lucky are we, then, that we have Thomas Agatz bringing some warmth to this issue with such an incredible shoot? Proving that simplicity works best, he takes one Penthouse babe, one camera, one couch, and creates a series of pure magic.
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KURBAGLIDERE 112*180 CM (2015), AN OLD RIVER IN KADIKOY/ISTANBUL. OPPOSITE: GRAND BAZAAR 120*180 CM (2015), THE GRAND BAZAAR IN ISTANBUL IS ONE OF THE LARGEST AND OLDEST COVERED MARKETS IN THE WORLD
P H OTO E S SAY
Turkish photographer Aydin Büyükta’s Flatland series (I & II) forces us to consider landscapes from a new perspective. Inspired by Edwin Abbott’s book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, Büyükta collaged multiple images in photoshop without effects to create photos that appear to have been inspired by scenes out of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Either way, they’re mind bending. Fun fact: each single image consists of about 18-20 photos.
BUS STATION 109*180 CM (2015), ESENLER BUS TERMINUS, IS THE CENTRAL AND LARGEST BUS TERMINUS IN ISTANBUL
SULTANAHMET 120*160 CM (2015), THE HIPPODROME OF CONSTANTINOPLE WAS A CIRCUS THAT WAS THE SPORTING AND SOCIAL CENTRE OF CONSTANTINOPLE, CAPITAL OF THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE
CROSS ROAD 95*180 CM (2015), MALTEPE/ISTANBUL
FORD OTOSAN 110*180 CM (2016), FORD OTOSAN IS AN AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING COMPANY BASED IN TURKEY THAT IS EQUALLY OWNED BY FORD MOTOR COMPANY AND KOÇ HOLDING
GALATA BRIDGE 106*180 CM (2015), THE GALATA BRIDGE IS A BRIDGE THAT SPANS THE GOLDEN HORN IN ISTANBUL.
BY GUY RUNDLE HE public and AFL footballers… If ever there was a story of disappointment, overadulation, passive-aggression, and schadenfreude (joy in another’s misfortune, m’lord), it’s encapsulated in the thrills we get every time we log onto a news site to see what some 19-year-old who can kick a ball has done next. Though this has to be done with a degree of ritual obeisance to trauma (‘learning and growing’), and the medicalisation of everyday life — ‘X, who is paid $X million to kick a ball, is struggling with depression’ — what we really like is the spectacle of young guys screwing up. I mean really screwing up, I mean not having a clue about how anything works. ‘X, centrehalf-forward for the Hobart Daddies, the AFL’s new 20th team, crashed a limo into Crown Casino while trying to freebase with a tiki lighter which set fire to the gorilla mask he was wearing. His companions, the Matildas Seconds, were unharmed.’ We love it. The actual playing of the game now definitely takes second place. Eventually the matches will be abolished altogether, and points will be awarded to teams for their players’ weekly screw-ups, with the most comprehensively disastrous going-on to win the coveted premiership trophy, which they will then lose in a Macau brothel. Beats football, which is actually kind of shitty and boring. That’s only the first part of the story. After more events like this, and being counselled about their ‘public role’, X will have some total collapse, check into rehab a few times, have court appearances for sentencing to punitive community service, appear on the ABC’s Australian Story — which counts as punitive community service — spend two years, 11 months and 29 days of a ban working with troubled kids, and on the 30th day… be found with two powdered rolled-up fifties in his nose and an inflatable sheep, in that same Macau brothel. Watching all this, some people say that footballers are wasting our time and their lives. Quite the contrary. This is a vital public service. In technical anthropological terms, every society has need of Dionysian figures: heroes who dwell in excess, and burn up the accumulated detritus of civilised living. In simpler terms, the world needs screw-ups. In Homer’s Iliad, the founding story of civilisation, Greece is almost lost because Achilles is in a snit about Agamemnon stealing his girlfriend. The gods who stalk the myths are always accidentally creating whole river systems because they overturned a giant wine cask, and a thousand people drowned or some such. Were we to favour only order, regularity and good sense, we would not be a society. We would be Germany.
Footballers fulfil this function for us on our behalf. Beyond a certain point in life we are too busy to screw up: too many responsibilities, costs too much, lower back pain, a new season of Silicon Valley has just been uploaded. Like everything else in our world, absolute inability to get one’s shit together is subcontracted to expert consultants. That’s footballers. AFL footballers, it has to be; League players are just fridges on legs. Everything they do is ugly and squalid. AFL players are light and lithe — their game demands judgement, skill and grace. They are dashing, or to use the technical League term, homos. When they fall — a la the great moment when Sam Newman was hospitalised with a broken leg after an angry blonde ran over him with his own car — they fall from high, like Icarus, burning up as they go. Rock stars used to perform this vital function – in that longdistant era when Aussie Rules TV rights were sold for millions (only millions in those days), while its players got eight bucks a game, a job in the chairman’s office, and all the pies they wanted (“Mmm, those are good pies,” they said). Rock stars were gormless kids who could play a guitar or kinda sing. The record companies came along, they were sucked up by the tractor beam of fame, sucked off in 747s, and spat out of the exhaust. Not any more. Now music stars have no sooner had a hit than they’ve bought a mansion — that they don’t trash — a clothing label, a restaurant chain, and are eagerly seeking branding opportunities. They buy into all that is deadened and crushing about contemporary existence, and throw it back at us, for the sin of liking what they do. Not footballers. They get a bit of money for doing not much, and they piss it all against the wall — usually one at a nightclub at the north end of Chapel Street in Melbourne. To judge by the stories, reports, court cases, text messages and sentencing documents, they have no real idea what they’re doing or why they’re doing it, and a lot of the time it doesn’t seem to make them particularly happy. That’s the spirit. That’s what we need. Now especially, as football — once a sport with deep roots in local communities, a genuine space for social life — has become a corporate feeder for screen content, a hollowed-out ruin of its once-proud heritage. If we’re going to rip it all up, then we should be led by a ruck rover riding an on-fire stolen motorbike, with a crack-pipe up his arse, a real dog’s head in his lap, and a screaming Sunrise presenter in the nurse’s uniform from the cover of the Ratcat album clutching him from the pillion, as they both go into the Yarra. Long may the big men fly. When asked who his AFL team is, Guy Rundle always replies “University Reds”, which no-one finds annoying.
CRASHED A LIMO INTO CROWN CASINO WHILE TRYING TO FREEBASE WITH A TIKI LIGHTER WHICH SET FIRE TO THE GORILLA MASK HE WAS WEARING
THE UNFAIRER SEX BY BETTINA ARDNT HAT’S going on here? Clementine Ford, the well-known feminist writer, is now proudly describing herself as a ‘boner killer’, and no one voices a single protest. Can you imagine the outrage if a man were to boast of his delight at turning off women? Or celebrated his talent at causing their nether regions to shrivel up like dried-up old prunes? It reminded me of letters I regularly receive from older single women, complaining that the men they meet have trouble getting it up. With online dating coaching now my major day job, I’m privy to all women’s dating woes. When it comes to women putting men down for having a capricious penis, I’m pretty tough on them. I tell them we wouldn’t like it if men went around complaining about our loose vaginas or elusive orgasms, would we? But that’s just the point. Women today are given absolute licence to demonise men. Rubbishing men is the fashionable fascism of millions of women – and many men, too. Boys are growing up in a world where their fathers are always in trouble, men never seem to get it right and no man ever receives praise for his achievements without some woman chiming in to complain that she could do it too if the patriarchy wasn’t crushing her hopes and dreams. In particular, men are in trouble over sex. Men are in strife for not keeping their trousers zipped, for groping or harassing women, men are caught out looking at pornography or gazing at women in the wrong way. Yet what we never hear about is the incredible restraint of so many men. Men have up to 20 times the level of testosterone that women do, yet most keep the lid on their desires and remain faithful even in largely sexless marriages. I’ve been writing about men’s issues for over three decades. I started my working life as one of Australia’s first sex therapists and spent years talking about sex on radio and television. This meant everyone told me their most intimate secrets and in the process I learnt a lot about men and their lives. I witnessed first-hand the shift of power in relationships that occurred over the last 40 years. We
now live in a time when women’s wants and needs are endlessly given priority over men’s. Issues that really matter to men – like being able to expect some sex in a marriage – just never make it onto the public or private agenda. We face a constant stream of propaganda demonising men and praising women. Just look at the issue of who works harder at home. In Australia, as elsewhere, we regularly see the media promoting studies on housework, leading to a rash of headlines talking about the huge load on women and how little men do to help around the house. What’s missing from this data is the total hours worked – combining paid plus unpaid work – which shows men work just as hard overall as women do. Australian men average twice as many hours of paid work as women, with their hours of paid work increasing dramatically when they first have children and wives often drop out of the workforce. No one ever talks about that. Just as no one ever mentions men’s shrinking leisure time – there’s been a steep drop in men’s out-ofhome leisure time from the mid 70s. These days few men dare drop into a pub for a beer on the way home – which is a major reason why we’ve seen a steep decline in neighbourhood pubs in this country. No more weekends spent playing golf or tinkering with the car. And no more thanks for men for working so hard – men’s working hours keep rising yet gone are the days when wives would credit men for supporting their families. What’s changed is women are no longer dependent. Wives have the power to walk out of relationships in which they aren’t happy, and they are doing so in droves – two-thirds of relationships are ended by women. And men know they risk losing everything – most importantly their children – if she decides she’s had enough. Men are on the back foot and they know it. Turning to broader issues, there’s the so-called ‘wage gap’, which is relentlessly used to support affirmative action to promote women’s progress in the workforce – ignoring the numerous
studies showing almost all of the gap is attributable to women’s work/lifestyle choices, preferred areas of employment and inability to promote themselves. Then there are differences in healthcare. When a woman loses a breast through mastectomy we’ve been taught to understand what a blow this is to her femininity; there are endless support systems in place, and government money for breast reconstruction and prostheses. Yet a man who loses the sexual functioning of his penis after prostate cancer surgery receives not one cent from the government towards the costs of penile rehabilitation. I’ve been campaigning for years about this and don’t understand why men aren’t marching in the streets for the right to an erect penis.
WIVES HAVE THE POWER TO WALK OUT OF RELATIONSHIPS IN WHICH THEY AREN’T HAPPY, AND THEY ARE DOING SO IN DROVES Look at education. What started as a sensible push to remove barriers to girls’ school achievement has morphed into an education system which plays entirely to female strengths. I was writing about boys’ education back in the 1990s as parents started to speak out about boys filling the remedial classes, falling behind, dropping out of school and universities. We had a parliamentary enquiry which led to a string of innovative policies, most of which were dropped when the Coalition lost power. Now 60 per cent of Australian university graduates are female, yet still our university administrators are obsessed with finding ways of further promoting female academics, and encouraging women into the few remaining areas where women don’t dominate.
Our universities are becoming an increasingly hostile climate for male students, with feminists promoting scare stories about a rape culture on university campuses. At the moment we are watching a cooked-up rape culture campaign being rolled out in Australia. Just as happened in the US, we’ve been presented with a shonky survey – from the Union of Students – suggesting 73 per cent of female students experience unwelcome sexual behaviour. And our Human Rights Commission is now spending a million dollars on another self-selected survey bound to produce equally alarming figures. It’s all designed to set the scene for our universities to be pressured into the type of crazy ‘yes means yes’ sexual consent regulations now compulsory on many US campuses, which are ruining the lives of many young men. Men who find themselves before kangaroo court tribunals set up to deny males any chance of proving their innocence. Much of what I have talked about so far is trivial compared to the devastation occurring in men’s lives as a result of our increasingly biased family and criminal law system, where false allegations of violence and sexual abuse are now being used to tilt the system firmly in favour of women who choose to be vengeful and destroy their ex-partners – with lawyers egging them on. After years of writing about all these issues I’ve decided it’s time for action. None of this will end unless all of us get very busy working to change the cultural dialogue, end the demonisation of men, achieve fairer laws, stop the take-over of our universities by anti-male rules and regulations, take on the biased domestic violence industry and work to promote an end to all family violence. Bettina Arndt trained as a clinical psychologist before becoming well known as one of Australia’s first sex therapists. As a respected social commentator, she was invited onto government advisory committees covering issues from family law to childcare and ageing. She is a vocal advocate for improving Men’s rights.
AUSTRALIAN PENTHOUSE November 1986 Model: Jenny Caiphness Photographer: Daniel Nolan
READERS UNDED R 15 YEARS UNRESTRICTED M (Mature) NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE FOR MEN NOVEMBER 2016 ETHAN HAWKE INSIDE THE FUTURE OF WARFARE DITA VON TEESE BARES ALL TOM FRAUD: LATE NIGHTS CITY LIGHTS HIGHLIFE: URBAN FUTURES TECH: D