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‘Student battleground’

Monday February 8 2010 Week 16

Free and Impartial. Your paper, your views, your voice.

In this issue

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Exeposé

Page 26

- NUS name Exeter on ‘hit list’ in run-up to general election

- Cabinet meeting at Exeter Racecourse sees Prime Minister visit James McMeekin Editor

EXETER has been identified by the National Union of Students as one of 20 “student battlegrounds,” where MPs’ election prospects can be won or lost by the student vote. Several MPs have been identified as part of a “hit list” by the NUS, including John Denham, Hilary Benn, Nick Brown and Ben Bradshaw. In preparation for the upcoming general election, the NUS has threatened to vote against candidates who do not support their campaign against a possible rise in tuition fees. Wes Streeting, NUS President, stated, “Through this campaign we hope to remind students of the power they hold and remind candidates of the danger of not taking our votes seriously. Our message to candidates is simple, vote for us or pay the price.” Other “battleground” cities identified by the NUS include London, Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham. Streeting added, “Our list of key student seats should make the point particularly clearly. Elections have been won and lost by the votes of students before and it will happen again.” Several Cabinet Ministers visited Exeter Racecourse on Friday February 6 for the latest in a series of meetings held outside London. This meeting was only the eighth to take place outside the capital, and was led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Exeposé attended the preliminary conference speech delivered by Mr. Brown, who appeared alongside a number of Cabinet Ministers, including David Miliband, Hilary Benn and Jack Straw. This meeting, the first time the Cabinet has met in Devon, was described by Brown as “A great

privilege for all of us as Cabinet members.” Mr Brown described the University as “one of the greatest in the country. “ During a question and answer session with various MPs and members of the public, the issue of higher education was raised. Ben Bradshaw, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and MP for Exeter, replied to the NUS’ suggestion that students should vote against Labour: “I don’t think that’s what they are saying actually. If you look at the results that were published this week there’s been a huge increase in student numbers in recent years. “I hope that students will judge us on our record, but you’re right that Exeter is a battleground seat… We’ve got lots and lots of students on my campaign supporting me and they’re an invaluable source of Labour support.” Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, stated that “everybody’s got a big stake in this general election, and it’s a big stake for pensioners and families and working people but for students as well. “Obviously… fees are an important part of the debate [about higher education], and I know that Lord Mandelson said that we will make no decisions at all until we’ve looked at this very carefully, but I think the idea of picking one issue and saying that’s the only issue for students rather downplays the importance of students as citizens in our country.” Balls called Exeter a “very progressive, but top-class university,” whilst describing Vice Chancellor Prof. Steve Smith as a “great man.” The Government announced significant further cuts to Higher Education Funding of £449m from the 2010/11 allowance. In an interview with Exeposé, Vice

News interview the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Steve Smith, and measures the discontent with Birks Grange building

Features

comment on the

aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, and look at the past, present and future of the Labour Party RAG Fashion Show enhances fundraising successes. Photo by Matthew William-Ellis

RAG walking towards success Videogames Chancellor, Prof. Steve Smith said the University had made savings in anticipation of the funding reductions. “We’ve cut back 5% of the total and that actually enables us to deal with this level of cut of government funding. At the moment we don’t see any reason to change our plans.” Ben Bradshaw responded to Prof. Smith’s claims: “The idea that there are cuts at Exeter, as the Vice Chancellor

made absolutely clear, is absolutely nonsense.” Richard Stearn, Exeter Students’ Guild President, said: “I understand the need for cuts in light of the state of public finances, but given the benefit that HE can give the economy it seems we’re shooting ourselves in the foot in terms of long term competitiveness.” For the Exeposé interview with Prof. Steve Smith, see page 5.

look at a new games company and give readers the opportunity to win a copy of Ikaroids for Xbox 360


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february 8 2010 Exeposé

www.exepose.com

Exeposé Controversial GM motion passes by two

Making the headlines for 20 years Issue 561 Week 16 2010 Editors Gemma Dye Rebecca Lewis James McMeekin editors@exepose.com News Editors Alex Moss Adam Walmesley news@exepose.com Features Editors Munya Hoto Dini Muana features@exepose.com Lifestyle Editors Thomas Downes Francesca Houslander lifestyle@exepose.com Music Editors Lalita Korzybska Joel Moktar music@exepose.com Books Editors Tristan Barclay Kate Rothera books@exepose.com Screen Editor Daniel Parker Hannah Smith screen@exepose.com Arts and Stage Editors Nicola Ranson Emma Waterson arts@exepose.com Videogames Editors Alex Bennett Dominic Small games@exepose.com Sports Editors Alex Sharp Vicky Wise sport@exepose.com Photography Editors Melinda Greenacre Lyn Haskell photography@exepose.com Advertising Joanna Bowery j.c.bowery@ex.ac.uk (01392) 263579 Martin Homer 08451300667 mh@bamuk.com Exeposé, Cornwall House, St German’s Road, Exeter, EX4 6TG (01392) 263513 The opinions expressed in Exeposé are not necessarily those of the Exeposé Editors nor the University of Exeter Students’ Guild. While every care is taken to ensure that the information in this publication is correct and accurate, the Publisher can accept no liability for any consequential loss or damage, however caused, arising as a result of using the information printed. The Publisher cannot accept liability for any loss or damage to artwork or material submitted. The contents of this, unless stated otherwise, are copyright of the Publisher. Reproduction in any form requires the prior consent of the Publisher.

Alex Moss News Editor

LESS than 60 students present at the Guild General Meeting held last week voted on three significant motions. All motions proposed at the meeting were passed with a majority, including a proposal to limit the term of Sabbatical officers to one year. The General Meeting, which was advertised through flyers, posters, and all-student emails by the Guild, was attended by 58 students. However, some of this number left before the end of the two-hour meeting. The meeting was dominated by a motion proposed by third-year student Lewis Carson, which called to limit the terms of Sabbatical Officers. The implications of this are that individuals can not run again after holding an elected sabbatical position, either for the same position or another within the Guild. Carson commented, “I have felt for quite a long time that it is unfair for a Sabb to run a second time, and considered it an appropriate measure to bring a motion to General Meetingto at least let the debate be held and others have their say on the issue.” The motion was debated for over half of the Meeting, with supporters of the motion claiming the current system had an ‘incumbency bias’, under which those who had already held sabbatical

Less than 60 students attended the Guild’s General Meeting last week. Photo by Adam Walmesley. positions had an unfair advantage when running again. The opposition claimed that the system should simply call for the individual best suited for the job, regardless of their previously held positions. The motion was ultimately narrowly passed after a secret ballot, with 29 votes for, 27 against, and two abstentions. When asked if the decision was undermined by the low attendance of the meeting, Carson said, “I don’t think the result was undermined by the relatively low attendance at the meeting. The motion was advertised in an all-student email ensuring that everyone knew about it and knew to come along if they had opinions on the issue.”

Bertie Archer, Guild Councillor, raised the issue of attendance and had a proposal to improve Guild advertising of General Meetings passed with near unanimity. Another successful motion, proposed by 3rd-year student Dominic Small, called for changes to the Guild’s advertising policy to allow greater autonomy of societies when seeking sponsorship. Small commented, “I’m happy to see it pass, I feel there is a real need for reform in the policy and this motion was designed to help the Guild move towards a more fair and effective policy.” He added, “Any club or bar in town would be mad not to want to be a sponsor of the Guild, they gain a lot

and I think to imply that will change is misleading.” The change comes after Campus Cinema were forced to drop a sponsorship deal arranged with student realtors ClubEasy due to a clash of interest with Guild real estate service, Exelets. A spokesperson from Campus Cinema said, “This is a highly satisfactory result, however one that should have been reached months ago by the Guild when the issue first arose to great public protest.” In spite of the low attendance, which echoed the low response rate of the Guild’s structural referendum at the end of last term, all three motions were passed and will be put into Guild policy.

Lauren Hitchman, a student living on Mount Pleasant, said, “When the Uni server went down as well we basically had no internet. We couldn’t take our laptops onto campus and it wouldn’t work properly in the house either.” Recently many Virgin users were left with no internet access. A Virgin Media spokesman explained, “This incident was not in any way connected to the broadband speed issue in the EX4 area and was dealt with as a high priority and service was restored as quickly as possible.” Chris Fullbrook, who was “repeatedly fobbed off by customer services,” created a Facebook group to discern the scale of the problem. When the group had over 1000 members within 48 hours, they contacted the Exeter store about holding a sit-in. “When it appeared it was going to go ahead Virgin’s Press Office rang me and explained (in a very technical, largely incomprehensible way) what the problem was. They

reckon that a small number of people are using the internet up by downloading/online gaming and that’s slowed it down.” Virgin Media has promised customers that “plans to conduct the necessary upgrade work are already progressing at the highest priority and incremental improvements should be seen in the coming weeks. We hope to have a full resolution by the end of February.” Fullbrook said, “It serves as a really good example of what large numbers of people, particularly students, can do if they threaten bad PR.” Christopher Ambery-Smith was sent an engineer after threatening to switch service providers. In a letter to CEO Neil Burkett, Ambery-Smith explained, “When me and my fellow student house-mates moved into our house in mid-September, we made getting internet a priority over many of the other things we needed to do in our house because all of us are potentially heavy users. “I decided to call through to

cancellation on the switchboard and complained to a much more understanding phone representative who informed me he was arranging an engineer to inspect my house.” 4th year Jonathan Hockedy was refused an engineer despite reporting the problem in November. “All Virgin Media have done so far is to keep giving refunds on the payments, but as our internet is unusable for a large part of the day, we’re paying nothing, but getting no service.” Exeter students who have been affected can contact Virgin Media by filling in the compensation form on www.virginmedia.com

Uproar over Virgin internet

Lizzie Mackley Senior Reporter HUNDREDS of students without internet in their homes since November are furious to learn their connections will not be fully restored until late February. Virgin Media customers in the Mount Pleasant area have failed to receive the “fastest broadband in the land” that the company advertises on their webpage since mid-November 2009. Many students paying for a 20mbps service are only receiving 1.8mbps coverage. Virgin Media says the problem is because of an “abnormally high network usage which is affecting the broadband performance for some customers in the area,” and not because of over-subscription. Virgin Media also responded to rumours by denying that students are being put on a different line to locals. “However it is more likely that students notice the speed issues being heavier users,” a Virgin Media spokesman told Exeposé.


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News

Exeposé week sixteen news@exepose.com

Rising anger on Birks building site...

Andrew Waller Senior Reporter

STUDENTS have expressed concerns over quality of life following the extensive building works at Birks Grange and Moberly House. Much of this once-green area of campus has been turned into a construction site, leaving residents surrounded by mud, noise and heavy machinery. At the heart of the issue is anger over value for money. Both Moberly and Birks fees rose by 10% this year without any perceptible improvement in the quality of service. Coupled with the extensive building work, Anthony Melton, a Moberly resident, argued, “We are paying more money, and in fact getting less.” Residents had been told that the ongoing work would be conducted in such a manner as to cause minimal disruption. However, James Price, a Birks resident, said, “When you try to work you have building noises outside and you get woken up in the morning by the same noises.” Many complained that the builders start earlier in the mornings than had been promised. One report from one resident said the scaffolding outside his window was restricting him opening it. Others said that covering over the scaffolding was preventing sunlight getting in to rooms.

Damian Jeffries, President of Moberly, compiled a petition of 403 signatures that he sent to Geoff Pringle, Director of Campus Services, along with a letter outlining the “unacceptable” situation and proposing a return to 2008 fees. Following the petition Jeffries met with members of the University accommodation team. The campaign was launched before Christmas but, as of yet, the University has not decided on a course of action. Jilly Court, Deputy Director

of Campus Services, said, “The University does not pay compensation for building works adjacent to other buildings.” She cited the previous construction of Holland Hall and Rowancroft as earlier examples of this. She added that the University believed “the services and facilities provided for students represents value for money.” Compounding anger at the current situation was the lack of warning students received about the building

works prior to arriving at Birks. Students were not notified during the application process and only received an e-mail a few days before arrival warning of “some disruption.” Even now, the online virtual tour of Birks Grange clearly shows vast green areas that are now a building site. Further to the disruption, Birks students were recently threatened with fines of up to £78 per wall for having posters in their rooms. Taking all the posters down, Jeffries said, would leave Birks Grange rooms as a

“blank, white, characterless box” and Moberly rooms like “a prison cell.” Many students feel disillusioned by the University. “[They] don’t care about the student experience,” was a common sentiment, arguing that the focus is too much on the future and not on the current students. James Price said, “To anyone asking about Birks Grange for next year I’ll simply tell them that with the buildings its a mess and not to recommend it [sic].”

“Like a prison cell” One student’s description of Moberly Hall.

The building site around Birks Grange and Moberly Halls of Residence. Photo by Alex Moss.

Ellie Steafel and Rosie Scudder, Birks residents, were also unhappy about the building work. “We were advised ten days before arriving at Exeter about the possibility of building work, and that it would affect some students. But we didn’t expect to be paying as much as Holland residents to live on a building site. “ Matt Richards, Guild Welfare Officer, said, “I don’t think Birks and Moberly residents are getting good value for money at all. The large building project has negatively affected their experience, but yet the University has still increased the rent significantly. That is why I am fully in support of the petition which was presented to the University.”

... but University increases residential costs

Adam Walmesley News Editor

PRICES of University residences will rise further next year, according to figures obtained by Exeposé. University Campus Services announced 4.5% per-week price hikes across all residences in the academic year 2010-2011, representing smaller rises than previous years. Prestige catered halls, such as Holland Hall and the partiallyconstructed Birks Grange will cost £179.20 per week. Lafrowda, the cheapest self-catered residence, will cost £73.01 each week. Standard rooms, including Moberly and Ransom Pickard, reach £128.45 per week, barely cheaper than the cost of a Holland Hall room five years ago. Last year the University decided upon 9.9% increases in catered halls, and an 8.5% rise in self-catered residences from the

previous years. Jilly Court, University Deputy Director of Campus Services, explained that the real prices were less than the figures suggested. She said, “The University has endeavoured to keep the rent increases as low as possible this year, hence the rise is only 2.5%;

this is predominately driven by the rising cost of utilities, labour and where appropriate food costs.” The new prices include the cost of University residencies’ network, ResNet, in the past a separate cost. Staff have also pledged towards greater provision of Universitymanaged student accommodation

The cost of student Halls has risen by 4.5% for 2010/11. Photo by Alex Moss.

to cope with increasing student numbers. Privately-owned residences, managed by UNITE and Signpost, also see rises. An en-suite room in Northfield rises by £4 to £123 per week. A Point Exe en-suite room will cost £112 per week, a hike of almost 9% since last year. University-managed residences include catered shared rooms ranging from £112.91 for standard rooms to £154.42 for en-suite rooms. Self-catered accommodation includes enhanced rooms in St David’s at £96.18 per week, and en-suite rooms in St. German’s at £118.02 per week. Jilly Court assured that the residences, inclusive of all bills and utilities, offer value for money. She went on to say, in addition, “The University is embarking on an ambitious capital programme; a key element is to provide more student accommodation. Thus over the next few years we will

be able to offer University owned and managed accommodation to a greater number of students.”

£49.21 p/week

The increase in cost of a catered en-suite room since 2005/6.

However, Damian Jeffries, Moberly House President, disagreed regarding the value for money. He said, “I do not think that, value-for-money wise, next year’s students would be getting a better deal, let alone this year. Clearly Exeter University have a flaw in their business plan and are trying to alleviate it by burdening students with greater costs, now seemingly uncoverable by student loan alone.” Since 2005-2006, the cost of a catered en-suite room has increased by £49.21 per week, while the cost of a standard self-catered room has risen by almost one third.


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News

Northcott to hold Summer Graduatations

EXETER’S graduands will attend ceremonies in the Exeter Northcott Theatre in July. The venue will host the graduations ceremonies from July 19-22, as the Great Hall is closed due to campus building work. Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor, said: “The Chancellor is going to be at every one, and we’ve got a lot of honorary graduates coming. I think there will be some people who will say it’s better than the Great Hall, because it’s more intimate.” John Holmes, Exeter Northcott Communications Officer commented, “We’re sure our auditorium will create a fantastic atmosphere for graduating students, and we’ll do our best to make it a memorable day.”

“It’s like bloody Noah’s Ark in ‘ere” TWEETING vertebrates have caused havoc during classes in the Peter Chalk Centre. Birds have been blamed for disruptions to activities on several occasions in the academic and conference centre, according to reports received by Exeposé. A robin disrupted a fourth year German seminar on Wednesday January 27. One male student commented, “The lecturer literally shot out of her seat when the robin intruded into the left side of her peripheral vision.” Another female student commented, “Having the porter chasing it round the room shouting ‘left’ and ‘right’ at it really did end up being the most effective way of getting it back outside to its natural habitat!” The male student added, “The caretaker exclaimed ‘It’s like bloody Noah’s Ark in ‘ere.’ “ Alex Price, another seminar member, reflected, “I personally don’t see it as a problem, but I think our lecturer does.” In a separate incident, tweeting was heard in Newman LT1 on Tuesday Feb 2 during a lecture. “The very loud tweeting continued for around 5 minutes, then on and off throughout the lecture,” commented one student. Rachel Back, third year Economics said, “I talked to the porters on Tuesday night, and they were aware of it, and somewhat sympathetically offered to get me a ladder on Wednesday.” Stuart Franklin, University Director of Communications, said: “The bird trapped in Newman A turns out to be a squeaky fan! It does sound remarkably like a chirruping bird, though. Plans are being made to oil it. PCC does get the occasional robin fly in through the loading bay, but it’s not generally a problem to shoo them out again.”

february 8 2010

Exeposé

www.exepose.com

RAG Fashion Show attracts 1,000 Flora Busby Senior Reporter

FUNDRAISING group RAG is set to break last year’s collection record of £72,000 having generated almost £60,000 already this academic year. This sum is set to significantly increase after funds raised by the RAG fashion show are added. This year’s RAG fashion show has been crowned a huge success, despite initial rumours that the event may have been cancelled due to poor ticket sales. Over 1,000 people attended the show held over two days last week. The audience watched the models showcase clothes from a number of different brands including Coast, Moss Bros, All Saints, Exeter stash and student designs. The show also featured dance performances after each runway show, choreographed and performed by students. Lindsey Southard, cocoordinator of the Fashion Show 2010 said, “The fashion show is the

only RAG event with this amount of student participation. We have about 80 students involved.” She added that the show also incorporates students from the Exeter College working on hair and makeup backstage.

Tom Murray, AU President, was selected as one the dancers. He commented, “The show was hard work, there was lot and lots of practice. But I loved every minute of it.” The money raised by the Fashion

Dancers entertain the audience between runway shows. Photo by Matthew Williams-Ellis

Show will go to five charities voted for by students on the RAG website. They are Children of Peace, Headway Devon, Operation Imprezza, Kidscan and Vulval Health Awareness. RAG also donates money to Positive Action South West, Community Action and Cancer Research UK. Other popular RAG events include RAG raids, in which students travel to a town armed with a bucket and help raise money for a number of different charities. Last year, these Raids alone raised £20,000. There is also the international event, for which students hitch-hiked to Paris and helped to raise over £3000. Additionally, the Safer Sex Ball, which is the UK’s largest World Aids Day event outside the London area, raised £30,000 this year. Southard said she was very proud of the show and that it “definitely exceeded expectations.” She concluded that, although unsure of the total amount generated by the fashion show, “It will help to raise what we hope to be the largest RAG total ever.”

Great Hall Graduations without Floella

Eleanor Busby Reporter

WINTER Graduation Ceremonies took place in the Great Hall on Saturday January 23, with over 1,000 degrees being awarded. Honorary degrees were given to Whitbread Award winner Philip Pullman and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the first woman to assume a Cabinet position in

the United Arab Emirates. Floella Benjamin, the University Chancellor, was absent from the Ceremonies due to filming commitments. There was some confusion as to why Floella was missing, as her role as University Chancellor entails presiding over the Graduation Ceremonies. Floella did submit a recorded video message which was played at the beginning of the

ceremony. Stuart Franklin, University Director of Communications, explained, “It was our fault she couldn’t attend, because we had to change the date of the ceremony to fit around the exams timetable.” He expressed that Floella was truly “disappointed,” which is why she made the video message for the Graduates. Richard Stearn, Guild

President, spoke on behalf of the Guild saying that even though the “timing was poor,” they understand that “the position of Chancellor is unpaid, and she has to make a living.” He also felt that the video conveyed her love for the students, and was “suitable to the occasion.” For an Exeposé interview with Philip Pullman see page 20.

Community Action re-plant 200 trees

Craig Browne Reporter

STUDENTS from the charity organisation Community Action have re-planted 200 trees behind the Sports Hall on the Streatham campus. Project leader Emily Stevens explained, “We carried out this scheme to get more people to volunteer on environmental projects within Community Action. “We ran a morning and an afternoon group and it was a great success, although rather muddy!” The scheme was actually the brainchild of University Biodiversity Manager Iain Park and was supported financially by the University ‘Streetwise’ fund. This backing from the University clearly shows that efforts are being made to offset the

environmental impact of the Forum project. Stevens added that “the plants were a mixture of scrub hedging and natural vegetation that would benefit the local ecosystem and this should also

help to protect moth populations in the nearby Duryard nature reserve.” Joanna Cole, the University Communications Officer, emphasised this effort by the University to stabilise the environment by stating that “a

Trees have been removed on several Streatham locations. Photo by Alex Moss

rainwater harvesting scheme is being planned, along with a sustainable drainage system” for the Forum Project. According to Cole “Around 30 specimens have been replanted and over the coming season, 130 new trees and tall shrubs will be planted.” Guild President Rich Stearn echoed the positive attitude of Cole stating, “The Guild is committed to supporting the green credentials of the campus. “We pushed the University to ensure that the Forum project is as environmentally sustainable as possible.” Despite the environmental impact that will be caused by the £48 million Forum Project, much effort is being made in offsetting the environmental effect of the project from all sides. The University, the Guild and the students are all committed in trying to achieve this.


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News

Exeposé Week sixteen news@exepose.com

“We’re in for seven years of cuts” University Vice Chancellor, Professor Steve Smith, talks to News Editors Alex Moss & Adam Walmesley about funding, building, and why his office window remains closed.

FOLLOWING the announcement last week of an additional £449 million worth of cuts in the Government’s Higher Education budget, universities across the UK are suddenly feeling the economic pinch. This reduction is to come out of the 2010/2011 allowance, and will mean universities across the UK will receive £449m less of the £7.2 billion worth of financial provisions allotted by the government for higher education. The latest slash in funding came after the pre-budgetary report, released before Christmas, revealed cuts of £600m to be absorbed by universities in 2012/13.

“It is not a pleasant time, but it is an interesting one” Professor Steve Smith holds the double honour of being both Vice Chancellor of Exeter University and head of Universities UK (UUK), the umbrella organisation under which universities across the country operate. With such a high-profile in the higher education sector, it is unsurprising he has been receiving much media attention during this time of significant change in university funding. Before an appointment to talk with The Guardian, Prof. Smith was able to spare some time to speak to Exeposé about the cuts, their implications, and the future of Exeter University. With the sounds of The Forum Project works punctuating a sense of progress against the backdrop of national financial belt-tightening, Prof. Smith remarked, “It’s an interesting time though. Not a pleasant time, but an interesting one.” In the face of the huge cuts, Prof. Smith recognised the significance of the changes to funding. “So these are really big issues, and our number one worry is we don’t want to start accepting the first 5% cut, because if we accept that there will be another 5%, and there we go.” He added that UUK and the NUS were working together to limit further cuts in funding. “Our argument to all politicians, all parties, is this much and no further.” In spite of this resolute attitude, Prof. Smith conceded, “We’re not expecting public expenditure to rise again until 2018. So we’re in for seven years, eight years, of cuts. Therefore, we’re prepared to take our share and

it’s a difficult judgement call.” The cuts in public expenditure, expected to be spread across the board in the next budget, have so far only affected higher education. Amidst the reduction in government revenues, there has been some concern for the ability of institutions to cope with the decrease in income. Prof. Smith, however, remains confident about the prospects of Exeter. “Well, the good news, and it’s good news for the students and staff, is that we saw this coming. And in April ‘09 the deputy chief executive registrar, David Allen, took 5% out of everyone’s budget except the Students’ Guild, and we’ve made those savings.” Exeter’s total budget for this year is £242m, of which government allocations comprise only £64m. While other institutions are having to take measures to deal with the cuts, Prof. Smith was optimistic that no such measures would be necessary. “At the moment we’re actually advertising 100 new academic jobs. We took out big colour ads in the Times Higher, and of course we’re spending £375m on the campus.” While Prof. Smith assured the future of University staff and departments, he did comment that changes were a natural part of the institutional growth. “That doesn’t mean that you don’t refresh the academic curriculum, start new things, close old things. We feel that the story at Exeter is actually one of investment and success.” The reduction in government provisions means that an estimated 6,000 university places will be removed nationally next year. However, many institutions have experienced an increase of 20% in applications.

“I sit here at work and I don’t have the window open because of drilling” Alternative sources of funding are currently being sought to resolve the revenue loss. Concerns have been raised that this may involve raising the cap on tuition fees, though Prof. Smith made it clear this was not his stance. “In a way that’s the elephant in the room of all discussions. That’s the knee-jerk reaction at the moment, and

Exeter has soared up the national rankings. When Prof. Smith took the role of Vice Chancellor, Exeter ranked a mediocre 35th. Always the optimist, Prof. Smith believed Exeter had the potential to rapidly rise. “I always said we’d get to the top 20 by 2010, and top ten by 2012. That was essentially my contract. We got there a bit quickly actually. “I think 57% of students offered a place at Exeter are predicted three As. In 2002 when I arrived the medium offer was BCC. So it’s shot up.” However, the building work and consequential disruptions to everyday life have raised concerns that the stability of Exeter’s top-ten position remains uncertain.

“We spent all our times when I had long hair and cheesecloth shirts protesting”

Vice Chancellor Professor Steve Smith. Photo by University Press Office some people in government clearly think that the only game in town is cuts in funding, and students, or to be more precise, graduates should pay.” Tuition fees have been a major longstanding issue. Prof. Smith said that the University had currently not defined an official stance on the tuition problem. He did speculate that on a national level, fees would probably rise in the next five years. “Most people think the fee level will rise. The critical question is when, and it won’t be, in my reading, until 2012, 2013, 2014. But I suspect 2013.” He added the issue was no longer the probability of fees rising, but rather the form the changes would take. “If fees do rise, how do you make sure that they actually rise to the right level so universities can push more and more of it back into bursaries?”. The introduction of variable fees in 2006 raised concerns that higher education would become the preserve of upper socio-economic classes. These concerns have been renewed with the potential for a rise in tuition fees. Smith was adamant that a rise in fees would not affect participation by students from lower socio-economic groups at Exeter, where bursary provisions have risen from £100,000 in

2005 to £5m this year. “Anything we did on fees would have to be accompanied by a pledge that we would ensure that those from the poorest backgrounds were not just protected, but we would use the money to support them.” In spite of the cuts in government funding, the University is going ahead with £375m worth of redevelopment, finding its apotheosis in the central Forum Project. With disruptions affecting every staff member and student at Exeter, even Prof. Smith has noticed the change in atmosphere. “I sit here in work, and I don’t have the window open because of the drilling pretty much everyday. Of course I think to myself ‘Bloody hell’ but then I have to think this is about the long term success of the University.” Prof. Smith was quick to reassert his commitments to the building work, and stressed the importance of development to the University. “The building; I think it’s an atmospheric step back, but I don’t think it’s an institutional step back. I don’t think students in ten years will have a worse overall experience, except for there’s a lot of building work going on.” Under the aegis of Prof. Smith,

“And in a sense I’ve always argued I expect us to go down. But I suspect what might happen is we could dip one or two, and then I expect when the campus comes on stream, say in two years time, I think we’ll just shoot forward.” Nonetheless, Smith refuses to be mired by complacency. “Every year we have more and more applicants. So it feels like a place where more and more people want to come to. Our job is to make sure there’s no shocks, no surprises, and critically that financially we’re in a situation where we don’t have to turn the taps off, and in a sense that’s the analogy we use all the time.” He recognises that times have changed since his own university experience. “We spent all our times when I had long hair and cheesecloth shirts protesting, sitting in. We weren’t too concerned about older people who couldn’t look after themselves, or kids from disadvantaged areas.” He reflected on the funding cuts, and their implications for universities, emphasising their importance for future generations. “Universities are central to social mobility, social inclusion, economic development, economic prosperity, and I think the universities sector in the UK is fantastic. Not everything’s perfect, but it’s bloody good.”


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Opinion iFad.

Dominic Small, Videogames Editor, gives his viewpoint on the latest Apple release. The cult of Apple announced it’s latest way to save your soul recently with the launch of the Ipad. Bishop Steve Jobs delivered the sermon in his usual style in measured carefully practised tones to the most devout. Juan Peron was no doubt smiling on as Jobs declared that the all powerful market had decided there was a third way, between a Smartphone and a Laptop and this was the iPad. Now there are already hundreds, if not thousands of blogs and comments on the web about the flaws of the iPad and having read a fair few of them I think most are totally valid and justified. How dare Mr Jobs attempt to introduce another new product into our empty lives? Why if only he had given the iPad Flash capability (a serious flaw) we would all be rushing to the shops! If only it could multitask, if only it had a camera for video conferencing, if only if had USB ports and so on and so forth. They all miss the main point; that there is no point to the iPad. It is simply another screen being introduced into our life in some sinister attempt by a global conspiracy of screen

with that, this is not a neo-luddite rant, technology is a useful part of 21st century life and new ideas and creations expand from it. However there are still some things that are just lines in the proverbial sand. The iPad is intended as part of a challenge to the Kindle, an electronic book reader, the very concept boggles my mind. Part of the reading experience is surely turning the pages, being able to fold them over, and feel the texture of the paper. Many people I know hate to read on screen, jstor articles need to be printed off to be properly understood. It is one thing to read a news report on a screen, quite another to read an academic or literary text. A screen, even a pretty one like the iPad just isn’t a substitute in the long run for settling down for a good read. Again I struggle to see the benefit. To communicate quickly and effectively online we often use keyboards. The iPad has an on screen keyboard but reports indicate this is clunky and thanks to the back of the iPad not being perfectly flat it tends to wobble. Sounds like a design flaw to me and means it won’t really replace

“They all miss the main point; that there is no point to the iPad.” manufacturers who wish to wipe out all forms of tactile interaction. When did you last go over to a friends house and look at some photos on actual photographic paper, and make, genuine comments by using your voice instead of typing ‘witty’ observations on Facebook? (The real world equivalent would be posting stick-it notes on the photographs I imagine, that could make for quite an interesting art exhibition even but you read about it here first) Probably not all that recently and yes the internet and screens have created an age of information where we can share ideas easily and large aspects of our life with each other. There is nothing really wrong

netbooks and laptops; it doesn’t help further or improve our ability to communicate with each other. It is just a fad, a designer accessory that looks pretty but in reality your life will continue as it always has. A collection of boring interlinked moments of communication with other people punctuated by moments of extreme fear or excitement. Between the TV screens we watch in the Ram, the computer screens we work off, the smartphone screens on which we babble facebook and twitter updates, the mp3 player screens we select our music off of, the screens on backs of cameras that provide us with instant history do we really need another screen?

february 8 2010

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Gemma Dye, Rebecca Lewis and James McMeekin

editors@exepose.com

Business school students “not allowed to fail”

Dear Exepose,

Here’s a riddle. Morgan Stanley favours them, HSBC demands them, Credit Suisse won’t consider you without one, yet it’s worthless. What am I? How about a degree from the Exeter Business School? When applying for ‘city-based jobs’ the inherent unfairness of the application process struck me. For any banking placement, all employers want is a student with a ‘finance-related degree’. As a history student I’m either prevented or discouraged from entering the process. No wonder we’ve seen a glut of insolvencies and bail-outs. The Times Good University Guide ranks every course offered by the Exeter Business School inside the U.K.’s top six. Study ‘Accountancy and Finance’ at Exeter and only one institution betters it. Employers evidently hold Exeter Business School graduates in high

regard. They are deluded. Anyone in charge of graduate recruitment should do their company a favour and shred all CVs mentioning a 2:1 from the Exeter Business School. Nearly three years at Exeter has confirmed my view that degrees from the Business School are empty pieces of paper. Their students simply are not allowed to fail. It is the only school that offers ‘soft modules’. Courses such as ‘Principles of Marketing’ and ‘Consumer Behaviour’ are oversubscribed, not because of their module content, but due to their average-inflating guarantee. Undergraduates taking their permitted thirty credits outside-ofsubject dash to the Business School with the knowledge it’s the place to gain easy marks. You never see a member of the Business School studying a history or politics module. Why? They are utterly content gobbling up the marks

spoon-fed to them by SOBE. Alas such perceptions are reality. A friend had the audacity to complain to a lecturer that his mark of 75 for a ‘Principles of Marketing’ presentation was judged harshly. He had a point. Several other groups had apparently performed the perfect presentation, receiving 100. Compared to HUSS, such marking is farcical. An outstanding presentation may equate to a low70, but never higher. It’s these inconsistencies that penalise HUSS students and devalue Business School degrees. Exeter Business School produces people highly efficient at ‘playing the system’ but little else. Unfortunately such skills don’t transfer well to the workplace. Give me a student from HUSS any day. Dan Diamond 3rd Year History Student.

General Meeting needs more students

Decisions are made by those who show up. A push for better academic representation, and moving towards an effective Students’ Guild Advertising Policy. These issues may at first seem unimportant and irrelevant to the majority of students, but do not be fooled, the decisions made on these topics will probably effect you in some way or another in the near future. Better academic representation called for an improvement to the means by which some students go about representing you on SSLC’s in your subject. The Guild advertising policy aims to allow sponsorship deals from any company to any

society, which means that any society you are now involved in could potentially improved through out-sourced funding. You see, they deal with your education and your societies. So how come the General Meeting held last week was attended by a meagre 58 people? Do students really not care? I’m sure some don’t. I believe that the majority do. The problem is that students don’t realise that, hidden behind the generally dull title of General Meeting, what happens matters, because what is decided brings about effects. At the General Meeting I made it clear that I think the Guild should put more effort into raising attendance of General Meetings.

At the moment the guild fails to advertise the meetings and the work of the Guild effectively, and because of this there is a very real danger that the purpose and outcomes of the meetings themselves are ultimately undermined. The solution? The Guild needs to be proud of what it achieves, and shout about it to the students. Societies and subject SSLCs should make sure that they send at least one member to represent them at General Meetings and to make sure that your views are stood up for. It is time for the guild to shout, and for you to shout back. Bertie Archer

Thanks to everyone who helped proof this issue: Anna-Marie Linnell, Matthew Allen, Ellie Steafel, Rosie Scudder, Rachel Bayne, Catherine Webb, Josephine Howe, Alison Malliff, Calum Baker, Owen Wood, Ellen Baker, Jack Walden, Andrew Waller, Flora Busby, Etty Eastwood, Anna Lees, Emma Pritchard, Alice Scoble-Rees, David Brake, Hannah Price, Natalie Audley, Ellie Bothwell, Dominic McInerney, Catherine Barber, Eleanor Busby, Tom Niall, Kate Milano, Jodie O’Connor, Laura Le Brocq, Cyan Turan, Katherine Hyland and members of the Exeposé editorial team. Correction: Apologies to Stephen Richardson whose name was misprinted last issue (Week 14 2010) as Steve Font.


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Exeposé week sixteen news@exepose.com

E-mail your views to letters@exepose.com Opinions and perspectives expressed on this page are those of the authors of the letters printed and not necessarily those of Exeposé or the editors. All letters are printed as received, in full, unedited, and uncorrected by Exeposé

In response to: Burning Bras vs. Whipping Them Off

Dear editor,

I must admit some sadness in reading the article entitled Burning Bras vs. Whipping Them Off. It was not quite the revised or even as it promised a discussion on the term ‘feminism’. First off, the very point of feminism is female unity. This isn’t about being a lesbian, as Ms Redbond seemed to suggest, it is simply the idea that we shouldn’t be pointing fingers at one another, labelling each other but simply the thought that we as females are entitled to equal rights. This idea of equal rights is not merely about sex. Or even the over sexualisation of us as a gender (though this is of course an issue). But the problem is Ms Redbond, that you have made yourself as guilty as the as the next misogynist. You see, in your keenness to proclaim your own attractiveness and correct opinions in the classroom, you have wimped out. I actually know the girl you are referring to, the so called geek, she is one of the loveliest, most interesting and intelligent women who could possibly enter your sphere of existence, and your

causal dismissal of her, shows that as hard as you try to find a celebrity for the rebooted feminist movement, the real woman who you need to work on, is yourself and your fellow classmates who seem incapable of seeing beyond the merely physical. It’s great that Michele Obama is happy with her appearance, and it would be a blessing if more women were equally contented with the way they looked. However Ms Obama, for all her Ivy League degrees is famous for her marriage, and is not a sad state of affairs when the greatest feminist icon imaginable (for you) is only famed for her sexual relations to an important man? A key point of feminism is to remove the issue of appearance, it should no longer matter how pretty someone is, and sadly the great tragedy of your article shows that to a majority of the students, appearance is still everything. If you would like a few ideas for great women, who have achieved more than simply a successful marriage or lovely toned arms, what’s wrong with Merkel? Or if you want a writer who was brave enough to die

for her cause what about Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya? Or someone who suffered through torture and yet still risked her life for a better place, how about Irena Sendler? You see, these women have achieved true footholds, their appearance, as our appearences do not really matter. It is simply a façade to the world, one which sadly too many of us have bought into. I would like to make a suggestion, what is wrong with having us and our peers as our icons? The real reason why we should all be proudly lifting our hands upwards when posed with the question “who is a feminist?” is because frankly who doesn’t want equal rights? Be us lesbians, geeks, heterosexuals, rahs, virgins, toffs, mothers, sluts whatever label you get stuck with – we all united as women. The labels and the appearances do not much matter; it is our achievements that are important. It should not matter how we dress or what degree any of us have, it is the simple fact or even desire for equality that unites us, and who wouldn’t want that? Natalie Audley

Dear Editors,

In the past my relationship with this newspaper has had its ups and downs, but the emotions conjured have never previously lead to such outrage that I have been compelled to complain. However the so called ‘discussion of feminism today’ has put my pen to paper in furious disillusionment. I will begin by highlighting the accompanying image ‘feminism its not just for lesbians anymore’- note this is not a humorous cartoon, in fact it is oddly placed, insensitive and has no place in a reputable features section. This however is the minor problem in what can only be described as an ill informed jibe at homosexuality masquerading itself as an education on the changing nature of the representation of women. The boldly printed ‘negative connotations’ of feminism that apparently include ‘gasp lesbianism’ have lead the author to conclude that it is ‘uncool to consider yourself a feminist’. As flawed and disgusting

as these statements are, the problem that arises here is how can a student newspaper allow such homophobic notions to be printed? A mistake surely? The main representation of student opinion could not allow such extreme views? However this is a newspaper that is known to vigourously proof and edit its content prior to print, leading me to what seems the logical conclusion that this perspective is that of the features section, and the newspaper as a whole. I can only hope this to not be the case, and I hope that by bringing this to your attention a level of sensitivity can be brought to the next proofing session, or just the removal of bigoted ideas, either way it’s a start. And finally for all the English Literature references included in the article the question one has to ask what exactly would Judith Butler say? Cait Scott.

Exeposé Elections 2010 The Exeposé Elections will take place on the afternooon of March 8 in the M&D Room. We are looking for an entirely new editorial team for 2010/11 including: 2 x Deputy Editors 1 x Photography Coordinator 2 x News Editors 2 x Features Editors 2 x Lifestyle Editors

2 x Music Editors 2 x Books Editors 2 x Screen Editors 2 x Arts Editors 2 x Videogames Editors 2 x Sports Editors

If you’re interested in running for a position, email the section editors or editors@exepose.com for more information.


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february 8 2010

Features

Yemen - An Al Qaeda Haven?

Elizabeth Smith looks at the threat posed by Yemen to global security.

IN response to Nigerian attempted suicide bomber, Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab, Yemen has been dubbed an Al-Qaeda “haven.” Rising international concerns about instability in the Arab world’s poorest country were voiced after it was discovered the young terrorist was trained by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Much to the dismay of Britain and US, how to measure the threat from Al-Qaeda at all is problematic because it is a nebulous, secret organization in which members do not have a weekly meeting schedule. Thus, is this title of a terrorist “haven” really fair given the international reaction to the foiled Christmas day attack? The Nigerian student, who moved from London to Yemen last year, was ostensibly armed and trained there before his attempted attack on a passenger plane to Detroit. In light of this information, Western governments have responded accordingly, in a sporadic fashion. The release of Yemenis from Guantánamo Bay has stopped. Britain has raised her security alerts to “severe” having only lowered it to “substantial” in

July. Also a “no-fly” list has been assembled from passengers who entered the UK from Yemen. Their suspicions are not unfounded. Dispersed Al-Qaeda militants have secured tribal protection as well as some political backing from groups in southern Yemen. Furthermore, the social dislocation of tribal areas means there are plenty of “haven” pockets in which the government’s influence does not stretch, and Al-Qaeda could potentially thrive. Sana’s government suffers from shortcomings in terms of capacity, corruption and lack of transparency. Their willingness to collaborate with the West seems only to advertise these problems domestically. However, the government claims

that five separate raids have resulted in arrests and disruption for terrorists. The side of the story Britain and the US are keen to downplay is that Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab’s ideas were formed in London, under the nose of MI5. He then safely went on to become an active jihadist after moving to Yemen in August. Yemen is keen to emphasise that it can fight al-Qaeda by itself and will not tolerate the presence of any foreign forces. While franchises of ‘Al-Qaeda’ in Yemen use AlQaeda’s name, they operate mostly autonomously. The larger prize at stake is a stable base to research, develop, and test techniques such as biological or nuclear weapons. Plots need time and space to prepare; however Yemen is not that sort of peaceful “haven.” The international community, namely the US, has turned to Saudi Arabia to intervene and neutralize the threat. On the face of it, this makes sense, because the tribal nature of North Yemen has still created a vast challenge for a government unwilling to change. However, that is of course not the

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full picture, and Saudi Arabia’s intervention has only served to add to people’s grievances. Their local power is by and large resented by Yemenis. Also the billions of dollars of Saudi support for Yemen against armed rebels has not yet yielded any results. Inviting Saudi Arabia to mediate therefore would seem to have little point. We must not forget where Osama bin Laden originated. The far greater “haven” then for Al-Qaeda is the disenchanted radicals living in the West who are far more mobile and susceptible to propaganda. The fact that Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for his failed attack demonstrates only how weak Al-Qaeda is at the moment. The “haven” Al-Qaeda really own is the fertile recruiting ground in

the West, where ad hoc foreign policies are fuelling an anti-Western sentiment. Al-Qaeda’s current sanctuaries, whether in Pakistan’s tribal frontier, or in parts of Yemen, are certainly a worry. But none come close to matching the refuge that it once had in Afghanistan. Therefore, the greater challenge is to change the perception of the West, after Iraq and Afghanistan, and tackle AlQaeda’s ideological inspiration over the internet. America has claimed only to provide logistical support; however there are rumours of aircraft and missiles being seen. Even if America does not submit troops to the cause, their default involvement via cosy relations with Saudi Arabia will only strengthen Al-Qaeda’s legitimacy in the country. Fighting against Al-Qaeda in the region could exacerbate a simmering civil war, undermining the regime in the long term. The clandestine effort from the US may be better put toward saving its international reputation in the Middle East and looking domestically for radicalised emigrants leaving to Yemen.

Nigeria-An Absent President?

Sophie Moon reports on the repercussions of the Head of State’s disappearance.

PRESIDENT Umaru Yar’Adua recently broke his seven week silence to announce the reason for his absence from the political scene: acute pericarditis, a heart condition for which he is seeking treatment. Speaking from Saudi Arabia, where he is receiving treatment, President Yar’Adua, 58, announced his recovery and thanked people for their prayers and support. It was noted that there was a failure to mention when he would be returning to Nigeria. Such uncertainty and unreliability from the political leader has caused controversy and unease within the nation. Understandably these concerns need to be addressed. The President’s absence has led to protests about his absence in the

Nigerian capital of Abuja. For the first time in Nigerian history, the President was absent to swear in a new Chief Justice. Furthermore, President Yar’Adua’s former political failure to comment on the Christmas day suicide bomb attempt, by a Nigerian national to blow-up a plane bound for Detroit, has left people wondering about the diplomatic and political route of the African nation. There is a need for serious diplomatic efforts to counteract Nigeria’s placement on the “Terror Prone” list. Such turmoil of events has led to a demand for the shift of power within the government. Politicians have been in discussions about the action to take in order to fill the constitutional void. There is a feud over the succession of the President and growing concern

about the future of the Nigerian nation. There are those who believe that President Yar’Adua should continue to recover and does not need to hand the role to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan. Nothing has materialised thus far and the political position remains

the same - leading for a cause of concern. Should President Yar’Adua relinquish his position until he has fully recovered? In accordance with the Nigerian constitution, under s.145, the President has a duty to give his powers to the Vice-President through the form of a written and delivered letter. President Yar’Adua has thus far refused to abide by the constitutional conventions of the African nation and hand over his role to Vice-President Jonathan. The refusal to hand over power has been branded by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka as a “complete distortion of the constitution.” Such a refusal has led to the instigation of three lawsuits, filed by a senior member of the All Nigerian People’s Party, Farouk Adamu Aliyu, as President Yar’Adua is

seen to be violating constitutional law. The powers are not seen to be discretionary and action needs to be taken before it is too late. Such constitutional and political uncertainty regarding Yar’Adua’s influence as leader of Nigeria, one of the largest oil suppliers in Africa and a strategic American partner in Africa, has led to a negative power vacuum on the Nigerian nation. If the situation continues to spiral out of control it has even been suggested that protests will need to be controlled by the Nigerian military. President Yar’Adua was voted in promoting the ‘rule of law’ which upholds the country’s constitutional conventions. He must respect and remember such promises in order to remedy the diplomatic crisis and provide direction for the Nigerian nation.


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Exeposé week sixteen features@exepose.com

Disaster in Haiti - Where was the help?

Hannah Brewer asks if more could have been done in the days after the disaster.

THIS week, The Guardian culminated the animosity towards the ”unsuccessful” Haiti earthquake aid programme in stating that “it could have saved thousands more.” This assertion follows fresh scrutiny by the medical journal The Lancet which recently published an article accusing aid agencies of corporate preening and self interest rather than pure humanitarian concern for the victims of the earthquake. The 7.0 tremor spread huge humanitarian concern as it killed up to 200,000 people and left up to 2,000,000 homeless. 500 makeshift camps have been built and are now home to 500,000 with an effort to distribute food and medical supplies. However, the camps still possess shortages of staff and other relief personnel and are reported to have poor sanitation, which suggests that the relief effort is struggling. The US in particular has come under attack, as it seems the rescue effort assumed more importance than the treatment of injured survivors, in an effort to gain more media coverage. Former Cuban President, Fidel Castro, also wrote an op-ed piece saying the US military presence was hindering international cooperation and accusing Washington of sending troops “to occupy

THE earthquake in Haiti was one of the most devastating natural disasters of recent years. There is no way of knowing the exact death toll. However, the Haitian government suggests that up to 200,000 people could have been killed. International media has been awash with heart-rending photographs of crying children and horrific injuries, surely enough reason for anyone to consider donating to the aid effort. And donate they did, with big-name celebrities contributing vast sums. Jennifer Aniston gave $500,000, ex-husband Brad Pitt donated $1 million; John Travolta flew to Haiti, with food and medical supplies and Tiger Woods gave $3 million (possibly seeking redemption for his recent misdeeds?). Of course it’s relatively easy to donate such a huge amount if your name is Jennifer Aniston, and your annual income is $25 million. But what

Haitian territory.” Michael Schuster, a volunteer US doctor, said “I think that if we mobilised the masses and put less media emphasis [on those underneath the rubble] many more lives could have been saved,” and urges us to “think about the millions who were not underneath the rubble.” The Lancet reports a female voice being heard beneath the rubble which attracted 100 fire-fighters and emergency workers. A US airman accounts this to the selfish attitudes of the aid organisations: “This could be one of the last rescues and everyone wants in on it.” It is reported that only a block away, scenes of squalor, of the

homeless drinking ditch water were ignored. The Lancet acknowledges the fervour of the aid response, yet claims it is “rightly mobilised but also jostling for position.” The aid sector has therefore been accused of “spearheading,” as The Lancet accused agencies of acting selfishly to the detriment of those they were supposed to be helping: “It seems increasingly obvious that many aid agencies sometimes act according to their own best interests rather than in the interests of individuals whom they claim to help.” Consequently, the relief efforts have been hindered; Haiti is chaotic and anything but co-ordinated. There are tensions between the

countries co-ordinating the disaster relief. The US diverted planes from France, Brazil and Italy, and appear to be attempting to steal the limelight in the relief campaign whilst the French ambassador for Haiti claimed it is no longer an “airport for the international community. It is an annex of Washington.” Rather disturbingly then, the aid effort has developed into an international competition and threatens power relations. However, the journal acknowledges that, given the ongoing crisis in Haiti, it may seem unpalatable to scrutinise and criticise the motives and activities of humanitarian organisations. But as with any other industry, the aid industry must be examined, not just financially (as is current practice), but in how it operates from headquarter level to field level. As The Lancet states, large aid agencies are “polluted by the international power systems, politics, and the unsavoury characteristics seen in many big corporations,” and “humanitarianism is no longer the ethos for many organisations within the aid industry.” Yet, Hannah Reichardt, emergencies adviser at Save the Children, actively urges the importance of the media coverage: “We have a staff of 200 in Haiti; only

Features two are doing media work. Our response to the crisis in Haiti is a humanitarian one, not a media one.” But she added, “It’s absolutely vital that we put effort into media work, because it’s the thing that drives our fundraising.“ It might seem tasteless to some, but it’s about giving people the opportunity to donate money to the people of Haiti. She also pointed out that the work of the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of NGOs that has raised €38million (about R467-million) for Haiti in the United Kingdom, help to overcome competition between agencies. Global Aid CEO, Duane Zook, stresses the difficulty facing the aid organisations: “When an event as catastrophic as this one happens, the task is so big it is difficult sometimes to know where to start... One comes into this type of situation and the need is so big, the first step is to recognize that it is going to take a lot of people and a lot of organizations working together over a period of time.” John Caulfield, a US diplomat in Caracas, Venezuela, pointedly delivered an obvious statement: “What’s important for us is to provide aid to the Haitian people and not be distracted by those political criticisms.”

Genuine concern or celebrity gimmick? Ines Meza-Mitcher confronts the reasons the public do not want to donate.

about the rest of us? Whilst many members of the general public donate to charities on a regular basis, many do not, and are also reluctant to give a one-off donation as an attempt to make a difference when a major crisis strikes. The reasons for not donating are shockingly weak. One of the most common ones being “I

can’t afford it.” No one is asking for thousands. They aren’t even asking for hundreds. As the charity ActionAid UK points out, a mere £10 is enough to provide one days’ water for 25 families. £30 can provide temporary shelter to people left homeless. Student or not, £10 won’t break the bank. It’s less than many of

us spend on an average night out. We could stay in for once. Spend our tenners on something worthwhile. Spread the word. If we have, say, 100 Facebook friends, and they all donate £10, that’s a grand for Haiti right there. Visit any major charity’s website right now and there will be a link on its homepage where you can very quickly and easily donate money to Haiti. But here we might encounter another very common reason for shunning charities: I don’t know where my money’s going. Donate to Oxfam, ActionAid or the Red Cross, to name a few, and you will find extensive evidence on their websites as to where your money would be going. Yes, charities spend money on administration. Of course they do – how else would they manage to channel donations into their correct and most effective paths? Where Haiti is concerned,

charities and other organisations all over the world have a great deal of work to do and a number of obstacles standing in their way. The need goes far beyond emergency aid like food, water and sanitation. Many homes, buildings, hospitals and schools are completely destroyed. Repairing the damage will take years. Haiti’s orphans amounted to about 380,000 children even before the quake hit. Now it is estimated that number stands at up to a million. The hospitals that remain are overwhelmed by the seriously injured. Blocked roads and damaged harbours greatly hamper relief efforts, causing more death. This is an ongoing crisis. The need for aid is constant. Any charity will tell you how much donations are needed. From the tiny, safe little island that we call home, it’s the least any one of us can do.


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february 8 2010

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State of the Nation Ryan Thompson discusses the nation after 13 years of Labour.

AT the great feast known as politics, change is once again on the menu. In May the Labour government will have held office for 13 years, yet whereas Tony Blair strode into Number 10 with the strains of “things can only get better,” Gordon Brown is likely to be removed with Chopin’s ‘Funeral March.’ At this time, we may ask ourselves: “Just how much change did we actually get last time?” The latest of the annual NatCen British Social Attitudes survey has announced that, since 1997, Britain has become more fiscally conservative, yet socially liberal. The public have, perhaps, grown sour towards tax-andspend politics. This renders Brown’s card of the ‘Iron Chancellor’ more of a joke. Though the public

TWO attackers humiliated, viciously beat and tormented two young boys before leaving them for dead. Callously filming the proceedings, they forced their victims to perform sexual acts and urinate in each other’s mouths, and laughed about it. The victims have not been named, in order to preserve their dignity and aid a chance of recovery. Neither have the attackers. For, despite the sophisticated level of malicious violence in this attack, those perpetrating it were aged just ten and eleven. They, too, have a right to protection – if at all possible, the boys must be given the chance of rehabilitation. The crime was sadistic, sick and an act of evil. Both boys have been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, and will serve a minimum of five years before their sentence is reconsidered. Given the scale and nature of the attack, outrage has been provoked at the leniency of the sentence. Five years, people have claimed, does not seem long enough. However, this is only the minimum term. Mr. Justice Keith, when sentencing the boys, suggested that their imprisonment will most likely last for ten years.

sector was in surplus in the late nineties, it began a deficit in 2002/3, meaning that the seeds of an economic recession were sowed before the banking crisis began. Moreover, Manchester University’s Centre for SocioCultural Change estimates that 57% of jobs created from 19972007 were dependent on State funding. The gap between State and private sector was widest in the old industrial regions of the North, where 64% of jobs were State dependent. As such, recovery from recession may not depend on how many are in employment, but where. Consequently, just 20% attribute the recovery to the Government. Brown, however, insists that public-spending cuts could hamper the recovery. This may go unheard as the study

states that only 21% (down from 53% in 1994) feel unemployment benefits are too low, and just 40% (down from 62% in 1997) feel more should be spent on education and healthcare. This may be seen as an indication that Labour has improved these areas over its tenure, or that the spending has been ineffectual. Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, has outlined his intention for a more balanced economy that is less dependent on the financial sector. He argued this would have lessened the impact of the recession, proposing a model that serves “not just the Square Mile.” The Conservative Party’s focus is on ensuring banks lend, lessening business taxes, with reductions in corporation tax and abolishing all tax on new jobs for

two years. Tellingly, however, co-author Professor Curtice of Strathclyde University notes that “the wind of change blown by New Labour has proven to be powerful”, referencing the public’s social attitudes. Since 1997, the nation has changed to accept homosexuality, as opposition to it is down from 62% to 32%. Similarly, unmarried couples living together is opposed by only 14%, and just two out of five feel mothers should stay at home rather than work. These attitudes may not be universally agreed, but they indicate an openness to change. Some changes, however, are more evocative. Tuition fees seem anathema to egalitarianism as they may force the aspirational to laden themselves with debt to attain a degree, or forgo the

opportunity. Proposed rises in fees and threats of funding cuts also confuse, considering the economy’s future relies on innovation and talent. This cannot occur with stagnation. Then, sadly is the rising spectre of terrorism, and war in the Middle East. Blair, sitting in the Iraq Enquiry, the greying ember of Cool Britannia, may symbolise an idealistic era from which change has occurred, yet by no means was all of it positive. He, after all, proclaimed, “Mine is the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our entire lives without going to war or sending our children to war.” Change is on the menu, yet some of the items may only go down with a strong drink.

Should They Be Named?

Anna-Marie Linnell looks at the case of the anonymous Edlington brothers.

Even if the Edlington brothers are only kept in jail for five, this is a monumental amount of time considering their tender age. In our early teenage years we change massively as people. Besides a few key memories and images of certain events, it is unlikely that the average adult remembers what they were really like aged ten. They certainly do not think or behave in the same way. Over the next few years, the boys will start to evolve into the adults they will

become. Currently their identity is not fixed, and the opportunity of helping them lead normal lives must be worth a shot. Whether or not they will be adequately rehabilitated within one of the government’s child prisons is not for me to debate, but the boys must be given a chance. Mr. Justice Keith was also fair in ruling that the boys should not be identified, another issue of controversy surrounding the case. They are victims too; in their

lives so far, the boys have been let down by their parents and the childcare services supposedly there to protect them. Whilst a victim does not always become a bully, bullies are nearly always victims – a 2006 survey by the British Journal of Psychiatry found that 74% of young criminals came from a broken family. The Edlington brothers were raised by an abusive father who regularly beat them, and fed drugs by their mother when she wanted them

to go to sleep. In court they may have shown no real remorse for their crime, but one brother did breakdown in tears on the subject of his parents. Obviously the nature of their upbringing cannot excuse their actions, but it can do something to explain them. To “name and shame” the boys will do little good in the long run; all it will do is give an outlet to vent public shock and horror. The last time such a case was so publicised was the 1993 murder of toddler James Bulger by two eleven year old boys. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were both named at the time, but have since been given new identities and gone on to pass their GCSEs, but successful rehabilitation stories are so easily forgotten. Both the victims and the attackers in the Edlington case need space and time to recover. Originally the brothers were going to be charged with attempted murder, but the victims’ parents agreed they should be prosecuted for GBH instead. This way, their sons would not have to testify in court. All of the children involved must now be given the opportunity to come to terms with not only what has happened, but why, and learn to live their lives beyond the horror.


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Exeposé week sixteen features@exepose.com

Does Brown stand a chance?

Ryan Thompson discusses whether Brown can survive the next general election.

EVERY day, it seems that Gordon Brown plays Russian roulette with a fully-loaded gun. Even so,

YOU may have noticed the Chilcot inquiry. It is the latest in a string of inquiries that look back at the period from 2001 to 2009 and Britain’s decision to go to war in Iraq. It is also the reason that in recent weeks many protesters have been donning Blair masks and bloodying their hands or carrying placards emblazoned with ‘Bliar’. What will we learn from it? Absolutely nothing. But nevertheless, its consequences will be profound. Despite many professions to the contrary, Chilcot will tell us little we do not already know. Whilst it seeks to make some sense of the Iraq war, it is being hijacked by protesters desperate to apportion blame. Seen in this light, the inquiry could in fact be harmful to Britain. It demeans our foreign policy; standing up to tyrants becomes an issue not of moral values but of political manoeuvring. Let us forget about the issue of legality. International law is hazy at best and often it is flouted altogether. For what it’s worth, I believe Blair. If he deceived anyone, it was himself. Every government believed Iraq had WMD capabilities and Saddam Hussein had a track record of their use. The deaths in Iraq are tragic, but Blair is no war criminal and calls for a Nuremburgtype trial are puerile. In our haste to point the finger we are forgetting the really important question. How do we build a credible foreign policy in a post-Chilcot world? Right at the heart of this problem

the Prime Minister struggles on, despite the incalculable number of wounds he has sustained

over his two and a half year premiership. A recent bloodless coup attempted by Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon typifies the Government’s complete disarray as they whirl towards the general election like a deflated balloon in a hurricane. The “Curry House Plot,” as it has become known, which also involved Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, was dreamt up in, of all places, a restaurant named ‘Ghandi’s.’ Give peace a chance? Forget it. In 2006, a meeting in this very location decided it was time Tony Blair walked the plank. Now they’re all drowning. Ever since Blair’s 2007 ‘hospital pass’ to Brown he has been in permanent Dunkirk-mode. He has navigated the resurrection of foot and mouth disease, severe flooding, the deepening of the

recession and the flip-flopping on whether or not to grant Ghurkhas full settlement rights. There have also been quarrels over military kit shortages, and tragically, continuing deaths in Afghanistan. In December 2007, after reneging on a promise to put the EU’s Lisbon Treaty before the voters, Brown was pilloried by the Press and the Opposition as duplicitous and conniving. This was only a month after the catastrophic indecision surrounding a potential early general election. He decided against it, and subsequently witnessed unemployment reach 2.5 million, and the public sector deficit hit 56.6% of GDP, the highest since records began. At this time, it appears that the ‘clunking fist’ only ever punches a mirror. David Cameron, whose own

Features electoral focus shifts quicker than you can say “double-dip recession,” is dancing merrily on a seven-point lead. However, this is hardly a ringing endorsement considering he is facing the man who so brazenly took the credit for the ‘boom’ years, yet passed the buck to America as soon as the bubble burst. The meagre 0.1% growth of Gross Domestic Product, signalling the recession’s end, may still be revised downwards. Having recently stated Henley’s poem, Invictus, as an inspiration of his, may I propose that it is not he who is the “master of my fate,” but a disgruntled electorate, who will plunge in the dagger more readily than his own cowardly party, as they sit around their kormas.

The Iraq Inquiry - Too little too late? Andrew Waller discusses the implications of the illegality of the Iraq war.

is the difficult moral issue of how to reconcile our domestic belief in equality and human rights with a credible foreign policy. For example, do you believe in freedom of speech? Freedom of association? Freedom of press? How about democracy and universal suffrage? Furthermore, do you believe that everyone, regardless of race, gender, creed or age is entitled to these basic human rights? Why then, would you not support the overthrow of a tyrant? At least concede that we must be able to stand up to despots

and rogue states. And this means there must be a deterrent in the shape of force because any policy is impotent without it. Of course, diplomacy and sanctions are the preeminent policies. But, underlining them, force must be there. And here’s the rub. Following the Chilcot enquiry, we have compromised this deterrent entirely. For the foreseeable future Britain has its hands tied when it comes to foreign policy. No government, Labour, Tory or coalition can take us to war. Not

for legal reasons but political ones. No government will stand up to tyrants for fear of losing face with the electorate. “Peace in our time,” are the infamous words of Neville Chamberlain who sought to appease Hitler. Luckily we had a man prepared to stand up to the evils of fascism with more than words. Whilst we do not face an impending threat such as Nazi Germany, we do have rogue states such as Iran or North Korea. If need be, we must be able to stand up to them too. When Iranians rose up to

demonstrate against the rigged elections in June it was important that we were there to listen to their protests. It is important now that there are sanctions in place. Let us hope that these sanctions work and the protests continue. But the point remains: following Chilcot, no government can now back up a forceful foreign policy and the Iranian regime knows this. North Korea has become increasingly bold with its weapons testing, only the other day shells were fired at the South Korean border. The anger and protests at the Chilcot inquiry represent a shift in the national mood. The grief of those who have lost family and friends in Iraq is real. But a national mood of isolationism and self-pity will help nobody. Not least the civilians of Iraq. We are forever meddling in the Middle East (think Sykes-Picot or Suez) and yet we never seem to deal with the consequences. Our previous failings have been the result of our embarrassing legacy colonialism. However, now we are there for security, we should not be ashamed of ourselves and we must not walk away. We have a duty, not just to stand up for the rights of our citizens, but to stand up for the rights of all those who believe in universal suffrage, secularism and human rights. As regrettable as it is, a deterrent of force is a necessary part of this. Let us not compromise this now by hijacking the Chilcot inquiry with petty finger pointing.


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february 8 2010

Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day without the gag factor

Eco-Friendly Retailers Si:Si

Zoe Dickens dares to be different on Valentine’s Day.

VALENTINE’S Day. Not everyone’s cup of tea really. Yet every year it comes round with the same clichéd red roses and generic love poems. So what do you do on February 14 if you just can’t stand all that “lovey-dovey crap?” Here are a few ideas to make this Valentine’s Day one that you won’t want to forget. Whilst these may not seem to be the most obviously romantic gestures, doing something different together, just the two of you, will make for a memorable day which is sure to beat any amount of roses or expensive perfume.

Paintballing

Surprising I know, but this one was a recurring theme on dedicated Valentine’s blogs. Although you may want to think more Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You than Bruce Willis in Die Hard.

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Go shopping

But instead of hitting the high street go to your local flea market or car boot sale. Have a competition to see who can find the most interesting item for less than £5. You will have a great time searching for that gem that is hidden at every good market.

Canoeing

Handmade Card Power Walk and Explore

Pa n t PoverstTyo

Spring Clean Recently, I was told a story about a friend’s father who, on his first Valentine’s Day with her mother, made her a wooden card. So instead of buying a new card every year he simply engraves the date of another year on to the back of the wooden one. This was enough to melt the heart of even my utterly unromantic flatmate. The great thing about a handmade card is that it shows that you have put time, effort and, most important of all, love into making something special and unique for your partner. Also, for the guys, when she shows it to her friends (which she is absolutely going to do) you will earn some big best friend brownie points!

Simple, easy, cheap and productive. Provided the weather is good, this can be a lot of fun and a great way to spend time together. Imagine a water fight but with a clean car thrown into the bargain.

Valentine’s in reverse

Plan exactly the same day as you normally would but do everything back to front. Have dinner at breakfast time (starting with dessert), go to the cinema in the morning and leave present/card giving until just before bed.

I know you live in Exeter but have you ever actually had a proper look around it? It’s full of beautiful places and interesting history and culture. Go for a wander and see where the mood takes you...

What better to strengthen a relationship than good old man power and teamwork? With so many beautiful places to explore by river in the West Country the possibilities of isolated, romantic places to escape to are endless. A favourite destination is to hire canoes at The Quay and canoe down to the secluded, cosy Double Locks Pub where you can share a romantic pint in front of the river.

Get lost properly on a drive

Fly a kite

Who knows where you’ll end up or what you might find? Stick on your favourite songs and just go. Guaranteed to provide ‘Do you remember that time we...’ moments for years to come.

Simply because it’s fun and noone does it anymore! Also, it provides a great excuse to go to the beach in February and what could be more romantic than a shore side stroll as the sun is setting? I recommend the windy hills of Dartmoor National Park about 20 minutes outside of Exeter.

Tara S

ta rl e

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Beyond Skin Vegan Shoes

ic rgaTnhe o s ’ Meinmono.Store K t u ra l Na


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Exeposé week sixteen lifestyle@exepose.com

SEX-ON-THE-EXE An anonymous student discusses the hard facts of erectile dysfunction

SO I’d known this guy for two weeks. He was good looking, kind and had an amazing sense of humour: the perfect man you might think. I couldn’t believe my luck. Everything was going brilliantly...well, until the fateful night of last month, that is. We were on our fourth date: dinner at a lovely little Italian restaurant (my choice of course – what a gentleman!). The conversation was flowing, flirting was at its greatest and we were both genuinely having a good time. Copious amounts of spaghetti and a bottle of wine later and we started thinking about heading home. I’d stayed at his once before but nothing much had happened beyond a sneaky fumble under the covers. But having sensed the great vibes over dinner I was certain that tonight was the night. As we left the restaurant we headed straight for his flat. After a quick introduction to his flat mates we sneaked off to his room. However, as we got down to it, there was, now, how should I put this, something missing – and quite a key element at that. Everything came to a halt! After all, I don’t think anything can spoil the moment quite like the absence of an erection. It was awkward to say the least. To break the awful silence, he proceeded to bombard me with a string of apologies and declarations of bewilderment: “I’m so sorry, this has never happened before, I don’t know what’s wrong” to which in sheer panic I merely replied “its fine honestly, it’s fine,” not really knowing what to say in such a situation. So, without much choice, we were forced to call it a night. Despite wanting nothing more than to run out of the door, never to see this boy again, I stayed. He offered to walk me home but

quite frankly the thought of the awkward conversation we would have to endure for the ten minutes it would take I thought it best just to settle down for the night. I thought the most embarrassing moment of the night would be failing to eat my meal without smearing tomato sauce around my face. If only! Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, no matter how embarrassing this awkward bedroom dilemma was for me, it was, without a doubt, ten times more embarrassing for him. The morning conversation wasn’t exactly made with ease but with the events of the previous night forced to the back of our minds we parted with a kiss. Needless to say this relationship didn’t blossom into a wonderful romance and eventually fizzled out but we did see each other again and we don’t have to stare at the ground when we pass each other in the street. So all in all, looking back, how did this experience make me feel? Well, mortified to put it mildly! At the time, all sorts of awful thoughts went through my head. Did he actually find me horribly unattractive? Was the sight of my naked body really that much of a turn off? However, this was until I found out that, in fact, one in three men experience problems with erectile dysfunction: an extremely high proportion of the male population I think you’ll agree. So boys, don’t let it get you down...no pun intended!

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Lifestyle

The idyllic village of Cockington

This week your very own Lifestyle editors explore Devon’s finest and cutest village to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with your housemates. Take a trip back in time to this historic country village, just 40 minutes south of the city.

Fran

Tom

I for one was extremely pleased to see the back of January. Exams, dissertations, essays, the new series of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ (being shown on every Virgin channel available) were just a few examples that made me yearn for a mini-getaway from the city and more specifically the depressing dungeon that is the lower-ground floor of the library. I was being irritable; even the fact that the Key Store had moved just two minutes away from where it had been was throwing me into an uncontrollable rage every time I went for a Yorkie bar. Maybe time for a break... Having still not managed to arrange my dream ‘Exeperience’, participating in an Exeter University Dance Society practice session, we decided to go for my next favoured outing – somewhere in the middle of nowhere with nobody about and nothing to do. Now this may sound a little boring and insular, but I am a firm believer that every once in a while a man has to take a step out of the circle that is life and enjoy a bit of man-time. With Francesca being my accomplice, enjoying her own girl-time, we set off for the beautiful village of Cockington after overhearing ravings of the place by a mutual friend. Going on a Sunday we were expecting the village to be a bit busier than it would usually have been. However this was not to be the case, my dream of a relaxing day, without people around was fulfilled. Cockington offers...not a lot really, which, as explained for the purpose of the trip was ideal. Sitting right in the heart of the village is a beautiful pub where we grabbed a Sunday roast. There is also a manor house open to the public, accompanied by beautiful grounds, perfect for a picnic on a spring afternoon. Just 40 minutes outside of Exeter on the way to Torquay, Cockington is the ideal village to relax in on a Sunday with your other half or housemates.

Fran’s wellies come to the r escue

work ith at m s k c a l B

Posing in Co ckingt on Ga rdens

gton Cockin

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IN the heart of the lairy Torquay arcades stands Cockington village: an oasis for culture geeks. This all-thatched, medieval toy-town boasts six adorable workshops where villagers are still practising their ancestors’ crafts. You can watch blacksmiths, glass-blowers, iron mongers and rocking-horse carpenters produce customized gifts at your command. This is complemented by romantic walks around the vast gardens of Cockington Court Manor House where you can relax with quintessential cream tea. So with a lead head full of last night’s Lemmy this seemed the perfect retreat for any lazy Sunday morning. Unfortunately, this was slight vodka-fuelled optimism. The grounds were less like an aesthetic woodland and more patches of glorified mud pies. Luckily I was sporting some fit Glastonbury wellies with white tights, white coat and yes, a white dress. Tom, on the other hand, despite his previous dung escapades in the West Country, was proudly sporting his city-shark, suede numbers. If the pain of piggy-backing his 13st+ football figure across the mud rivers was not enough, we discovered that Cockington seemed to be the haven for all manner of Devon’s hyperactive Labradors who came and attacked us with their tongues. After a miserable trudge around the foggy silhouettes what might have been pretty cottages, we were cold and hungry. I also don’t think the village has discovered internet yet and had not advertised that nearly every building was shut. Our saving grace was the cosy Drum Inn pub. With an outset of an enormous cottage overlooking miles of hedgerows this pub delivers a Sunday lunch that can beat any suburban cavery. For just £7 you get the full works with either succulent lamb with fresh mint sauce or beef or pork with local apples. That was almost worth the hour of traffic behind a tractor in Kingsteignton.


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learning experience. It could be your toughest test yet, which is exactly what will make it your biggest opportunity. Find out more and apply online.


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Lifestyle

Exeposé week sixteen lifestyle@exepose.com

Horror Holiday in the Hills

Liz Laming reminisces on her lethal landslide experience.

I’M not usually one for superstition; strolling across three drains does not make me uneasy and walking under a ladder doesn’t strike me as an extreme sport. However, when it comes to the skiing holidays my family and I have embarked on, I cannot help but feel that someone is trying to tell us something. A skier since childhood, I have always stayed safe on the mountains, but there are only so many precautions you can take and you never consider natural disasters to affect you personally. Unfortunately, on February 23 1999, in the small skiing resort of Galtür, Austria, an avalanche hit. Our trip began like any other; good skiing, good snow, good fun. By about day four, the weather was beginning to deteriorate, blizzards were rife and the slopes were shut to the public. In fact, all roads in and out of the village were closed and the chances of us leaving after a week looked slim. On this particular day everybody had flocked together outside to try to make the best of things and have a good old-fashioned play in the snow. I distinctly remember being very annoyed with my mum when she told my brother

and I that we had to come inside for lunch, but we traipsed back to our hotel room nonetheless. Lucky we did. My mum was on the phone at the time, updating somebody back home about our current situation, when a loud rumbling emerged from outside, followed by a mass of snow smacking the window. As my father yanked us away from the glass, I heard my mother state down the phone, “Oh...we’ve just been hit by an avalanche” (as you do). It was mayhem outside; streams of people came in covered in snow, children had lost parents and plans were already in

the harsh truths could not be avoided. The village church was home to children’s coffins, for whom masses of candles were lit; houses were demolished, cars crushed and in total, 44 people were killed. After a week of being stuck inside, our rescue came in the form of the U.S. Military. We were each allowed one small bag and the rest of our things had to be left behind to be collected at a later date. We queued for two whole days before finally it was our turn to jump inside a helicopter and fly to an old military base in Munich, where we were given food and water before getting on a small

“The village church was home to children’s coffins...in total, 44 people were killed.” motion for a rescue operation. I remember the days that followed very vaguely; men went to dig others out of snow and rubble, everybody was confined indoors and “Uno” became the most popular (and most hated) game. Walking out into the roads, or the spaces where the roads once were, was incredible. While my brother and I enjoyed the novelty of swimming through snow,

bus and travelling overnight to the airport. We had a lucky escape. The following year, we gave the skiing holiday a miss. The year after that we tried again. Again, we went to Austria, again to a small village called Obergurgl, and once again, on February 23, an avalanche hit. I tell no lie. Sitting down to breakfast one morning, we heard a noise, looked

out of the window and watched as the avalanche headed towards us. We watched as a telephone pylon exploded with the force of the snow and, with a sigh, the next thing I knew I was being pulled out of my seat to make a run for it. Joy.

“Show me the way...to Gretna Green!”

Perhaps someone up there is taunting us, perhaps we’re just unlucky (or lucky, depending how you look at it), I don’t know. One thing I do know is that we will be very careful when choosing the dates we ski on in future. After all, third time’s a charm.

Miranda Thompson reflects on her all-expenses-paid summer ‘staycation’ around the UK.

FORGET flopping on a Fijian Beach, swanning around Sydney and full on full moon in Thailand, one of the most interesting summers I’ve ever spent was with 40 small, loud Americans taking in the sights and sounds of the UK. The job was offered by a company who specialise in running tours for young Americans and their teachers around the UK, usually over a period of three weeks. They’d spend their time shuffling around tourist hot spots including such glamorous locations as Dublin and, ahem, Gretna Green. My role was the middleman, and in between providing cultural nuggets for the Americans I was liaising between Head Office, hotels and coach drivers galore. It was literally the job of my dreams. As well as being paid to stay in fabulous hotels, all expenses paid, I was being given the opportunity to see the UK from a completely different perspective. One weekend of training later, I was sent out to the bright lights

and bustle of Heathrow airport to meet my new best friends; a horde of 13-15 year old Bostonians complete with their four teachers. Teeth bared and enthusiasm turned up to full blast, I managed to hustle them out of the airport and onto the waiting coach. First job done. Phew. However, there was one more hurdle to face. During training all of the managers had been advised to choose a quintessentially British “morning song” for the delegation to help get them excited for the day ahead. Somewhat optimistically, I had chosen ‘Amarillo’. That first morning the poor young Americans must have wished they could have got back on the plane when they were confronted not only by some serious jet lag but also by a complete maniac clutching a clipboard and frantically clapping her hands at the front of a coach with Tony Christie as accompaniment. However, as D-Ream once famously said, things can only get better. It didn’t take me long to realise that my little darlings weren’t the all-singing, all-dancing

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens of my High School Musical dreams; however, it was a delegation full of legends straight out of any American teen movie. We had the “players” who swapped girlfriends faster than Ronnie Wood, the Lindsay Lohan-like clique who dictated fashion trends in every city we hit, rocking tam o’shanters like no tomorrow in Scotland and of course, some intense emos. One in particular got a bit fed up halfway through the trip and tried to take loads of pills; the subsequent day spent sorting it out on the phone in St. Andrews on the wettest day of the year is not one I particularly wish to recall. Nor the heated argument in rural Ireland with a self-proclaimed Italian Stallion coach driver who kept making up how long it would take to get to places in between trying to fleece the teenagers. By the end of the tour I’d built up a fantastic rapport with my American divas. On the last night in the romantic setting of a Heathrow hotel I was showered

with Boston-themed presents and a t-shirt emblazoned with the tour catchphrase ‘R U SERIOUS?’, a reference to the various white lies I would roll out to keep them on their toes. Yes, that is the Queen walking her dog over there. Definitely. In terms of jobs, this had to be the best in terms of helping you really appreciate the country

which we live in. Everything was seen through new eyes, whether abseiling down a Welsh castle, eating fish and chips in Dublin or a blustery day spent trawling Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, all in the company of some utter sweethearts I grew to become extremely fond of, and now can’t get rid of. Thank you, Facebook.


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february 8 2010 Exeposé

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Music

Upcoming

music interview

Joel Moktar, Music Editor, talks to David Peter Meads, aka Scroobius Pip

WHEN the beasts, the birds, the fish and the insects of Edward Lear’s much loved nonsense poem ask the Scroobious Pip to identify itself, he gives them all an identical answer: “My only name is the Scroobious Pip.” David Peter Mead, better known as Scroobius Pip (the misspelling is intentional), is decidedly human, but like the taxonomically unclassifiable creature of Lear’s creation, is unquestionably unique. Mead, along with multi-talented producer, programmer, guitarist and keyboard player Daniel Stephens, form the hip-hop/spoken word duo dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip. Their musically diverse first album, Angles, brought them recognition and mixed reviews on both sides of the Atlantic after its release in May of 2008, peaking at 31 in the UK charts. Mead informs me that the eclecticism of Angles, in which the

music he speaks over ranges from hip-hop beats to electro breaks, is primarily down to “one man band” dan (annoyingly always in lower case). Yet the continuity within the flux of their debut came in the form of Mead’s thought-provoking, if occasionally didactic lyrics and his distinctive vocal style, and I was interested to find out whether his inspiration for spoken word stemmed from musical or poetic roots. In his distinctive Essex drawl, Mead explained that his motivation “was more from the musical side of things,” hinting at the inadequate exposure of his generation to poetry in the National Curriculum. Having played in various bands when he was younger, Mead found he didn’t like having “to depend on three or four other people” to make music – hence his shift towards spoken word and the musical independence it offered.

Mead tells me his lyrical inspiration comes not from literature but rather from the everyday, explaining that he strives to find “art, poetry and beauty in everyday life.” Clichéd as this may sound, anyone who has listened to ‘Tommy C,’ the fifth track on Angles, will find it hard to deny that Mead, or rather his alter-ego Pip, has an ability to make the everyday profound and beautiful. ‘Tommy C’ is the tale of the entertainer Tommy Cooper, who died on stage of a heart attack at the end of a performance, unbeknownst to the audience who believed his collapse was part of the act. The beauty Mead finds in Cooper’s death is dark and harrowing: “Now please note that at the moment that this entertainer died/Even with a room full of people not one tear was cried/ Much less, they rose to their feet and they laughed and clapped/Now tell me one fucking thing that’s more

beautiful than that.../’Cos I’m sure I can’t think of one.” It is perhaps this ability to show beauty transcending the increasing gloominess of our world that makes his lyrics so poignant and penetrating. In their first single ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’, Mead repeats the lines “Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music” – so what can the duo’s fans expect from their upcoming album The Logic of Chance, due to be released in March? Will they be reinventing their sound or will we see a logical evolution, building upon the success of Angles? A bit of both, apparently. “Progression and development” are the words Mead used the most as we discussed the new album. He didn’t give much away, but emphasised that he felt it represented a step up from their debut offering. (continued on page 17)

08/02 - Stornoway and Beth Jeans Houghton (PHOENIX) 08/02 - Silent Screams / Violent Virtues/ Terrorform/These Ruins (CAVERN) 09/02 - Student Night with Live Music (MAMA STONE’S) 10/02 - Lofi Hifi/ Robot Disaster (CAVERN) 10/02 - Red Stripe Night (MAMA STONE’S) 11/02 - Skinny Molly and Larry Miller (PHOENIX) 11/02 - Freakscene with The Good Knife & OK Pilot (CAVERN) 12/02 - Six Day Riot (PHOENIX) 12/02 - Beats annd Bobz with Kidda (CAVERN) 12/02 - Mad Dog Mcrea + The House Band (MAMA STONE’S) 13/02 - Indie Club with Inner City Pirates & The Laurel Collective (CAVERN) 13/02 - The House Band feat. Kat Savage & Paul Avez (MAMA STONE’S) 15/02 - The Plight + The Arteries + Rat Attack (CAVERN) 16/02 - Shotgun Riot + Feed The Rhino + Hang On, Look John (CAVERN) 16/02 - Student Night with live music (MAMA STONE’S) 17/02 - Mr Hudson (LEMON GROVE) 17/02 - Beats and Bass Soc (CAVERN) 17/02 - Albenaza + Gift For A Ghost Town (MAMA STONE’S) 18/02 - Who’z In The Room With Norman? (MAMA STONE’S) 18/02 - Steve Knightley (PHOENIX) 18/02 - The Telescopes + One Unique Signal + New Years Evil (CAVERN) 19/02 - Bonobo (DJ Set) (PHOENIX) 19/02 - Joey The Lips + The House Band feat. Kat Marsh (MAMA STONE’S) 12/02 - Fionn Regan (CAVERN) 20/02 - Francis Dunnery (PHOENIX) 20/02 - Indie Club with This City (CAVERN) 20/02 - House Band feat. Adam Isaac (MAMA STONE’S) 21/02 - Blues/ Jazz/ Jam Night (MAMA STONE’S) 22/02 - Beat Roots (MAMA STONE’S)

Playlist

NINA SIMONE- To Love Somebody TEGAN AND SARA- Walking With A Ghost MSTRKRFT- Heartbreaker (Wolfgang Gartner Remix) SARA BAREILLES- Take On Me THE WHO- Won’t Get Fooled Again MR HUDSON AND THE LIBRARYUpon The Heath AIR TRAFFIC- Shooting Star HOT CHIP- Hand Me Down Your Love THE STROKES- Between Love & Hate SHARON VAN ETTEN- Much More Than That MYSTERY JETS- Half In Love With Elizabeth BIKINI- Tonight LMFAO- Lalala (Hyper Crush Remix) MASSIVE ATTACK- One Love lalita korzybska music editor and jamie orsler


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Music

Exeposé week sixteen music@exepose.com

Scroobius Pip Interview, continued from page 16

“dan has really taken it up another notch, and hopefully lyrically I’ve kind of developed a bit – experimenting with different flows and different patterns and rhymes... Angles has a varied sound and I think The Logic of Chance does as well.” What is interesting about dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip is the way in which their tracks are made. Most of Angles was recorded in a friend of Mead’s shed and Stephen’s bedroom, possible because they almost always create their songs separately and communicate via email. Mead is keen to point out that despite several hip-hop influences he’s “not a freestyler,” but rather “like[s] to take time and craft the words,” and thus “it works a lot better with us both having our own time and space to work and develop.” While they might have their own “studios,” on stage they are very much together, having toured

extensively in the UK, Europe and Exeter in the past few years. The kind of shows they play and the reception they receive, it seems, varies between English speaking countries and non-English speaking countries. “Americans seem to get it in the same way that the UK does, they get all the little jokes. Whereas in Europe we generally tend to crank our live show up a bit and go for more up-tempo stuff so anyone who can’t pick up on all of it can still have a really good night out.” The pair’s success in the US has been built on the back of their internet following, but it has not always been easy to break through on the other side of the pond. “It is much more difficult [in the US] in my opinion on the commercial front to get a label to back you up, they want you to come over for three months,” Mead explains. “Crowd wise – from the first time we went over we’ve always been

overwhelmed by the reaction. We seem to get good sized crowds who are really into the words.” The duo hopes to return stateside this year, after a year away in 2009. I couldn’t end my conversation with someone whose lyrics display such strong views without asking him what he would like to change about the youth of today. “Change,” he emphasised, “is the key word there, it’s an awareness that we can all change – that we are masters of our own destiny. A lot of people just feel a bit hard done by, the worst thing is the general apathy, people not fulfilling their potential, and the lack of passion and emotion and things like that, a lot of people don’t realise how important all that is and that actually they can make a difference.” Wise words.

iEWS single REVIEWS single REVIEWS single REVIEWS singl Ellie Goulding Under The Sheets

The Courteeners You Over Did It Doll

IF ever proof was needed that The Courteeners have the potential to become one of the country’s biggest bands, this first single from their second album Falcon heavily emphasises a point previously illustrated in interviews with Morrissey. The Smiths frontman has lavished praise upon the Manchester four-piece, differentiating them from most British indie bands

saying “it’s different with The Courteeners, they actually do have very good, strong songs.” ‘You Over Did It Doll’ combines a catchy tune, flawless chorus and effective lyrics outlining a woman’s impatience to live life too fast. After producing hits from the previous album in the form of ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘Bide Your Time’, it was to be expected that the quality of the follow up

ELLIE Goulding is destined for big things in 2010. After topping the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2010’ list and being awarded the Critics Choice award at this year’s Brit Awards, she is set to join the list of female artists to emerge from the UK in recent times, fitting alongside other electro-pop luminaries such as La Roux and Little Boots. This is quite an achievement for an artist once given the decidedly unfashionable tag of ‘folktronica.’ Although she started composing songs on the guitar, her interest in electronic music has continued to grow. The result is her debut single, ‘Under the Sheets’, which sits

would decrease. Nevertheless, it appears that in the production of Falcon, The Courteeners will remain flying high, and certainly have not over done it.

alec kotakis

firmly in electronic territory, to danceable effect. Whilst the combination of feet-moving drums and sing-along chorus is not particularly ground breaking, things are kept interesting with little flourishes here and there. If you listen closely you can pick out strings, percussion and carefully placed backing vocals. It can come off as over-polished, but it rewards repeat listens and the extra substance undoubtedly prolongs the song’s life. Ellie is also set apart by her distinctive voice, adding an air of earnestness to the song. Whilst last year La Roux sang ruthlessly

about “going in for the kill,” Ellie appears more emotionally vulnerable, pleading “we’re under the sheets and you’re killing me.” Songs about heartbreak are not new for 2010, but they will always exist because hearts will always be broken. Luckily, songs like this turn it into something enjoyable. Let’s hope she is able to transform other emotions just as well.

paul williams


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19

Music

Exeposé week sixteen music@exepose.com

iEWS album REVIEWS album REVIEWS album REVIEWS albu Lupe Fiasco

Enemy of the State

NEARLY three years since his seminal sophomore effort, and only months before the release of the much anticipated third (and supposedly final) album, now titled We Are Lasers, innovative rapper Lupe Fiasco put a free

mixtape, Enemy of the State up for free download online. After two years of near silence, barring a few guest credits and the untouchable collaborative effort ‘US Placers’, a fresh, if disappointingly short, Lupe mix

White Rabbits It’s Frightening

was one of the most exciting prospects after a mixed year for the genre. Unfortunately from the outset it becomes clear that the high standard of his two critically acclaimed studio records has not been matched on this ten track promo. The opening track, imaginatively titled ‘Intro’, smacks of the over-hyped, overautotuned trend that briefly took over hip-hop last in 2009. Substituting the minimal beats and innovative samples of his last two albums for overproduced throwback beats is a stark contrast to his previous work, and feels clumsy when placed alongside his earlier tracks. Fortunately, the short introduction is followed by the best, and most exciting, track on the mixtape. Featuring a Radiohead sample - perhaps an homage to his work with Child Rebel Soldier on ‘US Placers’ - Lupe manages to break the mould of the simple verbal style so prevalent in mainstream hip-hop with an offbeat flow that has more in common with vanguard rapper DOOM than fellow Chicago artists Common or Kanye West. The sample is seamlessly worked into the mix

without ever feeling forced, and falls neatly into the best tracks put out by Fiasco in his short, but consistently brilliant, career. After the mixed start, the rest of the mixtape manages to drift by without really registering. Apart from an uncharacteristically West Coast sample and verse on ‘So Ghetto’, the beats remain uniform and fail to excite as so many of his earlier tracks did. Lyrically, Lupe represented an early forerunner of the so-called ‘Hipster-Hop’ scene, derided by many as rap for suburbia, but more accurately a sharp and often satirical observation of modern culture, which has developed under the aegis of the Hollatronix clique in Philadelphia and acts like The Cool Kids in Chicago. His witty verses and laid-back flow managed to be boastful without ever straying into arrogance, and remained one of the strong points on all of his work. Sadly this is something that has been lost on Enemy of the State, with tracks like ‘Say Something’ and ‘Thank You’ lacking the confidence, and even the intelligence, of earlier achievements such as ‘The Die (feat. Gemstones)’ or ‘The Instrumental’, which appeared

on The Cool and Food & Liquor respectively. Lines like “Even Usain Bolt ain’t this fast” lack the subtlety and metaphor of the high points of Fiasco’s earlier tracks. Enemy of the State feels like a rushed project to remind the fans that Lupe is still making music. While We Are Lasers still remains one of the most anticipated albums of the next twelve months, the heavily conceptual body of work that preceded this mixtape have not found their next expression in the ten tracks found on Enemy. Lupe Fiasco has in the past managed to have, simultaneously, mainstream appeal, and the foresight and imagination to assert his rightful place as one of the most exciting artists in modern hip-hop. However, unless Lasers can not only improve on Enemy, but live up to the high standard Fiasco himself has set to meet, it is unlikely he will hold onto the laurels of his earlier work.

CITING their main influences as The Specials and The Style Council, White Rabbits could easily confuse listeners into thinking that new album It’s Frightening is going to be a distinctly eighties synth affair with a healthy dose of reggae thrown in. Instead, what we are given reaches the experimental in places, mixing piano, twin drummers, tin cans and distorted guitars. Rather than appear throwbacks or indie imitators (think afro-beat band du jour Vampire Weekend), White Rabbits use their unique percussive propulsion to float something that sounds unlike most tight-trousered, long-haired hipsters on the popular music scene today. Sounding like a thrilling mission statement for the entire album, first track ‘Percussion Gun’ opens with a semi-automatic hail of beats from twin drummers Matthew Clark and Jamie Levinson creating one of the most exciting song introductions in a long time. Piano and guitar are skilfully intertwined with lead vocalist Stephen Patterson’s whine dripping over like an

angry American Liam Gallagher, supported by Gregory Roberts, Alexander Even (guitars) and Brian Betancourt (bass). This shock opener is followed by ‘Rudie Fails’, a reference to The Clash song ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’, about the establishment sneering at the unemployed. Patterson echoes Joe Strummer’s sentiments with the snarl, “you could beat the living daylights right outta me/I don’t care at all”, in a line that perhaps reveals a slightly imitated punk sensibility for a band originally from Missouri. However, punk attitude is something reflected in the refusal of this album to follow the formula of sounding like a collection of songs written by a single group of people. Indeed the first and last songs (‘Percussion Gun’ and ‘Leave It at the Door’) sound like they could have been written by completely different bands. This works well on tracks such as ‘Midnight And I’ - a bouncing piano/drum combo with the kind of wobbling guitar breaks that The Specials would be proud of, yet is less successful on ‘The Lionesse’ - a

discordant haze of noise that sounds like a castoff from Radiohead’s Hail to The Thief (not in a good way). Elsewhere is ‘They Done Wrong/ We Done Wrong’ – in places an impressionist soundscape with the drawl of Patterson’s voice sounding somewhat like John Lennon smacking his head against the wall of sound made by the Beatles at their most experimental and hard to listen to. Yet that which lets this album down could also be seen as one of its main strengths. Whilst perhaps aiming too high in an attempt to appear experimental, It’s Frightening doesn’t sound like anything else in a world populated by Vampire Weekend and MGMT wannabe bands. ‘Percussion Gun’ alone is definitely worth a listen in terms of being an effective original single. In terms of modern musical likenesses, fans of Cold War Kids and The Specials will find this interesting.

alex moss news editor

ben murphie


20

Books

february 8 2010

Exeposé

www.exepose.com

BOOKS INTERVIEW

Philip Pullman talks to Books Editors, Tristan Barclay and Kate Rothera, about reading, writing and universities.

Famed for the His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman is one of the world’s most successful fantasy authors. His novels have been translated into 38 languages, a sell-out stage production, and the film adaptation of The Golden Compass has grossed nearly $400 million worldwide. However, Pullman has created controversy throughout his career. His staunchly atheistic views pervade his novels, climaxing in The Amber Spyglass’s war with the Church and the destruction of God. Inevitably, many interviews with Pullman revolve around religion, but when we met him in Exeter’s Royal Clarence Hotel, he was keen to talk about something even closer to his heart. Pullman’s poetic answer to our first question, the stock “what are you doing in Exeter today?” set the tone for the rest of our time together. “I’m talking at the University about the wonderful and extraordinary world that is opened up when you read a book. I’m also looking at a lot of illustrations in books which I think are important.” Perhaps growing tired of the constant questioning over his ideas about organised religion, he has turned more

“Cuts [to university funding] are a sign of eradicable Philistinism in the system and I fear they will do great and lasting damage.”

to writing on education and politics and, for better or for worse, sees this country’s best days as firmly in the past. As a former teacher, Pullman cares deeply about the education of children and worries intensely about the state of childhood and schooling today. He laments the rise of government initiatives, even those as basic as the National Curriculum and the Literacy Hour. He told us, “I don’t think

we understand education in this country. We don’t understand the education of small children and we don’t understand the education of students. We think it’s a sort of luxury or, when it’s not a luxury, it’s there to fit people to do certain jobs. It isn’t any of those things.” For Pullman, there is no ‘one size fits all’ style of education; he believes only in the opportunities provided by reading. We spoke next about the safe haven of university, and asked Pullman whether he thought it was enough simply to study in our own world down here on the Devon coastline. Here, he stressed the importance of experiencing life alongside the world of literature. “I try to get this message across in The Amber Spyglass. Lyra is in the world of the dead and she learns that the only way out of that world is to be able to tell a story, something true about your life. This means that you’ve got to live something to have a story to tell.” Naturally, Pullman takes a dim view on videogames: “If all you can tell to the heartbeats of the underworld is ‘I stayed in and played on my computer games,’ that’s tough, you stay in the world of the dead. You’ve got to live, to fall in love, to be unhappy, and to take risks.” Risk and adventure are ingrained in Pullman’s character. His teaching career, spanning 12 years in middle schools around Oxford, was defined by a style he calls “erratic.” And with no provocation at all (the question was merely ‘why did you want to become a teacher?’), Pullman launched into a rant against state interference in the freedom of schools, and the attempts to take any sense of risk out of education. He told us: “I taught before the National

Curriculum, before SATs and league tables, and all the rest of the appalling paraphernalia that descended like a great steel net over the education system shortly after I left it. “I relied on inspiration and the whim of the moment, which wouldn’t be allowed now. That’s the sort of teacher I was, and it couldn’t happen now, not least because I got a third class degree. David Cameron, the next Prime Minister, won’t let people with third class degrees go into teaching.” Upon hearing of his third, our ears pricked up. An Oxford graduate (from Exeter College no less), Pullman worked and still lives in the city, yet it seems that his time at university was not necessarily a happy one. We asked if there were any particular reasons for his lack of stellar grades. He said: “If I’d worked harder I could have scraped a 2:2. I actually thought I was quite intelligent, I still do, but clearly the sort of stuff I was writing was the sort of stuff they didn’t want to read. The tutor I had was a very amiable man, a very Oxford sort of man. I think I amused him as a sort of specimen.” Pullman even seemed quite proud of his time as a ‘specimen’: “Up ‘til I started, they gave out fourth class degrees, wouldn’t that have been a great achievement to get a fourth class degree!” We thought, perhaps, it was best to stick to grinding out the essays.

“For Pullman, there is no ‘one size fits all’ style of Of course, Pullman’s were the days when university was free. Not all of us can expect to write one of the biggest selling fantasy trilogies of all time, and, more often than not, the reality of student life in 2010 is that of debt. And, of course, this is another topic about which Pullman is passionate. The question was posed – “what do you think of tuition fees and the cuts to university funding by some £400 million?” Pullman replied, “It’s an absolute and utter disgrace. These cuts are a sign of profound eradicable philistinism in the system and I fear the cuts will do great and lasting damage.”

“The National Curriculum: a great steel net that descended over the education system.”

Obviously, a lot has changed since Pullman was at university, and the internet means information is available to us at a much faster rate than it ever was in Pullman’s day. Perhaps surprisingly, Pullman admitted to using Wikipedia himself, although he did qualify this by saying, “Wikipedia doesn’t compare with being in a library and being able to look along the stacks and find things that you didn’t know were there.” Whilst most people might now see a fast internet connection as vital in the modern world, Pullman is a library man: “Ideally everyone should have access to a good public library. The internet is there and we can’t wish it away.” He then became very tutor-like, warning against Wikipedia’s apparent ever-unreliability: “The only thing to do for those directing university education is for them to say, ‘look, these things you find on the internet need checking.’ It is a sort of huge jumble sale. Use it, but don’t trust it over much.” We returned to his life as a teacher, and, aware as we were that our interview for the Books section was yet to engage Pullman about his literary career, he thankfully began to talk about stories. “The thing I enjoyed most was telling stories to the children. I decided unilaterally that I wanted the children whom I taught to know, when they left my class, a thing or two about Greek mythology. No one else was going to tell them about these things so I thought I would.” Pullman’s time as a teacher helped him to grow as a writer, something for which he seemed very grateful: “I learnt the power of stories because children always listen. I couldn’t make the kids laugh though; I’m not funny. But when it came to the exciting bits I could do them quite well and I could describe a scene too. You learn what type of storyteller you are by actually telling stories.” Interview continued on page 21


21

Exeposé WEEK sixteen books@exepose.com

BOOKS INTERVIEW

Our interview with Philip Pullman continued.

And what would he do now if he were a teacher in the system? ”If I was a tutor I’d ask for everything to be handwritten and I’d institute handwriting classes because people don’t know how to hold their pens properly.” Here, the interview took a slightly bizarre direction as, after some nervous laughter from your Books Editors, Pullman became animated (and he is a very calm man), telling us certainly, “I’m serious! I can see you laughing. Tristan, show me how you hold your pen.” Tentatively, the pen was gripped; finger on top, thumb along the side. Thankfully, it was to Pullman’s approval. “You were taught properly. There is a way to hold your pen and letters should be formed naturally and fluidly.” After this typically Pullman test

of character, his chaperone began waving at us over his head, mouthing the dreaded “last minute”. But trying to stop Pullman talking on a subject about which he cares so much is like trying to hold back the tide. Finally, he could see from our impatient bobbing up and down that we had one more question for him. After the astronomical success of His Dark Materials, Pullman has written several companion books to the trilogy, the next of which is to be released under the title The Book of Dust. We asked if he could give us any details on the project, to which he replied “it’s on the horizon, but various things have got in the way. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let them get in the way. The film of The Golden Compass took up a lot of my time. I’m writing more and more

about politics these days and matters of social business. These are all time consuming things. But The Book of Dust is still waiting for me.” Our meeting over, Pullman was gracious enough to let us photograph him and seemed to enjoy our chaotic student journalism as dictaphones, cameras and pens were variously left in corners of the room. He struck us as an extremely intelligent and philosophical man, frustrated by the direction in which he sees modern life taking us. He clearly enjoys the company of young people and, if we have at all represented him as old fashioned, this was not the intention. We had a lot of laughs interviewing Pullman, particularly talking about his skill as an artist. “I did a course of life drawing for some years quite

a long time ago. I had the idea that I might like to illustrate so that I could do a picture book perhaps. So I got quite used to drawing people without any clothes on. I could write a book called The Children’s Book of Nudes,” he told us, with a grin. We don’t know if an interview with Philip Pullman that doesn’t mention religion is a first, but he seemed to enjoy the opportunity to talk about the nature of reading and its role in education. Pullman is, after all, an author, and is perhaps only reluctantly drawn into debates over religion because of the content of his trilogy. There can be no doubt over his skill with words and stories, and Pullman’s legions of fans await The Book of Dust with an undying excitement.

Northern Lights

The Subtle Knife

The Amber Spyglass

The Book of Dust

? Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in the USA, is the first in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy. It introduces the young Lyra Belacqua and sees her journey to the dangerous North to rescue her friend Roger.

The Subtle Knife continues Lyra’s adventure as she investigates the phenomenon of Dust. The second novel of the trilogy introduces Will, a boy from our world, who accompanies Lyra with the help of the Subtle Knife.

The final novel in Pullman’s trilogy sees the war waged by Lyra’s guardian Lord Asriel against God and the Church come to an end as love blossoms between the young heroine and Will. A true fantasy masterpiece.

The latest of several companion books to the trilogy, The Book of Dust is due for release in 2010. Lyra will be about 16, but the book will not be a continuation of the trilogy, rather, it will contain stories from the same world.

Condensed Classic

The Day of the Triffids John Wyndham

“A warning to society about pushing nature too far”

“The way I came to miss the end of the world” says Bill Masen whilst lying in a hospital bed blindly unaware of the catastrophe that lies below. The whole of Britain is blind – and now the Triffids were free. The Day of the Triffids catalogues the basic human fears of destruction, powerlessness and loss of sight. Mankind will no longer be the same as nature fights back from the creepy depths of the plant world with Wyndham’s

This haunting read, first published in 1951, is still as realistic today as it ever was. A tale of what could happen if we mess with nature and do not take care of our scientific endeavours, for the slithering, ensnaring and ravenous plants of Wyndham’s novel were scientific experiments that became uncontrollable. They were created as a replacement for petrol, yet when the scientists manufactured them, they had no idea what a danger these plants could be. This story is a warning to society about pushing nature too far, but like all science fiction, it pushes the probable a little too far. It should

1. Twenties Girl Sophie Kinsella The spirit of a dead aunt proves a twenty something’s saviour.

2. Long Lost Harlan Coben Myron Bolitar is summoned to Paris after an old flame’s husband is murdered.

3. The Little Stranger Sarah Waters A chilling ghost story set in rural post-war Warwickshire.

4. The Lovely Bones

ISBN: 0140009930

carnivorous creations. The Triffids, and the only man left to save humanity is Bill Masen; the patient in the hospital bed.

books Bestseller List

be read as a work of adventure and excitement. Wyndham called his novels “logical fantasy,” which just about sums up The Day of the Triffids. Although we could be placed in a natural disaster, it is unlikely that it would come from giant carnivorous plants. An enthralling read however, as the readers are pushed into this manic world, where Masen struggles under all the pressure. Not only has he got to find a way of stopping these dangerous plants as they writhe closer towards the major cities, ravenous and deadly; he also has the problem of the countless numbers of blind people descending on him for help. A recipe for disaster indeed! Bill Masen is an unlikely hero in this novel; he does not embody the ‘superman’ image and so I found it hard to stay with him as he struggled up to Scotland to find the solution to the Triffids and to save humanity. For, unlike the heroes of most classic fiction, he was not made for battle, but is a scientist who wished to find the

‘spirit’ of the Triffids through their communication patterns. This is perhaps what makes the novel more relatable to the modern reader, and less of a phenomenon of the past. In Bill Masen we see a scientist who could quite easily exist today – and a problem that, although extreme, we could be faced with. So, I recommend this classic book because it is something out of the ordinary, it has more excitement than most classic novels, and the images of the Triffids, as they slither under a window ready to strike, will stay with you indefinitely. So instead of having the experience of a “Mr Darcy” or a gripping romance, the reader is presented with something terrifyingly realistic and a creature that is potent and deadly. A thrilling read to the very end, The Day of the Triffids is a book which will definitely change your perception of the science-fiction genre.

Rachel bayne

Alice Sebold A murder victim recounts her death and watches her family trying to cope.

5. The Road Cormac McCarthy A father and son travel across a bleak, postapocalyptic America.

Sunday Times Bestseller List January 31 2010


sabbatical

elections 2010 candidate drop-in 5pm Monday, Feb 8 ..................................................................................................GI Hub, Devonshire House

nominations close 1pm Friday, Feb 12...............................................................................https://elections.exeter.ac.uk/guild/

voting opens 10am Friday, Feb 19 ............................................................................https://elections.exeter.ac.uk/guild/

candidate question time

parker moot room, amory building

7pm Friday, Feb 19....................................................................................... President / VP Academic Affairs

candidate question time

x-keys, st. luke’s

7pm Sunday, Feb 21 ..............................................President / VP Academic Affairs / AU President VP Welfare & Community / VP Participation & Campuses

building a new team:

sabbatical elections 2010 https://elections.exeter.ac.uk/guild/


23

books

Exeposé WEEK sixteen books@exepose.com

I’ll Go to Bed at Noon Gerard Woodward ISBN: 0701171189

I’ll Go to Bed at Noon is by and large an autobiographical novel based on Gerard Woodward’s life experience and it is, accordingly, almost unbelievable. Truth is stranger than fiction they say. This is certainly the case in the second of Woodward’s trilogy about the self-destructive, dysfunctional Jones family. In fact, at times the story doesn’t ring true at all; the outrageous, often catastrophic nature of the events seem to overwhelm the narrative. And yet, one gets the feeling that Woodward is simply relaying the facts, and therefore the story must be accepted for what it is. But does

it make good fiction? Apparently, yes. It was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2004, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an enjoyable book. But it really is. It’s a roller coaster ride of a story, yet it leaves the reader with more than a sense of having been entertained. I’ll Go to Bed at Noon is fun, but if that’s all that strikes you about it, you’re probably missing something. Perhaps most memorably, the story is saturated with alcohol – Special Brew, homemade vegetable wine, Gold Labels, gin, even shoe polish. The story, it could be argued, is essentially about alcohol. But more importantly, it’s about family; a family that can’t escape the effects of booze, a family that both struggles with and celebrates inebriation, a family whose good memories and bad memories all involve drinking. The Joneses are amusingly and, at the same time,

“The outrageous nature of the events seem to overwhelm the narrative”

The Thing Around Your Neck Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ISBN: 0007306210

Having published two awardwinning full-length novels since 2004, the decision of MacArthur ‘Genius Grant winner’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to release a collection of short stories came with some apprehension. Her talent prior to the 2009 release of The Thing Around Your Neck lay in her ability to construct complex characters in a broader context through the slow trajectory of her plots and themes. The question of how this would, and indeed if it could, translate to a shorter format was a valid one to any fan of Adichie. The Thing Around Your Neck is composed of 12 short stories, many of which have been already published elsewhere, and so for many fans of Adichie are familiar. Even those that are featured as previously

unreleased works hold echoes of her previous writing, and she retains her trademark themes of love, loss, and death with characteristic panache. In terms of content, the stories again fall within Adichie’s comfort zone, dealing with Nigerians at home and abroad, through the colonial and post-colonial periods. Having said that, the originality with which these stories are worked makes them fresh and steers them well clear of becoming cliché. Her subtle treatment of the familiar is both refreshing and touching; instantly relatable while retaining a distinct sense of purpose. It is hard not to see a degree of autobiography in a number of the stories, which serves only to make them more moving. A number of the collected works deal with Nigerians of the American diaspora, and the problems they face at a personal level while living in a foreign environment. Adichie herself moved to the US for study, where she currently lives, and it is difficult not to imagine some of her own experience shining through on the pages of The Thing Around Your Neck. One particularly affecting story details a young female author invited to a literary conference, where she is the victim of sexual advances from a senior writer, providing an all-too-vivid account of the problems faced by young women in the literary world.

tragically out of control. The novel, set in the ‘70s, begins with a funeral. Janus Brian, Colette Jones’ brother, has just lost his wife. It soon becomes clear that he can’t live without her, as he gives himself up to drink entirely, not caring who finds him in pools of his own vomit and urine. But this is to Colette’s advantage. She hasn’t been close to her brother for years and suddenly, to her delight, she finds herself his caregiver. It is a welcome distraction from the trouble at home. Janus Brian’s namesake, Colette’s eldest son Janus, is a musical genius, and an obnoxious, too-old-to-beliving-at-home drunkard who can’t keep a job. But Colette doesn’t have the heart to kick him out, even as he destroys any hope of the family’s happiness or peace. As the two Januses drink themselves to death, the rest of the family attempts to carry on as normally as possible. Julian, the youngest son, has it the worst; he’s the only other child still living at home and therefore still contending with Janus’ difficult presence. James is away at university and Juliette is married, albeit to Janus’ best friend and favorite drinking buddy. The novel follows the family

While Adichie’s significant talent serves well to construct moving and personal stories, they also consistently reflect wider issues and themes. The opening story of the collection provides an account of the notorious prison complex, Cell One, the brutality of which is still a major political question in Nigeria. Another tells of a woman seeking refugee status in the US after being attacked by the Nigerian police, a tragically prescient theme in the international press. By tying her characters to the wider world, they gain depth and meaning. Even to a casual observer, with little knowledge of the history to which she refers, the stories provide an insight into a web of historical trajectory and tragedy about which too little is known, and even less understood, by too many. While the stories in The Thing Around Your Neck are short, it is impossible to read them only one at a time. The change of format has had no detrimental affect on the significant skill of Adichie, and has instead merely confirmed her rise as one of the most important and talented writers of the last decade. The collection is thought-provoking and another triumph by perhaps the most exciting and original writer of our generation. Alex moss news editor

“Woodward doesn’t leave us without a sense of hope” through every drink and every pub, through Juliette’s separation from her husband, Julian’s foiled love affair and subsequent decision to join the merchant navy, and finally Janus’ jail term. But when Colette is forced to exile Janus from her life completely, no one is prepared for the tragic consequences that ensue. The ending is in some ways surprising, in some ways predictable (a lifetime of drinking does, after all, come with a price), but in no ways disappointing. The final glimpse is of Aldous, Colette’s husband, a character who remains aloof for most of the novel, and who is probably the most composed, the most ‘normal’ of the Joneses. In the end, he too falls apart – but, as is the case throughout the novel, Woodward doesn’t leave us without a sense of hope. I’ll Go to Bed at Noon was clearly written with care, with a great deal of pain, and, thankfully, with a sense of humor. One minor disappointment,

however, was the character of Janus. He was too easy to despise. Woodward could have created more empathy for him, or at least helped us understand why it was that his mother couldn’t let him go. We know he’s an artist because it’s mentioned repeatedly, but we’re hardly shown it. I had virtually no sense of his artistic sensibilities, only his capacity for drunkenness – yet the fact that he’s a musical genius is supposed to be central to the story. He is portrayed rather onedimensionally as a heartless bastard, until the end when finally we get to see just a glimpse of another side of him. I wish I could have seen more throughout. A feeling of chaos and selfdestruction is perhaps the most lasting impression one gets from the book. But Woodward knows how to impress; having lived through most of the events listed in the book, he can talk about them with clarity and precision. He really does do a brilliant job of creating a family one feels he knew all too well. His nearness lets us get near too, and it’s well worth it. One doesn’t soon forget the Joneses. jordi wieler

Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami ISBN: 0099448823

The novel Norwegian Wood, written in 1987, is Haruki Murakami’s best-known work, reaching high critical acclaim and receiving a cult following that spread from Japan throughout the world. The title is taken from the popular Beatles’ song of the same name and is a sublime study of the power of nostalgia and lost love. Set within Tokyo University in the 1960s, the narrative details the life of Toru Watanabe, a student caught between relationships with two women which come to define his adolescent and emotional development. Murakami develops character with a delicacy of skill, shaping the fragility of the twenty year old Naoko who was formerly the girlfriend of Toru’s best friend Kizuki, now left emotionally scarred

following the latter’s suicide. Whilst Toru and Naoko engage in an intense and intimate love affair, the past and the influence of Kizuki’s death perforates their present leaving them troubled and vulnerable. Following Naoko’s decision to have herself committed to a mountainside sanatorium, Toru begins a relationship with the vivacious Midori Kobayashi whilst still nurturing his love for Naoko. Midori is far from a simple character and her complexity contributes to the creation of a captivatingly melancholy plot.

“A sublime study of the power of nostalgia and lost love” Set against the backdrop of civil unrest and student angst, Norwegian Wood is quite beautiful and deeply sad. If it can be faulted, it is that the characters often seem stranded within the narrative with little to do and quite lacking in resolution. In a way this can be to the book’s advantage as at heart it is a charged reminiscence of the futility and impossibility of love. Anna garrett


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february 8 2010

screen

Exeposé

www.exepose.com

Exeposé asks: is Hollywood sexist?

David Brake celebrates St. Valentine by exploring the maltreatment of women in film.

After recently watching the Golden Globes, the Best Actress category caught my eye. Emily Blunt had justifiably been nominated for her performance in Young Victoria, released March last year. This puzzled me as all of the Best Actor nominees’ films were released in January this year. Is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association telling us that there were no better performances during the year? Are actresses given the chance to fully explore their talent on the silver screen? I would argue ‘no’. There seems to be a limited availability of roles for women. For example, Emily Blunt gave a talented performance but her nomination seems desperate. Furthermore, with the statistic from 2008 that only 12 of the top 100 box office films were female-centred it has become clear to this writer that Hollywood has not developed from the 1920s. From the censorship of women in the ‘20s to this apparent neglect of the female perspective in 2009, Hollywood is arguably still a sexist industry. To explain further, there seems to be a distinct lack of variation to female roles. Many are seemingly playing to a ‘stock type’ within our post-feminist society; a female will be stereotyped into a role of strength within the workplace but vulnerability in her social life. The main examples come from the rom-com genre, where the female seems desperate for closure (as shown in The Proposal, The Accidental Husband and What Happens In Vegas).

The rom-com is akin to an IKEA furniture set – simplistic and formulaic but perhaps less fun to witness. Insert annoying hunk here, neurotically flawed woman there, now add comedic escapades and finally the pair will reach closure. The end. There’s nothing overtly wrong with this format, but it seems to stereotype women into certain roles and suggests that Hollywood has a stereotype for their audience too. However, is Hollywood right? Rom-coms such as Hitch, What Woman Want and Pretty Woman have all grossed over $350 million worldwide so there must be an audience out there for these films. But could this be because there is no other outlet for the female perspective? Are women given an equal voice in films other than the rom-com? I urge you to take a closer look at this in the next film you see. A key example which highlights Hollywood’s obsession for closure is the film version of Sex and the City. The original TV series was able to leave the audience with openended questions at the end of each episode, and although sometimes frivolous, occasionally the questions had a greater meaning and were able to explore more realistically the highs and lows of the life of a female. However, the recent film completely reversed this ethic - all the leads felt the need for closure, leading

feminists to criticise it for no longer celebrating the women but showing them as false and empty. Furthermore, Diane Negra, a professor of film and television studies at the University of East Anglia, states how the recent trend of chick flicks devalues women as “banal and cheap”, and that the female audience should be challenged further. It is alien to me (who will

freely admit to not understanding the female psyche) why there are no films that present strong women. My mum is a strong female figure in herself and as a manager of a garden centre, I’m proud of her. Is it that people do not actually want to see a strong female figure in any environment? Female action franchises such as Elektra, Catwoman, and Aeon Flux are just some of the many examples of box office flops and it could be argued that this is because people are not interested in female action films. As box office figures argue, men prefer action films as shown by the male-focused Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen with this example clearly showing the role set for most females in male-centred action films. It is a woman who is sexy and independent yet needs a man to help her, thus playing out a common cliché. However, critically acclaimed directors such as Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) and Ridley Scott (Alien) have showed us a strong female woman without stereotyping or patronising the female audience. The problem is, Hollywood felt threatened by the feminist movement, thus in attempt to keep them as an audience they felt the need to rush out these poor films in order to please them - only resulting in a completely reverse effect. Callie Khouri, an Oscar winner from Thelma & Louise, explains how she has been asked many times

“as a woman, what was it like?” She rightly replies “as opposed to what?” Women do not need special treatment if you provide them with a good script and a good director, you will get good results. A recent example is Gabourey Sidibe in Precious, who has been nominated for a BAFTA and an Oscar for her incredible performance. Another factor that must be taken into consideration is the vast improvement of female roles compared to previous decades. For instance, the prominent role of the female director. It seems highly unlikely that a film such as Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker would have been produced thirty years ago. If we see a rise in the number of female directors we may also see a rise in the number of female focused films outside of the limited genre of romantic comedy. It is another example of where Hollywood needs to look outside the USA for inspiration. World cinema has been leading the pack for clever female films for years, and female director Nadine Labaki’s Caramel is arguably the cream of the crop. Therefore the question is: is it simply underrepresentation in Hollywood or sexism? It is probably both. However, I would argue that there has been an improvement within cinema in representing the female role but Hollywood still needs to realise that female actors, directors and audiences deserve better.

favourite two lines setting up Gibson’s character as the ultimate hard-boiled loose cannon: “When are you gonna settle down?” and “When are you gonna go to the doctor?” The above questions are posed by Gibson’s daughter, who falls victim to another nauseating cliché as her early death scene is ended with – and I actually predicted this – a goddamn fade-out. Who wants more clichés? I’ve got plenty. Interestingly, though Campbell was very influential on this style of crime-thriller filmmaking with his original series, this tired rehash (much like Michael Mann’s retread of his own Miami Vice) has been trapped by itself

– destroyed by the generic constraints Campbell laid out himself. This is the point where the modern thriller eats its own tail. I won’t bother with the plot here, it’s entirely arbitrary – so arbitrary in fact that we know whodunnit and why within about half an hour (it’s two hours long). I will say, however, that Gibson is rather watchable in a now-rare lead role, and Ray Winstone provides reliably high-standard support. The movie has an interesting pace, mapping the thriller hallmarks of kicking-doors-down etc. onto a more emotional look at Gibson’s dealing with loss. The problem is, both sides of the coin are disgustingly formulaic.

There are a few Raymond Chandleresque moments, but the dialogue cannot compare, and an interesting minor theme of spun stories and assumptions (“make it so convoluted so that anyone can have a theory, but no one has the facts”) is completely glossed over. Forget it, the moral of this deliberately haphazard review is: never see this film. It’s really not worth a write-up. And OH MY GOD what a clichéd ending. At least it’s the perfect summation of a by-the-numbers movie.

Edge of Darkness

Dir: Martin Campbell Cast: Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston (15) 117mins

MEL GIBSON is back and better than ever! No, really... he never, ever will be. Seriously, there are certain films that we reviewers consider ‘sacrifices’: where one deliberately wastes over two hours of their life for the sake of an article. Edge of Darkness is one of those sacrifices. Open on: a moonlit lake. Connotations: mystery, intrigue. Suddenly, a few corpses emerge, breaking the surface one by one. This makes the audience wonder where they came from. We are hooked from the first shot. LOOKS LIKE THE DIRECTOR WENT TO FILM SCHOOL. Surprisingly, said director is

actually Martin Campbell, the man who rebooted Bond twice (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) and directed the ‘80s TV show this film is based on, a show considered – that’s right – one of the greatest of all time. So it is fairly surprising to see him turn his impressive work into one of the most cliché-ridden films of all time. This is so bland I assumed it was meant to be an ironic comment. It’s not incompetent, that’s the point: it’s too competent. Shall I repeat my ‘film school’ line from above? More clichés for the bingo card: lines such as (and, yes, this is a real line) “I’m the guy with nothin’ to lose and who doesn’t give a shit”, and my

Calum Baker


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Exeposé WEEK sixteen screen@exepose.com

Screen

Valentine’s Day: Editors’ Choice for February 14 Girl

Boy

In Search Of A Midnight Kiss IT is frustratingly rare to find a romantic comedy that has both a heart and a brain. This film has both, in abundance. Where Ashton Kutcher rom-coms fail in their blunt, impotent ‘toilet humour’, director Alex Holridge successfully depicts the reality of a desperate search for love on New Year’s Eve. Meet Wilson, a failed screenwriter who moved to L.A. to forget his ex-girlfriend. Stuck in a pathetic routine that includes an obsession with videogames and masturbating to pictures of his flatmate’s girlfriend, he needs a fresh perspective on life. Vivian gives him this, and so much more. Wilson meets Vivian online and both agree to meet up to see if it could work. What ensues is a Woody Allenesque portrayal of modern love, and the characters’ interaction throughout

While You Were Sleeping

WHEN you see Sandra Bullock take up a leading role you know that you can be sure of two things: one, her character will be a socially inept yet loveable loner; and two, her Mr. Right is just around the corner. This film is painfully predictable but then again no good rom-com is without abundant clichés, and what a rom-com this is! Bullock plays Lucy, a lonely train station worker who tends to a hopeless infatuation for a commuter who passes her everyday. Fate is on her side, of course, when she saves his life and thus assumes the role of his fiancée to his large and kindly family complete with mandatory outspoken and

the day is beautifully shot by a very talented director. He lovingly shoots the film in monochrome, adding a sensitive touch to every scene. It is a veritable tour-de-force of modern cinematography. This is the sort of film that both boys and girls could enjoy on Valentine’s Day; it has the hook of a relationship that could offer salvation for both the male and female protagonist, and a dark humour too often neglected in formulaic romcoms to keep the male audience interested. I cannot recommend this film enough. It has the power to both shock you and seduce you and its very unpredictability draws you in. In Search Of A Midnight Kiss is the best romantic comedy I have ever seen.

Three Miles North of Molkom

Campus Cinema

Dirs: Robert Cannan, Corinna Villari-McFarlane Genre: Documentary (15) 107mins

You might say that Three Miles North of Molkom is where one goes to lose one’s mind. It is the site of the No Mind Festival, a gloriously unabashed time of tree-hugging, feeling-sharing, and getting naked. The experience isn’t supposed to be sexual but it very clearly is; one suspects that the nude men and women aren’t always thinking of their inner shaman. Three Miles North of Molkom is as charming as it is outrageous. Directed and produced by Corinna VillariMcFarlane and Robert Cannan, it is a sensitive and amusing portrayal of the idiosyncratic, eclectic community that gathers yearly to sing, chant, find their inner power animals, and float among the lily pads. But that’s just the beginning. There’s no shortage of things to do at No Mind – and apparently no shortage of feelings to share. I’d be interested to know exactly how many times Siddhartha, the big blonde Swede of the group that the film follows, mentions his need for a goddess. One wishes he would just get laid already, but it doesn’t look hopeful. Even he admits that he scares women with his aura of loneliness. Another kingpin of the group, and possibly the epicentre of the film, is Nick; a rugby coach from Australia who got talked into coming to the festival by a friend. Expecting something like Glastonbury, he makes

no bones about expressing what he thinks of the enterprise: “It was the biggest pile of shit I’ve ever heard.” By the end however, even level-headed no-nonsense Nick is won over; at one point he is seen dancing happily on the lap of an Asian woman in a wheelchair, and when he leaves the festival, he bleats in appreciation of Ljus, the most obviously hippie-ish member of the group and a former goatherder. Reedy Ljus, with hair like hemp and dressed in airy sheet-like clothes, is the prototypical No Mind disciple. He speaks softly and almost exclusively in metaphors– and, surprisingly, he gets a lot of action. One of my favorite Ljus moments is when, on the Shamanic Journey he connects powerfully with a tree which he describes as having “a powerful crotch.” Perhaps they have that in common. But the energy in the film isn’t solely sexual. At one point, the group is in a workshop called Yellow Bamboo in which they learn how to physically move their dark energies. The expressions on their faces as they practice this are priceless; half appear to be intolerably constipated while the other half look epileptic. Or possessed. The best, and perhaps most unbelievable part of the workshop, in fact of the entire film, is when an elderly woman is being “defended” by two others’ energies. The leader

inappropriate grandparents. Now, in the real world, pretending to be the fiancée of a stranger with whom you are obsessed would make you, in fact, a criminal. Not Bullock; she remains ever charming and amiably kooky. The plot thickens when the guilt creeps in after super sentimental digressions from his family and when Lucy finds that the real Mr. Right is the brother of her new-found fiancé. Utter candyfloss escapism, this film is perfect viewing for the big night. Bullock is a fail-safe choice for a romantic heroine and this film’s gentle, fairytale-esque warmth would put even the Victor Meldrews of the world in the mood for love.

The cheapest cinema in Exeter M&D Room, Devonshire House www.campuscinema.co.uk

runs full-speed at all three but instead of defending, the two move out of the way and the woman is literally bulldozed into the ground. While she lies there, screaming in pain, the leader writhes and convulses in the sand, apparently overwhelmed by the “energy” she’s transferred to him. Then, rather than helping the woman up, he waves his hand in the air above her body, “healing” her with energy alone. The workshop then carries on while the poor woman continues moaning and holding her head. So much for being a “gentle” documentary, as The Guardian calls it. The film, while showing clearly the eccentricities of its characters, also shows just as well, and more strikingly, their humanity. Nick’s role is central because his experience is mimicked by the audience. So much honesty, so much vulnerability, is hard to resist; we find ourselves by the end connecting with those we may have initially, and unjustly, called freaks. Perhaps next July even I will be found in Ängsbacka, Sweden, three miles north of Molkom, singing along with everyone else: “I love your pain, I love your fear, I love your longing and despair.” Who knows, I might be the goddess some lonely long-haired vegan has been waiting for. Jordi Wieler

This fortnight at Campus Cinema sees our current programme come to an end, however next issue we’ll be revealing our next batch of films which promise to be some of our best yet. A Serious Man was one of 2009’s best films, being as it was a deliciously dark comedy from the geniuses that are the Coen brothers (Fargo, Burn After Reading). As part of Animated Exeter we’re screening the delightful Fantastic Mr. Fox, a stop-motion masterpiece with an amazing cast (George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep) and giddying sense of fun. In association with Japanese

Society we’re also showing Spirited Away, which is widely considered the greatest animated film of all time. From legendary director Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle), it really is a truly beautiful film which will take your breath away. Finally, our last film of the programme is Guy Ritchie’s terrific Sherlock Holmes; a breezy, rip-roaring romp starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as the world’s greatest detective and his faithful companion. That’s it for this issue - look out for our next run of films coming soon to Campus Cinema.

Tues Feb 9 - A Serious Man (M&D Room, Devonshire House), 6.30 & 9pm Fri Feb 12 - Film Quiz evening (Long Lounge, Devonshire House), 7.30pm Sun Feb 14 - Fantastic Mr. Fox (M&D Room, Devonshire House), 6.30 & 9pm Tues Feb 16 - Spirited Away in association with Japanese Society (M&D Room, Devonshire House), 6.30 & 9pm Sun Feb 21 - Sherlock Holmes (M&D Room, Devonshire House), 6.30 & 9pm


26

february 8 2010 Exeposé

arts

www.exepose.com

arts interVIEW

ISY SUTTIE

Arts editor, Nicola Ranson chats to Isy Suttie about the highs and lows of stand-up comedy.

AFTER watching Isy Suttie on Peep Show I feel I know what to expect. Self-proclaimed “pin-up for the IT workers of the world”, Isy is aware of who she is and plays to her strengths. While she may not try to make her audience explode into hysterical laughter with pun after pun, she has the ability to entertain and warm

ARTS REVIEW

War Horse National Theatre

comedy. Her main appeal on Peep Show comes from the geeky humour she shares with Mark Corrigan, the same humour that makes the aforementioned IT worker weak at the knobbly white knees. However her laidback manner of speaking and complete lack of any pretentiousness mean she can casually talk about spirits, nursery rhymes in graveyards, and gush about her life in such a matter-of-fact way that you barely notice the eccentricity of it all.

them with a humble charm and a sarcastic take on her everyday life. Best known for her role as Dobby in Peep Show - love interest to Mark Corrigan - she is fast approaching the dawn of her career, making her mark as a comedian and all round performer. At the age of 31 her job title is quite a mouthful. She can already tuck writer, comedian, musician

and actress under her belt, having performed at Edinburgh Fringe, starred in cult TV show Peep Show, and written for cutting-edge Channel 4 drama Skins. “I went to drama school and started off doing a bit of acting, but I had always written jovial songs on the guitar since I was 11. I never necessarily thought I would go into stand-up but I knew I would do music. I think there’s always been a need to do music, and acting and comedy, and I’ve somehow managed to merge them which is incredibly lucky!” An aspiration she has certainly managed to achieve; her live shows are a quirky and eccentric blend of comical self-deprecating anecdotes, witty songs and out-of-the-world characters such as ‘Amy Winehouse down a well’ – a talent for echo singing she discovered as a child and later adapted for the stage. “My mum was really into bell ringing in churches, and I remember playing on a gravestone on my own when I was a kid. I used to sing to myself all the time, and I remember I used to be deaf in one ear for a lot of my childhood so I used to spend a lot of time on my own, because I couldn’t really hear people that well...” she laughs, “somehow I discovered I could [echo sing] and I think it was in the graveyard... I hope no one was walking past the graveyard, I was singing nursery rhymes as well which is a little bit spooky - if you walked past and heard someone singing ‘Ring-a-ring-a-roses’ in echo!” As a non-IT worker with no present interest in wizards, Star Wars or Top Trumps cards, I had wondered whether I would enjoy her sense of

THE Olivier Award-winning War Horse represents everything that is unique about the National Theatre. Where else would one witness a life-sized wooden horse charging across the stage carrying a full-grown man? The scene is one of the most beautiful moments to behold on stage, in a show that marries exquisite puppetry with some extraordinary acting, making for an unforgettable evening of groundbreaking theatre.

The story tells the tale of the unbreakable bond between a boy and his horse. Set in a sleepy Devon village, as the First World War begins to rage across the Channel, young Albert is forced to come to terms with life without his beloved horse Joey, who has been sold into service with the British Cavalry and sent to France. The play follows Joey’s spellbinding journey on which he endures the squalor of the trenches and the terror of enemy fire, revealing the harsh realities

of a war fought blindly by boys and animals. There are stunning performances from all actors, however it is not the people that make this show so special. The horses are truly the stars of the show. The wizardry of the puppets work a special theatrical magic that casts a spell over the audience from the moment they clip-clop onto the stage. Attention to detail is paramount for the team of three actors manoeuvring each horse, as every twitch of a

“I hope no one was walking past the graveyard, I was singing nursery rhymes as well which is a bit spooky!” She has, however, taken into consideration the fact that sometimes she has to choose her audience carefully, avoiding venues where she feels the reception would be less than welcome. “It would be really really good to handpick [the audience] but I don’t think that’s possible! Although I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point where I would be able to justify turning a paying customer away saying like, ‘sorry, you need to be wearing a cardigan to come in!’” Bad experiences in the past have led her to learn things about herself, her style and the audiences she would work well with. “Loughborough University was always very difficult, and I was glad when I decided not to go back to Loughborough... and I think they were glad I wasn’t going back as well!” Her pauses, and the

sound of amusement in her voice, give away the fact that she is trying hard to be diplomatic. “Loughborough University is a sports university and they weren’t always happy to see female comics there. I’ve never really thought about the fact that I was a girl, and just tried to do what’s funny but I always felt a lot more aware that I was a girl,” she laughs. “I don’t think they wanted to hear songs about like, green sweets and stuff, which is fair enough... I‘ve got to the point where I’m like, that’s totally cool, if you don’t want to hear it, that’s totally fine, I’ll just have a beer and not do the gig.” This characteristic acknowledgement of her strengths means she is destined to be a success in whatever she does. Isy won’t try to be something she is not, and while she works hard at what she does with a clear ambition and work ethic (Isy spent two years focusing purely on stand up in order to develop her style and to get the hang of it), she seems to pursue the things that come naturally. What does she hope to achieve in the future? “I’d like to have performed with a band, both comedy and serious, where I could write weird songs that didn’t have to be funny... and maybe written a sitcom. And been in it?” Her uncertainty about the future isn’t a lack of enthusiasm; she certainly has hopes and dreams for the future, but no rigid checklist or strict life schedule to attend to. “I’m happy in the moment, like every day I feel happy! I don’t think I’ll ever feel more happy than I do now... I know that sounds a bit weird.” Nicola Ranson

tail and scrape of a hoof adds to the illusion of a real-life animal. This creates an emotional depth in these outstanding puppets that is unique to the show, and never falters from start to finish. It is rare to see a play that so captivates the audience; the emotion in the auditorium is almost tangible. I defy anyone to watch War Horse without reaching for the tissues! ellie steafel


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Arts

Exeposé wEEK sixteen arts@exepose.com

ARTS REVIEW Shappi Khorsandi and Jon Richardson Exeter Northcott

AS I sat in the packed-out Northcott Theatre, my expectations were high. After all, I was about to watch two of the most highly-acclaimed new comedians on the circuit- Jon Richardson, host of his own show on BBC 6 Music every Sunday, and Shappi Khorsandi, Iranian-born author and finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards 2000. So yes, I think it was with some anticipation that the audience waited before the show. The lights went down, the audience hushed, and out came Lancasterborn Jon Richardson. Known for his perfectionism and OCD tendencies, much of Richardson’s material comes from his irritation at other people and the imperfections of the world. After announcing that he will definitely not be “talking political”, he almost manages to stick to it. The bulk of his set is spent talking about mundane

issues such as tube strikes, restaurants, single life and dating. Mundane, yes, but there is something uncannily hilarious about his anecdotes and stories. Most people would struggle to make a story about getting off at the wrong tube station mildly humorous, but Richardson leaves the audience literally howling with his unique and ever-so-slightly bizarre take on events. At times a little off-the-cuff, with the inevitable Exeter-related quips (did you know that we’re the third-most polite city in the UK?), his well-written set is refreshing and entertaining, leaving the audience giggling through the interval. From the decidedly non-political, to the unashamedly ‘very political’, Shappi Khorsandi came out to tumultuous applause and began. Opening with the admission of being “very ditzy., Khorsandi goes on to talk about her many attempts at saving the world. Animal rights, environmental issues, humanity; you name it, Shappi Khorsandi once protested about it. Interlinked with anecdotes about her experiences from Iran and moving to Britain in

the 1980s, Khorsandi provides what should be an entertaining and at times controversial set. Maybe it was the level of expectation of the audience, or maybe Khorsandi was having an ‘offday’, but the reality was that her set moved with a slow pace and was, at times, a little embarrassing. There can be something funny about silence in a comedy gig. When it is preceded by the word “um…” and a look of what can only be described as panic in the comic’s eyes, it becomes awkward. Returning to material she has used for years, and using intermittent, bitter ramblings about her divorce (plus using some notes scrawled on the back of her wrist), Khorsandi provided some opportunities for laughs, but not the side-splitting show the audience were undoubtedly expecting. Another time, another place, maybe, the show might have been different, but, as one man sat behind me remarked at the end of the show, “it’s a hard way to earn a living.”

judging her performance. Jennifer, Knightley’s character, is representative of a symbolic role in society which arguably leaves Knightley with little space for development. After a film star’s monologue, do critics really expect to be left pondering about our current foreign policy? No expense was spared on the visual aspects. The dresses in the party scene were a glimpse into the roles we have grown accustomed to seeing her in, previous roles include period dramas such as The Duchess, Pride and Prejudice and Atonement. In a Marie Antoinette style dress, which served to emphasize her tiny waist and constrict her movement, we became aware of the reality of us watching both a fictional and real life movie star. With the presence of copious amounts of champagne, expensive handbags and jewellery strewn on the table, Hildegard Bechtler, the set designer,

successfully captured the essence of the Parisian upper class. Crimp, who has also translated works by Koltès, Genet, Marivaux and Chekhov, successfully maintained Moliére’s original portrayal of a mediaobsessed society. Perhaps one of the easier tasks as, despite the original being written in 1666, this concept is still very much relevant today. After causing scandal by publicly slating her ‘friends’, Jennifer looks to the audience and says in a convincing American drawl, that she’s unconcerned as she will always have ‘friends’ wishing to use her for her extravagant lifestyle. This is a sad truth and the victim, Alceste, flawlessly played by Lewis, is left in the dark. The light gradually dims so that as the curtain draws, Knightley’s defiant facial expression lingers strikingly in our mind.

GEMMA EDNEY

ARTS REVIEW The Misanthrope Comedy Theatre London

MARTIN Crimp’s translation of one of Moliére’s finest plays came to life with fast-paced, witty dialogue delivered by the skill of Damian Lewis and Dominic Rowan. There was an unquestionable crescendo of excitement whilst we laughed at the puns littered throughout the script. However we weren’t there simply for the aural pleasures; we were waiting for The Misanthrope’s star, Keira Knightley. Director Thea Sharrock made us wait a long five minutes to see her, but even so, that was for her back. On turning her head and strutting forward, the Comedy Theatre was plagued by whispers. There was also the odd gasp made by the more star struck members in the audience. Alongside an all-star cast, including the named protagonists and Tara Fitzgerald, Tim McMullan and Nicholas Le Prevost, Knightley dominated the stage with a convincing portrayal of a sexually powerful, publicity loving film star. With the draw of Keira Knightley, the show did not need to be good to sell out. However, the performance has received mixed reviews from critics, many quick to label her as ‘just a pretty face.’ Having read the original play, it became increasingly apparent that this was something many critics had failed to do before

MARINA BUNZL

COMEDY RADAR Bill Hicks

Each week Comedy Radar explores an influential comedy figure of the past, present or future. An antithesis to mainstream comedy and a celebration of comedy as art. KNOWN as the Dark Poet, the career of Bill Hicks now seems more like myth than truth. No doubt that many look back and romanticise the tragically short life of the infamous comedian; nevertheless, the story of Hicks serves as one that demonstrates how powerful stand-up comedy can be. I’m not in any way attempting to suggest we are to establish some unit of measurement for the power and influence of comedy, or any art form, but Bill Hicks resonated a transfixing energy and was one of comedy’s driving figures in the ‘90s. This is particularly due to the life that he led and how it suited the growing opinion that comedians were the new rock stars. Entering the stage with Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’, known for experimenting with various hallucinogens, anti-establishment, controversial, unapologetic and passing away at the age of 32, Hicks was undeniably rock ‘n’ roll. Despite a short life, Hicks had a reasonably long stand-up career, albeit largely marred by obscurity and unpopularity with his American audience. A man of the south, Hicks spent most of his career touring comedy clubs in the ‘Deep South’ where his provocative, anti-organised religion, anti-government material caught both verbal and physical abuse from drunk, impatient ‘rednecks’. Hicks was angry with Western society (particularly the banality of popular culture) and didn’t care who he upset when he took aim at all its hypocrisies and failings. Hicks fought not out of hate, but out of desperation; a longing desire to preach tolerance and good will, whilst still entertaining was his mantra.

It wouldn’t be until the early to mid-nineties that Hicks would make the trip across the Atlantic, where British audiences treated him with the reception that had so far eluded him. Just as Hicks was gaining notoriety however, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in early 1993. Given a year or so to live, Hicks kept the news to a few members of his family and dedicated his final time to as many different projects as possible. This life-changing event modified his entire disposition; where he once took to the stage clad entirely in black, he now chose cheerful pastel colours. Dark themes and comedy would always run through his shows, but Hicks was conscious of spreading hope and the capacity for change within his acts, particularly through moving and life affirming finales. No such finale is more renowned than his famous ‘It’s Just a Ride’ routine, performed to a standing ovation in a packed out Leicester Square Theatre. Many will say that for all of Hicks’ social criticism, his politically charged routines and philosophical messages he accomplished nothing. This will always be both disputable and redundant. What is important is that Hicks devoted his life to telling people the truth and entertaining them through its discovery. Legacies need not be physical, in the words of a poet not always so dark, “I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”

MATTHEW HIGHMOOR


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february 8 2010 Exeposé

videogames News

Bytesize

In line with their recent release of the revamped Mega Drive, Sega have unveiled a console called the Sega Zone, slated for release this summer. Priced at £50, it will emulate the Nintendo Wii, complete with Sega-black Wiimotes, and will also allow players to draw from a catalogue of in-built Mega Drive games. Crucially, it will also play old cartridges. This may mean little to you suckers who got rid of yours, but I sure as hell kept hold of my Micro Machines cartridge with the two extra controller ports on it. I love that thing. Not necessarily vital gaming information, but since you probably already know the big release dates anyway, here goes: British woman has lost 112lbs solely through the use of Wii Fit. Right on. Bungie have unequivocally shut down the pointless rumours that the next instalment in their Halo franchise, Reach, would support the Natal control system. I, for one, am relieved. Halo has never been a big deal to me, but it’s good to see the big releases aren’t compromised for gimmicks. In an interesting development, RPG juggernaut Mistwalker have announced that their latest project, The Last Story, is to be released on the Wii. Let’s hope the name is a hint at a prognosis for further RPGs on the Wii, because I don’t have much faith in the console representing the genre too well. Yeah, Atlus fans, I said it. Finally, tacky piece of junk Heavy Rain has gone gold. I really don’t get this at all. I remember when I first saw the trailer. Everybody was saying “this will take games to a new level of integrity,” and I still have no damn clue what they’re on about. It looks like an awful soap opera. If that passes for artistic integrity in games, then I despair.

High Achiever

Whats the point of Points?

Uhh, hi everybody. My name is Richard Jansen and I... and I am an achievement addict and... and I think it’s getting worse. I hope there’s time to write my will whilst still sound of mind, because this is a slippery slope I’m on. Today it’s grinding for ‘cheeves, tomorrow it’ll be Halo and Madden sessions on the couch with my frat buddies and a beer-pong table. Someday soon I’ll find myself slipping the word “bro” into casual conversation and at that point I’ll be gone, a fist-bumping shadow of my former self. Damn you Microsoft. Damn you and your global ePeen system that infuriates even as it pulls me in with the irresistible promise of not only making me bigger, but letting me see exactly who I’m bigger than and giving me cold, hard numbers with which to prove it. The downside of the bargain though, the sting in the tail that leaves you always wanting more and more, is that you can also see the people with numbers bigger than yours. You not-so-casually glance at the string of digits by their name and… and your heart drops a little. How, you think. How in

XIII

Retro: Xbox

XIII was released on Xbox and most other platforms back in 2003 to positive reviews. It is a first-person shooter based on a comic book, with a plot involving Presidential assassination and stylish cel-shaded graphics. It never achieved the acclaim I think it genuinely deserves.

the hell did they get that many points? They’re your target now, the next milestone to reach or die trying. This officially-endorsed envy is an inherent problem with the massive nature of the online appeal though – there is always someone better than you, and even if by fluke or skill there isn’t right now, no way can you relax because there are six

billion potential usurpers out there just waiting for your grip to loosen. The only thing you can do is to drive your score higher and higher, over and over again. So, buying an Xbox and getting on Live has ruined my life and turned me into the gaming equivalent of a methaddict, right? Weirdly, no, not really. After all my railing about how stupid t h e y

www.exepose.com

were and how depressing it was to see people put so much effort into inflating a meaningless number... well, now I’ve seen how goddam fun it all is when done correctly. The lure of points can be cunningly used to make you play in an interesting way, or they can simply encourage you to explore aspects of the game that you wouldn’t otherwise even consider. Without the ‘Confederacy of Crunches’ achievement for completing a Left 4 Dead 2 campaign using only melee weapons I doubt I would have even entertained the idea of playing in such a frankly idiotic way. Without that gentle persuasion I would have never have experienced the joy of running through the streets like a madman, staving off the zombie hordes with a frying pan rather than the traditional AK-47, and the world would be a sadder place for it. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got some methadone to try and wean myself onto, I really need to kick the habit this time...

Richard Jansen

The game begins with you waking up on a beach with no memory, a tattoo of the Roman numeral XIII (13) on your shoulder and an assassin chasing you. From there you find yourself wanted for assassinating the President and must piece together your memory while uncovering a conspiracy by the mysterious XX to take control of the country. The story, taken straight from the comic book series of the same name, is outstanding. It keeps you hooked while not becoming stupidly convoluted; and is welltold through cut-scenes and flashes of XIII’s returning memory. Backed up with a strong voice cast, the story plays out very well. XIII is voiced by X-Files star David Duchovny (who better for a conspiracy plot?), backed up by Eve and former Batman Adam West. The graphics are cel-shaded, seen more recently in Borderlands. They work very well at creating the comic book feel of the game. They

stand the test of time as well. Since most games look dated for looking unrealistic; XIII nicely sidesteps this problem by not trying to be realistic, it aims to look like a comic, which it pulls off. Not to say they are perfect; backgrounds and textures are repeated over and over becoming dull and the lip-synching has a few issues. To further the comic book tone of the game, sound effects appear as words on screen, the ‘crash’ and ‘boom’s which flash up as you shoot your way through the levels really do make you feel like you’re playing a graphic novel. The gameplay is the biggest weakness of the game. Not to say it’s bad, just standard “point and shoot with a few different guns and use a grappling hook once in a while”. There are no flaws in it, it just didn’t innovate anything or even follow the new wave of Halostyle shooters with grenades, melee and shoot at the touch of a button. A nice touch are the three panels that pop up when you make a headshot,

showing it in full comic glory. XIII multiplayer matches Halo in my view though. The standard game types of death match and capture the flag are all available on or offline. Its strong point is with the inclusion of bots. Whereas Halo you had to play against friends, XIII allows you to play against the computer on varying difficulties. Though the AI isn’t stellar, it offers a challenge for you and up to 4 friends without having to argue over teams. Why does XIII deserve the acclaim I mentioned before? Because it is the perfect example of how story is enough to make a game outstanding, even if everything else is only passable. Skill trees and hundreds of ways to kill the enemy are all well and good, but developers would be good to remember that they aren’t a substitute for solid gameplay and a riveting story. Guy ROlfe


29

Videogames

Exeposé wEEK sixteen games@exepose.com

Mass Effect 2

I Hate Videogames

Bioware: Xbox 360, PC

Every so often, a game comes along that is made with such detail and intricacy that it gives vindication to the people out there who call for videogames to be viewed as an art form, Mass Effect was one such game and its sequel, the aptly-named Mass Effect 2, is equally worthy of such praise. The story continues on from the events of the first game, with Commander Sheppard continuing on his quest to save the galaxy from ultimate destruction by assembling an elite team to accompany him on a suicide mission. As plots go this may sound like pretty standard stuff, but Bioware’s delivery makes it captivating from the game’s opening cutscene, which more than sets the tone for some

you as the player is vital to the success of this game, especially as it hurtles through its final stages where your actions will decide who lives and dies – the notions of choice and morality are still central, with your actions shaping the experience from the outset, which gives Mass Effect 2 vast replayability. There is more to Mass Effect 2 than just pretty graphics and stellar storytelling – the action sequences are much improved from the original and feel generally slicker and more natural. Most of the changes from the first game are small – the inventory system and levelling up have been streamlined almost to the point of over-simplification, and the boring planetary exploration sections (and the infamous Mako) are nowhere to be seen, replaced by a new scanning mode. The main emphasis of these changes is to improve fluidity of combat at the

spectacularly directed visuals. Whilst the graphics are amazing, it is Mass Effect 2’s diverse set of characters which really make the game worth playing. The writers have done a superb job of making each of the characters emotionally intriguing, which is essential considering much of the game is spent in conversation with them. Having a compelling story full of characters that actually matter to

Boomerang?

Games in the Post

After two-and-a-half years of studenthood, and the financial pressures that such a life brings, I made a pretty big decision. I was going to stop buying computer games. As I’m sure you know, the average game now costs in the region of 40 English pounds. Even if you buy online it’s going to be at least £30 for a new game. Add to this the pretty

awesome lineup of new games (Dante’s Inferno, God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII, Bioshock 2) coming out in the first quarter of 2010 and I think you can see why I felt that buying games was not a viable option anymore. Rental seemed like the best alternative. Unimpressed with the local Blockbuster’s offerings and after seeing an ad for LoveFilm on TV,

Ranting

expense of RPG elements – whether or not these changes are welcome will depend upon your preferences but I found that Mass Effect’s few minor flaws had been eliminated in the process. Obviously, anyone who has played the first Mass Effect game will derive a lot more from the experience than someone who is new to the series – throughout the course of the twentysomething hour-long game there are countless references and throwbacks to events from the original, many of which would be lost on newcomers. The ability for players to carry-over a save file from the first Mass Effect adds a personalised element to the continuity, allowing you to truly feel the repercussions of your earlier actions. If you haven’t played the first game, I would highly recommend that you do, since it adds so much to your experience of the sequel (plus the fact that it generally makes sense to start a trilogy from the beginning).

My only other real criticisms would be that loading times can be painfully long, which breaks up the otherwise immersive storytelling. I would also have liked more customisation options, but in light of all the game’s successes, this is hardly something to gripe about. Regardless of whether you have played the first game or not, I would recommend you play this: Bioware have crafted an intricate universe in which to set their compelling story. Any issues are few and far between and do little to detract from what is one of the few games with the ability to actually make the player care about the consequences of their actions: Mass Effect 2 has set the standard for gaming in 2010.

I decided to try and find a similar service for computer games. Game streaming is currently in its infancy and, whilst a Spotify-like games service sounds attractive, it is not currently a viable option. I went for the second option offered by Google. This was a company called Boomerang and it seemed like they operated in a very similar manner to LoveFilm, only this time it was exclusively for video games. This meant that whereas the cheapest package that allowed game rental at LoveFilm was £9.99 a month Boomerang started at £3.49. They also offered a longer free trial (21 days compared to 14) and their top package allows you to have four games at any one time, with no monthly limit. Boomerang shares LoveFilm’s promise of no late fees and no postage needs to ever be paid. Signing up for Boomerang was a simple, quick and easy task. A single webpage and only the most basic information was required. Within five minutes I was compiling my first list or ‘pipeline’ of games I wished to play. I followed their guidelines and made a list of old, new, popular and

not so popular games. Boomerang recommend this as the best way to guarantee that you are always playing, and that you sometimes get your top choices. You can customise your account so that you get games only from your top five, or even your top three, although this will cause the frequency with which you get games to drop. I had my account set to ‘balanced’ as this is the setting recommended by Boomerang. It would also mean that I would get a game pretty quickly. I was happy that the first game they sent to me was dispatched the day after I signed up. It was my sixth choice, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. This isn’t a games review but I was not impressed with OF:DR, or getting my sixth option. For these reasons, and to gauge the turnaround time, I returned it after only one day. Considering that I posted OF:DR on a Friday I was not expecting a game on Monday due to the lack of post over the weekend. I was unsurprised therefore when Red Faction: Guerilla came through the door on the Tuesday. I was impressed with this turnaround

This is the dry spell. A lack of games. Life and death people. The masterpiece that is Mass Effect 2 is the exception at the moment but bar that there is a serious shortage. The curse is that of Christmas; developers roll out their big games prior to Christmas to reap the season’s rewards. Post-Christmas there is simply less incentive, the die-hard fans will still be buying but bar them it is a drought. For the rest of the consumer driven world the next big holiday is the sham that is Valentine’s day. Quick, show how much you love someone by showering them with junk. Maybe that is what the videogames world needs to provide incentive for the major publishing houses. Though most likely it would result in rushed, crap games that could be bought at a lone petrol station by a frantic nobody on his way home to an imaginary lover. The equivalent of flowers from a petrol shop is your bog-standard movie tie-in and we have plenty of those already. There was an attempt made by a webcomic, the boring Ctrl-Alt-Del, to introduce a gaming holiday of Wintereenmas. Nice in principle but in reality just a bunch of mountain dew-drinking basement-dwellers playing for 15 hours a day instead of 12. Feeling united in their pathetic lives via the internet. Fuck, I hate ‘gamers.’

9/10 Alex Hawksworth-Brookes

Dominic SMall VIDEOGAMES EDITOR

time, although again it was my seventh choice, which was disappointing. Having said this, Boomerang is still a very reliable, very fast service made even better by the fact that you don’t have any hidden charges such as late fees or P&P. I can easily see these internet-based rental services replacing the high street rental store. Although the future may ultimately lie in streaming services such as OnLive, companies like Boomerang offer an attractive alternative to buying games which is readily available right now. I will be turning my account ‘live’ and start paying when my free trial runs out. I’ll probably stay on the basic £3.49 a month, 1 game a month option. I’ll also set my account to ‘top three games only’ as if I’m only getting one game a month, a difference of two or three days turnaround won’t really matter. Although the service is flexible, it probably works best if you like your gaming casual and aren’t too fussed about what you play. Simon orriss


Widen Your Options is for you… Monday 22 February – Friday 5 March 2010 Attend sector specific presentations Participate in question and answer panels Network with the professionals

OPE TO A N

LL STU DEN TS

Develop your skills Sectors represented include science and technology, media and journalism, advertising, PR and marketing, environmental, health and social work, charities and the voluntary sector, engineering, sport and health science, education, government and public sector, tourism and information about entrepreneurship and vacation opportunities. For more information visit www.exeter.ac.uk/employability/widenyouroptions

www.exeter.ac.uk/employability


31

Videogames

Exeposé wEEK sixteen games@exepose.com

Dreams of Design Birth of a Game Company

What better way to quash PhD viva nerves than to launch a two-man company focussed on developing video games? Not wanting to spend the rest of their lives in dull office jobs, John Wordsworth, PhD student from Exeter and Jackson Matthews, Plymouth University graduate did just that. The duo decided to follow their dreams after hearing about an annual Xbox Game Development competition: ‘Dream. Build. Play’. The contest encourages independent game developers to produce a game that emphasises fun and original gameplay over cuttingedge graphics, although looks and polish are by no means a bad thing! While Iron Star Media Ltd has been trading since June 2008, it was merely an ‘evening and weekends’ company that designed two or three websites throughout the year. In September 2009, with their first game almost complete, the company decided to move their equipment to an office in the heart of Exeter and throw all rent-paying security to the wind by working full-time for themselves developing games and iPhone apps. John says that having an office is beneficial; “The biggest problem we face is staying focussed. We’ve had the sudden realisation that we

Ikaroids

can make any one of thousands of ideas that we’ve had during our childhood, and when you hit a complicated part of development, it’s easy to get diverted. Having an office has given us drive and helps us work full days on specific projects.” Iron Star Media Ltd completed their first game, Ikaroids, from their own home. The typical student household was the perfect environment to get started on a game project - the duo could work

away until the early hours and there was always someone around to share their ideas and enthusiasm with. Ikaroids started out as a thoroughly different game. As Ikarus, it was originally a scrolling shooter designed for Java-enabled mobile phones. September 2008 saw another ‘idea that was never finished’ disappear into history, but

Iron Star Media: Xbox 360

GIVEN the drought of big-budget games in the current quarter, I was delighted to be offered the chance to review something alternative; a fresh product from the Indie Games section of the Xbox Live Marketplace. Amongst all the two-man team games lies Ikaroids, produced by Iron Star Media, a two-man team including a PhD student from our very own

Exeter University. A twin-stick shooter in the style of Sinistar, Ikaroids boasts beautiful graphics and background art, a feature apparent from the very start with the slick opening screen. You are presented with four modes of play: campaign, co-op campaign, survival and co-op survival. Given the frantic nature of the game, co-op is a worthy inclusion, providing a great deal of

it meant that the basic designs and setting were already in place when the project was reborn a year later. Jackson reminisces on the birth of Ikaroids: “It was a typical ‘Stargate, Chilli and Beer’ evening when we heard about Dream Build Play, a competition with a prize of $40,000 for the best Indie Game of the year. We just thought, hell, lets go for it. We downloaded the tools that evening and by the same time the next day, we had a placeholder space ship flying around the screen - it was all very exciting considering we’d never got as far as creating an actual original game off our own backs.” It seems that the best advice for anyone who’s ever had the dream of writing a game, is to find a couple of likeminded people and just get on with it. Thanks to the internet, there are dozens of tutorials for every aspect of developing a game - from producing graphics to writing the code itself. With your first project, you have to be realistic; think about what you would like to see in your game, and then cut it all in half! Having a deadline really helps with this; it’s tempting to add features to a game forever, but a lot of them will take

enjoyment. Ikaroids features an excellent soundtrack. More than being produced for this two-man independent game, it sounds resolutely professional. Gameplay is challenging (I would advise against a baptism via the Chuck Norris difficulty) and fast-paced, with asteroid fragments and firepower from a variety of enemy craft besieging you at all times. Though this model of shooter has been commonplace on the Xbox Live Marketplace since the inception of Geometry Wars, Ikaroids offers something new in its all-permeating sense of personality: enemy rebels and commanders demand that you submit to them, and you are hurriedly summoned by comrades to engage belligerents in battle, giving the game a bit of an RPG vibe. All in all, well worth the price. Alex Bennett VIDEOGAMES EDITOR

Profile Founded by two students, one from Exeter and another from Plymouth Iron Star Media began in the website design business. They branched out in September 2009 with their first game, Ikaroids and now have an office located in Exeter. They now work on iPhone apps, game design, web design and programming solutions. Their portfolio demonstrates their skill in web design and ability to work to the clients needs. They hope to encourage other Exeter students to consider game programming and see that forming your own company is possible and enjoyable. They can be viewed on the web at: www.ironstarmedia.co.uk hours of work (and go completely unnoticed). The most important thing is to do whatever necessary to finish your project and get it out there. If this means going live with ten levels instead of the hundred you planned for, that’s just fine. In the last twelve months the business aspect of publishing games has also drastically improved. Nowadays, distributing your game on the Xbox or the iPhone is a simple case of paying £60 for a licence and uploading your product over the internet. With it all being so easy the market is growing rapidly, so don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight. However, if your game hits all the right chords, it can quickly become a job instead of a hobby. There are a number of barriers that have traditionally prevented ‘Joe Student’ from developing a game. Typically, the cost of the software required to produce quality assets has been in the thousands. Just two years ago you were looking at months of work before you would see your character on the screen - you had to build your game from the ground up, starting with the most basic components. Not motivating when you were hoping to crank out a simple 2D game with your friends. However, the times they are achangin’, and there’s never been a better time in video game history time for Indie Developers to shine. With open-source software such as ‘Audacity’ and ‘GIMP’ offering

Four copies to give away. The kind folks at Iron Star Media have given us four free copies for our readers. Email games@exepose.com with the header Ikaroids. First four emails win!

A Short History Birth of Indie

Indie game development is essentially how the game industry began. Before the massive studios and teams were people coding away in their bedrooms coming up with gems. These people are essentially responsible for gaming giants of today. Perhaps the most basic form of modern indie development can be seen in the early PC modding community. Developers provided map packs and level editors, that were easy to use. Perhaps the most succesful and critically acclaimed independent game is Braid. Fast forward and we are seeing something of a renaissance of Indie games thanks to the internet. An indie developer has considerable creative freedom and now thanks to explosion of smartphones a large market available. professional quality audio and graphics, you can grab all of the tools that you need to put together a well polished game without spending a penny. Microsoft have put together a programmer’s kit, ‘XNA’, that allows you to develop a game that will run on both the PC and the Xbox and they’ve done all of the groundwork for you - within just 60 minutes you can have a character on the screen and moving around. If that wasn’t enough, you can also download ‘game templates’ for free - basic games that you can modify and sell with no restrictions. It’s not just Microsoft either development teams are releasing game engines for free so that you can develop iPhone Apps, Xbox Games and PC Games with complex 3D physics engines without having to worry about the nuts and bolts. In many respects, in the modern day, the Independent Developer has it best of all; they no longer have to worry about massive production costs, meeting rigid production schedules or developing something for ‘the dreaded mainstream’. In short, if you’re thinking about making a game, just do it. You will learn a lot along the way, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s never been more accessible - there’s no longer any reason to sit on that idea that’s been rattling around in your head!

John wordsworth


32

Sport

february 8 2010

Exeposé

www.exepose.com

Federer the Wizard of Oz Tennis

Alex Sharp Sports Editor

Roger Federer ended Andy Murray’s dream of a Grand Slam in the first major tournament of the tennis year, the Australian Open. The Swiss superstar produced some sparkling tennis to win 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (13-11) and extended his lead at the top of the all-time Grand Slam winners list with sixteen to his name. Last year’s Australian Open produced a fantastic spectacle for tennis fans around the world and in 2010 the tournament has delivered once again. The fortnight of tennis in Melbourne once again dazzled the crowds with five-set thrillers and drama throughout the tournament. The men’s draw produced classic encounters throughout the rounds but had the expected seeds in the latter stages. Eventually Federer and Murray, who was the first Brit to do so since 1977, reached the final. Murray’s path to the final was relatively simple; he didn’t drop a single set until the semi-final and displayed some outstanding tennis throughout the fortnight that won the hearts and minds of the vocal Melbourne crowd. In the quarter finals he defeated reigning champion

Rafael Nadal in a pulsating encounter. The Scot was ruthless, displaying an abundance of skill and determination to lead 6-3, 7-6 (72), 3-0 when Nadal retired injured. It was a shame Nadal had to bow out in that stage of the contest. The Spaniard was approaching his best tennis after a disappointing injury in 2009. His withdrawal due to knee trouble again raises question marks over Nadal’s ability to play at the intensity his game style requires. The physicality of his game is clearly damaging his

body and he will need to adapt a new strategy to further his Grand Slam success. Apparently to Nadal it was only a”‘little tweak” and isn’t connected to his tendonitis troubles of last summer. A rematch of last year’s Aussie final was certainly a wish for many tennis fans but a Brit in the final wasn’t a bad substitute. In the semi-finals Murray prevailed against the ever-improving Marian Cillic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Cillic was the first player to take a set off Murray in Melbourne but ran out of energy after three matches going to five sets in previous rounds. On the other hand, Murray brimmed with confidence and entertained the crowds with some blistering shots. Meanwhile Federer had strolled through to his 22nd Grand Slam final with relative ease and

“I can cry like Roger. It’s a shame I can’t play like him.” it seemed inevitable the supreme Swiss would charge to victory. The final was a mouth-watering prospect for any sports fan and both had reason to believe they could win. Federer had the unprecedented success and experience whilst also beating Murray in the 2008 US Open final in three sets, whereas Murray

had a rare and impressive head-tohead against Federer, winning six of their previous ten encounters. In the numerous press conferences before the match Murray consistently mentioned that he would have to play his very best tennis to win, and while his standard fell well below this, it was largely down to Federer’s sublime performance. His ferocious attacks and neverending variety stunned Murray. The match opened with several long, tight and aggressive

exchanges, resulting in a few breaks of serve for 3-3. When the dust settled, Murray began to assert himself in their long, gruelling rallies. Murray moved Federer well and tempted Federer to hit the winner. This was a dangerous game as Federer found his rhythm by fending off three break points in game five and as a result carried the momentum to break Murray for 5-3. Federer calmly served out the set 6-3 and mounted the pressure on Murray. A few crucial points decided the first set and the most important factor was the extraordinary shot making ability of Federer whose winners crushed the arduous work of Murray. Another crucial factor in the first set was that Murray serving at 45% simply wasn’t high enough, and consequently he couldn’t win many cheap points. This allowed Federer to take control and he immediately broke at the start of the second set to love after hitting a thunderous cross-court forehand winner. Federer was now in top gear and Murray could do little to prevent the winners flying past him. He subsequently looked a bit sorry for himself. Murray ardently avoided a double break with an ace and a backhand winner from 15-40 in the fourth game. The Scot was unable to halt an imperious Federer cruising to a two sets lead as his serve at 59% again failed to deliver. The third set was far from plain sailing as Murray broke the Swiss at 3-2. The pivotal moment came at 5-3 as Murray played a lethargic service game and got broken back enabling Federer to contest a tiebreak that should never have occurred. The three-time champion displayed phenomenal defence, a facet that is normally overlooked in his amazing repertoire. The pair had played four tiebreaks against each other, with Federer winning three of them. The battling Scot started us off with an ace, storming into a 3-1 lead with some scintillating groundstrokes. However Murray gave some cheap points away and Federer capitalised to lead 4-3. Murray responded immediately with an ace and a superb passing shot for two set points. Unfortunately he squandered these opportunities, painfully planting a routine backhand approach in the net at 6-5 up. As the tie-

break progressed Murray appeared increasingly uncomfortable with a leg injury and seemed to lack the conviction and belief that he could topple Federer in this set. Federer gifted Murray another set point but Murray agonisingly missed a simple volley at 7-6 to close out the set. The crowd were desperate for Murray to prevail in this set and prolong the battle. Both players were feeling the tension and exchanged several set points as Murray stayed in contention with some breath taking defence. However an exquisite drop shot and some solid serves gave Federer a third Championship point at 12-11. The Swiss supreme forced Murray into one more error and wrapped up another sensational Grand Slam v i c t o r y.

Questions about Federer’s motivation for the sport have certainly been answered. Can Federer now do the Grand Slam? In that form he was simply untouchable in Melbourne. His transition from the back of the court was simply electrifying and Murray wasn’t allowed any time to recover. Even though the Scot battled resolutely it was never going to be enough. Credit is due to Murray for forcing Federer into such imperious form in the final and also for a magnificent tournament himself. Murray was clearly emotional at the end, “I can cry like Roger, it’s a shame I can’t play like him.” Federer responded, “Andy, well done for your incredible tournament. You’re too good a player not to win a Grand Slam so don’t worry about it.” He added “I’m over the moon winning this again. I played some of the best tennis again of my life these last two weeks.” Taking this into consideration we must not forget that the two Grand Slam finals Murray has reached, each time the best player of all time, Federer, has beaten him. Federer has reassured the media that Murray can win a Grand Slam, he will learn and come back even better from another final experience. Murray’s vast array of shots and tactics make him the leading contender to replace Federer as the ‘King of the Court’ when the Swiss eventually retires, now that Nadal’s future seems rather uncertain. Tennis fans all over the world will now eagerly await the next Grand Slam in Paris during May.


33

Sport

Exeposé week sixteen sport@exepose.com

Six Nations Championship Odds

250/1 4/1 6/4 20/1 9/4 5/1 Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes

Urielle Ultimate Champions Ultimate Frisbee Jen Hart Sport Correspondent

On the weekend of November 7-8, Exeter University’s Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team - Urielle - travelled to Southampton to take part in the South of England Indoor National Qualifiers to fight for their place at Women’s Indoor Nationals. This year Urielle were able to send two highly competitive teams to this event, which saw teams enter from institutions across the whole of the south. Saturday started well for the 1st team, winning the first two of their group games 11-0 and 9-0 respectively. They continued their winning streak into the afternoon, beating the top seeds and only losing one of their games. Sunday morning saw the 1st team take an easy route into the semi-finals after dominating Plymouth 11-2. Good structure and tactics in the semi-final saw them take their well-earned place in the Final. The 2nd team played well during the Saturday group games yet unfortunately, despite solid play, could not secure any wins. Urielle 2 secured their first win of the weekend with their patience and skill resulting in a win against Chichester 2 during the Sunday games. The final saw Urielle 1 take on Chichester 1 in a hotly contested final. Chichester edged the lead at the start, but it was not long before Exeter’s calm heads, well drilled discipline and individual skill began to outmatch Chichester on the pitch. With amazing sideline support and encouragement, Urielle began to pull away with a series of successive and impressive points. Chichester simply couldn’t match the pace and structure in what was a fine display of women’s Ultimate from Urielle who dominated the majority of the final to beat Chichester 9-3. Bridget Brown was voted most valuable player and Sophie ‘Teach’ Cox was voted most improved player for the weekend. Continued from back page.

The Emerald Cheerleading squad kept the crowd cheering all game and at half time they provided a dazzling routine to the spectators’ delight. The 2nd half began with Cardiff employing an aggressive full court press, but it caused few problems for the home side as they picked up where they left off in the 1st half, scoring quickly to extend their lead. However, early in the quarter H. Conrad picked up his fourth foul, meaning he

Urielle 1sts travelled to Loughborough in December for Women’s University Indoor Nationals. Saturday started shakily with narrow wins against Cambridge and Leeds. However the team got back into its stride with a crushing win over Southampton - strong regional rivals. Unfortunately, the Exeter

and Leeds, earning them a place in the semi-finals against Glasgow. Matched for skill and desire, the two teams competed solidly for the whole match, culminating in a nail-biting finish with the game going to sudden death. Turnovers from Glasgow, forced by exceptional defence from Exeter, gave Exeter the chance to

“Congratulations Urielle, you are National Champions and the most successful ever Exeter Women’s team!” ladies experienced a narrow loss against the St. Andrews team, but managed to recollect, giving a determined and ruthless last game of the day to Oxford, narrowly winning 5-4. Sunday morning saw more wins for Exeter against Warwick

secure the victory through calm offence. A true credit to the strong teams of the south saw an all southern final being a rematch of the regional final with Exeter facing Chichester again. Exeter not only wanted to become

would have to be rested until later in the game and as Cardiff began to find their offensive touch, the lead shrank to as little as six points late in the quarter. But Exeter upped their defensive effort and got some quick scoring from guard Tim Clifford as they re-established their double digit lead, going in to the final quarter with a 67-52 advantage. Exeter began the 4th quarter with some sloppy offence, turning the ball over a number of times, giving hope to the visitors of a

comeback. Both teams traded baskets for much of the fourth with Cardiff unable to eat in to the Exeter lead. Cardiff’s key centre fouled out midway through the quarter which was a crucial blow, and when Chris Page gave a head fake at the top of the key, took one dribble and threw down a hammer dunk, the visitors seemed completely deflated. The Green Machine went on to take the game 90-68, clinching the Western Division in the process. The players were delighted and the

National Champions but also wanted to retain their southern title. Exeter held the lead at the start gaining successive points, yet Chichester threatened with a strong comeback after a time-out, but fortunately failed again to match Exeter’s precision of throws and excellent defense, with the final score 7-5 to Exeter. Special mentions must go to Catherine Parsons who was voted Most Valuable Player of Nationals and Kiri Bowman - voted Most Improved Player of Nationals. A huge thank you to all our support, including parents and other teams, throughout both tournaments and especially during the finals. Congratulations Urielle, you are National Champions and the most successful ever Exeter Women’s team! prospect of a second promotion in three years is still a possibility. Chris Page led all scorers with 24 points with support from Clifford and Conrad who scored 19 and 18 points respectively. Exeter will now face the South-Eastern winners Kingston in a match which will decide which team is promoted to the Premier Division. Keep an eye on “Murray’s Musings” to see when and where this crucial match will take place.


34

Sport

february 8 2010 Exeposé www.exepose.com

Murray’s Musings...

AU President Tom Murray

As the BUCS campaign starts to reach the sharp end of the season, we’re beginning to get some really superb sporting performances. I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few individuals who performed exceptionally in the BUCS games this last Wednesday. The first person is Rosie Hedger, who was playing for the ladies hockey thirds against Marjon’s firsts. The girls played out of their skins and won with a great 2-0 victory, but with seconds to go, Rosie ran out to stop an on-rushing attacker. The ball was blasted across the D, flew off an Exeter stick and hit Rosie just under the eye. Despite a two inch cut, Rosie was remarkably brave and was more worried about blood over the team’s white shirts than her cut. We wish Rosie all the best for a speedy recovery with love from all her team mates in the 3’s. Another great personal effort was Elle Muir, playing for ladies’ tennis thirds, who ground out a thrilling tie break victory despite playing with cramp for the last set. The thirds went down 7 – 3 to Cardiff firsts, a valiant effort from a team punching well above its weight. Credit should also go to

Antonia Hawken who despite losing in straight sets, was exceptional in warm up and remains unbeaten in warm ups this season. A great story now, from a team who had one of the world’s worst starts to a BUCS campaign, that has now managed to turn things around. Exeter University men’s football thirds started their season with a 9-1 defeat away against Winchester firsts; last Wednesday Chris Madeley and the boys travelled away with low expectations, but the boys battled superbly well to right the wrongs of earlier in the season, attaining a highly commendable 3-1 victory. Under normal circumstances that would deserve team of the week; however, this week there was a performance that stood out above all the rest. The Men’s Rugby first XV went away to Hartpury, which is always one of the toughest fixtures of the season and with the boys 7-0 down at half time it was easy to see why. Things were looking bleak for the boys, but they rallied with a superb second half which saw Exeter run in two tries, one from man of the match Mike Canty and a second from Luke Robinson. However Hartpury were not beaten yet and replied with an unconverted try, to leave the stage all set for a Chris Reeks penalty to bring the boys home. Well done to all the boys for doing Exeter truly proud! If you want to follow Exeter Sport on Facebook, log on to www.facebook. com/exeterau Have a great sport filled week!

F1 frenzy in Valencia Formula 1 Karl King F1 Correspondent

It’s hard to believe a quarter of a year has passed since the sun set on the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship in Abu Dhabi and already the new season is gearing up. The teams began launching their new cars, drivers and liveries before testing began in Valencia last week. There have been quite a lot of high profile driver moves this year: Fernando Alonso has moved to Ferrari and World Champion Jenson Button has defected to McLaren. But the most exciting change on the driver front is the man who Mercedes have drafted in to fill the empty seat left by Button, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. It is safe to say that most eyes were on him on the first day at Valencia. This is a 41 year old man

who has been away from F1 for three years – he’s old enough to be 19 year old Jaime Alguersuari’s dad. There were worries over the state of Schumacher’s neck after his aborted comeback last season to replace Felipe Massa after his horrific crash at Hungary. However, these concerns were soon put to bed on the first day of testing when he went out and bested team mate Nico Rosberg’s best time by more than half a second. However, with testing we of course don’t know the set-ups and fuel loads, so the net difference between them would be lessened in reality. With the huge fuel cells this year due to the ban on in-race refuelling, it’s even harder to draw representative comparisons. After early speculative rumblings that Ferrari had produced another dog and that Massa may not be ready to return, the Brazilian was keen to silence the doubters. In his two days he set the fastest time ahead of, somewhat surprisingly,

the Sauber. It is likely that Sauber are running on fumes to set quick times in order to dupe potential sponsors into backing the team. They need the money after BMW pulled out and currently have no high profile sponsors. They’ve resorted to sticking the drivers’ names on the side of the car to fill up the white space. They’re not fooling anyone! Wednesday saw Alonso take to the wheel of the Ferrari for the first time, and set the fastest time of the day – much to the delight of the Spanish fans – continuing the customary Ferrari-then-Sauber pattern. Button continued a fairly low-key week for McLaren by setting only the fifth fastest time, but reiterated “you could be running 10 kilos or 160 kilos [of fuel], so there is a massive difference and it is difficult to read into [the times].” Testing continues this week: Ferrari look good, but it’s still far too early to tell.

Tom Murray au@ex.ac.uk 01392 263573

Exeter survive Swansea comeback

Rugby League Owain James Connors Sport Correspondent

EXETER’S 2nd XIII went into the rescheduled match against Swansea’s first string unit knowing a win would ensure they finished above local rivals Bristol’s 1st team in the BUCS Wales and West league. A three hour mini-bus ride is not the best preparation for such an important fixture, but Exeter didn’t show any effects of the journey at a surprisingly sunny Gowerton Rugby Club as they dominated a frantic first

twenty minutes. Swansea’s game plan seemed to revolve around simple power runners off the hooker, a tactic that yielded them little, especially when their hands let them down in the face of some ferocious Exeter tackling. This was typified by a shoulder charge tackle executed by Matthew Cuss on Swansea’s captain which, despite winding Cuss, forced a turnover quickly exploited by Exeter. In fact, Exeter were ruthless with their use of the large amount of free ball handed to them by the team from South Wales, and quickly ran out to a 24-0 lead. However, Swansea are a

strong outfit who currently sit second in the league, and they soon fought back with a couple of scores of their own and were threatening to nullify Exeter’s advantage approaching the end of the half. Luckily for Exeter some poor Swansea handling resulted in the ball falling to winger Josh Jones, whose length of the field intercept try ensured Exeter went into their halftime huddle with their tails up. The second half turned into a scrappy affair of traded scores and repeated handling errors from both sides. Swansea were certainly fired up to try and claw back the deficit,

knowing that a loss at home would be a massive dent to their hopes of catching Glamorgan at the top of the table. Exeter, however, were not willing to let the lead slip from their grasp, and some stern try line defence, paired with some solid safety sets with the ball in hand, ensured they were able to run out the clock and earn a first ever away win over Swansea. Man of the match honours went to second year player Josh Webb, who was a revelation in his first game at fly-half, scoring four tries. His performance was so impressive that one stunned local desperately asked him whether

he had any Welsh parentage! However, Rugby League is first and foremost a team game and other squad members played key supporting roles. Josh Rylah was controlling from Scrum-Half with his kicking out of hand. Will Baker, the man who can do anything, impressed with his goalkicking, despite playing prop. The team was led, as always, by Aaron ‘Scud’ Summons, whose commitment to and leadership of what was always a young and inexperienced team this season was repaid fully with what was the 2nds’ best performance of the season.


35

Sport

Exeposé week sixteen sport@exepose.com

Green Machine remain unbeaten Philip Legrand Sport Correspondent

Coming off a heavy pre-season taken by newly elected coach, Luke Zaparaniuk, the EULC Men’s 1st team rolled into their first game a completely different outfit to the one that made the BUCS trophy

quarter-finals in the 2008/9 season, losing out to a better team in the form of Loughborough. Having been beaten comprehensively by Gloucestershire University the previous season, the men in green arrived as favourites in Gloucester. The game was a learning curve, allowing all of our different units to link up for the first time. A rusty display resulted in a scoreline

of 6-1 in favour of Exeter. In the second game they were pitted against their old foe, Bristol. Every one of the boys’ anticipation was running at fever pitch; the first home game of the year was without a doubt the most anticipated game of the season. Exeter dominated from start to finish and the final whistle saw rapturous applause from the supporters who had

Fee Drops Nottingham Rugby League Edwin Livett Sport Correspondent

It was make or break time for EURL 1st’s season as they faced Nottingham University away in a must-win game. After a hard-fought defeat at Loughborough the week before, Exeter were left in a precarious position in Premier South. They were now required to win two of their remaining three games in order to qualify for the cup. However, Exeter came away with a victory full of grit and determination. The business end of the season was underway in style. Exeter started brightly with Nottingham having no answer to the power and dynamism of Exeter’s premium forward, Luke Evans, and the Devon side put an early score on the board. As the team jogged back to the halfway line, patting each other on the back, standoff Miles ‘Turphy’ Murphy successfully converted. However, Nottingham could boast the scalps of Loughborough and UWIC so far this season, something which Exeter could not. To prove the quality of their side, Nottingham soon managed to benefit from Exeter’s inconsistency in both defence and attack. Before the boys knew it, they were losing 16-6 at half-time and had a mountain to climb. After a gruelling but inspirational team talk from skipper Nico Flanaghan, the boys knew that the following half

of rugby was crucial in deciding which way their season was heading. Up stepped vice-captain Tom Williams, who crashed through the Nottingham defence to put Exeter right back in the mix. The score stood at 16-10 in favour of Nottingham, but Exeter’s chances took a huge boost when Nottingham’s injury list began increasing faster than the names in Tiger Woods’ little black book. Exeter’s defence was proving as strong as ever with bone crunching tackles flying in from the likes of Dan Lezala, Chris Pawson and Angus Forshaw. However, something was not clicking for the boys in attack, with the likes of Josh Jones making great breaks but yielding no points from the chances. Time was not on their side, as the Nottingham players employed time-wasting tactics in an attempt to run the clock down. Disaster struck for Exeter with 20 minutes to go. Nottingham pounced on a drop ball as Exeter were trying to force the attack, leading to a breakaway try. The home crowd celebrated, believing Exeter’s bubble had finally burst – but how wrong they were. The final 15 minutes were sensational for Exeter, producing 17 points for the Green Machine, with Nottingham failing to register on the scoreboard. It was a comeback that dreams are made of. The comeback started with Matthew Cuss, marshalling his forwards up the pitch like an army general. This allowed Murphy to put Evans into a gap, who then carried what seemed like half of the Nottingham

defence over the line with him, for his second try of the game. With the try left unconverted, Exeter needed another quick score and this came from the mastery of the half-back pairing. Murphy sent an intelligent dink over the top of the defensive line and, with the bounce going the Devon side’s way, winger Stu Fee gathered the kick and went under the post to set up a definite six pointer. The score stood at 20-20 with five minutes remaining. Nottingham had no answer to Exeter in the dying minutes of the game, and their defence was crumbling faster than Exeter Uni’s IT system. I like to think that the conversation that followed between Stu Fee and Nico Flanaghan was very similar to that of Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson’s famously successful chat back in the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup final. The conclusion? A drop goal. Exeter managed to get into position some 35 metres out, thanks to powerful runs from Ian Parker and Tom Williams. Fee then slotted the drop-goal in off the post to take a 21-20 lead with four minutes remaining. All Exeter needed to do now was hold out for four minutes and the game was theirs. The boys did this and more, when captain Flanaghan topped off a stunning comeback win with a score in the corner in the last play of the game. It was successfully converted by Fee to make the final score 27-20. A fantastic team performance, as the boys showed a ‘never-say-die’ attitude. Roll on UWIC!

braved the howling winds and gales to cheer their victorious men, Exeter 7, Bristol 5. The third game saw Exeter against their geographic rivals, Plymouth. Although BUCS virgins, Plymouth were always bound to be a tricky contest. The boys played, arguably, their best showing of lacrosse of the season. Coach, Luke Zaparaniuk, must have been proud of his boys sticking to his set plays and converting 28 times without reply. Final score, 28-0. In their most recent outing, the boys’ skills and mental toughness were put through the grinder, facing Bath, a team that Exeter Men had never beaten in a lacrosse match. The stakes were high. Beating Bath would mean a lot to all of the players, and more importantly, have a very positive impact on our season. The game was scrappy, which no longer suits Exeter’s game of flair and an organised defence. A last minute goal from top scorer, Tom ‘Alphamale’ King, saw helmets, gloves, arm pads and bodies flying across the air. We had done it, beaten Bath. Final score of 6-5, making

exeposé crossword - Week 16

Lacrosse

Exeter unbeaten in their first four contests. The future of the season will see Exeter play Southampton away, Cardiff at home and final Swansea, also at home. If both Exeter and Swansea manage to remain unbeaten, the final match will be for the league. Spirits are high and the prospects look good. The boys in green are desperate for that premier glory and entry into the first ever BUCS South Premier League in the 2010/11 season. The two girls’ teams have also started extremely strongly. The 1st’s, playing in a tough league have made an excellent account of themselves, particularly with results against Oxford, 8-8, and beating a strong Bristol team with a performance that had captains Anna Wylie and Emerald Willett running out of superlatives in Timepiece the corresponding evening. The 2nd’s, whose fixtures mirror that of the Men’s 1st team, have also mirrored their fortunes, putting in dominant performances around the league and remaining unbeaten so far.

Across

Down

2. Carrying Device (3) 4. Flat top of cooker (3) 6. Assent by moving head (3) 7. Citrus fruit (6) 8. Sports group (4) 9. Frog-like creature (4) 12. Action film hero, James ____ (4) 13. Female sheep (3) 15. Household item to tidy hair (4) 16. Shouted, screamed (6) 17. Cereal vessel (4)

1. Large nocturnal mammal (6) 3. Garden ornament (5) 4. Popular Valentine’s Day symbol (5) 5. Baby bed (3) 6. Sewing implement (6) 10. Strange, weird (3) 11. Beast of burden (6) 12. Summon someone to answer the door. Door ____ (4) 14. Arm joint (5)

Notes...


36

Monday february 8 2010

Exeposé

www.exepose.com

sport

Australian Open 2010

Federer remains ‘King of the Court’ and dashes Murray’s dream for his Page 32 first Grand Slam title.

Ultimate Frisbee win the Nationals - full report p 33

Results The breakdown of Exeter's BUCS Results

Basketball Exeter Men’s 1st 90-68 Cardiff Men’s 1st Exeter Women’s 1st 63-51 Cardiff Women’s 1st

Football Exeter Women’s 1st 3-2 Gloucestershire Women’s 1st Exeter Men’s 2nds 2-0 Bournemouth Men’s 3rds

Hockey Exeter Men’s 1st 3-1 UWE Men’s 1st Exeter Men’s 2nds 5-1 Gloucestershire Men’s 1st Exeter Women’s 3rd 2-0 Plymouth Women’s 1st

Lacrosse

Captain Conrad leads the Way No.63

GRID 2: MEDIUM

GRID 1: easy

No.62

Exeposé sudoku

baskets from Inness and captain Henry Conrad. The crowd were beginning to get into the game too, and when Tim Clifford made a steal and set up Chris Page for a huge dunk, they erupted. Exeter finished the half with an 11 point advantage, but had accumulated some fouls trouble which would affect them later in the game. Continued page 33

Fill in the grid so that the numbers 1 to 9 appear in each row, each column, and each 3x3 box

January 27, the day that all Exeter Basketball fans and players had been waiting for, finally arrived. With Exeter leading Western Division 1A and Cardiff hot on their heels in 2nd position, the scene was set for a dramatic “winner takes all” showdown between the two teams.

The game started at a high intensity with both teams shooting the ball very well despite a frantic defence. But it was Exeter who jumped out to an early 9-4 lead with some tough play around the hoop against a considerably bigger Cardiff team, particularly from Craig Inness. Exeter began the 2nd quarter with a slim advantage, but quickly stamped their authority on the game with some stifling defence and

No. 64

Henry Conrad Sports Correspondent

Exeter went into the game with an unbeaten home record, having lost only one game all season against Cardiff in November. Support for the team has been good all season but for this league deciding game, Streatham Sports Hall was absolutely packed and even standing room was hard to come by. It has been a very long time since a Basketball game at Exeter has created so much buzz and this one did not disappoint.

GRID 3: hard

Basketball

Exeter Men’s 1st 11-0 Cardiff Men’s 1st Exeter Women’s 1st 7-6 Bristol Women’s 1st

Netball Exeter 2nds 47-36 UWE 2nds

Rugby League Exeter Men’s 1st 27-20 Nottingham Men’s 1st

Rugby Union Exeter Men’s 2nds 19-12 Royal Agricultural College Men’s 1st Exeter Women’s 1st 19-0 Chichester Women’s 1st

Squash Exeter Men’s 1st 3-2 Bristol Men’s 2nd Exeter Women’s 1st 4-0 Glamorgan Women’s 1st

Waterpolo Exeter Men’s 1st 6-4 Plymouth Men’s 1st Exeter Women’s 1st 10-2 College of St Mark and St John Women’s 1st


ISSUE 21 MONDAY 8TH FEBRUARY 2010

Vanishing Point

EUTCo teach us how to disappear 3

Getting Hitched

Heavy petting in Amsterdam all in the name of Charity 3

What's on?

Events and Gig listings 4

Why you should think about running for the 2010 sabbatical elections.


NE

W

What's in a nomination?

S

Senior Elections Officer Gary McLachan tells us his thoughts on why you should run for one of the Sabbatical positions this year.

H

opefully you’ll know You’re sceptical, I can tell – what a Sabbatical people always are – why would election is by now – you run unless you were 100%

the posters have been up for a sure of winning, they ask. few weeks, the website has been Because nothing is ever certain, advertising nominations, there’s I reply, and because the week a facebook group and twitter itself teaches you things about feeds. If you’ve missed all of this yourself; how to deal with defeat then this article will hopefully do or success, how to cope with the trick – elections are coming!

stress, how to plan, strategise

Nominations are still your campaign, keep going open until Friday 12 February, through wind, rain and sunshine, at 1pm – so as you read this, and so much more. And that’s you could still have time to just the campaign trail itself – for put yourself into the contest the lucky winners who convince for election to be a Sabbatical enough of the student body to Officer. At this point you might cast first or second preference have stopped reading – I hope votes there’s the year-long job of you haven’t – since I’m here to being a Sabbatical Officer. persuade you that running for

Let’s state right up front Universities, always remember that’s also still familiar to you like to remember when you look

office is not just a good thing to that the money isn’t a thrilling their do for yourself, it’s a great thing enticement – there’s lots of

Sabbatical

days

with that I’ve never heard a single back to your time here. If you

fondness, both as their first real previous Sabbatical say that they think you’ve got what it takes to

to do for everyone; and it’s also graduate jobs where you start on experience with the world of

regretted running and being a put yourself out there and get

the most fun you can have in more; but that really is the only work, and for the sheer scope of

Sabbatical – not ever.

a single week without actually slight down-side to being a Sabb. different work-related skills that it

As a ‘slightly older’ in the frame before nominations

For a start, you get to stay on gives you. In any other graduate student I had a wide variety of

dying!

elected then do it – put yourself close. Win or lose, it’ll be a week

How do I know? Because at Exeter for another year, and career you’re trained relentlessly jobs and careers before I came to remember; win, and it’ll be I’m mad enough to have run for you still count as a student. For down a single path

is run, and what it contributes

"I’ve never heard a single previous Sabbatical say that they regretted running and being a Sabbatical – not ever."

to the student experience of

– your choice does define what

the position of Welfare Officer second, there’s the opportunity twice myself – and even losing to change everything (or a few twice hasn’t stopped me thinking things at least) that you ever that those two or three weeks of

thought should be different about

my life were excellent fun,

the way the Students’ Guild

"The most fun you can have in a single week without actually dying!" and developed personal skills

confidence that there are very your life. few first jobs that anyone ever has that offers as much experience in such a short space of time, and that also leaves you with good memories and no regrets. So what’s the point

everyone who comes to Exeter you do for at least a decade, to all of this? Basically, to ask to do a degree.

if not forever. As a Sabbatical you to think about what you

More than that? Oh Officer you learn so many new want to do with your time after

and friendships even without there’s so much more – previous skills and have a wide variety of winning the election.

back to study, and I can say with the greatest start to the rest of

University – what you’d like your

Sabbs from Exeter, and other experiences in an environment first job to be, and what you’d

Facts From

2009 Sabbatical Elections: Exeter had the biggest turnout for a UK Students' Union with 34% of students voting. Over 700 registered canvassers volunteered in the Election Campaign week. We had 4,776 votes, which was a higher percentage of turnout than Local Council Elections in England.


Vanishing Point

EUTCo Disappears with Fin Kennedy Nick Partridge Director Take a moment to look up from

estimates that 210,000 people go

encounters Sophie, a pathologist

range of visual and multimedia

EUTCo’s production of ‘How

reading this. Find the nearest

missing every year. One cannot

who claims he is lying flat out

techniques.

to Disappear Completely and

door. Imagine walking through

help but look at the photographs

on her slab. Thus begins his

Charlie could be any one of us.

Never Be Found’.

it and never coming back.

or read the news stories and

nightmarish

the

As he says in the play, ‘I don’t

Simple? Now consider that in

wonder where these people are

edge of existence that sees him

think the problem lies with me. I

doing this you cut all ties to

now and why they are there.

stripped of everything that made

think things might genuinely be

him who he is.

shit’. In our modern, aesthetically

journey

to

family and friends without even

It is these questions that

the chance of saying goodbye.

Fin Kennedy’s ‘How to Disappear

The play is modern, fast

and financially concerned world,

Your bankcards, mobile phone,

Completely and Never Be Found’

paced and beautifully written.

it is obvious how much image

university card, driving licence

tries to answer. The play follows

First performed in 2007, it was

comes to shape our identity. If

and passport are all obsolete. You

Charlie, a young advertising

subsequently

as

you, like Charlie, find yourself

become no one. Everything you

executive, who reaches breaking

winner of the John Whiting

asking, ‘D’you ever feel like

ever used to identify yourself by

point and decides to disappear.

Award for New Theatre Writing.

everything is sort of fake?’ or

is lost. Not so easy now is it?

To further complicate matters,

Our production supports an

want to find out more about who

along

excellent cast with an exciting

you really are then come and see

The

Home

Office

his

journey

Charlie

announced

Getting Hitched

Heavy Petting in Amsterdam all in the name of Charity James Appleby RAG Publicity coOn Thursday March 11th, of the Netherlands, students Jo Wing. over 150 Exeter students will will have time to see some of be leaving the University for the sights of Amsterdam and a trip to Amsterdam. Not for enjoy, in true RAG style, a club educational purposes, but for night! Everyone will receive a hitch-hike.

just twenty minutes.

"The best thing about a hitch weekend is the insanity of it all"

two nights’ accommodation

a club. The answer - twice a

Seb commented that year on a RAG hitch-hike.’ ‘the best thing about a hitch

The Amsterdam hitch

weekend is the insanity of

is set to be even bigger than

it all. How often can you get the Paris hitch and the sign

previously into a car driven by a velvet up is on Tuesday February 16,

They

Setting off in pairs, and a luxury coach ride home organised the Paris hitch clad woman who forces her in the RAG Office (Cornwall students will have to use on Sunday 14th March. their initiative and head for

The

which took place in November passengers to stroke her pet House) between 1.30-4pm.

Amsterdam last year. Instead of the usual rabbit, Snuggly-Wuggly; shout Profits raised on the hitch

Amsterdam, known for its hitch has been organised by Dublin hitch, the pair decided Exeter songs with a hundred will be donated to our five canals, cafes and notorious this year’s RAG hitch co- to change the destination to other students on a crowded nominated charities. nightlife. Once in the capital ordinators Seb Descrettes and Paris and the hitch sold out in metro, or dance till 6am in

Alison Smith CA Projects Advisor Elections to decide next year's elderly. You will plan and close Friday 12th Feb at 12pm. design and marketing and two Monday Feb 22nd at www. Elections

CA officers are now underway. run your project's activities,

for

CA Fundraising Reps to organise exeterguild.org and close 4pm

Every student can vote online gaining valuable skills along management team are also the events that fund CA Friday Feb 26th. at www.exeterguild.org. Voting the way. closes Friday Feb 12th at 4pm!

coming soon. This team directs projects! We are also looking

For more info on any

All you need to do CA- invaluable experience for for a Chairperson to run positions please contact CA

Applications are open is download an application working in any organisation.

meetings, and a Secretary to officers Sophie and Eirlys at

to become a project-leader form from the CA website at We want two Recruitment record minutes and help run ca-officer@guild.ex.ac.uk for one of our 5 student-led www.ca.ex.ac.uk or come and & projects. You could lead a collect one from our office find

Development new

Reps

volunteers,

to elections. two

Management

project with children or the Cornwall House. Applications Publicity Reps to oversee nominations

open

Team 9am


LI

ST

members of Arabic Society, and £2 for non-members. It'd be great to see you there!"

IN

FRIDAYS 1-2pm Arabic Conversation Classes Seminar Room 2, IAIS Colloquial Arabic conversation classes. Mainly Levantine dialect, incorporating some Egyptian. Anyone welcome! Contact kjm205@ ex.ac.uk for more details.

GS

MONDAYS 4pm - 5pm German Society: Conversation Class Long Lounge, DH A great opportunity to practise your spoken German with native speakers in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Suitable for German undergraduates. Contact alt204@ ex.ac.uk for more details. 7pm-7.45pm Folk Society: Folk Music Session JCR, DH An opportunity to play traditional folk tunes. All instruments welcome. Also see our slower music session on Fridays. Contact cgb203@ex.ac. uk for more details. 8.30 pm- 10pm Folk Society: Folk Dancing JCR, DH Come and try some traditional english folk dancing with Folk Soc, one of Exeter’s longest running societies. No partner needed. No experience necessary.Contact cgb203@ex.ac.uk for more details. 8:30pm Community Action: Pub Quiz Ram, DH Pub Quiz hosted by CA. Prizes include exciting vouchers from Dominoes and the Black Horse. Tickets £1 per person, half of which is charitably donated to CA and its volunteering projects. Prizes up for grabs include five Domino’s Pizza vouchers, five drinks from the Black Horse, a bottle of wine and a healthy cash sum is up for grabs. Contact cafundraising@ex.ac.uk for more details.

TUESDAYS 6:45pm - 9:45pm Dancesport Society: Latin and Ballroom Lessons Hope Hall Dining Room Latin and Ballroom Lessons taught by a former world champion. No previous experience necessary for our beginner lessons. 6:45pm -7:30pm: Beginners Latin. 7:30pm -8:15pm: Beginner Ballroom. 8:15pm - 9pm: Novice and Intermediate Latin. 9pm - 9:45pm: Novice and Intermediate Ballroom. Email slc215@ex.ac.uk

WEDNESDAYS 1pm Amnesty International Meeting Freddie Mercury Suite, CH Amnesty’s weekly meeting, during which we plan our campaigns and fundraising events and take action on contemporary Human Rights issues. See www. exeteramnestystudents.co.uk for more details.

7pm Buddhist & Meditation Society: Meditation Evening Queen's 4.2 Every week we have a meditation session with a local speaker, who gives the background to the practice and leads a meditation. All sessions are free and anyone is welcome at any time so do come along. Contact us on jrm212@ex.ac.uk if you want more details of our schedule. 7:30pm - 9pm Nooma Long Lounge, DH Exploring the relevance of Jesus and the Bible in contemporary society, looking at ‘building the foundations for a brighter future’ open to all. 8pm onwards Xpression FM presents Open Mic Night Lemon Grove, CH A free and fun evening. All new and returning acts welcome, come along at the beginning of the night to sign up. www.xpressionfm.com.

THURSDAYS 4:30pm - 6:30pm World Music Choir: Rehearsal Knightley Seminar Room Come and join the World Music Choir for a fun rehearsal singing songs from around the world £2 members £4 non-members. Contact worldmusicchoir@yahoo. com for more details. 5pm onwards Poker Lemon Grove, CH 7pm - 10pm Dancesport Society: Salsa Lessons Hope Hall Dining Room 7pm - 7:50pm: Beginners class (beginners footwork and partner work). 7:50pm - 8pm: Practice time. 8pm - 8:50pm: Improvers class (a more challenging routine for those more confident with their salsa). 8:50pm - 9pm: Practice time. 9pm 10pm: Intermediate class (for those wanting a much more challenging class, both with footwork, styling and turn patterns). Contact slc215@ex.ac.uk for more details. 8.30pm - 10pm Japanese Society The Lemon Grove Bar The Japanese Society's regular meeting; come along for a friendly chat! 7pm Arabic Society: Bellydancing Coffee Express, DH Arabic Society is proud to introduce the return of our belly dance classes! Lessons will be held weekly all the term on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 8pm in Coffee Express, Devonshire House. Prices are £1 for

6pm onwards Free Fun Friday Ram Bar, DH Enjoy all the games in the Ram for Free from 6pm, as well as promotional drinks offers every Friday! 6:30pm Folk Society: Beginners’ Folk Music Session Claydon (behind Knightley) Come along and join in with a slow informal folk music session. All instruments and abilities welcome! We also teach instruments from scratch. Contact cgb203@ex.ac.uk for more details. 7:30pm Debating Society:Friday Debate Parker Moot Room,Amory The Debating Society’s weekly show debate, check the Debsoc Facebook group each week for the motion. Contact cf256@ex.ac.uk for more details.

SUNDAYS 8pm onwards RAG Quiz Lemon Grove, CH

TUESDAY, 9TH FEBRUARY 12.15pm Amnesty: Troy Davis Campaign Devonshire House Steps A campaign for Troy Davis who has been on Death Row for the past 18 years; fresh evidence, produced after his trial, suggests he is not guilty. 6.30pm & 9pm Campus Cinema: A Serious ManFilm Screening M&D Room The latest offering from the Cohen Brothers £1.50 for members, £3.00 for non-members 5pm-6pm Bodysoc: Aerobics JCR A fun and energetic aerobics class, only £1 for members and £2 for non members!

THURSDAY, 11TH FEBRUARY 7.30pm EUTCo: How to Disappear Competely and Never Be Found M&D Room, DH You are what people think, and that's the easiest thing in the world to change'. EUTCo's sublime National Student Drama Festival Entry. 5pm-6pm Bodysoc: Aerobics JCR A fun and energetic aerobics class, only £1 for members and £2 for non members!

Produced by Stuart Smith and Meri Wills. © 2010 University of Exeter Students’ Guild.

FRIDAY, 12TH FEBRUARY

SATURDAY, 20TH FEBRUARY

7.30pm Campus Cinema: Film Quiz Long Lounge, DH Campus Cinema once again invites you to rack your brains and get your grey-matter working in another great film quiz. All welcome with questions ranging from film-novice frienly to movie-buff extreme!

6pm-7pm Bodysoc: Aerobics JCR A pilates class works your body and relaxes your mind! £2 for members and £3 for non members!

4pm-5pm, 5pm-6pm Bodysoc: Pilates JCR A pilates class works your body and relaxes your mind! £2 for members and £3 for non members!

SATURDAY, 13TH FEBRUARY 6pm-7pm Bodysoc: Aerobics JCR A pilates class works your body and relaxes your mind! £2 for members and £3 for non members!

SUNDAY, 14TH FEBRUARY 6.30pm & 9pm Campus Cinema: Fantastic Mr Fox- Film Screening M&D Room Wes Anderson's adaptation of the Roald Rahl classic "Fantastic Mr Fox". George Clooney shines as the eponimous hero, and the stopmotion is a joy. Shown by Campus Cinema as part of Animated Exeter. £1.50 for members, £3.00 for non-members

TUESDAY, 16TH FEBRUARY 5pm-6pm Bodysoc: Aerobics JCR A fun and energetic aerobics class, only £1 for members and £2 for non members! 6.30pm & 9pm Campus Cinema: Spirited AwayFilm Screening M&D Room In conjunction with Japanese Society, and as part of Animated Exeter, Campus Cinema is proud to bring you one of the best animated delights of the past decade. Spirited Away is an award winning show stopper that's bound to steal your heart. £1.50 for members, £3.00 for non-members

THURSDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY 5pm-6pm Bodysoc: Aerobics JCR A fun and energetic aerobics class, only £1 for members and £2 for non members!

SUNDAY, 21ST FEBRUARY 6.30pm & 9pm Campus Cinema: Sherlock Holmes - Film Screening M&D Room From director Guy Ritchie, Campus Cinema invites you to strap yourself in for the rip-rawing adventure that is Sherlock Holmes. Elementary my dear film-fan! £1.50 for members, £3.00 for non-members

Chinese New Year Saturday Feb 13th 2pm Parade @Cornwall House 3.30 Activities incuding Lanterns, Chinese Knots and Dumplings @Cornwall House 4.30 Second Parade @ Cornwall House 6pm FIREWORKS @ the XFI area Hosted by the chinese and Hong Kong societies

ECU presents

'Alive Week' 8th-12th February Talks, presentations and discussions on why Christianity can be relevant in today's society.

Events 1pm-2pm all week and evening events too! email thecusecretary@ hotmail.co.uk for more information

FRIDAY, 19TH FEBRUARY 4pm-5pm, 5pm-6pm Bodysoc: Pilates JCR A pilates class works your body and relaxes your mind! £2 for members and £3 for non members! 7pm PGU Curry Night Long Lounge The ever-popular Curry Night returns to the Long Lounge. Get yours for only £5 including a drink!

Voice is the University of Exeter’s student-run listening and information service, available from 8pm to 8am every night during term time. Call: 01392 275 284 (local rate) or 74000 (free from halls) E-mail: voicemail@exetervoice. co.uk (response within 48 hours)


2009/10 Week 16