FXUPRESIDENTINTERVIEWSEATSTUDLO VEUNISPORTSROUNDUPFALMOUTBEEFE STIVALRETURNSFXUPRESIDENTINTERVI EWSREASONSTOBEFEARFULPART2“IGO TTHEARTIN”FRESHERSFORTNIGHTRESI DENTEVILAFTERLIFE&HALOREACHREVIE WEDBALANCINGACTAUTUMNALDELIGH TSSTUDENTHOUSINGDEBACLECONTINU ESREDVSBLUE:WRITERSDEBATEEDMILI BANDTHECOMMERCIALISATIONOFSTU DENTLIFEONRAPEANDOTHERLITERAL ISMSAUCTIONFORTHEPROMISECLUBAD EGREEOFCONFORMITYWANNADANCE?U SEACONDOMPOLYREOPENSITSDOORS ISSUE 11 OCTOBER ’10
ello to you! I hope you thoroughly enjoy reading Flex’s second issue of the year. This issue sees lots of diversity, ranging from the highs and lows of Fresher’s Fortnight, to the realisation that there are no houses left in Falmouth/Penryn. Be sure to “Wear a Condom if you wanna dance”, be inspired to read a new book. And last but not least... was Your Face In The Place? Flex is getting stronger issue on issue, and without the support from students, Flex wouldn’t be able to bring the lowdown of student happenings to you. So, if you want to be part of this exciting team, get in touch. Flex offers work experience that’ll look great on your CV. It’s not only journalism that provides this either. Flex uses Photographers; Publishes Student Artwork, Offers PR/Marketing experience, there are opportunities in Editing, Proofing, Designing and Illustrating. If you think you can offer anything, Flex would love to accommodate you.
FLEX does not receive any funding from the Universities of Falmouth/Exeter or the Union FXU, making FLEX the fourth Independent Student Newspaper in the UK after Cambridge, Oxford, and UCL. This makes being part of FLEX all the more exciting and rewarding, knowing that you’re offering your time for a private endeavour, besides studying for your degree. Be sure to keep up to date with Flex. Follow us on Twitter – FLEXNewspaper. Join us on Facebook – FLEX Newspaper. Use our brand new Website – www.flexnews.co.uk. See our Hardcopy every 2/3 weeks around campus. Again, I thank the entire FLEX team for making Flex what it is. Everyone is vital to making Flex happen, so a massive thank you all. Managing Director/ Chief Editor
he Guardian’s TV critic Sam Wollaston described scenes of the 33 Chilean miners’ res- aroused had the entire cast of “The Only Way is Essex” been deposited in the San Jose mine shaft, cue as like Big Brother but “you care”, the BBC provided comprehensive coverage from the whole thing accompanied by a celebratory Sky News graphic: “17 out of 17 idiots put in the hole”. the rescue site mixed with some thoughtful and moving scenes demonstrating just how Now there’s some compelling TV we can all get behind. much the miners’ safe return meant to the people of Chile. In general, media coverage Rant aside, in a year that has seen Haiti ripped apart by an earthquake, thousands more soldiers for the rescue echoed the outpouring of support and relief demand civilians killed in Afghanistan, the oppression of people “The entire cast of "The Only Way is onstrated worldwide by a public fascinated with the culmination in places like Iran and Burma, not to mention countless other Essex" deposited in the San Jose mine of “Los Treinta y Tres’” 69 days trapped in Chile’s San Jose mine. atrocities and disasters that have dominated news output, the shaft, the whole thing accompanied by a There was a sense that finally here was a major news story that plight of the Chilean miners gave people around the world the celebratory Sky News graphic: "17 out of could make everyone feel real pride in humanity’s power to enchance of a collective sigh of relief and a few hours to revel in the 17 idiots put in the hole". Now there's some dure in the toughest of circumstances. This sense of good feelfact that humans are sometimes capable of great things. As much compelling TV we can all get behind.” ing was thankfully only slightly jarred by Sky’s characteristically as anything it was refreshing to see the positive impact that can heavy-handed coverage, featuring a scoreboard-style graphic be made by an all-powerful international media that is too often showing how many miners had been safely rescued (ominously hovering on “0 out of 33 miners res- reliant on the power of shock and trauma to capture public attention. cued” for the first few hours) which made the whole thing look like a poor computer game. With the next shock inevitably just around the corner, the comic David Schneider strove to keep feet If Sky only partly distracted from the sense of hope and jubilation surrounding the rescue, a mo- on the ground with his open letter on Twitter reminding news providers to beware that their winmentary flick over to ITV2’s “The Only Way is Essex” threatened to remove any good feeling. Just ning formula of grief and fear is not abandoned: “Just to remind you today’s an inverted news day. five minutes of this fake-tan-tinged turd was so anger-inspiring that being trapped thousands of Please ensure all “And Finally” stories are tragic and depressing”. feet below ground for weeks seemed strangely appealing compared to 45 minutes in the company Chief Editor of these truly awful stereotypes of Essex life. Upon realising that we have to share our oxygen with Paul Tucker these people it was hard not to start thinking about the differing emotions that would have been
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STUDENT HOUSING PUSHED TO ITS LIMITS Text Nicholas Barret UCF’s bid to become ‘Arts University Cornwall’ by 2013 has pushed the accommodation situation in both Penryn and Falmouth to its very limit. The merger between Dartington College of Arts and UCF took a leap forward this summer when staff and students moved from Devon to Tremough. Unlike last year, some 200 rooms in the Glasney Parc student village have been converted into double rooms to take on the extra learners. As well as converting rooms at Glasney the accommodation office has also leased out homes in the private sector including Flats at The View & Montezuma House but this still left 200 students without housing. Private sector accommodation is also heavily over stretched, an employee of Townsend accommodation, who specialises in find-
ing houses to rent to students claimed that they had run out of properties to let for the new term as early as mid August. Ioakim Brammer, a second year student, emailed FLEX claiming that the accommodation office had suggested that he live as far away as Truro, Redruth or Camborne and that his friend had even been advised to defer. “This is because the university has not worked things out very well at all. If there are 1400 students wishing to stay in halls when there are only 600 rooms available, who is working out the maths for all of this?” Ioakim said, adding “I think I am speaking on behalf of all of the students in my position at the University of Falmouth, as this is a total shambles”. A big university in a small town was always going to have trouble accommodating the large number of students required for it to compete with others. However UCF seems to have become a
victim of its own success and its ambition of enrolling the extra 800 needed by 2013 seems destined to become increasingly problematic. In an online statement issued by Rich Pearson the accommodation office wrote “UCF needs to grow in order to thrive in these challenging times. Whilst other universities are experiencing large cuts, UCF is being funded to grow because of its capacity to contribute positively to the regeneration of Cornwall.” So is UCF growing at unrealistic and unsustainable pace? The university can create as many spaces on as many courses as they can possibly afford but that won’t change the fact that Penryn and Falmouth only have so many places for students to live. Email us your thoughts at email@example.com or tweet us @FLEXstudentnews
BIGGER AND BITTER BEER FESTIVAL Text Natalie Palmer Falmouth Beer Festival is back on the 22nd October at the Princess Pavilion and it is set to be bigger and better than ever before. The event takes place at the Princess Pavilion from 11am until 11pm for two days, and will cost just a £3.50 entry fee for non-CAMRA (Cornwall branch of the Campaign for Real Ale) members. With a range of over 200 ales, the organisers of the event, CAMRA Kernow, anticipates that it will be the most successful and largest Beer Festival so far. CAMRA has also designated October as national Cider and Perry month, which seems fitting as there will also be around 50 ciders and perries on offer at the festival, as well as alcoholic ginger beer to expand on last year’s huge selection. The Falmouth Beer Festival can be said to have one of the largest ranges of cider and perry in the UK and it’s also the biggest annual
beer festival in Cornwall, with free entertainment on Friday evening and all throughout Saturday in the festival hall. At the festival there is a token system to ensure that people attending can get served quicker at all of the bars. These tokens can be bought on entry and if unused by the end can be refunded, or alternatively donated to CAMRA’s chosen charity. CAMRA Kernow Branch Chairman, Darren Norbury, added, “The Falmouth Beer Festival is always great fun and particularly well supported by locals and people who travel from far and wide to be there. We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone come and enjoy themselves again this year.” For more information search: 2010 Falmouth Beer Festival on Facebook.
LIBRARY PETITION SUCCESS Text Connor O’Brien Tremough library and IT suite has extended its opening hours to 24/7 due to a petition created last year on social networking website Facebook. The petition was created by law student Jungi Shafi in May last year to extend the opening hours from the usual midnight closing time, with the aim to give the students of the combined universities further access to the resources within the library and IT suite, which is an essential necessity in any further education institute. “The initial impetus for the petition was to create an environment for students to complete work, and conduct essential and necessary research with ease, however; Tremough Library’s limited opening hours were a hindrance to this.” said Jungi, who gathered 642 online signatures to put forward to Tremough Campus Services. Tremough Campus Services announced the 24/7 opening hours in September, ready for the arrival of the new first years, including the newly relocated Dartington students. “Throughout the petition I had been in contact with the TCS, and continuous pressure from students was the overriding factor which persuaded the TCS to extend their opening hours permanently,” said Mr Shafi. As well as the influx of new students from Dartington, the overcrowding within Glasney Parc Halls would have also played a role in forcing TCS to reconsider the opening hours for those estimated 400 students in shared accommodation.
It is a necessity for these students within shared rooms to have a place to study away from their twin rooms. However TCS had already notified Jungi of the extension in opening hours, “I am sure it further confirmed the extension,” said Jungi. Woodlane library located on the Woodlane Campus in Falmouth will be running its usual late night opening hours this term, till 8pm Monday to Thursday. For further information on opening times and resources visit http://library.falmouth.ac.uk/homepage.asp or follow them on Twitter @FXLibrary
“THE POLY IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE” Text Ben Perks After some months of uncertainty as to whether the Poly was to close its doors, former trustee and consultant Kieran Clarke says that it is hopefully here to stay. The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society (known by many as the Poly) is now boasting an array of Art House cinema, theatre productions, stand-up comedy, live music exhibitions and cabaret all in a venue drenched with local history. “The intention is for it (the Poly) to become a major player for theatre touring schemes around the country and to have an excellent comedy night” said Kieran. The RCPS is hoping to have as much community input as possible, and is encouraging students to get involved with Falmouth’s cultural hub. “A lot of Dartington students have already come in and said how beautiful a space it is. It’s all about getting students in and making use of the building, that’s why we’re encouraging students to become members” said the consultant. The society has already gained 450 members and aims to embrace Falmouth’s community and to not treat students and other people local to Falmouth as separate groups, but to help bring them together. “We want students to come show their work as independent artists without the labelling of students – it’s a professional opportunity” said Kieran. The Poly has been encouraging innovation since 1833 and played a key role in the development of many important inventions including the pneumatic drill, the microscope and the use of dynamite. In 1843 it demonstrated the then new art of photography. The society has attracted significant demonstrations in years gone by including Alfred Nobel who demonstrated nitroglycerine for the first time anywhere in the world in 1865, earning the society a mention on the Nobel Prize website. However, in January 2010 the commercial arm of the Poly, called Poly Trading, went into liquidation resulting in many believing that the Poly would have to close its doors to the public. This sparked the ‘Save Our Poly’ campaign. “I started the Save Our Poly campaign in January, and that just escalated and grew - it was remarkable. There was then a meeting in May and nine new trustees were elected; all people who wanted to do their bit for the charity” said Kieran. There are also 15 new board members committed to dealing with the difficult finances, restoring the use of the building as an arts and scientific hub and to gain support from the community to establish the Poly as a major arts venue in Cornwall and the UK. To get involved and to help ensure that the Poly doesn’t have to close down, become a member of the society at the annual price of £20 or £30 for two people living at the same address.
To become a member visit the Poly on Church Street, or for more information contact them on 01326 319461 or visit their website at www.thepoly.org
GLASNEY OPEN NEW CAFE Text Connor O’Brien A new Glasney Café is due to open this month on Tremough Campus. Managed by Tremough Campus Services with FXU partners, Koofi will be aimed at the residential students living on Tremough Campus as a place to socialise during evening and weekends, but during the week will be open for all students studying on the campus. The café itself will have around thirty seats inside, as well as outside seating, and will be open 7 days a week with long opening hours, to be announced. It will serve Starbucks coffee, together with a range of salads, soups, paninis, sandwiches, and snacks, all at reasonable prices, lower than the ‘High Street’. In the evenings it will be open until 9pm as a pizza takeaway. Along with the new performance centre, Koofi is another step in the expansion of Tremough Campus, providing another space to eat and drink, to cater for the rise in the number of students living within Glasney Parc accommodation.
A NIGHT OUT WITH A DIFFERENCE Text Ben Perks Soft play and lazer-tag centre, Raze the Roof, has opened its doors in the evenings to offer students an alternative night out. Raze The Roof in Penryn, boasts a fully licensed bar and a “frame of fun” (play area) with super fast slides states The Venue’s Facebook page. Ensuring a different place for late night fun from Falmouth town or the stannery on Tremough. The Idea came when Raze The Roof started to host private parties. “We did a few VIP parties and they were really successful, and we just thought students would love a different night out.” Said manager, Amy Growcott-Smith. he Venue combines childhood fun with the adult addition of alcohol, with the aim of creating some entertaining nights to the student population of Falmouth and Penryn. “We had our first night on Saturday October 9, that went down really well. We’re now going to open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.00pm to 1am. Admission is free and we only charge two pounds for a game of lazerbeams (a lazer-tag game which involves taking on your mates in a shootout).” Said Amy. “We’ve got everything and more to make your night out amazing. A bar stocked full of cold beers, laid back sprits, throat-numbing shooters and of course the mighty sensation that is the Jagerbomb. We play the latest tunes, the classics and all your requests with a bit of cheese thrown in, because we know you love it really.” States the Facebook page. For more information, including tailored packages for private bookings, prices and upcoming events view the facebook page, www.facebook.com/thevenue.penryn, or give them a call on 01326377481.
SAINSBURY’S PROPOSE LARGER FALMOUTH STORE Text Ben Perks Sainsbury’s are preparing to apply for planning permission to replace the existing store with a bigger, modern purpose-built supermarket. The original store is located on Dracaena Avenue and was converted from the Co-op in 2009. “The existing store has proven very popular with Falmouth residents, but our customer feedback has shown that the store is not big enough, and shoppers would like us to provide greater choice and a wide enough range of goods to cater for a weekly shop, without having to drive to Truro.” “We are currently in talks with Cornwall Council about our plans
and I look forward to sharing them with the public very soon.” said Ben Littman, Sainsbury’s regional development surveyor. The larger development would create another 350 jobs on top of the 150 at the current store and would stock a larger range of goods within an energy efficient store. The new development would be built on the plot of land adjacent to the current store and they intend to use the current store for nonfood retailing, under an agreement from the Council. Plans for the new store will be displayed at a public exhibition in town where local
residents will be asked to give feedback on the scheme and will be announced within the coming weeks. The application is planned to be submitted in November once feedback has been received. “We are glad Sainsbury’s has been well received in Falmouth and we would really like to be a bigger part of the community and provide shoppers with the choice and quality a larger store can offer,” said Mr Littman. The store will create job opportunities for the local residents and future students and will also help make use of the vacant land as you exit Falmouth at the roundabout.
FXU PRESIDENT INTERVIEWS Text Ben Perks
Kristy Wallace, Exeter University President How are you finding being FXU Exeter President so far? Definitely the most stressful yet exciting job I have ever had. We have been working non-stop since July and the wide range of experience gathered has been mind blowing. Do you feel fresher’s was a success this year and what would you say have been the highlights? I thought all the events were actually pretty good. We seemed to get very good feedback from the people that came along. Even some of the Flex reporters! Gramaphonzie was meant to be one of the highlights of the fresher’s fortnight but is thought to be one of the poorest attended events in Stannary History, why do you think this was? Unfortunately there wasn’t a huge turn out to the event which was a shame and I think next year this event may have to be cut
Andy Edmonds, University College Falmouth President So how are you finding being FXU president? I love it so far, but glad fresher’s is now over and I can get on with the rest of the year. It’s been a hectic few months of planning and preparation. Do you feel fresher’s was a success this year, what would you say have been the highlights? Yeah I think fresher’s was a success this year. The highlights for me were the pirate party, Explore De Fal and comedy night. We have been working hard this year to make sure that there were a big variety of events and activities going on at Tremough campus and around Falmouth and Penryn.
due to the loss it has caused to FXU. The main thing was that we still got brilliant feedback from the people that did attend and all that matters is that they were happy. Also FLEX have heard that around 500 people were turned away from the Pirate Party who had been queuing outside, many of these having fresher passes. Are there any thoughts for next year on how problems like this can be avoided? Due to the high student numbers this year people were unfortunately turned away. This was only the people who turned up late and had not already purchased a wristband which would guarantee them entry. We even opened a second entry point to get the wristband people in quickly. If you had a wristband you were guaranteed entry unless security found they had a reason for the individual to be denied access. To ensure all wristband holders were guaranteed access we had a limit of 400 paying customers which was stuck to religiously. For those who did wait around, they were let in on a one-in one out-basis until the queue had gone. Prior to organising Fresher’s fortnight, FXU did look at
Gramaphonzie was meant to be one of the highlights of the fresher’s fortnight but is thought to be one of the poorest attended events in Stannary History, why do you think this was? The timing of the event was not the best, it was the first day of lectures for a lot of the students on the Tuesday. From feedback from students, the queue from the pirate party scared a lot of students away from attending the other fresher events. With the cost of getting acts to come down here this was why the tickets were £12. We will see if a DJ night is no longer wanted by the students in freshers. Also FLEX have heard that around 500 people were turned away from the Pirate Party who had been queuing outside, many of these having fresher passes. Are there any thoughts for next year on how problems like this can be avoided? This was the biggest crowd to ever try and get in to one of the events. The university is expanding so the demand to get into the
every option for trying to expand the capacity of the TCS venue (e.g. marquee, using outside space) but unfortunately this was not possible. To try to avoid this problem next year we have thought of selling tickets, but this may mean that some people will miss out on every event due to a lack of communication. This would be like selling fresher’s bands to the full capacity, which is unfair to those who can’t afford to, or don’t want to attend all events. This is still an issue that we are working on but due to the high number of submissions this year, the students union has been left in a sticky situation, struggling to provide for the large numbers. With freshers now over, what is your focus for the rest of the year? With freshers now over, I think we all need a huge rest but then it’s straight back to full steam ahead. There are so many student issues I would like to address and the focus is ever changing, but my main focus will be ensuring the students get there academic value for money whilst tackling any other issues that may arise during the year.
events is increasing. This is why we sell 800 wristbands to guarantee entry, we then sell a further 400 tickets on the door for those who can’t afford the wristbands to attend at least one event. Security will now get to the events earlier to help man the crowds. We have been getting as much feedback from students to see what they would like changed for future freshers. What is your focus for the rest of the year? Focus for the year is already being set after the amount of issues over the summer regarding various issues. I will be working to make sure that we get as many students as possible up to London for the NUS March against the education cuts in November. I am still working on trying to get a Falmouth Varsity of sport and performance event on the calendar. Issues such as accommodation fines and the relocation have not been forgotten and will be worked on throughout the year.
RED vs BLUE In this clash of the not so titanic political titans, the Red Corner (lefty treehugger Mark Burton) and the Blue Corner (Thatcher incarnate Aimee Burnham) battle it out on the subject of Labour’s new leader, Ed Miliband.
The Red Corner… The Red Corner is about to shoot itself in the foot. The Red Corner admits that it really has no specific problems with David Cameron or the coalition. Aside from the cuts that will undoubtedly bankrupt this country’s financial and intellectual future, the coalition appears to be running the country rather smoothly: the working class are yet to be utterly savaged, we haven’t gone to war over a rocky outcrop in the south Atlantic, and nobody even appears to have nailed Edwina Curry. Cameron and Clegg seem to be pioneering a new approach to government; level-headed, theoretically open to negotiation, paving the way for an era of bipartisan consensus. Unfortunately, when you realise that George Osborne is still the Chancellor, Andy Coulson is still at large and the same old ideologically driven Tories are back, it becomes clear that this happy coalition is not sustainable. Enter Ed Miliband. The new Labour leader embodies everything that is good about the current administration’s approach to governing without the rabid dogma and impending doom that comes with it. For a politician of modest experience, Miliband has shown maturity, intellect and no small amount of political savvy to propel himself to the head of the party. From relative obscurity, he has won over voters with a clear message and strong conviction coupled with a willingness to engage in debate and talk things through in an adult manner. Cameron et al. share this trait to only a small extent. They claim to be open to discussion, but in the end they rarely budge from
their initial proposals. The Tory attack dogs that have been set on Miliband in the last couple of weeks have proved this, decrying Ed as ‘flip-flopping’ on issues, i.e. changing his mind. Now the Red Corner may not think like everybody else, but say you were driving to London and took what transpired to be a wrong turn. Would you stay with it for the sheer sake of your principles, screaming ‘GODAMMIT MARJORIE I STICK BY MY DECISIONS!!”, as you hurtled inexorably towards Scotland? The Red Corner thinks not. If Miliband takes a stance on an issue and then finds out, in view of better evidence, that it is the wrong stance, does it make him wrong to change his views? It’s that kind of principle sticking, so beloved by the Tories, that got us into Iraq. The Tories are also entrenched in the past. This should come as no surprise, given that it’s all they ever talk about, but they seem to have come up with some really poor material this time. Ed, they say solemnly, is “A Union Man.” This assertion has led to a barrage of questions, questions like “A what man?”, “Are you serious?” and “What year do you think this is?” On this evidence the Conservatives are pretty much showing themselves to be Sam Tyler from Life on Mars: ostensibly from the present but actually living about thirty years behind the rest of us. True, Miliband may have got the backing of some trade unions, but this doesn’t make him their puppet. Far from it, if his disapproval of the BBC strike is anything to go by. More important-
ly, though, unions just aren’t a key player in politics anymore (thank you Mrs. Thatcher), and Miliband’s record shows that he is far more centrist than the traditional brand of union politician the Tories are comparing him to. If this is the best the right wing can throw at Ed Miliband, then Labour are laughing. Ed Miliband is a rare breed of politician, able to listen as well as speak, to take in information rather than just spout tired rhetoric. A former aide to Gordon Brown during the most fractious period of the Blair-Brown tussle, Miliband was known by the Blair camp as “The Emissary from the Planet Fuck”. Aside from being utterly hilarious, the nickname was bestowed in honour of Ed being the only person from the Brown camp they could have any dealings with. This ability to facilitate and discuss in a civil manner is one of Miliband’s strengths. His genuine passion for environmental issues and anti-war credentials are encouraging. This is the sort of politician this country needs. His approach offers us a genuine, not just temporary, chance to move beyond the destructively partisan, vitriolic, barelyconcealed hatred and blind left-right dogma fuelled politics we have so come to despise and which the Tories are already wheeling out to greet the new Labour leader. This chance must not be missed.
The Blue Corner... They say what we’re doing is ideological. That we are not doing what is best for the country because we are following an outdated dictat. That we suffer from the success of a previous Prime Minister who brought our country to its knees with her own personal views. Well, the Blue Corner says, wait one cotton picking minute! The cuts may be ideologically based, but its’ not as though their ideology did much better. In fact, every single one of today’s political parties’ ideologies are outdated dictats. Does anyone actually know what ideology means? No, because this is a rhetorical question as there is no actual definition of the word ideology and therefore what Labour are saying is, as usual, ridiculous. But, if we are going to go down this route of pointing fingers, let’s take a little trip down history lane... The history of Labour (a slightly prejudiced perspective)... In the beginning there were the trade unions and these trade unions made a lot of noise and achieved some very important things. Then some middle class people thought they would take up the fight, even though they didn’t need to be in trade unions as they were doctors or lawyers, and they created the Labour party. Now this party for some 20 years didn’t get into power because everyone knew they were idiots. After a world war, and the worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic, people were obviously a little confused so they voted Labour in a as a minority government. As soon as they recovered from the concussion/cough they re-
pealed their actions (with one exception) until after another world war. Everyone was obviously confused again and there they surfed on the post-war boom, greedily creating institutions that they had not financially thought through (and would be one of the things crippling us now) until the wave started to break and people realised that they could not manage an economy. They had followed a man called Maynard Keynes, who writing in the pre-war years had come up with macro-economic demand management. Yes, only Keynes ever understood what that is. But they had failed to noticed that the world had changed during the war so economic principles written before then really had little to do with anything in 1945 - even Keynes acknowledged this. So the Conservatives came in to save the day, kept everyone happy in the 1950s until we may have buggered up with the Suez. Yes we hold our hands up, we are not quite perfect - nearly though... So , Labour was given the majority of the 60s and 70s to play around with and what happened!!! The three day week happened, bodies not being buried happened, we went BANKRUPT, that’s what bloody happened. So, the apparently backward Conservative party had now a woman leader and first female Prime Minister. Not an achievement the apparently equality orientated left had ever thought to do. (The phase, do as I say, not what I do springs to mind...) And so, glorious things happened in the 1980s. We got our balls back. Even the trade unions had a purpose again, and
we crushed them. They were like grumpy old men, constantly pissing in their own pants and blaming you for it – however, they put up a good fight. Then we had a mini-recession (as mentioned, we are not perfect) and people decided that they would get political amnesia - granny had been buried some 20 years, it didn’t matter anymore that she had been left out in the street to rot for a week! So we got Tony Blair. A war criminal. Then Brown came along and decided to do his own thing. The Blue Corner actually quite likes Brown, he had principles and quietly but steadily he put them in place. Then, as per usual the Americans buggered up again and poor old Brown and the poor rich bankers got the blame. Suddenly some people woke up from their amnesia and saw what had been happening, silently kicked themselves and voted for Cameron. Many still have amnesia and voted for Labour, some genuinely wanted change but could go right and voted Lib Dem. So once again we are left to deal with the aftermath – it’s fine, we’re really, really good at it! So, what can Ed Milliband do for Labour? He’s sticking to their old rhetoric, old ideology and swinging back to the left. David would have been more of a threat as he may have carried on with the Blair path. But Ed, well, the Blue Corner just wants to cuddle him too. If the Blue Corner doesn’t take him seriously, it doubts many of the Conservatives do. Let’s sit back, relax and watch history repeat itself.
EAT, STUDY, LOVE - A STUDENT PHILOSOPHY Text Josh Martin With Freshers’ Fortnight over, third year undergrad Josh Martin offers a refreshing mantra for those about to embark on the real journey of university. Personally, I am willing to advocate viewing of Julia Robert’s new film, Eat Pray Love. Usually, films of this type have me leaving the cinema with a stale taste in my mouth, certain that at least one grain of originality could have been thrown in for the sake of the cynic in me. This time, though, I was refreshingly surprised, although I will not offer a definite opinion here – the film is still showing at Falmouth Phoenix Cinema and I will let you be the judge. The rub here is that, however unintentionally, the film’s philosophy for a happy existence can be equally applied to us here at university, as I came to realise when diving into my cupboards for a snack the next day. I don’t know what I was looking for – hunger no longer seems to be synonymous with eating, rather eating seems to equate with boredom, and I was revisited by Julia Roberts’s character’s words on the subject. To paraphrase: ‘I’m not hungry for anything! I have no taste for anything!’ And it occurred to me that a chore students often find so odious (and thus skip the process altogether) is cooking for themselves and finding the right things to eat without becoming bored out of their minds or spending inordinate amounts of money. With this in mind, I would like to advise you about the importance of a good breakfast. It can be the best and most fulfilling meal of the day – and the most indulgent. Some of us get by with nothing more than coffee in the morning, which I will not advise against, as long as it is good coffee, but nothing can beat a good egg breakfast – fried eggs on buttered toast is amazing, scrambled eggs with loads of salt and pepper, poached eggs are cool but a bit of a pain if you don’t have ramekins or that magical ability to put them in a vortex of boiling water (my attempts turn into eggy water – it’s not pretty). My favourite egg breakfast, though, is the humble boiled egg. It’s healthy, it takes three minutes and it fills you up, especially if you try it with asparagus soldiers. If you’re really that hopeless at cooking you could always head down to Willy Dynamite’s – Falmouth’s American Diner, behind Remedies for the best fry up you’ve had in a while. The second part of the film’s philosophy, Pray, is an altogether more difficult doctrine to master. At university, Pray will only get you so far, which is why here I must suggest Study as its alternative, although the same amount of determination and discipline is involved. Studying is obviously a vital part of university life, but it is not all of university life. Study too much and you may find yourself feeling isolated and alone; study too little and your grades fall to tatters.
Some of us have that lucky ability to retain information we are given and are naturally gifted at writing essays, sitting exams, or filling a sketchbook (you know who you are, you jammy bastards). However, very few of us fit this fortunate profile, and so I’m afraid what it must come down to in the end is putting your head down and getting what needs to be done, done. This does not have to be the long, hard slog it sounds like, though. What I’ve found useful is treating study time like school: I’ll go in at 9 or 10 in the morning, get to the library, and make sure I’m there until at least 4 or 5. The thing to remember is that there is always something to do, and you are free to take as many breaks as you like. Off the record, I recommend smoking as the perfect reflective pass time, although some of you may wish to simply stretch your legs, go to the gym, or get a drink at the Stannary (in study time you are allowed one drink, after, the bar’s your oyster, so to speak). I recommend at least three study days a week – although you should avoid the library at weekends – not doing so may result in an unpleasant virus known by many as ‘geekitis’ which causes glasses
to grow from your face, your hair to part in an unnatural grease curtain and your shirts to be perpetually stained by ball-point pens. Stick to three days a week and you should find a pleasant feeling of self-satisfaction beginning to creep up on you. By Friday, it’s time to party, which leads me to the last part of the film’s mantra: Love. Resisting all temptation to be twee or sappy, Love is pretty much the reason most of you are here, and you will find it to be the backbone of your university life. I’m not talking necessarily of romance, but of friendship. Eat and Study as much as you like, but they mean nothing if you have no friends to eat with, or no one to meet up with after studying. Which leads me to the most important part of this student philosophy: find people you really click with, people who make you laugh, people who’ll give you a healthy dose of piss-taking, people who’ll keep your feet on the ground here. You’ll need them. After three years here, you’ll want something to show for it, and I can guarantee the friends will be worth more than the paper that says you’ve graduated.
A DEGREE OF CONFORMITY Text Matthew Smylie Originality. Individualism. Creativity. All traits you would think would be recognised and celebrated throughout a person’s lifetime and career; particularly if the said career is within a ‘creative’ field. School: typically uniformed and regimented, tend more often than not to discourage such differences. They usually recognise them as unusual and too different to the established mould of success; exam results are all that matter. Does University do the same? The next step within the education system, (the stepping stone to a preferential career), is a stage that one would think would promote such a thing. Seemingly not. University appears to adhere to the same notions as the schooling system before it. Make the criteria, fulfil them, and receive a good mark based upon them. Granted, with some courses this would seem to be the obvious thing to do. Zoologists have very little need to embark upon an inimitable and fascinating tangent about the breeding cycle of the Sloth, when what they are required to do within their career is be aware of the
facts. But, such is the nature of a career in creativity and one that revels in imagination, uniqueness is a pivotal key to success. Hunter S. Thompson is one of the most celebrated, and yet, most radical journalists of the last century. Would his ideas have gelled to any kind of established structure and idea of what journalism should be? No. David Lynch, surrealistic writer and director of such classics as ‘Blue Velvet’, is prided upon his alternative film making style and his twisted world views and characters. His films are works of art that defy and exceed normality. Without them, would he be a famed and respected creator? No. To take a contemporary and mainstream figure: Lady Gaga, with her strange, transgender, meat-dress-wearing-antics, are far from the accepted norm. If her creative, and altogether strange, streak had been stifled would she be the megastar she is today? No.
This calls into question the very notion of a creative university such as the Falmouth University of Arts. If the majority of students, be they fine artists, contemporary crafters or creative writers, are there to explore their imaginative spark, then why be constrained by the shackles of marking and grades. But then, without the shackles, what is the point of an arts university? Possibly it is just to nurture and provide a comfortable environment for a number of years, in which the students hone their craft, attempt to produce as much work as possible, and begin to get a foot into the doorway of their imagined future. Or perhaps this seeming creative curb is actually a type of sophistication. The process of adhering to boundaries and rules, with your work, is in an effort to eventually produce more sophisticated work that encompasses your own spark of passion with the knowledge and education acquired during these pivotal three years. So, maybe, just a degree of conformity is a good thing.
WANNA DANCE? USE A CONDOM Text Francesca Geary Most of us remember the scene “I carried the watermelon” in Dirty Dancing when Baby first discovers what real dancing is. It’s not about standing on your dad’s toes while he waltzes around the dance floor. It’s about true passion between couples. It’s sexy, it’s sensual and you can’t help but get turned on by Patrick Swayze’s hips. Today, the sexiness appears to have evaporated and been replaced with ‘bum-in-crotch’ to some song telling “shawty” to get “low, low, low, low.” Dancing no longer seems to be just about having a laugh with your mates, letting loose after a stressful week of work, or even spotting a cute guy across the dance floor and holding their gaze for so long it creates sexual tension. It has become “literally a free pass to touch someone” as a friend of mine mentioned. It’s the pre-mating ritual and at the end of the night someone is always expected to pull. But why do we do it? According my friend, Lena, it’s for the no-string attachment: “We’re so bored of being alone we do it to get close to the other person. It’s like a mini relationship without it being an actual relationship. At the end of the song we go our separate ways, most of the time.” While it’s something that kills the single life boredom, it’s also a confidence booster.
Let me set the scene; you’re dancing in the middle of the dance floor, and a pair of arms come up around your waist. You turn around to see your mystery man. Let’s just say he wasn’t a man of your taste, maybe he was balding or he decided to let his hands stray a little too low. Whatever the matter, you would tell him to f *** off and gossip about him to your friends. Except the next night you go out, no one comes up to you. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? A drunken Australian girl once said to me: “When they don’t hit on me? I wonder if I did something wrong, maybe I’m not sexy enough.” No wonder the boys expect us to get with them, they get confused with the signals we give off. I think, by now, the boys are so used to our “miscommunication” that they’ve learned to brush it off and move on. But for those of you who think you have to dance your barely covered bum to meet Your One’s crotch, don’t sweat it. According to a couple of trustworthy guy friends: “It’s definitely not about meeting The One in a club. If I wanted to talk to her I would meet up somewhere else. Clubbing is an easy place to show interest in someone.” At least someone has their priorities straight.
THE REALITY OF EXPERIMENTING WITH DRUGS Text Charlie Derry As September’s Hollyoaks focuses on a group of freshers and the effects that drugs can have, what is the reality of experimenting with drugs whilst at university? A new year at university begins, and we will be faced with many challenging situations related to drugs. But we must ask, is a five minute high really worth it? Drug use amongst young people is on the increase. The majority of drug related deaths and injuries come from a lack of understanding of the effects and what to do if something goes wrong. But nobody can simply say, “Don’t take drugs!” and expect a response, especially at university, when the chance to experiment and make the most of things is now. Cannabis and cocaine are the most commonly used drugs with both adults and young adults. At some point, the majority of people are going to experiment with them, and many other forms of drugs, to some extent. The question involving drugs at university is more likely to be when rather than if. All there is to do is to give warning of the negative side of drugs rather than trying, and failing, to put people off them completely; when there is an understanding of the effects, there is an understanding of the risk. The storyline of Hollyoaks focused on a new cast of freshers
for a week as they settled into university halls and were faced with the issues and effects around the use of cocaine. Whilst only one character gave into temptation, the consequence of her falling off a building and ending up in hospital should have been enough to show how serious the effects can be. However, the cast remained completely oblivious to their friend’s near death experience from experimenting with drugs. It’s commonly believed that you can experiment with drugs as much as you like and not have to deal with any of the consequences. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case in reality. It’s only when you experience the effects of drugs first hand that you realise the seriousness of what they can do, either from being in a distressing situation yourself or witnessing somebody close to you dabble too much with what started out as a bit of fun. You will be made to think twice about whether the risk is worth it. Telling people not to take drugs is a waste of time, but you must have an understanding of what you are doing before you think, “Fuck it.” Know what you are taking and know the effects of what you are taking, both the highs and the lows. They may make the night that little bit more eventful, but not knowing what you are doing isn’t always a good thing.
REASONS TO BE FEARFUL PART II Text Michael Hawkes Reasons to be Fearful, Part II Following on from his piece in the previous issue, Michael Hawkes discusses the impact of a News Corp takeover of the British media. Imagine that you’re a hard-working student and you’ve spent all day writing that essay about that thing that’s so interesting. I know, the concept is foreign to me, too, but stick with it. You get home from your long day of study to realise you’ve missed out on the day’s goings on, and so turn on the evening news. Jon Snow’s lifeless, empty eyes stare out at you as he describes the scenes earlier that day at an English Defence League rally where brave patriots were beginning to ask the right questions. He rejoices that God-fearing Britons finally stood up to the sinister, government-backed Islamic invasion of Britain orchestrated by our suspiciously Muslim looking Prime Minister. He ends the segment by asking you if Muslims really are the driving force behind childhood obesity? This scenario may sound bizarre, but it is not dissimilar to the content put out by News Corp in America and not dissimilar to what British news may look like if News Corp gets its way. News Corp is the world’s third largest multimedia conglomerate and owns numerous news outlets across the world, including the New York Post, the Washington Times and Fox News in America. It is owned by one Rupert Murdoch, 177th in the Forbes rich list with a net worth of over $6.3 billion, and frequently alleged to be the cause of inferior journalism the world over. The largest amount of criticism lodged against his company in America is directed at Fox News. Launched in 1996, it is now America’s most watched news channel with a recent Pew poll showing that 49% of Americans trust Fox News to deliver them “fair and balanced” news, as goes the channel’s Orwellian tagline. The problem comes when looking at the reality of how “fair and balanced” Fox News actually is. This year News Corp donated $1 million to the Republican Party to aid upcoming election efforts. Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan recently revealed that during the presidency of George W. Bush that the White House routinely sent memos to Fox News containing talking points for Fox to use to frame current events favourably for the administration. Considering the campaign launched against Muslims over the summer, culminating in the smearing of the Islamic community centre Park51 into a terrorist training camp, it is not difficult to see how deeply Fox News is tied to the Republican Party and the ease in which
its content can be manipulated at the whim of partisan political interests. Here in the UK, News Corp owns The Times, The Sun, The Sunday Times, The News of the World, 39% of BSkyB (Sky News etc) and has intention to buy the remaining 61%. Such a deal would give them an unprecedented scope of multimedia dominance of news in Britain, and there is already mounting pressure on Business Secretary Vince Cable to request that Ofcom conduct a plurality test on any deal. While impartiality laws in Britain keep Sky News remarkably less partisan than Fox News, it is worth remembering that America once had impartiality laws too. When corporations as large as News Corp can exert significant political pressure on British government, allowing bills stripping us of our rights like the Digital Economy Act to be rushed through parliament without proper debate, should we be willing to bank on future legislators not succumbing to corporate lobbying? Lord McNally, the Minister of State for Justice, warned, “In the 1930s, we were afraid that the fascists would take over the government and then control the press; in the 21st century, there may be a danger that the fascists will take control of the press and then control the government.” This proposed deal comes at a time when News Corp are facing fresh allegations by former News of the World employees of a systemic culture of illegal activity at the paper; the previous year saw their royal reporter Clive Goodman imprisoned for hacking into the phones of royal aides. More troubling are the allegations that the Metropolitan police favoured the Murdoch paper by cutting their investigation short, withholding evidence, and not informing victims of the phone hacking - reducing the chance of News Corp facing additional legal action. The Commons Media Select Committee concluded: “we are concerned at the readiness of all of those involved: News International [the British arm of News Corp], the police, and the PCC to leave Mr Goodman as the sole scapegoat without carrying out a full investigation at the time”. The editor of the News of the World at the time of the illegal activity was Andy Coulson. He is now David Cameron’s Director of Communications, an appointment that troubled the former Business Secretary Peter Mandelson. Mandelson claimed the Conservatives had struck a deal with Murdoch; exchanging media regulation and BBC policy favourable to News Corp for the support of the Murdoch press in the recent general election and beyond. Labour MP Tom Watson has called for the resignation of Coulson pending an investigation into the alleged collusion
between News Corp and the Met. The Labour party themselves won the support of the Murdoch press for their 1997 centrist New Labour revival. Tony Blair’s Director of Communications at the time, Lance Price, dubbed Murdoch the 24th member of the cabinet as no decision could be made without taking his opinion into account. It is an unfortunate reality that no government has been able to be elected over the past three decades without the backing of Murdoch’s considerable influence. News Corp is currently on a campaign against the BBC in an attempt to get its claws hooked into Britain as it already has in America. At last year’s Edinburgh TV festival, James Murdoch, Chief Executive of News Corp Europe and Asia and heir to the Murdoch media empire, claimed that the BBC had become too dominant and risked harming private news outlets. “Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish … Yet it is essential for the future of independent journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it”. These words would perhaps sound more sincere if Sky were not currently under investigation by the Competition Commission at the behest of Ofcom for
their behaviour and dominance in the pay-TV market. The British public now has to face the prospect of News Corp controlling the dialogue of our national media in the way that they control America’s. This is a corporation that has played a large part in making demonstrable lies become the facts of American national discourse on a range of political issues. From Park51 being a Terror Victory Mosque, to Barack Obama being a Muslim (a lie that 20% of Americans now believe), News Corp’s Fox News is there to nudge public opinion towards the despicable under the guise of “asking questions”. Some particularly depressing questions they have asked in the past include: “Why the fuss about torturing people who want us dead?” and “Gitmo ruling and NY Times: Is America soft on terror?” when torture by Allied forces was revealed; “Civil War in Iraq: Made up by the media?”, “All out civil war in Iraq: Could it be a good thing?” and “The #1 President on Mideast matters: George W. Bush?” when the invasion of Iraq turned sour. Don’t forget some variety favourites: “Canada: An enemy of the United States of America?”, “Global Warming: Great for business and economy?” and “National Healthcare: Breeding ground for terror?” This is not a left-right political issue for Britain. Any sobering look at the brand
of American corporatism that News Corp propagandises is enough to make any die-hard British lefty go out and hug a Tory. The issue is whether we want our political and media landscape to be degraded to the state of disrepair America has found itself in. Where partisan lies and innuendo are the norm rather than an annoyance we must put up with and where quality journalism is pushed to the sidelines and ignored. Make no mistake, America has quality journalism, it is just ignored in favour of fearmongering to a far greater degree than in Britain. Neither should you think that the British press is not already in shambles, one need only look at the recent spectacle over Foreign Secretary William Hague’s private life to be rid of any such illusion. Indeed, statistics compiled by Cardiff University show that up to 70% of newspaper content in Britain is straight wire copy or PR company press release. This does not, however, mean we should be at ease with the prospect of our media becoming even more useless. Would you truly be happy if outfits like The Sun and The News of the World controlled the national dialogue rather than only influenced it? Yes or no, perhaps now could be the time to write to your MP and voice your opinion.
THE COMMERCIALISATION OF STUDENT LIFE – GOOD OR BAD? Text Richard Shepherd
In the wake of Fresher’s Fair, Richard Shepherd discusses the pros and cons of increasingly commercialised student living. Funny, isn’t it? I always imagined student life to be a sociable, privileged affair in which I would float around in a big black cape surveying books on a dusty shelf, before downing a cup of watery hot cocoa in a room clad with offensively odorous oak panelling. After lunch, I believed, life would become a narrative of cricket games, practical jokes on the Dean, and using those mortarboard things as improvised Frisbees. Of course, this odd dream of academic tomfoolery is just that – a dream. Well it might be true somewhere, Oxford probably, and in Harry Potter novels (minus the wands), but the point is however you imagine your university career to be, student life is sold in a certain way. This in itself is perhaps not a problem. Old folks are old. They like knitting, gardening, pottering in the shed and reading Saga’s over 60s cruise brochures. Farmers farm. They like wearing Wellington Boots, spreading muck and drinking tea. We can all, generically speaking, group each other into groups and speak roughly about what those groups in society do with themselves. Of course business people quite like that because they know, if they can get all the farmers in one place, they can do a roaring trade in wellies. The same goes for students. How do you feel about that? The FXU Fresher’s Fair was heaving at the start of term. Businesses from all over the Falmouth area congregated in the Stannary to vie for your attention. There’s no denying it; since filling out that UCAS form all those months ago business men and women all over the country have had their eye on you. You’re a student, you love life, your bank account is brimming with money you haven’t had to earn, and according to Campus Group, you: “have more leisure time and more money than any other sector of the youth market.” Well the drinks are on you then! Campus Group is a market research company specialising in providing big businesses with an insight into the student
market. We are: “early adopters of new trends”, according to Campus. Are you? Loving your new iPad there John? We are: “Living away from home for the first time making independent purchasing decisions”. This is perhaps true of some of us. In other words businesses see us as fruit on a tree, ripe for the picking. If they can hook us in now they can hope to keep us and develop some brand allegiance. 87% of freshers are aged 18-24, so it’s easy to believe we are easy targets for marketers. Whatever happened to my dream of a world filled with pure intellectual stimulation? Where is my mortar board? Jack Wills, ‘the university outfitters’ no less, goes some way to offering me the chance to fulfilling this dream with terribly nice stripy scarfs to wear and tracksuit bottoms to prance about in, whilst reading Keats under a tree on the cathedral green. And, to a certain extent, the mortar board does come into it, ( just a bit later on than I first imagined). In a modern world, students study their backsides off reading this and that, but outside of studying, we’ve moved on from university being a drafty, elitist place where custard is sliced not poured. We are not a group of solitary thinkers hidden behind a wall of heavy looking books – thank goodness for that – We should feel empowered by our commercial potential. Sure, the market is exploiting my position as a young person with money, a new found freedom, and essentially, nowhere to hide. They know where you live…on campus. But all this Orwellian commercial cynicism can’t be a good thing, can it? We students, despite being more diverse than a fruit salad made in the Royal Botanic experimental orangery at Kew, have become a group in society just like any other. Farmers want wellies; old folks want Saga cruises, and we want pizza, cinema tickets, Asda Smart Price, Rick Stein’s, Cornish Rattler Cider, and curiously, National Trust membership. Or at least those were some of the products being offered to us at FXU’s Fresher’s Fair. And yes I do want fish and chips actually, and to be honest, I wouldn’t say no to a bottle of Rattler either.
The benefit of being in Higher Education, however, is that you are obviously quite clever. Not like Einstein clever, or ‘I invented the internal combustion engine’ clever, just – you know – not dumb. This means, despite what Campus Group think, you can make your own decisions about what you buy and don’t buy. Crikey, I saw the freshers coming out of FXU’s fair with rucksacks full of Subway vouchers, free milk shake cups and a plethora of leaflets, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend a penny on mega-salami-huge-side-salad subway special offers, or buyone-get-three-half-price-pink-Thursday cinema tickets. Then there was the Endsleigh insurance man. Wasn’t he nice? Tall, handsome, someone you wouldn’t mind chatting too. You giggle nervously as he compliments your hairdo. Oh, where do I sign?! Yes, insurance is exactly what I need but when I compared Endsleigh contents insurance with the regular contents policy I took out at the beginning of this year, it turned out to be three times more expensive…and yes I did add on the ‘accidental-be-sick-over-everything’ cover. So if you’re cunning, and employ a modicum of wit about your day to day life, it is quite easy to take advantage of the dazzling special offers businesses are offering in Falmouth without being suckered in. The commercialisation of student life is for one thing true, and for another, there for the taking. No one’s making you buy Endsleigh insurance or Jack Wills jumpers, but at the same time thank goodness we are not all mortar boarded up in a common room filled with horsehair stuffed chairs. I suppose our estimated combined annual spending power of £15 billion has to go somewhere and at least we have the choice over where it goes: Fresher’s Fair or no Fresher’s Fair. I know what I’m spending mine on: some chilli flavoured bonbons to offer the Dean next time I bump into him on the boules lawn.
FXU Executive Elections Vote or be voted for the 7 remaining exec positions. Would you like to be an FXU Officer? The positions are: Campaigns Officer
How was Freshers?
We hoped you loved Freshers’ fortnight as much we did. We would like get your feedback on the best and the worst, new ideas and suggestions.
(Planning and organising campaigns in the interest of students)
You can find our survey on www.FXU.org.uk
Community Action Officer
What’s been done!
(Planning and organising CA events and volunteering)
(Planning and delivering a range of events)
Environment and Ethics Officer
(To promote environmental and ethical good practice to students)
Equal Opportunities Officer
We have had a busy start to the year here at FXU. Apart from planning and delivering Freshers’ fortnight we have had our hands full with helping students with accommodation, finance, academic support and a whole variety of issues. This is a year of change, with the relocation of Dartington and the campus expanding; we are bound to have growing pains. The FXU is here to make sure that all students are supported and represented at all times.
(To promote equality of services for students)
Here are some of the things we have done so far:
(To promote FXU activities and events and develop design opportunities for students)
(Planning and delivering fund raising events for charities) Deadline for nominations is 12 noon on Monday 25th October. All you have to do is complete a nomination form and a manifesto for the role you are interested in and hand in to the FXU office. Grab a nomination from the FXU office now or check out the FXU website www.fxu.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruiting for FXU Student Council now!
Want to create change for the better for students? How about being a student representative on the FXU Student Council and make a difference in improving yours and your fellow students’ experience? All you have to do is check the conditions of the rep role you are going for (Academic, Halls, International and Open), then complete and return a self-nomination form and you could be selected. Deadline for nominations is 12 noon Friday 29th October 2010. More information and the nomination form can be found on the FXU Student Council page of the FXU website www.fxu.org.uk or email email@example.com
- Helped many students find accommodation. - Helped many students with finance. - Represented students in academic appeals and disciplinary hearings.
- Eased the process of the Dartington relocation - Worked with the council and police to maintain positive -
relationships for students in the community and keep this area one of the safest in the country Volunteering to save Christmas in Penryn by putting up the Christmas lights email Working with the new Café on Tremough of which we take 15% profits to go back to our services for students. Gaining 15% of the profits from the Stannary Bar at Tremough to go back to our services for students. Received sports funding for Exeter students
Keep your eyes and ears open for the rest of the year and see how you can get involved. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, issues, concerns or ideas with us. If you are an eager beaver and want to get involved or find out more, get in touch.
University Cuts To ensure that we are up to date with student’s views and needs we are holding referenda on the FXU’s involvement in the protest against university cuts in London on the 10th of November. Stay alert for further information over the next few days.
Text Rhiannon Williams
California-based artist Mia Christopher creates beautiful mixedmedia paintings, balancing angled bodies with prowling cats in a bright and dream-like world. Mia talks to Flex about her cats, influences, and late night ice cream binges.
How would you describe yourself and your work? “I’m a student and artist currently living and working in San Francisco, California. I grew up all over the United States, but consider my homes to be both Chicago and San Francisco. I started attending art school in 2006 at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, but am currently finishing my BFA at California College of the Arts as I took time off to work in between transferring. “I live in my studio apartment, which is 90% work studio and 10% sleeping and eating space. I share it with my two cats, Bruno and Eloise. They like to watch me draw, and sometimes I let them indulge in my late night ice cream binges. “My work revolves around a lot of issues that I consider to be very personal, but expressed in a universal way that makes it relatable to the rest of the world. I am interested in the notion of balancing many roles at once, and the struggle of a working relationship. It’s sort of like a machine, where one thing depends on the other in order to reach the goal. Characters can help or hinder another in their journey. Sometimes I think of my work as a sort of imaginary newly-discovered folk art from some unknown era and location, but mostly I consider it to be an expression of my own internal ideas and an evolution of concepts and imagery.” Where do you draw inspiration from? “Inspiration comes in so many shapes and sizes, it’s hard to narrow it down. I am greatly influenced by the relationships formed in my life, and how I relate to people and environments. I have had times in my life when I am very close to someone, when I have a partner. I am at a time in my life now when I don’t have that person to turn to or to lean on, and that has shifted my work in many ways. Good or bad, I always take something from relationships, friendships, family, and apply that to my work somehow. It’s inevitable for aspects
of my personal life to take form in the work in some way. “Investigation of my own childhood is another inspiration of mine. Even if the work isn’t directly about any of these things, I have great passion for the books I read as a child, the games I played, the toys I treasured, the stories I made up in my head, etc… I grew up the only child in the house (I have a brother but he is much older) and so there was a lot of time to spend in my imagination. “Collections of small toys, old buttons that belonged to my grandmother, found objects, and so on are displayed in my studio to bring me happiness, luck, and inspiration. I surround myself with what I find aesthetically pleasing, but keep it in order so I am not completely overwhelmed with imagery when I am working in the studio.”
Who are the cats in your pieces? Do you have any pets of your own? “I do have two cats of my own, they are dear to me and we have been together for four years now. They are brother and sister and they love each other and entertain themselves (and me) 24 hours a day. They sleep together curled up into one little ball, and it is so cute I want to melt. When I come home they are often posed together in some sweet position where it looks like they are getting ready to be featured in a cat calendar. They lift my spirits, so in some ways maybe the cats in the artwork are little spirit animals. They are often friends to the figures, sitting on a shoulder or nestling into their arms. The cats are powerful, and unconditional; loyal, loving, soft, sleepy, beautiful, and connected. My work is often about connections, either making or breaking, and the cats may assist in these actions.” Which artists/ designers do you most admire? “Another tricky question! Where to begin? There are so many amazing artists throughout history that I admire, and there are so many young artists and illustrators working today whose work continually blows me away. A short list of my all time favourites would be: Kiki Smith, Eva Hesse, Henry Darger, Wayne Thiebaud, Amy Cutler, Maira Kalman, Clare Rojas, Camilla Engman, Sarah McNeil, Maria Forde, Allyson Mellberg-Taylor, Mogu Takahashi, Dash Shaw, Jeffrey Brown, and Megan Whitmarsh. “I realize it’s an eclectic range of artists, but it’s so hard to narrow it down to just a few favourites. I also do a lot of research on Inuit art, Native American folk art, Swedish folk art, basically any type of folk art is fascinating and inspiring to me.”
Describe your typical day. “It all depends on if I have classes that day, or what projects do I have coming up that I need to work on. On a typical day, I wake up and eat some cereal. Lately I’ve become addicted to Captain Crunch Berries. The cats wake up beside me and stretch out in the sunlight that shines in over my bed, as my bed is surrounded on three sides by windows (which I hear is bad luck, but it’s quite pleasant to rise with the sun). I’ll answer e-mails, do some research, and begin to sketch. I might start a piece, or finish one I’ve already started. I may mount some works if I’m getting ready for an exhibition. Of course, I must feed the cats. Every few days I make a run to the post office to send out orders. I’ll draw all day and listen to old episodes of This American Life. If I can, I prefer to work in my studio all day, and munch on sweet snacks like ice cream, brownies, cake, and candy. I really like to bake!” If you had to pick another career, what would you choose? “I love to use my hands, so something like hand-painting fabrics or wallpaper could be a satisfying job. I’ve also always had a strong passion for animals, so being a zoologist or working for a non-profit organization like the Society for Marine Mammalogy would be ideal for me. “My dream growing up was to open a “Mia Store”, with all of my favourite things. It would have an old-fashioned ice cream soda fountain, penny candy, art, local jewellery, and vintage clothing. Maybe even a pizza parlour in the back! It’s not something that I would ever really pursue because it’s not very realistic, but I’m sure if I ever did open a shop of my own, it would be some amalgamation of the things I dearly love.”
What advice would you give a student in their last year at university? “Think about the next year, and the year after that, and after that. Don’t just make a plan for the next couple of months. Enjoy yourself, celebrate your accomplishments and look forward to the future, and continue to work hard towards it. If you work as hard as you can towards what you wish to achieve, everything will fall into place as it should. “Make the most use out of your resources at university. Print photos in the darkroom, rent out cameras, screen print, etch, paint in a large studio, fire your work in the kiln, cut your wood! Take out a book or more from the library every week, even if it’s just to reference images. Especially if it to do just that, in fact! “The things that you get in school that you don’t get as readily in the real world are, being surrounded by artists all day and engaging in frequent critiques, and having the use of many resources. These things are not to be taken for granted, and if you don’t use them now you will likely regret it later. I returned to school because I was finally ready to utilize all of the resources to my advantage, and it has been wonderfully helpful.” Thank you Mia!
To see more of Mia’s beautiful work, head over to:
www.miachristopher.com or www.flickr.com/photos/readinginbed
“I got the art in, even though it was not in the curriculum” Interview with Marianne Sturtridge | Text John-Paul Somerville
Walking to meet Marianne I can’t help but hope the rain clouds that have been forming over my head since I left my house, foolishly wearing just a shirt on a late September morning, trying with blind optimism to tempt an Indian summer, are not an omen for our interview. As they burst into a light mist I’m trying to deduce whether light rain is a good thing or a bad thing, and as the mist turns into an aggressive downpour I stop my deduction. Fortunately the rain was not an omen, and Marianne’s house is a welcome sanctuary from the world outside. I’m greeted with a big smile and cup of coffee. Her house lures you in; beginning with the mosaic lining her doorway floor, examples of her creativity beam out at you from every recess. Clearly, making artwork has never been anything but enjoyable for this woman; she has successfully blurred the boundaries between homemaking and work-making. Born and educated in Belfast, Marianne moved to Devon in 1978 after studying Art and Drama at Manchester and has been settled there since. I met Marianne in August of last year during the annual open studios of The Artists of the Tamar Valley, a collective of artists practising in and around the Tamar Valley. I remember being struck by the enthusiasm and energy she had for all areas of her practice. Her work is diverse, ranging from oil painting to clay work, silk screen printing to collage, watercolour to etching, to murals, to mosaic, to sculpture, and that’s just what I noticed on the brief walk from her front door to garden shed. She talks about her work and the artists who inspire her with the passion of an over-stimulated foundation student. Ten minutes in her company is more motivational than a three hour Paul McKenna marathon. It was not until our second meeting that I discovered the enduring interest that underlies all her work: teaching; in particular, teaching the mentally handicapped, “the teaching has always been the great love for me“. She retired 5 years ago from her post at The College of Further Education, until then teaching somewhere or other since settling in Plymouth 32 years ago. From humble beginnings as a volunteer at a youth community centre, to a primary school teacher, secondary school teacher and then on to her post at the college, with numerous public projects in between. Discussing her experiences with handicapped students, Marianne goes on to say, “My special interest is in teaching art to people as an aid to recovery and releasing hidden potential“, which is achieved through a combination of formal art teaching, educational therapy and art therapy. I’m surprised to hear of the struggle she’s had with institutions and individuals when promoting these ideas. She was told when posted as a member of staff at the College in the 80s that ‘art is for children’. Surely her success with art as therapy in the past and her decorated resume by this time should have been persuasive? “This was a different time with different attitudes,” Marianne tells me. “Shortly after, the government passed a bill specifically to allow access to funding for mentally handicapped adults“. Attitudes were changing it would seem. Despite resistance, Marianne had great results with the students, “some couldn’t write, others had speech problems and as a result were rarely asked their opinions or spoken to, so art was a great way for them to communicate. In that sense I was using art much more as a therapeutic tool.” “Was their work good?” I inquire. “Yes,” she tells me, with the enthusiasm of a mother for her own child’s doodles, “I’ve collected a lot; they’re in my attic.“ I steer the conversation towards her background as an artist, interested to hear of practical advice and experience from a veteran of the game. I know her career has thrown challenges her way, having already discussed the arrival of her first son, immediately after graduating from Manchester. Have you always found it easy to produce work? “Making art can be a very isolating pursuit, but it’s also about community. It can be hard to keep motivated when you start to think, ‘why am I doing this?’ Making art but I should be paying the bills“. It seems even stretches of uninterrupted production are
not free from complication: “you create more and more. What am I going to do with all this stuff? I’ve filled 2 attics now.” I imagine it’s quite satisfying looking back at all the times of uncertainty, with the assurance that it all came good in the end? “You have to think about the practicalities of earning a living. I have been able to use my art as a way of making money. I started off volunteering in youth and community centres in Efford and Southway and went from there“. It is apparent that Marianne’s infectious positivity has aided her success, combined with an impatient attitude towards laziness, something nobody could accuse her of, “people, students, whichever city, need to research what is available to them, ask themselves, in addition to doing art what else am I reasonably competent at, like actors, you go through a range of jobs but it all adds up, it’s all good, you use it. You realise this when you look back“. One avenue for graduating students, she recommends, is a PGCE, a 1 year access course to qualify you as a teacher. “It means that when projects come along in schools and institutions that require a teaching background you have a chance“, and these can lead onto other things no doubt. Encouraged by these ‘industry secrets’ I probe further, asking of her experiences with government funding and The Arts Council, something I see as an enigma. It’s not something she has such active involvement with now, but she used to read The Artist Newsletter, “I’m not sure if it’s still around but it has dates and times of funding panels and other useful information” Another ‘trick of the trade’ she offers, a gem in my opinion, is to approach areas of development, shopping centres, housing estates, places of growth really. Get in touch with the development companies and ask if they are interested in public art – often the government puts pressure on them to create ‘green spaces’ and the companies will jump at the opportunity of not having to search it out themselves. The interview is slowing down, I think I’ve encouraged enough selfreflection for one Thursday afternoon; one thing is remaining in my mind though. Marianne mentioned when we discussed her time teaching the mentally handicapped that she taught several subjects, Maths, English, the sciences and others, but she always found time for the great love she told me with a smile, ‘I got the art in, even though it was not in the curriculum’, I think that would make an appropriate title for this article.
“This was a different time with different attitudes”
Sunniva Johansen Text Kayung Lai Sunniva Johansenâ€™s image explores Freudâ€™s theory of the uncanny through her portrayal of Norwegian folklores. These images depict the darker undertones in Norwegian fables remembered by Sunniva growing up. The tension between the familiar environment within an unfamiliar context creates suspense yet beauty.
Ode to an Early Morning at Tremough Campus
By Alfie Prendergast
By Lauren Addicott
People talk about sleep Far too much when awake. They let lucidity slip by For competitive bouts Of who slept the least And who went without. “I am so tired; didn’t sleep till half three.” “Oh I long for the days when I slept at half three! For the last month and a half I’ve Been sleeping at six. With birds At my window and light Oozing over the horizon. You, my friend, are lucky, To be drifting off at only half three.”
Ball black absence of form. Too quick an un-line round The floor fly upside down Close to the ceiling of ground Licking the lacquer from my Side boards. Curved soft Wobbly tail up the drawers onto the marble. Expunge Onto crumbs, remnants of My sustenance. Lick a hundred Eyes and stroke leather wings. Explore my kitchen and all nooks . The leaves of a tomato spin And circle. Life in my kitchen, Our kitchen now. Just please Don›t leave any maggots.
Water Poems AS I SWIM I SEE BARRACUDAS, TWENTY FEET LONG WITH A HUNDRED EYES THE WARM, LAZY WATER ECHOES DOWN TO SHARP BARBS, LOST IN THE GREEN. BLUE. I EJECT WATER, A WHALE AND SWIM A LITTLE FASTER.
Ode to an early morning at Campus, the mingled smell of caffeine and damp grass, the freshness of the morning dew is replaced by the garish odour of coffee (4 sugars, no milk) as a boy with hair too long for his age trips over an uneven paving slab and the paper cup tilts too far and flings the precious nectar across the daffodils. In his mind this boy is still in bed, beneath a duvet that reeks of tobacco, enjoying dreams about what could have come of last night’s rendezvous if only he’d spoken to that girl in the blue dress. In his mind he is asleep, he grinds his jaw in frustration and excitement, and his fingers are flexing by his sides. He walks, but only because of the automated nature of his feet, they recognise the slightly-too-sharp gradient of the hill besides the bus stop, they recognise the ache in his calves and the begrudgingly slow pace at which the boy makes his ascent. Relying upon the astuteness of his lower body, his head lolls and his posture droops, the bag upon his shoulder falls slowly down, caught only by his out-spread fingers. He lifts his eyes to the grey dome above him, knowing the temperamental disposition of the Cornish sky, this day could be a bright one, filled with blues and yellows and oranges, bookended by the sun rising and setting with astonishing beauty over the horizon. But for now it is damp and humid, tacky upon the skin, akin to the stickiness of a day-old spill of rum upon a countertop. Reaching the top of the hill the boy finds small salvation in the form of a breeze, lifting locks of uncombed hair away from his heated neck and blowing upon his closed eyelids. The boy heaves his bag onto his back and breathes, slowly and deeply, unwilling to hear the call of academia that bawls in demand from the library doors, opening and closing in the path of other students. Another breath, deeper than before – and let’s go.
COLD Slice hand into salt Paddle hand under arm. Haul arm over head. Breathwatersaltbreath Eyesheadforwardsarms Splayoverkick Up armsaltbreath Watershouldersalt Spraywatercurrentdrag Bodyforwards. Backwards If there was no water I would be dizzy. Dig deeper and the stones get smaller, more water between the pebbles. The undersea underneath the mud and crushed mantle. Whenever I see an animal wild and free I want to catch it and eat it.
October 1st 2010
UV Horns and Halos FRESHERS FORTNIGHT
FILM RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE Text Harry Woodard I wasn’t expecting much from this film. The last film I saw Milla Jovovich in was Ultraviolet, and it was, in my opinion, unoriginal, excessive tripe. I’ve seen the other Resident Evil films and thought they were rather decent as zombie entertainment goes, particularly the first film. Some elements of the new film did meet my low expectations, due to the fact that the plot was essentially a re-hash of the storylines from the other films. The central ass-kicking character Alice (Milla Jovovich) finds herself alone at the beginning, and after discovering some survivors they escape together from hordes of zombies only to end up in some gargantuan climactic battle. Other faults include the fact that the entire cast that aren’t zombies are built like Hollywood supermodels; and that some scenes could be argued as rip offs from other films. Indeed, almost every shot from the opening action sequence feels very much like shots from the Matrix. Furthermore, the main villain kept reminding me of a rather bulky Agent Smith. If already you’re fans of the Resident Evil franchise you may be a little peeved that the promising cliff hanger at the end of the third film, in which Alice has mastered her superhuman powers and has an army of clones at her disposal, is swiftly resolved in the very opening of this new film. Despite this, Alice
still manages to survive everything thrown at her, including a plane crash into a mountain. Thankfully, this film is not all bad; if you’re looking for something fresh and radical, whether concerning the Resident Evil series or modern horror in general, you won’t miss much seeing this film. However if you want to kill some spare time watching a rather decent zombie film, full of truly exhilarating super slow motion action, rather nifty and disgusting zombie body part effects and surprisingly few cringe worthy moments, thus allowing us to empathise with Alice’s isolation; then you could do worse than this film. The fact that it’s in 3D doesn’t hurt either. Expecting to get bored of this new fangled technology, I was surprised to find it kept me entertained and amazed all the way through. Nevertheless, along with the other Resident Evil films, this instalment is rather short on gore, preferring to focus on the effects-laden fight moves, which I find criminal as far as zombie films go. Also, annoyingly when this film reaches a rather satisfying conclusion it brings up a fresh mammoth cliff hanger. As my expert friend said, so long as they keep making the games they’ll never stop making the films. Such information fills me with exasperation rather than excitement. Good entertainment but nothing new.
SHUTTER ISLAND Text Joe Hawke I would not usually think of writing a film review, but I felt I had to write a review for this one. Shutter Island, based on Dennis Lehane’s bestselling novel, sees Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for their fourth film in recent years. Awardwinning films Gangs of New York and The Departed offer a high level of expectation from this duo, but Shutter Island is surely destined to supersede these. Already being tipped for a forthcoming Oscar and Bafta, I dare say this is their best attempt yet. The opening scene is clever in that it depicts the two Marshalls (played by DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) on a boat amidst gale force conditions and dark weather, which Scorsese evidently uses as a catalyst for his eventual representation of the Island, as a dark and sinister place for the criminally insane. Marshall Daniels, played by DiCaprio, is portrayed as an unnerved and untrusting man, with obvious problems in his past, which are regularly unearthed in virtually every scene. The film’s atmosphere is one of tension and suspense, with Marshall Daniels becoming more and more agitated by his task: to catch an escaped prisoner from the Island’s asylum. But DiCaprio’s supporting actor, Ruffalo, does seem to fade away during the course of the film, however this is no cause for concern as Ruffalo’s distance is more than compensated for by a stand-out performance from DiCaprio; one
that is noticeably influenced by Scorsese’s directorial dexterity. As the story unfolds then, it becomes clear that Marshall Daniels is on the Island for another reason than simply helping to catch the escaped prisoner; a reason that he struggles to really understand throughout the film. Although on one level this film is about escaped prisoners, psychotic inmates and suspect procedures, it also goes a lot deeper than your basic crime thriller. Paramount to understanding what Scorsese and DiCaprio were trying to get across is the date that the film is set in. The constant threat of lobotomy and mind control that the inmates and Daniels are threatened by during the course of the film, have direct parallels to the era of ‘McCarthyism’ in America during the 1950s, where there was paranoia of a communist threat and delusional claims of ‘brain-washing’ by the government. Magnifying this in expert fashion, this film offers a statement on such practices. Chilling, mysterious and politically adept, this is a gripping film for any film buffs or anyone who just wants to see a great film and be made to think about it! This is DiCaprio at his very best.
TV HOUSE Text Alex Raffle If you aren’t already familiar with this exceptional medical drama, you really should get acquainted. Here’s a quick synopsis just in case you need it; Hugh Laurie stars as Gregory House, a misanthropic but brilliant diagnostician with a tendency to only accept the most complicated and puzzling of cases, and the show has a ‘monster-of-the-week’ format (an episodic antagonist) but in this case complex medical mysteries. It’s well written, highly entertaining and addictive, and it is a pleasant surprise that a show as good is yet to be cancelled by Fox (think Arrested Development or Firefly.) Now if you aren’t up to date with the show, you should probably stop reading now as it’ll be hard to talk about the new series opener without revealing a few spoilers. Come back when you’ve caught up. So we were left, quite abruptly, at the end of series six with House losing his patient from the collapsed building and about to throw away his sobriety, when Cuddy arrived and came to the rescue. Wait a minute, this has happened before one series ago and it turned out to be a hallucination, what are the writers trying to pull? No, this is definitely happening and that’s where we begin. So in the new series is going to try and finally answer the
‘Will they? Won’t they?’ and that’s what the premiere episode is about. It beings right where series six ended and the main focus is the House and Cuddy relationship as they proceed to take the day off and hide out in House’s apartment, filling the day with board games and sex, all the while awkwardly trying to figure out their relationship without talking about it. It’s hard to say yet whether by doing this House has jumpedthe-shark (the moment when a show reaches its peak) but we will find out over the coming series if this risk pays off. The regular format is downplayed in this episodes subplot; following the backlash of Cuddy taking the day off, the hospital is short on Neurologists and the only one available has come down with some sort of crazy food poisoning and that’s the medical mystery, it’s not much but it provides the comedy of the episode, but the first treatment doesn’t really work out and well there isn’t much that’s funnier than a stoned neurosurgeon that really doesn’t want to stay dressed. It didn’t have the same impact as the previous series opener ‘Broken’ but it’s a strong start to what could be a great series of a great show.
BONES Text Ed Holman Bones is in its sixth season and is airing on Sky One on Wednesdays. Much has changed, but within a couple of minutes before the title screen, the team is back together and Bones and Booth’s romance continues. Relationships are strained between the main characters, which allows, (in ‘Bones-like fashion’) for comedy to ensue. The first episode is driven by a kidnap case with a political twist. Throughout the episode, relationships are repaired and by the end of the episode everything is back to normal – back in the old lab – which is predictable. However the exchanges between the cast get better and better with its amusing dialogue. This has always made it more enjoyable to watch than procedural shows like C.S.I, and Law & Order because of the quirky characters that entertain and make us smile at every turn in the plot. As much as I enjoy watching Bones, (I’ve seen every episode), more and more recently it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It’s quirky, funny, and smart, but it isn’t thrilling. Furthermore, the first episode shows the writer’s unwillingness to change anything; it seems they don’t want to rock the boat before it ends its course. They feed the fans the same old story lines, and then turn around as if to say, “it’ll be different this time, I promise!”. Bones may seem as if it’s the ‘cheating boyfriend’ of television,
but it isn’t the only show guilty of this. This is what happens when a good television series makes money: they keep it alive until it burns out. This is why a lot of changes have been made to main character’s lives and relationships: to keep them busy throughout the series while they deal with strange murders, and decide what colour clothes their newborn baby should have. It has become more about the drama of their relationships with each other, rather than how they solve the murder, or in fact deal with their emotions towards the crime. It’s becoming a soap opera. I’ve never been a fan of that format, as it gets old and repetitive too soon, even with the new episodes. If you’ve never seen Bones, or have only got half way through, I would suggest watching seasons 1 to 5, as that is where it should have ended: on a high note. Unfortunately for season 6, you would be taking your chance; you have been warned! I hope it turns itself around and we are given answers this season that we’ve all been waiting for. A decent long story arc about a stranger serial killer would be a nice surprise, which they’ve done in previous series. In its current state I give it 3 out of 5, and there is eye candy for all!
BOOKS ONE DAY
DAVID NICHOLLS Text Alex Blackman I chose ‘One Day’ in a blind, ‘I need a holiday read’ frenzy. Drawn in by Waterstones’ 3 for 2 offers, this year’s choice of ‘holiday reading’ was, I admit, more hasty than educated. Adorned with rave reviews, promising ‘a modern classic’, I had high expectations. Two weeks in I was glad I had stumbled upon this truthful portrayal of human redemption. Nicholls revisits Emma and Dexter on the 15th of July, twenty years following their first meeting in 1988. Northern Emma moves to London to work in a Mexican restaurant. She dates and moves in with Ian, a wonderfully hopeless stand up comedian. Meanwhile, Dexter goes travelling, or ‘avoiding reality’ as Emma says. Stumbling upon a ‘career’ in the media Dex presents the late night show largin’it. Absorbed by his minor celebrity status, Dex wades into a life of sex, drugs and ill informed choices. The prose is witty, slick and alarmingly truthful. Dexter’s struggle to realise his self worth, underneath his arrogance is crushingly poignant. Two women that he truly loves, his mother and Emma, are the only characters in the novel to reach him through the ennui of his post-graduation years. The loneliness of our flawed protagonists made me want to believe in their eventual union, to believe that Em and Dex needed each other to love, to feel alive.
The underlying sadness is difficult to escape; Emma is in love with her best friend. From Emma we learn that the hardest thing is to express a love for someone when you feel for them to such a high degree. ‘Just kidding is exactly what people write when they mean every word’, Emma says writing to Dex. I couldn’t help thinking that she wrote it anyway. This novel narrates the cruel triumph of fate over those who passively dream that life could be different. After finishing the novel on the plane it left me thinking that Nicholls made a valuable point on the possibilities friendship opens up. This novel is about how friends and lovers bring out the best in an individual, even when their efforts are constantly marred by personal disillusionment. My friend who has also read the book commented saying it should come with a PG rating. After laughing initially, I thought she had a point. Dexter’s selfish bravado, Mrs Mayhew’s bourgeois outlook and Emma’s dead end job in the TexMex are all funny but they are also tragically sad. The hopelessness which underlines this novel makes for a devastating realisation that life often is a disappointment. If you’re a twenty something about to leave university or you’re a forty something thinking how quickly the time went, pick up this story, it’s got something to say.
VIRGINIA WOOLF Text Katy Butcher Now, I’ve had my issues with Virginia Woolf in the past; there was a time when she would try my patience. Infuriating is probably the word I would have chosen, if not something a little stronger and a little more unprintable. However, that was then, and this is now. Now I find myself in a beautiful, albeit slightly one-sided, relationship. Whilst she is yet to rave about anything I’ve ever written, I’ve come to realise that old Virginia knows exactly what she is doing when it comes to writing a captivating novel. She doesn’t just give it all away for free. Complex and intricate, her prose requires patience. She doesn’t put up with any of that skim-reading we are all so fond of, instead she rewards concentration. Never is this more apparent than when reading her ‘most experimental novel’, The Waves. At the best of times ‘experimental’ translates to ‘difficult, confusing and/or nonsensical’. Apply this to an author as challenging as Woolf and you have to ask, why bother? She is brilliant! That’s why I accepted the challenge. Fifty difficult pages later, I was unsure. Maybe I just wasn’t cut out for something this ‘experimental’ because try as I might, the plot was nowhere to be found. Six childhood friends, each recounting their experiences of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood in a series of entwined, first-person narratives. Beyond that, I
was lost. However, remaining loyal to the “this just requires patience and concentration” mantra, I persevered with or without the plot, and consequently found myself immersed in a beautifully articulated and easily relatable piece of prose. I found it increasingly easy to lose track of who was speaking, or at what point in time events were taking place; these details also became increasingly less important. The novel is concerned with experiences as opposed to events; details of place, people or time become unnecessary. The novel rather delicately strings together a beautiful collection of images, thoughts, experiences and descriptions that, whilst the reader may be unsure of how they stumbled upon each of them, remain strikingly memorable long after the book has been put down. I defy anybody to read this novel without instantly relating to at least one passage. So if you were worried that this review would give too much away, you can see that there was never really any danger of that. Even now, as the novel sits finished on my shelf, I still could not elaborate hugely on its plot. Yet ironically, it is a novel that I definitely will not forget anytime soon. In my opinion, it gains 4 stars out of 5, providing you have a lot of patience.
HALO: REACH XBOX 360 Text Pete Grafton Personally, I never really took Halo seriously. I would use it as a simple alternative to the anger and frustration caused by anyone and everyone that played Call of Duty 4 online. I’d often find myself resorting to pile-driving a warthog into one enemy and a significantly large proportion of my own team just to calm myself after being 0 and 11 within two minutes of a Team Deathmatch, just for a brief moment of multiplayer sanity. However, Halo: Reach is in a league of its own. Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy the thrill of betraying a team-mate but I’d happily quit using Halo as a multiplayer whore and play it for the superb game that it really is. Bungie hasn’t really made any huge alterations to the gameplay. The controls are pretty much identical to the other Halo titles and the general feel of the game echoes its predecessors. Nevertheless, there are odd tweaks here and there that really make Reach stand out against any other Halo title. The sound and graphics are just beautiful. However, if I’m going to pick out one tiny detail it would be the horribly stereotypical English accent one of the characters has. Nevertheless, the numerous pros certainly outweigh the minuscule cons. The addition of class choices, such as being able to deceive your opponents with a hologram, really improves the overall multi-
player online experience. The multiplayer lobby has been given an entire revamp and looks absolutely incredible especially when compared to the standard and basic lobby of Halo 3. The inclusion of daily and weekly challenges gives the avid online gamer the opportunity to not only have fun but also gives them a sense of achievement at the same time. Finally, the playlists include an almost endless variety of game modes from the good old-fashioned Team Slayer, SWAT and Snipers to new modes such as Stockpile and Elite Slayer. The campaign is definitely the highlight of Halo: Reach. The story picks up with your character being rushed from mission to mission through all kinds of environments including one where you can kill the indigenous ostrich looking species. Not that I’m endorsing any kind of animal cruelty. The campaign is the longest for the Halo series and although it could be perceived as a drag, the overall variety of the missions increases the longevity and keeps your eyes well and truly fixed on the screen. Overall, if I was asked to describe this game in three words I’d have to say epic, epic and epic. It is most definitely a must buy and I could even go as far as saying one of the games of the year.
DEAD RISING 2 PS3/ XBOX360/ PC Text Ben Philpott I am beginning to think many of us gamers out there would actually relish the idea of a real life zombie breakout. With the mass of flesh eating shooters out there saturating the market these days, who else is better equipped to take on such an event than a bunch of trigger happy gamers? Dead Rising takes things a step further than its peers; on paper this game harnesses an idea which excels in creativity and fun way above the clunky and tired mechanics of Resident Evil. Dead Rising 2 throws you straight into the action as ‘Chuck’, a retired motocross champion desperately trying to raise money to keep up with his daughters medical requirement of Zombrex; an expensive and temporary cure to zombie bites. After a series of near fatal events kick-start the narrative, the player is once again thrown into an open world playground where almost any touchable object can be interactively used as a weapon against the un-dead. This approach to freedom of weaponry is initially overwhelming but as the player becomes more familiar with the huge range of shopping centres, casino’s and Las Vegas strips on offer to your exploration, what you will be using to get through the hoards of un-dead will become second nature. New to the series are the ‘combo cards’, a selection of collectables which state a combination of weapons the player can use
in a series of maintenance rooms dotted around the game to create often hilariously outrageous new equipment for their arsenal. This is where Dead Rising 2’s formula is at its strongest, the level of customisation, exploration and freedom given is greatly impressive, especially the soaring atmosphere this creates in particular situations (dead of night, trapped with only a coat hanger on top of a public toilet surrounded by over a thousand zombies comes to mind). While Dead Rising 2 is no doubt one of the most ambitious action horror games conceived, there are no doubt flaws that will turn away many from taking the plunge. The difficulty curve is unforgiving, if you die there is no re-spawn; either you load from your last game (which considering the limited save points could be ages ago) or start from the beginning. This approach to gameplay is rewarding for those who stick to it but don’t expect a cakewalk, you will die. For zombie horror fans, this is a videogame dream; for me it’s most certainly fun but the harsh difficulty and chore like objectives soon grate making the game become more of a slog than it needs to be. If brain is your palette of choice however, check it out.
FXU FRESHERS’ FORTNIGHT 2010 September 27th 2010
Pirate Party Text Dora Eisele
October 1st 2010
With queues surpassing any and every other year, it’s no surprise to hear that the first Freshers’ event of 2010 was a massive success. Decked out in all things Caribbean, The Stannary housed many a parrot, palm tree and Tremough’s first official Rum Shack, not to mention a particularly superior pirate ship. Fancy dress effort was also at an all-time high, with a range of peg-legs and dread-wigs for your viewing pleasure. The dancefloor was consistently packed which made the scramble for alcohol thankfully less life-threatening than in years past, although the possibility of retaining said alcohol once you ventured to within a foot of the crush of ravers was around nil. Having said this, for those preferring fewer spillages the shot bar was an ideal place to ingest your poison at half the speed and twice the hangover. With a soundtrack of good solid party tunes, this year’s Pirate Party certainly began Freshers with a bang. The surreptitiously removed palm trees that littered campus the next morning provided more than enough evidence of this…after all it makes sense - get drunk, run off with the furniture. It’s what pirates do! And yes, all the rum is gone.
October 4th 2010
Gramophonedzie & Hong Kong Ping Pong Brad Finlay
A vibing, sweaty entrance welcomed me to the Gramophonedzie / Freestylers gig at The Stannary on Monday. Despite being a uni night, there certainly wasn’t a studious look in the house. Although slightly less well-attended than some of the Fresher’s weekend gigs (and those of last year), this particular Monday night still had all the trappings of a full-scale event and a dancefloor pumping from around 11 until the very last tune. First things first: the new rig provided by Audio Source is absolutely ridiculous. Such small unimposing speakers, and such phat, chestpounding bass – far exceeding anything I’ve heard in there before. If you’ve not been to a Stannary event this year, it’s worth coming just for that. Visually, VIA have been doing brilliant work this year as well, with trippy animations and intelligent lighting keeping you on edge. The ever-popular Hong Kong Ping Pong got things off the ground with their usual broken-beat, retro-sampled action – an unavoidably likable sound that never fails to start off the night superbly, particularly when accompanied by the brilliant La Casa Martin on percussion. Handing over, Freestylers absolutely nailed it from the very beginning, rendering the crowd dedicated and submissive for the rest of their set. Gramophonedzie rounded off the night with fairly heavy-hitting house set, which in a normal club environment after 2am would have been ideal, but in the context of The Stannary seemed a little over the top. Gramophonedzie is a brilliant DJ and producer but in my opinion perhaps not the ideal booking for a Monday night. All in all, another great night and perfect example of why you should love your FXU, with their collective ear firmly upon the ground.
UV Horns and Halos Kate Pāvula
When the last blown up parrot lost its air and not a drop of pirates’ rum was left, it was just the right time to get out of the party-raided kitchen for some soul-saving dance moves. Eagerly anticipating the glow of an ultra-violet night, the queue outside The Stannary brought all the horns and halos together for the second of their Freshers’ events. Whether you were a not-so-innocent angel or a leathered-up Hell’s Angel, the (supposed) saints found their wine and ambrosia in The Upper Stannary, whilst sinners saw their vision slowly blur as they shotted the daemon-juice that is sambucca. And as the crowd kept on growing, purgatory got sweaty. There, behind Hell’s gates, many lost souls found their stairway to heaven, where the fusing of passion and pain entailed stumbling into the elevator or falling down the stairs, leaving countless numbers of angels deserting to the dark side, devils enjoying their horns… because what happens in Hell, stays in Hell. On the stroke of midnight, the doors to Heaven were locked and our guardian security angels directed all divine sinners to be united on the flaming dance floor by “devilishly talented” VDJ Beatmaxx. And so he did - hundreds of hands pulsed in the steamy air as the speakers pumped out our favourite beats, plus VDJ’s live messages. It was the Freshers’ judgement day, with Heaven and Hell on Stannary earth ...a sin that FXU shouldn’t regret.
Masquerade Ball Ian Pogonowski
Topping of Freshers Fortnight, as every year – the FXU Freshers Ball. We were told it was Masquearade, but with a surf simulator thrown into the mix... this is how Cornish Students celebrate! Free Bucks Fizz for most people was a first surprise of the night. If you didn’t get a glass – sorry – some people were greedy and took more than their fare share. The provision of Casino Tables provided a little entertainment for the night. The Surf simulator was a great attraction for many. Did you think you could surf? With alcohol consumed, and a remote control lever controlling the surf board – I don’t think many people can proudly admit to being able to surf that night... Still, great fun. A highlight for most people were The Mirrettes. An up and coming student band, the crowd rocked with them! Some would say their music was a little “samey”, but the majority loved. Live Music at The Stannary was proven popular again. All in all – a fantastic array of entertainment for a Freshers Ball. Queues weren’t terrible; prices debatable as always, all one could wish for were some fireworks!
7/10 voted by 100 students
Listen Eat Drink Wear Watch
... to Auction for the Promise Club. These guys are set for big things- you heard it here first!
... at Willie Dynamite’s and take a delicious trip back to the 1950s! This is definitely the coolest place to eat your breakfast.
... lots of water in a vain attempt to recover from Fresher’s fortnight.
... a cape. Clearly the chicest way to wrap up this winter!
... The Apprentice! It’s back, and looks set to be a good one.
The BrewHouse Brewery Tremough Campus, Cornwall
Real Ales now available in the Campus Shop “Owned by Students, Run by Students”
Autumnal Delights Text Annabel Charlesworth
As the winter starts to set in and the rain continues to pour down, it seems that the only thing to lift the spirits is a nice warming meal. Soup fits the bill perfectly to ease the transition into the cold winter. It’s relatively low cost but better than that; it is low in fat and calories whilst high in nutritious goodness, so great for seeing off winter illnesses and the inevitable winter bulge that
grows from snacking on cups of tea and digestives in an attempt to keep warm. Here are three nicely warming soups that are far superior to anything that can be bought in a can, or even fresh from a supermarket. Just a note though: you will need a hand/ stick blender in order to puree these soups; I got mine for around £5 from ASDA. All soups easily make enough for one.
Celery and Stilton Soup
Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
The first is a particular favourite because the vegetable (in this case celery) is interchangeable; so you can use whatever green veg you have lying around in the fridge. To date I have used leeks, broccoli, asparagus, peas, cabbage and courgettes and all seem to have worked well. The stilton is an optional extra and can easily be omitted.
The second soup is a nice Halloween treat since there will be so many small cheap pumpkins around. I think that you should be able to get a pumpkin with enough flesh to feed four for about a pound. In case you make this any other time of year you can substitute in butternut squash instead, in which case a whole regular sized squash yields enough for two people. But for one person, you will need;
This makes a really delicious, light and healthy meal. It is a bit more expensive than the rest but the main outlay is in store cupboard ingredients that you can use again in most Chinese cooking, so great to have if you make a lot of stir-fry’s. Also I find that it is often cheaper to buy a bag of mixed chopped mushrooms than buy one type whole, and this way removes the hassle of chopping the mushrooms.
350g pumpkin/ squash flesh cubed 1 knob of butter Splash of olive oil ½ -Whole red chilli, de-seeded and chopped (depends on how hot you like it) 300ml vegetable stock ½ onion diced 1 clove garlic diced 100g chorizo, diced
500ml chicken stock 1 chicken breast chopped into large chunks 1 clove garlic, crushed using the flat blade of a knife Handful mushrooms, chopped Handful Chinese veg or spring cabbage, chopped Coriander, chopped (optional) 1 tablespoon olive oil 100g rice noodles (readily available at healthfood shops, and Sainsburys) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil
3-4 stalks celery sliced into crescent shapes ½ small potato cut into cubes ½ onion diced 1 knob butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 500ml vegetable stock Matchbox sized slice of stilton cut into cubes In a saucepan over a low heat melt the butter with the oil. When melted, add the chopped celery, potato and onion and slowly fry until the celery is just going soft. Add enough stock to cover the veg, put the lid on the saucepan and bring up to the boil. When the potato is soft, remove from the heat, and add in the stilton. Puree using a hand blender to the texture that you like, if it is too thick a little extra stock can be added, and serve.
In a large saucepan fry the chorizo on a high heat and add the garlic when the chorizo oil starts to seep out. Cook until the chorizo is browned and the garlic is crispy and transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan using kitchen towel. In the same pan melt the butter in the olive oil, then add the onion and chilli. Fry on a low heat until soft, then add the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes. Add the stock to the pan, cover and simmer for 1520 minutes until the pumpkin is completely soft. Remove from the heat and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the chorizo that was cooked earlier. This makes a really delicious, light and healthy meal. It is a bit more expensive than the rest but the main outlay is in store cupboard ingredients that you can use again in most Chinese cooking, so great to have if you make a lot of stir-fry’s. Also I find that it is often cheaper to buy a bag of mixed chopped mushrooms than buy one type whole, and this way removes the hassle of chopping the mushrooms.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until smoking and add the garlic. Wait a few seconds then add the chicken and the mushrooms. Fry like this, making sure to keep everything moving round the pan until the chicken is firm and cooked through. Meanwhile bring the stock up to the boil in a small saucepan and add the noodles followed by the Chinese veg. Cook for three or so minutes (depending on the instructions on the rice noodle packet). When the chicken is cooked add the soy sauce and sesame oil and keep frying until this has been absorbed. The soup is now all ready, so lift the noodles out of the stock and into a waiting bowl. Put the chicken and mushrooms on top and the veg on top of that. Pour over enough stock to suit yourself and tuck in.
London Fashion Week Text Michael Swann
London Fashion Week. It doesn’t quite have the romantic hum of Paris, or the timeless, elegant rhythm of Milan, nor even the conceptual resonance of Tokyo. In fact, to find what exactly London fashion brings to the industry is a trying task. It seems London is where designers start their careers until they have the recognition to migrate abroad. Let’s face it, the UK gave birth to some of the greatest fashion forward-thinkers of all time; Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, John Galliano, Thomas Burberry and Chris Bailey for example, but for some reason, they all venture to Paris and Milan to show the majority of their collections (Vivienne Westwood and Burberry Prorsum show in London as well as abroad). Judging by the collections shown this September for the Spring/Summer 2011 season, these drifting designers made a wise choice, and it is easy to see who will be following them. Spring/Summer is always a season that runs the risk of being tacky if done wrong. Autumn/Winter is easier; it’s timeless. Shove in some moody shades of brown, heaps of black, endless layers of cashmere and a snood, and you’ve got yourself damn nice collection. In the warmer months however, there’s a lot more to worry about. Explosive patterns, eye-catching colours and dangerously thin fabrics take resurgence and often, these factors make for a whole host of collections that all blur into one sheer, floral maxi-dress. However, there are those rebellious designers who do not opt for the garish and the gaudy; there are those who mute down summer to something a little more than a trip to the beach and a lounge in the park. Margaret Howell’s collection, as always, set an example to those who fall into Summer’s trap, it didn’t scream, instead it politely conversed of beige, white and pastel blue, of horizontal white stripes and of simple, casual designs that brought a bit of sophistication and slouchy class to London Fashion week. This message was also preached by Italian designer Filippo Scuffi for Daks, whose simple, shapeless designs (menswear
especially) and modest use of colour makes this collection a definite winner for summer 2011. While it’s always nice to see designers avoiding the cliché of vibrancy in summer, it is refreshing to see the fair few collections that showcase patterning and colour in a fresh way. Basso and Brooke’s energetic pieces fuse together an encyclopaedia of prints from maps of the world, to hand written letters and animal faces. The PPQ collection (designed by Amy Molyneaux and Percy Parker) explores colour and shape in a very daring way, with a series of pieces that can only be described as pop art snake skins, while Henry Holland’s childlike designs for House of Holland express youth through bold colours, gold stars and palm leaf prints (which at times cut mighty close to Gucci Spring/Summer 2009). Yes, where colour is done well it is done very well, and where it is done best is with Greek designer Mary Katrantzou whose conceptuality and imagination has resulted in probably the most original and inspiring collection I have seen in a long time (with the exception of pretty much any of creative genius, Alexander McQueen’s collections). Katrantzou’s pieces perform not only the tasks of an item of clothing, but also of a photograph, of interior design and of modern art. Her elaborate dresses construct elegant dining rooms and contemporary living rooms on the bodies of the towering models, making lampshades of skirts and chandeliers of necklaces. Printed dresses don’t get much better than this in my opinion. Trends are more at large in the summertime than in winter, and it seems there’ll be plenty to choose from next year. So many in fact, that every trend has a partner trend that completely contradicts it. The ‘Grandma’ look has been popular among the younger folk of late; donning big baggy jumpers, floral cardigans, longer skirts, thicker glasses, it seems a portion of the youth of today love the look of having just received their pension. And while there are no old ladies parading the
runway, there are hints to an aged look from Betty Jackson, Caroline Charles, Christopher Kane and Paul Smith. However, the youthful and statuesque look of the futurists brings long coats, metallic fabrics and stern postures from Paul Costelleo, Mark Fast, David Koma and Antonio Berardi. Then there is the difference between minimalism and expressionism, with the likes of Margaret Howell, Acne and Daks keeping their work quiet and simple. Then there’s Louise Gray, PPQ, Matthew Williamson and James Long, whose collections run in, knock over a vase, throw a few tantrums and slap your Grandmother while still maintaining a frustrating amount of lovability. This year we see major inspirations from the 50s, the 60s, the 80s, the 90s and a strong look to an Orwellian future. So whether you wish to relive the past or write what’s to come, according to London, there’s little you can’t do next summer. All in all, London does have its saving graces; other great collections come from John Rocha, Erdem, J.W. Anderson, Holly Fulton, MAN, and Michael van der Ham, making it a little more exciting and a little more worthwhile. But, it isn’t difficult to see why London will never be as big as Milan and Paris. Matthew Williamson, when asked about London’s chances of rivalling the big two, claimed that London will never be number 1 due it’s lack of advertising designers, and granted, while it’s really only Margaret Howell, Burberry, Topshop, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood that produce memorable adverts (and this factor may urge non-advertising designers to create more accessible clothing to provoke sales), I feel there’s more to it than that. London may have some originality but it just doesn’t have the consistency of its main-land rivals. With only a handful of collections that stand-out, and a great deal of disappointments (Vivienne Westwood, Burberry Prorsum, Roksanda Ilincic and Pringle of Scotland especially) London unfortunately doesn’t have the power of Milan and Paris.
15 of the best knitwear for men Text Fiona Davies Here at Flex, we like to keep an eye out for great things you guys might be interested in, and we know that a hefty number of you like to shop (especially when the loans come rolling in). Last month we gave girls a definitive guide to the 12 best outerwear for under £100; this month it’s all about the fellas. Where coats and jackets may be the statement pieces for female fashion, guys can look towards chunky, structrual, super-soft knitwear to wrap up in during the colder months. For
those of you who take notice of trends, English heritage and country chic graced both the female and male catwalks, not to mention that military styles were a standard. There’s lots of cable knits, cricket sweaters, shawl necklines and scandinavian prints to experiment with. We’ve selected some of the best of each, all for £70 or less, and we can guarantee that some of the best buys are for as little as £40.
Black textured pocket jumper £38, Topman
Grey marl hood cardigan £69.99, RiverIsland
Oatmeal Yoke cable jumper £38, Topman
Cricket jumper £26.99, New Look man
Navajo zip through cardigan £42, Topman
Wilding red knit £70, Farah Vintage at Urban Outfitters
Ribbed braid jacket £59.99, Zara Grey shawl cable cardigan £70, Humor Pablo at Urban Outfitters
Knitted English sweater £39.99, Zara
Wool striped knit £70, Cheap Monday
Shetland sweater with shawl collar £39.99, Zara
Cardigan £29.99, H&M
Patterned knitted cardigan £39.99, Zara
Roll neck braid jersey £39.99, Zara
Raglan sleeve Jacquard knit sweater £39.99, Zara
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The Promise of success Text Hannah Banks-Walker
It all began in St Agnes, in the dark winter of 2008. Auction for the Promise Club was born, and with them, great ambition. Such ambition has ensured the trio have progressed from local band to Abbey Road artists, and it seems the best is yet to come. Their formation goes something like this: Zoe WhiteChambers provides some enchanting vocals, her brother Toby bangs the drums, and Perran Tremewan is on guitar and keys. Fresh from recording their EP at Abbey road, the band chose the Pavillions right here in our very own town of Falmouth to launch it on 25th September . So I set out to discover who they are, how it feels to follow in the footsteps of musical giants, and how best to dispose of takeaway receipts...
So, who are Auction for the Promise Club? Zoe: “As far back as I can remember, I have always been singing. My grandfather was a composer- a pianist- and my grandmother was a dancer, so my father and his sister grew up in theatres on the stage. I remember listening to my aunt playing the piano and wanting a baby grand just like hers! My father skipped piano lessons, but he came back to it later. He used to practise every night after we had gone to bed; I could hear it through the floor! Clair de Lune was, and still is, my perfect lullaby. So I fell in love with music when I was very young, and after studying Theatre Design at Wimbeldon School of Art, I came back to Cornwall to study Photography and met Perran. Toby was already in Cornwall studying, and a couple of years later AFTPC was born!” Toby: “I like hitting stuff with sticks, surfing and music. I’ve only been playing the drums for a couple of years, but I’ve always been encouraged by both parents to play music and be creative. We formed the band in a freezing cold, rat infested room beside a railway track in the dark winter of 2008. Trains thundered past and it smelt of boff. The band was then Launched in Truro in March 2009”. Perran: “I’ve lived in Cornwall most of my life and currently work as a graphic designer for a Cornish Charity that works with Communities when not away with the band. It all began in Aggie when me and zo started playing some acoustic songs, but then Toby joined in on the drums and so we had to buy some amplifiers to compete with the din. It’s got progressively noisier from there”. Who would you say are your biggest influences? Toby: I grew up listening to quite grungy rock like Placebo, Bush, Foo’s... but I like all types of music. I’m still listening to ‘Battle for the Sun’ by Placebo and its top banana! Death from Above are great, Enya too! If something sounds good/different, but good, I like it. There are so many great bands out there I can never remember! The Tall Ships from Falmouth are one of my favourite bands at the moment. Zoe: Radiohead... Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin. When I started playing the guitar I was into a lot of Grunge, Nirvana, Pearl jam, Hole, No Doubt, Bush. The Smashin Pumpkins, Placebo, P J Harvey, Bjork, Ani Difranco, Tori Amos, Queens of the stone age, Muse, sigor ross, The National, Editors, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchel, Beth Orton and on and on... Perran: I guess my all time favourites would be artists like Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright and Captain Beefheart, although I’ve been listening to some lighter stuff this summer - particularly Best Coast and Free Energy which are my current favourites. You’ve recently played at some amazing venues, including the infamous Cavern in Liverpool. How did that go? Toby: The cavern was great: a smelly club deep underground with loads of tourists getting ratted and taking photos of Beatle memrobilia plastered all over the walls. We have been very
privileged to have played some really cool venues like Gatecrasher in Birmingham which was massive, and also the ICA in London which is terribly creative! Perran: We really enjoyed our trips to Liverpool. The gigs at the Cavern were well received and we’ve since been getting some radio play in the Merseyside area, so we’re looking forward to returning. Ok, tell me all about Abbey Road! Zoe: It’s been so good, an amazing experience. We recorded a lot of Perran’s guitar parts in studio 1- it’s massive! It’s where they record a lot of soundtracks to films like Lord of the rings, Star Wars etc. Perran’s amp was set up in a booth and microphones set up in the room as well to pick up the natural reverb, and Perran was just standing there, having it, in this huge room. So good. Perran: The first session there was a ‘once in a life time’ opportunity. Then we got invited back. Zoe: It’s very hands on, so you can pretty much grab any instrument available and play it. Studio 2 has a different piano or two sitting in every corner, so I was in heaven working my way around, disappearing off to the shiny black grand piano whenever I wasn’t needed. And I got to play a celeste on one of the tracks which is definitely up there as one of my top instruments now, and on my wish list with the baby grand!! Toby: We are so lucky, using the best facility in the world! We were pretty much only doing stuff U2 would pay for... so lucky. And we had one of the UK’s top up and coming engineers; Kris Burton. I want his babies. It is definitely something special that I’ve done in my life, even if people hate the record we made at the end of it!
Zoe: Our delivery receipt from our Thai takeaway we had last week reads: Auction for the Promise Club, The Penthouse, Abbey Road Studios. I’m having it framed!! It doesn’t stop at Abbey Road though; you recently supported Reverend and the Makers here in Falmouth. That must have been an awesome experience! Toby: That was really good fun. We were kindly asked to support them at the Pavilions. They are such a cool band that got everyone jumping! And matey (the singer) was out the back afterwards, twanging away on his guitar to a small crowd of people. Good times! Perran: It was a really good gig to play, one of my favourites so far this year. We seemed to go down well. Rev and the makers went down a storm. What’s next for AFTPC? Perran: We’ll be playing all over the UK over the next few months, there’s talk of a few dates in the states too... Toby: We are super excited that we are going to have our very own record; only a 4 track EP, but we have been developing the band for a while now and we are just super stoked to have a debut releas! There are some exciting things in the pipeline but best not say too much! It would be great if we can get Cornwall’s support, and then who knows what could happen! Auction for the Promise Club needs you!!!!!!! So there you have it. They need you. Toby describes their sound as ‘female-fronted rocky noise that we like playing’, but that somehow doesn’t do it justice. Listed alongside the likes of Florence and the Machine in Marie Clare recently, it is clear to see that things look good for Auction. Something tells me that won’t be the last of the framed Thai receipts...
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ON RAPE, AND OTHER LITERALISMS Text Chris Rushton
When I took over this section, I wanted to make it a step apart from what you may expect from a Sports section. To ‘create it in my image’. This doesn’t mean I’m going to assault these pages with my quite prevalent God complex, but it does mean that you will see a continuing trend of opinion pieces from myself and other writers. The segway into my article to make it relevant to my section is, I suppose, quite tangible, and I’m assuming you will already be confused as to what role this piece - with the title I have given it – has to play in the Sports section. On Thursday 6th September, during his appearance on the ‘Today’ programme, the boxer David Haye told us that his upcoming fight with Audley Harrison would be ‘as one-sided as gang rape.’ The following day, Kira Cochrane submitted an article entitled ‘The rise of rape talk’ on The Guardian’s Comment is Free section, in riposte. Now I will unfortunately have to do the article a disservice by attempting to summarise it curtly (there are links to the full piece at the end of my article), using for the most part its own conclusion. Cochrane writes “It is thought that around one in four women are victims of sexual violence in their lifetimes. In telling rape jokes, or throwing the word casually into conversation, there is an assumption that the person you are talking to won’t have experienced this – or that, if they have, you just don’t care about the memories you might provoke, the anxiety you might trigger”, and in her final paragraph “In my view, rape jokes feed a culture in which jurors either disbelieve rape complainants, or just don’t think rape is that significant…Haye might never apologise, but it’s time to put an end to rape talk now”. I chose to give this article its title because of the focus on ‘rape’ as a literal term. The uproar caused by the use of the term ‘rape’ would be non-existent if Haye had instead used ‘murder’ as his metaphor of choice; indeed ‘murder’ is used in place of many more appropriate metaphors in vast swathes of hyperbolic absurdity. For example, “I’d kill for a cup of coffee”. One would hope that you’d stop short of throttling to death the first person to cross your path holding an Americano (although if I were a Judge, I’d made exceptions for a Vanilla Latté). To take it to a slightly more humorous extreme, the antiquated “Well bugger me senseless”. I’d be surprised if anyone used that term and actually expected to find themselves the participant in an anal sex act. Why is it then, that other literalisms can take their place in a colloquial canon of absurd metaphorical musings, whilst ‘rape’ is confined to the realms of disgust and outrage at its usage? Those who have been raped live with the ordeal for the rest of their lives; is it perhaps that
the issues triggered by the term ‘rape’ are still relevant to the victim? As horrific as it sounds, those who are murdered would be hard pressed to suffer at the hands of the metaphoric. If we were to align ourselves with that train of thought we would be allowing ourselves ignorance to the trauma of relatives, partners, siblings and attempted murder victims. Is it perhaps generation-specific? The use of ‘rape’ in place of a plethora of other suitable words seems to have taken a rise in usage, hence the title of Cochrane’s piece. But, and apologies for labouring the point, when did the acceptability arise for the repetition of ‘murder’? Are we creating a hierarchy in which, as Cochrane asserts, the more prevalent use of the term ‘rape’ creates the illusion that the act of rape is also casual? Where then does
the act of murder lie? It appears that there is a hierarchy in which rape is seen as being more horrific than murder. Through casual use of the term ‘rape’, do we reduce this perception, and assert that rape is not a fate worse than death? I’m well aware that at this point you, the reader, may well be thinking ‘What the shit were you thinking attempting to tackle this sort of issue’. But stick with me. The angle Cochrane writes from is obviously feminist, and in an article specifically about the relationship between a male use of the term ‘rape’ and the act itself, this is perfectly reasonable. However, the term used was ‘gang rape’. I might be in the minority here, but if Haye is using ‘rape’ as an insistence of domination at a quite absurd level for a boxing match, this prefix takes it to another extreme. When we apply it to the upcoming fight, a male-on-male matchup that involves beating one another senseless until the brain swells to a frightening degree and the result is unconsciousness; my first thought is prison rape. Male-on-male rape. Whilst Cochrane doesn’t take this into consideration, the use of the word ‘rape’ is emphasised not as a triviality, but I believe as that which the act of rape conjures; very real, horrific mental and physical suffering. When Haye chose to use the term ‘rape’, he had a very vivid image in mind. As part of the mind-games that take place before a boxing match, he wanted to emphasise how dominant he would be over his opponent. To do that, he took us into the realms of absurdity. Haye was obviously not going to attempt to enact a rape of Audley Harrison. Of course it is a lazy descriptor, but Haye knew the impact it would have. If he had used the term ‘murder’, or even ‘massacre’, the absurdity would be there without the impact of the term. This is why the key here has to be the context in which words are used. We often forget that words are very, very powerful tools at our disposal. They are signifiers, but what they signify changes over time. Literalisms as metaphors to create absurdity work to extrapolate everyday situations. They exist precisely to create shockingly vivid images, yet as we move forward the shock is lost through prevalence of use. Thus when Cochrane asks us to “put an end to rape talk”, it should be that we censor all or we censor none, and no one is in a position to make the distinction between them. You can find the full article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/2010/sep/10/the-rise-of-rape-talk, or alternatively, I have posted it on my Twitter feed @itschrislols. If you have any comments to make on the article, either email them to me at email@example.com, or as a purveyor of new and exciting technology, I shall again push my Twitter feed and try and put it to good use.
post. Minutes later, Jimbo Williams rushed onto a ball over the top from Yours Truly, and slotted the ball past a goal2nd October: Chacewater 4 – 2 CSM keeper (whose waist size was probably larger than his IQ.) It all seemed too easy for the students and by half time two Text Calum MacDougall penalties and straightforward corner routine and put Chacewater ahead. Violence, controversy and the occasional outbreak of foot- The suddenly whistle happy referee combined with some poor ball kicked off the new season for CSM last Saturday 2nd. A defensive decisions to gift them the penalties. The otherwise flying start for the newly promoted team was reined in by impressive debutant goalkeeper Chris Rushton brought down a resilient Chacewater and inconsistent refereeing, knock- a charging forward to concede the first. His fingertips were ing CSM out of the Junior Cup at the very first hurdle. then unable to prevent the goal. Ewan MacDougall was then CSM raced into an early two goal lead, clearly keen deemed to have tugged down their left winger in the box, when to shake off the summer cobwebs as soon as possible. it seemed impossible to decide whose fault their impromptu A thrusting run from Will Jenkinson broke through the defence, game of Twister was. The spot kick was converted and folsetting up Matt Du Gay to finish high into the net at the back lowed up by a simple header from a corner moments later.
Stern words from first time captain Jimbo Williams at half time gave CSM a much needed wake up call. Passes became more fluent and the defence tightened but it wasn’t enough to break down the experienced Chacewater backline. A late breakaway goal flattered Chacewater, who saw less and less of the ball as the game went on. They resorted to the traditional Cornish aggression in order to hang on. A series of spiteful challenges was topped by an assault on the shins of Simon Perry, which the referee inexplicably ignored. CSM were left looking for the positives ahead of a crucial upcoming fixture against league leaders Illogan. A solid midfield display from Angus Donaldson and the more assured second half performance will need to be built upon to make sure Illogan leave the infamous ‘top pitch’ with little more than their distrust of students in tact.
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A GREEK ADVENTURE Text Dom Bulfin
This year FXU Sailing embarked on its most ambitious venture yet; taking a group of 21 students over to Greece for a week sailing 40 foot yachts. This was unchartered water for most involved with only one out of three skippers having ever sailed in the Med, and most others on board having never sailed at all! Everyone met early at Heathrow with high hopes but no real concept of what to expect! Checking in went perfectly, boarding the flight was easy, our transfer was even waiting in Athens; a lovely air conditioned coach just for us...surely something would go wrong sooner or later- But no! We arrived at the marina in good time and were soon shown to our yachts, each in perfect condition with hardly a blemish on them! The next morning we set off on our journey to Poros; an island South-West from our home port of Kalamaki. On the way we stopped at a beautiful cove on the North side of the island where we all anchored up together for a swim. After a few anchor issues and encounters with protruding rocks we soon moved on to Poros harbour where we were greeted by a very excited restaurant owner who helped us tie up and paid our harbour dues, desperate for the custom of 21 hungry sailors! We all enjoyed a lovely meal in his establishment before moving on to various cocktails bars making VERY strong drinks by English standards. Most called it a (relatively) early night ready for a long days sailing the next day.
We headed off to Ermioni; a lovely old harbour home to the “oldest restaurant in the Ionian” on a peninsular of the Greek mainland. Here we spent a relaxing evening over dinner moving on again to a variety of cocktail bars...not all of whom understood the concept of selling you the cocktail you asked for...or even a “hot” hot chocolate...but a great night had by all none the less! After a bit of a lie in we set sail from Ermioni for Leonhidion; a port with its reputation preceding it being the place responsible for one of our skippers nicknamed Ouzo... Here we were greeted by a lovely family who owned pretty much the only restaurant in the village, immediately offering us a discount as it turned out we were sailing one of their relatives’ yachts! They then led us after dinner to their “club”, a large barn behind the restaurant with a bar and not much else. Everyone took it upon themselves to completely drain the bar, after already draining the restaurant’s wine and ouzo supply! It’s safe to say that a “memorable” night was had by all, despite the fact most of us would struggle to recall the whole night come the morning... Battling the most almighty hangovers ever sustained in the Mediterranean we somehow found the strength to make a boat sail the next day; and just as well as our next target was the spectacular Ihdra, renowned for being one of the only islands left in the Med with no motorised transport. As we pulled into Ihdra we were greeted by a host of fantastic super yachts worth mil-
lions, but also a dilemma of a very small harbour with already too many boats in it! After a stressful time parking up we were finally all settled with not too many angry boat owners yelling at us... It was soon apparent that the stress of mooring up was definitely worth it as the charm of the town shone through. Donkeys and mules everywhere as the main form of cargo transport, cobbled streets and lovely trinket shops and cafes. What we didn’t expect to find was third place runner up in “ABCs world restaurant with a view”. A real hidden gem in the Med. A beautiful, cliff- top restaurant overlooking the entire bay. Sadly we had to part with Ihdra to continue home, stopping off at a small port on the island of Aigina; a pleasant place to enjoy a relaxed evening meal followed by a full morning lie in before returning to Kalamaki the next day. Some spent the final day relaxing in a wonderfully air conditioned restaurant whilst others headed into Athens for a spot of sight-seeing before an utterly knackered, yet entirely contented group of students headed back on the plane to rainy London. From the success of this trip we’ve already booked next year’s. All details can be found on the Athens 2011 page on www.fxusailing.com
HOCKEY ROUND-UP Text Jonno Harris
2nd October: Druids 8 – 4 CSM 1sts Tavistock 1 – 1 CSM 2nds
The season took off to a rather slow start due to lack of players, considering the first game of the season was before term had officially started. Both teams faced tough oppositions, the Firsts up against the Druids down in Penzance, and the Seconds up against Tavistock. The Firsts unfortunately went down to an 8-4 defeat. However, mention and brown nosing must go to Zoggy, Jamie, Spaniel and Simba for goals. The Seconds - commonly known within the team as ‘Wild Cats’ - a name carried through from the legendary Tim Strong,
9th October: CSM 1sts 5 – 1 Plymouth OPM 2 – 2 CSM 2nds Pigsop C 6 – 2 CSM 3rds
The weekend of the 9th October has seen all 3 teams in action. The Firsts thumped the opposition 5-1, the Seconds had a nail biting 2-2 draw against OPM up in Plymouth, a pitch we got to eventually thanks to the mighty Skoda Yeti (a car designed for the sole purpose of inducing vomit), with enough drama to fill a soap, and the Thirds unfortunately losing 6-2 against Pigsop C. The Freshers’ Fayre was a big success for the Men’s hockey, so lets hope this continues into the season. We are still welcoming players, training is at 6 p.m on a Monday (5.30 meet at Tremough). Cheers for now guys, stay tuned for what promises to be a cracking season.
managed a 1-1 draw. It was a game we should have dominated but, but we were all suffering the wrath of the grape from a heavy Freshers’ week. Dave ‘I have casual Glandular Fever” Pearson let loose on a half pitch run, virtually blinding the old men of Tavi (more with his pirate head band than his skill), before bringing his body round the ball and placing it - signed, sealed delivered, its yours - into the net! Special mention must go to Dave who got ‘Man of the Match’, but also Rory ‘Tequila’ Johnston,who must be called on his overwhelming votes for ‘Gay of the Day’ thanks to his cart wheeling antics.
RUGBY ROUND-UP Text Callum Fannin
2nd October: Helston 5 - 0 CSM
The School of Mines rugby got off to a frustrating start to the season with a 5 – 0 loss to Helston. The CSM forwards put up an outstanding performance and put their marker down for the season with the first scrummage seeing Helston being put on the back foot and driven back. There were many opportunities missed by CSM as the backs could not capitulate on the firm platform given by the forwards. The try from Helston came late in the first half and occured from a CSM error that allowed their winger to collect a dropped ball and run in unopposed
to the try line. The second half saw School of Mines camped in the Helston 22 with strong lineouts leading driving mauls that the opposition struggled to halt. However CSM could not break through the Helston defence in the following phases. Winger Will Mason made a great solo effort with a chip and chase for the opposition line but was unfortunately beaten by a yard by the Helston full back. The match saw 5 Freshers’ debut for the CSM 1st XV; Chris, Harry Rees, Ewan, Dan Phillips and Russel House who also got ‘Man of the Match’.
9th October: CSM 71 - 0 Illogan Park
CSM’s second game saw the team trounce Illogan Park 71-0 with 13 tries being scored by the home team. Graham and Paul both had their debuts for the 1st XV and had outstanding performances. Deej Mshelia gave an astounding performance running in 4 tries in total. Illogan Park simply could not deal with the pace of the game set by the CSM pack and were continuously punished by the CSM backline who showed fantastic linking play and flare. ‘Man of the Match’ was Graham with his debut at Centre. Try scorers: Deej Mshelia (4), Will Mason (2), Rob Roles,
Ed Walker (2), Dan Phillips (2), Tom Davies, Matt Patching. Conversions: Will Vamplew (2), Ed Walker. The CSM Rugby Squad is the university team for students at Exeter Cornwall Campus, University College Falmouth and Dartington College of Arts. The team retains the name CSM due to its long standing varsity with RSM which is 110 years old. We also run a 2nd XV who play regular friendly fixtures with a variety of teams. We accept players of all abilities and hope to see more at training.
PENRYN LADIES RUGBY CLUB Text Liz Spicer Ladies! Like Sport? Want to Improve Your Fitness? Fancy Free Training Sessions? Come Play Rugby!
Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t a mans game! You may occasionally break a nail and get a little dirty, but you’ll get mega fit, have a great a life and earn a couple of deserved beers. Penryn Ladies train on Tuesday evenings at 7pm at Penryn Rugby Club, and play in a friendly league with a view to enter-
ing a league next season. All women of all ages and abilities are welcome. Call Anna on 07969 199443 for more info or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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