M AGA Z I N E
CUB ISSUE 566
C R E AT E D BY S T U D E N T S , F O R S T U D E N T S
Issue 566 is here, the first semester is nearly over and we cannot believe it! This year has sped by and Christmas is nearly upon us. For the final 2017 edition of CUB Magazine our wonderful editors and contributors are bringing you a jam-packed issue filled with wintery events, styling tips, the best Christmas films to watch and much more! London is a special place to be during the festive season so we wanted to capture the essence of Christmas in this issue, you can find out where to be and when to make the most of the city. As well as providing two London articles, including a guide to Shakespeare’s Globe, we have also searched the web and found the best local events, so you do not have to!
a light on controversial topics such as if the virgin birth is possible, and a discussion on the feminist perspective of families in the post-modern era. This issue is definitely not one to miss! We hope you enjoyed reading this issue! Tag us in your photos of your copy of CUB and we will make sure to share your snaps @CUBmagazine. If you like what you see and would like to get involved with CUB Magazine drop us an email at email@example.com. Also why not like us on Facebook.com/CUBmagazine to keep up to date on what we are up to.
If you keep up-to-date with our website where we upload weekly articles, you will be happy to know that our regular columnists’ are back and shining
Abigail Hanley & Alice Barnett
E d i t o r s
Abigail Hanley & Alice Barnett
Jacob Moreton, Hannah Hayden, Nicole Brownfield
E d i t o r s
Linnéa Borg, Raluca Semenescu, Michael Lau Hing Yim, Mela Phi Baldock
Josie Durney, Seren Haf Morris
Christian Lynn, Greg Dimmock
Kiran Meeda, Tina Wetshi, Sarah Maycock A r t s E d i t o r s Eve Frayling, Connor Gotto, Maria Kästner Van Dam, Charlotte Rubin, Jenny Cox
E d i t o r s
Harpreet Pal, Shamma Mughal, Saarah Ahsan-Shah, Sara Trett, Emily Young
E d i t o r s
E d i t o r s
Hermione Sylvester, Joe Steen, Sonal Lad
E d i t o r s
Veena Dave, Bronte Smith, Chrissie Antoniou
C o l u m n i s t s
Peter Whitehead, Seren Haf Morris, Gina Gambetta, Harvey Moldon, Sophie Mitchell, Zannath Rahman, Samantha Vincent
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12 - 15
16 - 19
20 - 33
34 - 37
38 - 41
42 - 45
46 - 47
V O G U E
Words by Kiran Meeda
With the Christmas time approaching and a feeling of new beginnings around the corner, the anticipation for British Vogue’s December issue is building up. The newly appointed editor-inchief, and previous editor-in-chief of W Magazine, Edward Enninful, brings us a new version of the magazine. Enninful’s position as editor-in-chief itself, has already made history, what with being the first black and male editor of Vogue in 101 years. Vogue will always be setting the standard within fashion and carry the respect of those in the industry and outside, however Enninful’s approach attempts to modernise the magazine by tapping into the social media world of promotion and inclusion. Under Enninful’s leadership, appointments such as supermodel’s Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss and author Zadie Smith make this era of Vogue arguably the most inclusive it has ever been.
like a shop that you are not scared to walk into. You are going to see all different colours, shapes, ages, genders, religions. That I am very excited about. You are going to see less of models who don’t look so healthy”. It is important to note Enninful’s emphasis to consciously change the negative and discouraging aspects of the industry whilst performing as editor-in-chief. This rhetoric and motivation is however, part of a more general movement towards increasing representation in the industry.
Enninful’s desire to instigate change within the industry is another reason as to why Adwoa Aboah is the perfect model for this cover. Aboah herself self-created an organisation entitled Gurls Talk, where young women are encouraged to speak about the issues they face. More recently, there seems to be an emphasis on embracing and discussing what is usually dismissed, whether that be body This newfound sense of inclusion is perfectly image, mental health, addiction or sexuality. manifested through the December cover of Vogue. Vogue is now a magazine moving with the times, Supermodel and feminist activist Adwoa Aboah as opposed to a stagnant, less progressive magazine. graces the cover, embodying the quintessential elegance of a British Vogue model. Aboah’s An interview within the December issue that look is timeless and classic and takes up a calm, represents the inclusive nature of the ‘new Vogue’, peaceful and reassuring pose. Photographed by is Naomi Campbell’s interview with the Mayor of the esteemed Steven Meisel and make-up by the London, Sadiq Khan. During the interview, race, incomparable Pat McGrath, the look of British politics and economics were discussed, however Vogue is finally more inclusive. Aboah herself is fashion, Khan mentions, remains key to London’s of British and Ghanaian descent and represents, industry. He states, “One of the things I try to as a title on the cover states, Great Britain. There explain to the British government is this: even is an undeniable sense of empowerment to take if you don't understand the reason fashion and away from Enninful’s first Vogue cover. Prior to culture is important to the city we live in, there's Enninful’s appointment, British Vogue represented an economic case for it. One in six jobs in London a small part of who, and what is considered British. is in the creative industries. And you know what We can expect there to be pride, hope for more the biggest part of the creative industries is? inclusion, and of course creative takes on fashion. Fashion. It contributes tens of billions of pounds to our economy. You don't want to create a This December issue is not only significant in terms situation where talented people feel that the only of showing different representations of Britishness, way to fulfil their potential is by leaving. Or for but also different representations of gender, race, talented people overseas to not want to come here”. and size. In an interview with the BBC ahead of this issue’s release, Enninful stated, “Before I got the job I spoke to certain women and they felt they were The #NewVogue is inclusive, remains fashion not represented by the magazine, so I wanted to forward, and is more importantly the most create a magazine that was open and friendly. A bit accessible and relatable it has ever been.
FASHION hotspots during the
FESTIVE SEASON Words by Tina Wetshi
Exclusive Dolce & Gabbana Christmas Market Harrods, 2nd November - 28th December During the festive period Harrods’s fourth floor will transform into a traditional Italian street market which will come with personalisation on Dolce & Gabanna products. These products include the Sicily bag, Millennial bags, trainers and t-shirts. Finally, a chance for us obsessed with Italian food and who dream of going to Italy to experience the best of both in London. The D&G products most likely don’t fit in our student budgets, but this market makes a great little day out for your Snapchat and Insta stories. www.harrods.com
A Gift Like No Other: LDC Christmas Fashion & Lifestyle Pop Up 262 Kensington High Street, W8 6ND, 24th November - 7th December The future of retail is pop ups and LDC are hosting the ultimate pop up of contemporary and lifestyle brands. If you’re ever around Kensington and want to be inspired, perhaps check out the concept store which will feature up and coming brands including ACURRATOR, Carolina Wong, Conflict of Ego, Judy Wu, Rein and more. It’s getting more difficult to be inspired by the typical high street stores so this might be worth checking out for new ideas. For more pop ups and sample sales check out www.chicmi.com www.londondesignerscollective.com
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Victoria & Albert Museum, 27th May – 18th February This exhibition isn’t new, but now is a great time to catch it if you haven’t already. The exhibition explores the journey of Balenciaga across two floors in the fashion gallery. The great thing is, after the exhibition there’s plenty more to see at the V&A and around South Kensington. www.vam.ac.uk
North: Fashioning Identity
Somerset House, 8th November – 4th February An exhibition exploring Northern identity through contemporary artistic and stylistic representations of North England. The exhibition includes photography and film as well as fashion, showing the influence of generations of artists and designers from the North. Curated by writer and SHOWstudio editor-at-large Lou Stoppard and Adam Murray, lecturer at Manchester School of Art and Central Saint Martins. www.somersethouse.org.uk
Canary Wharf’s Winter Fashion Event Canary Wharf Shopping centre, 24th November – 26th November It’s that time of year again, when the catwalk opens up in both Canary Wharf shopping malls and the well rehearsed models preform every hour. Canary Wharf ’s fashion event is a fun time to shop at the shopping centre, with a discount available in most stores and free Prosecco. This fashion event makes Christmas shopping a little easier. www.canarywharf.com/arts-events
Covent Garden After the Christmas lights have been turned on, you don’t want to be at Oxford Street and Westfield as the winter turns into a battle between you taking your coat on and off. Covent Garden is a fantastic shopping destination this season, with independent make up stores such as a Kiko offering free makeovers, small cafes and street food, Covent Garden makes a more relaxing and festive shopping experience. www.coventgarden.london 7
S H O C K TO T H E S E N S E S 8
If there is one thing you do before you leave Queen Mary for Christmas, make it a visit to test pattern [N* 12] by Ryoji Ikeda. Alternatively, get your friends, your family (maybe not your dog) to 180 The Strand for Ikedaâ€™s exhilarating exhibition, after which you can pop round the corner to The Somerset House for a skate on the ice rink and a hot chocolate or glass of mulled wine. After removing our shoes, we entered the exhibition space. The walls were black, the floor was white. We waited. Then, a sound as if someone was messing about with an aux chord, amplified to full volume, filled the space. Black and white lines, like hundreds of barcodes, flickered across the floor in two columns. The exhibition lasted roughly five minutes, in which time the aux-chord-sound changed to resemble heavy drops of rain hitting a plastic sheet, each thwack, like the bass from an amp, causing our chests to thump. The thumps found a rhythm, a fitful drummer encircling us to lure us into a crazed trance. The pummelling in our chests stopped. Instead, our ears stung and our faces contorted to a high-pitched mosquito-like buzz. Ikeda had matched each sound with a different configuration of black and white lines that frantically patterned the floor.
Children danced about the space, letting the sounds and lights control their movements. At times they would twitch to the tinny pulse, moved by an invisible current, or sway as if possessed by the whirring in their ears, or fall to the floor pretending to be completely captivated and overwhelmed by the beat. A woman stood up and moved like a ballerina in the space, making her appear to be carried by sound waves in the air.
Each sonic and visual combination tweaked the atmosphere in the room. I felt in suspense like we had all gathered here to wait for something extraordinary to happen but were kept on edge before reaching that resolution. We were stuck in a sort of cyber space, each person like a pixel in a cyber-realm surrounded and influenced by different codes and signals. Most of us sat on the floor or stood still in the space looking like monochrome pop art paintings as our shadows outlined our figures against the moving floor. The on-off flicker of the black -white - black - white light made us look like animations inside a zoetrope. In the climax of a frenzied electric pulse, the beat suddenly stopped. A high hum replaced it. In the two seconds that the hum lasted, a clinical white light filled the space. We all looked at each other. It felt like time had stopped. The drumming came on again and people laughed, confused by the strange sensation of being moved by only sounds and lights to the point that we felt suspended in nothingness.
Ikeda’s test pattern [N* 12] moved each of us in a different and strange way, playing with our responses using the most intricate changes in pulse and pattern. The award winner of the Prix Ars Electronica Collida@ CERN 2014 is said to be one of the few international artists working convincingly across both visual and sonic media. The brochure I carried around the exhibition describes Ikeda as ‘Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist’. With this project, he explores the finely tuned characteristics of sound and the visuals of light to mathematical precision to create the specific aesthetic he desires. I experienced the exhibition as a scientific test that sought to find out which sounds and visuals prod and poke a person’s response and experience in a certain way. Begun in 2006, Ikeda has continued test pattern [N* 12] to explore charged points of device performance and the human perception. As part of a wider project that has been installed across different galleries in Tokyo, New York, Berlin, Singapore, Barcelona and Venice, each exhibition responds directly to the space it is exhibited in, making test pattern [N* 12] unique to London.‘Unique’ is certainly the word to describe the experience. The exhibition is free. Not recommended for people with epilepsy.
Words by Maria Kästner Van Dam
Words by Connor gotto 10
ARTS It is a funny thing, Christmas. We build it up to be some marvellous, idyllic celebration all year long, then when it finally comes to December all we do is complain! Yes, the shops start bringing out the decorations in the middle of summer (the Selfridges Christmas department opened in July), and it does get a little dragged out, but is that not the fun of it? Mulled wine in October... terrible patterned jumpers and (even worse) scarves when the weather changes... using the first drop of rain as an excuse for a cozy night in with takeout and a Home Alone marathon... and still we moan. What is that about? Personally, I am a sucker for all things Christmas. I love it! Give me mulled wine and a hot mince pie and I am sorted. I started my Christmas shopping in June this year, and have already gone totally overboard – but just try and stop me...
The Snowman is most successful, however, in maintaining its hold over the audience, managing to tell the story true to its original forms whilst never growing tiresome. I jokingly marvelled again last year at the luxury of being in a room filled 90% with children who were not screaming and running riot. I think that is a huge part of the appeal, and a selling point we must not forget! A word of warning, though – you will be one of the eldest people in the auditorium, and you will get some looks. The audience is comprised mainly of children, parents and grandparents, and anybody outside of those categories is something of an anomaly. Certainly true of myself and my boyfriend; our age gap meant that they could not quite figure out whether we were related or if I was his carer (should anyone have asked, I would, of course, have opted for the latter!)
You Are Never Too Old For The Snowman!
But that is the great appeal of But nothing makes me feel it all – The Snowman is for more festive than a Saturday everyone! Young or old... boy morning trip to The Peacock or girl... whether you celebrate theatre in Holborn to see Christmas or not, how could The Snowman. Based upon you not love dancing snowmen, Raymond Briggs’ 1978 picture book and subsequent Jack Frost and the Ice Queen, and a snowfall 1982 animated TV special, the production is now ending over the audience. It is pure festive fun! in its twentieth year – and it is totally fabulous. I would say it is a guilty pleasure, but I feel no guilt Much like the TV version that we are all so familiar whatsoever. with, the only words in the stage show are those to Walking in the Air, which closes the first Act and sees the Snowman and boy ascend into the The Snowman runs at The Peacock Theatre from fly tower. Instead of dialogue, the story is told 23/11/17 – 31/12/17. through imagery and movement, transporting the Tickets available at peacocktheatre.com. audience into another, fabulously festive world. Nearest station: Holborn or Temple.
A Winterless World Words by Jasmine Ali
Winter has arrived, bringing yet again another long stint of frosted covered cars outside driveways, icy winds that pierce through you like a thousand tiny knives, and the anticipation of snow (which proves to be anticlimactic, more often than not). Coffee shops are filled with people who long for an escape from winterâ€™s wrath, with a hot drink to warm their insides; while the windows are completely steamed up. People hobble up and down the streets of London in big scarves, woolly hats, Ugg boots, and thick coats, probably with heavy jumpers underneath, as though they are Eskimos in the Arctic as opposed to Londoners walking to work.
Well, aside from having a warmer Christmas and not knowing what to do with all the heavy jumpers, coats and scarves that weâ€™ll no longer need, we would be able to deduce that the Earthâ€™s axis had been significantly altered, considering that winter comes about as a result of the Earth tilting at roughly 23 degrees (mountainnurture. com). The Northern hemisphere is directed away from the Sun during the period from December up until February, bringing us our winter season.
Without winter, many plants and animals would be forced to change their deeply-rooted, ancient behavioural patterns in order to adapt to the warmer But what if, hypothetically speaking, winter were climate. In the process, many species would go to suddenly vanish? What would happen then? extinct due to this drastic change in environment.
F E AT U R E S
Photoperiodic plants would suffer greatly due to the lack of short days that winter provides; so, products such as tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), rice (Oryza sativa) and soya beans (Glycine max) would be at great risk.
to rely on rain, and as a result there wouldn’t be enough water for them in the late, drier season. So, the next time you write that long Facebook rant about how winter is too cold and you curse summer for not coming soon enough, or all you winter babies that complain it is too cold to do anything exciting Tundra plants would also have difficulty on your birthday - remember that as inconvenient surviving without the wintertime, as the harsh as winter seems to be, it is important to have it. conditions that winter provides in the Alpine Zone is the only place where they can subsist. Although plants and animals are adapted to Speaking of the Alpine Zone, animals that inhabit live in various temperatures in the wild, from there during the warmer seasons, such as the freezing to searing hot, we live in an organised Snow Leopard (which is already endangered), and technologically advanced society making would also have a harder time trying to adapt. us capable of finding ways to deal with this cold weather. Winter is a great opportunity to experience Rising temperatures would probably result in the many wonders of being indoors; whether it is sceptics and deniers of global warming changing going to a museum, bowling with friends, having their perspective, as sea levels would rise at a video game marathons, or reading that book that more notable rate. According to Boiseweekly. has been sitting at your bedside since last summer. com, places like Idaho would suffer trying to adapt to the winterless world, as they rely on Essentially, you don’t always need the snow for 80% of their annual precipitation. Their sun’s rays to still have a great time. overall economy is linked to winter in one way or Besides, what beats watching a movie on a cold another, from moistening harvests to moving water winter’s evening, wrapped in a thermal blanket next down rivers for restoration, to the management to the fireplace, whilst drinking a hot chocolate of floods. Without snow, they would be forced topped with mini marshmallows, anyway?
The Sun Will Rise Again This time of year always has me feeling bittersweet. The October to December period is arguably the best, starting with the festive atmosphere and twinkly lights to warm drinks and fuzzy jumpers, perfect companions to the crisp chill in the air. The darkness setting in as early as 4pm gives you a chance to experience the world from a different perspective; unlike summer nights, shops are open and streets are still buzzing. Whilst the dark usually signals the end of a day out, sending everyone their separate ways, the winter darkness does something different. It unites people in a unique way, through the shared experience of either enthusiasm for the season or in banding together against the icy rain. Winter nights are definitely the prettiest, London streets are laced with lights uplifting your spirits and making the world seem a little less gloomy than it is. On the flipside, as in the less romanticised, bitter-rather-than-sweet side, this period easily becomes synonymous with monotonous routine. The other image coming to mind when I think of winter is the trudging back and forth between university, the pleasantly crisp air all too suddenly
too cold to bear, the too early darkness bringing a depressive atmosphere that no amount of fairy lights can put out, and the mountainous workload the end of the semester brings. This is my third winter at university, each one beginning with promise of the small joys of the season, the appreciation of which lasts momentarily before the dread sets in, as I realise I have entered the seemingly never-ending cycle of winter routine. Whilst I initially appreciate the early arrival of darkness because of the new vibe it brings, a few days in I find myself wildly disoriented because of it. There's no way of measuring time anymore by glancing outside the window, which would usually be an okay indicator of the approximate time of day (a clock? what is that?). Is it bedtime? Who knows? Dinner time? Maybe. Should I still be in the library? Just check the damn time. I find myself assuming it is much later than it is, only to then check the time halfway through my dinner, finding out it's only 4:52, not 7:30pm, as seemingly suggested by the pitch blackness outside. (I'll check an actual mode of accurate time-telling first next time, I promise.)
F E AT U R E S Another qualm about the limited daylight is that as a night owl I am thrown by the night beginning while the rest of the world is still awake. The point of the night is the quiet that it brings, allowing you to think in peace. But the rude interruption of the middle of my day by the night just throws the whole concept off; I never know when the actual night begins since it seems to have been hanging around all day.
hot chocolate. As well as this being a nice way to bid goodbye to the year, recounting all that it offered, it is also helpful as a way to map your experiences onto forthcoming hopes and goals. Because with endings comes promise of new beginnings; the beginning of a new year, a new semester, a new season and of course, a new wardrobe (I cannot wait to not have to wear a coat). So, if you donâ€™t enjoy winter as much, you can see this as the light at the end of the very cold, dark tunnel. I know spring is This oxymoronic time of year brings thoughts of still a long way off, but as the new year breaks in, endings on all scales: the end of the year, the end days will start becoming slightly longer, giving of nature's cycle, the end of the semester and the a glimpse of what life before winter looked like. ending of the day way too soon. Whilst endings can be a source of melancholy, it too is a time of All this said though, I am not trying to wish reflection; you might find yourself looking back thewinter months away, rather making a conscious over the year's events, either nostalgically or in effort to soak in every moment, as beginning the gleeful good riddance, or maybe both. If you are new semester sets ending my degree in motion, feeling stuck in a wintery rut, it might be an idea which is something I am trying to prolong. to bring back the romantic image of the season. Making the most of my final year will not happen Create some time for yourself to contemplate the by looking ahead in anticipation but by living journey that your year has been, flicking through through each winter day fully present, feeling the pictures, journals or even just your memories by cold and the dark but also the festive and the cosy, lamplight, whilst sipping a marshmallow brimmed trusting that in due time, the sun will rise again.
Words by Saarah Ahsan-Shah
s Shakespeare’s Globe’s summer season draws to a close, a few friends and I decided to celebrate by watching one of the final productions of Matthew Dunster’s Mexican inspired adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. With the plot set in the wake of the Mexican Revolution,Much Ado About Nothing is energetic, superbly delivered and full of laughter, but above all, set in this phenomenal venue. The much loved Globe Theatre was reconstructed in 1997 and now plays host to a range of performances every summer. My friend and fellow Queen Mary student Martha Lloyd had the fantastic opportunity to work there this season, so I caught up with her to find out what it was like.
Q Why did you decide to do work there? I’ve always liked the Globe. I saw a production in 2013 and loved it a lot; it’s such a nice theatre and I’ve always loved Shakespeare, so it’s a great place for me to get work experience. The people there are really friendly and welcoming as well.
Q Is it good work experience for what you want to do in life? Because of this, I want to get into theatre production. I originally wanted to do something around media and film, but working here has changed my mind.
Q What kind of things did you do on shift? I was a steward. I’d look after the patrons, making sure if anyone felt ill they were taken care of. I collected tickets, sold programs, made sure no one was taking pictures of the performance, that sort of thing. 16
LO N D O N
Words by Charlotte Whittaker
Q Did you get to meet any of the cast? Not really. If I was in early I’d get to see some of the cast doing the warm ups, like Hero and Claudio (from Much Ado), but that was it.
Q What was your favourite show? I got to see all except Tristan and Yseult whilst working there, but the best was Much Ado About Nothing. It was just fun and uplifting compared to other versions of the show that didn’t embrace humour quite like the Globe.
Q Best and worst bits? I loved being in the theatre in the yard and interacting with the audience. The audience get really involved; it’s fun to see how different audiences react to different performances. For instance, some laugh at lines that others don’t, or some will shout out at the cast which is funny. There were no bad bits, just some boring duties, like working on the glass door for a full shift.
Q Was it worth doing, and would you recommend it? Definitely worth doing. Everyone was lovely and welcoming so it was a nice place to get work experience. If you’re interested in Shakespeare you absolutely should, you can get free tickets but also if you’re working in the yard, you can see the performance for free anyway! 17
What Did We Learn From
Ryan Radbyrne? 1977-2015 RIP 18
LO N D O N In our age of easy information, what happens when we can’t find the answers? What happens when something appears, seemingly harmless, but that simply can’t be explained. A small proportion of Londoners has been finding out over the last 12 months. If you’ve crossed at a set of traffic lights in central London within the last 12 months, there’s a chance you’ll have seen a sticker with the words: “What did we learn from Ryan Radbyrne? 1977-2015RIP” I first came across the phenomenon while adrift in Euston, nearly a year ago. I registered the words, wondered for half a second, and moved on. I barely gave them a second thought. That was until I saw them again, washing my hands in the bathroom of an absurd bar in Peckham. The complete opposite end of the city. It’s not just London either. Sightings have been reported as far north as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. But despite such widespread reports, there has always been very little by way of information. Who was Ryan Radbyrne? Where did he live? How did he die? Perhaps most importantly: who wants us to learn from him? These were all questions that went unanswered. Twitter was lit up with users begging for answers, with nothing forthcoming. The silence was eerie.
For a phenomenon with such enormous reach, there seemed to be absolutely no leaking online. Surely this was coming from a team of people? How else could they have reached so far? If so, someone must have spilled the beans eventually? But no, there was nothing. Just angry tweeters and the occasional under-read blog post. Later, the ‘truth’ began to emerge. Ryan Radbyrne was supposedly the author of a book called Trim Tab, detailing a life of crime, violence and double dealing. Ostensibly revealed before his death, this was a conspiracist novel, released on a shoestring budget, and thus relying on an innovative marketing strategy. So for all the mystery and all the hype, Ryan Radbyrne existed to sell us pulp fiction. So what did we learn from Ryan Radbyrne, 19772015 (RIP)? It’s hard to know what to take away from this bizarre story. Perhaps it is the fact that beneath the mystery, and the excitement, and the sheer unknowability of such a phenomenon, one thing lies: Money. Our city is infected with the stench of money and money makers, advertisers and city boys. Everything in this city is defined against the presence of money, from the million pound houses sitting behind our university, to the homeless men and women sleeping outside Coop. Ryan Radbyrne knew this fact, and he used it to sell a book.
Words by Jacob Moreton 19
Is a Virgin Birth possible?
perpetual virginity is subject to scrutiny, with some gospels speaking of the existence of Jesus’ brothers and sisters, implying that Mary went onto have other children. This dichotomy is not rare within the faith, with several Christian doctrines coming into conflict with references in the Bible. So, the theological significance of the Virgin Mary was profound, yet the status of her motherhood, and the entire concept of her existence in itself, are both subject to question.
Well, first off, no. There’s no need to panic. You don’t need Yahoo answers to confirm to you that you may be carrying the next messiah if you’re a virgin. With the notion of ‘virginity’ becoming highly subjectivist and increasingly seen as a hindering societal construct, it becomes interesting to consider why virginity was so important for Christianity, anyway.
It may also be in-keeping with the festive season to consider what the implications would be if the Virgin Mary were real, and if her biological scenario was commonplace in modern-day society. Undoubtedly, it would be somewhat of a curveball to fall pregnant without having sex. One could compare it to being given an empty pint glass - the end result is yours, but the actual enjoyment of drinking the beer is nowhere to be seen. It would be an inconvenience for many, to say the least, but the most essential philosophical question is - who, or what, would decide on the bestowal of children? If it were a God, then this divine intervention would be bias, unfair, and quite frankly worrying. If it were based on some kind of ethical or practical achievement from the mother-to-be, then this would forge a society based on these social ideals, slowly excluding others through a kind of natural selection. It would also essentially render the male species as completely defunct in terms of reproduction. (This is a utopian thought, however, for another day).
In Catholic tradition, the Virgin Mary is praised and glorified due to the doctrine of her perpetual virginity. Supposedly, even after giving birth to Jesus, Mary never entered into any sexual relation - never having any more children, and never consummating marriage with Joseph. However, this concept of
Thus, with the concept of a virgin birth being both theologically confusing and philosophically problematic, we can conclude that you do, in fact, have nothing to worry about. The food baby protruding from your stomach on the 25th December will not be the next messiah... or will it?
With Christmas pervading each and every one of your senses as it nears December, the writers at Headcandy thought it only fitting to discuss the eternal question... what’s going on with the Virgin Mary? A concept deemed horrifying by the majority of women, a virgin birth is biologically considered as an almost impossible occurrence. Why, then, is it given such credence theologically within Christianity? How does the Bible justify the existence of a virgin mother... and should we be concerned?
Words by Sophie Mitchell 20
C O LU M N S
Words by Harvey Moldon Parthenogenesis (literally - from the Greek meaning ‘virgin’ and ‘birth/beginning’) is a process unheard of in humans, but used in many plants and across the animal kingdom as an essential for survival. It is an asexual form of reproduction in which the mother of the species will give birth to a full or partial clone of herself. It’s a clever evolutionary tactic; some species of lizards use it in the absence of a mate; ants and bees use it to create hundreds of workers so that they may act together; even creatures as large as komodo dragons sometimes undergo it. In humans though, parthenogenesis is a completely different affair. Theologians shouldn’t get excited; the Christmas story isn’t explained by this, or Mary would have given birth to a daughter of God. The truth is, we simply don’t have the right chromosomes to pull it off. The closest thing yet seen to human parthenogenesis is the case of a baby given the anonymised name of ‘FD’ in 1995. FD was (and most likely still is) the world’s only parthenogenetic chimera. A chimera is a rare fusion of two dividing egg cells so that the mother will give birth to a single individual containing two sets of DNA. Normally this occurs with two separately fertilised eggs; essentially resulting in the DNA of two non-identical twins in one body. FD though, is a parthenogenetic chimera. This means he contains two sets of DNA throughout his body - half came from a normal fusion of his mother and father’s cells, and the other half came from one of his mother’s egg cells which began to undergo parthenogenesis and spontaneously divide. In simple terms, FDis half virgin birth, and half ‘normal’ birth. For humans, chimeras are rare, and parthenogenesis is unheard of. So naturally, FD is one in billions. He is the only reported case of a parthenogenetic chimera ever. Assuming he is still alive, he’d be about 22 now. What are the implications of parthenogenesis? It will never be a plausible as a means of human reproduction. However, the real jackpot here is embryonic stem cells. They can become any other kind of cell and hold enormous potential for treatments and research. If an egg cell can be stimulated to divide without fertilisation, then maybe we can produce these embryonic stem cells without interfering with the sanctity of human life. And that really would be a miracle.
Mentioned today in HEADCANDY: Lisa Strain et al, ‘A Human Parthenogenetic Chimera’ (https://www.researchgate.net/ publication/15649461_A_human_ parthenogenetic_chimera) 21
If, like me, you are the bookish type, it’s likely you’ll be getting books for Christmas this year. (For me, that’s my go-to gift from family – either books or a decent whisky, which is why I’ll be wading halfcut through Elmet and The Sellout in the festive period.) If that’s the case, it’s not inconceivable you’ll be getting Rupi Kaur’s new book – I imagine it’ll sell quite well. Now, this isn’t a review of the work of her that I’ve read, Milk and Honey, because I’m no poetry expert, but rather an overview of what it is that Rupi has come to represent. In the same way that pumpkin spice lattes, and unicorn frappucinos have become de rigeur to declare uncool and awful, Kaur’s poetry has become hip to hate on, because so often, things that middle aged white men like is the pinnacle of fashion and taste, and things liked by women are considered vacuous and silly. Kaur’s poetry is, undoubtedly, borne of personal experience, and is frequently moving. There are claims of plagiarism, but looking at these requires some considerable nuance, because the motifs of milk and honey have been used since Sappho, and writing emotional diatribes with line breaks is not exclusive to anyone – it’s more or less the defining feature of the new generation of Instagram Poets that is cropping up. I follow a few of them, and it’s fascinating to read their narratives. Many of them I can understand – the ones about anxiety and stress and anger – and many I will never understand, but take something from listening to - like the ones about how it feels to be on the receiving end of misogyny. When you read the reviews of her work, there’s the overwhelming stench of classism – after all, what Kaur’s poetry is,
on a base level, is accessible. Her poems aren’t hard to understand. Many of them sound like the sort of stuff we’ve all said at 4am at a house party when we’re all a bit emotional. But that’s the rub, isn’t it? Kaur is perhaps the most prominent of what I’ll call the InstaPoets, and she is incredibly, unashamedly feminine. She’s pretty, she gives public speeches, and she is in touch with her emotions. She’s also a woman of colour. All these elements combine to distil the culture of dismissal reviewers have towards these poets. It’s worth noting that these poets get a whole lot of shit that male poets just don’t have to face. Take one man’s account for instance (I won’t name him) which consists of poems that say more or less the exact same thing every time – ‘a woman made me sad’ with pictures of Marlboro cigarettes on the page. I wish I was making this up. These poems are equally as bad as Kaur’s – if Kaur’s are indeed bad - and yet no one gives him shit for it. To clarify, I’m not saying anyone should – for fuck’s sake, just leave young writers alone – but I am pointing out the unavoidable fact that there is an obvious discrepancy in media treatment of the two. This discrepancy speaks volumes about the way in which the academy and the commentariat, both groups that are overwhelmingly stacked with middle-class white men, deal with voices that they do not recognise as familiar. I opened with a throat clearing of sorts, a mea culpa about my own poetry expertise. If there’s one thing I’ll end on, it’s that chances are, you’re not an expert on poetry either. And thus should you open a present and it’s a Rupi Kaur book, or maybe a new poet who’s jumped out of Instagram and onto the page, maybe lay off the hot takes. Let people have things. Merry Christmas.
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Sounds like you hate women but ok â€“ A defence of Rupi Kaur Words by Peter Whitehead
Words by Seren Haf Morris I have known, for a long time, that I would love to have a husband, a house, a few kids and a dog. Well, maybe a couple of dogs. Either way, more or less the typical family unit. I also intend to follow the well trodden pathway of husband, house, kids. I love the idea of being a stay at home mother. I love the idea of being able to spend all my time with my kids, especially in their first years. I love the idea of having a house and making it as lovely as it can be. Have I been indoctrinated with the ideal of being a submissive housewife? Far from it.
Modern Families in a Post Feminist Era
While this picture is where I see myself in around ten years, I know that this is what I want for me, not what is being expected of me; by peers, my family or society. I do not feel any pressure whatsoever in following this traditional path; it just so happens to be what appeals to me most, and not for its tradition.
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In fact, its tradition is the only negative aspect. It is frustrating that this ideal is expected of women. Or perhaps was expected of women. It gives me hope that in 2017, women at least have the freedom to choose the direction in which their life is going, to some extent. The idea of a traditional family is dated; the new modern family is its replacement. Thanks to social progress such as marriage equality and adoption, for example, and scientific progress, such as contraception and surrogacy, the idea of the family nucleus is being transformed. Some women are not interested in creating a family, full stop. Friends have told me that they do not intend to have, or even want, children, which shocked me; not because I expect women to want children but because I cannot imagine not having children. It is refreshing to hear women openly discuss their intentions, especially when they do not conform to the typical ideal. Is this change in attitude the result of post feminism? The post feminism movement has been both applauded and criticized for its redefining of the terms surrounding feminism. On one hand, it is just a response to second wave feminism and its dated ideals of feminism. But on the other hand, the term â€˜postâ€™ suggests we are after feminism, as if we have achieved true gender equality, and we do not need to fight anymore. This idea has us reverting back to stereotypes of women and femininity, but under the pretense that it is okay now because feminism has won. We are choosing to wear the red lipstick, to wear the high heels, to have the baby. Itâ€™s our choice now, rather than expected of us. Right? Post feminism in relation to children raises the question of how feminism functions in your familial life. It is not what you say, and not really about what you intentionally do either, (you cannot really plan a family life around TRYING to be a feminist,) however, it is about what is ingrained in you; maybe contemporary feminism has influenced you without you realising.
I think post feminism is flawed in the sense that it insinuates that we have achieved feminism. We are far from it. However, I believe that we have made progress in what is expected of women; if a woman in 2017 says she does not want a husband and/or children, people would not bat an eyelid, and nor should they. While feminism is not progressing as quickly as it should be in terms of laws and policy, there has been some progression in terms of attitude, at least in the UK. A woman can have a baby at 16, not at all, or anything in between, and that is all okay. While attitudes might not translate into policy in a concrete way, they are a sign of progress. The more open minded we are towards what constitutes a family, the less expectations and restrictions will be placed upon us, especially us women. We will advance towards a society where a mother, father, couple of kids and a dog is not the ideal, but just one model among many modern families. 25
Humpty Words by Gina Gambetta 26
It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter, its absolutely freezing, assignment deadlines are sprouting up, your maintenance loan is looking quite dismal, whilst your overdraft is appearing pretty hefty and your thinking, ‘how is it already the end of 2017?’ However, this is also the time when everyone gets festive, no one cares if by the end of December, they cannot see their toes due to an unnatural intake of mince pies, Elf and Harry Potter grace ITV and you start to consider what you want to achieve in the coming year.
heard a thousand times. It’d be the usual, join loads of societies, learn a new language, get 55 internship placements over summer and fly to the moon through the power of your farts. Moreover, I mean we are students, we are already having to deal with studying a degree, living independently for the first time, working sh*tty zerohour contracts, staying on top of extracurricular activities and, somehow, attempting to have a social life. There is no point setting ridiculously high goals, particularly as once the new year starts we all know what that means, next stop, exam season.
My 2017 has comprised of, to quote the Queens of my childhood, Girls Aloud, ‘Deadlines, Diets and Devious Men.’ It has involved a lot of coursework, most of which I submitted on time, exams which made me question my existence, 15 million gallons of coffee, enough chicken nuggets to outsource MacDonald’s and about 3 hours sleep overall.
So instead of making a list of grand gestures, which realistically no one keeps – I’ve been saying for the last four years I am going to start running, however, currently the only thing I’m running from is my problems, I am going to pick some micro goals.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with ‘5 New Years Resolutions to make next year your best’, but, aside from being corny, I thought that what I’d be saying is stuff you have
By setting yourself manageable achievements, you’ll get little victories. And by sticking to them you might be able to handle the delightful situation, aka our lives, which I described above better.
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Prioritise what’s necessary Making your assignments to the best of your ability, and on time, is far more important than getting all of the weekly reading done or working 5 days a week at a bar, that extra £50 a week won’t matter if you end up burning out or not having time to get your coursework done.
It’s dull but budget
2. 3. 4.
You will go from Sainsbury's Taste the Difference to Slovakian Dairylea very quickly. Make a weekly meal plan so you can buy ingredients which work for a variety of meals, plus bulk shopping will work out cheaper and when you are going out, take out cash and leave your card at home, contactless will be the end of you.
“ET phone home” Calling your parents and friends from home regularly will break up your days, a bit of chit chat may seem tedious but knowing they are just a phone call away will be a comfort.
No more drama Adrianna House gossip and b*tching keeping you down? I know it is easier said than done, but don’t get sucked in, try to not even talk about it. The person creating the problem wants the attention, so if you do not give it, then it goes away.
Your mental health is the most vital thing
Obviously, you want to come out of this saying you have worked hated and achieved a degree, but if you are struggling, do not be embarrassed to speak to your Academic Advisor or Advice & Counselling. You are not a failure for asking for extensions or going home for a week or so. Even if you suspend your studies, it doesn’t matter, it is not a life sentence. Your happiness is more important than a piece of paper.
P H O T O G R A P H Y
P H OTO G R A P H Y
With features from the QMSU photography society. If you want to get involved email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org 29
J I N 30
Can you tell us a bit about how you got interested in photography and why you pursue it? I got into photography while travelling and taking pictures of landscapes. Since my 2011 trip to Spain, I’ve realised my interest and talent in photography and have taken my camera whenever I travelled. In my daily life, I took photos with my iPod, edited with VSCO and uploaded on Instagram. I just felt joy of making my own image with my own mood/ feeling. For portraits, at the end of my first year at uni, one of my course mates suggested I try portraits and I started to take portraits of my friends and family in that summer. When I was in NYC for one semester as an exchange student from QM, I got into a culture magazine of Hunter college, Cult Magazine, and that was my first proper experience working with different people, like a hair and makeup artist, stylist, director, and models. From then, I started to take head shots or profile pictures of my friends, and since I was interested in fashion, I started to collaborate with other fashion lovers through facebook fashion groups. I pursue it because I enjoy doing it and I know that I’m good at it. When the final outcome of a shoot comes out well, the process of preparing for the shoot, and the effort that everyone made becomes worth it and I just feel great. Also, I like to show what and how I think through my photography.
You’re quite experimental with your photography, how does this come about? I don’t know if it’s experimental but I just want to try different styles, I want to express the exact image and colour in my head.
I can’t help but ask, how do you take so many photos and still balance studies as a third year? Because I always take photos! Even when I am studying or when I’m in a seminar, if i see something, I will take a photograph of it. It is just always with me. But I guess this is not what you were looking for, so I don’t do proper shooting that often but when I do it, I try to finish editing on the day of the shooting or at least the next day so that I can do my uni work. (It does not happen all the time, but I try).
How do you edit your photos? What’s the process? I go through all the photos and select the ones I like then I adjust basics (exposure, highlights, shadow etc.) then colours into the feeling I want. Or I apply my own preset (you can save your setting on Adobe Lightroom) if it works with the photos. And if I feel I want more effects, I go to Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro to add more elements.
P H OTO G R A P H Y
What makes a good photo for you in terms of your own work? A good photo for me is a photo that expresses my feelings well. A photo that my intention is expressed well within it. (So sometimes, photos I think that are good, people don’t like them because it’s truly about my preference.)
How does working with film differ from digital, how does it change the way you work?
When I work with film, I put more effort than working with digital. Since the number of photos I can take is limited in a roll and the roll is expensive to buy and develop, I become super careful about every element in a photo like angle, the way models pose, lighting and so on to get the most satisfied photo that I don’t regret. When I first shot with film, I shot similar or same subjects multiple times so that I don’t risk of regretting. But then after developing image I realized I could have taken different things than taking the same thing with different angle. Working with film has the joy of waiting. You never know how your photos will look. They might not come out as how you wanted to be, or they come out better than what you expected. Working with film made me take photos more carefully, and put more effort even if it’s just a silly thing. After shooting with film, I tried to avoid continuous shooting with digital because now I know I can get a good photo without shooting 30 photos of the same thing, but it is better to put more effort into making one image, (exception: moving subjects). If you would like to see more of Jinsun's work, head to her instagram pages, @j1nsunpark and @jin4rest
You’ve teamed up with a few people, namely @thenewbiesuk, you’ve covered NYFW 16F/W, LFW 17S/S, is this something you chose to reach out to or did they find you? What was the experience? My course mate that I mentioned above, who encouraged me to start portrait photography introduced me the newbies model agency and I officially started to work with them from October. Since I was interested in fashion, I’ve always wanted to be in one of the ‘fashion weeks.’ So, I bought fashion show tickets for NYFW 16 F/W to see the show and took the photos of the show in the audience seat. But for LFW 17 S/S, I went there to represent the newbies agency and I wanted to experience the backstage of a fashion show and the competitiveness of the front house (where a bunch of photographers take typical fashion show photos). It was definitely a different experience because I’ve never been in the backstage or front house either. However, the clothes I’m taking pictures of are not my work or idea, so it felt quite meaningless for me to take pictures of other people’s work. 31
P H OTO G R A P H Y
Previous pages photos: Jinsun Park This page photos: Josie Durney & Lauren Barlow If you would like to submit any of your own photography to be published in CUB's next issue, please email email@example.com
Santa Claus is Coming to
CUB Words by: Christian Lynn
Words by Christian Lynn 34
The term ‘sugar daddy’ gets a bad rap. Many consider the Hugh Hefner type to be the quintessential sugar daddy. Yet they’re forgetting the original sugar daddy, the sweettempered, loveable Father of Christmas: I’m of course referring to Santa Claus. It’s about time that everyone remembered this bumbling, honeyed fellow, in time for the Yuletide festive season. What could be the most effective method of achieving this? Well, naturally, it’d have to be a list of the best cinematic Santas: I think the larger-than-life legend would approve, seeing as he makes a living off of lists. Just a little pre-warning, however, for those who are reading this outside of the month of December.This contains references to the annual celebration of Christmas. If you are at risk of a medically threatening reaction to hearing the word ‘Christmas’ mentioned outside of its designated period, please refrain from reading further, as we’re about to dive right into Mr Claus’ diverse filmography: The Santa Clause (1994) The first time you see Tim Allen, perfect casting for Santa Claus does not come to mind. Yet against expectation, he made the role his own in John Pasquin’s comedy, focusing on the narcissistic Scott Calvin (Allen) who, by indescribable circumstances involving his son (Eric Lloyd), ends up in Santa’s sleigh, fitting into his clothes, riding towards the North Pole. The fish-out-of-water scenario is given new life in The Santa Clause, I mean how much out-ofwater can you get than finding yourself under a frozen lake, dealing with worker and chief elves as they dictate a to-do-list to complete by Christmas Eve. But it’s funny, heartfelt and Allen’s performance, as he transitions between sarcastic and sentimental, neatly wraps the package in an enjoyable bundle.
Well, with Billy Bob Thornton chewing up the scenery as a drunk Santa impersonator, Willie T. Stokes, anything’s possible. In fact, Terry Zwigoff ’s dark comedy tries to get away with just that: anything. From Willie’s Santa offering a runny-nosed kid a ‘snot rag’ for a Christmas present, followed by a kindly request for the kid to ‘f*** off ’, to his drunken stumble onto Santa’s famed seat, in front of all the parents and their children, Bad Santa offers plenty of hilarity in re-creating classic scenes from our childhood – the first time we saw Santa in the flesh – but completely inverting them by having that Santa act completely out of his lively character. Because nothing says Santa like alcohol, curse words and sex in the front seat of a parked car. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) The late, great Sir Richard Attenborough’s interpretation of Santa Claus has been ingrained in my memory for so long, that I couldn’t resist including him on this list. Sure, he’s lacking in the extravagant, Marx-esque bleached beard. But he makes up for it in sheer spirit and jouncing joviality. Which do seem like alienating qualities in a film that’s about Santa and a court case out to prove he’s a madman for claiming to be the illustrious folk hero. Trust me though, it works. You’ll be laser-focused, followed by fist pumping, like you’re watching the most believably unbelievable episode of Judge Rinder. And through it all, there’s Attenborough, a charismatic and charming figure of the classical cinema, reinvigorating the most classical character of all. A sweet, syrupy little movie for all ages.
And there you have it. A trifecta of Santa Claus characterisations, both naughty and nice, more than ready to kick-start your Christmas spirit. So grab your eggnog latte, dip in your chocolate chip cookie, and throw on your cheesiest Christmas jumper. Time to give Mr Claus the shout-out he deserves. I mean, he works a Bad Santa (2003) 24-hour shift on the 24th of December. Credit Wait a minute. How can bad precede the name where credit is due, the man is a hard grafter Santa? Can you possibly get away with that? and has more than earned the recognition. 35
In Bruges - It’s in Belgium…
Words by : Greg Dimmock
As I am writing this article, I am currently listening to Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas Time. There are two types of people that arise from this. Type A) Those who are now jiving to the contagious melody that has infected every inch of their auditory cortices. Type B) Those who feel as though I am caught in a musical prison with Bono as a cellmate, and are desperately scrambling to form their own charity help-line to save me.
with an absent husband – wink, wink, nudge, nudge. But Christmas is not seeped throughout with an ‘in-your-face’ aesthetic, or an ‘on-yournose-jingling-soundtrack’. Instead, it resides in the background, both visually and thematically through the subtext of McDonagh’s faultless script. The most relevant of these themes in relation to the nature of contemporary Christmas is, in my opinion, the notion that how we measure good and bad is becoming somewhat impossible to do in the modern world.
I’m talking Eyes Wide Shut, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Nice Guys, heck even Prometheus. These are needed compromises and respites, from the gaudiness typical of Christmas classics.
The Christmas period, even as a period dissociated from religious meaning, is consistently promoted as the season to do good for others. Yet how can we possibly know how to do good when once trusted measures that define this dichotomy can and are be interrogated? This is exactly what the film asks. Ray, our hero, has made a horrific mistake. Must he pay for what he has done? Or should he be forgiven?
Every movement, however, needs a glistening, seminal example. The Type B’s of the world need something they can point towards in November, whilst holding their cheery, JohnLewis-advert-obsessed friend by the scruff of the neck, and scream, “That’s not how you do Christmas! This is!” And although those aforementioned films do subtly cut the turkey, none of them compare to what is a hilariously poignant and perfect covert-Christmas film – Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges (2008). It’s a fairy-tale town, isn’t it? Reminiscent of Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter, In Bruges’ synopsis is fairly straightforward: two hitmen, Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), are sent by their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to the eponymous gothic city to await further instructions following a disastrous job in London. Although there are other digressive plot points involving dwarves, a drug-dealer and a Canadian responsible for the death of John Lennon, this triangular relationship is the epicentre of the conflict that drives the film.
If Christian’s article on Santa in the cinema is for the Type A’s, then this is the article for the Type B’s of the world – not just those with musical taste, but those who are fine with Christmas, but do not particularly enjoy the season being rammed down their throats for two months every year. It is for you Type B’s that I proclaim that we need to champion covert-Christmas films: the movies that acknowledge that it’s that time of year again, but do not feel the need to asphyxiate you with holiday cheer, tinsel and cliché.
In In Bruges, Harry, the man with the most resolute principles, is depicted as the villain. A seemingly omniscient presence that emerges over the cobbled bridge to enforce his strict moral code, which, by the films conclusion, he realises he himself must succumb to. Is it better to have a flexible moral code? Or to be strictly principled? By the end of the film we are left to answer these questions, interrogatives that loom large over a period where spending good is often equated to doing good. When we are stuck walking down Oxford Street as the end of the year draws near – a scene that very much mirrors the central image of the film, Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych painting The Last Judgement – I think it is wise to ask ourselves why we are doing what we are doing. Interrogating our lavish participation in this tradition, questioning whether this is truly us doing good, or should we try to do something else. What that other thing is I could not possibly know.
Off the top of my head, there is a single Christmas tree, and a heavily pregnant woman called Marie (which sounds like Mary) who runs a hotel And I really really hoped I wouldn’t…
Our Head Music Editor, Hermione, looks back at the musical highs and lows of 2017…
Best Album: Loyle Carner A sold out European tour and a Mercury nomination later, Loyle Carner has proved himself to be the most exciting, new hip-hop artist to emerge this year. His debut album Yesterday’s Gone is startlingly brave (It features his mum calling him a ‘shmoo’) and emotionally raw: “I wonder why my Dad didn’t want me, ex didn’t need me”, laments Carner on the opening track, ‘The Isle of Arran’. The top tracks - ‘No CD’ and ‘Damselfly’ – take you back to the sounds of the 90s with the productions choices being mostly made up of guitars and drums. In particular, it is ‘No CD’, with its driving bass-line and exceptional lyrical flow (“Oh please we got no P’ cos’ we spent all our money on some old CDs”), that stands out as a testimony for the timelessness of old-school hiphop. This album is a must-have for any music lover.
Worst Album: Jake Bugg’s Hearts That Strain Jake Bugg has not had a good year. Well, saying that, the last good year Bugg had was back in 2012 with his gritty debut album, which featured the now tired songs, ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Broken’. Due to the astounding success of his debut, Bugg has always been trying to catch up with himself, but has unfortunately failed miserably (his 2016 album, On My One, sold poorly in comparison to his earlier albums). The leading single of Hearts That Strain was ‘How Soon is the Dawn’ – a single that showed promise of a new found energy. However, with the release of the whole album, that fire was quickly put out. Hearts That Strain is excruciatingly dull – with no remarkable lyrical flashes (‘Man on the Stage’ is the best sleeping pill) and the melody is so safe that it makes James Blunt look thrilling. Sorry Jake Bugg – let’s hope 2018 is your year. 38
ON 2017 Best gig: Ryan Adams at the Royal Albert Hall, 22nd September 2017 Prisoner was a heart-breaking album. Adams publicly bared his broken heart. It will definitely become one of the top breakup albums ever, because if you get through ‘Shiver and Shake’ without a ‘shiver’ of recognition, you my friend are ice-cold. Sadly, Adams’ Royal Albert Hall set list did not feature ‘Shiver and Shake’, but he didn’t disappoint with some of his brooding classics (‘Come Pick Me Up’) and newer songs from Prisoner (‘Broken Anyway’ and ‘To Be Without You’). That night the Albert Hall was covered in smoke and multi-coloured lights making the concert seem like an emotionally-charged dream. It’s annoying when you wake up from a dream and forget it. Though, this one was completely unforgettable.
Worst Gig: Yak at the Village Underground, 16th October 2017 This year I haven’t been to obviously bad gigs, but there are a few where I left feeling a bit underwhelmed. Yak are a band that have been around for a few years now, residing mostly in smaller venues like the Moth Club. Rarely have they put a foot wrong when performing live. They have it all – the look, the sound and the volume. Undoubtedly, their set at the Village Underground was loud and energetic (a highlight was the opener ‘Harbour the Feeling’). However, if you were not at the front – in the sweaty hurricane of bodies – you were left rather detached from the whole performance. It didn’t help that the bassist’s string broke half way through the set, leaving frontman Oli Burslem stuttering through a new song that no one new. Yak is a great band (do listen to their album Alas Salvation), meaning that it is with a heavy heart that I have to give them the badge of ‘worst gig’. It wasn’t Jake Bugg bad, but it wasn’t great either. 39
Words by Joe Steen
CUB looks into the best and worst festive songs of the season. ..
It’s become a tradition that tells you more about the person than it does about Christmas: are you a melancholic George Michael, pining at the window watching the snow fall, still trying to forget about that girl who broke your heart last year? Or would you rather spend Christmas in a kind of limbo-rampage state, pouring whisky in the mulled wine and taking the opportunity to hurl abuse at your loved ones? There might even be an in between, but in any case, here are the most fought over tunes (from a pretty ropey bunch) that will no doubt grace your festive household at some point this Christmas.
Fairytale of New York by The Pogues Picture the scene: you’re an inebriated, toothless Irishman, who one thinks, hey what’s the deal with Christmas anyway? So you slump to the piano, stick your sunglasses on (indoors) and belt out a tune that, despite being tuneless, has become an old favourite of drunken forgiveness and careless celebration – though I can’t help but feel that it wouldn’t have that legacy if it weren’t for all the swearing.
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney Having said that…just, just no.
long with Brussel sprouts, drinksodden family board games and the real quality of the lunch mum just cooked, Christmas is laced with opportune ‘creative’ disagreements that often spill over into full-blown rage. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year. But the question that has haunted Western civilisation since the dawn of time bears with it a great deal more weight than mere vegetables or monopoly – it asks us, what is the best, the most definitive Christmas song?
Last Christmas by Wham! This maybe the definitive marmite Xmas tune: though it reeks of the Eighties and isn’t really about Christmas so much as it just happens to be at Christmas that George Michael’s melodrama takes place. The song has gained some added poignancy, since, in a perversely fitting way, Michael passed away on Christmas Day last year, the song will never shake its own twinkly aura of school-disco, pathetic pop. But still the melody and bassline remain pretty damn impeccable.
Happy Xmas Everyone by John Lennon Also pretty kitsch, but there’s enough melancholy and bite here to qualify the song as maybe one of the only crimbo songs with some kind of depth, although it’s been a long time since the Vietnam War, and at the end of the day, for probably very bleak reasons, Christmas and Protest songs never quite jam. But any Christmas song with a Beatle stamp on it is still bound to be miles ahead than most.
Let it Snow by Frank Sinatra That’s more like it. Now pour me a glass of scotch. To be fair, if you survive Christmas without having to listen to Michael fucking Buble at least once, you’ll be golden. 41
Hopeless Romance-sicks Words by Chrissie Antoniou
So own up... which of you sits at home watching First Dates on TV whilst internally hoping the date turns out amazingly and the sparks fly leading to a blossoming and beautiful future? Either that or you probably hope that they go so horrifyingly badly that it’s hilarious (to watch from a safe uninvolved distance – ain’t nobody got time for that in their own lives). Or another personal favourite - the irresistible allure of the ‘Rush Hour Crush’ section in the Metro is just too difficult not to indulge. There is a certain warm feeling that Nicolas Sparks’ novels instil; the ability to temporarily suspend yourself in a world of stubbornly optimistic love… A world that is swiftly shattered as soon as the book shuts, of course. The world of online dating and apps make the ‘fairy-tale’ meeting part of the love story next to impossible. People have become more open about being purely interested in just sex alone, making the romance stories we read and watch seem entirely unrealistic. Nevertheless, for me it still doesn’t remove the enjoyment from all of my guilty pleasures listed above and if this infects me with hopeless romancesickness, then I don’t want to be immune!
Both have negative implications. ‘Realist’ suggests negativity and cynicism, almost selectively focusing on hurt/cheats and ignoring successful couples. Whilst ‘hopeless romantics’ suggests someone being dreamy and (let’s face it) unrealistic/almost delusional. Here is a classic example of a recent difference of opinion that I faced; I was dining at a fancy Italian restaurant the other evening and I was touched as I saw an elderly man stand up to help his fragile wife slide into her coat, before taking her hand and gently kissing it after their meal. As I gazed at them I thought aloud ‘that’s so lovely - even at that age they are still being sweet.’ To which my dinner partner responded, ‘you never know... maybe he’s having an affair and married to someone else!’ Is that realistic or is that just pessimistic? I’ll let you all be the judge of that.
Why is there an expectation now that love should be divorced from romance? In another example, I was sat at my usual spot by the window in Starbucks indulging in my ultimate guilty pleasure of peoplewatching. I can’t help but notice how one Maybe what we should be questioning is lady is possessively holding onto her partner’s why society feels compelled to label people arm and staring at him longingly whilst he either ‘realists’ or ‘hopeless romantics?’ checks out every other girl who walks past.
UNISEX This leads me to question whether some people’s personalities are inherently more romantic. There seems to be a dynamic in most relationships (that I have seen) where one member of the couple is more invested than the other. Perhaps this is why ideas such as: friends with benefits, open relationships and threesomes are becoming less of a shock to us all... but I still believe deep down that everyone has the secret hope of meeting ‘the one’ or their ‘soul-mate’ and this hope propels people through life. Ultimately, I think rather than over-analysing both our personalities and our relationship status’ we should shamelessly
embrace who we are as individuals. If you want hand written love notes and flowers, hell yeah you should embrace this. Equally if you do not have a romantic bone in your body, just be honest about it and come to a happy medium if your partner expects romance. Even if it sounds corny, we have to fearlessly pursue what gives us happiness, not just short-term pleasure or temporary entertainment. Sometimes the only thing that holds us back from happiness is the ideas we have in our head of how happiness should be; but look within yourself - not to Instagram or Facebook for #couplegoals to find this.
All I Want for Christmas Words by Isabelle Hathaway The holidays are a difficult time for many university students. It’s a period of intense change over a very short period of time. People are reunited with family members; friends split off and go back to their own lives. In the perfect storm of Christmas lights and dreidels and mistletoe it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when there is also the added pressure of having to feel happy. All of these stressors can be terrible for anyone’s mental health, and can have devastating effects on relationships.
In the movies, the holidays are a magical time. It’s a cliché no one ever gets tired of: woman skates gracefully across the silver screen into the arms of her waiting lover, and then they kiss as the snow starts to fall. But for every light filled romance I’ve seen based on the holidays, I’ve heard at least one story about a breakup. Especially for college students recently in relationships, the holiday break means a short period of long distance. With all the other background stresses, relationships sometimes get put on the back burner, where they fizzle out before the new year. So how do you keep a relationship alive through the turmoil of the holiday season, even if you are celebrating an ocean apart? As someone who has done it successfully (and unsuccessfully), here are a few tips.
inevitably going to be a difficult time in the relationship. When both members are busy with other things in life, texts are going to get ignored. Sometimes the other person isn’t going to pick up your call. And that’s okay! As long as you both understand that it isn’t a personal attack, it’s a result of a wildly busy and overwhelming time.
you know what the other person is going through. Every family Don't assume dynamic is different, what could be a perfect situation for one person might be hell for another. If something upsets your partner, never assume that they are just being dramatic. Treat them as you would want to be treated if something upset you in your family.
that when under stress, people over-react. So maybe your DO remember partner is taking out some frustration on you that you don’t feel is
warranted. It’s bound to happen- especially over the holidays. Try to take a step back and remember that you don’t really know what they are going through at home. Be as kind and diplomatic as possible, even if it feels like you are being attacked.
your partner if they really need to talk. Yes, I’ve acknowledged that Don't ignore text will be ignored and that’s okay (as long as you establish that it is), but ignoring your partner for long periods of time is going to encourage resentment to grow and is a death trap for relationships. Schedule times to call and chat, even if it’s about nothing. Sometimes just talking to your significant other can ease some of the stress. Don’t let them feel like they are the last thing on your list.
I know I said this one already, but I can’t stress how DO COMMUNICATE. important it is. If you feel something is off, address it immediately. Don’t
let it sit and brew. As long as you are understanding of the situation your partner is in, and you try to keep things calm (starting fights is a bad idea), there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t talk through issues you feel are a problem.
that you are the most important thing in your partner’s life. This Don't think was a problem that I personally experienced. Yes, you are important to
your partner, but you are not family, at least not yet. It is hard not to feel bad when they are spending all of this time around their family and old friends and not with you. It might trigger insecurities, but that is something that you personally have to deal with. This leads me to my next point…
you partner. Even if they are spending time with other people, DO TRUST they chose to be in a relationship with you. Try to remember why that was, and hopefully it will give you some peace of mind about them being far away. They care about you- simply being apart isn’t going to change that.
Long distance relationships are difficult. The holidays can be difficult. These two combined are a challenge, for sure - but not an insurmountable one. The strongest relationships can weather the toughest storms and with effort come out even stronger. Happy Holidays! 45
And I don’t just mean skype calls. While that works to DO communicate. a certain extent, what really needs to be communicated is that this is
- E V E N T S LONDON 10. nov - 4. jan Wintertime "A perfect way to warm up your winter with Nordic treats and festive favourites. “Let off steam in their Finnish rooftop sauna overlooking the Thames. Enjoy fondue in a snow globe. Sip mulled wine in a cosy bar.” - Southbank Centre 17. nov - 1. jan Winter Wonderland " The landmark festival is back at the famous, Hyde Park. The extravaganza includes ice skating, shows, roller coaster rides, street food stalls, festive bars and live music. It is free to enter, so go along and take in the joyous atmosphere." - Hyde Park 18. nov - jan 2018 Hogwarts in the Snow "Experience Christmas at everyone’s favourite wizardry school- Hogwarts! You get to see the Great Hall and Gryffindor common room transformed into a seasonal treat, decorated with dripping icicles and sparkling snow." - Warner Bros. Studio 24. nov - 1. jan Magical Lantern Festival "The Chinese lantern festival is back for a third year, with bigger, brighter, and more spectacular lanterns! The festival is a fantastic fusion of art, heritage and culture, illuminating sculpted lanterns taking various forms." - Chiswick House and Gardens
- E V E N T S FILM
Now - 21. jan Soutineâ€™s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters and Bellboys - The Courtauld Gallery - Somerset House exhibition
20. dec Jumanji 3. dec - 22. dec Pitch Perfect 15. dec Star Wars: The Last Jedi 21. dec The Greatest Showman
MUSIC 4. dec The Veils - Islington Assembly Hall
Now - 7. jan Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane "FREE exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist" - Somerset House Now - 22. dec Hiroshi Sugimoto: Snow White - Marian Goodman Gallery, Soho Now - 22. dec Impulse - Pace Burlington Gardens, Mayfair
7. dec The Cornshed Sisters - Underworld, Camden 15. dec The Lemon Twigs - 02 Forum Kentish Town 19. dec James Yorkston - Moth Club, Hackney
Winter edition of QMSU's CUB Magazine. Editors-in-chief Abigail Hanley & Alice Barnett