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Clare Market Review The London School of Economics East Building 203, Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE

The Journal of the London School of Economics Students’ Union Volume CVII, Issue 1

Editor-in-Chief Aleona Krechetova Director of Design Grace Fletcher Contents Editor Alexander Young Production Manager Shreya Krishnan Design Editors Shreya Krishnan Anne-Sophie Pawlowski Albert Bezman Copy Editors Isabella Silver Kate Ryan Katie Carr Diana Yu Development Manager Ehae Longe Cover Artist Emily Briselden-Waters




Editorial Despite LSE’s reputation for rigorous political debate, and the tactical hunt for career opportunities, this issue reflects the variety of mindsets and originality (or lack thereof, this is up to the reader) of its students, and the generation as a whole. News scandals, protests and bad weather envelop the Houghton Street bubble, days roll into one and things are starting to look gloomy. Clare thinks it’s time for a shake-up. Counterculture is the term normally used to describe a sociological trend; Clarites want to use it as an umbrella-head for Imagination, Life, and Wrights Bar sandwiches. Everything is open to interpretation and alternative meaning – and that’s how it should be. Clare is feeling mischievous. She wants to combine creativity with weirdness, the power of the strong view, combined with the comical sketch. In this issue, we try to defy social order and precision, and let in havoc. Are we over counterculture? Or are we presenting you with simplified, over-the-counter culture? Neither, we just like to play with words. Let this compilation of readings and artwork inspire and entertain you, or at the very least, encourage you to parade your differences, like a crazy peacock. Happy reading, Clare

Opposite ‘Street Life in London’ by John Thompson and Adolphe Smith In 1877 Caney the Clown made his debut in London at the old Garrick. “No consideration of bone or nerve interfered with his assaults on the pantaloon” Courtesy of the LSE Archives


Contents 03 Disease For The Black Man Anonymous

21 When She’s Ten Feet Tall Asad Rahim Khan

07 Facing Your Mortality Still Makes A Nice Day Out Zoe Eleni Georgallis

28 Victory Lap Conor D’Arcy

09 Because Being Alternative Is Just Too Mainstream Laura Aumeer 12 Never Sleep Anonymous 14 Order Laura Kudrna 15 The Fake Factor Generation Emma Firth 18 Dazed And Confused: The Epitome of Counterculture Georgia Leacock



33 Blanche To Negru Mazi Kazemi 41 A Telecommunication Marko Grba 43 Information Is Cheap Helen Vicary 41, 52 Blocked Out, Price Tag Ehae Longe 47 I <3 Hipsters Anonymous


Contents Featured Artists 01, 39 Lucy Lin

25 Matt

05 Abigail Wood

17, 24, 38, 52 Elizabeth Cassin

07 Paniz Gederi

27 Kate Jones

12 Vlad Mihailescu

31 Emily Waters

13, 35 Ella Harrison

41, 45 Priya Paupamah

16 Cyrielle Denis

50 Saffaan Qadir

10, 30 Anonymous

53 Joanie Lam

19 Vanessa Woo

57 Rosie Caldecott



Disease For The Black Man

By Anonymous

I call it disease, You call it culture. It makes us bleed, And it picks on us like vultures. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no progress when we look back, And yet we follow the generations of yesterday. The generations who may have paved a way, No doubt. But we need to go forwards, Forwards and into the future, Not backwards and below. Yes, our motherland is enriched with beauty, Beauty seen through history and elegance. A wonderful story to be told, A living story for future generations.



But why do we stop at culture? We turn into an excuse “Oh, he is that way because of culture!” “Oh, we do this because of culture!” You get my drift, don’t ya? Disease for the black man, Is what I will call culture Because culture is a disguise, It doesn’t let us see beyond our eyes. We will go back, But there is something we will always lack. Is this the definition of being black? I am proud to be an African I am proud to be the child of an African woman and man. But I cannot go backwards, So I will only tell you to “go forward”. This disease for the black man It is overcome, It can be defeated and cured; No more being allured Into giving ourselves an excuse, That we are who we are. Not because our black skin makes us shine like stars, But rather because we are enriched in a culture That forbids us to move on. We need to move on, Become strong, as one. And when we face the world, We face it together, and not alone.




Facing Your Mortality Still Makes A Nice Day Out By Zoe-Eleni Georgallis

We smoked what we called executive cocoons, Sharp out of the rotting ten-ton haze of fruit.

We sliced our lungs with long, black fingernails; It hits us this time from another angle,

But not as softly: it does not tickle and scratch us, As the butterfly house did.

The spiny, closed-winged clubs of them

Sucked at what they were stuck to: in pools of it.

They were drunken gluttons for what they were surely sick of. I pitied their feast,

Beasts timidly swarmed around our lotioned blades, And we looked on.



Because Being Alternative Is Just Too Mainstream By Laura Aumeer

The pink hair rinse, the second-hand denim cut-offs, the love of bands that haven’t hit the big-time yet: all of these are meant to be elements of an “alternative” agenda. Yet despite what their proponents may say, they are not truly alternative or counterculture. In fact, their blatant alternativeness makes them mainstream. This may sound like a paradox, but it is the plain and simple truth. Being “alternative” has become such a mainstay in popular culture, that it is no longer alternative. So what does counterculture mean in today’s world, when it is fashionable to be different? Is there a distinction today between the mainstream and the alternative? It is undeniable that it has become much more common to be seen as alternative. Take a trip to Brighton or Dalston, see the girls with grey rinse or the boys wearing empty glasses frames, and whilst they are not the norm, you wouldn’t really look twice either. Watch X-factor (surely the 09


epitome of mainstream popular culture) and see the contestants trying to court your vote by being different, whether it is because they are wearing skinny jeans, have big hair and are giving attitude on stage, or because they are dressed in a leotard and have a set based on Alice in Wonderland. Or see the clothes sold on the high-street, designed to look at place in a festival but actually worn by thousands of teenagers on a normal daily basis. This is because being alternative and different is fashionable. Celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are known (and liked) for going against the grain. But the preponderance of alternative just undermines the very meaning of the word. When a person’s love of indie bands and films determines their coolness, they lose the honesty behind their alternative creed. For in actuality there is little that makes this so-called alternative different from the mainstream. How is a band like Two


Door Cinema Club different to anything that Simon Cowell produces, when their support is based on the fashionableness of those supporting them as well as the popularity of their music? This just makes them different strand of mainstream, only aimed at a different age-range. How is the Disney Channel any different from E4, except for the age-group it targets? The mainstream is in itself hard to pinpoint and define, with so many different ideas of what is fashionable and in such a fast-moving society, where one day something can be cutting-edge and stylish and the next day over-used and unpopular. Ideas of the alternative vary over time and place. In Soviet Eastern Europe, jeans were alternative, because they were the mainstream in the USA. In the 1920s women wearing trousers were alternative, yet in today’s England it is the norm. In 16th Century Britain, the rich understood mainstream as wearing a codpiece - hardly fashionable now. But being alternative now sometimes relates, especially in respect to fashion, to what was mainstream in the past. Vintage fashion - i.e. secondhand clothes to those not so au fait with the trends- often boils down to wearing what was fashionable in say the 1980s, to show your alternativeness on your sleeve, literally. With the Internet connecting people all across the world, it has become harder to be truly individual. There is always someone else who likes the band most people haven’t heard of, or who enjoys that obscure hobby that most find odd. 11 CLARE MARKET REVIEW

It is now possible to find these people, to share your opinions and so whereas you may have previously been alone in your obscure tastes, you can join virtual communities of hundreds or thousands. It may not be what everyone likes, but there will still be a distinct group. Within that group what may seem alternative to others, isn’t alternative at all, but is in fact it the mainstream. What defines you as alternative also defines you as a group that shares something, turning a difference into a similarity. The Internet has broken down barriers, geographical and social, and as a result has made counterculture more acceptable and has destroyed the idea of it being truly alternative. Is it possible to be truly counter-culture? It appears not. There will always be a group of people who are willing to identify with you, no matter how obscure your tastes. And mainstream trends tend to start their genesis as “alternative” ideas. People appreciate individuality, but realising this is the case, find the easiest way to do be individual is by copying others individuality, bringing it into the mainstream. In consequence, counterculture has lost its meaning in practice, as the distinction between mainstream and alternative is blurred.

Disney Channel any different from E4, except the age-group it targets? The mainstream is in itself hard to pinpoint and define, with so many different ideas of what is fashionable and in such a fast-moving society, where one day something can be cutting-edge and stylish and the next day over-used and unpopular.

Never Sleep By Anonymous

I walk concrete roads with fresh souls for sale With prices too high, if you have to ask. At 9am transactions start without fail, Careers and bright lights turn the roads dark. All talk fondly of some big, bulging banks, There appears to be no man who wants no more. Beggars are well placed to keep conscience intact, God forbid that one of them ever falls. Ha! These streets are littered with coffee cups But still there seems to be no-one awake. The regulars talk of all they have given up, But they never share what they had to take. In these roads is a city that never sleeps, For people are too busy living dreams.






By Laura Kudrna And then you are supposed to switch it off for the day, except nothing is in order.

Everything is exactly in its place, except the place is wrong.

But if you move the place, there is nowhere to put the order.

So destroy the order!

Hijack the placements and plug your mobile into the kettle.

Stick your travelcard in your door and exchange your keys for a pint. Embrace the dustmites and examine the place of mediocrity.

Experience the casualties of this choice.

Walk when you want to sit, and sleep when you are supposed to be awake.

And then let everything settle where it should, out of place,

so it is exactly in order.

The Fake Factor Generation By Emma Firth

“You’re only 16 and you have this VERY distinctive voice.” This was the reply judge Louis Walsh gave to the shy little redhead that sang an Elton John classic hit, ‘Your song' for her first audition on X Factor. Now, let’s look at the facts. First, it was a cover. Second, it was not even the original cover; it was a copy of Ellie Goulding's version of this song that featured in a John Lewis advert. [If you haven't seen the new John Lewis advert, get ready for yes, yet another cover of a British classic, ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,’ by The Smiths.] And most importantly, this girl’s voice is not distinctive at all. It is probably the result of listening to too much Ellie Goulding/Diana Vickers in her bedroom before she auditioned, thereby affecting her voice so as to sound ‘different’ and ‘unique’. A nu-Joni Mitchell indeed. The great thing that came out of the hippie- counterculture movement was the spate of musicians that chose to take risks. 15


It was their own music; a direct reaction to what was going on at the time. Janis Joplin, the Beatles: now these were distinctive voices. Elvis. Elton. Bob Dylan. They were like no-one else. Yet, in today’s music culture of impersonation, people are recognised for their distinctiveness and individuality through singing other people’s songs and singing about other people’s experiences. Radio 1 has a show, ‘Live Lounge’, for established artists to cover other people’s songs. It is not just X Factor: the whole music industry is shifting. I hope one day we’ll have a talent show as big as X Factor where singer/song writers play their own stuff. Surely that’s better than judging whether someone sung a great song (that was made years ago) well or not? Now I’m not saying that X Factor and Live Lounge are bad (I’ve listened to James Blake’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s 1970’s ‘A Case of You’ too many times to make such a moral judgement). But I believe that it

is an issue for young musicians at a time when YouTube singers, like Justin Bieber, are first noticed by singing other people’s songs. It is the same for X Factor contestants that are constantly told by the judges: ‘We want to hear YOU.’ Well, you might be able to if there wasn’t a different theme each week. I don’t know about you, but I can’t really imagine Bob Dylan singing, ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by The Black Eyed Peas on X Factor’s club night classics week. And even if he had, he’d probably get kicked off for not being versatile enough.




Dazed and Confused: the epitome of counterculture? By Georgia Leacock

If somebody approached you and asked, “Which fashion magazine would you purchase out of choice?” the majority would probably go for the obvious. Forever reigning on the shelf of the newsagents, with its sovereignty evident from its position amongst the other lay magazines, Vogue is still considered to be at the top of the hierarchy of ‘the fashion magazine’. Yet, whilst I have to personally admit the exhilaration experienced when turning each glossy page, the sheer anticipation and excitement I feel when I read the editors note, it is fair to say Vogue does not necessarily depict the provocative, nor does it challenge the boundaries of the socially acceptable. With the stress of the portrayal of the editorial, the traditional prevails in the communication of fashion. However does one have to follow the grain, contributing to the field of fashion in this traditional framework? Can one abandon the conservative altogether and present to the reader a totally abstract interpretation? Dazed and Confused, established in 1991,

“has been a barometer of underground style and international counterculture”. This is a prominent quote - not merely just outlining the achievements of the magazine throughout its lifetime, but explicitly expressing its alternative stance to how the fashion industry should be represented, and the mediums through which it is done so. Somerset House plays host to Dazed! Making it up as we go along, an exhibition that chronologically displays its work, with a montage of photography, literature and digital media of selected pieces. It is evident from when one takes a step into the first exhibition room (the large ‘L’ shaped mirrored objects, whereby photographs from previous editions show sexualised images) that this is clearly not your ordinary fashion magazine. However I must confess I am not usually a reader of Dazed and Confused. But something about its essence, and in particular the preconception I had of the magazine adopting an abstract position, enticed me to the exhibition. The outset VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1 18




eroticism was a clear theme throughoutthe first wall being a magnified image of around ten naked individuals in various positions casually lounging, with one man, fully clothed, working on his typewriter. However whilst one cannot not hide from images of the naked bodies, or the dildos, it was presented in an almost tasteful manner. Subtlety is definitely not what should be expected when going to view the exhibition- Rankin (photographer and co-founder) is not one to shy away from scandalous- yet you do not feel yourself in the arena of the distasteful either. The juxtaposition of the pre-lapsarian with the post-lapsarian state is almost reflective of the two decades of Dazed and Confused. However it’s slightly ironic how the 1990s production of the magazine expressed eroticism in a far more pronounced way (with homosexuality and ‘the seductress’ almost defining the decade) than in the Noughties, with its introduction of the celebrity and the extraordinary within the ordinary- the “Cross over from fashion into other parts of culture”.

but in certain ways also epitomised the cutting notion of the “supermodel” that was so dominant in the 1990s. Ultimately, such an exhibition was symbolic in many ways; the liberation of the female form, the expression of the erotic, human nature etc. However, it cannot be ignored that Dazed and Confused explores the taboo subjects within society, which are normally viewed as culturally irrelevant, or culturally unacceptable. The title of the magazine embodies its nature, but does so with a sense of satire; whilst the outsider may interpret what is being explored to be abstract, confusing and complex, only upon broadening one’s mind to the ‘unacceptable’, can such art and literature be fully appreciated. As to the question regarding counterculture, yes the magazine is, and it should continue to present such material!

It is simply impossible to condense five completely diverse and varied rooms into a piece of writing, but with technological advances affecting the visual arts, two pieces definitely communicate this. The “photomontage” was definitely an incentive way to develop the interaction with the exhibition and the exhibitionist, with individuals having the opportunity to create your own catwalk look using a swipe motion across the screen. Furthermore the late McQueen’s concept “Fashion-Able” (1998) was not only communicated to the audience through the use of digital media, VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1


When She’s Ten Feet Tall By Asad Rahim Khan

For better or worse, it is reaction, not counterculture, that gets the heart racing in this part of the world. Culture itself is too potent too counter. In some places, it’s the only thing that’s left. Of the most obvious counterculture, America of the 60s and 70s, there’s not much that hasn’t been said already. Segregation, Vietnam, and the epic crudeness of Lyndon Johnson gave birth to a sort of mass hysteria among white middle-class kids with ‘additional leisure time’: the peace sign and Jefferson Airplane and pop art and too much hair. And drugs, drugs, drugs. It took a ball of resentment, in the form of Richard Nixon, to overpower the ‘bums’ with his own endless well of anger. Nixon sang to the masses he deemed were the great silent majority (the also-white, also-middle-class culture that was being countered), a constituency that was desperate to see the dirty hippies get a kicking. Basically, the squares. And Nixon, a spiteful mirror to all those who according to 21


one commentator were ‘neither charming Kennedys nor privileged Bushes nor slick Clintons’, was king of the squares in all their sweating, seething glory. Nixon went looking for confrontation, baiting hardhats to attack the hippies, breaking into crowds of protestors without security, getting flipped off in his motorcade. Flower Power died in the face of Nixon’s uniquely personal talents for fostering dislike of one other, and beards and LSD died with it. Maybe the hippies would have done well to heed Nixon’s parting words (as would have Nixon himself), characteristically bizarre as he was forced out of office: “Others may hate you, but they don’t win, unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” And that was that. So what do I do with counterculture, a word that makes me think of graffiti and cannabis and urban dance and fighting class-conscious presidents? Maybe my definition is too much informed by Woodstock and not enough by #WallStreet, a countercul-

Photograph by Ehae Longe ture-sort-of-thing I have more sympathy with than the rest. Don’t get me wrong: I do still believe in LSE’s endless internship fairs, and how they practically hemorrhage corporatism to people undecided about what to do with their lives. And, in all seriousness, to the hippies’ credit, I’ve seen the ‘hey hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today’ sign travel an ocean and forty years from Selma to Lahore, with the not-as-rhythmic ‘hey hey Obama’ drone-strike version. In my view, it’s not said nearly enough. But you’ll never hear me dignify the Tea Party or the London riots as counterculture, though I’m sure that is exactly what its participants think they are. Whatever issue I have with the concept, it still seems a higher calling than exercises in

stupidity (in the latter’s case, malicious stupidity). But you might say that ‘counterculture’ is at its worthiest with the Arab Spring - that is, if that’s not dignifying counterculture too much. It is breathtaking to see what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa, even to the least knowledgeable of us, because the feeling of dissent, of orders crashing down, of a better tomorrow, is so palpable that you feel it in your insides. It might all end in disaster – and some of that disaster has already played out in Syria, in Yemen, in the Tahrir Square that Lara Logan saw- but people have been saying since forever that the great initiatives of our time would end in disaster. Try and fall and get up and try again, because those people should never VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1


ever be believed. Even if they’re right. So I say we move on from my understanding of counterculture, because 2011, an otherwise awful year in all respects, has rendered my understanding redundant. Counterculture can happen anywhere, at anytime. Fruit vendors can set themselves on fire, people in their 20s can actually do something worthwhile, and Muammar Qaddafis can die (just like summarily executing Qaddafis can make revolutions look ugly and Natolike). Counterculture can make Richard Nixon’s America look absurd, and Barack Obama’s seem conceited, tired, and lost to itself. By this point in my short story, I would have gotten to the fifth plot twist and an exploding car. Maybe, by the end of all this, you or I have no better understanding of counterculture. But I might have a few more degrees of respect for it. Maybe counterculture allows people to tear through suffocating systems, and to spit at insipid ones. Maybe it lets the sons of desert tribesmen make rap videos, to throw sticks and stones at latter-day pharaohs, to scream from the rooftops, to get manhandled by intelligence outfits with way too many consonants in their names. Maybe it makes people to want to be able to make their own choices as to how to better or ruin their lives. Maybe, if nothing else, counterculture is about living. But I can’t be sure.






Victory Lap By Connor D’Arcy

I woke up on the plane feeling worse than before. The miniature man to my right stroked his miniature moustache. The long woman to his right shook her white hair as he attempted to convince her of something. They flitted between languages. He made every syllable incontrovertibly Gallic, his mouth contorting them into the shapes it preferred; she, in her opaquely neutral patter, gently untethered each word from the weights of their histories, letting them float up to our unowned altitude, high above the tea-coloured desert. And into my mind swooped a fighter jet, the same one which had hung suspended months ago on the front of every tabloid in the developed world, captured seconds before it crashed into the ground. (“Footie Love-Rat’s Secret Child” glared out from the red-tops, I recall.) There was no blurring at its edges, no action in the background or below. Strands of the finest photographic gossamer lowered unseen from heaven kept it dangling there forever. The pilot perched on the edge of death, Damocles and Zeno combined in one image... Sleeping mid-flight seems to reroute

connections in my brain. They do, after all, say that flying is a form, however minuscule, of time travel. I had been advised by my advisers that this was wise. This would play well, they cooed, across all the demographics in which we were flagging. Furthermore, it would go down a bomb throughout Europe. I had my doubts, concerned my white beak of a nose had already been poked too intrusively into other people’s revolutions. But to display in person my pleasure at how things had worked out was “only polite,” as one of the younger, more dangerous wonks suggested. The small man had gotten word of it, somehow, and declared it a “beautiful opportunity” to show a united face, a face lit by the glow of having been right. Phone calls went back and forth to the destination, with emails querying the safety of Such-and-such Road as opposed to The-Other Avenue. The vacuum that had whorled its way through their diplomatic corps and civil service appeared to have VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1 28

been plugged eagerly if incompetently by cousins and uncles and nieces of prominent rebels - no, we’re not to call them rebels anymore, they’ve won. Cousins and uncles and nieces of dictators in the making. I am certain the photos taken today, shaking the supposedly interim leader’s hairy hand, will haunt me in the future, will adorn my Wikipedia entry like that purple growth spoiled his face. He has the air of a man who has moved a mountain and as such is now convinced he is Muhammad, if I may mangle that aphorism in such a culturally insensitive manner. Triumph and conviction and limitless possibility hang in the air. I tried to temper that, to snip a few of its threads, during my brief, embarrassingly condescending speech at the hospital. (Being understood by those around me was the primary objective but I fear it rather came across as someone speaking to a senile relative, slow and unnecessarily loud.) I doubt it will be of much importance but for history’s sake, for the brown-nosing biographers to point to and crow “Ah! But he did warn them you see!” but that won’t play. All that will live on from this trip is my Christian name pitifully, endearingly misspelt on those handmade signs and the crowd’s rapturous cheering. And, if I may be less-than-statesman-like for a moment, I confess to the terrific gratification of that instant, when I emerged from the scrum of security and minor dignitaries and approached the podium to hear them lustily, bruisedly shouting my name as another refrain in their rejoicing in that flash I felt having been right tugging at the strings of my facial muscles, hauling them up into the 29


most self-indulgent of smiles. Seeing it reflected on my little colleague, amongst the black bristles, however, was more than enough to sever the cords and send the corners of my lips plummeting back to their proper, steadfast posts. Our tinted motorcade sirened through mile after mile of flat suburb to the airport. Flashes exploded on all sides as the guards escorted us through journalists out onto the runway, where two crested planes now sat. A last few words, an affable bestof-luck wave from the top of the stairs, a quick briefing on a protest blocking a bridge back home and then off down the back for a proper lie-down.


Burning Dross By JAH

This time I didn’t ante in, betting on myself, or gamble Grace would forget I took Her for granted again. This time I folded my hands, turned away, cashed nothing, dropped my anchor at its command in stillness I see I’m lost. Doubt sailed in before, now Defeat has come down from my high mountains a destructive meeting at the water’s shore. Each spectre talking, miming plans, signing agreements on an overturned ding boat, they’ll carve out this land at any cost. On a bank I sit with a pen absorbing every detail I see, that bleeds out of cuts I try but can’t bind, yet forms on my page into fine cursive lines. I’m seen and they scoff, “You can’t write us away” What do I say in hope’s loss?



It was once on this perch, reclined toward the sky, constellating lines to the divine, I saw a path to the Holy Church. By night, from the black canopy, Grace was cut, a crescent-shaped sliver, of lunar arcs; I ever-tried to teach Her the paths I drew, but drifting west, over each, She passed across. The din of mutiny aboard my Peace, focuses my thoughts to shore; the spectreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theatre is in an encore. So I grip my pen and gaze East. And there again Grace does shine, floating on Her celestial current home. So I too raise my anchor and shove off, knowing a battle not fought is neither won nor lost. And as I pass from that land, I look down, at a place where I grew cold, and watch those two spectres become like coarse grains in the sand. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this skyway that makes it so, all destruction below is naught because on the tail of Grace, we shed our albatross.


Blanche To Negru By Mazi Kazemi

Henry Rummy drummed his fingers on the worn wood of the bar, looking across the horizon of glass tops. Life in Heathrow terminal on the delayed flight circuit cut down his patience for sobriety. So he wore the time in this stainless steel and manilavanilla wallpaper prison in the faux-rustic appeal of Harvey’s Pre-Flighter. Swirling his scotch like mouthwash, he watched the stewardesses come and go. He was storming through his drinks. It had already been an hour, and he had counted four flights’ worth of stewardesses walk by. This being an airport bar, the customers came and went faster than the metal birds they rode in on. Rummy looked around, observing the rest of the travelers bustling across the tiled floor. Despite the madness, there was an unspoken order that Henry so appreciated about airports. These people were deposited in this building and ushered by signs and T.V. screens from one gate to the next. And three hours later, they were gone, replaced by a new crowd. Well, usually they were gone in three hours, but for occasions 33


like the one Henry found himself in. It was snowing in New York City, and unless that abated, he might be obliged to spend yet another night in a lifeless box of a hotel. He peered into the left pocket of his grey blazer. The golden band reflected the harsh light of the airport bar back at him. Sometimes he liked to imagine the scene that would ensue if he showed up at his doorstep having forgotten to put the ring back on. Mary Lou would notice immediately. She would ask him, nervously, if he has lost it. Henry’s instincts, the ones that had gotten him out of embarrassment in everywhere from boardrooms to the bedroom, would kick in, and he would flash that $300,000-a-year smile. “Oh, honey. I take it off on the plane. You know I miss you whenever I look at it,” and he would kiss her lightly on the forehead, and it would be over. A new herd of stewardesses approached the bar. They were giggling and chatting amongst themselves excitedly. One of the

new arrivals saw Rummy glancing in her direction, and smiled back. God, he loved airports. Rummy was rallying himself to approach her, when the open bar space between him and his target was quickly filled by a blur of a woman. She seemed larger than a normal human. Not fat, or tall, but the space upon which she seemed to exert a physical influence on was large. Her luggage flowed behind her, like two giant coattails. Her coat billowed out like a dress, and the purse she kept draped on her right shoulder was stuffed to the point of near explosion. If she had combed her hair that day, the effect was long past. Had she worn makeup, it likely would be worn off by now. But despite all this, her face was smooth, her eyes were calm, and she spoke to the bartender in measured, whispered breaths. It was as if all this chaos she exuded was there on purpose. She turned to her right and looked at Henry Rummy in the eyes.

“Oh really? Let me buy you a drink. My name’s Henry Rummy, by the way.” “Red wine. Blanche.” “Pleasure to meet you, Blanche. Do you always look for handsome strangers in airport bars?” asked Henry slyly. She laughed. She didn’t respond. “So, um, what do you do?” asked Blanche. The question sounded forced. But it was Henry’s favorite question. He said something about banking. About bringing other companies together. About delegating work. And about how much he loved his work. Blanche’s eyes didn’t widen, like most girls’. “You?” he asked back. “I’m Romanian. I’m traveling to the U.S. to see… Whatever happens.”

When he saw what was gazing at him, he forgot about the stewardess behind the woman, the sprawling, beautiful woman before him. The uneven fall of her brown hair, like Medusa’s snakes, and her dress, with one strap sliding slowly down her shoulder, was plain white and drew all the attention to her physical beauty. Rummy stood up, smoothing his blazer, and approached. “Bummer, this delayed flight business. I’ve been here for two hours with no one to talk to.”

He forced a smile. He’d never had an eastern European. What he actually said was, “Oh, that must be fascinating!”

“Well, maybe you’re in luck. My flight’s locked down, too.” She spoke in an eastern European accent.

“Oh, ah, uh, hotel you said? I guess I should get myself a place to stay…”

“Porc prefacut,” she whispered inaudibly. An announcer’s voice came over the speakers. All the East Coast bound flights were cancelled. “Ah… I suppose I need to renew my reservation at the hotel,” Blanche said to herself, but loud enough for Henry to hear.





“You should get a room in the hotel where I am staying.” They left the bar and bustled across the white tiles. Blanche took her wineglass, and Rummy frowned as he walked behind. “I want to stop here,” said Blanche, stopping in front of some nameless duty free shop. They entered. Henry perused the health snacks and settled in magazine section, skimming trade magazines. Blanche stood next to him, looking at Vogue. “Frumoasa rochia neagra,” she said to herself, and Henry overheard. “Romanian? What did that mean?” “I said, ‘Beautiful black dress,’” she answered. “Lovely language,” Henry answered. She said nothing back and flipped to another page. She finished skimming and said, “Let’s leave. I want nothing here.” She was still nursing her wine. Henry replaced the magazine he had been reading. It was the fifth one back, and he returned to the fifth slot, neatly, cleanly, smoothly. Blanche watched and smiled. As they left, Blanche bumped into a rack of candy, and the wineglass fell to the floor. Blanche just kept on walking, and Henry followed her, frowning. Behind them, the glass shards lay on the white tile. But now the white was stained with red. And the red moved slowly and unevenly across the floor. It was red, so red, against

the sterile, sterile white… … Rummy and Blanche walked down the dark, faux-candle-lit hallway of the hotel. Rummy in front, confident, $300,000-ayear smile. Blanche behind, fingers daintily brushing against the wall as she walks, an elegant, beautiful personification of chaos. They reach her room. She puts her purse on the dresser and goes to the bathroom. Rummy walks to the dresser and sees three business cards that have fallen out of the purse. Executives. Bankers. Businessmen. Seems odd that Blanche would know these people. She emerges. Dressed in just a bathrobe. “I know why you spoke to me in bar. You wanted to feel alive. To feel like a real, living human.” Henry does not care what she is talking about, but he nods, in this, his moment of triumph. “Oh yeah, yeah, baby, you see right through me.” He inches back towards the bed, tempting her forward. But she does not need to be tempted. She pushes him back and crawls across him. He sees a flash of leg from underneath the bathrobe. So smooth. Just what he wants. The white, white sheets yield to the force of their bodies crashing down together. “Oh baby, tell me what you want me to do to you,” asks the man. “I want to see your humanity.” “What does that entail?” he asks, hoping for something sordid. “You have very little left. You still have VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1 36

lust. You have a lot of lust.” She is breathing hard now. “Yes, lust is all you live off of. If you could order, organize, and schedule your lustful impulses, you would. And would have nothing left.” Her tone is accusatory. “Is this how you get off?” thinks Rummy. “And I will bring you the last. The last human element of you. Of you Henry Rummy.” He feels the pain. It is sharp. And suddenly her weight is lifted off his body, and she is standing watching. Watching him. And he watches himself. He watches the hole in his abdomen left by the knife in Blanche’s hand. She smiles again. She puts the knife in her purse, changes into her clothes, and leaves. She leaves the door open. Rummy watches her leave. He watches the red blood flow. The red, red blood moves across the white, white sheets unevenly. And the hallway is dark. And the darkness comes through the open door, like an invisible hand turning off the lights one… by… one. Soon, there is one light. One light shining over Henry Rummy. He stares up at it, and he can feel the hand getting ready. Getting ready to turn the final faux-candle off… Estompandu-se spre negru, Estompandu-se spre negru, All the way from, Blanche to negru.




First of all, getting my hair cut is never a priority. I’d far rather push it to the side until it’s of a ridiculous length and then get it so short I don’t need to relive the horror of a hairdresser for another six months. Secondly, I get on with my parents relatively well. Much of that’s probably down to my relatively placid character: sitting upstairs, music on blaring through headphones or reading in total silence isn’t that controversial compared to what other chums might get up to, seeing the sights, feeling alright. But one thing they can’t abide (one being a regular churchgoer the other having, basically, the social attitudes of Lord Alfred Tennyson) is their son - me - having long, or even relatively long, hair. They don’t want their son seen in the city’s shopping centre by Doreen ‘looking like a tramp’. Regarding the length, it’s only when it gets uncontrollable, only when a swarming mess - ‘a bird’s nest’, as my sister said once - is sitting on my head, do I act. I curse my curly hair, but proceed for weeks, if not months, until I decide: that’s it, it’s got to go. I could compare myself to Carlos Valaderrama here. The last time this happened was a fortnight ago on Tuesday. I won’t forget it in a hurry - the experience was so disastrous. Let me set the scene. I lived in Camden last year and, despite its general bohemianism, I really liked it. This year we ended up getting a flat in Kilburn, which isn’t nearly as nice. So, having been in Kilburn for about six weeks, I started to yearn for my old walk. Knowing I needed VOLUME CVI, ISSUE 1 44

A Telecommunication By Marko Grba

We’re distances, miles apart – in a fraction of a second: By miracle of science! So that I again may hear a friendly voice. But while we speak, we do not speak! Our speech – our language – ‘tis an air


disturbance. Transformed to the current of electricity And again to an air disturbance, And again into speech, which is not a speech. We cannot see each other,

Cannot read from one anotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face, Cannot follow the mimics; We can not see, cannot hear, cannot feel, Yet we can understand one another. Here is a man, and there, on the other side of the World, Is another man, And between them is the chaos With its compressions and rarefactions. Here is a man, a body and a soul, A complex. He feels himself and does not feel, he sees himself, and does not see. He knows himself, and does not know; What exactly is the distance between the body and the soul? And there, across the world, there is another man, a body and a soul; And how far apart are these two souls? For there is a distance, in each case There is a distance, No direct contact, No complete understanding; Even God speaks indirectly, through beings and things. How lonely we are, How lonesome is the soul. That two souls, which have simultaneous existence, Are separated?


Information is cheap by

Helen Vicary

As long as you know the right people. I learned that a long time ago and I’ll tell you that for free, my friend. If you’ve never looked, chances are, by now, you won’t ever find any because the right people don’t make new friends too easy these days. So if they know you’ve never looked, they’re going to want to know exactly what made you start looking and although they’re the right people for some things, they’re the wrong people to have asking you questions. My advice? Unless you’ve got a damn good reason and no more money than what you’re going to use to pay them anyway, steer clear. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself on their map and it’s a lot harder to get yourself off it once you’re on. I’ll tell you that for free as well. The other thing about information is, it’s so often wrong. You don’t even know until it’s too late and trusted sources go bad real quick for the right incentive. A good



rep means nothing in this trade ‘cause the right payoff will get you out of the net as fast as you want: a few markers called in here, a few handed out there and you’ll be off the books long enough to settle down with your little woman in a run-down apartment building by the river and forget you ever dealt in the most lethal commodity known to man. Sure, some people get hooked, can’t get enough, but they’re the ones who go crazy and start holding up banks. Most guys can walk away. Like I did. But, unlike most guys, I replaced it with something else. Something far more dangerous and powerful and something really, really damn rare. I don’t deal in information. I deal in Knowledge. Most people are too scared to ask questions unless they’re desperate for the answer for some practical reason or other. The notion of asking a question for the sake of asking? It’s dead. Curiosity is dead.

Imagination is dead. Debate is dead. Or at least, almost dead. And as long as I’m around, I’ll answer questions for people who want to ask them, and ask questions to people who want to answer, as long as they’re in support of the motion that’s stirring in the depths of this city, beyond the mess of datathieves and hackers and profilers. There aren’t many of us but we’re enough and more than you might think. We’re fast, we’re silent, we’re well trained and we’re determined. We see what the people in power don’t see and

what we see is the blind leading the blind to the tune of the rich, in the halls of the crooked and covetous. The opaque world was never any more than a misguided pipe-dream and the light at the end of the tunnel will be the flash of grenades if it has to be. The information-free age has come to an end and it will end at the hands of the people who didn’t forget what it feels like to learn, because now, we’re ready to teach. And remember: all this, my friend, I have told you for free.

Artwork by Emily Briselden-Waters VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1 44

Blocked out By Ehae Longe

“Get your earphones out”,

My aunt would always chastise me,

For having the round things in my ears, Clinging to my lobes like a life-line,

Wearing them as a statement of truth, Using them as weapons of soundAgainst other sounds,

Blocking out the world and all its voices.

And then I did:

I took them out,

Ready to relate, wanting to listen, Waiting to hear the sounds;

Hoping for the world’s voices,

But not getting anything real or true, Stuck only with the sights,



Of people just like I was, With their earphones in.

“Get your earphones out”, Someone ought to say,

They are all so detached,

Standing together, but being apart,

Looking at faces and seeing nothing, Walking past, always walking past, Speaking but not saying a thing.

Never really saying a damn thing.

“Get your earphones out”,

I will be the one to shout it,

To make you hear the other sounds, Not just the ones you know, To feel the life around you, That you forget to find,

It’s bad: the whole world is blocked out, And has blocked the whole world out, Reverse it: turn up the volume on life, When you get your earphones out.




I <3 Hipsters By Anonymous

I have a confession to make: I heart hipsters. I’m not a hipster, OK? I don’t own black lipstick, or brothel creepers, or – well, actually I do have a little backpack, but that’s only because it’s easier to carry my library books that way. Honest. I’m not a hipster, but I do heart them. I know this is a bold statement to make, and it’s probably a bit of a faux pas these days – when it’s easier to bash this strange tribe, with their beards and squat parties and platform shoes. People call their music pretentious, their clothing ridiculous, and their rejection of the mainstream tiresome. They are freaks, they say. They take themselves too seriously. And they don’t invite the rest of us to their parties. This is all probably quite true. But that’s not what matters. I don’t heart hipsters for their blonde-hair-black-eyebrows combos, or their boys-in-harem-pants (though I do enjoy both of these things).

My love – or fascination, I should say– is set deeper than this. I heart hipsters because I believe theirs is the culture our age will be remembered for. They are our beatniks, our hippies, our punks. They are the youth of today (though some of them can be quite old), they are the engineers of change, and they are the rejection of the norm that defines a counterculture. Ridiculous as their clothes are, they are highly memorable – just like the hippies’ tie-dye or the punks’ safety-pins. Pretentious as their music is, it defies everything that is Simon Cowell, Rihanna, and Top 40 UK. This rejection of the mainstream may be exclusivist, and makes all of us wearing Uggs and listening to The Script feel like total white-bread square loserville suckers, but I think it’s a good thing. It’s good that we are challenged – it makes us look at ourselves, question who we are, will to change. So let’s celebrate hipsters! Instead of spitting at them, we should be hugging them, and giving them high-fives for wearing their ceramic chicken bikinis (my sister VOLU


had a friend who actually did this. She made a two-piece bikini out of three ceramic chickens and used one of the top ones to store her oyster card. Fun times getting through those barriers). We should let them flourish, let them be the spokespeople for our generation – because as weird as they are, they are interesting, they make us laugh, and they say things like ‘#fail.’ Although this must come with a word of warning – give them too much attention, idolise them too much, and they will probably start wearing Uggs and listening to The Script. Just to piss us off.



Price Tag By Ehae Longe

I don’t need to know your name,

All I must do is look at your price tag, And decide your worth.

Can’t you see? It’s placed all over you: On your shoes, your watch, your bag, It’s your price tag.

Personality does not count for much, But brand-name is true value:

Hermes? Gucci? You’re amazing,

Tesco’s own brand isn’t what I’m craving. Oh, you like mountain-climbing? But do you do it in Fendi shoes? We are all zombies now,

Responding keenly to the Black American Express, Heads rhythmically turning to stare, As the Maybach zoom by,

Speeding past our shallow hopes.



Programmed to care, but not really. This sweater looks better than a soul would, So I don’t really need one, It would block me from real worth, Can’t you tell? The diamonds that shine, Now that is true spirituality, Chasing money is my religion. I don’t really know how it happened, I woke up and this was the world, Where money speaks, and we, We become silent, passive, A massive army of followers, All dressed in Chanel suits, Truly believing that we’re happy, Not knowing what happiness truly is. Happiness is having a soul.






Contributors Asad Rahim Khan used to just ride horses and eat solid cholesterol in Lahore, but studies (and true grit) came in the way. Now he pursues The Law at LSE, plays right-wing party jingles on Pulse Radio, and deftly avoids impeachment from society committees. He’s often found in Passfield Hall’s attic. Mazi Kazemi started writing and publishing just over a year ago. Most of what he writes is humorous, and, depending on your moral leaning: offensive, demented, and gross. He has recently started pursuing more serious topics (e.g. death). mazikaz. Ehae Longe is a boring 3rd year law student whose main source of excitement is her enjoyment of the arts. She loves going to art shows, theater productions, movies, and exhibitions. She then tries to imitate said artists in their creativity. Hence this blurb. Emma Firth is an Art school drop out. Studies sociology. Hypochondriac. Favourite film: Annie Hall. She now kind of wants to be Annie Hall. She fears not trying hard enough and loves people-watching. Pet hate: people who talk about themselves constantly. Another fear: being one of 55


those people. Now sounds like she’s on Conor D’Arcy fled his native Ireland in the wake of allegations of benefit fraud. He sought political asylum in England, where he has pursued a career in television (the Jeremy Kyle Show s05e13 ‘My Wife Ran Off With Our Lodger’). He resides in Islington. Zoe-Eleni Georgallis Loathes talking about herself in the third person; is a failed lactose intolerant and insists on biting only one nail. ZoeEleni, fickle in the realm of the extracurricular, has had an interest in poetry that has lingered on through three years of an anthropology degree. Lucy Lin zesty as a tangerine, can usually be found with a Lucky Strike burning in her mouth, a scarf tied around her boot, and a smile that could melt a polar bear. When she’s not watching Fight Club or reading philosophy, physics, or the latest John Green book, find her burying crocks of gold in unlikely places. Marko Grba (from Croatia) is just about to graduate philosophy of science, having previously graduated in physics. He has been writing poetry for seven years now, and was

Contributors published in Croatia and at Currently he is working on a book of London verses. Helen Vicary Three years ago, whilst inflicting a reenactment of the “Schrödinger’s Cat” experiment on a bewildered drawing class, Helen realised art college was the wrong place for her. BSc Philosophy is definitely more her scene. Now she mostly gets her creative kicks by making up stories with Beddow & Battini Studios. Laura Aumeer is from the far-away land of Sutton, Greater London, but is now settled in Central. She studies Government and History. When she hasn’t got her head in a book, she’s likely to be planning to change the world, or is distracted by pretty things, or is in a bar. Most likely all three. At the same time. Georgia Leacock is half of a set of twins, and therefore obsessive when it comes to sorting things – two is definitely the magic number. A born and bred Londoner and selfconfessed lover of all things vintage, she is currently studying Sociology in the heart of the city. Extremely indecisive.

Abigail Wood aka the (Undiscovered) 8th Wonder of the Artistic World, has a license to thrill all with a feast of fast and furious colours. Passionate about onions. Currently looking for an attracrtice male model, 20-25,...for life drawings. Watch this space. Vanessa Woo Unstoppable chatterbox that paints, sings and dances, normally at the same time, and in the shower. She hopes to live by the beach in Hawaii someday. Emily Waters is a history student, connoisseur of Disney films and an expert on the complex sport of Narwhal Wrestling. Fluent in German, Russian, Smurf and Chicken, she spends much of her time contemplating the great cosmic infinity and tormenting her flatmates by poking them with sticks and running away. Priya Paupamah 20. Developed a love for photography seven years ago and carries her camera everywhere, looking like a tourist wherever she seems to go.


Clare Market Review: Breaking the Mould since 1905

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Written work deadline: 22nd Jan. Artwork & photography deadline: 10th Feb. VOLUME CVII, ISSUE 1 58

On the Cover

Hands on Your Head by

Emily Briselden-Waters

Leaving the Big Smoke to follow her dreams wasn’t an easy call for London’s born and bred, Emily. Lucky for her, Manchester was just looking for an artist with a passion for oddities to take under its wing. Having somehow ended up on a graphic design course, our cover artist embodies her ideas and creativity in collages. Emily’s goal in life is to produce something memorable, and to be a creative designer of some sorts. Like most people, she knows where she wants to be, and is trying to figure out how to get there. How are you enjoying your studies in Manchester? It’s been challenging, to say the least! The course can be quite technical and is always encouraging me to think outside the box (which I do to my best ability, albeit my inexperience with boxes). What is the inspiration behind these collages? The work shown in this issue was part of my project in my first year - a conceptual piece highlighting different perceptions and viewpoints. I tried to capture different perspectives on the present by using cubism as my theme. How did you go about making these collages? The scanner is my best friend! I am constantly collecting imagery and objects that 59


I find interesting to bring together at a later date.I keep it simple and do all work by hand – I think one-offs have more value in the art and design world, as well as on a wider scale. Is collage your chosen medium, or do you work in other forms? I try not to stick too much to the digital graphics mould, so I try other stuff too. Photography is very close to my heart, as is painting. At some point, I’d like to learn more about animation, maybe make a cartoon, spice things up a bit. Interactive installation art sounds like something I’d like to try – I’m keeping my options open. What does counterculture mean to you? I think it’s the antidote to repetition and boredom; the world would be a very frustrating place if everyone lived their lives the same way. Besides, the entire concept of culture doesn’t come without some variety. It’s like yin and yang; macaroni and cheese; tea and milk – you can’t really have one without the other. Counterculture is Culture’s evil and really really cool twin brother.

Issue 1, Volume CVII  

The Journal of the LSE Students' Union Volume CVII, Issue 1

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