creative arts & reviews
IN FOCUS The truth about fake goods and fake meats
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Remakes and rewrites in film and literature
Stories on dreams and reality
Recipes and craft projects to fool the eye
FEATURES 6 FAUXTOGRAPHY
The photoshoped images making your newsfeed
10 ‘A MAN APPEARED IN COURT TODAY’ 20 ‘GLARE’
Two short stories on truth and illusion
Fake goods found for sale in China
32 FROM THE FACON TO THE FAUX-FU
Know your fake meats
REVIEWS 22 DEAR ESTER
The indie game that’s posing as a poem
24 PRIDE AND REPRODUCTION
Literary fan-fiction on Jane Austen
26 CTRL+C CTRL+V
Remakes in modern cinema
INSPIRATION 35 IMPOSTER BURGERS
A recipe to fool the eyes
36 KNITTED ROSES
A pattern to make your own fake flowers
e k a F THE
Hello and welcome to issue 3 of Cassiopeia Magazine where the theme is ‘fake’. The arts are full of fakes from remakes to rip-offs, replicas to reimaginings. We start out with some photoshopped images which may have already fooled you followed by some short fiction to leave you questioning reality. We also have a snapshot of China’s knockoff designer goods industry, a guide to fake meats, reviews of remakes and literary fanfiction, not forgetting recipes to fool the eye and a pattern to knit your own fake roses. Very genuine thanks are due to all our contributors for making this issue possible. If you’re interested in submitting anything or in playing a very real part in the next issue please email us at submit@ cassiopeiamagazine.co.uk Katie
facebook.com/CassiopeiaMag twitter.com/CassiopeiaMag issuu.com/cassiopeiamagazine 4
Sarah Peploe was born in Norwich in 1986. She loves to write, read, draw, and maintain vituperative inner monologues while going about her business. She lives in York with a lovely man and a Freecycled Selmer organ.
Whitney Ivey lives and knits in York, where she also enjoys napping and teaching herself to crochet. She’s currently trying to find excuses for covering everything with doilies or for knitting massive lace shawls.
Edd Caine is a composer and musician currently studying for a PhD in Music Composition. When he’s not composing he likes to write poetry and sing very deep notes. www. edwardcaine.com
Rachel Backa is a Canadian currently studying in the UK. She has an odd fascination with hedgehogs and a newly-found love of vintage radio dramas. She thinks baking is the perfect form of both stress-relief and procrastination, and looks for any excuse to try something new.
James Errington is an English teacher currently living in Beijing. haonowshaokao.com
Owain Paciuszko writes waffle for a bunch of websites, makes short films and music videos for his own amusement and plays keyboards/’sings’ in a band. He grew up in Cornwall, studied in Wales and currently lives in London. When he grows up he wants to be a space captain. quackspout. blogspot.com
Alex Terry is an Editorial Designer with a pet hate for terrible kerning. Designing magazines all day is not enough so when he get home he creates t-shirts and occassionally squeezes in arranging the Cassiopeia pages. www.365tshirtdesigns.com
FAUXTOGRAPHY Donâ€™t believe in everything you see on Facebook. Sensational images are easily created using Photoshop can end up circulating out of context. Here are some recent examples of trending photos which turned out to be a hoax.
▲This image of the statue of liberty was shared under the guise of documentary evidence of the awesome power of hurricane Sandy. Never mind that this same image had been attributed to a tornado which hit the city in 2010, this is in fact a composite image of the statue of liberty and a photo taken by Mike Hollingshead of a storm in Nebraska in 2004. ▲Text accompanying this image claimed that it showed the result of a collapsed shark tank at the scientific centre in Kuwait. Later ‘shares’ attributed it to Japan. In fact the sharks have been added by Photoshop and the image actually shows the flooded basement concourse of the Union subway station in Toronto in June 2012. 8
+ Seeing isn’t always believing. Before you hit ‘share’ look it up on the Snopes.com fauxtography page www. snopes.com/photos/photos. asp to get the full story.
▼Not all Photoshopped images are so well conceived. This photo of a kayak in Alaska sailing through the open jaws of a humpback whale stretches credulity at best. It is of course a composite image created by merging the following photos.
A MAN APPEARED IN COURT TODAY...
OWAIN PACIUSZKO 10
ou know that dream where you’re naked in class? I thought I was having that dream, but for some reason I didn’t wake up, and the chill on my skin felt most undreamlike. A teacher screamed and one kid quickly grabbed a coat from the rack and threw it at me, whilst another kid shouted ‘Not my coat you knobber!’ I also remembered that before this I hadn’t been in a classroom in nine years. I walked sheepishly home, the small child’s coat wrapped as best I could get it around my nakedness, trying to figure things out in my head. The reason I thought it was a dream was because I had been asleep, I had been asleep in my bed at home, I had been naked in bed, so if I had sleep-walked all the way to this school it figures that I would have been naked there, but this school is four miles from my flat, surely a man can’t walk naked through the streets of South London and stroll starkers into a school, depositing himself into the middle of a geography class without someone noticing and, more to the point, preventing him? That was what struck me as most odd, that the time according to the clock on the wall in the assembly hall of the school that I noted as I dashed out of the building - was 9.45am. Class had clearly been in progress for some time, yet I had also managed to place myself in the centre of the room, on the floor between two desks, and had only been noticed once I had arrived there. Behind me I could hear a car slowing to a crawl, I knew who it was before they said a word, so I stopped walking and waited for the policeman to speak. I was tested for drugs and alcohol, I was hoping there’d be some residual presence of the jagerbombs we’d done last night, because I figured if they found neither they’d just assume I was a paedophile. They asked me if I had been drinking, I told them about the night before, and I lied, told them I didn’t remember how I got home, in the hopes that their Holmes-like brains would incorrectly assume that I’d drunkenly broken into a school and fallen asleep in the classroom.
Eight hours later I was released without charge, but lots of stern warnings. I returned home where I had to implore a neighbour to let me use their phone so I could call a locksmith, I had to write out an IOU to them saying I would reimburse them for the phone credit used, when I asked for a cup of tea they added an extra 70p to the IOU. I went to my room to get dressed, sat on the mattress, it squelched under me and I leapt back to my feet. Cautiously placing a hand onto the bed I could feel a sloppy dampness, as if it had been glazed in egg yolk, and holding my fingers up to the light I could see a thin, gloopy substance with small crystals, kind of like hair gel. After six rings Jessica answered the phone, she was still in bed, though she was awake and watching a documentary about hippos. “How’s your head?” she laughed. “Fine, I’ve been in the police station all day.” “What!? What did you do?” “Nothing... Well, I... You remember last night, right?” “Sure, I wasn’t that drunk.” “We shared a taxi, me, you and Rich, and I was dropped off first...” “Yeah, but, why were you at the police station?” “So, you saw me go into my flat, you saw me go home?” “Yeah, well, no, but we saw you get out of the cab outside your flat. What did you do?” “I didn’t do anything, but I definitely went home, I got home, I went in, I went to bed.” “What happened?” “I woke up in a school.” “What!?” “My old secondary school, I was in class, naked.” “Are you sure this wasn’t a dream?” “If it was, then it was a very long and rather boring dream involving eight hours in a police station and two hours locked outside my flat.”
I repeated the day’s events to Jessica, enjoying her laughter and slightly embellishing certain details for her amusement. Last night we’d been out at the Frog & Bucket, it was supposed to be a quiet drink, just the three of us, but a group of city boys were in the pub having an arrogant, swaggering piss up and I couldn’t help but swipe some shots from off of their table. A combination of the crime going unnoticed and the dizzying rush of godawful sambuca helped send us giddily from tipsy to smashed. Shortly thereafter Rich was humouring the city boys at the bar and Jessica had gone to the bathroom, I decided I need to go as well, and Jessica and I passed on the small stairway down to the toilets, her going up, me descending, we had to place our backs to the wall to pass, our middles brushing close, Jessica beamed and said “Oh, hello!” in a Carry On-like fashion, and then we just kissed, both instinctively just leaning forward and we kissed. After a short while we stopped and carried on our respective journeys. Nothing like that had ever happened between us before, it was so unprecedented I didn’t even really hit me until later that night, in the taxi home, I felt silly and childish, like I did after my first kiss with Melanie Woodman behind the canteen building at school, we were both in top set geography together, we used to sit in the very classroom I woke up in today, at the very desks I was between. That had been what I was thinking as I fell asleep, I had been wondering about Melanie Woodman, remembering her sneaky little grin when we’d glance at one another in class. At the end of my conversation with Jessica I was confused, she’d laughed a lot, and I’d said things like; ‘So last night was fun...’ I wanted to mention the kiss on the stairs, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, what if she was embarassed about it, and I didn’t want to treat it like a joke, because it wasn’t a joke to me, it felt like something, it could be something, couldn’t it? I woke up in pain, I was at an angle, it was dark still, I was on a cold tiled floor, but the floor was stepped, there was a chemical smell, detergent and mop water. I didn’t need to open my eyes
A FAKE BREAK BY PHOTOGRAPHER RUSS ANDERSON
to know where I was, I was on the stairs at the Frog & Bucket. I stood, my back cracking from the awkward position I had found myself in, my naked skin kissing off the gloss, hurrying up the stairs I could see early morning light in the sky outside, but the pub, understandably was shut. I searched, carefully and quietly, for a set of spare keys, but no luck. However a thought that yesterday would have seemed ludicrous had begun to enter my mind. I climbed into a booth, lay down on the soft padded seating, got as cosy as I could and tried to go to sleep. “Oi, mate! What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I opened my eyes, it was bright, I hadn’t slept terribly well and now this voice had brought me out of what scant slumber I was in. But worse, I was still in the pub, still lying naked in the booth, except now the bar manager was staring at me and he was holding a broom in an aggressive stance. The same policemen interviewed me, they gave me the same withering look that my mother would give me whenever I inevitably hurt myself after a stern warning not to be so boisterious. “Drunk again, were we?” “Well I was in a pub.” I replied, a little too quickly and sarcastically, I instantly regretted saying it, I apologised. “No, I hadn’t been drinking, I... just... um...” “How did you get in?” “What?” “Into the pub. There were no signs of a break in.” I lied to the police again, “One of the windows was open.” “I see,” the policeman with heterochromia said whilst making a note. Then they sat there for a bit, the two of them, just sort of staring at me, figuring me out and I stared back, feeling a bit cheeky that this is the second time they’ve had to loan me clothes in as many days. “You’ll be pleased to hear that Derek doesn’t want to press any charges. But listen, if this happens again you’ll be spending
a night here, all right?” I bothered the same neighbour, made another IOU, called the same locksmith, waited the same two hours for him to finally arrive, and shamefully entered my flat and went to my bed to find the same icky matter staining the freshly laundered sheets I’d put on yesterday. Out of concern for my health I ran my hand along the bed cover, gathering as much of this slop up as I could and deposited it into a tuppaware container. It was early afternoon, the police had treated me with more haste today, though I undoubtedly believed that if I wound up there again tomorrow they’d really take their time with me, and I was certain they’d stick to their word and shove me in the cells, at least for one night. But, more than anything I was crestfallen. I had been certain of my hypothesis that sleep had been the cause, perhaps I hadn’t been thinking about my own home hard enough, maybe that was why, or the discomfort of lying naked in a pub had kept me on edge, I hadn’t been able to enter a deep sleep. Yes! That must be it. But, I needed to find out. Fortunately there was a half used box of Nytol in the bedside drawer, remnants from two ex-girlfriends ago, I figured it’d be fine to take one, though it felt strange doing so at two in the afternoon. I decided to set optimum napping conditions, I went into the front room, lay on the sofa, put on the telly, it was some asinine homes show, the guests were nattering about a cottage in Porthmadog, I popped a pill and cosied up. I thought about my bed, my bed just upstairs, I tried to picture it clearly in my head, its position in the room, the feel of lying in it, where I like to lie, the right hand side, stretched out, one hand under a pillow, my bed. I woke up, the sun was either setting or rising, I couldn’t tell, but what I could tell is that the sky I could see was from a window that shouldn’t be in my room, which meant I was in a room that wasn’t my room, and standing I could see I was in a lounge, immaculately decorated, with a view of a bay, it was the
house from the television show, the cottage in Porthmadog. Despite falling asleep in my clothes I was naked again and I didn’t know whether to first go to the telephone or to try and find something to wear. I crept around the rooms, the cottage to seemed to be reassuringly vacant, but I still winced with every unexpected knock and squeak as I tip-toed through the dark, expecting, at any moment, a set of keys to jangle toward a lock, or a light to suddenly illuminate my nakidity. On the plus side, I thought, if I do get caught, at least it’ll be a different pair of policemen giving me a bollocking. I found a bedroom, there were various items of jewellry strewn on a cabinet, so I assumed that this cottage did have inhabitants but they just weren’t here, and, as I then discovered, they were of a size rather larger than I. With a dressing gown almost double-wrapped around me I slunk back downstairs and picked up the landline, suddenly realising that I don’t know Jessica’s number off by heart, nor any number bar my childhood telephone number which my parents had made me memorise in case I was ever lost, but that was no help now as they’d sold the house to be bulldozed and developed into a supermarket over ten years ago. Then the foolishness of my situation struck me, I wouldn’t need to phone anyone at all, I would just have to fall asleep and think of somewhere safe, and do so in an environment where my thoughts could not be distracted by reality television. The only catch now being that I didn’t feel at all tired and, after scavenging through their cupboards, couldn’t find any kind of sleeping pills or sedatives. I didn’t much fancy hanging around until I felt naturally tired, the Nytol had done a great job and I felt rested and refreshed. What I did find though was a large bottle of vodka, and I figured that desperate times call for desperate measures, in this instance, quadruple measures, with a splash or two of orange juice to take the edge off. I knocked back the first glass in one go, the after taste was horrendous, like being punched in the stomach and having some
spray deodorant in your mouth at the same time. Fortunately, as is usually the case with alcohol, the second and third glasses tasted progressively more palatable, and by the fourth my brain was starting to sway uneasily in its casing. I staggered, lop-sided around this cottage and found myself, for some unknown reason, re-enacting the reality show that I had fallen asleep to earlier. “Oh, look at the exposed beams!” I cooed to my imaginary husband (I was playing the wife), “Such character! Yes,” the husband agreed, clearly not interestested in exposed beams. “If you’ll follow me up the grand eshcalier,” the host joined in, “to the master boudoir.” I don’t know why I made him so camp, he wasn’t like that at all in the show, but I was giggling to myshelf now asssss I mayyde my whhay upppp d’ stairsh and, y’know, I’m luuuccky, I really am, and, and I got this power, I could go anywhhhhere, yesssh, I, well, I, they tried, if they try to lock-ock me up in d’at cell, well, I’lllll, yes, I’ll laugh in their facesh, ha ha, in both those poleeeshhhman’s faces... I woke up, I could hear the silence and I could sense a presence, and I opened my eyes to see that I was about three feet off of the floor, lying on a desk, my face pressed against some papers, the rest of my bare skin amongst various items of stationery and, as I arched my body round to survey the situation, the now entirely expected faces of the two policemen stared with a mixture of disdain and supressed laughter.
e hides the black and crimson squiggles of himself behind a self-portrait of reassuring, corn-fed perfection, slightly tousled. There’s a few must-dash hairs out of place, poster paint under his fingernails. His nose is bent slightly to the left, the result of a climbing-frame-plus-space-hopper incident the relating of which will bring the house down, and have the listeners giggling wickedly to themselves hours later at that well-judged dash of dark humour, those peaty undertones. He doesní’t subscribe to the notion that the tangled collection of knots and blockages, treacherous loopholes and fraying threads, all somehow make up his true self. That’s silly. He has made himself. He has put all his own wit and determination into the sculpting. He hasn’t gone to all that effort just to let it shatter in the face of some bleated insistence that it’s not who he is inside. Always this adolescent obsession with what’s inside, some imagined vasty deeps, lovely and wondrous. He has seen what’s inside. He knows. So he polishes his self to a high and obfuscating shine and turns it outwards, to soirees or summits, it works just the same. People can admire the sparkle or approve of the clarity, which permits them to see in to the fullest millimetres of their satisfaction. Behind that, he’s pure cataract. SARAH PEPLOE
‘UNREAL’ - ROSSLYN POSTLEWAITE 44
ear Esther is an indie project available on Steam and is not your typical game. It was interesting trying to find critical information on the web because all the game reviews seemed to be unsure of exactly what they were looking at. The ìgameî is essentially a poetic story set partly in the mind of the protagonist Donnelly and partly on an island resembling the Orkney Isles. The island is rendered using the Valve Source Engine and the prime interaction you have as user is to walk through the beautiful
scenes in first person, listening to a narrator read out letters to his love, Esther. Several reviews have described this as a ghost story, however it is fairer to say that itís more of a playing out of consciousness which follows the circumstances of the death of Esther and subsequent exile of Donnelly to this island. The nature of the storytelling is deliberately elusive and enigmatic and it falls to the listener to piece it together from the fragments that the narrator and recurring images offer up. Walking through the landscape is the only
interactive element of the game. It is not a very open environment and you are coaxed along a linear path, with only the occasional area that you have to notice and discover yourself. Daubed on the walls of caves are recurring psuedo-biological and electrical diagrams, reminiscent of images in the hit television drama series ‘Lost’. The nature of the story and the way it was told did not grab me. The story, which I will not ruin for you, is shallow and told in the pretentious manner all too familiar if youíve experienced
large scale English Arts Council theatre projects. In other words, not much material spread over a long time with sometimes confusing and often trite aphorisms and metaphors. The setting, the graphics, the narration and the simplistic music all do the job of creating an atmospheric experience, only made irritating if you require your artistic experience to be thoughtful, complex and have some intellectual merit. However, there were a few things that made me want to make it through the whole thing. The narrator, Nigel Carrington, does a fantastic job in setting the scene with his gravelly voice and measured delivery. At the few points where you can potentially die in the game, walking into water or falling off a cliff, the screen goes black and you hear a plaintive whisper ‘come back’ which is delightfully intimate. The real brilliance of the experience lies in the design and programming of the environment itself. Were there no narration or story I would happily wander through this game, enjoying the bracing wind masterfully brought to life through good foley work and careful particle effects. Every time I turned a corner I was struck by the beauty and fine detail of the artwork and 3D modeling. Play this in the dark and you are instantly transported to the orkney isles (where I have visited many times in my childhood). If, like me, you have a nerdy fascination for the progress of computer graphics and rendering techniques, or just really enjoy exploring beautiful environments, then this game is worth trying out on that basis alone. It is interesting to see first-person 3D rendering slowly making it into the art world. I have yet to see a really good application of this technology, and I do not think the tools yet exist to create a fully engaging serious artwork. However ‘Dear Esther’ makes a good attempt. EDWARD CAINE 44
BOOK REVIEW This issue we’re looking at two literary ‘fakes’, ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ by P.D. James and ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ by Seth Grahame-Smith. Both use Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as a starting point.
.D. James paid Jane Austen the highest form of flattery when she wrote ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’. Her affection for, and great knowledge of, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is evident everywhere in the story set six years after the events of Austen’s novel. Her characterisation is almost note-perfect in harmony with Austen and her attention to detail in recalling backstories is gratifying. She even attempts to add substance to such characters as Wickham by inventing more detailed histories for them. Using this literary imitation as a foundation P.D. James then builds a new plot in her own inimitable style. The mysterious death of an officer in the grounds of Pemberley triggers a murder-mystery style investigation with Mr Darcy acting as magistrate. The change in genre from social drama to ‘whodunnit’ necessitates some significant additions to Austen’s repertoire. In order to complete her cast of possible suspects, as befits any murder-mystery, James introduces us to several servants who reside at Pemberley. Austen certainly never made time for the interests and occupations of the lower orders, and this makes an interesting departure from her style. James also dedicates a good deal of time to explaining the justice system of the era and also to providing some historical context, for example detailing Wickham’s military history
in Ireland. These additions are partly necessary to the plot but partly reflect James’ interest in the period. In an author’s note at the beginning of the novel James apologises for “involving... Elizabeth in the trauma of a murder investigation”. It is perhaps a sense of guilt at hijacking this popular literary character, or perhaps because of practical considerations, that P.D. James demotes Elizabeth from protagonist of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to a mere bystander in ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’. It is Elizabeth’s husband Fitzwilliam Darcy that investigates the murder while his wife remains quietly at home. By silencing one of literatures most compelling voices James has made an enormous mistake, alienating her readers and leaving her novel devoid of character. The quiet and dutiful Mr Darcy is far less compelling to read about than his contrary, passionate and headstrong wife. Fans of the original may also be galled to learn than it is James’ opinion that Elizabeth married Darcy for his money. Surely, without I hope being too vitriolic on the subject, James has read that Elizabeth initially refuses Mr Darcy out of pride while being in full knowledge of his annual income? Abandon all romantic notions before picking up ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’, you will only be disappointed.
BOOK REVIEW ‘P
ride and Prejudice and Zombies’ by Seth Grahame-Smith is to ‘Pride and Prejudice’ what Weird Al Yankowicz’s ‘Eat It’ is to Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat it’. It is not an original story, sequel,or prequel, but a re-write of the original with hilarious extras. Austen’s novel is cast into the context of a zombie infection in England. Each trip through the Hertfordshire countryside results in a zombie rampage, and illustrious men and women (including our heroine Elizabeth Bennett) are re-imagined as capable zombie killers. As a fan of both Jane Austen and zombie films this light-hearted re-write seems tailor made for me, and indeed there is a lot to enjoy here. The majority of Austen’s prose is intact and there are moments when the zombie apocalypse dove-tails neatly with the original plot. The militia are stationed at Meryton not for the winter, but to combat rising numbers of ‘unmentionables’ in the countryside. Austen’s trope of sending young ladies riding in the rain only to contract a fever is re-imagined as potential zombie infection. Verbal battles take on a physical dimension, so that Lady Catherine not only berates Elizabeth, she also gives her a solid roundhouse-kick. All these changes make for a few really good laughs, unfortunately the changes don’t end there.
If only Seth Grahame-Smith had left his alterations within the subject matter of zombies. Sadly the novel is also edited to make it more palatable for a modern audience, various scenes being edited together, deleted or paraphrased. Worse than this characters are also exaggerated for cheap laughs. Mr Collins is now outrageously fat, Mrs Bennett subject to fits of vomiting, Mr Wickham is incontinent. None of these changes bear any relation to the walking plague and only serve to dull the edge of Austen’s humour. Whether Seth Grahame-Smith is aware of it or not ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is already funny, and doesn’t require a heavy hand. Grahame-Smith clearly feels the need to spoon-feed Austen to his readers and in doing so I think he misses a trick. The funnier portions of the book are the real juxtapositions between real regency court behaviour and zombie killing, the more Grahame-Smith dumbs Austen down the less contrast he leaves behind and the more he creates a modern mush. Does everyone keep having to make puns about ‘balls’? Stick to the zombies Grahame-Smith, and maybe we’ll make it out of here alive.
KATIE DAVIES 44
CTRL + C
here’s a worrying statistic in modern cinema consumption, the most popular box office hits of recent times have been primarily composed of sequels, remakes, re-imaginings, re-cuts, rethinks, reboots, rehashes, franchise starters, franchise closers, 3D re-releases and the like. With only a scant handful of original films making much of impression when the bean counters count their beans. Does this mean Hollywood is afraid of original ideas? By and large it is true that a bit of brand recognition can help bring in the punters, but should this be confined to being able to slap a numeral after the title or evoke memories of an earlier, perhaps better, film? Why shouldn’t the ‘brand’ be a director’s style? Look at the films of Wes Anderson, they have a recurring audience because of his particular vision and, excluding his stop-motion version of ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, all his films have told original stories (oh, ok, his first feature ‘Bottle Rocket’ was based on his own short film, but shush, that doesn’t count). Despite being a big John Carpenter fan I had never seen his 1988 cult-classic ‘They Live’ until recently and, whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of Nada (played by WWF wrestler Roddy 26
Piper) who discovers via some specially made sunglasses that society is secretly controlled by alien overlords, I couldn’t help but think how much potential there was for a remake. In this instance I felt that Carpenter, whilst making a film stuffed to the gills with ideas, hadn’t quite had the budget and time to really realise a lot of them. Perhaps (no offence Roddy) he also didn’t quite have the cast to bring the necessary heft to certain scenes. Similarly a lot of the film’s potential for satire seemed suggested rather than exploited. Of course, Carpenter’s films have been remade and rethought before, look at the terrible remake of ‘The Fog’, Rob Zombie’s “meh” new version of ‘Halloween’ or the nonsensical pre-make (a remake disguised as a prequel) of ‘The Thing’, which was oddly also called ‘The Thing’. Carpenter’s film ‘The Thing’ was actually a remake of the 1950s scifi ‘The Thing From Another World’, which was based on the novella ‘Who Goes There’? But Carpenter’s film wasn’t beholden to the others, whilst using the ideas at the core of both the story and first film it was its own beast. 2011’s pre-make of ‘The Thing’ faithfully followed the
CTRL + V beats of Carpenter’s film, imitating sequences like the classic blood-test scene with its own pale version (a dental fillings check). The filmmakers did a good job of replicating the style of the original movie to make it feel authentically 80s, but they didn’t let the film tell its own story. Instead it was just all set-up to the better film that, within the film’s chronology, was to follow. There are plenty of remakes in the pipeline, most notably the likes of ‘Oldboy’, ‘Carrie’, ‘The Evil Dead’ and ‘Robocop’. Recent times have seen the success of new versions of ‘True Grit’, ‘Clash Of The Titans’, ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, but, even when these films haven’t been downright terrible they don’t seem to be bringing anything new to the table, whether it’s a different vision of familiar material or exploring other concepts and ideas perhaps only hinted at or totally ignored in earlier versions. I don’t think remakes are a bad idea, it’s starting to get to the point where films are like plays, there to be re-interpreted time and time again. But whereas a stage director may suddenly decide to bring a crazy new vision to their production of ‘A Doll’s House’ (this time it’s set on a space station!) a lot of Hollywood
remakes seem to just tick all the same boxes, and are almost in thrall to the version that went before. Watching ‘They Live’ I felt that there was a similar yet different film that could be told using the same key ingredients, and that is how all remakes should be approached. If I were re-making ‘They Live’ I would have to think very carefully about whether it was appropriate for my version to include the infamous line “I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum.” Similarly I probably would ditch the five minute long fight scene between the two male buddies. Initially fans may throw their arms up in offence, but it would be far worse to compromise a new vision for the sake of pleasing a few die-hards. Ultimately if you’re going to remake something make it your own. If you’re remaking a bad movie with a great premise then you don’t have much to worry about, but if you’re remaking a beloved cult classic or fan favourite then just remake the feeling that that original film evoked in people and don’t worry about making it your own. OWAIN PACIUSZKO 44
Despite what you may have heard from assorted industry bodies, “fake” and “counterfeit” are not at all the same thing. If you buy counterfeit Dulux paint, it’s not really Dulux. If you buy fake Dulux paint, it is really paint. This may seem like an academic difference, but in China these concepts are in active opposition to each-other. On one side you have people trying to rip you off, like iPhone repair shops who strip out the parts and replace them with fake, faulty ones. On the other side there are companies providing replicas of luxury products at a fraction of the price. For a near-perfect fake you’ll get perhaps a 50% discount, for a really low quality one it could be as much as 95% off. Nobody thinks they are real - if anyone is aware of how genuine an item is, then it’s the Chinese consumer - and the makers can be surprisingly creative in the ways they infringe western
copyrights. Recently the phenomenon seems to have gained a name - “shanzhai” - a word meaning ‘mountain village’ or ‘mountain fortress’ which was formerly applied to the strongholds of regional outlaws who, in ancient times, continued their rebellious activities and banditry away from the reach of the state, the emperor and his armies. Such measures are not needed for the producers of counterfeit goods, though. With the entire country awash in the things, you can escape from even the slightest chance of legal trouble by changing your name by a letter or two, or replacing a character for a similarly-pronounced one - and there’s every chance the new name will be better, or at least funnier than the original. This week I walked around a famous shopping centre to see how many I could find. The answer was ‘plenty’. 44
BIKK EMBREGS Apparently there’s a famous Belgian fashion designer called Dirk Bikkembergs. It seems unlikely that he’s officially endorsed this outlet, especially as his first name is ‘Dirk’ rather than ‘Bikk’, and his second name is ‘Bikkembergs’ not ‘Embregs’, but I hope he’s man enough to appreciate the compliment and not sue this boutique. OAIUIN KIEIN How are you supposed to pronounce that? It doesn’t really matter. The letters all follow the same basic shape, and nobody’s going around reading foreign-language labels for fun.
BURREBRY SPORT I like to say this one in the voice of Brian Sewell. Give it a go.
two rabbits here, or at least I think so. Perhaps the one at the back is the black rabbit of death from Watership Down.
CHENAI AKA the Tamil Channel.
MGHHBOY This is the box my shoes came in, and, well, what can I say? Something is seriously wrong with this on many different levels. What apparently responsible human came up with this design?
DADIDAS Like Adidas, but for dads. This could easily be an actual marketing gimmick from Adidas, providing that dads are cool now. They are, aren’t they? PEONYBOY Playboy is exclusively known as a clothing brand in pornmag-free Mainland China, and cover-versions of its logo positively abound. Here we can see a synthesis with China’s national flower, the peony. There seem to be
OBAMA SUITS Not a fake brand, just not the real president, though a shanzhai imitation Blackberry is also running an advertising campaign featuring not-the-president. If you look like a marketable celebrity you can make a fortune in China.
So, then, is all this “ok”? If you’re an international conglomerate representing major brands, then the answer is probably “no” but for the rest of us I’m not so sure. There’s a certain freedom in being able to appropriate whichever cultural artefact you feel like appropriating. Of course there’s the “naked profiteering” angle too, but when it’s done with humour (intentional or otherwise) then it at least compares favourably to the other naked profiteering we see all around us. Let’s not forget either that imitation leads to innovation, and Christ do we need some of that right now.
JAMES ERRINGTON 44
FROM THE FACON TO THE FAUX-FU
ot many people I meet claim to have an active interest in food science, but because I am a vegetarian people often seem very keen to ask me about the food I eat. They are most interested to know about ‘fake meat’ and what it’s made of. They seem a little scared of the idea of a meatsubstitute, and some even even seem a little troubled by the concept. So for all of those who have been baffled in the face of chicken-style pieces, or ‘fishless fishcakes’ here is my guide to vegetarian meats.
TOFU Tofu is also known as ‘bean-curd’ and this name gives a clue as to its origins. As a bit of background this is how cheese is made: You take milk and ‘split’ it (e.g. curdle it) using an acid or an enzyme so that you’re left with curds and whey (curds are lumpy bits, whey is a watery by-product). You strain out the lumpy curds and press all the water out of them. The longer you press the harder the cheese gets and you can add different flavours or moulds to make the cheese unique or interesting. To made tofu just substitute the word ‘milk’ for ‘soya milk’. In fact the process is so similar that it is thought that the Mongolians taught the Chinese to make cheese and the Chinese just adapted the concept. Just like cheeses there are soft and hard varieties of tofu, flavoured and unflavoured. Personally I don’t consider tofu to be a true meat-substitute because the texture is completely unlike meat. A lot of meat-eaters seem to hate tofu because it’s fairly bland and has an unusual texture, but for those willing to give it a try I have two recommendations. Firstly flavour it, marinade it as you would chicken and don’t expect it to have a strong flavour of its own. Secondly deep-fry it. If you go to a Chinese restaurant the tofu they serve will probably be deep-fried and the delicious light texture is something to be savoured. Tofu is high in protein and some varieties have added calcium, making it a healthy choice for those avoiding meat and dairy, although perhaps less so if you always eat it deep fried.
TVP (TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN) You may not have heard of TVP but you’ve probably eaten it. TVP is another soya-based meat-alternative but created by a very different method to tofu. Soya beans are ground into a flour and the flour is them subjected to a process known as ‘de-fatting’ where all the carbohydrates are removed leaving only the protein. This flour is then formed into small chunks which is sold as TVP mince. To prepare the mince you simply re-hydrate it by simmering it in some stock and add it to your bolognase or chilli. Supermarkets now sell TVP frozen and pre-prepared (already hydrated and flavoured) where it tends to be labelled ‘Soya mince’ which sounds much more appetising than TVP. TVP also forms the basis of lots of other vegetarian ‘meat’ products, such as Linda McCartney sausages and burgers. TVP is a cheap ingredient sometimes used by the food industry to add bulk to meats or in place of meat to make preparation easier. If you’ve even eaten a pot-noodle you’ve eaten TVP. Believe it or not those white chunks aren’t chicken, and in fact pot-noodles are suitable for vegetarians.
“IF YOU’VE EVEN EATEN A POT-NOODLE YOU’VE EATEN TVP” 44
Quorn© is a relatively new ‘fake meat’ product, having only been on the market since the 1980s. It is also a British invention and has only recently become available to shoppers in the America. Quorn© is not derived from soya protein, but from a ‘mycoprotein’. In other words Quorn© is a highly processed fungus which is combined with a number of other ingredients before it becomes meat-like in texture. Unlike many other meat-substitutes Quorn© contains eggs, making it unsuitable for vegans. It is currently being marketed to meat-eaters as a healthier alternative to meat, and in terms of replicating a meat-like experience Quorn© is probably the most convincing fake. Quorn© now also make fish-alternatives as well as deli-style ham and chicken slices and even pepperoni pieces to put on pizza. Quorn© is a relatively expensive meatalternative, but it’s low in fat and high in protein. I have noticed that when meat-eaters cook for vegetarians they often chose Quorn© products, and I can only assume that to those accustomed to cooking with meat Quorn© offers a reassuring familiarity, as well as being easy to prepare.
“WHO CAN DENY THE COMFORTING POWER OF BANGERS AND MASH OR A CHICKEN AND LEEK PIE?” 34
Another product which is not particularly well-known, but like tofu seitan is a Chinese invention. Seitan is made by a similar method to TVP except that the main ingredient is wheat rather than soya. Wheat flour is refined to remove all carbohydrate, leaving behind only the wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is famous for being a substance that those with Coeliac Disease are sensitive to, but for the majority of the population (an estimated 99%) gluten is safe. The pure gluten four is re-hydrated, flavoured, pressed into shape and either fried or baked into delicious chewy chunks. You can make your own seitan at home, but getting the proportions right can be tricky. I recommend buying it pre-made in health-food stores or Asian supermarkets where it’s usually canned and labelled as ‘mock duck’. You may also find ‘mock abalone’ or even ‘mock pork’. All are made by the same method, but flavoured and shaped slightly differently. Due to its rarity value seitan tends to be fairly expensive, but it’s by far my favourite meat-substitute. Denser and chewier than Quorn© and more flavourful than either TVP or tofu. It’s also a firm favourite of one of the most entertaining chefs online, Vegan Black Metal Chef. Check out his guide to/song about preparing seitan ‘Hail Seitan’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eovu IfeH2k4&feature=plcp
STUFFED BLACK BEAN IMPOSTER BURGERS
Now that you know how fake meats are made you may still be left with the question ‘why’? Why do fake meat products exist, and why do people eat them? Some meat-free cuisines (including the Chinese cuisine that saw the invention of seitan and tofu) were developed for religious reasons. Buddhists avoiding meat during religious observances and festivals wanted to eat something similar to their usual favourite dishes, duck, pork and abalone, but without the animal ingredients. Like Quorn© these products were created for people who ate meat at other times, not for vegetarians. For those who decide to give up meat entirely fake meat products can break the fall from one diet into another. Who can deny the comforting power of bangers and mash or a chicken and leek pie? Meat substitutes allow vegetarians to recreate familiar recipes with only a little adaptation, leaving the belly full and the conscience clear. For meat-eaters the difference between a chicken breast and a Quorn© ‘chicken’ fillet might be the texture or the flavour, but for those who morally object to a carnivorous diet the difference is the absence of animal cruelty. And the final questions, do I eat a lot of fake meats? No, only occasionally, maybe once a week. I tend to rely more on pulses and beans to get the majority of my protein. And no, I don’t miss bacon. KIT HALL
o, to most of my family these would not count in any way, shape, or form as hamburgers. And really, they aren’t. They’ve got no meat, a non-traditional spice addition, and aren’t even cooked on a grill! But they are tasty, inexpensive, and full of things which are good for you, darn it! For those who remain unconvinced, hopefully the cheesy centre will sway their opinion. SERVES SIX, OR MORE IF YOU MAKE SMALLER ONES. 2 400G TINS OF BLACK BEANS, DRAINED 1 TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN 1 TABLESPOON MINCED GARLIC 1 DICED ONION, ABOUT A CUP 1 EGG HALF A CUP PORRIDGE OATS (FINE FLAKE) HALF A CUP GRATED CHEESE, CHEDDAR IS BEST Mash together the beans until you get a nice chunky paste. Then add your cumin, garlic, and onions and mix thoroughly. If you wish, caramelize your minced onions, but this step isn’t necessary if you want a stronger onion flavour in the final burgers. Add oats and egg. Mix until everything’s wellcombined. Take a handful of your bean mixture in the palm of your hand. Make an impression in the centre of it. Stuff in as much cheese as you can.
Cover the cheese with more bean mixture, and press the ball flat. Put on hot frying pan or griddle with a little oil of your choice. Cook for about eight minutes, flipping once. Be careful, these do tend to be a bit soft. Delicious, but difficult to flip if you don’t have a really good spatula. Serve dressed up with all your favourite condiments and toppings. What you use as filling can be as varied as your imagination and palate allow. Different cheeses, salsas, pesto, chutney, take your pick. It will all work well.
RACHEL BACKA 44
A KNITTED ROSE C
rafter Whitney has been preparing to get married by knitting her own bouquet and floral center pieces. Follow the instructions below to create your own posy or omit the stem to use the roses as an embellishment, hair accessory or brooch.
MATERIALS: Oddments of 4ply or sock yarn A pair of 3mm needles 18 gauge florist wire, 14â€?length cut in halves Green florist tape Silk leaves on wire (if desired) Pliers Sewing-up needle
TO KNIT ROSE: Leaving a tail of about 14”, cast on 5 sts Row 1: Purl all sts Row 2: kfb in 1st st, knit to end (6 sts) Row 3: purl to last 2 sts, pfb, p1 (7sts) Row 4-5: starting with a k row, work in Stocking St Row 6: k1, k2tog, k to end (6 sts) Row 7: purl to last 3 sts, p2tog, p1 (5 sts) Repeat Rows 2-7 three more times (4 little petals total) Row 26: kfb in 1st st, knit to end (6 sts) Row 27: purl to last 2 sts, pfb, p1 (7 sts) Rows 28-29: repeat previous two rows 1 time (9 sts total) Rows 30-33: starting with a k row, work in Stocking St Row 34: k1, k2tog, knit to end (8 sts) Row 35: purl to last 3 sts, p2tog, p1 (7 sts) Rows 36-37: repeat previous two rows 1 time (5 sts total) Repeat Rows 26-37 two more times (3 medium petals total) Row 58: kfb in 2st st, knit to end (6 sts) Row 59: purl to last 2 sts, pfb, p1 (7 sts) Rows 60-63: repeat previous two rows 2 times more (11 sts total) Rows 64-69: starting with a k row, work in Stocking St Row 70: k1 k2tog, knit to end (10 sts) Row 71: purl to last 3 sts, p2tog, p1) (9 sts) Rows 72-75: repeat previous two rows 2 more times (5 sts total) Repeat Rows 58-75 two more time (3 large petals total) Cast off remaining 5 sts, leaving about an 8” tail
TO FINISH: With the purl-side facing out and starting with the smallest petals, role the length of petals, using the cast-on tail to do as running stitch along the straight-edge as you roll. Be careful to keep the straight-edge even when rolling, and not to pull the sewing thread too tightly. I also find it easier to wrap if I pull the curved edge of the petals up, so they kind of close over the previous row, like a closed bud. Once the rose roll is made, tie off the cast-on tail (no need to bury it, though), and then use the cast-off tail to do another running stitch once around the outer-most layer of petals, and pull this tightly, to cinch the base together (push the center of the roll in a little if necessary to allow a good cinching), and tie off (again, no need to bury the tail). Roll petal tops down a little, as needed, and stick your pinky finger into the center, and twirl complimentary to the roll around the finger. This helps the center open up, and look more rose like. TO ATTACH STEM: First, prepare the florist wire by wrapping it with a base layer of florist tape. Although the tape may not seem sticky to the touch, it will adhere to itself. Also, the tape will stick better on the ends if you rip it instead of cutting it when youíve finished wrapping a length. Once wrapped, poke one end of the wire upward through the center of the rose. Make a hook on the end of the wire that went through the rose, and then pull the wire back down into the rose. The hook helps anchor the wire to the rose. Next, wrap the yarnís tails around the wire so that itís spiraling down the stem, but not so far that you canít keep it somewhat in place during the next step. Now, starting right under the bottom of the rose, begin wrapping the yarn-covered wire with florist tape, and continue down the stem. If youíd like to add a leaf, wrap the wire end of the leaf around the stem at the desired height, and the wrap with florist tape. WHITEY IVEY 44
C A S S I O P E I A â€œShe whose words excelâ€?
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