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The alternative magazine of UCLU

Issue 29

Also in this Issue Chalk This Way Portico chalkers grassed up p.2 Mind The Gap UCL predicts a £100m shortfall p.3 Floxx and Pounds The big business behind a small website p.4 Cairo in de-Nile Mubarak’s last stand has citizens fuming p.6

Tali-banter!

And we’ve got the tapes p.5

Keep Her Sweet

Pluck the fruit of our poet-tree p.6

Moonlighting

The Provost’s new janitorial sideline p.8

Reform will tear them apart, again The Union finally had something to celebrate as the Referendum, which concluded on Thursday 3 February, passed amid a tidal wave of positivity. Over three thousand students voted, a record for the Union, and both motions were carried with a majority of around 90%. However not everyone was happy. The rise of divisive partisanship in the UCL Union

seems to have peaked at the beginning of the spring term. Accusations of an unfair ‘Vote Yes’ campaign emerged first in Pi Newspaper and then in a number of letters of complaint written to General Secretary Tom Elliott. Some saw officers’ use of iPads to garner votes as irresponsible, and questions were raised over the legitimacy of the one-sided campaign. Democracy and Engage-

ment Officer Mandy Smith, however, was keen to defend the actions of the ‘Yes’ camp. ‘Campaigning would have come across one sided,’ she explained, ‘but that is nothing to do with those supporting the proposals and everything to do with those opposing the proposals.’ Though she may have a point, her Continued on page 2


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The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

Down Your Union Continued from page 1 comments say a lot about the us-versus-them mentality among Union representatives. It would appear that no one was willing to campaign against the reforms, despite the availability of funding and resources for anyone looking to speak for the ‘No’ side. Smith and several other Union insiders have said that the absence of a fair fight was the result of a ‘boycott’ campaign, designed to hide the referendum from potential voters in an attempt to render it inquorate. Put simply, the opposition wanted less than 10% of the student population to take part so that the vote would be invalid– they chose to promote apathy over fair campaigning. Medical and Postgrad Officer Alex Nesbitt, who led the ‘Yes’ campaign, recognised the resistance to the reforms from within the Union. ‘The way to deal with these disagreements,’ he stated, ‘is to engage with the democratic process, rather than to attempt to take it down.’ This isn’t the first instance of foul play we’ve seen in the

Union this year. Before the last Union Council meeting, Education and Campaigns Officer Michael Chessum sat with his band of apostles in a café, apparently pinpointing the exact moment when a walkout would have maximum effect. First Executive Committee member Ben Towse threw down his voting pad and flounced out over the condemnation of criminal damage to UCL buildings, then Chessum attempted to lead his troupe from the room. The Sabb had already threatened to leave if his suggested amendments weren’t upheld. Hilariously, the tactic backfired as some of the usual members of Trotsky Inc, like Faculty Rep Andrew Tranter, decided to stay behind and do their job properly. Following the half-hearted ‘abandon ship’, the meeting remained quorate and motions opposed by the lefties were passed with little opposition. Towards the end of the meeting a motion emerged proposed by Chessum him-

self: to condemn police violence from the student protests on 9 December. Embarrassingly, since Chessum and his cronies had long since fled the scene, no one was around to explain it to the meeting. Now that’s commitment. Trying to stage a walk out during a meeting you were elected to attend is an utterly ridiculous concept, no matter who you are. These students were voted in to represent the views of their peers who elected them; they were put in office to vote on issues that will affect the membership. Tom Elliot, who chairs Union Council, has seen the emergence of the petty bickering and recognises the farcical mock-political situation it has created. ‘Cliques were apparent from the start,’ he says, ‘but by reading week of term 1 these had formed into two distinct groups in council. One group would sit on my left, the other on my right, with a gap in the middle.’ Just like real parliament, then. Bless ’em. Let’s hope the new governance reform gets rid of some of the self-serving pseudo politicos on both sides of the divide and begins a new era for Union representation. Bloody likely.

Chalking Hell!

UCL management hands details of Chalk-gate to the Met Hannah Sketchley UCL management may have implicated students in a criminal investigation. Sources inside UCL Union have informed The Cheese Grater that the names of six individuals embroiled in the chalking of the UCL campus have been sent to the Metropolitan Police. These are said to include Education and Campaigns Sabbatical Officer Michael Chessum and Environment and Ethics Officer Greg Brown. However, it would appear that neither has been told first hand by management that they could be prosecuted. UCL would only confirm that CCTV footage of the chalking had been handed to the police at the time of

the original action. It is currently unknown whether the police feel they can take the matter further given the available evidence. However, according to sources UCL has informed the police that if they do not take action against those listed, UCL will do so itself. Michael Chessum told The Cheese Grater: ‘If it is true that our names have been sent to the Metropolitan Police, this would prove the political motives of the college in doing this as neither Greg Brown nor I took part in the chalking. It is literally impossible for college to have footage of me taking part in the chalking because that did not occur.’ The chalking of campus was one of the most contro-

versial actions associated with the UCL Occupation last year. Questions have been raised as to its legitimacy and legality as a political tactic in recent UCLU Council meetings. A motion was proposed at Council on 18 January to condemn the chalking of the Portico as criminal damage, given that part of it is designated as a War Memorial. The motion encouraged those who took part to come forward under the protection of Welfare Officer Leo Nicholas. However, given recent developments, it would appear that this request from the Union has not yet been met. Questions have been raised by the student movement as to the ethics of UCL management in not informing

Society Bitch Ultimate Frisbee Society was thrown into dire financial straits after purchasing $1,000 worth of frisbees from America. Seems like a lot of money for playing catch in a park– for a thousand dollars you could probably buy a life. Following allegations of indiscriminate face punching and bin-urination on campus, Men’s Rugby could have been forgiven for expecting the worst at their recent disciplinary meeting. However, it now seems that the society nimbly sidestepped the grasping arms of union justice. Throw them in the sin bin. Men’s Hockey have been given permission to go on tour abroad despite last year’s disastrous financial mismanagement. Apparently they’ve been ‘well behaved’ this year but it is still to be seen whether they will dumb down their ladism enough to ensure they don’t ruin themselves again. Society Presidents were invited by a phantom email to get involved in a curious event offering the opportunity to handle wild animals and various ‘venomous creatures’. If you want to see baboons and other primates at UCL I recommend the 2nd floor of the Union on a Wednesday evening.. the ‘Chalking Six’ before handing their details to the police. Sources inside the student activist community have also queried whether this could be an attempt to pick off those seen as ringleaders of student activism. Whether this attempt pays off, however, remains to be seen.


The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

The First Cut is the Deepest

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Fresh from Grant’s bunker The Cheese Grater examines the ugly coal face of cuts at UCL George Potts In a special meeting of Academic Board on 16 December 2010 Provost Prof Malcolm Grant delivered a presentation that predicted a £100m funding shortfall based on our current economic model. The report explained the potential impact of government cuts in detail, speculating on UCL’s future in more detail than ever before. In June last year, UCL was pleased to announce a £30m budget surplus for the financial year 2009-10. The management heralded the announcement as proof that UCL had finally achieved the financial performance level required by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE). However, following recent university funding cuts made by the coalition government, the university’s finances look nowhere near as secure as such figures would have you believe. The report predicts a funding shortfall of £100m in the year 2014-15, based upon the following criteria: -A 70% cut to the HEFCE Teaching Grant which will lose UCL £40m p.a. for undergraduate teaching and £8m p.a. for postgraduate teaching -Research funding reduction and efficiency savings that will cost UCL £15m p.a. - Increased pay costs (including pension increases) that will cost UCL £12m p.a. - Non-pay increases (including the rise in VAT) that will lose £5m p.a. - A cut in capital funding (through the HEFCE Capital Investment Framework) that will cost UCL £20m p.a. In the next year, further economic problems will stem from the fact that cuts to the Teaching Grant and increased revenue from tuition fees will not be synchronised: UCL will face a gap in which government money is not coming in

from either revenue source. The figures also demonstrate that the increased undergraduate tuition fees will not cover this shortfall. The report proposes three possible methods to increase revenue: - £43m by raising undergraduate tuition fees to the maximum allowed £9,000 per year - £10m by raising all UK and EU postgraduate fees to £10,000 per year. - £12m by raising all international student fees by 15% These figures suggest alarming fee increases on a scale that the government has frequently denied would be necessary for universities to survive. If imposed, the latter two proposals would also contradict Grant’s most recent Student Newsletter in which he wrote that fee increases ‘apply only to UK and EU undergraduate students, not to postgraduates or international students’. Most worryingly of all, these fee increases would not even manage to plug the gap in funding. Even with all three extreme measures imposed, UCL would still face a short-

fall of £35m. Such a gap represents either a cut in staffing by 16% or a cut in the university’s total expenditure of 10%. Council minutes indicate that in order to make further cuts, UCL will ‘consider the scope for reducing four-year undergraduate degrees to three years’. The courses that may be considered are not specified. This is speculation but it demonstrates the immense financial uncertainty that UCL is currently facing. The fact that they were presented by the Provost at a special meeting of a senior UCL committee also suggests how seriously management is taking them. When The Cheese Grater approached UCL management for further explanation of these figures, none was offered. Vice-Provosts Michael Worton and Rex Knight declined to comment, while Grant remained unresponsive despite repeated attempts to contact him. Management has been strangely reluctant to offer any real explanation to UCL students about these cuts. Conspicuously, less than three days after The Cheese Grater contacted UCL

management about these figures, the UCL web page on which they were available had disappeared. The website link previously used to access them now forwards users to another UCL page. Despite the minutes having been publically available just last week, we were told that we were not authorised to access the resources. Management’s silence begs the question as to why they have not made more concerted efforts to raise awareness about how badly universities will be affected by the cuts. It seems strange to many students that they refused to publically condemn higher education cuts last year despite repeated calls to do so by the UCL Occupation. In an interview with Pi Newspaper this month, Grant mentioned that on his ‘gloomiest days’ he could ‘picture [UCL] £100m down a year gross by 2014/15’. This is not just a daydream of Grant’s but a realistic possibility for the future of UCL.

Spotted: Bad Journalism

Buried away on the front page of Pi Newspaper this seemingly sterile article in fact contains a homophobic gibe at Ben Towse, Executive Committee member and esteemed Leftie. It seems to prove a point: go after the Union and the Union’s mouth-piece will go after you!


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The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

Use Your Imagination UCL leads a crusade against online sexual deviancy

Peter Gesbian UCL sent a clear message to all perverts this week by announcing that students will be subjected to a full Internet history and hard drive check before graduating. The Information Services Division will use technology developed by the Metropolitan Police to expose all students who have viewed illicit material dur-

Renaissance Filth: Not Allowed

ing their time at university. The technology - designed to target students’ Online Masturbatory Footprint (OMF) – analyses viewings of not only pornographic websites but also Facebook photo albums. Repeated viewings of beach holiday albums are classified by the software as a ‘code red’ situation. The male population of UCL tumbled into hysterical panic following the announcement on 1 February, with many attempting to destroy any traces of their OMF. Unable to face up to their disgusting habits, many third years were seen throwing computers into skips and out of windows, with one group even going so far as to throw a bin bag of machines off Tower Bridge. It would appear too that many have chosen to simply ‘lose’ their laptops rather than face the checks. This week UCL

Lost Property has taken possession of thirteen laptops, two iPads and an Etch-A-Sketch depicting a splayed woman. However the Etch-A-Sketch was later reclaimed by ViceProvost Prof Michael Worton, who had accidentally left it in the South Junction toilets. The future of the scheme is uncertain however, as several prominent graduate employers have come forward in opposition. Fresh from the success of its campus-wide ‘We are the Wank Bank’ campaign, Credit Suisse was the first to speak out. ‘We need wankers: it’s almost a necessary qualification here in the City – great proof of a student’s short-term dedication.’ Alex Karski, the UCL Union Sabbatical Officer, held an emergency meeting in the Gustav Tuck Lecture Theatre two hours after the news was released. Using a Power-

Fin-de-circle Filth: Still Not Allowed Point presentation, Karski ran through the basic steps for deleting Internet history before someone pointed out such information is saved irrevocably to the hard drive. Hearing this, the Sabb immediately grabbed his laptop and smashed it on the ground, yelling something about ‘Mandy’s beach shots’.

Fantastic Mr. Floxx

The new FitFinder had a curious but very interesting genesis

Amanda Knox As we usher in the dawn of 2011, which will eventually move into 2012 with a crushing inevitability, the Banking system is set to change irreversibly forever. The introduction of the Volcker Rule has placed a ban on banks investing their own money in internal propriety trading. Fears regarding the fallout of this decision are mounting. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said recently that ‘by limiting the amount of money private companies are spending on things, it means that the things that will be being sold will be being sold for less, because not many of the banks are buying those things that are for sale in the first place’. A fine rhetorician, Geithner predicts that key industries that could suffer from the rule

include coffee chains, breakfast meeting liaison committees and Moët & Chandon, one of the largest global producers of dried fruit. In anticipation of the forthcoming regulations, banks are now flocking to the traditionally safer dotcom industry. Danny from Hear’Say, the unlikely new head of Wall Street minnow Goldman Saxx recently invested eight eggs in exchange for an 84% stake in StalkNet.com, a price per share which values L.A. scenester Mark Zuckerberg’s online venture at $50 billion. The cost of the Volcker upheaval is forcing change on even the most venerable financial institutions. Investment bank Lehman Bear recently announced a joint venture with Doug Richards, ex Lion from Dragon’s Den, in a deal rumoured to be worth more than what they paid for it. Richards

was introduced to Lehman Bear representatives on the set of Bear Grylls’ new film, Into the Body of the Beast, in which Old-Etonian Grylls performs an autopsy on the recently deceased Dick Fuld, ten-time champion of the annual Wall Street pissing contest, to explore the causes of the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Following the rip-roaring success of the movie-cum-documentary, a sequel, Grylls Goes Fannie (Mae) Hunting, is already in production. The partnership has also invested an undisclosed sum in Floxx.com, the rebranded FitFinder, previously banned from most UK universities for encouraging the tandem evils of library seat sniffing and inexcusably dull bragging. The new site launched on Christmas Day and is named after the sheep beloning to the shepherd

who so magnanimously raped Mary after the birth of her son Jesus on the same day 2011 years prior. Whilst there is definitely something appealing about casually hinting to someone who may or may not be online that you may possibly be interested in them (or anyone sitting in that vicinity of whom about 70% will probably fit exactly the same description) there is little evidence to suggest that this style of harassment can constitute a viable business model. After a brief look at the impeccable track record of Lehman Bear and Doug Richards one can only reserve judgement, but so far the uptake of the new website has been slow. Creator and ex-UCL swinging dick Rich Martell released a statement saying that he hoped ‘that the website will get bigger than it is now’.


Its a Knockers Out!

The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

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Katie’s Price is right...at the Oscars Goliath Shrimpson SilicONE, a silicone breast implant, received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress last night for her role as Katie Price’s left breast in ITV3’s straight-to-TV romantic comedy Me, My Tits and I. Katie Price lost out on the award for Best Actress for the same movie at the ceremony, which was held in Los Angeles. The performance by SilicTWO, the right breast implant, was largely panned by critics as soulless and lifeless. One reviewer commented: ‘the performance just didn’t feel real, you know? Although I can say it certainly wasn’t flat!’ Although it was billed as a romantic comedy, Me, My

Tits and I incorporated many factual aspects of Price’s life. The film was directed by Tim Roth. According to movie critic Sally Clarke: ‘the exciting combination of Price’s biography and Roth’s deft directorial touch gives this rom-com a great slasher-horror feel!’ The competition was strong in Best Supporting Actress following some impressive performances. Two standouts were the mirror that had to not crack as Cher looked into it on the set of Burlesque and Jonny Depp’s hairdresser, whose hands have actually appeared in every film alongside Depp - constantly styling and manicuring his suave bouffant - since Corpse Bride in 2005.

SilicONE released a statement thanking those who voted for her. She expressed her honour at joining the ranks of Whoopi Goldberg’s weave (Ghost) and Mo’Nique’s elasticated waistband (Precious) before asking for privacy behind Price’s bra and emphasising that she does not want any of the limelight. The award is likely to add fuel to the fire following arguments surrounding the nominations of Price and SilicONE. Many critics feel that SilicONE should have actually been nominated for Best Actress while Price was more deserving of a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

You’ve Bin Framed

Latest Bin Laden tape reveals bunker cock-ups Imminent collapse may await al-Qaeda according to sources close to the organisation’s leadership. The news comes after a series of tapes, purportedly recording Osama Bin Laden, were traced back to a location, now surrounded by NATO Forces, in Northwest Pakistan. The tapes, addressed to ‘Freepost: You’ve Been Framed’, include footage in which Bin Laden forgets his lines and fails to realise the camera is rolling as well as some home videos from within the terrorist’s subterranean command centre. One insurgent who did not want to be named, Faisal al-Abdullah, defended the strategy. ‘Just because we’re insurgents nine to five doesn’t mean we don’t have common problems like walking into glass patio doors, falling through those white plastic chairs you get from Argos and IEDs going off in your face.’ Explaining the motivation behind the new strategy, Ayman al-Zawahiri told The Cheese

Grater that the move had an economic rationale. ‘At 250 quid a pop, you’d be literally mental not to send those videos in. Mullah Abdullah Zakir suggested it, and it was a flawless plan until Keith cocked up and put our return address on the parcel... Fucking Keith, we’ll never take anyone for work experience again that’s for sure.’ Analysis of the tapes has varied. ‘They’ve apparently turned to drink as a sign of desperation,’ claimed Dr. Eduardo Oppenheimer of Chatham House, referring to the tape entitled ‘Lads on Tour - Pakistan ’08’. The tape shows Mullah Abdul Gani Baradar, taunting one ‘Osama Bin LAD!’ before exclaiming ‘TaliBANTER!’ and imbibing a full eight-pint pitcher of Snakebite. ‘This alcoholism now seems inextricably linked to the nationalist fundamentalism so endemic in the movement,’ continued Oppenheimer. ‘We clearly hear Obaidullah “18 pints” Akhund proclaim his ambition to create a pure, per-

fect “LASHganistan” before vomiting in manifold locations. I think what we’re seeing here is a fundamental shift in the underlying geopolitical structure of South-Central Asia.’ Professor Emmanuel Rostovzeff of the Royal United Services Institute contested this evidence at a recent conference on Middle East reform. His retort ‘Osama Bin Laden? Osama Bin Cunt more like!’ raised a wry smile from nearby William Hague, who is yet to comment on the matter. No shots have yet been fired in the standoff (with the exception of Flaming Sambucas) and tensions remain high. You’ve Been Framed presenter Harry Hill has welcomed the developments as evidence of the programme’s widening audience. The tapes may, however, present problems for those commentators who criticise military intervention as an ineffective means of spreading liberal values and Western behaviour.

Foreign bureau reporter Maxwell Titmousse goes in search of breaking news in Cairo Local councillors described themselves today as having their ‘backs to the wall’ over deadlines to set up a parking partnership in Cairo. Cairo County Council carried out a review of existing parking enforcement arrangements in 2009. It gave district and borough councils until March 31 to come up with alternative suggestions. El-Mar wants to be the lead authority with five other districts – Boulaq, El Tagamu El Khames, Faggala, Maadi and Mokattam – to form a Cairo Parking Partnership, which would cover residents’ parking permits, signs and line painting. However Mr. Bai-Tueet, the council’s director of safer communities, told a meeting: ‘We are up against a deadline of April 1. Our backs are against the wall on this.’ Fadi Amuz-Mant, the council’s cabinet member for safer communities, said it was important to get the scheme right from the start. The council’s cabinet agreed to support the principle of the Cairo Parking Partnership, but agreed further work was needed before an agreement could be signed.


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The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

LiesBroughtTheRecruiters, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Off-the-cuff courses curry favour with College top brass According to The Guardian (2 February), UCL could soon be rewarding students who display ‘corporate skills’ through work experience or extra-curricular business knowledge. Following universal acclaim for these plans, the university’s Careers Service has decided to implement further accreditation, this time for those students most adept at completely making things up. The new plans follow a review of higher education in light of the recent cuts, and aim to make degrees more relevant to the working world. In addition to companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers providing thorough and wellresearched classes in business

skills, entire modules could soon be based on a student’s ability to entirely invent facts, arguments, and hypotheses. In proposals leaked to The Cheese Grater, potential lectures that could be introduced to the timetable include ‘Fabricating Scientific Papers’ by Dr A. Wakefield, ‘Appearing Competent in Essays’ by Prof N. E. Student and ‘Greasy Pole Climbing’ by Mr Ian Powell of PricewaterhouseCoopers. However, the proposal has caught the attention of various critics. Dr Phil O’Sopher from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities said, ‘If all these students take courses in making everything up, then this completely undermines and deval-

ues degrees such as English and Philosophy. Soon, any student will be able to write an essay on the importance of Shakespeare in modern society.’ Vice-Provost Michael Worton defended the new development. ‘The ability to improvise and adapt to gaping holes in your knowledge is exactly what some of the biggest graduate employers tell me they’re looking for,’ he said. ‘That fine and generous company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, while possessing an incredible level of technical expertise, also value graduates who aren’t too fussed about memorising the tax code. Indeed I’m quite certain the global economy would have collapsed had it

not been for the wonderful team down at PwC, In fact, they’re almost making up for the chancers down at Deloitte, KPMG and E&Y.’ The ViceProvost went on to argue that formal education in fabrication of facts helps develop creativity, flexibility and charisma. The new modules could be implemented as soon as Autumn 2011. An unnamed student source said, ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers is a fantastic place to work. The company offers a competitive pay package and employee benefits including flexible working hours, and along with regular feedback provides sponsorship for professional qualifications. PwC accepts graduates from all disciplines, so those who visit http://www. pwc.com/uk/en/careers will not come away disappointed!’ This article was graciously sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Poetry Corner: Valentine’s Day Roses are red, Violets are blue, But it is all too much Shantih shantih shantih

roses are red violets are blue hey

-T.S. Eliot

look

Roses are red I have dropped my violets Down the back of the oven I’ll just reach in and get them.

i don’t use capitals or punctuation even in my

-Sylvia Plath

name

Roses are red Violets are blue. But they all died In World War One.

-e.e. cummmings

- Wilfred Owen

-J.K. Rowling

‘Roses are red,’ said Ron

Roses are red Violets are blue Lilium longiflorum or the ‘Easter Lily’ of Taiwan is white I have schizotypal PD and don’t like the company of other people. -Bill Oddie Contributors: John Bell, Richard Davis, Zefi Hennessy Holland, Emily McGovern, Marina Merryweather, George Potts, Luke Prince, Olivia Pyper, Thom Rhoades, David Simpson, Hannah Sketchley, Tim Smith, Madeline Wee, George White


Gordon Ghetto

Barnaby Bowen, Pitchfork.com urban editor, looks into the original gansta, Dr Dre When he was losing the respect of his erstwhile fans and neighbours, Dre put it thus: ‘I’ve been taking my time to perfect the beat, but my gloves still don’t fit on my feet.’ From this disconnected 2001 mire, Dre’s decision to refocus his attention on the impoverished inner cities that brought him fame and fortune is starting to pay dividends. The chasm between contemporary rap and the streets from whence it sprang is starting to close, and not before time. Long gone is the crude, breathy call-to-arms of ‘Fuck tha Police’ - the seminal track on Straight Outta Compton (1988) by his former band NWA (iNdividuals aWare [of their own] sociAl [responsibility]) - in favour of deeper, richer, more invigorating urban poems such as ‘Come Alive, We’re the Pepsi Generation’ (2011). ‘Hear that hiss, what’s that hiss? Someone’s got a Pepsi, I’m thirsty for a Pepsi, I’m going to spend my money on a Pepsi.’ The maturity and scorching intensity of the simple lines chews and gnaws at the frayed edge of our social blanket in a way some had thought was lost since the seminal Lil’ Wayne album, Gun On Da Bus. The listener feels the ground disappear beneath his feet as in the space of those 24 words Dre deconstructs

our metaphysical and moral norms only to rebuild his new utopian vision of society. ‘Hear that hiss, what’s that hiss?’ The overt reptilian reference immediately paints Dre as an inner city Adam in an inner city Garden of Eden. Yet far from a tranquil, blissful existence, he is overcome with paranoia and temptation. Dre hereby examines the futility of seeking a return to an earlier ideal, injecting a gravely futuristic shot into his writhing masterpiece. ‘Someone’s got a Pepsi, I’m thirsty for a Pepsi,’ A slamming rebuke of the toxic influence of materialism in the hip-hop genre! The ladle of salt with which the good doctor sips his promotional

The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

bottle of Pepsi in live performances could scarcely be a firmer nipple twist to rap-scene pretenders Jay-Z and P-Diddy, a tongue-through-cheek affront to a society where keeping up with the Pepsi-drinkingJoneses is the order of the day. With 21st century capitalism cast aside like so many recyclable bottles, the listener is in the palm of Dre’s hand. ‘I’m going to spend my money on a Pepsi.’

Dre re-identifies with his audience: a disillusioned Pepsidrinking mass of limitless potential and caffeine-induced enthusiasm. He endows the listener with the heavy responsibility of making one’s own choices in life, be that the purchase of a refreshing dark sugary beverage, or the decision to go to College. The jolting shock with which Dre delivers his message of hope and purpose shows that he has finally grown up and become the stirring icon that many believe he should be. With fresh vigour, and a dewy-eyed optimism, this might just be, nay is, the best rap album ever.

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Mr Rhoades, Following your sexual health check on 26th January, we are writing to inform you of the result. Regrettably, the test has come back positive for the following sexually transmitted infections: • Chlamydia This infection typically shows no symptoms, but while you are not in any immediate danger, it is still a very serious disease, and you should inform all of your sexual partners since your last clean test result as soon as possible. If untreated, chlamydial infections can lead to blindness and infertility. Please contact the Archway Sexual Health Clinic on 0801 7312 3162 to arrange an appointment. If you have any immediate questions, or wish to discuss your options or concerns, please phone the dedicated NHS sexual health helpline on 0801 7112 3469. Yours sincerely, NHS Sexual Health - Islington

Thanks, I’ll be sure to arrange an appointment. -Ed.


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The Cheese Grater Magazine | February 2011

Maintenance Grant

The Provost answers your DIY queries Dear Malcolm, My radiator won’t turn on. What advice could you offer me to tackle this in the chilly winter months? Seamus O’Rellard, Ramsay Hall Malcolm Says: Seamus, thanks for getting in touch. I’d recommend declogging the radiator with a bleeding key, available in all good hardware shops. If that doesn’t work and the night’s still cold, then a hat, scarf or teddy bear purchased from the UCL Shop should keep you snug as a bug! Dear Malcolm, My sink is giving me grief like nobody’s business. I’ve tried pouring boiling water and a bit of bleach down the plughole but it just won’t do the trick. Any handy hints to sort out my blockage? Dave Whelan, Connaught Hall

Malcolm Says: Sinks can be tricky to fix David, if the classic combo of bleach and water won’t shift that mother then I’d suggest my patented ‘Malcolm’s Mix’: half a cup of bicarbonate of soda, followed by a pint of malt vinegar. Whack that in there and leave it for an hour, it should go down hook, line and sinker! Dear Malcolm, There has been a nasty blockage in my toilet for some time, and the facilities service still has not sorted it out. What’s the best way to handle this problem? Frank Pinter, Ramsay Hall Malcolm Says: First things first Frank, try not to keep flushing the handle to make it all go away. You’ll probably break that too! You’re going to have to get down and dirty with this

Master Plaster - Malcolm Grant issue, so start by baling out the excess filth and water, then whack in some bleach and furiously wiggle a plunger up and down until you feel a change in pressure. Longer term, a move towards a fibre-based diet can

do wonders for your U-bend! Next week: Michael Worton advises students on embarrassing medical problems.

UCL Alumni Death Shock Dick Davis uncovers an inconvenient truth Every year thousands of students are attracted to UCL by the list of venerable alumni who once walked its halls and corridors. The names of famed individuals seem to promise hope for a life of affluence and health. However, my research reveals a shocking hidden truth: all UCL students will die, eventually. It was as a first year student some two years ago that I began a project looking into the legacy of UCL. As we’ve all heard, the university has produced some illustrious names that have impacted upon the world. Innocently enough, I was looking into figures like the author G. K. Chesterton,

the inventor Alexander Bell and the Indian man Mahatma Ghandi. Purely by chance I noticed that G. K. Chesterton had died. I thought nothing of it. But I then noticed that the same fate had befallen Bell and Ghandi too. It struck me as somewhat bizarre that all three of these alumni should be dead and I immediately decided to investigate further. Things became very frightening very quickly. I went to the library the next day only to discover that hundreds and thousands of UCL alumni had gone

the same way. Ito Hirobumi, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Enfield Roscoe, Eric Gardner Turner, William Henry Bragg, Francis Galton, John Stuart Mill, A. E. Housman – each more dead than the last. And the list goes on. I realised I was onto something more volatile than I could ever hope to fabricate when the librarian came and told me that the library was closed. Not a single door was locked. I hurried out. People from all walks of life who had come into some contact with UCL were dying every day. Clean-

ers, staff members, affiliate students, affiliate students’ pets, previous students of students, people who had once toured around the campus, people who refilled vending machines, people who provided the beverages on campus for those people refilling the vending machines, people who had heard of UCL, and people who hadn’t. It seems that no one is beyond this mysterious web of death that hangs over the institution. What does this mean for us as UCL students? It means that it’s too late. We’re already in their sights and the situation is beyond our control. It is only a matter of time before we too find ourselves dead.

UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society www.cheesegratermagazine.org Student Publication of the Year - UCL Union Arts Awards 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 President and Editor: Thom Rhoades Treasurer: Max Titmuss E-mail : cheese_grater_magazine_society@ucl.ac.uk Humour Desk: ascheesegrater@gmail.com UCL Union Cheese Grater Magazine Society, UCL Union, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of UCL Union or the editor.

Cheese Grater Magazine - issue 28  

In this issue: UCL's £100m budget shortfall uncovered; Union reform causes rifts in Sabb offices; Management hands students' details to Met...

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